home
RSS
Will camel discovery break the Bible's back?
Camels, shown here in the Liwa desert outside Abu Dhabi, are the subject of a surprising new discovery.
February 11th, 2014
01:56 PM ET

Will camel discovery break the Bible's back?

Opinion by Joel Baden, special to CNN

(CNN) - It’s been a rough 2014 for the book of Genesis.

First a Noah’s Ark discovery raised a flood of questions, then there was the much-hyped debate over life’s origins between Bill Nye the Science Guy and creationist Ken Ham.

And now this: a scientific report establishing that camels, the basic mode of transportation for the biblical patriarchs, weren’t domesticated in Israel until hundreds of years after Abraham, Isaac and Jacob are said to have wandered the earth.

Using radiocarbon dating of camel bones that showed signs of having carried heavy loads, Israeli archaeologists have dated the earliest domesticated camels to the end of the 10th century BCE.

But according to the traditional biblical chronology, the patriarchs were schlepping around Canaan on camels over a millennium earlier, all the way back in 2100 BCE

Taken on its own, this may seem a rather minor problem.

After all, this is Genesis, in which some people live to be 900 years old (hello, Methuselah), all of humanity emerges from Babylon, and the Dead Sea is created from the backward glance of Lot’s wife. (Not to mention the six-day creation story and the stuffing of all land animals on a single boat.)

How important could camels really be?

For those who believe the Bible to be fundamentally true, this is hardly going to change any minds. For those who believe it to be entirely false, this is surely not the most damning piece of evidence.

What the camels in Genesis reveal, in fact, has nothing to do with the “truth” of the biblical story at all.

Instead, the presence of these camels in the story highlights, in a very clear way, the essential humanity of the biblical writers: like the best authors, they simply wrote about what they knew.

The patriarchs are depicted as nomadic, never settling for long in one place, but moving constantly from location to location throughout Israel (and beyond).

An ancient Israelite, wanting to tell the story of the wandering of his ethnic and national ancestors, would have naturally looked to the nomadic peoples around him as models. And indeed, throughout the Bible camels are commonly associated with those tribes who lived in the desert: Midianites, Ishmaelites, Amalekites, Kedemites.

The biblical authors simply transplanted the nomadic standards of their time into the distant past.

There is nothing deceptive about this. They weren’t trying to trick anyone. They imagined, quite reasonably, that the past was, fundamentally, like their present.

They had no real alternative. In ancient Israel, in the period when the Bible was written (which ranges, conservatively, from the 10th to the third century BCE), no one had any way of knowing that camels had not always been domesticated pack animals. After all, we didn’t know that for sure until this past week.

Without any evidence to the contrary, it is perfectly natural to assume that things have always been the way that they are now. Today we have more information about the past than any other moment in history. In ancient Israel, they had virtually none.

And yet we still fall victim to this basic, very human, historical fallacy.

It has been suggested that this anachronism in the biblical text is akin to importing semitrailers into the medieval period. But this is a level of ridiculousness too far.

I would suggest that it is more similar to describing a medieval Italian as enjoying pasta with tomato sauce. How many people, even today, know that tomatoes only came to Italy from South America in the 16th century?

The camels in Genesis may be “wrong,” but they are not a “mistake.” We all imagine the past to the best of our knowledge, the biblical authors included.

The lasting lesson of the camel controversy, such as it is, is a simple one: no writing, not even the Bible, is timeless or without context. Views of the past are contingent on both what we know and how we know it.

The Bible is a historical record, but it tells us just as much, if not more, about the people who wrote it as it does about the people they wrote about.

Since the stories of the Bible remain so central to who we are as a culture, even today (and even for those who dismiss it), it seems entirely fitting that we should be equally interested in the ancient people who composed them.

Despite their lack of historical knowledge — and, equally, because of it — they, more than the characters in the Bible, are our true cultural ancestors.

Joel S. Baden is the author of "The Historical David: The Real Life of an Invented Hero" and an associate professor of Old Testament at Yale Divinity School. The views expressed in this column belong to Baden.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Bible • Creationism • Evolution • Judaism • Middle East • Opinion

soundoff (3,276 Responses)
  1. Pablo

    "It’s been a rough 2014 for the book of Genesis."— There is no other book on planet earth that has been studied, contested, analyzed, scrutinized and critiqued than the Holy Bible. It has stood the test of time and continues to be the blueprint for positive living, changing lives every single day. It will continue to attract both the naysayers and the faithful to it's content this day and forevermore.

    The Holy Bible will stand on its own, for it's the word of God.

    February 13, 2014 at 8:49 am |
    • Pablo

      "All Scripture is [a]inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for [b]training in righteousness; 17 so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work."

      Amen!

      February 13, 2014 at 8:50 am |
      • new-man

        Amen.
        As I like to say: All Scripture is God-breathed, and God doesn't waste His breath!

        February 13, 2014 at 9:09 am |
        • TruthPrevails1

          Show evidence for your god. We can discredit the bible and we can show that it was written by the hand of man, what we can't show and thus have no justification for believing is that a god was involved. Until you show a god was involved, there is no acceptable reason for believing.

          February 13, 2014 at 9:13 am |
        • igaftr

          newman
          All that scripture means is that someone wrote it down. The Harry Potter books are scripture...this is scripture. There is 100% chance that all things written were written by men. No god ever wrote anything that anyone can see.

          You say it was inspired by god...just as likely not, or inspired by satan (considering the hoorible history of belief in the bible, satan makes more sense), aliens controlling the minds of the writers, or (and this is most likely) they just made it all up.

          February 13, 2014 at 9:18 am |
        • new-man

          A pleasant good morning to you.
          I have much of the same evidence that you have, and more.

          Who is we? Every man will sit under his vine and under his fig tree.

          February 13, 2014 at 9:21 am |
        • new-man

          igaftr,
          thanks for expressing your view on the Bible. From what you've written, understandably one would have little to no reason to believe the Bible.

          Thank God, those are not my views, hence for me the Bible remains the inerrant Word of God, given for correction, teaching, and training in righteousness.

          February 13, 2014 at 9:25 am |
        • Doc Vestibule

          There is very little that is righteous or morally redeeming about the God of the Old Testament.
          He is petty, jealous, spiteful, violent, and egotistical. Time and again, He behaves like a petulant child throwing a tantrum.
          There is much to be learned about ancient Hebrew culture from the OT, but as for actual, factual history? Not so much.
          As a guide to morality in the modern world, it falls flat. Have you noticed how many things are punishable by death in the OT?
          Anything ethically redeeming in the Bible is pretty much exclusive to the New Testament – more specifically, the words of Chrst.
          The world would be a better place if Thomas Jefferson's Bible had replaced the King James.

          February 13, 2014 at 9:33 am |
        • igaftr

          newman
          "Bible remains the inerrant Word of God,"

          if by inerrant you mean filled with flaws, and false stories and myths, then you may be right.

          How can you read the bible and not see all of the flaws within.
          What I said is absolutely true. Men wrote it, and claim a god inspired it, but they do not know that and it just as well COULD have been inspired by satan...just as much evidence for both.
          Meanwhile, back in reality...men make up gods, thousands of them. Over 400 "one true "gods, over 100 god that created everything, some even created themselves out of nothing.
          To this point no one has ever shown any evidence that any gods exist.

          February 13, 2014 at 9:38 am |
        • new-man

          @igaftr:
          As I said, the Bible is the inerrant Word of God.
          Words are very important to me. I do not twist words to mean something else.

          inerrant: free from error ( Merriam Webster dictionary)

          Jesus Himself read from Scripture (the Book of Isaiah for one). If Scripture is good enough for the Son of God, the very WORD made flesh, it is more than good enough for me.

          February 13, 2014 at 9:47 am |
        • new-man

          DV:
          Do you know what a covenant is?
          Do you understand the difference between the old covenant and the new covenant?
          Do you know which covenant you are under?

          Jesus said, who ever has seen him has seen the Father, because Jesus only did what he saw the Father doing.

          I cannot imagine the pride it takes to believe you know more than God... to believe you are more loving than God.
          I will admit, most know of Father's Holiness, but most don't know of His love.
          God wants to be known for His love and grace. His loving kindness endures forever.
          The greatest humility you will ever display is to receive His love and thereby his salvation.

          February 13, 2014 at 9:55 am |
        • igaftr

          newman
          Bible inerrant...LOL
          Noahs myth never happened, amny sciences have proven there has never been a global flood. The bible is the plawed work of ignorant, superst!tiuos men. It's too bad you can't see there are no gods that had any part of writing the bible.

          What pride you have worshipping a god that no one knows exists.
          You worship the words of men. And much of the bible is flat out wrong.
          Willful ignorance is not living "righteous"

          How do you now there is a god or gods, and then how do you know it is YOUR version of god, and why do you so quickly disregard the other thousands of gods.
          There is NO logic or reason behind belief in gods.

          February 13, 2014 at 10:06 am |
        • Doc Vestibule

          I know the old/new convenant argument. The vengeful, smitey, bloodthirsty God of the Jews mellowed out for the Torah sequel. Perhaps becoming His own Son gave Him a new perspective.
          But God's primary characteristic isn;t love – it is jealousy – at least according to the first commandment.
          It is hard to conceive of an omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent Creator who would demand obsequious submission and punish those who don't flatter Him with eternal torment.
          It causes one to suspect that these very human characteristics were ascribed to the Creator by human beings.

          That the kinder, gentler God of the NT no longer demands blood sacrifices doesn't change how He frequently decimated entire civilizations and/or commanded His followers to pillage, loot, ra/pe, take slaves and raze.
          It also doesn't change the fact that the Bible is not an actual, factual, historical docu/ment that is meant to be taken literally.

          February 13, 2014 at 10:14 am |
        • new-man

          igaftr:
          " Bible inerrant...LOL "
          – It's understandable that it's laughable to you. However it is LIGHT, LIFE & LOVE for others.

          "Noahs myth never happened, amny sciences have proven there has never been a global flood."
          – Jesus Himself deemed it necessary to speak of the days of Noah, and likened it even to today. The Words of the Son of God is more than good enough for me any day over the words of any man.

          "The bible is the plawed work of ignorant, superst!tiuos men. It's too bad you can't see there are no gods that had any part of writing the bible."
          – The Bible was narrated by the Holy Spirit (Wisdom) and written down by men. Too sad that you are spiritually blind and deaf, so you cannot see nor hear the things of the Spirit of God.

          "What pride you have worshipping a god that no one knows exists."
          – How can it be pride to worship the one who is all together lovely! The one who gave His only Son for me, the one who loves me and only sees me as righteous – why? because when He looks at me, He sees His Son.

          "You worship the words of men. And much of the bible is flat out wrong."
          – I worship my Father in Heaven, whose Holy Spirit dwells in me. He's always with me.

          "Willful ignorance is not living "righteous" "
          – True! Righteousness means Right Believing. When you believe right, then you will start to live right. I sincerely hope you start having right beliefs. Say it with me... "I am the Righteousness of God in Christ Jesus". Yes, that's an easy first step and best of all, Father delights in it. He honors it. Isn't He awesome. What a God I serve!

          "How do you now there is a god or gods, and then how do you know it is YOUR version of god, and why do you so quickly disregard the other thousands of gods."
          – Only one person possess the very life of God – Jesus. Before Jesus came mankind knew God by the different natures as His names show. Jesus came to reveal to us God as our heavenly Abba/Daddy/Father.
          No one else died for the sin-nature of mankind. Jesus is the only way to the Father, because His was the only perfect sacrifice, and best of all Jesus' sacrifice was greater than Father's judgment, which meant the sacrifice remained (Jesus). And this is the good news of the gospel.

          Jesus is Lord. He is King of Kings and our High Priest. Best of all, He is also our brother.

          February 13, 2014 at 10:36 am |
        • new-man

          DV:
          yes, you know the old/new covenant argument, however you do not know nor understand the new covenant and what it means for you.

          You do not have a revelation of the love of Father, and it is only when one has this revelation of Father as love that one can change their mind about Him. And this is all repentance is – it's changing your mind about God.

          Unfortunately you are still an infant and I know this because you've put yourself under the Law. (Only an infant you tell "do-not")
          Jesus came to bring us into Son-ship. One doesn't say to an adult "do-not". And this is what the new covenant is about. There's no "do-not". The only command is to "do". And that command is to "love as Christ loves us"

          Grace is bigger and stronger than the law.
          Righteousness is a revelation of the gospel. Jesus' gift of righteousness allows you to reign in life.
          It takes the Holy Spirit to teach grace.
          Be humble and receive His grace, favor and love. It's all there for the taking, you only have to take it/accept it.

          February 13, 2014 at 10:48 am |
        • Doc Vestibule

          Belief in the supernatural is not required to live a life of peace, humility, compassion and charity.
          It would be a petty God who would condemn someone who lived in the image of Christ but didn't perform the correct rituals or accept that which cannot be demonstrated.

          February 13, 2014 at 11:26 am |
        • sam stone

          lots of conjecture there about the bible being the word of god

          February 13, 2014 at 11:28 am |
        • new-man

          DV:

          That's the whole point! It has never been about performance.

          Just like an apple tree doesn't have to work hard to produce apples... it just does. The apples are the fruits it bears.

          Likewise, when a person believes right, that right belief bears fruit in their lives – the things they say and do. But it doesn't come by consciously trying to perform. It comes by being conscious of your righteousness/right standing with God. Not based on your performance, but based on Jesus performance and obedience.

