September 21st, 2013
11:41 AM ET

Can Pope Francis make his vision a reality?

By John L. Allen Jr., CNN

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ROME (CNN) - Pope Francis has sketched a vision of a Catholic Church that’s more welcoming – to women, to homosexuals, to divorced and remarried believers, to pretty much everybody –- and less invested in the culture wars.

In a now famous interview published Thursday, the pope said he knows some militants want him to toss around more fire and brimstone. But he insists that Catholic positions on hot-button issues such as abortion and gay marriage are already well known, and anyway, “Ministers of the church must be ministers of mercy above all.”

None of that implies a change in church teaching, but it does suggest a fairly serious shift in tone. The question now becomes, is this just the pope talking? Or is he capable of bringing the rest of the church along with him?

Despite the mythology of Roman Catholicism as a top-down monolith, the truth is that it’s actually one of the most decentralized institutions on Earth.

There are only about 3,000 personnel in the Vatican directing the affairs of a church that counts 1.2 billion members, which means that Rome doesn’t have the manpower to micromanage anything but exceptional cases.

Probably 90% of the decisions that matter – what pastor will be assigned to which parish, or what tithes will be used for –- are made at the local level.

Popes trying to steer this colossus in a new direction, therefore, need middle managers as well as the rank and file to pull in the same direction, and experience suggests they don’t always fall in line.

MORE ON CNN: Pope Francis: Church can't 'interfere' with gays

Pope John Paul II, nearly 27 years, exhorted the church to be more evangelical, more daring about taking its message to the streets, and while he unleashed powerful new energies – think about World Youth Days, for instance – that missionary aspiration still remains a work in progress.

Similarly, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI desired a church more appreciative of tradition and more focused on its core identity, and again most observers would say the end result over eight difficult years was a mixed bag.

If Francis is to bring the Catholic Church into line with his more pastoral and compassionate vision, two fronts seem especially critical.

First is personnel. Nothing a pope does to shape culture in the church is more important than naming the roughly 5,100 bishops of the world, who set the tone in their own backyards.

A new papal direction may be invigorating, but if people don’t pick up the same vibe from their local bishops and pastors, over time it will only seem like sound and fury signifying little.

To date Francis hasn’t made many flagship picks except for his own successor in Buenos Aires, Argentina, but he’ll have to do so soon, since archbishops in critical locales such as Madrid, Cologne and Chicago are all older than 75, the normal retirement age.

Popes typically rely on their nuncios, or ambassadors, around the world to recommend new bishops.

In June, Francis gave his nuncios their marching orders, saying he wants bishops who are “close to the people, fathers and brothers” as well as “gentle, patient and merciful.” He also said they shouldn’t have “the psychology of princes.”

How well he spots talent to fit that profile will help determine whether his dream of moving past what he called “a church of small-minded rules” becomes reality.

MORE ON CNN: The pope said what? Six stunners from Francis

The other key test is structural reform, beginning in the Vatican and radiating outward, perhaps especially on financial transparency and the fight against child sexual abuse.

Scandals in those areas have plagued the Vatican and the wider church in recent years, making it difficult for many people to see Catholicism as a vehicle for compassion.

Francis has set up three commissions to ponder reform, including a body of eight cardinals from around the world set to hold its first meeting in Rome from October 1-3.

If those groups don’t deliver significant recommendations, which are embraced and implemented by the pope, once again his rhetoric about reforming the church may ring hollow.

Popes play many roles, including prophet and CEO. Francis has delivered a stunning debut as the church’s voice of conscience and spiritual guide; now he has to get down to the brass tacks of management to make sure it doesn’t go to waste.

John L. Allen Jr. is CNN’s senior Vatican analyst and senior correspondent for the National Catholic Reporter. 

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Catholic Church • Leaders • Pope Francis

soundoff (2,596 Responses)
  1. Martin


    September 26, 2013 at 4:58 pm |
  2. Dan Dennett


    September 26, 2013 at 4:54 pm |
    • lol??

      Hopey changey??

      September 26, 2013 at 5:12 pm |
  3. Tom, Tom, the Other One

    Lawrence of Arabia: "Those of us within Christendom will never be able to get out of the culture wars..."

    You are only a pain in the ass now. One day you will be irrelevant. The next you will be gone.

    September 26, 2013 at 4:43 pm |
    • lol??

      You can read plenty of true prophecy in the scripture instead of makin' up your own.

      September 26, 2013 at 5:10 pm |
    • Lawrence of Arabia

      Yeah, that's the part about being "salt" and "light." But the world hates the light because it's deeds are evil.

      There's an old Hebrew proverb that says "when you throw a rock into a pack of dogs, the one that yelps is the one that got hit."

      You know, when I preach against sins, and that offends you, it could just be your conscience has been pric.ked.

      September 27, 2013 at 7:39 am |
      • myweightinwords

        You know, when I preach against sins, and that offends you, it could just be your conscience has been pric.ked.

        Or perhaps what you see as offence is merely irritation with having to listen to the same sermon for the upteenth time.
        Or perhaps what is offensive is not so much what you say, as how you say it.
        Or perhaps what is offensive is that you are using the rules of your faith to judge those who do not hold to your faith.

        When someone engages me in conversation about religion, but makes it clear from the get-go that they have no interest in anything I say, only in converting me to believe as they do, I find that offensive. It very clearly tells me the individual 1) has no respect for me, 2) does not care what I have been through, what I know or what I believe, 3) is only interested in hearing himself speak.

        September 27, 2013 at 9:59 am |
      • Just the Facts Ma'am...

        I have never been offended by any of your posts Larry. I do think they are often not well thought out and you tend to present opinion as fact, but otherwise your posts have the mental weight of 10 Unicorns standing on the head of a pin, which would be no weight at all btw Larry because Unicorns don't exist regardless of what the bible says.

        September 27, 2013 at 11:36 am |
        • lol??

          Unicorns don't exist, the holywood girly type or the traditional scientific type??

          "...................Unicorns are not found in Greek mythology, but rather in accounts of natural history, for Greek writers of natural history were convinced of the reality of the unicorn, which they located in India, a distant and fabulous realm for them......."

          You A&A's have been so bwainwashed by entertainers. Not much on research either as is typical of socies.

          September 28, 2013 at 3:39 pm |
  4. Lawrence of Arabia

    I don't think that it is possible for any "religious" person to stay out of the "culture wars." What the Bible is adamant about – calling sin, sin – society has now deemed as secular issues... Issues like ho.mo.se.xuality, so-called "gay marriage," issues surrounding divorce and re-marriage, are now taboo to be called out as sin.

    Let's get real. Those of us within Christendom will never be able to get out of the culture wars – and should not be desirous of it – as long as society continues to normalize what the Bible calls sin.

    September 26, 2013 at 4:04 pm |
    • Jon

      How do you think Jesus addressed sinners such as the Samaritan woman and Zacchaeus?

      September 26, 2013 at 4:10 pm |
      • Lawrence of Arabia

        In a word? Directly.
        We address the sin in a man's life, but do so lovingly. As Christ did.
        It was to the propogators of filth that Jesus reserved the most anger for – His diologue with the Pharasees are some of the strongest and emotional passages in scripture, calling them hypocrites, blind leaders of the blind, etc...

        September 26, 2013 at 4:15 pm |
        • Jon

          What makes you think the pope did not address the sins? On the other hand he is doing so in a very Christ like manner.

          September 26, 2013 at 4:17 pm |
        • Jude

          Geez! we can see a Pharisee yelling at Jesus for dining with Zacchaeus!

