March 20th, 2014
11:14 AM ET

Does the Big Bang breakthrough offer proof of God?

Opinion by Leslie A. Wickman, special to CNN

(CNN) The remarkable discovery, announced this week, of ripples in the space-time fabric of the universe rocked the world of science - and the world of religion.

Touted as evidence for inflation (a faster-than-the-speed-of-light expansion of our universe), the new discovery of traces of gravity waves affirms scientific concepts in the fields of cosmology, general relativity, and particle physics.

The new discovery also has significant implications for the Judeo-Christian worldview, offering strong support for biblical beliefs.

Here's how.

The prevalent theory of cosmic origins prior to the Big Bang theory was the “Steady State,” which argued that the universe has always existed, without a beginning that necessitated a cause.

However, this new evidence strongly suggests that there was a beginning to our universe.

If the universe did indeed have a beginning, by the simple logic of cause and effect, there had to be an agent – separate and apart from the effect – that caused it.

That sounds a lot like Genesis 1:1 to me: “In the beginning God created the heavens and the Earth.”

So this latest discovery is good news for us believers, as it adds scientific support to the idea that the universe was caused – or created – by something or someone outside it and not dependent on it.

MORE ON CNN: Big Bang breakthrough announced; gravitational waves detected

Atheist-turned-agnostic astronomer Fred Hoyle, who coined the term “Big Bang,” famously stated, “A common sense interpretation of the facts suggests that a superintellect has monkeyed with physics."

As Hoyle saw it, the Big Bang was not a chaotic explosion, but rather a very highly ordered event – one that could not have occurred by random chance.

We also need to remember that God reveals himself both through scripture and creation. The challenge is in seeing how they fit together. A better understanding of each can inform our understanding of the other.

It’s not just about cracking open the Bible and reading whatever we find there from a 21st-century American perspective. We have to study the context, the culture, the genre, the authorship and the original audience to understand the intent.

The creation message in Genesis tells us that God created a special place for humans to live and thrive and be in communion with him; that God wants a relationship with us, and makes provisions for us to have fellowship with him, even after we turn away from him.

So, we know that Genesis was never intended to be a detailed scientific handbook, describing how God created the universe. It imparts a theological, not a scientific, message.

(Imagine how confusing messages about gravity waves and dark matter might be to ancient Hebrew readers.)

As a modern believer and a scientist, when I look up at the sky on a clear starry night, I am reminded that “the heavens declare the glory of God” (Psalm 19:1). I am in awe of the complexity of the physical world, and how all of its pieces fit together so perfectly and synergistically.

In the Old Testament book of Jeremiah, the writer tells us that God “established (his) covenant with day and night, and with the fixed laws of heaven and earth.”

These physical laws established by God to govern interactions between matter and energy result in a finely tuned universe that provides the ideal conditions for life on our planet.

As we observe the complexity of the cosmos, from subatomic particles to dark matter and dark energy, we quickly conclude that there must be a more satisfying explanation than random chance. Properly practiced, science can be an act of worship in looking at God’s revelation of himself in nature.

If God is truly the creator, then he will reveal himself through what he’s created, and science is a tool we can use to uncover those wonders.

Leslie Wickman is director of the Center for Research in Science at Azusa Pacific University. Wickman has also been an engineer for Lockheed Martin Missiles & Space, where she worked on NASA's Hubble Space Telescope and International Space Station programs. The views expressed in this column belong to Wickman. 

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Christianity • Culture & Science • Faith • Opinion • Science

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soundoff (4,918 Responses)
  1. strngr12

    "(Imagine how confusing messages about gravity waves and dark matter might be to ancient Hebrew readers.)" Haha! Yeah, can you imagine? Lol! Also, can you imagine how confusing messages about not raping women and children from neighboring tribes would be? Or, how about not killing your neighbor for working on the Sabbath! When God told Moses to kill all the women who had known a man and to keep all the young girls and virgin women for themselves and kill all the men and boys he was afraid he would confuse them if he had told them different. Ha! Can you imagine how that would have sounded?

    March 21, 2014 at 5:54 pm |
  2. moiraesfate

    This article is called "desperate grasp to make science fit into religion because they know religion is wrong".

    March 21, 2014 at 5:54 pm |
    • primatica


      March 21, 2014 at 5:56 pm |
    • mvrunner

      Hear hear hear hear

      March 21, 2014 at 6:10 pm |
    • distrbnce

      uh, spoilers!

