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. Mike says:

    a little bit of tutoring for the creationist out there:

  2. Karlton G. Kemerait says:

    Our writer apparently does not know either what a theory is or what the word agnostic means. Since I am too tired to explain to yet another YEC the meaning of the word theory, I’ll just provide a link so he can watch a video and I’ll spend my short time here defining agnostic.

    Agnostic does not mean someone who doesn’t care or is ambivalent toward the existence of God, nor is it a midway point between theist and atheist. The word agnostic refers to knowledge or a claim of knowledge while the words theist and atheist refer to what you believe or have faith in (regardless of what you may know for certain).

    A person therefore can be a:

    theistic/agnostic (believes in God but does not claim for certain to know if He exists or not)
    atheist/agnostic (has no belief in God and does not claim for certain to know if He exists or not)
    theistic/gnostic (believes in God and claims to know for certain that He exists)
    atheist/gnostic (has no belief in God but claims to know for certain that He exists)

    Link to “theory” video…

    It is the first video in that link which defines evolution but there are many other excellent videos on that site.

  3. Noodlity says:

    Yeah, about that “theory” business:

    If a notion is based on some sort of empirical evidence, and presents specific, testable predictions, then it’s a hypothesis. If these predictions are demonstrated to be true, with as few variables as possible, only then does the hypothesis become a theory, safe to be taught at schools as legitimate science.

    On the other hand, if a notion is based purely on philosophical musings or mytological texts, it is not even a hypothesis, but a fairytale, and of no scientific value. It could be taught, but only as literary reference.

    Seriously, is that too hard to grasp?

    • B. says:

      I don’t get it… a theory is completely made up right? I can just say “I think Noodlity is an alien” and thats a theory, right? There’s no way of proving it – just like evolution!

      Naaah… I’ll stick with Jesus.

      • Noodlity says:

        Don’t forget – if I also claim to be an alien, and somehow manage to convince 3.6 billion people likewise, then we have a majority, and that’ll make it true.

        Live long, and pasta.

        • B. says:

          The majority should always decide. Thats how we got genocides.

      • Jordan says:

        Helping or hurting bro? Helping or hurting?

    • Jordan says:

      So, if I understand correctly, you contend that historical text has no baring on theory or fact? I know a lot of historians who would be pissed at you.

      • Jordan says:

        Also I’m not claiming that it be taught as fact in a science class, but rather as an idea in religion class.

        • blubb says:

          “Also I’m not claiming that it be taught as fact in a science class, but rather as an idea in religion class.”

          So you want the schools to treat it as hobby and present it like one?

          But what if the majority prefers for example wake-boarding and wants that to be taught instead?

      • Noodlity says:

        For one, even historical texts have to be verified, and actual “facts” are only extrapolated from multiple independant sources. Nevermind that history, especially of the ancient kind, is always taken with a grain of salt.

        On the other hand, when you encounter a text mentioning flat worlds, global floods, parting of seas etc. , and such events are not confirmed by any other sources, even from the regions that would have been affected… that’s mythology. AKA a folk tale.

        Incidentally, religion classes already teach such ideas. Mythology is a significant part of religion, after all.

        But science, or history, it ain’t.

      • B. says:

        Are these “Historical texts” you refer to the Bible? Because the Bible is not a historical document. Its an almost random collection of folk tales and allegorical stories that conveys the moral code of 2000 years ago. “Historical texts” are those that have actual basis in truth.

        • Jordan says:

          Yes and that is why there are people who can trace their genealogy back to Abraham. Folk tales right. Also by historical texts I mean historical texts in general, the bible included.

        • SillyKiwiMan says:

          I’d be pretty bloody skeptical of anyone claiming they can accurately trace genealogy that far back. Having said that, I think you’re a bit of a fence-sitting twat, so no doubt you’ll believe whatever shit suits your view of things.

        • Thursday says:

          Absolutely! That’s also how James Ussher figured out the age of the Earth as accurately as he did! It’s all there in the Bible…

      • Np237 says:

        OK so you *really* have a problem with history.

        In your mind, do historians just take old texts and consider them the truth of the period they study?

        When you find an old paper that says “We must kill the muslims and go on crusade. — King Richard” it doesn’t mean you must kill anyone. It doesn’t even mean that a king named Richard wanted to go on crusade. It probably means a king named Richard *said* that, but you’re not even sure. The only thing it means is that someone a long time ago (at a date you can only guess with a few decades’ precision) wrote that sentence on paper. Going from that to explaining the chain of events leading to a crusade several centuries ago is a long and diffult task. And a task you have to consider with a scientific stance.

