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August 9th, 2014
06:01 PM ET

Why missionaries put their lives on the line

By Daniel Burke and Ashley Fantz, CNN

(CNN) - It wasn’t as if God's voice boomed through sun-parted clouds, telling Kent Brantly to move his family to Liberia.

Still, the young doctor said, the call was clear.

It echoed through the congregation where he was raised, Southeastern Church of Christ in Indianapolis.

Standing before the church community in July 2013, months before he left for Africa, Brantly said he heard the call in the teachers who urged him to memorize Scripture and the neighbors who funded his first mission trip years ago.

He saw it in the aunts and uncles who spent their vacations running Bible camps, organizing youth groups and serving missions themselves in Africa.

“It may not seem like much,” Brantly said in an emotional address to the Southeastern congregation, “but when you connect the dots you see a grand design that God has used to draw my life in a certain direction.”

For Brantly, that meant serving a two-year medical mission in Liberia with Samaritan’s Purse, a Christian relief organization. But in a grim twist that garnered international headlines, the 33-year-old contracted Ebola while treating patients and was airlifted back to the United States.

Brantly and a fellow missionary, Nancy Writebol, who was serving with SIM, another Christian aid organization, are being treated for the disease at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta.

After Liberia's outbreak began in March 2013, Writebol volunteered at a hospital in Monrovia, where she disinfected doctors and nurses working with patients stricken by the disease.

Despite their weakened health, their trust in God remains strong, family members said.

“Mom is tired from her travel, but continues to fight the virus and strengthen her faith in her Redeemer, Jesus,” said Jeremy Writebol, Nancy’s son.

On Friday, Brantly said that he felt a spiritual serenity even after learning his diagnosis.

“I remember a deep sense of peace that was beyond all understanding,” he said. “God was reminding me of what he had taught me years ago, that he will give me everything I need to be faithful to him.

Though Brantly's wife and children had been in Liberia with him, they had returned to the United States when he became ill.

In addition to the American missionaries, a nun and a priest from Spain who worked in Liberia also contracted Ebola, two more victims in an outbreak that health officials describe as the largest and most complex in the history of the disease.

As of Saturday, 961 people have died, nearly all in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea, where more than 1,770 cases have been reported, according to the World Health Organization.

Heroic or foolish? 

In the United States, much of the attention last week focused on the missionaries, who knowingly put themselves in harm’s way.

Christians have long debated the effectiveness of missions, with some arguing that they can, at times, cause more harm than good – both to missionaries and the people they are trying to help.

But rarely has the debate ranged as far afield of Christian circles or become as bitterly divided as it has since the American missionaries' return to the United States.

Prominent Christians, such as R. Albert Mohler Jr. and Russell Moore, called Brantly and Writebol heroic.

The missionaries knew the risks of contracting Ebola but worked with patients, doctors and nurses to try to contain the outbreak, the evangelicals said.

On the other hand, real estate mogul Donald Trump tweeted that people who travel to foreign countries to help are "great" but “must suffer the consequences” of their actions.

Conservative commentator Ann Coulter was even more unsympathetic, saying Brantley’s health status had been “downgraded to ‘idiotic.’”

“Why did Dr. Brantly have to go to Africa?” Coulter wrote. “The very first ‘risk factor’ listed by the Mayo Clinic for Ebola - an incurable disease with a 90 percent fatality rate - is: ‘Travel to Africa.’”

Nancy Writebol's husband, David, who remains in Liberia, answered the critics on Friday.

Writebol said he knows that some think missionaries like his wife are "foolish, or worse," to "put everybody in danger by going" to places like Liberia.

"But it’s that very calling," he said, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, "that demonstrates the characteristics, the great things that Christ has done for humanity. He left heaven and he came to a place of suffering and trouble and went about doing good.”

The Great Commission 

Besides the personal pull described by missionaries like Brantly, for centuries Christians have followed a more general call to spread the Gospel through word and deed. Known as the Great Commission, it began when Jesus told the apostles to “go and make disciples of all nations.”

Since then, millions of believers – from Baptists to Mormons to Jehovah’s Witnesses - have stuffed scriptures into suitcases and preached the Gospel in nearly every corner of the globe.

For centuries, serving those missions meant spending decades abroad, learning a culture and its language, and trying, with varying degrees of success, to convert native peoples to Christianity.

But short-term missions - often defined as less than two years - exploded in the 1970s and ‘80s with the advent of cheap and safe travel, scholars say. For evangelicals in particular, mission trips have become almost a rite of passage. In his 33 years, Kent Brantly had already served missions in Haiti, Honduras, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Nicaragua.

In doing so, Brantly is one of an estimated 1.6 million Americans adults who embark on short-term mission trips to foreign countries each year, according to Princeton University sociologist Robert Wuthnow.

If domestic missions and Christians under 18 were included, that number would rise to about 2.4 million, said David Armstrong, executive director of Mission Data International.

It’s an indication of how seriously Christians take Jesus’ call to reach “all nations,” a task to which they bring ever-increasing technical sophistication.

The Center for the Study of Global Christianity at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in Massachusetts, for instance, keeps tabs on the precise percentage of the world’s population who have been “evangelized.”

As of mid-2014, about 71% of the world has heard the Gospel through personal preaching, radio, television books or other media, the center says.

But not all missions are about evangelizing.

There are basically three types of missionaries, said Albert W. Hickman, a researcher at the Center for the Study of Global Christianity: those who preach, those who do good works, and those who do both.

SIM, which Nancy Writebol joined in 2013, belongs in the last category.

'Do you mind if I pray with you?'

Originally know as Sudan Interior Ministry, the Christian group has been active in Africa since 1893, when two young Canadians and an American set out to preach the Gospel in sub-Saharan Africa.

Within months, the men contracted malaria. Two died, but one survived and went on to help lay the groundwork for the modern SIM, which now stands for the more general Serving in Mission.

“Even early on, our people were willing to sacrifice or to die for their faith,” said George Salloum, SIM USA’s vice president of finance and operations.

More than 1,600 SIM missionaries now work in 60 countries.

The majority are recruited online, a process that starts with questions for applicants like: Do you share your faith with others? Is prayer a regular part of your life? Are you disciplined, accountable? Have your really thought about how hard being a missionary will be?

The list of missions SIM offers is extensive – from a Bible school teacher in Mongolia to a water engineer in South Sudan. The group also sends medical professionals to mission hospitals and clinics throughout the world.

Before they travel, missionaries go through cross-cultural training, learning, for example, how close should they stand while taking to someone and how different cultures greet strangers.

Missionaries also are also trained in their most critical skill, Salloum said: How to provide practical help while simultaneously spreading the Gospel.

For instance, when a person suffers from an illness or injury, the medical missionary will approach and ask if they can help. “The missionary just shares something ... and then sometimes they’ll say, ‘Do you mind if I pray with you?’”

“People will say, ‘Why are you doing that?’ And we tell them that’s what Christ did,’” Salloum said. “It’s a natural transition – someone who has a physical need then to have a spiritual need.”

That's precisely what Nancy Writebol did in Liberia, said the SIM executive. “She talked to children, she shared the Gospel. She was just available, there for the people. That was her world.”

Writebol and her husband are originally from Charlotte, North Carolina, and have two adult sons, according to SIM.

In Liberia, before the outbreak, Nancy served as a personnel coordinator, guiding new missionaries as they entered the West African country. She also volunteered on the staff of ELWA hospital, where David Writebol worked as a technical services manager of the 100-building complex.

"We aren't going to stop our ministry – we believe we can serve wherever God sends us," David Writebol said on Friday.

Samaritan’s Purse, the Christian relief organization Brantly worked for, declined to speak to CNN.

David Armstrong, from Mission Data International, said the organization, which is headed by Franklin Graham, focuses chiefly on emergency aid, particularly the physical needs of native populations. But they also try to tend to spiritual needs, which means providing Bibles and setting up prayer meetings.

“They are sharing the Gospel, but it’s more of a one-on-one, person-to-person thing,” Armstrong said.

Good works (without preaching the Gospel) 

One of the world's largest faith-based organizations doesn't even like the "missionary" label, according to a spokesman, because of the word's association with proselytizing.

Though Catholic Relief Services says it is motivated by the Gospel to embody Catholic social and moral teaching, it does not preach to the people it helps.

In fact, you don't even have to be Catholic to work for Catholic Relief Services. Among its 4,500 workers are many Muslims, Hindus and members of other religions, said Bill O’Keefe, the organization’s vice president of advocacy.

“We assist people of all backgrounds and religions and we do not attempt to engage in discussions of faith," O’Keefe said. “We’re proud of that. We like to say that we assist everybody because we’re Catholic, we don’t assist people to become Catholic.”

Founded in 1943, CRS has 4,500 workers more than 60 countries, including 250 CRS workers in Sierra Leone, Liberia, Guinea and Nigeria, the West African nations hit hardest by the latest Ebola outbreak.

“The biggest obstacles they’re facing is misinformation,” said CRS spokesman Michael Stulman, who was recently in Sierra Leone. “The people believe that Ebola is a curse or that it’s a lie made up by authorities.”

Meredith Dyson, CRS’s health program manager in Freetown, Sierra Leone, said her job is to get the public to stop believing those myths.

Some Liberians, for instance, believe that a soft drink can cure the disease, or that Ebola is a nefarious plot concocted by nongovernmental organizations and the government.

“People say don’t go to the hospital, you won’t come back because healthcare workers are injecting people and killing them,” she said.

“Every myth is born of some kind of truth – it is partly what they’re seeing – people are going to hospital and not coming home.”

Dyson, 31, studied public health at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore where she met people who worked for CRS. Though not Catholic herself, Dyson said the church's teachings on human dignity and social justice resonated deeply with her.

Describing the recent Ebola outbreak, Dyson's voice breaks as she recalls two CRS colleagues - both Africans - who died will trying to help others.

“The people who work in this setting are close knit,” she said. “They become your family. It can be really hard.”

Unexpected places 

Back in the United States, sitting in an isolation room at Emory University hospital, Brantly said he didn’t move to Liberia to fight Ebola, but that it became necessary after the outbreak there.

He said he held the hands of countless patients who died of the disease, and still remembers each of their faces and names.

Brantly's mission may not have been what he imagined when he spoke to Southeastern Church of Christ those many months ago, but his focus remains the same: going wherever God leads.

“One thing I have learned," Brantly said, "is that following God often leads us to unexpected places.”

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Africa • Catholic Church • Charity • Christianity • Ethics • evangelicals • Faith & Health • Foreign policy • Health • Health care • Liberia • Missionaries

soundoff (2,880 Responses)
  1. Løki

    We climbed up to the top in worn out shoes,
    But she ran down, she ran down.
    She ran down to the house.
    A fox that gains our trust but then breaks it as he walks
    Away from us, away from us.

    Can you chase this fire away?
    Can you chase this fire away?

    In the fire we sleep all day
    In the fire we sleep all day

    August 12, 2014 at 3:06 pm |
    • Reality

      Quotes and songwriters and singers would be helpful. http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/ofmonstersandmen/lakehouse.html

      August 12, 2014 at 3:49 pm |
      • Løki

        That would take all of the googling fun away...

        August 12, 2014 at 4:13 pm |
        • Reality

          No it would not.

          August 12, 2014 at 6:47 pm |
  2. Lucifer's Evil Twin

    Brevior saltare cum deformibus mulieribus est vita

    August 12, 2014 at 2:22 pm |
    • Reality

      Life is too short to dance with ugly women

      August 12, 2014 at 3:45 pm |
      • Reality

        Amen !

        August 12, 2014 at 3:46 pm |
      • Alias

        I prefer to dance like no one is watching.

        August 12, 2014 at 4:29 pm |
  3. new-man

    Idolatry: the worship of any god that is not the full revelation of God and Christ found in both the Old and New Testaments.

    When your understanding of God contradicts the scriptures, you have chosen idolatry.

    When you must establish that the scriptures are the work of fallible men who were ‘just doing the best they could,’ in order to maintain your personal desire of who you wish God to be, you are an idolater.

    When you use scripture to prove that scripture is prone to error, you are a hypocrite.

    Just because you don’t understand the whole counsel of God as revealed in His written Word doesn’t mean that the Word is incomplete or full of error. It just means that you know in part.

    Paul’s message could stand the scrutiny of the Scriptures. Can yours? These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.
    B.Bennett CBC

    August 12, 2014 at 2:05 pm |
    • Alias

      Bill Bennett is an extremist and a close minded nut job.
      I would no sooner accept a quote about religion from him than I would accept a quote about peace from a terrorist.

      August 12, 2014 at 2:14 pm |
      • new-man

        when you've chosen to malign the character of someone, at least make sure you have the right individual.
        Barry Bennett is a pastor and dean of students at Charis Bible College, he's also former missionary to Latin America etc. He has more love for people in the tip of his toe-nail than you do in your whole being; not to mention his vast knowledge and wisdom.

        Be Blessed.

        August 12, 2014 at 2:19 pm |
        • Lucifer's Evil Twin

          He perpetuates the retardation of the human race by 'teaching' superstitious nonsense... but whatever...

          August 12, 2014 at 2:39 pm |
        • Doc Vestibule

          Charis Bible College teaches some pretty scary stuff, like how True Christians not only have the power to heal others as Christ did (echoes of Christian Science here) but that they can literally raise the dead.
          They also teach that True Christians don't get sick.

          It is this kind of nonsense that first turned me off of evangelical Christians. When I was a teenager, a friend of mine was terribly depressed because his parents told him that God would cure his degenerative eye disease if he was a good enough Christian – but he kept losing his sight a little more with each passing day.

          There's a good reason the "College" isn't accredited in any way, shape or form – they're a bunch of quacks.

          August 12, 2014 at 2:59 pm |
        • new-man

          DV,
          you don't need a Bible college to teach you that you can heal the sick, cleanse the leper and raise the dead, it's right there in Scripture. You should believe it then do it, and you'll prove it for yourself.

          I think that's a lie to say "They also teach that True Christians don't get sick"... "Sicknesses are referred to as curses, not blessings. They are bondage, oppression, works of the enemy and captivity."

          It's unfortunate your friend was taught to believe in the works of his flesh. If you understood anything that other believers have written here then you would know that our blessings are not based on our performance or our right doing. You nor I can earn the blessings of God. He gives freely to all. Believe and receive, doubt and do without.

