The Genesis Of God

I like that. The genesis of god. Catchy title, don’t you think? It implies that god had a start, a beginning, just like the earth, contrary to fundeological beliefs.

One of the more persistent commenters in my last post, good ol’ c “Piltdown Man”  l, objected to my claim that “gods were born” at some time in mankind’s primitive past, primarily as a reaction to their own ignorance. I stand by my observation, because cl’s sole objection boils down to “you can’t prove it, you simply believe it”, not noticing apparently that this is a blog in which I basically set forth my beliefs, and the reasons for them. It is not a scholastic, peer-reviewed journal, after all. My beliefs also have some basis behind them, unlike his “belief” that primitive man actually met the gods they worshiped. (I’m sure he’ll parse this last statement, but if he’s honest he’ll have to admit it). Mine are based on a convergence of knowledge gleaned from many sources, like history, anthropology, paleontology, sociology, etc. His is total guesswork and religious belief.

More to that point,  since primitive man, while leaving some vestiges of their existence and culture, hadn’t invented writing and left no histories, it’s difficult to determine with pinpoint accuracy exactly what they were thinking when they invented gods (and make no mistake about it, they did invent them).  Cl’s rationale in making his objection is that because I can’t go back and interview them, or can’t really find any significant evidence of what was in their minds, then there exists the possibility that they worshiped gods because  {drum roll} they actually existed, but we’ll never know, until we invent the wayback machine. Until then, the actual existence of animistic gods is a perfectly viable alternative to common sense, according to cl.

Blatherskite.

So I found it coincidental to see this interview with Robert Wright, in which he discusses his latest book The Evolution of God. In the interview he does talk about primitive beliefs in religion, (he calls them hunter-gatherer religions) however he ruminates more widely on recent and advanced forms of religion, primarily of the monotheistic variety. This is what got cl so incensed in the previous post:

Do you think religions share certain core principles?

Not many. People in the modern world, certainly in America, think of religion as being largely about prescribing moral behavior. But religion wasn’t originally about that at all. To judge by hunter-gatherer religions, religion was not fundamentally about morality before the invention of agriculture. It was trying to figure out why bad things happen and increasing the frequency with which good things happen. Why do you sometimes get earthquakes, storms, disease and get slaughtered? But then sometimes you get nice weather, abundant game and you get to do the slaughtering. Those were the religious questions in the beginning.

A couple of more excerpts:

Why did monotheism first develop?

My explanation for Abrahamic monotheism is different from the standard one. I believe it emerged later than most people think — in the 6th century BCE, when Israelite elites were exiled by the Babylonians who conquered them…

Israel was a small nation in a bad neighborhood that got kicked around. This culminated in the exile, which was humiliating. It dispossessed the Israelites… This kind of mind-set brings out the belligerence in a religion. You see that in the Book of Isaiah, thought to be written by so-called Second Isaiah. These are the earliest scriptures in the Bible that are clearly monotheistic. You get the sense that monotheism is about punishing the various nations that have persecuted Israel.

So you see a connection between the political power of a people and the god they believed in?

In ancient times, there was always a close association between politics and gods. The victor of a war was always the nation whose god beat the other god. But the specific political dynamic that monotheism reflected at its birth was Israel’s desire to punish other nations by denying the very existence of their gods, and also envisioning a day when Israel’s god, Yahweh, would actually subjugate those nations

For people who claim that Israel was monotheistic from the get-go and its flirtations with polytheism were rare aberrations, it’s interesting that the Jerusalem temple, according to the Bible’s account, had all these other gods being worshiped in it. Asherah was in the temple. She seemed to be a consort or wife of Yahweh. And there were vessels devoted to Baal, the reviled Canaanite god. So Israel was fundamentally polytheistic at this point. Then King Josiah goes on a rampage as he tries to consolidate his own power by wiping out the other gods.

That’s an interesting theory. I might have to read the book to see it it pans out. Monotheism was actually developed (or evolved, if you will) as a reaction to persecution by a nation with an inferiority complex. “My One God is bigger and badder than all your puny gods!” It both allowed human rulers to consolidate power while at the same time giving their people a fantasy of superiority.

I find it interesting that if you strip theology from the subject, and look at it through a filter of  legitimate disciplines like science or history, you get a much clearer picture of the role of religion in our culture. The reason for this, I think, is that theology, by its very definition, assumes the existence of gods. You cannot validly study the question of gods in culture while assuming their existence. You have to start from the proposition that they don’t exist, and work your way forward. Theology doesn’t do that.  Science and history don’t assume anything factual, such as the existence of gods. They require proof. So, to me, a historical analysis of religion, such as Robert Wright’s,  is far more valid than a theological one.

Clearly, there’s more supporting the theory that man created gods, than the other way around.

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58 thoughts on “The Genesis Of God

  1. I caught an older Point of Inquiry podcast yesterday interviewing the author of a book called Supersense. Basically, he explores the beliefs and practices of woo, and he doesn’t spare the so-called rational skeptics, either. For instance, he points out how MIT has trees on their campus which were saplings from the tree that allegedly dropped an apple on Newton’s head, as if there’s some magical something in the tree.

    Anyway, his argument counters people like Dawkins or Harris who argue religion is a meme that could one day die and instead argues that we’re predisposed to woo. In other words, specific religions may be memes, but they’re just the means of expressing this predisposition. As an analogy, I’d say the predisposition is your blog and religions are merely skins for that blog.

    What it appeared to me he was asserting as the trigger for acting on this predisposition was the absence of control, that in order to compensate for lack of control, humans indulge in rituals and such to fabricate a sense of control. He cited how sports figures indulge heavily in this (ie – hockey playoff beards, specific series of actions before games, god is the reason, etc) and also how the Trobrianders have no rituals before fishing in inland waters (no dangers) but have plenty before fishing in the open ocean (more danger = less control).

    His argument is that if you remove religion, humans will just make new gods, new rituals, new woo beliefs.

  2. His argument is that if you remove religion, humans will just make new gods, new rituals, new woo beliefs.

    Interesting, and I think true. But true because of ignorance. Same thing we were pissing about with cl. Primitive man was ignorant of his surroundings. Because of his ignorance, he was afraid. Ignorance breeds fear. How to control fear? Control the cause of the fear.

    The solution? Education. Do we fear lightning, birth, death etc? (well we fear death, but not the death itself, but the manner of death, which we generally have no control over. Hence the sometime attraction of suicide with terminally ill people. And babies are kinds of scary too.) . Not like we did when we were more ignorant.