          February 13, 2014 at 11:51 am |
    • TruthPrevails1

      Cute, one more who fails to see reality for what it is.
      With 7 billion people on our planet and only 2 billion who believe in your god, it is safe to say the bible is not standing the test of time.

      February 13, 2014 at 9:06 am |
    • Anthony Crispino

      "The Holy Bible will stand on its own, for it's the word of God. "

      This is not working for me. I'm going to ask my nephew Toolie if he can find me one with a hard cover. Mine has this soft cover that goes out from the pages pretty far and it just keeps falling over when I try to stand it up.

      February 13, 2014 at 9:18 am |
    • kudlak

      It hasn't withstood the test of time for all of us, however, and modern society is abandoning much of its blueprint for society in favour of a more tolerant one.

      February 13, 2014 at 9:18 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      The Bible will always be a valuable book for people curious as to what people believed in lieu of facts during the times when people, mostly Europeans and people dominated by Europeans, ordered their lives and justified the things they did by appealing to an imaginary God.

      February 13, 2014 at 9:21 am |
      • robertbeliefblogginbrown

        It is still valuable today and for evermore. It is a mirror that shows people their need of savior, how to find him, and how to live for him.

        February 13, 2014 at 10:05 am |
        • igaftr

          RB
          "need a savior"

          you need god to save you from the threat your god created...hilarious.
          Just like a school yard bully...give him your lunch money and he won't make you punch yourself in the face.
          Who needs a god who creates the threat of hell and then demands you worship him to "save" yourself from the threat he created?
          How that makes sense to anyone I will never understand.
          Then the basic immorality of god demanding you allow him to save you by letting him stand in your place of your just punishment...I would never allow another to stand in my place...immoral to accept jesus and let him take my punishment.

          So I have a choice...the immoral choice of allowing jesus to stand for me, or an eternity in hell for not allowing it.
          Silly men made up that whole thing and clearly did not think it through.

          February 13, 2014 at 10:19 am |
        • joey3467

          I don't need to be saved by god, from god, so that I can spend eternity with god.

          February 13, 2014 at 12:53 pm |
    • Dyslexic doG

      classic cult-speak

      February 13, 2014 at 9:24 am |
    • Alias

      Right.
      How is this any different from the other religions/philosophies that have been around at least 2,000 years?

      February 13, 2014 at 9:55 am |
  2. theophileo

    Will it break the Bible's back? No.

    All they managed to do was to view a VERY limited sampling of bones, restricted to one site location, and determine within that particular sample which bones have shown domestication, and which have not.

    All this discovery proves is how far back camels who were burried at this particular site were domesticated.

    No one who calls themself a scientist with a straight face could say that this discovery proves anything about the domestication of camels as a whole – only those within this particular burial site.

    February 13, 2014 at 6:28 am |
    • theophileo

      See: Random Stratified Sample.... Which of course, this was not.

      February 13, 2014 at 6:58 am |
    • realityyyyyyy

      As noted previously, camels or no camels there were no patriarchs to ride them. See p. 1 for added details.

      February 13, 2014 at 8:46 am |
      • theophileo

        No, that's speculation at best. Regardless of what was said on page 1.

        February 13, 2014 at 8:59 am |
        • realityyyyyyy

          Speculation?

          spec·u·la·tion

          /ˌspekyəˈlāSHən/

          noun

          the forming of a theory or conjecture without firm evidence."

          The OT is speculation at its best from the age of the Earth to the separation of the Red Sea to the changing of staffs to snakes. The Jewish scribes are what you might call the blue collar Greek gods and mythology inventors.

          February 13, 2014 at 10:35 am |
  3. Dalahäst

    Why do those that are quick to accuse others of being trolls or cowards, usually turn out to be trolls or cowards? Very grateful for this new format right now. Thanks to those that helped it happen.

    February 12, 2014 at 11:20 pm |
    • LOL!

      You;'re welcome.

      February 12, 2014 at 11:22 pm |
      • Dalahäst

        You also posted under Sarah. And engaged in a conversation with her and one of your other names.

        February 13, 2014 at 12:40 am |
    • LOL!

      OH, I don't know what the solution is but what has been happening in this comment section is wrong, and just not here. All forums, you would think that with all our advances there would be a better system, to block bullying on-line and yes, I believe people who troll these comment sections like they do are bullies, including you.

      February 12, 2014 at 11:23 pm |
      • Dalahäst

        Says the guy who posts under various names, yet accuses me of doing the same thing. What evidence do you have? What other posts today do you suspect were me trolling?

        I can save you some time: I've only posted under this name today. I just set up my account on WordPress late last night.

        February 12, 2014 at 11:26 pm |
        • LOL!

          I wasn't talking about today, and you know it. Thanks for proving my point about you.

          February 12, 2014 at 11:40 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          In 1 year I've posted under 4 names. I don't plan to ditch this one because nobody can steal my posting handle that links to my blog.

          All you have is speculation that I post under multiple handles, no evidence.

          February 12, 2014 at 11:43 pm |
        • LOL!

          "All you have is speculation that I post under multiple handles, no evidence."

          see below people this poster admitted they posted under other handles.

          February 12, 2014 at 11:47 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          After you got busted and there was no way to prove you weren't posting under multiple handles, you admitted Shawn, Larry, Terry, Huh?, & LOL!. were all you.

          I guess that is a good start.

          February 12, 2014 at 11:53 pm |
        • LOL!

          "I guess that is a good start."

          No a good start would be look yourself in the mirror admit you are a troll with signs of signs of sadism, psychopathy. You are part of the problem, your belittling of people for your own benefit is sadism.

          February 12, 2014 at 11:56 pm |
        • LOL!

          By the way has anyone else notice that Dalahäst religious concepts have gone out the window during this argument? Classic isn't' it.

          February 13, 2014 at 12:00 am |
      • LOL!

        I really don't care if it did, I am merely making it obvious once again, the flaws of this comment section. I have no respect for you or your belittling tactics to stroke your ego, you are a troll, just like those you try to condemn. That's called being sadism.

        The fact you know you posted under other handles but want to deny it is priceless.

        February 12, 2014 at 11:34 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Thanks Shawn/Larry/Terry/Peter and whoever else you posted as. All of you have been great!

          February 12, 2014 at 11:38 pm |
        • LOL!

          But yet you just thanked me recently for tying to fix the system... you're a hypocrite and a disgrace to your religion.

          February 12, 2014 at 11:42 pm |
        • LOL!

          by the way people make sure to read the post about trolls by CNN Dalahäst is a great example of a sadism.

          February 12, 2014 at 11:43 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          I had the moderators of the board in mind when I expressed grat.itude for the changes.

          I had no idea you played a part in the system change.

          February 12, 2014 at 11:55 pm |
        • LOL!

          Yes, I know you are clueless, but think about it really hard....why did it change.

          February 12, 2014 at 11:58 pm |
    • LOL!

      Before I leave I just wanted to say thank you to Dalahäst, now the trolls using WordPress might be leery of using multiple handles to hide behind their rants against both sides of this argument. I had pointed this out earlier but it seemed to go unnoticed. Maybe now WordPress will fix this flaw too. Good Night. It's time to go to bed in my part of the world.

      Ok trolls have at it....

      February 13, 2014 at 12:05 am |
  4. Dalahäst

    "The bigotry of the nonbeliever is for me nearly as funny as the bigotry of the believer."

    — Albert Einstein

    (Yes, we all know Einstein was a deist...)

    February 12, 2014 at 9:11 pm |
    • In Santa We Trust

      “Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the universe.”
      ― Albert Einstein

      February 12, 2014 at 9:45 pm |
    • In Santa We Trust

      The idea of a personal God is quite alien to me and seems even naive.
      Albert Einstein.

      February 12, 2014 at 9:47 pm |
    • Levi

      Your are a troll...lame as always. How many handles are you posting under this time.

      February 12, 2014 at 10:24 pm |
      • Dalahäst

        1. Like always.

        Hopeful nobody can steal my handle and start posting derogatory and unflattering comments this time around. Some trolls really gave me a hard time.

        February 12, 2014 at 10:42 pm |
        • LOL!

          Got to love it when Christians lie. Since you've been on this belief blog how many handles have you posted under? Watch people this Christian is going to lie.

          February 12, 2014 at 10:46 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          3. This is my 4th. I'm hoping to not get my name hijacked, having my posts deleted or being harassed by hostile people.

          So far, it is not going very well....

          February 12, 2014 at 10:51 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          3. This is my 4th. I'm hoping to not get my name hijacked, having my posts deleted or being haras.sed by hostile people.

          So far, it is not going very well....

          February 12, 2014 at 10:52 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Holy frak balls!

          You are posting under multiple handles, peterpeter.wordpress.com

          Go away, hypocrite.

          February 12, 2014 at 10:54 pm |
        • LOL!

          So share with us the other handles you have used to show your faith in your God or are you going to lie about it to get out of it.

          February 12, 2014 at 10:55 pm |
        • LOL!

          "Holy frak balls!

          You are posting under multiple handles, peterpeter.wordpress.com

          Go away, hypocrite."

          Seriously? Are you so insecure you had to be a troll...go read the post about sadism, psychopathy.

          February 12, 2014 at 10:59 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          You have posted under 5 different names in this thread? And pretending to be different people who just happened to all dislike me?

          Who is "us"? And I get some Christians are dishonest. But why are you?

          February 12, 2014 at 11:01 pm |
        • LOL!

          "You have posted under 5 different names in this thread? And pretending to be different people who just happened to all dislike me?"

          You've posted under 5 different handles, what are the names you used? If you're implying me you're lying, try again.

          February 12, 2014 at 11:08 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Shawn, Larry, Terry, Huh?, & LOL!... all belong to the same wordpress account.

          My posts only refer to my wordpress account.

          I'm not the one lying. Are you being serious? Do you honestly want me to believe you are not posting as Shawn, Larry, Terry, Huh?, & LOL!?

          February 12, 2014 at 11:12 pm |
        • LOL!

          I don't know what the solution is but what has been happening in this comment section is wrong, and just not here. All forums, you would think that with all our advances there would be a better system, to block bullying on-line and yes, I believe people who troll these comment sections like they do are bullies, including you.

          February 12, 2014 at 11:23 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          The solution is don't post under different names. Don't do what you do.

          February 12, 2014 at 11:27 pm |
        • LOL!

          I really don't care if it did, I am merely making it obvious once again, the flaws of this comment section. I have no respect for you or your belittling tactics to stroke your ego, you are a troll, just like those you try to condemn. That's called being sadism.

          February 12, 2014 at 11:32 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Albert Einstein thought bigotry was funny? What a strange man.

      February 12, 2014 at 10:26 pm |
    • doobzz

      New day, new name. Troll-la-la-la!

      February 12, 2014 at 10:26 pm |
      • Dalahäst

        The irony is killing me here. 🙂

        February 12, 2014 at 11:13 pm |
        • doobzz

          Really? How so?

          February 12, 2014 at 11:28 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          I haven't been trolling. But someone acting like a troll has been posting under different names and basically trying to troll me.

          February 12, 2014 at 11:30 pm |
        • LOL!

          Now you're lying to try and justify your poor behavior. I am merely making it obvious once again, the flaws of this comment section. I have no respect for you or your belittling tactics to stroke your ego, you are a troll, just like those you try to condemn. That's called being sadism.

          February 12, 2014 at 11:32 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          You seem to be projecting. You seem to accuse me of what you are guilty of, like rationalizing your bad behavior. I doubt anyone is buying your claim that you posted hostile things from names like Larry and Shawn to prove a point about message boards.

          February 12, 2014 at 11:41 pm |
        • LOL!

          Really...that's why you just thanked me. I haven't posted on here for years because it's like a bad soap opera, same people same theme with the same trolls... so I did something about it but guess what it won't change like you said and you are part of the problem so keep posting and prove me right.

          February 12, 2014 at 11:46 pm |
    • Dalahäst

      He also had something to say about fanatical atheists.

      I'm a troll? How so?

      February 12, 2014 at 10:26 pm |
      • Shawn

        Yes you are a troll.

        And here is an article by CNN about trolls.

        http://www.cnn.com/2014/02/11/tech/web/online-trolls-sadists/index.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+rss%2Fcnn_tech+%28RSS%3A+Technology%29

        February 12, 2014 at 10:33 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Wow. At least I'm not alone. There are a lot of trolls posting on here by your standards. Both atheist and religious, hu?

          Have you been the victim of a troll online? I have, by some that hated Christians. It wasn't a pleasant experience. So I don't do such things to others.

          February 12, 2014 at 10:37 pm |
        • Larry

          I have only been reading the comments for a few minutes Dalahäst and I would say you don't believe you do but reading back through your comments you are very belittling and similar to those you condemn.

          February 12, 2014 at 10:41 pm |
      • kudlak

        What's a "fanatical atheist"? Someone willing to discuss why they don't believe in gods instead of hiding their unbelief like we had to in the past?

        February 13, 2014 at 9:23 am |
        • Dalahäst

          No. I think Einstein was referring the the phenomenon where former fanatical and extremest religious people transform into fanatical and extremest atheists.

          Most atheists are not this way. But I have met many atheists who will admit that such fanaticism does exist in atheism, unfortunately.

