A Conversation With WhoIsYourCreator.Com

A reader sent in his email exchange with WhoIsYourCreator.Com, a Christian creationist website. It’s much longer than anything I normally post, but I thought it was interesting enough to pass on.

* * *

So here’s my story and subsequent conversations with whoisyourcreator.com. After a return trip along Interstate 5 in Southern Oregon, I noticed a billboard along the side of the freeway with the caption ‘Are they making a monkey out of you’?:

Who Is Your Creator?

Having some higher education basics of science in biology, chemistry, and other related fields under my belt, I couldn’t help resist the urge to check out this website. When I did, I checked out the site and was blown away by the misrepresentation of science they were displaying.

So I decided to contact them with a non-confrontational email to see how they would respond. Here’s the initial contact last year:

I was driving north on I-5 over the holidays and saw a billboard advertising your site. I’ve briefly looked around so it had me doing some initial individual research.

I’m curious to know if your site addresses the following:

This video:

and this information:

https://www3.nationalgeographic.com/genographic/atlas.htm

and

https://www3.nationalgeographic.com/genographic/journey.html

Thank you,

Shad

Surely they would have at least respected the findings and material provided by the National Geographic? They are a respected organization and have been around for quite some time. It took quite some time to get a response. Well, the response was not what I expected:

Good Morning!

In regard to your comment, please consider helping your fellow evolutionists with a description of how evolution works!!!

Thank you and may you have a very blessed day,

Julie

This was an answer? A crass insult and complete avoidance of addressing what I presented to her? So I wrote back:

Hello Julie,

First, I would like to thank you for taking nearly two weeks to respond to my inquiry.

Secondly, I would like to thank you for making an assumption as well as jumping to the conclusion that I am an evolutionist. I was born and raised a Christian.

Thirdly, I would like to thank you for not answering my original question.

Additionally, it was kind of you to group me blindly and associate me with something I question just how much or little you know about.

The information I was looking at and specifically asking you about was with regard to genetic DNA based research that essentially builds out the human race ‘Family Tree’, which coincides with the Bible’s view of where we came from. The film and site talk about DNA markers passed down from Father to Son that was used track human movement around the world. I am interested in knowing how people (there’s over 6 Billion of us) scattered across the globe. I don’t think cars, buses, and planes did the job prior to their invention earlier this century.

I was hopeful to discover something intellectual and eye opening from your feedback. I received neither.

Good Day.

I didn’t really expect a reply after that, but she decided to do so anyway:

Shad,

Please accept my sincere apology for how I responded to your email. Yes, I did jump to conclusions and it was inexcusable, rude, and a poor witness for the Lord. (The time issue was related to research that had to be done within a timeline. When you emailed originally, I was not responding to any outside inquiries.)

I found the Genographic Project interesting, but I would like to refer you to www.answersingenesis.org for your inquiry as I haven’t done any research in that specific area.

Thank you for holding me accountable and may you have a very blessed day.

In Christ,

Julie

Holy Crap! ANSWERSINGENISIS? You’ve got to be kidding me! This gal that was covering topics in the field of Genetics on her website, and yet she was referring me to a site away from her own — pawning me off to a site that was a clear laughing stock in the scientific community? You’ve got to be kidding me. Why not defend what you are doing on your own website?

I wrote a couple more emails to her asking for her feedback on other material, but she never responded. Even with those emails I refrained from lashing out on her and just let the whole thing fade into the background.

Well, since having had that discussion, it had been eating away at me. So I continued researching and reading and watching documentary films in an attempt to erode my lack of knowledge on the immensity of Evolution. I had known of the topic all of my life, but not to the depth that I was now pursuing. Up to that point, I hadn’t really paid attention to the debate that was going on around the country regarding this topic. I had no idea that people were so passionately against this. Not because I lived in a cave mind you, but just simply do to the fact that I focused my life on other areas of interest. I was also disappointed as to how we as Americans were perceived outside of the United States on the matter of Evolution. The shear immensity of the problem boggles the mind.

While researching, I was amazed to learn what we as a species have discovered through our research and efforts. I was also amazed to discover how the scientific field of Evolution affected other fields of science and even spawned new fields, and how all of these fields became interlaced and supported one another. It was incredible.

After a year and a half of self-imposed and self-paced learning, along with conversations with family and friends (a whole other story), the gnawing memory of my discussion with Julie finally got to me. At this point, I was too far gone with the knowledge of my discoveries to let it sit idly any further.

I wasn’t sure if Julie was still working there, but decided to write back regardless. Notice the subject line modifications that ensued…

Subject: now I know

Greetings to the staff of ‘Whoisyourcreator.com’,

It’s been a while since I last made contact to your organization. Initial contact led me on a knowledge search.

I’ve since visited references you provided including that of Answersingenesis.com, the Discovery Institute, and other sites of similar stature.

I’m simply writing to say ‘Thank You’ and let you know by sharing with you the information I’ve discovered, your organization more than any other entity has been the primary factor in the shedding my faith. Keep up the good work as there is no doubt countless others have and will continue to do the same based on your efforts.

Talk Origins

http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/

Origins the Series (currently 5 videos)

Foundational Falsehood of Creationism (currently 17 videos )

Why do people laugh at creationists? (currently 30 videos)

From Big Bang to Us — Made Easy (currently 14 videos)

Schools version of the Made Easy series (currently 8 videos)

Evidence FOR Evolution and Against Creationism (currently 32 videos)

Bias Bingo: How Cognitive Bias Generates Belief

Me VS God (currently 5 videos)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r2HxZXuTb8Y&feature=PlayList&p=6939AD265B8BDB65&index=0&playnext=1

Why Young Earth Creationists Must DENY Gravity (currently 5 videos)

Judgment Day: Intelligent Design on Trial

and many many more.

Peace

I was sincere. The knowledge of science and philosophy I had acquired could no longer contain me within the chains of Christianity. After reading Christopher Hitchens, Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, Daniel Dennet, along with watching “History of Disbelief” by Jeremy Miller, and a very long list of other material, my perspective did a complete 180.

But the internal struggles along that journey are a different story.

A couple days later, I got a response…

Subject: To the blind

Thank you for the email with your update.

While I am in no way encouraged by your professed Humanistic faith, I am encouraged by knowing that God is just, yet loving. He will judge you one day, yet He will forgive you if you believe and ask, even if it’s in your final breath.

“For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power
and Godhead, so that they are without excuse”
- Romans 1:20

“It is appointed unto men once to die, but after this, the Judgment.”
-Hebrews 9:27

May God open your eyes to His Truth, Shad, so that you may walk with sight.

In Christ,

Who Is Your Creator

I wasn’t surprised by this response. I was bothered by the “Humanistic faith” reference because during my studies, I read a lot on the topic and became a fan of the philosophy — thanks Sam Harris. I was also rather irked at the passive-aggressive manner with the subject line tripe.

That attitude was enough, so I started to unload…

Subject: To the uneducated

To whomever,

Changing the subject line in your last email to insult me failed. At the very least, I honor you with a taste of your own medicine.

I spent over 30 years of my life adamantly studying the bible including being baptized by my Southern Baptist Preaching Grand Father. This study revealed failure across the board to provide answers to question to an intellect a supposed God provided me.

It’s sad that when someone raises questions, many of which have wonderful and beautiful natural explanations that directly contradict biblical statements, those ignorant of how those explanations work dismiss the explanations on the simplistic and childish nature that such information goes against what they deeply believe. I believed as you for too long. Defending one’s faith despite information to the contrary that reveals truth does immense harm.
I could throw scripture and verse back at you. But I see this as a useless endeavor. I’ve actually read the bible – fully – dozens and dozens of times. Save your time.

I’m no longer scared of ‘judgement’ because I’ve shed the cloak of fear. So please spare me the contrivance.

