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July 8th, 2014
01:01 PM ET

Eye for an eye: The Bible's role in revenge attacks

Opinion by Joel Baden, special to CNN

(CNN) - This past Sunday, six Israelis were arrested for the murder of a 16-year-old Palestinian boy. Israeli officials admitted the likelihood—already acknowledged by many—that this killing was carried out in revenge for the kidnapping and murder of three Israeli teenagers.

Both sides have stepped up their aggression in the past few days, with rocket launches from Gaza into Israel and Israeli airstrikes against Gaza.

It’s a familiar cycle: attack for attack, murder for murder. Such patterns are familiar from conflicts across the world, but they have a special resonance in the Holy Land.

After all, it was from Israel, nearly 3,000 years ago, that this famous concept spread.

The Book of Exodus in the Hebrew Bible says, “The penalty shall be life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burn for burn, wound for wound, bruise for bruise.”

The Book of Deuteronomy uses even stronger language: “Show no pity: life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot.”

And the Book of Leviticus says again, “Anyone who maims another shall suffer the same injury in return: fracture for fracture, eye for eye, tooth for tooth. The injury he inflicted on another shall be inflicted on him.”

Few biblical laws are repeated three times; this is one of those few. It is known as the lex talionis, or “law of retaliation,” and it would seem to be central to the biblical worldview.

Flare-up in Israeli-Palestinian violence: Why now?

This law is often brought as evidence that the Bible cannot be a reliable guide for modern morality: Who today would truly advocate for this kind of retributive justice?

It seems barbaric that the penalty for arson, for example, would be burning the arsonist to death—this sounds like something out of the Middle Ages, not out of the 21st century.

Though famously biblical, lex talionis isn’t a biblical creation at all.

It was already present in the famous Code of Hammurabi, from the 18th century BCE: “If an upper-class man should blind the eye of another upper-class man, they shall blind his eye,” and so on through breaking bones, knocking out teeth, etc.

Earlier Mesopotamian law codes, two generations before Hammurabi, take what we would consider a more civilized approach to the matter:

“If a man bites the nose of another man and thus cuts it off” —don’t ask— “he shall weigh and deliver sixty shekels of silver; an eye, sixty shekels; a tooth, thirty shekels …”

It turns out that the oldest codes in the Near Eastern legal tradition, Sumerian laws from the 21st century BCE, also have payment in place of retaliation.

The concept of “eye for an eye” isn’t really representative of some primitive state of humanity—it’s actually a development from an earlier system of monetary compensation.

Yet it was not a permanent shift; some of the earliest interpreters of the Bible read the lex talionis as advocating for monetary compensation: the value of an eye for an eye.

This remains a very common interpretation even today—quite likely as an attempt to make the biblical custom seem less harsh in comparison to contemporary cultural and legal norms.

Has the Middle East crisis reached a tipping point?

In the Talmud, the fundamental Jewish legal text, there is an extended discussion about the phrase “eye for an eye,” with multiple rabbis arguing, and the text concluding, that the phrase means nothing other than financial compensation.

Eventually, in Judaism the literal reading of lex talionis came to be associated with heresy.

There is another important aspect of “eye for an eye” that is often overlooked: in the Bible, the law prescribes that the punishment be leveled against the offending individual by the state.

It is not permitted for the victim himself to turn around and inflict the same injury on the aggressor. On this the Bible and modern law agree.

But another biblical legal tradition provides the exception to this rule, and it too has enjoyed a long life down to the present: the idea that in the case of premeditated murder, someone from the family of the victim is appointed the “blood-avenger.”

The notion of putting a murderer to death is common enough even today (see: death penalty). But not so the idea that it is the obligation of the victim’s family, rather than of a central government.

This biblical passage enshrines in law the retaliatory instinct of anyone whose close relative has been injured. And it is this instinct that we see playing itself out in the Middle East today.

The problem, both between the two nations and for the rest of the world, is defining which side is playing which role. Both Israel and Gaza believe themselves to be the blood-avenger, and the other to be the murderer.

Yet even in the case of blood vengeance, biblical law at least keeps the system under the watchful eye of the elders, who arbitrate the claims of the respective parties, just as in the more direct cases of lex talionis.

Nowhere in the world is the Bible more alive and its traditions more present than in Israel and Palestine, the lands from which the holy book emerged.

Was teen's death a revenge killing?

As the conflict between the two parties worsens, yet again, comparisons with the kinds of retaliation and blood vengeance found in the Bible grow more and more apt.

And so, therefore, does the need for a third party to play the part of arbitrator: to settle the price of monetary compensation, to declare the terms of retaliation, and to put a stop to the cycle of blood vengeance.

That's a role the Bible calls for someone to fill - and we're all still waiting.

Joel S. Baden is the author of “The Historical David: The Real Life of an Invented Hero,” and professor of Hebrew Bible at Yale Divinity School. The views expressed in this column belong to Baden.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Bible • Ethics • Foreign policy • Israel • Jerusalem • Judaism • Opinion • Palestinians • Religious violence • Violence

soundoff (3,582 Responses)
  1. colin31714

    There’s no way a blind person could be in San Francisco one day and then Los Angeles a few months later without a creator. God must have zapped the person instantaneously from one city to the other, insisted Wandering Scott.

    What, replied Charles, “Why do you resort to a magic-divine explanation just because you don’t understand it?”

    Wandering Scott – Well, you tell me how it happened, you God denying reprobate.

    Charles – Simple. The person walked.

    Wandering Scott – Oh, so you’re part of the ambulatory cult are you? It would take a huge leap for a person to get from San Francisco to Los Angeles, a much bigger step than any person could make. How could a person jump about 400 miles. What, are they Superman? Next thing you’ll tell me monkey can give birth to a human.

    Charles – Of course not, but you are assuming that it was only one step. What if that person took only very small steps and over a long period of time, those little steps added up. You walk to the liquor store most mornings around 10:00 AM don’t you?

    Wandering Scott – Ha. Ha. I believe in micro-voyages, just not macro-voyages. There’s not enough time, you cultist, science worshipping son-of-a-b.itch. Look, here’s a quote from Runner’s World, a respected magazine; “No person could possibly walk from San Francisco to Los Angeles.” Ha, got you!!

    Charles – But that quote continues “without proper preparation and the right shoes.” You totally took it out of context.

    Wandering Scott – No I didn’t, you podiatrist worshipping piece of sh.it. That quote was made and now you’re stuck with it. Anyway, how would a blind person know the direction from San Francisco to Los Angeles. If they were blind, they would just be taking random steps. A am called “Wandering Scott, so I should know!!”

    Charles – Well, what if there are external environmental pressures gently guiding them. What if they could feel the morning and afternoon sun on their face, knew the direction of traffic and could navigate suburbs as many blind people can, and even had a guide periodically. Every time they took a step in the wrong direction, the guide would prevented them taking another step in that direction, but would allow them to continue if they took a step in the right direction. Blind people run marathons.

    Wandering Scott – Baa! There are no such things as the morning sun, guides and traffic. That’s all part of the god denying, foot worshipping cult of pseudo-scientists. The next thing you’ll try and tell me is the Earth is round and that it’s Summer in Australia when its Winter in the USA, and nighttime there when its day time here, you pig-fvcking, Jesus hating, Satan worshipper.

    July 17, 2014 at 9:19 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Thanks for that – I needed a good laugh!
      The only thing missing is "unregenerate" as an epithet

      July 17, 2014 at 9:31 am |
      • colin31714

        Love that word!! It was worth e.meeting Scott just to add that one to my dictionary.

        July 17, 2014 at 9:32 am |
    • TruthPrevails1

      With all the comments against him I'm surprised he isn't embarrassed commenting here but that goes for a few others like Theo, topher, MadeFromDirt, ragansteve, new-man, truthfollower (all have been shown why they are wrong and all to blind to grasp it).

      July 17, 2014 at 9:40 am |
      • Dyslexic doG

        they may all be the same person ...

        July 17, 2014 at 11:19 am |
    • ssq41

      LOL!

      July 17, 2014 at 9:44 am |
    • Dyslexic doG

      thanks Colin. You're an artist.

      July 17, 2014 at 11:20 am |
    • tallulah131

      Well considered and well said, Colin.

      July 17, 2014 at 12:17 pm |
    • Doris

      That is hilarious colin. I think you've captured the essence of a discussion with Snotty well.

      July 17, 2014 at 12:43 pm |
    • LaBella

      This line made me laugh:
      "You walk to the liquor store most mornings around 10:00 AM don’t you?"

      You've captured his essence quite nicely, Colin.
      Kudos.

      July 17, 2014 at 12:56 pm |
      • colin31714

        I miss Scotty. Where is he today?

        July 17, 2014 at 12:59 pm |
        • igaftr

          "I miss Scotty"

          Hopefully your aim will improve.

          You got a bullseye with this one though

          July 17, 2014 at 1:02 pm |
        • colin31714

          lol.

          July 17, 2014 at 1:06 pm |
  2. djangoboy

    In other news: Budget Woes Force Heaven To Reduce Eternal Life To 500 Billion Years

    http://www.theonion.com/articles/budget-woes-force-heaven-to-reduce-eternal-life-to,36012/

    July 17, 2014 at 7:36 am |
    • ragansteve1

      That's long enough. Especially since we will be cutting our earthly three score and ten soon.

      July 17, 2014 at 9:17 am |
      • TruthPrevails1

        Oh my, for anyone to believe that tripe is plain crazy.

        "Especially since we will be cutting our earthly three score and ten soon"

        Lunacy at its best! Unless you have undeniable evidence for this, it becomes a moot point and means nothing.

        July 17, 2014 at 9:21 am |
      • Doc Vestibule

        The End is nigh!
        Max out your credit cards on church ti/thes!

        “Children, it is the last hour; and just as you heard that antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have appeared; from this we know that it is the last hour.”
        —1 John 2:18

        Waitaminute – doesn't that mean the "last hour" was 2,000 years ago?
        Last hour – give or take 17.5 million hours

        July 17, 2014 at 9:33 am |
        • ssq41

          oooo, Doc, come on! A thousand years is as a year to the Lord...why not an hour is as 17.5 million?

          July 17, 2014 at 9:36 am |
      • ssq41

        Sorry, Steve...we were saying the same thing back in the '70s...and '80s...and '90s....and we were especially certain of our Lord's soon return in the '70s thanks to our bold and accurate brother in the Lord, Hal Lindsey and his master text (second only to the New testament) "the Late Great Planet Earth"!

        Maranatha!!! Come Lord Jesus!

        LoL!

        July 17, 2014 at 9:48 am |
        • ssq41

          ...and now we have Heaven-Sent Jack Van Impe! We are Rapture REady!!!!

          (Sorry, heavensent...that wasn't a nod in your direction.)

          July 17, 2014 at 9:50 am |
        • djangoboy

          Yes, and they were saying the same thing back in the 70s, 80s and 90s – of the First Century! I don't think he's coming back.

          July 17, 2014 at 4:26 pm |
      • ragansteve1

        LOL!! Actually folks, I was talking about Obamacare, not the end of the world. Just sayin". WOW!

        July 17, 2014 at 2:03 pm |
  3. djangoboy

    Truthfollower: "Larry Martin, a paleontologist from the University of Kansas, said clearly in 1985 that the archaeopteryx is not an ancestor of any modern birds; instead, it's a member of a totally extinct group of birds.'"

    From a memorial to Larry Martin, written by a friend and colleague: "Martin spent much of his career insisting that the characters in common between dromaeosaurs and birds were the result of convergences that obscured the true evolutionary history. I have heard few mention that, in this 2004 paper, Martin rather quietly gave up on that view. The discovery of Microraptor brought him to finally concede that dromaeosaurs are birds’ closest relatives ... Dr. Martin’s anatomical interpretations of fossils, including the pelvic girdles of Archaeopteryx and Microraptor, and the skull of Sinornithosaurus, were idiosyncratic. ... here one must be blunt, Martin’s observations were contradicted by virtually all other anatomists who examined the specimens. "

    July 17, 2014 at 7:13 am |
  4. colin31714

    Oh my creationist friends, proof of evolution is all around you. Now, before you declare me “stupid,” “evil” or part of a worldwide conspiracy to deny the truth of your “six days and a talking snake” theory of life on Earth, please take five minutes to read this.

    The classic definition of a species is that two members of the same species can breed and produce fertile offspring, but cannot mate with members of a different species. A human of any race can mate with a human of any other race, but none of us can mate with a chimpanzee, for example. So, all humans are in the same species, but we are all a different species to chimpanzees. Easy stuff.

    Indeed, it is often easy to tell that two organisms are of different species just by looking at them. Compare, for example, a dog to a horse. Where it gets a little complex, however, is where you have two organisms that look very different, but are of the same species, or two different species that look very similar. Dogs are a great example of both. Compare a lighter-coated German Shepherd to the wolf. They look very similar, but are of a different species (or sub-species, depending on the definition one uses). Likewise, a Great Dane looks very different to a Corgi, but they are of the same species Canis lupis familiaris, the domestic dog.

    Why are Great Danes and Corgis considered to be the same species (along with German Shepherds) but wolves and German Shepherds not? For the same reason as humans. Great Danes, German Shepherds and Corgis can and will mate and produce fertile offspring, but none of them will mate with a wolf (absent human intervention). However, and this is where evolution kicks in, all breeds of dog alive today descended from wolves. In fact, it is likely that they all descended, ultimately, from a small pack of wolves that were domesticated in the Middle East some 10,000 years ago. Some research suggests Manchuria as the location, but I digress.

    What happened was that humans noticed that certain, less aggressive wolves were handy to have around. They ate pests and garbage and alerted the camp when predators lurked nearby. So, humans began to intentionally feed and try to tame them. The tamer, less aggressive wolves were less afraid of human interaction and less likely to harm their human hosts. They, therefore, received more attention, food and protection, which gave them a breeding advantage, and they passed on this favorable trait, call it “tameness,” to their offspring.

    These tamer offspring were constantly chosen (probably unknowingly) for care and support and the wilder, more aggressive members of the litter discarded, perhaps for biting or avoiding humans. After thousands of years of inadvertent selection for “tameness” the camp wolves started to become dependent on their human hosts and to even look different to their still wild ancestors. They lost the extreme aggressiveness that helped them in the wild, became less streamlined and tooled for the kill and contained less adrenaline, a principal hormone that causes aggression. In other words, over many generations, they became, in a sense, fat, dumb and happy. Doggie dough-boys. Girlie-men compared to their wild cousins, still red of fang and claw.

    These first domestic dogs were so popular with humans that their “use” spread and humans all over the globe – Australian Aboriginals, New Zealand Maoris and other Polynesians, Egyptians, Greeks and Romans – all began to use dogs. Then something astounding happened. Humans actually noticed that, if there was a specific trait you liked about your, say male dog, you could breed it with a female with the same trait and the offspring would inherit that trait. If, for example, a hunter-gatherer only ever allowed the fastest male dogs to breed with the fastest female dogs, the litter they produced would be slightly faster than if either parent had randomly mated with a partner dog. The humans could repeat this process, generation after generation, allowing only the fastest members of the litters to breed. After many years of such selective breeding, the resultant dogs would differ so much in body shape, leg length and, perhaps, lung capacity to their ancestor as to be considered a separate breed.

    No one set of offspring would differ greatly from its parents, but it will differ a little more from its grandparents, and even a little more from its great-grandparents etc., until we go all the way back to the original wolf, which will be quite different in appearance.

    Bang – dog breeding was born. Humans selected for speed, resulting in the Greyhound, smelling and tracking ability (Bloodhounds) ability to herd sheep (Collies and Australian Shepherds) appearance (Dalmatians and Pomeranians) size (Chihuahuas and Great Danes) and a host of other traits.

    As with most human activities, as our knowledge of evolution and genetics increased, dog breeding improved and exploded in the 1900s. There are now 600 or so breeds of dog, all of which descendent from the original wolf. Many breeds of dog alive today evolved over the past few decades and did not even exist as late as 1900. But, every last domestic dog, from the Teacup Chihuahua in Paris Hilton’s purse to the Great Danes of European car advertisements, are the end result of selective breeding down different paths from the original wolf.

    Most breeds of dog do not (and likely cannot) breed with wolves for a variety of reasons, including allopatric and/or human induced separation and mating rituals. Not only that, but put almost any domestic dog in the wild and it would not survive a month. A wolf is much more likely to eat a Shih Tzu than bonk it. They are separate species. In the struggle for life, the domestic dog species originated through means of selection as a favored race from the original wolf.

    If this last sentence sounds slightly familiar to you, that is because it is. It is essentially the full ti.tle of Charles Darwin’s seminal work: “On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life”. Now, in the example I gave you, humans were acting as the selective agent, selecting which dogs would breed and which wouldn’t. Now take humans out of the equation and parachute in a purely natural factor, such as a predator. Imagine if, instead of dogs, we are dealing with zebras on an African savanna. In this case, in lieu of humans, the predators – hyenas, lions and wild dogs – will be the agent (blindly, unintentionally) doing the selective breeding. They will tend to kill and eat the weaker, slower zebras, allowing the faster, or better camouflaged individuals to preferentially survive, breed and pass on their advantageous traits to their children.

    So there you have it, my Bible-cuddling friends. Evolution in motion. Undeniable; living in every suburb, licking our faces, fetching our sticks and messing on our sidewalks. Macro-evolution. A well recorded, understood, DNA mapped and uncontroversial case of the evolution of one species – Canis lupus lupus, the Eurasian wolf, into another, Canis lupus familiaris, the domestic dog.

    There are many, many others examples of evolution all around us by the way. Even the most cursory of research into any branch of horticulture or animal husbandry quickly reveals that the size, variety, health, longevity and resistance to disease of most of our domesticated plants and animals were the thing of dreams as recently as 100 years ago. Indeed, biotech companies like Monsanto would quickly fall behind the market if they did not spend millions each year on Darwinian selective breeding programs. Why do you think horse breeders spend thousands of dollars to have a fast male racehorse mate with their mare?

    Wheat is another great example, as are gra.pes. The species of wheat that we in the West use for bread only developed in the last few thousand years as a result of two instances of sympatric speciation (different to selective breeding, but an agent of evolution none the less). Likewise, the various Shiraz, Char.donnay and Pinot Noir gra.pes we enjoy today, in the form of wine, were all developed and perfected in the last 100 years or so.

    So, Adam or Eve, the next time you kneel down in your church and take your weekly dose of the body and blood of your dead Greco-Roman Jewish hippie-God, you might like to reflect on the fact that you are actually eating proof of evolution and washing it down with proof of evolution.

    “Body of Darwin?”

    Amen!

    July 17, 2014 at 12:42 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Creationist Response #23

      Micro not macro!
      Where's your crocoduck?
      So put that in your evilutionist pipe and smoke it, Mr. Darwood.

      July 17, 2014 at 8:59 am |
      • ragansteve1

        Wasn't there are movie about that? Or was it not a "duck?" Maybe it was a dinocrock or something. I forget.

        July 17, 2014 at 9:19 am |
        • Doc Vestibule

          It is a reference to Kirk Cameron and Ray Comfort making fools of themselves on national television trying to argue in favour of creationism.
          "we imagined would be genuine species-to-species transitional forms. We called one a 'crocoduck' and another was called a 'birddog.' The "crocoduck" was an animal with the head of a crocodile and the body of a duck"
          – Kirk Cameron

          These are the same two goons who tried to argue that the Banana is a perfect example of intelligent design – totally omitting the fact that humans have been selectively breeding them some 800 years to make them more edible.

