The Reality of Miracles

Posted on October 25, 2014 By

Denying the reality of supernatural intervention from God (miracles) causes one to resemble the hilarious characters in Joseph Heller’s famous novel Catch-­22, which features an American bomber squadron situated in World War II Europe. A SparkNotes plot overview of Catch­-22 comments on Heller’s use of paradox and circular logic throughout the novel:

“Yossarian [the main character] discovers that it is possible to be discharged from military service because of insanity. Always looking for a way out, Yossarian claims that he is insane only to find out that by claiming that he is insane he has proved that he is obviously sane—since any sane person would claim that he or she is insane in order to avoid flying [extremely dangerous] bombing missions. Elsewhere, Catch­-22 is defined as a law that is illegal to read. Ironically, the place where it is written that it is illegal is in Catch-­22 itself. It is yet again defined as the law that the enemy is allowed to do anything that one can’t keep him from doing. In short, then, Catch-­22 is any paradoxical, circular reasoning that catches its victim in its illogic and serves those who have made the law.”

The reality of miracles is perhaps best illustrated by the fact that the primary philosophical arguments against miracles present in contemporary scholarship constitute textbook examples of such “paradoxical, circular reasoning” that catch their victims in illogic. Those who try to wriggle free of the truth of miracles resemble Yossarian in his attempts to avoid flying dangerous bombing missions.

The 18th century Scottish atheist philosopher David Hume first formulated the main contemporary arguments against miracles. Hume’s primary argument is that miracles cannot occur because they constitute violations of natural law. In his book Miracles: The Credibility of the New Testament Accounts, Craig Keener comments how Hume’s logic is notably Heller-esque:

“…Thus, on the usual reading of Hume, he manages to define away any possibility of a miracle occurring, by defining ‘miracle’ as a violation of natural law, yet defining ‘natural law’ as principles that cannot be violated. As one philosopher complains, once a miracle could be proved to occur, natural law would be redefined to accommodate this occurrence, which would thus no longer be accepted as miraculous. ‘The miracle seems for ever frustrated in its attempts to violate; for as soon as it imagines that it has succeeded, it finds that there was nothing there after all to violate!’ That is, Hume’s definitions assume what he claims to prove, a standard fallacy recognized in logic.”

But Hume’s circular logic does not stop there. Hume famously attacked the credibility of those who claim to have experienced a miracle:

“There is not to be found, in all history, any miracle attested by a sufficient number of men, of such unquestioned good sense, education, and learning, as to secure us against all delusion in themselves.”

How does Hume determine if an individual is of “good sense, education, and learning, as to secure us against all delusion in themselves”? The answer reveals not only the circularity of Hume’s logic, but also his appalling ethnocentric bias. Hume writes:

“They [miracles] are observed chiefly to abound among ignorant and barbarous nations; or if a civilized people has ever given admission to any of them, that people will be found to have received them from ignorant and barbarous ancestors.”

According to Hume, only “ignorant and barbarous” cultures believe in miracles. How does one determine if a culture is ignorant and barbarous? Such a culture believes in miracles. (Joseph Heller would have been proud).

(Click here to read a full article about the circularity of Hume’s arguments against miracles).

Keener responds by pointing out that one must declare a majority of the world’s population to be “ignorant and barbarous” in order to declare that only “ignorant and barbarous” peoples believe in supernatural intervention. Keener uses the term “Majority World” to refer to cultures outside of the modern west…Latin America, Africa, and Asia:

“…Today, however, abundant claims of miracles, particularly from the Majority World, challenge Hume’s skepticism about the existence of many credible eyewitnesses. Hume demanded ‘a sufficient number’ of witnesses of unquestioned integrity and intelligence who would have much to lose by testifying falsely. In today’s academic climate, many who testify to miracles have much to lose even by testifying truly; but I shall first respond to Hume’s quantitative demand. In contrast to the environment assumed by Hume, today hundreds of millions of people claim to have witnessed miracles.” (italics are mine)

Keener spends several chapters detailing how the experience of miracles is absolutely pervasive throughout Latin America, Asia, and Africa, and has been a major source of church growth in these areas. For example, he notes:

“…Reports from some members of the official China Christian Council suggested that roughly ‘half of the new conversions of the last twenty years have been caused by faith healing experiences’ of the convert or someone close to them. Speaking more broadly of Christians in China in general, one researcher cites less conservative estimates; ‘according to some surveys, 90% of new believers cite healing as a reason for their conversion.’”

Keener further notes that,

“Often these [Christian converts] are people reared in entirely different religious traditions, for whom changing their faith tradition is socially costly, sometimes even leading to ostracism or persecution.”

“…Western scholar of global Christianity Philip Jenkins notes that in general Christianity in the Global South is quite interested in ‘the immediate workings of the supernatural, through prophecy, visions, ecstatic utterances, and healing.’ Such an approach, closer to the early Christian worldview than modern Western culture is, appeals to many traditional non-­Western cultures.”

“…[These cultures] have simply never embraced the Western, mechanistic, naturalistic Enlightenment worldview that rejects the supernatural.”

Why, then, does western culture (and much of modern western academia) differ so vehemently with the majority of the world’s population, when it comes to the topic of miracles? Disbelief in miracles first requires that one subscribe to a theory (or philosophy) that denies the existence of God. This deeply rooted western philosophical tradition, known as naturalism or materialism, says that, since nothing exists except for the “natural world” of material objects interacting with one another in a mindless and mechanical fashion, belief in God (and miracles) is an airy­-fairy superstition.

As philosophers Stuart Goetz and Charles Taliaferro put it in their book Naturalism, “The conflict between naturalism and theism is not a matter of different scientific theories of events within the cosmos, but of conflicting overall philosophies of the cosmos itself.”

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.”

The insidious influence of materialism/naturalism on the western mind causes a prevalent misperception that science objectively describes observable material objects which are out there, whereas religion deals with unobservable and airy-­fairy concepts such as God and miracles. Despite the fact that modern western culture categorizes belief in God as “religious,” and belief in naturalism/materialism as “scientific,” there exists no objective rational means for establishing why the materialist/naturalist philosophy of the cosmos itself (in the words of Goetz and Taliaferro) should be categorized as “scientific,” whereas theism is not.

Both theism and materialism/naturalism are philosophies based upon human experience. It is just that adopting materialism/naturalism requires one to ignore or discount a vast amount of human experience.

Further, it is crucial to understand that the insights of modern physics which were not available in Hume’s day have made it immensely more difficult to justify a theory or philosophy of the cosmos that does not include God. Specifically, as difficult as it is for the western mind to grasp, modern physics has shown that what we perceive as the material world is the product of a mind.

Johns Hopkins University physicist Richard Conn Henry writes in his article The Mental Universe:

“The 1925 discovery of quantum mechanics solved the problem of the universe’s nature. Bright physicists were again led to believe the unbelievable—­­­this time that the universe is mental. According to [the knighted mathematician, physicist and astronomer] Sir James Jeans:

‘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 mine)

(Please read the above mentioned article, my essay titled God Is Real: Why Modern Physics Has Discredited Atheism, as well as Mindful Universe by the University of California, Berkeley physicist Henry Stapp for a further exploration of this topic).

The difficulty which the modern western mind has in grasping the concept of the material world being the product of a mind can be compared to the difficulty which many ancient people must have had in accepting the concept of the Earth being round. If the Earth is not flat, why doesn’t everything just fall off? Much as the concept of a spherical Earth was a non-­intuitive shock for such people, the concept of a mental universe is a non-­intuitive shock to the western mind.

And if what we perceive as the material world is the result of a mind (read: God’s mind), rather than being “inert matter locked into a sort of gigantic deterministic clockwork” (in the words of physicists Davies and Gribbin), what reason remains for denying divine intervention…miracles?

Keener notes that, “None of the ancient sources respond to Jesus’ miracles by trying to deny them.” 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. As this essay notes, 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…”

Perhaps it is time for modern westerners to relinquish the old-­time religion of materialism/naturalism, which is based on outdated scientific concepts, and admit that the majority of the world’s population (primarily from Latin America, Africa, and Asia) has been right about miracles all along. Even Christians in the modern west are susceptible to a subconscious skepticism toward miracles which stems from the subtle influence of deeply rooted western philosophical traditions.

In order to be truly objective, one must subject the core assumptions of one’s own birth society to just as much scrutiny as anything else. As Heller put it in Catch­-22: “[They] agreed that it was neither possible nor necessary to educate people who never questioned anything.”


37 comments


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    Ron Mitchell says:

    This CAPTCHA code keeps screwing up and not sending my posts.

    Anyway this is a reply to non credenti:

    So why haven’t you responded to my asking you how you can justify the Big Bang (which I also believe in) when it totally violates FLOT? Simple question. Response?


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      Non Credenti says:

      My apologies, Ron. I haven’t received any notices of replies to me. You ask how one can “justify the Big Bang… when it totally violates FLOT.”
      .
      Unfortunately, we don’t know the conditions before the Big Bang (BB). We need to know these conditions if we’re going to proclaim that any Universal Laws have been violated by the Big Bang.
      .
      Was the BB a singularity that underwent expansion? If so, what was the energy of the singularity, that we can say there was a violation of FLOT?
      .
      Was the BB the latest in a series of “bounces”? If so I don’t see how FLOT is violated.
      .
      Physicists are confident (mathematically) that Quantum Fields experience fluctuations. If our Universe is the result of a very large fluctuation–one large enough to produce the initial low-entropy boundary condition of the Universe–then, again, I don’t see how FLOT is violated, as a fluctuation in quantum field energy doesn’t necessitate energy being created or destroyed. Of course, there are problems explaining that massive fluctuation but those problems are not because of FLOT.
      .
      Or maybe you have another favorite idea of possible conditions before the BB. If so, you would need to establish the initial energy level before the BB under that theory, and explain why that idea is the “right” one.
      .
      In general, we need to keep in mind that the BB describes the beginning of the Classical Universe, not the Quantum, and FLOT describes the laws of the Classical Universe, not the Quantum.
      .
      If we could even establish that FLOT applied before the Classical Universe, we would need to be able to measure the energy content of the pre-BB Universe in order to determine that there was a violation of FLOT.
      .
      The bottom line is we just don’t know what things were like before the BB.


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        Ron Mitchell says:

        Nice side-stepping, non, but as Al Sharpton likes to say …
        we gottcha. So at least you can say there is something that we DON’T know about our universe, and before.

        There is a big red sign just before the BB happened that says:
        “Science not allowed beyond this point!” And that’s where, if you’re really honest with yourself, you’ll say “OK, I guess I really can’t say that there is not a spiritual force beyond all this that I can’t define and can’t really be sure about.

        That’s the Force that I call God, and it’s the Force that is beyond FLOT and overrides it.

        But you’ll not be convinced of that until, if, and when you decide that you’re open to the possibility.

        Anyway, I enjoyed the discussion.


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          Non Credenti says:

          Sorry, Ron, but stating facts is not side-stepping. You’re the one who claimed to have knowledge of the pre-BB cosmogony, and I helpfully pointed out the folly of that.
          .
          I would agree with your big red sign, with the small correction that the sign is planted just on this side (Planck time) of the BB event, not the other side. As for your claim that we cannot say there is no spiritual force beyond it all, I agree, and haven’t said otherwise.
          .
          However, as your friend the Right Reverend Sharpton would also say, you seem to have taken one step forward, and two steps back. You acknowledge that we do not know what happened before the BB, but then turn around and claim to have just that knowledge. Without knowledge of the pre-BB conditions, you cannot say that it was necessary to override FLOT. Without knowledge of the pre-BB conditions, you cannot say there was “nothing” before the BB, a claim physicists don’t make. If you do have knowledge of the pre-BB conditions, share it with the world and collect your Nobel Prize.


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            Ron Mitchell says:

            We agree to disagree. Nice posting with you, Non.


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              Azrael says:

              Ah, the good ol’ “We agree to disagree”; the quintessential “I have no reply to this because you’ve proven me wrong.” response. Sigh.

              Here’s some info on your (flawed) question: https://www.quora.com/Does-the-Big-Bang-Theory-conflict-with-the-First-Law-of-Thermodynamics


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                Scott Youngren ( User Karma: 43 ) says:

                Azrael,

                I am not familiar with the argument that the first law of thermodynamics conflicts with the Big Bang. However, I am very familiar with the argument that the second law of thermodynamics conflicts with the idea that the Big Bang could be a “cosmic accident” (not the result of an intelligent cause).

                As the very first commenter at the link you provided states:

                “The one that gives people that work on the theory more sleepless nights is the second law, which is that entropy is always increasing. That’s true, as far as we know, but it means that the universe starts in a very low entropy state, which by definition is incredibly unlikely. Solutions to this problem (an unexplained ‘fine-tuning’ of the universe) occupy a lot of thought inside the professional cosmology community.”

                Azrael, what is your specific response to the problem that the second law of thermodynamics poses to the idea that the Big Bang occurred without being caused by a conscious and intelligent agent? How specifically did the universe start in a low entropy (highly ordered) state? What specifically is the source for the high degree of ordering in the universe? As Albert Einstein put it:

                “You find it strange that I consider the comprehensibility of the world (to the extent that we are authorized to speak of such a comprehensibility) as a miracle or as an eternal mystery. Well, a priori, one should expect a chaotic world, which cannot be grasped by the mind in any way… the kind of order created by Newton’s theory of gravitation, for example, is wholly different. Even if man proposes the axioms of the theory, the success of such a project presupposes a high degree of ordering of the objective world, and this could not be expected a priori. That is the ‘miracle’ which is constantly reinforced as our knowledge expands.”

                What is the source of the “high degree of ordering of the objective world” that Albert Einstein marveled at?

                This order is manifested in the original low entropy state of the universe, to cite just one of many examples.

