God Is Real…Why modern physics has discredited atheism.

Posted on February 13, 2012 By

God is real

“If we need an atheist for a debate, we go to the philosophy department. The physics department isn’t much use.”

Robert Griffiths, winner of the Heinemann Prize in mathematical physics.

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“What is mind?  Never matter.  What is matter?  Never mind!

T.H. Key

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Virtually everyone is familiar with the popular conundrum, “Which came first…the chicken or the egg?” But probably very few people realize that the question of God’s existence, in a very real sense, boils down to what is likely the ultimate chicken-or-the-egg conundrum: Which came first, mind or matter? In other words, is mind (or consciousness) the product of matter, or is matter the product of mind? Is our universe—at its core—a material universe, or is it a mental/spiritual universe?

It will come as a surprise to many that modern physics has done much to answer this question. And the answer which modern physics provides will require many people to completely reframe their perception of the world in which they live.

Stephen C. Meyer, author of Signature in the Cell, holds a PhD in the history and philosophy of science from Cambridge University. In this book, he reveals the following:

“Since the time of the ancient Greeks, there have been two basic pictures of ultimate reality among Western intellectuals, what Germans call a Weltanschauung, or worldview. According to one worldview, mind is the primary or ultimate reality. On this view, material reality either issues from a preexisting mind, or it is shaped by a preexistent intelligence, or both…This view of reality is often called idealism to indicate that ideas come first and matter comes later. Theism is the version of idealism that holds that God is the source of the ideas that gave rise to and shaped the material world.”

“The opposite view holds that the physical universe or nature is the ultimate reality. In this view, either matter or energy (or both) are the things from which everything else comes. They are self-existent and do not need to be created or shaped by mind….In this view matter comes first, and conscious mind arrives on the scene much later and only then as a by-product of material processes and undirected evolutionary change. This worldview is called naturalism or materialism.”

There really is no third stance. Everyone therefore needs to ask him or herself, “On which side of this debate do I fall?”

Well…when Max Planck (the Nobel Prize winning physicist who founded quantum physics) says…

“As a man who has devoted his whole life to the most clear headed science, to the study of matter, I can tell you as a result of my research about atoms this much: There is no matter as such. All matter originates and exists only by virtue of a force which brings the particle of an atom to vibration and holds this most minute solar system of the atom together. We must assume behind this force the existence of a conscious and intelligent mind. This mind is the matrix of all matter.”

and Albert Einstein says…

“Everyone who is seriously involved in the pursuit of science becomes convinced that a spirit is manifest in the laws of the Universe–a spirit vastly superior to that of man, and one in the face of which we with our modest powers must feel humble.”

and the Nobel Prize winning physicist Eugene Wigner says…

“When the province of physical theory was extended to encompass microscopic phenomena, through the creation of quantum mechanics, the concept of consciousness came to the fore again; it was not possible to formulate the laws of quantum mechanics in a fully consistent way without reference to the consciousness,”

and…

“The content of consciousness is an ultimate reality.”

and the great physicist Sir Arthur Eddington says…

“The idea of a universal mind or Logos would be, I think, a fairly plausible inference from the present state of scientific theory.” [“Logos” is defined as “the word of God, or principle of divine reason and creative order.”]

and the knighted mathematician, physicist and astronomer Sir James Jeans says (in his book The Mysterious Universe)…

“There is a wide measure of agreement which, on the physical side of science approaches almost unanimity, that the stream of knowledge is heading towards a non-mechanical reality; the universe begins to look more like a great thought than a great machine. Mind no longer appears as an accidental intruder into the realm of matter. We are beginning to suspect that we ought rather to hail mind as the creator and governor of the realm of matter.” (italics added)

…there can be no question on which side of this debate modern physics falls.

(For a glimpse of the quantum research which has led physicists to draw conclusions such as the above, and to understand why materialism—with its belief that “either matter or energy, or both, are the things from which everything else comes” and “are self-existent and do not need to be created or shaped by mind”—can no longer be deemed scientifically plausible, please view this video of the famous double slit experiment).

[Please view the below video for a synopsis of why modern physics has permanently buried materialism (in which atheism is rooted), but has revealed the existence of God.]

God is Real…Modern physics has done away with materialism

As Johns Hopkins University physicist Richard Conn Henry discusses in his article Mental Universe, “The ultimate cause of atheism, [Isaac] Newton asserted, is ‘this notion of bodies having, as it were, a complete, absolute and independent reality in themselves.'”

Material things cannot have “a complete, absolute independent reality in themselves” because, as modern physics has demonstrated, the material world cannot exist independent from consciousness (mind). There is no reality independent of mind.

Here is how University of California, Berkeley physicist Henry Stapp puts it in his book Mindful Universe:

“…According to contemporary orthodox basic physical theory, but contrary to many claims made in the philosophy of mind, the physical domain is not causally closed.  [italics are his] A causally open physical description of the mind-brain obviously cannot completely account for the mind-brain as a whole.”

“In short, already the orthodox version of quantum mechanics, unlike classical mechanics, is not about a physical world detached from experiences; detached from minds.”

Princeton University quantum physicist Freeman Dyson echoes Stapp’s above comments:

“Atoms are weird stuff, behaving like active agents rather than inert substances. They make unpredictable choices between alternative possibilities according to the laws of quantum mechanics. It appears that mind, as manifested by the capacity to make choices, is to some extent inherent in every atom. The universe is also weird, with its laws of nature that make it hospitable to the growth of mind. I do not make any clear distinction between mind and God. God is what mind becomes when it passes beyond the scale of our comprehension.”

Physicist George Stanciu and philosopher Robert Augros provide an excellent nutshell explanation of why the naturalist/materialist worldview is no longer scientifically or philosophically supportable in their book The New Story of Sciencethat further elucidates the above points:

“In the New Story of science the whole universe–including matter, energy, space, and time–is a one-time event and had a definite beginning. But something must have always existed; for if ever absolutely nothing existed, then nothing would exist now, since nothing comes from nothing. The material universe cannot be the thing that always existed because matter had a beginning.  It is 12 to 20 billion years old. This means that whatever has always existed is non-material. The only non-material reality seems to be mind. If mind is what has always existed, then matter must have been brought into existence by a mind that always was. This points to an intelligent, eternal being who created all things. Such a being is what we mean by the term God.”

God is real…Materialism survives within much of academia for ideological reasons:

Mainstream biology continues to embrace the naturalist/materialist view of the world despite the insights of modern physics. Why is this? Part of the answer lies in the fact that physics is the branch of science that most closely approaches the boundary separating science from philosophy and religion. It approaches this boundary much more closely than biology. Physics, in other words, is the branch of science that deals with the most fundamental or “big picture” aspects of our reality.

Relevant to the disagreement between modern physics and mainstream biology on this topic, Yale University biophysicist Harold J. Morowitz writes in his article Rediscovering the Mind:

“What has happened is that biologists, who once postulated a privileged role for the human mind in nature’s hierarchy, have been moving relentlessly toward the hard-core materialism that characterized nineteenth-century physics. At the same time, physicists, faced with compelling experimental evidence, have been moving away from strictly mechanical models of the universe to a view that sees the mind as playing an integral role in all physical events. It is as if the two disciplines were on fast-moving trains, going in opposite directions and not noticing what is happening across the tracks.”

Physicist Richard Conn Henry explains why people (such as atheist biologists) cling to materialism/naturalism despite the fact that it has been completely discredited by modern physics:

“Why do people cling with such ferocity to belief in a mind-independent reality? It is surely because if there is no such reality, then ultimately (as far as we can know) mind alone exists. And if mind is not a product of real matter, but rather is the creator of the illusion of material reality (which has, in fact, despite the materialists, been known to be the case since the discovery of quantum mechanics in 1925), then a theistic view of our existence becomes the only rational alternative to solipsism.” [“Solipsism” is defined as “the view or theory that the self is all that can be known to exist.”]

Naturalism/materialism, simply put, is critical for maintaining an atheist worldview. Mind must be the eventual product of mindless matter for atheism to stand. An atheist must therefore ignore, remain ignorant of, or rationalize away the insights of modern physics in order to prevent his/her belief system from collapsing. And because materialism/naturalism is the predominant cultural context within the insular world of atheist biologists (as well as other branches of academia), this is done collectively. As Oxford University and University of Massachusetts Professor of Biology Lynn Margulis (winner of the U.S. Presidential Medal for Science) put it in The Altenburg 16: An Expose of the Evolution Industry:

“…people are always more loyal to their tribal group than to any abstract notion of ‘truth’ – scientists especially. If not they are unemployable. It is professional suicide to continually contradict one’s teachers or social leaders.”

It would be simplistic, however, to state that a cultural preference for atheism among the ranks of biologists is the only factor motivating mainstream biology’s embrace of naturalism. Biologists are in the business of providing explanations for the phenomenon of life. Therefore, an admission by biologists of the existence of a creator would also be an admission that there are aspects of the phenomenon of life that are beyond the bounds of science. One should not be surprised that biologists would find such an admission humbling and unpleasant. It is crucial, then, for readers to understand that what is presented by atheist biologists as a scientific conclusion of atheism is in reality an assumption of atheism made on philosophical grounds that precedes and therefore filters and distorts scientific inquiry. Harvard University geneticist Richard C. Lewontin famously admitted in 1997:

” …It is not that the methods and institutions of science somehow compel us to accept a material explanation of the phenomenal world, but, on the contrary, that we are forced by our a priori adherence to material causes to create an apparatus of investigation and a set of concepts that produce material explanations, no matter how counter-intuitive, no matter how mystifying to the uninitiated. Moreover, that materialism is an absolute, for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door.”

(For a more in-depth exploration of mainstream biology’s rigid adherence to materialism, please read the post entitled If the Evidence for God is So Strong, Why Are So Many Smart People Unconvinced?. Please also read The Ultimate Cart-Before-the-Horse (Why Atheism is Illogical, which is closely related to this essay.)

Perhaps Werner Heisenberg, who won the Nobel Prize in Physics for creating quantum mechanics, explained the divergence between biology and physics (with regard to God) best when he wrote:

“The first gulp from the glass of natural sciences will turn you into an atheist, but at the bottom of the glass God is waiting for you.”

With the phrase “the bottom of the glass,” Heisenberg is referring to the study of the most fundamental aspects of reality…which are investigated by physics.

For a more in-depth discussion of why materialism/naturalism is no longer scientifically supportable, please read The Matter Myth by physicists Paul Davies and John Gribbin. Much of the first chapter (entitled The Death of Materialism) is viewable by clicking on the above link to the book at Amazon.com. Please also read The New Story of Science by physicist George Stanciu and philosopher Robert Augros.

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Additional citations from extremely important contributors to modern physics (indeed, the majority of the most important physicists) relevant to this subject matter appear below…as well as other prominent figures, such as philosophers. (Please also view the post entitled, Quotes about God to consider…If you think science leads to atheism.):

“Materialist philosophers argue that consciousness is a construct of matter. But Plato and almost all the great classical philosophers, East and West, suggest the opposite. Matter, at least as it appears to us, is a construct of consciousness.”

“…Consciousness is real and creative. It is not just a by-product of the world we perceive. Without consciousness, that world, the world we perceive, would not even exist. Another quantum physicist, John von Neumann, said, ‘All real things are contents of consciousness.’ This is about as far from materialism as you can get – and it is an interpretation of modern physics, not some weird religiously inspired theory.”

–Keith Ward, retired Professor of Philosophy at Kings College, London, and a member of the Council of the Royal Institute of Philosophy, as quoted in his book Is Religion Irrational?

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“I have concluded that we are in a world made by rules created by an intelligence. Believe me, everything that we call chance today won’t make sense anymore. To me it is clear that we exist in a plan which is governed by rules that were created, shaped by a universal intelligence and not by chance.”

–Michio Kaku, theoretical physicist and string theory pioneer. 

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“…This sense of wonder leads most scientists to a Superior Being – der Alte, the Old One, as Einstein affectionately called the Deity – a Superior Intelligence, the Lord of all Creation and Natural Law.”

Abdus Salam, winner of the 1979 Nobel Prize in Physics for his work in electroweak theory. He is here quoted in his article entitled Science and Religion.

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“I have looked into most philosophical systems and I have seen that none will work without God.”

“Science is incompetent to reason upon the creation of matter itself out of nothing. We have reached the utmost limit of our thinking faculties when we have admitted that because matter cannot be eternal and self-existent it must have been created.”

Physicist and mathematician James Clerk Maxwell, who is credited with formulating classical electromagnetic theory and whose contributions to science are considered to be of the same magnitude as those of Einstein and Newton.

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“For myself, faith begins with a realization that a supreme intelligence brought the universe into being and created man. It is not difficult for me to have this faith, for it is incontrovertible that where there is a plan there is intelligence—an orderly, unfolding universe testifies to the truth of the most majestic statement ever uttered—-’In the beginning God.’”

–Nobel Prize winning physicist Arthur Compton, discoverer of the Compton Effect.

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“Those who say that the study of science makes a man an atheist must be rather silly.”

“Something which is against natural laws seems to me rather out of the question because it would be a depressive idea about God. It would make God smaller than he must be assumed. When he stated that these laws hold, then they hold, and he wouldn’t make exceptions. This is too human an idea. Humans do such things, but not God.”

–Nobel Prize winning physicist Max Born, who was instrumental in the development of quantum mechanics.

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“I believe that the more thoroughly science is studied, the further does it take us from anything comparable to atheism.”

Lord William Kelvin, who was noted for his theoretical work on thermodynamics, the concept of absolute zero and the Kelvin temperature scale based upon it.

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“Both religion and science require a belief in God. For believers, God is in the beginning, and for physicists He is at the end of all considerations… To the former He is the foundation, to the latter, the crown of the edifice of every generalized world view.”

“There can never be any real opposition between religion and science; for the one is the complement of the other.”

“I regard consciousness as fundamental. I regard matter as derivative from consciousness. We cannot get behind consciousness. Everything that we talk about, everything that we regard as existing, postulates consciousness.”

Max Planck, the Nobel Prize winning physicist who founded quantum physics, and is therefore one of the most important physicists of all time.

Religion and Natural Science (Lecture Given 1937) Scientific Autobiography and Other Papers,trans. F. Gaynor (New York, 1949), pp. 184

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“God is a mathematician of a very high order and He used advanced mathematics in constructing the universe.”

–Nobel Prize winning physicist Paul A. M. Dirac, who made crucial early contributions to both quantum mechanics and quantum electrodynamics.

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“In the history of science, ever since the famous trial of Galileo, it has repeatedly been claimed that scientific truth cannot be reconciled with the religious interpretation of the world. Although I am now convinced that scientific truth is unassailable in its own field, I have never found it possible to dismiss the content of religious thinking as simply part of an outmoded phase in the consciousness of mankind, a part we shall have to give up from now on. Thus in the course of my life I have repeatedly been compelled to ponder on the relationship of these two regions of thought, for I have never been able to doubt the reality of that to which they point.”

Werner Heisenberg, who was awarded the 1932 Nobel Prize in Physics for the creation of quantum mechanics (which is absolutely crucial to modern science).

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“We all know that there are regions of the human spirit untrammeled by the world of physics. In the mystic sense of the creation around us, in the expression of art, in a yearning towards God, the soul grows upward and finds fulfillment of something implanted in its nature. The sanction for this development is within us, a striving born with our consciousness or an Inner Light proceeding from a greater power than ours. Science can scarcely question this sanction, for the pursuit of science springs from a striving which the mind is impelled to follow, a questioning that will not be suppressed. Whether in the intellectual pursuits of science or in the mystical pursuits of the spirit, the light beckons ahead and the purpose surging in our nature responds.”

–The great physicist Sir Arthur Eddington, as quoted in his classic work The Nature of the Physical World

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“Science is a game – but a game with reality, a game with sharpened knives. If a man cuts a picture carefully into 1000 pieces, you solve the puzzle when you reassemble the pieces into a picture; in the success or failure, both your intelligences compete. In the presentation of a scientific problem, the other player is the good Lord. He has not only set the problem but also has devised the rules of the game – but they are not completely known, half of them are left for you to discover or to deduce. The uncertainty is how many of the rules God himself has permanently ordained, and how many apparently are caused by your own mental inertia, while the solution generally becomes possible only through freedom from its limitations. This is perhaps the most exciting thing in the game.”

“Consciousness cannot be accounted for in physical terms. For consciousness is absolutely fundamental. It cannot be accounted for in terms of anything else.”

Erwin Schroedinger, winner of the 1933 Nobel Prize in Physics “for the discovery of new productive forms of atomic theory.”

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“It has occurred to me lately—I must confess with some shock at first to my scientific sensibilities—that both questions [the origin of mind and the origin of life from nonliving matter] might be brought into some degree of congruence. This is with the assumption that mind, rather than emerging as a late outgrowth in the evolution of life, has existed always as the matrix, the source and condition of physical reality—the stuff of which physical reality is composed is mind-stuff. It is mind that has composed a physical universe that breeds life and so eventually evolves creatures that know and create: science-, art-, and technology-making animals.”

–Nobel Prize winning Harvard University biologist George Wald, as quoted in his address to the Quantum Biology Symposium titled Life and Mind in the Universe. Wald is a noted exception to the widespread tendency of biologists to embrace materialism for ideological reasons (despite the fact that materialism has been completely discredited by modern physics).

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“…Discussing the creation of the universe in terms of time and space is like trying to discover the artist and the action of painting by going to the edge of the canvas. This brings us very near to those philosophical systems which regard the universe as a thought in the mind of its Creator, thereby reducing all discussion of material creation to futility.”

—The knighted physicist, mathematician, and astronomer Sir James Jeans.

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“The more I study science the more I believe in God.”

“I want to know how God created this world, I am not interested in this or that phenomenon, in the spectrum of this or that element. I want to know His thoughts, the rest are details.”

Albert Einstein

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“It is evident that an acquaintance with natural laws means no less than an acquaintance with the mind of God therein expressed.”

James Joule, propounder of  the first law of thermodynamics (on the conservation of energy). Joule also made important contributions to the kinetic theory of gases. The unit of heat known as the “Joule” is named after him.

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“An equation for me has no meaning unless it expresses a thought of God.”

–Srinivasa Ramanujam, who is widely regarded to be one of the greatest mathematicians of all time (on a similar plane with such greats as Archimedes and Newton).

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“Is intelligent mind an ultimate and irreducible feature of reality? Indeed, is it the ultimate nature of reality? Or is mind and consciousness an unforeseen and unintended product of basically material processes of evolution?”

“If you look at the history of philosophy, it soon becomes clear that almost all the great classical philosophers took the first of these views. Plato, Aristotle, Anselm, Aquinas, Descartes, Leibniz, Spinoza, Locke, Berkeley, Kant, Hegel—they all argued that the ultimate reality, often hidden under the appearances of the material world or time and space, is mind or spirit.”

–Keith Ward, retired Professor of Philosophy at Kings College, London, and a member of the Council of the Royal Institute of Philosophy (mentioned above), as quoted in his book Doubting Dawkins, Why There Almost Certainly is A God.

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“It is as impossible to conceive that ever pure incogitative matter should produce a thinking intelligent being, as that nothing should of itself produce matter.”

–Philosopher John Locke, who was one of the most important Enlightenment thinkers.

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“Blind metaphysical necessity, which is certainly the same always and everywhere, could produce no variety of things. All that diversity of natural things which we find suited to different times and places could arise from nothing but the ideas and will of a Being, necessarily existing.”

Sir Isaac Newton, who is widely regarded to have been the greatest scientist of all time, as cited in Principia, which is perhaps the most important scientific work of all time.

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**But one does not need to be a physicist or mathematician to understand why the materialist / naturalist worldview does not hold water.  Please see my post titled Riddles for Atheists for a greater understanding of why theism is a better explanation.


  1. dave says:

    “If the evidence for God is so strong, why are so many smart people unconvinced?”…the evidence of God is not strong…quotes from two people is no ‘evidence’ at all, and should not be used to conclude that “there can be no question on which side of this debate modern physics falls.”

    an atheists position is not that of being able to explain how the universe came to be…it is the position of “i dont know” and you dont either because you dont have any special powers that i do not have…if i say that i believe I can fly and then say “prove that i cant fly” that doesnt make it true that i can…

    there are many explanations for the beginning of the universe, so what ‘evidence’ is there that the christian worldview is the right one? there is none, because i could create a story of a supreme being that is not backed by science and claim that my worldview best explains it(transcendental proof)

    the burden of proof is on the person who claims there to be an invisible omnipotent being, not the person who calls ‘bullshit’ and seeks a reasoned explanation

    • syoungren says:

      I am afraid it is alot more than just two people. In my “Some Quotes to Consider” post, I cite a heck of alot more than 2 people. In fact, these quotes reveal that most most astronomers believe in God and most physical scientists believe in God or at least consider the existence of God to be a very real possibility.

      Here, again, you try to restrict and modify the definition of “evidence” to suit your own ends. Here is how the Oxford Dictionary defines “evidence:” “The available body of facts or information indicating whether a belief or proposition is true or valid.” Citing the opinions of highly qualified scientists and philosophers clearly fits within this definition. If it did not, the court system would not accept the testimony of expert witnesses as evidence.

      I will rehash what I said to another person who made a similar argument to yours: Your use of this modified, restricted definition of “evidence” is highly suggestive that you wish to casually discard with evidence that contradicts your views because you are fully aware that you have no substantive counter-argument.

      No, the burden of proof is just as much on the person who believes that the universe just magically popped into existence on its own one day. I “seek a reasoned explanation” for how this came to pass. Did the universe result naturally from physical law? How were these physical laws established? Did they evolve through Darwinian natural selection out of utter nothingness?

      How did the first life emerge? Was it brought here by aliens from outer space, as atheist biologist Richard Dawkins asserts in this video and as atheist biologist Francis Crick suggests, as revelaled in this article? This is the best that atheists can come up with. Which species of alien do you think it was? The Klingons? The Romulons?

      Scott

      • danno says:

        No, the burden of proof is on the person who believes that the universe just magically popped into existence one (or six) day. Not on one that defers to it always having been there, or suggests possibilities without claiming them as evidence.

        • syoungren says:

          No, the burden of proof is on the person who believes that the universe “has always been there,” because this stance completely contradicts the science of the Big Bang, which is virtually unanimously accepted by scientists.

          • danno says:

            Without any evidence associated with the earliest instant of the expansion, the Big Bang theory cannot and does not provide any explanation for such an initial condition; rather, it describes and explains the general evolution of the universe since that instant.

            • syoungren says:

              Is this a cut and paste from Victor Stenger? I showed you what Physics World magazine (the membership magazine of the Institute of Physics) thinks of his book God: The Failed Hypothesis. Hint: Not good.

              Further, it should be said that it is the Standard Big Bang model that says that the Big Bang was the beginning of the universe and of time itself. This model, like all scientific models, is subject to being revised at a later date (thus pushing the beginning of time to a point before the Big Bang). However, what is NOT subject to revision is the fact that the universe (or any potential “multiverse” or “oscillating universe” in which our universe might be situated) had a beginning at some point. I demonstrate this in my post entitled “Isn’t the universe eternal? (Thus doing away with the need for a creator). You can either click on the link above or go to the “snippets” section at the top of the main page to read the essay.

              Please do not make me rehash all the quotes from astrophysicists who are making “theistic conclusions.”

          • danno says:

            Nope. Cut and paste from Wikipedia (Big Bang), since you rely so heavily on that web site…

          • danno says:

            In other words, common knowledge, until one of your physicists revises it.

      • SoulKnife says:

        Quoting you:
        ““The available body of facts or information indicating whether a belief or proposition is true or valid.” Citing the opinions of highly qualified scientists and philosophers clearly fits within this definition.”

        It says FACTS and INFORMATION, not opinions. If most believe it, does it make it right? Not really, because for hundreds of years the world thought it morally right to kill and enslave negro people, and deny woman basic human rights.

        In the court system, their testimony is not called opinion, it is a fact because they saw with their own eyes and have scientific, physical evidence to boot, or they contradict themselves. With just witness and no corroborative physical evidence, their testimony is invalid, and no one can be condemned. An opinion has no tangible proof, therefore it is not a fact and not evidence.

        Also, how did life emerge? Considering time and space is only a perception of the mind, (change the physical mind and you can change the body’s perception of space and time, just as a stroke can change your personality) then life could have always existed. Time doesn’t create life because time is a perception. Life perceives time and creates it. Just my opinion on the origins of life there. Because it’s my opinion does it make it a fact? No, but I do have some evidence for it.

        Thank you for your time.

        • syoungren says:

          If most people believe it, does that make it right? Certainly not. That is a valid point.

          But if you are characterizing the views of these scientists as opinion’s without corroborative evidence, then you are way off base. If you actually read the quotes from the scientists in this post, you would realize that they came to these conclusions from their research.

          Also, your comparison of scientific issues (such as those discussed in this essay) to an issue of morality, such as that of slavery, is hardly appropriate. Moral issues are the realm of philosophy, not science. No amount of “corroborative physical evidence,” as you say, could prove or disprove the morality of slavery because morality is not a scientific issue.

          If you are looking for “corroborative evidence” for these scientists’ views regarding the role of consciousness in producing physical reality, then you can start with a review of the famous “double slit” experiment with this video.

    • Bob Coleman says:

      Dave, agnosticism is “I don’t know”, not atheism. Please read up a bit, then return.

    • Bob Coleman says:

      Well, Dave, those who choose spontaneous generation—the only choice outside of Creation—do not usually take the time to study the strong possibilities people such as Youngren offer. In addition, most enter his website with longtime beliefs that are difficult to discard. If you have the opportunity, read Antony Flew’s concept of “No True Scotsman”—it’s easy to find. Furthermore, it might be to your benefit to ask those you are acquainted with—assuming many share your beliefs–to define spontaneous generation. I am pretty sure you will discover that few know anything regarding the subject, let alone possess the ability to logically explain how life generated from non-life. The world of science is at a loss for such an answer, and I am sure your friends will fare no better (such an answer would rock the world). If you accept my challenge, please come back and let me know if your pals do have legitimate answers. I know they won’t; but if they do, I will be waiting.

      • Marvin Jones says:

        Bob

        Excuse me for butting in.It does not matter how educated one is when discussing this immotive subject.What is the point when you could end up a heck more wrong
        than you think regardless of your qualifications.

      • Mike D says:

        Bob

        The fact that people may enter the website with longtime beliefs makes those beliefs no less valid than others who have held opposite beliefs but entered the website earlier, so I don’t understand your point.

        I wonder if you can answer a few fairly simple questions for me:
        1. Who created god?
        2. If god created the world in 6 days, and rested on the 7th, what did he do on the 8th day?
        3. If god exists, how can you or I know which of the thousands of gods to follow?

        If you’re open to some reading that catalogues the enormous damage inflicted in the name of religion, try Chris Hitchens’s book God is Not Great.

        • syoungren says:

          1) God was not created. He exists independent of time. Please read the book “New Proofs for the Existence of God” for philosophical proofs that God is the “unconditioned reality” in which all “conditioned realities” (such as our own) are rooted.
          2) 8th day? Is this an attempt to obfuscate? Please review the videos about the six days of creation which I provide in my “evolution” post by MIT physicist Gerald Schroeder. You may want to begin with a review of Einstein’s concept of time dilation so that you understand where Schroeder is going.
          3) To answer this question, please read my essay titled “So Whose God is the Best?”

          Christopher Hitchens’ book is a joke. Please read this review of his book God Is Not Great from the Washington Post.

        • Dashan says:

          Is the old school boy jibe “who created God” the best u can offer? If aliens is the explanation of how life began on earth, would u say “yeh, but who created aliens?” All youre doing is setting up an infinite regress of creators, universe aliens.
          Apart from the definition of God being a necessary being that exists outside time, u must address a finite universe We have Alex Vilinken, the Russian cosmologist who declares “With the proof now in place, current cosmologists can no longer hide behind the possibility of a past-eternal universe. There is no escape: we have to face the problem of a cosmic beginning.”
          If u still claim matter is eternal then all u are left with is the problem of an infinite past of finite physical events. Infinity is a large number for a mathematician but an abomination for a physicist.
          Bad religion no more refutes the existence of God than bad science undermines its great achievements.
          BTW, we are still in the 7th day of creation! Read the Bible rather than “The God (Dawkins’) Delusion”, u might learn some thing about the real world and even science.

          • syoungren says:

            Right on. And if life on earth came from aliens, where did alien life come from? The “OK, I want numbers post” points out that Oxford University mathematician Roger Penrose calculated the odds of life forming by chance since the time of the Big Bang as one in a billion, billion, billion (repeated a billion times). Remember that his numbers do not specify where in the universe the life could have formed, so these odds would apply to alien life as well.

            Also please review the post entitled “Can life evolve from lifeless chemicals?”

          • danno says:

            Dashan, I recommend reading “Misquoting Jesus: The Story Behind Who Changed the Bible and Why” by Bart Ehrman…you will certainly learn much.

            • syoungren says:

              Danno:

              Dean Overman (a former Templeton Scholar at Oxford University) replies to Ehrman and his book Misquoting Jesus in A Case for the Divinity of Jesus:

              Bart Ehrman’s recent book, Misquoting Jesus, carries a somewhat misleading title because the book does not set forth any examples of variants in the texts of the New Testament gospel accounts that require an alteration of the basic structure of the Christian faith. Ehrman addresses minor variations in the texts that make no changes in the core beliefs of the New Testament authors. His deductions do not follow from the evidence presented…

              Most New Testament scholars are puzzled by Ehrman’s reaction to his discovery at Princeton Seminary that the manuscripts contain some scibal errors… When Ehrman realized that Mark (or a scribe copying his work) may have made a mistake by referring to Abiathar rather than Abiathar’s father, Amimelech, Ehrman decided to throw away his whole Christian faith: “Once I made that admission, the floodgates opened. For if there could be one little, picayune mistake in Mark 2, maybe there could be mistakes in other places as well.”

              [New Testament scholar] Evans is perplexed because this hardly seems like a sound rationale for doubting the reliability of the whole New Testament. It is important to recognize that Ehrman’s position is that if the Bible contains one mistake [made by someone such as a scribe], the whole Bible should be disregarded. This is a non sequitur; it does not follow logically from his discovery.

              Please read this review of Ehrman’s writings and then this one.

              Ehrman’s claims are based on flimsy evidence, dubious logic and upon attacking straw men.

          • danno says:

            Or ignore it as something that opposes your ideology.

          • Mike D says:

            Well Dashan, I have read the bible, and it says a number of remarkable, contradictory, ridiculous and spurious things. It says, for example, that god created Adam – now we all know that he did not. It also says that he fashioned Eve from one of Adam’s ribs – again we know that he did not. The bible is little more than a collection of fairy stories, written hundreds of years after the events they purport to describe, and cannot be treated seriously by any thinking person.

            Take one simple example – that god created man. The bible says this happened millions of years after the first man walked the earth. The bible is silent on evolution (which Scott Youngren has since contorted his dogma to embrace, if not claim) and yet we know about the neanderthals, zinjanthropus, cro-magnon etc. We know this because we have the fossils, we can trace the development of man, the size of his brain, the shape of his head, the length of his limbs. We know about his home, his food, his migrations.

            Please tell me, which part of the real world and science deals with the bible’s shocking misinformation? It’s almost as if god, religion and the bible were made up by people trying to control behaviour and gain power. Crikey, maybe that’s it!

        • JIm says:

          It seems to be you have a limited god concept, or a Christian centric perception of deity. There are more god concepts than just the christian one. Most atheist I have run across seem to have some kind of grudge against Christianity, and bulk god into there archaic views.

          • Yes, of course I have a Christian centric perception of God…because I am a Christian. Everyone’s concept of God must be centered somewhere. Even an atheist has a concept of God that has central tenets. The central tenet of the atheist’s concept of God is that God in non-existent.

            But just because I am a Christian does not mean that I think Muslims and Jews, etc. have everything wrong about God. In fact, Christian, Muslim, and Jewish concepts of God share many more commonalities than differences.

          • Thanks Jim for making that point. I do not relate to the traditional Christian concept of God, except insofar as it is constant with Huxley’s Perennial Philosophy, but I definitely am not an atheist. Belief in God goes way beyond being a Christian. Having said that, the concept of a ‘universal consciousness’, or similar, exposed by numerous physicists is pretty consistent with the ideas of many Christian mystics and with the philosophy of yoga or taoism.

            • Scott Youngren says:

              Dada:

              Regarding “universal consciousness,” Roy A. Varghese writes in The Wonder of the World, A Journey From Modern Science to the Mind of God:

              The unity of all things that we find through quantum interactions is said to prove that all things, including ourselves, are simply manifestations of the same underlying reality; we are All-in-One. But the relatedness shown by science is by no means evidence that we’re all just part of the same thing. In fact two things can be related only if there’s some difference between them. Such unity can more plausibly be seen as evidence for an intelligent Mind as the Source of all things.

              …The importance of consciousness in quantum physics is seen as validating the role of consciousness in Eastern thought. But consciousness is understood in radically different senses in mysticism and quantum theory. Whereas the consciousness spoken of in the East is a fruit of detachment from the senses, in science we speak of it when considering the awareness of events that comes through the senses.

              …Schrodinger is the scientist most often cited as seeing the connection between monistic [monism is the philosophical view that God and the universe are one-in-the-same] mysticism and science, particularly with respect to the idea that there’s no distinction between subject and object. But Schrodinger explicitly denied this monistic view: “It is maintained that recent discoveries in physics have pushed forward the mysterious boundary between subject and object. We are given to understand that we never observe an object without its being modified or tinged by our own activity in observing it…Still I would not like to call this a direct influence of the subject on the object. For the subject, if anything, is the thing that senses and thinks. Sensations and thoughts do not belong to the ‘world of energy.’ They cannot produce a change in the world of energy.”

              …How can consciousness and intelligence exist without a center, a locus? It’s simply incoherent to talk of intelligence if there isn’t someone who’s intelligent or consciousness if there isn’t someone who’s conscious.

    • Bob Coleman says:

      Danno, what is your education in?

      • danno says:

        Mostly life. Yours?

        • Dashan says:

          “Danno, what is your education in?”
          Just a thought danno,
          Can I also ask :by whose authority do u hold that your life experiences lead u to an authoritive worldview?”
          Remember that Darwin reasoned that any species with apes as cousins would be highly disadvantaged to come up with anything that resembled a truth statement.

          • Mike D says:

            Dashan, just a thought: by what authority do you find the arrogance to question someone else’s right to hold a view?

            Remember, people like you that selectively quote Darwin have to also accept his evidence that comprehensively demolishes your creation theory.

            • syoungren says:

              So life being brought here by aliens from outer space clearly demolishes the creation theory? I have probably linked you to this video of Richard Dawkins endorsing the hypothesis and this article which reveals that atheist biologist Francis Crick endorsed it (and there have been plenty of other atheists too), but here I go again.

              Do you agree with your fellow atheists that life can be explained as the result of aliens creating it and bringing it here in their spaceship? Do you have any theories as to what planet they came from, or at least to what galaxy they came from?

              They probably weren’t like the Klingons because the Klingons were too mean to do such a nice thing like bring life here. Same with the Romulons.

              Recall that Charles Darwin himself wrote in later versions of On the Origin of Species that life may have “been originally breathed by a Creator into a few forms or into one.” He also said elsewhere, “When thus reflecting I feel compelled to look to a First Cause having an intelligent mind in some degree analogous to that of man; and I deserve to be called a theist.” You may want to consider these facts if you have an ornament on the back of your car that has the word “Darwin” inside of a fish with legs.

              • monolyth says:

                Greetings from the future! I’d just like to say that Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed is an awful, moronic propaganda piece and I will no longer be caring about what you have to say about anything. You have a very weak mind. You’re delusional!

  2. Roger says:

    What it all boils down to is this: There is either something or there is nothning. If there is nothning we need not continue the discussion. If there is something, were did the something come from? Either choice requires a leap of faith. To believe there is no God requires faith in the light of the evidence. To believe there is a God requires faith since it can’t be proven beyond any doubt. Both science and religion rest on faith.

    • danno says:

      Conclusive science may rest on faith, not science in general. But what true scientist says anything other than accepted law, if anything, is conclusive?

      • syoungren says:

        I think the following excerpt addresses this issue well (From the book New Proofs for the Existence of God by Robert J. Spitzer…which I highly recommend).

        “John Henry Newman termed such a network or evidence an ‘informal inference,’ i.e., reaching a conclusion by considering the accumulation of convergent antecedent probabilities. For Newman, truth claims did not have to be grounded in an infallible source of evidence or in a strictly formal deduction. They could be grounded in the convergence (complementary and corroboration) of a multiplicity probalistic evidential bases. Certitude is not grounded in one base alone, but in a multiplicity of likely or probable evidential bases.”

        This is just a fancy way of saying that the existence of God is not demonstrated by science or philosophy alone, but by a working together of the two.

        Here is another pertinent quote from the same book.

        “So what can science tell us? It can identify, aggregate, and synthesize evidence indicating that the finitude of past time in the universe as we currently know it to be or conceive it could be. Science can also identify the exceedingly high improbability of the random occurence of conditions necessary to sustain life in the universe as we currently know it to be or conceive it could be.”

        So we are talking here about the existence of God in terms of (high) probabilities. Final, conclusive proof or disproof of the existence of God cannot be provided by science because, as Spitzer puts it, “unlike philosophy and metaphysics, science cannot deductively prove a creation or God. This is because natural science deals with the physical universe and with the regularities which we call ‘laws of nature’ that are obeyed by the phenomenon within that universe. But God is not an object or phenomenon or regularity within the physical universe…” This is where atheists such as Richard Dawkins and Victor Stenger demonstrate their ignorance of philosophy when they assert that science disproves God. It is not a matter of proof or disproof, but of probabilities.

        • Arie Van der Ende says:

          All this talk about the existence of (a) God. Those people who are atheists say the there is no proof. Those whose faith makes them believe that there is a God also don’t have any PROOF. How about this:

          The non-atheists say that God is eternal and say that you must believe that, and take it on faith.

          It could be argued (with the SAME argument) that the UNIVERSE is eternal. This means that LIFE has ALWAYS existed (albeit not always in the same form) just as the stars and planets, etc. have ALWAYS existed (albeit not in the same form). EVOLUTION, on the other hand has also ALWAYS existed and therefore things CHANGE.

          Is this not just as valid an argument as the belief that GOD has always existed?

          It would explain all of the EXISTENCE arguments on both sides.

          • syoungren says:

            I am very glad that you asked this question. Big Bang cosmology has shown that the universe is NOT eternal. I recommend the book New Proofs for the Existence of God by Robert J. Spitzer (who was assisted by Dr. Stephen Barr of the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Deleware). Below is a relevant excerpt:

            Prior to Einstein’s publication of the General Theory of Relativity, one could have thought that supernatural design was completely unnecessary because it was believed (in accordance with Newton’s postulates) that the universe existed for an infinite amount of time with an infinite amount of space and an infinite amount of interacting content. Therefore, there would have been an infinite number of “tries” [for randomness to produce an orderly universe] to bring about virtually any degree of complexity.

            Standard Big Bang cosmology totally changed these postulates, and reduced the total number of “tries” in the observable universe to a very finite number…..This comparatively small number of “total possible mass energy interactions in the universe for all time” revealed the extreme improbability of high degrees of complexity arising out of the universe by pure chance.

            If you wish to explore this subject matter in more depth, this book also states that “David Hilbert (the father of finite mathematics) has given new probative force and depth to the argument for the intrinsic finitude of past time (implying a timeless Creator) in his article On The Infinite.” You may want to read this article.

            Hilbert, one of the greatest mathemeticians of the 20th century said, “The infinite [as in infinite past time] is nowhere to be found in reality. It neither exists in nature nor provides a legitimate basis for rational thought. The role that remains for the infinite…is solely that of an idea…”

            Scott

          • danno says:

            Big Bang cosmology has shown that the universe is NOT eternal. False.

            Without any evidence associated with the earliest instant of the expansion, the Big Bang theory CANNOT and DOES NOT provide any explanation for such an initial condition; rather, it describes and explains the general evolution of the universe since that instant.

            There is no information evidential of time or no time before the Big Bang, nor is it likley there will ever be, since the Big Bang is evidenced by cosmic microwave background radiation. What evidence could possibly be available to confirm or deny existence before the Big Bang???

            • syoungren says:

              You have not responded to the arguments in my post entitled “What does standard Big Bang cosmology say about the universe being eternal?” Rather, you have just ignored it and restated your previous assertion.

              Here is specifically what you need to respond to: Contemporary mathameticians, such as David Hilbert (one of the greatest mathameticians of the 20th century) say that infinite past time is not possible. Hilbert says, “The infinite [as in infinite past time] is nowhere to be found in reality. It neither exists in nature nor provides a legitimate basis for rational thought. The role that remains for the infinite…is solely that of an idea…”

              Therefore, whether there was existence before the Big Bang is ultimately irrelevant. The real question is whether the universe began at some point, or existed eternally. Since infinite past time is not possible, it clearly began at some point…..either at the Big Bang or at some point prior to that.

              To shed further light on this topic, let me call attention to another fact: In 2003, physicists Vilenkin, Borde, and Guth corroborated to formulate a proof that demonstrates that infinite past time is not feasible. It is known as the BVG theorem. Alexander Vilenkin is very blunt in regard to the implications of this theorem:

              “It is said that an argument is what convinces reasonable men and a proof is what it takes to convince even an unreasonable man. With the proof now in place, cosmologists can no longer hide behind the possibility of a past-eternal universe. There is no escape, they have to face the problem of a cosmic beginning” (Many Worlds in One [New York: Hill and Wang, 2006], p.176).

              That being said, Standard Big Bang Theory DOES say that the Big Bang was the beginning. Read this article from All About Science.

          • danno says:

            The lack of infinite (as in the lack of infinite past time) is nowhere to be found in reality. It (creation) neither exists in nature nor provides a legitimate basis for rational thought. The role that remains for the lack of infinite…is solely that of an idea…

            You’ve been saying that the Big Bang was the beginning, undeniably. Now you’re saying it may have been before the Big Bang, but are certain of no eternity. And then say it was in fact the beginning. BVG theorem doesn’t prove anything, doesn’t account for models providing exception to the theorem, and doesn’t deny the Big Condensing, the prior Big Bang, the prior Big Condensing, or the Big Bounce. No evidence to prove otherwise. I can’t find many references on the theorem though, other than Christian spins claiming proof. But who should look beyond the immediate when googling?

            From your Christian article:

            “According to the many experts however, space didn’t exist prior to the Big Bang.” Not all experts? Or at least most?

            “…reasonably certain that the universe had a beginning.” Kinda, I’m pretty sure, maybe, I think so, strongly…

            So it DOESN’T say it was undeniably the beginning.

            • syoungren says:

              No, what I am saying is that the Standard Big Bang Model declares the Big Bang to be the beginning of time. But this model, like all scientific models, is subject to revision at a later date. Therefore, future advances in science could show that the beginning of time was earlier than the Big Bang.

              However, future advances in science will NOT be able to demonstrate infinite past time (an eternal universe).

              I have not changed my stance in any way.

          • danno says:

            Also, future advances in science will NOT be able to demonstrate A LACK OF infinite past time (an eternal universe).

          • Mike D says:

            Arie, you make a very good point in a clear logical way. Expect to be abused roundly for your common sense.

        • Kyle says:

          “John Henry Newman termed such a network or evidence an ‘informal inference,’ i.e., reaching a conclusion by considering the accumulation of convergent antecedent probabilities. For Newman, truth claims did not have to be grounded in an infallible source of evidence or in a strictly formal deduction. They could be grounded in the convergence (complementary and corroboration) of a multiplicity probalistic evidential bases. Certitude is not grounded in one base alone, but in a multiplicity of likely or probable evidential bases.”

          Then I can surely conclude that you now accept “macro” evolution and common descent without reservation, as the above description of “concilience” applies better there by 1000 orders of magnitude more than it does to this vaporous “evidence” for gawd, right?

          No?

          You got some ‘splainin’ to do!

          • syoungren says:

            OK Kyle, if you want to believe in macroevolution, that is fine with me. In fact, there are many Christians who believe in macroevolution. But once again, macroevolution refers to an intermediate cause, not an ultimate one. The question of ultimate causes would be “Is life a result of random, unintelligent processes, or of intelligent ones?”

            Can you demonstrate how life emerged through random processes when life is something several orders of magnitude more complex than any man made technology?

          • syoungren says:

            OK, then those multiple evidential bases also apply to God!! And here some of them are:

            1) The dizzyingly complex nature of the simplest life form and the huge chasm in complexity separating lifeless matter from the simplest life.
            2) The anthropic fine tuning data as presented in my essay “Is there a God? What is the chance our world is the result of chance?”
            3) The remarkable similarity between the biblical and scientific accounts of creation (as presented in the videos by MIT physicist and biblical scholar Gerald Schroeder that I link to in my “Doesn’t evolution…” essay).

            Those are just three.

            What would you say are the multiple evidential bases for macro evolution? Remember how I have demonstrated that mainstream biology is well aware of Darwinism’s failures.

          • nick says:

            Above you offer the possibility that macro-evolution is true. Have you softened your stance on macro-evolution as a possibility?

            I thought that one of Kyle’s points from another post was quite reasonable.

            you are happy with micro evolution. why shouldn’t micro+micro+micro+micro+micro over many hundreds of thousands or even millions of years = macro. micro changes to an arm for example? in the beginning there are only micro changes to its length of small detail… then little by little micro changes of all sorts occur over millenia, each time only changing it a little bit in comparison to its previous nature. By the end of a million years of micro evolution you might have an arm that closer resembles a paddle. Why do ducks have webbed feet? or you might find an arm once used for running and balance has slowly evolved into a hoof of some kind.

            At what point does micro become macro? Such changes happen over huge timescales. At what point is micro evolution inadequate to describe the change. Speciation has taken place when a group evolves from the land to the sea or from a foot to a hoof. Surely such differences become to large and pronounced to be considered micro and for species to subjected to this changed to be called the same.

            ‘What would you say are the multiple evidential bases for macro evolution?’

            genetics. the fossil record. transitional forms. anatomical vestiges. the science of modern biology. witnessing evolution in the present day – catching it in the act.

            • syoungren says:

              Nick:

              This article discusses the topic in detail. Evolution occurs within genetic limits. Here is one important excerpt from the article:

              “Take a look at Darwin’s observation of the changes in finches. Isolated in the Galapagos Island, Darwin discovered finches that had much longer beaks than those found off the island. His assumption was that evolution was changing this species. However, these finches remained finches. Princeton professor Peter Grant completed an 18 year study of the finches on this island. He concluded that during drought years, the finches with shorter beaks died off because with a limited supply of seeds, only those that could reach the grubs living under tree bark could survive. With limited resources on a small island, these finches could not migrate to find food. We clearly observe natural selection, but not macro-evolution. However, it is not a permanent change. The finch offspring with shorter beaks prospered during seasons of plenty. Natural adaptation is the function of micro-evolution. There are three plainly observable principles to micro-evolution. 1. A trait will alter because of a stimulus. 2. The trait will return to the norm if left to nature or returned to its original conditions. 3. No new information is added to the DNA.”

              Darwin used breeding of the rock pigeon as a basis for his theory that gradual changes in species will evolve into new species. All pigeons are descendents of the rock pigeon. This pigeon is the same pigeon that can be found in most city parks. Through selective breeding, Darwin was able to produce many drastic variations of pigeons. He observed very rapid changes in traits that he could alter by this selective breeding and concluded that if he could make these changes within a few generations of pigeons, in time a new species of bird would develop. There are several flaws with this theory. 1. His intervention was the trigger for these various breeds. It did not occur naturally. 2. When left alone, his pigeons returned back to the ancestral rock pigeon within a few generations. If his theory were valid, they should have continued their ascent. 3. Darwin never lived to see that there was a natural barrier that slowed changes after a few generations and eventually reached a stopping point.

              “Change can be rapid when leaving the ‘norm’, but slows and eventually stops as the ‘ceiling’ is reached. There is a limit to the number of combinations a specific trait can have. Another good example of this comes from the book, ‘How Now Shall We Live’. 150 years ago, sugar cane farmers committed to increasing the sugar content in their sugar beets. At the time the project began, sugar content was at 6%. Through selective cross-pollination, within a few generations of beets the sugar content soared to 13%. Over the next 75 years these growers were able to inch the sugar content up to 17%. Now, 75 years after they were able to achieve the 17% barrier, the sugar beet remains at 17%. This is a clear example of the DNA code barrier that limits the variation of a specific trait. This example shows the same principle that Darwin unknowingly discovered. Rapid change, then slow change followed by no change.”

              Please view this video of Richard Dawkins being asked if he can cite an example of a genetic mutation or evolutionary process by which genetic information can be added to the genome. After the interview, Dawkins wrote a 3 page reply (which I have read) in order to refute the idea that he was stumped. But if you read that reply (click here), you will realize that he still does not answer the question, “Can you cite an example of a genetic mutation or an evolutionary process which has shown to add information to the genome?”

              Rather, Dawkins just discusses ways in which shifting of already existing genetic material occurs, NOT how new information can be added to the genome. He discusses ways in which information content of the genome can be increased, but not how the overall information capacity of the genome can be increased. He therefore very artfully and elaborately dodges the question.

              There is a lot of material on YouTube claiming to debunk this “stumping” of Dawkins. I am very much open to being shown how this might be the case. Can you demonstrate how he was not really stumped?

              To conclude, though, as I mentioned to Kyle, the question of macroevolution is really not a question that pertains to the question of the existence of God because it is a matter of an intermediate cause rather than a question of an ultimate cause (intelligent, or random and unintelligent). Discussing macroevolution is therefore very much a tangent to the theme of this website.

          • nick says:

            I can give an example of where information was added to the genome.

            It is a rare occurance and is very specific, which is perhaps why people don’t have it committed to memory. You have showed me this video before and I have read his reply before. I would have to side with Dawkins here.

            They mislead him into making a video and were in his house under false pretences. Upon realisation of such an event in hearing such a leading question asked, might you not suffer a moment of hesitation and realisation, perhaps even fear, in a similar situation? Were some atheists to disguise themselves as Christians, enter your house and reveal their different identities and agenda half way through an interview, might you suddenly feel some concern or confusion? It is not fantasticly admirable practice.

            I would rather not continue over this video because it detracts and is diversionary. Perhaps Dawkins was stumped, perhaps he was caught out and lacked an answer. However, in many professions things of obscurity and rarity are not always committed to memory. Lawyers refer to textbooks all the time, as do doctors; politicians will read speeches rather than memorize them all, receptionists will check their diaries, clergy may consult the scriptures etc. etc. It’s like saying, ‘once I failed a test’. It doesn’t mean that it can’t be retaken and passed.

            Could you quote the scientific source for verification of the claims in the article? There’s elements of truth in there and some faulty conclusions as well. Micro evolution doesn’t have to have a ceiling. The direction, balances and proportions could be changed again and again. Once a new point is reached, regression to the original genus is not necessarrily the following trajectory, it will likely be a different and slightly newer version of a similar organism.

            Here is a quick paste of something I read a while ago regarding bacteria, but also involves acquisition of an alltogether new ability.

            Nylonase flavobacterium have evolved in the last 70 years…. They are brand new on the scene as they digest nylon.

            Nylon is a man made polyamide that did not exist prior to 1935. If something wanted to digest this new and man made thermoplastic it would have to do something new, as the food source was not only new but unnatural. Plastics do not exist too readily in the wild… or at all. The nylonase flavobacterium developed new and improved enzymes unlike others previously existent in order to digest this synthetic material.

            These new enzymes were not required prior to the existence of nylon and since we have only had that for 70 years, it is demonstrable evidence of evolution via mutation, improvement and natural selection.

            I can agree with you on your assessment of evolution not being an ultimate cause, but rather an intermediate cause.

            However, it is important to understand it because it is a big part of our world and as many on this site have proved, is a big part of this discussion. You have an entire essay devoted to evolution and creation and have raised the issue of Darwin as a major theme in many places.

            It is an intermediate cause, but the reason it has become such a prevailing topic on this forum, is that you invoke ultimate causes in to it, so you would be making an ommission if you said it was only an intermediate cause. Understanding evolution properly does not mean that God is removed as a possible ‘first cause’, an ‘uncaused causer’. You invoke God as the creater in macro evolution, perhaps via divine intervention and individual creation of species. This is an ‘ultimate’ inference that you postulate. I have repeated often enough that I am not against the possibility of God, I just think it is important that we understand the mechanisms of our world before we can begin to make postulations and assemble worldviews. I will refer you to another prominant Christian Darwinist. A prize winning Cambridge paleobiologist named Simon Conway Morris. Here is an interivew with him.

            http://www.christianpost.com/news/interview-leading-christian-darwinist-speaks-about-science-faith-origins-27362/

            • syoungren says:

              Nick, this video details what I mean when I say that Dawkins’ written reply (to which I linked you in my previous post) does not answer the question. Dawkins written reply basically admits that he cannot answer the question. His being stumped in the video is one thing. His failure to answer the question even in his longwinded written reply is another thing entirely. You are correct that his being stumped on the spot cannot prove much. But the fact that he is still stumped in his written reply does demonstrate that his views on macroevolution have not been backed up by science.

              Lee Spetner, who holds a PhD in physics from MIT and served a fellowship in biophysics (the application of physics to biology) at Johns Hopkins University explains, “I really do not believe that the neo-Darwinian model can account for large-scale evolution [i.e., macroevolution]. What they really can’t account for is the buildup of information. …And not only is it improbable on the mathematical level, that is, theoretically, but experimentally one has not found a single mutation that one can point at that actually adds information. In fact, every beneficial mutation that I have seen reduces the information, it loses information.”

              L. P. Lester Ph.D. and R. G. Bohlin Ph.D write in The Natural Limits of Biological Change

              “With the inability of mutations of any type to produce new genetic information, the maintenance of the basic plan is to be expected….
              There are limits to biological change and these limits are set by the structure and function of the genetic machinery.”

              It is this buildup of information that stumped Dawkins in both his in-person and, later, written reply.

              Darwinian evolution is not rigorously tested. In fact, one of the greatest philosophers of science of the 20th century, Karl Popper, declares that the Darwinian mechanism of natural selection is not even testable. He says: “I have come to the conclusion that Darwinism is not a testable scientific theory, but a metaphysical research program.” What Popper means, to my understanding, by “metaphysical research program,” is that Darwinism is something that requires a certain set of metaphysical presuppositions (i.e: materialism).

              Evolutionary biologist and paleontologist Henry Gee (senior editor of the science journal Nature) said it best (in 1999): “No fossil is buried with its birth certificate. That, and the scarcity of fossils, means that it is effectively impossible to link fossils into chains of cause and effect in any valid way…To take a line of fossils and claim that they represent a lineage is not a scientific hypothesis that can be tested, but an assertion that carries the same validity as a bedtime story—amusing, perhaps even instructive, but not scientific.”

