Director of “Unplanned” Movie Offers Some Good News

Director of “Unplanned” Movie Offers Some Good News April 15, 2019

Well, this is good news. I’d even say great news, and an encouragement to keep fighting the good fight.

Recently, I wrote about the movie, “Unplanned,” out in theaters now.

The movie was taken from the book of the same name by Abby Johnson, formerly the youngest Planned Parenthood director in the history of the whole wretched organization.

Johnson was a true believer in the cause of the industry, duped into believing Planned Parenthood was actually helping women, rather than serving as a ghoulish center for infanticide-for-profit.

While popular media and the industry seemed to align against the movie, it actually did quite well, given its mere $6 million budget and limited release.

In its opening weekend, it exceeded box office expectations and landed at a respectable fourth place in the box office ratings.

In its second week, it continued to cling to top 10 status, coming in at eighth place.

It has been out now for three weeks and has slipped to number 11, with a total gross of just about $16 million.

All of those numbers are solid. Johnson, and everyone involved in bringing her story to the big screen are to be commended for their willingness to see this project through.

Those numbers, however, are not the most important numbers.

Johnson, who now is an outspoken pro-life advocate, formed an advocacy group called And Then There Were None, with a stated purpose of helping abortion workers leave the industry and find employment elsewhere. To date, she says they’ve helped relocate around 500 workers.

That number may be growing.

Last Wednesday, while giving testimony before  the Senate Subcommittee on the Constitution, in a hearing titled “Stifling Free Speech: Technological Censorship and the Public Discourse,” Chuck Konzelman noted that the movie is having an impact.

Konzelman is the writer and director of the “Unplanned” movie, and was there to discuss how social media may have sought to censor – or at least diminish – news of the movie.

The official account for the movie was briefly suspended from Twitter, raising the eyebrows of pro-life advocates, as it appeared there was no logical explanation for why the account was taken down.

We may never get a satisfactory answer to that question, but nevertheless, people have heard, and some are responding.

According to Konzelman, abortion workers are reaching out.

“The number of actual workers who have reached out is 94,” Konzelman revealed, estimating that this accounts for about 1 percent of abortion workers in the U.S.

“One percent of the abortion workers in the United States, after getting one look at them being portrayed on film … have decided to change their lives … and what they do for a living,” Konzelman said.

Only 94, or a mere 1 percent may seem like nothing. It would be easy to scoff, but as is said in Zechariah 4:10, do not despise these small beginnings.

It is a fact that we may never get rid of the shameful abortion industry in this nation. Neither major party is making any tangible efforts to decrease those numbers. Any real change will only come when hearts are changed about what abortion truly is – the end of a developing human life.

If 94 more workers have determined that their skills and talents will not be used to end a life, then that is progress. Those of us who value life and champion the cause of the unborn should continue to pray for those changed hearts.

Perhaps we will see the day in our lifetime when the doors to every abortion clinic are closed for good, but it all has to start somewhere.


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  • larryamon

    I would scratch the word developing and leave it at “abortion is the end of a human life”

  • chemical

    …in a hearing titled “Stifling Free Speech: Technological Censorship and the Public Discourse,” Chuck Konzelman noted that the movie is having an impact.

    Yeah, propaganda tends to do that.

    “The number of actual workers who have reached out is 94,” Konzelman revealed, estimating that this accounts for about 1 percent of abortion workers in the U.S.

    I don’t actually believe him. Christians with an axe to grind will lie about anything. They will tell you the sky is green, the grass is blue, and Donald Trump is a good president. Unlike a lot of lies, this one is actually testable: If he’s actually telling the truth and the film has an impact, then soon Planned Parenthood and other abortion clinics will start having trouble keeping staffed.

    If that did happen, it would be interesting to see if it correlates with an increased amount of death threats against PP, abortion clinics, and their respective staff.

  • IllinoisPatriot

    On the other hand, Atheists with an ax to grind will also lie about anything – especially when it comes to the child-sacrifices they make in the name of genocide to further their compacts with the evil and greedy forces that abound in today’s world.

    Whether 97 workers represents about 1% of abortion industry workers or not is not the issue and you know it.

    The issue is that almost a hundred abortion-industry workers after having seen this limited-release film have decided to quit the industry and find some other line of work. These represent workers that would presumably not have left had not the film supported their growing suspicions and awakening that PP abortions are just the left’s version of child-sacrifice to Margaret Sanger and her dream of genocide of minorities.

    Leftists are afraid that should the message in this film be spread to other workers by the first 100, then perhaps an additional 200 others may question what they are seeing to the point of sharing more details before they too, quit and find other lines of work. These (guessing) 200 workers may wind up (through sharing of what THEY have seen) convincing yet more workers to quit, thereby accelerating the process of getting out the truth about abortion and PP activities.

    I’m quite sure the lefties that read Susan’s blog will call me all sorts of names and claim that I’m an idiot or ignorant, etc, but you will note that they will NOT present scientific evidence that the life they are advocating be lost is both a human life and a viable life if allowed to be born. Nor will the leftists that infest this blog ever admit that while they object to the death penalty for convicted murderers and while they object to military taking life to defend our country, they openly advocate for taking life for no other reason than that it inconvenient to a lefty.

    Therefore it is important to Leftists that this film be discredited and the workers that have been encouraged by the film to question the PP mantra and propaganda be fired, silenced and discredited (not necessarily in that order). Workers for PP must NOT be allowed to feel that there is support for any viewpoint but that of PP in society. Workers for PP must NOT be allowed to question the business model of PP. Workers for PP must NOT be allowed to figure out the truth – that abortion is nothing more than the killing of otherwise healthy children for no other reason than that they have an irresponsible (or gullible) mother – a mother that was taken in by the leftist propaganda and feminist rhetoric. Workers for PP (with all their access to internal PP documents, directives, and practices) must NOT be allowed to speak out about what they’ve seen or what they’ve been told to tell vulnerable young women “in the best interest of the mother”.

  • chemical

    I was a bit provocative, but I think this guy is lying because his statement about 94 abortion clinic workers wanting to quit because of his movie because 1) it’s self serving, and 2) it’s not verifiable. I don’t doubt that a few PP employees will eventually see the movie and then decide to quit. If that happens then PP will just hire replacements. That’s why I said the film will have no effect unless PP had trouble retaining staff.

    Re: leftist infestation. Well, that saddens me. I figured Susan always appreciated her leftist readers — after all, you can’t change hearts and minds if the other side doesn’t read your blog. I know I get into shouting matches with some of you guys (especially you, Illinois) but you’re the only conservatives I actually have any respect for. We left wingers reading a right wing blog should be seen as a good thing.

  • Michael Weyer

    I’m pro-llife myself so I agree on something to hit abortion clinics. That said, it has to be pointed out how it’s more than a bit hypocritical for some on the right to be pro-life but then refuse to fund services for new mothers, foster care and underpriviliged kids. What good is having them born if we can’t even be sure of them having a good life?

  • IllinoisPatriot

    Every person has an inherent right to life and liberty. There is no such thing as a “right to a good life” or a “right for other people to make me happy”.