                Einstein was very very explicit that he felt God was the source of this order:

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

                –Albert Einstein

                (The Wall Street Journal, Dec 24, 1997, article by Jim Holt, “Science Resurrects 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

                (From E. Salaman, “A Talk With Einstein,” The Listener 54 (1955), pp. 370-371, quoted in Jammer, p. 123).

                Scott


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    Ron Mitchell says:

    I wouldn’t invest too much time in trying to convince folks
    about the reality of miracles, since the devil performs them
    as well (Rev. 16:14). And we know that primitive people have
    their shamans who work though that source to perform miracles,
    and we would certainly not hold those up as worthy examples
    that there really is a good God who loves us and became one
    of us to die on the cross as pre-payment for a guaranteed lifetime
    with Him in Heaven.

    It’s all about faith, and that is a gift from God to us that he gives
    when we ask.. I would just ask people to sincerely ask God for the faith to
    believe … and God will deliver it to them (remember “ask, seek, and knock”?)
    just as He did for me when as a non-believer I simply asked … and it
    was given unto me. The simple way is best.


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      skl says:

      “It’s all about faith, and that is a gift from God to us that he gives
      when we ask.. I would just ask people to sincerely ask God for the faith to
      believe … and God will deliver it to them (remember “ask, seek, and knock”?)
      just as He did for me when as a non-believer I simply asked … and it
      was given unto me. The simple way is best.”

      Sorry to burst your bubble Ron but you have only experienced this faith because you wanted it to happen; it is simply a human trait that has had humans worshiping gods from the Stone Age. Faith is just another condition of the human mind such as imagination that influences our thought processes. You imagined God is telling you that you have found him and the bible that provides simple explanations and understanding of why we exist without regards of any alternative scientific evidence and theories with the motivation for some people of not wanting to go to Hell. This is much the same way faith has led to motivate the radicalised young men going overseas to murder people in religiously supported terrorist acts.


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        Ron Mitchell says:

        “This is much the same way faith has led to motivate the radicalised young men going overseas to murder people in religiously supported terrorist acts.”

        Oooh, this is another error much like the myth of Darwinism in that it is accepted lemming-like and without any serious thinking through.

        Christianity is totally unlike Islam, which teaches Muslims to kill those infidels who will not convert to Islam. Christianity teaches not only to love-your-neighbor, but also to love-your-enemies (Sermon on the Mount). Or you may be confusing the murdering Crusaders of the 11th and 13th centuries with true Christians. The Crusaders were sent to kill Muslims by the ruling Pope of that time. Jesus taught just the opposite. The Pope who commanded that was Pope of a counterfeit Church that still exists to this day and calls itself the Roman Catholic Church (which literally translates into The Universal Church of the Roman Empire.) And it is quite simply a cult that came into fashion shortly after 312 AD, when Constantine “converted” and took the true apostolic church of that day and re-made it into the State
        Church of The Roman Empire, with all the corrupting power that goes along with that.

        It’s too long a story to go into here, and not one that you’d be interested in, but suffice it to say that it very quickly “mutated” into an evil and counterfeit church, interestingly as I showed you earlier, in the same way that most most mutations are harmful rather than helpful to the original non-mutated entity.

        And I’ll close this discussion with something that I forgot to mention earlier re the Darwinian Myth and the fruit fly/elephant trick. While there are lots of
        cases of variations within species, there has never been a single instance documented to show that any species has ever, ever, mutated into another species. More Dawinian mythology.

        Bye, guy, and start re-thinking knee-jerk agreements with myths that just “sound right” but that fall apart when properly thought through.


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          skl says:

          Ron, indoctrination of religious faith is by no means an error or a myth, there is no other reason why young men are eager to travel overseas to fight for religious terrorists and become martyrs for their religion if it is not from this process and Christians have done exactly the same thing. You even highlight the crusaders in the 11 and 13 centuries and condemn them as murderers. How judgemental you are of your fellow Christians because the massacre of 3000 Christian Pilgrims in Jerusalem prompted the first crusade so you are a bit harsh on them considering the west still sends soldiers to fight the Muslims.

          Have you forgotten recent history, Catholics and Protestants in Northern Ireland or don’t you count that one because only about three and a half thousand died in their last major conflict? From the internet you can find the Eighty Years War in 1568, the French Wars of Religion in 1562, the Thirty Years War in 1618, and the English Civil Wars in 1639. Although each of these wars was fought for various political or economic purposes, it was driven by a disagreement of religion. This period of Christian Civil War, resulted in a major decline of Catholic influence and a rise of Protestant influence that should make you happy. Millions of lives were lost based on religion and politics just like the wars we have today.

          I must ask you if you ever considered reading the First Testament and adding up the violent parts and then claim that your loving God loved his enemies? If you don’t know about this go to this link where a religious person is actually trying to justify these criminal acts.
          http://www.gotquestions.org/God-killing.html

          I understand from what you wrote that you believe your religion is the best one considering you have just shot down both of the biggest religions on the planet. Tell me will the people of these religions ever get to heaven and how you know you have chosen the religion God approves of.

          Darwin is a man who eminent scientists of today regard as one of the best that ever lived. Only the religious people who feel threatened with his evolutionary science would ever call it a myth. I am not going to argue with you about Darwin, the simple answer for you is that many religions have accepted his discoveries and conveniently fitted them into their faith and this includes your arch enemy the Catholic Church. Sorry old chap but your views are likely to be in the minority in the western religions so it is you who should be re-thinking your views and I promise you will not go to hell.


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            Scott Youngren ( User Karma: 43 ) says:

            Skl,

            I’m sorry, but I have to call you out on this one. Atheism is responsible for FAR FAR more killing than theistic religions. Your figure of “millions of lives lost based on religion” is utterly ridiculous.

            Please read my post titled Doesn’t Religion Cause Killing? An excerpt:

            The idea that religion causes violence is taken as an almost self-evident truth in many circles. Atheists often use this as a justification for embracing a “secular” lifestyle and belief system that does not acknowledge the existence of God. But there are big problems with this line of reasoning. 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 I say that “no such perversion is necessary,” I mean that the atheist worldview greatly diminishes the value of human life by declaring that people are nothing but “survival machines” that exist mainly to pass on their genes and ensure the survival of the species. This is why the communists were able to send people to their deaths in “gulags” (or prison camps) in such great numbers with so little restraint. As Lenin is quoted above, the atheist communists “repudiate all morality that proceeds from supernatural ideas”….such as the supernatural Judeo-Christian idea that human beings have a supernatural soul and therefore transcendent value.

            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.”

            Hitler also said:

            “The stronger asserts his will, it’s the law of nature. The world doesn’t change; its laws are eternal.”

            What one kills “in the name of” is far less relevant than the philosophical factors that facilitate or motivate killing. This is evidenced by the fact that the communists and Nazis were by FAR the most prolific killers in all of human history. And as time passes, the link between rejecting the Judeo-Christian concept of the sacredness of human life and killing just becomes more apparent. This is clearly illustrated today in the stark difference between North Korea and South Korea. North Korea is run by an officially atheist regime that would not exist were it not for the massive slave labor / starvation camps that keep the population in a constant state of fear. North Korean citizens are routinely thrown into such camps (often to die) for believing in God, of for infractions as minor as sitting on a newspaper photo of the dictator (Kim Jong Il).


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              skl says:

              **“I’m sorry, but I have to call you out on this one. Atheism is responsible for FAR FAR more killing than theistic religions. Your figure of “millions of lives lost based on religion” is utterly ridiculous.”

              Scott what sort of statement is that? If you read my statement properly you would have seen that I wrote “Millions of lives were lost based on religion and politics” and this has just about been the case for many of the wars in our history. Since you issued this aggressive statement I can tell you that at least 6 million Jews died during the Second World War. And they were only murdered because they were Jewish by a dictator who also embraced Positive Christianity that is described below quoted from Wikipedia.

              Positive Christianity (German: Positives Christentum) was a movement within Nazi Germany which blended ideas of racial purity and Nazi ideology with elements of Christianity. Hitler included use of the term in Article 24[1] of the 1920 Nazi Party Platform, stating “the Party represents the standpoint of Positive Christianity”.

              I am sure with most of the wars through history they had similar cases of politics and religion and I believe we could raise the deaths another couple of million at least.

              I just cannot believe your connection with the Darwin haters and how they go about degrading him.

              **”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.”

              How can this idiot Weikart you quoted be taken seriously by anyone? In suggesting Darwin’s scientific theories were Hitlers scientific justification and supported his warped morality to murder the Jews I would say Weikart is probably mentally unstable because this is in any terms a desperate form of denigration. To somehow infer Darwin had some responsibility in the Holocaust is completely stupid. In reality if Hitler had any belief in Darwin’s work which is a debatable subject anyway because he was a believer of God and Darwin could have never known his ideas would be exploited and distorted by the dictator into horrific mass murder.


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                Scott Youngren ( User Karma: 43 ) says:

                Skl,

                Your allegation that Hitler was a Christian is completely ridiculous. I challenge you to cite a single historian from an accredited university who argues that Hitler was a Christian. Hint: You will not be able to do it because the claim is ridiculous.

                Here is what Hitler said about Christianity:

                “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.”

                The “survival of the fittest” is how Hitler rationalized trying to exterminate the Jews…and anyone else he didn’t like. “Survival of the fittest” comes straight from the pages of Darwin’s On the Origin of Species.

                When you launch a personal attack on someone like Weikart (calling him an “idiot” and “mentally unstable”) rather than responding LOGICALLY to his his arguments, you commit the Ad Hominem logical fallacy. Weikart is a Professor of History at California State University.

                Darwin may not have known that his theory would rationalize one of the worst genocides in history. However, a severely degraded concept of human dignity was NECESSARY for this genocide. If humans are nothing but “survival machines” (in the words of atheist biologist Richard Dawkins), what is the problem with sending them to their deaths in the millions?

                Put another way, if humans are nothing but glorified animals without a soul (as atheism declares), then what is the problem with sending humans to slaughterhouses like we send animals to slaughterhouses? Atheism denies the sanctity of human life by denying that humans are anything more than complicated “machines” or “animals” without souls. This denial of the sanctity of human life was necessary for the slaughter committed by both the Nazis and the Communists.

                Further, you have ignored what my essay says about communism. Recall the communism is an OFFICIALLY atheist ideology and that communism is BY FAR the most blood drenched ideology in all of human history. An excerpt from my essay titled Doesn’t Religion Cause Killing?:

                …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).


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                  skl says:

                  Again you miss-quote me Scott and come up with a knee jerk reaction. I said Hitler was a believer in God. He did not follow the teachings or worship him but evidently must have been on the creationist side rather than evolutionary. OK I don’t doubt Hitler said a lot of stuff against religion and he clearly was mentally challenged but he did never claim to be an outright Atheist.

                  I have learnt that you cherry pick your references to such an extreme to support your arguments you mostly quote people who are in the minority groups and do not have the support of the majority of the scientific communities or the major religions for that matter but have written a book or two that interest a group of religious people because it supports their belief. I can find authors who write about alien abductions and unidentified spaceships to use as references if I were to try and convince you these are real but when it comes down to backing up any argument they really do not have much weight at all.

                  **“When you launch a personal attack on someone like Weikart (calling him an “idiot” and “mentally unstable”) rather than responding LOGICALLY to his his arguments, you commit the Ad Hominem logical fallacy. Weikart is a Professor of History at California State University.”

                  Here is a case in point. Your “Ad Hominem logical fallacy” is complete rubbish. Are there many books if any that claim exactly what this eccentric religious professor Weikart has written? And how many others will put their name forward claiming Darwin’s theories are directly associated with Hitler’s actions to murder the Jewish people? Has this theory been written, tested and supported by world acclaimed experts and supported by the majority of non-religious or even most religious historians? All the answers are no and In fact there are a great many views on this subject and most have a great deal more merit than your Professor of history who clearly holds Darwin as the key to Hitler’s mind set and the Holocaust.

                  If you could quote unemotionally and objectively from people who do have the facts or theories that are supported by the majority of experts in the field rather than individualistic people who support a minority view or professors whose name should not even be mentioned in the same sentence as Darwin, you would lend yourself more credibility.

                  I know you have quoted Vladimir Lenin and I accept this and respect the views you quoted by R.J. Rummel even though I think his use of the term atheism in many cases should be substituted by non-religious.

                  My response is if anybody kills other people in the name of religion or because of political views that relate to Lenin’s case it must be said that if they had been religious they have completely dumped religious teachings regarding morals and humanity and have accepted alternative views that cannot be claimed to be completely atheist views. This is because just like Hitler he never claimed to be one or said he never believed in God and we understand if they claimed they were atheist’s this does not mean you automatically have no morals, humanity or understanding of decency, it only suggests their political views. It may even actually reinforce the fact they believed in God and used the word atheism as a temporary way out to justify their behaviour.

                  Often politics is comprised of non-religious people who believe in a deity but do not practice any specific religion, however atheism is not about worship, a deity, religion or politics. It cannot be called evil or the devils work like some do because it is principally based on science and reality not on politics. Atheism is about being as human and free thinking as you can possibly get but like anybody atheists can get hung up on dangerous political views and when religion is not intertwined into a political system it is called an atheist system by religious groups. It is important you don’t fall into the trap of saying because no religion is obviously associated with the politics it is an atheist system because most atheists who are good logical people would decide support on it’s merits and of course in these cases most would not want to associate or have anything to do with it. It would be similar to saying all religions follow the Islamic State idealism because it is associated to a deity.


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                    Scott Youngren ( User Karma: 43 ) says:

                    Skl,

                    I will copy and paste your comments in italics and respond below:

                    He did not follow the teachings or worship him but evidently must have been on the creationist side rather than evolutionary.

