June 10th, 2014
02:40 PM ET

Meet the atheist ... who believes in God

Opinion by Frank Schaeffer, special to CNN

(CNN) - All the public debates between celebrity atheists and evangelical pastors are as meaningless as literary awards and Oscar night.

They are meaningless because participants lack the objectivity to admit that our beliefs have less to do with facts than with our personal needs and cultural backgrounds.

The words we use to label ourselves are just as empty.

What exactly is a “believer?” And for that matter what is an “atheist?” Who is the objective observer to define these terms?

Maybe we need a new category other than theism, atheism or agnosticism that takes paradox and unknowing into account.

Take me, I am an atheist who believes in God.

Let me explain.

I believe that life evolved by natural selection. I believe that evolutionary psychology explains away altruism and debunks love, and that brain chemistry undermines the illusion of free will and personhood.

I also believe that a spiritual reality hovering over, in and through me calls me to love, trust and hear the voice of my creator.

It seems to me that there is an offstage and an onstage quality to my existence. I live onstage, but I sense another crew working offstage. Sometimes I hear their voices “singing” in a way that’s as eerily beautiful as the offstage chorus in an opera.

My youngest grandchildren Lucy (5) and Jack (3) are still comfortable with this paradoxical way of seeing reality.

Most grownups don’t have the transparent humility to deal with the fact that unknowing is OK. But Lucy and Jack seem to accept that something may never have happened but can still be true.

For instance they take Bible stories we read at face value, and yet I see a flicker in their eyes that tells me that they already know the stories are not true in the same way boiling water is true and can be tested—it’s hot!

It's like that mind-bending discovery from quantum mechanics that tiny objects like electrons can actually be in two places at once and act simultaneously like a particle and a wave.

Maybe my grandchildren will embrace quantum theory, and won't look for ways to make the irrational rational by hiding behind words like “mystery” in order to sustain their faith in science or God.

Or maybe they'll embrace apophatic theology, the theology of not knowing.

Atheists in the Bible Belt: A survival guide

But it's not the easiest thing to do.

Our brains are not highly evolved enough to reconcile our hunger for both absolute certainty and transcendent, inexplicable experiences.

Nor can I reconcile these ideas: “I know that the only thing that exists is this material universe,” and “I know that my redeemer liveth.”

Depending on the day you ask me, both statements seem true. And I don't think I'm alone in that.

Behold, the six types of atheists

We’re all in the closet, so to speak. We barely come out to ourselves and never completely to others. I have met people who claim a label - evangelical or atheist - until you really get to know them.

Then, things get more complicated.

Many of us, even the devout, have many more questions than answers about God and religion.

In other words, people just like me: atheists who pray and eloquent preachers who secretly harbor doubts.

I believe that we’re all of at least two minds. We play a role and define that role as “me” because labels and membership in a tribe make the world feel a little safer.

When I was raising my children, I pretended to be grownup daddy. But alone with my thoughts, I was still just me. I’m older now, and some younger people may think I know something.

I do: I know how much I can never know.

Many Muslims, Jews, Hindus and Christians inherited their faith because of where they were born. If you are an atheist, you hold those beliefs because of a book or two you read, or who your parents were and the century in which you were born.

Don’t delude yourself: There are no ultimate reasons for anything, just circumstances.

If you want to be sure you have "the truth" about yourself and our universe, then prepare to go mad. Or prepare to turn off your brain and cling to some form or other of fundamentalism, whether religious or secular.

You will always be more than one person. You will always embody contradiction.

You—like some sort of quantum mechanicals physics experiment—will always be in two places at once.

Frank Schaeffer is a writer. His latest book is "Why I am an Atheist Who Believes in God: How to give love, create beauty and find peace." The views expressed in this column belong to Schaeffer. 

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Atheism • Belief • Culture & Science • Faith • God • Nones • Opinion

soundoff (2,372 Responses)
  1. TNBA

    A lot of atheists like myself practice Humanism, which basically is a religion. We don't believe in God and reject traditional religion we were often raised with. But we are not anti-religion.

    June 12, 2014 at 11:54 am |
    • colin31714

      I am Colin Flannery from the AHA

      June 12, 2014 at 12:04 pm |
      • TNBA

        Welcome! I'm with the Council for Secular Humanism. I just wanted to let you know that your information is very accurate and well done. In terms of its content and facts, it is a very fair assessment and representation of our beliefs, too.

        June 12, 2014 at 12:08 pm |
        • colin31714

          Thanks. I have been a secular humanist since about age 15.

          June 12, 2014 at 12:20 pm |
        • Reality

          See http://www.guidestar.org/FinDoc-uments/2012/222/306/2012-222306795-099780d3-9.pdf for the finances of said Council. It appears to be yet another "non-profit" spending too much on advertising and postage for a redundant cause. Said cause is easily replaced by a simple Google search.

          June 13, 2014 at 1:26 pm |
        • Akira

          Bet you don't tip, either, Reality.

          June 13, 2014 at 4:00 pm |
        • Reality

          I have no idea how my tipping is related to another "non-profit" wasting time and money. BTW, I typically tip 20%

          June 13, 2014 at 6:41 pm |
        • Akira

          It doesn't. At all.

          June 13, 2014 at 6:46 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      If I've said it once, I've said it a million times:
      Belief in the supernatural is not required for living a life of peace, charity, compassion, humility and forgiveness.

      June 12, 2014 at 1:23 pm |
    • bostontola

      Humanism looks pretty cool. I don't agree with enough of any set creed I've seen yet to become a member, but the social aspect is attractive.

      June 12, 2014 at 2:18 pm |
      • tallulah131

        I'm just not a "goin' to the meetin' " kind of person. Not a fan of groups or crowds.

        June 12, 2014 at 2:23 pm |
        • bostontola

          I like crowds, I'm less fond of groups, but still ok with them.

          I can't find anything i disagree with Humanism. It just seems more human-centric than I feel. Obviously, that;'s not unreasonable given it's name.

          June 12, 2014 at 2:40 pm |
      • Dalahäst

        Read what we have to offer. We'd love to have you!


        June 12, 2014 at 2:54 pm |
        • bostontola

          I will be happy to discuss the secular humanist ideas with you, but first I must confess that I am surprised that you are a secular humanist. They seem to reject any supernatural power or being.

          June 12, 2014 at 3:14 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          I was jokingly trying to sell it as a religion. I have a lot in common with them: commitment to reason, free inquiry, the separation of church and state, the ideal of freedom, and moral education. I just don't have enough faith in what they preach about mankind.

          June 12, 2014 at 3:25 pm |
        • bostontola

          You got me. I agree with much of what they say, but I feel they limit themselves too much to the scientific method, and have too much of a human focus.

          While I limit myself to the scientific method for accepting things as knowledge, I think humans are better off exploring the world with other means like art, literature, even religion. Science will reveal so little of my world during my lifetime, I can't wait for the systematic revelation of knowledge. What I can see in art and literature is too valuable to wait for. It also can reveal things that can be tested by the scientific method for accuracy that would have had to wait a long time for discovery.

          The human focus is also something somewhat limiting. I love life, all kinds of life. I personally don't regard Humans as a higher form of life than anything else.

          I don't see anything wrong with the Humanist approach, I just think it may be limiting itself.

          June 12, 2014 at 3:39 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Yea, I tried it. It doesn't work for me.

          June 12, 2014 at 4:03 pm |
        • kudlak

          It's an interesting philosophy and, while I agree with the majority of it's tenants, I don't like the idea of having to faithfully match a set of beliefs. I prefer to evaluate every single thing I believe individually.

          June 12, 2014 at 6:42 pm |
  2. bostontola

    Two things believers and non-believers can agree on:
    1. Physical existence came into being before humans did.
    2. Humans came into being before sacred explanations of existence did.

    If humans came before the sacred explanations, humans saw existence before there was any explanation. Therefore, sacred texts did not prophesize existence, they are backward looking explanations of existence. There have been many, very different explanations from around the world (a small sampling below).

    Given the sequence of events we agree on, and the large number of varied creation stories, I don't see how anyone would claim that existence is objective evidence of a particular Creator. Existence is objective evidence that we live in a physical world (not proof), not evidence of any particular Creator of existence.

    There is no objective evidence of a sentient, purposeful Creator. That doesn't prove one (or more) doesn't exist, but there is no objective evidence for it. That's why people need faith to believe it. I don't see that as a bad thing per se. I don't get why believers feel the need to 'prove' their God exists with logic or physical explanations. There has never been a successful explanation of those forms, it always falls back to faith. Why can't believers be happy with that?

    A sampling of creation stories from around the world (Wikipedia has links to all of them)):

    Creation from chaos

    Cheonjiwang Bonpuli (a Korean creation myth)
    Enûma Eliš (Babylonian creation myth)
    Greek cosmogonical myth
    Mandé creation myth
    Raven in Creation
    Serer creation myth
    Sumerian creation myth
    Tungusic creation myth

    Earth diver

    Ainu creation myth
    Cherokee creation myth
    Yoruba creation myth


    Hopi creation myth
    Maya creation of the world myth
    Diné Bahaneʼ (Navajo)
    Zuni creation myth

    Ex nihilo (out of nothing)

    Debate between sheep and grain
    Barton cylinder
    Ancient Egyptian creation myths
    Genesis creation myth (Christianity and Judaism)
    Islamic creation myth
    Māori myths
    Popol Vuh
    Rangi and Papa

    World Parent

    Enûma Eliš
    Greek cosmogonical myth
    Heliopolis creation myth
    Hiranyagarbha creation myth
    Rangi and Papa

    June 12, 2014 at 11:36 am |
    • kudlak

      I always like to point out to Christian creationists that the creation stories of the Ja.panese and Hindus describe the universe as coming from a cosmic egg, which more closely matches the Big Bang Theory.

      June 12, 2014 at 6:49 pm |
  3. nojinx

    I don't explain our existence, because I can't. We may find reasonable answers to that question in time (though not likely in my time), but until then it would be foolish to claim an explanation.

    June 12, 2014 at 11:25 am |
  4. Lucifer's Evil Twin

    "A fair face will wither; a full eye will wax hollow: but a good heart, Kate, is the sun and the moon; or, rather, the sun and not the moon; for it shines bright, and never changes, but keeps his course truly."

