“Forget Jesus” – Controversy at the Intersection of Miley Cyrus, Lawrence Krauss, Christianity, Atheism, Physics, Astronomy and Cosmology

There’s quite a kerfuffle over a tweet by Miley Cyrus which was an image of Lawrence Krauss together with an inexact quotation of something he said. Here’s a picture of the tweet:

While it is not surprising that some Christians balked at the words “forget Jesus,” the suggestion that the sentiment in the post is one that only an atheist could appreciate is mistaken.

I was very impressed with Miley’s stance on marriage equality a while back. I’m now also impressed with her appreciation of physics, and her ability to appreciate the insightful and beautiful words of a physicist even though that scientist does not share her faith. Bravo, Miley. Keep it up!

Here’s the actual quote from Krauss:

The amazing thing is that every atom in your body came from a star that exploded. And, the atoms in your left hand probably came from a different star than your right hand. It really is the most poetic thing I know about physics:

You are all stardust.

You couldn’t be here if stars hadn’t exploded, because the elements — the carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, iron, all the things that matter for evolution — weren’t created at the beginning of time. They were created in the nuclear furnaces of stars, and the only way they could get into your body is if those stars were kind enough to explode. So, forget Jesus. The stars died so that you could be here today.

Keep in mind as well that talk of stars “living” and “dying” is just a metaphor. This is physics merged with poetry, and it is unfortunate that some modern-day religious expression engages in misguided clinging to ancient cosmology. Responding to our current understanding with awe and poetry can be viewed as, in a very real sense, a spiritual undertaking.

  • Gary

    As an good physicist knows, a three bodied problem is extremely difficult to solve. In the same way, a three process construct to create carbon in the star is a difficult process to believe….called the triple alpha process “because “alpha particle” is another name for the nucleus of the isotope of helium involved, and because the process requires that three of them (eventually) fuse together.” pg 159, “The Grand Design”, Stephen Hawking, the process requires a beryllium nucleus and a helium nucleus to match a quantum state energy (resonance) to form the isotope of carbon….”Hoyle wrote, “I do not believe that any scientist who examined the evidence would fail to draw the inference that the laws of nuclear physics have been deliberately designed with regard to the consequences they produce inside the stars.” Pg 250, Parallel Worlds”, Michio Kaku, “Rees points to the fact that Fred Hoyle found that even a shift as small as four percent in the nuclear force would have made the formation of carbon impossible in the stars, making the higher elements and hence life impossible.” Helium and hydrogen were around, or at least their compenents, quarks, bosons, etc…at the beginning. The stars exploding made the heavier elements possible for life, but the components for carbon were around at the Big Bang. And the process for their formation was so fine-tuned, that no one can explain exactly why (except if you go the “almost infinite” number of universes route, all with different laws of physics)….So it isn’t as simple as stated by Krauss…he should be smarter than that, and know better. But he isn’t, apparently. Actually, I’d say he is a jerk for making conclusions that are not supportable, as in slight-of-hand, and mis-stating the facts.

    • Anonymous

      What does a potential fine tuner have to do with the Jesus-god of the bible and the story of his (temporary) death? We actually are the product of elements formed in dying stars. I’m not even sure the “Jesus dying for your sins” story even makes sense to most Christians.

      Miley is clearly more intelligent than her critics.

      And it isn’t Krauss that is making conclusions that are unsupportable– it’s those who imagine they know “divine truths”.

    • Glenister_m

       He’s giving a lecture describing the fact that all the higher elements are created in supernovas.  How is that mis-stating the facts?  The fine-tuning argument is irrelevant on many levels.  If the laws of nature didn’t support life, then we wouldn’t be having this conversation.  On the other hand, while changing one constant slightly would make life impossible, this does not mean that there aren’t other combinations of physical constants that would work.  Finally, considering the size of the universe, and that we would die almost instantly in most of it, and can’t even live on the surface of over 2/3 of our own planet, it is rather egotistical to thus assume that the physical constants were fine-tuned to support life.