                    Here, again, is what Hitler said about Christianity and Darwinian theory:

                    “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.”

                    How can you possibly interpret this to mean that Hitler was a “creationist”? This is very strange. “Law of selection” and “survival of the fittest” are taken right from the pages of Darwin’s On the Origin of Species. You said in a previous comment that Hitler endorsed “positive Christianity.” If someone invents some weird, twisted worldview and then labels it a form of “Christianity,” how does this serve as a condemnation of Christianity. Imagine if some weirdo like Hitler were to commit a mass-killing in the name of the United Nations. Would this serve as a condemnation of the United Nations?

                    I have learnt that you cherry pick your references to such an extreme to support your arguments you mostly quote people who are in the minority groups and do not have the support of the majority of the scientific communities or the major religions for that matter but have written a book or two that interest a group of religious people because it supports their belief.

                    Logical arguments are based upon logic, not upon consensus. Period.

                    Please note that all majority-held scientific stances began as minority-held scientific stances. Darwin’s theory, for example, began as a minority-held theory. Please further note that many majority-held scientific stances have now been completely rejected by science.

                    For example, in the 19th century, scientists believed that light travelled through a medium known as “luminiferous ether.” If you were to poll scientists in the 19th century, you would have been virtually unable to find a scientist who did not subscribe to this theory. However, this theory has been completely rejected today because quantum physics has shown that light requires no such medium to travel through.

                    Here is a case in point. Your “Ad Hominem logical fallacy” is complete rubbish. Are there many books if any that claim exactly what this eccentric religious professor Weikart has written? And how many others will put their name forward claiming Darwin’s theories are directly associated with Hitler’s actions to murder the Jewish people?

                    Once again, logical arguments are based upon logic, not upon consensus. All human beings subscribe to various viewpoints for a variety of reasons…some of which are logical and some of which are other-than-logical (such as psychological and ideological reasons). This is why only logic can support a logical conclusion…and not consensus.

                    My response is if anybody kills other people in the name of religion or because of political views that relate to Lenin’s case it must be said that if they had been religious they have completely dumped religious teachings regarding morals and humanity and have accepted alternative views that cannot be claimed to be completely atheist views. This is because just like Hitler he never claimed to be one or said he never believed in God…

                    Once again, 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.”

                    Skl, this is just plain unambiguously atheist. Period.

                    It [atheism] cannot be called evil or the devils work like some do because it is principally based on science and reality not on politics.

                    Skl, you have a false and misguided understanding of what science is. Science does not say anything. Only people do. Science is an interpretive affair.

                    Bo Jinn notes in Illogical Atheism that:

                    Science is a combination of three exercises, which work in stages;

                    (1) Postulating patterns in nature;

                    (2) Deducing them, and then;

                    (3) Inferring rational conclusions which provide a basis for postulating further patterns.

                    Atheism can only be based upon interpretations of science, not upon science itself.

                    Renowned physicists Paul Davies and John Gribbin devote their book The Matter Myth to debunking the philosophical interpretation of science known as materialism (upon which atheism is based). Davies and Gribbin write:

                    “The case for the scientific world view rests on the claim that science deals with truth.

                    The image of science as a pure and objective distillation of real world experience is, of course, an idealization. In practice, the nature of scientific truth is often much more subtle and contentious.

                    At the heart of the scientific method is the construction of theories. Scientific theories are essentially models of the real world (or parts thereof), and a lot of the vocabulary of science concerns the models rather than the reality. For example, scientists often use the word ‘discovery’ to refer to some purely theoretical advance. Thus one often hears it said that Stephen Hawking ‘discovered’ that black holes are not black, but emit heat radiation. This statement refers solely to a mathematical investigation. Nobody has yet seen a black hole, much less detected any heat radiation from one.”

                    Please tell me what “science” you have that supports atheism!! I am very extremely curious to hear your reply.


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                      skl says:

                      Scott you are very good at taking much of what I say out of context and you may think you are clever by changing my words to mean something that I did not say. You are also shooting down my arguments through re-quoting statements that may have been true but do not prove anything beyond doubt and should be treated as such.

                      For example, you say a weirdo like Hitler should not be seen as “condemnation” of Christianity when I think you mean to say commendation or endorsing religion because of his positive Christianity. What about his quote you have said was from the pages of Darwin’s book? Does a weirdo like Hitler make absolute sense in this case from these statements and is this enough evidence for you and your professor Weikart to justify the claim Hitler was motivated by Darwin to murder millions? As you will note I said Hitler was evidently on the creationist side due to him never condemning his belief in a God.

                      ****3 quotes from Wikipedia. “Chosen to implement the Nazi “Final Solution” for the Jews and other groups deemed inferior (and/or enemies of the state), the SS led the killing, torture and enslavement of approximately 12 million people. Most victims were Jews or of Polish or other Slavic extraction. However, other racial/ethnic groups such as the Roma made up a significant number of victims, as well. Furthermore, the SS purge was extended to those viewed as threats to “race hygiene” or Nazi ideology—including the mentally or physically handicapped, homosexuals and political dissidents. Members of trade unions and those perceived to be affiliated with groups (religious, political, social, and otherwise) that opposed the regime, or were seen to have views contradictory to the goals of the Nazi government, were rounded up in large numbers; these included clergy of all faiths, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Freemasons, Communists and Rotary Club members.”

                      ****”The Nazi Party reportedly grew out of several occult groups that sprang up in the late 19th century as a reaction to the advanced materialism and technology of the era. These groups spoke of the coming of a new Messiah that would save Germany. Hitler developed the notion that perhaps he was the chosen one to save the German people.”

                      ****”Weikart claims “Darwinian ideology is the core” of Nazism”

                      As you will note Hitler killed not only those he felt were inferior, they just had to be slightly different and these included members of any group even Rotary Club Members. And there is more evidence this has to do with his belief he was a new Messiah and likely to have believed in a deity therefore you and your nuttier than ever professor are way off the mark and no less than 3 similarly qualified critics agree to support not the one eyed religious or atheist view but the truth and guess what a professor of religious criticised Weikart for his historical flaws and quoting of Darwin.

                      ****More quotes from Wikipedia “Academic reviewers are critical of the book citing Weikart’s selective use of primary sources and ignoring a range of developments that shaped Nazi ideology.[4] In 2004, Sander Gliboff, professor of History and Philosophy of Science at Indiana University, criticized the work writing that “It is dismaying to see such opinions being passed off as results of scholarly research.”[17] In 2005, Andrew Zimmerman, a professor of German history, reviewed it in the American Historical Review, writing “Weikart presents an image of Darwinism at once both too narrow and too broad. Weikart replied to Zimmerman’s criticism with a letter to the editor[19] to which Zimmerman offered a rebuttal saying Weikart’s work “is anachronistic, projecting present‐day theocratic agendas onto the history of science in Imperial Germany. In 2007, Hector Avalos, a professor of Religious Studies, wrote an essay “exposing the historical flaws found in the work of Weikart” and argued “that the defense of genocide, infanticide and “eugenics” by creationists actually has a very venerable and lengthy tradition that precedes Darwin.”[32] In a May 2008 debate with Weikart, Avalos criticized Weikart’s quoting of Darwin”.

                      As usual you picked from Hitler’s history a small part of the overall picture and a professor with a religiously warped agenda in a desperate attempt to degrade Darwin and free thinking atheists….but to no avail.

                      You quoted Lenin and yes he and his party supported atheism views but his government was not atheist it was a communist regime. Atheists do not believe in God or any particular brand of politics. Atheism does not lend itself to believing in the supernatural or spiritual worlds nor does it drive men and women to kill other people like a bunch of mad cultists as you probably like to believe. With this next quote I concede Lenin definitely did not believe in God in this speech due primarily to acceptance of God by the “Democratic Bourgeoisie” and of course he took on the atheist view point in this respect and there is no doubting that he did kill a lot of people as a communist leader.

                      **** http://reasonsociety.blogspot.com.au/Here Lenin reads Gorky the riot act for indulgence of the “god-building” tendency among the Russian intelligentsia. Here is the key phrase, in this translation: “Just because any religious idea, any idea of any god at all, any flirtation even with a god, is the most inexpressible foulness, particularly tolerantly (and often even favourably) accepted by the democratic bourgeoisie—for that very reason it is the most dangerous foulness, the most shameful “infection”. A million physical sins, dirty tricks, acts of violence and infections are much more easily discovered by the crowd, and therefore are much less dangerous, than the nubile, spiritual idea of god, dressed up in the most attractive “ideological” costumes”.

                      I think these are logical arguments are they not? I think you are wrong about consensus and logic because the majority of people in any democracy constitute a fair system of judgement. If you argue that the world is flat and it is logical to you only because we do not fall over but the majority of people have seen evidence to prove otherwise it makes your belief unacceptable as the rule. Many if not a majority of people can be fooled as you have pointed out, however it is our socially accepted standard of decision making unless of course you are a communist or a dictator.

                      I grant you that I meant that most atheists base their understanding of everything about the planet and universe on scientific facts, tests and theories, which provide very real and logical arguments that are generally accepted by the majority of free thinkers, such as Stephen Hawking’s black hole, simple really.


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                      Scott Youngren ( User Karma: 43 ) says:

                      Skl,

                      If I took any of your comments out of context, then you must re-insert them into what you feel is the correct context. What is the correct context for your comments?

                      If you cannot re-insert comments which you allege I took out of context into the correct context, then it is clear that you do not even understand the words you are using.

                      You refer to Hitler’s alleged “positive Christianity.” However, this is ridiculous as it is an undeniable historical fact that Hitler hated the Christian church.

                      Please read the following New York Times article about the nazi’s plan to destroy German Christianity:

                      http://www.nytimes.com/2002/01/13/weekinreview/word-for-word-case-against-nazis-hitler-s-forces-planned-destroy-german.html

                      Further, you have IGNORED and have FAILED TO RESPOND to my citation of Hitler. Once again, Hitler 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.”

                      You ask,” What about his quote you have said was from the pages of Darwin’s book?”

                      Skl, I don’t understand why you are having such a hard time getting this: “The law of selection” and “survival of the fittest” are concepts taken straight from Darwin’s book On the Origin of Species.

                      You suggest that Hitler was “on the creationist side” because he never condemned belief in God. But this is a non-sequitur (Latin for “does not follow”). Once again, I am not claiming that Hitler killed because he was an atheist. In fact, I never claimed that Hitler was an atheist. Rather, I (and Weikart) are claiming that atheist philosophy was necessary to justify Hitler’s unprecedented killing spree.

                      I am not sure what you are trying to achieve with your Wikipedia excepts. 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.”

                      In The Descent of Man, Darwin expressed views that were later to be echoed by Hitler:
                      “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.”

                      Hitler’s plan to exterminate what he perceived to be “savage races” comes straight from the pages of Darwin’s book.

                      Are you suggesting that Hitler’s alleged belief that he was “the new messiah” makes him a Christian? What on Earth could possibly be more ridiculous than such a claim?!

                      Claiming to be “the new messiah” makes you a non-Chrisitian, not a Christian. Did you forget that Christianity claims that CHRIST is the messiah? This is very very strange.

                      Regarding Lenin, you write, “He and his party supported atheism views but his government was not atheist it was a communist regime.” Here, your comments are incoherent. Communism was a political system that OFFICIALLY adopted atheism. This is an historical fact that you cannot deny anymore than you can deny the historical fact that Abraham Lincoln was president of the USA during the American Civil War.

                      It is also an historical fact that communism is the most blood-drenched political system in all of human history.

                      You write, “Atheism does not lend itself to believing in the supernatural or spiritual worlds nor does it drive men and women to kill other people like a bunch of mad cultists as you probably like to believe.”

                      This is part of my original point. Atheism’s denial of the supernatural means that atheism denies that humans have supernatural souls. Under atheism, we are nothing but soulless, glorified animals or “survival machines” as the famous atheist Richard Dawkins put it. This severally degraded concept of human dignity was necessary to rationalize the worst killing sprees in all of human history. What problem is there with putting glorified animals or “survival machines” into death camps? We put other animals into slaughterhouses, so why not humans?

                      You say that “most atheists base their understanding of everything about the planet and universe on scientific facts, tests and theories.”

                      But how do you rectify, for example, the insights of Big Bang cosmology with an atheist view of the world. Please recall that the universe (including time, space, matter, and energy) originated at the Big Bang. And the law of causation, without which, science would be impossible, says that everything with a beginning has a cause. Since nothing can cause itself, the cause of the universe must be timeless, spaceless, immaterial, and energy-less. What timeless, spaceless, immaterial, and energy less property or entity do you believe created the universe?

                      Physicist George Stanciu and philosopher Robert Augros provide an excellent nutshell explanation of why atheism is not scientifically or philosophically supportable in their book The New Story of Science:

                      “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.”


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                      skl says:

                      You tell me ****“Your allegation that Hitler was a Christian is completely ridiculous”.****
                      This is a case in point that was not just taken out of context but blatant rubbish because I never alleged he was a Christian I only referred to the “positive Christianity” aspect he endorsed and I deducted with some logic he would have been a creationist rather than a evolutionist and according to you that makes him a Christian?. You appear to be so defensive of Christianity that you jump to a conclusion that is a sure sign of not understanding what you read or desperation to discredit my views.

                      You also said ****“You refer to Hitler’s alleged “positive Christianity.” However, this is ridiculous as it is an undeniable historical fact that Hitler hated the Christian church”.**** This non biased site http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religious_views_of_Adolf_Hitler is worth reading and you will discover what you say is not completely true and you will see what you state is not an “undeniable historical fact”, and to base your “undeniable fact” on selective quotes of a mad mass murderer who did not have many clear indications of his religious or non-religious beliefs and as he cared little about what organisations, groups and individuals he eliminated and with many so called experts having different views on the issue I think you had better be more careful with your “historical facts” claims. I think your views could be based on whatever website you visited for your information. And just in case you think you are going to discredit my assumption he was a believer in creation read this following quote from Hitler and prove it is not an “undeniable historical fact” and admit you were wrong.

