Evolution: Life on earth began gradually beginning with one primitive species—perhaps a self-replicating molecule—that lived more than 3.5 billion years ago; it then branched out over time, throwing off many new and diverse species; and the mechanism for most (but not all) of evolutionary change is natural selection.
Today scientists have as much confidence in Darwinism as they do in the existence of atoms, or in microorganisms as the cause of infectious disease.
—Jerry Coyne, biologist and professor of Ecology and Evolution at the University of Chicago, in his book, Why Evolution is True, pp. xvii; 3
Gary: There is nothing that destroys a superstition, religious our otherwise, like good scientific evidence. I believe that if any person takes the time to sit down with a good, simple primer on evolution, such as Coyne’s book referenced above, it will be impossible for him or her to continue believing that a supernatural being created the universe and every species of living organism that has ever existed in six literal days.
And think about this: If humans are the product of a long process of evolutionary development from lower life forms, why would we ever need a Savior?
The best antidote for fundamentalist religious ignorance is science and a college education!
56 thoughts on “Dear Christian Conservatives: Evolution is Not Just a Theory. Evolution is a Fact.”
re: “If humans are the product of a long process of evolutionary development from lower life forms, why would we ever need a Savior?”
Could you explain your reasoning? I’ve been thinking about it, but honestly, I’m not quite making the connection… I’d appreciate your insights on this.
If evolution is true the Hebrew Creation Story is fiction; there was no Fall (of Adam), and if there was no Fall, humans do not need atonement for sin. And speaking of sin, if humans are no different than all other animals, why is it that only our “bad” activities are considered “sin”?
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Ah, now I see.. Yes, this is directed at Conservative Christians – meaning, I guess, those that believe in a literal six-day creation?
“Less conservative” Christians see no theological problems with evolution. But, then, “less conservative” Christians still would assert a difference between Man and the rest of the animal kingdom, and that difference itself – or, the “cause” or “origin” of that difference – is not something subject to, or resulting from an evolutionary process.
The Naturalist has to assert a resounding “negative”: “There is nothing but nature”. The Supernaturalist can assert both a Natural and a Supernatural, while not at all diminishing natures processes.
In your view, why do human beings need a Savior?
How God using evolutionary development absolves us of our sins doesn’t make sense.
If anything the fact that you believe that there is such a thing as right wrong shows that we can’t be products of just biological adaption – https://www.str.org/blog/why-evolutionary-ethics-fails-to-account-for-objective-morality#.WtN35nO6I0M
Since an objective assessment of the evidence of the Resurrection shows that Jesus did rise from the dead, that alone is enough to show our need for a Saviour and the provision of that Saviour.
Never mind how stuffed the world is. That should convince anyone of our need for a Saviour.
But if evolution is true, there was no point for Jesus to die for “sins”. His death was a waste. Even if it is true that he came back to life by a miracle, there is still no need for a Savior. Please explain why humans need a Savior if humans evolved from lower life forms as did all other living species. Why do we need a Savior for our bad behavior but gorillas and champanzees do not?
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Gary, evolution can be fully embraced as a “developmental method” by a Theist – even a Christian Theist – BUT – as I pointed out earlier, evolution does NOT fully produce the being which we call a “human being”. Heck, at this point, I’m not sure it can be shown how “life” – of *anything* – arises from non-living form, any more than it can be shown how rational thought can arise from totally irrational interactions of molecules and electrons.
Giving evolution it’s “widest berth”, and allowing that evolution can result in a myriad of “life forms” (even thought we don’t have any idea how “life itself” came about), “Man” is made of two parts – body and spirit. And, the spirit isn’t something produced by evolutionary means, any more than rational thought is produced by evolutionary means (although, it might well be said that the *capacity* of rational thought can be produced by evolutionary means).
You keep thinking that if various life-forms can develop by evolutionary means, that must therefore imply that a Theist who allows for Evolution must therefore think “the physical form is all there is to a human being, or any other creature”. But, such is not the case.
I really don’t know why you don’t get that. You’ve read – and mis-read – the bible enough to know full well that Man, and even lower animals, have a spirit. And, spirits are bequeathed by God, and are that which gives an organism “life”.
IF Man were nothing but a purely material, physical being, OR, really, more specifically, if Man were purely a physical being with no rationality and no Free Will, then your question would, of course, be pointing to a really good point.
