August 31st, 2012
03:24 PM ET
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.
Religious texts are not literal but metaphorical in nature. A literal translation of them makes people think that others believe in talking snakes. The creation story is a metaphor for man's connection to nature or the loss their of.
Julia, so how is anyone to know how to interpret the metaphors, and even to know which parts are not metaphor? Seems god is a bit lacking in the marcomm department. He must be a very stupid fellow.
There's a little something called Biblical Hermeneutics. Take a look at it. I'm sure there are some good introductions to it.
oxkarbaz, why should I take the trouble? If your god can't do a better message of getting his message out, well then, I've got better things to do with my time.
For that matter, why can't your god create his own website? And while he's at it, maybe he could hate on amputees a bit less.
If you prefer to be a pernostic, it's all up to you.
How do you know that the people who compiled those stories and spread them around the globe intended them to be taken as metaphor? Maybe you're just rationalizing...why would you know better than others about how those stories are supposed to be taken? You can't deny that lots of people- millions+ take them as literal...
Ed Christians believe that the is a thing called the Holy spirit that helps with that.
That there is,, correction
Believe what you want but at least be consistent. if you don't believe in the scientific principle of evolution, the foundation of biology, thendo not ever get a flu shot which is a product of modern evolutionary biological science. That way, if you get a serious case od influenza and die, we can all point to the principle of natural serlection.
A technical achievement has nothing to do with how truthful it is. For instance, men has gone to space for half a century using only newtonian physics, which is considered knowingly wrong. In the same way, Evolution can give many explanations and provide many useful technical achievements, but as it's being pushed further, inconsistencies appear.
oxkarbaz, look up "apologist", since you are so bent on telling others to look things up. You ass hole.
If I remember correctly, you asked for it.
dang Ed be a little more gentle with us fools
oxkarbaz, Newtonian (Classical) Physics isn't wrong, but their were plenty of things they didn't have the ability to measure, but that doesn't mean the whole thing is wrong. And they were certainly right enough to get us to the moon, weren't they?
oxkarbaz I would have to agree the art of medicine, often knows what to to alleviate, or cure medical conditions but often do not have a glue how or why it works. Not in all cases but in more than you would think.
Making a lot of typos tonight. glad I am not one of those posters that rip into people for simple errors when in fact the communication intended is still quite understandable. I slept through to much in school and I'm blond. Would never be able to say anything if I had to be smart. Gotta love spell check.
So great to see such a pushback against the wacko creationists from so many reasoning people. There's some hope for America.
Many of the medical breakthroughs of this century will likely come from studies in genetics and related areas, and America and humanity as a whole will be better off if our children can be brought up to date with studies of modern biological science including evolution. Creationism can't pass as science.
Technical breakthroughs have nothing to do with truth. A caveman could elaborate a very complex theory on how life resides in the blood and how it flows away when he cracked a skull open with his club. He would achieve great technical achievements with that, relating the likeness for his prey to die to where he hit and how many blood flowed, etc, but that has nothing to with truth, with what life really is.
Same thing applies to modern science. America doesn't need it's children to indoctrinated into militant rants for political causes dressed in scientific garb. America needs classical liberal education back, which teaches children how to think for themselves.
To oxkarbaz: That is what the scientific method does. I agree children need to learn how to think and not what to think. The scientific method forces a student to support claims with evidence, evaluate data and text, and can be applied to other academic disciplines such as history, literature etc.
oxkarbaz, nowhere did I propose the teaching of science to the exclusion of arts.
As for being educated, perhaps you should look into the proper use of "it's" vs. "its", you pathetic ignoramus. Go rant about your favorite topic at someone who actually deserves it.
Marie just so PWNED oxkarbaz. Too funny. ROFLMAO.
No. The scientific method teaches how to think following a model of reality, not to think folowing reality itself. This is important for some technical achevements, but shouldn't be the foundation of people's education, not if they are to be respected as individuals.
It teaches people to think following a series of limiting assumptions based on faith, without giving them the proper education to understand the origin, the need and the purpose for these limitations.
