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.

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.

506 Responses to “When you have 3.6 Billion adherents”

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  1. Katie says:

    Actually 78% of Americans are Christian. Eighty-three percent belong to a religious denomination. The idea that evolution is not a fact is simply not true. Just like one who studies atomic theory does not question whether or not atoms exist and one who studies political theory does not question whether politics exist, one who studies evolutionary theory is not questioning whether evolution occurred. The largest organization of scientists, the American Academy for the Advancement of Science, considers it to be a fact as do pretty much all reputable scientific organizations. So the idea that intelligent design, which is an unproven hypothesis, not a theory, should be given equal time in science classrooms, is simply absurd.

  2. theFewtheProudtheMarinara says:

    Note that Jordan tries to validate Christianity due to its popularity. While greatly inflating his numbers, he is right in that a majority of Americans would identify themselves as Christians. Let’s call it 80%.

    On the other hand, he attacks evolution. But, Jordan – almost every scientist accepts evolution as fact! Sure, there are some crackpots and let’s not forget that diploma mills have been set up with the specific purpose of generating “Creationist scientists”. Still, let’s put that figure at a very conservative 96%.

    And don’t forget – by definition scientists work at science. Americans generally don’t think or know much about their own religion.

    • Noodlity says:

      Actually, Jordan’s thesis falls apart at the very beginning. First, only a minor fraction of Xians and Muslims are creationists; negligible even. Second, creationism has more against abiogenesis than evolution and debationg on that front would have been much more fruitfull.

      Incidentally, what scientists “accept” is just as irrelevant (so I hope you didn’t mean it as a serious argument). What matters is experimental evidence, and whether the predictions stated in a given theory are supported by further research.

      (Having said that, I’m an AGW (but not just GW) sceptic, currently favoring the theory of pirate-related climate change. Since scientific predictions on the matter have yet to display any accuracy and specificity, it seems the most logical thing to do.)

      Live long, and Pasta.

      • theFewtheProudtheMarinara says:

        When I mentioned acceptance by scientists I meant they accepted Evolution based on the evidence, obviously not on any faith. For example, geologists would see fossils from different eras in the course of their work and notice the progression of species.

        Global warming is a different beast altogether. Temperature ranges have fluctuated through history, so if we are going through an unusually warm period, the main question is “Is man causing it?”. Now, with Evolution, it has been noticed that certain factors such as sexual selection or survival of the fittest are responsible. No smoking gun has been found yet for Global Warming. Pirate Deficiency is just one possibility.

        • Noodlity says:

          We are at an agreement then.

          I have to say, I’m somewhat wary of the popular view on “science” , sometimes unhelpfully propagated by scientists themselves. Just how a theory is in reality much more rigid than a mere educated guess, so is actual science a bit more specific that anything done by guys in white coats.

          Common media representations however would have you believe that whatever “scientists say” is just as immutable as a religious text, or that scientific laws are some unbreakable universal bonds etc. And when zealots choose to argue with this presented strawman, rather than actual scientists, the debate is anythhing but fair. Then again, fairness doesn’t make for good ratings.

          Gah, I’m babbling again, ain’t I?

        • tekhedd says:

          Um…Noodlity… scientific laws *are* unbreakable bonds, in the sense that they describe things that are universally accepted to be true. If you disagree with a scientific law, you’re going to have some serious explaining to do…

          Otherwise, you have a good point. The media cares about little beyond ratings and (sometimes) a specific political spin.

        • Noodlity says:

          About scientific laws, to quote Wikipedia:

          “A law differs from a scientific theory in that it does not posit a mechanism or explanation of phenomena: it is merely a distillation of the results of repeated observation. As such, a law is limited in applicability to circumstances resembling those already observed, and is often found to be false when extrapolated… …Laws can become obsolete if they are found in contradiction with new data, as with Bode’s law or the biogenetic law.”

          Basically, laws are glorified observations that depend solely on available data. To treat them as immutable would be a mistake, sadly one I’ve seen too often on both sides of the ID debate. For this reason, I tend to focus my arguments on purely practical matters – ones that are easily testable and generally reliable.

          May the Sauce be with you.

