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October 1st, 2013
09:52 AM ET

Study: American Jews losing their religion

By Daniel Burke, CNN Belief Blog Co-editor

(CNN) - The number of nonreligious Jews is rising in the United States, with more than one in five saying they are not affiliated with any faith, according to a new survey.

While similar trends affect almost every American religion, Jewish leaders say the new survey spotlights several unique obstacles for the future of their faith.

According to the survey, conducted by Pew Research Center's Religion & Public Life Project, non-religious Jews are less likely to care deeply about Israel, donate to Jewish charities, marry Jewish spouses and join Jewish organizations.

Pew says their study sought to explore the question, "What does being Jewish in America mean today?" The answer is quite complicated.

Just 15% of American Jews say that being Jewish is mainly a religious matter, according to Pew's survey. By contrast, more than six in 10 say Jewishness is about culture, ancestry and identity.

The most essential parts of being Jewish, according to American Jews, are remembering the Holocaust (73%), leading an ethical life (69%) and working for social justice and peace (56%).

Almost as many American Jews say that having good sense of humor (42%) is as important to their Jewish identity as caring about Israel (43%).

Even among religious Jews, most say it's not necessary to believe in God to be Jewish, and less than one in three say religion is very important to their lives.

Nearly all American Jews  - religious and secular - say they are proud to be Jewish.

"The fact that many Jews tell us that religion is not particularly important to them doesn't mean that being Jewish is not important to them," said Greg Smith, director of religious surveys for the Pew Research Center.

The most essential parts of being Jewish, according to the survey, are remembering the Holocaust (73%), leading an ethical life (69%) and working for social justice and peace (56%).

Overall, the majority of Jews (78%) call themselves religious, but the survey showed much lower rates of religious affiliation among millennials, one of several trends that trouble Jewish leaders.

Nearly a third of American Jews born after 2000 answered "none" when asked about their religious affiliation, suggesting that Jewish "nones" are not only a large group, they're growing, Smith said.

The rise of Jewish "nones" tracks with wider trends in the American population, where about a third of millennials don't affiliate with organized religion.

The nonpartisan Pew Research Center says its survey is the most comprehensive since the National Jewish Population Survey in 2000-2001.

Pew surveyed 3,475 Jews from across the country from February 20 to June 13, with a margin of error for the full sample of plus or minus 3 percentage points.

The study declines to offer a definitive estimate of the size of the American Jewish population, a matter of heated debate in recent years.

Instead, Pew offered several tallies of American Jews, depending on different definitions of Jewish identity.

Approximately 4.2 million American adults - 1.8% of the overall population - identify as Jewish by religion. In the 1950s, the percentage of religious Jews in the United States was nearly twice as high, according to Pew.

Meanwhile, about 1.2 million adult Americans now identify as secular or cultural Jews - they were raised Jewish, had a Jewish parent and still consider themselves Jewish, even though they don't practice the religion, according to Pew.

Secular Jews are much more likely to marry outside the faith, according to Pew, a trend that has worried Jewish leaders in recent years.

Nearly 60% of American Jews who have married since 2000 have a non-Jewish spouse, according to Pew.

Intermarried Jews, like secular Jews, are much less likely to raise their children in the Jewish faith and have weaker ties to the Jewish community, says Pew's report.

But, in a silver lining for Jewish leaders, intermarriage rates have leveled off, Smith said, holding steady at 60% since the mid-1990s.

Jane Eisner, editor-in-chief of the Jewish Daily Forward, said she is not surprised that the study found relatively low interest in Jewish religious beliefs.

"We are a people very much defined by what we do, rather than what we believe," she said.

But Eisner said she is concerned that millennials are less likely to donate to Jewish charities, care strongly about Israel or belong to Jewish groups.

"It's great that these non-religious Jews feel pride in being Jewish," Eisner said. "What worries me is their tenuous ties to the community."

- CNN Religion Editor

Filed under: Belief • Judaism • Polls • Trends

soundoff (1,967 Responses)
  1. Rainer Braendlein

    After some thousand years of aberration is it high time for Israel to return to the right way.

    For thousands of years they try to keep the law of the Thora but they fail. They fail because no natural man on earth is able to keep the law of the Thora or the commandments by natural power. Furthermore they stress too much their descent from Abraham (who was actually a Christian), their circu-mcision, the keeping of the Sabbath, the mere possession of the law.

    So many times Jesus cured sick people at the Sabbath (today nobody would accuse Him for such a good work), and was blamed for that by his Jewish fellow citizens (chiefly the Jewish leaders). They accused Him he had broken the Sabbath, and hence deserved the death. Yet Jesus curing was no commercial work at Sabbath but divine worship service. The visible cure of the body was a sign for the invisible cure of the soul. Every cure by Jesus was like a sermon without words saying: My dear Jewish brothers, I am the lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. And that was what they had needed: Forgiveness and redemption.

    We live in an age of history which is so different from the previous history that I cannot imagine when actually the Jews will accept Jesus as their Messiah and Redeemer, if not right now.

    http://confessingchurch.wordpress.com

    October 2, 2013 at 1:28 pm |
    • No thanks

      And I wouldn't bother the people next door – they are Muslim. Do watch that broken step on your way out.

      October 2, 2013 at 1:33 pm |
    • Nick

      Great question. The only other observation: The 'h' in Torah is wrongly placed in your post.

      October 2, 2013 at 1:36 pm |
    • sam stone

      only slaves need saviors, rainy

      October 2, 2013 at 1:39 pm |
      • Lawrence of Arabia

        Truer words have never been spoken. All men are slaves to sin until the righteousness of God fully captivates a man whereupon he becomes a bondslave to Christ.

        October 2, 2013 at 1:45 pm |
        • Doris

          "the righteousness of God "

          What exactly is that, Larry? I mean, can you describe it without involving scripture nor lighting candles or incense?

          October 2, 2013 at 1:52 pm |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          Sure, be glad to... The "Righteousness of God" describes that aspect of God that IS God...
          Righteousness describes God's sinlessness, holiness, justice, mercy, love, wrath – all of the descriptions of the Divine nature that are reflected in creation. When a man is saved from his sin, he is witnessing God's mercy. When a man dies in his sin, he is recieving God's justice and wrath, etc...

          October 2, 2013 at 1:57 pm |
        • sam stone

          more conjecture from larry

          October 2, 2013 at 2:12 pm |
        • sam stone

          righteous?

          you must be joking, larry

          your god is a vindictive, petty pr1ck

          October 2, 2013 at 2:15 pm |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          Sam,
          And you are a blasphemous son of hell.

          October 2, 2013 at 2:17 pm |
        • sam stone

          larry: fvck you and your punk a$$ god

          October 2, 2013 at 2:28 pm |
        • sam stone

          ooooh, hell....must be really scary for those who believe in that tripe

          October 2, 2013 at 2:35 pm |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          Sam,
          If you don't believe in God or hell, then you shouldn't have been offended by my comment.

          October 2, 2013 at 2:42 pm |
        • Madtown

          I think Sam is just offended by blantant empty-headedness.

          October 2, 2013 at 2:51 pm |
        • Relative

          Lawrence of Arabia
          "If you don't believe in God or hell, then you shouldn't have been offended by my comment."

          It's the intent - the worst thing you can think of (not that sam is any better, btw).

          My grandmother was disciplined at school in the early 1900s for calling someone a "Rat Brat Skunk"!

          October 2, 2013 at 2:55 pm |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          Relative,
          I can see that, of course. But the true intent of my comment was akin to "if you don't quit smoking, you're going to harm your health."

          In the same sense, if someone is a blasphemous son of hell, if they don't repent, they will face judgment.

          October 2, 2013 at 3:29 pm |
        • Madtown

          if someone is a blasphemous son of hell, if they don't repent, they will face judgment.
          ------
          Maybe, maybe not. You wouldn't know. You don't determine who/what is blasphemous.