What your website and so many others like it are doing are making numerous and false claims against multiple fields of science which we as a human species have fought for so long and hard to acquire. Your site attempts to dismiss that hard work, or at the very least undermine it. It is profoundly discouraging. This is deception and the last time I checked, deception was not something that Jesus approved of. Your website is out of date, out of context, and lacking of scientific expertise in nearly every field of science. ESPECIALLY Genetics.

It’s like watching a train wreck unfold.

Are you actively protesting US Government support of Genetic information contrary to what you’ve attempted to explain on your website? (http://www.genome.gov/)

There’s more: http://genomics.energy.gov/

If you actually take the time to view the videos I sent, you’ll understand more clearly why I just made these claims against your website. Fortunately, ignorance is curable. Willful ignorance is however not.

I suggest browsing through PUBMED: http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/. It will keep you occupied for a while. Your selective use of PUBMED to mine for articles that support your claims is deception, and the worst kind.

Why are you not providing reliable sources of information on your website such as the Genome project? What you’re website is basically saying is that every field of science in every country on the planet is wrong. That’s quite an assessment on your part. Instead of attempting to prove evolution wrong, why not attempt to put your money where your mouth is. Here’s a recent challenge. Do this, and you’ll become quite wealthy: Challenging the Discovery Institute to Discover.

In closing, there’s no debate concerning evolution any more. This is a non-debate. But this discussion like so many others has me sharing with you one of my favorite quotes of all time:

“I’m struck again by the irony that spaceflight – conceived in the cauldron of nationalistic rivalries and hatreds – brings with it a stunning transnational vision. You spend even a little time contemplating the Earth from orbit and the most deeply ingrained nationalisms begin to erode. They seem the squabbles of mites on a plum.”
Carl Sagan – The Pale Blue Dot.

I recommend ‘Genome’ – by Matt Riddley The audio version of this book is quite exquisite.

If you were to pick only one of the video series I mentioned, please watch “Foundational Falsehood of Creationism”

I can’t believe that you’re using ‘Panda’s Thumbs’. Are you serious?

Peace

The rant made me feel better to get those things off my chest. It’s difficult to communicate with people that haven’t taken the time to simply read at least a portion of the information that’s available, when they sit there arguing against material that they haven’t taken the time to learn anything about, simply rejecting it prior to ever having spent any time even looking at it.

Most refusals to look at the material are based on an unwillingness to venture anywhere near their belief system of what they don’t know, or assume to know.

They wrote back…

Subject: I’ll still be praying …

1. You can go through all of our pages, including the ‘Genesis Account of Creation’ and see that 99% of our quotes come from evolutionary-based scientific research:
- ‘Origin of the Universe’ uses quotes from NASA, MIT, Harvard, Princeton, Berkeley, Vienna University of Technology, TalkOrigins … to name just a few.
- ‘Genetics’ page uses quotes from UCLA, Biology-Direct, University of Wisconsin, Science Magazine, International Journal of Astrobiology, Princeton, Cat Institute, Renal Physiology, etc.

(Note that many of the ScienceDaily.com and Physorg.com links that we use are taken from http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/ , but re-written in article form – by evolutionists – for easier reading.)

2. Since you believe that these are NOT qualified organizations, please include your list of ‘qualified’ research organizations.

3. In regard to ‘quote-mining,’ please submit just one example of how we distorted the findings and then we can enter into an actual debate. Otherwise, it’s your opinion.

4. I’m not sure about your reference to ‘Panda’s Thumbs’, but I suspect that you are referring to the pro-evolution blog that we cited somewhere as an example. See http://pandasthumb.org/ as you most likely will enjoy it.

5. Because you obviously prefer philosophy over empirical science, we suggest you check out this site as it will be more to your liking:

http://forums.philosophyforums.com/philosophy-of-science

6. Since you are familiar with the Bible, you know that faith is from God, not from our own understanding. If you found hypocrisy in the your previous church, that is exactly why our faith is based on the perfection of Jesus … not His followers. Our flesh will not be redeemed until death so, while we progressively sin less, the battle with the flesh is still fierce.

I will be praying that He opens your eyes so that you may find peace and forgiveness from Him, instead of the hurt and hatred that your emails reveal.

As much as you may try, you can’t will Him out of your life, Shad.

“For Yours is the kingdom the power and the glory, forever and ever.”

Who Is Your Creator

What I recognized immediately was that this person was using the same style of argumentation that was employed on the discussion forum where she had been completely eviscerated on every occasion. What’s sad is that she didn’t even realize to the extent she had been made to look like an utter fool. The reference to the Panda’s Thumb was an oversight on my part as I still had – fresh in my mind – the material ‘Of Panda’s and People’ from the Dover trial (see the NOVA clip). Just the word ‘Panda’ on her website had me laughing. I later learned it was PandaThumb.org.

At this point I’d had enough. How could someone that not only knew where to obtain scientific material on Evolution, abuse it to such an extent, yet continue to identify themselves as a Christian? I was pissed. So I let them have it.

Response to #1.
You are quote mining from these sources – or more to the point, you are scavenging through these sites and cherry picking articles, and removing context of a myriad of related material to each item you reference. That is what is called QUOTE MINING. This is deception. Deception is a lie. Lying is breaking one of the 10 commandments. This demonstrates not only willful ignorance and a clear lack of education from any one of these institutions, but a complete dismissal of the mountain of information to the contrary of what you present. This behavior is deplorable.

Response to #2.
I did not say that these universities and government organizations are not qualified research organizations. What I said was “Your website is out of date, out of context, and lacking of scientific expertise in nearly every field of science. ESPECIALLY Genetics.” This means that by the actions taken on your website, you clearly do not employ actual scientists to provide to you explanations and context of the material you spend time quote mining for.

Response to #3
See item #1 above. Additionally I offer to you the first posting on this page: http://www.whoisyourcreator.com/genetics.html with the statement of: “It is known that life is built from inorganic elements, but evolutionists have no explanations as how that occurs:”

You follow up that statement by QUOTING from two scientific articles, one from 1998, and the other from 2007.

You have taken the first quote from within an article, thus removing it’s context to the entire article, and making it appear as though the scientific article disputes genetics, when on the contrary, the article itself explains it. This really makes your website appear foolish and tremendously deceptive.

The second quote is lifted directly from the conclusion statement of the article from the National Institutes of Health. This again is quote mining and demonstrates that a) you didn’t read the entire article (or perhaps only the summary or conclusion), and b) you picked up a component of this article to fit your needs.

The additional problem with your actions and deceptive behavior is that you offer no information to the contrary. You do not represent a balanced approach to scientific information. You use scientific quotes in an attempt to create the false illusion of a lack of consensus within the scientific community. I don’t know if this is from ignorance or simply a failure to do a simple Google search. Up to this point, it is by all appearances an act of deception.

Despite all of the above, this information has already been discovered. But you would know that if you actually kept up on science. But you’re not a scientist, so I can’t expect that you would.

Here’s the interview with Dr. Jack Szostak explaining what you’re attempting to dismiss by means of deception:

This is simply one example of the fraudulent behavior your website exhibits.

Anyone actually READING the articles you reference can see right through what you’re doing.

Response to #4
The Panda’s Thumb comment was regarding the book “Of Panda’s and People”, not the blog site.

Response to #5
Philosophy and Empirical Science are two different fields. I have appreciation for both. If there’s a point you’re attempting to make here, you fail to do so.

Response to #6
This item touches upon a multitude of topics in the realm of epistemology. But I’d like to make mention of the fact that science is not religion and has nothing to do with faith. You’re attempting to overlap or somehow hybridize the two, or at the very least bastardize credible science. Science only deals with what we can observe and test repeatedly and independently. Here’s a better explanation from Steven Jay Gould concerning Nonoverlapping Magisteria.

