Posted by: Jim | January 8, 2009

More Fuzzy Thinking

Just watched the top video on God Tube, and was surprised to see that it’s a sermon that centers around — wait for it — SCIENCE!

Kinda.

They talk about the a certain molecule in the human body called laminin. Of course he built up a big story to prove its miraculousness by pointing out the AMAZING coincidence that he heard about this when he did, but then shows everyone what the cell looks like.

laminin

Wow, it looks like a cross! Oh wait, no it doesn’t. But if you stretch it out straight, it does. Really.

When he shows the illustration of the laminin molecule, the congregation cheers. I’m not really sure why. Do they see this as if it were Vincent Van Gogh’s signature at the bottom of a painting? Is this proof that Jesus is the truly true truth? But wait–there’s more! This is the molecule that holds cells together–and the Bible said that GOD holds all things together! That’s the truthiest truth in all of truthville, right?fsm

It didn’t take me long to find a counterpoint.

Enter the monoamine oxidase enzyme on the right.

This little baby (and I swear to you this is true) helps keep our thinking clear by helping to recycle the neurotransmitters in our head.

And what does it represent? THE FLYING SPAGHETTI MONSTER!!!

It’s a sign! Pastafarians Unite!

RAMEN!

 

fsm-for-reals

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Responses

  1. Hail to the Great Spaghetti Monster and his benevolence in granting us a proof of his existence.

  2. Bravo!

  3. I do love me some Flying Spaghetti Monster. With a hearty marinara sauce. And capers.

    What?

  4. A sign! A sign! Praise be to His Noodle Appendage!

  5. “the truthiest truth in all of truthville” that was funny!
    I am new to your blog, just found it today, it is quiet entertaining (except for that flying spaguetti monster that I don’t like).
    I am a christian, I am a believer, and I don’t like the use of science to try to prove God exists.
    I believe in Him, but because it is my choice not because of a video.

  6. Welcome Momelo! Take your shoes off and set a spell.

  7. Four questions:

    Where did all the mass in the universe come from?

    Where is there one place on earth that life in any form (still) poofs into existance?

    How can you find God?

    If you were God how would you communicate with man / woman?

  8. Here, try this one…http://www.steve.gb.com/images/science/laminin.png

  9. Charles:

    1) I don’t know. Do you?

    2) Huh?

    3) Another question: How can you find the Flying Spaghetti Monster?

    4) I would communicate clearly and cogently. I would not give people a rational mind that requires evidence to believe something, then require people to believe in me without providing them with any evidence.

    Laughingatyou, what is your point?

  10. Jim:

    Thank you for your response.

    I thought this was a blog designed to explore ideas and notions rather than attack an opinion or question?

    I do understand that the Flying Spaghetti Monster is an illusive little critter but I also know that he exist!

    He is an abstract creation inside your brain. Just a bunch of neurons bouncing around then presto a visual image drawn to paper that can be seen and shared.

    How can you go about communicating to him that you are his creator? Before you answer that, let’s just assume that being an abstract illustration it has absolutely no ability to think and it would never be possible to make contact. But we think and “therefore we are!” We can be communicated with and that my friend is the magic of it all.

    You’re a smart guy! Don’t get so caught up in Godphobia!

    You see, that’s the point of my original questions. Some things go beyond our capacity to put our minds around. Isn’t that one of the reasons for your blog? To explore new thoughts that go beyond our own worldviews?

    So don’t laughatme if I don’t embrace your atheism or agnosticism.

    Instead, be bold.

    If God did exist why is it even necessary for her to make contact with us at all? She after all would have to be immense and we after all are finite!

    Have a monstrous day! :o)

  11. Charles, it’s bad etiquette to “hijack” a blog post for your own use. Let’s try to keep this on topic.

    Do you think that God created a cross-shaped molecule to communicate with humanity? If so, what is the message? And why didn’t God care about anyone prior to the invention of the electron microscope?

  12. Jim:

    It was not my intent to hijack your blog. I was being over zealous with mt reply.

    I am a graphic designer, and illustrator. And I want to compliment you on your illustrated of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, it’s top notch and funny!

    To answer your question, no. But Fred Butler answers the question far better than I can and I agree with his views at the following website: http://hipandthigh.blogspot.com/2008/05/laminin-molecule-and-inadequacies-of.html

    To get back on point. You did not answer the question: If you were God how would you communicate with man / woman?

    Be specific.

  13. Charles,

    The link is an interesting read, but I stand by my point: the laminin molecule is not evidence of any communication from God.

    The point is that humans are very good at pattern-finding. The relatively simple shape of the cross is not difficult to find in nature. People find the shape of the Virgin Mary in spattered paint, or on burnt toast. Did you ever look at a stucco ceiling and find faces? I have. Were those faces put there by the construction workers who sprayed the stucco on the ceiling? Were they secret artists, or sending us a message? Of course not. Are the faces there? Sure they are.

    People have found far more complex shapes in nature. Here’s a flower in the shape of the Hindu god Ganesha: http://www.nydailynews.com/ny_local/queens/2008/10/22/2008-10-22_plant_in_shape_of_ganesh_blossoms_into_q.html

    If these things are “signs from god” then perhaps God is a universalist, and all religions are true and from God, because all religions find these amazing, miraculous examples of their iconography in the strangest places.

    Am I making myself clear?

    And I answered your question earlier. I would speak with man clearly and cogently–in their language, and without the requirement of breaking a code, or interpreting some icon. I would not use metaphors. I would use language similar to a well-designed instruction manual. (Please don’t say that the Bible is a well-designed instruction manual or you will be in for a world of pain. LOL)

  14. Charles, I just finished that article and I agree with it too! I apologize, I hadn’t finished it prior to making my last response.

  15. […] into today’s scientific age is the issue of “Fuzzy thinking.”  Christians flock to miracles. My post about Laminin has gotten more hits than any other […]

  16. These patterns that humans find is quite amazing and can be quite arbitrary as well as enlightening. I think that parallels can be made to help us form our own views. Our bias can help us find patterns to back up our own schools of thought (evolution is another example).

    I think it’s very superior to think that all that you know or think is actual is absolutely true and that anything opposed to that is fuzzy thinking.

    It is one thing for an Atheist to believe in a naturalistic origin and it is another for an Atheist to suppose that the rest of human evolution including spiritual evolution is merely fuzzy thinking at best and absolutely moronic and dangerous at worst.

    Isn’t it true that Atheists believe that cause and effect in the universe has a naturalistic origin? The scientific method observes data and leads us to conclusions. A naturalistic cause for the origin of the universe can’t be observed or repeated so to say this is based solely on a different kind of faith.

    The scientific method is used to understand the material world, but the world is made up of many other things that cannot be measured materialistically, like spirit and thought and the source of art and poetry and morals, etc.

    Just as much as “you” are not the sum of your chemicals. Yes we are all made of the same chemical make-up, but we are not just a bunch of chemicals. We have personalities and souls and individuality that make us more than the sum of our parts.

    There is more out there to be learned (pulsars, black holes, brown dwarfs, exosolar planets, dark matter and dark energy, quasars, cosmic rays…) and discovered. So much more that it is extremely arrogant to think that Atheism is the only way to a rational worldview.

    Perhaps there will be an Atheistic “crusade” where they burn religious people at the stake or have “Atheists Only” on certain restaurants.

  17. Ted, I think the burden of proof is on you that we are more than the sum total of our parts. I attribute it all to DNA, which is material. It’s not really a solid argument to just say “But there is so much more than the material world.” I’m sorry but I don’t think there is.

    And if I’m using fuzzy thinking, point it out to me! If you can point out examples of theories that I have based only on pattern-finding, point them out. Evolution is not merely a result of pattern-finding. We KNOW that organisms evolve. If you don’t think they evolve, would you have enough faith in that to get a 1979 innoculation against influenza? It worked perfectly well against influenza in 1979. Should work fine now, right? I will advise against it, however, because the influenza virus has evolved many times over since then. That’s not just pattern finding, that’s fact.

    Our pattern-finding ability has been used to validate scientific theories, however, including evolution. For example, when a transitional fossil is found, a paleontologist’s pattern-finding ability will say, “hey, this trilobyte species looks a lot like a cross between THIS trilobyte and THAT trilobyte. Then after doing analysis, they find they are correct. So pattern-finding isn’t always bad, but relying only on that (i.e. seeing the face of Jesus in the clouds) is.

  18. Jim, I agree that things evolve within a species, that’s not the argument here. Dogs, Cats, horses, viruses, etc. Where is the proof that a dog has turned into a goat or some other species?

    Why don’t we see things evolving into other species today? Shouldn’t there be hundreds or thousands of species that are in the changing phases right now moving from one species to another? It seems reasonable to think that we should be able to observe this scientifically now. Why would all the transitional species be gone?

    When you say the burden of proof is on me that we are more than the sum of our parts, I realize that to ME it is common sense that we are more than the sum of our parts.

