Life on Earth still favours evolution over creationism

Life on Earth still favours evolution over creationism
Evolution is still the favoured theory, according to fossil records. Credit: Flickr/Brent Danley, CC BY-NC-SA

Charles Darwin's Theory of Evolution, first published in 1859, offered a bold new explanation for how animals and plants diversified and still serves as the foundation underpinning all medical and biological research today. But the theory remains under attack by creationists in various parts of the world, particularly the US, Turkey, Indonesia and the Middle East.

Perhaps three of the most powerful ways to test evolution are through comparative genomics, homeobox genes and transitional fossils.

Collectively these provide solid evidence for evolution as a robust theory to account for the diversification of all life. So allow me to explore some recent discoveries in these fields.

Genomes and evolution

The genome is the genetic material of an organism, comprising genes and non-coding sequences of DNA and RNA. The first organism sequenced for its entire genome – a bacteriophage (a bacterial virus) – was done in 1976 and it wasn't until 1995 the first genome of a bacteria was completed.

By 2003 the human genome was sequenced in the world's largest collaborative scientific project. It was found to be made up of 3 billion pairs of DNA bases that code 20,500 genes, the same number as in mice.

Today, a new generation of gene sequencers means that a can be individually sequenced for around US$1,000.

Humans share 98.8% of their genes with chimpanzees. As we know the time at which divergent mutations accumulate between lineages, we can estimate that humans and chimpanzees last common ancestor (LCA) lived about 6-8 million years ago.

This date is supported by the known fossil evidence of ancient human species and prehistoric apes.

The coelacanth was thought to have gone extinct with the dinosaurs before a living one was caught off South Africa in 1938. It is a primitive lobe-finned fish whose genome sheds light on the early evolution of land animals.

Last year the whole genome of the coelacanth Latimeria chalumnae was sequenced. It is a living relic of a radiation of ancient lobe-finned fishes that reached their zenith of diversity about 300 million years ago.

The genome of the coelacanth has 19,033 genes. Within these, 251 genes common to all jawed vertebrates were selected and the comparative positions of the 100,583 amino acid positions were analysed to see which sequences had the most similarity.

The resulting phylogeny (or evolutionary history of a species), showing inferred evolutionary relationships, supported the evidence from the fossil record. It proved that coelacanths diverged from the vertebrate tree well before the divergence of lungfishes and tetrapods (four-limbed species).

Whole genomes have been recently completed for the zebrafish, pufferfish, flatfish, elephant shark, chimpanzee, rat, platypus, chicken, dog, horse, wallaby and opossum as well as a range of invertebrate animals (such as fruit flies) and microorganisms.

Each time a whole genome of an organism is sequenced, its genetic diversity and complex protein patterning can be compared to other organisms whose genomes are known, and an evolutionary hypothesis generated based on the degree of similarity.

To date these results have all supported the existing theory of evolution from what we already knew about the anatomy of such organisms. It is powerful evidence for evolution as it would only take one such case to be out of the predicted phylogenetic position to challenge evolutionary theory, but this has not yet happened.

Homeobox genes and evolution

Homeobox genes (or "hox genes") are involved in the development of patterns within an organism. They are basically the blueprint and toolkit that enables the body plan to get built, turning on or off the operation of other genes in the correct sequence as needed.

Life on Earth still favours evolution over creationism
The coelacanth Latimeria is a primitive lobe-finned fish alive today. Credit: John Long, Flinders University

Hox genes are organised along the chromosome in the same order as the body parts they control.

The evolutionary significance of hox genes is profound. The very same hox genes occur within a wide range of organisms to do more or less the same job.

If you are an insect and you need to develop a leg then your sonic hedgehog (Shh) gene will be used. If you are vertebrate, whether a fish or human, likewise the Shh gene is put to use developing the fin or limb.

This shows that when fish evolved into land animals, some 370 million years ago, the transformation of the fish fin into a land animal limb was controlled by the same biological processes.

The Shh gene was also found to be active in sharks in developing the paired fins, demonstrating it is conserved for limb development in jawed vertebrate evolution.

It was recently discovered that fish also have the necessary genes and regulatory framework to form digits (fingers and toes) but do not develop them. So this step, developing digits, is only activated as a feature something unique to tetrapods.

Transitional fossils and evolution

Transitional fossils or "missing links" are fossils that show a mosaic of characters that place them as phylogentically between two major groups of organisms.

The first such famous fossil was Archaeopteryx, long hailed as the first "bird" because it had feathers but retained a reptilian skeleton. At around 150 million years old, it appeared earlier in the fossil record than any other known bird.

Today we know from extensive new studies of Archaeopteryx and the meat-eating theropod dinosaurs that it is just another feathered predatory dinosaur. Aurornis is another recently discovered feathered avian dinosaur similar to Archaeopteryx.

There are now some eight families of theropod dinosaurs known to have possessed feathers of all kinds. It is clear from this fossil evidence that birds evolved from small theropod dinosaurs sometime between 180 million and 160 million years ago.

The most spectacular new fossil that closes a very major gap in vertebrate evolution is Entelognathus.

This 425 million-year-old armoured fish or placoderm has a lower jaw and gular plates exactly like that of a bony fish (osteichthyan).

Recent work since 2009 has shown that placoderms were not a coherent (or monophyletic) group, but had several nodes in their evolutionary tree, with the higher nodes being closer to living fishes.

Life on Earth still favours evolution over creationism
The Entelognathus armoured fish is the most primitive vertebrate to display an essentially modern complement of jaw and facial bones. Credit: Brian Choo

Entelognathus appears much earlier in time than the majority of placoderms, implying the major diversification of the group took place just after its initial appearance about 440 million years ago.

Only five years ago, the world's oldest known bony fish, Guiyu, was announced from the same deposits in Yunnan, China, where Entelognathus was found.

The real surprise was that this ancient bony fish had spines in front of its fins and bony plates forming a rigid armour around it body. These are both features of placoderms and other early jawed vertebrates.

We are now learning from such fossils that the lobe-finned fishes (sarcopterygains) appeared before the first ray-finned fishes (actinopterygians).

Another truly spectacular transitional fossil found in recent years was the lobe-finned fish Tiktaalik, which lived about 375 million years ago in what is today Arctic Canada.

It was a four-legged fish which has a skull identical to that of an early tetrapod (amphibian), but had fin rays instead of digits on the ends of its limbs. Like Archaeopteryx and all other , it really depends on your perspective as to where it sits on the tree of life. One could view it either as a "fish with limbs" or an early "amphibian with fins".

Tiktaalik beautifully demonstrates an intermediate evolutionary condition when advanced lobe-finned fishes had acquired most of the anatomical features necessary to become tetrapods.

Life on Earth still favours evolution over creationism
The transition from fishes to amphibians is clearly shown by these Late Devonian fossil forms. Tiktaalik (left), a lobe finned fish, has fin rays on its limbs, whereas Acanthostega (right), an early amphibian, possessed digits. The skulls are almost identical. Credit: John Long, Flinders University

And then there is the fossil evidence

Perhaps the strongest evidence for evolution today is simply the hundreds of millions of fossils held in museums and other collections around the world.

At the Page Museum in Los Angeles there are 3.5 million fossil bones in one building, and that's just one of many hundreds if not thousands of museums, universities, geological surveys and privately owned collections containing fossils from around the world.

If just one of these fossils was found out of its predicted stratigraphic position it could disprove evolution.

Finding a mammal in the Cambrian Period or a dinosaur in the Devonian Period would instantly disprove evolution. But out of the hundreds of millions of fossil specimens collected and studied so far, not one has been found from any rock layer where it shouldn't be expected according to evolutionary theory.

Now that's irrefutable evidence for the reliability of evolution. If it wasn't reliable, we wouldn't be able to depend upon fossils from drill cores to locate the natural gas and petroleum deposits that we use in everyday life.


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Extraordinary 'missing link' fossil fish found in China

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Sep 11, 2014
John, you're slaying a straw man of your own creation. No one (seriously) denies that life is adaptable; they question why the universe appears to be designed for that life which is so exquisitely adaptable (and how complex life is, how it can lead to consciousness, how the chicken-egg cycle got started, how the universe got started, etc.). But then I've come to expect bait and switch from The Conversation.

