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”

  1. Adam says:

    82.3% of statistics are made up on the spot.

    Everyone else has beaten your crappy points to disfigurement.

    • Jordan says:

      Thank you for that constructive comment. I think we’re getting places with this discussion.

  2. Brian Fritzen says:

    The majority of the world once thought it was flat.

    The majority of the world once thought the earth was the center of the universe.

    The majority once thought slavery was okay.

    The majority once thought blacks shouldn’t vote.

    The majority once thought women shouldn’t own land (or vote.)

    The majority once thought that the earth was created in 6 days.

    The majority once thought that husbands had dominion over their wives.

    The majority once thought that Manifest Destiny was a good ideal.

    The majority once thought (in Nazi Germany) that Jews were to be exterminated.

    The majority in not a valid argument. No matter how many times you creationists spout that 2+2=5, or that Pi is 3, it will never be. I have news for you mister unenlightened.

    See, Mendelian Law proves evolution. Evolution has been proven BEYOND a shadow of a doubt (unlike your invisible sky zombie.)

    The 2nd Law of Thermodynamics only applies to closed systems (ie Hell) and ergo proves that hell does not exist, but has no impact on evolution because the earth receives energy from the Sun.

    The 1st Law of Thermodynamics states no new energy may be created. Hmmm…. no branch of science claims such, but guess which religion claims things just “poofed” into existence?

    Oh, and I noticed that you don’t get satire. Apparently that isn’t taught in your religious schools.

    • Cheese says:

      ‘See, Mendelian Law proves evolution. Evolution has been proven BEYOND a shadow of a doubt (unlike your telepathic, homophobic, genocidal, and invisible sky zombie.)’

      • Jordan says:

        Perhaps you missed my comment where I clarified that I believe in the theory of evolution. That’s okay, easy to over look. However, beyond a shadow of a doubt brings up the closed mindedness that infects both religious and non-religious scientists. As soon as we believe that no further discovery will change our perceptions on current knowledge, we begin finding only what we look for in science and ignore data and discoveries that we have predisposed ourselves to ignore. I believe in evolution, but I also believe it may be disproved some day, or it may not. You never know. New discoveries will bring us more knowledge and who knows what we’ll find. Maybe we were placed here by aliens. Or an invisible sky zombie… not sure what that is but I bet you could make killer movie out of it.


        • Np237 says:

          There is nothing to *believe* in a scientific theory.

          There are just facts, and a scientific model that puts them all together, allowing to predict new observations. Belief has no place here.

        • Jordan says:

          You believe in the theory of evolution don’t you? Or most the people here do, myself included. You don’t know that it happened. No one does. No one was there. We just have evidence that it did and so we believe that it did. Belief and faith are not inherently religious things. Every time you put bread in the toaster and expect toast to pop out it’s an act of faith that its going to work this time.

        • abandoning eden says:

          the difference Jordan is that we have “faith” that the toaster will pop based on empirical observations, in which we note that every previous time that we have put bread in the toaster, the toaster has popped. Religious faith is not based on empirical evidence.

        • Noodlity says:

          Evolution and natural selection have been reliably demonstrated by both direct observation and genetic analysis, unlike ID. The respective predictions of evolution and natural selection have been tested, and verified, thus they are considered proven until reliable evidence to the contrary is presented.

          The reliablity of a toaster is also tested, repeatedly, before any expectations are made at all. Belief is not a factor.

          Further use of pseudological conundrums and irrelevant comparisons will be met with a proportionate response.

        • tekhedd says:

          No, I don’t believe in evolution. I don’t believe in my tennis shoes either, and I don’t believe “in” my mother, my right index finger, or the chair I’m sitting on.

          I accept evolution as a reasonable explanation based on a load of evidence and multiple challenges by the best minds of several generations. Don’t you? Because if you’re just accepting it based on faith, perhaps you shouldn’t.

        • B. says:

          To add to this classic argument. Yes, I put faith in the sun rising tomorrow morning. I base this faith on my observation that it has done so my whole life. If I lived above the arctic circle my observations would lead me to conclude that the sun WONT rise in the mornings a short time every year. I would change my theory based on the circumstances. If, for some reason, the sun wouldn’t rise one morning while south of the arctic circle, I would revise this theory. But based on overwhelming scientific evidence the sun will indeed rise tomorrow morning.

          This differs a lot from saying “I have faith in something I can’t see, understand or touch – just because I want to”.

        • tekhedd says:

          Oh yes, when the overwhelming weight of evidence is against you, your opponent must be “open-minded.” In this case, open-minded means we should adopt a very specific viewpoint (faith in a specific god) and then read a very specific book starting from the specific assumption that it is all true. This is, apparently, open-mindedness.

          Try telling a Christian that he also should be open minded, perhaps read a few books like “losing faith in faith” or “letting go of God,” and you’ll hear all kinds of waffling, hemming and hawing, and, from the honest, perhaps even a declaration that they like their faith and really don’t actually want to risk a challenge.

