Atheism and Critical Thinking

Atheism and Critical ThinkingThis is a web series by a UK artist and secular humanist (QualiaSoup) discussing critical thinking, science, philosophy and the natural world.

He discusses the following: Makers of supernatural claims have an inescapable burden of proof. Explaining the concept, refuting common objections and giving a number of reasons that atheists are sometimes 'fervent'.

A look at some of the principles of critical thinking. Faith has no place demanding agreement or punishing disagreement.

A look at some of the flawed thinking that prompts people who believe in certain non-scientific concepts to advise others who don't to be more open-minded. A brief look at the pointless exercise of telling people, rather than asking them, what they believe.

A poor understanding of probability leads many people to put forward supernatural explanation for events that are far more common than they think. A look at the pitfalls of arguing against science from incomprehension or emotion. A challenge to the claim that a belief in science requires equal faith to the belief in a god.

Watch the full documentary now (playlist - 1 hour, 32 minutes)

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1,376 Comments / User Reviews

  1. Believe me folk. More we white people lost our religion, more we lost God in the world, which means, more real land we lost!
    Do you really haven't understood? In islam, there, where are there's church, there are there's land. But islam is infected by Devil, thats why this beautiful religion has turned in killing machine system, which do not care for own´s and others!
    Islam is most weak religion to Devil´s tricks in the Earth, we Christians need to protect them, who wanna stay alive after infected by Devil´s affected islam, or right to say: by islamistic´s sects experience and same time our land, because we need a place, where help them, who need a help!!
    Have you ever been in islamic countries? They living in Stone Age! They already so much punished, as one God can do, but they still don't get it! Because they'rs real religion is weak and its weak, because it's infected!
    Have you ever have been thinking, who is the man, who left his family, kill 1000-ds innocent people and his own life for 200 virgins? He is a prostitute, who sell his and others life for pleasure to the Devil! And sad fact is - here the islam (islams radicals) these days are.. with their "heroes" are.. it´s sad, even for atheist...
    Be careful christians and atheists and do not end in the same place! Being fooled such way is shameful even for Devil himself!
    Atheism is not bad, it is a religion about, you believe, you do not believe anything. Vups, got you :) you still need to believe in something and again... very religios atheist... :) take it easy, you are just human! And God love it, when human are seriously religious :)

    God bless you!

    1. Hi, you seem well meaning, I have never heard a christian suggest muslims be protected. English is obviously not your first language. You are doing well but sometimes it is hard to make sense of it. I advise getting someone to help you when you comment on an english board, so we can understand you more clearly! :) I hope you can understand the comments made in reply, like this one.

      Positive thoughts are always welcome, thank you.

      but atheism is not a religion. Think : If I have a hobby as 'a stamp collector' - then I have a hobby. If I do not collect stamps, then how can I have a hobby of 'not a stamp collector'?

      Peace.

  2. Why is it that when religious people discuss/debate it seems like kids fighting whose imaginary friend is better...

    1. amused, i came out from closed club, what you think you do with truth? What you have to say, when Christian start serious talk and not just smiling to make everyone around happy? You get, what you wanted, what's next?

  3. as a persom who isn't superstitious, find i=the topic interesting

  4. to each Per- Son, to each their own journey. All is One breathing Earth event!

  5. peace is under threat by religious extremists..

    1. and then this guy. what do you do? fear is the begining of wisdom, not state ran fear, do what is right, what's the problem?

    2. What are you talking about?

  6. what a loser. plenty of rock stars and movie stars have sold thier souls and say such.google it! proving two powers are playing for each soul. GOD gets all those who's names are in the book of life, waste of time to prove what is already known to these type. not smart enough to shut up. he is paid for, the lake of fire awaits him...

    1. As an anti-theist the only soles that concern me are the bottom of my feet....
      For your statement to have merit, first the evidence of "GOD" must be proven which we both know has not and never will be..!

    2. floppy01 I have read your rebuttal to my post that after 19 hours ago so I'm glad I don't have to view the BS you're trying to pass off as evidence...P

    3. How do you know all this? How about cleaning up your English?

    4. Chip, it's wise to know what our talking about (and be able to back it up with evidence) before making such an incredible claim, that way you don't sound s*upid. There is no proof of souls or God. A movie star saying they sold their soul does not prove souls or God. It is merely a statement on a bad decision.

    5. i do know what i speak of, the devil came to me and offered the whole world. i turned it down. the mark of the beast is coming next, refuse it at all cost. it will be in the form of a shot, vacine. the beast will be inside it. endure until the last day...

    6. Any proof?
      P.S. The word is vaccine.

    7. just my word, i was 17 at the time of temptation. i'm now 48. i get visit from angels since 2006, they tell me what is coming. obama is bad to his core!!! prison state next stop, many will die. the key is to not get the forces mark of the beast. wont be easy, but doable for those with a plan...

    8. So you expect someone with half a mind to believe without proof, without evidence, that since 2006 you have been receiving visits from angels? Guess again. Your word is simply not good enough.

    9. no problem friend, you will seee with your own two eyes soon enough. the world as you know it is fixing to be ever changed. our goverment and china's combined armies will be knocking at your door soon enough. the takke down. look up fema camps, gun comtrol. they are way ahead of your learning curve. 2 billion bullets for who???

    10. You don't know this.
      P.S. I am not your friend or anything close.

    11. your right the state owns you, can tell by you friendliness. don't reply, wait for the knock at your door, 4 am

    12. I still haven't seen any proof or evidence, probably because you have neither.

    13. i cant do all the work for you, i cant make you believe. google or seach it right here. 9-11 inside job, 2 billion bullits, fema camps, etc. the proof is all there. then ask yourself why would something want to knock down the world trade centers. would they stop there? the plan as it was written down 6 thousand yrs ago is in place and nearing it's end. you are the prize, they are after your soul. forever is on the line, like it or not...

    14. Do you allow for my God of understanding? Are you aware of how many people died in the name of God? Is God on your side or You on the God's side? In my personal and humble opinion God had died many times being unable to perform a miracle in Treblinka, Dachau, Buchenwald and about other 20,000 times in all Nazi extermination camps for Jews, Jehovah's Witnesses, Russians, Gypsies and persons accused of "asocial" or socially deviant behavior. You probably think that they had "deserved" it.

    15. Your opinion is worthless; it's what can you prove. So is there any proof for your god? The number of people who die for anything is no indication of its truth.
      P.S. Don't try to tell others what they probably think.

  7. An excellent documentary. Thank you!!! I have showed this to many of my friends and they are sharing it as well.

  8. This documentary is all Bulls*it! Its not about religion its about spirituality, the facts are out there in scientific world its called Quantum Mechanics. The physical realities of life have long slipped away from our fingertips my friends, we are entering a new realm a new dimension, a new era of Truth, Righteousness, Love..etc....brace yourselves!

    1. Scratching your nose periodically with your fingertips does NOT eliminate the delusional smell while passing a specific person. It only validates the fact that you have the ability to lift your finger and pass unsolicited judgement on someone.

    2. Quantum Mechanics does not prove anything spritual, supernatural, or divine.

  9. 'advise others who don’t to be more open-minded'

    sorry, what does this mean?

    1. Who are you replying to? FYI you can reply to a comment by clicking on the reply button at the bottom of the comment you want to address.

  10. Why argue about the god of the Israelites?

    1. Who's arguing about the god of the Israelites?

    2. That's from their Bible isn't it. That's where god came from . Leave them to their god and get on with your life.

  11. if there was a god he'd be an Atheist

  12. lol.. I just come here to read the comment section. Its so funny. XD

  13. It was only this last year that I realized that I was an atheist-Christian. Since that discovery, I decided to become an atheist-Muslim.

  14. If you need a god to know what is good, bad and everything in between. If you need a good to teach you what to think, what to believe, how and who to love, then, thats not living.. i would feel sad for those people

  15. Put that in your creationist pipe and smoke it.

    1. Put what?

  16. Atheism is the greatest enemy of fanatical religions like Islam. Look at how eagerly the Taliban blew up those Buddhist statues in Afghanistan. The future clashes will be not between Judaism, Christianity and Islam, but Islam and Science and atheistic philosophies. Sooner or later, people will need to take sides and then the mess begins.

    1. And your point is?

    2. Fine. But religious people should then not be allowed to use anything created by science, since that would be hypocritical.
      Either you believe in it, or you do not. Anyways, I'd be happy to rid the world of religious people as I am certain the world would be a much happier place without it and them.

    3. What do you mean "religious people should not be allowed to use anything created by science" ?? A lot of scientific inventions were made by religious people. lol being atheist is OK, being a bigoted atheist on the other hand...

    4. "not be allowed to use anything created by science"

      Calling BS on that.

  17. GREAT! Thanks!

  18. Just a heads up everyone.I Heard that our favorit codger has been closed on account of rabies.I ask for a second of silence.

  19. This guy is really slanted in his perspective. I am religious, but believe people have the right to believe and worship how where and what they may. I find this guy to be overgeneralizing people who have a faith in the "supernatural" as he calls it. Not all of us feel people have to adhere to what we believe. I am curious how many people publicly decried the prayers during those "official meetings". At any rate, this person has the right to voice his opinion and disagree with religion, just as much as i have the right to believe in God and disagree with him. The problem lies in that if he disagrees with me it's okay, but if i dare disagree with him I am an unintelligent and ignorant religious fanatic who is blind to the secularist "truth".

    1. jojack19
      the issue in these meetings it that they cannot promote one religion over another. the separation of church and state guarantees that within a government organization religion plays absolutely no role and has absolutely no place.

    2. That was merely a side note in my ramble there, and really not the point of what I said. Let's not nitpick like that. I understand that subject fully. I just typed it in because being from a statistics background i can almost guarantee that any number they would have given would be very skewed from a real and true representation of who had a problem with a prayer in the meetings.

    3. jojack19
      and not coming from a statistics background i can tell you that infringing on just one persons rights is one too many. and i can guarantee (no almost needed) that you have no way of proving such a ridiculous claim. you have no way to know that "any number they would have given would be very skewed"

    4. But again, that was not clearly not the main idea of what I said in my original post. Let's focus on that for conversation's sake.

    5. jojack19
      okay. what exactly is your main idea

    6. If you believe in something the existence of which you cannot prove and which you know nothing about and can know nothing about, then you are blind to the secularist "truth" and thus mentally second-rate.

    7. jojack, I'm with you.He's presented it in black and white terms.As you say--he can express his thoughts and opinions..but if we accept his theory, then anyone that disagrees is an ignorant twit out of the dark ages.
      I think learning how to think and read criticaly is indeed very important myself.
      However, it's actually rather simplistic to say that any belief in God or gods, an afterlife or of *anything* as yet unproved by the scientific method, is ignorant or delusional.
      It has been proven by science that love itself is a feeling brought about by certain hormones and chemicals in the brain.
      We also know, too, that females of all mammals of all kinds human beings included, are biologically "wired" to be drawn to certain physical attributes--those attributes that is, that are or are very similar to, those of infants and babies.

      However,in contrast to that scientifuc fact- if you've ever deeply loved a child, or perhaps your mother or father, or have truly loved another adult in a serious romantic and sexual union...(not a romantic fantasy, or infatuation, but something much deeper), you know that those feelings transcend the merely chemical and hormonal!
      It's all biology and chemistry--or is it?
      And if it *is* indeed only brain chemistry--then,it would seem brain chemistry is responsible for giving life meaning and purpose...but again: how can any of those feelings or states of mind, be proved?
      If someone without love, or who has never loved, argues that my love for my husband, my grandson or even my best friend is only a combination of needs and brain chemistry-they'd be technically correct--but would still be missing so very much more of the experience--an experience, a feeling *that cannot be proven*.

    8. If there's no hard, scientific evidence for it, it is ignorant and delusional.

    9. I disagree. I don't say that I insist I'm right, that what I believe regardless of whether it can be proven or proven yet, is *fact*.
      I'm aware that the more I learn, and the more I live, things change and I change..so I may modify or even change completely what I belief now.
      But what I believe has only deepened and strengthened over the long years. It's not ignorant or delusional to sense things strongly feel them or envision certain concepts, even if they're not yet considered fact.

    10. Then your belief is silly.

    11. I don't see what is silly about my own sense of things...it's sad you haven't any such senses.But fine..it's silly if you want to believe that.

    12. And it's twice as sad that you can't back up your "sense of things" with anything approaching fact.

    13. I'm trying to think of what would seem like fact to you. I've experienced it..but then again you'll likely say that's delusional.

    14. Start of with verifiable.

    15. There are many scientific experiments that show how your brain deceives you, this is why evidence and verification are so crucial.

    16. As long as you don't force it on others or try to teach it in schools, not a problem. But some of the people that believe these things are doing just that, this is the problem.

    17. You are making a huge leap of faith here.... this is the problem. Just because you "feel" something that may seem more than love doesn't mean it's real. There are many studies that show how your brain can deceive you into these rationals. As much as you feel there is more, I feel that there isn't. Who's right? This is where evidence comes in.

    18. @jojack19:Amen to that!

    19. I fully agree with jojack19! Secular humanists are the ones who are intollerant.

    20. and what is it exactly that makes secular humanists intolerant?

    21. I've heard the accusation before and have wondered about it myself, especially when contrasted with religees.
      By the way, do you have any idea why I couldn't post comments for a while. Vlatco fixed the problem, but it's as much a mystery to me as the above accusation.

    22. Glad to see you back! whatever the problem was, glad to see it is fixed!

    23. Thank you.
      I assume there are still just three moderators, you, Over the Edge and Epicurus.

    24. You are correct, three mods, this is the second reply, disqus ate the first one.

    25. i do not know what the issue was. but welcome back.

    26. Thank you. I assume there are still just three moderators, you, Achems_Razor and Epicurus.
      By the way, I'm almost done with the Hodges' biography of Alan Turing. I would gladly give it you if it were possible to do so.

    27. yes just the three of us. i appreciate the offer but without violating the comment policy that isn't possible. please let me know what you think and next time i am in town i will look for it if it is worth it.

    28. Sometimes too detailed, e.g., going into execrutiating detail on decoding in general, the enigma machine and the other devices used at Bletchley Park, all of which detract from the ostensible main topic.
      P.S. Pysmythe reports problems with discus as well. See two of his recent posts.

    29. there is a bbc biography/drama based on the book i tried to watch it but just couldn't. too bad. as for the issues. Psy and i were discussing that last night. his posts were disappearing and so were my replies to him.

    30. Lack of respect for people who don't agree with them. It usually goes with an inflated ego and an unwarrented belief that they are superior to the unenlighted.

    31. Secular humanists are superior to the unenlighted, especially those who can't spell unwarranted.

    32. what about those who can't spell unenlightened?
      1i

    33. lol you sound like you are describing every religious person.

      Religious people not only dont respect people who dont believe like they do, but they believe they will suffer for eternity. they try to enact laws and rules based on their religious morality.

      but you seem to think secular humanists lack respect and have inflated egos. well let me let you in on a secret: its easy to have an inflated ego when the people opposite you believe in a mythical book written by desert people 2000 years ago.

    34. oh you must mean things like denying equal status attempting to devalue someone because they have a different sexual persuasion? or could it be telling somebody what to do with their own body? maybe it is denying proper sex education because it goes against your beliefs? even if it does not go against theirs and can prevent disease and unwanted pregnancy. yeah if a group did that it would be arrogant and disrespectful. wouldn't it?

    35. You are generalizing.

    36. But they are superior to the unenlightened [NOTE SPELLING] and thus the belief is not unwarranted [AGAIN, NOTE SPELLING].

    37. You are showing the same "lack of respect for people who don't agree with them" by your statement. Don't be a hypocrite please.

    38. As a secular humanist, I admit to being intolerant (note spelling) of ignorance passing itself off as knowledge.

    39. This is what it boils down to, just because we take offense because someone is ignoring, distorting, or inventing facts or information and pointing it out to that person does not mean we are being intolerant. We are just trying to correct misinformation before it spreads.

    40. There are people who believe what is demonstrable, and then there are people who will believe things before they are demonstrable. One of these is wrong.

