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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. Doc Vestibule

    I propose pantheistic solipsism as the best way to get out of the loop of infinite regression regarding a Creator.
    Every thought any being has ever had spawns its own reality.
    The universe is nothing more than an underdone potato, like Marley's ghost.

    March 26, 2014 at 3:28 pm |
    • bostontola

      There is more to this argument than the First Cause argument for God.

      March 26, 2014 at 3:33 pm |
    • Alias

      Brilliant. I now have an acceptable way of rejecting the existence of the most dense christards.
      I will sleep better tonight.

      March 26, 2014 at 3:36 pm |
      • Doc Vestibule

        Just remember that somewhere out there in the infinite reaches of the solipsistically pantheistic multi-verse, there is a reality in which their ideas are absolutely true.

        March 26, 2014 at 3:39 pm |
        • Alias

          I recently found a list of 2 sentence horror stories that were surprisingly creepy.
          You just gave me half of several more.

          March 26, 2014 at 4:04 pm |
  2. lunchbreaker

    I find it interesting that any supernatural event can only be observed as the supernatural's effect on the natural. If it interacts with the natural, how is not natural?

    March 26, 2014 at 3:16 pm |
    • distrbnce

      This would make a great next blog entry!

      March 26, 2014 at 3:19 pm |
  3. bostontola

    Supernatural regeneration of a human limb would be impressive.

    Natural regeneration of limbs happens with some amphibians, and even with a mammal (some mice).

    Artificial regeneration of human limbs and organs is withing our reach (no pun). The understanding of how other animals do it, plus the understanding of our own genome and development mechanisms makes this possible within the next 50 years.

    My money is on humans doing artificial limb/organ regeneration before God does it supernaturally.

    March 26, 2014 at 3:02 pm |
    • hotairace

      But you know that the delusionals will claim that scientists only achieved what their alleged but never proven god(s) allowed them to.

      March 26, 2014 at 3:05 pm |
      • bostontola

        True. It's funny how God always does His work through humans using natural means, rather than a simple demonstration of supernatural capability. God wasn't so modest in the bibles, he performed miracles all over the place. I wonder why he changed his character so much in our era?

        March 26, 2014 at 3:16 pm |
        • Doc Vestibule

          "Now I don't know what stopped Jesus Christ from turning every hungry stone into bread
          And I don't remember hearing how Moses reacted when the innocent first born sons lay dead.
          Well I guess God was a lot more demonstrative back when He flamboyantly parted the seas
          Now everybody's praying – don't prey on me."

          – Brett Gurewitz

          (Note: "The Hungry Stones" is a short story by Rabindranath Tagore that centers on how preconceptions and biases influence our interpretation of reality)

          March 26, 2014 at 3:37 pm |
      • nepawoods

        Specifically, they'll say Adam and Eve had the genetic code for regeneration of limbs, but it was lost as a result of Eve's chit-chat with the snake.

        March 26, 2014 at 3:17 pm |
        • distrbnce

          *nods in agreement* Yes the qualia and soul and philosophy all seem to point that way, indeed.

          The science of the illiterate

          March 26, 2014 at 3:22 pm |
        • kudlak

          Thomas Aquinas argued that it was the Tree of Life in the Garden of Eden that would have given Adam and Eve their virtual immortality, not something they were created with. It was their environment in that zoo that would have protected them, it seems.

          March 26, 2014 at 6:06 pm |
  4. bchev

    Another point that I think fits in with this conversation. Complexity is not evidence of intelligent design. Take for example the difference between rivers and canals. Rivers are formed organically, based on the environments they encounter and can be very complex, with mutlipile branches and paths and varying currents. Canals are designed- and tend to be relatively straight and to the point, as A to B as possible given the topography and geology that the engineers have to work with. A good engineer designs the SIMPLEST machine possible to do the job. If life was designed, by a flawless and all knowing being, you wouldn't expect unnecessary complexity, you would expect effecient, functional simplicity. We don't see that, so life in all its glorious complexity is not an indication of intelligent design. Now, that doesn't mean that it isn't an indicator for poor design, but no one seems to be making that case.

    March 26, 2014 at 2:43 pm |
    • nepawoods

      "Complexity is not evidence of intelligent design."

      I think one of the greatest examples of that is the mathematical object known as the Mandelbrot Set. It's a depiction of the result of iterating a very simple math function for points on the complex plain. A program to produce images of it can be written in a few lines of code. But the images produced are such that anyone seeing them, not knowing their origin, would swear they were the work of a talented artist. These images had no designer. The equation was studied by mathematicians before anyone discovered the beautiful complexity they produce, which was quite a surprise.

      To get an idea of what it looks like, try an image search for Mandelbrot Set:

      google.Com/search?q=mandelbrot+set&tbm=isch

      The point is, we can't trust our naive intuition that a design required a designer, based on how it appears to our eyes.

      March 26, 2014 at 3:00 pm |
      • Vic

        Fractals represent chaos and randomness like what's found in nature. That frustrates Science and conventional Mathematics that can only account for perfection in theory but not in practice. It is called the Geometry of Chaos. It is one of the fingerprints of a Supreme Designer in control.

        March 26, 2014 at 3:21 pm |
        • distrbnce

          Vic, sometimes I feel like you construct your answers to be exactly wrong.

          Fractals represent profound order. There is no chaos or randomness to them. The rest of your comment makes no sense.

          March 26, 2014 at 3:26 pm |
        • bostontola

          Vic,
          What makes you think fractals and chaos trouble mathematicians and scientists? To the contrary, they have been extensively studied. Please research the Santa Fe Insti/tute. They (and others) have found that life emerges at the border of chaos and order. It is an indelible fingerprint of nature, not design.

          March 26, 2014 at 3:29 pm |
        • nepawoods

          You're quite simply insane.

          Have you seen images of the Mandelbrot Set? They were not designed. When something is designed, one can consider that it could have been designed differently. The Mandelbrot Set is the product of pure mathematics, and could not have been any way other than the way it is. Even a God cannot change the truths of mathematics. They are absolute.

          March 26, 2014 at 3:30 pm |
        • Vic

          For what it's worth:

          I wrote the following a while back in my own words:

          Fractal is a geometric pattern represented by a mathematical equation discovered accidentally by an IBM scientist Mandelbrot:

          Z -> Z^2 + c

          It is a dynamic calculation based on the iteration (constant feedback) of complex numbers starting with zeros. The product is a Chaotic Production of Numbers that can ONLY be seen by Computer Calculations & Graphics. Millions of Computer Calculations have to be performed to observe Fractals. Without Computer Calculations, the numbers generated appear to be random and useless, and therefore, Fractals are not revealed.

          Fractals are Recursive (repeating within themselves) and Infinite.

          Fractals suggest that a Fourth Dimension in Nature is the Real One while the Conventional Three Dimensions X, Y an Z are imaginary. It suggests the underlying Chaotic Geometry that explains the Randomness in Nature whereas Conventional Mathematics can ONLY calculate Perfection AND NOT Randomness.

          Fractals frustrated Scientists and Mathematicians in how Infinite and Divergent from Conventional Mathematics they are. Fractals defied the Scientific Method and could not be discovered without the use of Computer Capabilities.

          Fractals are described as the Geometry of Chaos.

          March 26, 2014 at 3:33 pm |
        • nepawoods

          Scientists and mathematicians may experience frustration or surprise or disappointment at times, but whether they did or didn't regarding discovery of the Mandelbrot set is irrelevant.

          The point is that it's infinitely detailed, complex, and exhibits a great variety of organic looking patterns and designs that anyone would say must have had a designer, but there is no designer of it. Your conclusion that "It is one of the fingerprints of a Supreme Designer in control" is utterly absurd.

          March 26, 2014 at 3:40 pm |
        • distrbnce

          Vic, you write and consider in poetical terms. For the purpose of science, it's better to think in mathematical.

          March 26, 2014 at 3:44 pm |
        • bostontola

          "Fractals suggest that a Fourth Dimension in Nature is the Real One while the Conventional Three Dimensions X, Y an Z are imaginary."
          False. Fractal stands for fractional dimension. A line is 1 dimensional, plane is 2 dimensional, cube is 3 dimensional. Fractals are structures with dimensions that are not integer.

          "It suggests the underlying Chaotic Geometry that explains the Randomness in Nature whereas Conventional Mathematics can ONLY calculate Perfection AND NOT Randomness."
          False. Some chaos has fractal descriptions, some apparently random processes may be chaotic, but many random processes are not chaotic, they are true random.

          "Fractals frustrated Scientists and Mathematicians in how Infinite and Divergent from Conventional Mathematics they are. Fractals defied the Scientific Method and could not be discovered without the use of Computer Capabilities."
          None of this is true. You don't need computers, in fact the initial ideas are quite old going back to Leibniz (you know, the co-inventor of calculus) in the 17th century.

          March 26, 2014 at 3:46 pm |
        • distrbnce

          Let's just hope that wasn't a report to educate other christian's on fractals.

          March 26, 2014 at 3:50 pm |
        • Alias

          You would have been better off to use a snowflake approach.
          Look how prety, and all different – yet organized to the untrained eye.

          March 26, 2014 at 4:09 pm |
        • ausphor

          Vic
          Like John Nash in the movie A Beautiful Mind, I can see where someone like you can go off the rails, in particular with your obsession with Christianity. You have really lost all touch with scientific reality in favor of apologetics. You are a wasteland of delusion.

          March 26, 2014 at 4:37 pm |
    • kudlak

      That's why the old biblical cosmological model made sense with a creator God. Land separated from "the waters" by a firmament where God resides up in the clouds. The whole thing could easily fit below the orbits of satellites as a nice, neat, and simple universe.

      Why would God create a universe around us with whole galaxies thousands of light years away? You're right, the complexity and enormity of the universe speaks more of it's being a natural thing.

      March 26, 2014 at 3:00 pm |
    • bostontola

      Great point bchev, complexity is evidence of evolution not design.

      There has been a lot of research into the emergence of complexity from simplicity (enabled by the huge energy influx from the Sun). It has been characterized in exquisite detail mathematically. The characterization has indelible mathematical fingerprints, that are very different in things that are designed. Life on earth is replete with the fingerprints of naturally emergent complexity, and not with design. Some day it will be recognized as strong evidence of evolution.

      March 26, 2014 at 3:13 pm |
      • Doc Vestibule

        There is an on going computer simulation of biological evolution called "Avida" at Michigan State University that shows how complexity can arise from simplicity at an exponential rate.

        "A long-standing challenge to evolutionary theory has been whether it can explain the origin of complex organismal features. We examined this issue using digital organisms—computer programs that self-replicate, mutate, compete and evolve. Populations of digital organisms often evolved the ability to perform complex logic functions requiring the coordinated execution of many genomic instructions. Complex functions evolved by building on simpler functions that had evolved earlier, provided that these were also selectively favoured. However, no particular intermediate stage was essential for evolving complex functions. The first genotypes able to perform complex functions differed from their non-performing parents by only one or two mutations, but differed from the ancestor by many mutations that were also crucial to the new functions. In some cases, mutations that were deleterious when they appeared served as stepping-stones in the evolution of complex features. These findings show how complex functions can originate by random mutation and natural selection."

        http://myxo.css.msu.edu/papers/nature2003/Nature03_Complex.pdf

        March 26, 2014 at 3:57 pm |
        • bostontola

          They are doing great stuff up there. I have been following the chaos, complexity research for years. It is key evidence for evolution but few people know about it or understand it. I first hooked into this with the work of Ilya Prigogine, where he showed that the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics didn't preclude natural evolution and characterized far from equilibrium thermodynamics. As you said, this can all be formed purely mathematically, but I like the tie into physical science as well.

