Religion Prof: The Blog of James F. McGrath
The Blog of Dr. James F. McGrath, Clarence L. Goodwin Chair in New Testament Language and Literature at Butler University, Indianapolis
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From My [confined] Space via PZ Myers
It’s nice to see that you do not let pesky things like facts get in the way, when you are promoting your cause.
Howard, I am not sure what you are referring to, but do note that the analogy does not preclude the possibility of the Bible being helpful (as the “box cover”) in putting together a different puzzle than the one science seeks to solve.
found the pieces next to a box. cant see inside the box yet. the duck box is full of duck pieces, and makes a duck. and the one already out is made of the graspable things.
Yes, like when the Bible calls bats a type of bird. And when it tells you HOW to keep slaves, but not that slavery is wrong. It seems to do a great job, eh?
A great job of what? Again, you seem to be coming to it with the view that it is supposed to be something other than a collection of human writings, which always reflect the time and thinking of the era in which they were composed. But the Bible as a collection also includes some lofty principles, such as the challenge to do to others what we would want done to us. It is a standard so high that even many of the Bible’s own authors failed to live up to it.
The authors that wrote the Bible claim within that it is NOT man’s words but God’s words. (It is in every book)
You are free to not believe that claim but please don’t make the statement “it’s just a collection of human writings” as if it were a fact.
The authors do not all make that claim. Even the prophetic writings at most make the claim that the words attributed to the prophets and prefaced with “Thus says Yahweh” are God’s words. But you cannot have read the Bible if you have the impression that its authors typically claim their writings are not their own words but God’s words.
“Son of man, go now to the people of Israel and speak my [Lord’s] words to them” – Ezekiel 3:4 ‘Thus says Yahweh’ would seem to indicate that the person speaking are claiming they are the Lord’s words. As for lofty principles – they are lofty but not exclusive to the Bible.
I’m not sure you know what a “fact” is. It is a “fact” that the sun will rise tomorrow to the extent that it is so overwhelmingly likely, to assume anything else would be ludicrous – even though we cannot actually “prove” that the sun will rise tomorrow. Similarly it is a fact that the Bible is just a collection of human writings, and to assume anything else, in the face of all absence of evidence to the contrary, would be ludicrous.
You can prove the sun will rise tomorrow by proving the planets rotation is steady. And that is proven. Something demonstrated to exist or known to have existed, is what a fact can be defined by. So yes, its known all over the world that the world is turning and that the sun will rise tomorrow.
Fail. Between now and tomorrow, the sun could explode. Hugely unlikely, but it COULD happen. So that faint possibility means you cannot PROVE the sun will rise tomorrow.
Yo Caveman, do we HAVE to preface everything with “barring a solar nova event”???
Unfortunately if the sun does explode there won’t be anyone around to care if it appears in the east or not since we’ll all be pan fried.
No, it is all relative. It depends where you are. Born in India, there was no bible. Astronaut in space ship, the sun does not rise but you follow the sun.
It is a fact that the bible is a collection of human writings. The guys who wrote the bible are long dead, so nobody can verify if what they wrote is indeed “god’s words”. Nowadays a lot of guys speak “god words” but who can verify that?
At the risk of being banned, God has told me to tell you I can verify that (not really!)
I don’t think you’d be banned because God talks to you. Go get some rest.
It is fact that humans wrote the bible. The information may have “come from somewhere else”, but humans wrote the bible. Just like the twilight series.
That lofty principle you mention pre-dates the bible by many years, Confucius was said to have coined it. Like everything else in that daft and sinister book, it’s stolen from previous tales.
Very little literature is not derivative to some extent. That ancient literature reflects ancient views and norms doesn’t make it daft or sinister. Those descriptions may be applicable to those who treat ancient literature as though it were an inerrant divine revelation, but texts are not to blame for the foolish use to which people put them.
James, I know you didn’t make the illustration, but you promote the idea by listing it on your blog. First, I don’t know what you mean by the Bible is helpful, as the depiction is that the Bible is totally wrong. The illustration also depicts that what science has constructed is 100% accurate. Very far from fact. For example, could you direct me to an article that explains how science has cured cancer? If that’s too hard, simply direct me to the article where it explains how science has cured the common cold. If you can not do that, I am going to have to assume that science’s knowledge of genetics is highly over rated. The illustration goes way beyond the facts and creates a misconception of reality. I know you are only trying to use an analogy to show your perception of the situation, but this illustration borders on deception.
Direct me to an article where God has cured cancer, and I will direct you to ten articles where science (chemotherapy etc.) has cured cancer.
I will do this for ever article you list.
So what does your comment have to do with anything that is being discussed?
As for the common cold, give it a few more weeks please. Praying it away has so far cured nothing as opposed to science, but let’s not get facts in the way here.
Doesn’t it say very specifically that science hasn’t put all the pieces together, just a lot of them?
Ahhh… Nope, where does it say that?
Um, it the place where theres still a piece missing. Thus- not all of the pieces, but a lot of them. I think thats fairly clear. But I guess only seeing the duck works, too.
Howard, people like you are why the rest of us are behind. The things we, as intelligent beings, could do if we were not constantly debating the reliability of a book of personal accounts of who God is or could be are staggering. Instead, people like you find a convenience in not working to understand the nature of things as they are, and you assume that the first thing you see and are told is true must actually be true. Further, when your “truth” is questioned, you fail to apply intelligence to support your point, instead perpetuating straw-men by asserting that any questioning of the reliability of your “truth” is malicious deception or otherwise immoral, unpatriotic, illegal behavior.
You’ve failed at life. When you have the opportunity to exit, please do. The rest of humanity would like to move forward; we’d like not to regress into the abyss of follower-thought you feel is sufficient enough to explain things for which you’ve done little to no research in purposing through alternative means.
This is shameful mentality, and calls into question the capacity for our species to make informed, intelligent decisions even for ourselves.
Did I stop you and bring you here to argue with me? By all means get back to your scientific study and stop bothering me.
I’m so sorry I missed this two years ago! Howard- education is key to a happy life, instead of a subservient one!
The “common cold” has been cured. It just mutates so often that vaccines are useless. And defensive much?
The common cold is not one sickness, it is an umbrella term for a multitude of infections that have similar symptoms so only those infections discovered can be vaccinated against. Science is a process and because we may not have discovered a cure for cancer yet does not mean science is at fault, if in 1829 Pierre Joseph Pelletier had said ” I guessed science does not have all the answers” and prayed for those who had malaria quinine would have never been discovered and millions more would have died. Your ignorance offends me.
To cure the common cold science would have to either genetically engineer our bodies to become immune to it, or create a way to selectively irradicate every single virus that is responsible for it. There is a big difference between not yet knowing how to selectively destroy cells within our body or irradicate entire types of viruses and being completely wrong about everything we’ve discovered through research and rigorous testing.
The illustration is based on the idea that we don’t have all the pieces, but the ones we do paint a different picture than the one religion does.
First of all, the puzzle is not complete. There is a piece missing. Science doesn’t have all the answers, nor does it ever claim to. This image doesn’t make that claim either.Secondly, you ask for a cure of the “common cold” where if you were even slightly informed you would know that science has no known cures for viral infections. The “common cold” is a virus. It’s incurable to science at this moment, and this is even taught in high school biology classes.
Lastly, the reference to the Bible being helpful is relating to the fact that had the puzzle actually been the one that the box said it was, it would be helpful. This is a direct relation to the Bible. If the world had a God, and Heaven, and Angels, and a Devil and all of the other nonsense, the Bible would be a great guide for people.
As it stands, however, from our best knowledge the Bible is not accurate, so it is not a good guide. Science does not provide a complete understanding, but it provides conclusive evidence with every claim and is quite accurate for many topics. And it certainly doesn’t claim to know everything.
Fool, the common cold isn’t caused by genetics, & knowing the cause of cancer doesn’t mean we know how to cure it. That’s like saying that we don’t know that asteroids exist because we can’t stop one from hitting the planet.How could you even make a statement so stupid? No, seriously, what the fuck is wrong with you?
The bible *may* be helpful. There are some morals in there, however, that are a good guideline to live by, religious or not. So, the bible is not helpful, or practical in some situations. Same could be said of other religious texts.
The fact that you’ve so blatantly misrepresented the claim of this comic in order to make your point tells me more than your words ever could.
“simply direct me to the article where it explains how science has cured the common cold.” http://web.mit.edu/newsoffice/2011/antiviral-0810.html what now?
In the cartoon, the box isn’t “totally wrong”. Rather, the box is simply meant to correspond to a different puzzle than the one the rabbits are solving. So if the rabbits’ puzzle represents “the science of creation,” then the puzzle depicted on the box might represent “the theology of creation.”
You seem to think that science claims to know everything, and is infallible. That is putting expectations of totalitarian religion onto a process of discovery that will always be growing and changing and reaching new understandings. It doesn’t operate like a fundamentalist religion, but through deductive reasoning that is then verified by others. We will never reach the end of this journey. To use this post’s point, don’t put science in the box of religion.
the puzzle wasn’t meant to be finished, nor can it be
Howard is right. The instructions for curing Chicken Pox were taken straight out of the bible. There we also learn that the sun goes round a fixed earth and that bats and birds (including Ducks!) are of the same kind.
There is no such thing as a cure for all cancers, however research over the past 40 years has helped to improve life expectancy of many forms of cancer. Is your argument that because oncology has not yet managed to find a way to cure all of the myriad types of cancer that scientific method is invalid?
I didn’t think what I wrote was that hard to understand. Maybe if people would read things in their contexts they would better understand. James posted a picture where a rabbit putting together a jigsaw puzzle, represented science’s reconstruction of how life evolved on the earth. Part of this reconstruction involves evolutionary biology. In the illustration, science is pictured as completing the puzzle of life when the rabbit completes the jigsaw puzzle, and the foolish people with faith in the Bible are still not convinced even though science has proved its case beyond doubt. The illustration is a blatant lie! If the illustration represented reality, then all forms of cancer would be completely understood and cured. So to put trust in science’s knowledge of evolutionary biology and genetics means that understanding the genetic complexities of evolutionary biology is less complicated than the genetics involved in the common cold or cancer, because science does not fully understand either.
Metaphor != Lie.
A metaphor is a figure of speech, we are talking about an illustration, so try again.
Actually that is just one of the definitions of a metaphor that is listed in the Oxford English Dictionary, the second being: Something regarded as representative or suggestive of something else, esp. as a material emblem of an abstract quality, condition, notion, etc.; a symbol, a token. Freq. with for, of. Words and language are evolving all the time. Just look at their etymologies and this is clear. The meaning of words can and does change in concordance with the progression of society. What you have done is taken one of a number of possible explanations and clung to that as your understanding, regardless of any other possibility that exists or may come to exist as society progresses. What I have done is to acknowledge that yours is a possible meaning of the word, but taken the time to put forward another meaning that is equally valid. I also understand that in five, ten or one hundred years the meaning of the word may evolve and will embrace it when it does. Now before you reply, commenting on my pre-occupation with the topic of ‘words’ rather than the topic on which this thread is based, I would ask you to consider ALL the meanings of ‘metaphor’, re-read what I have written with that in mind, and perhaps understand that my argument is applicable to more than just words…
Its terribly ironic that you’re basically demanding the last puzzle pieces before you accept science and the correct answers. And are you are going to retract this statement when science does cure cancer or just move the goal post again?
edit “*science has the correct answers”
You sir are a fool, a tool and part of what’s wrong with society today, you lack true understanding of what you see so you misinterpret them, it was stated before what the picture was meant to represent, the concept that no matter how close we get to understanding the universe, how close science gets to the answers, religious fundamentalists will continue to argue the moot point of the last bit that we don’t understand, it was not to conclude that we have 99% of the answers it was a metaphorical statement about how foolish it is to say that just cause we don’t have the last piece it means that we can’t say with almost a certainty that we know that the “box” was wrong the “box” represents religions around the world the “puzzle” represents scientific ideas, it does not represent our current knowledge in any way, it simply states that no matter how close we get to the last bit of knowledge in the universe we will always be vehemently fought by fools who think their magical man in the sky exists even when most of the proof shows the vast improbability of his existence
i didn’t see the character trying to solve the puzzle, to prove the box was wrong. science isn’t the art of trying to prove anything wrong, its to try to understand what it is. though some ppl label themselves as science but act like religion.. in the believing without evidence factor.. theories for example get used in many who is right and who is wrong.. theories.. haha.. facts on the other hand is gathered data.. science didn’t make life, all it can do is understand how life is made, and what of.. there is a history of cultures questioning life.. we r still studying… debating on opinions should be interesting, not a war zone..
