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December 24th, 2013
06:00 AM ET

CNN Poll: Pope's approval rating sky-high

By Daniel Burke, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor
[twitter-follow screen_name='BurkeCNN']

(CNN) - As Pope Francis prepares to celebrate his first Christmas at the Vatican, Americans' opinions of the pontiff appear to be as high as the dome on St. Peter's Basilica, according to a new survey.

A CNN/ORC International poll released Tuesday found that 88% of American Catholics approve of how Francis is handling his role as head of the 1.2 billion-member church.

The popular pontiff has also made a positive impression among Americans in general: Nearly three in four view Francis favorably.  The new survey suggests that the Pope is arguably the most well-regarded religious figure among the American public today, said CNN Polling Director Keating Holland.

Nine months into his papacy, the Argentine-born Francis has captured attention with crowd-pleasing acts of compassion, from embracing a severely disfigured man, to washing the feet of juvenile delinquents, to hosting homeless men at his birthday Mass this month.

The Pope has also shown a common touch rare for such a lofty religious leader. He has eschewed the trappings of the papacy in favor of humbler digs, simpler vestments and a cheaper car. He worked as a bar bouncer and a janitor before he was a priest, and is not shy about telling people.

Pope: I was once a bar bouncer

According to one study, Pope Francis was the most talked about person on the Internet this year, and even atheists have professed appreciation for the 77-year-old pontiff.

The breadth of Francis' popularity was on display at American newsstands this month: he was named person of the year by both Time magazine and The Advocate, a gay and lesbian publication.

"While 2013 will be remembered for the work of hundreds in advancing marriage equality, it will also be remembered for the example of one man," The Advocate said. In remarks that rippled across the globe, Pope Francis said in July, "If someone is gay and he searches for the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge?

Pope Francis on gays: 'Who am I to judge?'

While the Pope has not changed church doctrine, he has urged Catholics to shift their focus from culture war issues to caring for people on society's margins, especially the poor.

"I see the church as a field hospital after battle," Francis said in September.

American Catholics appear to like the new course the Pope has set for their church. Nearly two-thirds agree with him about the amount of attention that should be paid to issues such as abortion and homosexuality, according to the CNN/ORC poll.

More than 85% of American Catholics say Francis is neither too liberal nor too conservative, and 86% say he's in touch with the modern world. By comparison, more than half of American Catholics said Pope John Paul II was out of step with the times in 2003, near the end of his 26-year-long papacy.

But Francis has been a fierce critic of the status quo, especially what calls the "idolatry of money" present in modern-day capitalism. In a papal statement last month, for example, the Pope blasted the theory of trickle-down economics, calling it "crude and naïve."

Conservative critics such as Rush Limbaugh pounced on the Pope's remarks, calling him a closet Marxist. But nearly two in three American Catholics agree with the Pope about capitalism and the free market's effects on the poor, according to the CNN/ORC poll.

Pope: Marxist ideology is 'wrong'

On other key issues for Catholics - the role of women in the church and the sexual abuse crises - Francis gets similarly high ratings from his American flock.

More than six in 10 American Catholics agree with Francis' comments about women in the church, according to the CNN/ORC poll. The Pope has said that women should have a larger role in church governance but cannot be ordained as priests.

Similarly, more than six in 10 American Catholics say Francis is doing a good job handling fallout from the church's sexual abuse scandal, even as most (64%) also say the church overall has done a poor job on the issue.

This month, the Vatican announced the creation of a new commission to care for victims of clergy sexual abuse and to prevent future crimes.

American Catholics had given especially low marks on the sexual abuse scandal to Francis' predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI, with just 36% saying in 2010 that he had handled the issue well.

CNN's Holland said it's difficult to ascertain exactly how Francis' popularity stacks up against his predecessors, however. "It's a tough question since polling on Popes is pretty sparse," he said.

What's more, like political polling, approval ratings shift depending on the public mood and perception of a Pope's performance.

For example, three-quarters of American Catholics approved of how John Paul was leading the church in 1994; that number rose to 84% in 1999 and dipped to 64% in 2003, at the height of the church's sexual abuse crisis.

It remains to be seen how long the honeymoon will last for Francis, and how long he can continue to build goodwill among American Catholics.

The poll was conducted for CNN by ORC International on December 16 through Thursday, with 1,035 adults nationwide, including 191 Catholics, questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus three percentage points.

Pope Francis' greatest hits of 2013

- CNN Religion Editor

Filed under: Catholic Church • Christianity • Culture wars • Leaders • Pope Benedict XVI • Pope Francis • Pope John Paul II • Sex abuse • Vatican

soundoff (3,274 Responses)
  1. lol??

    igaftr sayz,

    ".........................It really is moot whether or not people believe in a deity or not..........................."

    The arrogant one has declared it. Why don't you nasties take a hike and find the philosophy blogs??

    December 31, 2013 at 1:08 pm |
    • Opinion

      igaftr: his opinions: they are NOT logic. There are something you would find from a hostile internet poster on a religious blog.

      December 31, 2013 at 1:10 pm |
    • igaftr

      lolcats

      How do you type on a keyboard while in the straight jacket ? (other than poorly)

      December 31, 2013 at 1:11 pm |
  2. Doc Vestibule

    "God split himself into a myriad parts that he might have friends." This may not be true, but it sounds good – and is no sillier than any other theology.

    – Robert Heinlein

    December 31, 2013 at 1:03 pm |
    • Opinion

      We all has opinions, yes. Silly or wise. All opinion.

      December 31, 2013 at 1:08 pm |
      • doobzz

        I can haz opinion??

        December 31, 2013 at 1:34 pm |
        • Vic

          I cannot not LMAO!

          December 31, 2013 at 1:43 pm |
        • doobzz

          Happy New Year, Vic! Good health and long life to you and yours.

          December 31, 2013 at 8:23 pm |
        • K-switch

          Now I want a cheezeburger.

          December 31, 2013 at 1:44 pm |
        • doobzz

          Me too. Dang.

          December 31, 2013 at 8:23 pm |
        • Vic

          And cold beer 🙂

          December 31, 2013 at 1:51 pm |
        • doobzz

          Finally we agree on something, lol!

          December 31, 2013 at 8:24 pm |
      • Vic

        And cold beer 🙂

        December 31, 2013 at 1:48 pm |
    • Happy Atheist

      If God is so lonely he has to split himself to make friends then he's no more perfect than any of us...

      December 31, 2013 at 1:43 pm |
      • Vic

        Actually, that is Divine & Powerful. Think of it this way, God goes the extra mile (infinite) to save us!

        December 31, 2013 at 1:46 pm |
        • Happy Atheist

          How long did God wait before he got so lonely he decided to make friends?

          December 31, 2013 at 1:55 pm |
        • sam stone

          Save us from what?

          His own temper tantrum?

          God could have forgiven people without resorting to whacking his son

          But god is a bloodthirsty pr1ck

          omniscient god = no free will

          December 31, 2013 at 4:57 pm |
  3. Heart

    The cartoon stereotype that all scientists are religion-hating atheists isn't just annoying; it is harmful. It is divisive and does nothing to encourage people into scientific discovery. In fact, it reinforces the idea that only a certain type of person can do science. This is not true. Professional science has enough diversity problems as it is, with women and minorities still grossly under-represented, without throwing religious-typing in there too. Public scientists and critics alike need to take a bit more care in lumping all scientists into the same stereotypical category. The world is much more complex than that.