    Same with religion. I’ve always thought that the smarter, more educated we get, the less religious we will be. This is born out in the poll of the NAS that I cited in my last post. 93% of top level scientists don’t believe in personal gods. Why? They can control human’s natural fears with their education and intelligence.

    But jeez, this all seems like common sense to me. Why isn’t it as obvious to others, like cl?

    BTW, I don’t see planting a seed from Newtons apple tree on the MIT campus as particularly wooish. It makes perfect sense, that in an innocuous way, an institution of great scientific learning would like to have a living symbol of the long connections of science on it’s front yard. I’m sure they don’t worship the fuckin’ thing. Better that than a monument to the Ten Commandments. 8)

  3. I think he’d argue that the “living symbol” reverence is irrational and a manifestation of this woo predisposition. He mentioned an experiment he does with kids (I think he’s a child psychiatrist) where he tells them he has a machine that can duplicate most things, but not everything. When asked what the kids think can’t be duplicated, they list anything which they have a sentimental attachment to (ie – teddy bear).

    I do feel that education is a key, but dispelling ignorance may not be enough. I’ve personally considered woo beliefs as some kind of indulgent behavior, but what if that drive to indulge is hard wired? If that’s the case, then education is merely going to limit the extremes of the indulgence, imo, steering it towards less harmful outlets like having a special reverence for some trees, the Founding Fathers, Shakespeare, a place, artifact, piece of art, etc.

    He also mentioned how Obama played basketball before each primary after having played basketball before the Iowa primary. A ritual to fabricate a sense of control over a situation where he had none. Whatever your opinion of Obama, he’s not an ignoramus. Neither is Dr. what’s his name with the triune icicle revelation. What’s the motivation for intelligent, well educated people? Perhaps you have to look at if they’re insecure in some way, having some fears or feeling a lack of control in their lives. You know a lot of alcoholics rationalize drinking before some pressure activities as a way to take the edge off and boost confidence. Sounds like a ritual to fabricate control, no?

    Perhaps cl has feelings of insecurity and a lack of control, and his belief and douchey defense of it are how he fabricates control in his life. He is a freelancer I think. I know from experience that’s a stressful life where you perpetually feel you have no control of your future beyond whatever project(s) you currently have.

    The more I think of it, this actually meshes perfectly with Nietzsche’s will to power, and he even cites religion and oppression of others as perversions of that will. Framed another way, you could say the will to power is the process of taking control of your life, and a failure to do so leads to false solutions of control or perversions. The will to power could also be the will to overcome this woo predisposition, as it’s supposed to be the will to overcome all of one’s shortcomings. Education is empowering, but a sense of control may be the most powerful thing of all, or at least figuring out how to make peace with knowing it’s impossible to have as much control as desired.

    Sorry for the haphazard stream of consciousness. I might have to get that guy’s book

  4. Sorry for the haphazard stream of consciousness. I might have to get that guy’s book

    No problemo. Good stuff.

    Neither is Dr. what’s his name with the triune icicle revelation. What’s the motivation for intelligent, well educated people?

    Even that NAS study shows 7% with continuing religious convictions and sensibilities. There is no 100% certainty with anything human. There will always be exceptions. The point is not to have everyone conform, but to eventually get to a point where the majority is thinking rationally. Right now, the majority seem to be crackpots, when it comes to perceptions of reality, and in my book, that bodes ill for the world.

    And, voila’, look at the state of the world!

    Perhaps cl has feelings of insecurity and a lack of control, and his belief and douchey defense of it are how he fabricates control in his life. He is a freelancer I think. I know from experience that’s a stressful life where you perpetually feel you have no control of your future beyond whatever project(s) you currently have.

    I hesitate to psychoanalyze someone I know very little about. But I can say, as a self-employed person, that it can get scary out there, but I’ve never felt comfortable appealing to unseen supernatural entities. That, to me, seemed like I was giving up control, not getting it back. But that’s just me.

    …Nietzsche’s will to power…

    Never really read Nietzsche. I’m not one to easily read philosophy. I don’t think my cranial neurons are predisposed to it, so, I’m off to Wikipedia for the short hand version.

  5. Nietzsche is simultaneously the easiest and hardest philosopher to read. Easy because he writes in colorful prose. Hard because he writes in colorful prose. 🙂

    I won’t hesitate to psychoanalyze someone who imposes himself into my life, and I think we all, to varied degrees, do this. It’s a means to better understand who we’re dealing with in order to better deal with them, or push their buttons. 😉

  6. I don’t know if I would go so far as to call CL insecure. I think he just enjoys playing the role of the gadfly. He certainly strikes me as being more broadminded and tolerant than Rhology, who believes you deserve to burn in hell if you do not embrace his particular version of Christianity. If I had to choose between the two in deciding who to drink a beer with at the pub, I would pick CL without hesitation, as opposed to listening to the ramblings of some clown insisting I have no basis for opposing child rape.

    In regard to the post itself, Rodney Stark made the same argument in his book Discovering God, which I did a series of blog posts on (but never finished), that the Yahweh-Only believers used the Babylonian Conquest as an opportunity to impose monotheism on the Israelites. In particular, with the Torah commandments, it was a way of getting the people to show their loyalty and commitment to the nation. It was a way of preserving a sense of cohesion and unity during a time of calamity.

    To reiterate my comments from The War Over Reality post, that the Israelites believed that they were the chosen people of the creator of the universe and that this creator gave them in perpetuity a stretch of land between Egypt and Mesopotamia is evidence that the religion was invented. Of course, it is just my personal opinion, but it strikes me as absurd that an omnipotent entity would create a virtually infinite universe, and then on just one small speck of a planet this god decides to be the personal deity to a confederation of semi-nomadic tribesmen in the Middle East, and intervenes at various points in history to either aid or punish them.

  7. and what if the ability to effectively be a gadfly is an exercise in control and satiates a feeling of insecurity?

    Personally, I’d rather drink alone given those two options of drinking partners, Tommykey. I don’t care for clowns, regardless of their makeup.

  8. Philly said – I’ve personally considered woo beliefs as some kind of indulgent behavior, but what if that drive to indulge is hard wired?

    I have to go with SI on this one about education. And I recognize even it doesn’t work 100%. But the fact that Western culture has about a 50% non-belief rate has to be explained, if it’s hardwired. The 90% disbelief of the Netherlands screams out for explanation if it’s hard wired. Hell, I know you well enough to know that *you* need to be shackled, dragged off and studied if it’s hardwired (not to mention a few others around these here parts!)