But, there’s no way to answer the question you’re asking, *because* it presumes that Man (and, in fact, even other animals) are nothing but material, physical beings with no spiritual component, and that Man, in particular, somehow has rational thought which somehow arises from irrational movements of molecules and atoms, and, that Man simply does not have Free Will, but rather, acts according to nothing but irrational forces… And, here’s the deal: You won’t find Christian Theists – (the ones that allow for evolution) – to *ever* be making some kind of claim that there is no spiritual component to Man – one that is bequeathed by God, and not a result of evolution.
You’re asking “if a cow has wings, then why don’t we ever see them flying?”, when nobody has claimed that cows have wings.
So you are saying that all animals have a spirit? If so, why must only humans choose or reject a Savior?
yes, I’m saying animals have a spirit, too. And, if you’re wondering, so does the ancient Hebrew story found in Genesis say exactly the same thing.
animals, however, do not have anything close to the developed “self-awareness” or reasoning of humans, nor do they have Free Will. The spirit gives each one of them “life”, and, I would imagine that if any of the animals developed self-awareness and the ability to reason, they too would therefore have Free Will.
But, alas, that is not the story… Only humans have the consciousnes or self-awareness and power of reason that seem to be quite essential to exercising Free Will. Hence, humans alone can decide to either be motivated by nothing but base animal instincts (which we do have), or, to make *other* decisions that transcend such base animal drives.
Of course, it’s purely a choice. You either exercise your Free Will, or, you just “go with the animal flow”, so to speak. Thing is, though, apart from a God who endows a person with the capacity to reason and of self-awareness, there is no Free Will.
But, you don’t need to take my word for that. Just read the views of some dedicated Determinists.
Only humans have the consciousness or self-awareness and power of reason that seem to be quite essential to exercising Free Will.
Can you provide scientific evidence that only humans have consciousness/self-awareness and power of reason?
Of what benefit was it to humans to receive a “free will” from God if the consequence of that gift was, for the majority of humanity according to the Bible, eternal damnation…however you might define that term? Also, if the Genesis Creation Story is fictional/allegorical as moderate and liberal Christians believe, when exactly did God gift humans a conscience and free will?
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re: “Can you provide scientific evidence that only humans have consciousness/self-awareness and power of reason?”
Nope, and neither can you. But it’s not a matter of whether animals – including the “higher mamals” (ie, chimps, dolphins, etc) have self-awareness; it’s a matter of *degrees* not only of self-awareness but also of ability of reason. As I said (and which ou seem to have chosen to ignore) “animals, however, do not have anything close to the developed “self-awareness” or reasoning of humans”.
To quote Darwin, “It may be freely admitted that no animal is self-conscious, if by this term it is implied that he reflects on such points, as whence he comes or whither he will go, or what is life and death, and so forth.” Darwin and I are alike in another view, as well. Darwin also said “Nevertheless, the difference in mind between man and the higher animals, great as it is, certainly is one of degree and not of kind.”
I do not know that science has come up with anything different than what Darwin suggested: Certain animals may indeed have a level of self-awareness. But, I do not know that any animals have the level of reasoning that humans have. “However, since animals cannot engage in metacognition by thinking thoughts about thoughts, they cannot have the concepts of inference needed for logical reasoning. Rather, we can describe their reasoning process in causal terms. Consider a gazelle who see a lion and then runs away. Gazelles can understand that lions cause them to run, and that since there is a lion here I run. This causal understanding is developed through experience with regularities in the environment, and while they are able to generalize to a certain extent, this ability is limited.” [ Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy / Animal Cognition” ]
Of course, you could have looked up evidence for yourself.
re: “Of what benefit was it to humans to receive a “free will” from God if the consequence of that gift was, for the majority of humanity according to the Bible, eternal damnation”
OH, was it “eternal damnation”? Really???? THAT was the “consequence” of a GIFT? SERIOUSLY???
That’s another question that is like asking “why doesn’t that cow fly if it has wings”? (who said it has wings???)
Maybe if you want to rephrase that question in some form that actually makes some sense, I can manage a response…
When exactly did God decide to hold one species eternally accountable for their behavior and thoughts? It’s a simple question.
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So you are saying that all animals have a spirit? If so, why must only humans choose or reject a Savior?
it’s not Gary you’re arguing with here, ft, it’s ‘Saint’ Paul. Paul believed a literal Adam and that his fall had brought God’s condemnation on us all. Only Christ, ‘the last Adam’, could rectify this situation (Paul witters on about all this in Romans 5.12-21 and 1 Corinthians 15.45.)
Gary is right therefore to say that evolution negates the need for a savior. If there was no literal Adam (and there wasn’t), no original sin and no condemnation of the human race as a whole, then all of creation cannot be returned to a state of perfection. Paul is wrong when declares that through Christ it would be (Romans 8.20-27). There was no perfect state to begin with so we cannot return to it.
As for sin, it’s nothing more that a religious construct; the idea that all our problems are caused by rebellion against God has no purchase in the real world
I wonder if you can explain, ft, how you decide which bits of the bible it’s safe to ditch? Obviously you don’t subscribe to a literal Adam, and consequently Paul’s theology based on that idea has to go too. How do you decide which bits you think should be adhered to and which can safely be discarded?
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Neil – seriously, who cares whether Paul believed in a literal Adam or not?
You ask “how you decide which bits of the bible it’s safe to ditch”?
My take on it is that you’re whole approach to the bible is as literalistic as Gary’s. And, of course, that’s the only thing you can argue against. You can’t handle an argument against someone who is not a literalist, and, if they’re not a literalist (like yourself), you tell them “you’re wrong not to be”.
But, Neil – the “literalness” of Adam has been a topic of discussion in Judaism since about the day after the tome was written. Just like the “literal six-day creation” thing.
“Other Jewish thinkers, such as Mordecai Kaplan and Yeshayahu Leibowitz, reconcile the biblical account of creation with evolutionary theory by rejecting literal understandings of the Bible in favor of metaphorical or allegorical readings. They argue that the Bible is not meant to provide an accurate scientific description of the origins of the world. Rather, it is a spiritual account of why the world came into being and what our role is in it. These thinkers follow a long tradition of Jewish commentators who view the Bible non-literally, from rabbis of the Talmudic era to Maimonides.” [ My Jewish Learning ]
The whole topic of the six-day creation, the “literal Adam”, and so on and so on has *always* been a “fluid discussion”, going back even before the time of Jesus, back to the beginnings of the Talmud – in Babylon. You’ll find ancient rabbinic discourse in which they were discussing a literal “24-hour day of creation”, knowing full well that the sun and moon weren’t created until the 4th day, so — “how could there have been 24 hour days???” (yep, rabbis have discussed this since even before you were born).
So, do us all a favor — Don’t bother with your approach of “…if you’re not literalist, then you’re just ditching parts of the bible” approach. It makes me think you are ignorant, OK?
Your quotes from Jewish scholars certainly make sense if one is Jewish. But our question is: Why do you as a Christian believe that you need a Savior if there was never a “fall” of humankind from a state of perfection to a state of sinfulness? Why does the Christian God, Yahweh/Jesus Christ, hold one species eternally accountable for their thoughts and deeds?
Gary – I never once said there wasn’t a “fall”. You seem to presume that a “literal Adam” – meaning, “Adam, created on the sixth day of creation, in a literal 24-hour-day of creation” type of Adam.
The *point* of the story, though – whether taken literally or not – is that there was a “first Man” that willfully chose to act contrary to Gods purpose, design, and will for that “first Man”. That would, of course, require that the “first Man” would be one who had significantly-developed capacity of self-awareness, consciousness, intellect, and power of reason that would enable (a) a conscious realization of a God, and (b) the Free Will to act in any fashion he would decide.
Thus, there very well could have been (and probably was) a bona-fide “first Man” (which we can call Adam, if we like) — the first “creature” that had developed to that critical point of self-awareness, and with the sufficient power of reason, (etc) to actually, willfully *choose* not to be what God had designed him to be, nor to act in a way that God had designed for him to act.
We see this very same pattern in infants, and in their development: They come out of the womb with virtually no concept of “who they are” – cognitive abilities, self-awareness, consciousness, and reason all develop over time. But, then, they reach a point where these capacities are all operational, and they can then willfully make their own choices, etc. Some religions call this “The Age of Accountability”, or “The Age of Responsibility”. Judaism is no different: Formally pronouncing this stage in a young persons development is what a Bar Mitzvah is about.
So, this “literal” view which you stringently hold to is NOT at all, by any means, a necessity in order to have a “fall”, nor is it necessary in order for Man to need a redeemer.