          October 2, 2013 at 3:37 pm |
        • sam stone

          larry....if god is omniscient, god knows who will or will not accept jeebus as a savior before they are born

          yet, he allows those who he KNOWS will not to be born anyway, knowing they will be destined to hell

          how is this just?

          go home, boy, and get your shinebox

          October 2, 2013 at 3:41 pm |
        • sam stone

          larry....i am not afraid of the judgement of your petty pr1ck

          October 2, 2013 at 3:43 pm |
        • sam stone

          don't be silly, madtown. we know that folks like larry, gopher and rainy speak directly for god, so if they say i am blasphemous, it is just like it came from the big guy himself

          October 2, 2013 at 3:55 pm |
    • lol??

      RB sayz,
      "..............is it high time for Israel to return.............."

      Why?? Nuthin' special about being "Jewish", 'specially after the bill of divorcement. Salvation is one at a time just like anybody else.

      October 2, 2013 at 1:58 pm |
    • Ben

      Rainer
      Problem is, healing someone isn't one of the 39 "acts of creation" that are prohibited on the Sabbath. Doctors healing is like farmers having to feed their livestock, and no expert in the Law, like a Pharisee, would have actually found any fault in it. Those stories about Jesus locking horns with the Pharisees are far more likely just the gospel writer's anger of being thrown out of the synagogues long after Jesus's death.

      October 2, 2013 at 2:32 pm |
  2. Athy

    Below is the current summary of the questions I’ve asked Topher over a one-week period on creationism along with Topher’s answers. All these questions are easily and logically answered by evolution, but Topher rejects evolution, so his answers obviously must be equally or more logical than the answers provided by evolution. See if you bloggers think any of his answers meet that criterion. Since Topher's answers are somewhat less than adequate, any of you other creationists are welcome to answer them.

    Question: Why did the creator design whales with what virtually every scientist recognizes as vestigial legs, some specimens even having toe bones?
    Topher’s Answer: They aren’t legs. They’re bones that support the whales reproductive organs.
    Follow-up Question: Why do whales that live in water need support for anything?
    Topher’s Answer: Changed the subject, won’t answer the question.

    Question: Why did the creator design the eyes of all vertebrates with the retina backwards?
    Topher’s Answer: To protect the retina from damage by excessive input radiation.
    Follow-up Question: Why didn’t the creator simply use a smaller iris to protect the retina? This would avoid the blind spot and provide better focus and depth of field due to the smaller f-stop.
    Topher’s answer: Changed the subject, won’t answer the question.

    Question: Why did the creator give humans toenails?
    Topher’s Answer: To protect the toes.
    Follow-up Question: Protect the toes from what?
    Topher’s Answer: Dropped hammers and heavy shampoo bottles.

    Question: Why did the creator design some plants, like dandelions, with flowers and pollen, even though neither is needed for the plant’s reproduction?
    Topher’s Answer: Changed the subject, won’t answer the question.

    Question: Why did the creator provide some fish and salamanders that live in perpetually dark caves with useless vestigial eyes?
    Topher’s Answer: Changed the subject, won’t answer the question.

    October 2, 2013 at 1:07 pm |
    • Maybe Topher

      is actually Wendy Wright!

      [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-AS6rQtiEh8&w=640&h=360]

      October 2, 2013 at 1:13 pm |
      • Athy

        That theory holds more water than creationism!

        October 2, 2013 at 1:15 pm |
    •  

      Godless Vagabond
      I think Topher's answers are great, great proof for evolution, that is!

      October 2, 2013 at 1:16 pm |
    • Joey

      If toenails were meant to protect our toes then why aren't they made out of steel or something similar?

      October 2, 2013 at 1:18 pm |
      • Athy

        I don't know. Ask Topher, he has all the answers. But he'll probably waffle and change the subject like he did on most of my questions.

        October 2, 2013 at 1:21 pm |
        • sam stone

          of course gopher has all the answers. he speaks for god, just ask him

          October 2, 2013 at 1:32 pm |
    • Topher

      Athy

      "All these questions are easily and logically answered by evolution, but Topher rejects evolution... "

      Of course I do. One, science rejects it. Two, where's the change in kinds? If you've found the evidence, please let me see it.

      "Topher’s Answer: They aren’t legs. They’re bones that support the whales reproductive organs."

      Might I add to your record that because we know what those bones are for they also aren't vestigial.

      "Follow-up Question: Why do whales that live in water need support for anything?"

      By your own logic and answer a whale's rib cage also must be vestigial since, according to you, a whale's bouyancy is enough support for him.

      "Topher’s Answer: Changed the subject, won’t answer the question."

      Flat out lie. We talked about "vestigial whale legs" for four days.

      "Follow-up Question: Why didn’t the creator simply use a smaller iris to protect the retina? This would avoid the blind spot and provide better focus and depth of field due to the smaller f-stop."

      So you don't like that the original answer actually answers your question scientifically, so you need to find another excuse. Why don't we have eyes like an octopus? Because we live in the air. Air doesn't block radiation well. The octopus lives in water. Water does block well. So if you want to trade eyes with the octopus, go ahead. But you'll be blind in days.

      "Topher’s Answer: Changed the subject, won’t answer the question."

      Pretty misleading. You started trying to bully me into answer another list of questions. I said I'd be happy to look into those for you and keep playing along if you made a deal with me and consider God's offer. Not only did you never respond to that request (made at least 3 more times) but you just claim I'm "changing the subject." Typical dishonesty. So far all I've learned from the atheists on these boards over the last few days is that you can't trust anything they say.

      October 2, 2013 at 1:19 pm |
      • In Santa we trust

        Topher, You keep saying that science rejects evolution – that is, at best, wishful thinking on your part. Science has so much evidence for evolution that it is considered fact. Your starting premise is fatally flawed. And you have no evidence at all for creationism.

        October 2, 2013 at 1:23 pm |
        • Topher

          Evolution — at least the Darwinian kind — is not testable, repeatable or demonstrable. How, then, is it science?

          And if there's so much evidence, why haven't I seen any? Why is it that not one believer in it has been able to tell me about it or even provide a link to some? Because there's not one instance of a change in kinds.

          October 2, 2013 at 1:25 pm |
        • Joey

          Also the only thing that he will accept as evidence for evolution is something that has never happened. By change in kinds he wants something like an ape giving birth to a human, which only shows his complete lack of understanding on the subject.

          October 2, 2013 at 1:28 pm |
        • bostontola

          "if there's so much evidence, why haven't I seen any? "

          You demonstrate with almost all your comments that you see the world through bible colored glasses. You filter out anything counter to your beliefs. You live in a fantasy world.

          October 2, 2013 at 1:29 pm |
        • ME II

          @Topher,
          "Evolution — at least the Darwinian kind — is not testable, repeatable or demonstrable. How, then, is it science?"

          http://myxo.css.msu.edu/ecoli/
          http://tiktaalik.uchicago.edu/

          October 2, 2013 at 1:34 pm |
        • ME II

          p.s. That was evidence for the Modern Synthesis version of Evolution. I'm not sure what exactly you mean by the "Darwinian" version.

          October 2, 2013 at 1:36 pm |
        • Topher

          Joey

          "Also the only thing that he will accept as evidence for evolution is something that has never happened."

          That's true because I don't believe it HAS ever happened.

          "By change in kinds he wants something like an ape giving birth to a human, which only shows his complete lack of understanding on the subject."

          I understand it perfectly. A change in kinds is when one thing over a long period of time became a completely different thing. If you were reading our days-long conversation the other day, all the atheists could give me was that a dog evolved over millions of years and became a dog. That's not evolution. It's still a dog.

