God Makes 216 Million Americans Scientifically Illiterate

11 03 2008

Per an article in MIT Technology Review America’s scientific literacy rate has improved from a pathetic 10% in 1988:

The bad news: it’s still only 28 percent. 200 million Americans cannot read a simple story in, say, Technology Review or the New York Times science section and understand even the basics of DNA or microchips or global warming.

This level of science illiteracy may explain why over 40 percent of Americans do not believe in evolution and about 20 percent, when asked if the earth orbits the sun or vice versa, say it’s the sun that does the orbiting–placing these people in the same camp as the Inquisition that punished Galileo almost 400 years ago.

Some might attribute this as the result of a poor educational system or a lack of intellectual curiosity, as exemplified by the poster child for ignorant bliss President Bush. I think there may be more to it.

In what I believe to be a related story a Newsweek poll last April (alternate link) included a variety of interesting questions about Americans and religious matters. The article cites the unsurprising fact that 91% of the public say they believe in God and almost as many (87 percent) say they identify with a specific religion. Newsweek also asked poll respondents about modern biology.

Nearly half (48 percent) of the public rejects the scientific theory of evolution; one-third (34 percent) of college graduates say they accept the Biblical account of creation as fact. Seventy-three percent of Evangelical Protestants say they believe that God created humans in their present form within the last 10,000 years; 39 percent of non-Evangelical Protestants and 41 percent of Catholics agree with that view.

These poll results come just a few months after an international study was conducted to measure which countries were the most accepting on evolutionary biology. Of the 34 countries involved, the United States ranked 33rd. Only Turkey ranked lower.

These are astonishing and terrifying statistics. So while I agree that we need to look closely at our education system and make improvements, I also think we need to consider the active role religion plays in propagating misinformation and encouraging non-critical thinking.  I’m not suggesting religion always suppresses critical thinking, but it is fair to say that it strongly discourages it by lauding stories of pure fantasy as true and denying inconvenient scientifically established facts that reveal their stories as fiction.

In a world facing global warming, resistant strains of bacteria, debates over stem cell research and natural selection it seems obvious that faith is not benign but is in fact impeding the majority of the public’s willingness to truly understand the issues they are asked to contemplate.

Advertisements

Actions

Information

81 responses

11 03 2008
Barbara

It seems as though those who are looking forward to “rapture” are winning. And those who are moderate or liberal “believers” are supporting their cause. At this point if there were a “hell” I might ask to be admitted. Why would anyone want to get stuck with all this way of “thinking”(I use that term very loosely) for eternity?
With the national attention that atheists and non believers have received you would hope that some things would change, but it took centuries to build these beliefs and I don’t know if centuries could help destroy them. Though sometimes it’s just a rational thought that one person passes on to another that can make all the difference.

12 03 2008
everydayman

This world’s been changing, and I just guess the worlds gonna be a whole lot complicated as more and more people tend to live their lives the way they see it.

We are actually smarter today, as I see it. With all the technological stuffs we are capable of handling. The this, were just not that literate in terms of theories.

http://3critical.wordpress.com

12 03 2008
Irving

What a sad statement, yet the percentages have improved every year throughout the 20th Century, and it is certainly a lower percentage than 200, or 500 years ago. It has always been that a small number of individuals lead the way, while for the rest, it doesn’t matter. In a hundred years, or a thousand, the percentages of ignorance will decrease, God-willing 🙂

12 03 2008
dangoldfinch

Malcontent:

I am curious to know how my unbelief in certain unfactual scientific theories and ideas is impeding the work, research and debate, of those who do believe in unfactual scientific theories and ideas? I’m not out campaigning that the local evolutionary global warming hack be prevented from doing her research. Research away! (I could stand some global warming right now since I am still buried in about 15 inches of snow.) I’m not standing in the way of the biological world that wants to evolve. I’m not mass producing resistant strains of bacteria. If the world wants to evolve, then I say: Evolve away (I can’t stop it)! If bacteria wants to be resistant, then resist away (I can take antibiotics if I choose to, which I do not since that is part of the problem)! If the Sun wants to get warmer, then warm away (the sun is bigger than me)! And if you want to research it, research away (I’m no scientist)! I’m not going to stop you from wasting your time.

Let me see if I get your logic:

I say: I am a Christian who accepts that God Created the world in 6 days as per the testimony of the Scripture.

You say: We live in a world facing resistant strains of bacteria (or global warming, or debates over stem cells or whatever).

Your conclusion: My faith (in a Creator) is having an impact (in fact, ‘impeding’ is your word) on our (the public’s) ability to understand the issue of resistant strains of bacteria or global warming, etc.

Huh? What sort of logic is that? If there is a scientist who does not believe in Creation, and there are many, wouldn’t they be able to simply ignore or at least work around my faith or write books decrying my ignorance and blaspheming my God? Does my faith prevent the government from writing checks to support their ‘research.’ No. How does my faith affect whether or not we understand resistant (to what?) strains of bacteria, global warming, stem cell research, or natural selection? What does my faith have to do with the research of those who have no such faith? Nothing.

Thanks for taking time to help me understand your thought process.

jerry

12 03 2008
Anthony W Allsop

“……unsurprising fact that 91% of the public say they believe in God (!?)

Almost the whole of this 91% have mental deficiency. How can people believe fairy tales and myth over proven facts?

There’s a report in my newspaper (The Sun UK. Google it) about a fossil of the oldest sea turtle ever found which dates back to 150,000,000 years ago. It was unveiled by scientists in Patagonia.

Such evidence is totally ignored by the pious. They would much rather believe myths and legends that have been handed down – interpreted and misinterpretated – for the last a few thousand years or so.

I believe that it will take at LEAST another thousand years before MAN can shake off the shackles of religion.

Just click Faith and Godalmighty to go there.

12 03 2008
prolepticlife

The logical fallacies of your thesis are obvious. Religion is once again the boogey man and punching bag for all that is wrong in the world – and in particular Christianity. If a large percentage of Americans don’t believe in the theories of evolution it isn’t because it hasn’t been given its fair hearing. It is anathema to anyone in education to suggest any other possible origins of life, debate is outlawed by court fiat, it is a religious dogma all its own, it is promoted and accepted as fact by every secular media – the only thing left I guess is for you to figure out a way to snuff out Christianity. Because clearly that is the reason global warming and drug resistant bacteria are not being fixed. And heaven (sorry for that reference to afterlife) forbid we should debate issues like stem cell research and natural selection.

Couldn’t we also say that secular evolutionists ( who are given carte blanch acceptance) could be the problem? Let me use your logic: More than half – a majority – do believe in the theory of evolution. Since a majority do believe in evolution than why the heck hasn’t that majority fixed everything. I guess you can’t until everyone agrees with you.

12 03 2008
Barbara

Well it appears that prime examples of your article have shown up to be offended. 🙂

12 03 2008
Teresa

It also appears to be a predictable correlate that the proudly ignorant and sanctimonious masses struggle with writing, spelling, and (most notably) critical thinking. (Look it up, guys.) And Superjesus, rock on.

12 03 2008
amillionpieces

I have the solution, you could make believing in something that’s different a crime. In fact you could make thinking something that’s different. Well, actually, I think it was Chairman Mao who had the solution, but it’s refreshing to see there are still people on his wavelength.

Atheism has become a religion anyway. It may not have a God but it has millions of evangelical followers who refuse to accept that others can believe what they want to, who think that everyone should believe what they believe (or don’t believe as the case may be). How very ironic.

26 04 2009
Anthony W. Allsop

Faith.

This is a token of my faith in faith.

Just because I don’t believe in God, doesn’t mean that I believe that others should not believe.

For I believe in faith.

I believe that believing can help many engender faith.