    The example of the Newton apple tree is not particularly good. Hey, I’d love to have a tree that is a direct descendant of that one! And it’s not because I think it would make me more intelligent. It’s just cool history. I’d love to have a plant that was a descendant from Darwin’s famous Downhouse garden. Super cool. Even better than Newton’s apple tree! So I can imagine that a bunch of academics at MIT might have the same sensibilities.

    @ SI – if you recall, Wright is the guy who started Bloggingheads.TV and the author of the positively wonderful “The Moral Animal” which is a nice primer for evo psych. He also wrote Non-Zero, which I have but haven’t yet read.

  9. Again, woo is more than just religion, and the points this author kept making were that the so-called rational, skeptical, non-religious types often had their own woo like alternative therapies, lucky items, and so forth (why I believe there was a podcast by some herd of atheists on this once). I know Iceland is pretty non-religious yet the rate for those believing in fairies is surprisingly high.

    Also, I think he’s asserting hard wired as a predisposition, and predispositions are things that can be overcome, with education as an important thing to help that overcoming.

  10. I guess we’d then have to have a good explanation of exactly what “hardwired” means. The term is just a metaphor borrowed from the computer industry, but essentially it means something we’re born with, right? We don’t actually have a woo chip in our brains. Something that we inherit, genetically from our parents.

    So this means that it would be something that evolved in our ancestral history, possibly even before we became humans, or even primates for that matter. Something that gave our ancestors a survial advantage, and that was selected for in the process.

    So exactly what was evolutionarily advantageous about woo that’s no longer advantageous?

  11. @ SI – if you recall, Wright is the guy who started Bloggingheads.TV and the author of the positively wonderful “The Moral Animal” which is a nice primer for evo psych. He also wrote Non-Zero, which I have but haven’t yet read.

    I didn’t realize that. There was an interview attached to the NY Times piece (above) in which he points out that he’s not a scientist, but a journalist. I’m a little more inclined to read it now, not just for this discussion, but because sometimes books written by scientists can be somewhat tedious. They think they’re being clear, but laymen go “WTF?”. Natalie Angier comes to mind. There are others, but I’m blanking at the moment.

  12. Pattern recognition unfortunately begets Jesus in burnt toast and oil stains. That’s one evolutionary advantage with unfortunate side effects. I think the unbridled curiosity of humans also begets acceptance of inappropriate answers when that curiosity becomes frustrated for too long. I also think us vs them thinking and social grouping is an evolutionary holdover. I think all of these things can be overcome, just like we all (hopefully) overcome our procreation drive and aren’t serial rapists.

  13. In my experience every culture has its own set of “comfort” rituals, some apart from the base culture which the subculture comes from. I’ve seen it in places where I lived, and even in the military which is pretty hot on standardisation.

    It often deals with the number three. Wonder why?

    When I was an air traffic controller I told my father about “The Rule of Three”, ie, that accidents/incidents usually happen in threes. It’s probably just the way we group them in our minds, but at the time it does seem a valid thesis.

    My father mentioned this to a friend of his, a rabidly religious marine corps colonel who commanded and air wing. This man very vehemently expressed that such a sentiment was irreligious. He further stated that aviation was a matter of science and technology, superstition had nothing to do with it, and if he EVER heard one member of his command mention “The Rule of Three”, that person would regret it.

    He paused for a moment, gave my father a rather sheepish, rueful grin, and said, “Still…we ALL breathe a lot easier after that third one…”

    Poses more questions than answers, I guess.

  14. I would drink a beer and raise a toast to any of you, because disagreement is no reason for division – that’s the old world mentality and it’s discouraging to see ostensibly reasoned people so willingly embrace it.

    Tommykey,

    I don’t know if I would go so far as to call CL insecure.

    See below to Philly, and you gotta remember – he and SI are biased against me and have literally never given me a lick of credit for anything, even though I’m more than willing to give them credit where it’s due. You’re wrong about is the gadfly thing, as that’s not what motivates me. As far as beers at the pub, as stated above, I’d have them with anyone I debate online. Sure, sometimes we lock horns, but these guys are so bent against me that it blinds them from ever seeing anything positive in anything I say, whereas a rational person like yourself has no problem.

    SI,

    In terms of relevance, I didn’t see much to this poorly-expressed argument from authority. You just quoted some guy, then claimed I got “incensed” about what he said, when maybe what you meant is that your own similar remarks were the cause of our little stroll in the park earlier this week?

    ..this all seems like common sense to me. Why isn’t it as obvious to others, like cl?

    That the sun circled the Earth seemed like common sense, too. That something “seems like common sense” is not the best argument, SI.

    Philly,

    You’re hilarious. You say you don’t care for clowns, but to me that’s most of what you’ve shown yourself to be:

    Perhaps cl has feelings of insecurity and a lack of control, and his belief and douchey defense of it are how he fabricates control in his life. He is a freelancer I think.

    Here are a few tips in life for the penultimate educated and enlightened homo sapien – the one they call “PhillyChief” – the one who describes himself as “almost always right” and apparently really seems to believe it himself: whether they acknowledge it or not, everybody lacks control in life and feels insecure at times. I have no problem admitting what you in your vain pride imply to be without and intended as insult. While I appreciate your attempt at psychoanalyzing me, your time would honestly be much better spent introspecting. I’ve already thought this out to the end: If atheism is right, dying’s a piece of cake and I’ve already effectively done it in the streets. There is absolutely nothing to fear about an eternal cessation of consciousness, believe me. OTOH, if any variation of theism is right – unlike your coy and flippant self – I’m also adequately prepared. The best you can do is pretend you wouldn’t shit your pants.

    So no, I’m really not overly-worried about it, which allows me to live life to the fullest as much as I can, which is why I choose not to live a “work-centered” lifestyle. I told you before that I was WGA and wrote television, books and movies. I also own a niche publishing company and do print and web design on the side. So there’s a lot more to what I do than “being a freelancer,” which is usually someone that just can’t hustle very well.

    As far as douchey defenses, I’d be more worried about your own consistent willingness to be the laugh-getter, the class-clown attempting to conquer not through true intellectual fortitude, but mere red herring and charade. Whatever works, I guess.

  15. The atheistic (a misnomer) mind dogmatically asserts there is no God, yet if He should exist, then, He would have had to have a beginning like everything else. There is no allowance made for His omniscient being, or the fact that He is not subject to the influence of mortality that afflicts all other creatures. His nature is so different and so unique, and yet man attempts to box Him in with assertions that He MUST follow certain requirements to exist as a legitimate life form… according to even their own imperfect, always shifting understanding as to what constitutes reality at any given time.