    I hear the whining from the left that loves to repeat your argument. They usually also use that argument when they demand more government-sponsored welfare while simultaneously calling for government curbs on church charities and on local community charities sponsored by churches and other private organizations. Many charities have found they have to shut down (for example) by liberal laws that demand that no food can be given away unless it is in shrink-wrapped, inspected, “officially approved” packaging. Such demands are nonsense of course, but the liberal argue that “someone could always tamper with food not commercially packaged” as if we don’t hear news reports of food recalls and tampering with packaged supermarket foods all the time….

    I find it extremely hypocritical of the liberals to demand that local charities not be allowed to provide charitable services, and that church-sponsored out-reach and charity efforts be shut down while then whining that we need to mainline abortions because no one will give the non-aborted children homes or that no one will provide charity for the mothers.

    I know that attempting to help pregnant teens is extremely hard because of the minefield of legal restrictions the liberals have thrown up to thwart conservative and church-based efforts at counseling and assisting young mothers (diapers that cannot be purchased except from “approved” vendors and food (that cannot be provided except in “approved” packaging, etc). They also fill the heads of the teens with abortion propaganda to try to warp the values of the young mothers-to-be and convince them their lives will be “ruined” by having their kids and then putting the child up for adoption or getting help from family or church to raise the child….

    Liberals prefer the route of emotionless sex, condoms/birth-control drugs and child sacrifice at PP to the more honorable and fulfilling route of responsibility, abstinence, faith, love and true, lasting relationships.

  • IllinoisPatriot

    More than a bit provocative.

    Why would this not be verifiable ? He apparently has been keeping count and likely could provide the references (emails, letters, etc) on request. Truth be told, I suspect that for each person that decided to leave the PP employ and notified him that his movie was the “straw that broke the camel’s back” (so to speak), there are likely more that made the same decisions for the same reasons without notifying him.

    Furthermore, it’s highly unlikely that the workers will cite his movie in their resignation letters and even if they did so, if you are expecting PP to admit that his moving is crimping their business, your expectations need serious adjusting.

    Don’t expect that 1% of the PP medical staff resigning is going to cause PP to go on a massive hiring binge. 1% is a small number. It’s a start, but still a small number of medical personnel given the nationwide scope of PP. That does not mean the movie is having no effect. It just means that the movie alone will not cause PP’s downfall, so you can rest assured that liberal child-sacrifice will continue to play a major part in the Atheist religion.

  • Michael Weyer

    Thing is of course how PP does a lot of actually good stuff to help women out on health, not just abortions.

    I actually read accounts of people who work at clinics who do nothing but abortions on how odd it is that they escape notice yet protestors are around PP all the time.

    And you do realize that “atheist religion” is a contradiction in terms? And there are a lot of liberals who are Christians (such as oh, every liberal President we’ve had like Cilnton and Obama).

  • Annemarie

    As one of the other leftists, I agree. Shouldn’t we try to understand other points of view? As a religious Democrat, I’m pro-life, but also pro-social safety net. (And yes, I pay the taxes supporting it.)

    I’ve always appreciated Susan’s acceptance of other points of view in the comments. (And yep, I read IllinoisPatriot closely too. Might not always agree but everything IP says is worth reading.) The Elephants in the Room on Quora is also interesting..

  • sometypeofguy

    I consider myself a pro-life Dem also. According to one CNN poll, 1/3 of all Dems identify as pro life. A bunch of those defected to Trump. This issue alone is why we have Trump imo, and the heads of the party are either too dumb or too blind to see it.

  • chemical

    They usually also use that argument when they demand more government-sponsored welfare while simultaneously calling for government curbs on church charities and on local community charities sponsored by churches and other private organizations.

    We’re not stopping churches from doing charitable deeds.

    We don’t support the government giving money to churches that’s earmarked for charitable purposes because churches are allowed to discriminate on a religious basis (for example, a church doesn’t have to provide a wedding or other religious service to people outside of the faith). It’s imposing a religious test for welfare. If you want your church to provide more charitable services, then take it up with your church. Don’t blame the government for your church’s inaction — due to separation of church and state, the government isn’t allowed to interfere with your church’s business. Yeah, that sword cuts both ways.

    Also, the legal restrictions we fought to get placed on diapers, baby food, etc. are consumer protections. It ensures the manufacturer can’t sell spoiled food, hazardous diapers, etc. to you. They aren’t targeted at conservatives; rather certain unscrupulous manufacturers will claim religious persecution when the government doesn’t let them sell sub-standard goods to people.

  • chemical

    And there are also pro-choice conservatives. That’s the problem with being a single issue voter. If the Dems run a pro-life candidate, then the 2/3 of Dems who are pro-choice don’t vote for the candidate. If Clinton had taken a pro-life position, then NOBODY would have voted for her — Republicans wouldn’t have because she’s Hillary Clinton and Democrats wouldn’t have for being pro-life. Basically, Trump would have won all 50 states.

  • Fmontyr

    To paraphrase, ‘Trump with an ax to grind or no ax to grind will also lie about anything and everything.’ How about some documentation about the lying nature of atheists. Aren’t you aware that they are well underrepresented in prison populations, i.e., they are more ethical and moral than non-atheists?

  • sometypeofguy

    I hear that. I don’t think the Dems need to be militantly pro-life. (And I don’t think abortion is the only reason Dems defected to Trump). I think some moderation is in order. “Safe legal and rare” was good language. Let’s not relegate pro-life Dem candidates to endangered species status.

  • chemical

    I’m obviously pro-choice, but I feel like a lot of leftists say they’re pro-life when they’re actually pro-choice.

    If you personally would never get an abortion, or encourage a loved one to, but still think abortion should be legal, then you’re pro-choice. The way I see it, pregnancies can be divided into 2 categories: Wanted and unwanted.

    I’m of the opinion that an unwanted pregnancy should have never happened in the first place. Abortion isn’t the correct solution to unwanted pregnancy — education and birth control are. Strengthening laws like Violence Against Women Act would do a lot of work preventing rape, which would prevent unwanted pregnancies, which would prevent abortions. Education would lead to responsible decision making, which would cut down on pregnancies that resulted from sheer irresponsibility. This chain could be cut 3 links higher!

    The second case, with wanted pregnancies, is a bit more disturbing. There are rare medical cases where the best option for a pregnancy is an abortion. Endoscopic pregnancies, where the fertilized egg embeds in a fallopian tube instead of the uterus, will result in the death of both the woman and fetus if not aborted. There are also rare genetic defects which won’t kill a fetus, but also not let it survive being born (stuff like heart or lungs developing outside of the body). In those cases, getting an abortion is much more cost effective than delivering a stillborn baby. At any rate, those are difficult decisions and should be between a woman and a doctor, and the government shouldn’t interfere with them.

  • chemical

    “Safe, legal, and rare” is a pro-choice phrase, and pretty much sums my philosophy on the issue. “Legal” is the key word — if it’s present, you’re pro-choice, even if you personally would never get an abortion or encourage others to do so.

  • Michael Weyer

    Exactly my own feelings, annoyed at this whole ‘Democrats are all atheists” bit going on when scores of religious people among their ranks.

    And while I don’t agree with IP or others, I appreciate how they’re very well written and defend their feelings rather than the “butthurt libtard” level of “debate” you see on scores of other forums.