          February 13, 2014 at 9:57 am |
        • Dalahäst

          "I was barked at by numerous dogs who are earning their food guarding ignorance and supersti.tion for the benefit of those who profit from it. Then there are the fanatical atheists whose intolerance is of the same kind as the intolerance of the religious fanatics and comes from the same source. They are like slaves who are still feeling the weight of their chains which they have thrown off after hard struggle. They are creatures who—in their grudge against the traditional "opium of the people"—cannot bear the music of the spheres. The Wonder of nature does not become smaller because one cannot measure it by the standards of human moral and human aims."

          February 13, 2014 at 10:02 am |
    • Dalahäst

      I think Einstein thought it was ironic, because religious people had a reputation for being bigots. But non-religious people demonstrated to him they could be a bigot, too.

      Hey, was dyslexic doG being a troll when he posted a quote from Mr Tyson that was anti-religious in nature? Or is it just when someone posts a lquote that sheds a bad light on atheism that it becomes trollish?

      February 12, 2014 at 10:35 pm |
      • Terry

        I would say look back at how many times you have responded and if you have spent a great deal of time here, then that would make you a troll. There is more to life then the comment section on CNN.

        February 12, 2014 at 10:38 pm |
      • Tom, Tom, the Other One

        I suppose you're a troll if you post things for the fun of seeing reactions in people and not to present some thoughts or arguments you actually care about.

        February 12, 2014 at 10:39 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          I actually have encountered some non-believer bigotry today. I am against such bigotry. I find it comforting that I'm not alone in that concern.

          I also know this board has a few people that love to call other people trolls and cowards, with no evidence to back that up. My first encounter with some of these miserable people involved them being convinced I was an anti-g.ay poster named Douglas who live in Colorado. A couple even lied that they could read my ip address and basically berated and accused me of being someone I wasn't.

          So, yea, I'm not quite that trollish or hostile yet. And I thank God that most atheists are not like those few miserable souls that harassed me when I first got here.

          Oh, yea, I also get accused of being Chad, Austin, Larry and a bunch of other people by trolls.

          February 12, 2014 at 10:49 pm |
        • Huh?

          "So, yea, I'm not quite that trollish or hostile yet. And I thank God that most atheists are not like those few miserable souls that harassed me when I first got here.

          Oh, yea, I also get accused of being Chad, Austin, Larry and a bunch of other people by trolls."

          So how do you know all this if you haven't been posting that long?

          February 12, 2014 at 10:52 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          I never said I haven't been posting that long.

          I started posting on here a year ago. I stopped not too long ago. I'm giving it another chance with the new moderation rules. I like it so far.

          February 12, 2014 at 10:56 pm |
        • Tom, Tom, the Other One

          There's no benefit in being trollish or hostile. It's best to be straight up about what you want to say.

          February 12, 2014 at 10:56 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          I agree, Tom Tom.

          I'm kind of looking forward to the new format, although not perfect, it seems to be an improvement. Not as many anonymous posts (a la peterpeter.wordpress.com) and insults.

          February 12, 2014 at 10:57 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          "an improvement. Not as many anonymous posts (a la peterpeter.wordpress.com) and insults."

          Sorry...but like I pointed out to another poster, nothing has changed, except now you can't delete posts I wont' use your handle again, just making a point.

          February 12, 2014 at 11:04 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Yea, but I can place my cursor over the name and see you are not me.

          Shawn, Larry, Terry, Huh?, & LOL!... all belong to the same wordpress account. You are the one posting under multiple handles, not me.

          February 12, 2014 at 11:09 pm |
        • Huh?

          I am doing it to make a point to CNN and WordPress, that their systems are flawed.

          February 12, 2014 at 11:16 pm |
        • Huh?

          I don't know what the solution is but what has been happening in this comment section is wrong, and just not here. All forums, you would think that with all our advances there would be a better system, to block bullying on-line and yes, I believe people who troll these comment sections like they do are bullies, including you.

          February 12, 2014 at 11:19 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          It shortly became completely obvious that you were posting under numerous handles.

          February 12, 2014 at 11:24 pm |
        • LOL!

          I really don't care if it did, I am merely making it obvious once again, the flaws of this comment section. I have no respect for you or your belittling tactics to stroke your ego, you are a troll, just like those you try to condemn. That's called being sadism.

          February 12, 2014 at 11:29 pm |
      • kudlak

        Dalahäst
        Are atheists being bigots when we are just disagreeing on your opinion that God actually exists?

        February 13, 2014 at 9:27 am |
        • Dalahäst

          No. Most non-believers are not bigots, in my experience. But there definitely are some that post on this blog.

          February 13, 2014 at 9:54 am |
  5. bostontola

    The notion that the complexity and order of life is evidence of a designer is wrong.

    Mathematicians have developed many mathematical models with very simple rules (analogous to laws of physics). They vary these rules and can run the models over the equivalent of a long time. They have characterized how these mathematical "universes" behave. There are regions of rules where not much happens. Other regions become pure chaos. There are special regions, interesting regions, that all on their own generate complex but ordered behavior. While it is ordered, it is not predictable, surprising patterns emerge spontaneously. The rules in the interesting region correspond a world having an open system with energy/mass coming into it (like earth getting energy from the sun, mass from asteroids). This is directly corresponding to systems not bound by the second law of thermodynamics, open systems like earth.

    The key point is, with a mass/energy input to many systems, complexity emerges spontaneously every time. While the mass/energy of the universe is fixed, local volumes (e.g. earth) can have a net influx for a long time, long enough to have complexity (life) emerge.

    Now some may interpret this as God having set up our rules and an open system earth so that we would emerge. There is no way to disprove that. But what this shows is that complexity can emerge spontaneously without a designer. Life on earth does not have the fingerprints of design at all, it has all the fingerprints of complexity emerging from an open system. If it was God, God did it from omniscience/omnipotence, knowing the initial conditions that would result in us after 13.8B years. That isn't design, that is creation with specific intent.

    February 12, 2014 at 8:01 pm |
    • lngtrmthnkr

      Boston. I like the idea of creation with specific intent. But why can't it be also a design?

      February 12, 2014 at 8:21 pm |
      • bostontola

        lngtrmthnkr,
        I am an engineer. Design is a process that starts with requirements, you look at alternative ways of satisfying those requirements, you pick one, then build it. Life on earth has satisfied it's requirements in a very different way, there are an enormous number of different solutions to the same problem (e.g. sight), with solutions that vary over time and have a history built into them (i.e. evolution of the structure and function). The various life forms in an environment are linked and co-evolve, changing their structure and function. This is not design, but a dynamic process much richer than design. It is an insult to call our biosphere designed, it is so much more than that.

        February 12, 2014 at 8:30 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          “Nevertheless, just as I believe that the Book of Scripture illumines the pathway to God, so I believe that the Book of Nature, with its astonishing details–the blade of grass, the Conus cedonulli, or the resonance levels of the carbon atom–also suggest a God of purpose and a God of design. And I think my belief makes me no less a scientist.”

          –Owen Gingerich, former Research Professor of Astronomy and of the History of Science at Harvard University.

          February 12, 2014 at 8:37 pm |
        • lngtrmthnkr

          Boston, so their could be other planets in the goldy lox zone that could have life but possibly with different solutions.

          February 12, 2014 at 9:35 pm |
        • In Santa We Trust

          longterm, Yes. In my opinion it is likely that there is life elsewhere. Earth is in the goldilocks zone, but also has other advantages – acquisition of a moon, somewhat protected from asteroid hits. Humans benefited from the dinosaur extinction, controlling fire, etc. so even if evolution took the same paths (not likely) the life elsewhere probably wouldn't mirror earth.

          February 12, 2014 at 9:42 pm |
      • AtheistSteve

        Was it part of the grand design or reasoned intent to have 99% of every species that has ever lived to die off completely in extinctions? Why bother with the creation of billions of species that vanished long before we came along? Why the convoluted and massively wasteful precursor show? That more than anything indicates that there's nobody behind the wheel.

        February 12, 2014 at 9:25 pm |
        • lngtrmthnkr

          steve, could it be that we would need those resourses millions of years later to advance our species? Coal,oil,nat. gas?

          February 12, 2014 at 9:39 pm |
        • AtheistSteve

          That's trite. Why not just create the coal, oil and gas without all the needless death? That just illustrates my point. Life created the world we live in. Made it habitable. We are very late arrivals to a stage where mindlessly gathering and utilizing the sun's energy is priority one for survival. It was microbial life that oxygenated the atmosphere. Life that locked up all the excess carbon dioxide in limestone. There have been 5 major mass extinctions where nearly everything living died. If even one of them hadn't happened it would have drastically altered the course of evolution including the path that eventually led to us.

          February 12, 2014 at 10:27 pm |
    • robertbeliefblogginbrown

      Yes, creation with specific intent.

      February 12, 2014 at 8:30 pm |
      • bostontola

        robert,
        It may be, we can't disprove that, but the universe is also totally consistent with no creator or intent.

        February 12, 2014 at 8:32 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Opinion noted.

          February 12, 2014 at 8:35 pm |
        • bostontola

          It's not just opinion. The fact that complexity emerges spontaneously with no designer has been demonstrated many times by many mathematicians.

          February 12, 2014 at 10:00 pm |
        • derado8

          If the universe has no larger sense of self awareness why are any of us self aware?

          February 12, 2014 at 10:22 pm |
        • bostontola

          Derado,
          Why would us and the universe be dependent regarding awareness? Is the earth self aware? Is the galaxy?

          February 12, 2014 at 10:35 pm |
        • derado8

          Boston,
          The universe or the galaxy does not contain neurons so in that sense no self awareness would be possible. However everything works together...somehow? I'm not even sure I have the right words for it. Synchronicity? There has to be a reason, right? Or not?

          February 12, 2014 at 11:31 pm |
        • bostontola

          Derado,
          You are assuming dependencies that don't exist, like how could humans be self aware but the universe not, all things are connected, these things are not necessary. Self awareness in humans (and apes) is an emergent process. It comes from evolution, like intelligence and immune systems it is a computational subsystem that has survival value.

          February 13, 2014 at 12:11 am |
        • derado8

          Thanks boston, I ran out of time yesterday but I'd like to discuss it more later.

          February 13, 2014 at 8:03 am |
        • bostontola

          Thanks derado, any time.

          February 13, 2014 at 11:39 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Creation with the specific intent of producing, foreknown by the Creator in every detail , the current state of the Universe, could require something as complex as the entire history of the Universe til now to provide that foreknowledge.

      February 12, 2014 at 10:19 pm |
      • bostontola

        True, of course omniscience is infinitely more complex than that.

        February 12, 2014 at 10:32 pm |
        • lngtrmthnkr

          Boston, what about the coding in the cells of all species that dictates the form and function of all life could this be a random occurance ? I see purpose and function.

          February 13, 2014 at 10:11 am |
        • dandintac

          "I see purpose and function."

          Ing, this is your bias that is "seeing" these things.

          Imagine a pothole, filled with water. Imagine the water molecules become somewhat intelligent and self-aware. They look around at the pothole they are in.

          "WOW! One of them says. "Look how perfectly this pothole fits us!"

          "You're right, says another. "and look at the COMPLEXITY of it!! Look closely at how convoluted and complex all the little jigs and jags are around the edge. I see PURPOSE! It must have been made with us in mind by a Super Water Molecule!"

          This is based on a similar analogy made by Douglas Adams.

          Ing, what you see as "purpose" is just the universe running along, with things happening to matter and energy based on the laws of physics. There is no "purpose". Being intelligent ourselves–we are biased toward seeing intelligent purpose hiding behind every tree, and behind every natural occurrence.

          February 13, 2014 at 10:03 pm |
        • bostontola

          lngtrmthnkr,
          Purpose and function are emergent properties. A paramecium has a purpose when it swims up a glucose gradient, feed itself. The drive to feed is clearly a characteristic that would enhance survival. Life has collected many of these drives and functional forms to accomplish them via evolution. It is a beautiful thing and very accessible to anyone who studies it (unlike the Big Bang which requires advanced mathematics and physics to really understand).

          February 13, 2014 at 11:32 am |
        • lngtrmthnkr

          Boston, I still have a problem with the idea of dna coding of all species. You start with simple dna made from chemicals that are the same in all animals and you build specific triggers into these codes to aid in the ability of these creatures to adapt to the changes in invironment and food sources and to be able to avoid preditors . Each animal has a different set of avoidance features specific to that species. If you were designing these animals to be able to survive and adapt, you would have to work pretty hard to accomplish this diversity, and to be succesful in all cases. Could be an overall concept of life . Causing it to flourish threw laws of sustainability and adaptability.

          February 13, 2014 at 2:49 pm |
        • bostontola

          lngtrmthnkr,
          You hit on a key point, the totality of life would not be designed the way it is. There are many examples of convergent evolution where 2 very different animals with very different DNA look and behave very similarly because they are in similar ecological niches. Why not just use the same or similar design?
          A key point is evolution happens at the phenotype (form and function level of the organism) not the genotype.
          I really recommend you take some courses at a local college, you have the curiosity and drive to succeed at learning this.

          February 13, 2014 at 4:22 pm |
  6. agolf70

    [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7R-hTToDRzs&w=640&h=360]

    February 12, 2014 at 6:54 pm |
    • bostontola

      Do you regard the Ashkenazim a race?

      February 12, 2014 at 6:58 pm |
      • agolf70

        no i don't, isnt that dumb that they used the word "race"

        people do that.

        February 12, 2014 at 7:00 pm |
  7. bostontola

    The science reporting in this article is atrocious, but that isn't what matters.