    41. In my opinion, the belief in ANYTHING without evidence IS unintelligent and ignorant. A lack of belief is just a person waiting to be convinced with evidence or flawless logic. They are not asserting or denying anything so it would be a bit strange to be accused of being unintelligent or ignorant after stating or doing nothing. There are certain parts of each religion that can be flat out proven wrong with evidence and/or logical deductive reasoning.

  20. "Parenthood doesn't authorize one to disfigure an other person's body for religious reasons," is an attack on circumcision. But if you would actually make it illegal for parents to circumcise their sons, it would go down in history as intolerant bigotry against Jews and Muslims, who might feel forced to leave the country to protect their identity.

    1. Do you feel the same way about female circumcision?

    2. I'm not in particular replying to WiseGapist or Clemens van Stekelenburg here, but,I want to say, just for information, male circumcision isn't equal to what is incorrectly called "female circumscision".
      Circumcision of a boy or man is removing an piece of skin, the foreskin on his penis...and while I would prefer that parents *not* adhere to that practice,and we can argue whether it's sexier one way or the other, or whether some sensitivity is lost after the circumcision---nonetheless-circumcised male humans are equally capable of intense sexual pleasure and,are equally capable of reproducing.

      Women who undergo "circumcision" have their clitoris removed--*cut off*, many times in an outrageous non-sterile jagged cut, which heals poorly and leaves scarring.
      It's likely most people here know all that already, but it bears repeating anyway and on the off chance that someone doesn't have all the facts.

    3. I appreciate your wanting to have all readers fully informed on the technical differences between the two procedures (and yes I know that female circumcision can be further specified into differing procedures itself), though I am fully aware of them.

      The core issue that cannot be overlooked is the lack of informed consent from the child receiving the procedure, male or female. I view both as barbaric antiquated religious acts that children should not be subjected to unless they so choose. The degree of mutilation may be greater in female circumcision (we should either use genital mutilation or circumcision for both practices rather than introducing euphemism for males as the most mild female form is quite accurately a circumcision) but it is a moot point as both are medically unnecessary. Males may still be able to experience orgasm and sexual pleasure but this is noted as diminished from that of un-cut men.

      Also, regarding your differing descriptions, many boys have died in Africa undergoing 'non-sterile jagged cut' circumcisions, not to mention the constant possibility of removing too much skin and 'botching the job' as happens occasionally even in developed countries. The only thing that elevates male circumcision to westerners is that we have sterilized and calculated our preferred style of male mutilation and since point fingers at the primitive techniques practiced in foreign female forms that didn't happen to have a historical basis in the Jewish religion. Double standards which ever way you 'slice it'.

      Here's an extra question... IF circumcising babies were to be made illegal and that when boys reached the age of 16 they could choose whether to follow their faith (if Jewish or Muslim) and become circumcised or to not, how do you think that would affect the numbers of circumcised men after two generations?^^

    4. I assume that there would be far fewer men who'd be circumcised. Although, oddly, I know a man who became circumcised of his own accord at age 22. (I knew him when he was 15, and he was not circumcised then).
      I agree that circumcision isn't necessary.I didn't want my grandson to be, but I was the only one.
      Speaking of men and the sexual pleasure factor...some say there is a loss of feeling, but they probably do not know having not experienced it the other way. Ive known lots of men, and they're not appreciably different.
      But even so..as I'm not a man, I'm not going to say I know for sure.
      However, I still don't see how cutting off the clitoris on a girl, is comparable to say..a Jewish circumcision on a baby boy.His foreskin is removed and the girl's entire seat of pleasure is removed.Not the same thing.Like I said, I'm not for either myself, but I see them as different nonetheless

    5. I do have to add that I know...there have been botched circumcisions on male humans..and that's horrible.I agree that even one of them is too many!

    6. It might go down in history that way Clemens van Steklenburg, but it also might not. Sometimes things change over time and the old practice or belief is viewed as ignorance or simply without having merit anymore.

  21. i like that "i dont know" an honourable answer. god plce if he has any is as goodness in the heart not as something in your head turning it to mush.

  22. breaking down shadow town uhh yeah baby

  23. marriage exists to legally disseminate property to offspring.

    1. Maybe if you're a robot.

      "Robot Unit 24638, can you explain the primary function of catholic marriage to us in one sentence please?"

      "AFFIRMATIVE. Marriage-exists-to-legally-disseminate-property-to-offspring beep boop beep".

  24. there is 406411 catholic priests worldwide

    In a statement read out by Archbishop Silvano Maria Tomasi in September 2009, the Holy See stated "We know now that in the last 50 years somewhere between 1.5% and 5% of the Catholic clergy has been involved in sexual abuse cases", adding that this figure was comparable with that of other groups and denominations.

  25. we are divided minds. due to to much mental focus, room given for every mental creation, every mental extrermity is given rights room also given to degraded minds, egoists ie atheists hedonists same sex perversions. our varied society , with varied people poles apart, only catholics and god fearing people seem to be stopping the atheists and perverts into total moral degradation.

    1. leon raieck
      do you mind explaining yourself in a bit more detail? and how exactly are "catholics and god fearing people seem to be stopping the atheists and perverts into total moral degradation. " ?

    2. "Only catholics and god fearing people seem to be stopping the atheists and perverts into total moral degradation."

      Speaking of moral degredation, have the recent scandals involving Catholic priests and children come to your notice? Do you have any idea what you're talking about?

    3. there is 406411 catholic priests worldwide

      In a statement read out by Archbishop Silvano Maria Tomasi in September 2009, the Holy See stated "We know now that in the last 50 years somewhere between 1.5% and 5% of the Catholic clergy has been involved in sexual abuse cases", adding that this figure was comparable with that of other groups and denominations.

      The no 1 country where money compensation claims were sought for sexual abuse claims at catholic priests is the USA. There has been also quite a few fraudulent claims by liers seeing an easy grab for easy money. This can never be fully ascertained as the ability to lie varies in people and in some lying is done so skillfully that it fools the person being lied to. The USA has more civil law suits than anywhere else.

      Sex abuse in the US secular school system is of much higher figures than those supposedly involving US catholic priests

    4. Probably because the job consists of being around children all day? Of course the number will be higher (I am guessing, but I would think that a very high percentage of grade/primary school teachers are religious, don't take my word for it) ... This is human mistake not because there secularist. Also, the use of "secular" as a derogatory or disrespectful term as you insinuated above is completely hypocritical as the catholic church is a secular entity. Secularism is much broader than aetheism/religion/morality.

    5. Find me a place or time in history when society *wasn't* declining into total moral degradation.

    6. So only the "catholics and god-fearing people seem to be stopping the atheists and perverts into moral degradation." How, by the Crusades, the Inquisition, the witch burnings, the stance against abortion and contraception? From your statement, Catholics are obviously not god-fearing.

      The only thing worse than a Christian apologist is a Catholic one and your marginalization and rationalization of the recent scandals involving Catholic priests and children is a perfect example.

    7. " How, by the Crusades, you wrote
      So are you a muslim or ex muslim robert?, as why would attempting to defend christianities homeland by european christians from its savage enemies at the time, the muslims be so offensive to you.

      Do we condemn the US because it was once a slave trader, no of course it long ago reformed itself so did the Catholic church

      Do we condemn the UK because it was once a dictatorial class ruled nation and savage place run by murderous kings and armies, with murder by the ruling class common, no through its reformers the uk has made itself much better though it is still not a proper democracy even today.

      You are using the long dead past to support an argument in the present which exposes you as a fool

      your hypocrisy also is laughable

      you then write "the stance against abortion and contraception?"

      So your also in favour of mass murder of defenceles babies in wombs, which can only be justified if the woman has been raped or the foetus has major deformities. The proper way to reduce unwanted pregnancies is to reduce sexual activities, be monogamous and using birth control methods.

      On one hand you try and take the highground on against killing done in the past by members of religion ,while ignoring the millions killed in atheistic societies like communist russia and china and then being a hypocrite and fool by supporting the mass slaugter of defenceles young human beings. What if your own mother had aborted you hmm?.

    8. No, your goddam church has never reformed--and it can't for it thrives only on controlling people, especially easy targets such as the poor and the ignorant--backward countries with magnificent cathedrals and well-nourished administrators in contrast to the poverty around them. Yours is an organization which sucks the blood out of everything it comes into contact with. Its adherents such as you cling to an antedeluvian vatican with its hoary pope and his minions, endeavoring to cover up its scandals as it did in the Middle Ages when it wielded the type of abusive power which it will always try to wield.

      Control is the watchword--and it's control of everything, including the sexual activities of its adherents and the reproductive rights of women. Its stance against birth control and abortion has nothing to do with morality and a lot to do with bringing more Catholics in the world to generate more income to support a degenerate church. I wonder how many of the Catholic hierarchy, including your popes, have fostered illegitimate children or obtained abortions for their little concubines? I wonder if we're only seeing the tip of the iceberg as to the sexual activities of the sacerdotal caste. I hope the money obtained in damages as a result of these sexual imbroglios which your church has so long covered up (and don't quote me a lot of specious statistics as you did in your last post) bankrupts your institution out of existence.

      And don't you dare insult my intelligence with your distortion of Russian and Chinese history. No killing has ever taken place in the name of atheism, but a lot has sure occurred in the name of your damnable religion. How many innocent deaths did your church cause through its despicable Crusades, witch burnings and inquisitions? How many deaths was it responsible for in World War II because it was too busy playing politics to stand up to Hitler and his minions? And like the vile Catholic you are, you marginalize all of this as mere bygones.

      No, you and others like you are the hypocrites, the pharisees and the zealots. Give a Catholic like you a chance and we'd be back in the Middle Ages in no time.

    9. your ignorance is amazing as is your ability to lie.

      the worst people in history have been atheists

      the worst killers in history also atheists.
      .

    10. Leon,

      You said this:
      "No killing has ever taken place in the name of atheism."

      And then you said this:
      "the worst killers in history also atheists."

      I see a contradiction here. What in the world are you trying to say? Your thinking is all over the place.

      You have a belief in god(etc)? Enjoy. No one cares whether you believe in god(etc) or not.

      But for crying out loud, learn to organize your thoughts. It's what this documentary is all about.

    11. I believe he was trying to quote me. See my earlier response to him.

      However, you're giving him some potentially self-destructive advice. If he organized his thoughts, he would be in the same predicament as the emperor in the famous Hans Christian Anderson story.

    12. Like the crusaders and inquisitors?

    13. The Catholic church or rather, the Vatican, can't very well be an antediluvian institution. Christianity didn't exist until some 2,000 years ago.

      While some of what you're saying about what's become of Catholiscism, (and of course what went on in the middle ages) is true, you're exagerrating and dramatizing with hyperbole to such a degree that it obvious you're as fanatical as some obsessed religious persons are!
      I always say, arguing aganst an institution,a law or religious belief is fine--we need to do that, or nothing would change-or even be considered!
      But in my opinion and experience, it's more important to strike a blow for independence--more important to know what I'm *for* not what I'm against...and then live that way to the best of my ability.

    14. And your point is?

    15. I think it's self-explanatory, but, I observed that you're against this and that, and you're putting down all sorts of people and groups--but not necessarily speaking factually, or with stats to prove any of it.
      And some of what you said is so exagerrated and lacking fact based information...after you stated unequivocally that you only believe in scientific fact.
      Matter of fact, I think you know that!..maybe you're just spurring people on to argue and debate here?
      But since you asked..my point is: why not talk about what you know and what you believe in..not how many institutions religions and individuals seem all wrong to you.For instance what is right?What do you enjoy and/or find exciting and lively/life affirming?

    16. Now just what are you referring to? Glittering generalities say nothing.

    17. So how many babies have you carried to term?

    18. Don't ask a Catholic that. It may cause embarassment.

  26. You are right! Makers of the supernatural do have a burden of proof that they are not able to meet, and so they form cults. Atheists on the other hand have science to prove their premise. However, I wonder if they can explaing how the Big Bang originated? and it did, and I believe that happened, but how did it? Since the basic hydrogen atom has a limited half life, and it was part of the Big Bang-right? Also, how do we know there are not other Big Bangs happening in different dimensions other that the three we know? and if they are? Are they detectable by scientific methods that we know? or are they available to the five senses? If not, how do we know they do not exist? Can anything exist outside scientific reach? If not, how do you know that?

    1. That's not what science is about. Science deals only with the naturalistic. Anything outside of that is not science.

    2. What are you talking about? be more precise. You are meandering all over the place.

    3. hydrogen has no halflife ..unless changed to somthing else by a star or other event it will be hydrogen until the end of the universe

    4. How did the big bang originate? How do we know there are not other big bangs? The answer to all your questions is: "I don't know, there is not enough evidence YET to make a conclusion and we MIGHT not find any" Any answer other than that requires a leap of faith or flawed logic.

  27. Has anyone heard of 'revolution in Judea' it was a book i read when i was fifteen and brought it to religion class to try and show a different way of looking at things. Didnt go down too well. I couldnt recall who wrote it. At fifteen i was very much against religion as i am now but back then in a benedictine run abbey my way of thinking was not the norm. Over the years i have also realised that some people just dont have the brain power to think outside the box other than what was drivin into them by parents school and society. Imagine if all the religions in the world suddenly put all that wasted time energy and money into real life, how much better off the world would be. Because you really are playing a big part in f#%king up our world. No praying in the world is going to put food on a plate. Positive thinking i,m all for but not going to be a fairy about that either.

    1. I had not heard of 'Revolution in Judea' before. I googled it and found this: "Jesus and the Jewish Resistance (abridged from Revolution in Judea: Jesus and the Jewish Resistance) by Hyam Maccoby " on positiveatheism dot org/hist/maccoby dot html.

      In glancing through it, I see that it is a perspective of life from the Jewish viewpoint at Jesus' historical time period; I've not read this through, yet, but I think a lot of biblical scholars try to put events into historical context to understand the timeline as to when gospels were written and what motivated the various changes that occurred.

      The author points out that the viewpoint always seems to be from the later, Roman viewpoint and not from the cultural view Jesus would have had, as a Jew living in an occupied land. He is giving a different viewpoint in a Jewish cultural context.

      I can see why the nuns might have been a bit...you know, distressed, ha ha! I'm going to have to read this more thoroughly; thanks for mentioning it =)

    2. You look into everything. I sure wish that Ragfish and those like him did the same.

      Finished Chapter 5 and was extremely chagrined by the author's treatment of Guillermo Gonzales as a martyr to religious persecution and vitriol on the part of his colleagues. In truth, despite the distortions from the Discovery Institute, Mr. Gonzalez was denied tenure for the best of reasons: since 1999, he had been spending too much time on ID and not enough on real science, as a result of which his publications dropped down to next to nothing. In other words, he merited the opprobrium of his colleagues and got what he deserved, denial of tenure. If I were a chemistry professor and a colleague of mine were spending most of his academic time on alchemy, I would do everything in my power to make sure he was denied tenure.

    3. Great. I,d love to stumble apon it again to see the difference in my perception now, to back then. I think i grasped on to peoples opinions at that age, as long as it was not the norm, where as now i make my own conclusions. Really thank you for that. I had long forgotten most the context apart from Jesus been a revolutionary. I remember thinking it along the lines of our very own Michaell Collins but that time lapses and stories get exaggerated and hey presto he can walk on water.

    4. Great book read it!

  28. robertallen 1 you scare them off with style. You have so many facts and they just drown in them.

    1. Nice to hear from you. It's been a while. That's two contributors from the Emerald Isle, you and Dewflirt. Guess I should brush up on my Gaelic.

    2. I would have to brush up on my Gaelic myself in that case. I dont live in an Irish speaking area.
      I have been watching from afar just enjoying listening to opinions esp those like yours and over the hedge and kateye and others. I like listening.

    3. I'll teach it to you sometime--which dialect do you prefer?

      "Over the hedge"--that's rich!

    4. Tis an awful shame i dont speak it. I can understant alot but it was beaten out of us by the English a long time ago. Ha ha. Thats every Irish mans excuse as to why they dont know Irish.Not a good excuse its just lazy. Anyway my dads mothers side were all english so in that case i would have to say i beat it out of myself.