You misrepresent science and hand pick articles to make science look bad. You clearly fail to understand science, and fail to educate yourself because it conflicts with what you believe. You look for and manufacture false information on the illusion or perception of disagreement in the scientific community. This demonstrates a fear of the unknown, and an unwillingness to adjust what you’ve come to believe through scripture to the evidence that is difficult to reconcile with biblical information. Truth doesn’t care of beliefs or opinions.

You appear to have isolated yourself in a world void of information contrary to what you hold dear. Perhaps some reading from Bertrand Russell will help you out.

My eyes have been opened by the exposure of deception and misrepresentation the creationist movement exposes itself to time and time again. What you’re doing is by its very nature equivalent to practitioners of Flatearthism and Holocaust Denialists. What you fail to see is the similarities of these other two practices with your own.

Do you even have a degree from a Secular University – namely ANY that you quote mine from?

And here’s the paper from Dr. Szostak:

http://genetics.mgh.harvard.edu/szostakweb/publications/Szostak_pdfs/Mansy_et_al_Nature_2008.pdf

Oh, while you’re praying for me, please ask for forgiveness for your sin of lying to the level you have.

Granted I could have addressed the “sources” portion of the email in a more articulate manner, but I think I made my point.

They haven’t responded.

  • DDM

    I was just thinking that maybe God does exist. Maybe I’ve been wrong this whole time. I became especially worried when Ida was unveiled to the public. I mean, what if God planted that and other things like it in the earth just to trip us up? We already know that it’s in his character to lead people one way and then screw them over for it, just like what fossils and proof of evolution is doing to us right now.

    What if he purposefully wants us to think he doesn’t exist just so he could have the last laugh when we die and burn in hell forever? That is entirely within his character, and that is scary.

    • Devysciple

      If such an entity existed, it would be despicable beyond comprehension. Little children burning ants to death with a burning glass would be lovely, moral, and pristine compared to a deity that would deceive people like that.
      Sidenote: It is also unconceivably evil for any deity to prohibit the majority of mankind from worshipping the correct god. If the christian god were true, everyone else would be screwed for no reason at all, except for not believing in him.
      Even if such a god existed, for which we have absolutely no proof whatsoever, it would be the most abhorrent being imaginable and definitely not worthy of anybody’s worship.

    • David Marjanović

      I was just thinking that maybe God does exist. Maybe I’ve been wrong this whole time.

      If so, how would you know?

      We already know that it’s in his character

      Wait, wait, wait, wait, wait.

      We don’t know anything about the character of whatever the number of gods might be. Yeah, sure, there’s all manner of allegedly holy scriptures out there, but they don’t merely contradict each other – and not just on trivial topics.

      Here is a list I’ve compiled based on The Skeptic’s Annotated Bible on how the New Testament contradicts itself, often several times within the same gospel or letter, on which conditions are necessary and/or sufficient for salvation.

      Sufficiently ineffable deities cannot be disproven. But I don’t see a reason to care about that.

      • David Marjanović

        But I don’t see a reason to care about that.

        Oops, wanted to link to this.

    • David Marjanović

      Oh, and, what’s up with Ida? It’s just an adapid close to the upper end of the range of preservation that can be expected from Messel. Spectacular, yes, but not a miracle or something.

    • claidheamh mor

      I think some people may have missed your sarcasm. Hahaha!

    • Nick

      Scary, perhaps, but there’s an upside. It would mean that hell is a resistance camp, where people go to fight back against a tyrant, or to exist somewhere that isn’t under his cosmic bootheel. Vive la revolucion!

    • Pete

      This comment stinks of christian propaganda.

      First you assert that you are or were an atheist by saying “I was just thinking that maybe God does exist. Maybe I’ve been wrong this whole time”

      But then go on to say

      “We already know that it’s in his character to lead people one way and then screw them over for it, just like what fossils and proof of evolution is doing to us right now.”

      That quote assumes three things first that there is a god, second you know something of his charecter and third that fossils and proof of evolution are “screwing us over”.

      The first two are statements I highly doubt any atheist would make. The third is pretty obviously creationist mumbo jumbo.

      You then end with a vieled threat “What if he purposefully wants us to think he doesn’t exist just so he could have the last laugh when we die and burn in hell forever? That is entirely within his character, and that is scary.”

      Does anyone else remember seeing articles about that pastor who went around and posted fake blog comments and forum posts impersonating an atheist?

      http://www.atheistrev.com/2009/03/baptist-pastor-caught-lying.html

      This is definitely reminiscent of the same thing. Whoever wrote this isn’t beginning to believe in god they already do and want you to as well. They simply open there comment with “I was just thinking that maybe God does exist. Maybe I’ve been wrong this whole time.” to influence you with an “I’m on your side” approach.

      Fucking deceitful bastards.

      • http://sciencenotes.wordpress.com/ Monado

        Yep, definite trolling. Or what is it called in the Real World, grey propaganda? No, it’s black propaganda when you mis-identify the speaker. Wikipedia says:

        White propaganda generally comes from an openly identified source, and is characterized by gentler methods of persuasion, such as standard public relations techniques and one-sided presentation of an argument. Black propaganda is identified as being from one source, but is in fact from another. This is most commonly to disguise the true origins of the propaganda, be it from an enemy country or from an organization with a negative public image. Grey propaganda is propaganda without any identifiable source or author. A major application of grey propaganda is making enemies believe falsehoods using straw arguments: As phase one, to make someone believe “A”, one releases as grey propaganda “B”, the opposite of “A”. In phase two, “B” is discredited using some strawman. The enemy will then assume “A” to be true. [false dichotomy]

        I thought Black Propaganda was pretending to be the Other Guys AND saying something vile, like the anti-choice people who pretended to be pro-choice and advocated for infanticide.

        And yes, I remember the pastor who pretended to be an atheist and said stupid things about what atheism meant, e.g. that he had no morals. So that was black propaganda. He wasn’t even ashamed to be caught at it. I guess impersonating and vilifying and lying are just part of a day’s work for him.

  • flo

    funny … but this is totally in consistency with christian positions i think. All those I know encountered are either totally wacko (like in this conservation, don’t think about sience at all (maybe cause they didn’t get enough relevant education?) or apologetic (which are maybe the worst i think) because they don’t necessarily mistrust/doubt sience (at least not more than normal people) but maybe cause that’s how they were raised or cause they need something supernatural to cling to, they keep believing, and when asked about how they reconcile belief/world they either say “it’s not meant to be taken literal, bla bla” but this then leads to the question? Then what do you believe in, if you’re not taking the bible literally, or parts of it, but not others? And this basically is my biggest problem with “moderate” christians, if you have to cherry pick your way throught the bible, why use this text as a basis for anything in the first place? i guess I’ll never know.

    • nomad

      “And this basically is my biggest problem with “moderate” christians, if you have to cherry pick your way throught the bible, why use this text as a basis for anything in the first place?”

      Mine too.

    • http://leavingreligion.com leavingreligion

      “but maybe cause that’s how they were raised or cause they need something supernatural to cling to, they keep believing”

      This describes why I stayed at the party longer than I really should have. I was so afraid to not believe, that I tried to hold on as long as I could. I think there are more people at church who fall into this camp than anyone in the church would care to admit.

  • Verde

    I really enjoyed reading this and was impressed by Shad’s intelligent, level-headed responses.
    The ignorance of the Fundies never ceases to amaze me.
    Thanks for posting Daniel.

    • Baconsbud

      I have to agree with you about his ability to convey his thoughts. He has said in words that can be understood by anyone what I feel about the fundie groups he pointed out.

      Daniel thanks for posting this.

      • oobitydoo

        Unfortunately, I did see some attacks ad hominem in this argument. From both sides.
        The most perturbing was when Daniel questioned the education level of the creationist. Yes, we know this person probably doesn’t have a degree from a secular university, but calling that fact out is just slinging mud. You can’t build up your own credibility by knocking down another’s.

        Beyond that, some amazing points here, and always good to see more people finding reason.