          "Healing is a legal issue, not a sovereignty issue. God has already established His will through the cross and the demonstration of Jesus healing all. Sin is the root. Sickness is a fruit. If divine healing exists, there must be a spiritual law that sustains it. Things don’t just happen by chance. If the root is dealt with, the fruit can be dealt with.Sickness entered the world through sin. Sickness is incipient death. Health can be affected by the emotions, the mind, the spirit and the body. Healing is not just about the body. It is for the whole man. One can be born again but still suffer in the soul and body, and sickness can result."

          August 12, 2014 at 3:43 pm |
        • Alias

          When you site a source, maybe you could give adequate information next time?

          Allow me to correct myself:
          Barry Bennett is an extremist and a close minded nut job.
          I would no sooner accept a quote about religion from him than I would accept a quote about peace from a terrorist.

          August 12, 2014 at 3:53 pm |
        • Doc Vestibule

          @new-man
          Healing the sick is not a matter of invoking supernatural powers a la Mary Baker Eddy and death, I'm afraid, is still quite final.
          What may or may not come after death is up for debate as there is no conclusive evidence for any afterlife hypothesis, but when your meat machine shut down there is no reboot switch.

          August 12, 2014 at 3:56 pm |
        • new-man

          Alias,
          it makes little difference as you major in character assassination. From the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks... it's quite telling what lies in your heart.
          Start sowing good seeds friend- seeds of love, compassion, humility.
          Be Blessed in Jesus' Name.

          August 12, 2014 at 3:56 pm |
        • Doc Vestibule

          @new-man
          My friend's family were not "works based salvation" kind of Christians.
          By "good Christian", they meant the same as you – absolute faith in Christ and The Bible.
          They were Southern Baptists.
          The father was actually Priscilla Presley's brother. He was an Air Force officer.
          Though they had picture of her wedding to Elvis in the home, the family had long ago shunned her for her sinful ways.

          August 12, 2014 at 4:03 pm |
        • halero 9001

          new-man – "you don't need a Bible college to teach you that you can [ . . . ] raise the dead"

          I'm sorry, new-man, but I have run this notion through my Quack-o-meter module and the results are: 100% quackery.

          August 12, 2014 at 4:05 pm |
        • new-man

          DV,
          from the little I know, I don't think S.Baptists believe that healing is for today as it was while Jesus walked the earth. I think they're more "works" based believers – See, only one who believes in "doing" in order to be right with God would go about shunning those they deem sinners, neglecting that we were all born with a sin nature.

          do a search for Nasir Siddiki: his own site has his before photo.
          He wasn't raised from the dead, though his brother was. He was miraculously healed though.
          http://www.wisdomministries.org/bio.html

          August 12, 2014 at 4:23 pm |
        • Alias

          New-men
          The truth does not usually qualify as character assassination.
          Question what is in my heart all you want, it will not change the truth.

          August 12, 2014 at 4:25 pm |
        • Doc Vestibule

          "Science and Health with the Key to Scriptures" is full of testimonials from those who were miraculously healed through the magic power of Christian Scientists. Do you believe them to be true?
          There is plenty of 1st hand accounts of how Joseph Smith channeled the magic healing powers of God.
          Do you believe them to be true?

          August 12, 2014 at 4:28 pm |
        • new-man

          DV, you'd be surprised the things that are possible once you understand Spiritual Laws.

          Jesus Himself said this: Many will say to Me on that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name and driven out demons in Your name and done many mighty works in Your name?
          And then I will say to them openly (publicly), I never knew you; depart from Me, you who act wickedly [disregarding My commands].

          So, even those who are workers of iniquity/wicked once they understand spiritual laws can tap into it and use it because spiritual laws (just like physical laws) work regardless of who uses them.

          August 12, 2014 at 4:41 pm |
        • igaftr

          hello newman...

          "understand Spiritual Laws."

          How can you possibly understand the "laws" of something that no one can even show to exist?
          You have stated a complete impossibility, except in one place...your imagination.

          August 12, 2014 at 4:57 pm |
    • halero 9001

      I'm sorry, new-man, but all that is, in fact, well – using my Idiomatic Expression Equivalency Module (IEEM) – "total nonsense".

      However, new-man, some value can be gleaned from your post. We can learn by claims that start with:

      "When your understanding of God contradicts the scriptures ..."
      "When you use scripture to prove that scripture is prone to error, you are ...."
      "Paul’s message could stand the scrutiny of the Scriptures... "

      to recognize recursive self-delusion.

      August 12, 2014 at 2:18 pm |
      • new-man

        Men do not reject the Bible because it contradicts itself but because it contradicts them." – Unknown

        [Those] attacking the Scriptures and declaring them to be fallible and imperfect. This attack began in the Garden of Eden. "Hath God said?" - The Serpent

        August 12, 2014 at 2:25 pm |
        • observer

          new-man,

          There's no way to totally disprove nonsense like men walking on water, but we can verify FACTS like that the ratio PI is NOT equal to 3.0 like the Bible says. Just another error in the Bible.

          August 12, 2014 at 2:27 pm |
        • halero 9001

          Thank you, new-man, for demonstrating my point, albeit, from a more primitive level of myth.

          August 12, 2014 at 2:28 pm |
        • Alias

          A quote from an unknown person, and one from a talking serpent.
          Much better citation than initials.

          August 12, 2014 at 3:56 pm |
        • igaftr

          hello newman...

          "attacking the Scriptures"

          Not attacking first off...questioning and showing where they are wrong.
          secondly, scripture literally means that it is written down...this is scripture. men wrote your "scripture" and capitalizing it does not chnage the fact that men wrote it...still nothing to show there was anything beyond men, nothing showing any supernatural involvment at all.

          If the "scriptures" weren't so ridiculous and often wrong, perhaps they would not be so questioned.

          August 12, 2014 at 4:00 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          @observer the measurements in the OT that yuo got this from are NOT meant to be accurate numbers..they are APPROXIMATE..the Bible did nOT mention it is trying to prove pi, nor does it concern with precise numbers....there is NO error when giving approximate numbers..its done all the time...the ONLY time it would be in error if the Bible claimed to be a science text book and claims to use exact precise numbers..THIS is where Youhave to prove that the Bible is in error

          August 12, 2014 at 4:40 pm |
        • joey3467

          The problem is that Christians claim the bible is perfect. If it anywhere for any reason claims that Pi is 3, or uses measurements that lead to Pi being equal to 3 then the Bible is wrong plain and simple. You can't claim a book is perfect and then just ignore the mistakes by claiming it isn't a science book. Either it is perfect or it is not, and in the case of the bible it is easy to see that it is not perfect.

          August 12, 2014 at 4:45 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          thats not what is meant......approxiations are nOT in error...claimning perfection does not mean all numbers are precise......perfect means there is no need to add to it..it has all the info we need to know about God and His plan of Salvation

          August 12, 2014 at 4:47 pm |
        • Alias

          If the bible were perfect and complete, there wouldn't be thousands of different christion factions interpreting it differently.

          August 12, 2014 at 4:52 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          TERRIBLE logic!! so you syaing humans are perfect? come on..place the blame on the right place..HUMANS....ANYTHING can be perfectand still get misunderstood.....stop playing the stupid blame game and balme yourselves

          August 12, 2014 at 4:55 pm |
        • new-man

          Alias,
          the Bible is perfect. It's man who isn't perfect, hence the disunity. Look around, there's disunity even in your own family. The issue is man, not the Bible.

          August 12, 2014 at 5:00 pm |
        • Alias

          So why would an all knowing, seeing, powerful god give us a book he knew we wouldn't be able to understand as our only means to salvation?
          HAHAHAHAAAHAHAAAAA!!!!!!

          August 12, 2014 at 5:07 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          still playing the blame game eh? we CAN understand the Bible...nothing was said about people NOT understanding the Bible..its a matter of people CHOOSING to put in their thoughts and doctrine..rather than get out what the AUTHOR intended..people choose to ignore the context

          August 12, 2014 at 5:54 pm |
        • new-man

          Alias,
          nice to see you're amused by your perceived wit.

          in the same manner that God gave His only begotten Son that WHOSOEVER believes in Him, will not perish but have everlasting life. (It's available to everyone, not everyone will avail themselves of it)
          Everlasting life is not just for when you die, but for right now. Everlasting life is knowing God well and having an intimate knowledge and relationship with Him.

          Are you a "whosoever" Alias? Then the promises and covenants of God are for you.

          August 12, 2014 at 5:16 pm |
        • Alias

          What is the possible point of giving us a book we do not understand?
          Unless he is setting us up to fail, which contradicts te new testament in many places.
          How about all the peop;le who lived and died withou ever hearing of jesus?
          Surely there is some reason that god decided to send most of the world to hell with no chance of baptism or salvation.
          Hmmm .... It could be that your god is a myth. That would explain everything.

          August 12, 2014 at 5:27 pm |
        • halero 9001

          new-man – "the Bible is perfect. It's man who isn't perfect"

          Thank you, new-man for continuing to support my point that such claims allow us to recognize recursive self-delusion.

          kermit4jc – "nothing was said about people NOT understanding the Bible..its a matter of people CHOOSING to put in their thoughts and doctrine..rather than get out what the AUTHOR intended..."

          I can only respond to this using my Idiomatic Expression Equivalency Module (IEEM):

          LOLOLOLOLOL

          August 12, 2014 at 6:12 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          HUH??

          August 12, 2014 at 6:13 pm |
        • hotairace

          Huh! is my standard reaction to new-man. And fred. And Scotty.

          August 12, 2014 at 6:22 pm |
    • bostontola

      Dr. Bennett's perspective works for many. There is an alternate perspective that is equally valid:
      The bibles are one of many attempts by man to capture the truth of our existence. Much of the bibles were a significant advancement, collecting wisdom from other religions and philosophies, and adding novel advancements into a coherent whole. Being created thousands of years ago, many of the literal facts are not correct, but many of humanities workings are still valid.

      I'm sure there are other valid perspectives as well.

      August 12, 2014 at 2:29 pm |
      • new-man

        If you view the Bible as the word of man, then it's understandable why you would adhere to your particular philosophy. Obviously I don't agree with you, "or we'd both be wrong"
        *smile*

        August 12, 2014 at 2:40 pm |
      • Reality

        At least the Jewish scribes who borrowed the myths could have referenced their sources !!

        August 12, 2014 at 3:56 pm |
    • rogerthat2014

      All gods are man-made. Worshipping any man-made god other than the Bible god is idolatry. Got it.

      August 12, 2014 at 2:31 pm |
    • evidencenot

      @new man "When your understanding of God contradicts the scriptures, you have chosen idolatry."

      Translated = when your understanding of god contradicts my understanding of god.

      August 12, 2014 at 2:54 pm |
      • neverbeenhappieratheist

        bingo!

        August 12, 2014 at 2:56 pm |
  4. colin31714

    I leave for the Burgess Shale in about two weeks, Scotty. I am visiting the Walcott Quarry, the Stephens Fossil Bed and the Stromatalites. I'll be sure to bring you back some fossils of Cambrian life.

    August 12, 2014 at 1:34 pm |
    • bostontola

      I'm green with envy.

      August 12, 2014 at 1:43 pm |
      • colin31714

        Read Gould's book?

        August 12, 2014 at 1:47 pm |
        • bostontola

          Yes, and many other of his books.

          August 12, 2014 at 1:53 pm |
        • colin31714

          He takes a lot of words to make a point and strays off on a lot of tangents, but I was interested in the core theme of life being less diverse nowdays, with more species packed into less phyla. That makes sense if evolution was toying with early models in the early days of multicellularity.

          August 12, 2014 at 2:01 pm |
        • bostontola

          I have enjoyed his tangents. Many science writers (and mathematics writers) do that. I find many of the side roads the most interesting and often make key points that open up new ideas. It's probably because my mind goes off on tangents.

          August 12, 2014 at 2:04 pm |
        • colin31714

          I just counted. He spent 23 pages repeating the point that evolution is a random spraying off of life rather than any kind of advancement or improvement.

          August 12, 2014 at 2:14 pm |
        • bostontola

          Good point. On the other hand, 23 pages might not be enough for scot to get the point.

          August 12, 2014 at 2:20 pm |
        • colin31714

          lol. you can't penetrate a closed system.

          August 12, 2014 at 2:22 pm |
        • Doris

          Yes – I think there's more hope yet for Dicken's Miss Havisham than there is for scot.

          August 12, 2014 at 2:41 pm |
        • bostontola

          Doris,
          Lol.

          August 12, 2014 at 2:44 pm |
        • Sungrazer

          Arthropods are my favorite phylum because of that book. I became fascinated with the segments.

          August 12, 2014 at 4:21 pm |
        • bostontola

          Sun,
          I love arthropods as well. They are easier to study than many animals, but still quite complex. The fossil and development biology at the gene level is extraordinarily rich evidence for evolution. Many micro steps are identified.

          August 12, 2014 at 5:33 pm |
    • Doris

      I just checked out some Google images of Yoho and Kootenay National Parks. It looks stunningly beautiful. I'm envious as well.

      August 12, 2014 at 2:02 pm |
      • colin31714

        We will stay at Lake Louis and will be doing 3 hikes, one to the Walcott Quarry, where Walcott found the bulk of the Smithsonian's fossils, one to the Lake Helen stromatolite bed (also late Cambrian) and one to the Stephen Fossil bed. Hope to come back with some fossils (collecting at the sites is illegal but other areas are ok). Love to bag an Opabinia or Anomolacaris, but pretty damn unlikely.......

        August 12, 2014 at 2:07 pm |
    • awanderingscot

      Nice, good luck bringing back any transitional form fossils. See if you can find any beautiful monsters while you're up in the woods too.

      August 12, 2014 at 3:56 pm |
      • Alias

        As you should know – All fossils are transitional. He may well find some.
        The only monsters in those woods are fundamental christians. The scary part is you cannot tell them from normal people, until they speak.

        August 12, 2014 at 4:19 pm |
      • Sungrazer

        Don't you mean hopeful monster?

        August 12, 2014 at 4:23 pm |
    • hotairace

      Have a great trip to Canada. I'd buy you a beer or two but will be in Europe while you are in Canada.

      August 12, 2014 at 6:17 pm |
      • colin31714

        Oh heck, where do u live, HHA?

        August 12, 2014 at 9:23 pm |
        • hotairace

          Calgary.