        • Rev Toni Rigatoni says:

          ‘Nobody knows that evolution ‘happened’ because no one was there’? My dear Jordan, we didn’t have to ‘be there’ we are there! Evolution is happening all around you, as we speak, the evidence is all around you, open your eyes! Firstly however, you must open your mind and that I’m sorry to say is the major stumbling block for the majority, maybe all of the god-centric posters here, once you accept things on faith Jordan, facts become irrelevant and indeed, often inconvenient. You try, as do many of your fellow believers, to get us on-side by saying things like ‘I believe in evolution’ but that doesn’t wash with me I’m afraid. You say it as if it is a choice; believing in evolution is NOT a choice, evolution is FACT and as such has little more credence than saying ‘I believe in rain’ or ‘I believe in night’. Belief has nothing to do with facts, belief is what your left with when there ARE no facts, i.e. belief in god, belief in an invisible pink unicorn or (FSM help me) belief in a Flying Spaghetti Monster. I DON’T believe in evolution I accept it as fact because empirical evidence supports and confirms it as fact. Sadly, the god-centric mind seems incapable of removing the idea of belief from any discussion, however, when presented with facts belief is unneccesary, you accept evolution as fact or you don’t it’s as simple as that, I accept it as fact as all the evidence supports it; I reject god because all the evidence supports it, I have no need for belief.

          Sauce be upon you.

          The Reverend

    • Jordan says:

      Whoa… I do believe that people voted Hitler in when he was just a normal socialist promising to get people out of a depression. The majority of Germans are not jew hating Nazis nor were they when Hitler was voted in. And as far as satire goes, yes I do get satire, the thing about satire though is that it is used to make a point. I am at full liberty to disagree with said point.


      • Np237 says:

        Obviously you don’t only need supplementary courses on science, you need them in history too.

        Hitler never was a socialist. From the very beginning, he promoted hate, xenophobia, racism and war.

        • Jordan says:

          NAZI National Sozialismus. Other wise known as national socialism. Don’t tell other people to take history classes if you need to take them yourself. I lived in Germany for two years and talked to people who had lived to hear Hitler’s speeches, not to mention the fact that my grandfather was forced into the Hitler Youth and my grandmother lived in Bremen when it was bombed. So I don’t know what history book you’re reading out of, but mine is that of talking to people who were there.

        • Np237 says:

          It’s nice that you admit you never opened a history book, but that was already obvious.

        • Brian Fritzen says:

          Ah, and there it is: the ad hominem fallacy. Attacking the intelligence of others is a fallacy, JORDAN.

          But try reading Mein Kampf if you want Hitler’s motivations. He says he was doing the work of the Christian God. He claimed the Christian God wanted him to erase the Jews.

          As for the satire. You disagree with the point that teaching religion in science class is a bad idea and is an absolutely ludicrous undertaking? I guess you do have liberty to disagree with that. But no matter what your holy book claims, Pi does not equal 3, humans EVOLVED right along with all of the other species on the planet.

          Hitler was a Christian. And the majority of Germans WERE Jew haters. It is what brought them to power.

      • theFewtheProudtheMarinara says:

        I smell a right-winger. Glenn Beck will try to equate socialism with the Nazis, but as Np237 said, that was a ruse. If you want to see a socialist country, try Sweden. Scary, eh?

        I believe the satirical point of this group has been made. If one absurd position must be presented, so must all.

        • Barkingspyder says:

          Actually it is true that Nazism is socialism it is just not liberal socialism, it is conservative socialism. It still argues that the state should run most everything in the people’s name. Accordin to Wikipedia: Hitler, when asked whether he supported the “bourgeois right-wing”, claimed that Nazism was not exclusively for any class, and indicated that it favoured neither the left nor the right, but preserved “pure” elements from both “camps”, stating: “From the camp of bourgeois tradition, it takes national resolve, and from the materialism of the Marxist dogma, living, creative Socialism.” Hitler believed that private ownership was useful in that it encouraged creative competition and technical innovation, but insisted that it had to conform to national interests and be “productive” rather than “parasitical” Private property rights were conditional upon the economic mode of use; if it did not advance Nazi economic goals then the state could nationalize it. The Nazis argued that capitalism damages nations due to international finance, the economic dominance of big business, and Jewish influences. Nazi propaganda posters in working-class districts emphasized anti-capitalism, such as one that said: “The maintenance of a rotten industrial system has nothing to do with nationalism. I can love Germany and hate capitalism.” It all sounds very socialist to me.

        • TheFewTheProudTheMarinara says:

          “Socialist” was incorporated into the official Nazi Party name – against the wishes of Hitler! – in order to placate the German left wing. Hitler accepted it, but thought of socialism as being based upon a commitment of an individual to society. Nazism is actually a ultra-nationalist version of Fascism.

  3. UUniversal Love says:

    Thank GOD we can all get together and decide reality for ourselves. Its majority rule dude! Of course if any of these GodLess heathens here want to believe their own thing, despite our CLEARLY overwhelming win, I guess they can do that. Their entitled to their believes, no matter how wrong they OBVIOUSLY are. Becuse we win 82 pint three percent.
    And hey, if any of you guys are agnostic, I dont think so unless you relly dont give a shit about anything you think, thats what agnostics belive. That it dosnt matter what you believe and so your basically atheists but worse becuse you dont care. About anything ever.
    Im REALLY SICK and tired of atheist trying to shove things down my throut. How messed up is it. Is it relly messed UP. Do you think they made the constitution without thinking about evolutoin, becase then Darwin they didnt want him to FORCE his theory on everyone else. They were scared of the creeping Darwinisms then.
    If your going to teach one NOT fact, then you should look for other things to bare in our society.