  • IllinoisPatriot

    Self-identification as a member of a group they target for destruction is one method liberals use to gain access.

    Just because I might self-identify as a martian does not mean that I actually AM a martian anymore than a lefty self-identifying as a Christian means they actually ARE a Christian.

    Just because Pelosi and Trump identify as Christians does not mean they actually hold Christian beliefs or practice Christianity. The Bible tells us we can always know true Christians by their actions. Jesus teaches that a thorn tree cannot bear succulent fruit nor will a fruit tree bear thorns.

    When Pelosi refers to the pagan child-sacrifice performed by PP as a “sacrament”, she identified herself as an imposter to the ways of Christ. In the case of Trump, none of his actions are even remotely Christ-like – either in the action or in his intent. Atheists will always show their true beliefs by what they defend and the perverted values they attempt to protect.

    …and yset – Atheism IS a religion. Just because Atheists proudly proclaim that they do not believe in God, that does not mean they don’t believe in “a” god.

    Most Atheists believe in the god of big government. They believe that government should replace the traditional role of churches in the handling of all forms of charity meaning a bigger more intrusive government, more welfare and more taxation to pay for all the enforced “charity” they pride themselves on. They believe that government (not God) creates individual rights. They believe that an individual should only have the rights that government grants to them. They believe that even the right to life can be denied to entire classes of people if that class of (unborn) people becomes inconvenient (see god of abortion below).

    Most Atheists believe in the god of abortion. This is actually a throwback to their pagan ancestors – their form of child sacrifice. They claim it’s about “women’s health”, but pregnancy is not an illness, it is a state of procreation. It is natural and an actual blessing if surrounded (as intended) with love and supported (also as intended) by a family unit. Atheist feminists have convinced women that pregnancy is a hindrance however to the goals the Atheists are dictating women want (personal power and wealth) instead of an end to what many women truly want (love and family).

    Most Atheists believe in the gods of wealth and fame. They will determine a person’s value and the value of a person’s beliefs based solely on their bank accounts. Therefore, Atheists see people like Trump, the Clintons, the Obama’s, Oprah and the Kardashians as somehow “worthy” of worship and admiration, yet heap scorn on nuns, policemen, soldiers, and all the other nameless, faceless individuals that give of themselves because they remain true to their beliefs.

    Most Atheists believe in the god of “consensus science”. They believe in a universe that they claim started by accident (aka a “big bang”), a universe that has coalesced a world of just the right minerals & compounds to create life at the exact distance required from the Sun for liquid water, a universe that contains life on only one world we know of (life that also started by accident and has somehow “evolved” through accidental, incremental mutations) is somehow predictable enough to describe and explain and to predict what will happen in space during the next billion years while they cannot predict the whether on our own planet over the next 5-10 years.

    Most Atheists reject any notion that God created the Earth and continues to create, yet will not admit that Darwin’s theories on evolution have now been thoroughly debunked (most of his observations were surface-level and disproven once DNA evidence became available), nor will they admit that new studies are showing that entire new species of plants and animals continue to be discovered. Note that I did not say “mutations” or “evolutions of” existing species – there are none of these – the new species just seem to “pop” into existence. At least one study of the collected DNA of thousands of species has concluded that approx 90% of all present-day species are no more than 90,000 yrs old. According to the “consensus science” of evolution, such diversity in so short a time period is simply impossible, yet the study exists and is verifiable and repeatable.

    Most Atheists believe that all other religions should be eliminated from any semblance of control or influence in our government and would impose a religious test to prevent any candidate for office from holding any religion other than Atheism. Most Atheists believe that public displays of religion are offensive and are quite public about demanding that the religion of Atheism be the only religion allowed to be practiced in public.

    Most Atheists believe that they are “moral” people, yet cannot define or identify any moral compass or reference that they aspire to emulate. Most Atheists have no common ‘standard’ or set of values they can agree upon as a ‘core set’ of ethics or decency. Therefore Most Atheists fall back on “relative morality” and “situational ethics” and “subjective truth” and “gender identification” — none of which is objectively verifiable, objectively testable, or remotely possible for their god of big government to legislate. Thus, Atheism defines an inherently unstable society where every individual is free to devolve to their lowest base impulses while defending any perversion (sexual, ethical, or other kind) as “honorable” since they use situational ethics and relative morality to avoid blame and responsibility. We see this avoidance of responsibility and these tactics used when the Trump cult tells us we have to vote for Trump because he’s #notHillary or when the (D) party tells us that PP is about “women’s health” when their primary money-making activity is the killing of unborn children (and in some portion of the cases, the neglectful deaths of born children). Hiding behind the inability of ANY legislature to legislate relative morality or situational ethics, Atheists feel they can get away with anything if they only have powerful enough connections to the “high priests” in their big-government “clergy”.

    When a group of people holds any set of beliefs in common, they have defined a ‘religion’ according to the definition of ‘religion’ in any dictionary, so yes – Atheism IS a religion. They just don’t like the fact that their choice to replace God with worldly idols and other golden calves is identifiable as the very thing they choose to mock and deride. They do not like the fact that Atheism has even started acquiring the trappings of religion (1st Church of Atheism, internet ordainment of Atheist priests, etc) and they would like us to forget that Christianity was once defined as a group of people holding common aspirations to follow Christ and his teachings (a group of people that recognized that the life Christ was offering was superior to what the world was offering them) while meeting in homes, caves and open squares (no fancy Churches) to hear the stories and teachings of Christ retold by the people that witnessed the events or those that have heard the witnesses to the events – no designated clergy, no official ordainment requirements – Christianity was originated by people that knew that only the love of Christ and the acceptance of his ways with a sincere desire to follow his example was necessary to teach God’s word and to teach how to live a Christian life.

  • Michael Weyer

    A lot to unpack but I’m going to take issue with your lines on “atheists and science.” I graduated from a Catholic high school in a very conservative part of Florida. Yet that place was seriously into sciences. I would go right from my religious classes to Earth science. They taught us that there was a Big Bang, that evolution exists and yet that God has a place in that.

    One my nuns actually used episodes of Star Trek to illustrate religious lessons and a sci-fi fan herself. So this idea of “scientists=atheism” is rather foolish. After all, it was Einstein who said “God does not play dice with the universe.”

    I actually find many atheists to be thoughtful and intelligent people who, while not agreeing with my beliefs, respect my fatih. It’s like meeting someone from another religion, they don’t believe in what I do but understand it. It sadly is the far more vocal minority (the loathsome Bill Maher comes to mind) who act as if believing in a higher power means you’re mentally ill.

    I am Catholic and I believe in God. I also believe in understanding those who are different from me (Jesus was the original “love thy neighbor SJW”) and try not to judge just because someone doesn’t believe in what I do. At the end of the day, we’ll sort out who’s right or wrong.

    Who knows, it may end up being like Rowan Atkinson’s comedy routine of the Devil dividing up newcomers to Hell.

    “Atheists? Bet you all feel the right bunch of nitwits…Christians? Yes, I’m sorry, I’m afraid the Jews were right.”