        • Jordan says:

          Correct we take multiple texts and compare them and weigh it as evidence. I agree, people keep on making arguments as if I don’t agree with them but I do. I do adhere to a religion that does not rely only on the Bible and both a record of events and source of scripture. As far as Noodlity said. Considering most of the world’s civilizations have a great flood story in their history it may be safe to assume that there was a flood. Or were they all just struck with the same idea. I mean, you find the story of Christ in completely unrelated cultures popping up all the time. Like the Native American Quetzalcoatl has a ton of stories about him that have that familiar ring. Heck even Hercules. So when we make contact with aliens and they produce a copy of Harry Potter then we can say that that has no standing.

        • Noodlity says:

          Flood stories are:

          1) lacking detail with regard to time, so it’s foolish to assume they all happened at once;
          2) geologically unverified, when they should be;

          So no, no great floods. Maybe a couple of local ones, but that’s it.

          Myths have a tendency to spread and evolve from culture to culture. Historical figures may have served as inspiration, but any supernatural events are better explained with literary hyperbole than anything else. You’re not making any progress here.

        • Danimal says:

          Just because many cultures have a “great flood” story doesn’t mean that it must have happened. As civilizations spread, conquered, were conquered themselves myths and fables were intertwined just like many other parts of cultures. You can see this in the absorption of greek gods into roman culture, or in the absorption of christianity into roman culture for that matter. My point is that if one story was compelling to people, or was forced on them by an oppressive conqueror, or was adopted by the conqueror to placate the locals and then spread to the conquering population it could reach different cultures without being anymore than a story.

        • Rev Toni Rigatoni says:

          Jordan, there are stories of christ like people and christian like occurences in many different cultures, dating back long before the proposed birth of christ, virgin birth, death and ressurection, healing the sick, to name but a few. Is it not possible that these references are to one of these dieties and not to your Jesus? No doubt any one of those cultures would see the story of christ reflecting their own just as you are doing, because that is where you are, and they would be, setting the reference point. My suspicions are that the stories of christ were manufactured to sound familiar to the followers of the earlier dieties to make christianity more palatable to them. Consider Easter, when christ arose from the dead, around the spring equinox when Aster, the godess of fertility granted rebirth of the land, dead from a long winter; the birth of christ, all but spot on with the winter solstice, when pre-christians celebrated the birth of another year; what a stange and enormously suspicious coincidence that is! You argue and debate eruditely and politely, and I and many here welcome that are are grateful to you for it, but sadly you argue from a god-centric viwepoint which clouds your logic and endows your arguments with the same value as those of the more ignorant and iliterate foul mouthed hell fire damning idiots that usually post here.

          Sauce be with you,

          The Reverend

        • Thursday says:

          You do realize that there were dozens of ‘messiahs’ wandering around at the time, right? Quite literally hordes of them, all with their own miracles and hauntingly familiar back stories. Any one of them could have become the Saviour of Man (and several did, for a little while in a localized region) and they would have had a mythology built around them right quick if they got popular enough. So when you pray, be sure to thank the Roman Emperor Constantine!

  4. Bosn_C_Otter says:

    Religion is the opiate of the masses. – Karl Marx

    • Jordan says:

      Thank you communism… Worked wonders for the Russians.

      • Noodlity says:

        Indeed. Because capitalism truly helped the USA prevent a bunch of wars, and a global recession… oh, wait – no it didn’t.

        • Jordan says:

          So you’re argument for communism is that the most extreme version of capitalism, in your opinion, didn’t work…

        • Noodlity says:

          Considering you owe almost a trillion dollars to a Communist country… yeah.

        • Barkingspyder says:

          We’ve never actually practiced capitalism here. We’ve always had government involvement. And yes our capitalistic based economy probably prevented many wars since we didn’t need to conquer anybody (other than the Indians) the way most other countries did. Fact is we didn’t really need to conquer the Indians we could have just decided to deal with them fairly and upheld the rule of law and things would have been much better and less bloody. Instead the U.S. broke every treaty ever made with the Indians. Big surprise they were pissed.

      • Bosn_C_Otter says:

        My comment has nothing to do with Communism. Please make some attempt to stay on subject. However if you wish for me to give you a lead in, I would much rather be under a communist rule than a Theocracy. And capitalism is a tool for %5 to become rich and %85 to make them so.

        • Bosn_C_Otter says:

          The remaining %10 are Pirates!