          August 13, 2014 at 5:02 pm |
  5. halero 9001

    There are all kinds of religious people with different kinds of missions. Like the ones in this CNN video story, who have adopted a mission to take photos of cars, write down license plate numbers and post them on the internet:

    http://www.cnn.com/video/data/2.0/video/us/2014/08/11/dnt-oh-topless-church-protest.wbns.html

    August 12, 2014 at 1:05 pm |
  6. Tom, Tom, the Other One

    People who, in hindsight, had the right answer for the wrong reason, or no reason, deserve no credit for it. So, for example, if anyone is right about God's existence and about what God wants, and, ineviably, have had no way of knowing such things, then it makes no sense for them to merit eternal rewards.

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

      That is the great irony of 'faith'. "Faith' only has value when there is no evidence for a belief.

      When there is evidence, belief is no longer faith, it is self-evident.

      I recollect Douglas Adams had something very witty to say on the subject.

      August 12, 2014 at 1:00 pm |
      • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

        Now it is such a bizarrely improbable coincidence that anything so mind-bogglingly useful could have evolved purely by chance that some thinkers have chosen to see it as the final and clinching proof of the non-existence of God.

        The argument goes something like this: "I refuse to prove that I exist,'" says God, "for proof denies faith, and without faith I am nothing."

        "But," says Man, "The Babel fish is a dead giveaway, isn't it? It could not have evolved by chance. It proves you exist, and so therefore, by your own arguments, you don't. QED."

        "Oh dear," says God, "I hadn't thought of that," and promptly vanishes in a puff of logic.

        "Oh, that was easy," says Man, and for an encore goes on to prove that black is white and gets himself killed on the next zebra crossing.” – Douglas Adams

        August 12, 2014 at 1:02 pm |
        • Tom, Tom, the Other One

          The record is clear: ontological proofs have failed to produce God or make God go away.

          August 12, 2014 at 1:24 pm |
  7. Alias

    This site really needs an 'Ignore' option.
    Then people could be dazzled by my brilliance without having to skip past all the evolution denying trolls.

    August 12, 2014 at 12:50 pm |
    • Løki

      "This site really needs an 'Ignore' option" If this were an option.. then I suspect there would be nothing but blank pages in the 'Belief' blog... which is funny when you think about it.

      August 12, 2014 at 12:55 pm |
      • Alias

        I think if we saw the replies we would still know who was out there saying the same things again.
        I guess nothing can protect us from bible huggers denying evolution.

        August 12, 2014 at 1:01 pm |
      • ausphor

        Loki
        How about having some posters being forced to make a disclaimer, Dalahast, for example? Dala.."anything I post on this blog can be changed, twisted, redefined by me and I alone have carte blanche to spew out ad hominems against any other blogger but I forbid those others calling me a tool. My personal experiences are as vast as the earth itself, I, Dala am the possessor of all knowledge." Reply at your own peril, you are wasting your time, I, Dala have spoken."

        August 12, 2014 at 1:35 pm |
        • Alias

          Good idea.
          I would settle for a word filter that only allowed comments that were on topic.
          No more rehashing the same worn out delusions on each and every article.

          Heaven on earth

          August 12, 2014 at 2:08 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          I've noticed that the few (and it is only a few) people on here that accuse me of twisting others words and redefining words – often turn around and twist my words. And often they do it to others, too.

          I think your post illustrates that, too. Which seems a bit hypocritical of you. I know, I'm hypocritical at times, too. But I see it in you, too.

          I've been asking these people what words I twisted. Or what words I've defined wrong, and provide me a better example of a definition. I often point to the dictionary to show my understanding of the word. And the replies I get back is usually along the lines of "Well, I don't have any examples to point to, but you know you do it."

          August 12, 2014 at 2:12 pm |
        • evidencenot

          Lets start with "I know god"

          August 12, 2014 at 2:57 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          know
          nō/
          verb
          verb: know; 3rd person present: knows; past tense: knew; gerund or present participle: knowing; past participle: known

          1.
          be aware of through observation, inquiry, or information.
          "most people know that CFCs can damage the ozone layer"
          synonyms: be aware, realize, be conscious, be informed; More
          notice, perceive, see, sense, recognize;
          informalbe clued in, savvy
          "who knows I'm here?"
          have knowledge or information concerning.
          "I would write to him if I knew his address"
          synonyms: have knowledge of, be informed of, be apprised of; More
          formalbe cognizant of
          "I think Mary knows his address"
          be absolutely certain or sure about something.
          "I just knew it was something I wanted to do"
          2.
          have developed a relationship with (someone) through meeting and spending time with them; be familiar or friendly with.

          --

          The idea that we can know God isn't that far-fetched. I've witnessed intelligent, wise and respected people testify as much. For you personally it may difficult for you to grasp. And I can understand that. I've never put anyone down for holding that belief. I may not personally agree with it, but that doesn't mean I should call them a liar, a dodger or a coward for holding it. I think it is important to practice tolerance and acceptance for ideas different from mine. I often learn something new about others when I approach in that manner. It is not always easy to approach it that way. But that is my ideal.

          But to respond that I am just twisting words – when in fact those who accuse me of it do it themselves – doesn't make a good argument.

          August 12, 2014 at 3:11 pm |
        • evidencenot

          Thanks for proving my point!

          August 13, 2014 at 8:59 am |
    • believerfred

      How about belief being a prerequisite for entry to a belief site?
      Awe, if there was no God a belief-less site could not exist as there would be nothing to be belief-less against. You all NEED GOD now just admit it.

      August 12, 2014 at 1:49 pm |
      • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

        @fred

        Belief and unbelief are two sides of the same coin. One cannot exist as a concept absent the other.

        Right and left, good and bad, etc. None of these concepts can exist without a complement.

        August 12, 2014 at 1:56 pm |
        • believerfred

          6-10 thousand years ago God put two trees in the center of the Garden not one. The tree of good and evil is where we exist barred from the Tree of Life by virtue of the fact good and evil complement each other. Not that complicated as once you have tasted the fruit you cannot un-taste it.
          I cannot think of a better plan to reveal who truly desires the Tree of Life (eternal unity in perfect love) then the program now running. Can you?
          If we cannot agree as to God I would think we could agree as to program now running if the Bible were true.

          August 12, 2014 at 2:19 pm |
        • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

          " I would think we could agree as to program now running if the Bible were true.
          ------------------------–
          I'm not sure your believer friends would agree Fred. Apparently God decided the program wasn't working very well and called for a Mulligan with the flood.

          August 12, 2014 at 3:22 pm |
        • neverbeenhappieratheist

          "I cannot think of a better plan to reveal who truly desires the Tree of Life (eternal unity in perfect love) then the program now running. Can you?"

          Right, you can't think of a better way than mankind spending thousands of years suffering and dying, birth pangs increased (according to Genesis) just to teach those rebelous women a lesson and tens of millions dying at the hands of their fellow man in torturous and horrid ways all while never once having their creator step forward and claim them in this life. Well I can think of a million better ways starting with the creator letting us know he actually exists and cares about us instead of trying to let us know via some 2000 year old game of charades... sounds like... um... two sylables...um...I got it! it's bull shlt isn't it?...

          August 12, 2014 at 5:22 pm |
        • believerfred

          neverbeenahapieratheist
          "creator letting us know he actually exists and cares about us instead of trying to let us know "
          =>Good Gosh, ever watch a sporting event in the U.S. .....some guy with a JOHN 3:16 sign?
          =>We each are unique with capacity to fully experience good and evil. Given choice mankind always takes that path over the way God demands. The plan of creation allows us to continue making choices until such time as the redemption of our soul becomes hopeless. That is the end of the physical journey. What remains is that which is of God (Christ like aka fruit of the Spirit). You get as much time as needed to show your true colors

          August 12, 2014 at 6:44 pm |
        • believerfred

          GOPer
          "called for a Mulligan with the flood."
          =>Not necessarily a mulligan. It is also a picture of the End of Days. All that is not of God will be cleansed by living waters (Christ) and what remains finds favor in the eyes of the Lord.

          August 12, 2014 at 6:48 pm |
        • hotairace

          fred is sounding as daffy as my favorite Bablical end-times prognosticator Marylyn Agee. . .

          August 12, 2014 at 6:55 pm |
        • evidencenot

          @hotair.... If you want a real laugh, check out brother RG Stair. He claims "there were no dinosaurs.."

          August 13, 2014 at 9:01 am |
      • ausphor

        fred
        All sorts of gods to believe in, ever read the Gospel of the FSM? As a a Deist I certainly can positively say that I do not believe in any personal god whose butt you have to kiss to live your life.

        August 12, 2014 at 1:56 pm |
        • believerfred

          Kissing butt is negative and evil regardless of belief.
          A very small percentage of the population lacks normal emotive response and would not have capacity for a personal connection with God. You would know this if you have difficulty forming a normal emotive bond with another person.
          All others have capacity to bond. A physical presence is secondary to capacity and capacity does not require physical form or substance (i.e you can be in love with an idea or have an emotive experience that bonds with music etc.). If you love God I would think it is by default a personal God.

          August 12, 2014 at 2:36 pm |
        • ausphor

          fred
          What?

          August 12, 2014 at 2:45 pm |
        • believerfred

          " I do not believe in any personal god whose butt you have to kiss to live your life."
          =>good because that is not what God is about.
          =>If someone loves God how could that not be personal
          =>Very few people actually live their lives different from what they firmly believe. Your problem is you have the wrong concept of God if you think kissing God's butt has any positive value whatsoever.

          August 12, 2014 at 8:22 pm |
      • Alias

        Fred
        So children cannot believe in Santa unless Santa really lives at the North Pole, with elves.
        Got it.
        That's some real Good logic right there.

        August 12, 2014 at 2:04 pm |
        • believerfred

          belief-less is a way of life based on a concept of godlessness. If the idea of God never came to be in the first place how could you be an atheist.

          August 12, 2014 at 2:25 pm |
        • observer

          If the idea of ZEUS and THOUSANDS of other gods never came to be in the first place how could you be an atheist?

          August 12, 2014 at 2:29 pm |
        • ausphor

          fred
          You do know that many of the early concepts of the gods, long before christianity, were based on exceptional men, both leaders of the tribe and medicine men that managed to scam the followers. This led to the formation of imaginary gods, then religions. This happened throughout the world, your Jewish Messiah myth is just as unbelievable as all the rest.

          August 12, 2014 at 2:40 pm |
        • believerfred

          observer
          We agree as non belief requires an object of non belief. If there was not the concept of God,god or gods, supernatural or naturalism etc there would be no non belief. We would be like the ape or the frog just hanging out belief-less.

          August 12, 2014 at 2:41 pm |
        • ausphor

          fred
          What? You act as if your belief system is the only one in the world, jesus, that is just denying the obvious, shake your head. Most of the people on earth do not give a good god damn about your jewish messiah, Lordy, Lordy.

          August 12, 2014 at 2:49 pm |
        • believerfred

          auspor
          You do not know if that was the pattern of belief formation and your suggestion is pure speculation. No one knows why Neanderthal began to put provisions for the afterlife with their dead.
          You have observed correctly that man made gods were made in the image of man and this we know and have objective evidence that supports. The God of Abraham is not made in the image of man and to the contrary cannot be seen by man. Unlike all other gods it is obvious that this truth stands firm to this day. All other concepts of God do not match form and substance observed thus can be dismissed due to internal conflict.

          August 12, 2014 at 2:52 pm |
        • neverbeenhappieratheist

          "If the idea of God never came to be in the first place how could you be an atheist?"

          Because atheist simply means "does not believe in God/gods" which someone pre-concept would certainly be.

          August 12, 2014 at 2:54 pm |
        • ausphor

          fred
          I dismiss your delusion, like you dismiss so many other delusions. Hell, Christians can't even agree about whose interpretation of the delusion is the correct one. I will bet your interpretation is the really, really good one, right?

          August 12, 2014 at 3:01 pm |
        • believerfred

          ausphor
          How can you dismiss as delusion the God of Abraham I just presented? It is the same concept, form and structure of your belief! I have not made the hyperdrive jump into Christianity (yet) or moved towards pantheism. The base element of your god and my God are the same at this point.

          August 12, 2014 at 3:20 pm |
        • ausphor

          fred
          The same way you dismiss all the other goddy guys and gals delusions, it is really that simple. Why should your BS book of silly be any more believable than all the other religious tome, pleas!!!

          August 12, 2014 at 3:40 pm |
        • believerfred

          Again, in ancient days the enemies of Israel did not fear God they feared Israel because God was with them. This is true today as China, Korea and the like attempt to control religion as they fear a people liberated by the power of a living God. There is more power in a people that has the presence of God with them than there is in a people divided in belief and or spirit.
          The image of God is not man made. The image of God is clear and true in a people that love God. Jesus was 100% man yet because of his perfect purity the full radiant Glory of God was seen upon him.
          Those Muslims that flew planes into buildings claimed to be of God yet the image of God was not present in them beginning with their hate, lusts, pride etc.

          August 12, 2014 at 3:55 pm |
        • Alias

          Fred
          Until they built some Iron Charriots.
          Even with god they couldn't defeat those.

          August 12, 2014 at 4:21 pm |
        • joey3467

          So true Alias, that is why I keep a pair of iron chariots in my garage.

          August 12, 2014 at 4:37 pm |
        • believerfred

          Alias
          "after they had sinned, they could not drive out the inhabitants of the valley:" It was not the iron but the fact God was no longer with them. Some say it was fear or distrust of Gods promise but, both are sins so sin would be the cause for separation from God.

          August 12, 2014 at 4:56 pm |
        • hotairace

          It has been shown repeatedly that belief in an imaginary alleged god can allow mankind to do things, including commit atrocities upon other tribal cults, that they would not otherwise do.

          August 12, 2014 at 5:04 pm |
        • Alias

          Nice attempt at justification fed,
          however that is NOT what your bible says.
          “And the Lord was with Judah; and he drave out the inhabitants of the mountain; but could not drive out the inhabitants of the valley, because they had chariots of iron.”
          —Judges 1:19

          August 12, 2014 at 5:11 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          first of all..YOU misquoted..it did not say HE drove them out..it says THEY drove them out..and further....God "being with Israel" does not mean he fought for them.......He mrely was with them...doe snot mean he approved or fought for them....try again

          August 12, 2014 at 6:00 pm |
        • believerfred

          The Bible is always taken as a whole when trying to see if a verse is understood. Certainly God can do anything so it is not a matter of capability. We don't why he chose to let them loose this battle or others but he did.