You don’t know what a scientific theory is, do you?
Of course I do, it’s when ppl have some data then make up a theory as to what it could all mean. Ppl, not all knowing god, just trying to better understand life, the universe and everything. The early myths are just stories of ppl trying to understand nature as well, funny monkeys lol But the truths can only be discovered, based on whatever evidence we find. Theory or religion are beliefs, facts are when there is evidence. A lot of science use the understandings from myths to better understand nature. Education and understanding shouldn’t be competitive, thought we had evolved humanity?
Technically what you are talking about is an hypothesis, not a theory. A fact is just a well-substantiated theory.It never stops being a theory and graduates to fact.Thus we refer to the Theory of Evolution. This is confusing because in the popular language a theory means something speculative and unproven.
Actually, seeking to disprove is part of the scientific method. Geologists may run a number of tests which can tell them what a rock is not to better help determine what it is. Experiments are constantly being conducted to disprove theories, which helps enable scientists to determine their veracity.
It’s not like the cure for cancer is cheese. It might even be on another planet for all we know or it may not even have a cure. If you’re just going to base science on one of the only things it CURRENTLY can’t answer I suggest you try to find MORE than just one.
science is the art of discovering what is.. by learning how nature works we can work with it. stories r metaphors, cause and effect.. the power of love, good and bad, examples.. ideals, hopes, fears, what ifs.. i never understood how its come to an either or. that ppl will use science to attack just goes how much we need a sense of humanity or what is the point of learning.. r we just evolved animals, or do we have powers to achieve greatness? as an eternal soul the universe is awesome, as an evolving animal what is the point of knowing about the universe… lol
So what has religious fundamentalism contributed to the betterment of mankind and our knowledge of the universe?
What great discoveries has “creation science” made?
As for the value of the Bible, whatever truth you get from it comes solely what you imputed from it in the first place.
***So what has religious fundamentalism contributed to the betterment of mankind and our knowledge of the universe?
Really? 1. You seem to be equating knowledge of the universe with a betterment of mankind. Stop and think about that. In the past 50 years or so, “science” has been liberally fed to all of us in thousands of ways, voluntarily and involuntarily, mostly from an evolutionary and atheistic worldview. We are virtually drowning in our “knowledge of the universe”, and yet the hatred, murders, suicides, wars and other violence keep escalating. And yet, you will likely point to advances in our materialistic wealth and certain conveniences which have also accompanied that “knowledge”. You consider these things the paramount successes of science and you presume to measure religion with that same stick. I would suggest that your yardstick is defective and/or misused. You are claiming that Boxing is a better sport than Chess because you have placed a Chess-master in a boxing ring and eagerly advertised the bloody results!
2. You also seem to be assuming that religion or perhaps the Bible was meant to provide mankind with a higher knowledge of the universe (in scientific realms, of course). Can you quote something from the Bible that would unequivocally validate that thought? In the cartoon, can you find anything on the box which states that what is on and in the box relates directly to the pieces found on the floor?
If you choose, you can use a bar of gold as if it were a hammer, to drive a nail into a roof. But that’s not what it was meant for, and you’ll probably get some traumatized fingers while proceeding with that idea. The gold, used without wisdom, is folly. Wisdom would advise one to buy a true hammer with the gold, or pay a professional roofer to fix your leak. Quit trying to use the Bible as a scientific hammer. That’s an irresponsible straw man. But I will also challenge you who are so in love with your science: when you or your family is harmed by someone acting “unfairly” to you (maybe they are just being more “competitive” than you and succeeding, but that causes suffering for you), what reasoning has science to offer in order to “better your humanity”? Can you appeal to the Golden Rule, based upon any scientific theorems or evolutionary tenets? Scientism has failed to empower men with, or provide any legitimate rationale for love, patience, empathy, forgiveness, self-sacrifice or humility, among other things. It also fails to explain the nature of evil. But Scientism is proud and arrogant nonetheless, insisting that its hammer is better than a bar of gold. I suggest reading THE IRRATIONAL ATHEIST, by Vox Day.
BTW, the cartoon properly understood, berates ideological intransigence on both sides. Scientism typically says things like, “evolution is the answer…now what’s the question?” Religious fundamentalism can certainly fail by saying something equally as irrational. There does exist an area of overlap between science and religion, but it has not been dealt with honestly enough by either side, in general. It’s like the boxer and the chess player don’t realize they are standing in the middle of a professional hockey rink…the real players and referees are invisible to both of them and they don’t understand the rules. Rule number ONE is that if you come to that game presupposing your own rules, you had better get the puck out of there! (all puns intended! Ha.)
“You seem to be equating knowledge of the universe with a betterment of mankind.”
The fact that you are decrying science while typing on a computer drips with irony. You enjoy the products of scientific development but attack the process that got us there. You want to undermine the most credible form of gathering information by forcing unnecessary folklore into it for your own personal gratification. You fail to comprehend the difference between scientific truth and philosophical truth.
The only thing blissful ignorance has given us has been unnecessary suffering. Fundamentalism contributes nothing to society. It vainly tries to “turn back the clock” relies on trading in myths of a “golden age” which never existed.
The Bible is not a source of morality. “Biblical Morality” is nothing more than restrained psychopathy. Christians always feel the need to make exceptions to its rules of conduct when dealing with others. It is arbitrary, capricious, removes any kind of personal notions of conscience and is easily manipulated towards immoral ends. What little value it has is universal to all cultures for reasons having nothing to do with any fairy tales of deities.
If you need God to keep you from running amok and harming people, it tells me more about your own sociopathic nature than about morality. It tells me that your notions of morality are non-existent.
Science and religion only overlap to people who do not understand either of them. If you require supernatural appeals and fairy tales to interpret objectively observable evidence, you have no business talking about science. If you require your religious tenets to be objectively factually observable, ultimately denying the value of faith, you have no idea what religion really means.
I’m offended…first, because you didn’t acknowledge how masterfully I worked in a little humor, but more seriously…you missed the point, evidenced by your misrepresentation of my thoughts: “The fact that you are decrying science…”
Hint: I never decried science but rather Scientism—the belief that science is the only tool to understand anything and everything in the universe and that it has the power to answer all questions (my characterization, of course). Has science told you why your neighbor’s survival-of-the-fittest actions which are harming your family are “wrong” or upon what basis you might understand good and evil?
“Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind.” Albert Einstein
the belief that science is the only tool to understand anything and everything in the universe and that it has the power to answer all questions
Can you point to anyone who holds this position? Anyone at all who’d make all these claims? If not, then you’re arguing against your own inventions.
I’m about as ‘scientistic’ as it comes, and that reads as a straw man to me!
Fortunately, not all scientists ascribe to scientism. But some that essentially are disciples of this ideology are simply careful to avoid admitting it. The real proof, I believe, is found in evaluating what they say about religion. If they do not allow religion any valid place at the table, or if they speak about religion in only condescending, arrogant and belittling ways, then I submit that they do in fact promote scientism, which incidentally often goes hand-in-hand with humanism. When have you heard a scientist of the naturalistic persuasion admit that the ID folks or the creationists actually have at least a few valid points of logic and evidence to discuss? I’ve heard creationists admit that some internal consistencies exist in the evolutionary paradigm. Why don’t I hear similar admissions from Darwinists? What is so intimidating about admitting that serious inadequacies and limitations exist in your pet paradigm? Also, I didn’t get an answer to my previous question: Has science told you why your neighbor’s survival-of-the-fittest actions which are harming your family are “wrong” or upon what basis you might understand good and evil?
Nice back-peddling. So you’re saying nobody would admit to the things you’re saying they believe, but they secretly believe them?
So these folks are pretending to believe other things, but you really know what they actually believe?
Interesting world you inhabit. Must be your paradigm.
Let’s recap, because I can see you’re dying to take the conversation off in another direction. You said you are decrying scientism, i.e.
Can you point out anyone who actually holds the beliefs you are decrying? Notice that finding people who will not concede that ID has a few valid points, or that religion has no valid place at the epistemological table is NOT the same thing as you said, which was
So can you tell us which people you think are secretly holding
while publically claiming to believe something else? Because it looks very much like you’re making this up to me.
You have again mischaracterized my position. If you would only google SCIENTISM and perhaps ARROGANCE, also THEORY OF EVERYTHING, you will find plenty of substantiating quotations to my assertion. Don’t bother firing back that none of them use my exact words. If you can’t understand the essence of a thought, why are even debating me? I believe one of the most erudite descriptions of scientism’s failures is found in a recent book by a prolific writer with impeccable credentials. Check out this review:
“If you think that the only people who don’t believe in evolution are Fundamentalist knuckle-dragging Georgia swamp-dwellers, you’re in for a big surprise. Berlinski, author of THE DEVIL’S DELUSION, himself is an agnostic of Jewish descent, an astonishingly erudite man and a brilliant thinker. He also writes frightfully well. And it is often hard to disagree with him. As he notes in the opening pages of this book — concerning religion, God, and the rest: ‘I do not know whether any of this is true. I am certain that the scientific community does not know that it is false.’”
Ah, not surprising that you turn to casting aspertions on my intellectual ability. You really are quite the walking stereotype.
I didn’t, of course, ask you to show me who used your exact words. You were clear that it was your characterisation of the scientistic position. I merely asked you to demonstrate who would claim such things. Since, as I said, I consider myself ‘scientistic’, in the sense you seem to be using the word, but your ‘characterisation’ of my views, and those of others I know with similar opinions, is a straw man.
Now you seem to be back arguing whether scientism is correct, based on quoting someone talking about whether a smart person can doubt evolution. Questions that are both irrelevant to the issue of whether you actually know and can express the views you claim to be arguing about. Or whether you are tilting at windmills.
“whether you actually know and can express the views you claim to be arguing about”
Yes, yes, I understand that you are insinuating that I have not adequately expressed my views. That is why I referenced a book which you can easily review and which obviously expresses the failures of scientistic thoughts more eloquently than I. I’m not trying to bash you with it—I simply know it to be one of several sources which outline the issues extremely well. Also, if you had spent any time googleing the things I suggested you certainly would have come across various Naturalists chiding certain others for overreaching in their assessment of science’s abilities. Instead of focusing on my use of words, I would suggest that it might be more productive if you would simply outline your beliefs about science’s limitation, if you believe there are any. It’s possible that your admissions might prove my characterization wrong, at least regarding one scientist. But then again, I never said that it applied to all. It was merely a characterization of the most vocal and extreme ones. If you are offended by my comments because you are not in that extreme camp, then I congratulate you. Just don’t fail to notice what your vocal friends have said.
“Just don’t fail to notice what your vocal friends have said.”
What vocal friends? Who are these proponents of scientism and what have they said?
You’ve quoted Berlinski’s opinion that the scientific community cannot disprove God (gee, any atheist could have told you that). You’ve told us to google “naturalists chiding certain others for overreaching in their assessment of science’s abilities.”
But who are these “certain others”? Got a name? A quotation?
“If you look at the universe and study the universe, what you find is that there is no evidence that we need anything other than the laws of physics and the other laws of science to explain everything we see. There’s absolutely no evidence that we need any supernatural hand of god.” –Lawrence Krauss, World-Renowned Physicist
“As recent advances in cosmology suggest, the laws of gravity and quantum theory allow universes to appear spontaneously from nothing. Spontaneous creation is the reason there is something rather than nothing, why the universe exists, why we exist. It is not necessary to invoke God to light the blue touch paper and set the universe going.” (Steven Hawkings)
“Science and religion cannot be reconciled, and humanity should begin to…beat off all attempts at compromise. Religion has failed… Science with its currently successful pursuit of universal competence…should be acknowledged king.” (Peter Atkins).
“There is not a single Why? question in biology that can be answered adequately without a consideration of evolution.” Also, “every knowing person agrees that man is descended from the apes.” (Ernst Myer, Harvard Professor)
Nietzsche is credited with saying that God is dead and science has buried him.
Richard Dawkins has made many arrogant statements about science’s presumed preeminence and religion’s impotence. The title of his book, THE GOD DELUSION, testifies to his attitudes and statements.
“Massimo Pigliucci [says] that people like Richard Dawkins are wrong when claiming science can refute religious claims. But are there really people out there who believe that science will eventually answer everything we want to know?”
“Richard Dawkins, who goes so far as to (mistakenly, as it turns out) claim that science can refute what he calls “the God hypothesis.” The examples above are instances of scientism…”
“The term “scientism” encapsulates the intellectual arrogance of some scientists who think that, given enough time and especially financial resources, science will be able to answer whatever meaningful question we may wish to pose — from a cure for cancer to the elusive equation that will tell us how the laws of nature themselves came about.”