  29. Intelligent Design is an oxymoron. What could have happened did.

  30. I wish my mother-in-law would understand this...

  31. One thing this documentary, others like it, and the Dover school board case being so close to home, have done is to prompt me to become more conversant with the ID marketing than I ever really wanted to.

    The thing is, MOST religious people understand that the bible is not 'literal.' They generally have no issue with understanding that the science of evolution and the theology of the bible are two completely different things addressing two completely different issues.

    Science addresses the WAY in which things work.
    Science does NOT address WHY.

    Theology addresses the possible WHY
    Theology assigns MEANING.

    Apples and oranges do not interbreed to become appanges or orpples.

    The thing is, even amongst creationists, there are subsets. The ID movement belongs to a SUBSET of MINORITY religious thinkers.

    I still don't understand how this small group of religious nuts has managed to hijack the public conversation, or what their real motivation is for doing so.

    I just don't buy the 'everyone is going to stop being religious because of evolution' theory.

    Call me cynical, but I'm thinking there's something going on the creationists don't want us to know about their motivations.

    Distraction...seems like a magic trick, doesn't it? Wonder who's behind the curtain?

    1. You're right.

      Theology ASSIGNS meaning--and that's what it invalidates it.

      "Theology addresses the POSSIBLE why." Any child can do this, sometimes even better than the most sophisticated theologians.

      As for creationist motivations, I suggest you read up on the wedge strategy. As for what's really going on, you know just as well as I do.

    2. So...do you prefer appanges or orpples?

    3. Just about any hybrid will do--as a matter of fact, that's all you find in the supermarkets.

    4. Well, I did find the wedge document and read through it, but although it *sounded* like a plausible plan--if they had actually done any real science as put forth in the document--there were no motivations given, only a desired result.

      But I'm asking about who is REALLY benefiting from this, that they are putting so much effort into it. There is a benefit to someone, somewhere, beyond the altruistic 'to better our society' and THAT is what I haven't really located to my satisfaction. Yet.

    5. What's easier to manage, an intimidated flock of sheep feeling threatened or a flock of intrepid independent thinkers who don't and can't be? It all boils down to the type of tyranny exercised by the Catholic Church for over a thousand years and which it no longer can, however hard it tries. Compare this to the Taliban--as a matter of fact, compare this to just about any organization whose primary purpose is a religious one.

    6. Any child can come up with a theory as well. And hey, within the scientific community theories are ASSIGNED as law, even though they're not proven and therefore, they're theories. So...

    7. Why didn't you read up on the scientific definition of a theory BEFORE you posted these three lines of abysmal ignorance?

    8. robertallen1
      just the person i was looking for. if i can impose i am in conversation with a creationist on "Foundational Falsehoods of Creationism" regarding a book " "Darwin on Trial," authored by Phillip Johnson," i was wondering if you have read it and if so do you mind explaining it to either myself or more directly the original poster as he/she doesn't seem to want to engage in a conversation either than to spread falsehoods and point to a book i have no interest reading as evidence

    9. Like you, I have no interest in reading this work, as Mr. Johnson is not a scientist but a professor of law with a religious bent which infuses everything he writes. There is a lengthy article on Mr. Johnson on Wikipedia which goes into this work and the hypercritical reception it received from the mainstream scientific community. Also Eugenia Scott discusses it in "Evolution and Creation." In a perverse way, I'm sort of happy that I can't be of more help.

      P.S. Who is this poster?

    10. robertallen1
      this poster is new (MickFromNapa) and like the poster you are attempting to engage here i feel that i should just create a universal response to creationists. here goes
      " scientific theories are not guesses.we did not evolve from monkeys. red herrings,arguments from authority, quote mining,selective reading and interpretations are not proof of anything. even if (insert relevant theory here) is proven wrong you are no closer to proving a god. if it looks designed to you doesn't mean it is. where in (insert theory here) does it claim that.please define "kind" and finally the fact you don't understand something doesn't make it wrong" i wonder how many times i can post that and be right?

    11. You have a point. Boilerplate in, boilerplate out. On the bright side, have you read any of Brian Rose's latest posts?

    12. robertallen1
      yes his knowledge is welcome and appreciated

    13. Maybe they're going to pull jesus out of the hat ;)

    14. lol. I doubt Jesus is in the magic hat. If he's anywhere, he's at the back of the audience, shaking his head, and going "WTF?"

    15. NEO-CON WINGNUTS are only the puppets, the Koch Brothers and others of their ilk, pull the strings

  32. The only ones who would watch this documentary are either the open minded needing a refresher of concepts they already suspect, or to draw in those who are uncertain.
    The people who I suspect would need this information the most would refuse to even watch.
    And so nothing really changes. Adam and Eve remain ignorant of good and evil and god retains his desire to keep knowledge from his followers.
    I guess that makes the rest of us satans minions....destined to try to tempt others to try knowledge in order to demonstrate god's lies.
    Well, no wonder the religious hate outsiders!

    1. The Adam and Eve story is no different than what I here now. How wonderful and perfect the past was and how everything has gone to hell today. So many of us leave the Garden of Eden of our childhood into the reality of what our lives have become.

  33. @over the edge: Yes, I did >.< In fact, if I've been vocal on this thread, reading that contributed in part to my alarm.(Rant to ensue!)

    What kind of backwards thinking *is* that? Who has "fixed beliefs" as a child? Parental authority starts waning at about puberty and is pretty much gone by the end of high school regardless of anything being taught in school (really, don't any of these people remember being teens?)

    And what kind of adults are being foisted on the rest of us? The parents have them for the first 18 or 20 years-; society has them for the next 50 or 60 years.

    I read an apologist statement saying 'Oh, these are just talking points, what some people would *like* to see, its not what our platform is *really* going to be."

    Yea, right? Wonder who 'some people' are? Who benefits from this bad dream? Gotta ask who's funding the Texas Republicans.

    I shudder to think what the rest of society will be dealing with in 30 or 40 years if a platform like this actually came to pass...thank goodness there are other Texans actually fighting them.

    I read the rest of the platform, as well, and was cringing in total horror. It's truly demonic. Makes me want to believe in an avenging god coming to strike them down, it does. (Rant over!)

    1. The only good thing about these rednecks is that they're not squeamish about carrying out the death penalty.

    2. What's wrong with Kansas? Their getting loopy. Fur some good reading in Texas try Molly Ivins-she hated the Bushies and Schrub (#2) or Jim Hightower

  34. Fairy people are pathetic, as an entire group. That's that. A friend of mine pretty much said it. Numbers and probabilities can be manipulated to say and represent, whatever anyone wants them too. A waste of time.

    1. Would you say this is true of a closed system?

  35. Mince words? LOL! I think my stance on this type of material was well documented in the last 900 comments. He has a special way of saying a lot of nothing, and convincing nobody but the aforementioned rubber roomers. His peers do not take him seriously, nor do I. Simple trash, theory and conjecture in my view. You are a funny guy, aside from being particularly smart.

    1. Sorry, it's the devil in me. I'd been reading some reviews on his books in Reports put out by the National Center for Science Education (NCSE--have you heard of it?) and I thought I would get your take on CSI and and Dempski's Laws of Conservation. I admit that I have a hard time understanding what these are all about and from the reviews I read, I apparently don't need to. However, the whole thing seems to be bad mathematics based on faulty assumptions and nebulous classifications and especially misuse and distortion of probability.

  36. Gosh, christens are so touchy. Relax man.

  37. Can't help but laugh at every religious discussion that has ever happened. One side "believes" in forgiveness and eternal life as a reward for good deeds but condemns others to an eternity of suffering for different opinions than their own. The other side believes life in finite but wastes their precious time arguing with people who also have different opinions than themselves, instead of going out and living life to the fullest. Get a clue, both sides are wrong if you're sitting on a computer arguing over semantics. I can't believe other atheists waste their time (and I am right now too.. sigh) battling over the minds of stupid, childish, beliefs instead of making the most of the 40-60 years you have left.

    1. I be lucky to have 20 left laddie, I hear ya. There does come a point in these type of threads people just step back and let the psychos sort themselves out on the train to heaven. I have been off work on holidays, and they are about to end, I had some spare time to debate ships full of religious wing nuts during this week, it was entertaining to say the least. The end is always the same. The religees have posted 700 posts of nothing and further proved they are completely off their rockers in the fantasy world they claim exists, they need to be eradicated as time goes on to make this a better place to live. I do not think there is anymore to say, they have made themselves, once again, look as crazy as they sound.

    2. Verry entertaining. Very impressed with how much some of ye know about religion. Seems ye know alot more than the religees.

  38. Ok.....I am scared now, religion and masturbation, some homosexual nuances, some Jewish mayors in Ireland, and sky fairy's, all in the same thread. What have i walked into here?

  39. You know, I like big words and hard to spell scientific names and label's, mathematical equations and complex graphs and charts, introspective English use and hard to recall spellings, but sometimes, you just have to gutter speak to get your point across. God does not exist. Douchnozzles who believe in God/Religion need a rubber room, not friends nor understanding nor debate. We need to get rid of them and it. Once we do, we can move on to real life, important things, like what I am going to have for supper. So tired of mindless drivel from the bunnies. Same ole BS, but with bigger words. Julian probably smoked about 15 doobs in a row to troll out all those complicated sentences and words. Give us a break, big words do not make you sane, nor right.

    1. "It is a tricky problem to find the particular calibration in timing that would be appropriate to stem the acceleration in risk premiums created by falling incomes without prematurely aborting in the inflation-generating risk premiums." Alan Greenspan.

      "Network - Anything reticulated or decussated at equal distance, with interstices between the intersections." - Samuel Johnson

      "Reticulated - . . . formed with interstitial vacuities." - Samuel Johnson

      So, to put it succinctly, a nimiety of culinary specialists vitiate the liquid in which a variety of nutritional substances have been gently boiled.

      Now, what's the difference between a pahi and a paha?

    2. I don't know, what *is* the difference between a whoowhati and a whoowhata? (found everything from foreign words, place names and products when I tried to google it...Darn you robert, you got me!)

      I lol'd at quote #4--an original, perhaps?

    3. Gee, I thought everybody knew. A paha is a type of Malaysian outrigger canoe and a pahi is a type of sand dune found in Iowa--or maybe it's the other way around--and no, I can't claim an originality for quote 4.

  40. I agree with everything you say. Unfortunately, the people who you are trying to convince will not, no matter what. That's the real problem. These other people see everything from the other side, and dismiss your logical statements. Your statements are fundamentally scientific-- and that is what the masses seem to be rebelling against.

    1. @Dave Marks:

      To whom are you replying?

    2. Dave Marks
      who were you replying to?

  41. I,m a self educated woman. Too many comments seem clouded in big words and self professed intelegence. Keep it symple because us uneducated souls are still learning. This is a debate right? Not a competition of intelect or education. The point gets lost in the intricacy of wording.

    1. You seem to have no trouble understanding most of the posts. If you're referring to those from Julian Firth, Lynley Ruth Butt and Bud Oracle, they are mere gibberish and you needn't feel inadequate.

  42. What one brings- in the way of a mere presence compounded of converted "Higgs-bosun- made" matter/radiant coursing energy-flows physical, mental, emotional, intellectual and our attitudinal " baggage"- as eager anticipative predictors/ incredulous negative-minded dis creditors etc of expected outcomes- what one BRINGS as an "observer" to an experiment... to life, to relationships with others, to work.... has a marked and remarkably... and observable well-noted ( scientifically observable) EFFECT on outcomes.
    And yet... we can maintain that "True Faith"... must be an outcome belief of Yeah or Nay and gradient light grey- dark shades of a questionable nature, in which areas we should strike a happy- or cautious " median".... middle way without leaping to extremes.... in what primarily man's science and conscience offer and, by choice or by force decide to conclude/obey. Otherwise we merely have a certain yearning, instinctively imbibed/ learned "Hope" in things as yet unseen,hitherto undetermined. Certainly 'Judge not that ye be not judged'... is good advice- re maintaining an open mind and willingness to reserve any commitment to that which may have the potential eventually, to be shown and known to be wrong- flawed, false, fatally misleading- damned and doomed.

    1. What is your point, in ten words or less??

      Reading your drivel is getting me pissed off!

    2. The point I got out of it was: Something something 'the observer effect' something.

      There! 6 words!

    3. That's better than I did.

    4. You're good! I noticed the phrase "observer effect" but I couldn't get something out of it...or is it anything? I'm confused again. Should never have tried to reread that post(s).

    5. I was a copy writer for a few years...nothing like taking a client's incoherent ideas about their business and returning them concise selling phrases to teach one how to pick out the gold from amongst the dross.

    6. Good luck gleaning any gold from that dross.

    7. Too much LSD.....and want to party?

  43. It's sad how our curiosity and natural wonder has been co-opted due to other more cultural considerations defined by our biological predispositions. the fact that anyone would claim that this wondrous mix which continues to evolve from moment to moment in a dynamic dance of life must remain stagnant, flies in the face of the concept of god..

    This interwoven existence in our universe must not, can not, conform to a unsupportable point of view in the "mind" of some members of a single fleeting moment of the lifespan of this microbe's evolutionary existence.

    To claim such a thing is to limit any such a concept to the realm of the impossible by definition: How could this microbe even know the realm of such a concept if it were possible?

    Only god would know everything (except where Adam was and a couple of other things) Therefor we would not be able to "know" it/him by definition. To claim one can know such a thing is an absurdity that is not possible.

    Yet I am forced to play the game of "sort of" believing in god many times to remain socially acceptable in any given situation. It is so much less contentious to do so and I am a Canadian!

    My answer to believers (I know them by their leading questions and the pamphlets they hold like shields) is this:

    "I BELIEVE (this is important code for "I'm a good guy") that defining god for others is not my business. I believe god is capable of revealing himself to those who seek him. I believe that my job is simple and involves listening to a voice inside of me which tells me if something is right or wrong to do. I have to weigh things carefully but the answer is always within me if I LISTEN TO GOD'S VOICE." This says basically "I am a good guy and operate on a conscious level and evaluate things carefully. My business with god is my business, and god deals with anyone else individually, too. Also, it is not so important what one believes, rather what one does."

    I draw valid conclusions for myself based on criteria I have developed in life including a sense of basic morality concerning my interactions with others. The most important thing, imo, is I don't try to control others through my definitions and hopefully impart in them a willingness to allow me the same freedom.

    Great video, but I don't believe it!

    Actually, I have at one time tried to speak in tongues and believed I was. This goes quite well with my bipolar nature and is just another of the many diverse things I have experienced in life. I now usually use that experience from my memories of strange goings on in masses of adults apparently in the throws of mass psychosis, as a comparison to the calm, happy, thrilling mind expansion and enlightenment as well as my behavior which I have experience on LSD.

    By comparison to this strange ritual and the mindset of those who participate in it, LSD and all of the psychedelic drugs are much much safer than full gospel religion, imo.

    Of course I could be the Devil talkin' eh?

    1. First of all, what are you talking about?

      Secondly, which parts of the video don't you believe?

    2. @bud oracle:

      goddamn! good try on your "Gish Gallop"

    3. I had never heard this phrase before. Thanks for the enlightenment. Seems to be another term for goobledygook or double-talk which accounts for his screen name.

    4. Yes gish gallop is basically used at times by the delusional douchenozzles.

  44. I almost feel apologetic when i share the link and give a warning: "It's a bit hard to follow for believers.."

  45. Teaching about God is entirely conceptual and serves to create a language that may describe internal feelings and emotional phenomena by which we acknowledge that our separateness is only skin deep. Without that language of the abstract mystery outside and within us, and the dialogue it provides us between our corporeal and spiritual selves, we become entirely selfish and our skin becomes a hard wall; with this language our skin becomes a wafer that simply defines us in our present form.

    1. Julian Firth
      i am glad that religion has a positive effect on you but stating without it "we become entirely selfish and our skin becomes a hard wall" is not only insulting to those of us who do not believe but what evidence would you have to back up such a statement

    2. I had to read this post twice to get past the cosmic meanderings to get the gist of what it is trying to say. I think it says that I am a selfish person because of a lack of a spiritual base. To arbitrarily decide that I am entirely selfish would suggest that your skin may not have achieved that wafer like quality either.