    • http://profiles.google.com/daniel.schegh Daniel Schegh

       If you read Krauss’ “A Universe from Nothing”, or even view the (free) online talks the book is based on, you’ll see that Krauss spends a lot of time on the “fine-tuning” aspect.

      Also, I don’t see how anything in the quote is related to this. His statement in the quote is a historical one, and everything he says there is fully supported by much evidence. In “The Grad Design”, Hawking makes very similar statements. Listing the requirements for starts to produce carbon doesn’t change the fact that they did produce it as Krauss states.

  • Zclarrisa

    Krauss is using science as a propaganda tool for pushing atheism; and he misrepresents science in doing so.

    • Glenister_m

       Funny, I can’t find the word ‘atheism’ anywhere in his quote, and only a joke reference to one religion out of the hundreds that exist(ed).  The rest was basically saying that supernovas create the higher chemical elements.  How is that misrepresenting science?

    • Mike.

      No. His science leads him to a conclusion. You won’t find a “church of the holy science”. He’d change his view at the drop of a hat if evidence suggested otherwise. I guess you’re religious and hence see opposing views through tinted glasses. Opposing views aren’t necessarily “propoganda” – they are sometimes rational outcomes.

  • John T

    Metaphor my foot. Stars literally do die. Stars literally do cease to be stars. Get over it. Stars trump a man in the sky every time.

    • http://www.patheos.com/community/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

      John T., I think that you may be using language without realizing it is a metaphor. How are you understanding what it means “to live” and “to die”? Do you view stars as organisms? If not, then can you not see that such language is metaphorical?

    • Anonymous

      re:
      Metaphor my foot. Stars literally do die. Stars literally do cease to be stars. 

      if our word death is defined in some terms of living, then the phrase “death of stars” is certainly a metaphor. if death is defined in terms of ceasing to exist, then it is an analogy, the death of living things is similar to the death of stars in that both lose their essence. in either case the phrase “Stars literally do die” is nonsense unless you propose stars are alive in a similar way that we are alive, “literally” meaning in some very basic common sense not metaphorical not abstract manner.

      • Anonymous

        Our definition of life is arguable though. If stars present a life cycle, consume resources and turn them into their duration until entropy hits em, then the main difference between them and a simple bacteria might be just carbon, scale and a code sequence.

        • Anonymous

          most definitions of life involve the ability to reproduce, stars don’t.
          the same kind of problem occurs with the phrase “evolution of stars”, it’s an analogy (or maybe a metaphor) that really confuses more than it enlightens. 

  • Ian

    ” is a difficult process to believe”

    Nonsense, not only is it very believable, but you can do the math and figure out how common it should be in a variety of novae, and you’ll find that carbon formation rates are expected to coincide roughly with the proportion of carbon in the universe.

    Feel free to stuff your god into whatever gaps you like (‘fine tuning’, etc), but I’m afraid its you misrepresenting the science there.

    • Gary

      Touchy, touchy, Ian. Do you disagree with Rees or Hoyle? I shouldn’t matter. Got my BS in physics in 70 from San Diego State, and my MSEE (specialty in quantum physics) in 71 from UCLA. No PhD. Had to work. Didn’t know you’d be so upset at fine tuning. I suppose it is most believable that there are 10exp(500) universes, all with different laws of physics. I’m sure you’ve heard of “math model”….which sometimes does not represent reality. Which is more difficult to believe? And I didn’t say it was impossible to believe, only difficult. Anyway, enough BS from me. Concerning “he should be smarter than that”, Krauss coupled Jesus with his discussion of heavy element production within stars. Now does that make sense? If you find that the two are directly related in a logical sequence, you have some logic problems. He obviously wanted to make a religious slam, that is irrelevant to his physics discussion.

  • http://ofthelove.com/ Keika

    “Is God Dead?”  For those of us old enough to remember the protest signs held up in the summer of love, 1967…you saw this provocative question bantered about.  You can Wikipedia this at  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Is_God_Dead%3F.