          October 2, 2013 at 1:59 pm |
        • Joey

          Topher, all life on Earth started as single celled organisms and eventually evolved into everything you see today. That is literally millions of examples of a change in kind. Even though nobody but you tries to classify animals by "kind."

          October 2, 2013 at 2:06 pm |
        • Topher

          Joey

          "Topher, all life on Earth started as single celled organisms and eventually evolved into everything you see today."

          How is that testable and repeatable?

          October 2, 2013 at 2:08 pm |
        • In Santa we trust

          Topher, Creationism isn't testable and repeatable, so you clearly cannot believe in that. What is your explanation?

          October 2, 2013 at 2:11 pm |
        • Athy

          Lots of luck getting any answer, Santa.

          October 2, 2013 at 2:16 pm |
        • redzoa

          "How is that testable and repeatable?"

          It is testable via phylogenetic analysis, comparison to the fossil record, observations of speciation, etc, etc. It is repeatable in the distinct and separate investigations into the relationships between various extinct and extant organisms. Repeatable does not mean exact duplication of a historic event; rather repeatable means applying mechanistic models in different situations and then analyzing for concordant or discordant results. For example, we understand the physics and material science of how bullets interact with a body. We do not have to directly witness a murder by gunshot to be able to test whether or not a bullet recovered from the body was fired from a particular gun from a particular distance from a particular angle. Replication comes in when two independent ballistics examiners/pathologists run their tests and either confirm or reject the others conclusions. In the case of evolution, these tests and replications have been conducted for the last 160 yrs. Even as the methodologies and technologies continue to enhance our investigatory powers, this relentless replication of testing continues to confirm the evolutionary mechanisms and models. There comes a point at which one's doubt in this science is simply no longer reasonable.

          October 2, 2013 at 2:24 pm |
        • Madtown

          And if there's so much evidence, why haven't I seen any?
          -----
          Because you've never heard of Google?

          October 2, 2013 at 3:05 pm |
        • Topher

          In Santa we trust

          "Topher, Creationism isn't testable and repeatable, so you clearly cannot believe in that. What is your explanation?"

          True ... to an extent. You can't test something that is supernatural. But what we do have in our favor is observational science ... which agrees with the Bible. Those things ARE testable and repeatable.

          October 2, 2013 at 3:19 pm |
        • redzoa

          "But what we do have in our favor is observational science ... which agrees with the Bible. "

          Nope. For a clear example, the order of the fossil record still confounds the Flood narrative. If all forms or even "kinds" coexisted as required by the bible, then the fossil record should be a heterogenous mixture throughout. Instead of the heterogenous mixture predicted by creationism, we see first fish, then amphibians, then reptiles, then mammals, then birds. The various creationist models, e.g. "hydrodynamic sorting," "eco-zonation," "differential escape," and "floating biomes," attempting to account for this obvious order all fail even a minimal scrutiny. There is simply no creationist explanation for why two forms of relatively shared density, shared ecology, and shared geographic distribution should be separated by many, many layers of strata if, as alleged, they coexisted. But the fossil record is replete with these types of observations. The clear conclusion is that the intervening sedimentary deposition is principally a function of time; not form, not ecology and not geographic distribution.

          My favorite creationist response to why there are no humans alongside dinosaurs in the fossil record is because every last human (including the very young, very old, very sick, etc) were able to move to higher ground while every last dinosaur (including those specifically adapted to aquatic life, e.g. plesiosaurs) were drowned and buried. When explanations like that sound reasonable to a person, there's little more you can say. The only option left is to point and laugh . . .

          October 3, 2013 at 3:21 am |
      • Athy

        Why do some whales' "reproductive support bones" have toe bones?
        Why did the creator give whales ribs when they don't need them?
        Why aren't the whale's eyes (and those of porpoises, dolphins, etc) designed like an invertebrate's eyes since they live in the water too?

        You're still short on the dandelion and sightless fish/salamander questions.

        October 2, 2013 at 1:27 pm |
      • ME II

        "One, science rejects [evolution]"

        Why would you think that?

        " Two, where's the change in kinds?"

        What's a "kind"?

        " If you've found the evidence, please let me see it."

        http://humanorigins.si.edu/
        http://evolution.berkeley.edu/evolibrary/search/topics.php?topic_id=14
        http://tiktaalik.uchicago.edu/
        ...

        October 2, 2013 at 1:32 pm |
        • Athy

          ME, do you really think Topher can read those articles and understand them after you saw his answers to my questions?

          October 2, 2013 at 1:37 pm |
        • ME II

          Hope springs eternal

          October 2, 2013 at 1:43 pm |
        • Athy

          Yeah, I guess that's all you can do. You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink it.

          October 2, 2013 at 1:45 pm |
      • redzoa

        I believe this has been answered before and so I don't expect any epiphanies, nevertheless . . .

        The change in "kinds" is demonstrated first in the progressive order of the fossil record with its many intermediate/transitional fossils clearly showing the presence of traits which are not found in the descendent lineages. Furthermore, we have witnessed speciation and there is no known limit to the ability of organisms to diverge morphologically. Regardless of what taxonomic level one analogizes "kinds" to, e.g. genus, family, order, the demonstrated ability of organisms to diverge in their morphology indicates that over time, speciation will produce a diversity which eventually results in a bridging between whatever level "kinds" approximates. To accept "microevolution" adaptation at the species level, but reject "macroevolution" at higher taxonomic levels is akin to accepting inches exist, but that they cannot culminate into miles.

        Additionally, vestigial does not mean zero function; it means a remnant which no longer exhibits a prior functionality. But to skip to the chase, male nip-ples reflect a vestigial byproduct of our developmental pathways. Another fine example is the recurrent laryngeal nerve. On a finer scale, the presence of a defunct gene for egg yolk production in placental mammals represents a molecular vestigial fossil which is present in each of our own genomes.

        Lastly, when apologists attempt to defend literal creationism by invoking supernatural mechanisms (e.g. "God just did it that way"), they inherently concede their explanations lack any viable explanatory power. This is because any explanation which can account for any and all possible observations, effectively explains nothing. The explanatory power of evolution is based in falsifiability (observation of a true chimera, a rabbit in the pre-Cambrian, etc); creationism enjoys no such explanatory power. This is why every legitimate application utilizes mainstream evolutionary biology and geology. From the discovery of genes responsible for developmental disorders based in comparative evolutionary relationships to the location of mineral/oil reserves, there are no for-profit corporations (excluding AIG, ICR, etc) which use creationism or flood geology. The "proof" is in the validation which accompanies application in the real world. The creationist is left to explain why profit-motivated companies knowingly continue to use methods based in evolutionary biology and mainstream geology which, by their claims, are so fundamentally flawed as to be effectively useless. Because creationists love to (mis-)apply probability arguments, they should devise a probability argument which accounts for the incredible record of success of for-profit enterprises in these areas of science.

        October 2, 2013 at 1:43 pm |
        • Athy

          Nice post, redzoa, but that'll be ten miles over Topher's head.

          October 2, 2013 at 1:46 pm |
      • Doris

        I'll have to talk to Lewis about this for more ideas. The problem is, in this mode of communication, we don't have the option of throwing a fossil just over Topher's head.

        October 2, 2013 at 1:47 pm |
    • OKfine

      Topher yesterday posted probably one of the most ridiculous cut and paste creationist BS on how Noah's 8 people populated the world an grew to 7 billion in just 4500 years. Talk about believing any nonsense you red Topher.

      October 2, 2013 at 1:25 pm |
      • Topher

        You mean this? And of course it's cut and paste.

        Link to full article below ...

        "Let us start in the beginning with one male and one female. Now let us assume that they marry and have children and that their children marry and have children and so on. And let us assume that the population doubles every 150 years. Therefore, after 150 years there will be four people, after another 150 years there will be eight people, after another 150 years there will be sixteen people, and so on. It should be noted that this growth rate is actually very conservative. In reality, even with disease, famines, and natural disasters, the world population currently doubles every 40 years or so.