    For now, us christians are winning. When you give up youre atheist birth control you can win TOO.
    No this is NOT a fake comment you can tell becuse I am SERIOUS.

    • Cheese says:

      Very funny.
      Stay away from small children.

    • plumberbob says:

      @ UUniversal Love,

      You’re also a seriously uneducated and ignorant troll.

      BTW, religions are losing members faster than the baby factories can pop them out.


    • Noodlity says:

      I’m calling Poe’s Law on this one. Either it’s a pretty good parody of fundie talk, down to the offensive language and bad spelling, or a genuine demonstration of utter religious idiocy. Thing is, with fundies, you really can’t tell which is which.

    • La-A says:

      Reading this makes my head hurt. I am an apathetic agnostic, I believe that even if a divine being exists it has no concern for us humans and that the question of divinity is purely academic. That being said I DO have a problem with religion being taught as fact in public schools. I’m REALLY SICK and tired of theists trying to shove things down my throat(not down my”throut”, I don’t know where that even is). And the founding fathers didn’t think of evolution because Charles Darwin was born about twenty years after it was signed and made part of the government of the USA, a little more than fifty years before he began to create the theory of evolution. Also many of the founding fathers, although not all, were opposed to the unification of church and state. In fact in the Treaty of Tripoli, which was signed into law in the early 1800’s John Adams explicitly stated “The government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian Religion.” I don’t think it could be more clear that the United States government was not intended to be Christian. Furthermore in the Constitution itself,in the very first amendment, Americans are given freedom of religion, specifically that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof”. Majority rules does not apply.
      I would also like to say that I have no problem with religion being taught in classes that are not related to science or math. In my literature class we had a project where we were assigned sections of the Bible to read and present to the class. This however was not intended to teach Christianity as being the correct religion, but rather to help us understand allusions in the texts we were reading. We also had other allusion projects that focused on mythology and history. And if there is a class to teach any religion as true it should be optional, and respectful of other religions.
      The statistics for the percent of Christians in America is not only inaccurate, but misleading as well. The actual percent of Christians in America is closer to 75%(I looked at several sources and averaged the number) and of those many do not actively worship or believe that religion should be taught in schools. The 190 million Christians in America, although an impressive number
      leaves 52.5million unaccounted for. And globally though Christianity has the largest percentage of population by religion, 2/3 of the world hold different religious beliefs, 20%, the third largest group, are “nonreligious” atheists and agnostics and secular humanists.
      I think that I have covered all of your arguments thoroughly, although I would like to point out that I still have no idea what a “throut” is or what “82 pint three percent” means.
      I think it is safe to say that reason is winning. Once you give up your dogma(or its run over by your karma) you can win too.
      And no this is NOT a fake comment, you can tell because I used the spell check.

    • Danimal says:

      Pretty sure Poe’s law applies here, unless someone else is using the tag “UUniversal Love”. I’ve posted back and forth with this person before and saw no hint of fundieitis.

    • Rev Toni Rigatoni says:

      We can tell because of the spelling and grammer.

    • UUniversal Love says:

      Indeed my friends. Winkety. ;)
      I tried to make it ridiculously over the top, but wouldn’t you know it, the crazies keep moving the damn top!

      Take note of the first and last lines.

    • Drained and Washed Clean says:

      Sweetheart, did your mommy forget to give you your meds? Someone should get on that. Immediately.

    • Barkingspyder says:

      Dude, what majority? The Muslims? IIRC that is the religion of most people in the world. :-)

  4. goodwin says:

    Don’t be so proud of the number of religious nuts in the world today. Many many years ago EVERYONE said that the world was flat. Many years before that EVERYONE thought that the earth was the center of the universe. Just because alot of weak minded people believe it doesn’t make it true. Religion is just a crutch for the weak and just like before, in time all religions will be proven false.

    • Cheese says:

      Except for ours, of course.

    • Jordan says:

      How many religions have been proven false? And I mean proven like:

      Proof of the claim that for all n ≥ 9, if n is a perfect square, then n – 1 is not prime:

      Let the perfect square n ≥ 9 be given.
      There is an integer m ≥ 3 such that n = m^2.
      This means that n – 1 = m^2 – 1 = (m – 1)(m + 1).
      Since m ≥ 3, it follows that m – 1 ≥ 2 and m + 1 ≥ 4.
      Since n – 1 is the product of 2 integers greater than 1, n – 1 cannot be prime.

      This is what is called a logical proof and no conjecture can be called a theorem until it’s be proven as such like this. There exists a conjecture that is any number is take and if odd plugged into 3x+1 and if even divided by two and after wards repeated eventually you will end up at one. This has not been proven and therefore remains Collatz conjecture not Collatz Theorem, even though I personally wrote and ran a computer program that confirmed that it works with 800,000,000 million numbers I can not call it theorem because it hasn’t been proven. So, I ask again how many religions have been proven false?