    Maybe God makes mistakes and erases and starts all over again seeking ultimate perfection?  Then his dying may not be such a bad cosmic calamity. There may have been dozens of previous Big Bangs for all we know.  Jesus didn’t die so that I could live, but perhaps our creator has.

  • Gary

    BTW, after re-reading some of the responses, I want to make something clear. The triple alpha process that creates carbon in stars exists. Maybe Ian assumed I thought it didn’t exist. What is hard to believe is how the process was so narrowly fine-tuned to allow the process itself. Same for all the strong, weak, electromagnetic, and gravity forces. The interesting fact is that Hoyle predicted the quantum resonance before it was actually experimentally discovered, based on his knowledge that carbon did indeed exist in quantity. Just like we know that the Big Bang exists. But what is hard to believe is how the chaotic process led to order as we know it. We know the order exists, since it is all around us. I’ll feel free to stick that in my “gap” anytime.

    • Ian

      “What is hard to believe is how the process was so narrowly fine-tuned to allow the process itself.” – fair enough, I’m not sure I *assumed* you meant the process itself, since you did say “a three process construct to create carbon in the star is a difficult process to believe”
      But hey, that’s cleared up now. So its all about fine tuning…

      All God of the Gaps arguments are the same. “I can’t conceive of any way this could have come about by natural processes, so god did it.” If you’d have lived 170 years ago it would have been utterly inconceivable to you how all this diversity of life could have come about, and it would have been much more believable that God created it that way. Or at the very least that life forms ere clearly *designed* for their specific niches. La plus ca change… There have been plenty of gaps we’ve filled quite nicely — no gods required — so I think the odds are good that today’s ‘fine tuning = god’ folks will be tomorrow’s creationists. 

      The point about Krauss’s qualifications was this… When people disagree with you, it is tempting and facile to say they’re not as smart as you, or not smart enough to understand your point. When folks do that to random folks online that’s annoying, but they maybe right. When you make the same claim against somebody who so obviously has forgotten more physics than you’ll ever know, you just look like a jerk. (Perhaps you weren’t smart enough to get my point… ;)

  • Anonymous

    I don’t think the usage warrants the title of metaphor.  People use the word “death” for inanimate objects all the time, in fact, the third or fourth definition in the dictionary, (depending on the dictionary), is extinction; destruction: as in, It will mean the death of our hopes.

  • Beau Quilter

    Gary and Ian

    In the case of fine-tuning, the argument from authority will only become circular. We can each name physicists who use or reject the phrase.

    It’s also important to note that physicists often use the phrase without intending in the slightest to use it as an argument for God. They simply mean that if variables had been slightly different, our universe would be very different. Period.

    So if we are talking about “arguments for God”, I personally tend to think of the “argument from fine tuning” as basically an “argument from narcissism”.

    “Change one slight move in either my father’s or mother’s molecular history, and the sperm/egg combination that made me would never have occurred. Extrapolate that to every one of my ancestors, and the odds that I would have been born are so infinitesimal as to be virtually impossible. Clearly, the universe was fine-tuned to create me. And this makes perfect sense to me, because I am the most amazing, complex, and worthwhile thing that I know.”

    Another variation of the “argument from narcissism” is the “argument from lack of imagination.”

    “The universe was fine tuned to create me. Perhaps, if a tiny variable had been different, the universe would have produced some other thing, just as amazing, complex, and worthwhile as me. But I doubt it. I cannot imagine it.”

    Narcissism and lack of imagination always tend to go hand in hand.

    • Ian

      Beau, I wasn’t making an argument from authority (or I wasn’t intending too), I was trying to point out the idiocy of claiming that Krauss wasn’t smart enough to understand Gary’s point.

      Agree with the rest though…

      Your sperm/egg example is the lottery fallacy. “What are the chances of me winning the lottery?” vs “What a`re the chances of somebody winning the lottery.” As you say, primarily a failure of imagination and a narcissistic tendency…

      • Beau Quilter

        Agreed.