    What makes up TED or JIM or Billy or Sally is not just a chemical computer. We are all so complex and have so many nuances to our personalities and we have a freedom of thought and choice and expression that transcends forced chemical responses to our environment.

    Things in this world don’t randomly go from non order to order. Things don’t become MORE complex on their own. Entropy takes place, things wear out and break down.

    I think we should all be humble and respect each others points of view and thought processes. If I look at you, through my evolutionary understanding, I think that you might be in your 40s. You’ve had 40 years on this earth to come up with your theory on the entire universe and how it was created, take away the years when you were a baby and your brain was focusing on mere survival.

    Besides your own experiences, you’ve read books and information from other people’s lives who have lived longer than you and who also have only lived on the planet no more than 100 years most likely.

    How long has man been publishing books and information on Evolution and Science… Take those years and compare them to the actual time table of the universe and the earth itself and it pales in comparison.

    If evolution created those people and those minds and those books (according to you, evolution created everything from poetry to art to religion to science, absolutely everything) then we are in a state of evolving from one thing to another. What do you suppose we will become however many million years from now? Something that looks like the Spaghetti Monster perhaps? (LoL)

    Also, wouldn’t you think that based on the knowledge that we don’t have a lot of time dedicated to this theory of yours compared to the actual time of the planets history and the universe’s history that the information that you have gathered MAY not really be reliable? How can you 100% trust an evolved person that could merely be in the Trylobyte stage of development?

    To a mouse, his logic and thought of his world is probably 100% true to him, but a more evolved species KNOWS things that the mouse may not.
    That mouse would tell his other mice friends that his way is the only way, etc.

    When I honestly reflect and thin about the vastness of the universe and the complexity of even the smallest atom, it is reasonable for me to think that there is something out there (God) that KNOWS much more than I do about the situation that I find myself in (being a human on Earth).

  19. P.S. I’m not defending the Jesus in the clouds theory, I don’t put any stock in a Mary shaped cornflake either.

  20. If God does not exist then why does all things that exist abide by rules of mathematics?

  21. I’ll ask it another way:

    Since all things abide by rules of mathematics, why does God NEED to exist?

  22. Seriously, what’s the point? Chicken? Egg? At best, the person whose point is proven in the end (and I do mean the END) get a gold star. Did God create Mathematics, or does mathematics prove that God doesn’t exist? I respect both sides, but the truth is that none of this will be proven until you die and are buried (the end), or you ascend to meet the maker of your choice (the beginning).

  23. Pulling up a chair, planning to spend the rest of life watching this argument unfold with no certain resolution, where each party, at best, will agree to disagree…

    This was supposed to precede my previous post…

  24. LOL Todd, so true. 🙂

    But you’re using the “Pascal’s Wager” argument, and it is flawed. It assumes that a life dedicated to a fictional god is “No big loss” even if it’s just “lights out” when you die. I think it is a huge loss, though, to live a life of delusion if it prevents you from getting at the real truth.

    Plus, why would God create us with brains that require proof, then provide us with LOTS of proof that the world was created without him? Doesn’t add up …

  25. “For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures. For they exchanged the truth of God for a lies, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever.” Romans 1:20-23, 25

  26. Longjohn, you are indirectly calling me a fool, and professing yourself to be wise.

    I doubt you will answer this question, but here goes:

    On what basis do you, as an individual, decide what is true and what is not? How can you, as an individual, rely upon the accuracy of your own perceptions to make these decisions?

  27. I am not calling you a fool. Those are not my words, they are God’s. I am not professing myself to be wise, either. I would also fall into the category of those “professing to be wise” and “becoming fools”.

    The only difference between you and me is that I have accepted Jesus Christ as my personal Lord and Savior. I believe what the Bible says is true and 100% accurate and infallible. As the hymn states, I once was blind, but now I see.

    All humans are fools, myself included. I, as an individual determine what is true and what is not true by holding everything up to the Word of God, the Bible. That is my standard.

    Why do I hold the Bible to be true and the Koran, the Book of Mormon, etc. not true? By examining what is seen and what is not seen. Some things you have to take by faith, that is why it’s called faith. However, there is also a LOT of evidence that points to the inescapable fact that the Bible is divine in origin. I won’t go into all the points here, but you can read more about it here if you wish:

    http://christiananswers.net/q-eden/edn-t003.html

    We all hold some beliefs in faith. From your previous statements, it appears you believe in evolution. How do you know that is true? There is no evidence to support it. Yes, there is small amounts of adaptive “evolution” as you stated in various species and viruses, etc. But there is no evidence to support a species evolving into an entirely different species. Evolutionists would claim that we evolved from apes. Yet apes are still around and so are we, but where are the “middle” versions of ape-men? You have to believe what you believe by faith when you can’t see the hard, physical evidence before you.

    I am not attempting to attack you or what you believe, you are free to believe what you wish to believe. Nor do I think that I could say anything that will change your mind. I merely wanted to present the other side of the issue as to what I believe.

    Now, on the specific point of your blog post, you have misunderstood the point that the speaker in the video was making. I actually own the DVD of that talk and the point Louie Giglio was making was not that we can know that God exists because laminin is in the shape of a cross, but he was making the point that in all of nature, the whole universe, the human body, etc. you can see the imprint of God. I as a Christian believe in God not because of cryptic symbols and signs such as laminin being somewhat in the shape of a cross, but because He has revealed Himself to us in so many mighty and powerful ways, the biggest of which being the Bible. It is ONLY through hearing God’s Word and believing, however, that one can truly come to have a personal relationship with God. And now, as a Christian, I think it’s cool to find out that the protein that holds the body together is in the shape of a cross. That’s all. It’s cool. It’s not the foundation of my Christian faith. That would be absurd. But that is how you made it sound…like I am basing my faith on the shape of a protein molecule. I assure you I am not.

    Again, we have differing views, and that is fine. I want to be respectful of yours, and simply ask that you be respectful of mine. And if I have not been respectful, I apologize. I have tried to be. But unfortunately, as soon as I start quoting the Bible and talking about God, most people quickly become offended and upset. I hope that is not the case here. Have a good day!

  28. Longjohn,

    Thanks for trying to save my soul. You argument of why the Bible is better than the Koran is irrational. It is vapor. Apologists for the Koran make equally vaporous arguments. Why is your vapor better than Muslim vapor? You only think it is better because you were not born in a Muslim country. If you had been born there, you would be defending the Koran right now.

    Regarding the inerrancy of scripture, however, I would prefer that we commence that conversation here: https://meatofthematter.wordpress.com/2009/02/23/hinduism-is-the-way/ where that is the topic. This post is about Giglio’s sermon.

    I did not misunderstand Giglio. What you think is “God revealing himself to you” is what I call “make believe.” There is nothing like that happening. In a post here: https://meatofthematter.wordpress.com/2009/02/23/hinduism-is-the-way/ I explain the human ability of pattern-finding, and show links to examples of how people are finding the image of Hindu Gods in various places. Is Ganesha revealing himself to us? Or are people just gullibly believing in various symbols they find in nature? You are just as much a rube as these Hindus if you believe Laminin is a revelation of God.

    I recommend you find the courage to think with greater clarity.

  29. As I stated previously, I am not deluded to think that anything I say can change your thinking and same with anything you say changing what I believe. And as I stated previously I do not believe laminin is a revelation of God. I simply think it is cool that the protein that holds the human body together is in the shape of a cross. That’s all! I know that the shape of whatever you want can be found in just about anything. Just looking up at clouds you can find all kinds of clouds that look like something. And they don’t mean anything. I just think it’s cool, in the context of what I believe (that God created everything) that laminin is in the shape of a cross. I would never use laminin to prove God’s existence to anyone, as I also previously stated. You continue to make it sound like I am basing my belief or even confirming my belief based on the shape of a protein molecule and I am not. And neither is Louie Giglio.

    And in your other post on Hinduism you are again making is sound like Christians believe laminin is a revelation from God. Now, there may be some who go too far and may think that it is as there are a lot of “Christians” that believe in signs and miracles. I do believe miracles can happen, but not in a “Benny Hinn” hit you in the forehead kind of way or in the “this flower has healing powers” kind of way. God can perform miracles and that is it.

    The label “Christian” is broadly applied to a LOT of different religious groups, most of which I do not agree with the theology of. For instance, Catholics call themselves Christians and I do not believe in their theology. I prefer to not use titles and simply find out what exactly a person believes. But that’s another topic.

    As far as the Koran or other religious texts having just as much argument to be “better” than the Bible, I’m not going to get bogged down in trying to layout the arguments here. The article I linked to does that. I will just say that no other religious text can make those claims. Not one. Find me another religious text that can make the claims backed up with historical evidence that the Bible does. You won’t find any, because they don’t exist. Sure, any of those can make vaporous claims as you stated, but a vaporous claim indicates a claim that cannot be backed up by hard evidence in history and archeology. The Bible’s claim can, and have been proven in historical and archeological studies.