I also believe that my having no belief in God doesn’t belie me that faith.

Faith in God alone may get us through life, but faith in our families, friends and fellow man

– for me –

transcends that faith,

to better ease the pain.

If others’ place gods higher than those three f’s, then so-be-it,

but if YOU were God would YOU want it any other way?

I doubt it,

believe me.

Anthony W Allsop 1940 – 200?

12 03 2008
12 03 2008
SuperJesus

@amillionpieces: Yeah, I address your “Atheism is a religion” nonsense in a blog here so I won’t bother copying and pasting. In case you can’t be bothered to read the logical argument the short version is, you’re wrong.

@dangoldfinch and prolepticlife: You apparently missed the point so here’s the simplified version. There is ample evidence supporting evolution but a faith in God requires none. In fact it would cease to be “faith” if there were evidence of God somewhere. So if there’s no evidence other than some nonsensical old stories in a poorly translated book you’re probably willing to believe anything without evidence. This by definition is an example of how religion advocates poor critical thinking skills and how the very foundation of religion is based on the suspension of critical thought. Further evidence for my assertion is the amazing number of Americans who deny the validity of a literal tonnage of fossil, DNA, and other evidence supporting evolution and instead replace that rigorously proven theory with a quaint Bible story.

That’s just fine, except these critically thought impaired people also vote and they elect mentally handicapped people like George W. Bush. Mr. Bush and his lack of critical thinking skills in turn panders to his inane supporters and blocks legislation that might deal with global warming, stem cell research, etc. This in turn affects everyone. So in summary, yes, your poor reasoning skills are not benign and do effect others.

Does that help explain my flawed logic?

PS: @dangoldfinch: After you go shovel your driveway take a minute and go read this post about global warming. One snow fall does not disprove such a global phenomena.

26 01 2011
Anthony W. Allsop

A god has no power, other than that of its followers.

12 03 2008
Donny Phillips

So you mention non-critical thinking. Does that mean you want to shutdown Hollywood, artists, singers, sports, etc….. Wht are you only picking on those that blieve in God and His Word from the Bible? The answer is simple, your are just making an attack on the Christian faith in the guise of “true” science. You may actually convince a few with your lame stats.

cheers
Donny

12 03 2008
amillionpieces

Ah, yes, my opinion opposed yours so its immediately “nonsense” thank you for confirming my suspicion that you’re another know-it-all atheist who dismisses everyone else as worthless. Thanks for showing me how much better and more accepting atheists are.

12 03 2008
dangoldfinch

Dear Malcontent,

Your ideas are so blase and typical that I might as well go back and start reading your pope Dawkins again–you sound like a disciple! Listen, Christianity would not exist if there were no historical reason for it to exist. You can say all you want about faith, the way you have defined it, but that is not how the Scripture defines faith at all. Faith is based on the historical death and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth. There is nothing fictional or mythical about those two facts. The only ones who deny the historical fact of these two events are those who do not want to believe in real evidence or, as it is, live.

I perfectly well get your point. You are attempting, like all malcontents, to blame the problems of the world on people of faith instead of where the blame belongs: sin and unbelief. That is exactly what my syllogism shows and exactly what you said.

ps–I’m not offended at all. Truth is, I don’t expect anything more critical than what you have offered. I fully expect people like yourself to blame everyone in the world for the problems of the world but be completely unwilling to accept any of the blame yourself. If the scientists of the world are so smart because they believe in ‘evolution’ and ‘stem-cell research’ and ‘global warming’ then I am in full support of them doing something about the problems this world faces (like how to prevent 1 in 4 adolescent girls from having STD’s for example; that would be a great use of ‘science.’)

You still haven’t answered the real question which is this: How is my supposed ignorance preventing a scientist from doing his job? That is your assertion and you cannot prove it either empirically or logically. And what does belief in Creation have to do with the election of a president? That is about as non-sequitor as it gets. The argument from you atheist types is always the same: Oh, you’re a Christian and believe in the bible therefore you must not think well enough to engage the argument and you certainly cannot understand real science. Come on, you have to do better than that.

I have a question. What evidence do you have that, say, Plato, existed as a real person and not just the myth of someone’s imagination?

your friend,
jerry

Oh, BTW, did you see where the founder of the weather channel is suing Al Gore in order that he might expose Global Warming for the myth that it is? Talk about believing in something with no evidence, Global Warming is nothing more than political maneuvering. It is a joke and there are plenty of real scientists who discredit global warming.

12 03 2008
amillionpieces

I don’t see why Global Warming is connected to religious belief? Lots of Christians believe Global Warming is happening. I’m a Christian and I do believe that pollution is messing up our climate and our planet (has done for years – what about acid rain and such phenomena?) I know non-Christians who dispute it and say it’s bunkum. It’s not based on religion. If anything the hype and the way people have tagged onto it like some kind of fashion statement has clouded the scientific arguments – it comes off as a lot of famous people posing and promoting instead of a serious engagement.

On the Inconvenient Truth front, the government here lost a High Court hearing over it – they sent it out to schools, but it was challenged and the High Court ruled that it was one sided and had inaccuracies, so could only be shown if it was shown with something arguing the other side of the argument.

12 03 2008
madmonq

In Oklahoma, they are trying to make stupidity legitimate. And just when Bush is about to leave office…

http://www.edmondsun.com/opinion/local_story_067125346.html

12 03 2008
SuperJesus

@Donny, I hope you don’t think I’m singling out Christianity because I feel the same way about most all religions. Sorry if you got the wrong impression there.

@Million: I don’t dismiss everyone else ideas as worthless, only the ones for which there is no evidence. You bring me the evidence and I’ll reconsider. Fair? As for global warming, I don’t mean to imply that all Christians don’t believe in it. What I do mean to imply is that the same method of blindly accepting dogma in spite of contradictory evidence (as generally exhibited by the faithful of all stripes) is similar to the failed critical thinking exhibited by people who accept reports from energy backed interests that suggest evidence for global warming isn’t real. That is not a universal mechanism, as you are evidence of yourself, just a common one I’ve observed. As you’ve seen, the damage we can inflict on the environment is not inconsequential and I only wish more people would look at the facts to understand our impact and to create the political will to change things.

@Dan (I didn’t forget you my friend): There is nothing factual or historical about the supposed death or resurrection of Jesus. Seriously, you must be joking. On what sort of authority, on what shred of evidence? A toasted cheese sandwich with an image of his Mom perhaps? As for STDs, go remind that good christian the Pope that despite his contrary beliefs condoms are an effective preventative measure and that prayer (apparently) doesn’t work. Regarding my making you understand my logical argument, I surrender. I think you’re clinging to your religious beliefs and no amount of logic or evidence will sway you. Your blind faith is quite impressive indeed.

12 03 2008
amillionpieces

As to the evidence of existence, it’s a circular debate, I’ll bring up things that are spiritual and you’ll discount them because they’re not scientifically provable (which doesn’t make them any more or less real). I’ll bring up healings – they’ll be dismissed as freaks or fakes. etc. Had the debate many times, when it comes down to it neither of us can scientifically prove either way on the existence of God.

I do think it’s offensive to assume that something is blindly accepted. While this is undoubtedly the case in some, very many of us have thought this out, have looked at both sides, have analysed and considered. But you can’t know the evidence we’ve analysed because it comes down to something spiritual in a person, and that can’t be scientifically shown. It’s not blind faith when you’ve had experiences with God, it’s based on knowing God, the fact is some things just can’t be explained by science. That doesn’t mean they are more or less real.

12 03 2008
Chris

Atheism is a religion like not playing soccer is a sport.