          March 26, 2014 at 4:18 pm |
  5. lunchbreaker

    So let's suppose we say there is a relm outside of the observable universe and a sentient being(s) exists there. To that being whatever that relm is like is normal to them. Different than ours but normal to them. Now let's take the same relm and remove the sentient being. It's just a differnet place outside of time and space where our universe came from. Different, but would the previously mentioned senteint being see his relm as magical or supernatural?

    March 26, 2014 at 2:38 pm |
    • Alias

      Let's assume god exist to prove that god exists.
      Impressive logic right there.

      March 26, 2014 at 4:51 pm |
  6. Frank

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DzNVSDVnVLU&feature=player_detailpage

    March 26, 2014 at 2:34 pm |
    • Frank

      “A common sense interpretation of the facts suggests that a superintellect has monkeyed with physics." F.Hoyle

      March 26, 2014 at 2:35 pm |
      • kudlak

        Hoyle rejected the Big Bang model on the basis that it sounded like creationist pseudoscience, right?

        March 26, 2014 at 2:48 pm |
      • G to the T

        "A common sense interpretation"

        Common sense is a very poor tool where science is concerned, especially at the scales (quantum/cosmic) that we are discussing.

        March 26, 2014 at 3:11 pm |
      • Doris

        I look at Hoyle sometimes. Oh not that one. The other one when I'm trying to remember how to play Pinocle. As many others point out, one can always look at our existence as a by-product of the alleged "fine tuning". In the video I posted below, Vilenkin hints at reasons why we shouldn't consider ourselves the attention of whatever is still out of view behind the formation of this universe. He hints at how easily we start to limit possibilities by making such an assumption. But you do have to listen "between the words" – he uses the word "creator" much in the way a theist would and, imho, without trying to insinuate such.

        March 26, 2014 at 3:28 pm |
    • Vic

      Amen.

      The Anthropic Principle reveals God.

      March 26, 2014 at 4:33 pm |
      • Ed

        That's utterly false, Vic, and is a common fallacy that deluded folk trot out. It is merely a tautology that the environment of the observers is one that they can exist in, nothing more. Beyond that, in a huge universe, given enough time, a lot can happen.

        March 26, 2014 at 4:42 pm |
  7. Doris

    Alex Vilenkin (co-author, BVG Theorem): "Is the Universe Fine-Tuned for Life and Mind?"

    This is very interesting. Listen why Vilenkin seems to think the answer is 'yes' when considering our minimal needs, but perhaps 'no' if you start to consider other possibilities of creation external to our needs – that perhaps if creation were by design (regardless of us in particular), tuning should be expected to be better than it is.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jkae8a7gklQ

    March 26, 2014 at 1:47 pm |
    • Doris

      (also a bit of discussion on multi-verse)

      March 26, 2014 at 1:51 pm |
    • nick987654

      Doris,

      There is also an similar interview with Alan Guth about inflation.

      There is also the eventual possibility that an advanced civilization or artificial intelligence in a universe could start new universes by provoking an inflation. Several scientists have wondered about that possibility:
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ZtRfACbygY

      Brian Breene has also discussed this subject in arecent interview. He has suggested that it might eventually be possible to start an inflation by doing something to a mini black hole.

      I think that this kind of possibility is worth thinking about. As a matter of fact, in an infinite or extremely large multiverse, anything that is very unlikely finally happens, even maybe a very large number of times. It is true for our own existence, but also for the fact that some very advanced civilization could emerge that could start other universes.

      Maybe universes in which life can emerge are over-reprensented in the multiverse because they are created artificially, who knows.

      It is very speculative and if our universe has been created by an advanced civilization it would be impossible to prove. In any case that kind of creator would not be supernatural so cannot be called 'god'.

      March 26, 2014 at 3:36 pm |
  8. Vic

    ♰ ♰ ♰ Jesus Christ Is Lord ♰ ♰ ♰

    This discovery, if confirmed—that would be sometime in August, is the Holy Grail of astrophysical predictions, the expansion of the universe as well as its beginning. The Holy Bible spoke of the expansion of the universe and its beginning millennia past.

    Genesis 1:1
    "1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth." (NASB)

    Psalm 19:1
    "19 The heavens are telling of the glory of God;
    And their expanse is declaring the work of His hands." (NASB)

    Psalm 33:6
    "6 By the word of the Lord the heavens were made,
    And by the breath of His mouth all their host." (NASB)

    Isaiah 44:24
    "24 Thus says the Lord, your Redeemer, and the one who formed you from the womb,

    “I, the Lord, am the maker of all things,
    Stretching out the heavens by Myself
    And spreading out the earth all alone,”" (NASB)

    Please visit the hyperlink below.

    Early on:
    http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2014/03/20/does-the-big-bang-breakthrough-offer-proof-of-god/comment-page-16/#comment-2971087

    p.s. This discovery is superior to the current redshift—hence the Doppler Effect—approach of detecting the expansion of the universe, since some scientists speculate that other unknown reasons can cause the redshift while Gravitational Waves are unique to the Inflation of the Universe—expansion at faster than the speed of light at the beginning.

    March 26, 2014 at 12:33 pm |
    • bostontola

      Vic,
      The Big Bang is the beginning of our observable universe, not necessarily the beginning of all existence.

      March 26, 2014 at 12:51 pm |
    • ausphor

      Vic
      You believe that the earth and the universe are 6000 to 10000 years old, why would you even care about the expansion of the universe and that the formation of new stars and planets is still going on today.

      March 26, 2014 at 12:59 pm |
      • Doris

        True – I don't understand how the latest scientific findings regarding the universe help make the Flintstones more like a documentary.

        March 26, 2014 at 1:08 pm |
    • Akira

      Am I missing something? Why is the confirmation set for August?

      March 26, 2014 at 1:07 pm |
      • Vic

        BICEP, which is the instrument that detected the Gravitational Waves and is stationed in Antarctica, is one of several instruments at different locations set out to detect the Gravitational Waves. It would take up until August to match the results of all those instruments with BICEP.

        March 26, 2014 at 1:23 pm |
        • Akira

          Oh, okay. Thanks.

          March 26, 2014 at 1:29 pm |
        • ausphor

          Vic
          Can you give a reference to your claim that it will take until August to match results with Bicep? Have not found that information, anywhere.

          March 26, 2014 at 1:58 pm |
        • Ed

          Vic, that would merely confirm the results, which were not proof of your god to begin with. You are running in circles, stupid.

          March 26, 2014 at 2:09 pm |
    • Bob

      Vic, your starting point, your "lord" Jesus-sacrifice-salvation story, is nonsense out of the gate. How is it that your omnipotent being couldn't do his saving bit without the whole silly Jesus hoopla? And how was Jesus' death a "sacrifice", when an omnipotent being could just pop up a replacement son any time with less than a snap of his fingers? Pretty pathetic "god" that you've made for yourself there. The core foundation of your silly beliefs is complete rubbish.

      Now, as for the bible bile that you keep dumping on us, let's have a closer look at some of the other content in your Christian book of nasty AKA the bible, re some of the demands that your horrid sky fairy is said to make of you:

      Numbers 31:17-18
      17 Now kiII all the boys. And kiII every woman who has slept with a man,
      18 but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man.

      Deuteronomy 13:6 – “If your brother, your mother’s son or your son or daughter, or the wife you cherish, or your friend who is as your own soul entice you secretly, saying, let us go and serve other gods … you shall surely kill him; your hand shall be first against him to put him to death”

      Revelation 2:23 And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works.

      Leviticus 25
      44 “‘Your male and female slaves are to come from the nations around you; from them you may buy slaves.
      45 You may also buy some of the temporary residents living among you and members of their clans born in your country, and they will become your property.
      46 You can bequeath them to your children as inherited property and can make them slaves for life, but you must not rule over your fellow Israelites ruthlessly.

      Note that the bible is also very clear that you should sacrifice and burn an animal today because the smell makes sicko Christian sky fairy happy. No, you don't get to use the parts for food. You burn them, a complete waste of the poor animal.

      Yes, the bible really says that, everyone. Yes, it's in Leviticus, look it up. Yes, Jesus purportedly said that the OT commands still apply. No exceptions. But even if you think the OT was god's mistaken first go around, you have to ask why a perfect, loving enti-ty would ever put such horrid instructions in there. If you think rationally at all, that is.

      And then, if you disagree with my interpretation, ask yourself how it is that your "god" couldn't come up with a better way to communicate than a book that is so readily subject to so many interpretations and to being taken "out of context", and has so many mistakes in it. Pretty pathetic god that you've made for yourself.

      So get out your sacrificial knife or your nasty sky creature will torture you eternally. Or just take a closer look at your foolish supersti-tions, understand that they are just silly, and toss them into the dustbin with all the rest of the gods that man has created.

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

      March 26, 2014 at 1:21 pm |
      • Theo Phileo

        May God bless the reading of His word.

        March 26, 2014 at 1:30 pm |
        • Alias

          AKA You kow you're wrong, but you lack the ability to admit it.

          March 26, 2014 at 1:35 pm |
        • hotairace

          An alleged but never proven god healing an amputee or two would be of greater significance than the continued reading of unproven myths.

          March 26, 2014 at 1:37 pm |
        • Ed

          Theo, if those are his blessings, I'd rather not see his curses. Like Bob says, looks like your god guy is quite the A-hole. What a killer too.

          March 26, 2014 at 2:07 pm |
        • distrbnce

          Can't you have your god-granted slaves handle that?

          March 26, 2014 at 2:58 pm |
  9. Jean Valjean

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k782BqrvfMM&feature=player_detailpage

    March 26, 2014 at 12:19 pm |
    • kudlak

      How, exactly, did he jump to there being an "agent" involved? Why is it impossible that the universe couldn't have developed the way that it is naturally? It might appear fine-tuned, but was it even possible that it could have expanded differently? Like the whole creator idea, there are too many assumptions in this "scientist's" argument for it to actually be scientifically grounded.

      March 26, 2014 at 2:28 pm |
  10. bostontola

    Dr. Wickman's argument is an old one, first cause. This new finding regarding Inflation is exciting, but of course it has no bearing on first cause since Inflation happened after that.

    So let's look at first cause since believers are so fond of it. There are so many fallacies in it, but I'll hit just a few:

    1. At its bedrock, first cause is founded on the notion that all effects have a cause. That seems reasonable. But like many reasonable things, it may not be true. In fact it is likely to be false. There are quantum phenomena that don't have a cause. Radioactive decay, formation of particle pairs in a vacuum, etc. Confirmation of Bell's inequalities shows that there are not underlying hidden variables, so these events are uncaused. This alone invalidates the first cause argument.

    2. Also core to the first cause argument is an assertion that infinite causal chains are impossible. This is just false. Any undergraduate calculus student can show you an infinite sum of positive elements can add to a finite total. Concluding infinite causation is impossible is just another form of Zeno's Paradox. These have long been disproven mathematically. This doesn't mean there has been an infinite chain of causes, just that the assertion that it is impossible is false. This alone invalidates the first cause argument.

    3. Ignoring 1 and 2 above, even if all effects must have a cause, and infinite causes were impossible, for that to prove God, there could not be an alternative cause. In other words, the proof would have to contain a section that proved all alternatives false. What could these alternatives be? Most obvious are just other Gods than yours. But lets not worry about them. What about alternatives that are completely natural, unconscious, purposeless, unaware, etc. There are in fact a number of these postulated by scientists. None have a lot of evidence, much less proof, but that doesn't matter. There are natural alternatives that first cause argumenters must now disprove to have the first cause argument be a proof of god. This alone invalidates the first cause argument.

    Comments:

    None of this proves there is no God, it merely shows that the first cause logic is flawed. Purely logical arguments are always dangerous because they often contain assertions that seem so obvious that they are assumed to be axioms. The problem of course is that things obvious to us have been shown to be false over time. Newton's Law of Gravity, planetary model of atoms, etc. all made sense, but were false.