But, you keep asking about a “Savior”. But, that’s asking about one tiny aspect of what is actually necessary. I’ve avoided answering it directly because unless you can first, at least, grasp what the nature of the “fall” was, there’s not point in trying to discuss a concept that developed long, long after the fall had occurred.
So you have chosen to believe one detail of the Adam and Eve Story (that the first humans willfully chose to disobey God) but reject the rest of the story? On what rational basis do you pick and choose which parts of an ancient tale to believe and which parts to reject?
And why would God single out one species for possessing a free will? It wasn’t as if man was created in his image. If evolution is true, human beings emerged from the primordial swamp due to natural selection, not due to design. Why would God then give this one species a free will to obey or disobey him?
And think about this: The literal interpretation of the Creation Story is bad, but the interpretation of moderate Christians such as ft is much worse. In the literalist Christian Creation Story, God decides to create a universe and human beings after existing for all eternity past without them. Why did he at some point decide to create humans? Why would a perfect being need to create living organisms “in his image”? Was he bored? Was he lonely? It makes no sense! The only rational answer is: “Our ways are not His ways”, which is simply an intellectual cop-out.
But in the moderate Christian Creation Story, the ancestors of human beings had lived for millions of years, each one of them struggling and dying, producing offspring which all struggled, suffered, and died…for millions of years, I again remind you…and then one day God decides: “Wow. Look how far this one species has progressed! I think I’m going to give him a conscience and a free will to see if he will obey me and LOOOOOOOOVE me. But if the SOB disobeys me, his offspring will continue to struggle, suffer, and die, but now…I will make them struggle and suffer for all eternity after they experience a (frequently) painful physical death!!!
What a sick belief system.
As for sin, it’s nothing more that a religious construct; the idea that all our problems are caused by rebellion against God has no purchase in the real world
AMEN & A-WOMEN!!!
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Did that shut down ft or did he simply get bored with the conversation?
bored… oh, and travelling right now… bbl…. but, yeh, this thread is more tedious than boring (if that’s even possible)
Just want to make sure you had been caught up in the Rapture or something.
OK, Gary … Tell you what… I’m gonna “parse” the original story for you, like you were a fourth grader. I wish I had a coloring book for you to follow…
But first, class, you need to understand: This “literal 24-hour-day creation” has been debated among the Jews since long before the time of Christ.
However, I know this is really hard to conceptualize, so I don’t want to confuse you. I know you want everything to have one meaning, and one meaning only. I understand, class. So, I’ll do the best I can, and hopefully — someday — you can all learn to parse ancient tales for yourself…
In Gen 1, God “speaks” and creates light. How does God speak? If there’s no atmosphere anywhere, how can sound waves travel? Hmmm… Good question. Maybe “God speaks” in some other fashion than we know about? I dunno. And I be you dunno either. But, let’s skip this part, because already, this is going to have your literalist brain in a tiff..
The story moves on through God separating “waters above” from “waters below”… What the heck???? Oh, my goodness, this is going to take some *thought*. But, let’s skip this part, too, because we don’t want to have to *think* too much.
In fact, lets skip all the stuff about how “God made two lights – the sun and moon”, and other lights – the stars. Why? Well, because, it says that God *made* those, not *created* them. Does that mean He made them from already-existent materials? Ohhhhh… This is really *hard*. Let’s skip all this stuff, and not ask questions, because if we ask questions, then, we – being hardcore literalists – are NOT going to listen to *anybody’s* answers, possible answers, thoughts, theories, etc. Not us. We’re *literalists*.
Now – let’s just move closer to the heart of the matter:
“24 Then God said, “Let the earth bring forth living creatures after their kind: cattle and creeping things and beasts of the earth after their kind”; and it was so.”
Wait. What is this??? Here, we got God speaking again. We still haven’t figured that one out. But, what does He say? “Let the EARTH BRING FORTH LIVING CREATURES…” Whoa! The *earth*? The *earth* is gonna “bring forth living creatures”????? I thought they were just supposed to magically appear, didn’t you? Like, “God spoke and animals appeared”. But, that’s not the *story*, is it? No, the story is that the *earth* brought forth living creatures. Ooooofffff. Now, what on earth could *that* mean? Oh, my goodness, this is making my literalist head spin. Because I just cannot comprehend what this *means*. It might take a whole lot of *thought* to figure this out, and to understand it. And, as you know, we literalists don’t like to *think*.