12 03 2008
sixteenfeet

I have a question. If evolution is for real, why do we not see the continuing process of evolution right now. By this I mean, if our ancestors we primates of the furry variety, why do we not still see members of the furry clan evolving into members of the upright, non-furry variety? Or for that matter, why do we not see any species doing this. Evolution is a real mess and if it were true, would we not then be forced to believe that all species had arrived simultaneously at their peak and all other variations of a given species are all dead and have been for roughly the past 10,000 years? In fact, the only thing that can actually be witnessed in the recorded history of man is the extinction of species.

So using the basic premise of your first argument, could I not just as validly say that evolution can’t be proven since it simply isn’t going on around us in any observable fashion now? Not to bother quoting much scripture because it doesn’t sound like it would be welcome but the scripture does say that faith has both substance and evidence. In other words, we may not be able to apply a set of calipers to determine its dimensions but that is not the only way to measure faith. I know many scientists are now searching for particles that cannot be seen and will not ever be seen yet we accept them as real.

At the risk of venturing onto a soap box, global warming has been transformed into a political issue by scientists and how religion or faith has anything to do with that, I have no idea. I did, however, read a scientific paper just this week regarding the degree of global warming going on right now compared to the massive global warming that occurred during the Middle Ages. This present warming trend is nothing compared with that one and some very reasonable scientific minds are questioning the validity of making serious economic changes based upon the rather arrogant assumption that human activity can ruin the climate.

At any rate, I would encourage you to keep a more open mind to things that cannot be seen.

12 03 2008
Chris

“I have a question. If evolution is for real, why do we not see the continuing process of evolution right now. By this I mean, if our ancestors we primates of the furry variety, why do we not still see members of the furry clan evolving into members of the upright, non-furry variety”

Well, firstly, your ideas about what evolution is are wrong. Monkeys do not spontaneously birth human babies. Read up first on what it is before you think you can logically debate the topic, mm-kay?
It takes MILLIONS of years for especiation. Secondly, we can witness evolution in process in a myriad of examples. The lungfish, the finger bones in a whale, the remnants of legs in some pythons, the fact that we have to constantly come up with new flu vaccines because last years are no longer effective…
Oh, and the idea that there is some sort of “end goal” for evolution is spurious, as well. Adaption to the environment happens and will continue to happen as long as there is a need.

12 03 2008
amillionpieces

People who don’t like soccer aren’t a grouping – they just happen not to like something. Atheists share so many traits with religions, they’re are atheist groups, atheist books and more evangelical atheists than you could shake a stick at. They also have the belief that they’re right and everyone else is wrong. They venerate their lack of belief in the same way that religious people venerate their beliefs, and what’s more they’re to stubborn to even admit it.

12 03 2008
wvnds

It’s sad that radical liberals and atheists are always so angry.

12 03 2008
Chris

Oh, also, if you believe man has reached a “peak,” I’d like your explanation for wisdom teeth and the appendix. Or were these useless, but scientifically explainable, components part of god’s “intelligent design?

12 03 2008
Chris

to amillionpieces:

Wow, you’re saying atheism is a religion because a groupl of people share the same ideals? So I guess racism is a religion, too, because there are racist groups, racists books, and more evangelical racists that you can shake a stick at, huh? They venerate their beliefs the same way that religious people venerate their beliefs.

Oh, and it’s not a matter of “just happen to not like something.” You’d have to believe in that something before you can not like it.

12 03 2008
amillionpieces

You misquote me Chris, if you reread that comment the happening to not like something was in reference to soccer, not God.

Atheism is held religiously by many atheists. Racism is (apparently – tho not here) held in the same way, it certainly used to be, the Klu Klux Klan had the characteristics of a cult. Following something religiously doesn’t have to involve a god, it’s a word that describes the human behaviour, not the thing they’re believing in.

12 03 2008
Chris

Behaving religiously and having religion are two different things.

And re-read what I said. I said, to rephrase, “Not believing in god” is not a religion, just as “not playing soccer” is not a sport.

12 03 2008
joyogo

I’m sorry that you have such a closed mind and arrogant attitude. BTW, consider the possibilities that our schools spend so much time on sensitivity training, and teaching Susan that it’s ok for Johnny to have 2 moms or 2 dads, and teaching the 5 tenets of Islam, and teaching them how to put condoms on bananas, etc. that they have little time to be bothered with the basics of real education. All of that is nothing more than social programming. Social programming does not teach kids to read or to understand scientific concepts. It teaches them to follow blindly the tenets of “Political Correctness” and being intolerantly “tolerant”. You don’t want to believe in God, fine. That is your choice. But don’t blame the failures of our education system on Him or His followers. That is nothing more than choosing to beat a scapegoat rather than creatively resolve the problems.

12 03 2008
Chris

Who do we blame when people who believe in God make it so basic science is censored for ALL children because it conflicts with their narrow view of what God is?

12 03 2008
amillionpieces

Sorry, then I will correct my statement, many atheists behave religiously about their atheism.

(Can’t comment on the education thing as I don’t know squat about American Education. I assumed they generally taught science just like they do here.)

12 03 2008
Chris

“Sorry, then I will correct my statement, many atheists behave religiously about their atheism.”

I can agree with that.

12 03 2008
Barbara

“It’s sad that radical liberals and atheists are always so angry.”

It’s unfortunate that you assume that anyone is either radical or angry…what I see more often then not is the frustration that comes with an argument based on biblical text on one side and scientific evidence on the other. There, I said it, EVIDENCE.
Belief consistently inhibits people from accepting science or evolution, even though there is no evidence for belief, but much for science. While there are still unanswered questions science seeks those answers. Those who believe merely point to a passage from their bible to answer questions and “fill in the gaps”.
Consistently throughout history we can look at these texts and show the lack of historical evidence to support the foundations of your beliefs, yet each faith is insistent that their god is the only god or that their text is the only “true word of their god”.
Science asks for nothing from you, however without it we would still be living in the dark ages of disease, suffering, fear, and delusions. The earth would still be flat, the sun would still revolve around the earth, and this planet would have only come into existence 6-10, 000 years ago.
So therefor show your EVIDENCE and make a believer out of me. I’m neither angry or radical, but I’m just wondering at what point someone in the religious community will come up with something more relevant than “god said so”.

12 03 2008
Benamon Tame

‘Faith is based on the historical death and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth. There is nothing fictional or mythical about those two facts’

Wrong, there is nothing but fiction and mythology!
There is no evidence for a census during jesus ‘birth’. No contemporary accounts of his life or death, and no resurrection either i am afraid.
And as for the bible as a historical document, the bible is a collection of books picked by men from a much wider selection and most of those have been altered by changing church agendas and poor translations.
Despite bleating they are the persecuted minority they have been the aggressors in most situations throughout history.
Christianity fought hard to defend the theory of a flat earth,opposing evolution is just where they are holding there latest stand against reality!

12 03 2008
sixteenfeet

Hey Chris,
I think perhaps you misunderstood what I was saying. The process of evolution should be ongoing among all species. In other words, we should be seeing, just to use the classic example, several variations within the evolutionary process between the ape and man. For that matter, we should still be seeing fish attempting the process of change from gill breathing to lung breathing. This process should be ongoing all the time which would create a kind of evolutionary chaos at all levels of life. What we can observe is quite the contrary view. Life is pretty well organized and man can classify it into a variety of biological categories. I didn’t actually say what you are implying that I said that chimps should be having human babies. What I said, to be specific was, shouldn’t we be seeing intermediate species between apes and humans.

As far as whales having hands, I have seen the skeletal remains of several species of extinct ocean dwelling critters that have identical bony structures. Don’t you think a more reasonable explanation for those structures is that it allows the whale a greater ability to manipulate the shape of the fin which in turn allows it greater maneuverability in much the same way that a bird can manipulate the shape of the wing in flight? It’s just a thought.