    Our notion of "obvious" is formed by our senses and brain. Our senses are limited, and distorting, our brains are limited, distorting, and biased. They are completely unable to understand what happens far outside our scale of existence in space and time, let alone know what is obvious out there. We project what is obvious at our scale to all scales, that is wrong and leads to "axioms" that are false. When these axioms are used in even perfect logic, they lead to false conclusions.

    The people that first posed these logical arguments were some of the most intelligent people the world has ever seen. But they didn't have the benefit of modern mathematics or science. They trusted their logic and senses to their detriment. Science and mathematics use the scientific method. It assumes these human flaws and has devised controls that dramatically minimize (can't eliminate) these kind of errors. We still need to be vigilant even using the scientific method and question results. The culture in the science community does that by valuing the debunking of poor science as much as creation of new science. Religious systems have no such safeguards. As such, their conclusions are very untrustworthy, orders of magnitude more untrustworthy than science.

    March 26, 2014 at 12:03 pm |
    • Theo Phileo

      And to prove that, let's start by setting up an infinite series of dominoes.... Oh, wait a minute...

      March 26, 2014 at 12:55 pm |
      • bostontola

        Exactly my point, dominoes represent one approach that doesn't represent all infinite chains at all. You fell into a trap similar to Zeno.

        March 26, 2014 at 1:00 pm |
        • Theo Phileo

          This is the difference between mathematics and reality.
          We can make things happen with math, but let us not forget that we live in a real world where mathematics must align with observable reality in order to be proved true. Besides, mathematics are not the only tool at our disposal for determining truth – logic, reason, and observation are just as powerful. Where in the universe has an effect been observed without a cause?

          Not even in the examples you cited: "quantum phenomena... Radioactive decay, formation of particle pairs in a vacuum, etc." can be described as "having the quality of being within themselves."

          However concrete physical reality is sectioned up, the result will be a state of affairs which owes its being to something other than itself. Every physical state, no matter how inclusive, has a necessary condition in some specific type of state which precedes it in time and is fully existent prior to the emergence of the state in which it conditions. There is not one example in the physical universe of a physical quanti.ty that explains its own existence.

          March 26, 2014 at 1:09 pm |
        • Theo Phileo

          And contingency necessitate a beginning, because effects do not occur without a cause.

          March 26, 2014 at 1:10 pm |
        • bostontola

          Theo,
          You are just asserting axioms that that support your conclusion. This kind of circular argument may feel like logic to you, but it is fallacious.

          I wasn't saying mathematics proves anything. I merely showed that the foundation and frame of the first cause argument are all logically flawed. If there is a God, it isn't proved by the first cause argument.

          You have every right to believe in your God, you have every right to present logically flawed arguments. That doesn't make you right. You may want to consider just sticking to your belief and not try to rationalize it with fallacious logic.

          March 26, 2014 at 1:16 pm |
        • Theo Phileo

          "I wasn't saying mathematics proves anything."
          ----------–
          But that was the only proof you offered (calculus). Everything else you said can be lumped into the same category that you placed my assertions into: "unproved (or unprovable) axioms."

          It is not poor logic to make the claim that infinite causal chains are impossible. It is a statement based on observation since all observable causal chains neccessitate a beginning. This also fits logically since the definition of a causal chain is a series of causes and effects, and we know that no effect can exist without a cause. Ergo, if a causal chain exists, it must have had a cause.

          March 26, 2014 at 1:22 pm |
        • ausphor

          Theo
          You are priceless "mathematics must align with observable reality in order to be proved true." but of course your Gods do not have to even come close to meeting the same standard. Comedy gold and hypocrisy, Vic.

          March 26, 2014 at 1:23 pm |
        • Theo Phileo

          "You are priceless "mathematics must align with observable reality in order to be proved true." but of course your Gods do not have to even come close to meeting the same standard. Comedy gold and hypocrisy, Vic."
          ------------
          When have I ever said that God can be proven with mathematics? (although I did write a paper on it in college using statistics and probability) The existence of God can be witnessed through the things that have been made. The only issue is that when one observes the evidence, evidence must necessarily be interpreted, and interpretations are based on paradigms that are informed by beliefs. Therefore, to the one who wishes not to believe in God, then he never will.

          March 26, 2014 at 1:27 pm |
        • bostontola

          Theo,
          You need to understand the difference between a proof and a counter-example. When an assertion is made, X is true, all that is needed is one counter-example to disprove that assertion.

          March 26, 2014 at 1:29 pm |
        • bostontola

          "It is not poor logic to make the claim that infinite causal chains are impossible. It is a statement based on observation since all observable causal chains neccessitate a beginning. This also fits logically since the definition of a causal chain is a series of causes and effects, and we know that no effect can exist without a cause. Ergo, if a causal chain exists, it must have had a cause."

          Theo,
          You merely restated your case that I refuted. You provided nothing that invalidated my argument. Just restating isn't useful.

          March 26, 2014 at 1:31 pm |
        • Theo Phileo

          "You merely restated your case that I refuted. You provided nothing that invalidated my argument. Just restating isn't useful."
          ----------
          So, laying mathematics aside, as it really proves nothing on this topic, show me one example of an observable infinite causal chain... And because all of science answers this with a resounding "we don't know," don't say "our universe is an infinite causal chain," because that is stating something that cannot be observed to be true.

          March 26, 2014 at 1:34 pm |
        • ausphor

          Theo
          What you are is a master at twisting words and philosophy. Why does your God not have to align with observable reality to be proven true?

          March 26, 2014 at 1:38 pm |
        • bostontola

          Theo,
          If your statement in your first cause argument was: "There has been no infinite causal chain observed", then I would have to find one. But your statement was "infinite causal chains are impossible", therefore I only need to find a counter-example in principle, not one observed. Keep in mind, if you replace your statement with "There has been no infinite causal chain observed", then the first cause argument is no longer a proof. That is why it is not a valid proof.

          This doesn't even mention the other two issues I laid out in the OP, either of which invalidates the first cause proof.

          March 26, 2014 at 1:43 pm |
        • SeaVik

          Theo, try looking at it from another perspective. If your infinite chain theories were logical and truly proved the existence of a god, don't you think that this would be major news and others would be talking about your theory? Don't you think that the smartest people in the world would generally agree with your theory rather than predominately being atheists? Are you really so naive that you think you have the answer and the rest of the world is just too dumb to see what's so obvious to you?

          March 26, 2014 at 1:44 pm |
        • Alias

          Theo,

          for the 1,000,293rd time, what caused your god to come into being?

          March 26, 2014 at 1:45 pm |
        • Theo Phileo

          "Why does your God not have to align with observable reality to be proven true?"
          ----------–
          I have already stated that evidence for God is seen in the things that are made. The Bible says that no one can see God and live, which is why He had to come in the likeness of man. Asking to see Him, and if He were to aquiesce, it would be your undoing. That is why we see evidence for Him in the things that He has made. We cannot see the wind, but we see what it can do, and that is evidence for its existence. Once again, as with any evidence, it must be interpreted. I COULD have the sails of my boat filled because you just ate a burrito with extra guacomole, but I choose to believe it was the wind.

          March 26, 2014 at 1:45 pm |
        • SeaVik

          "I have already stated that evidence for God is seen in the things that are made."

          Stating that there is evidence is much difference than providing evidence. I am not aware of the existence of any evidence that suggests the existence of a god. If this evidence existed, I'm sure I would have heard of it.

          March 26, 2014 at 1:50 pm |
        • Theo Phileo

          "for the 1,000,293rd time, what caused your god to come into being?"
          ------------
          Nothing. Otherwise you have infinite regress.
          SOMETHING has to be eternal. We find mutability in everything we observe in the physical universe, evidencing that our observable universe is not eternal.
          I also cannot logically assume that the cause of our universe had a cause, because again, that is infinite regress. This causal chain exists as an effect that was ultimately caused by one event.

          March 26, 2014 at 1:52 pm |
        • Theo Phileo

          "Stating that there is evidence is much difference than providing evidence. I am not aware of the existence of any evidence that suggests the existence of a god. If this evidence existed, I'm sure I would have heard of it."
          ----------
          Paul would tell you to go out and pluck a blade of grass.... (Romans 1:18-32)

          March 26, 2014 at 1:54 pm |
        • bostontola

          Theo, but you haven't proved that infinite regress is impossible.

          March 26, 2014 at 1:55 pm |
        • SeaVik

          Have you ever explained why you think we can't have infinite regress? Since this is the basis of your position, you might want to explain that.

          March 26, 2014 at 1:56 pm |
        • bostontola

          Theo,
          You also haven't proved that all effects require a cause, or that there are no natural alternatives to God.

          March 26, 2014 at 1:56 pm |
        • Theo Phileo

          "This doesn't even mention the other two issues I laid out in the OP, either of which invalidates the first cause proof."
          --------–
          Actually, the only issue that I didn't address is whether or not that first cause is the God of the Bible. I certainly mean that, but I do not mean to prove that here, because the proof is several pages typed, and no one would read it.

          March 26, 2014 at 1:58 pm |
        • Theo Phileo

          "You also haven't proved that all effects require a cause, or that there are no natural alternatives to God."
          ----------–
          How in the world can you have an uncaused effect, when by definition, an effect is a caused event?

          A natural alternative to the creation of the physical universe? If that were the case, then the physical universe would have to exist before it existed in order to create itself.... That's impossible.

          March 26, 2014 at 2:00 pm |
        • SeaVik

          No one knows Theo, including you. The point is that your explanation is no more satisfying or "possible" than any other (and less so actually). If all effects require a cause, then that means you have to have a cause for your god to exist, which you don't. The idea that a god just always existed makes no sense whatsoever and is equally impossible.

          March 26, 2014 at 2:05 pm |
        • ausphor

          Theo
          Your attempts to twist philosophy into some sort of scientific proof is not logical. As I stated before, if you believe the earth and universe is only 6000 to 10000 years old, the only regress you would need for the earth and universe to disappear up your gods aswhole would be a very short time.

          March 26, 2014 at 2:11 pm |
        • bostontola

          Theo,
          I gave you observed examples of effects with no cause, particle pairs forming out of the vacuum all the time, throughout space. It is very non-intuitive, but it happens all the time. That was one of my points in the OP, weird things happen outside our intuition zone (the zone around our scale in the universe).

          March 26, 2014 at 2:26 pm |
        • kudlak

          Theo Phileo
          How do you know that "God" actually was an uncaused cause? That's a claim made about God, and people believe it, but how do you know that it's actually true?

          March 26, 2014 at 2:36 pm |
        • ausphor

          Theo
          God is seen in the things that are made, but of course you will have to state your case that Vishnu, Pan Gu or any of the other creation myths does not have as much validity as you myth. Try Vic.

          March 26, 2014 at 2:46 pm |
        • G to the T

          "And contingency necessitate a beginning, because effects do not occur without a cause."

          NOT AT THE QUANTUM LEVEL THEO – please, please, PLEASE try to understand that. That's why he was giving those examples.

          March 26, 2014 at 3:15 pm |
      • ausphor

        Theo
        Setting up the first domino would be the first cause, have you started yet. Don't be a slacker, get to it.

        March 26, 2014 at 1:16 pm |
        • Theo Phileo

          That was the point. The instant you attempted to start your world's biggest game of dominoe rally, you then became the first cause. If you refuse to be the cause, then the dominoe's won't set themselves up.

          March 26, 2014 at 1:24 pm |
        • SeaVik

          Again, you conveniently ignore how your first cause was caused.

          March 26, 2014 at 1:46 pm |
        • kudlak

          Theo Phileo
          Everyone who ever started a domino chain was "caused" by someone else, correct?

          March 26, 2014 at 2:33 pm |
      • kudlak

        Theo Phileo
        According to your idea, God would still be the last (or is it first?) domino. So, how is that any improvement?

        March 26, 2014 at 2:30 pm |
  11. bchev

    Existence (matter energy, the components of the universe as we know it) is and always has.
    or
    "God" exists, and always has.