    It's not as if a poorly done scientific criticism of Harry Potter would lead one to conclude Harry Potter might be true.

    February 12, 2014 at 6:54 pm |
    • agolf70

      Ecclesiastes 7:29 – "See, this alone I found, that God made man upright, but they have sought out many schemes."
      Romans 5:7-8 – For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die—but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
      Romans 5:12,19 – sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned... by the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners

      February 12, 2014 at 6:57 pm |
      • bostontola

        "I love magic." [Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire]

        "I didn't put my name in that cup, I don't want eternal glory." [Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire]

        "Hey! My eyes aren't 'glistening with the ghosts of my past'!" [Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire]

        February 12, 2014 at 7:02 pm |
        • agolf70

          maybe you have to go through a long process of rejection of God, so that you will become even more well rounded when you do receive the supernatural light and truth about your soul.

          God does allow us that experience for some of us.

          30 That is why many among you are weak and sick, and a number of you have fallen asleep. 31 But if we were more discerning with regard to ourselves, we would not come under such judgment. 32 Nevertheless, when we are judged in this way by the Lord, we are being disciplined so that we will not be finally condemned with the world.

          February 12, 2014 at 7:06 pm |
        • agolf70

          not trying to be rude bro.

          I hope you keep seeking a faith FROM God.

          February 12, 2014 at 7:24 pm |
      • Alias

        Ezekiel 18:20: The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father.
        The penalty of sin is placed upon only the sinner, not the offspring.

        So why did god blame us all for a sin somone else committed?

        February 12, 2014 at 7:59 pm |
  8. Tom, Tom, the Other One

    Bible-based theism fails more from lack of an accessible God than from lack of historical accuracy in the Bible. There is no recognizable evidence that a God has ever interacted with any part of our Universe, much less our world or our lives.

    February 12, 2014 at 6:53 pm |
    • agolf70

      Acts 6

      51 “You stiff-necked people! Your hearts and ears are still uncirc.umcised. You are just like your ancestors: You always resist the Holy Spirit!

      February 12, 2014 at 6:56 pm |
      • Tom, Tom, the Other One

        That was Stephen speaking to the Sanhedrin.

        If the Holy Spirit provides evidence of God, where is the Holy Spirit? Where is there evidence of it? Is it accessible?

        February 12, 2014 at 7:05 pm |
        • agolf70

          John 16:13 ►

          But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come.

          38 Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call.”

          February 12, 2014 at 7:19 pm |
        • agolf70

          those are good questions. Tom Tom, I will pray for you! and I hope that the Lord will respond to you if you ask Him to. be patient! I hope that you ask for more faith.

          February 12, 2014 at 7:21 pm |
        • agolf70

          The holy Spirit will stay with you .

          February 12, 2014 at 7:22 pm |
        • Alias

          aka if you want it badly enough, your imagination and insecurities will make it happen for you.

          February 12, 2014 at 8:01 pm |
  9. agolf70

    [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IFuvj6WKDvw&w=640&h=360]

    February 12, 2014 at 6:37 pm |
  10. torchytodd

    People who take the bible even quasi-literally aren't inclined to change their beliefs when evidence disproves them. Why should this be any different?

    February 12, 2014 at 6:27 pm |
    • agolf70

      you cant lie to God. its impossible. you can only lie to yourself.

      I have proof of God. I could never lie to my self that it hasn't happened.

      February 12, 2014 at 6:32 pm |
      • kudlak

        Aren't you being closed-minded in asserting that no evidence could ever shake your belief in God?

        February 12, 2014 at 6:52 pm |
        • agolf70

          no cause i have a spiritual gift and a docu.mented evidence of a sovereign God.

          I put my spiritual gift to the test, and i hits as supernatural on a regular basis.

          if you go to 1 Cor ch 12 you can read about spiritual gifts. they are real. I know for a fact that they are real.

          I have also experienced demonic spiritual revelation. This all furthers what is said in the bible.

          February 12, 2014 at 6:59 pm |
        • kudlak

          agolf70
          What docu.mented evidence of a sovereign God? The Bible? It's been proven inaccurate and contradictory, hasn't it?

          Why is your "spiritual gift" any better than that of Hindus who see their gods in everything?

          February 12, 2014 at 7:03 pm |
        • agolf70

          gift of prophecy.

          for ten years, i have been writing my dreams down every time i have one that isn't garbage, i write it down in the middle of the night. i started this because i had a dramatic dream come true. now over 32 of them have come true, and some in spectacular fashion. some took 2 to 8 years to come true, some came true the next day.

          word of knowledge. I have get dreams about knowledge that i had no clue about, i see things that are ancient, or things about someone that they are going through.

          February 12, 2014 at 7:27 pm |
        • agolf70

          dreams are subjective, i write them down.

          but there is a reality to reality. and you can be objective and admitting what has happened in front of you.

          February 12, 2014 at 7:27 pm |
        • lokispawn2014

          ah, the old "supernatural gift" schtick.

          the mainstay of delusional people for millenia

          February 12, 2014 at 7:50 pm |
        • In Santa We Trust

          Austin, The only way you can establish that you do have the gift of prophesy would be to publish each one with specific detail (date/time, who, what, where) so that the event could be compared to the prophesy.

          February 12, 2014 at 9:31 pm |
        • kudlak

          agolf70
          How accurate are these prophetic dreams of yours? What kinds of secret knowledge comes to you in dreams?

          February 13, 2014 at 8:04 am |
    • agolf70

      this is a weak article by another "scholar" oh wow a "scholar"

      February 12, 2014 at 6:33 pm |
    • bostontola

      I agree that is the key point, only 30% in US think the bible is the literal word of God, most of them don't have a college degree.

      February 12, 2014 at 6:46 pm |
      • agolf70

        bostontola, try to take your argument and direct it toward Jews.

        buzz. you fail.

        February 12, 2014 at 6:51 pm |
        • bostontola

          Sorry, I didn't get your point.

          February 12, 2014 at 6:56 pm |
        • agolf70

          they are religions and many follow the bible, and they arent lacking intelligence as your comment about a degree might suggest.

          does it matter if they embrace evolution? they still embrace the bible . they take it literally, if you do a demographic study of israel this will come forth as credible data.

          February 12, 2014 at 7:02 pm |
        • bostontola

          I think you missed my point, they are less educated. I have stated on this blog numerous times that I find no material difference in intelligence between believers and atheists. Now literalist bible people, I don't have that data.

          February 12, 2014 at 7:06 pm |
        • agolf70

          "when evidence disproves them"

          that hasnt happened the guy just put a deceptive twist on any conversation he has tried to have.

          i did miss your point

          February 12, 2014 at 7:36 pm |
  11. agolf70

    [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VH9f2aRTbKM&w=640&h=360]

    February 12, 2014 at 6:02 pm |
    • agolf70

      I think this is interesting, but if might be garbage too.

      February 12, 2014 at 6:03 pm |
      • agolf70

        is the U.S. considered catholic Britian?

        how could the black horse come forth from the Catholic Church?

        February 12, 2014 at 6:26 pm |
  12. Ungodly Discipline

    Dala,

    I find your constant insults insulting, but if I may be serious a moment. You don’t know anything. Zero. Zilch. You know as much about the origin of the universe and life as I do, which is nothing. We know what we know so far and that is what we know. We arrived at these conclusions using vigorous scientific protocols. Science has not thus far led us to any god discoveries. If it does, it does. Fine. But it hasn’t. That is what we know. Both of us.

    February 12, 2014 at 5:41 pm |
    • Dalahäst

      Well, no duh.

      I find the constant insults thrown my way insulting, too.

      February 12, 2014 at 5:48 pm |
      • Amy

        Treat others the same way you want them to treat you ~Christ.

        February 12, 2014 at 5:57 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Sure. Can you provide an example of my constant insults?

          February 12, 2014 at 5:59 pm |
        • Shawn

          Amy, you can't change troll behavior quoting scriptures, once a troll always a troll.

          Check out this also by CNN.

          http://www.cnn.com/2014/02/11/tech/web/online-trolls-sadists/index.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+rss%2Fcnn_tech+%28RSS%3A+Technology%29

          February 12, 2014 at 10:21 pm |
  13. Vic

    Robotics are based on "Inverse Kinematics."

    In simple terms:

    Kinematics is the motion science of determining the mathematics of "I am at point B, how did I get here from point A?" using the "Degrees of Freedom—typically six."

    Inverse Kinematics is the motion science of determining the mathematics of "how can I get to point B from point A?" using the "Degrees of Freedom—typically six."

    All in 3-D space.

    Kinematics are practically impossible while Inverse Kinematics are practically possible (however, very limited,) and that's why Robotics are based on Inverse Kinematics.

    In the case of "Origin:"

    Empirical Science tries to find out, since we are here, "how did we get here from there?" That is practically impossible.

    Belief/Faith in God tries to find out "how do we get there from here?"

    That's why Total Science—knowledge—is based on Belief/Faith in God.

    February 12, 2014 at 5:33 pm |
    • alonsoquixote

      I don't know what "Total Science" might be, but science is definitely not based on believing mythological explanations created by ancient humans striving to explain the world and forces they observed in their world by attributing them to gods much like themselves only more powerful.

      February 12, 2014 at 5:53 pm |
      • Bob

        Yup. Vic, who is actually clueless about science, will often post bullsht like what he just did above. He really has no understanding of science or the scientific method, and often uses meaningless terms or changes definitions away from accepted ones. He's quite the artful dodger that way, and it can be fun to pin him down when he tries to insert his own definitions. His latest is probably pasted from a Christian shill site somewhere, though.

        February 12, 2014 at 6:30 pm |
      • Bob

        Yup. Vic, who is actually clueless about science, will often post bullshit like what he just did above. He really has no understanding of science or the scientific method, and often uses meaningless terms or changes definitions away from accepted ones. He's quite the artful dodger that way, and it can be fun to pin him down when he tries to insert his own definitions. His latest is probably pasted from a Christian shill site somewhere, though.

        February 12, 2014 at 6:31 pm |
      • midwest rail

        " Total Science " is one of Vic's invented disciplines.

        February 12, 2014 at 6:33 pm |
    • kudlak

      Vic
      If science was based upon never questioning long held assumptions it would never have gotten very far, would it? You are asking us to base science on the existence of a God whose existence can never be questioned despite there being no measurable way of determining this. Isn't that flawed thinking? Why not just assume that some other set of gods are controlling everything, maybe a set that we've never even heard about? One assertion with no factual basis is as good as another, right?

      February 12, 2014 at 7:00 pm |
    • Vic

      In my own words, right off the top of my head.

      💡

      February 12, 2014 at 7:03 pm |
  14. Russ

    1) This "discovery" is being announced without engaging prior archeological evidence on the matter
    2) and the argument here appears to depend on an absence of evidence.

    aside from the blatant fallacy therein (absence of evidence does not mean evidence of absence), prior relevant scholarship does speak to the question...

    for example: Columbia historian Richard Bulliet's "The Camel & the Wheel" (1975) speaks directly to the contrary. While he scrutinizes some classic evidences for camels in the area as spurious, he considers these four evidences substantial (p.60-64):

    -A 3.5 ft cord of camel hair from Egypt, dated around 2500 BC. Buillet believes it is "from the land of Punt, perhaps the possession of a slave or captive, and from a domestic camel"

    -The bronze figurine from the temple of Byblos in Lebanon. It is in a foundation with strong Egyptian flavoring, and is dated before the sixth Egyptian dynasty (before 2182 BC). Although the figure could be taken as a sheep, the figure is arranged with items that would strongly require it to be a camel (e.g., a camel saddle, camel muzzle, etc.)

    -Two pots of Egyptian provenance were found in Greece and Crete, both dating 1800-1400 BC, but both in area so far removed from the range of the camel as to suggest its presence in the intermediate areas (e.g., Syria or Egypt) during an earlier time. Both have camels represented, and one literally has humans riding on a camel back.

    -A final piece of strong evidence is textual from Alalakh in Syria, as opposed to archaeological: a textual ration-list. There is a entry for 'camel fodder' written in Old Babylonian. "Not only does this attest the existence of camels in northern Syria at this time, but the animal involved is clearly domestic."

    SUM: this debate is not new. the evidences cited above are all from a scholarly book published in 1975 – and all of which speak directly to the contrary of the supposed "absence" of evidence necessary to generate this "headline." this feels a lot less like 'archeological discovery' and a lot more like ratings grab.

    February 12, 2014 at 5:32 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      I feel as though this is a debate about what color the snail really was in Dr. Doolittle.

      February 12, 2014 at 5:35 pm |
    • JakeSeaVik

      It's so sad how much time people spend bending over backwards to try to find anything that could be considered evidence to support their pre-determined belief.

      February 12, 2014 at 5:40 pm |
      • Russ

        @ Jake: are you self-projecting? engaging the scholarship (as this article fails to do) is the exact opposite of asserting 'pre-determined beliefs.'

        for example, very similar 'claims' (for a supposed 'lack' of evidence) were made regarding the Hitti.tes, the pool of Bethesda, or even the city of Troy – only later to be rescinded once evidence was found. in this case, broader, circu.mstantial evidence to the contrary of "absence" ALREADY exists. this is just a headline grab.