By the way, challenging another persons education level because they disagree with your position is in itself not very a very sound intellectual position.

12 03 2008
patrickandchristy

Can a scientist also be a devout Christian? Can I believe that God created this earth and every species and also still believe that animals evolve? How is a supreme being, God, creating this earth, this world anymore illogical than the theory that once upon a time there was no living matter and WHAM! there was life and several billion years later, here we are in a highly advanced, exceptionally complex, ordered world, universe?

I’m interested to hear your enlightened response. Hopefully, it will not be as weak as your above argument. From an intellectual standpoint, I wasn’t impressed.

Also, let me ask this: If over 500 people personally witnessed an evolutionary phenomenon take place today, such as a fish receiving oxygen through their lungs instead of their gills (very simplistic example, and yes, there is a lung fish that has this ability), would it be indisputable “proof” of evolution? Could I then believe that the fish had “evolved” because a changing environment dictated it evolve or face extinction?

12 03 2008
Joseph Sixpack

About me:
Undergrad degree: B.S. Biology
Religion: Christian (Baptist, to be precise)

The issue of evolution vs. creationism is overpoliticized, causing some people to take irrational positions that embrace one side or oppose the other side (there is a difference). Actually, most people do not fully embrace one or the other. Most believe in something in between. And those people are most likely correct. Evolution, like any other theory, will continue to be refined. Now, if you ask people if they think that evolution is about 90% correct, then I think that you will see some significantly different poll results. If you ask Christians whether they believe in the narrow, fundamentalist interpretation of Genesis that is assumed here, then I doubt that you will get many affirmative responses.

People who use the arguments of evolution and creationism to further an agenda, to incite religious people, or for other political/ideological means, are irresponsible. The author of this weblog is no more thoughtful or intelligent than someone who makes and equally absurd claim that evolution defies laws of thermodynamics.

Most critiques of evolution are foolish tirades that demonstrate a fundamental misunderstanding of basic science. Most critiques of creationism are straw man arguments that focus upon the most narrow, fundamentalist interpretation of Genesis. The former is intellectually vacant. The latter is intellectually dishonest.

In this case, the author of the weblog has managed to weave both of those unfortunate attributes into one intellectually vacant and dishonest post, by extrapolating some data into a specious conclusion and attacking a straw man that has already been pummeled on countless other occasions.

12 03 2008
baptizedbyice

I think it may have less to do with religion (though Jesus Camp the movie makes it scarily seem otherwise) and more to do with an overall lack of “critical thinking” in American culture. Television, celebrities, video games (I have been prone to like all three) are popular instead of the analysis of religion, science and other more academic interests. I don’t blame people either. The arguments, the complications, the stress that comes with really questioning science and religion can be daunting.

Another point. Religion may also be the easy way out for people. An escape from the complicated lives of all human beings. It gives all the answers and in many, promises a God who won’t turn away from you like human beings are prone to do. I don’t want to say that people who refuse to educate themselves because of God are powerless, but I do believe that there is more to the story than just blind acceptance of what a priest or a book says.

In the end, I think we have to leave it up to the individual. If people believe in God and therefore believe that He will love them no matter what, then evolution doesn’t matter to them because belief in evolution doesn’t get them salvation, happiness or heaven. I other people choose to believe in evolution or both ideas, then their priorities are different. The best that can be done is to ensure an education system that properly educated its citizens on all the potential beliefs of everything: science, world religions, politcs, etc., so that when everybody goes through school, they will be able to be fully educated on and responsible for their decisions.

12 03 2008
SuperJesus

@Joesixpack: Just because you might not like what I’m suggesting in my post doesn’t make it inherently intellectually vacant or dishonest. Set me straight and explain to me the error of making a theoretical connection between a pronounced lack of critical thinking in our country and the prevalence of churches that suggest such any number of indisputable truisms such as the world was created 6,000 years ago or that you get 72 virgins if you die a martyr or Lord Xenu put alien souls in volcanoes. Honestly, if you believe any of the absurd stories posited in most any religious text then you are a complete hypocrite calling MY arguments intellectually vacant and dishonest.

13 03 2008
Joseph Sixpack

“… explain to me the error of making a theoretical connection between a pronounced lack of critical thinking in our country and the prevalence of churches that suggest such any number of indisputable truisms such as the world was created 6,000 years ago or that you get 72 virgins if you die a martyr or Lord Xenu put alien souls in volcanoes.”

The error is that you attribute the effect of 216 million people being poorly educated to minor causes, such as those quoted above. They are not sufficient in number to influence 20 million Americans, let alone over 200 million.

– The churches suggesting that the world was created in 6,000 years are a small minority. They’re just the ones that you see on TV because a wacky pastor saying that the Earth is only 6,000 years old is more interesting than a normal preacher saying, “obey the 10 commandments.”
– Promises of 72 virgins isn’t even a mainstream view in the Muslim world, let alone the US. Muslims are less than 5% of the population here and groups like CAIR have less than 2,000 members. Please.
– The obscurity of that Lord Xenu reference speaks for itself.

If you think that examples like this can significantly account for a slanted viewpoint, lack of information, poor reasoning, or any other perceived malady among 216 million Americans, then you are making a ridiculous error. I would assert that your poor reasoning is as irresponsible as some doofus claiming that evolution violates laws of thermodynamics.

13 03 2008
gregwade

Hmmmm, Hmmmm, Hmmmm, Hmmmm – and yet again Hmmmm, Hmmmm, Hmmmm…

or better still…

Hmmmm, Hmmmm, Hmmmm, Hmmmm – and yet again Hmmmm, Hmmmm, Hmmmm…

or better still…

Hmmmm, Hmmmm, Hmmmm, Hmmmm – and yet again Hmmmm, Hmmmm, Hmmmm…

ah!

13 03 2008
aliaskim

Super Jesus’ hypothesis that there is a correlation between adherence to religious teachings and confusion about the scientific understanding of the natural world seems reasonable to me, for all of the reasons he outlines in his post and reinforces in his comments.

Perhaps further controlled study is warranted before Super J can publish his “Origins of Resistance to Learning Science”.

13 03 2008
SuperJesus

@JoeSixpack: Perhaps I cited some of the more fringe beliefs for dramatic effect and to make a point. If it makes you feel better I can cite the unquestionable virgin birth or the unassailable claim that Jesus rose from the dead and then floated up into the heavens. How critically are you thinking about those mainstream core Christian beliefs? Pause for a moment of self reflection. If you find you’re still denying the ridiculousness of those claims while clinging desperately to your faith consider that you may well be an exemplary case-in-point that, at least anecdotally, proves my original thesis.

13 03 2008
Chris

Sixteen Feet:

We do see species in transition. It is all around us. Take the mudskipper, as I mentioned before. Just because you don’t see a fish with gills one day, then a fish with lungs the next, doesn’t mean evolution isn’t taking place. Look at fish with fins that are used for walking on the sea bottom. They are clearly fins, yet, they are using them for a different purpose. Evolution takes place on such a grand scale, it takes millions of years for the process to develop. All evolution is is minor mutations in the genes that serve a useful purpose in its environment. Geneitc mutations exist. There is no denying that. Mutations that help a species survive gets passed on to offspring. There is no denying that either. I don’t understand what God has to do with any of this or why its so offensive to Christians.

Look at killer whales beaching themselves to get seals. That is a process of evolution wether you like it or not. The killer whales that are better at it, have offspring that are better at it. What if there was one killer whale born with little ridges along it’s belly. Maybe in a million years, as that killer whale’s offspring inherit this characteristic, killer whales will evolve little fingers along their bellies to help them crawl back into the ocean. And in a few million more years, those fingers develop into bonafide appendages. True this is all hypothetical, but to suggest evolution doesn’t exist because we haven’t seen a distinct and obvious mutation into a new species in the mere 100 years or so of study is specious. If evolution didn’t exist, we would be using the same flu vaccines every year.