    I’ll make it simple. Find one prophecy made in another religious text that has come true. You won’t find any. The Bible, however has hundreds of prophecies of future events that were fulfilled down to the smallest details, sometimes hundreds of years after the writer of the prophecy has died.

    But again, I do not say these things in an attempt to change your mind. Only God can do that, and who knows, maybe He will. Thank you for sharing your views.

  30. Longjohn, I wrote a lengthy reply yesterday but my computer froze. Bah!

    In short, I now better understand your stance on the laminin molecule. I would have the same “it’s cool” reaction if I saw some accident in nature that symbolized something I agreed with. If I misunderstood you, it might be because your first statement was this: “… in all of nature, the whole universe, the human body, etc. you can see the imprint of God.” That implies a divine message (“imprint”) in the laminin’s shape. Thus my reaction that we can see the imprint of Ganesha as well.

    Regarding the historicity of the Bible, this is completely off topic, but have you studied the historicity of other religions? Have you read secular criticisms of the historicity of the Bible? The historical record, Josephus included, is pretty shaky. To wit, there is some guy in the Middle East who is, right now, saying that Islam is more true because of IT’S historical records, and/or because of all the Islamic prophecies that have come true.

    There has been no miracle in your prophesies, because the original intentions have been interpretted after the fact in light of actual events. Additionally, portions of the Bible has been dictated and recopied over the millenia by priests with a bias. So, using Occam’s Razor, what is more likely, that ancient prophecies have miraculously come true, or that people’s biases have led them to believe that prophesies have come true?

  31. Hi Jim,

    I’ve been enjoying your responses of late, especially the ones with Scott about morals, but I digress..

    Your words here “But you’re using the “Pascal’s Wager” argument, and it is flawed. It assumes that a life dedicated to a fictional god is “No big loss” even if it’s just “lights out” when you die. I think it is a huge loss, though, to live a life of delusion if it prevents you from getting at the real truth.

    Plus, why would God create us with brains that require proof, then provide us with LOTS of proof that the world was created without him? Doesn’t add up …”

    Couldn’t a human live a life loving others and being at peace with himself and God? Does every religious person have to be a political special interest? I believe that the majority of religious people DON’T actually vote at all.

    Regardless, who is to say who’s life was better spent than another, ESPECIALLY if you come from an atheistic point of view?

    It’s absolutely obvious that if an atheist dies and that Jesus was true, that the atheist is in a MUCH worse position than the Christian.

    If the Christian dies and atheism was true, the Christian will not know the difference in the end, and his life will be valued and judged like every other life— his relationships to others. His contribution to society. His love.

    How does anyone really judge?

  32. About the mathematics argument. What? Because we have mathematics, we don’t need God? That’s absurd to me.

    If anything, mathematics have helped to show us that the world is constantly decaying and breaking down. That things go from order to non order.

    That in itself makes us wonder how did we get here then? How did the sexes evolve at the same time in order to insure survival? How did something come from nothing? Math is a wonderful concept. How did Math get here? It shows design, not randomness.

  33. Ted, I agree that it is not fair for anyone to place “value” on how one person chooses to live their life over someone else’s. The only caveat is that I believe that a life based on truth is better than a life based on a lie–only because the ultimate outcome of the truthful life will have the potential to improve the world in a way that will be supported by its actual underpinnings.

    You say “especially if you come from an atheist point of view.” I don’t agree with that! I would say “Especially if you come from a religious point of view.” LOL

    But you are still using Pascal’s wager in a way that is nullified by your own argument. If we are not to place value on one life over another, how can you be sure a Christian life in an atheist universe is better? I would say it is not because it is not founded on the truth.

  34. Ted, re: mathematics, my words were merely a response to an absurd proposal: “If God does not exist then why does all things that exist abide by rules of mathematics?”

    That poster was implying that because everything abides by mathematical laws, god must therefore exist. Math does not prove a design in any way! Math was here before we understood it, just like gravity was, and physics.

    Newton’s 2nd law of thermydynamics is no argument against evolution. Also, for god’s sake DO NOT use ANY argument put forth by Ray Comfort! That man is an idiot and you will just make yourself look the same! The argument regarding sexuality/evolution only reveals your ignorance. I don’t think you’re stupid–don’t take it like that–but if you make that argument you have no concept of what evolution is or how it works. Go read a serious book about evolution. I recommend “A River out of Eden” by Richard Dawkins. Or, you can just read this rebuttal against that argument by PZ Myers: http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2009/03/elephantine_errors_from_ray_co.php

  35. Thanks for the article links, I’ll check them out. A Christian can view the world scientifically and still have faith in God. Science shows the complexities of the universe and leaves plenty of room for a power greater than ourselves. It’s not like if you are a Christian that you can’t believe in natural laws! On the contrary, natural laws and order show design in my opinion.

    As for truth, that will always be elusive since we cannot replicate first cause. We can have truth in certain circumstances, and even that gets fuzzy sometimes when you are talking about quantum and atomic physics.

    We certainly have truths, but we may not be in the position to KNOW without a doubt that those truths are what we think they are.

    You said”The only caveat is that I believe that a life based on truth is better than a life based on a lie–only because the ultimate outcome of the truthful life will have the potential to improve the world in a way that will be supported by its actual underpinnings.”

    If we are all cosmic accidents then it doesn’t really matter where we go, and truth is non consequential because all things are possible and acceptable because the universe made us what we are and we should just relish in the miracle that we are and go with the impulses and desires and actions that our accidental DNA possesses us to do!

    If that is to worship Christ, then let us be. If that is to worship the earth and the scientific method, then it is what it is. If that means one worships alcohol or drugs or sex or the exhilaration of thievery and perhaps murder and other dark things, then one cannot put a moral judgement on it.

    Life based on truth…. Life based on what our own DNA is telling us is truth… even if that is God or religion seems reasonable to me.

  36. I looked at your link expecting to be blown away at the information I would find, but instead found an explanation (pretty condescending by the way) that does not satisfy my mind at all.

    The questions that Ray has as I understand them relate around this:

    When there was nothing on the earth and the big bang happened (from materials and gases that are mysteriously present) that a simple protein was created. That protein or single cell thrived in it’s environment so much so that it began to multiply on its own or thousands of these cells were spontaneously generated on their own at one time.

    http://www.direct.ca/trinity/origin.html

    This was the building block that started all life on earth and all of Earth’s complexities.

    From this point, evolution has to take root, and this life from non life has to begin it’s millions of years of evolution. It has to thrive in it’s environment ( we still don’t even know where the actual environment came from)

    and not just replicate itself, but become infinitely more and more complex so that it creates NEW species that are even more complex than itself.

    This unbelievable process has to evolve to a point where it randomly creates a mammal! Not just one kind of mammal, but two distinct mammals in the form of male and female (when we are talking about sexual reproduction). These evolve at the same time so much so that they thrive in their new environment and are able to survive and reproduce even more so that IT too can create an even more complex species and so on.

  37. In regards to religious people…

    If we are just a product of evolution with a big E, then I bet that there is a reason why so many religious people have remained and survived to thrive and pass on that religious information to their offspring.

    Perhaps religion is used to keep the species from extermination. Perhaps religion introduces morals and a kind of collective consciousness that could not exist without it.

    If people lived for themselves and themselves alone rather than trying to preserve the species then it there is a good chance that behavior could create extinction. Yes, it would be in the best interest of the species to have some sort of moral base so that getting along with each other would be a higher ground than following ones primal wants, needs and desires for anything and everything at anytime.

    Now that the world has a conscience (albeit many versions of one) that we call humanity it is better suited to survive as a whole. It would be silly in my mind to stop all religion and to create a totally naturalistic view for the entire world. I think if you let your mind go down that road that you could see where selfishness, personal and societal danger would quickly manifest to a point where there could easily be even MORE chaos, wars, and devastation.

  38. Ted, you say the process is unbelievable, and then replace it with something even LESS believable. After all, I have evidence, and you don’t. And last week, evolution was observed in a laboratory through the process you describe reasonably well. Except it only took a few months because bacteria have a short life span.

    Ted, GO READ A BOOK ON EVOLUTION. Seriously! Species evolve in entire populations, not one at a time. So this argument about there needing to be a male AND a female with a particular change is completely founded in ignorance. It is the same as a person from Africa who does not understand how networks work to insist that is impossible bacause how can all that data get through those tiny tubes and reoccur magically on this computer? The network is impossible–it must be God.

  39. Ted, I agree with your post re: religious people. I think evolution favored people with a religious bent, because it helped societies to thrive, and helped people not go nuts due to an inability to explain their environment. Religion is a natural by-product of intelligence.

    But that usefulness has outlived itself. Religion will irrationally destroy the human race if left alone.

    Evolution is not a guarantee that a species will survive, after all. There are a gazillion species who went extinct. There were viral strains that quickly killed their host, and thus were ineffective in spreading itself. There were birds that grew so large to fend off prey that they lost the ability to fly, and were eventually unable to migrate and went extinct.

    Humans will be just another casualty in the universe if we don’t wise up.