        February 12, 2014 at 5:59 pm |
        • JakeSeaVik

          I'm not sure what your point is. My point was simply that if you seek the truth, you seek it objectively without a pre-determined belief in what that truth is. We have all kinds of scientific evidence about the age of the universe and how it evolved. We certainly are a long way from knowing all the answers, but we do know that the bible is not correct (and therefore, there is no god as defined by Christianity). Instead of wasting time seeking evidence to support the bible, why not explore the question objectively, without being pre-disposed to a conclusion?

          February 12, 2014 at 6:23 pm |
        • Russ

          @ Jake:
          1) you are showing a general lack of awareness of an entire field of academic study.

          a) first of all, you don't have to be a Christian to be in the field of biblical studies (as the American Academy of Religion makes evident, much more if you consider worldwide scholarship).

          b) within that scholarship (which takes archeological studies VERY seriously), there is pre-existing evidences worthy of consideration. the above article did not do that – nor does this "announcement." that's why i asked if you were self-projecting (e.g., the author of this article jumps to a conclusion that is unwarranted based on scholarship that is *already* there.)

          c) in this instance, the headline itself assumes a "finding" that contradicts the biblical account – but the finding itself simply appeals to a LACK of evidence thus far. considering an Ivy league historian (Richard Bulliet) has relatively definitive book on the topic that is over 40 years old ("The Camel & the Wheel", 1975) and which arrives at the exact opposite conclusion based on KNOWN evidences, it certainly would appear this a media-generated ratings grab without scholarly basis. (again, who is "pre-determined" in their beliefs here?)

          2) you said: "We certainly are a long way from knowing all the answers, but we do know that the bible is not correct (and therefore, there is no god as defined by Christianity)."

          a) that is question begging (you assume the very thing being debated).

          b) you also said: "Instead of wasting time seeking evidence to support the bible, why not explore the question objectively, without being pre-disposed to a conclusion?" if your question begging had not been evident before, it is abundantly clear in this followup. but you add a second problem here: you ask for objectivity WHILE admitting that you have already decided what is up for debate. that is self-refuting.

          c) for example (and ironically for you), i am giving you scientific evidences from an Ivy league historian & scholar – yet you are dismissing them out of hand. if you were really about following the science, our discussion would be about the nature of those evidences – something you notably have avoided.

          d) note well some of the other comments from your fellow atheists & agnostics on this page. they are taking a line more faithful to the scholarship in noting (from the outset) some methodological problems with this "discovery."

          February 13, 2014 at 10:24 am |
        • Russ

          @ Jake:
          for further clarification: i am not a young earth creationist. your "age of the universe" comment seems to assume all Christians believe the Bible teaches that the earth has to be 6,000 years old. that simply is not the case.

          February 13, 2014 at 10:33 am |
  15. Apple Bush

    She danced

    Each jewel on her gown flying outward

    Perhaps never to return

    Each shiny gem in a cloud of total darkness

    She danced and she sang

    Her gown twirling like a pinwheel faster and faster still

    Soon to become many

    And many to become light

    And that light to become trillions of sparkles

    Still she danced

    And now the swirls were as giants dancing

    And the dancing giants would collide in beautiful confusion

    And the spinning would last forever

    February 12, 2014 at 5:29 pm |
    • derado8

      That's really good. Are you a professional writer?

      February 12, 2014 at 6:24 pm |
      • Apple Bush

        thanks man, no but maybe soon?

        February 12, 2014 at 6:54 pm |
  16. Bob

    Christianity's back is actually already broken, and the good news is that horrid religion is fading into a sorry part of human history. Just a matter of time now, and there are some hangers-on that have a hard time letting go of their myth, but it is happening.

    February 12, 2014 at 5:20 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      Is there some kind of spray we can use to get rid of what remains?

      February 12, 2014 at 5:21 pm |
      • Dalahäst

        Joseph Stalin tried being a religious oppressing atheists and pretty much proved an atheist can be as bad as a Christian.

        It looks like even the atheists are broken, if you hold them to the same standards.

        February 12, 2014 at 5:27 pm |
        • JakeSeaVik

          People can be idiots whether they are believers or atheists. Only religious people are required to be idiots.

          February 12, 2014 at 5:29 pm |
        • Apple Bush

          Jake, :mrgreen:

          February 12, 2014 at 5:32 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Like Martin Luther King, JR idiotic? Or Stephen Colbert idiotic? Helen Keller idiotic? Or Robert Boyle idiotic?

          February 12, 2014 at 5:32 pm |
        • ausphor

          Dala...
          Ever notice how once the tyrant is overturned that all of those that followed his cruel orders often go running back to their respective religions; the churches reopen and goodness and love return to their hearts as if the attempted genocides never happened. The dictators that gain power often are aided by the religions that support them or are just as complicit in their silence.

          February 12, 2014 at 5:39 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          No. I notice that some people take a stand against evil. And lose their life defending others. Even those of differing faiths.

          Do the atheists that brutally murdered people for being religious continue being atheists?

          February 12, 2014 at 5:46 pm |
        • Steven

          "Joseph Stalin tried being a religious oppressing atheists "

          Atheists don't have a religion and Stalin was about totalitarianism.

          February 12, 2014 at 5:53 pm |
        • ausphor

          Dala..
          Rather strange that you would blame an atheist leader for each and every atrocity committed by those he held under his authority. Very few Germans objected to the horror of Hitler, only following orders you know. Where was the righteous indignation of a very Christian nation, even worse in Italy. Your precious Christians went along to get along then quickly reverted to the pious hypocrites they were, we didn't know, ya right. The Vatican and the Lutherans were up to their ears in denial.

          February 12, 2014 at 5:55 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          I don't blame an atheist leader for each and every atrocity committed by those he held under his authority.

          Just like I don't blame "religion" for each and every atrocity committed by those belonged to that religion.

          I wasn't alive back then. So those weren't "my precious Christians". I don't defend their evil. I just recognize that, yes, a lot of horror has been done in the name of "religion" for totalitarian motives. Just like what happened and happens with atheism.

          Seems to be more of a human being problem than a "religion" or "atheist" problem.

          February 12, 2014 at 6:03 pm |
        • ausphor

          Dala...
          You may want to look into why they changed "Thou shall not kill" into "Thou shall not murder". Too many governments had a problem with conscientious objectors, can't have people not wanting to kill their fellow man when ordered to do so. The church went along with the change very un Christ like, protecting power and wealth is what religions are all about, the god is love and salvation is part of the larger scam. BTW the reason I have tremendous respect for Muhammad Ali was he would rather go to jail than be ordered to kill for no logical reason, a Christian nation, so called, willing to kill for what?

          February 12, 2014 at 6:09 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Who changed "Thou shall not kill" into "Thou shall not murder"?

          My church preaches "Thou shall not kill".

          Muhammad Ali, a Muslim, had strong religious convictions, and he opposed the war. I dont' recall him being anti-Christian. But he was against the politics of the Vietnam War.

          Do you think the Vietnam War was a religious conflict?

          You consider the United States a Christian nation? Democracy, freedom and prosperity we enjoy is because of Christiainity?

          February 12, 2014 at 6:17 pm |
        • ausphor

          Dala..
          You may want to read a modern bible. You seem to indicate that no Christians were sent over to Vietnam against their wishes, your head is either in the sand or up your ... Governments have always used religions to control the populace, that is why they are allowed to exist, read some history, please.

          February 12, 2014 at 6:29 pm |
        • ausphor

          Exodus 20 "Thou shall not murder" NIV/New KJV/New RSV/NET Bible/etc. etc. Dalahast, catch up, you just look the fool when you do the ignorant Christian gig.

          February 12, 2014 at 6:37 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          I've always viewed the Vietnam War as a political war. Not so much a religious conflict.

          Yes, Christians, Muslims, atheists were drafted. It didn't seem to matter what belief system the civilian held.

          Even without religion governments have used other means to control the population, like nationalism and anti-religious atheistic rhetoric. Your view on history and religion being the cause of all evil seems to be a bit to simplistic to be sufficient.

          Read a modern Bible?

          February 12, 2014 at 6:38 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Not all Christians support the murder/kill change.

          I'm asking you, who made the change? And do they have any say in what I believe or do? Probably not. Do I have any control over what they did? No.

          February 12, 2014 at 6:40 pm |
        • ausphor

          Dala..
          Really, the change was made and if you say so, it wasn't by you, but I am sure if the powers that be would have consulted you it wouldn't have happened, such is the power of Dalahast. You are one of the people that deserve all the derision you get, you actually believe that your way is the only way the other 7 billion or so people on earth have to comport to your view. You will probably not agree, but I encourage you to go back and read all your posts, you do not just believe in god, you seem to think you are god or the only messenger of your man made god, frightening.

          February 12, 2014 at 7:00 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          You have an active imagination.

          I don't actually believe that my way is the only way. And that the other 7 billion or so people have to comport to my view.

          But if you imagination tells you that, I really can't do anything about that either. That is your problem, not mine.

          Such is life.

          February 12, 2014 at 7:04 pm |
        • ausphor

          Dalahast
          Really, the change was made and if you say so, it wasn't by you, but I am sure if the powers that be would have consulted you it wouldn't have happened, such is the power of Dalahast. You are one of the people that deserve all the derision you get, you actually believe that your way is the only way the other 7 billion or so people on earth have to comport to your view. You will probably not agree, but I encourage you to go back and read all your posts, you do not just believe in god, you seem to think you are god or the only messenger of your man made god, frightening.

          February 12, 2014 at 7:05 pm |
        • JakeSeaVik

          Dala, you have a fundamental misunderstanding of atheism. Atheists are not united in a common belief. Atheists are simply people who don't believe in the man-made concept of god(s). We are all born atheists, given we are not born with a belief in god(s). Like I said before, atheists can be idiots (although they're more intelligent than believers on average). They can be tyrants or pacifists. They can be murderers or life-savers. The only thing that being an atheist says about a person is that they don't believe in any concept of god that has been provided by any of the religions around the world.

          February 12, 2014 at 7:10 pm |
        • ausphor

          Dala...
          Sorry for the double post, strange delay. Your post, reread them. You are a sheep, enough said. Well I suppose someone like you can always become a Chaplin or a medic, I would not have to depend on you to cover someone's back if you had to kill someone to defend your fellows, a good Christian like you would turtle "I can not kill" right.

          February 12, 2014 at 7:12 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          I understand atheism. I was playing devil's advocate against his claim that "religion" is the cause of dictators and wars, despite evidence of atheist and non-religious dictators present in history.

          And we are not born atheists, sorry. I can point you to atheists and agnostics that dispute that claim as nonsense and ignorant.

          February 12, 2014 at 7:15 pm |
        • JakeSeaVik

          Sorry, but if you think we are not born atheists, then you don't understand the meaning of the word. Or, you think babies are born believing in god, which I find to be a ridiculous concept. Atheism simply means no belief in a god, so babies are atheists unless you think they believe in god.

          Religion, or at least the brain-washing that comes along with, is absolutely a cause of atrocious acts (see 9/11). When you teach children who are too young to know any better that it's a virtue to believe things based on faith, despite contradictory evidence or moral instincts, you get people flying planes into buildings in the name of their god. Atheists don't have this issue.

          February 12, 2014 at 7:21 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          I am religious, but haven't been brainwashed. And brainwashing exists outside of religion.

          It definitely is not something Jesus supported.

          http://apatheticagnostic.com/articles/meds2/med46/med941.html

          I know actual atheists that don't think they were born atheists. I guess they are not "real atheists".

          February 12, 2014 at 7:25 pm |
        • JakeSeaVik

          I am religious, but haven't been brainwashed. And brainwashing exists outside of religion.

          It definitely is not something Jesus supported.

          http://apatheticagnostic.com/articles/meds2/med46/med941.html

          I know actual atheists that don't think they were born atheists. I guess they are not "real atheists".

          If you weren't indoctrinated as a child (brain washing), then you're among the view religious people who decided they believed in a religion as an adult. I suspect you were brain-washed as a child, but just don't want to call it that.

          It doesn't really matter what the atheists you know think. Unless you think babies have a belief in god, then they're atheists, by definition. That's just what the word means. Either your atheist friends think babies are born with a belief in god or they don't understand the definition of an atheist.

          February 12, 2014 at 7:33 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Thanks for sharing your opinion on babies and atheism. Which is your opinion, not a fact. Some Christians and atheists agree with your opinion. Some do not.

          And your sus.picion that I've been brainwashed, despite not having any evidence to support that claim? 🙂 Thanks for that opinion.

          Maybe you've been brainwashed to believe everyone who doesn't believe like you is brainwashed? Maybe it happened when you were a child and you just don't want to call it that now? Maybe what you suspect about me, is actually you projecting about yourself?

          February 12, 2014 at 7:42 pm |
        • ausphor

          Dala...
          The fact that I may think you would probably would have been a coward back in the draft or go to jail or Canada days, I would still stay that you are a coward in avoiding answers on this blog. The cannon fodder do not chose to do so it is either the government or " Onward Christian soldiers" that precipitate the horrors. All children are born without beliefs they are educated , I thankfully grew up in an atmosphere of Deist beliefs, probably a god but not some thing that will ever judge people or need a buck to stay in business. Why would an omnipotent god need money for his hustlers to keep the scam running, cash for jesus, pathetic.

          February 12, 2014 at 7:43 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          I thought you had respect for Muhammad Ali for not fighting? Yet I'm a coward?

          Dude, I'm honestly having trouble following your line or reasoning and logic. I'm not cowarding away from anyone. Especially your weird posts.

          I'm definitely not being hustled or scammed for Jesus. Not matter what you imagine.