  • IllinoisPatriot

    Atheists do not always have the moral courage to openly admit their religion. They often try to hide among Christians, Muslims or other religions due to fear – fear that some religion might take offense is often greater than their belief in their own (lack of) principles or ethics or values. Sometimes they fear that they might be called names or mocked or rejected by those they feel they need acceptance (or approval of their rejection of God) from.

    Christians (in the US) and Muslims (in the ME) are the dominant religions, so it is no surprise that Atheists would want to hide among the dominant religion, imitating the actions of the dominant religion in an attempt to blend in, yet ignoring any teaching, custom or ethical/moral consideration that they simply disagree with.

    Atheists can always be identified by their actions. Just because Trump or Pelosi claim to follow Christ does not mean they do. When Pelosi calls the child-sacrifice done by the high-priests of PP a “sacrament”, she openly declares that she is emphatically NOT following Christ. When Trump declares that he does not need to repent because he’s never sinned, he is emphatically NOT following Christ. In both cases, the claim to Christianity is refuted from their own mouths and it is clear that neither one has truly accepted Christ into their lives. In each case, their other actions bear out the single examples I’ve given above indicating that not only have they not accepted Christ, but they intend to continue rejecting Christ for the foreseeable future.

    As to the Atheist “representation” in prison populations, who cares ? What difference does it make ? Virtually all prison inmates (in the US anyway) have rejected Christ and have rejected our laws, having decided that they are somehow above the laws that everyone else is expected to live by. I would expect the percentage of non-Christians in prison populations to be close to 100%. There will be a few that have found Christ while in prison serving long terms. They will be the exception that you and other Atheists will point to to try to crow about how Christians too can be found in jail or how Christians can commit crimes, but I remind you that a person is not BORN a Christian. The decision to follow Christ is just that – a decision. It is a life-changing decision that makes very drastic and obvious changes in behavior and outlook. When people find Christ in prison, the change is obvious, but in order to commit the crimes that (likely) sent them there, they first had to reject God and the teachings of Christ in their hearts and in their minds which is the defining characteristic of Atheism (unless they otherwise identify as Muslim or Buddist or Hindu, etc – and even then they may simply be ‘hiding’ among the population of another religion – going through the motions, but not truly accepting the beliefs.

  • IllinoisPatriot

    I did not say “science=Atheism”. That is you putting words into my mouth.

    I referred to “consensus-science” where scientific “facts” are determined by polling various scientists and the majority belief “wins”.

    OF COURSE schools teach the “THEORY of evolution” and “big bang THEORY”. Such teachings are mandated by law. Note the emphasis of the word “THEORY”. The alternative would be to admit that the cosmos and the Earth were created – a conclusion that more and more molecular biologists are coming to on their own as they dive deeper and deeper into the makeup of cells and chromosomes. The THEORY of the “big bang” is really not all that different from the American Indians various “theories” of great spirits that created the stars or the tremendous dragons that ancient Chinese thought created the heavens and the earth and the seas. It is all an attempt by limited minds to conceive of how matter could come into existence from nothingness. It ignores the question of “what created the ‘big bang'” and if the theory behind that was “another cycle of the universe”, then the Atheist religious teachings (that God did not create the universe) is really no different from the Christian origin beliefs or the Hindu beliefs or the beliefs of any other religion. Whey is it only the Atheist version is allowed to be taught in schools ? As to the “theory” of evolution, in all the time since Darwin, no trans-species skeleton has ever been found, yet emerging DNA studies and (as I said above) molecular biologists are reaching “consensus” that the sheer complexity of cells and DNA and the conditions required for them to form could NOT have occurred by “accident”. The belief in life being an “accident” while somehow being stable and “breeding true” is simply too far-fetched to be feasible.

    No conclusive evidence of either theory (‘big bang’ or ‘evolution’) actually being correct has ever been found, just as no “smoking gun” evidence that positively contradicts either theory has been found. However, simple logic tells us that the absence of evidence is not the same as evidence of absence. Because no proof that evolution as the origin of life is wrong has been found, does not mean that the theory of evolution is correct or true. Just as the lack of proof that evolution is the correct theory to explain the origins of life does not mean that evolution does not exist. It is entire possible (and well within current knowledge) for life to have been created on Earth with a means of limited evolution (adaptation) to specific environments or as a means of growth.

    However, Darwin’s original theories HAVE been proven wrong once DNA was discovered and used to attempt to validate his ideas. You have not addressed the continued emergence of new species around the world – species that just seem to “appear” without evolution from existing species (indeed, to become a new species instead of just a variation on an existing species (sometimes referred to as a “strain of” or “variant of”) is HUGE deal as it implies completely separate and identifiable DNA).

  • Michael Weyer

    I apologize if I misspoke. I actually do agree with some of your views. After all, we Catholics approach evolution and the like with the idea of “yes, God created the Earth in seven days but what’s a day to God?” I believe there can be life on other worlds (if not the kind we know on Earth) but some sort of hand behind it all rather than just random chance.

    Although these new species are more an offshoot of evolution and science as I do think schools should be like mine: Teach actual hard science and while accepting God, try not to make it all “Intelligent design.” It’s tricky but a balance can be found.

  • Fmontyr

    You are being highly judgmental, aren’t you? Jesus wouldn’t like that. I think you make up stuff; your opinions are just that, opinions. About Atheists, you are way off target; you don’t know what you are saying. I surmise that you consider yourself to be a high class Christian but you sure aren’t acting as one. There are also low class Christians such as pedophile Priests and ministers among the chosen who preach redemption and salvation.

    A quick lesson about morality. It evolved as homo species learned to work together and live together. Happened before dreams were explained as messages from the gods of which there have a great many. Your god is but one of the thousands which you have not yet rejected.

    Another quick lesson. Religions are fading into the background. In Sweden church attendance is about 5%, being mainly the elderly. Sweden is a happy nation. It is more entrepreneurial and has greater opportunity for individuals to rise in status than here. So you should know that your religion is of no great shakes in terms of personal achievement.

    We atheists, most of us anyway, have come a long way from the religious indoctrination received as an unknowing innocent child. As we matured we began to see the light as our intellect caused us to reject the supernatural and mystical elements (heaven, hell, rising from the dead, etc., etc. Now free we haven’t a care for redemption and salvation. We are, in fact, “happy” with the prospect of going to hell for eternity.

    Advice, loosen-up, think, and stop worrying about whether god likes you enough.

    Little did I realize that there would be so much religious bs on Susan Wright’s Patheos site. Today I blocked receiving further notifications as I have better use for my time. Bye all.

  • IllinoisPatriot

    Does not “the hand of God” imply “intelligent design” ?

    It sounds like your school is trying to compromise between faith and popular worldly belief. There is no option for believing that evolution is responsible for all life on earth “supported by the hand of God”. Either God created the Earth and the life on it (allowing for adaptation to different environments) or life on Earth is the result of one big accident – and accident that defies all belief and that more and more scientists are coming to question due to the sheer complexity and probabilities against so many parts of a living organism developing in just the right proportions with just the right chemicals and chromosomes and RNA and DNA all at once – conditions that we now know are required for an organism to ‘breed true’.