              The Curator of the invertebrates department at the American Museum of Natural History, Niles Eldredge, who was also the adjunct professor at the City University of New York, is a vigorous supporter of evolution. Dr. Eldredge openly admits that the traditional evolutionary view is not supported by the fossil record. He says, “No wonder paleontologists shied away from evolution for so long,” as he writes, “It seems never to happen. Fastidious collecting of fossils, from the bottom upward, up sheer cliff faces, zigzags, minor oscillations…all showing the same results. That life forms all appear, fully formed, complete in body parts, at their first discovery”. “When we do see the introduction of evolutionary novelty, it usually shows up with a bang, and often with no firm evidence that the organisms did not evolve elsewhere! Evolution cannot forever be going on someplace else. Yet that’s how the fossil record has struck many a forlorn paleontologist looking to learn something about evolution.“

              This above quote by Eldredge addresses the George Gaylord Simpson quote that you tried to “reinsert into context.” Simpson gives a rationalization of why the fossils supporting macroevolution are not there, but in Eldgrdge’s words, “Evolution cannot be forever going on someplace else.”

              Keith Stewart Thomson (B.SC. Birmingham, AM, PH.D. Harvard) is currently a senior research fellow of the American Philosophical Society and an emeritus professor of natural history at the University of Oxford. He was appointed director of the Oxford University Museum of Natural History in July 1998. In 1987 he was appointed president of the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia, the oldest American natural history institution. He had earlier been a dean at Yale University and director of Yale’s Peabody Museum of Natural History. He is the author of several books and essays that deal with paleontology, the history of science and evolution.

              And here is what Thomson said to the American Scientist in 1997: “A matter of unfinished business for biologists is the identification of evolution’s smoking gun… The smoking gun of evolution is speciation, not local adaptation and differentiation of populations.”

              Evolutionary biologists Lynn Margulis (winner of the U.S. Presidential Medal for Science) and Dorion Sagan wrote in 2002: “Speciation, whether in the remote Galapagos, in the laboratory cages of the drosophilosophers, or in the crowded sediments of the paleontologists, still has never been directly traced.”

              Biologists Scott Gilbert, John Opitz, and Rudolph Raff, in the Journal Developmental Biology write: “Genetics might be adequate for explaining microevolution, but microevolutionary changes in gene frequency were not seen as able to turn a reptile into a mammal or to convert a fish into an amphibian. Microevolution looks at adaptations that concern the survival of the fittest, not the arrival of the fittest… The origin of species—Darwin’s problem—remains unsolved.”

              Sorry for again rehashing these quotes, but they are important.

              Your example of “nylonase flavobacterium developing new and improved enzymes unlike others previously existent in order to digest this synthetic material” does not answer the objection of organisms modifying within genetic limits. Why does it follow that adapting to digest this manmade material cannot be done within genetic limits?

              Can Simon Conway Morris demonstrate that this addition of genetic information to the genome can occur?

          • nick says:

            When people like Kyle become so infuriated, you have demonstrated some of the causes very well here. Though it may be counterproductive to become enraged, I can understand where the frustration comes from. I am not enraged, but perhaps you realise why it may happen.

            You are presented with evidence or specific examples and (not every time, but) often you simply won’t engage specifically with these examples. You will bring up your website/resource of quotations and relist some appropriate ones, but often they are repeated or recycled, even in the same conversation and may well be unrelated to the specifics at hand.

            To constructively resolve an issue you must take things one example at a time. You must look in detail at the case for and against one example solely and conclude on this matter in isolation. By jumping from place to place you are not being specific and engaging in the detail of the live issue. This becomes eratic and single cases are not resolved. People then cannot keep up with the amount of information you are bringing up and quite possibly the result becomes huge swathes of text, as happened with Kyle and some others. I try to take it one thing at a time and try to get a single adequate resolution, otherwise endless texts will continue.

            Here are 4 or 5 of the live issues currently on the table:

            nylonase flavobacterium.

            New information evolving in nature (from your stumped video).

            I asked for the scientific resource or peer reviewed location of your article that you initially quoted and linked. You know for science to be legitimate it must be recognised or at least reviewed by a reputable source to some extent with some critical analysis.

            micro+micro+micro+micro+micro=macro.

            answers to your question: ‘What would you say are the multiple evidential bases for macro evolution?’
            -genetics. the fossil record. transitional forms. anatomical vestiges. the science of modern biology. witnessing evolution in the present day – catching it in the act.

            These 5 are issues where we could discuss actual data, where images and photographs could be found, where fossil record evidence can be located and displayed. Tangible modern evidence is also available in modern biology such as in skeletons and DNA.

            If your quotations are really able to demonstrate the falsehoods or truths in this data, then you should be able to show this with more than quotations. eg. photographs. live examples. studies. scientific reason. peer reviewed articles. logic. repeatable experiments. testable experiments.

            This is what will convince me and others like me. Quotes may be correct, but people in science do not go simply by peoples word. You need to be pursuaded empirically as well.
            You need to demonstrate with a working block of reason and tangible evidence as to why these things are not true. Where is the respected refutation of what is demonstrated in bones, genetics labs and natural history museums? Quotes need to be substantiated with proof. Someone’s word is seldom enough to demonstrate a point as truth. The quotes may be correct, but medical progress is not founded on quotes, neither is technology or physics or astronomy or engineering. If an issue is brought up, people including myself require more than a quote to back up what you say.

            A working diagram, or an insight into the mechanism you claim, a photo or a link to an empirical counter example. Tested and sanctioned counter evidence from reputable sources – the very same sources that you quote – Simpsons, Eldridges, Goulds, Stanleys. You use these people in your responses, so they would be ideal people to persuade me of the truth inferred by the claims you make.

            You have engaged in your above answer here with the flavobacterium, but this is as much direct engagement with an example as you have shown. It was short and dismissive, but at least it was what is required. Please expand on this, I do not understand you’re criticism here.

            These bacteria have evolved an entirely new ability to digest nylon. Nylon is a new substance – 70 years old. Therefore the bacteria have evolved this ability at some time in the last 70 years. This is acquired new data or information, which is an example of what was asked of Dawkins in your video.

            Morris, I would imagine, would concur that genetic novelty is a rare but real phenomenon.

            • syoungren says:

              Nick,

              It is you who are not engaging the issues. I just don’t think this is getting through to you. Here are the simple facts:

              1) The burden of proof lies with those trying to prove a theory…. not with those wishing to disprove it.

              2) Not even Richard Dawkins can cite an example of a genetic mutation or evolutionary process shown to increase the genetic capacity of the genome. Without this capability, macroevolution cannot occur. You have not responded to this point.

              3) Not only does the fossil record not support macroevolution (please don’t make me rehash the quotes again…. and I can come up with many others) but the fossil record cannot even in principle support macroevolution, as the citations I provide demonstrate. Species appear in the fossil record fully formed without any signs of ancestors. If these quotes are taken out of context, you need to reinsert them into the correct context. This means that you must tell us what the correct context is…. not just provide additional text that preceded and followed the quote which I provide. That is just providing additional text, not context.

              4) You say that I wont engage deeply in your examples. Well, of course I wont. Here is what you are not getting: If Richard Dawkins could not come up with an example of an genetic mutation or evolutionary process shown to increase the information in the genome, why should I think that you can? If he can’t come up with such an example, it doesn’t take much of a leap of faith to assume that this is because there are no such examples.

              5) Micro+micro+micro+micro cannot equal macro because species adapt within genetic limits. You have not responded to this objection.

              6) Yes, we cannot just go on quotes. Yes, we need to be persuaded empirically as well. You are right. Macroevolution cannot be demonstrated empirically because it is not testable. Ancestry in the fossil record and in the genome can only be inferred. The fact that species and phyla appear suddenly and fully formed in the fossil record (without ancestors) means that there is no empirical support for macroevolution. As Lynn Margulis demonstrates, not a single biologist can come up with a singe unambiguous example of a new species emerging through an accumulation of mutations.

              7) Continued support for Darwinian evolution (in museums for example) is the result of the fact that science cannot proceed without a paradigm (or theoretical framework) upon which to build. As Thomas Kuhn points out in The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, paradigms don’t go away when the science no longer supports them. Rather, they go away when the science no longer supports them, AND a new paradigm comes along to take its place. Scientists didn’t just give up on Newtonian physics, for example, when Newtonian physics failed to explain certain subatomic and astronomical phenomena.

              Rather, scientists abandoned Newtonian physics when Newtonian physics failed to explain certain subatomic and astronomical phenomena AND Einstein’s physics came along.

          • nick says:

            The reason things don’t get through to me and others, is that we are not satisfied with the level of proof.

            1) No, the burden of proof lies with all parties. Whatever you wish to argue, you are obliged to engage with proof and reasonable demonstration of your view. How would it look in court if a lawyer was to stand up and announce that he needn’t bother, the burden of proof lies with the opposition? We each must bring forward a credible case.

            2) I have answered this question twice with an example that you may test, research and reply to. Nylonase flavobacterium are one example where some genetic novelty has appeared in a biological system and this has happened within the last 70 years. The video reply you linked picks a small piece of Dawkins’ article and claims that this represents the answer. Dawkins believes it to be a complicated issue. You will find that the overall opinion of Dawkins is that in fact genetic novelty is evident all over the place and whilst is a rare occurance as a recordable event, is existent across the spectrum. Further he notes that he has authored 3 books on this subject, wherein he explains in explicit detail how novelty is acquired. The nylonase is an example that I have suggested rather than Dawkins. I heard of this example through a reliable source, which I will quote if asked.

            3) I have refuted this previously. The question and tasks you ask here are somewhat mammoth. For me to reinsert all the quotes you used to context would be an undertaking in itself. I’m sure I could do that reasonably well here, but the lengths of texts involved and the time spent on explaining each case would be large. That is not to say it could not be done for all or perhaps just one or two. The fossil evidence does not contradict Darwin. Again this is something that can be demonstrated via pictures, museum visits, video’s, diagrams, live digs – the evidence stockpile is huge and the new evidence continues to come in. Your quotes are not completely wrong but tell only a small fragment of the tale. The quotes you use will say that the fossils appear fully formed. How else would they appear? Skulls in half? No backbones? Providing you find a complete fossil, it will always be fully formed, or else it would not have been alive I would say. A half formed animal would not live, for example a half formed cat, would not last long in any condition let alone the wild. The fossil record is incomplete, but this is obvious, half the animals that exist are eaten before they can be fossilised, or disintigrate or lost to geological time. It is rare that fossils occur. We are fortunate to find any fossil, so gaps will appear in the record without doubt. This is why the quotes you reference say what they say. Why is this very surprising? We don’t have examples of every lineage, because we are very fortunate to find any fossil at all. We do have demonstrable examples of transitions in the record, as Simpson says, ‘without doubt’. The whole of science agrees with this.

            4) Again, I have given an example here in point 1. I am confident that Dawkins could give more and better examples than I have ventured already, he has written 3 books on just these issues. Did you read the entire article, or just rely on the 5 minute video that you found. Can you be sure that this video is absolutely correct and has explored the entire piece? Another example of increased information being passed on in biology is in down syndrome. This is a condition, that by definition has increased or new information from the normal amount. Here is a brief dictionary definition of the cause of the condition. Down syndrome, or Down’s syndrome trisomy 21, is a chromosomal condition caused by the presence of all or part of an extra 21st chromosome.

            5) I did not reply to that, you are right. I don’t think that genetic limits would constrict the opportunity for macro evolution. This would need more consideration, amidst all these other points and I will give it some as I have already written much. My initial question would be, ‘what is meant by genetic limits?’ Following that I would say, ‘if there are genetic limits, why should this prevent macroevolution in any way? Surely the array of geneteic variety that is self evident on this planet just by looking out of the window is enough information for evolution of all kinds and in all directions to take place.

            6) Well said regarding the the scientific process. The rest is not so well said. It is testable. It has been tested. It continues to be tested. New examples and understandings are being uncovered, reviewed and verified all the time. Lynn Margulis, who I would say is a credible reference, is someone that refers to herself as a Darwinist remember. It is neo-Darwinism which she rejects in your quote. I know there is a difference between the two and perhaps she will be proved right about neo-Darwinism, but without doubt a Darwinist she claims to be. I remain interested by her and I think to myself she may be right about neo Darwinism, but she makes no such claim about basic Darwinism.

            7) This point could be entered at great length. I would refute the idea that it is failed until we find something new.

            Let’s say though, that they just need a paradigm. It seems to work. It fits all the data. The courts, the government and the school systems all agree that it fits the data, in America and Europe, as well as all over the world. The universities, the museums and the labs all agree that it fits. If something better comes along then perhaps it will be replaced. This is only problematic if the paradigm does not fit. Currently it is universally agreed that it fits very well.

            Newton’s revelations were not all proven completely wrong. He set us on the right path and the understanding progressed. He was not condemned or ridiculed, but celebrated as Einsteins understandings took us even further. His contribution was amongst the most significant in history. Darwin shares a similar position. Perhaps Gould’s punctuated equilibrium will ammend some ideas about Darwinism and will take us forward. I think this is a real possibility, but even if this is the future of our understanding, it is pasted all over his website and in his memory that Gould was a Darwinist with a slightly different take, but a Darwinist without doubt.

            • syoungren says:

              1) The issue at hand is macroevolution. In order to support macroevolution, it must be backed up by evidence. Here are some facts that you have repeatedly failed to respond to:

              –As Oxford University and U of Mass. biologists Lynn Margulis points out, not a single biologists can come up with a single unambiguous example of a new species emerging through an accumulation of mutations. Your response to this (correct me if I am wrong) is to propose your own example. Nick, this just wont do by any reasonable standards of rational discourse.

              –The fossil record clearly demonstrates that new species emerge suddenly and with no evidence of any ancestors. I have cited expert after expert as to this fact. If these quotes are taken out of context, you need to reinsert them into what you feel is the correct context. This does not mean merely inserting the quote into additional text, it means telling us what is the larger context. You have not inserted any of these quotes into what you feel is the correct context.

              2) Once again, Nick, if atheist biologist number one (Richard Dawkins) cannot cite a single example of a genetic mutation or evolutionary process shown to increase the information in the genome (in either the interview or his written reply afterwards), why should anyone take your example seriously. Why should I spend my valuable time investigating nylonase flavobacterium when a prominent atheist biologist cannot cite any examples? Do you know more about this subject than Dawkins?!

              3) Fossils appearing fully formed means that there is no trace of any ancestors to the fossils in the fossil record. You can still believe that macroevolution occurs, but there is no evidence in the fossil record. What then is the evidence supporting macroevolution? To quote the late great Harvard University paleontologist Stephen Jay Gould in a 1977 issue of Natural History, “the extreme rarity of transitional forms in the fossil record persists as the trade secret of paleontology — we fancy ourselves as the only true students of life’s history, yet to preserve our favoured account of evolution by natural selection we view our data as so bad that we never see the very process we profess to study.” Yes, Nick, he said “never.” When Gould says “our favored account of evolution by natural selection” he is describing what is the “cultural context” (to use Margulis’ words) prevalent in biological circles.

              In the Cambrian, we go from single celled organisms to all of the major phyla in a “blink of the eye” in geologic terms. How can any reasonable person believe that, in light of this fact, a gradual process of random mutation and natural selection can be behind it? It boggles the imagination.

              Nick, museums provide a presentation of the dominant paradigm. If you were to view museums in the 19th century, you would have seen a presentation of, for example, the miasma theory (also called the miasmatic theory), which held that diseases such as cholera, chlamydia or the Black Death were caused by a miasma (ancient Greek: “pollution”), a noxious form of “bad air.” Do you suppose that a museum’s or a diagram’s presentation of the theory that “bad air” explains diseases provides evidence for that theory? Of course not… you seem to believe that what is presented in museums and diagrams is evidence.

              Also regarding museums, please read this article by MIT physicist Gerald Schroeder. Key excerpt:

              “The British Natural History Museum in London had an entire wing devoted to the evolution of species. And what evolution do they demonstrate? Pink daisies evolving into blue daisies; small dogs evolving into big dogs; a few species of cichlid fish evolving in a mere few thousand years into a dozen species of cichlid fish. Very impressive. Until you realize that the daisies remained daisies, the dogs remained dogs and the cichlid fish remained cichlid. It is called micro-evolution. This magnificent museum, with all its resources, could not produce a single example of one phylum evolving into another. It is the mechanisms of macro-evolution, the change of one phylum or class of animal into another that has been called into question by these data.”

              The following bold text is an excerpt from Oxford University mathematician John Lennox’s book God’s Undertaker. Has Science Buried God?

              Evolutionist Derek Ager admits: “It must be significant that nearly all the evolutionary stories I learned as a student, from Trueman’s Ostrea/Gryphaea to Carruthers’Zaphrentis delanouei, have now been ‘debunked’. Similarly, my own experience of more than twenty years looking for evolutionary lineages among the Mesozoic Brachiopoda has proved them equally elusive.”[35] Museums once featured Australopithecus africanus as an ancestor to humans—A. africanus includes “Mrs Ples“ (now thought to be a small “Mr Ples”) and the Taung child (Dawkins pp. 189–193). Donald Johanson, the discoverer of ‘Lucy’, places Australopithecus africanus in a side-branch not leading to man[36] and many museums have now demoted this once certain human ancestor to a non-ancestor. As we saw above, Charles Oxnard is one of several experts who do not believe that any of them were on the human line, contrary to what Dawkins told Wendy Wright. However, museums will not remove all the australopithecines, like they should; this is because their displays of ‘human evolution’ will collapse without them.”

              The problem that macroevolution has with the fossil record goes far beyond just gaps. Nobody should expect the fossil record to be seamless. The problem is that it provides nothing but gaps. People such as George Gaylord Simpson can try to fill those gaps with “extrapolation and inference,” but that is not evidence… it is extrapolation and inference. The fossil record cannot even IN PRINCIPLE support macroevolution. Evolutionary biologist and paleontologist Henry Gee (senior editor of the science journal Nature) said it best (in 1999): “No fossil is buried with its birth certificate. That, and the scarcity of fossils, means that it is effectively impossible to link fossils into chains of cause and effect in any valid way…To take a line of fossils and claim that they represent a lineage is not a scientific hypothesis that can be tested, but an assertion that carries the same validity as a bedtime story—amusing, perhaps even instructive, but not scientific.” Again, Nick, NOT A SCIENTIFIC HYPOTHESIS THAT CAN BE TESTED. Only extrapolated and inferred so as to fit a worldview.

              What then can be cited as evidence for macroevolution?! You say that the “whole of science” agrees with macroevolution. Nick, your problem is that you persistently confuse a paradigm with evidence. Did the scientific community’s endorsement of the “bad air” theory of disease provide convincing proof of that theory? No, of course not, it just demonstrated that “bad air” was the dominant paradigm at the time for explaining certain diseases.

              Yes, inserting all of the citations I provide into what you feel is a larger context would be a huge task, as you suggest. You can start by inserting A SINGLE ONE OF THEM into a larger context. You haven’t done that. Rather you have just added additional text to one of them.

              4) You are confident that Dawkins could give better examples. Then please proceed to provide them. He wrote several books on the issue? Then that is all the more reason that he should have been able to provide an example in either the interview or in his written reply. Yes, I read Dawkins entire article over several times. It is clear that his written reply does not produce a reply to the question, “Can you cite an example of a genetic mutation or evolutionary process shown to increase the information in the genome?” Downs syndrome provides such an example? The why doesn’t Dawkins mention it? Here is why: As this articlefrom the Mayo Clinic points out:

              “Most of the time, Down syndrome isn’t inherited. It’s caused by a mistake in cell division during the development of the egg, sperm or embryo.”

              “Translocation Down syndrome is the only form of the disorder that can be passed from parent to child. However, only about 4 percent of children with Down syndrome have translocation. And only about half of these children inherited it from one of their parents.”

              “When translocations are inherited, the mother or father is a balanced carrier of the translocation, which means he or she has some rearranged genetic material, but no extra genetic material. A balanced carrier has no signs or symptoms of Down syndrome, but he or she can pass the translocation on to children.” (italics added) That’s right, NO EXTRA GENETIC MATERIAL.

              5) Why should genetic limits inhibit macroevolution? Because it means that a species can only adapt to its environment within certain limits. This prevents a new species from emerging. Once again, not a single biologist can come up with a single unambiguous example of a new species emerging from an accumulation of mutations. This is one reason that scientists form elite universities have to hold secretive meetings to discuss “post-Darwinain” research. What is meant by genetic limits?

              “Take a look at Darwin’s observation of the changes in finches. Isolated in the Galapagos Island, Darwin discovered finches that had much longer beaks than those found off the island. His assumption was that evolution was changing this species. However, these finches remained finches. Princeton professor Peter Grant completed an 18 year study of the finches on this island. He concluded that during drought years, the finches with shorter beaks died off because with a limited supply of seeds, only those that could reach the grubs living under tree bark could survive. With limited resources on a small island, these finches could not migrate to find food. We clearly observe natural selection, but not macro-evolution. However, it is not a permanent change. The finch offspring with shorter beaks prospered during seasons of plenty. Natural adaptation is the function of micro-evolution. There are three plainly observable principles to micro-evolution. 1. A trait will alter because of a stimulus. 2. The trait will return to the norm if left to nature or returned to its original conditions. 3. No new information is added to the DNA.”

              Darwin used breeding of the rock pigeon as a basis for his theory that gradual changes in species will evolve into new species. All pigeons are descendents of the rock pigeon. This pigeon is the same pigeon that can be found in most city parks. Through selective breeding, Darwin was able to produce many drastic variations of pigeons. He observed very rapid changes in traits that he could alter by this selective breeding and concluded that if he could make these changes within a few generations of pigeons, in time a new species of bird would develop. There are several flaws with this theory. 1. His intervention was the trigger for these various breeds. It did not occur naturally. 2. When left alone, his pigeons returned back to the ancestral rock pigeon within a few generations. If his theory were valid, they should have continued their ascent. 3. Darwin never lived to see that there was a natural barrier that slowed changes after a few generations and eventually reached a stopping point.

              “Change can be rapid when leaving the ‘norm’, but slows and eventually stops as the ‘ceiling’ is reached. There is a limit to the number of combinations a specific trait can have. Another good example of this comes from the book, ‘How Now Shall We Live’. 150 years ago, sugar cane farmers committed to increasing the sugar content in their sugar beets. At the time the project began, sugar content was at 6%. Through selective cross-pollination, within a few generations of beets the sugar content soared to 13%. Over the next 75 years these growers were able to inch the sugar content up to 17%. Now, 75 years after they were able to achieve the 17% barrier, the sugar beet remains at 17%. This is a clear example of the DNA code barrier that limits the variation of a specific trait. This example shows the same principle that Darwin unknowingly discovered. Rapid change, then slow change followed by no change.”

              6) So you respond to the point made by one of the most important philosophers of science (Popper) that Darwinism is not testable by merely asserting that it is testable? Who do you think that is going to satisfy?
              Please tell us how Darwinism can be tested. I would be interested to hear.

              This is not just about Margulis. It is about multitude of other experts who I have cited (please don’t make me recycle the quotes). If you want to say that Darwinism is true instead of neo-Darwinism, then you are stuck with explaining the lack of gradualness in the fossil record. When Margulis declares herself to be a Darwinist, we are then left wondering why. I will tell you why in her own words: “…people are always more loyal to their tribal group than to any abstract notion of ‘truth’ – scientists especially. If not they are unemployable. It is professional suicide to continually contradict one’s teachers or social leaders.”

              7) Please do refute this.

              “It fits the data?” (as you say). Nick, just what data would that be?! Emission theory or extramission theory is the proposal that visual perception is accomplished by rays of light emitted by the eyes. This used to be the dominant paradigm. The fact that it was the dominant paradigm shows that it was the dominant paradigm, not that it was an adequate explanation.

              No, Newton was not completely wrong. And neither was Darwin. He clearly got the microevolution part right.

              Yes Gould was a Darwinist. That means that he feels Darwin provided a piece of the puzzle, but not that he felt Darwinism was adequate.

              Nick, why don’t I make this my “closing argument” and you can make your next comment your “closing argument.” I just think that we are going in circles here and that we are not getting anywhere. You clearly want to believe in macroevolution even though there is no support for it. That is fine, I don’t think I can stop you from believing in something that you want to believe in.

            • syoungren says:

              Nick,

              For the record, I have a full time job and other responsibilities. If you want to infer victory when I don’t respond as quickly as you are able to, that is fine with me. But, for future reference, my lifestyle dictates that there will sometimes be long period between replies.

              Scott

          • nick says:

            First off, for the record, I apologise for the joke. I thought it a mild bit of humour that wouldn’t be too offensive. It is a bear dancing, not anything course. Of course I respect the fact that you have time constraints, I would be entirely unreasonable if I were to criticise you for this and I certainly do not. It is admirable how you maintain and reply to those on your site. I will admit that it was a prompt in search of a reply. I do not think this to be too improper. It is reasonable to prompt for a reply sometimes if desired. To become indignent or rude would be another matter, but I intended to be neither of these things. So, apologies. If you have time constraints, there is no criticism from me whatsoever, but I think a prompt is sometimes legitimate to find out the reason for a missing response in whatever circumstance (not just on this website).

          • nick says:

            I will reply to your other comment, but not tonight.

          • nick says:

            You level an awful lot of accusations at me in this answer, as well as questions and challenges. It is hard not to reply to your comments here. You wish to make this your closing statement on macroevolution. I am not sure whether it is or is not. If I were to reply to all of your comments here, I would say there is a chance that you would wish to respond.

            Perhaps we have been going round in circles, I’m not sure. I find myself confused as to how a rational person can not accept the idea of evolution. You have proven yourself to be reasonable and willing to change on previous occasions, albeit after much resistance (but there is nothing wrong with that), such as the Kirk Durston paper and by giving Attenborough a proper chance.

            I just find myself a little confused at the situation.

            I would be curious to ask a couple of questions with regards to evolution. Do you think that your views, which seem to be in accordance with intelligent design, should be taught to children? With your outlook on evolution, are you seeking to try to understand it if there are challenges to your understanding, or are you just seeking to promote your ideas about evoloution?

            You have levelled many challenges at me in your previous answer, including the idea that there is no data to support Darwin, that I am guilty of creating my own baseless data, as well as accusing me of failing to acknowledge your challenges, ‘that the fossil record cannot even IN PRINCIPLE support macroevolution’, that no examples of genetic novelty are found in nature and many other challenges and questions.

            There have been many instances where data brought up has simply been dismissed or even ignored. If you would like to see the data you have persistantly denied exists and challenge me to bring up in your comment, it can be brought to light. I don’t think that you actually want to acknowledge this data, which is why you repeatedly deny it exists.

            There are 7 points in the last discussion which could each be extensively answered at length and in great detail, providing all the data that you do not wish to see. I will leave it up to you whether you want to see this data or not, but I will respond to the single issue of your Dawkins stumped video. This covers points 2 and 4, which are basically the same topic. I have chosen this point because it is a challenge that you put to me, so I am meeting it and because you have accused me of making things up in attempts to answer this problem, which I have not.

            I will post the response to these 2 points on your evolution page, as we are on the wrong page here for the topic and to save space. This leaves points 1,3,5,6,7 all unanswered in detail and I will leave them for the moment. I think that one of these points alone would be long enough to write several books of evidence on. I’m not sure whether I will answer the rest of these points, but I felt the need to at least answer one in detail, to show that I am not fabricating responses and that the data I talk of indeed exists. I’m not sure whether you will accept this data or not, but I will be very surprised if you think it is false or wrong.

            • syoungren says:

              Yes Nick, I wish to see this supposed data. Please re-ask any questions that you feel I have not answered so that I don’t have to go scrolling through a bunch of comments.

              Nick, you seem to have a peculiar habit of asserting that there is support for your views, but then not following through and producing it. You also seem to have the peculiar habit of responding to experts that I cite with empty assertions. For example, I cited two people (a very famous philosopher of science, and a prominent biologist) who say that macroevolution is not even scientifically testable. You response was something to the effect of “yes it is testable.”

              By any reasonable standard of rational discourse, this is just plain insufficient. It is necessary for you to make some sort of case for it being testable.

              Another example of your assertion-in-lieu-of-an-argument habit is your failure to put even one of the supposed “out of context” quotes that I have provided back into what you feel is the correct context (not just greater text).

          • nick says:

            I have answered this point on the evolution page with regards to this sugestion of unsubstantiated assertions.

            Replying to this point on that page, is it fair to say that I have satisfactorily answered the points 2 and 4 about Dawkins’ stumped video with substantiated evidential proof?

            • syoungren says:

              Nick,

              Please copy and paste for me points 2 and 4 about the Dawkins’ stumped video and your answer. I have a lot of “points 2 and 4” with all the comments that come in. Please view this multi-part video by evolutionary biologist and mathematician David Berlinski regarding Darwinian evolution.

              My favorite clip is this one titled Head Scratching Mathematicians. Many mathematicians, including John Von Neumann, one of the greatest of the 20th century, declared that Darwinian evolution is mathematically not possible. Von Neumann “laughed at” Darwiniain evolution. Fred Hoyle, from Cambridge University, was another such mathematician, although Berlinski doesn’t mention him in this video. Hoyle dismisses Darwinian evolution in his book Mathematics of Evolution.

              Another favorite clip is this one. The vast majority of mutations are harmful. Scientists have a very hard time finding beneficial mutations.

              This clip supports what I said about widespread acceptance of Darwinism as a psychological and sociological phenomenon.

              This clip describes what I was talking about when I mentioned “genetic limits” constraining evolution, thereby erecting a barrier between micro and macro evolution. It also describes how computer simulations have been unable to replicate Darwinian evolution despite the fact that they should very easily be able to do so.

              Please also read my new “snippet” titled Why Darwinian Evolution Can’t Be Cited As Evidence Against God.

          • nick says:

            Here are points 2 and 4 as you have answered them in your previous post. You go on to talk about Down Syndrome in point 4 but I have not pasted that, as there are another 2/3 paragraphs. I have answered this point in detail with substantiation and evidence at the bottom of the evolution page. It is the last post on the page so is easy to find and includes a peer reviewed paper, as well as testimony from biologists. I have stuck to this single issue. I can copy/paste it here, but I thought I’d defer to that other page, as the space seems to have run out here, plus that is the appropriate page for the topic. I will read your snippet. I think that, that is something that I have said all along. Darwin does not eliminate the possibility of God. In fact I recently read you making the point that Dawkins says that a case can be made for a Deistic God, and you are correct in saying this.

            2) Once again, Nick, if atheist biologist number one (Richard Dawkins) cannot cite a single example of a genetic mutation or evolutionary process shown to increase the information in the genome (in either the interview or his written reply afterwards), why should anyone take your example seriously. Why should I spend my valuable time investigating nylonase flavobacterium when a prominent atheist biologist cannot cite any examples? Do you know more about this subject than Dawkins?!

            4) You are confident that Dawkins could give better examples. Then please proceed to provide them. He wrote several books on the issue? Then that is all the more reason that he should have been able to provide an example in either the interview or in his written reply. Yes, I read Dawkins entire article over several times. It is clear that his written reply does not produce a reply to the question, “Can you cite an example of a genetic mutation or evolutionary process shown to increase the information in the genome?” ‘

            • syoungren says:

              Here are the key excerpts from the Mayo Clinic article about Down Syndrome:

              “Most of the time, Down syndrome isn’t inherited. It’s caused by a mistake in cell division during the development of the egg, sperm or embryo.”

              “When translocations are inherited, the mother or father is a balanced carrier of the translocation, which means he or she has some rearranged genetic material, but no extra genetic material.”

              I am not sure how you have refuted this.

              Nick, I just watched the Ken Miller Nylonase video that you linked me to. Miller says that this new enzyme “evolved from junk DNA…. flipping around of the genetic material.” This is exactly what I was talking about with regard to Dawkins’ reply to his “stumped” video. Dawkins talks about how the useful information content of the genome can be increased by rearranging junk DNA so as to make it into useful DNA. However, he does not show how the total genetic CAPACITY of the genome can increase. In other words, the genetic information in the genome can be rearranged so that there is more useful DNA and less junk DNA. But Dawkins does not show how the total capacity of information in the genome (useful and junk combined) can be increased. Your nylonase example therefore is just another example of the rearrangement of already existing genetic capacity, NOT an example of an increase in capacity.

  3. Roger says:

    P.S. True Science and True Religion (correctly understood )never contradict each other. Both reveal Truth but of different kinds. Truth is One. There is no contradiction between the Genesis account of creation and the scientific truths that have been established as fact. Science is simply the discovery by men about how God does things. As Issac Newton once said: “There are two books, the book of nature and the scriptures”. Both reveal Truth about God.

    • Marvin Jones says:

      Roger

      Define “CORRECTIVELY UNDERSTOOD”
      When is anything correct,if everything is interpreted to suit one’s inclinations,beliefs and disbeliefs.Flawed beings wishing to believe in flawed GODS.

    • Dashan says:

      Actually 95% of science has no impact on religion. Religion cares not if water is H20 or H30. What is certain is that we must ask why science works at all in a universe if it is only physical matter and energy. Do we believe Hawking that the Laws of Science are sacrosanct creating themselves and then the universe out of nothing? Or do we agree with Oxford Nobel Prize scientist (&atheist) sir Peter Medawar,’That there is indeed a limit upon science is made very likely by the existence of questions that science cannot answer & that no conceivable advance of science would empower it to answer It is not to science, but to metaphysics, imaginative literature or religion that we must turn for answers to questions having to do with first and last things.’

  4. Jon says:

    Look people, if you dont believe there is a God then you should be reading an article entitled “reasons God is not real.” rather then argue the point that we just simultaneously appeared on this earth. not believing in a God is taking a bigger chance than believing in a God, at least if you have faith in your religion you have something to fall back on, whereas not believing at all just plummets you into a free fall because you believe we just rot in the ground that is your problem not mine, so stop arguing your veiw points like we care if you want to know about Jesus Christ, thats one thing but argue he isnt real, thats another so go figure out whats going to happen to you when you die instead of giving your best efforts to corrupt people all you show is that there will never be any peace between anyone because of people like you and your ignorance. Remember The Two Pillars of ‘political Correctness’ are:
    A)Willful ignorance
    B)A steadfast refusal to face the truth
    I am years younger than you and you have a imbecilic reason not to believe, at age 16 I have more faith in my God than you do in anything concerning your life. Of course it comes naturally when you believe that after you die you just fade away like a dislocated apparatus, so come back when you have a more stable argument, wait, no don’t come back on this site go somewhere else to spread false knowledge.
    Jon Coleman Allen

    • danno says:

      What truths do you know? Should you not hear the arguments from both sides before stating your convictions? Or flippantly dismiss arguments as false knowledge, the ones that don’t agree with yours? I don’t think anyone is trying to strip people of their faith, just evaluating the validity of both sides of the argument, or the purported evidence. I think Scott appreciates the arguments as they either strengthen his, or encourage him to revise them accordingly.

    • Mike D says:

      Jon Coleman Allen

      Wow, you must have been out of breath after writing that diatribe. You didn’t even pause to re-read what you posted, you just spewed it all out there.

      Let’s examine the “points” you try and make:
      1. “Not believing in god is taking a bigger chance than believing in god because then you have something to fall back on.” So your belief in god is a bit of a gamble, predicated on an extremely selfish motive that “you want to have something to fall back on.” And here was I thinking you believed in god so you could serve him and spread light and joy into the world!
      2. “all you show is that there will never be any peace between anyone because of people like you and your ignorance.” No, Jon, the main reason there’s no peace in the world is because of religion. Fanatical idiots like you who believe that their imaginary friend is more important than the muslim’s imaginary friend, or the jew’s imaginary friend and so on. Even within religions like the Sunnis and the Shi’ites, massacring wach other in the name of religion. Do you even know who these people are? Shia and Sunni were two of the sons of the prophet Muhammad who moved to take power when he died. And now their adherents massacre each other in a desperate and futile effort to prove who’s right. How’s your peace looking now?
      3. Wilful ignorance and steadfast refusal to face the truth – yup, that’s you. But we tolerate your ignorance and applaud your ability to believe in the complete absence of evidence. Just please don’t call people imbeciles, OK?

      • Tom says:

        Mike,

        Even if you don’t believe in God and have a personal vendetta against capitalizing the word, when quoting someone, you should type his or her quote exactly as it appeared in his or her original post (unless, of course, you have parenthetical additions). Come on, man.

        I think both sides have good arguments, but with the Big Bang theory all but proven in this modern world, it is a lot more philosophical (in my opinion) to believe that there is no God (which requires a belief in an eternal Universe) than it is to believe in a God. Like has been said before, each is a leap of faith; however, believing in SOMETHING, and therefore believing that the Universe was created, follows the Laws of Physics much more easily. The Universe is clearly within the realm of time …… you and I cannot return to any moment in our respective pasts as if it were the present. So, it is a valid restriction for our world to require a creator. God, on the other hand (if He exists), would NOT be in the realm of time, obviously (if He created the Universe and therefore the realm of time, then He would not be bound by its laws). If you do not want to believe in God, that is fine; there are plenty of solid arguments on each side. But do not use the “who created God?” question or the “well, if God is eternal, then it’s just as reasonable to think that the Universe is eternal” argument, because those just are not logical.

        • syoungren says:

          Bingo. The idea of an eternal universe has been completely disproven. If this assertion I have just made is wrong, then Einstein’s Theory of General Relativity (which has proven accurate to 5 decimal places) and the Big Bang are wrong.

          So here is what we are left with: 1) Either the universe or God is eternally existent and therefore does not require an explanation. 2) Since the universe has been proven to be finite, and to have had a definite beginning, we know through the process of elimination that God is eternally existent.

          The above is rather simplistic account, so readers hoping for a more in-depth exploration of this topic are encouraged to read Robert Spitzer’s book New Proofs for the Existence of God.

      • Adam Anwar says:

        Sunni & Shia were ‘two sons of Muhammad’…LOL

        JUst shows how deluded some of you are when it comes to Islamic knowledge.

    • Dashan says:

      How does the ‘new’ atheism differ from the ‘old’? Firstly, whereas the old atheism recognised itself as a philosophy of absurdity or despair, the new atheism rides a wave of scientific optimism (into a brickwall, perhaps?).
      Philosopher Bertrand Russell (1872-1970) was more honest than most when he wrote:That Man is the product of causes which had no prevision of the end they were achieving; that his origin, his growth, his hopes and fears, his loves and his beliefs, are but the outcome of accidental collocations of atoms…on the firm foundation of unyielding despair, can the soul’s habitation henceforth be safely built’. Russell reduces our hopes, fears, loves and beliefs — all our mental experiences, in fact — to accidental atomic interactions. The logical result is ‘unyielding despair’.

      I just wonder if any atheist here has ever thought his worldview through to its logical conclusions? Here’s Sam Harris’s honest attempt to put atheism in its true perspective:
      “We seek pleasant sights, and sounds, and tastes, and sensations, and attitudes. We satisfy our intellectual curiosities, and our desire for friendship and romance. but our pleasures are, by their very nature, fleeting. And we can do nothing more than merely reiterate them as often as we are able. If we enjoy some great professional success, our feelings of accomplishment remain vivid and intoxicating for about AN HOUR.” Then What?
      Tiny little meanings then within a paradigm of meaninglessness? Does that equate to “intellectual fulfilment”, Richard Dawkins?
      Now this despair doesnt prove God exists but it does ask why the disbeliever would want to waste his ever diminishing life debating a topic that he just lack belief in? Can I suggest that atheism in the 21st century is taking on all the trappings of becoming a ‘religion’ in its own right or should I say an ir-religion because
      it is now a well organised, well funded & resourced, worldwide
      institution. It is well led by outspoken celebrities and
      academics, via radio, TV & internet. It actively seeks to spread its
      ‘superior’ worldview while worshipping at the altar of science
      not realising its core assertions are mostly faith based; it vigorously
      defends its opinions on human experience, spirituality, ethics,
      morality, politics. It typically has its own symbols & rituals, seeks
      donations, membership & converts. Not surprisingly, it arrogantly
      proclaims its superior worldviews. AN last but not least, it has a dimension of
      myth if it believes that “The laws of nature first created
      themselves and then created the universe out of nothing” (Stephen Hawking)
      I am presently creating a youtube video on this topic expanding on proofs for
      these observations.

      • James says:

        Unfortunately, Dashan, the idea that atheism leads to despair is not relevant to the debate. Even if all atheists were suicidal, this does not make theism more probable, only more preferable.

        There is also no way to call atheism a religion. It has no scriptures, it has no Church, it has no official leaders, it barely has a centralized view. God doesn’t exist- but otherwise the spectrum goes from the Dalai Lama through to Richard Dawkins.

        If atheists have symbols and mythologies, I’d like to see them. This would be most interesting. I am certainly not aware of an ‘anti-cross’ or anything similar.

        “The fact that a believer is happier than a sceptic is no more to the point than the fact that a drunken man is happier than a sober one.”
        – G.B. Shaw

  5. Rose says:

    I agree with this site, except my theory of god is somewhat simpler (basically, not as long)
    I believe there’s a god, which is why we’re here. You’d have to be an idiot to think that we ended up here by complete accident, and managed to somehow develop our brains to such a level to create the computer you’re sitting at.
    I believe that there is plenty of god evidence – the reason why people don’t find it so easily is because god isn’t boastful, and he doesn’t hold his head up high. That makes him so much more respected in the heavens.
    So, he says ‘seek me and you will find me’ because god is not about getting the most amount of people to him, but more about getting people who he can trust, and who he will love and they will love in return.
    Simples :)

    • syoungren says:

      Rose:

      I wrote an essay that makes a point similar to yours. You may want to check it out: “If God Is There, Why Doesn’t He Just Show Himself?”

      I would be careful about calling atheists idiots….many of them are highly intelligent people. The problem is that high intelligence does not guarantee objectivity. Indeed, intelligence can be used to distort as easily as it can be used to clarify.

      Scott

      • Dashan says:

        A questioner asked Bill Craig on youtube if God needed miracles to identify himself 2000yrs ago why dont we see any today. Bill Craig replied what sort of miracle or evidence would u deem suitable for such a task? Writing on a cloud?
        Certainly life’s experience as a father and grandfather is all the proof I need. Now we have modern science showing that Naturalism is a very poor recource for those who deny design and fine-tuning as an act of an Intelligent Designer.

        Craig quotes Barrow & Tipler who have calculated that there are 12 steps for life to come from non-life, each of which is so unlikely if driven by chance that the sun would have burnt out many times over before life emerged. So if Evolution is true it is actually a MIRACLE that is compelling evidence for divine creation.

  6. Scott.N.M says:

    I am an individual that has recently come to believe in God. Previously I was a science believer 100%. If you cannot prove it then it does not exist.

    However if research is carried out at a deeper level then many of the scientific theories that are held up as evidence of there being no God are filled with gaps in knowledge. What happens in these scenarios? Another scientific theory is created to fill these gaps.

    An example of this is “black matter”. Physicists could not provide evidence of enough matter to hold the universe together. So miraculously black matter is created and they have their hidden ingredient. Where is their evidence that dark matter exists, do we have somewhere in the world a little vial of dark matter that finally disproves the creation of the universe by natural laws and random flukes. No we don’t.

    As a Christian I believe in God and that he created me and all things around me.

    As a scientist I would believe faithfully in scientific theories mathematical calculations and the creation of all that surrounds me by chemical reactions and application of heat and pressure over millions of years.

    People world wide now say they have no religion and a common expression is that “science has killed God”. I would say that science has become a religion in its own right and that in its efforts to disprove our God has not only created the arrogance of scientific human beings in that they can explain everything, but is in the process of creating a God of its own.

    It is all made much more simple if we do not take every line of text in the bible as an encyclopaedic record of what has been. It is a poetic and human account of why we are, and who we are in all of our frailties. Therefore:

    God is the Why?

    Science is the How?

    • Dashan says:

      Scott NM
      • Oxford Nobel Prize scientist (&atheist) sir Peter Medawar,’That there is indeed a limit upon science is made very likely by the existence of questions that science cannot answer & that no conceivable advance of science would empower it to answer It is not to science, but to metaphysics, imaginative literature or religion that we must turn for answers to questions having to do with first and last things.
      • We only have 2 choices: an immaterial, non-contingent, all powerful reality we call God designed our rationally intelligible universe, or u believe it was magically built by numbers. Relativity, quantum mechanics & all scientific laws are defined by universal immutable complex & abstract math’ formulae. The Atheist then must explain how such immaterial, absurdly complex realities like maths emerged in a world consisting only of matter & energy.

  7. Scott.N.M says:

    When we die is that it?

    Just imagine if when you were a baby in the womb you were able to hold a conversation with your mother floating there in the warm darkness with no other reality that what surrounds you.

    If your mother was to start talking to you, and began explaining to you the truth of what lay ahead what would you think.

    There will be the pain of birth , the bright light, then you will find yourself in a different universe surrounded by your family in a world of smells taste colours and touch. To the baby in the womb this reality would be as far fetched as any suggestion to any one of us today regarding what awaits us in heaven or the afterlife. Indeed who would the baby think the voice was? God? He has no idea of what a mother is he knows his black warm floating reality. Nothing else.

    Take things forward as few or as many years after birth as you care to. Can anyone of any age post an accurate description of what life in the womb was like? Can we remember what the trauma of birth was like?

    No obviously we cannot but does this mean that neither of these things were part of our existence on the way to where we are now?

    The truth is that what we believe makes life in the present more bearable and it helps explain our reality and our reason for being, science or faith. Religion also has the added boon of setting down a good set of rules that can make us better people. The decline in religion in our modern world has certainly done nothing to improve the morality or the decency of society.

    Science has done more harm than religion ever will to the global population.

  8. Mike D says:

    So why doesn’t god just show himself? Could it be because he’s some kind of tricky task-master determined to make us behave well and not be evil, in order to get everlasting rewards if we follow the (admittedly highly confusing and often contradictory) rules? If so he must be an extraordinarily shallow and insecure kind of supreme being. And if so, how do we explain the unspeakable evil performed in his name over millennia and continuing to this day? If being godly means being good (or at least not being evil) then it doesn’t really work.

    And what about the existence of fantastic good works and the absence of evil in atheists? It makes no sense. Unless there really is no god, or gods, or deities of any kind, living in the magic invisible kingdom in the sky. Then it makes perfect sense.

    All I ask is for one tiny teensy believable verifiable incontrovertible piece of evidence that god does exist. I promise not to try and barge into heaven and I will die a happy and chastened man. But there is no such evidence is there? Not even a bit. Oh well.

  9. Scott.N.M says:

    Mike you miss the point completely. Like you I used to think “if God is so good then why does he let so many bad things happen”.
    And yes many atrocities are committed in God’s name but that does not mean God is responsible.

    You need to look at it from a different perspective. I have three children, perhaps you have too. All that I know is that I teach them right from wrong, and give them what I believe to be good morals and a sound base of knowledge to build their lives on.

    However at the end of the day all three of my children are individuals and their personalities are completely different from one another. They will grow up to live their own lives,They have never belonged to me, I have just been given the job of protecting, feeding, guiding them and providing them with a set of rules that will hopefully make them better people, have positive effects on those around them and provide them with the opportunities to live happier lives.

    This is the way I see God and his relationship with us. He has provided us with all of the raw ingredients to live happy and fruitful lives. He has provided us with a set of rules that if followed benefits not only our well-being but that of everyone around us. However like any parent with their children there is no ownership. We are free to choose what we want to do right or wrong good or bad. It is not Gods fault if people twist the words of the Bible/Koran/Torah etc to fit their own political goals.

    I remember watching a documentary about Denis Nielson the serial killer. He was one of several siblings who were all raised in a good home with exactly the same moral code and belief system. But, he went on to become a serial killer. Religion is good, the message it preaches is love peace and honesty, self respect and respect of others. Anyone who deviates from this path, Ian Paisley, Osama Bin Laden and any other extremists out their are not religious. End of story. Anything taken to the 100th level of the extreme is a bad thing and religion is no different.

    Finally, what worth would there be in having a faith if you never had the right to choose it or turn away. God has given us the free will to choose so that when we do he can be sure it is for the right reason, Love, and not simply because we have to because we have seen him and can prove 100% that he exists.

    All I know is that since I started living my life around the rules of my faith my life has improved considerably both in the physical world and in the spiritual/psychological world. You should try reading some literature that argues for faith as well as against faith. You may be surprised what you discover.

    Why are people who do not believe in God so eager to force their opinions on Christians anyway? If you don’t believe fair enough. I didn’t for a long time but I was perfectly happy to let others worship as they saw fit. It didn’t make me angry or offend me.

    It seems to me that atheism is taking a swerve towards extremism itself. You just need to read a Dawkins novel to feel the hate. What is the problem? There is nothing anywhere in the bible that taken in context and allowing for the times that it was written that does not encourage understanding and love. That is the issue here, not whether we definatley know there is a God or not, but is the message and the rules it lays out beneficial. And I for one think we could do with less stealing, violence, adultery etc etc etc.

    • Mike D says:

      Scott, thanks for taking the time and effort to respond. I wish you had made a case or refuted any of my suggestions, but you didn’t and I understand why.
      Good on you for believing in what you choose to even if its totally faith-based and without any evidence to support it. I’m pleased that choosing this path has made you happier, even if it’s a somewhat deluded state. I’m not being nasty – delusion is the belief in something in the absence of any evidence.
      Why does god insist that we love him for “the right reasons”? What is the meaning of the term “god-fearing”? Is it possible the biblical novels are morality tales designed to make people behave better, by promising eternal riches and everlasting happiness if they do, and an eternity in damnation if they don’t? If you were going to make a up a story to try and control people’s behaviour, you have to admit (if you’re prepared to look at it objectively) that this would be a pretty good story to tell.
      I’m not eager to force my opinions on anyone – who set up this website anyway? Certainly not me. I haven’t set up any websites called There is no God Evidence, even though it’s the case. Your worshipping and belief systems cause me no anger or offense, and I don’t know why you implied that they do. I’m a curious person with an enquiring mind, the ability to reason and a thirst for knowledge. My questions are legitimate, sincere and respectful – you need not fear them, only the light they throw on the crucial lack of any evidence whatsoever of any “gods”.
      I completely agree that we can do with less stealing, violence and adultery and it may shock you to know that despite my absolute conviction that there is no god, I’ve never indulged in any of those acts. However I do know of countless examples of violence, rape, murder, stealing and torture committed by christians in god’s name, so I can’t escape the thought that perhaps religion and the belief in god is a bad thing. Please don’t be like the other Scott who tries to defend these well-documented facts (that continue to this day) by pointing to what he calls “state-sponsored atheism” supposedly used as a raison d’etre by such as Hitler and Stalin. It completely misses the point.

      • Philip Maguire says:

        You raise an interesting point about the term God-fearing. According to Christian faith there are two kinds of fear – servile and filial. Fear of God as in God-fearing is filial. It is defined as love that dreads offending the one loved. Thus the filial fear of God is compatible with the highest love of God.

        It’s understandable that you would mistakenly take to the term to refer to servile fear, but that is not what Christianity is about. The religion at its very source is about love, not reward or servile fear.

  10. Scott.N.M says:

    Currently reading New Proofs For The Existence of God by Robert J. Spitzer.

    Hard going in bits with all of the cosmology and matter, energy stats but certainly worth a read.

    Also read Mother Teresa In My Own Words 1910-1997. It is a collection of quotes and explanations of her beliefs. It is a prime example of what it means to be truly devoted to God and his love. A very humbling read and as relevant to modern life as it would have been in the 1st century. An atheist would perhaps see what good religion can do instead of concentrating on the negative aspects created by people who do not truly follow the will of God.

    • Mike D says:

      This is the same Mother Teresa that campaigned vociferously against the use of condoms, thus perpetuating the misery of AIDS and other STDs, not to mention unwanted and unaffordable pregnancies in the thousands if not millions?

      The same Mother Teresa that wrote, in correspondence with her confessors and superiors over a period of 66 years, that for the last nearly 50 years of her life she felt no presence of god whatsovere, not in her heart or in the eucharist?

      Is this the same will of god that commanded Abraham to sacrifice his first-born (or more likely second-born – the novels contradict each other in many places) son, to prove his love of god?

      • Brandon SJ says:

        TO MikeD -(Never Read any of Teresa writings)The lack of the use of condoms is not to blame for the misery of AIDS and other STDs and therefore her stated campaign has no bases in ur points. It can, however, be stated the blame can be contribruted to not obeying God’s Law. i cannot attest that her campaigned coincides with the statues of God which proclam that we are to wait til marriage for intercouse and should not step outside the bountries of holy matrimony for sex. i could see her reasoning, If these rules where followed there would be no STDs. i also do not see the point of you stating she felt no presents of God the last 50 years of her life; did that take away from the wonderful things she did in the name of God. Her work started because of the presents she felt due to her faith in God and that ‘feeling’ didnt stop the work God started in her. many Bible indiviuals and even israel as a nation felt distance and seperation from God. Jesus himself felt total seperation from God.
        -Re.Is this the same will of god that commanded Abraham to sacrifice his first-born?
        yes the same will of God that illustrated the faith of Abraham, not only for generations past and present, but also to the angelic realm(good and evil). To put more trust in the creator then in his own intellectual reasoning. To put more trust in God then intellectual reasoning.

        • Mike D says:

          Brandon – thanks for your considered reply. It was hard to understand in places but I think I got there. Some points and questions for you.

          1. I’ll decide what I choose to read, thanks very much. I do wonder though, why you want me to acknowledge the Albanian nun’s actions but not her own words?

          2. Please explain the reasoning and evidence behind your statement to the effect that using condoms does not control the spread of AIDS and STDs. That’s exactly what they’re designed to do and they work pretty well but that’s only based on more than 100 years of hard evidence.

          3. Whenever I ask why so many murders, rapes, torture, terrorism and other atrocities have been perpetrated in god’s name (and continue to this day), I’m told by people of your ilk that “god gave man the ability to choose their own actions.” If that’s the case then surely the Albanian nun also has the ability to choose what actions to take. How come “god started” the good works but he’s not responsible for all the bad and evil deeds perpetrated in his name? To be fair to you, that wasn’t a point you made in your posting, so maybe you agree that god is either responsible for all the things done in his name (both good and bad) or he’s responsible for none of them. You can’t have it both ways.

          4. What kind of shallow insecure god would “test” the faith of one of his disciples by commanding him to murder his own son? What purpose could this possibly serve? Again, religion is full of hypocrisy – check the section on this site that says If god is real, why doesn’t he just show himself? The “answer” is that he’s so needy he wants us to love him just for him, in the complete absence of any evidence. He could easily prove his existence of course, but then we’d love, fear and obey him(/her/it) out of knowledge rather than faith, and apparently that would make his/her/its brain explode. In that case, why did he command Abraham to kill his son to “prove his faith”?

          5. To put more trust in the “creator” than your own intellectual reasoning? That just illustrates your lack of intellectual reasoning – if you can’t work things out for yourself, keep on believing in that magic guy in the sky. Good luck with that.

  11. Junior says:

    God is not real, idiots !!