          August 12, 2014 at 5:48 pm |
        • evidencenot

          I find it funny that when a bible verse denotes a negative concept like murder, bigotry, etc, it's either being "taken out of context" or "misunderstood"

          ...... so very obviously mythology and imagination.... and the apologists continue to spin their bullcrap.

          August 13, 2014 at 9:08 am |
        • kermit4jc

          you have to prove it is murder and bigotry first

          August 13, 2014 at 10:12 am |
        • evidencenot

          anything possible when you change word definitions to suit your personal delusion.

          August 13, 2014 at 12:42 pm |
      • LaBella

        So...suppressing opposing opinions is seen as desirous now? Fantastic.

        August 12, 2014 at 2:52 pm |
        • believerfred

          If non belief is a belief as you suggest then a belief site makes sense for them. Atheists however brag they are belief-less so it is not intolerance being the cause to hit the ignore button but the fact they lack capacity to honestly discuss their belief. Atheists should state their belief. Example, HI my name is Akira and I believe that there is no agency to existence therefore existence can have no purpose. Absent purpose for existence life is no more than matter and energy simply changing state in a meaningless flow of causality.
          Akira welcome to CNN belief blogg ! Do you have any proof for your belief? Can your belief be falsified? Do you have any evidence for lack of agency?

          August 12, 2014 at 3:14 pm |
        • LaBella

          If non belief is a belief as you suggest then a belief site makes sense for them.

          I suggested nothing of the sort, and my posts didn't imply that.

          Atheists however brag they are belief-less so it is not intolerance being the cause to hit the ignore button but the fact they lack capacity to honestly discuss their belief.

          I am not an atheist, and my desire for an ignore button has nothing to do with either atheists or believers...your desire for silencing opposing opinions speaks volumes. There are many private sites you can go to that will satisfy that.

          Atheists should state their belief. Example, HI my name is Akira and I believe that there is no agency to existence therefore existence can have no purpose. Absent purpose for existence life is no more than matter and energy simply changing state in a meaningless flow of causality.

          That's up to the atheists. I have stated many times I'm not an atheist, so perhaps you should state your intentions the same way: "hi, I am believerfred, and I will lie and misrepresent your words in an effort to make my point abundantly clear: I follow Jesus, and He says it's all right to that as long as you know that I'm believerfred."
          I always thought you were straightforward and honest. Thank you for opening my eyes.

          August 12, 2014 at 3:33 pm |
        • ausphor

          fred
          You have got it, what is so frightening to you about energy and matter changing state and why do you assume it is meaningless? We are all star stuff and will remain so, dust to dust, ashes to ashes. My Deity in a modern world could just be the answer to the Standard Model Theory, no supernatural hocus pocus required. You have fallen for the crutch.

          August 12, 2014 at 3:34 pm |
        • Doc Vestibule

          You're imposing a Kierkegaardian conceit that all those without God are miserable and that life is meaningless without Him, which is patently absurd.
          For example – despite their lack of wealth in a material sense, the Inuit were among the happiest, most giving and most trusting people on the planet – until their culture was infiltrated and usurped by western, Christian ideologues in the mid 20th century.
          There was a time an Inuit host would offer to share their bed (with everything that implies) with a guest, but now they've been saddled with Christian shame and guilt about the cultural traditions they practiced without causing harm to anyone for countless generations.
          Now they suffer atrociously high rates of crime, alcoholism and suicide.

          August 12, 2014 at 3:43 pm |
        • believerfred

          LaBella
          I am not suggesting atheism is your belief. I was giving an example of a non belief that could be debated on a belief blog as other beliefs are debated (i.e. show me the evidence for your god or godlessness)
          My dig was intentional as to atheists that claim they have no belief. Atheist have a belief and it goes along the line I suggested. This belief belongs on this blog but if you claim you have no belief only non belief then that is dishonest

          August 12, 2014 at 4:03 pm |
        • LaBella

          LaBella
          I am not suggesting atheism is your belief. I was giving an example of a non belief that could be debated on a belief blog as other beliefs are debated (i.e. show me the evidence for your god or godlessness)
          My dig was intentional as to atheists that claim they have no belief. Atheist have a belief and it goes along the line I suggested. This belief belongs on this blog but if you claim you have no belief only non belief then that is dishonest
          Really? Because using my old, non-functioning WP account name of Akira would tend to be a passive-aggressive way of suggesting otherwise. And I have never said any such under that name, either.

          August 12, 2014 at 4:11 pm |
        • believerfred

          Doc Vestibule
          I am not certain about the particular Inuit you refer however I would think their loss of an apparent better lifestyle followed the contamination from the outside world. Christianity may have been the faith of that outside world but the cause of demise.
          My understanding is that they were very close to the animal world around them and connected by souls of the animals. They remained humble and thankful in the unity of relationship with all living things. Christ would not destroy that unity. However, the church has done great harm in many ways some of which may have had negative impact on the Inuit.

          Kierkegaard writes, "doubt is conquered by faith, just as it is faith which has brought doubt into the world"

          August 12, 2014 at 4:30 pm |
        • believerfred

          Labella
          Akira is an atheist psychic with transcendent powers and no one could figure out where his power came from. No offense intended sorry about that.

          August 12, 2014 at 4:49 pm |
        • LaBella

          Fred,
          Really? Never heard of him. Do you have a last name? A google search merely turned up the store in affiliated with that I took the name Akira from and some Japanese anime character.

          August 12, 2014 at 6:05 pm |
        • believerfred

          LaBella
          Akira was at an Anime convention a few weeks ago. It was a she and she was in costume but, the character Akira is a boy that in 2038 is hunted by religious sects because he has power to destroy them.

          August 12, 2014 at 6:30 pm |
        • LaBella

          So Akira is being persecuted by religious sects?
          Is this a sci-fi book?
          I have never heard of this character.

          August 12, 2014 at 7:15 pm |
        • believerfred

          LaBella
          Akira is a current cult character . This boy ends up with power to create universes. It came out of 1988 anime movies

          August 12, 2014 at 7:58 pm |
        • LaBella

          Fred,
          So Akira is the Japanese anime character.
          Okay.

          August 12, 2014 at 8:33 pm |
      • TruthPrevails1

        So what makes your beliefs any more valid than mine? I merely don't believe in your god or any other god. I don't need god, I'm not that weak! You lack empathy if you can't live without the supernatural.

        August 13, 2014 at 9:11 am |
        • believerfred

          TruthPrevails1
          "So what makes your beliefs any more valid than mine?"
          =>Although you would like to believe there is no such thing as soul that is pure unsupported speculation. I have a history of mankind going back thousands of years attempting to reconcile a 6th sense with physical. You may want to deny it but it is part of reality. I have mentioned to you before that we have combined artificial intelligence with organics and although bots are amusing there is something missing. Even a dog has something more than the bot in his eyes. A baby or a child has something more than a dog. Love itself as with other emotive capacities seeks purity and worships purity then begins to assimilate purity as the higher level of being. How can there not be soul in view of what is the human experience.
          That higher level of Being sure sounds a lot like what Jesus was talking about and I see no reason other than evil which would cause anyone not to seek it and desire it.

          "I don't need god, I'm not that weak! "
          =>That is an apparent pattern with the godless. One must need salvation before salvation is given. It is given as a gift not anything you can earn or deserve.
          =>I am certain you could google a list of Christians that are not weak in any regards because they have the presence of God. Israel was not weak when they had the presence of God. Jesus was not weak.

          "You lack empathy if you can't live without the supernatural."
          =>This is true for me I am not sure if is so for the majority. I must pray for compassion and understanding of those who cannot see their way out of the darkness and also for those who suffer from a host of difficulties they cannot escape.

          August 13, 2014 at 1:14 pm |
    • LaBella

      My kingdom for an ignore button.

      August 12, 2014 at 2:01 pm |
  8. bostontola

    “I have come to the conclusion that quoting decades or centuries old thinkers is not a testable scientific theory, but a pathetic self convincing program”.

    Einstein thought the universe was static, Newton thought he could transmu.te elements. They and other earlier scientists made great contributions to humanity. But they didn't know that much more than others of their time. Old ideas are often based on incorrect foundations. This is immediately apparent by reading the bibles literally. Quoting them literally is a fools errand.

    August 12, 2014 at 12:38 pm |
    • bostontola

      Here's a new one, you can't write sm.ut, that rules out transm.ute. This word filter is dog sh!t.

      August 12, 2014 at 12:41 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      "Exitus acta probat" – Ovid

      (The result justifies the deed) /pun

      August 12, 2014 at 12:43 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      I like this one:

      "Nec species sua cuique manet, rerumque novatrix
      Ex aliis alias reddit natura figuras.
      Nec perit in toto quidquam, mihi credite, mundo,
      Sed variat faciemque novat: nascique vocatur
      Incipere esse aliud, quàm quod fuit antè; morique
      Desinere illud idem; quum sint huc forsitan illa,
      Haec translata illuc; summâ tamen omnia constant."
      – Ovid

      (No species remains constant: that great renovator of matter
      Nature, endlessly fashions new forms from old: there’s nothing
      in the whole universe that perishes, believe me; rather
      it renews and varies its substance. What we describe as birth
      is no more than incipient change from a prior state, while dying
      is merely to quit it. Though the parts may be transported
      hither and thither, the sum of all matter is constant.)

      August 12, 2014 at 12:48 pm |
      • Tom, Tom, the Other One

        Ovid wouldn't have known what to make of conversion of matter to light and light to matter.

        August 12, 2014 at 12:58 pm |
  9. Lucifer's Evil Twin

    Nanu nanu ~Robin Williams 1951-2014

    August 12, 2014 at 11:54 am |
    • LaBella

      I know; I was saddened to hear this.

      August 12, 2014 at 12:00 pm |
      • Lucifer's Evil Twin

        I was 11 years old when Mork & Mindy first broadcasted. I loved that show. I remember the Mork episode from Happy Days.

        August 12, 2014 at 12:20 pm |
        • ausphor

          Nanu nanu. Check out Robin at the Actors Studio, priceless comedy improv.

          August 12, 2014 at 12:35 pm |
        • LaBella

          I do, too.
          He was brilliant.

          August 12, 2014 at 12:43 pm |
        • Alias

          A special he did at the Met was my favorite.
          Even if the political humor was about President Reagan.

          August 12, 2014 at 12:57 pm |
    • bostontola

      Nanu nanu, he touched so many.

      August 12, 2014 at 12:25 pm |
    • Løki

      "You're only given a little spark of madness, and if you lose that, you're nothing."

      August 12, 2014 at 12:29 pm |
      • Alias

        I've always wanted to gain some insight into insanity. Not only to better understand tragedy like this, but to carry on a meaningful conversation with people like awanderingscot, topher and theo.

        August 12, 2014 at 12:55 pm |
        • Løki

          The distinction between psychological illness and creative thinking is wafer thin...

          August 12, 2014 at 12:58 pm |
  10. Dyslexic doG

    I have come to the conclusion that awanderingscot must just be the best troll on the internet ... because no-one could possibly be that ignorant. I think he is playing with us.

    August 12, 2014 at 11:45 am |
    • Dalahäst

      You don't think people wonder that about you, too?

      August 12, 2014 at 1:11 pm |
      • bostontola

        I wonder about me sometimes, I know others do. Being a little nuts is good as long as it doesn't hurt others.

        August 12, 2014 at 1:19 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Right. But most people on here can disagree, yet remain respectful. The majority of the posters are decent and the type of people we could discuss these things over a beer.

          I'm starting to realize that some people on here suffer from grave emotional and mental disorders, and perhaps are not in a good place. And the last thing they need is someone verbally attacking them. Regardless if they are attacking others – it is a cry for help, most likely.

          August 12, 2014 at 1:28 pm |
        • bostontola

          Dalahast,
          Some posters do seem troubled. I feel for them.

          August 12, 2014 at 1:42 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          I wish I could help them see there is a better way. Regardless of what side of the issue one is on that is often discussed or debated, there are examples from all sides of a better way. One that is healthy for the self and others.

          August 12, 2014 at 1:50 pm |
        • igaftr

          "I'm starting to realize that some people on here suffer from grave emotional and mental disorders"

          Says the guy who claims to know god exists...
          What qualifies you to make that diagnosis dala?

          August 12, 2014 at 2:37 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          The same thing that qualifies you to make that diagnosis and the many other diagnoses about me and others you do in the same manner, Igaftr.

          August 12, 2014 at 3:00 pm |
    • bostontola

      I initially thought scot was deeply religious, then I suspected troll. After a long track record of many comments on multiple subjects, my conclusion is that scot is very afraid and ignorant. I think scot displays classic desperation.

      scot also displays delusions of intelligence. My impression is, he actually thinks other people have regard for his ideas and opinions. When it comes to science, the scientific method, or the philosophy of science, he is deeply ignorant. Listening to any of his opinions in these fields is as wise as asking Paris Hilton to perform open heart surgery.

      August 12, 2014 at 1:17 pm |
      • Doris

        Scot has, on more than one occasion, has referenced people like Stephen C. Meyer, the authors of Of Pandas and People, and similar. In May 2005, the publisher of Of Pandas and People, the Foundation for Thought and Ethics (FTE), filed a motion seeking to intervene in the Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District case. FTE argued that a ruling that intelligent design was religious would have severe financial consequences, citing possible losses of approximately half a million dollars. It was ruled that they were not allowed to intervene. From when I first read this, I have wondered if someone who pushes their scientific ignorance as far as Scot does may have/had a vested interest in the media sales of some of this crazy pseudo-science.

        I have noted before the Peer Review problems that Meyer ran into (see his wikipedia page). I just noticed this today – in a November 1994 Wall Street Journal front page article concerning why he decided to co-author Of Pandas and People, quoted Davis saying "Of course my motives were religious. There's no question about it." Sounds like the same atti.tude of Ham – if it doesn't fit within his preconceived notion of the Biblical story, then it can't be science regardless of the evidence.

        August 12, 2014 at 1:51 pm |
        • bostontola

          Could be. People would be better of reading'The Panda's Thumb' ( book or blog).

          August 12, 2014 at 2:01 pm |
  11. G to the T

    I try to be open minded. I don't dismiss ideas out of hand if I can help it.