                      ****”In this hour I would ask of the Lord God only this: that, as in the past, so in the years to come He would give His blessing to our work and our action, to our judgement and our resolution, that He will safeguard us from all false pride and from all cowardly servility, that He may grant us to find the straight path which His Providence has ordained for the German people, and that He may ever give us the courage to do the right, never to falter, never to yield before any violence, before any danger… I am convinced that men who are created by God should live in accordance with the will of the Almighty… If Providence had not guided us I could often never have found these dizzy paths… Thus it is that we National Socialists, too, have in the depths of our hearts our faith. We cannot do otherwise: no man can fashion world-history or the history of peoples unless upon his purpose and his powers there rests the blessings of this Providence”****
                      Speech at Regensburg 20 February 1938; from Norman H. Baynes, ed. (1969). The Speeches of Adolf Hitler: April 1922-August 1939. 1. New York: Howard Fertig. p. 410.

                      You quoted my question to you regarding its relevance ****“ What about his quote you have said was from the pages of Darwin’s book?”****I was originally asking you why a couple of quotes are “undeniable evidence” to claim his writing was the motivation for Hitler’s murdering when you so quickly dismiss the positive Christianity claims. Of course this is really a ridiculous argument and if you think the crazy and one eyed professor Weikart has it right you are as crazy as he is and I am wasting my time arguing this point.

                      You now change it around a bit with this following statement. ****“I am not claiming that Hitler killed because he was an atheist. In fact, I never claimed that Hitler was an atheist. Rather, I (and Weikart) are claiming that atheist philosophy was necessary to justify Hitler’s unprecedented killing spree”.**** Let’s get this straight, the philosophy of an atheist could be anything, they all simply don’t believe in a deity. A priest, a nun or Christian that kills another human indiscriminately would in this context also have to adopt and follow an atheist philosophy because they are clearly not concerned about being judged and going to heaven. Not believing in a deity does not solely convert your thinking into being a killer. A religious person could ask God for forgiveness suggesting to him that he was converted into an atheist during the time he killed, however if God exists and is a wise man surely he would see through this lame excuse. It is true that not believing in a god may psychologically give certain freedoms to certain people; however a person must be mentally sick to go as far as killing another human. A psychological reason for committing criminal acts and political influences that exploit these people are more prominent reasons for murder than not believing or even believing in God because there are many religions who have taken the road to violence and murder up until this present day.

                      You are the one who originally threw out the challenge, remember this is what you wrote.

                      ****“I’m sorry, but I have to call you out on this one. Atheism is responsible for FAR FAR more killing than theistic religions. Your figure of “millions of lives lost based on religion” is utterly ridiculous.”****

                      I responded to this with the 6 million Jews that were murdered and that Hitler was not an Atheist. You then went on a crazed mission to prove otherwise such as blaming an atheist such as Darwin for his influence and provision of morality to Hitler with a few quotes from his book on what Hitler was supposed to have based the Holocaust on. This along with other cherry picked details indicated to me you were hell bent on making a case for Hitler to be an atheist murderer or why would you go to so much trouble?

                      Like I have said you have a problem with determining what an atheist is. You keep comparing apples with oranges. As I have pointed out often what an atheist is why you insist to use language such as the challenge of atheist responsibilities against theist responsibilities. There is no comparison and the truth is that one life lost is too many and this is an absolute impossible task considering religion and politics is also intertwined in every country and almost every conflict so far.

                      I used this following quote from Wikipedia as another example of your rubbish.
                      ****“These groups spoke of the coming of a new Messiah that would save Germany. Hitler developed the notion that perhaps he was the chosen one to save the German people.”****

                      Your of the wall response was: ****“Are you suggesting that Hitler’s alleged belief that he was “the new messiah” makes him a Christian? What on Earth could possibly be more ridiculous than such a claim?!”****
                      ****“Claiming to be “the new messiah” makes you a non-Chrisitian, not a Christian. Did you forget that Christianity claims that CHRIST is the messiah? This is very very strange”.****

                      Again this was another complete fabrication because I claimed nothing of the sort. I am getting a little tired of your knee jerking rubbish and I will not be wasting my time pointing them out any more. To add to your comments, it is not unusual for some nuts to claim they are gods, messiah’s, saints or the angel representing God’s second coming. Don’t you check out the nutters on the internet and if Hitler was alive today he would be classed along with them.

                      You state: ****“Communism was a political system that OFFICIALLY adopted atheism. This is an historical fact. Atheism is responsible for FAR FAR more killing than theistic religions.”****
                      I think you do not truly understand what an atheist represents and your one eyed mission is implying atheism or the philosophy of not believing in a deity is primarily responsible in some way for driving Hitler and the communists to murder millions upon millions of people and I would unequivocally say you are mistaken because atheism does not stand alone and is not a political system. Your ignorance in this matter proves you completely misunderstand the concept of atheism.


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            Ron Mitchell says:

            Let me try this again. I do NOT condone the evil works of people who considers themselves to be “religious” when they are simply bad people cloaking themselves in spiritual hypocrisy. And I think you know that, since I very clearly spelled out previously why the crusaders were bad guys and NOT Christians. You read that and then slyly slip them in to your post as my “fellow Christians.” You do know how deceitful and unfair a tactic like that is, don’t you? Unworthy of a thoughtful guy like yourself.

            So, again, the crusaders were not Christians but cultists of the Roman Catholic Church, which for too many reasons that you would not understand calls itself Christian but is not. For just one thing, which I also pointed out (do you actually read replies to your posts?), Jesus did not preach killing your enemies; he preached loving them. You also read this but now try to ignore it as a matter of convenience to your argument (you know, attempting to “win” an argument by such kinds of truly childish subterfuge is not worth it, since you diminish both your intellect and honesty in the process, and you’re too smart a guy to go down that path.)

            The men who go to fight with ISIS, etc., are invariably Muslims, and they ARE following their religion, which preaches killing each and every infidel until no one else is left but them and their hoped-for world caliphate. And I, like you, also condemn them and their ilk.

            And the same goes for the Irish combatants; they defy what Christianity stands for and you can’t lay their murders and bombings off on the faith that they pretend to follow but do not. Ditto for all of the other “religious” wars you mentioned. I don’t even like the word “religion”. Frankly it makes me shudder, since it connotes so many things that Christianity is not.

            And let me correct you in that there is no such thing as the “First Testament”. It’s called the Old Testament, and since “testament” means “contract”, it is the old contract that God established with us and which was superseded by the New Testament, or new contract that God established on Calvary … but that’s another story that we’re not set up for here.

            Darwinism really is a mystery to me, since when you start thinking through the whole trickbag that is required to bring a fruit fly into an elephant, you’ve got to start wondering how so many thoughtful people would rather believe an absurdity than the much simpler and elegant belief in an Intelligent Designer. But that’s another argument.

            You know, this discussion is sort of fun, but just as all others like it, it will lead nowhere. So continue if you will, and I will respond. But I don’t know what good it all does.


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              skl says:

              Ron, I understand that you are one of the good Christians who see the world through rose tinted glasses or in a black or white concept. The truth is all religions no matter what they may mean to you are guilty of breaking Gods laws along with the common laws designed to protect us.

              The Old Testament whether you like it or not is part of the Christian religion and the events are supposed to have really happened. The New Testament also has parts that would have put God onto death row, but I understand that to many of his worshipers he is a God and since he is the most powerful he should be allowed to do what he wants with his creation and do not as he does but do as he says.

              I understand like most of us you have no time for people who murder and kill under the name of God. This problem I believe is associated to the problem that comes from the many variations of religious belief. Because there is no unified interpretation of the bible between Christian groups and the values that worshipers support have been manipulated and interpreted to suit political and personal gratification by so called church leaders and preachers. The same is true of the Islamic faith, they have no unified definition regarding the Koran and Muslims are killing each other in the name of their god as I write and they actually believe they are the true believers.

              This situation often starts with the indoctrination of children to the ages of 16, they go on to adults through their life with the burden of following the religion and this causes any number of hang ups that they should not have to deal with at such a young age. Manipulating young minds is easy but the consequences are psychological issues that are well enough understood today and are played out on the world stage through internet media by followers of weird cults, faith healers, TV preachers, self-confessed messiah’s and off the wall nut cases condemning fallen soldiers and of course the Muslim faithful. Until religious belief is not forced onto young people’s lives by people with irrational motives and personal agenda’s this practice of restricting freedom of choice will always be creating future problems.

              Having said this I understand that religion can play a large part in making people happy and in some cases help change a person for the better. This usually comes about from adults who have the choice to believe in God and have not been intimidated as children. My own father turned to Christianity after my mother left him when he was aged about 50 and he re-married a very religious missionary lady who I believe was far too good for him, however he did become more human so that was a plus for the rest of us.

              As for Darwin, Elephants and fruit fly’s I believe you are far too simplistic in your argument that involves such a complicated process and result. As I said it takes time, billions of years and much more than the 6000 years you are likely to believe.

              I understand that this argument will probably go nowhere and it takes a lot of time to argue a point and we are at a dead end unless a scientific discovery sparks another heated debate such as may come from the European Rosetta mission landing on a comet.


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                Ron Mitchell says:

                It may surprise you that I completely agree with you: we are at a dead end. So best wishes to you, my friend, wherever this road takes you.


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    skl says:

    I for one cannot begin to argue about the technicalities in these arguments about miracles as I am not qualified from any university as I am but a simple tradesman. The lack of qualifications however does not daunt me as I believe common sense will prevail and as an atheist these types of articles confirm my disbelief of a higher power in the form of the God described in religious scripture is well justified.

    We all know whatever created the big bang from nothing is beyond our knowledge and speculative. We hear theories that something can be formed from nothing because nothing is actually something like an energy that we cannot measure or see and maybe that theory is true, however many other theories have emerged from all sorts of intelligent and qualified people. As mankind has now progressed to a higher scientific level of understanding ourselves and our planet the argument regarding the existence of God and his miracles is a complete non-event.

    Compare the written scriptures such as the Bible and Koran that half the residents of the planet believe is the word of their Gods and has the answer to all these questions we ask today with the conclusion that these same questions have been asked since man evolved into a communicating human being and it makes sense that he worshiped many different gods to explain events that he could not understand. With the passing of time came education and obviously more sophisticated religious scriptures featuring another god were now preached as the answer to these questions.

    What most of these God worshiping people do not understand is that life and times have moved on thousands of years. Even if Jesus existed and did all these amazing miracles claimed of him and whether they were natural events or he used trickery it is irrelevant when you consider our advanced education and scientific knowledge.

    For example, a lightning bolt was seen as a sign from God in those days because people did not understand what it was, but today we understand the weather and why lightning occurs and it is as simple as that. If indeed there is a powerful mind and creator behind our existence as it is preached by believers of God this powerful creator is not in the form of any perceived creationist human type of God, it is something far more powerful than we can even imagine and the reality is that it is an energy force of another unknown dimension. In other words this issue is way beyond children’s stories of Adam and Eve, Noahs Ark, Heaven and Hell and way beyond comprehension by humans or any computers we can build because who created the powerful energy force?

    Religious scholars would answer all these questions through quoting scripture written thousands of years ago and always end up with God the creator and all of the facts, logical thinking, theories and debate about these issues is lost because this is where religious people seem to limit their thinking and continue to follow ancient scripture, rituals and ideology. The scientific process has not finished and human intelligence is boundless digging out more facts and theories that even today have already exposed the religious scriptures and teachings as fictional stories fuelling the inevitable rise of atheism.


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      Scott Youngren ( User Karma: 43 ) says:

      Skl,

      You write, “…a lightning bolt was seen as a sign from God in those days because people did not understand what it was, but today we understand the weather and why lightning occurs and it is as simple as that.”

      This is what is known in philosophy as a category error because you are confusing different levels of explanation. Category error is very pervasive in atheist thought.

      I wrote an entire essay about this topic titled The God of the Gaps: Why God and Science are Not Competing Explanations.

      The following statements commit the same category error:

      “Lightning is not caused by God, but rather by natural processes.”

      “Cars are not caused by people, but rather by manufacturing processes.”

      Oxford University mathematician John Lennox provides excellent commentary on this logical fallacy which atheists such as yourself commit, in God’s Undertaker: Has Science Buried God?:

      “…In some quarters the very success of science has also led to the idea that, because we can understand the mechanisms of the universe without bringing in God, we can safely conclude that there was no God who designed and created the universe in the first place. However, such reasoning involves a common logical fallacy, which we can illustrate as follows. Take a Ford motor car. It is conceivable that someone from a remote part of the world, who was seeing one for the first time and who knew nothing about modern engineering, might imagine that there is a god (Mr. Ford) inside the engine, making it go. He might further imagine that when the engine ran sweetly it was because Mr. Ford inside the engine liked him, and when it refused to go it was because Mr. Ford did not like him. Of course, if he were subsequently to study engineering and take the engine to pieces, he would discover that there is no Mr. Ford inside it. Neither would it take much intelligence for him to see that he did not need to introduce Mr. Ford as an explanation for its working. His grasp of the impersonal principles of internal combustion would be altogether enough to explain how the engine works.”

      “So far, so good. But if he then decided that his understanding of the principles of how the engine works made it impossible to believe in the existence of a Mr. Ford who designed the engine in the first place, this would be patently false – in philosophical terminology he would be committing a category mistake. Had there never been a Mr. Ford to design the mechanisms, none would exist for him to understand. It is likewise a category mistake to suppose that our understanding of the impersonal principles according to which the universe works makes it either unnecessary or impossible to believe in the existence of a personal Creator who designed, made, and upholds the universe. In other words, we should not confuse the mechanisms by which the universe works either with its cause or its upholder.”