        • Daniel Florien

          This is a guest post. I didn’t write it.

          That being said, I do not think she has a very high education level, at least in the sciences. :)

  • http://tabbiesgarden.wordpress.com Tabbie

    Shad’s side of the correspondence has impressed me, but sadly, trying to get someone of faith to believe in reality is like trying to beat water into a rock with a noodle. The surface gets wet for a minute, but that’s about the end of it. Fundies are more stubborn than mules, and they are proud of their willful ignorance on a plethora of subjects.

    I like to believe in the idea of “live and let live” but the various communities of faith cannot seem to abide this concept. They insist on trying to control the rest of us, not realizing that a society’s laissez-faire attitude toward religion is the very thing that allows them to practice their religion of choice. Fundamentalists of every religion want freedom for themselves but for no one else. I’m almost starting to believe prefrontal lobotomies for the lot of them might in fact be the best solution to the problem of religious intolerance in the world today. Education clearly does not seem to be enough.
    =P

    • Question-I-thority

      I was once a fundy. Thank you for not lobotomizing me.

      • Sunny Day

        Thank you for the reminder that they can be reached.

      • http://tabbiesgarden.wordpress.com Tabbie

        Indeed it is refreshing that a few can in fact be reached. I’ll hold off on the lobotomies for now…unless there are fundy volunteers who would like to test the healing power of Jesus.
        :D

    • Janet Greene

      I could swear a lot of fundies are already lobotomized. I was too. Fortunately, in rare cases it seems to be reversable. I’m fortunate to be one of those medical marvels.

    • Reginald Selkirk

      Tabble: “is like trying to beat water into a rock with a noodle. The surface gets wet for a minute, but that’s about the end of it.

      Maybe you’re using the wrong kind of rock. Try a nice porous pumice.

  • nomad

    The second face on the billboard looks like that reprobate Homer Simpson.

    • http://aimlessambition.wordpress.com Kira

      That’s an excellent point! I never really thought about it, but it makes sense… Bible verses are always being taken out of historical AND literary context and bandied around, naturally people who are encouraged to do that would find it acceptable under other conditions as well.

      Huh. It seems so obvious, but it never actively occurred to me. I don’t know why I found that so mind-blowing, but thanks for mentioning it anyway.

  • http://miketheinfidel.blogspot.com/ MikeTheInfidel

    I’m beginning to think that the reason Christians think quote mining is perfectly fine is that they’re encouraged to do it with their own book.

    • http://aimlessambition.wordpress.com Kira

      (I accidentally posted this reply on another comment, so I’m reposting it on the correct one. Yup, I’m an idiot.)
      That’s an excellent point! I never really thought about it, but it makes sense… Bible verses are always being taken out of historical AND literary context and bandied around, naturally people who are encouraged to do that would find it acceptable under other conditions as well.

      Huh. It seems so obvious, but it never actively occurred to me. I don’t know why I found that so mind-blowing, but thanks for mentioning it anyway.

    • Zotz

      Really well said. They even enourage opening the bible and letting whatever appears “guide” them.

      I love this site and ridiculing the religionists. I wonder though (sometimes) whether it makes a difference. After all, this boils down to “willful ignorance” on their part.

  • SteveWH

    This was an engaging and, for me, timely post. I am wondering if the readers and commentators here might share some of their own thoughts on a similar situation that I’ve been dealing with.

    I’ve recently been debating with myself how to respond to someone I know personally who is equally deluded about the extent of his own knowledge. Rather than religion, his is of the more New Age sort of crazy; he found The Celestine Prophecy profound (I admit, I put it down after wasting too much time on the first few chapters). He gets self-righteous when I say disagree with him (the conversation usually gets cut off before I can finish the “why” I disagree), and is oblivious to how much he contradicts himself, makes absurd (logically impossible) claims, and defends positions that are simply false (and obviously so to anyone who knows even a little science or philosophy). He offers “insight” at the level of depth as “Moby Dick is a book about a whale,” and gets offended if I don’t find his idea as profound as he does. In short, he is my paradigm example of the arrogance of ignorance. (Note, I am nearly done with a PhD. in philosophy, and have a BS and a little research experience in biology, and so have some idea of what I’m talking about in these areas.)

    It would be one thing if that was as far as it went, but his life goal include being a counselor and “healer” (primarily reiki). So, my first problem is this: he is setting out into the world in ways that will involve taking the life and well-being of other people directly into his hands, but he is willfully ignorant, close-minded, and has many false and potentially harmful beliefs about health, medicine, and human psychology. That is, he is, to my mind, heading down a path where he will put other people in harm’s way.

    My second problem is that I am not sure of my motivations for continuing an exchange with him. Part of me is asking, “What would Socrates do?” and answering, “Be a gadfly and find creative ways to show him that there are serious problems with his positions.” Of course, the main problem is that he is unable and ill equipped to to recognize those problems, and resistant to any kind of learning. Part of me wonders if I am railing against him for personal reasons, as a catharsis of the frustrations I feel with his brand of self-righteous lunacy in general. I don’t think this is necessarily a bad thing, but it is not how I want to treat other people.

    So, that was long, but thank you for listening (erm . . . reading?). I would appreciate any insight that you might be able to share.

    • 2-D Man

      I’m not very good with people, but I’ll take a stab at this.

      He gets self-righteous when I say disagree with him (the conversation usually gets cut off before I can finish the “why” I disagree)

      The most obvious thing that comes to my mind is to avoid announcing that you disagree. Form your disagreement as a question. As an example, I have a friend who sees an acupuncturist, when he spoke about what his actupuncturist said about “chi”, I ask, “What is ‘chi’? How is it quantified?”
      This gets the objections going before you’ve had to declare a position that he can attack.
      Greta Christina pointed this out once, saying that rather than shouting that the emperor has no clothes, start asking people what makes them think that the emperor is wearing clothes.
      I don’t know if this will work, but it’s a different tactic to try.

      • Janet Greene

        This doesn’t help you or answer your question, but I have the same concern with evangelical pastors who “counsel” people as part of their “ministry”. Most of them are completely unqualified to do this. This also puts vulnerable people in harm’s way. And they are equally as blind to the absurdities of their beliefs, and equally as dogmatic that they will never change their beliefs regardless of the overwhelming evidence and plain common sense that demonstrates its falsehood.

    • LRA

      There’s a reason Socrates was only able to engage Glaucon (The Shining/Bright One) and Ademantus (The Ademant One). It’s because Plato believed that only golden people could grasp the dialectic and use it for some actual epistemological gain.

      Sounds like your friend is an ademant one, but not very bright. Perhaps it is not worth your time.

    • Reginald Selkirk

      and is oblivious to how much he contradicts himself, makes absurd (logically impossible) claims

      The way I would handle that would be to pick out one clear contradiction and dog him with it. Refuse to let him move on to other crap until he faces up to it.

      But then, I’m an ***hole.

  • LRA

    Daniel, thanks for posting that! It was interesting to see Shad’s progression from ambivalent about the subject to a defender of reason! Nice!