    Both of the above statements are equally valid suppositions. We don't have the technology or knowledge to properly validate or disprove either one. BUT, it is an equally fair guess to say that one or the other has simply always been there from the beginning. It's not infinite regression, it's description of the starting condition.

    The idea of a starting point is wrong, that uses the overly simplistic human concept of time. The universe doesn't care about time, it doesn't wear a watch. The universe we see now expanded out of an even we know as the Big Bang. We don't what what thing were like before that, and there are dubious prospects that we ever will, but saying that it did so does not violate any logical mandates or principals.

    If a prior universe collapsed on itself, then was reignited by gravity and turned into what we have now, fair game, no "God" necessary. If this universe was kikstarted by some god, then so be it, can't disprove that, but the existence of that god prior to the expansion even is no more likely than the materials of our universe existing in a compressed energy state. Either one simply had to exist, or existence wouldn't be. That simple. Since we can observe the universe and its forces, and since there are no reliable recorded observations of "supernatural" influences on the physical world, I interpret the evidence to mean that there was no god involved. I am open to evidence to the contrary.

    March 26, 2014 at 10:05 am |
    • bchev

      Drat, this may be a clearer way of explaining the first line-
      The "physical universe" exists is and always has.

      March 26, 2014 at 10:08 am |
    • Theo Phileo

      "...and since there are no reliable recorded observations of "supernatural" influences on the physical world..."
      -------------
      You cannot make a blanket statement like this. Rather, it should be "I have never observed..." Palestine in the 1st century would be a great place to observe supernatural incursions into the natural world.

      March 26, 2014 at 10:31 am |
      • Doc Vestibule

        And ancient meso-america would've been the perfect place to witness Quetzlcoatl's supernatural hand.
        Norway circa 1000BCE is when you could have seen the Rainbow Bridge to Asgard.
        And if you happened to be in Utah back in the early 1800's, it would've been the perfect time to confirm Joseph Smith's encounters with Moroni and the veracity of the magical Seer Stones.

        March 26, 2014 at 10:42 am |
        • nepawoods

          And don't forget his Book of Abraham, which he translated from an Egyptian papyrus, later discovered to have been an ordinary Egyptian funerary text. Proof he was a fraud, yet his following grows.

          March 26, 2014 at 11:08 am |
      • ausphor

        Theo
        Replicate a supernatural incursion in front of a group of unbiased scientists. Natural laws will not permit it, so that is evidence that your god does not exist. Just as the supernatural cannot affect a casual chain of events, no gods required.

        March 26, 2014 at 10:50 am |
      • nepawoods

        Funny though that the supernatural chose to appear during a time when people didn't have the wherewithal to differentiate between natural and supernatural. Why doesn't it show up today? Oh, I forgot, it does:

        i.huffpost.Com/gen/1189905/thumbs/o-DOG-BUTT-JESUS-facebook.jpg

        March 26, 2014 at 11:04 am |
        • doobzz

          LOL. I'm going to have to check my cat's butt for signs and wonders now.

          March 26, 2014 at 11:58 am |
        • Akira

          Oh. My. Goodness.

          March 26, 2014 at 12:09 pm |
        • Akira

          Is that a Pug? I have a Pug...not sure if I want to look...

          March 26, 2014 at 12:12 pm |
      • hotairace

        And why has the number of supernatural incursions apparently decreased as our ability to record events has increased?

        March 26, 2014 at 11:14 am |
      • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

        "Palestine in the 1st century..."

        Well isn't that convenient....the mythological events you want to be true is the place where we should start...what a joke.

        March 26, 2014 at 11:25 am |
      • bchev

        Theo,
        The key word is reliable. Those accounts from the biblical age and spiritual texts have a clear bias and an obvious intent that makes it impossible to take them as objective observations. Also, their effects cannot be measured or observed today; there is no evidence that they actually happened. So I can make that statement, until someone provides real evidence that proves it wrong.

        March 26, 2014 at 11:42 am |
      • doobzz

        "You cannot make a blanket statement like this."

        And yet Christians do it all the time.

        March 26, 2014 at 11:57 am |
    • Robert Brown

      Supernatural things happen every day.

      March 26, 2014 at 11:15 am |
      • hotairace

        Then you should be able to provide a few verified examples.

        March 26, 2014 at 11:21 am |
        • Robert Brown

          http://doc.umentedhealings.com/

          http://www.is-there-a-god.info/clues/healing-miracles.shtml

          remove the . from the first one.

          March 26, 2014 at 11:29 am |
        • Doc Vestibule

          @Robert
          Mary Baker Eddy, founder of Christian Science, has reams and reams of docu/mentation that attests to her magical healing powers. Her followers believe that anybody can channel Jesus' super-healing if they just follow her instructions.
          Joseph Smith also has a long list of 1st and 2nd hand accounts of his magical healing powers.
          Do you think they're true? Did those people have super-healing powers or do you dismiss their claims?
          Why or why not?

          March 26, 2014 at 11:36 am |
        • ausphor

          RB
          Not hard to see how you became what you are believing things that do not make sense.

          March 26, 2014 at 11:42 am |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          If faith healing is reliable why can't it be tested and why can't the healers be certified?

          March 26, 2014 at 11:47 am |
        • Akira

          But where is the documented amputee who had a limb restored? Did they forget about that!

          March 26, 2014 at 11:56 am |
        • doobzz

          Randy Clark? Really?

          The video claims that a "medical doctor" was present and has done monthly follow ups with these folks to see if the "healing" stuck. Not surprisingly, this "medical doctor's" name and documentation is not provided.

          Get back to us on the supernatural stuff when you come up with some evidence that's been independently verified and published.

          March 26, 2014 at 12:10 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          From the website Robert linked:

          3. "Some other natural explanation.
          Perhaps there are natural explanations for these apparent miracles? Perhaps the mind's powers to overcome sickness and disability, or other factors not as yet recognised, pave the way for cure. But until specific natural explanations are found, it is difficult to see how a reasonable person could opt for this explanation."

          So basically it is more "reasonable" to attach supernatural explanations (something that has never been verified as the cause of anything) rather than natural explanations (something that has been found to be the cause of everything we can understand). Wow..it is so simple I don't see how anyone can dispute that logical progression.....

          March 26, 2014 at 12:42 pm |
        • hotairace

          I picked one at random, brain injury healed. It was just a very nice video, but nothing that approaches actual verification. The top medical person interviewed was a believer physiotherapist, no MDs in sight. Bottom line: nothing to indicate supernatural interference. And why wasn't your god blamed for causing the accident, a sudden gust of wind?

          March 26, 2014 at 12:56 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          hotairace,

          Well that is simple. If god stopped the accident from happening then his unverifiable miracle couldn't be used as evidence of his power, but if it was able to be verified than most reasonable people would have to accept it and that would somehow violate a persons free will to accept god as real. He wants to gives just enough convoluted information to make it seemingly plausable but not enough to prove it beyond a reasonable doubt. How does that not make sense?

          March 26, 2014 at 1:06 pm |
        • Robert Brown

          Conclusion

          Miracles happening today are not a theoretical possibility for those who experience them. The same is true for those who witness them with their own eyes. Miracles are real. They happen.

          "A wise man, therefore, proportions his belief to the evidence" (Hume, p. 110).

          http://www.americanthinker.com/2007/01/do_miracles_happen_today.html

          March 26, 2014 at 1:29 pm |
        • hotairace

          In every way?

          March 26, 2014 at 1:34 pm |
        • kudlak

          Robert Brown
          C
          Would you say that everything that people personally experience is then automatically true? Like reincarnation, alien abduction, magic, astrology, magic crystals, leprechauns, ...?

          March 26, 2014 at 3:06 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          "Voo Doo curses happening today are not a theoretical possibility for those who experience them. The same is true for those who witness them with their own eyes. Voo Doo curses are real. They happen."

          ***just as valid***

          March 26, 2014 at 3:08 pm |
        • distrbnce

          I'm gonna go out on a limb and say that these guys don't treat gullibility.

          March 26, 2014 at 4:18 pm |
      • igaftr

        RB
        Unexplained does not mean supernatural.

        March 26, 2014 at 11:37 am |
  12. nick987654

    This article is such a shame and such a disgrace to science. How can CNN let such a retarded article be published, I can't believe it.

    If this discovery would suggest anything regarding the origin of the universe, it is that the theory of eternal inflation is likely to be correct.

    Inflation is meant to work with eternal inflation, although there are several models.

    You can go on Sean Carroll's blog to have good articles about this discovery, or any science website. This article was RETARDED.

    Religion is an insult on human dignity – Steven Weinberg, Nobel Prize in Physics.

    March 26, 2014 at 4:31 am |
    • Theo Phileo

      Well Nick, would you be so kind as to inform us "dims" how the universe could have an infinite series of causes with no beginning?

      March 26, 2014 at 7:30 am |
      • TruthPrevails1

        The simple answer and honest one would be "We don't know yet", it doesn't mean a god gets to be plugged in to thee factor-that is blatant dishonesty and unless you provide evidence for a god there is no justification for believing it.

        March 26, 2014 at 7:35 am |
        • Theo Phileo

          That's like saying:
          Theist: "Square circles don't exist."
          Anti-Theist: "Well, just because we don't know how to draw one yet doesn't mean they don't exist. So that means that God doesn't exist!"

          March 26, 2014 at 8:14 am |
        • TruthPrevails1

          Theo: Not at all!! You are claiming a god, now provide evidence for it or admit that even you don't know!

          March 26, 2014 at 8:21 am |
        • ausphor

          Theo
          Logic is not your strong suit, even your fellow theists do not respect your views with the exception of a few fringe apologists. But I encourage you to keep posting you will convince more people what a ridiculous myth the bible presents with your comments.

          March 26, 2014 at 8:33 am |
        • Theo Phileo

          Sure...
          1) Evidence for the existence of God can be found in the Law of Causality applied to the Argument from Contingency. This is a rational and logical proof based on the axiom that all causal chains have a beginning, and no causal chain can be of infinite length. This demands the eternality of something, either the physical universe, or its creator. In everything we observe, we find mutability in all physical reality, ergo the physical universe is not eternal. To avoid infinite regress, it's creator must be eternal.

          This is summed up by the statement – "no physical quant.ity can explain its own existence."

          2) Wherever you find intelligibility and specified complexity, you will always see intelligence behind it. In other words, you will never be convinced that a dictionary was created by an explosion in a printing press. What would it take then? A larger explosion? More time? No, a larger explosion or longer time would only further scatter the parts to create the whole; never would it bring them together intelligently. Then how can people believe that intelligence can develop from a cosmic explosion such as the so-called “big bang?”

          3) Conscience – Meaning “With-Knowledge.” God has written His law upon the hearts of every person. This is what separates us from animals – we have an inbuilt knowledge that it is wrong to lie, to commit adultery, to murder, to steal. Although man is incredibly good at overcoming his conscience, when he does these things, he knows they are wrong. And a universal morality is evidence for a moral law giver. For, if morality is relative, then no one can be condemned for anything that they do, for they are merely "dancing to their DNA."

          March 26, 2014 at 8:40 am |
        • TruthPrevails1

          That doesn't prove god.

          March 26, 2014 at 8:45 am |
        • Theo Phileo

          "Logic is not your strong suit,"
          ---------–
          Actually, the logic here was quite simple.
          1) stated axiom – infinite causal chains do not exist
          2) disbelief of axiom presented – "We don't know that infinite causal chains do not exist."
          Inherant in #2 is a failure to follow logic. ie, a circle of dominoes will not fall forever.
          3) disbelief of axiom does not warrent the conclusion that God does not exist.
          To posit that God does not exist is to irresponsibly dismiss an option to answer the "we don't know" question. Hence, if you don't know, why are you dismissing something you cannot prove?

          March 26, 2014 at 8:46 am |
        • Theo Phileo

          "That doesn't prove god."
          ----------–
          I said it was evidence for God, not proof of God. You'll get proof of God when you get saved, or, when you die.