      “The basic issue here is that those of a scientistic [not to be confused with “scientific”] turn of mind like [prominent atheists] Atkins and Dawkins fail to distinguish between mechanism and agency. In philosophical terms they make a very elementary category mistake when they argue that, because we understand a mechanism that accounts for a particular phenomenon, there is no agent that designed the mechanism. When Sir Isaac Newton discovered the universal law of gravitation he did not say, ‘I have discovered a mechanism that accounts for planetary motion, therefore there is no agent God who designed it.’ Quite the opposite: precisely because he understood how it worked, he was moved to increased admiration for the God who had designed it that way.”

      Next, you write: “The scientific process has not finished and human intelligence is boundless digging out more facts and theories that even today have already exposed the religious scriptures and teachings as fictional stories fueling the inevitable rise of atheism.”

      I am going to have to call you out on this one. You have not looked thoroughly into this subject, but rather, you are parroting back something that you heard other atheists say. The atheists you heard this from, in turn, were parroting back something they heard, but did not investigate.

      I challenge you to provide a single example of something that has “exposed” the Bible as “fictional stories.” Quite the opposite has happened. In my essay, titled Is There A God: What is the Chance That Our World is the Result of Chance? I detail the REMARKABLE similarity between the scientific (“Big Bang”) and biblical accounts of creation.

      A couple citations from that essay (just to entice you to read it):

      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.”

      Finally, you write: “If indeed there is a powerful mind and creator behind our existence as it is preached by believers of God this powerful creator is not in the form of any perceived creationist human type of God, it is something far more powerful than we can even imagine and the reality is that it is an energy force of another unknown dimension.”

      Yes, God is far more powerful than we can imagine. “Energy forces” and “unknown dimensions” do not have creative properties. Rather, conscious and intelligent minds do. What sort of “energy force” has creative properties? Electrical energy? Heat energy? Kinetic energy?

      How could an “unknown dimension” have creative properties? Do any of the four known dimensions have creative properties? “Dimensions” are a reference to time and space (the three known spatial dimensions, and the fourth dimension is time, as Einstein pointed out). Why would one ascribe creative properties to a dimension? This is strange.

      In order to suggest that an “energy” or a “dimension” created the universe, you must ignore two things:

      1) The fact that only conscious and intelligent minds have creative properties.

      2) The insights of modern physics, which show that a conscious and intelligent mind (read: God) produces material reality, as I describe in God Is Real: Why Modern Physics Has Discredited Atheism. A couple excerpts from that essay:

      The knighted mathematician, physicist and astronomer Sir James Jeans writes (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)

      Max Planck (the Nobel Prize winning physicist who founded quantum theory) writes,

      “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.”


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        skl says:

        Thank you Scott for your response to my views.

        The philosophical category error you go on about may concern you; however it appears quite straight forward that lightning is not caused by God because we do know what the process is, but your issue has more to do with believing in a creator for everything rather than natural processes or anything else.

        An analogy using a ford motor car is not very convincing for your argument because until Henry Ford died people were able to go and meet the creator of the car and shake his hand and complement him on his achievements. The man from the remote part of the world may believe there is a god that created it because this is a natural inherent human instinct especially when they cannot find any other explanation for the phenomena, but at least he would eventually be able to find the truth with absolute proof that Henry Ford existed and did make the car unlike God who was supposed to have created everything and who has to rely on blind faith from his followers and fantasy stories from an ancient book that at best is open to hundreds of interpretations because there is nothing more substantial.

        Let’s turn this car tale around a bit because a person from a remote part of the world in awe of a motor car would be gullible and believe anything they are told just as a young child would who is by default naive because they have limited knowledge to base any alternative views on.

        Let’s say this gullible man from a remote part of the world was told the truth of the car exists in an old book of unbelievable stories about the first 1908 Model T Ford and how it was made by Henry only a few years back in about 2007. Henry happened to live in a place called “The Garage” and watched all day to see if the car owner was a good person who worshiped daily so he could go and live with him when he died, but if he was a disbeliever he would be doomed to boil to death for eternity in hot black used engine oil.

        The man would probably believe this and would be terrified of Henry all his life and in fact this is very similar to how many young children are indoctrinated into religious belief but fortunately these days most children in the Western society at least become informed through education and experience to move into reality and use religion for events such as Christmas and funerals.

        The similarities you mention are just as you say and I don’t doubt if you look hard enough with one eye closed you will find them, however in case you have forgotten Adam and Eve have no resemblance to evolution and the universe is approximately 14 billion years old not created in a few days or aged in between 3 to 10 thousand years as interpreted from the bible by the main stream and dozens of other religious orders.

        I have heard all the arguments about bible interpretations and perspectives from religious scientists, leaders, priests and apologetics but all have manipulated interpretations of the religious scripture they use to suit themselves and support their version of what they believe and it is getting very difficult and confusing for atheists to understand what parts they literally believe. For example, there are so called intelligent religious people who believe humans actually had dinosaurs as pets and others who go on YouTube who see signs of the penis in the designs of buildings and paintings, not to mention a major religion that has virgins in heaven for when the men die and another that blames the world’s downfall on Homo Sexual people. We also put up with statues that bleed, scamming faith healers, people who claim they died and spoke to God and a 14 century shroud claimed by the narrow minded faithful to be stained in the blood of Christ.

        With all this absolute unproven rubbish from hundreds of different religions, faiths and cults along with the bickering and violence towards each other while claiming they worship a “loving God” and aggressively state their religion as God’s “chosen ones”

        Is it no wonder that I can sit back and safely say that there is no God, because if there was such an entity and he knew how much out of control his world was he would have been so disgusted with these so called devoted followers he would have got down here by now to sort it out, notwithstanding he has supposed to be coming to judge the people a number of times over the years for as long as I can remember and I am happily ready and waiting to accept my fate in hell but only if we have not been nuked out of the universe by one of the fanatical religions by then.


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          Scott Youngren ( User Karma: 43 ) says:

          Skl,

          I will copy and paste your comments in italics and respond below:

          The philosophical category error you go on about may concern you; however it appears quite straight forward that lightning is not caused by God because we do know what the process is, but your issue has more to do with believing in a creator for everything rather than natural processes or anything else.

          Again, if you are going to cite natural processes as the cause for lightning, then you have to explain who or what is responsible for natural processes. Similarly, you cannot cite manufacturing processes as the cause for cars, because you then need to explain who or what is responsible for manufacturing processes.

          Bo Jinn writes in Illogical Atheism:

          “In no way does it logically follow that something was not designed and built from the mere fact alone that that something could be understood scientifically. The law of gravity and Newton’s Laws of motion are to God and the universe what binary strings and electronics are to Alan Turing and the computer processor. Function and agency account for two entirely different explanations as to how and why something exists. Aristotle explained this over two thousand years ago… Aristotle stated that everything in the universe could be understood in terms of:

          A formal cause, a material cause, an efficient cause and a final cause.

          Science accounts for only two of those causes; the formal and the material. If we were to apply Aristotle’s theory to the Harrier jump jet in the allegory above:

          -The Harrier’s material causes are the components from which it was constructed.

          -Its formal causes are the laws of mechanics, aerodynamics and internal combustion.

          -Its efficient causes are Ralph Hooper, Sir Sydney Camm and Sir Stanley Hooker [the designers of the jet].

          -Its final cause is to be flown in dogfights.

          Only the first of those categories of causes were open to the scientists in the story. Only the first two of those categories are open to science in the study of the universe.”

          Science, in short, does not even address efficient and final causes in regards to such issues as the origin of the universe or the origin of life. Therefore, a statement such as, “Living things were not caused by God, but rather, by a process of evolution,” is every bit as much of a category error as the statement, “Aircraft are not caused by human agency, but rather, by a manufacturing process.” God and human agency are proposed efficient causes. Evolution and manufacturing processes are proposed formal causes. Atheist reasoning commits a category error when it confuses different levels of causation. Further, atheist reasoning suffers an explanatory failure when it disregards the need for explaining all levels of causation.

          Saying that natural processes “just are” does not work because the natural world (which includes time, space, matter, and energy) had a beginning at the cosmological event known as “the Big Bang.” The Law of Causation (without which, science would be impossible) says that everything with a beginning requires a cause. And since nothing can cause itself, the cause of the natural world must be timeless, spaceless, immaterial, and energy-less. Physicist George Stanciu and philosopher Robert Augros provide an excellent nutshell explanation of why God is the best explanation in their book The New Story of Science:

          “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.”

          An analogy using a ford motor car is not very convincing for your argument because until Henry Ford died people were able to go and meet the creator of the car and shake his hand and complement him on his achievements.

          Skl, again, then cause of material things (at the Big Bang) cannot be material.

          Let’s turn this car tale around a bit because a person from a remote part of the world in awe of a motor car would be gullible and believe anything they are told just as a young child would who is by default naive because they have limited knowledge to base any alternative views on.

          Let’s say this gullible man from a remote part of the world was told the truth of the car exists in an old book of unbelievable stories about the first 1908 Model T Ford and how it was made by Henry only a few years back in about 2007. Henry happened to live in a place called “The Garage” and watched all day to see if the car owner was a good person who worshiped daily so he could go and live with him when he died, but if he was a disbeliever he would be doomed to boil to death for eternity in hot black used engine oil.

          The man would probably believe this and would be terrified of Henry all his life and in fact this is very similar to how many young children are indoctrinated into religious belief but fortunately these days most children in the Western society at least become informed through education and experience to move into reality and use religion for events such as Christmas and funerals.

          Skl, saying that the source of a belief has relevance to the veracity of that belief is a logical fallacy known in philosophy as the Genetic Fallacy. As an example, in the USA, children are taught from an early age that all humans have certain “inalienable rights.” Does the fact that children are taught this from a young age have any relevance as to whether or not it is true? Certainly not. To suggest otherwise is the Genetic Fallacy.

          Further, your labeling of belief in the Bible as “gullible” assumes what you intend to prove. This is another standard fallacy recognized in logic.

          The similarities you mention are just as you say and I don’t doubt if you look hard enough with one eye closed you will find them, however in case you have forgotten Adam and Eve have no resemblance to evolution and the universe is approximately 14 billion years old not created in a few days or aged in between 3 to 10 thousand years as interpreted from the bible by the main stream and dozens of other religious orders.

          Skl, most Christians do not think that the universe is any less than the “approximately 14 billion years old” that you reference. Gerald Schroeder has the unique qualifications of both biblical scholar and physicist (formerly a Professor of Physics at MIT). I highly recommend that you read the following article in which he shows that the biblical and scientific accounts of the age of the universe are REMARKABLY similar:

          http://geraldschroeder.com/wordpress/?page_id=53

          An important 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.

          The biblical text shows us (and the Old Testament confirms) that the soul of Adam was created five and a half days after the big bang creation. That is a half day before the termination of the sixth day. At that moment the cosmic calendar ceases and an earth based calendar starts. How would we see those days stretched by a million million? Five and a half days times a million million, gives us five and a half million million days. Dividing that by 365 days in a year, comes out to be 15 billion years. NASA gives a value of just under 14 billion years. Considering the many approximations, and that the Bible works with only six periods of time, the agreement to within a few percent is extraordinary. The universe is billions of years old but from the biblical perspective those billions of years compress into five and a half, 24 hour days.

          For example, there are so called intelligent religious people who believe humans actually had dinosaurs as pets and others who go on YouTube who see signs of the penis in the designs of buildings and paintings, not to mention a major religion that has virgins in heaven for when the men die and another that blames the world’s downfall on Homo Sexual people. We also put up with statues that bleed, scamming faith healers, people who claim they died and spoke to God and a 14 century shroud claimed by the narrow minded faithful to be stained in the blood of Christ.

          Skl, you are committing another logical fallacy by suggesting that the existence of bad arguments by some Christians means that all arguments presented by Christians are bad. Specifically, this is known as the Poisoning the Well Logical Fallacy. I recommend you read the Wikipedia post about this logical fallacy.


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            Non Credenti says:

            Hi Ron. Scott directed my attention to some comments of skl’s, and since your question is such an easy one I figured I’d take a few minutes to clear it up.
            .
            You say, “…Arno Penzias… estimated that the chances of a single life cell with all its contained DNA genes spontaneously appearing was just one in ten to the fiftieth power… one to ten to the fiftieth power is conceded to be in all practicality equal to Zero.
            So, you wanna take it from there?” (Emphasis mine)
            Sure… won’t take but a minute. The part in your quote that I bolded is the mistake. Nobody thinks that’s how life got started. A fully formed cell, complete with DNA? There is not a single model of abiogenesis that proposes such a thing, so I’m afraid Mr. Penzias wasted his time doing the calculations. He would have been much better served calculating the odds of simple organic molecules forming from the available material, but that number turns out to be rather boring. It happens billions–maybe trillions–of times every day, as hydrogen and carbon dioxide in the waters surrounding oceanic vents combine to form organic molecules.


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              Ron Mitchell says:

              If i’m not mistaken, you never did answer the question I posed to you re how do you justify a Big Bang (which I do believe has been rightfully proven), which totally violates the First Law of Thermodynamics. Answer?


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            skl says:

            Scott thank you for your views and a few of your quotes I responded to below.

            “Again, if you are going to cite natural processes as a cause for lightning, then you have to explain who or what is responsible for natural processes. Similarly, you cannot cite manufacturing processes as the cause for cars, because you then need to explain who or what is responsible for manufacturing processes”.

            “Atheist reasoning commits a category error when it confuses different levels of causation. Further, atheist reasoning suffers an explanatory failure when it disregards the need for explaining all levels of causation”.