  40. Hi Jim, I will quote you and was hoping you could tell me what makes you think that : “Religion will irrationally destroy the human race if left alone”.
    I don’t understand why you think that, and I don’t agree at all.
    All the religions, not only the Christian, speak about good personal and moral values, how would this destroy the human race? Religion is a way to try to answer these questions why am I here for? Where do I come from? Is there life after death? and so on… We have freedom to accept the answer that best suits our culture, understanding, etc… not based on scientific proofs, but on our desire to answer these questions, (that if you are an atheist are still not answered).
    As I said before, I believe in God and Jesus Christ, not because of pseudo scientific proofs, but because it is the answer that best suits me, I can’t believe we are here just because of coincidence, and there will be nothing after we die, it is just sad and, to me, doesn’t make any sense.
    Do you really think my beliefs could be a danger for humanity? And yours not? I do think science will “rationally” destroy the human race if left alone….
    have a nice day

  41. Well, momelo, here’s one way religion is already harming people: “Another Example of Why I Think Dogma is Dangerous: Pope Condemns Condoms as a Means for Combatting AIDS in Africa” http://www.thefomerfundie.wordpress.com.

    Let’s see, science created the condom. Science has created the drugs that help people live longer and with quality of life who already have HIV/AIDS. Science is continuing to look for a cure for this horrible disease.

    And religion is:
    praying for people and telling them not to use condoms or to have sex outside of a heterosexual relationship.

    Who’s helping and who’s harming here?

  42. the web address should be: http://www.theformerfundie.wordpress.com.

    Sorry about that.

    That’s the price of writing while still angry at this outrageous statement by the pope and the damage that made up beliefs can cause!

  43. Jim,

    Let me start it a different way. How do you explain spontaneous generation?

  44. In regards to religion in a big “E” evolution scenario, If people regard life as nothing more than chemicals and that their own bodies are just environmental computers without a true soul simply responding to our environment in order for survival, then survival becomes the strongest drive of all. Not love. Not mercy. Not compassion, etc.

    If survival is the key, then all other emotions are simply manipulative. There is an ulterior motive for being loving. You reduce the world to seeking pleasure and avoiding pain with an absence of any true morals.

    How does the future look to you through this lens? If someone is annoying me, and I can get away with it, it would be beneficial for me to kill him.

    If I could get away with all sorts of what we term today as “crimes” then so much the better for me. Survival of the fittest. Me and people like me could band together and take out other races or other countries or other groups, until my supreme group could rule. There would be opposing groups thinking the same way and the cycle would never end.

  45. Ted, Spontaneous Generation is not an accepted scientific theory. What does that have to do with evolution?

  46. Momelo, sorry for the delay. Your question was a good one so I wrote an entire post in reply. Just posted a moment ago. Thanks.

  47. Spontaneous Generations most certainly *WAS* an accepted scientific theory, just like many scientific theories including an infinite universe and the many theories about the Big Bang. The scientific community changes and the theories change. You could be a man stuck in the process of time wildly defending something like a “flat earth” because you don’t know what science will reveal in the future and you leave no room for speculation.

    Do you agree with the statement: Length, Mass, Velocity and Time are relative measures, not absolute measures that relate to the velocity of the observer?

    Do you believe that time is a physical property? Do you believe that there is a finite universe? Do you believe that it is expanding? Do you believe that it is decaying or winding down? Do you believe Einstein that there is no distinction between time and space? How about the fact that Objects cannot initiate their own movement?

    ——-

    Without spontaneous generation, how do you prove that life came to be from nothingness? Where did the elements come from in the first place?

  48. You are right Ted. Spontaneous Generation was accepted around the time of Aristotle. Since then, however, new evidence has come to light and we have adapted and improved our theories on the basis of the new evidence.

    Your theory comes from a few millenia BEFORE Aristotle, and it has not been modified or improved them in the face of an ocean of conflicting evidence.

    Ted, you are the one defending the flat Earth. The Bible says the Earth is flat, and does not move (i.e., the sun revolves around us) so that is what you believe, right?

  49. Jim,
    The Bible does not say the Earth is flat.

    http://www.trueorigin.org/flatearth01.asp

    I want to comment on your statement : “But that usefulness has outlived itself. Religion will irrationally destroy the human race if left alone.”

    It is very high and mighty of you to adapt your judgement to what supposedly is billions of years of evolution!

    You say that it has outlived it’s usefulness, wow. Try saying that to the starving people that churches help to feed. Say that to the elderly who are taken care of because of biblical teachings. Say that to my daughter who loves God with all of her heart. Ask her if it is useful that she believes in Christ? Say that to a person who is dejected and destitute and spiritually hungry.

    It gives meaning and purpose and a moral structure to a life if one allows it to.

    Outlived it’s usefulness? Well, according to you time will tell (a LOT of time of evolution), not a blog or a blogger.

  50. …on the basis of new evidence you have improved your theories and conjecture.

    What new theories do you prescribe to that created life from non life Jim?

    What came first, RNA or proteins? Where did the elements come from to create it in the first place? If the elements were there, please describe the environment where they came to be. Was there Oxygen there?

  51. Oh Jim, my heart aches when I read your posts. I pray that the Lord allows your eye to be opened and to see the Truth.

  52. Jim:

    This is my final posting. I will however keep your site on my favorites listing to observe your comments and reviews.

    One of the best opologetics that I have read to prove that mankind was created by God is that we have a “conscience”.

    If we were merely products of evolution where “survival of the fittest” were an actual part of our makeup then a conscience for any type of actions would be a hinderence.

    A conscience is the seed that God imparted to us as a moral compass.

    Charles

  53. Charles, I’m glad you’ll be stopping by. Chime in any time!

    Re: the conscience. I’m quite certain it is a product of evolution as well.

  54. “If we were merely products of evolution where “survival of the fittest” were an actual part of our makeup then a conscience for any type of actions would be a hinderence.”

    To assert that the maxim ‘survival of the fittest’ precludes conscience is to pursue a very narrow definition of what constitutes fitness. In fact, you should explain what you mean when you employ the phrase, as I would like to provide you with the opportunity to show that you are not simply regurgitating the words in question, and do have an actual explanation you can share.

    “A conscience is the seed that God imparted to us as a moral compass.”

    This sounds nice, and indeed, disrupting this notion has been the source of much pain and suffering, for both the church and for philosophers (such as Hume), but it is simply a statement, not a statement of fact.

  55. kingflex:

    This is not my blog and it feels a bit awkward to reply to your comments on it.

    “Natural Selection” (Charles Darwin) or “Survival of the Fittest” (Herbert Spencer) is a concept put forth that “only the strong survive” (Jerry Butler song :o) ) in other words, as life struggles for predominance and perfection it leaves in its wake only the remnants of weaker opponents without guilt or conscience.

    Conscience is an internal guiding light to do right. It is the God gene!

    No other animal species or primates has ever been proven to harbor a conscience other than humans.

    The entire premise of evolution has based on theories and hypothesis, not Fact. If it were based on fact then it would not still be a theory.

    Jim, please excuse the open exchange on your blog.

    Charles

  56. Charles, do not feel bad or awkward. The purpose of comments is to refute/debate in any way that you want. 🙂

    The contradiction you are putting forth is not really a contradiction. “Survival of the fittest” is a paradigm that is applied by the environment to all the individuals in it. Conscience is an individual trait that allows that species to increase its odds of survival.

    If humans were to eat our young, as many theists think we would do without God, we would dramatically decrease the ability of humans to survive in the environment. If we had eaten our young before the Jews knew God, and before we knew Jesus, we would have been extinct before Jesus ever came about.

    Charles, evolution actually is a fact just as much as gravity is a fact. If you think it’s only a hypothesis, then let me pose this question to you:

    50,000,000 years ago, the earth was teeming with life–but none of those species exist today. Also …. none of the species that exist today existed 50,000,000 years ago.

    What happened?

  57. The problem is the false equation of a scientific theory with a religious belief.

    This has been pointed out enough times to anti-evolutionary stakeholders, such as Charles, that to persist in perpetuating this falsehood is to be either wholly ignorant of what you are debating or to be disingenous.

    The theory of evolution possesses no credible opponents. Let me repeat that, the theory of evolution possesses no credible opponents. None. Zero. The majority of religious attacks on the theory of evolution follow a similar pattern, disprove or simply challenge one aspect of the theory, and hey presto! The whole enterprise collapses like a house of cards. This is the fantasy that religion can simply trump reality, like having the last word in an argument. This is what Charles does with his amazing, ‘god gene’ ex/proclamation, which carries absolutely no factual weight, but appears nevertheless to have brightened your day. Let me try the same thing…

    “Carrots taste divine! Therefore, carrots contain an aspect of God. So, when I eat a carrot, I am eating God. So, all those who won’t eat carrots, they are evil. Why do they resist God?”

    Carrots are the Way.

  58. Jim:

    Life forms never did all go extinct according to educators that teach evolution.

    Religious scholars that for decades have submitted apologies that there has been more than one creation, (The Gap Theory being one).

    God has mysteries that we will never have knowledge of or understand. We are a created being made from the dust of the ground and not privy to omniscience and never will be.

    I have a question: Is kingfelix your alter ego?

  59. “God has mysteries that we will never have knowledge of or understand.”

    If you can never have knowledge of these mysteries, how are you aware of their existence?

    See, your true enemy is not atheism or evolution – it’s logic.

  60. Charles, the Gap Theory is an excellent example of Christians encountering scientific evidence and twisting the Bible into a pretzel in order to make it fit with reality.

    For those of you who don’t know, “The Gap Theory” states that an entire world was created and destroyed between Genesis 1:1 and Genesis 1:2. “1. In the Beginning, God created the Heavens and Earth. 2. And the Earth was without form, and void.” In that gap, God created one world with dinosaurs and whatnot, then decided to wipe it out and start over. From the outside (someone who sees the Bible for what it is), this is another large load on an already large pile of intellectual rubbish. Sorry Charles, you will have to do better.

    And no Kingfelix is not my alter ego. It’s odd that you think he is. You must not encounter many skeptical thinkers.

  61. I always thought The Gap Theory was that the Deity wore khaki chinos and a plaid shirt on the first Dress Down Friday of Creation…

  62. “And no Kingfelix is not my alter ego. It’s odd that you think he is. You must not encounter many skeptical thinkers.”

    There was no need to qualify ‘thinkers’…

  63. What do you think about this?:

    (1) Cosmic Evolution (the origin of space, time, matter and energy from nothing); (

    2) Chemical Evolution (the development of the higher elements from hydrogen);

    (3) Stellar and Planetary Evolution (the origin of stars and planets);

    (4) Organic Evolution (the origin of organic life from a rock);

    (5) Macro Evolution (the origin of major kinds); and

    (6) Micro Evolution (the variation within the kinds). Only the sixth phase has been observed and documented. The first five are merely assumed. Interestingly, the fourth assumption is the old doctrine of Spontaneous Generation – organic life developing from inorganic matter (a rock). The sadly comical result is that some modern day textbooks devote a chapter to the work of Francesco Redi and Louis Pasteur, and their success in disproving Spontaneous Generation. Then, a few chapters later, school kids are taught that Spontaneous Generation is the Origin of Life.

  64. That came from:
    http://www.allaboutscience.org/origin-of-life.htm

  65. I think you’re clutching at straws is what I think.

    Question for Ted:

    – How old is the Earth?

    Just a ‘X years approximately’ form of response will be more than adequate. Let’s explore your premises before debating science.

  66. Ted, I think science has very good explanations for the first four, and the last TWO have been observed and repeated.

    Speciation (macro evolution) usually takes thousands/millions of years so it’s hard to observe. But we have observed it at least four times nevertheless. http://www.skepticfiles.org/evolut/observd3.htm

    Also, just last month it happened a fifth time with bacterium in a laboratory. In a lab, a new species evolved to better defend itself against its predator. The new species was so different it couldn’t mate with the old one. Bam! Speciation!

    So Ted, if evolution isn’t true, how can you explain these actual observed accounts of one species evolving into another?

  67. Micro Evolution has been obsurved and recorded. that is to say the evoluation of the beak of different birds, the different types of horses, breeds of dogs and so on. But Macro evolution has never been observed…at least that I am unaware of. If you know of a time when a aminal gave birth to a different type of animal and it was witnessed and recorded PLEASE give me that information.

    Evolution is the believe that we evolved from monkies…..If that were possible then a monkey had to give birth to a human naturally and at that same time another monkey would to have given birth to another human and then both humans would have had to meat and “mated” in order to continue on the species. YES……

  68. Beth,

    I recommend you study evolution from people OTHER than Ray Comfort before talking about it. I’m sure you are much more intelligent than you sound. For starters read my new post (just click on the blog title above to go to it). It’s a 2-minute lesson in evolution.

    The fact that you are unaware that macro evolution has never been observed is probably because you are reading creationist literature, which is riddled with misconceptions and outright deceptions. Beth, in the comment JUST PRIOR to yours, I gave five examples of speciation–which you call macro evolution. These have all been observed examples where one species evolved from another. While I wish evolution were as simple and dramatic as you describe, no monkey ever gave birth to a human. Species evolve in entire populations, not tabloid-style freaky birth accidents. The fact that you insist that that must have happened indicates that you do not understand evolution.

  69. “and at that same time another monkey would to have given birth to another human and then both humans would have had to meat and “mated” in order to continue on the species. YES……”

    Actually, NO. You propose a situation that itself does not fit with speciation, ie: populations becoming geographically separated and evolving apart over time due to different selection pressures.

    I have never heard this nonsense before, and I’m of the opinion that if you thought this up for yourself, fine, but if this position comes from what you’ve been exposed to, as fact, then you have been lied to big-time.

  70. Leave your pride at the door. Taking time out of your day to ridicule and give your falsely opinions on this matter…come on you certainly can find better things to do. If you dont have good things to say, dont say anything at all 🙂 Jesus is the truth, He is Lord. Praise to the Lord whose Glory shines through His creation!

  71. Science is not creating anything; only discovering what has already been created. God is amazing!

  72. Kari — while I don’t agree that you shouldn’t say anything if it isn’t good, let me say this.

    What I’m saying is WONDERFUL. You just don’t see it that way. Luckily for me, you’re not in charge of what is good or bad.

    Jesus is not the truth. He is not Lord. If he existed at all, he was just a man whose teaching you have grossly misinterpretted.

    I do agree that Science is only discovering, though. That’s where we can start.

  73. I do actually believe in God. It is just that the God that dominates the culture I was born into, the Christian God, is incompatible with my morality.

    It is worth pondering that science can place men on the moon, but can’t create a rock. Matter remains a mystery, as does life.

    The practice of science as we know it today was pioneered by religiously minded men, who saw that an enquiry into truth was an act of reverence, that man did not taint creation by investigating its properties, but that, quite the contrary, the truth was dishonoured through ignorance and superstition.

    “I do agree that Science is only discovering, though. That’s where we can start.”

    I am not in agreement with this. Science is no longer just discovery. As Hannah Arendt discusses, scientific understanding has reached a point, such as with nuclear fission, where mankind can ‘act into’ nature, and unleash processes that would not have occurred otherwise in the natural world. This is effectively to create what was not there in the world. I make the point because she places such a process as being the culmination of the Enlightenment project to dominate nature.

    This last point is where a religious person (as a subset of the larger group, ‘intellectuals’) might make a genuine intervention, in terms of posing moral questions about what sort of society results from such a project, but the point is, that would require a fundamental critique of every part of the prevailing orthodoxies, and can’t simply be accomplished by saying things like “Jesus is Lord” etc, and adding a Smiley.

  74. Each line of Kari’s first post could be considered a cliche, prima facie evidence of not being able (or willing) to formulate one’s own thoughts.

  75. 1 Corinthians 3:19:
    For the wisdom of this world is foolishness to God. As the Scriptures say,

    “He traps the wise
    in the snare of their own cleverness.”

  76. Better to not be wise, like Chris.

  77. kingfelix… http://www.reasons.org/deep-core-tests-age-earth

  78. Ted, I read that link–pretty good!! Those people are not young-earth creationists, and at least that article seems like very sound science. Not only does it show the earth to be at least 740,000 years old, it actually shows more than that. It shows that *That Ice* is 740,000 years old. Due to continental drift, we can account for millions of more years in addition to that.

  79. Thanks, Ted, I’ll look at it, thanks. So far, you are the only oppositional voice on here that has shown any respect to ‘the other side’, and been prepared to engage in a discussion that uses reason (to some extent), rather than smugly recite scripture and/or demonstrate a profound deficit with regards to the employment of the English language. For that, I tip my hat to you.

  80. From the same site, astonishing rubbish:

    “From a biblical perspective, the advent of continents plays a critical role in God’s transformation of Earth from “formless and void” to an environment teeming with diverse life-forms. In fact, the formation of continents warrants mention as one of the miracles performed on the third day of creation. The formation and motion of continents plays an important role in the history and development of Earth’s habitability from a scientific perspective as well.”

    I’ll repeat that astonishing sentence for those who missed it –

    “In fact, the formation of continents warrants mention as one of the miracles performed on the third day of creation.”

    If the hocus pocus was removed, this site would go from being half-decent to being decent. The above quote reminds me of that scientific analysis of the physical forces etc that would make Santa’s task impossible.

  81. “In fact, the formation of continents warrants mention as one of the miracles performed on the third day of creation.”

    It really can’t be quoted too often, as it will never fail to produce industrial levels of cognitive dissonance.