    • LRA

      Also, I just checked out the site. It would be interesting to email the people that the site quote mines and have them write the site and explain to the author how s/he has clearly taken the quotes out of context. For instance the site says:

      “It is known that life is built from inorganic elements, but evolutionists have no explanations as how that occurs:

      -After all, both organic and inorganic matter are made of the same building blocks: atoms of carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen and phosphorus. The only difference is how the atoms are arranged in three-dimensional space.
      Donald E. Ingber, “The Architecture of Life,” Scientific American, January 1998.
      http://vv.arts.ucla.edu/Talks/Barcelona/Arch_Life.htm

      -Despite considerable experimental and theoretical effort, no compelling scenarios currently exist for the origin of replication and translation, the key processes that together comprise the core of biological systems and the apparent pre-requisite of biological evolution. The RNA World concept might offer the best chance for the resolution of this conundrum but so far cannot adequately account for the emergence of an efficient RNA replicase or the translation system.
      Eugene V. Koonin, MD, MS and PhD in Molecular Biology from Department of Biology, Moscow State University, Moscow, Editor of Genome Analysis section in Trends in Genetics, “The cosmological model of eternal inflation and the transition from chance to biological evolution in the history of life,” Biology Direct 2007 2:15.
      http://www.biology-direct.com/content/2/1/15

      I’d be curious to know what Dr. Ingber and Dr. Koonin would have to say about this egregious butchery of what they are actually saying IN SUPPORT of evolution. In fact, Koonin is suggesting an RNA model as an explanation of how replication and translation evolved over time, which is actually counter to the website’s claim that we have *no explanations*. In fact, if we looked into it at pubmed, I’d bet dollars to donuts that I could come up with a bunch of articles on this very subject…

      Well, look at that: my search in pubmed using “evolution translation” turned up 7893 results! And my search using “evolution translation rna” turned up 3019 results. My search for “origins of life” turned up 1203 results. Hmmmm… and here’s an article on self-organizing nucleic acids… how interesting:

      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19344746?ordinalpos=8&itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsPanel.Pubmed_DefaultReportPanel.Pubmed_RVDocSum

      because the website claims “It is an observable phenomenon that non-living materials miraculously assemble into incredibly complex organized living cells. Evolutionists have no explanations how that occurs:”

      So the statement is clearly false. And btw, it’s not a miracle, it’s biochemistry. Duh.

      • LRA

        Here’s a collection of abstracts on the origins of life that was put together for a conference on the origins of life:

        http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articlerender.fcgi?tool=pubmed&pubmedid=19468860

        I’d like to see any creationist out there just try to argue with any of these experts.

      • claidheamh mor

        And btw, it’s not a miracle, it’s biochemistry. Duh.

        I think I’ll use this when people call another baby being born a “miracle”. Or I would, if they weren’t usually saying it on the news or someplace I can’t reply directly.

        A few years ago, I read someone online saying, “At over six billion, it’s not that much of a miracle.” And it’s only getting (1) to seven billion and (2) worse.

  • ArchangelChuck

    Typical fundies. These morons do a disservice to the very people whom they try to defend.

  • BCReason

    They will never concede no matter what evidence you provide. To them Evolution is a great evil that will destroy society and must be fought at all costs. The sin of lying is a small price to pay to prevent society from devolving into a Survival of the Fittest.

    They equate Evolution with eugenics, social Darwinism, Nazism and Communism and the terrible toll those took on the societies that embraced them. They don’t see the difference between the science and the political movements that abused science to promote their own agenda’s.

    Maybe instead of trying to overwhelm them with evidence, that they will just ignore, maybe we should be trying to calm their fears. They see evolutionists as deluded tools of powers that would bring on the next holocaust. We need to assure them this will not happen.

    How to do this? I don’t know.

    • Janet Greene

      Christians have fought science since the beginning. Flat earth, earth revolving around the sun (meaning that humans were not the whole purpose of everything? gasp), young earth, and then women’s suffrage, abolition, civil rights, and now gay rights. Every time society attempts to progress scientifically or morally, there is the church, getting their panties in a bunch, claiming the end of society as we know it. This is just another example of the same. Eventually, when there is paradigm shift, the fundies get relegated to the fringe, and then disappear altogether. Then they move on to the next fight. It’s shocking that people are actually still trying to “prove creationism”. This will pass – truth tends to win the day. Maybe, instead of getting so upset, we can use it for a lol or two.

      • Maxwell G

        Thank you for this comment! For so long I have had a terribly pessimistic view on life/society/mankind. You make a good point. It lifted my mood for sure! It is unfortunate that the majority of the american populous believes such childish/weak/damaging notions. However, laughing at the futility of their efforts (which I now see) will bring some good lulz.
        THANK YOU!

  • http://thecheekofgod.wordpress.com/ tysdaddy

    This was worth the time. Thanks for sharing . . .

  • DarkMatter

    I like how whoisyourcreator.com use Rom 1:20 while ignoring Rom 1:12 to proof the reality of her god.

  • Olaf

    Today I was walking in the city centre and there was a women yelling: “Jezus will save you”.
    In the US this might have some effect, but here in Europe people ignored her since religion is almost none-existing. I mean people are supposed to be catholics and sometime they go to church like wedding or death but that is more tradition and not because they actually believe.
    I don’t know any person that have been reading a bible for the next 10 years.

    But it is so sad for this woman, I felt very sorry for her she was so lonely.
    I thought to speak with her, to understand her motivation, but thatcould have been a bad plan since I would have given her false hope that she could convert me.

  • Custador

    You know what? F*ck ‘em. If somebody wants to be wilfully ignorant, leave them to it.

    • nomad

      That would be okay except that one of them might get elected President, get us into an unnecessary war, start torturing people, wreck the economy, spy on the citi… Oh wait…

      • http://tabbiesgarden.wordpress.com Tabbie

        LOL @ nomad. Good point!

    • LRA

      I would, Custador– except that these IDiots are trying to get creationism taught in science classrooms in public schools here in the US.

      • Felix

        From what I frequently read by US teachers (who post anonymously or second-hand mostly), creationism is already being taught in more than a few public schools instead of science, because the science teachers are reasonably afraid of being sacked by creationist school boards and school admins or hounded by creationist parent activism.

        • LRA

          That is possibly true in small towns. If they had bullied me when I was teaching in public schools (in Dallas), they’d have had a bigtime lawsuit on their hands. I taught exactly what I wanted to.

          • LRA

            (meaning I taught a lot of primary sources and I definitely taught real science… and they absolutely can’t touch you for that!)

  • Corpus.Callosum

    ‘Erode my lack of knowledge’.

    :D

    PERFECT expression. I’ll be trying my best to use this.

    It also wonderfully illustrates the disparity between you and the organisation you’ve been in dialogue with. Great story… many thanks.

  • http://amhill.net Aaron

    Beautiful.

    If I had a hat, it would be in my hand.

    I’ll be referring people back to this article in the future. Thanks!

  • Pingback: The need to challenge « For the Sake of Science

  • http://www.geol.umd.edu/~tholtz/ Thomas R. Holtz, Jr.

    Well written, and thank you for sharing this.

    I hope you enjoy future explorations of the world of evolution, geology, cosmology, and the like. It truly is a phenomenal world out there, and Science has uncovered–and continues to uncover–things far more amazing than the tiresome and myopic worldview of the creationists.

  • Felix

    Well, the reader made two glaring mistakes:

    1) he/she started out willing to educate himself and look for information independently, even if it appears to contradict doctrine – therefore he never was a True Christian but a False Convert (at least that’s about the sense of how people like Julie Haberle and Ray Comfort explain it)

    2) he/she was revolted by the density (actually by any incident, understandably given the quoted Christian standard) of deception and lies, whereas my impression of creationists is that not only do they not care how many falsehoods they spout per minute, they seem to actively welcome any chance at lying to others and curiously to be lied at by others (this also makes him a False Convert I guess)

    Dear reader: welcome to the light side, where we value honesty and progress for humanity’s sake, not lies and ignorance for an invisibly tyrant’s.

  • http://sciencenotes.wordpress.com/ Monado

    That was lovely. I liked how the writer was determined to investigate for himself. His letter goes on the wall next to Awake for the first time.” First he recognized the fallacies and deception in his old Creation book, and then he started to look up independent sources:

    I decided to take a serious look at evolution for the first time in my life outside of the writings of Jehovah’s Witnesses. Oh. My. God. I never knew. I just never knew. I have spent the last week absorbing everything I can. I have downloaded the entire TalkOrigins.org website onto my laptop to read offline. I stayed up all night watching the Discovery Science channel the night before last because of a program on hominid evolution and I just kept watching every show afterwards. I bought The Blind Watchmaker and I’m almost done reading it. I have researched radioactive dating methods, transitional fossils, creationist arguments, abiogenesis theories and lots more and over and over and over again I have found a mountain of evidence, a mountain of evidence I had been informed didn’t exist. I have found intelligent people who think for themselves, who (yes) argue and change positions and interpret things differently but who are firmly grounded in reality. The actual study of the actual world as it is, not the study of how a book says it should be and an obsession with trying to make the world appear to fit that model.

