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When you have 3.6 Billion adherents

Published November 27th, 2010 by Bobby Henderson

When you have 3.6 Billion adherents to your faith, we can start talking about teaching your ideas in school. When you think you’re right or not the decision on whether or not to teach creationism in school should come from the majority and the fact is 82.3% of Americans are christian and therefore believe that the earth was created by God and only 11.6 are unaffiliated with a religion, of which only a fraction are atheist or agnostic. Take out the agnostics because if they’re really agnostic they won’t care what’s being taught in school, and we’re talking about a small number of really loud people that are trying to force their beliefs on the rest of the country. How messed up is that. I’m not going to force my beliefs on you. I think that’s why they did the whole separation of church and state thing, so that a certain belief system, Evolution included, would not be forced upon the population. So teach evolution, go ahead, I know for a fact that Brigham Young University and Brigham Young University Idaho, two christian schools teach evolution in their required classes, but if you’re going to teach one THEORY, and I emphasize theory not fact, then give credence to other theories that bare any social impact on our society. Like how about a theory that more than 50% of the world subscribes to? Anyway, peace be the journey, I give you credit for some funny stuff, like pirates and global warming, but don’t pretend to take nothing seriously if you actually do have very serious agenda.
–Jordan

All religions go through a phase of perceived fakeness. Funny you bring up BYU.  Mormonism got a lot of criticism for years because Joseph Smith used seer stones to find the location of their original scriptures and translate them from unknown languages.  Some might say that sounds like BS.  But with time and pressure it becomes a religion.  Not unlike the formation of rocks.  I am a scientist first, remember.



479 Responses to “When you have 3.6 Billion adherents”

  1. Tristan says:

    How about the theory of relativity? Do you believe in that? It’s only a theory… Gravity is a part of it though…
    And how about the laws of Mendel (white rabbit and black rabbit give grey rabbit)? Of course, this is a law so you must at least believe in that, right? Well, surprise, surprise the LAWS of Mendel are a part of the THEORY of evolution. In science a theory is the highest form of knowledge. Linguisticly there is a different meaning to it. But evolution is a proven science, unlike Idiot Design…
    Besides, your numbers and percentages are all wrong. Half of the world? Only like 1 in 6 is christian and you have different stream in that (catholisism, greec orthodox, born again,…)
    And on an other side: I myself am a catholic, I’m baptised, had communion, I attend funerals and everything, I know the traditions and all. And yet I do not believe in God or any other higher being. But I believe in some of the values there are in catholisism. And I believe in evolution as a blind system of trial and error rather than a supreme higher being. Strange… it is supreme and yet it screws up like a million times a day… Oh right, to test our faith. Why would he test this? He created us in his images, so we must be supreme and perfect, just like him. There will be some problems in your bedtime story. Whereas the theory of a blind system does explain it! Theory, not a story.

    • Jordan says:

      Just because its a theory, doesn’t mean I don’t believe it. I just keep in mind that theories can be proven wrong and I’m open to any discoveries that do so, just as I’m open to any discoveries that support said theories.

      • B. says:

        Evolution is a scientific theory that change when new evidence come along. Creationism is a hypothesis at best, that will not change in any way even if God himself came down and said “I don’t exist”. So its as far from science as you will ever get, they are not equal theories.

        • Jordan says:

          If God himself comes down… and says “I don’t exist.” Well right there you’ve got a pretty extreme paradox… People will contend evidence as god as long as people will contend evidence of evolution. Go out and read some literature from a religious source and you may find that some pretty smart scientist contend the existence of God based on there observations. And some of the arguments are pretty convincing, not the reason I believe in God, that has more to do with personal experience, but still interesting none the less.

        • Theo says:

          There is no proof that a supreme being, some sky dady exists. Therefore, proof to me that a flying spaghetti monster doesn’t exist.
          Until then, I believe.
          Ramen.

        • piratesmee says:

          Excuse me, but no “pretty smart scientist” contends the existence of god based on scientific observation. Many scientists believe in god; what scientists do not do is contend that their belief is based on testable, repeatable observation, which is the essence of science. Whether a “god” was the first “cause” of matter/energy may never be something which can be proven or disproven. What is demonstrable is that after matter and energy came into being, scientific laws/theories including ultimately biology and evolution created and explain the world we see today.