    • syoungren says:

      Everybody take notice! I absolutely love it when atheists resort to insults!

      A person with a strong argument relies on their argument to make their case. But a person who realizes that their views cannot withstand scrutiny must turn to something else…such as insults.

      Using insults is therefore a tacit acknowledgement that you are angry because you know that you cannot logically support your views.

      • Mike D says:

        Or, it could mean that in Junior’s considered opinion and in the absence of any evidence that there is a (real) god, anyone that believes there is a (real) god is an idiot. I’m not calling you an idiot of course, but if the funny hat fits…

        • syoungren says:

          Then the idiot hat must fit Einstein, Max Planck, Issac Newton, Charles Darwin and the multitude of Nobel Prize winning scientists that I cite…by your logic. Wow, you must be the smartest person EVER.

          Perhaps we should contact the news media to alert them.

          There is no absence of evidence, just an absence of evidence that can penetrate your perceptual filter. Here are a couple of pieces:

          1) Recall from my “Is There A God?….” essay that astronomers who do not make theistic or deistic statements are becoming rare. Also recall, from this essay, the topic of anthropic fine tuning. Regarding this subject:

          “…As [Nobel Prize winning physicist] Tony Hewish once remarked, the accuracy of just one of these parameters is comparable to getting the mix of flour and sugar right to within one grain of sugar in a cake ten times the mass of the sun.”

          2) Recall from my “What It Boils Down To” essay that modern physics views matter as being rooted in consciousness….which is consistent with theism.

          Once again, abundant evidence….just none that can make it through your perceptual filter because you are biased against God because you resent the idea of having a higher moral authority in power over you.

          • Mike D says:

            Scott, you seem very angry for some reason. Your attitude is that of a person aggrieved. I find this unusual because only a short time ago you were announcing to everybody that you love it when people call you an idiot, and I didn’t even do that.

            I don’t think you’re an idiot at all, but you’re clearly misguided and obsessed with getting more brownie points from the big guy.

            Constantly citing names of people you think believed in god is not, in fact, evidence of anything (other than your inability to produce any real, actual evidence), and means nothing. Pointing to other people’s essays, books, rarity and your interpretation of what they think alters nothing – there is still no evidence. It’s your perceptual filter that makes you believe in invisible magic people in the sky, in the face of all logic and absent any evidence.

            Good on you! Blind faith is to be admired for its persistence if nothing else, as long as it doesn’t hurt anybody – except that religion has done so for over two thousand years, and continues to do. I’m not so keen on that, but it evidently causes you no sleepless nights – that perceptual filter must be set to “black-out”.

            How amusing of you to think this has anything to do with resentment of an “idea about having a higher moral authority in power over me”. To be honest I don’t even know what that sentence is supposed to mean, you got your words pretty jumbled up there.

            I don’t need a higher moral authority in power over me – and guess what Scott? Neither do you! I’m capable of forming my own opinions, making my own decisions and acting in the way that I (and the flesh-and-blood people that made our laws) have decided is best for me, my family, the society, country and world in which we live. You could do that too, if you cast aside your emotional crutches and got on with life. Call it a miracle if you like, though I take no credit. I’m just happy to help out a misguided well-intentioned person who’s clearly searching for the meaning of life. It ain’t what you think it is.

            • syoungren says:

              No anger…just exasperation and frustration.

              OK. Let’s try to keep this discussion cool and rational. Here is some specific evidence. 1) The “anthropic fine tuning” of our universe (as presented in my “Is there a God..” essay) which shows that the emergence of our universe by chance is virtually impossible.
              2) The majority of NDE experiencers report an encounter with a “personal God.” This is the conclusion of 30 years of research. 3) Modern physics has determined that matter is rooted in consciousness…suggesting a pre-existent consciousness. 4) Astronomers who do not draw theistic or deistic conclusions are becoming rare and the few remaining dissenters hint that the tide is against them.

              What are your SPECIFIC replies to points 1, 2, 3, and 4? We have no choice but to take a failure to provide specific counter arguments as a tacit acknowledgement that you do not have any counter arguments.

              So, to be clear, your rebuttal to this specific evidence is to declare that it is not “evidence.” Because I have pointed to other people’s quotations and books, my arguments must be discarded because I did not perform the science and research by myself. Am I correct that this is the substance of your argument? Or is there something I left out?

              Are you attempting a radical redefinition of the term “evidence?” I accept the Oxford Dictionary definition of evidence: “The available body of facts or information indicating whether a belief or proposition is true or valid.” All of the 4 above items, and others at the site, fit this definition. What is your new and improved definition of the term “evidence?”

              Are you saying that Christianity has caused more killing than atheism? I am afraid that you have that backwards. Atheism has been behind more killing than all of the world’s religions combined. See this post for details.

              Blind faith?! Atheism requires far more faith than theism. Atheists believe that the universe and life exist because they are just “brute facts.” This takes a HUGE amount of faith.

              Is a cosmos finely tuned for life (as presented in my “Is There A God…” essay) just a brute fact? Is the emergence of life from lifeless chemicals (which scientists admit has no scientific explanation, and never will–see here) a brute fact? If you believe such things, then that is your religious faith…good for you.

              Please cite for me your evidence that the universe and life are just brute facts that need no explantation. You demand evidence, I give it to you and then you 1) declare that it is not evidence because you apparently have some radical new definition of the term “evidence” 2) fail to produce any evidence to support your view, but rather take it on BLIND FAITH and then 3) Insist that I am the one operating on blind faith.

      • Mike D says:

        …and a person with no argument points to other people’s arguments.

  12. Mike D says:

    Not at all; I’m still waiting for you to make an original one.

    • Mike D says:

      So, that would be a NO then.

      • syoungren says:

        Are you back to your argument that my reasoning can be dismissed because I did not come up with it all by myself? We’ll that certainly is an original argument. I guess you have me beat in the originality department.

        • Mike D says:

          OK, let’s be clear and rational. Your rules on this site about what constitutes abuse are conveniently twisted to suit your purpose, and your actions show hypocrisy, but never mind.

          Re your “points” above:
          1) Your opinion that anthropic fine tuning of the universe exists is only an opinion and not a fact. Your further opinion that such fine tuning of the universe proves anything is just an opinion, and not a very well thought out one. Your further assertion that it proves that the emergence of the universe by chance is virtually impossible is not evidence of anything. And by saying “virtually impossible” you admit that it is possible. So, no evidence there.
          2) The “majority” of people with NDEs reporting an encounter with something that, in extremis and with a lack of oxygen and all sorts of chemical reactions happening in their brains, appears to be a “personal god” is not evidence of anything. If they took a photo of this god with their iPhone and brought it back, that might be evidence. If they brought back information about something they heard, saw or learned while they were near death, which was not otherwise known or could not be known, that might be evidence. Even you contradict yourself in many places by saying there’s no such thing as a personal god, more of an overall creator. Yet when you die you get your very own god – there must be around 8 billion of them, which is hardly likely, is it? So, still nothing that could remotely be called evidence. Need I go on? Oh, alright then, I am rather enjoying it – although I admit I expected more from someone of your professed intellect. Maybe you should widen your range of reading to include something of the real world.
          3) Look Scott, I’ll be honest – I have no idea what that sentence is even supposed to mean, but any mumbo jumbo that only “suggests” a pre-existing consciousness is hardly evidence of anything. We’re looking for proof here, hard evidence. So, you’re 0 from 3. What’s next?
          4) Wow, you’re really clutching at straws now! You believe that certain types of astronomers are becoming rare, and you believe that this evidence? Good luck getting that past your court of law – it doesn’t even come close to fitting your own definition of evidence. You want everyone to believe there’s a god (one god, many gods, 8 billion gods, I get confused) and seem to think that if all the astronomers think there’s a god then it will make it so. It won’t make it so Scott. If there is a god there would be evidence of it somewhere. Come on, the planet’s been here for 4.5 billion years – you’d think there would be ONE piece of evidence, but there’s nothing. Some of god’s DNA, a photo, an artefact, a message, something! But there’s nothing but blind faith from struggling souls looking to make sense of their miserable existence. Me, I’m enjoying my existence very much thank you, and never more so than over the past month or so, shooting down what passes for argument on your blog. Good bye.

          • syoungren says:

            1) It is interesting how you characterize anthropic fine tuning as “only an opinion and not a fact.”

            “It is relatively unusual that a physical scientist is truly an atheist. Why is this true? Some point to the anthropic constraints, the remarkable fine tuning of the universe. For example, Freeman Dyson, a Princeton faculty member, has said, ‘Nature has been kinder to us that we had any right to expect.’”

            –Physical scientist Henry F. Schaefer III, five-time nominee for the Nobel Prize, as quoted in his essay Stephen Hawking, the Big Bang, and God.

            “A common sense interpretation of the facts suggests that a superintellect has monkeyed with physics, as well as with chemistry and biology, and that there are no blind forces worth speaking about in nature. The numbers one calculates from the facts seem to me so overwhelming as to put this conclusion almost beyond question.

            –Cambridge University astrophysicist and mathematician Fred Hoyle commenting on the incredible fine-tuning necessary for life to exist (as quoted in The Creator and the Cosmos by Hugh Ross).

            “Had the original energy of the Big Bang explosion been less, the universe would have fallen back onto itself long before there had been time to build the elements required for life and to produce from them intelligent, sentient beings. Had the energy been more, it is quite possible that the density would have dropped too swiftly for stars and galaxies to form. These and many other details were so extraordinarily right that it seemed the universe had been expressly designed for humankind.”

            Owen Gingerich, former Research Professor of Astronomy and of the History of Science at Harvard University.

            “Had the resonance level in the carbon been 4 percent lower, there would be essentially no carbon. Had that level in the oxygen been only half a percent higher, virtually all of the carbon would have been converted to oxygen. Without the carbon abundance, neither you nor I would be here now.”

            “I am told that Fred Hoyle, who together with Willy Fowler found this remarkable nuclear arrangement, has said that nothing has shaken his atheism as much as this discovery.”

            –Owen Gingerich, as above.

            There is for me powerful evidence that there is something going on behind it all. . . It seems as though somebody has fine tuned nature’s numbers to make the Universe. . . The impression of design is overwhelming.”

            “It may seem bizarre, but in my opinion science offers a surer path to God than religion.”

            –Physicist Paul Davies, winner of the 2001 Kelvin Medal issued by the Institute of Physics and the winner of the 2002 Faraday Prize issued by the Royal Society (amongst other awards).

            Michael Turner, the widely quoted astrophysicist at the University of Chicago and Fermilab, describes the fine-tuning of the universe with a simile: “The precision is as if one could throw a dart across the entire universe and hit a bullseye one millimeter in diameter on the other side.”

            Mike, if you think that anthropic fine tuning is just opinion and not fact, then you just go ahead and believe that….but you will not find a single physicist who does not acknowledge that things had to be just right within a very extremely narrow range for our universe to exist.

            I use the term “virtually impossible” because it is impossible by the standards of any reasonable person. It is not completely impossible that Charlie Sheen could be declared to be the new pope by the Vatican sometime in the next 48 hours. But any reasonable person would declare this to be impossible, therefore it is “virtually impossible.”

            2) The problem with your characterization of NDEs as the result of chemical/electrical activity in the brain is that there have been numerous cases where the NDE experiencer has detailed memory of events that happened when they had no brain activity whatsoever. In the BBC documentary “The Day I Died” (to which I provide a link in one of my essays) one such case study is presented. Pam Reynolds had all of the blood removed from her brain prior to surgery, yet she recalls minute details of what happened during her surgery. There are plenty of other such examples of awareness existing after complete cessation of brain activity and I will provide them at your request….just ask.

            Further, there have been several cases where people who were born blind were able to see during there NDE. This event is very life changing for these people because they didn’t even know what it meant to “see” before their NDE.

            Can you give a bunch of people a hallucinogenic drug and expect them to experience the same thing during their hallucination? Of course not, and that is why meeting a “personal God” cannot be labeled hallucination….far too many people have experienced the same thing. Hallucinations are too unique to the individual to have common experiential elements such as meeting a “personal God.”

            3) You are still asserting that there is no evidence for God? You feel that evidence must come in the form of something material? Please recall what physicists are saying about the material world being a manifestation of consciousness (see my “What It All Boils Down To” essay. Are you going to assert that these physicists don’t know what they are talking about and that the material world is the only reality? Go right ahead…that is your religious belief.

            Please remind me exactly which of my arguments you have “shot down.” Am I correct that you feel that the hypothesis that aliens brought life here in a spaceship (“directed panspermia”) shoots down creationism? Recall that this is the best that the atheist cream-of-the-crop (such as Richard Dawkins and Francis Crick) can come up with to explain the origin of life.

            I can’t help noticing that you seem to find the idea that there is a God to be disturbing and offensive. You put a lot of emotion into your replies. Could you be one of the people described in my essay entitled “If the Evidence for God Is So Strong, Why Are So Many Smart People Unconvinced”?

  13. hoopy says:

    If we accept a number of theories suggested, then does Satan exist? Does Buhda? Does Zeus? Does Isis? (I could go on but I think you get the point) Looking at the quotes from credible sources, (many scientists) although taken out of context and without regard for their situation (facing the consequences of Galileo in some circumstances) can the ‘term’ God be replaced with Satan, Buhda or any other deity and be as equally convincing? I find I am caught up in my own hypocrisy, celebrating Easter, Christmas and other Christian holidays without having faith. I respect the values that religion brings in terms of celebrating family and respecting civil laws but the condemnation of other religions or groups based on faith is beyond reproach. Thanks for the lively discussion, whether I believe in their point of view or not I’ve enjoyed the intelligent approach several individuals have expressed.

    • syoungren says:

      Does Satan exist? Yes. Does Buddha? Please recall that Buddha never made any claims to divinity…he only claimed to be a man. Buddhism is a non-theistic belief system. It neither accepts nor denies the existence of God. Rather, it simply has no comment.

      Does Zues? Does Isis? Here, you fail to make the simple distinction betweeen a symbol and it’s object. Because the human mind can only barely scratch the surface of the reality of God, we rely on symbols such as “Zues” and “Isis” to communicate God’s reality.

      Can the biblical “God” be replaced with another deity? Can the number “4” be replaced with the Roman numeral “IV”?
      Can the number “4” be replaced with tally marks (“IIII”)? Of course it can. All of these are symbols representing the same reality.

      The question is, which symbol best represents the reality which exists behind the symbol? I think you would agree that the Hindu/Arabic symbolic system (from which the number “4” comes) is best because it gets hard to represent larger numbers with tally marks or Roman numerals. In a similar light, some symbols represent the reality of God better than others.

      You say that you don’t have faith…but you clearly do. It may not be Christian faith, but you have some sort of faith. I suspect that it is atheist or agnostic. If you have an atheist faith, you believe that the universe “just is” (or a “brute fact” as the atheist philospher Bertrand Russell put it). Such a belief requires an enormous amount of faith considering what we know about the universe having a clear beginning (as I demonstrate in my post entitled “Isn’t the Universe Eternal?”…in the snippets section and in my post entitled “Is There A God? What is the Chance That the Universe Is the Result of Chance?”)

      The physicist quotes are taken out of context? As I have reminded numerous other atheist commenters, when one claims that a statement is “taken out of context”, it then becomes necessary for that person to supply a convincing case for what the correct context is. If you cannot re-insert these statements into what you feel is the correct context, making “out of context” charges are empty and meaningless.

      Furthermore, it is very difficult to take a categorical statement such as, “This mind is the matrix of all matter” out of context. In this example, did Planck really say, “….this mind is the matrix of all matter, just kidding”?

      Or was he being held at gunpoint by a theist, perhaps….as well as the other physicists?

  14. John Healey says:

    This is my view of some of the preceding auguments.
    If one asks oneself or others, “Is there a ‘god'”? The asnwer must be “We do not know, so we cannot know, yet, whether god created the universe”
    If one asks oneself or others, “Could the universe have been created without ‘god'”? The answer must be ” We do not know, so we cannot know, yet, whether the universe was always there in one form or another” It is possible that there may be more than one universe.
    In my experiance proclaimations that state that ” any other way is impossible”, are likely to be proved wrong! To say that believers and non-believers have to be on one side or the other is to conform to a rule that someone made up! Do not conform to the proclamation of others! Use your own judgement and if you don’t know, be honest and say it! We may never know the answer, in the meantime do not let religious or non-religious gurus make money from their rantings. Do not be frightened by the existance or non-existance of god or satan. Their names were invented to do just that and to make people conform by threats of heaven or hell. If their is a god I think it would not be vindictive, that is a human trait. All the auguments as to whether god exists or not is but a grain of sand amongst all the matter of the universe, because we simply have no proof.

    • syoungren says:

      You say “do not conform to the proclamations of others.” But when you say that the answer to the question of God’s existence must be, “We do not know, so we cannot know,” you are yourself making a proclamation. Agnosticism (which you seem so subscribe to) is a belief system that says, “when it comes to God, we cannot know the truth.” But my question to agnostics is, “How can you know this?”

  15. John Healey says:

    My statement heading was ‘This is my view of some of the preceding arguments’ clearly ‘my view’. I did not intend to make a proclamation and I’m sorry if you have that impression.
    I believe you have no proof whether I am or am not an agnostic. I’ve not said that I disclaim any knowledge of god, nor said whether or not I believe in god. I believe you are not an authority on god and even less an authority on me!
    I believe no-one can produce proof as to the existance or non-existance of god therefore I believe the intention of my previous statement stands. I believe when it comes to god one is entitled to believe or not believe, that is ones prerogative.
    I believe, if there is a god and it wants to prove itself to me it will do so. If there is no god it can’t. However it does not stop me from believing, even if there is no proof.
    I believe all the arguments as to the existance or non-existance of god is as bad as one religion saying to another ‘my religion is the only route to god’. Total dogmatism. Nevertheless one has ability to augue if one can find an opponent willing to do the same.

    • syoungren says:

      As far as absolute and unassailable proof that God exists (or does not exist), you are correct that this cannot be achieved. But if you think about it, there is probably nothing that we as humans can have absolute proof of.

      Do you have absolute and unassailable proof that your employer will pay you on the next payday? No, you don’t…but you make a leap of faith based upon the information that you have at hand (your employer has probably paid you on all of the previous paydays), and that is why you continue to go to work.

      It would not be wise to stop going to work because you don’t have absolutely airtight proof that you will be paid. You would be fired pretty quickly if you did.

      Similarly, it would not be wise to live your life as if there is no God because you don’t have absolute and unassailable proof.

      Your statement, “I believe all the arguments as to the existance or non-existance of god is as bad as one religion saying to another ‘my religion is the only route to god’. Total dogmatism,” is itself a dogmatic statement. You fail to notice that your truth claim necessarily excludes all other truth claims. The “there are many routes to God” truth claim is itself a dogmatic and exclusive truth claim because it necessarily excludes all other truth claims. You are in effect saying “I have found the truth and the truth is that there are many roads to God.” This is no less dogmatic than the Christian who says, “I have found the truth, and the road to God is Jesus Christ.”

      Timothy Keller comments on this subject in his book The Reason for God:

      But even as believers should learn to look for reasons behind their faith, skeptics must learn to look for a type of faith hidden within their reasoning. All doubts, however skeptical and cynical they may seem, are really a set of alternate beliefs. You cannot doubt Belief A except from a position of faith in Belief B. For example, if you doubt Christianity because, “There can’t be just one true religion,” you must recognize that this statement is itself an act of faith. No one can prove it empirically, and it is not a universal truth that everyone accepts. If you went to the Middle East and said, “There can’t be just one true religion,” nearly everyone would say, “Why not?” The reason you doubt Christianity’s Belief A is because you hold unprovable Belief B. Every doubt, therefore is based on a leap of faith.

      Keller goes on to ask the skeptic:

      How could you possibly know that no religion can see the whole truth unless you yourself have the superior, comprehensive knowledge of spiritual reality you just claimed that none of the religions have?

      Somewhat rephrased, Keller is here saying that the belief that no religion can have a “comprehensive knowledge of spiritual reality” is really nothing more than a claim that you have a comprehensive knowledge of spiritual reality.

  16. John Healey says:

    You mis-quote me!
    I did not say that proof can never be achieved, I said we have no proof, yet, whether god does or does not exist. I did not say that proof can never be achieved.

    Respond if you want but any deviation from an accurate reflection of my words suggests to me that further discussion may be a waste of my time.

    I find your analogy ‘there is probably nothing that we as humans can have absolute proof of’ and ‘do you have absolute and unassailable proof that your employer will pay you on the next payday’ a very weak and poor one.

    You are being dogmatic when you use the analogy of ‘it would not be wise to stop going to work’ with ‘Similarly, it would not be wise to live your life as if there were no god…’ and I think it’s nonsense. If I ‘stopped going to work I would not get paid’ is more than probably true but believing or not believing in god has no repercussions. Not for me anyway. Please don’t tell me god will punish me, I’ve covered that previously, saying, I believe god would not be vindictive.

    I don’t need to add the adjectives ‘absolute’ or ‘unassailable’, to me ‘proof’ stands just as well on it’s own. So here are a couple of examples of what I believe to be provable. You are human. Your father impregnated your Mother.You came from your Mothers Womb. You speak English. You have been communicating with me. Please correct me if you were a virgin birth!

    Then you start being dogmatic again, telling me ‘ …. payday? No, you don’t… but you make a leap of faith based …….’ Well no I don’t actually, your wrong again! I don’t make leaps of faith! You may, but don’t tell me what I do.

    Quoting from Timothy Keller Is no more likely to persuade me one way or the other than you are, for he is Human and fallible and I think, no more an authority on god than me! Even quotes from ‘religious’ books will leave me trying to understand because I know they were written by man and he is fallible! I’ve never heard of anything written by god, but that does not mean that it hasn’t.

    I do not believe I’m a sceptic, in the sense that I am a doubter, a disbeliever (in god), I prefer the third way which is ‘I don’t know’. I’m still trying to understand and will continue to make what sense of it I can. I will probably never give up and I hope I won’t get so confused by the enormity of it that I just say “god must have done it”!. I probably am a sceptic, at times, when I’m told something I think is untrue. Humans tell lies don’t they? And they make mistakes!

    And finally, if I choose to believe or not believe in god I believe it will make not one iota of difference to my life, however if I find the answer to ‘is there or is there not a god’ I think it will make a big difference to my life. Some Human telling me, there is or is not, doesn’t do it for me.

    I do not know why people seem to want to argue whether or not there is a god, does the strength of their argument over another give them a feeling of superiority? Would it not be more fulfilling to get representatives of all beliefs to stop bickering and decide that, since they don’t know the answer, it would benefit mankind doing more meaningful work.

    If you want to continue ‘talking’ I would prefer to hear what you think, not quotes from others. I can read them for myself, but if you want to end it I’ll be happy either way.

    Regards John

    • syoungren says:

      You find my analogy of having faith that your employer will continue to pay you to be a very poor and weak one?

      Please pay attention to the crucial difference between merely characterizing an argument (“very poor and weak”) on one hand, and actually responding to it with a rational rebuttal, on the other hand. In other words, please point out exactly why it is “very poor and weak” rather than just asserting that it is so.

      You can prove that I (or you) are human and that we came from our mother’s wombs? How can you prove in an absolute, airtight way that your whole life isn’t just a big dream…that you are just dreaming you are human? You can’t, you just take it as a leap of faith. But it is an entirely reasonable leap of faith based upon the information that you have before you. Socrates said, “The only true wisdom is that you know nothing.”

      Yes, Timothy Keller is human and fallible. Please recognize, however, that it is his argument that you need to respond to, not him. The fact that you allude to his human fallibility (which is universal among humans, by the way) instead of responding to his argument is highly suggestive that you are trying to divert attention from the fact that you don’t have a good reply to his argument.

      If you would prefer to hear what I think rather than reading quotes from others, let me start here: I think that you are trivializing and obfuscating the issue of God’s existence because you fear that acknowledging God is a threat to your moral autonomy. You do not want to place an restrictions on how you choose to live. I think that you have been fooled by society into believing that living a life that acknowledges God is “less fun” than a life that acknowledges him.

      Why do I want to discuss this issue? Because it is the most important issue that could ever be discussed. Please review my posts entitled “When I die, is that it?” and “Has anyone ever met God and returned to tell about it?” (and view the associated videos) to see the clear evidence that there are eternal, after-death implications to the way you choose to go about this life.

  17. Dr. Sledge says:

    Resorting to quotes from baffled scientists does not constitute evidence, only opinions. Proper science isn’t based on opinion polls. The typical rationale for a supernatural creator is based on the inability of an individual mind, including those of the scientists quoted, to comprehend how events might otherwise come to pass. They all commit the fallacy of intellectual surrender. Because one cannot conceive of a non-supernatural solution does not mean there isn’t one. It’s logically impossible to prove the existence of “God” because it requires demonstrating that no other explanation is possible for the phenomenon in question. Can’t be done. At the same time, there’s no way to prove that a supernatural prime mover does not exist. So far, the original universal event, the ultimate nature of physical reality, and the origin of consciousness and human questioning are all beyond our reach. God has yet to smack me on the head and say “Here I am, Bubba”, so I see no other course than to remain a skeptic.

    • syoungren says:

      Your characterization of these scientists’ statements as “only opinions” is highly disingenuous and inaccurate. These scientists have come to their conclusions based upon research. Their research has demonstrated that “a conscious and intelligent mind” is “the matrix of all matter” (in the words of Max Plank). If you would like an example of this research, I encourage you to view this video of the famous double slit experiment (which demonstrates the crucial role of consciousness in constructing reality).

      When, for example, the physicist Eugene Wigner says, “it was not possible to formulate the laws of quantum mechanics in a fully consistent way without reference to the consciousness,” he is stating a research conclusion, not a mere opinion.

      By stating, “God has yet to smack me on the head,” you betray your inability (or perhaps unwillingness) to perceive the world outside of a materialist framework. In other words, you are unable or unwilling to perceive that there exists consciousness independent of a physical medium.

      Describing yourself as a “skeptic” is an incomplete description. Recall that disbelieving in one thing necessarily involves believing in something else. You are skeptical of what this group of extremely prominent scientists has concluded, but you are clearly a believer in materialism….despite the fact that materialism is a discredited relic of pre-20th century models of the universe.

      Based upon what you have written, I would say that you disbelieve in God for the reasons cited in my essay entitled “If the evidence for God is so strong, why are so many smart people unconvinced?”

  18. Jeff says:

    I don’t want an intellectual debate, I would just like to share a personal experience. I always had this feeling of loneliness deep seated within me. It stems from my mother dying when I was 2yrs old and being taken away from my dad when I was 5. Well I went to this convention, we arrived Friday night the next morning I prayed God put the people in my life I am supposed to meet today.and an old man from Sweden sat next to me on this park bench and told me his story how when he was 2 his mother died and when he was 5 his father died I said is that right my mom died when I was 2 and got taken away from my dad when I was 5. He started bawling and hugging me saying we will never be alone again. Right at that moment I had the clarity of Gods existence and it has never left, so debate all you want for me I believe. I should add there where a hundred thousand people that could have sat next to me!!!

  19. Maddie G. says:

    I have been reading your argument hoping to find answers. what do i believe in? Im very confused right now. I’m just a middle school kid who doesn’t know if she’s an athiest an agnostic or a christian or what. i find a reason to believe and then i find ten more not to and then i find ten reasons to believe and one not to and i dont know what to do. Currently, i’m leaning toward athiesim because i really think that its all mental. We need the hope that someone is watching over us and we’re not alone, but in reality, it’s all just a security blanket. But i WANT to believe. I want a god. If there is no god, what is there to believe in? Instead of coming to a conclusion or at least getting a few answers, i find myself even more confused. Maybe i should just put it out of my mind and worry about life and someday i’ll know. I live with both athiests and christians and i’m torn.

    • syoungren says:

      Maddie:

      Lets take a look at the atheist argument which says that people believe in God because they need a “security blanket.” Does the fact that people (like yourself) want there to be a God provide evidence that there is no God?

      Look at it this way: Does the fact that people get thirsty provide evidence that there is no such thing as water? No, it in fact does the exact opposite. God put that desire to know him inside of you for a reason.

      A lot of the material at this site will be hard to digest until you get older. That being said, I want to leave you with something to think about. Have you heard of a man named Richard Dawkins, the author of The God Delusion? Mr. Dawkins is probably the most famous and prominent atheist out there right now. He has written several books which make the claim that science shows that there is no such thing as God.

      But do you know what explanation he gave for the origin of life when asked in an interview? He presented the idea that life was brought here by aliens from outer space. Click here to see an excerpt of an interview where he proposes this idea.

      When you say “it’s all mental,” you are onto something. People come up with complicated ways of convincing themselves that there is no God so that they can avoid the discomfort of having to answer to a higher power. Many people are just disgusted with the idea that they cannot live their lives however they choose because they might have to answer to God someday. To do away with the discomfort that comes with the idea that they may be judged someday, they come up with complicated ways of disbelieving in God.

      And by surrounding themselves with other people who do not want to believe in God, they convince themselves that disbelieving in God is the right way to think.

  20. Mike D says:

    So, you’re saying that aliens from outer space is LESS PLAUSIBLE than a magic guy who lives in the sky? Given the absence of any evidence to support either theory you can’t make that call. Get some evidence, then we’ll talk.

    • syoungren says:

      Mike:

      “Magic guy who lives in the sky” is a crude caricature of God, not something that anyone actually believes in. Your caricature of God is ridiculous, but the concept of an eternal being which is the non-contingent cause of all reality is not ridiculous…especially in light of what physics and cosmology have to say (as presented in this post as well as other posts such as “Is there a God? (What is the chance our world is the result of chance)).

      Please reply to the specific points made in these posts rather than continuing to produce ridiculous caricatures and then proceeding to criticize those caricatures (also known as “building a straw man and then shredding it”).

      Aliens being the cause of life on earth is not plausible whatsoever because then we are left with the question of how alien life emerged from lifeless matter.

      Regarding this subject, Scientific American magazine states in an article dated October 1996 entitled Confronting Science’s Logical Limits that, “It has been estimated that a supercomputer applying plausible rules for protein folding would need 10 to the 127th power years to find the final folded form for even a very short sequence consisting of just 100 amino acids.” Unfortunately for atheists, the universe is only about 15 billion years old….not nearly long enough for such a protein sequence to emergeanywhere in the universe (not just earth). Furthermore, it would take random, unintelligent processes a heck of a lot longer to find this “final folded form” than a supercomputer programmed to do so. And protein folding is only the first step for producing life from lifeless compounds.

      Mike, why don’t you go ahead and respond to the specific point that I have made above in order to show that you can contribute a logically constructed response to an argument rather than a caricature of an argument.

  21. Oliver Kerr says:

    I, too am not looking for an intellectual debate, and I fully appreciate all you atheists, agnostics, etc who are here have taken the time to read our arguments.

    I would just like to say that the Christian faith is culturally very widespread and there are millions of believers from all over the world; how can you believe that it was all made up? One of the most basic principle of Christianity is that you give your entire life over to God, you lay down every selfish motive and surrender all your time, fortune and talent to Him. That is a pretty big commitment for us humans, who are hopelessly self-centered by nature. If God was fashioned from our idealistic minds, surely we would have made the cost of being a Christian a heck of a lot less.

    Also, the Bible is written by several people, most of which never met one another, yet what they wrote agrees.

    The crucifixion of Christ is historically documented and the evidence of his resurrection is also extremely good.

    Sir Edward Clarke KC wrote to the Reverend E. L. Macassey: ‘As a lawyer I have made a prolonged study of the evidence for the events of the first Easter Day. To me the evidence is conclusive, and over and over again in the High Court I have secured the verdict on evidence not nearly so compelling. inference follows on evidence, and a truthful witness is always artless and disdains effect. The Gospel evidence for the resurrection is of this class, and as a lawyer I accept it unreservedly as the testimony of truthful men to facts they were able to substantiate.’

    There is a lot of very logical reasoning backing up Christs’ resurrection and I hope that you might read the chapter on The Resurrection of Christ in John Stott’s book ‘Basic Christianity’ before you attack the basis of my belief in the resurrection. I read the chapter for the first time as an atheist and I looked for loopholes in every word but I found none. And if Christ lived, was crucified and rose from the dead as it is written in the Bible, surely that is conclusive proof of God’s existence.

    I’m not saying that I know everything about God, Jesus, the way He works, the Bible or the history behind it all. As a matter of fact I know very little, but it is enough to convince me. Nobody knows everything about God. But I do not believe that faith is blind and stupid. Faith is humble, and it sees more clearly than many others without it. I do hope that I don’t come across as forcing my beliefs on you, because I truly respect you and your beliefs, like I know you do mine, but when you have felt God touch you like I have felt Him touch me, trust me, there is nothing you will want more than for everybody to experience His Grace and Love. Jesus is like a really good book. You read it, you love it, and you want everyone you know to read it too. God loves you, and He wants the best for you. I know this seems out of place among all your scientific debate and you can laugh at me all you want, but there’s no doubt in my mind that God is with us.

    I don’t think the Bible is made up to make people behave better either. You see, the Christian God is the only God out of all the religions that states that you cannot get eternal life by your own power. You can be good all you like but the ONLY thing that can get you to Heaven is by receiving Christ. “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.” (Ephesians 2:9)
    Also, God is not really up in the sky, he is a divine being that is omnipresent.

    Perhaps we cannot prove that God exists with science, but if you take a look at someone who loves God you will see that they’ve got something in them that non-believers don’t. Please – do yourself a huge favour and open your mind and your heart to the possibility of a God, and not just that, a loving, awesome God.

  22. Terry S says:

    @ Maddie G.

    Rest totally assured there are no gods. I guarantee it 100%. This whole thread starts out as some kind of “Science proves god exists” nonsense. Science doesn’t care if god exists. Science is not trying to prove the existence or non-existence of god(s). Science doesn’t waste time on fantasies.

    Syoungren is convinced by these scientists opinions that god exists but alas that is all they are, opinions. The fact still remains we can look into our recorded history and see when man created each and every god. The christian, muslim and jewish gods included. I am sure man created many gods before the ones we know about from recorded history including sun gods, moon gods and fire gods. The christians still cling to a fire god to this very day they call the devil. Pure fantasy and I am sure it was all quite entertaining when they were first told around the campfires at night some 2000-3000 years a ago. That would be their version of TV. And apparently it is still entertaining to some because these cults seem to linger on long past their expiration date.

    Seriously, what is all this noise about a pregnant virgin? Mary was married to Joseph. What did they do, skip the honeymoon? Like I said, pure fantasy. A god called god is just too stupid to be taken seriously.

    • syoungren says:

      ATTENTION ALL READERS, THIS IS VERY INSTRUCTIVE:

      Your argument, Terry, if self-defeating and self-contradictory. First, you denigrate the importance of opinions, and then you immediately proceed to produce your opinion. Amazing.

      Further, your opinion that opinions are unimportant is itself an opinion. When atheists resort to self-defeating and self-contradictory arguments, one can be certain that they are feeling cornered.

      Who should we listen to? The opinions of most (if not all) of the most important contributors to modern physics, or the opinion of a guy who makes the self-defeating argument that opinions don’t matter?

      Please also recall that physics is the branch of science which deals with the most fundamental “big picture” aspects of our reality and therefore most closely approaches the line dividing science from metaphysics and religion. And the opinions of these scientists is based on their research, not upon their private religious convictions. To this end, I will rehash what Max Planck (the founder of quantum physics) had to say about this subject:

      “As a man who has devoted his whole life to the most clear headed science, to the study of matter, I can tell you as a result of my research about atoms this much: There is no matter as such. All matter originates and exists only by virtue of a force which brings the particle of an atom to vibration and holds this most minute solar system of the atom together. We must assume behind this force the existence of a conscious and intelligent mind. This mind is the matrix of all matter.”

      When you say, “The fact still remains we can look into our recorded history and see when man created each and every god,” you fail to make the simple distinction between a symbol and its referent. Because the source of our world (God) is infinite and immaterial, we can barely scratch the surface of God’s reality. The best we can do is to use symbols (that we garner from our finite, material reality) to represent the reality of God.

      Each society creates symbols using the categories of thought existent in that society. To an ancient society which regarded the sun as mysterious and awe-inspiring, for example, the sun god would be an appropriate symbol to represent the mystery and wonder of the infinite, immaterial intelligence which created our world (God). The fact that the symbolic representation of God produced by such a society is not appropriate to our society does not detract from the reality behind that symbol.

      For further illustration, take the following example: The number “four” has been represented in different ways by different societies. In our society, we use the numeric symbol “4”. The ancient Romans used the Roman numeral “IV”. One could also use tally marks (IIII), etc..

      Does the fact that Roman numerals are rarely used in our society mean that the mathematical concept behind the that symbol has been debunked? Certainly not.

      Roman numerals would not be appropriate for our society because it would be quite difficult to perform algebra or calculus using them.

      Next, Terry, I would like to point out that (as is typical of many atheists) you make the error of exposing theism to intense scrutiny while simultaneously failing to expose your own views to even the slightest scrutiny.

      For example, I will assume that you are a materialist since you clearly are not a theist or idealist. (If I am incorrect in this assumption because you subscribe to some third school of thought which I have failed to consider, please describe your view).
      How can you really believe that the material world is all that exists in light of the declaration of modern physics that, independent of conscious observation, the subatomic realm consists of nothing but potentialities? As Planck put it, “there is no matter as such.”

      Your belief that the material world is fundamental can only be classed as a superstition which irrationally clings to outmoded, pre-20th century physics.

      Lastly, your view that the virgin birth is ridiculous is based upon viewing the world though the lens of materialism, which, again, has been discredited by modern physics. You confuse your experience of reality with reality itself. I will rehash an excerpt from one of my essays below (with slight modifications):

      One of history’s most prominent apologists for atheism, Bertrand Russell, helped to articulate materialism (the belief that reality is fundamentally material) into a philosophical worldview when he said, “all experience is likely to resemble the experience we know.” The virgin birth can easily be dismissed as fairy tale using this line of reasoning because it doesn’t “resemble the experience we know” as a part of our everyday life. But Russell would have been well advised to take to heart Hamlet’s reminder that “there are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.”

      And what Shakespeare knew intuitively when he wrote Hamlet, Nobel Prize winning physicist Tony Hewish knew logically when he wrote:

      “The ghostly presence of virtual particles defies rational common sense and is non-intuitive for those unacquainted with physics. Religious belief in God, and Christian belief that God became Man around two thousand years ago, may seem strange to common-sense thinking. But when the most elementary physical things behave in this way, we should be prepared to accept that the deepest aspects of our existence go beyond our common-sense intuitions.”

  23. Terry S says:

    syoungren: ATTENTION ALL READERS, THIS IS VERY INSTRUCTIVE: <— Is this supposed to give your opinions some credibility? It doesn’t.

    syoungren: First, you denigrate the importance of opinions, and then you immediately proceed to produce your opinion.

    Terry: I didn’t denigrate anything. (Thanks for the straw man, I’ll put it out in the corn field to scare away theists.) Opinions are just opinions and have no value regardless of their source. They certainly are not to be taken as truth or facts. [Opinion definition: A belief or conclusion held with confidence but not substantiated by positive knowledge or proof.] http://www.thefreedictionary.com/opinion

    syoungren: Further, your opinion that opinions are unimportant is itself an opinion.

    Terry: What value do you place on opinions?

    syoungren: Who should we listen to? The opinions of most (if not all) of the most important contributors to modern physics, or the opinion of a guy who makes the self-defeating argument that opinions don’t matter?

    Terry: Are you saying one persons opinion is more important than another persons opinion? It is no wonder you are so confused. You are very opinionated yourself. Of course if we just stuck to the facts there wouldn’t be much to write would there. In your case there wouldn’t be anything to write because theists have no facts to support their claim. All a theist has is his opinion and belief.

    syoungren: And the opinions of these scientists is based on their research,

    Terry: If all they got out of it was an opinion, their research wasn’t much help to them was it?

    syoungren: not upon their private religious convictions.

    You would know this How? Can you read the minds of theses scientists? Do you even know what their religious convictions are? There is only one scientist I know of who was very clear on his convictions. That was “Carl Sagan” a publicly proclaimed atheist even to his death. Has the Cosmos changed since his death. I think not.

    syoungren: For example, I will assume that you are a materialist since you clearly are not a theist or idealist.

    Terry: More assumptions on your part. I am an atheist. [Atheist definition: Someone who rejects the theist claim for any reason. No belief or disbelief is required.] http://churchoflogic.com/whatisanatheist/

    Terry: This whole discussion is based on the fallacy of “Appeal To False Authority” where the authority is a scientist. What makes a scientist an authority on god(s). As pointed out before. Science doesn’t attempt to prove or disprove the existence of god(s).

    syoungren: Max Planck: “We must assume behind this force the existence of a conscious and intelligent mind. “

    Terry: Again, all you have are assumptions and opinions. You somehow seem to believe that the opinions of this handful of scientists gives your theist claim some credibility. It doesn’t.

    Terry:

    syoungren: Each society creates symbols using the categories of thought existent in that society.

    Terry: What is “thought existent”? Theist are well known for making things up and then believing the things they made up are real. This is just one example. Did you make this one up yourself? Here are some more examples of things theists have made up: God, Allah, Jesus, Heaven, Hell, Devils, Angels, Soul, Sin, Spirits, Miracles, Resurrection and Afterlife. None of these theistic terms have anything to support their existence. These are just “Tools” used by theists to lure people into their faith-based religious cults. Syoungren is just an example of how well and how deeply these infections can control the human mind. It takes a lot of conditioning over a long period of time to get people to believe in the absurd concepts of theism. (walking on water, sticks that turn into snakes, raising the dead etc.) Any rational person would simply reject these absurdities for what they are but not the theist. The theist will do everything possible to twist, bend and shape these absurd concepts into tools to use against people who don’t believe what they believe. Even to use them against other theists that don’t agree with their beliefs. The Christians reject the Muslims claims. The Jews reject the Christians claims. The Muslims reject the Jewish claims. See, we are all atheists.

    syoungren: Lastly, Terry, I would like to point out that (as is typical of many atheists) you make the error of exposing theism to intense scrutiny while simultaneously failing to expose your own views to even the slightest scrutiny.

    Terry: What error? Absurd concepts require intense scrutiny. The atheist makes no claims to scrutinize. Rejecting the theist claim does not create a new claim. However, if you want to scrutinize atheists be my guest. Have at it. Give it your best shot. Just stop making things up out of nothing. Come up with something real and genuine for the whole world to see. Not just your opinions or the opinions of other people.

    syoungren: How can you really believe that the material world is all that exists

    Terry: Without something to support the supernatural world it is the only rational thing to believe in. Only someone under the influence of a religious cult would believe otherwise.

    Terry:

    • syoungren says:

      1) You don’t denigrate the importance of opinions?! Bizarre!! What does your statement, “Opinions are just opinions and have no value regardless of their source,” mean? Terry, you seem lost and confused. You are making self-contradictory statements, again.

      Should we discard the following statement merely because it is an opinion?: “The Surgeon General states that smoking promotes lung cancer.”

      2) What value do I place upon opinions? Well, I certainly place no value whatsoever on the opinion of a guy whose opinion is that “opinions have no value regardless of their source.” As far as the opinions of the most important contributors to modern physics (the branch of science which deals with the most fundamental aspects of reality), I place very high value on such opinions. This is especially the case when nearly identical opinions have been formed by most if not all of the most important contributors to modern physics, as the result of their research.

      3) Am I saying that one person’s opinion is more important than another person’s opinion? You betcha I am. When you need an opinion on a medical issue, do you value the opinion of your doctor more than that of your plumber? I certainly hope so for your sake.

      4) You are not a materialist? OK, fine. If the material world is not self-existent, and it was not created by God either, then how do you explain its existence? I am interested in your novel opinion. Your statement that you are an atheist reveals to us what you do not believe, but please describe for us what you do believe. Please recall that disbelieving in one explanation for the existence of the universe necessarily means that you believe in some other explanation. This gets back to the issue I mentioned before about atheists placing extreme scrutiny upon theist beliefs while simultaneously failing to place any scrutiny whatsoever upon their own beliefs.

      5) How would I know that these opinions are based upon their research rather than upon their private religious convictions? Because, first of all, if you actually read the quotes, you would see that these scientists state that they are basing their opinions upon their research. For example, the Nobel Prize winning physicist Eugene Wigner says, “it was not possible to formulate the laws of quantum mechanics in a fully consistent way without reference to the consciousness.” And Max Planck says, “I can tell you as a result of my research about atoms this much: There is no matter as such. All matter originates and exists only by virtue of a force which brings the particle of an atom to vibration and holds this most minute solar system of the atom together. We must assume behind this force the existence of a conscious and intelligent mind. This mind is the matrix of all matter.”

      Secondly, I give you an example of this research with the link to the demonstration of the double-slit experiment. What is your reply to this. Are you going to “skip over it?”

      6) This whole discussion is based on the fallacy of “Appeal To False Authority” where the authority is a scientist? OK, let’s take a look at the “Appeal to False Authority.” This article reveals the following:

      Fallacy: Appeal to Authority

      Also Known as: Fallacious Appeal to Authority, Misuse of Authority, Irrelevant Authority, Questionable Authority, Inappropriate Authority, Ad Verecundiam

      Description of Appeal to Authority

      An Appeal to Authority is a fallacy with the following form:

      Person A is (claimed to be) an authority on subject S.
      Person A makes claim C about subject S.
      Therefore, C is true.
      This fallacy is committed when the person in question is not a legitimate authority on the subject. More formally, if person A is not qualified to make reliable claims in subject S, then the argument will be fallacious.

      Terry, are you suggesting that the most important contributors to modern physics are not qualified to make reliable claims about the subject of physics?! This would be a truly unique claim. Or are you trying to say that they are not qualified to comment on the existence of God? If so, then who is qualified to comment on the existence of God? Just Carl Sagan?

      7) All I have are assumptions and opinions? I somehow seem to believe that the opinions of this handful of scientists gives your theist claim some credibility? As I pointed out before, this is not just some “handful of scientists,” as you characterize it. Rather, this group represents most if not all of the most important contributors to modern physics (Einstein, Planck, Born, Maxwell, Eddington, Dirac, etc….).

      8) What is “thought existent”? Let me rephrase that for you: Each society creates symbols using the categories of thought that are existent in that society.

      9) You state: Here are some more examples of things theists have made up: God, Allah, Jesus, Heaven, Hell, Devils, Angels, Soul, Sin, Spirits, Miracles, Resurrection and Afterlife. None of these theistic terms have anything to support their existence. I am going to give you some evidence for a few of these things that you have mentioned above and you can proceed to respond to them. With regard to the existence of God, this essay provides evidence, as does my essay entitled “Is there a God? (What is the chance our world is the result of chance?)” When you reply to the “Is there a God?” essay, please try to make your reply more substantive than declaring that I have just provided another opinion despite the fact that I have cited research and scientific facts.

      With regard to the soul and to the afterlife, please read my essays entitled “When I die, is that it? Or do I have an existence beyond my physical body?” and “Has anyone met God and returned to tell about it?” Please post any rationally constructed, fact based rebuttals that you may have.

      10) Absurd concepts require intense scrutiny? Your view that the concept of God is absurd must be based upon some counter-explanation for the existence of the universe and for such things as the existence of life. Otherwise, you would have no basis upon which to place this opinion. So tell us, Terry, what are your counter-explanations? Can we explain the existence of the universe by stating that it “just is,” like the atheist philosopher Bertrand Russell who declares that the universe is a “brute fact”? Don’t be shy, we would love to hear your explanations so that we can engage in an interesting debate.

      How do you explain the existence of life? Would you agree with some of your fellow atheists (such as the biologists Richard Dawkins and Francis Crick) that life on earth can be explained by the fact that it was brought here by aliens from outer space? Click here to see Dawkins endorsing this idea in an interview and click here to read an article which details Crick’s endorsement of the idea.

      If so, would you please tell me what planet you think the aliens came from. I am conducting a survey of atheists so that I can determine what planet they believe is the most likely candidate.

      11) There is nothing upon which to base the existence of a supernatural world? I am afraid that there is a lot upon which to base a belief in the supernatural world. The following is an excerpt from the book Life After Death, the Evidence, as it appears in one of my essays:

      We experience space in three dimensions and time in one dimension; Einstein brought them both together into the new four-dimensional entity of spacetime. Scientists [post-Einstein] tell us that reality is divided not into four but rather eleven dimensions, ten of space and one of time. So where are the other dimensions? Well, string theorists say they are hidden dimensions, somehow positioned so that they are invisible and inaccessible to us. As physicist Lisa Randall puts it, “We are in this three-dimensional flatland…Our world is stuck in this three-dimensional universe, although extra dimensions exist. So we live in a three-dimensional slice of a higher-dimensional world.”

      The three-dimensional slice of a higher-dimensional world that we experience on a day-to-day basis is what we refer to as the “natural world.” The other dimensions can be termed “supernatural” because they are not part of our everyday experience. But just because we do not experience them does not mean that they are not real.

      Further, as I demonstrate in my essay entitled “Is there a God? (What is the chance that our world is the result of chance?),” the origins of our universe clearly point to a supernatural. As the astronomer, physicist and founder of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies Robert Jastrow put it:

      “Astronomers now find they have painted themselves into a corner because they have proven, by their own methods, that the world began abruptly in an act of creation to which you can trace the seeds of every star, every planet, every living thing in this cosmos and on the earth. And they have found that all this happened as a product of forces they cannot hope to discover…. That there are what I or anyone would call supernatural forces at work is now, I think, a scientifically proven fact.”

      • Terry S says:

        Scott: Should we discard the following statement merely because it is an opinion?: “The Surgeon General states that smoking promotes lung cancer.”

        Terry: Your kidding right? That is NOT an opinion. Smoking has “in fact” been linked to lung cancer. Over 40 carcinogens have been identified in cigarette smoke. The Surgeon General doesn’t give out “opinions”.

        Scott: What does your statement, “Opinions are just opinions and have no value regardless of their source,” mean?

        Terry: Just exactly what it says. No confusion on my part but you seem a bit bewildered by it for some reason.

        Scott: Well, I certainly place no value whatsoever on the opinion of a guy whose opinion is that “opinions have no value regardless of their source.”

        Terry: Ouch. Just kidding. It didn’t hurt a bit.

        Scott: This is especially the case when nearly identical opinions have been formed by most if not all of the most important contributors to modern physics, as the result of their research.

        Terry: And yet they are still just opinions. In spite of all their research.

        Scott: When you need an opinion on a medical issue, do you value the opinion of your doctor more than that of your plumber?

        Terry: Really? Your going to go there? Comparing doctors to plumbers? When I have a medical or plumbing issue I don’t expect opinions at all. I expect answers. They get paid the big bucks for their knowledge, not for their opinions. If all I can get from a doctor or a plumber is an opinion I need to find a different doctor or plumber. If a doctor can’t give me the information I want because it simply doesn’t exist I expect him to tell me that it doesn’t exist. I don’t expect him to give me opinions instead. If you want to trust your health and plumbing to opinions that is your business.

        Scott: If the material world is not self-existent, and it was not created by God either, then how do you explain its existence?
        Terry: I don’t know and I am ok with that. There is no reason to believe that we will ever know how it all started or if it all started. I have no need to conjure up a god of the gaps to explain something there is no answer for. Making up a god to explain something is exactly how your god was created. The first theist convinced the next theist and so on and so on and so on. One of you theist lies to it and another one swears to it.

        Scott: I am interested in your novel opinion.

        Terry: Sorry, I have no novel opinion. Too bad because I can see how much you enjoy opinions.

        Scott: Your statement that you are an atheist reveals to us what you do not believe, but please describe for us what you do believe.

        Terry: Why? You don’t have enough beliefs already? Are you collecting beliefs? It is good to have a hobby.

        Scott: Please recall that disbelieving in one explanation for the existence of the universe necessarily means that you believe in some other explanation.

        Terry: Nonsense. I don’t reject the theist claim because I have a claim of my own. I reject the theist claim because it is absurd and completely unbelievable unless you have been conditioned to believe these absurdities are real. I used to be a theist. I know how the theist thinks. It is clear you have never been an atheist. If you were you could never go back and pretend these invisible man made creatures are real. As you can see I have fully recovered from the theistic infection that was thrust on me by my parents, relatives, neighbors and a theistic society.

        Scott: This gets back to the issue I mentioned before about atheists placing extreme scrutiny upon theist beliefs while simultaneously failing to place any scrutiny whatsoever upon their own beliefs.

        Terry: Good grief. Go ahead. Scrutiny away. No one is holding you back. Do all the scrutiny you want.

        Scott: Terry, are you suggesting that the most important contributors to modern physics are not qualified to make reliable claims about the subject of physics?! Or are you trying to say that they are not qualified to comment on the existence of God?

        Terry: They can make opinions about physics all they want. This is their field of study. They can make opinions about god(s) all they want too. I am saying that their physics research in no way supports their opinions of god(s). In fact opinions can be made about anything, by anybody. This is what makes an opinion so useless. I’m not a scientist but I can come up with many opinions about science. I’m not a doctor but I can come up with many opinions about medicine. I am not a plumber but I can come up with many opinions on plumbing. Are you getting it now? The fallacy of your comments is where you use “their” opinions in a feeble attempt to support “your” opinions. It seems to me there was a name for that fallacy but I don’t recall what it was. The logic from my college days is a bit rusty but you get the drift, right?

        Scott: If so, then who is qualified to comment on the existence of God?

        Terry: No one should comment on the existence of god(s). There is nothing to support the existence of god(s). The god theory is too stupid to be taken seriously. It is right up there with The FSM and the IPU. If the theists weren’t infected and banding into evil religious cults there would be no need to comment on god(s).

        Scott: Rather, this group represents most if not all of the most important contributors to modern physics (Einstein, Planck, Born, Maxwell, Eddington, Dirac, etc….).

        Terry: So what? Do they have the answers? Of course not so why do you even drag them into your theist claim unless you believe they somehow give your claim some credibility. They don’t.

        Scott: Your view that the concept of God is absurd must be based upon some counter-explanation for the existence of the universe and for such things as the existence of life.

        Terry: The concept of an invisible intelligent life form from another dimension that has sex with human females is all I need to call the god concept absurd. Zeus I hear was quite a sweet talker with the human females too. A counter explanation is not required.

        Scott: Don’t be shy, we would love to hear your explanations so that we can engage in an interesting debate.

        Terry: Do I have my own theory? Of course I do. Maybe some time I will explain it to you. You won’t like it though. Too much logic. It doesn’t have enough fantasy in it for your tastes. On the other hand it is my “opinion” and you do enjoy opinions don’t you. By your standards an opinion from a professional atheist should rate high on your scale.

        Scott: How do you explain the existence of life? Would you agree with some of your fellow atheists (such as the biologists Richard Dawkins and Francis Crick) that life on earth can be explained by the fact that it was brought here by aliens from outer space?