      Positive interaction between people and human selflessness is the result of our existence as social creatures. It is in our own best interest to behave in a selfless manner within our own social group. It is not contingent upon a belief in God or an ability to form abstract thought.

    3. I don't understand, what do you mean when you say 'God'? How do you know what your own best interests are without a bit of benign objectivity? What dictates the chemical reactivity of the heart? Language forms to name things and describe activities and pre-occupations and abstract experience, our relative emotional response to the world without. Abstract thought isn't formed, it occurs spontaneously as a result of chemical activity; having a language determines the capacity to interpret and utilise such miasma into effective process.

    4. What are you talking about or do you know? Reads like drivel.

    5. My use of the word "God" is derived from my understanding of your previous comment and it could be completely wrong because that comment is not easy to follow.

      My take was that abstract thought gives us the ability to know God. God then gives us the language or the communication skills to interact with one another. If we do not know God, we cannot respond to one another on a spiritual or physical level and therefore we remain locked up within ourselves...selfish.

      If that is what you meant, I disagree. If I'm wrong in my interpretation you will have to dummy down the comment so I can understand it.

      Language is the agent that gathers our thoughts into coherence. By "chemical reactivity of the heart" I think that you are talking about emotional responses. An emotional response is influenced both by genetics and environment. As for knowing what is in my own best interest, all I can say is that quite often people don't know what's best for them. They just react in an intuitive and instinctive manner. Even when they think about it they still end up with the instinctive reaction.

    6. "Dummy down" is inappropriate because you're assuming his intelligence level is higher than yours--and, quite frankly, I think he's trying to camouflage the vapidity of his thought with anfractuous prose. Writing clearly is more to the point.

    7. "Dummy down" would be appropriate, however, if one was being facetious. My posts had a secondary message suggesting that his comments were too vague and perhaps a little pompous.

    8. And perhaps a little too lacking in intelligence.

  46. See, this is what religion does, always a touchy subject, even though no accusations were hurled at all to Az. it was taken as a premise.

    Women! argh! now I probably have to go to Nelson and tell az to get her azz back here!

  47. great stuff.

  48. Going way off topic here, no apologies.
    I see Az has vanished and I have an idea as to why that might be. Some here ought to apply a little self-critical thinking and maybe they would see too.
    Such a shame, she was a fine foil to the fact led thinking that prevails here. It would serve some well to remember that a preacher without a congregation is just a man talking to himself in an empty room.
    Intellectual w*nking.
    A shame to waste good seed.

    1. dewflirt
      lets hope it is just temporary. or maybe like yourself she wished for a name change. lets not jump to conclusion there might be a perfectly logical reason.

    2. Morning Edge :)
      You might be right, I hope so. If I am wrong, well, rather wrong in defence of a good person than silently concerned for my own pride :)
      As for jumping to conclusions, maybe it's more a leap of faith. Logic has no place in that ;))

    3. @dewflirt,

      I confronted her (and some other people too) and apparently she didn't like that. What can I say, we all have egos. I hope she's well.

    4. Good morning Vlatko :)
      Nothing against a fair fight, but this seemed to be more bodyline than Queensbury rules. No seconds or any other person to be allowed in the ring during the rounds ;)

    5. What you did to az wasn't really fair.
      I could ask you, do you agree that a "system that supported a stratified economy with classes based on merit and talent....that favoured private property, freedom of contract, and promoted the creation of national solidarity that would transcend class differences" would be a decent system?
      If you agreed, I could then point out that this is taken from wikipedia's Nazi ideology.
      To then say you would have made a good Nazi if you agreed would be an insult to you, even though no 'bad language' was used, would it not?
      That joke at az's expense wasn't really in the spirit of the comments policy it would seem to me. It looked like it was designed to quiet and/or distract her opinion, not rebut.

    6. @docoman,

      Even if all that was true, which is not, it is not a justification for the "runaway."

      Now, you can hypothesize all day long of what could I have answered to your question, but eventually that doesn't matter.

      What I was trying to say is that her "ideology" is not original and can partially fit in any modern new age cult. That was not a joke and the question I posed was just a random choice.

      Further more she could have defended her position by saying what you've just said.

      If you like someone, that doesn't mean you have to agree 100% of the time with them.

      Edit: P.S. We are going way off topic.

    7. It's your world here, do as you wish.

    8. You don't owe her an apology, as your reply was certainly in line--and I'm not stating this because you're the administrator. She posted once last night and if she doesn't want to post again, that's her business.

    9. As you said, it's getting off topic (which I read as a delete threat), but as it's relevant to the earlier conversation that has been allowed to stand.....am I allowed to respond?
      You're right, Az is a big girl and can fight her own battles as she see's fit. I'm speaking my mind, not hers. I have an observation and then a question for you, some of which is on topic.

      In my own opinion, from my own observations, contrary to what I wanted to believe, there seems to be a bit of a pack mentality here sometimes (7 to 1 a recent poster experienced apparently), and because it aligns with the opinion of the moderators, the 'grey area' in the application of the rules seems to be skewed towards that opinion. An insult using more intelligent wording instead of swear words is still an insult, which seems contrary to the spirit of the commenting policy, which 'the crew' often points to when it suits, ignores when it suits. It does seem many comments are overlooked if it is in line with the popular opinion. Badgering someone till they retaliate does not prove the argument, which is what it seems some of the so called 'busts' have been. I've yet to see one of the 'busts' prove there is no god, just usually two conflicting, unsubstantiated claims at the end of an argument. The only thing proven is that religious people make claims they can't prove, as do positive-atheists. (positive atheists don't like to hear that, the same as Catholics/pedophiles. That doesn't make it incorrect because its inconvenient, just hypocritical to not apply the same rules to both sides of the argument, of which at this time there is no definitive proof either way.) Most of the self confessed 'crew' I think are morally decent people, they just need to remember to avoid the gang ego feeding frenzy sometimes, especially the moderators, if the aim is to encourage a tolerant, diverse environment, and examine honestly are they positive or negative atheists. It does make a difference to the viability of their argument, regardless of the usual displayed preferred denial of a need for positive atheists to prove what is an assertion as well.
      I'm not speaking from any moral high ground, I've been guilty of joining the pack myself, and replying to insult with insult. I agree with many of 'the crew's' opinions and superior education in some areas. Is this what you intend the site become, a one opinion only place? If people of differing opinions are regularly 'pack attacked' till they leave, that's what TDF will eventually turn into. That would remind me of sitting in church where only one kind of thinking is tolerated, not to mention a drop in your traffic and thus advertising earnings potential and divergence from the stated policy aims.
      I found it interesting that a moderator blamed religion for Az leaving, with some people indicating they liked this spin on it. I didn't see her complaining about the feeling of being attacked by religion, but by 'the pack' because of her different opinions. The atheists, who claim they have no 'religion' is who she was complaining about. It probably was an over-reaction to that last point you made, but as you should know from your recent conversations with her it was more then that, the last posts were just the straw...camel's back. It only took you one sentence to explain your point clearly to me, no possible interpretation of sarcasm. Whether you intended it as an insult/joke or not, her reply to Achems indicates that's how she took your wordplay, as did part of 'the crew' judging by some contributions made. Which was what she had been talking about earlier, and it seems felt not listened to, but rather made fun of instead. And by your lack of correcting that interpretation for her, it wouldn't be surprising if that's what she still thinks. There's also the other posters that have complained of the same pack mentality, I've seen a few in my time here now, badgered till they leave. All you have to do is read pretty much any of the religious threads on here and you'll see examples. Some might call it running away, some call it being 'busted', others could see it as choosing to leave a hostile social interaction.

      And my question for you that I'd love to know, especially since you have been named as the leader of the self-titled 'religee busters' here that seem to have a standing ethic, that being that everyone else's assertions need to be backed up with evidence, otherwise as stated by 'the crew', the moderators' silence confirming, they 'must suffer the consequences' ect.
      How could you possibly prove your implication/assertion that because I like Az, I agree with her 100% of the time? You can't, because that's not correct. How could you know my thoughts and opinions, when I've not even replied to half of the opinions I've read Az express? I believe that in a post fairly recently deleted (couple of weeks ago now) it contained my reply to a suggestion from Az, where I investigate, thank but disagree with some of what I thought her stance was. Exactly how are you able to read my mind, or are you making this assertion/exaggeration based on the few replies you may have seen to Az of mine, and as an ad hominem response to a post you didn't like? I agree with what you said, everyone has an ego. You wouldn't suggest that you or I are exempt from that do you? I asked myself why I responded. It is true I liked Az, mostly for her tolerance and different opinions, and I no doubt wouldn't have said anything for someone I didn't like. That doesn't mean what I'm saying is incorrect though. Have you examined your own reasons for your responses? Or am I outside the rules in daring to question you? It's also the realization that if expressing my opinion gets me banned or deleted, so what, that would only serve to prove my point. I can find what I want elsewhere if you decide to play dictator. As I said earlier, it's your world here, do as you wish.
      "Such is life." - Ned Kelly.

      A suggestion for the moderators, which is obviously a difficult job. Maybe 2 personas on here would be useful, one for expressing personal opinions, one for the 'moderating' work, to help keep the 2 more easily separated.

    10. As I've stated many times before, those who try to pass off fiction or conjecture for fact (read religees) or,as in Azilda's case, give opinions about things they either know nothing about or want to know nothing about (e.g. Azilda's comments and science and biblical scholarship), deserve the opprobrium with which they are confronted nd if they are offended by it, that's their problem--they should read up before posting. They are an insult to everything that education and intelligence stand for.

      The pack mentality you speak of seems to be non-existent, for all the posters are independent and in most cases, don't even know each others' names, much less anything particularly substantial about each other. For example, all I know about you is that you live in Australia, have considerable experience in the bushland, that your younger brother abused you and that you, like several posters, have an excellent grasp of science--also, somehow, I believe your first name is Steve.

      My only complaint about Vlatko is that he's too much of a gentleman, but I've noticed that even he can become justifiably testy when confronted with a lot of the ignorance and downright falsehood, deception and distortion which see their way onto the various strings.

      The one thing in common with what you term, however erroneously, "the pack" is that all its loosely-knit members cannot brook ignorance and superstition passing for fact and having the uneducated (read religees) dictating to the educated--and I don't blame them.

    11. I understand your position, and on many levels agree, just not all. And what you advocate seems to be against the comment policy, which is the moderators job to enforce, not selectively apply according to opinion. Which is why I suggested they have a 'personal' hat, and a 'moderator' hat, to help stop any confusion on that.
      Knowing each other well is not a prerequisite for a pack, or mob to form. You do know each others thoughts on the subject, and names on here, which is more then sufficient.
      I defer to your greater knowledge on many subjects, but decent human relations isn't one of those.
      I agree, Vlatko is from what I've seen usually a gentleman. That's why I tried hard to not sound sarcastic in my post to him, at least no more then I felt was given to me. That's why I didn't require him to answer the first example with Nazi ideology, out of respect. Am I not allowed to speak my mind and reply, because Vlatko owns the site and may not agree?
      I'm not trying to be a smart arss when I say it's his site, do as he wish's. It's a statement of fact, and I can live with whatever he chooses to do on here.

    12. So-called decent human relations do not include passing off conjecture and fiction as fact, commenting on subjects which one knows nothing about and wants to know nothing about, lying, cheating, deceiving and distorting, all of which we've seen too much of on this string and others. In short, Azilda and others have gotten what they deserved, whether they are strong enough to face it or not.

      I think you should consider that the religees who have posted on these strings have also formed a representative pack, only it's a pack of wilful ignoramuses who desire to spread their ignorance, superstition and Bronze Age mentality at whatever the cost--and they must be stood up to in no certain terms--and there are many fine examples of this on this site

      I don't recall reading any statement made by any poster, with the exception of aptnw (I think I have the correct initials), to the effect that you shouldn't speak your mind nor do I find your comments out of place although I do not agree with the tenor of your latest ones

    13. Some of that is what I agree with you on. I've seen many groups of religee's, unfortunately. And I completely agree that any religious beliefs should be understood to be just that, beliefs and nothing more, they've done too much damage to our species already.
      But if we stifle and suppress opinions through intimidation and brow beating tactics, we'll end up becoming the same as what the church has been, just the newest version of it. Silly people sometimes help other less silly be able to see it. Clearly some are not willing to challenge their views, but you may well teach others with a civil debunking that you'd otherwise loose by a less pleasant approach. To some seeming to give weight to the ridiculous argument about morals requiring a deity.
      I know you've said that's not your opinion, I can respect that. I do see your point and mostly agree, mostly.

    14. I don't see how any one is stifling or suppressing religees although if they had their way, they would stifle and suppress all contrary thought--e.g., their officious meddling in education, government and individual choice such as abortion, contraception. They are just as free to express themselves as anyone else, but they must take the consequences of their actions, however rude, however resentful and if they feel intimidated, they are merely getting a dose of the medicine they've been dishing out for the last few millennia.

    15. I agree, if they're rude first, reply in kind. The rude ones have already exposed their hand, they're very readable, not interested in learning anything. On all sides of it. slpsa's post to me is an example of what I'm talking about. Clearly, if he knew me better, he'd probably realize he just made a bit of a fool of himself with that rant.

      Edit-- I gotta go, got things to do.

    16. @docoman:

      For your info. Azilda has been back for some time, I welcomed her back some time ago on "Keen Talks" (the wonder and beauty of teaching physics) she has a new profile...@oQ: If anyone as you say belongs to "our" gang/pack, (religee busters et al.) then it is she, who is well liked by us all.

    17. Please leave me out.

    18. Thanks Razor, that's good to hear. Something Dew said stuck home to me, I'd rather be wrong in defense of a friend then safe in my silence.

    19. @Achems_Razor

      I'm having trouble viewing talks on your other site. Any suggestions>

      Excuse any typos. I'm working with one eye. Cataract surgery on one and the one I'm using needs the same procedure.

    20. @Philio:

      Firefox seems to work well on all sites, or you could try google chrome.

    21. As someone who was very engaged in this thread I feel I should reply to your comments as well, since I may well have been considered part of the 'pack.'

      Your entire point was brought up previously, in this thread, and was addressed by several people, in this thread. It's obvious that Azilda is well-liked and well-respected in this forum, and hopefully understands that.

      She, like you, came late to a very engaged, ongoing debate where not just one, but several posters engaged in a fair amount of trolling on the religious side, totally ignoring the point of the documentary being discussed--which is to point out the weaknesses in the ID arguments and help those so inclined to answer back on equal footing with the doublethink, sleight-of-hand, deflectionist tactics used by the ID marketers.

      Unless you went back several pages(!) you really wouldn't understand the scope of doublethink, sleight-of-hand, or deflection we were being subjected to.

      There was no real attempt on the ID side to actually engage in a debate, it was just sound-bites and side-steps. Azilda was well-intentioned in her remarks, but perhaps in the wrong thread.

      I do agree tempers got a bit hasty, but really, how much do we have to put up with? I don't hang around on ID websites baiting them; they seek out websites like this.

      I *will* take a stand when they are tearing down our education system. I don't have children of my own, but there are many in my extended family and I fear for their futures.

    22. I hadn't thought about one of your points, but you're right. I, for one, do not hang around ID sites baiting these individual who, on the other hand, seek sites such as this one as repositories for their slough of ignorance and superstition.

      However, one point I wish to make clear, I neither like nor respect Azilda and the reason behind this becomes manifest from a comparison of the intelligence and erudition behind your posts and those of Lorna Kennedy in comparison with hers and Norvaline's.

      Keep up your stand, Barbara Fritchie, and keep it firm.

    23. You make a few good points, thank you.
      I have probably become used to one side making no sense and the other being rational. Expecting it, and accepting it should be separate, I need to consider this.
      If I'm just making a point that's been covered feel free to ignore my ignorance. I should've gone back to the start and read the whole thread. And I should have considered more the fact that many religees are not looking for an honest debate, just a pulpit for their preaching. I totally agree with your stance on the education system.

