Why South Korea could be the church of future
Catholics attend Mass in Seoul, South Korea. When Pope Francis visits the country this week, he will find a thriving Catholic community .
August 12th, 2014
05:08 PM ET

Why South Korea could be the church of future

Opinion by Candida Moss, special to CNN

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(CNN) – When Pope Francis arrives in South Korea on Wednesday for a five-day visit, he’ll get a look at just the kind of church he’s been trying to create worldwide.

The trip, planned to coincide with Asia Youth Day, marks the first time a pope has visited the country since 1989, and is part of a new papal focus on globalization in general and on Asia in particular. (Francis plans to visit Sri Lanka, the Philippines and Japan in January.)

The time has long passed that the Catholic Church is elderly white men and women in European enclaves.

The last papal conclave and the election of the first Latin American Pope raised awareness of the Catholic Church’s growing presence in Africa, but Asian Christianity was hardly mentioned at all.

Even if it is rarely discussed in the media, Korean Catholicism is among the most vibrant in the world.

Here are five reasons South Korea might be the future of Catholic Church.

1. It’s growing.

Catholics make up almost 11% of South Korea’s 50 million population. This may seem like a small percentage, but consider this: In 1960, they only made up 2%.

In contrast to Europe, the majority of South Korean Catholics – as is the broader population of the region – are young.

Vocations to the ministry are also strong. At the end of 2013, South Korea’s 5.4 million Catholics were served by 4,261 priests, with a further 1,489 seminarians in the pipeline, according to church statistics.

In other words, not only is Christianity growing in South Korea, but it’s increasing in popularity among young people. And, in contrast to Europe and the United States, there are enough priests and seminarians to minister to this expanding group.

2. It’s rich.

Catholics in South Korea are increasingly prosperous. In an interview with Catholic News Service, Bishop William McNaughton, who served as the first bishop of Inchon from 1962 until 2002, recalled that when he arrived in the country, most of his congregation was poor. Now, he says, they wealthier than average.

While the economic prospects of Catholics have undoubtedly risen with those of South Korea as a whole, McNaughton attributes the financial success of Catholics there to the excellence of Catholic education.

Whether or not the prosperity of Korean Catholics is because of Catholic education or regional economic growth is less important than the encouraging contrast it forms to the church in other parts of the world.

Church attendance in Europe and the United States has been declining for decades. Meanwhile, in poorer, developing countries, the church has expanded and taken on an increasingly fundamentalist character.

The decline of the Catholic Church in wealthy countries is often linked to the rise of secularism, access to higher education and economic growth. The fear is that as people acquire more education and money, they no longer need God.

This doesn’t seem to be the case in South Korea, where wealth, education and church expansion continue to go together.

3. It competes in a tough environment.

Some commentators have speculated that Christianity in South Korea succeeds because of the spirituality in the region. That’s not exactly true.

In 2005, nearly half the population describe themselves are “irreligious.” The region has a rich religious history, but today South Korea is among the most secular countries in the world.

Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI identified the “secular state” as one of the chief threats to the Catholic Church in the 21st century, crediting it as one of the causes of declining church attendance in Europe.

That Catholicism continues to flourish in a culture that is broadly speaking nonreligious should encourage church leaders. It proves it can be done.

4. It’s self-supporting.

The history of Christianity on the Korean Peninsula involves not only growth and increased prosperity, but also persecution and martyrdom.

Christianity was legalized in then-unified Korea only in 1886 and for much of that time has been largely self-sufficient. In the wake of World War II, the country was divided in the communist North and the capitalistic South in 1945. The CIA Factbook notes that autonomous religious activities are "now almost nonexistent" in North Korea.

The geographical distance from the Vatican has allowed local bishops to have more autonomy and decentralized the church. As Tom Fox, author of “Pentecost in Asia,” has said, “the starting point of the Asian church has always been the local church.”

This is the model of local governance and evangelization that Pope Francis has tried to encourage and promote in the church in general.

5. It’s committed to social justice.

Korea was largely evangelized by lay activists, not organized missionary campaigns. This history gives the current church in South Korea an independent streak. Masses end with instructions to “evangelize the world” rather than return home, a call that local Catholics take to heart.

This missionary activity is matched by a focus on improving the living conditions their troubled neighbors in North Korea. That charity endears the Catholic Church to both religious and nonreligious South Koreans, who might otherwise be suspicious.