      • gimmethegepgun says:

        Religions love to move the goalposts to make it so it is literally impossible to disprove their god, but in doing so they make it impossible to prove its existence either. And then they go and demand that they be proven wrong rather than show someone why they are right.
        Of course, theories have the limitation of being impossible to prove to be true, since that would require all of the information (all of it), but, unlike religious claims, are falsifiable. And, also unlike religious claims, have reason to be believed (evidence), even if not proven true.

        • Jordan says:

          So… in other words you take back your claim that all religions will be proved false? Just in a really wordy way in which you don’t concede any points and are sure to criticize along the way.

        • Noodlity says:

          Oh, I think he still has a point, and one more important at that. Falsifiability is a vital necessity of scientific research. For if something can neither be proven nor disproven, it is simply irrelevant. In that context, religion is even less worthwhile to be taught, even as a purely literary subject.

        • B. says:

          Let’s bring in the teapot shall we…

          I can make any shit up and you can’t disprove me – therefore its true? Its ridiculous logic.

        • Np237 says:

          Religion belongs in the field of metaphysics. By definition, it cannot be proved or disproved.

          Religion cannot be disproved, but religious people can. When a religious nutcase says the world was created in 6 days, he can be disproved.

        • gimmethegepgun says:

          @Noodlity: Unfortunately, though their claims make all attempts to be irrelevant whenever possible, religion itself IS relevant, since it causes so many of the worlds’ problems. Teaching people the differences in beliefs and whatnot helps them understand why others take the actions that they do, and is important for helping us get along.

          @Jordan: Again, please refrain from using straw men. I never claimed all religions will be proven false. Straw man arguments are a great way to lose credibility.

      • abandoning eden says:

        religion is unfalsifiable, because it’s premises are untestable using empirical evidence. Religion claims to be outside the known laws of physics, and any test you can give can be explained away because it’s a system that assumes the natural order of the world can be supplanted by a metaphysical being (god planted the dinosaurs in the ground, he didn’t answer my prayer just now cause I was unworthy, etc.)

        Karl Popper, the philosopher, argued that unfalsifiable statements have no place in scientific inquiry.

        • TheFewTheProudTheMarinara says:

          I just love the way religions claim their god steps over the line from metaphysical to physical to spare people from/cause natural disasters, then runs back over that line to hide whenever proof of his existence is required.

      • Thursday says:

        Not even wrong!

      • Barkingspyder says:

        One does not prove a negative. The burden of proof rests with he who asserts the positive. Until even one religion can be “proven” they must all be rejected on logical grounds.

  5. BioBob says:

    Uuniversal Love put alot of words together but forgot to make coherent sentences out of them. I would love to respond but could not be sure what I was responding too. The one thing I was able to discern was the comment about athiests shoving their ideas down christians throats. EXCUSE ME….I live everyday with the “bless you”, “I’ll pray for you”, “amen”, etc., etc., etc. ad nauseum. This time of year is the worst. We have to listen to all the religious songs, shows, comments every single day for the next month.

    • OneEyedWilly says:

      Santa Claus is my second favorite fictional christmas time character!

    • UUniversal Love says:

      I agree wholeheartedly. One more incomprehensible argument I keep hearing… And I have friends who are deeply religious, who manage to say such things and do it respectfully, being mindful of other’s beliefs. The dominant culture in this country is not respectful. It’s a direct attack on secularism, instead of an assertion of their own religious freedom; it’s just adding injury to injury that fundamentalists attack secularists and religious moderates and then say the’re simply defending themselves against “creeping secularism”. Otherwise we wouldn’t see these ill-wishes disguised as pious spirituality; we would have attempts to make religious beliefs law, we wouldn’t have “under god” added to the pledge of allegiance, like you have to be christian to be American.
      Of course, when I say “dominant culture” I mean the most antagonistic, therefore noticable. Maybe if people of true spirit were more active, those of true dogma would get some as well.

      • UUniversal Love says:

        *wouldn’t have attempts

  6. Jordan says:

    Its me.

    Just want to add that I believe in evolution… And science. People have this skewed idea that religion and science can’t coexist. But a few points to bring up. First why is it that hundreds of thousands of people can claim to have personal experience with God, through prayer and other such religious practices and nobody calls that evidence but one person can look into a microscope or draw a conclusion based on skeletons and people hail his discovery as proven fact. The fact is that everything we do or accept is an act of faith, whether in scientific instruments or methods, in the scientists themselves or in our own personal experiences in life. Just because religious people use different instruments does not mean that their data is any less valid. (I know I’m going to get pwnd by you guys for that one.)

    The other thing is, as I said at the start, I believe in evolution. There is so much evidence pointing towards the evolution of man and animals that you’d have to be an idiot to ignore it. I fancy myself as the non-idiot type and therefore accept evolution as far as theory can be explained and as far as the evidence points towards it. As soon as new discoveries say other wise I’ll be open to that to. My issue is that the complex system of events necessary to bring about intelligent life through evolution does not seem likely to me without intelligent design behind it. Now this is, of course, where we differ in our opinions and since neither of us have proof either way it seems we are bound to our beliefs until anything else comes to light.