        "After 32 doublings, which is only 4,800 years, the world population would have reached almost 8.6 billion. That’s 2 billion more than the current population of 6.5 billion people, which was recorded by the U.S. Census Bureau on March 1, 2006. This simple calculation shows that starting with Adam and Eve and assuming the conservative growth rate previously mentioned, the current population can be reached well within 6,000 years.

        "Impact of the Flood

        "We know from the Bible, however, that around 2500 BC (4,500 years ago) the worldwide Flood reduced the world population to eight people.But if we assume that the population doubles every 150 years, we see, again, that starting with only Noah and his family in 2500 BC, 4,500 years is more than enough time for the present population to reach 6.5 billion."

        http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/am/v1/n2/billions-of-people

        October 2, 2013 at 1:51 pm |
        • redzoa

          To which I left the following reply (which is not cut and paste):

          This can be a complicated topic, but I'm going to try and explain why a founding population of 8 humans doesn't provide sufficient genetic diversity to account for the observable genetic diversity in the modern human population. You may know that we have 23 pairs of chromosomes. You may also know that our genes come in variants called alleles. Generally speaking, we receive one allele for a gene from mom and one allele from dad. If you've ever taken a general biology class, you may remember filling in a Punnett Square to determine the probability of a child receiving a particular pairing of alleles to determine if the child would have brown or blue eyes.

          What you may or may not have learned in a general biology class is that selection and other natural and well-known mechanisms act to limit genetic diversity. Selection filters functionality from among genetically diverse organisms, it doesn't generally produce diversity. Whether it's disruptive, directional or stabilizing selection, the result is less diversity in the final population than in the original. Add to this assortative mating which further reduces diversity. Finally, and most important in this context of a very small founding population, the inherent randomness in which alleles are passed to offspring produces genetic drift and frequently results in allele fixation. Fixation is where only a single allele is represented in a population, i.e. zero diversity for that particular gene. The following wiki entry provides some nice graphics depicting the results of genetic drift and time to fixation. Note the second inset graphic showing how small populations result in rapid fixation, i.e. a complete loss of genetic diversity for that allele:
          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genetic_drift

          Suffice it to say that natural selection doesn't produce diversity, it constrains genetic diversity; and, in light of the small population departing the Ark, this bottleneck would have invariably resulted in multiple fixation events and a significant loss of genetic diversity. Furthermore, the exponential growth curve offered by AIG fails to reasonably consider losses; losses which would be compounded by the lack of genetic diversity due to inbreeding and increased susceptibility to disease and infertility. Additionally, in comparing to modern population growth rates, AIG ignores the contributions of the relevant agricultural, medical and public health innovations which were unknown and unavailable in Noah's time.

          October 2, 2013 at 1:54 pm |
        • Athy

          "Answers in Genesis" provides only bible-based answers. Try supporting your argument using an independent accredited science-based reference.

          October 2, 2013 at 1:56 pm |
        • Topher

          Wow. Now you don't like my sources. You should just admit your bias so we can get on with our lives.

          Answers in Genesis is peer reviewed and conduct plenty of science. Just because you don't like the results doesn't mean their findings should just be tossed away. The truth is the truth whether you like it or not.

          October 2, 2013 at 2:01 pm |
        • Athy

          Topher, what does your beloved AIG say about useless eyes in cave-dwelling fish and salamanders? Why did the creator give these animals their eyes? (Hint: The reproductive organs of these animals are located at the other end of their bodies.)

          October 2, 2013 at 2:08 pm |
        • A Frayed Knot

          redzoa,

          Thanks for your informative post... this is a fascinating subject.

          As maybe a comment for either Topher, or you - what about very isolated human tribes which do not acquire diversity anew? For example, the population (very small) of North Sentinel Island in the Andamans: It is said that they have been there for 60,000 years. Topher, no, they have not multiplied to be in the millions by now - there may be fewer than 100 of them - we don't really know since trespassers are killed. @redzoa, am I incorrect in assuming that at sometime in those 60,000 years, though, outsiders were allowed into the society to account for genetic diversity?

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

          October 2, 2013 at 2:09 pm |
        • Joey

          Topher you can't claim to be a practicing science and throw out results just because they don't agree with the Bible. Here is what they had to say:

          In a biblical worldview, scientific observations are interpreted in light of the truth that is found in the Bible. If conclusions contradict the truth revealed in Scripture, the conclusions are rejected.

          that is in no way shape or form science.

          October 2, 2013 at 2:12 pm |
        • Joey

          The truth is the truth whether you like it or not.

          And yet, you Topher, are willing to ignore any science that does not fit the Bible.

          October 2, 2013 at 2:16 pm |
        • redzoa

          @ A Frayed Knot

          Well, without knowing more about the specific genetic makeup of the population, we can't say whether there has been any significant gene flow. Nonetheless, we do see an influx of genetic diversity directly through mutation and each of us has, on average, ~150 mutations which are not present in either of our parents. However, generally speaking this isn't sufficient to overcome the problems of limited genetic diversity in a founding population. What makes this an interesting point of contrast is the very limited geographic distribution of the population you reference. Evolution predicts that absent significant environmental changes (introduction of new diseases, etc) a population with limited genetic diversity can persist for long periods of time. Maybe, I missed it, but I didn't see the 60K years referenced which would appear to be a very long time to persist absent some gene flow. But again, we'd need to actually look at the genes to see what they would tell us.

          Nonetheless, in the Ark narrative, the creationists require this founding population rapidly reproduce AND repopulate very diverse environments where they would have invariably encountered selective forces (diseases, predators, etc) that would have overwhelmed their ability to adapt in light of their limited genetic diversity. The major problems with the Ark narrative are the timing of the re -population (i.e. very fast) and the necessary diaspora into novel environments replete with harsh selective pressures.

          Not sure if this was helpful . . .

          October 2, 2013 at 3:02 pm |
        • A Frayed Knot

          Thanks, redzoa, yes that was a very helpful answer. So much is unknown, which sure makes it interesting.

          Here's one explanation for the 60,000 year figure:

          "DNA analysis of another tribe, the Jarawa [on a neighboring island], whose members made first contact with the outside world in 1997, suggest that the tribesmen migrated from Africa around 60,000 years ago."

          http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/india/1509987/Stone-Age-tribe-kills-fishermen-who-strayed-on-to-island.html

          October 2, 2013 at 3:42 pm |
      • OKfine

        Topher left you a problem at the top of the page, give it a go, would love to see how you wiggle out of it.

        October 2, 2013 at 2:07 pm |
    • bostontola

      There is an almost endless supply of examples where the only rational explanation is evolution. There is only 1 counter argument, my interpretation of the bible says so.

      October 2, 2013 at 1:26 pm |
    • sam stone

      that is gopher's schtick. but then, he IS a coward

      October 2, 2013 at 1:41 pm |
  3. Reality # 2

    Indirectly related to said topic:

    As the number of Jews who no longer believe in their religion increases, there will be less emphasis on preserving Israel for religious reasons. With that in mind, we should establish a program where the Jews of Israel emigrate to the USA and the Muslims of the USA emigrate to Israel. This would dramatically reduce the political/religious tensions in the Middle East.

    October 2, 2013 at 1:05 pm |
  4. bostontola

    "Jesus was not conceived by the Holy Spirit, was not born of a virgin, did not perform miracles, did not sacrifice to achieve atonement, did not rise from the dead, will not return, was not the Messiah, is not the son of God."

    Who would say such a thing?
    Every Jew, Muslim, Shintoist, Hindu, Sikh, Taoist, Confucian, ... I.e. 2/3 of all the people on the planet.

    Point? It's not just atheists that find Christianity a fantasy, we're just a tiny portion of the people who think that.