        Terry: I have no idea how life got to our planet? But, then again, neither do you. We know the planet didn’t start with life on it so it either came from outer space or sprang up here. Just not from the magic wand of some invisible wizard in the sky. I wasn’t there to observe the event so I don’t know. Do I “believe” there is life in the universe other than the life on our planet? You bet your boots I do. Can I prove it? Of course not (yet). Is my belief unfounded? Of course not. There is life on this planet so there is no reason to believe there isn’t life on other planets. Do I believe there are alien visitors camped out on the dark side of the moon. Of course not. Your cheap attempt to discredit Richard Dawkins and Francis Crick (Whom I have never heard of until now) only shows how desperate you are. I may not know where life came from but I do know we are getting closer to creating it. http://video.nationalgeographic.com/video/player/national-geographic-channel/all-videos/av-7729-7975/ngc-creating-life-from-scratch.html. Proving once and for all that there was no god(s) required for life to start in the cosmos.

        Scott: If so, would you please tell me what planet you think the aliens came from. I am conducting a survey of atheists so that I can determine what planet they believe is the most likely candidate.

        Terry: Don’t know (yet). Give it enough time and you may get your answer. Of course we won’t likely live long enough to find out. Too bad. I would enjoy being there for such an event.

        Scott: Robert Jastrow: “That there are what I or anyone would call supernatural forces at work is now, I think, a scientifically proven fact.

        Terry: Why would we call them supernatural forces? I wouldn’t. There is much we don’t know about the cosmos but to bring the supernatural into it would first require some supernatural evidence of which there is none.

        Terry: Conclusion: Of course you do realize that there is nothing in any of your posts that supports your imaginary friend. Not a shred of real evidence beyond opinions, hearsay, personal feelings and misguided concepts. That is because these are the only things that a theist has to work with.

  24. Terry S says:

    There were two places in my post that didn’t show up. I had them enclosed by less than and greater than symbols. My bad. I realize these are html tags and shouldn’t have used them in my text. The two places where it just says Terry: should have been followed by these comments.

    The first one is: *** This is me skipping over a bunch of theistic prattle about symbols. ***

    The second was is: *** This is me again skipping over more opinions from dead people who are unable to clarify their positions. ***

    • syoungren says:

      This reply is all too typical of atheists who have found themselves backed into a corner. Of course you are skipping over my arguments….you cannot produce for us a rationally constructed rebuttal. You must therefore resort to characterizing my arguments (“prattle” and “opinions from dead people”) so that you can divert attention from the fact that you cannot rationally rebut them.

      The difference between characterizing an argument and actually responding to it in a rational fashion is a crucial distinction for any rational discourse.

      • Terry S says:

        You don’t actually believe that the roman numbering system gives your god any credibility do you? Are you serious or are you just yanking my chain?

        • syoungren says:

          Are you going to actually respond to the argument? Using strident rhetoric instead of producing a counter-argument is a telltale sign of somebody who does not have a counter argument.

  25. Al says:

    And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.

  26. Al says:

    Matter… Atoms conveniently morphing and bonding into diverse elements.
    All from nothing… expanding into a previously non-existing space? Time? (who needs that anyway) Inanimate to animate? (It’s alive Igor!) Evolution (or is it adaptation)
    Big enough leap to Sentient… bigger leap to self-Conscious? (Hey I reason and even know myself – I don’t know how & why… but I AM) All by accident!

    NO….. All fairy tales for grown-ups!

    In the Bible, in the very first sentence, God mentions the three things that are essential for us to experience and live this physical reality.

    “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.”

    “Beginning”, references time. The “Heavens” reference 3 dimensional space, and the “Earth” references matter. How could anyone at that time know that ALL 3 of these must be present, perfectly and precisely as they are in order for us to exist in this reality?
    The Torah has been proven to have been written thousands of years ago, way before any science (Physics) had been done. Also each of time, space and matter contains within it, another 3 aspects. Time cannot exist without any of past, present, and future. Space cannot exist without any of length, depth and width. And finally, matter. You guessed it… it comes in three forms. Liquids, solids, and vapours.

    Personally… I think this is one way that God reveals his triune Godhead.

    Praise, Honor, Glory, Power are yours forever Lord God!

    Finally… To quote King David (a man after God’s own Heart) – “The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works”

    That last sentence is without a doubt the reason why one says “there is no God”.
    In order to do evil works!

    No God…. No Godly morality. Just an ever devolving moral relativism, suited for something less than an animal!

    P.S

    I applaud you for what you do.
    Yet – and in the best of sense – I don’t envy you in the least. I certainly don’t have the patience that you do with these folks (not yet anyway)
    He’s still working with me on that one…lol

  27. Jason says:

    I would also like to point out that this site after brief observation is mostly the rantings of seemingly one person, with many preaching or praising that fact.

    Little is being shown of any actual facts or proof but of the lack thereof. For instance, the main argument is that the big bang was the start of our universe, that it was created, that it was a start, it had to have come from somewhere etc. Seemingly conclusive evidence of God. However, if using that argument you could ask what preceded God? If your answer is that God has always been and ever was couldn’t you make the same logical conclusion that the Universe has always been and always was without the need for God? Or maybe, the universe always goes through big bangs and contractions and has been doing so for eternity I.E. has always done that.

    As we can see. The big bang needs no creator, for if it does, God must need a creator and so on. These very simple logical arguments are quite easy to see and follow. God does not exist, and we do not need a God to give the Universe and ourselves meaning. It seems as though the problem is with our primitive understanding of reality.

    • syoungren says:

      Nothing preceded God. There must be an ultimate uncaused cause (or non-contingent reality). Here is why: The law of causation (without which science would be impossible) says that everything with a beginning has a cause. Something that is caused (or is “contingent”) can do nothing (zero) to cause itself. And an infinitely long chain of zeros still adds up to zero. So, your statement that “God must need a creator and so on,” is invalid. Please review my post entitled “Why is there something rather than nothing,” which includes commentary from Oxford University Professor of Philosophy Antony Flew on this subject matter.

      My post entitled “Isn’t the universe eternal?,” does away with your notion that the universe may be eternal. Click on the preceding link or view it in the “snippets” section. Please read and respond.

      Please also review this article regarding the possibility that the universe is eternal. Some excerpts:

      The conclusion to be drawn from the scientific data was inescapable, as [astrophysicist and founder of NASAs Goddard Institute for Space Studies} Dr. Robert Jastrow… wrote: “The lingering decline predicted by astronomers for the end of the world differs from the explosive conditions they have calculated for its birth, but the impact is the same: modern science denies an eternal existence to the Universe, either in the past or in the future.”

      As far as the notion that “the universe always goes thorough big bangs and contractions and has been doing so for eternity,” you are describing what is known as the “oscillating universe theory.” Please read this article. Put simply, the oscillating universe model violates the 2nd law of thermodynamics.

      Your arguments are very simple, as you say, but they are also very flawed. Let’s take this a step further: I will be generous and assume that your assertion that “the universe always goes through big bangs and contractions and has been doing so for eternity,” is correct. What does this achieve? An eternally oscillating universe cannot eventually produce a universe finely tuned for the existence of life (as described in my essay entitled, “Is there a God (What is the chance that the world is the result of chance?)”

      How can I be so sure? Bare probabilities are causally inert and require a causal mechanism to achieve a result. What do I mean by this fancy statement?

      Let me illustrate: Take the statement, “If a person could, hypothetically, live forever, that person would eventually win the lottery.” We know this statement is false because no matter how long a person lives, that person will never win the lottery unless they actually play the lottery. Going to the convenience store to buy lottery tickets on a regular basis is the causal mechanism that allows the bare probability of winning the lottery to result in an actual lottery win.

      In a universe that has no intelligent and conscious cause, there can be no causal mechanisms. Even an infinite amount of time (or an infinite number of cycles of expansion and retraction) cannot produce anything without a causal mechanism. Further, the very occurrence of cycles of expansion and retraction requires a causal mechanism. What do you propose caused this eternally expanding and contracting universe? Bare probabilities?

  28. Al says:

    Mocking Christians!

    “we are fully capable of leading moral, healthy lives without a bright puffy cloud in the sky”

    This is what I find so ironic about so-called “evolved” atheists.

    For instance take the well recognized “Christian” fish symbol – dating back 2 millennia.
    Jason, why do atheists (so intelligent and evolved) have to take this “Christian” symbol and distort it… adding legs and a tool. CLEARLY mocking “Christians”

    Aren’t you Atheists intelligent and creative enough to design your own symbol…must you take this “Christian” symbol and mock & provoke Christians through it.

    BECAUSE that is what you are doing!
    A person who has not contemplated God or Evolution… and isn’t a Christian , wouldn’t know what any of that symbolized. ONLY the people who are on either side of the debate would recognize this symbol… distorted or otherwise.

    I suppose that’s your “we are fully capable of leading moral, healthy lives without a bright puffy cloud in the sky”
    Kind of morality. No Jason… that’s called moral relativism.

    Jason, just answer me one Question HONESTLY.
    Can you do that?

    Do you have ANY doubts about whether there is a God?

  29. Jason says:

    I will attempt to respond to each statement and order them to make it easy to read/follow.

    1) As far as the symbol is concerned, there are many signals used by atheists. The fish with legs probably is used to mock Christians and there is nothing wrong with this. A person’s religious beliefs should be open to debate and discussion, much like politics. This is the 21st century. Christians I’m sure poke fun at Atheists for not holding the same beliefs as them. I should know, I was a Catholic for 19 years of my life, even serving as an alter server for many years. Many Christians told me, Atheists were comparable to homosexuals. Godless heathens. Naturally, we have some catching up to do.

    2) There are many reasons why things are immoral and things aren’t. Everyone would agree that murder for instance is wrong, because it deprives that person, permanently, of existence and experience. We need no higher order to tell us this is wrong, it is quite obvious why. The same logical arguments can be said for other things. “Do not do that because God will be sad”, is basically telling you what to do without reason. I also find it very petty that God would care about the many trivial things that go on in life, yet he has allowed such horrors to occur every single day.

    3) I still maintain that he was an Atheist, possibly an Agnostic at the best. To say he believed in God is simply wrong, as he did no such thing. Again, when he used words like “God” he was talking about the natural order of the Universe, NOT in an omnipotent creator, as you Christians would assert. I’m talking of Einstein by the way.

    4) We are beginning to develop theories that our universe may be apart of a larger, greater universe, I.E. String theory or Multi-verse theory. The main point to consider is that to this date there is still alot of debate and conjecture, because frankly it is a pretty complex problem to attempt to solve. Explaining creation. Instead of defaulting to “This problem is very hard, I give up, God did it”. As an Adult and not a child, this has left many people, dissatisfied and is why we are finally discussing the obvious truth that he was never there.

    5) 2nd law of thermodynamics, causation etc. is great. We must consider that some of these rules may not have applied in the current universe that we see today. I.E. The rules may have been different at some point in time.

    6) The proof of you can’t prove he’s not there is a very weak argument. You could literally say that about anything. If a tree falls in an empty forest can you prove to me that it fell? Unless someone sees it, or sees it after it has fallen, the answer is no.

    Yet the tree does fall. Every time, consistently. We do not need to be there to prove that it does. Its called gravity, and its consistently observed everywhere.

    7) Probability is just that. If there is a .0000000000000000001 chance of something happening, there still is a chance. You can’t say “That is extremely rare, it must be impossible, God did it”. Impossibility and rarity are different.

    My intent here is to criticize your religious beliefs not to make anyone mad or to convert you to my atheism, but the more people like me that speak up the more aware we all become that Christians are slowly becoming a minority, and Atheists, Agnostics and non-religious person’s are, the majority.

    • syoungren says:

      1) I am unconcerned about symbols.

      2) You say, “We need no higher order to tell us this is wrong, it is quite obvious why.” You feel that it is obviously wrong because, “it deprives that person, permanently, of existence and experience.” But why is it obvious that depriving a person, permanently of existence and experience is wrong? The only response that an atheist can provide to this question is one of the “it just is” statements that serve as the foundation for the atheist faith. The universe “just is.” Life “just is.” Commonly agreed upon morality “just is.” If that isn’t faith, nothing is. As far as the horrors that occur every day which you speak of, please read my post entitled “If God is good, why do evil and suffering exist?”

      3) You still maintain that Einstein was an atheist? That is called believing in something in spite of the facts rather than because of them. Einstein made the categorical statement “I am not an atheist….” How are you going to get around that? By the way, as I mentioned in my previous reply, Einstein also said, “In view of such harmony in the cosmos which I, with my limited human mind, am able to recognize, there are yet people who say there is no God. But what really makes me angry is that they quote me for the support of such views.” You, Jason, would be one of the people who made Einstein angry.

      Einstein was really talking about the natural order of the universe when he used the term “God”? Well that is an interesting idea….he was using code language. If by the term “God” he really meant the natural order of the universe, why did he say “Everyone who is seriously involved in the pursuit of science becomes convinced that a spirit is manifest in the laws of the Universe–a spirit vastly superior to that of man, and one in the face of which we with our modest powers must feel humble”? Was the term “spirit” also a code word for “the natural order of the universe”?

      4) We are beginning to develop theories that our universe may be apart of a larger, greater universe? I address this topic in detail in my posts entitled “Why is there something rather than nothing?” and “Isn’t the universe eternal? (Thus doing away with the need for a creator).” I mentioned these essays in my previous replies, but you failed to respond.

      Even without your failure to address these essays, Jason, what would our universe being a part of a larger “multiverse” prove? I personally have no reason to doubt this possibility. At face value, it seems perfectly reasonable to assume that an infinite God would create infinitely. Where did this multiverse come from? From the laws of physics (which is where Stephen Hawking suggests our universe came from)? OK fine, you want it you got it. Where did the laws of physics come from?

      Once again, the atheist is forced to fall back upon another “it just is” statement: The laws of physics “just are.” This is a huge leap of faith, pure and simple. And it is a much bigger leap of faith than theists (Christians and others) must make. Which is a bigger leap of faith: 1) Believing that the laws of physics (and other laws for that matter) came from a lawgiver who is a conscious and intelligent being, and that conscious and intelligent beings such as ourselves came from a conscious and intelligent source OR 2) Believing that the laws of physics (and the laws of thermodynamics, morality, etc.) “just are” and that conscious and intelligent beings emerged as a result of random and unintelligent processes without any causal mechanisms?

      If a person takes time to critically examine the atheist faith, he or she will quickly realize that (contrary to the atheist pretense of being highly logical), atheism is full of “it just is” assumptions that are nothing more than exhortations to cease rational inquiry. Don’t ask where the universe came from, “it just is.” Don’t ask where the laws of physics or the laws of thermodynamics, etc. came from, they “just are.” Don’t ask where life came from, “it just is.” (Or perhaps life on earth came from aliens from outer space…as prominent atheist biologists such as Richard Dawkins, the author of The God Delusion, and Francis Crick, who was famous for being the co-discoverer of the DNA double-helix, suggested). Click here to see Dawkins endorsing the idea in an interview. Click here to read about Crick’s endorsement of the idea.

      Theists do not in any way encourage scientists to say, “This problem is very hard, I give up, God did it.” This is because theists (and most other people) know that science is limited to the observation of phenomena within the physical and natural universe. Why it is that there exists a physical and natural universe in the first place is not a scientific question. Rather, it is a meta-scientific question (or metaphysical question). In other words, study of phenomena within the physical and natural universe is a fundamentally different field of endeavor than examining why it is that there even exists a physical and natural universe in the first place.

      5) The 2nd law of thermodynamics may not have applied at some point in time? But if the universe is oscillating through phases of expansion and contraction, as you suggest, then the 2nd law of thermodynamics must continuously apply, and then not apply, and then apply again (like a light switch going on and off). Is that what you are suggesting? If that is what you are suggesting, then what is the causal mechanism that allows for this cycling on and off of a law of thermodynamics? Random chance? Another “it just is” statement?

      6) Yes, you could say that about anything. What can you prove to me 100% conclusively that does not require any leap of faith whatsoever? I challenged you to prove to us that the sun will rise tomorrow morning, but you haven’t even tried? Go ahead.

      Gravity is consistently observed everywhere? OK, but I am going to adopt your line of reasoning about the 2nd law of thermodynamics and apply it to gravity: Maybe there are times or places where gravity does not apply. Prove to me 100% conclusively that this is not the case.

      7) Probability is just that? You haven’t responded to my point that bare probabilities are causally inert. Rather, you have ignored it.

      The bare probability that, say, the oceans will instantly turn into maple syrup tomorrow is meaningless. For the bare probability of this event occurring to result in the event actually occurring, there has to be a causal mechanism. Even one chance in two is not enough….without a causal mechanism.

      As I said in my previous example, if a person could hypothetically live forever, that person would still have exactly zero chance of winning the lottery unless that person actually played the lottery. The causal mechanism of going to the store to buy lottery tickets on a regular basis is necessary for the bare probability of a lottery win to result in an actual lottery win.

  30. Jason says:

    I would also like to point out that it does bring me a sense of pleasure to ruffle a few feathers. Many Christians interrupt my Sunday football by knocking on my door to ask me if I’ve been saved. I don’t want to be saved, as I sincerely like the fact that when I die I will not be coming back. It makes me appreciate the life I have now, instead of wasting it like most people do, clinging to the hope they can live in a paradise that isn’t there.

  31. Al says:

    Jason you should read back to yourself your points.
    Hopefully – if for a moment – you can be objective… something will jump out at you.

    I’m not going to debate you Jason.

    I know what I had!
    &
    I know what I have now!

    I once also was religious (I too was a RC)
    A finally surrendered to Jesus years back … and now I have a relationship.

    I have Forgiveness, Salvation, Purpose, Hope, Truth, & God’s Eternal LOVE. Righteous living in eternal joyful and peace with Jesus in Heaven. He really is the truth, the way & the life. Absolutely!

    What do you have Jason? Apart from an unquenchable thirst for corporeal pleasures.
    You will always thirst. You will never be satisfied.. this worldly thirst will increase and mutate until you won’t even know yourself.

    Look at you own life (as you touched on) … the change that has happened in your life. … who you were once and who you are now. But still … all because you had FAITH… faith in something else apart from God… in yourself …a scientist who writes volumes of books with theories that will never be provable. Do you ask yourself why you align yourself with these theories? What part of your being does this belief serve? Jason think! Whose book do you want to have faith in… Man’s or God’s? Jason I will pray for you. I truly will.

    Before I go; and so that you don’t just assume that I had some stroll in the park kind of life; just know that I was physically & brutally abused by my father until I was old enough to fight back.
    I was ALWAYS (until they passed on) physiologically abused by my Father and to a lesser degree by my overprotective mother. I was also sexually abused as a child. When I got older I quickly ran to alcohol, drugs and then SEX – Sex was a free drug that you could produce yourself. It evolved from dirty magazines, to Porn, to casual sex, to Adultery… to full blow orgies. Also… The occult, gangs, you name it! I was a bassist in a Heavy Metal band and I saw violence you wouldn’t believe – I was always there in the midst of this garbage yet something always kept me from going-over the edge – that proverbial point of no return.

    Jason trust in JESUS… not religion or science.
    H e is striving in you still.
    Open the door to HIM.

    I will pray for you… I hope you will reconsider your direction.

    May God be gracious to you as he was with me.

    Al

  32. Jason says:

    It seems that religion has helped shape your life for the better, which is good. I’m glad you’re not doing the things now that you once were and I’m truly sorry for your life when you were growing up as these horrors are you speak of are the same I had mentioned in an earlier post.

    While I may be missing out on some of the direction and comfort you enjoy by having a relationship with Jesus/God I cannot bring myself to do so unless I fully believed in it. Many of the questions I had when I had doubts came back with the same answers, faith, trust, God. I found all of these answers, incomplete. At that point, the only people that attempted to answer all of these questions in an unbiased, uncaring, and truthful way was science, and if they hadn’t they were working on the problem (such as how the universe came into existence).

    Once I also got used to being an Atheist, not believing in God was a good thing. Instead of being sad about being alone, it was good to know I was fully in control of my life, to live as I saw fit and to finally have autonomy, true freedom. Instead of waiting for hell or paradise for those that do good or bad on earth, I realized it is up to all humans to change the world for the better. Instead of feeling ashamed because I want to do something my church finds immoral (i.e. have premarital sex), I now have the freedom to express these normal human desires.

    I’m happy it has changed your life for the better though. And since it has maybe believing in God/Jesus Christ is a good thing for some.

    • Al says:

      “you gotta serve somebody; it may be the devil or it may be The LORD… but you gotta serve somebody” American cultural icon Bob Dylan

      Jason,

      I see that you’re a smart guy; and it sounds like you’ve been through a lot yourself.

      But Jason believing that everything came from nothing and it all just happened by accident takes MORE FAITH than it does to believe that a loving God created all things. …Yes a loving God! You just don’t know him yet. You know Religion only!

      Remember that LOVE is TRUTH, JUSTICE, MERCY, JOY, PEACE, SELFLESS, ENDURING, PATIENCE, etc

      Jason you had religion in your life – SO DID I– it was baloney and not what God wants. These institutions are shaped by men; filled with rules & regulations many unscriptural and their chambers echo with insincere, incessant and repetitious prayer.
      Especially the neo-Pharisees aka the RCC I was RCC for over 30 years I should know. What a burden this institution was to me. It kept me from knowing Jesus – who ALONE saves!

      Jason I beg you to ask God to open your eyes… buy a KJV of the Bible as well as a New Century Version. Read the NCV and when you need to compare passages refer to the KJV. Also… Don’t go to any church.. until the Holy Spirit moves you to do so.

      When I go to Church now I go for fellowship and to praise God through song. Nothing more! I also go to a non-denominational Church. But that doesn’t mean you have to – you can still attend a denomination just be gracious to others and only go for the above mentioned.  Fellowship with others and to praise God in song.

      If you allow God into your life HE WILL COME IN and HE will answer all your questions in time as you grow in His word. If you do it sincerely! I KNOW THIS! .
      I know that in time you will surrender to Jesus and he will abide in you. You will desire to conform to him. You won’t need rules HE WILL BE YOUR EXAMPLE. HE WILL BE YOUR STRENGTH and He will always be with you.

      Jason this is what the LORD says…

      Romans 1:20
      NCV There are things about him that people cannot see — his eternal power and all the things that make him God. But since the beginning of the world those things have been easy to understand by what God has made. So people have no excuse for the bad things they do.

      KJV For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen , being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse.

  33. Mike D says:

    Crikey, it seems very complicated trying to figure out which god is right, which version of the bible to read and in what circumstances. But finally I got it, and it seems apposite to let everyone know under the heading “What it all boils down to.” Or should that be, what it all boils down with… Finally friends, I have found my religion, my creator, my god, my rules to live by, and I am complete. I have become a Pastafarian, I worship the Flying Spaghetti Monster and I find his teachings to be no less credible than any others, and his doctrines and commandments (or, more accurately, his 8 “I’d really rather you didn’ts”) much more convenient, logical and meaningful to live by. I urge you to rise up, my friends, and worship his noodly goodness, for only then will you be free – Ramen.

    • syoungren says:

      OK, you’ve got the mockery part down pat, and you’ve obviously been reading Richard Dawkins (hence the “Flying Spaghetti Monster”)…now how about a logical argument supporting your atheist views. When you use mockery to substitute for a logical argument, it is obvious to virtually everyone that you don’t have a logical argument.

      Further, I’d like to use this opportunity to point out that atheists love to scrutinize theism, but they seem unable to apply any scrutiny whatsoever to their own views. A conscious and intelligent source for such things as the universe and for life is deemed as absurd as a “flying spaghetti monster” by atheists. But when you ask an atheist where the universe came from (or the multiverse, or oscillating universe, etc…), you get an answer that is far more absurd than a “flying spaghetti monster.” Atheistic explanations for the universe all fall back on some sort of “it just is” argument. This is despite two clear facts:

      1) The universe clearly had a beginning…as I demonstrate in my post entitled “Isn’t the universe eternal?” (located in the snippets section) and as is virtually unanimously accepted among cosmologists.

      2) Everything with a beginning requires a cause (as according to the law of causation, without which science would be impossible).

      So the atheistic belief in an uncaused, “just is” universe is even more preposterous than a “flying spaghetti monster.” Atheist physicist Stephen Hawking tries to get around this by arguing that the universe “emerged naturally through natural law.” OK, fine….where did the laws come from if there is no lawgiver? All that Hawking has done is kick the can down the road so as to avoid having to answer a question that is inconvenient to the atheist ideology.

      Further, one must ask: What is so preposterous about a conscious and intelligent source for the universe when we know for a fact that conscious and intelligent creatures exist (us)? How can the view that consciousness and intelligence emerged through random material processes be deemed anything other than preposterous when materialism has been clearly demonstrated to be false by modern physics? I have yet to hear an atheist provide a coherent answer to this question. Atheists therefore must resort to mockery to fill in the void created by their lack of logical, coherent argument.

      Ask an atheist where life came from, and you get answers more absurd still. Atheist biologists Richard Dawkins, Francis Crick and others endorse the view that life was brought to earth by aliens from outer space (as I detail in my post entitled “If the evidence for God is so strong, why are so many smart people unconvinced?”) If this is the best that the atheist cream-of-the-crop can come up with, and if the vast majority of people throughout history have shared a belief in God, who has the ridiculous views?

  34. Steve R says:

    After wrestling with all this for years I have decided to take Pascals Wager and behave as if I believe in God because I have no other rational explanation and nothing to lose. I do lean towards this side of the argument although my calling is nowhere near as strong as some who post on here. It is my hope that if I try to behave like I believe then at some point things will become clearer.

    But this seems to be a tendancy with many people as they get older. A nagging feeling that one needs to atone for their wrongdoings and a fear of oblivion often drives us into the folds of some religion or another. Why did Blair become a Catholic? Nothing to do with being able to be absolved then?

    • syoungren says:

      Steve,

      Since you seem to have some lingering doubt, let me strongly recommend some books for you to read:

      1) The Wonder of the World by Roy Abraham Varghese, The Christ Connection and There Is Life After Death, also by Varghese. The longtime “frontman” for atheism, Oxford University philosopher Antony Flew, listed The Wonder of the World as one of the two books that most influenced him to change his mind and endorse theism. Flew was the atheist philosopher who wrote Theology and Falsification, which has been the most reprinted philosophical tract of the last half-century.

      2) The Hidden Face of God by former MIT physicist Gerald Schroeder (as well as Schroeder’s other books such as The Science of God). The Hidden Face of God was the second book that Flew mentioned as most strongly influencing him to accept the existence of God.

      3) Who Moved the Stone? by British journalist Frank Morison. When Morison set out to write this book, his purpose was to prove that the story of Christ’s resurrection was false. As a result of his historical research, however, he came to the opposite conclusion.

  35. Steve R says:

    Scott

    Thanks for your kind reply.

    I don’t think it is doubt that I have, moreover I often find myself confused by the plethora of argument out there, You have neatly boiled it down to a simple choice of whether one believes in a beginning as in the big bang or infinity and pure chance.

    The big bang is the theory ticking most of the boxes at the moment. But where I have a problem is in the fact that Aristotles theories ticked boxes for 2000 years until Newton and when his theory started to look dodgy along comes Einstein to set us all straight. Now we have quantum mechanics and concepts of dark matter. Who is to say that the big bang theory won’t be turned on it’s head at some point.

    I’m not sure the answers are found from looking backwards anyway. And does God want us to know the answers?

    Would it not be a more reasonable explanation to say the answers will never be found from studying the universe be it the big one or the quantum one. Every solution will yield one more question.

    Surely the simple logic is that if we had certainty regarding God and Heaven, why would we spend one minute longer here?

    If I knew that paradise and total peace awaited me, why would I want to be dragging myself out of bed at 6 every morning to go to work or suffer a tootheache or watch my mother die or experience a thousand things that I’d rather not. Why would I not short-circuit the system and jump of a cliff (maybe lemmings are more enlightened than us)?

    No, if God has a plan for us, the absolute last thing He would want to do is to let on what it was before it was fulfilled. That would allow us to choose whether we wished to carry out the plan or just foerget it and head on into Heaven.

    We can never be certain. Faith is the perpetuum for life. Life doesn’t happen without Faith. Why have Life? Well only God knows the answer to that.

    I don’t know about you but I gain more Faith from reading about near death experiences NDE’s than I do crunching over the big bang vs. infinity arguments.

    Perhaps looking forward is better than looking back.

    Steve

    • syoungren says:

      Yes, you are correct to assert that the Big Bang is a scientific model that is subject to revision just like all other scientific models. But is not an accurate characterization to say that belief in God in some way rests on the Big Bang theory or that it is a neat and simple choice between the Big Bang or pure chance.

      The fact that the universe clearly had a beginning indicates that it clearly had a cause. This is the law of causation, without which science would be impossible. Nevertheless, many atheists continue to believe in an eternally existing universe because this is the only way to assert that the universe “just is” and doesn’t need a cause. (Please view my post entitled “Isn’t the universe eternal?” in the snippets section). This is just one way in which one can clearly see that atheists must make much bigger leaps-of-faith than theists. The simple fact is that the past eternal universe (upon which atheism relies) has no more chance of coming back than the flat-earth theory….regardless of what scientific developments the future may bring.

      Remember that heaven is not a guarantee. Life is an opportunity that God has given us to be redeemed from evil and to learn to love (and therefore to be in relationship with Him, because God is love). Not everyone succeeds in this task. Please view the NDE videos at the bottom of my essay entitled “Has anyone met God and returned to tell about it?” The one about the former atheist college professor is one of my favorites.

  36. emily says:

    I no that God is real but i dont know why He will not answer my prayers….i trust in Him and every thing but He NEVER aswers my questions or prayers why….

    • syoungren says:

      Emily:

      One author wrote, “Delays can actually be part of God’s purpose; seemingly unanswered prayer can be as much a part of God’s will as answered prayer.”

      You see, God often knows what is good for us better than we do. God often uses hardship, for example, to mold us and teach us spiritual lessons.

  37. joe says:

    I thoroughly enjoyed reading your post syoungren. Keep up the good work. Your logic is to the point and your points a valid. I like everyone seek for truth and I am glad that there are some people who do not blindly follow one way or the other but are willing to put in the research. you should do a talk show or something.

  38. Darwin says:

    Hey, I’m 16 and for the past 3 years, I’ve been reading a whole bunch of material which may be right or wrong, idk. I’ve been struggling trying to find out the existence of god and so before I begin to write down my questions, I just want to know if there is anyone here who can answer them.

    • syoungren says:

      Go ahead and ask me them.

      • Darwin says:

        okay, here are my questions, who was jesus? is it true that everything from the bible came from old texts within africa thousands of years ago before christ? I read this book called “The Secret” and it discusses the Law of attraction and the author was going into details about how the world came into creation through thought and how many years ago, leaders decided to create “God” as a way to control people, also I’ve read somewhere that we use god as a way to make ourselves feel better for the fear of death and how its just our minds that are creating these weird delusions to trick us. Now, I know I’m still young but I’ve been questioning alot of things lately, I guess it came to me because I had a conversation with this man who was agnostic, and he literally broke down the bible in front me talking about how god just punishes people and how majority of whats written in it is about him punishing his people. I felt like collapsing because t I didnt know what was true anymore, sometimes I’m barely able to sleep at night because i’m constantly reading trying to find out if jesus was god or is there a god at all. also, was there an adam and eve? and i saw somewhere that people are hiding pieces of eden or something and using it to control people. idk if I’m being decieved, I just want to know whats the truth. also, in regards to Noahs ark, i found it puzzling as to how he was able to get “all” of the species of insects, bugs and animals. please clear this up for me, I would really appreciate it.

        • Darwin says:

          one more thing, I’ve watched some speeches from dr yosef ben jochannan and richard dawkins but i do find it abit hard to fully comprehend what they are saying.

          • syoungren says:

            If you are worried that Richard Dawkins has a good argument against God, then ask yourself this: When asked how life on earth originated, why does he respond by suggesting that it was brought here by aliens? Click on this video link to see what I mean. If life was brought here by aliens, then where did the aliens come from? Dawkins doesn’t give an answer to this. He just suggests that it was “some sort of Darwinian process” even though Darwinian processes only apply to living things.

        • syoungren says:

          Jesus is the son of God. He came to offer himself as a sacrifice for the sins of mankind so as to repair our damaged relationship with God. Click on this link to explore more. I must strongly recommend a few books. Who Moved the Stone? was written by British journalist Frank Morison. When Morison set out to write the book, his intent was to demonstrate that the resurrection story of Jesus was false. In the process of researching for the book, however, he came to the opposite conclusion.

          The Case for Christ by Lee Strobel is a similar book in that it was written by a journalist who set out to determine if the stories in the bible about Jesus had any basis in fact. When Strobel set out to research the topic, he was a hard-core atheist. But when he concluded his research, he was a believer in the divinity of Jesus.

          A Case for the Divinity of Jesus was written by Dean Overman, who was a Templeton Scholar at Oxford University (and brilliant). You may want to wait to read this book until you get older as it is more scholarly.

          Regarding Adam, I recommend that you read this article written by Massachusetts Institute of Technology physicist and biblical scholar Gerald Schroeder. Below is the except that regards Adam:

          Adam was the first human, the first Homo sapiens with the soul of a human, the neshama. That is the creation listed in Genesis 1:27. Adam was not the first Homo sapiens. Maimonides in The Guide for the Perplexed (part 1 chapter 7) described animals co-existing with Adam that were identical to humans in shape and intelligence, but because they lacked the neshama, they were animals. The Guide for the Perplexed was published in the year 1190, seven centuries before Darwin and long before any evidence was popular relative to fossils of cave men and women. So from where did these ancients get the knowledge of the pre-Adam hominids? They learned it, correctly we discover, from the subtle wording of the biblical text. Those animals in human shape and intelligence would be the “adam” listed in Genesis 1:26, when God says “Let us make Adam.” But in the next verse God creates “the Adam,” the Adam, a specific being [a nuance in the Hebrew text first pointed out to me by Peggy Ketz and totally missed in the English translations!]. The Mishna in the section, Keli’im, discusses “masters of the field” that were animals but so identical to humans that when they died one could not tell them apart from a dead human. Masters of the field implies farming – a skill that predates the Adam by at least 2000 years according to pollen studies in the border area between Israel and Syria. Nahmanides (year 1250; the major kabalistic commentator on the Torah), in his long discussion of Genesis 2:7, details the flow of life that led to the Adam, the first human. He closes his comments there with the statement that when this spirituality was infused into the living being, that being changed to “another kind of man.” Not changed to man but another kind of man, a homo sapiens / hominid became spiritually human. The error in the term “cavemen” is in the “men.” They were not men or women. Though they had human shape and intelligence, they lacked the neshama, the human spirit infused by God. Cave men or women were never a theological problem for the ancient commentators. And they did not need a museum exhibit to tell them so. It is science that has once again come to confirm the age-old wisdom of the Torah! (For a detailed discussion of the ancient sources cited here, see the two relevant chapters in my second book, The Science of God.)

          So, to summarize, Adam was not the first member of the homo sapiens species (our species). Rather, he was the first member of the homo sapiens species infused with the human spirit (soul).

          Regarding Noah’s Ark, please view this article. It discusses your questions.

          Please note that some Christians believe that not all biblical stories were intended to be descriptions of literal historical events. Rather, some Christians believe that some of the biblical stories were intended as metaphors to communicate spiritual truths.

  39. Darwin says:

    I watched the video and I understand, thankyou for that but can you also answer my other questions?

  40. Darwin says:

    hey one more thing, what about the image of jesus thats been giving to us? i’ve been looking into some things and found out that the image of christ isnt christ but of Cesar Borgia. why is a man who isnt christ being shown as christ?

    • syoungren says:

      I don’t know who told you that. As far as I can tell, the commonly recirculated images of Jesus come from the Shroud of Turin. Click here to see what I mean.

      • Darwin says:

        its not him, listen to this, “The original King James Bible of 1611 had the Apocrypha in it, but in 1928 under the Vatican, they made an agreement to take 14 books out of the King James holy bible. Why you might ask, well because thousands of years before they put this image up to be Christ(the image of cesare borgia), they found out that it was written of in the Wisdom of Solomon located in the Apocrypha, that they would do this and the reason for it. So knowing this was written of in the Wisdom of Solomon, the Roman Catholic Church took it out of the bible so the people wouldn’t figure out their deception. It is a noted fact that when they did this, they knew exactly what Christ people really looked like, they knew Christ and his people were not Europeans, but instead were actually Hebrews, who were dark brown people. So let’s findout in the bible first what Satan was going to do, and then will find out what exactly was written in the Wisdom of Solomon that the Apocrypha had to be taken out and credited as unscriptual and not divinely inspired, by the Catholic Church.”

  41. Darwin says:

    also, Scott, i need your thoughts on this. I’ve been reading that Jews created Christianity. I’ve read this within “The White Mans Bible” by Ben Klassen and I gotta say, its pretty scary. I reccommend you read this. I’ve taken an excerpt of it:

    lexandria, Egypt, Center of Learning. Alexander the Great
    I
    ary

    ly
    lso Hotbed of Christian Subversion. By the time of Julius
    ce.
    n of

    an.
    ypatia. During the fourth century A.D. there lived in Alexandria
    e
    eautiful, Intellectual, Athletic. Hypatia was born in the year 355
    the time she was 20 she could walk 10 miles without fatigue, could
    A
    died at the early age, of 33. Before his death in 323 B.C. he
    founded the illustrious city of Alexandria in Egypt. Ptolemy
    (Ptolemy Soter), Pharaoh of Egypt, started a Museum and Libr
    in Alexandria about a generation later. This library grew and
    eventually comprised of 400,000 volumes. In the continuing
    intellectual growth an additional Library was established in an
    adjacent quarter of the city in the Temple at Serapis. It eventual
    comprised of another 300,000 volumes. During the next several
    centuries Alexandria was not only the capital of Egypt, but the
    intellectual capital of the world.

    A
    Caesar in the first century B.C. Egypt became a Roman provin
    When Constantine became emperor in 313 A.D. he decreed
    Christianity the official religion of the Empire to the exclusio
    all others. By this time Alexandria had become a hotbed of
    Christian subversion, and Constantine’s edict encouraged the
    Christians to attack the intellectuals, whom they termed as pag

    H
    a lovely intellectual woman by the name of Hypatia, the daughter
    of Theon. She grew up in an ideal intellectual climate, since her
    father Theon was a teacher, a mathematician and a philosopher. H
    taught her astronomy, astrology, mathematics and rhetoric.

    B
    A.D. She grew up to be a tall, slim, beautiful woman. Not only was
    she highly gifted intellectually, but she was unusually athletic. By
    472
    swim, row, ride horseback and climb mountains. She had bodily
    grace, beauty of face, and above all an abundance of intelligence.

    Exposed Superstitions. By the time she began giving lectures of
    h
    fables, myths as myths, and miracles as poetic fancies. To teach
    superstitions as truths is a most terrible thing. The child-mind
    accepts and believes them, and only after great pain and perhaps
    tragedy can he be in after-years relieved of them. In fact, men w
    fight for a superstition quite as quickly as for a living truth — ofte
    more so, since a superstition is so intangible you cannot get at it to
    refute it, but truth is a point of view, and so is changeable.”

    Supported by Prefect. Orestes, who was the prefect of the c
    a
    by fettering the mind through fear of punishment in another world
    is just as base as to use force,” Orestea applauded her. News of this
    event was carried to Cyril, the then Bishop of Alexandria. He was
    infuriated and declared he would excommunicate Orestes.

    Bishop Opposed Her. But neither Cyril nor Orestea could u
    e
    Rome. The quarrel grew more acrimonious, with Bishop Cyril
    venting his pathological hatred more and more against Hypatia.

    Viciously Attacked by Christian Mob. In March of 415 A.D.,
    se
    was 60 years old, she left the lecture hall one night to enter a
    carriage and go home. She was viciously attacked by the Nitrian
    Monks leading a fanatical, hate filled Christian mob. After firs
    stripping her naked, she was barbarously murdered. She was then
    dragged through the streets by the mob, her flesh cut from her
    bones and finally burned piecemeal.

    Promoting Truth and Culture Her O
    to
    er own she was saying such things as: “Fables should be taught as
    ill
    n
    ity,
    ttended her lectures. When in one lecture Hypatia stated: “To rule

    nseat
    ach other, since both derived their power from the Emperor in

    veral years after Bishop Cyril had come to power, when Hypatia
    t

    nly Crime. Her crime? She
    ld the truth about the Christians’ unreasoned and superstitious
    473
    lies, she promoted learning and culture, and thereby undermined
    the power of the tyrannical Jewish-Christian power structure.

    * * * * *

    No Evidence Whatsoever. W amine what substantiated
    vidence there exists for the basic claims of Christianity, such
    e
    al
    at is the basis of all the Christian hocus-pocus is contained in the
    e

    at
    irst few
    enturies grew into the Roman Catholic Church, guaranteed its
    ves
    st
    hen we ex
    e
    claims as life in the “hereafter,” the existence of hell, the existenc
    of heaven, the existence of spooks in the sky, and even the actu
    historical existence of that central figure of Jesus Christ himself,
    we find there is no evidence whatsoever. We repeat — none
    whatsoever that has the slightest basis in fact or genuine history.

    Authors Unknown. The sum total of all the so-called “evidence”
    th
    so-called “gospels” — Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. Who wrot
    these garbled, self-contradictory concoctions nobody really knows,
    and it doesn’t much matter. Certainly there is nothing known about
    these characters except they are “credited” with writing the
    “gospels,” but what research can be done on this jumbled mess
    indicates that a number of unknowns had a hand in putting it
    together from some earlier myths. It is, however, extremely
    doubtful that there ever was a Matthew, Mark, Luke or John th
    had anything to do with writing the so called “gospels.”

    Authenticated Itself. The Christian church, which in the f
    c
    own “authenticity” and its own charter by a process of what is
    called arguing in a circle. It claims its principal authority from the
    gospels, based on Matthew 16:18 in which Jesus purportedly gi
    the church its charter: “And I say also unto thee, that thou art Peter,
    and upon this rock I will build my church: and the gates of hell
    shall not prevail against it.” The Roman Catholic church claims it
    is the church referred to, and has its credentials from Jesus Chri
    himself.
    474

    Round an
    “g
    the authenticity and authority of the Roman Catholic church? Why,
    the gospels do. A perfect example of bad logic known as “arguing
    in a circle.” You have heard kids do it all the time. All it takes is a
    massive dose of propaganda dumped on gullible yokels to make it
    stick. It is the same as two con men working in collusion to be
    each other’s chief character witnesses.

    Federal Reserve used same Con Gam
    to
    international Jewish bankers. They print up billions of worthless
    counterfeit Federal Reserve Notes, known as dollars. They are
    backed by anything. Who guarantees the counterfeit notes? Why
    the Federal Government does. Who elects, controls, owns and
    manipulates the Federal government? Why, the international
    Jewish bankers do. Just as the average White yokel accepts the
    counterfeit dollars on faith, so also does he accept the Christia
    “spooks in the sky” story on faith. At this point it is well to
    remember our definition of faith: foolishly accepting as true a
    concept or an idea without bothering to check for valid evid

    * * * * *
    d Around. So who guarantees the authenticity of the
    ospels? Why, the Roman Catholic church does. Who guarantees
    e. The principle is similar
    one used by the Federal Reserve, a private organization of
    not
    n
    ence.

    Capitalize on Superstition and Gullibility. The Christian
    hurches strongly discourage anyone from seeking legitimate
    ic,

    inds

    c
    evidence. For that matter, they also vigorously condemn log
    reason, or the idea of thinking for yourself. They put a high
    premium on faith, i.e., child-like gullibility. They do not like to
    have you asking questions. They want gullible fools whose m
    can be programmed to believe whatever they are told to believe.
    Otherwise, they make it plain, hell fire and damnation will be your
    dire penalty. Either you believe the spooks in the sky story as they
    tell it, or you fry in the hereafter. It is a powerful club and it has
    475
    worked wonders on the gullible and superstitious for centuries. As
    we have pointed out earlier, the combination of gullibility and
    superstition has wreaked havoc on the White Race, and the Jewish
    mind manipulators have exploited those two human weaknesses
    the most — to our detriment and to their benefit.

    * * * * *
    to

    Where did Christianity come a Jewish religious fanatic
    und it as the New Testament describes?
    ast question is a flat no.
    sus Christ did not invent or found Christianity. All evidence that
    ut of
    they
    s of
    to
    ne
    . At this time the Christian movement,
    lthough purportedly nearly 300 years old, still did not have a
    ers
    a
    from? Did
    fo

    Christ Never Existed. Our answer, to the l
    Je
    can be gleaned from a scholarly examination of authentic history
    points to an obvious conclusion: there never was any Jesus
    Christ roaming about in 30 A.D. or thereabouts teaching a new
    religion. (We have gone into more detail about this subject in
    NATURE’S ETERNAL RELIGION.) The whole story was
    invented and concocted much later. It was patched together o
    fables, myths, bits and pieces of other religions, until finally
    had a movement going that pulled in the Roman Emperor
    Constantine. It was this Roman Emperor, who had the mind of a
    criminal, (he murdered his own wife and son, and thousand
    others) who in the year 313 A.D. really put Christianity into
    business. The Romans, who had always been extremely tolerant
    all religions, were now told by an edict of Emperor Constanti
    that Christianity was now the supreme religion of the empire to the
    exclusion of all others.

    Still No Bible at 300 A.D
    a
    written text or “Bible.” Under the powerful and dictatorial
    direction of Emperor Constantine a convocation of church fath
    was called at Nicaea, a town in Asia Minor. At this meeting
    number of scripts and writings were dragged together and a heated
    476
    controversy ensued over a period of several months. Many wri
    were considered, discussed, argued over, and reviewed. Some were
    revised, some were rewritten, some were rejected. The final
    package that emerged from the Council of Nicaea was what was
    called the New Testament, a contradictory, demented
    conglomeration of far-out nonsense. To it was patched the Jewish
    “Old Testament.” The Christian movement now had a
    with Constantine as final arbiter. When the gathered bishops would
    or could not agree, he would threaten to bring in his army, whic
    was standing by outside, to enforce compliance.

    Ready to Crush All Opposition. Constantine exercis
    p
    enforcement to now promote Christianity and crush all opposition
    Christianity was now on its way.

    * * *
    tings

    “Bible,”

    h
    ed the full
    owers of his position, financially, militarily and in terms of legal
    .
    * *

    Jews Concocted Christianit id the ideas of Christianity
    ome from? As we have shown throughout this book, the Jews,
    h
    the
    ilitary
    ative
    ELIGION we
    ave already discussed the Essenes as being the precursors of
    y. Where d
    c
    who were scattered throughout the Roman Empire, have been
    Master Mind-manipulators of other peoples from the earliest
    beginnings of their history. They have always been at war wit
    the host peoples they have infested like a parasite. When during
    Jewish Wars of 68-70 A.D., Rome put down the Jewish rebellion
    in Judea and leveled Jerusalem to the ground, the Jews were
    thirsting for revenge. They were looking for a way to destroy
    Rome, the Roman race and its total empire. They had tried m
    opposition and failed miserably, being no match for the superl
    Romans. They looked for an alternative — mind-manipulation
    through religion — and they found the right creed in a relatively
    unimportant religious sect called the Essenes.

    The Essenes. Since in NATURE’S ETERNAL R
    h
    477
    Christianity, we will not repeat it here. Suffice it to say the
    teaching of the Essenes was the basic fabric on which Christian
    was built. It was a suicidal teaching. The Jews recognized it
    such, remodeled it slightly, then fed this suicidal poison to the
    Romans. How well they succeeded we have recorded elsewhere
    this book.

    Horrible C
    e
    horrible concept of hell as a powerful club on the minds of its
    victims, to frighten, to terrorize and to stampede its gullible vi
    into submission.

    ity
    as
    in
    oncept of Hell. In the succeeding chapters we want to
    xamine more closely how the Jews used Christianity and its
    ctims
    478
    CREATIVE CREDO No. 48

    Fear and Terror as Christianity’s Ultimate Weapon

    motions Activate, Paralyze. There are certain human emotions
    apitalize on Panic. In this chapter we want to focus on the
    hilt, have
    ears: Real and Imaginary. Fears can be real, or they can be
    nt

    ool to Enslave. Real fears are a helpful protective device that
    gle

    ost people’s fears are imaginary. Most fears are unreal and
    E
    that stir men into action. Among these are love, hate and anger.
    There are certain emotions that paralyze and incapacitate. The
    foremost among these are fear, panic and confusion.

    C
    phenomenon of fear and how the diabolical Jewish mind-
    manipulators have utilized this treacherous weapon to the
    capitalized on this human frailty and used it as a powerful weapon
    to intimidate, to paralyze, to whip their victims into line in order to
    enslave them.

    F
    imaginary. A real fear is one that is based on a real and immine
    threat of danger. For example, if a criminal who has broken into
    your house is holding a gun at your head threatening to kill you,
    your fear is based on reality. On the other hand, if you have a fear
    of a spook in the sky that no one has ever seen, heard, felt or smelt,
    then such fear in all likelihood is based on fantasy and is unreal.

    T
    Nature has built into most creatures as an aid in the eternal strug
    for survival. Unreal fears are a form of psychosomatic sickness and
    are detrimental to the physical and mental health of its victims.
    They do more than unnecessarily make such people sick. They
    warp their personalities, paralyze their activities, and make them
    easy prey in submitting to the will of even weaker and inferior
    enemies. In short, fear can be and is a perfect tool with which a
    weaker adversary can enslave a stronger.

    M
    unreasonable. The latter can be termed as phobias.
    479

    T
    which different people are afflicted — fear of heights;
    claustrophobia; fear of snakes; fear of failure; fear of su
    of rejection; fear of love; fear of disease (hypochondria); fear of
    going insane; fear of the future; and a thousand other fears, most
    which are in part, or wholly, imaginary.

    F
    phobias that has afflicted mankind through the tens of thousand
    years going back to the Stone Age is the fear of imaginary ghosts,
    fear of the Unseen. In his ignorant attempt to explain the
    Unknown, man inverted ghosts, spirits, demons and spook
    thousands. All of them were attributed with supernatural powers,
    and most of them were deemed as hostile and malevolent. They
    were insanely feared, catered to, and endless attempts were made
    to placate them. It is this phobia, this fear of spooks in the sky (and
    elsewhere) that is the basis of practically all of history’s endless
    religions.