    If the universe were not designed, the only other alternative is “random chance” or “accidental” creation. “random chance” would most likely not result in a universe with absolute, predictable laws and rules or in ALL branches of science obeying the SAME set of rules and principles with the same constants showing up in multiple fields of endeavor / disparate areas of study.

    As I look at science, simple logic tells me that when so many disparate areas of thought and study share so many constants and concepts and when so many laws are so mathematically predictable and so constant as to be capable of being reduced to mathematical formulae, there is little to no “randomness” in the overall design of the universe. If there is no ‘randomness’ and the physical laws as we know them do not allow for creation of something out of nothing, then how realistic is the ‘big bang’ theory as a serious explanation of the origin of the universe or of the Earth ? Are we to believe that the laws of the universe were once other than what we currently know them to be ? If the laws of the universe are as predictable as they need to be to allow for predictions of such things as tomorrow’s weather, future climate, or cycles of our sun / life-cycles of stars, then how can they explain the presence of life (let alone intelligent life) starting with non-life and inorganic elements ? No theory of man that can be tested (testability of truth or falsification being a critical element of any valid theory) has yet been presented to explain the origin of life. There is ZERO evidence (or even a falsifiable theory) for how life ‘evolved’ from non-life, much less how so many species have sprung into being within the last 90,000 years.

    It’s clear that the THEORY of evolution holds no real answers – only the faith of Atheists that someday, someone MIGHT find proof of a cross-species skeleton. In the years since Darwin, no one has come close (though there have been some hoaxes put forward as proof).

    As to your statement that new species are “offshoots” of evolution, I can parse no sense into that statement. New species are just that new species. they are not “offshoots” of anything – if they were, they would be called “offshoots” or “variants of _____ species”. They are referred to as “new species” specifically because they are NOT “offshoots” of any existing species – any more than a cat is an ‘offshoot’ of a dog or pony.

  • sometypeofguy

    We are a highly religious nation my friend. Why would you expect otherwise? Good luck.

  • sometypeofguy

    Yeah. That’s not necessarily my philosophy, but i appreciated the ‘rare” in there. you won’t hear that language anymore, as dems have moved to more strident and celebratory (imo) language around abortion.

  • sometypeofguy

    The Big Bang theory is not incompatible with Christianity and was first proposed by a Catholic priest. Evolution is not incompatible with Christianity either.

  • sometypeofguy

    You seem to be setting up a false dichotomy, as if one can either believe the Big Bang theory and evolution or else believe the cosmos was created. The Big Bang theory was first proposed by a Catholic priest, who absolutely believed the world was created by God. In fact, Francis Collins (former director of Human Genome project, current director of NIH) says the Big Bang *points* to God:

    “The Big Bang cries out for a divine explanation. It forces the conclusion that nature had a defined beginning. I cannot see how nature could have created itself. Only a supernatural force that is outside of space and time could have done that.”

  • chemical

    Exactly my own feelings, annoyed at this whole ‘Democrats are all atheists” bit going on when scores of religious people among their ranks.

    I kind of see where he’s coming from, though. Atheists are Dem’s largest voting bloc, and the 2nd largest “religious” group in the country. There are more American atheists than evangelical Christians.

  • chemical

    Einstein’s quote is about a specific criticism of quantum mechanics. QM dictates that some events that occur on very tiny scales happen at random, and are better described with a set of probabilities. Einstein didn’t like QM as it implied that the universe is non-deterministic (“God does not play dice with the universe”) and it clashes with his Theory of Relativity — a problem in physics which still hasn’t been worked out since then.

  • Fmontyr

    You have not been paying attention my friend. Church attendance has been declining for decades and churches are steadily closing. Atheists are increasing in numbers in the US and in many advanced nation’s populations dominate. To help you understand the movement to atheism, here is a good book to read.

  • chemical

    Really? I tend to hang out in places a bit further left than here, and my view is pretty mainstream. I’m of the opinion that there could be a lot less abortions in the USA (basically near the point where abortions are only performed to save the life of the pregnant woman). Every abortion is a damned tragedy for one reason or another, but it’s better than the alternative.

  • chemical

    The word “theory”, in science, means it’s a well-established fact supported by lots of evidence. Theories are the highest standard for science — you may rant about the Big Bang Theory or evolution, but you’re curiously quiet about challenging atomic theory or Einstein’s theory of relativity. Probably because the Bible says nothing about those.

    Also, the Big Bang is still visible, if you know how to look for it. Here’s a picture of it:

    As far as what caused the Big Bang: I’m of the opinion that it has no cause. You might think “Well, that’s ridiculous”, but… is it? Your God has no cause, either. Apparently, he doesn’t require one. In reality, you’re totally fine with events that have no cause, as long as they create a God. But that’s the big conundrum of living in a reality with a cause-effect relationship: Either an eternity has already passed, or there is at least one event that happened without cause — and science ruled out an eternal universe long before Big Bang theory became accepted by the scientific community.

  • sometypeofguy

    “Highly religious” is relative. Compared to Sweden the US is highly religious. I wouldn’t complain about atheism in a comment section dominated by Swedes. 🙂

  • Michael Weyer

    One of my hangups about IllinoisPatriot and others is how they seem to think “the left” is one massive hive mind dominated by the ultra-progressives and outright socialists rather than levels of different moderate types. Plus, the idea folks “celebrate” abortions.

  • chemical

    There are two influential right wing “thinkers” who lump everyone they don’t like into the same category. One is Jonah Goldberg, and the other is Dennis Prager. To them, Nazis, atheists, liberals, socialists, communists, feminists, and Muslims are all exactly the same group of people with no distinctions whatsoever. Goldberg and Prager are the worst, but I see this kind of “thinking” going on in right wing spheres pretty frequently.

    Even at a glance, it’s blatantly obvious that the Democratic party is composed of a bunch of different factions that kind of overlap: Anti-racists / anti-bigots, progressives, non-religious, feminists, and democratic socialists. The different factions don’t always agree on everything, either.

  • Michael Weyer

    I mean, I know the right can be bothersome but there is a difference between regular conservatives and the Trump worshipping alt-right.

  • chemical

    Definitely. As a matter of fact, up until a few years ago the GOP had factions similar to the Democrats: right-leaning libertarians, religious conservatives, business types, etc. But then the alt-right got a hold of the party and started kicking everyone else out. The GOP went along with it because the demographics aren’t in their favor — without the alt-right they simply don’t have the people to win an election even in the reddest states.

    And that’s the thing that concerns me: Young GOPers are very alt-right. All the Republicans that I have respect for are dead. There are no more John McCains or Bush-41s, i.e. people I wouldn’t vote for but are at least competent enough to run the country.

  • IllinoisPatriot

    To help you understand Christianity, try reading this book: The Bible.

    Christianity is not about churches and faith does not need nor does it depend on popularity or numbers.

    While many churches fail, it has been my experience that when they do, it is because they lose their pastor and either cannot find another (no one is willing to lead) or they make the mistake of hiring a “progressive” individual that makes promises to the board of higher income, and greater numbers of members. It is not until the individual is hired that they find out he planned to “popularize” the church with the platitudes he learned in divinity school.

    Since “divinity schools” teach the watered-down gospel in order to try to appeal to all people, this individual (unless he’s a senior pastor, highly experienced and likely too expensive for the church to afford) will try bringing in rock bands to “appeal” to “younger church-goers”.