    If someone has evidence for a theory that can explain the observed evidence better than evolution, I'm willing to check it out. So far, all I've seen is arguments from incredulity, but no evidence.

    So creationists, the ball is your court. Please provide evidence for your theory and I'll take a look.

    August 12, 2014 at 10:19 am |
    • midwest rail

      When asked at their debate "what would make you change your stance on evolution vs creationism ?", Bill Nye replied "evidence". Ken Ham replied "nothing".

      August 12, 2014 at 10:24 am |
      • awanderingscot

        It is very telling that Nye would reply with "evidence", a freudian slip perhaps? This must be so since evolution is utterly devoid of evidence.

        August 12, 2014 at 10:42 am |
        • halero 9001

          I'm sorry, awanderingscot, but your assertion value is still 0; your credibility value is still 0.

          August 12, 2014 at 11:39 am |
        • LaBella

          What's telling is that NYE would be open minded toward evidence and Ham specifically states categorically that he's not.

          August 12, 2014 at 1:27 pm |
        • LaBella

          I'm not sure why auto correct capitalized Nye; it was unintentional.

          August 12, 2014 at 1:30 pm |
        • awanderingscot

          @Labella
          He has something you don't. Faith

          August 12, 2014 at 3:58 pm |
        • Sungrazer

          "I'm not sure why auto correct capitalized Nye; it was unintentional."

          New Year's Eve?

          August 12, 2014 at 4:33 pm |
        • LaBella

          @awanderingscot:
          I have faith.
          Stop lying about me.

          Sungrazer:
          That might be it.

          August 12, 2014 at 6:10 pm |
    • awanderingscot

      You need to be deprogrammed from your delusional myth first.

      August 12, 2014 at 10:39 am |
      • G to the T

        So that's a "no" scot? I think I'm being pretty civil about all this – if you have evidence, please provide it.

        August 12, 2014 at 10:45 am |
        • awanderingscot

          i believe i already have, you just cannot accept it.

          August 12, 2014 at 10:47 am |
        • awanderingscot

          If indeed evolution is an unproven myth (and it is) then what rationale will you then use for existence?

          August 12, 2014 at 10:48 am |
        • G to the T

          I'm asking for a clean start. You may have provided evidence previously, if you did, I didn't notice.

          Please provide your competing theory and what evidence you have that supports it.

          August 12, 2014 at 10:51 am |
        • awanderingscot

          For one thing, evolutionary geologists and biologists are fond of pointing to the geologic column in support of the theory and pointing out that the earth is 3 some billions of years old. (this is needed at minimum to make evolution plausible) If this is the case then indeed the geological column is going to be 100 to 200 miles thick, it makes sense. But the geological column is not that thick. The average thickness is only 1 mile with the maximum ever found being 16 miles. So i ask you, how is it possible that over 3 billion years worth of uplifting and erosion is going to produce a column only 1 mile thick on average?

          August 12, 2014 at 11:13 am |
        • G to the T

          I didn't ask for evidence that you feel disproves evolution – I asked what theory you have and the evidence in support of it.

          August 12, 2014 at 11:31 am |
        • awanderingscot

          Another fact that proves evolution is a myth is entropy, the 2nd law of thermodynamics. Thermodynamic equilibrium is the ultimate result of entropy which is to say the flow of matter and energy when equilibrium is reached ceases to exist. The principle of this law is that disorder progresses out of order; and not the other way around. Matter and energy don't come together to form life under these conditions and in fact the opposite is true, things fall apart, they decompose, they rust, they disintegrate. Look around at your world and tell me this is not true. Only a supreme all-knowing all-powerful creator can reverse this law and only then might evolution be possible.

          August 12, 2014 at 11:32 am |
        • evidencenot

          More reasons snotty rejects evolution...

          20.) Because my mom dropped me on my head when I was a baby.

          21.) Multiple times.

          22.) On purpose.

          23.) Because the idea that life evolved naturally over billions of years is infinitely less believable than the idea that an 800 year old man crammed two of every species into a giant wooden boat when the entire planet flooded, an event for which there is absolutely no geological evidence whatsoever and also makes no sense at all.

          August 12, 2014 at 11:33 am |
        • G to the T

          So that's a "no" is it?

          You cannot provide a competing theory nor any evidence to back it up?

          Look, I know how you feel about evolution – that's not what I'm asking about. If evolution is false, then we need a better theory to replace it. Do you have such a theory and what evidence do you have for it?

          August 12, 2014 at 11:37 am |
        • halero 9001

          awanderingscot – "If this is the case then indeed the geological column is going to be 100 to 200 miles thick"

          You have indicated values for average and maximum thicknesses found for geological columns. Please indicate how you have arrived at your assertion above. (I will ready my Idiomatic Expression Equivalency Module (IEEM) to express my amusement at your reply.)

          August 12, 2014 at 11:44 am |
        • Doc Vestibule

          "the geological column is going to be 100 to 200 miles thick, it makes sense."
          And here we have a demonstration of ignorance of geology to accompany ignorance of biology.

          August 12, 2014 at 12:21 pm |
        • awanderingscot

          "If evolution is false, then we need a better theory to replace it."

          – isn't it self-evident that evolution being unproven and false necessitates an external force, a supernatural creator God ?

          August 12, 2014 at 12:25 pm |
        • awanderingscot

          @DOC
          "And here we have a demonstration of ignorance of geology to accompany ignorance of biology."

          – ad hominem attack accompanies your own ignorance. you can disprove this? how? What do you then have as the avg thickness of the geologic column then?

          August 12, 2014 at 12:30 pm |
        • evidencenot

          Awanderingsnot rejects evolution because........

          29.) Because I didn’t know that evolution has been tested and observed in laboratories.

          34.) Because plenty of respectable people like Ron Paul, Mitt Romney, and Mike Huckabee (who are not scientists) don’t accept evolution, and that somehow validates my opinion.

          37.) Because I have never seen a duck evolve into a cat over night, despite the fact that such a thing would be contrary to all known scientific disciplines.

          38.) Because I have no imagination, learning is too much effort, I don’t like proven facts, change scares me, and I think deoxyribonucleic acid is something I’m supposed to clean my bathroom floors with.

          August 12, 2014 at 12:51 pm |
        • awanderingscot

          D0C
          no response on the geologic column? still digging?

          August 12, 2014 at 12:59 pm |
        • joey3467

          I am not at all sure why the geologic column needs to be 200 miles. That doesn't make the least bit of sense.

          August 12, 2014 at 1:06 pm |
        • G to the T

          "isn't it self-evident that evolution being unproven and false necessitates an external force, a supernatural creator God ?"

          No – it isn't self-evident (or we wouldn't be having this conversation). Disproving one theory does not mean another theory is correct – each theory should be evaluated on its own and the one the best fits the known data should be held as the most likely. Besides, nothing about evolution says that a supernatural being couldn't have started/guided the process, so I don't believe it's really a competing theory.

          Am I correct that your theory is that the diversity of life we see today is the result of a supernatural creator God?
          If so, what evidence do you have to support that contention? And how is that evidence/explanation superior to what we have now?

          August 12, 2014 at 1:10 pm |
        • igaftr

          What is wrong about the geologic column a wondering slvt?
          Your nonsesne that it has to be a certain size is just as baseless as your other nonsense, but by all means , in your own words ( not the garbage you pull from the idiots at AIG and ICR), your own words, what is the problem you think there is?

          August 12, 2014 at 1:11 pm |
        • Alias

          Just another poor attempt by creationists to lie about science.
          http://www.trueorigin.org/geocolumn.asp

          August 12, 2014 at 1:14 pm |
        • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

          While sediments are laid down, they are simultaneously eroded and disrupted by vulcanism and plate tectonics.

          It can't keep getting thicker to a depth of 200 miles. Where would the material come from? There would be a giant empty chamber under the crust that would collapse.

          The diameter of the earth is 12,742 km.

          200 miles = 322 km.

          To add sediments to a depth of 200 miles, the new diameter of the earth would be 13,386 km

          The incremental volume is a staggering 173 x 10^9 km^3, or a sphere 3,454 km in radius (if my math is correct). This is about twice the radius of the moon.

          August 12, 2014 at 1:21 pm |
        • Sungrazer

          "@DOC
          "And here we have a demonstration of ignorance of geology to accompany ignorance of biology."

          – ad hominem attack accompanies your own ignorance."

          awanderingscot, you should take the time to learn what an ad hominem attack is. It is not ad hominem to state that someone is ignorant in a particular subject when the conversation is about said subject.

          August 12, 2014 at 4:38 pm |
    • jhg45

      G-T; if you are serious and sincere I would advise you to go to jw.org and investigate what those people have to say about the subject and will show you what the Bible really teaches and please ask for the brochures "Was Life Created" and "The origin of Life" these two will explain the answers to your questions. Please do not just ignore this suggestion but show that you meant what you said. you will not be sorry and there is never a charge.

      August 12, 2014 at 12:45 pm |
      • joey3467

        Nobody knows the origin of life, and if anyone claims to they are lying to you.l

        August 12, 2014 at 12:53 pm |
        • jhg45

          check it out, you may be amazed by what you can still learn.

          August 12, 2014 at 2:00 pm |
        • jhg45

          ey, that is why you should do the research for yourself. all I did was suggest some literature that I found that answered some questions I had and someone else asked. check it out and I promise it will not hurt but may feel real good.

          August 12, 2014 at 2:24 pm |
        • joey3467

          I won't learn anything becuase as I said anyone claiming to know the answer to how life started is lying to you as nobody knows how it happened. However, one way it certainly didn't happen can be found in Genesis.

          August 12, 2014 at 3:08 pm |
        • jhg45

          your first 4 words tell me all I should have wanted to know.

          August 12, 2014 at 8:08 pm |
        • jhg45

          you should keep your mind and options open for you could learn much from many.

          August 12, 2014 at 8:28 pm |
      • igaftr

        "will show you what the Bible really teaches "

        Funny, but each of the over 40,000 denominations of christianity believes their interpretation is what the bible really teahces.

        As far as where life came from..no one knows, yet. There is NOTHING to substantiate the wild claims of the bible, that any supernatural anything ahd anything to do with it.
        I really hope you step away from baseless religions, and join us in reality.

        August 12, 2014 at 12:55 pm |
        • jhg45

          not check it out or are you too busy to do a little reading? have you ever given them a little time to answer your questions? the answers are there, just keep seeking and you can find what the Bible really teaches and it will finally make sense.

          August 12, 2014 at 2:05 pm |
        • igaftr

          I have spent countless hours discussing various religions. My ex father in law USED to be a JW, until I showed him there was no actual basis for the belief. I was able to save him from that nonsense.

          Have you ever decided to put your time into something that actually has some value, rather than following the words of superst!tious men?

          August 12, 2014 at 2:34 pm |
        • jhg45

          ig, I have read your comments above and below and if you knew anything about the Jehovah's Witnesses you would not have made the comments you did so don't try to impress me with your b-s since you know nothing of what you seem to say.

          August 12, 2014 at 2:46 pm |
        • igaftr

          "and if you knew anything about the Jehovah's Witnesses you would not have made the comments you made"

          Really, why not. I do know the JW's, as I said, my ex-father in law and I had many discussions.

          They are just another bible based cult, as far as anyone has ever shown.
          why would you make that claim? You do not know me...just like you don't know if there are any gods, but you like to claim you do, and you are doing what "he " wants...allegedly. Since there is no basis for that, what you imagine god to be, exists only in your head, and what "he" wants, also is only what you imagine.
          By all means, show otherwise.

          August 12, 2014 at 4:12 pm |
        • jhg45

          so sorry you feel that way about those people since I have had an extremely different experience with them and find they only are trying to help people find the answers to the questions people all over the world are asking and they are growing so fast it seems that many are satisfied with the answers they are receiving as am I, so if so many are leaving their religions to study with them and attend their meetings my question to you is what happened?

          August 12, 2014 at 5:26 pm |
        • igaftr

          "trying to help people find the answers to the questions people all over the world are asking "

          And they offer answers that are based on nothing but imagination. There is no evidence for any supernatural anything, so it is extremely likely the "answers" they are giving are wrong. The bible is based on what men imagine "god" to be, what "god" wants, but it is obvious that it was simply written by men...no sign of any gods.

          August 13, 2014 at 10:26 am |
      • G to the T

        I am not speaking to the origin of life, that is abiogenesis and a separate question/debate.

        I am asking if you have a theory that fits the known data better than evolution and explains the diversity (and similarity) of life that we see around us.

        August 12, 2014 at 1:26 pm |
        • jhg45

          G-T; you made a statement and I gave you somewhere to go to find the answer. if you are not willing to do a little reading for your answer which I found in those brochures for myself then don't ask. all I offered was some great answers to the same questions that I once had but if people are not willing to get off their bottom and to do a little research they will never find answers. for some of the others here, have you ever asked serious and sincere questions of those people? Do you not wonder why they take time out to go door to door, (as Jesus did and taught his followers to do ) and it is not for any pay but to teach people the truth about the Bible and how and why we are here and where we are going. please take a little time out of your busy day and just maybe you will find the answers to the questions you sit here and ask. it may be worth your time and eternal life.

          August 12, 2014 at 1:58 pm |
        • igaftr

          "Do you not wonder why they take time out to go door to door, (as Jesus did and taught his followers to do ) and it is not for any pay but to teach people the truth about the Bible and how and why we are here and where we are going"

          False.
          They do it because of the ARROGANCE that their baseless beliefs are truth, when in fact they are beliefs. Claiming it to be truth demands proof, which you have none. So you may BELIEVE it to be truth, you cannot honestly claim it to actually be truth. i love when they come to my door, since I shake the very weak foundations of their belief, and show them their belief is based on a foundation of sand, and their belief is the same as smoke...no substance.

          They avoid my house now.

          August 12, 2014 at 2:04 pm |
        • jhg45

          ig; I really feel sorry for you and I am sure they will leave you alone. for all, all you have to do is ask and they will leave you alone but I wondered why a professor in my neighborhood was offering this information and I found out as have about 20 million others at this time worldwide. all you have to do is check out their website, jw.org. get some answers to life's big questions.

          August 12, 2014 at 2:12 pm |
        • igaftr

          you feel sorry for me that I don't believe in the myriad nonsensical, man made religions...how utterly ironic.

          Religion offers answers. False answers and wrong answers are answers too, and since none of the religions can show any basis in reality, they are all equally absurd.