    June 12, 2014 at 10:38 am |
  5. jknbt

    there are whole universes of spiritual reality out there that you atheists are unaware of...trying to argue with you to convince you about anything concerning them is like trying to explain nuclear physics to an ornery pig. "OINK" is all I hear back. Someday I will learn my lesson about where I should cast my pearls. Another belief blog article that will have a hundred pages of oinks before they finally shelve it. hoo-boy....

    at judgement day, Jesus will say to you, "Depart from me. I never knew you".

    June 12, 2014 at 10:22 am |
    • Dyslexic doG

      a retreat to mysticism is the first refuge of the cornered fool.

      June 12, 2014 at 10:29 am |
      • noahsdadtopher

        "The fool says in his heart, 'There is no God.'" Psalm 14:1

        June 12, 2014 at 11:01 am |
        • gulliblenomore

          The real fool is the one that quotes the bible to those of us that believe it to be a book of fairy tales

          June 12, 2014 at 11:08 am |
        • Dyslexic doG

          it would be a pretty basic strategy for the snake oil salesmen who wrote the bible to try and cover themselves by putting in lines like "do not believe he who says this book is false for they are servants of the devil" and "he who questions god is wrong sayeth the lord" and "any man who doubts the word of god as written in this book is a fool and will be punished in the afterlife" and "The fool says in his heart, 'There is no God.' and so on, and so on, and so on ...

          it's so obvious and transparent!

          June 12, 2014 at 11:10 am |
        • noahsdadtopher

          It doesn't really matter if you believe it or not — however, I do believe.

          June 12, 2014 at 11:11 am |
        • gulliblenomore

          Topher....I really don't care if you believe, that is personal and totally up to you. However, stating it as fact and claiming you know it is true is complete BS. You do not know, as you have no proof. You just believe it.

          June 12, 2014 at 11:15 am |
        • kudlak

          You could have honestly said that back then, before science could explain things like lightening and disease, because you really would have looked foolish denying the god's power, but not offering any alternative explanation.

          Nowadays it's almost completely backward. Now, the fool is the one who denies scientific evidence.

          June 12, 2014 at 11:16 am |
        • Lucifer's Evil Twin

          LET's Religiosity Law #4 – If you habitually spout off verses from your "holy" book to make whatever inane point you're trying to make, with total disregard to the recipients' beliefs or disbeliefs, and not once does it occur to you to question whether your book is accurate in the first place, then you are intellectually destitute.

          June 12, 2014 at 11:17 am |
        • Science Works

          True Christians eh topher ? It would be comedy gold if it was not paid for by our taxes !

          Louie Gohmert tells Congress the ‘good news’ that non-Christians are ‘going to Hell’
          By David Edwards


          Wednesday, June 11, 2014 8:59 EDT

          June 12, 2014 at 11:18 am |
        • gulliblenomore

          Good....that means I don't have to spend eternity with the likes of Louie gohmert!

          June 12, 2014 at 11:19 am |
        • Dyslexic doG

          @Topher: The fact that you believe it as real is an indication of your gullibility, not of the stories' authenticity!

          June 12, 2014 at 11:18 am |
        • noahsdadtopher

          I wouldn't call that good news. It's a horrible thing. But it is a just thing.

          June 12, 2014 at 11:21 am |
        • gulliblenomore

          Since there is absolutely no proof if either heaven or hell, I'd just call it a sarcastic thing.

          June 12, 2014 at 11:25 am |
        • Science Works

          By the way topher hope you teach your loved ones where herpes comes from and how it is transmitted !

          Herpes infected humans before they were human
          June 10, 2014
          University of California, San Diego Health Sciences
          Researchers have identified the evolutionary origins of human herpes simplex virus (HSV) -1 and -2, reporting that the former infected hominids before their evolutionary split from chimpanzees 6 million years ago while the latter jumped from ancient chimpanzees to ancestors of modern humans - Hom-o erectus - approximately 1.6 million years ago.


          June 12, 2014 at 11:24 am |
        • G to the T

          Lynn's response to the Senator should be a template for other believers in the US:

          “Congressman, what I believe is not necessarily what I think ought to justify the creation of public policy for everybody,” Lynn explained. “For the 2,000 different religions that exist in this country, the 25 million non-believers. I’ve never been offended, I’ve never been ashamed to share my belief. When I spoke recently at an American Atheists conference, it was clear from the very beginning, the first sentence that I was a Christian minister.”

          June 12, 2014 at 11:31 am |
        • tallulah131

          "Louie Gohmert tells Congress the ‘good news’ that non-Christians are ‘going to Hell’"

          Our tax dollars at work. Just another reason for the separation of church and state. They should be working on things that benefit the nation, not arguing the specifics of their personal religion.

          June 12, 2014 at 11:31 am |
        • Akira

          The fact that Gohmert was interrogating a Christian pastor about the wisdom if the separation of church and state is telling.

          June 12, 2014 at 12:30 pm |
        • tallulah131

          Apparently that's the best you can expect from a Texas republican.

          June 12, 2014 at 12:33 pm |
        • Akira

          Gohmert is known for his b s crazy antics. If he can't even grasp the basic tenets of the Constitution, he shouldn't be serving in Congress.

          June 12, 2014 at 12:40 pm |
        • Science Works

          Hey topher so what the hell is hell by the way – it might be Texas ? With the 3 blind mice the other 2 are Cruz and the yahoo !

          June 12, 2014 at 4:12 pm |
        • Akira

          My favorite quote from that article:
          “Although he may not have the ‘genetic coding’ to think before he speaks, Rick Perry, M.D. should have a real conversation with actual doctors before voicing his expertise on these issues,” said HRC’s Fred Sainz."

          June 12, 2014 at 5:24 pm |
        • tallulah131

          I can't imagine the humiliation that reasonable Texans feel every time one of their leaders opens their mouth.

          June 12, 2014 at 5:48 pm |
        • Akira

          Gohmert and Perry seem to gnaw on their feet a lot.

          June 12, 2014 at 5:55 pm |
        • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

          That Louis Gohmert (R, Texas 1st) would sit on the House Judiciary Committee, Subcommittee on the Consti.tution and Civil Justice and have such a tone deaf conversation during a hearing specifically on the "The State of Religious Liberty in the United States" is astounding.

          It is just as astounding as the fact that Paul Broun* (R, Georgia) would Chair the house Science, Space and Technology Committee, Subcommittee on Oversight.

          * Global warming is a "hoax"; evolution and the big bang theory are "lies straight from the pit of hell"

          As for Rick Perry, I think Katy Perry would make a better President than he would.

          June 12, 2014 at 6:41 pm |
        • kudlak

          If it doesn't really matter if we believe or not what was the point of the Psalmist calling us names? Was he just being a jerk, or what?

          June 12, 2014 at 7:02 pm |
    • gulliblenomore

      Jknbt....and as I am departing after Jesus says that, I will say "then why did you bother making me you fvcking azzwipe?".

      June 12, 2014 at 10:31 am |
      • jknbt

        hey gullible– life is about tests and lessons...he made you to see what you would choose. and you have to take the consequences for your choices, good or bad. He made you for fellowship. You don't want that, so he is not going to force his attentions on you. you are really missing out on the party. your life is poorer for it, something you will never understand...

        June 12, 2014 at 5:14 pm |
        • kudlak

          Yet, the only "choice" that will supposedly determine whether we end up in heaven or hell is if we accept Jesus as our personal saviours, and believe and do everything that pastors tell us a true follower of Christ would do, right?

          Sorry, but I just can't "choose" to believe something that I'm not convinced is true. So, if God does punish me for that, he really is a tyrant.

          June 12, 2014 at 6:59 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          jknbt.....I'm so sorry that your life sucks so bad that you need an invisible deity in order to feel as if your life is complete. I, on the other hand, am missing nothing by scoffing at your imaginary creator. I absolutely do not need anything from your god....nothing. My life is great actually, but thanks for your concern.

          June 12, 2014 at 7:54 pm |
    • MidwestKen

      There is a whole universe of physical reality, much of which is denied many theists.

      And name-calling is not a valid argument.

      June 12, 2014 at 11:12 am |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin

      We will all hold our collective breath for your 'judgement day' and for the return of your pissant Lich...

      June 12, 2014 at 11:15 am |
    • doobzz

      "Someday I will learn my lesson about where I should cast my pearls."

      Is your wife getting tired of your misfires?

      June 12, 2014 at 11:16 am |
    • tallulah131

      jknbt: I know all about christianity. I grew up believing I was a christian. But as I grew and questioned what I thought, I realized that there is absolutely no evidence to support the existence of your god or any god for that matter. So when you threaten me with hell, you may as well be threatening me with angry invisible unicorns.

      June 12, 2014 at 11:35 am |
    • kudlak

      There could be whole universes of spiritual reality out there that we're not unaware of, but the time to actually believe in them is after some credible evidence for them surfaces. Until then there's no reason to believe.

      June 12, 2014 at 6:53 pm |
  6. Dyslexic doG

    Christians in this forum:

    There is no other source of proof for your god than a bronze age book written by scientifically ignorant desert dwellers.

    All the rest of your fancy words still come back to this one flawed book and your references to the convoluted conclusions men have made about it over the last 2,000 years. Men who you claim are learned men, but they are still men in the same cult as you so of course they say the biased, fact less hypotheses they say. Men who are "learned" only because they spend their lives reading this one flawed book and discounting all other proven scientific knowledge, so in my opinion that makes them less than learned and more just misinformed or delusional.

    And whatever fancy theories you come up with, the only proof of your god's existancel comes back to the flawed, fantasy foundation of a bronze age book written by scientifically ignorant desert dwellers.

    There is no proof. None. Nil. Zip. Nada. Nothing. Nothing but your book and your own imaginations. The fact that you believe it as real is an indication of your gullibility, not of the stories' authenticity!

    You are asking the world to dismiss scientific explanations backed by endless observation and data and proof, for the 2 contradictory genesis stories in your bronze age book written by scientifically ignorant desert dwellers. Even your book can't get the fanciful, infantile, magical fairy story straight - they have to have 2 conflicting versions. How asinine is that?