    December 31, 2013 at 12:59 pm |
    • bostontola

      I'm not familiar with this myth. I never heard people saying scientists hate religion (a few do). Pew research shows most don't believe in God, that's all.

      December 31, 2013 at 1:03 pm |
      • Trendy

        However, unlike the general population, younger scientists are more likely than older scientists to have a belief in God or a higher power. In addition, more chemists than those in other specialties say they believe in God.

        http://www.pewresearch.org/daily-number/god-less-science/

        December 31, 2013 at 1:06 pm |
        • AtheLogic

          So? That doesn't prove God. That is a logical fallacy. Prove God right now!! Do it or fail!!!

          December 31, 2013 at 1:11 pm |
        • WASP

          @trendy: and that would be why they are chemists and not a more difficult field of study. XD

          December 31, 2013 at 1:13 pm |
        • bostontola

          That is interesting, maybe the older scientists had belief when young and lost it. It doesn't change the point: It doesn't matter what scientists believe. It doesn't matter what lawyers believe, etc.

          December 31, 2013 at 1:13 pm |
        • Vic

          Chemistry is one of the hardest branches of science. You can ace a Physics test while flunk a Chemistry one.

          December 31, 2013 at 1:58 pm |
        • Alias

          So where is the link to a site that says belief in a religion prevents someone from memorizing a science book?

          December 31, 2013 at 2:12 pm |
        • Wow

          Studying and understanding chemistry is difficult. Athies think it is easy, ugh.

          December 31, 2013 at 3:58 pm |
    • Happy Atheist

      The problem is there is no scientific step or method that requires religion. In fact it's the opposite. Science requires exploration of our universe without relying on faith for answers. It requires testable, repeatable, verifiable evidence.

      December 31, 2013 at 1:11 pm |
      • Nod

        Science flourished in Christian nations. Like that had never been seen before. I wonder what changed? Loooooooong time of people, and then after Christ things started changing, hu?

        December 31, 2013 at 1:13 pm |
        • Doc Vestibule

          When the overwhelming majority of literate people are clergy, it's kind of hard to avoid...

          December 31, 2013 at 1:18 pm |
        • WASP

          @nod: ever bother to think how the world would look if the church had gotten it's way throughout history?
          here is any example:

          EVERYONE WOULD BE DEAD.
          end of story.

          December 31, 2013 at 1:19 pm |
        • Nod

          EVERYONE WOULD BE DEAD.

          Just because we wouldn't have all the hospitals Christians founded?

          December 31, 2013 at 2:33 pm |
  4. Living

    Being an atheist on a religious blog: it is not rocket science or brain surgery.

    PS
    Did you know that there are rocket scientists and brain surgeons that actually believe in God. I know! Despite what all of our generation's wisest minds that converge on faith and belief blogs and declare belief in God as pathetic; some rocket scientists and brain surgeons still believe in God.
    Kind of makes you wonder, if people who argue all day long on a faith and belief blog are not rocket scientists or brain surgeons, what are they?
    Oh, yea, they are people who argue all day long on a faith and belief blog. Silly and irrational acting people. Who happen to be atheists. God bless them.

    December 31, 2013 at 12:44 pm |
    • igaftr

      I am an atheist agnostic. I believe that none of the gods men have ever worshipped exist. THAT is my BELIEF. So why not express it on a BELIEF blog. I also enjoy the discussions and it is a study in abnormal psychology to see the lengths that some will go to to justify their beliefs, so there is great entertainment value.

      DIdn't your man made man-god tell you not to judge others and worry about YOUR actions?

      December 31, 2013 at 12:48 pm |
    • G to the T

      I think you would find a lot less opposition if christians hadn't tried to insert their own religion views into our government. If not for this, I think most atheists would be more than happy to live and let live...

      December 31, 2013 at 12:54 pm |
      • bostontola

        I would.

        December 31, 2013 at 12:55 pm |
    • Way to be

      PS: you assume much. Your condescension is noted and dismissed.

      December 31, 2013 at 12:57 pm |
    • doobzz

      That's a whole big pile of assumption there, Living.

      I'm a former literal bible believer, teacher in a religious school who got a master's in biotechnology and then worked in that area before becoming a writer (yes, a published one in a large city magazine).

      When I was a religious person, I studied the bible in several languages. Studying the bible is what made me an atheist, not studying science.

      I know scientists of every belief and non belief. It was never a problem because no one brought their deity into a laboratory or a meeting room.

      December 31, 2013 at 12:57 pm |
    • Charm Quark

      Living
      If they only allowed confirmed believers of one religion or another they would soon be dissing each other more than they already do now. If they only allowed Christian cults they would soon be dissing each other more than they already do now. As a deist along with my agnostic and atheist comrades you religious types should be happy to have us to gang up on and trash in righteous indignation. We are providing you all with a common enemy, you should thank us for preventing you from showing the hate and loathing that religious groups have for each other. About people spending time on this blog including the believers, you do understand about multi tasking, dropping in from time to time to continue a conversation.

      December 31, 2013 at 1:11 pm |
      • Charm Quark

        BTW I have yet to see non-believer groups attacking each other because their non-belief is more pure than another groups, only believers fall into that trap, Onward Christian Soldiers, Onward onto War and or a nice Jihad against the infidels.

        December 31, 2013 at 1:22 pm |
        • Vic

          I cannot not LOL!

          December 31, 2013 at 1:33 pm |
      • Charm Quark

        Vic
        What?

        December 31, 2013 at 1:36 pm |
        • Vic

          It's humor, I cannot not laugh out loud. That was witty!

          December 31, 2013 at 2:08 pm |
        • Charm Quark

          Vic
          No, no it wasn't.. A silent laugh to oneself maybe more apropos.

          December 31, 2013 at 2:22 pm |
  5. K-switch

    Thankful
    "I still don't get why so many people got offended and defensive from me posting a quote from an astronaut who say evidence for God in space. It was a beautiful quote."

    Pointing out that a quote proves nothing is not the same as being offended. You are trying to discredit the character of those that disagree with you by making the claim that thier disagreement implies thay are personally offened.

    December 31, 2013 at 12:39 pm |
    • Thankful

      I didn't say it proved anything, other than that there are actual scientists who demonstrate the ability to practice science, not just talk about it, who believe in God.

      December 31, 2013 at 12:46 pm |
      • bostontola

        And there are more actual scientists who demonstrate the ability to practice science, not just talk about it, who don't believe in God, so what?

        December 31, 2013 at 12:54 pm |
        • Heart

          It is a big, fat myth that all scientists are religious hating atheists.

          December 31, 2013 at 12:57 pm |
        • bostontola

          Who said scientists hate religion?

          December 31, 2013 at 1:00 pm |
        • Nope

          Internet atheists hate religion. But internet atheists are not scientists. At all. 🙂

          December 31, 2013 at 1:03 pm |
        • bostontola

          Nope, some Internet atheists hate religion, most are just put off by organized attempts to impose religious belief into law or school curricula.

          December 31, 2013 at 1:09 pm |
      • K-switch

        @thankful, you missed the point of my post completely. I was pointing out that you are inacurate in thinking those that disagree with you are also offended.

        December 31, 2013 at 12:59 pm |
  6. lol??

    So gud ol' AL E. believed in evil but not a personal god. That's what happens when evil becomes the new pwogwessive norm. There's so much of it people will just say, "Don't take it personally, just enjoy it".