      March 21, 2014 at 6:11 pm |
  3. magicpanties

    So, because you're now convinced the universe had a starting point,
    you make the leap to this proves it was created by some god !?!?!?!?

    Using your "logic" that also means that your god must have been created, and his creator created and on to infinity.
    Oh wait, maybe your god just "always was" and well, just because.


    March 21, 2014 at 5:48 pm |
    • strngr12

      No, she makes the leap that this creator is her SPECIFIC god. Understand, this was not the work of Odin or Zeus or Ubagooba the soul eating turtle god, but the Abrahamic God. For she is possessed of the ONE TRUE religion. All the rest are obviously stupid.

      March 21, 2014 at 7:27 pm |
  4. primatica

    Humanity is through with deity worship. The "Age of Gods" is dying, it will be usurped. Deities are the enemy of Humanity, they divide in a time when we the youth seek to unite. Old ways die with the ones that promote them, no one will pick up your flag...

    March 21, 2014 at 5:48 pm |
    • alfonse2014

      That's pretty much what Stalin said well he killed over 20 million russians to further his 'secular' paradise.
      And what Mao said when he killed over 20 million chinese during his wonderful secular cultural revolution
      And what Pol Pot said as he killed over 2 million cambidians.
      Ah, the joy of secularism.

      March 21, 2014 at 5:56 pm |
      • primatica

        Blah, blah ,blah....Stalin this, Stalin that....Am not Stalin nor would I ever want to kill anything with the appreciation of life that I gained by accepting our reality. Life is short. Science has taught me that we build upon each other. Everything is a unit to a whole. That we are mother earth's way of spreading it's life to the stars. That the human mind will soon conquer death itself once we abandon deities. Your god teaches you to wait for it's arrival, to hold other humans in contempt. It's been 2000 years and counting....

        March 21, 2014 at 6:04 pm |
      • michaeltodd63

        Good point Alfonse!

        March 21, 2014 at 6:06 pm |
        • primatica

          false assumption more like it...

          March 21, 2014 at 6:12 pm |
      • primatica

        Make it fair at least....give me the number of dead for spreading democracy or capitalism? ...........crickets.......

        March 21, 2014 at 6:16 pm |
      • strngr12

        Of course. Stalin killed millions so that is proof that your specific god exists. If your specific god didn't exist then Stalin would not have killed millions.

        March 21, 2014 at 7:30 pm |
  5. nemo0037

    I won't dignify this tripe with a response. But I can UNdignify it with a joke. I am MOSTLY vegetarian: I only eat plants... and animals that eat plants!

    March 21, 2014 at 5:45 pm |
  6. Jess of The Affair Shop

    Reblogged this on The Affair Shop Blog.

    March 21, 2014 at 5:45 pm |
  7. danielwalldammit

    The First Cause argument redacted, ...I don't see much improvement though.

    March 21, 2014 at 5:44 pm |
  8. wilburw7

    An agnostic is someone that would like more information about God.
    An atheist is someone that wants less information about God.

    March 21, 2014 at 5:43 pm |
    • midwest rail

      And a contemporary evangelical Christian is someone who leads the world in turning people off from Christianity.

      March 21, 2014 at 5:48 pm |
      • wilburw7

        Yeah. Because you would have accepted Jesus on your own otherwise (sarcasm)

        March 21, 2014 at 5:49 pm |
        • midwest rail

          No where on these pages have I ever self-identified as a non-believer. Nice arrogant as$umption, though. You have the first of the three primary characteristics down pat.

          March 21, 2014 at 5:51 pm |
        • wilburw7

          midwest rail, So what religion are you?

          March 21, 2014 at 5:58 pm |
        • midwest rail

          I don't go to church, organized religion is a plague on this planet.

          March 21, 2014 at 6:00 pm |
        • wilburw7

          midwest rail, So you are not doing anything to spread the word of God and you are discouraging Evangelical from doing so? Is that right?

          March 21, 2014 at 6:04 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          Wilbur you worship a bigot...

          March 21, 2014 at 6:11 pm |
        • distrbnce

          Wilbur, if this is how you evangelize, keep it up.

          You are Christianity's worst enemy.

          March 21, 2014 at 6:14 pm |
        • midwest rail

          Once again, an arrogant as$umption, wilbur. Where did I discourage you from evangelizing ? I didn't. Please, by all means, continue. You insist it is your duty to "spread the word", that's fine. But why are the evangelical Christians on these pages so BAD at it ? You always come across as arrogant, condescending, and hateful. Why would anyone want what you claim to have ? why would anyone want to be like you ?