But, it gets worse…
“26 Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” 27 God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. ”
Whew… maybe not so bad. Here, it says that God (again) spoke and said “lets make Man…” and – get this – “God *created* Man…”
Whew. Good. There’s that “created” word. That means “magic”. Man just “appeared”, right?
As literalists, we’re looking a bit safer now. Man *was* “created” – it *was* Holy Magic after all. Right?
No. Sorry. And, this is where it gets *really* messy.
Genesis Chpt 2 seems to give some kind of “recap” of the previous events. I guess. And, it’s only a guess.
Then, it seems to switch to a more “detailed” version of the creation of Man:
It says “7 Then the Lord God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.”
Whoa. What is THIS? God *formed* man – from DUST of the GROUND? From DIRT? Is THAT what we’re saying?
So – wait a minute. If God took dirt, and “formed” it into flesh and bones, then, that means an actual CHANGE took place – from dirt to flesh and bones.
How long did this take? A second? A milisecond? Or did God take a few “hours” to do it? Maybe half that “day”? Wow. I dunno. But, any way you look at it, there was an EVENT that took place – the *changing* of dirt into flesh and bones. And, as you know, any event indicates the passage of *time*. How much time? We Don’t Know, do we? A milisecond? An hour? Half the day? We don’t KNOW. It doesn’t say. But, there was Change Over Time, elements being changed from non-living elements to those that, presumably, support life.
But, that’s not all.
Next, it says that God “breathed” the “breath of life” into this dirt-into-flesh-and-blood thing.
What happens? Well, at that point, this “newly-formed” flesh-and-blood thing becomes – lo and behold – a “living being”.
BUT – that’s not all. Going back to Chapter One, it says that God said “let us create Man in our image and likeness – and – let us give him dominion….”
Hmmmmm… OK. So. This newly-formed Man was “given dominion”. And, maybe THAT’S what makes this Man in the “image and likeness” of God. God, after all, has dominion, too.
I dunno. It’s a really strange story. LOTS of stuff going on there. And, we really don’t know if those are, in fact, 24-hour-days of creation. That’s been in debate ever since the day Genesis was put into publication. Even the ancient Jews debated that.
But, the one thing we’ve learned: Even the most literal account of the creation of Man involves Change Over Time. We just do now know “how much time”, and that’s all.
And, we’ve learned that “Man” didn’t even become a “living being” without having the “breath of life” breathed into him.
OH – and we’ve learned that the way that Man may be in the “image and likeness of God” is in that Man was *given dominion* over the other creatures, just like God has dominion over all things.
Wow. It’s a whole lot for a literalist brain to take in, because even a literalist reading tells us that the whole thing was much more complex than we’d like to think (being good literalists, who simply don’t like to think).
And, this is why it’s so danged difficult to talk to literalists: They don’t want to *think*.
And from everything I’ve gathered, you, Gary, are a literalist.
and that’s why this has gotten boring and tedious.
And why exactly do only humans, who are just one of tens of thousands of species on the earth, need a “Savior”? Still waiting for an answer.
Could it perhaps be because humans, unlike the other animals, were “made in the image and likeness of God”? And, maybe somehow Man has not lived up to that potential?
Maybe it has to do with Man actually coming up with this concept of “Good and Evil” – a concept which, according to the ancient Hebrew tome – was something that God warned Man about, and wanted Man to stay away from?
I’m just saying that because ever since Man developed a notion of “Good and Evil”, Man has become something of a “hellish” creature, constantly judging himself, others, and even God. And dang, if that tendancy – which can be get so terribly ugly in our short stay on earth – would turn *truly* ugly if left to continue for an Eternity. So, maybe – and I’m just spitballing here – maybe somehow, Man needs some way of finding the restored innocence and purity that Man had at “creation”.
And, you know, that story is really kind of like *everyone’s* story: We start out, born as “innocent babes”, but as we get older, we learn this God-awful concept of “Good and Evil”, and then, we are forever caught in it’s clutches. We constantly make moral judgement calls against (or, wrongly for) ourselves and others and even nature and ultimately God Himself, incessantly trying to “be right” all the time, and becoming either proud and arrogant or smallish, insignificant and insecure. And, all the while, we “miss the mark” – (which, incidentally, is the primary meaning of the Hebrew word for “sin”) – and never live in the remarkable freedom which God created us to live in. So – sometimes, people that have *realized* that about themselves, also realize they need *something* or *someone* to restore their own humanity to what it *could* be.