  82. Hmmm, so I suppose that all who have posted (on this site) their LOL’s about God’s creation are so imminently omnipotent that he/she need not believe in anything? Science: n. knowledge gained by observation and experiment. Experiment: n. a test to learn about the unknown or or to verify that which is known. Humans spend a lifetime attempting to verify unknown. If you are intelligent, I am happy for you. If you don’t believe God exists, you are missing out. He is the Great Scientist. And that’s the truthiest truth in all of truthville. Amen

  83. Regarding Ida, I read this quote and thought it was good enough to post on this thread…

    “When you listen to Darwinists, they claim their theory is as well established as gravity,” Wells told WND. “If that were really the case, we wouldn’t be getting these startling announcements that we finally found the proof that we need. There wouldn’t be any controversy. This would be like someone running up and saying, ‘Stop the presses. I just saw another apple fall from the tree; Newton was right!’ In the evolutionists’ own framework, it’s nonsense. It demonstrates their theory is not as well established as they claim.”

  84. kingfelix,

    I understand that you are astonished that the site mentioned the third day of creation, etc.

    They have a biblical bias/bent. I understand this. They are using science to try to prove that the Bible is indeed accurate and that science can prove that there is a possibility for a creator and a possibility for the Christian God.

    Their science is good. Their premise is fine as long as you know that it is their premise. Frankly, I feel the same way about some secular scientists. Some have an irreligious bias/bent so much so that they won’t even entertain the possibility so in a truly scientific point of view, they are not leaving the experiments up to themselves, but are forcibly trying to prove certain possibilities impossible.

    I think both camps are fine, because I’m really for balance and a system that checks itself and can be self correcting because of the various points of view. I get scared if one camp becomes too powerful and disallows opposing points of view and disregards them as rubbish, dangerous, heretical, etc.

    I would not wish another Inquisition or Holocaust on humanity.

  85. geez…

    so we’re watching clouds one day, and you see one in the shape of an elephant. however, I think the exact same cloud looks like a giraffe.

    but, does it really matter who’s right? a third party might think the cloud resembles a dog.

    who the fuck really cares about its similarity to a cross, eh?! I don’t think that’s REALLY the point of the message among Christians.

    I would like 5 minutes of my life back now.

  86. Clynners,

    I agree with you completely. It is similar to finding Jesus in a Cheeto.

  87. Wow. What’s with all the idiots hounding atheist blogs?

  88. “they are not leaving the experiments up to themselves, but are forcibly trying to prove certain possibilities impossible.”

    Ha! Of course, if they didn’t tweak the dials, angels would appear in the test tube, dancing!

    It explains so much…

  89. That quote was for the so called secular scientists who try to forcibly prove certain possibilities like God, miracles, supernatural… as impossible.

  90. But Ted, the person who commented that was commenting on *The Media’s* response to this–not any scientist’s response. It’s the blind leading the blind.

    If you read any scientific blog about Ida, you will find them scoffing at the notion that “this is the missing link.” Evolutionary scientists understand that EVERY fossil is a transitional species, so to call Ida “THE” missing link is just silly. So the person who said that quote was assuming that how the media translate scientific discoveries is doing it accurately. So the quote shows a double-ignorant approach.

  91. Jim,

    Fair enough.

  92. I saw the youtube sermon you mentioned, and then found your post. The thing is, I don’t think the sermon was trying to prove that God is true, or that the diagram for laminin is proof of anything biblically. I don’t deny that some people may interpret it that way, but that isn’t the preacher’s fault. His was a message to people who already believe, or who may come to faith in other ways, I took it simply as a “isn’t this a neat reminder, and interesting metaphor, for what we already believe”?

  93. God did not creat the laminin molicule not to look like a cross to show us his existance. his existance can be seen in everything around us. this is just one of his finger prints left during creation. when someone makes somthing they leave a finger print plain and simple.

  94. Do you think that God created a cross-shaped molecule to communicate with humanity? If so, what is the message? And why didn’t God care about anyone prior to the invention of the electron microscope?

    that’s an interesting series of questions. I wonder how your exchange with the guys at http://www.reasons.org would evolve…

    they’ve got a pretty interesting take on this stuff, for religious folk.

    j

  95. Jim, you say continental drift is proof of the world’s age. it is not, because the reason for the plates moving has more than the possibility that the world is 765 Billion years old or whatever.

    the Bible has an explanation too.

    Think of the story of noah’s ark, I’m sure you’re familiar with it

    there was an enormous flood that lasted for over 100 days (yeah I know the rain only lasted 40).

    where could all that water have come from? we have never seen anything like rain lasting for 40 days that could flood the whole planet.

    and why are there huge ridges all through the oceans?

    well, we all know that there is water under the earth’s crust.

    maybe at one time there was more water under the crust, and when the flood happened, the crust broke open all around the earth, pushing the continents apart in one go, and due the the extreme pressure that had just been released, the water burst through the cracks, miles high, and then gravity reminded (I know, gravity can’t talk) the water of its existence and brought the water back down as rain.

    I’m just saying, you have to look at all possibilities before you say that continental drift is proof of an old planet.

    this is an interesting discussion, btw, and I’ll be back to read more

  96. That’s funny stuff.

    Abby has a belief, X.

    Y conflicts with X.

    Abby suggests Z, solely, it seems, on the basis that it does not conflict with X.

    ***

    Jim, glad you’re back. I have one question that the Christians might wish to throw light upon –

    Why is the Book of Genesis written in the third person? Who is the narrator?

  97. Hey guys, as a Registered Nurse and Christian, I would like to address this “find”. Science is what it is. Simply science. It should not be used to prove or disprove God’s existence. He doesn’t need science to speak for Him. You don’t convince someone into Christianity / Faith through arguments or debates. If one is convinced by such ways, one can be convinced of other Faiths, atheism, etc through stronger / better arguments or debates. “No man comes to the Father unless the Spirit draws him”. One has to be convicted the Holy Ghost. “Not by might, not by power, but by My Spirit saith the Lord”. Lay down your arguments / debates – you will accomplish more on your knees in intercessory prayer.

  98. Then, Theresa, equally, God should not be used to disprove or disprove scientific theories to serve the religious ends of Creationists, etc.

    What you state is nothing but the old Kantian distinction of ‘making space for God’

    The part about accomplishing more on your knees in intercessory prayer, that’s funny, I almost dropped my chalice of virgin blood reading that.

  99. Actually, “God” above, would involve primarily the privileging of scripture over science, along with the “There can’t be something out of nothing…” therefore, God, therefore, etc… basically, any recourse in a scientific debate to that which is unscientific.

    Science actually has bothered little with God, it is those who hold to certain ‘truths’ about Creation, the Age of the World, etc, who have felt science intrude on their beliefs and have risen up and responded with Creationism and so forth. If you could be honest, if the Bible said “God created man from monkeys” and scientists then confirmed this, you’d be here to tell the world how great that science is.

    Let me repeat it – for you, science is not the problem, it’s what science has discovered.

  100. Mr Kingfelix,

    You are correct. God shouldn’t be “used” to prove or disprove Scientific theories, etc. I am not here to debate or argue with you. My position is to admonish Christians to stop arguing & debating in the name of God. It is unnecessary and a complete waste of time.

    I’m not understanding what you find so funny about a person being on their knees and praying. I hope that you are a Gentleman & not insulting a Lady. Yes, I know that there are very few true ladies these days. But, rest assured, you have just met one. I am 100% Lady and being as modest as I can about this; I know that you are an educated man & get my drift.

    As for Science, I have utmost appreciation and respect for it. Without it, I would be of very little assistance to my patients. It provides me with the state of the art tools / knowledge that I need to give the best of care that can possibly be rendered. I don’t recall stating or implying that “science is the problem”. Science doesn’t intrude on my beliefs.

    P.S. I tried to figue out how to post my pic so that you could see who you are talking to — sorry couldn’t figure it out. 🙂

    Have a pleasant day.

  101. Theresa, please understand that on the internet, everyone is faceless, genderless, and raceless. Your opinion stands on its own merit, and you should not be treated any differently on any of these bases.

    But I do find an urgent call to intercessory prayer mildly amusing myself, and also somewhat tragic. While I believe prayer can benefit the pray-er, it affects absolutely nothing else, and scientific studies have proven it.

    However … I do recommend all Christians heed your advice and stop trying to support their world view in any sort of logical framework, because it isn’t supportable in such a manner.

  102. Jim,

    Understood. Heard ya loud & clear.

    1. NO Ladies.
    2. NO Gentlemen.
    3. Just strictly opinions.

    Gottcha!!

    Appreciate you taking the time to educate me. Priceless!!

  103. Sorry if that seemed condescending, but it seemed as if you felt we would treat you differently if only we knew what a great looking lady you are.

    Well … I can’t speak for Felix, but I don’t really care.

  104. No apology necessary. I wasn’t commenting on my looks. It’s the eyes that count. You know who you’re dealing with when you see the eyes. The eyes tell a lot about one’s person. I see your eyes; but, you can’t see mine. 😉

    Like I said, I gottcha!

  105. You are mocking your creator… not so good idea.. you think.

  106. I’ll bet you $1000 he doesn’t do anything. Care to take me up on it?

  107. Greetings.

    I’ve been enjoying these comments quite a bit, as well as your blog in general.