          March 26, 2014 at 8:48 am |
        • ausphor

          Theo
          Logic is not your strong suit. Your first point is not correct, just a supposition that you babble on about.

          March 26, 2014 at 8:51 am |
        • Theo Phileo

          "Your first point is not correct, just a supposition that you babble on about."
          ----------
          If it is not axiomatic that infinite causal chains do not exist. Then tell me how you can explain the existence of a causal chain if it never had a beginning? (circle of dominoes falling forever)

          March 26, 2014 at 8:54 am |
        • observer

          Theo Phileo,

          " And a universal morality is evidence for a moral law giver."

          Let's hope that if there is a "moral law giver" that it isn't God who supports slavery and discrimination against women, gays, and the handicapped.

          March 26, 2014 at 8:55 am |
        • Theo Phileo

          "Let's hope that if there is a "moral law giver" that it isn't God who supports slavery and discrimination against women, gays, and the handicapped."
          --------
          Quoting from atheist's websites again?

          March 26, 2014 at 8:57 am |
        • observer

          Theo Phileo,

          Ignorant of what the Bible actually says again?

          March 26, 2014 at 9:00 am |
        • Theo Phileo

          "Ignorant of what the Bible actually says again?"
          ------------
          No, I know what the Bible says about those topics you mentioned. Do you?

          March 26, 2014 at 9:09 am |
        • observer

          Theo Phileo,

          Women can be prizes of war.
          God doesn't want priests with ANY handicaps at HIS altars.
          Daughters can be SOLD into slavery and there are NO AGE LIMITS.
          As bad as slavery is, God wants local slaves treated better than foreign ones.

          Read a Bible SOMETIME.

          March 26, 2014 at 9:23 am |
        • ausphor

          Theo
          Determinism is the philosophical proposition that every event, including human cognition, decision and action, is casually determined by an unbroken chain of prior occurrences. It holds that no random, spontaneous, stochastic, intrinsically mysterious, or MIRACULOUS events occur. Part of the study of Metaphysics and casual chains.
          Kind of leaves out your god the MIRACULOUS being he claims to be. Lying and the lack of logic are your strong suit.

          March 26, 2014 at 9:30 am |
        • Theo Phileo

          "Determinism is the philosophical proposition that every event, including human cognition, decision and action, is casually determined by an unbroken chain of prior occurrences"
          -----------
          Sure, I'll buy that. Except I'll add that the thing doing the determining is the sovereign will of God, determined in His own councils in eternity past.

          March 26, 2014 at 9:39 am |
        • nepawoods

          Theo: Actually, the logic here was quite simple.
          1) stated axiom – infinite causal chains do not exist
          2) disbelief of axiom presented – "We don't know that infinite causal chains do not exist."
          Inherant in #2 is a failure to follow logic. ie, a circle of dominoes will not fall forever.

          Why would an infinite causal chain be circular? (as in your circle of dominoes)

          Your stated axiom is not necessarily true. Why not just posit "God exists" as an axiom, if you're going to chose axioms you can't defend?

          March 26, 2014 at 9:46 am |
        • ausphor

          Theo
          Replied in wrong spot below. You completely avoided the second sentence, no supernatural god required.

          March 26, 2014 at 9:48 am |
        • distrbnce

          Theo, please respond to observer's last post, since you seem to have some special copy of the Bible.

          March 26, 2014 at 3:35 pm |
      • bostontola

        Theo,
        I recommend you attend some physics courses to answer that question. You'll need to get to quantum physics and relativity. There are a number of natural explanations that have been postulated. The issue is there are too many possible ways, not an absence of ways. Scientists are devising clever experiments to weed out the hypotheses that don't match reality. It's very exciting, go check it out for yourself.

        March 26, 2014 at 7:45 am |
        • Theo Phileo

          Why? So I can watch them weild mathematics just as a fiction writer weilds a pen? Just because someone has math to back up a claim doesn't mean that what he's spouting is true...

          Case in point: Robert J. Smith, a mathematics professor at the University of Ottawa, in publishing a book ent.itled “Mathematical Modeling of Zombies” (University of Ottawa Press, 2014) developed mathematical formulae to describe the rate of zombie transmission within a population… OK, so he’s got a math formula, does that automatically make it correct, or even real? Obviously, no.

          March 26, 2014 at 8:11 am |
        • bostontola

          Theo,
          You asked. I assumed it was a sincere question.

          March 26, 2014 at 9:02 am |
        • Doc Vestibule

          @Theo
          Epidemiology is an important field of study.
          Using a fictional "zombie virus" to illustrate how quickly an illness can become a global pandemic is an exercise in the mathematical principle of epidemiology.

          The U.S. Center for Disease Control has a "Zombie Apocalypse" plan because "If you are generally well equipped to deal with a zombie apocalypse you will be prepared for a hurricane, pandemic, earthquake, or terrorist attack."
          http://www.cdc.gov/phpr/zombies.htm

          March 26, 2014 at 9:43 am |
        • Theo Phileo

          "Epidemiology is an important field of study.
          Using a fictional "zombie virus" to illustrate how quickly an illness can become a global pandemic is an exercise in the mathematical principle of epidemiology."
          ----------
          I wholeheartedly agree. But in your response, you make my point. Being that zombies are fictional, everyone makes assumptions about them. Is it a virus? Are they just monsters? Are they cursed into being zombies? Is it magic? It all depends on who you ask, so if the scientist assumes that zombification is accomplished through a virus, then he can develop mathematics along those lines.

          The same is true of origins. What assumptions are being made that direct the mathematics of those who would make claims to that which can never be observed?

          March 26, 2014 at 9:56 am |
        • distrbnce

          "Why? So I can watch them weild mathematics just as a fiction writer weilds a pen?"

          Says a guy that bases his world view on philosophy.

          March 26, 2014 at 3:37 pm |
      • nepawoods

        I can explain why square circles don't exist.

        Can you explain why a sequence of cause and effect that extends infinitely into the past can't exist?

        And can you explain why a first cause would have to be anything like a god?

        March 26, 2014 at 9:31 am |
        • Theo Phileo

          "Can you explain why a sequence of cause and effect that extends infinitely into the past can't exist?"
          ----------
          Absolutely, because it is paradoxical. If the causal chain had no beginning, then it wouldn't exist at all. Causal chains by definition are a series of causes and effects, and you cannot have an effect without a cause.

          And can you explain why a first cause would have to be anything like a god?
          ---------------
          Sure.
          The very existence of the causal chain (that is, our physical universe) demands the existence of a first cause. And since infinite causal chains do not exist, then that first cause must itself be eternal. Since the first cause stands outside of physical reality, and eternal, it must also be supernatural. That can be nothing other than God. Furthermore, it cannot be argued that the first cause itself had a cause, or you err in creating an infinite regress – an infinite causal chain cannot exist.

          March 26, 2014 at 9:48 am |
        • nepawoods

          Theo: If the causal chain had no beginning, then it wouldn't exist at all.

          Why not? Why can it not go forever into the past?

          Theo: Causal chains by definition are a series of causes and effects, and you cannot have an effect without a cause.

          Agreed. So each effect has a prior cause, and that goes on forever into an infinite past. It may strain your intuition, but can you say why it's logically impossible? You said it's a paradox. How? Where is the contradiction? (other than contradiction your axiom, but to claim that is begging the question)

          Theo: Since the first cause stands outside of physical reality, and eternal, it must also be supernatural. That can be nothing other than God.

          Outside of physical reality as we know it. If you define that to be "supernatural", fine, but by no stretch is it logical that anything outside physical reality as we know it must be God. You're asserting A implies B without saying why. Unless your definition of God is anything outside physical reality as we know it. Fine. But that doesn't imply any of the attributes most people ascribe to God: sentience, being good, etc.

          March 26, 2014 at 9:59 am |
        • Theo Phileo

          "Where is the contradiction?"
          --------–
          The causal chain as a whole is itself an effect of a cause. If nothing had ever caused the causal chain, then it would not exist. (OK, I'm getting a headache...)

          Who's on first, what's on second, I don't know's on third...

          March 26, 2014 at 10:04 am |
        • nepawoods

          Theo: The causal chain as a whole is itself an effect of a cause. If nothing had ever caused the causal chain, then it would not exist.

          Assuming (I'm not sure it's other than an assumption) the infinite causal chain had a cause, that need not be a first cause either. The cause of the infinite causal chain may have behind it another infinite sequence of cause and effect, and that one likewise, etc, etc, etc, and all of that likewise had a cause with an infinite sequence behind it, etc, and similarly, etc.

          March 26, 2014 at 10:09 am |
      • ausphor

        Theo
        Doing what you always picking out what suits you and disregarding the rest. Comment in the second sentence that rules out the supernatural having an influence on a casual chain, hence no god required.

        March 26, 2014 at 9:43 am |
        • Theo Phileo

          I left out the rest because it was ridiculous.

          March 26, 2014 at 9:49 am |
        • ausphor

          Theo
          Ridiculous, the apologist at work, no that can't be, Theo will now stick his head in the sand, or elsewhere, because he has no answer.

          March 26, 2014 at 9:59 am |
        • Theo Phileo

          "It holds that no random, spontaneous, stochastic, intrinsically mysterious, or MIRACULOUS events occur."
          ------------
          Because the idea of determinism dances so close to the idea of the doctrine of the sovereignty of God that they are almost indistinguishable, but for this last sentence. The study posits with the theologian that all of life is determined, but differs from him in that he says it is through entirely natural causes that things are determined. To a degree he is right, the plants bend towards the sun, but there are no natural deterministic forces that make me choose to look up as opposed to looking to the right.

          The Westminster Confession of Faith states that "God, from all eternity, did, by the most wise and holy counsel of His own will, freely, and unchangeably ordain whatsoever comes to pass; yet so, neither is God the author of sin, nor is violence offered to the will of the creatures; nor is the liberty or contingency of secondary causes taken away, but rather established. Sinfulness proceeds only from the creature and not from God who being most holy and righteous neither can be the author and approver of sin, but all that God decrees and all that God providentially brings to pass is all to the praise of His glory.”

          What this says simply is that God ordains everything that comes to pass without being the author of sin, and without eliminating free will – they are coterminus.

          March 26, 2014 at 10:13 am |
        • ausphor

          Theo
          Well good, you will from now on base your comments on theological doctrine as in your last post. Using your penchant of using "casual chain" as some sort of justification for Pan Gu or any other god will stop, you are making progress.

          March 26, 2014 at 10:27 am |
      • ausphor

        Theo
        Doing what you always picking out what suits you and disregarding the rest. Comment on the second sentence that rules out the supernatural having an influence on a casual chain, hence no god required.

        March 26, 2014 at 9:45 am |
      • distrbnce

        Theo, to attempt that with no evidence is something only "dims" do.

        March 26, 2014 at 3:05 pm |
  13. joeyy1

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b_F9nIps46w
    ...

    March 25, 2014 at 9:10 pm |
    • doobzz

      Now that Chris Martin doesn't have to deal with GOOPy anymore, maybe he'll learn a few new chords.

      March 26, 2014 at 9:40 pm |
  14. bostontola

    If the universe is thousands of years old, how can we see galaxies billions of light years away?

    We can see 100's of billions of galaxies. On average, they have a hundred billion stars in each. If they were all within 10,000 light years, the density would be so high, the stars would be gravitationally pulled toward each other faster than space-time is expanding.

    Maybe God just wanted to fool people who value measurement data so they won't accept God and they'll go to hell. That is a strange way for a loving God to behave, but since we can't understand God's infinite wisdom, we'll just have to accept that.

    March 25, 2014 at 6:36 pm |
    • ausphor

      bostontol
      Really, I expected more of you. The Gospel of the Flying Spaghetti monster makes it quite clear that He placed fossils and the firmament in place just for the fun of it, to make people wonder about his powers. Just accept the reality of pasta and beer, you can do it without hearing voices in your head, just go to a good sports bar/restaurant and indulge.