13 03 2008
Chris

The Immaculate Conception was created by Paul some 60 years later to make Jesus more deific. There is no record from the original 12 apostles that even remotely suggests a virgin birth. There is, however, plenty of evidence that shows the original 11 apostles (sans Judas), you know, the people that would know Jesus best of all, didn’t agree with Paul and considered Jesus a man, not a supernatural deity. The more you know.

13 03 2008
Joseph Sixpack

“Perhaps I cited some of the more fringe beliefs for dramatic effect and to make a point.”

And that is why I pointed out that your post is intellectually vacant and dishonest.

13 03 2008
patrickandchristy

What the 12 disciples thought of the Virgin Birth or whether Christ was a mere man or a deity has nothing to do with whether it happened or not. None of the disciples were even aware that Mary was pregnant with God’s Son nor were they present during this birth. They cannot be held to be “experts” or first hand witnesses. Paul did not “create” anything. He just put in writing what he had been Divinely inspired to do so. Secondly, Christ made it clear in the Gospels, especially during his last days that the disciples did not fully understand that He was indeed the Messiah, the Son of God that come in the flesh. They “knew” Jesus as man but did not have the capacity to fully understand Christ’s divinity. They could not/cannot be counted on to explain the spiritual Christ. They could, however, attest to what they personally witnessed, i.e., healings, miracles, etc. and to what Christ told them.

What I, you or anyone else personally “thinks” about Christ isn’t relevant to the Divinity and Holiness of Christ. He is who he is regardless whether I choose to believe it or what I choose to write about him. So many people that are completely ignorant making statements as if it is fact. Sad, but typical.

I do believe also that this whole issue of Evolution versus Creationism is just a distraction and overstated. If you are a sincere, geniune “article” Christian, then you believe that God created the earth exactly as He stated because we believe the Bible is the divinely inspired and living Word of God. If you don’t believe it then fine, don’t. Either way, it doesn’t keep me from thinking critically or on a level above a fifth grader. I have heard many highly educated, intellectual people make some very ignorant remarks, assumptions but it didn’t change their intellect. We ALL sometimes just say stupid things and make stupid assumptions.

To those that have had divine encounters with God and have “experienced” the Living Power of Christ, the Truth of Jesus Christ and of God is very logical and real. To those that haven’t, it just doesn’t make sense and their minds cannot grasp it. To those lay persons that have no scientific understanding, then some of the hypotheses and theory’s put forth by science is illogical and doesn’t make sense. It’s all relative to your experiences.

Superdude, answer my questions from above. I want to know your answers, your arguments for, against, etc.

13 03 2008
patrickandchristy

If a group of believers, Christians have come together to call upon the healing power of Christ for a little girl that is experiencing tremendous pain, having difficulty walking and one leg is a full inch shorter than the other, and that little girl is instantly healed without any physical manipulation of her body, joints, etc., can that be logically explained from a critical thinking, scientific viewpoint. How did this happen? Her leg grew a full inch and all WE did was pray for her healing. The only touch was of the pastor’s hands on her feet. He just held them and we prayed. I say we, because I was there and have first hand account of this miracle. Science cannot explain this and science would look foolish trying.

There is a God my friend and His Son, Jesus Christ is as alive too as he was 2,000 years ago. I have more stories if needed. I encourage you to read the Bible with an open heart, mind and soul and ask Christ to “reveal” himself to you and He will. Wait on the Lord.

13 03 2008
In which science and religion collide…and ruin the party for everyone « cuvintu’s weblog

[…] begin today, I suggest you read this blog post first, entitled “God Makes 216 Million Americans Scientifically Illiterate.” What I want to say isn’t necessarily about this blog (I’m ignoring the […]

13 03 2008
Barbara

Joseph Sixpack: “And that is why I pointed out that your post is intellectually vacant and dishonest.”
Hmmm…..
Intellectual dishonesty is the advocacy of a position which the advocate knows or believes to be false. Rhetoric is used to advance an agenda or to reinforce one’s deeply held beliefs in the face of overwhelming contrary evidence.
Sounds like the god delusion to me. 🙂 Have a great day Joe!

13 03 2008
SuperJesus

@Patandchristy: If you have two x-rays showing remarkable spontaneous bone growth over a short period of time you might have something worth talking about however when one cites perceived symptoms that would likely dissipate on their own I remain unimpressed. Your group should go pray over some amputees and if you can get your all powerful god to grow back a missing limb you’ll have the attention of more than a blogger like me with a bad attitude.

Restate your questions again and I’ll do my best to answer them here or in another blog entry. I’m not sure what you mean for me to answer aside from commenting on the presumption that Christ was divine and performed some miracles…which I (predictably) see no reason to believe other than you say you have a warm feeling when you think about it. My apologies but I kinda need more than that.

13 03 2008
Chris

If you are a sincere, geniune “article” Christian, then you believe that God created the earth exactly as He stated because we believe the Bible is the divinely inspired and living Word of God

Wow, I had no idea an all-knowing God would think a rabbit chews cud, or that the moon is a small light in the night sky. He created the earth exactly as it’s stated in the Bible? So which came first, man or animals, because it says both in Genesis. Perhaps you’d like to answer where Noah got the eucalyptus leaves to feed the Koala Bears for 40 days and nights? Because eucalyptus trees are native to Australia and the surrounding islands. Or perhaps, using his “divinely inspired” word, you can explain how only two animals can create an entire species without genetic drift.

13 03 2008
cuvintu

“Without that deep seated fear and the thread of hope religion pretends to offer faiths of all stripes would have a much more difficult time convincing anyone they are legitimate.”

I must politely dissagree that all religious faiths offer nothing but fear and threads of hope as their complete basis. There is more to it than that, I believe. However, and I think you’ll agree with me on this, true debate on the science/religion issue is most difficult because we’re not arguing two sides of the same coin…we’re arguing from different stand-points. It’s like the pro-life/pro-choice argument (which, for the record, I’m pro-choice)…one side is arguing biology and the other side is arguing politics…they are not polar oposites, just as the science/religion debate is not arguing opposing view points really. They are both systems for finding answers, but one comes from outer exploration, and one from inner. One can be proven, the other (and part of it’s strength is derived from this exact point) cannot…it is a matter of faith.

I do want to point out, and I apologize if I did a poor job of this in my post (I think I got caught up in a different direction than I originally meant to go), but I appreciate your use of the numbers and the general tone of your article over all. I appreciate that you didn’t necessarily blame individual believers, but instead advocated a hard look at the institutions of religion (something I myself advocate and am frustrated with). We may come to different conclusions in the end of our analyses I honestly believe we are both looking for the same thing…science to be given it’s proper place in our hearts and minds as facts and not evil hoo-doo, and a hard look at the role that religion plays in our individual lives as a motivator and an institution.

13 03 2008
patrickandchristy

superdude, I never said anything about a warm feeling. Don’t put words into my mouth. “Perceived symptoms”???? LOL. Like I said, if you are not a follower of Christ then you just don’t “get it”. People like you will NEVER accept that science is very limited in truly understanding how this supremely complex world really works. Heck, even WITHIN the scientific community there is seldom complete agreement over any theory, hypothesis, or the countless subjects studied in science. For every one that believes it’s “this way”, there is another that believes it’s “that way.” They each claim “scientific proof”.