          March 21, 2014 at 6:32 pm |
    • distrbnce

      Wilbur is poor at defining things.

      March 21, 2014 at 5:48 pm |
    • tallulah131

      Most atheists would become believers if real, verifiable evidence that a god actually exists were to be provided. So far, the only "evidence" provided is cultural tradition, hearsay, spin and special feelings.

      March 21, 2014 at 5:49 pm |
      • wilburw7

        That is a very bad idea. There is verifiable proof that you sinned, you die, and then you are judged.
        You will probably not get any verifiable proof before you die. You are completely not looking at it correctly.

        You seek God, and then he lets you know He exists by divine revelation. You accept Jesus Christ and you then have redemption.

        Matthew 16:15
        Jesus asked: “But who do you say that I am?” 16 Simon Peter answered and
        said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” 17 Jesus answered
        and said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood
        has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven."

        March 21, 2014 at 5:54 pm |
        • tallulah131

          Look up Pascal's Wager.

          Your logic applies to every one of the thousands of gods ever worshiped by humanity, since there isn't a shred of evidence for any of them. You had better worship them all, because with so many gods to chose from it's unlikely that the christian god is the right choice.

          March 21, 2014 at 6:03 pm |
        • distrbnce

          Bu-bu-bu his mommy didn't tell him about all those other gods...

          March 21, 2014 at 6:15 pm |
        • In Santa We Trust

          wilbur, if this "evidence" is available only after we die, how do you know and how can you claim that it is verified?

          March 21, 2014 at 6:18 pm |
        • primatica

          booo.....religious scare tactics are passe

          March 21, 2014 at 6:20 pm |
        • distrbnce

          Look, he just knows and he's real convinced, OKAY!?

          March 21, 2014 at 6:21 pm |
    • qsmurf


      An agnostic is an Atheist that is still fearful enough about mortality that they cling to cherry-picked religious beliefs that they were raised with and that comfort them....essentially, the "independents" of the theology world – the consummate fence-sitters. The ones who dismiss religion yet won't commit fully to Atheism...just in case.

      An Atheist is someone who has all the information that is available about "god" and has ruled out the possibility.

      March 21, 2014 at 5:51 pm |
    • In Santa We Trust

      If you had objective evidence of a god, there would be no agnostics or atheists.

      March 21, 2014 at 5:52 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      I will take all the vefifiable infromation you have on god....you just don't have any.

      Talking out your ass only verifies that your breath stinks.

      March 21, 2014 at 5:53 pm |
    • Akira

      Wilbur, what is your field as a scientist?

      March 21, 2014 at 5:57 pm |
    • LinCA


      You said, "An agnostic is someone that would like more information about God.
      An atheist is someone that wants less information about God.
      Actually, no.

      Gnosticism and agnosticism are about knowledge, or the lack thereof. Theism and atheism are about belief, or the lack thereof.

      The complete absence of any evidence in favor of any gods, makes everyone agnostic, whether they will admit to it, or not. Some simply choose to believe the fairy tales they were fed as a child and claim to have knowledge of their favorite god.

      Among atheists it is pretty common to acknowledge not to have knowledge about the existence of gods, but in light of the complete and utter lack of any evidence in favor of their existence, not believe they exist.

      As a fun tidbit, the people that are strongly theistic toward their own god tend to be strongly atheistic regarding every other god.

      March 21, 2014 at 7:07 pm |
    • strngr12

      Nope. A theist is someone possessed of a knowledge of the supernatural. In other words, a theist believes that they know things about the world outside of the natural, observable Universe. An A-theist is someone who does not profess to have such knowledge. Most atheists take it a step further and doubt anyone else does, either.

      March 21, 2014 at 7:32 pm |
  9. akismet-44a8ca8105e8092b4b1a0af75fa4f58d

    How does this discovery mean that biblical christianity is true? What a ridiculous non-sequitur.

    March 21, 2014 at 5:39 pm |
    • alfonse2014

      It doesn't. I guess you didn't read the article. The article is merely pointing out if the big bang is correct then according to the laws of cause and effect a causation is requred. And that causation, in this case, would have to stem from something outside of our physical reality. And that is consistent with the concept of a God.
      Why do all of you atheist get sooooo worked up over a rather simple philoshical evaluation. My god, did some nun abuse you when you were young or something.