          September 26, 2013 at 4:18 pm |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          Jon, I'm a Protestant, so the only thing I know about the issue is what the article states. Has the vatican addressed and condemned these issues, and will they continue to address them boldly?

          September 26, 2013 at 4:23 pm |
        • Jon

          I am not a Catholic either, but I just don't read snippets about the Pope and make lofty judgments.

          If you were well read you would have picked up on another piece of information about a recent pope's decision that is indicative of what this pope is all about.

          September 26, 2013 at 4:28 pm |
        • Sara

          "propogators of filth"


          Just made me smile.

          September 26, 2013 at 4:36 pm |
        • Jon

          "In a word? Directly"

          –You need to read the passages again about both the Samaritan woman and Zacchaeus.

          September 26, 2013 at 4:36 pm |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          "Go an call your husband."
          "I have no husband."
          "You are right in saying you have no husband, for you have had five, and the one whom you now have is not your husband."

          THAT'S not direct? If I'm wrong, please correct me...

          September 27, 2013 at 8:52 am |
      • Jude

        This pope is showing love in the place of condemnation , in that he is following the Good Shepherd, Jesus.
        This pope is also not afraid to stand by the scriptural truth and he is a great example for all Christians who not only 'talk the talk' but also 'walk the walk'

        September 26, 2013 at 4:15 pm |
      • Joey

        love the believer hate the belief.

        September 26, 2013 at 4:43 pm |
      • midwest rail

        " Love the Sinner, hate the Sin. "
        The Big Lie as practiced by contemporary Christianity.

        September 27, 2013 at 7:53 am |
    • Lawrence of Arabia

      And once again, to those of us within Christendom, what in the world makes us so embarrassed about the gospel? If we recognize the consequences of an unrepentant lifestyle, then why are we worried about hurting people's feelings? I know we need to be tactful in our presentation of the Gospel, but never dance around the subject of sin as if it were a swear word in polite company...

      As long as this secular system that we live in produces people like Miley Cyrus, I will never stop being bold about sin and repentance. And if the direction of the vatican is to de-emphasize the sources of such behavior, then what kinds of sinful displays are we to expect in 10 years?

      September 26, 2013 at 4:12 pm |
      • Sara

        You're focussing on what the media wants you to see to sell advertising. But the world isn't made up of Miley Cyruses. The eorld is one in which the violent crime rate continues to drop rapidly:


        And in which life expectancy has increases 30 years in the last century. We have racial and gender equality like we never saw before, and an elimination of most childhood diseases. Sure we have problems, but if you let yourself be suc.kered by the medias sensationalist doomsday hype, you're just going to live in a depressing delusion of your own making.

        September 26, 2013 at 4:21 pm |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          Well, I sincerely hope that is the case. I can only speak to what I've seen, and unfortunately, I've seen many kids within my circle who have been influenced by that kind of display.

          September 26, 2013 at 4:25 pm |
        • Sara

          When I was a kid several decades ago we had smoking areas for students in the schools, regular drunk driving accidents and no question of monitring bullying. We had a higher drop out rate and far more children born to teen mothers (yes, check the stats).

          September 26, 2013 at 4:29 pm |
      • GodFreeNow

        When you live in a tiny village, it's easy to look around and think that it's the whole universe.

        If you leave your village, you will find there is a whole world out there are only culture wars in strict Islamic countries, totalitarian dictatorships (like N. Korea) and America. What you see as a degradation of morality due to losing god, is more easily recognized by the desperate flailing of uneducated people, who are starving for the one thing they think gives their existence value: attention. That has nothing to do with god. It's just immaturity and insecurity.

        Step out of your tiny village and live in a truly secular country like I do. You will find that they are some of the most honest (see the lost wallet experiment), kind, and moral people on the planet. No god required, but a good education and social programs structure helps.

        September 26, 2013 at 5:56 pm |
      • sam stone

        sin is a man made concept, larry.

        every generation thinks the next are less moral.

        perhaps people are moving toward real morality, and away from iron age stories.

        it upsets the pious becasuse they, after all, speak for god

        September 27, 2013 at 11:24 am |
      • I can only hope


        September 27, 2013 at 7:34 pm |
    • lol??

      Getting moral guidelines from the socies playing at SCOTUS was a severe mistake. Ain't gonna matter though when the military takes over. They'll play it by ear or spear.

      September 26, 2013 at 4:15 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Your "slippery slope" is a fallcy.
      I live in a country where same gender marriage has been legal for quite some time.
      No churches have been forced to perform ceremonies with which they disagree.
      There has been no movement to legalize zoophilia, pedophilia, corprophilia, polygamy or whatever other nonsense you can conceive of.
      Straight people aren't "catching the gay" becuase it is now out in the open.
      Aside from the initial celebrations by the rainbow flag brigade, there have been very few sh1ts given because there are no discernible ill effects from granting legal equality to same gender couples.

      You sound like the Southern Baptists who railed against inter-racial marriage in the mid 20th century.
      Your condemnation of gays will be viewed by your children with teh same sense of shame and disgust as the current generation views racial segregation.

      September 26, 2013 at 4:18 pm |
      • Lawrence of Arabia

        I don't think so... Racial segregation has no grounds in scripture... In fact, the Bible doesn't even recognize "race" (Acts 17). Hom.os.exuality on the otherhad is condemned in both the Old and New Covenant.

        September 26, 2013 at 4:21 pm |
      • Doc Vestibule

        That isn't what the Southern Baptists said back in the day.
        They had plenty of scripture that they said was clearly against interracial marriage.

        JOSHUA 23:12-13 "..if ye do in any wise go back and cleave unto the remnant of these nations, even these that remain among you, and shall make marriages with them, and go in unto them and they unto you: know for a certainty that they shall he snares and traps unto you, and scourges in your sides and thorns in your eyes, until ye perish off from this good land which the Lord your God has given you. "

        HOSEA 5:6-7 "They shall go with their flocks and their herds to seek the Lord, but they shall not find Him: He hath withdrawn Himself from them. They have dealt treacherously against the lord: for they have begotten strange children."

        DEUTERONOMY 23:2 "A bast.ard shall not enter into the Congregation of the Lord: even to his tenth generation shall he not enter into the Congregation of the Lord."
        The Hebrew word mistranslated "bast.ard" is the word "MAMZER": It means a half-breed or mongrel.

        September 26, 2013 at 4:30 pm |
      • Lawrence of Arabia

        Doc, no one ever said that the SBC was the source for truth...
        If they indeed used that rationale, then they were wholeheartedly wrong, because those scriptures were speaking to a specific people for a specific time... I could go into it much deeper, but suffice it to say it was bad hermaneutics.

        That's why I always tell people to never just accept what someone says to you about the Bible, read what it actually says. Protestants have been saying that since 1517... Too bad those SBC members failed to do so.

        September 27, 2013 at 7:44 am |
      • Doc Vestibule

        Your "proper" interpretation of those scriptures isn't the point.
        That the Bible was used to support segregation and argue against interrracial marriage is.
        If there were one "correct" way of understanding the Bible, there wouldn't be thousands of sects of Christianity.
        But just as Christians try hard to distance themselves from the old holy arguments for misogyny and the next generation denied the old scriptural rationalizations for racism, so will the mext generation try to keep the anti-gay sentiments at arm's length.

        September 27, 2013 at 8:04 am |
      • Lawrence of Arabia

        If the history of the reformation teaches us nothing else, it is that the church is always reforming according to the word of God. (Semper reformanda) Wherever error can be found within the church, we correct it with unchanging scripture...The early church was tasked with removing unbiblical "traditions," today, it is tasked with a much greater issue of removing a sinful cultural atmosphere from it.