    The first result is the current members will quit attending since they will sense the purpose of the church is now to make money rather than be a place of worship. The second result is the church will either fold immediately or will be taken over by some mega-church that is focused exclusively on numbers rather than on the Word of God.

    Yet many people are looking for a “church home” – they just cannot identify or put into words what they are looking for. They look for a place to ‘belong’, a place where they can associate with loving people to hear the Word of God – again they don’t know that that is what they are actually looking for.

    Popular culture has put a stigma on the church that is hard for many to get past, but once they do, they often find that they’ve “come home”.

    Your poll numbers mean nothing to me. Your ratings and pro-atheist books are about as convincing as any random Trump speech or tweet.

    You continue to fight against human nature and the natural desires of every man and woman that is born to find something more than themself to believe in. Since Atheists have nothing to offer other than ‘big government’ or ‘cult of personality’ (such as becoming an Obama-bot or a Trumpie), it is expected that Atheists would crow about the number of churches they’ve been able to infiltrate and destroy, but the truth is that people are still looking for and finding God and new churches are springing up to satisfy that need. Worse for you is that word-of-mouth and local Bible-study groups are showing people that there are better choices than Atheism and that it is not necessary to meet exclusively in churches in order to find God.

    I doubt that Atheists are actually increasing in numbers. I believe that more ‘non-practicing’ Christians are simply ‘coming out’ as Atheists and no longer ‘pretending’ now that popular culture has made Atheism ‘acceptable’. As alcoholics know, the first step in treating a problem is to admit that you have one, so once Atheists admit their lack of faith and identify themselves, the practicing Christians can remove the Atheists in high places within their churches or simply stop attending… As examples of Atheists pretending to be Christians, I submit the self-identified, so-called “Evangelicals” that surround and support Trump with their reputations and the reputations of their associated institutions like Jerry Falwell Jr, Joel Epsteen, Jeff Jefferies, etc….

    Again, these are not failures of the institutions, these are subversions by individuals that either never had God in their hearts or that have lost their way and rejected God somewhere along the line, but due to their personal influence have managed to damage the reputation of whichever institution they were associated with.

  • IllinoisPatriot

    This is perhaps the first time I’ve actually seen an Atheist admit that Atheism is actually a religion.

    Thank you for that admission. It’s a start toward a dialog.

  • chemical

    No, I’m not. Atheism isn’t a religion, and doesn’t meet the criteria for religion (worshipping or engaging in other practices for a divine being, who is usually supernatural). I even put the word “religious” in quotes. I’m saying that if you broke down the Democratic voting base by religion, the largest bloc would be atheists.

    I don’t really know how to phrase this any other way — Separate the atheists out from the religious democrats, and break the religious democrats down, and then compare all groups? All I’m saying is that when classifying people by religion, you need to consider the people who don’t practice a religion, too.

  • Michael Weyer

    It will depend I guess. Some folks shift in ideology as time goes by. I know someone who was a Bush-era conservative but now pretty ultra-progressive (sometimes to a nutty degree). I’ve known folks who were liberal in their youth and more conservative in their old age. I’ve always been more moderate but it’s clear that both sides are shifting away from moderation to more of the extremes.

  • IllinoisPatriot

    I was also “curiously quiet” about a host of other theories that had no bearing on my comment. Is your charge of “curiously quiet” intended as an attempt to distract, to change to change the subject, to attempt to discredit my comment, or simply a non-sequitor ?

    I also take issue with your “Theories are the highest standard for science” comment. There IS a standard above “theory” and that is “law” (as in ‘Newton’s LAWS of motion’, the ‘LAWS of thermodynamics’, etc).

    Theories are actually nothing but guesses that have not yet either been proven or disproven. One of the biggest criteria for a ‘guess’ to become a ‘theory’ is a characteristic known as ‘falsifiability’ that supports the idea of ‘falsification’. Falsification is any set of conditions that (if met) definitively DISPROVE a theory and remove it from further scientific consideration. The problem with “theories” like ‘big bang’ and ‘evolution’ is that they are not falsifiable.

    While evolution is still waiting on someone to discover a cross-species skeleton, what would it take to DISPROVE evolution ? Evidence that new species continue to be discovered (and therefore presumably created or ‘brought into existence’) continues to occur – without any evidence whatsoever of cross-species skeletons or remains. Since one of the requirements for classification of a new species is that the organism ‘breed true’ (ie offspring are consistently of the same species with consistent DNA as the parents and without lots of random mutations), the question poses itself: If these new species ‘breed true’, where are the ‘evolutionary predecessors’ ? Again – the “THEORY” of evolution dictates that these predecessors MUST exist (even though (if) they are never found), but the non-falsifiable nature of the ‘theory’ of evolution allows the true-believers to continue to cling to ‘evolution’ as an alternative to the concept of creation that they are desperately trying to reject. The true-believers are able to keep the “theory” of evolution alive by conflating ‘evolution’ with ‘adaptation’, by simply ignoring the number of years that have passed without any proof that their ‘theory’ is true, and by relying on the lack of ‘falsifiability’ of their theory to deflect any attempt to challenge by claiming that ‘it is true that no definitive proof of evolution has been found “YET” – we need to “give it more time”‘…..

    As to the ‘big bang’, it too suffers from the lack of falsifiability. Those that have put their faith into ‘big bang’ have no proof either FOR of AGAINST the theory. They just take the word of those that the law allows to teach them that ‘big bang’ was a fact, but if they look closer, they find that the ‘big bang’ not only is not falsifiable (and therefore does not even qualify as a rigorous scientific theory), but that the ‘big bang’ does not even answer the question of how the universe came into being. (For example one ‘patch’ to the ‘big bang’ theory is that the universe expands until it reaches a certain point (exactly what point is left unspecified), then starts contracting (which would require changes to the LAWS of physics that we accept today), until the universe contracts to point and the the ‘big bang’ starts all over again.

    This has as much myth and hyperbole as any religion-based creation story because it presumes (without proof) that all matter was once located in one spot. Why did this matter expand instead of instantly forming a black hole as the LAWS of physics say will happen whenever star become too massive ? (Or is black hole formation a ‘theory’ that now conflicts with the ‘big bang’ concept ? Or did the LAWS of physics change sometime between the ‘big bang’ and now ?). If the LAWS of physics that we know about do not hold in all places and at all times, then obviously what we think we’ve figured out and codified as our fundamental building-blocks for our ‘science’ are wrong and we might as well go back to believing in Earth, Air, Fire, Water, & Spirit as the basic building blocks of all matter.

    So – in simplistic terms: do you believe in the body of science that is built on the LAWS of science – LAWS that hold in all places at all times, or do you believe in the (apparent) myth of a big explosion (that had neither cause nor ‘trigger’) that ‘accidentally’ created an expanding universe that may or may one day (for unknown reasons) decide to become a contracting universe ? If (as I suppose is also possible) the universe is NOT expanding, what stopped it’s expansion if all matter started moving outwards from a ‘big bang’ point ?