    June 12, 2014 at 10:20 am |
  7. SeaVik

    Topher – It is easier just to sum up my response to all your posts at once: You're wrong and you offer zero evidence to support your extremist view. You keep saying I should do a google search to find evidence to support your view. That shows how weak your position is. I can google pretty much anything and find some idiots that agree with it. That doesn't make it a sane position. If you want to hold an incredibly weak position, you're going to have to produce some incredibly convincing evidence to refute the world of heavily qualified scientists who disagree with you. Otherwise, stop making a fool of yourself and hurting our country by promoting such archaic views.

    June 12, 2014 at 10:20 am |
    • colin31714

      To put the sheer idiocy of Topher's, Awanderingscots' etc. creationist claims in context, here are some very basic pieces of evidence that make the biblical creation story utter garbage.

      Of first and most obvious importance is the fossil record. The fossil record is much, much more than just dinosaurs. Indeed, dinosaurs only get the press because of their size, but they make up less than 1% of the entire fossil record. Life had been evolving on Earth for over 3 thousand million years before dinosaurs evolved and has gone on evolving for 65 million years after the Chicxulub meteor likely wiped them out.

      Layered in the fossil record are the Stromatolites, colonies of prokaryotic bacteria, that range in age going back to about 3 billion years, the Ediacara fossils from South Australia, widely regarded as among the earliest multi-celled organisms, the Cambrian species of the Burgess shale in Canada (circa – 450 million years ago) the giant scorpions of the Silurian Period, the giant, wingless insects of the Devonian period, the insects, amphibians, reptiles, fishes, clams, crustaceans of the Carboniferous Period, the many precursors to the dinosaurs, the 700 odd known species of dinosaurs themselves, the subsequent dominant mammals, including the saber tooth tiger, the mammoths and hairy rhinoceros of North America and Asia, the fossils of early man in Africa and the Neanderthals of Europe.

      Indeed, the fossil record shows a consistent and worldwide evolution of life on Earth dating back to about 3,500,000,000 years ago. There are literally millions of fossils that have been recovered, of thousands of different species and they are all located where they would be in the geological record if life evolved slowly over billions of years. None of them can be explained by a 6,000 year old Earth and Noah’s flood. Were they all on the ark? What happened to them when it docked?

      Not only did a Tyrannosaurus Rex eat a lot of food, but that food was meat- which means its food would itself have to have been fed, like the food of every other carnivore on the ark for the entire 360 odd days Noah supposedly spent on the ark. T-Rex was not even the largest carnivorous dinosaur we know of. Spinosaurus, Argentinosaurus and Carcharodontosaurus were all larger and ate more even meat. Even they were not large enough to bring down the largest sauropods we know of, many species of which weighed in at close to 100 tons and were about 100 feet long. This is in addition to the elephants, hippopotamus, giraffes, and other large extant animals (not to mention the millions of insects, bacteria, mites, worms etc. that would have to be boarded). A bit of “back of the envelope” math quickly shows that “Noah’s Ark” would actually have to have been an armada of ships larger than the D-Day invasion force, manned by thousands and thousands of people – and this is without including the World’s 300,000 current species of plants, none of which could walk merrily in twos onto the ark.

      Coming on top of that, of course, there are the various races of human beings. There were no Sub-Saharan Africans, Chinese, Australian Aboriginals, blonde haired Scandinavians, Pygmies or Eskimos on the Ark. Where did they come from?

      Oh, second, there are those little things we call oil, natural gas and other fossil fuels. Their mere existence is another independent and fatal blow to the creationists. Speak to any geologist who works for Exxon Mobil, Shell or any of the thousands of mining, oil or natural gas related companies that make a living finding fossil fuels. They will tell you these fossil fuels take millions of years to develop from the remains of large, often Carboniferous Period forests, in the case of coal, or tiny marine creatures in the case of oil. For the fossils to develop into oil or coal takes tens or hundreds of millions of years of “slow baking” under optimum geological conditions. That’s why they are called “fossil fuels.” Have a close look at coal, you can often see the fossilized leaves in it. The geologists know exactly what rocks to look for fossil fuels in, because they know how to date the rocks to tens or hundreds of millions of years ago. Creationists have no credible explanation for this.

      Laughingly, most of astronomy and cosmology would be wrong if the creationists were right. In short, as Einstein showed, light travels at a set speed. Space is so large that light from distant stars takes many years to reach the Earth. In some cases, this is millions or billions of years. The fact that we can see light from such far away stars means it began its journey billions of years ago. The Universe must be billions of years old. We can currently see galaxies whose light left home 13, 700,000,000 years ago. Indeed, on a clear night, one can see the collective, misty light of many stars more than 6,000 light years away with the naked eye, shining down like tiny accusatory witnesses against the nonsense of creationism.

      In fourth, we have not just carbon dating, but also all other methods used by scientists to date wood, rocks, fossils, and other artifacts. These comprehensively disprove the Bible’s claims. They include uranium-lead dating, potassium-argon dating as well as other non-radioactive methods such as pollen dating, dendrochronology and ice core dating. In order for any particular rock, fossil or other artifact to be aged, generally two or more samples are dated independently by two or more laboratories in order to ensure an accurate result. If results were random, as creationists claim, the two independent results would rarely agree. They generally do. They regularly reveal ages much older than Genesis. Indeed, the Earth is about 750,000 times older than the Bible claims, the Universe about three times the age of the Earth.

      Next, fifth, the relatively new field of DNA mapping not only convicts criminals, it shows in undeniable, full detail how we differ from other life forms on the planet. For example, about 98.4% of human DNA is identical to that of chimpanzees, about 97% of human DNA is identical to that of gorillas, and slightly less again of human DNA is identical to the DNA of monkeys. This gradual divergence in DNA can only be rationally explained by the two species diverging from a common ancestor, and coincides perfectly with the fossil record. Indeed, scientists can use the percentage of DNA that two animal share (such as humans and bears, or domestic dogs and wolves) to get an idea of how long ago the last common ancestor of both species lived. It perfectly corroborates the fossil record and is completely independently developed.

      Sixth, the entire field of historical linguistics would have to be rewritten to accommodate the Bible. This discipline studies how languages develop and diverge over time. For example, Spanish and Italian are very similar and have a recent common “ancestor” language, Latin, as most people know. However, Russian is quite different and therefore either did not share a common root, or branched off much earlier in time. No respected linguist anywhere in the World traces languages back to the Tower of Babel, the creationists’ simplistic and patently absurd explanation for different languages. Indeed, American Indians, Australian Aboriginals, “true” Indians, Chinese, Mongols, Ja.panese, Sub-Saharan Africans and the Celts and other tribes of ancient Europe were speaking thousands of different languages thousands of years before the date creationist say the Tower of Babel occurred – and even well before the date they claim for the Garden of Eden.

      Seventh, lactose intolerance is also a clear vestige of human evolution. Most mammals only consume milk as infants. After infancy, they no longer produce the enzyme “lactase” that digests the lactose in milk and so become lactose intolerant. Humans are an exception and can drink milk as adults – but not all humans – some humans remain lactose intolerant. So which humans are no longer lactose intolerant? The answer is those who evolved over the past few thousand years raising cows. They evolved slightly to keep producing lactase as adults so as to allow the consumption of milk as adults. This includes most Europeans and some Africans, notably the Tutsi of Rwanda. On the other hand, most Chinese, native Americans and Aboriginal Australians, whose ancestors did not raise cattle, remain lactose intolerant.

      I could go on and elaborate on a number of other disciplines or facts that creationists have to pretend into oblivion to retain their faith, including the Ice Ages, cavemen and early hominids, much of microbiology, paleontology and archeology, continental drift and plate tectonics. Even large parts of medical research would be rendered unusable but for the fact that monkeys and mice share a common ancestor with us and therefore our fundamental cell biology and basic body architecture is identical to theirs.

      In short, and not surprisingly, the World’s most gifted evolutionary biologists, astronomers, cosmologists, geologists, archaeologists, paleontologists, historians, modern medical researchers and linguists (and about 2,000 years of accu.mulated knowledge) are right and a handful of Iron Age Middle Eastern goat herders copying then extant mythology were wrong. Creationists aren’t just trying to swim upstream against the weight of scientific evidence; they are trying to ascend a waterfall.

      All this is probably why evolution is taught in every major university and college biology program in the World. Not 99% of them, but EVERY one. Universities with extensive evolutionary biology departments include Oxford University, Cambridge University and the Imperial College in England, the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität in Germany, the École Normale Supérieure and École Polythecnique in France and Leiden University in the Netherlands and the Swiss Federal Insti.tute of Technology in Switzerland. This is just a sample. ALL university and colleges in Europe teach evolution as a fundamental component of biology.

      The number of universities and colleges in Europe with a creation science department: ZERO. The number of tenured or even paid professors who teach creation science at any of these universities or colleges: ZERO

      In the United States, the following Universities have extensive evolutionary biology departments staffed by thousands of the most gifted biologists in the World; Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Colombia, Duke, the Massachusetts Insti.tute of Technology, Brown, Stanford, Berkley, and the University of Chicago. These are just some of the more prestigious examples. Again, ALL university and colleges in the USA with tertiary level biology classes teach evolution as a fundamental component of biology.

      The number of universities and colleges in the United States with a creation science department: ZERO The number of tenured or even paid professors who teach creation science at any of these universities or colleges: ZERO

      In Australia and Asia, the following universities and colleges have extensive evolutionary biology departments manned by more of the most gifted biological scientists in the World; Monash University in Melbourne, The University of New South Wales, Kyoto University in Ja.pan, Peking University in China, Seoul University in Korea, the University of Singapore, National Taiwan University, The Australian National University, The University of Melbourne, and the University of Sydney.

      The number of universities and colleges in Australia and Asia with a creation science department: ZERO The number of tenured or even paid professors who teach creation science at any of these universities or colleges: ZERO

      The most prestigious scientific publications in the Western World generally accessible to the public include: The Journal of the American Medical Association, the New England Journal of Medicine, Scientific American, Science, New Scientist, Cosmos and Live Science.

      Every month, one or more of them publishes a peer reviewed article highlighting the latest developments in evolution. The amount of any creationist science articles published in ANY of these prestigious publications; ZERO.