      March 25, 2014 at 7:38 pm |
      • bostontola

        I was really into the FSM but then I went on a low carb diet and had to drop it.

        March 25, 2014 at 7:42 pm |
        • ausphor

          bostontola
          Well I suppose. But with the availability of liposuction and artificial hearts, of course you have to be financially secure, life choices can be variable. BTW as a financial advisor myself if you need some guidance, damn I have just realized I could be a TV evangelist type, missed out on the bucks.

          March 25, 2014 at 8:01 pm |
        • otoh2

          bostontola,

          Well, it might be necessary for you to establish a sub-denomination, The Church of the Flying Spaghetti Squash Monster. Marinara sauce could subst.itute for beer, I guess, and you could firmly and boldly decry the errors of the original sect!

          March 25, 2014 at 8:17 pm |
        • Akira

          Flying Spaghetti Squash Monster, lol.

          March 25, 2014 at 8:53 pm |
        • Alias

          HA! We laugh at you!
          The IPU Goddess will eat your squash and fart a rainbow to your demise!

          March 26, 2014 at 10:09 am |
        • Akira

          Alias, that sounds positively Pythonian...

          March 26, 2014 at 12:02 pm |
        • Alias

          Thank You Akira,
          thank you very much.

          March 26, 2014 at 3:21 pm |
  15. midwest rail

    Please list the scientific disciplines that explore "purpose for existence".

    March 25, 2014 at 4:37 pm |
    • midwest rail

      damn reply button

      March 25, 2014 at 4:38 pm |
    • Alias

      Those would be the social sciences

      March 25, 2014 at 8:48 pm |
  16. bostontola

    Just an observation.

    I rarely see Jewish, Hindu, Buddhist, Taoist, etc. people jumping on science bandwagons to prove their God exists.
    I rarely see Jewish, Hindu, Buddhist, Taoist, etc. people pushing for science books to include their creation story.
    I rarely see Jewish, Hindu, Buddhist, Taoist, etc. people attacking science when it conflicts with their sacred texts.
    I rarely see Jewish, Hindu, Buddhist, Taoist, etc. people supporting fake science like creationism.
    I rarely see Jewish, Hindu, Buddhist, Taoist, etc. people whining that the world is against them.

    All these things are Christian dominated activities. These activities aren't even self consistent, but that doesn't seem to matter.

    Creationists are up in arms over the show Cosmos. They want equal time for Creationism with Evolution. The problem is, this is a show about science. Evolution is science. Creationism is religious driven rationalization, not science.

    As NdT said very well, "you don't talk about the spherical earth with NASA and then say let's give equal time to the flat-earthers."

    March 25, 2014 at 3:41 pm |
    • hotairace

      Or more up to date, I bet NASA doesn't talk about a spherical earth given that we now much better understand the true shape of the earth and many related parameters.

      March 25, 2014 at 3:46 pm |
      • nepawoods

        Nobody ever said it was a perfect sphere, but it is incredibly close.

        March 25, 2014 at 4:18 pm |
        • hotairace

          ok, I was being pedantic!

          March 25, 2014 at 4:21 pm |
    • ihavetopushthepramalot

      Earth isn't a sphere, it's an oblate spheroid (almost). Yes, I'm a pedantic nerd.

      March 25, 2014 at 3:52 pm |
      • ausphor

        ihave...
        That I can agree with, carry on.

        March 25, 2014 at 4:01 pm |
        • ihavetopushthepramalot

          Excellence necessitates pedantry.

          March 25, 2014 at 4:06 pm |
        • Akira

          Pedantic nerdery aside, any one who references MP is ok in my book.

          March 25, 2014 at 4:11 pm |
        • ihavetopushthepramalot

          I don't think we can put them aside. My Python quoting and my pedantic nerdery are inextricably linked.

          March 25, 2014 at 4:15 pm |
        • ausphor

          Brian.....All right! I am the Messiah!
          Followers...He is! He is the Messiah!
          Brian...Now, fvck off!
          Arthur...How shall we fvck off, O Lord!

          March 25, 2014 at 4:38 pm |
        • Akira

          I have: there are worse things to be linked to.

          ausphor: fantastic movie!

          March 25, 2014 at 5:02 pm |
        • ausphor

          Akira
          Will we ever have another Monty Python willing to push the boundaries or a George Carlin telling it like it is, I miss them.

          March 25, 2014 at 5:31 pm |
        • Akira

          ausphor, I miss them terribly.

          What kills me about LoB is that the never mocked Jesus or His teachings; only religious zealotry. They actually were pretty respectful of Christ.

          March 25, 2014 at 8:49 pm |
        • fintronics

          ..."the sandal! the gourd!.. the sandal! the gourd!.."

          March 26, 2014 at 4:27 pm |
    • ausphor

      I also love the fact that Christians will pump up their chests and claim they are over two billion strong and then claim that those catholics aren't real Christians, or another sect claiming that creationists are not true Christians, So how many true Scotsman/Christians are there when they seem to get great pleasure in stabbing each other in the back.

      March 25, 2014 at 4:12 pm |
      • doobzz

        One, the person making the claim.

        March 25, 2014 at 8:07 pm |
    • Doris

      "Creationists are up in arms over the show Cosmos. They want equal time for Creationism"

      Well I think I understand their complaint. They aren't in prime time and only if you have cable, but the Flintstones does come on in my area on Sundays at 5:30 am on the Boomerang network.

      March 25, 2014 at 4:46 pm |
      • ausphor

        Doris
        Have actually found the new Cosmos online and am presently watching the first episode. Very impressed with Tyson as I was with Sagan, great stuff, unless you are a creationist.

        March 25, 2014 at 5:41 pm |
        • bostontola

          http://www.fox.com/watch/183733315515#

          March 25, 2014 at 6:06 pm |
        • Doris

          It's been pretty good so far. I haven't watched the latest, but have it recorded OTA onto my PC.

          March 25, 2014 at 6:24 pm |
        • ausphor

          Doris
          Finished the second episode, it is just the kind of information that will eventually see the religions disappear, the sooner the better. The greatest enemy of all religions=knowledge.

          March 25, 2014 at 7:49 pm |
        • TruthPrevails1

          Some rather large steps to follow in and yet he does it well. Neil does an awesome job at making it captivating. I think this series should be used in every school.

          March 25, 2014 at 9:57 pm |
    • ddeevviinn

      " All these things are Christian dominated activities"

      With possession of truth comes the recognition it is worth fighting for.

      March 25, 2014 at 11:11 pm |
      • igaftr

        "With possession of truth comes the recognition it is worth fighting for."

        More accurately, belief that you know the truth, has started a lot of fights with people who have different beliefs they think are truths, yet no one can confirm they have any truth.

        March 26, 2014 at 12:53 pm |
      • distrbnce

        Ah, the pious notions of a suicide bomber.

        March 26, 2014 at 4:04 pm |
  17. truthfollower01

    Jimmo and Joey,

    New Testament critic and historian Bart Ehrman indicates that the credal statement in 1 Corinthians 15:3-7 can be traced to 1 year after the cross. I have included the verses below.

    1 Corinthians 15:-7

    3 For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, 5 and that he appeared to Cephas, and then to the Twelve. 6 After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers and sisters at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. 7 Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles,

    If you would like more info on this I would suggest watching "The Resurrection Argument That Changed a Generation of Scholars – Gary Habermas at UCSB" on YouTube.

    March 25, 2014 at 2:05 pm |
    • ihavetopushthepramalot

      No thank you, I prefer my forays into fantasy to contain either hobbits, goblins or hobgoblins.

      March 25, 2014 at 2:10 pm |
    • MidwestKen

      @truthfollower01,
      Citation please.

      March 25, 2014 at 2:14 pm |
    • Doris

      tf: "New Testament critic and historian Bart Ehrman indicates that the credal statement in 1 Corinthians 15:3-7 can be traced to 1 year after the cross."

      First of all, I'd like a citation for that as well. But also, traced in what way? Via some hearsay "historian" perhaps? Now let's look at Paul's content. Can you name any of the 500? Did they write anything? Do we have anything to go on from the apostles besides what is inside the story we're trying to verify? Is there any overwhelming agreement among NT scholars on the authorship of Peter or the rest of the inner circle?

      March 25, 2014 at 2:23 pm |
      • truthfollower01

        Doris,

        Watch the video I listed and you will see how Bart Ehrman arrives at this. Gary Habermas is one of if not the leading scholar on the resurrection of Jesus.

        March 25, 2014 at 4:45 pm |
        • Doris

          Which video? I don't see any post referencing a video.

          March 25, 2014 at 10:13 pm |
        • hotairace

          Nothing like being the leading scholar for something without any evidence to show that it actually occurred.

          March 25, 2014 at 10:35 pm |
        • truthfollower01

          Doris,

          The ti.tle is "The Resurrection Argument That Changed a Generation of Scholars – Gary Habermas at UCSB” on YouTube.

          March 25, 2014 at 10:59 pm |
        • truthfollower01

          Hotairace,

          I suggest you watch the video as well. It will be beneficial for you.

          March 25, 2014 at 11:00 pm |
        • hotairace

          Watched it. Just a bunch of words. No actual evidence for anything. Most lasting impression, the skeptic quoted the most, Bart Ehrman, is still an agnostic leaning towards atheism.

          March 26, 2014 at 12:28 pm |
    • guidedans

      Truthfollower,

      The atheists on this forum are only impressed by their own facts. If you have facts that they don't like, they are just going to dismiss them.

      I tell them Jesus is Lord, they tell me He isn't. They tell me that they know that this reality is real, I tell them they don't. It goes on and on like that.

      Keep fighting the good fight though. God bless. Don't get disheartened by the loud voices of the few.

      March 25, 2014 at 2:47 pm |
      • ihavetopushthepramalot

        This is a republic, there are no lords. I suggest you move to England or some other monarchy if you'd like to live in some sort of fiefdom.

        March 25, 2014 at 2:53 pm |
      • In Santa We Trust

        Also if you evidence of a god or that Jesus was the son of a god, you would be believed. All creation myths are predicated on the superstitions of ancients which has been proven to be incorrect.

        March 25, 2014 at 2:59 pm |
        • wilburw7

          Santa
          Satan

          They contain the same letters.

          March 25, 2014 at 3:03 pm |
        • In Santa We Trust

          and? So do god and dog.

          March 25, 2014 at 3:07 pm |
        • doobzz

          "Santa
          Satan

          They contain the same letters."

          And are both imaginary.

          March 25, 2014 at 8:11 pm |
        • TruthPrevails1

          oh willy, is that the best you got???
          We can all play that game...next time you use lol remember it stands for Lucifer Our Lord.
          Is this the crap your Mommy teaches you during your 30 minutes of homeschooling each day??

          March 25, 2014 at 10:02 pm |
      • MidwestKen

        @gudedans,
        You talk of facts then state opinions, how does that make sense?

        March 25, 2014 at 3:04 pm |
      • nepawoods

        Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. Or at least some evidence. You have none.

        March 25, 2014 at 3:08 pm |
      • ausphor

        guidedans
        Yes, because the atheists have much more in common than the various Christian sects that are continually calling each other non-Christians for one reason or another, why can't you all get along. I find it surprising that the majority of Christian posters on this blog are young earth believers, which has to be one of the stupidest of the Christian cults. Pat each other on the back if you please while at the same time having little respect for other sects.

        March 25, 2014 at 3:13 pm |
        • ihavetopushthepramalot

          Atheists have only one thing in common. Everything else is superfluous to atheism.

          March 25, 2014 at 3:17 pm |
        • ausphor

          Well I would agree that if the one thing atheists have in common is intelligence I would concur.