    December 31, 2013 at 12:35 pm |
    • Guest

      You need to get your speech impediment looked at by a qualified professional. It seems to have migrated to your typing.

      December 31, 2013 at 12:58 pm |
  7. Vic

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JkJEFs0XrrQ

    God Bless America

    December 31, 2013 at 12:33 pm |
    • lol??

      America is not a family.

      Gen 12:3 And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.

      December 31, 2013 at 12:38 pm |
    • Science Works

      That was back in 1968 Vic

      current stuff works well !

      What We Learned About Human Origins In 2013 Will Blow Your Mind

      http://www.hu-ffingtonpost.com/2013/12/30/what-we-learned-human-origins-2013_n_4518415.html

      December 31, 2013 at 1:18 pm |
      • Vic

        That's your take on it; however, the point of the above video is to show the awe scientists experience when they make discoveries. It was true yesterday, it is still true today. Science reveals God. Just like Albert Einstein said: "The more I study science, the more I believe in God."

        December 31, 2013 at 1:24 pm |
        • Science Works

          Tthe latest pew survey says majority of Americans believe in evolution Vic .

          December 31, 2013 at 1:33 pm |
        • Vic

          It is not a vast majority, still 46% don't. And, out of the many who believe in it, believe in God.

          (Note: 76%+ of Americans are Christians.)

          December 31, 2013 at 1:37 pm |
        • Science Works

          Vic

          Public’s Views on Human Evolution

          evolution2013-1According to a new Pew Research Center an-alysis, six-in-ten Americans (60%) say that “humans and other living things have evolved over time,” while a third (33%) reject the idea of evolution, saying that “humans and other living things have existed in their present form since the beginning of time.”

          http://www.pewforum.org/2013/12/30/publics-views-on-human-evolution/

          December 31, 2013 at 1:52 pm |
        • Vic

          Ok, a new figure, 33%.

          December 31, 2013 at 2:03 pm |
        • Science Works

          yeah Vic and next year the number will be less than 33% – 20% maybe.

          December 31, 2013 at 2:11 pm |
        • In Santa we trust

          Vic, It would be interesting to know why so many do not believe in evolution – the evidence is overwhelming. Even the idea of guided evolution is more compatible with the evidence than no evolution.

          December 31, 2013 at 2:13 pm |
        • fred

          In Santa we trust
          We understand the theory of evolution just fine. The problem comes when you then form a belief based on evolution and the feeling man no longer needs God. This is the foundation of antichrist where philosophical naturalism in its various forms allows materialistic appetites to raise up again the tower of Babble with one world raising up to worship the God of self desire.

          Evolution by itself was even given the green light by the Pope 50 years ago. Extrapolating a Word View based upon it is baseless and not scientific. So I do not believe in evolution as a world view for purpose of existence only as scientific explanation for biodiversity.

          December 31, 2013 at 3:07 pm |
        • In Santa we trust

          fred,
          No one forms a belief based on evolution, one rejects a belief because evolution and other disciplines show that the biblical account is not correct.
          Evolution does explain biodiversity and in doing so shows that the Adam and Eve story are not correct – DNA and fossil evidence shows that humans evolved from apes, through mammals in general, back through fish, and beyond.

          December 31, 2013 at 5:35 pm |
  8. Cpt. Obvious

    What is the difference for any human in the following scenarios?

    1. Believe in Einstein's god who does not interfere in humanity at all, does not judge humans, and does not give any human eternal life.
    2. Does not believe in any gods because none appear to be visible, detectable, or relevant.

    Thanks for any and all replies!

    December 31, 2013 at 12:28 pm |
    • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

      That ties in with the designer universe theory (not to be confused with intelligent design to all the absolute idiots who believe in it), which I heard Dawkins discuss before. It basically states that our universe could have been created by (but not controlled by) intelligent beings in another universe. Maybe deists are onto something?

      December 31, 2013 at 12:32 pm |
    • bostontola

      There would be no difference to us, we would still invent Gods that do interfere with us.

      December 31, 2013 at 12:32 pm |
    • Thankful

      I believe in my own God that makes sense to me.

      I post quotes about Einstein's belief in God on a religion blog and watch others try to tell me what and how I must believe. It is funny stuff.

      December 31, 2013 at 12:34 pm |
      • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

        You persist in being deliberately obtuse. If you seriously believe in a deity or a 'God', surely the least you could do is explain what that deity is or how you interpret that deity. I'll assume you are only trolling if you keep avoiding giving an answer.

        December 31, 2013 at 12:41 pm |
        • Thankful

          “If you understand it, it is not God.”

          December 31, 2013 at 12:49 pm |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          OK, troll it is.

          December 31, 2013 at 1:18 pm |
      • igaftr

        T-ful
        Your definition of "god" is likely very different than Einsteins. His definition was not one like the Abrahmic god. He used the term god for lack of a better term. To him "god" could be the triggering force to the Big Bang, or the energy that is life.

        To try to represent YOUR belief in god as the same as HIS belief in "god" is a severe misrepresentation.

        To clarify, what is your definition of "god" and then we can compare.

        December 31, 2013 at 12:42 pm |
        • Thankful

          We live in God's world. Not igaftr. igaftr has opinions he thinks are facts. But when he dies, his opinions die with him. God is everything that igaftr is not. Only something like a god can know what are facts. Only a think like a god can know truth. igaftr can't. He only fails. Like all of the rest of us.

          December 31, 2013 at 12:52 pm |
        • igaftr

          t-ful
          "we live in gods world"

          OR not.

          You do not know that so that is your opinion. For all you know, everything exists only because I think it does...you do not know if that is true or not, so while I speculate on the INFINTE number of possibilities, You have already decided that there is a god, and that god fits your definition of what "he" is.

          It is THAT sort of bias that would end a scientists career before it got started if their particular scientific study dealt with the nature of the universe.

          December 31, 2013 at 12:58 pm |
        • Thankful

          No, igaftr, I'm not confined by your limited understanding of God or science.

          December 31, 2013 at 1:02 pm |
        • igaftr

          T-ful
          "igaftr has opinions he thinks are facts"

          Pot meet kettle.

          I know the difference between opinion and fact, and I do not know when I offered ANYthing as fact, so again, your opinion.

          December 31, 2013 at 1:07 pm |
      • bostontola

        Please, point to the comment that told you what to believe.

        I saw many pointing out that quoting another person's belief (Einstein or otherwise)is evidence of nothing, it doesn't support your own beliefs either.

        December 31, 2013 at 12:43 pm |
      • Alias

        Your own god?
        Do we all get one?

        December 31, 2013 at 12:49 pm |
      • Vic

        Go on Thankful, continue on in your pursuit for the Truth, you are on the right track. Wonderful quotes of Albert Einstein, and a wonderful summation by Col. John Glenn.

        God bless.

        December 31, 2013 at 12:50 pm |
        • bostontola

          Vic,
          If Thankful doesn't accept Jesus as his savior, will he still go to hell for eternity?

          December 31, 2013 at 12:58 pm |
        • Vic

          I don't know.

          December 31, 2013 at 1:09 pm |
        • bostontola

          Thanks for the honest answer Vic.

          December 31, 2013 at 1:17 pm |
        • Vic

          No problem.

          December 31, 2013 at 1:29 pm |
    • Vic

      The difference between the two is "Creation."

      December 31, 2013 at 1:28 pm |
      • Cpt. Obvious

        Good answer. I like it. But to my point, no discernible difference for any human being? Correct?