            You assume God as the ”who” and the default responsibility for everything that happens on the planet including all natural processes. Stating that God created everything is based purely on your faith.

            “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.”

            Quoting this passage means you are now starting to sound a bit more sensible and when scientific research gets that far and finds there is an intelligent extra-terrestrial type force who created all the universes then I would expect you yourself have committed a “category error” as it could not be termed as a god because it will not be the ultimate creator worshiped by humans but could only be described as a life form or a ”mind that always was” that would have nothing in common with a human biological mind or our world and possess power way beyond what we can imagine. Of course the question is what created this life form and how could we ever understand this concept? The answer may one day be a scientific discovery just as it has discovered that space or dark matter has more energy than everything else in the universe.

            Unlike many religious people as an atheist I do not have any worries or a belief about God condemning me to hell because I have always understood from the days I had to sit in Sunday School that the issue of where we came from was far bigger and far more complicated than any type of god or stories written thousands of years ago, my case in point is where this discussion has arrived at.

            You point out similarities of Biblical scripture with science again, however interpretations of the Bible, Koran and other scriptures are designed to suit the readers’ beliefs as almost nothing written in these books has a single or simple explanation and most of it is regarded by atheists as fantasy anyway.

            “Skl, you are committing another logical fallacy by suggesting that the existence of bad arguments by some Christians means that all arguments presented by Christians are bad. Specifically, this is known as the Poisoning the Well Logical Fallacy.”

            Many religious people as I mentioned in my previous blog do literally believe what they preach and who are we to say they are wrong because these concepts are in the Bible and were accepted in those days even if they are seen as barbaric or socially incorrect today. These many variations of good and bad arguments just goes on to highlight the many interpretations of the religious scriptures and how they can be manipulated and often hijacked by a scammer wanting to make a name for themselves and have an affluent lifestyle.

            This is another good reason to be an atheist and stick to scientific facts and theories because they make more logical sense to debate and speculate about than unproven stories in old books. Science is actually believable and is closer to the default of “what or who” causes life as we know it, however if any scientific evidence indicated that a God like person existed I would join your ranks with the rest of the world, however this is not likely to happen but if religion could come up with new and convincing evidence involving God you really then would have something to argue about.


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              Scott Youngren ( User Karma: 43 ) says:

              I will copy and paste your comments in italics and respond below:

              You assume God as the ”who” and the default responsibility for everything that happens on the planet including all natural processes. Stating that God created everything is based purely on your faith.

              No, my faith is based in reason. As just one example, in my essay titled God Is Real: Why Modern Physics Has Discredited Atheism, I explain how modern physics has demonstrated that there is no physical reality independent of a conscious observer. This points to a conscious mind as being the cause of physical reality. Physicist Richard Conn Henry from Johns Hopkins University explains why modern physics points so strongly to belief in God:

              “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.”]

              Quoting this passage means you are now starting to sound a bit more sensible and when scientific research gets that far and finds there is an intelligent extra-terrestrial type force who created all the universes then I would expect you yourself have committed a “category error” as it could not be termed as a god because it will not be the ultimate creator worshiped by humans but could only be described as a life form or a ”mind that always was” that would have nothing in common with a human biological mind or our world and possess power way beyond what we can imagine.

              You do not seem to provide any particular reasoning to support your belief that the creator of the universe “could only be described as a life form….that would have nothing in common with a human biological mind.” Additionally, I do not believe that the human mind is purely biological. That is an atheist belief, not a theist belief.

              The answer may one day be a scientific discovery just as it has discovered that space or dark matter has more energy than everything else in the universe.

              Skl, you are ignoring what science ALREADY KNOWS so that you can hold out for a scientific discovery that supports your need to be free from having to answer to a higher power. Specifically, I am referring to what we ALREADY KNOW about physics: A conscious observer is necessary for the production of physical reality. This points to a conscious and intelligent mind (read: God) as the producer of the physical world. I recommend that you read the above mentioned essay, and watch the embedded videos to develop a better understanding of this.

              Another example of something that we ALREADY KNOW about science is the fact that the language of life (DNA) utilizes very extremely sophisticated symbolic representation to provide a set of instructions for an organism to grow and develop. Symbolic representation is NECESSARILY the product of a conscious and intelligent mind. Please read my essays titled How Atheism Relies on Special Pleading and Why Life Could Not Have Emerged Without God to understand this point more fully.

              So, by saying that “the answer may one day be a scientific discovery” that supports your atheist views, you are committing the logical fallacy of Argument From Ignorance. In other words, you are suggesting that what we DO NOT KNOW about science will someday vindicate your views. This is not a logically sound argument.

              Unlike many religious people as an atheist I do not have any worries or a belief about God condemning me to hell because I have always understood from the days I had to sit in Sunday School that the issue of where we came from was far bigger and far more complicated than any type of god or stories written thousands of years ago, my case in point is where this discussion has arrived at.

              Skl, it may surprise you to learn that religious scholars have been completely unable to reach anything even remotely resembling a consensus view as to exactly what “religion” is. In fact, atheism and agnosticism fit many of the diverse definitions of “religion” present in religious scholarship.

              K.A. Smith comments in Who’s Afraid of Postmodernism: Taking Derrida, Lyotard, and Foucault to Church:

              “We all – whether naturalists, atheists, Buddhists, or Christians – see the world through the grid of an interpretive framework – and ultimately this interpretive framework is religious in nature, even if not allied with a particular institutional religion.”

              But the atheist “religion” or “interpretive framework” has big problems because it suffers major explanatory failures. For example, atheism cannot explain the scientific facts that I have mentioned above. Further, atheism provides no first organizing principle. Albert Einstein marveled at the “high degree of ordering of the objective world,” but atheism provides no ultimate explanation for what this source of order is.

              In theism, as in modern physics, mind is the source of the “high degree of ordering of the objective world.” (In theism, it is the mind of God that provides this ordering).

              You point out similarities of Biblical scripture with science again, however interpretations of the Bible, Koran and other scriptures are designed to suit the readers’ beliefs as almost nothing written in these books has a single or simple explanation and most of it is regarded by atheists as fantasy anyway.

              No, this is completely inaccurate. For example, I highly recommend that you read the following article in which Gerald Schroeder shows that the biblical and scientific accounts of the age of the universe are REMARKABLY similar. Schroeder holds the unique qualifications of both biblical scholar and physicist (formerly a Professor of Physics at MIT):

              http://geraldschroeder.com/wordpress/?page_id=53

              An important 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.

              The biblical text shows us (and the Old Testament confirms) that the soul of Adam was created five and a half days after the big bang creation. That is a half day before the termination of the sixth day. At that moment the cosmic calendar ceases and an earth based calendar starts. How would we see those days stretched by a million million? Five and a half days times a million million, gives us five and a half million million days. Dividing that by 365 days in a year, comes out to be 15 billion years. NASA gives a value of just under 14 billion years. Considering the many approximations, and that the Bible works with only six periods of time, the agreement to within a few percent is extraordinary. The universe is billions of years old but from the biblical perspective those billions of years compress into five and a half, 24 hour days.

              As Schroeder points out, the “million million to one” conversion ratio of cosmic time to Earth time is PEER REVIEWED SCIENCE accepted by the prestigious science journal Nature. This is not the interpretation of “religious people.” Whoever inspired the Bible very clearly understood both the relativity of time and the exact ratio at which cosmic time converts to Earth time THOUSANDS OF YEARS BEFORE EINSTEIN.

              These many variations of good and bad arguments just goes on to highlight the many interpretations of the religious scriptures and how they can be manipulated and often hijacked by a scammer wanting to make a name for themselves and have an affluent lifestyle.

              Skl, I actually do not disagree with you at all here. Many people pervert the Bible to suit their own interests. But does this make the Bible wrong?

              This is another good reason to be an atheist and stick to scientific facts and theories because they make more logical sense to debate and speculate about than unproven stories in old books. Science is actually believable and is closer to the default of “what or who” causes life as we know it, however if any scientific evidence indicated that a God like person existed I would join your ranks with the rest of the world, however this is not likely to happen but if religion could come up with new and convincing evidence involving God you really then would have something to argue about.

              Skl, this is the confusion of science and ontology that is so pervasive in atheist thought. Scientific observation does not produce its own interpretations. All scientific data must be interpreted. You are confusing and conflating science with materialistic interpretations of science.

              Renowned physicist Paul Davies and John Gribbin debunk the popular western misperception of science as an exercise of objectively reporting on the stuff of the material world, which is “out there” in their book The Matter Myth:

              “Scientific theories are supposed to be descriptions of reality; they do not constitute that reality….”

              “….The concept of energy, for example, is a familiar one today, yet it was originally introduced as a purely theoretical quantity in order to simplify the physicists’ description of mechanical and thermodynamical processes. We cannot see or touch energy, yet we accept that it really exists because we are so used to discussing it.”

              Davies and Gribbin continue:

              “[The] image of science as a pure and objective distillation of real world experience is, of course, an idealization. In practice, the nature of scientific truth is often much more subtle and contentious.”

              “At the heart of the scientific method is the construction of theories. Scientific theories are essentially models of the real world (or parts thereof), and a lot of the vocabulary of science concerns the models rather than the reality. For example, scientists often use the word ‘discovery’ to refer to some purely theoretical advance. Thus one often hears it said that Stephen Hawking ‘discovered’ that black holes are not black, but emit heat radiation. This statement refers solely to a mathematical investigation. Nobody has yet seen a black hole, much less detected any heat radiation from one.”

              As I said, the scientific evidence for God already exists and is very very strong. If you are going to reject this evidence since you prefer to not have to answer to a higher power, then you must provide a rationally constructed argument.


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                skl says:

                I understand your desperate attempts to prove your arguments. As soon as I read anything about faith I realise your argument is not rational and we are going in circles. Modern physics has not discredited atheism as you blatantly claim and you know it. I don’t care about how you have interpreted Richard Conn Henry but it appears he believes in all the scientific evidence that is presented about the universe and life today. He explains his belief to be “an underlying intelligence built in to the universe itself which he terms as “God”. He is a clearer thinker than most and theorising what he believes may be true. He also said “You may descend into solipsism, expand to deism, or something else if you can justify it — just don’t ask physics for help”. I bet you he will not tell you physics has discredited anything and I doubt he will knock on my door like you would and explain his faith tells him that there is a God and I will go to hell if I do not worship this particular God because that is not exactly what he said he believes.

                “You do not seem to provide any particular reasoning to support your belief that the creator of the universe “could only be described as a life form….that would have nothing in common with a human biological mind.” Additionally, I do not believe that the human mind is purely biological. That is an atheist belief, not a theist belief”.

                Well what particular reasoning would I be able to give since this is way beyond our scientific understanding? And what do you have to prove I am wrong?…. And please do not quote me the bible or a nutty religious professor. I am only speculating about this just like Richard Conn Henry because that is all any of us can actually do and I do not quote any scientific writing from any atheist but you automatically assume this is an atheist belief. I take a different approach to you; you are convinced you know exactly what the truth is and try to fit the evidence to it because you quote the so called experts as your reasoning to back it up. That behaviour highlights not only the difference between us but how misguided and desperate you are to prove your faith orientated views.

                “Skl, you are ignoring what science ALREADY KNOWS so that you can hold out for a scientific discovery that supports your need to be free from having to answer to a higher power. Specifically, I am referring to what we ALREADY KNOW about physics: A conscious observer is necessary for the production of physical reality. This points to a conscious and intelligent mind (read: God) as the producer of the physical world. I recommend that you read the above mentioned essay, and watch the embedded videos to develop a better understanding of this”.

                “Another example of something that we ALREADY KNOW about science is the fact that the language of life (DNA) utilizes very extremely sophisticated symbolic representation to provide a set of instructions for an organism to grow and develop. Symbolic representation is NECESSARILY the product of a conscious and intelligent mind. Please read my essays titled How Atheism Relies on Special Pleading and Why Life Could Not Have Emerged Without God to understand this point more fully”.

                What on earth are you on about? I do not have the desire or need as you suggest to be free from answering a higher power… do you not understand that I do not tremble with the thought of going to hell like you do. My mind is absolutely clear about these matters, I do not believe in any god.

                Here we go again, you claim what science ALREADY KNOWS and what we ALREADY KNOW about physics and what we ALREADY KNOW about science on your terms of course is an absolute fact. You could not be so completely wrong if you tried. Stephen Hawking does not agree with you along with the majority of the leading brains on the planet so why would I take any cockeyed view of science from you or your faith indoctrinated experts? “you are committing the logical fallacy of Argument From Ignorance” This is a joke and the pot calling the kettle black is it not?

                “Skl, it may surprise you to learn that religious scholars have been completely unable to reach anything even remotely resembling a consensus view as to exactly what “religion” is. In fact, atheism and agnosticism fit many of the diverse definitions of “religion” present in religious scholarship”.

                It does not surprise me in the least that religious scholars have classed atheism and agnosticism as a religion. This is one of those things that just provide more reasons for atheists to believe that these type of religious nuts are absolutely stupid. In fact it is such a stupid idea it makes me wonder if they know anything about their own religion and it will be pointless arguing on the rest of your diatribe about it.

                “At the heart of the scientific method is the construction of theories. Scientific theories are essentially models of the real world (or parts thereof), and a lot of the vocabulary of science concerns the models rather than the reality. For example, scientists often use the word ‘discovery’ to refer to some purely theoretical advance. Thus one often hears it said that Stephen Hawking ‘discovered’ that black holes are not black, but emit heat radiation. This statement refers solely to a mathematical investigation. Nobody has yet seen a black hole, much less detected any heat radiation from one.”

                I expect Stephen Hawking would be the first to admit to much of scientific theory being just that, “Theory” and what eminent scientist would say otherwise? Of course a lot of science theory in this field has been backed by space probes, observation from earth, Hubble telescopes etc. and much I realise remains only as theory. Are you actually accusing Stephen Hawking of a faith based belief in something? That would not do would it?