But, I dunno…. It’s just a thought. Maybe the answer has something to do with that. You’d have to *think* about it for a while.
It still makes no sense, ft.
Why would a perfect God design such an imperfect universe using the very imperfect mechanism of natural selection? Every living organism ever created was created by trial and error using the DNA of its predecessor. Why didn’t God just create all the species de novo? Why all the vestigial organs and body parts?
And how can you say that God made human in his image when we evolved from the primordial soup just like all other creatures. There is nothing special about us except for the size of our brains. And at exactly what point in human evolution did God decide to “make us” in his image? Was it when we were still a fish? When we were an amphibian? A reptile? And why wait so many tens of thousands of years to send us a Savior?
Your belief system makes no sense, ft. The only rational answer you can give is the ol’ stand by: “Our ways are not HIs ways” and I don’t buy that cop out.
The truth is that the Genesis Creation story is an ancient creation story of one culture (patterned on the creation stories of other cultures such as the Babylonians). It was a story that gave meaning to the existence of an ancient, scientifically ignorant people. Whether they believed it to be historical or just legendary is irrelevant. No educated person should attempt to derive any historical truth from this ancient tall tale! We were NOT created in the image of an ancient Canaanite god named Yahweh, we evolved from lower life forms! That is what the scientific evidence clearly and unmistakably demonstrates. Moderate Christians need to accept scientific facts and stop attempting to reinterpret an ancient folk tale. No one should consider any part of it true, just as we should not consider any part of the creation story of the Mayans, the Chinese, and other ancient cultures true. They are legends!
You ask “And at exactly what point in human evolution did God decide to “make us” in his image? ”
I’m guessing you flat-out didn’t really read my msgs…
So, why bother answering the rest of your diatribe?
You ask “Why would a perfect God design such an imperfect universe using the very imperfect mechanism of natural selection? ”
The ONLY thing that is “Perfect” – whole, complete in itself, having no dependencies whatsoever, incapable of corruption, etc, etc – is God.
For God to create something “perfect”, He would have to clone Himself. And, even then, the clone would not be perfect, because it’s existence would have a dependency.
God *didn’t* create a “perfect” universe, He created a *good* one.
But, why would I bother trying to talk to you any further about that?
Here’s the deal: I know EVERY SINGLE ONE OF YOUR ARGUMENTS, because I’ve had every single question, long before I’ve read your stuff. NONE of it is new to me by any means. You *think* you’re “on to something”, like, you’ve seen something “anew”. But, you’re not. I’ve had the same exact questions in my own mind, going back to who-knows-when.
So, there’s not one bit of difference between you and I on that level. The only difference is that I came up with a totally different set of answers than you came up with.
You say “No educated person should attempt to derive any historical truth from this ancient tall tale! ”
And, that’s totally fine with me. I don’t attempt to derive any historical truth from it. You did, though, and came up disappointed. Not my issue, though.
You say “We were NOT created in the image of an ancient Canaanite god named Yahweh, we evolved from lower life forms! ”
We might indeed, physically, be evolved from lower life forms. But, that has nothing to do with whether the creatures we are *now* – Man – was or was not “made” (not created, by the way) in Gods image.
You say “That is what the scientific evidence clearly and unmistakably demonstrates”
The scientific evidence only addresses the physical. It does not address the spiritual at all. And, it never will. Science, as a discipline, doesn’t go there. So, both you and I can fully accept what Science says about the *physical*, but, NOBODY can claim rightfully that “the physical is all there is”. Science will NEVER prove that, because it doesn’t venture out of the natural.
But, I tire of this stuff. You *really, truly believe* you see some great and marvelous and wonderful and new thing… Like, you’ve really got a handle on stuff. But, it’s old hat to me. Like I said, you haven’t posted a single question OR point of skepticism that I myself haven’t had during my lifetime. The only difference is that somehow, you *halfway* decided that Man (and, all other creatures, for that matter) are indeed nothing more than random molecules that have, over time, fallen together and somehow become walking, noise-making, meat computers.
And, therein lies the biggest problem: If you are nothing more than Yet Another Walking, Talking, Meat Computer with a moveable mouthpiece, then why, in God’s name, should I listen to *anything* you have to say????