        December 31, 2013 at 5:36 pm |
  9. bostontola

    "I was providing quotes that suggest that the study of science leads some to believe in God"

    How do those quotes show that science led them to belief? Maybe they already believed and that bias clouded their findings.

    December 31, 2013 at 12:22 pm |
    • Thankful

      Some testify to the opposite of what you suggest.

      December 31, 2013 at 12:35 pm |
      • igaftr

        T-ful
        Provide specifics.... "some" does not cut it.

        December 31, 2013 at 12:45 pm |
      • bostontola

        Please provide me the link. Not Einstein, he was very religious at 12 years old.

        December 31, 2013 at 12:49 pm |
    • Happy Atheist

      I believe that most scientists have to try and look at the world without using the "X" factor God in any of their equations. To do so would be dishonest. However, every scientist hit's that edge of knowledge where they have to stare into the darkness of the unknown and accept they just don't know something yet, and sometimes they call that unknown "God"...

      It's not a logical conclusion but just a reactionary effect to not being able to answer some questions yet.

      December 31, 2013 at 1:19 pm |
  10. lol??

    Is raining cats and dogs enuff to clean up the nasties??

    December 31, 2013 at 12:17 pm |
  11. Doris

    This is just puzzling to me. I know Christians believe in a kinds of different crazy things, but – well maybe I just need more viewpoints from them on this to see if there is any consensus at all:

    JW wrote: "We see what has happened with the failure of man independent of his Creator and that Creator is going make things right for those who love him"

    And I wrote: "So along this story line, man failed and God holds a grudge, so he allows girls to be raped when he very well could step in. I would still call that god concept immoral."

    james replied with: "It is not holding a grudge to give someone what they wanted."

    ????

    A lot of belief seems to hang on this issue of free will. If someone believes that it was given divinely, when do they believe it was given, at the very beginning (creation of man), or after man "failed" God? If the former, has this type of god been holding a grudge for man's initial actions and that's why he wouldn't step in to stop a rape? And if the latter, then he was playing a silly game with man all along? How is this not an immoral god either way?

    December 31, 2013 at 12:17 pm |
    • lol??

      You were born confused. Is that clear??

      December 31, 2013 at 12:19 pm |
      • Doris

        So you have nothing to contribute to address the points. Well, at least you are consistent.

        December 31, 2013 at 12:30 pm |
        • lol??

          Ah, the circles of yer mind, no room for clear.

          December 31, 2013 at 12:40 pm |
    • WASP

      give up doris, i've been at it for years attempting to use logic and reasoning to explain to the "religious" on here that, they just may be wrong about any gods.

      it's no use, they just don't get it; it's not because they can't get it, they are truly scared of being alone and thus refuse to get it.

      just let them die out like most species that fail to adapt and evolve then the more rational can fix their mistakes and become a stronger species. folks wonder what makes animals go extinct................it's the inability to adapt to change.

      December 31, 2013 at 1:31 pm |
      • lol??

        Kill the eagles. Kill the bees. Thank you bull in china shop science. BTW, any pwogwessive recipes for Asian carp??

        December 31, 2013 at 1:37 pm |
    • james

      Doris; I hope you look back here since I am sorry I missed your question here and wish there were time and space to fill in the details but my initial comments and answers earlier were sent into space and all I can hope here is that you will look into jw.org for the answers to what the Bible Really Teaches. I believe you are sincere in your quest and if one of us come to your door please give them a little time to show you the wonderful hope that Jehovah offers to those who look to and believe in him. I hope to see your posts in the future since I enjoy discussing The Truth of the Bible with serious people and I think you are, thanks,j

      January 1, 2014 at 10:43 am |
  12. lol??

    Why don't the nasties play in their own sandbox?? Cat and dog pollution??

    December 31, 2013 at 12:15 pm |
    • faceplant

      They tried going to the science and technology blog...they had no idea what anyone was talking about. They rushed back here to talk about good ol' god and religion. The only thing that makes sense to them.

      December 31, 2013 at 12:18 pm |
      • lol??

        Yup, making up a religion is so theoretical to em. They have plenty of assumption holes to leap, too.

        December 31, 2013 at 12:22 pm |
  13. Science Works

    Thankfull

    Share
    Comments (6,701 comments)
    Einstein letter, set for auction, shows scientist challenging idea of God, being 'chosen'

    By Jessica Ravitz, CNN

    Decades before atheist scientist and author Richard Dawkins called God a "delusion," one world-renowned physicist – Albert Einstein – was weighing in on faith matters with his own strong words.

    “The word God is for me nothing more than the expression and product of human weaknesses, the Bible a collection of honorable, but still primitive legends,” Einstein wrote in German in a 1954 letter that will be auctioned on eBay later this month. "No interpretation no matter how subtle can (for me) change this.”

    Dubbed Einstein’s “God Letter” by the Los Angeles-based auction agency that's posting it online, the original doc-ument will be up for grabs starting Monday. The opening bid: $3 million.

    December 31, 2013 at 11:54 am |
    • Thankful

      Awesome.

      “Everyone who is seriously involved in the pursuit of science becomes convinced that a spirit is manifest in the laws of the Universe–a spirit vastly superior to that of man, and one in the face of which we with our modest powers must feel humble.”

      “In view of such harmony in the cosmos which I, with my limited human mind, am able to recognize, there are yet people who say there is no God. But what really makes me angry is that they quote me for the support of such views.”

      –Albert Einstein

      Maybe some day if you decide to get serious about the study of science you will know what Einstein is talking about.

      December 31, 2013 at 11:57 am |
      • Way to be

        Condescending.

        December 31, 2013 at 12:00 pm |
        • Thankful

          I have no idea what that "Science Works" is talking about, but I wish him luck. Hopefully he can start to pursuit understanding science, not just copying and pasting off topic websites and strange remarks.

          December 31, 2013 at 12:02 pm |
        • Welcome!

          Way to be, welcome to the Belief Blog!

          December 31, 2013 at 12:04 pm |
        • doobzz

          @ Thankful

          "Hopefully he can start to pursuit understanding science, not just copying and pasting off topic websites and strange remarks."

          Kind of like you've been doing? Copy/pasting cherry picked quotes?

          December 31, 2013 at 12:15 pm |
      • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

        Do you believe in a personal god who takes an interest in and judges human affairs or do you believe in the deistic god (a prime mover or some such) who created but has no influence over the operation of the universe?

        December 31, 2013 at 12:03 pm |
        • Thankful

          Are those my only 2 options?

          December 31, 2013 at 12:05 pm |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          No, not at all. Please explain what you mean by 'God'.

          December 31, 2013 at 12:08 pm |
        • Thankful

          God. That thing that a few posters on here get their panties in a bunch when you mention it. You know, the thing that people come to talk about on a Faith and Belief Blog. God.
          Why you so worried about my concept of God?

          December 31, 2013 at 12:12 pm |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          Thankful

          Well, you're the one here using Einstein to champion the belief in some sort of god. If you read the various things Einstein has said about his religious beliefs, it wouldn't be an unwise assumption to say he was an agnostic pantheist or possibly an agnostic deist, although I'd be more inclined to say agnostic pantheist. I would like to know if this is also your concept of 'God' and if not, what is?

          Could you please give a straight answer?