        • Barkingspyder says:

          Then you have absolutely no understanding of Capitalism. Capitalism is a tool for those with the resources and the ideas to become wealthy and to make anyone else who works hard and who also has resources and marketable ideas to become wealthy as well. Yes it makes those with the marketable ideas and the resources to implement them wealthy, but it also it what created the middle class. Before that there were just rich and poor.

    • Thursday says:

      Not quite right:

      “Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people.”

      The idea holds, though. Promise the next world, so they don’t change this one.

  5. Danny Allen says:

    Just one of so many points that arise from this email:

    “…but if you’re going to teach one THEORY, and I emphasize theory not fact…”

    The writer is clearly confused about terms at the simplest level. No one says that evolution is a fact. It’s not, it’s theory. A theory USES facts, incorporating them into it’s underlying idea. Theories succeed (or not) based on the varacity of their facts. Fact are gained through empirical observation and experiment, both of which give repeatable, externally verifiable, results. In addition to which science has the decency to consider that information must come from more than one source in order to be considered reliable. Creationists take as the single source of their information, the Bible. That’s like, well, I don’t know, getting all your news from Fox – who in their right mind does that…?

    • Karlton G. Kemerait says:

      Danny, I agree in general however I would state that evolution is both theory and fact. The fact portion is the very definition of evolution…”that there occurs inheritable changes in the gene pool of a population over time” … this IS evolution and it can easily be demonstrated in a lab or seen in nature. The theory of evolution explains how this fact produces the life forms that we see…namely through natural selection, random mutation, genetic drift, etc.

      • Jordan says:

        I completely agree with everything in these two posts… A adhere to a religion that encourages us that seek truth in all places, including science and not just the bible. We even have more books that just the bible. As far as theory, I don’t get how me emphasizing the difference between Theory and Fact proves that I don’t understand what a theory is? I know that evolution exists, that is a fact, and people have drawn the conclusion through evidences discovered in fossil records and observances in nature than man also can about this way and in fact all life did. That is theory, I believe it, but I also believe it should be taught as theory and that people learning it should be open to the fact that it has the potential to be wrong and may be proven so when more discoveries are made. That’s science right? That’s all I’m saying by the THEORY FACT thing. I just had to cram it into a sentence.

        • Thursday says:

          Every discovery in science is open to change, unlike the Word of God, which isn’t. Everyone who understands science in even the slightest way understands this: you go with what works best. When new facts arise to bring the current theory into doubt, further investigation happens to see what works best.

          Evolution, after 150 years of people fighting like hell to disprove, discredit, or just plain bury it, still works best.

          “Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution.”
          -Theodosius Dobzhansky

        • kao says:

          As a proof of evolution, there is one you can see at any time, bacteria and virus, if there were no evolution why the fuck the world would be scared by a bird that got flu? It is only because we know virus can evolve to adapte to other host, and if u think evolution is same as faith because there is some people claiming that faith healed them, that just a placebo effect.

  6. Vinny says:

    Some simple facts for Jordan to consider…

    1. There are not 3.6 billion Christians in the world. That number is around 2.1 billion. So straight off, you’re out by about 50%.

    2. Over half of those 2.1 billion Christians are Catholics, whose governing body has officially accepted evolution as having happened.

    3. Out of the non-Catholic Christians, the majority across the world also accept evolution.

    4. Young Earth Creationists such as yourself are a vast minority within your own faith, especially in the USA. Therefore the entire basis of your argument is both dishonest and completely invalid.

    • Jordan says:

      You should really read my comments on this one. I accept evolution as well and am not a “young earth creationist.” I’m an old earth creationist I guess. Anyway, I wasn’t being Christian exclusive. I include Muslims because they are creationists to. You add the 1.5 Billion Muslims and you get… ding ding ding. 3.6 Billion. Math works. Anyway, I never made the contention that Evolution should not be taught in school only that it should not be the only thing taught in school. We should be well rounded should be not. (Not a fat joke.)

      • Theo says:

        Yes, and there a lot of pastafarians that a Flying Spaghetti Monster Created the earth.
        So we teach our childeren evolution (because it’s a proven scientific theory), if we then included creationism because some people believe it, then we should also include the scriptures about the Flying Spaghetti Monster. Seems fair to me.

        • Jordan says:

          Sure, if you honestly believe that’s how the universe was created and you’re willing to make arguments for your side, then go for it. I have no problem with my kids learning what other religions believe and their reasons for doing so.

        • tekhedd says:

          What we believe is simple: FSM did it. Why we believe it is also simple: it is written.

          When you eschew the scientific method in favor of “whatever makes you feel good,” debate is easy and fun! :)

        • blubb says:

          If we have to be believe in fairytales we thought why not choose a cool and tasty one.