                “As I said, the scientific evidence for God already exists and is very very strong. If you are going to reject this evidence since you prefer to not have to answer to a higher power, then you must provide a rationally constructed argument”.

                You seriously do have to be joking….this scientific evidence you state is very very strong is merely in your mind as blind faith, I will take you seriously as soon as a majority of scientists in the same bracket as Stephen Hawking tell me there is a god just like the one who watches your every move and you currently live in fear of, which is at best a theory just like real science in the real world.

                I do prefer to not answer to the higher power. This is correct and the next time you talk to the big fella tell him I am not convinced he exists even though you did your best. Just read what you wrote aloud….it is absurd to say the least. Your argument is clearly on the back foot, irrational and it is based purely on faith and desperation without any recognised scientific evidence. Free yourself of the bonds of fear and step into reality my friend.


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                  Scott Youngren ( User Karma: 43 ) says:

                  SKL: I don’t care about how you have interpreted Richard Conn Henry but it appears he believes in all the scientific evidence that is presented about the universe and life today. He explains his belief to be “an underlying intelligence built in to the universe itself which he terms as “God”.

                  Skl, whenever you cite the opinion of an authority such as a scientist, you must cite the LOGICAL ARGUMENT BEHIND that expert’s opinion. If you do not, you are committing the logical fallacy of Appeal to Authority. Basically, the Appeal to Authority logical fallacy occurs when you argue something to the effect of “so and so says ‘such and such,’ and since so and so is a really smart guy, he must be right.”

                  So, therefore, you must cite a logical reason for believing that God is “built into the universe” to back up this (alleged) expert opinion. Please note that it is impossible for God to be “built into the universe” since the universe (including the properties of space, time, matter, and energy) had their origin at the cosmological event known as the Big Bang. Everything with a beginning requires a cause. This is the Law of Causation, without which, science would be impossible. And since nothing can cause itself, the cause of the universe cannot be the universe itself.

                  Please recall that scientists, like all other people, hold their religious/philosophical views for reasons that are sometimes logical, and sometimes other-than-logical (such as psychological and ideological reasons).

                  You write, “I bet you he will not tell you physics has discredited anything and I doubt he will knock on my door like you would and explain his faith tells him that there is a God and I will go to hell if I do not worship this particular God because that is not exactly what he said he believes.” Do you think that your “bet” constitutes some sort of logical argument? You must respond to my citation of Henry (and the logical argument behind that citation) with some sort of logically constructed rebuttal, not a “bet.”

                  Here, again, is my logical argument for why modern physics supports theism:

                  Modern physics has shown that material reality requires the observation of a conscious mind. This points to a conscious mind as the source of physical reality (read: the mind of God). This is what Johns Hopkins University physicist Richard Conn Henry means when he says:

                  “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.”

                  WHAT IS YOUR LOGICAL REASON FOR SUGGESTING THAT MODERN PHYSICS DOES NOT SUPPORT THEISM?!?! Go ahead and tell us! Let ‘er rip!

                  SKL: Well what particular reasoning would I be able to give since this is way beyond our scientific understanding? And what do you have to prove I am wrong?…. And please do not quote me the bible or a nutty religious professor.

                  Keith Ward, a member of the Council of the Royal Institute of Philosophy, writes in his book Doubting Dawkins: Why There Almost Certainly is a God:

                  “…there is force in the classical philosophical axiom that, for a truly explanatory cause to be intelligible, it must contain its effects potentially in itself. As the classical philosophers put it, the cause must contain more reality than its effects.”

                  When Ward says that a cause must “contain its effects potentially in itself,” he means that there must be, for example, a conscious source for consciousness, a personal cause for personhood, and an intelligent cause for intelligence.

                  As John Locke, who was one of the most important Enlightenment philosophers, put it:

                  “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.”

                  Materialism, upon which atheism is based, says that consciousness emerges form mindless matter. But how can this be the case? Basically, atheism argues that once arrangements of matter get complex enough, PRESTO, you have consciousness.

                  When you try to discredit some of the individuals I cite as “nutty religious professors,” you commit the Ad Hominem logical fallacy. This logical fallacy occurs when a person attacks the person making the argument in order to avoid responding to the argument itself.

                  SKL: Stephen Hawking does not agree with you along with the majority of the leading brains on the planet so why would I take any cockeyed view of science from you or your faith indoctrinated experts? “you are committing the logical fallacy of Argument From Ignorance” This is a joke and the pot calling the kettle black is it not?

                  No, an argument based upon what we DO NOT know commits the logical fallacy of Argument From Ignorance. My argument is based upon what we DO KNOW, and your argument is based upon what we DO NOT KNOW.

                  Again, whenever you cite the opinion of an authority such as a scientist, you must cite the LOGICAL ARGUMENT BEHIND that expert’s opinion. If you do not, you are committing the logical fallacy of Appeal to Authority. Basically, the Appeal to Authority logical fallacy occurs when you argue something to the effect of “Stephen Hawking says ‘such and such,’ and since Hawking is a really smart guy, he must be right.”

                  Please recall that scientists, like all other people, hold their religious/philosophical views for reasons that are sometimes logical, and sometimes other-than-logical (such as psychological and ideological reasons).

                  SKL: It does not surprise me in the least that religious scholars have classed atheism and agnosticism as a religion. This is one of those things that just provide more reasons for atheists to believe that these type of religious nuts are absolutely stupid. In fact it is such a stupid idea it makes me wonder if they know anything about their own religion and it will be pointless arguing on the rest of your diatribe about it.

                  Again, by calling religious scholars who classify atheism as a religion bad names like “religious nuts,” you are committing the Ad Hominem logical fallacy. Attacking a person making an argument, in order to avoid responding to the argument itself, is the Ad Hominem logical fallacy.

                  SKL: Are you actually accusing Stephen Hawking of a faith based belief in something?

                  Yes, I very definitely am suggesting that Hawking has faith-based beliefs. Below is a copy and paste from my essay titled I Believe in Science! Why Do I Need Religion?:

                  Oxford University mathematician John Lennox critiques the reasoning of one of the most prominent members of the scientistic religion, the atheist physicist Stephen Hawking, in his book God and Stephen Hawking. Specifically, Lennox addresses Hawking’s contention that the universe was created by the laws of physics:

                  “A supernatural being or God is an agent who does something. In the case of the God of the Bible, he is a personal agent. Dismissing such an agent, Hawking ascribes creative power to physical law; but physical law is not an agent. Hawking is making a classic category mistake by confusing two entirely different kinds of entity: physical law and personal agency. The choice he sets before us is between false alternatives. He has confused two levels of explanation: agency and law. God is an explanation of the universe, but not the same type of explanation as that which is given by physics.”

                  “Suppose, to make matters clearer, we replace the universe by a jet engine and then are asked to explain it. Shall we account for it by mentioning the personal agency of its inventor, Sir Frank Whittle? Or shall we follow Hawking: dismiss personal agency, and explain the jet engine by saying that it arose naturally from physical law? It is clearly nonsensical to ask people to choose between Frank Whittle and science as an explanation for the jet engine. For it is not a question of either/or. It is self-evident that we need both levels of explanation in order to give a complete description.”

                  “It is also obvious that the scientific explanation neither conflicts nor competes with the agent explanation: they complement one another. It is the same with explanations of the universe: God does not conflict or compete with the laws of physics as an explanation. God is actually the ground of all explanation, in the sense that he is the cause in the first place of there being a world for the laws of physics to describe.”

                  Atheists would have you believe that they can go from a scientific theory such as, “An apparently mindless (Darwinian) mechanism known as random mutation and natural selection is responsible for the diversification of life,” to a philosophical (and more specifically, ontological) conclusion such as, “There is no God,” without engaging in extra-scientific, and therefore philosophical/religious reasoning. But this is transparently false because “there is no God” is a philosophical/religious conclusion. And by declaring all of their reasoning to be “scientific,” some atheists are trying to conceal their philosophical/religious beliefs so that these beliefs are not subjected to logical scrutiny…precisely because their philosophical reasoning cannot withstand logical scrutiny.

                  Further, SKL, I recommend that you view the below video titled “Hawking co-scientist Roger Penrose debunks M-Theory,” which features Hawking’s colleague, the Oxford University physicist Roger Penrose. “M-Theory” is Hawking’s primary argument against God.

                  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dg_95wZZFr4

                  At :40 in this video, Penrose says:

                  “What is referred to as M-Theory isn’t even a theory. It’s a collection of ideas, hopes, aspirations. It’s not even a theory.”

                  SKL: You seriously do have to be joking….this scientific evidence you state is very very strong is merely in your mind as blind faith, I will take you seriously as soon as a majority of scientists in the same bracket as Stephen Hawking tell me there is a god just like the one who watches your every move and you currently live in fear of, which is at best a theory just like real science in the real world.

                  You YET AGAIN commit the logical fallacy of Appeal to Authority when you cite expert opinion without also citing the logical argument behind that opinion. PLEASE CITE FOR US HAWKING’S LOGICAL ARGUMENT FOR ATHEISM in order to support your atheist views!! Let ‘er rip!!

                  Using rhetorical language such as “you must be joking” is an attempt to distract attention from your inability to furnish a LOGICAL argument. Logical arguments rely on logic, not rhetoric. Period.


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                    skl says:

                    Scott, you seem to believe I am committing a crime called ”Appeal to Authority” and it is a moot point because when I stipulate that Stephen Hawking is an atheist or he believes in this and that it is a statement about this persons belief’s and his work that is not doubt.

                    “Please recall that scientists, like all other people, hold their religious/philosophical views for reasons that are sometimes logical, and sometimes other-than-logical (such as psychological and ideological reasons)”.

                    I do not care if scientists hold religious views because of these reasons; all I understand and what concerns me is that at the grass roots level of life people are being indoctrinated into religion believing old scriptures such as the biblical stories and live with the fear of going to hell. This is often a physical as well as a mental involvement and I believe this is the most damaging for our young people.

                    You my friend are guilty of ”failure of meaning association” not understanding that when I say “bet” it actually emphasises in this case that the chances of something happening is extremely low.

                    This is what I quoted last time from Richard Conn Henry. “You may descend into solipsism, expand to deism, or something else if you can justify it — just don’t ask physics for help” It appears he seems to think physics does not support either team. I got this passage from the following link and since he is one of your hero’s I thought you would be impressed.

                    http://www.newdualism.org/papers/R.Henry/436029a.html

                    Not only that but because Stephen Hawking does not think physics confirms the existence of God and considering he is pretty darn good at physics I would say he is a tad more qualified than you are. Please do not ask me to dig back over 20 years of his work to find the equation that convinced him of this, I would rather be guilty of ”Appeal to Authority”.

                    You are shooting yourself in the foot a bit here when you quote John Locke. Atheists as I have said do not believe in any god as described in the holy books or preached by men. Many atheists have an open mind about what the alternatives are. We atheists are free thinkers and live in fear of no god, therefore it is conceivable an alien brain or an invisible force had started the first life on the planet and this is what some atheists’ debate. You may think that is stupid, however it is a real issue especially with the people who have claims of abductions and alien encounters because It is so real to these people.

                    The fact that a mind had to create everything is debatable and the jury is well out on this one probably for another billion years.

                    Religious scholars are nutters if they think atheism is a religion. I would not think that someone who is supposed to be a scholar would have to have the differences pointed out between religious belief and atheism. Have I committed the “Ad Hominem logical fallacy” again this time or do I have to point out the differences?

                    I understand that you do not understand the word “faith” I have found these meanings. “Complete trust or confidence in someone or something”. “Strong belief in the doctrines of a religion, based on spiritual conviction rather than proof”. I also came across a religious definition “Faith is not about belief. Faith in fact has very little to do with what beliefs you hold, other than that it allows you to hold them. Faith is a sacred, deep, emotionally involved kind of trust. Faith is the kind of trust that you enter into with your whole being. Faith is the kind of trust that, when it has been broken, it hurts deep inside… but faith is the kind of trust that finds a way to trust again despite the hurt”. I trust you will believe in that version since you are a God fearing man and I fail to see any comparison with Stephen Hawking who is a scientist with an open mind and this is because he is not a believer in your God. I see also that you criticise his M- Theory and that is what he wants and good on you. If you truly understood a scientist of his calibre, you would understand that he likes his ideas to provoke thinking people, but accusing him of your interpretation of faith I believe is way off the mark.

                    “You YET AGAIN commit the logical fallacy of Appeal to Authority when you cite expert opinion without also citing the logical argument behind that opinion. PLEASE CITE FOR US HAWKING’S LOGICAL ARGUMENT FOR ATHEISM in order to support your atheist views!! Let ‘er rip!!”

                    Yet again you want me to troll through Stephen Hawking’s work and possibly use a jet engine to prove a point. You will be well aware all of his work along with all the major scientific brains on earth have been debunking aspects of religion from the beginning of time with just about every project regarding our solar system and the beginning of life on earth. All of this can be found in science books and on the internet so cut and paste to your hearts content. Did I “let ‘er rip enough?

                    “Using rhetorical language such as “you must be joking” is an attempt to distract attention from your inability to furnish a LOGICAL argument. Logical arguments rely on logic, not rhetoric. Period”

                    I think you are the one trying to distract because you should know what science stands for with free thinking atheists and trying to manipulate science and the bible to marry up to suit your belief is completely backwards. You confuse issues quoting this and that from here and there. I do understand however, that you do not have much of a choice because trying to debunk eminent scientists and at the same time promoting your God as creator is an illogical mountain to climb. Now that is logicial!


