Creationist Scientist Wants Airtime on Cosmos for Creationist Views

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Vigormortis:
I still occasionally catch an episode or two. If only because it's still fascinating, and a bit uplifting, to hear that rare caller that, after hearing the counter-points to their arguments and thinking on them for just a moment, starts to question their long-held beliefs. You can just feel the walls of a closed-mind starting to break down. You know that they're starting to think for themselves for the first time in a long time. (even if, in the end, they decide to retain their faith it's still good to see someone thinking outside of dogma and rhetoric)

This rarely happens, sadly. But, when it does, it's nice to hear.

I too love to listen to some of Aron Ra's videos and lectures. He and Matt Dillahunty helped me gain a better understanding and appreciation of what the Bible and other religious texts contain and what religions actually stand for. (and the dangers therein)

Though, I do harbor a bit of resentment for the two of them as, because of them, I actually sat down some years ago and read the Bible from cover to cover. Both new and old testaments.

So it's because of them that I read one of the most repugnant pieces of literature in human history...

I like those ones too, though my favorites otherwise is Tracie Harris shows about the history of judaism, how to used to be many gods and how it kind of fused with canaanite religion, how the original hebrew actually has several gods that have later all been translated as the Lord, or God, but were originally separate entities and that's why you have god arguing with himself and such. (Yahwe and El are two separate gods and the Elohim is an entire pantheon). Israel means struggle with god, but the funny thing is that the god isn't Yawhe, the monotheist god, it's El, the head of the canaanite pantheon, the Elohim.

Also your comment about the best call ins made me think of this one:

Vigormortis:

Cerebrawl:

I've learned most of the formal and informal fallacies by heart in the process of standing up to this sort of ignorance. Basically going from "wait, that's not logical" to "it's this particular logical fallacy and this is how it works and why you're wrong". Hey at least I learned something.

Why do I get the feeling you're a regularly viewer of The Atheist Experience?

SilverStuddedSquirre:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jSJV8mC8GYk

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TpkjTn11DPM

Here it is.

So...

Do we consider it "divine justice" that this dick-bag not only lost another of his shows but has also become a mockery in two continents?

Who? Penn Jillette? Or the Host? Your question is unclear to me. I am unaware of which of these two lost a show and is a Mockery. My $20 is on the CNN guy though.

Cerebrawl:

Vigormortis:
I still occasionally catch an episode or two. If only because it's still fascinating, and a bit uplifting, to hear that rare caller that, after hearing the counter-points to their arguments and thinking on them for just a moment, starts to question their long-held beliefs. You can just feel the walls of a closed-mind starting to break down. You know that they're starting to think for themselves for the first time in a long time. (even if, in the end, they decide to retain their faith it's still good to see someone thinking outside of dogma and rhetoric)

This rarely happens, sadly. But, when it does, it's nice to hear.

I too love to listen to some of Aron Ra's videos and lectures. He and Matt Dillahunty helped me gain a better understanding and appreciation of what the Bible and other religious texts contain and what religions actually stand for. (and the dangers therein)

Though, I do harbor a bit of resentment for the two of them as, because of them, I actually sat down some years ago and read the Bible from cover to cover. Both new and old testaments.

So it's because of them that I read one of the most repugnant pieces of literature in human history...

I like those ones too, though my favorites otherwise is Tracie Harris shows about the history of judaism, how to used to be many gods and how it kind of fused with canaanite religion, how the original hebrew actually has several gods that have later all been translated as the Lord, or God, but were originally separate entities and that's why you have god arguing with himself and such. (Yahwe and El are two separate gods and the Elohim is an entire pantheon). Israel means struggle with god, but the funny thing is that the god isn't Yawhe, the monotheist god, it's El, the head of the canaanite pantheon, the Elohim.

Also your comment about the best call ins made me think of this one:

WOW, I am still chortling about that. He fell to the Unicorn argument XD

SilverStuddedSquirre:

Who? Penn Jillette? Or the Host? Your question is unclear to me. I am unaware of which of these two lost a show and is a Mockery. My $20 is on the CNN guy though.

I'll put it this way: I have a lot of respect for the one that performs magic, not the one that believes in it.

The "divine justice" was a jab at Morgan. He's a laughing stock both here in the States and in much of northern Europe.

someone should tell him that the creationist theory is not represented for the same reason that the flat Earth theory is not represented.

Vigormortis:

SilverStuddedSquirre:

Who? Penn Jillette? Or the Host? Your question is unclear to me. I am unaware of which of these two lost a show and is a Mockery. My $20 is on the CNN guy though.

I'll put it this way: I have a lot of respect for the one that performs magic, not the one that believes in it.

The "divine justice" was a jab at Morgan. He's a laughing stock both here in States but in much of northern Europe.

"Not the one that believes in it" XD I LOLed. I'm glad though, that people realize he is a silly, silly man.