Sep 11, 2014
orti,
Many people seriously deny that "life is adaptable", if by that we mean, for example, that humans and chimps had a common ancestor. Did you not see the Ham-Nye debate? Ken Ham speaks for many people when he claims that species do not come into existence by descent from other species, and that the world is only <10,000 years old, etc.
The questions you raise are not the questions that evolution answers, at least so far. So I think you are the one stuffing the straw. Meanwhile, the article gives some telling and compelling recent evidence in favor of evolution in the (regrettably) ongoing debate with "creationism". Pray tell, can you offer any strong recent evidence that supports creationism in this debate?

Sep 11, 2014
OK, replace "no one" with "I" or "most". You exempt evolution from too much explanatory responsibility. Its adherents (e.g. the new atheists) claim much more for it. If it wants to claim that life has purely mechanistic basis, analysis is not enough, it must show the synthesis of matter into the astounding thing it is.

Sep 11, 2014
orti,
Enough with the straw man arguments already. We get that you are anti-evolution. Why else would you introduce an erroneous and irrelevant issue (atheism) as if it were a pejorative suitable for an ad hominem attack?
By acting as if you can speak for the 'other side' of the issue (i.e. knowing what evolution 'wants to claim') you have invoked yet another straw man.
The theory of evolution goes much farther than creationism in terms of elucidating mechanisms for species adaptation and multi-generational change, and it does so in terms of demonstrable and replicable biochemistry, not appeal to the whims of a Deity.
Even humans are currently evolving. Not everybody grows 'wisdom teeth' or earlobes, or body hair, but Creationism has no rational explanation for this. Did the Creator, making people 'in His own image,' have these features, or not?

Sep 11, 2014
orti: the big flaw in your logic is "appears to be designed." Why is this a flaw? Because you're anthropomorphising natural processes. And this is *totally* normal behaviour for humans. Our intuition about the world is to filter things through this idea that they're "human-like." We anthropomorphise animals and tools and plants and inanimate objects. So it's easy to intuitively see design when there simply is none. It's understandable for a lot of people to think this way, even if it is incorrect.

In fact, we can imagine a myriad different ways in which life "could be," each forming living things asking "why is life this way, and not some other?" And concluding that the world must be 'designed' for them, even though their world would never support us.

You're right, we don't yet know everything, especially all of the details from chemical processes to chemical processes we can firmly call life. But we know a lot of things, and in the future we will know more.

Sep 11, 2014
If creationism is true why did god go to SO MUCH TROUBLE to make it look as if life evolved? If god created the world AND wrote a book about it why does the book fail to describe the world we see?

We can only conclude that this creator intended to deceive us completely about the past. So how can we believe him when he says he is the source of goodness, or that we have souls which will live in either heaven or hell for eternity depending on whether we BELIEVE in him or not?

Isn't it so much easier to conclude that he himself is the result of somewhat less than intelligent design?

Sep 11, 2014
Perhaps the sun, our Sol, is responsible?
Our magnetar began as an equatorial emitter solely and has been reduces to being primarily a polar emitter. Life began to be multicellular 650 mya when our Sol lost equatorial primacy to polar. Life is now know to have begun with complex forms not simple sponges. This is evidence that life began under the monopole (equatorial emitter) sun. Every magnetic reversal loses energy, and forces life to adapt.

Sep 11, 2014
John, you're slaying a straw man of your own creation. No one (seriously) denies that life is adaptable; they question why the universe appears to be designed for that life which is so exquisitely adaptable (and how complex life is, how it can lead to consciousness, how the chicken-egg cycle got started, how the universe got started, etc.). But then I've come to expect bait and switch from The Conversation.

Why would you think the Universe is specifically structured for Life and not the other way around? (eg - Life structures in accordance with the Universe' rules).

Sep 11, 2014
Why would you think the Universe is specifically structured for Life and not the other way around? (eg - Life structures in accordance with the Universe' rules).

Good question - given that life is NOTHING BUT adaptation to environment it seems unreasonable to then suddenly say the environment is constructed so as to fit life.

and how complex life is, how it can lead to consciousness

Irreducible complexity? Next you're going to trot out the eye as an example, right? That has been debunked so many times it gets tedious.
And we see consciousness to all kinds of degrees in nature - so that is certainly not an irreducibly complex phenomenon. Small changes over a loooong time can add to something great when viewed all-at-once.

how the universe got started

Strawman. Not evolution nor cosmology say anything about how the universe got started.

Sep 11, 2014
John, you're slaying a straw man of your own creation. No one (seriously) denies that life is adaptable; they question why the universe appears to be designed for that life which is so exquisitely adaptable (and how complex life is, how it can lead to consciousness, how the chicken-egg cycle got started, how the universe got started, etc.). But then I've come to expect bait and switch from The Conversation.

I have t-shirt I wear regularly. It's a picture of the Galaxy with an arrow pointing to the approximate location of our solar system with the words "you are here."
It's not a map... It's a suggestion.
Get over the anthropomorphic hubris.

Sep 11, 2014
Lets go back 2000 years in your own ancestry, say each mother has a child at 20 years average. How many successful births growing to maturity and reproducing to produce any one of you?
2^(2000 / 20) =
2^100 =
1267650600228229401496703205376 =
1,267,650,600,228,229,401,496,703,205,376
That is approximately
1.2 ^ 30 = 1.2 million million million million million million.
And yes many of these will be in some way duplicated when near relatives mate. Nevertheless, each generation is a test of fitness. Any new mutation in any one of those parents has to run the gauntlet of trial for fitness - fitness to live.


Sep 12, 2014
Lets go back 2000 years in your own ancestry, say each mother has a child at 20 years average. How many successful births growing to maturity and reproducing to produce any one of you?
2^(2000 / 20) =
2^100 =
1267650600228229401496703205376 =
1,267,650,600,228,229,401,496,703,205,376
That is approximately
1.2 ^ 30 = 1.2 million million million million million million.
And yes many of these will be in some way duplicated when near relatives mate. Nevertheless, each generation is a test of fitness. Any new mutation in any one of those parents has to run the gauntlet of trial for fitness - fitness to live.


Fain,
Not quite sure as to your tally of total births in the last 2000 years, but the point is well taken - there's been a lot...
And change has occurred in humans, even in that short amount of time...

Sep 12, 2014
Perhaps the sun, our Sol, is responsible?
Our magnetar began as an equatorial emitter solely and has been reduces to being primarily a polar emitter. Life began to be multicellular 650 mya when our Sol lost equatorial primacy to polar. Life is now know to have begun with complex forms not simple sponges. This is evidence that life began under the monopole (equatorial emitter) sun. Every magnetic reversal loses energy, and forces life to adapt.

Well, Kate... They say change is good, right?

Sep 12, 2014
In other news, chemistry of the Earth still favors medicine over homeopathy.

The Conversation reprints are so-so, this one was data filled but would be better for editing away the jumping around. Besides that, particular nitpicks:

- Darwin and Wallace were together obviously not offering something completely bold.

And there were many forerunners observing the process if not understanding the mechanisms. (Lamarck, for one.)

- In phylogenies, resolution isn't all that great, the fossil record is spotty.

It often happens that a few topological variants (order and number of splits) are equally well supported, as well as that later data rearranges the preferred topology. However, the overall topology changes little.

[And each such study has a tremendous likelihood compared to the random 'poofs' of magic thinkers.]

[tbctd]

Sep 12, 2014
[ctd]

- It was recently discovered that Ctenophora, the sister lineage to othe Metazoa, lack Hox genes. The next lineage to split off, Porifera, have little if any Hox either. It is first with the Placozoa that they appear in strength. (If not current use, since Placozoa is later simplified.)

- Feather in birds extend, arguably, to all of the major divisions from recent finds. It may have been an earlier evolution, the Pterosaur sister lineage had some sort of fuzz too.

Sep 12, 2014
Humoring crackpots, like the article did, is counter-productive. Dunning-Kruger or extremists takes support from criticism by such humoring. But as it has started, I may as well:

Notably, none of the crackpots, whether creationist or electronist, can come up with an idea with better support. They either strawman evolution (typical creationist attack) or lie boldly (typical electronist attack).

- First comment is ironic, a creationist strawman (emergence of life, denying evolution for "adaptation" which could be anything from developmental plasticity to short of speciation) put out under the erroneous camouflage of a biological 'strawman'.