          March 25, 2014 at 3:22 pm |
        • ihavetopushthepramalot

          I have met atheists who I'd regard as technically retarded. It only takes a quick glance at a dictionary to figure out our one shared characteristic.

          March 25, 2014 at 3:27 pm |
        • nepawoods

          Atheists have many things in common. There are MANY things they don't believe in. Like 17-headed platypuses.

          March 25, 2014 at 3:38 pm |
        • ihavetopushthepramalot

          Nope, just gods.

          March 25, 2014 at 3:53 pm |
        • ausphor

          ihav.......
          While I hope they also have the common habit of defecating or they maybe humorless and full of crap like a tram pusher.

          March 25, 2014 at 3:59 pm |
        • ausphor

          oops...pram pusher

          March 25, 2014 at 4:00 pm |
        • distrbnce

          It's a fair point. Christians too often try to make many assumptions about us, but only one thing can be determined by the label.

          We lack belief in a god or gods.

          We likely have other things in common, but they are all (quite humorlessly, unfortunately) assumptions.

          March 26, 2014 at 4:01 pm |
        • distrbnce

          We surely get along better than they do.

          Take note of how no one will die due to this conversation.

          March 26, 2014 at 4:02 pm |
      • noheavononearth

        You tell me Jesus is the Lord....who the HELL are you? It is an invention of man, all if it, just like the god of all of the other religions. The reason Atheists state their opinions so vehemently is because "Christians" do so more aggressively, with no tolerance of others, and with no proof to back up their claims. Just because you were indoctrinated as a child and are thus a Christian, with no concrete evidence that your god or any other god exists, does not mean that there is any validity with your opinion.
        On the other hand, we do not need to prove god doesn't exist just as I do not need to prove that Santa and the Easter Bunny do not exist. As Scientists, we do need to prove each and every theory we bring forward which is why Science has progressed since a few old men wrote the bible thousands of years ago and what do you have? The same old relic of a book that has spiritual meaning to many, but that's about it.
        Believe what you may at your own peril. You are a believer, that I will grant you, but that does not imply that what you believe is correct, just because your parents, friends, and some old men in a church (some who have abused young boys) have said so.
        Atheism is becoming much more mainstream and popular because we are in the era of progressive scientific knowledge in the past decades that is unmatched, and with education comes questions of why and how. You can answer these questions based on the writing of nomads from thousands of years ago. We, can answer the same question, in part, from the "evolution" of knowledge and science. We win.

        March 25, 2014 at 6:56 pm |
        • guidedans

          *Jesus wins

          March 25, 2014 at 7:48 pm |
        • hotairace

          How can an alleged but never proven mythical character win anything? Except maybe more gullible and delusional followers?

          March 25, 2014 at 7:56 pm |
        • doobzz

          Jesus wins? At what? Getting someone to nag her spouse into believing in him? LOL!

          March 25, 2014 at 8:14 pm |
      • doobzz

        "If you have facts that they don't like, they are just going to dismiss them."

        You haven't provided any facts to show that your hero even existed, much less that he was the lord of anything.

        March 25, 2014 at 8:17 pm |
      • truthfollower01

        Guidedans,

        I appreciate the encouragement.

        March 25, 2014 at 11:48 pm |
        • TruthPrevails1

          Of course you...he makes no sense but nor does the book you two think has facts, so it would be natural for two of the same ilk to deny evidence based facts and accept fairy tales as fact. It's okay though, you'll either grow up and join the rest of us in saving this planet or you'll be on the of the many who continue to doom us.

          March 26, 2014 at 5:04 am |
      • truthfollower01

        Guidedans,

        I appreciate the encouragement.

        March 25, 2014 at 11:50 pm |
    • Vic

      Cross-References for 1 Corinthians 15:3-17

      Matthew 28:5-6
      "5 The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid; for I know that you are looking for Jesus who has been crucified. 6 He is not here, for He has risen, just as He said. Come, see the place where He was lying."

      Mark 16:6
      "6 And he *said to them, “Do not be amazed; you are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who has been crucified. He has risen; He is not here; behold, here is the place where they laid Him."

      Luke 24:5-6
      "5 and as the women were terrified and bowed their faces to the ground, the men said to them, “Why do you seek the living One among the dead? 6 He is not here, but He has risen. Remember how He spoke to you while He was still in Galilee,"

      Luke 24:25-27
      "25 And He said to them, “O foolish men and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken! 26 Was it not necessary for the Christ to suffer these things and to enter into His glory?” 27 Then beginning with Moses and with all the prophets, He explained to them the things concerning Himself in all the Scriptures."

      Acts 2:24
      "24 But God raised Him up again, putting an end to the agony of death, since it was impossible for Him to be held in its power."

      Acts 2:32
      "32 This Jesus God raised up again, to which we are all witnesses."

      Acts 17:31
      "31 because He has fixed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness through a Man whom He has appointed, having furnished proof to all men by raising Him from the dead."

      All Scripture Is From:

      New American Standard Bible (NASB)
      Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation

      http://www.biblegateway.com/

      March 25, 2014 at 3:03 pm |
      • ausphor

        Vic
        So convincing, why don't you post the whole damn book, make it your mission.

        March 25, 2014 at 3:15 pm |
      • Vic

        "Cross-References for 1 Corinthians 15:3-7"

        March 25, 2014 at 3:17 pm |
      • noheavononearth

        Which language is this anyways? It sounds somewhat blasphemous in my humble opinion. What does it mean? Who wrote it? Is their any validation since the writing that your God, or the son of God JC actually exists? I am not one to believe in concepts until validation occurs, and am still waiting. I do wonder where your god is, if he (or she) spoke thousands of years ago, where has he gone to....a long sabbatical? Doesn't it seem odd that your so called "God" is so distinct from hundreds of other gods that purportedly exist, that there has been no communication with the masses except the odd person who remarkably have spoken to him (and some have thus benefited financially by opening up churches and having the poor donate money they cannot afford to lose to contribute to the head of the church's profligate lifestyle). Why has your god allowed men of his church to abuse young boys and get away with it and have his representative, the previous pope, involved in hiding the identify of the sinners and protecting them? Why do other religions allow their gods to be martyrs and die and kill others in the name of god? Why can religions be invented at a turn of a time (Scientology) which are cults, much like the development of the Christian Church many many years ago?
        All we are asking for (agnostics and atheists) is some tangible proof that there is a God, not a de facto presumption of his or her existence. Religion has some benefits ie those dying or with adversity in life the concept of god allows people to accept and heal, but that does not imply that a god exists.
        It is troubling to have such widespread acceptance of a concept so utterly ridiculous, and I respect the right of people to believe in what they believe, but it is disingenuous to confuse the reality of science with the convictions and absence of tangible evidence when it comes to all religions past and present (not all have withstood the test of time....a warning to those living in the past with relics of their religions)

        March 25, 2014 at 7:08 pm |
    • joey3467

      When you can prove to me that Jesus was the son of god without using the bible we will talk. If you have to rely on the Bible, as the claim that Jesus was the son of god, and also as the proof that Jesus was the son of god then you are wasting my time.

      March 25, 2014 at 3:05 pm |
      • wilburw7

        No one promised you would get proof of Jesus. Then you die, and then you are judged.
        Does God have any proof that you broke at least one of ten commandments?

        March 25, 2014 at 3:10 pm |
        • joey3467

          I don't believe in anything without proof so I guess I'm SOL, at least according to the story.

          March 25, 2014 at 3:13 pm |
        • TruthPrevails1

          willy: Of the 10 commandments, the first 4 demand idolatry; most are merely thought crimes and a few are merely common sense...if you need a book to tell you not to harm, then have at it because you're obviously lacking morals to begin with. The only ones of those that you could be criminally charged with in the only life you get are murder and theft and thus are the only ones that truly have impact on this world.

          March 26, 2014 at 5:12 am |
        • distrbnce

          "if you need a book to tell you not to harm"

          lol, adorable cherry picking. It betrays your weak little argument that you would pull out the one item that's basically the golden rule.

          pahhhhhthetic.

          March 26, 2014 at 3:57 pm |
      • guidedans

        Joey, Prove to me you exist.

        Oh wait, you can't. I guess by your standards (i.e., "I don't believe in anything without proof"), you believe in math and you believe that something exists.

        That's it.

        Listen Joey. You can't prove anything. We all live by faith every day. It is just some have faith in God while others have faith in the world.

        March 25, 2014 at 7:54 pm |
        • fintronics

          Guide... I can stand in front of you and prove to you that I exist....... talking snakes and resurrection? not so much..

          March 26, 2014 at 4:42 pm |
      • fintronics

        Exactly Joey...... you should have read the paragraph after paragraph that Russ posted in a previous story when confronted with the simple question about providing evidence outside of the bible for the supernatural claims made in the bible....... ....

        March 26, 2014 at 4:39 pm |
    • Woody

      "New Testament critic and historian Bart Ehrman indicates that the credal statement in 1 Corinthians 15:3-7 can be traced to 1 year after the cross."

      The story of George Washington and the cherry tree ("I cannot tell a lie") was included in a 1800 biography of Washington by Parson Weems. This was written within a year of Washington's death. We now know that the incident was a total fabrication, as I suspect your "credal statement" was as well.

      March 25, 2014 at 3:11 pm |
      • truthfollower01

        Woody,

        Please provide your explanation for Paul's conversion and subsequent life as well as the same for Jesus' brother James. Please provide your explanation as to why the disciples truly believed that Jesus had risen from the dead, so much so that some were killed for their faith. Please provide your explanation for the empty tomb.

        March 25, 2014 at 11:57 pm |
        • observer

          truthfollower01,

          Still COMPLETELY STUMPED about whether YOUR MORALS support fathers SELLING their 6-year-old daughters into SLAVERY?

          Pathetic. Glad I'm not a "Christian" like you.

          March 26, 2014 at 12:00 am |
        • Woody

          As far as anyone’s “conversion”, who knows what goes through an individuals head. People who are “converted” could be influenced not only by indoctrination and peer pressure, but also hallucinations induced by chemical imbalance, sleep deprivation, dehydration, malnourishment, alcohol, drugs, etc. Paul supposedly saw a vision of Jesus that started the ball rolling. Religious scholar Reza Aslan states, "The story of Paul’s dramatic conversion on the road to Damascus is a bit of propagandistic legend created by the evangelist Luke; Paul himself never recounts the story of being blinded by the sight of Jesus."

          “Please provide your explanation as to why the disciples truly believed that Jesus had risen from the dead, so much so that some were killed for their faith. Please provide your explanation for the empty tomb.” – truthfollower01

          For the answer to this question, you have to look at the times that these events allegedly happened. Most people were illiterate and supersti.tious. Belief in demons and witchcraft were the rule rather than the exception. They were indoctrinated by primitive beliefs and traditions. They believed in prophecies that convinced them that certain events were inevitable, such as the coming on the Messiah. Why did they die for their beliefs? Why do people, today, blow themselves up or fly large airplanes into buildings for their religious beliefs and the anticipation of having 72 virgins at their beck and call in the “afterlife”?
          As far as the empty tomb goes, if it actually happened, it could have several explanations other than an improbable magical resurrection.

          The whole point is that people tend to embellish stories for whatever reason. It’s similar to fish stories. A person catches an average size fish. Forty years later, it’s a world record. Everything you read about Jesus, including his alleged quotes, is hearsay. No one who wrote about him, including Paul, ever met Jesus.

          March 26, 2014 at 12:35 pm |
        • truthfollower01

          Observer,

          I have already responded to you in the past. Below is my reply:

          "Observer,

          As indicated above, “So the law here instructs Israelites about what should be done under certain inferior conditions”. Did you read that from my post? INFERIOR CONDITIONS. I certainly agree that this an inferior condition.

          The big question is, why on atheism, is slavery morally wrong?"

          March 26, 2014 at 8:34 pm |
        • observer

          truthfollower01,

          So you support the SELLING OF 6-year-old girls to strangers for the purpose of slavery.