        • B. says:

          You missed my point completely. I don’t think God will come down to us obedient servants and show himself, since I believe he is fictional construction for the fear of nature of the original man.

          I am sure there are scientists that say that they have observed the existence of God. In order for this to be scientific, they need to repeat an experiment under the same exact conditions with a blind study. Then they sit and wait and see how many have contact with God and consequently describes him in the way that the original scientist did. Then this is repeated several times, with the same result. Then we talk about science. A

          I respect your faith, Jordan. But when you speak of science and religion you forget that it is just that – faith. There is no way of quantifying anyones belief or personal, inner experience and therefore religion can never, and should never, try to be science.

  2. Ian says:

    How many ‘Adherents’ do you believe currently believe in Greek Mythology? or Roman?
    3.6 Billion pias followers means nothing you nincompoop!
    Let’s face it, we’re more interesting. ^.^
    RAmen!

    • Jordan says:

      No idea and really not sure how it’s relevant at all… but if you know how many that’d be an interesting tidbit of knowledge. Let me know.

  3. Lioss says:

    “I’m not going to force my beliefs on you” But I them to be taught to all kids in the world.The number doesn’t make the right,be careful on day another religion could be majoritary (maybe hindouism,the story of the milk sea is pretty cool and your children will perhaps learn it).

    Just think a bit,you are NOT center of the world,you have NOT the absolut verity.Pray the god you want,believe in what you want,teach what you want to your children…but realise that there are persons different from you,who are you to impose your dogma in schools?

  4. Noodlity says:

    I’m really starting to wonder what the point was of this entire letter. So, Jordan:

    You believe in evolution.

    You don’t mind it being taught as a scientific theory.

    So far, so good. But:

    You propose that religion based intelligent design should also be taught, in a separate class, because a number of people believe in it.

    Thing is, this already exists. It’s called “Sunday school”. There, kids, with explicit parental approval, can learn all the fairy tales they want.

    My question is, what more do *you* want.

    • JMB says:

      Fairy Tales?? just because science can’t prove it does not make it a fair tale. Have you ever thought that maybe science is not the highest power?? So what about evolution? if we all did evolve from specs floating around in space, how did we get there?
      I think all Jordan is trying to say is that we need to make sure our schools are not accepting one teaching over another. They need to allow children equal opportunity to beleive whatever they want. If they don’t teach all the different beliefes, they should teach none!

      • Noodlity says:

        Until something can be either proven or disproven with enough certainty, it remains scientifically irrelevant. Science is not a “power” , but a method – one with greater demonstrated reliability than all others put together.

        Modern biology has already demonstrated how organic matter forms from inorganic compounds and solvents. Modern physics can explain the origin of those as well.

        Schools are supposed to teach *facts* , not beliefs.

        • Mark Todd says:

          While I fully agree with you. I figured I poke you a bit with this.
          “Science is not a “power” , but a method – one with greater demonstrated reliability than all others put together.”
          I would argue the logic of math is far more reliable then anything in science. Jussayin. :)

          R’amen

  5. JMB says:

    I have to make this comment because the other comments in this website are truly sickening to me. There is a teaching in the church I attend, th LDS church (or mormon) that says that we claim the right to worship whom, where and how we will and we allow all others to do the same. I am not saying that there have never been members of the mormon church that talked down to other religious groups, all I am saying is that we have been told to make what we beleive to be true known to others but not discount what they beleive to be true.
    If you have ever been to a mormon gathering (conference time in Salt Lake City or the Hill Cumorah Pagent in Palmyra NY) you would see and hear that we get more than our fair share of ridicule. You don’t see us doing that to anyone, so why do they do it to us?
    Why can’t we just allow others the right to worship whoever, wherever and however they feel they should? Granted the however does not put anyone else in any sort of danger or break laws.
    The fact that you can sit there and type horribly insulting and faith dimishing comments aimed to make people drop their own beliefs is so sad.

    • Noodlity says:

      As Pastafarians, we have nothing against religion. We don’t go around bashing churches (except maybe the WBC). We don’t care all that much about anyone’s beliefs, as long as they keep them to themselves, or share them with a respectful enough tone.

      What we fervently oppose, is *religion posing as science*. That is, presenting your beliefs as scientific *facts*. In schools, or anywhere else for that matter.