    24. "I defer to your greater knowledge on many subjects, but decent human relations isn't one of those."

      LOL im sorry this made me laugh.

      I promise you when im going through the list of comments that i have to accept or edit i am wearing a moderator hat. if i was being subjective i wouldnt let 30% of the crap i see just ou tof sheer embarrassment for the human species.

    25. I have no issues with any of the moderators.

    26. We all get that way when being BS'ed to the limit. Nothing for any of us to be sorry for. It is normal behavior. Frustration sets in quickly in these type of threads.

    27. There is one thing I think both of us should keep in mind: Docoman means well--and I don't mean this in any condescending way. He is extremely informed on matters scientific and in general quite well educated. I've learned quite a bit about the fauna in the Australian backwoods from him. He has also torn into the claims of religees, perhaps with less of a vengeance than some of us, but the sincerity is by all means there, even if, like Vlatko, he is sometimes too much of a gentlemen. I just didn't want you to get the wrong idea.

      Any interesting math lately?

    28. This seems to be a personal problem more than a moderation problem and your personal opinion of people and their motives or actions. Seems this may have started somewhere else and you want to make it your personal arena now to tear Vlatko a new one. If it makes you feel better, I am not part of any pack, I can speak my own mind and my strong opinions without having to feel or be part of a group that opposes crazy people and their different color sky fairy's. I even have the opinion that there is nothing to prove, only weak, spineless jelly fish cannot admit religion is a pile of BS. If they want to live in fear of their own mortality and cannot deal with the fact they die and the ride is over, then that is their problem. I do not blame Vlatko at all for saying what he does, and allowing those nut jobs to be raked over the coals properly when they resort to insults when they cannot prove their claims. They damn well deserve it. Those people are the bane of our f******* existence on this planet, and the last time I checked, they are responsible for a lot of the racism, intolerance, war and murders than any other group combined. Your personal take on who has to prove what is ridiculous. You see, there are really no sky fairy's, no Santa, no Easter bunny. There is nothing to prove to you or anyone else. The people who believe in sky fairy's are sick humans, the rest of us are intelligent educated people who care more for this planet and its people than anyone claiming to be a person of God. They have no shame, they harbor murderers, pedophiles and all sorts of sick perverse humans, they like to indoctrinate young children into this sick world, we have all watched Jesus Camp I am sure, there is no defense to type out that would stand. They all belong in a rubber room, and to me, anyone who has the gall to insinuate the non believers have to prove something to be right, belongs right there beside em. Nothing personal here, but when they try to pass off fiction as fact, as Robert said, they will be strongly opposed by those who have the balls to do so.

    29. Firstly, I wasn't trying to rip Vlatko a new one. I have the ability and intelligence to be much more sarcastic and cutting, I was trying to not be. I was being honest. And your instinct at the start was partly correct, you don't seem to know what I'm talking about.
      If you go and learn some more on the definition of Atheism, the complete definition, you'll maybe understand what I was talking about there. If you do want to learn something, do a google search on cambridge atheism, and read their link explaining the definition. I think you may find it interesting.

      Your aggressive style is what I was talking about. Without understanding my position, you decide I must be 'dealt' with, preached to, even though I said nothing to you, only expressed an opinion to others, without using foul language as you resorted to. Having balls doesn't automatically mean be aggressive. And even though it seems you included yourself in the 'religee busters' group, I didn't have you in mind, I've not seen your name mentioned when that's been talked about by them. Sorry if that deflates your ego a tad, it is the truth.

    30. Fair enough, call it a long bad week, call it fed up with fairy people. I did mention it was nothing personal. That still rings true. My apologies for letting my tongue get ahead of proper manners. We agree more than disagree on most points. As for me being part of the busters, I tend to leave myself out of this debate more often than not. It is verbal masturbation without a proper finish, there is never any satisfaction in debating bunnies. Perhaps in the future, I will stick to what I know, engineering and math/science related topics.

    31. It's all good mate, I was quick on the sarcasm too.

    32. How about the full force of your opinion on William Dempski--and don't mince words.

    33. I think I can put it in one sentence, aside from what I posted already. He is not a scientist of any accreditation. Enough said.

    34. And neither is his bedfellow, Michael Behe. I love the way he was demolished both by Dr. Miller and one of plaintiff's attorneys in Kitzmiller. Jonathan Wells is another one who in some ways is even more pathetic than Dempski and Behe.

    35. If Dempski had arrived at his conclusions through objective research then I would allow him at least a good listen. Starting from a conclusion with the sole purpose of proving a conclusion and forcing the data to fit that conclusion and not allowing any evidence to deter from that conclusion is not science. It is an intellectual attempt to prove faith and faith is a concept that is not in any way rooted in fact. The Bible says so. (sarcasm intended)

    36. You've hit the nail on the head--and the same holds true for every creationist would-be scientist. Have you read "The Creationists" by Ronald L. Numbers?

    37. No. I'm not familiar with that work. I am currently reading Ehrman's "Misquoting Jesus" and "Captain Blood" by Sabbatini. (love the classics). I tend to flip back and forth and between work, family and social obligations, and watching documentaries, it takes a while to get through them. I'll put it on my list.

      Anyone who starts with a conclusion, religious, scientific, political. whatever, does not follow the rules of critical thinking. He/she is obsessed with and is driven by a sense of intellectual superiority and has a greater interest in being proven correct than an interest in the truth.

      I also think there is a distinction between a true person of faith and a creationist. A person of faith should be able to accept the findings of science as true but still not allow it to detract from their own personal beliefs. A creationist doesn't seem to trust in his own faith. He needs to bolster it by discrediting others and surrounding himself with like minded individuals. I can respect the one but not the other.

    38. I would be interested in hearing your comments on "Misquoting Jesus." Personally, I enjoyed the book and learned a quite bit from it.

      And yes, I've read "Captain Blood." I find Sabbatini a hack, but that's not to say I didn't enjoy the movie with Errol Flynn--to think that Olivia de Havilland is still with us.

      I guess a "true person of faith" is someone like Dr. Kenneth R. Miller and we've certainly encountered a lot of creationists who fit your description.

    39. The movie "Captain Blood" is what prompted me to start to read the book when I inadvertently happened upon it at a yard sale and bought it for 50 cents. Entertaining but maybe it appeals towards the adolescent in me. Olivia de Havilland's sister Joan Fontaine is still alive also. It may be their bitter rivalry that's keeping them going. As siblings they both want to get in the last word.

      I have only read a quarter of "Misquoting Jesus". So far I have found it to be well researched and objective in its approach. It seems to come from a position of common sense and isn't obsessed with right or wrong.

      I have never been one to dismiss the Bible as a fairy tale but more as legend, history, tradition, religion, politics and more all wrapped up in one book. Some of it is obviously not true but other stories probably have their roots in actual events. I see no reason why a person named Jesus could not have existed. Doesn't make him a god or prove that the Bible is the word of God if he did exist. It just demonstrates the mindset of his followers at that time.

    40. Can you name two films in which Olivia de Haviland played a heavy and two more in which her sister did the same?

      I'm glad you're reading "Misquoting Jesus" but as you mention the corporeal existence of "Jesus," you might also be interested in Dr. Ehrman's latest volume, "Did Jesus Exist?"

      I find it a mistake to view the bible (both testaments) as one book when it is really a series of them picked and chosen from many. I wonder how much your view would tilt if you were to regard the collection in this way.

    41. Off the top of my head I can only remember "Hush, Hush, Sweet Charlotte". It creeped me out pretty good when I was young. "Bad to the Bone" is one that I remember Joan Fontaine being a nasty manipulative woman. She could be innocent and charming but cruel and selfish in that flic.

      I meant the Bible as a book in the physical sense. I understand that it is a collection of writings that are picked to fill a religious text. Books like Genesis and Kings are collections of stories and tribal histories, told for centuries, that were finally wrote down. How far they deviate from the truth is anyone's guess. That is the nature of oral histories and traditions. There must be thousands of stories and writings that were discarded because they didn't fit into the ideas of those who collated the Bible which have disappeared over time. Those would be interesting reading. I'm sure they would be filled with all kinds of stories with religious overtones which would not be seen as Christian. History and superstition were wrapped into one for the people of those times. I would imagine timelines would become confused also, the further the story existed from its original state. This is why is can't be used as an historical reference manual. It would be like calling "The Iliad" a history book.

      "Did Jesus Exist" would be interesting. I might have to read it next. Might take a while. I am a bedtime reader and choose my reading by what mood I'm in.

    42. Right on one de Haviland. The other is "Lady in a Cage." As for Joan Fontaine, you have the title wrong, it's "Born to be Bad." The other is "Ivy."

      Now, why don't these religees who claim to know so much about the Bible have as good a grasp as you on it as you and just about all the "atheists" who post here and elsewhere? By the way, have you read any of the Aprocrypha?

    43. Bad to the Bone! lol. I'm confusing rock and roll and cinema. Speaking off the top of one's head can make one look a little foolish at times.

      I read the Aprocrypha around forty years ago. I learned of their existence studying Church history in public school and was quite curious about what was written in them. Our church thought of these books as Catholic and therefore not to be seen as having any kind of religious authority. I can't remember if I read all or only parts of them.

      I have to add that it is amazing that the stories of the Old Testament has lasted to this day. It is a literary treasure. Its too bad that there are people who read it as absolute truth and that because of these people others refuse to read the Bible and dismiss it out of hand and never understand how rich a legacy it actually is. Both sides can't see past their religious conceptions. They refuse to see it as literature and the stories of people and how they saw the world.

    44. If it were viewed just as literature in the manner of the Iliad and the Odyssey, we would have fewer problems--but again more people would be alive and considering the population explosion--

    45. Sometimes I can't help but feel that people would have found something else to scrabble over. They did a lot of fighting in the far east and they didn't have the Bible as a reason.

    46. True. They had the Koran or other such nonsense.

    47. I am going to see George Thorogood next weekend. Bad to the Bone!!! Off topic, but yeah!

    48. Off topic but I seen him perform at the El Mocambo in Toronto numerous times in the seventies. You'll love it.

    49. I have 'Misquoting Jesus' on my ipad, but I'm working my way through Ravitch's 'Marketing Intelligent Design: Law and the Creationist Agenda.'

      It's slow going--I'm no lawyer!--but I'm hoping it will eventually shed light on *why* certain people think that evolution is so dangerous to their religious beliefs.

      It seems to me that the whole 'young earth' philosophy (which I *think* is one of the creationist objections to evolution?) is such a recent invention (within the last couple of hundred years), that one has to wonder at the mindset that needs to hold to such a belief against all the real world evidence to the contrary.

      What does such a belief say about a person, and more to the point, why must they foist that belief on unwilling ears? Even more, why would they create an entire marketing campaign around it (referring to the wedge strategy, of course)?

      I have no problem with creationists believing in creationism, but I am always curious about other people's points of view, and what leads them to it. And apparently, there are creationists who have no problem separating religion from science (and evolution). So...

      I'll probably never understand them, but knowledge is power, as the saying goes.

    50. Please let me know when you finish "Misquoting Jesus." I would be interested in your comments. As I informed you, I ordered "Marketing Intelligent Design" and am awaiting its arrival. Once again, thanks for the suggestion.

      Please always keep in mind, biblical fundamentalism started here in this country--and in the deep south.

    51. I assume you're referring to biblical fundamentalism as we know it today =)

      I'm re-reading a book (slowly) that I read years ago, called "Albion's Seed: Four British Folkways in America" (David Hackett Fischer), which traces the early immigrations to America from the various regions in England; where each group of settlers originally landed, the impact they had on the growing populations and their movements over time; and the cultural impact that they handed down in the regions they settled.

      According to the book (from memory!) the southern states were settled originally by Cavaliers from the southwest of England--an area where slavery had only been abolished a century or two before the immigrations--who tended to create plantations; followed by the westward and southward movement of 'Borders' peoples (from the area where the borders of England and Scotland meet, and including the culturally similar Irish), who tended to be poorer, not landowners and to be clan-loyalists rather than patriotic to a country. The Borders immigrants, while originally located along the Eastern seaboard, were considered persona non grata by the Puritans and Quakers who were firmly middle-class, and were 'moved along' west by them.

      I realize that with all the immigrations north and south over the last hundred and fifty years (and especially with northeastern immigration to the south during the 1970's and 80's), a fair amount of the regional differences are muddled into a new configuration, but nonetheless, I find it interesting.

    52. I'm talking about the period from the late 19th century on. You seem to be writing about an earlier period. If you ever get to it, "The Creationists" goes into this.

    53. True, I am talking about the earliest immigrations; but the author's point was how those early cultural influences were still active even into the 19th and 20th centuries. He was supposed to continue this with a second and maybe even third book, but I don't believe he did.

      I moved to Georgia in my early 20's (after spending most of my childhood overseas), and it was as cultural different to me as any foreign county...I had to adopt a Georgia-southern accent in self-defense! I literally could not understand some people when I first moved there. I witnessed the 'sunbelt' immigration firsthand, and you just would not believe those (damn) Yankees! lol!

    54. Foghorn Leghorn--Senator Claghorn, eh? I never could stand listening to Lester Maddox or Jimmy Carter--but again, I never could stand to listen to anyone from Liverpool either. My parents' auto mechanic during my chldhood was from Georgia and sometimes I could not figure out what he was saying; however, had I been around him longer, this problem would have been eliminated. I assume you've long since dropped your accent.

      By the way, one of the interesting things about this country, is that just about anywhere you go, you can be understood, unlike other smaller countries such as England, France and Italy, but I think this is changing.

    55. Well, I *am* from Texas! So I still have southern in my speech. The plural of you is y'all.

      But indeed it does get stronger depending on who I'm speaking to!

      One thing I loved about southern speech were the idioms: "I'm fixin' to carry Sue over to the grocery, y'all wanna come?" You have to imagine the cadence of that sentence...

    56. In "Something for the Boys," Cole Porter wrote a song entitled, "See That You're Born in Texas."

      As for "fixin' to," I wonder if there is anything comparable to it in Elizabethan English. The reason I ask is because a large number of Catskill idioms date back to Shakespeare's time.

      What a shame that y'all or you all is considered substandard English for it seems such a handy abbreviated form for all of you, the same thing with ain't--which you don't have to bother conjugating.

    57. Kateye70
      seeing that you are from Texas i am curious if you read the 2012 Texas republican platform on education actually states concerning critical thinking ? if not here is a quote
      "Knowledge-Based Education – We oppose the teaching of Higher Order Thinking Skills (HOTS) (values clarification), critical thinking skills and similar programs that are simply a relabeling of Outcome-Based Education (OBE) (mastery learning) which focus on behavior modification and have the purpose of challenging the student’s fixed beliefs and undermining parental authority." it is actually scary that the republicans in Texas do not think it is bad politics to come right out and say this

    58. I read this some time ago and found it disgusting. By the way, are you familiar with the National Center for Science Education?

    59. robertallen1
      i am familiar with the NCSE. i subscribe to their you tube channel and have read many articles from them.

    60. I'm not a science teacher; I'm not even in the sciences; I'm not a joiner, but I am a member. I've just finished reading a series of articles in Reports about the crank mathematics practiced by creationists, many of whom know better, but put their religion above science. It seems that every piece of "evidence" they come up with for an intelligent agent can be explained through evolution.

    61. Texas buys 1 of6 text books in Amerkia. We have simple computer tools were publishers could print a Texas Fundie edition and leave the rest pf us alone.

    62. READ The Adventure of the English Language by Melvyn Bragg and Mother Tounge by Bill Bryson.

    63. P.S. That's one of the things that made Darwin a great scientist. When he started out, he wasn't looking for or trying to prove anything. It was curiosity.