    Another point is about all the comments about the majority. Last time I checked we live in a democracy, and those of you who don’t think that we should listen to the majority don’t seem to understand democracy very well, because that’s pretty much the point in it.

    As far as agnostics. Well my understanding is that agnostics are people don’t deny the existence of a god but also don’t believe that there is a god. Someone open minded enough to accept the possibility of a god but admit that there isn’t enough evidence to believe him ought to believe that all aspects of the subject should be taught.

    Last of all, science class. I never said that religion should be taught in a science class, only in school. As far as requiring parents permission and making it elective, well if that’s the case we should do the same for any class teaching evolution. There are plenty of parents who don’t want their kids learning about evolution, I think they have as many rights as the parent not wanting their kid to learn about religion.

    I guess I shouldn’t have expected any better then the scathing attacks on my opinion when my message was posted here, but I’ll stand up for my side of the argument, as I expect you will do the same. Personally I think I seek out opportunities like this because I find it a lot more productive to speak with people that disagree with me than agree with me. Otherwise I just get the side of the story that I already know.


    • Noodlity says:

      “First why is it that hundreds of thousands of people can claim to have personal experience with God, through prayer and other such religious practices and nobody calls that evidence but one person can look into a microscope or draw a conclusion based on skeletons and people hail his discovery as proven fact.”

      Because *everyone else* is free to also look into the microscope and see for themselves, instead of having to rely only on his word. It’s called peer review.

      “The fact is that everything we do or accept is an act of faith, whether in scientific instruments or methods, in the scientists themselves or in our own personal experiences in life.”

      Not really, no. For something to be scientifically accepted, it must be rigorously tested to prove its reliability. It has to have proposed a prediction, that has then become true – such as “species undergo genetic development in the course of time” – which is demonstrated true by carbon dated fossil records.Contrarywise, religious prophecies are either too vague to have any testable significance, or have already been proven wrong.

      “My issue is that the complex system of events necessary to bring about intelligent life through evolution does not seem likely to me without intelligent design behind it.”

      Don’t underestimate the power of incremental changes over long periods of time. That is, *billions of years* of time. Considering entire stars have lived and died while life on Earth was developing, I’d say what’s “likely” becomes a sufficiently broad area. As for proof, again, check the fossil records – you’ll see we didn’t just pop of the caves, PhD’s in hand, but we developed quite slowly, albeit at a gradually increasing pace.

      “Another point is about all the comments about the majority. Last time I checked we live in a democracy, and those of you who don’t think that we should listen to the majority don’t seem to understand democracy very well, because that’s pretty much the point in it.”

      Politics is not science. When people thought the world was flat, that did not make it so. Even the often touted “scientific consensus” is a useless term – science is not a matter of opinion, but of *evidence* – that and nothing more.

      “Last of all, science class. I never said that religion should be taught in a science class, only in school. As far as requiring parents permission and making it elective, well if that’s the case we should do the same for any class teaching evolution.”

      Unlike religion, evolution *is* a science class. Drop that, and you might as well drop physics too, replacing it with “god did it”. I’m sure the lack of evidence (and the abundance of evidence to the contrary) will not stop parents to see the truth.

      “I guess I shouldn’t have expected any better then the scathing attacks on my opinion when my message was posted here, but I’ll stand up for my side of the argument, as I expect you will do the same.”

      Having an opinion is all well and good. Posing it as scientific fact, or defending those who do it, is not. And while we here are a bit too quick and eager to counter whatever arguments we see, at least we don’t threaten you with Hell, insult your morality, or question your sexual orientation. Not unless directly provoked, anyway.

      • Jordan says:

        And I suppose that someone saying “I had an experience with God through prayer” to someone else and then that person doing the same thing and getting the same result would be nothing like peer review… Not at all…

        P.S. I don’t think I’ve threatened anyone with Hell, insulted their morality or questioned sexual orientation. If I have let me know, I shouldn’t do that.

        • Noodlity says:

          “And I suppose that someone saying “I had an experience with God through prayer” to someone else and then that person doing the same thing and getting the same result would be nothing like peer review… Not at all…”

          Actually that would be peer review. However, if another person tries it and achieves absolutely nothing, then what? It will be obvious that it’s not prayer, or god, that really has an effect, but rather something else. Most likely a placebo.

          P.S. Those things were not implied to come from you, rather they are what an atheist would have to deal with, should they visit an Xian site looking for proper debate. So, seeing what we have to put up with, I hope you’d understand if we’re somewhat cranky.

        • Jordan says:

          No worries. I understand crankiness. Religion is a pretty sensitive and emotional subject for the religious and non-religious, though I’ve never understood why it is for non-religious people.


        • Noodlity says:

          Well, y’know, a couple thousand years of disdain and persecution leaves you a bit sour, see? And when there are philosphies according to which you more or less don’t deserve to live, just because you dont ascribe to them… you kinda start looking down on those.