It’s for all these reasons that Francis told Il Messaggero in June that “the church in Asia holds great promise.”

In the Pope’s mind, it seems, the South Korean example may hold the secret to the future of the Catholic Church.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Asia • Catholic Church • Christianity • North Korea • Opinion • Pope Francis • South Korea

soundoff (1,739 Responses)
  1. MidwestKen

    Thankfully #18 False Relationships is the last one at

    Hopefully awanderingscot will stopwandering

    August 15, 2014 at 2:56 pm |
  2. awanderingscot

    Number 17
    – 17 -Argumentum ad Baculum. This is the "argument of the club." It is simple and to the point: "Either you agree with me or I will cause you great injury. "

    (1) "Either you change your thesis or we will have to drop you from the graduate program."

    (2) "If you do not support the policies of this research center, you will be discharged. "

    (3) "You are to conduct this experiment and find the evidence we discussed and develop the assigned conclusion, or else."

    (4) "Either your administration comes into line, or no further grants will be given to your inst-itution."

    August 15, 2014 at 2:47 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      As in "Believe as this book says you should or you will spend eternity in hell"?

      August 15, 2014 at 2:50 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Come to think of it, I would welcome substantiated statements supporting Creationism in a student's thesis.

      August 15, 2014 at 2:52 pm |
      • joey3467

        In fact Scot has even been asked to provide it, but so far he has been unwilling or unable to do so.

        August 15, 2014 at 5:35 pm |
  3. Tom, Tom, the Other One

    ♰♰♰Jesus Christ I'm Bored♰♰♰

    August 15, 2014 at 2:38 pm |
    • LaBella

      Get Thee to a punnery.

      August 15, 2014 at 5:39 pm |
    • Doris


      August 16, 2014 at 4:34 am |
  4. TruthPrevails1

    Slightly off topic, although I'm sure kermi; scot and a few others might agree with the premise of the article ...it shows what brainwashing a child will do.
    "Atheists, Abortionists & the ACLU Must Take the Blame for Ferguson Riots"
    "The ACLU has got to take a lot of blame for this. Throwing God out of the public square "

    August 15, 2014 at 12:46 pm |
    • Rynomite

      I think I lost 50 IQ points by reading that article.

      August 15, 2014 at 12:58 pm |
      • TruthPrevails1

        50 IQ points will never be as low the IQ's of the fools who control that site...and then they wonder why people stand up against them

        August 15, 2014 at 1:03 pm |
    • LaBella

      What a load of pure, unadulterated bs.
      I know it would never occur to these people that the proliferation of these kind of websites isn't helping any.

      August 15, 2014 at 1:10 pm |
    • MidwestKen

      Sure that isn't some sort of Poe site. For a conservative site, that's an awfully ho.mo.er.rotic image in the ti.tle banner.

      Hard dawn / morning wood?

      August 15, 2014 at 1:19 pm |
      • TruthPrevails1

        It doesn't seem to be but it's hard to tell...these are a couple of the Author's of the site:
        "Stephenson Billings – Dr. Stephenson Billings is an award-winning Investigative Journalist, Motivational Children's Party Entertainer and Antique Soda Bottle Collector all in one special, blessed package! "
        "Rabbi Tippy Plumridge – Formerly Mrs. Marvin Plumridge-Hirschbaum of West Palm Beach, Florida, Rabbi Tippy is Senior Pastor and Accredited Messianic Rabbi at HardDawn Ministries. She ministers in the tradition of the first Jewish messengers of the Gospel, sharing the Messiah’s Words to Jew and Gentile, Israel and all nations alike. She has conducted services in Florida, Alabama and New Jersey and has also officiated at numerous weddings. "

        August 15, 2014 at 1:30 pm |
        • LaBella

          It's a satirical site. It's got to be.

          August 15, 2014 at 2:44 pm |
        • LaBella

          It is. It's a comedy site. Thank God.

          August 15, 2014 at 2:47 pm |
        • TruthPrevails1

          It's hard to tell these days.

          August 15, 2014 at 2:49 pm |
    • neverbeenhappieratheist

      They should rename that site "The Conservative Onion" or maybe "Funny or Lie"

      It would be funny and I would be laughing my ass off if I didn't know there were actual Americans reading it and saying "Oh dear Jesus! The helicopters are a comin! Was that a drone I just heard?"