The creationists goes downhill from there.

- The electronist lies repeatedly: "... when our Sol lost equatorial primacy to polar. Life is now know to have begun with complex forms ...". Not that the data shows.

Sep 12, 2014
Specific creationist claims (the electronist is too incoherent) within his strawman of 'biology (evolution)':

Outside of biology:

- Science such as cosmology and biology is "new atheist".

Numbwit. Both sciences started well before 2004, when someone thought up the label.

- The universe appears designed; we don't know how it started; emergence of matter is "evolution".

Rejected by inflationary cosmology, besides the last part being openly numbwit again.

The structure formation in the universe is a result of quantum fluctuations in the inflation field, that was inflated to the scale of the cosmological filaments. The oldest such fluctuations sped or slowed inflation towards the end of the process where our universe emerged, hence deciding the size of the local universe that our observable universe is a minute part of.

[tbctd]

Sep 12, 2014
[ctd]

Obviously the observation that the universe and its contents is all a result of random fluctuations belie the idea that it is in any way "designed". Since the process undergoes at least 100 orders of magnitude dilution of a potential creationist magic 'spacetime design' seed, we see that creationpathy is much, much more idiotic than homeopathy! Homeopaths insist after all on potency after only 30 orders of magnitude dilution of _their_ magic 'liquid design' seed.

When our universe emerged as the Cold Inflation (CI) era ended, the potential energy of the inflation field was released as the old Hot Big Bang we all know and love. That was heating the universe so much that standard matter particles appeared.

Inside of biology:

- Complexity of life can't be predicted; the appearance of eggs in fishes can't be predicted.

Silly boy! That is what evolution does.

Sep 12, 2014
[ctd]

Sources:

Cosmology (Ethan Siegel is a cosmologist):
https://medium.co...f2bb2ad1 ,
http://scienceblo...-pictur/

Also, cosmologist Leonard Susskind's youtube Stanford Lectures in cosmology provides detail on the observed fluctuation mechanisms in particular.

Biology:
http://en.wikiped...volution

Sep 12, 2014
Personally, i am waiting for proof of the God theory.
The entirety of known existence can be explained by science, but it is fudged over wen it comes to religion.
Give me proof of God. Real, tangible, conclusive.

Sep 12, 2014
@btb101 It's my understanding that the scientific method can only rule out predictions made by a clearly defined theory (i.e. a consistent explanation). I'm not sure that we have "scientific proof" of anything, just a level of confidence that one explanation is better than the others... take for example Newton's law of gravitation, which is amazingly accurate, but proven by Einstein to be a less accurate explanation of gravity than general relativity. What we should ask for is better explanations with results that can be proven by experiment to be more accurate than the previous explanation.

Sep 12, 2014
@FainAvis

We all have ancestors who were near relatives, mainly third and beyond cousins.

http://thewildpea...ou-have/

Sep 13, 2014
Proving evolution false does not prove creationism true.

Evolution as a theory never depended on whether or not creationism was valid.

Creationism as referred to in this article is much newer than the theory of evolution.

Sure the basis for that nonsense is the bible, but people actually putting a hypothesis together which they called modern creationism is a modern invention.

It is a direct response to the scientific theory of evolution from certain religious people who are too dumb to understand that science doesn't address religion even if atheists use it to justify their lack of belief.

Evolution is a valid theory regardless of whether there is or is not a God or a heaven.

Evolution doesn't speak to the validity of religious beliefs.

The theory of evolution is not the enemy of faith nor is it the foundation for atheism.

It is the best explanation for the life we see around us.

If some want to give God credit for that it won't contradict the theory either.


Sep 13, 2014
Science and religion should not be mixed. Assumptions, rational, procedure, logic are not the same. Consequently, all debate that attempts to compare conclusions from the two knowledge magisterials are illogical and useless.
Science and religion are different tools with different results, neither provides more then they provide, they each provide nothing beyond themselves. Truth resides only within each magisterial, absolutely not beyond and absolutely not comparable.

Sep 13, 2014
@komone: If science was only a method of testing it wouldn't be much more than earlier attempts at learning patterns, variants of the generic method of bayesian inference. What makes science useful is that there are robust patterns.

And we have long known why that is so. It is because there is an underlying reality that expresses these patterns robustly. As Samuel Johnson said "I refute [non-reality ideas] thusly", and kicked a stone. Such robust constrained reaction to constrained action is only predicted by the theory of reality. We have used Newton's third law (action-reaction) and today also quantum mechanics (observation-observables) to probe reality.

Successfully so, because a century ago we wouldn't have been able to tell major aspects of everyday reality, say that and why a table mostly consists of space between atoms. Fifty years ago we were fairly certain however. And today with LHC we have finished the basic understanding of everyday physics.

[tbctd]

Sep 13, 2014
[ctd]

During that journey it became apparent that quantum mechanics and pertinent here the particle physics vacuum probe _everything_. (Shown by having Feynman diagrams.) E.g. standard particle measurements to the 11th significant digit excludes non-everyday physics interaction (say, dark matter) to that degree with everything we see.

At this stage, what we would ask for is rather the elements of reality. E.g. observables can be separated from particles (the recent "Cheshire cat" experiment) and they are only real post-observation anyway. So they are (fleeting) realities relative to the fields rather than the field's particles.

Sep 13, 2014
[I voted on a comment before reading it through, and to my surprise I can't seem to change that. I answer here instead:]

@Jonseer, Job001: The claim that science and religion is not in contradiction or that it is useless to compare their claims is obviously both theological (no factual ground) and erroneous (the facts tells differently). So what do you expect your readers to do with it?

Creationism is an excellent and pervasive example of contradiction with science and how it is useful to compare.

Useful:
Creationism has been ruled religion in US and barred from inclusion into science class. Not because it at one time was a feasible idea turned out erroneous, as such spontaneous generation are still described in the history of biology. But because it is today only supported by religion, and its inclusion would mean teaching falsehoods.

[tbctd]

Sep 13, 2014
Science and religion are different tools with different results, neither provides more then they provide, they each provide nothing beyond themselves. Truth resides only within each magisterial, absolutely not beyond and absolutely not comparable.
Science has proven the book-based religions false. These books describe things which we now know never happened and never existed. Therefore the gods who wrote these books can't exist either.

This is the main difference between theism and deism and it is wrong to confuse them. Deistic gods were invented by philos for selfish purposes. There is no evidence for them either but they are impossible to disprove. This is why religionists love to use deistic arguments in defense of their theistic gods, and believers and unbelievers alike are prone to accept this without much thought.

But make no mistake - the gods of the books have been thoroughly and conclusively debunked. And this should be emphasized every time the issue comes up.

Sep 13, 2014
[ctd]

Contradiction:
I discussed above how the idea that the universes, or species such as humans, are 'created' by magical agencies are now known to be false. Other contradictions with major creationist religions are claims of a single human breeder pair bottleneck, now know to have been 10 000 or more bps. Meaning catholicism has stepped into deep dodo after 2011 since their magic agencies hinges upon that very claim, and for example their minor magic agency would not do anything theological (obviate theological 'sin') without it.

The list goes on, ~ 100 % of the mythological text's claims are now known to be wrong, including descriptions of contemporary societies. Only if you pick and choose, claiming creationism isn't creationism, can you retreat theology onto safe ground. Last I heard, since the gaps for magic has gone, claims of magical agencies are not Fingers ('miracles'), not Logos ('laws'), not Being ('deism'), but now Vision (emotion). Fever dream opinion,

[tbctd]

Sep 13, 2014
[ctd]

..., no longer magical claims.

The claim that a natural theory, describing a natural process, would allow for magic in its mechanisms is of course erroneous too. Where is the magic in variation and selection of biology, or acceleration from curvature of gravity? Gap-theology had its heyday, but even that got ludicruous when trying to open gaps that are explicitly not there.

The claim that science and religion is different "magisterials" would be okay, if not religion made claim on nature (or science!). Such as the existence of magic agencies.

The question that a skeptic would put to a "believer in belief" (which could be the reason for theology apologetics) is "what can make you change your mind"?

If a claim is constructed like a conspiracy theory, where nothing factual can change the claim, what use is it? What empirical value has it? If it is not empirical how does it say anything on nature including the science and religion which it purports to describe?