          December 31, 2013 at 12:18 pm |
        • Cpt. Obvious

          thankful, you seem to want to fight a battle that no one else is interested in. And frankly, you don't seem to even know where it should take place or what the parameters are. For me, I couldn't care less whether or not you believe in god. I do care that you can't even manage to state what you think about god and his plan or will, but you are obsessed with gaining approval from atheists to the point of being hypocritical in your postings.

          I'm much more concerned with your personal behavior ABOUT your chosen topic then what you believe. You lie and you misrepresent, and I'm genuinely concerned for you because you seem rather uncomfortable in your desperation to show that many other people (some famous and intelligent) believed in a concept of god like you do. Why are you so concerned about it? What are you afraid of?

          December 31, 2013 at 12:18 pm |
        • Thankful

          It would be cool if you got upset at atheists who act like me. You seem to ignore their behavior and focus on the guy who believes in something bigger than him, something like God.
          Nobody said religious blog atheists were logical or had good motives (well, except the blog atheists themselves)

          December 31, 2013 at 12:39 pm |
        • Observer

          Thankful

          "Nobody said religious blog atheists were logical or had good motives (well, except the blog atheists themselves)"

          I don't see too many of them supporting a book that talks about unicorns, talking non-humans, dragons, and people instantly turning into salt.

          December 31, 2013 at 1:05 pm |
      • igaftr

        thankful
        Einstein replied on 24 March 1954:

        It was, of course, a lie what you read about my religious convictions, a lie which is being systematically repeated. I do not believe in a personal God and I have never denied this but have expressed it clearly. If something is in me which can be called religious then it is the unbounded admiration for the structure of the world so far as our science can reveal it

        Considering I have had an extensive carrer as a scientist, you may want to back off the "you don't know what a real scientist knows" crap.

        December 31, 2013 at 12:03 pm |
        • Thankful

          Yea, I like that quote, too. Thanks for sharing.

          What's your point?

          December 31, 2013 at 12:07 pm |
        • Thankful

          "I am not an Atheist. I do not know if I can define myself as a Pantheist. The problem involved is too vast for our limited minds. May I not reply with a parable? The human mind, no matter how highly trained, cannot grasp the universe. We are in the position of a little child, entering a huge library whose walls are covered to the ceiling with books in many different tongues. The child knows that someone must have written those books. It does not know who or how. It does not understand the languages in which they are written. The child notes a definite plan in the arrangement of the books, a mysterious order, which it does not comprehend, but only dimly suspects. That, it seems to me, is the att-tude of the human mind, even the greatest and most cultured, toward God. "

          December 31, 2013 at 12:10 pm |
        • Cpt. Obvious

          thankful, someone who believes in Einstein's god does not believe in a god at all involved in human affair, or a god who judges humans, or a god who provides any human with any "eternal life."

          What's the practical difference in being an atheist or believing in Einstein's god?

          December 31, 2013 at 12:12 pm |
        • bostontola

          Thankful,
          You behave as though Einkstein is your God.

          December 31, 2013 at 12:14 pm |
        • Thankful

          “This sense of wonder leads most scientists to a Superior Being – der Alte, the Old One, as Einstein affectionately called the Deity – a Superior Intelligence, the Lord of all Creation and Natural Law.”

          –Abdus Salam, winner of the 1979 Nobel Prize in Physics for his work in electroweak theory.

          Einstein was not an atheist. I'm not an atheist.

          “I want to know how God created this world. I am not interested in this or that phenomenon, in the spectrum of this or that element. I want to know his thoughts; the rest are details.”

          –Albert Einstein

          December 31, 2013 at 12:15 pm |
        • Cpt. Obvious

          It's telling that thankful is so eager to provide quotes from Einstein but is so loathe to answer any meaningful questions that would clarify whatever point he intends to make one day forty years from now.

          December 31, 2013 at 12:22 pm |
        • lol??

          Al E. believed in the existence of evil. Must not have overlooked the obvious.

          December 31, 2013 at 12:26 pm |
        • igaftr

          Einstein considered himself agnostic, but even that definition did not sit well with him. He believed in something you may consider to be a "god" , but certainly not what most people think a "god" is.

          It really is moot whether or not people believe in a deity or not. I won't change if there are any deities or not, or what is actually there, since it is extremely unlikey that we believe anything close to what is actually there.
          There are a great many things in the universe we do not yet know...and no scientist would ever try to leap to any form of sentience since that is not observable, even a little.

          You have an odd way of trying to understand what other people believe vs what definition you choose to try to apply that their belief.

          There is currently no information anywhere that any sentience is behind the existance of the universe.

          December 31, 2013 at 12:27 pm |
  14. bostontola

    Once again without the distraction of science:

    Now if we lived on a planet that couldn't support life and were divinely designed to survive anyway, that would prove we were created by a God.

    We would have no need for a physical world at all, we could just be created directly into the spirit world in love.

    So the whole purpose of this physical world is to test a few humans to which minority gets to the spirit world. But wait, God already knows the answer of which will make it, He is omniscient.

    This God story is tough to follow.

    December 31, 2013 at 11:54 am |
  15. K-switch

    “When people ask me if a god created the universe, I tell them that the question itself makes no sense. Time didn’t exist before the big bang, so there is no time for god to make the universe in. It’s like asking directions to the edge of the earth; The Earth is a sphere; it doesn’t have an edge; so looking for it is a futile exercise. We are each free to believe what we want, and it’s my view that the simplest explanation is; there is no god. No one created our universe,and no one directs our fate. This leads me to a profound realization; There is probably no heaven, and no afterlife either. We have this one life to appreciate the grand design of the universe, and for that I am extremely grateful.”

    ― Stephen Hawking

    December 31, 2013 at 11:49 am |
  16. bostontola

    If your argument in favor of the existence of God is that some scientist thinks so, then you have no argument. Appeal to Einstein (whose beliefs were a moving target) is no more weighty than saying Galileo believed in God. Both were great thinkers, but not authorities on God. This kind of argumentation reveals a lack of critical thinking skills.

    December 31, 2013 at 11:48 am |
    • Thankful

      There are some people that think study of science and use of logic leads only to atheism. Which is not the case.

      I still don't get why so many people got offended and defensive from me posting a quote from an astronaut who say evidence for God in space. It was a beautiful quote.

      December 31, 2013 at 11:55 am |
      • Guest

        And it is a lovely quote.
        It just doesn't prove anything one way or another.

        December 31, 2013 at 11:59 am |
      • bostontola

        We're you saying defensive like its a bad thing? I have no problem defending against false argument. Appeal to authority is a false argument. The astronaut had an awesome experience, I have then too when I peak a mountain. It's not evidence of anything other than being human.

        December 31, 2013 at 12:00 pm |
      • Thankful

        I didn't say it proved God, Sherlock.

        December 31, 2013 at 12:17 pm |
      • igaftr

        T-ful
        "I still don't get why so many people got offended and defensive from me posting a quote "

        who was offended or defensive. It was simply pointed out that it was someone elses opinion and nothing more. People simply could not understand if you had a point. After seeing more of your posts, it seems you have no point at all.

        December 31, 2013 at 12:38 pm |
        • doobzz

          Someone does this nearly every day – posts that there are scientists who also practice a religion, as if that proves deities exist.

          Einstein seems to be a favorite, despite his own words to the contrary. Galileo would be a better example. He considered himself a good Catholic until his death, even though he had his issues with the RCC. But for some reason, they rarely use him as an example. I wonder why?

          December 31, 2013 at 1:31 pm |
    • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

      Argumentum ab auctoritate.