The fact that you so blatantly believes that literature can be object of scientific scrutiny to the point of saying that as an argument without realizing the ridicule in it is a good example of the kind of damage this can cause. People start to believe science dictates what's real, not the opposite.
I don't remember saying anything about arts, nor did I implied you suggested the exclusion of it. I really don't know where you got that from my post. If you read that somehow, you're certainly a poor reader.
I also don't remember saying anything so offensive to trigger such a harsh emotional response. Are you having problems? Are you in your period? Depressed? You can talk about it if you want, we all love you.
If you have no problem and you just felt the need to insult me gratuitously, it certainly says more about your education than my apostrophe typo. Please, forgive me. English is not my first language, not even my second.
oxkarbaz, go back to playing with yourself.
Engineers more than anybody understand design.
I think there was evolution. The Christen bible seems to confirm the theory when it says God made men from dirt. But I am confused by all the posters on this blog that seem to think evolution is proven fact. Yes there is much that leads us to think that evolution is real, but I seem to have missed the discovery of the messing link. If evolution is real and I think that it is, it still does not disprove intelligent design. It is arrogant to think that a I.Q of 90 or 180 gives you the ability to understand how we all came into being. It all amounts to what you choose to think. I would rather think that there is more to me than dust. All humans are either dying or dead. I choose to think there is a God. I sought and I found, seek and maybe you will too. I don't understand him, and I think no one does, that is not to say he isn't real. If you read the bible with a open mind and remember the many errors that could be intoned by the different translations (7days=7 ages) you might experience something you don't understand but you will know to be real.
That's the problem. Evolution is not a scientific theory, but a myth, which fulfills the same symbolic role people see in transcendence. As the foundational myth for a subculture. the first priority is not the search for knowledge, but the preservation of myth. Do you think it's a mere coincidence how most of the radical evolutionism militants (not the scientists) are also fans of science fantasy literature, whose stories often provide narratives of the human or even the universe origins , dressed in scientific garb? Those stories fullfill the exact same role the bible does, and most often, you'll find many of the biblical narratives in them.
The case for Evolution is substantially proven.There are mountains of evidence from multiple scientific disciplines that all point to change over time. There are many "transitional fossils" but evolution is supported buy other evidence. It does not disprove intelligent design, but there is no evidence for intelligent design. Period.
To oxkarba: yes evolution is a scientific theory. Period. It is not a myth.
When you put it as a peremptory, in the best case it's safe to assume you have no idea what you are talking about. That's exactly the kind of behavior expected from someone defending the foundational myth for a culture, so, thanks for serving as an example to my point.
To oxkarbaz: You are correct my answer was short. You are making a claim, that "science is a myth." The very claim you made makes no sense. Science is a method at seeking explanations. that method forces someone to support a claim with evidence, and more evidence and more evidence. Then it is subject to peer-review and further scrutiny. During this process other scientist try to disprove the claim. So your statement is nonsensical, and that is why a made the statement I made in the manner I made it.
1. I didn't said your answer was short, I said it was a peremptory answer, very different things.
2. I never claimed science is a myth. I said evolution is a foundational myth for biological science.
When you give a peremptory answer to something you can barely read correctly, you are being a fool. Be more careful.
You give a very naive definition of what science is, probably never ventured yourself beyond it. I agree that my statement, even if correctly read, is nonsensical facing that definition, which is an aberrantly idealistic definition.
See above for Marie showing oxkarbaz to be a fool. Too funny.
Women can be so solidaire with each other under emotional stress. That's so beautiful. Keep on that, Julia. Marie certainly needs you now.
oxkarbaz knows about solitaire first hand because he plays with himself so much. It's the only action he can get.
Denise, it's solidaire, with a D, which comes from latin solidus, not solitaire, with a T, whiich comes from solitarius.
These poor kids in USA, they don't have a chance with the education these days. They can barely read.
oxkarbaz, no, and go back to playing with yourself.
See... they don't even learn how schoolyard social skills don't work in the same way outside. Poor kids.