It is amazing how intelligent, educated moderate Christians like yourself so desperately attempt to harmonize scientific evidence with an ancient tall tale. The problem is, one could do the very same thing with any culture’s Creation Story if one tries hard enough.
You believe in magic. You believe that the laws of nature/science can be broken at any time and in any circumstance by all-powerful invisible spirits. My worldview does not include such a belief. Because our worldviews are so different, we will never come to an agreement on the origin of the universe, the origin of life, or the historicity of a resurrected corpse. Our conversations are therefore a waste of time and energy.
I suggest you find another blog to follow.
Awwww, Gary – Don’t you find having an opposing view to be of value?
I mean, you’ve got plenty of opportunity to explain your worldview, which (as best as I remember, is “agnostic”, and if there is a God, then it is the God of Deism)
Really, this is your Greatest Opportunity to artfully explain why agnosticism is the most desirable position, but you squander the opportunity by spending all your energies on telling others why they’re *wrong*, and not why *you* are providing the True Light of the World.
So, I’m giving you opportunities… You just haven’t taken advantage of them.
Now – as to my last question: If your worldview is correct, and if we are nothing more than the random products of the activities of electrons and molecules, and therefore, are nothing more than meat computers with a flapping mouthpiece, then why should I give your thoughts on the Origin of the Universe any more consideration than I’d give some app on my cell phone in regards to the same topic? It would seem to me that all you’re doing is parroting whatever it was you read recently, as that is simply the way your particular brain happens to function.
I’d really like you to expound on that, and make your most artful presentation as to why I (or anyone, for that matter) should consider what you’re saying.
NOTE: This is Yet Another Great Opportunity. Don’t Waste It. Your Readers Are Watching.
My goal for this blog is to assist in dispelling the fear and mind control used by purveyors of religious superstitions. However, I will never be able to prove that invisible spirits and supernatural powers do not exist. All I can do is provide arguments why they PROBABLY do not exist. So if you are demanding that I provide absolute proof that doubt/disbelief in your invisible spirit god (agnosticism/atheism) is the true and only correct worldview, I will be unable to do that.
If my inability to provide you with absolute proof that your resurrected Jesus the Christ does not exist constitutes a victory in your mind, start celebrating. I freely admit my failure.
No, I’m not at all asking you to disprove anything about a “supposed God”….
I’m asking you to make the *POSITIVE* case for (a) why others really ought to be agnostic, and, (b) why being nothing more than a noise-making meat computer is an attractive philosophy.
I’m flat-out giving you the floor, and it’s your moment to shine, making a positive case for your worldview. You don’t need to disprove anything about God, or the supernatural, or any such thing. Just give the best “sales pitch” for agnosticism and meat-computer-ism.
I never said that my worldview is “positive”. In fact, compared to the comforts of theism (as long as you are a member in good standing of the “chosen” few), my worldview is cold and even depressing. But we are not having a contest regarding whose world view is the most attractive and comforting, but which worldview is more likely to be the truth.
I wrote a new post in your honor, ft:
With a title starting with “Dear Christian Conservatives,” you’re off to a terrible start. I’m not a biblical literalist, but I’m already offended at how obnoxious you are. Nobody wants to talk down the street and be told to get off their high horse when they don’t have a horse.
“Dear white people, you’re all racists no matter what, and you should hate yourselves. We’re morally better than you.”
“Dear Men, you’re all disgusting rapists and need to treat all women like royalty, cut off your nuts, and keep doing the plumbing and stay in the draft.”
“Dear Christian conservatives,” finish the sentence for me what they all know you’re about to really say:
“You’re all a bunch of dumb hicks and I’m certainly going to change your mind by openly contradicting your preconceived notions about a universe that could have been made 30 seconds ago without us being able to tell the difference.”
You lost your audience scrolling through the search engine.
The majority of non-Christians in the United States do not doubt science. So the problem IS with conservative Christians.
I’m just saying, you’re not going to reach anyone or change anyone’s mind. You’re preaching to the choir. If you wrote this just to feel good about yourself and annoy the literalists, so be it. If you’re trying to convince them, you’re failing miserably.
How would you convince a literalist?
Not by snark and condescention, for certain. Make them think it’s their own idea. That’s how persuasion works.
Give me an example how you would convince a Six Day Creationist that evolution is true.