Sep 13, 2014
@TGO: There we go again, another theological attempt to a conspiracy theory, that is both theological and erroneous.

As long as deism is a claim that there is a need for an acting magic agency, for example setting the laws of the universe, it is tantamount to creationism. There is no confusion here, except on the theological side.

As I commented on way earlier, the creationpathic idea that a magic 'spacetime design' volume, whether labeled theistic or deistic, undergoes inflation to then influence the result is much, much more idiotic than earlier homeopathic claims.

Sep 13, 2014
We will not survive as a species unless we outgrow our pathetic need for a Cosmic Daddy.

Sep 13, 2014
Attacks on either science or religion are pathetic, illogical and small minded, IMO. These tools are useful in different ways and results:
Science is excellent for getting science results while too expensive and time consuming for the common man for everyday results.
Religion is excellent for people cheaply trained in nothing else, and billions fall into this category and yet live reasonably successful lives.
Pretending either is superior is pretending some utopia that does not exist. Frankly exceptionally few people actually do science daily and most do religion while many do neither but something else.
Likewise, science models while wonderful do not provide absolute proof since science models represent statistical correlations subject to revision. Likewise, religion varies with thousands of dogmas tailoring models to local culture and needs and proof is inevitably circular claim.
The debate will go on ad nausea because meta-knowledge is beyond the skill set, presumably.

Sep 13, 2014
Science is discovering reality. Religion is accepting the silly dogma of somebody else, "believing" what you need to "believe" to feel better.

Please do not place them on the same level.

Sep 13, 2014
Science is discovering reality. Religion is accepting the silly dogma of somebody else, "believing" what you need to "believe" to feel better.

Please do not place them on the same level.

Both are metaphorical reality models. Science requires much more education and is costly to do. Religion is common and cheap and easy to teach. Science has better data correlation and adaptability to change. Religion has different results then science. Many people prefer one over the other for different uses(jobs). I favor using the best tool for the job, usually science or other philosophies, however, in the presence of religious fanatics it is recommended "When in Rome do as the Romans" to avoid undesirable consequences, otherwise ones science becomes useless to ones dead body(historical observation).

Sep 13, 2014
Religion is excellent for people cheaply trained in nothing else, and billions fall
Living ones life based on lies might be benign except that religions all teach that people cannot be good unless they believe in their particular god. Religions are thus institutionalized bigotry.

In addition they encourage people to substitute faith for reason. It is preferable to beg god to grant wishes rather than to accept reality or plan for the future. 'Give no thought for the morrow' says jesus.

The religions which have survived are all better at outgrowing and overrunning their counterparts. This alone accounts for all the major wars and revolutions of history. One need only read about perpetual conflict in the Middle East. The Quran says exactly the same things as the bible does.

As hitchens said, religion poisons everything. Nothing good can come from books full of lies. One can only imagine how much better things would be without them.

Sep 13, 2014
@TGO: There we go again, another theological attempt to a conspiracy theory, that is both theological and erroneous
Sorry tlo I have no idea what you're talking about. As usual.

Sep 13, 2014
"Living ones life based on lies might be benign...Religions are thus institutionalized bigotry. As hitchens said, religion poisons everything."

Of course, Hitchens seems a biased bigot ignoring how the world does and does not teach everything to almost everyone, therefore, you've ignored the reality of education and its cost and corruption world wide which are not issues to be overcome simply by handwaving and egotistical grandstanding.

Mind you I choose to use science and philosophy as appropriately as seems fit from my view, not yours or Hitchens who admittedly has some fine points.

Sep 14, 2014
Science always remains statistical regardless of data statistical likelihood. Data changes and new statistics are done, theories are modified accordingly.

No realm of knowledge can arise above the data and statistics, data changes with time and place.

We temporarily accept theory based upon statistical standards. All claims to absolute knowledge remain statistical bunk, science or religion or philosophy included, IMO.

Sep 14, 2014
Of course, Hitchens seems a biased bigot ignoring how the world does and does not teach everything to almost everyone, therefore, you've ignored the reality of education and its cost and corruption world wide which are not issues to be overcome simply by handwaving and egotistical grandstanding
Sorry gibberish is not a valid mode of argument. Try writing something more coherent. Or maybe this reflects your actual thought processes?

Sep 14, 2014
How many scientists are trying to create life?
If they do, does that validate creationism?

Sep 14, 2014
Does your God have a God? If not, please explain.

Sep 14, 2014
Science is discovering reality. Religion is accepting the silly dogma of somebody else, "believing" what you need to "believe" to feel better.

Please do not place them on the same level.

Both are metaphorical reality models. Science requires much more education and is costly to do. Religion is common and cheap and easy to teach. Science has better data correlation and adaptability to change. Religion has different results then science. Many people prefer one over the other for different uses(jobs). I favor using the best tool for the job, usually science or other philosophies, however, in the presence of religious fanatics it is recommended "When in Rome do as the Romans" to avoid undesirable consequences, otherwise ones science becomes useless to ones dead body(historical observation).


True, ignorance is bliss and CHEAP! Science may be useless to ones dead body, what proof do you have that the god of any religion is useful?

Sep 14, 2014
Does your God have a God? If not, please explain.

It is not about TRUTH or God or science or religion. It is about favorable results. Sometimes science works better, sometimes philosophy. Often science is too expensive and human minds mainly do other heuristic procedures. Arrogant people often ignore intuition and pretend they do logic, this is normal rather then an exception. http://en.wikiped...e_biases

Besides, some say it is turtles, all the way down.

Sep 14, 2014
what proof do you have that the god of any religion is useful?


"For a growing yet largely unnoticed body of scientific work, amassed over the past 30 years, shows religious belief is medically, socially and psychologically beneficial.

In 2006, the American Society of Hypertension established that church-goers have lower blood pressure than the non-faithful.

Likewise, in 2004, scholars at the University of California, Los Angeles, suggested that college students involved in religious activities are more likely to have better mental and emotional health than those who do not.

Meanwhile, in 2006, population researchers at the University of Texas discovered that the more often you go to church, the longer you live"
http://www.dailym...ier.html

Sep 14, 2014
what proof do you have that the god of any religion is useful?


" a study of nearly 4,000 older adults for the U.S. Journal of Gerontology revealed that atheists had a notably increased chance of dying over a six-year period than the faithful.

Crucially, religious people lived longer than atheists even if they didn't go regularly to a place of worship. This study clearly suggests there is a benefit in pure faith alone — perhaps this religiousness works by affording a greater sense of inner purpose and solace in grief."
" purely evolutionary terms, atheism is a blind alley. Across the world, religious people have more children than non-religious (go forth and multiply!), while atheist societies are the ones with the lowest birth rates. "
"Sneer at faith all you like. Just don't assume science is on your side. "
http://www.dailym...ier.html

Sep 14, 2014
It is not about TRUTH or God or science or religion. It is about favorable results
Favorable results? Religions foster ignorance, lies, violence, and bigotry of the worst sort. Why? Because these things are written into their books.

The only favorable things religions offer are nepotism, cronyism, and let's see - immortality and wish-granting. Both of which are guaranteed by the god who wants us to believe that the universe is only 6500 years old and a great flood once covered the earth. Oh yeah and rabbits have cuds.
religious people have more children
-This mechanism was invented for outgrowing and overrunning less savvy and more practical counterparts. As such it has always been the main reason for war, revolution, deprivation, and suffering. Which is why the church had to make suffering a virtue.

It is the single greatest evil that religion visits upon the world. It is the reason the west will face a never ending succession of Taliban/Al Qaida/ISIS.

Sep 14, 2014
In 2006, the American Society of Hypertension established that church-goers have lower blood pressure than the non-faithful.

Likewise, in 2004, scholars at the University of California, Los Angeles, suggested that college students involved in religious activities are more likely to have better mental and emotional health than those who do not
This is not counting of course all the lives ruined by abuse, families destroyed, social discord sewn by competing beliefs and vile bigotry, poverty created by forced production of oversized families, etc.

Ignorance is bliss I suppose eh ryggy? But we have far better drugs and therapies now than speaking in tongues and begging for wishes. Therapies which do not threaten the collapse of civilization as an unfortunate contraindication.

Sep 14, 2014
"Sneer at faith all you like. Just don't assume science is on your side. "

The placebo effect is well known in science.