        I'm not sure what you're talking about the church's treatment of women... We read in 1 and 2 Timothy that the office of overseer within the church is to be held by a man, the reasoning goes back to Genesis, since the woman was created as Ezur Kenegdo. And that wasn't an issue until radical femenism crept into the church and women attempted to usurp roles that God has ordained for men.

        Scripture has never condoned racizm... As I said, the Bible doesn't even recognize "race." (Acts 17)

        As for ho.mo.se.xuality, that is one of the more clear issues that scripture deals with as sinful. That issue cannot be shyed away from except by unprincipled men who would rather save face before men than to stand unashamed before the judgment of God.

        September 27, 2013 at 8:48 am |
      • Observer

        Lawrence of Arabia,

        The Bible is clear about the major importance of the Golden Rule, but don't expect Christian hypocrites to use that when talkinmg about gays.

        September 27, 2013 at 8:53 am |
      • Lawrence of Arabia

        I understand that some people have taken ho.mo.se.xuality as a "pet sin" while ignoring others, but we need to understand how truly sinful that sin of any kind is. And just as with breaking secular law, there are consequences to be paid. With the consequences for sin in view, this is how we are to address sin – as though we were confronting a blind man about to walk off a cliff, or addressing a child that has just found his dad's gun... It isn't a light issue, and I don't care if we're talking about "lifestyles" or everyday lying, thieving, and blasphemy.

        Sin is sin. And the nature of it is so intoxicating that as with a habitual drug user, a man would rather be killed by his addiction that he knows is harmful than to endure the pain of abstaining.

        September 27, 2013 at 9:04 am |
      • Observer

        "As for ho.mo.se.xuality, that is one of the more clear issues that scripture deals with as sinful."

        So tell us EVERYTHING that Jesus said specifically about ho.mo se.xuality..The New Testament is all about him, right?

        September 27, 2013 at 9:08 am |
      • Observer

        Answer: Jesus said ZERO. Zip, Nada. Nothing. Zilch. Nill about gays.

        It's sure fun to PRETEND he didn't. Good luck.

        September 27, 2013 at 9:10 am |
      • Doc Vestibule

        I gather that you're a Protestant of some type.
        If so, you must be familiar with Calvin and how much his ideas have influenced Protestant ideals.
        He described women as
        "... more guilty than the man, because she was seduced by Satan, and so diverted her husband from obedience to God that she was an instrument of death leading all to perdition. It is necessary that woman recognize this, and that she learn to what she is subjected; and not only against her husband. This is reason enough why today she is placed below and that she bears within her ignominy and shame."

        The Catholics put it more succinctly:
        "Sin began with a woman and thanks to her we all must die"
        – Ecclesiasticus, 25:19

        For centuries, the prevailing opinion was that a good Christian woman should be silent, submissive, subservient and filled with shame for the curse her gender forced on humanity.

        Though you'll likely label it " bad hermaneutics", the biblical condemnation of ho/mose/xuality it debatable.
        The terms most often translated as "gay" are "ars.enkotai", which meant male prosti/tutes, and "malakoi" which translates to "men who are soft" and which was understood to mean "mast/urbators" until the early 20th century.
        The passage in Romans cited to condemn gays is more about condemning apostatcy.
        The group of people with whom God became angry rejected Christianity and turned from their "natural" predilections by having a big ol' or/gy.
        Do you think God would be less angry if it were a hetero pagan or/gy?

        September 27, 2013 at 9:12 am |
      • Lawrence of Arabia

        Sure, in Jesus' sermon on the mount (Matthew 19:4-6) He endorses marriage by quoting what Genesis had to say about it being between a man and a woman. Implicit in His endorsement of the Genesis order of marriage is a rejection of any other form of it.

        September 27, 2013 at 9:13 am |
      • Doc Vestibule

        Christ didn't imply anything – you're inferring.
        How can any other marriage arrangement be ungodly if Kind David, described in the Bible as "a man after God's own heart", had multiple wives – including several that were given to him by God!

        September 27, 2013 at 9:22 am |
      • Lawrence of Arabia

        Oh yeah, and don't forget Solomon! Look how many he had! My interpretation MUST be wrong then!
        Good grief...

        September 27, 2013 at 9:26 am |
      • Lawrence of Arabia

        OK, gotta go do the whole "work" thing again. Y'all have fun with the topic.

        September 27, 2013 at 9:27 am |
      • Just the Facts Ma'am...

        "Sure, in Jesus' sermon on the mount (Matthew 19:4-6) He endorses marriage by quoting what Genesis had to say about it being between a man and a woman."

        Why did he not quote Genesis 19:31-38 "31 One day the older daughter said to the younger, “Our father is old, and there is no man around here to give us children—as is the custom all over the earth. 32 Let’s get our father to drink wine and then sleep with him and preserve our family line through our father.” 33 That night they got their father to drink wine, and the older daughter went in and slept with him. He was not aware of it when she lay down or when she got up. 34 The next day the older daughter said to the younger, “Last night I slept with my father. Let’s get him to drink wine again tonight, and you go in and sleep with him so we can preserve our family line through our father.” 35 So they got their father to drink wine that night also, and the younger daughter went in and slept with him. Again he was not aware of it when she lay down or when she got up. 36 So both of Lot’s daughters became pregnant by their father. 37 The older daughter had a son, and she named him Moab[g]; he is the father of the Moabites of today. 38 The younger daughter also had a son, and she named him Ben-Ammi[h]; he is the father of the Ammonites[i] of today."

        Just curious why he would preach one part of Genesis but not others...

        September 27, 2013 at 11:40 am |
    • sam stone

      marriage equality is coming, larry.

      if you don't like it, put on your big boy pands and realize that hour pious hissy fit means NOTHING under the law.

      those who do not allow others equal rights are bigots. those who hide behind their god to do it are pious bigots, but bigots nevertheless

      September 27, 2013 at 11:19 am |
  5. David

    Be shepherds like Jesus the Good Shepherd..

    The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
    2 He makes me lie down in green pastures,
    he leads me beside quiet waters,
    3 he refreshes my soul.
    He guides me along the right paths
    for his name’s sake.
    4 Even though I walk
    through the darkest valley,[a]
    I will fear no evil,
    for you are with me;
    your rod and your staff,
    they comfort me.

    5 You prepare a table before me
    in the presence of my enemies.
    You anoint my head with oil;
    my cup overflows.
    6 Surely your goodness and love will follow me
    all the days of my life,
    and I will dwell in the house of the Lord

    September 26, 2013 at 3:57 pm |
  6. Applaud Aloud

    I do not believe the Pope can rescue the Roman Catholic church. Even the slightest reform results in great backlash. Vatican II didn't (change) anything that is bringing the RC church down (celibacy, dogmas, infallibility, rigid clergy-l.a.y bi,fu,rc,ation, ant-Christian theology, anti-Eastern theology (which is what cause the Reformation in 1550).

    September 26, 2013 at 12:40 pm |
    • Applaud Aloud

      They cannot adjust and the fast paced world will not wait. As the RC church and many Christian churches decline they cease to exist

      September 26, 2013 at 12:43 pm |
    • Sara

      Yeah, they are going to be complete irrelevant within a couple of decades. At least we'll have fewer Pope stories on the Belief blog.

      September 26, 2013 at 4:07 pm |
  7. EnjaySea

    According to Christian dogma, god is not in a different plane than ours. At a minimum he has to be in a plane that intersects with ours.