    M
    phobias and superstitions stepped the wily Jew, to aggravate and
    amplify existing fears and to capitalize on them to the hilt. These
    master mind-manipulators of all time harnessed the full potential
    of all such inherent fears and exploited those fears and phobias of
    ot
    here are any number of unreal and unreasonable phobias with
    ccess; fear
    of
    ear of The Unknown. One of the oldest and most universal
    s of
    s by the

    aster Mind-Manipulators. Into this murky picture of fears,

  42. Darwin says:

    also, check this out, it was from “Natures Eternal Religion”

    In the previous material it has been fairly well proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that Christianity is a suicidal philosophy or
    teaching. If taken seriously enough by its followers it will destroy them, and if a whole race or nation takes it seriously enough
    and faithfully attempts to follow the teachings of the The Sermon on the Mount then that whole nation will destroy itself.
    The great Roman nation, the finest civilization produced by the White Race in classical times, in the first few centuries A.D., did
    take Christianity seriously, and it did destroy itself, never to rise again.
    Where did Christianity originate ? If we read the Jewish Bible, the Old Testament and the New testament, we will not get the
    correct answers. The fact is Christianity is,a and was, a Jewish creation, dreamed up, composed, and promoted by the
    hierarchy of the Jewish Race, undoubtedly, by the Elders of the Sanhedrin itself.
    It is, in fact, an unholy teaching designed to unhinge and derange the White Gentile intellect and to cause him to abandon his
    real responsibilities of doing that for which Nature created him. It is an unnatural and completely perverted attitude towards the
    natural surroundings with which Nature has provided us.
    Whereas the full impact of it completely destroyed the Roman Empire within less than two centuries after it became the
    adopted religion of Rome, it is today still an overriding influence hanging like a shadow over affairs and thinking of the White
    Race throughout the world. It is, therefore, important that we trace its origin, despite the fact that much evidence has been
    deliberately destroyed and many roadblocks have been p[laced in the way of objectively even considering the evidence that
    still survives.
    Anyone recapturing his senses and looking at that evidence will find hat its origin is much different from what our church fathers
    today would have us believe. However, let us take at face value what the church fathers and the “Holy” bible are teaching us
    today. The first page of the New Testament, Matthew 1, immediately makes it clear that Jesus was a Jew and it traces his
    genealogy all the way from Abraham through David through Joseph to Christ. At another place it gives the genealogy of Mary,
    and makes sure that we are fully aware that she, too, is a Jew.
    Here, immediately, the first major contradiction is revealed, glaringly revealed, that is, if Jesus was the Son of God how could
    he also be the son of Joseph ?
    Anyway, be that as it may, we now look at the disciples of Jesus and the apostles and we find that Matthew, who supposedly
    wrote the first book in the New Testament, was also called Levi, son of Altheus and was, as so many Jews are, a tax collector
    in Capernaum. We find that the Apostle Mark, who wrote the second book of the New Testament, was also called John Mark,
    he son of Mary, in whose home in Jerusalem the early Christians gathered and he was a cousin of Barnabas. We find, that
    above all, Mark was also a Jew. We now come to St. Luke, who was probably the only Gentile in the group of twelve.
    Historians regard him as a Gentile physician. However, he was under the complete dominance of Paul, who was a proselyte
    Jew, and Luke spent most of his life as a disciple traveling around in the company of Paul, the Jew.
    We now come to Apostle John whom we find is also a Jew, along with his brothers Peter and James.
    We now come to the Apostle Paul, who changed his name from the real name of Saul, born in tarsus, of Jewish parents, and a
    man who was reared strictly in the Jewish tradition of the Pharisees of his time. Of the 27 books of the New Testament, it was
    Paul who is credited with writing 14 of them and credited with writing well over half of the New Testament itself.
    And so it goes. Of the 12 disciples that Christ supposedly had, all of them Jews with the possible exception of Luke and as we
    noted he was completely under the influence of Paul. It is more than passing strange that, according to the New Testament
    itself, the writers, preachers, and apostles of this “New Teaching,” as well as the supposed founder himself, are all Jews with
    very little exception. It is more than passing strange also that the Jews themselves never accepted this highly suicidal teaching
    but were tremendously active in promoting and foisting it on the White Gentiles in general,and the great Roman nation in
    particular.
    We do not doubt that these Jewish characters were fanatically active in promoting the suicidal new teaching of Christianity, nor
    do we doubt that they had not only hundreds but thousands of Jewish helpers that were the “Hidden Hand” that promoted the
    spread of this teaching among the Romans and Gentiles in the Roman Empire. There is, however, serious doubt that such a
    character as Jesus Christ ever lived at all, and there is, however, overwhelming evidence to indicate he did not exist, but was
    figment of the Jewish of the Jewish imagination.
    The beginning of the Christian era found Rome near the height of her civilization. Her supremacy, in the then known world, was
    pretty much unchallenged and it was the beginning of a long period of peace. To be specific, Pax Romana (Roman Peace)
    lasted approximately 200 years beginning with the reign of Caesar Augustus. Rome was highly literate, there were many great
    writers, scholars, historians, sculptors and painters, not to mention other outstanding men of philosophy and learning.
    Yet it is highly strange that despite the great commotion and fanfare that supposedly heralded the birth of Christ and also his
    crucifixion (according to the bible), we find not a single historian nor a single writer of the era who found time to tale note of it in
    their writings. Outside of the fabricated biblical writings, no Roman historian, no Roman writer, and no Roman play-writer, has
    left the slightest hint that he had the faintest awareness that this supposedly greatest of all greats was in their very midst and
    preaching what is claimed the greatest of all the new gospels.
    Whereas Caesar left voluminous writings that are still extant today and can be studied by our high school boys and girls, Christ
    himself, who had supposedly the greatest message to deliver to posterity that the world has ever known, left not the slightest
    scrap of paper on which he had written a single word. This, in fact, the biblical literature itself confirms and mentions only that
    once he did write in the sand.
    Today we can still study Cicero;s great orations and writings. He has left over 800 letters behind that we can study to this day.
    We can study whole books of what Marcus Aurelius wrote, we can study what Aristotle wrote, what Plato wrote, and scores of
    others wrote that were contemporary with the first beginning of the Christian era, or preceded it. But strangely there is not a
    word that is in writing hat can be attributed to Jesus Christ himself.
    Furthermore, the Greeks and the Romans of that era, and even previously and afterwards, had developed the art of sculpturing
    to a fine state. We can find busts of Cicero, of Caesar, Of Marcus Aurelius and innumerable other Greek and Roman
    dignitaries and lesser lights, but nor one seemed to think it important enough to sculpture a likeness of Jesus Christ. And the
    reason undoubtedly is there was none to model at the time. There were undoubtedly numerous skilled artists and painters at
    that time, but again strangely enough none took the time or the interest to paint a likeness of this purportedly greatest of all
    teachers, who in fact was proclaimed the Son of God come to earth. But no painting was ever made of this man, who, we are
    told, gathered great multitudes around him and caused great consternation and fear even to King Herod of Judea himself.
    Now all of this is very, very strange, when, if, as the Bible claims, the birth of Jesus Christ was ushered in with great fanfare
    and great proclamations. Angels proclaimed his birth. An exceedingly bright star pointed to his place of birth. In Matt. 2:3, it
    says, “When Herod, the king, had heard of these things he was troubled and all Jerusalem with him.” We can hardly gather
    from this that no one was aware of the fact that the King of the Jews, the great Messiah, was born, for we are told in the
    preceding verse that the Wise Men came to King Herod himself saying, “Where is he that is born King of the Jews, for we have
    seen his star in the East and we are come to worship him.” Evidently the event was even lit up with a bright star from heaven.
    In any case, King Herod, we are told in Matt. 3, was so worried that he sent the Wise Men to Bethlehem to search diligently for
    the young child to bring it to him so he undoubtedly could have him put to death. As the story further unfolds we learn that
    Joseph heard of this and quietly slipped out in the night taking with him his wife, the young child and a donkey and departed for
    Egypt. When Herod found out that he had been tricked it says that he “was exceedingly wroth and sent forth and slew all
    children that were in Bethlehem, and in all the coasts thereof, from two years old and under.”
    Now this is a tremendously drastic act for a King to take, that is, to have murdered all the children in the land that were under
    two years of age. Again we can hardly say that the birth of Jesus was unheralded, unannounced and unobserved, according to
    the story in the bible. However, it is very, very strange that this act of Herod, as drastic and criminally harsh as it is, is nowhere
    else recorded in the histories or writings of any of the other numerous writers of the times. All we have is the claims of those
    people who wrote the New Testament. In fact, whoever wrote the New Testament invented so many claims that are
    inconsistent with the facts that they even made a rather glaring error by pulling King Herod into the story. History tells us that in
    the year 1 A.D. When Christ was supposedly born, Herod had already been dead for four years. He could hardly been
    disturbed or very wroth about the birth of anybody in the year 1 A.D.
    There is further great evidence that Matthew, Mark, Luke and John never wrote any of those chapters that are supposedly
    attributed to them. What historical evidence can be dug up reveals that they were written much later, not at the time that Jesus
    supposedly said all those things, but somewhere around 30 to 50 years later by a person or persons unknown. Furthermore,
    when we compare the first four books of the gospel with each other, which supposedly tell more or less the same story, we find
    that they contradict each other in so many details that one need only read them for himself to pick them out. I neither have the
    time, the space, not the inclination to go into all these contradictions. They are too numerous.
    I do not contend that it really makes a great deal of difference whether there ever was a Jewish character by the name of Jesus
    Christ that led to the creation of a new religion to be foisted on the White Race for their destruction. The point is that, in any
    case, it was the Jews collectively who created and promoted this new teaching upon the White Race and it did destroy the
    Roman civilization.
    Nevertheless, the evidence is overwhelming that these ideas long preceded the Christian era and it was not Christ who came
    out with them but a Jewish sect called the Essenes who lived on the border of the Dead Sea. It was they who had already
    evolved the ideas contained in the Sermon on the Mount but have been attributed to Christ. Not only had they evolved the
    same ideas as set forth in Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, but the wording, the phraseology and the sentences were the same
    and they preceded the supposed time of the Sermon on the Mount by anywhere from 50 to 150 years.
    The Essenes were a Jewish religious group living in approximately the first century B.C. And the first century A.D. We have
    important sources of their contemporary writings in the historian Josephus and also in the philosopher Philo. They are also
    mentioned by various other Roman and Greek writers of those times in which their religious teachings are revealed in
    considerable detail. However, in the last twenty years the thousands of Dead Sea Scrolls, many of which were written by the
    Essenes themselves, reveal a tremendous amount of insight into their religious teachings, and above all, reveal that they
    preceded and preempted the Sermon on the Mount word for word, so that the so-called “new” teachings of a figure supposedly
    appearing from heaven in the year 1 A.D. And preaching during the years 3- to 33 A.D. Were neither original nor were they
    new.
    Furthermore, we learn that the Essenes were notable for their communistic society, their extreme piety and purity and their
    practice of celibacy. They possessed all their worldly goods in common and looked upon private property as an evil which
    might divert them from sanctity. They engaged in agriculture and handicrafts, considering these occupations less sinful than
    others. They also practiced baptism, and this practice preceded the the Christian era by at least one hundred. So the Christian
    apostles can hardly be credited with having instituted the ritual of baptism, as is claimed.
    Why, the average reader might ask, haven’t we been told more about the Essenes if they were the original practitioners of
    Christianity? There are two good and overriding answers for that. The Christians on their part, although the early Christian
    fathers were well aware of the Essene teachings and writings, took every measure possible to destroy them and purge them
    from circulation. The reason being they did not want their presence known because it would undermine their dogma that Christ
    was the originator of the New teaching. It would make impossible the claim that this was a great new revelation sent forth by
    God himself amid the hosannas and singing of angels. The Jews, on the other hand, did not want to reveal the presence of the
    Essenes because they wish to completely hide any connection between the Jews and the new religious teaching that they
    were about to administer unto the Gentiles. They even went to great lengths to appear hostile to it.
    Before I go further into the highly illuminating and highly interesting Dead Sea Scrolls I want to make just one further point that
    is that the original manuscripts on which the New Testament supposedly based is always alluded to being translated from the
    “Original Greek.” Since the New Testament repeats over and over again and again that Paul spoke to his flock in Jewish and
    that Jesus spoke in Jewish and that the Apostles were Jewish, why, then, is it that the manuscripts were all in Greek?
    The historical facts add up to this : the Jewish hierarchy and undoubtedly the whole conspiracy was well coordinated and had
    many, many members and co-workers. It was not written at the time of Christ at all, but the movement was given great
    promotion by the combined efforts of the Jewish nation. As they organized and promoted their ideas further, these were
    reduced to writing considerably later than the years 30 to 33 A.D. When Christ supposedly came out with these startlingly and
    “new” revelations. The conclusions are that they were written by Jewish persons whose identity we shall never know and were
    written by collectively by many authors, were revised from time to time and not only in their original formation and formulation
    but have been revised time and time again throughout the centuries to become more effective and persuasive propaganda.
    However, we want to go further into the teachings of the Essenes and who they were and why their particular teachings were
    pounced upon by the Jews to be formulated into a well distilled poisonous brew and then fed to the Gentiles.
    The Dead Sea Scrolls, which are more numerous and much more revealing than the Jewish press of today has informed us tell
    us much about the teachings and the life of the Essenes. One of the important things that they tell us about the Essenes is that
    they vanished from the face of the earth after about two centuries of existance and the termination date being somewhere
    around the year 100 A.D. They were, needless to say, only a very small sect of the Jewish tribes and not a part of the Jewish
    conspiracy as such. Being outside of the mainstream of Jewish activity and thought, the Jews nevertheless observed from
    them that this kind of teaching could ruin and destroy a people. The Jews, looking for a way to destroy the Roman nation, who
    in the year 70 A.D. had destroyed and levelled Jerusalem to the ground, noted well what these teachings were and decided to
    perpetuate them on the Romans.
    Essenism was really a revolutionary new form of social order, an ideal cooperative commonwealth in miniature. Instead of the
    Messiah, the ideal of the Essenes was the “Teacher of Righteousness.” They established a new cooperative communitarian
    brotherhood and they were the first religious society to establish and observe the sacraments of baptism and the eucharistic
    meal. Most important of all they were the firs group to condemn and abolish the age old institution of human slavery.
    Furthermore, the “Teacher of Righteousness” as promulgated by the Essenes may not have been the first pacifist in history,
    but he was the first to implement his pacifist theories with an overall practical measure, which if generally adopted, would
    abolish war. This, of course, was a wonderful religion for the Jews to sell to the Romans, for if they convert the Romans into
    submissive pacifists they could certainly soon thereafter dominate them in full. And this they did.
    The Essenes lived in the area of Qumran near the Dead Sea and according to Philo, the Jewish Philosopher and writer
    contemporary of that age, “the Essene brotherhood would not allow the manufacture of any weapons or allow within their
    community any maker of arrows, spears, swords or any manufacture of engines of war, nor any man occupied with a military
    avocation, or even with peaceful practices which might easily be converted to mischief.” Not only does Philo tell us about the
    Essenes, but also Josephus and Pliny, both contemporary historians, tell us much about the Essenes.
    As mentioned before, much is emerging also from the study of the Dead Sea Scrolls. The overriding fact that emerges from the
    study of the writings of the historians of that time and the Dead Sea Scrolls is this tremendously significant fact : namely that
    the beliefs, teachings, and practices attributed to Jesus Christ,although not exactly identical in all respects with those of the
    Essene school, were nevertheless, closer to those of the Essenes than to those of the Bishops of the Ecumenical Council
    which determined the Nicene Creed of orthodox Christianity.
    So we can come to the obvious conclusion that the Christian beliefs and doctrines as supposedly enunciated by Christ in the
    Sermon on the Mount did not originate at all at that time but at least 100 years earlier from a Jewish sect called the Essenes
    living near the Dead Sea; that the Elders of Sanhedrin recognized this teaching as being deadly and suicidal; that they further
    took this doctrine and distilled and refined it into a working creed; the Jews then, with a great deal of energy and tremendous
    amounts of propaganda (in which they excel), promoted and distributed this poisonous doctrine among the Romans.
    Setting this creed down in writing ion what is now called the New Testament evolved over the next several centuries. It was
    written by persons unknown to us today but undoubtedly of Jewish origin. Furthermore, to give it a mystical and heavenly sent
    deification, they invented the person of Jesus Christ, and claimed that he was the Son of God. Then, having laid the ground
    work for this new church, they consolidated that power at a meeting in Nicene, where the creation of the new church was
    solidified, the creed formalized and given official sanctification.
    Thus, in short, was launched the new church and the new religion of “Jesus Christ” which was fabricated out of thin air. Not a
    single trace of the Jesus Christ personage can be found in authentic history. Nevertheless, this newly fabricated hoax of Jesus
    Christ, the Son of God this idea, with all its suicidal doctrines, was soon to pull down in ruins the great Roman Empire and the
    great White civilization that went with it.
    Never again did the White Race shake off the control if the Jews. Never again did the White Man regain control of his own
    thinking, of his own religion, his own finances, nor his own government. Unto this day the White Race has not regained control
    of its own destiny.
    It is the unalterable goal of our new religion, Creativity, and the Creativity Movement, to again have the White Man regain
    unconditional control of his own destiny and his own future.
    To do this we, first of all, have to straighten out the White Man’s thinking. That is what this book is all about.

    • syoungren says:

      Darwin:

      A legitimate historian would laugh at this stuff and label it garbage. This is just anti-semitic conspiracy theory stuff that tries to blame everything on Jewish people. Legitimate historians would never make such nonsense statements as:

      “Christianity is,a and was, a Jewish creation, dreamed up, composed, and promoted by the
      hierarchy of the Jewish Race, undoubtedly, by the Elders of the Sanhedrin itself.
      It is, in fact, an unholy teaching designed to unhinge and derange the White Gentile intellect and to cause him to abandon his
      real responsibilities of doing that for which Nature created him. It is an unnatural and completely perverted attitude towards the
      natural surroundings with which Nature has provided us”.

      You don’t really take this stuff seriously even for a minute, do you? It’s pretty much a joke.

    • syoungren says:

      Darwin:

      This is a bunch of garbage written by a white-supremecist nutcase. It is not worth your time, or mine to even read. Serious arguments need serious consideration, but this is something that truly needs to be dismissed offhand.

      For example, the stance that Jesus Christ never existed is not taken seriously by legitimate scholars (whether they be Christian or atheist or agnostic). Jesus’ existence is confirmed by the writings of several non-Chrisitan historians from Jesus’ era, such as Josephus, Tacitus, and Pliny the Younger. Click on this article to see what I mean.

      • Darwin says:

        Hey Scott, I’ve still been researching facts about the truth concerning the bible, jesus, and many other other religions and I feel that I have a reached a point where I can acknowledge the existence of god, but yet, I still find myself still lost. One recent site I’ve been on was telling me that “jesus” isnt the true name of god but is in fact “yahushua” or “iseus” or “Elohim” and that jesus comes from the greek god zeus and now i’m confused on whether or not christianity is somehow linked to judiasm. Another recent thing I’ve read was the significance of “amen”. If “Amen” was a pagan idol within egyptian mythology, then why is “amen” being said after christian prayers? Also, is the Torah the true biblical text? What’s the real truth concerning god and life itself?

        • Darwin:

          Please read my essay titled Isn’t Christianity A Myth? I discuss this topic. Please feel free to ask me any questions when you are done.

          Scott

          • Darwin says:

            Thanks Scott, I’ve carefully read the essay numerous times and I can honestly say that I understand what you are saying. I guess right now, its hard for me because there are times where I’m not sure what to believe and who is telling the truth now a days. I read plenty of articles each day and I hear new information being presented by various people but I’m just not sure whether or not their telling the truth. Usually, I just tend to end up being more lost than how I originally start. Like for instance, I read that the term “believe” is just a scam because in between its “LIE”. For some reason, even the little things get to me. I just want to know the truth so I can be free of this fear. Another question I have is which bible should I read. I see a whole lot of controversy over the KJV about how reliable or unreliable it is.I just want to know what should I do.

            • Darwin:

              I’ll tell you what: Let me know what atheist arguments are upsetting you and we will discuss them and examine them closely.

              Regarding beliefs being a scam, that is a strange atheist argument. Many atheists seem to believe that they don’t really believe anything that hasn’t been proven by science. But one of the main points of this essay is that atheists strongly believe something that has been completely discredited by modern physics (and by virtually all philosophers, by the way). I am of course referring to materialism.

              And about the reliability of the bible, please watch this video. Please also watch this video.

              Scott

          • nick says:

            Hey Darwin. The KJV is a standard English translation. It’s not a perfect translation, as there are various disputed interpretations of certain words and phrases. However, overall it is a pretty good translation of the older texts and is one of, if not the most widely used English translations of the BIble. Bible scholars will use different translations as well and it is a disputed subject as to which translation represents the original texts closest. When you translate writing and text, especially from ancient languages, sometimes words and context can be slightly altered or misinterpreted. The accepted Bibles in circulation are all honest attempts to translate the ancient Biblical manuscripts and may suffer from some literary errors, but in general are close translations of the original scriptures. The texts of the Old Testament are very well documented, with many surviving Hebrew manuscripts having existed for almost 2200 years, yet which match almost word for word the existing books in the first Testament of the Bible. (I have heard of some scrolls called the ‘Silver Scrolls’, which are supposedly 700 years older than the Dead Sea scrolls, but I have not researched these before and am not sure if they are accepted… but perhaps these might be even more interesting) If you are interested Darwin, search the net for ‘The Dead Sea Scrolls’. There are various websites about them and one or two good documentaries on youtube. Do a search for ‘The Dead Sea Scrolls’ or ‘The Shrine of The Book’ in Jerusalem.

  43. Darwin says:

    okay but what about the whole jews inventing christianity and over time, changes are made within the bible. and plus in the white mans bible, it relates to whats written within the king james bible. well I do know there are many versions but I’m using with what I have, idk which bible is the true bible. but for example, rape, slavey, war, all of that is written in the bible and says god approves of it. can you explain this to me?

    • nick says:

      Hey Darwin, I read your posts and I read that you’re interested in finding out about things.

      Asking questions and reading is a great thing and I think you’re doing very well to try and explore ideas. There are many views out there and you could spend years reading a plethora of different world viewpoints.

      You must be very careful in what and who you read sometimes, not all books are correct. Sometimes innacuracy is an inocent or benign thing, but when you begin to read racial accusations and obvious racist remarks, alarm bells should begin to ring. This author Ben Klassen, as Scott says, is an anti-semetic white supremecist. We live in an open society, so perhaps it is legitimate to print such ideas although I’m not even sure they are legal. You will find that he had a racist world view and his ultimate goal in life was to begin a racial holy war. This is the sort of thing that any member of society, be they theist, Christian, atheist or agnostic will have nothing but contempt for.

      You are doing a great thing in asking questions and trying to understand the world. In doing so you must explore many ideas as there are so many. There are so many books and ideas to be uncovered and you will come across some crasy ideas and some good ones. There’s nothing wrongg with having different ideas, but when you begin to read some of the things that Klassen has written, you are not reading so much historical investigation as much of what he says is racist propoganda and further seemed to be innacurate. I hope you continue to ask questions and explore other books, as it is the best way to learn, but I don’t think that Klassen is a good place to look.

  44. I don’t even understand how I finished up here, but I thought this put up was good. I do not understand who you are, however certainly you’re going to a well-known blogger for those who are not already. Cheers!

  45. Darwin says:

    Hey Scott, i have a question. Have you taken into consideration the teachings of the muslim religion and their interpretations of Jesus? Do they have anything factual? To be honest, I’m not sure about a lot of things and I still question religion a bit and I stumbled on a video with a spoken word muslim poet who made a response to a video from another poet video entitled “why I hate religion, but love jesus” and, I found his arguments confusing. I do have faith in god but constantly i feel like it keeps coming into question with everything I run into on a daily basis. I just hope that you can clear some of these things up for me, I’d really appreciate it.

  46. halim says:

    i’am not christian (forgive me if that is some sort of sin to you) i am in fact a muslim – (please dont make generalisations since not everyone is the same and thats a fact) – but can sometimes be very agonostic when comes to religion – personally all religions are very confusing (even my own faith islam) since they all claim to be true yet in reality they can’t all be true becuase of the diverse and contradictory bieliefs held. Your site is amazing , you deserve recognition for this great source of knowledge you provide, becuase of this you kind of enlightened me and humbled me. many compliments from me a muslim …in general thanx ;)

  47. Darwin says:

    Thanks Scott, and thankyou too Nick. You know, after a lot of thinking, I think i’ve finally realized it. I’ve payed to much attention to what people are telling me instead of really trying to reach out to God. I’ve just been taking in information without testing its reliability. So, my mission for right now is to just study the bible and see what God himself is telling me. Scott and Nick, I appreciate your replies to a struggling soul and so after I finish, I will come back and ask if you can clarify what I may have confusion about.

    • Darwin:

      I think you have hit the nail on the head. Please come back and ask any questions you may have. I really do enjoy discussing this stuff with people.

      It makes me very very glad to hear you say this!

      Scott

  48. L A says:

    Hello, Scott. I am a christian, because I do believe in the information you have presented on this website. I have some questions about morality in the Bible: It seems as if God wanted to keep us ignorant, and once Eve ate the whole apple, human’s were able to think. Why wouldn’t God want humans to think, as I know you have done a lot of thinking to put together this website.

    • Hey,

      I don’t think that God wanted to keep us ignorant in general. Rather, it was only ignorance of good and evil that God thought was best for us. Humans were able to think before Eve ate the apple…they just didn’t have knowledge of good and evil.

      Scott

  49. Darwin says:

    hey scott, I’ve been reading the bible and some things are becoming more clear but I’m still abit confused. I’ve read that salvation is of the jews but didn’t Jesus die for everyone? And also weren’t the followers of Christ Israelites? And if they are Israelites, then why are we referred to as christians? Also, i’ve been seeing debates on whether Jesus was a jew or hebrew and whether he was black or white. I’m conflicted on this. Can you help me out?

    • Darwin:

      My friend Dan Lucas is better at answering such questions than I am, so I asked him to answer. Below is a copy and paste of his reply:

      First off, these are great questions — I often hear these questions posed from mature Christians to church pastors. But, to answer your questions simply and directly:

      Salvation is not just of the Jews, it is a gift of supreme grace offered to all mankind by God and through the sacrifice of his only son, Jesus Christ. Through belief and acceptance of him as the savior, any man can achieve salvation. This is an important distinction because most religions attribute your actions to be a part of how you achieve salvation. Jesus made it very clear that this is not the way to heaven. This is a very important and core belief of any Christian. The only way to the father (commonly referred to as “God”) is through Jesus and the belief that he paid the ultimate price for all our sins. Through our love and acceptance of him, we receive salvation as a free gift of grace (a gift given though not deserved). There is a lot more to this discussion then that, but that would be going down another path altogether..

      When you say “followers of Christ”, I am assuming you are speaking of the 12 apostles, also commonly referred to as “disciples”. The disciples were all technically from Israel, correct, but they were not necessarily the only followers of Jesus. They just happened to be the 12 men that left EVERYTHING behind and chose to follow and obey Jesus for the rest of their lives. The term “Christian” did not arise until well after the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus. I encourage you to read the book of Acts for a great story of how the Christian “church” got its start. I can’t remember exactly when the term “Christian” started to be commonly used, but I believe it was around 50 A.D. You did not have to be from Israel to be baptized a Christian, and even Jesus was very clear that his disciples were to dedicate their lives to spreading the Gospel (“The Good News”) about his death and resurrection for the payment of man’s sin — to all mankind, not just Jews (or the Eastern Hemisphere, for that matter).

      Jesus was a Jew. I am surprised this was debated and not sure what the difference between Jew and Hebrew is, but he definitely believed the Jewish bible to be divine, perfect, and God’s word. He was a Jew, yes, but is important to understand that he encouraged and loved all people, Jews and Gentiles (non-Jewe) alike. He did not differentiate.

      Whether he was black or white is more of a matter of historical fact. I personally don’t even see it as relevant to spirituality. Actually, I would think him to be more of a darker skin being that he was born in a region that would suggest that. But, I doubt that he was of European skin tone or African skin tone. That wouldn’t make sense, and I would think it mentioned in the bible or other writings because it would have been very odd for a woman in that region to have a black of white baby, even if it was divinely conceived (which only a small percentage of people believed, anyway). The pictures we see of Jesus today where he is full out white are likely the result of European influence. But, at the end of the day, who really knows. And I don’t personally see that as relevant to your spirituality. Or mine, for that matter.

      • Darwin says:

        oh okay, I get it now. thank for clearing things up, but i’m a little confused when you said “but he definitely believed the Jewish bible to be divine, perfect, and God’s word”. Which bible is the right bible?

  50. Darwin says:

    Hey Scott I have a question about the trinity doctrine. i understand that there is one god, but was jesus god and did he ever claim to be god, or is god the father the only true god?

    • Darwin:

      My friend Dan Lucas is well versed in theological questions like this, so I let him reply. A copy and paste of his reply:

      First off, this is a great question and is a topic that most Christians
      grapple with – and have long, drawn out discussions about this in groups.
      Even Christians that are “educated” in theology still sometimes struggle to
      truly comprehend the subject in their hearts, even though they understand it
      from a scholarly perspective.    Your question is quite literally an entire
      semester’s course in seminary school.  

      The term “trinity” describes a relationship not of three gods, but of one
      God who is three persons. Trinity does not mean tritheism, that is, that
      there are three beings who together are God. The word “trinity” is used in
      an effort to define the fullness of the godhead, both in terms of his unity
      and diversity.  

      Though the formula is mysterious and even paradoxical, it is in no way
      contradictory. The unity of the godhead is affirmed in terms of essence or
      being, while the diversity of the godhead is expressed in terms of person.  

      Though the term “trinity” is not found in the bible, the concept is clearly
      there. On the one hand, the bible strongly affirms the unity of god
      (Deuteronomy 6: 4). On the other hand, the bible clearly affirms the full
      deity of the three persons of the godhead: the father, son, and holy spirit.

      The term “person” does not mean a distinction in essence but a different
      “subsistence” in the godhead. A subsistence in the godhead is a “real”
      difference but not a “essential” difference in the sense of a difference in
      being. Each person subsists or exists “under” the pure essence of deity.
      Subsistence is a difference within the scope of being not a separate being
      or essence. All persons in the godhead have all the attributes of the deity.

      The doctrine of the trinity does not fully explain the mysterious character
      of God. Rather, it sets the boundary outside of which we must not step. So,
      the most important points to understand are:

      1. The doctrine of the trinity affirms the triunity of god.

      2. The doctrine of the trinity is not a contradiction: God is one in essence
      and three in person.

      3. The bible affirms both the oneness of god and the deity of father, son,
      and holy spirit.  

      4. The trinity is distinguished by the work assumed by the father, son, and
      holy spirit.  

      5. The doctrine of the trinity sets the limits of human speculation about
      the nature of god.  

      Does this help you?  If not, please ask more questions or ask for
      clarification on anything!
      First off, this is a great question and is a topic that most Christians
      grapple with – and have long, drawn out discussions about this in groups.
      Even Christians that are “educated” in theology still sometimes struggle to
      truly comprehend the subject in their hearts, even though they understand it
      from a scholarly perspective.    Your question is quite literally an entire
      semester’s course in seminary school.  

      The term “trinity” describes a relationship not of three gods, but of one
      God who is three persons. Trinity does not mean tritheism, that is, that
      there are three beings who together are God. The word “trinity” is used in
      an effort to define the fullness of the godhead, both in terms of his unity
      and diversity.  

      Though the formula is mysterious and even paradoxical, it is in no way
      contradictory. The unity of the godhead is affirmed in terms of essence or
      being, while the diversity of the godhead is expressed in terms of person.  

      Though the term “trinity” is not found in the bible, the concept is clearly
      there. On the one hand, the bible strongly affirms the unity of god
      (Deuteronomy 6: 4). On the other hand, the bible clearly affirms the full
      deity of the three persons of the godhead: the father, son, and holy spirit.

      The term “person” does not mean a distinction in essence but a different
      “subsistence” in the godhead. A subsistence in the godhead is a “real”
      difference but not a “essential” difference in the sense of a difference in
      being. Each person subsists or exists “under” the pure essence of deity.
      Subsistence is a difference within the scope of being not a separate being
      or essence. All persons in the godhead have all the attributes of the deity.

      The doctrine of the trinity does not fully explain the mysterious character
      of God. Rather, it sets the boundary outside of which we must not step. So,
      the most important points to understand are:

      1. The doctrine of the trinity affirms the triunity of god.

      2. The doctrine of the trinity is not a contradiction: God is one in essence
      and three in person.

      3. The bible affirms both the oneness of god and the deity of father, son,
      and holy spirit.  

      4. The trinity is distinguished by the work assumed by the father, son, and
      holy spirit.  

      5. The doctrine of the trinity sets the limits of human speculation about
      the nature of god.  

      Does this help you?  If not, please ask more questions or ask for
      clarification on anything!

  51. Darwin says:

    okay, i think i have a better understanding. It just confused me a bit because i see there’s one god but there were some things that the father knew but jesus didn’t, for instance: the end of the world. i thought how can they all be equal if there were some things that one could do, that the other didn’t. Also, there are a lot of evidence proving that jesus is god but what about the holy spirit? the trinity isn’t biblical but there is a concept, this mystery is truly hard to grasp. I mean, didn’t the council of Nicea 325 a.d bring up the whole “trinity” thing? i mean, for them to vote on the nature of god is pretty blasphemous, in my opinion. i dont even think gods nature was truly revealed to us. and what is the godhead?

  52. […] I mentioned in What It All Boils Down To, there have historically been two basic worldviews regarding the fundamental composition of […]

  53. Deyna Winter says:

    What proof do you have of God’s existence..concrete..off your own lives.

    • God’s existence cannot be proven. But, if you think about it, there is basically nothing that can be proven to human beings in a conclusive manner. In other words, there is no human belief that cannot be subjected to some degree of doubt.

      Suppose, for example, that I asked you to PROVE to me that the oceans are comprised of mostly water.

      You might start by saying that there is a wealth of observational data demonstrating that this is the case.

      But then a skeptic could reply by saying “Show me the data!”

      If you then produced the data, the skeptic could then say, “How do I know this data wasn’t faked? Prove to me that this data is conclusive. How do we know that there aren’t large portions of the unexplored depths of the oceans that are comprised of mostly mercury? What percentage of the oceans did you survey to come up with this data?”

      You see, it is not about proof…because that is basically impossible for a human being to prove anything such that there can be no remaining doubt. Rather, it is about preponderance of evidence.

      • DB says:

        The good thing about science is that no matter what you believe, it is still true. Religion was used to explain the unexplainable (Gods of lightning, thunder etc) but with the advances of science anyone who still believes that there is some holy trinity, allah or zeus waiting for them in the afterlife is just afraid of the dark.

        • I have heard this one so many times that I have written a couple essays in reply. In The God of the Gaps: Why God and Science Are Not Competing Explanations, I detail how the view that “science explains things without the need for God” amounts to a confusion of science with ontology. And in Why Trying to Explain Away God With Science is an ERROR, I demonstrate that the view that “science explains things without the need for God” is what is known as a category error, in philosophical terms.

          And I am afraid that I have to throw down the gauntlet and ask you what SPECIFIC scientific discoveries have done away with the need for God. For the benefit of third party viewers of this discussion, I am going to confidently predict that you will not be able to answer this question (at least not coherently).

          The most frequent atheist response that one hears to the above question is Darwinian evolution. But, as I point out in Why Life Could Not Have Emerged Without God, Darwinian evolution does not even attempt to answer the question of how life emerged from non-living matter. Rather, it only addresses the issue of how life diversified from a putative common ancestor (the first self-replicating molecule, which was itself several orders of magnitude more complex than anything humans have ever produced). Evolution, in other words, does not start with mud. Rather, it starts with this dizzyingly complex putative common ancestor.

          Please also read Why Evolution Cannot Be Used to Rationalize Atheism where I demonstrate that the view that evolution “does away with the need for God” in biology is based upon philosophy, not science….and very poor philosophy at that.

  54. […] eternally-existent consciousness (God) is the view most consistent with modern physics, please read God Is Real…Why Modern Physics Has Discredited Atheism). Atheism, however, provides no grounding for human reason, and therefore no reason to trust the […]

  55. […] worldview (which serves as the foundation for atheism, and is defined in my essay titled God Is Real…Why Modern Physics Has Discredited Atheism), one quickly realizes that it is a worldview built upon a foundation of “just so” and “it […]

  56. […] Johns Hopkins University physicist Richard Conn Henry’s article Mental Universe, and my essay God Is Real: Why Modern Physics Has Discredited Atheism for a more in-depth exploration of this […]

  57. Ron says:

    Re Eben Alexander’s supposed visit to Heaven, I don’t buy it.
    I buy the idea of Heaven, but EA’s account of his visit included exactly zero mention of seeing Jesus anytime during that adventure. And he kept mentioning a strange reference to something like “Omm” when referring, I think, to what he felt was God. I mean, come on, Scott, how can you, as a Christian, fall for New Age nonsense like that?

    • Scott Youngren says:

      Ron,

      I think the crucial problem with “New Age” belief is that it endorses a monist ontology. Monism is the belief that God, the universe, and all of us humans are all ONE…as is the case with one (but only one) of the six schools of Hinduism. Conversely, theism teaches that the universe and God are separate.

      Although Alexander uses the term “Omm,” he endorses THEISM and not monism (unless I have missed something). At no point (of which I am aware) does Alexander make any statements to the effect of “we and the universe are all one.” Quite to the contrary, Alexander endorses Christian theism.

      I, like you, would have preferred it if Alexander had encountered Jesus in his NDE. However, just because he did not encounter Jesus in his NDE does not mean that his NDE suggests that Jesus is not really God. As a parallel, do all people who vacation in Paris experience the Eiffel Tower? Probably the vast majority do, but if some do not, does this mean that the Eiffel Tower does not exist?

      Have you considered the possibility that God did not include Jesus in Alexander’s NDE because God wanted to reach out to those who are not yet ready to accept Jesus? In other words, perhaps God wanted to use Alexander’s testimony as a stepping stone to acceptance of Jesus…for those who are so anti-Christian that they reflexively stop paying attention when any mention is made of Jesus. (I know a few of these people).

      This is speculation, sure. However, God reaches out to people where they are spiritually, and perhaps God needs to reach out to some people regarding his own existence before he can reach out to them about salvation through Jesus.

      Moreover, many people are so deeply immersed in the materialist/naturalist belief system (in which atheism is grounded) that they cannot perceive the reality of the spiritual world. God needs to reach out to these people about the reality of the spiritual world…perhaps before he can even reach out to them about his own existence.

      Even though Alexander does not discuss Jesus in is book, he is very explicit about how his NDE made his belief in Christianity unshakeable.

      Please read this article E.A. wrote for the Huffington Post. Some excerpts of what he wrote:

      “Any pastor will tell you that the single concept that separates the wheat (that is, the real believers) from the chaff (those who are Christians only in name), is whether a person accepts that what Christian tradition says happened on Easter Morning really happened. The entire force of the Christian message can be pushed into that moment when the rock of the cave rolled aside and Jesus — the same and yet not the same Jesus whom his mother had watched die on the cross just two days before — stepped out once more into common daylight. That he had, in fact, overcome death.”

      “Now, I can tell you that if someone had asked me, in the days before my NDE, what I thought of this story, I would have said that it was lovely. But it remained just that — a story. To say that the physical body of a man who had been brutally tortured and killed could simply get up and return to the world a few days later is to contradict every fact we know about the universe. It wasn’t simply an unscientific idea. It was a downright anti-scientific one.”

      “But it is an idea that I now believe. Not in a lip-service way. Not in a dress-up-it’s-Easter kind of way. I believe it with all my heart, and all my soul.”

  58. Ron says:

    Regarding Eben Alexander’s supposed visit to Heaven, I don’t buy it.
    I buy the idea of Heaven, but EA’s account of his visit included exactly zero mention of seeing Jesus anytime during that adventure. And he kept mentioning a strange reference to something like “Omm” when referring, I think, to what he felt was God. I mean, come on, Scott, how can you, as a Christian, fall for New Age nonsense like that?

  59. Ron says:

    Eben Alexander’s “heaven” included no Jesus whatsoever, and referred to God as something like “Omm”. New Age impersonation of a “believer.” Heaven with no sight or mention of Jesus? Please!

  60. Ron says:

    Sorry for the duplicate posts, but the Webmaster or whoever kept rejecting the first post as “unreadable”, so I tried again with a shorter version. They say the same thing: Eben Alexander is a fraud.

  61. Nick says:

    Scott,

    I’m not sure I’d use Albert Einstein here. He’s largely regarded as a sort of pantheist, not your typical theist – especially not your particular form of theism, Christianity. In fact, this brings me to a question:

    Would a supernatural force keeping atoms together, and thereby the force responsible for the continued existence of our universe, really have to be conscious? Would the “thing” that existed prior to the Big Bang (an incident that does not require intelligence) *need* to be intelligent? If so, would it *need* to be theistic as opposed to, say, deistic?

    And what of the theory that proposes universes are merely bubbles in a greater “multiverse,” with various explanations of where “big bangs” may come from? I’m just not sure our failure to fully understand certain aspects of our physical reality (yet) ought to convince us a theistic god who actually interferes with our lives exists. I could just as easily conclude deism or pantheism is true. Or, perhaps, I could simply admit we don’t know the answers to those questions yet.

    Would you really consider that so unreasonable?

    • Scott Youngren says:

      Nick,

      No, Einstein was not a pantheist. Einstein said:

      “I’m not an atheist, and I don’t think I can call myself a pantheist. We are in the position of a little child entering a huge library filled with books in many languages. The child knows someone must have written those books. It does not know how. It does not understand the languages in which they are written. The child dimly suspects a mysterious order in the books but doesn’t know what it is. That, it seems to me, is the attitude of even the most intelligent human being toward God.”

      Let me respond to the rest of your comment tomorrow…I am going to dinner.

      Scott

      • Nick says:

        “I do not believe in a personal God and I have never denied this but have expressed it clearly. If something is in me which can be called religious then it is the unbounded admiration for the structure of the world so far as our science can reveal it.”

        -Albert Einstein

        Whether or not he called himself a Pantheist, such a statement could easily be interpreted and categorized as Pantheist. But even if he wasn’t a Pantheist…

        “I believe in Spinoza’s God who reveals himself in the orderly harmony of what exists,” he replied, “not in a God who concerns himself with fates and actions of human beings.”

        -Albert Einstein, Albert Einstein: Philosopher-Scientist edited by Paul Arthur Schilpp (The Open Court Publishing Co., La Salle, Illinois, Third Edition, 1970) pp. 659 – 660.

        …I’m not so sure I’d use him in connection with any Theistic doctrine. Spinoza’s God was most certainly not Theistic. His god was also not Deistic by definition, for Spinoza didn’t divide reality between the universe and the divine, but considered God and the universe two sides of the same coin. In other words, the Universe is God.

        Sounds awfully like Pantheism to me. But at the least, it certainly doesn’t sound like Theism.

        • Scott Youngren says:

          Nick,

          To be clear, Einstein was neither a pantheist nor a theist. Rather, he was a deist. Deists believe in God, but not a personal God…as your citation indicates. Einstein’s views on God evolved throughout his life, and he settled into deism towards the end of his life.

          So you are certainly correct that Einstein should not be cited as a supporter of theism. However, please note that the title of this essay is God Is Real…Why Modern Physics Has Discredited Atheism. In other words, the intent of this post is to establish the existence of God, and not to argue specific theological stances. I make a case for theism (as opposed to other theological stances) in other posts such as Is There A God? (What is the chance that our world is the result of chance) and On the Bible and Fairy Tales…ATHEIST Fairy Tales.

          So, let me make a few final points regarding Einstein and God:

          1) Einstein was very explicit about his belief in God (no wiggle room here whatsoever).
          2) Theological considerations (in other words, what type of God exists) are an entirely different subject matter from whether or not God exists.
          3) Einstein died in 1955, which was before the emergence of Big Bang science. As I detail in the first of the two above essays, Big Bang science shows a REMARKABLE similarity to the biblical account of creation. Therefore, Einstein did not have all of the information that we have today. To this end, a couple citations from Is There A God? (What is the Chance That Our World is the Result of Chance?):

          As Arno Penzias, the 1978 Nobel Prize recipient in physics, stated to the New York Times on March 12, 1978:

          “The best data we have (concerning the Big Bang) are exactly what I would have predicted, had I nothing to go on but the five books of Moses, the Psalms, the Bible as a whole.”

          Similarly, the astronomer, physicist and founder of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, Robert Jastrow, writes:

          “Now we see how the astronomical evidence leads to a biblical view of the origin of the world. The details differ, but the essential elements in the astronomical and biblical accounts of Genesis are the same: the chain of events leading to man commenced suddenly and sharply at a definite moment of time, in a flash of light and energy.”

          A citation from On the Bible and Fairy Tales…ATHEIST Fairy Tales:

          “Here is evidence for what can only be described as a supernatural event. There is no way that this could have been predicted within the realm of physics as we know it.”

          –Astronomer Allan Sandage, winner of the Crafoord Prize (the highest award in astronomy), discussing the origin of the universe. Sandage is considered to be one of the founders of modern astronomy and was widely regarded to be the world’s greatest cosmologist until his death in 2010. He came to belief in God as a result of his science, as he announced at a conference on the origin of the universe in 1985. He also became a Christian.

          Regarding the questions you asked in your previous post:

          You ask: “Would a supernatural force keeping atoms together, and thereby the force responsible for the continued existence of our universe, really have to be conscious? Would the ‘thing’ that existed prior to the Big Bang (an incident that does not require intelligence) *need* to be intelligent?”

          The answer is yes. Please recall the citation I provide in this essay from Johns Hopkins University physicist Richard Conn Henry:

          “Why do people cling with such ferocity to belief in a mind-independent reality? It is surely because if there is no such reality, then ultimately (as far as we can know) mind alone exists. And if mind is not a product of real matter, but rather is the creator of the illusion of material reality (which has, in fact, despite the materialists, been known to be the case since the discovery of quantum mechanics in 1925), then a theistic view of our existence becomes the only rational alternative to solipsism.”
          [“Solipsism” is defined as “the view or theory that the self is all that can be known to exist.”]

          In short, modern physics has shown that THERE IS NO REALITY INDEPENDENT OF CONSCIOUSNESS: To this end, I cite a couple of the most important contributors to modern physics:

          “I regard consciousness as fundamental. I regard matter as derivative from consciousness. We cannot get behind consciousness. Everything that we talk about, everything that we regard as existing, postulates consciousness.”

          –Max Planck, the Nobel Prize winning physicist considered to be the founder of quantum theory.

          “Consciousness cannot be accounted for in physical terms. For consciousness is absolutely fundamental. It cannot be accounted for in terms of anything else.”

          –Erwin Schroedinger, winner of the 1933 Nobel Prize in Physics “for the discovery of new productive forms of atomic theory.”

          Next, you ask: “And what of the theory that proposes universes are merely bubbles in a greater ‘multiverse,’ with various explanations of where ‘big bangs’ may come from? I’m just not sure our failure to fully understand certain aspects of our physical reality (yet) ought to convince us a theistic god who actually interferes with our lives exists. I could just as easily conclude deism or pantheism is true.”

          Nick, what relevance does the proposed existence of multiple universes have to the fact that physical reality is the construct of a conscious being? As a theist, I have no particular reason to disbelieve in the existence of multiple universes. In fact, I find it entirely reasonable to believe that an infinite God may choose to create, well…infinitely. Please explain how the proposed existence of multiple universes or “bubble” universes is relevant to the subject matter we are discussing.

          Considering what we know about physical reality being a construct of consciousness, what reason would there be to entertain non-conscious explanations for the origin of our universe (or a multiverse in which our universe may be situated)? The need to find materialistic (non-conscious) explanations can only stem from an ideological necessity, not a logical necessity.

          Scott

  62. Andrea says:

    Awesome

  63. It seems to me that we are gradually moving from a theoretical understanding of the “mental universe” toward a practical understanding. Quantum theory, philosophical idealism, dreams, hallucinations, psychic phenomena, and the broad category of “spirituality” all show that mind is the source of reality. Meanwhile, however, we spend billions of dollars on ever-more powerful particle smashers looking for ultimate reality in a fundamental thing outside of the mind. We are not quite ready to accept the practical consequences of accepting the world as a product of the mind, for this means that the world must be a dream, and for now, we want the world to be more than a dream. But if our essence were also “dream-stuff” what difference would it make? I present a long argument in support of this viewpoint in my book, The Collapse of Materialism, for those wondering if there is anything to this way of thinking. http://www.amazon.com/The-Collapse-Materialism-Visions-Science/dp/193790721X. I also interview a wide variety of guests in this field on my show Conversations Beyond Science and Religion at webtalkradio.net

    • Scott Youngren says:

      Phillip,

      Thanks for commenting! I don’t get too many comments from authors!

      I fear that materialism is so deeply entrenched in academia (and our culture) that it will take a very long time to dislodge. Materialism dates all the way back to the ancient Greek atomist philosophers such as Democritus (if I have my history of science right).

      In his landmark work on the history, psychology, and sociology of science titled The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, Thomas Kuhn describes the crucial role preconceived beliefs (such as materialism) play in shaping and directing the conclusions of those in the scientific community:

      “Effective research scarcely begins before a scientific community thinks it has acquired firm answers to questions like the following: What are the fundamental entities of which the universe is composed? How do these interact with each other and with the senses? What questions may legitimately be asked about such entities and what techniques employed in seeking solutions? At least in the mature sciences, answers (or full substitutes for answers) to questions like these are fully embedded in the educational initiation that prepares and licenses the student for professional practice. Because that education is both rigorous and rigid, these answers come to exert a deep hold on the scientific mind. That they can do so does much to account for the peculiar efficiency of the normal research activity and for the direction in which it proceeds at any given time. When examining normal science [I shall] describe that research as a strenuous and devoted attempt to force nature into the conceptual boxes supplied by professional education.”

      • Yes, Thomas Kuhn was right and in my opinion materialism’s days as the leading paradigm are coming to end because it no longer adequately explains all worldly phenomena. With regard to the entrenchment of materialism I quote a famous musician who said, “the harder they come, the harder they fall.”

  64. Mars says:

    Hi Scott,
    First I would like to thank you for putting up a great website. I’ve referred to it many times over the years, and it has helped me strengthen my faith. I have a big question that I haven’t been able to get off my head for a long time, and it has been holding me down.

    First off, in this essay you make the following claim:

    “Material things cannot have ‘a complete, absolute independent reality in themselves’ because, as modern physics has demonstrated, the material world cannot exist independent from consciousness (mind). There is no reality independent of mind.”

    I recently came to this conclusion on my own, and I have a pretty big issue with it. This idea implies that nothing except out minds exist. This makes everything, atleast to me, very uninteresting because it implies that everything is relatively everything else, and that matter in and of itself does not exist. For example, lets take a chair. One could say that this chair isn’t a chair at all, but really just a lot of planks of wood being tightly bound together by metal nails. But then again, one could say that the wood planks are not wood planks at all, but just tightly bound atoms. Likewise, one could say the same thing for the metal nails. But even then this would not be true. One could say that the tightly bound atoms are actually even more tightly bound protons and neutrons with electrons there too. But then EVEN THIS could not be true, as you could argue that the protons and neutrons are made up of even tighter quarks and strings! AND EVEN THEN, one could argue that the quarks and strings don’t have any reality in and of themselves! All of this, while I would like to think that the chair is a chair!! It takes away the reality of the things in the material world, and suggests that the natural world doesn’t exist in and of itself.

    A natural phenomenon in which this could be perscribed would be in making reference to the stratosphere. Consciously, we want to be able to organize things, so as to be able to comprehend the universe as best a way as possible. So when we refer to the stratosphere, we are only referencing a part of the sky, but the stratosphere doesn’t exist in and of itself.

    An unnatural example of this could be drawn from your example of the Ford car manufacturing plant. One could say that the manufacturing plant does not exist, because all it is, is a lot of aluminum, wood, and steel (or whatever else makes a manufacturing plant) being tightly held together by other seperate metal nails. It is not a plant, but it is the materials which are forced together really tightly. What is contradictory is that you say that the car plant exists, but you also say here that material objects don’t have an “independent, material reality in themselves”. So does it exist, or does it not? And if it does exist, is it our minds which give it its reality? This actually seems to tie in with the Ship of Theseus perfectly.

    This idea essentially eliminates any identity except that of the mind of a person. And I don’t like it, because it makes the natural world uninteresting. Because material object’s don’t have their own identities, but exist relatively the same as everything else (since all matter is made of quarks, strings, etc.), I could say that a flower pot is relatively the same as a car. All barriers that seperate flower pots from everything else fall, just as barriers for everything else in the natural world seem to fall. The absolutes which do exist seem to only be in our minds, and don’t exist externally.

    The same idea can be applied to gravity. You address it as a real thing, when it isn’t actually something in and of itself, but only is the end result of a curvature in spacetime. It ceases to be a law, and acts as a descripter for what happens when you put a really heavy mass on a spacetime plane. It loses itself, in a sense. And I’m over here wanting gravity to be a real thing.

    Everything seems to just loose what makes it unique, independent, and existent. Now, I agree with you that consiousness is the prime reality, and I believe that matter is not the same as consiousness. So, with this reality that is dependent on the mind, is it that our mind is able to construct exterior barriers for outside objects, and thus give something like a flower pot an independent, absolute reality in itself? I would sure like that to be true. It really is what makes the universe so awe-inspiring. It says that our minds aren’t the only things that exist in and of themselves. The idea of external objects not existing has personally been bugging me very much because when I go out to, say, watch a movie, I can’t stop thinking that what I am looking at is not really a movie at all, but only a bunch of light on a screen. There is no way of proving that the film itself exists externally from my mind, nor could I also suggest that the film reel itself is nothing more than photos that were edited and brought together, or if it is just tightly held atoms.

    If you could help me with this, it would be much appreciated. Again, thanks for hosting such a great website :)

    • Scott Youngren says:

      Mars,

      Nothing gives me more satisfaction than to hear that my website has helped someone’s faith! Thank you so much for letting me know!

      You suggest that my essay implies that “nothing except our minds exists.” This is not the case at all. The mind of God is the mind which has created the material world. The mind of God is the “prime reality,” or the something-from-which-everything-else-comes.

      You ask if the car plant exists or not. The answer is yes. Theism says that things exist, but that they are the product of an eternally existent consciousness (God). Material things have an existence independent of our minds…in the mind of God. As I discuss in God Is Real, How Modern Physics Has Discredited Atheism, modern physics has shown that the observation of a conscious observer is necessary to produce physical reality. But since humans have not always existed, there needs to be a mind which produces the physical reality in which we are participants.

      I strongly recommend that you view the video titled Quantum Physics Debunks Materialism by Inspiring Philosophy.…at least from about 12:30 until the end (at 17:30). This is the video that I embedded at the above mentioned essay, and you can view it there or directly on YouTube. The commentary by the renowned physicist Michio Kaku, I think, would be particularly helpful to you (it begins at about 14:00). And at about 15:45 in the video by Inspiring Philosophy, the narrator says, “we just use our free will to participate in deciding what the outcome will be, whether a wave or particle result. But we don’t get to choose the specifics. So the evidence suggests that we are just lesser minds dependent on a larger mind that is actually in control of the structure of the experience.”

      You say that “the idea of external objects not existing has been personally bugging” you. The implications of quantum physics are not that external objects do not exist, but that they are the products of the mind of God. The mind of God is the “prime reality,” or the something-from-which-everything-else-comes.

      Does this clarify things for you? Let me know.

      Scott

      • Mars says:

        Scott,
        Thank you for replying! Your comment does help clarify my issue, particularily when you bring up Michio Kaku’s quote. I am still sort of confused though. That’s on me though; I didn’t articulate my thoughts clearly enough.

        The video in and of itself is great, and it does provide insight into how and why matter does exist after it collapses from a wave function into a particle, but it seems to only provide great evidence for just that: the existence of particles in the real world, and nothing more. What sets me back is that quantum physics does not allow for us to constitute the reality of things which we “make” using these real particles, no matter how densely we pack them together. For example, with the support of quantum physics, I could say that there is a watch in my hand, and it is for sure a lot of real particles densley packed together. The wave function for each of these particles has been collapsed upon observation, and so I have me a lot of particles. I could not argue with quantum physics that these densley packed particles make up a watch. What seems to make a watch what it is, is its identity, or the independent reality in and of itself. So how can I provide evidence in favor of the existence of a “watch”? I can certainly provide evidence in favor of the particles in my hand where the watch would be, but I can’t say that the watch in and of itself exists, despite how much we may want it to exist.

        When you talk about the existence of the car plant, you say: “Theism says that things exist, but that they are the product of an eternally existent consciousness (God). Material things have an existence independent of our minds…in the mind of God”. While this is true for the most fundamental particles, It isn’t true for things such as the inventions of humans. Does this imply that a watch exists independent of our minds because God recognizes the watch as a watch? It would seem otherwise, becuase it is the invention of a human; but once the human is done, say, inventing his watch, does his recognition of the finality of the creation of the watch justify its objective existence external from that person? I can’t find any evidence in support of human recognition of a watch justifying its objective existence, outside of our minds.

        Could you also give your thoughts on the Ship of Theseus? According to a theistic approach of the question, it should be that the ship made entirely out of new parts should be the Ship of Theseus, whereas the parts to the original Ship of Theseus would be the remnants of what it used to be. And it would also seem that a materialistic approach to the problem would take the opposite stance; that the ship made out of the original parts is the Ship of Theseus, whereas the new parts put together are not the Ship of Theseus. My problem is that in neither situation the existence of the Ship of Theseus can seem to be supported, because of quantum physics’ lack of explaining the existence of things larger than particles, or densley packed particles. Quantum physics could take a stance when the ship is really only recognized as nothing more than a bunch of densley packed particles, but it could not make a case for a “ship” in and of itself.

        I also have a question about the first sentence in Kaku’s quote. He says: “We just use our free will to participate in deciding what the outcome will be, whether a wave or particle result.” Does this mean that when we excercise our free will, the only choice we can make is that of either intentionally collapsing a particle through observing it, or choosing not to observe it, and thus making it exist in a state of wave funcitionality? And what does he mean when he says that we don’t get to choose the “specifics”? Do the specifics mean the ways in which the particles fold out in reality? I’m confused about this.

        On a side note, I have another question about the existence of the laws of physics (just normal phyics this time, thank God). If the “laws” as we recognize them are really just descriptive of what happens in nature, as opposed to being entities in and of themselves, then what are they, and what are the true laws which govern the material world? Sounds like a weird question, but I’m confused about it. An example of this can be outlined in my description of gravity in my original post about it only being the result of a curvature in spacetime rather than being an entity in and of itself.

        Personally I’m finding myself leaning toward a reality in which something like the ship, or the watch, or gravity do exist, because I don’t believe that God would want us to be living out our lives through the illusion that the large things which we create aren’t actually there, but just a ton of tiny particles transfering between states.

        If you are confused about any of what I said, let me know. It certainly doesn’t help that my high school teacher is teaching me about Newtonian physics and nothing else… something which they should realize has been discredited in a sense for around a hundred years thanks to Einstein.

        • Scott Youngren says:

          Mars,

          I must admit that I do not entirely understand your question. But, let me respond with and answer to what I think may be your question.