See here's the problem... some folks believe Genesis is meant to be taken literally as the Word of God. That is, every word in Genesis, is the actual Word of God and not just a metaphor. What I like to say is that the Old Testament, including Genesis, is totally irrelevant and has been so since 33 A.D. or so. There is a collection of writings called "The New Testament" which is the foundation of Christianity. Genesis is not right or wrong – it is now simply irrelevant. The New Relevancy is Compassion, Mercy, Forgiveness and Understanding. Let me say it again in case anyone missed the point – Genesis is irrelevant. God doesn't give a flying hoot about what you think about Genesis, now does He? But God is absolutely invested in what you think (and do) about The New Relevancy. Right?
Rob S is ALWAYS right, and I like him a lot.
So Christians should totally ignore the part in Leviticus bashing gays...right?
It is clear from your argument you are an fair-minded person seeking an inclusive religion. The problem is that once you open up the Bible or any religious text to interpretation, you open a range of possible outcomes. (again this is fine)
However, Jesus did not ask us to forget the Old testament. In the sermon on the mount, he specifically said that the old laws were still in effect and would not change. I think I agree with you in terms of the sacrificial laws, they are no longer relevant. (Jesus sacrifice changed that) but the moral laws and many others might be.
The next problem with your argument is that the vast majority of people believe and act upon their interpretation of the BIble. IN this case it is creation of the Earth and Universe. Although evolution does not attempt to answer these questions, and evolution is an extremely well proven scientific theory, people still want creationism taught in school. Perhaps it would be better if more people approached the issue as you have, but many people do not. They continue to deny science and retreat into the literal words of the Bible or Genisis in this case, and never seek the truth.
Rob you are right, The old testament were stories handed down generation after generation before it was written. The new testamnet was written at the time and is more accuate. The old testamnet says God created teh world in 6 days and rested on the 7th. What is 6 days to God. A million years , or a billion years it makes no difference. God put everything in play for the world to evolve. You want to call it the big bang theory.. as a Christian I believe in the science of the big bang therory, I just bellieve that God was the one that ignited the spark for the whole big bang process to take place. Those Christians that are so far to the extreem that every word is taken as written need to educate themselves more in the reality and science. But remember you can belive in science and still be a christian
Stick to thw science you can prove. Its your area of expertise and leave religion to those that know what they are talking about.
Why don't you do the same?
The obvious irony with this comment is that I you're a self-professed 'expert on religion' then, by default, you have no idea what you're talking about to begin with. You are all efing crazy Don't you see that???
Thats the problem Eric. If I take your stance and seperate religions such as Christianity, where didit come from? The words of man, storries told over time over campfires in order to control actions of the populations. Face it, there is no god, no overall powerful being. It is an escapist idea, a reason to place blame or find forgiveness for our own actions and ideals. Religion has been used as the main reason for some to get away with persecuting others , usually because it was advantageous in one way or another. Thinking people who live in reality, knowing if they plant a seed and it grows it is because of plant biology. Not because of some diety that has found this one percious seed worthy and ALLOWED it to be. Denial of proven science is just pure lack of intelligence and denial of the real world around them. It is YOU and your choices that create your life. No onr, no thing has any power over that ....it is just you and the stigma of culture you were raised with.
I doesn't look like you have actually ever studied christianity, comparative religions, philosophy, etc. Almost every single phrase of yours has an absurd error, the worst of all is defining god as an overall powerful being, which can be even a self-contradictory definition if taken seriously.
That's some pathetic, weak god that you've created for yourself there, oxkarbaz. Does he still get angry with you for playing with yourself so much?
Denise you sure like to think about people playing with themselves. Your continued statements are rude and immature. Most of us are trying to have a honest discussion.
Keep it up, Half the country lie to themselves to feel better. Knowing the truth will eventually win the day. So we can be free of the idiocy of organized religion. The single worst invention of the early immature human mind.
Love ya Bill!
Wait, how come you can rate/comment/debate on the Bill Nye video, but the creationist response to it had those options blocked.
I am sure it's not because they can't possibly defend their retarded opinions.
It's because no one wants to hear their retarded opinions.