  • Gary

    So Ian, I’ll end with this. Your statement, “When people disagree with you, it is tempting and facile to say they’re not as smart as you”…or for you to say “Feel free to stuff your god into whatever gaps you like”. So we are in the same boat. I didn’t see you state what exact qualifications you have to speak on physics subjects. What might they be, at least to satisfy my urge to feel attacked by a worth opponent. No PhD for me, but I worked for 32 years in R&D, and have 4 patents to my name. I’m satisfied with my record. I guess I could google what Krauss has accomplished, but I’m more interested in what you’ve accomplished, only since you seem to want to diminish what I have accomplished. And my complaint with Krauss is his coupling of Jesus with unrelated physics dogma, not his actual physics background. Krauss has already demonstrated his lack of logic, as I have said. Either that, or his intentional attack onn religion which was uncalled for and illogical.

    • Ian

      Way to miss the point there Gary…

      “physics dogma”!?!

    • Lance baker

      Perhaps it’s just me but you sound like you’re full of shit.  With 90% (plus) members of the National Academies of Science being non-believers I think I’ll stick with Krauss and people like him when it comes to accepting scientific statements.  Your belief in something as unscientific as religion with a talking donkey and water walking hippy does absolutely nothing for your credibility.   I must add that the sad little highlight of your life being your four patents over 32 years almost brought a tear to my eyes.  You sad, sad, sad little man. Oh, by the way, if you’re going to pretend to come across as intelligent then you must pay attention to your written presentation; You have failed to use paragraphs properly, you wrote ‘onn’ on your second last line and you used the digit ’4′ instead of the correct method which is ‘four’. I could go on but these few errors will do to make my point.  These things may seem unimportant and picky to you but it makes your already unconvincing arguments look sloppy as well.I hope this helps in the future with any arguments you choose to put forward.Lance BakerAustralia.

      • Gary

        Lance, my friend, you don’t know biology very well. Everyone is full of shit, unless you don’t have a colon. Better get your facts straight.

  • Gary

    Ian… man, is that the best you can do? No qualifications, I assume? And Yes…when Krauss combines Jesus with physics, it is dogma. I guess you did indeed miss the point. Put up, or shut up, to put it in current vernacular. I’m wasting my time, I guess.

    • Ian

      “No qualifications, I assume?”

      I don’t even have a high school diploma. But my wife’s sister’s husband makes some component that goes into space ships, so I’m practically an expert.

      “I’m wasting my time, I guess.”
      Oh, on so many levels…. ;)

  • Gakuseidon

    According to Tertullian in “On the Flesh of Christ”:

    “[Christ] borrowed, [the Marcionites] say, His flesh from the stars, and from the substances of the
    higher world.”

    Coincidence??? (Actually, yes, but an interesting one!)

    • Beau Quilter

      Ah, Tertullian!

      For him, heaven was up and hell was down. But not so distant that (like Lazarus) one couldn’t hear and see each other across the gap. In fact, Tertullian enjoyed the idea of watching actors and athletes screaming in torment below him.

      From De Spectaculis:

      “How vast a spectacle then bursts upon the eye! What there excites my admiration? what my derision? Which sight gives me joy? which rouses me to exultation?””… I shall have a better opportunity then of hearing the tragedians, louder-voiced in their own calamity; of viewing the play-actors, much more “dissolute” in the dissolving flame; of looking upon the charioteer, all glowing in his chariot of fire; of beholding the wrestlers, not in their gymnasia, but tossing in the fiery billows; unless even then I shall not care to attend to such ministers of sin, in my eager wish rather to fix a gaze insatiable on those whose fury vented itself against the Lord.”

      Tertullian was the Westboro Baptist pastor of the 2nd century!