Actually, there are people that have grown back limbs AND been raised from the dead by the Blood and Power of our Risen Lord. This occurs often in many countries outside the U.S.! The U.S. is full of supposed “intellectuals” and unbelievers that want to “prove” everything through the eyes of science that it limits the occurrence here. Again, you just will not understand what I just said. Were there witnesses??? Many!!! But again, you will never admit that these things actually happened.

The questions are in my first post. No need to reask what has already been typed.

Animals came first and then Adam because God needed someone to lord over the animals but it’s really all the same isn’t it. Adam is technically an animal so….

It is hard to fathom how two animals can generate an entire species isn’t it? With my God, this is simplistic and entirely possible. How He did it? I don’t know but I don’t really care. He intended many things to be mysteries to us. We weren’t designed to KNOW everything or figure it all out. Yea, it’s fun trying to answer some of these questions about life, etc. but it’s a futile attempt in the end. Science has a definite place in our world and is vital to society but for those that are looking to science to “prove” everything and make their little worlds make sense, then I’m afraid they will be limited in their ability to grow and grasp things of a more complex nature concerning ideas that go beyond the superficial surface of science.

I haven’t read in the Bible where Noah got food for the Koalas and I figure if it was important to our understanding of God, then He would have made sure to let us know that. Like I said, science is fun and challenging but I don’t really care to have all the answers. That’s why it’s called Faith. Some things you just have to leave it to the mysteries of the universe.

13 03 2008
patrickandchristy

Oh, and the moon actually IS a small little light in comparasion to our God. It’s like a tiny 40 watt light bulb in His World. Does a rabbit chew cud? Has a rabbit ever chewed cud? I don’t know. I guess a rabbit could chew whatever it wants! LOL.

13 03 2008
Barbara

patrickandchristy
“Actually, there are people that have grown back limbs AND been raised from the dead by the Blood and Power of our Risen Lord. This occurs often in many countries outside the U.S.! The U.S. is full of supposed “intellectuals” and unbelievers that want to “prove” everything through the eyes of science that it limits the occurrence here”

This would be entertainment if it weren’t so sad….really????? I hope that someday soon you come out from beneath your delusion, but unfortunately you won’t. I would reply further, but it would be pointless, however this goes back to the very crux of the problems that exist. By the way, you really give way to much credit to the U.S. for being so far ahead with intellectuals and unbelievers. Actually you just proved a point against it.

Mmmmmmm….i believe, I believe, I believe….and I’m not listening to anything rational….I believe, I believe, I believe

Nope, just doesn’t get it. I can’t get past the point of “In the beginning God created”

13 03 2008
SuperJesus

@cuvintu: I did not mean to imply that “religious faiths offer nothing but fear and threads of hope as their complete basis”. I agree with you that there are many worthwhile universal truths that many religions teach each in their own way. That said, my feeling is that religions maintain their authority over and relevance for most populations not by telling them to be kind, but by playing on the common fear of death and by pretending they alone have the keys to eternal peace in some afterlife. Without this base fear to play upon the simple truths of love, empathy, charity, and forgiveness they teach could just as easily be divined from common sense and reading philosophy.

I think collectively we can be more ethical and find more meaning in life without resorting to myths that constantly require revision every time science broadens our horizons of understanding.

13 03 2008
SuperJesus

@patrickandchristy:

“We weren’t designed to KNOW everything or figure it all out. Yea, it’s fun trying to answer some of these questions about life, etc. but it’s a futile attempt in the end.”

“…I don’t really care to have all the answers. That’s why it’s called Faith. Some things you just have to leave it to the mysteries of the universe.”

Thank you. Your very comments precisely prove my point that your faith is not benign but is impeding your willingness to even try to truly understand the world around you. Instead you give up and say it’s all God’s will. You are likely capable of so much more but will never try as long as you cling to your faith. Sad.

13 03 2008
patrickandchristy

Stop being ignorant or self-righteous super! You’re trying to twist my words. You ignore valid points made concerning faith and the supernatural complexities of our universe. I stated that science is very important, and it is, especially in the fields of biotech and medicine. Concerning the supremely complex questions surrounding life, creation, evolution or the order of the universe, that’s where science begins to fail to truly understand, or really explain.

Although you make a weak attempt to take my comments out of context super, I make a clear, valid point that we WILL NEVER understand all the complexities to this world. The pursuit is exciting and fun but man will NEVER prove or answer, without a doubt, all of the questions we have concerning our world. Some questions will remain unanswered. That’s where faith and the mysteries will take its place. I know this threatens all that you believe and you show your insecurity and fragilities concerning this. People will say faith is irrational. Science is also irrational at times.

So I know that my faith, coupled with my SCIENTIFIC BACKGROUND, allows me to see the world and it’s possibilities in a different light. If you ever reach a level where you are seeing the world through more than a scientific light, then maybe we can have a real conversation about these things.

Barbara, what is entertainment is the fact that these things happen, are witnessed and people still do not believe. That is what is truly entertaining, and sad, to me. But so what? If you don’t believe…fine. That’s your thing. But just b/c you are too narrow and superficial to allow yourself to see on that level doesn’t mean that it doesn’t exist. There’s nothing you could say to someone of faith that would lessen what is true. It actually reflects more poorly on you and shows your narrow mind. I didn’t say the U.S. was leading the way in intellect. I state that we aren’t as open to the supernatural as other’s are around the world because we approach it from an intellectual pursuit.

Explain to me, anyone, when life truly begins. When is that exact moment that life is breathed into an egg and sperm that is joined? NO ONE CAN and any scientist worth his weight will tell you that. It will never be known. NEVER!!! The truth is all around you but you are too blind to see it. That’s what is sad.

13 03 2008
SuperJesus

@patrickandchristy: I completely agree with you and I have not asserted that science claims to or plans on understanding all the complexities of the world. My point however is that sitting around reading the Bible and praying gains us no knowledge or understanding of the world around us. Furthermore, faith demands that there are some topics mandated by church doctrine that are not to be questioned or challenged but are to be accepted without any evidence whatsoever.

In contrast science demands questioning findings, suggesting new hypothesis’, rigors of evidence, public scrutiny, and repeatable tests. Science is the only mechanism we have found that will eventually produce accurate new understandings of our world beyond the boundaries of our knowledge.

Faith claims knowledge without evidence and is therefore irrational by definition. Science, in contrast, studies the evidence in an attempt to gain knowledge. Science does not claim to always have all the answers but unlike faith it will never be afraid to ask the questions.

14 03 2008
Barbara

PatrickandChristy:
Just a few questions for you about this belief in a deity:

1. If there are miracles performed all over the world (except apparently here in the U.S.), where is the evidence? I’m not talking about eye witness accounts, because if you get a group of people together that believe something happened they will all think it did. So I would like to see verifiable evidence outside of those in attendance to the supposed event. I would bet that any type of “miracle” is nothing more than a desire to believe it happened. As is with faith healers, many times those who believe they’ve been cured end up with the same ailment a short while later and some have ended up in worse condition because they believed this event occurred. That is truly, truly sad. It is science and medicine that proves the true “miracles” of the world are really the ability of someone’s research to make advancements in the world of medicine.

2. I’m interested in why you think your deity would perform a miracle on certain individuals and not others? There are many faithful people whom give up much in their lives because of their belief in god, yet these same people are just as likely to have cancer, MS, MD, and any number of countless diseases that either shorten their lives or make living less bearable. Also, what about those caught in a fire, a car accident, or any number of such things? How do you believe your god is picking and choosing those he performs these miracles on. Why save Johnny’s life and let Mary die. By the way, I’ve been part of a couple of prayer circles when I was a believer (former “christian”). Never a miracle performed, never a prayer answered. The only thing that came was extreme grief when this type of event didn’t reach the expectations of those believers. And I am not talking Sunday Social believers. I’m talking people whom are fundamentalist, live the word of the bible, family members whom believe in the word of their god. When I look at this type of event unfolding and the sadness it can create I would wonder at a deity who only performs certain miracles and how selfish and self centered this deity can be. Why would your god who apparently doesn’t stop disease and horrific events from happening stop in now and then to make a leg grow an inch or some other minor “miracle” that benefits so few?