    Otherwise how could he affect changes here on earth? You can't say that he answers prayers (pulls Billy out of the pond before he drowns, or miraculously heals a sick man) and also maintain that his plane is separated from our plane. He definitely would have to have the keys to get into our plane to perform these magical acts.

    These interactions with matter and energy in our plane should be detecable, observable, and measurable. Science can prove the existence of god. And I'll withhold belief until that evidence is presented.

    September 26, 2013 at 11:53 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Are you ever going to comment on the morality of forcing an 11 year old girl who was impregnated by her father to carry the child to term and become a mother?

      September 26, 2013 at 12:04 pm |
    • EnjaySea

      Yes, I'm aware that you possess a book of loopholes that you can use to patch any problem with your dogma, but you haven't avoided my point.

      If he can create miracles on earth, then someone present at that miracle should be able to detect that, whether they believe or not. That fact remains, even though there may be bumper stickerisms that attempt to divert the issue.

      September 26, 2013 at 12:16 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      You said "you either are for killing unborn people or are against it. its black and white. dont make it sea of grey."

      So now you concede that there are exceptions where it is OK to kill unborn people?

      September 26, 2013 at 12:34 pm |
  8. Lawrence of Arabia

    When you look at a painting, you know that there must have been a painter... Likewise, when you look at a building, you know there must have been a builder. In fact, the existence of the building is the best evidence that we have that the builder exists.

    In the same light, when we look at creation, we KNOW there was a Creator. (Romans 1:18-32)

    September 26, 2013 at 10:43 am |
    • Richard Cranium

      You keep using this false analogy over and over. It didn't work when you first posted it, it doesn't work now

      You see a god, someone must have created it? That someone was man.
      We do not know is the only valid answer we have as to where the universe came from, what was there before the Big Bang.

      Your position is nothing but smoke.

      September 26, 2013 at 10:47 am |
      • Austin

        Topher, is that me?

        September 26, 2013 at 12:31 pm |
      • Robert Brown

        Who created God?

        There are a couple of hints in the bible, take the very first verse, “In the beginning God….” Notice it didn’t say in the beginning something created God then God did stuff.

        He tells us where he is, in eternity. He is eternal.
        Isaiah 57:15
        For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.

        Revelation 22:13
        I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.

        Here is the analogy I like, if you write start, draw a straight line, and write finish. We can understand a start and a finish.

        Now draw a circle, that is eternal, that is God. He is the beginning and the end at the same time, eternal, never ending.


        September 26, 2013 at 2:21 pm |
      • Tom, Tom, the Other One

        Without pushing the analogy too far, Robert, if God were eternal in that sense, then it would be repetitive. Actions by God would be like modular arithmetic or finite simple group operations. Kierkegaard looked at it differently: unchanging God.

        September 26, 2013 at 2:26 pm |
      • Robert Brown

        Tom, Thank you for mentioning Kierkegaard, I’ve been off reading some of his stuff, very interesting. Thanks.

        September 26, 2013 at 4:08 pm |
  9. Richard Cranium

    So in other words, there is no evidence of god.
    There is a great deal of evidence that men just made him/her/it up.

    September 26, 2013 at 9:33 am |
    • lol??

      Your comment is awaiting moderation.
      There are those that say man couldn't be created out of the dust of the ground. They prefer worshiping the Sun and will tell you about star dust as the source.

      September 28, 2013 at 4:05 pm |
      • midwest rail

        Still deliberately misrepresenting others' viewpoints, lol?? ? Liar.

        September 28, 2013 at 4:23 pm |
  10. laststonecarver

    – Proof of God –
    science project 8/18/50 –
    I am going out on a limb here, but I am most likely descendent from apes, so I should be okay –

    I read in this Book, where a man claimed that he was of the 'God, which is Life' –
    So he then was given the ti tle Son of God –
    The antecedent and subsequent story data have become so obfuscated, at least to me, that I will key my research to the concept that God = Life, as was stated previously –
    So what is Life? –
    It is at least, EVERY active component in our environment, and depending on your perception, you will be able to perceive that everything has its own life, even the Urth, even the sun (the nearest star) –
    Now you may say that a rock has no life, but.. if you use your imagination (the most powerful tool in the universe), you can know that a rock can be re-animated to become a countertop, at least it has shelf life (sorry) –
    How about a check list for God = Life qualifications?
    1. Omnipresent – check, Life is everywhere –
    2. Omniscient – check, Life at least knows more about itself than I do –
    3. Omnipotent – check, Life at least the sun is more powerful than me –
    4. We are all God's creatures – check, even if we are descendent from apes

    Research conclusions:
    1. The word God is a capitalized version of the generic term – god, creator of the universe
    2. Does the universe create itself? – I guess so, seems likely –
    3. life is us, in Our Environment/Life –
    4. The best you can do, is to perceive your environment – no matter how powerful your imagination is –
    5. Does my environment create me? – yup –

    September 26, 2013 at 8:22 am |
    • Lawrence of Arabia

      It is a logical fallacy to think that something can create itself. In order to create itself, it would have to exist before it existed in order to create itself. Therefore, nothing is "self-created."

      September 26, 2013 at 10:46 am |
      • laststonecarver

        thanx for reminding me –
        God = Life add-on
        God/Life always was, and always will be – check, Life begets life, there could be no cognizant boundary

        September 26, 2013 at 11:10 am |
      • EnjaySea

        And that, Lawrence, is why god cannot exist. He would have to be very complex (like the painting you keep mentioning), therefore such complexity requires a creator. But since god is the creator, god would have to have created himself.

        Or is god infinite? Okay, then the universe he's in (his workshop) has to have been infinte as well, meaning universes can be infinite, and therefore don't require a creator.

        So not only is god impossilbe, he's also unnecessary.

        September 26, 2013 at 12:02 pm |
        • EnjaySea

          Allow me to reformulate that conclusion:

          "Therefore either god is impossilbe and doesn't exist, or god does exist but isn't the creator."

          September 26, 2013 at 12:33 pm |
  11. Reality # 2

    What is up at CNN's Belief blog?

    Fewer and fewer topics.

    Has CNN decided that religion is no longer news worthy because the atheists have finally made their case?

    The Huntington Post people don't think so as their religion blog continues with numerous diverse topics and a lot of traffic.

    September 26, 2013 at 7:41 am |
    • Sara

      I imagine they cut back on staff, leaving some guy who follows the Pope around, and someone else who thinks Rick Warren is interesting.

      September 26, 2013 at 4:09 pm |
    • lol??

      Your comment is awaiting moderation.
      Vacation scheduling snafus?? It couldn't possibly be research related.

      September 28, 2013 at 4:15 pm |
  12. Billy

    The Bible-thumping idiots that troll these blogs sure have a twisted view of science. I guess we all have to get along with the hard-of-thinking at some time or another in our lives. At least in the U.S. we have some protection to keep these quarter-wits from totally trashing children's education.

    September 25, 2013 at 6:45 pm |

      Godless Vagabond
      But we could always use more. Some of them get elected to positions of power. And there's no way to stop that if the majority is also quarter wits.

      September 25, 2013 at 6:47 pm |
  13. Topher

    Now ... I'm getting bored with this evolution stuff ... anyone want to talk about God?

    September 25, 2013 at 6:17 pm |

      Godless Vagabond
      What can we say about some fictitious entity that has never been seen nor heard from and leaves no evidence whatsoever of his existence?

      September 25, 2013 at 6:49 pm |
      • Topher

        He gave you the Creation and a conscience to know He exists. And because of this, you'll have no excuses on Judgment Day.