I could never understand why there is always a distinction between a person that believes in God and scientists. Not all scientists are atheists and not all christians are creationists. The bible is a story book meant to teach certain values. The stories are metaphores. Anyone who takes them verbatum is fooling themselves. I believe in a higher "concience" call it God, or whatever you want. The proof of the dinosaurs and early man is there, you cannot ignore that. since the Bible was written by man and since man didn't start to write till after the dinosaurs were extinct maybe that's why they weren't mentioned.
Is that just a rhetorical remark, or do you really cannot understand that and want to? I can give you some guidelines into that, but it isn't simple and will demand a lot of study.
During the age of dinosaurs man was just a small cowering shrew-like creature. We probably have the extinction of those great beasts to thank for giving us(our earliest ancestors) the opportunity to come out of our burrows without fear of being eaten and adapting to new environments.
I find it very funny that if you talk seriously to most scientists in evolutionary biology field, they acknowledge very well all shortcomings in the theory, and a few even acknowledge how it simply became a foundational myth for biological sciences in the lack of a better one, while most of the radical defenders of evolutionism and related atheism come not from the natural sciences field, but from the social sciences and lay people from unrelated fields based mostly on mass media and recreational literature on the subject, like the entertainer being quoted here, and most of the arrogant
Of course, 99% of the internet board experts in evolution and religion are of the later kind.
Yes, all theories including The Theory of Evolution have gaps that are not yet explainable. But I would put those shortcomings up against- man being expelled from the garden of eden because of a talking snake- any day.
"I find it very funny that if you talk seriously to most scientists in evolutionary biology field, they acknowledge very well all shortcomings in the theory, and a few even acknowledge how it simply became a foundational myth for biological sciences in the lack of a better one"
And just which creationist rag did you get this particular nugget from? Biologists (real ones) are unanimously in agreement with the veracity of the Theory of Evolution. Simply nothing else explains the vast amount of data, evidence and experimental verification. Darwin discovered an annoying truth...the natural biological world appears to have evolved from earlier forms. 150 years of further investigation has only increased the likelihood that this is the case. If evolution wasn't soundly based on facts it wouldn't be accepted by the scientific community and someone, somewhere would have a Nobel Prize for debunking it.
I wouldn't hold my breath waiting for that to happen.
Unfortunately, the technical dependence of modern world ruined liberal education in such a way, to fasten technical learning in order to produce manpower, and indoctrination to produce political militants, that some people like you can't even acknowledge the symbolic role of narratives. I won't even say understand it, but just acknowledge.
The strangest thing is that, even if you don't acknowledge that and take it literally, you don't need much to acknowledge how a talking snake is just a premise which doesn't affect the logical reasoning following it, while evolutionism is inherently tautological.
I'm sure you would put these up against each other any day: to think they can be put up against each other already proves you have no idea what you are talking about.
It's just sad. Seriously. But I guess, that's what's demanded from you. To be smart enough to know that snakes don't talk. Let's see what a few generations of people like this will do to your country.
You're obviously a great example of the third kind I mentioned. Thanks for that post.
And you're obviously a quack who shouldn't be taken seriously after referring to a scientific model as a "foundational myth". Science isn't dogma and it's falsifiable so if there is something in error with evolution that error should be demonstrable.
To quote you, "most evolutionary biologists acknowledge shortcomings in the theory." This is a long stretch from saying that they support creationism. Also, real scientists ARE skeptics. We constantly doubt and test theories put before us. That's the beauty of the evolutionary theory. It's been doubted and tested many times by many people and the evidence that humans evolved from lower life forms over millions of years is not disputed by scientists. On the other hand, creationists have no doubts and are not skeptics of their own faith. They provide no evidence or research that humans were created 6,000 years ago and they choose to ignore all evidence to the contrary. You can't prove creationism by saying that that there are holes in evolution. However, the theory of evolution with it's holes and all still help scientists understand new discoveries and even anticipate them. If you don't understand the role of evolution in life, you cannot help to improve mankind's understanding of the world.
Mark Twain pointed out it was also a walking snake.
You seem to be so spoiled by engaging in this Creationism vs. Evolutionism mockery debate that you can barely read correctly what other people wrote. You're obviously so used to counter criticism against Evolutionism with criticism against creationism that you immediately engaged in it, while what I said has nothing to do with it.
