October 9th, 2013
02:27 PM ET
Creationists taunt atheists in latest billboard war
By Eric Marrapodi, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor
(CNN)– A new video billboard in New York's Times Square has a message from creationists, "To all of our atheist friends: Thank God you're wrong."
The video advertisement at 42nd Street and Eighth Avenue in Manhattan is one of several billboards going up this week in New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles, paid for by Answers in Genesis.
Answers in Genesis is best known as the multimillion-dollar Christian ministry behind the Creation Museum outside Cincinnati.
The museum presents the case for Young Earth creationism, following what it says is a literal interpretation of the book of Genesis, which says the Earth was created by God in six days less than 10,000 years ago.
Ken Ham, president of Answers in Genesis, said the idea for the advertisements came from an atheist billboard in Times Square at Christmas.
During the holidays, the American Atheists put up a billboard with images of Santa Claus and Jesus that read: "Keep the Merry, dump the myth."
“The Bible says to contend for the faith,” Ham said. “We thought we should come up with something that would make a statement in the culture, a bold statement, and direct them to our website.
"We're not against them personally. We're not trying to attack them personally, but we do believe they're wrong," he said.
"From an atheist's perspective, they believe when they die, they cease to exist. And we say 'no, you're not going to cease to exist; you're going to spend eternity with God or without God. And if you're an atheist, you're going to be spending it without God.' "
Dave Silverman, president of the American Atheists, said he felt sad for creationists when he saw the billboards.
"They refuse to look at the real world. They refuse to look at the evidence we have, and they offer none," Silverman said. "They might as well be saying, 'Thank Zeus you're wrong' or 'Thank Thor you're wrong.' "
Silverman said he welcomed another competitor to marketplace, noting that after atheists bought a billboard two years ago in Times Square that read "You KNOW it's a myth," the Catholic League purchased competing space at the entrance to the Lincoln Tunnel for a sign that read "You KNOW it's true."
"I would suggest, if they're actually trying to attract atheists, they should talk about proof and reason to believe in their god, not just some pithy play on words," Silverman said.
Ham says part of the goal of the campaign is to draw people to the website for Answers in Genesis, where he offers a lengthy post on his beliefs for the proof of God.
Ham insists that this campaign is in keeping with their overall mission. "We're a biblical authority ministry. We're really on about the Bible and the Gospel. Now, we do have a specialty in the area of the creation account and Genesis because that's where we say God's word has come under attack."
Ham said Answers in Genesis made the decision to split its marketing budget for the ministry between a regional campaign for the museum and this billboard campaign, rather than a national campaign.
IRS filings for the ministry in recent years have shown a yearly operating budget of more than $25 million. Ham said the marketing budget is about 2% of that, about $500,000 a year. Though they are waiting for all the bills to come due for this campaign, he said he expected it to cost between $150,000 and $200,000.
Silverman noted that his billboards were not video and cost approximately $25,000 last year. He said another campaign was in the works for this year.
"They're throwing down the gauntlet, and we're picking it up," Silverman said, adding that his group would "slap them in the face" with it.
Ham said that despite criticism from other Christians for being negative and the usual criticisms from secularists he received on his social media accounts, the advertisements have been a success.
"We wanted people talking about them, and we wanted discussion about this. We wanted people thinking about God," Ham said.
The Creation Museum and the theory of Young Earth creationism are widely reviled by the broader science community.
In a YouTube video posted last year titled "Creationism Is Not Appropriate For Children," Bill Nye the Science Guy slammed creationism, imploring parents not to teach it to their children. "We need scientifically literate voters and taxpayers for the future," he said. "We need engineers that can build stuff and solve problems."
The museum responded with its own video.
For the past 30 years, Gallup Inc. has been tracking American opinions about creationism.
In June 2012, Gallup's latest findings showed that 46% of Americans believed in creationism, 32% believed in evolution guided by God, and 15% believed in atheistic evolution.
For as long as Gallup has conducted the survey, creationism has remained far and away the most popular answer, with 40% to 47% of Americans surveyed saying they believed that God created humans in their present form at one point within the past 10,000 years.