    • Applehome says:

      If I were to go on a LDS website and proclaim the wrongness of Mormonism, I would expect to get a flood of very negative responses. Jordan has made a reasoned set of arguments and received both well-reasoned and emotional responses. So why are you on this site? Intellectual curiosity? A desire for the dialectic? I think this thread gives a lot to think about – mostly done well. And the bias is going to be for the FSM/atheistic/agnostic/secular perspective – it’s our site!

    • Danimal says:

      Just curious where all this mormon tolerance was when the call went out for contributions for the fight for prop 8 in CA?
      Danimal

    • Atsap Revol says:

      JMB,

      You think it is so sad that we sit here and type horribly insulting and faith-diminishing comments aimed to make people drop their own beliefs. I have been approached many times by LDS’ers who offer “faith-dininishing comments” to non-Mormons. Look, I don’t care if you really believe that the “gold plates” described a pre-Columbian advanced cilvilization in North America. Even though no sign of such a civilization has been found by archaeologists, you are welcome to believe this myth if it pleases you. Just don’t come proselytizing on my door step. There’s my faith-diminishing comment for the day!

      RAmen
      AR

    • tekhedd says:

      “The fact that you can sit there and type horribly insulting and faith dimishing comments aimed to make people drop their own beliefs is so sad.”

      There should be a law! You might cause someone to lose their religion! It should be illegal for you to write those things… Except that in this case I am talking about FSM. And therefore it should be illegal for you to come here trying to convert people to what you know in your heart is really a false religion! Etcetera.

      Sorry if we hurt your feelings. You’re going to have to get over it sooner or later. Why not now?

    • piratesmee says:

      I could not agree more with Daminal. The LDS church poured millions into California to promote hate against gay people. I do not accept arguments that it was all about “sanctity of marriage” and not against gay people. Proposition 8 is insulting, bigoted, meanspirited, and just plain wrong.

  6. theFewtheProudtheMarinara says:

    There are NOT 3.6 billion Christians in the world: most estimates have the total around 2 billion, so right off the bat you’ve inflated your position by 50%. This means that Christians comprise about a third of the world’s population, so you’re a minority.

    As pointed out by several people, your ignorance about science is laughable. It takes a preponderance of FACTS to establish a scientific theory. And “here’s where a lot of magic happened!” doesn’t cut it.

    Third, get off your sanctimonious high horse of thinking only your opinions count because you’re so passionate about something. The Khmer Rouge were passionate, too. If agnostics and atheists didn’t care about our children being dragged back into the dark ages this site wouldn’t exist.

  7. Danimal says:

    Jordon,
    I’m glad you continued to respond after your first post as opposed to the “hit and run” style of letters normally seen here. Based on your posts it appears you feel you’re being attacked on this site so I’m going to stick to the points in your original post as much as possible. I don’t want you to feel like I’m launching an ad hominem against you here so I’ll try and keep my points short and sweet.

    1. Just because agnostics allow for the possibility of a god doesn’t mean they don’t care about their child’s education.
    2. Evolution is a theory that works within the rules of the scientific method, creationism does not. That is why evolution gets a different status than creationism. Nothing should be taught as an absolute truth. I can’t speak for anyone’s experience but many of the people I talk to about their religion say that it is absolute truth and can’t be questioned, which is why I am against it being taught in schools. I am curious why you want religion taught in schools and under what context?
    Peace,
    Danimal

    • Karlton G. Kemerait says:

      Danimal,

      Very well said. I would add that while science will adapt and modify the premises on which it operates in the light of new data or information, the tendency for Religion is to staunchly defend what it has determined, a priori, to be the “truth” from scripture. This also is absolutely contrary to how science works.

      A short video on “is creation science, science”

      http://mainereason.blogspot.com/2010/10/is-creation-science-science.html

  8. tekhedd says:

    From your letter, I get these important points:

    * Christians outnumber you, therefore we should teach their nonsensical beliefs to school children as if they were scientific theories.
    * I’m not going to force my beliefs on you.
    * I don’t understand what a scientific theory is.
    * You guys seem pretty nice, but I don’t take you seriously.

    What I particularly like about this letter is the honesty. He doesn’t seem to care about truth, just the size of the majority. I weep for my species.

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