      March 21, 2014 at 5:53 pm |
  10. primatica

    Here we go again...the righteous wrapping themselves up in science and calling it god...

    March 21, 2014 at 5:36 pm |
  11. distrbnce

    Here's a fun one, if you put a smiley emoticon in your post, it will be flagged as "awaiting moderation". That's weird.

    March 21, 2014 at 5:26 pm |
    • seedenbetter

      They hate happy people.

      March 21, 2014 at 5:29 pm |
  12. joeyy1


    March 21, 2014 at 5:26 pm |
  13. qsmurf

    In other news: A U.S. district judge has overturned Michigan’s bans on gay marriage and same-s.ex adoption.

    March 21, 2014 at 5:25 pm |
    • Joeseph Eclaire

      ...and so it begins.

      March 21, 2014 at 5:27 pm |
      • distrbnce

        Yes, yes, the dreaded slippery slope that leads to our doom.

        Good thing you don't believe in hell or the bible or christianity, just god. Should be pretty inconsequential for you. I guess you just have a desire to subjugate others?

        March 21, 2014 at 5:28 pm |
      • qsmurf

        Poor Joseph, ever fearful that those who do anything outside of his demands for how people should behave will bring about the end times!

        Pure comedy! Evidently, Joseph was the middle name of Chicken Little!

        March 21, 2014 at 5:44 pm |
    • distrbnce


      Farewell hate-mongers.

      March 21, 2014 at 5:27 pm |
  14. dajeffect

    For decades religions denied evolution to even speak of it in some places you would be put to death, but as the years went by more and more evidence that supported evolution surfaced, that it got to a point were it could not be denied anymore so what do the religious do, what religion has been so good at doing and its adapt. Ok we cant deny it anymore the church said , so lets say GOD created evolution but we will not calll it evolution because thats just is admitting that science was right, lets call it Smart design , and so creationism was born, its no surprise that any great discovery gets hijacked and twisted and changed to fit with the religious when so long before proven it gets denied by the same people.

    March 21, 2014 at 5:20 pm |
  15. alfonse2014

    Reading these posts i can't help but chuckle:
    Nothing gets the radical liberal's panties in a bunch more than:
    1. A Scientist who is not an atheist
    2. A Scientist who doesn't agree that global warming is 'settled science'
    3. A black conservative (who they refer to, hypocritically, in the most disgusting ways)
    4. A woman conservative (again, who they, hypocritically, refer to in the most disgusting ways)
    5. A conservative comedian (They fear these people the most because if they use their 'Alinsky' principle of ridicule on them, they'll get as good as they give)
    6 A religious person (Even though, ironically, most lower income democrats, like the mexicans, are devout catholics
    7. A logical person (Once again, they will immediately resort to Alinsky's rule #1, ridicule.)
    8. Anyone who disagrees with their position

    March 21, 2014 at 5:16 pm |
    • chitownmatt

      HAHAHAH, You could very easily turn those around and say the exact same thing about most conservatives.

      Nothing gets a conservative's panties in bunch more than...
      1. A scientist that denies the existence of GOD
      2. A scientist that supports the conclusion that atmospheric polution is causing changes in our global climate – (ppst. there are alot of those kinds of scientist!!! – how your panties feelin?)
      3.... we can go on and on, but I think you get it – or not.

      March 21, 2014 at 5:25 pm |
      • alfonse2014

        HAHAHAHA right back atcha,

        Why oh why didn't you anwer #3, 4, 5 and 6.
        Come on, don't be shy....how do you refer to a black conservative?
        ............what's a matter.. to embarassed to answer?
        How about a conservative woman.?
        And what about all of those devout catholic mexican democrats and baptist blacks.
        ---come on, tell them what you really think on them –and please do it during your democratic campaigns.

        March 21, 2014 at 5:35 pm |
        • distrbnce

          What is any of this about? Alfonse... you are losing your grip.

          March 21, 2014 at 5:52 pm |
        • chitownmatt

          I’m not really a “Liberal”, much more of an independent, but to most conservative, anyone who disagrees with any of the grass roots doctrine is a silly lib, but what the heck, I’ll play along:
          3. Black Conservative??? Well we just call them conservatives.
          4. Woman Conservative??? Again, we just call them conservatives.
          5. A conservative comedian? I’ll call him Dennis Miller – ‘cause he’s the only one.
          6. A Religious person? ZEALOT
          7. A logical person??? Why do you know any?
          8. Anyone who disagrees with their position? – Well here we are back at the top of my post. You see, I am not a liberal, but because I disagree with your position on religion and science you automatically assume that I am. Maybe this is a question you need to ask yourself?