      I could repeat the above exercise for the following disciplines, all of which would have to be turned on their heads to accommodate creation science – paleontology, archeology, geology, botany, marine biology, astronomy, medicine, cosmology and historical linguistics.

      Nearly every scientific society, representing hundreds of thousands of scientists, have issued statements rejecting intelligent design and a peti.tion supporting the teaching of evolutionary biology was endorsed by 72 US Nobel Prize winners.

      Number of creation science Nobel Prize winners: ZERO

      The American Association for the Advancement of Science, the world's largest general scientific society with more than 130,000 members and over 262 affiliated societies and academies of science including over 10 million individuals, has made several statements and issued several press releases in support of evolution.

      Number made in support of creation science: ZERO

      According to The International Federation of Biologists, there are more than 3 million biological scientists globally who rely on the 5 laws of Darwinian evolution for their jobs every single day.

      There appears to be three possible explanations for all this:

      (i) there is a worldwide conspiracy of universities, colleges and academic publications, including all their hundreds of thousands of professors, editors, reviewers, and support staff, to deny creation science;

      (ii) the creationists like Topher have a startling new piece of evidence that was right before our eyes that will turn accepted biological science and about 10 other sciences on their heads if ONLY people would listen to them, no doubt earning them a Nobel Prize and a place in history beside the likes of Darwin, Newton and Einstein; or

      (iii) they are a complete blowhards who have never studied one subject of university level biology, never been on an archaeological dig, never studied a thing about paleontology, geology, astronomy, linguistics or archaeology, but feel perfectly sure that you know more than the best biologists, archaeologists, paleontologists, doctors, astronomers botanists and linguists in the World because their mommy and daddy taught them some comforting stories from Bronze Age Palestine as a child.

      I know which alternative my money is on.

      June 12, 2014 at 10:36 am |
      • SeaVik

        Well said. It will be interesting to see how Topher refutes this. I will make the bold prediction that he will just brush it aside and tell us to google for evidence to support his insane view.

        June 12, 2014 at 10:52 am |
      • Doc Vestibule



        Put that in your evilution pipe and smoke it, Mr. Darwood.

        June 12, 2014 at 11:16 am |
      • TNBA

        Do you know Colin Flannery? From the American Humanist Association?

        June 12, 2014 at 11:22 am |
      • tallulah131

        Sadly, none of this will penetrate the shell of believers who will simply say "god did it", because that is the reality they wish to believe in.

        June 12, 2014 at 2:17 pm |
        • SeaVik

          It is one thing to believe in fairy tales. What really gets me though is that people like Topher and Theo are so deep in denial that they actually think it's LOGICAL to believe what they believe. They don't even accept that they have to ignore scientific fact to believe what they do. Ignore science if you must, but don't pretend science supports a young earth theory.

          June 12, 2014 at 4:22 pm |
  8. Doris

    Letting go of superstition

    from "50 Renowned Academics Speaking About God"

    "..but to me saying that there was a designer does not help at all.." –Alan Guth, MIT professor of physics

    "..I'm not militant by nature – and if people want to believe, well then that's their business; I mean what concerns me is when belief is used to influence and corrupt education or politics. And it seems to me monstrous that Creationism or so-called intelligent design is taught next to evolution or instead of it. And I do think that it is almost as a form of madness." –Oliver Sacks, world-renowned neurologist, Columbia University

    "I think a lot of theology is grappling with phantoms. So theologians have invented this almost self-consistent subject which has no contact with physical reality at all. And they invent all sorts of questions which they then taunt humanity with . One of them is cosmic purpose. They say 'there must be a purpose; you and your science can't explain it.' And typical of theologians, they don't respect the power of the human intellect anyway. And they infer that no one will ever understand it; it is ineffable; God's purpose cannot be discerned. And of course that's – those are fine words, but utterly meaningless–why should the thing have a purpose?" –Peter Atkins, world-reknowned Oxford professor of chemistry

    "Another thing which I think that science, of any kind, teaches us is that even the simplest things are hard to understand: the hydrogen atom, for instance. And that makes me rather suspicious of anyone who claims to have a quick and easy answer to any deep aspect of reality. I think the most we can hope for in an incomplete and metaphorical understanding. And therefore, I'm not myself someone who can accept any specific religious dogmas." –Lord Martin Rees, Astronomer Royal

    June 12, 2014 at 10:00 am |
  9. mkrusoe


    June 12, 2014 at 9:58 am |
  10. mkrusoe

    The Cambrian "explosion" took place over 50 million years! Hardly a "blink" of an eye. Is it that creationists' feeble minds can't comprehend that this want a literal explosion.

    June 12, 2014 at 9:57 am |
  11. Dyslexic doG

    Please read my new book "Why All Theists Really Know There Is No God: How to break the cognitive dissonance and admit what you already know."

    It's page after page of Deepak Chopra quality woo-woo.

    June 12, 2014 at 9:17 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Buy my book.
      It's quantumly delicious!

      – Deepak Chopra

      June 12, 2014 at 9:51 am |
  12. midwest rail

    Combine a thinly veiled book advertisement with a provocative headline and generate comments and page hits. Good for the bottom line, but devoid of journalistic integrity.

    How long will the editors ignore the frightening increase in politically active evangelicals calling for the biblical style execution of gay people ?

    June 12, 2014 at 9:02 am |
  13. Lucifer's Evil Twin

    "I ain't lookin' for help from on-high. That's a long wait for a train don't come." – Malcolm Reynolds, “Serenity"

    June 12, 2014 at 9:00 am |
    • alonsoquixote

      Bible’s broken. Contradictions, false logistics – doesn’t make sense. So we’ll integrate non-progressional evolution theory with God’s creation of Eden. Eleven inherent metaphoric parallels already there. Eleven. Important number. Prime number. One goes into the house of 11 eleven times, but always comes out one. Noah’s ark is a problem. We’ll have to call it “early quantum state phenomenon.” Only way to fit 5000 species of mammal on the same boat.

      ~ River Tam, Firefly episode 7, “Jaynestown”

      June 12, 2014 at 9:22 pm |
  14. igaftr

    "it's just like they can't explain the Cambrian Explosion, or world population growth, or anything else that contradicts the fairy tale of evolution conjured up by their finite little minds."

    MOre random insults... Nothing about the Cambrian Explosion refutes evolution. Patently false garbage scot fished out of some creationist site.

    June 12, 2014 at 8:55 am |
  15. igaftr

    "another one them tried to make a case for evolution using principles of adaptation and then claimed that even though it did not fit into the evolutionary timescale it was the methods used that proved the validity of the experiment. it just proves to me they'll believe any old fairy tale if it fits their godless delusions."

    Completely false scot...You simply cannot comprehend what was said.

    June 12, 2014 at 8:49 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Scot claims to be buddies with a Nobel laureate who works in genomics and who rejects the theory of evolution.
      He also states there is no possible evolutionary explanation for the Cambrian explosion, and never mind the peer-reviewed, scientific paper enti/tled "Explaining the Cabrian Explosion".
      He doesn't even need to read it to know that everything in it is false.

      June 12, 2014 at 9:09 am |
      • igaftr

        yeah Doc, I know that he is just another fundie that you can't teach them a thing that goes against the bible. I study the psychology of belief, but these fundimentalists are in a class by themselves.

        At least with theo, you aren't bombarded with the constant name calling and childish behavior like with scot. He presents himself like an 11 year old.
        Scot just beliow mentioned Krauss' book, and I am pretty sure scot never read his book.

        June 12, 2014 at 9:35 am |
        • Theo Phileo

          "At least with theo, you aren't bombarded with the constant name calling and childish behavior..."
          Disagreement and misunderstandings are what encourages learning, (that's what universities are all about – unity in diversity) and if anyone disagrees with me, I do not want it to be because I have attacked anyone personally. You may not agree with what I say, but you wouldn't mind me helping you change a tire on the side of the road...

          June 12, 2014 at 9:44 am |
        • gulliblenomore

          Igaftr....you owe all 11 year olds an apology. Scot acts worse than a 2 year old! As a followers of Jesus, he is a lousy example

          June 12, 2014 at 10:00 am |
        • SeaVik

          "At least with theo, you aren't bombarded with the constant name calling and childish behavior..."

          I think I'd prefer name calling over his support of the Halocaust and slavery.

          June 12, 2014 at 10:22 am |
      • awanderingscot

        you're obfuscating and obviously haven't read the paper either, otherwise you might just be able to summarize it and explain WHY there are no antecedents in the fossil record.

        June 12, 2014 at 10:21 am |
        • Doc Vestibule

          There's a reason I'm Doc Vestibule and not Prof Vestibule.
          Do your own research.

          June 12, 2014 at 10:44 am |
        • Doc Vestibule

          And what's the name of that Nobel prize winning creationist genomicist friend of yours?
          I'm interested to study the research papers that won him a Nobel. He'd be the first winner of a Nobel in biology who rejects the theory of evolution. He must have turned the entire field of biology on its head!
          And yet somehow word never got out to the public at large. I guess his results must've been suppressed by the global, iberal, atheist, communist, materialist, evolutionist conspiracy of lies.

          June 12, 2014 at 10:48 am |
        • igaftr

          I didn't catch when scot said he knew a Nobel Laureate. Did he mention which catagory? Should be easy to track which one down as most are not from the US...the list is quite small.

          June 12, 2014 at 11:09 am |
        • igaftr

          antecednt in the fossil record? What the hell are you talking about scot? Do you even know what you are asking there?

          June 12, 2014 at 11:51 am |
    • TruthPrevails1

      He is one of the most intellectually dishonest on here, next to Theo; Fred; kermi..that is. No matter what you say or how much evidence is presented to them, they can't accept it...to do so breaks down their story book and without that book to guide them, they seem to sincerely believe they have nothing and couldn't live a moral life.

      June 12, 2014 at 9:22 am |
  16. igaftr

    Just because your mind locked in at 11 and you can't comprehend what you post, does not make everyone else delusional. Convincing yourself "god" exists and valid science is not real...that is delusional.