    There is of course no scientific law or demonstrable process that would let something evolve from nothing. If there was nothing in the universe to begin with, obviously nothing could happen to cause anything to appear.

    Atheistic evolutionists often try to duck this problem by saying that evolution is not concerned with the origin of life, only how life progressed after it appeared. However, assuming the existence of an intricately working universe with some sort of life-forms already in it is not a minor assumption, and puts more faith in an unknown, counter-intuitive process than Christians put in God.

    The problem is that if you can’t get something from nothing, it’s pointless thinking you can accurately explain the next step. Juggle the figures any way you like, but without a Creator you are not going to get anything, let alone everything.

    Again, there is no scientific law or demonstrable process that can account for non-living objects coming to life. The non-living soil in your garden didn’t turn into living trees and flowers. They came from seeds, cuttings, or grafts from other living trees and flowers. Life invariably comes from something that is already alive.

    Atheistic evolutionists have long believed that at some time in the distant past, life arose from non-living substances. British biologist T.H. Huxley in 1869 and physicist John Tyndall in 1874 were early promoters of the idea that life could be generated from inorganic chemicals.

    But biology has found no support for this, and much against it. The invariable observation is that only living things give rise to other living things. Life could not begin if God and miracles took no part!

    Dr. Kenneth Poppe says in his book Exposing Evolution’s Weakest Link,
    “There are no provable mechanisms for how molecules could increase in complexity without cells to produce and utilize them. For example, you cannot assume proteins before you have the DNA that codes for them.”

    Imagine all life on earth disappeared. There are no trees, plants or animals. All we have is rocks, dust, and lifeless matter. So how does the earth get populated with living things? That’s the atheist evolutionist’s unanswerable dilemma, and shows the massive faith they have to hold in preposterous answers.

  16. if any variation of theism is right – unlike your coy and flippant self – I’m also adequately prepared.

    How exactly do you think you’re “adequately prepared”?

    The atheistic (a misnomer) mind dogmatically asserts there is no God…

    More like the theistic mind (an oxymoron) dogmatically asserts that atheists dogmatically assert there is no god.

    And really, the ‘something from nothing’ argument? Seriously?

    Here are a few clues:
    • evolution is neither inherently pro-theistic nor pro-atheistic
    • evolution is about development, and abiogenesis is about the origins of life
    “Life invariably comes from something that is already alive.” or not

    That’s the atheist evolutionist’s unanswerable dilemma, and shows the massive faith they have to hold in preposterous answers.

    If a question is unanswerable, than any answer one chooses to accept is at best a guess, at worst a pure fantasy. Which do you suppose is the answer of an all-powerful being with an unusually high fascination with a particular tribe of humans did it all, plus give them stone tablets with his laws on it along with designs for a pretty box to keep them in, have a kid, sacrifice the kid, and who keeps a naughty or nice list of everyone based on their adherence to his rules so he knows where to send them after they die? Hmmm… Dr. Poppe got an opinion on that by any chance?

  17. “More like the theistic mind (an oxymoron) dogmatically asserts that atheists dogmatically assert there is no god.

    Well, which is it, then? Do you or do you not believe in God? Enlighten me!

    As for the issue of something from nothing… life from non-life, you’re sidestepping the fact that there is a considerable amount of manipulation of extant matter, here, in the form of scientists operating under controlled conditions. They are operating with matter already created… they’ve created nothing of their own. Also, they, themselves, admit that this ‘creation’ of theirs shouldn’t be confused with the REAL McCoy…

    “Ghadiri cautioned that tPNA shouldn’t be seen as a direct analog of early life, but as demonstrating the plausibility of a similar system.”

    Your statement: “evolution is neither inherently pro-theistic nor pro-atheistic…” is a falsehood, as atheists always cite Evolution as their main reason for disbelief in God. It’s only been recently that any of them (and you are one) have taken to this new course of trying to disassociate with Evolution in order to attempt to steer around the main question of origins. Only a few years ago, most atheists would never have dreamed of answering in this manner. Smoke and mirrors, my friend.

    As far as life “developing” or ‘evolving’, there has been no new life forms occur spontaneously within the biosphere, nor has there been any new information introduced to the genome. Your missing link remains missing, extant only through various frauds or whimsical musings throughout the decades.

    Your last paragraph, minus the snide and mocking tone reminiscent of a child’s flippant tongue, contains nothing of relevance to this discussion. Your knowledge of Theology is obviously quite limited, and however Dr. Poppe responds to the biblical account, it would likely be from a favorable viewpoint, at least not chock-full of vitriol and prejudice like yours.

  18. As far as life “developing” or ‘evolving’, there has been no new life forms occur spontaneously within the biosphere

    And why should we expect it to? The conditions on Earth are far different today from when it happened. That’s like asking why tropical plants don’t grow in the Arctic Circle today because they once did hundreds of millions of years ago.

    But the answers to the question need not necessarily be on Earth. We will continue to explore Mars, as well as Jupiter’s moon Europa, and Saturn’s moons Titan and Enceladus. If evidence for life is found on any or all of those bodies, it could shed new light on the origin of life on Earth.

    And to reiterate what PhillyChief wrote above, we don’t know 100% whether or not there is a god, or specifically an intelligence that created our universe and exists outside of it. The options are a lot greater than either no god or god is real and spoke to Moses in the form of a burning bush.

  19. First you said “Life invariably comes from something that is already alive” and when I offered a counter to that, you changed to “They are operating with matter already created.” That’s not sidestepping, that’s backpedalling big time from a thwarted assertion to what you think is the safety of your presupposition, that matter came into existence. Well sorry cupcake, I don’t accept the presupposition, and I especially don’t accept the even bigger presupposition that matter not only popped into existence, but that it was “created”.

    Your statement: “evolution is neither inherently pro-theistic nor pro-atheistic…” is a falsehood, as atheists always cite Evolution as their main reason for disbelief in God

    Total bullshit on multiple levels:
    • I never heard of any atheists who made such a claim
    • it had nothing to do with my decision
    • there were atheists long before the theory of evolution
    • there are christians who accept evolution, like Francis Collins
    • I dare you to find anything in the science of evolution that says a peep about gods or anything supernatural.

    It must really burn you up when atheists not only fire back at your self righteous crap with flippant tongues, but show you up as an idiot in the process. Ahhhh

  20. Hey, Highwayman. What’s your point? God exists? Prove it. All the rest is bullshit, poking holes in swiss cheese until you do.

    Do you or do you not believe in God? Enlighten me!

    I don’t, but then I’ve never “dogmatically assert[ed] there is no God” either.

    So I’ll be kind and say that you operate under a mis-impression of atheists. Go read a little about the subject. And talk about dogma:

    …as atheists always cite Evolution as their main reason for disbelief in God

    Can’t get more dogmatic, or ignorant, than that.

    Your missing link remains missing,…

    Where do you get this stuff? Your pastor? Chick tracts? C’mon, missing links are so…irrelevant.You ought to go have a beer with cl, and discuss Piltdown man. It’s worth a good chuckle.

    Your knowledge of Theology is obviously quite limited…

    I was going to say something flippant, maybe even chock-full of vitriol and prejudice, but then remembered that I already said it. Up there in the post. Theology is worthless, except maybe to theologians whose paychecks depend on it.

  21. Tommykey, it actually may have more to do with “The Trinity” than we might think. The triune seems to crop up in so many places in religion and folk philosophy, as well as the fact that the moon is not visible for three days in reality. Life and death?

    I’ll leave the philosophical nuts for someone else to crack, I think.

  22. Barry, unfortunately in life you have to sometimes pass on sensible conversation and good points made by another when they prove time and again that they will use a thoughtful comment to engender conversation which will later be hijacked. Some people say a lot of things that make sense and are worth debating – but the *person themselves* is not worth the time.

  23. I have to comment that cl made some sensible points above that have not been close to rebutted.

    That’s how it works around here, Senator. They attack me – over and over and over and over – not my arguments. See Evo above, or Philly’s blog, for example. After all, it’s much easier to call names and commit the genetic fallacy than to think.

  24. How about answering how you’re “adequately prepared” for “if any variation of theism is right” before you cry me a river of ‘those mean atheists always call me names and hurt my feelings’?

  25. That’s how it works around here, Senator. They attack me – over and over and over and over – not my arguments. See Evo above, or Philly’s blog, for example. After all, it’s much easier to call names and commit the genetic fallacy than to think.

    [cue violins; turn on crocodile tears, along with other cliches of non-sympathy]

    What a crock.

    Not that I need to justify anything to the Senator, who clearly is an erudite and insightful individual, albeit with questionable politics, 8) but a simple review of the comments on my last post will show that cl doesn’t like to bother with the post itself, but rather prefers to pick apart clearly irrelevant matters, playing semantic games in the process. When people tire of the games, he then claims that no one wants to play, and declares himself the winner. It just gets tiresome.

    Except to cl. He just throws this shit out and likes to play word games. Maybe it’s a fun exercise for him, but as I said, it get tiresome. So we give up.

    As Evo noted, this is not the first time, nor the first blog that he does this on. He even does it on his own blog. He’ll come to yours and do it if you give him the chance and the inclination. Even a dog eventually learns that if you get kicked in the ribs every time, it’s best to avoid the next time.

    And WTF is a genetic fallacy?

  26. And WTF is a genetic fallacy?

    That everything he says is crap because he’s a proven douche, which is again yet another mistaken claim of a fallacy by El Douche-o, like his former favorite of crying “straw man” all the time. It’s not necessarily that what he says is crap, but rather because of it’s irrelevance to the topic and likelihood of being said for the sake of discussion derailment based on prior counts of the same behavior that he’s ignored.

    In this case though, I ignored the claim because he raised it AND because it was crap, but since you asked SI, I thought I’d respond.

  27. Senator,

    See what I mean? Look at Philly’s comment above where he freely confesses his own bias and commits exactly the fallacy I predicted. He’s great at sarcasm, not so good at rational discourse. And Philly, I don’t even think you’re mean. While I do think you’re semi-intelligent and highly witty, I just think you often act like a sarcastic smart-ass who happens to be a really sore loser at times. Your value to atheism is like that of a court jester to a king. Everyone needs comic relief now and again, but no king in his right mind would suggest his advisers discuss important matters with the court jester. Lastly, I’m not going to answer your question, because you’ve already made up your mind that “everything I say is crap.” Your choice.

    Then we have SI mixing a blatant lie:

    ..a simple review of the comments on my last post will show that cl doesn’t like to bother with the post itself,

    I usually steer far from accusing somebody of lying, but a simple review of the comments on that thread will show that I addressed whatever SI claimed was “the meat” of his post, which conveniently changed from time to time as it seemed to behoove SI. Also, that SI thinks something is irrelevant doesn’t make it irrelevant – SI’s just another man, no arbiter of relevance. This a free country and a free internet and if I find contradictions in SI’s posts, it’s my right to take notice – whether some self-appointed arbiter of relevance approves or not.

    It does get tiresome; that’s why I left that thread and never looked back.

    And WTF is a genetic fallacy?

    Stop reading New Atheist books and maybe you’ll learn something.

  28. Let’s see, we have:
    1) the well executed “nuh-uh” rebuttal
    2) further avoidance of answering a question
    3) inordinate amount personal attack which has no connection to the discussion

    At least when I call you a douche, I show why and how it’s relevant, like I just did, douche.

  29. May I point out – not a *single* piece of evidence for thinking the god of the Christians exists. This following thousands of comments.

    The great diversion.

  30. Philly,

    It’d be too easy to stoop to your level, but I’ll just wait ’til you burn out and enjoy the self-fulfilling prophecies in the meantime. Seriously man, you fancy yourself so smart and so rational, but time and time again you suggest otherwise. I explained why I wasn’t going to answer your question – no matter what I say, in your mind, I’m a (fill in the blank with preferred irrational insult of the week). If you really think that’s rational, so be it. I honestly feel sorry for you, that you have such intense dislike of another human being, all on account of something as stupid as religion. Although I pay taxes for your right to promote old-world patterns, you act exactly like the Fundamentalists you vociferously decry. I also find it funny that you always seem to overlook genuine compliments in favor of seeing what you want to see – insults and division over religion. Some atheist.

    Evo,

    What you really mean is, you’ve never seen a piece of evidence for the “Christian God” that you’re willing to accept. There’s a huge difference, speaking of diversions and all.

  31. I usually steer far from accusing somebody of lying, but a simple review of the comments on that thread will show that I addressed whatever SI claimed was “the meat” of his post, which conveniently changed from time to time as it seemed to behoove SI.

    Mmm hmmm. 17 comments in, you finally started to address the post itself. Whoopdee doo. After spending 16 long comments trying to get me to define terms relative to an issue that was at best, peripheral, and certainly needed no definitions.

    See this is what discussion with you disintegrates into. Semantics. We are now arguing over who said what, and when, rather than discussing the post itself.

    This post. Do you have anything relevant to say about this one?

  32. Hmmm… let my see if I can use basic xhtml.

    2009 June 30 cl permalink
    Senator,

    See what I mean?

    First of all cl, I appreciate the form of address 🙂

    It amazes me that the internet gives so many people the opportunity to showcase their wit, sarcarm, clever turn of phrase, etc. that is generally frowned upon in everyday discourse, particularly when discoursing with a spouse.

    A Q for you SI, how have you come up with so many different angles and approaches to have such a broad ranging discussion of a single topic? Especially a topic where in the end, there is no ONE answer, simply many opinions, all of which are entitled to due respect. Amazing. Simply amazing. My simple blog is a scattershot approach to thousands of topics most of which really don’t matter in the long run.

    BG

  33. No, I have dislike for you, cl, because you’re a douche, and that’s independent from your religious beliefs, whatever they may be.

    You can make all the claims about me that you want, only you can’t offer anything to support them, whereas it’s quite easy for me to point to your exhibited douchery, so please, go on with the put downs because it’s like you’re hurling poo into a fan and I’m enjoying the show.

    I explained why I wasn’t going to answer your question – no matter what I say, in your mind, I’m a (fill in the blank with preferred irrational insult of the week)

    So you gauge whether or not to answer a question based on whether the answer may make the listener like you or at least stop calling you names. That’s an interesting response, and a clumsy dodge.

    What you really mean is, you’ve never seen a piece of evidence for the “Christian God” that you’re willing to accept.

    Demonstrable, corroborative evidence doesn’t require an act of will for acceptance.

  34. A Q for you SI, how have you come up with so many different angles and approaches to have such a broad ranging discussion of a single topic?

    Are you talking about from post to post, or within one post?

    If the former, most likely it’s because there are so many different sub-topics, let’s call them variations on the main theme. It’s a fascinating topic to those inclined to beat themselves over the head with a brick.

    If the latter, I chalk it up to people like cl who tend to go off on tangents, though I can’t help but take some of the heat. I’m just as guilty on occasion, and as the owner of the post, I have an obligation to try to keep matters on topic, but frankly, I don’t care where things go, once I drop a post into the digital ether.

    Especially a topic where in the end, there is no ONE answer, simply many opinions, all of which are entitled to due respect.

    There are opinions, but opinions are like assholes, you know, and they are not all entitled to respect. To have an opinion worthy of respect, one should be able to substantiate the opinion, back it up, so to speak, and frankly, simply asserting that it’s an opinion on religion does not make it automatically worthy of respect. Any opinion should be capable of healthy disrespect in the market of ideas, and if it can’t withstand it, then it’s not worth much, is it? Political opinions don’t get automatic respect. Scientific opinions don’t. Medical ones don’t. Social opinions don’t. Why is religion so special?

    Were the opinions of the 19 hijacker’s on 9/11 worthy of respect? Now there was a faith based initiative if I’ve ever seen one, totally based on religious opinions. How about Pat Robertson’s opinion that New Orleans was punished in Septemeber ’05 for the homosexuality that was running rampant (in his opinion) in Amercia? Worthy of respect? Total religious dumbfuckery. I don’t respect it. Do you?

    So, no, I don’t think they are all entitled to due respect. The people are; not their opinions.

  35. Is there anyone on this thread who can point me to evidence for the Christian god that I have overlooked simply because I “choose” to overlook it? Any evidence at all. Note: I didn’t say any *information* or *opinions* or *experiences*.

    Just think of me as a dumbfuck juror on a case. One side is claiming the god of the Christians is no more credible than any other superstitious claim that everyone on the jury and in both of the litigating camps agrees is just superstition. The other camp claims the Christian god deserves a different level of probability. They are to present us dumbfuck jurors with the evidence.

    So what is it that I, as a juror, am refusing to consider? Or, is it information that the judge has ruled inadmissible due to the fact that it is *not evidence*?

  36. PhillyChief,

    No, I have dislike for you, cl, because you’re a douche, and that’s independent from your religious beliefs, whatever they may be.

    I’m not a douche. I’m a person.

    ..it’s quite easy for me to point to your exhibited douchery,

    Nah. It’s quite easy for you to keep repeating your opinion that I’m a douche, though, and really, as predictable as your lack of cogency – cupcake.

    So you gauge whether or not to answer a question based on whether the answer may make the listener like you or at least stop calling you names.

    No. Among other things, I gauge whether or not to answer a question based on past interaction with the interlocuter. You’ve never once agreed or testified to seeing anything of any value in anything I’ve said in almost two years now, and you have never once said anything that indicates any respect for me whatsoever. I don’t believe I can convince you of anything, nor do I believe that anything I can ever say as “cl” will get your respect. Whether this changes is up to you, as you could easily find something positive to say about anyone – but for now, that’s why I’m not answering you. When I agree on your blog, you ignore me. When I compliment you, you ignore it. You look for the negative, and although I know you’re capable of more, I just see you as a hater.

    Demonstrable, corroborative evidence doesn’t require an act of will for acceptance.

    That’s why I asked SI what he meant by evidence.

    SI,

    We can agree that religious beliefs don’t deserve respect, but this is total BS:

    Were the opinions of the 19 hijacker’s on 9/11 worthy of respect? Now there was a faith based initiative if I’ve ever seen one, totally based on religious opinions.

    Note to those who read too much Dawkins: 9/11 was not “totally based on religions opinions.” Anyone who makes this claim only shows how strong their own bias is – so strong as to overlook decades of evidence suggesting otherwise. Nice fail, SI.

    After spending 16 long comments trying to get me to define terms relative to an issue that was at best, peripheral, and certainly needed no definitions.

    I appreciate that you’re showing a deeper commitment to honesty and all, but that’s just the thing: that you deem something “at best, peripheral” doesn’t mean other people might not see something valuable in that line of discussion. Get outside yourself, and what you think is relevant.

    And lastly, if you don’t care where things go, why bitch so much about derailment?

    Evo,

    Read my latest on SI’s latest and get back to me.

  37. I’m not a douche. I’m a person.

    Fine, you’re a person who behaves like a douche.

    You’ve never once agreed or testified to seeing anything of any value in anything I’ve said in almost two years now…

    So naturally, being the megalomaniac that you are, you’ve concluded that must mean I’m deliberately ignoring the great pearls of wisdom you’ve been passing out over that time. LOL!

    …and you have never once said anything that indicates any respect for me whatsoever.

    Well you reap what you sow, Sunshine.

    Whether this changes is up to you…

    No, it’s up to you to stop behaving like a douche, because I can tell you right now the chances of me waking up one day and no longer being put off by douchey behavior are REALLY fucking small.

    When I agree on your blog, you ignore me. When I compliment you, you ignore it.

    Your attempts at flattery provoke suspicion (see “you reap what you sow” above).

    I’m going to have to bookmark this whole damn thread. Instant classic! I thought your little vendetta against Chaplain for being called a troll was ridiculous but this? Wow! You’re an emotional, spiteful wreck because after two years of trying, I won’t acknowledge you and tell you that I like you? ROTFLMAO! Should I add daddy issues to the psychoanalysis? Woo boy, I’d love a peek at your medicine cabinet, and of course the shrinks’ notes. Rational? Logical? Yeah, sure you are. You just keep believing that, and whatever other fantasies circulate in that head of yours.

    So anybody out there who cl doesn’t yet believe thinks he’s a douche care to ask him the earlier question of mine he won’t answer? Is there such a person? Helloooooo? Well if you’re out there, perhaps you can ask him for some demonstrable evidence for the Christian god which doesn’t require an act of will to accept.

  38. You’re still here? My, I’ve seen fourth-graders pick this up faster than you!

    “Total bullshit on multiple levels:
    I never heard of any atheists who made such a claim”

    You don’t get around, do you? They’re all doing it, because some of the smarter ones (obviously not of your circle of friends) realize that without their evolutionary scheme they have nothing to stand upon in their rejection of God. Are you in suspended animation, or something?

    ” it had nothing to do with my decision”

    I doubt anything rational had anything to do with your decision.

    ” there were atheists long before the theory of evolution”</em

    Yes, the stupid have always been with us.

    “there are christians who accept evolution, like Francis Collins”

    Then he isn’t a Christian… obviously.

    “I dare you to find anything in the science of evolution that says a peep about gods or anything supernatural.”

    It excludes God, which speaks volumes about it’s relevancy.

    And yours.

  39. “Hey, Highwayman. What’s your point? God exists? Prove it.”

    Spanish Inquisitor:

    Prove He doesn’t.

  40. “atheists always cite Evolution as their main reason for disbelief in God”

    Remember saying that? Remember the “always”? Whether I get out much or not is irrelevant. You claimed “always” and I sunk the claim. Nice backpedal though, just like the last time I challenged one of your claims.

    Naked assertions, backpedalling from claims, and the ol’ no true Scotsman fallacy. Yeah, you’re a shining example of Christian virtue.

  41. Highwayman (Nice moniker. Someone who robs travelers on the road. Though I should talk, eh?)

    I can’t say that I’m completely conversant on all the rhetorical fallacies, and probably commit a few now and then when I’m not paying attention, but Jebus, try not to insult our intelligence while you’re busy insulting your own.

  42. Highwayman, evolution is a fact. And, yes, you are sort of right. The fact of evolution does kind of serve to disprove YOUR version of god. So you asked SI for proof, and I’m sure you meant “prove MY god doesn’t exist”, so…. there’s your proof. You can whine about evolution all you want, baby. But it’s a scientific fact. You can continue to completely reject the real world. But you can’t make magic work. You can imply that people who have double your intellect are stupid. But you’ll still be seen as the class clown.

  43. “Highwayman, evolution is a fact.”

    My apologies, John Evo. I was still under the impression it was a theory. Seeing as how atheists are always scrambling to keep up with all the refutations, I should have known they’d have revised that one by now. Of course, your assertions mean nothing to me, because, you still haven’t proved anything relevant to your stance, nor has “SI”, and I’m still waiting… for a long time, I’ll wager.

    Yes, Philly Chief, indeed, why not? The door swings both ways, and you sound like it may have swatted you in the face more than once. You seem to think the burden of proof must be laid at the Christian’s feet. I see no reason why you can’t pony up with some irrefutable evidence that God doesn’t exist… you, or Spanish Inquisitor. You seem quite talented at making blanket dogmatic statements about believers and God, too, so I wouldn’t be critiquing me on my use of “always.”

    I’ve had a look at all of your blogs, and find them very entertaining. Anyway, I doubt neither I or my shady moniker will find much in the way of any serious enlightenment there or here.

  44. One reason I stick with you, Philly, is because I’m confident the truly rational can see who’s truly rational. Lest you change your strategy, after a while, the rational will see that you have no clothes. Of course, I don’t expect your buddies to agree, but their rationalism is selective and depends on whom they’re talking to.

    Fine, you’re a person who behaves like a douche.

    Yet I don’t clean anyone’s vagina, and I’m just doing the same thing you are: discussing things online. Though I’ll usually defend myself, when I misunderstand you, I don’t see any reason to go on and on with all these red herrings and anti-intellectual puffery.

    ..you’ve concluded that must mean I’m deliberately ignoring the great pearls of wisdom you’ve been passing out over that time.

    I have no idea what you think on that which you don’t express. I’ve concluded that you see what you want to see, and I’ve never seen anything that suggests otherwise.

    Well you reap what you sow,

    Who doesn’t? It was you who sowed disrespect on our very first date at Chaplain’s, and you continue: you call me irrational, followed by name-calling. Two years now. I’m willing to move forward anytime.

    ..the chances of me waking up one day and no longer being put off by douchey behavior are REALLY fucking small.

    I believe the chances of you ever respecting any theist are small. To me, you’re like a Palestinian Fundamentalist stuck in the old-world pattern of expressing dislike for those who are different than you: I’ll never be anything besides a douchebag Jew to you. It’s sad and discouraging to see people who pay so much lip service to rational thought endorsing that which they so vocally criticize.

    Your attempts at flattery provoke suspicion

    Might I suggest it’s you who has the issues if you can’t even take a genuine compliment from someone because they’re not in your silly little Scarlet A club? I’m not attempting to flatter you. I honestly don’t care about your feelings. The reason I give compliments is because I mean them, and also to avoid becoming a one-sided hater. It also helps remind me that you are in fact a human being deserving of respect. I’ve meant everything positive I’ve ever said about you. Take it or leave it.

    I thought your little vendetta against Chaplain for being called a troll was ridiculous but this? Wow! You’re an emotional, spiteful wreck because after two years of trying, I won’t acknowledge you and tell you that I like you?

    There’s not a spiteful bone in my body for you, Philly, and the thing with Chaplain wasn’t born from the desire to get revenge. Go ahead and peek at my medicine cabinet. You’ll find Tom’s Toothpaste, dental floss, sunscreen, mouthwash… and rolling papers. That’s about it. I don’t take meds unless my shoulder’s drooping to the ground on one side like last year.

    So anybody out there who cl doesn’t yet believe thinks he’s a douche care to ask him the earlier question of mine he won’t answer? Is there such a person?

    There are plenty of people in that set. Lifeguard is one of them, though I doubt he’ll allow himself to be pulled him into this. No skin off my back, as I already know he agrees with me that in spite of whatever point lies beneath your bile, you can be a tremendous smart-ass.

    ..perhaps you can ask [cl] for some demonstrable evidence for the Christian god which doesn’t require an act of will to accept.

    All evidence requires an act of will to accept, else how could we have evolution and climate-change deniers?

    The Highwayman,

    First off, I’m not an atheist. That being said, I generally don’t ever make blanket dogmatic statements about believers and God, and among other things, I also took issue with your use of the word “always” like they did. Your first comment is rife with scientific error and reads like an apologist tract from the 40’s. I’m not trying to be rude, it’s just that Augustine’s words keep reverberating in my ears: “..we should take all means to prevent such an embarrassing situation, in which people show up vast ignorance in a Christian and laugh it to scorn… If they find a Christian mistaken in a field which they themselves know well and hear him maintaining his foolish opinions, how are they going to believe in the matters concerning the resurrection of the dead, the hope of eternal life and the kingdom of heaven?” Don’t get me wrong, either – I’m not implying that anyone here knows science well – at least not PhillyChief or Evo.

    Put the Kenneth Pope books down and learn natural science from natural scientists instead of psychologists with undeniable ulterior motives, please. It can only strengthen your arguments.

  45. All evidence requires an act of will to accept

    No, I disagree. Accepting proper evidence requires no act of will. What requires an act of will is either denying such evidence or accepting improper evidence. For instance, it takes an act of will to believe calling you a douche isn’t warranted for it means ignoring at least two years of your behavior on blogs.

    Your so-called compliments are either back-handed compliments or set-ups for something douchey yet to come, so why should anyone ever bother with them?

    All your attempts to paint me as the bad guy are to try to undermine me showing what a tremendous douche you are. It’s just one long ad hominem because although you may be capable of an act of will great enough to ignore at least two years worth of your douchey blog behavior, the same can’t be said for most others, and with no possible defense against such a history, even against your history in this comment section, all you can do is attack the whistle blower. Oh, and of course anyone else who sees you for what you are must then be part of the “silly little Scarlet A club”, too. You’re worse than a douche. You’re pathetic.

  46. “..we should take all means to prevent such an embarrassing situation, in which people show up vast ignorance in a Christian and laugh it to scorn… If they find a Christian mistaken in a field which they themselves know well and hear him maintaining his foolish opinions, how are they going to believe in the matters concerning the resurrection of the dead, the hope of eternal life and the kingdom of heaven?”

    Good quote. I’m going to use that somewhere.

    Like here.

  47. CL, their science in general is rife with error, and I wasn’t referring to you at all in my conversation with them. How you ply your trade is entirely up to you, as it is them. I’m just a commenter, not a babysitter, and I don’t have to prove anything to these guys, you, or anyone else.

    It would be a full-time job to show these guys what it’s taken me decades to learn, and I don’t have the time. I’m not a full-time researcher, with endless time to explore all the atheist blogs and bone up on all of the latest error, nor the resources to post exhaustive treatises online. The arguments they use are pretty lame, and I’ve noticed yours and others comments haven’t made a dent in their resolve to oppose you. On the other hand, there are those that appreciate hearing a little hope in a world gone completely mad, and they are more than willing to consider what is merely fodder for scoffing and ridicule here.

    So, you go ahead and evangelize to your hearts content. I have other matters to attend to. Good luck, CL, and may the Lord bless.

    H.

  48. The Highwayman,

    No hard feelings, it’s just that party lines mean nothing to me and I feel compelled to raise legitimate questions and criticisms no matter who’s talking.

    ..their science in general is rife with error,

    I agree that science claims I’ve heard from Philly and Evo have been rife with error, most notably their misunderstanding of falsifiability. Philly in particular confuses me, because some days he pulls the “Prove it” card, yet other days he agrees with me that scientifically speaking, God is an unfalsifiable construct – and yet he still calls me names when I agree with him that God is an unfalsifiable construct. Evo connects falsifiability to evidence as opposed to claims, which leaves me wondering all sorts of things.

    On the other hand, there are those that appreciate hearing a little hope in a world gone completely mad, and they are more than willing to consider what is merely fodder for scoffing and ridicule here.

    I agree, and I’m more than willing to consider your comment. I liked most of it. I just had to speak out on a few things in particular.

    So, you go ahead and evangelize to your hearts content.

    I don’t evangelize on atheists blogs because it typically offends their owners. Most of the reason I’m here is to be sure my beliefs can stand the test of reason. It’s been two years now, and so far, they have. I also speak up to dispel common myths people have about believers. None of this is to say I haven’t lost arguments or learned from atheists, either. I can honestly say that if it weren’t for Brad and Lifeguard among others – and even SI on occasion, who helped me see the light on a legal question recently – I’d be far less intelligent and my arguments much less refined. Though some can’t hang and get easily butthurt when you expose weaknesses in their arguments (pride’s a bitch), I value these guys more than I think most of them will ever fully realize.

    You’re completely on point when you say, “They are operating with matter already created… they’ve created nothing of their own.” In case you’re interested, the comments of yours I took the most issue with were these:

    Atheistic evolutionists have long believed that at some time in the distant past, life arose from non-living substances. British biologist T.H. Huxley in 1869 and physicist John Tyndall in 1874 were early promoters of the idea that life could be generated from inorganic chemicals. But biology has found no support for this, and much against it.

    ..there has been no new life forms occur spontaneously within the biosphere,

    [Francis Collins] isn’t a Christian… obviously. [because he accepts evolution]

    In the first paragraph, the first two sentences are fine, although use of the axiom “atheistic evolutionists” bothers me. It’s the last sentence in particular that I believe is untrue. Don’t take the ICR’s bait, think about it: if we say that life only comes from pre-existing life, we set up the same sort of conundrum cosmologists are currently losing sleep and hair over. Even if we presume the Bible true, it still follows that organic life came from inorganic raw materials, at some point this side of the singularity.

    New species can arise in as little as a single generation.

    That Francis Collins believes evolution doesn’t mean Francis Collins rejects Christ.

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