    As to your picture, you’ll need to provide some explanation other than “if you know how to look for it”. For all I can tell, that is a picture of a cell (or part of a cell) under a microscope. If it actually WERE a picture of “the big bang”, is there still matter emanating from the ‘flash point’ or should we be looking for a HUGE void where the ‘expanding universe’ has left a ‘hole’ in the cosmos ? If matter is still emanating from the ‘flash point’, where is the matter (or energy if you’re going fall back on E=mc[squared]) coming from ?

  • Michael Weyer

    I actually agree on not sure about atheists growing in number either. Do point out that atheists don’t hate God as pretty hard to hate something you don’t believe in but I try not to judge more than I would someone who has a different faith than me like a Jew or Muslim.

    I do point out the issues of the “stick to the Bible” attitude. We Catholics tend to see the Bible more as parables and lessons than pure literal truth. I mean, if we were to start living by the Bible than it’d be okay to sell off your daughters, put anyone who works the Sabbath to death and other things that just aren’t acceptable to the modern age.

    Again, I believe in God, I attend church and I pray nightly. I believe in values which includes loving those who are different than me and “judge not lest ye be judged.”

  • Michael Weyer

    One of the more idiotic lines of Bill Maher (I know, that’s a loooooong list) was how he openly says “atheists should have our own religion” complete with tax breaks and such. Then again, Maher is one of those people who literally thinks religion “is a mental disorder” so obviously doesn’t grasp the illogic.

  • chemical

    Re: Theory vs. law. It’s not a distinction recognized by science. Other people made that up. Also, Newton’s Laws of Motion have been superseded by Einstein’s Theory of Relativity (although Newton’s Laws provide an accurate representation of motion in cases not involving extreme gravity or speed). Relativity accurately predicts Mercury’s orbit, and Newton’s laws don’t — this was the first case noticed by physicists. The correct term for unproven but educated guess is “hypothesis”. It is important to note that theories can be superseded or revoked entirely if evidence comes along to the contrary.

    The definition of physical laws (or whatever you want to call it) is that it applies at all points in both space and time. They don’t change, but our understanding of them does.

    As for how we develop laws: My specialty (chemistry) has went through a lot of changes since medieval alchemists tried turning lead into gold. Take atomic theory, for instance. We worked out pretty early that there was a smallest amount of a thing you can have, called a molecule. Then we discovered that molecules are made of atoms. Then we discovered the atoms followed a certain pattern, and we arranged it into the periodic table of the elements. Then we discovered that the atoms themselves are composed of smaller things called protons and electrons that have electric charges (neutrons were discovered later). JJ Thompson thought all the particles were randomly distributed throughout the atom, which was the thinking for a while; however, there was a radical proposal that all the protons were located in a small nucleus. Thompson ended up being wrong. Then Neils Bohr comes along, after dunking on Thompson, and develops a new model with the protons in the nucleus in the center and the electrons orbiting it, and then quantum mechanics comes along and disproves that. Now the current thinking today is that the nucleus still exists, and electrons move around and occupy space in orbitals around it, which have different shapes depending on the orbital (the orbitals have different shapes, not the electrons).

    The point is, you never saw that messy process in action when you learned science in school. They just declared “this is the way it is”, like they’re all high and mighty or something. I get it. They gloss over all those facts, and get this — I was being brief. I could go into detail about all the experiments that were done, too, and how at each step we know what went wrong at the previous step. Personally, I blame the American education system.

    Re: picture. It’s the cosmic microwave background, which is the flash left over from the Big Bang. Your eyes are limited to seeing things in the 300-600nm wavelengths (such a narrow range, really), and these microwaves are around 1mm in length. But point anything at the sky that can see microwaves, literally anywhere at all and you see part of that. It’s everywhere, and it’s what established the Big Bang as fact.

    The thing is about the Big Bang, is that it didn’t happen like the typical explosion you’re familiar with. A typical explosion is something going from either solid or liquid to gas at a very rapid pace. With the Big Bang, it was the space itself that was expanding rapidly. Gas, like all matter, is limited in how fast it can expand — namely, light speed. Empty space is not matter and therefore has no such restrictions on how fast it can expand, and the current thinking is that it expanded really, really fast when the universe was a fraction of a second old.

    Conservation of energy dictates that energy cannot be created or destroyed, so I wouldn’t say the energy was “created” by the Big Bang, per se. It’s more like it just stopped being all in the same place at that time. It’s a one-shot deal. Since the expansion happened much faster than light moves, the light emanating from it very early on took almost the entire age of the universe to reach us — even though when the photons from it were first emitted, it would have been much closer to your current location. There is no “void” to look for — it’s the idea that everything used to be much, much closer to each other. As for why it didn’t collapse into a black hole, I have no idea. Science can’t currently describe the initial conditions at the moment of the Big Bang. In the last book he wrote, Stephen Hawking thought there might be a “negative universe” out there that we can’t access — he compared it to digging a hole in the dirt. We’re the dirt, and eventually we slide back into the hole. It’s convenient because it requires the creation of absolutely nothing, but still is mere speculation.

    As for the universe’s ultimate fate: It’s currently unknown, but the expansion of the universe is still going on, and it’s speeding up.

    Anyways, I know it’s a long post, but thanks for listening.

  • chemical

    Besides, us atheists do kind of have our own religions:
    * The Satanic Temple (the one led by Lucian Greaves) mostly exists to troll Christians. They’re the group that’s (in)famous for erecting a Baphomet statue at the Arkansas state capitol on religious freedom laws (the same ones Arkansas used to justify a 10 Commandments monument on the capitol grounds).
    * The Church of the Latter-Day Dude. Dudeists revere The Dude, from the movie The Big Lebowski, as a messianic figure, but that’s just, like, their opinion, man. Dudeism markets itself as the “world’s slowest growing religion”.
    * Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster. The faithful are referred to as Pastafarians. If you have ever heard the internet randomly break out into talking like pirates, it’s because Talk Like a Pirate Day is a Pastafarian holiday. They’re also the people that wear the colanders on their heads (it’s a sacred garment). They also reject the theory of gravity and promote “intelligent falling” as an alternative.

    None of these “religions” take themselves seriously, and the point of all of them is to start a conversation on what religious rights and religious freedom actually mean.

    Re: Maher. He’s a jerk, but he also makes me laugh, because I’m also an atheist and a bit of a jerk, myself 🙂 He’s funny when he sticks to politics, but he also holds some anti-science views and is quite hostile to religion, to the point where even I don’t think it’s funny. My main criticism of Maher is that he will let low-grade trolls on his show (like Milo Yiannopoulis) when these people have proved time and again, if you give them a platform to broadcast anything, they will use it to hurt people. Although, he did do an interview with Steve Bannon not too long ago that wasn’t terrible.

  • Fmontyr

    “To help you understand Christianity, try reading this book: The Bible.”

    I was raised in an Anabaptist environment, you know like Mennonites, Amish and Brethren. I read the Bible went to Bible study and adult Sunday school. I taught Sunday school. At our communions there was washing of feet and a simple meal. I served as a church trustee. As i matured I began having serious doubts about Christianity around age 35. As the children aged out of Sunday school some 10 years later, I had learned enough about the silliness of the Bible, its inconsistencies, contradictions, mythical stories such as people being raised from the dead, etc. I also learned that many “Christians” were really lousy people so I drifted away while learning about the true condition of mankind. I concluded that religions are a farce.