          Can you show your god to exist outside of the imagination?...no of course not.
          Save your false pity, it most certainly is not warrented.
          I hope you get in touch with reality some day.

          August 12, 2014 at 2:29 pm |
        • joey3467

          Are there really 20 millions JW's now. And only 144,000 will get to heaven according to what they believe. They may want to stop recruiting.

          August 12, 2014 at 2:41 pm |
        • jhg45

          joey, there are about 8,000,000 practicing Witnesses along with another large group that are studying with them and last year about 20 mil. attended the memorial of Jesus' death together. the 144,000 are the kings and priests spoken of in Rev. and all others hope to live here on earth in the paradise Jesus spoke of see Matt.5:5 or Psalms 37:9-11 or 27-29 as well as many others that show what Jesus taught about the "Meek inheriting the earth" please again, go to jw.org to have all your Bible questions answered accurately. or take a little time out when they come to visit. at jw.org you can request a visit at your place and time of convenience.

          August 12, 2014 at 2:55 pm |
        • G to the T

          "you made a statement and I gave you somewhere to go to find the answer. if you are not willing to do a little reading for your answer which I found in those brochures for myself then don't ask"

          Again – I'm not speaking to the origin of life (and neither does evolution). I'm speaking to the diversity of life we see today.

          As for JW – my work doesn't allow access to religious sites, so I'm afraid that point is moot for now.

          I'm not brushing you off – I'm trying to steer the conversation so we stay on topic.

          August 12, 2014 at 3:04 pm |
        • jhg45

          g-t, thanks for a reasonable comment. all I was encouraging you to do was to look at those brochures and if you can not go to the web site just ask any one of Jehovah's Witnesses and they will be glad to obtain one or both of those free of charge. I believe you will enjoy the info in them on evolution which is far too much to share here but please make the effort to have your question answered and it will be in some great detail.

          August 12, 2014 at 3:11 pm |
      • TruthPrevails1

        Oh cute, one more interpretation of the myth.
        I had JW's at my door the other day, apparently they put you on their Do Not Harass list when you tell them you think they're full of bunk.

        August 12, 2014 at 1:34 pm |
        • jhg45

          have you ever taken a little time to be serious with them? it does not sound like it to me.

          August 12, 2014 at 2:01 pm |
        • TruthPrevails1

          Very much so...my Great Aunt is a JW convert. I simply don't appreciate random people knocking on my door, selling their chosen belief and thus not respecting me.

          August 12, 2014 at 2:51 pm |
        • jhg45

          TP, if you really knew about them you would know that they do not "sell" their religion, in fact you can not pay or buy your way into their religion, they offer free home Bible studies out of their time, at your convenience but again just ask and they will leave you alone.

          August 12, 2014 at 2:59 pm |
        • evidencenot

          "have you ever taken a little time to be serious with them? "

          Have you ever taken the time to seriously consider the fact that you are confusing your imagination and mythology with reality?

          August 12, 2014 at 3:06 pm |
        • jhg45

          ev, you can not imagine what I know about mythology and reality. why such a question? I will answer those who are making reasonable comments.

          August 12, 2014 at 3:21 pm |
        • evidencenot

          I don't have to imagine... your beliefs are based on mythology and imagination..... unless you can provide evidence?

          August 13, 2014 at 9:13 am |
        • jhg45

          ev, that's why I have been examining this and have been very impressed with the information I have seen that thoroughly shows other religions to be misleading their people and after looking into so many other religions if someone can disprove them with their own book then I want to know more.

          August 13, 2014 at 9:41 am |
  12. awanderingscot

    “I have come to the conclusion that Darwinism is not a testable scientific theory, but a metaphysical research program”.

    – Karl Popper, German born philosopher of science, called by Nobel Prize winner Peter Medawar, 'Incomparably the greatest philosopher of science who has ever lived'.

    August 12, 2014 at 9:49 am |
    • In Santa We Trust

      wandering,
      Do you have any evidence for creationism?

      August 12, 2014 at 9:52 am |
      • awanderingscot

        An almighty and all-knowing God created everything = Evolution is a myth and fairy tale for grown ups.

        August 12, 2014 at 10:05 am |
        • TruthPrevails1

          Silly child, that's not evidence...did Mommy not teach you what counts as evidence?

          August 12, 2014 at 10:28 am |
        • evidencenot

          Awanderingsnot rejects evolution because......

          43.) Because I don’t know that evolution is routinely used in medicine to diagnose and treat certain illnesses such as genetic ailments, bacterial infections, and viral infections.

          44.) Because I believe there is a strong comparison between designed inanimate objects such as buildings, paintings, and watches (which we know were pieced together from identifiable components by human beings) and living organisms (which reproduce with genetic variation under the effects of environmental attrition).

          August 12, 2014 at 12:53 pm |
        • awanderingscot

          @evidence
          Evolution is the unproven theory that organisms evolved over time, nothing whatsoever to do with medical science. You're confused.

          August 12, 2014 at 4:22 pm |
        • igaftr

          a wondering slvt

          "nothing whatsoever to do with medical science"

          Seriously? look up the term Evolutionary Medicine, and get an education...or are you going to attempt to claim the entire field of medicine based on the fact of evolution does not exist?

          August 12, 2014 at 4:26 pm |
        • In Santa We Trust

          Delusion is not objective evidence.

          August 12, 2014 at 4:27 pm |
      • midwest rail

        I find it interesting, and not at all coincidental, that the instant scot began trotting out the phrase "evolution is complete and utter nonsense", the troll known as Salero completely vanished.

        August 12, 2014 at 10:06 am |
        • awanderingscot

          maybe he was delusional as you are and believed the grown up fairy tale called evolution?

          August 12, 2014 at 10:08 am |
        • evidencenot

          I have come to the conclusion that snotty is an ignorant troll.

          August 12, 2014 at 10:12 am |
        • midwest rail

          Not at all, scot – the phrase is a word for word copy from said poster, as you well know. Troll on.

          August 12, 2014 at 10:12 am |
        • TruthPrevails1

          Salero and thefinisher, now yesterday the poster using the alias Francis also sounded like awanderingscot. Anyone who uses evolution as their main fighting point in any conversation can only be deemed a troll.

          August 12, 2014 at 10:21 am |
        • awanderingscot

          LOL, i assure you i am not Salero nor Finisher; why the ad hominem attacks? Just respond if you are able to, I don't think not, or at least intelligently. DOC flounders a bit but at least he tries.

          August 12, 2014 at 10:34 am |
        • awanderingscot

          “The pathetic thing about it is that many scientists are trying to prove the doctrine of evolution, which no science can do”. -Robert A. Milikan, physicist by provision and a Nobel Prize winner, speech before the American Chemical Society.

          – evolution is a fairy tale for grown ups.

          August 12, 2014 at 10:36 am |
        • TruthPrevails1

          How about you answer Doc's questions before whining about your absurd questions not being answered? Do you not have a bridge to troll back to?

          August 12, 2014 at 10:37 am |
        • midwest rail

          The phrase "I don't think not" is gibberish. And the correct word would be "founders", not flounders unless Doc is fishing – for trolls like you.

          August 12, 2014 at 10:40 am |
        • LaBella

          Awanderingscot isn't Salero or thefinisher, Francis or khadir, His Panic or EX Catholic. That's all the same guy.
          Awanderingscot stands alone, although he shares some of the same terminology with Sal.

          August 12, 2014 at 11:21 am |
      • awanderingscot

        “Evolution is a theory universally accepted, not because it can be proved to be true, but because the only alternative, 'special creation,' is clearly impossible”. – Professor D.M.S. Watson, A famous Professor of Zoology at the London University.

        August 12, 2014 at 10:06 am |
        • Doc Vestibule

          The above quote is from 1929.
          In the same article from which the quote is mined, he went on to say:
          "We know as surely as we shall that evolution has occurred; but we do not know how this evolution has been brought about. The data which we have accu.mulated are inadequate, not in quanti.ty but in their character, to allow us to determine which, if any, of the proposed explanations is a vera causa. But it appears that the experimental method rightly used will in the end give us, if not the solution of our problem, at least the power of ana.lysing it and isolating the various factors which enter into it."

          In the century or so since he made the statement, the data we have supporting evolution has increased exponentially, especially since the discovery of DNA.

          August 12, 2014 at 10:19 am |
        • In Santa We Trust

          Why do you tout creationism is you agree that it is clearly impossible? Posting quote-mines largely out of context does not undercut evolution and it most certainly does not support creationism.

          August 12, 2014 at 11:39 am |
    • kudlak

      "The whole thing (religion) goes back to myths which, though they may have a kernel of truth, are untrue. Why then should the Jewish myth be true and the Indian and Egyptian myths not be true?" Karl Popper

      August 12, 2014 at 10:05 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Popper later recanted the above statement.

      "I blush when I have to make this confession; for when I was younger, I used to say very contemptuous things about evolutionary philosophies. When twenty-two years ago Canon Charles E. Raven, in his Science, Religion, and the Future, described the Darwinian controversy as "a storm in a Victorian teacup," I agreed, but criticized him for paying too much attention "to the vapors still emerging from the cup," by which I meant the hot air of the evolutionary philosophies (especially those which told us that there were inexorable laws of evolution). But now I have to confess that this cup of tea has become, after all, my cup of tea; and with it I have to eat humble pie."

      Another quote from him regarding evolution:
      "The Mendelian underpinning of modern Darwinism has been well tested and so has the theory of evolution which says that all terrestrial life has evolved from a few primitive unicellular organisms, possibly even from one single organism."

      August 12, 2014 at 10:11 am |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      What's "Darwinism"?

      August 12, 2014 at 11:52 am |
      • evidencenot

        I've been wondering that myself (?)

        August 13, 2014 at 9:15 am |
  13. awanderingscot

    “My attempts to demonstrate evolution by an experiment carried on for more than 40 years have completely failed. It is not even possible to make a caricature of an evolution out of paleobiological facts. The idea of an evolution rests on pure belief”.

    – Nils Heribert Nilsson, noted Swedish botanist and geneticist, of Lund University and evolutionist)

    August 12, 2014 at 9:00 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Not really an "evolutionist" as such.
      Regarding the book (written in the 1950s) from which the quote is mined, the Quarterly Review of Biology had this to say:
      "If any evidence were needed to show how firmly rooted in biology is the modern concept of evolution, Heribert-Nilsson's book helps to provide such evidence by the absurd length of fantasy and misconceptions to which he must go in order to produce a scientific "denial" of this phenomenon. "

      His hypothesis, dubbed "Emication", was that every once in a while, all life on Earth is utterly destroyed and then the consti/tuent molecules rapidly come back together to form gametes that develop into new life forms.

      August 12, 2014 at 9:14 am |
      • awanderingscot

        Of course the mythologists are going to attack anyone who disputes their myth, this is understood.

        August 12, 2014 at 9:45 am |
        • TruthPrevails1

          Too funny...this coming from the one that thinks snakes talk....oh my, he never ceases to entertain.

          August 12, 2014 at 9:50 am |
        • Doc Vestibule

          I'll take "ironic statements" for $200, Alex.

          So which of Darwin's 5 laws (which you've yet to successfully identify) have been falsified in peer reviewed, scientific doc/umentation?
          Even the Catholic church accepts evolution as proven fact – and it took them 300 years to admit that maybe Copernicus had a valid point.

          August 12, 2014 at 9:50 am |
        • evidencenot

          I think P T Barnum had a valid point....... Snotty's ignorance = "There's a sucker born every minute"

          August 12, 2014 at 10:17 am |
        • TruthPrevails1

          awanderingtroll: Are you unable to answer Doc?

          August 12, 2014 at 10:23 am |
        • LaBella

          http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Nils_Heribert_Nilsson

          August 12, 2014 at 11:34 am |
  14. Lucifer's Evil Twin

    I Wouldn't Give A Bean
    To Be A Fancy Pants Marine
    I'd Rather Be A
    Dog Face Soldier Like I Am

    I Wouldn't Trade My Old-O D's
    For All The Navy's Dungarees
    For I'm The Walking Pride
    Of Uncle Sam

    On Army Posters That I Read
    It Says "Be All That You Can"
    So They're Tearing Me Down
    To Build Me Over Again

    I'm Just A Dog Face Soldier
    With A Rifle On My Shoulder
    And I Eat Raw Meat
    For Breakfast E'V'RY Day

    So Feed Me Ammunition
    Keep Me In The Third Division
    Your Dog Face Soldier's A-Okay

    August 12, 2014 at 8:51 am |
    • austin929

      you can send in a donation to the sperm bank.

      August 12, 2014 at 8:54 am |
    • Theo Phileo

      There once was a preacher named Spurgy
      Who wasn't real fond of liturgy
      But his sermons were fine
      So I preached them as mine
      And so did the rest of the clergy!

      August 12, 2014 at 8:55 am |
      • Reality

        "first heard this limerick years ago when I first heard Alistair Begg in a sermon called Preservation of the Saints"

        August 12, 2014 at 9:09 am |
        • Theo Phileo

          I've heard him read that one too. I don't know who the original author was though.

          August 12, 2014 at 9:12 am |
      • LaBella

        I'm just glad it's not a Nantucket limerick.

        August 12, 2014 at 11:05 am |
        • Alias

          I'm not familiar, how does that one go?

          August 12, 2014 at 12:38 pm |
        • LaBella

          Oh, no you don't! Lol

          August 12, 2014 at 5:23 pm |
      • Doc Vestibule

        There once was a Judge from Gilead,
        who offered up all that he had.
        God let him win,
        at the cost of his kin;
        who said killing your children was bad?

        August 12, 2014 at 11:13 am |
    • Reality

      As we all sing the 3D Infantry Division Song !

      August 12, 2014 at 9:03 am |
  15. Theo Phileo

    Ultimately, missionaries put their lives on the line because they recognize that the preaching of the gospel takes precedence over all other concerns in life. Yes, even more than the missionary's own life. If it costs me my life that I might preach the word of God, then that is but a small price to pay for the opportunity to help bring just one soul into heaven.

    August 12, 2014 at 8:48 am |
    • austin929

      2 Timothy 4:2 ►

      Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season

      August 12, 2014 at 9:01 am |
    • Theo Phileo

      1 Timothy 4:13 – Until I come, give attention to the public reading of Scripture, to exhortation and teaching.

      “Brethren, we must preach the coming of the Lord, and preach it somewhat more than we have done; because it is the driving power of the gospel. Too many have kept back these truths, and thus the bone has been taken out of the arm of the gospel. Its point has been broken; its edge has been blunted. The doctrine of judgment to come is the power by which men are to be aroused. There is another life; the Lord will come a second time; judgment will arrive; the wrath of God will be revealed. Where this is not preached, I am bold to say the gospel is not preached. It is absolutely necessary to the preaching of the gospel of Christ that men be warned as to what will happen if they continue in their sins. Ho, ho, sir surgeon, you are too delicate to tell the man that he is ill! You hope to heal the sick without their knowing it. You therefore flatter them; and what happens? They laugh at you; they dance upon their own graves. At last they die! Your delicacy is cruelty; your flatteries are poisons; you are a murderer. Shall we keep men in a fool’s paradise? Shall we lull them into soft slumbers from which they will awake in hell? Are we to become helpers of their damnation by our smooth speeches? In the name of God we will not. It becomes every true minister of Christ to cry aloud and spare not, for God hath set a day in which he will “judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel.” As surely as Paul’s gospel was true the judgment will come. Wherefore flee to Jesus this day, O sinners. O ye saints, come hide yourselves again beneath the crimson canopy of the atoning sacrifice, that you may be now ready to welcome your descending Lord and escort him to his judgment-seat. O my hearers, may God bless you, for Jesus’ sake. Amen.”

      ~ Charles Haddon Spurgeon (From A Sermon (No. 1849) Delivered on Lord’s Day Morning, July 12th, 1885)

      August 12, 2014 at 9:06 am |
      • evidencenot

        "It's true. I am the Chosen One, only I can destroy him, but in order to do so, I need to know what Tom Riddle asked you all those years ago in your office, and I need to know what you told him. Be brave, sir. Be brave like my mother." [Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince]

        August 12, 2014 at 10:21 am |
    • TruthPrevails1

      Wow's that's crazy!!! Putting belief over health doesn't show much care or empathy...how sad! Thus proving the advantage of Secular Charities....they actually care about your well being as a human in the here and now.

      August 12, 2014 at 9:29 am |
      • Theo Phileo

        You ONLY care for the physical health of the individual? Wow, that's CRAZY!!! If you do not preach the gospel, then all you're doing is making this world a better place to go to hell from...

        August 12, 2014 at 9:36 am |
        • TruthPrevails1

          Well given that outside of your belief system there is zero evidence to back what you claim, it is safe to say it is better to focus on ensuring people live the best and healthiest lives possible while they are guaranteed of being able to do so.
          You have no right to play on the vulnerable and take advantage of them in their weak moments...that's immoral and I pity you.
          Oh well, you remain ignorant...the rest of us happen to care.

          August 12, 2014 at 9:47 am |
        • Theo Phileo

          zero evidence...
          ------------
          Paul would tell you to go out and pluck a blade of grass if you desire evidence of God's existence.

          The problem is not a lack of evidence, the problem is that many people have suppressed the truth of God's creation, and have unwittingly worshipped the creation by taking creative power away from God, and given it to that which was created...

          August 12, 2014 at 10:05 am |
        • evidencenot

          ..."the truth of God's creation"

          Truth requires evidence........ you have zero.

          August 12, 2014 at 10:23 am |
        • kudlak

          Theo Phileo
          Paul lived at a time when everyone literally believed that lightening was thrown by some god like a spear. Pretty much everyone living at his time just assumed that some god, or set of them was responsible for everything we see in nature. His converts likely believed that Gaia, or some other Earth goddess was responsible for that blade of grass before he told them that God was. None of them had even a fraction of the scientific understanding we now have about anything.

          August 12, 2014 at 10:35 am |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      Taking personal risk to make a sacrifice to help others is noble, the "great commission" is all arrogance and vanity.

      August 12, 2014 at 12:16 pm |
  16. jknbt

    come on, keep on topic, everyone. the article here is about missionaries, their sacrifices, and their motivations. can the comments stay focused on those issues? please?

    August 12, 2014 at 7:54 am |
    • igaftr

      Your comment does not seem to be about this topic...

      Perhaps if you made a comment that was on topic, you might get some on topic response...otherwise it is people having a conversation, not a moderated debate.

      August 12, 2014 at 8:07 am |
  17. awanderingscot

    "It is easy enough to make up stories of how one form gave rise to another, and to find reasons why the stages should be favored by natural selection. But such stories are not part of science, for there is no way of putting them to the test."

    Personal letter from Dr Collin Patterson, Senior Paleontologist at the British Museum of Natural History in London, to Luther D. Sunderland

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

      wandering,
      Do you have any evidence for creationism?

      August 11, 2014 at 11:21 pm |
      • awanderingscot

        "I, myself, am convinced that the theory of evolution, especially to the extent to which it's been applied, will be one of the great jokes in the history books of the future. Posterity will marvel that so flimsy and dubious an hypothesis could be accepted with the credulity that it has."

        – Malcom Muggeridge, Pascal Lectures, Ontario Canada, University of Waterloo.

        August 11, 2014 at 11:24 pm |
        • LaBella

          He was a journalist and satirist, and entitled to his opinions, same as anyone else.
          I find it interesting that he became a Roman Catholic late in life. Cool, huh?

          August 12, 2014 at 12:05 am |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          And he was a critic of The Life of Brian...so he was obviously a spawn of Satan

          August 12, 2014 at 12:13 am |
        • Doc Vestibule

          " It is a frightening thought that a man as prejudiced as Muggeridge was allowed such power in an organisation such as the BBC, and in other equally powerful organs of the media. Here was a man who was known to be deeply anti-Semitic ... , whose entire life and actions were determined by prejudices, and who was openly carrying on with extramarital se.xual liaisons despite pronouncing pious values. He also tried to use his position to stop other people from using contraception. He was a supporter of the war in Vietnam, and of other American war exercises. He cast doubt on the suffering in Hiroshima; he participated in CIA funded clandestine activities... He had absolutely no room in his psyche for relativism in religion, for tolerance and understanding, and he fervently believed that Christianity should go out with the sword as well as the Gospel to conquer inferior cultures. He would have no hesitation in twisting and bending facts in order to promote Christianity..."
          – Aroup Chatterjee (1998), Mother Teresa: The Final Verdict

          August 12, 2014 at 8:22 am |
      • jknbt

        go to the reasons to believe website & have a look. Buy or view online the video "Journey to Creation" by Hugh Ross. It is the most elegant presentation of the cosmological argument.

        August 12, 2014 at 7:52 am |
        • igaftr

          No matter how "elegant" the presentation, there continues to be a complete and total lack of any evidence for creation. Nothing. Same for any "gods"...absolutely nothing..no matter how much you glam it up.

          August 12, 2014 at 8:12 am |
    • Reality

      wandering,

      When are you going to complete that course on human evolution?

      And how goes the search for the historic Jesus? The appropriate coordinates have been previously presented.

      August 11, 2014 at 11:25 pm |
      • awanderingscot

        "Nine-tenths of the talk of evolutionists is sheer nonsense, not founded on observation and wholly unsupported by facts. This museum is full of proofs of the utter falsity of their views. In all this great museum, there is not a par-ticle of evidence of the tra.ns mut.ation of species."

        Dr. Ether.idge, senior paleontologist of the British Museum of Natural History, cited in Dr. Scott Huse, The Collapse of Evolution.

        August 11, 2014 at 11:31 pm |
        • LaBella

          I'm sorry, awanderingscot, but he wasn't Senior Paleontologist.
          In 1881 Etheridge was transferred from the Geological Survey to the geological department of the British Museum, where he served as assistant keeper until 1891.
          Wiki

          August 11, 2014 at 11:54 pm |
        • hotairace

          awonderingscot is living in the 19th century clinging to a 2,000+ year old book of garbage. . .

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

          Robert Etheridge Jr. wasn’t obscure. According to the Australian Dictionary of Biography (1981), he was a student of Thomas Henry Huxley and John Tyndall. He went to Australia originally in 1866, returning to Britain in 1871, and returning to Australia in 1887. (Note that these dates are inconsistent with the claims in the letter from the director of the British Museum.) Etheridge published hundreds of scientific notes and papers in geology, paleontology, and ethnology; he became the Curator of the Australian Museum in 1895; he received honors from the Royal Society of New South Wales and the Australasian Association for the Advancement of Science. “Numerous species of animals, both fossil and recent, were named in his honour and his name was also given to a river and gold-field in Queensland, a high range on the Kosciusko plateau and a glacier in Antarctica.” “Ether.” is the standard botanical abbreviation for him.

          August 12, 2014 at 8:50 am |
        • Doc Vestibule

          In the century and a half since the statement was made, the science of evolutionary biology has advanced greatly and much more evidence has accu/mulated.
          This is why the British Museum has a whole section dedicated to evolution.
          http://www.nhm.ac.uk/nature-online/evolution/

          August 12, 2014 at 9:05 am |
        • evidencenot

          While there is overwhelming evidence for evolution to be an ongoing process in nature, that evidence requires a certain level of education simply to understand the process. At that point, the education is no longer relevant, because they feel, based on their ignorance, that there is no way that evolution could have occurred. Beyond that, particularly in North America, the fact that evolution contradicts the scenario of Creation described in Genesis gives a very large number of people the impetus to ignore the science, even if they did take the time to understand it.

          August 12, 2014 at 10:31 am |
        • LaBella

          I didn't say he was obscure. I said he wasn't Senior Paleontologist. Because he wasn't.

          August 12, 2014 at 10:43 am |
    • LaBella

      Colin Patterson was interesting.
      He authored a general textbook on evolution, Evolution,[4] and edited Molecules and morphology in evolution: conflict or compromise?[5] a book on the use of molecular and morphological evidence for inferring phylogenies.

      He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1993.[6]

      Patterson has been quote mined several times by creationists, most notably from a tape recording of a talk he gave in 1981 at the American Museum of Natural History for a systematics discussion group.
      Wiki

      August 12, 2014 at 12:13 am |
    • hotairace

      Can anyone point to a single scholarly article published in a peer-reviewed scientific journal that successfully debunks evolution? Or one that successfully concludes with "some god did it"?

      August 12, 2014 at 12:25 am |
      • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

        It is much easier to quote mine,,,

        August 12, 2014 at 1:40 am |
      • Alias

        You would have to go to Kentucky. They have a creationist museum with a lot of 'information' that has been reviewed by the author's 'peers'.

        August 12, 2014 at 12:45 pm |
    • Theo Phileo

      I applaud your efforts, but I don't think that debunking evolution need be any more complicated than this: "In the beginning, God created..."

      Charles Spurgeon once said: "Scripture is like a lion. Who ever heard of defending a lion? Just turn it loose; it will defend itself."

      My father in law is also fond of saying (although I'm sure it's not originally his) "give a man enough rope and he will hang himself." And whenever the world gathers together against the Bible, bringing all of its supposed "proofs" against it, all they will ever do is wind up hanging themselves.

      August 12, 2014 at 7:25 am |
      • TruthPrevails1

        Nice story Theo. However, when you or scot manage to submit your evidence for creationism for peer-review and have it approved, thus proving the actual peer-reviewed and widely accepted research done on evolution false you both might have a point. There is a valid reason that the creation story can't be taught in schools but evolution can.

        August 12, 2014 at 8:00 am |
        • Theo Phileo

          "peer-review"
          -------------–
          HAHAHAHAHA

          God does not require the approval of men in order for Him to exist.

          Take what evidence there is an accept it or not – choose you this day whom you will serve, but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.

          August 12, 2014 at 8:06 am |
        • igaftr

          theo
          "Take what evidence there is "

          That would be a complete and total nothing ...nothing at all...so nothing at all to accept.

          Religions are not based on anything tangeable...they are based on imagination.

          August 12, 2014 at 8:18 am |
        • TruthPrevails1

          Wow Theo, keep proving our ignorance. Being ignorant comes easy when your only source for information about anything comes from the bible. You can never be taken seriously and I pity you for that.

          August 12, 2014 at 8:18 am |
        • igaftr

          theo
          "God does not require the approval of men in order for Him to exist"

          No ...he requires our imaginations to exist.

          August 12, 2014 at 8:22 am |
        • TruthPrevails1

          igaftr: The man lives in a bubble. Just pure ignorance.

          August 12, 2014 at 8:26 am |
        • awanderingscot

          Proof of a divine creator = Evolution is false

          August 12, 2014 at 8:53 am |
        • TruthPrevails1

          awanderingdolt: Just prove that divine creator exists and try not to use your bible or any other apologetic crap and you might have a point!
          What grade did you get to in school? 2?

          August 12, 2014 at 9:12 am |
        • igaftr

          scot
          By all means, explain in detail, and in your own words what you mean by that obviously false and ridiculous statement.
          Since "god" and evolution are completley different topics, your claim that evolution is false ( while laughable, you have not shown one thing that refutes evolution), and somehow that is "proof" of god? Even if evolution were not fact (which it is), how exactly would that be proof of any "god"?

          Honestly it is like dealing with a 6 year old.

          What evidence do you have of "creation" scot?

          August 12, 2014 at 9:28 am |
        • Doc Vestibule

          "Proof of a divine creator = Evolution is false"

          Ever heard of "theistic", or "guided" evolution?
          " The theory of evolution does not invalidate the faith, nor does it corroborate it. But it does challenge the faith to understand itself more profoundly and thus to help man to understand himself and to become increasingly what he is: the being who is supposed to say Thou to God in eternity."
          – Pope Benedict XVI

          August 12, 2014 at 9:28 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      The person to whom the letter is addressed wrote back to a fellow who was curious about the quote but who could get nowhere with the Creationist publisher who made it public.
      "Dear Mr Theunissen,

      Sorry to have taken so long to answer your letter of July 9th. I was away for a while, and then infernally busy. I seem fated continually to make a fool of myself with creationists. The specific quote you mention, from a letter to Sunderland dated 10th April 1979, is accurate as far as it goes. The passage quoted continues "... a watertight argument. The reason is that statements about ancestry and descent are not applicable in the fossil record. Is Archaeopteryx the ancestor of all birds? Perhaps yes, perhaps no: there is no way of answering the question. It is easy enough to make up stories of how one form gave rise to another, and to find reasons why the stages should be favoured by natural selection. But such stories are not part of science, for there is no way to put them to the test."

      I think the continuation of the passage shows clearly that your interpretation (at the end of your letter) is correct, and the creationists' is false.