It is more persuasive not to make a singlr article about it at all, but maintain a pious spirit that is attractive to creationist and glorifies God, while still insisting that such creation happened through evolution over the course of many articles over time.
Maybe that works.
Did you ever believe in Santa Claus or the Tooth Fairy when you were a child? If so, what caused you to stop believing in them?
Who cares? Does being lied to mean that everything you hear is false? You’ve never seen a nuclear weapon: why would you believe the films of them are real? Why do you believe in plate tectonics when you can’t see the plates? How can you trust someone to tell you they’ve discovered Element 118?
My point is: I doubt you were dissuaded from believing in Santa Claus by evidence. You were dissuaded in believing in Santa Claus either because your parents told you it wasn’t true or because your friends and classmates laughed at you when you said you still believed in Santa. But imagine if your parents had continued to tell you that Santa Claus is real. In that case, which would have dissuaded you more strongly: Evidence or ridicule from your peers?
I will bet that ridicule from your social peers would have been a stronger impetus for you to abandon your superstition, a superstition that your parents continued to believe.
I have come to the conclusion that the best antidote for Christian superstitions is to strip them of their social respectability. If belief in the existence and magical powers of a reanimated first century corpse named Jesus was viewed with the same incredulity, scorn, and ridicule as most modern adults would view another adult’s belief in a literal Santa Claus, Christianity would shrivel and die in short time.
That has never historically worked. In fact, what you’re saying is ongoing in several countries where Christianity is thriving. All you’re doing is making martyrs.
The only places where Christianity is “thriving” is the third world: where the majority of people are poor, poorly educated, highly superstitious, and living in economic and political uncertainty. These circumstances are perfect for cults of all stripes.
Oh, like Scentology? Theymre all looking for the poor ones. Meanwhike Buddhism is attracting middle-class trash in the suburbs.
I’m saying that social pressure does not decrease belief, only hides it, makes it heroic, mysterious, and attractive.
Imperical evidence, like looking on a satelite map if the north pole, or seeing my parents putting presents under the tree and upon seeing me, telling me I’ve seen the real santa claus— is much more likely to change my stance than your ‘ministry of information.’
It is impossible to reason with believers of the supernatural, as reason does not reign as king in their worldview. Faith, otherwise known as wishful thinking, is lord and master of this worldview. In the world of the supernatural (theism), reason is often despised. Martin Luther once said, “Reason is the Devil’s whore.”
Ridicule is the best and often only antidote for pious preachers of irrational superstitious nonsense.
Actually, violence is the only answer. If you want to get of religion, you have to kill all of its adherents. Ridiculing them only convinces them that they’re right, and that you’re jealous. That’s how Manicheanism went extinct.
Funny. American Christians have a persecution complex.
No. We are not going to physically attack you. We believe in freedom of thought, even when those thoughts are silly. Peace and happiness, my Christian friend.
That’s why you’re never going to get rid of them. It won’t work by public ridicule, neithrr in poor, nor rich countries, and it has never worked. Look at the USSR. Since you believe they’re uniformly immune to reason (you’re not even trying to reason) and you won’t resort to extermination, there’s nothing you can do except complain.
No, I will continue to point out the silliness and absurdity of their superstitions, just as I am doing with you.
How is belief that a first century virgin gave birth to a demi-god with magical powers rational?
How is belief that a first century brain dead corpse came back to life and flew off into the clouds rational?
Explain that to me using reason and critical thinking skills, not wishful thinking (faith), and then maybe I will stop ridiculing your beliefs.
What’s the point of ridicule? It’s not going to work as I’ve shown you. If you want to be rid of us, you’ll have to kill us as I said. Ridicule is just you comforting yourself and deflecting on your own silly thought patterns.
You’re the one believing that all of the fundamental forces in the universes, which we know if were off by a quadrillionth would prevent the formation of stars, is the result of the universe winning a lottery, on top of so many chemical reactions forming themselves into 30-trillion-cell organisms out of dextro-sugar chains for no reason at all, but that the idea that some outside force with a mind did it it all which is outside of the chain of causation— is superstition to you?
Ok. Let’s look into your belief system. Question: Do you believe in a literal understanding of the biblical story of Noah’s Ark and the Great Flood? If so, how many dogs were on Noah’s ark? (This is a serious question, not a joke.)
If you’re gonna ask me a “serious question,” why don’t you straight-up ask it, instead of a series of leading questions?