          July 17, 2014 at 9:24 am |
        • ssq41

          Let us not forget that oldy-but-a-goody:

          "Darwin accepted Jesus as his Lord and Savior at his deathbed...he renounced his theory (it is a "theory," after all), thus, evolution is nothing but...but...but a 'theory'!"

          It is well with my soul!

          July 17, 2014 at 9:33 am |
        • djangoboy

          Would that he "Howard the Dinoduck?"

          July 17, 2014 at 4:27 pm |
        • djangoboy

          OMG! Here's an interview with evangelical 1d1ots Ray Comfort and Kirk Cameron. Kirk actually shows graphics of his idea of transitional forms starting about 4:20: the crocoduck, the bull-frog (a frog with bull's horns), and the sheep-dog (yes, it is what is looks like). The mind simply boggles at this kind of idiocy.

          July 17, 2014 at 6:45 pm |
        • djangoboy

          Oops, forgot to post the link:
          [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a0DdgSDan9c&w=640&h=360]

          July 17, 2014 at 6:46 pm |
  5. Reality

    Back to the topic:

    The solution is easy. Now we just have to convince five billion sufferers of various forms of the Three B Syndrome (Bred, Born and Brainwashed in their religions). Once again, the solution specific to the Muslims and Jews:

    • As far as one knows or can tell, there was no Abraham i.e. the foundations of Judaism and Islam are non-existent.

    • As far as one knows or can tell, there was no Moses i.e the pillars of Judaism and Islam have no strength of purpose.

    • There was no Gabriel i.e. Islam fails as a religion. .

    Added details previously presented.

    July 17, 2014 at 12:14 am |
  6. Doris

    @truthfollower

    I really don't expect you to agree with me. But it really does serve anyone here for you to have a discussion for a while and then abruptly start over again with the same question as if nothing had been discussed.

    (I just realized who else does that – awanderingscot who started posting tonight at the same time as tf – interesting...)

    July 16, 2014 at 11:42 pm |
    • truthfollower01

      What are you referring to specifically? I started the discussion tonight on Punctuated Equilibrium.

      July 16, 2014 at 11:49 pm |
      • Doris

        Nevermind – the timing was odd. Regardless, my initial sentence is about the discussion on morality, where you started again from scratch with on atheism as if we hadn't been discussing anything for the past hour or so.

        July 16, 2014 at 11:58 pm |
        • Doris

          I should have put quotes around "on atheism" since that seems to be your favorite expression.

          July 17, 2014 at 12:00 am |
        • truthfollower01

          Doris,

          My post concerning morality was to SeaVik. I can't help that you jumped in on it.

          July 17, 2014 at 12:01 am |
        • truthfollower01

          I was responding to SeaVik's post.

          July 17, 2014 at 12:02 am |
      • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

        On christianity....genocide can be completely justified as being moral in some situations!

        July 17, 2014 at 12:04 am |
      • igaftr

        belief follower
        " I started the discussion tonight on Punctuated Equilibrium."

        Then you accept evolution, since you are now trying to argue over the mechanics of evolution. Good for you.

        July 17, 2014 at 11:22 am |
  7. awanderingscot

    "To suppose that the eye...
    could have been formed by natural selection,
    seems, I freely confess,
    absurd in the highest possible degree"
    – Charles Darwin, 1872

    – too bad Darwin didn't live longer, seems like he might have been on to something.

    July 16, 2014 at 9:07 pm |
    • djangoboy

      Too bad you didn't complete the quote, as anti-evolution trolls somehow never do. Here's the rest of it:
      "... Reason tells me, that if numerous gradations from a simple and imperfect eye to one complex and perfect can be shown to exist, each grade being useful to its possessor, as is certainly the case; if further, the eye ever varies and the variations be inherited, as is likewise certainly the case; and if such variations should be useful to any animal under changing conditions of life, then the difficulty of believing that a perfect and complex eye could be formed by natural selection, though insuperable by our imagination, should not be considered as subversive of the theory. How a nerve comes to be sensitive to light, hardly concerns us more than how life itself originated; but I may remark that, as some of the lowest organisms in which nerves cannot be detected, are capable of perceiving light, it does not seem impossible that certain sensitive elements in their sarcode should become aggregated and developed into nerves, endowed with this special sensibility."

      July 16, 2014 at 9:11 pm |
      • awanderingscot

        "I freely confess" – not finishing the quote, paragraph, book, theory, does not in any way shape or form detract from his own admission. you're just another evolution apologist defending the indefensible. you WISH he had not made the statement but he did. he made the statement and you cannot deny it, get over it.

        July 16, 2014 at 11:20 pm |
        • redzoa

          You're still a pathetic liar for jesus who pathetically misquotes as an apologetics device. You dishonor yourself and you make a mockery of intelligent believers. Zealousness is not an excuse for blatant dishonesty.

          Ok . . . wait for it . . . (quote mine, C&P, impotent rage, self-righteous threats of posthumous suffering, etc)

          July 16, 2014 at 11:26 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          Not finishing the quote misrepresents the statement to the point it makes you a liar....

          Liars for Jesus!

          July 16, 2014 at 11:40 pm |
        • awanderingscot

          yeah well, despite all of your crying and whining i didn't misquote anyone. research it yourself and prove that he didn't say it. you can try hanging labels on me all you want but you haven't proven anything. lol.

          July 16, 2014 at 11:48 pm |
        • Sungrazer

          "too bad Darwin didn't live longer" -awanderingscot, who said it and can't deny it

          I read the above quote and conclude that awanderingscot wishes to have Darwin around in order to pay personal homage and respect to the man and his ideas.

          July 16, 2014 at 11:48 pm |
        • awanderingscot

          "pathetic liar for jesus who pathetically" – using 'pathetic' twice in the same sentence is bad grammar. did you ever get past high school English or were you home schooled?

          July 16, 2014 at 11:58 pm |
        • redzoa

          I see you didn't contest the allegation. One who is pathetic is apt to behave pathetically, e.g. you. Nonetheless, feel free to cite the grammatical rule I violated . . .

          July 17, 2014 at 12:02 am |
        • djangoboy

          A classic case of lifting something out of contact. "His own admission" is that the proposition seems absurd on the face of it, and he then proceeds to explain why it is not. Your take on it is dishonest.

          July 17, 2014 at 6:58 am |
        • djangoboy

          awanderingscot: "too bad Darwin didn't live"

          Oh, so now you are denying that Darwin even existed. This is rather extreme, don't you think?

          See, I did not misquote you, according to your standard.

          July 17, 2014 at 7:42 am |
        • ssq41

          awanderingscot is currently at his public library searching,still, for the proof of redzoa's grammatical sin.

          July 17, 2014 at 10:14 am |
        • tallulah131

          You really are a troll, aren't you, scotty? Well played. You had me going for a while.

          July 17, 2014 at 12:23 pm |
        • neverbeenhappieratheist

          Apparently scot here doesn't understand the meaning of the word "seems".

          seems: 1. give the impression or sensation of being something or having a particular quality.

          As in, "It seems that the magician has cut his assistant in half!"

          Yes, Darwin freely admited that to the uneducated rube evolution might "seem absurd" but when studied and examined closely one can see evolution at work in everything. Morons who choose not to do the research may continue to think the science is absurd instead of themselves, but they would be wrong.

          July 17, 2014 at 1:49 pm |
    • truthfollower01

      I'm interested to know why, if we have a supposed plethora of transitional forms, did Punctuated Equilibrium get pushed forward.

      July 16, 2014 at 9:18 pm |
      • Science Works

        Hey tf you should watch How The Universe Works on the Science Channel it is on in the lobby right now – you might learn something ?

        July 16, 2014 at 9:22 pm |
        • truthfollower01

          Care to give your thoughts on why Punctuated Equilibrium was needed?

          July 16, 2014 at 9:34 pm |
        • Doris

          Who said there was a need – you? lol. Please explain.

          July 16, 2014 at 9:38 pm |
        • Science Works

          Did you learn that question from the talking donkey tf ?

          July 16, 2014 at 9:40 pm |
        • djangoboy

          From Indian University Web site:
          "When exceptionally complete fossil sites are studied, usually a mix of patterns are seen: some species still seem to appear suddenly (within a few hundred thousand years), while others clearly appear gradually (over many millions of years). ... Paleontologists usually attribute these differences to a mix of slow evolution ("gradualism") and rapid evolution (or "punctuated equilibrium": sudden bursts of evolution followed by stasis), in combination with the immigration of new species from the as-yet-undiscovered places where they first arose.

          There's been a heated debate about which of these modes of evolution is most common, and this debate has been largely misquoted by laypeople. "

          July 16, 2014 at 9:41 pm |
        • truthfollower01

          Wow. You all are doing some serious dancing around the subject tonight!

          I’m interested to know why, if we have a supposed plethora of transitional forms, was there a need for Punctuated Equilibrium?

          July 16, 2014 at 9:49 pm |
        • Doris

          Except that you haven't shown why you think there was a need. You seem to be conflating apples and oranges. Do you have a point?

          July 16, 2014 at 9:56 pm |
        • truthfollower01

          It tries to account for the lack of transitional fossils for one.

          July 16, 2014 at 9:58 pm |
        • Doris

          "It tries"? Since when do parts of theory try things. It seems to be an unexpected finding at some stage along the investigative path to me. But you my want to elaborate tf on why you think it tries something.

          July 16, 2014 at 10:05 pm |
        • Doris

          OK well obviously you have the idea that there are not a lot of transitional fossils and because there are gaps, the gaps are troubling to you. I don't how saying there are gaps says that overall there a not a lot of examples, so you might have just started by asking about the gaps......which are gaps. Do you have some kind of evidence, tf that PE was invented because of some specific shortage of transitional forms?

          July 16, 2014 at 10:10 pm |
        • Sungrazer

          Punctuated equilibria, as far as I'm caught up with it, has not had much impact. To say there was a need for it implies that Gould and Eldredge came up with it in a panicked attempt to explain a perceived problem.

          July 16, 2014 at 10:21 pm |
        • djangoboy

          I do not believe I was "dancing around the subject." My response was pretty direct.

          There are a large number of transitional fossils, contrary to the antievolution stance. For anyone interested, (truthfollower is clearly not), I would suggest the TalkOrigins archive: do a search on transitional fossils. The CNN site won't let me post any variation of the web address.

          July 16, 2014 at 10:21 pm |
        • djangoboy

          Re gaps in the record, from the Indiana U site:
          "no current evolutionary model predicts or requires a complete fossil record, and no one expects that the fossil record will ever be even close to complete. Evolutionary biologists consider gaps as the inevitable result of chance fossilizations, chance discoveries, and immigration events."

          In other words, we are lucky to have any fossils at all, and a complete fossil record is an unrealistic expectation. However, new discoveries are being made almost daily, and gaps are being filled.

          July 16, 2014 at 10:24 pm |
        • Doris

          That's weird – I don't even see any naughty word embedded in that site main URL.

          July 16, 2014 at 10:25 pm |
        • djangoboy

          I can't figure it out, either, it keeps rejecting other attempted posts – that's why I'm posting in fragments.

          I would reemphasize the last part of the quote in my previous post: "There's been a heated debate about which of these modes of evolution [gradual vs. punctuated] is most common, and this debate has been largely misquoted by laypeople. " Such as truthfollower.

          July 16, 2014 at 10:28 pm |
        • djangoboy

          Also on the TalkOrigins site, check out the topic "Transition from synapsid reptiles to mammals" for a lengthy summary of transitional fossils in this category alone.

          July 16, 2014 at 10:32 pm |
        • truthfollower01

          "For instance, several years ago Gould and a colleague proposed a new hypothesis, called "punctuated equilibrium," in a desperate bid to explain away the fossil gaps. They suggested that radically new species somehow managed to develop rapidly among isolated populations, conveniently leaving behind no fossils to docu-ment the process. When these new creatures rejoined the larger, central populations, this resulted in the preserving of fossils that suggested the sudden appearance of new species. This model has been roundly criticized, and rightly so, for creating far more questions than answers." – quoted from "The Case for a Creator"

          July 16, 2014 at 10:38 pm |
        • truthfollower01

          DjAngoboy,

          The dancing comment was directed at Doris and Science Works.

          July 16, 2014 at 10:55 pm |
        • midwest rail

          You're seriously going to complain about someone ELSE dancing when you did a tap dance yesterday that would have made Sammy Davis Jr. proud ? Then after you deflected, you disappeared for 3 hours, came back to the same thread, and still never addressed the question. And you wonder where the accusations of hypocrite come from. Good grief.

          July 16, 2014 at 11:03 pm |
        • Science Works

          Hey tf genetic drift was part one – take a look see.

          http://ncse.com/blog/2014/07/misconception-monday-natural-selection-evolution-part-2-0015736

          July 16, 2014 at 11:04 pm |
        • truthfollower01

          Midwest,

          What specifically are you referring to yesterday?

          July 16, 2014 at 11:13 pm |
        • Sungrazer

          Quoting "The Case for a Creator" does not help. It only serves as further evidence that creationists get their ideas about evolution from creationist sources, sources that are misinformed or dishonest.

          July 16, 2014 at 11:16 pm |
        • redzoa

          Punctuated Equilibrium (PE) did address a source of contention among competing views of how species arose; whether the process was slow and steady as suggested by Darwin (gradualism) or whether if occurred in a jerky progression (PE).

          The fossil record generally doesn't reflect Darwin's gradualism at the finest taxonomic level, i.e. the species level. What is generally observed are long periods of relative stasis and relatively quick periods (~10K – 100+K yrs) of change. Contrary to what Darwin expected (i.e. that future fossil finds would provide sufficient resolution of species-level change), we now recognize that the populations undergoing speciation will generally be in numbers beneath the probability threshold of fossil record capture. We further understand that speciation will frequently not provide any clear morphological transition that would be evidenced in a fossil, i.e. in many instances, distinct species are only identifiable via phylogenetic analysis for the absence of gene flow. Regardless, much of this is moot because we have real time observations of speciation in both the lab and field.

          But to suggest that PE is evolution's attempt to address some wholesale absence of transitional fossils is nothing more than a disingenuous misrepresentation as was the clear attempt in Strobel's book. PE addresses species-level change, the finest gradient of divergence in the taxonomic hierarchy. We don't expect to capture this level of change in the fossil record given the available resolution. Nonetheless, when one moves to higher levels of taxonomy, transitional forms are clearly evident (e.g. tiktaalik, archeopteryx, etc, etc). Furthermore, the PE nodes are not "sudden"; they are tens of thousands of years. Within these nodes is plenty of time for Darwin's gradualism to manifest, but still too rapid (in the context of geologic time) to be captured in the fossil record.

          The following is an example that once, but no longer, appeared on the Wiki PE page:

          The relationship between punctuationism and gradualism can be better appreciated by considering an example. Suppose the average length of a limb in a particular species grows 50 centimeters (20 inches) over 70,000 years—a large amount in a geologically short period of time. If the average generation is seven years, then our given time span corresponds to 10,000 generations. It is therefore reasonable to conclude that if the limb size in our hypothetical population evolved in the most conservative manner, it need only increase at a rate of 0.005 cm per generation (= 50 cm/10,000 generations), despite its abrupt appearance in the geological record.

          Furthermore, Gould recognized that despite the dominance of PE within the fossil record, there were still clear examples of gradualism with respect to species-level change (e.g. the Foraminifera). Again, here is Gould's response to being quote-mined by creationists:

          "Since we proposed punctuated equilibria to explain trends, it is infuriating to be quoted again and again by creationists - whether through design or stupidity, I do not know - as admitting that the fossil record includes no transitional forms. Transitional forms are generally lacking at the species level, but they are abundant between larger groups."

          @tf – I know better than to expect you to understand the relevant science here, but Strobel was at the very least, negligent in publishing such a misrepresentation. Any honest author would have investigated or would have educated themselves better. That quote is just dishonest, plain and simple, and you believed it, without any actual or attempted investigation. This suggests you have no interest in honestly pursuing these issues . . .

          July 16, 2014 at 11:20 pm |
        • midwest rail

          I'm referencing the only interaction we had yesterday. You can play the "I don't remember" game all you like, I'm done. Though there are some individual exceptions who post here, I have to say that as a collective, the "Christians" who post here could very well be the most intentionally dishonest group I have ever encountered. Enjoy your day, but you can give up the pretense of inhabiting some moral high ground, because that is also a fabrication.

          July 16, 2014 at 11:24 pm |
        • awanderingscot

          Jango
          how many instances of PE have been found in the fossil record? have any previously undiscovered species emerged? have any new phyla been added in these events? discount the 'Cambrian Explosion' for the time being.

          July 16, 2014 at 11:28 pm |
        • truthfollower01

          Redzoa,

          The fact that you give archaeopteryx as one of your two listed transitional forms gives away a huge problem. According to Hank Hanegraaff, "Even the late Stephen Jay Gould of Harvard and Niles Eldridge of the American Museum of Natural History, both militant evolutionists, have concluded that Archaeopteryx cannot be viewed as a transitional form."

          "Even ardent evolutionist Pierre Lecompte Du Nouy agrees: "We are not even authorized to consider the exceptional case of archaeopteryx as a true link. By link, we mean a necessary stage of transition between classes such as reptiles and birds, or between smaller groups. An animal displaying characters belonging to two different groups cannot be treated as a true link as long as the intermediary stages have not been found, and as long as the mechanisms of transition remain unknown."" Quoted from "The Case for a Creator"

          July 16, 2014 at 11:39 pm |
        • awanderingscot

          "PE addresses species-level change, the finest gradient of divergence in the taxonomic hierarchy. We don't expect to capture this level of change in the fossil record given the available resolution."

          – sure. how convenient that no scientific validation/verification is available or even needed, just take our word for it. oh and don't worry about those pesky gaps in the fossil record since we now have enough 'evidence' in transitional species fossil records to cover it. we've got this fish that could walk and breathe air (never mind that the 'lobes' were only a tiny fraction of the size needed for locomotion. yeah sure pal, please do go on with your story. roflmao. who needs television or movies anyway!

          July 16, 2014 at 11:39 pm |
        • Sungrazer

          Keep in mind that truthfollower01 quoted a "good article" on macroevolution.net in an attempt to discredit ambulocetus as a transitional form. macroevolution.net is the work of a single person who proposes that humans are hybrids of chimpanzees and pigs. truthfollower01 is not too interested in honest discourse on evolution.

          July 16, 2014 at 11:40 pm |
        • redzoa

          @tf – See quote mine #3.3
          http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/quotes/mine/part3.html

          A transitional form simply does not require a complete smooth record of forms before and after. This is the problem with relying on apologetics sources. Archaeopteryx bears traits of two distinct vertebrate classes and directly contradicts the notion of specially-created unbridgeable "kinds." I'd add that you failed to remotely respond the rest of the post and why Strobel's reference to an absence of transitional forms is negligent at best, simply dishonesty at worst.

          @scotty
          http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24449831
          http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16598250

          Have at it . . .

          July 16, 2014 at 11:51 pm |
        • Doris

          tf: "[blah blah blah] gives away a huge problem. According to Hank Hanegraaff...."

          Hendrik (Hank) Hanegraaff serves as president and chairman of the board of the North Carolina-based CHRISTIAN RESEARCH INSTITUTE.

          My goodness that is a big problem... can you quote a real scientist?

          July 16, 2014 at 11:55 pm |
        • redzoa

          @scotty – Don't forget this one:
          http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16598249

          July 16, 2014 at 11:57 pm |
        • truthfollower01

          Hank is giving Gould's and Nyles view. Did you even read the last quote?