  3. elbowmacaroni says:

    Alright, I’ll be the first to admit that my understanding of advanced scientific theories is limited. However, I was raised up in a fundamentalist christian environment (my grandparents) and a, I wouldn’t refer to mormons as anything other than disturbed superstitionist, mormon upbringing (my parents). At age 18 I finally caved and became what i would term a “spirit filled charismatic christian”, believing in all those silly psycho-somatic phenomena such as speaking in tongues, being bathed in the spirit, blah blah blah. One day i woke up and realized,
    myself and everyone around me was making all this crap up. The mainstream christians believe in what they do for one reason, or so I believe. To reconcile the inevitibility of their own mortality. Every one dies. But, if you believe in the Sociopath in the sky, you don’t have to stay dead. So I became an atheist, when I stumbled on the letter written to the Kansas Schoolboard or whatever petition curriculum about the FSM I knew I’d found the other edge of the sword I’ve been walking along these few short years. I suppose the point of my ramblings is this:
    God or no god.
    Who the hell knows. I don’t. The xtrians sure as shit dont. Us atheist may be right. Or not. But theres no way to know for certain. Until we die and either go to heaven/hell or simply go into the natural cycle of life as food for worms, we’ll never know. Excluding the bed time story of revelations. So my question I pose to you on this site is:

    Why argue with them. They have a much greater thing driving them than reason. And that is fear. Fear of death. While we have accepted our own mortality, they have not. I saw allow them to live with their fear. It is a just punishment.

    Long live logic and hamburgers!

    P.S. Sorry to have rambled so long

    • Reverend Toni Rigatoni says:

      elbowmacaroni, let me try to answer your last question. As with the christians you describe, there is a much greater thing driving me than simply a desire to argue and that is fear, fear of death, not the death of my body but the death of reason and good sense. The entire existance of this site and by extention, the arguments with the fundamentalist idiots that post here is to keep their superstitious nonsense out of the science classrooms and to fight for religion free government. I, and many regulars here I suspect, would be more than happy to let them live with their fear if that was the extent of it, but it isn’t, instead they pervade every area of life. They will not happy until every last child is brainwashed, until every last government job is held by christians and their power is once again supreme and they can start burning heretics again. I, myself have been a victim of this very malady, whereby I failed to get a job, a job that I had effectively identified, described and developed to a high degree because I wouldn’t bow down to the christian mafia that ran the department, a department of local government, and I live in the relatively conservative UK (Please don’t mistake this for bitterness, it is purely for illustration). The very fact that they come to our site and post their fallacious, unsupportable nonesense with such ferocity surely tells you that they are not prepared to live with their fear but wish to infect others perhaps as part of their master plan to avoid the death they so fear, and if they come here spoiling for a fight they will get one.

      You end your post with the phrase ‘long live logic’ but your post gives permision for it to be abandoned without reason, I have no desire to be argumentative to those with similar views (I have been accused of it before unfortunately) but you need to realise that leaving them alone will not result in them leaving us alone; what it will do is allow them the room they need. Your right, we have zero chance of changing the minds of the christian fundies but what we can do is raise awareness of the insiduous methods they are employing to empower themselves and in doing so we have better chance,by strength of numbers to ensure the seperation of church and state and that our children get the oportunity to grow up as stable intelligent individuals rather than the brainwashed zombies that they would like to see.

      As an aside, your post plainly identifies you as an agnostic not an atheist. Think about what I have said, you are but one small step away from true pastafarianism!

      Sauce be with you,
      The Reverand

    • theFewtheProudtheMarinara says:

      elbow, you got to the heart of the argument when you said “God or no god. Who the hell knows. “”

      The point exactly. So why base your life around something NO ONE in the ^%@)* history of the earth has every found out, one way or the other. And it CERTAINLY would be wrong then to preach to non-believers (“You’re going to hell – I’ll pray for you!”) to live their lives based on the one in a trillion odds you’ve got god’s master plan all figured out.

      • Spammyboy says:

        I think my father summed up the whole argument when he (somehow playing two people) said: ‘”I have proved God exists!” “Good, how do you know he’s yours?”‘

  4. elbowmacaroni says:

    Reverend- Thank you for addressing my thoughts. I suppose when i think back on most of my experience in the general fundamentalist camp that i can clearly see their goal. It’s all about proselyting.(unsure of spelling). They really are infectious. I suppose it would be nice if we could ignore them and let them wallow in their own superstitiuosly created world of inadequecy. I too have been descriminated against simply for not believing in this God fellow. In fact, i do believe in a god. And that god is intelligence. That god is culture, music, love, creativity, hope. All the things that make humanity great. All throughout history the christian regime has opposed, hunted, and destroyed these core values of humans. They are, I feel, responsible for us not being far more advanced than we could be at the current date in history. And i personally hold them responsible for me not having a lightsaber. ^_^
    If not for the church’s continued oppresion of science and reason all throughout the past 1,000 years who knows the limitless advancements we could have already made in knowledge of all kinds. I feel that the fight you all are on is a noble one. The poison of superstition is ruinous for the lives of the superstitious, but when they begin to act upon an agenda to exact change in the world of man,well, we simply should not allow them to further kill our species bright and promising future.