        • Jordan says:

          That’s understandable. It’d probably leave me sour too. Never really thought about that part but yes the religious sector has been pretty bad in the past. But hope it’s understood that that’s not me persecuting those who don’t believe in God. I’m just trying to defend my position on God. When I said I never understood, I really meant that I just never understood, but that makes sense.

        • Thursday says:

          “[…]pretty bad in the past.”

          The past? The PAST!?! You’ve got devout religious folk who are in your (US) government RIGHT NOW who insist on not doing anything about the environment because “God will save us”. Who do you think is persecuting gays badly enough to make them think killing themselves is a preferable option to growing up? Who do you think is dumbing down future generations by trying to get basic science out of classrooms or called “controversial” by deliberately misusing semantics to create false equivalencies? You know the list:

          “Evolution is just a theory”; “Science is faith”; “I don’t have to prove I’m right, you have to prove I’m not”

          This is not only rampant idiocy, but it’s idiocy that affects the entire world! They aren’t limiting themselves to expressing their own opinions, they are influencing governments to make their views the official standard, and that is a very, very dangerous thing. Why on Earth shouldn’t people be outraged by it? And that’s just talking about religion in democracies, never mind totalitarian regimes!

    • B. says:

      I urge you to look up Alexis de Toqueville and his theory called “Tyranny of the majority”.

      The basic point is that if the majority are always left to rule as they please any minorities will be tyrannized since their opinions won’t matter. This is the reason why a lot of countries chose to give their ethnic or religious minorities special treatment and help them with support of their language and land claims. Since if the majority was left to rule as they pleased, these minorities would have no say in what happened with their cultural heritage. And the majority has no interest in that cultural heritage.

      • Jordan says:

        That is true, and I definitely believe in minority rights, however not at the expense of the majority. If rights are taken from the majority (for example having their beliefs taught in school) so that the minority can… what? I’m not really sure what they’re getting out of this situation. Satisfaction? A sense of accomplishment? Bragging rights? Then there is a problem with that.


        • Noodlity says:

          Ironically, the “majority” in a school are schoolchildren. Should we let them take over teaching, instead of, y’know, *the teachers*?

          Science is not a democracy.

          Facts are not a matter of opinion.

        • Jordan says:

          You know the answer and counter argument for you’re first comment. Now you’re just grasping at straws. There’s a reason children under 18 can’t vote.

          And once again I will say, though I’m getting tired of it, I know that science is not a democracy and majority vote does not make it true, but if the majority wants it taught in school then it is not the right of the minority to prevent that.

        • Noodlity says:

          So, schools are supposed to sacrifice scientific objectivity for populism.

          I’ll let that sink in for a while.

        • blubb says:

          “…but if the majority wants it taught in school then it is not the right of the minority to prevent that.”

          School is there to prepare our children for their live with valuable knowledge of the world we live in.
          Religion does not do that and should be treated like a hobby that you can do in your free time.

          The Constitution agrees with me here.

        • tekhedd says:

          This is actually an important question, because it is being asked, rhetorically, by Christians in this country.

          There is a significant difference between “the tyranny of the majority” and “the tyranny of scientific validity”. The difference is that the majority is not required to prove anything other than “I want it”.

        • Rev Toni Rigatoni says:

          Who was it that said ‘Never underestimate the power of very stupid people in large numbers’?

        • Barkingspyder says:

          In the U.S at least in the beginning there were no minority rights, only individual rights, which is the only sensible concept of rights. Since then there has been a movement towards trying to divide people into various minority groups all of which need some sort of government “help.”

    • wulff says:

      I would like to point out another fallacy that I see repeated over and over, not just on this board. We do NOT live in a democracy. We live in a republic. There is a difference here that tends to escape most people’s attention. In a republic, people elect representatives to make decisions for them, and there is an inherent trust that these decisions will be those that provide the most benefit for the most people, not necessarily be the most popular. (I don’t say that’s how it always works, just that that’s the intent.) In a true democracy, any law that was proposed would be voted on as a referendum, and the majority would always win. In a true democracy, in the time these laws were enacted, would we have gotten the 13th amendment? the 14th? the right to vote for women? the Civil Rights Act? Probably not, because the ‘majority’ were against these things. Conversely, in a true democracy, Al Gore would have been President from 2000 until at least 2004, having won the popular vote.

      • TheFewTheProudTheMarinara says:

        Wulff: remember that there are many more nationalities than Americans here in the cyber-world of the FSM.

        • Carbonara says:

          Quite right. I live in l’il ol’ England and it is a monarchy. It’s a bit strange, I admit but Liz is a nice old thing and quite harmless in her own way. OK, her eldest is a bit batty and I have some difficulty in accepting the principle of birthright affording power and status but, hey ho! It kind of works. It’s only really symbolic power and she’s not allowed to interfere politically. True democracy as defined by wulff isn’t really workable otherwise every loony faction would be represented and nothing would ever be achieved or resolved. Like the good old U S of A we have the opportunity of voting out anyone we don’t like every now and then and although it’s not perfect, it is, I think, better than the alternatives.