  • Gary

    I was forced to do some googling on Krauss. I am glad I did, since I certainly won’t put Krauss on my list of 10 best physicists. Physicists have a wide spectrum of beliefs and activities, and Krauss proves it. He seems to have moved from  basic research to politics and policy in his old age, much like many people. In one debate, he made a comment that was telling, “I did not come to debate the existence of God, but rather to debate about evidence for the existence of God”. He also does not believe in string theory, based upon the same philosophy, since it is impossible (at least now), to test for string theory, and the multi-dimensions, and perhaps multi-universes it proposes. Can’t test and measure for the existence of God either. Funny, he doesn’t believe in string theory and God, because there is no measurable evidence. I believe in string theory and God, but I don’t need the evidence. So different opinions. And proof that religion and physics discussions should be kept separate. I’d say the majority of physicists believe in string theory. Perhaps the majority do not believe in God, but I don’t know. But actually, I would degrade Krauss on the list of great physicists for his stance on string theory. I don’t care what he believes regarding God. So I now know he has a flaw in his logic, for sure, as evidenced by his string theory stance.

    • Beau Quilter

      This is very odd. You believe in string theory, but don’t need the evidence? 

      Even string theorists want the evidence. That’s how science works: you suggest a model for the way the universe works, and you look for evidence to support that model.

      • Gary

        I think the math in it is plainly too elegant in getting rid of singularities to ignore it, and the 4 forces need, and should be united. This shouldn’t be amazing, because that is the same reason people like Hawking, and most physicists, believe in it. So, if you want to argue against string/M theory, because of its lack of evidence, talk to Hawking. I think I’ve made myself clear on the subject. If you don’t understand it, do some more reading. Krauss is fringe, Hawking is mainstream, in terms of physics. How about stating what, exactly, you do believe in, from either physics, or religion, instead of debating me concerning my beliefs. To start with, do you follow Krauss in finding string theory absurd because it lacks evidence? Before Einstein’s relativity theory, people did not have the evidence that a star like the sun (it’s gravitation) would deflect light, until an eclipse came along, and some people documented it.

        • Beau Quilter

          I’m not arguing against string theory. I find it fascinating. I just think it’s silly to propound that one “believes” in string theory – like God – without evidence. 

          String theorists don’t do that; they’re busy looking for the evidence.

        • Beau Quilter

          Hawking provided the forward to Krauss’s playful book “The Physics of Star Trek”. These two leading physicists are collaborators; and even if they may disagree about string theory, there is far more agreement than disagreement in their approaches to science.

          Primarily, they both believe in evidence – not faith. 

          • Beau Quilter

            I use the word “believe”‘ with a bit of a wink, of course ;^)

    • Slade

      I’m sure he’s having difficulty sleeping at night Gary.

  • Anonymous

    Gary wrote:he doesn’t believe in string theory and God, because there is no measurable evidence. I believe in string theory and God, but I don’t need the evidence.

    What an odd thing to say.  Why would evidence be so unimportant?  Most people find things more believable when there is evidence for them.

  • http://digestofworms.blogspot.com/ admiralmattbar

    It’s kind of cool to be made of star dust.  But based on what Krauss has said in the past do you really think he did not intend that sentence to be disrespectful of Christianity?  I think it’s safe to say that he intended that phrase to be provocative even if it is just a metaphor.  Can’t speak for Miley though, I know nothing about her.

    • Gary

      Clearly Krauss knew exactly what he was saying to be provocative. Checking his web site and his origins site, he is a member of Obama’s political advisory group (actually, I support Obama, but that’s another issue.). Most of his memberships advocate both political and policy positions, so his physics work is no longer in the area of research. As far as Miley goes, I view her as a young person seeking knowledge, and the fact that she recognizes anything in physics, even Krauss, I applaud her for it.

      • Ian

        “As far as Miley goes, I view her as a young person seeking knowledge, and the fact that she recognizes anything in physics, even Krauss, I applaud her for it.”

        100% agree. 

        I took the ‘forget Jesus’ bit the same way as she claims to: as being a way to emphasize the poetry… of course, its entirely possible that Krauss meant more of it by that. But a bit unfair on Miley for the reaction she got, imho.