  • http://10plusyears.blogspot.com/ 10plus

    Man, that was excellent. Thanks for posting.

  • http://www.rationalimperative.com Nate@RationalImp

    It’s always frustrating when creationists refuse to accept basic rules of falsfiability and revisionist science. It sad to me that many religious zealots claim to have the truth and wish to fill in the blanks, rather than searching for the truth through science and reason.

  • Nate

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Straw_man

    I was curious towards the end of whether they would respond with anything dignified, but alas all they could do was fight you, Daniel. I’ve come to believe that the only true source of power lying in creationist rhetoric is that of informal fallacy. Look forward to more hilarity from them!

  • Bissrok

    I still think Christians should celebrate science like this. Faith needs the absence of proof and, with evolution directly contradicting the Bible, that makes their continued Faith even more impressive.

    I usually don’t take the time to argue with anyone that doesn’t believe in evolution like this. I think, at that point, things are too far gone or there’s just no common ground to start from. If someone ignores all of natural history and genetics for the sake of some story written centuries ago by people who probably kept livestock in their homes, no amount of evidence is going to convince them otherwise.

    • Aor

      All of those who claim their religion/god is Truth should be happy each and every time science discovers something. This is revealing the truth, which should bring them great joy by showing them more about their god. Instead many of them attack science in order to protect their self identity.

  • Brian Westley

    Your first National Geographic link needs to end in .html, not .htm

  • claidheamh mor

    Man, am I glad someone went to all that effort. I think anyone knows, even before going into it, that it will be hopeless throwing facts at someone (or several someones) with the idea that they will look at them, listen to them, have doubts, examine their beliefs, and think. Even people who haven’t tried the exercise in futility of getting John C to examine his beliefs!

    • Roger

      You’ve invoked You-Know-Who. Guess how long it’ll take for him to amble in here and spout some woo-addled drivel?

  • shonny

    Good on you!

    To rid oneself of religion is like letting go of an anchor around your neck when you’re swimming.
    And the beauty in learning to think and observe for oneself is the real “heaven”, here on Earth.
    As to god, jesus, and the rest of the figments of depriveds’ imagination, – there are better myths.

    • Roger

      Exactly. I find Star Trek and Star Wars far more compelling (and a hell of a lot less demanding) than those first century fever-scrabblings of goatherders.

      • http://jyhash.wordpress.com JYHASH

        I don’t know about that Star Trek bit. There are some very rabidly obsessive Trekkers/Trekkies out there (me being one of them). And whereas the Fundies only have to memorize 1 Bible with about 66 Books contained within, we Trekkies need to know 5 different series (essentially each being an equivalent to a new “testament”) spanning over 1,000 Books (each MUCH longer than any in the bible) as well as over 700+ hours of filmed footage. Not to mention comic books, magazines, random trivia contained outside of the films/books, and the memrobilia collecting.

        And with the advent of the Star Wars (Cra)prequels, it’s almost getting as out of hand. So i guess when any type of fictitious mythology is concerned, there are bound to be those who will decry anything not in keeping with their fundamental understandings and viewings of their object of obsession. I mean, it did well at the box office, but some of the vehemence against the new “Star Trek” movie by Hardcore Trekkers made the anti-gay stance by religious bigots pale in comparison… ;-)

        ~JYH

    • Keith King

      AGREED. I left the church over 20 yrs ago, and never regretted it, never looked back, and most of all…. never been happier!

  • Keith King

    This kind of circular logic is also used/abused by the global warming deniers, not just the evolution deniers, the flatearthers, and the Holocaust deniers. Hmmm, wonder if they ALL go to the same church….

  • Korinthian

    Congratulations on your atheism.

    Exposure to creationists has a tendency to turn the above average intelligent people to non-believers faster than any Clockwork Orange-ish programming could ever hope to accheive.

  • RobertM

    This story is similar to mine and I’ll bet, many more. Actually reading the bible and comparing what it says to what preachers say, what the scientific evidence points to and the hypocrisy of christians are what turned me away. I think we, as a society are slowly realizing the damage religion causes to the progress of society and peace in the world. How does that commercial go?.”….the more you know…”

  • Ted

    Congratulations. Your insights were shared by Augustine of Hippo 1500 years ago:

    “Usually, even a non-Christian knows something about the earth, the heavens, and the other elements of this world, about the motion and orbit of the stars and even their size and relative positions, about the predictable eclipses of the sun and moon, the cycles of the years and the seasons, about the kinds of animals, shrubs, stones, and so forth, and this knowledge he hold to as being certain from reason and experience. Now, it is a disgraceful and dangerous thing for an infidel to hear a Christian, presumably giving the meaning of Holy Scripture, talking nonsense on these topics; and we should take all means to prevent such an embarrassing situation, in which people show up vast ignorance in a Christian and laugh it to scorn. … Reckless and incompetent expounders of Holy Scripture bring untold trouble and sorrow on their wiser brethren when they are caught in one of their mischievous false opinions and are taken to task by those who are not bound by the authority of our sacred books. For then, to defend their utterly foolish and obviously untrue statements, they will try to call upon Holy Scripture for proof and even recite from memory many passages which they think support their position, although they understand neither what they say nor the things about which they make assertion. [1 Timothy 1:7]”

    De genesi ad litteram libri duodecim (The Literal Meaning of Genesis) (415), from J. H. Taylor, transl., Ancient Christian Writers, Newman Press, 1982, volume 41.

  • Barry Pryor

    God’s and all their messengers prove just one thing, there will always be enough fools to fuel the stupidity necessary to enhance their stupidity…

  • BrianAlt

    Bravo!

  • Azadeth

    Yes, “ignorance is curable, but willful ignorance is not” sums up everything perfectly. You were once ignorant on the subject of evolution and other related sciences, but as you possessed a desire to seek the truth, and as the truth was out there, the result was inevitable. The other person obviously possesses willful ignorance, and now you see that there is no limit to how far they will bend backwards (and often no limit to how low they will sink) in order to keep their desperate belief justified. So as productive as this particular exchange might have been, based on my experience I’d advise you to not bother trying to legitimately argue with people like this anymore. They truly personify the term “lost cause,” and will only cause you offense and flabbergasted frustration. They have, after all, made an ironclad decision not to even listen to anything that is inconvenient to their faith, and are thus impervious to proper thinking. What really matters is that YOU discovered the truth, and that you know how to point others in the right direction. It is a truly beautiful thing when someone can break free of the stagnant fear of faith and see the universe as we have truly come to understand it. Yours is a story of inspiration, and all of us thinkers are glad to have you with us.

  • http://variableparticle.blogspot.com Staci

    PANTHEISM, n. The doctrine that everything is God, in contradistinction to the doctrine that God is everything.

  • http://rumbelow.org W. A. Grasmeder

    Staci, that simple “definition” of pantheism robs the mindset of the amazing depth. Pantheism and Panentheism are unbelievably sensible in their implications, and I almost want to remove the word “god” from that definition, as it conjures up far too many images of Zeus-like father-god sitting on a cloud. It reaches much closer to the YHWH of the ancient Israelites, who nobody bothered to describe because existence is too complex and ineffable to really approach description. Existence, in the pantheistic world view, is proof enough that god is. That makes no implications to goodness, omnipotence, or anything like that. I would like to change “everything is God” to say, “the sum of everything, in addition to every finite thing is God.”