    64. i would like someone to list the people in this "crew"

      i feel (as a moderator, and an atheist) that im being grouped into this but i am pretty sure that i have done very very very little attacking or insulting to people on here IF they are showing the same respect.

      i also should point out that a website that encourages learning and talking about it will probably have a more vocal atheist community and just by that nature there will be a number of atheists debating or arguing with fewer theists. it might seem like ganging up but it if your position is right it doesnt matter how many people there are for or against you.

      im pretty sure the comment that Vlatko made about liking someone and not agreeing with them 100% was probably referring to HIM and AZ, i dont think he meant you and az.

      there are also a number of times that i have stuck up for the theists being able to be just as hostile as Robert, and im pretty sure i have seen vlatko tell Robert to ease off on his language a little.

      Im more worried that constantly telling people how to speak to one another will drive more people away from discussion than a very small few people being slightly rude.

      i would also suggest posters to get thicker skins while posting on the internet. if someone doesnt agree with you and you cant intellectually defend your position then go on with your life. dont cry about it.

    65. I wasn't trying to stir sh1t or point fingers at individuals, I was deliberately avoiding names and lists.
      "us religee busters, the TDF 4," is one of the kinds of comments that I was referring to, not said by you. I left out names on purpose, I leave it up to each to decide for themselves, I concede I was probably hasty in who I assumed the author was referring to, and no doubt there are more aspects to the issue then I understand.

      I did take what Vlatko said as an insult aimed at myself, and you might be correct, that may well have been hasty and incorrect of me. I probably should htfu a bit too, my apologies if that is the case.

      Either way mate, I'm just one small opinion amongst many, what I think matters little in the grand scheme of things.

      I apologize if you felt personally insulted in any way, that was not my intention. You guys have a very difficult job, of which I have no experience in.

    66. no no no, im not insulted. i just dont want to be seen as a "religee buster" or something. i have purposefully never used that word as i find it sophomoric personally. i always say theist. i dont want to be seen as a group that picks on or bullies people. i would rather be seen as a calm sane voice of reason. kind of like Kateye, whose posts are continually great. .

      i hope you dont stfu. your opinion DOES matter. lol

      basically i just wanted to make sure i wasnt being grouped in with the group.....

    67. I too have enjoyed many of Kateye's posts. I said htfu, h = harden, but 's' would fit just as well :)
      The sun is coming up here, I have to go, life duties are demanding my attention. Have a good day or night everyone, whichever it may be for you.

    68. No, Vlatko did not insult you or anyone, was between him and az, even then no insults implied.

      TDF 4 that was from a poster way back, sort of stuck with me, forget who said "religee buster" but again stuck with me, all my fault. A bit of humor, Yes.

    69. I was having a rough day yesterday and no doubt was hasty in judgement in more then one of my conclusions. I would've been well advised to think more before talking. I make plenty of mistakes the same as everyone does. I wasn't attempting to single out or insult you either Razor. I can see the humor in it ;)
      To be honest, I'm still not sure if Vlatko intended it as an insult or not, I guess only he really knows his intentions. But I can see that he usually doesn't do that, so I could well have been way wrong.
      I own my mistakes, they're mine, part of who I am, the good and the bad of me. Sorry to anyone if I've wronged you, its usually not intentional.
      I'm sure there's a lesson or 2 in it for me to consider. Maybe a moral in there somewhere for us all. Time for some Critical Thinking. :)

    70. @docoman,

      No insult intended at all. What I meant was although I like Az that doesn't mean I have to agree with her 100%.

    71. I don't see that Vlatko did anything wrong. Like a religee, she makes assertions about things she knows nothing about and must suffer the consequences.

    72. If she can't take confrontation, she shouldn't be posting. However, this might not be the case. She posted once late last night.

    73. Critical thinking?

      Perhaps I missed something? I followed quite a bit of this very lively thread but didn’t see anything insulting towards Azilda. I think she’s quite adept at defending her own position and not the runaway type but what would I know being male. I don’t why she has disappeared but hope she’s back here soon.

    74. Hey sixes :) i didn't say insulting, and as Edge pointed out I might have jumped to a wrong conclusion. Perfectly possible. And I said self-critical! ;)

  49. Here's a good scripture quote for this discussion.. it really sheds light on how people have been treating each others input. "Whoever corrects a mocker invites insult; whoever rebukes a wicked man incurs abuse. Do not rebuke a mocker or he will hate you; rebuke a wise man and he will love you. Instruct a wise man and he will be wiser still; teach a righteous man and he will add to his learning." Ask yourself where the insults have been hurled from, and who does the instigating. If you question whether you're taking the right side in the discussion, I think you should do some soul searching instead of searching for ways to discredit wisdom.

    1. There may have been insults hurled but there was also a fair amount of baiting done. Ask *yourself* who.

      Maybe some of us are being serious and touchy about the intrusion of religion into science, and get trolled a little too easily.

      But if you were sitting where I was a few years ago, listening to a school board *seriously* proposing that theology be taught in the same room as science, you would be touchy and serious too.

      I am puzzled as to why those of religious faith feel that a clear understanding of the observable world around us is a threat, but they do, and they are trying very hard to sneak around the U.S.'s constitutional separation.

      If they can convince enough gullible people that discussions about theology belong in the same conversation as those about science, they might actually do just that.

      What this documentary does is give those of us who understand the dangers and see the fallacious arguments, but perhaps don't have the debate skills to overcome them, some ammunition to fight back.

      I hope az does come back, I think she is a wonderful person with a unique point of view, and I often follow her thoughts and poetry with great delight.

    2. You seem too intelligent to be cowed by the cry-baby tactics of an ignorant religee. When someone makes ignorant statements (and I don't mean venial errors), tries to pass fiction off as fact and deliberately deceives and distorts (see discussion of Tyndale), it is not an insult to call him to task for it in no uncertain terms.

      P.S. I have ordered the Ravitch volume. Thanks for the recommendation.

    3. OK- If the mere act of being an ( expectantly additional ,entity that brings something to the table that makes a difference) Observer has a noticeable effect upon the outcome of an experiment, THEN we must ask what BELIEFS are we bringing to all we do... and indeed must examine beliefs carefully with as rational and unbiased a mind as possible. But then what if we have a pre-ordained ( written into the composition of our particular unique genetic code) temperament that regardless of environmental shaping factors pre-disposes us to a certain midset and therefore choices and therefore destiny- successful/unsuccessful..... Again what if EMOTION has such an energetic quality... that it enhances perception/susceptibility/empathy for what is loved hated denied pursued... and brings certain things into existence... or into observable manifestation, with certain minor or major consequences?
      Then can you really say religion plays no role in what we call science? Let's put it this way... science ( observable truth of an observable matter, deducted truth about invisible matter) plus conscience... rigorous conscientious re=examination, explorative investigative " going over the ground", creative wide-open inclusive from many aspects/viewpoints/experiences/records and research... consultation on rights and wrongs of a matter/issue/practice/supposition/theory.... should lead to some strong guiding light info that leads one towards the formulation of.... some outcome and belief predictive suppostions.
      Take- a judgmental " hostile believing the worst, dour, suspicious with-holding nature... and it's opposite ray of sunshine, positive outgoing, trusting, confidingly open personality... and question/test/observe ( discreetly , I guess, since what we bring COULD TEETER things!).... which is more successful through life... since " religion" per se sees itself as offering guide-lines... re our relations with others/ natural world/environment... and prospects for the " hereafter" ( future).
      We are looking into the nature of energy and matter... and child development, health, noursihment, education... as well as keeping our own adult security of life, honourable character and credibility in mind... and trying to adjust our economic affairs onto an even realistic fair and balanced path. Even if we have no direct experiential manifestation of power coming into our lives from outside sources... if we believe that special people with " spirit" - extraordinary ability and experiences in our past history have interesting and vital things to pass on- worth our consideration- and also pay attention to what we see and hear- we can form our individual " code of life" and warning voice... acquire a measure of wisdom that may guide, console inspire as to effort...developing capabilities of mind and body and hopefully " doing some good" to others we encounter along our way... even longterm... if we set certain principle. ethics- beliefs about collective systemic societal function strongly to the forefront of our thinking behaviour- actions, deeds.
      Anyway debate dialogue exchanges must occur- for wither agreements to occur or parting of the ways... until hopefully issues of contention are resolved... some time beyond our present levels of comprehension. Make no mistake- those who pursue learning are keen to KNOW " face to face" and not just through a glass darkly!

    4. If this rambling piece of garbage is an attempt to justify the infusion of religion into science, forget it. You don't know what you're talking about.

    5. Gish gallop, indeed! Argumentum ad tl;dr. Drivel.

    6. What wisdom? Certainly nothing that you've written.

  50. I'm still wondering what Chrispy777 could have been laughing about...

  51. I used "would agree", because I'm not an American citizen, so I cannot object to Electoral College, or only as a bystander.
    The name Seyss-Inquart is still tought at Dutch schools these days, if I'm not mistaken.

    1. Even then, it's a false conditional. "I agree" does nicely, even for non-Americans commenting on the American Constitution.

      Seyss-Inquart scored highest on the IQ tests administered to the defendants in the first Nuremberg Trial. Shows the value of the test.

    2. I won't argue the false conditional, for I'm not a native English-speaking person.
      If Seyss-Inquart was a very intelligent man, then I wonder what reasoning brought him to such abject convictions. I'm sure it must have been flawed. On the other hand, considering what I know of his ideology, I'm inclined as you are to doubt the value of the IQ test he underwent.

    3. That test may have been accurate about his intelligence level but could not have shown us to what degree he used that capability.

    4. He was a puppet all his life and nothing. By the way, I know of no biographies on him.

    5. Not nit picking but I think he scored the second highest. I don't remember who scored the highest. My parents immigrated to Canada after the war. I was actually conceived in the Netherlands but was born in Canada. I attended a private Christian Reformed primary school and all my classmates were children of Dutch immigrants. A very fundamentalist upbringing. We also learned a great deal about the war in the Netherlands and the history of the church.

    6. I've read roughly five books about the 1st Nuremberg Trial and I can't remember which one indicated that he was highest. However, you're right, it is de minimis. Can you still speak Dutch?

    7. I spoke Dutch until I went to school. Both my parents insisted on speaking English around the house. I understand what is said but I have difficulty initiating a conversation. However, after a few days with visiting relatives, it starts to come back to me.

      My mother comes from Friesland, a province in the north of Holland, which has its own language. It has a very old and quite an interesting history.

    8. Indeed it does. English comes from Frisian.

    9. My Grandad was one of the brave men of the 22nd Regiment, Val-Cartier, Quebec, The " Van Doos ", who marched across Holland and sorted some Germans out in your homeland. Respect. Glad to have you here Jack. Your family too. Good people, the Dutch are. Never met a bad one. Yet...lol.

    10. Neither have I.

    11. I come from Holland and I want to say I am not happy with the popularity Mr Geert Wilders is enjoying recently. He may be not comparable to those evangelists wreaking cultural havoc in the US, but he is spreading hatred, like any radical, orthodox, narrowminded person would.

      Edit: He is probably not the worst person around here: there is an orthodox christian political party in Holland that worries me maybe even more.

  52. Very boring doc unfortunately. There is something about his voice and how he delivers his message that makes me want to fall asleep.

    + isn't all the things he's saying already common knowledge? We're living in 2012 for crying outloud.

    ++ after reading the comments, religious people scares the crap out of me.

    1. I quite like his style, like the animations it is short and to the point.

      But that is my personal opinion.

      Unfortunately the things he's saying are not exactly 'common' knowledge. It is knowledge that has been around for a very long time, but as you can see from some of the comments, not many people have actually acquired it. Critical thinking is not taught in schools here in UK for over 100 years so sadly it is up to people to research this stuff for themselves, and again, rather few folks do. Thankfully, we have the internet, and the information is available to anyone you wants to find it now.

      Bring back classical education, logic, reason and rhetoric. All I got in primary school was a very simplistic dumbed down version called 'comprehension'

      Regards,
      Sam.

  53. Ye should all come to the grave ( yes grave singular) of over a hundred young boys raped starved beaten and murdered by the church a mile from my home. There is an overwhelming feeling up there and i bet all ye believers will say its god but no way, its a feeling of death, injustice, horror and shame. If you have a god really would your god do that.

    1. Yes, their god would do and has done that. See the destruction of Sodom and Gamorrah and the assistance rendered in various massacres all contained in the history-filled bible renowned and elevated for its "valuable lessons (for life)" and richness "in wisdom."

    2. Here is an aspect of the Sodom and Gomorrah story that is very seldom discussed.

      When God informed Abraham of his intention to destroy these cities, Abraham tried to talk God out of it. He began to negotiate with God with the intention of trying to save these cities. The Bible holds Abraham as an example of the mercy humans should show one another. Most people have never heard of this story and only know of God's destructive vengeance. They know nothing of how God, in the Bible, wants us to behave when faced with human "wickedness". Selective reading to bolster their own moral superiority, maybe.

      If one is to use the Bible as their moral compass, it would be in their best interest to read and understand the entire book, not just the sections which help to inflate their egos.

    3. But remember, Sodom and Gamorrah were destroyed anyway and Lot's wife turned into a high-sodium diet just for trying to exercise a bit of critical thinking through observation.

    4. Its also just a story told by nomadic shepherds living in a brutal and violent time who hoped that all brutality could be wiped away by the hand of an omnipotent being who would have the wisdom to know what should be destroyed. Abraham's part in the story is the realization that humans may not have that type of wisdom. A big idea for primitive nomads.

      Its hard to believe we are still talking about a story that may be over three thousand years old. A pity some still use it to justify their brutality.

    5. There is an author who stated that the old testament is in part a collection of what you might call essays on ethical problems. I don't know if he invented this interpretation himself, but I found it intriguing. The ethical question in the story about Sodom and Gomorrah would be how many innocent victims are acceptable when the wicked are punished (which rings a bell to me).

      It shows how difficult or even impossible it is to know for certain what the intention or intentions of the authors of these stories was, which could be an argument against using such a book to build a religion on.
      On the other hand, there may be ethical lessons to be drawn from the bible that are still applicable even after a few thousand years.

    6. There are also many ethical lessons to learn from the Code of Hammurabi, Gilgamesh and the Book of the Dead.

    7. Yes, there are.
      It's also possible that we don't necessarily need all these venerable works to be able create a system of ethics that would be just as good for humanity.

    8. Like the bible, these works were merely codifications of the morality and ethics of their time and anyone who tries to conduct a behavior system from them is putting the cart before the horse.

    9. Yes, they were. I was talking theoretically: suppose we wanted to redesign our ethical system, we would have a choice of using what has already been invented and of starting with nothing but our ability to reason - not forgetting that other choices might be found and taken.

    10. There is no such thing as OUR ethical system, for, as I'm sure you are aware, ethical systems vary throughout the world.

    11. You're right again, I shouldn't have used the word 'our'.

    12. I suggested a doc to Vlatko this week but it hasn't been posted yet.
      UNREPENTANT: KEVIN ANNETT AND CANADA’S GENOCIDE...very moving film.
      az

    13. az
      that doc is here already look under society.

    14. Thanks az i,ll watch that tonight.Was getting bright before i slept, posting last night but TDF has kept me up till the early hours since i found it six months ago. Tonight I sleep.

  54. @Lorna Kennedy
    No, 19th century Irish novelists.

    1. Well i will be ignorant no longer and have a look for them then.

    2. They are both interesting, each in his own way. By the bye, did you know that Handel's Messiah was premiered in Dublin?

    3. That, i did know. Its Irelands ancient history im interested in. The fact that there is so much more to discover is exciting but that our countries financial situation is up in a heap, means in my life i wont fulfil my curiosities. Religion, again, ties in deeply to our roots. We have druid place names and mesolithic monuments all around me. All have wondered pondered and mapped the skys. How advanced they were for their time. I would just love to know more. During the boom we lost alot of our sites as building was far more inportant. Look where that got us. Same the world over but thats another topic.

    4. How good's your Gaelic these days?

      Does the name Robert Briscoe mean anything to you?