        September 25, 2013 at 6:56 pm |

          Godless Vagabond
          I won't hold my breath.

          September 25, 2013 at 6:59 pm |
        • Cpt. Obvious

          What evidence do you have for those claims, Topher? Just your own personal feelings, again?

          September 25, 2013 at 7:05 pm |
        • Topher

          Which claims?

          September 25, 2013 at 7:16 pm |
        • Billy

          Wow – fifteen minutes only only two responses thus far and you can't figure out what your claims were Topher? Just...wow.

          September 25, 2013 at 7:23 pm |
        • Topher

          I've made a lot of claims. Which one would you like to talk about?

          September 25, 2013 at 7:24 pm |
        • JWT

          Your god gave me none of those thing Topher.

          September 25, 2013 at 7:26 pm |

          Godless Vagabond
          Topher, explain to us why some whales, living today, have useless vestigial hind legs.

          September 25, 2013 at 7:27 pm |
        • Billy

          Perhaps you missed this from Cpt Obvious at 7:20pm, Topher: "..those claims..". I would take that to mean what you wrote in your reply to GV above.

          September 25, 2013 at 7:28 pm |
        • Topher


          You don't have the Creation or a conscience? Have they locked you away yet?

          September 25, 2013 at 7:30 pm |
        • Billy

          correction just not to confuse Topher. Cpt Obvious' question is stamped 7:05 pm.

          September 25, 2013 at 7:33 pm |

          Godless Vagabond
          Come on, Topher. Tell us about the whale legs.

          September 25, 2013 at 7:35 pm |
        • Topher


          I don't know that they do. Do you have a site so I can read up on it? Second, so what if they do? What does that have to do with God?

          September 25, 2013 at 7:35 pm |
        • Billy

          "You don't have the Creation or a conscience?"


          Maybe is is not Topher, but Poepher.

          September 25, 2013 at 7:36 pm |
        • Athy

          Topher, you're ignoring GV's question on the whale legs. When will you answer it? Just give us an estimated time.

          September 25, 2013 at 7:37 pm |

          Godless Vagabond
          It's strong evidence for evolution. Since you don't believe in evolution, then you must have some even more logical explanation for it. We want to hear it.

          September 25, 2013 at 7:39 pm |
        • Topher

          "It's strong evidence for evolution Since you don't believe in evolution, then you must have some even more logical explanation for it. We want to hear it."

          Even if you had a whale with legs it would have been born of a whale and would give birth to a whale. That's not Darwinian evolution.

          Now ... we're supposed to be talking about God, not evolution any more.

          September 25, 2013 at 7:42 pm |
        • intermission

          whale legs. hmm. I hope people that own dim sum restaurants aren't reading this and getting ideas.

          September 25, 2013 at 7:43 pm |
        • Athy

          Topher, just go to Google, enter "vestigial whale legs" and click on search. Read the articles you find, then try to explain it away. Maybe god was in a mischievous mood one day and did it to fool us.

          September 25, 2013 at 7:43 pm |
        • Athy

          Topher, you're not listening? Why do some whales have useless vestigial legs? It's a simple question. Give us your answer.

          September 25, 2013 at 7:45 pm |
        • Topher


          "Topher, you're not listening? Why do some whales have useless vestigial legs? It's a simple question. Give us your answer."

          Haven't read up on it yet. So if none of you want to talk about God, I'll bid you a good night.

          September 25, 2013 at 7:48 pm |
        • Athy

          Then will you answer it tomorrow? Yes or no?

          September 25, 2013 at 7:49 pm |

          Godless Vagabond
          It would appear that Topher has put his tail between his "vestigial" legs and run away from my question. Why am I not surprised?

          September 25, 2013 at 7:52 pm |
        • Topher


          "Then will you answer it tomorrow? Yes or no?"

          I'll answer it now. Even if some whales had legs, it doesn't disprove God. The only thing it means is that a whale had legs. This wouldn't even prove evolution. So again, if anyone wants to talk about God, let's talk about Him. If not, I've got better things to do.

          September 25, 2013 at 7:55 pm |
        • intermission

          that ends our show.. and for you dim sum restauranteurs, the sight of those chicken feet are bad enough..

          September 25, 2013 at 7:56 pm |

          Godless Vagabond
          So, Topher, you don't think whales having vestigial legs could even be slight evidence for evolution?

          September 25, 2013 at 7:59 pm |
        • Topher

          The very first result of my search makes these points on "whale legs" ...

          – Pakicetus-however, it consisted only of jaw and skull fragments yet it’s been claimed to be a “walking whale.”

          – Basilosaurus has also been offered as an ancestor to whales; while it did have hind limbs, they were far too small to have anything to do with walking. Yet evolutionists agreed that they were clearly functional, not useless, and the most common view is that they were probably used for grasping in reproduction.

          – Ambulocetus had hind limbs, and could walk; it is thus the latest fossil candidate for whale evolution. However, as explained in Refuting Evolution, it is doubtful that this supposed creature (constructed with some imagination) had anything to do with the history of whales.

          September 25, 2013 at 7:59 pm |
        • Athy

          Topher, that's not the answer to the question. Crikey, but you are slow. The question was (and I can't put it any simpler for you) why do some whales have vestigial legs that they never use? What is you explanation as to why those legs are there? Why does a whale, a sea-going mammal, have legs like a land mammal? How did those legs get there? This has nothing to do with god. Forget about god for this question. We're not talking about god at all here. Just concentrate on those whale legs for the moment. How do you think they got there? What's you answer?

          September 25, 2013 at 8:03 pm |
        • Topher

          This from a Fox News story ... (words in caps changed by me ...)

          "Ja.panese researchers said Sunday that a bottlenose dolphin captured last month has an extra set of FINS that COULD BE the remains of back legs, a discov.ery that MAY provide further evidence that ocean-dwelling mammals once lived on land."

          Not exactly what I'd shout from the roof about. This dolphin had fins. Not legs.

          September 25, 2013 at 8:04 pm |
        • Athy

          And we're not talking about whale fossils. We're talking about living whales. That is whales that are alive today in our oceans.

          September 25, 2013 at 8:06 pm |
        • Topher


          First, this discussion is about God. The evolution stuff if down the page. But I've so far yet to find any evidence that there IS any legs on whales. I'm posting what I've found so far ... please read the couple of findings I've gotten so far.

          September 25, 2013 at 8:07 pm |
        • Topher


          "And we're not talking about whale fossils. We're talking about living whales. That is whales that are alive today in our oceans."

          So far I've come across nothing that says living whales have legs. So if you have a site with a picture, that might speed things up a bit.

          September 25, 2013 at 8:08 pm |
        • Topher

          Something called Pakicetus was trumped up and got a lot of play in the journal science ... supposed to be the evidence whales evolved from land creatures ... turns out though that all we had of this animal was a few small pieces of the skull. Not exactly good evidence for an animal that had developed legs. Kind of a BIG leap of faith.

          September 25, 2013 at 8:18 pm |
        • In Santa we trust

          "We can see from fossils that whales clearly lived on land – they actually share a common ancestor with hippos, camels and deer," said team member Martin Cohn, Ph.D., a developmental biologist and associate professor with the UF departments of zoology and anatomy and cell biology and a member of the UF Genetics Institute. "Their transition to an aquatic lifestyle occurred long before they eliminated their hind limbs. During the transition, their limbs became smaller, but they kept the same number and arrangement of hind limb bones as their terrestrial ancestors."