          The salient point though, is that we can, or should be able, to express our opinions without fear of persecution. Unfortunately all the monotheistic religions try to suppress dissent, usually through threats of death which is where the Church of the FSM differs; we welcome everyone of all beliefs and don’t insist that they adopt any particular doctrine. That said however, nobody should be exempt from scrutiny and ridicule when making incredulous statements, and that includes FSM. People are free to disagree with out views and laugh at us for being silly just so long as they afford us the same right.

        • Keith says:

          Being an ex Englishman I am fine with the monarchy. I find it extraordinary that in the past people like Charles II (The Merry Monarch) openly kept mistresses but in modern England someone has an extramarital fling and everyone is up in arms about it. England was far less secular in the 17th century than the England of the 20th century so why the change in attitude?

        • Canoodle says:

          Dear Carbonara and Keith, the monarchy is anachronistic, all that born to rule hereditary nonsense. But in reality the oligarchies that have seized control in many so called democracies like the States and Australia are far worse. They wield far more power than Queenie, Princee or the Duke of Hazard. Many years ago I read that the strength of the monarchy isn’t the power that they possess but the power they deny others. And as you pointed out Carbonara that strength is mostly symbolic. A constitutional monarchy is a very stable form of government and one I think Australia should continue with a home grown monarch of our own choosing. I propose ‘Molly’ Meldrum, that way we get a King and a Queen for the price of one. Though, splitting hairs, that may make heirs a problem!

    • Gordon_UK says:


      “Just want to add that I believe in evolution”

      And there is one of the main issues with creationism, it covers the whole range of ‘god did it’ arguments from the earth is only 6000 years old version to the the started the big bang.

      It also proves that your statement “like how about a theory that more than 50% of the world subscribes to?” is fundamentally wrong as there is more then one camp in this 50%. It also sound like some of the reasoning the RCC pumps when trying to change laws by saying all it’s followers agree with it, the best example is it’s views on gays which are not shared by the majority of it’s followers.

      Also the bible is quite specific when it comes to the creation of the earth (i.e. Adam and Eve) so to discredit this part of the bible in favour of evolution you have to call in to question all the other ‘facts’ presented by the bible.

      So I’m not sure why you are here?


      PS for those going on about people believing in a flat earth you may want to read this http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Myth_of_the_Flat_Earth”

    • GeneralRincewind says:

      “My issue is that the complex system of events necessary to bring about intelligent life through evolution does not seem likely to me without intelligent design behind it”
      Well, seeing how that complex system of events is the only way intelligent life could have developed to even ponder this fact skews the probabilities a bit. This argument is as equally valid as just looking at the amount of times 1 came up in a billion dice throws of a billion sided dice and saying that since the chance of throwing 1 are so small someone must have placed them there.

      All possibilities are somewhere, sometime in (probably) infinite time and space. The complexity of the system doesn’t matter, or its low probability.

      • Rasputin says:

        Dear General, some serious rationality happening here. Please come here more often.

  7. Joozd says:

    I do appreciate your reply; I think you might turn out O.K. yet. Just a little thing: How democracy works. Please do read the work of mr. John Stuart Mill on that (or rather, on liberty), because that will tell you much better than I can where the subtle difference lies between democracy and doing what the majority wants.

    And on a more personal note: I think the complex system of events etc. Is much more likely than the possibility of a flying spaghetti monster being behind all of it. (but that’s where my faith kicks in, of course)

    And to end positively: I really appreciate your oppenness to- and actively searching for debate. They should teach more of THAT in schools!

    • Jordan says:

      Thanks. I will have to check that out. I agree that is something we need to teach more in school. And as far as the complex system of events, I guess that’s where opinion comes into play because I don’t think that calculating the probability of that scenario is possible, yet…

      • gimmethegepgun says:

        Since it already happened, the probability of that happening is 1.

        And, considering how essentially everything that has ever been explained by “god did it” or “magic” has been shown to have a natural cause, track record would suggest that most likely something natural happened to make the end result, rather than magic.

        • Jordan says:

          So you’re saying that you have absolute proof that we came about sans help from an intelligent being? I mean absolute truth that has no logical flaws whatsoever? You understand we’re saying evolution happened here, but we’re not sure if it was under the guidance of intelligence or not? Well if you have that proof I’d like to see it. As would every other scientist in the world. I mean to claim a ‘1’ better be backed up by something awesome. I mean, obviously there’s a one hundred percent chance that we exist and came to exist some how, but to say that you know 100% how it happened is a bold claim that no one in their right mind would claim unless they were there and saw it… and probably heard, smelled, tasted and touched it.

        • gimmethegepgun says:

          The probability of an event that already occurred is, by definition, 1. Probability is all about guesswork. You fill in what you don’t know with chances. When we do know the end result, however, though we may not know everything that caused it, that specific outcome WAS what was going to happen. You know that saying “Hindsight is 20/20”? Apply it here.

          As for intelligent or not, of course, one obvious question that arises is where did the first intelligence come from? Saying it just exists or is outside of reality or whatever is just special pleading and is impossible to prove. But, as I said, reality has a track record of, you know, accomplishing everything else via natural means rather than needing something supernatural, so why would it be reasonable to assume that this ONE thing had supernatural meddling involved rather than assuming that something natural happened?