I like how the Creationist is a scientist of astronomy and physics and is debating a biological concept. A completely trustworthy source there.

Nooners:
Or, you know. All science that we see everywhere is true because God did it. Why is it so hard for these two views to coexist? God made the universe able to run on science. He made it with a firmly established set of rules for physics, biology, geology, etc, etc... Why is this so hard to understand?

THANK YOU!!!!!!!! I'm so glad I finally found SOMEONE who sees the obvious. Go! Spread the good word! ;)

SilverStuddedSquirre:

SilverStuddedSquirre:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jSJV8mC8GYk

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TpkjTn11DPM

Here it is.

Yeah, so apparently I get a warning for this as it is "Low content" and I don't bring enough to the discussion, by Virtue of too few words on the Screen? So here a some more words!

Babble babble bitch bitch rebel rebel party party Blah blah blah got your lovey-dovey sad and loneley stick your stupid slogan in and everybody sing!

There you go Escapist - is that more relevant now?

...you just called attention to it. You might not have gotten a warning this time - I think you were past low content. But calling attention to it like that? Yeah, you probably just guaranteed yourself a second warning :(

Bleidd Whitefalcon:

SilverStuddedSquirre:

SilverStuddedSquirre:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jSJV8mC8GYk

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TpkjTn11DPM

Here it is.

Yeah, so apparently I get a warning for this as it is "Low content" and I don't bring enough to the discussion, by Virtue of too few words on the Screen? So here a some more words!

Babble babble bitch bitch rebel rebel party party Blah blah blah got your lovey-dovey sad and loneley stick your stupid slogan in and everybody sing!

There you go Escapist - is that more relevant now?

...you just called attention to it. You might not have gotten a warning this time - I think you were past low content. But calling attention to it like that? Yeah, you probably just guaranteed yourself a second warning :(

I know, It's deliberate. I sent a very reasonable request to please actually look at my post, and its context and see that there was no need for me to add commentary. I am pretty sure the warning was issued by a content algorithm and not a person.
I just wanted to bring to attention that more words does not equal more relevant discussion, just more text.

/edit

This rule about low content: I assume it is to reduce posts consisting of just "I agree!" and the Like, which I understand. I also understand that you need 5 warnings or so before a ban? I only hope to highlight that a warning for what I posted is Silly, as there is in fact, about 20 mins of video content in my "low content" post

also I have noticed since becoming active on the forums that more warnings seem to bee issued for format than for actually being offensive. I'm pretty sure I offended somebody in this thread, though I have received no warnings, or even complaints from other Posters.

Nyaliva:
I like how the Creationist is a scientist of astronomy and physics and is debating a biological concept. A completely trustworthy source there.

Nooners:
Or, you know. All science that we see everywhere is true because God did it. Why is it so hard for these two views to coexist? God made the universe able to run on science. He made it with a firmly established set of rules for physics, biology, geology, etc, etc... Why is this so hard to understand?

THANK YOU!!!!!!!! I'm so glad I finally found SOMEONE who sees the obvious. Go! Spread the good word! ;)

I have often wondered why so few firmly devout people have not yet tried the argument "Evolution: It's a Miracle!"

As a person who doe not believe in any God, I am perfectly open to discovering that this is true. You would have to be able to demonstrate properly that God (which /whatever God it turns out to be in this case) exists. But, Hypothetically speaking if this occurs, I rather think God would have no trouble making the Physical Universe, running on "The Science," then watching with the delight of a Dedicated Miniatures Hobbyist as His Children learn more about Creation and go "Oooo!" And, "Aaah!"

My Issue with religion, (as opposed to the IDEA of a God) is that Human Beings do NOT know ANYTHING about God. All the writings, all the scriptures, were written by the hand of a person. Everything people "know" about God is things that Humans wrote. There is a great line in Babylon 5: "The closer we think we are to defining God, the further we are from Him." I think it nicely sums how I feel about religion and God.

Creationism or Intelligent Design or whatever you care to call it isn't science. Creationism is religious dogma dressed up to seem like science. Their proof is hogwash and their theories obviously based in Judeo-Christian creation myth as opposed to scientific findings. I won't say their viewpoint is invalid (hey, I don't know if they're right or wrong) but if your source of scientific proof is the Bible, you're just wrong. The Bible, for as much as it is claimed to be "the one true word of the Lord" has been tampered with, altered, edited and had entire verses left out by the hands of man over the last 2000+ years and therefore is ineligible as a source of truth. Even the King James Bible, the version I've heard described as the definitive version of the Bible, is not the original, unaltered work and therefore is not the true word.

*Looks back at what I said* Wow, I'm sorry if that came across as spiteful, vitriolic or anti-religious, that was not my intention. I just get sick of the argument "Creationism is just as valid as Evolution." I just see it as religious nutjobs trying to stick their fingers where they shouldn't be.

SilverStuddedSquirre:
I just wanted to bring to attention that more words does not equal more relevant discussion, just more text.

Except you got a warning for it either way, so the point is moot.

SilverStuddedSquirre:
I only hope to highlight that a warning for what I posted is Silly, as there is in fact, about 20 mins of video content in my "low content" post

Unfortunately, the Code of Conduct doesn't make this distinction:

Pictures, Links and Videos
These will all be considered low content posts if not accompanied by a well thought out opinion, debate or reasoning. Pics, links and videos should help to strengthen your stance or opinion, not the other way around.

I don't necessarily agree with the rule myself, but it does say that videos must be ACCOMPANIED by an opinion debate or reasoning, they can't BE the opinion debate or reasoning.

Cerebrawl:

Vigormortis:

Cerebrawl:

I've learned most of the formal and informal fallacies by heart in the process of standing up to this sort of ignorance. Basically going from "wait, that's not logical" to "it's this particular logical fallacy and this is how it works and why you're wrong". Hey at least I learned something.

Why do I get the feeling you're a regularly viewer of The Atheist Experience?

Haha, I have been. I haven't seen an episode in a year or two though. But mostly I learned the fallacies by looking them up myself when I was engaging in comment wars on youtube(I could call them debates, but that's giving them too much credit).

I still occasionally listen to the Thinking Atheist podcast, or check if AronRa has released another video. ;)

The main reason I stoped watching The Atheist Experience was that I was fed up with the same moronic arguments again and again from christians calling the show, and in the comment sections. I basically can't even listen to them anymore because I ran out of tolerance for stupid, same with every single one of the creationist talking heads, and I'm a very patient guy. I couldn't watch the Ken Ham vs Bill Nye debate because the stupid it burns. Some are worse than others De Souza especially rubs me the wrong way, Kent Hovind is almost tolerable because he's so absurd that he can be unintentionally funny.

This^^

AnonRa is pure win. I still watch Atheist Experience occasionally. I tend to try stay away from youtube debates though becaue I'm sick of repeating the same facts and answering the same questions from ignorant creationists(and other religious extremists) over and over again. You can only ruin someone in a debate so many times before it becomes a chore.

SilverStuddedSquirre:

Bleidd Whitefalcon:

SilverStuddedSquirre:

Yeah, so apparently I get a warning for this as it is "Low content" and I don't bring enough to the discussion, by Virtue of too few words on the Screen? So here a some more words!

Babble babble bitch bitch rebel rebel party party Blah blah blah got your lovey-dovey sad and loneley stick your stupid slogan in and everybody sing!

There you go Escapist - is that more relevant now?

...you just called attention to it. You might not have gotten a warning this time - I think you were past low content. But calling attention to it like that? Yeah, you probably just guaranteed yourself a second warning :(

I know, It's deliberate. I sent a very reasonable request to please actually look at my post, and its context and see that there was no need for me to add commentary. I am pretty sure the warning was issued by a content algorithm and not a person.
I just wanted to bring to attention that more words does not equal more relevant discussion, just more text.

/edit

This rule about low content: I assume it is to reduce posts consisting of just "I agree!" and the Like, which I understand. I also understand that you need 5 warnings or so before a ban? I only hope to highlight that a warning for what I posted is Silly, as there is in fact, about 20 mins of video content in my "low content" post

also I have noticed since becoming active on the forums that more warnings seem to bee issued for format than for actually being offensive. I'm pretty sure I offended somebody in this thread, though I have received no warnings, or even complaints from other Posters.

I've had two now, one for a post in which I broke the quotes down into chunks to answer seperately; apparently their quote was my whole post. Clearly an error. The other was for the oh so terrible crime of quoting someone, only to have them delete the post days later. So because they deleted their post, I got an infraction.....

Doesn't make sense to me.

Either there's a bot with bugs or there's a modereator who erm...leans to the right. I suspect bot.

O.o that'd be like asking a pastor to read Genesis and immediately follow it up with "But modern scientific thinking states...". You're free to believe what you like, you can think the entire universe started when the internet was created and everything before then an illusion, but your viewpoint is not more valid than any other insane one. If you have solid evidence for it, it can be scientific. Creationism (that is, the idea God created the world in 7 days and mankind is special and the earth is 4,000 years old) is demonstrably wrong, it is a theory that doesn't correlate to the evidence.

If you want to believe God caused the Big Bang, as it stands, we haven't got a better theory for what caused it (to my knowledge, feel free to correct me physicists) so I'm completely OK with that. I'm LESS OK, denying the dinosaurs because it means a book written thousands of years ago and translated numerous times would be innaccurate as a guideline for how to function in a society completely different to the one it was written in. Meaning of the words is more important than THE words.

I dunno, are churches throwing in scientific facts & theories in their sermons? Then why does the academia have to cut those guys a slack?

That's an opinion of an attitude, based on assumption. I'd wait for the rejection letter before assuming they'd allow one thing or the other.

CaptainMarvelous:
If you want to believe God caused the Big Bang, as it stands, we haven't got a better theory for what caused it (to my knowledge, feel free to correct me physicists) so I'm completely OK with that.

Well, nothing has passed the threshold to be called a theory yet, in scientific terms, but there's hypothesis' that have made predictions and had those predictions come true, so it's at least come part-way. So we've got a better idea, a theory in colloquial terms, at the very least.

And that hypothesis is the wave function of the universe. Which simplified to layman level basically says that because the tiny superdense particle that started the universe could exist, and because of how quantum waves work, it inevitably did.

Another part of it are that there's an equal amount of negative energy as the positive energy(matter, energy) in the universe, so it all adds up to zero. Oh and time did not exist until the big bang(see Hartle-Hawking State).

If you want to read the original science paper on it, it's here: http://siba.unipv.it/fisica/articoli/P/Physical%20review%20D_vol.28_no.12_1983_pp.2060-2975.pdf

Stephen Hawking doing a lecture on it.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n6ivkQRwKAE

Cerebrawl:
-snip-

I retract my earlier pass to believe God started the universe, that hypothesis looks pretty solid.

Yeah I'm a Christian and I really don't expect to hear my beliefs covered on a science TV show.

SilverStuddedSquirre:

Nyaliva:
I like how the Creationist is a scientist of astronomy and physics and is debating a biological concept. A completely trustworthy source there.

Nooners:
Or, you know. All science that we see everywhere is true because God did it. Why is it so hard for these two views to coexist? God made the universe able to run on science. He made it with a firmly established set of rules for physics, biology, geology, etc, etc... Why is this so hard to understand?

THANK YOU!!!!!!!! I'm so glad I finally found SOMEONE who sees the obvious. Go! Spread the good word! ;)

I have often wondered why so few firmly devout people have not yet tried the argument "Evolution: It's a Miracle!"

As a person who doe not believe in any God, I am perfectly open to discovering that this is true. You would have to be able to demonstrate properly that God (which /whatever God it turns out to be in this case) exists. But, Hypothetically speaking if this occurs, I rather think God would have no trouble making the Physical Universe, running on "The Science," then watching with the delight of a Dedicated Miniatures Hobbyist as His Children learn more about Creation and go "Oooo!" And, "Aaah!"

My Issue with religion, (as opposed to the IDEA of a God) is that Human Beings do NOT know ANYTHING about God. All the writings, all the scriptures, were written by the hand of a person. Everything people "know" about God is things that Humans wrote. There is a great line in Babylon 5: "The closer we think we are to defining God, the further we are from Him." I think it nicely sums how I feel about religion and God.

You have no idea how great it is to hear people actually discussing this instead of making the same old arguments. :D

I fully agree that the problem with religion is people ('Religion doesn't kill people! PEOPLE kill people!' :P), and I think so many people who agree with Creationism are scared to hold science as fact because it will make God seem somehow less miraculous. 'I mean the universe can make ITSELF in a few billion years but God did it in 7 DAYS! Wow!' Something like that. As much as I've called out some atheists who refuse to discuss religion in any way for claiming religious people are close-minded, this is one aspect where most devout religious people really are.

If anyone writes a book on this topic, I'd love it if they called it 'Evolution: It's a Miracle!'. ;)

Nyaliva:
If anyone writes a book on this topic, I'd love it if they called it 'Evolution: It's a Miracle!'. ;)

Then you're misunderstanding what miracle means, and you're also moving the goalposts.

Of course it does also contradict the bible, which is hardly surprising since it's a collection of bronze age and early iron age writings.

It made me think of this:

Cerebrawl:

Nyaliva:
If anyone writes a book on this topic, I'd love it if they called it 'Evolution: It's a Miracle!'. ;)

Then you're misunderstanding what miracle means, and you're also moving the goalposts.

Of course it does also contradict the bible, which is hardly surprising since it's a collection of bronze age and early iron age writings.

It made me think of this:

Well then, there you have it. "Evolution; it definitively CANNOT be a miracle." That would explain why that argument is so little heard. Thank you for posting this clip, it very nicely answered something I had wondered about

Nyaliva:

I fully agree that the problem with religion is people ('Religion doesn't kill people! PEOPLE kill people!' :P), and I think so many people who agree with Creationism are scared to hold science as fact because it will make God seem somehow less miraculous. 'I mean the universe can make ITSELF in a few billion years but God did it in 7 DAYS! Wow!' Something like that. As much as I've called out some atheists who refuse to discuss religion in any way for claiming religious people are close-minded, this is one aspect where most devout religious people really are.

If anyone writes a book on this topic, I'd love it if they called it 'Evolution: It's a Miracle!'. ;)

"Religion doesn't kill people, people kill people."

Absolutely incorrect. Religion tells people not only TO kill other people, but WHICH people, WHERE they live, and in some cases, HOW to kill them. Examples include The Crusades, The Inquisition and the Witch Hunts in the USA.

You are using the argument that a Gun, which is an inanimate object functions like Religion, which is a Meme. A meme in the true, scientific sense of the word: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meme NOT an amusing picture with witty comment attatched.

A gun, will not TELL you to pick it up and kill somebody. All the Christ / Ihova based religions say that ALL other religions are wrong, and must be replaced with themselves. If they cannot be converted, than you must kill them. (Crusades) If they say anything other than what we have declared is truth, then you must Kill them, even if they are of our religion. ( Inquisition) If they diplay any evidence of thought beyond what we have told them they may think, or dare to step out of the approved roles we have assigned them, you must Kill them. ( Witch Hunts)

Captcha: She's a Witch! ^5 captcha, ^5

[edit] not as sure about Judaism on this point, but Moses DID have God kill all the first-born Sons of Egypt, so.....yeah. Mass Murder.

The Great JT:
Creationism or Intelligent Design or whatever you care to call it isn't science. Creationism is religious dogma dressed up to seem like science. Their proof is hogwash and their theories obviously based in Judeo-Christian creation myth as opposed to scientific findings. I won't say their viewpoint is invalid (hey, I don't know if they're right or wrong) but if your source of scientific proof is the Bible, you're just wrong. The Bible, for as much as it is claimed to be "the one true word of the Lord" has been tampered with, altered, edited and had entire verses left out by the hands of man over the last 2000+ years and therefore is ineligible as a source of truth. Even the King James Bible, the version I've heard described as the definitive version of the Bible, is not the original, unaltered work and therefore is not the true word.

*Looks back at what I said* Wow, I'm sorry if that came across as spiteful, vitriolic or anti-religious, that was not my intention. I just get sick of the argument "Creationism is just as valid as Evolution." I just see it as religious nutjobs trying to stick their fingers where they shouldn't be.

In theory, Creationism and Intelligent Design are two different hypothesis. The first states that the events depicted in the Bible are literally true, that God created us, there was Noah's flood, and God created life 6,000 years ago. Intelligent Design states that there is an ill defined "creator" and that there is "irreducable complexities in life." When pressed, the designers tend to dodge the question of who the designer is, some saying things like "it might of been aliens," or that the being has god like powers, but avoiding the term "God."

I say in theory, since about everyone behind Intelligent Design (mostly the "Discovery Institute") are Christian, and Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District made this ruling on ID:

"Teaching intelligent design in public school biology classes violates the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States (and Article I, Section 3 of the Pennsylvania State Constitution) because intelligent design is not science and "cannot uncouple itself from its creationist, and thus religious, antecedents."

-John E. Jones III

Not G. Ivingname:
In theory, Creationism and Intelligent Design are two different hypothesis. The first states that the events depicted in the Bible are literally true, that God created us, there was Noah's flood, and God created life 6,000 years ago. Intelligent Design states that there is an ill defined "creator" and that there is "irreducable complexities in life." When pressed, the designers tend to dodge the question of who the designer is, some saying things like "it might of been aliens," or that the being has god like powers, but avoiding the term "God."

I say in theory, since about everyone behind Intelligent Design (mostly the "Discovery Institute") are Christian, and Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District made this ruling on ID:

"Teaching intelligent design in public school biology classes violates the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States (and Article I, Section 3 of the Pennsylvania State Constitution) because intelligent design is not science and "cannot uncouple itself from its creationist, and thus religious, antecedents."

-John E. Jones III

Not even in theory, it's a plain old rebranding.

The ID books were old creationism books with ID sloppily copy-pasted over creationism. As in someone used a "replace all" function where creationism was replaced with ID, and the rest of the text was identical.

(I'm talking about "Of Pandas and People", the book that the ID movement tried to get into schools).

It's not the first rebranding they've done either, "creation science"(sic) is a previous rebranding of creationism, of course there's nothing scientific about it, they just wanted to make it sound like they had a basis for their claims.

Cerebrawl:

Not G. Ivingname:
In theory, Creationism and Intelligent Design are two different hypothesis. The first states that the events depicted in the Bible are literally true, that God created us, there was Noah's flood, and God created life 6,000 years ago. Intelligent Design states that there is an ill defined "creator" and that there is "irreducable complexities in life." When pressed, the designers tend to dodge the question of who the designer is, some saying things like "it might of been aliens," or that the being has god like powers, but avoiding the term "God."

I say in theory, since about everyone behind Intelligent Design (mostly the "Discovery Institute") are Christian, and Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District made this ruling on ID:

"Teaching intelligent design in public school biology classes violates the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States (and Article I, Section 3 of the Pennsylvania State Constitution) because intelligent design is not science and "cannot uncouple itself from its creationist, and thus religious, antecedents."

-John E. Jones III

Not even in theory, it's a plain old rebranding.

The ID books were old creationism books with ID sloppily copy-pasted over creationism. As in someone used a "replace all" function where creationism was replaced with ID, and the rest of the text was identical.

(I'm talking about "Of Pandas and People", the book that the ID movement tried to get into schools).

It's not the first rebranding they've done either, "creation science"(sic) is a previous rebranding of creationism, of course there's nothing scientific about it, they just wanted to make it sound like they had a basis for their claims.

There are some creationists that disagree with Intelligent Design, and ID has been trying to desperately keep it's distance from Creationism from the start. Neither is an entirely unified movement.

But, yes, it is rebranded creationism. The Panda book's alteration were used as evidence in the court case I mentioned.

Cerebrawl:

Nyaliva:
If anyone writes a book on this topic, I'd love it if they called it 'Evolution: It's a Miracle!'. ;)

Then you're misunderstanding what miracle means, and you're also moving the goalposts.

Of course it does also contradict the bible, which is hardly surprising since it's a collection of bronze age and early iron age writings.

It made me think of this:

-Video Snip-

I'm afraid you may be misunderstanding the implied humour in the title, I didn't mean evolution is a literal miracle. And I don't see how I'm moving the goalposts, I'm simply discussing a possible middle ground.

Evolution contradicts a literal translation of the Bible, certainly. I did once find a book which purported to describe what we know about the beginning of the universe and life on Earth and show it's very close to a metaphorical interpretation of Genesis. I unfortunately can't remember the title (or more accurately, what I believed was the title was actually one for a different book), and it could just be a collection of post hoc misinterpretations but I intend to do a little more research before condemning it completely.

I'm not arguing for Creationism, what most people argue from that side is a complete contradiction of facts. However, I think too many people condemn all religion because of them and I don't think it's within the bounds of 'keeping an open mind' to do so without some proper research.

The video was interesting though. :)

SilverStuddedSquirre:

Nyaliva:

I fully agree that the problem with religion is people ('Religion doesn't kill people! PEOPLE kill people!' :P), and I think so many people who agree with Creationism are scared to hold science as fact because it will make God seem somehow less miraculous. 'I mean the universe can make ITSELF in a few billion years but God did it in 7 DAYS! Wow!' Something like that. As much as I've called out some atheists who refuse to discuss religion in any way for claiming religious people are close-minded, this is one aspect where most devout religious people really are.

If anyone writes a book on this topic, I'd love it if they called it 'Evolution: It's a Miracle!'. ;)

"Religion doesn't kill people, people kill people."

Absolutely incorrect. Religion tells people not only TO kill other people, but WHICH people, WHERE they live, and in some cases, HOW to kill them. Examples include The Crusades, The Inquisition and the Witch Hunts in the USA.

You are using the argument that a Gun, which is an inanimate object functions like Religion, which is a Meme. A meme in the true, scientific sense of the word: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meme NOT an amusing picture with witty comment attatched.

A gun, will not TELL you to pick it up and kill somebody. All the Christ / Ihova based religions say that ALL other religions are wrong, and must be replaced with themselves. If they cannot be converted, than you must kill them. (Crusades) If they say anything other than what we have declared is truth, then you must Kill them, even if they are of our religion. ( Inquisition) If they diplay any evidence of thought beyond what we have told them they may think, or dare to step out of the approved roles we have assigned them, you must Kill them. ( Witch Hunts)

Captcha: She's a Witch! ^5 captcha, ^5

[edit] not as sure about Judaism on this point, but Moses DID have God kill all the first-born Sons of Egypt, so.....yeah. Mass Murder.

A gun may not tell someone to pick it up and kill, but it's sole function is to kill and its use throughout society indirectly enforces that use. The person uses the gun to kill because of the memes associated with having a gun.

With religion, the memes associated with religion encourage its spread but its the people's interpretation of how to do that that causes the problems. I can't remember the verse but Jesus says something along the lines of 'If another believes what he does, then let him do so.' Anything in the New Testament said by anyone other than Jesus is a human being's interpretation of Christian values. This is where things become difficult to argue because the Bible claims to be the word of God but it's been translated so many times and was originally written by people that anything could have gone in there at any point and changed the meaning. The Crusades, the Inquisition and the Witch Hunts were all orchestrated by people who forgot the core values of their religion and took what they believed to be the most important thing about their religion to the nth degree. The Witch Hunts is a perfect example of this because (as far as I know), it doesn't say anywhere that women who can read are witches but the people of the time thought it an absurdity and so thought that they must be using evil forces to bestow them the power to read. Moses ordering the death of every first-born son was an act of justice, for the Egyptian King who killed thousands of slaves and refused to set them free because he was selfish. And to be on topic, Creationists will force their point with little self-awareness or consideration for simple logic, and eventually do underhanded things like lie because they believe their end justifies their means. They forgot the 'Love thy neighbour' bit because they think that if their neighbour isn't Christian, they're not included.

To be fair, I could be completely wrong, I really have to read the Bible again before I can be sure I'm right (I haven't even looked at a Bible in years) but this is how I've always viewed it.

Nyaliva:
I did once find a book which purported to describe what we know about the beginning of the universe and life on Earth and show it's very close to a metaphorical interpretation of Genesis. I unfortunately can't remember the title (or more accurately, what I believed was the title was actually one for a different book), and it could just be a collection of post hoc misinterpretations but I intend to do a little more research before condemning it completely.

I'm not arguing for Creationism, what most people argue from that side is a complete contradiction of facts. However, I think too many people condemn all religion because of them and I don't think it's within the bounds of 'keeping an open mind' to do so without some proper research.

Oh I have done quite a lot of proper research. I would say I still have an open mind, I've just logically ruled out all major religions. To quote Holmes "Once you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, no matter how improbable, must be the truth". I've done a lot of eliminating the impossible.

But yeah there's a lost of post hoc misunderstandings and rationalizations trying to argue for the things we know are wrong in the bible, there's an entire literary genre dedicated to that, it's called apologetics. I can go through them and there hasn't been one I encountered where I couldn't spot the fallacies pretty much right away. None of them are convincing to a logical mind, most of them require accepting things which are not evidently true(or are evidently false) or resort to special pleading. Rotten at the core of the argument.

As for condemning all religion. The problem is that none of them have a leg to stand on, there's no evidence for their claims, their claims come in two categories: that which we know is false, and that which is unfalsifiable(so it can never be tested). Heck monotheistic well-meaning gods were disproven logically in the 4th century BC(by Epicurus), and there's an entire branch of apologetics dedicated to trying (unsuccessfully) to refute that, it's called theodicies, over two thousand years of failure.

The real problem with religion however is how it affects human behavior, as they invariably try to undermine reason and rational thought, as well as usually having a bunch of really nasty teachings, all the while claiming to be the only righteous and good, thus adding some good old fashion tribalism and dehumanising of others in the mix. It also imposes a lot of things on its followers that quite often result in anguish, guilt, etc, and often lead mental problems. There's few that don't, even Buddhism isn't entirely faultless, mostly for what it does to its followers rather than what it teaches them to do to others, and Jainism is worse in that respect. Sikhism is the closest to an acceptable religion to me, and that's because its tennets aren't just neutral, but to actively fight against evil, to defend others from violence, and use violence yourself if it's the last resort. I can still find faults in it, for example the religion is inherently misogenynistic, only people who study certain parts are supposedly allowed into heaven, and only men are allowed to study those parts.

Sorry for the wall of text.

Cerebrawl:
-Snips-

I never sneer at a good wall of text, although I know others do, so forgive the snippers, and the wall I seem to have put up in its place. ;)

Frankly I found your particular wall of text thoroughly enjoyable to stare at, I paused a Jimquisition video in the background so I could focus on it better. Although the Holmes quote made me groan a little. I was expecting it to come up eventually. :P

My argument has always been less for 'letting religion into your heart' and more thinking on it deeper before condemning all those who follow a religion as idiots. This is mostly because I see apparent 'science-based thinkers' throwing out blanket statements and parroting misquoted arguments in a fashion more pious than the people they claim are close-minded. It hurts more than any religious person claiming the Earth is flat because they were told that God made it that way. However, your argument comes from one of proper research, something I've never found the time or the strength to do myself, so I have no beef with your comment. In fact I wouldn't mind reading that paper by Epicurus you mentioned, I think that would be enlightening.

Your comment about human behaviour is one I mostly share, and is sort of what I've tried to say previously. I've always observed the unfortunate consequences of religion to be the peoples' misinterpretation of the teachings, as well as selectively enforcing the teachings they believe are more important on others, while forgetting the core values. I've come to the conclusion that the way humans act using religion is what causes religion to be a problem, although I put the people who follow religion at fault rather than the religion itself, based solely on what I've seen. I've considered the varied problems which religion fosters and found general human thinking to be the source (I had a few examples but cut them for space). However, I've also concluded that given this general human thinking, it would be nearly impossible for the religion to be interpreted any other way by the majority of its followers. So my dilemma is determining whether this means the religion is at fault implicitly since it will always foster this kind of thinking. However, this does come from having not researched religion thoroughly enough to as of yet determine that the way of thinking it breeds is encouraged EXPLICITLY. I suppose that is exactly what you found by your research?

I have to say, your previous comments do you a disservice. Every impression I had of you before this comment was one of someone who hated religion first and found arguments to support that later, albeit with a greater understanding of the term 'argument' than most. But hey, that's the internet for you! :)

Nyaliva:
Your comment about human behaviour is one I mostly share, and is sort of what I've tried to say previously. I've always observed the unfortunate consequences of religion to be the peoples' misinterpretation of the teachings, as well as selectively enforcing the teachings they believe are more important on others, while forgetting the core values. I've come to the conclusion that the way humans act using religion is what causes religion to be a problem, although I put the people who follow religion at fault rather than the religion itself, based solely on what I've seen. I've considered the varied problems which religion fosters and found general human thinking to be the source (I had a few examples but cut them for space). However, I've also concluded that given this general human thinking, it would be nearly impossible for the religion to be interpreted any other way by the majority of its followers. So my dilemma is determining whether this means the religion is at fault implicitly since it will always foster this kind of thinking. However, this does come from having not researched religion thoroughly enough to as of yet determine that the way of thinking it breeds is encouraged EXPLICITLY. I suppose that is exactly what you found by your research?

I think core values of religions are often bad rather than good, and that the secularisation of society has been gradually blunting them as they become more and more unacceptable as society's morality and ethics has evolved. I have no problem calling the original biblical laws and commandments to be predominantly evil(or irrelevant, like prohibitions against mixing cloth fabrics), and if you described them to today's christians while obfuscating where they're from(such as saying it's from islam), most find them abhorrent, it's not until you reveal that they're biblical that people start rationalising and making excuses to aleviate their cognitive dissonance.

I think that we have an innate morality that is in many cases superior to religious morality, and that religious morality hinders rather than helps to go beyond this as well. It actually retards moral development because it's so focused on absolute rules, rather than thinking through consequences and considering other people's feelings.

In Kholberg scale terms, religious morality stops at stage 4 of conventional morality and actively inhibits post-conventional morality. Indeed a common side-effect to religious indoctrination is black-and-white thinking, which in psychological terms is called "splitting" and is also a symptom of borderline personality disorder or narcicistic personality disorder. Think George W. Bush "You're either with us or against us."

I use christianity as an example here, but it could easily be applied to some other religions as well, such as islam, judaism or shinto.

Other side-effects of religion is that it encourages gullibility and discourages reason and critical thinking, you're supposed to accept blindly(faith), not question, not think things through, not look for evidence. Christianity is perhaps the worst offender, especially protestant christianity, to quote Martin Luther, the founder of protestantism: "Reason is the greatest enemy that faith has: it never comes to the aid of spiritual things, but--more frequently than not--struggles against the divine Word, treating with contempt all that emanates from God." Indeed in the united states this can be fairly often seen proudly proclaimed on church letter boards.


Another side-effect which is partially tied to the above is magical thinking and superstition, the belief that the supernatural is real, it can even persist after people stop believing in their religion. Often as a vague "there must be some higher power" unspecified belief, many seek a new religion or "spiritual" belief to cling to. My mother is a case in point, a former mormon who believes in numerology, astrology and is a "trained" Reiki healer(japanese laying on hands healing woo).

Cerebrawl:
-Snip again-

While I wouldn't personally call most religions 'evil', I do agree that their intention to provide a set of rules for morality is a hindrance to their core values. It's like reading a book on how to 'pick up chicks', it doesn't always apply, there's more to it and it dehumanises both parties. And I agree that it's an implicit (or in some cases explicit) consequence that anything outside a religion's moral blanket is either blindly assumed to be okay or argued by different parties as to which rules it breaks, causing confusion, dissent and a superficial discussion of the subject.

Also, I do remember reading the strange rules in the Old Testament of the Bible, such as the cloth thing and that if you're 'dirty' (having done something wrong or simply being sick), everything you touch for the rest of the day, or sometimes week, has to be destroyed or something like that. I remember asking a Christian about it at the time and he said 'Oh those are the old rules, we don't follow those. We follow Jesus' teachings, and he said not to follow those rules anymore.' which is plausible but does follow your point about rationalisation.

I also understand the mysticism thing, I knew one person who just bunny-hopped from one set of superstitions to the other, completely forgetting the previous ones with each new set. I have my own (which are really little more than compulsivities), but the way they've become incorporated into my subconcious processes, I can't imagine how they could just ignore the previous set of superstitions in lieu of the new ones, especially when they were mutually exclusive and they could've had both. I saw a video once describing how humans have developed and how we came about from a New Age perspective. What was scary was that a lot of the ideas it put forward were plausible enough to foster belief, however there were the occasional passing mentions of something absurd as if it were assumed fact, the same way a man teaching 3rd year university physics would mention the presence of a gravity term in an equation.

Prompting me to look up the Kohlberg scale was a thoroughly interesting read, and sums up very nicely everything you've stated. I tell ya, I've never learnt more or discussed this topic better in any other thread! :)

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