          March 21, 2014 at 6:23 pm |
    • bostontola

      You said: "Reading these posts i can't help but chuckle" and that radical liberals "Once again, they will immediately resort to Alinsky's rule #1, ridicule."

      Are you a radical liberal?

      March 21, 2014 at 5:26 pm |
      • distrbnce

        Look, you only pull that out when it doesn't apply to you, gosh don't you know anything about being an internet christian apologist

        March 21, 2014 at 5:33 pm |
    • distrbnce

      Why are you assuming I'm a liberal? Makes me wonder if all of your points are wrong.

      March 21, 2014 at 5:29 pm |
      • alfonse2014

        Maybe your not.
        But, why don't you just answer the questions.
        --I know you won't

        March 21, 2014 at 5:38 pm |
        • distrbnce

          Uh, you didn't ask any questions. What are you talking about?

          March 21, 2014 at 5:47 pm |
    • In Santa We Trust

      alfonse, perhaps you can explain what is logical about believing in a god for which there is no evidence and what is logical about not believing in climate change for which there is a mountain of supporting evidence.

      March 21, 2014 at 5:59 pm |
  16. revtim128

    "If the universe did indeed have a beginning, by the simple logic of cause and effect, there had to be an agent – separate and apart from the effect – that caused it."

    It has been known for about a century in the field of quantum physics that events can be uncaused.

    March 21, 2014 at 5:10 pm |
  17. w4rbler


    March 21, 2014 at 5:04 pm |
  18. SpiritRhythms

    Proof of God is not from without, but from within.

    March 21, 2014 at 5:03 pm |
    • Joeseph Eclaire


      March 21, 2014 at 5:06 pm |
      • bostontola

        Which is exactly why it is not trustworthy.

        March 21, 2014 at 5:08 pm |
        • alfonse2014

          How naive can you be.. Do you have any idea how much fraud goes on in Science?
          Scientist want to get those grants and some will do almost anything to get it.
          The fraud in the pharmeceutical field alone is astronomical. A recent study has shown that a very large percentage of scientific papers are fraudulent.
          For you to believe that scientist are for some reason more ethical and honest than the rest of us is pure stupidity, or just incredible naivity.

          March 21, 2014 at 5:23 pm |
        • bostontola

          you have an unblemished record of logical non-sequiturs. Even if your assertion were true, how does that bear on the comment thread above it? It doesn't.

          March 21, 2014 at 5:29 pm |
        • Joeseph Eclaire

          Yes indeed.
          Science can be bought to say anything it's looking for.
          After all it's scientist that 'creates the test' for validation.

          Finding an honest scientist today is starting to get as hard as finding an honest politician.

          March 21, 2014 at 5:33 pm |
        • bostontola

          Science doesn't rely on any individual scientist, that's why it works. In the science community, you are rewarded as much for de-bunking bad science as for discovering new science. That's all that's needed. It weeds out bad science unless every scientist is in a conspiratorial cabal with every other scientist. One honest scientist will rat out the others. Do you think that all scientists are in such a cabal?

          March 21, 2014 at 5:44 pm |
        • distrbnce

          Joeseph... what world do you live in that you think a single scientist has any sway over accepted truths?

          I feel like you are just completely and willfully ignorant of the scientific process. You should probably be ashamed.

          March 21, 2014 at 5:54 pm |
    • seedenbetter

      True. God exists only between the ears and nowhere else.

      March 21, 2014 at 5:30 pm |
      • wilburw7

        How do you know that God does not exist?

        March 21, 2014 at 6:00 pm |
        • distrbnce

          Oh snap, he's really gonna get ya with this one! This one shuts 'em down every time!

          March 21, 2014 at 6:23 pm |
  19. Dyslexic doG

    Yesterday morning there was a knock at my door. A pleasant and enthusiastic young couple were there.

    John: "Hi! I'm John, and this is Mary."

    Mary: "Hi! We're here to invite you to come kiss Hank's ass with us."

    Me: "Pardon me?! What are you talking about? Who's Hank, and why would I want to kiss His ass?"