Sep 14, 2014
"Sneer at faith all you like. Just don't assume science is on your side. "

The placebo effect is well known in science.


"Sneer at faith all you like. Just don't assume science is on your side. "

Sep 14, 2014
"Sneer at faith all you like. Just don't assume science is on your side. "

The placebo effect is well known in science.


"Sneer at faith all you like. Just don't assume science is on your side. "

Which faith are you referring to? They all work as long as you believe they do. The trouble occurs when something makes you realize that they all work equally well.

Sep 14, 2014
"Sneer at faith all you like. Just don't assume science is on your side. "

The placebo effect is well known in science.


"Sneer at faith all you like. Just don't assume science is on your side. "

Which faith are you referring to? They all work as long as you believe they do. The trouble occurs when something makes you realize that they all work equally well.
Well let's see the children's crusade, how'd that work out? And the thirty years war when 1/3 the german pop died? God was on both sides at the time wasn't he? Or how about the Taipei rebellion? Jim jones?

Many many examples. Religion is good for keeping people stupid and getting them killed.

Sep 14, 2014
Which faith are you referring to?

Why do you care?
Atheists die off sooner and have non-replacement fertility rates. In a generation or two, atheists will follow in the footsteps of the Shakers and become extinct.

Sep 14, 2014
Which faith are you referring to?

Why do you care?
Atheists die off sooner and have non-replacement fertility rates. In a generation or two, atheists will follow in the footsteps of the Shakers and become extinct.

All religions die off sooner or later. Divisions occur, sects form, and new religious attitudes appear. Just as Christianity, Judaism and Islam stem from the same Abrahamic god. Conversion allows religions to proliferate. There is no Abraham in atheism. Atheism stems from critical thinking about the nature of one's reality. Atheism is the realization that the arguments against atheism are in fact an argument against worshiping an atheistic god in the first place.

Sep 14, 2014
"Religions foster ignorance, lies, violence, and bigotry of the worst sort." Some do, some don't. Likewise, science or any philosophy is used by people for their own benefit, not yours, unless you advocate control of others for your benefit, which is anti freedom. People should buy and use knowledge tools(even"Black Box AI") that work best for them for purposes chosen by them, IMO.

Sep 14, 2014
Some do, some don't
All existing religions have survived by using the same formula. Morality is reproduction-based; anything which reduces the birthrate is considered immoral.

All religions exploit our innate tribal instincts, these being altruism exclusively for tribal members and animosity toward outsiders. All religions promise eternal life in either heaven or hell depending on whether you believe or not. All religions promise special dispensation and wishes granted to true believers.

And all religions maintain this artifice by discouraging rational thought.

"Reason is a whore, the greatest enemy that faith has; it never comes to the aid of spiritual things, but more frequently than not struggles against the divine Word, treating with contempt all that emanates from God."
Martin Luther

-In all things that matter, the surviving religions are all identical.

Sep 15, 2014
In a generation or two, atheists will follow in the footsteps of the Shakers and become extinct.


Meanwhile in the real world:

http://www.salon....partner/

"Every piece of social data suggests that those who favor faith and superstition over fact-based evidence will become the minority in this country by or before the end of this century. In fact, the number of Americans who do not believe in a deity doubled in the last decade of the previous century"

Sep 15, 2014
Which faith are you referring to?

Why do you care?
Atheists die off sooner and have non-replacement fertility rates. In a generation or two, atheists will follow in the footsteps of the Shakers and become extinct.
What a bloody turd.


Sep 15, 2014
-In all things that matter, the surviving religions are all identical.


Recent neurological studies show logic is tacked on AFTER emotional decisions are made. Makes sense, a picture(image) is worth a thousand words.
Go watch kids pretend and play digital games like epic angry birds with token money for new armaments and chili pepper rewards. They are not training logic first but intuition based upon pretend mythical image metaphors, rather like religion does, however poorly.
Apps are somewhere over 1,000,000 apparently based upon some sources. Not many "Logic" apps out yet, keep hoping!

Atheists and hard intellectuals may have to rethink their game which isn't in big demand nor logical at all, just a BS emotional coverup.
http://en.wikiped...e_biases

Sep 15, 2014
You can nothing to do with creationism.
Evolution is not a theory, it is a fact. Evolution is a basic feature of matter from the Big Bang. Darwin's theory is the first approximation of this.
Christian kreationism is only a spiritual product of ancient people in the Near East.

Sep 15, 2014
In fact, the number of Americans who do not believe in a deity doubled in the last decade of the previous century"


Along with declining fertility rates.

Anti-God folks are typically pro-death: abortion, euthanasia. A philosophy promoting death is not conducive to species survival.
As noted, faith is conducive to life and species survival. Can't fool Mother Nature.

Sep 15, 2014
The primary claim of anti-evolutionists is that order cannot arise from chaos by a random process. They are quite wrong because they do not understand the concept of a "house advantage".

Roulette is random, yet the house always wins.

Evolution is random, yet life always wins.

It's pretty much the same thing but the concept that life is "advantageous" is totally neglected in this long standing (and downright silly) argument.

- Greg

Sep 15, 2014
Recent neurological studies show logic is tacked on AFTER emotional decisions are made
-And people often get upset when logic proves their preconceptions wrong. So what??
Atheists die off sooner and have non-replacement fertility rates. In a generation or two, atheists will follow in the footsteps of the Shakers and become extinct
Neither atheists nor religionists are born, they are made. I know ryggy and others want to inculcate kids as soon as possible, but once they begin to think for themselves they often decide to reject superstition.

"The younger generation is abandoning God in droves.

"A new survey by the Pew Research Center finds that belief in the existence of God has dropped 15 points in the last five years among Americans 30 and under."

-In the internet age with free and easy access to facts, it is harder for religion to maintain its hypocrisy and lies.

Sep 15, 2014
They are not training logic first but intuition based upon pretend mythical image metaphors
??? Winning these games requires logic. Kids who appeal to the personalities of these characters get their butts kicked.

You don't think very well do you? Has this always been a problem for you?

Sep 15, 2014
"A new survey by the Pew Research Center finds that belief in the existence of God has dropped 15 points in the last five years."

And thank god for that!

Can I get an amen!?

Sep 15, 2014
Who knows about other gods and other creacionism,like christian?
Do you think, chinese and indian people knows about christian creationism? Nothing at all!
They (1/3 humankind) are all barbarian? They don't know the truth?

But they live in the nature, and know the laws of the Nature, for example the evolution.
q.e.d.

Sep 15, 2014
Why is there any need for creationalists and evolutionists to disagre?
First, the big bang was THE act of creation, and evolution followed. The key question is from where did the evolution (of early materials like hydrogen and helium) begin?

Assuming that the creation of the big bang was a Godly act, what had He planned that has not yet happened?

Sep 15, 2014


Anti-God folks are typically pro-death: abortion, euthanasia
-Well this might work...

"The vice president of Arizona's Republican Party resigned late Sunday night after advocating for the forced sterilization of poor women on Medicaid, according to the Arizona Republic.

"During his talk-radio show on Saturday, former state Sen. Russell Pearce said "You put me in charge of Medicaid, the first thing I'd do is get Norplant, birth-control implants, or tubal ligations…Then we'll test recipients for drugs and alcohol, and if you want to (reproduce) or use drugs or alcohol, then get a job."

-I do agree that active addicts should be prevented from bearing children, including chain-smoking drunken conservatives. But our reasoning differs.

Sep 15, 2014
"A new survey by the Pew Research Center finds that belief in the existence of God has dropped 15 points in the last five years."

And thank god for that!

Can I get an amen!?

Aren't atheists worried they are a dying breed? Fertility rates are low among atheists.
Seems quite short-sighted. Especially for those atheists who keep claiming they need to impose more socialism to 'save humanity'.

Sep 15, 2014
A philosophy promoting death is not conducive to species survival
26 "If anyone comes to Me, and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be My disciple." Luk14

-Atheists typically do not wear fetishes of a man being tortured to death around their necks do they? Religionists long for death because their god has promised them eternal ecstasy afterward. Atheists know that this is the only life there is, and so are motivated to improve it.

Godders long for Armageddon.
As noted, faith is conducive to life and species survival. Can't fool Mother Nature
No, religions are the single greatest cause of overpopulation, which is threatening to ruin the ecology and extinct the species. 'Give no thought for the morrow' says jesus.