Where is the scientism in these quotations? You have clearly mistaken atheism for scientism. Of course, these scientists claim that science can explain the universe without the need for a religious explanation. That is not scientism.
No one in this list is claiming that science determines our morality or our aesthetic tastes. No one in this list is claiming that science can make value judgements about our pursuits of love, happiness, or art. Science can tell us how and why events in the natural universe have occurred (and science freely admits to not knowing all the answers yet), but science doesn’t tell us how we should behave, who we should love, what music we should listen to, what colors we should wear, …
And atheism is not scientism; don’t think you can take a shortcut that easy. You don’t have to believe in God, to believe that humans have the ability to better their life experience through cooperation and altruism. You don’t have to believe in God, to believe that humans find fulfillment in relationships, art, achievement, and curiosity about the universe.
Yes, yes, I understand that you are insinuating that I have not adequately expressed my views.
I’m not insinuating anything. I have no doubt you adequately expressed your own views.
I quite explicitly denied that your characterisation reflected the beliefs of the people you think you’re arguing against.
But then again, I never said that it applied to all.
I didn’t say you did. But I deny it applies to who you think it applies to. So name some names. Who do you think, specifically, would recognize their position as:
Dawkins, Coyne, Harris, Dennet? Who do you imagine believes that science has the power to answer all questions, and that it is the only tool for understanding everything in the universe?
I would suggest that it might be more productive if you would simply outline your beliefs about science’s limitation
I’m sure you’d prefer to change the focus of discussion onto me, yes. But until you demonstrate some ability to listen to the actual expressed opinions of those you think you’re arguing against, there is little point.
So come on, names of people you think fit your description. So we can be sure you’re not inventing a shadowy ‘them’, and so we can see that a) you actually listen to your opponents actual beliefs, and b) you are able to express those beliefs in ways that they would recognize.
Both skills are very rare among creationists, in my 20 years experience discussing science with them. Creationist propaganda is so full of lies, that most average creationists (I have met exceptions, I am not being exclusive here) cannot accurately describe what their opponents believe and why. So are you one of the exceptions? Or are you content to invent a fantasy world that strokes your ire and feeds your self-righteousness? It is a tendency we all have, me included, but I want to see if you’ve succumbed to it.
“Has science told you why your neighbor’s survival-of-the-fittest actions which are harming your family are “wrong” or upon what basis you might understand good and evil?”
You are spouting a real confusion of ideas. First you are told that scientism is a straw man and your retort is to challenge what “science told you”? Ian has already challenged the notion that anyone holds the opinion of scientism. Why would he want to prove the opposite to you?!
Evolution doesn’t determine what is right and wrong. No one claims that it does. Moral philosophy deals with ethical behavior, and has been for thousands of years, long before the 1st century.
Do you define “religion” in the same way that Einstein does? Or are you quoting him out of context?
From the same source essay as your quotation:
“For science can only ascertain what is, but not what should be, and outside of its domain value judgments of all kinds remain necessary. Religion, on the other hand, deals only with evaluations of human thought and action: it cannot justifiably speak of facts and relationships between facts.”
“For example, a conflict arises when a religious community insists on the absolute truthfulness of all statements recorded in the Bible. This means an intervention on the part of religion into the sphere of science; this is where the struggle of the Church against the doctrines of Galileo and Darwin belongs.”
Elsewhere, Einstein wrote:
“The word god is for me nothing more than the expression and product of human weaknesses, the Bible a collection of honourable, but still primitive legends which are nevertheless pretty childish. No interpretation no matter how subtle can (for me) change this.”
“For me the Jewish religion like all others is an incarnation of the most childish superstitions.”
<>Did Einstein really define religion or simply opine about it? Perhaps he considered the entire world to be “childish” compared to his own intellect. I think he clearly recognized a legitimate place for religion in men’s minds, a place that science alone cannot fill. I’m not convinced that he gave enough effort to evaluating which religion is more credible. Like so many people who consider themselves educated, he may have essentially constructed his own version.
In your other arguments, you fail to connect the dots between belief in Darwinian evolution which essentially dismisses belief in God’s authority over us, and the historic behaviors of those who accepted these beliefs. Sure, you can pretend that you and a few of your friends will never act like Stalin, Mao or Hitler, but then again, I wonder what would happen if the circumstances changed? Can you really ask me to believe that you accept Darwinian evolution but you do not accept that humans should naturally subscribe to a dog-eat-dog survival-of-the-fittest mode of behavior? During a famine or other stressful situation, what rationale can you use to convince your Darwinian neighbor that its best not to use evolutionary tactics at this time?
You don’t have to “school” me on Einstein. He obviously doesn’t share your opinions about religion. You are simply confirming that you quoted him out of context to support your own notions of religion.
Your last paragraph is the most confusing bit of logic in this post! Evolutionary science does not determine anyone’s ethics! What the heck are you talking about?!
Humans have had ethical philosophies promoting good societal behavior long before the 1st century. You seem to have this bizarre notion that Christianity invented ethical behavior.
“In your other arguments, you fail to connect the dots between belief in Darwinian evolution which essentially dismisses belief in God’s authority over us, and the historic behaviors of those who accepted these beliefs. Sure, you can pretend that you and a few of your friends will never act like Stalin, Mao or Hitler”
Hitler was a self-professed Christian in his writings and speeches. He was a creationist too. He believed that all races were created separately and that the Aryan race was decended from Adam and Eve. He saw himself as a sort of Messiah freeing Germany and the world from the Jews who he thought were responsible for killing Jesus. He was not a Social Darwinist. He was trying to preserve the Aryan race, not create it, just like the neo-Nazis of today.
He was a big admirer of Martin Luther who advocated killing Jews and taking their children to be raised by Christians.
Hitler was a part of the Christian Socialist Party and the Christian nation of Germany welcomed him.
I know you will argue that he was not a “real Christian” but that is not my point. My point is that while you point your fingers at the atheist dictators you are not looking at the whole picture. There has never been a theocracy that hasn’t been brutal and barbaric, and that includes the Judeo-Christian religions.
Why not admit that there are in fact very moral atheists and very immoral Christians? Why not apply the same standards to your own religion?
I see no evidence to back the claim that atheists are any more likely to be immoral as any of the rest of us. Morality is based on empathy and we all learned that skill as children.
In fact I often witness very little empathy and morality from Christians who idolize a book instead of God.
You make several strong points that I agree with. Perhaps the most profound was; “I often witness very little empathy and morality from Christians who idolize a book instead of God.” Another great one was; “Why not admit that there are in fact very moral atheists and very immoral Christians?” Excellent!
It’s a thorny thing to separate specifics from generalities. Your overall analysis, however, ignores valid generalities, I believe, and inserts some spurious ones. You say that “morality is based upon empathy and we all learned that skill as children.” America, Europe, Africa and elsewhere have benefitted from the blessings provided by many generations of Judeo-Christian heritage (imperfect thought it was and is). These influences have been across generations secondary to the associated social, familial and governmental structures. To truly assess the source of compassion, empathy, morality and ethics, you need to look at a control group whose heritage is completely devoid of Christian or Biblical influence. I am aware of several populations (not that they knew your brand of atheism). Look at the attitudes and behaviors of the Headhunters of Borneo before and then after Christian influences. It’s a dramatic difference. Good and loving Christians died to bring that difference. I don’t recall any atheists risking their necks to bring their humanistic culture to them, along with whatever arts, music. Literature and philosophy that you think can be separated from Christian influences.
First of all, I am not an atheist. I don’t believe God has a religion. We are all Children of God. Second of all, Christianity is a mixed bag of good theology and bad theology and it has had both good and bad effects on society. Its emphasis on people being basically evil instead of being basically good has led to many wars, the Inquisition and witch burnings.
The ancient Jewish culture was nothing but barbaric and in fact was virtually identical with extremist Muslim cultures we have today.
Because Christians do not want to acknowledge these things than we are doomed to repeat them as history has shown.
When Christians cling to an inerrant bible then they are condoning genocide, slavery, rape, human sacrifice, and more.
Yes Christianity has had good effects as well, but I do not agree that all tribal societies have benefited from it, especially since they were forced into Christianity. Ask the Native Americans about that. We destroyed their heritage.
At any rate there have been many, many cultures that thrived just fine without any Christian influence at all. To say that morality just magically appeared with the Ten Commandments is ridiculous.
Psychologically we develop a conscience when we learn to empathize with each other and realize that our behavior can hurt others. This ability is present from a young age.
The fact is that morality is ingrained into our psyches. Generally most people feel guilt when they have done something that hurts someone else. That includes atheists and people who have never been exposed to Christianity.
I would also point out that the rule “Love thy neighbor as thyself” did not originate with Christianity. It has been present in most cultures. The Buddha came up with it too. Actually many people consider Buddhism to be atheist, and yet its moral precepts are far higher than what Christianity teaches.
I personally believe that Christianity can be negative in the sense that it often requires blind obedience which ironically can lead people into violating their inner conscience.
If people choose to take the good out of the Bible and live by that then I have no problem. But my concern is that I don’t see that happening among the fundamentalists at all. Their agenda is pure hate and trying to control everyone.
Not sure where the glitches came from in my other post, but you can read the gist of it. Now, to clarify Scientism, I quote from part of wiki’s discussion (highlights mostly mine):
Scientism is a term used, often pejoratively, to refer to belief in the universal applicability of the scientific method and approach, and the view that empirical science constitutes the most authoritative worldview or most valuable part of human learning to the exclusion of other viewpoints. It has been defined as “the view that the characteristic inductive methods of the natural sciences are the only source of genuine factual knowledge and, in particular, that they ALONE can yield true knowledge about man and society.”
It’s not at all hard to see the link between scientism and atheism/agnosticism.
You’ll notice “scientism” is a pejorative term. Hardly anyone claims to be an adherent to “scientism” (does anyone?), which is why I and Ian have asked you to name someone.
You’ll also notice that “scientism” implies a belief in science “to the exclusion of other viewpoints.”
Atheists see little validity in religious viewpoints, but that does not, by any stretch of the imagination, exclude all viewpoints but science.
You are are completely ignoring art, literature, and, perhaps most importantly, philosophy. Where is this imaginary scientismist who eschews all art, literature, and philosophy?
Sacrasm doesn’t work in print. [See The Simpsons, S2,E35 Blood Feud”]
Scientism is one of many vague nonsense terms used by people who want to rely on a strawman position and cheap descriptors for a point of view. There is far more about there from people decrying it than actual proof of its existence. You will find more people talking about being against “scientism” than you will find consistent definitions of the term or people who actually ascribe to such a definition. It is one of many terms which is a sure sign the speaker is not to be taken seriously.
If you cannot trust what is observed, what can be studied and conveyed to others in a credible fashion, you cannot trust any kind of study of the universe.
There are many tools for understanding the universe. Religion is just not one which has any meaning or relevance beyond what you are willing to impute to it personally. Fundamentalist religion is completely useless for anything.
You might also want to update your view of evolution beyond the misinterpretations of 19th century politicians eager to put patinas on their prejudices and colonialism.
You are talking more about the psuedoscientific belief of “social darwinism” than science.
One never required sky fairies and celestial bearded men to tell you why one can’t maintain a society when everyone is actively and maliciously harming each other with impunity. If you do, you have some major disconnects to humanity in general. Seek help.
Religion has no claim to being the source of morality. The Golden Rule is universal to all societies because of common sense more than anything else. Reciprocity is the most basic form of human coexistence outside of a family unit. Claiming it exists because the Bible tells you so is ignorant garbage from someone with no desire to understand the world around them.
The illustration does represent reality. We are at the stage where the puzzle is half put together, and you’re the one proclaiming “Until we have every piece you can’t prove its not a duck!”. Nobody is claiming we have a perfect understanding of the cosmos (and especially not viruses and cancer) but we do however, have a pretty decent understanding of a lot of very specific things. The puzzle is added to indefinitely, but never finished.
Ha ha ha I guess I fall down when I jump out a window because God wants me to. Just because humans haven’t finished proving scientific theories (actually science itself is infalliible, it’s humans who are fallibly using it) doesn’t mean the theories aren’t true.
Well done Howard; for so accurately portraying the character in the strip. When science has cured so many hundreds of diseases (found so many puzzle pieces), you choose the pieces not yet found (cancer, cold) to prove that the puzzle cannot be something other than what you think it should be.