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                      Scott Youngren ( User Karma: 43 ) says:

                      SKL: I do not care if scientists hold religious views because of these reasons; all I understand and what concerns me is that at the grass roots level of life people are being indoctrinated into religion believing old scriptures such as the biblical stories and live with the fear of going to hell. This is often a physical as well as a mental involvement and I believe this is the most damaging for our young people.
                      .
                      Yes, you believe that the Christian worldview is damaging to people. Now you must make a logical argument for this. In my essay titled The No-God Delusion, I point out how all the research indicates THE EXACT OPPOSITE. An excerpt from that essay:

                      Andrew Sims (a former President of the Royal College of Psychiatrists) cites the Handbook of Religion and Health:

                      “Correlations between religious belief and greater well-being ‘typically equal or exceed correlations between well-being and other psychological variables, such as social support.’ This is a massive assertion, comprehensively attested to by a large amount of evidence.”

                      A Telegraph article by Sean Thomas titled Are Atheists Mentally Ill? describes the vast amount of research supporting the physical and mental health benefits of theistic belief:

                      “A vast body of research, amassed over recent decades, shows that religious belief is physically and psychologically beneficial – to a remarkable degree.”

                      “In 2004, scholars at UCLA revealed that college students involved in religious activities are likely to have better mental health. In 2006, population researchers at the University of Texas discovered that the more often you go to church, the longer you live. In the same year researchers at Duke University in America discovered that religious people have stronger immune systems than the irreligious. They also established that churchgoers have lower blood pressure.”

                      “Meanwhile in 2009 a team of Harvard psychologists discovered that believers who checked into hospital with broken hips reported less depression, had shorter hospital stays, and could hobble further when they left hospital – as compared to their similarly crippled but heathen fellow-sufferers.”

                      “The list goes on. In the last few years scientists have revealed that believers, compared to non-believers, have better outcomes from breast cancer, coronary disease, mental illness, Aids, and rheumatoid arthritis. Believers even get better results from IVF. Likewise, believers also report greater levels of happiness, are less likely to commit suicide, and cope with stressful events much better.”

                      SKL: This is what I quoted last time from Richard Conn Henry. “You may descend into solipsism, expand to deism, or something else if you can justify it — just don’t ask physics for help” It appears he seems to think physics does not support either team. I got this passage from the following link and since he is one of your hero’s I thought you would be impressed.
                      .
                      Bo Jinn notes in his book Illogical Atheism:

                      Science is a combination of three exercises, which work in stages;

                      (1) Postulating patterns in nature;

                      (2) Deducing them, and then;

                      (3) Inferring rational conclusions which provide a basis for postulating further patterns.

                      Only one of those exercises is purely empirical; the second ‘deductive phase’.

                      Skl, when RC Henry says (in his essay titled Mental Universe), “You may descend into solipsism, expand to deism, or something else if you can justify it — just don’t ask physics for help,” he means that one must take the deduction of physics that the universe is mental and then INFER A RATIONAL CONCLUSION, which is step 3 above. He means that the empirical observation of physics that the universe is mental cannot infer its own conclusion.

                      Believing that we can skip step 3 above because empirical observations can infer their own conclusions without the help of human reason is one of the most common logical errors committed by atheists. Again, Henry’s above statement means that one must take the empirical observation that the universe is mental and then INFER A RATIONAL CONCLUSION. The empirical observations of physics cannot “help” one infer a rational conclusion. This is what he means when he says, “Beyond the acquisition of this perception, physics can no longer help.”

                      The question is this: HOW CAN YOU INFER A RATIONAL CONCLUSION OF ATHEISM FROM THE EMPIRICAL OBSERVATION THAT THE UNIVERSE IS MENTAL?!

                      It is immediately obvious how one can infer a rational conclusion of theism from this empirical observation. This is why physicist RC Henry says, “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.”

                      SKL: You are shooting yourself in the foot a bit here when you quote John Locke. Atheists as I have said do not believe in any god as described in the holy books or preached by men. Many atheists have an open mind about what the alternatives are. We atheists are free thinkers and live in fear of no god, therefore it is conceivable an alien brain or an invisible force had started the first life on the planet and this is what some atheists’ debate. You may think that is stupid, however it is a real issue especially with the people who have claims of abductions and alien encounters because It is so real to these people.

                      .

                      But then this leaves the question of how ALIEN life emerged from non-living matter. Citing space aliens is a quite common approach taken by atheists, but this hypothesis only kicks the can down the road. Life and reproductive capability require codified information, and so we are left with the question of what mind is responsible for the codified information present in ALIEN life.

                      SKL: “The fact that a mind had to create everything is debatable and the jury is well out on this one probably for another billion years.”

                      Pointing out that something is debatable does not constitute a rationally constructed argument to support your views. The mere fact that one can introduce doubt is of no value since one can introduce doubt to any hypothesis. For example, one could introduce doubt to the hypothesis that the moon is made from rock rather than cheese. But what would this achieve?

                      SKL: Religious scholars are nutters if they think atheism is a religion.

                      Skl, this is just the Ad Hominem logical fallacy again. You cannot use name calling as a substitute for furnishing a rational argument. It just doesn’t work. Logical arguments consist of logic, not of name calling. Period.

                      SKL: I understand that you do not understand the word “faith” I have found these meanings.

                      Is your belief that the universe was created by an alien brain or an invisible force a FAITH, or an empirical observation from science? Where in nature do we see forces creating things? How can you reasonably ascribe creative properties to a force?

                      SKL: Yet again you want me to troll through Stephen Hawking’s work and possibly use a jet engine to prove a point. You will be well aware all of his work along with all the major scientific brains on earth have been debunking aspects of religion from the beginning of time with just about every project regarding our solar system and the beginning of life on earth. All of this can be found in science books and on the internet so cut and paste to your hearts content. Did I “let ‘er rip enough?

                      .

                      Once again, this is the logical fallacy of assuming what you intend to prove. You write that “all the major scientific brains on earth have been debunking aspects of religion from the beginning of time.” Skl, at some point you must furnish a logical argument for why science supports atheism! There is absolutely no way around this!

                      You merely assume that science supports atheism, but you do not cite a logical argument.

                      Your assertion that “all the major scientific brains on earth” are debunking belief in God is just plain wrong. Period.

                      Below are some citations form Christians who also happen to be ultra-elite scientists:

                      “A scientific discovery is also a religious discovery. There is no conflict between science and religion. Our knowledge of God is made larger with every discovery we make about the world.”

                      –Joseph H. Taylor, Jr., who received the 1993 Nobel Prize in Physics for the discovery of the first known binary pulsar, and for his work which supported the Big Bang theory of the creation of the universe.

                      .

                      “God created everything by number, weight and measure.”

                      “In the absence of any other proof, the thumb alone would convince me of God’s existence.”

                      “I have a fundamental belief in the Bible as the Word of God, written by those who were inspired. I study the Bible daily.”

                      –Sir Isaac Newton, who is widely regarded to have been the greatest scientist the world has ever produced.

                      .

                      “Recently I have gone back to church regularly with a new focus to understand as best I can what it is that makes Christianity so vital and powerful in the lives of billions of people today, even though almost 2000 years have passed since the death and resurrection of Christ. Although I suspect I will never fully understand, I now think the answer is very simple: it’s true. God did create the universe about 13.7 billion years ago, and of necessity has involved Himself with His creation ever since. The purpose of this universe is something that only God knows for sure, but it is increasingly clear to modern science that the universe was exquisitely fine-tuned to enable human life. We are somehow critically involved in His purpose. Our job is to sense that purpose as best we can, love one another, and help Him get that job done.” (Smalley 2005)

                      –Richard Smalley, winner of the 1996 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for the discovery of a new form of carbon (buckminsterfullerene or “buckyballs”).

                      .

                      “The ghostly presence of virtual particles defies rational common sense and is nonintuitive 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.”

                      –Nobel Prize winning physicist Tony Hewish as quoted in the foreword to John Polkinghorne and Nicholas Beale’s book Questions of Truth: Fifty-one Responses to Questions about God, Science, and Belief.

                      .

                      “Nevertheless, just as I believe that the Book of Scripture illumines the pathway to God, so I believe that the Book of Nature, with its astonishing details–the blade of grass, the Conus cedonulli, or the resonance levels of the carbon atom–also suggest a God of purpose and a God of design. And I think my belief makes me no less a scientist.”

                      –Owen Gingerich, former Research Professor of Astronomy and of the History of Science at Harvard University. Gingerich is now the senior astronomer at the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory.

                      .

                      “Religion is founded on faith. It seems to me that when confronted with the marvels of life and the universe, one must ask why and not just how. The only possible answers are religious. For me that means Protestant Christianity, to which I was introduced as a child and which has withstood the tests of a lifetime.”

                      “But the context of religion is a great background for doing science. In the words of Psalm 19, ‘The heavens declare the glory of God and the firmament showeth his handiwork’. Thus scientific research is a worshipful act, in that it reveals more of the wonders of God’s creation.”

                      –Arthur L. Schawlow, Professor of Physics at Stanford University and winner of the 1981 Nobel Prize in Physics.

                      .

                      “I strongly believe in the existence of God, based on intuition, observations, logic, and also scientific knowledge.”

                      “Science, with its experiments and logic, tries to understand the order or structure of the universe. Religion, with its theological inspiration and reflection, tries to understand the purpose or meaning of the universe. These two are cross-related. Purpose implies structure, and structure ought somehow to be interpretable in terms of purpose.”

                      “At least this is the way I see it. I am a physicist. I also consider myself a Christian. As I try to understand the nature of our universe in these two modes of thinking, I see many commonalities and crossovers between science and religion. It seems logical that in the long run the two will even converge.”

                      –Charles Hard Townes, who received the 1964 Nobel Prize in Physics for his fundamental work in the field of quantum electronics.

                      .

                      “I believe in God. In fact, I believe in a personal God who acts in and interacts with the creation. I believe that the observations about the orderliness of the physical universe, and the apparently exceptional fine-tuning of the conditions of the universe for the development of life suggest that an intelligent Creator is responsible.”

                      “I believe in God because of a personal faith, a faith that is consistent with what I know about science.”

                      “Being an ordinary scientist and an ordinary Christian seems perfectly natural to me. It is also perfectly natural for the many scientists I know who are also people of deep religious faith.”

                      –William D. Phillips, who won the 1997 Nobel Prize in Physics for development of methods to cool and trap atoms with laser light.

                      .

                      “The more I work with the powers of Nature, the more I feel God’s benevolence to man; the closer I am to the great truth that everything is dependent on the Eternal Creator and Sustainer; the more I feel that the so-called science, I am occupied with, is nothing but an expression of the Supreme Will, which aims at bringing people closer to each other in order to help them better understand and improve themselves.”

                      “I am proud to be a Christian. I believe not only as a Christian, but as a scientist as well. A wireless device can deliver a message through the wilderness. In prayer the human spirit can send invisible waves to eternity, waves that achieve their goal in front of God.”

                      –Guglielmo Marconi, winner of the 1909 Nobel Prize in Physics for his invention of the first successful system of wireless telegraphy. Marconi is the inventor of the radio; his revolutionary work made possible the electronic communications of the modern world.

                      .

                      “I believe in God, who can respond to prayers, to whom we can give trust and without whom life on this earth would be without meaning (a tale told by an idiot). I believe that God has revealed Himself to us in many ways and through many men and women, and that for us here in the West the clearest revelation is through Jesus and those that have followed him.”

                      –Sir Nevill Mott, recipient of the 1977 Nobel Prize in Physics for his research on the magnetic and electrical properties of noncrystalline semiconductors.

                      I could go on, but this post is getting too long.


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              Ron Mitchell says:

              “Science is actually believable and is closer to the default of “what or who” causes life as we know it…”

              You mean like believing that both a fruit fly and an elephant originated from the same original single cell and only varied according to how the subsequent mutations developed? What could go wrong with that reasoning?

              Well, for openers, Arno Penzias (the Big Bang guy) estimated that the chances of a single life cell with all its contained DNA genes spontaneously appearing was just one in ten to the fiftieth power. For purposes of comparison it is generally conceded that the number of atoms in the universe is right around ten to the eighty second power. And the ratio of one to ten to the fiftieth power is conceded to be in all practicality equal to Zero.

              So, you wanna take it from there?


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                skl says:

                So, you wanna take it from there?

                Yes definitely Ron, A fruit fly will have evolved into what it is and how it does what it does and the same with an elephant. I think the trouble you and many people have is with the concept of time and the massive evolution process of the planet that is still progressing.

                On the internet you can read this, but if you could imagine a billion years and the massive changes that must have taken place only in that time frame where the earth would have developed mountains and seas it is quite easy to understand that over 4.5 billion years of evolution life almost certainly originated in a series of small steps each building upon the complexity that evolved previously. Experiments suggest that organic molecules could have been synthesized in the atmosphere of early Earth and rained down into the oceans. RNA and DNA molecules (the genetic material for all life) are just long chains of simple nucleotides that consist of carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen and phosphorus atoms.

                The practicality of life forming being equal to zero through calculations is obviously incorrect and there must have been a minute chance of this life happening but lets understand one thing here, they have had 4.5 billion years to get it right as we know from our eminent scientists. Oh I forgot that the planets age is also not believed by many religious people so obviously if you are among them you will not accept this argument anyway so I ask is there must be a better one with evidence to come from the religious communities?

                As you rightly said Arno Penzias identified the strongest evidence about the big bang theory and this is recognised by all the noteworthy scientists today. This too of course was not accepted by many religious people and even though some have come around to manipulating this event into the bible scripture to allow them to believe it, it is still not accepted by some of the hard core religious apologetics and extremists and I doubt it ever will or do they have all the answers with scientific evidence to back it up, right?


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          Ron Mitchell says:

          To all:

          If you want a great scientific treaties on God, etc., go to
          You Tube and type in Trey Smith, and watch any of his videos.

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