    October 2, 2013 at 12:45 pm |
    • Topher

      Logical fallacy. Just because a lot of people agree on something doesn't make it true.

      October 2, 2013 at 12:51 pm |
      • bostontola

        Who said it was true? Who said numbers were evidence?

        Read the point that was provided.
        I fear you may have a reading comprehension problem. You may benefit from a few classes at you local community college.

        October 2, 2013 at 12:55 pm |
        • Topher

          bostontola

          "Who said it was true? Who said numbers were evidence?"

          You did ... "Point? It's not just atheists that find Christianity a fantasy, we're just a tiny portion of the people who think that." It wouldn't matter if I were the only Christian left on the planet ... the numbers don't disprove God.

          October 2, 2013 at 12:58 pm |
        • bostontola

          Topher,
          If that were my point I would have wrote:
          Point? If so many people think the statement is true, it must be true.

          That is not what I wrote. As the point says, many of you extreme christians obsess over atheists, but your fellow god believers of every other religion think your beliefs are fantasy.

          Do you always interpret what you read as what you want it to say?

          October 2, 2013 at 1:02 pm |
        • Vizzini

          wow, Topher has some serious reading comprehension problems. Even when faced with the point that said nothing about how true something was and only commented on the fact that the group that does disagree is larger than just atheists, Topher still can't get his head around it.

          October 2, 2013 at 1:05 pm |
        • Topher

          bostontola

          "If that were my point I would have wrote: Point? If so many people think the statement is true, it must be true."

          So you stated it in the negative form. Still saying the same thing.

          "As the point says, many of you extreme christians obsess over atheists, but your fellow god believers of every other religion think your beliefs are fantasy."

          And? So what? They will be judged just like everyone else.

          Do you always interpret what you read as what you want it to say?

          October 2, 2013 at 1:07 pm |
        • bostontola

          Topher,
          Some sage advice:
          When in a hole, stop digging.

          October 2, 2013 at 1:13 pm |
        • sam stone

          "Do you always interpret what you read as what you want it to say?"

          Like you, gopher?

          October 2, 2013 at 1:21 pm |
        • sam stone

          bostontola: that is what gophers do. they keep digging. they avoid direct questions, they hide behind their slavior to avoid the punishment they feel they deserve

          October 2, 2013 at 1:29 pm |
        • lol??

          OH, oooooohhh, a diabolical dialectical debate about the meaning of fantasy. Why not finish up with the meaning of "is", is first.

          October 2, 2013 at 1:31 pm |
      • sam stone

        Gopher is right. Lots of other people believing something doesn't make it true. HIM believing in it makes it true

        Hey, gopher, still hiding behind Jeebus to avoid the justice you so often bloviate about?

        coward

        October 2, 2013 at 12:58 pm |
      • Joey

        Topher since there are more Muslims in the world than there are atheists shouldn't you focus your energy on them instead?

        October 2, 2013 at 1:12 pm |
      • In Santa we trust

        Like the bible then.

        October 2, 2013 at 1:23 pm |
    • A Frayed Knot

      Yep... including 99%(+/-) of the Hebrews and others (witnesses?) living at the time in the area where Jesus is alleged to have preached.

      100 years post-Jesus this was still a very small sect. Heck, even the Mormons did better than that - something like 14 million followers in 150 years!

      October 2, 2013 at 12:52 pm |
      • A Frayed Knot

        * addressed to bostontola... (sorry)

        October 2, 2013 at 12:53 pm |
    • Reality # 2

      Atheists are a tiny portion?

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

      Religion………………………… Adherents

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

      Islam…………………………… 1.5 billion

      Irreligious/agnostic/atheism…… 1.1 billion

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

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

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

      October 2, 2013 at 1:08 pm |
      • bostontola

        You didn't provide numbers on atheists.

        October 2, 2013 at 1:16 pm |
      • lol??

        The number of lost is certainly not small.

        October 2, 2013 at 1:27 pm |
        • G to the T

          And that's in a time when populations have never been higher and the numbers of christians are almost as high as they've ever been. Most are damned just because of where they happened to be born.

          Doesn't seem like a very efficient process for an omnibenevolent/omnipotent being does it?

          October 3, 2013 at 11:30 am |
      • Lycidas

        Bostontola is correct, you didn't say how many atheists. Unless you think agnostics and atheists are exactly alike.

        October 2, 2013 at 1:55 pm |
        • lol??

          Psychopathy is a SPECTRUM disease.

          October 2, 2013 at 2:07 pm |
        • Lycidas

          Your well formulated point is....?

          October 2, 2013 at 2:16 pm |
        • lol??

          You made an obvious point. I added some science. (two alike)

          October 2, 2013 at 3:37 pm |
      • Be real and specific

        Atheists comprise only 2-4% of that 1.1 billion.

        October 2, 2013 at 4:46 pm |
        • Agnostics aren't imbecile, arrogant and too militant

          We may lack belief in a Supernatural being they called "God" but we only keep it in ourselves and let others believe what they want to believe. It's everybody's right anyway.

          October 2, 2013 at 5:03 pm |
      • Reality # 2

        Best statistical data I could find. The problem apparently there are different definitions for irreligious, agnostic and atheistic. The review at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demographics_of_atheism appears to be a fair analysis with proper references. Bottom line: There are a lot of people in the world who have significant doubts about there being a god out/up there .

        October 2, 2013 at 4:47 pm |
        • Ana filliate

          We may have doubts but definitely we are different from atheists.

          October 2, 2013 at 5:26 pm |
  5. Doris

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wp6cnp1kZBY

    October 2, 2013 at 12:44 pm |
    •  

      [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wp6cnp1kZBY&w=640&h=360]

      October 2, 2013 at 12:46 pm |
      • lol??

        A 2 hr vid?? What is this, Gilligan's island?? No thanks.

        October 2, 2013 at 1:25 pm |
      • regarding the video

        Published on Sep 17, 2013

        Neil deGrasse Tyson gives a wonderful lecture at the University of Washington; covering Astronomy, Sociology, and Scientific development in an entertaining lecture.

        (His part in the video starts at at 7:49.)

        October 2, 2013 at 1:39 pm |
  6. Live4Him

    @ME II : How can you complain about assumptions when belief is all about assuming god(s) exist(s)?

    Or doesn't exist. No one knows the answer (concerning the existance of God, god(s) and how this life came to be). So, why complain about another's belief when you're acting upon your own beliefs?

    October 2, 2013 at 12:40 pm |
    • Vizzini

      Inconceivable!!

      October 2, 2013 at 12:44 pm |
    • Joey

      For starters, how many things in life do you just assume exist without any actual evidence that they do?

      October 2, 2013 at 12:45 pm |
      • Live4Him

        Most people assume many things in life. What's your point? I wasn't the one criticizing another's belief.

        October 2, 2013 at 12:50 pm |
    • ME II

      @Live4Him,
      1) You're making assumptions about my beliefs.
      2) I simple don't buy what many religions are selling.
      3) I generally don't care about other people's beliefs until it interferes with other people's rights and lives. Disputing bad science and bad logic,when it appears in a public forum, is a part of that .

      October 2, 2013 at 12:52 pm |
    •  Doris

      Published on Jan 14, 2013

      In 2001, scientists announced an amazing discovery: the oldest skull of a human ancestor ever found. The 3½ million year old fossil was remarkably complete, and unlike any previous fossil find. Its discovery – by a team led by Meave Leakey of the famous Leakey fossil-hunting family – has revolutionised our understanding of how humans evolved.

      The great mystery of our evolution is how an ape could have evolved into the extraordinary creature that is a human being. There has never been another animal like us on the planet. And yet ten million years ago there was no sign that humans would take over the world. Instead the Earth was dominated by the apes. More than 50 different species of ape roamed the world – ten million years ago Earth really was the planet of the apes. Three million years later, most had vanished. In their place came something clearly related to the apes, but also completely different: human beings!