          September 25, 2013 at 8:29 pm |
        • Topher

          In Santa we trust

          How is any of that testable and repeatable? Where are they getting that information? Is that from a longer piece I can read?

          September 25, 2013 at 8:36 pm |
        • Topher

          Just reading another organ that says there are bones in some species of whales that are "embedded in the tissues" but that they are believed to "strengthens the pelvic wall and acts as an organ anchor" ... so not legs.

          September 25, 2013 at 8:44 pm |
        • Topher

          On that same article ... if these bones have a known function, that would mean they aren't vestigial ...

          September 25, 2013 at 8:46 pm |
        • Athy

          I give up. Topher, you win.

          September 25, 2013 at 8:51 pm |
        • Topher


          Nah, I don't want to "win," dude. I want you to be saved.

          September 25, 2013 at 8:53 pm |
        • In Santa we trust

          Topher, Creationism doesn't meet the testable and repeatable criteria.

          September 25, 2013 at 8:57 pm |
        • Topher

          In Santa we trust

          "Topher, Creationism doesn't meet the testable and repeatable criteria."

          Well, to be fair, it doesn't need to in my worldview. I've got something bigger than science or nature. But you're right, it doesn't. Well, parts don't. Some do, like that moon thing from earlier.

          September 25, 2013 at 9:03 pm |
        • Topher

          Just found another article that says those bones in whales are different in males and females and are clearly there to help strengthen reproductive organs.

          September 25, 2013 at 9:08 pm |
        • Circle

          Enough tap dancing, Topher. Prove God exists. My conscience says you can't. I'm glad you have faith, but your continued ignorance re: the age of the earth and evolution is staggering. God and science don't have to contradict each other, but your narrow mind won't even allow you that possibility. Bah!

          September 25, 2013 at 9:10 pm |
        • Topher

          "Prove God exists."

          I don't have to. You already know He exists.

          "My conscience says you can't. I'm glad you have faith, but your continued ignorance re: the age of the earth and evolution is staggering."

          Prove me wrong then. Show me the change in kinds. A dog evolving into a dog is not Darwinian evolution. And so far, this vestigial whale stuff doesn't have ... legs. hehe.

          "God and science don't have to contradict each other, ..."

          Now that I agree with! I don't believe God and science DO contradict each other. That's the point. Evolution isn't science.

          September 25, 2013 at 9:15 pm |
        • Topher

          Anyone find any pictures of these whale legs? I did an image search and all I see are computer animations, drawings and graphics. No photos. If anyone knows of any, let me know.

          September 25, 2013 at 9:23 pm |
        • Observer


          God or evolution are not the only options. There are millions of possibilities including Zeus or a committee of zombies. Your simple-minded black-and-white "only 2 options" approach proves nothing.

          September 25, 2013 at 9:46 pm |
        • tallulah13

          Just for you Topher. This will help explain.


          This is a link to a photo of the vestigial legs from a whale carcass:


          September 26, 2013 at 12:37 am |
        • sam stone

          more "judgement day" tripe from the coward

          if you feel you are due punishment, step up like a man and take it

          otherwise, you are a coward

          September 26, 2013 at 4:58 am |
        • sam stone

          "I've made a lot of claims"

          We know, Gopher

          That's all you do.

          You make claims

          You do not support your claims

          You blather on empty proxy threats

          You are a coward

          September 26, 2013 at 5:07 am |
        • sam stone

          "Now ... we're supposed to be talking about God, not evolution any more."

          okay. your god is a vindictive, petty p-r-i-c-k and you are a snivelling sycophant coward

          how is that?

          September 26, 2013 at 5:19 am |
        • truthprevails1

          Oh silly boy Topher, judgement day is as non-existent as your god. No-one needs to worry about it because no-one can verify that it happens.

          September 26, 2013 at 7:07 am |
        • Topher

          Hi, tallulah13

          Thanks for the photo. Two issues, though. One, whatever it is that guy is holding looks nothing like a leg. Second, after reading all those articles last night, I'm pretty convinced that those bones are to help support reproductive organs. And if that's the case, they aren't vestigial.

          September 26, 2013 at 9:29 am |
        • Joey

          Here is a response to Topher's so called moon problem, which shows that it is not a problem at all.

          Young-earth "proof" #5: The Moon is receding a few inches each year. Less than a million years ago the Moon would have been so close that the tides would have drowned everyone twice a day. Less than 2 or 3 million years ago the Moon would have been inside the Roche limit* and, thus, destroyed.
          (Dr. Hilpman vs. Dr. Hovind, June 15, 1992; the Royal Hall of the University of Missouri)

          Once again, Dr. Hovind's figures just boggle the mind! Let us assume, for the sake of argument, that the Moon is receding at 6 inches per year. If we go back a million years, then the Moon was 6 million inches closer to the earth. That comes to about 95 miles! Since the Moon is about 240,000 miles away, that doesn't amount to diddlysquat! Indeed, the Moon has a slightly elliptical orbit that varies more than 95 miles all by itself.

          A more accurate estimate, based on the present rate of lunar recession, puts the Moon within the Roche limit around 1 or 2 billion years ago. That is the argument most creationists use. (Since Dr. Hovind's notes match the figures he quoted in his debate with Dr. Hilpman, they are fair game and not a simple slip of the pen.)

          The tides, chiefly caused by the Moon's gravitational attraction and the orbiting of Earth and Moon about a common point, act as a brake to slow down the earth's rotation. The nearer tidal bulge, which carries the greater effect, runs slightly out of alignment of the Moon overhead; the gravitational interaction between it and the Moon serves to speed up the Moon in its orbit even as it slows down the earth's rotation. As it speeds up, the Moon moves to a higher orbit.

          The effectiveness of this tidal brake on the earth's rotation strongly depends on the configuration of the oceans. Thus, we should inquire as to whether the current arrangement is an average value or not.

          The present rate of tidal dissipation is anomalously high because the tidal force is close to a resonance in the response function of the oceans; a more realistic calculation shows that dissipation must have been much smaller in the past and that 4.5 billion years ago the moon was well outside the Roche limit, at a distance of at least thirtyeight earth radii (Hansen 1982; see also Finch 1982).

          (Brush, 1983, p.78)

          Thus, our moon was probably never closer than 151,000 miles. A modern astronomy text (Chaisson and McMillan, 1993, p.173) gives an estimate of 250,000 kilometers (155,000 miles), which agrees very closely with Brush's figure. Thus, the "problem" disappears!

          September 26, 2013 at 1:33 pm |
        • redzoa

          "On that same article ... if these bones have a known function, that would mean they aren't vestigial ..."

          A "known function" is not the same as a different ancestral function, particularly in light of significant modifications from the ancestral morphology and functionality.

          It's clear from reading his/her posts that Topher lacks the basic understanding of the relevant science and it's further clear that he/she has no interest in actually investigating any matter which might inadvertently undermine the vain hope of escaping his/her inevitable mortality.

          September 27, 2013 at 1:59 am |
      • M MURDOCH

        deaf dumb blind demon-possessed nazis can't see nothin

        the broken and contrite rejoice at what they see


        September 25, 2013 at 8:06 pm |
        • Circle

          As expected, Mr. BoJanglesTopher is tap dancing.

          Hey, Hhorie. How's you doing today, you dumb bitch?

          September 25, 2013 at 9:36 pm |
        • sam stone

          that's all gopher does is tap dance

          as far as faith/hhari/etc... nothing but a troll

          September 26, 2013 at 5:35 am |
    • sam stone

      you do not want to have a conversation about god

      you want to preach

      we don't care about your fvcking preaching, gopher

      September 26, 2013 at 4:55 am |
      • M MURDOCH


        September 26, 2013 at 1:28 pm |
  14. lol??