    June 12, 2014 at 8:47 am |
  17. thetimchannel

    "Speculation on who designed us to be designers is as fruitless and pointless as the question of who designed the designer". Christopher Hitchens

    June 12, 2014 at 6:33 am |
    • Theo Phileo

      Hitchens suffered from an inability to think correctly. His thinking went something like this:

      "If all things need a cause, then God must also need a cause. The conclusion is that if God needed a cause, then God is not God (and if God is not God, then of course there is no God). Everyone knows that something does not come from nothing, so, if God is a “something,” then He must have a cause, right?"

      The question sneaks in the false assumption that God came from somewhere and then asks where that might be. The answer is that the question does not even make sense. It is like asking, “What does blue smell like?” Blue is not in the category of things that have a smell, so the question itself is flawed. In the same way, God is not in the category of things that are created or caused. God is uncaused and uncreated—He simply exists.

      How do we know this? We know that from nothing, nothing comes. So, if there were ever a time when there was absolutely nothing in existence, then nothing would have ever come into existence. But things do exist. Therefore, since there could never have been absolutely nothing, something had to have always been in existence. That ever-existing thing is what we call God. God is the uncaused Being that caused everything else to come into existence. God is the uncreated Creator who created the universe and everything in it.

      Furthermore, we know that the universe itself is not eternal, because in every aspect of our observable universe, we find mutability, change, and death. And if something is mutable, then it is not eternal.

      June 12, 2014 at 7:44 am |
      • TruthPrevails1

        Right, we understand that you wouldn't agree with this man-he didn't agree with your bible and so we expect you to attempt poorly to refute what he has said. Tell us, what makes you any more knowledgeable than this man who has studied and researched this stuff? Do you honestly believe you are better in your thinking than he is? Regardless of how you may wish to spin it, you've still failed to prove that the god you believe in exists.
        You can spew all you want about this god but it is merely your biased, non-evidence backed opinion...it proves nothing outside of the fact that you're an arrogant ass.

        June 12, 2014 at 8:13 am |
      • igaftr

        "Furthermore, we know that the universe itself is not eternal, because in every aspect of our observable universe, we find mutability, change, and death. And if something is mutable, then it is not eternal."

        Once again, showing the non-logic of belief. Firts, you do not "know" that and your "because" is just wild speculation once again.

        You keep wasting your time with your false causation hypothesese, and your "god " is eternal the universe is not so there must be a god" garbage. I don't know why you can't see the obvious flaws, even after it has been pointed out to you countless times.

        June 12, 2014 at 8:14 am |
      • Reality

        A more rational solution to the creating god mythology:

        Think infinity and recycling with the Big Bang expansion followed by the shrinking reversal called the Gib Gnab and recycling back to the Big Bang repeating the process on and on forever. Human life and Earth are simply a minute part of this cha-otic, sto-cha-stic, expanding, shrinking process disappearing in five billion years with the burn out of the Sun and maybe returning in another five billion years with different life forms but still subject to the va-ga-ries of its local star.

        Added details given previously some of which can be found by scrolling down to the comments on "What We Do Know"

        And no pope or cleric will be able to change this.

        June 12, 2014 at 8:18 am |
      • Dyslexic doG

        Furthermore, we know that god does not exist, because in every aspect of our observable universe, we find zero evidence for his existence (other than an old story book). None. Nada. Nil. Zip.

        June 12, 2014 at 8:18 am |
      • awanderingscot

        it's alright Theo, none of these fools can prove there is NOT a God either.

        June 12, 2014 at 8:51 am |
        • fintronics

          Yet you've proved yourself to be a complete idiot...

          June 12, 2014 at 8:56 am |
        • Theo Phileo

          Hey, I'm still waiting for them to prove the eternality of our universe through "recycling" "Big Bangs." Or to prove the existence of multiple universes... Or to prove that aliens exist and seeded life on this earth. Or to prove a gravitational singularity, quantum gravity, string theory, M theory, loop quantum cosmology, or any other far fetched idea of our origins...

          And they say we have faith because we follow Christ? Wow, it takes much more faith to believe in any of those above ideas... At least we can stand on the record that God actually exists, and we have proof in the man Jesus, no matter what atheists or liberal theologians do to try to re-write history.

          June 12, 2014 at 8:58 am |
        • Doc Vestibule

          Nor can you prove that that Angus, Belenos, Brigid, dana, Lugh, Dagda, Epona, Aphrodite, Apollo, Ares, Artemis, Atehna, Demeter, Dionysus, Eris, Eos, Gaia, Hades, Hekate, Helios, Hephaestus, Hera, hermes, Hestia, Pan, Poseidon, Selene, Uranus, Zeus, Mathilde, Elves, Eostre, Frigg, Hretha, Saxnot, Shef, Thuno, Tir, Weyland, Woden, Alfar, Balder, Beyla, Bil, Bragi, Byggvir, Dagr, Disir, Eir, Forseti, Freya, Freyr, Frigga, Heimdall, Hel, Hoenir, Idunn, Jord, Lofn, Loki, Mon, Njord, Norns, Nott, Odin, Ran, saga, Sif, Siofn, Skadi, Snotra, Sol, Syn, Ull, Thor, Tyr, Var, Vali, Vidar, Vor, Black Shuck, Herne, Jack in the Green, Holda, Nehalennia, Nerthus, endovelicus, Ataegina, Runesocesius, Apollo, Bacchus, Ceres, Cupid, Diana, Janus, Juno, Jupiter, Maia, Mars, Mercury, Minerva, Neptune, Pluto, Plutus, Proserpina, Venus, Vesta, Vulcan, Attis, Cybele, El-Gabal, Isis, Mithras, Sol Invictus, Endovelicus, Anubis, Aten, Atum, Bast, Bes, Geb, Hapi, Hathor, Heget, Horus, Imhotep, Isis, Khepry, Khnum, Maahes, Ma’at, Menhit, Mont, Naunet, Neith, Nephthys, Nut, Osiris, Ptah, ra, Sekhmnet, Sobek, Set, Tefnut, Thoth, An, Anshar, Anu, Apsu, Ashur, Damkina, Ea, Enki, Enlil, Ereshkigal, Nunurta, Hadad, Inanna, Ishtar, Kingu, Kishar, Marduk, Mummu, Nabu, Nammu, Nanna, Nergal, Ninhursag, Ninlil, Nintu, Shamash, Sin, Tiamat, Utu, Mitra, Amaterasu, Susanoo, Tsukiyomi, Inari, Tengu, Izanami, Izanagi, Daikoku, Ebisu, Benzaiten, Bishamonten, Fu.kurokuju, Jurojin, Hotei, Quetzalcoatl, Tlaloc, Inti, Kon, Mama Cocha, Mama Quilla, Manco Capac, Pachacamac, Viracoc.ha, and Zaramama aren't true gods.
          So pick a deity, any deity!
          Eenie, meenie, miney – Quetzlcoatl....
          Bow down before HIm lest you suffer His serpentine wrath!

          June 12, 2014 at 8:58 am |
        • gulliblenomore

          Scot....you truly are an idiot. I can't prove the Easter Bunny is not real either, but I'm pretty sure he was a man made creation.

          June 12, 2014 at 9:02 am |
        • igaftr

          "At least we can stand on the record that God actually exists, and we have proof in the man Jesus"

          There really is no reason to lie theo. You have a story. An unverifiable story. You can calim Harry Potter is real too, does not make it so.

          June 12, 2014 at 9:05 am |
        • Theo Phileo

          "Nor can you prove that..."
          Actually, yes I can prove that none of them are real "gods." Because Jesus lived on this earth, and is God. He further said that the triune Godhead is the only God. And God furnished proof to all men by raising Him from the dead. And we know that the docu.ments are reliable through 2,000 years of scholarly inquest, and no atheist or liberal theologian will ever be able to seriously refute that.

          June 12, 2014 at 9:08 am |
        • Doc Vestibule

          The evidence for Christ's supernatural powers is on par with that for Gilgamesh being a demi-god.
          Ancient texts hewn in stone, historical records from Babylonian kingdoms, archeological evidence affirming he was a real King and the kingdom of Uruk was a real place...
          So I guess that means Gilgamesh was truly 3/4 divine, ruled for more than 125 years and took the occasional trip to the Underworld.

          June 12, 2014 at 9:13 am |
        • Theo Phileo

          The difference is that the epic of Gilgamesh has been found wanting. On the other hand, the more research that is poured into the life of Christ only serves to show how ironclad the Bible is. It is only the liberals who would change history according to their views of political correctness such as the Jesus Seminar or men like Bart Ehrman who cast doubt on the life of Jesus. And unfortunately, their agenda has spurred on atheists because their versions agree with their worldviews.

          June 12, 2014 at 9:20 am |
        • Theo Phileo

          Still waiting on proof of what I said above by the way... Until there is irrefutable proof of an ungodly origin of our universe, then no thinking person can discount the idea that God created the universe.

          June 12, 2014 at 9:23 am |
        • gulliblenomore

          Theo....I'm not discounting a god, but based on the complete lack if evidence, I think it is highly unlikely. Furthermore, if the god of the bible does exist, he is unworthy of my worship

          June 12, 2014 at 9:53 am |
        • lunchbreaker

          Matthew 5:22 whoever says, 'You fool,' shall be guilty enough to go into the fiery hell."

          June 12, 2014 at 9:26 am |
        • TruthPrevails1

          You Dolt!!! We're not the idiots making the claim, so the burden of proof does not lie on us. We get that you're a simple-minded fool but even the burden of proof should be obvious to someone of your low IQ.

          June 12, 2014 at 9:27 am |
        • igaftr

          The possibility is not discounted, but you have gone way beyond that and claimed not only a god but YOUR god is the cause of the universe, and you said yourself, but paraphrasing..no rational person would come to a conclusion, as you have.

          Then you claim a story is proof, even though there is no proof of the story.

          June 12, 2014 at 9:27 am |
        • Theo Phileo

          "You Dolt!!! We're not the idiots making the claim, so the burden of proof does not lie on us. We get that you're a simple-minded fool but even the burden of proof should be obvious to someone of your low IQ."
          Raising the white flag of ad hominem already? Wow, that didn't take long...
          And as I said before, we DO have proof that God exists in the man Jesus.