          July 16, 2014 at 11:59 pm |
        • redzoa

          "Hank is giving Gould's and Nyles view. Did you even read the last quote?"

          Hank is actively misrepresenting the Gould and Eldredge quote. Did you even read the actual full quote?

          July 17, 2014 at 12:04 am |
        • Sungrazer

          Did you even read the complete story to your quote mine that redzoa gave?

          July 17, 2014 at 12:05 am |
        • truthfollower01

          Redzoa,

          I quoted an ardent evolutionist.

          July 17, 2014 at 12:05 am |
        • Doris

          I did. If it came from that CRI site, it may as well be something in my spam folder.

          That's another one of those sites that references people such as Andrew Snelling. Have you heard of him, tf? I don't want to double the size of the current page, but I've got the dirt on that guy.

          July 17, 2014 at 12:06 am |
        • truthfollower01

          "Larry Martin, a paleontologist from the University of Kansas, said clearly in 1985 that the archaeopteryx is not an ancestor of any modern birds; instead, it's a member of a totally extinct group of birds.'"
          Quote from The Case for a Creator

          July 17, 2014 at 12:13 am |
        • truthfollower01

          Midwest,

          Are you referring to the conversation about morality I was having with Doris yesterday?

          July 17, 2014 at 12:15 am |
        • redzoa

          "I quoted an ardent evolutionist."

          Ah, not really. Du Nouy (who died in 1947, long before molecular biology's influence on evolution) was more of a theistic evolutionist. Regardless, his requirement of immediate pre- and post-forms is not valid. Again, I note you didn't address the dishonesty of Strobel's book; whether quoting a direct misrepresentation from a non-scientist, or via a quote from someone who died long before molecular biology provided the basis for understanding how such transitions can occur, or via the earlier example of a clear quote mine.

          July 17, 2014 at 12:15 am |
        • redzoa

          @tf – Again you add further discredit to yourself in continuing to rely on a clearly unreliable apologetic source. A transitional form is a proof of principle, it simply does not need to be the direct ancestor of modern birds. All that's required is that it exhibits traits which bridge earlier forms with later forms, here, reptiles (earlier) and birds (later). Again, that this form exists, at all, directly contradicts the notion of immutable specially-created "kinds." Feel free to keep quoting Strobel if you like . . .

          July 17, 2014 at 12:19 am |
        • Sungrazer

          truthfollower01, you are a real piece of work. It has been pointed out again and again how your quote mining has failed and yet you don't acknowledge it and even persist in doing so. I am reminded of the line(s) from "The Shawshank Redemption":

          How can you be so obtuse? . . . Is it deliberate?

          July 17, 2014 at 12:21 am |
        • truthfollower01

          Redzoa,

          "Eldredge and Gould proposed that the degree of gradualism commonly attributed to Charles Darwin is virtually nonexistent in the fossil record, and that stasis dominates the history of most fossil species." Taken from Wikipedia.

          July 17, 2014 at 12:23 am |
        • redzoa

          @tf – Yep. That's what I stated in my earlier explanation regarding the relationship between PE and gradualism. If you'd like a real reference to understand PE, I'd suggest Gould's "The Structure of Evolutionary Theory," particularly "Chapter 9: Punctuated Equilibrium and the Validation of Macroevolutionary Theory."

          July 17, 2014 at 12:31 am |
        • djangoboy

          Taking science references from a religious tract by Lee Strobel is pretty desperate.

          July 17, 2014 at 7:02 am |
        • djangoboy

          Truthfollower: "Larry Martin, a paleontologist from the University of Kansas, said clearly in 1985 that the archaeopteryx is not an ancestor of any modern birds; instead, it's a member of a totally extinct group of birds.'"

          From a memorial to Larry Martin, written by a friend and colleague: "Martin spent much of his career insisting that the characters in common between dromaeosaurs and birds were the result of convergences that obscured the true evolutionary history. I have heard few mention that, in this 2004 paper, Martin rather quietly gave up on that view. The discovery of Microraptor brought him to finally concede that dromaeosaurs are birds’ closest relatives ... Dr. Martin’s anatomical interpretations of fossils, including the pelvic girdles of Archaeopteryx and Microraptor, and the skull of Sinornithosaurus, were idiosyncratic. ... here one must be blunt, Martin’s observations were contradicted by virtually all other anatomists who examined the specimens. "

          July 17, 2014 at 7:15 am |
        • djangoboy

          Since truthfollower (not!) feels fee to quote AEldredge and Gould form wikipedia, allow me to do the same:

          In an often quoted remark, Gould stated, "Since we proposed punctuated equilibria to explain trends, it is infuriating to be quoted again and again by creationists—whether through design or stupidity, I do not know—as admitting that the fossil record includes no transitional forms. Transitional forms are generally lacking at the species level, but they are abundant between larger groups."

          July 17, 2014 at 7:21 am |
        • neverbeenhappieratheist

          My biology professor liked to explain PE as the stable form we find most snowbanks in prior to an avalanche. Throughout history whenever we take a snapshot of a moment in time via a fossil or core samples we get the snowbank which is the stable or stasis form of any evolving life. Like snowfalkes forming the snowbank, the tiny changes all add up until there is a need or avalanche where the new traits become dominant in an attempt for species survival. Very rarely would we be able to pinpoint that exact moment the snowbank gave way turning into an avalanche of change.

          Creationists want to claim evolution can only work by gradulism and thus should have many half transformed species in between each current species. They believe this because it's the only way they can continue to refute the moutnains of evidence for evolution.

          July 17, 2014 at 2:11 pm |
      • Doris

        What do you mean by "pushed forward", tf?

        July 16, 2014 at 9:22 pm |
        • truthfollower01

          Why was it needed?

          July 16, 2014 at 9:28 pm |
        • Doris

          Why do you think there was a need?

          July 16, 2014 at 9:46 pm |
        • truthfollower01

          It tries to account for the lack of transitional fossils for one.

          July 16, 2014 at 9:57 pm |
        • Doris

          tf: "It tries to..."

          That Punctuated Equilibrium – it just has a mind of its own...

          July 16, 2014 at 11:45 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          The pathetic thing is even if you could prove evolution wrong you would be no closer to proving creationism true. You would get a Noble prize and yet the Bible would still be the mess it is....

          Truth does not ask to be believed, it asks to be tested. Scientists do not join hands every Saturday or Sunday and sing…”Yes gravity is real! I know gravity is real! I will have Faith! I will be strong! I believe in my heart that what goes up, up, up, must come down, down, down! Amen!” If they did we would think they were pretty insecure about the concept.
          -Dan Barker

          July 16, 2014 at 11:54 pm |
    • LaBella

      Yes, he would have been stunned to see everything that has been discovered thanks to his early work.

      July 16, 2014 at 9:18 pm |
    • MidwestKen

      awanderingscot,
      Quote mining again?

      try reading further:
      ""To suppose that the eye with all its inimitable contrivances for adjusting the focus to different distances, for admitting different amounts of light, and for the correction of spherical and chromatic aberration, could have been formed by natural selection, seems, I freely confess, absurd in the highest degree. When it was first said that the sun stood still and the world turned round, the common sense of mankind declared the doctrine false; but the old saying of Vox populi, vox Dei, as every philosopher knows, cannot be trusted in science. Reason tells me, that if numerous gradations from a simple and imperfect eye to one complex and perfect can be shown to exist, each grade being useful to its possessor, as is certainly the case; if further, the eye ever varies and the variations be inherited, as is likewise certainly the case; and if such variations should be useful to any animal under changing conditions of life, then the difficulty of believing that a perfect and complex eye could be formed by natural selection, though insuperable by our imagination, should not be considered as subversive of the theory. How a nerve comes to be sensitive to light, hardly concerns us more than how life itself originated; but I may remark that, as some of the lowest organisms in which nerves cannot be detected, are capable of perceiving light, it does not seem impossible that certain sensitive elements in their sarcode should become aggregated and developed into nerves, endowed with this special sensibility."

      then try reading some science:

      http://www.nyas.org/publications/detail.aspx?cid=93b487b2-153a-4630-9fb2-5679a061fff7

      July 16, 2014 at 9:54 pm |
    • bostontola

      More dishonesty from the libelous, liar. Yuk.

      July 16, 2014 at 10:12 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      "- too bad Darwin didn't live longer, seems like he might have been on to something."

      Direct quote from snotty....snotty think Darwin was right and evolution is true!

      July 17, 2014 at 12:01 am |
      • Sungrazer

        We had the same idea! Except I should've taken the entire quote as you did. Well played.

        July 17, 2014 at 12:10 am |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          Baering false witness isn't an issue for this "christian".

          July 17, 2014 at 12:25 am |
    • djangoboy

      "too bad Darwin didn't live"

      Oh, so now you are denying that Darwin even existed. This is rather extreme, don't you think?

      See, I did not misquote you, according to your standard.

      July 17, 2014 at 7:39 am |
      • djangoboy

        Whoops, this got stuck in the wrong place.

        July 17, 2014 at 7:41 am |
    • TruthPrevails1

      Still grasping to disprove evolution scotty? Have you not learned anything? You're incorrect and are merely voicing your uneducated opinion, you are not helping your own cause (you incest loving freak-how else do you suppose the planet was populated if not for incest? based strictly on your absurd, disproven creation mumbo)

      July 17, 2014 at 8:35 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      he evolutionary development of the eye is observable even today becuase the stages of its various stages are still there in extant species.
      Some very simple animals have nothing more than light sensitive spots that enable them to differentiate light and dark.
      If a patch of such spots developed even the slightest of pits, it would cast a shadow and thereby show the direction of light. If the pit got deeper and started to close,then light would form a blurred image. Mucous secreted by the cells would bend the light and focus it. If this mucous hardened, it would form a lens and transmit a better image.
      All these different fully functional stages at different levels of complexity are found in living animals today.

      July 17, 2014 at 8:53 am |
      • Doc Vestibule

        Wow – that first sentence is phrased poorly.
        Doc not do grammar good before 1st coffee...

        July 17, 2014 at 8:55 am |
  8. SeaVik

    Let's try this again...Continuing a conversation with truthfollower01 from last night...

    "On atheism, morality is whatever you want it to be. If you want ra-pe to be morally good, then for you, it is morally good, and you're not wrong! If the next day, you want ra-pe to be morally evil, then it is, and your not wrong! "

    I don't believe people choose their morals. I believe that what we consider to be moral results from a combination of instincts and influence from our parents, religions, society, etc. I believe that most of us are born with an instinctual sense of empathy and empathy is the core of morality in my view. In my experience, I have observed atheists to be more moral (on average) than non-atheists. My theory as to why that might be is that atheists have had their instinctual sense of empathy less-adjusted than religious people. Just a theory, but one that makes sense to me and is consistent with what I've observed in the world.

    Since I don't believe we choose our morals, I completely disagree with your premise that atheists can change their morals from day to day. The fact that my morals are based on instinct and parental guidance rather than an antiquated book does not make them flexible as you imply. In fact, I would suggest they're less flexible than yours since mine are based on instinct, not some confusing self-conflicting book that has been interpreted to mean anything and everything.

    July 16, 2014 at 7:43 pm |
    • kenmargo

      I replied to you also about this. I don't think any group is more or less moral than any other. I think people change their morals. Be it by the day(s), Months(s), or years(s). at the end of the day your morals are really your opinions on how you feel about a subject.

      " I believe that most of us are born with an instinctual sense of empathy and empathy is the core of morality in my view."

      As a minority I've faced racism on many fronts. Where was the empathy shown to me? It's not instinctual at all.

      July 16, 2014 at 7:55 pm |
      • SeaVik

        "As a minority I've faced racism on many fronts. Where was the empathy shown to me? It's not instinctual at all."

        Babies aren't racist. Racism is learned. The fact that some humans learn to be racists while babies are not racists supports my view that morals are instinctual.

        July 16, 2014 at 8:18 pm |
        • kenmargo

          True racism is taught. You also stated "I believe that most of us are born with an instinctual sense of empathy and empathy is the core of morality in my view."

          Wouldn't instincts take over your morals so you'll know you shouldn't be a racist?

          July 16, 2014 at 8:32 pm |
        • SeaVik

          "Wouldn't instincts take over your morals so you'll know you shouldn't be a racist?"

          For many, yes, their instincts are strong enough to know that racism is immoral. But many others are influenced by authority figures from such a young age that by the time they are old enough to think for themselves, racism (or religion) has already been deeply instilled.

          July 16, 2014 at 9:27 pm |
        • truthfollower01

          Seavik,

          “I believe that what we consider to be moral results from a combination of instincts and influence from our parents, religions, society, etc”

          Let’s say you were born as a child in Nazi Germany and you were brought up to believe that the Jewish people are less than human and to exterminate them is morally good. Would you say that for you, this would be morally good and that you wouldn’t be wrong in holding this view?

          July 16, 2014 at 9:29 pm |
        • Doris

          If you're going to continue to play the exact same game, tf, you should at least try to be a little more creative. The question is a loaded statement and we all know you know it.

          When discussing the possible existence of objective (divine) "truths", people like truthfollower/Theo appeal to their audience with various examples attempting to get the reader to agree to a non-qualifed value of "evil/incorrect/bad/good", as if this will lock in an agreement of an objective "truth" value (without it being explicitly specified). Theo has done so here with "good" and "bad".

          Of course they are not interested in a subjective answer but only in getting the responder to commit to a value that they can then attempt to claim as objective. They want their audience to agree to the objective moral claim – often using scenarios like rape and Hitler to entice what, for most, would be common agreement. (This is why truthfollower frequently asks simply – "on atheism, why is it wrong?" If they explicitly asks qualifying "good"/"bad" with "objective", then they will have exposed themselves as begging using objectivity in trying to demonstrate an instance of objectivity (which would look circularly foolish). They have to be disingenuous in trying to put the cart before the horse; to put an alleged divine "truth" in front of proving the source for it.

          @truthfollower/Theo:

          Prove that you do not just have a similar opinion that you have derived in the same subjective manner as atheists, only from something that only represents a claimed unsubstantiated source. Without such proof, we can only assume that you also arrive at your opinions, in whatever form you care to call them, subjectively.

          Prove that objective morality exists without resorting to subjective means. Can you do that? You know – demonstrate either your God or your direct connection to his "truths" without letting subjectivity taint the process? If you can't then, as I said, it is only reasonable to assume the moral absolutes you claim exist are also subjectively obtained and therefore, not objective, not absolute and not divine.

          What's an example of a subjective influence? There are many when it comes to Christian belief – but here's one: William Tyndale – first person to translate the Bible into English drawing from Greek and Hebrew texts.

          July 16, 2014 at 9:45 pm |
      • Doris

        I kind of agree with both your points. I agree with SeaVik on the initial influences. But I also agree that we do change our outlook over time, mostly from learning, outside influences and experiences, but also, possibly in some extreme cases, they might be affected more by internal chemical imbalance. I don't think one's moral outlook would normally change rapidly and certain not in the ridiculous way the truthfollower has suggested for someone who doesn't subscribe to alleged divine moral truths.

        July 16, 2014 at 8:38 pm |
        • kenmargo

          So it's a draw?

          July 16, 2014 at 8:46 pm |
        • Doris

          I think so. And that's a good question above – I think we do wrestle with ourselves at times. Perhaps something that took twenty years as a change in someone's moral outlook, possibly from many factors, would be seen as instinctual or a base should the view change somewhat again in another twenty years.

          July 16, 2014 at 8:51 pm |
        • Doris

          (the question you were just asking SeaVik above)

          July 16, 2014 at 8:52 pm |
        • Doris

          And when it comes to instincts that may come to us biologically that may affect our initial moral outlook, I can only guess on what we might learn about that in the future that is still hidden from us. This field of epigenetics is very fascinating. Maybe one day we might learn that there is an inborn tendency toward a certain outlook based on certain mean values of traits from previous generations. It probably sounds crazy, but it seems like there are a lot of possibilities of affecting factors with these gene traits.

          July 16, 2014 at 8:59 pm |
        • kenmargo

          Doris...........The work Sea uses is "instinctive". That's my main disagreement. If morals were instinctive, we'd all have perfect morals.

          July 16, 2014 at 9:00 pm |
        • Doris

          Ah – I see. Well I think one may react to a situation instinctively and the action may reflect what is currently the closest thing to a basis for their moral outlook. That might be different from what you're thinking though.

          July 16, 2014 at 9:09 pm |
        • Doris

          But yes, I don't think we have perfect morals. It's a shame that tf can't understand an alternate view a bit more, because in the end, in a general time and a general place, for key things most of us, regardless of belief system, I think are often aiming for the same thing.

          July 16, 2014 at 9:14 pm |
        • kenmargo

          It could be any situation no matter if it's immediate or over time. Like the situation at the border. Protesters treat them like criminals. I say we should help them the best we can. Both views are our opinions. Depending on who you ask, we can be right or wrong.

          July 16, 2014 at 9:17 pm |
        • Doris

          I agree, ken.

          July 16, 2014 at 9:26 pm |
        • SeaVik

          "The work Sea uses is "instinctive". That's my main disagreement. If morals were instinctive, we'd all have perfect morals."

          I think most of are born with instinctual empathy, which I think is the core of what it means to be moral. That doesn't mean that we all have perfect morals. First of all, as I said in my original post, there are many other factors that mold our views beyond our natural instincts (parents, religion, society, etc). Second, I think there are probably some "bad apples" who don't naturally have the same instinctual empathy that most of us have. I think they are extremely rare however – the vast majority of "bad" people probably would have been "good" people if they didn't have negative influences.

          July 16, 2014 at 9:34 pm |
    • truthfollower01

      Seavik,

      "I believe that what we consider to be moral results from a combination of instincts and influence from our parents, religions, society, etc"

      Let's say you were born as a child in Nazi Germany and you were brought up to believe that the Jewish people are less than human and to exterminate them is morally good. Would you say that for you, this would be morally good and that you wouldn't be wrong in holding this view?

      July 16, 2014 at 9:22 pm |
      • Doris

        If you're going to continue to play the exact same game, tf, you should at least try to be a little more creative. The question is a loaded statement and we all know you know it.

        When discussing the possible existence of objective (divine) "truths", people like truthfollower/Theo appeal to their audience with various examples attempting to get the reader to agree to a non-qualifed value of "evil/incorrect/bad/good", as if this will lock in an agreement of an objective "truth" value (without it being explicitly specified). Theo has done so here with "good" and "bad".

        Of course they are not interested in a subjective answer but only in getting the responder to commit to a value that they can then attempt to claim as objective. They want their audience to agree to the objective moral claim – often using scenarios like rape and Hitler to entice what, for most, would be common agreement. (This is why truthfollower frequently asks simply – "on atheism, why is it wrong?" If they explicitly asks qualifying "good"/"bad" with "objective", then they will have exposed themselves as begging using objectivity in trying to demonstrate an instance of objectivity (which would look circularly foolish). They have to be disingenuous in trying to put the cart before the horse; to put an alleged divine "truth" in front of proving the source for it.

        @truthfollower/Theo:

        Prove that you do not just have a similar opinion that you have derived in the same subjective manner as atheists, only from something that only represents a claimed unsubstantiated source. Without such proof, we can only assume that you also arrive at your opinions, in whatever form you care to call them, subjectively.

        Prove that objective morality exists without resorting to subjective means. Can you do that? You know – demonstrate either your God or your direct connection to his "truths" without letting subjectivity taint the process? If you can't then, as I said, it is only reasonable to assume the moral absolutes you claim exist are also subjectively obtained and therefore, not objective, not absolute and not divine.