          Are you familiar with the ancient Greek philosopher Plato’s Theory of Forms? Please click here to read a Wikipedia post about it. An excerpt:

          Plato’s theory of Forms or theory of Ideas asserts that non-material abstract (but substantial) forms (or ideas), and not the material world of change known to us through sensation, possess the highest and most fundamental kind of reality.

          Plato’s “Allegory of the Cave” can be used to express his Theory of Forms. Click here to read a Wikipedia post about his “Allegory of the Cave.” An excerpt:

          Plato has Socrates describe a gathering of people who have lived chained to the wall of a cave all of their lives, facing a blank wall. The people watch shadows projected on the wall by things passing in front of a fire behind them, and begin to designate names to these shadows. The shadows are as close as the prisoners get to viewing reality. He then explains how the philosopher is like a prisoner who is freed from the cave and comes to understand that the shadows on the wall do not make up reality at all, as he can perceive the true form of reality rather than the mere shadows seen by the prisoners.

          The allegory may be related to Plato’s Theory of Forms, according to which the “Forms” (or “Ideas”), and not the material world of change known to us through sensation, possess the highest and most fundamental kind of reality.

          So, using Plato’s Allegory of the Cave, material things are like the shadows on the cave wall, and “forms” or “ideas” are the “highest and most fundamental things”…which are held in front of the flame to create the shadow.

          Does that help clarify?

          • Mars says:

            Scott,
            Your comment does address the question that I was asking! Also, your summary of the Allegory of the Cave helps me even more, but there is still a piece to this whole thing that I am not understanding.
            With regard to the Allegory of the Cave, does this mean that the “forms” or “ideas” exist inherent in the shadow itself? Or, does the “form” or “idea” exist only within the people’s minds?
            Another way I could refer to my problem is by stating my issue like this: Say a person is looking at watch on the table. Does the “form”, or “idea”, of the watch exist inherent in the matter which makes up the watch itself, or does the idea of the watch exist only within the mind of that person? Does the substance (idea/soul) of the watch exist external from our heads, or does the substance exist built-in to the matter of the watch itself?
            Again, let me know if I need to clarify anything.

            • Scott Youngren says:

              Mars,

              The “forms” or “ideas” exist within the mind of God. The material world is a “shadow” world.

              Have you seen the movie The Matrix with Keanu Reeves? This movie was, in part, inspired by Plato’s Allegory of the Cave. What the characters in the movie experience as the physical world is only an illusion created in a computer program. I am not suggesting that we are living in a computer simulated reality, but I am suggesting that the physical world is not the “highest and most fundamental kind of reality.”

              Consider the following excerpt from the ancient Greek philosopher Plato’s dialogue Theaetetus in which Socrates points out our inability to KNOW if we are awake, or merely dreaming everything that happens to us:

              Socrates: The question I imagine you have often heard asked— what evidence could be appealed to, supposing we were asked at this very moment whether we are asleep or awake, dreaming all that passes through our minds or talking to one another in the waking state?

              Theaetetus: Indeed, Socrates, I do not see by what evidence it is to be proved, for the two conditions correspond in every circumstance like exact counterparts.

              The idea that the physical world is best compared to a dream or a shadow on the wall (and not the “highest and most fundamental kind of reality”) is very difficult for Western minds (such as ours) to grasp. This is because our culture has very deeply entrenched materialist assumptions that we usually do not even realize that we are making.

              Renowned physicists Paul Davies and John Gribbin explain how materialism/naturalism took such a strong hold on the modern western worldview, and therefore persists despite being incompatible with modern physics, in their book The Matter Myth:

              “…At the time of the publication of the Principia [Isaac Newton’s landmark work] the most sophisticated machines were clocks, and Newton’s image of the working of nature as an elaborate clockwork struck a deep chord.”

              “…It is hard to overstate the impact that these physical images have had in shaping our world view. The doctrine that the physical universe consists of inert matter locked into a sort of gigantic deterministic clockwork has penetrated all branches of human inquiry. Materialism dominates biology, for example. Living organisms are regarded as nothing more than complicated collections of particles, each being blindly pulled and pushed by its neighbors.”

              Imagine how hard it was for people to accept the fact that the Earth is round…when this was first discovered. They must have thought, “If the world is round, why doesn’t everything just fall off?”

              Much as a spherical Earth was a non-intuitive shock to such people, the revelation that the material world is not the “highest and most fundamental kind of reality” is a non-intuitive shock to the Western mind.

              Lastly, please remember to give due consideration to the limitations of human language and human conceptualization when you ponder these very deep ontological issues. Ultimately, human language and concepts run up against a wall. As the Bible says, “For now we see through a glass, darkly.”

  65. gary says:

    There may well be a Creator. There may well be millions of gods. There may be millions of supernatural beliefs that are really true. Almost every culture has its superstitions. So how do we determine which to believe and which to discount as very improbable and therefore beliefs that we should not lay awake at night worrying about? Do you worry that Allah is going to cast you into the Muslim hell? Of course not.

    Supernatural claims by definition cannot be proven false with physical evidence. We each must weigh what evidence we have available to us to determine the likelihood of a supernatural claim. You do not lie awake at night terrified of being cast into the Muslim hell by Allah because you do not believe that there is sufficient evidence to believe this supernatural claim.

    And I hold the same position regarding your Christian supernatural claims. Just as you are not angry at Allah, I am not angry at the Christian god. Just as you are not choosing to rebel against Allah, I am not choosing to rebel against Yahweh/the Trinitarian Christian god. You don’t worry about the Muslim hell because you don’t believe that Allah exists, as I do not believe that Yahweh exists. You would demand evidence from a Muslim to believe his supernatural ancient tale, as I am doing with you of your ancient supernatural tale.

    Most atheists and agnostics (including me) do not attempt to prove that a Creator does not exist. Our argument is that there is no evidence to prove that the Christian god is the Creator; that the Christian holy book is the very Word of the Creator; or that the Church represents the Creator here on earth. We believe in Science and Reason. Give us good evidence that the Christian god exists and we will believe. But give us evidence, don’t ask us to accept your supernatural tale by blind faith.

    You wouldn’t accept the Muslim story by blind faith, so why would you expect us to believe your Christian story by blind faith?

    • Scott Youngren says:

      Gary,

      Nobody is asking you to accept the Christian God purely on faith. My Christian faith is grounded in reason.

      For example, in my essay titled Is There A God? (What is the chance that our world is the result of chance?), I point out the REMARKABLE similarity between the biblical and scientific accounts of creation. An excerpt:

      …For those not familiar with “the Big Bang,” this cosmological event, now almost unanimously regarded as fact in the scientific community, constituted the beginning of the universe about 14 or 15 billion years ago, and bears eerie similarity to the biblical account of the universe’s creation. As Arno Penzias, the 1978 Nobel Prize recipient in physics, stated to the New York Times on March 12, 1978:

      “The best data we have (concerning the Big Bang) are exactly what I would have predicted, had I nothing to go on but the five books of Moses, the Psalms, the Bible as a whole.”

      Similarly, the astronomer, physicist and founder of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, Robert Jastrow, writes:

      “Now we see how the astronomical evidence leads to a biblical view of the origin of the world. The details differ, but the essential elements in the astronomical and biblical accounts of Genesis are the same: the chain of events leading to man commenced suddenly and sharply at a definite moment of time, in a flash of light and energy.”

      I also recommend that you read my essay titled The Ancient Fable Behind Disbelief in Christ’s Resurrection. In this essay, I detail how acceptance of the facts surrounding Christ’s resurrection has become widespread among New Testament scholars in the last 40 years (this includes agnostic and atheist New Testament scholars, of which there are many). These facts make the resurrection very difficult to deny. An excerpt:

      Most disbelievers in Christ’s resurrection are likely blissfully unaware of just how far New Testament scholarship has swayed in favor of Jesus’ resurrection in the last 40 years. Readers are strongly encouraged to view a You Tube video titled The Historical Evidence for Jesus’ Resurrection That Even Skeptics Believe:

      In this video, New Testament scholar Gary Habermas explains that, among New Testament scholars, if you talked about the empty tomb in the 1970’s “there would be a lot of snickering, and nobody but evangelicals who published in that area would accept it.”

      If you mentioned post-resurrection appearances in the 1970’s “everybody would have laughed.” However, Habermas reveals that, “Today, the majority of New Testament scholars, theologians, historians, and philosophers who publish in the area [including atheist and agnostic academics…not just Christians] believe in the empty tomb.”

      “In the 70’s, if you talked about bodily [post-resurrection] appearances of Jesus, they’d say, ‘Yeah, that’s nice. Go back to your church and talk about it, but don’t do it on a university campus.’”

      Today, however, belief in Jesus’ bodily resurrection is the predominant view within New Testament scholarship.

      As Habermas puts it, “Today, bodily resurrection is the predominant view in the academy.” Habermas also notes that, “Raymond Brown (probably the most prominent New Testament scholar in America), shortly before his death, said that the majority of contemporary theologians are conservative today.”

      Habermas titles his argument for the resurrection of Jesus the “minimal facts argument” since it is based only upon the data that is granted, in his words, “by virtually all scholars on the subject, even the skeptical ones” (such as atheist and agnostic scholars). These five “minimal facts” are as follows (as detailed in his book The Case for the Resurrection of Jesus):

      1) Jesus died by crucifixion
      2) Jesus’ disciples believed that he rose and appeared to them.
      3) The church persecutor Paul was suddenly changed.
      4) The skeptic James, brother of Jesus, was suddenly changed.
      5) The tomb was empty.

      Habermas explains that the following phrase will receive virtually no dispute among contemporary New Testament scholars (whether Christian, agnostic, or atheist):

      “Jesus earliest followers had experiences that they thought were appearances of the risen Jesus.” (Scroll forward to 52 minutes into the video to view Habermas make this statement).

      So how do atheist and agnostic scholars who accept the truth of the above statement make sense of it in light of their disbelief in Jesus’ resurrection? This article provides a good example of an atheist New Testament scholar who struggles to explain the historical facts surrounding Jesus’ resurrection through the lens of his belief system:

      “…Atheist New Testament scholar Gerd Lüdemann maintains a priori rejection of the supernatural and yet he says, ‘It may be taken as historically certain that Peter and the disciples had experiences after Jesus’ death in which Jesus appeared to them as the risen Christ.’ Although he accepts the historical evidence he concludes that the best explanation for it is that everybody who thought they saw the resurrected Jesus actually hallucinated. Peter hallucinated because he was overcome by grief for denying Jesus, Paul hallucinated on the road to Damascus, James the skeptical brother of Jesus hallucinated, and all the five hundred who saw Jesus at one time hallucinated.”

      It does not take a mathematician to conclude that the probability of several individuals having the SAME hallucination is infinitesimally small.

      • gary says:

        Thank you for your detailed reply.

        I would agree that the majority of evangelical and conservative Christian New Testament scholars believe that there was an empty tomb. The real question must be: What percentage of New Testament scholars are evangelical, conservative, orthodox, or Roman Catholic? I would bet the percentage is very high. Therefore, saying that the majority of New Testament scholars believe in the empty tomb is like saying the majority of Book of Mormon scholars believe that an angel appeared to Joseph Smith and gave him Golden Tablets! This fact does not prove the historical event and its supernatural claim in question.

        Most skeptics do not doubt that the disciples believed that they had seen a resurrected Jesus. The question is: “In what manner did they see him?”

        Do multiple people have the same vision today? Yes! Thousands of people have “seen” the Virgin Mary on multiple occasions. Thousands of Hindus have seen their Hindu statues cry milk! Superstitious people “see” some pretty incredible things, so believing that your dead friend and leader is alive because you “saw” him appear to you, spoke to you, and even touched you is NOT unheard of, in fact, it happens all the time.

        • Scott Youngren says:

          Gary,

          Wrong. You are not getting this. Habermas reveals that, “Today, the majority of New Testament scholars, theologians, historians, and philosophers who publish in the area [including atheist and agnostic academics…not just Christians] believe in the empty tomb.”

          Further, you have failed to respond to the REMARKABLE similarity between the biblical and scientific accounts of creation which I pointed out. If you are really looking for the truth (and not a way to avoid having to answer to a higher power), I recommend that you read Genesis and the Big Bang: The Discovery of Harmony Between Modern Science and the Bible by Gerald Schroeder.

          Schroeder has the unique qualifications of being both a biblical scholar and a physicist (formerly a Professor of Physics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology).

          Back to my points about New Testament scholarship: Nearly all New Testament scholars (whether Christian, agnostic, or atheist) accept the following facts:

          1) Jesus died by crucifixion
          2) Jesus’ disciples believed that he rose and appeared to them.
          3) The church persecutor Paul was suddenly changed.
          4) The skeptic James, brother of Jesus, was suddenly changed.
          5) The tomb was empty.

          Habermas explains that the following phrase will receive virtually no dispute among contemporary New Testament scholars (whether Christian, agnostic, or atheist):

          “Jesus earliest followers had experiences that they thought were appearances of the risen Jesus.” (Scroll forward to 52 minutes into the video to view Habermas make this statement).

          One can only make sense of these “minimal facts” if one accepts that Jesus rose from the dead. The “hallucination” explanation which is supported by many atheist New Testament scholars just does not work.

          “…Atheist New Testament scholar Gerd Lüdemann maintains a priori rejection of the supernatural and yet he says, ‘It may be taken as historically certain that Peter and the disciples had experiences after Jesus’ death in which Jesus appeared to them as the risen Christ.’ Although he accepts the historical evidence he concludes that the best explanation for it is that everybody who thought they saw the resurrected Jesus actually hallucinated. Peter hallucinated because he was overcome by grief for denying Jesus, Paul hallucinated on the road to Damascus, James the skeptical brother of Jesus hallucinated, and all the five hundred who saw Jesus at one time hallucinated.”

          It does not take a mathematician to conclude that the probability of several individuals having the SAME hallucination is infinitesimally small. Habermas comments on the absurdity of this proposition in The Case for the Resurrection of Jesus:

          “Although the hallucination theory enjoyed some popularity over a hundred years ago and still has a few adherents, it suffers from a number of problems.”

          “First, today we know that hallucinations are private occurrences, which occur in the mind of the individual. They are not collective experiences.”

          “…Imagine that it is the middle of the night. You wake up your wife and say, ‘Honey, I just had a dream that we were in Hawaii. Come back to sleep and join me in the dream and we’ll enjoy a free vacation together.’ It would be impossible for her to do so, since a dream exists only in the mind of the individual. It cannot be shared with another person. Likewise, a hallucination cannot be shared.”

          Similarly, Michael Lacona notes in his essay Were the Resurrection Appearances of Jesus Hallucinations?:

          “Gary A. Sibcy is a licensed clinical psychologist, with a PhD in clinical psychology, who has an interest in the possibility of group hallucinations. He comments:

          ‘I have surveyed the professional literature (peer-reviewed journal articles and books) written by psychologists, psychiatrists, and other relevant healthcare professionals during the past two decades and have yet to find a single documented case of a group hallucination, that is, an event for which more than one person purportedly shared in a visual or other sensory perception where there was clearly no external referent.’”

          The “Virgin Mary” appearances are not a good comparison because they involve seeing an image of Mary in a rainbow or in a window. They do not involve an actual appearance of Mary. Further, a hallucination cannot explain ALL of the minimal facts. For example, it cannot explain the empty tomb, or the fact that Paul and James (who were disbelieving skeptics) were suddenly changed.

          Please also read my essay titled Do Christ’s Divinity and Resurrection Defy Common Sense?

          An excerpt:

          An exhaustive exploration of the evidence for Christ’s divinity and resurrection would be impossible in the short span of an essay. However, what I can do is introduce the reader to brief excerpts of arguments from individuals who began their exploration of the gospels as hardened skeptics…but, as a result of their research, became believers. One such individual was the British journalist Frank Morrison. As an atheist setting out to write a book debunking the miraculous claims of the gospels, Morrison, much to his own amazement, eventually found himself, instead, writing a book confirming these miraculous claims. His book Who Moved the Stone? is, in his own words, “the inner story of a man who originally set out to write one kind of book and found himself compelled by the sheer force of circumstances to write another.” Below is an excerpt:

          “The modern reader, coming to these [biblical] passages with a certain instinctive reluctance to accept anything that transcends the field of normal experience is inclined to say, ‘I can understand Jesus predicting His own death. He must have foreseen what was the probable outcome of the ever-widening gap between Himself and the priests, and I think it is not unlikely that He may have prepared the disciples privately for the event. But surely these direct references to His rising from the dead can have been written only after His death and are not an integral part of the original utterances.’ Let us admit frankly that it does look like that at first sight. However, when we come to examine closely the minutes of this trial with all its primitive marks of authenticity, its meticulous and, in the end, fruitless hearing of hostile witnesses, we make the startling discovery that these very words (‘in three days’), which reason asserts could never have been uttered by Christ, are precisely the words that according to all the witnesses formed the pith and core of the fatal and historic sentence with which He was charged. It would have been a strange coincidence indeed if the one sentence chosen by the enemies of Christ on which to base the most deadly charge they could bring against Him found no counterpart or parallel whatever in all the varied teaching of the two preceding years.”

          Warner Wallace is a former cold-case homicide detective who, like Morrison, began his exploration of the gospels as a hardened skeptic (and atheist). Wallace’s experience as a cold-case detective provided him with an expertise in analyzing written eyewitness statements, which he was able to apply to the eyewitness accounts of the gospels. He writes in his book Cold Case Christianity: A Homicide Detective Investigates the Claims of the Gospels:

          “In the end, it all comes down to the reliability of these accounts. When I was a nonbeliever, I heard Christians talk about the inerrancy or infallibility of the Bible, at least as these terms are typically applied to the original manuscripts that were composed by the authors. I examined these concepts in depth in seminary many years later, but as I first read the accounts in the Gospels, I was far more interested in evaluating their reliability as eyewitness accounts than their inerrancy as divine communiqués. I knew from my experience as a detective that the best eyewitness accounts contained points of disagreement and that this did not automatically invalidate their reliability.”

          “If it was God’s desire to provide us with an accurate and reliable account of the life of Jesus, an account we could trust and recognize as consistent with other forms of eyewitness testimony, God surely accomplished it with the four gospel accounts. Yes, the accounts are messy. They are filled with idiosyncrasies and personal perspectives along with common retellings of familiar stories. There are places where critics can argue that there appear to be contradictions, and there are places where each account focuses on something important to the author, while ignoring details of importance to other writers. But would we expect anything less from true, reliable eyewitness accounts? I certainly would not, based on what I’ve seen over the years.”

          But perhaps the most prominent example of an atheist who became a believer as a result of his research into the gospels was C.S. Lewis: A Professor of Medieval and Renaissance studies at Cambridge University, Lewis was a mythology expert of the highest caliber (with a photographic memory). Art Lindsley recalls in C.S. Lewis’ Case for Christ that:

          “When Lewis examined the Gospel narratives, having already become an expert in mythology, he was surprised to find that his literary judgment told him that they were more than myths:”

          “[Lewis wrote] ‘I was now too experienced in literary criticism to regard the Gospels as myths. They had not the mythical taste. And yet the very matter that they set down in their artless, historical fashion…was precisely the matter of the great myths. If ever a myth had become fact, had been incarnated, it would be just like this. Here and here only in all time the myth must have become fact; the Word, flesh: God, Man.’”

          And, regarding the reliability of the Gospel accounts, Norman Geisler notes in Who Made God?: And Answers to Over 100 Other Tough Questions of Faith:

          “Simon Greenleaf, one of history’s greatest legal minds, former Harvard law professor, and author of a book on legal evidence, carefully applied the rules of legal evidence to the Gospel accounts in his book The Testimony of the Evangelists. He argued that if the Gospels were submitted to the scrutiny of a court of law, ‘then it is believed that every honest and impartial man will act consistently with that result, by receiving their testimony in all the extent of its import.’ He added, ‘Let the witnesses be compared with themselves, with each other, and with surrounding facts and circumstances; and let their testimony be sifted, as if it were given in a court of justice, on the side of the adverse party, the witness being subjected to rigorous cross-examination. The result, it is confidently believed, will be an undoubting conviction of their integrity, ability, and truth.’”

          I would like to conclude this essay by quoting scripture. But before any hardened atheist or agnostic readers click away from this page in disgust, I should mention that I have decided to spice things up by quoting HINDU scripture (The Vedas which date to at least 1200 B.C. and the Upanishads which date to around 500-400 B.C….as excerpted from The Christ Connection: How the World Religions Prepared the Way for the Phenomenon of Jesus by Roy Abraham Varghese). I do this in order to give a taste of the references to God’s self-sacrifice on the cross which are present in other cultures and time periods (which I detail in Which God Is Real?) :

          “The Supreme Creator took a perfect human body (Nishkalanka Purusha) and offered it up as a self-sacrifice (Brihad Aranyak Upanishad 1:2:8).”

          “If you want to be delivered from the sin, which you commit through eyes, mouth, ears and mind, bloodshed is necessary. Without shedding the blood, there is no remission for sin. That must be the blood of the Holy one. God is our creator. He is our King. When we were perishing, He came to save us by offering even his own body on our behalf.” (Tandya Mahabrahmana 4.15).

          “The redemption is through shedding of blood only and that blood has to be through the sacrifice of God himself.” (Taittiriya Aranyaka, verse 3).

          “This [sacrifice] is the only way for the redemption and liberation of mankind. Those who meditate and attain this man, believe in heart and chant with the lips, get liberated in this world itself and there is no other way for salvation too.” (Yajur-Veda 31:18)

          “The Purusha was above sin, and only in knowing him does one attain immortality.” (Chandogyopanishad 1:6:6-7)

          “After giving Himself as the supreme sacrifice, this Purush resurrected himself.” (Brihadaranyakaopanishad 3.9.28.4-5; Kathopanishad 3: 15).

          “The purpose of this sacrifice is to provide the only way to Heaven and the only way to escape from Hell.” (Rig-Veda 9:113:7-11; 4:5:5; 7:104:3).

          “His hands and legs are to be bound to a yoopa [a wooden pole] causing blood shed.” (Brihadaranyakaopanishad 3.9.28; Aitareya Brahmana 2:6).

          “The sacrificial victim is to be crowned with a crown made of thorny vines.” (Rig-Veda 10:90:7, Brihadaranyakaopanishad 3:9:28).

          “Before death he should be given a drink of somarasa [sour wine made of an herb called somalatha].” (Yajur-Veda 31).

          “None of His bones must be broken.” (Yajur-Veda 31:; Aitareya Brahmana 2:6)

          • gary says:

            Again, thank you for your detailed response.

            Gary Habermas and William Lane Craig repeatedly make the claim that the majority of New Testament scholars, including liberals and atheists, believe there was an empty tomb. Does that mean we should just take Habermas’ and Craig’s word for it? I would like to see a list of these scholars. Again, the majority of New Testament scholars are Christians, so saying that the majority of NT scholars believe in the empty tomb is not surprising. If you can show me that the majority of atheist and liberal Christian scholars believe that there was an empty tomb, then your point will have much more credibility, at least to me. Please direct me to such a list.

            Other than the empty tomb, I agree with other four points. But I must question this assumption that you make:

            “One can only make sense of these “minimal facts” if one accepts that Jesus rose from the dead. The “hallucination” explanation which is supported by many atheist New Testament scholars just does not work.”

            I will comment on this point in a separate comment. Let me say this: I have no problem submitting to a Higher Power. But just as you would not submit to Allah or Krishna as that higher power without evidence, I am not willing to submit to Yahweh/the Trinitarian God without evidence. If you can provide me with good evidence, not just hearsay and assumptions, I will whole-heartedly believe. However, so far in my discussions with conservative Christians I have not been presented with any good evidence. I ask for the same level of credible evidence that you would demand to believe the Muslim or Hindu supernatural story. I am not willing to believe any of these religions’ supernatural tales without evidence.

            • Scott Youngren says:

              Gary,

              This is very strange. I cited two ultra-elite scientists who note the REMARKABLE similarity between the biblical and scientific (Big Bang) accounts of the creation of the universe. I cited a biblical scholar and physicist (formerly a Professor of Physics at MIT) who wrote an entire book about this. I cited the very clear references to Jesus in the Hindu scriptures (Vedas and Upanishads).

              But, instead of responding, you ignore the evidence I present and claim that you “have not been presented with any good evidence.” Ignoring the evidence presented while simultaneously asserting that there is “no good evidence” commits the logical fallacy of Argument by Repeated Assertion. You seem to think that you can just assert that there is “no good evidence” while simultaneously ignoring the evidence presented to you, and still maintain a posture of intellectual integrity. I see this logical fallacy very frequently when debating atheists.

              Further, refusing to entertain arguments from people who disagree with you is circular reasoning…open-and-shut.

              As Habermas notes, “Raymond Brown (probably the most prominent New Testament scholar in America), shortly before his death, said that the majority of contemporary theologians are conservative today.” This is despite the fact that 40 years ago, the vast majority of New Testament scholars DID NOT accept the empty tomb. Therefore, your assertion that “the majority of New Testament scholars are Christians” falls flat on its face. If the majority of New Testament scholars are Christians, why did they not accept the empty tomb 40 years ago?

              Further, it is not just New Testament scholars. As Habermas notes, “Today, the majority of New Testament scholars, theologians, historians, and philosophers who publish in the area [including atheist and agnostic academics…not just Christians] believe in the empty tomb.”

              Are the majority of historians and philosophers who publish in the area also Christians? Are you going to reject these facts merely because they are presented by a Christian? If so, you are, again, committing circular reasoning. A copy and paste, again, regarding the views of the ATHEIST New Testament scholar Gerd Ludemann:

              “…Atheist New Testament scholar Gerd Lüdemann maintains a priori rejection of the supernatural and yet he says, ‘It may be taken as historically certain that Peter and the disciples had experiences after Jesus’ death in which Jesus appeared to them as the risen Christ.’ Although he accepts the historical evidence he concludes that the best explanation for it is that everybody who thought they saw the resurrected Jesus actually hallucinated. Peter hallucinated because he was overcome by grief for denying Jesus, Paul hallucinated on the road to Damascus, James the skeptical brother of Jesus hallucinated, and all the five hundred who saw Jesus at one time hallucinated.”

              Further, click here to see a list of 44 prophecies from the Old Testament fulfilled by Jesus.

              Still further, please click here to read an article by Gerald Schroeder (who, again, is a biblical scholar and former Professor of Physics at MIT) in which he shows how the Bible understood the relativity of time thousands of years before Einstein. An excerpt:

              14 billion years or six days?

              Today, we look back in time and we see approximately 14 billion years of history and those years went by. But how would they be perceived from the Bible’s perspective of time? Looking forward from when the universe was very small – billions of times smaller – the Bible teaches that six days passed. In truth, they both are correct. What’s exciting about the last few years is that we now have quantified the data to know the relationship between the perception of time from the beginning of stable matter, the threshold energy of protons (their nucleosynthesis), looking forward and our measure of the history of the universe. It’s not science fiction any longer. A dozen physics textbooks all bring the same generalized number. The general relationship of the stretching of space between the era of proton anti-proton formation, that time near the beginning at the threshold energy of protons when the first stable matter formed, and time today is a million million. That’s a 1 with 12 zeros after it. Space has stretched by a million million. So when a view from the beginning looking forward says “I’m sending you a pulse every second,” would we see a pulse every second? No. We’d see one every million million seconds. That’s the stretching effect of the expansion of the universe on the perception of time.

              Schroeder notes that the million million-to-one ratio used to convert cosmic time to Earth time is accepted by the prestigious, peer-reviewed journal Nature. So, WHOEVER INSPIRED THE BIBLE CLEARLY UNDERSTOOD BOTH THE RELATIVITY OF TIME AND THE EXACT RATIO AT WHICH COSMIC TIME CONVERTS TO EARTH TIME THOUSANDS OF YEARS BEFORE MODERN SCIENCE!!

              Are you going to just ignore this evidence and make another repeated assertion that there is “no good evidence?” Go ahead, but you will not be fooling anyone and all intelligent third-party viewers will immediately recognize that you are committing the logical fallacy of Argument by Repeated Assertion.

  66. Mars says:

    Scott,
    OK, now this makes sense to me a little more. The forms and ideas exist within the mind of God, so they can be established as objectively existing. Now what I am confused about is how we know that the ideas which people come up with exist within the mind of God. If we hold up a book and say that it is a book, how can we say that this idea resonates within the mind of God, too (thus giving it objective existence)? It would seem that if a person wants to call a bunch of tightly bound pieces of paper a “book” then the existence of that book would only be subjective. What is the evidence that the book itself exists within the mind of God?
    I have seen The Matrix trilogy, and I think your on point with my issue and how it relates to the film. How my problem connects to the point that I described above is that in the film, the people who live in the digital world believe that their world is real, when the reality is that none of what they are experiencing — the cars, the roads, the buildings, the jobs, their homes — actually exists. And if it were the case that the Matrix was a true story, then God would not recognize any of the cars, roads, buildings, jobs, and homes as real either, as all of these things are an illusion. If our material world exists similar to that of a digital world, then wouldn’t it be that all of what we are experiencing — our cars, roads, buildings, jobs, and homes — does not exist either, but only as an illusion? The legitimacy of our creations and what we differentiate in the natural world can only be backed up when we know that those same ideas are also held by God, and I’m not finding evidence in favor of His recognition of our creations or definitions. I could say that a door is a door, and someone could walk up to me and jsut as well say that the door is actually a bed, and both of us would be either right or wrong.
    The reason why I was pointing out quantum physics earlier is because it doesn’t seem to address my above issue; it rather states that we can prove that particles exist within the mind of God; it does not provide evidence in favor of the creation of things made up of particles.
    I do recognize the limitations of human conceptualization. I just feel like the issue that I am having is a large hole in my understanding of the world. In truth, this is the last hole too. Once I come to a conclusion with this, I will be able to a consensus about things. Whenever I am in, say, a restaurant, I don’t want to have to question myself everytime I acnowledge the restaurant as a restaurant. I don’t want to keep asking myself: “Well, is this actually a restaurant?”. I just want to comfortably live with the fact that what I am in is a restaurant.

    • Mars says:

      Scott,
      On top of the confusion I have above, I also have a question about the relatively of time. Take a look at this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MO_Q_f1WgQI
      It seems that if time is relative and exists as a “flat circle”, wouldn’t this give way to determinism? It is implying that every single moment in history exists,and that all of our decisions are decided in the future. Wouldn’t this deny us our free will?

      • Scott Youngren says:

        Mars,

        Time cannot be a “flat circle” because of the second law of thermodynamics. This law says that the entropy of the universe (which is a measure of disorder) is increasing. Put another way, the universe is “winding down” like a clock. The universe would have to wind itself back up…but this is impossible.

        I also recommend that you read my essay titled Atheism and the Denial of the Soul, which addresses the issue of determinism. An excerpt which discusses determinism:

        …as Montreal Neurological Institute neuroscientist Mario Beauregard points out in his book The Spiritual Brain: A Neuroscientist’s Case for the Existence of the Soul, determinism is impossible in light of the discoveries of modern physics:

        “There is a principle…called the Heisenberg Uncertainty (indeterminacy) principle. It says that subatomic particles do not occupy definite positions in space or time; we can find out where they are only as a series of probabilities about where they might be (we must decide what we want to know).”

        “This area of physics, quantum physics, is the study of the behavior of matter energy at the subatomic level of our universe. Briefly, the synapses, the spaces between neurons of the brain, conduct signals using parts of atoms called ions. The ions function according to the rules of quantum physics, not of classical physics.”

        “What difference does it make if quantum physics governs the brain? Well, one thing we can dispose of right away is determinism, the idea that everything in the universe has been or can be predetermined. The basic level of our universe is a cloud of probabilities, not of laws. In the human brain, this means that our brains are not driven to process a given decision; what we really experience is a ‘smear’ of possibilities. But how do we decide between them?”

        UCLA Professor or Research Psychiatry Jeffrey M. Schwartz echoes Beauregard’s points about the impossibility of determinism in light of modern physics, in his book The Mind & The Brain:

        “Though you would hardly know it from the arguments of those who appeal to physics to assert that all mental phenomena can be reduced to the electrochemical activity of neurons, physics has progressed from its classical Newtonian form and found itself in the strange land of the quantum. Once, physics dealt only with tangible objects: planets, balls, molecules, and atoms. Today, in the form of quantum mechanics, it describes a very different world, one built out of what [University of California, Berkeley physicist Henry] Stapp calls ‘a new kind of stuff,’ with properties of both the physical and the mental.”

        “…What we now know about quantum physics gives us reason to believe that conscious thoughts and volitions can, and do, play a powerful causal role in the world, including influencing the activity of the brain. Mind and matter, in other words, can interact.”

        • Mars says:

          Scott,
          Thank you for your reply! I never actually ascribed myself to determinism. Personally I do not accept it (one really can’t if they are religious). What I was saying was that if the point in the video was true, then wouldn’t it lead to determinism. But points about the Uncertainty Principle and Quantum Physics are great to bring up in the face of anyone who believe otherwise (i.e. atheists who recognize what their belief system entails).

          I believe I have found a quote that perfectly summarizes what has been bothering me. This is from Brian Green’s The Elegant Universe: Superstrings, Hidden Dimensions, and the Quest for the Ultimate Theory:
          “The reductionist philosophy easily ignites heated debate. Many find it fatuous and downright repugnant to claim that the wonders of life and the universe are mere reflections of microscopic particles engaged in a pointless dance fully choreographed by the laws of physics. Is it really the case that feelings of joy, sorrow, or boredom are nothing but chemical reactions in the brain—reactions between molecules and atoms that, even more microscopically, are reactions between some of the particles in Table 1.1, which are really just vibrating strings?…At the other end of the spectrum are the opponents of reductionism who are appalled by what they feel to be the bleakness of modern science. To whatever extent they and their world can be reduced to a matter of particles or fields and their interactions, they feel diminished by that knowledge. … I would not try to answer these critics with a peptalk about the beauties of modern science. The reductionist worldview is chilling and impersonal. It has to be accepted as it is, not because we like it, but because that is the way the world works.”

          Now, while I do not accept reductionist theory as the prime describer of the universe’s ultimate reality (it doesn’t take into account quantum physics or consciousness) I do feel that the theory can be logically perscribed to matter, and things that we “make” with it. What is almost depressing to me is that the theory is that the “wonders of life and the universe are mere reflections of microscopic particles” and nothing more. So my question is this: Is the natural (material world) reductionist, as is described in the quote above, or can material things be differentiated among themselves?

          I am also confused about something that I brought up earlier: The forms and ideas exist within the mind of God, so they can be established as objectively existing. So, how can we know that the ideas which people come up with exist within the mind of God? If we hold up a book and say that it is a book, how can we say that this idea resonates within the mind of God, too (thus giving it objective existence)?

  67. gary says:

    Hi Scott,

    I apologize if I did not address your points. However, we may be speaking about two different issues. You are saying that the Big Bang Theory and other scientific discoveries are compatible with the Biblical Creation Story, thereby proving the existence of the Creator God, Yahweh, the Trinitarian Christian God.

    My point is this: There may well be evidence for a Creator, but if such evidence exists, it does not automatically translate into the existence of the Christian God. When I was growing up as a born again evangelical Christian, it would have been heresy for any “true” Christian to deny a literal six day Creation, but now many evangelicals and other conservative/orthodox Christians see no problem with harmonizing Evolutionary Theory with the Biblical account in Genesis. How does this prove that the Christian God is the Creator, however? If you read Genesis chapters 1 and 2 literally, they are completely incompatible with the Theory of Evolution. You have harmonized a story fhat Christians have believed for almost 2,000 years was a literal six day event.

    As far as the Hindu scriptures. What does this prove? How many “saviors” have had a similar story to Jesus? Isn’t it possible that Christians borrowed these details from the Hindus and not the other way around?

    • Scott Youngren says:

      Gary,

      You are not getting this. The REMARKABLE similarity between the biblical and scientific (Big Bang) accounts of creation demonstrate that whoever inspired the Bible clearly understood how the universe came to be thousands of years before modern science.

      Further, whoever inspired the Bible clearly understood both the relativity of time and the EXACT RATIO at which cosmic time converts to Earth time…thousands of years before modern science. As I mentioned, this million million-to-one ratio for converting cosmic time to Earth time is accepted by the highly respected, peer-reviewed journal Nature.

      When you use this ratio, the roughly 13.8 billion year old universe is about SIX DAYS old in terms of cosmic time. This explains the six day creation in the Bible.

      How could the Inspirer of the Bible know these things if that Inspirer was not God?!

      I do not read the first two chapters of Genesis entirely literally. Darwin’s theory of evolution does not conflict with the Bible. Rather, certain philosophical add-ons to this theory conflict with the Bible. These philosophical add-ons were put in place by people who subscribe to the matter-first worldview known as materialism (as described in this essay). I recommend my essay titled Why Evolution Cannot Be Used to Rationalize Atheism.

      CHARLES DARWIN’S OWN VIEWS on this matter are instructive. In his autobiography, Darwin wrote:

      “Another source of conviction in the existence of God, connected with the reason and not with the feelings, impresses me as having much more weight. This follows from the extreme difficulty or rather impossibility of conceiving this immense and wonderful universe, including man with his capacity of looking far backwards and far into futurity, as the result of blind chance or necessity. When thus reflecting I feel compelled to look to a First Cause having an intelligent mind in some degree analogous to that of man; and I deserve to be called a Theist.”

      I have to point out that it would be impossible for Christians to borrow these concepts from the Hindus. First of all, Jesus was a historical figure, not a mythological one. Even ancient sources hostile towards Christianity, such as the 1st century Jewish historian Josephus and the ancient Roman historian Celsus, do not attempt to deny Jesus’ miracles. Celsus, for example, rather than denying Jesus’ miracles, accused him of sorcery. Celsus wrote:

      “It was by means of sorcery that He [Jesus] was able to accomplish the wonders which He performed… Let us believe that these cures, or the resurrection, or the feeding of a multitude with a few loaves… These are nothing more than the tricks of jugglers… It is by the names of certain demons, and by the use of incantations, that the Christians appear to be possessed of power…”

      Lastly, Jesus is mentioned in far more places than in the Hindu scriptures and the Old Testament prophecies that I linked to in my previous comment. Please read my essay titled Which God Is Real?

      An excerpt from this essay regarding how God’s self-sacrifice on the cross is mentioned in ancient Chinese imperial documents:

      Chinese Christian Chan Kei Thong writes in Finding God In Ancient China: How the Ancient Chinese Worshiped the God of the Bible:

      “The Bible recounts a dramatic astronomic phenomenon occurring at the cruxifiction:

      It was now about the sixth hour, and darkness fell over the whole land until the ninth hour, because the sun was obscured; and the veil of the temple was torn in two. And Jesus, crying out with a loud voice, said, ‘Father, into Your hands I commit My spirit.’ Having said this, He breathed His last. (Luke 23: 44-46)

      Note that this solar eclipse lasted for three hours — from the sixth to the ninth hour, which is roughly noon to 3pm in modern timekeeping–before Jesus breathed His last. At that moment, the veil of the Jewish temple was supernaturally torn in two: a dramatic symbolization that the barrier between God and man was removed once and for all.”

      “Once again, this event is corroborated in the Chinese historical documents, which record a highly significant solar eclipse occurring around the time indicated in the biblical account:

      In the day of Gui Hai, the last day of the month, there was a solar eclipse, [The emperor] avoided the Throne Room, suspended all military activities, and did not handle official business for five days. And he proclaimed, ‘My poor character has caused this calamity, that the sun and the moon were veiled, I am fearful and trembling. What can I say?… Anyone who presents a memorial is not allowed to mention the word ‘holy’”.

      “Another entry made a short time later, referring to the same eclipse, said:

      Summer, fourth month [of the year], on the day of Ren Wu, the imperial edict reads, ‘Yin and Yang have mistakenly switched, and the sun and the moon were eclipsed. The sins of all the people are now on one man. [The emperor] proclaims pardon to all under heaven.’

      This solar eclipse was recorded in the Record of the Latter Han Dynasty, Gui Han was the last day of the third month in the spring, during the 7th year of Han Emperor Guang Wu (reigned A.D. 25 – 57). That corresponds to A.D. 31, which means that this major eclipse happened 34 years after the astral events involving the magi! “[At the time of Christ’s birth]

      “Even more incredibly, a commentary in the Record of the Latter Han Dynasty, said simply,

      ‘Eclipse on the day of Gui Hai, Man from heaven died.’

      The man from heaven died! Could there be a more apt description or a more accurate understanding of the Cruxifiction?

      God’s love extends to all the nations of the world, and in some unique and unknown way, He gave special insight to Chinese astronomers to understand what He was doing. We are all sinners, even the emperor, but God laid all our sins on His only Son, Jesus Christ.”

      • Gary says:

        With every scientific discovery Christians have followed the same pattern:

        1. Denounce it as an evil attack on God and people of Faith.

        2. Once the evidence for the scientific claim is so overwhelming, Christians abandon the literal interpretation of the Bible passages in question and harmonize the scientific claim into their theology.

        This has been done with the following scientific discoveries and claims:

        -a spherical earth
        -heliocentricity
        -the age of the universe
        -evolution of species by natural selection
        -the absence of geological evidence for a world-wide flood.

        If any conservative orthodox or evangelical Christian had endorsed these views just 40 years ago, they would have been branded a liberal and run out of their church. If ANY Christian had adopted these views 150 ago he would have been branded a heretic and run out of his church. And if any Christian had adopted these views anytime in the first 1800 years of Christianity he would have been branded a heretic and executed by the Church.

        I am just wondering: In the future, when someone discovers a device that can locate the corpse/DNA of any human being who has ever lived, exactly how are you going to modify your Christian worldview when we find the corpse of Jesus of Nazareth?

        • Scott Youngren says:

          Gary,

          This is even more ridiculous.

          When you say “Christians have followed the same pattern,” you seem to refer to “Christians” as if they are all one person. There are actually several billion Christians who have diverse views about scientific issues and about how literally scripture should be interpreted.

          Further, the Bible never endorsed a flat earth, or denounced heliocentricity, etc. This is because the Bible was never intended to teach science.

          Please give me an example of a Christian who endorsed a non-spherical earth based upon the Bible. Isaiah 40:22 mentions “the circle of the Earth.” Job 26:10 says, “He [God] drew a circular horizon on the face of the waters,
          At the boundary of light and darkness.”

          Regarding the age of the universe, you have failed to respond to my citation of Gerald Schroeder, who is both a biblical scholar and a physicist (formerly a Professor of Physics at MIT). He shows how the six day creation is in perfect accord with modern science. This is because (as Einstein demonstrated) time is relative to the observer and Earth time converts to cosmic time at a million million-to-one ratio. Again, this ratio is accepted by the respected, peer-reviewed journal Nature. So, to the question of whether the universe was created in six days (as according to the Bible) or 13.8 billion years, the answer is ALL OF THE ABOVE. How could the inspirer of the Bible know about both the relativity of time (thousands of years before Einstein) and the exact ratio at which Earth time converts to cosmic time, if the Inspirer of the Bible is not God?

          PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE answer this question and do not try distract attention from your inability to answer this question (with another “red-herring” diversionary tactic)!!

          Regarding evolution by natural selection, you have failed to respond to the points I made in my essay titled Why Evolution Cannot Be Used to Rationalize Atheism. The Bible has never conflicted with Darwin’s theory. Rather, the Bible has conflicted with shoddy philosophical add-ons to Darwin’s theory. Please note that the following two statements commit the same category error since they confuse different levels of causation:

          “Life was not created by God, but rather by natural processes.”

          “Cars are not created by people, but rather by manufacturing processes.”

          No matter how you slice it Gary, you cannot take scientific views that some of the several billion Christians have held and characterize them as “the Christian scientific views”…as if Christians are all the same person. When you do so, you are committing the Ad Hominem logical fallacy.

  68. gary says:

    One other amazing fact that Christians have discovered in addition to the relationship between cosmic time and earth time:

    The Russian Federation contains ten ancient kingdoms described in the Book of Revelation. These nations represent the ten horns of the Beast. Gog and Magog were ancient names for St. Petersburg and Moscow respectively. The Book of Revelation (along with inferences in the Book of Daniel)predict that the forces of Evil will be led in the Battle of Armegeddon by the Beast himself. If you assign the number “1” to every consonant and the number “2” to every vowel in the name of Vladimir Putin you arrive at a total number of 18. If you multiply the number 18 by the number of male members of the Romanov dynasty whose first name included the letter “r”, (111), you obtain the number 1998, the year that Vladimir Putin was first noted to prefer the color black for his overcoat. Divide 1998 by the number 3, the secret code number of the Illuminati, what number do you get?

    Answer: 666

    The Mark of the Beast

    Vladimir Putin is the Beast.

    • Scott Youngren says:

      Gary,

      This is very ridiculous. Any intelligent third party viewer of this conversation can see that you are tying to divert attention from a question which you cannot answer. A diversionary tactic such as your irrelevant “Russian Federation Book of Revelation” paragraph is known as a “red herring argument.”

      Once again: The million million-to-one ratio at which cosmic time converts to Earth time (accepted by the respected peer-reviewed journal Nature) means that the roughly 13.8 billion Earth years convert to six cosmic days. This is the six day creation that the Bible speaks about. Please review the article which I linked to by Gerald Schroeder, who is both a biblical scholar and a physicist (formerly a Professor of Physics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology).

      The question, yet again, is this: How could the Inspirer of the Bible know about both the relativity of time (thousands of years before Einstein discovered the relativity of time) and the exact ratio at which Earth time converts to cosmic time…if the Inspirer of the Bible is not God?

      I have found it useful to keep a counter of the number of times that an atheist ignores a question which cannot be coherently answered from within the framework of their belief system. THE COUNTER IS NOW ON TWO (2) FOR THIS QUESTION!

      Further, you seem to think that Christians are all one person. There may be some Christian somewhere who believes in the interpretation of the book of Revelation that you cite. But even if there were, what would be the relevance of this?

  69. gary says:

    Hi Scott,

    Here is the point I am trying to make: If one starts with an “inerrant” belief as one’s hypothesis and forces the facts to fit the hypothesis instead of the hypothesis fitting the facts, it is amazing the theories one can form.

    So, if I have already decided that Vladimir Putin IS the Beast, I look at facts and force them to fit my theory. The Putin in the Beast Theory above is my own invention just to prove this point.

    Now, I will provide an answer to your question below.

  70. gary says:

    Fitting the Bible to the Data (1998)

    Victor J. Stenger

    photo of book coverReview of The Science of God: The Convergence of Scientific and Biblical Wisdom by Gerald L. Schroeder. New York and London: The Free Press, 1997.

    How can both the Bible and science be right? Israeli physicist Gerald Schroeder says he can show us how. Let’s start with cosmology. The Bible says God created the universe in six days and indicates the passage of only about 6,000 years since then. Science currently estimates the visible universe to be about 13 billion years old, give or take a few billion. Schroeder reconciles the two, explaining that the six days of the Bible refer to a different measure of time. He explains: “there is no possible way for those first six days to have an Earth-based perspective simply because for the first two of those six days there was no Earth” (51).

    Instead, time during this six day period was measured on a cosmic clock. And what else could be used for that clock but the vibrations of light (electromagnetic waves)? Today the light from creation appears as the cosmic microwave background. This is now redshifted by a factor of a trillion (1012) from the period of “quark confinement” when matter as we know it first began to form. Thus the cosmic clock at that epoch ran off a trillion days for each of our modern days. The six cosmic days of creation thus took about 15 billion years earth time, give or take a few billion. So, according to the author, Genesis is not only consistent with cosmology, it gives the correct age of the universe!

    Each of the six days in Schroeder’s Genesis actually takes a different length of earth time. The duration D, in earth days, of each cosmic day t is calculated from the formula D = (Ao/L)exp(-Lt), where Ao = 4×1012 (the ratio of the frequencies of the cosmic microwave background at quark confinement compared to now) and L = 0.693 (natural log of 2). More simply, cosmic day one is 8 billion earth years long and you divide by two to get the duration of each succeeding cosmic day.

    Cosmic day one starts 15.75 billion earth years ago and covers the creation of the universe, the “breaking free” of light as electrons bind to atomic nuclei, and the beginning of galaxy formation. This is described in Gen. 1:1-5 as the creation followed by light separating from the darkness.

    Cosmic day two starts 7.75 billion earth years ago and lasts four billion earth years. During this period the stars and galaxies are born. This corresponds to Gen. 1:6-8, the formation of the heavenly firmament.

    Cosmic day three starts 3.75 billion earth years ago. During two billion earth years, the earth cools, water appears, and the first life forms appear. In Gen. 1:9-13, vegetation first appears during the third day.

    Cosmic day four starts 1.75 billion earth years ago and lasts a billion earth years. The earth’s atmosphere becomes transparent and photosynthesis produces an oxygen-rich atmosphere. Schroeder says that this corresponds to Gen. 1:14-19 when “the Sun, Moon, and stars become visible in the heavens” (67).

    Cosmic day five starts 750 million earth years ago and lasts 500 million earth years. During this period, the first multicellular animals appear and the oceans swarm with life. Gen. 1:20-23 says the waters bring forth swarms of living creatures and “birds fly above the earth” (94).

    Cosmic day six starts 250 million years ago and ends at the time of Adam. During this period we have a massive extinction in which 90 percent of life is destroyed and then repopulated with humanoids and humans. This, Schroeder says, corresponds to what is described in Gen. 1:24-31.

    Technically, Schroeder’s formula gives the present as the end of the sixth day. However, it could just as well have ended a few thousand years ago and not affect the rest of the calculation where things are rounded off at hundreds of millions of years. Schroeder argues that after the six cosmic days of creation, Genesis switches its focus over to humanity and starts measuring time in human terms. The rest of the Bible concerns itself with the 6,000 earth years since Adam and Eve, estimated from the Bible in Bishop Ussher fashion.

    Schroeder does not deny the existence of hominid creatures before Adam. He talks about Neanderthals and Cro-Magnons, and accepts that they had developed tools, pottery, and many human-like qualities. In Lev. 11:33 the Bible talks about pottery. But, Schroeder argues that since it never mentions the invention of pottery, that event must have pre-dated Adam (130).

    According to the author, the Bible has no interest in these pre-Adam hominids because they were not yet fully human and had no souls. Thus they are never mentioned. Adam represents the quantitative change to a large brain, but more important, the qualitative change that makes us different from all other forms of life: “our soul of human spirituality” (133). God breathed this into Adam, the first real human, 6,000 years ago.

    Schroeder’s attempt to connect 31 lines of Genesis to big-bang cosmology and earth paleontology makes entertaining reading, but will convince no one who is not already convinced or totally lacking of critical facilities.

    Let us return to the beginning. Schroeder’s use of quark confinement as the defining moment for his cosmic time scale is completely arbitrary. He seems to have chosen it for no better reason than it gives the answer he wants. The redshift from quark confinement to the present is of the order of 1012. Multiplying this by six days gives 15 billion years, which is consistent with our current estimate for the age of the universe.

    Alternatively, Schroeder might have chosen the moment in the early universe called “decoupling,” which represents the point where radiation separates from matter. Indeed, he relates this event to the separation of the “light from the darkness” described in Genesis day one. But the redshift from decoupling to the present is only of the order of 1,000, which would give an earth time interval of only fifteen years for the six cosmic days of creation. If he had chosen some other moment, he would have obtained yet a different time scale.

    Furthermore, by Schroeder’s own formula the universe creation corresponds to the time of quark confinement. Blueshifting back from that point rather than redshifting ahead, the events prior to quark confinement would recede infinitely into the past, in earth time, and we would have no creation at all.

    Schroeder’s use of an exponential function to give different earth periods for each cosmic day is not justified by his argument that earth time is simply redshifted cosmic time. While an exponential relationship would apply for the inflationary epoch in the early universe, that has ended by the time of quark confinement. Afterwards we have the almost linear Hubble expansion in which the redshift varies as a power law with time, not exponentially. By having each cosmic day half as long as the preceding one in earth years, again a completely arbitrary, unjustified procedure, Schroeder is able to vaguely relate events known from cosmology to those described in Genesis.

    In cosmic day two the “firmament” is created. Note that Schroeder excludes from the “firmament” all galaxies more than 7.75 billion light years away, of which there are many. Furthermore, he sees no problem with calling the expanding universe a “firmament.” Like all apologists, he selects his data carefully, accepting only those which agree with his hypotheses and discarding those which do not.

    Primitive life first appears in cosmic day three. Here again it takes some mighty stretching to associate what is described in the Bible for the third day, including fruit trees, with the primitive life described by paleontology for that epoch.

    Schroeder has the sun, moon, and stars becoming visible in cosmic day four. In fact, Genesis seems to say the that sun, moon, and stars are created at that time – well after the earth was created.

    Cosmic day five has the waters teeming with life. But the biblical verses imply birds as well. Schroeder says that “birds” is a mistranslation and that the Bible here is referring to water insects instead. Translation is so easy when you know what you want a passage to say.

    Cosmic day six contains the mass extinctions of life that occurred 65 million years ago. The biblical verses referenced make no mention of mass extinction. The Biblical Flood occurs well after Adam, but Schroeder needs to end the six days of creation with Adam for other purposes. This is one event he simply cannot make fit, although he is not honest enough to say so and leaves the impression that everything is consistent.

    At times you get the impression that this book is a parody, with quite a few good chuckles when read in that context. However, the sections on evolution soon convince you that no parody is intended. They are just too unfunny, too dull. Schroeder trots out all the old, tiresome arguments about why “life could not have stared by chance” and how the simplest forms, even viruses, are “far too complex to have originated without there being an inherent chemical property of molecular self-organization and/or reaction enhancing catalysts at every step of their development” (85). He applies the usual creationist deception of calculating chance probabilities as if chance is the only operative mechanism, and then saying this “proves” that God intervenes along the way when they come out very low. And, of course, the “staccato aspect of the fossil record” refutes classical evolution. “These rapid changes cannot be explained by purely random mutations at the molecular-genetic level” (87).

    Notice how often theists tell us that something cannot be explained except by God? They never seem to learn from history.

    Victor J. Stenger is emeritus professor of physics and astronomy at the University of Hawaii and the author of Not By Design: The Origin of the Universe (Prometheus Books, 1988), Physics and Psychics: The Search for a World Beyond the Senses (Prometheus Books, 1990), The Unconscious Quantum: Metaphysics in Modern Physics and Cosmology (Prometheus Books, 1995) and Timeless Reality : Symmetry, Simplicity, and Multiple Universes (Prometheus Books, 2000).

    • Scott Youngren says:

      Gary,

      Please note that Victor Stenger does not have any credentials as a biblical scholar. In order to be an Old Testament scholar, one must have a firm grasp of Hebrew.

      Therefore, Stenger’s commentary on such issues as whether the correct interpretation of the wording in day 5 of creation is “bird” or “insect” is of no relevance.

      Stenger says that the million million-to-one conversion ratio from Earth time to cosmic time is “arbitrary.” Well, apparently the peer-reviewed journal Nature was being arbitrary also when it agreed to this.