        • Gary

          And Ian, for your, “re Gary – have you come across the Salem Hypothesis?” Perhaps you’re right. But you seem to be upset at an attack on Krauss, as if a PhD physicist is above being questioned on what he says. For FurruMoses, the same goes. What he said stands for itself, in his quote. You seem to consider him a God, who should not be called out on a stupid statement that he made. You don’t need to do background searches for him to realize it was stupid. Regarding engineers, I will give some advice to any young people out there that want to deal with the real world. What was true in 1970 is still true today. For every job for a physicist, there are 10 jobs for engineers. Probably more. That’s why I chose to move from physics to engineering. So next time you check your placement center on campus, notice the # of jobs for physicists versus engineers, and you make whatever conclusions you want. The bottom line, everyone that graduates, needs to get a job. So Ian can debate physics and religion all he wants. Hypothetical is nice, a job is better. And I never realized a conspiracy theory could develop per the Salem Hypothesis. Proves people in the blog world have more time on their hands than they spend at work. And everything I say, is obviously my opinion only. If you don’t like it, you have given your opinion as well. My highness has spoken. Now you can please bow down to your God, Krauss.

          • Ian

            I’m sure you’re telling yourself some story about how you disagreed with Krauss and got this wall of criticism as a result from folks who can’t possibly let any criticism of an atheist lie.

            But you’re missing the point of what I and FurryMoses actually said.

            It isn’t your disagreement you’re being called on, but the totally unselfconscious arrogance with which you’re prosecuting it. When you claim people who disagree with you aren’t smart enough to understand, when you claim a professional scientist is doing no real research, and trading n a historic piece of work, where you laud your engineering qualifications as evidence you know better than others, etc… It doesn’t matter what you’re actually saying…

            That you then interpret people’s dislike for your attitude as an attack on your position is doubly sad. 

          • Slade

            Seems like you have physics envy.

      • Beau Quilter

        What’s wrong with a physicist having provocative opinions about religion? Are we leaving that field entirely to theologians?

    • Beau Quilter

      It doesn’t bother me that Krauss intended a provocative statement. Pulpits, political soap-boxes, and holy books are chock-full of provocative statements.

      Why not physicists?

  • Ian

    Beau, xdrta – re Gary – have you come across the Salem Hypothesis?

    • Gary

      And good old Ian, I don’t support creationism. You guys have played with me, and I have played with you, enough on the schoolyard. So do some more reading on the subjects.

    • Beau Quilter

      No, I haven’t, though I can imagine the content. I’ll look it up.

  • Ian

    Sorry if the comparison offends you, but in my experience folks who want to portray professional scientists as not being smart enough to understand obvious points, who want to claim they know enough science to know why the experts are clearly ideologically compromised, and who — without a hint of self-consciousness — can sniffily determine whether an eminent scientist is up to snuff on their own field: those folks usually turn out to be engineers — and very often electronic engineers. Engineers are notorious for thinking they do or can do science, it often leads to great flights of the ego like yours, to the amusement of skeptics who’ve seen it all many times before. Whether they are ‘creationists’ convinced of the design in living things, or ‘fine-tuner-godists’ convinced of the design in the laws of physics, is a moot distinction. 

    And since you were ‘forced to google Krauss’ :) you might want to look up his publications from the last year on google scholar before saying stuff like “his physics work is no longer in the area of research”. 

  • Anonymous

    Gary said: I think the math in it is plainly too elegant in getting rid of
    singularities to ignore it, and the 4 forces need, and should be united… So, if you want to argue
    against string/M theory, because of its lack of evidence, talk to
    Hawking… If you don’t
    understand it, do some more reading

    Gary, it’s fair to have an opinion on string theory but assuming everyone who doesn’t agree with you needs to do some more reading, just comes off as extremely arrogant.
    The references to Hawking is an obvious fallacy from authority. You don’t get to be smug about how right you are because an eminent person seems to agree with you.

    I don’t quite understand how you could write that without seeing it that way.
    Are you just more confident on the internet or do really not see how arrogant what you’ve written seems?