  55. Saying that something doesn't exist because it hasn't been observed or proven to exist is a logical fallacy, for science also suspects things to exist but lack the proof. Until some convincing argument - not necessarily empirical evidence - has been put forward for its existence it would therefore be wise to be doubtful.
    I would call myself an agnostic, for the more I learn, the more I realize that I know very little for certain, and I am not convinced either of the existence or the non-existence of a so-called divine entity. I am inclined to think it exists and all living beings are part of it, but every human being will have to discover this personally by experience.
    Of course experiences can be a trick of the mind, like near-death experiences. Still I think the mind with its self-consciousness and power of thinking is our only real tool to come up with an acceptable idea of the world.

    N.b. You lose credibility when you start writing insulting comments.

    1. Science suggests. The religious know. Science looks for proof. The religious do not need or want any.

      In a way you argue against yourself.

    2. I always do. : )

    3. I like Gautama Buddha for his advice to his followers to find things out for themselves. I would like to argue that not all religious people are the same.

    4. Very true...and I don't have to agree with someone to show show respect for him/her.

    5. That's another thing Buddha teached his followers: to respect other religions/opinions.
      I'm not saying I have chosen his religion, I'm trying to think critically, but also to keep an open mind. But it's the most tolerant religion that I have heard of, unlike some.

    6. I have to agree. Hurling insults is not a very mature way to engage in a discussion.

  56. @Achems_Razor
    Your last post about this turning into a religee's comedy hour did not appear no the thread. Did you delete it? Actually it's more like Dumb Down Derby.

    1. Yes I deleted it.

    2. Why? I thought it was cute.

  57. Reguardless if people like it or not, as long as society keeps pace and large scale civil collapses don't happen religion will continue to die out. In less than 500 years natural death will be a thing of the past. Our culture, Science and advancements is the difference between the past and the present. We progress at rates in measurements of months, not decades anymore. A true Golden Age of Humanity is close.

  58. This documentary had me bursting out laughing at so many points, that I don't even know where to begin! His numerous examples of a+b=c are so biased and stacked (in his favor), that in order to do a proper critique, I'd have to stop the doc every other second....but I won't waste my time. Good laughs, though. His relentless and intelligent-sounding delivery can over-power and over-shadow the naive and gullible, who are either already sold on his viewpoint, or who don't have the mental capacity to break things down, intellectually, for themselves. This guy is an absolute intellectual fraud, but he seems to be the poster-boy for the deluded atheist and the empty-headed evolutionist...........makes sense.

    1. Chrispy777
      "the empty-headed evolutionist" this should prove interesting please expand if you can

    2. Talk about those who lack the mental capacity to break things down intellectually for themselves, talk about being delusional, talk about being empty-headed, talk about not being able to refute a single argument in the documentary--but most of all, talk about a four-year-old child in comparison with a head-in-the-sand intellectual who has actually studied his subject and probably others--it's beyond laughter.

    3. there are no naive and gullible empty heads around here. The only one we see at this moment is descending into very familiar territory, the one where they get aggressive, post in caps, insult and degrade the educated, and basically make a mockery of any position other than their own. I already told you 430 posts ago, your material and outlook is not new, nothing you can call your own, it is not original insults, degradations, or flat out denials. You bunnies all share the same traits. You have nothing. But empty words and faith based promises of an everlasting peace if we follow the religion of liars, charlatans, hucksters, and pedophiles. When you come up with some original material, we will be here waiting for it. The funniest thing is, I have no doubt you will attempt to do so, I also have no doubt that it will be more BS and name calling rather than anything useful to debate.

  59. So how does this work?. Do ye comment on every documentary. Ye seem to know each other. Or is that just since comments on this documentary. If you dont mind me asking.

    1. Every documentary has a separate comment thread. So just go to the documentary and add your comment.

    2. What Roberallen1 said re: comments. Aside from that, if people seem to know each other I think it's just the joys of debate but yes, I think you do tend to see people pop up on different docs. Prolly cos the reason we're here is an interest in information in general.

      Let's face it, people who love to learn, love to argue about it.

    3. Indeed we do like to debate and argue, but the two most divisive topics there are always end up long, and sometimes heated. 9/11 and religion. Baddaboom, baddabing.

    4. Over the hedge and RikGo1 i have only just seen your posts from yesterday. Thanks alot.

    5. Lorna Kennedy
      first off welcome. az usually does that she must be slipping lol.you stated "Ye seem to know each other." i am not sure if any of the posters know each other outside of this site but many of the posters are regulars and interact a lot so in a sense some know each other. Vlatko owns the site and Epicurus and Achems Razor are the moderators. you also stated "I dont like to call myself an athiest" just so you know comment long enough and that label will be applied so stick to your guns. this is off topic so again glad you joined us and let the games begin

  60. Kudos to you Robert, for not tearing me a new one for calling you your name. LOL. In the future, i do not mind being nudged gently to conform to whatever name makes your toes twinkle. You can call me the Rebel Engineer if that suits me and it makes one feel better.....rofl....

  61. Atheist !, do people that don't believe in Gods really need to have a brand name? why cant we just call the religious people idiots and close the case.
    otherwise we also have to find a name for those that don't believe that the moon is made of green cheese. We could call them cheese holes, so we know they dont believe in the green cheese moon concept, its nice to know what they are , ya know.;-) .

    1. I dont like to call myself an athiest because then i belong to a group. I like my independant life and live by morals internal ie i dont have to write them down to know something is wrong or right. We are just a species like any other species striving to survive and grouping together wipes out the competition. So yeah i think your right. I dont want anyone to brand me. But i dont want to play a part in any war. That being possibly a war on religion.

  62. Just when I thought it was safe to reenter the conversation, it turns out even more delusional humans have joined the circular debate. We ask for proof, we ask the thumpers for proof, serious proof, they cannot even give one example. They cannot do it, we all know it. That's that. They turn it around on you and blither on. It is not our job to prove a damn thing. The basic problem is a math problem at its core. You got 0 to start with and end up with 0. I could apply some engineering equations to spell it completely out for the mathematical types, but 0 is still 0, regardless of which way they try to spin it.

  63. Great series - thanks Vlatko x

  64. Gosh darn you, Samuel Morrissey. You and your...."Back on Topic" grrrr

    It's actually a really good series, clear, concise, funny and interesting. I recognised far too many creationist or con-job tactics, so it was good to see someone refuting such falacy and championing critcal thinking.

  65. Oh man this is one of those threads that wont quit huh

  66. I can no longer read this sanctimonious and duplicitous scientific technocratic dictatorship propaganda malarky anymore without getting sick. Me thinks the gents in the "inner temple white coats" doth protest far too much for someone supposedly giving of their time freely to camp out on "Talking point" topics like this.

    I possess a BA in Ancient History and an MSC from the Centre for Alternative Technology, am neither a lib or a conservative, a democrat or a republican, a christian or even a Pagan. I am by definition simply seeking truth and I am willing to share my perch with the truth wherever I find it.

    I see nothing here but agendas. Scientific technocratic bullying of anyone who seeks to keep a human/spiritual element to the world view is treated with far too much contempt by a small number of trolls here who I can only assume either have large trust funds or benefactors with dubious agendas.

    Science was never meant to be the ultimate answer to anything. It is not a religion. It is not a political system. It is not a cult. It is a language used to describe the world around us and nothing more.

    And for anyone who bothers to research it - right up until people as recently as Openheimer or even Nasa's intelligencia - the world's greatest scientists and inventors accepted that there was something higher than mankind.

    Without a ''governor" on the limits to what can and should be built, science without a moral compass will be the death of humanity as we know it and the birth of the dead cyborg culture we are seeing becoming the dominant force at this very minute with far too much dubious political backing for comfort.

    You can no more trust a scientist than you used to be able to trust an inquisitor in the middle ages.

    Science has become a wh-o-re to the highest bidder and regularly poisons the world and its people every day for profit and power. Vaccines, toxic wastes, establishing "safe" levels for crap that shouldn't be there in the first place and on and on....

    I had a near death experience many years ago. I did the whole tunnel thing and everything else some of you may have heard about. I even did it with scepticism. I actually tried to pinch my cheek - but I didn't have one. I looked both ways up and down the tunnel at the same time because I was a mote of consciousness that could see 360 degrees at once. The tunnel showed me everything I had ever done.. and more besides. I tapped the white light at the end and knew if I crossed I wasn't coming back. So I turned back - and on the way back to my body I detoured and visited 2 people who later confirmed the visit. No question about it because I made sure I could test them later. That was the point. The entire time I was filled with a sense of knowing/understanding that is indescribable. A sense of peace and knowledge of order and harmony amidst the chaos.

    Now if it were up to the left brained scientists in the crowd my whole story would be consigned to the dust bin.

    Fortunately the world has not yet totally succumbed to the mind numbing constraints of an imbalanced world view that seeks to label and constrain what is naturally meant to be free and full of love and compassionate curiosity and replace it with moronic regurgitated rote learning.

    Science is as yet light years from a universal equation that explains everything. Until that time it should remember its place in the scheme of things and stop trying to prove its point at the end of a toxic gun because more and more people can see the emperor is quite naked under that lab coat.

    Peace

    1. @Daniel Jones,

      ...a small number of trolls here who I can only assume either have large trust funds or benefactors with dubious agendas.

      Large funds... Benefactors... dubious agendas... I don't want to be rude, but are you sure you're all right.

      Science was never meant to be the ultimate answer to anything.

      Who said that it was in the first place. On the contrary science is only the best tool devised for arriving at the most logical, reasonable, empirically proven conclusions. No one here said that science is almighty.

      ...science without a moral compass will be the death of humanity as we know it

      We tried the "religious moral compass" for the last 2000 years and look where we are. Can we try for a while to be moral without religion? Can we?

      Vaccines, toxic wastes, establishing "safe" levels for crap that shouldn't be there in the first place...

      Don't blame science. Blame capitalism, corporations and politics. The system is in perfect setup for science misuse and abuse.

      I had a near death experience many years ago

      I don't want to rob you from your "near death" experience, "tunnels" and everything, but I'm puzzled what that has to do with religion and God.

      Science is as yet light years from a universal equation that explains everything.

      Yeap, we said it before. We don't pretend to have the universal equation, nor that we will have it in near future. On the other hand religions are the ones who claim to have all the answers. Why don't you turn the tables around.

    2. ...a small number of trolls here who I can only assume either have large trust funds or benefactors with dubious agendas.

      Large funds... Benefactors... dubious agendas... I don't want to be rude, but are you sure you're all right.

      YEP ABSOLUTELY POSITIVE

      Science was never meant to be the ultimate answer to anything.

      Who said that it was in the first place. On the contrary science is only the best tool devised for arriving at the most logical, reasonable, empirically proven conclusions. No one here said that science is almighty.

      YOU'RE HAVING A LAUGH VLATKO. YOU JUST CHASTISED A HUMANIST FOR CALLING SOMEONE A R*TARD WHILE YOU ALLOW THE SCIENCE BRIGADE TO INSULT AT WILL. I'M CALLING FOR BALANCE HERE NOTHING MORE.

      ...science without a moral compass will be the death of humanity as we know it

      We tried the "religious moral compass" for the last 2000 years and look where we are. Can we try for a while to be moral without religion? Can we?

      YOUR ARGUMENT IS SPECIOUS. YES, WHEN POLITICS GOT IN BED WITH RELIGION WE HAD CRUSADES, GENOCIDES AND WORSE. BUT YOU WOULD HAVE ME BELIEVE THAT WHEN SCIENCE GETS IN BED WITH POLITICS AND INDUSTRY THAT WE WILL SOMEHOW GET A MORALLY HIGHER GROUND TO STAND ON. SORRY MATE JUST LOOK AROUND YOU. THE EDITOR OF THE NEW ENGLAND JOURNAL OF MEDICINE JUST RETIRED AND IN HER LEAVING LETTER SAYED STRAIGHT OUT THAT YOY CAN NO LONGER TRUST THE WORD OF ANY PHARMACEUTICAL COMPANY BECAUSE THEY ALL LIE HABITUALLY IN THER RESEARCH. JUST GOOGLE IT - ITS AN EYE OPENING ADMISSION THAT SCIENCE CAN NOT BE TRUSTED WHEN IT SERVES A HIGHER MASTER LIKE BUSINESS OR POLITICS.

      Vaccines, toxic wastes, establishing "safe" levels for crap that shouldn't be there in the first place...

      Don't blame science. Blame capitalism, corporations and politics. The system is in perfect setup for science misuse and abuse.

      SEE ABOVE

      I had a near death experience many years ago

      I don't want to rob you from your "near death" experience, "tunnels" and everything, but I'm puzzled what that has to do with religion and God.

      IT HAS ABSOLUTELY NOTHING TO DO WITH GOD OR RELIGION AND EVERYTHING TO DO WITH THE GREAT UNKNOWN THAT EXISTS OUT THERE BEYOND OUR NORMAL EVERYDAY STATE OF CONSCIOUSNESS/CONDITIONING. IT'S ALL JUST DECODED ENERGY PATTERNS AND WE FILTER OUT MOST OF IT IN ORDER TO STAY SANE. BUT RELIGIONS HAVE BEEN STARTED FOR LESS AND THE EXPERIENCE IS VALID, AS IS THE SHARING OF IT. AND YOUR RESPONSE IS DEPRESSINGLY OBTUSE IF YOU DONT MIND ME SAYING..

      Science is as yet light years from a universal equation that explains everything.

      Yeap, we said it before. We don't pretend to have the universal equation, nor that we will have it in near future. On the other hand religions are the ones who claim to have all the answers. Why don't you turn the tables around.

      I AM TURNING THE TABLES AROUND RIGHT NOW. THIS CONVERSATION HAS BEEN A ONE SIDED RANT BY THE LEFT BRAIN AND I WANTED TO BRIDGE THE RIGHT/LEFT PARADIGM GAP WITH A HEALTHY DOSE OF PINEAL GLAND INSPIRED COMMON SENSE

    3. @Daniel Jones - from the comment policy :

      8. How do I write a good comment?

      You write a good comment by not insulting others, by not using CAPS LOCK, by not using repetitive punctuation, and by sticking to the argument if you don’t agree with someone. Remember, the minute you insult a person in a debate, you lose.

      I have already posted that people of faith are under represented here, and earnestly asked for some critical contribution, as has Kateye70 and some others, most of us have not once insulted anyone, rather we have been insulted; by others and now by yourself.

      And you call us trolls?

      How very DARE you?

    4. Sorry bout the caps - was an attempt to format for clarity. There were 3 different levels of text there.

      Sam if you feel singled out I apologise. I actually never had you in mind to be honest. And I do not want to name names and I said a small number to make sure I was not painting all with same brush.

      I will not bother pointing fingers at the main perpetrators of the intellectual bullying that has taken place on this thread but you can take your "How dare you?" right back because I do dare and I will always defend an underdog in any unfair fight.

      And to be clear on this point : I AM NOT A CREATIONIST. It's been 30 years since my last confession thank you and I agree more with the general sentiments here than I disagree. I am compelled to offer a counter rebuttal purely based on the degree of psychological intimidation I have seen here being directed at kind souls who merely want to believe in a world that has a God in it.

      The implication that they are somehow degenerate apes is offensive and my gut tells me ultimately wrong in spirit if not in letter or actual fact.

    5. For those of us engaged in discussing a documentary about critical thinking but continually confronted with decidedly NON-critical attacks, this has been a long, and sometimes painful, discussion.

      A few of us are getting worn down by having to repeat over and over again the very points made in the documentary--which too few of those trolling from the religious point of view seem to have even bothered to watch, yet want us to listen to their opinions on.

      You've walked into a room full of already-engaged posters, so that is why you got the impression some people are being dumped on. (IMHO, some of them actually deserve it, too.)

    6. OK understood. Long tailed cats in a room full of rocking chairs. I'll sign off on this one and hope I was wrong.

      I've always valued the open mindedness of this site and was just a bit shocked at the changes I was seeing. Perhaps it was just a bad thread to hop into.

    7. No all religious conversation turn this way. Actually you could copy paste half the comments on these thread and they would fit right in the thread of other docs.
      Thanks for trying to bring peace, it is refreshing! Cool picture with the crow, i have a similar pic with a small bird that nestled himself in my hand for 10 minutes after i rescue him from a green house window.
      az

    8. @Azilda,

      You're unfair, and you're definitely biased. He's trying to bring peace. Come on.