      Also, Stenger says “[Schroeder] sees no problem with calling the expanding universe a ‘firmament.’” Unfortunately for Stenger, the Bible is completely unambiguous about the universe expanding. Psalm 104:2 says, “he [God] stretches out the heavens like a tent.” Further, if you look up the word “firmament” in the Oxford Dictionary, its says, “the heavens or the sky.” Firmament does not imply non-expansion. This is Stenger’s unjustifiable add-on, and therefore a straw-man argument.

      The Bible knew about the expanding universe thousands of years before modern science. Your comparison about Vladimir Putin being the beast is absolutely ridiculous, as any third party viewer of this conversation can tell. “Stretching out the heavens” is completely unambiguous and does not require any interpretive manipulation….as does your Putin example.

      Many scientists, in fact, use the analogy of the universe being like an expanding balloon.

      Another straw-man that Stenger commits: Stenger says that Schroeder “has the sun, moon, and stars becoming visible in cosmic day four. In fact, Genesis seems to say the that sun, moon, and stars are created at that time – well after the earth was created.”

      No Genesis does not say that the sun, moon, and stars are created at that time. That is Stenger’s misinterpretive add-on, and therefore another straw-man argument. Science says that a translucent cloud layer was removed at this time, so that the sun, moon, and stars shone through. This is what Genesis 1:15 means when it says, “lights in the expanse of the heavens to give light on the earth” on the 4th day.

      Lastly, Stenger says “Schroeder trots out all the old, tiresome arguments about why ‘life could not have stared by chance’ and how the simplest forms, even viruses, are ‘far too complex to have originated without there being an inherent chemical property of molecular self-organization and/or reaction enhancing catalysts at every step of their development.'”

      Please note that merely characterizing an argument as “old” and “tiresome” does nothing to refute that argument. He seems to confuse merely characterizing an argument with actually responding to that argument. Stenger says that chance is not necessarily the “only operative mechanism.” Do you agree? If so, then what are the other “operative mechanisms” that produced life from non-life?

      I am VERY EXTREMELY CURIOUS TO HEAR YOUR REPLY.

      Please consider the following description of the simplest living organism (the single cell), as excerpted from The Way of the Cell by Oxford University scientist Franklin M. Harold, when crafting your response:

      “…a high-tech factory, complete with artificial languages and their decoding systems, memory banks for information storage and retrieval, elegant control systems regulating the automated assembly of parts and components, error fail-safe and proof-reading devices utilized for quality control, assembly processes involving the principle of prefabrication and modular construction … [and] a capacity not equaled in any of our own most advanced machines, for it would be capable of replicating its entire structure within a matter of a few hours.”

  71. gary says:

    Scott,

    Just because you can find a scientist or two who publish an article in Nature does not mean that your theory has scientific validity. The majority of scientists consider your view as pseudo-science at best, and nonsense at worst. So how can this ratio you espouse be so accurate? I have no clue. But how can my mathematical calculations in my Putin is the Beast Theory be so accurate? Answer: Because I want thm to: I found facts that fit my theory, instead of following the facts to derive a theory.

    • Scott Youngren says:

      Gary,

      You say, “the majority of scientists consider [my] view as pseudo-science at best.” Please cite for me a SINGLE SCIENTIST who thinks that EITHER of the two following items:

      1) The relativity of time (described by Einstein as “time dilation”).
      2) The million million-to-one ratio at which Earth time converts to cosmic time (as accepted by the peer-reviewed journal Nature). Recall that this ratio converts the roughly 13.8 billion years of Earth time to SIX cosmic days.

      There is no “finding facts to fit a theory.”

      Further, you have IGNORED and FAILED TO RESPOND to my points about the Old Testament prophecies fulfilled by Jesus. Please AGAIN read and respond to the following article:

      http://christianity.about.com/od/biblefactsandlists/a/Prophecies-Jesus.htm

      Lastly, you have IGNORED and FAILED TO RESPOND to my points about how Jesus is mentioned in both the Hindu scriptures and in ancient Chinese imperial documents:

      An excerpt from my essay regarding how God’s self-sacrifice on the cross is mentioned in ancient Chinese imperial documents:

      Chinese Christian Chan Kei Thong writes in Finding God In Ancient China: How the Ancient Chinese Worshiped the God of the Bible:

      “The Bible recounts a dramatic astronomic phenomenon occurring at the cruxifiction:

      It was now about the sixth hour, and darkness fell over the whole land until the ninth hour, because the sun was obscured; and the veil of the temple was torn in two. And Jesus, crying out with a loud voice, said, ‘Father, into Your hands I commit My spirit.’ Having said this, He breathed His last. (Luke 23: 44-46)

      Note that this solar eclipse lasted for three hours — from the sixth to the ninth hour, which is roughly noon to 3pm in modern timekeeping–before Jesus breathed His last. At that moment, the veil of the Jewish temple was supernaturally torn in two: a dramatic symbolization that the barrier between God and man was removed once and for all.”

      “Once again, this event is corroborated in the Chinese historical documents, which record a highly significant solar eclipse occurring around the time indicated in the biblical account:

      In the day of Gui Hai, the last day of the month, there was a solar eclipse, [The emperor] avoided the Throne Room, suspended all military activities, and did not handle official business for five days. And he proclaimed, ‘My poor character has caused this calamity, that the sun and the moon were veiled, I am fearful and trembling. What can I say?… Anyone who presents a memorial is not allowed to mention the word ‘holy’”.

      “Another entry made a short time later, referring to the same eclipse, said:

      Summer, fourth month [of the year], on the day of Ren Wu, the imperial edict reads, ‘Yin and Yang have mistakenly switched, and the sun and the moon were eclipsed. The sins of all the people are now on one man. [The emperor] proclaims pardon to all under heaven.’

      This solar eclipse was recorded in the Record of the Latter Han Dynasty, Gui Han was the last day of the third month in the spring, during the 7th year of Han Emperor Guang Wu (reigned A.D. 25 – 57). That corresponds to A.D. 31, which means that this major eclipse happened 34 years after the astral events involving the magi! “[At the time of Christ’s birth]

      “Even more incredibly, a commentary in the Record of the Latter Han Dynasty, said simply,

      ‘Eclipse on the day of Gui Hai, Man from heaven died.’

      The man from heaven died! Could there be a more apt description or a more accurate understanding of the Cruxifiction?

      God’s love extends to all the nations of the world, and in some unique and unknown way, He gave special insight to Chinese astronomers to understand what He was doing. We are all sinners, even the emperor, but God laid all our sins on His only Son, Jesus Christ.”

      Am I “finding facts to fit my theory” here?!

      • gary says:

        I am not a scientist, so I cannot debate your two points above with you. However, I would challenge you to provide the percentage of physicists and other science who believe that your “ratio” proves that the Biblical account of Creation is correct and that Yahweh is the Lord of the Universe. Again, just because you can find a couple of scientists who endorse a theory does not make it fact. I am a physician. There are many physicians who declare as fact some of the most bizarre medical theories. The issue I always look at when a patient brings in some article by an “MD” stating that oxidized pond water cures cancer, is: what is the consensus in the medical community as a whole on this issue? It doesn’t mean that our oxidized pond water doctor is wrong, it just means that his discovery should be looked upon with suspicion and reservation if the overwhelming majority of his colleagues say that he is “all wet”.

  72. gary says:

    Scott,

    Conservative Christians such as yourself are not the only religious people whose Holy Book describe amazing scientific facts. Did you know that the Koran, written in the seventh century, describes the trajectory of the sun and the moon in a spherical pattern! This must be proof that the Koran is the very Word of the Creator, right?

    And that isn’t all. The Koran contains many, many scientific facts that have not been discovered by scientists until only the last few centuries. Here is a link to a long list of these amazing scientific findings in the Koran:

    http://miraclesofthequran.com/scientific_index.html

    • Scott Youngren says:

      Gary,

      Your link does not provide any references to the Koran whatsoever which link scientific discoveries to passages from the Koran.

      • gary says:

        THE EARTH’S GRAVITATIONAL FORCE

        Did we not make the earth a receptacle? (Surat al-Mursalat, 25)

        The Arabic word “kifatan,” translated as “receptacle” in the above verse, means “living things being gathered together and protected in their dwellings, places where living or inanimate things are gathered together; on which things are piled; place where things are collected.” “Kifatan” comes from root word “kafata,” which means “to collect, gather toward one, close embrace.”

        With its gravitational force, the earth pulls the human beings and everything else on it, living or inanimate, toward its center. It is very likely that the use of a verb meaning “to pull toward one” refers to this force of gravity. (Allah knows the truth.)

        • Scott Youngren says:

          Gary,

          This is even weaker, and again, very strange. Do you not think that people were able to observe the effect of gravity before this passage was written? What does this passage really foretell?

      • gary says:

        THE HELIO-CENTRIC SYSTEM

        He created the heavens and the Earth with truth. He wraps the night around the day and wraps the day around the night, and has made the Sun and Moon subservient, each one running for a specified term. Is He not indeed the Almighty, the Endlessly Forgiving? ( Surat az-Zumar, 5)

        In the above verse the movement of the Earth is described by the word “yukawwiru,” which comes from root verb “takwir,” meaning “to cover up a spherical body,” in the way that the rotation of the Earth gives rise to night and day, like the winding of a turban. In addition to the spherical shape of the Earth the word is also the most accurate expression of its movement around the Sun. Because of the Earth’s spherical shape and its movement around the Sun, the Sun always illuminates one side of the Earth while the other is in darkness. The side in shadow is shrouded by the darkness of night, to be replaced by the brightness of day when the Sun rises. The positions of the Sun and Earth are revealed as follows in Surah Ya Sin:

        And the Sun runs to its resting place. That is the decree of the Almighty, the All-Knowing. And We have decreed set phases for the Moon, until it ends up looking like an old palm spathe. It is not for the Sun to overtake the Moon nor for the night to outstrip the day; each one is swimming in a sphere. (Surah Ya Sin, 38-40)

        The movements of the Sun and Moon in verse 40 of Surah Ya Sin are described by the Arabic word “yasbahoona,” meaning “flowing, passing or swimming.” This word refers to an action performed by someone on their own. Someone acting according to this verb continues to perform it alone, with no intervention from anyone else. The above verses may therefore be referring to the Sun’s independent movement in the universe, independent of any other celestial body. (Allah knows the truth.) It is impossible for us to see or follow the movement of the Sun with our own eyes. It is only possible to determine that movement using special technological equipment. As stated in verse 39 of Surah Ya Sin, in addition to rotating around its own axis once every 26 days, the Sun also moves through its own course.

        • gary says:

          So do I think that Mohammad writing in the seventh century AD was given insights into complicated scientific facts?

          No.

          These statements by Islam of the “amazing” scientific references in the Koran appear just ridiculous and fabricated to you, just as your beliefs of the “amazing” scientific accuracy of your ancient, middle-eastern holy book appear to skeptics and non-Christians such as myself.

        • Scott Youngren says:

          Gary,

          This is very weak. The ancient Greeks knew about the spherical Earth as early as the 6th century BC.

          You are interpret the “flowing, passing, or swimming” of the sun and moon to be a foretelling of a heliocentric solar system? This is very very weak.

          How can you possibly interpret any of these verses to have foretold a heliocentric universe? This is very strange. Please elaborate if you wish to develop this argument further.

          • gary says:

            I DON’T believe that these passages from the Koran foretell scientific facts. But this is what religious people do: they force the facts of science to fit the inerrant theology of their ancient holy book.

            The fact that the cosmic age of the earth fits your holy book’s “six day creation” is pure coincidence, just as the sum of the vowels and consonants in Putin’s name can be manipulated to give him the sign of the Beast. The similarity you describe as amazing does not prove that your invisible deity in the sky is the Almighty Ruler of the Universe.

            • Scott Youngren says:

              Gary,

              So the remarkable similarity between the biblical and scientific (Big Bang) account of creation is a coincidence? Ok, now I know your stance.

              Please note that Arno Penzias, the 1978 Nobel Prize recipient in physics, is not a Christian or a Jew. Penzias stated to the New York Times on March 12, 1978:

              “The best data we have (concerning the Big Bang) are exactly what I would have predicted, had I nothing to go on but the five books of Moses, the Psalms, the Bible as a whole.”

              And regarding the Big Bang, the astronomer, physicist and founder of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, Robert Jastrow (a self-described agnostic) writes:

              “For the scientist who has lived by his faith in the power of reason, the story ends like a bad dream. He has scaled the mountains of ignorance, he is about to conquer the highest peak; as he pulls himself over the final rock, he is greeted by a band of theologians who have been sitting there for centuries.”

              J.M. Wersinger, Assoc. Professor of Physics at Auburn University, also not a Christian or a Jew, writes:

              “Not only did the Big Bang model seem to give in to the Judeo-Christian idea of a beginning of the world, but it also seemed to have to call for an act of supernatural creation…”

              Astrophysicist and cosmologist George Smoot (also not a Christian or a Jew) writes:

              “There is no doubt that a parallel exists between the Big Bang as an event and the Christian notion of creation from nothing.”

              Please cite for me some non-Muslims who consider the “flowing, passing, or swimming” of the sun and moon in the Koran to be a foretelling of a heliocentric solar system. Your comparison is utterly ridiculous.

              The million million-to-one conversion ratio between Earth time and cosmic time (accepted by the respected peer reviewed journal Nature) which converts the roughly 13.8 billion Earth years to six days is a coincidence? Ok, now I know your stance.

              Are the prophecies of Jesus foretold in the Old Testament about Jesus are coincidences?

              PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE respond to the following article about these prophecies:

              http://christianity.about.com/od/biblefactsandlists/a/Prophecies-Jesus.htm

              Your book of Revelation comparison is also ridiculous. There is no finagling of numbers. When the Bible something such as “in the beginning,” there is no bending facts to fit one’s interpretation. The universe had a beginning, and the Bible knew this thousands of years before modern science.

  73. gary says:

    Christians have a very bad habit of cherry picking verses in the Old Testament, then forcing them to fit their beliefs. So does the OT predict the crucifixion? Let’s see. But, instead of picking out one verse which certainly sounds like a crucifixion, let’s look at the passage in context and let’s look at comments by the translators at the very bottom of the page:

    Why Have You Forsaken Me?

    To the choirmaster: according to The Doe of the Dawn. A Psalm of David.

    22 My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
    Why are you so far from saving me, from the words of my groaning?

    2
    O my God, I cry by day, but you do not answer,
    and by night, but I find no rest.

    3
    Yet you are holy,
    enthroned on the praises[a] of Israel.

    4
    In you our fathers trusted;
    they trusted, and you delivered them.

    5
    To you they cried and were rescued;
    in you they trusted and were not put to shame.

    6
    But I am a worm and not a man,
    scorned by mankind and despised by the people.

    7
    All who see me mock me;
    they make mouths at me; they wag their heads;

    8
    “He trusts in the Lord; let him deliver him;
    let him rescue him, for he delights in him!”

    9
    Yet you are he who took me from the womb;
    you made me trust you at my mother’s breasts.

    10
    On you was I cast from my birth,
    and from my mother’s womb you have been my God.

    11
    Be not far from me,
    for trouble is near,
    and there is none to help.

    12
    Many bulls encompass me;
    strong bulls of Bashan surround me;

    13
    they open wide their mouths at me,
    like a ravening and roaring lion.

    14
    I am poured out like water,
    and all my bones are out of joint;
    my heart is like wax;
    it is melted within my breast;

    15
    my strength is dried up like a potsherd,
    and my tongue sticks to my jaws;
    you lay me in the dust of death.

    16
    For dogs encompass me;
    a company of evildoers encircles me;
    they have pierced my hands and feet[b]—

    17
    I can count all my bones—
    they stare and gloat over me;

    18
    they divide my garments among them,
    and for my clothing they cast lots.

    19
    But you, O Lord, do not be far off!
    O you my help, come quickly to my aid!

    20
    Deliver my soul from the sword,
    my precious life from the power of the dog!

    21
    Save me from the mouth of the lion!
    You have rescued[c] me from the horns of the wild oxen!

    22
    I will tell of your name to my brothers;
    in the midst of the congregation I will praise you:

    23
    You who fear the Lord, praise him!
    All you offspring of Jacob, glorify him,
    and stand in awe of him, all you offspring of Israel!

    24
    For he has not despised or abhorred
    the affliction of the afflicted,
    and he has not hidden his face from him,
    but has heard, when he cried to him.

    25
    From you comes my praise in the great congregation;
    my vows I will perform before those who fear him.

    26
    The afflicted[d] shall eat and be satisfied;
    those who seek him shall praise the Lord!
    May your hearts live forever!

    27
    All the ends of the earth shall remember
    and turn to the Lord,
    and all the families of the nations
    shall worship before you.

    28
    For kingship belongs to the Lord,
    and he rules over the nations.

    29
    All the prosperous of the earth eat and worship;
    before him shall bow all who go down to the dust,
    even the one who could not keep himself alive.

    30
    Posterity shall serve him;
    it shall be told of the Lord to the coming generation;

    31
    they shall come and proclaim his righteousness to a people yet unborn,
    that he has done it.

    Footnotes:
    a.Psalm 22:3 Or dwelling in the praises
    b.Psalm 22:16 Some Hebrew manuscripts, Septuagint, Vulgate, Syriac; most Hebrew manuscripts like a lion [they are at] my hands and feet
    c.Psalm 22:21 Hebrew answered
    d.Psalm 22:26 Or The meek

  74. gary says:

    Let’s look at verses 9 and 10:

    Yet you are he who took me from the womb;
    you made me trust you at my mother’s breasts.

    10
    On you was I cast from my birth,
    and from my mother’s womb you have been my God.

    Now this is a very odd statement for Jesus to make if he is truly God as all Trinitarian Christians believe. Why would God need to make HIMSELF trust in himself? This is something a weak, sinful human would say to an All-powerful Deity, not a God talking to himself, or 1/3 of a Godhead talking to another 1/3 of the same Godhead.

    This passage has nothing to do with Jesus whatsoever. This is the psalmist crying out to his god for assistance.

    Now, let’s just pretend that this passage is Jesus (God) speaking to the Father (God). Why would Jesus, who is as eternal as his Father, say to his Father that the Father has been his God from his womb? If this is Jesus speaking, what he would say would be something like this: You and I, Father, have been One for all eternity. WE have always been God.

    This is obviously not Jesus speaking, but a mortal human whose existence begins in the womb. Trinitarian Christians are not Mormons. They do not believe that human souls have existed prior to conception in the womb.

    Now, look at the footnotes: Notice that most Hebrew manuscripts say something very different for verse 16, the one verse in this passage that Christians have cherry picked to prophesy Jesus’ future crucifixion. What do most Hebrew texts say this verse really says?

    Psalm 22:16 Some Hebrew manuscripts, Septuagint, Vulgate, Syriac; most Hebrew manuscripts like a lion [they are at] my hands and feet

    So in most Hebrew texts, there is no hand and feet piercing.

    This entire Psalms has NOTHING to do with anything that happened during the life and death of Jesus of Nazareth. I will look at a few other of your “Jesus prophesies”. Let’s make sure we look at the CONTEXT of the passage, and not simply one verse pulled out of context to fit our established belief.

    • Scott Youngren says:

      Gary,

      This is an odd circular argument. You have to first assume that these particular passages are referring to Jesus in order to attack them as referring to Jesus.

      I am not a biblical scholar. Who has alleged that these passages refer to Jesus? Please clarify.

      I cannot respond to an argument that someone else has made. You, yet again, refer to Christians as if they are all the same person when you refer to “the one verse in this passage that Christians have cherry picked to prophesy Jesus’ future crucifixion.”

      I cannot respond to all arguments made by all Christians because I am only one Christian. Did you forget? This is very strange.

      • gary says:

        I’m confused. YOU referred me to this list of alleged OT prophecies asking me if they could just be coincidence. I read your article, and I’m now pointing out the fallacious reasoning used to pull one or two passages out of context to make them fit your preconceived beliefs.

        • Scott Youngren says:

          Gary,

          Sorry, you did not specify which of the prophecies in the link that I gave that you were talking about.

          You need to reference the particular prophecy in the link I provided and the particular book and chapter of the Bible you are talking about. You cannot just say “verses 9 and 10” and expect me to know what you are talking about.

  75. gary says:

    Here is the next prophecy on your list: the Messiah will be born of a woman. Hmmm. How else would the Messiah be born, in vitro? The passage used for this prophecy is in Genesis chapter 3, verse 15. I have included the previous verse:

    The Lord God said to the serpent,

    “Because you have done this,
    cursed are you above all livestock
    and above all beasts of the field;
    on your belly you shall go,
    and dust you shall eat
    all the days of your life.

    15
    I will put enmity between you and the woman,
    and between your offspring[e] and her offspring;
    he shall bruise your head,
    and you shall bruise his heel.”

    So God tells the snake that he and the woman are going to hate each other and so will their offspring. Humans will hit snakes over the head to kill them, and snakes will bite people in the heel/ankle.

    Sorry. There is nothing in this passage that says anything about Jesus. To say it does takes the most inventive stretching of logic and the English language.

  76. gary says:

    The next one is a doozy: the Messiah will be born of a Virgin. And what OT passages is this amazing supernatural prophecy based upon? ONE. One verse from Isaiah. But, instead of just pulling the one verse out of the chapter as most Christians do on this issue, let’s look at the entire chapter.

    Isaiah 7 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

    Isaiah Reassures King Ahaz

    7 In the days of Ahaz son of Jotham son of Uzziah, king of Judah, King Rezin of Aram and King Pekah son of Remaliah of Israel went up to attack Jerusalem, but could not mount an attack against it. 2 When the house of David heard that Aram had allied itself with Ephraim, the heart of Ahaz[a] and the heart of his people shook as the trees of the forest shake before the wind.

    3 Then the Lord said to Isaiah, Go out to meet Ahaz, you and your son Shear-jashub,[b] at the end of the conduit of the upper pool on the highway to the Fuller’s Field, 4 and say to him, Take heed, be quiet, do not fear, and do not let your heart be faint because of these two smoldering stumps of firebrands, because of the fierce anger of Rezin and Aram and the son of Remaliah. 5 Because Aram—with Ephraim and the son of Remaliah—has plotted evil against you, saying, 6 Let us go up against Judah and cut off Jerusalem[c] and conquer it for ourselves and make the son of Tabeel king in it; 7 therefore thus says the Lord God:

    It shall not stand,
    and it shall not come to pass.

    8
    For the head of Aram is Damascus,
    and the head of Damascus is Rezin.

    (Within sixty-five years Ephraim will be shattered, no longer a people.)

    9
    The head of Ephraim is Samaria,
    and the head of Samaria is the son of Remaliah.
    If you do not stand firm in faith,
    you shall not stand at all.

    Isaiah Gives Ahaz the Sign of Immanuel

    10 Again the Lord spoke to Ahaz, saying, 11 Ask a sign of the Lord your God; let it be deep as Sheol or high as heaven. 12 But Ahaz said, I will not ask, and I will not put the Lord to the test. 13 Then Isaiah[d] said: “Hear then, O house of David! Is it too little for you to weary mortals, that you weary my God also? 14 Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Look, the young woman[e] is with child and shall bear a son, and shall name him Immanuel.[f] 15 He shall eat curds and honey by the time he knows how to refuse the evil and choose the good. 16 For before the child knows how to refuse the evil and choose the good, the land before whose two kings you are in dread will be deserted. 17 The Lord will bring on you and on your people and on your ancestral house such days as have not come since the day that Ephraim departed from Judah—the king of Assyria.”

    18 On that day the Lord will whistle for the fly that is at the sources of the streams of Egypt, and for the bee that is in the land of Assyria. 19 And they will all come and settle in the steep ravines, and in the clefts of the rocks, and on all the thornbushes, and on all the pastures.

    20 On that day the Lord will shave with a razor hired beyond the River—with the king of Assyria—the head and the hair of the feet, and it will take off the beard as well.

    21 On that day one will keep alive a young cow and two sheep, 22 and will eat curds because of the abundance of milk that they give; for everyone that is left in the land shall eat curds and honey.

    23 On that day every place where there used to be a thousand vines, worth a thousand shekels of silver, will become briers and thorns. 24 With bow and arrows one will go there, for all the land will be briers and thorns; 25 and as for all the hills that used to be hoed with a hoe, you will not go there for fear of briers and thorns; but they will become a place where cattle are let loose and where sheep tread.

    Footnotes:
    a.Isaiah 7:2 Heb his heart
    b.Isaiah 7:3 That is A remnant shall return
    c.Isaiah 7:6 Heb cut it off
    d.Isaiah 7:13 Heb he
    e.Isaiah 7:14 Gk the virgin
    f.Isaiah 7:14 That is God is with us

    • Scott Youngren says:

      Gary,

      I am not familiar with claims made about Jesus being born of a virgin. However, the New International Version of the Bible says the following in Isaiah 7:14

      “Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.”

      What is your point in copying and pasting the entire chapter? This is unclear.

      Further, please note that verse 13 mentions the “house of David.” Jesus was a descendant of David. This is a fulfillment of prophecy.

      Please respond to the 3 following questions:

      1) How can Isaiah chapter 53 be referring to anyone other than Jesus considering such things as the following?:

      Verse 3 says “he was despised and rejected by mankind.” This does not take any interpretive finagling. Jesus WAS despised and rejected by mankind…that is why he was crucified.

      Verse 5 says “he was pierced for our transgressions.” This also does not take any interpretive finagling. Jesus hands were pierced on the cross…and his death was a sacrifice for our transgressions (sins).

      Verse 9 talks about how he was placed in a rich mans grave. This is what happened. He was buried in the tomb that belonged to Joseph of Arimathea…a rich man.

      2) How can the following verses from the Hindu scriptures (Upanishads and Vedas) which discuss diving self-sacrifice be referring to anyone besides Jesus?:

      “The Supreme Creator took a perfect human body (Nishkalanka Purusha) and offered it up as a self-sacrifice (Brihad Aranyak Upanishad 1:2:8).”

      “If you want to be delivered from the sin, which you commit through eyes, mouth, ears and mind, bloodshed is necessary. Without shedding the blood, there is no remission for sin. That must be the blood of the Holy one. God is our creator. He is our King. When we were perishing, He came to save us by offering even his own body on our behalf.” (Tandya Mahabrahmana 4.15).

      “The redemption is through shedding of blood only and that blood has to be through the sacrifice of God himself.” (Taittiriya Aranyaka, verse 3).

      “This [sacrifice] is the only way for the redemption and liberation of mankind. Those who meditate and attain this man, believe in heart and chant with the lips, get liberated in this world itself and there is no other way for salvation too.” (Yajur-Veda 31:18)

      “The Purusha was above sin, and only in knowing him does one attain immortality.” (Chandogyopanishad 1:6:6-7)

      “After giving Himself as the supreme sacrifice, this Purush resurrected himself.” (Brihadaranyakaopanishad 3.9.28.4-5; Kathopanishad 3: 15).

      “The purpose of this sacrifice is to provide the only way to Heaven and the only way to escape from Hell.” (Rig-Veda 9:113:7-11; 4:5:5; 7:104:3).

      “His hands and legs are to be bound to a yoopa [a wooden pole] causing blood shed.” (Brihadaranyakaopanishad 3.9.28; Aitareya Brahmana 2:6).

      “The sacrificial victim is to be crowned with a crown made of thorny vines.” (Rig-Veda 10:90:7, Brihadaranyakaopanishad 3:9:28).

      “Before death he should be given a drink of somarasa [sour wine made of an herb called somalatha].” (Yajur-Veda 31).

      “None of His bones must be broken.” (Yajur-Veda 31:; Aitareya Brahmana 2:6)

      Regarding the last passage above, for example, please note that the Old Testament also discusses how Jesus bones would not be broken.

      A copy and paste from this post:

      When God gave Moses and Aaron the rules for the Passover, some might have sounded unconventional—for example, the clear prohibition against breaking any bones of the lamb that was sacrificed and eaten by each household. Why did God insist on this?

      This command—that the Passover lamb not have its legs broken—carries symbolic weight. When Jesus, whom John the Baptist proclaimed to be “the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29), was crucified, not one of his bones was broken. John 19:31-34 tells us that when the soldiers came to Jesus to break his legs to hasten his death, they found that he was already dead, so they pierced his side with a spear but did not break his legs.

      As John testifies, “These things happened so that the scripture would be fulfilled: ‘Not one of his bones will be broken’” (John 19:36). The Exodus 12:46 rule is also echoed prophetically in Psalms 34:20: “He protects all his bones, not one of them will be broken.” To the last detail of his death, Jesus fulfilled the prophecies concerning the Messiah, verifying that he was, as John the Baptist claimed, the sacrificial Lamb of God.

      Please, as another example, note that both the Hindu scriptures and the Bible note how Jesus was offered a drink of wine before death:

      “Before death he should be given a drink of somarasa [sour wine made of an herb called somalatha].” (Yajur-Veda 31).

      “The soldiers gave him wine mixed with bitter gall, but when he had tasted it, he refused to drink it.” (Matthew 27:34)

      3) How do you explain the following mentions of God’s self-sacrifice in ancient Chinese imperial documents? (as I describe in my essay Which God is Real?) How can the following be referring to anyone besides Jesus?

      Chinese Christian Chan Kei Thong writes in Finding God In Ancient China: How the Ancient Chinese Worshiped the God of the Bible:

      “The Bible recounts a dramatic astronomic phenomenon occurring at the cruxifiction:

      It was now about the sixth hour, and darkness fell over the whole land until the ninth hour, because the sun was obscured; and the veil of the temple was torn in two. And Jesus, crying out with a loud voice, said, ‘Father, into Your hands I commit My spirit.’ Having said this, He breathed His last. (Luke 23: 44-46)

      Note that this solar eclipse lasted for three hours — from the sixth to the ninth hour, which is roughly noon to 3pm in modern timekeeping–before Jesus breathed His last. At that moment, the veil of the Jewish temple was supernaturally torn in two: a dramatic symbolization that the barrier between God and man was removed once and for all.”

      “Once again, this event is corroborated in the Chinese historical documents, which record a highly significant solar eclipse occurring around the time indicated in the biblical account:

      In the day of Gui Hai, the last day of the month, there was a solar eclipse, [The emperor] avoided the Throne Room, suspended all military activities, and did not handle official business for five days. And he proclaimed, ‘My poor character has caused this calamity, that the sun and the moon were veiled, I am fearful and trembling. What can I say?… Anyone who presents a memorial is not allowed to mention the word ‘holy’”.

      “Another entry made a short time later, referring to the same eclipse, said:

      Summer, fourth month [of the year], on the day of Ren Wu, the imperial edict reads, ‘Yin and Yang have mistakenly switched, and the sun and the moon were eclipsed. The sins of all the people are now on one man. [The emperor] proclaims pardon to all under heaven.’

      This solar eclipse was recorded in the Record of the Latter Han Dynasty, Gui Han was the last day of the third month in the spring, during the 7th year of Han Emperor Guang Wu (reigned A.D. 25 – 57). That corresponds to A.D. 31, which means that this major eclipse happened 34 years after the astral events involving the magi! “[At the time of Christ’s birth]

      “Even more incredibly, a commentary in the Record of the Latter Han Dynasty, said simply,

      ‘Eclipse on the day of Gui Hai, Man from heaven died.’

      The man from heaven died! Could there be a more apt description or a more accurate understanding of the Cruxifiction?

      God’s love extends to all the nations of the world, and in some unique and unknown way, He gave special insight to Chinese astronomers to understand what He was doing. We are all sinners, even the emperor, but God laid all our sins on His only Son, Jesus Christ.”

      Thong then goes on to describe how the Record of the Han Dynasty records that a rainbow encircled the sun three days after the eclipse, which corresponds with the day of Christ’s resurrection.

      Perhaps these are contributing factors to the phenomenon of China already having more Christians than Communist Party members!

      • gary says:

        You obviously did not read my entire comment.

        You are cherry picking verses from this passage. “He was despised and rejected by mankind”.

        Could this passage not be a prophecy for the doctor who discovered germ theory. The world accused him of being crazy. They despised him and rejected him. So this passage MUST be about him. Come friend, you are being silly.

        “His hands and feet were pierced” would certainly seem to prophesy Jesus’ nailing to the cross. However, if you had read my entire comment you would have seen that at the very bottom of the chapter the translators state this: MOST Hebrew manuscripts do NOT says his hands and feet were “pierced”.

        Whoever “found” this prophesy about Jesus found it in the Septuagint, the Greek translation of the Hebrew. I think we should go with the Hebrew and not a translation.

        • Scott Youngren says:

          Gary,

          This is profoundly ridiculous.

          You say that the verse, “He was despised and rejected by mankind” could apply to the doctor who discovered germ theory. However, could you also, for example, say of the doctor who discovered germ theory that:

          “he was pierced for our transgressions,

          he was crushed for our iniquities;” ???

          Could you say of the doctor who invented germ theory that:

          “the punishment that brought us peace was on him,
          and by his wounds we are healed”
          ???

          Seriously! Who do you think you are fooling?!

          It is thoroughly transparent to any intelligent third party viewer of this discussion that you need to take the verse about being “despised and rejected by mankind” out of the larger context of the 53rd chapter in order for it to apply to the doctor who invented germ theory.

          And your attempt to take this one verse out of the context of the whole chapter makes it utterly transparent that you are not looking for truth. Rather, you are looking to justify your anti-Christian ideological agenda.

          The Hebrew transcripts do not need to say that his hands and feet were pierced. The fact that any part of the body was pierced is a remarkable enough similarity to Jesus.

          • gary says:

            The original Hebrew did NOT say that the man described in the Psalm has his hands and feet pierced! That is a translation error by the people who translated the Hebrew into the Greek Septuagint, from which you get the incorrect wording in your English Bible!!

            Psalm 22:16 was incorrectly translated into the Greek and Syriac. Here is what that passage said in most Hebrew manuscripts:

            “like a lion [they are at] my hands and feet”

            There is NO piercing of feet and hands in the original Hebrew. Your English Bible of “piercing” is a translation error!

            • Scott Youngren says:

              Gary,

              I recommend that you read this Bible Hub commentary on Psalm 22:16. An excerpt (I have bolded parts that I feel are important):

              They pierced.—The word thus rendered has formed a battle-ground for controversy. As the Hebrew text at present stands the word reads kāarî (like a lion). (Comp. Isaiah 38:13.) But no intelligible meaning can be got out of “like a lion my hands and my feet.” Nor does the plan commend itself of dividing the verses differently, and reading, “The congregation of wicked men have gathered round me like a lion. On my hands and my feet I can tell all my bones.” The punctuation of the text must therefore be given up, and a meaning sought by changing the reading. The necessity of a change is supported both by the ancient versions and by some MSS., and also by the Masora; though considerable difference exists as to what the word should be read. If the authority of the ancient versions alone were to decide, some verb in the past tense must be read, but the most reasonable course is to accept the present text, but with a different vowel, treating it as a participle, with suffix, of kûr, whose root-idea, according to Ewald, is “to bind;” but according to most other scholars is “to dig.” It is, however, so doubtful whether it can mean to dig through—i.e., to pierce—that it is better to understand here a binding of the limbs so tightly as to dig into them, and wound them. Render: “The band of villains [literally, breakers] surrounded me, binding my hands and feet so as to cut them.”

              • gary says:

                I would encourage you to ask Jewish scholars how they would translate the Hebrew in this passage to English. If the majority of Jewish Bible scholars agree with your interpretation, I will gladly admit my error.

  77. gary says:

    Let’s look at verse 15 and 16:

    He shall eat curds and honey by the time he knows how to refuse the evil and choose the good. 16 For before the child knows how to refuse the evil and choose the good, the land before whose two kings you are in dread will be deserted.

    Now if Jesus was God, even as a child, and as Christians teach, he was sinless from the moment of conception, how is it possible for a perfect God to know (learn) to do good and not to do evil.

    This passage has NOTHING to do with Jesus unless you want to deny the divinity and sinlessness of Jesus, which I seriously doubt you are willing to do.

    Now, I am very sure that you will find Christian apologists who will STILL insist that these passages prophesy about Jesus, but they will use the most mind-numbing, nonsensical, circular arguments to do so.

    The truth is: the Old Testament does not prophesy about Jesus of Nazareth and that is exactly why the overwhelming percentage of Jews have rejected the Christian claim of Jesus messiahship for the last 2,000 years!

    • Scott Youngren says:

      Gary,

      You ask, “how is it possible for a perfect God to know (learn) to do good and not to do evil.”

      Christianity teaches that God came to Earth as Jesus to live a sinless human life. Jesus was both fully God and fully man. Learning to do good and not evil was part of Jesus humanity. Please read Isaiah chapter 53 and tell me how this chapter could be referring to anyone other than Jesus (even though it was written 700 years before his birth). For example, verse 3 says “he was despised and rejected by mankind.” This does not take any interpretive finagling. Jesus WAS despised and rejected by mankind…that is why he was crucified.

      Verse 5 says “he was pierced for our transgressions.” This also does not take any interpretive finagling. Jesus hands were pierced on the cross…and his death was a sacrifice for our transgressions (sins).

      Verse 9 talks about how he was placed in a rich mans grave. This is what happened. He was buried in the tomb that belonged to Joseph of Arimathea…a rich man.

      Isaiah 53 New International Version (NIV)

      53 Who has believed our message
      and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?
      2 He grew up before him like a tender shoot,
      and like a root out of dry ground.
      He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him,
      nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.
      3 He was despised and rejected by mankind,
      a man of suffering, and familiar with pain.
      Like one from whom people hide their faces
      he was despised, and we held him in low esteem.
      4 Surely he took up our pain
      and bore our suffering,
      yet we considered him punished by God,
      stricken by him, and afflicted.
      5 But he was pierced for our transgressions,
      he was crushed for our iniquities;
      the punishment that brought us peace was on him,
      and by his wounds we are healed.
      6 We all, like sheep, have gone astray,
      each of us has turned to our own way;
      and the Lord has laid on him
      the iniquity of us all.
      7 He was oppressed and afflicted,
      yet he did not open his mouth;
      he was led like a lamb to the slaughter,
      and as a sheep before its shearers is silent,
      so he did not open his mouth.
      8 By oppression[a] and judgment he was taken away.
      Yet who of his generation protested?
      For he was cut off from the land of the living;
      for the transgression of my people he was punished.[b]
      9 He was assigned a grave with the wicked,
      and with the rich in his death,
      though he had done no violence,
      nor was any deceit in his mouth.
      10 Yet it was the Lord’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer,
      and though the Lord makes[c] his life an offering for sin,
      he will see his offspring and prolong his days,
      and the will of the Lord will prosper in his hand.
      11 After he has suffered,
      he will see the light of life[d] and be satisfied[e];
      by his knowledge[f] my righteous servant will justify many,
      and he will bear their iniquities.
      12 Therefore I will give him a portion among the great,[g]
      and he will divide the spoils with the strong,[h]
      because he poured out his life unto death,
      and was numbered with the transgressors.
      For he bore the sin of many,
      and made intercession for the transgressors.

      • gary says:

        Again…you are cherry picking Bible verses. You so desperately want to prove that your ancient, middle-eastern holy book is true, that you trip over yourself in grasping at passages that seem to confirm your superstitions, but ignore the rest that blatantly prove your position untenable.

        Do you really believe that the sinless Jesus had to learn right from wrong??? If he was a child and had to learn right from wrong, then he learned it like every other human child: by SINNING and doing the wrong thing, to find out by rebuke from his parents, teachers, and rabbis that what he had just done was wrong and sin.

        This ancient, middle-eastern fable is so full of holes that if it were a ship it would sink in literally seconds.

        • Scott Youngren says:

          Gary,

          Here, you are retreating into strident rhetoric in order to avoid questions that cannot be coherently answered from within the framework of your worldview. Such rhetoric as “middle-eastern fable” and “superstitions” will not substitute for a logically constructed argument. Period.

          This retreat into rhetoric amounts to a tacit acknowledgement that your stance cannot withstand debate.

          You have very conveniently ignored my points about how God’s self-sacrifice is mentioned in the Hindu scriptures (Upanishads and Vedas) as well as in ancient Chinese imperial documents. Instead, you have decided to fixate on your non-sequitur that Jesus must learn right from wrong by sinning. This is a transparent diversionary tactic (known as a “red-herring” argument).

          You ask, “Do you really think Jesus had to learn right from wrong?”

          Isaiah 7:15 says:

          Butter and honey shall he eat, that he may know to refuse the evil, and choose the good.

          Below is a copy and paste of the Bible Hub commentary on this verse:

          Butter and honey shall he eat — The common food of children in that country, where these articles were in great abundance, and of the best sort. The principal meaning of the verse seems to be, that this child, called Immanuel, should be brought up in the usual manner, “the same republic still continuing, and the cultivated fields, unoccupied by the enemy, abundantly supplying all necessary food; and that thus he should grow up to maturity.” The words, however, also signify, that though he should be miraculously conceived, and should be possessed of a nature truly divine, yet he should be also human, subject to all the infirmities of our nature, standing in need of food for his support as other children do, and by the help thereof growing up from childhood to manhood.

          The Bible teaches that Jesus was truly divine but should be subject to all of the normal human experiences of growing up. This would include the normal human learning process. Your insistence that Jesus must learn right from wrong by sinning is a non-sequitur.

          • gary says:

            Scott,

            The difference between my worldview and your worldview is that I approach evidence with an open mind, you approach evidence with a preconceived INERRANT bias: in your worldview all evidence MUST fit your worldview; you will twist and contort the evidence to the extent necessary to force the evidence to fit your inerrant religious beliefs/worldview, and not that your worldview is formed from the evidence.

            Give me good evidence that Yahweh is the All-Mighty Lord of the Universe, and I will believe it. What I refuse to do is simply believe your faith assertions without evidence.

            I do not ask YOU to believe that no God exists. What I ask you is to prove that YOUR god exists. So I am not asking you to adopt my worldview, I am simply challenging the many, many false assumptions in yours.

            If you ask ten non-Christian, non-atheists to look at this passage in Isaiah, I will bet you that NONE of them will say, “Wow, that must be a prophesy about Jesus of Nazareth.” And here is why:

            1. The original Hebrew does not use the word “virgin”. It simply says “young woman”.
            Your English Bible may say “virgin” in this passage, but this is because your English Bible was translated from the Septuagint, not the Hebrew. However translated the Hebrew word for “young woman” translated it into Greek as “virgin”, and that is how this alleged “Jesus prophecy” came about. Take the word “virgin” out of this passage and NO ONE but a conservative/fundamentalist Christian would still believe that this passage is about Jesus of Nazareth.

            2. Notice that this child will be given the name “Immanuel”. The child born to Mary (and Joseph) was named “Jesus”, not “Immanuel”. No one during Jesus life ever refers to him as “Immanuel”.

            3. This passage in Isaiah is talking about a sign for the king of Israel, that will show him that he will defeat the Syrian enemy. By no stretch of the imagination does this passage refer to Jesus…that is why Jews flatly reject this passage as a prophecy for Jesus. Jews do not reject this passage as foretelling Jesus because they are “hard-hearted”, Jews reject it because it is based on a poor Greek translation of the original Hebrew.

            • Scott Youngren says:

              Ok Gary,

              You say that this verse is not referring to Jesus. Let’s look at all of this from within a larger context. Please tell me who the 53rd chapter of Isaiah (written 700 years before Jesus’ birth) is referring to if not Jesus Christ. Please consider the chapter as a whole rather than saying that one particular verse could refer to someone like “the doctor who invented germ theory,” as you put it. Go ahead and show me this open mind of yours, which you refer to.

              Isaiah 53 New International Version (NIV)

              53 Who has believed our message
              and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?
              2 He grew up before him like a tender shoot,
              and like a root out of dry ground.
              He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him,
              nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.
              3 He was despised and rejected by mankind,
              a man of suffering, and familiar with pain.
              Like one from whom people hide their faces
              he was despised, and we held him in low esteem.
              4 Surely he took up our pain
              and bore our suffering,
              yet we considered him punished by God,
              stricken by him, and afflicted.
              5 But he was pierced for our transgressions,
              he was crushed for our iniquities;
              the punishment that brought us peace was on him,
              and by his wounds we are healed.
              6 We all, like sheep, have gone astray,
              each of us has turned to our own way;
              and the Lord has laid on him
              the iniquity of us all.
              7 He was oppressed and afflicted,
              yet he did not open his mouth;
              he was led like a lamb to the slaughter,
              and as a sheep before its shearers is silent,
              so he did not open his mouth.
              8 By oppression[a] and judgment he was taken away.
              Yet who of his generation protested?
              For he was cut off from the land of the living;
              for the transgression of my people he was punished.[b]
              9 He was assigned a grave with the wicked,
              and with the rich in his death,
              though he had done no violence,
              nor was any deceit in his mouth.
              10 Yet it was the Lord’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer,
              and though the Lord makes[c] his life an offering for sin,
              he will see his offspring and prolong his days,
              and the will of the Lord will prosper in his hand.
              11 After he has suffered,
              he will see the light of life[d] and be satisfied[e];
              by his knowledge[f] my righteous servant will justify many,
              and he will bear their iniquities.
              12 Therefore I will give him a portion among the great,[g]
              and he will divide the spoils with the strong,[h]
              because he poured out his life unto death,
              and was numbered with the transgressors.
              For he bore the sin of many,
              and made intercession for the transgressors.

  78. gary says:

    Did you know that not only do the divine Hindu scriptures prophecy about Jesus…they also prophecy about the Great Prophet, Mohammad!! Wow! Both Christianity and Islam must be the one…er, uh…the two… true religions!

    Read the amazing prophecies here:

    Copyright © 1999 by M. N. Anderson.
    The material of this article is taken from chapter 2 of my forthcoming book: “Jesus 2000 years after Jesus”.

    Dr. Z. Haq claimed that the name of Mohammad appears in the Hindu scriptures which are believed to have been written at least four thousand years ago.

    Dr. Z. Haq claims that the word Mahamad appears in the Puranas, Mamah in Kuntap Sukt (in Atharva Veda) and Ahmad in Sama Veda… Among the eighteen volumes of the Puranas is one by the title ‘Bhavishya Puran,’ literally meaning future events. The Hindus regard it as the Word of God. The prophecy containing Prophet Muhammad by name is found in Prati Sarg Parv III: 3, 3, Verse 5.
    The translation of Verses 5-27 (Sanskrit text of the Puranas, Prati Sarg Parv III: 3, 3) is presented below from the work of Dr. Vidyarthi.

    “A malechha (belonging to a foreign country and speaking foreign language) spiritual teacher will appear with his companions. His name will be Mahamad. Raja (Bhoj) after giving this Mahadev Arab (of angelic disposition) a bath in the ‘Panchgavya’ and the Ganges water, (i.e. purging him of all sins) offered him the presents of his sincere devotion and showing him all reverence said, ‘I make obeisance to thee.’ ‘O Ye! the pride of mankind, the dweller in Arabia, Ye have collected a great force to kill the Devil and you yourself have been protected from the malechha opponents (idol worshipers, pagans).’ ‘O Ye! the image of the Most Pious God the biggest Lord, I am a slave to thee, take me as one lying on thy feet.’

    “The Malechhas have spoiled the well-known land of the Arabs. Arya Dharma is not to be found in that country. Before also there appeared a misguided fiend whom I had killed [note: e.g., Abraha Al-Ashram, the Abyssinian viceroy of Yemen, who attacked Mecca]; he has now again appeared being sent by a powerful enemy. To show these enemies the right path and to give them guidance the well-known Mahamad (Mohammad), who has been given by me the epithet of Brahma is busy in bringing the Pishachas to the right path. O Raja! You need not go to the land of the foolish Pishachas, you will be purified through my kindness even where you are. At night, he of the angelic disposition, the shrewd man, in the guise of a Pishacha said to Raja Bhoj, “O Raja! Your Arya Dharma has been made to prevail over all religions, but according to the commandments of ‘Ashwar Parmatma (God, Supreme Spirit), I shall enforce the strong creed of the meat-eaters. My follower will be a man circumcised, without a tail (on his head), keeping beard, creating a revolution, announcing call for prayer and will be eating all lawful things. He will eat all sorts of animals except swine. They will not seek purification from the holy shrubs, but will be purified through warfare. Because of their fighting the irreligious nations, they will be known as Musalmans (Muslims). I shall be the originator of this religion of the meat-eating nation.”

    Dr Haq also added:
    The Sama Veda contains many prophecies of the advent of Prophet Mohammad.
    Here, one of them is presented. It is found in Sama Veda, II:6,8:

    “Ahmad acquired religious law (Shariah) from his Lord. This religious law is full of wisdom. I receive light from him just as from the sun.”
    http://www.erols.com/zenithco/prophhs.html#mahamad

    • Scott Youngren says:

      Gary,

      Your mention of alleged references to Mohammad in the Hindu scriptures constitutes a logical fallacy. Specifically, this diversionary tactic is known as a “red-herring” argument. A copy and paste from this post about Red Herring Arguments:

      A Red Herring is a fallacy in which an irrelevant topic is presented in order to divert attention from the original issue. The basic idea is to “win” an argument by leading attention away from the argument and to another topic. This sort of “reasoning” has the following form:

      Topic A is under discussion.
      Topic B is introduced under the guise of being relevant to topic A (when topic B is actually not relevant to topic A).
      Topic A is abandoned.

      This sort of “reasoning” is fallacious because merely changing the topic of discussion hardly counts as an argument against a claim.

      If you want to debunk claims that Jesus is mentioned in the Hindu scriptures, then you must respond to those claims. Introducing alleged mentions of Mohammad in the Hindu scriptures constitutes a Red Herring because this is an entirely different and unrelated claim.

      Put another way, you are transparently trying to divert attention from the argument that I presented, rather than respond to it. The diversionary nature of your replies shows that you are trying to EVADE my arguments rather than respond to them.

      • gary says:

        Thank you for pointing out my errors, now I hope you will be so kind as to allow me to point out yours: ASSUMPTIONS! Lots, and lots of assumptions in your supernatural belief system.

        To the topic at hand, here is your assumption: The Hindu Scriptures were written 4,000 years ago, therefore if they pronounce amazing similarities to Jesus and the Bible it must be that Yahweh (the Christian god) placed these prophecies in the Hindu Scriptures to point Hindus to the one, true God: Jesus of Nazareth. You have built an amazing hypothesis upon this assumption, but how do you know that the Hindu Scriptures have been modified since the time of Jesus to incorporate Jesus’ teachings and characteristics into this “ancient” writing to look as if the gods of the Hindus can prophecy about the prophets of other religions, such as Jesus and Mohammad? Please provide proof that the Hindu Scriptures in their entirety were written 4,000 years ago and no “scribe embellishents/additions” have occurred. The Bible has its scribe additions (the Johannine Commae as just one example) so why not the Hindu Scriptures?

        Here is the next section of the above article, now talking about the “amazing” prophecies about Jesus in the Hindu Scriptures:

        Dr. Haq’s claims will stand or fall on the reliability of these Hindu Scriptures.

        Let us now look at similar quotations which some think are prophecies about Christ in the same Hindu Scriptures:

        In his book Divine Harmony, Christ in the Holy books of the East Arvindaksha Menon introduces Bhavishya Purana in the following words:

        “Vishnupurana” written depicting the core meanings of Vedas and the scientific principles, in narrative fiction was the first among mythologies to appear in book form. It was written by sage Parashara. Later his son Vedavyasa wrote eighteen mythologies idolizing his father’s original creation. It may be calculated these mythologies came to light 5100 years ago if one goes by the period Vedavyasa lived.
        … The word ‘Bhavishya’ means future. Hence Bhavishya Purana (futuristic mythology) denotes to the things that could happen in the future, visualized by powerful meditation.
        Mr. Menon goes on to quote the following:

        In his epic, the 28th verse, 4th chapter, 1st part in the book
        ‘Prathisargaparvam’ says like this: –
        “Indriyani damithwa

        Yehyaathmadhyaana parayana:

        Thasmad Aadama naamaasou

        Pathnee Havyavathee smritha”

        “Adaman and his wife havyavathy are born with all the virtues, complete control of the senses and the spiritual forbearance of the mind. God creates a captivating paradise and gifts it to Adaman to live happily. Adaman reaches beneath the tree of sin in the garden, eats its forbidden fruit, tempted by Kali disguised as a snake, resulting his carnal desires come alive, which culminates in his involving in sexual intercourse with Havyyathy. The Bible narrates the same episode word by word in the book of Genesis.”

        Both Dr. Haq and Menon told us that `Bhavishya Puran,’ literally means future events and Menon added

        “What is relevant here, is that everything, every episode and every character portrayed in the Holy Bible appears in the form of prediction in this Indian mythology.”
        If the above is true how can the story of Adam and Eve appear in the form of a prophecy and a future event?! Who was there before Adam to transmit or receive this prophecy?

        It is obvious then that although that `Bhavishya Puran,’ literally means future events it is actually attempting to narrate events of past history and the so called prophecies about Muhammad fall into the same category as that that of the story of Adam.

        But that is not all, Menon then went on quoting:

        As detailed in the Bible later, the lineage of Adaman is very long and luminous. The son of Adaman and Hvyavathy is Shwethanama (Seth). His son is Anoohan (Enoch). Then the lineage goes like this. Keenashan (Kenan), Mahallalan (Mahallalel), Viradan (Jered), Hanukan (Enoch), Manochillan (Methuselah), Lomakan (Lamech), Newhan (Noah).
        God warns His devotee Newhan in his dream, of the impending flood and asks him to take refuge in a boat with his family. Newhan embarked on the boat with his family. The floodgates of the sky opened and fell on the earth for forty days and forty nights. The flood came. All the four seas came into confluence. Only Newhan, his kith and kin along with the hermits of Badarya survived. By their fervent prayer the flood subsided and the water was gone.

        Note the close resemblance and oneness, even in the names of the lineage from Adam and Eve to Noah in the book of Genesis of the Holy Bible and above. The difference is only that in the Bible it is treated symbolically while narrating history whereas in Bhavishyapurana it is given as prediction of the future. Noah, Ark, Forty days flood and its riddance by exactly one year, are all predicted word by word.

        Here again the flood episode was portrayed as a prophecy, or was it?

        Menon went on saying:

        Not only that, the lineage beginning with Noah to Abraham will definitely startle us.
        The sons of Newhan are Siman (Shem), Haman (Ham) and Yakuthan (Japheth). Sons of Japheth are Jumren (Gover), Majoojan (Magog), Maadi (Madai) and Theerasan (Tiras).

        The sons of Siman (Shem) is Arkansadan (Arpachshad). His son is Simhalan (Shelah). Then Evrathan (Eber), Phalajan (Peleg), Reu (Reu), Jujan (Servig), Nahooran (Nahor), Taharan (Terah). For Taharan the sons are Aviraman (Abraham), Nahooran (Nahor) and Haranan (Haran).

        Is the above a prediction of the future or a whole sale borrowing from the Bible?