          June 12, 2014 at 9:30 am |
        • gulliblenomore

          Theo....no you don't have proof. You only have a man named Jesus. No proof of divinity. You can claim all you want that heresay is proof, but of course that would be a lie.

          June 12, 2014 at 9:57 am |
        • Theo Phileo

          "Then you claim a story is proof, even though there is no proof of the story."
          That is because you refuse to study. I have given you multiple reading lists, but you haven't even chosen ONE book. My guess is because you are comfortable in your ignorance.

          June 12, 2014 at 9:33 am |
        • Theo Phileo

          "not only a god but YOUR god is the cause of the universe"
          It is logical to include the possibility that God created the universe, and it naturally follows that if "a" God created the universe, then it would also be possible to know who that God is, since everything that is made shows some qualities of the one who made it.

          June 12, 2014 at 9:39 am |
        • TruthPrevails1

          "then no thinking person can discount the idea that God created the universe."

          Okay, we haven't dismissed that. What we have said is that you have failed to meet the standards for the Burden of Proof. You have used the God of The Gaps argument-"must be god because there is no other way", whereas we are being intellectually honest in saying we don't know. Christians use the God of the Gaps argument for almost anything that doesn't have an immediate plausible answer...instead of continuing to seek the answer, you plug your god in and seem satisfied with that-it's dishonest and shows a severe lack of care and intellect on your behalf. I'm okay with not knowing, it makes life more interesting and such an adventure...you have no idea what you're missing out on.

          June 12, 2014 at 9:40 am |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          ***Still waiting on proof of what I said above by the way... Until there is irrefutable proof of an ungodly origin of our universe, then no thinking person can discount the idea that God created the universe.***

          Translation: Until you prove otherwise my unsubstantiated claims are true!

          The very definition of an argument from ignorance.

          June 12, 2014 at 9:43 am |
        • awanderingscot

          try reading the passage again so you can get the understanding, Christ was referring to anger. please don't quote scripture you don't understand.

          June 12, 2014 at 9:47 am |
        • TruthPrevails1

          "Raising the white flag of ad hominem already? Wow, that didn't take long...
          And as I said before, we DO have proof that God exists in the man Jesus."

          Wow, so it's okay for you and scot to attack people but yet you feel persecuted when it is done to you?? Skip the hypocrisy!
          No, you still have yet to meet the burden of proof on this...so no you have not proven that god exists, even if a man named jesus did exist, it proves nothing of your god.

          June 12, 2014 at 9:47 am |
        • Doris

          Theo: " I'm still waiting for them to prove the eternality ...... Or to prove the existence of multiple ... Or to prove that ...."

          I understand, Theo. Acceptance of reality and honesty about the unknown is scary, especially when people are clamoring for you to put down that old security blanket that has held your mind back. The truth hurts sometimes.

          June 12, 2014 at 9:49 am |
        • Theo Phileo

          "You have used the God of The Gaps argument"
          I agree that many Christians have taken this way out, but that's not what I have done. I have come to the statement that God exists, and He has created the universe from an understanding of the life of Jesus.

          Firstly, no serious scholar would make the foolish statement that Jesus never existed. Next, only atheists and liberal theologians look at the evidence from a bias. I know that many would see it the other way around, but you must understand that we have come to the understanding that we have about Jesus because of the veracity of the evidence. Evidence in written form, archeological evidence, historical evidence and so on.

          As I have said before, 2,000 years of instensive study into the life of Jesus has only ever served to bolster the claims of His divinity.

          June 12, 2014 at 9:51 am |
        • gulliblenomore

          Heresay is not evidence.

          June 12, 2014 at 10:22 am |
        • Doris

          igaftr (@Theo): [ "The possibility is not discounted, but you have gone way beyond that and claimed not only a god but YOUR god is the cause of the universe, and you said yourself, but paraphrasing..no rational person would come to a conclusion, as you have.

          Then you claim a story is proof, even though there is no proof of the story." ]


          June 12, 2014 at 9:52 am |
        • Theo Phileo

          "Wow, so it's okay for you and scot to attack people but yet you feel persecuted when it is done to you?? Skip the hypocrisy!"
          Pointing out that you are resorting to ad hominem, and that attacking a person is tantamount to conceding the discussion is not attacking you. Neither is it hypocrisy.

          June 12, 2014 at 9:54 am |
        • awanderingscot

          no one here, certainly not myself is particularly impressed with your intellect and when we don't know something we take it on faith in what God says. Our faith doesn't allow us to engage in evil disbelieve which characterizes your foolish "i don't know" try employing some grown up logic and put away your childish "i dunno" stupidity.

          June 12, 2014 at 9:56 am |
        • Doris

          Theo: [re: "You have used the God of The Gaps argument"] I agree that many Christians have taken this way out, but that's not what I have done.


          "only atheists and liberal theologians look at the evidence from a bias


          "As I have said before, 2,000 years of instensive study into the life of Jesus has only ever served to bolster the claims of His divinity."


          Sorry, Theo – no cigar, and I don't award prizes for weak conjecture.

          June 12, 2014 at 9:56 am |
        • Theo Phileo

          "Then you claim a story is proof, even though there is no proof of the story"
          Multiple universes is a story in a book, but there is no proof of the story. Do you still believe it? The same is true of each of the scenarios I mentioned above.

          Jesus on the other hand is different. You have only to read the evidence.

          June 12, 2014 at 9:59 am |
        • gulliblenomore

          Theo....you keep using that word evidence. I do not think it means what you think it means.

          June 12, 2014 at 10:26 am |
        • Theo Phileo

          What research have you done or books you have read on the life of Jesus or on the doc.uments of the Bible outside of reading the Bible? I'm curious.

          June 12, 2014 at 10:02 am |
        • Doris

          Theo – why argue against things with yourself? No one is claiming proof of multiple universes. Take a deep breath, Theo, and try to make some sense.

          June 12, 2014 at 10:03 am |
        • igaftr

          no theo, not ignorance on my part, more accepting false knowledge as if it were real on your part.
          No refernece you or anyone else has ever given shows any verification or proof of any of the supernatural claims of the bible. None. There is no evidence at all that Jesus was the Christ or that he was anything more than a man.

          June 12, 2014 at 10:04 am |
        • lunchbreaker

          Scot, I'm very aware of the reference to anger in the verse and was sure you knew that. And only you in your own heart know if any of your posts come from anger, but you do not appear very calm and collected in most of your posts. But that is between you and your God.

          June 12, 2014 at 10:04 am |
        • awanderingscot

          the fact that they are here on a belief blog in the first place proves that these atheists have a very sick soul and feel the need to vent their hatred on people of faith. the turmoil within them most be consuming them, gnawing on their hearts.

          'who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever..' – Romans 1:25

          June 12, 2014 at 10:05 am |
        • gulliblenomore

          Scot...I don't hate people of faith, I pity them. I do, however, hate the stupidity and ignorance in how they live their lives.

          June 12, 2014 at 10:35 am |
        • midwest rail

          " the fact that they are here on a belief blog in the first place proves..."
          No, it does not.

          June 12, 2014 at 10:07 am |
        • Doris

          Theo: "what books......."

          Not many. There have been some, but none recently. When I was a believer, I found some of them helpful with translations and other points of view, but they generally did not help me verify the divinity involved in Christian claims. I think some of the last ones I read were by Borg and Wright. I think one they wrote together.

          June 12, 2014 at 10:10 am |
        • Doris

          Scotty: "[blah blah][something from Paul in Romans][blah blah][Dominus..Papa Johns..blah blah]

          Of course most NT scholars have reason to think that Peter didn't author Peter 2. Doesn't say much for the alleged stamp of approval of Paul's writings as divine scripture....

          June 12, 2014 at 10:14 am |
        • Theo Phileo

          With respect, but with so little research into the topic of the divinity of Jesus, and although you seem well schooled into the modern notions and theories regarding our origins, if you haven't been well versed into who Jesus was, how can you claim with authority that the Bible's claims are absolutely false?

          June 12, 2014 at 10:15 am |
        • Doris

          Theo: [ "With respect, but with so little research into the topic of the divinity of Jesus, and although you seem well schooled into the modern notions and theories regarding our origins, if you haven't been well versed into who Jesus was, how can you claim with authority that the Bible's claims are absolutely false?" ]

          Firstly, Theo, I do not claim with authority that the Bible's claims are absolutely false. Can you point to some place where I have made such a claim? I admit that I strongly disbelief in any supernatural claims made by mankind, but that's not the same as claiming something to be "absolutely false". This goes hand in hand with your seemingly inability to accept that some things are unknown – that things will fall only into two buckets. So I would recommend that you start paying attention to the fact that most atheists are highly agnostic.

          Regarding researching a little into the divinity of Jesus, Theo, I've gone plenty far enough. I have arrived at the same conclusion as Bart Ehrman on the issue. And I don't need any further help from theologians who have had a history of having bed and breakfast with the British government.

          June 12, 2014 at 10:33 am |
        • Doris

          (not the kennel club -they are OK, but that other "Westminster" group)

          June 12, 2014 at 10:34 am |
        • igaftr

          "the fact that they are here on a belief blog in the first place proves that these atheists have a very sick soul and feel the need to vent their hatred on people of faith."

          Wow, you are lying scot, and violating one of your commandments. Your reason stated as to why I am here is completely wrong. I am here because I find the psychology of belief fascinating, the lengths that people will push their thought process to reconcile baseless beliefs, and even go so far as to claim knowledge, when it is clearly only belief.

          June 12, 2014 at 10:43 am |
        • awanderingscot

          "I am here because I find the psychology of belief fascinating, the lengths that people will push their thought process to reconcile baseless beliefs, and even go so far as to claim knowledge, when it is clearly only belief."

          which is why you bother to use search engines/tools to find out about the people who blog here so you can attack them like you did me. LOL ... you're so transparent.