      [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KnF3iSrrIWY&w=640&h=360]

      Not sure how well this will work, but Lewis Black says if they keep talking, throw a fossil just over their head.

      October 2, 2013 at 12:52 pm |
  7. lol??

    Karl Marx's parents were Jewish. His dad was a lawyer. Now in those days the Royalty was getting tired of attorneys always practicin' for a fight but never actually getting the job done by fighting. So the King decided to get rid of half of the lawyers by issuing an edict stating you must be Christian to keep yer license, privileged work so to speak. Dad converted and son was ticked and decided to get even. The rest is history and how the wurld got Hitler and Stalin, Blood states and Crip states. Demobocrats don't care who they kill when they're out fer a lynching. They CALL it enlightening

    October 2, 2013 at 12:37 pm |
    • ME II

      Why mention Hitler? He was neither Jewish nor Communist.

      October 2, 2013 at 12:40 pm |
      • Live4Him

        @ME II : Why mention Hitler? He was neither Jewish

        Hitler was 1/8th Jewish (his grandparent was a Jew).

        October 2, 2013 at 12:43 pm |
        • Vizzini

          So you discard the 7/8 to make some moronic point about the 1/8?

          October 2, 2013 at 12:48 pm |
        • ME II

          Then according to Orthodox Judaism he was not Jewish and he obviously was not culturally Jewish.
          In fact, his parents were Christian were they not?
          He was raised Catholic, was he not?

          October 2, 2013 at 12:59 pm |
      • lol??

        It takes a certain amount of unquantifiable ruthlessness to bubble up to the top in a mob. It depends upon the circ*umstances and the psychopathic personality will find it.

        October 2, 2013 at 1:09 pm |
  8. Douglas

    For the unbelievers...this is prophecy coming true.

    Romans 9:27,

    "Isaiah cries out concerning Israel: "Though the number of the Israelites be like the sand by the sea, only the remnant will be saved."

    October 2, 2013 at 12:16 pm |
    • sam stone

      Doogie: Still having those "special" dreams about gays and gay coitus?

      Get back on your knees, b1tch

      October 2, 2013 at 12:19 pm |
      • Douglas

        Sam, you have a potty mouth this morning.

        Go back and climb under your rock.

        You are a bad, bad, girl!

        October 2, 2013 at 12:22 pm |
        • sam stone

          Doogie....i am a guy

          you must be very frustrated being so concerned about what kind of relations other adults have

          not getting any on your own?

          too bad, so fvcking sad

          October 2, 2013 at 12:47 pm |
    • niknak

      Doogiestyle,
      That is more gibberish from you book of magic spells.
      I see absolutely zero prophecy in that.
      If you do, fine, go for it.
      But stop trying to pass it off as anything other then 2000 year old goat herder babble.

      October 2, 2013 at 12:25 pm |
    • joe

      Though the number of the Israelites be like the sand by the sea
      --------–
      Hah? That never came through. There are billions of grains of sand. Were there billions of Jews? I don't think so.

      Your own quote cuts against you.

      October 2, 2013 at 12:34 pm |
  9. lol??

    Marx was home schooled.

    October 2, 2013 at 12:13 pm |
    • niknak

      What if he was, is that the proof that your creator exists?

      October 2, 2013 at 12:33 pm |
    • Vizzini

      Better than being no schooled like lol?? here...

      October 2, 2013 at 12:50 pm |
  10. Youtube - The Origin of Religion

    [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3k49dDCSFnk&w=640&h=390]

    October 2, 2013 at 11:40 am |
    • lol??

      City dwellers??

      Rev 11:8 And their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified.

      October 2, 2013 at 11:57 am |
      • Doris

        Cut & paste from Gullible's Travels, Part 2; good for you.

        October 2, 2013 at 12:01 pm |
        • lol??

          Dorkis, would you kindly knock off the vids, pasties and all. If I wanted a peek I would have asked.

          October 2, 2013 at 12:50 pm |
    • niknak

      The fundies I work with were at a total loss when I showed them a similar thing about Horus and his similarity to jeebus.
      What they came up with was that Christianity was around BEFORE the Egyptians and that they ripped off Horus from the jeebus fable.

      How can anyone even try to have a logical discussion with people like that?
      It is impossible to discuss math with someone when two plus two equals something other than 4 to them.

      October 2, 2013 at 12:38 pm |
      • lol??

        Show me the scripture where Horus walked on water.

        October 2, 2013 at 12:52 pm |
        •  Doris

          Show me something that didn't all come through the one that was the Joseph Smith of his day.

          October 2, 2013 at 12:57 pm |
        • lol??

          Smith was a Mason and was into building bridges to impress his ladies. Jesus skipped the bridge part and just went for a stroll. How can you compare the two??

          October 2, 2013 at 1:13 pm |
        • Joey

          You can't really compare the two because Joseph Smith actually existed.

          October 2, 2013 at 1:22 pm |
        • Doris

          My bad, Joey. I was insinuating Paul as being the Joseph Smith of his time. Without Paul, Xtians got nothin'.

          October 2, 2013 at 1:24 pm |
      • Hur

        @niknak

        "about Horus and his similarity to jeebus."

        There is nothing similar. You have failed time and time again to show otherwise.

        "What they came up with was that Christianity was around BEFORE the Egyptians and that they ripped off Horus from the jeebus fable."

        No evidence. Oh, did the Aztec rip off the Egyptians for the pyramids? The Egyptians did come up with that BEFORE the Aztec.

        "How can anyone even try to have a logical discussion with people like that?"

        I wonder that about you. Your education is horribly lacking in regards to history.

        October 2, 2013 at 1:49 pm |
        • Joey

          Jesus has many things in common with many prior gods. A little bit from here a little bit from there and you get Jesus. Denying this is just willful ignorance on your part.

          October 2, 2013 at 2:03 pm |
        • Hur

          @Joey- no, it's me not giving into convenient ignorance as you have. People love to make positive claims that Christianity took from other religions. But when asked to provide proof, they fail horribly.

          Could you provide anything that Jesus said that matches what other figures metioned on here by others (like Horus) said?
          Could you explain why Jewish people that reject other religions as pagan would purposely inject their faith with pagan religion?

          October 2, 2013 at 2:10 pm |
  11. Universe

    in Quran says, (Islamic scripture)

    “They even attribute to Him sons and daughters, without any knowledge. Be He glorified. He is the Most High, far above their claims.” Quran [6:100]

    “The example of Jesus, as far as GOD is concerned, is the same as that of Adam; He created him from dust, then said to him, "Be," and he was.” Quran [3:59]

    ‘They said, "You have to be Jewish or Christian, to be guided." Say, "We follow the religion of Abraham – monotheism – he never was an idol worshiper." [2:135]

    “Proclaim, He is the One and only GOD. The Absolute GOD. Never did He beget. Nor was He begotten. None equals Him." [112:1]

    “The Messiah, son of Mary is no more than a messenger like the messengers before him, and his mother was a saint. Both of them used to eat the food. Note how we explain the revelations for them, and note how they still deviate!” [5:75]

    “It does not befit God that He begets a son, be He glorified. To have anything done, He simply says to it, "Be," and it is.” [19:35]

    “No soul can carry the sins of another soul. If a soul that is loaded with sins implores another to bear part of its load, no other soul can carry any part of it, even if they were related. ... [35:18]

    “They do not value God as He should be valued. God is the Most Powerful, the Almighty.”[22:74]

    “If you obey the majority of people on earth, they will divert you from the path of God. They follow only conjecture; they only guess.” [Quran 6:116]

    “There shall be no compulsion in religion: the right way is now distinct from the wrong way. Anyone who denounces the devil and believes in God has grasped the strongest bond; one that never breaks. God is Hearer, Omniscient.” [2:256]

    “O people, here is a parable that you must ponder carefully: the idols you set up beside God can never create a fly, even if they banded together to do so. Furthermore, if the fly steals anything from them, they cannot recover it; weak is the pursuer and the pursued.” [22:73]

    “God: there is no other god besides Him, the Living, the Eternal. Never a moment of unawareness or slumber overtakes Him. To Him belongs everything in the heavens and everything on earth. Who could intercede with Him, except in accordance with His will? He knows their past, and their future. No one attains any knowledge, except as He wills. His dominion encompasses the heavens and the earth, and ruling them never burdens Him. He is the Most High, the Great.” [2:255]

    Thanks for taking time to read my post. Please take a moment to clear your misconception by going to whyIslam org website.