    Almost, the sum of n+1 from -infinity to infinity = God.

    I really appreciate your patience and appropriate attitude towards these human beings, Daniel. Sincerely. Sometimes it takes belligerence, sometimes it takes patience, and you doled the appropriate tone out at the appropriate time.

  • shonny

    God is the answer you get and give when you’re too lazy, too stupid, too dishonest or too ignorant (or any combination of these) to look at things around you and find out how reality really works.
    To have something that is beyond definition is to have nothing at all, and NOT everything like the religious seems to like believing. Religion is willful mental suicide.

  • http://www.beston.jimdo.com EDM

    science flies people to the moon, religion flies people into buildings. Its as simple as that, nothing further. If you can tell me one world changing event that Christianity has done for the greater good of all human race I will convert back to Christianity.

    P.S. I’m fourteen.

    • John C

      Isnt it past your bedtime? :)

      • http://www.estonmckeague.blogspot.com EDM

        It was only 9:38 when i posted it, I am on the west coast.

      • shonny

        Just tell the fogey that you find his comment SOOO brilliant, young man!
        And your point is quite sensible.

    • http://rumbelow.org W. A. Grasmeder

      Organized religions is responsible for much of the written records that we value so much when it comes to the study of our pasts —- which is vital to certain realms of scientific studies. With time, you will hopefully come to appreciate Christianity and organized religion’s place; at least in the past. I would argue that the wheel, written language, and the industrial revolution play as tremendous of a role in humankind’s undoing as organized religion, since it seems that the potential progress we make is allowing us to step backwards itself just as quickly.
      Is it more appropriate to say that organized religion has long since played its part and is ready to retire?

      • http://www.estonmckeague.blogspot.com EDM

        I respect religion and what it has done for some in the past. I completely agree with you, I think religion has had its time and now it it is time to start dealing with our problems instead of hoping someone/something will take care of them for us.

        I have grown up christian and my mom still believes in it; hell, my uncle is a pastor. I have no disrespect for any religion. Its the followers such as the people from the article that I don’t agree with.

      • shonny

        Nope, the ones responsible for most of the records are something called ‘historians’.
        If you’re after all the falsified, twisted versions of history, then consult the ‘history’ written by the xians.
        All religion is superstition in one form or another, and the justifications are seldom neither rational nor particularly reality-based. And the stoopid just increases as the religious leaders get more power and influence.
        So, yes, religion is a social phenomenon in most cultures, but not necessarily a positive and uplifting one. Sadly.

        • John C

          But “religion” is a man made institution, and not representative of Him.Would be helpful for you to start making a distinction between “religion”, ie oppressive, failed external behavior modification “system” of religiosity and Christ’s true offer which is internal, liberating, transformative and spiritual in nature-an entirely new nature, His within. This, (a new nature, character) is mankind’s hope, for change must be internal and final, not external and temporal.

          The mistake you make (respectfully) is that you continue to associate Christ with “religion”. The religious leaders of the day were the ones who Jesus had the hardest time with, the harshest words of rebuke for. God is not “religious”, He is Spirit and thus Spiritual. Can not be known thru religious “duty”, rules, rituals, etc.

          • Kodie

            “The mistake you make (respectfully) is that you continue to associate Christ with “religion”.”

            “All religion is superstition in one form or another, and the justifications are seldom neither rational nor particularly reality-based.”

            The mistake John C makes is picking out phrases so he can behave like a gnat. Read for comprehension, John, or are you afraid you might read something that will shut you up? You keep saying you find things offensive without accounting for yourself. You’ve installed yourself here to keep repeating the same offensive tripe without subjecting yourself to topics. Christ|religion is your angle, truth/light is your angle, not the sky daddy, fleshly/spirit is your angle. What else do you have to reveal about your pet god? You’re an offensive little broken record and you really have exposed yourself as someone who is looking for narrow openings to wedge yourself in without expanding on your ideas and providing evidence or clarifying or even anecdotalizing. You decline every challenge made to you to be relevant. You’re a silly man with silly superstitions and nobody cares.

            • John C

              Perhaps someone does care that they have mixed up religion with Christ Kodie, maybe they (and you) could actually learn something here and leave misconceptions behind. You keep slamming something which you’ve got poor aim for, misdirected angst.

              And btw…would you play nice for a change? Add some kindness, softness to your words, its more becoming of you. I dont yell at you via the keyboard…just be nice eh, Or is that too much to ask? I know you can do it Kodie!

            • Kodie

              You are always asking people to play nice with you. What is wrong with you?

              You are hyperfocused on clearing up particular “misconceptions.” At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter what you call it. Please look up metaphor in the dictionary. You don’t seem to get what one is. Sky daddy is a metaphor. It doesn’t matter where you feel your god actually resides, it is a concept to be ridiculed. Your imaginary friend, your addled brain compelling you to correct “misconceptions.” You seem to distinguish religious powers as earthly and steering people in the wrong direction, you take on that role yourself. You are beating and beating and beating that dead horse, you are a zealot. You have taken on the role as authority on the matter and distancing yourself from other self-sanctioned authorities. God just plain doesn’t exist. You fail to expose and/or explain anything, you just want everyone to follow. You put yourself in charge, take responsibility for the anger directed at you and names you are called.

              You have taken on a mission, and you are a zealot. Deal with it.

            • John C

              Kodie-

              Yes, I am zealous for God, His love and faithfulness has captured my heart indeed. I am not mean-spirited, not angry with anyone.

            • Kodie

              You use your beliefs like a hammer. You do not portray much more than a drooling idiot whenever you post. It is easy to pick on the stupid dude, but it would be helpful if you recognized your habits as someone invasive and ugly. I know you’re not able to do that, for you have claimed importance and a role which you feel abundantly righteous which is correcting people for their choice of words and concepts to describe how unreasonable belief in god or christ is. You have done little to support what you believe, you just keep hammering away to “correct” misconceptions. Hello, plank in your eye. I am not sorry people are mean with you, it’s due to impatience. You have not graced us with patience, and you do not merit the patience of others. You have some diseased compulsion to avoid reading for comprehension and for understanding language. Nobody takes you seriously, but you are annoying. You are obviously afraid of having to carry on a legitimate discussion about your beliefs. You just are petty over word choices, you offer nothing of substance. Every opportunity to be relevant, you fail to respond to. That’s what we call spam. And also trolls.

            • John C

              Kodie-

              Quick revert back to the old Kodie eh? I think you are just upset that you couldnt come up with a better explanation for my earlier post, so you revert back to slamming, name calling. That’s enough of you kindly.

            • Kodie

              Check the time stamps dillhole.

            • John C

              You’re right, I’m wrong. My sincere apologies. I’m working on zero sleep here, I almost placed you in the AOR round file, ha.

              Even tho you might not forgive me, I want to apologize (even after you called me another wonderful name!)

              Sincerely, DH

          • shonny

            Considering that ‘christ’ is in all likelihood a construct with no historical basis, then to refer to this fantasy figure as someone real is just another delusion.
            Xians, and in particular missionaries (the absolute scum or the earth iust to leave any doubt of view of them) always ridiculed other, so-called primitive religions, not realising that their own was often much more primitive, seem to hang on to their folly by grim life (pun intended).
            One thing christianity is responsible for is the bulk of misery hitting the Western world since its introduction as a system to suppress free thought and to naturalise an artificial social hierarchy.
            Christianity can best be described as full frontal lobotomy without the physical incisions. It is a sure guarantee that no original thinking will happen in the skulls of those inflicted.

            • John C

              You see in one, very limited mode only.

  • http://jeff-processes.blogspot.com/ Jeffrey Leonard

    This is a wonderful conversation~~!! quiet funny…

    I like Buddhism, they don’t against Science, they get along..