    If science wants to commit suicide over evolution don't stand in their way. That could be dangerous and it might be a pillar of the "strong delusion".

    September 25, 2013 at 5:42 pm |
    • Topher

      I think I'm going to write a book and call it "The Evolution Delusion." It has a better ring to it, I think. 😉

      September 25, 2013 at 5:46 pm |
      • Joey

        Topher I would love for you to explain all of the problems with Carbon Dating methods.

        September 25, 2013 at 5:49 pm |
        • Topher

          I'd suggest you do a google search. Others will explain it better than me. Read up specifically on how old Carbon dating can say something is. Go on from there.

          September 25, 2013 at 5:51 pm |
        • Joey

          I assume you are talking about this?

          Question: Kieth and Anderson radiocarbon-dated the shell of a living freshwater mussel and obtained an age of over two thousand years. ICR creationists claim that this discredits C-14 dating. How do you reply?

          Answer: It does discredit the C-14 dating of freshwater mussels, but that's about all. Kieth and Anderson show considerable evidence that the mussels acquired much of their carbon from the limestone of the waters they lived in and from some very old humus as well. Carbon from these sources is very low in C-14 because these sources are so old and have not been mixed with fresh carbon from

          – page 24 –
          the air. Thus, a freshly killed mussel has far less C-14 than a freshly killed something else, which is why the C-14 dating method makes freshwater mussels seem older than they really are. When dating wood there is no such problem because wood gets its carbon straight from the air, complete with a full dose of C-14. The creationists who quote Kieth and Anderson never tell you this, however.

          September 25, 2013 at 6:00 pm |
        • Topher

          I'm unfamiliar with what you've pasted there, so I can't comment much. But keep researching. It's not just with mussels. C14 can't date things to millions of years.

          September 25, 2013 at 6:03 pm |
        • Cpt. Obvious

          Tohper, how many radiometric dating methods are you familiar with? Is it just C14? Have you talked with a professional about C14 and allowed that person to explain the process and how it is used and when and where it is and is not used?

          September 25, 2013 at 6:08 pm |
        • Topher

          Cpt. Obvious

          "how many radiometric dating methods are you familiar with? Is it just C14?"

          No, I'm familiar with several. But I can't give you much in details as I actually find it a boring subject. I've got a few books on them and we studied it a bit in anthropology in college.

          September 25, 2013 at 6:14 pm |
        • Cpt. Obvious

          I find it unwise to argue on the finer points of methods that bore me. In debate, it is wise to "know your enemy," but you prove that you have done little research into what you complain about.

          September 25, 2013 at 6:23 pm |
        • Topher

          So are you saying C14 is a GOOD dating method for your side?

          September 25, 2013 at 6:31 pm |
        • Cpt. Obvious

          Are you saying that you understand C14 dating enough to debate what it should be used for and what it shouldn't be used for? Are you saying that you understand C14 dating enough to know what methods are used to verify or falsify the results collected from the data?

          September 25, 2013 at 6:37 pm |
        • Topher

          Cpt. Obvious

          "Are you saying that you understand C14 dating enough to debate what it should be used for and what it shouldn't be used for? Are you saying that you understand C14 dating enough to know what methods are used to verify or falsify the results collected from the data?"

          No. That's why I said it would be better for someone to go google it. But I looked into it enough to know something about it. And if you want to sit here and tell me it's a good dating method, I'd ask you the same questions.

          September 25, 2013 at 6:40 pm |
        • Cpt. Obvious

          Imagine that someone who knows nothing about Christianity researched it as much as you have researched Carbon 14 dating. Imagine that person finds Christianity to be silly based on that research. Would you feel that person had judged Christianity to hastily and with too little information, or would you commend that person on doing adequate research and coming to a sensible conclusion?

          You judge C14 without having any idea why it is used and how it works and what it should be used for and what it shouldn't be used for. Congrats. You sound like a typical Christian.

          September 25, 2013 at 6:45 pm |

          Godless Vagabond
          I'd love for Topher to explain to me why some whales living today have vestigial hind legs. His explanation, if we ever get it, should be a real knee slapper.

          September 25, 2013 at 7:25 pm |
        • Joey

          Topher, nobody uses Carbon 14 to date things that are a million years old. They use other methods.

          September 26, 2013 at 1:29 pm |
        • Joey

          Carbon 14 is a good dating method, however, since it useless for anything over about 55,000 years old it really has nothing to do with proving the age of Earth.

          September 26, 2013 at 1:57 pm |
      • tallulah13

        Topher, I think you would have to self-publish because no respectable publisher would touch a manuscript written by someone as obviously ignorant on the subject as yourself. You would simply open yourself to the ridicule of people who are better educated on the topic, a group which includes most third graders.

        September 26, 2013 at 12:42 am |
  15. lol??

    Evolution is a 25 century old tale.

    1Ti 6:20 O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called:

    September 25, 2013 at 5:36 pm |
  16. Craig

    When asked to present evidence all that evolutionists have to say is,

    1) Silence or
    2) Ask you to google search or
    3) Divert the topic into something else.

    Evolutionists have no EVIDENCE!!!

    September 25, 2013 at 4:57 pm |
    • Net Net

      Evolutionists have no evidence only FAITH!!!

      September 25, 2013 at 4:58 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      Craig, That's not true. You have had answers. And before you, Topher, LofA, and others had answers. You choose to ignore them. Additionally you have no evidence for creationism. You prefer the myths of Bronze Age Middle Eastern tribes over knowledge and logic.

      September 25, 2013 at 5:03 pm |
      • Topher

        In Santa we trust

        "You have had answers."

        So dogs to dogs is the best you've got?

        "Additionally you have no evidence for creationism. You prefer the myths of Bronze Age Middle Eastern tribes over knowledge and logic."

        Again, a rabbit trail. Especially when your main objection to God is that we have "no evidence." Yet your own belief-system is based on faith.

        September 25, 2013 at 5:07 pm |
        • In Santa we trust

          Topher, You know you're misrepresenting what has been said. Don't think it's not obvious that you're avoiding the questions about evidence for creationism; you and I know you have none but you feel you need to "undercut" evolution. Unfortunately you have presented nothing to make your case.

          September 25, 2013 at 5:20 pm |
        • Topher

          In Santa we trust

          "You know you're misrepresenting what has been said."

          What have I misrepresented? People can read these boards for themselves.

          "Don't think it's not obvious that you're avoiding the questions about evidence for creationism; you and I know you have none but you feel you need to "undercut" evolution."

          We haven't been talking about creationism. We've only been talking about evolution. You, nor anyone else, has yet to demonstrate a change in kinds. Because you can't. You, nor anyone else, has explained why you hold to something science says doesn't meet the standard ... yet you're the ones always shouting about science. So again, I ask, why do you believe it?

          "Unfortunately you have presented nothing to make your case."

          My case has been against evolution and I think I've done a pretty good job.

          September 25, 2013 at 5:24 pm |
        • In Santa we trust

          So you're saying that the mountain of evidence for evolution can be dismissed because you don't agree. Presuming that, that leaves creationism. Where is your evidence for that? You claim that science doesn't support evolution. Again presuming that, how does science support creationism?

          September 25, 2013 at 5:36 pm |
        • Topher

          In Santa we trust

          "So you're saying that the mountain of evidence for evolution can be dismissed because you don't agree."

          I'm saying there's no mountain of evidence for evolution. How can there be if science says it doesn't meet science's standard?