      August 15, 2014 at 1:25 pm |
      • LaBella

        "Funny or Lie". Lmao

        August 15, 2014 at 1:34 pm |
    • snuffleupagus

      Derby Mack is one twisted dude. Conspiracies everywhere according to this nut-job. Don't drink the water, but the kool-aid he's selling is just fine.

      August 15, 2014 at 1:46 pm |
      • LaBella

        Derby Mack – Founder, Editor-in-Chief and CEO of HardDawn.com, Derby Mack is an American Patriot who has dedicated his life to loving his country and preparing his family for the National Apocalypse. He would like to thank the Founding Fathers, President Reagan and Jesus Christ for the opportunity to share Wisdom with every member of the HardDawn.com community. God Bless and Stay Vigilant!

        Why is Jesus last?
        Oh, my.

        August 15, 2014 at 1:53 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Sweet merciful crap.
      I can't remember the last time I laughed this hard!
      Smoking pot causes ear maggots, chemtrails are poisoning the angels in Heaven, atheists enjoy eating puppy foetuses....

      August 15, 2014 at 1:53 pm |
    • SeaVik

      I'm pretty sure that site is satire. It's too funny to be real.

      August 15, 2014 at 1:53 pm |
      • LaBella

        It's got to be.
        With articles like "It’s Time for Tiny Rhode Island to Forfeit Its Fantasy of Statehood" it has got to be.
        I'm book-marking this site for future chortles.

        August 15, 2014 at 2:01 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      I wonder if Scot is a football fan....

      " In the Ten Commandments, we are instructed to keep the Sabbath as a Holy Day. Yet when football season heats up, our church pews empty out. Sunday, once a day of faith and contemplation, becomes a screaming display of animalism and indulgence. Men become slothful, proud, drunk and gluttonous. They look at the male physique with lustful eyes, yearning for each bulging thigh and spitting growl. The players are idols in their eyes, replacing the peaceful wisdom of Jesus. And to what end? As a former Dolphins fan, I can say with complete honesty that every December ends in misery and outrage."

      August 15, 2014 at 2:17 pm |
      • TruthPrevails1

        I'm sincerely hoping it is satirical but based on some of the Christians who post here, I think I'm better to err on the side of caution and remain skeptical...these crazies do exist.
        Gotta love the amount of consideration they give to thought crime though.

        August 15, 2014 at 2:36 pm |
  5. MidwestKen

    If these arguments are an example of what you "hear" about evolution, then no wonder you misunderstand, but try listening more closely to the actual arguments instead of what you want hear.

    August 15, 2014 at 12:00 pm |
  6. Doris

    Earlier, poor Scotty resorted to a non-biologist who has been away from academia for over twenty years in his quest to prove evolution as false...today, he's fighting some scientist that died in 1919. I still can only imagine that he must have lost big on a book deal/other media investment.

    As I noted before, money evidently is a big factor when it comes to lying and going against what one is taught in their field of science make $$ from satisfying what some of these creationists want to hear. We've seen people like Andrew Snelling play both sides of the fence for the almighty $. Now, I learn of more like him from this page:


    only here we see where some have adopted pseudo names to sell the young-earth version of their "expertise".

    We also saw, 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. Ah yes, forget a child's education – the expected income for ventures to support creationism was at stake.

    August 15, 2014 at 11:51 am |
    • Doris

      start of second paragraph:

      science to make $$

      August 15, 2014 at 11:53 am |
  7. awanderingscot

    Number 16
    – 16 – Argument from Distorted Science. This is a valued argument of the evolutionists: the declaration that science teaches that which it does not teach—and then use that as evidence in favor of evolution.

    (1) "The earth is an open system, therefore the second law of thermodynamics does not apply to it."

    (2) "Neither stellar nor earthly evolution is governed by laws that we know today, therefore it is outside the realm of empirical science, proofs, predictions, and falsification."

    (3) "Evolution has been as fully proven as the atom and all the other laws of nature."

    August 15, 2014 at 11:47 am |
    • joey3467

      It is called Atomic Theory, just like Evolution is a theory and gravity is a theory.