No James, look at the last picture in your illustration. You are the one saying that science has achieved 99% understanding. If that were true, then there would be no “pieces” left to find. That is my whole dispute about the illustration, you are depicting that science has achieved its goals. So the illustration is deceptive.
‘You are the one saying that science has achieved 99% understanding. If that were true, then there would be no “pieces” left to find.’ Except that there would be 1% of the pieces left to find.
No, you’re just stupid.
Science has achieved only a 5% understanding of the Universe. Science has recently discovered that roughly 70% of the Universe is dark-energy and 25% of the Universe is dark-matter – the 5% left over is the Universe we all know and love (quantum particles, atoms, lightwaves, organisms, planets, stars, galaxies). Instead of running away from this truth, science gladly runs towards it – science loves to be proven wrong. There is plenty of mystery left in the Universe for religions to find comfort in, however, science has made so much progress, it appears to have gone over the horizon for most religions. Religion has always been playing catch-up to science and culture, it’s a very slow game that plays out over centuries. The speed of religion’s change is up to the discretion of each individual religion and some may even rush backwards towards fundamentalism. It’s sad when that happens but it’s always been this way.
Science loves to be proved wrong? Aside from that fact that science isn’t a person, and it’s a ludicrously angelic depiction of scientists, why would you want ‘Science’ to Like being proven wrong? Shouldn’t we want them to like searching for the right answers?
You missed his point. Until I believe the mid-fifties, scientists thought that the Milky Way was the extent of the Universe. Then Edward Hubble discovered that was not so. Does that mean that all the science before that was completely wrong? Of course not.This is an area that many scientists were glad to be proven wrong!
Another example is Isaac Newton who “discovered” gravity and he could describe its mathmatical properties. But he really did not understand it. Later astronomers made the leap of logic that gravity is what keeps the planets in orbit around the Sun. But did they understand it? Nope. They saw it in terms of a possible magnetic force. It took Einstein to figure it out that mass curves space and that is what kept the planets in their orbits.
So essentially Newton, Copernicus and Galileo were wrong about what gravity is. Does that mean that they were completely wrong about everything? No.
So yes scientists do rejoice when they are wrong because that means another mystery to solve. But most of the time they are not completely wrong, it is simply a case that they are missing information or as the illustration shows..a piece of the puzzle.
Uhmm… all the pieces would be 100%. If there are 100 pieces, and 99% are found, that means 1 is missing. School.. it’s a wonderful place.
School is a wonderful place, you should go back to it and learn about this thing called a “metaphor”
I never metaphor I didn’t like. Just sayin’.
There will always be more knowledge to be gained by science……that’s how science differs from religion……Science is like a forever branching tree and religion is like a box……completely shut to anything new……..
There is only one piece missing. For your claim that the picture is portraying “99%” understanding would mean the puzzle would have 100 pieces (with the single piece missing representing 1%). This is not the case. That appears to be a 24-piece puzzle. Therefore, the missing piece represents 1/24, not 1%/
Such nit-picking does, of course, miss the point of the metaphor entirely.
I would really love to know where all you people get your percentage statistics from.. lol!! C’mon, really?? haha… I am 100% sure people just pull ’em outta there ass and stick them to fit whatever side of this argument (or any argument, most likely) that they are on.. Oh, by the way.. God doesn’t exist, I asked him and he said so (the silence was deafening)
71% of all statistics are made up; everyone knows that.
its probaby more likely 99% (i just made that up btw;)
Actually, I talked to him and He does indeed ‘exist” although that is a poor word for it. But, he just isn’t talking to you.
Why, Howard, would our failure to have yet managed to cure all diseases be an indication that evolution has not occurred? You are not making sense.
And just for your information, one of the reasons why curing illness is difficult, and why there is no “common cold,” is because viruses and bacteria are constantly evolving.
Are you treating the picture as though it were about science’s understanding of everything and not just evolution? If so, why create confusion by ignoring the post’s title?!
James, you still do not understand. This is not about evolution or religion. It is about you using a deceptive illustration for your position. Unless you are willing to say that evolutionary biology has achieved 99% accuracy in their predictions about evolution.
YOU are the one who doesn’t understand.
You know the thing that’s great about Atheism, is that people that are Atheist never say or think they know everything there is to know. Also not only do you not know science and history but you don’t know algebra either.
Don’t worry about Howard. I’ve read through his comments and I’ve concluded that he’s upset that the Bible is represented to be false in your illustration here.
However, he isn’t intelligent enough to put forth any arguments that are coherent, and so he’s trying to attack your representation of how much science understands with his limited vocabulary.
I replied, countering his main points, but don’t worry about it because even I’m regretting replying to that idiot, lol.
Cheers, and I enjoyed the images!
I think you lack some scientific understanding here. Bacteria and viruses do not evolve and are not evolving.
They use natural selection to adapt to situations (making them less efficient) but do not change. They merely swap things around in a continuous fashion and only to a certain extent. Bacteria and viruses have remained the same bacteria and viruses for thousands of years.
The mechanisms of mutation and natural selection aid bacteria populations in becoming resistant to antibiotics. However, mutation and natural selection also result in bacteria with defective proteins that have lost their normal functions.
Evolution requires a gain of functional systems for bacteria to evolve into man—functioning arms, eyeballs, and a brain, to name a few.
Mutation and natural selection, thought to be the driving forces of evolution, only lead to a loss of functional systems. Therefore, antibiotic resistance of bacteria is not an example of evolution in action but rather variation within a bacterial kind. It is also a testimony to the wonderful design God gave bacteria, master adapters and survivors in a sin-cursed world.
Your claim that bacteria do not evolve is pure unadulterated falsehood of the sort you are famous for spouting. And your depiction of a Creator who injects finely crafted killing machines to devour flesh and swell brains and inflict suffering and death on humans and others is horrific, but in keeping with the lack of morals that you have consistently demonstrated in your comments in this blog.
You can call natural selection evolution if you wish but the real truth is that the bacteria and viruses are still bacteria and viruses. Even ones we dig up in the fossil record are the same as today. Anyone with any sense can see that.
I think you are forgetting about sin. There was nothing created in the beginning to do the things you stated. We live in a sin filled world as a result of man’s (Directly Adam and Eve’s) sin. Where there are wars, bloodshed, diseases and evil. That’s why Jesus came. To save people. It’s all spelled out from Genesis to Revelations.
We are not living in the perfect world that God intended…yet.
No, on your view, God created them later to torture people. Unless you think that Adam’s sin involved genetic engineering?
No one is suggesting that natural selection is evolution. It is one of the factors that drives evolution. The evolution that you can see happening in bacteria in the lab, and across millions of years in the fossil record. Anyone with sense and also honesty can see that. But you have shown time and again that you lack at least one of those two traits.
Character attacks? Really? As if a persons honesty and sense make the evidence change at all.
If you are going to go with the fossil record, it’s one of the main points AGAINST Darwinian evolution. Natural selection doesn’t drive anything. It selects genetic traits already present. Organisms can only adapt so far. That is a proven scientific fact. Not only on the biology level but also as seen in the fossil record.
Show me anywhere that natural selection has produced a wing or eye on a species that didn’t have one yet. What you claim about Natural Selection has never been demonstrated!
In Darwinism: The Refutation of a Myth (1987), Soren Lovtrup wrote: “Neither in nature nor under experimental conditions have any substantial effects ever been obtained through the systematic accumulation of micromutations.”
Wow, you really are incredible! You brought up sense, and as for honesty, no one forces you to come here and tell lies, do they? I take it you are still pretending you are honest, despite the evidence? Here is that particularly spectacular example you provided one more time: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/religionprof/2011/12/more-evidence-that-creationists-are-charlatans.html
What would it take to get you to read an actual book, not written by a charlatan, about paleontology, or genetics, or any other relevant topic, to learn about what the evidence tells us?
As for your quote: http://thedispersalofdarwin.wordpress.com/2011/06/01/evolution-quote-mining-in-small-town-newspaper/
I think it is useless to explain anything to you in light of your insistence on believing that scientists are correct about millions of years and evolution when in fact you keep repeating the idea that EVIDENCE tells us something. It tells nothing. People have to INTERPRET the evidence.
Most secular scientists use uniformitarianism, guesses about the starting isotopes in rocks, guesses about genetic change over time, and a starting point that all that is true and God is not.
I’ve read the books, I’ve read my child’s 10th grade Biology book which states exactly what I have been saying on numerous posts. I find the books you are talking about to be extremely unscientific.
You are a liar and a fraud. Evidence is not infinitely flexible. Sometimes it can have only one honest interpretation, while in others more than one may be possible. But if you have read a biology textbook and think it says what you say it does, then you are either lacking in the ability to comprehend what you read, or lacking in honesty, or both. There is simply no other explanation that I can see.
We have trollsign.
Howard, the point of the analogy is not to depict that science is 1,2 or n pieces away from solving the puzzle. It is intended to illustrate that no matter how fully science explains the world around us, religious fundamentalists will continue to focus on the ever shrinking gaps in our Knowledge, no matter how small, while remaining in denial of the increasingly overwhelming proof to the contrary of their chosen belief system.
TBone, I understand that that is the goal of the illustration, but the illustration fabricates the advanced degree of science’s knowledge to bolster its effectiveness.
Right, Howard, because science has never 100% proven anything that the churches have said to be wrong and still seen religion trying to weasel its way into the right.
I find this hilarious how well Howard is fitting into the roll portrayed.
The blind leading the blind, why do I bother….
Present your evidence for Creationism then. Evolution has it’s evidence, let’s see yours for creationism.
Please don’t delude yourself into thinking that you’re leading anybody.
Because you hope to find the one poster who is ignorant and delusional enough to find your view intelligent.
howard I honestly cannot wait until you die
What a bunch of pathetic dimwits on this blog today. You sit here and ramble on about things you know nothing about. As soon as you get off your high horses and want to learn something let me know.
I really doubt you have anything worth teaching. I can get faery tells at the library with less hasle.
Hahaha, I can teach you how to spell tales….
Sounds fair. I can teach you how to live knowing that there’s no invisible wizard judging your every move.
Well, as soon as you come up with an analogy that is even remotely similar to what I believe, I’ll listen to you.
Please point out the ways that an invisible wizard is different from what you believe.
If you can not distinguish between a derogatory term for God and what God is really suppose to be, there is not much I can add to that.
You said that I need to come up with an analogy similar to what you believe. My invisible wizard is: -invisible -has great power -works in misterious ways (hint:magic) -you have yet to disproove his existence, therefore it’s obvious he exists
Well that is a nice wizard that you have, thank you for sharing.
So you believe in god.
hm… Well let me just say he is the biggest jackass I’ve ever met.
Since you know.. he is punishing our entire race based on what our ancestors did..
Tells all of us to forgive other people.. yet, we are still living with horrific things going on all around us and he chooses not to do anything about it.
So the removal of free will is the answer? What do you suggest? Should God destroy the ones causing horrific things, or just stop them? where do we draw the line between what is acceptable and what is not? Whose guidelines do we follow in this decision? If God got rid of everyone doing bad on the earth today, a very small number would be left. Is that what you are asking for?
You seem to miss the point. People say god is omnipotent and all powerful.
Given that logic, it isn’t for us to draw the lines for what is acceptable and what is not. The question answers itself when you ask “whose guidelines do we follow” because there is an omnipotent and all powerful god who has already given us guidelines.
Yet, despite being omnipotent, all powerful and endlessly wise. This “god” cannot devise a way to end peoples suffering in life. He can’t intervene directly when he is needed most. Or he chooses not to.. but, then if he chooses not to.. he isn’t merciful.
These are reasons I have stopped believing in god honestly. You take the conversation of “what do we do”.. When the real question is “what is god not doing?”
I think the problem is that you do not have the complete picture. God is doing something. I want to ask you a question and I am serious. If you had the ability to do anything, what would you do to stop suffering in the world?
There in lies the problem.
What *is* god doing?
When you ask me if I had the ability to stop suffering in the world what would I do? There *is* nothing I can do as a mortal man to collectively stop suffering in all shapes and forms.
That is clearly not the same as a god having the power to do so and choosing not to.
I’m truly sad to hear your disillusionment. You bring up an age-old argument: why do bad things happen to good people? If you accept the premise that what you can see and touch are the only realities of the universe, you end up where you are now. If you accept, however, that realities exist in other dimensions of the universe than are readily observable, you begin to understand that good and evil do exist. Love, honor, respect, truth and faithfulness exist in opposition to their evil counterpoints. Atheistic “solutions” to these realities have almost always spawned further evils, as documented in THE IRRATIONAL ATHEIST, by Vox Day.