The Creation Museum said it recently welcomed its 2 millionth visitor since its opening in 2007.
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.
Creationists and you know answers are not where the video says.
This teacher learned the facts of life.
Ohio Supreme Court upholds the firing of a creationist science teacher !
Ohio’s Supreme Court upheld the firing of an eighth-grade science instructor who taught creationism instead of evolution to his students.
Interpretation: "...who taught creation instead of evolutionism to his students."
And the latest joke out of the Discovery Insti-tute as they are still trying to cover their butts for being wrong at the Dover trial.
Op-Ed: Creationist group tries again to discredit science organization
Read more: http://www.digitaljournal.com/article/362481#ixzz2lEJNSS8D
Do you understand what "Op-ed" means?
Did you read the fine print at the bottom of the article? Here it is in case you missed it:
"This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of DigitalJournal.com"
No sh-it Sherlock. Just like the belief blog articles.
But court transcripts are not.
Do you think that judges can be wrong? Do you think the Dred Scott decision was right?
Read for yourself,
You didn't answer the questions.
There is no debate when it comes to evolution. It's verified and proven. The only people that still deny it are creationists who would rather cling to an emotional religious connection caused by indoctrination of young impressionable children. Creationism will NEVER be science until they find tangible objective evidence of god.
Courts and judges can be wrong, but science is not and that is what they base their ruling on in this case. Creationism is not science and should not be ever taught in science class. Bottom line. If you want to have a world religion class, I'm fine with that. Call it what it is instead trying to deceive people into thinking there's any science behind creationism at all.
I don't know what "evolutionism " is. Evolution is a well-substantiated scientific theory that explains the diversity of life on the planet after life began.
"I don't know what "evolutionism " is."
Google "evolutionism." It's used by proponents of evolution more often that it's used by opponents of evolution.
Stop lying, Paul. Evolutionism is a term coined by creationists, similar to "Darwinist" and "Evolutionist". In reality there is no such thing. Evolution is a scientific theory backed by mountains of evidence. There is no "ism", suggesting that it's a belief. I see curtains in my house, that doesn't mean I'm a curtainist or believe in curtainism.
Not a curtainist? Then it's curtains for you, my friend. Curtains. Without a curtain rod. That is inserted elsewhere....
But the real problem with the dogma is....
The RCC's destructive force with their biblical stand on procreation.
When they supposedly understand evolution.
Inventing terms is nothing new. Look at the rightwingers who have come up with such terms as "pro-life" just to try to nonsensically demonize other people.
"There is no debate when it comes to evolution. It's verified and proven. The only people that still deny it are creationists..."
That would depend on your definition of "evolution". If you mean the adaptation or variation within the same kind of animal, that is observable and even creationists agree with that. If by "evolution" you mean common descent, that is not directly observable. It's an interpretation of the evidence.
"Courts and judges can be wrong, but science is not..."
But do you think that SCIENTISTS be wrong?
"That would depend on your definition of "evolution". If you mean the adaptation or variation within the same kind of animal, that is observable and even creationists agree with that. If by "evolution" you mean common descent, that is not directly observable. It's an interpretation of the evidence."
My definition of evolution is irrelevant. The accepted simple biological definition = "genetic mutations sorted by natural selection". Would you be kind enough to point out which one of those is not observable or verified? Scientific evidence does not need "interpretation". It either proves something or it does not. It's not the same as a linguistically primitive ancient story book written during a time when 90% of the population was illiterate.
"But do you think that SCIENTISTS be wrong?"
Scientists could be wrong, but the science itself is not. I go with what repeated observations and experiments tell us. That isn't the same a scientist's personal opinion.
"My definition of evolution is irrelevant. The accepted simple biological definition = "genetic mutations sorted by natural selection". Would you be kind enough to point out which one of those is not observable or verified?"
Your definition of evolution IS relevent. Are mutations observable? Of couse they are. I don't disagree with that. I told I disagree with the idea of common descent.
"I go with what repeated observations and experiments tell us. That isn't the same a scientist's personal opinion."
You're right: what's observable and a scientist's opinion are two different things. But do you think you'd be able to read a science article and separate the observable science and the scientist's opinon?
"But do you think that SCIENTISTS be wrong?"
Of course scientists could be wrong, and recognizing this, they subject their work to relentless scrutiny by their peers. However, there comes a point at which rejection of a particular conclusion of science, after repeated validation and application, becomes an exercise in unreasonable doubt.
Still, I'm willing to concede that all of science could be wrong. I'm further willing to concede that every position I hold could be wrong, from my acceptance of evolution to my rejection of the Biblical deity. Are you, Paul, also willing to acknowledge that you could be wrong with respect to your rejection of evolution? Perhaps more importantly, are you willing to acknowledge that you could be wrong with respect to your religious beliefs, i.e. that the God of the Bible might not actually exist?
"Your definition of evolution IS relevent. Are mutations observable? Of couse they are. I don't disagree with that. I told I disagree with the idea of common descent."
My point was that we are talking about biological evolution. The word itself has many meanings, people are discussing the scientific theory of modern evolutionary synthesis, which does obviously include common descent, radiometric dating, mapping of genomes. It is the cornerstone staple of biology. Arguing against common descent is silly at this point with all we've learned from DNA and genetic mutations.
"Do you think that judges can be wrong? Do you think the Dred Scott decision was right?"
Yes, judges can be wrong and we recognize this with our appeals and other processes for overturning decisions. Funny you should mention the Scott case because one of the principle issues was the ability of Congress to "take" personal property (akin to Lev 25:44-46) from its owner under the Consti-tution at that time. The other issues of lack of legal standing to bring a diversity action and lack of citizenship were also reasonable holdings under the law. Of course, the Scott decision was effectively overturned with the ratification of the 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments. Here, mere mortals recognized as morally repugnant the practice of keeping human beings as personal property, whereas the alleged divine and absolute law giver of the OT failed to establish this precedent.
Indeed, the whole issue of taking of property was resolved rather narrowly:
"But neither the United States nor any State shall assume or pay any debt or obligation...or any claim for the loss or emancipation of any slave; but all such debts, obligations and claims shall be held illegal and void."
The Standard God certainly reserves the taking of property to itself – Job 1:21. One wonders why it would not free slaves except through the deaths of a lot of good young men.
Life coming from non life is NOT part of evolution. Sorry that's a big red flag and I instantly know the video creator knows virtually nothing about science or evolution itself.
…probably wants to increase world happiness and reduce suffering.
…holds thousands of beliefs for which she has no well-tested evidence.
…often makes irrational decisions.
…may or may not believe in free will.
…may believe any number of things about morality.
…almost certainly holds some beliefs that logically contradict other beliefs she holds.
…is plagued by over a dozen powerful cognitive biases.
…may believe any number of things about who the Historical Jesus was.
…may be anywhere from extremely intelligent to frightfully stupid.
…is probably outraged by some religious beliefs and practices.
…may have any range of beliefs about evolution, cosmogony, and the nature of spacetime.
…may hold any of several views about metaphysics.
…may or may not have a highly positive view of science.
…may or may not believe in absolute truth.
…holds many beliefs and atti-tudes out of trust, not evidence.
…may hold any of several views about the historicity of the Bible.
…sometimes acts against her own moral principles.
…can be angry, satisfied, sad, happy, lazy, or industrious at different times.
…often makes assertions about topics she knows relatively little about.
…may live in a bubble of like-minded friends or have many friends with diverse beliefs.
…may or may not regularly doubt her own worldview.
"My imaginary friend will beat you up at recess."
Hey Militant turtle, you've been sniffing that glue again, haven't you? You're friendly angels are p'ss'd at you for huffing.
I would totally do that. Those angels are real dics.
That's it? It may make believers feel good, but it is a yawn to atheists.
Todos esses acontecimentos ,é a prova cabal de toda a verdade Bíblica,sem contestação ."quem tiver ouvidos ,que ouça e entenda"
You do know that the bible has been shown to not be a historical docu.ment, it's not actual truth, it's filled with literary genre and folk lore.
What is next, will they put up a sign saying Santa will not visit you if you don't "be good". Maybe early next year, they can put up another sign that says "Easter Bunny is coming to town. If you don't believe you won't get any candy eggs". Maybe another sign that says, "If you don't believe in the tooth fairy, then the tooth fairy won't come and put a dollar under your pillow when you lose a tooth. In other words, if you don't believe in the delusion, you can't use the delusion or enjoy it...
Sad to know that people that consider themselves to be smarter or better than their rivals spend tons of money on the same hate generating crap that leads to this useless cycle.
I can't remember when pride was such a huge obstacle to getting people to get along.
I can't remember when it wasn't.
If you had anything pertinent to say instead of just trolling insults, perhaps your posts would stay.
Trolling is stupidity in full bloom.
Salero is right and you are wrong again.
In other words Sal is right and fake Moderator is wrong again. THANKS GOD.
You are all fired!
Hey, that's my line! Thanks God.
No is not your line is mine and you're fired!!
Time for the real world creationist./ID believers
November 15, 2013
NEW YORK — Fossils of two dinosaurs found in Montana and locked eternally in a fierce death match could fetch a potential record $9 million when they are sold in New York next week, the Bonhams auction house said on Thursday.
Why are there so many different religions? I wonder which one is the real god... or maybe man's invention of god is just man's way of not accepting his/her own mortality... we all die, brainwaves cease to transmit, flesh rots and that is the end, no heaven, no hell.
"...and that is the end, no heaven, no hell."
How do you know that? If you actually don't know it, how did you come to that conclusion?
How do you know Zeus doesn't exist? How do you know that Allah doesn't exist? How do you know that the Easter bunny doesn't lay eggs in the sky? You can't ever completely prove something, but there is no reason to believe in one specific God over another, or none.
I didn't make those claims now, did I?
He didn't say he knew it, he was just offering an alternative theory
Which is why I asked the second question: "If you actually don't know it, how did you come to that conclusion?"
How did he come to that conclusion?
Because it defies logic to say that brainwaves continue to transmit after the body dies. Basic observable fact of reality. Heaven & Hell are illogical there is no evidence whatsoever to suggest either is real. How do YOU know that your version of god is real?
I look upon man kind, and it makes me sad. That we continually waste so much time and effort in such pursuits. Trying to only prove who is or isn't correct. It shouldn't matter where you come from or whether you believe in God or not. As long as we don't use it as an excuse to discriminate or spread hate in any form or fashion. How do you want to be treated? Be friendly, practice empathy, compassion, be courteous, friendly, helpful, listen to others, overcome prejudice, stop criticism, rise above retaliation, be the change, and most of all notice how all these things make you feel when practiced.
Does water exist? No argument there. Water does exist; we all know that.
Does god exist? That is a matter for debate. Therefore, the existence of god is not proven.
Instead of comparing the existence (or non-existence) of God to the existence of water, how about a more apt comparison? To wit:
Does love exist? We can't see it; we can't touch it; we can't measure it or slice it up or put it under a microscope. What we experience as love might be nothing more than a chemical reaction in our brain (and obviously some people would argue for such a reductionist view).
But since time immemorial, people have scaled mountains, fought bravely, written poetry, composed arias and generally sacrificed themselves completely, all for the sake of love. A love they *believed in*. Even people who say they don't believe in love behave, in their everyday lives, as if love is real (as, for example, when a tired guy comes home and chooses to work through the "honey do" list that his better half has asked him to work on, even though he'd really rather kick back and sleep in front of the TV). So, love is *something* real, something humanly real, even if we don't understand it.
Same with God. You may not believe in a gray-haired old man who watches over us (in fact, most believers don't believe in that imagery either), but given the historical human need to believe, and the fact that such belief often changes believers' lives as completely as the love of a good man (or woman) can change a person's life - given all this, you simply can't dismiss God as irrelevant fiction. There's *something* humanly real there, spurring on our belief and behavior.
I submit to you that both love and God are real, even if we don't understand them - and they will continue to be real, even if we don't believe in them.
too silly for TV. demonstrate how love exists outside of the brain
Demonstrate why something has to exist outside of the brain for it to be real. Do your thoughts exist outside of your brain? Are they not real?
I'm not disputing the possible existence of god; however, I am comparing the unquestionable existence of water with the questionable existence of god. Nothing in your post provides evidence that god exists. The existence of water is easy to prove; not so when it comes to proving the existence of god.
Fine, I accept your premise. I cannot offer a scientifically rigorous proof that God exists (nor, by the way, can you offer a scientifically rigorous proof that He does not). But in my post I wasn't trying to offer ontological proof for God. (Although, if it comes to that, I would mention the existence of yours and my independent human reason as important evidence in that direction–but that's a discussion for another day.)
But to get bogged down in "prove it / disprove it" arguments is to miss my original point, which is this: that there are some things (big things, like love, for instance) where we live our lives as if they are real even though we can't prove them; and those things have been the source and inspiration for remarkable human achievements throughout history - be they artistic achievements, or medical, or educational, etc. Yes, there are bad moments, too (like a jealous lover taking revenge), but on balance, the good things about love far outweigh the bad. Believing in this particular unprovable thing, in the long run, has made us better people.
To rage against someone for being so silly as to believe in love, and trying to brow-beat them into not believing via name-calling and ridicule, would not only be doomed to fail, but it would fail to see that the tendency toward love-belief is one of the essential elements of what it means to be human.
I don't have to prove that God exists in order to assert that, on balance, belief in a loving and forgiving God, who asks us to love others as we love ourselves - like belief in love itself - is a good thing.
And it too is an essential part of what makes us human.
This is just rubbish!
Love is a word we use to describe a >feeling<!! Why do god defenders always use this!? Do they pass this idea out in your weekly talking points memos?
Proving someone has a feeling is not even remotely the same thing as proving there is something which exists independently of human minds! There is no evidence for gods, and no one should believe there are gods, much less devote time having "relationships" with them, until or unless strong evidence emerges.
A god claim is a claim of something pretty spectacular; therefore, we don't rely on what "folks 'round here" believe. There has to be some pretty serious substantiation!
Patrick, your question about love doesn't really make any sense. We use the word love to describe a feeling, just as there are other words to describe other feelings. The evidence for the existence of these feelings is that every culture has a word for them, and pretty much everybody experiences them.
George - I tried to answer to Chikkipop's comment yesterday, but for some reason my reply was not accepted. I'll try again for you.
First, a technicality. From the Christian perspective, love isn't a "feeling," it's an act of will. It's what we >doyou< get to decide what's proper for me to believe in? Does my believing in something which you dismiss as fiction injure you in any way? (And don't generalize to all believers - obviously there are nuts out there who are dangerous to society - I'm talking about me, and my brand of beliefs). Why do you care so much what I believe?
Sorry... something screwy happened there... my response to you, and an addendum to Chikkipop, got all mixed up. Grrr...
George - Trying this again...
First, a technicality. From the Christian perspective, love isn't a "feeling," it's an act of will. It's what we >do< that determines who we love. In this sense, love isn't about feeling warm and fuzzy, it's about choosing to be kind even when we're feeling like a**holes. It's about fixing my wife a cup of coffee even though I'm still mad at her for something she said last night. It's all the things, large and small, that we do for other people even when the other people haven't done anything to "deserve" it... or maybe they've even actively done something to "not deserve" it... but we choose the kindness anyway, because we love them.
But my larger point is, even from a secular perspective (if we take love strictly as a feeling), then the historical evidence is that the effects of this "feeling" are all out of proportion to the modest weight that we give to the word. Love simultaneously sets armies on the march and tames the fiercest fighter; love builds monuments, battles the elements, and can be knocked over by a feather if wielded by the right person; love is the cause of indescribable joy and unspeakable pain.
All of this from a mere "feeling"? If so, then it's a feeling unlike any other. But personally I think there's something deeper going on; something larger and more important, but no less human. Something (dare I say it?) spiritual.
But OK, call it a feeling if you must; but don't call it a "mere" feeling, and don't pretend that you understand it any more completely than anyone else does (which is not very much, I'm afraid). And, don't pretend that by reducing it to nothing more than the random action of brain chemicals, we haven't stolen away a piece of ourselves in the process.
And now the Chikkipop addendum:
Chikkipop - What a cultural imperialist you are! I have my own reasons for believing that will mean nothing to you. But why should that matter? Why do >you< get to decide what's proper for me to believe in? Does my believing in something which you dismiss as fiction injure you in any way? (And don't generalize to all believers - obviously there are nuts out there who are dangerous to society - I'm talking about me, and my brand of beliefs).
Patrick – I think we understand love fairly well, that's why we have a word for it with a definition. Yes, it's a strong emotion, which is why it has provided the motivation for the actions you mentioned, but what of it? The point is, love exists as a feeling/emotion, nobody questions it because we all experience it, so your use of it was badly conceived. And I can't help it if Christians try to co-opt the word by trying to give it their own meaning.
George - Let's agree to disagree, then.
Incidentally, I think that's one of the key things that has been lost in public discourse recently - the ability to disagree without being disagreeable.
Patrick – Agreed 😉
You're both wrong.
Instead of this "my dick is bigger" back and forth, how about both parties quit wasting money on billboards and go put food in a needy person's mouth?
Glad to know there are other sane people out there.
Well put! For me, as a believer, the easiest way to show someone God exists is to show His love, like, for example, feeding the hungry.
That doesn't prove anything. A happy atheist can claim there is no need for god when good people take care of others.
The Catholic church has enough money to feed the entire world.
I believe in God and evolution.
Those 2 views are incompatible. Romans 5:12 says death is a result of sin. In Genesis chapter 1, after the end of each of the 6 creation days, God says "It is good." If there was millions of years of evolution before human beings came into existence, then you have death before sin, and there would be no way God could say "It is good."
Perhaps Bender's god is not the one you suppose?
But yes, fundamentally, a literal interpretation of genesis directly contradicts the facts as they exist; therefore, Genesis is silly and false.
Or the idea of common descent is false.
Not just common descent, but effectively all of biology and every other scientific discipline whose empirical physical evidence supports an ancient earth and evolution, i.e. physics, chemistry, geology, astronomy, etc, etc. For evolution to be false, this would require the entire modern scientific enterprise to be so fundamentally flawed as to be effectively useless.
It's this type of literalism that requires equally absurd claims such as: snakes, spiders, and many other purely carnivorous animals were initially herbivores (with magical post-fall transformations throughout their anatomy and biochemistry); that viruses, bacteria, molds, fungi, and all manner of parasitic protozoans and worms were all initially commensals; that basic metabolism produced zero net destructive free radicals; etc, etc.
I think that means a spiritual death.
The views are only incompatible if you are a biblical literalist. If so, that explains everything, including burying your neck in the sand when it comes to the science behind evolution.
They refuse to look at the real world. They refuse to look at the evidence we have, and they offer none," Silverman said.
Here is what you are asking for, Mr. Silverman!
UNIVERSAL MAGNIFICENT MIRACLES
Hello again atheist!! OK so I'll not bother you all anymore saying that atheism is stupidity in Full bloom in any and all Seasons. I understand your concerns about the capitalization of Full. So I'll try to mend my ways. I'll will say instead that atheism is Total stupidity anywhere and everywhere anytime and all the time.
You are just what the world needs. Name calling with no fact or evidence to support your arguement. You are not the stuff the future of humanity will be made upon.Your offspring will likely have the same mindset taught to them so the future of your regeneration looks bleak at best. Do you know what the word A "theist" really means? Probably not.
meanwhile, Salero21-, don't forget that the centre of the religion you profess had two fathers and was born from a surrogate womb
Pants on fire!! Your pathetical attempt to refute what I've been saying all along is one more proof of it.
Published on Sep 12, 2013
See the full behind-the-scenes experience: http://goo.gl/oau0g5
In partnership with the Directorate of the Galapagos National Park, The Charles Darwin Foundation, and Catlin Seaview Survey, we traveled to the archipelago to collect 360-degree Street View imagery.
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