They are all selfishly trying to outgrow and overrun each other, because only they have the god-given right to fill up the earth. Their books say so don't they?

Sep 15, 2014
Aren't atheists worried they are a dying breed? Fertility rates are low among atheists
No, atheists are more prone to planning for the future and reproducing within their means. Godders reproduce because their women are forbidden from doing most anything else. And god promises to provide for however many kids they can produce.

But in reality he never does, and so his books provide instructions on how to take the resources they need from unbelievers.

Religion at its worst is akin to pestilence. A plague upon Egypt. Another Talmudic metaphor? Perhaps.

Hey ryggy I just picked up an interesting book about Jesus, written by a Moslem.
http://www.amazon..._redir=1

-A best seller. They believe that Jesus was only a prophet like muhammud yes?

The title - Jesus of Nazareth - we now know that Nazareth didn't exist in Jesus time so the book is flawed beginning at its cover.

Sep 15, 2014
"A new survey by the Pew Research Center finds that belief in the existence of God has dropped 15 points in the last five years."

And thank god for that!

Can I get an amen!?

Aren't atheists worried they are a dying breed? Fertility rates are low among atheists.
Seems quite short-sighted. Especially for those atheists who keep claiming they need to impose more socialism to 'save humanity'.


There is NO difference between believing in your god and being afraid that breaking a mirror will bring you seven years of bad luck. You are simply a superstitious fool.

And we are not a dying group. This country was founded by atheists and we are a growing group. It is all about "coming out of the atheist closet". A place we were forced to when you god-fearing, god-believing, jesus worshiping "christians" (you're not you know ... not even close) started burning us at the stake.

Sep 15, 2014
Aren't atheists worried they are a dying breed?

Nope, because atheists aren't a group. It'd be like saying "aren't people with tongues worried they are a dying breed". Makes about as much sense.

Atheists don't need to breed to produce more atheists. It's just a matter of making sure that others are allowed to use their own minds. That produces atheist like you wouldn't believe (and is one of the reasons why many nations - like the US - and all faiths fight education like the plague)

Sep 15, 2014
"For a growing yet largely unnoticed body of scientific work, amassed over the past 30 years, shows religious belief is medically, socially and psychologically beneficial....
-soggyring2
Atheists are discriminated against on the job and in social situations (currently interracial marriage is more socially acceptable than marriage with an atheist). Christians were favored over atheists in consideration of receiving kidney transplants https://pure.york...ort.html Atheists suffer poor health because of religious bigotry by bullies like ryggesogn2.

Sep 15, 2014
Atheists suffer poor health because of religious bigotry by bullies like ryggesogn2.

Do you hear it? The world's smallest violin.

There are two groups where is is politically correct to discriminate and abuse by the 'liberals' Christians and white males.

Sep 15, 2014
Atheists suffer poor health because of religious bigotry by bullies like ryggesogn2.

Do you hear it? The world's smallest violin.


Wrong. The world's smallest violin is only played when you're whining about your wealth being plundered.

Sep 15, 2014
Atheists suffer poor health because of religious bigotry by bullies like ryggesogn2.

Do you hear it? The world's smallest violin.

There are two groups where is is politically correct to discriminate and abuse by the 'liberals' Christians and white males.
Yes, I'm sure not receiving a new kidney is far less of a problem than people saying "Happy holidays" to you instead of "Merry Christmas." You should write a book about your travails. Please include the incident where you were pulled over in your Mercedes by a black cop merely because you are white.

Sep 15, 2014
Whites are being beaten by black gangs and the black AG does nothing.

In the EU, its PC to attack Jews, again.

"A 2013 study released by the European Union's Agency for Fundamental Rights reported that a third of Jews polled in a number of EU countries refrained from wearing religious garb or Jewish symbols out of fear, and 23 percent avoided attending Jewish events or going to Jewish venues"
http://www.jpost....s-375412

Sep 15, 2014
"Multiple media outlets and far-left groups have savaged faithful Catholics and Protestants over this past week after the Supreme Court held that Obamacare's contraceptive mandate violates the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA). National Democratic leaders endorsing this anti-Christian discrimination show that America's founding freedom is in grave danger, as they move a bill to abolish RFRA's protections."
"Even more alarming than the media's subordinating religious liberty (which is in the Constitution) to abortion (which is not in the Constitution) is that leading Democrats—one of whom may become America's next president—are pursuing this same radical agenda that allows no place for people of faith to peacefully live out their faith in their daily business life. "
http://www.breitb...-Liberty

Sep 15, 2014
Another example of religion-fueled overpopulation:

"About 500 Syrians, Palestinians, Egyptians and Sudanese are feared dead after their boat was rammed and sank off the Malta coast last week, the International Organization for Migration said Monday.

"The migrants were undertaking a perilous journey from the Egyptian port of Damietta to Europe when their boat was overtaken by human traffickers

"The International Organization for Migration estimates that 2,200 people have died trying to cross the Mediterranean so far this year, compared with 700 in all of 2013. That figure doesn't include the two incidents off Malta and Libya, which could put the toll close to 3,000. More than 100,000 people have been rescued since January, the U.N. refugee agency said.

"Over this past weekend alone, Italian rescue operations helped save and bring to ports on the mainland and in Sicily nearly 3,000 migrants"

-ANYONE who harbors religious beliefs shares in the responsibility for this horror.

Sep 15, 2014
A summation, if you will...
Belief in a God or Gods is to lack confidence in your own self...

Sep 15, 2014
Whites are being beaten by black gangs and the black AG does nothing.

In the EU, its PC to attack Jews, again.

"A 2013 study released by the European Union's Agency for Fundamental Rights reported that a third of Jews polled in a number of EU countries refrained from wearing religious garb or Jewish symbols out of fear, and 23 percent avoided attending Jewish events or going to Jewish venues"
http://www.jpost....s-375412

Exactly how does pointing out that Europe is full of white Christian racists help support your point of view?

Sep 15, 2014
If there is a god who created the universe then I don't have much respect for him/her/it. How can someone capable of anything, build a "perfect" universe and then require a 4000 page user manual? He's worse that Microsoft.

Sep 15, 2014
Europe is full of white Christian racists

I thought Europe was full of atheists and Muslims.

"Muslims are the main perpetrators of anti-Semitic attacks on Jews, according to the Jewish watchdog BNVCA, or the National Bureau of Vigilance Against Anti-Semitism."
""It demonstrates what National Front has long denounced: the development of a radical Islam which endangers the safety of citizens," the statement said. "It is a direct consequence of the massive immigration that the political class of UMPS led for 40 years in an utterly irresponsible manner.""
http://www.jta.or...eys-find

NOM
Sep 16, 2014
Don't feed the troll barakn. Noone bought into his attempts to get the discussion onto politics, so now he is trolling with racist attacks.

@Accounts
He's worse that Microsoft.
Maybe he thinks he's Bill Gates.

Sep 16, 2014
I thought Europe was full of atheists and Muslims.

Shows just how much you know.

Europe still had a majority (51%) believing in a "god, spirit or life force" as of the last poll from 2010...though with numbers having steadily dropped before that it is not unlikely that that number is now 50% or less.

2% of people living in the EU are muslim. 72% are christian of one flavor or another

The discrepancy between the 51% number above and the merely 7% who put down "atheist" as their state of religiosity stems from the fact that not all those who are nominally affiliated with a religion also profess to believe in a god. You're pretty much born into a religious affiliation (being baptized as a baby or similar).
It isn't uncommon to still have that in your passport but never having been part of any activity associated with that religion since then.

Sep 16, 2014
"Worldwide, the Total Fertility Rate (TFR) – the number of children the average woman will have during her lifetime – fell from 5.0 in the mid-1960s to 2.7 today, a decline of almost 50 percent. We're told that 59 countries, with 44 percent of the world's population, now have below-replacement birthrates – in some cases, well-below replacement. The rest are heading in the same direction."
"Such dramatic changes don't happen in isolation but are the result of powerful forces long at work. We live in a manifestly anti-marriage, anti-child, anti-procreation culture. But these are symptoms. As any pathologist will tell you, the disease precedes the symptoms.'
"The underlying causes of declining fertility are:
"1. A loss of faith."
"2. Radical autonomy. The place of God is taken by the deification of self, the worship of an individual's desires and appetites."
http://www.wester...urope/2/

Sep 16, 2014
though with numbers having steadily dropped before that it is not unlikely that that number is now 50% or less.
Source? Not that I don't believe you, I just don't trust paraphrase. Easier to quote you know.