    Gary said: Krauss…he should be smarter than that, and know better. But he isn’t, apparently. Actually, I’d say he is a jerk for making conclusions that are not supportable

    You didn’t even bother to Google Lawrence Krauss before assuming he that “show know better”… And you know instantly know better?

    Astounding and clearly unjustified arrogance. I’m astounded, anyway.

  • Anonymous

    Gary wrote:

    You seem to consider him a God, who should not be called out on a stupid statement that he made.

    What is it you consider a “stupid statement?”  Forget Jesus?  The idea that he died to save humanity makes no sense and is an obvious myth.  “The stars died so that you could be here today?”  Obviously true – stars went extinct (one meaning of death) or none of us would be here.  All sounds sensible, why would you consider it stupid?

    • Gary

      xdrta, you have summed up the entire issue. Not much more needs to be said. And for Beau, a major physicist can express his opinion. However, when he uses his position as physicist (there seems to be an awe that develops for physicists, obvious by the reaction to a criticism of one here by me – but they put their pants on the same way you do), they take on more influence than they should….Polkinghorne said physics speaks nothing for religion, or something like that…I don’t have time to look up the exact quote. I think Krauss is a big boy, and can defend himself. And since he was the head of his department, most papers published out of his office has him as a co-author, but doubtful that he did much work on them, other than to approve their publication….Ian should know how the process works. That’s the way it is in academic and corporate worlds. I still stand by my OPINION that Krauss is now more a bureaucrat than a physicist. But I am sure you will have another opinion. He shot his wad on dark matter, and he will be sucking off that for the rest of his life. BTW, I am only saying this to tick people off, since they seem to be over sensitive. Although I believe it. My ego rules!

      • Beau Quilter

        Gary

        Theologians don’t use their positions to “take on more influence than they should” ?

        Krauss and Hawking are wildly outnumbered by religious figureheads trying to tell us how the world goes round.

        I think we need far more Krausses and Hawkings, if only to counter the tonnage of fat privilege enjoyed by religious pseudo-scientists in this world.

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  • Anonymous

    Gary wrote:Not much more needs to be said.

    Except why you think Kraus’s statement is “stupid.”  A perfectly reasonable, intelligent statement, yet you call it stupid.  Why?

  • Gary

    Ian, per your comment, “I’m sure you’re telling yourself some story about how you disagreed with Krauss and got this wall of criticism”…actually, as I said about Krauss, he’s a big boy, he can take it…I think I can absorb your criticism as well. Doesn’t much matter to me at all. Actually, I kind of enjoyed it. I have definitely told you how I feel. Although I am not quite sure you have stated your position very clearly, including your rather dubious statement about not having a high school degree….that, even I do not believe. I assume you are an atheist? At least xdrta is explicate in his/her position. I like that much better than your rather indirect, non-committal statements regarding the original issue. I think I started my original statement with “Krauss is a jerk”. I stand by that statement. Beyond that, other than not liking my attitude on my approach to calling Krauss a jerk, now for a multitude of reasons for me considering him a jerk, I personally think you have not been clear in your objection to my comment about Krauss. If you make a simple statement that you are an atheist, I think I would be very satisfied with the discussion. But I really don’t care, since I don’t think my entire emotional contentment depends upon your approval or disapproval of my attitude. Remember, this is a blog, not a life-fulfilling experience.

    • Ian

      I am an atheist, for most definitions of atheist.

      I don’t really want to discuss substantive issues with you, I’m struggling to get past the ego and find a way to take you seriously. Since I’m also pretty sure I’m not as smart as Krauss, I’m clearly too stupid to be taken seriously by you.

      I was quite honest – I do not have a high school diploma. I did, however, do a PhD in science, though I’m quite sure I wouldn’t make anyone’s list of top ten best scientists (except maybe my wife). I’ll leave you to figure out how that might be possible. My wife’s sister’s husband also does make parts for spacecraft. And my mom’s research was in the quantum physics of semi-conductors.

      • Gary

        Ian, at least thanks for being honest. I think I will answer xdrta, which in turn might answer you. Although I like to give comments, I don’t like to get into discussions with anyone, since debates on blogs do not accomplish anything. But first, I did not say I was smarter than Krauss. I said he was not as smart as he thinks he is, or he should be smarter than “that”, something like that. I do not have to be smarter than Krauss to recognize he said something stupid.
        xdrta said, “Except why you think Kraus’s statement is “stupid.”  A perfectly reasonable, intelligent statement, yet you call it stupid.  Why?”…

        This in honor of Super Wednesday. Vote for Obama. 
        xdrta, Krauss’s statement was stupid on two levels. On one, for me personally, “forget Jesus” is a red flag to any Christian. Especially out of the blue, in a technical discussion of physics. Krauss is effectively saying, look at me, I’m a physicist, I am smarter than you (Christian), forget your whole basis for morality, belief system, or whatever you stupidly cling to in religion, and listen to me. I am a guru of physics. This is especially ridiculous, when you have other physicists and biologists that do find compatibility between their religion and science – Polkinghorne, Rees, Miller, etc..
        Second, Obama should totally disassociate himself from Krauss. Krauss was on Obama’s 08 presidential campaign science policy committee. He is clearly very political, very obnoxious, very egotistical in his approach to attacking religion, much like Dawkins. He in a rather rude manner, puts a wedge between science and religion. Considering that Obama already has problems with people believing that he might not believe in God, Krauss is the last person he should have any association with. And Krauss himself, since he supports Obama, when he makes a statement like forget Jesus, Krauss is stupidly undermining the very person he campaigned for in 08. So clearly to me, Krauss cares more for his own ego gratification and publicity, than he does for a reconciliation between science and religion. That, to me is so obviously stupid, I can’t see any other way to put it.
        I’ll add a third and forth. You think I’m obnoxious in my ego?. Maybe. Krauss is the same. I do not like someone mixing his so-called physics career with a career that he spends most of his time self-promoting himself all over the world, including politics. He has order of magnitudes more publication in the Wall street journal, NY Times, Slate, than he does in technical publications. So he is now trying to be a policy driver, not a physicist. If he has a technical publication, he’s got a multitude of co authors, who did the heavy grunt work, and he adds his name to get more PR. That’s why I said “Read some more about it”, it doesn’t take much searching to see what he is doing. Plus, I don’t like him slamming string theory, and other phyicists that support string theory. “Read some more about it” might include his Jeffrey Epstein support, although I won’t hang him for that, since I am not 100% sure of the facts. But it sounds pretty ego-based, which fits Krauss’s background…..IN MY OPINION. 
        Bottom line, Obama should dump the guy. He is a loose cannon, ready to explode.

  • Gary

    Man, I am stupid. SUPER TUESDAY. I’m a day off.

  • Gary

    And don’t ask me about Jeffrey Epstein and Krauss. You can do your own research. But money corrupts. Maybe nothing to it. But…

  • Witch

    So, what came before the stars?

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Kurt-Kish/1541224934 Kurt Kish

       Why don’t you tell us? I’m sure it must be something supernatural that requires magical thinking, right?

  • Anonymous

    @Gary: Troll lvl 99 reached! You make no sense at all. All those pretty words and no logic. It’s, dare I say it? Empty, almost *soulless*. It’s like you read all the popular science literature just to quarrel on the web. Did you? No explanation means no explanation. Not that there must be a God.

    • Gary

      Sorry, I stated my position. Not anymore that I can add. If you want to continue with the fun of the discussion, it will have to be be others.

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  • Jim

    This generation is so arrogant they are actually lining up to make sure they qualify for hell. We are here to reveal ourselves and these people are revealed. They are their own gods. Enjoy the party because Christ is exactly who he said he was

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

      If your comment was offered as a revelation, it certainly wasn’t clear. Who are you talking about? When you refer to Christ being exactly who he said he was, are you talking about those sayings historians have concluded are authentic, or are you taking on your church’s authority that certain ancient texts give Jesus’ exact words in every instance? Or is this just a troll comment, intentionally incomprehensible?


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