      December 31, 2013 at 11:59 am |
  17. Apple Bush

    My apples are hanging low. Pluck them. Pluck my apples and lighten my burden. I want to be free!

    December 31, 2013 at 11:34 am |
    • Anthony Crispino

      Sorry, Larry of Aruba says that no one has the free will to pluck anything today.

      December 31, 2013 at 11:38 am |
      • Apple Bush

        I do not disagree with Larry of Aruba, but there are yet many without free will who could be so compelled by God to pluck my juicy red fruit.

        December 31, 2013 at 11:53 am |
        • Charm Quark

          AB
          doobzz got off a great line yesterday when the subject was squished kitty chronicles, here it is, he can correct me if I get it wrong.....My cat yawned and licked the spot where his balls used to be.

          December 31, 2013 at 12:01 pm |
        • Apple Bush

          CQ, lol. Have a happy New Year!

          December 31, 2013 at 12:14 pm |
      • Charm Quark

        AB
        Happy New Year to you and yours.

        December 31, 2013 at 12:25 pm |
  18. Alias

    LOOK AT WHAT GOT REPORTED AS ABUSE!

    Alias
    Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    The Truth is every ancient civilization made up a religion.
    Chrisitanity is not any different any any meaningful way from the other mythologies.

    December 31, 2013 at 11:10 am |
    • oh.nose

      your precious comment that no one cared about but you

      December 31, 2013 at 11:13 am |
      • Alias

        FIRSTLY;
        I am adding to the comments on a previous page about discussiond being deleted.
        And
        maybe the multiple replies it received are all from people who didn't care.

        December 31, 2013 at 11:22 am |
      • doobzz

        Way to miss the point.

        December 31, 2013 at 11:36 am |
  19. bostontola

    Now if we lived on a planet that couldn't support life and were divinely designed to survive anyway, that would prove we were created by a God.

    But then we may not have need for curiosity, we wouldn't develop science which would explain natural vs supernatural, so maybe we wouldn't know. We would have no need for a physical world at all, we could just be created directly into the spirit world in love.

    So the whole purpose of this physical world is to test a few humans to which minority gets to the spirit world. But wait, God already knows the answer of which will make it, He is omniscient.

    This God story is tough to follow.

    December 31, 2013 at 11:06 am |
    • Thankful

      “The more I study science, the more I believe in God.”

      –Albert Einstein

      Maybe you should study more science. And study less philosophy.

      December 31, 2013 at 11:09 am |
      • Cpt. Obvious

        Why use that quote when you don't believe in Einstein's god? Do you know the sort of god Einstein thought existed? I doubt that any atheist would be even slightly bothered if christians and muslims believed in Einstein's god.

        Also, you may want to note that the scientists throughout history who have believed in god disagreed on what they believed his nature and will to be, and NONE of the believing scientists have EVER proved god's existence. God is invisible, undetectable, and irrelevant, regardless of who believes in it and their opinions of it.

        December 31, 2013 at 11:12 am |
        • Thankful

          What are you talking about. What God do you imagine I believe in?

          “I’m not an atheist, and I don’t think I can call myself a pantheist. We are in the position of a little child entering a huge library filled with books in many languages. The child knows someone must have written those books. It does not know how. It does not understand the languages in which they are written. The child dimly suspects a mysterious order in the books but doesn’t know what it is. That, it seems to me, is the att-tude of even the most intelligent human being toward God.”

          –Albert Einstein

          Sounds A LOT like the God I believe in. Sorry to disappoint you.

          December 31, 2013 at 11:16 am |
        • bostontola

          Are you using Einstein as an authority on God? If not, your entire argument has no strength.

          December 31, 2013 at 11:19 am |
        • Cpt. Obvious

          Perhaps you should do more research, Thankful. Look into it and be thankful for what you find. Look at all Einstein's quotes that DISAGREE with your viewpoint on god. Do you have that sort of courage within you or not? Don't wallow in ignorance just to pretend to yourself that you have achieved more than you have.

          I am thankful for your discussion. Truly.

          December 31, 2013 at 11:19 am |
        • Thankful

          “Everyone who is seriously involved in the pursuit of science becomes convinced that a spirit is manifest in the laws of the Universe–a spirit vastly superior to that of man, and one in the face of which we with our modest powers must feel humble.”

          “In view of such harmony in the cosmos which I, with my limited human mind, am able to recognize, there are yet people who say there is no God. But what really makes me angry is that they quote me for the support of such views.”

          –Albert Einstein

          He is still talking about God like I would.

          December 31, 2013 at 11:22 am |
        • Cpt. Obvious

          I see that you did not have the courage to find and list Einstein's many quotations about god with which you CERTAINLY disagree. Coward.

          December 31, 2013 at 11:26 am |
        • bostontola

          Why quote Einstein? He knows no more about God than anyone else. He knows less about physics than just about any physics grad student today. I still don't get your point.

          December 31, 2013 at 11:28 am |
        • Thankful

          I really don't know of anything that is that offensive by Albert Einstein in regards to my beliefs in God.

          I'm not very religious, maybe you are imagining something about me? I don't know what you are talking about.

          December 31, 2013 at 11:29 am |
        • Cpt. Obvious

          The word god is for me nothing more than the expression and product of human weaknesses, the Bible a collection of honourable, but still primitive legends which are nevertheless pretty childish. No interpretation no matter how subtle can (for me) change this.

          –Einstein

          Letter to philosopher Eric Gutkind, January 3, 1954

          December 31, 2013 at 11:31 am |
        • Joey

          I see AE has changed names again. He is still pretty annoying though.

          December 31, 2013 at 11:33 am |
        • Thankful

          I'm not Jewish/Christian/Muslim... what are you talking about????

          December 31, 2013 at 11:33 am |
        • Cpt. Obvious

          "I cannot conceive of a personal God who would directly influence the actions of individuals, or would directly sit in judgment on creatures of his own creation. I cannot do this in spite of the fact that mechanistic causality has, to a certain extent, been placed in doubt by modern science. [He was speaking of Quantum Mechanics and the breaking down of determinism.] My religiosity consists in a humble admiration of the infinitely superior spirit that reveals itself in the little that we, with our weak and transitory understanding, can comprehend of reality. Morality is of the highest importance - but for us, not for God." – Albert Einstein 'The Human Side', 1954

          "Do you believe in immortality? No, and one life is enough for me." – Albert Einstein

          December 31, 2013 at 11:34 am |
        • Thankful

          I've read all those before. They don't bother me. Do you have anything new to offer?

          December 31, 2013 at 11:40 am |
        • Cpt. Obvious

          thankful, if you agree with everything Einstein says about god, then why are you ONLY providing his quotes that talk about god's existence? Why don't you provide quotes that show what Einstein thought about god's lack of involvement with humanity? Why the bias?

          December 31, 2013 at 11:47 am |
        • Thankful

          I was providing quotes that suggest that the study of science leads some to believe in God. My understanding and experience of God is more like that of Einstein, than of a Christian or whatever you imagine believes God is directly involved in human affairs.
          So, those quotes you are posting, while somewhat relevant, didn't really support my belief in a higher intelligence.

          December 31, 2013 at 11:52 am |
        • Cpt. Obvious

          From our perspective, and from the perspective of humanity, what difference does it make if Einstein's god exists or not? Einstein's god does not care about humanity, does not provide any afterlife, and does not judge any human. Einstein's "god" is merely the sum of the energy of the entire universe in whatever pattern it exists to provide verifiably measurable results to experiment.

          thankful, what's the difference (to a human being) in believing in Einstein's god or believing in no god at all?

          December 31, 2013 at 11:56 am |
        • Thankful

          I don't care. You should ask yourself that question. Why do you care so much that I believe in God?
          It is not like I'm going door to door and shoving my belief down your throat. I'm sharing it on the faith and belief blog.

          "To look out at this kind of creation and
          not believe in God is to me impossible."
          – Astronaut John Glenn

          December 31, 2013 at 12:00 pm |
        • Cpt. Obvious

          thankful, I don't care that you believe in god. I do care that you are being disingenuous and pretending that Einstein had a particular viewpoint when he did not have that viewpoint. I care that you feel the need to attack atheists while not stating that the god you believe in is one that is completely irrelevant. Why the lies? Why the sh!tty behavior? That's what I care about.

          If you believe in Einstein's god, then you have no argument with any atheist, but your argument is with the believer who believes that god IS involved in human affairs. If you believe in Einstein's god, you have no argument with any atheist, but your argument is with the believer who believes that god DOES judge humanity. If you believe in Einstein's god, you have no argument with any atheist, but your argument is with the believer who believes that god DOES give eternal life.

          Why are you arguing with atheists if you believe in a god with the attributes Einstein believed he had? Hmm?

          December 31, 2013 at 12:06 pm |
        • Thankful

          I just posted a quote and then atheists started acting like internet bullies, trying to tell me I didn't prove anything.
          No sh-t, dumbf-cks. I didn't say it proved anything.
          Somebody told me if you point out to atheists that troll religious message boards that they don't have exclusive access to science or logic, they start acting irrational.
          I see the evidence.

          December 31, 2013 at 12:25 pm |
      • bostontola

        Einstein also thought the universe was static and thought the most accurate scientific theory we have, quantum mechanics, was wrong. He was wrong about a lot. Why use him to rebut my statement? You didn't address one aspect of my comment.

        December 31, 2013 at 11:14 am |
        • Thankful

          Actual scientists who know more about the universe than you believe in God.

          You are qualified to spout off your opinions on a religion blog and imagine you are making a point. That is about it.

          December 31, 2013 at 11:18 am |
        • bostontola

          You do know that there are actual facts about the beliefs of scientists today? They know more about the universe than Einstein did. The majority don't believe in god. Your point again?

          December 31, 2013 at 11:21 am |
        • Thankful

          Most scientists certainly are not atheists.

          December 31, 2013 at 11:26 am |
        • Cpt. Obvious

          http://www.lhup.edu/~dsimanek/sci_relig.htm

          You wouldn't happen to have any time to consider the facts, would you?

          December 31, 2013 at 11:29 am |
        • bostontola

          Who said anything about atheism? Pew research shows only 33% of scientists believe in God. The plurality are atheist.

          December 31, 2013 at 11:30 am |
        • Thankful

          1998?

          http://www.pewforum.org/2009/11/05/scientists-and-belief/
          51% of polled American scientists believing in some kind of deity.
          2009

          http://www.ipscell.com/2013/09/the-myth-of-scientists-as-atheists/

          December 31, 2013 at 11:32 am |
        • bostontola

          59% of scientists don't believe in God.

          December 31, 2013 at 11:32 am |
        • Doris

          That sounds more like it, boston.

          As astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson explains in his talk The Perimeter of Ignorance, throughout history many of the great minds give virtually no mention to any god for their discoveries and explanations. (Ptolemy, Isaac Newton, Laplace, Huygens, Galileo.) That is, until they reach the problem they feel they cannot and will never fully tackle.

          Perhaps that is all God has ever been – a placeholder for discomfort or frustration over the unknown; an excuse of last resort when, for one reason or another, one gives up investigation. It is at that point of discomfort over the unknown when one should remember what humanity has already witnessed: that today's scientific explanations were often yesterday's gods.

          What is the effect when man relies solely on his gap-filling gods? Consider this:

          Two-thirds of star names have Arabic names. They came from Islam's fertile period (AD 800-1100.) During that time Baghdad was the intellectual center of the world, open to people of all or no faiths. During that time were some of the greatest advances known to mankind: engineering, biology, medicine, mathematics, celestial navigation; this is the time and place that gave us numerals we use, terms like algebra and algorithm.

          Enter Imam Hamid al-Ghazali in the 12th century. The fundamentally religious period of Islam begins, and so begins the steady decline of free intellectual expression in that area of the world. Some would argue that it has since never recovered.

          Of course the effects of such reliance touches us today – even in the U.S. We see some who refuse medical care for their children for instance.

          "[If] the nature of... government [were] a subordination of the civil to the ecclesiastical power, I [would] consider it as desperate for long years to come. Their steady habits [will] exclude the advances of information, and they [will] seem exactly where they [have always been]. And there [the] clergy will always keep them if they can. [They] will follow the bark of liberty only by the help of a tow-rope." –Thomas Jefferson

          December 31, 2013 at 11:35 am |
        • bostontola

          Wow, you're sticking to it even when the most recent research shows otherwise. It doesn't matter anyway, even if scientists are split, it doesn't form the base of an argument.

          I wasn't commenting on science or scientists, it was about The absurd basis of biblical religion. You divert and avoid addressing the point. It is a classic tactic, poorly executed.

          December 31, 2013 at 11:36 am |
        • Thankful

          A study of 642 elite scientists limited their survey to only those born in America. Only 1.4% “listed themselves as atheists or agnostics.”

          http://randalrauser.com/2013/06/are-top-scientists-overwhelmingly-atheists/

          December 31, 2013 at 11:38 am |
        • Cpt. Obvious

          LOL. No need to worry about the fact, eh? Don't bother looking into the link I provided, it'll just cause you unwanted cognitive dissonance, and you wouldn't wan that; it would require that you HONESTLY evaluate the real world in which you dream but do not live.

          December 31, 2013 at 11:42 am |
        • Billy

          LOL – Thankful pulls that crap from some scented apologist site...

          December 31, 2013 at 11:42 am |
        • bostontola

          Self reported as atheists. 72% didn't believe in God.

          As I said, none of this matters. Scientists know their branch of science.

          Are you trying to make a point? What is it? It is not supported by the beliefs of scientists (most of whom do not believe in God).

          December 31, 2013 at 11:44 am |
        • Thankful

          Cpt Obvious link =

          "A recent issue of Newsweek (July 20, 1998) featured a cover story "Science finds God" A recent issue of Newsweek (July 20, 1998) featured a cover story "Science finds God" "

          1998? Recent?

          December 31, 2013 at 11:44 am |
        • Thankful

          http://www.lhup.edu/~dsimanek/home.htm

          That is a silly link you provided... Cpt O

          December 31, 2013 at 11:47 am |
        • Doc Vestibule

          @thankful

          " My study reveals that the worldview of these scientists is so different from traditional theology in that no gods exist for them, there is no such thing as the incorporeal spirit or soul, there is no life after death — all of the things that are held most passionately by traditional theology, all of them have to be abandoned. And if that condition is met, then religion is perfectly harmonious with the tenets of science. The only way to find compatibility in such a worldview is by accepting a religion with no authority on the most meaningful matters of human existence. For that, we have sociobiology, or evolutionary biology, and that, to me, is offensive to most theologically-minded people."