    Burke Lecture: Buddhism in a Global Age of Technology:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cX2f6QHkU-I

    Where Science and Buddhism Meet :

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qj_i7YqDwJA

    ;D

  • Gra

    I came across a classic and very simple example of a religious persons relationship with science at our local primary school (UK).

    Every year the science teacher (who’s also a christian) carries out the same experiment with her class to show what happens to a tooth when left in coca cola………. drop a tooth into a glass of coke and leave overnight. Surprise, it’s gone in the morning.

    We repeated the experiment at home for a laugh and no, the tooth doesn’t dissapear, it gets stained.

    Turns out the teacher is happy to completely falsify the results of the experiment to prove her point. That’s what we’re up against!

  • http://www.estonmckeague.blogspot.com EDM

    Okay, I put my little snippet of my opinion in here and I replied to some others too. I think that all of you should stop commenting. There is clearly way to many argumentative people on the internet or at least on this thread. If you wish to express yourself so much start a blog or blog on your Facebook. Just stop already, enough is enough. Don’t get your panties in a bunch over the fact that people don’t think the same way you do. I am all for expression I just don’t think this is the best way to do it.

    P.S. I’m fourteen.

  • Fabio Wang

    (much apologies if this is subject has already been posted, too lazy to read all the comments)

    …but what if God was the one “running” evolution? I mean, if He’s so omnipotent and intelligent and such, why can’t He realize that evolution and survival of the fittest is an effective way to create diverse and successful species, capable of taking advantage of the wide range of environments and situations He has created?

    P.S.: So am I, douchebag.

    • BrenW

      Then the concept of God becomes irrelevant to us. A god that creates us by setting up the conditions for evolution to occur in just the right way to produce humans, is unlikely to then come along however many billions of years later and reveal itself to a bunch of people wandering the Middle East. It’s possible, but oh so ever unlikely. If it’s aim was to evolve humans, then it would already know the eventual nature of those humans and there would be no need for “parental” intervention.

      So if you’re still with me: non-interventionist means no communication. No communication means no idea what the god is thinking. Any attempt by people to tell you what that god wants from your behaviour can be dismissed because they made it up (because, don’t forget, it’s a non-interventionist god that doesn’t communicate with us – in any form whatsoever).

      Dawkins deals with this in more detail in the God Delusion.

  • Maddie

    Here’s what depresses me. Every argument you’re making in this article is legitimate and you have all the proof you need to back it up. However, the types of people you’re arguing against tend to be extremely closed to what you have to say. I’ve given up arguing with Christians; it’s the unstoppable force meets the immovable object. No one goes anywhere. If they want to spend their lives worshiping something that they’re too blind to see doesn’t exist, it’s not my problem.
    But it is good to see someone still trying. This is a great article; maybe someday they’ll listen.

  • 4ndyman

    Bertrand Russell: “As soon as it is held that any belief, no matter what, is important for some other reason than that it is true, a whole host of evils is ready to spring up. Discouragement of inquiry . . . is the first of these, but others are pretty sure to follow.” from “Can Religion Cure Our Troubles?”

    If someone argues against this, there’s no point in debating them. They can admit that they’re wrong and still claim to be right.

    • http://rumbelow.org W. A. Grasmeder

      Furthermore, it would hypocritical to impose that belief on someone else solely for the sake of its quality of being true.

      • casey

        Arguing for a position is not the same thing as imposing it.

        • http://rumbelow.org W. A. Grasmeder

          Agreed. I didn’t mean to imply that.

  • BrenW

    This site is great for all the links to other sites, both for and against. I knew about Ken Ham, but not answersingenesis.org. Now I know more about the recent earth loonies, I’m wondering how they deal with an argument that, I would’ve thought, would be the deal-breaker for their beliefs:

    We can prove that astrological bodies are a really, really, long way away. So long, that the light from them takes quite a while to reach earth. A long while. So long that it means that Ken Ham et al are suggesting that the earth was created billions of years AFTER the rest of the universe! Aren’t they? How do they get around that point? Do they actually suggest that a god created the universe and then 14 or so billions of years later thought, “oh, I’d better get around to that earth project I’ve been putting off”? Or, and this is scarier, do they think the universe isn’t very big, somehow? ….hmmmmmm

  • Cappy

    I suppose that creationists would say that God, being all powerful, would have made everything in 6 days, including all the stars in the sky (however distant from Earth), and would have put light in transit from those stars already heading for Earth. Thus could their belief be satisfied, that an infinite God created a finite system with all things already in place.

    Of course, since this position can neither be proven nor disproven, I would suggest against using it in arguments involving LOGIC.

    • Bren

      LOL…yeah, you’re right. That’s a good stab at how they might try and explain it. I have a test for whether to take something seriously or not: if what is being suggested has an anthropocentric starting point then it is most likely false. The hypothesis you’ve just put forward, would have to be one of the most anthropocentric I’ve ever heard! What…god placed the light in transit to make us think the universe is older than 6000 years and thereby test our faith?! ROFL.

      • Joe B

        Awesome counter of a “trickster God” YEC theory.

        If God could inspire the writing of an infallible word and create the entire universe to test our faith in that word. Why shouldn’t we believe the alternative: That God created a universe operating under simple laws that is both old and vast and planted a book to test our faith against that creation

        Once you accept that God could be deceptive in the natural world, you have to accept that any holy book could be in error.

    • Janet Greene

      Doesn’t Genesis say something about stars being little points in the sky, or something to that effect? The writers clearly didn’t know that what we were seeing were billions of light-years away. Amazing that god created the stars in one day, and they were immediately seen! Even though the light didn’t hit the earth until, ya know, now?

      • rodneyAnonymous

        There is nothing in the Bible that couldn’t have been written by a first- or second-century human.

    • rodneyAnonymous

      Any argument suggesting that the world was created as if it were already in motion could just as easily make it a few minutes old. (Paraphrase of Bertrand Russell.)

  • Dr Doom

    The problem with creationists is not so much that they won’t learn rather that they cant learn and still retain their “faith”.
    The iron age authors of the precursor of the bible had no basis for learning and like all primitive people sought to understand the world and their place in it through tales and folklore.
    The great pity is that there are so many people these days who listen to, support and further embeggar themselves by listening to mealy mouthed con artists who accumulate wealth in the name of helping the poor, lame and sick.
    Prayer, appeal to metaphysical spirits, conflicting stories of the work of the gods abound in histories of every primitive people.
    The ability of one man to walk into the desert, converse with his particular deity and return to pass on his version of the conversation with zero evidence to support his tale is a silly basis for belief.
    When the church, mosque, temple or meeting house is dominated by people who see the modern world and its progress as a threat, they revert to bigoted, thought and fact free commentary on things they don’t want to understand.

  • Ben

    You’re ruddy awful at debating. Feeding somebody a bunch of website links is lazy and pathetic. At least formulate your views in your own sentences. This whole exchange of yours is really quite absurd, there being a complete and utter lack of useful or progressive discourse on your part. Shame on you.

  • http://brazilbrat.blogspot.com/ James Smith, João Pessoa, Brazil

    One item I have used in discussions with theists is:

    Ask yourself this. Suppose you knew someone that was aware of a very great evil being performed, children were being abused, people being sold into slavery, something so truly horrible and evil that any decent person would recoil from it in horror. This person could stop this evil with no risk to himself and almost no effort, yet did nothing?

    Legally, he (or she) would be an accessory to the crime. Would you perhaps think this person as bad as those actually performing the evil? Well, that is a good description of the actions of a christian god. Don’t excuse this with that old saw, “The ways of god are mysterious and unknowable to man.” That’s an evasion used by theists for so long that it’s amazing they are not ashamed to trot it out time after time. But no argument, no matter how crude, seems to embarrass theists.

    Have I de-brainwashed anyone this way? Of course not. Willful ignorance defies all facts and logic. As I say in my list of Universal Truths, “Man’s most precious possessions are his illusions. A person will surrender their property, family, and even their lives before their illusions.”

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