Does your wizard provide you with a logical rationale for being nice to your neighbor, even sacrificing your own selfish desires to benefit him sometimes? Or does he tell you it only makes sense to prove yourself the survivor-of-the-fittest in whatever way you desire? How’s that workin’ for ya when it’s the other way round? Does your wizard have a real solution for injustice or for death? Instead of just bashing Howard’s ‘wizard’, you might find out a little about him by reading I Corinthians chapter 13 & 15, Galatians chapter 5 or any of the synoptic gospels (Matt., Mark, Luke, John). Clue: don’t read them to discover anything about science–it’s on a completely different level!!!
“another stupid comment?” …that’s it? you have no argument, you just brush it off like that? If you don’t open your mind to the notion that you MAY be wrong, then that is some serious ignorance…
“No James, look at the last picture in your illustration. You are the one saying that science has achieved 99% understanding. If that were true, then there would be no “pieces” -[yes there would, 1% would be missing]- left to find. That is my whole dispute about the illustration, you are depicting that science has achieved its goals. So the illustration is deceptive. “THAT IS NOT THE POINT! science has NOT found 99% of the evidence needed to “prove” anything, and nobody said that we did.. well except you, who we know is wrong. Like I said, the puzzle is not a DIRECT representation of science’s achievements. this strip is simply about not believing everything you see/hear. it’s about using critical thinking, it’s about putting the pieces together to create your own opinions. The reason why the puzzle in the picture has almost every piece is that it is a hyperbolic representation of the situation where the bunny putting the puzzle together has enough information to form his own opinion, but not EVERY piece, whereas the other bunny completely ignores the blatant mass of evidence and continues to blindly believe what the box is telling him.
Yup, just like I am brushing you off again. And don’t forget that you may be wrong as well. Only time will tell.
brushing a point off only makes you seem like you have no argument for your side, it’s a very immature thing to do, especially for someone who came in here, guns blazing, ready to tear down the original poster’s opinions. The very fact that you have no rebuttal tells me that you really don’t know what you’re talking about. that being said, I never said that I was 100% correct, I know that I could be wrong, however, I am presenting my case the best that I can, you know, with logic and real facts and credible information, you however are basing your ideas on personal belief and you have no hard evidence or a counter argument to my point. you are, what we in the thinking world refer to as, “ignorant.” In fact, it’s people like you that make OTHER religious people look bad, I just thought you should know that.
“real facts” ??
Just what facts have you related except to say science is right and I am wrong?
What facts have you put forward to prove YOUR point of view Howard?? Please enlighten us, we’re all ears.
I may not have told YOU any facts but I base my opinions and things that I believe to be in existence on the facts that I read or hear from credible sources, i.e. science, etc.
and to answer your question “what is the 4% that science doesn’t know”
If we KNEW the 4% that science didn’t know then it WOULDN’T BE UNKNOWN WOULD IT!? It’s not like we’re keeping secrets from science. We don’t know what we don’t know, we open our minds to new things and we LEARN about them from the introduction of new discoveries… and I’d like to point out that at the moment, we DON’T know even CLOSE to 96% of the knowledge in the universe, we probably don’t even know 30% of it, the universe is a massive place, just ask your God, he made it just for you.
Howard, you must be a troll. You embody everything that is wrong with theism, and the most amusing part is that you are utterly oblivious to this. If there is a better personification for the fundamentally flawed, logically inept, and all the while ignorant nature of theism, I have not seen it.
You sit there declaring your position superior using the reasoning abilities of a small child, dismissing what is -actual- logic by some arbitrary set of rules that you might as well have made up on the spot. I desperately wish I could convey to you just how ridiculous you sound, but I know it would sail right over your head.
So you go ahead and continue thinking you are the only one here that “gets it”, meanwhile the educated will continue knowing this whole issue is a non-argument.
You have zero logical ground to stand on.
I don’t know what you have been reading, but most of my comments are making fun of the “people” on here making ridiculous comments. You are another one, you seem very delusional. Now go pray to your turkey God. hahaha
Aaaaand confirmed for troll. Fuck, you got me.
8/10 good effort.
Ah yes, now that you finally realize that we are all making fun of you, you change your stance.. “oh haha guys, no see I was just making of the people making comments on here…”
even thought YOU were the first person to comment.
hilarious, in the way that hypocrisy is hilarious.
I had to move on to making fun of you because you are too damn dumb to understand what I was saying.
no no no you got that backwards.. what you meant to say was I’m not dumb enough to understand what you are saying… It’s ok though, I understood.
I though you just said you didn’t understand me, boy you are dumber then I thought!
you THOUGHT that. But you were wrong, so there’s your problem, you’re welcome.
It took you that long to come up with that clever response? Maybe it just took you that long to figure out I spelled THOUGHT wrong. :p
…. such a hypocrite. You know nothing more of this than anyone else here. You believe you are right because the bible tells you so. That is your source. Others use science to prove they are right. that is their source. typical religious zealot implying that their religion is 100% factual and nothing else is true.
Wow! Just think if I had actually put forth any religious beliefs or arguments here. I got all these sissies’ panties in a bunch just by saying the illustration was inaccurate and hinted that I do not agree with evolution.
Just joining in here, read a few comments, and honestly howard you have no idea what the image means and your using ass-backwards wording to try and confuse people. the “puzzle” is not a DIRECT representation of our efforts or successes in science, rather, the entire strip is a metaphor saying that you should not believe something just because “the box” tells you. Instead, you should investigate and attempt to prove or at least understand on your own account what is reality and what is a lie. It has nothing to do with curing diseases, or proving evolution, you can interpret it in almost any way you want…except your way, you butchered it. Talk about high horse, “science hasn’t found a cure for the common cold therefore god” jesus christ my brain is full of fuck.
Another stupid comment, try again ass jack…
What’s an “ass jack” you jack ass
How is his comment stupid? It’s a metaphor, point blank. Grow up.
No, single sentence comments calling people names are stupid. If you can’t defend your reasoning or even behave like an adult you should probably get off the internet and think through your argument until you have it down. Or just beat yourself with a stick for being an obviously retarded troll.
lol.. you just said single sentence comments calling people names are stupid when that is EXACTLY what you just did in the comement before… yikes
What is God really supposed to be Howard? We use a derogatory term to belittle you. Why? Because it’s funny to see you get upset about something we all know you’re wrong about. It’s hilarious watching you attempt to defend God and belittle science when we have the overwhelming evidence of truth behind us, you have your emotions, feelings, insecurities, and loony ideas intertwined in collegiate vernacular and rhetoric – used to disguise the sophomoric undertone of your “logic” and message. You’re not fooling anyone, Howard. Michael Meehan said it best.
And furthermore, modern science has recently invented a vaccine for cancers that has been shown to effectively reverse terminally ill cancer patients into fully viable cancer-free people. We also have many other cures we have been working on, unfortunately the bible has played a role into politics, and politics plays a role on science… negatively. I can only imagine the breakthrough we’d have by now if religion wasn’t always getting in the way. It’s people like you, Howard, that we are trying to make fun of through this comic strip. You are a quintessential example of a real-life example of the comic strip, representing reality as you say. Good job. Everyone observe Howard’s comments and behaviors. He represents today’s ignorance.
Why would I be upset because you show yourself to be an ignoramus? hahahaha
Howard… god isn’t going to suck you off for sticking up for him…
I wish this had a Like button. I’d like Mike.
god is a metaphor, think u will find it has different references for everyone. as with the ideas of emotions, cause and effect. science has found our emotions effect our health.. happy ppl get less ill than depressed ppl. will to live plays an important factor in all recoveries. i don’t think the strip is designed to belittle anyone, its simply saying don’t judge a puzzle by its box. the tardis for example has ‘police box’ written on it, but inside u will find the doctor and his friends.. ^.~
The metaphor here is that until science can provide an answer for absolutely EVERYTHING, there will always be religious, anti science types who will point to the gaps in our understanding and declare that since science hasn’t yet found this answer, none of the answers provided can be relied upon. This is, obviously, ridiculous. Scientific advances are steadily providing answers for things previously declared ‘unknowable’. But despite the daily proofs that science can provide answers, there are still people who will say “Science hasn’t cured cancer therefore God”. The fallacies Post Hoc Ergo Propter Hoc and Non Sequitur are never more apparent.
Howard, it says science has not put all the pieces together very specifically in the last picture. There’s a missing piece, and it’s one of the central pieces. We don’t know what that last piece is but we continue to search for it; however, we can make scientific theories based off the surrounding pieces’ shapes and images to give an idea of what that missing piece might look like. Ahhhh, beauty of the scientific method.
Also, Howards, there are 24 pieces in that puzzle, and since you continue to argue that science knows 99% of everything based off the “deceptive” depiction of it in the comic, let it be known that 23/24 is actually 95.8333333 percent – we’ll say 96% for short. So clearly you have been the one exaggerating the extent of what science has an understanding of.
Okay, so what is the 4% science doesn’t know?
Wow, you really just don’t get it and no amount of explaining will drill it into your thick skull. Please just quit while you’re behind.
Thank you for pointing that out. It appears Howard’s lack understanding includes mathematics along with logic, scientific theory and figurative devices.
I must say, Thanksgiving and nothing to do but either cook, eat, watch football, or blog about evolution vs creation, or all of the above. The reference to curing cancer caught my eye. I had cancer, and I am now cured. I never gave the Genesis story much thought (in terms of being different than science), since I always considered it an allegory anyway. Not meant to be real science, but a story of God and mankind. Anyway, back to cures. But I have said this before, things like Leviticus 14 (curing, or at the least, cleansing, from leprosy) has been the things that have led me to believe without a doubt, the documentary hypothesis for the bible’s authors. The authors may be inspired, but that doesn’t mean they are 100% right. It is obvious that they are mostly just men (or women), with their own faults, biases, and sometimes rather fringe beliefs. You can still be Christian and believe as I described. If I followed Leviticus, I’d kill a lamb, and use the blood on my right ear, thumb, and big toe to cure my cancer. And I would now be dead. So happy Thanksgiving, not for pilgrims and turkeys, but thanks for humans having a brain, and following science where it leads us. Concerning the puzzle, thinking outside the box = having a brain = “creation” of new ideas, not status quo. Blogs were created by science technology. If creationists want to be faithful to the literal translations of a 2000+ year old book, they should be writing on papyrus or sheep skins, instead of spending time on blogs.
And there is the problem, the blood was merely a ceremony performed after someone was cured. Read Lev 14:3
Howard, As you said, “And there is the problem, the blood was merely a ceremony performed after someone was cured. Read Lev 14:3″…correct. I think I indicated either curing, or cleansing afterwards. Even if only cleansing afterward, this is where you and I diverge, and no need to respond, since it isn’t a point worth discussing (only because you won’t change my mine, and I won’t change you’re mind). I respect your beliefs, but for ME, Lev 14 expresses something more akin to vodoo. I certainly do not think a God, any God, would be foolish enough (OK, maybe I’m blaspheming) to give instructions to place a killed lamb’s blood on my right ear lobe, right thumb, and right big toe, for anything, even symbolic. Sounds more like a skit in Monty Python’s Flying Circus. However, I do believe the Aaron priests were firmly in control at the time, at the expense of the Shiloh priests and Jeremiah (Jer 7:22), and wrote Leviticus with the prime motivation to consolidate their control over the kingdom and the people, since their primary (only) source of power and money (and prime rib and prime dove and prime lamb meat – which they also sold for extra bling) was through the sacrifical system. The whole root cause lies in the separation of the Northern Kingdom of Israel and the Southern Kingdom of Judea (two kingdoms, two versions of scripture, two stories of creation, two stories of flood, two priesthoods, two sites for temple). Except the Aaron priests of the South finally won out (they were lucky/smart enough to support Saul, and Solomon). So the sacrifical system dominated in the south (consolidated in Jeruselum). You might say J & P dominated in the end over E and D, although D and the Redactor used the entire combination to glorify both north and south. Like the democrats write their version of history, the republicans write their version of history, and someone combines the two to glorify the entire nation. Amen.
Is anyone here familiar with the phrase “don’t feed the trolls”? Some of you on here are acting like this is the first time you’ve come across a fundie troll on the internets before. Don’t let him get your goat, he’s really not worth it. He does remind me of Howard the Duck though, lol.
Hi Betty, I’ll call you that since you want to cower in anonymity. So you don’t like free speech? Oh wait, is that a can of pepper spray in your hand?
So far in this comments section:
-Atheists putting forth intelligent, rational arguments about why scientific theory is an excellent, beneficial process and how it points to the unlikeliness of God’s existence.