      August 15, 2014 at 11:52 am |
      • neverbeenhappieratheist

        scot here does not understand the difference, as many religious persons do not, between a scientific theory and a theory. There is a huge gulf between them and yet they the religious morons try to use them interchangably. It's the difference between physicists doing tens of thousands of hours of computations and testing hypothesis to present a scientific theory and a native doing a rain dance because his theory is that if he chants and dances enough in the correct pattern some spirit beast will grant rainfall on his crops. Could they both possibly be wrong? Yes, but i'm putting my money on the guy doing the research instead of trusting his gut and tradition.

        August 15, 2014 at 12:47 pm |
    • joey3467

      Also, the second law of thermodynamics only applies to closed systems, which the earth is not. Is it your contention that the Sun doesn't add any energy to Earth?

      August 15, 2014 at 11:53 am |
      • bostontola

        If the 2nd Law applied to all systems all the time, there would be no computer chips, no clocks, no cars, no airplanes, no cities, etc. the degree to which these arguments are flawed is gigantic.

        Poor scot is scared and desperately grasping to straws (via strawmen). I hope he gets help.

        August 15, 2014 at 12:01 pm |
      • awanderingscot

        You're wrong, entropy applies to open systems as well


        August 15, 2014 at 12:20 pm |
        • MidwestKen

          Entropy and the 2lot are not the same thing .

          August 15, 2014 at 12:25 pm |
        • TruthPrevails1

          The only person who is wrong here is YOU!! Troll back to your bridge!

          August 15, 2014 at 12:26 pm |
        • bostontola

          Poor little scot, doesn't understand the difference between entropy and the 2nd law. Of course entropy operates in all systems. The second law states that entropy in an increasing function of time in a closed system. In an open system entropy can decrease, there is still entropy.

          You make yourself look foolish arguing science. Your statements are as basically wrong as saying 2+2=123. Stick to your beliefs, you don't have to actually know anything there.

          August 15, 2014 at 12:29 pm |
        • joey3467

          Entorpy yes, but the Second Law of Thermodynamics, no.

          August 15, 2014 at 12:30 pm |
        • neverbeenhappieratheist

          "Your statements are as basically wrong as saying 2+2=123."

          It's more like 2 + 2 = 22 where his backwards logic seems to almost make sense, but only to morons who can't see through the smoke screen. His logic for this equation is, "See, the number 2 plus the number 2 , there you go, right next to each other, equals 22 as anyone can plainly see..."

          August 15, 2014 at 12:36 pm |
        • bostontola

          That is a much better analogy, wish I thought of it.

          August 15, 2014 at 12:38 pm |
        • awanderingscot

          The second law revisited
          The second law of thermodynamics is one of the most fundamental laws of nature, having profound implications. In essence, it says this:
          The second law – The level of disorder in the universe is steadily increasing. Systems tend to move from ordered behavior to more random behavior.
          A measure of the level of disorder of a system is entropy – http://physics.bu.edu/~duffy/py105/Secondlaw.html

          – the level of disorder in the universe is increasing, not decreasing
          – evolution holds as a principle that order is INCREASING when in fact it is DECREASING.
          – evolution is complete and utter nonsense.

          August 15, 2014 at 12:49 pm |
        • TruthPrevails1

          "evolution is complete and utter nonsense."

          Lets correct that for you: creationism is complete and utter nonsense.
          There ya go, it's all better now little one...now please go and ask Mommy for your sippy cup and enjoy a long afternoon nap, the adults are trying to speak and you're being rude and interrupting .

          August 15, 2014 at 12:56 pm |
        • bostontola

          Stop. That is just wrong. Stop taking snippets and making conclusions from them. If you are really interested, take a physics class in thermodynamics at your local community college. Local systems with energy and mass transfer have reduced entropy. If that wasn't true, none of our man made machines would work. The entropy at the universe level is even more difficult to calculate properly. You need advanced classes in thermo, quantum physics, and relativity to get it right. There are many traps that look right that leave out important terms. Many people thought gravity reduced entropy because it looked obvious that a cloud of hydrogen gas must have higher entropy than the condensed stars that gravity pulls together. They left out the entropy of the photons radiated after the gas got hot.

          August 15, 2014 at 12:59 pm |
        • awanderingscot

          Local systems with energy and mass transfer have reduced entropy. If that wasn't true, none of our man made machines would work.