        • Jordan says:

          Well that first paragraph did just restate what I said in my comment but in a really condescending way. The second paragraph just ignored the issue entirely. Where did the first intelligence come from is a great question but has nothing to do with your claim that you are 100% sure that there was no intelligent design behind the creation of the universe. As far as super-natural… super-natural is the word we give to things that we don’t have an explanation for yet, for example, speaking of beginnings, there is not action without reaction and no reaction without action, correct? What action caused the tiny ball of matter in the center of the universe to explode as theorized in the big bang theory and what action caused that action and so forth. For right now we don’t have an explanation, and so we would say it was something super-natural or not understood. Now imagine you’re Moses, you feel that you should stretch out your arms over the red sea, whether by fear of egyptians or some other source of inspiration and you do it. Suddenly the sea parts. Holy crap right. Super natural right. Now pretend you’re God. You have such an intimate knowledge of physics that Einstein feels like a moron next to you, after all you’ve had millions of years to figure them out, to you suddenly parting the sea doesn’t seem so super natural. It’s actually just natural, as natural as airplanes or boats are despite the fact that a couple hundred years ago they would have been called super-natural. Intelligence manipulates the natural laws around it and uses it to create something useful and from that light it may not seem like such a stretch to think that God could have manipulated natural laws and used them to create intelligence. I guess to say that we came from random chance is to say that random chance has accomplished a lot more than intelligence ever has. What are airplanes to giant balls of rock hurdling around a molten sphere at thousands of miles per hour.

          It’s 3:28 in the morning and that’s everything on my mind right now.

        • gimmethegepgun says:

          Please inform me when I claimed to know 100% that there was no intelligent cause.
          Since you can’t do that, please refrain from using straw-man arguments. Thanks.
          And no, I would NOT say that whatever caused the Big Bang was supernatural. I would say that most likely it arose through natural means, with the likely means being quantum fluctuation.
          And considering the intelligence of a person is largely born out of random chance (distribution of genes, mutations within those, etc), I would agree that random chance accomplishes way more than intelligence does.

        • La-A says:

          It would be extremely difficult for me to attempt to fully explain the Big Bang theory, especially because I do not fully understand it myself, but theoretical physicists have most of it written out in mathematical formulas. What I can tell you is that there was no tiny ball of matter at the center of the universe that exploded and became all the matter in the universe. The Big Bang Theory holds that in the first measurable unit of time(Planck Time) the universe itself was compacted into a superdense, super-hot ball of energy. The universe began to expand rapidly(The Big Bang) and matter(Hydrogen and then Helium) began to form within the first few minutes. There is not at this time a universally accepted cause to the big bang but there are theories that are being developed and tested. The cause may have been supernatural, but there could be a perfectly logical answer that has nothing to do with God or any other being.
          I hope I didn’t sound condescending, I mean to clarify the theory for you Jordan. I appreciate that you came back to talk with us again. I don’t think that any of the other people who sent mail in had the courage, to stand up for what they said, or try to explain logically. It is nice to be able to have, and listen to a rational debate every once in a while, although the complete idiots are much more fun.

  8. Steve says:

    Read Dawkins’ “The Greatest Show On Earth”. Check the referenced scientific research and just look at the utterly overwhelming volumes of biological, geological, genetic & (actually of least importance) fossil evidence.

    Evolution may be a ‘Scientific Theory’, but don’t misunderstand the term. It is a repeatedly tested, demonstrable fact. It is simply open to peer review. Other than an old book which can be demonstrated to be plaigerised from even older books (Christianity and the Bible aren’t original ideas, nor is immaculate conception, kiddies) there is absolutely zero evidence against evolution. If you find some, we’ll happily review it without prejudice. Until then, l’m going to stick to the same science that allows me to be Pox-free, have keyhole surgery & let’s me travel in a giant metal sky-bird.

    Peace bro.

    • Barkingspyder says:

      Quote: So you’re saying that you have absolute proof that we came about sans help from an intelligent being? I mean absolute truth that has no logical flaws whatsoever? The logical flaw is saying that you can prove something for which there is no evidence, only a blank assertion. The burden of proof always rests with the person who says this is what happened. Until that happens one must assume the idea is false. For instance if I told you I had a pixie at my house that granted me wishes you would not accept it on faith, you would want empirical evidence. Failing that you would just figure i full of crap and go about your business.

      • TheFewTheProudTheMarinara says:

        Occam’s Razor states that among competing hypotheses, the one that makes the fewest assumptions should be selected. Evolution does little assuming; the facts present themselves. In fact, we CAN and HAVE induced micro-evolution. Ever hear of animal husbandry? Think there were Clydesdales and French poodles 100,000 years ago?

        Creationism has a GIANT assumption; that a Supreme Being – something that is scientifically impossible, thus unlike anything we’ve ever seen and evidence of whom has NEVER been found – created everything magically, purely out of the goodness of his heart.

        Then religion takes another giant assumptive step! They know in detail how we should live in order to please this Supreme Being, or face his wrath in a supposed after-life AND/OR the wrath of that religion’s “good people” in this life. You know – anything from shunning to beheading to the Iron Maiden.

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