-Some bloke called Howard who is trying to prove the existence of an Invisible Space Wizard using the idea that Science doesn’t have all the answers as the main pillar of his argument.
By the way, I believe that unicorns exist, and because science doesn’t know everything, you can’t prove that they don’t! Checkmate Science! Checkmate Atheists! I’m right because you can’t prove that I’m wrong, so there!
You fail at life.
For Bill Nye’s (his birthday was yesterday fyi) sake STFU because you are only getting downvoted to oblivion. Get out troll and leave the community be.
It’s funny cause he doesn’t get it.
It’s funny because he’s a submoronic cretin.
Awww, did you learn how to insult people in science class. You are my hero!
My father once told me never to argue with idiots, because they will take you down to their level and then beat you with experience.
Goodnight Howard, you truly are an unbelievably abhorrent and illogical person.
Okay, goodnight toejam….
its funny because stories r metaphors.. try to think outside the box.. there is loads of evidence of creation magic.. look at the apple technology.. knowledge is power and the eyes in the sky r telling us the truth about heaven above.. when ppl believe in themselves they can achieve greatness.. unicorns are also a metaphor.. u can of course believe in whatever u want, we all do ^.~
Lay off the weed, or please stop posting… I implore you. You’ll thank me when you’re lucid.
if ppl were lucid they would stop fighting about story metaphors.. at least i know how metaphors work. thank u for what, what have u done worth being thanked for?
Lol Howard can’t be real, I mean how is it that first you see the metaphor then you see the exact embodiment of what it’s depicting. I was laughing so much at the image then read the comments and nearly fell out of my chair laughing.
Are you sure you are not sitting in front of the mirror while you are falling out of your chair laughing?
I’m not even sure Howard is a human. Judging by the largely incoherent nature of the majority of his posts, I think he’s probably an AI. Which fails the Turing test.
Actually, this is quite fun, and I must admit, I was wrong. The monkeys on this blog have provided irrefutable evidence for evolution…
Hi Howard, you accidentally capitalized the g in god.
Yes, thanks for the correction. It would be turkey god.
I wonder though, Howard what do you think, when the church agrees to baptize aliens. I mean here is an institution that like evolution fought science at every turn and even won most of the battle till only recently. I know there are many different flavors of Christianity but I thought when I read about it, the audacity. When faced with fact they buckled. Not like you though which would be admirable if it weren’t the precursor to a deep flaw within most animals. But tell me your honest opinion on that subject. Considering Christianity has spent so much time stating we are the be-all end-all, god’s image, etc. Tell me what in your bible supports it and if you don’t why not?
What aliens? The Bible does not talk about or support the idea of aliens. So if we are contacted by one, I’ll recant everything I ever said.
The Bible doesn’t talk about or even support the idea of the internet. Start recanting.
“I’ll recant everything I ever said.” No you won’t.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2010/sep/17/pope-astronomer-baptise-aliens But why would you recant everything? I mean all things considered there are plenty of things disproved in the bible, in-fact there are even signs of plagiarism from other religions and beliefs. To play prop devil’s advocate I’d say this if we do contact aliens it would be quite off-putting to see anyone recant their religion. One of the many trials a person of faith needs to endure is the passage of time and the evolution of the world of around them. This is difficult when you are using an ancient text with dusty ideals in it but it’s what you signed up for. Your cross sort of speak. Aliens aren’t going to be the only major blow to faith in our future and it is made extra difficult from an atheist perspective because your book doesn’t change and frowns upon any change. Where as science is well pro-evolution and change and the most important thing in human progression ASKING QUESTIONS. Which is what the strip is about. I won’t flat out call you or your faith wrong but you don’t really have the tools to win this form of argument.
Well there’s your problem, your talking about the pope. But seriously, you shouldn’t be assuming too much here as my beliefs are pretty different from mainstream Christianity. I didn’t know I was in an argument, that’s why I don’t understand all the posts. I complained about an inaccurate illustration, not evolution.
I’m just gonna jump in here again and mention that if you knew how to correctly interpret the illustration, then you would see that it is actually not at all inaccurate.
“Did I stop you and bring you here to argue with me? By all means get back to your scientific study and stop bothering me.” and to answer THAT question, I would say that you may not realize this, but the sheer ignorance that you spew in attempt to make valid points actually attracts people to argue with you. Most of us came to this page in search of a well-crafted metaphor, and that’s what we got. Unfortunately we went on to read your comments and after sifting through your childish logic felt compelled to argue simply out of curiosity as to how someone could be THAT stupid.
And this from a metal head drunk.. don’t make me laugh Ozzy…..
A metalhead drunk? laugh, so you’re admitting that (although I am not a drunk) if I was, that you are dumber than I, well that’s good, I’m glad…. whatever dude, at least I don’t take it up the ass.
Okay so not a drunk, but you sure are on drugs if you think for one second you are smarter than me. You say you don’t…… hahahahahahahaha
ok, whatever you say dude, I’m done. I’ve heard more coherent arguments from a rock. Oh and by the way, when you say you are “smarter” than someone, that doesn’t include knowledge that you made up.
If you take the first two panels of the cartoon and ignore the rest you get the true problem with scientific discovery. The problem is not how much science has discovered or even whether it might match the box. The situation is that there are people that want to put the puzzle together just to put a puzzle together and there are people that would rather trust the box. The problem is that each camp of people want the other camp to come over to their way of thinking and can’t seem to live in the same world as each other… and maybe we never will be able to.
No. I am sick & tired of this myth that science & religion are equals. In fact, you can see why they’re different in those first 2 panels: One would rather assume the box is right, while the other wants to put the puzzle together & actually see FIRST HAND what the result is. Assumptions will never be equal to actual discoveries. Ever.
Howard, this is Jesus. It’s time for you to shut up my now.
Prove you are really Jesus. Turn that puddle of goo into a fish. Oh wait, wrong Jesus,that’s the god of evolution.
He doesn’t have to prove it, you should just believe. If you don’t, you’ll go to hell. I know because I found a book. Really, believe me, it says it’s all true.
Howard, every response you’ve posted to this article makes me think of 4 words. “No, its a duck.”
well aren’t you a clever one, how will I ever recover from your wit?
Howard is an idiot. I’ve never seen such ignorance. How can such a person, except a fool, honestly believe that this illustration is making the claim that NINETY-NINE percent of Evolution has been solved, or that NINETY-NINE percent of all genetics has been mapped? How can you have such ridiculous assumptions?
Hey Bozo, look at the picture, oh never mind, your just as brain dead as the rest.
Howard, you lost your argument the second you began insulting everyone (you’d have lost it anyway). You can’t seriously think you can get people to see your – let’s just call it ‘logic’ – by childishly calling people names.
Yep. Das what’s called “Ad Hominem” – a logical fallacy.
I would just like to thank all the pseudo-scientists for providing me with entertainment today. Your lack of reason and knowledge provided me with endless entertainment. It was no surprise that science and hate go hand in hand, good job everybody! Kind of reminds me of the inquisitions, how nice. I have to go now because you are beginning to bore me. And if you stop hating so much, the God of the Bible might open your eyes to the truth, but don’t count on it in your current state. So you might as well keep believing that you are the result of monkeys, your actions sure show that.
All I can do to portray my reaction to the way you act here is
http://www.ragemaker.net/images/Stupidity/seriouslyChan.png Also added an image to pretty much sum up your way of thinking
Thanks Howard you rally made my morning this was hilarious what a complete and utter plonk you are haha
Because the inquisition was totally a crime perpetrated against the Church by Big Science.
I believe Cracked said it best: “When you start talking about how bored & amused you are, you come across less as the cultured Bond villain you think you do, & more like someone who’s pathetically desperate.”
Can’t be bothered to read any more of your ridiculous comments Howard, its people like you that make me not want to live on this planet anymore.
Be sure not to fracture your pomposity on the way out.
No one believes that man came from monkeys. It is true, however, that creationists believe that some people think that.
I think the box is even lying about the number of pieces in the puzzle. I count only 24 (including the missing piece).
Howard, at this point I’d like to hear a bit about what you think the “God of the Bible” you mentioned would have to say about your behavior, and how you have treated people on this comment thread.
Oh for James, I’ll return for a minute. To answer your question, he probably wouldn’t like it, but then again I’m not a follower nor am I saved, so my behavior is meaningless. I noticed you said nothing about their behavior. Is their behavior acceptable because they do not believe in a god? So they get what they give.
Howard was home schooled until the ripe age of 36, at which point his parents had to kick him out of the house because of his autistic tantrums. If he did not get his way his upper lip would immediately become saturated in sweat and he would stomp around the house kicking holes in the walls.
I’m thankful for comments sections like this
Howard I’ll pray for you brother but the my Jesus doesnt take kindly to ignorant people like you who are not open to the masses of others trying to put forward their view. I see what you are saying but perhaps others put forward a more compelling argument?
edit: extra the* don’t mind the typo.
Howard, you’re not a “follower” of what or whom, precisely? Was everything you said here just to rile people up for entertainment purposes?!
For anyone else who may be interested, the insightful readers at Pharyngula noticed that the two bunnies were dressed in male and female clothing, with the latter as the closed-minded creationist, and a debate erupted about whether the image is sexist. Thoughts?
James, I’m sure I don’t know what your view is, but in mine, simply believing in God is not the same as being a follower/worshiper. To be a follower/worshiper of God requires that you live your life a certain way. I have not done that.
It didn’t start out to be entertainment, but when people totally ignore what you say, jump to ignorant conclusions, fabricate issues in their own minds, and call you names, then you can not take such people seriously and you treat them accordingly. The sad part is I probably know more about science them most of the people who commented. No one could even wrap their minds around what I was trying to say. If you could answer a question to clear this all up.
On a scale from 0% to 100%, in your opinion, what percentage of evolutionary genetics has been explored compared to everything you can imagine there is to know about evolutionary genetics?
If you don’t translate something for yourself, you’re an idiot. Don’t take someone else’s word for it verbatim. Poetry is a good example: a piece will mean different things to different people.
Beliefs and facts are not as conflicting as they appear to be. They can damage each other, but they can also support each other. Two opposing forces can either annihilate (as in mater/anti-mater reactions) or coexist. I prefer the later.Facts are cold and hard like stone, and beliefs are beautiful but soft. It is impossible for a planet to support life if it has nothing but stone, and it is impossible for a planet of fluff to give life a fine structure. Truth is not either-or, but a combination of the two. “And a friend would say to me: ‘Beauty is truth, truth beauty;’ it is all ye know on Earth and all ye need to know.” There is beauty in both function and appearance. Learn to appreciate and understand both of these. You will go far.
Surprisingly, I’m Christian and a Theist, but my explanation for my beliefs will blow your mind in fucking half. However, that is neither here nor there.
Also: Dear Howard Mazzaferro,
What the fuck, dude?
One: we didn’t “evolve from monkeys” or some shit. It’s called “common ancestry”. We’re far separated from the other primates. Two: Why do you wait for God to open your eyes? I bet he left yours shut (or maybe half-way) to troll you because you sought sight for all the wrong reasons. Or maybe you’ve made no effort to open them yourself. Then tell me why do you deserve to have a higher being to do it for you? Three: Pseudo Science? and who made you the judge of that? Uh huh huh huh. I guess yourself. Why the hell are you trying to speak on a soap box when you have your head shoved so far up your ass that all I can hear is your stomach growling because all you’ve had all day was that freaking Manna Burger (if anyone gets this, I love you). So instead of getting over yourself, you got under yourself and took a detour up Crack Central.
You’re skinny as shit, no wonder your brain isn’t working. You need some oils from meat ‘n’ stuff. Or perhaps a pint of ale from Odin’s table? Beer has lots of B Vitamins, you know. First you need to get that head of yours out of de ass.
God fully condones Social Darwinism, and Hell is self-made. That’s right assholes, you aren’t being judged you are judging yourself. No… wait that’s wrong, it’s a combination of both. I’ll see you all in hell! It’s gonna be a GOD DAMNED PAR~ TAY!!! Heh. Get it? “God damned”? Heh. You would have to know me to understand why I say this. Don’t take it seriously XD. I love you all.
Howard, I am not in a position to know how many pieces may still be missing. But I can say with confidence that the pieces we have form a picture of evolution, not of something else.
In fact it will never be complete. Nothing in the universe is 100%. Or 0% for that matter. An all-or-nothing function is boring anyway. I always loved The Twilight Zone. Before it’s time, man.