        What's an example of a subjective influence? There are many when it comes to Christian belief – but here's one: William Tyndale – first person to translate the Bible into English drawing from Greek and Hebrew texts.

        July 16, 2014 at 9:34 pm |
        • truthfollower01

          Doris,

          I'm responding to Seavik's criteria for morality with a question. Do you care to respond? Would it be morally good to you if you were the child?

          July 16, 2014 at 9:37 pm |
        • Doris

          As I said your question is loaded. But let's call it "not clear" – what exactly do you mean by "morally good" since we are discussing absolute versus relative morality?

          July 16, 2014 at 9:43 pm |
        • truthfollower01

          Since you don't subscribe to objective morality but only to subjective, given the scenario, would it be subjectively (the only morality you apparently subscribe to) good to you to murder the Jewish people?

          July 16, 2014 at 10:01 pm |
        • Doris

          No it would not, tf. From the moment I could understand what murder meant, I was taught that it was "wrong" – a relative consensus that seemed to be universal; that came from people of different philosophical backgrounds. So I believe everyone strived for an objective in their teaching that murder was "wrong", but in the end, I believe it was a result of consensus and the inputs of many subjective factors. I don't think we can escape subjective influence. Fortunately, we seem to find a lot of agreement in society on certain key things.

          July 16, 2014 at 10:22 pm |
        • truthfollower01

          “No it would not, tf. From the moment I could understand what murder meant, I was taught that it was “wrong””

          If you are raised and taught that it is right to murder the Jewish people, would it be subjectively morally good to you to murder the Jewish people?

          July 16, 2014 at 10:45 pm |
        • Doris

          Sadly, tf, it would be in the minds of those doing the teaching. See, because it's relative and subjective imho, you can't separate the moral value from the person who teaches and or person understands/agrees/disagrees. From the subjective view, "it" being right/wrong on its own without a person to think it is nonsensical. But hopefully no child would be taught such as your example. And that's been the world's problem isn't it? That's what we've seen happen across time from the religious to the non-religious. But hopefully people don't forget history and the mistakes. And so we all keep striving to be better regardless our world view. If religion helps you to aim high, then great. But I don't think everyone needs it to aim high.

          July 16, 2014 at 11:03 pm |
        • truthfollower01

          "But hopefully no child would be taught such as your example."

          Do you not think this was taught in Nazi Germany? Do you not think that children in an ancient civilization weren't taught that it was morally good to sacrifice their own children?

          "But hopefully people don’t forget history and the mistakes."

          Why does anyone make moral mistakes on atheism? On atheism, who says another person's moral decisions are a mistake?

          July 16, 2014 at 11:20 pm |
        • LaBella

          Truthfollower,
          If you are raised and taught that it is right to murder the Jewish people, would it be subjectively morally good to you to murder the Jewish people?

          July 16, 2014 at 11:29 pm |
        • Doris

          [Doris]: "But hopefully no child would be taught such as your example."

          Do you not think this was taught in Nazi Germany? Do you not think that children in an ancient civilization weren't taught that it was morally good to sacrifice their own children?

          Where did you get the idea that I was trying to rewrite history, tf? We were not discussing history – you started this off with a hypothetical situation.

          [Doris]: "But hopefully people don’t forget history and the mistakes."

          tf: "Why does anyone make moral mistakes on atheism? On atheism, who says another person's moral decisions are a mistake?"

          Oh so you want to start over again? You didn't understand what we've been discussing since I responded to your initial reply to SeaVik above? Wow. Well OK, for your convenience, here we go:

          If you're going to continue to play the exact same game, tf, you should at least try to be a little more creative. The question is a loaded statement and we all know you know it.

          When discussing the possible existence of objective (divine) "truths", people like truthfollower/Theo appeal to their audience with various examples attempting to get the reader to agree to a non-qualifed value of "evil/incorrect/bad/good", as if this will lock in an agreement of an objective "truth" value (without it being explicitly specified). Theo has done so here with "good" and "bad".

          Of course they are not interested in a subjective answer but only in getting the responder to commit to a value that they can then attempt to claim as objective. They want their audience to agree to the objective moral claim – often using scenarios like rape and Hitler to entice what, for most, would be common agreement. (This is why truthfollower frequently asks simply – "on atheism, why is it wrong?" If they explicitly asks qualifying "good"/"bad" with "objective", then they will have exposed themselves as begging using objectivity in trying to demonstrate an instance of objectivity (which would look circularly foolish). They have to be disingenuous in trying to put the cart before the horse; to put an alleged divine "truth" in front of proving the source for it.

          @truthfollower/Theo:

          Prove that you do not just have a similar opinion that you have derived in the same subjective manner as atheists, only from something that only represents a claimed unsubstantiated source. Without such proof, we can only assume that you also arrive at your opinions, in whatever form you care to call them, subjectively.

          Prove that objective morality exists without resorting to subjective means. Can you do that? You know – demonstrate either your God or your direct connection to his "truths" without letting subjectivity taint the process? If you can't then, as I said, it is only reasonable to assume the moral absolutes you claim exist are also subjectively obtained and therefore, not objective, not absolute and not divine.

          What's an example of a subjective influence? There are many when it comes to Christian belief – but here's one: William Tyndale – first person to translate the Bible into English drawing from Greek and Hebrew texts.

          July 16, 2014 at 11:33 pm |
        • Doris

          Near the top of my last reply, I forgot to mark one paragraph as a quote by tf:

          "Do you not think this was taught in Nazi Germany? Do you not think that children in an ancient civilization weren't taught that it was morally good to sacrifice their own children?"

          July 16, 2014 at 11:37 pm |
      • SeaVik

        "Would you say that for you, this would be morally good and that you wouldn't be wrong in holding this view?"

        No, I would say that you have been influenced to ignore your instinctual sense of empathy such that you no longer know what it is to be moral. It wouldn't be your fault, but you would still be immoral. It's not the fault of the people who come to immoral views – Nazis, Christians, etc – it's the fault of those who instilled those immoral views. That is why I am such an opponent of religious indoctrination of children.

        July 16, 2014 at 10:37 pm |
        • truthfollower01

          "No it would not, tf. From the moment I could understand what murder meant, I was taught that it was “wrong”"

          If you are raised and taught that it is right to murder the Jewish people, would it be subjectively morally good to you to murder the Jewish people?

          July 16, 2014 at 10:43 pm |
        • truthfollower01

          Sorry. Above post was for Doris.

          July 16, 2014 at 10:46 pm |
        • truthfollower01

          So to clarify, morality is grounded in SeaVik's personal instinctual sense? Why would your instinctual sense carry more authority than anyone else's?

          July 16, 2014 at 10:53 pm |
        • SeaVik

          "Why would your instinctual sense carry more authority than anyone else's?"

          Nope. I just believe that as someone who wasn't raised with religion, my instinctual sense of morals is a lot more pure than those influenced by religion.

          July 16, 2014 at 11:08 pm |
        • Doris

          It wouldn't, tf, other than for SV and his ability to influence others would probably include his vote. But there is influence among individuals and there is consensus on things. So therefore we have collective authority; individual instinctive empathies; therefore various groupings of collective empathies; individual influences and experiences, therefore collective influences and experiences.

          July 16, 2014 at 11:13 pm |
      • joey3467

        The only way to have objective morality is if genocide is always wrong. Since truthfollower thinks that it is o.k. for god to commit genocide, and not Hitler morality can't be objective. Genocide would have to always be wrong, and truthfollower has subjectively decided that it is o.k. in some cases.

        July 17, 2014 at 10:54 am |
  9. bostontola

    I don't know why creationists are so against transitional forms. There are many transitional forms called out right in the bible:

    Satyrs – part human, part goat.
    The co.ckatrice is a part rooster and part snake.
    Daniel's beasts include a lion with eagle's wings, and a leopard with 4 wings.
    Revelations predicts “locusts” with human faces, women’s hair, lions’ teeth, and scorpions’ tails, also, horses with the heads of lions and tails like serpents with heads.

    So transitional beings are far from absurd, the bible says so.

    July 16, 2014 at 6:51 pm |
    • kenmargo

      Thank you for giving me more reasons NOT to read the bible. These things scare me sh1tless!

      July 16, 2014 at 6:58 pm |
    • Dalahäst

      n.ice!

      July 16, 2014 at 7:11 pm |
      • Dalahäst

        N.ice is a banned word?

        July 16, 2014 at 7:11 pm |
        • bostontola

          That is one weird filter.

          July 16, 2014 at 7:13 pm |
        • kenmargo

          Let's see nice. I guess not.

          July 16, 2014 at 7:26 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Nice!

          July 16, 2014 at 7:27 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Totally wouldn't let me post Nice! or Nice?, but N.ice! went through.

          July 16, 2014 at 7:28 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          It would not let me reply to his first post with

          Nice,

          just now.

          July 16, 2014 at 7:30 pm |
        • bostontola

          That's not nice!

          July 16, 2014 at 7:31 pm |
    • Science Works

      And the transformation from man to woman with a rib bone ?

      July 16, 2014 at 7:15 pm |
      • djangoboy

        Interestingly, it has been said that the Hebrew word usually translated as "rib" in English bibles can also mean "side." So the meaning may have been that God took one side out of the human, splitting it's male and female aspects into two separate beings. Genesis does say "male and female created He them." Perhaps the initial creation was a being that was both male and female?

        Of course, it is all myth, but it's a nice story all the same. Too bad so many people take it as science.

        July 16, 2014 at 9:46 pm |
        • Science Works

          Rib tickler that might create a side....

          Pope Francis jokes ‘woman was from a rib’ as he avoids question about Catholic Church’s misogyny

          http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2014/06/29/pope-francis-jokes-woman-was-from-a-rib-as-he-avoids-question-about-catholic-churchs-misogyny

          July 16, 2014 at 10:09 pm |
        • Science Works

          Oops side ache.

          July 16, 2014 at 10:10 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          It makes more sense as "side".

          2000 years ago: Philo Judeaus said: "The letter of this statement is plain enough; for it is expressed according to the symbol of the part, a half of the whole, each party, the man and the woman, being as sections of nature co-equal for the production of that genus which is called man."

          " ...and He took one of his sides and He filled in the flesh in its place."

          "In the image of God He created him, male and female He created them"

          "bone of my bone" and "flesh of my flesh"

          July 16, 2014 at 11:11 pm |
  10. kenmargo

    Copied from the daily kos website: This explains why the supreme's ruling can be fixed.

    Senate Democrats are moving forward with legislation to fix the Supreme Court's Hobby Lobby ruling which interpreted the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993 (RFRA) as guaranteeing closely-held private corporations the right to deny birth control coverage to women.

    While Republicans are in position to block the legislation—thanks both to the filibuster and their control of the House—it will put them on record with where they stand on the Hobby Lobby ruling and it will serve as a reminder that the decision can be fixed by Congress without a consti'tutional amendment.

    Because the Supreme Court's decision relied on on interpretation of the RFRA and not the First Amendment itself, Congress, by enacting legislation such as the bill offered by Murray and Udall, could override the court's ruling and guarantee women the same level of comprehensive health care coverage available to men. That won't happen this year, but the only thing that needs to change to make it happen is Congress.

    .

    July 16, 2014 at 6:43 pm |
    • bostontola

      That does make sense Ken, thanks!

      July 16, 2014 at 6:53 pm |
  11. djangoboy

    From @TheTweetofGod:

    I, God, completely support __________ in its ongoing fight against __________. Kill them all!

    July 16, 2014 at 6:10 pm |
  12. Doris

    Oh Scotty – found a live transitional sample for you:

    http://khon2.com/2014/07/16/duck-born-with-four-legs-in-louisiana/

    (I know it's not really a transitional sample, but we've got to help Scotty out – think of it like starting some kids out on tee ball so they can get used to hitting the ball before they start getting pitches coming at them...)

    July 16, 2014 at 5:38 pm |
    • Alias

      Dorris
      I know you want to help scot, but I have worked around developmentally delayed children. Sometimes they are just better off in their gleeful bliss than they could ever be in reality.

      July 16, 2014 at 5:44 pm |
    • TruthPrevails1

      I have this image of him...sitting in his Momma's basement (okay, not a basement but a dug out under the trailer) with some cheap Pentium 1 computer connecting via wifi. I'm guessing he was homeschooled and has very few friends, outside of his prayer-a-palooza friends and jesus, of course. He's certainly not that bright...I think my Cat (wait for it Scot...you'll love his name) DARWIN has more brains.

      July 16, 2014 at 5:46 pm |
      • Doris

        Oh that's creepy. I can just see Mommy rockin' in chair and after asking her "how can we help Scotty?", only getting the reply: "It can't be stopped – its gotta run its course"...

        July 16, 2014 at 5:54 pm |
      • Alias

        scot is what topher's son is destined to turn into if no one with reasoning skills makes an impression on the child.

        July 16, 2014 at 5:55 pm |
        • TruthPrevails1

          Sadly that is not likely to happen....topher has made it very clear that they hope to homeschool....that poor babe is doomed to repeat the cycle....it's exactly how the belief system has lasted so long.

          July 16, 2014 at 6:38 pm |
  13. kenmargo

    Senate repubs blocked the birth control bill to fix what the supremes screwed up. Please vote democrat so this country can move foward. Ladies the supreme court picked companies over YOU. Sit around and not vote, next thing you know you won't be allowed to vote.

    July 16, 2014 at 5:35 pm |
    • Doris

      good point

      July 16, 2014 at 5:39 pm |
    • Alias

      This is why rational people can be anti-religion sometimes.

      July 16, 2014 at 5:41 pm |
    • bostontola

      The ACA was a bill approved by congress and it was found unconst.itutional by the SC. Why would the SC rule differently on this bill?

      July 16, 2014 at 5:45 pm |
      • LaBella

        The ACA was found UnConstitutional by the SCOTUS? When did this happen?

        July 16, 2014 at 6:01 pm |
      • kenmargo

        First of all the ACA was NOT ruled unconsti'tutional. IT IS LAW. The provision struck down can be fixed by congress.

        July 16, 2014 at 6:04 pm |
        • bostontola

          I'm not a lawyer, but the thing ruled unconst.itutional was a part of the ACA, I didn't mean the ACA was fully struck down.

          What is different in the new bill that would make it acceptable to the SC?

          July 16, 2014 at 6:09 pm |
        • kenmargo

          I'm not a lawyer either. The best way I can explain it would be when the Supreme's struck down part of the voting rights act. The voting rights act was specific to states in the south with the tendency to descriminate against minority voters.

          Congress can restore the part struck down by applying the law to ALL states, not just the one's with a history of descriminating. That's a way congress can fix it.

          July 16, 2014 at 6:18 pm |
        • bostontola

          I'll take your word for it.

          July 16, 2014 at 6:20 pm |
        • kenmargo

          @boston..............I'll try to get specific info so I can explain it in a clearer way in the future. It's all about the checks and balances set up in our consti'tution.

          July 16, 2014 at 6:26 pm |
        • bostontola

          Ken,
          No real need to dig too deep. I'm thinking that the original SC ruling was religiously driven, so the SC would find a way to rule the new law unconst. as well.

          July 16, 2014 at 6:32 pm |
    • Science Works

      http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2014/07/16/this-is-2014-not-1914-sen-elizabeth-warren-blasts-gop-and-hobby-lobby-ruling/

      July 16, 2014 at 6:12 pm |
      • fkahodor

        omg i love her

        July 16, 2014 at 6:13 pm |
      • Doris

        Excellent.

        July 16, 2014 at 7:42 pm |
    • fkahodor

      there's a reason women give birth in a hospital and not in a church

      July 16, 2014 at 6:14 pm |
      • kenmargo

        Make sure you vote.

        July 16, 2014 at 6:20 pm |
  14. Doris

    Rapper Andre Johnson explained why he cut off his Johnson in a recent cnn article: "Yes, I was using drugs that night, but I was in complete control," he said. "I cut it off because that was the root of all my problems. My solution to the problem was the realization that se.x is for mortals, and I am a god. ...Those kinds of activities got me into trouble, and I came here to be a god."

    He later explained "He said he was thankful to God when he awoke in the hospital still alive." [claiming that his 2nd-story jump after severing his Johnson was not an attempt as suicide]

    Maybe he was following the Analogia Scriptura 2, Electric Bugaloo method of resolving moral code....

    July 16, 2014 at 3:44 pm |
    • kenmargo

      Maybe he was following Jack Daniels bottle #2, electric knife boo boo, morals are of a woman because he has to sit to pee.

      July 16, 2014 at 3:54 pm |
      • awanderingscot

        oh right, and you're the creep that likes stepping on babies, you're disgusting.

        July 16, 2014 at 4:02 pm |
        • Doris

          and your the one who recently said: "....as I've proven (to myself mostly)..."

          LOL. I would challenge you to get anyone else to come forward on the issue of evolution and say you've proven anything to them, Snotty. Otherwise, it is really likely ".... as I've proven (only to myself).." right?

          July 16, 2014 at 4:06 pm |
        • kenmargo

          He gives himself a vasectomy and I'M disgusting. Yeah right.

          July 16, 2014 at 4:12 pm |
        • awanderingscot

          you hypocritically accused me of presenting a quote out of context, and then you turn around and present HALF A QUOTE of mine. lol, you're a fine example of a hatetheist. btw Doris, were you ever in the U.S.Navy ?

          July 16, 2014 at 4:16 pm |
        • awanderingscot

          and you're a window peeper too Ken Margo, you're gonna catch a boot someday.

          July 16, 2014 at 4:18 pm |
        • Dyslexic doG

          @Scot. I finally understand why you think like you do. You are a perfect example of a creature that hasn't evolved.

          July 16, 2014 at 4:24 pm |
        • kenmargo

          I'm 52. I can barely stand up straight to peep in my own window much less someone's else.

          July 16, 2014 at 4:25 pm |
        • TruthPrevails1

          oh snotsickle, stop deflecting your own misgivings off on someone else

          July 16, 2014 at 4:35 pm |
        • igaftr

          scot
          Don't you have to go inflate your date?
          scots at!tude toward $ex...better latex than never....

          July 16, 2014 at 4:38 pm |
        • Doris

          Snotty: "you hypocritically accused me of presenting a quote out of context, and then you turn around and present HALF A QUOTE of mine. lol, you're a fine example of a hatetheist. btw Doris, were you ever in the U.S.Navy ?"

          Blah blah blah. I'll admit – it was a cheap shot. But the important part is obvious and you might gain something by accepting the challenge presented: get someone here to support your view of evolution...if you can.....

          And no, I have never been in the U.S. Navy.

          July 16, 2014 at 4:38 pm |
        • awanderingscot

          Doris, are you absolutely positive you've never been in the U.S.Navy???

          July 16, 2014 at 4:48 pm |
        • Doris

          I went as a tourist on a ship docked in Charleston if that counts. I think it was the Yorktown.

          July 16, 2014 at 4:54 pm |
        • awanderingscot

          are you certain you weren't in the Navy Dave? er i mean Doris?

          July 16, 2014 at 9:00 pm |
        • Doris

          Absolutely, Scot. Why would you think I was?

          July 16, 2014 at 9:02 pm |
    • Theo Phileo

      “Almighty God will inflict wrath without any pity (Ezekiel 8:18). When God beholds the unspeakable, ineffable extremity of your case and sees your torment to be so vastly disproportionate to your strength, and sees how your poor soul is crushed, and sinks down as it were into an infinite gloom, He will have no compassion upon you. He will not forebear the executions of His wrath or in the least lighten His hand. There will be no moderation, no mercy. He will have no regard to your welfare, nor be at all careful lest you should suffer too much in any other sense in only that you shall not suffer beyond what strict justice requires. Nothing shall be withheld because it is so hard for you to bear.”
      > Jonathan Edwards, October 5, 1703 – March 22, 1758

      July 16, 2014 at 4:13 pm |
      • kenmargo

        "There will be no moderation, no mercy. He will have no regard to your welfare, nor be at all careful lest you should suffer too much in any other sense in only that you shall not suffer beyond what strict justice requires."

        The man cut off his johnson. HE had no mercy!

        "Nothing shall be withheld because it is so hard for you to bear.”

        He wishes IT could "held" in his hand, It's not hard nor will it ever be hard again.

        July 16, 2014 at 4:20 pm |
        • Theo Phileo

          The quote was written in response to Doris' constant disdain and mockery of holy things. Her mockery this time directed to my previous mention of the implications of the Analogia Scriptura.

          Those who commit wicked deeds do so because it is within their hearts to do so – it is their natural, unredeemed, sinful nature. Since a man’s actions reflect who and what he is, wicked men do wicked things… It is the wicked that God hates.

          The sinner who does not repent, who continues in the sin will feel the fury of God's hatred. And in Malachi 1:4 it says that the Lord – toward people who sin – is indignant forever. Once the sinner is inexorably and finally identified with the sin, then the sinner feels the hatred of God.

          July 16, 2014 at 4:23 pm |
        • kenmargo

          @Theo.............If god is the man you say he is, Doris words won't have any effect on him. If god don't give people things they can't handle, I'm sure god can handle someone not believing in him.

          July 16, 2014 at 4:30 pm |
      • Doris

        Oh I missed this down here. Was Theo forming a garlic barrier between me and him again already? (I don't think the next full moon is due until sometime in August.)

        July 16, 2014 at 4:57 pm |
  15. awanderingscot

    The "Living Fossil" Fish Proves Evolution is Wrong

    The Coelacanth fish was touted to be a transitional form with half-formed legs and primitive lungs, ready to transition onto land. This myth was exploded in December, 1938 when a live Coelacanth was caught in a fisherman's net off the eastern coast of South Africa. It is now known that the natives of the Comoro Islands had been catching and eating the fish for years.

    It did not have half-formed legs or primitive lungs. It was simply a regular fish that people thought was extinct. Evolutionist claimed the 350 million-year-old Coelacanth evolved into animals with legs, feet, and lungs.

    This not the case. We now see that the fish recently caught is exactly like the 350 million-year-old fossil. It did not evolve at all.

    The Coelacanth is a star witness against the false theory of evolution. After 350 million years, the fish still doesn't have a leg to stand on.

    Fisherman catches 'living fossil' – BBC News – August 1, 2007;

    "The 1.3m-long (4.3ft), 50kg (110lb) coelacanth is only the second ever to have been captured in Asia and has been described as a "significant find". An autopsy and genetic tests are now being carried out to determine more about the specimen. Coelacanths provide researchers with a window into the past; their fossil record dates back 350 million years."

    The Archaeopteryx fossil was herald by evolutionists as a significant transitional missing link. The fossil was discovered in a limestone quarry in southern Germany in 1861 and has been debated ever since.

    The dinosaur creature appears to be a reptile with bird characteristics of wings and feathers. It had the skeleton of a small dinosaur with a tail, fingers with claws on the leading edge of the wing, and teeth in the jaws.

    The owners of the property discovered six fossils of which only two had feathers. This inconsistency smells of fraud from the beginning. Upon close examination the feathers appear to be identical to modern chicken feathers. Click the picture to see an enlargement.

    The Archaeopteryx fossils with feathers have now been declared forgeries by scientists. "Allegedly, thin layers of cement were spread on two fossils of a chicken-size dinosaur, called Compsognathus. Bird feathers were then imprinted into the wet cement" according to Dr. Walt Brown.

    (...) This example would not have proven evolution even if the feathers had not been forgeries. Finding a few species with characteristics similar to two other species does not prove a link. There should be millions or billions of transitional links if evolution were true, not simply a few.

    The Platypus (Ornithorhynchus anatinus), with its duck bill and webbed feet, is a unique Australian animal. It and the two species of echidna are the only monotremes or egg-laying mammals to be found on earth.

    The marsupials (mammals with pouches, e.g. kangaroos) and eutherians (placental mammals that give birth to well-developed young, e.g. humans) both give birth to live young.

    The monotremes have lower body temperatures than other mammals and have legs which extend out, then vertically below them. These features, together with their egg-laying ability, are more like that of a lizard than a mammal. Platypus are readily identified by their streamlined body, webbed feet, broad tail, and characteristic muzzle or bill which is soft and pliable.

    The Platypus males have spurs on their hind feet that deliver a poisonous venom like a snake. A Platypus sting is powerful enough to make people sick and kill a dog.

    The Platypus of Australia has characteristics of many species but certainly is not the missing link to all of them. In fact, it is not a link to any of them. The Platypus has made a joke of Charles Darwin's theory of evolution and his unproven theory of natural selection.

    April 6. 2006 – Tiktaalik is the latest fossil gap evolutionary fraud;

    Scientists fraudulently claim a newly-discovered fish is the second bridge fossil gap between sea and land creatures. The scientists have apparently forgotten that the first fossil gap, Archaeopteryx, shown above was also a fraud. Tiktaalik therefore becomes fossil gap fraud number 2.

    "Called 'Tiktaalik' by scientists, the fish lived in shallow, swampy waters. Most remarkably, the creature, which was less than 3 feet long, had the body of a fish but the jaws, ribs, and limb-like fins seen in the earliest land mammals."

    Tiktaalik fossil
    The claim that the stubby little fossil fins are "limb-like" is a real hoot. The fish doesn't even have fins as large as expected for its size. The scientists are claiming the fish walked around on the ground out of water and breathed air. This is pure make-believe speculation. No evidence exists that the fish is anything more than just another species.

    The excitement about the Tiktaalik fossil is puzzling. Modern-day seals have fins and waddle around on the ground. Modern-day catfish have fins and walk around on the ground. Catfish can live out of water for a long time. Tiktaalik does not provide any support for evolution.

    Evolutionists are now claiming that a dolphin captured with two little extra fins near the tail is proof that dolphins evolved from four-footed animals related to the dog.

    "Experts believe that the dolphin's ancestor was a dog-like creature which roamed the earth many millions of years ago. And now the extraordinary discovery of a bottlenosed dolphin with an extra set of flippers has provided living proof of the theory. At first glance it looks like any other of its kind. But closer inspection reveals a rogue set of rear fins. Each the size of a human hand, the fins are thought to be the remains of a pair of hind legs, adding to evidence that dolphins once walked on all fours." – Alexander Light

    July 16, 2014 at 3:20 pm |
    • igaftr

      This garbage has already been addressed as to why it is wrong. Typical evolution denier,

      July 16, 2014 at 3:27 pm |
    • SeaVik

      awanderingscot, why do you keep posting this crap? Your position is foolish and this has been shown over and over.

      July 16, 2014 at 3:43 pm |
    • TruthPrevails1

      Your ilk is entitled to their opinion but you're not entitled to your own facts and given your rants, you have nothing.

      July 16, 2014 at 4:08 pm |
    • Dyslexic doG

      Posting this stuff proves only that you do not understand how evolution works. You would have been perfectly suited to life in the bronze age where basic tasks were daily life and thinking wasn't really required.

      July 16, 2014 at 4:20 pm |
  16. awanderingscot

    Scientific Fact No. 2 – Species Without a Link Prove Evolution Theory is Wrong

    The evolutionist will claim that the presence of many individual species proves evolution. This shallow statement is devoid of reason, logic, and scientific proof.
    Evolutionists line up pictures of similar-looking species and claim they evolved one from another. The human "family tree" is an example of this flawed theory. Petrified skulls and bones exist from hundreds of species of extinct monkeys and apes.
    Evolutionists line up the most promising choices to present a gradual progression from monkey to modern man. They simply fill in the big gaps with make-believe creatures to fit the picture.

    This procedure can be done with humans only because there are many extinct monkey and ape species. They never do this with giraffes, elephants or the Platypus. (...)
    The pictures are simply a grouping of individual species that does not prove evolution.

    Close to the Missing Link - Oldest Human Ancestor Discovered;

    Why do they claim the above discovery is "close to the missing link"? The answer is simple. Look at the picture: It is a monkey. A monkey species that has become extinct. Lots of species have become extinct. Millions of species have become extinct.

    It is obviously not similar to a human. Look at the feet with the big toe spread away from the smaller toes exactly like a modern chimpanzee, not like people.

    A newly discovered extinct species does not prove a "missing link" has been found.

    Charles Darwin admitted that fossils of the transitional links between species would have to be found in order to prove his "Theory of Evolution." Well, these transitional links have never been found. We only find individual species.

    Evolutionists try to form these individual species into a link according to similar major features such as wings or four legs, but this simply proves the Theory of Evolution to be a fraud. Darwin was hopeful that future fossils would prove his theory correct, but instead, the lack of transitional links has proven his theory to be wrong.

    The presence of individual species actually proves they were not developed by an evolutionary process. If evolution were true, all plants, animals, and insects would be in a continual state of change. No two creatures would be identical, because they would not be separate species. All life forms would be a continual blend of characteristics without a clear definition among the species. Everything would be changing, and every animal, insect, and plant would be different.

    The cheetah above proves evolution does not exist. All species are locked solidly within their DNA code.

    Evolutionists are going ape over "Ape-Girl"

    The fossilized bones of a new animal have been found in Ethiopia near the site where "Lucy" was discovered many years ago. By the way, Lucy was a monkey, not an early humanoid. The number of bones of the Ape-girl skeleton are unique because Lucy had only a few head fragments.

    This find gives us a lot of information about the animal because major parts of the skeleton were unearthed (assuming these are all from the same animal). It has teeth in the jaw and is said to also have unerupted teeth still within the jaw. The evolutionists call the animal a "human-like" female child about three years of age and an "individual." This is not a "human-like" fossil. It is an "ape-like" fossil because it was an ape.

    The evolutionists call the animal a "transitional species" and a human ancestor even though it has a head exactly like a modern-day ape. The jaw is thrust forward and the forehead pushed back and slanted. The true appearance is more easily seen from side picture below.

    Ape-girl also has arms "that dangled down to just above the knees. It also had gorilla-like shoulder blades which suggest it could have been skilled at swinging through trees."

    So, it looks like an ape, it has a head like an ape, it has arms like an ape, it has shoulder blades like an ape – It is obviously an ape, not a human, pre-human or humanoid. This animal is simply a young ape. Its size is as would be expected for a young modern-day ape.

    The age of this fossilized animal is also very much in doubt. Scientists many years ago claimed a tooth found was Nebraska Man, a pre-human fossil millions of years old. They determined the age of the tooth. The scientists had sculptured an entire ape-like skeleton from information they found in one tooth. These lies were exposed when real scientists found the tooth to be from a peccary, an animal similar to (and closely related to) pigs.

    'Lucy's baby' found in Ethiopia – BBC News – September 21, 2006;

    "The 3.3-million-year-old fossilised remains of a human-like child have been unearthed in Ethiopia's Dikika region. The find consists of the whole skull, the entire torso, and important parts of the upper and lower limbs. CT scans reveal unerupted teeth still in the jaw, a detail that makes scientists think the individual may have been about three years old when she died."

    Remarkably, some quite delicate bones not normally preserved in the fossilisation process are also present, such as the hyoid, or tongue, bone. The hyoid bone reflects how the voice box is built and perhaps what sounds a species can produce.

    Judging by how well it was preserved, the skeleton may have come from a body that was quickly buried by sediment in a flood, the researchers said. "In my opinion, afarensis is a very good transitional species for what was before four million years ago and what came after three million years," Dr Alemseged told BBC science correspondent Pallab Ghosh.

    "[The species had] a mixture of ape-like and human-like features. This puts afarensis in a special position to play a pivotal role in the story of what we are and where we come from."

    Climbing Ability

    "This early ancestor possessed primitive teeth and a small brain but it stood upright and walked on two feet. There is considerable argument about whether the Dikika girl could also climb trees like an ape.

    This climbing ability would require anatomical equipment like long arms, and the 'Lucy' species had arms that dangled down to just above the knees. It also had gorilla-like shoulder blades which suggest it could have been skilled at swinging through trees. But the question is whether such features indicate climbing ability or are just 'evolutionary baggage'."

    Evolution is in trouble. The growth of biological knowledge is producing scientific facts that contradict the evolutionary theory, not confirm it, a fact that famous Prof. Steven Jay Gould of Harvard has described as "the trade secret of paleontology."

    The fossil record simply does not support the evolutionary theory, which claims there once existed a series of successive forms leading to the present-day organism. The theory states that infinitesimal changes within each generation evolve into a new species, but the scientific fact remains. They don't.

    Fossils prove the sudden emergence of a new species out of nowhere, complete with characteristics unknown in any other species. The fossil record has no intermediate or transitional forms. This is popularly known as the "missing link" problem, and it exists in all species. The missing link problem is getting worse, not better, with the discovery of more fossils.

    The missing links are not being discovered, which proves they never existed. Darwin assumed transitional forms would be discovered in the fossil record over time, but that has not been the case. The fossil record, or lack thereof, is a major embarrassment to evolutionists.

    The fossil record is a serious rebuke of the Theory of Evolution. New species explode onto the scene out of nowhere. New fossil discoveries continue to prove evolution to be wrong.

    Evolution: A Theory in Crisis by Michael Denton;

    Michael Denton says,

    "Despite the tremendous increase in geological activity in every corner of the globe and despite the discovery of many strange and hitherto unknown forms, the infinitude of connecting links has still not been discovered and the fossil record is about as discontinuous as it was when Darwin was writing the Origin."

    A reader of the Michael Denton's book says,

    "Denton a Molecular Biologist removes all of the supports (if there ever were any) from Darwin's theory of macro-evolution (continuity of life). Denton blasts all of the previous arguments made by the pro-evolutionists showing that there is essentially no support of macro-evolution in the fossil record. He also, clearly demonstrates that there is no support coming from his specialty molecular biology. In the end the only sound explanation he can make is that life is profoundly discontinuous."

    Harvard Professor Gould claims that evolution occurs in spurts, not gradually. This theory attempts to explain the lack of continuity in the fossil record. However, this theory is more troublesome than the gradual change theory. Large jumps or spurts in the fossil record don't prove evolution at all. In fact, they disprove evolution.

    The theory that evolution can occur in spurts, because the fossil record shows it did not occur gradually, is a wild stretch of the imagination. Species have some characteristics similar to other species, but similarity doesn't prove any evolutionary link whatsoever. There are more than missing links in biology. There are entire missing chains in 100% of the branches of the evolutionary tree.

    Many species are dependant upon another species for their coexistence. Hummingbirds and flowers are a good example. The flower would not be pollinated and would become extinct without the bird. They are said to have coevolved together. That is a stretch of the imagination without any basis in science. There are hundreds of these examples that cannot be explained.

    Charles Darwin had concern about his theory of natural selection. He knew that a failure to find the missing transitional links would seriously cripple his theory of evolution, but he was hopeful the missing links would be found some day. Well, guess what? He died not finding them. Evolutionists have never found the missing links. Each time they announce finding one, it is later proven to be false.

    July 16, 2014 at 3:19 pm |
    • igaftr

      No one is looking for the "missing link"...that is extremely outdated and show how this is simply nonsense.
      I already gave you a link to one of many that shred Light's "work"

      Creationists are so silly.

      July 16, 2014 at 3:29 pm |
    • redzoa

      Both of scot's C&P attempts to supplement his ignorance come from this clearly reputable website:

      http://www.biblelife.org/

      Come on scot, show us your deep understanding of the issue. Explain how the fossil record came to appear in its particular progressive order, e.g. first fish, then amphibians, then reptiles, then mammals, then birds? Then, given your clearly profound understanding of the relevant science, you can explain how humans came to possess a defunct gene for egg-yolk proteins in our placental mammal genomes and why the presence of this dead gene and the mutations rendering it defunct map to the lineages observable in the fossil record?

      July 16, 2014 at 3:31 pm |
      • awanderingscot

        because the fossil record is not how you would like it. ever hear of the 'Cambrian Explosion'?

        July 16, 2014 at 3:51 pm |
        • redzoa

          I take your response as your concession that you have no argument.

          In response to your Ohno quote mine:
          http://bfg.oxfordjournals.org/content/8/4/266.full

          It's rather clear that your understanding of these issues is not the product of education, but rather the perusal of creationist websites. Tell me, how many court cases have found ID/creationism to be anything more than a purely religious, non-scientific proposition consisting solely of arguments of incredulity absent any supporting positive evidence?

          I'm sure biblelife.org, AIG, ICR and the other websites can provide you with creationism's record when given the opportunity to present their "evidence" to impartial federal courts . . .

          July 16, 2014 at 3:58 pm |
        • awanderingscot

          http://www.uncommondescent.com/cambrian-explosion/paul-chien-on-the-suppressed-significance-of-the-chinese-cambrian-fossils/

          July 16, 2014 at 4:06 pm |
        • redzoa

          Feel free to cite Chien's peer-reviewed research supporting his claims . . .

          July 16, 2014 at 4:12 pm |
        • Doc Vestibule

          Paul Chien – one of the big movers and shakers in the Discovery Insti'tute's "Wedge Strategy".
          The Creationists over at the DI cite him as being the leader of their Paleontology Research program even though, by his own admission, he has no credentials in the field.

          For those who don't know, the wedge strategy is an open admission that they don't want to necessarily teach what they think is fact.
          Their actual objective in pushing for creationism to be taught in schools as "to defeat scientific materialism and its destructive moral, cultural and political legacies". They want to use Intelligent Design as a "wedge" to separate science from its allegiance to "atheistic naturalism".
          In other words, they fear that teaching FACTS to children will drive them away from religion.

          Source: http://www.antievolution.org/features/wedge.pdf

          July 16, 2014 at 4:16 pm |
        • redzoa

          Well, I've had my fill of pigeon chess for the time being . . .

          I'll check back for Chien's publications and biblelife.org's insightful commentary as to why ID/creationism has invariably failed to gain any traction with either mainstream science or the federal judiciary . . .

          July 16, 2014 at 4:18 pm |
        • Alias

          WHAT DO YOU EXPECT FROM SCOT?
          It is so much easier to find some hack to agree with your religious views than to bother with facts or reality.

          July 16, 2014 at 4:21 pm |
        • Sungrazer

          biblelife.org is fascinating. He's fixated on guns and nutrition. I love these nutrition requirements:

          * Don't eat fruit out of season. Jesus did not serve orange juice or apple juice.
          * Don't eat any potatoes. Jesus never handed out French fries.
          * Don't drink rice milk or soy milk. Jesus didn't serve these either.
          * Don't eat sugar, desserts, or ice cream. Jesus never handed out cake or cookies.

          Incidentally, how does he know Jesus didn't do these things? Is it recorded that he didn't?

          July 16, 2014 at 4:29 pm |
        • Doc Vestibule

          Don't eat fruit out of season.
          Greenhouses and the refrigeration of food are tools of Satan.

          July 16, 2014 at 4:31 pm |
        • awanderingscot

          proven fact: 87% of evolutionists are NOT real scientists, they are ideologues/materialists

          July 16, 2014 at 4:33 pm |
        • LaBella

          Well, Jesus never used a computer, the internet, or guns, so that guy should give those up, too.

          July 16, 2014 at 6:46 pm |
        • In Santa We Trust

          wandering
          Judging by your posts on evolution you wouldn't recognize a fact if you tripped over one. Actually I'm sure of that as you trip over facts multiple times a day.

          July 16, 2014 at 7:07 pm |
        • LaBella

          87% of believers aren't scientists either, Scot. That's a meaningless number.
          Religious Differences on the Question of Evolution (United States)
          Percentage who agree that evolution is the best explanation for the origin of human life on earth
          Atheist/Agnostic

          87%
          Buddhist

          81%
          Hindu

          80%
          Secular unaffiliated

          77%
          Jewish

          77%
          Catholic

          58%
          Religious unaffiliated

          55%
          Orthodox

          54%
          Mainline Protestant

          51%
          Muslim

          45%
          Hist. Black Protest.

          39%
          Evang. Protestant

          23%
          Mormon

          22%
          Jehovah's Witnesses

          8%
          Total U.S. population percentage:48%
          Source: Pew Forum[56]

          Wiki

          July 16, 2014 at 7:23 pm |
        • awanderingscot

          87%
          Buddhist

          81%
          Hindu

          80%
          Secular unaffiliated –

          77%
          Jewish – DEIST

          77%
          Catholic – DEIST

          58%
          Religious unaffiliated

          55%
          Orthodox – DEIST

          54%
          Mainline Protestant – DEIST

          51%
          Muslim – DEIST

          45%
          Hist. Black Protest. – DEIST

          39%
          Evang. Protestant – DEIST

          23%
          Mormon – DEIST

          22%
          Jehovah's Witnesses – DEIST

          0%
          Christian – THEIST

          LaBella (Akira) DEIST

          8%
          Total U.S. population percentage:48%
          Source: Pew Forum[56]

          July 16, 2014 at 9:18 pm |
      • awanderingscot

        Most textbooks will show a live tree of evolution with the groups evolving through a long period of time. If you take that tree and chop off 99 percent of it, [what is left] is closer to reality; it’s the true beginning of every group of animals, all represented at the very beginning.

        Since the Cambrian period, we have only die-off and no new groups coming about, ever. There’s only one little exception cited the group known as bryozoans, which are found in the fossil record a little later. However, most people think we just haven’t found it yet; that group was probably also present in the Cambrian explosion. (June 14, 2004) – Paul Chien

        July 16, 2014 at 3:59 pm |
        • redzoa

          Ahh. I was too slow. You do know that Chien is not a paleontologist and to my knowledge, has not published any alleged research on the topic. One who could provide evidence in direct contradiction to evolution would have their pick of top-tiered journals . . .

          July 16, 2014 at 4:10 pm |
        • colin31714

          Actually, if you chopped 99% off the tree of life as established science understands it, you would still be left with about 35,000,000 years. Which is still about 5,833 times longer than creationists think life on Earth has been around for.

          July 16, 2014 at 4:12 pm |
        • Doc Vestibule

          As phylogenetic analysis becomes increasingly robust, it has become clear that the traditional "Tree of Life" diagram is insufficient to relay the myriad complexities of genomic movement and adaptations in the evolutionary process.
          This kind of phylogenetic networks emphasized the fact that evolutionary patterns are caused by independent processes impacting the evolutionary histories of genes, i.e. that there is often more than one process at play. From a pluralistic perspective, methods specifically designed to reveal the multiple processes behind the pattern are necessary, as they challenge attempts to explain all patterns by a single process (e.g. all evolution by a tree-like process of descent). A tree alone is not going to help establish much of this evolutionary complexity.
          There is not yet a standard methodology for expressing this complexity – though various scientists are proposing some viable, and far more robust and descriptive alternative.

          One such example is a paper called "Of woods and webs: possible alternatives to the tree of life for studying genomic fluidity in E. coli". The researchers limit themselves to a sole example of life – E. Coli – to better illustrate their methodology.
          http://www.biologydirect.com/content/6/1/39

          July 16, 2014 at 4:28 pm |
      • redzoa

        Wait for it . . . (quote mine, C&P, impotent anger, etc)

        July 16, 2014 at 4:00 pm |
    • believerfred

      awanderingscot
      If God's preferred way of creation was evolution somewhat along the lines of current scientific consensus would you still maintain your position?

      July 16, 2014 at 7:30 pm |
      • awanderingscot

        Fred
        – this is the ideology of a Deist, is this what you are asking? i am certainly not a Deist.

        July 16, 2014 at 9:34 pm |
        • Doris

          Nonsense, Scot. There are millions and millions of nonDeist Christians who believe the theory of evolution is valid.

          July 16, 2014 at 9:36 pm |
        • awanderingscot

          lol, you very obviously don't know what a deist is in the modern sense.

          July 16, 2014 at 9:48 pm |
        • awanderingscot

          a deist does not believe in supernatural events such as miracles, the inerrancy of scriptures, or the Trinity. now compare the non-belief in the inerrancy of scripture to what scripture actually teaches. scripture does not teach evolution. any so-called 'Christian' who is believes in evolution is 1) a Deist and 2) very definitely not a Christian.

          July 16, 2014 at 9:54 pm |
        • Doris

          First Scot, by "what scripture actually teaches" it's important for us to keep in mind that what it teaches you is quite often different from what it teaches someone else. Unless you think you're the Abrahamic God, then you just have an opinion like anyone else.

          Secondly, there are millions of Christians who believe in the miracles of the Bible who believe that evolution is not in conflict with the miraculous events of the Bible including creation. If you can't see their viewpoint, that just means there is a difference of opinion – and we all know there is a lot of that when it comes to the over 41,000 sects.

          July 16, 2014 at 10:01 pm |
        • In Santa We Trust

          Where is your evidence of a god and of creationism? Even if your faux arguments against evolution were credible they still do not provide any evidence for creationism.

          July 16, 2014 at 10:02 pm |
        • Doris

          (And you know what, Scot – even if you do think you're the Abrahamic God, I still think it's just your opinion, IMHO.)

          July 16, 2014 at 10:02 pm |
        • awanderingscot

          And He answered and said to them, "Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning 'made them male and female'.. – Matthew 19:4, NKJV – Christ was not a believer in evolution

          He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. – John 1:10, NKJV
          – the eternal Word, creator of heaven and earth

          The great God who formed everything Gives the fool his hire and the transgressor his wages. – Proverbs 26:10

          July 16, 2014 at 10:07 pm |
        • awanderingscot

          opinion aside, i live with Him every day and before He saved me i was not even looking for Him, no near death experience, personal catastrophe, or anything of that sort.. i was living a life of sin, really enjoying it, i thought. but now i have real joy and real peace. nothing will ever separate this from my soul. i wish everyone could have this.

          July 16, 2014 at 10:12 pm |
        • awanderingscot

          Santa
          you have your world view and i have mine. when i look at the world thru the lens of random analysis and probability, i understand that it is mathematically impossible for it to have randomly come together. I understand that out of necessity there has to be a cause in order to account for the conditions necessary for life here, innumerable and varied. I now understand that there is no randomness after all. as an example consider that if the earth was not at this very distance from the sun, were not rotating at precisely the optimal speed, orbiting the sun at exactly the right velocity, etc. etc. etc.. life as we know it would not exist. There are of course many many other conditions that make life possible as well. the only logical conclusion i can come to is that is not random, it is not an accident and there is a supernatural creator.

          July 16, 2014 at 10:47 pm |
        • igaftr

          scot

          " i understand that it is mathematically impossible for it to have randomly come together"

          Lie #1. If you think it is imposiible, then you do not understand mathematics.

          " I now understand that there is no randomness after all. as an example consider that if the earth was
          not at this very distance from the sun, were not rotating at precisely the optimal speed,
          orbiting the sun at exactly the right velocity, etc. etc. etc.. life as we know it would not exist"

          Lie#2 You clearly do NOT understand that life adjusts to the energies available. It appears that the most important variable is for water to exist in a liquid state. We are not the only planet where this occurs. The universe is NOT tuned for life, But there are many pockets, such as our planet, where conditions are suitable. To claim you understand there is no randomness, is to deny basic reality.

          " the only logical conclusion i can come to is that is not random, it is not an accident and there is a supernatural creator"

          Lie #3. It is not logical to reach any conclusion as there is not enough information to make a conclusion.
          There continues to be absolutely no evidence anywhere of any supernatural anything, let alone some sentient "creator" that is simply baseless belief.

          You do not wnat the truth, you want your belief to be true...wishing it to happen will change nothing.claiming you "know" is absurd.

          July 17, 2014 at 11:50 am |
        • believerfred

          awanderingscot
          "scripture does not teach evolution. any so-called 'Christian' who is believes in evolution is 1) a Deist and 2) very definitely not a Christian."
          =>God as observed without faith appears as Spinoza's God and this is the wonder embraced by Einstein also. With faith the knowledge of God becomes relational and personal which radically changes the experience of life from that of an animal to that which is transcendent. Every known element of the theory of evolution is clearly void of any hint of transcendence as it is self limiting by the natural laws used to measure and falsify the various components. At best the scientific method applied in the fields related to evolution theory are limited in 3 dimensions perhaps 4 if we account for time in motion where in fact there are 10-12 known dimensions of existence. Scripture addresses all dimensions of existence and is not self limiting. Evolution is one of many process God could have used in creation and there is evidence for that process. The Bible (Scripture as best we know it today) is silent as to process other than it was the will of God, the nature of God, progressive and generational in direction. With regard to salvation, sanctification and redemption the Bible is very clear and specific as to process as that is the way the truth and the life.
          =>Jesus did not bring up evolution as a requirement for salvation. Jesus said you must be born again of spirit if you hope for life eternal and clearly any transcendent process is not tethered to this physical world as is the naturalistic world view.

          July 17, 2014 at 1:14 pm |
        • Doc Vestibule

          @fred
          " Evolution is one of many process God could have used in creation "
          Thank you for being the one on this blog to finally make this seemingly obvious point!
          Out in meat space, I think that's how most Christians think of evolution – especially as evolutionary biology makes no assertions in regards to abiogenesis.
          Biologists aren't trying to "kill God" or destroy religion – science is simply the discipline of observing the Universe and chronicling its workings.

          July 17, 2014 at 1:23 pm |
        • djangoboy

          ablunderingscot: "as an example consider that if the earth was not at this very distance from the sun, were not rotating at precisely the optimal speed, orbiting the sun at exactly the right velocity, etc. etc. etc.. life as we know it would not exist. "

          Oh, so in the vast known Universe, which reaches out for 15 BILLION light years in all directions, with over 100 BILLION galaxies, containing an average of 100 BILLION stars each, with most of those stars now thought to have multiple planets orbiting around them, you can't imagine that there would be at least ONE little planet SOMEWHERE with the right conditions for life without divine intervention? Or maybe two or three? Or a billion or so?

          Got news for you, bud. The Earth is not the centre of the Universe. It's not even anything all that special. It's a dinky little rocky planet circling an average star in an outer arms of a rather average galaxy in the local cluster. And there are probably many more like it. You blew it again. You know, people who don't understand basic science should not comment on it.

          July 17, 2014 at 5:32 pm |
  17. bostontola

    We debate morality, politics, one religion or another, atheism or theism, who's food tastes better. These are all cultural things.

    Scientists don't debate settled science. They test, validate, etc. Untested hypotheses, what is the best method to test something, etc. are debated, but the science itself is not. It is a different realm of intellectual activity. One where testable observations are admitted. Untestable things are excluded. That may sound dogmatic, why can't it be debated? Because it is restricted to testable things, i.e. facts. Would you debate whether Jupiter is the largest planet in our solar system found to date? No. You might debate whether largest planet means it's the most important planet, not whether it is the largest.

    When lay people debate science (like evolution vs. creationism), that should raise red flags. That is not science. Making science into a matter of opinion instead of a testable enterprise is futile and counterproductive.

    Lots of things are matters of opinion, morality, music, etc. Debate those things.

    July 16, 2014 at 2:16 pm |
    • Dalahäst

      Don't you think the meaning behind the science is what we often debate? The science itself means nothing on its own. It just states facts. Saying that lay people debating science is not science is not science, either. We can't hurt science by debating about it. Scientists who don't debate or question settled science might miss opportunities for a new breakthrough that hadn't been observed or conceived of by a human mind.

      Like Einstein said: “It would be possible to describe everything scientifically, but it would make no sense; it would be without meaning, as if you described a Beethoven symphony as a variation of wave pressure.”

      July 16, 2014 at 3:38 pm |
      • SeaVik

        "We can't hurt science by debating about it."

        Unfortunately, that's not quite true. When unqualified lay people speak about science and question scientific conclusions, less intelligent people can be persuaded to ignore scientific knowledge and believe in fairy tales instead. Theo is a good example. He, and others like him, think that they can legitimately write-off all of the scientific knowledge we have regarding the age of the earth, evolution, etc. He is completely unqualified on the subject and only uses a book of fiction to back up his claim. Unfortunately, there are many others like him in the uneducated pockets of our country who actually want his fantasies taught to our children instead of real science. The result is that some people think they can ignore science and make up their own reality – very harmful to science and society.

        July 16, 2014 at 3:49 pm |
        • kenmargo

          @sea................These "unqualified people" have always and always will exist. There's noting you can do about them. The only difference now is the internet has given them a greater outreach and the abililty too meet other nuts like them.

          The only thing you can you can do is teach those you can reach. You have the science on your side.

          July 16, 2014 at 4:00 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          We are all free to talk about science. Yes, some Christians and some atheists get a lot of things wrong about science. Even an elite scientist with the highest credentials and respect of fellow scientists can ignore science and make up their own reality. Nobody is immune to such a mindset.

          July 16, 2014 at 4:01 pm |
        • Science Works

          Hey Dala the AiG and the ICR do a rotten job job at trying to make the science fit the bible.

          July 16, 2014 at 4:08 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Science Works

          That is why I don't visit their sites or place value on what they say. Usually the only person that I see talking about them to me is you.

          July 16, 2014 at 4:12 pm |
        • SeaVik

          "Even an elite scientist with the highest credentials and respect of fellow scientists can ignore science and make up their own reality."

          Sure, they can, but that wouldn't be science. And most of them don't. That's why there are very few top scientists who are religious.

          July 16, 2014 at 4:17 pm |
        • Science Works

          That is good dala – they are tied to answersingenesis if I am not mistaken – Evolution is a lie by Ken Ham or The Genesis Flood by Henry Morris.

          By the way dala just had painters leave the office and one USED to be an ordained Baptist Minister from the group above- really funny stuff came out of his mouth while he was here.

          July 16, 2014 at 4:24 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          SeaVik

          Right. A lot of things scientists do are not science. Being an atheist is not science, either. And most top scientists beliefs differ greatly.

          July 16, 2014 at 4:30 pm |
        • SeaVik

          "And most top scientists beliefs differ greatly."

          True. Most atheists' views differ greatly. We are simply aligned on not believing in sky fairies.

          July 16, 2014 at 5:13 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          I don't believe in sky fairies.

          July 16, 2014 at 5:15 pm |
        • SeaVik

          "I don't believe in sky fairies."

          I'm glad to hear you're now an atheist. Good for you Dala!

          July 16, 2014 at 5:27 pm |
        • neverbeenhappieratheist

          fairy: 1. a small imaginary being of human form that has magical powers, especially a female one.

          See, Dala believes his imaginary being has a human form, we were made in His image, and has magical powers, but he is not small and definately not female, therefore he doesn't believe in sky fairies, he believes in sky wizards.

          July 16, 2014 at 5:40 pm |
        • neverbeenhappieratheist

          Sky: 1. the region of the atmosphere and outer space seen from the earth.

          Wizard: 1. a man who has magical powers, especially in legends and fairy tales.

          July 16, 2014 at 5:46 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Always reminds me of this article when you guys start insisting I believe in a sky fairy:

          "The atheist spring that began just over a decade ago is over, thank God. Richard Dawkins is now seen by many, even many non-believers, as a joke figure, shaking his fist at sky fairies. He’s the Mary Whitehouse of our day."

          http://www.spectator.co.uk/features/8885481/after-the-new-atheism/

          July 16, 2014 at 5:54 pm |
        • SeaVik

          Whatever it reminds you of is find Dala. I'm just glad you don't believe in the Christian god sky fairy anymore.

          July 16, 2014 at 7:47 pm |
        • SeaVik

          Sorry, sky wizard is apparently a more technically correct description of the Christian god mythical figure. I hope you were saying you don't believe in sky wizards OR sky fairies and aren't continuing to believe in the Christian god myth on a technicality?

          July 16, 2014 at 7:50 pm |
        • MidwestKen

          Dalahast,
          What a patronizing bunch of wishful thinking that article. Who is Theo Hobson to declare some "atheist spring" to be over? The arrogance of theists hardly ever fails to disappoint.

          July 16, 2014 at 8:54 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          It is quite refreshing to see reasonable atheists reject the crude and highly questionable tactics of the "new atheist" movement. Like the religious, those obnoxious few are small, but a vocal minority. It looks like some are trying to live up to the principles that many humanists promote.

          July 16, 2014 at 11:00 pm |
        • djangoboy

          Interestingly, this religion-fueled movement to discredit science and replace it with religion-based pseudoscience is almost exclusively found in the United States. It is nearly nonexistent in more secular societies.

          Interestingly, a study published in the Journal of Religion & Society (Volume 7 2005) pretty much destroyed the myth that religious faith strengthens society:

          "Popular acceptance of evolutionary science correlates negatively with levels of religiosity, and the United States is the only prosperous nation where the majority absolutely believes in a creator and evolutionary science is unpopular. Abundant data is available on rates of societal dysfunction and health in the first world. ... Data correlations show that in almost all regards the highly secular democracies consistently enjoy low rates of societal dysfunction, while pro-religious and antievolution America performs poorly."

          July 17, 2014 at 5:44 pm |
      • bostontola

        Dalahast,
        As I said, "Untested hypotheses, what is the best method to test something, etc. are debated, but the science itself is not." So cultural issues surrounding science are valid debate topics. If people want to debate the 'meaning'/implications of scientific discoveries, that is fun to do. I was referring to debating the science itself. Creationism/evolution debate is pointless, and worse, misleading to lay people.

        July 16, 2014 at 4:55 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          And I do agree with that. I misunderstood part of what you were saying. I'm tired of reading about it and try to ignore it, but it gets difficult to do so. I have a feeling your request will fall on deaf ears.

          July 16, 2014 at 4:59 pm |
        • colin31714

          Yes, imagine if, as a doctor, you were constantly under pressure from Christians to teach your students that illness was caused by evil spirits; that they still seriously wanted to debate whether disease was caused by bacteria and viruses or evil spirits in the press and that there was a museum in Kansas dedicated to diseases being caused by evil spirits.

          That is how it must feel to be a biologist in the USA today.

          July 16, 2014 at 4:59 pm |
        • colin31714

          Although many Christians still believe in demonic possessions even today. The Catholic Church still employs full time exorcists. Can you believe it? I guess, once you unhinge yourself from logic and reason, you are prone to drift off in any direction.

          July 16, 2014 at 5:01 pm |
        • Doris

          Or those Christians who "speak in tongues" based on some text that some scribes added later to Mark...

          July 16, 2014 at 5:08 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          You imagine doctors are constantly under pressure from Christians to teach their students that illness was caused by evil spirits? They want to debate these things in the press? There is a museum in Kansas dedicated to diseases caused by evil spirits? I've been to a Catholic hospital before – I didn't hear anyone mention demon possessions. Most doctors I've dealt with, who happened to be Christians – even Catholic to be specific, seemed fairly logical and reasonable. Those people I've seen unhinged from logic and reason seem to deal with some tough challenges, regardless if they believe in God or are atheists.

          July 16, 2014 at 5:10 pm |
        • bostontola

          colin,
          The terrible part is, more than a hundred people have died because they eschewed medical help in lieu of prayer. Even worse, some were children that trusted their parents.

          July 16, 2014 at 5:12 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          That is terrible. Most Christians oppose such things. All I know actively do so.

          July 16, 2014 at 5:17 pm |
        • bostontola

          Dalahast,
          Almost no Christians deny science and/or medicine (thankfully). It just makes the point that when people debate science with opinion, bad things can (and have) happened.

          As Stevie said:

          Very superst.itious, writing's on the wall
          Very superst.itious, ladders bout' to fall
          Thirteen month old baby broke the lookin' glass
          Seven years of bad luck, the good things in your past

          When you believe in things that you don't understand
          Then you suffer
          Superst.ition ain't the way

          July 16, 2014 at 5:34 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Right, most aren't unhinged from logic and reason and constantly under pressuring doctors to teach their students that illness was caused by evil spirits.

          I love Stevie!

          "No one's gonna bring me down
          Oh no
          Till I reach my highest ground
          Don't let nobody bring you down (they'll sho 'nuff try)
          God is gonna show you higher ground
          He's the only friend you have around "

          July 16, 2014 at 6:03 pm |
        • colin31714

          Dalahast, it was an analogy. My point is that claiming the bible story of creation to be true and denying evolution is every bit as inane as denying that microorganisms cause disease. If you want to debate, at least argue the point being made.

          Any yes, many Christians believe in the Dark Ages nonsense of demonic possession. Once you stop relying on evidence and reason to formulate your worldview, you are prone to believe in anything. This is why we have so many different superst.itions, religions, cults, sects and beliefs.

          July 17, 2014 at 8:24 am |
        • Dalahäst

          Questioning an analogy is ok. No 2 people are going to see it the same. Ironically, the same reason why we have so many different superst.itions, religions, cults, sects and beliefs – is the same reason why so many different opinions on your analogies exist.

          Your analogy seems to ignore the Catholic hospitals, doctors and complete support of the medical field that exists. I've never met a Catholic that preaches what you say you imagine they preach. I see little evidence you want to debate, but just belittle people who have a worldview that differs from yours.

          Why are there people that can demonstrate a firm understanding of evidence and reason (I can see they have credentials), yet draw a different conclusion than you do when formulating their worldview?

          July 17, 2014 at 10:13 am |
        • Dalahäst

          Also, how do you know doctors are constantly under pressure from Christians to teach their students that illness was caused by evil spirits? All doctors? Constantly? Surely you jest.

          July 17, 2014 at 10:40 am |
        • colin31714

          I don't think any doctor is under pressure from any Christian. It was an ANALOGY. Get it, an ANALOGY. Claiming the Bible story of creation to be true and denying evolution is every bit as insane as denying that microorganisms cause disease.

          July 17, 2014 at 10:57 am |
        • Dalahäst

          Ok, you were just saying how you imagine biologists feel in America. Most probably would say that religious people fully embrace science. But there are a vocal minority of religious people that don't. Just like there is a vocal minority of non-scientist atheists who imagine they speak for science, but they don't. I imagine scientists don't appreciate either one of those vocal minorities.

          July 17, 2014 at 11:04 am |
        • joey3467

          Dala, you can't really be this dense can you? I am pretty sure that Colin's post even had the word imagine in it. He was saying that if people do that it would be just as insane as people trying to get creationism taught in science class.

          July 17, 2014 at 11:08 am |
        • Dalahäst

          Right. I misunderstood. Most Christians are not anything like what he asks us to imagine about them. He was just asking "what if?".

          July 17, 2014 at 11:11 am |
        • colin31714

          Unfortunately, it is not that small of a minority. It is about 40% of the USA who deny evolution.

          July 17, 2014 at 11:26 am |
        • joey3467

          Not when it comes to how diseases are spread, however, there is a large segment of the Christian population in this country that is doing exactly that when it comes to evolution, and I view them exactly as a would someone who claimed to not believe in germs.

          July 17, 2014 at 11:31 am |
        • Doc Vestibule

          Medical fields like neurology, bio-chemistry, pharmacology, virology, epidemiology, genomics, oncology, etc. are all dependent on the application of evolutionary principles. To deny evolution is to deny the legitimacy of these disciplines and the positive effects they have.

          July 17, 2014 at 11:36 am |
        • Dalahäst

          What survey are you referring to? I think evolution is a pretty good theory about the development of human beings. If you were to ask me if I believe that evolution is the best explanation of our human origin, I don't always know what you are asking. Too often evolution is promoted on an unproven assumption that reality is ultimately composed only of matter/energy and mindless forces of nature in time. And I think that brings us back to Bostontola's original point: When lay people debate science (like evolution vs. creationism), that should raise red flags. Are you not one of those lay people doing that? Instead of actual science, are you not promoting your unproven assumption about reality?

          July 17, 2014 at 11:50 am |
        • colin31714

          Here's one that puts the number at 33% http://www.pewforum.org/2013/12/30/publics-views-on-human-evolution/
          I've seen other that put it at 40%. I think the percentage of CHRISTIANS is about 60%.

          As too your point that only scientists have the credentials to argue evolution, that is just silly. Evolution is so widespread and easily understood that lay people can readily debate its basics. I don't have to be a geologist to argue that the World is round.

          July 17, 2014 at 12:12 pm |
        • joey3467

          I will just say that creationism isn't science so It is actually a debate between science (evolution) and mythology (creationism).

          July 17, 2014 at 12:12 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Creationism is not science. Also a majority of the people who believe in evolution are not atheists.

          I think Bostontola is making a point that both creationism and atheism provide examples of lay persons talking about a science they don't fully comprehend.

          Imagine the doctors under constant pressure from Christians to teach something wrong, also are dismayed when they see atheists, acting as if they were a proxy for science, going out of their way to antagonize people of faith.

          July 17, 2014 at 12:28 pm |
        • Reality

          Once again: Before commenting on evolution, it is necessary to have the proper background information. For anyone interested in the subject, here is a great place to start: http://evolution.berkeley.edu/evolibrary/article/evo_01

          July 17, 2014 at 12:51 pm |
        • colin31714

          Dalahast; you said "I think Bostontola is making a point that both creationism and atheism provide examples of lay persons talking about a science they don't fully comprehend."

          I didn't get that at all. (s)he can speak for themselves, but I got the point to be that it is a waste of time even considering creationism, it is just so discredited.

          July 17, 2014 at 12:58 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          My point is that some atheists do more harm than good in what and how they, as lay people, say about science.

          July 17, 2014 at 1:10 pm |
        • Doc Vestibule

          What of lay people who clearly cite their references (like the peer reviewed studies from which they draw they opinions).

          July 17, 2014 at 1:14 pm |
        • colin31714

          that might well be your point, but don't go putting it in bostontola's mouth. that is dishonest.

          July 17, 2014 at 1:15 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          That is why I said "I think...."

          You are a lay person when it comes to science.

          You've put things in my mouth before, in a similar manner you just accused me of. Is it dishonest when you do it?

          July 17, 2014 at 1:36 pm |
        • colin31714

          I insult you, but I don't ever misquote yoou

          July 17, 2014 at 1:51 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          I was speculating on what he meant. Not misquoting him.

          You have attributed to me thoughts and ideas that I do not support or believe. I wouldn't be as foolish or childish to say you were being blatantly dishonest, as I can see it as a misunderstanding. But when you insist you know better than I and that I am wrong in objecting to what you speculate about me, that is entering into the territory of arrogance.

          July 17, 2014 at 2:01 pm |
        • colin31714

          Actually, I disagree. I disparage what you believe, I don't misrepresent it. For example, I refer to the Judeo-Christian god as a sky fairy (although I think I like sky wizard better – it has the whole magic old man connotation to it) but I don't for example, say you believe in any other god.

          Secondly, I say you believe Jesus reads your mind and intervenes to alter the course of history in small ways in order to suit your wishes. You believe Jesus answers your prayers and I don't see any difference between the two comments. I think that's about it. There may be more, but I'm sure they are the main ones.

          July 17, 2014 at 2:11 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          I figured you would disagree and insist you know better. You think I believe in a sky fairy or wizard. Fine. That doesn't mean I do. It just means you think I do. When you tell others I do as a matter of fact, that is where you demonstrate something that is dishonest or arrogant. Or else you are just trying to insult. There is an example of circular reasoning by SeaVik and neverbeenhappieratheist above that "proves" I believe in a sky fairy/wizard. It appears your reasoning follows the same mindset.

          Your speculation is wrong if you suggest I believe God reads my mind and intervenes to alter the course of history in small ways in order to suit my wishes. I've been taught NOT to believe in that type of understanding. While some Humanists and Christians preach that mindset, that doesn't mean I do.

          July 17, 2014 at 3:17 pm |
        • colin31714

          Dalahast, you said, "I figured you would disagree and insist you know better. You think I believe in a sky fairy or wizard. Fine. That doesn't mean I do. It just means you think I do."

          Again, no. I am calling the Judeo-Christian GOD a sky-wizard. Get it this time? I am calling the very thing you believe in a "sky-wizard." It is not that I misunderstand what you believe, I disparage it as silly, like a sky-wizard. There is nothing circular about this. It might be rude or offensive to you, but it is not circular.

          If God does not read your mind, how does it know of your prayer?
          If it does not intervene in the World, how does it answer them?

          July 17, 2014 at 3:31 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Right, I told you I get that. I don't care if you call the Judeo-Christian GOD a sky-wizard. But when you say, and you have said this, that I just believe in a sky-wizard that grants my wishes that is where I take issue. It is not accurate. I can understand why you would make that assumption. I don't fault you for believing that. But it doesn't stick to me at all like you insist it does.

          July 17, 2014 at 3:39 pm |
        • joey3467

          sky wizard? Christian god? what is the difference? Please enlighten us. But please note, that I won't accept I don't believe god is a sky wizard as an answer. You will have to actually demonstrate it. Short of that I don't see the difference, and to say that you believe in a sky wizard seems perfectly on point to me.

          July 17, 2014 at 4:59 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          I don't think these sky-wizard comments accomplish much of anything short of making the commenter feel better about themselves. They certainly don't make me think anything positive about the commenter, nor complet me to re-examine my own beliefs – especially when I don't believe what they insist I believe. What do you think of people who act like whatever they believe is the only thing that could possibly be correct, whether they're religious or atheists?

          I've been the recipient of these type of comments from fundamentalist Christians/anti-theist atheists. I'm skeptical of both groups, especially when they are such a questionable example of what Jesus teaches/what the Humanists proclaim they value.

          July 17, 2014 at 5:16 pm |
  18. Vic

    Speaking of the different particular Faiths in the Holy Land, here is a reality check:

    A new Pew Survey shows that Americans feel warm towards Christians and Jews while not as much towards Muslims and Atheists.

    http://www.pewforum.org/2014/07/16/how-americans-feel-about-religious-groups/

    Early on:
    https://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2014/07/08/eye-for-an-eye-the-bibles-role-in-revenge-attacks/comment-page-4/#comment-3044579

    p.s. On a side note, given the current discourse, I believe "morality" is grounded in creation, hence "Natural Revelation," before it is grounded in Scripture, hence "Special Revelation." I believe "morality" is "inherent" in nature.

    July 16, 2014 at 1:23 pm |
    • LaBella

      Gee. I wonder why Americans wouldn't feel "warm" towards Muslims and atheists.
      Eyeroll.

      July 16, 2014 at 1:34 pm |
      • ragansteve1

        Just so you know about warmth, there is one other issue in addition to the CAIR related passage I provided Ken below. I have difficulty getting the images of thousands of Muslims in the streets cheering as the towers came down. I don't expect an apology by each and every Muslim. But it would be nice to get a CREDIBLE statement from a credible source. Instead we get a steady stream of imams declaring fatwahs against the west. Some are even within the US.

        July 16, 2014 at 3:22 pm |
        • LaBella

          You exemplified my point nicely, so thank you for that.
          I know you would never be one of the thousands who want to wipe Islam off the face of the earth, and express that thought every day via blogs and social media. And that's good. Because then you would be absolutely no better than those in your post, right?

          July 16, 2014 at 3:36 pm |
        • LaBella

          Oh, I am sorry if you think I misrepresented what you wrote, ragansteve.
          You have no problem with Islam, then. Okay.

          July 18, 2014 at 1:42 pm |
      • ragansteve1

        OK. I Googled your terms and read several articles. The best was likely the CNN article by Dean Obeidallah. And I believe that there are some Muslims who genuinely detest terrorists. The question is how many? And perhaps more importantly, how many in the countries that spawn terrorism. Most of the articles, like Dean's, were written by Muslims living in the west. What are they supposed to say while living among us?

        So, how many Pakistanis living in Pakistan? Saudis living in Saudi Arabia? Iranians living in Iran? or even Indonesians living in Indonesia are really committed to fighting terrorism. Dean alleges that there is little Muslim Americans can do to fight terrorism. While I get that, the real question is how much are the Islamic nations willing to do to fight terrorism. It appears to me that they are doing precious little, and if we try to help we get hammered both by them and by the American far left for imperialism, colonialism, and occupation of foreign countries.

        So, to conclude, I get your point. There are Muslims who hate terrorism. And I certainly agree that most Muslims are innocent. Thus, I do not hate Muslims. But we are not talking about love and hate. We are talking about a "warm" feeling. I see no reason at present to have a warm feeling about Muslims.

        July 16, 2014 at 5:43 pm |
        • Alias

          http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/conservative-mom-poses-bible-gun-flag-article-1.1862261
          This is what's wrong with your thinking. Nonchristians should not think of all of you like this.

          July 16, 2014 at 5:53 pm |
        • ragansteve1

          If I were wreaking havoc on various parts of the world in the name of Jesus, and I or my fellow Christians were not willing to denounce clearly and sincerely that terror, I would expect people to view me in that way. The fact is that we are not. Thus, while her picture is unwise to the point of being a bit stupid, it is clearly NOT the same thing.

          July 16, 2014 at 7:40 pm |
        • LaBella

          Ragansteve, Christians have also caused great harm upon people over the years in the name of their religion.
          I do not think it is fair to condemn YOU or Christianity as a result of the zealots who have caused harm, historically. And if you are versed in Christianity's history, you know this to be true.
          By that same token, you condemning the whole religion because of their zealots is equally wrong.
          You don't like Islam. Fair enough. They are under the same obligation to give you the sameasure if respect you afford them.

          July 16, 2014 at 10:16 pm |
        • ragansteve1

          LaBella, There you go again, misinterpreting me. I have NEVER said I "don't like Muslims." I said, in reference to the survey, I have a problem with "warm" feelings for them for reasons I have elaborated. And clearly, wars have been fought in the name of Christianity. That is decidedly, in most cases, UN-Christian.

          I also NEVER "condemned a whole religion." In fact I was very clear that my only gripe with the majority of Muslims was that they didn't seem overly bothered by terrorism and in the event of 9/11 I recall clearly seeing TV video of thousands cheering when the towers came down. There could be many reasons for that. But the image sticks. Not much has been done to erase that image.

          I also realize that there are Muslims fighting along with our troops in Afghanistan as there were in Iraq, and they are likely to be severely punished to the point of death for that effort. I believe we are making a serious mistake in leaving Afghanistan too soon and too fast, just as we did in Iraq. We will see the Taliban repeat the ISIS invasion, I am sure.

          So (for the third of fourth time), NO I do not blame most Muslims. But we, as I have also said several times before, are not talking about hate, blame or even dislike. We are talking about "warm" feelings. And excuse me if I can't come up with great warmth for the group as a whole. I will work on it. I need to find a way.

          I'll do that. You stop misquoting and misinterpreting what I write. OK?

          July 16, 2014 at 10:33 pm |
        • LaBella

          Placed correctly:

          Oh, I am sorry if you think I misrepresented what you wrote, ragansteve. (Not my intention.)
          You have no problem with Islam, then. Okay.

          July 18, 2014 at 1:45 pm |
    • ragansteve1

      Vic, The lack of "warm" feelings for Muslims, whether one blames the religion for terrorism or not, seems obvious. There has not been a clear denunciation of terrorists by main street Muslims. But I don't know about atheists. Were there any explanatory questions and answers?

      July 16, 2014 at 1:50 pm |
      • MidwestKen

        Ragansteve1,
        Are you waiting for every Muslim to make a statement to you personally?

        http://fl.cair.com/blog/debunking_the_oftrepeated_myth_that_muslims_dont_condemn_terrorism.html

        July 16, 2014 at 2:07 pm |
        • LaBella

          I get so tired of this. Because people choose not to hear, they think it is unspoken.

          July 16, 2014 at 2:21 pm |
        • ragansteve1

          "But there is another side to CAIR that has alarmed many people in positions to know. The Department of Homeland Security refuses to deal with it. Senator Charles Schumer (Democrat, New York) describes it as an organization "which we know has ties to terrorism."[3] Senator Dick Durbin (Democrat, Illinois) observes that CAIR is "unusual in its extreme rhetoric and its associations with groups that are suspect."[4] Steven Pomerantz, the FBI's former chief of counterterrorism, notes that "CAIR, its leaders, and its activities effectively give aid to international terrorist groups."[5] The family of John P. O'Neill, Sr., the former FBI counterterrorism chief who perished at the World Trade Center, named CAIR in a lawsuit as having "been part of the criminal conspiracy of radical Islamic terrorism"[6] responsible for the September 11 atrocities. Counterterrorism expert Steven Emerson calls it "a radical fundamentalist front group for Hamas."[7]"
          http://www.meforum.org/916/cair-islamists-fooling-the-establishment

          July 16, 2014 at 2:27 pm |
        • LaBella

          Ragansteve,
          Google 'Muslims denouncing terrorism'.
          Then read.

          July 16, 2014 at 2:39 pm |
        • MidwestKen

          Ragansteve1,
          Did you even open the link?

          There are multiple links to other articles on sites such as, CNN, HuffPo, U of NC, The. Gaurdian, etc. Open your eyes.

          July 16, 2014 at 3:08 pm |
        • ragansteve1

          No Ken. Assuming you want response, there is nothing coming through a CAIR site that I care to read. It is all tainted.

          July 16, 2014 at 3:34 pm |
        • LaBella

          If you are unwilling to even look at the links provided from that site, ragansteve, you have no grounds to complain about what you perceive as the lack of response from the Muslim community, thus allowing you to keep telling yourself that there isn't any.

          July 16, 2014 at 3:50 pm |
        • ragansteve1

          LaBella, Read my latest post above. It likely will not change you mind about me, but at least if gives you a more deatiled look at why I feel the way I do.

          I will only add here that I have a son who fought hard (four tours to the middle east) and was seriously injured so that he recently was medically retired. And now we see the far left losing all the gains we made. We see the nations we were attempting to help essentially booting us out. And see how well that is working in Iraq. And it is likely to work just about as well in Afghanistan.

          July 16, 2014 at 5:49 pm |
        • LaBella

          Ragansteve, I understand why you don't want to read the CAIR site. What I don't understand is your unwillingness to click on the LINKS to the other sites that it gave featuring the mainstream media outlets such as CNN, (which seems odd, because you're onCNN), Huffington Post, etc.
          As I stated above, you forfeit the right to complain about something if you don't want to research why your statement of no denouncement is proven to be wrong. Which it is.
          I really don't care what you believe one way or another, but willfully misrepresenting something is disingenuous.

          July 16, 2014 at 6:14 pm |
        • ragansteve1

          Just to be clear, I did not say that there was "no denouncement.: I said, "There has not been a clear denunciation of terrorists by main street Muslims." By Main street Muslims I mean those folks in the streets of the nations I noted in a previous post, It seems that many people on this board tend to misquote me, or at least misinterpret my intent so that it fits their perception, perhaps preconceived, of me.

          To repeat myself from a previous post, I do not hate Muslims and I do not hold the majority of them at responsible for terrorism.. The question is about "warm" feelings. Not hatred or even responsibility.

          July 16, 2014 at 7:36 pm |
        • MidwestKen

          ragansteve1,
          Well, thanks for the clarification. I'm glad to see that I was incorrect in thinking you meant the average Muslim, i.e.the one on main street, is in favor of terrorism, or won't denounce it anyway. You may want to specify "main street, AF" or "main street, PK" since many on this site might assume you mean "main street, US".

          July 16, 2014 at 8:01 pm |
      • Doc Vestibule

        Have you ever examined the other side of things?
        Your adversary is never a villain in their own eyes – understanding their motivation can perhaps help you to become friends – and it not, you can dismiss them quickly and without hate.
        Members of Al Qeada believe Bin Laden's words that "oppression and the intentional killing of innocent women and children is a deliberate American policy. Destruction is freedom and democracy, while resistance is terrorism and intolerance."
        So long as there are American military operations in the middle east, many of the inhabitants of those countries will nod their heads in agreement.
        Osama Bin Laden often hearkened back to the Isreali/American campaign in Lebanon in the early eighties, stating "as I looked at those demolished towers in Lebanon, it entered my mind that we should punish the oppressor in kind and that we should destroy towers in America in order that they taste some of what we tasted and so that they be deterred from killing our women and children."

        Before any middle easter extremists carried out terrorist attack on the US, the US was intervening in the middle east.
        A brief chronology:
        1944 – The Anglo-American Petroleum Agreement is signed by the US and Britain, dividing all the oil in the middle east between the two nations. President Roosevelt sketched out a map of the Middle East and told the British Ambassador, "Persian oil is yours. We share the oil of Iraq and Kuwait. As for Saudi Arabian oil, it's ours."

        1949 – The US helps overthrow the democratically elected government in Syria and replaces it with a military dictatorship

        1953 – Iran tries to nationalize their own oil. America overthrows their government and puts the Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlevi in power for a 25 year rule of terror.

        1958: The merger of Syria and Egypt into the "United Arab Republic," the overthrow of the pro-U.S. King Feisal II in Iraq by nationalist military officers, and the outbreak of anti-government/anti-U.S. rioting in Lebanon, where the CIA had helped install President Camille Caiman and keep him in power, leads the U.S. to dispatch 70 naval vessels, hundreds of aircraft and 14,000 Marines to Lebanon to preserve "stability." The U.S. threatens to use nuclear weapons if the Lebanese army resists

        1960 – The US tries to as.sas.sinate Iraq's leader, Abdul Karim Qassim

        1973-1975: U.S. supports Kurdish rebels in Iraq in order to strengthen Iran and weaken the then pro-Soviet Iraqi regime. When Iran and Iraq cut a deal, the U.S. withdraws support, denies the Kurds refuge in Iran, and stands by while the Iraqi government kills many Kurdish people.

        1979-84: U.S. supports paramilitary forces to undermine the government of South Yemen

        1979: U.S. President Jimmy Carter designates the Persian Gulf a vital U.S. interest and declares the U.S. will go to war to ensure the flow of oil.

        1979 – America begins a decade long campaign, providing $3 Billion worth of arms to the fundamentalist Islamic Muhajideen terrorist group.

        1980 – Iraq invades Iran with tacit U.S. support, starting a bloody eight-year war. The U.S. supports both sides in the war providing arms to Iran and money, intelligence and political support to Iraq

        1985 – The U.S. secretly ships weapons to Iran, including 1,000 TOW anti-tank missiles, Hawk missile parts, and Hawk radars.

        1985: U.S. attempts to as.sas.sinate Sheikh Mohammed Hussein Fadlallah, a Lebanese Shi.ite leader. 80 people are killed in the unsuccessful attempt

        1998 – President Clinton sends 75 cruise missiles pounding into rural Afghanistan The U.S. also destroys a factory producing half of Sudan's pharmaceutical supply, claiming the factory is involved in chemical warfare. The U.S. later acknowledges there is no evidence for the chemical warfare charge.

        1987- The U.S. Navy is dispatched to the Persian Gulf to prevent Iran from cutting off Iraq's oil shipments.

        1988- The Iraqi regime launches mass poison-gas attacks on Kurds, killing thousands. The U.S. responds by increasing its support for the Iraqi regime.

        Don't go thinking that Middle Eastern extremists are just randomly attacking the United States, totally unprovoked.
        America has been playing the politics of empire in the middle east since the Second World War.
        You can only kick a dog so many times before it bites you.

        Do you denounce the actions of the American government in the same way that you want Muslims to apologize to you?

        July 16, 2014 at 3:11 pm |
        • ragansteve1

          So, basically, your view is that America is evil and we should just withdraw from the world and let them do their thing. I realize that that is the standard far left POV. I also realize that the US has made international mistakes. However, I do not accept at face value your characterization of all of the events as malicious on our part. A number of them were intended to help the people of the countries affected. And while your listing was occurring, we also accomplished a great deal that would not have been accomplished if we had withdrawn from world affairs.

          BUT, I will review your list and get back to you.

          July 16, 2014 at 6:21 pm |
        • Doc Vestibule

          I am not saying that America is evil.
          I am pointing out that citizens of the Middle East have legitimate grievances against western interference as it so often has been backhanded and resulted in bloodshed.
          I was living at HQEucom during the first Gulf War. Because it affected me directly, I did my research.

          July 16, 2014 at 9:05 pm |
        • ragansteve1

          OK. I have read through your listing of America's actions in the Middle East. I don't find a lot of fault with the chronology. However, as usual, there is a clear implication that America is malevolent and intentionally harming the countries in the region for its own gain. While there may be self-interest involved at some level, I do not believe that there is malice toward the people. In fact, in several instances we engaged to help the people fight against more repressive leaders or invaders.

          The poster example for my position is Afghanistan. We did arm the Afghans to fight against the Russian invasion of that country. There was very little if any self-interest in that arrangement other than stopping Russia. Our mistake was likely not following through with assistance following the departure of the Russians.

          So, to recap, I find few faults in your list per se. But you, like most liberals, turn neutral or even good actions into evil in order to continue your campaign to tar America as the modern Roman Empire, which we clearly are not.

          July 16, 2014 at 9:19 pm |
      • igaftr

        People fear what they do not understand. It is that simple.

        July 16, 2014 at 3:24 pm |
      • Vic

        Well, those surveys are hard to decipher at a glance. In general, demographical ratios of the subjects and the respondents as well as the directions of the questions factor in the outcome of the survey. For example, the U.S. is predominantly a Christian nation by its population, and when a predominantly Christian sample is surveyed to rate Christians, hence the Christian direction of the survey, the outcome would naturally reflect a Christian favor in the land, more favorable among older age groups, and so on and so forth.

        I believe the American depreciation for Atheism is rooted in the first settlers who came to the New World escaping religious persecution and seeking "Religious Freedom." I also believe that depreciation became more solidified during the Cold War era.

        I agree with this survey.

        God bless America.

        July 16, 2014 at 4:23 pm |
        • ragansteve1

          Well, I agree with your analysis as far as the stats go. And, I can understand the history re: the old soviet union's atheistic leaning. But we're beyond that era I hope. There's no reason to be cold toward atheists.

          July 16, 2014 at 5:59 pm |
    • ragansteve1

      I's OK. I found the answer.

      It's the size or proportion of the sample that affected the outcome, probably disproportionately.

      July 16, 2014 at 1:56 pm |
    • Sungrazer

      How is this a reality check? The only thing that surprises me is that Jews enjoy the highest rating.

      The article also points out that Catholics and evangelicals get a ratings boost because of their large numbers. For example, Catholics will tend to rate Catholics higher, and because of their numbers, the rating for Catholics is consequently higher. If you exclude ratings from Catholics, the rating for Catholics goes down. It goes down even more for evangelicals (when excluding rating from evangelicals).

      July 16, 2014 at 2:00 pm |
    • Sungrazer

      If you're looking for a reality check, the better candidate is this:

      "Christians and Jews Are Rated More Favorably by Older Americans Than by Younger People; Other Non-Christian Faiths Are Rated More Positively by Younger People"

      July 16, 2014 at 2:02 pm |
    • neverbeenhappieratheist

      While 67% of democrats view a college education as a possitive thing, only 46% of conservative Republicans said colleges and universities have a positive impact, while nearly as many (39%) said they have a negative effect. (20% for democrats). http://www.people-press.org/2012/03/01/colleges-viewed-positively-but-conservatives-express-doubts

      I think it says something when nearly 40% of conservatives, most of whom also consider themselves religious, consider a college education to be a bad thing. I believe the reason is they fear education, they fear learning about the world around them and fear change. They are scared little uneducated children who gnash their teeth and scream as they refuse to have their ignorance put on display.

      July 16, 2014 at 2:07 pm |
      • Dyslexic doG

        lucky for them there's lots of Christian Universities that give you a degree for reading the bible and discussing fairy tales ....

        July 16, 2014 at 2:15 pm |
      • ragansteve1

        I've spent nearly forty years working in higher education. I wouldn't say we fear education. I would say we object to the liberal indoctrination offered by most universities now. Also, in terms of job prospects, a college education is just not as valuable as it once was. At the same time, the education is about 10-15 times more expensive now as it was when I started my first degree. So, the cost-benefit analysis is less attractive.

        July 16, 2014 at 2:20 pm |
        • Sungrazer

          Can you give an example of liberal indoctrination?

          July 16, 2014 at 2:22 pm |
        • ragansteve1

          How about moral relativism, the hallmark of post-modern thought.

          July 16, 2014 at 2:33 pm |
        • Doc Vestibule

          So comparative religion is only for pinko, commie, atheist liberals?

          Or should such a course be called something like "Why My Religion Is The Truth And Everyone Else is an Immoral Heathen"?

          July 16, 2014 at 2:37 pm |
        • neverbeenhappieratheist

          "I wouldn't say we fear education. I would say we object to the liberal indoctrination offered by most universities now. "

          Well if you define facts about the planet as "liberal indoctrination" then you have a point. I mean, who would let their children find out the truth about things when their 8th grade educated grandparent still believes the world is flat and doesn't want any liberal mumbo jumbo trying to contradict them.

          July 16, 2014 at 2:45 pm |
        • joey3467

          I went to college in the South if there was any indoctrination taking place there it was conservative in nature.

          July 16, 2014 at 2:58 pm |
        • kudlak

          ragansteve1
          "Moral relativism", like how many Christians like to say that the Old Testament Law only applied to ancient Jews living under the "Old Covenant", and not to them?

          July 16, 2014 at 3:32 pm |
        • TruthPrevails1

          "I've spent nearly forty years working in higher education. "

          That's a long time to be a janitor.

          July 16, 2014 at 3:59 pm |
        • kudlak

          ragansteve1
          "the education is about 10-15 times more expensive now as it was when I started my first degree."
          Assuming that you only became a teacher after you got your first degree, that's 40 years of inflation that you aren't accounting for, right? No doubt, teachers are paid a bit more now than they were when you first started out too.

          July 16, 2014 at 4:38 pm |
        • ragansteve1

          Well, it looks like I struck a nerve. So many liberals, so little time.

          July 16, 2014 at 6:23 pm |
        • kudlak

          ragansteve1
          If you're saying that there isn't enough time in the world to prove your points, I'd have to agree.

          July 16, 2014 at 6:40 pm |
        • ragansteve1

          Kudlak, not at all. It’s just that I have more important things to do that argue with far left liberals 24/7. And yes, there has been inflation, but it is widely and credibly reported that higher education costs have risen far more and far faster than the general rate of inflation. Finally, I’ve not said anything about old testament law, unless I missed in a giant lapse of consciousness.

          Joey, You didn’t go to LSU then.

          Never, I don’t think I mentioned science at all.

          Doc, I’ve never taken or even considered a course in comparative religion. I was thinking more of Engllish courses, philosophy courses, and even history courses (re-written of course).

          July 16, 2014 at 7:49 pm |
        • LaBella

          So everyone who doesn't automatically agree with you is labeled a "far-left liberal", ragansteve?
          I see.

          July 16, 2014 at 8:11 pm |
        • ragansteve1

          No, just mostly here. I disagree with a wide range of people on a wide range of topics. I also agree with many people from a range of perspectives.

          July 16, 2014 at 9:23 pm |
        • kudlak

          ragansteve1
          Isn't the Christian insistence that the Old Testament Law no longer applies to believers of God not a case of "Moral Relativism"?

          July 17, 2014 at 6:54 pm |
      • Dalahäst

        Weren't they questioned about:
        – whether a college education is important for young people to succeed
        – the affordability of college
        – whether the higher education system provides a good value for students and their families?

        I'm not a Republican, but wouldn't give 100% satisfaction for those questions. I have some negative views toward some of those things, too.

        "Moreover, virtually all parents across the political and ideological spectrum said they expected their own children to go to college: 99% of Republicans said this, as did 96% of Democrats and 93% of independents."

        That sounds more like what I've noticed.

        July 16, 2014 at 2:27 pm |
      • Dalahäst

        Looks like only 1% seem to fear education to the degree you suggest?

        July 16, 2014 at 2:35 pm |
        • neverbeenhappieratheist

          The religious zealots only agree with education as long as it agrees with their preconceived ideological position. If it doesn't then they label it Satan and start fear mongering their fellow citizens.

          July 16, 2014 at 2:48 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Damn them!

          July 16, 2014 at 2:57 pm |
    • kudlak

      Another "Gee".
      Could it be that more Americans feel warm towards Christians and Jews because more Americans actually are Christians and Jews?

      July 16, 2014 at 3:21 pm |
    • TruthPrevails1

      SHOCKER!!!!!
      What would you expect when the majority of the countries population is Christian?

      July 16, 2014 at 3:54 pm |
  19. lunchbreaker

    The interesting thing about moral relativism is that it in no way actually predicts real human behavior. For centuries group A has been saying that based on group B's beliefs all members of group B will exhibit behavior X.

    July 16, 2014 at 12:40 pm |
    • LaBella

      Yes, all the while Group A is exhibiting the exact same behavior they are demonizing Group B for.
      Quite the conundrum.

      July 16, 2014 at 12:55 pm |
      • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

        When has demonstrable reality ever gotten in the way of their unfounded assertions?

        July 16, 2014 at 2:48 pm |
  20. colin31714

    Awanderingscott:

    Thank you! Thank you. Finally, somebody who gets it. The evolution cultists are full or rubbish. However, Scotty, there is another, even more insidious mob out there. Those who deny that storks bring babies.

    There is no REAL evidence that women give birth to babies. It is just a THEORY. If they did, why is it that men never give birth to babies? Why just women? Where do boys come from? It makes no sense.

    Then, of course, there is the lack of transitional species!! Where are the middle humans? There are only ever midwives and never “mid-husbands.” Ha, let’s see the Darwin cultists explain that!!

    If women gave birth to babies, why are there still women and babies? And why is it you never see a half-woman, half-baby!! Explain that evolutionists and va.ginal birth believers! Bet you CAN’T.

    If you look at a stork, it is INTELLIGENTLY designed to carry babies. Why would that be if it didn’t deliver babies? And what about twins and triplets? What, do some women have 2, or even 3 uteruses? That is stupid. A stork can EASILLY carry two or three babies, but a woman couldn’t.

    Why is it that for every 50 boys born, there are 50 girls. What, can a va.gina count? Ha, how stupid. But a stork could. And, what about all the GAPS in the birth record. One time I took a peek at my mother’s va.gina, and it was so small and babies are SO BIG.

    You evolutionists are so dumb. Your think babies JUST HAPPENED in their mother’s womb. What, do you think they just appeared out of yucky, slimy blood and stuff ? Fred Hoyle once calculated that the chance of a baby spontaneously appearing in a woman’s uterus was the same as a storm blowing through a junkyard and creating a Boing-747. That’s harder to believe than that the stork brought them!

    You might like to think you came from a mere zygote, but I KNOW I came from a glorious stork.

    My father insists that I was born because he banged my mother. I derisively call this the Big Bang theory, because he cannot tell me what happened BEFORE the Big bang. And what caused the Big Bang? It must have been a stork.

    You might ask, ok “what caused the stork?” Well the stork was always there.

    July 16, 2014 at 12:27 pm |
    • igaftr

      colin...well written, but this will fly far over scot's head.

      July 16, 2014 at 12:38 pm |
      • Fallos1012

        a bit of a stretch because we can actually watch a woman giving birth to a baby in real time which we cant for the stork & unfortunately evolution cant be demonstrated that way child birth can be & the onion article on gravity gets it better.

        July 16, 2014 at 1:06 pm |
        • James XCIX

          Fallos1012 – Why do you keep posting using different names?

          July 16, 2014 at 1:10 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      This reminds me of the old Onion article about "Intelligent Falling".
      http://www.theonion.com/articles/evangelical-scientists-refute-gravity-with-new-int,1778/

      July 16, 2014 at 12:42 pm |
      • colin31714

        Thanks, I just read it. If ever there was an article begging to be written....

        The scary thing is that it does not appear all that crazy compared to them wanting to teach creationism.

        July 16, 2014 at 12:51 pm |
        • bostontola

          It is troubling when a group is more outlandish than the satire.

          July 16, 2014 at 12:56 pm |
        • colin31714

          Some of the things they believe are just so outlandish and childish as to be comical. They then get offended when you call them on it!! A man rising from the dead, a 10,000 year old Earth, the Red sea splitting, water being turned into wine, dead people being in a "heaven" and still influencing matters on Earth, etc.

          I can't understand grown adults believing this. I am not being nasty. I REALLY cannot understand grown adults believing this stuff.

          July 16, 2014 at 1:01 pm |
        • bostontola

          I can understand it. I think just about all humans believe some things that defy the evidence. It helps us change things.

          My issue is more with people like scot that are outright liars and spew vitriolic libelous statements about honest people just doing their life's work. All that, under the cover of Christian morality. Very sad.

          July 16, 2014 at 1:07 pm |
        • kudlak

          colin31714
          What's more is that many of them will openly laugh at things that other people believe in, like reincarnation, karma, and animal spirits. It reminds me of this quote:

          We despise all reverences and all the objects of reverence which are outside the pale of our own list of sacred things. And yet, with strange inconsistency, we are shocked when other people despise and defile the things which are holy to us.
          Mark Twain – Following the Equator

          July 16, 2014 at 4:29 pm |
        • colin31714

          thanks kudlac. Indeed, one man's god is another man's goblin.

          July 16, 2014 at 4:34 pm |
        • kudlak

          colin31714
          It's also been said that you can't tell any joke without offending someone else.

          July 16, 2014 at 4:40 pm |
    • Dyslexic doG

      ahhh Colin, that is a thing of beauty!

      July 16, 2014 at 2:30 pm |
      • colin31714

        Thanks dog. I'm half expecting a response from Scotty; "Aye Colin, now that be the truth! They're not as bad as those damn round Earth nuts though, hey?"

        July 16, 2014 at 3:52 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.