I'm not talking about creationism or evolutionism. I'm talking about how mass media and lay people put these things in terms so absolute that natural scientists themselves don't do, and the people who actually do that are simply coopted militants for a cause that's political, not scientifical. You're an example, just examine your behavior.
Oh, the irony.
AtheistSteve: "Science isn't dogma and it's falsifiable so if there is something in error with evolution that error should be demonstrable."
Scientists can be just as dogmatic as anyone else, if not more so. In fact, it is well-known that textbook science doesn't change until the old guard DIES (literally) and there is, simply, no one left to challenge the new ideas.
Now about this falsifiability... just how exactly would we do that with evolution? Also: The trifling detail that evolution has never actually been observed... does this trouble you at all with regard to your certainty? Er, and, no, NOT all "[b]iologists (real ones) are unanimously in agreement with the veracity of the Theory of Evolution." What a ridiculous assertion! Ever hear of Francis Collins, to name one? Believe it or not, plenty of REAL scientists are believers (to one extent or another)... including, of course, the greatest, Isaac Newton and Albert Einstein (who did believe in evolution, for what it's worth)... not to mention various Nobelists in physics, including modern ones, like the deeply religious Abdus Salam, Bill Phillips, Charles Townes, and older ones like Max Planck, Arthur Schawlow, and many, many more. None of these individuals believes that there is, or ever could be, experimental proof of G_d's existence, but they have or had faith based on their understanding of what must be beyond the simple materialism of science. And if there IS a Creator, a Lord of Time, of all Dimensions, of Consciousness, and of all else, of existence itself, then a talking snake, or whatever image the limited human mind can envision, would be a piece of cake.
Well, to put an excelent example of dogmatism in science, 2011 chemistry nobel laureate, Dan Schechtman. He discovered crystals with a new molecular structure back in the 80's, but was heavily criticized, ridicularized and even asked to leave his research team for making an "impossible" discover. His work only gained some recognition and was subject to research and replication by others when the major rival of his theory died, the late Linus Pauling.
If something like this happens in a field as away from mainstream and recreational science and crystalography, we ca only imagine what happens with researchers doing controversial findings in evolutionary biology.
Evolution is a directly observable, factual occurrence. Natural Selection is a directly observable, factually occurring process.
The Theory of Common Descent refers to the past, which can never be directly observed, so we can never say that it's an observable fact. That doesn't mean there are holes however, as 100% of the evidence supports the Theory of Common Descent.
If god created everything then the world is really going to end....because we are infringing on all of his patents. So he'll ban all products being made on earth. Simply put...lets hit the reset button. Because I sure could use a vacation.
Apple invented the earth and is suing god next.
O.K ED I am not sure if God would think that was funny but I did
How about Metaphysics?
Only for the new members of this blog: ( TOPIC INFORMATION THAT EVERYONE SHOUJLD BE AWARE WITH RESPECT TO THEIR OWN EVOLUTION)
Are you part Neanderthal? Read below. (this is no joke)
Besides the dinosaurs and other fossils in our evolutionary process:
You might be part Neaderthal and for $99 actually find out:
As per National Geographic's Genographic project:
" DNA studies suggest that all humans today descend from a group of African ancestors who about 60,000 years ago began a remarkable journey. Follow the journey from them to you as written in your genes”.
"Adam" is the common male ancestor of every living man. He lived in Africa some 60,000 years ago, which means that all humans lived in Africa at least at that time.
Unlike his Biblical namesake, this Adam was not the only man alive in his era. Rather, he is unique because his descendents are the only ones to survive.
It is important to note that Adam does not literally represent the first human. He is the coalescence point of all the genetic diversity."
For your $99 and a DNA swab:
"Included in the markers we will test for is a subset that scientists have recently determined to be from our hominin cousins, Neanderthals and the newly discovered Denisovans, who split from our lineage around 500,000 years ago. As modern humans were first migrating out of Africa more than 60,000 years ago, Neanderthals and Denisovans were still alive and well in Eurasia. It seems that our ancestors met, leaving a small genetic trace of these ancient relatives in our DNA. With Geno 2.0, you will learn if you have any Neanderthal or Denisovan DNA in your genome."