          June 12, 2014 at 11:26 am |
        • Doris

          wanderingloon: "which is why you bother to use search engines/tools to find out about the people who blog here"

          Oh I know, Snotty. Those links at the right under "Recent Comments" are tools of Satan! (eyeroll)

          June 12, 2014 at 11:30 am |
        • igaftr

          I didn't attack you scot, you attacked, name calling, childishly changing names.
          I simply looked up the name...it is not my fault you attached your actual ident!ty to your on-line ident!ty, thus eliminating any anonymity. You did that to yourself. IN a matter of seconds all the info YOU put about yourself poured out. I'm sure I could find more if I wished it.
          I simply stated the truth, didn't I? It is not my fault you are ignorant of how to be anonymous.

          June 12, 2014 at 12:41 pm |
        • Reality

          Only for the new members of this blog:

          Hmmm, let us see what some of the experts (NT, historical Jesus scholars) have to say about the "Son of God/the Father references in the NT:

          Matt 7:21
          “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven."

          Not said by the historical Jesus, but more embellishment my Matthew. http://www.faithfutures.org/JDB/jdb111.html

          Matt 9:6 Passage notes "Son of Man" not Son of God.

          Matt 10:32-33, ""Everyone therefore who acknowledges me before others, I also will acknowledge before my Father in heaven; /33/ but whoever denies me before others, I also will deny before my Father in heaven"

          "Ludemann [Jesus, 344] states " this is a prophetic admonition from the post-Easter community. For it, Jesus and the Son of man were 'identical in the future: Jesus will return in the near future as the Son of man with the clouds of heaven. In his earthly life he was not yet the Son of man, since he will come to judgment only with the clouds of heaven (Dan. 7.13f) at the end of days' (Haenchen)."

          Matt 11:27 "All things have been handed over to me by my Father; and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.


          "Lüdemann [Jesus, 330f] invokes the classic description from K. Hase of this passage as a "thunderbolt from the Johannine heavens." He notes the typically Johannine reference to mutual knowledge between Father and Son, and the absolute use of "Son" as a designation for Jesus. In dismissing the saying's authenticity, Luedemann also notes the similarity to ideas in the post-Easter commissioning scene at Matt 28:18, "All authority has been given to me ..."

          Matt 1:20- 225 (another "pretty, wingie thingie requirement)

          20/ But just when he had resolved to do this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, "Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife, for the child conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. /21/ She will bear a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins." /22/ All this took place to fulfill what had been spoken by the Lord through the prophet: /23/ "Look, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel," which means, "God is with us." /24/ When Joseph awoke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him; he took her as his wife, /25/ but had no marital relations with her until she had borne a son; and he named him Jesus."

          "Bruce Chilton

          In Rabbi Jesus: An Intimate Biography (2000), Chilton develops the idea of Jesus as a mamzer; someone whose irregular birth circ-umstances result in their exclusion from full participation in the life of the community. He argues for the natural paternity of Joseph and finds no need for a miraculous conception. In his subsequent reconstruction of Jesus' life, Chilton suggests that this sustained personal experience of exclusion played a major role in Jesus' self-identi-ty, his concept of God and his spiritual quest. "

          Mark 1: 11 And a voice came from heaven, "You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased."

          "Gerd Lüdemann

          Lüdemann [Jesus, 9] affirms the historicity of Jesus being baptized by John, but does not trace the theological interpretations back beyond the post-Easter community:

          ... Jesus did not regard his baptism as appointment to be the son of God. The underlying concept derives from the community, which believed in Jesus as the son of God (cf. Gal. 2.16; 4.4) and located his appointment within his lifetime. In the earliest period, for example, the appointment of Jesus as son of God came only after his resurrection from the dead (cf. Rom. 1.4).

          "John P. Meier – Professor at Notre Dame

          The second volume of A Marginal Jew devotes considerable space to a study of John as "mentor" to Jesus. The historicity of the baptism is addressed on pages 100-105, before considering the meaning of Jesus' baptism on pages 106-116. On the basis of the criterion of embarrassment, supported by a limited proposal for multiple attestation (relying on possible echoes of a Q version in John's Gospel and in 1 John 5:6), Meier concludes:

          We may thus take the baptism of Jesus by John as the firm historical starting point for any treatment of Jesus' public ministry. (II,105)
          Having established the historicity of the baptism event, Meier is adamant that the narrative must be seen as a Christian midrash, drawing on various OT themes to assert the primacy of Jesus over John. In particular, Meier insists that the theophany must be excluded from all attempts to understand the event, since it is a later Christian invention rather than a surviving memory of some actual spiritual experience of Jesus.

          Meier's discussion of the meaning of the baptism puts great weight on the fact that accepting baptism implied Jesus' agreement with John's apocalyptic message, and also engages at length with the question of Jesus' sinlessness."

          June 12, 2014 at 4:19 pm |
        • alonsoquixote

          Theo Phileo, you wrote "The difference is that the epic of Gilgamesh has been found wanting. On the other hand, the more research that is poured into the life of Christ only serves to show how ironclad the Bible is." I don't know what your definition of "ironclad" might be. Archaeologists and historians long ago abandoned the notion that the legend of the Jews exiting from Egypt in the Exodus story is a historical event. The number supposed to have left Egypt led by Moses is wildly implausible, since according to Exodus 12:37-38, the Israelites numbered about 600,000 men on foot along with women and children, plus many non-Israelites and livestock. Numbers 1:46 gives a more precise total of 603,500 men twenty years or more of age who could serve in Israel's army, excluding the Levites whom Yahweh directed Moses should not be counted. The more than six hundred thousand men twenty years old or older who could serve in the army, plus, wives, children, the elderly and the "mixed multi_tude" of non-Israelites would have likely numbered some two million people. The population of Egypt in 1250 BCE was around 3 to 3.5 million. Yet there is no historical nor archaeological evidence that Egypt ever suffered such a demographic and economic catastrophe nor that the Sinai desert ever hosted, or could have hosted, such a multi_tude of people and their livestock. The archaeological evidence points to the Israelites having Canaanite origins rather than coming to the area from Egypt. The culture of the earliest Israelite settlements is Canaanite, their early cult-objects are those of the Canaanite god El, the pottery remains reflect the local Canaanite tradition, and the Hebrew alphabet is closely related to the Proto-Canaanite alphabet.

          And scholars have long known that the Pentateuch wasn't written by Moses as once believed, but instead at least four separate writers/collectors just as scholars no longer believe that the Gospels were written by anyone who would have had personal contact with Jesus, if the Gospel stories were based on an actual individual rather than a wholly invented character. The actual author of the Gospel of Matthew is unknown and the Gospel of John was likely composed by a Johannine community over a long period of time. With so many unknown authors contributing to the material it is hardly surprising the Bible is filled with so many contradictions, e.g., see contradictionsinthebible.com.

          You claim the Epic of Gilgamesh has been found wanting, yet the Old Testament storytellers borrowed from it. The story of Noah and the flood in Genesis is a retelling of the story of Utnapi_shtim building an ark to save himself and family from a flood sent by the god Enlil. The god Enki warns Utnapi_shtim who takes animals on-board his ark to ride out the flood. After the flood has ended, he offers an animal sacrifice to his gods, just as Noah offers an animal sacrifice to please his god in the Jewish retelling of the story. In the Jewish version, the gods Enki and Enlil are merged into the Jewish god Yahweh to make the story consistent with Jewish mythology.

          Scientific knowledge gleaned over the centuries since the Bible was composed has shown the two creation stories and the flood story in Genesis to be myths. The creation mythology of Genesis also appears to borrow elements from earlier Sumerian and Babylonian mythology with Ninti, a Sumerian goddess of life who healed a pain in Enki's rib becoming the rib-woman Eve in the Jewish creation myth provided in Genesis 2 by the Yahwist. And the talking snake may come from either the Sumerian God Enki, God of Water and Wisdom, or his son Ningizzida both of whom were identified as Serpent Gods.

          Echoes of Mesopotamian chaoskampf mythology appear in Psalms 74:13-17 as part of the creation story there which relates Yahweh's overcoming of the sea monster Leviathan, a monster symbolizing the forces of chaos and evil, as in the Enûma Eliš, the Babylonian creation mythos, the sea goddess Tiamat, who is represented as a watery serpent, is slain by the god Marduk

          For the New Testament, there are no autographs, i.e., original copies, of any of the Gospels. What we have today are error-ridden copies produced centuries after the originals may have been written with an unknown number of copies lying between the originals and the earliest extant versions, with various alterations introduced either inadvertently during the process of going through so many stages of copying, or intentionally by much later scribes. There's no consensus on what the original materials may have contained, so there's disagreement among various Protestant Bibles as to whether the the Comma Johanneum (John 5:7), the Pericope Adulterae, (John 7:53-8:11), and other passages were interpolations by later scribes. And there's not even consensus on what material should be considered canonical. E.g., Protestant Bibles don't contain the same set of books as Catholic Bibles and neither Catholic nor Protestant Bibles contain the same set of books as Eastern Orthodox, e.g., Greek Orthodox, or Oriental Orthodox, e.g., Syriac and Coptic, Bibles. And what is today considered canonical does not match what was once regarded as canonical. E.g., The Shepherd of Hermas is part of the New Testament in the Codex Sinaiticus, one of the four great uncial codices and one of the oldest surviving manuscripts, but not modern Bibles. And the Epi_stle to the Laodiceans is found in the Codex Fuldensis, a New Testament manuscript based on the Latin Vulgate, but not in modern Bibles.

          To believe the material was inspired by a god requires one to assume that god's standards for cohesion and consistency are below what we would expect from a human copy editor. The god apparently forgot when he inspired the author of the Gospel of Mark to write Jesus said, when relating an incident in the time of King David, that "This happened when Abiathar was the High Priest", a reference to 1 Samuel 21:1-6, that the Old Testament story is about David and Ahimelech, Abiathar's father, not Abiathar. If those are truly Jesus' words and Jesus is the avatar of the god, why did he make such an error?

          And, if the god inspired the books of the New Testament, why did he show no care for preserving the autographs, the original versions, of his inspired word? Christians claim the autographs were inspired, but they don't even exist any longer.

          In regards to a historical Christ, outside of the Bible what evidence is there for Jesus? Perhaps the stories may have been based on someone who actually lived whose life became euhemerized during retellings of his stories so that he was deified, but that is merely conjecture. If the stories had a basis in the life of an actual individual, it should not be surprising that elements from Greek and other religions current at the time were added to his life story to make him no less impressive than other deities of the time who had miraculous birth and resurrection stories or who could bring the dead back to life as could Asclepius, or turn water into wine as could Dionysus. As the German theologian Uta Ranke-Heinemann wrote the Gospel of John "transformed Jesus into a sort of Christian wine God." This depiction of Jesus is formalized by the celebration of Epiphany on January 6, the traditional feast day of Dionysus.