          I get it you really hate Christianity. You imagine Ali refused to fight in Vietnam because it was a Christian war? And other crazy notions.

          February 12, 2014 at 7:47 pm |
        • neverbeenhappieratheist

          It's all semantics. Is an atheist a person who is unaware of the definition or existence of anything called "God"? Or is an atheist a person who after a thorough investigation of life and the universe has come to the conclusion that what other people have defined as "God" does not and cannot exist? Or can both be considered full fledged atheists?

          February 12, 2014 at 7:50 pm |
        • JakeSeaVik

          As I have said many times now, it is a fact that babies are atheists unless you think they are born with a belief in a god. If you agree with me that babies no nothing of the concept of god and therefore, don't have a belief in a god, then by definition, they are atheists. This has absolutely nothing to do with opinion, it's simply what the word means. Do babies believe in god? If not, they're atheists, by definition. If you disagree with this, it's not your opinion, you just don't understand the meaning of the word "atheist".

          You are right, I don't know that you were brain-washed. Like I said, it is highly likely that you were since very few people believe in god who weren't. Were you raised in a religion? If so, you were brain-washed. If not, you are part of a rare group.

          February 12, 2014 at 7:53 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          I really don't care how atheists describe themselves. I was an atheist for a long time, I don't need anyone teaching me what that meant. Or what it means now.

          February 12, 2014 at 7:54 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Why do I know so many people that were raised in religion, that are not brainwashed?

          Like, today they are atheist or belong to a different faith. They didn't need to be deprogrammed or had any difficulty in changing their beliefs because their religious upbringing wasn't brainwashing.

          That is a crazy notion. It would be nice if you provided some evidence in support of your opinion.

          Do you really know what brainwashing is? Either they are doing a horrible job at it, or you don't know what you are talking about.

          I wasn't raised in a religious environment. I had a very secular upbringing. And I certainly don't see any evidence that all or most religious people are brainwashed.

          February 12, 2014 at 7:58 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Brainwashing. LOL 🙂

          You are not the first atheist to imagine that. And the few that insist on it have failed to provide any evidence or compelling reason to believe them, other than that is just what they imagine.

          Were you brainwashed into religion? Or were you born atheist and had atheist parents?

          February 12, 2014 at 8:01 pm |
        • JakeSeaVik

          I feel I've been clear on this, but you still don't seem to get it...

          "Why do I know so many people that were raised in religion, that are not brainwashed?"

          Raised in religion = brainwashed. If you're taught a religion by your parents when you're too young to know any better, you were brain-washed. This is why those who believe in a religion believe in their specific religion purely as a result of which one their parents taught them. Do you really think Christians would be Christians if they were raised Muslim? Of course not. It's not an objective choice, it's brain-washing.

          "Do you really know what brainwashing is? Either they are doing a horrible job at it, or you don't know what you are talking about."

          Brain-washing is convincing someone who is in a vulnerable state (like a child, or through manipulation) to believe in whatever you want them to believe in. This is what religions do. Unfortunately, they do an excellent job of it.

          "I wasn't raised in a religious environment. I had a very secular upbringing. And I certainly don't see any evidence that all or most religious people are brainwashed."

          Like I said, you perhaps are a rare exception if your family wasn't religious. Most people who believe in a religion believe in the one that their parents taught them. There are very few people who weren't raised religious who end up believing in a religion.

          February 12, 2014 at 8:05 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Most religious members are positive contributors to society.

          And most are not the victims of brainwashing.

          February 12, 2014 at 8:10 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          "I've been brainwashed to believe all people are made in the image of their Creator and have infinite value. They keep trumpeting the worth and value of all human beings" a typical Christian.

          The horror.

          February 12, 2014 at 8:14 pm |
        • JakeSeaVik

          Wrong on both counts.

          February 12, 2014 at 8:14 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          According to a few atheists (especially ones that post on religious blogs) I'm wrong.

          But I know other atheists that claim religious people aren't that bad.

          [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JbvDYyoAv9k&w=640&h=360]

          Amen, Mr. Tyson.

          February 12, 2014 at 8:17 pm |
        • JakeSeaVik

          It's called politics. You think he would be the most popular astro-physicist in the US if he didn't pander a bit to the majority? Luckily Steven Hawking lives in a more enlightened country and doesn't have to make such appeasing statements to assuage the religious masses.

          February 12, 2014 at 8:48 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Or he realizes most religious people are not as bad as the few atheist extremists claim.

          February 12, 2014 at 9:00 pm |
      • TruthPrevails1

        If education is a spray, then sure. We're seeing the decline of christianity and for the betterment of all. Maybe once everyone realizes how much brainwashing, bigotry and hate is involved in it, we can finally work to reside in a better world but as long as people believe in imaginary friends and silly fear factoring religions, progress will remain slow.

        February 12, 2014 at 7:37 pm |
  17. realityyyyyyy

    What we do know: (from the fields of astrophysics, biology, biochemistry, archeology, nuclear physics, geology and the history of religion)

    1. The Sun will burn out in 3-5 billion years so we have a time frame.

    2. Asteroids continue to circle us in the nearby asteroid belt.

    3. One wayward rock and it is all over in a blast of permanent winter.

    4. There are enough nuclear weapons to do the same job.

    5. Most contemporary NT exegetes do not believe in the Second Coming so apparently there is no concern about JC coming back on an asteroid or cloud of raptors/rapture.

    6. All stars will eventually extinguish as there is a limit to the amount of hydrogen in the universe. When this happens (100 trillion years?), the universe will go dark. If it does not collapse and recycle, the universe will end.

    7. Super, dormant volcanoes off the coast of Africa and under Yellowstone Park could explode cataclysmically at any time ending life on Earth.

    8. Many of us are part Neanderthal and/or Denisovan.

    Bottom line: our apocalypse will start between now and 3-5 billion CE. The universe apocalypse, 100 trillion years?

     http://www.universetoday.com/18847/life-of-the-sun/

    solarsystem.nasa.gov/planets/profile.cfm?Object=Asteroids‎

    http://www.cnn.com/2012/08/30/us/wus-supervolcanoes-yellowstone

    Search for Paul, book by Professor JD Crossan

    Rabbi Paul, book by Professor Bruce Chilton

    https://genographic.nationalgeographic.com/

    http://theextinctionprotocol.wordpress.com/2011/08/22/study-finds-star-formation-declining-throughout-the-universe/

    http://www.un.org/disarmament/WMD/Nuclear/

    February 12, 2014 at 5:02 pm |
  18. Andrew Tatusko

    The problem is that no amount of evidence will satisfy the hard creationist camp that any scientific theory is true. The same applies for atheists who would never believe that religion is true even if presented with provable evidence. There is always the interpretation issue which is rarely compromised by people who practice contempt before investigation.

    February 12, 2014 at 4:51 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      "...if presented with provable evidence"

      If God is proved scientifically then the atheist will believe. That is the nature of science.

      February 12, 2014 at 4:55 pm |
      • Dalahäst

        The nature of science has nothing to do with atheists.

        February 12, 2014 at 4:58 pm |
        • Apple Bush

          Of course it does you big silly.

          February 12, 2014 at 5:20 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          No. Atheism just means you don't believe in God. It has nothing to do with science. Atheism is a science like being bald is a hair color, silly.

          February 12, 2014 at 5:25 pm |
        • Apple Bush

          You can just stay out there in left field for the rest of the game.

          February 12, 2014 at 5:30 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Right. Science does not lead to atheism, despite what myths some atheists insist on prostelyzing me with.

          February 12, 2014 at 5:35 pm |
        • neverbeenhappieratheist

          I am an atheist because science has never been able to verify anything supernatural.

          Many claims have been made by millions of believers from all over the world, was it Quetzalcoatl? Zeus? Odin? Yahweh? Jesus? Vishnu? Every side says they have absolute proof printed on their souls and yet none can even provide a smidgen of evidence for a soul let alone their God. There is as much evidence for girl cooties as there is for a soul or an invisible spirit creator.

          I am not an agnostic because I don't think it's very honest when faced with the lack of evidence for God to say "Well both sides of the debate are at a stand still! Who can know?" If someone is an agnostic then they better be an agnostic for everything like Leprechauns, can't prove they don't exist, or elves and hobbits and wizards and witches and just about anything you want to imagine.

          February 12, 2014 at 5:56 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Great for you.

          I know some atheists that do not care about science at all.

          I know some Christians that appreciate and support science. They teach others about it, including atheists. And the atheists actually appreciate and learn from them.

          February 12, 2014 at 6:08 pm |
      • Andrew Tatusko

        I have my doubts, but we will likely never cross that bridge. 100 saints who can corroborate the same experience can be called delusional. Sometimes it is not just evidence, but compelling evidence that matters. And repeatable outcomes. If God is not self-existent in space/time, science will never be satisfied. That's just a fact and I am ok with that.

        February 12, 2014 at 4:59 pm |
    • In Santa We Trust

      There is no evidence of a god, so I will suspend belief until there is evidence.

      February 12, 2014 at 4:57 pm |
      • Andrew Tatusko

        That's cool. I think agnosticism is respectable. It likely depends on the kind of evidence you might find compelling. You are the only judge of that.

        February 12, 2014 at 5:03 pm |
        • Bob

          Any evidence at all that stands up to reasonable examination would be a good start. Christians seem to be unable to produce any such evidence whatsoever – one more sign that their god story is fiction.

          Ask the questions. Break the chains. Join the movement.
          Be free of Christianity and other superstitions.
          http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/

          February 12, 2014 at 5:25 pm |
        • Andrew Tatusko

          Do I believe the saints of the Philokalia had authentic experiences of God or not? Do we dismiss all experiences of deity as delusional given we cannot observe all of them? What are the standards of delusion one uses? I can't give you the evidence you might want because I cannot present it in space and time other than the corroborative testimonies of many who share their own experiences with the miraculous. I am fine with that, you might not be. That's ok. I won't convert you, nor you me. That's ok too.

          February 12, 2014 at 5:34 pm |
        • Bob

          In other words, you can't present any evidence. Thanks for admitting that at last – but not for doing so in such an indirect way, you spineless coward.

          Ask the questions. Break the chains. Join the movement.
          Be free of Christianity and other superstitions.
          http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/

          February 12, 2014 at 5:53 pm |
        • Andrew Tatusko

          You seem fun, Bob. Enjoy your day.

          February 12, 2014 at 5:54 pm |
        • Bob

          In other words, you can't present any evidence. Thanks for admitting that at last – but not for doing so in such an indirect way, you spineless coward.

          Ask the questions. Break the chains. Join the movement.
          Be free of Christianity and other superstitions.
          http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/

          February 12, 2014 at 6:24 pm |
      • lngtrmthnkr

        Santa, Is there a scientist anywhere in the world who is studying the existence of God. Do they have science classes devoted to finding evidence of a supernatural being. I don't think any scientist in his right mind would try to get a grant for such a study. Scientists deal in absolutes that are verifiable and measurable. You can't see or measure God.

        February 12, 2014 at 9:03 pm |
        • In Santa We Trust

          The only "evidence" that we have is the various religious texts; they have a common theme – they start with a creation myth which is intended to be the credentials of the god (to establish its powers) and provide a reason for worship. All creation myths have been proven to be incorrect as a by-product of scientific knowledge, thereby discrediting the creation myths and removing the foundation of the religions. We understand what causes eclipses, earthquakes, etc.; we know about evolution, have some good ideas about abiogenesis, know about the Big Bang – there is no evidence for a god outside of religious texts.

          February 12, 2014 at 9:24 pm |
    • realityyyyyyy

      Strong circ-umstantial evidence that there is no god:

      Number of god's creations who died horrible deaths from the following diseases: (or did they all die as martyrs?)

      1. 300,000,000 approx.
      Smallpox

      2. 200,000,000 ?
      Measles

      3. 100,000,000 approx.
      Black Death

      4. 80,000,000–250,000,000
      Malaria

      5. 50,000,000–100,000,000
      Spanish Flu

      6. 40,000,000–100,000,000
      Plague of Justinian

      7. 40,000,000–100,000,000
      Tuberculosis

      8. 30,000,000[13]
      AIDS pandemic

      9. 12,000,000 ?
      Third Pandemic of Bubonic Plague

      10. 5,000,000
      Antonine Plague

      11. 4,000,000
      Asian Flu

      12. 250,000 or more annually Seasonal influenza

      February 12, 2014 at 4:57 pm |
      • agolf70

        I have proof of God. The Holy Spirit bears the truth supernaturally on a persons heart.
        Romans 8:16 ►

        The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God's children.

        its like the baptism of fire or judgment, the Holy Spirit CONVICTS

        2 Cor 12
        7Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. 8To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, 9to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, 10to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues,a and to still another the interpretation of tongues.b 11All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he distributes them to each one, just as he determines.

        February 12, 2014 at 5:01 pm |
        • realityyyyyyy

          Only for the new members of this blog:

          Saving Christians from the Resurrection Con Game:

          From that famous passage: In 1 Corinthians 15 St. Paul reasoned, "If Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith."

          Even now Catholic/Christian professors of theology are questioning the bodily resurrection of the simple, preacher man aka Jesus.

          To wit;

          From a major Catholic university's theology professor’s grad school white-board notes:

          "Heaven is a Spirit state or spiritual reality of union with God in love, without earthly – earth bound distractions.
          Jesus and Mary's bodies are therefore not in Heaven.

          Most believe that it to mean that the personal spiritual self that survives death is in continuity with the self we were while living on earth as an embodied person.