          So don't talk to ANYONE about MORALS. Pathetic. Disgusting. Disgraceful.

          You are quite a Christian and a model of Christian MORALITY.

          March 26, 2014 at 9:03 pm |
        • doobzz

          "Please provide your explanation for Paul's conversion and subsequent life as well as the same for Jesus' brother James."

          Probably money. Ever notice how many preacher's sons become preachers, too? There's good money in it.

          "Please provide your explanation as to why the disciples truly believed that Jesus had risen from the dead, so much so that some were killed for their faith."

          People die for stupid causes all the time.

          "Please provide your explanation for the empty tomb."

          Please provide evidence that there was an empty tomb that is not from the bibles.

          March 26, 2014 at 9:38 pm |
        • truthfollower01

          Observer,

          "So you support the SELLING OF 6-year-old girls to strangers for the purpose of slavery."

          No offense but I am having a hard time taking your posts seriously in light of already answering above and indicating that "So the law here instructs Israelites about what should be done under certain inferior conditions”. Did you read that from my post? INFERIOR CONDITIONS. I certainly agree that this an inferior condition."

          What part of "this is an inferior condition" do you not understand?

          Also, why do you avoid my question? Why on atheism, is slavery morally wrong?”

          March 27, 2014 at 11:51 am |
        • otoh2

          truthfollower,
          " “So the law here instructs Israelites about what should be done under certain inferior conditions”."

          It was worth the "LORD GOD'S" precious time and effort to command them not to "covet" this 'n that (2 Big 'Commandments'), and to "instruct" them on hair styles, fabric choices and crop placement, but NOT on OWNING people?

          March 27, 2014 at 12:00 pm |
        • truthfollower01

          Woody,

          " “The story of Paul’s dramatic conversion on the road to Damascus is a bit of propagandistic legend created by the evangelist Luke"

          What evidence do you give to support this claim?

          "Paul himself never recounts the story of being blinded by the sight of Jesus.”"

          I'm assuming you mean in his epistles (not including the book of Acts)? Paul does state in 1 Corinthians 15:8 that Jesus did appear to Him. This is at the end the credal statement listing the appearances of Jesus' resurrection, a credal statement that agnostic New Testament critic Bart Ehrman traces to 1 year after the cross.

          "Why did they die for their beliefs? Why do people, today, blow themselves up or fly large airplanes into buildings for their religious beliefs and the anticipation of having 72 virgins at their beck and call in the “afterlife”?"

          There is a huge difference between the apostles and, say, the terrorists of 9/11. The terrorists were believing in an event that took place about 1400 years ago as being true. They were about 1400 years removed from the events of Mohammed. The apostles were in a position to KNOW if Jesus truly had risen from the dead and they were willing to give their lives for the spread of the gospel, regardless of the persecution they faced. Do you think people willingly suffer and even possibly die for something they know is a lie?

          March 27, 2014 at 2:08 pm |
        • truthfollower01

          Woody,

          1 Corinthians 15:8 is right after the credal statement. I apologize for the confusion.

          March 27, 2014 at 2:11 pm |
        • otoh2

          truthfollower,
          "The apostles were in a position to KNOW if Jesus truly had risen from the dead and they were willing to give their lives for the spread of the gospel, regardless of the persecution they faced."

          - Which apostle(s) wrote anything about their 'knowledge'? Which apostle(s) are verified to have given their lives for it?

          ----------------------------------–

          " Do you think people willingly suffer and even possibly die for something they know is a lie?"

          Who **exactly** started spreading these stories - name, rank and serial number? The ones who allegedly died for their beliefs could well have believed that the stories were true. Doesn't mean that they *were* true.

          David Koresh's followers were willing to die for him and their belief in his teaching. So were Jim Jones' followers. So were Marshall Applewhite's (Heaven's Gate).

          March 27, 2014 at 2:20 pm |
  18. Rainer Helmut Braendlein

    The actual issue is not, if there is a God or not, but the issue is, how we can live as faithful Christians in an antichristian world.

    I guess that for many people simply the price they had to pay, if they would follow Jesus, is too high. There is no problem to believe in God's existence, but it is a real problem to obey him in this bad world without facing great loss (money, relations, power, honor, material wealth, etc.)

    According to Charles Wright Mills and David Rothkopf the power elite of the Western World has become quite antichristian or materialistic. Former times the Western leaders were not totally antichristian, but today they are. Seemingly, they don't want to be reminded of any Christian faith be any lousy, backward Christians. They prefer "subjects" having more or less an animal behaviour. You are allowed to behave like a beast as long as you work like a horse (only your performance counts, nothing else). Seemingly, they (the power elite) want to deprive us of any opportunity to think about spiritual matters, or to contemplate. It is clear that it is very hard, nearly impossible, for a Christian today to survive in that demonic system, and one can only hope that Jesus will return soon, and kills those godless leaders.

    Conclusion: God certainly exists (just watch the sun, the moon and the stars he created). The issue just is, how we can follow his Son Jesus in a totally godless world. At least, we should be so honest, not to deny God's existence, but admit that we are to coward to follow him.

    Let us pray that God releases us from any cowardice. Long-term we will get a great reward.

    It is foolish to deny God's existence. Don't deceive yourself in order to justify what actually is cowardice.

    Get the real thing!

    March 25, 2014 at 1:53 pm |
    • nepawoods

      There is no evidence of God's existence. You say the issue isn't if there's a God or not, yet people (yourself included) keep making the extraordinary claim of an incorporeal sentient being without the slightest bit of evidence or rational argument.

      "I guess that for many people simply the price they had to pay, if they would follow Jesus, is too high."

      Many people live good lives without having to believe in a god.

      But you keep pasting the same tired argument, without ever indicating you have the human intellect to discuss it.

      March 25, 2014 at 2:06 pm |
      • guidedans

        "Many people live good lives without having to believe in a god."

        Not good enough, man.

        Think about all the harm you have caused to the world just by existing. All the poison you pump out into the world when you drive, all the trash you pour into the environment, all the pain you cause on internet forums. You have done bad and guess what, there is nothing you can do to fix the bad you have done. Once done, you cannot undo an action. You can try to behave in an equal, yet opposite way, but you cannot undo it.

        Think about this: Does creating a life mean it's OK to kill someone? Does donating 100 dollars mean it's OK to steal 100 dollars? No.

        No one is perfect on this Earth, and that means, in order to be accepted into the perfection of God, you must find a way to reach perfection.

        That way is Jesus.

        Peace.

        March 25, 2014 at 2:53 pm |
        • ihavetopushthepramalot

          Jesus isn't fit to lick the poop off of Penn Jillette's shoes.

          March 25, 2014 at 3:00 pm |
        • MidwestKen

          @guidedans,
          Based on an unfounded assumption, essentially begging-the-question of the existence of "the perfection of God"

          March 25, 2014 at 3:09 pm |
        • joey3467

          I have heard numerous Christians argue that it is o.k. for god to take life because he created it. Is this just another example of the subjective morality of Christianity.

          March 25, 2014 at 3:12 pm |
        • nepawoods

          I agree actions can't be undone. But the claim that we'll be judged by an icorporeal sentient being, but spared if we believe the right fairy tale, of the many ancient fairy tales, is an extraordinary claim. Just a bit of evidence please.

          March 25, 2014 at 3:14 pm |
      • wilburw7

        nepawoods, Does God have proof that you broke at least one of 10 commandments?

        March 25, 2014 at 3:01 pm |
        • hotairace

          Most likely not because most likely there are no gods, not even just one, based on there being no actual evidence for any.

          March 25, 2014 at 3:08 pm |
        • wilburw7

          hotairace wrote : "most likely there are no gods"

          How did you determine that?

          March 25, 2014 at 3:14 pm |
        • nepawoods

          How many things do we know that exist, but for which there is no evidence of their existence?

          March 25, 2014 at 3:15 pm |
        • hotairace

          Many gods have been alleged but none proven. There is no actual evidence for any. Given the amount of time and energy expended on finding even a single god, I estimate the probably of there being any gods as very small, virtually zero, but I cannot rule out the possibility that such a being might exist somewhere in the universe, or even outside it. Almost certainly, the god of The Babble does not exist.

          March 25, 2014 at 3:20 pm |
        • wilburw7

          nepawoods wriote: "How many things do we know that exist, but for which there is no evidence of their existence?"

          Do you having any proof that there are sunglasses on my desk where I am typing this? Yes or No?

          March 25, 2014 at 3:25 pm |
        • hotairace

          While evidence or proof of there being sunglasses on your desk may not be evident to all, such evidence or proof could be obtained now or in the future with readily and currently available instrumentation. The same thing cannot be said for your alleged but never proven god.

          March 25, 2014 at 3:30 pm |
        • nepawoods

          wilburw7: Do you having any proof that there are sunglasses on my desk where I am typing this?

          No.

          You should have been able to figure that out, and go right on explaining what you think the point is.

          March 25, 2014 at 3:31 pm |
        • joey3467

          Since my eternal soul doesn't depend on whether you have sunglasses on your desk or not I don't really care one way or another. However, since believers claim that my eternal soul does depend on believing in their god I will require proof that their god exists before I believe, wouldn't want to pick the wrong go.

          March 25, 2014 at 4:39 pm |
    • kudlak

      Can you prove that somebody created the sun, the moon and the stars?

      March 25, 2014 at 2:34 pm |
      • wilburw7

        Can you prove that life started without a designer?

        March 25, 2014 at 2:51 pm |
        • ihavetopushthepramalot

          Can you prove that life started with a designer?

          March 25, 2014 at 2:55 pm |
        • nepawoods

          I can't prove life wasn't created by a designer. I can't prove I didn't create the universe this morning for my own amusement, after which I lapsed into forgetfulness of my supernatural powers. There are all sorts of ridiculous things I can't prove didn't happen.

          Every sentient being I've ever encountered had a physical body and a physical brain, and was born and will die. We have much understanding of how a brain produces intelligence. How would a sentient being exist without a physical body? It's an extraordinary claim, and as a famous person once said, extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. We have not a shred of evidence that an incorporeal sentient being can exist, nor any rational idea how it could exist.

          No, you can't prove it doesn't exist. I could list billions of ridiculous things we have no evidence for, but that we can't prove don't exist.

          March 25, 2014 at 3:26 pm |
        • Alias

          YES!
          Life started and there is no designer.
          Proof.

          March 26, 2014 at 1:13 pm |
      • guidedans

        Can anyone prove anything?

        Stop asking for proof!

        You can't prove anything!

        Don't they teach you that in science classes?

        Name one thing that is proven, kudlak (outside of mathematics).

        I will give you the only thing that you could potentially argue could be proven: "Something Exists."

        Good work. now go build the foundation of all science on that fact. Godspeed.

        March 25, 2014 at 2:59 pm |
        • hotairace

          Without evidence to support their beliefs, why should any religious shaman be taken seriously? Why should religion have a special place in society and its leaders, shamans, have special access to political leaders!

          March 25, 2014 at 3:03 pm |
        • fintronics

          "Name one thing that is proven"

          ............................."every action has an equal and opposite reaction"

          March 26, 2014 at 4:52 pm |
  19. bchev

    The thing that gets me is that there is nothing about this discovery that claims or even mentions a creation event. It's a way for science to show that gravity was absolutely present and involved in setting the universe as we know it now in motion, but it it doesn't say that it caused the matter and energy to spring into existence, only into action. So 1) it's not making the claim that something came from nothing. and 2) it in no way contributes to the biblical declaration that "God" created all things. The event refer to as the big bang contiues to step further and further out of the realm of hypothesis and deeply into the world of scientific Theory, and pretty much acceptable fact. That's what this says, and that's a very cool thing. Let's let it do that.

    March 25, 2014 at 1:26 pm |
  20. ihavetopushthepramalot

    No, it certainly doesn't.

    March 25, 2014 at 12:38 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.