    I like finds like this, not so much for their accuracy, but because it’s an excellent snapshot of mankind. As much as we try to strut around with our superior intellect, looking down on all of the “primitive” understandings of previous generations, we’re all still Man…. we still go nuts for things like MJ’s death and Laminin crosses.

    It seems like we haven’t really changed that much at all. We just like to think we have and make fun of everyone else because of it. I like people.

  108. i totally disagree. this is proof that god is what holds us together! AMEN!!!!!!!!!

  109. I agree with Bradleys last point, but what is Jim’s perspective or side on the issue. It just seems like he love to instigate and or divide and conquer. Personally, I would like so see what side Jim is on, to better understand where he is coming from, so I can formulate a better rebuttal or response if you will. But even if he was being the objective observer what is the point. I can easily use the argument supoorting the point of Gods existence, by the following line of questioning: Can you see the wind? Does it mean that its not there? How can we prove that the wind exists? – The same with sight, because in actuality we are only “seeing” the reflection of everytyhing we see, aren’t we?

    But the point I want to make is that, if we tell you God exists, you won’t belive. We get you physical evidence that God exists, you think its not justified or good enough, what will it take?

    And that little challenge about nothing happening to you Jim. Look at Paul, he use to kill Christians, now he wrote 3/4 of the new testament. You better watch out. LOL…

    i’m ready and waiting to hear or read what you are going to say…ez

  110. Peter — physical evidence that God exists? I would LOVE that … and gladly renounce my atheism if you could provide it. (Seriously.)

    Laminin is definitely not going to cut it though. There are much better likenesses of ganesha in a flower (another blog post of mine). Plus, I once saw a turd in the shape of Santa!

    Heheh …

  111. Yeah… I try to steer clear of promoting physical evidence. There will always be naysayers. Ironically, any proposed physical evidence quickly gets explained away, scientifically, because… well, it carries with it the qualities of being real. Of course there’s an explanation.

    One cool thing that can’t be missed, though. Even if one can deny tangible evidence, no one can dismiss the impact on the tangible. Whether we’re Christian, Islamic, Hindu, Pastafarian, or Blahbleeblah… it’s all food for our soul– some fatty, some nutritious.

    And, our perspective of what’s fatty or nutritious evolves as much with society as it does personally. It’s only the perspective that evolves though…

  112. The scientific method includes reproducible experiments and observation, using test groups and control groups to isolate the specific attributes being studied, eliminating other variables.

    For inquiries about our origins, the scientific method is of extremely limited applicability, because we weren’t there.

  113. I couldn’t help but notice, at the top of the web page it states “an ex-Christian finding sanity in an insane world”……..how does one who would first of all call himself a Christian become a non-christian? Not sure I know how that happens. It would seem to me that IF you at one point called yourself a Christian then you would know that a true experience with God and Jesus would not allow any room for the term EX-Christian. I mean I know this sounds stupid but you don’t have an ex-mother or an ex-father. How can you have an ex-Heavenly Father? To be a Christian is to say you are sold out to the cause of Christ, how can you become UN-sold out to Christ? Just curious. I am a born again Christian and yes I have fallen and sinned and made mistakes, but I don’t see how you could simply and casually throw out what you once held to be fact.

  114. Don, I’ve been informed many times of your opinion.

    Apparently I was never a true Christian, or I could never have de-converted. Either I was a wolf in sheep’s clothing, or my faith wasn’t quite strong enough, or it was pure pretense.

    This opinion makes you feel better, so good for you. However, you insult me by insinuating that my experience isn’t genuine. It really is a terrible argument, and your biological metaphor does not fit.

    A person can believe something, then they can change their mind about it. It’s pretty simple really.

  115. Don, many people believe a Christian just has to believe in God, to an extent, and goto church on Sundays.

    I have to say that I’ve enjoyed these comments to an extent. I’m a Christian and that will never change. Some people don’t believe in God yet, and some people will never believe. As Christians it’s our duty to “convert the world”, but at what cost? Jim KNOWS that it is not possible to prove God. We cannot do that. We can’t prove something that you cannot physically see, hear, or touch. I KNOW that I couldn’t goto someone and say, “Hey look at God, see that?”. No, I can’t do that and neither can any other Christian.

    What is the point of my post?

    God will never be real to someone that believes that everything has a rational answer. But, the thing a Christian can do is pray that God intervenes in a way that has no rational answer.

    Jim, I don’t know if you’ll ever believe in God, but I appreciate that you believe in something and back it up as best as possible. I also believe we are both on a mission of trying to make the world a better place. You with information and giving people your opinion, scientific or not, and me with changing hearts.

    I would love to see the Christians work harder with caring for the world rather than changing the world. When you care for someone it’s one of the greatest things to do. It doesn’t matter what religion or belief you have. If you affect someone in a positive way it is such a blessing.

    Take Care!

  116. Thanks David. I like your approach.

  117. @David – agreed. The first thing Jesus did in nearly every biblical situation.. is serve. He fed the hungry, clothed the poor, etc… and THEN he brought His message. He always tended to their physical needs before he tended to their spiritual ones. More Christians (myself included many times) could learn to follow the *actual* examples set forth by the cornerstone of our belief system.

    @Jim – I understand your resistance to “non-physical” evidence of God. I love science. I have a fairly high IQ. I work in a profession where logic and “absolutes” dictate my everyday work (software engineering). I feel your pain. I have put my faith up against the fires of doubt many times.

    But while science has (and will continue to) explain the “how” of the world around us, it does nothing for a “why”. You could argue that I have a sense of grandiosity, or that I have a character (or nurturing) flaw that makes me feel I need purpose for myself and my universe. However, the basic tenets of psycho-social development (as well as life-long observation) tell me that I’m not alone in this desire by any means. In fact, *not* having, or suppressing this desire is the scientifically abnormal view.

    That being said, it appears that one cannot rely on physical science alone to pursue the totality of knowledge in the universe. Things like purpose, common morality, “non-survival related” compassion and love for others, hope, etc, etc… all get left in the lurch.

    In addition, demanding tangible evidence of something intangible is as irrational as asking someone to prove a skyscraper using only love.

    In the end, either you think there is a purpose to your existence (and our physical universe) or you don’t. If you don’t, you’re in the minority (psychologically speaking). If you do, then exploring the notion of a God who created us for a loving purpose isn’t that much of a leap considering you just made the humongous jump past your own physical senses.

    In this respect, (most) Christians are far from delusional… including the ones who seek to link the patterns found in their physical knowledge quest with the patterns found in their intangible knowledge quest. Certainly not everything is a link, but it’s very likely that not everything is coincidence either.

    Jamison

  118. It just shows how an ignorant theist can feed the ignorance of all theists and atheists.

    Now all atheists are convinced that all theists are that stupid and vice versa.

  119. Jim, after reading your blog and your obvious surprise that someone would try to defend their faith using science, I felt compelled to respond. Science and Christianity are not mutually exclusive. In fact, it seems that there is a wealth of scientific data that supports Biblical principles.

    Even when considering the Big Bang Theory, it is recognized that there is no plausible explanation as to why the events unfolded as they did and that some supernatural event had to occur in order for the universe to expand. When one considers this and the fact that the earth is exactly the distance from the sun to sustain life and that if we were any further away or closer we would either burn up or freeze. Do you think that is by coincidence?

    Additionally, until recently there was much debate as to whether or not all of mankind descended from one woman. Now scientists have shown that all humans descended from one woman though the mitochondrial DNA found in each person’s genetic makeup/DNA. Just to consider the complexity and structure of the human body in and of itself is amazing. Do you think that happened by chance?

    Also due to genetic markers, geneticists believe, the “mitochondrial Eve”, the earliest human ancestor, that was found in Africa, lived there. This aligns closely with where the Bible indicates that the human race began. The Bible indicates the Garden of Eden was located near northern Africa, near the Great Rift System. Geographic expeditions have uncovered finds that also indicate that this area was, or was in close proximity, to the area where humans originated which would further support this. I do not believe that this is a coincidence. Do you?

    These are only a few things to consider. There are so many more. There is a wealth of scientific, mathematic, literary, historical, and geographic evidence that supports what the Bible states throughout. So much so that it is overwhelming. There have also been brilliant scientists who believed in God. Some are: Robert Boyle, Isaac Newton, Gregor Mendal, William Thomson Kelvin, Alister McGrath, Max Planck, and George R. Price to name a few. And let us not forget that even Albert Einstein not only recognized that there was a God, but his quest to better understand God’s thinking is what spurred him on to some of the greatest scientific discoveries our world has ever known. Now if these brilliant scientists who revolutionized modern thinking knew there was a God, then what evidence has caused you to doubt in the validity of a God? The evidence is all around you – an intricate and systematic universe along with everything in it.

    Honestly, I truly believe that you have to possess more faith to believe that there is not a God than to believe there is one. But in either case, try it out. Set out to purposely disprove/prove the Bible. I do not know of anyone that has been able to disprove it and some brilliant people have tried. They ended up as believers.

    The content of my response was not an attack on you personally or any other atheist. It was meant to demonstrate the connection between science and God. I wish you all the best and I truly hope that you do try to disprove the Bible. I just ask that you let me know what you find. God bless you.
    Missy M.

  120. I have enjoyed all of your postings and find most of you to be clever, intelligent individuals. We all have our biases, mine is that of a Roman Catholic, which will give you a glimpse as to my basis for my view of the world. I have studied many other theologies and am continually questioning all in my quest for knowledge and answers. That being said to show you where I am coming from I would like to add my two cents to the postings as well. Just to add food for thought, I am not trying to convert anyone. I also love to play devil’s advocate so to speak as you will see…Now to add to the questions that have been posed here…
    “Where did all the mass in the universe come from?” The question in and of itself is of limited thinking don’t you think. In looking at the scope of the universe is there truly a finite beginning? Why does something have to have a start? Just because humans have difficulty conceiving infinity does not mean it doesn’t exist. Why can’t the universe have no beginning and no end? If we follow this theory then in essence is not God the universe?
    “Where is there one place on earth that life in any form (still) poofs into existance?” Depends what you mean by ‘poofs’. Life out of nothing, cannot come up with any examples at this time – doesn’t mean it hasn’t happened at all throughout all of history, I just can’t think of any. If you mean new breed or strains suddenly appearing, then I say it happens all the time. Especially with viruses and bacteria, but even with new animals and plant life, some assisted by man others by nature.
    “How can you find God?” This would all be based on your beliefs would it not? Some find him in all things around us in nature. Is he in the whisper of the wind or the blast from the raging storm? Depending on the person the answer would be wind, storm, both, neither. I guess the true answer is you have to have faith to find him. He can be present in all things or he can be absent infinitum, it is the faith of the individual that determines the presence of God. Faith is the confident belief in the truth, value, or trustworthiness of a person, idea, or thing that does not rest on logical proof or material evidence.

    “If you were God how would you communicate with man / woman?” This answer could be a book unto itself. Personally it would depend on my mood. If I were God and in my show off, so the drama attitude, I would light up the heavens voice booming loud and clear as I watched the mortals tremble and fall to their knees. If I were in my playful mood, I would appear to different people in different forms just to watch the drama unfold as humans tried to decipher my messages and put two and two together. If I were in my just get to the point mood I would have to agree with Jim’s view I would present myself in a clear and unerring fashion and communicate my desires in a concise and comprehensive manner. Yes I know some would argue that he did that with Moses and the Ten Commandments, however the rebuttal to this is why hasn’t he returned to everyone in a more direct method to speak to all of us? The answer you have to have faith, unfortunately most of us our doubting Thomas’s and we must see to believe. The ever present quandary, if you can’t believe without seeing will you be able to believe what you see?

    “Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.” – Keep the Faith

  121. “Do you think that God created a cross-shaped molecule to communicate with humanity?” No I don’t believe God created the cross-shaped molecule in an attempt to communicate. I think it is more of an artist’s signature. It is a ‘coolness factor’ nothing more, no hidden meaning. Have you ever taken a picture of a sunset right before the sun has completely dropped below the horizon? Sometimes the way the light is captured forms a cross in the sky. Is this a message, probably not; however I still think it is cool to capture and it personally shows me a reminder of God’s presence because I think of him when I see it. Just like this molecule, I thought of him when I saw it and thought now that is kind of cool.

    “If these things are “signs from god” then perhaps God is a universalist, and all religions are true and from God, because all religions find these amazing, miraculous examples of their iconography in the strangest places.” Who is to say you are not far off the mark with this statement? What is to say that Allah, Elijah, the Great Spirit, Zeus, Jehovah, and many others are not the same God? The essence of most religions is: be kind to one another, keep to the good path, and spread the good news. Yes some have gone further into over-zealousness which has caused war and persecution the world round. I myself cannot follow the logic of killing the infidels myself but I know that man has digressed in any battle that was fought over religious differences. Yes even the Catholic Church has had human leaders take the dark path. What we must remember is that it is not a flaw with the church doctrine but in the humans that stray.

    “Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.” – Keep the Faith

  122. “the burden of proof is on you that we are more than the sum total of our parts. I attribute it all to DNA, which is material.” I have to rebut that if this were the case would not all identical twins act exactly the same? They have basically the same DNA structure yet some are quite opposite in personality and manner. If chemical makeup and DNA were the only factors then identical twins would have to have similar mannerism and personalities. Therefore there must exist, other factors, be they divine or earthly in nature, which define us, proving that we are more than the sum of our parts. Whether or not it is spiritual is open for another debate.

    “If God does not exist then why does all things that exist abide by rules of mathematics?” They don’t we are constantly finding things or reactions that do not abide by the formulas set forth. There are consistently exceptions to the rule. Unfortunately because of the nature of God, beyond our realm of understanding, it is impossible to prove or disprove the existence of God, unless God materialized in front of each and every one of us and answered all our questions there would still be the unanswered questions that are the basis for arguments for and against the existence of God. For every fact presented on either side there will always exist that glimmer of doubt / hope that creates exception to the findings. It is also subject to interpretation by the presenter AND the audience. Can we prove beyond doubt the existence of God? No one can, however we also cannot prove beyond hope the absence of God either. It falls to the intangible, faith, hope, and love. There is no physical proof that can be presented in any of these cases.

    “Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.” – Keep the Faith

  123. “On what basis do you, as an individual, decide what is true and what is not? How can you, as an individual, rely upon the accuracy of your own perceptions to make these decisions?” In reality you can’t which is where hope and faith comes in. You have to hope that the reality of your perceptions is the truth or that in your quest for the truth you realize that your perceptions were inaccurate and you are granted the wisdom to see the flaw. I only have my own personal experience, the knowledge I have acquired, and intelligence & instinct to go on as my guides. I have to have faith that my elders and teachers imparted upon me truth in my education; however I have to have the wisdom and foresight to question everything and not accept everything at face value. I myself think that the bible is a great source for guidance and a moralistic compass; unfortunately I cannot honestly say I believe it to be 100% accurate and infallible, after all it was written by inspired humans not God himself. It has also been translated numerous times which adds to its degree of potential inaccuracy. For example the commandment ‘Thou shalt not kill’ lost in translation the actual commandment ‘Thou shalt not murder’ if we were unable to kill we would all starve. I know what you vegetarians are thinking, you can stop right there plants are living as well. If you are not allowed to kill then you can enjoy this rock with a side of dirt but be careful to make sure you remove all the living organisms off of it first.

    “Religion will irrationally destroy the human race if left alone” Religious zealots, quite possibly, if left unchecked, destroying the human race may not be that far off the mark. However I have to argue that it is religious influence that holds society together giving us our moral compass. In his farewell address, George Washington said, “You can’t have National morality apart from religious principle,” Survival of the fittest and human instinct do not provide a moral compass. Volunteering, compassion, love for one another lose their appeal and magnetism without religion. There is no logical reason to help anyone if you do not get something in return. Without Karma, conscience, retribution for sin, or whatever philosophy imparted to you by religion, anarchy soon must follow. Without divine consequences there is no reason to do the right thing. Sure some may argue that you must follow the law or face judicial punishment however if we remove religion it surely cannot be long before those laws that were originally based on religious principle are abolished or altered. Prime example of this is just look at society; we have started to remove God from the equation, removing him from schools, public places and documents. ‘An attempt to cast God out of America’, as some have put it. Compare society now with society of the 40’s and 50’s, there is no comparison. Society is in a downward spiral because we have attempted to separate out religion. I believe that the absence of God will ultimately destroy the human race. It is not an argument on whether or not God exists; it is an argument on whether or not religious principle contributes or hinders to the progress and development of the human race. Without a doubt the last 50 years has shown that removal of any religious compass has hindered society. We may be more technologically superior and scientifically advanced than our predecessors however we have really slipped moralistically. Do I believe we could have achieved the technological or scientific discoveries that we have if we had still kept religion intact? Absolutely! I think society would probably be a better place for it than what we have today.

    “Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.” – Keep the Faith

  124. All of you need to take a break, go back to your (albeit polite) corners and do some study.

    You misters Christian, do not even have awareness of the document that defends you the most, though the last part (the “truth” of Jesus, what a joke!) of it is based on a fallacy as big as the truth in the first two parts.

    You, senor Atheist are not aware of the document that proves you wrong, through mathematics and scientific (promise!) evidence. I also warn you that the third part is based on flawed “logic” as opposed to previous reason, and actually refuted by parts 1 & 2, go figure.

    All of you, go read De Docta Ignorantia (On Learned Ignorance) by Nicolaus of Cusa, and start your argument over.

    It is amazing how something as simple as a line, a triangle, and a sphere can prove so much, and just as amazing that the same “divinely inspired” writer can take those proofs and completely ignore it because they wish to believe in Christ.


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