          Again, the physical Resurrection (meaning a resuscitated corpse returning to life), Ascension (of Jesus' crucified corpse), and Assumption (Mary's corpse) into heaven did not take place.

          The Ascension symbolizes the end of Jesus' earthly ministry and the beginning of the Church.

          Only Luke's Gospel records it. The Assumption ties Jesus' mission to Pentecost and missionary activity of Jesus' followers The Assumption has multiple layers of symbolism, some are related to Mary's special role as "Christ bearer" (theotokos). It does not seem fitting that Mary, the body of Jesus' Virgin-Mother (another biblically based symbol found in Luke 1) would be derived by worms upon her death. Mary's assumption also shows God's positive regard, not only for Christ's male body, but also for female bodies." "

          "In three controversial Wednesday Audiences, Pope John Paul II pointed out that the essential characteristic of heaven, hell or purgatory is that they are states of being of a spirit (angel/demon) or human soul, rather than places, as commonly perceived and represented in human language. This language of place is, according to the Pope, inadequate to describe the realities involved, since it is tied to the temporal order in which this world and we exist. In this he is applying the philosophical categories used by the Church in her theology and saying what St. Thomas Aquinas said long before him."
          http://eternal-word.com/library/PAPALDOC/JP2HEAVN.HTM

          With respect to rising from the dead, we also have this account:

          o An added note: As per R.B. Stewart in his introduction to the recent book, The Resurrection of Jesus, Crossan and Wright in Dialogue,
          o
          p.4
          o "Reimarus (1774-1778) posits that Jesus became sidetracked by embracing a political position, sought to force God's hand and that he died alone deserted by his disciples. What began as a call for repentance ended up as a misguided attempt to usher in the earthly political kingdom of God. After Jesus' failure and death, his disciples stole his body and declared his resurrection in order to maintain their financial security and ensure themselves some standing."

          o p.168. by Ted Peters:
          Even so, asking historical questions is our responsibility. Did Jesus really rise from the tomb? Is it necessary to have been raised from the tomb and to appear to his disciples in order to explain the rise of early church and the transcription of the bible? Crossan answers no, Wright answers, yes. "

          o So where are the bones"? As per Professor Crossan's analyses in his many books, the body of Jesus would have ended up in the mass graves of the crucified, eaten by wild dogs, covered with lime in a shallow grave, or under a pile of stones.

          February 12, 2014 at 5:05 pm |
        • agolf70

          sorry i did not catch this earlier i assume you are gone.

          February 12, 2014 at 7:08 pm |
      • lngtrmthnkr

        reality, why do you not mention Jews killed in the holocaust? 6,000,000

        February 12, 2014 at 9:11 pm |
        • In Santa We Trust

          I don't know what reality's selection criteria were but if a god created the universe and all in it, then it also created disease. So I suspect that was the intent – to show a sample of how many have been killed by god. No mention of the Inquisition or Crusades or Noah's flood either.

          February 12, 2014 at 9:16 pm |
        • realityyyyyyy

          The Twenty (or so) Worst Things God's Creations Have Done to Each Other:

          From: http://necrometrics.com/warstatz.htm#u (required reading)

          The Muslim Conquest of India

          "The likely death toll is somewhere between 2 million and 80 million. The geometric mean of those two limits is 12.7 million. "

          Rank <<<Death Toll <Cause <<Centuries<<<Religions/Groups involved*

          1. 63 million Second World War 20C (Christians et al and Communists/atheists vs. Christians et al, Nazi-Pagan and "Shintoists")

          2. 40 million Mao Zedong (mostly famine) 20C (Communism)

          3. 40 million Genghis Khan 13C (Shamanism or Tengriism)

          4. 27 million British India (mostly famine) 19C (Anglican)

          5. 25 million Fall of the Ming Dynasty 17C (Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism, Chinese folk religion)

          6. 20 million Taiping Rebellion 19C ( Confucianism, Buddhism and Chinese folk religion vs. a form of Christianity)

          7. 20 million Joseph Stalin 20C (Communism)

          8. 19 million Mideast Slave Trade 7C-19C (Islam)

          9. 17 million Timur Lenk 14C-15C

          10. 16 million Atlantic Slave Trade 15C-19C (Christianity)

          11. 15 million First World War 20C (Christians vs. Christians)

          12. 15 million Conquest of the Americas 15C-19C (Christians vs. Pagans)

          13. 13 million Muslim Conquest of India 11C-18C

          14. 10 million An Lushan Revolt 8C

          15. 10 million Xin Dynasty 1C

          16. 9 million Russian Civil War 20C (Christians vs Communists)

          17. 8 million Fall of Rome 5C (Pagans vs. Pagans)

          18. 8 million Congo Free State 19C-20C (Christians)

          19. 7½ million Thirty Years War 17C (Christians vs Christians)

          20. 7½ million Fall of the Yuan Dynasty 14C

          February 13, 2014 at 8:42 am |
    • igaftr

      Andrew
      to this point no one has ever offered verifiable evidence of any of the thousands of god men have worshipped.

      On the other hand, there is a huge amount of evidence (including the thousands of gods that men have made) that men made up all of them in answer to his own ignorance.

      If I saw evidence I would accept it.None has been presented since the beginning of time.

      February 12, 2014 at 5:01 pm |
      • Andrew Tatusko

        "Huge amount" – is this verifiable or wishful thinking? Science will not be able to prove or disprove God. You can't find God who can be measured. That goes for Allah as much as Brahman. You cannot claim evidence of something that is not there. That's bad science.

        February 12, 2014 at 5:05 pm |
        • Bob

          The evidence of man making up those gods exists. Do you get the distinction, stupid?

          Ask the questions. Break the chains. Join the movement.
          Be free of Christianity and other superstitions.
          http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/

          February 12, 2014 at 6:26 pm |
    • TruthPrevails1

      No, I may not believe in a god but it doesn't mean that if evidence was provided I wouldn't consider it and potentially change my mind. I can't be that closed minded. I come from a very religious family and left it behind because upon exploring and seeking answers, nothing melded and the lack of evidence for a god piled up to the point where there was no longer justification for believing.

      February 12, 2014 at 5:02 pm |
      • Andrew Tatusko

        I can respect that position. Like I have said elsewhere, the best that anyone can expect is compelling enough evidence that would change one's mind. Your own experience with religion has a lot to do with that. Context matters. This is where we have to draw the line between atheism and agnosticism. It sounds like you are more likely the latter. Different epistemological process there.

        February 12, 2014 at 5:08 pm |
        • TruthPrevails1

          Andrew: I guess defining this helps. I believe there to be a line between Agnosticism and Atheism. Agnosticism strictly pertains to my knowledge and as a result of have no way of being 100% certain, I can't say affirmatively that no god or supernatural power is possible...it would be dishonest. Atheism only means that the evidence for a god doesn't add up and thus I see no reason to believe.

          February 12, 2014 at 6:05 pm |
    • Rogue Geologist

      I like your atti/tude Andrew. For myself, I have changed my stance on my beliefs in the past, so I'm not niave enough to think I will never change it again. But if I have any spiritual awakening, I doubt it would have anything to do with science.

      February 12, 2014 at 5:19 pm |
    • evolveddna

      Andrew..i know religion is real..its the gods associated with them that have not, so far, been substantiated. I think you will find that most atheists will admit that given irrefutable evidence they would accept a god.. with evidence the word believe would be redundant.

      February 12, 2014 at 5:23 pm |
      • Andrew Tatusko

        It's never just evidence, but compelling evidence. I just watched a bus go by. Is that enough evidence for me that it has a diesel engine? For some that might be the case. For me, no. I know there are many possible engines out there and I would want a closer look if I can get there. Oops – it is now gone. I will not have that closer look and I won't be able to track down that very bus. That particular bus drives on natural gas so my diesel assumption would have been wrong but I knew that already. A passerby would not have that kind of evidence. Who is to say that all of those buses drive on natural gas anyway? I don't know that for sure. In religion there are near infinite experiences with near infinite understandings of deity and sacred reality. So which would be compelling to someone who does not believe any of it is true? That's up to the criteria one uses to make any conclusions.

        February 12, 2014 at 5:31 pm |
        • In Santa We Trust

          Engines sound different for one thing, but as a starting point you could locate the owner of the bus to verify what you wanted.

          February 12, 2014 at 5:38 pm |
  19. believerfred

    Gotta' love the picture of camels making their journey through the desert. Myth, folklore or the word of God where are you going and why. The godless would have us believe we are but evolved animals as these camels on a meaningless journey.
    My heart goes out to all those who actually believe such nonsense in view of what they know to be true. Life has meaning greater than that of evolved organic matter responding to electric stimuli. Every bit as clueless as Adam and Eve 6,000-800,000 years ago choosing the shinny thing instead of God. It would seem your soul has failed to keep up with the times or we are each presented with the same test. How did you do on your SAT's (Satin And Tree)

    February 12, 2014 at 4:36 pm |
    • Ungodly Discipline

      Three giants tower over their children;

      Tumbling rocks over an ancient river bed;

      Bright green moss connecting root and boulder;

      Branches reaching out in every direction to drink each drop of light;

      A spreading canopy over a pristine patch of forest, this is God’s face.

      February 12, 2014 at 4:49 pm |
      • believerfred

        Thus creation reveals the very existence of God

        February 12, 2014 at 5:11 pm |
        • Apple Bush

          How?

          February 12, 2014 at 5:16 pm |
        • In Santa We Trust

          The universe is only evidence of a universe. We do not know what, if anything, was pre-Big Bang and a god is one of many possibilities, but that is a long way from the personal gods of religion for which there is no evidence.

          February 12, 2014 at 5:17 pm |
        • Apple Bush

          The universe is evidence that YOU believe you are aware.

          February 12, 2014 at 5:26 pm |
    • TruthPrevails1

      I'm not debating with you...it's like beating dead horse. Although the picture is rather nice.

      February 12, 2014 at 4:49 pm |
      • believerfred

        So, you recall some of your bible days.............who was that was beating his donkey when the donkey spoke....
        The problem was not with the stubborn donkey but the one beating the donkey. A man with his heart set against God will do things even a mule knows better. Answer the question as to motive behind your constant beating of the stubborn ones on this site and you will find God

        February 12, 2014 at 5:19 pm |
        • Bob

          Actually fred, your ass hole of a god of your horrid holy story book AKA the bible is presented as being a strong supporter of beatings even of human slaves, and doing other horrid deeds. Such a "god" should be convicted of human rights abuses, rather than worshipped.

          Ask the questions. Break the chains. Join the movement.
          Be free of Christianity and other superstitions.
          http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/

          February 12, 2014 at 5:30 pm |
        • Bob

          Actually fred, your ass hole of a god of your horrid holy story book AKA the bible is presented as being a strong supporter of beatings even of human slaves, and doing other horrid deeds. Such a "god" should be convicted of human rights abuses, rather than worshippped.

          Ask the questions. Break the chains. Join the movement.
          Be free of Christianity and other superstitions.
          http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/

          February 12, 2014 at 5:33 pm |
        • TruthPrevails1

          Oh the hypocrisy in that fred. You do the same every time you post scripture.

          February 12, 2014 at 6:06 pm |
        • believerfred

          TuthPrevails1
          My motive is to keep lies from causing children to stumble. Causing a little one to stumble (lose their hope that God is love) is the worst offense in the Bible. My motive is prevent harm to the children of God and those who would cause them to fall.

          February 12, 2014 at 6:26 pm |
        • believerfred

          Bob
          The entire Bible is concerned with salvation and redemption of the lost so that all can love as God loves. Evil exists in real life as does good. You cannot fault the Bible for telling it like it is. Christ on the cross showed the extremes of good and evil that is in mankind. You could not ask for a clearer picture.

          February 12, 2014 at 6:35 pm |
        • TruthPrevails1

          Oh but your belief is not everyone's belief and you don't have the right to impose that belief upon children who haven't been raised to believe in your god. You don't want Muslim's imposing their belief on you.
          My goal is to ensure that innocent minds are taught to decide for themselves. Without your parents teaching you about the christian god, you wouldn't know about it...you might know a different god or no god at all. God is taught, not something we are born with knowledge of. So you teach your children what you wish and let us the rest of us do the same with ours.

          February 12, 2014 at 6:40 pm |
        • Bob

          fred, you are a deceptive person and a coward. You disgust me. You know damn well that I am referring to explicit support in your doctrine for those horrid acts that exists in the bible, not mere description of the state of affairs at the time, and you know that I can present that. Stop trying to twist that; I won't let you get away with it.

          You disgusting coward!

          February 12, 2014 at 6:52 pm |
        • believerfred

          TruthPrevails1

          " My goal is to ensure that innocent minds are taught to decide for themselves."
          =>that may be your goal but what you are teaching is skepticism. Without guidance and direction from you they will fill that void which demands an answer as to why I exist. By your actions, words or lack of words your children are learning your belief.

          February 12, 2014 at 9:18 pm |
        • believerfred

          Bob
          There are 31,240 verses in the Bible and you have found 124 that claim God directed or committed terrible acts. I see your point where major events of bloodshed were claimed to have been at the hand of God as well as horrible acts on the individual level. The apologetics of a vengeful, wrathful God or a God that allows terrible things are exhausting and at the end there are few points where I really just don't get it or how it fits into the overall picture of a loving God.

          February 12, 2014 at 9:47 pm |
        • .