    John: "If you kiss Hank's ass, He'll give you a million dollars; and if you don't, He'll kick the guts out of you."

    Me: "What? Is this some sort of bizarre mob shake-down?"

    John: "Hank is a billionaire philanthropist. Hank built this town. Hank owns this town. He can do whatever He wants, and what He wants is to give you a million dollars, but He can't until you kiss His ass."

    Me: "That doesn't make any sense. Why..."

    Mary: "Who are you to question Hank's gift? Don't you want a million dollars? Isn't it worth a little kiss on the ass?"

    Me: "Well maybe, if it's legit, but..."

    John: "Then come kiss Hank's ass with us."

    Me: "Do you kiss Hank's ass often?"

    Mary: "Oh yes, all the time..."

    Me: "And has He given you a million dollars?"

    John: "Well no. You don't actually get the money until you leave town."

    Me: "So why don't you just leave town now?"

    Mary: "You can't leave until Hank tells you to, or you don't get the money, and He kicks the guts out of you."

    Me: "Do you know anyone who kissed Hank's ass, left town, and got the million dollars?"

    John: "My mother kissed Hank's ass for years. She left town last year, and I'm sure she got the money."

    Me: "Haven't you talked to her since then?"

    John: "Of course not, Hank doesn't allow it."

    Me: "So what makes you think He'll actually give you the money if you've never talked to anyone who got the money?"

    Mary: "Well, maybe you'll get a raise, maybe you'll win a small lotto, maybe you'll just find a twenty-dollar bill on the street."

    Me: "What's that got to do with Hank?"

    John: "In this town, Hank is the same as good luck. All good things are attributed to Hank'"

    Me: "I'm sorry, but this sounds like some sort of bizarre con game."

    John: "But it's a million dollars, can you really take the chance? And remember, if you don't kiss Hank's ass He'll kick the guts out of you."

    Me: "Maybe if I could see Hank, talk to Him, get the details straight from Him..."

    Mary: "No one sees Hank, no one talks to Hank."

    Me: "Then how do you kiss His ass?"

    John: "Sometimes we just blow Him a kiss, and think of His ass. Other times we kiss Karl's ass, and he passes it on."

    Me: "Who's Karl?"

    Mary: "A friend of ours. He's the one who taught us all about kissing Hank's ass. All we had to do was take him out to dinner a few times."

    Me: "And you just took his word for it when he said there was a Hank, that Hank wanted you to kiss His ass, and that Hank would reward you?"

    John: "Oh no! Karl has a letter he got from Hank years ago explaining the whole thing. Here's a copy; see for yourself."

    From the Desk of Karl
    1. Kiss Hank's ass and He'll give you a million dollars when you leave town.
    2. Use alcohol in moderation.
    3. Kick the guts out of people who aren't like you.
    4. Eat right.
    5. Hank dictated this list Himself.
    6. The moon is made of green cheese.
    7. Everything Hank says is right.
    8. Wash your hands after going to the bathroom.
    9. Don't use alcohol.
    10. Eat your wieners on buns, no condiments.
    11. Kiss Hank's ass or He'll kick the guts out of you.

    Me: "This appears to be written on Karl's letterhead."

    Mary: "Hank didn't have any paper."

    Me: "I have a hunch that if we checked we'd find this is Karl's handwriting."

    John: "Of course, Hank dictated it."

    Me: "I thought you said no one gets to see Hank?"

    Mary: "Not now, but years ago He would talk to some people."

    Me: "I thought you said He was a philanthropist. What sort of philanthropist kicks the guts out of people just because they're different?"

    Mary: "It's what Hank wants, and Hank's always right."

    Me: "How do you figure that?"

    Mary: "Item 7 says 'Everything Hank says is right.' That's good enough for me!"

    Me: "Maybe your friend Karl just made the whole thing up."

    John: "No way! Item 5 says 'Hank dictated this list himself.' Besides, item 2 says 'Use alcohol in moderation,' Item 4 says 'Eat right,' and item 8 says 'Wash your hands after going to the bathroom.' Everyone knows those things are right, so the rest must be true, too."

    Me: "But 9 says 'Don't use alcohol.' which doesn't quite go with item 2, and 6 says 'The moon is made of green cheese,' which is just plain wrong."

    John: "There's no contradiction between 9 and 2, 9 just clarifies 2. As far as 6 goes, you've never been to the moon, so you can't say for sure."