Prayer changes things .
With all due respect, just because you say something does not make it so.
I have personally experience tragedy in spite of prayer. If prayer made a difference, we would have massive prayer groups to cure cancer, children's suffering, etc.
Prayer is like a sugar pill. Usually does nothing to help, but sometimes there's a placebo effect.
"Two hands working can do more than 1,000 clasped in prayer". If people would actually got off their fat butts and help people, it would render prayer obsolete.
I have found most evolutionists to be loudmouthed, bullyin', boorish antichrists.
I have found most creationists to be ignorant, illiterate yahoos.
And what? You've interviewed MOST evolutionists?
" Food of the Gods: The Search for the Original Tree of Knowledge" by Terence McKenna is a well know book, and covers some pretty interesting ideas.
The bible tells a tale of creation. Accomplished in seven ages (not seven 24 hour days check your original not the translation)it says he raised it from dirt. As I see it this would indicate that evolution was the method used for creation. Although evolution has never been proven, if true I don't see how it conflicts with in itelligent design.
takawalk: It conflicts with Intelligent Design in the same way all science conflicts with Intelligent Design. ID is an unfalsifiable, untestable, unscientific hypothesis and is rejected on those grounds as being worthless. Totally lacking any utility.
Evolution = complex and elegant theoretical framework supported by all known evidence, explaining all known observations in the field, and offering massive and useful predictive power driving future research.
Intelligent Design = "Ummm... what evolution said. Because God!"
That is not helping. That is just childish prattle.
Here's the many problems with this logic takawalk
1. The simplest one: The ancient arabs had words for ages, eons, months, years, etc... They had a concept of time and deliberately chose days, meaning the 24 hour cycle, because it made this god that powerful that he could create so much in so little time. Trying to argue on technicality or mistranslation is setting you up for failure.
2. If I even were to accept "7 ages" rather than the days approach, you have an even bigger problem. How was the earth created before the sun, stars and moon? Where did light come from if not from a star? How did plants, that also came before the sun, live if they were around for an entire "age" before the sun was able to shine and allow the plants to start photosynthesis? At least with the days thing the plants wouldn't have immediately died if they were created only a day before the sun.
Your idea that it's a mistranslation is you vain attempt to try and reconcile your belief with what you know to be actually good science, but instead of facing the facts and questioning your belief, you do the mental gymnastics necessary to merge the two so you can have your cake and eat it to.
Nothing like facts leaving the lemmings bewildered.
Facts are facts. The earth is billions of years old and it's tiring to read nonsense that states otherwise. I also believe in the power of faith/prayer, etc., there's a power in those beliefs-
takawalk, sorry, the original says "days" also.
I am not trying to justify my belief. I simply believe what I believe. I do not understand God, I have had the ups and downs in life like we all do in some degree or other, I might cry and wonder about things,or due to problems of some nature even get angry or rebellious against God. But too much has happened for me to think he is not real. I can understand very well why a lot of folks don't believe, and I don't know how anyone could believe based solely on" fables "they have been taught. It is something that has to be experienced.It can't be explained human language has it's limitations. You come through that knowing what you know even if you don't understand. I have enjoyed this thread. You guys have a good life.
Don't believe in evolution?
Put both hands in your A$$Crack. Move 'em up a few inches. Feel that little bone?
It is called a tailbone for a reason.
Now smell your pinky...C'mon, ya know ya wanna do it.
Hilariously put. And true. I wish we still had the tails though. You could accessorize the modern business suit pretty well with one of those. Think about it.
I keep seeing that 95% of members of the National Academy of Sciences (USA) are atheists. I cannot find support for this number. I did find this: In 2009, the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press polled members of the American Association for the Advancement of Science on belief in a higher power. The study found that 51 percent of members polled expressed such a faith, compared to 95 percent of the American public (http://news.discovery.com/tech/are-scientists-atheists.html)
Sciency girl, it came from a study in Nature in 1996, that is the number if you ad atheists (76%) and agnostics (the rest) together. And, the American Association for the Advancement of Science allows anyone to join. The National Academy of Sciences is comprised exclusively of actual scientists.