    On a side note, most xtrians are waiting in great anticipation for their “rapture” or instantaneous transition from this life to heaven. But greater is the anticipation with which i await their disappearance. Too bad that would probably mean their right. But, one can hope for a global dissappearing act. Science may not be able to explain that one, but i’d let it slide if all the xtrian tyrants are gone.

    • Reverand Toni Rigatoni says:

      I agree with everything you say elbowmacaroni, especialy the churches oppression of science and I love your thought regarding the light sabre; as both a science ‘theist’ rather than a scientist (which I am not) and a Star Wars fan (which I am) I must say it is a point well made. As I said in my previous post, it is very unlikely that there will be a mass extinction event regarding christian funamentalism but we must continue to raise awareness, not just on this site, as we are pretty much either preaching to the choir so to speak or to hardline fundies that will not be swayed at any cost, we must be brave enough to nail our flag to the mast in our everyday lives. Thanks to many people in the public eye, scientists and writers such as my hero Richard Dawkins,TV personalities like Stephen Fry and many many more have given all atheists a voice and now is the time to use it and use it we must.

      I am pleased to welcome you aboard me hearty.

      Sauce be with you all.

      The Reverand

      • Zorak says:

        THis was a very interesting interchangem and I appluad the sentiments expressed. EM, the word is “proselytizing” (I tell you this in the spirit of spelling accuracy only, not out of know it all jerkiness) and to agree that “infectious” the the most proper term for the activities of all evangelists. Neal Stephenson ( among I am suire many others) wrote about ideas as infectious ‘memes’ in Snow Crash–perhaps you would find this book interesting–it’s still relevant and a lot of fun.

        Yours in noodliness


  5. Jane says:

    Hi, I’m just wondering something- I know this may sound like a naive question, but is Pastafarian a real religion? What I mean is, do you all really believe in the Flying Spaghetti Monster as your creator? Or is it group that was made to, as I read somewhere in the comments, act as a “mirror” to point out absurdities in other religions?
    (And as a side note, I really like the “RAmen” thing. It made my day, as I love instant ramen.)

    -You know what, forget that question. Just rereading it and it sounds absurd even to me. But I still stand for liking the RAmen thing.

    • Keith says:

      It’s not an absurd question, Jane. From reading many of the hatemail posts it’s obvious that a lot of the hate mailers think we genuinely worship His Noodliness in some arcane fashion. Some people may also genuinely believe. That is, of course, their privilege. The idea of the FSM is no less valid than a belief in any other god and is a lot more fun.

      • TMadd says:

        I think that most people don’t believe in it as their religion though… I’m pretty sure it was made to tell the schools that we didn’t want to have to practice christianity…

    • tekhedd says:

      But of *course* we claim to really worship the FSM. Claiming that something totally absurd is a sincerely held belief lends it a sort of scary believability that is a good part of the point. People write to point out how stupid and unbelievable the FSM is; the very fact that people feel inspired to point out the absurdity of the FSM implies that they are partly convinced it could be true, or at least that we really think it is true. Which of course we do. ;)

  6. JamesL says:

    Bobby, I know you have more hatemail. C’mon man!

  7. TMadd says:

    so what if most people in the USA believe in Christianity (which, by the way is not true, as it is broken up into many different religions)? during WWII 99.99% of the people in Germany believed that they had to kill all of the jews in the world for no apparent reason…

    also, if we’re agnostic(as I am), we still care, it’s fucking annoying to hear about some random guy taking a bath(in latin “in” means both on and in and so the common misconception was that jesus was walking on as apposed to in the water) and having his blood drunk and his flesh eaten!

    Post Scriptum:
    BTW, if you have the balls to try to email me, go ahead, the entire letter was just to prove a point that we didnt want thought police telling us that we needed to believe in their zombies.

    [email protected]

  8. Jason says:

    Oh look, another appeal to popularity.

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