      That brush with Sunderland (I had never heard of him before) was my first experience of creationists. The famous "keynote address" at the American Museum of Natural History in 1981 was nothing of the sort. It was a talk to the "Systematics Discussion Group" in the Museum, an (extremely) informal group. I had been asked to talk to them on "Evolutionism and creationism"; fired up by a paper by Ernst Mayr published in Science just the week before. I gave a fairly rumbustious talk, arguing that the theory of evolution had done more harm than good to biological systematics (classification). Unknown to me, there was a creationist in the audience with a hidden tape recorder. So much the worse for me. But my talk was addressed to professional systematists, and concerned systematics, nothing else.

      I hope that by now I have learned to be more circu.mspect in dealing with creationists, cryptic or overt. But I still maintain that scepticism is the scientist's duty, however much the stance may expose us to ridicule.

      Yours Sincerely,

      [signed]

      Colin Patterson "

      August 12, 2014 at 8:27 am |
      • awanderingscot

        His explanation still does not negate the fact that he said it. Are you suggesting that he was lying to his audience? We all know evolutionists are liars, but c'mon.

        August 12, 2014 at 8:57 am |
        • LaBella

          Isn't this a bad as Bob taking Numbers 31:17, Now kill all the boys. And kill every woman who has slept with a man,
          out of context? After all, it doesn't negate the fact that God said this...

          Why is it permissible when you do this?

          August 12, 2014 at 10:57 am |
  18. awanderingscot

    One day a group of Darwinian scientists had a meeting and decided that man had come such a long way that he no longer needed God. So they picked one Darwinian to go and tell Him that they were done with Him.

    The Darwinian walked up to God and said, “God, we’ve decided that we no longer need you. We’re to the point that we can clone people and do many miraculous things on our own.”

    God listened very patiently and kindly to the man. After the Darwinian was done talking, God said, “Very well, how about this? Let’s say we have a man-making contest.” To which the Darwinian happily agreed.

    God added, “Now, we’re going to do this just like I did back in the old days with Adam.”

    The Darwinian said, “Sure, no problem” and bent down and grabbed himself a handful of dirt.

    God looked at him and said, “No, no, no. You go get your own dirt!!!!”

    August 11, 2014 at 10:50 pm |
    • realbuckyball

      Waiting for the funny part.
      Oh wait. You actually think that crap had a point ?

      There is no such thing in 2014 as a "Darwinian scientist", (except in the ignorant delusional minds of Evolution deniers).
      Evolution in2014 no longer rests on anything he said or did. It has been independently verified millions of times over, since he and Wallace wrote their books. You proposition is like calling a pilot a "Newtonian". We do understand that your Jebus' house of cards will fall if you don't deny the Babble is literally true, but really ? You'll be OK without your Easter Bunny.

      August 11, 2014 at 10:58 pm |
      • awanderingscot

        Gould and the other real 'scientists' would disagree with you.

        August 11, 2014 at 11:10 pm |
      • awanderingscot

        "Biologists are simply naive when they talk about experiments designed to test the theory of evolution. It is not testable. They may happen to stumble across facts which would seem to conflict with its predictions. These facts will invariably be ignored and their discoverers will undoubtedly be deprived of continuing research grants."

        Professor Whitten (Professor of Genetics, University of Melbourne, Australia)

        August 11, 2014 at 11:13 pm |
        • In Santa We Trust

          wandering,
          Do you have any evidence for creationism?

          August 11, 2014 at 11:20 pm |
      • awanderingscot

        "Evolution is a fairy tale for grown-ups. This theory has helped nothing in the progress of science. It is useless."
        – Prof. Louis Bounoure, Director of Research, National Center of Scientific Research.

        August 11, 2014 at 11:19 pm |
        • In Santa We Trust

          wandering,
          Do you have any evidence for creationism?

          August 11, 2014 at 11:20 pm |
        • Doc Vestibule

          Mmmmm – quote mine-a-licious.
          "As far as we know, Louis Bounoure never served as "Director" nor was even a member of the CNRS.
          Bounoure was a Christian but did not affirm that Genesis was to be taken to the letter. "
          – Marie-Antoinette de Lumley, The National Center of Scientific Research

          August 12, 2014 at 8:05 am |
        • awanderingscot

          Evolutionists long ago found that their own words betray the evolution myth and the only way they can fight back is to make up this contrivance called 'quote mining' and then to demonize it. They hate it because it does not serve their purpose.

          – evolution is complete and utter nonsense.

          August 12, 2014 at 9:07 am |
        • evidencenot

          Reasons I Reject Evolution
          by Bobbie Jean Pentecost

          1.) Because I don’t like the idea that we came from apes… despite that humans are categorically defined and classified as apes.

          2.) Because I’m too dupid and/or lazy to open a book or turn on the Discovery Science Channel.

          3.) Because if I can’t immediately understand how something works, then it must be BS

          4.) Because I don’t care that literally 99.9% of all biologists accept evolution as the unifying theory of biology.

          5.) Because I prefer the idea that a (insert god of choice) went ALLA-KADABRA-ZAM!!!

          6.) Because I can’t get it through my thick logic-proof skull that evolution refers ONLY to the process of speciation, not to abiogenesis, or planet formation, or big bang cosmology, or whether God exists, or where they buried Jimmy Hoffa, or why the sky is blue, or how many licks it takes to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop.

          August 12, 2014 at 10:50 am |
      • awanderingscot

        "Scientists who go about teaching that evolution is a fact of life are great con-men, and the story they are telling may be the greatest hoax ever! In explaining evolution we do not have one iota of fact."

        – Dr. Newton Tahmisian, Atomic Energy Commission.

        August 11, 2014 at 11:20 pm |
        • In Santa We Trust

          wandering,
          Do you have any evidence for creationism?

          August 11, 2014 at 11:21 pm |
        • evidencenot

          Why snotty rejects evolution

          Because I know nothing about Darwin except that he had a funny beard.

          Because the theory of evolution (which, according to scientists, perfectly explains the richness and diversity of life on Earth) contradi-cts biblical literalism… ya know, flat Earth with a firmament that keeps out the water, talking snakes, people rising from the dead, bats are birds, flaming talking bushes, virgin births, food appearing out of nowhere, massive bodies of water turning into blood… etc etc.

          11.) Because I think the word “theory” actually means: “random stabs in the dark” when it really means: "an explanation of certain phenomena that is well-supported by a large body of facts and often unifies other similarly well-supported hypotheses" i.e. atomic theory, gravitational theory, germ theory, cell theory, some-people-are-dtupid-theory, etc.

          August 12, 2014 at 10:57 am |
    • In Santa We Trust

      wandering,
      Do you have any evidence for creationism?

      August 11, 2014 at 11:13 pm |
      • awanderingscot

        "We're not just evolving slowly," Gould says, "for all practical purposes we're not evolving. There's no reason to think we're going to get bigger brains or smaller toes or whatever – we are what we are."
        – Stephen Jay Gould ( Professor of Geology and Paleontology, Harvard University

        August 11, 2014 at 11:22 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          Liars for Jesus!

          August 11, 2014 at 11:45 pm |
        • Doc Vestibule

          One doesn't generally observe drastic morphological changes in the span of a generation or two.
          What tends to stick in the creationist's craw is that evolutionary biologists take as given the fact that the world is not constant, nor recently created, nor cycling – but it is changing.
          If you believe the planet is less than 10,000 years old, evolution doesn't make sense because there is simply not enough time for gradual changes to become apparent.
          You'll note that the majority of the opponents of evolution tend to be vociferous Young Earthers – a caste of folk generally considered to have the same credibility as geo-centrists and flat earthers.

          August 12, 2014 at 8:38 am |
        • igaftr

          This is from scots latest tactic...the Out of Context fallacy.
          He quote mines, but does not actually read what was said in it's entirety.

          Just more evidence the desparate measures believers will take to try to hide the fact they have no evidence at all for their claims of the supernatural.

          Notice all he tries to do is tear down valid science, never actually present valid evidence for creation ( because there is none)

          All he is doing is presenting lies, trying to put evolution in the same realm as evolution, which is a fools errand, so scot is perfect for the job. Sand smoke and mirrors, lies and half truths, out of context quotes ( some from the 19th century, so have no bearing on current science).

          August 12, 2014 at 9:03 am |
        • igaftr

          oops
          "trying to put evolution in the same realm as evolution"

          should have been "trying to put creationism into the same realm as evolution"

          August 12, 2014 at 9:07 am |
        • awanderingscot

          I'm sorry IGAFRT but evolution is not actual science. It is a myth that you nor anyone else can provide evidence for.

          August 12, 2014 at 9:25 am |
        • awanderingscot

          Furthermore DOC, as previously noted; the geological column is not 200 miles thick, it is not 100 miles thick, it is not even 25 miles thick. It's greatest thickness is 16 miles. The local average for the geological column around the earth is 1 MILE THICK. This hardly puts the age of the earth at a million years let alone billions of years.

          – evolution is a fairy tale for grown-ups and has no basis in fact.

          August 12, 2014 at 9:30 am |
        • igaftr

          If you exist scot, you have DNA. That DNA is evidence of evolution.

          YOU are walking around with one of the many evidences of evolution.

          Where is the evidence for creation?

          August 12, 2014 at 9:33 am |
        • awanderingscot

          You are mistaken IGAFRT, DNA is actual proof that a divine all-knowing creator does exist. Nothing random about DNA. It is the most complex biological information storage device known to man and it certainly did not happen randomly.

          – As previously noted, evolution is complete and utter nonsense and a fairy tale for grown ups.

          August 12, 2014 at 9:58 am |
        • evidencenot

          More reasons why snotty rejects evolution;

          12.) Because the fact that science is self-correcting annoys me. Most of my other beliefs are rigidly fixed and uncorrectable.

          13.) Because I am under the severely mistaken impression that evolution implies someone in my very recent ancestry was a chimp.

          14.) Because everything appears designed to my mind which was expertly tuned by nature to perceive design, probably as a survival mechanism.

          15.) Because some secretly fabulous closet-dwelling televangelist (who unironically preaches hate towards gays) told me that evolution is Satan’s way of leading me away from God.

          August 12, 2014 at 10:59 am |
    • evolveddna

      Scot.... cloning would require cells from the original human surely... not gods dirt. Those pesky scientists knew that from observation and experimentation... so god knew he would loose hence the dirt trick.. god looking to change the rules again...

      August 12, 2014 at 1:28 am |
      • awanderingscot

        i'm sorry evolved, but 'artificial' or 'laboratory' selection is not 'natural' selection as delusional evolutionists would have it. Natural selection has what is referred to as 'no basis in fact'

        – as noted previously, evolution is complete and utter nonsense.

        August 12, 2014 at 9:16 am |
        • In Santa We Trust

          wandering,
          Do you have any evidence for creationism?

          August 12, 2014 at 9:28 am |
        • evidencenot

          Why snotty rejects evolution;

          17.) Because I’m 100% correct about everything 100% of the time and there is 0% chance that some snooty Oxford educated scientist with numerous honorary doctorates could possibly know something that I don’t.

          August 12, 2014 at 11:02 am |
        • evolveddna

          You were talking about cloning . and Scot.. no basis in fact...you really said that ? You never offer facts only decry evolution..

          August 12, 2014 at 2:40 pm |
    • TruthPrevails1

      awanderingscot: How is that paper you're writing for peer-review to debunk evolution going?? Do you really think that being as intellectually dead as you are that you are qualified to speak on anything abut evolution? Do you really think you are proving anything by constantly ranting about a subject you obviously know nothing about?

      August 12, 2014 at 5:44 am |
  19. orgjw

    "And he will wipe out every tear from their eyes, and death will be no more, neither will mourning nor outcry nor pain be anymore. The former things have passed away.” – Revelation 21:4

    August 11, 2014 at 10:37 pm |
    • evidencenot

      "It seems despite your exhaustive defensive strategies, you still have a bit of a security problem, Headmaster. And I'm afraid it's quite extensive. How dare you stand where he stood. Tell them how it happened that night! How you looked him in the eye, a man who trusted you, and killed him!" [Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2]

      August 12, 2014 at 11:56 am |
      • evidencenot

        Awanderingsnot rejects evolution because.....

        46.) Because I think I’m too special to have been crafted by any natural process and the entire planet, solar system, galaxy, and universe were created with me especially in mind.

        47.) Because I unquestioningly swallow the ignorant anti-science bullcrap spewed directly from the fraudulent stupid azzes of people like Ken Ham, Ted Haggard, Fred Phelps, and Kent Hovind.

        August 12, 2014 at 1:22 pm |
  20. Bob

    Yet again we have new-man posting that his "god" is loving. That is a common Christian falsehood that Christians commonly trot out. An honestly critical look at the Christian doctrine shows the god of the Christian tales to be a violent, vengeant creature. The following direct quotes from both testaments of the Christian book of nasty AKA the bible show the hatred and bigotry of the Christian god of the Christian myths very plainly:

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

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

    1 Timothy 2:11
    "Let a woman learn quietly with all submissiveness. I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet. For Adam was formed first, then Eve; and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor."

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    August 11, 2014 at 10:34 pm |
    • austin929

      awmi.net

      a w m I . net audio teachings

      August 12, 2014 at 12:01 am |
      • austin929

        bob,.............a here is a lesson on the Christian's responsibility as a slave.

        https://www.ihcc.org/Resources/Message/3442

        August 12, 2014 at 12:06 am |
        • observer

          austin929,

          The Bible is quite clear about slaves and how you can sell your daughters to complete strangers for their use as slaves and how badly you can beat them without punishment.

          August 13, 2014 at 1:21 am |
    • austin929

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

      the reason bob, that there was a curse for sin..........has to do with the curse of death and adam still living after God told him he would die if he ate it. and the word of God , beginning with the history of Israel, is about the cycle of sin and yet redemption.

      you are justified through the atoning lamb of God, Jehovah Jireh.............praise the Lord. Jesus loves you Bob.

      August 12, 2014 at 12:09 am |
      • austin929

        by the way what commands that "apply still from the old testament" ...what are you talking about exactly?

        August 12, 2014 at 12:10 am |
      • Tom, Tom, the Other One

        Your Old Testament had a particular purpose: to assist a cult in unifying and controlling a specific semi-nomdic Bronze Age tribe. It's not surprising that it is poor fit for the lives of decent people in the present day.

        August 12, 2014 at 7:38 am |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.