    Me: "Scientists have pretty firmly established that the moon is made of rock..."

    Mary: "But they don't know if the rock came from the Earth, or from out of space, so it could just as easily be green cheese."

    Me: "I'm not really an expert, but not knowing where the rock came from doesn't make it plausible that it might be made of cheese."

    John: "Ha! You just admitted that scientists don’t know everything, but we know Hank is always right!"

    Me: "We do?"

    Mary: "Of course we do, Item 7 says so."

    Me: "You're saying Hank's always right because the list says so, the list is right because Hank dictated it, and we know that Hank dictated it because the list says so. That's circular logic, no different than saying 'Hank's right because He says He's right.'"

    John: "Now you're getting it! It's so rewarding to see someone come around to Hank's way of thinking."

    Me: "But...oh, never mind.

    from Jhuger.com

    March 21, 2014 at 5:03 pm |
    • distrbnce

      That's pretty great, thanks for sharing.

      March 21, 2014 at 5:20 pm |
    • tomminkler

      As a Christian, i love the John and Mary thing, i put it on my website. Many Christians need to think more instead of blindly accepting tradition, or old writings as literal. (Plenty of non-Christians need to think more also. Just because an individual can't see or feel something doesn't mean it doesn't exist.)

      March 21, 2014 at 5:52 pm |
      • distrbnce

        "Just because an individual can't see or feel something doesn't mean it doesn't exist"

        Just like saying that doesn't mean there's a god. Further, there is no other evidence for a god. Just unanswered questions.

        March 21, 2014 at 5:56 pm |
  20. michaeltodd63

    The Christian God is the prerequisite for all thought. What do I mean? Glad you asked. If matter is all that exists then thought is predetermined by the properties inherent in matter. An individual's will, personality, and reasoning are nothing more than electrochemical reactions. Likewise, experience and memory, so crucial for the scientific endeavor, are nothing more than side effects of the eternal matter-energy cascade.

    Yet, not any god will do. For if God were not all powerful then He would be subject to change as would our basis for thought. If He were not all good, He may well deceive us. If He were capricious, which is to say that He might change His mind as a mark of His sovereignty, then man's mental life and ethical requirements would be uncertain.

    March 21, 2014 at 4:51 pm |
    • ramblingsofnihility

      Merely an assertion without verifiable evidence.

      March 21, 2014 at 4:56 pm |
      • michaeltodd63

        The mental acquisition and interpretation of evidence requires such things as rational thought, memory, and the uniformity of nature, atheistic materialism cannot provide such.

        March 21, 2014 at 5:30 pm |
        • ramblingsofnihility

          So you think insults prove your case?

          March 21, 2014 at 6:08 pm |
        • nepawoods

          Again, assertions without backing. Thought may well be a deterministic material process.

          March 21, 2014 at 6:09 pm |
        • G to the T

          "The mental acquisition and interpretation of evidence requires such things as rational thought, memory, and the uniformity of nature, atheistic materialism cannot provide such."

          Wow. What are you basing that little nugget on? We can explain rational thought and memory using biology. I have no idea what you mean by the "uniformity of nature", but I'd be happy to find one if you can clarify.

          March 24, 2014 at 4:04 pm |
    • qsmurf

      Sounds like a long-winded way of saying that morality requires religion when the two are not and have never been synonymous.

      March 21, 2014 at 4:58 pm |
      • Joeseph Eclaire

        Correct !
        That's a false assumption the same false assumption that reads "in God we trust"
        America is not now nor has it ever been a Christian nation. We merely hyped that against communism back in the day.

        However, the lack of 'morality' has a direct correlation to most social ills in any country. And if we study ancient history we find that today America mirror Rome right before it's fall.

        March 21, 2014 at 5:04 pm |
        • qsmurf

          The other false assumption is that without religion we've lost our morality...which has led us to the same end as Rome.

          March 21, 2014 at 5:15 pm |
        • Joeseph Eclaire

          Morality is innate. We are all born with a sense of it.
          It's when we chose to ignore it that we find ourselves in trouble. Ignoring it by way of 'access' in behavior.

          By the time Rome fel which was from the inside out they where even poking their own children. Nothing was off limits in regards of what feels good at the moment.

          And as we have seen over the last few years in America, anything is staring to become vogue. I suspect within 5-10 years the new reality show will be can you guess which one is the man or woman.