    October 2, 2013 at 10:51 am |
    • hal 9001

      I'm sorry, "Universe", but after running your post through my Unnecessary capitalization evaluation module, your post has received a plausibility value of 0.0. Using my Idiomatic Expression Equivalency module (IEE), this value equates to "BS".

      October 2, 2013 at 11:02 am |
    • Ben

      Sorry, but the Quran was written hundreds of years after the New Testament, plenty of time to have your god say whatever Muhammad wanted him to say about Jesus.

      October 2, 2013 at 11:12 am |
      • Honey Badger Don't Care

        And the New Testament is just as much garbage as the quoran.

        October 2, 2013 at 11:34 am |
        • Ben

          I would have said that the NT authors had lots of time, opportunity and motive to have Jesus say what they wanted him to say as well. How the believers refuse to see that simply amazes me.

          October 2, 2013 at 2:00 pm |
        • Hur

          "to have Jesus say what they wanted him to say.."

          What did they have him say?
          Why would they do that?
          Do you have any shred of proof they actually did any of this?

          October 2, 2013 at 2:03 pm |
        • G to the T

          Hur – Yes. There's an entire field of study call "Textual Critisism" that does just that. You would be amazed at just how much we actually know (and don't know) about who wrote the dozens of books (only some of which made into the cannon) and the changes that occured in the centuries after they were written.

          October 3, 2013 at 11:39 am |
        • Hur

          @G to the T- Yeah, I'm aware of that and the people above probably are as well. But my response was more aimed toward their throwing out undefined accusations about the texts.

          October 3, 2013 at 1:32 pm |
    • Honey Badger Don't Care

      And why would anyone believe any of that garbage?

      October 2, 2013 at 11:19 am |
    • Dyslexic doG

      nice bronze age story book ... shame it has caused so much misery and suffering in its brief tenure ...

      October 2, 2013 at 11:34 am |
      • Hur

        How has a book hurt anyone? Did you get hit upside your head with one?

        October 2, 2013 at 1:45 pm |
  12. Archibald Smythe-Pennington, III

    El Roi?? How about some Elwood.

    [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-L7HuhIULT0&w=640&h=360]

    October 2, 2013 at 9:15 am |
  13. His Name

    [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cQceB5Pqj1E&w=640&h=360]

    October 2, 2013 at 8:29 am |
    • Doris

      That music sounds familiar. Is it by Yawny?

      October 2, 2013 at 8:41 am |
    • Youtube - Neil DeGrasse Tyson - The Perimeter of Ignorance

      Nice music – I could see that being part of a movie.

      October 2, 2013 at 9:03 am |
  14. Colin

    There are about 613 commandments sprinkled throughout the Old Testament. If you are a Jew or Christian, they contain rules from the creator of the Universe on how we human beings should live our lives.

    They include rules for tending crops indigenous to the Greco-Roman Middle East; raising domesticated animals common in the Greco-Roman Middle East; sacrificing these animals; preparing and eating food that was consumed in the Greco-Roman Middle East; (not) having s.ex with virgins, slaves, non-Jews, animals and relatives; cross-dressing and prohibitions against eating maggots, non Kosher insects and worms that have fully left the fruit.

    Interestingly, while these 613 laws laid down by the creator of the Universe go into painstaking detail on how Greco-Roman Jewish farm life should be lived, none of them address how the Apache or Sioux of North America should hunt bison, how the ancient Russians or Chinese should treat any Mongol slaves they take or how the Australian Aboriginals should hunt and prepare kangaroo.

    The ancient Scandinavians, Celts and Sub-Saharan Africans were also left totally in the dark about whether it is acceptable to God for them to seethe a deer in its mother’s milk and the ancient Inuit had to take a stab in the dark as to whether any first born reindeer should be sacrificed to God.

    This is perhaps why most Millenials are realizing BEYOND SANE DOUBT that the Jews invented God and not vice-versa.

    October 2, 2013 at 6:57 am |
    • Youtube - Neil DeGrasse Tyson - The Perimeter of Ignorance

      You know, those are fairly straight-forward questions that we eventually start asking, even when we're not exposed to atheism. The Bible has limits because it was written at a specific time, for specific peoples, with specific cultural purposes in mind. It's only natural that we see those obvious questions and realize that it just doesn't make sense. The decision at that point is whether we decide to continue believing those things and having a life that is somewhat trance-like, or we acknowledge the simple truths, which takes some courage, and move forward with our reason, common sense, and human compassion for a more fulfilling life.

      October 2, 2013 at 7:04 am |
    • Doris

      Indeed. I don't remember any Biblical warning about cassava (yuca) preparation (to remove naturally occurring cyanide). Cassava, 3rd largest food source for carbohydrate in the tropics (and gluten-free), is likely to have been domesticated for 10,000 years BP. And I also don't remember reading any warnings there about yellow snow.

      October 2, 2013 at 7:59 am |
      • lol??

        Dorkis, yellow snow is a gud antiseptic, at least that's what Lassie sayz. Sheesh.

        October 2, 2013 at 11:50 am |
        • Doris

          You can always count on one of the Butthurt Club to miss the important part of a reply.

          October 2, 2013 at 11:55 am |
        • Alias

          Don't be disrespectful of Lassie.
          She has never lied to me, but nuns and priests sure have.

          October 2, 2013 at 12:29 pm |
    • lol??

      Colinitis, where did you get yer scriptural interpretations?? Let me guess. From the serpent??

      October 2, 2013 at 11:39 am |
      • Doris

        Well my, my, the emissary from the Butthurtedness Club for Old Men has emerged from its cave to "grace" us with its words of "wisdom".

        October 2, 2013 at 11:51 am |
        • Youtube - Neil DeGrasse Tyson - The Perimeter of Ignorance

          lol is not worth pursuing for a balanced, intelligent conversation – it's a waste of your valuable time.

          October 2, 2013 at 12:09 pm |
    • Vizzini

      "none of them address how the Apache or Sioux of North America " Don't forget the book of Mormon and the lost tribe of Israel that moved to America, amazingly without leaving a single trace, even the DNA has been removed from the land so you can tell it must have been Satan that is trying to hide them somehow...!!

      October 2, 2013 at 1:00 pm |
      • lol??

        What's this lost tribe stuff?? God doesn't know where people are?? That was a rhetorical question when He asked Adam where he was.

        October 2, 2013 at 1:17 pm |
        • Doris

          It's easy to read from any fable and find a way to apply it to another situation. Even children can do this.

          October 2, 2013 at 1:22 pm |
    • Hur

      Colin...educate yourself a little. The mitzvot have nothing to do with the Greco-Roman world. You yourseld have said many many many times about the Torah being Bronze Age. Now think about that for a minute and you'll see that you are wrong about the Greco-Roman stuff.

      "the Jews invented God and not vice-versa."

      Any direct evidence to back this up?

      October 2, 2013 at 1:43 pm |
      • Ben

        The evidence is what it is, and Colin's theory better explains it than yours.

        October 2, 2013 at 1:55 pm |
        • Hur

          @Ben- "The evidence is what it is"

          Yeah, no evidence.

          "and Colin's theory better explains it than yours."