3. As far as when life truly begins maybe we will never know, but I can say with the utmost certainty that neither you or anyone else should make an assumption about someone else’s right to decide that for themselves. It isn’t your body, you are not the vessel, and you don’t have the right to decide for ANYONE other than yourself. Until that child can be sustained outside of a woman’s body, I would suggest that that is the limit of anyone’s right to attach any type of “life” to anyone else’s thoughts or understanding of such. If you believe in god then you certainly know that almost as much life exits the body as is maintained in it after conception. Maybe you should really ask the question of why that is.

By the way, there is neither anything narrow or superficial about me. I’ve been there, done that. Have the born again parents to show for it. Spent a lot of time researching to understand what I had grown up to believe and accept without question. I understand the lie that is perpetuated and the reasons behind those who cling to it.
Were there a deity it would most likely be something that neither you, I, or the rest of the billions of humans on earth would ever be able to conceive of. Something that would have nothing to do with what or who we are, certainly no imaginary heaven or hell, no miracles. What gives you the right to be so damned self righteous to believe you are right? How could you possibly think that a book(s) that have been manipulated by man since it’s beginnings could even possibly show any signs of truths, and why do you think that you have the market in the “god of that truth”. There are many religious texts in the world that would argue that. This is oh so sad to me……and that is being narrow and superficial to think that you are the only belief that has it right.

14 03 2008
patrickandchristy

Barbara, I would doubt you were ever truly a believer and disciple of Christ. If Christ ever truly lived within you, and you were a sincere believer, then you wouldn’t be spreading the ignorance you are now. Just a truth.

I think you should read my posts again. You obviously missed something! Not surprising. I NEVER mention anything about abortion, a woman’s rights or anything else pertaining to a woman regarding life, conception, whatever. My point in stating that about the moment life begins is very clear regarding science’s limited abilities to explain life and how it truly works. Those that depend on science to make their world rational and logical are very limited because science is limited.

I don’t know!?!? Someone didn’t have a leg, now they do. Only a moronic idiot would say, “That just didn’t happen. I need scientific proof.” LOL. Also, there are MANY documented cases where people had severe forms of tumors (cancer) one day and the next they didn’t. Completely gone. If you do the research, you’ll find these cases documented in scientific and medical journals. I’m sure you’ll dismiss these and use some lame, weak argument as to how these happened. Talk about sounding sad and ignorant. That’s how people come across when they refuse to believe what is there. LOL. Science very rarely “proves” these miracles. They may spit some fancy words or explainations out and those that don’t have the cognitive ability to see through that bull will take it as fact, “line and sinker.” I guess you’re one of those. LOL.

Since you were a “believer” once upon a time, you understand that there is also an evil presence in this world. Satan is a common name. God could instantly destroy satan and cause us to be completely free of all sin, sickness, etc., etc. but He doesn’t because He gave us Free Will (Read Job. It’s a great book on suffering in God’s eyes.) He wants us to make decisions for ourselves. He also allows us to live with our stupid decisions. I don’t know God’s will and neither does anyone else but I know that whatever occurs, He is in control and it is happening exactly as planned. Stop asking yourself questions that God did not intend for us to fully understand or answer. That’s what adds such beauty and awe to this life. It’s faith and the mysteries of this life that make it so interesting, and ultimately rewarding. Sickness and death are a part of life and it is our punishment for the sin committed in the Garden of Eden. WE brought it on ourselves, not God. How an event benefits anyone isn’t going to be understood by us because we just don’t have the ability to transcend to that level of supernatural workings. WE can conceive it because He makes himself known to us. He is an active participant in our lives and we actually have a relationship with him. You will fail to comprehend this because you are so closed to any thought that there is a supernatural component that truly dictates how this world works. Don’t insult true believers with that lame argument “I once was saved and naively believed all those lies but now I know better.” Really weak. Really weak. That doesn’t change anything about God and His Truth. It just shows how easily you can be manipulated by this world (Satan to be more precise.) I know, I’m losing you once again. I’m no expert and don’t claim to be but I understand that simple truth. It’s very simple. Not too complicated.

People like you and super are trying very hard to “enlighten” all those stupid and simple-minded faith believer’s and change our thinking so those that believer have to take up the fight and help keep people from being mislead and confused by all this false teaching about God. If you believe really isn’t important to me. It’s your soul that will be judged just as mine. I know you don’t believe this but I promise you will face a very rude awakening one day.

I didn’t create God, or the Truth that is Christ. I just believe it. God is the one that truly understands. I’ve never stated I understood it all. I know I have more answers than questions. I CAN conceive and have experienced it. That doesn’t equate to understanding it. Conceiving of something and understanding it are two different things.

This exchange has been fun but we’re at an impasse. You will fail to see my point and I will never agree with you so this will be my last post. Let’s agree to disagree. Don’t you think we’ve wasted enough time on this. You can visit my site anytime. I would love for you to receive Christ’s mercy and grace and for you to receive him as your Lord and Savior. It would be awesome but if you don’t, then that’s fine. Such is life. We don’t lose sleep over those that refuse to believe.

14 03 2008
SuperJesus

“Stop asking yourself questions that God did not intend for us to fully understand or answer. That’s what adds such beauty and awe to this life. It’s faith and the mysteries of this life that make it so interesting, and ultimately rewarding.”

Translation: “Don’t worry your pretty little head, ignorance is blissful. Come join us!” (Once again, you prove the point of my thesis.)

“Sickness and death are a part of life and it is our punishment for the sin committed in the Garden of Eden. WE brought it on ourselves, not God.”

I’m sure that will make the parents taking care of their kid with childhood cancer feel much better.

*dismayed*

14 03 2008
patrickandchristy

last comment to super: Reading the Bible and prayer are only parts of our faith. I will not convince you and that’s fine but I have personally seen and witnessed the power of pray in great ways. The evidence of faith and God is there. It’s all around but not in the traditional scientific framework. I actually believe that God manifests himself through and uses science as a means to “prove” his divinity at times. God is a very ordered and scientifically complex Being. That’s been my biggest point. Allowing our world to be seen through science AND allowing ourselves to be open to the supernatural takes us to a deeper level of understanding and nsight. That’s my point…don’t limit yourself. My love in Christ to all. P.

14 03 2008
SuperJesus

I didn’t realize you had evidence, why didn’t you say so? If you do have verifiable evidence of the supernatural then I have a genuine gift for you. I would encourage you to take your claims to the James Randi Foundation where if you can prove your claims you will be awarded (and I’m not joking) $1 million dollars. I would be proud to say I helped have some small role in proving the existence of God so I encourage you to check it out and win that prize.

And just in case you don’t personally need the money, I’m sure there are many good Christian charities you can donate it to.

Best of luck to you!
Super J.

14 03 2008
Barbara

Hmmm…lame, ignorant, sad, failure to comprehend. Damn, I’m feeling that christian love now. BTW, reread my post, I didn’t say anything about abortion either. 🙂 Have a wonderfully peaceful and as SJ said “blissfully ignorant” day yourself doll.
Christians are just sooooo sensitive. You need to lighten up on your self justification of belief if it’s not important to you what I believe. I wonder if throwing a few LOL’s in there will help. Nah, I’ll leave that to you since I couldn’t possibly “comprehend” what that implied. 🙂

14 03 2008
amillionpieces

patrickandchristy, I know what you mean, exactly. Because our evidence isn’t science it’s not accepted, but when you know you know. Keep on believing and being strengthened in your faith. It’s a hard point to explain because people who don’t believe at all in anything supernatural struggle to believe that their could be evidence in a non scientific way.