No guys, I think howard has a point. I’ve never been to a desert, so how can I really be sure that they actually exist?
Howard is an athiest and he is trolling you all.
All I can say in regards to this photo is:
Two working hands (science) accomplish more than a million clasped in prayer (religion).
Thank you, James, for this post. Very apt illustration of the frustation one encounters when discussing origins with Creationists. It’s sad that the comment thread for such a wonderful post had to sink as low as it did. But the silver lining in that cloud is that this thread provides so much corroboration for the central point of the post!
Speaking from my perspective, as a former young earth creationist who chose to put the puzzle together in the way that makes the most sense, this post made me smile even as it offered a soft rebuke to the way I (regrettably) used to think!
this guy, howard, is a definite troll. by arguing all you are doing is giving him what he wants. let him go away and believe what he wants. hes just a sad little man whose beliefs are going to affect no one. in 100 years no one will even know he ever existed. let him worship his wizard if it makes him happy.
I don’t like how you are deceiving people with your illustration that claims humans are actually rabbits wearing human clothes.
IT’S A GODDAMN DUCK
Thank you to everyone who made this post go viral! Howard, if you are still around, I was pretty shocked by your comments – I had had some interactions with you in the past that were frustrating, which I assumed were merely difficulties of communication, but I now suspect may have been something else. It was sad to see that you didn’t grasp just how closely your reaction seemed to others to mirror that of the cute little bunny in the dress.
To others: I’m now wondering what can be learned from the way the comments unfolded. As someone who was once a young-earth creationist, I don’t believe that it is impossible to persuade someone with a profound faith to change their mind about matters of science – and perhaps I should add that my view of evolution changed long before my view of the Bible and theology shifted away from a conservative Christian stance.
Any thoughts on what we can learn from this? Since Howard never actually articulated a view of his own, I can’t help but think that he was simply putting on a troll’s spectacle, and so I am hesitant to extrapolate from this to anything general. What do others think?
“Any thoughts on what we can learn from this?” Yes. Lucky this is a blog, and not face-to-face discussions. Black eyes and broken noses could have resulted. When negotiations fail, annihilate the opposition! Or at least pepper-spray them into submission.
Gary, I’m not so sure about that. I’ve seen online conversations (if one can call them that) which sank into name-calling pretty quickly, and I have never seen a face to face conversation on the same topics spiral downward as quickly or reach the same level of vitriol. Recognizing the other as a person seems to change how we approach interactions.
On the subject of pepper-spraying into submission, did you catch my pepper-spraying Dalek picture? http://www.patheos.com/blogs/religionprof/2011/11/doctor-who-and-the-pepper-spraying-daleks.html
James, “Recognizing the other as a person seems to change how we approach interactions”…or perhaps the fear of being hit tempers our actions? I saw the pepper-spraying Dalek. I’d prefer to see a whipped-creme spraying Dalek, in honor of Thanksgiving.
That is so funny. By trying to disprove creation you explain how ID people see Atheist beliefs. Good Job. You need to read “Master Science” by Meek Godmanseed it will obviously change your life. http://www.masterscience.webs.com
i read the sample chapter. it has no value whatsoever. don’t waste your time getting it.
Well, at least your site is honest enough to equate “Intelligent Design” with “creationism.” But the issue is not “creation” vs. “atheism” but acceptance of science vs. promoting nonsense in its place. There are plenty of Christians who embrace mainstream science, and the promoters of young earth creationism are as dishonest and selective about the Bible as they are about science.
Either Howard is a rather boring troll, or just a believer of fairytales. If the latter, I wish him to choke to a piece of bread and think by himself while slowly passing away of his miserable life: “Oh, this is what Gods will is for me, how nice…”
The missing link! Evolution can’t be true because there are missing links, missing pieces of the puzzle, creationists claim! That just means pure ignorance concerning evolution and natural selection. There will be always missing links, because evolution is made of accumulated small tiny changes, like photogram’s in a movie! We will never have the chance of finding all “photogram’s” of the evoluti…on movie! However that doesn’t prevent us from understanding the whole story! But that is in what concerns to fossils. Looking to the genome of still living bodies all “photogram’s” are still there, like a bio DVD also filled with digital information. Only those that see nothing more than the “ducks” painted in the bible, are unable or unwilling to see the movie!
Clever satire? Better argue semantics for 10 pages & insist it’s the “real issue.”
This was essentially a cute but serious post trying to make a point about science and creationism. For a more humorous take, you might enjoy this: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/religionprof/2011/12/the-difference-between-creationism-and-science-is-like-the-difference-between-chicken-and.html
Howard, I would hope you would understand that evolution includes mutations on a genetic level. This is why all forms of cancer have not been cured. Strains become resistant to antibiotics because a few have a mutated gene that allows them to be. This can explain why the common cold keeps appearing every year. I respect that you have a belief in God. If this God really did love us, wouldn’t He allow us the freedom of choice, including for our genes (natural selection)? By saying that people who believe in evolution are stupid you’re opening yourself up for insult. If you express tolerance towards other people’s beliefs, they might just reciprocate it to you.
Very cute illustration but I really think a debate on science and God is a waste of time would they so easily complement each other and in the end one in the same (in my heart and mind)
BTW glad Howard is not my representative!!!!!
There is no god. Prove it. Til than, shut your hole little man.
Cedric3025, I din’t think that there is any need to adopt either the attitude or the tone that you do. A lot depends on what one means by “god.” If one means an entity that is part of the cosmos and is extremely powerful, like “Q” from Star Trek, then even Richard Dawkins has said that it is entirely possible that such entities might exist. If one simply means a reality, perhaps impersonal, that may be infinite and which produced us, then one needs simply point to the universe/multiverse. That is if course pantheism, but just because Richard Dawkins thinks it is merely “sexed up atheism” doesn’t mean that they do not have the right to use the term “God.” And the same goes for physicists who use the term to point to mysteries of existence, or reconstructionist Jews who use the terms as a symbol of human ideals and values.
Rather than use the rhetoric of being “against any and all gods” when they may not really mean it, I wonder if some atheists might not do better to recognize when they can make common cause with some sorts of religious stances which do not believe in anthropomorphic, miracle-working personal deities of a theistic sort any more than they do.
Howard it is people like you like make all organized religion look bad. It is this simple the bible is an ancient book out dated and misinterpreted by whatever denomination you’re from, ment to teach people lessons and give people the morals and values necessary to interact with each other. Religion is a cultural stepping stone used thousands of years ago to bring people together. Thanks to the introduction of religion we as a species have become literate and have a basic bartering system for trade, that being said we have passed the point where this is useful. All these things can and should be attributed to religion it has done a lot for us however to say that science serves no purpose and that these people are ignorant for not blindly following what your book says makes you a retard. Religion no matter how you look at it was the first wide spread social experiment (science) which worked better than anyone could’ve expected. But now it causes people like you to call people stupid for trying to better mankind as a species these science experiments will be the reason we thrive in the future.
So Howard if the god of evolution made fish from a puddle of goo and you dont believe that, how is you can believe your god made man from dust and mud? Didn’t the church banish Galileo as a heretic for saying the earth orbited the sun? If that doesn’t prove the fallacy of religion I’m not sure what does.
Stumbledupon this, thought the image was good, then read the comments! Howard couldn’t have epitomised the “it’s a duck, the box says so” rabbit any better!
Also… The Spanish Inquisition was a Christian organisation;Howard the Inquisitor – “Believe everything in the Bible!”Everyone else in this post – “No, I have good evidence that it isn’t true”HtI – “I ignore your evidence, believe everything in the Bible!”EE – “In addition to my first portion of evidence, I have some more evidence!”HtI – “I ignore your evidence, believe everything in the Bible!” EE – “But my evidence is really compelling, and the Bible has many points of hypocrisy and contradictions!” HtI – “He is a witch! The Bible teaches us that “Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live”, burn the witch!” EE – *burns in the fires of Howard’s ignorance*HtI – “…you should have seen that it was a duck from the picture on the box, repent, ye sinners.”
Stumbledupon this, thought the image was good, then read the comments! Howard couldn’t have epitomised the “it’s a duck, the box says so” rabbit any better! Also… The Spanish Inquisition was a Christian organisation;
Howard the Inquisitor – “Believe everything in the Bible!” Everyone else in this post – “No, I have good evidence that it isn’t true”
HtI – “I ignore your evidence, believe everything in the Bible!” EE – “In addition to my first portion of evidence, I have some more evidence!”
HtI – “I ignore your evidence, believe everything in the Bible!”EE – “But my evidence is really compelling, and the Bible has many points of hypocrisy and contradictions!” HtI – “He is a witch! The Bible teaches us that “Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live”, burn the witch!”EE – *burns in the fires of Howard’s ignorance*HtI – “…you should have seen that it was a duck from the picture on the box, repent, ye sinners.”
Late to the party but Howard was hilarious, thanks for helping me have a good start to the morning. Wow. “Pseudo-Scientist”. The proverbial cherry on top. Nice touch. Then following with “oh by the way, its a duck.”
Thank you James for sharing the cartoon as well. I think its a very good illustration of non-rational thinking. Broader even than just the creationism vs evolution argument, I think.
Great picture, but Howard really drove the point home. His relentless refusal to accept what was being told to him while accusing others of not listening to his word was simply priceless.
All I can say to Howard, is that many people have tried proving that God doesn’t exist, all I see that you think evolution doesn’t exist. So in answer to your rather biased view is that I would like to see you prove that evolution doesn’t exist. Without using quotes from your Bible of course. There have been countless examples of evolution throughout history. Darwin and his finches, the cause for no cure to the many cancers, the ever evolving bacteria. These are but a few. Of course you are welcome to disprove my argument.
Science is sometimes wrong which we know because the scientific method exposes error. Revealed truth, on the other hand, never identifies or admits its mistakes. I’ll stick with science.
Howard the Duck!!!
Those who liked this post will probably get a kick out of this one: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/religionprof/2011/12/proportional-time-for-creationism-a-simple-solution-to-a-science-education-conflict.html
I was never taught about god as a child never went to church and still don’t…and for me seeing is believing and I can say with out a shadow if a doubt that there is life after death.I almost died of a pill overdose at age 17 and briefly crossed over it was peaceful perfection I begged to stay but was told I couldn’t yet…I don’t tell people what to believe like churches like to I just live knowing that no matter what we do here it doesn’t matter on the other side.you don’t earn you’re way in, you just go if you follow the light being (it didn’t give me its name) but I got the feeling it didn’t really matter. believe or not I don’t care it is what it is.
You cannot argue with faith, faith makes no room for any contradicting theories. To do so would be to “lose faith” in what one believes. There is simply no point in arguing with a creationist, like the last slide in the illustration suggests. No matter how many legitimate points you use to articulate your thesis, Howard (or any other faith based person) will simply brush it off or consider it to be an attack on their faith. Strangely enough they will continue to comment though, even though they have no retort for your argument. If you want to believe that the god of the bible created earth 6000 years ago, good for you. Believe the earth is flat for all anyone cares. Believe people who wear two different threads should be put to death, or that god endorses slavery, or that women who commit adultery should be stoned (all in the bible). Believe that the bible is the direct word of god even though it was assembled by the Nicene Order in the mid second century AD and MANY gospels were voted out because of their controversial nature. None of that makes the slightest impact on the validity of scientific exploration. To sum it up, your beliefs do nothing for this world except hold you in a perpetual state of faith based denial. This does not affect anyone but you, so enjoy living in ignorant bliss, we will keep discovering deeper levels of truth, with or without you. Have a nice day 😀
Phigene, while there certainly are some young-earth creationists whose view is like that you describe, to generalize about all in the pessimistic way you do is unhelpful. I was once a young-earth creationist, not because I thought I should ignore countere-evidence but because I was at that point in my life hearing only one side of the story, and did not know well enough in my teenage years to seek out opposing viewpoints. When it became clear to me that young-earth creationism involved deception and misinformation, I abandoned it.
It also does not help things if you show that you are poorly informed about religion, if you are trying to get a person of religious faith to think critically. It is a common view propagated by Dan Brown’s novel The Da Vinci Code that the canon of the Bible was determined by committee at the Council of Nicaea, but it is thoroughhly false – the process was in fact longer and much more complex! You also got the century of the council wrong. If you don’t care enough about the history of Christianity to learn about it from reliable sources, then it is best to avoid the topic. That is much what I would say to a Christian who did not take the time to inform herself or himself about mainstream science, and it applies to pretty much every field of knowledge and study equally.
For all of you who continue to engage Howard, I believe the words of Thomas Paine are appropriate. ‘To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead.’