          There are 31,240 events in history and you have found 124 that claim Hitler directed or committed terrible acts. I see your point where major events of bloodshed were claimed to have been at the hand of Hitler as well as horrible acts on the individual level. The apologetics of a vengeful, wrathful Hitler or a Hitler that allows terrible things are exhausting and at the end there are few points where I really just don't get it or how it fits into the overall picture of a loving Hitler.

          February 12, 2014 at 10:31 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      believerfred, humans are but a piece of the fabric of life both here on Earth, and in the universe. Very special to be sure, but equal to all other things that hurl through space.

      February 12, 2014 at 4:53 pm |
      • Dalahäst

        We are aware of the things hurling in space.

        The things hurling in space are not aware of us. They were not made in God's image, like us.

        February 12, 2014 at 5:05 pm |
        • Apple Bush

          WE are hurling through space. And you are right, we were not made in any god's image.

          February 12, 2014 at 5:16 pm |
        • ausphor

          Dala..
          God can range from arousingly beautiful to bad ugly, like humans, what image are you harping about?

          February 12, 2014 at 5:18 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          We are made in God's image. That awareness is God like.

          Asteroids, stars and planets don't have that awareness. They show God's glory, though.

          February 12, 2014 at 5:20 pm |
        • Apple Bush

          Dala, you insult the great Mother.

          February 12, 2014 at 5:27 pm |
      • believerfred

        Apple
        Let's bring that topic up if and when other intelligent life with capacity to love and create are discovered. In the meantime facts point towards a cold harsh universe with only one garden of Eden.................earth

        February 12, 2014 at 6:04 pm |
        • TruthPrevails1

          That's not totally true. You have basically stated that we are the only inhabitable planet, to say that is completely dishonest...we do know that other earth like planets have been discovered, what we don't know is whether or not they are inhabitable. None of anything that we have evidence for points to a god. Saying we don't know is far more honest that your method of plugging a god in to it.

          February 12, 2014 at 6:24 pm |
        • believerfred

          TruthPrevails1
          "That's not totally true."
          =>You will need to explain that since the only evidence of intelligent life exists right here in our little garden of Eden.

          "You have basically stated that we are the only inhabitable planet, to say that is completely dishonest"
          =>That is news to me as I am not aware of such "habitable" planet. There are many potential habitable exoplanets but potential is a long way from probable.

          "we do know that other earth like planets have been discovered, what we don't know is whether or not they are inhabitable"
          =>again we don't know if they are habitable or inhabitable.

          "None of anything that we have evidence for points to a god."
          =>there is a great deal of evidence that points to causation (pre big bang) being supernatural assuming there is no natural explanation. At the moment we do not have evidence pointing towards natural or supernatural causation.

          "Saying we don't know is far more honest that your method of plugging a god in to it."
          =>I am not saying a god as most man made gods have proven themselves false. No one has seen God last I heard nor do we know what substance God is. If we could describe God we would use terms from the natural because that is all we know.

          February 12, 2014 at 10:56 pm |
        • dandintac

          "...there is a great deal of evidence that points to causation (pre big bang) being supernatural..."

          Please list this "great deal of evidence"–I'd like to examine it, especially since we know of nothing at all "pre big bang" or whether there is a "pre" or whether the statement even makes sense.

          February 12, 2014 at 11:15 pm |
    • alonsoquixote

      Do you really believe mankind originated 6 to 8,000 years ago with a god forming man from mud/dust? Was it the Sumerian god Enki forming man from mud or the Jewish tribal god Yahweh forming man form dust? The Jewish creation mythology borrows from the Sumerians. When the early Jews retold the Sumerian myths they refashioned them to fit within their own mythology. And as the British anthropologist and Egyptologist put it "the gods of the old religion become the devils of the new." The Sumerian God Enki, God of Water and Wisdom and his son Ningizzida were both identified as Serpent Gods. Enki was possessed of the food and water of life as well as the tablets of wisdom. In the Jewish creation myth it is a talking snake that leads the first woman, made from a man's rib, to eat of the one forbidden thing that the god has placed in the garden leading him to expel the first humans from the garden lest they also eat of the tree of life and become immortal like the god. He then curses the serpent so that he and his descendants must crawl upon their bellies and thus we see snakes crawling upon the ground without legs today. Clearly an aetiological myth to explain why snakes have no legs. Not content to merely curse the first couple, the god places a curse upon all of their descendants forever after.

      Why was the woman formed from the man's rib? Eve may be the goddess Ninti who in the Sumerian creation mythology was a goddess of life and the "goddess of the rib", because she healed a pain in Enki's rib, a pain he suffered from a curse placed upon him from eating plants in the garden.

      Why do you find the mythology of Genesis more appealing than the thousands of other creation myths mankind has created?

      February 12, 2014 at 5:12 pm |
      • Dalahäst

        This is a logical fallacy.

        Similarity does not imply descent.

        February 12, 2014 at 5:18 pm |
        • Dyslexic doG

          denial is not just a river in Egypt ...

          February 12, 2014 at 5:29 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Have you fact checked his claims?

          It seems like each week: Christianity is a copy of Horus. No, now, Mithra. No Horus. Dionysus. Krishna.

          Now it is Enki. Well, if an atheist web page says it is true, it must be. No need to provide any sources. Those just get in the way of facts.

          February 12, 2014 at 5:38 pm |
        • Steven

          "Well, if an atheist web page says it is true, it must be. No need to provide any sources. Those just get in the way of facts."

          Yet, a xtian will say the bible is true, no need to provide any sources, those just get in the way of the facts.

          February 12, 2014 at 5:51 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          I test their facts for veracity, too.

          It is amazing how many "copy cat" claims I see. When I ask for evidence to support the claims: nothing.

          February 12, 2014 at 5:52 pm |
      • believerfred

        alonsoquixote
        =>I said 6,000 to 800,000 not 8,000.

        "Was it the Sumerian god Enki .....etc.
        =>it points to man knowing there is something rather than nothing behind the boundaries of the knowable. Like a salmon that has no clue as to why they are headed up one particular stream out of thousands.

        "Why was the woman formed from the man's rib?"
        =>this is representative of the need for unity with the source of our existence. We were made for completeness with others and God. Jesus kept it simple when he referred to being one with the father as he is one with the father.

        "the goddess Ninti who in the Sumerian creation mythology was a goddess of life and the "goddess of the rib"
        =Yes, the oral tradition began with the first beings that had capacity to unite with God. It is little wonder that the original oral tradition was picked up by other tribes in various time. As time progressed some truth gave way to mans desire to suit personal agendas. Even in recent times we see Mormons, Muslims and Catholics etc. using the truth as foundation but drifting into their own way instead of "the way"

        "Why do you find the mythology of Genesis more appealing than the thousands of other creation myths mankind has created?"
        =>I can see their roots in Genesis just as the Muslim roots are in the Old Testament. The root is the source of nourishment.
        Other creation myths have their object formed out of created things (i.e. they are made of physical matter known to man) where as God has never been seen which is true to this day.

        February 12, 2014 at 6:21 pm |
        • Doc Vestibule

          It seems that you believe other creation myths that pre-date Genesis were derived from Genesis?
          Not all creation myths have their objects formed from "created things".
          For example, in the Orphic belief system, the beginning was known as "Unaging Time", when nothing existed and nothing grew old. The Creator and ruler of time was Chronus. Along with Chronus in this realm was Adrasteia (meaning "necessity") and they joined to create primordial Spirit (energy) and Matter.

          February 13, 2014 at 9:23 am |
      • alonsoquixote

        Dalahäst, since you requested references in regards to my comment regarding Genesis mythology borrowing from Sumerian mythology, I've included some below in hopes you might actually be willing to read material comparing biblical mythology with that of the other ancient civilizations in the area in which Judaism arose.

        I'd suggest you read some of the books written by the American mythologist Joseph Campbell, particularly, "The Masks of God: Occidental Mythology". E.g., see the chapter "The Serpent's Bride" in that book. Also "Creation Stories of the Middle East" by Ewa Wasilewska, a professor in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Utah. Other references include "The Garden of Eden Myth: Its Pre-biblical Origin in Mesopotamian Myths" and "Eden's Serpent: Its Mesopotamian Origins" by Walter Mattfeld.

        In addition to the creation story in Genesis 2 written by the Yahwist – the one in Genesis 1, which differs in the order of creation was created by the Priestly Source – the Noachian flood myth in Genesis also borrows from the older Sumerian flood myth in the Epic of Gilgamesh. Like the creation mythology of Genesis, it too reflects the work of two writers, or groups of writers, the Yahwist and Priestly Source, with different views and different versions of the story. I'd refer you to "Who Wrote the Bible" by Richard Elliott Friedman, a biblical scholar who is the Ann and Jay Davis Professor of Jewish Studies at the University of Georgia regarding the authorship of the flood story in the Bible, specifically pages 53 to 60 in the "The Story of Noah–Twice". The Epic of Gilgamesh can be found in many places on the Internet; read it and judge for yourself whether the similarities between the biblical version and the older Sumerian version are merely coincidental.

        In the Sumerian version it is Utnapishtim who is warned by the god Enki that the god Enlil is going to send a flood to wipe out mankind. Enki advises Utnapishtim to build an ark and take his family on-board. Utnapishtim also takes animals on-board his ark. At the end of the flood Utnapishtim sends out a dove, a swallow and a raven to check whether the waters have receded enough for he and his family to alight from the ark. When they disembark he sacrifices to the gods just as Noah sacrifices to his god, Yahweh. Yahweh, like other gods of that time was fond of the smell of burning flesh, i.e., holocausts.

        When the early Jews retold the story to fit it into their own mythological framework, Utnapishtim and his family became Noah and his family and Enki and Enlil were recast as Yahweh.

        For information regarding the development of some of the other myths and legends within Genesis, I'd refer you to "Legends of Genesis", which is freely available from Librivox.org, since it is long out of copyright, in audio format. It was written by the German Old Testament Scholar Hermann Gunkel (1862–1932), who was a professor at the University of Giessen and later the Martin Luther University of Halle-Wittenberg in Germany.

        In your response to my comment, you also wrote "It seems like each week: Christianity is a copy of Horus. No, now, Mithra. No Horus. Dionysus. Krishna." Christianity is, of course, primarily based upon Judaism with the Judaic god becoming a triune god in the Christian version. Judaism incorporated Sumerian mythology and Zoroastrian mythology into its own mythology. Though Christianity is primarily based upon Judaism, its mythology, including the miracle stories of its New Testament do borrow from other religions of the time it was created. The Gospel accounts written by unknown authors many decades after the protagonist of their tales supposedly lived incorporate myths from Greek mythology as well as others.

        As just one example, we have the story of Jesus turning water into wine in the Marriage of Cana story in John 2:1-11, which appears to have been borrowed by the unknown author or authors, i.e., the Johannine community (see the Wikipedia article "Authorship of the Johannine works"), from stories of Dionysus turning water into wine. E.g., see "The Masks of Christ: Behind the Lies and Cover-Ups About the Life of Jesus" by Lynn Picknett and Clive Prince. Though, I'll also provide you references by two German theologians, Rudolf Bultmann, who was a Lutheran theologian and professor of New Testament at the University of Marburg, and Uta Ranke-Heinemann, who holds the (nondenominational) chair of History of Religion at the University of Duisburg-Essen in Essen, since, perhaps, you might be more willing to consider material written by Christian theologians. Regarding the story, Bultmann wrote "No doubt the story has been borrowed from pagan legends and transferred to Jesus." Uta Ranke-Heinemann wrote:

        John has "transformed Jesus into a sort of Christian wine God." This depiction of Jesus is formalized by the celebration of Epiphany on January 6, the traditional feast day of Dionysus.

        You can find Bultmann's view on the story in "The Miracles Of Jesus" by Hendrik van der Loos and the views of both theologians are discussed in "Jesus Against Christianity: Reclaiming the Missing Jesus" by Jack Nelson-Pallmeyer on pages 163 to 164.

        You may see Christian myths related to the myths of several other religions because it is quite common for new religions to borrow elements from existing religions with which the storytellers of the new religion are familiar. I'd refer you to the Wikipedia article on syncretism for more information. I'd also refer you to the Serapis Wikipedia article. That religion was born from a melding of Greek and Egyptian religious beliefs. Adherents of the new Christian sects, of which there were many competing ones, e.g., Ebonites, Gnostics, etc., would have been familiar with the Serapis and likely would not have wanted their godman to seem any less impressive than the gods of the Serapis and other religions of the time, so there would have been a need for a miraculous birth story and other miracle stories for their godman, as well.

        For more information on the development of the New Testament mythology, another free book is "The Truth about Jesus : Is He a Myth?", which is freely available in various electronic formats through Project Gutenberg at gutenberg.org as it, also, is long out of copyright. It was written by Mangasar Magurditch Mangasarian (1859 – 1943).

        February 13, 2014 at 5:55 pm |
  20. ryan59479

    "Using radiocarbon dating of camel bones that showed signs of having carried heavy loads, Israeli archaeologists have dated the earliest domesticated camels to the end of the 10th century BCE."

    Good luck getting anyone who actually puts stock in the veracity of the bible to get behind anything involving radiocarbon dating. The Nye/Ham debate made it very clear that creationists invented "historical science" to conveniently get around facts and logic. The "you weren't there so you don't know" argument is actually a valid line of reasoning within the creationist community.

    February 12, 2014 at 4:30 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16
Advertisement
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.