Religiosity varies greatly in euro countries.
http://en.wikiped...n_Europe

"... in the 2005 eurobarometer poll only 23% and in the 2010 eurobarometer poll only 18% of the Swedish population said they believed in a personal God."

"France has been traditionally laicist since the French Revolution. Today the country is 16% Atheist. The remaining population is made up evenly of both Christians and people who believe in a god, but aren't involved in organized religion. France society overall is still secular."
Don't feed the troll barakn
-But he is right in that the main anti-Jewish violence in europe comes from Muslims.

Sep 16, 2014
Source? Not that I don't believe you,

Nah. You're just being [yourself/expletive of your choice]

Eurobarometer poll 2010 shows 51%, Eurobarometer 2005 shows 52%. Simply extrapolating, here.

Sep 16, 2014
"British author Scott Coren once described himself as a "militant atheist" who believed in a "world that operated on chance and natural selection" — but then something profoundly changed."
"Coren, a father of two, said his path diverted after his daughter was born in 2012 with a serious heart condition.

He began caring for her around the clock, spending a plethora of time in medical facilities and a hospice, where he observed some dynamics that changed his heart and mind.

When Coren saw the nurses, whom he described as "human angels," caring for critically ill children, his views on God and the afterlife began to dramatically transform.

He found himself pondering death, in particular, thinking, "It can't be the end of things. It just doesn't make sense.""
"Despite his best efforts to avoid becoming a Christian, Coren said that his reasoning faculties left him with no alternative option."
http://www.thebla...hat-led-

Sep 16, 2014
"Despite his best efforts to avoid becoming a Christian, Coren said that his reasoning faculties left him with no alternative option."
http://www.thebla...hat-led-

It had knothing to do with reason.

Sep 16, 2014
Rygg: Sure, lots and lots of people who had faith lose it (as per the stats I linked to in my previous post). Lots and lots of others find it. So you will find lots of testaments on both sides.

It's completely natural and frankly the point you're making is trivial. It's the trend numbers that count, and the stats don't lie.

Moreover your (somewhat typical I think) attitude that democrats can't be true christians only hurts your cause. Because, you know, Obama did get elected...

Sep 16, 2014
Rygg: Sure, lots and lots of people who had faith lose it (as per the stats I linked to in my previous post). Lots and lots of others find it. So you will find lots of testaments on both sides.

What is "faith". Best (and only) definition of it is "unreasoned belief". It's right there; religious faith has nothing to do with reason.

Most people of faith, if asked how they know it, say "I just know it in my heart and I talk to him everyday". It doesn't seem to bother them in the least that that is EXACTLY what the people who believed the world rides on the backs of an endless tower of turtles said. You probably laugh at those people while, at the same time, utterly fail to see that you're doing the exact same thing. Your ONLY evidence is "I just know". No you don't. You're fooling yourself.

Sep 16, 2014
Nah. You're just being [yourself/expletive of your choice]
Pimmelkopf? Arschloch? Gummischwanz? Again, please try to be specific.

The site I linked to shows a range of people who consider their religion important by country , which varies from 91% (turkey) to 16% (Estonia).

-So your notion of 'Europe' being religious or not is misleading.

-So ryggy if religionists reproduce faster than nons and antis, then how do you explain this?

"Over the last several decades, religious practice [in europe] has been declining as secularization has increased."

Apostasy's a bitch.

Sep 16, 2014
Take the Moslem author I linked:

"Aslan has written an account of how he "found" Jesus as a teen at an evangelical youth camp but years later returned to Islam after his studies led him to doubt the veracity of the Christian Scriptures, which he says are "replete with the most blatant and obvious errors and contradictions." [duh]

"The more I probed the Bible to arm myself against the doubts of unbelievers, the more distance I discovered between the Jesus of the Gospels and the Jesus of history – between Jesus the Christ and Jesus of Nazareth," Aslan wrote. "In college, where I began my formal study of the history of religions, that initial discomfort soon ballooned into full-blown doubts. ...

"And so, like many people in my situation, I angrily discarded my faith as if it were a costly forgery I had been duped into buying."

-I would want to ask him what about the Quran which is also "replete with the most blatant and obvious errors and contradictions" as it is based on the OT.

Sep 17, 2014
the stats don't lie.

Yes, they don't lie.
Atheists hare a dying breed based upon fertility rates.

Sep 17, 2014
the stats don't lie.

Yes, they don't lie.
Atheists hare a dying breed based upon fertility rates.
No, based on apostasy rates xians are a dying breed.

"Religiosity in the United States is in the midst of what might be called 'The Great Decline.' Previous declines in religion pale in comparison. Over the past fifteen years, the drop in religiosity has been twice as great as the decline of the 1960s and 1970s."

-So if religionists are making more babies, HOW COME religiosity is deCLINING? Can you explain this in some different way than has already been exPLAINED to you?

Religion is declining despite the birthrate.

NOM
Sep 17, 2014
Religion is declining despite the birthrate
One of the reasons rygtard is so against any form of socialism. Well educated people have smaller families, so can afford to keep their fewer children healthier and well educated. But the agenda of fundies is to keep their people poor and ignorant by having more children than they can afford. This policy fails when the state steps in to see that these poor children are healthier and better educated.

Sep 17, 2014
This policy fails when the state steps in to see that these poor children are healthier and better educated.

Where is this?
Poor children in US govt schools do not receive a better education.

"The International Business Times recently noted that while California has the world's eighth largest economy, it nonetheless has our nation's highest poverty rate."
"How can this be in a state dominated by Democrats, who proclaim their concern about income equality? It's because California's government has become so focused on regulating businesses and redistributing wealth that it's forgotten that you can only redistribute wealth if you have it."
http://www.ocregi...rty.html

Sep 18, 2014
The flaw in intelligent design is that it really doesn't explain anything aside from vaguely alluding to the idea that we may have had a single creator and even that explanation is entirely debatable. Evolution on the other hand is a tool that can be used to explain a huge number of things that we see right in front of us every day. Intelligent design is a worthless idea from which no answers or value will ever come.

Sep 19, 2014
"the list of serious scientists who are also religious is impressive. Long mentioned the world's largest collaborative scientific project, the Human Genome Project. It was headed by American physician-geneticist Francis Collins who is thoroughly committed to evolution and also to his Christian faith."
"

In the beginning quantum vacuum fluctuations created the big bang […]

So begins mainstream scientific opinion, perhaps recently confirmed (or perhaps not?) by evidence of gravitational waves from the BICEP2 experiment near the South Pole.

Whether you're into science, one of the Abrahamic religions, or both, in a big bang world we're all into creation in one way or another – even the world's most famous physicist and atheist, Professor Stephen "the-universe-creates-itself-out-of-nothing" Hawking."
http://www.realcl...856.html

Sep 19, 2014
"Theistic evolution (TE) is the view of those who believe that God is ultimately responsible for life, the universe and everything but who also accept the findings of mainstream science. They affirm that evolution is the best explanation of the data, although without accepting the naturalistic philosophy that often goes with it."
"While evolution is new on the scene, mainstream Christian thinking has always accepted "science". "
"Theistic Evolution is the view held by the majority of scientists who are Christians and also most academics involved in organisations such as BioLogos in the US (started by Collins), Christians in Science in the UK and ISCAST in Australia."
"the mainstream view among thoughtful religious people was summed up long ago by Galileo who said the Bible "teaches how to go to heaven, not how the heavens go"."
http://www.realcl...856.html

Sep 19, 2014
"the list of serious scientists who are also religious is impressive. Long mentioned the world's largest collaborative scientific project, the Human Genome Project. It was headed by American physician-geneticist Francis Collins who is thoroughly committed to evolution and also to his Christian faith."

You (understandably left out) forgot about Newton. One of greatest scientists ever. And estimated IQ off the charts. He believed in god, ferociously. And christianity. And he wrote more about that than science.

Uh, but he also believed in the occult. So much for IQ addressing the question of why so many homo sapiens are idiots when it comes to superstition.