Howard represents Christians in such a negative way. He can’t even state an argument without resorting to Ad Hominem attacks on anyone who opposes him. I do disagree with this picture though in a couple ways: 1) Christians are shown to be wrong about creationism as if science has proven or has really gotten close to proving how we got here. Evolution is a theory and many scientists still have problems with it, and although it does explain things, the bible does too. You can’t precede faith by science when neither have enough evidence to prove they’re right. 2) You reduce generations of inherited religion, belief, faith, science, and abstraction based theories, and you clump it all into one dumbed down metaphor that doesn’t really pertain to anything in real life.
Just because you’re athiest doesn’t give you any real right to hate Christians for faith in a higher being. Do as you will though, just know that all Christians aren’t as illogical and annoying.
John, i assume you were addressing atheist commenters rather than me, but I do need to point out that “theory” in the phrase “just a theory” does not mean the same thing as a theory in science. A theory is a well-argued explanatory framework that accounts for a wide array of evidence and phenomena. You may be familiar with germ theory, for instance, and as an explanation for illness, it has stood the test of time, been confirmed by much evidence, and reached the point where it is beyond serious doubt. The same is true of evolution. I would encourage you to seek reliable sources that might help you understand this, and navigate the relationship between this information and your faith. Biologists like Francis Collins, Ken Miller, and Francisco Ayala would be a good place to start.
Amazingly bad manners and bad language all round. Can’t you disagree gracefully?
Really great work. Fun, creative and thought provoking for everyone. Too bad the comments are the typical boring repetitive drivel as always.
Accurate depiction, cute- but also true. There seems to be no way to argue with a creationist other than facts (rightly so). And “God” forbid they want to hear any of those.
why does it have to be one or the other? why cant science just explain religion and how got created everything?
Fortunately, Howard, as are most ignorant Christians, is ignorable.
Not only a brilliant cartoon depicting the “I will believe DESPITE all the evidence to the contrary” notion, it is wonderful to see the theist responses arguing their case “without evidence or understanding”, and providing real life proof of why the cartoon is so clever !!
Thank you theists – you have no idea of the irony of your responses !!
Lol, that’s fantastic!
The idea that you must choose between either religion or science (i.e. that the two are at odds) is a false dichotomy. Both seek truth and understanding and hence should never be incompatible. They may test each other and that’s a good thing.
A great twist to this comic would be if there was a picture of a duck on the other side of the pieces! That would be insightful.
Genetics Proves Evolution: The Creationist’s Galileo Moment
When chicken embryos start to develop they have teeth buds and the beginnings of multi segmented tails. As they develop their DNA tells the developing embryo to absorb them. Much like human embryo’s absorb embryonic gill slits. Now if you turn off the genes that control this absorption instruction you get chicken embryos that develop long multi segmented dinosaur tails and meat eating dinosaur teeth complete with the serrated inside edge. Other studies have also been successful in changing scales to feathers.
This is not hypothesis. This is not supposition. This is not interpretation. This is cold hard, hold in your hands see with your own eyes type reproducible proof. It has already been done, in Canadian universities no less, and is documented and reproducible. One more thing. No DNA was ever added to the bird DNA. This was done using 100% pure chicken DNA.
They have proved that bird DNA contains genes that create dinosaur characteristics and the only logical way this can happen is through the evolutionary process.
So like when Galileo first pointed his telescope at the heavens and learned that Aristotle was wrong modern scientists have pointed their microscopes at developing bird embryos and learned that they are correct. Evolution is real.
Now just to make things easier for Creationists, yes I realize that you prefer to get your education from YouTube U. as I know reading non religious articles is such a chore for you, here are the names and institutions that you can use as starting points for your research. However you must remember to get the best results from your Internet searches do not to include the terms ‘Bible, Creationist, Intelligent design,religion,God’ in your queries.
Raul Cano, professor of microbiology at California Polytechnic State University Jack Horner, professor of palaeontology at Montana State University Hans Larsson, a paleontologist at McGill University in Canada Matt Harris and John Fallon, developmental biologists at the University of Wisconsin Dewey Kramer, at Texas A&M University
Here are a few populist sites that give none technical explanations:
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1026340/Jurassic-Park-comes-true-How-scientists-bringing-dinosaurs-life-help-humble-chicken.html http://dsc.discovery.com/news/2009/03/05/dinosaur-chicken.html http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2009/11/12/60minutes/main5629962.shtml http://www.popsci.com/scitech/article/2009-08/scientist-vows-backwards-engineer-dinosaur-chicken
Damit, it’s a duck, and if you don’t think so, you’re a Socialist!
My prayers and life with so many of them answered over the 45 plus years of trust are enough evidence for me to trust Christ Jesus more and more every day.
OK, but that doesn’t mean you should reject the evidence for evolution or any other mainstream scientific conclusion, does it?
These days, it is evolution as origin of the species that is the box… and not everything they find represents what they think it does. Evolution is proven… stipulated. But as origin of the species? All I have to say about that is, yes, it is possible but you won’t find the fossilized remains of the original progenitor… He’s still alive and kicking…
Could you perhaps add some specifics to what you wrote? You may think your meaning is clear, but it isn’t.
I quite liked this strip–it’s funny, because a fundamental mistake has been made: the box is for a different puzzle. I’m constantly trying to get my Bible-belt first-year students to see that Genesis 1 and 2 aren’t meant to be taken as science, aren’t the “how” but the “why” (the value of creation). They’re stories, after all (or, for Gen 1, more of a poem). James McGrath and other scholars know (or should) that “facts” and “truth” aren’t the same thing, and that ancient cultures have different ways of communicating than we do, post scientific revolution. Should have been obvious?
There is a difference between observational (operational) science and historical (origins) science. For the matter of origins the evidence is the same, only the interpretations change because they are based in worldview (an unavoidable bias for humans unfortunately). If you want to know the truth then you ought to be learning both theories and very clearly determine their starting assumptions.
This is a common claim of creationists, but it is unfounded. In the natural sciences as in other domains of investigation, there may be more than one theoretical framework that could account for and make sense of the relevant evidence. But that does not mean that any and all interpretations are compatible with the evidence. Young earth creationism fails spectacularly to make sense of chalk beds such as the famous white cliffs of Dover, to give but one example out of so very many.
nonsense. there are historical and experimental techniques in all the sciences, this false distinction is pure rubbish and no scientist uses it. it is a theory by AiG and promoted to people who don’t even know the field of philosophy of science exists. there is no evidence for AiG’s origin theories and science does not have a worldview although scientists do. if you want to know anything true you have to start by reading something other than AiG’s nonsense. begin with trying to outline biological scientists’ starting assumptions.
This illustration is based on creationism. Shouldn’t two of the pieces explode, forming and fitting together the rest of the pieces and then slowly evolve to a moving picture like a movie?
Aww. I’ll admit that is very cute.
To be honest though, I don’t fit that narrative with creationism, but with evolutionists.
‘We don’t know how evolution occurs yet, but there’s no doubt that it does.’
Where did you hear the misinformation that we don’t know how evolution occurs yet? Someone has been lying to you. Reading something about evolution written by a biologist would be a good idea, and would give you an accurate sense of what we know, and with what degree of certainty, and what we do not, in this particular domain.
How can we when the box lives inside us and we live in it
The “God of the gaps” indeed. This is brilliant. Science is not the end all that explains absolutely everything ever. It is a method for furthering our understanding of how the universe works. So maybe science hasn’t cured cancer. Maybe it never will. But medical science has done so much good in the world. What about the smallpox vaccine? Antibiotics? Anesthetics? No one is claiming that scientific knowledge makes you omnipotent. It just allows you to advance.
I have a friend who lost a leg in an accident. He’s praying to god to grow him a new one. He could have a prosthetic replacement made. He has lots of money, so the expense wouldn’t be a problem. I’ve tried to convince him that god doesn’t grow missing limbs, but he won’t listen to me since he says curing incurable cancer’s a lot more difficult than making a new leg grow. Does anyone have any suggestions on how I could convince him to make use of modern medicine rather than prayer?
Science has the puzzle is 99% finished? That seems arrogant and not true. Actually to be be a more accurate analogy, the puzzle should be of near infinite size, with an unknown amount of remaining pieces. And the boy bunny should be ridiculing the little girl bunny and trying to ban the box top from being displayed anywhere in public.
I’m not sure where you live, but I regret that it is in a place where there is oppression. Fortunately, I live in the United States, where the government is not allowed to impose a display of this or that religious text on its property, for the most part, and the right of individuals and other private entities to publicly display religious messages and texts is safeguarded.
There is indeed a great deal that we do not know, The image is an analogy, and doesn’t claim that science has 99% of the puzzle finished. What it illustrates is that what has been put together does not fit with what proponents of pseudoscience such as young-earth creationism claim.
Sciense can sometimes explain how but not why and who. Sciense often lies and driven by the lobbys and industry paying for it
Scientists sometimes lie, as do non-scientists, and religious believers who are or are not scientists sometimes lie. All human beings sometimes lie. But science as a way of knowing is one of the best methods we have of telling when lies are being told and seeing through them.
I had a very different eisigesis of the illustration from some of you. I assume that one rabbit was interested in investigating a few loose pieces of puzzle to discover all that could be inferred from those pieces. The other saw the box with the duck and assumed the puzzle pieces related to that box. This was less about science versus the Bible and more about finding things for yourself versus making facile,unwarranted assumptions. 1. We assume the loose pieces come from the duck box-or they don’t. 2. We don’t know if there are duck pieces we haven’t seen. Those pieces could be within the box. 3. We haven’t seen an 100 Acre Wood puzzle box to go with the ‘orphan’ pieces but one could be out there. 4. It is implied we can find truth more easily if we don’t assume facts not in evidence and examine things for ourselves. Even if everything has a duck box origin,we need to look at the pieces ourselves to learn what we can of the puzzle in front of us before we concern ourselves with its packaging. Let science and faith see if there’s a jigsaw image of Roo or Piglet to be had. Let them see if they can find some fuzzy,yellow information on how Life works and what issues matter. They could have different methods and motives but that doesn’t mean that both of them couldn’t bring to us valid information and insights that could enrich our lives.
I like what you have said and I would add another possibility which no one seems to have considered. Some practical joker may have assembled the puzzle of the duck and then painted over it with the different picture, later leaving the disjointed pieces lying around for the unsuspecting ones to argue about! Just think what a true picture of God might look like. Many people have messed that one up, painting over it with their own prejudices and misapplications. “Organized Religion” is certainly at fault, but need we throw the baby out with the bathwater?
Yet, atheistic scientists keep insisting that “science” demolishes the picture of God, which is really only their very limited picture of Him. Why such insecurity about one’s theories and beliefs? Perhaps they think that the more people they convince, the easier it will be for them if and when they come face to face with God. Will it really work for them to appeal to other people’s misuse of the Bible as their reason for scoffing at Him? Or maybe they plan on appealing to science…positing that God shouldn’t have left so much evidence lying around which infers that nature didn’t need a Creator; that it could have all happened on its own. Will ‘plausible deniability’ possibly let them off the hook, so to speak? Maybe that’s exactly why God seems so distant and un-provable in a scientific sense–because He wants you to have the liberty to construct your own beliefs about good and evil and then live by them. Forcing everyone to believe in His existence and creative power would perhaps only muddy the waters of what really matters—what you do with your beliefs about good and evil. Appealing here to science is folly.
There will always be more knowledge to be gained by science….
Ah! if only we could put all the religious nonsense back in the box
Brilliant, thanks for the laugh
I can’t wait for the sequel, which presumably will center around “teaching the controversy” and insisting that the box theory of what the puzzle looks like gets equal time in class as the puzzle theory of what the puzzle looks like
It took me little bit. Just because the pieces are beside the box doesn’t mean they came from that box. Have fun with one of the those puzzles that has a picture on both sides. That’ll blow their minds.
As the above so the below, you’r all cadged up within your own boxes of assuming intelligence in debating over God’s show. It’s not so easy to step out of the box and stay out… for you can only preserve the self within the box, otherwise you will be eliminated. The genies within the bottles… Prove your validity after you go to sleep and before you get up… So, you will come to realize that all knowledge is like beating an empty drum. True reality comes about when the bottle is broken end the genie released. Don’t cry yourselves over losing, cry more for being a burden to your own knowledge that keeps you alive over mind and thought. What were you before you came to this world??? See to it, that whatever came over you, must learn how to abort… You are the grace in silence where no thought can intrude.
Perhaps the box believing rabbit will say, even after the puzzle is complete, that the duck is swimming under water?
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