          – really? how is that? Let me explain something to you. Entropy is the MEASURE of disorder. It does not represent a "heat death" or total disorder. Furthermore, define "local systems". Virtually all systems have energy and mass transfer, even closed or isolated systems. So are you talking arctic regions as opposed to tropical regions when you say "local systems"; or do you even know what you're talking about? I don't think you do.

          August 15, 2014 at 1:19 pm |
        • bostontola

          You are beyond my help, I hope you can get help somewhere.

          August 15, 2014 at 1:21 pm |
        • neverbeenhappieratheist

          I have found no reference to anything like "The level of disorder " when it comes to thermodynamic equilibrium and it just shows how badly you misunderstand the theories you are trying to use to bolster your belief in invisible supernatural beings.

          August 15, 2014 at 1:34 pm |
        • joey3467

          Scot the Sun adds energy to the system that is Earth. It has been doing that now for about 5 billion years, and will continue to do so for another 5 Billion years. So I ask once again, is it your contention that the sun doesn't actually add energy to Earth?

          August 15, 2014 at 1:38 pm |
        • MidwestKen

          A steam engine for example decreases local entropy by doing work at the expense of an overall increase in entropy as represented by the heat energy that is wasted.

          Cosumption of fuel = work heat

          August 15, 2014 at 1:39 pm |
        • awanderingscot

          "So I ask once again, is it your contention that the sun doesn't actually add energy to Earth?"

          – really? are you in 6th grade?

          August 15, 2014 at 1:50 pm |
        • bostontola

          "Virtually all systems have energy and mass transfer, even closed or isolated systems."

          closed system
          noun, Thermodynamics
          a region that is isolated from its surroundings by a boundary that admits no transfer of matter or energy across it.

          scot, you can redefine terms to meet your needs, but when you do, no one will have any idea what you are talking about. A closed system is defined as one with no mass or energy exchange with its surroundings. Your statement would be regarded as nonsense to those of us that respect existing scientific definitions. A person can reasonably argue with a scientific hypothesis or conclusion. It's not reasonable to argue with a definition. It is more fundamental than a fact.

          August 15, 2014 at 1:55 pm |
        • joey3467

          Despite the attempted insult, I will ask again. Does the sun add energy to Earth? It really is a simple yes or no question. Hint the answer is yes.

          August 15, 2014 at 1:56 pm |
        • awanderingscot


          – i appreciate your honesty and candor but we're not talking about the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics and entropy in a lab or micro setting. Furthermore since steam engines have only been around for 300 some years, how does this translate to entropy as it applies to earth science?

          A steam engine for example decreases local entropy by doing work at the expense of an overall increase in entropy as represented by the heat energy that is wasted.

          August 15, 2014 at 1:57 pm |
        • TruthPrevails1

          "really? are you in 6th grade?"

          WOW!! I can't believe you have the audacity to ask someone that!!

          August 15, 2014 at 2:10 pm |
        • awanderingscot

          "a region that is isolated from its surroundings by a boundary that admits no transfer of matter or energy across it."

          – only a perfect vacuum would permit no transfer of matter or energy.

          August 15, 2014 at 2:11 pm |
        • MidwestKen

          Simply trying to explain the differrence between local changes and overall changes.

          Here's a more thorough explanation of entropy as it applies to evolution:

          August 15, 2014 at 2:11 pm |
        • awanderingscot

          " I will ask again. Does the sun add energy to Earth? It really is a simple yes or no question. Hint the answer is yes."

          – somehow the fact that the sun adds energy to the earth discounts the validity of the 2nd Law of Thermodynamic and entropy?
          – ALL the stars add energy to the universe too but that's not stopping entropy in the universe is it clown?

          August 15, 2014 at 2:24 pm |
        • bostontola

          "– only a perfect vacuum would permit no transfer of matter or energy"

          scot, a vacuum is no barrier at all. Mass and energy cross vacuum all the time. A closed system is an idealized definition. Systems close to that definition behave as predicted. When you have a system that grossly violates the definition, it doesn't behave as a closed system law predicts. The earth grossly violates the definition of a closed system. Enormous amounts of energy come in all the time. Mass also comes in with various active chemicals. That's why the earth is far from equilibrium and structure has emerged. Just as predicted by far from equilibrium thermodynamics.

          August 15, 2014 at 2:24 pm |
        • joey3467

          The second law of thermodynamics applies to the universe as a whole, but not to Earth.

          August 15, 2014 at 2:54 pm |
        • awanderingscot

          "The second law of thermodynamics applies to the universe as a whole, but not to Earth."

          – LOL, that's like saying gravity applies to things on the ground but not to airplanes.
          – "Borel showed that no finite physical system can be considered closed." – David Layzer

          August 15, 2014 at 4:20 pm |
        • lunchbreaker

          scot, no one is as stupid as you are pretending to be.

          August 15, 2014 at 4:37 pm |
        • LaBella

          Wow. Who knew Earth wasn't a part of the universe?

          August 15, 2014 at 4:43 pm |
        • lunchbreaker

          If 2 systems interact, the entropy of one system can decrease, so long as the combined entropy of both systems increase.

          That's how your refridgerator works. A machine decreases the entropy inside of the fridge, but the entropy outside the fridge increase more than the amount of the decreased entropy inside the fridge. That's why the refridgerator actually produces heat in your kitchen.

          August 15, 2014 at 4:53 pm |
    • MidwestKen

      1) that's correct. As a system, earth is not closed.
      2) what? Where'd you get that?
      3) 1- an atom is not a law of natue 2- science doesn't "fully prove" anything .

      August 15, 2014 at 11:54 am |
    • snuffleupagus

      awanderingscrot, I didn't know you could count this high; I bet you have to take your shoes off as well.

      August 15, 2014 at 12:08 pm |
      • TruthPrevails1

        He had to learn to count before he start his 20th year of kindergarten.

        August 15, 2014 at 12:29 pm |
        • snuffleupagus

          20th year of kindergarten... that had me on the floor, TP1. Good one! Bet he still uses those 'marching sticks'.

          August 15, 2014 at 1:48 pm |
      • joey3467

        Since all he is doing is copying and pasting arguments I see no reason to believe that he can actually count as I assume he just copied and pasted the numbers as well.

        August 15, 2014 at 1:43 pm |
  8. awanderingscot

    Number 15
    – 15 – Fallacy of False Cause. This is the error of attributing one cause to a different effect.

    "Only mutations cause change in the genes, therefore evolution occurred."

    August 15, 2014 at 11:44 am |
    • MidwestKen

      Hmmm, never heard that argument used. Wheredid you see it?

      August 15, 2014 at 11:49 am |
      • bostontola

        Not only that, the premise is false, mutations is not the sole source of genetic change. Horizontal gene transfer is key. Poor scot is so desperate, it's very sad.

        August 15, 2014 at 11:55 am |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          He is a troll...he has no interest in discussion because he knows he does not have a leg to stand on.

          August 15, 2014 at 12:42 pm |
  9. Blessed are the Cheesemakers

    Fallacy of Creationists

    False dicotomy.

    The flawed thinking that if they can punch enough holes in a scientific theory it proves "god did it".

    August 15, 2014 at 11:40 am |
  10. awanderingscot

    Number 14
    – 14 – Argument by General Consent. This is the argument that something is true because "everybody believes it."

    (1) "There can be no doubt that evolution is true, for everybody believes it today. "
    (2) "Everyone knows that we evolved; what's wrong with you?"

    August 15, 2014 at 11:27 am |
    • MidwestKen

      ridiculous strawman

      In fact the only reason there is any debate is because not everyone accepts evolution

      August 15, 2014 at 11:36 am |
    • Doris

      That's a good one. It is good, if one is curious about something, to investigate and not just believe what everyone else says. But my question to you, Scot, is when are you going to try to bring a good argument against evolution that doesn't obviously involve misrepresentation of the people you quote; that doesn't involve ignorance of current knowledge in favor of only highlighting missteps in understanding that are always part of the self-correcting and self-improving scientific process that allows knowledge to expand.

      August 15, 2014 at 11:37 am |
      • Doris

        ? (that last sentence was a question)

        August 15, 2014 at 11:39 am |
    • TruthPrevails1

      Wow Scot, are you wanting the editors to block you? That's what happened to the last fooltard who wasted so much space and was obviously only here to TROLL!

      August 15, 2014 at 11:41 am |
    • hotairace

      Is this the same phallacy believers invoke to justify their beliefs, given that there is no actual evidence for their beliefs? And to condemn atheists when we argue against what is generally taken for granted?

      August 15, 2014 at 11:41 am |
  11. hotairace

    awanderingscot appears to be mining his latest pant load from the 3 Volume Evolution Encyclopedia perhaps as presented at evolutionfacts.org. Apparently awanderingscot was not able to tell that the authors, of the "encyclopedia" and the website, are making fun of creationism.

    August 15, 2014 at 11:24 am |
  12. awanderingscot

    Number 13
    – 13 – Wrong Observations. This argument arises when the observed event does not match the conclusion that is made about it.

    The "creation of life" experiments would be an example of this. Because some chemicals were used to produce traces of inert, non-living amino acids, therefore the evolutionists proclaimed in the public press that "life has been created by mankind!"

    August 15, 2014 at 11:19 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      In general, we don't rely on the public to interpret scientific results for us. The reason is that books like the one you are citing might be taken seriously.

      August 15, 2014 at 11:21 am |
  13. TruthPrevails1

    It feels like we're in a never ending episode of Sesame Street here today with AwanderingDolt's numbered posts today...and people wonder why the USA is falling behind in science and math!

    August 15, 2014 at 10:56 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      The US should exclude certain groups from its statistics. Just as no one collects statistics on math and science skills on the people no one sees in many countries – the ones living in cardboard shanties, exclude the people who've cultivated ignorance in order to please their God.

      August 15, 2014 at 11:02 am |
    • LaBella

      "One, ah ah ah. Two, ah ah ah,"

      August 15, 2014 at 11:02 am |
  14. awanderingscot

    Number 12
    – 12 – Religious Argument. This is a specialized argument used by evolutionists against creationists. But none of the arguments try to disprove the evidence in its favor. In order to clarify issues, we will use similar arguments: "People who wear mustaches believe in evolution, therefore it is not true." "Evolution mentions dinosaurs, therefore it could not be correct." "Evolutionists are often not Christians, therefore it cannot be true." Here are some of the actual arguments used:

    (1) "Creationism cannot be correct because it is also found in the Bible."

    (2) "Creationism cannot be correct because many religious people believe it."

    (3) "Creationism cannot be correct because it assumes a belief in God."

    (4) "Creationism cannot be correct because it is moralistic and teaches morals."

    – Fallacies of Evolution, 6-12, Evolution Encyclopedia

    August 15, 2014 at 10:44 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One


      August 15, 2014 at 10:47 am |
      • Doris

        Exactly – who in the world argues those points?...lol

        August 15, 2014 at 11:12 am |
    • TruthPrevails1

      12...I'm surprised you can count that high...are we going to get to 20 by end of day? It's impressive that you're now learning to count, too bad it comes with lies attached to it.

      August 15, 2014 at 10:52 am |
    • bostontola

      You poor desperate man, so afraid that your worldview is crumbling that you cling to web sites that justify that worldview with false arguments. I can feel your desperation and it is painful.

      Please get help.

      August 15, 2014 at 11:00 am |
    • MidwestKen

      Ridiculous strawman

      August 15, 2014 at 11:30 am |
  15. awanderingscot

    Number 11
    – 11-Argumentum ad Ignorantiam. This is the default fallacy. It is also called the "argument addressed to ignorance." Since one position cannot be proven, it must be the other; since no other position has been proven, ours must be the right one.

    (1) "Since creationism could not possibly be true, ours wins by default."

    (2) "Since no events in the far distant past can be scientifically falsified, then evolution must clearly be the cause of everything."

    (3) "Evolution is the only theory which scientists believe to be correct, therefore it must be the right one."

    (4) "A supernatural solution to the problem of origins is impossible—by definition!"

    August 15, 2014 at 10:41 am |
    • Doris

      (1) "Since creationism could not possibly be true, ours wins by default."

      That's silly – who argues two sides besides you? How convenient that you leave out all the theists in the world who have no problem with evolution.

      August 15, 2014 at 11:15 am |
  16. awanderingscot

    Number 10
    – 9 – Reasoning in a Circle. Circulus in probando, literally, "a circle in a proof," is the fallacy of circular reasoning. The cause is stated as being the proof of the effect, which normally would be all right,—but in this case, the cause IS the effect! Or A is used to prove B, then B is used to prove A!

    Circular reasoning is used several times as a proof of evolutionary theory.

    (1) "Because nothing was there, therefore that which exploded was nothing. Because stars were there afterward, they came from that explosion of nothing."

    (2) "It took long ages to produce evolution, and we know it occurred because there were long ages while it occurred."

    (3) "There was only sand, seawater, lightning, and volcanoes to produce evolution, so we know that is what produced it.

    (4) "Only a simple organism could have arisen when life first began; there are simple organisms alive today, so this shows that life began with a simple organism."

    (5) "Only the fittest have survived, so the things which have survived are the fittest."

    10 – Fallacy of Asserting the Consequences. Because an effect occurred, a certain cause must have taken place. The problem with this thinking is that several different causes could have produced that particular effect: "If It rains, I will get wet. I have gotten wet. Therefore it has rained."

    (1) "We know the stars must have evolved out of nothing because they are here now, and they had to come from somewhere."

    (2) "The earth must be millions of years old, because evolution requires millions of years."

    (3) "The earth must be millions of years old, because scientists, using a score of assumptions, have radiodated it that age."

    (4) "Life had to evolve out of non-living materials, for there is no other way plants and animals could have gotten here."

    (5) "Mutations were the cause of biological evolution because there is no other means by which it could have been accomplished."

    (6) "Everything evolves—stars, earth, plants, animals, and Society—because that is the way it has to be."

    August 15, 2014 at 10:38 am |
    • SeaVik

      Wow, you really don't understand anything about evolution. I would agree with you that your version of evolution is delusional. However, that's not what evolution is.

      August 15, 2014 at 10:40 am |
      • lunchbreaker

        scot is trying to set the record for cutting and pasting the world's largest strawman.

        August 15, 2014 at 10:49 am |
  17. lunchbreaker

    Save yourself some time scot. Just cut and paste the link to the website over and over. It will be much more efficient.


    And while your at it, give a shout out to author Vance Ferrell, so he can sell some more books.

    August 15, 2014 at 10:30 am |
    • bostontola

      Thanks for revealing that. This site leaves no science left to accept. It really is sick.

      August 15, 2014 at 10:51 am |
  18. awanderingscot

    Number 8
    -8 – Fallacy of Special Pleading. This fallacy occurs when an individual positively or negatively dramatizes evidence in order to make it look very good or very bad.

    One example of this was *Haekel's dramatic lectures, complete with skeletons on the platform and large copies of his fraudulently prepared embryo charts. Another would be the dramatically presented "5-bone limb" charts in public presentations, to indicate evolutionary relationships. Yet, although many diverse creatures have the same number of bones in their arms, forearms, and hands, structural similarity does not demand genetic relationship. In contrast, the DNA barrier forbids one animal from descending from another. We should stay with science, not artful words.

    August 15, 2014 at 10:05 am |
    • TruthPrevails1

      Cute, did Mommy finally teach you to count to 10?

      August 15, 2014 at 10:07 am |
    • Doris

      This Haekel dude died in 1919. I love how Scot stays on the cutting edge with his sources. (eyeroll)

      August 15, 2014 at 11:27 am |
    • MidwestKen

      Does the "DNA barrier" prevent children (one animal) descending from their parents (another animal) also?

      August 15, 2014 at 12:10 pm |
  19. awanderingscot

    Number 7
    – 7 – Misuse of Analogy. One occurrence is referred to, and then, by analogy, is made an explanation for a different event, in order to provide evidence for a belief.

    *Herbert Spencer (1820-1903), an English philosopher, frequently spoke of the struggle between animals, and then said that, therefore, human beings must continually fight together also. That is a fallacy of analogical proof.

    August 15, 2014 at 10:03 am |
    • LaBella

      Well, you frequently commit contextomy, so there's that.

      August 15, 2014 at 10:06 am |
      • Doris


        August 15, 2014 at 11:08 am |
  20. bostontola

    If this pope can clean up the RCC, then the largest Christian group will be one that could peacefully represent Christianity. That would be most welcome to me.

    The RCC makes a great effort to get along with other religions, and devotes a lot to square its positions with known science. If the stains of pedophilia and corruption are addressed, that would be a major accomplishment. The hard part will be cleaning it up in his lifetime, and then keeping it clean after he dies. Hierarchical power structures like in the RCC are like monarchies, they are only as good as the current leader. One bad leader can do a lot of damage that can last a long time. I still hope this pope cleans up the organization, it would be better for everyone.

    August 15, 2014 at 9:57 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.