    In your comments you state wild and woolly opinions, most of which I find unique. Apparently you are adverse to facts and data, however, you are not alone in the religious sphere in this regard. I realize that you feel comfortable among the many who have opinions similar to yours. My intent is not to demean you in any way but to point out that not everyone shares your views. Freedom of religion is also freedom from religion. Remember that!

  • Fmontyr

    Could it be that you are narrow minded and that peoples of the world must reflect what evangelicals in the US believe. Hopefully people everywhere are free to chose their religion or a lack thereof.

  • Fmontyr

    Your beliefs stated above are way off base. You have no knowledge of how atheists think!

  • sometypeofguy

    Why do you feel the need to insult me? I haven’t insulted you. My assertion about the relative religiosity of the US and Sweden is easily verifiable.

  • Michael Weyer

    Agree on Maher. Baffles me he rants on “war on science” and climate change denial…but then goes on about vaccines a scam and the same “let’s ignore what 99 percent of scientists say and listen to the one percent of whackos!”

  • Fmontyr

    My friend, show me the insult and I’ll apologize.

    I don’t understand what you are saying about Sweden. I had said earlier to IllinoisPatriot, “Religions are fading into the background. In Sweden church attendance is about 5%, being mainly the elderly. Sweden is a happy nation. It is more entrepreneurial and has greater opportunity for individuals to rise in status than here. So you should know that your religion is of no great shakes in terms of personal achievement.”

    Having worked for a Swedish company and traveling there roughly twice a year, I got to know Swedes and their attitudes. What is it that you find incorrect in my comments on Sweden? Of course I said they are not religious people. Furthermore, if asked most will say they have no belief in god. What I was saying was that Swedes, highly intelligent and accomplished people, have no use for religion and still they are quite happy.

  • sometypeofguy

    You suggested I was narrow minded. No matter, not a big deal. We are misunderstanding each other somehow.

  • IllinoisPatriot

    It’s not a distinction recognized by science. Other people made that up.

    Disagree – the distinction is real and significant. Theories exist without proof of correctness. Laws have been proven (mathematically or logically) to be correct in all cases.

    Newtons laws have in now way been “superseded” by Einstein’s theories. Einstein has postulated that in certain very narrow conditions, the laws of physics may be supplemented or incomplete, but in no way do any of Einstein’s theories supersede Newtons laws or any other laws of physics.

    The very fact that theories can be revoked or superseded indicates they are not established fact. Laws on the other hand will ALWAYS hold true and will (can) never be ‘disproven’ by new observations.

    As to your theories on the Big Bang, I submit that there is no fact behind it. All Hawking has is observation and some guesses as to what his observations mean. He has declared that “My big-bang theory is the way it happened” and that declaration went from a guess / hypothesis to common usage and is now being touted as fact. Truth is, you have no PROOF that the universe originated in the way Hawking claims – any more than people had PROOF that Darwins categorization of species was correct (turns out, DNA testing proved Darwin’s classifications totally wrong.).

    One of the scientific principles for a HYPOTHESIS become a THEORY is replication: other scientists must be able to replicate the experiment given the same starting conditions. Like falsification, replication is not possible with the Big-Bang THEORY (guess) any more than it is with “evolution”. We cannot watch it happening, we cannot replicate it and the theory is so vague as to not be falsifiable.

    As an example, consider Global Cooling. In the ’70s (or was it the ’80s ?) liberals were running around predicting a new Ice Age due to global cooling because of the smog in the atmosphere. They claimed that the destruction of the rain forest would kill off all oxygen-producing plantlife and city smog would blanket the earth, blocking the Sun’s warming radiation and we’d all freeze to death within 10 – 20 years.

    The only falsification possible was to wait 10 years only to find out temperatures had INCREASED during that time, at which point liberals jumped on “Anthropomorphic Global Warming” as the next ’emergency’ for mankind. You know – the seas will rise, the ice caps will melt, the plants will all die from too much heat, mankind’s carbon-dioxide is the culprit so we need to reduce the carbon-dioxide in our atmosphere to prevent the plants from dying, etc, etc.

    This ‘theory’ needed ANOTHER 8-10 years to prove false. Eventually, the manipulation of the input data to the computer models – modifications designed to hide historical values while making the model spit out politically desirable answers – was discovered and discredited the “scientific proof” produced by Prof Mann. It took another few years of AGW histeria before the time-frames of the first AGW computer models expired and we found the seas had NOT risen, the ice caps had NOT melted (shifted, but not melted), and the polar bear population was larger than ever.

    Now the ‘theory’ is “Climate change”. Since the climate is ALWAYS changing and since liberals apparently have no proof one way or another as to which way or when or how far the climate MIGHT eventually shift, they simply say that any unusual weather pattern is “Man-Made Climate Change”. The ‘scientific’ proof they put forward is “97% of the scientists we polled agree”. Note the words “of those we polled” and then examine WHO they polled: many scientists that do NOT work in climatology and of those that do, many whose grants were dependent on giving the politically correct answer.

    Now compare the “Theory” of climate change to the “theory” of the big-bang or the “theory” of evolution. In both cases, we have guesswork based on observation alone and an arrogance that says “MY explanation is the ONLY POSSIBLE explanation for what I have chosen to observe”. Have you heard the story about 3 blind men describing an elephant ?

    Until Hawkings or any other astrophysicist can reproduce the events they are claiming credit for “explaining”, there will always be a multitude of other (equally plausible) explanations for what they are observing. This is because they are not providing proof of direct cause-and-effect, nor are they proving that no other conditions (known or unknown) can account for their observations. The inability to reproduce the big-bang limits that area of inquiry to permanent “theory” status – a status that (as you say – can be disproven (like the earlier “theories” that the Earth is flat or the Sun orbits the Earth). The “theory” of Evolution is (like the THEORY of climate change) not a ‘fact’ until a cross-species skeleton is discovered and validated. People that run around confusing THEORIES with facts (LAWS) of nature do little but discredit themselves and their pet theories.

    As to your field of chemistry, my education covered the process up-to-and including the debate on whether sub-atomic elements (quarks and [I forget the other similar term(s)]) were actually particles or waves or both. I actually suspect that reality is that at some point, the argument comes down to semantics because I’ve not yet heard that the particle/wave debate has been settled definitively. Your assumption that my education is so surface-level as “that’s the way it is” is just you putting words into my mouth. Up to now, I had thought better of you.

  • mudskipper

    I believe the largest block would be “nones”. That is somewhat different than atheists, since the majority of nones aren’t atheists.

  • IllinoisPatriot

    “selling off your daughters is NOT in the New Testament.
    The Old Testament was superseded by the New Testament and anything having to do with “promoting’ or accepting slavery went away with the Old Testament laws.

    I believe the fears and claims that the Bible suggests or even condones selling daughters into slavery is purely a myth circulated by the left in order to provide talking points against Christians.

    Where in the New Testament does it even come CLOSE to saying ‘sell your daughters into slavery ?

    That’s not even CLOSE to consistent withe the primary message of Jesus Christ.