          March 21, 2014 at 5:23 pm |
        • qsmurf

          I disagree with your perception that "we've chosen to ignore" our morality.

          Your prediction of what this supposed loss of morals will cause in 5-10 years is cynical and founded in religious dogma.

          Just because more people are gaining ground in equal rights, like gay people for example, doesn't indicate that "anything is becoming vogue"....or, at the most, it only indicates that what is "becoming vogue" is equal rights.

          Not really the cause for the downfall of society you seem to think it will be.

          March 21, 2014 at 5:39 pm |
      • michaeltodd63

        So where does morality come from? Is morality determined by the individual? The group? The powerful? Is it an outworking of the evolutionary process in which the creature is responding to environmental pressures?

        March 21, 2014 at 5:33 pm |
        • Joeseph Eclaire

          Pressure today is unbelievable.
          This why we are now seeing all the young Gays coming out. And it's more coercion then anything.
          In other words as that famous Nazi once said, if you tell someone enough times that they are Gay they'll actually start to believe it and then hide behind they where born this way.

          But it's just the Gay thing. We as a society have even come to accept corruption in government/politics as a way of life.

          We have turn addictions into a business.

          The morality has to have some guidance the danger now is some are proclaiming the new morality of the land is decadence in all forms.
          George Orwell, where everything is backwards.

          March 21, 2014 at 5:42 pm |
        • G to the T

          "This why we are now seeing all the young Gays coming out. And it's more coercion then anything.
          In other words as that famous Nazi once said, if you tell someone enough times that they are Gay they'll actually start to believe it and then hide behind they where born this way."

          I can understand why you think it must be a choice or coercion of somekind, your world view is dependant on it. But no one is "recruiting". If they could, you could decide to be gay for a weekend.

          And the Nazi thing... really? Can you even tell us who is supposed to have said this, cause it sounds like a christian urban legend to me more than anything.

          March 24, 2014 at 4:12 pm |
    • Dyslexic doG

      ahhhh the ramblings of a cult addled mind ...

      March 21, 2014 at 5:02 pm |
    • bostontola

      "If He were capricious, which is to say that He might change His mind as a mark of His sovereignty, then man's mental life and ethical requirements would be uncertain."

      Great thought. The problem is, the Abrahamic god changed his mind many times in the bibles. He had a covenant with the Jews, then reset with Jesus. What bout the great flood, sheesh. This God used to jealous, angry, punishing, then was all about love. I'd drop that one if I were you.

      March 21, 2014 at 5:07 pm |
      • michaeltodd63

        Many of the Old Testament covenants were precursors – types and shadows of the prophesied Messiah. The covenants were often times conditional (ex: do this and live). They were not plans A, B, and C, but rather a unified plan of redemption, first for Israel and then to the Gentiles.

        March 21, 2014 at 5:38 pm |
        • bostontola

          The Abrahamic God changed dramatically from the OT to the NT. Anyone who reads them can see it immediately.

          March 21, 2014 at 5:48 pm |
        • G to the T

          Ah – retro-theology. Start with a premise and then use that confirmation bias to review previous infomation in that light. Amazingly enough, you'll find correlations... even if they don't exist.

          March 24, 2014 at 4:08 pm |
    • Akira

      Huh. And here I thought rational thought existed far longer than 2000 years ago, when Christ was born.
      Thanks for setting that record straight.

      March 21, 2014 at 5:08 pm |
      • michaeltodd63

        Since God is eternal and Jesus Christ is both God and man, He being the Second Person of the Trinity is, according to His deity, eternal.

        March 21, 2014 at 5:44 pm |
        • primatica

          If there is a god, what gives you the right to think you know it's name? It never told you, your mama beat it into you...

          March 21, 2014 at 5:55 pm |
    • nepawoods

      "If matter is all that exists then thought is predetermined by the properties inherent in matter."

      1) So maybe thought is predetermined by the properties inherent in matter (and energy, the laws of physics, etc)

      2) If matter is not all that exists, then there must be a God???

      March 21, 2014 at 5:21 pm |
      • michaeltodd63

        When there are only two options (in this case the God of the Bible exists or He does not) and one is impossible it stands to reason that there is only one way things can be.

        March 21, 2014 at 5:42 pm |
        • nepawoods

          And why is it impossible that he does not exist?

          March 21, 2014 at 5:52 pm |
    • primatica

      The blood god Korn has granted me powers beyond your corpse god....

      March 21, 2014 at 5:53 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.