        • Theo says:

          Sure, you think it’s ok for your kids to learn about other religions.
          Our point here is that those religions shouldn’t be tought in class as facts, as opposed to evolution.
          Evolution = science.
          Intelligent Design and Pastafarianism = belief.
          Totally different kinds of sport.

      • Vinny says:

        Apologies on not noticing beforehand your comments that clarified your position. However, your math is still dishonest; Islamic belief is different from Christian belief. There is a common base, but they diverge wildly after that. Since their beliefs contradict each other on numerous points, grouping them all together and then claiming the majority view is a lie. And again, as I pointed out, the majority of Christians DO accept evolution.

        Evolution should be the only thing taught in SCIENCE classes because it is the only theory with any scientific basis; in fact, it is the only theory period, creationism in all its guises simply being a hypothesis without a shred of evidentiary backing. As other respondents have said, teaching different beliefs in a ‘world religions’ class, or something with a similar name, is perfectly fine. But none of them should be in a science class because they are not science, not by any stretch of the imagination. The front of creationism that tries to be a science, Intelligent Design, has been shot down on all fronts, and has no arguments still standing in its favour.

        The backhanded method of claiming ‘alternative views’ should be taught as equal to evolution is nonsense. It’s the same as claiming that alchemy should be taught alongside chemistry, homeopathy alongside medicine, astrology alongside astronomy. A lot of people believe in these things (okay, maybe not alchemy these days), but none of them have any scientific backing, or any evidence to support them at all. Therefore they do not get taught as viable alternatives.

    • theFewtheProudtheMarinara says:

      I even wonder about how they count the 2.1 billion Christians. I was baptized Catholic, had 1st communion, etc, but haven’t practiced Christianity for over 40 years. Bet they still count me as one, though.

  7. KennewickMan says:

    I will always remember two employees who worked for me having a conversation in the lunch room one day. Apparently they were talking about evolution. I walked in just as my “born again” employee was saying in a loud voice “I don’t know anything about evolution but I know it’s wrong because the Bible is right.”

    I think this is the best approach to all things and we should all adhere to this concept with great fervor. For example, never balance your checkbook. If you simply believe that you have sufficient funds it should not matter one bit what a mathematical analysis of your checkbook balance might reveal. If some smug little banker calls you at home one day to discuss your account balance, just let him know that the commutative property of numbers is just a theory

    • Jordan says:

      That guy doesn’t seem to understand the bible very well. We’re talking old texts that have been translated and abridged over and over again. In this situation the only religious argument against evolution is age. If the earth was created in six days where does evolution take place. The actual Hebrew translation indicates more along the lines of time periods. In other words creation was broken down into six phases of its creation. To believe God snapped his fingers and bam we have earth is ludicrous. So the idea that, “I know the bible is right so evolution is wrong” is obviously stupid and such people should be ignored. However we get the same thing on the other side. “I know that evolution is right so that means the bible is wrong.” Also a lame argument. So a new idea is to take those two groups of people, the ones that refuse to have any sensible discussion on the subject and just ignore them. It’ll probably do them, and everyone else a lot of good.

      • Np237 says:

        I know that Pastafarianism is right so that means the bible is wrong.

  8. Scott Kim says:

    Long long time ago, the majority of the people on this planet (not only in US) believed that the earth is flat.

    Long long time ago, the majority of the people on this planet (not only in US) believed that the earth is the center of the universe.

    Majority (as you say) of the population is not a good enough reason to believe something that is not scientific … Because the people are stupid…

    BTW another billions of people has faith in Islam… How u gonna explain about this?

    • Jordan says:

      Read the previous comments. This has been brought up a bunch of times already. The Islam thing is new though. I like Islamic people. I met a whole bunch over in Germany and we went to the mosque and talked about religion. They aren’t as far from Christianity as people tend to think. They have a great religion that teaches truths some Christians sects overlook. I have the utmost respect for Muslims.

      • Theo says:

        Islam… yeah that part of the world brought anything good the past 200 years.

        • Mark Todd says:

          I would just like to point out that many of the problems “that part of the world” have at least in great part been due to interfering by European countries and the USA. As a very current example, we could look at Afghanistan. A country the United States supplied with weapons to fight off the Russian oppressors, but then refused to educate them, thereby allowing the Taliban, now fully armed and powerful, to take control and oppress and “educate” as they saw fit. This left it with its current state.

        • B. says:

          Theo – generalizing like that will give your face hemorrhoids.

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