        Menon further added:

        Then it was predicted that a master (Patriarch) will come by the name of Moosa (Moses) and his faith will spread all over the world. When the era of Kali has reached three thousand years (This is the 5095th year of that era. So it is two thousand years ago) Jesus Christ appears with the name “Easa Maseeha” in the land of Huna. Here we should remember that Jesus Christ is ‘Easa Maseeha’ in Hebrews. At that time it was King ‘Shakapathi’ who ruled that land. In the mountainous terrain of Hunadesha the Kings meeting with a white clad male is described thus:
        “Ko bhavaanithi tham praaha

        Sahovaachamudaanwitha:

        Eshaputhram cha maam vidhi

        Kumaaree garbha sambahavam

        Aham Eesa Maseeha nama:”

        King Shaka asked “May I know, who you are!”. With apparent joy that male replied “Know that I am the Son of God. I am born in the womb of a virgin. ‘Easa Maseeha’ is my well known name”. (Bhavashya purana- Prathisarga parva, IIIrd part- 2nd chapter- 23rd verse.) http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Olympus/6265/chap4.html

        The two expressions “the well-known Mahamad” and ‘Easa Maseeha’ is my well known name”. Let the cat out of the bag. These parts of Hindu scripture are not prophecies written in the distant past but written at a time when Muhammad’s name became well known and Jesus was known as Easa Maseeh.

        Contrary to Menon’s understanding that Easa Maseeh is the Hebrew form of Jesus Christ, it is actually an Islamised version of Jesus Christ. The Hebrew word for Jesus is Yeshua, not Easa.

        As a matter of fact the expression Easa Masih is the Persian version of Jesus the Christ. In both the Qur’an and the Hadith the name Jesus Christ appears as Masih Easa (if we delete the article). In other words Masih comes before Easa in the Qur’an and the Hadith, not the other way around. The “Easa Masih” form is the Persian version for the name of Jesus Christ. This points out that the time of compiling this part of this Hindu document was done at least after the spread of Islam to Persia or the spread of Islam to India through Persian contacts.

        This is strong evidence that this part of Hindu Scripture was written after Islam had spread to the Indian subcontinent. In other words, all the above quotations by Dr. Haq and Menon are not prophecies but recent compilations.

        Menon then quotes from the Rigveda, another part of the Hindu Scriptures. He asserts that:

        Among the four Vedas, Rigveda stands foremost and supreme for its complete authenticity. It is calculated that the nucleus of Rigveda was evolved between 1500 and 2600 BC…
        Vedic hymns were the revelations derived the sages from time to time. Rigveda, which sage Badarayana Krishna composed and later Vedavyasa compiled has ten volumes. Its last volume is supposed to have been chanted by many sages in unison. Being the last volume, its time of composition is fixed in the sixteenth century B.C. The ‘Panchagrandhi’ of Moses in the Holy Bible also could be its contemporary in composition.

        Menon then goes on to show the similarities between the Bible and the Rigveda:

        In the book of Revelation, the last in the Bible, we can see a lot of resonance, at so many places, similar to the hymns of Rigveda.
        ‘PRAJAPATHY’, the male image, the pivotal figure in the tenth volume of Rigveda is the central point of this concordance. The birth and public life of Jesus Christ of the holy Bible maintain an intimate similarity with this worshipful male.

        In the first hymn of the 121st aphorism in the tenth volume of Rigveda, the narration about the birth of this male is given like this:-

        “Hiranyagarbha: samavarthathaagre

        Bhuuthasya jaatha: pathireka aaseeth

        Sadaadhaara prudhwivim dyaamuthemam

        Kasmai devaaya havisha vidhemam.

        ‘Prajapathy’ alias ‘Hiranya garbha’, the first born, was born to the Holy
        Spirit (Paramatma) before Genesis. Upon birth, He became one and
        only God to the universe comprising the Skies, Stars Earth and the
        Seas. He rules the endless firmament and the whole of the earth. We
        please this deity, Prajapathy, who is called ‘Kan’ affectionately, with
        offerings in sacrifices (Rigveda X: 121,1)

        We can see a mention of this son of the spirit of God in
        Ithareyopanishad also.

        “Sa eekshatheeme nu loka

        Lokaa Paalaanusruja ithi

        Sodbhaaya eva purusham

        Samudruthya moorchayaayt”

        After the creation of the Firmament, Earth and Waters, the Holy Spirit
        of the God thought like this. “I have created all the Worlds. For them I
        should create a protector (Saviour). With this intention, the Holy Spirit
        created a male from His own self. (Ithareyopanishad 1. 1:3)
        ….
        “Thasmaad virraada jaayatha

        viraajo adhi purusha:

        Sjaatho athyarichyatha

        Paschaad bhoomimadhopura:”

        From that male the universe came into being. From that body of the
        universe came the omnipresent male. That male thus became
        manifest, adopted various forms and character and created the earth
        and other planets along with the creatures to live in them.(Rigveda
        X:90:5)

        In 1:3 John says, “through him God made all things; not one thing in
        all creation was made without him”. Isn’t this similarity in essence
        between these mutually supporting statements, amazing?

        Rigveda says again about this male, the creator and sustainer.

        “Purusha evedam sarvam

        Yadbhutham yachabhavyam

        Uthaamruthathwasya eesaana

        Yadaannenathirohathi”

        It is definitely this very same male who exists now, who has gone by
        and who is expected to come. Not only that, it is this same male who
        controls the state of eternity (immortality).

        It is for the redemption of mankind, he surpasses his immortal sphere
        and descends to the mortal sphere. He comes to give everyone
        recompense as per his deeds. (Rigveda X: 90:2)

        In the book of Revelation, in the Holy Bible, St.John says, verse 8
        chapter 1. “The Lord God, who is, who was and who is to come.” In
        John’s Gospel 8th chapter 51st verse Jesus says: “I am telling you the
        truth. Whoever obeys my teaching will never die.”Again in the book of
        Revelation, 22:12 Jesus says: “I will bring my rewards with me, to give
        to each one according to what he has done.” All the assignments
        entrusted to the idol male is fulfilled in Jesus Christ perfectly.
        Maintaining resemblance word by word, these statements do not
        merely coincide in content, but it reveals a singular purpose or
        meaning. We should remember that this unique oneness or singularity
        is seen in ‘Purushasookta’ which the venerated vedavyasa had
        applauded as the aphorism of aphorisms.

        In this very same ‘Purushasookta’ there is a mention of a divine
        sacrifice for the deliverance and salvation of human race too.

        “Thaam yajnam barhishi proukshan

        Purusham jaathamagratha

        Thena deva ayajantha

        Saadhya rushayaschaye”

        Devas of heaven and the ruling fraternity along with the hermits
        offered the first born male in sacrifice by consecrating him as the
        animal of offering by tying him on a wooden sacrificial post. (Rigveda
        X: 90:7)

        We read in all the four Gospels in the Holy Bible –

        Jesus was consigned to a wooden cross by Pilate, he representative
        of the Roman Emperor, Herodes, the Jew king (Ruler), and two
        priests named Annas and Caiaphas and their henchmen.

        The crucification of Christ should not be seen as a punishment for a
        mere revolutionary for treason. And it is a sacrifice for the redemption
        of humanity as a whole; it is the fulfillment of prophecies of the old
        testaments. If the blood of Christ shed on the cross is the cleansing
        factor for the believer of Christianity, here Rigveda comes again.

        “thamevam vidwaanamrutha

        iha bhavathy

        Naanya pandha ayanaaya vidyathe”

        Those who worship (chanting with the lips, believing in the heart) him
        gets liberated in this world itself and there is no other way besides this
        for salvation.(Rigveda X: 90:16)

        St. Paul, the apostle of Christ says in Romans 10:9 “Because if you
        confess with your lips that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that
        God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”

        The above similarities between this part of the Rigveda and the teachings of Christianity is too good to be true. The last sentence mentioned in Rigveda X: 90:16 is taken from the book of Acts 4:12, “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.”

        We can see that the author of the Rigveda had thorough knowledge of the Bible. Hence we do not share the amazement of Menon at the onneness between the Hindu Scriptures and the Bible.

        We can safely say that the Hindu Scriptures have been continuously modified to incorporate all that is out there.

        • gary says:

          Your silence indicates that the information I provided was disturbing to your view that the Hindu Scriptures prophesied about Jesus 4,000 years ago, 2,000 year before Jesus’ birth.

          This is why I abandoned the Christian religion. The Christian belief system is based on nothing more than second century hearsay and assumption, after assumption, after assumption.

          • Scott Youngren says:

            No, Gary, my silence (for a day or two) indicates that I have a full time job and other responsibilities.

            I have responded to your comments now that I had some free time.

            You say that you abandoned the Christian religion because it is based upon assumptions. However, the angry rhetoric in some of your comments tells a very different story. Your use of angry rhetoric is dead giveaway that you abandoned Christianity for emotional and ideological reasons. If you has abandoned Christianity for purely logical reasons, you would have no reason to use angry rhetoric like “ancient middle eastern fable” and “superstition.”

            Trying to explain away the following—with attempts to debunk them individually—violates what is known in logic as “Ockham’s Razor” or “the principle of parsimony,” which is the principle that entities should not be multiplied needlessly; the simplest of two competing theories is to be preferred:

            1) The mentions of Jesus in the Hindu scriptures.
            2) The clear references to Jesus in the 53rd chapter of Isaiah (as well as elsewhere in the Old Testament).
            3) The clear references to God’s self-sacrifice in ancient Chinese imperial documents.

            This simplest explanation for the above is that Jesus Christ is the son of God, and that God therefore inspired the above documents. Trying to use contrived explanations such as subsequent modifications to the Hindu scriptures, and translation errors of individual verses (and ignoring my point about the ancient Chinese imperial documents) violates the principle of parsimony.

        • Scott Youngren says:

          Gary,

          Your comment says, “We can see that the author of the Rigveda had thorough knowledge of the Bible.” This is an ASSUMPTION , which is what you accuse me of making. The Rigveda dates to 1500 BCE. What is your EVIDENCE that the Rigveda was modified? All that you have here is an assumption and a bald assertion.

          The similarities between the New Testament and the Hindu scriptures are “too good to be true” (as your article says) only if one begins with the underlying assumption that both of these documents were not inspired by God. But this is the logical fallacy of assuming what one intends to prove.

          Further, you have very conveniently ignored my point about the mentions of God’s self-sacrifice on the cross mentioned in ancient Chinese imperial documents. Please stop ignoring this (since you cannot explain it).

          Still further, you have failed to explain who Isaiah chapter 53 (written 700 years before Jesus’ birth) could be referring to, if not Jesus Christ. You tried to say that the verse about being “despised and rejected by mankind” could refer to the doctor who invented germ theory. But, as I already called you out on, this is profoundly ridiculous when considered in the context of the ENTIRE CHAPTER or Isaiah 53. For example, could we say of the doctor who invented germ theory that, as verse 5 says:

          he was crushed for our iniquities;
          the punishment that brought us peace was on him,
          and by his wounds we are healed
          ???

          Instead of taking individual verses out of the larger context of the entire chapter (in a nit picking fashion), why don’t you tell us who this chapter is referring to? Could it be that you cannot answer? A copy and paste of the ENTIRE CHAPTER of Isaiah 53:

          Isaiah 53 New International Version (NIV)

          53 Who has believed our message
          and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?
          2 He grew up before him like a tender shoot,
          and like a root out of dry ground.
          He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him,
          nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.
          3 He was despised and rejected by mankind,
          a man of suffering, and familiar with pain.
          Like one from whom people hide their faces
          he was despised, and we held him in low esteem.
          4 Surely he took up our pain
          and bore our suffering,
          yet we considered him punished by God,
          stricken by him, and afflicted.
          5 But he was pierced for our transgressions,
          he was crushed for our iniquities;
          the punishment that brought us peace was on him,
          and by his wounds we are healed.
          6 We all, like sheep, have gone astray,
          each of us has turned to our own way;
          and the Lord has laid on him
          the iniquity of us all.
          7 He was oppressed and afflicted,
          yet he did not open his mouth;
          he was led like a lamb to the slaughter,
          and as a sheep before its shearers is silent,
          so he did not open his mouth.
          8 By oppression[a] and judgment he was taken away.
          Yet who of his generation protested?
          For he was cut off from the land of the living;
          for the transgression of my people he was punished.[b]
          9 He was assigned a grave with the wicked,
          and with the rich in his death,
          though he had done no violence,
          nor was any deceit in his mouth.
          10 Yet it was the Lord’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer,
          and though the Lord makes[c] his life an offering for sin,
          he will see his offspring and prolong his days,
          and the will of the Lord will prosper in his hand.
          11 After he has suffered,
          he will see the light of life[d] and be satisfied[e];
          by his knowledge[f] my righteous servant will justify many,
          and he will bear their iniquities.
          12 Therefore I will give him a portion among the great,[g]
          and he will divide the spoils with the strong,[h]
          because he poured out his life unto death,
          and was numbered with the transgressors.
          For he bore the sin of many,
          and made intercession for the transgressors.

          • gary says:

            We are speaking past one another, Scott. If the excerpt I copied does not convince you that the Hindu Scriptures were modified during the time of the introduction of Islam into India, hundreds of years after Jesus, nothing will change your mind, even if I provided you with DNA evidence that Jesus’ bones are still lying in an unmarked grave outside of the gates of Jerusalem.

            If you detect anger, you are probably correct. I am angry that I and millions of other people, over the last 2,000 years, have been duped to believe this silly superstition nonsense. It is foolishness. Your holy book may tell you that that is the misplaced criticism of nonbelievers, but the truth is…it really is foolishness. I would encourage you to read both pro and con articles on the internet regarding these issues.

            I wish you health and happiness, Scott,

            Gary

  79. gary says:

    Let me just mention this: Sometimes to understand a passage in context, one must read the entire surrounding chapter, and in other cases, one must read several surrounding chapters. Such is the case with Isaiah 53, which Christians refer to as the “Suffering servant or the Suffering Messiah” passage. But when the passage refers to God’s suffering service, does chapter 53 tell us who that suffering servant is? We can guess or make assumptions, but does chapter 53 specifically name the person about whom you and I have been debating? Answer: No.

    So let’s find out if the surrounding context tells us specifically the name of the “suffering servant” mentioned in the passage. To do that, however, we must start back in Isaiah chapter 48. Here is the last part of Isaiah chapter 48:

    Go out from Babylon, flee from Chaldea, declare this with a shout of joy, proclaim it, send it forth to the end of the earth;
    say, “The Lord has redeemed his servant Jacob!” They did not thirst when he led them through the deserts; he made water flow for them from the rock; he split open the rock and the water gushed out. “There is no peace,” says the Lord, “for the wicked.”

    Who is the Suffering Servant? Answer: the nation of Israel, often referred to simply as “Jacob”. And in what context is Jacob suffering? He is suffering in captivity in Babylon, a historical fact. The nation of Israel is captive in far away Babylon. So in chapter 48, 49,50,51,52, and 53 the author of this OT book is telling “Jacob”, the suffering people of Israel, that they will be rescued from their suffering by their god, Yahweh.

    In context, it is very clear to see that this is not about Jesus. It may sound like the story of Jesus. There may be some striking similarities, but this passage is not a messianic passage. This passage is not talking about a future messiah, but the present suffering of the Hebrews in Babylon.

    • Scott Youngren says:

      Gary,

      Very interesting. So the nation of Israel is referred to as a person….”Jacob”? Why do you suppose that the author didn’t just say “the nation of Israel?”

      As the below article mentions, Jacob is sometimes referred to as Israel in the Bible, but both “Jacob” and “Israel” refer to an INDIVIDUAL and not a NATION.

      http://hermeneutics.stackexchange.com/questions/952/jacobs-name-is-israel-so-why-is-he-still-called-jacob

      You are really clutching at straws here.

      So, by your logic, apparently the nation of Israel was:

      1) a man of suffering (as in verse 3)

      2) assigned a grave with the wicked (as in verse 5)

      3) died as “an offering for sin” (as in verse 10)

      4) numbered with the transgressors.
      For he bore the sin of many,
      and made intercession for the transgressors (as in verse 12)

      etc, etc…

      Gary, your argument has reached a new height of absurdity here.

      • gary says:

        Scott,

        I strongly suggest that you sit down and have a long talk with a seminary-trained pastor. If you are not aware that the writers of the Old Testament often referred to the Hebrew/Jewish people as “Israel” or “Jacob”, you need to improve your Biblical scholarship.

        It is obvious that you have created your own belief system without regard to 2,000 years of Biblical scholarship. In my former conservative Christian denomination, you would have been laughed out of he denomination for believing that God spoke to mankind through the Hindu and Chinese holy writings and 300 years ago, your fellow Christians would have burned you at the stake for making such a heretical claim.

        • Scott Youngren says:

          No, there is nothing heretical about God revealing himself to all peoples. I highly recommend that you read the book Eternity in Their Hearts: Startling Evidence of Belief in the One True God in Hundreds of Cultures Throughout the World by Christian missionary Don Richardson.

          • gary says:

            The authors of pagan holy books are apostles???

            You have gone off the deep end, my friend. You have created a new sect of Christianity. No mainline Protestant, Evangelical, or Christian fundamentalist denominations believes that God has inspired pagans to prophecy about Jesus. You are outside the bounds of orthodox/conservative Christianity. In the eyes of these Christians, you are just as much a heretic as the Mormons and JW’s.

            • gary says:

              This is EXACTLY the problem with Christianity. At least Mohammad and Joseph Smith wrote their teachings down themselves. Jesus didn’t do this. And because he did not do this, we have over 30,000 Christian denominations and sects today. Oops. I mean, 30,001 Christian denominations and sects. I forgot to include yours.

              • Scott Youngren says:

                We have different Christian denominations because Jesus didn’t write down his teachings? This is a very strange argument and complete non-sequitur.

                We have different Christian denominations because different people prefer to worship God in different ways. An excellent book that addresses this topic is titled Sacred Pathways.

                • gary says:

                  Scott,

                  The differences between Christian denominations is not over whether to use an organ or a praise band. Millions of people have died waging war on fellow Christians over such issues as whether or not one pastor in Rome has the power to tell everyone in Christendom what they can or cannot THINK! And other ridiculous issues such as whether or not the real body and blood of an invisible half man/half god resides inside your communion wafer. How on earth can any Christian believe in a “Holy Ghost” whose job it is to convict us of sin and error, with all this blood-letting over not one or two years but over 2,000 years! Protestants and Catholics are still killing each other in some places in the world.

                  There are so many Christian denominations because the Holy Ghost does not exist, nor God the Father, nor the eternal King of the Universe Jesus Christ.

                  It is one big fable, Scott. You believe and Jesus believed it. You both may be very good, kind, generous human beings…but you are both very, very wrong. It is only superstition. There are no invisible ghosts in the sky or in your heart, or circling your head, trying to pierce your skull to control your brain.

                  • Scott Youngren says:

                    Gary,

                    Please cite for me an historian from an accredited university who will claim that “millions of people have died waging war on fellow Christians,” as you put it.

                    Hint: You will not be able to do it because you are inventing your own history.

                    Someone once said, “Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but everyone is NOT entitled to their own facts.”

                    Regarding my allegation that (officially) atheist communism was responsible for as many as 110 million deaths, I cite the following:

                    Death by Government by political science professor R.J. Rummel and The Black Book of Communism by historians Jean-Louis Panné, Andrzej Paczkowski, Nicolas Werth, Jean-Louis Margolin, Karel Bartosek, and Stéphane Courtois.

                    Regarding my allegation that atheist philosophy was necessary for that Nazis to rationalize the holocaust, I cite From Darwin to Hitler by California State University Professor of History Richard Weikart.

                    • Gary says:

                      The fact that you would even suggest that Christians have not killed each other by the millions suggest that you have a very narrow definition of Christian. My definition of Christian is any member of a Trinitarian Christian denomination or one who holds the same views as these denominations.

                      One third of the population of Germany was killed in the thirty years war, a war between Catholics and Protestants, originally started over religion. Here is the actual casualty count:

                      3,000,000–11,500,000 dead – Thirty Years’ War (1618–1648)

                      Now if your definition of Christian is limited to one who has prayed the Sinner’s Prayer or a version thereof in a Born Again experience, then the numbers are probably pretty low. The reason the numbers would be low is because this segment of Christianity has never held any real political power until the last few decades.

                    • Scott Youngren says:

                      Gary,

                      Please click here to read an article about the causes of the Thirty Years War. An excerpt:

                      “While related to other European conflicts, the Thirty Years War was primarily a struggle over the political and religious order within the Empire. It was neither inevitable, nor the result of irreconcilable religious antagonism. Rather, it stemmed from a coincidence of tension within the Empire with a political and dynastic crisis within the Habsburg monarchy that undermined confidence in the emperor’s ability to resolve long-standing constitutional problems.”

                      Once again, you ignore my arguments rather than responding to them. I previously cited the religious scholar William T. Cavanaugh about the problems with saying that a “religion” has caused violence. You have very conveniently failed to respond, so I will just copy and paste my previous citation of Cavanaugh:

                      Cavanaugh writes in The Myth of Religious Violence: Secular Ideology and the Roots of Modern Conflict:

                      “What would be necessary to prove the claim that religion has caused more violence than any other institutional force over the course of human history? One would first need a concept of religion that would be at least theoretically separable from other institutional forces over the course of human history. …The problem is that there was no category of religion separable from such political institutions until the modern era, and then it was primarily in the West. What meaning could we give to either the claim that Roman religion is to blame for the imperialist violence of ancient Rome, or the claim that it is Roman politics and not Roman religion that is to blame? Either claim would be nonsensical, because there was no neat division between religion and politics.”

                      “It is not simply that religion and politics were jumbled together until the modern West got them properly sorted out. As Wilfred Cantwell Smith showed in his landmark book, The Meaning and End of Religion, religion as a discrete category of human activity separable from culture, politics, and other areas of life is an invention of the modern West.”

                      “…The first conclusion is that there is no trans-historical or trans-cultural concept of religion. Religion has a history, and what counts as religion and what does not in any given context depends on different configurations of power and authority. The second conclusion is that the attempt to say that there is a trans-historical and trans-cultural concept of religion that is separable from secular phenomena is itself part of a particular configuration of power, that of the modern, liberal nation-state as it is developed in the West.”

                      Thus, it is impossible to establish which conflicts were caused by “religion” and which conflicts were caused by “politics” or “culture” because such categories have no intrinsic meaning, but rather, are human inventions. Cavanaugh continues:

                      “At first glance, this may seem like an academic exercise in quibbling over definitions, but much more is at stake. The religious-secular dichotomy in the arguments sanctions the condemnation of certain kinds of violence and the overlooking of other kinds of violence. …The myth of religious violence is so prevalent because, while it delegitimates certain kinds of violence, it is used to legitimate other kinds of violence, namely, violence done in the name of secular, Western ideals. The argument that religion causes violence sanctions a dichotomy between, on the one hand, non-Western, especially Muslim, forms of culture, which—having not yet learned to privatize matters of faith—are absolutist, divisive, irrational, and Western culture on the other, which is modest in its claims to truth, unitive and rational.”

            • Scott Youngren says:

              Gary,

              Here, you have created a classic straw-man argument. You are attacking a straw-man caricature of my argument. There is no need for a new sect of Christianity since the Bible already says, “And through your descendants all the nations of the earth will be blessed.”

              Christian missionary Don Richardson writes in his book, Eternity in Their Hearts: Startling Evidence of Belief in the One True God in Hundreds of Cultures Throughout the World:

              Aged Simeon, a devout Jew who met Joseph, Mary and baby Jesus in the Temple at Jerusalem, articulated ever so eloquently that wider purpose of Messiah’s coming, declaring before Yahweh: “My eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the sight of all people, a light for revelation to the Gentiles and for glory to your people Israel” (Luke 2:30-32, emphasis added). Likewise Jesus’ forerunner, John the Baptist, constantly quoted Isaiah 40:3-5 as justification for his ministry of preparing “the way for the Lord” by making “straight paths for him.” For what purpose?

              That “all mankind will see God’s salvation” (Luke 3:4,6, emphasis added).

              God speaking in other cultures such as the Jewish, Hindu, and Chinese is exactly what we would expect if God wants salvation for all people.

              And, yet again, you are attempting to use strident rhetoric (“you have gone off the deep end”) as a substitute for a logically coherent argument. No intelligent third-party viewer of this discussion will be fooled by this.

              • gary says:

                Scott,

                You come across to me as a very good, very good-hearted, very sincere man. But think about this: the only reason you are able to get away in 2014 with publically proclaiming that God (the Christian god) has spoken prophecies through Hindu and Chinese non-Christians, in their non-Christian holy books, is ONLY because atheists, deists, and liberal, non-literalist Christians have forced your version of Christianity out of the seats of power and onto the sidelines of polite society.

                From shortly after the Council of Nicea in 325 AD to approximately 300 years ago, your beliefs would have gotten you killed. And not by pagans, deists, atheists, and liberals, but by your own conservative/orthodox Christian brethren. Conservative/orthodox Christianity is an EVIL belief system, Scott. It has caused MILLIONS of people over the last 1700-2000 years to suffer terrible discrimination, barbaric torture, and brutal painful deaths. The civil liberties we enjoy today in western societies is not due to your version of Christianity, it is IN SPITE of it. Please see the evil in what you believe, Scott, and abandon it for the real Truth.

                • Scott Youngren says:

                  Gary,

                  You are definitely trying the shotgun approach (high quantity to compensate for lack of quality). This is another red-herring (diversionary) argument. By YET AGAIN ignoring the following points, you have tacitly acknowledged that your stance cannot withstand debate:

                  Please, YET AGAIN, recall that I called you out on:

                  1) Suggesting that the 53rd chapter of Isaiah is referring to the nation of Israel even though this is patently absurd. If this is the case, then the nation of Israel:

                  a) is a man of suffering (as in verse 3)

                  b) was assigned a grave with the wicked (as in verse 5)

                  c) died as “an offering for sin” (as in verse 10)

                  d) is numbered with the transgressors.
                  For he bore the sin of many,
                  and made intercession for the transgressors (as in verse 12)

                  etc, etc…

                  2) Asserting that the Hindu scriptures MUST have been altered because of their clear references to Jesus’ crucifixion. This is the logical fallacy of assuming what you intend to prove. You provide no evidence of this assertion, but merely assume that it is true since it is what fits with your worldview.

                  3) IGNORING my points about how God’s self-sacrifice is mentioned in ancient Chinese imperial documents that date right to the time of Christ’s crucifixion. I believe this is the FOURTH time I have called you out on this one.

                  Until you rationally and coherently respond to the above points, we have no choice but to assume that you have tacitly acknowledged that you cannot explain them.

                  Trying to change the subject to allegations about Christianity causing death and suffering is a very transparent attempt at a diversionary (red-herring) argument. All intelligent third-party viewers of this discussion can plainly see how you ignore (and then try to divert attention from) points that cannot be coherently explained from within the framework of your worldview.

                  But since you brought up allegations that Christianity has caused death and suffering, I will respond by noting that I wrote an essay about this allegation titled Doesn’t Religion Cause Killing? (Click on the preceding link to read it).

                  A few important excerpts:

                  Religious scholar William T. Cavanaugh writes in The Myth of Religious Violence: Secular Ideology and the Roots of Modern Conflict:

                  “What would be necessary to prove the claim that religion has caused more violence than any other institutional force over the course of human history? One would first need a concept of religion that would be at least theoretically separable from other institutional forces over the course of human history. …The problem is that there was no category of religion separable from such political institutions until the modern era, and then it was primarily in the West. What meaning could we give to either the claim that Roman religion is to blame for the imperialist violence of ancient Rome, or the claim that it is Roman politics and not Roman religion that is to blame? Either claim would be nonsensical, because there was no neat division between religion and politics.”

                  “It is not simply that religion and politics were jumbled together until the modern West got them properly sorted out. As Wilfred Cantwell Smith showed in his landmark book, The Meaning and End of Religion, religion as a discrete category of human activity separable from culture, politics, and other areas of life is an invention of the modern West.”

                  “…The first conclusion is that there is no trans-historical or trans-cultural concept of religion. Religion has a history, and what counts as religion and what does not in any given context depends on different configurations of power and authority. The second conclusion is that the attempt to say that there is a trans-historical and trans-cultural concept of religion that is separable from secular phenomena is itself part of a particular configuration of power, that of the modern, liberal nation-state as it is developed in the West.”

                  Thus, it is impossible to establish which conflicts were caused by “religion” and which conflicts were caused by “politics” or “culture” because such categories have no intrinsic meaning, but rather, are human inventions. Cavanaugh continues:

                  “At first glance, this may seem like an academic exercise in quibbling over definitions, but much more is at stake. The religious-secular dichotomy in the arguments sanctions the condemnation of certain kinds of violence and the overlooking of other kinds of violence. …The myth of religious violence is so prevalent because, while it delegitimates certain kinds of violence, it is used to legitimate other kinds of violence, namely, violence done in the name of secular, Western ideals. The argument that religion causes violence sanctions a dichotomy between, on the one hand, non-Western, especially Muslim, forms of culture, which—having not yet learned to privatize matters of faith—are absolutist, divisive, irrational, and Western culture on the other, which is modest in its claims to truth, unitive and rational.”

                  (Please see this article for more detail).

                  And history provides no better example of violence legitimized for “secular” reasons than the violence committed by atheistic communism (although many scholars believe that Marxist communism fits the definition of a “religion”). In 1920, Vladimir Lenin (the key founder of the Soviet Union) stated:

                  “We repudiate all morality that proceeds from supernatural ideas that are outside class conceptions. Morality is entirely subordinate to the interests of class war. Everything is moral that is necessary for the annihilation of the old exploiting social order and for uniting the proletariat.”

                  Lenin also said,

                  “Our program necessarily includes the propaganda of atheism.”

                  Adopting a “religious” faith in no way guarantees that someone will become a moral person. Just as going to the hospital does not guarantee that someone will recover from an illness, adopting “religious” beliefs that promote peace and love will not guarantee that a person will become peaceful and loving. But if a person kills in the name of a religion with a text that clearly says, “Thou shalt not kill,” that person is clearly perverting that religion. This is entirely consistent with the biblical concept of humankind’s “fallen nature.”

                  With political systems that embrace atheism or concepts of human dignity that are rooted in atheism, no such perversion is necessary. Communism is a political system that officially embraces the atheist worldview. It is telling that the number of people who have been killed by atheistic communism is estimated to run as high as 110 million (sources: Death by Government by political science professor R.J. Rummel and The Black Book of Communism).

                  Nazism was not officially atheist, but it was staunchly anti-religious and similar to communism in the respect that it adopted concepts of human dignity that are rooted in atheist philosophy. I recommend From Darwin to Hitler by professor of modern European history Richard Weikart, to explore this subject further.

                  When it comes to the connection between atheism and unrestrained killing, mathematician David Berlinski hits the nail on the head in his book The Devil’s Delusion: Atheism and It’s Scientific Pretensions:

                  Somewhere in Eastern Europe, a [Nazi] SS officer watched languidly, his machine gun cradled, as an elderly and bearded Hasidic Jew laboriously dug what he knew to be his grave. Standing up straight, he addressed his executioner. “God is watching what you are doing,” he said. And then he was shot dead. What Hitler did not believe, and what Stalin did not believe, and what Mao did not believe, and what the SS did not believe, and what the Gestapo did not believe, and what the NKVD did not believe, and what the commissars, functionaries, swaggering executioners, Nazi doctors, Communist Party theoreticians, intellectuals, Brown Shirts, Blackshirts, Gauleiters, and a thousand party hacks did not believe, was that God was watching what they were doing. And as far as we can tell, very few of those carrying out the horrors of the twentieth century worried overmuch that God was watching what they were doing either. That is, after all, the meaning of a secular society.

                  • Gary says:

                    Good morning, Scott.

                    I have a challenge for you. Find five non-atheist, non-Christian, non-biased people to review our comments and post their opinion of our comments here on your blog. I will bet that most if not all will find that not only have I answered your questions, I have proved your position wrong.

                    It would be a very interesting discussion. I hope you are willing to accept my challenge.

                    • Scott Youngren says:

                      Gary,

                      Your challenge is very, very strange. You assert that you have proved my position wrong despite the fact that you have repeatedly (and very conveniently) IGNORED my arguments. How can one possibly prove a position wrong by ignoring it? This boggles the imagination.

                      Because I have noticed a tendency among atheists to frequently ignore questions which they cannot coherently answer from within the framework of their worldview, I have found it useful to keep a counter of the number of times that an atheist ignores an argument:

                      THE COUNTER IS NOW ON FOUR (4) REGARDING THE FOLLOWING:

                      Please, YET AGAIN, recall that I called you out on:

                      1) Suggesting that the 53rd chapter of Isaiah is referring to the nation of Israel even though this is patently absurd. If this is the case, then the nation of Israel:

                      a) is a man of suffering (as in verse 3)

                      b) was assigned a grave with the wicked (as in verse 5)

                      c) died as “an offering for sin” (as in verse 10)

                      d) is numbered with the transgressors.
                      For he bore the sin of many,
                      and made intercession for the transgressors (as in verse 12)

                      etc, etc…

                      2) Asserting that the Hindu scriptures MUST have been altered because of their clear references to Jesus’ crucifixion. This is the logical fallacy of assuming what you intend to prove. You provide no evidence of this assertion, but merely assume that it is true since it is what fits with your worldview.

                      3) IGNORING my points about how God’s self-sacrifice is mentioned in ancient Chinese imperial documents that date right to the time of Christ’s crucifixion.

                      PLEASE PLEASE RESPOND to the above rather than yet again ignoring facts which you cannot coherently respond to from within the framework of your atheist worldview.

                    • gary says:

                      Dear Scott,

                      This is your blog. You make the rules here. I believe I have answered your questions. You believe that I have not. I again challenge you to find five non-biased persons to evaluate our conversation and give us their opinions.

                      We could go on and on about many different points of contention regarding your supernatural belief system and my agnostic/atheistic views. But there is one fundamental issue that, for me, needs no further evidence to convince me that I want nothing to do with the Christian religion or its god.

                      Your religion and your god condone Ethnic Cleansing and Genocide. I want nothing to do with any entity or organization that justifies, endorses, and even participates in the mass killing of men, women, and children.

                    • Scott Youngren says:

                      Gary,

                      I can see that you are disenchanted with Christianity. However, I must suggest that your antagonism towards Christianity is based upon something deeper than you are letting on.

                      Logical arguments are based on logic, not upon votes from “non-biased persons” (as if such persons actually exist). Your “challenge” is another diversionary tactic which you use to avoid questions which you cannot coherently answer because of the flaws in your worldview. The only way to respond to a logical argument is with logic of your own, not with a “challenge” to get votes from people.

                      You say that you have answered my arguments. If you replied to my following points that I called you out on, please copy and paste or summarize your replies:

                      1) You suggested that the 53rd chapter of Isaiah (written 700 years before Jesus’ birth) is referring to the nation of Israel even though this is patently absurd. If this is the case, then the nation of Israel:

                      a) is a man of suffering (as in verse 3)

                      b) was assigned a grave with the wicked (as in verse 5)

                      c) died as “an offering for sin” (as in verse 10)

                      d) is “numbered with the transgressors.
                      For he bore the sin of many,
                      and made intercession for the transgressors” (as in verse 12)

                      etc, etc…

                      2) You asserted that the Hindu scriptures MUST have been altered because of their clear references to Jesus’ crucifixion. This is the logical fallacy of assuming what you intend to prove. You provide no evidence of this assertion, but merely assume that it is true since it is what fits with your worldview.

                      3) You have repeatedly IGNORED my points about how God’s self-sacrifice is mentioned in ancient Chinese imperial documents that date right to the time of Christ’s crucifixion, as detailed in Finding God In Ancient China: How the Ancient Chinese Worshiped the God of the Bible by Chinese Christian Chan Kei Thong…which I feature in my essay titled Which God is Real?

                      You suggest that Christianity condones ethnic cleansing and genocide, yet you provide no scholarly citation (from an historian) to back up your claims. Do you think that you can make a logical argument based upon such bald assertions? This is the logical fallacy known as Ipse Dixit. Click here to read a Wikipedia post about this logical fallacy. An excerpt:

                      Ipse Dixit, Latin for “He, himself, said it,” is a term used to identify and describe a sort of arbitrary dogmatic statement which the speaker expects the listener to accept as valid.

                      The fallacy of defending a proposition by baldly asserting that it is “just how it is” distorts the argument by opting out of it entirely: the claimant declares an issue to be intrinsic, and not changeable.

                      Further, you have IGNORED my points about how atheist philosophy was a necessary component of the worst mass-killings in history (nazi and communist). I cited the California State University Professor of History Richard Weikart (from his book From Darwin to Hitler). You have chosen to ignore these arguments rather than respond to them.

                      Lastly, I asked you to provide a causal link between Christianity and mass-killings. You have IGNORED this question as well…once again because you cannot furnish a logically coherent answer. I cited the problems with saying that “religion” causes killing (in my essay titled Doesn’t Religion Cause Killing?). Please recall my citation of the religious scholar William T. Cavanaugh from his book The Myth of Religious Violence. Yet again, you have IGNORED my arguments and, instead, have chosen the Ipse Dixit option of baldly asserting that Christianity condones genocide and ethnic cleansing.

                      As Weikart notes in his book, the causal link between atheism and mass-killing is clear. A copy and paste from my essay:

                      In a nutshell, because atheism denies the existence of any “supernatural” (or transcendent) reality, it also, by extension, denies that humans have any transcendent value. This severely devalued concept of human life is what allowed the communists to justify their historically unprecedented killing spree.

                      The Nazis killed anyone and everyone who they did not feel was worthy to pass on their genes. It seemed to them perfectly justifiable to kill any “survival machines” with what they perceived to be “undesirable” genes. As Weikart points out, the racist Nazi rationalization for killing comes straight from Darwin. In The Descent of Man, Darwin writes:

                      “With savages, the weak in body or mind are soon eliminated; and those that survive commonly exhibit a vigorous state of health. We civilized men, on the other hand, do our utmost to check the process of elimination; we build asylums for the imbecile, the maimed, the sick;….Thus the weak members of civilized societies propagate their kind. No one who has attended to the breeding of domestic animals will doubt that this must be highly injurious to the race of man.”

                      At another point in The Descent of Man, Darwin writes:

                      “The civilized races of man will almost certainly exterminate, and replace, the savage races throughout the world.”

                      And exterminating everyone perceived to be “savage” or unworthy of passing on their genes is exactly what the Nazis tried to do. It is not, then, difficult to see why Weikart was justified in saying that:

                      “Darwinism by itself did not produce the Holocaust, but without Darwinism…neither Hitler nor his Nazi followers would have had the necessary scientific underpinnings to convince themselves and their collaborators that one of the world’s greatest atrocities was really morally praiseworthy.”

                      This can be seen in the statements made by Hitler which betrayed his Darwinist views. Hitler once said:

                      “The law of selection justifies this incessant struggle, by allowing for the survival of the fittest. Christianity is a rebellion against natural law, a protest against nature. Taken to its logical extreme, Christianity would mean the systematic cultivation of the human failure.”

                    • gary says:

                      Your ancient, middle-eastern god is a blood-thirsty, psychopathic butcher of children. In his mad, fits of rage, he has slaughtered toddlers and infants by the millions, leaving behind their hacked to pieces little arms, legs, and bodies to be picked apart by the vultures. And this same mad Deity demands that every human being left alive from his slaughters, bow before him, repent of THEIR petty misdeeds, and call him our “Loving Heavenly Father”.

                      Bullshit.

                      If he exists, other than in your imagination, he is one sick Son of a Bitch, and I want nothing to do with him. The character of your god is all I need to denounce your religion as barbaric and pure Evil.

                    • Scott Youngren says:

                      Gary,

                      Wow. That is a lot of angry rhetoric. What do you really think you have achieved with this…other than a tacit acknowledgement that your stance cannot withstand debate? Please recall, once again, that logical arguments consist of logic, and not rhetoric.

                      Your retreat into angry rhetoric amounts to a withdrawal from rational discourse, and therefore a tacit acknowledgement that your arguments have run out of steam.

                      Further, your angry rhetoric betrays the ideological (as opposed to logical) basis for your apparently atheist views.

                    • gary says:

                      Let me turn the tables on you, Scott:

                      You are teleported this very moment to Northern Iraq where a Muslim ISIS commander is preparing to behead a village of Iraqi Christians. After reading from the Koran (passages which condone the slaughter of “infidels”—with the blessings of Allah) the commander and his soldiers behead elderly grandfathers and grandmothers, fathers, mothers, pregnant young women, teenagers, children, and babies. The town square is littered with bodies, old and young, and the ground is soaked in blood.

                      The ISIS commander then turns to you and asks for your opinion regarding what he has just done.

                      With tears in your eyes, you stare him in the face and say, “You are a psychopathic monster! Your religion and your god are sick!”

                      The ISIS commander smiles and calmly responds, “Your reaction proves your intense anger and rebellion against Allah.”

                    • gary says:

                      Scott,

                      I believe you are misusing the Laws of Logic. I am having a discussion on this topic with a Southern Baptist pastor on my blog. If you are interested, please join us.

                      Blog: lutherwasnotbornagain
                      post: Using the Laws of Logic to examine the claim that God is the Source of Morality.
                      date: November 29, 2014

                    • Scott Youngren says:

                      Gary,

                      I am misusing the laws of logic by insisting that you respond to my arguments, rather than ignoring them and creating diversionary arguments?!

                      I am misusing the laws of logic by insisting that you provide a scholarly citation (form an historian from an accredited university) to back up your claims that Christianity causes genocide?!

                      I am going to make YET ANOTHER attempt to get you respond to the following.

                      THE COUNTER IS ON FIVE (5) FOR THE NUMBER OF TIMES THAT YOU HAVE IGNORED THE FOLLOWING POINTS that I called you out on:

                      1) You suggested that the 53rd chapter of Isaiah (written 700 years before Jesus’ birth) is referring to the nation of Israel even though this is patently absurd. If this is the case, then the nation of Israel:

                      a) is a man of suffering (as in verse 3)

                      b) was assigned a grave with the wicked (as in verse 5)

                      c) died as “an offering for sin” (as in verse 10)

                      d) is “numbered with the transgressors.
                      For he bore the sin of many,
                      and made intercession for the transgressors” (as in verse 12)

                      etc, etc…

                      2) You asserted that the Hindu scriptures MUST have been altered because of their clear references to Jesus’ crucifixion. This is the logical fallacy of assuming what you intend to prove. You provide no evidence of this assertion, but merely assume that it is true since it is what fits with your worldview. Further, why would the Hindus alter their scriptures to resemble the Bible? This is a very suspicious claim.

                      3) You have repeatedly IGNORED my points about how God’s self-sacrifice is mentioned in ancient Chinese imperial documents that date right to the time of Christ’s crucifixion, as detailed in Finding God In Ancient China: How the Ancient Chinese Worshiped the God of the Bible by Chinese Christian Chan Kei Thong…which I feature in my essay titled Which God is Real?

                      Gary, time commitments prevent me from joining your discussion. If you want to post an argument at this website regarding allegations that I have violated laws of logic, please feel free to do so.

                    • gary says:

                      Emperor Karl (Charlemagne) in 782 had 4500 Saxons, unwilling to convert to Christianity, beheaded. [DO30]

                    • Scott Youngren says:

                      Gary,

                      By providing this list of alleged Christian crimes, you have committed the logical fallacy of Argument by Repeated Assertion. I asked you tell me what you think is the causal link between Christianity and mass-killing. But instead of answering, you just forcefully repeat your assertion that Christianity causes killing. Without such a causal link, what reason do we have to think that it was Christianity that caused these killings, and not politics?

                      Please recall that merely expressing adherence to a religion which encourages love, peace, and forgiveness does not guarantee that one will become loving, peaceful, and forgiving. Does becoming a member of alcoholics anonymous guarantee that one will become sober?

                      I told you what I think is the causal link between atheism and the mass-killing of the Communists and Nazis: A severely degraded concept of human dignity which declares that humans are nothing but glorified monkeys or “survival machines,” in the words of the renowned atheist biologist Richard Dawkins.

                      NOW PLEASE TELL ME WHAT YOU FEEL IS THE CAUSAL LINK BETWEEN CHRISTIANITY AND KILLING!!

                      You have YET AGAIN failed to respond to the points I made in my essay titled Doesn’t Religion Cause Killing?

                      The COUNTER IS NOW ON THREE (3) FOR THE NUMBER OF TIMES YOU HAVE FAILED TO RESPOND TO THE POINTS I MADE IN “DOESN’T RELIGION CAUSE KILLING?”

                      A copy and paste from this essay:

                      Religious scholar William T. Cavanaugh writes in The Myth of Religious Violence: Secular Ideology and the Roots of Modern Conflict:

                      “What would be necessary to prove the claim that religion has caused more violence than any other institutional force over the course of human history? One would first need a concept of religion that would be at least theoretically separable from other institutional forces over the course of human history. …The problem is that there was no category of religion separable from such political institutions until the modern era, and then it was primarily in the West. What meaning could we give to either the claim that Roman religion is to blame for the imperialist violence of ancient Rome, or the claim that it is Roman politics and not Roman religion that is to blame? Either claim would be nonsensical, because there was no neat division between religion and politics.”

                      “It is not simply that religion and politics were jumbled together until the modern West got them properly sorted out. As Wilfred Cantwell Smith showed in his landmark book, The Meaning and End of Religion, religion as a discrete category of human activity separable from culture, politics, and other areas of life is an invention of the modern West.”

                      “…The first conclusion is that there is no trans-historical or trans-cultural concept of religion. Religion has a history, and what counts as religion and what does not in any given context depends on different configurations of power and authority. The second conclusion is that the attempt to say that there is a trans-historical and trans-cultural concept of religion that is separable from secular phenomena is itself part of a particular configuration of power, that of the modern, liberal nation-state as it is developed in the West.”

                      Thus, it is impossible to establish which conflicts were caused by “religion” and which conflicts were caused by “politics” or “culture” because such categories have no intrinsic meaning, but rather, are human inventions. Cavanaugh continues:

                      “At first glance, this may seem like an academic exercise in quibbling over definitions, but much more is at stake. The religious-secular dichotomy in the arguments sanctions the condemnation of certain kinds of violence and the overlooking of other kinds of violence. …The myth of religious violence is so prevalent because, while it delegitimates certain kinds of violence, it is used to legitimate other kinds of violence, namely, violence done in the name of secular, Western ideals. The argument that religion causes violence sanctions a dichotomy between, on the one hand, non-Western, especially Muslim, forms of culture, which—having not yet learned to privatize matters of faith—are absolutist, divisive, irrational, and Western culture on the other, which is modest in its claims to truth, unitive and rational.”

                      Please click HERE to read an article that elaborates on Cavanaugh’s points.

                      Some excerpts:

                      Exposing the myth of religious violence means something else: the careful demolition of the variously argued idea that in ostensible contrast to rational, modern, secular ideologies, there is something distinctively disruptive, divisive, and dangerous about religion that makes it, across historical epochs and cultures and peoples, inherently prone to irrational, intractable violence. Because of this, the argument goes, religion must be resolutely corralled and controlled by the benign secularism of the liberal state, if necessary by justifiable, pacifying violence of the state’s own.

                      Cavanaugh rightly sees that, for this argument to work, there must be something identifiable about “religion” that makes it susceptible to violence and sets it apart from secular ideologies and commitments. But those who make this argument have offered no account of religion that can sustain the argument. Ignoring much scholarship about the historical and cultural variability of the concept of religion itself, they argue as if the differences are apparent. Hence they offer, in the guise of description and analysis, the myth of religious violence: the powerful and pervasive perpetuation of the false notion that because it is especially liable to violence, religion merits special attention by a secular state whose legitimacy is reaffirmed every time it performs its policing function, thereby reinforcing the myth and deflecting attention away from its own violence.

                      But didn’t the “wars of religion” in the Reformation era show beyond any doubt that religion is absolutist, divisive, and irrational and therefore prone to violence? And, as a result, wasn’t the modern liberal state created and construed as a secular, privatizing, and individualizing religion in order to tame it?

                      This “creation myth of the wars of religion” Cavanaugh dismantles thoroughly. He rightly directs his analysis especially against contemporary liberal political theorists and legal scholars who construe the creation of the secular state as the creation of a peacemaking savior from the religious unrest of early modern Europe. The contemporary liberals’ story simply echoes the story’s self-serving creators, from Hobbes and Spinoza through Voltaire and Rousseau.

                      Against this narrative Cavanaugh marshals a wide range of evidence from historians of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries that hopelessly complicates any construal of major European conflicts from the Schmalkaldic War (1546“1547) through the Thirty Years War (1618“1648) as “wars of religion.” More fundamentally, he correctly notes the inseparability of religion from politics and society in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Hence, one cannot, for example, say that a Catholic Eucharistic procession was religious rather than political or social unless one applies, anachronistically, a conception of religion that itself arose only as a rejection of the human realities it sought to refashion.

                      Cavanaugh argues that the consolidating and centralizing violence that accompanied the early formation of what would become modern states preceded the Reformation and thus cannot be disentangled from the “religious” violence of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. What happened in early modern Europe was not a separation of dangerously irrational religion from commendably rational and secular politics, but rather “the substitution of the religion of the state for the religion of the church” and thus (in historian John Bossy’s phrase) “a migration of the holy from church to state in the establishment of the ideal of dying and killing for one’s country.” Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori .

                      Despite its conceptual incoherence and reliance on a self-serving creation myth, “the myth of religious violence has proven to be an extraordinarily pervasive story in Western culture” precisely because, as Cavanaugh says, “it is so useful.” Cavanaugh concludes his book by considering three of the myth’s recent and continuing principal uses: the justification of Supreme Court decisions since the 1940s that promote secular individualism and suppress public expressions of religion; the construction of sharp distinctions between “the West and the rest” in a “clash of civilizations” that eschews historical analysis of Western “Muslim relations in favor of blanket allegations of Islamic religious fanaticism; and the distinction between objectionable, irrational, “religious” violence and rational, justifiable, “secular” violence by the United States. In the case of the last, what is considered legitimate violence evades the scrutiny applied to “religious” violence. As Cavanaugh describes it: “We must share the blessings of secularism with them. If they are not sufficiently rational to be open to persuasion, we must regrettably bomb them into the higher rationality.”

                      In place of the myth of religious violence, Cavanaugh suggests leveling the playing field: Both secularist liberalism and religious traditions should be placed within the same analytical framework when it comes to answering without prejudice a straightforwardly functionalist question: “Do certain ideologies and practices have more of a tendency to produce violence than others?” In this endeavor, “the distinction between secular and religious violence is unhelpful, misleading, and mystifying, and it should be avoided altogether.”

                    • gary says:

                      16th and 17th century Ireland. English troops “pacified and civilized” Ireland, where only Gaelic “wild Irish”, “unreasonable beasts lived without any knowledge of God or good manners, in common of their goods, cattle, women, children and every other thing.” One of the more successful soldiers, a certain Humphrey Gilbert, half-brother of Sir Walter Raleigh, ordered that “the heddes of all those (of what sort soever thei were) which were killed in the daie, should be cutte off from their bodies… and should bee laied on the ground by eche side of the waie”, which effort to civilize the Irish indeed caused “greate terrour to the people when thei sawe the heddes of their dedde fathers, brothers, children, kinsfolke, and freinds on the grounde”.
                      Tens of thousands of Gaelic Irish fell victim to the carnage. [SH99, 225]

                    • Scott Youngren says:

                      Gary,

                      By providing this list of alleged Christian crimes, you have committed the logical fallacy of Argument by Repeated Assertion. I asked you tell me what you think is the causal link between Christianity and mass-killing. But instead of answering, you just forcefully repeat your assertion that Christianity causes killing. Without such a causal link, what reason do we have to think that it was Christianity that caused these killings, and not politics?

                      Please recall that merely expressing adherence to a religion which encourages love, peace, and forgiveness does not guarantee that one will become loving, peaceful, and forgiving. Does becoming a member of alcoholics anonymous guarantee that one will become sober?

                      I told you what I think is the causal link between atheism and the mass-killing of the Communists and Nazis: A severely degraded concept of human dignity which declares that humans are nothing but glorified monkeys or “survival machines,” in the words of the renowned atheist biologist Richard Dawkins.

                      NOW PLEASE TELL ME WHAT YOU FEEL IS THE CAUSAL LINK BETWEEN CHRISTIANITY AND KILLING!!

                      You have YET AGAIN failed to respond to the points I made in my essay titled Doesn’t Religion Cause Killing?

                      The COUNTER IS NOW ON THREE (3) FOR THE NUMBER OF TIMES YOU HAVE FAILED TO RESPOND TO THE POINTS I MADE IN “DOESN’T RELIGION CAUSE KILLING?”

                      A copy and paste from this essay:

                      Religious scholar William T. Cavanaugh writes in The Myth of Religious Violence: Secular Ideology and the Roots of Modern Conflict:

                      “What would be necessary to prove the claim that religion has caused more violence than any other institutional force over the course of human history? One would first need a concept of religion that would be at least theoretically separable from other institutional forces over the course of human history. …The problem is that there was no category of religion separable from such political institutions until the modern era, and then it was primarily in the West. What meaning could we give to either the claim that Roman religion is to blame for the imperialist violence of ancient Rome, or the claim that it is Roman politics and not Roman religion that is to blame? Either claim would be nonsensical, because there was no neat division between religion and politics.”

                      “It is not simply that religion and politics were jumbled together until the modern West got them properly sorted out. As Wilfred Cantwell Smith showed in his landmark book, The Meaning and End of Religion, religion as a discrete category of human activity separable from culture, politics, and other areas of life is an invention of the modern West.”

                      “…The first conclusion is that there is no trans-historical or trans-cultural concept of religion. Religion has a history, and what counts as religion and what does not in any given context depends on different configurations of power and authority. The second conclusion is that the attempt to say that there is a trans-historical and trans-cultural concept of religion that is separable from secular phenomena is itself part of a particular configuration of power, that of the modern, liberal nation-state as it is developed in the West.”

                      Thus, it is impossible to establish which conflicts were caused by “religion” and which conflicts were caused by “politics” or “culture” because such categories have no intrinsic meaning, but rather, are human inventions. Cavanaugh continues:

                      “At first glance, this may seem like an academic exercise in quibbling over definitions, but much more is at stake. The religious-secular dichotomy in the arguments sanctions the condemnation of certain kinds of violence and the overlooking of other kinds of violence. …The myth of religious violence is so prevalent because, while it delegitimates certain kinds of violence, it is used to legitimate other kinds of violence, namely, violence done in the name of secular, Western ideals. The argument that religion causes violence sanctions a dichotomy between, on the one hand, non-Western, especially Muslim, forms of culture, which—having not yet learned to privatize matters of faith—are absolutist, divisive, irrational, and Western culture on the other, which is modest in its claims to truth, unitive and rational.”

                      Please click HERE to read an article that elaborates on Cavanaugh’s points.

                      Some excerpts:

                      Exposing the myth of religious violence means something else: the careful demolition of the variously argued idea that in ostensible contrast to rational, modern, secular ideologies, there is something distinctivel