But I believe there is a (now obsolete) evolutionary basis for religion. But not a smart one.

Sep 19, 2014
Whether you're into science, one of the Abrahamic religions, or both, in a big bang world we're all into creation in one way or another – even the world's most famous physicist and atheist, Professor Stephen "the-universe-creates-itself-out-of-nothing" Hawking."

These words are from the author, not a quote of Hawkings. Scientists say a lot of stuff that, when reported by non-scientists, sounds downright stupid. This is because they haven't understood what was actually said.

Many prominient scienctists are quoted as saying we are "near a correct TOE" (Theory of Everything). Anyone can see that isn't even close to true. Including the scientists who say it. Note that we don't understand what 95% of the universe is even made of, yet we are close to a TOE? Please. The scientists know that too. They are lose with language because they usually assume they are talking to other scientists who understand the context and know better.

Sep 19, 2014
"the list of serious scientists who are also religious is impressive. Long mentioned the world's largest collaborative scientific project, the Human Genome Project. It was headed by American physician-geneticist Francis Collins who is thoroughly committed to evolution and also to his Christian faith."
"
Yah we call these 'idiot savants'.
mainstream Christian thinking has always accepted "science
I want to ask them to explain giordano bruno.
Galileo who said the Bible "teaches how to go to heaven, not how the heavens go"
Yah and he was desperately back-peddling because he didnt want to end up like giordano bruno. "And yet it moves" he said under his breath.

Sep 19, 2014
You (understandably left out) forgot about Newton... ferociously
Few back then had the option of being atheist and keeping ones head.

"by his thirties Newton held a Christian faith that, had it been made public, would not have been considered orthodox by mainstream Christianity; in recent times he has been described as a heretic... wrote many works that would now be classified as occult studies...

"Like many contemporaries (e.g., Thomas Aikenhead) he lived with the threat of severe punishment if he had been open about his religious beliefs. Heresy was a crime that could have been punishable by the loss of all property and status or even death (see, e.g., the Blasphemy Act 1697)

"... developed from the apparent dichotomy of biblical reality from the increasing revealing of the structure of reality from investigation, and the subsequent challenges these truths of nature posed toward established religion"

-One mans religion is another mans blasphemy.

Sep 22, 2014
You start with "Charles Darwin's Theory of Evolution, first published in 1859"
This is where the problem lies.

Darwin had a Theory of NATURAL SELECTION (if you must shorten it)

Natural selection describes as best as possible at the time, the mechanics by which life has evolved. This is a specific theory wherein de-evolution is also possible.
A "Theory of Evolution" can not have De-evolution as it's possible outcome.

To use the term Evolution so broadly is to invite the dangerous (to science) suggestion that at a mechanical level, at a cellular, genetic,quantum(or whatever the current mechanism) level, there is an internal mechanism that "better's itself"
This is very close to consciousness at a cellular level. No wonder the debate between creation and evolution continues.
The best thing we could do for this debate is read some Orwell.

Sep 22, 2014
"And so the question: can we, the people of the West, be brought to failure despite our enormous cultural and spiritual legacy? Three thousand years of history look down upon us: does this generation wish to be remembered for not having had the strength to look danger squarely in the eye? For having failed to harness our latent strength in our own defense?

With apologies to the frankenfood-fearers and polar bear-sentimentalizers, the biggest danger we face is the Clash of Civilizations, especially as we rub against the "bloody borders" of Islam."
http://www.theame...stendom/

Sep 22, 2014
@ryggy

You're really scraping the bottom of the barrel when you quote from Amercian NonThinker.

Sep 22, 2014
@ryggy

You're really scraping the bottom of the barrel when you quote from Amercian NonThinker.


Pinkerton has a good piece, written a few years ago.
Too bad you are too prejudiced and biased to read it. You might learn something.
"Here no evil, ...."

Sep 22, 2014
"Adnani also tells Muslims they do not need permission to kill any nonbeliever. He said Muslims are "'like predatory warriors' who 'face death bare chests.'" He also called Obama a "mule of the Jews" and Secretary of State John Kerry an "uncircumcised old geezer." He encourages all supporters and members of Islamic State to be prepared "for the final campaign of the crusaders." And if anyone does not recognize the Islamic State's "caliphate" then they mock the Prophet Mohammad."
http://www.breitb...ur-Women
Atheists are non-believers.

Sep 22, 2014
Thee thou ist hypocrite thereon;

"... everyone who would not seek the Lord, the God of Israel, was to be put to death, whether small or great, whether man or woman. (2 Chronicles 15:12-13 NAB)

"Say to the people of Israel: Those who blaspheme God will suffer the consequences of their guilt and be punished. Anyone who blasphemes the LORD's name must be stoned to death by the whole community of Israel. Any Israelite or foreigner among you who blasphemes the LORD's name will surely die." (Leviticus 24:10-16 NLT)

-Theres a LONG list.
http://www.evilbi...rder.htm

-The only reason 'progressive' western xians no longer follow the edicts of their lord (in most places, most of the time). is because secular law forbids it. And yet their books still say the same things. Their books havent changed.

Will they burn in hell for not doing what their god commands of them? Or are they just waiting for another gideon to set things straight?

It is very possible you know.

Sep 22, 2014
@ryggy

You're really scraping the bottom of the barrel when you quote from Amercian NonThinker.


Pinkerton has a good piece, written a few years ago.
Too bad you are too prejudiced and biased to read it. You might learn something.
"Here no evil, ...."


There no evil?

Sep 23, 2014
@ryggy

You're really scraping the bottom of the barrel when you quote from Amercian NonThinker.


Pinkerton has a good piece, written a few years ago.
Too bad you are too prejudiced and biased to read it. You might learn something.
"Here no evil, ...."


There no evil?

Rejecting a fine article without reading it ensures the socialist won't expose himself to ideas that criticize his faith.

Sep 23, 2014
@ryggy

You're really scraping the bottom of the barrel when you quote from Amercian NonThinker.


Pinkerton has a good piece, written a few years ago.
Too bad you are too prejudiced and biased to read it. You might learn something.
"Here no evil, ...."


I visit American (Non)Thinker everyday, mainly for amusement.

The echo chamber is deafening but I get a good laugh out of the essays written with a 18th century voice, as though that gives gravitas to drivel.

The comment section can be stomach churning, with calls for armed revolt, assassinations and acts of sabotage. Throw in calls for limiting voting rights only to property owners and that women's suffrage was a mistake.

Like I said, quoting from there is scraping the bottom of the barrel, a very foul barrel.


Sep 23, 2014
VV: Such an emotional response!
Too bad you can't defend the socialism you support.
But then socialism cannot be rationally defended so one would expect an irrational invective on anti-socialist articles.

Sep 23, 2014
VV: Such an emotional response!
Too bad you can't defend the socialism you support.
But then socialism cannot be rationally defended so one would expect an irrational invective on anti-socialist articles.


You are deflecting again. I reported on what I've read at American (Non)Thinker and since you can't dispute what I wrote you come back with "Such an emotional response".


Sep 23, 2014
What's to dispute?
If you are judging by the comments section, not content, then why do look at this site?

Sep 23, 2014
What's to dispute?
If you are judging by the comments section, not content, then why do look at this site?


I am judging the content and the comments.

Sep 23, 2014
What's to dispute?
If you are judging by the comments section, not content, then why do look at this site?


I am judging the content and the comments.


F on detail.
And still no defense for your socialist views.

Sep 28, 2014
"Countering the modern bent towards government redistribution to manage societal inequities, George says social mobility is what we need to protect. "What matters is that we have in place conditions in this country that enable people by dint of hard work, creativity, intelligence, the willingness to take risks to rise and make a better life for themselves, and for their children and for their grandchildren. That has always been the glory of America on the economic side, our social mobility."

George credits Eugene Genovese, a former Marxist and distinguished historian who left his Marxist ideology in light of its practical human consequences, and became a Catholic. Yet, this is rare and takes being open-minded, the Princeton professor says. For what gives him hope is his brave and bold students who are willing to speak up"
http://dailycalle...istians/

NOM
Sep 29, 2014
This thread has nothing to do with politics or AGW, so go and troll somewhere else.

Noone at all is even vaguely interested in the pathetic links you continually spam with. Go away rygtard2.

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