          "You claim that science doesn't support evolution."

          That's what science says about it. Don't shoot the messenger.

          "Again presuming that, how does science support creationism?"

          We can start with that list of problems I listed earlier. Science points to a young earth ... which is in agreement with the Bible.

          September 25, 2013 at 5:50 pm |
        • In Santa we trust

          Science indicates that the earth is 4.5 billion years old. What science agrees with the "young earth"?

          September 25, 2013 at 5:53 pm |
        • Topher

          In Santa we trust

          "Science indicates that the earth is 4.5 billion years old. What science agrees with the "young earth"?"

          No. Only a handful of dating methods point to an old earth. So as an example, we know the moon is moving away from the earth. It's something we can measure. If you do the math, the moon would have been touching the earth at about a million years ago. So if the universe is many millions of years old, you've got a problem.

          September 25, 2013 at 6:00 pm |
        • Cpt. Obvious

          Topher, you are astoundingly ignorant. Perhaps you should learn more about that which you mock.

          September 25, 2013 at 6:28 pm |
        • Topher

          Cpt. Obvious

          "Topher, you are astoundingly ignorant."

          Ad hominem.

          "Perhaps you should learn more about that which you mock."

          Only thing I've mocked is evolution. And dude, if I'm wrong it'd be pretty easy to make a fool out of me. Just present the evidence for a change in kinds.

          September 25, 2013 at 6:43 pm |
        • Cpt. Obvious

          Topher, calling a name is not ad hominem. It is only ad hominem if the person insulting is also saying that your argument is poor BECAUSE you are that name.

          You are ignorant of what evolution states and what it is, so it is much more likely that you would not feel foolish even when making obviously incorrect statements about evolution that have been refuted with verifiable proof a million times. Your statements are extremely foolish, yet you don't feel foolish. Dunning-Kruger demonstrates why this is the case.

          If you can show how evolution is false with solid, verifiable evidence, than you should help out science by showing it where and how it is wrong. You will also become the most famous, richest person on earth, and will collect many prestigious prizes including the Nobel prize. What's holding you back?

          September 25, 2013 at 6:57 pm |
        • Topher

          Cpt. Obvious

          "Topher, calling a name is not ad hominem. It is only ad hominem if the person insulting is also saying that your argument is poor BECAUSE you are that name."

          You are saying since I am that name I don't know what I'm talking about. Ad hominem.

          "You are ignorant of what evolution states and what it is, so it is much more likely that you would not feel foolish even when making obviously incorrect statements about evolution that have been refuted with verifiable proof a million times."

          OK, show me the proof. You have NONE! Either that, or the evolutionists on this board believe in something but don't know what that is. No one has provided proof. Neither has anyone outside of this message board. Why doesn't Dawkins show us the change in kinds? Because he can't. Yet you say it's been proven a million times.

          "If you can show how evolution is false with solid, verifiable evidence, than you should help out science by showing it where and how it is wrong."

          I don't have to show that it's wrong. Science says it's unverifiable. It can't be tested or repeated. Is science wrong?

          "You will also become the most famous, richest person on earth, and will collect many prestigious prizes including the Nobel prize. What's holding you back?"

          Not likely. Why would I make money proving something wrong that no one proved true in the first place? And I doubt the secularists will award me for destroying their worldview. lol.

          September 25, 2013 at 7:23 pm |
        • Cpt. Obvious

          Topher, I appreciate your attempts to sound intelligent when making pretend claims about evolution. Here's the deal: You can go learn about what evolution is and what it says and doesn't say, and be able to carry on a reasonable conversation about it, or you can continue what you're already doing which is make yourself look foolish and ignorant every time you comment about evolution.

          I'm fine with you continuing to sound like you do, but I would prefer that you actually study what you are disagreeing with. Even if you are 100% right and evolution is 100% wrong, you need to know how to demonstrate that by showing how evolution is incorrect. Which means you need to "know your enemy." Which means you need to figure out exactly what it is you disagree with and why.

          Disagreeing with evolution is like disagreeing with architecture. It's an entire structure with many parts. (The same is true of religions, too). You need to know the structure and how it works in order to criticize it fairly and show how it does not hold together coherently. I can do that with Christianity. You should figure out if you have what it takes to do that with evolution. Learn your enemy. Know precisely why you disbelieve what you disbelieve.

          September 25, 2013 at 8:00 pm |
        • Topher

          Cpt. Obvious

          Then do you also know what you are talking about as far as evolution?

          September 25, 2013 at 8:13 pm |
        • m murdoch

          typical tofu has to have the last word even when he's got nuthin to say

          September 25, 2013 at 8:49 pm |
        • redzoa

          "Just present the evidence for a change in kinds."

          The fossil record clearly shows the progressive ordering of the major classes of vertebrate life, i.e. first fish, then amphibians, then reptiles, then mammals, then birds. Within and between these classes are numerous examples of intermediate/transitional forms bridging the major classes, i.e. they simultaneously bear features which are found exclusively in one or the other lineages. The phylogenetic relationships of extant organisms match the relationships revealed in the fossil record. The creationist models offered to account for this progressive order (e.g. ecozonation, hydrodynamic sorting, "floating biomes") are simply laughable.

          Furthermore, we have witnessed speciation, i.e. the divergence of one species into two, in virtually every class of organism. Because there is no known limit to the degree of this divergence, there is no known limit preventing observable speciation from generating sufficient diversity amenable to taxonomic categorization up to and beyond whatever taxonomic level one wishes to associate with "kinds."

          Lastly, creationists are forced to resort to "kinds" to address the space, feeding and waste problems of all "kinds" simultaneously co-existing on the Ark. However, and ironically, they must then invoke hyperevolution to explain the expansion and divergence of these "kinds" to account for present day biodiversity in just a few thousand years. They must miraculously account for the biogeographic distribution of extant biodiversity originating from a single local. They must explain how the "two" of each kind were capable of producing this diversity given the directly contradictory evidence from population genetics which shows such limited founding populations are highly susceptible to allelic fixation (i.e. a frozen lack of genetic variation) and therein, highly susceptible to extirpation.

          Of course, none of this really matters to Topher. All that matters is the preservation of a belief which helps to pacify the fear of inevitable mortality.

          September 27, 2013 at 2:22 am |
    • Observer

      Evolutionists also have no proof of unicorns, talking serpents and dragons, but the Bible disagrees again.

      September 25, 2013 at 5:32 pm |
  17. lol??

    Look for more nasty refugees on the belief blogs.

    "...................Popular Science, the science and technology news website, has shut off the ability to leave comments on its site, blaming "trolls" and "spambots"............." Socie scientists, tsk, tsk..


    September 25, 2013 at 4:54 pm |
  18. fred

    Evolution is fact: A fact is a hypothesis that is so firmly supported by evidence that we assume it is true, and act as if it were true. —Douglas Futuyma

    Known facts concerning evolution do not support atheism or discredit the Bible. The Bible actually answers the question of why we exist. Understanding purpose is a basic need of man. Science cannot and does not address that which is outside the boundaries of the known observable patterns of physical matter and energy. Science thus does validate and has always validated that fact that the things of God are not the things of man and are not falsifiable by scientific method.

    Atheism thus is always in conflict with itself as the foundation of atheism is naturalism with some (atheists) going to the extreme of philosophical naturalism. Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism and the like are not in conflict with that which is known or unknowable from a scientific basis.

    September 25, 2013 at 4:54 pm |
    • Bob

      The bible is in conflict with itself.

      September 26, 2013 at 12:28 pm |
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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.