          So I don't know what "ironclad" means to you. And which version of the Bible is "ironclad"?

          June 13, 2014 at 8:37 pm |
        • alonsoquixote

          awanderingscot, you wrote "it's alright Theo, none of these fools can prove there is NOT a God either."

          Margaret believes in the Invisible Pink Unicorn. Jake declares that there is no Invisible Pink Unicorn. Paul, who also believes in the Invisible Pink Unicorn, declares "it's alright Margaret, none of these fools can prove there is NOT an Invisible Pink Unicorn either." It is incu_mbent for Jake to prove there is no Invisible Pink Unicorn?

          June 13, 2014 at 10:10 pm |
      • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

        Defining your god into "existance" is neither interesting nor intellectually honest.

        June 12, 2014 at 8:56 am |
      • awanderingscot


        in their mad rush to disprove the existence of God, atheists continue to look like the fools they are.

        June 12, 2014 at 9:07 am |
        • igaftr

          Considering your posts, I am certain you have not comprehended that book. You most likely haven't even read it.

          June 12, 2014 at 9:15 am |
        • awanderingscot

          "By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible." – Hebrews 11:3

          – i'm certain the creator of the universe knows quite alot more about His creation than Mr.Krause and therefore my source is alot more reliable than yours.

          June 12, 2014 at 9:28 am |
        • gulliblenomore

          Scot....your source does not exist

          June 12, 2014 at 9:56 am |
        • awanderingscot

          By saying the universe came from “nothing” Krauss is reflecting, unwittingly, one of Christianity.’s foundational creeds. Creation ex nihilo (Latin for “creat1on from nothing”) refers to the moment God created something (the universe) from nothing (that which lacks matter, energy, space, and time). The Bible implies creation ex nihilo in Genesis but Hebrews 11:3 states it explicitly, “The universe was framed by God.’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible.” “Seen” and “visible” refer to the stuff investigators can and do detect, namely space, time, matter, and energy.

          June 12, 2014 at 9:32 am |
        • lunchbreaker

          If you are going to cite a source, you might want to read it first, otherwise it is you who looks foolish. It is interesting you brought that book up on this article, because like the above author, Krause is a bit misleading with his ti tle, and tries to redifine the term "nothing". But despite those flaws, he discusses in the book the potential for something to come into existance is in itself something, so really there was never nothing.

          I would admit the ti tle is a bit isleading, but the fact remains, Scot, you clearly have not read and/or comprehended Kraus' book.

          June 12, 2014 at 9:54 am |
        • Doc Vestibule

          Maybe the Universe is ekpyrotic.

          June 12, 2014 at 9:58 am |
        • lunchbreaker

          Thank you so much Doc, sincerely. I really like that theory, but did not know it had a name. [now for the bad pun]-That's putting your branes to good use.

          June 12, 2014 at 10:08 am |
        • igaftr

          not only did scot not read the book, he stole his reply from here:

          And never creditied it, which is theft in the form of plagarizing.

          Just another one who does not comprehend what he is talking about, so he steals replies from other people, that don't even say what he thinks they say.

          June 12, 2014 at 10:22 am |
        • awanderingscot

          i don't have to read the entire book to get the thrust of what is being said; in fact this happens with informal reviews all the time. the key points were recovered and the theme. he basically states that out of nothingness the universe came into existence and that any external cause is not necessary. he does not dispute that the rules of quantum mechanics have no explanation for how they came about, and he also leaves open the possibility that an external force such as God may have been responsible, but out of the other side of his mouth he maintains a supernatural creator was not necessary in the creation of the universe . he has proven nothing other than what we already know about the cosmos and what we know about quantum mechanics.

          June 12, 2014 at 12:23 pm |
        • igaftr

          If you had read it you would know that the term "nothing" is the key here. He basically says that the universe COULD have come from nothing, but that nothing does not mean completely void of anything, that nothing really does not exist. One man's nothing is another man's interdimensional something.

          Trying to argue from that level of ignorance shows you aren't willing to actuall read and try to comprehend before nay saying...you simply keep trying to hang you argument on these weak points that you clearly do not unuderstand.

          Go read the book scot and then get back to us. Get help with the big words.

          June 12, 2014 at 12:46 pm |
      • SeaVik

        The strange thing is, Theo seems to actually think this logic makes sense.

        Normal person: Where did god come from?

        Theo: That's a dumb question. He just is and always has been.

        Normal person: But how did that happen?

        Theo: That's a dumb question. He just is and always has been.

        Normal person: But...why?

        Theo: That's a dumb question. He just is and always has been.

        Normal peson: So, I guess you don't want to discuss this logically?

        Theo: I just proved, using logic, that god exists. If you can't follow, you must be dumb.

        June 12, 2014 at 11:12 am |
        • awanderingscot

          eternality just like infinity cannot be truly understood by our finite minds and out of neccessity needs to be accepted unless you want to descend into insanity. the grown up question is not how it is possible but why it is possible, and the why is always going to be only a speculation.

          June 12, 2014 at 12:56 pm |
        • fintronics

          god = speculation based on imagination.

          June 12, 2014 at 1:50 pm |
        • SeaVik

          The questions are perfectly valid. Theo comparing the question of where his god came from to, "What does the color blue smell like" is a complete cop out. When someone claims something exists, asking where it came from is perfectly valid. It is only because Theo has no answer to the question that he's decided the question can't be asked.

          June 12, 2014 at 1:56 pm |
        • awanderingscot

          you assume that everything can or indeed needs to be answered by science and this is just not the case. try to employ some logic and not be so dogmatic about science.

          June 12, 2014 at 2:26 pm |
        • Alias

          you are asking us to accept something supernatural and use logic at the same time.
          Do you really not see the problem here?

          June 12, 2014 at 2:42 pm |
      • ksocreative

        Sorry, but no. your position of "so the question itself is flawed. In the same way, God is not in the category of things that are created or caused. God is uncaused and uncreated—He simply exists." is about as flawed as it can be.

        The inference is that an invisible formless complex conscious thinking sentient caring ever-present omniscient being with the power to create the universe wished itself out of the vaccuum of nothingness into it's own functional complexity with no ancestry of it's own. It begs of poor logic if the theist position is "everything that exists has a cause." this does in fact apply to a complex conscious deity if the theist argument is complexity cannot arrive from nothingness. It's contradictory at best showing you it's a flawed position.

        that said, the most eloquent i have ever seen it put: " God is an unfalseifiable hypothesis. It is said he exists outside the boundaries of reality as we can only perceive it, therefore, the hypothesis is flawed due to the fact that it is labeled immune to testing. Religion is yet to prove God, not science."

        June 12, 2014 at 2:09 pm |
      • Alias

        "That ever-existing thing is what we call God. "
        This is where you jiumped to an unfounded conclusion.
        It would be more logical to state that the universe has always existed.

        June 12, 2014 at 2:39 pm |
      • thetimchannel

        Wrong answer. See Lawrence Krauss. Also, grow a brain. This isn't the first century. Ferchrissakes. Enjoy.

        June 12, 2014 at 2:49 pm |
  18. jwalton314

    Sorry but you're not an atheist if you believe in a god or gods...

    June 12, 2014 at 4:33 am |
  19. kcrady

    So, apart from historically-inherited monotheist bias, why does Mr. Schaeffer talk about one, big-G "God" instead of a plural, "offstage crew/chorus" of gods and goddesses? If "the divine" (however defined) is *social,* "calling us to love" and "trust" and "hear [its/his/her/their] voice(s)," polytheism makes much more sense than one big Wal-Mart monopoly god. A monotheistic deity is by definition metaphysically *alone,* the only one of its kind. Where/how would it ever acquire social needs and skills (ability to communicate, etc.)?

    Add to this the fact that the only "evidence" this guy has to offer is mystical experience. If we grant that mystical experience is an accurate method of understanding, then we are inescapably compelled to accept the existence of multiple deities, since that is what the collected mystical experiences of the human species contain. Even "within" a monotheistic tradition like Christianity, you'll get Catholics experiencing apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary or Jesus and coming out with a very different understanding of "God" than Protestant Pentecostals being "filled with the Holy Spirit" at a revival meeting.

    Now, one of the strange things about deities, from the perspective of the model that they're objectively real, is how closely they conform to *human* regions and cultures. A believer would be hard-pressed to find an example of an ancient Egyptian experiencing Thor, or a Viking experiencing a vision of Isis. Religions are spread by human means–conquest, missionaries, cultural change and exchange. Exactly the same way things like fashions, cultural taboos, and political ideologies are spread. If gods and goddesses exist independently of human beings, why should any of that be the case?

    I go through my life, day after day, night after night, having no experiences of any gods or goddesses. Does that prove atheism? Surely my experiences are just as valid as somebody claiming experiences of little gray aliens plucking them out of their bed at night or having visions of Kali or Quetzalcoatl. Right?

    BTW, if Mr. Shaeffer can hear the voice(s) of his Divine Chorus, what do they *say?* Interesting that he leaves that out.

    June 12, 2014 at 3:48 am |
  20. zalphaprime

    I think the author is struggling with the definition of the word "atheist". Saying "I am an atheist who believes in God" is like saying "I am a very tall short person."

    It is semantically incoherent, like a four sided triangle.

    I am not challenging his beliefs; I am challenging his use of the word "atheist". Atheism is a single answer to a single question. The things he lists as his atheism have nothing to do with atheism, and then, with a single "I believe in a creator", he shows himself to be the exact opposite of an atheist.

    Bad form.

    June 12, 2014 at 3:16 am |
    • neverbeenhappieratheist

      He does say "Maybe we need a new category other than theism, atheism or agnosticism that takes paradox and unknowing into account." which is true, there should be another category than those three, and there is, it's called deism. Apparently this author just stopped his research before finding out he is a deist.

      June 12, 2014 at 7:46 am |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.