I’ve missed chunks of this debate, but I caught your last comment there and props for it.

BTW- Super Jesus. Healing does happen, but every time people come up with a reason no to believe. Someone being healed from Cancer by prayer made the national news here a couple of years back, even her doctors agreed that their was no medical or scientific way to explain it. All that happens is people who don’t believe dismiss it as a false story or an exaggeration.

14 03 2008
Chris

How He did it? I don’t know but I don’t really care.

And here we find the distinction between science and religion.

14 03 2008
Chris

Someone being healed from Cancer by prayer made the national news here a couple of years back, even her doctors agreed that their was no medical or scientific way to explain it.

Science says, “we don’t know but we’d like to find out.”
Religion says, “god did it.”
500 years ago, no one knew what caused the plague. They all assumed it was some supernatural force coming to take people for mysterious reasons. Hundreds of years later, we realized it was filth and rats that were the major contributors of the disease. Patrickandchristy would be happier saying, “God did it” rather than look for the real culprit. I don’t understand why or how that’s acceptable to you.

14 03 2008
SuperJesus

I wouldn’t refute that there are rare cases where people make remarkable and unexplainable recoveries. The human body is an amazing thing and we are constantly working to understand it better. What I would dispute is your positive attribution of these recoveries to some unseen and undetectable deity. There is no reason to assign causality there.

In test after test prayer is shown to have no effect on health or recovery. Of course the ultimate fallacy of all such studies is theological. If God is omniscient and omnipotent, He should not need to be reminded or inveigled that someone needs healing. Right?

14 03 2008
amillionpieces

Chris, it’s acceptable because I’m entirely positive that PatrickAndChristy have good reasons for their belief that this is so. As I believe that it is possible, then why shouldn’t I believe that it can have happened? I’m happy for scientists to research it more and more, don’t get me wrong, but I’m not going to say that people should hang their belief on God on whether or not Science has solved something yet.

SuperJesus, he doesn’t need to be reminded, he needs to be asked. It’s supposed to be a relationship, if you want something you ask for it, why shouldn’t He expect a person to show they want it? To put in some effort? A parent doesn’t give their child everything they want for nothing in return – it’s bad parenting.

I really couldn’t care less that none of you believe (Yes, that’s bad, I probably should) but you could at least have the civility to accept that other people have thought it through and do believe and it doesn’t mean they’re in anyway flawed just because the result of their thought is different to yours.

14 03 2008
SuperJesus

@amillionpieces: Look I’m not a bad guy and I think I’m being generally pretty civil here, so I feel it’s surprisingly un-Christian of you to dismiss my eternal soul to hell so casually. God has truly blessed you with the knowledge of His truth and His light and you’re clearly not taking the responsibility that comes with such a divine sanction very seriously. I and many others here remain unsaved and you’re seem to indicate that you’re turning your back on us. We are the very challenges God Himself has placed before you to test you and your devotion to him. For shame sir, God would be disappointed in you. Get back in there and help us understand the joy of basking in his unconditional love.

So now then, back to prayer…I can appreciate the kind of “tough love” parenting technique you seem to be describing. You know, the one that requires your child to ask and plead for medical care when they’re obviously sick or dying before you give it? Man, if I had a dollar for every time my kids didn’t ask politely enough for me to take them to the hospital when their appendix was about to burst. Hah, kids these days! Now just try and imagine where God is coming from. He’s floating everywhere all omniscient and already knowing the pain you’re suffering and your deepest desires. He has such a wonderful and great relationship with you that He still requires you to grovel and plead incessantly when He already knows what you want and need. Isn’t that just like every truly great father? He’s not just going to give you his unconditional healing love, no He’s going to make you earn it by begging him to take pity on you or requiring you to invoke the proper incantations until he is amused enough with your suffering to give you what you ask…or just as likely not. One question I do have, I never did figure out what it is you have to do to please Him sufficiently so that prayers don’t appear to be statistically insignificant in test after test?

But wait, hold on…doesn’t God have a divine plan? Maybe that’s the problem. If God has a plan why would any amount of pleading and beseeching from some insignificant little mortal influence Him to change his plan? But you say prayer works…it’s all so confusing to my blasphemy riddled mind. Please help me. These things just don’t make much sense so I’m hoping that you, because you have given these things considerable thought, can clear some of it up for me.

You’re the best!!

Thanks in advance,
Super J.

16 03 2008
RLTJ

Nobody won a debate in religion. It is belief against belief. To take a stance of me-is-right-and-you-are-wrong in that situation, I think, is arrogance, chauvinistic. I think everyone just should sell as people will buy what they think makes sense. They are within religious freedom.

17 03 2008
dangoldfinch

Wow, this post did wonders for your hit count didn’t it? It is important to find a good story every now and again. Good luck on your future endeavors in atheism!

your friend,
jerry

18 03 2008
RLTJ

I think people who clash science and religion, vice versa, are funny people. Scientists, like Galileo, are out there not to disprove religions but rather to reveal what they found out to be truths and facts. If hard facts turned old scriptures into myths, well maybe they’re sorry about that even when there was no intention to cause such.

Going religious, if your God has not been in control in this world, or if your God has been pushed in a little corner of everybody house, in a little corner of this planet, I think your God is a loser and He is not yet God.

Science? God has given us people to explain how He created everything in this cosmos so we don’t blame him for misfortunes and miseries that more often resulted from man’s ignorance and abuses. That we won’t be groping in the dark. That some primitive religious beliefs are actually funny or ridiculous taboos out of perceptions of Him. He said nothing at all.

It was mortal man, believe or reject, that said things. People are inspired but fact is, God never said.

If you want to cling to the explanation that God created Heavens, Earth, and man in 6 days and rested in the 7th, there’s no problem about that. Awesome! Pyramids took life times to build but they cannot compare! If you believe that the Heavens revolve around the flat Earth, then no problem. We are in the era when we no longer burn or crucify people for disbelief in our beliefs.

Galileo and Darwin Godless? I don’t think so!

18 03 2008
Barbara

RLTJ
“We are in the era when we no longer burn or crucify people for disbelief in our beliefs.”

And here is where you are wrong unfortunately and this is the very reason the argument should continue. There are those who still crucify others and burn them for their beliefs, and they wear religion on their sleeve while doing so.

Priest’s sentence extended in Rwanda genocide case

1 08 2008
underground

Internal evidence is laughable in these discussions. Theists describe knowing god through faith, or something like that, and expect that to pass off as evidence of their God, but it isn’t. Everything from near death experiences to manic religious episodes can be explained by science, so firstly such experiences do not prove the supernatural anyway. Secondly, believers of all religions claim such experiences, describing them with the same certainty as others, but they cannot all be right, can they? The internal evidence of the Muslim contradicts the internal evidence of the Christian and vise versa. Unless monotheism is actually the correct choice, it is certainly the case that all experiences are not proof of the divine. So if such evidence is the best some theists can come up with, atheists will have to keep on waiting for that elusive compelling argument that could sway them.

9 12 2008
12 02 2009
Darwin Birthday Tribute « The Gospel of Super Jesus

[…] God Makes 216 Million Americans Scientifically Illiterate […]

4 05 2011
Anthony W. Allsop

Why did God give us toenails and all over body hair?

Maybe we evolutionists have it wrong. Maybe God did create us and now we are evolving into apes.

Well, I’ll be a monkey’s uncle!!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s




%d bloggers like this: