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Hebrew atheist billboard gets bumped in New York
The American Atheists' president acknowledged that the pair of new billboards will likely cause a stir, and the did.
March 7th, 2012
02:51 PM ET

Hebrew atheist billboard gets bumped in New York

By Eric Marrapodi, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

(CNN)–A controversial billboard from a national atheist group was scheduled to go up in a heavily populated Jewish neighborhood in Brooklyn on Tuesday but was bumped when the owner of the building objected to the advertisement.

CNN first reported the billboards were targeting Muslim and Jewish enclaves with, “You know it’s a myth … and you have a choice,” written on billboards in Arabic and Hebrew.

The Brooklyn billboard was in English and Hebrew. To the right of the text on the Hebrew sign is the word for God, Yahweh.

American Atheists president David Silverman said he went to the Brooklyn location when the billboard was scheduled to be put up with reporters and was surprised to see it was not being erected. “We sat there and watched and the billboard didn't go up,” he said. "The Jewish landlord of the building saw the billboard and refused to let it go up," he said.

CNN’s Belief Blog: The faith angles behind the biggest stories

Silverman said it was a clear case of religious bigotry. "It was very disappointing to me because I was raised Jewish," he said by phone from New York. "They've been the victims of religious bigotry and now they're the purveyors."

When reached by phone, Kenneth Stier the owner of the building that rejected the billboard in the heavily Orthodox Jewish neighborhood, offered a polite “no comment” on the matter.

Silverman said the billboard has been moved out of the residential area and put up in a pricier spot off a major highway at no additional cost. He added that while it was nice to have more visibility, his group was specifically targeting that Brooklyn neighborhood.

Jim Cullinan, vice president for marketing & communications for Clear Channel told CNN in an e-mail, “We found space for both ads and this contract is being fulfilled,” but would not comment on moving the billboard out of the residential area in Brooklyn.

“It is against our policy to comment on any of our advertisers' campaigns,” he wrote.

Silverman said he was disappointed by the development. “We wanted to get into the residential neighborhood because so many Hasidic are closeted atheists,” he said.

He said they received over a dozen e-mails from closeted atheist Hasidim who thought they were alone until news of the ad campaign broke.

"This is why atheists need to come out of the closet," Silverman said.

Silverman again reiterated the signs advertise the American Atheists’ upcoming convention and an atheist rally, called the Reason Rally, in Washington scheduled for April.

Atheists have long pointed to surveys that suggest atheists and agnostics make up between 3% and 4% of the U.S. population. That number increases when Americans unaffiliated with any religion are included. The Pew Center’s U.S. Religious Landscape Survey found that 16% are unaffiliated, though only a fraction of those are avowed atheists and agnostics.

Silverman told CNN last week he knew that the pair of new billboards will cause a stir.

“People are going to be upset,” he said. “That is not our concern.”

“We are not trying to inflame anything,” he continued. “We are trying to advertise our existence to atheist in those communities. The objective is not to inflame but rather to advertise the atheist movement in the Muslim and Jewish community.”

CNN's Dan Merica contributed to this report.

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- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Atheism • Islam • Judaism

soundoff (1,757 Responses)
  1. Socrates

    Religion, religion oh, religion. The mother of all the idiots of the world. Say no more.

    March 7, 2012 at 8:43 pm |
  2. NorCalMojo

    Atheists are, by far, the most aggressive and annoying evangelists in the USA today.

    March 7, 2012 at 8:41 pm |
    • Gadflie

      LOL! Really? When was the last time one knocked on YOUR door trying to recruit you?

      March 7, 2012 at 8:43 pm |
    • NorCalMojo

      It's coming, Gadlife, it's coming.

      I doubt they'll be as polite as the mormons either.

      March 7, 2012 at 8:45 pm |
    • Gadflie

      NorCalMojo, so you are really saying that they might eventually approach the annoyance value of the other religions?

      March 7, 2012 at 8:47 pm |
    • NorCalMojo

      Yes, Gad, you are as annoying as the holy rollers and mormons. That is what I am saying.

      March 7, 2012 at 8:50 pm |
    • jazzguitarman

      I can see your point. The people I know that call themselves atheist are often angry. Of course many of these people had very negative things happen to them related to religion (e.g. a priest molested them). This is one of the reasons I say that I'm agnostic instead. As long as religious people don't try to pass laws that control the behavior of others I have no issues with them (but I do believe they are fools).

      March 7, 2012 at 8:51 pm |
    • Gadflie

      No, actually what you said was "Atheists are, by far, the most aggressive and annoying evangelists in the USA today.". Not that they were "as annoying". but, well, church recruiting is FAR more common. So much so that a single billboard by atheists makes national headlines. Get a grip kid.

      March 7, 2012 at 8:52 pm |
    • NorCalMojo

      .....but not as bitter and aggressive.

      And you're right. I stand corrected. In 2012, USA, you are more annoying than the mormons and holy rollers.

      March 7, 2012 at 8:54 pm |
    • Gadflie

      LOL! Only because you have no answers to our arguments. Other theists are easy to argue with, since you are just quoting different mythologies to each other. But, arguing with reality is just a bit harder. Hence your obvious frustration.

      March 7, 2012 at 8:57 pm |
    • ashrakay

      @NorCalMojo, Yes... we're coming for you... Be afraid and pray to god to save you from us. We fully plan on shining the sunlight of reality into all of your dark, ignorant corners. Wakey wakey... dream time is over.

      March 7, 2012 at 9:09 pm |
  3. jas

    fight fight fight fight ....kill each other, ill bring my popcorn

    March 7, 2012 at 8:23 pm |
    • Aasim Soomro

      Killing is wrong unless it's to save your life, i.e. self defense. Mere religious bigotry is no excuse for the murder of innocent civilians.

      March 7, 2012 at 8:34 pm |
  4. bigbang

    96% of the population believes in someone whom they cannot see, but whom is thought to exist because an old book says so.

    There is a word for that: mental illness.

    March 7, 2012 at 8:22 pm |
    • Takahashi Jones

      The best guess is that 16% of the world's population is non-religious.

      March 7, 2012 at 8:32 pm |
    • jazzguitarman

      I wouldn't define believing in myths as a mental illness but just being immature. Yea, as KIDS we believed in Santa, the Easter bunny and some other myths but as we matured we realized these where myths. What is sad is that so many people never mature enough to see the virgin births, returning from the dead, what they were told about the age of the earth ect... are ALSO myths.

      March 7, 2012 at 8:32 pm |
    • Uh . . . . . .

      That's actually two words

      March 7, 2012 at 8:34 pm |
    • Aasim Soomro

      Santa, the Tooth Fairy, and the Easter bunny are all myths; God is not.

      March 7, 2012 at 8:38 pm |
    • NorCalMojo

      Atheists are,by fa, r the most aggressive and annoying evangelists in the USA today.

      March 7, 2012 at 8:40 pm |
    • Gadflie

      Actually, God is a myth also.

      March 7, 2012 at 8:41 pm |
    • Judgmentday

      when animal born he stand and go strait to his mother and suck for milk.
      You could not walk nor feed till your mom brought you to her chest and showed you how to walk.
      So maybe your first mother was a monkey,i wonder why all these millions of years and monkeys or ant other animal still stupid like you are.
      What do you call that sickness??
      social,liberal mental disorder...

      My first mother was Eve.

      March 7, 2012 at 8:43 pm |
    • n3kit

      Because you cant see my thoughts doesnt mean my thoughts arent real, just because you can't see God doesnt mean He's not real either. But God can be seen maybe not just by you. Try examining your own mental health, that's for telling others what they can and they cannot see, at any rate your mind is inferior to the minds of those who can see what cannot be seen.

      March 7, 2012 at 8:44 pm |
    • Unbeliever

      Samroo-Prove it.

      March 7, 2012 at 8:49 pm |
    • momoya

      Can anybody translate what Judgementday was trying to say??. Who speaks fundie around here?

      March 7, 2012 at 8:52 pm |
    • Unbeliever

      But we can see the brain functioning. We can test brain function. We know by these tests that people think. You cannot prove there is a supreme being. It is true that I cannot disprove the existance of god. I also cannot disprove the existance of the easter bunny, Santa Claus, or Tinker Bell.

      March 7, 2012 at 8:54 pm |
    • jazzguitarman

      ",,your mind is inferior to the minds of those who can see what cannot be seen", what you wrote here sure looks like mental illness to me.

      But like I said I view those that continue to believe what they mommy told them as immature. No one can describe what this so called 'god' is. But still you believe in it? Be honest in the majority of case what someone believes, as it relates to religion, is based on what you were told as child.

      March 7, 2012 at 8:56 pm |
    • Socrates

      That sounds like fun.

      March 7, 2012 at 9:09 pm |
    • TR6

      @n3kit:”Because you cant see my thoughts doesnt mean my thoughts arent real, just because you can't see God doesnt mean He's not real either. “

      So according to you, even though we can’t see vampires, ghosts, unicorns, UFOs or the flying teapot orbiting Jupiter, doesn’t mean they don’t exist and my mind must be “inferior to the minds of those who can see [them]”?

      March 7, 2012 at 9:14 pm |
    • ashrakay

      @momoya, "Can anybody translate what Judgementday was trying to say?" I think he's making a plea for more Thorazine.

      March 7, 2012 at 9:14 pm |
  5. DanB

    @monoya.

    Like.... what? That there was a beginning to the Universe when science thought there was no beginning until the Big Bang was proposed by a Belgian priest/physicist and has now been firmly confirmed.
    Or are you referring to when they say 1 day for God is like 1,000 years for man which would seem an obvious contradiction until... special relativity came along and showed that in different inertial frames of reference time is different. So again, the Bible turns out to be right.
    So, you have to be specific about what it was wrong about, scientifically.

    March 7, 2012 at 8:13 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      When did "science think there was no beginning to the universe"?

      Scientific research results in new knowledge constantly as new discoveries are made. Do you have a point?

      March 7, 2012 at 8:16 pm |
    • Dave B in MN

      The same Bible that says women are made from men's ribs, incest is okay (Adam and Eve's children), and slavery is not jsut tolerated but condoned? Spare me.

      March 7, 2012 at 8:19 pm |
    • Gadflie

      Per the Bible, rabbits chew their cud and insects have four legs.

      March 7, 2012 at 8:23 pm |
    • ashrakay

      Oh DanB, please do enlighten us about your understanding of special relativity. Which part specifically are you referring to when you say, "special relativity came along and showed that in different inertial frames of reference time is different"? Speed of light and relative time passage?

      March 7, 2012 at 8:23 pm |
    • Snow

      ever heard this.. "even a broken clock gets to be right twice a day"? that does not mean you are going to believe it all the time..

      March 7, 2012 at 8:36 pm |
    • Sleebiscuit

      If the bible is a conversation between god and man, it would only be logical that god would say "days" and mean exactly what we think of in terms of time. Because he is trying to communicate with us....get it monkey?

      March 7, 2012 at 8:40 pm |
  6. Bing

    Looks like the government doesn't want smart citizens. Religious bigots are a lot easier to govern.

    March 7, 2012 at 8:12 pm |
    • Ken

      Yep. Most likely Obama's fault.

      March 7, 2012 at 8:21 pm |
    • jazzguitarman

      The owner of the building decided to NOT allow this to go up, NOT the government. Didn't you read the story?

      I'm agnostic and I think the statement is right on but the owner has a right to reject what goes up on his building.

      March 7, 2012 at 8:27 pm |
    • Aasim Soomro

      Einstein was a smart man who belived in God, and there are many smart men who believe in God. You don't have to be a religious bigot to belive in God. If you claim that the existance of God requires proof, the oppostie claim, i.e. that He is a myth, also requires proof.

      March 7, 2012 at 8:29 pm |
    • Gadflie

      Actually, Einstein described himself as an agnostic.

      March 7, 2012 at 8:32 pm |
    • Todd in DC

      God/not God is not the issue. Organized religion is the issue. Religion allows child fondling (catholic), suicide (muslim), homicide (muslim/christianity), mutilation of genitalia (Judaism), and separating the faithful from their money (every last one of them).

      I'm a deist, the rest of your stupid religions can go spit.

      March 7, 2012 at 8:33 pm |
    • ashrakay

      @Aasim Soomro and Gadfie, Actually in a letter to a jesuit priest claiming he had converted he claimed to be an atheist from the perspective of a jesuit and further states:

      "I believe in Spinoza's God who reveals himself in the orderly harmony of what exists, not in a God who concerns himself with the fates and actions of human beings."
      - Albert Einstein

      Most atheists believe in an ordering force. We just don't call it god. We use big adult words like gravity.

      March 7, 2012 at 8:35 pm |
  7. Debb

    I'm not anti god... just anti religion. I'm sick of having religion in my face! I used to think that religious groups existed to good... but then it became clear to me that religion exists mainly to control the masses (no pun intended) and that its dogma faded from truth to tradition. I feel so much better for it. Like a weight off my shoulder and the joy of inner peace 🙂

    March 7, 2012 at 8:11 pm |
    • Johnny Blammo

      Well said, Debb.

      March 7, 2012 at 8:13 pm |
  8. Craig Charles

    The worst thing about this group is that they look to torment peoples faith. The hypocrisies and loop holes in every religion speak for themselves and thank you all who are pointing out select bible quotes to make your case against religion. We all know many things don;t make sense despite your ground breaking research on the first five pages of genesis. But what the atheist group does is attack religion which is essentially attacking one of the few things that many have faith in today. Religion gives people hope for an after life and justification for doing right in the world. Its easy to see some of the horrors committed by people who use religion to justify draconious causes, but its harder too look past it to the average person. The sunday morning church goer may only get hope out of religion, and from the time we are taking our first steps religion helps to enforce a general set of morals which god knows we don't want coming from our government. I don't believe in god, but to attack someones religion especially when their really isn't any personal gain other then saying I told you so it sick. And that does not only include atheists. Christians are just as guilty in different parts of the world

    March 7, 2012 at 8:11 pm |
    • Sleebiscuit

      Yea but atheists never lead any jihads or crusades, massacring millions that didn't believe what they thought to be right. Suck on that. Socrates said it well... "And the oracle said on to me that I was the wisest of all the Greeks. Wisest because I above all others, know that I know nothing."

      March 7, 2012 at 8:43 pm |
    • Unbeliever

      Religion gives people false hope and absolves them of blame when they do something they consider to be god's will. I don't know who said this, but it is true. " Without religion, good people will do good things and evil people will do evil things. It takes religion to get good people to do evil things."

      March 7, 2012 at 9:00 pm |
  9. lindy556

    You know it’s a myth
    ===========
    How arrogant and desperate can you get? If you don't believe fine but leave the people alone who do.

    March 7, 2012 at 8:10 pm |
    • momoya

      Because god believers proselytize continually and want laws to match their god belief but not the god belief of others?

      March 7, 2012 at 8:11 pm |
    • Gadflie

      Lindy, like the religious types don't try to recruit? LOL!

      March 7, 2012 at 8:14 pm |
    • Johnny Blammo

      So you find the thousands upon thousands of religious billboards arrogant and desperate too, or are you a hypocrite?

      Why do you believe that it is okay for religious people to spread their message, but if an atheist does, you demand we "but leave the people alone who do". Hypocrisy again?

      The heart of you problem is that you cannot stand for people who believe differently than you to have the same right to speak their beliefs as you do. Fortunately we have the Constitution to prevent people like you from destroying American liberty.

      March 7, 2012 at 8:19 pm |
    • jazzguitarman

      I think you misunderstood the intent of the statement. Many Jews are agnostic jews. THey don't believe in the myths but they pretend to because of presure from their parents, family and the community at large. So the 'you know it is a myth' is speaking to these people and telling them they have support from other agnostics. Hey, I still believe the message is too 'in your face' but what they are saying does apply to a lot of people. I know many Catholics that no longer believe in the Chritians myths but are just too afarid to tell their parents that..

      March 7, 2012 at 8:37 pm |
    • Sleebiscuit

      Wow, most religions and local churches try to reach out to non believers with advertisements, they are all over the highways. Just look around you, and stop thinking so unilaterally.

      March 7, 2012 at 8:46 pm |
  10. FightEvil

    I suspect that this Jaweh is a fraud of a god. The muslims claim the same god so they must be a fraud also. Only Jesus did not, he called God Father . That God is the true God. So why are they huffing over a fraud?

    March 7, 2012 at 8:06 pm |
    • momoya

      Why believe in any god at all if one can't be objectively proven to exist??

      March 7, 2012 at 8:09 pm |
    • LinSea

      The Bible contains testimony after testimony of people who have direct dealings with God, so 'objective' proof is there–kind of like a lot of depositions and affidavits. It's your choice to accept those witnesses or not, and you can always ask God yourself if their testimonies are true.

      March 7, 2012 at 8:27 pm |
    • Todd in DC

      My magical sky monkey can beat up your magical sky monkey

      March 7, 2012 at 8:29 pm |
    • Aasim Soomro

      Muslims, Jews, Christians, and Hindus all believe that there was an all powerful being that created them. It doesn't matter what you call Him.

      March 7, 2012 at 8:32 pm |
    • JudgeDB

      LinSea, are you joking? The bible is a collection of poorly written moral anecdotes put together about 2000 years ago and translated hundreds of times. People in power edited the bible over the years in order to manipulate the masses (King James bible anyone) into behaving how they wanted them to. Just because you remain willfully ignorant of the history of your shining beacon of truth doesn't mean everyone else accepts your view of the universe. Some of us require testable, repeatable evidence. Some of us actually want to question our surroundings in order to better understand them as opposed to simply accepting untestable assertions made in a 2000 year old book by people with something to gain.

      March 7, 2012 at 8:38 pm |
    • TR6

      @momoya:”Why believe in any god at all if one can't be objectively proven to exist??”

      Goodness; but, you set the bar high. I’d be willing to convert from atheist to agnostic on the slimmest scraps of evidence that a god existed and I’ve been looking for over 30 years; but, I have found absolutely none. In fact, back when I was a Christian, it was my search for evidence to prove to others that god existed, that finally convinced me he doesn’t exist

      March 7, 2012 at 10:08 pm |
  11. TonyB

    another attempt t mindlessly stir up trouble. Mind your own business people.

    March 7, 2012 at 8:06 pm |
    • Really?

      Say that every time you see a religious billboard, sign, bumbersticker, cross, and all the other ways that religons present their "inflammatory" speech.

      March 7, 2012 at 8:12 pm |
  12. sugarmomma1

    This is a case of the squeaky wheel gets the grease. What better way to advertise a cause and get attention than to have an article on CNN with loads of arguing in the comment section. Much better than a billboard. I for one have been much more comfortable lately being me, an atheist, and talking more openly about it. There is strength in numbers.

    March 7, 2012 at 8:03 pm |
    • gurtie1980

      Right on, Sugarmomma!

      March 7, 2012 at 8:24 pm |
  13. logan5

    @Sarah (Northern Colorado)
    You know, I'm so tired of trying to set you people straight on why atheism isn't a religion and will simply play along and agree with you. Yes, it IS a religion and yes, you bet your boots, we are proselytizing. And out of all the religious messages out there, it is the most humble, honest and rational. And no, the message isn't meant to convert people. Converting the deluded is impossible. It's meant to sway those who are young and confused (hopefully) in the right direction.

    March 7, 2012 at 8:01 pm |
    • Gadflie

      Oh, BTW Believer in Jesus as my Savior, there is no such thing as a law of "Conservation of Matter". Sorry to burst your bubble.

      March 7, 2012 at 9:05 pm |
  14. rudytootie

    I have a question to all you faithful. What was god doing before he created heaven, hell, and the universe? Was he just sitting there doing nothing? Why prior to christ, he was talking to everyone, but in the last 2000 years we haven't heard from him. The bible, quran, scriptures are made up by people who wants to control you. When you realize there is no god, the world will be a better place.

    March 7, 2012 at 7:59 pm |
    • ifThenElse

      Don't let these kooky religious folks dupe you into rejecting God. Spiritual truth, just like scientific FACT hasn't changed over the centuries... only our UNDERSTANDING of it. This site isn't complete yet– but you can see where it's going. Open your mind: http://www.logicalchristian.com

      March 7, 2012 at 8:15 pm |
    • Gadflie

      Logical Christian? LOL!

      March 7, 2012 at 8:26 pm |
    • Gadflie

      Ifthenelse, according to that laughable website you referred us to, "
      There's no fancy mathematical formula or theoretical physics that will assert that something can come from nothing." But, in reality, it has been shown that sub atomic particles "just appear" quite often actually.

      March 7, 2012 at 8:28 pm |
    • Todd in DC

      You know, if then else, you didn't address his question at all. Don't you have an answer? And no, faith isn't an answer, it's just a feeling. Cough up an answer, if you are so smart.

      March 7, 2012 at 8:28 pm |
    • ifThenElse

      @Gadflie-

      Sure... sounds like an oxymoron, I know. Site's not complete yet... but when finished will call-out religion for being the number one reason people have lost their faith in God. Jesus went to church (temple) and smashed the statues, flipped over the tables... said "go in a closet and pray" (composite of several records of his actions)- He spoke truth that's even apparent today, if you'll read the accounts instead of listening to your Sunday School teacher. Jesus was asked what was required to move to the next level (inherit the "Kingdom of Heaven")– he replied– "Love God with all your heart, mind and soul, and love your neighbor as yourself." Nothing else. All this other religious stuff is bull$#@t. Atheist humanism fits the bill more than today's religious hypocrites!! Don't let religion stand in the way of the truth.

      March 7, 2012 at 8:37 pm |
    • Gadflie

      ifthenelse, it isn't an oxymoron, it is just flat out wrong.

      March 7, 2012 at 8:42 pm |
    • ifThenElse

      @ Todd in DC

      An answer to the question.... "What was he doing?"... who the heck knows??!!

      It's really not important, if you realize that the vast majority of religious ideas are fabrications- why address them? Jesus certainly didn't waste his time.

      I realize that site is laughable now... I hesitated to link to it, since it's not done. But use your head... and more importantly, open your heart to what's possible. No one knows all the answers– but keep the core of truth that ALL reasonable people understand– help one another and cling to what is good for mankind.

      March 7, 2012 at 8:48 pm |
    • Believer in Jesus as my Savior

      @Gadflie – "Particles that just appear" . . . where did you get this from? If any particles with mass just "appeared" they would revolutionize scientific understanding because they would have broken the law of conservation of matter.

      March 7, 2012 at 8:57 pm |
    • Gadflie

      Look up "virtual particle" sometime. Do some actual research. This is really pretty old news.

      March 7, 2012 at 9:02 pm |
    • Gadflie

      Oh, BTW Believer in Jesus as my Savior, there is no such thing as a law of "Conservation of Matter". Sorry to burst your bubble.

      March 7, 2012 at 9:18 pm |
    • ashrakay

      @Believer in Jesus as my Savior, See... this is what I'm saying... you want to be a part of the adult table, but you speak like a child. If you want to enter the arena of particle physics and start criticizing people, you might want to do some "self-edjucashion" first. There's a whole wonder world of reality waiting for you once you step out of your ignorance bubble.

      March 7, 2012 at 9:21 pm |
    • ifThenElse

      C'mon... let's not split hairs here- YES... "Believer" is right about conservation of matter: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conservation_of_matter Sure, it can be called different things, but the principle is the same. Even Richard Dawkins, atheist hero and author of several books including "The God Delusion" concedes this issue (along with thermodynamics).

      As for the "virtual" particles... sure– there's undeniably MANY more forms of matter also. We've only scratched the surface! But it's ALL different forms of the same energy. Check out http://www.logicalchristian.com in the months to come– rejection of religious fallacies is a main focal point, especially the rejection of scientific fact.

      March 7, 2012 at 9:53 pm |
    • ifThenElse

      C'mon... let's not split hairs here- YES... "Believer" is right about conservation of matter: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conservation_of_matter Sure, it can be called different things, but the principle is the same. Even Richard Dawkins, atheist hero and author of several books including "The God Delusion" concedes this issue (along with thermodynamics).

      As for the "virtual" particles... sure– there's undeniably MANY more forms of matter also. We've only scratched the surface! But it's ALL different forms of the same energy. Check out that site in the months to come– rejection of religious fallacies is a main focal point, especially the rejection of scientific fact.

      March 7, 2012 at 9:54 pm |
    • ifThenElse

      C'mon... let's not split hairs here- YES... "Believer" is right about conservation of matter: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conservation_of_matter Sure, it can be called different things, but the principle is the same. Even Richard Dawkins, atheist hero and author of several books including "The God Delusion" concedes this issue (along with thermodynamics).

      As for the "virtual" particles... sure– there's undeniably MANY more forms of matter also. We've only scratched the surface! But it's ALL different forms of the same energy.

      March 7, 2012 at 9:56 pm |
    • ifThenElse

      Jeesh... sorry for the duplicate posts! How can I ever be taken seriously if I can't even figure out the CNN comments GUI– 🙂 Peace.

      March 7, 2012 at 10:08 pm |
  15. DanB

    I posted this below but I haven't an explanation for it yet:

    In Genesis it specifically says God reduced mans life span by setting the limit at 120 years. Ok, it is all part of a myth of people living to 900 some odd years and then God changing it to 120. And who lives to 120 anyways?

    Well, as fate would have it we now know there is a theoretical limit to the lifespans of all organisms and it is called the Hayflick limit after the scientist who discovered it. Prior to the discovery of the Hayflick limit, which is based on how many times the cells that make up our body can divide before they die, it was thought we could in theory live foreever, as long as we conquered all the different diseases. But now we know there is a limit after which all our cells stop dividing and we die, even with no specific disease. Every species has a different limit – the limit for humans turns out to be ... you guessed it, 120 years.
    Care to tell me how people writing 3,000 or so years ago knew that the theoretical limit to the human lifespan is 120 years?

    March 7, 2012 at 7:59 pm |
    • ashrakay

      Of course these are the same people that believe the earth is less than 10k years old. They insult us by existing and then get offended when we insult their beliefs. What a world.

      March 7, 2012 at 8:02 pm |
    • Jason

      Maybe they observed that no one they knew for many generations had ever lived longer than 120 years?

      Gee, it took about 3 seconds of being smart to unravel that profound religious mystery.

      March 7, 2012 at 8:04 pm |
    • DanB

      Not sure I understand you point. In the Bible it specifically states that the limit for human life span is 120 years even though science didn't know it until 1961.

      How would the people writing the Bible have known that if the Bible is all non-sense?

      March 7, 2012 at 8:06 pm |
    • Easy

      After many generations the oldest person they ever heard of was 110 – 120 years old ... just like today.

      And like all good myths it is based on some observation from reality that they have no explanation for.

      March 7, 2012 at 8:07 pm |
    • momoya

      Nope, can't explain that.. Can you explain all the thousands of "facts" that the bible got completely wrong, or are so stupid as to not even qualify as "wrong."

      March 7, 2012 at 8:08 pm |
    • DanB

      @ Jason, nice try but no cigar. Almost no one ever lives anywheres close to 120 years and that is now with 7 billion people in the planet and much better medicine and record keeping of peoples ages. So no, they didn't sit around observing people living to 120 years.
      Further, the Bible states in other places that people generally can live to only 70 or 80 years of age. But in this case it specifically states that God set a limit of 120 years, and low and behold there is a limit and it is 120 years.

      March 7, 2012 at 8:09 pm |
    • Ed Hensley

      DanB YOU ARE PROVEN WRONG! Jeane Calment is PROVEN to have lived 122 years, showing that YOU and the BIBLE are wrong!

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jeanne_Calment

      March 7, 2012 at 8:11 pm |
    • DanB

      @monoya.

      Like.... what? That there was a beginning to the Universe when science thought there was no beginning until the Big Bang was proposed by a Belgian priest/physicist and has now been firmly confirmed.
      Or are you referring to when they say 1 day for God is like 1,000 years for man which would seem an obvious contradiction until... special relativity came along and showed that in different inertial frames of reference time is different. So again, the Bible turns out to be right.
      So, you have to be specific about what it was wrong about, scientifically.

      March 7, 2012 at 8:14 pm |
    • Eric B

      You are manipulating the facts with the 120 max years. The oldest person lived to 120 years but that doesn't mean we can ONLY live to be 120. The person who was 120 died of a disease (pneumonia) but I've never heard the pneumonia took over because of a lack of mitosis. He most likely aspirated and died...not because of the bible.

      March 7, 2012 at 8:15 pm |
    • DanB

      Ed, you really have that much faith in French record keeping??? Regardless, your cells stop dividing at 120 and you die shortly after that. The Bible nailed it exactly

      March 7, 2012 at 8:16 pm |
    • Gadflie

      Dan B. If that is actually a God set limit, then please explain Jeanne Calment. Oops.

      March 7, 2012 at 8:17 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Cite the research that shows that cells 'stop dividing at 120 years." Thanks in advance, Dandy.

      March 7, 2012 at 8:19 pm |
    • Ed Hensley

      WATCH DAN GRASP AT STRAWS AND MOVE THE GOALPOSTS WHEN PROVEN WRONG!

      After DanB has been PROVEN wrong by the life of Jeanne Calment, he MOVES THE GOALPOSTS. No longer must humans stop at 120 years, but they can die "shortly after"120 years, or in this case, 2 years later. But the bible claims a limit of 120 years, not "shortly after".

      Hey DanB, show us where the bible says "shortly after"120 years and then tell is where it defines "shortly after". Is it 2 years, is it 10 years, is it 20 years?

      Of course, when ignorant apologists are shown to be wrong, they move the goalposts. Always have, always will. It is their religious duty to lie.

      March 7, 2012 at 8:21 pm |
    • Gadflie

      DanB, Genesis 6:3 makes no sense if that is what God actually meant. You should actually try reading it for a change. It was obviously speaking of man as a race, not individually. Plus, note how much further down the road was the flood...

      March 7, 2012 at 8:21 pm |
    • DanB

      Just Google it and you will get many results. Here is one:

      http://www.telonauts.com/aamg_article.html

      March 7, 2012 at 8:25 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Bwahahhhhahaaaa!

      Yeah, that and a nickel will get you... a nickel.

      March 7, 2012 at 8:28 pm |
    • DanB

      Genesis 6:3 can be found here with various translations. It is pretty clear it is human life span that is being referred to.

      March 7, 2012 at 8:28 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Either cite a widely-accepted source for your ridiculous statements or realize you're exposed as a complete nut.

      March 7, 2012 at 8:30 pm |
    • DanB

      Ed calm down. The Bible says it is 120 years and science says it is 120 years. The only ones who disagree are some French record keepers. That you take them over the science is telling.

      March 7, 2012 at 8:31 pm |
    • Gadflie

      DanB, nope. He is obviously referring to man, not a man. This is clear in all the translations.

      March 7, 2012 at 8:34 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      I'm sure Danny will now tell us all about the "Hayflick Limit".

      FYI, that's the "Hayflick Theory", Dan.

      March 7, 2012 at 8:34 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Goshers, the Bible says the sky is blue, and by darn, it IS blue! That just proves the Bible is right about every durn thing!

      March 7, 2012 at 8:36 pm |
    • ashrakay

      @DanB, Classic... show a religious person evidence and they doubt the evidence. Show a religious person fantasy without evidence and they'll pride themselves in their blind faith.

      March 7, 2012 at 8:44 pm |
    • ashrakay

      @DanB, Also, when man commonly lives past 120 years which will probably happen in our lifetime thanks to science and nanotechnology, will you then admit that the bible is BS? I seriously doubt it. You'll just find another way to justify your ignorance, just like any other addict justifies their addiction.

      March 7, 2012 at 8:46 pm |
    • Ed Hensley

      http://www.demogr.mpg.de/books/odense/6/09.htm

      Birth certificate, baptism certificate, school records, marriage records, death records all show she lived 122 years.

      March 7, 2012 at 8:50 pm |
    • DanB

      @ashrakay
      Not one person, including you has answered the question or even posited a reasonable theory.

      It isn't uncommon, the same thing happened with the Big Bang. The same thing happens with the Anthropic Coincidences. The same happens with Godels incompleteness theorm which as analyzed by Lucas/Penrose shows the human mind can't simply be an algorithmic computer and likely has non-physical components.
      Its entertaining to watch people who say they support science throw it under the bus when it tells them something they don't want to hear.

      March 7, 2012 at 8:53 pm |
    • DanB

      Really Ed, you've never heard of people changing records to get their kids into school earlier, etc. Happens all the time, especially in poorer places and quite likely in the 19th century as well.
      BTW, that he death certificate says the same thing means.... nothing. They just base that on what she says or her other records say – so it would just report the same mistake.
      Right now some Italians say they have found a particle that goes faster than the speed of light. Do you believe them?
      Try not to be so credulous.

      March 7, 2012 at 8:57 pm |
    • Ed Hensley

      The latest on the faster than light particle is that they have probably found what lead to errors in their earlier calculations.

      However, that has NOTHING to do with the age of Jean Calment! She has birth certificates, baptism certificates, CENSUS RECORDS (1881 and 1886) and school records as well as many other records that all PROVE she lived more than 122 years, thus PROVING your claim false.

      It is a shame to watch you avoid the evidence that you are wrong by throwing out ridiculous and irrelevant references to faster than light particles.

      March 7, 2012 at 9:02 pm |
    • ashrakay

      @DanB, In case you're keeping score:
      Reality and evidence:1 | DanB: zero (these are scores you should get comfy with)

      March 7, 2012 at 9:25 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Gee. Danny Dimwit, thanks for playing. Tell him what he's won, Don Pardoe.

      March 7, 2012 at 9:59 pm |
  16. Snow

    Religion in two steps..

    Step1: Here is a book that you will believe is the absolute word of god that needs to be believed word by word with absolutely certainty and no doubt in mind.
    Step2: since you believe the book to be word of god, and he says in the book that he exists, it is proof enough that god exists and this book is his own word..

    wow.. um.. logical, isn't it?

    March 7, 2012 at 7:58 pm |
    • fred

      No, the Bible actually says those who think themselves wise will mock the truth of God.

      March 8, 2012 at 1:56 am |
  17. QS

    Really I think the religious people who are so insecure about their own beliefs being questioned are the ones that make such an issue about things like these billboards – they want to be able to bash all other beliefs without anybody doing the same to them.

    This mentality that religion MUST be shown respect for no other reason than it is religion, and that the rest of us who believe differently should just sit by and listen to these religions demonize others, is finally being confronted and opposed....and it's about time too!

    March 7, 2012 at 7:55 pm |
  18. Hadenuffyet

    Gadflie , if it is known what you will do before you do it , it isn't predestination. You still have the choice , it's just known what you'll chose. If I put a rotten cabbage and a sirloin steak in front of a hungry dog , you know which it will chose by the nature of the beast.

    March 7, 2012 at 7:50 pm |
  19. scott

    Well that's just not kosher.

    March 7, 2012 at 7:50 pm |
  20. Sarah (Northern Colorado)

    Honestly, I'm agnostic and grew up Jewish, and a billboard such as this is the atheist equivalent of a religious billboard that proselytizes. It's just as offensive. Yes, everyone has a choice. However, putting up a billboard such as this isn't anything more than the atheist "religion" trying to convert people.

    March 7, 2012 at 7:46 pm |
    • Jason

      Sarah I'm the same profile as you and I fully agree. The mistake this movement is making is mudslinging and attacking like petty politicians. Why not celebrate atheism by promoting the beauty of free will and loving nature and humanity while respecting the fact that although many Jews and Muslims for that matter may be atheists they may also love tradition and culture which can be warm, fruitful for an entire community, and often has nothing to do with God. Atheism does not need to be an attack on God, but can very well be an acknowledgment of the power of good in man.

      March 7, 2012 at 7:56 pm |
    • EvolvedDNA

      Sarah..in what way is it offensive? so far no religion has been able to prove the claims it makes about god, so it is a myth until proven. Religion cannot stand scrutiny and any thing that may cause its followers to think is an attack as far as it is concerned.

      March 7, 2012 at 9:02 pm |
    • fred

      EvolvedDNA
      Why should it be myth until proven as it was proven before atheists declared it myth. You can attack and identify the manmade gods very quick but as to God there is something very different and Divine as to the God of Abraham. In the beginning God created is not myth and there is no basis upon which anyone could claim it to be myth. Creation is not of man it is of God. God created man not the other way around. Even science cannot explain the force behind creation so they may refer to it as first cause but even science does not refer to the beginning of creation as myth. Other man made gods have not survived since the beginning as has the God of Abraham. This is 2012 AD (the year of our Lord) and the power of God is still revealed through his people as it was from the beginning. How many lives were transformed by a myth that you know of this week?
      Even you were called upon to make a decision about God, accept or reject God was the decision you and every soul on this planet has made from the beginning. That is much greater than any myth.

      March 7, 2012 at 9:13 pm |
    • Gadflie

      Fred, you really should look up what "proof" and "proven" mean. It's not what you seem to think.

      March 7, 2012 at 9:19 pm |
    • fred

      I Like 100 proof wiskey so I best look that up ...Thanks Gadflie

      March 7, 2012 at 9:35 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      fred=fat, dumb, and happy.

      March 7, 2012 at 10:00 pm |
    • fred

      Tom Tom
      You need work on your math !
      fred=Matt Damon

      March 8, 2012 at 2:00 am |
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About this blog

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