          – Dr. Greg Graffin

          " The great majority (of scientists) see no conflict between religion and evolution, not because they occupy different, noncompeting magisteria, but because they see religion as a natural product of human evolution. Sociologists and cultural anthropologists, in contrast, tend toward the hypothesis that cultural change alone produced religions, minus evolutionary change in humans."
          (Greg Graffin and Will Provine, "American Scientist 95[4]:294-297, 2007.)

          December 31, 2013 at 11:48 am |
        • Cpt. Obvious

          thankful, I am thankful to find out that you are a LIAR.

          You claim that I provided a particular link that I did not provide, LIAR.

          Here is the information on the link I provided, LIAR.

          "Leading scientists still reject God

          Nature, Vol. 394, No. 6691, p. 313 (1998) © Macmillan Publishers Ltd.

          Sir — The question of religious belief among US scientists has been debated since early in the century. Our latest survey finds that, among the top natural scientists, disbelief is greater than ever — almost total.

          Research on this topic began with the eminent US psychologist James H. Leuba and his landmark survey of 1914. He found that 58% of 1,000 randomly selected US scientists expressed disbelief or doubt in the existence of God, and that this figure rose to near 70% among the 400 "greater" scientists within his sample [1]. Leuba repeated his survey in somewhat different form 20 years later, and found that these percentages had increased to 67 and 85, respectively [2].

          In 1996, we repeated Leuba's 1914 survey and reported our results in Nature [3]. We found little change from 1914 for American scientists generally, with 60.7% expressing disbelief or doubt. This year, we closely imitated the second phase of Leuba's 1914 survey to gauge belief among "greater" scientists, and find the rate of belief lower than ever — a mere 7% of respondents.

          Leuba attributed the higher level of disbelief and doubt among "greater" scientists to their "superior knowledge, understanding, and experience" [3]. Similarly, Oxford University scientist Peter Atkins commented on our 1996 survey, "You clearly can be a scientist and have religious beliefs. But I don't think you can be a real scientist in the deepest sense of the word because they are such alien categories of knowledge." [4] Such comments led us to repeat the second phase of Leuba's study for an up-to-date comparison of the religious beliefs of "greater" and "lesser" scientists.

          Our chosen group of "greater" scientists were members of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS). Our survey found near universal rejection of the transcendent by NAS natural scientists. Disbelief in God and immortality among NAS biological scientists was 65.2% and 69.0%, respectively, and among NAS physical scientists it was 79.0% and 76.3%. Most of the rest were agnostics on both issues, with few believers. We found the highest percentage of belief among NAS mathematicians (14.3% in God, 15.0% in immortality). Biological scientists had the lowest rate of belief (5.5% in God, 7.1% in immortality), with physicists and astronomers slightly higher (7.5% in God, 7.5% in immortality). Overall comparison figures for the 1914, 1933 and 1998 surveys appear in Table 1.

          Table 1 Comparison of survey answers among "greater" scientists
          Belief in personal God 1914 1933 1998
          Personal belief 27.7 15 7.0
          Personal disbelief 52.7 68 72.2
          Doubt or agnosticism 20.9 17 20.8
          Belief in human immortality 1914 1933 1998
          Personal belief 35.2 18 7.9
          Personal disbelief 25.4 53 76.7
          Doubt or agnosticism 43.7 29 23.3
          Figures are percentages.
          Repeating Leuba's methods presented challenges. For his general surveys, he randomly polled scientists listed in the standard reference work, American Men of Science (AMS). We used the current edition. In Leuba's day, AMS editors designated the "great scientists" among their entries, and Leuba used these to identify his "greater" scientists [1,2]. The AMS no longer makes these designations, so we chose as our "greater" scientists members of the NAS, a status that once assured designation as "great scientists" in the early AMS. Our method surely generated a more elite sample than Leuba's method, which (if the quoted comments by Leuba and Atkins are correct) may explain the extremely low level of belief among our respondents.

          For the 1914 survey, Leuba mailed his brief questionnaire to a random sample of 400 AMS "great scientists". It asked about the respondent's belief in "a God in intellectual and affective communication with humankind" and in "personal immortality". Respondents had the options of affirming belief, disbelief or agnosticism on each question [1]. Our survey contained precisely the same questions and also asked for anonymous responses.

          Leuba sent the 1914 survey to 400 "biological and physical scientists", with the latter group including mathematicians as well as physicists and astronomers [1]. Because of the relatively small size of NAS membership, we sent our survey to all 517 NAS members in those core disciplines. Leuba obtained a return rate of about 70% in 1914 and more than 75% in 1933 whereas our returns stood at about 60% for the 1996 survey and slightly over 50% from NAS members [1,2].

          As we compiled our findings, the NAS issued a booklet encouraging the teaching of evolution in public schools, an ongoing source of friction between the scientific community and some conservative Christians in the United States. The booklet assures readers, "Whether God exists or not is a question about which science is neutral"[5]. NAS president Bruce Alberts said: "There are many very outstanding members of this academy who are very religious people, people who believe in evolution, many of them biologists." Our survey suggests otherwise.

          Edward J. Larson
          Department of History, University of Georgia,
          Athens, Georgia 30602-6012, USA
          e-mail:edlarson@uga.edu

          Larry Witham
          3816 Lansdale Court, Burtonsville,
          Maryland 20866, USA

          References

          Leuba, J. H. The Belief in God and Immortality: A Psychological, Anthropological and Statistical Study (Sherman, French & Co., Boston, 1916).
          Leuba, J. H. Harper's Magazine 169, 291-300 (1934).
          Larson, E. J. & Witham, L. Nature 386, 435-436 (1997).
          Highfield, R. The Daily Telegraph 3 April, p. 4 (1997).
          National Academy of Sciences Teaching About Evolution and the Nature of Science (Natl Acad. Press, Washington DC, 1998).

          December 31, 2013 at 12:01 pm |
        • Thankful

          Cool it. I provided the Pew Research link which is newer (not 1998) and more accurate (unbiased).

          December 31, 2013 at 12:26 pm |
      • Science Works

        Thankful

        AE liked that quote too.

        But CNN has the article about his lost letter !

        December 31, 2013 at 11:23 am |
        • Thankful

          You make no sense. Of course Einstein liked that quote?

          http://godevidence.com/2010/08/quotes-about-god/

          December 31, 2013 at 11:42 am |
        • Cpt. Obvious

          thankful, if you believe in a god that influences humanity directly at all or provides anyone with immortality, then you disagree with Einstein. Why would you disagree with such a great scientist?

          December 31, 2013 at 11:45 am |
      • Logic Fail

        Fallacy, appeal to authority. A scientist quoting thier beliefs about God does not prove God to be true.

        December 31, 2013 at 11:41 am |
        • bostontola

          Proof? It's not even evidence.

          December 31, 2013 at 11:56 am |
  20. Charm Quark

    Well the definition of Christian seems to be..."The true definition of a Christian is one who follows Christ (his teachings and accepts them as Lord of their life)." Thank you Live4Him. Using that definition haw many true Christians post on this blog? I would say zero, so many criminals (maybe ex-criminals?) and pompous arrogant, I know better than anyone else types, so unChrist like.
    Ghandi
    I like your Christ. I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.

    December 31, 2013 at 10:59 am |
    • Happy.Days!

      Thank you! I get a nickel every time someone posts that Gandhi quotes. I've made $1,000 this week alone! Yes!!!!

      December 31, 2013 at 11:01 am |
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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.