          What is my theory exactly? All I asked was direct evidence for his.

          October 2, 2013 at 2:00 pm |
  15. Colin

    Congratulations to the Jewish culture! Dropping the sky-fairy bullsh.it at a faster rate than even millenial Christians. Well done. Who knows, one day Christian (and Mulsims) may find themselves in the absurd position that the very god that morphed into their god(s) is not longer believed by many of the faith who invented it!

    It is the access to information that is causing so many young people off all faiths to question the supernatural nonsense they were taught as children when they were too young to question it.

    October 2, 2013 at 6:08 am |
    • Robert Brown

      Yes, now that kids spend 13 to 17 plus years learning and being required to regurgitate naturalistic reasons for most everything it does cause more and more of them to question the power of God. This has been going on so long now that it is truly a miracle that there are any believers left.

      October 2, 2013 at 6:45 am |
      • Colin

        Yes, ya gotta hate reality, hey Robert.......

        October 2, 2013 at 6:46 am |
        • Robert Brown

          Reality is wonderful Colin. What we have to do is teach them to recognize improvable a.s.s.umption like we read all the time. For example, we have some evidence the time to be skeptical is when someone takes that evidence and says because of this we know......

          October 2, 2013 at 7:01 am |
        • Youtube - Neil DeGrasse Tyson - The Perimeter of Ignorance

          No, it's not improbable assumption at all with reason and science. It's all tested out. Religion, however, is full of assumptions that are blindly adhered to. What makes them somewhat palatable is that there is a resemblance between some of the things we know to be true from our natural human compassion, and those things that have been recorded in a religious book.

          October 2, 2013 at 7:08 am |
        • Ben

          No, Robert! The time to be skeptical of gods is after the 1000s of them humans have claimed to exist all failed to have any evidence to suggest that they were actually real. If we had evidence that a single god actually once existed there would be a whole lot less skepticism in the existence of your god. At least then you could argue that gods were actually possible.

          October 2, 2013 at 11:09 am |
        • ME II

          @Robert Brown,
          "What we have to do is teach them to recognize improvable a.s.s.umption like we read all the time"

          How can you complain about assumptions when belief is all about assuming god(s) exist(s)?

          October 2, 2013 at 12:22 pm |
      • sam stone

        just as there are fewer and fewer believers in zeus, baal, odin, the god of the bible will go bye-bye

        October 2, 2013 at 6:54 am |
        • Jew Dunno Whatcha Talkin Bout

          How could you forget to mention The Endless? They preceded all the new and old gods ...

          October 2, 2013 at 2:38 pm |
        • Hob Gadling

          Death is hot.

          October 2, 2013 at 2:59 pm |
      • Youtube - Neil DeGrasse Tyson - The Perimeter of Ignorance

        @Robert Brown. Oh, I think it's completely the opposite. The constant recitation of prayers and reading/rereading of the Bible is done for indoctrination (by any religion). Whereas kids get a dose of whatever science in school and that's it – it's up to the curiosity of the child to then take it further if they so choose (after high school/college). And that is one of the things that Mr. Tyson discusses in his talk, "The Perimeter of Ignorance," that when people reach the limits of their knowledge and can't figure something out, they invoke religion as the answer. Many of the great scientists did just that through the ages, and then a little while later someone else picks up the problem that person could not solve and solves it. I can recall doing the same thing myself – invoking religion to explain something when something was beyond my understanding. And then as Mr. Tyson successfully argues, once religion is invoked as the answer, discovery stops.

        October 2, 2013 at 6:57 am |
        • A peculiar handle for a relatively peculiar poster-insinuating that doctors are at the border ignorance

          Doctors' say their favourite tag line:

          "We've done our best but only a miracle can save the patient. All we can do now is pray"

          October 2, 2013 at 12:17 pm |
      • Ben

        Robert
        No need to simply regurgitate knowledge that can be easily demonstrated through experimentation, unlike religious dogma.

        October 2, 2013 at 10:35 am |
    • lol??

      Coliiitis sayz,
      "............sky-fairy bullsh.it.............."

      Why do you keep accusing God of bein' a kweirdo?? Are you a closet bigot?? Or are you trollin' fer a hookup??

      October 2, 2013 at 11:23 am |
    • Hur

      Wow you are a jerk Colin. No one believes in any sky-fairy or any wierd crap you can come up with. They don't need your praise because they could probably care less what you think. Good grief you have an ego.

      October 2, 2013 at 1:39 pm |
  16. USMC 1371

    Maybe I missed the point but if a jew no longer believes in the Jewish faith then he or she is no longer a jew? Just thinking if they stop believing in the church then they become what? A rationale person would be my bet.

    October 2, 2013 at 5:51 am |
    • Youtube - Neil DeGrasse Tyson - The Perimeter of Ignorance

      Not necessarily. Some people leave organized religion and become what are known as "nones." They may keep their formal ties to their church/temple, may drop them altogether and become deists (just a belief in God, or gods, depending upon the religion), or they may become atheists. Agnostics are a middle ground between deists and atheists, so far as I understand. But I would say, each of those steps toward and individual doing what they believe is right as opposed to what a church or religion believes is right.

      October 2, 2013 at 6:50 am |
    • tallulah13

      Judaism is as much a culture as it is a religion. I can easily see a person maintaining the cultural and ceremonial trappings even if thy no longer believe in the god.

      October 2, 2013 at 7:51 am |
    • grist

      There are some cultural aspects and some consider themselves Jewish Atheists (not me, I an atheist who saw reason at age 14 but was formerly considered Jewish). I think the head of American Atheists (Silverman) considers himself a Jewish Atheist. I would say that the individual gets to decide what label to use. The fact that the Jewish religion considers a person Jewish simply by being born to a Jewish mother, is really of no consequence. We all get to decide what to call ourselves.

      October 2, 2013 at 8:56 am |
      • question for jewish atheists

        i have a question for jewish atheists – if u can be a jew and an atheists, do you think it's also possible to be a jew and believe in jesus?

        October 2, 2013 at 10:42 am |
        • ME II

          Yes, look up Messianic Jews, although I doubt that orthodox Jews would consider Messianic Jews to be "real" Jews.

          October 2, 2013 at 12:25 pm |
      • Dyslexic doG

        cool name

        October 2, 2013 at 11:41 am |
  17. sam stone

    They are envied and hated for their incredible success. Indeed, Hitler wanted to exterminate them because he was consumed with jealousy over their numerous talents and abilities. In fact, the world resents them because they are simply the best at almost everything they attempt. They are phenomenal.

    October 2, 2013 at 1:23 am |
    • Athy

      Are you jewish by any chance, Sam?

      October 2, 2013 at 1:32 am |
      • HotAirAce

        You talking jews or Americans?

        October 2, 2013 at 1:35 am |
      • sam stone

        not me.. i can't speak of whomever is using my screen name. i am atheist, but raised eastern orthodox christian

        October 2, 2013 at 6:07 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Statecraft has room for more work.

      October 2, 2013 at 2:27 am |
    • Bootyfunk

      yes, hitler hated the g.ays, with their numerous talents and abilities (especially musicals).

      October 2, 2013 at 4:29 am |
  18. Bootyfunk

    so, jews, like other americans, are losing their religion.
    awesome.

    October 2, 2013 at 1:20 am |
  19. ko

    jews are exceptional. they are the best doctors, lawyers, scientists, business people, entertainers, comedians, musicians, they have the greatest minds. they are the most devout and enthusiastic christians. indeed, god chose them.

    October 2, 2013 at 12:56 am |
    • nope.

      @ko
      nope.

      October 2, 2013 at 1:02 am |
    • sam stone

      No one compares to them.

      October 2, 2013 at 1:25 am |
      • sam stone

        Not even close!

        October 2, 2013 at 1:26 am |
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About this blog

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