    9. Cool. Mine was a wild visitor just learning to fly. He stayed for a few hours and I have photos of him on the shoulders of my kids and nieces. It was absolutely wild but tame enough that I never feared for my eyes or my daughter's.

    10. Apology accepted for my part, though you may want to extend that to some others also.

      The problem is, if you refuse to name names, then you are generalising, which makes it impossible for me to tell whether or not your comments are directed toward me.

      If you find someone to be insulting, why not call them on it directly by replying to their post? it is what I do, as you have just experienced. And calling anyone or generalising any group as troll(s) is as much an insult as any other.

      So you like to play devils advocate? well that's nice and I understand that feeling. What would be more appropriate however, would be your thoughts about the documentary itself, if you would be so kind.

      Regards,
      Sam.

    11. "Intellectual bullying." What a strawman! If you're idea can't stand up, it can't stand up and no use being a crybaby about it.

    12. Just a question...why is caps not right in your estimate but using bold words ok?
      And if someone says you are trolling is it the same as calling them trolls?....i can copy paste a few of those (not yours).

      az

    13. Hi Az,

      I was merely highlighting the portion of the comments policy for Daniel that he was in breach of. If you read there it explains how to use bold, italics and underline for this type of highlight. Overuse of course would appear to be in the same vein as overuse of CAPS. The odd bit of CAPS is OK for a highlight I think.

      I may have called people trolls on occasion, sometimes because the definition of internet 'troll' fits their behaviour, i.e they are just posting to irritate and get reactions, or sometimes because they are posting with such ignorance that it is like a child with their hands over their ears shouting on and on; 'MeMeMeMeMeMe!' and sadly often do not even seem to be aware of themselves.

      By the way, I answered your statement about science objectively trying to prove/disprove god, and I think Vlatkos last reply on that matter was very sincere. He didn't twist or 'play cards' with your words, he answered as best he could, with the limited information you had given him.

      What I would like to know is - what do you think of this documentary, its content and presentation?

      Regards,
      Sam.

    14. Whose rule is that? Really? You lose a debate the second you use insults? Is that the same guy who made the rule if you do not vote, you have no reason to complain? Surely this is a joke and not a serious statement?

    15. @slpsa,

      Actually it is a line from the Comment Policy of this site, which I think is valid. You lose credibility in the eyes of the spectators when using insults in a debate. No matter how truthful you are, if you use bad language to convey that, you'll not make a point.

    16. Technically, in a debate ad hominem is part of a long list of logical fallacies, any of which basically concede the debate on the grounds of being unable to reasonably argue your position, which should consequently be withdrawn.

      Anyway It is not my statement, it is in the comment policy.

      And it may well simply be a humorous way to encourage people not to sling poop at each other.

      And I say, if you do vote, then you have no reason to complain!

      Regards,
      Sam.

    17. Yes exactly. You vote for whom? LOL. You bunnies are entertainment for me, and not much more son.

    18. Hmmm, you are calling me a bunny? and then son?

      Correct me if I am mistaken, but that seems like it might be meant in a derogatory way.

      In which case, I think possibly you have mistaken me for someone else?

      If not, what exactly have I said that you disagree with?

    19. woopsy. For sure it was not meant for you. We are on the same page here Sam. So sorry, hit the wrong reply. Doh. You are one of my favorite posters. Again, not meant for you sir.

    20. No worries, I thought as much, just wanted to make sure. (or give you the opportunity to cordially retort if I had thought wrong) Had to go fix a friends computer so I was away for a little while.

      Thank you for your compliments, I assure you I do not deserve them.

      Humble regards,
      Sam.

    21. @slpsa,

      I think you should apologize to @Samuel. Probably you've made a mistake.

    22. I did, it was a fast hit of the reply button. I must admit, I have had a rather horrible day, it seems to be coming out in my reply's today, time to step back, reassess and collect more sober thoughts. i am man enough to admit such things, always have been. Sam is one of my favorite posters. Not a snowball's chance in Hades I would ever disagree with pretty much every word he has ever spoken. True story.

    23. @Daniel Jones,

      1. Don't write in CAPS LOCK. It looks like you're yelling. Read the comment policy.

      2. Scroll up and down. The "science brigade" didn't insult anyone. At least not like @ASAP902 did, with name calling.

      3. What is your solution? Religion to stay in bed with politics instead of science? Science is just a tool Daniel, not dogma, not organization. Get used to it. At least try to make clear distinctions. As a tool, can fall into anyone's hands, good or bad, honest or corrupt.

      4. Yes there is great unknown out-there, but that is not the reason for building shrines dedicated to supernatural beings.

      5. What part from this you don't understand: Science doesn't pretend to have the universal equation, nor that it will have it in near future. Science never claims to be all knowing.

    24. 1) yes sorry for caps. Explained above. 2) I disagree with this statement but in order to disprove it I would have to reveal specifics and I am trying to fix this thing without it getting nasty. 3) Again you demonstrate more of this duality based logic. This or that nonsense. We need both to survive or we will ultimately lose. Choosing one over the other is like lemmings being stampeded over 2 political cliffs every election. Yes it's a tool but science is well and truly on it's way to enabling the end of life as we know it. It's time for a wake up call. Scientific genocide is as real as religious genocide. 4) How do you know that? Have you ever had an experience that occurred in an expanded state of consciousness that compelled you to do so? If not until you stand in the shoes of someone who has you have no right to judge them for attempting to honour that experience in the only way they know how. 5) Yes I understand that it does not have the universal equation. However until it does it's acolytes are not allowed to treat "holistic" or "theistic" thinkers/believers as if they are pond scum barely worthy of respect or even life.

      Peace Vlatko :-)

    25. Daniel, I have to answer this: "3) Again you demonstrate more of this duality based logic. This or that nonsense. We need both to survive or we will ultimately lose. Choosing one over the other is like lemmings being stampeded over 2 political cliffs every election. Yes it's a tool but science is well and truly on it's way to enabling the end of life as we know it. It's time for a wake up call. Scientific genocide is as real as religious genocide."

      The problem for most of those defending the concept of critical thinking is that there are 'defenders of religion' who are seeking to deny the value of it.

      If your population can't understand the science, how the hell can they combat it's negative effects? As pointed out, science is neutral. It's humans who choose sides and commit genocide with whatever weapons are available. The first hominid who chipped a flint off a stone and stabbed someone with it had the beginnings of genocide in their hand.

      Just to bring in a current real-world example: The Texas Republican Party posted their 2012 platform, which specifically wants to PROHIBIT teaching children the skills needed for critical thinking, on the grounds that it may 'undermine their fixed beliefs.'

      If that doesn't scare the pants off of anyone other than a dyed-in-the-wool party-liner, it should. When you look past the obscenity of it, just ask who benefits from having children NOT taught to use their critical faculties? Society as a whole? Some subset of society? Which subset?

      What happens when these children grow up and are unable to tell reality from fantasy, because they don't have the skills to separate one from the other?

      Just think about having whole generations of adults who are taught to be gullible and incapable of reasoning their way out. We already have much too large a percentage of the population who can see the problem but won't bother to challenge it. What happens when they can't even tell there's a problem.

      Again, who benefits?

    26. I think there is general confusion here between religions, their dogmas and spirituality. Budhism is a very different animal to Roman Catholicism for instance. You can be spiritually minded without ever being tied to a dogmatic religious political system.

      A world where science was in bed with spirituality would be a perfect ideal for me. Spirituality would imply a system of morality and an internal compass that is sadly lacking in a mechanical android mindset. Unfortunately uniformitarian science would have us all believe that we are merely carbon based accidents in a clockwork universe and that all that ails us can be cured with science via chemistry, physics or what have you.

      Allopathic medicine is a perfect example of science gone wrong as it believes petroleum-based products are the only cure to all ailments despite killing more people than heart attacks in the US every year. Holistic/naturopathic medicine is more like science with spirituality infused into it and its emphasis on the human condition is palpably different. Anyone who has ever been fortunate enough to experience the difference in treatment will attest to this.

      And I absolutely agree that the dumbing down of the population is tragic. And in the bible belt no less. I also believe it's no accident but that's another matter.

      I call for more rigorous science education in schools along with a firm foundation in ethics, philosophy and history. And let's not forget music because no other discipline better demonstrates the pure magic that comes from fusing mathematics with soul in a way that does more to prove the existence of spirit than almost any other human discipline I can think of.

    27. "Unfortunately, uniformitarian science . . . " Strawman one.

      "All allopathic medicine is a perfect example of science gone wrong . . . " Strawman two.

      "A world where science was in bed with spirituality would be a perfect ideal for me." Well, maybe for you, but it goes against the warp and woof of science, just as hollistic medicine which you've described as "science with spirituality infused."

      And speaking of the spiritual, can you prove that it actually exists--and don't try to use your pathetically ignorant example of music to do so.

      Let's face the facts. You don't mean a firm SCHOLARLY foundation in ethics, philosophy and history, you mean an inculcation into your way of non-critical thinking. If anyone is guilty of dumbing down the population, it's prescriptive people like you.

    28. Wow, you must have had some REALLY strange experiences of the medical world and you've a bizarre idea of what science is.

      I've never once met or read a scientists or atheist who was without a moral compass because they chose science over fairies. Infact most of the great scientists and atheists in history were or are vegetarians, even vegans, as they have a strong moral compass. Certainly equal to most spiritualists and definitely far stronger than many religious people who are only too content to eat meat and judge people who disagree with their beliefs as hellbound, amoral or even evil.

      You will certainly see from history that while scientist may have created powerful technology, it was leaders and military (who often claim to be led or at least backed by God) that turned those creations into weapons, and used them. Scientists, atheists and intellectuals are often the first to speak out against wars (usually started by the religious or on religious grounds) and have famously lamented when their creations have been used to kill or bring harm.

      I've rarely seen such lamentation from religious people who have slaughtered in the name of their god. When you look at the facts of history, you'll find you've got it backwards.

    29. True, all the way back to Archimedes and certainly before.

      False dichotomy screams out from just about all of his posts.

    30. Fairies are not the opposite of science. That's just sophistry at play.
      And I am first and foremost an historian and I disagree with your interpretation of it. Simple really, and you're more than welcome to your opinion. Plenty of room here for more than one.

    31. You're a fine one to speak of sophistry--and just why aren't fairies (and by this I assume you mean an unfounded belief in them) the opposite of science?

    32. Daniel Jones
      you stated "Spirituality would imply a system of morality and an internal compass " why can't our moral compass come from ourselves? why do we need spirituality to give us our morals? when we as humans learn that we are responsible for our own actions and can take credit for behaving well and being charitable and conversely taking responsibility for our missteps instead of giving credit to good to a god or blame for bad to a devil. i would like to try a world like that some day.

    33. Why do you assume that spirituality is another word for god or religion? I didn't say it so why do you believe it?

      My own experience of spirituality has always felt like it came from my centre and yet resonated with every atom of everything in the universe at once. God and religion never even crossed my mind to be honest. Electromagnetism will undoubtedly prove to play a large part in the dissemination of this "energy" in the end I have no doubt. But I am making no contentious statements here merely musing.

      If anything I think morality is a natural progression from innate spirituality and that we are all innately spiritual beings, some of whom listen more clearly to their moral compass than others.

      And I agree totally with your last statement on credit and blame.

    34. Mmmm, I really don't think most of the critical-thinking side of the debate have any issue with anyone's personal spirituality, and many here run the gamut from true non-believer, to those willing to wait and see, to actual church-goers. None of us take kindly to being condemned to hell, however.

      There was quite a lively section of this thread that made a point of distinguishing between one's personal beliefs, and the imposition of those beliefs onto the rest of the population, which is what the religious dogmatists continually seek to do.

      Which again brings up the documentary, which also dealt with this very issue.

      And since religion (as opposed to spirituality), by its very nature, is a social power structure, it naturally seeks to consolidate power in traditional human ways, such as early childhood conversion, coercion and thought manipulation.

      Ever wonder why ads are aimed primarily at children, teens and young adults? It's because brand loyalty fixed in childhood influences purchases made decades later.

      Older adults are more likely to question the validity of advertising claims, and to dismiss them, while continuing to purchase brands that claimed their own loyalty in childhood.

      It's why the Jesuits long ago said, "give me the child and I'll give you the man." It's why children are sent to religion classes/schools/camps etc.

    35. Well, you're exalted in my book. Of course, my book's not the bible, but rather the encyclopedia.

      Could you please tell me more about what's happening with education in your state? Have you heard of NCSE, National Center for Science Education?

    36. Wow, exalted! I feel special, now! =D

      Strictly speaking, Texas is not my state, since I moved away at age 4, but I have a lot of family, extended family, and friends there. As far as what's happening in education there...it seems pretty sad. When I googled the Texas Republican Party platform, I came across a blog article by John T. Harvey on Forbes dot com ("The Terrifying Texas GOP Platform") which delves into the issues facing the Texas school system and could inform you much more than I. But in a nutshell, they are balancing the budget by cutting education funding while touting the importance of education >.<

      I know teachers, both retired and currently working, who are appalled, and struggling with the limitations already imposed and with still more being threatened. One of my World of Warcraft guildmates is a teacher in Dallas, and I have been listening to her rants for the last couple of years. (Not to mention the occasional hysterically funny readings of student essays she has gifted us with over ventrilo.)

      I had not previously heard of NCSE, but I have now, and bookmarked the page for later reading. Thanks!

    37. What does the "=D" at the end of your first line stand for?

      NCSE is a fine organization. As I informed you, I'm a $35/year member--and I'm not a joiner. So it's worth your while to check it out. Some of its REPORTS are on line. Meanwhile I will check out Mr. Harvey's article.

      P.S. What is the Warcraft Guild.

    38. Hehe, my complete lack of credentials is now being exposed.

      The " =D " is just an emoticon for a grin (I use = instead of : for eyes because...I like it).

      I play World of Warcraft, an MMO (hope I'm not explaining too much: Massively Multi-player Online game). In the game, players can group into social units known as 'guilds.' I've been in a number of different ones, and have made some wonderful online friendships that have extended beyond the game into Facebook and phone calls. I haven't had the opportunity to meet any of my guildmates in person, but that's due to geography, not willingness. Sadly, none of them live within driving distance.

      p.s. the " >.< " at the end of the next paragraph is another emoticon, for a frown.

    39. I see. And just where can I find this teacher's rants and amusing anecdotes?

    40. (Sorry for off-topic discussion Vlatko)

      Since we communicate in a chat channel while in the game, or verbally using the Ventrilo or Mumble voip, those words are sadly lost to the ether. You'll just have to trust me on this...She is an excellent teacher and highly dedicated to teaching her 'kids' critical thinking skills.

    41. More than sorry to hear about what's happening in your home state--it scares the pants off me too. Have you heard of NCSE, National Center for Science Education, of which I'm a proud $35/yr. member?

    42. In other words, because you related without evidence what you term a near-death experience, together with what you describe as its attendant events, we have to believe you--and if we don't, it's because we haven't experienced something similar. It's just as the documentary says: shift the blame to the intelligent skeptics.

    43. Rob

      Prove to me that you love your mother. Prove it to me right now. Got any kids? Prove to me that you love them. How about a dog? Prove that you love that.

      Then we'll talk about what you need to have proof about.

      You need to get on with living life and stop trying to suffocate it mate. Your vibe is so sulphurous you do your own arguments a disservice every time...

    44. @Daniel Jones,

      Again you didn't say anything related to his arguments. Just old good subtle patronizing, on how he should live his life.

    45. Vlatko

      This may be your site but the patronising has been coming from you a lot lately mate so lets just call a spade a spade.

      This forum has degenerated into a state where comments like this are supposed to represent your majority science based view:

      "And speaking of the spiritual, can you prove that it actually exists--and don't try to use your pathetically ignorant example of music to do so."

      Why should I bother to throw more pearls before such swine?

      Seriously tell me why I should bother?

      And stop with the "answer the argument" tact because it's based on circular logic that practically eliminates all possibility of your opposition ever being able to respond to your question in the first place.

      How can we debate the existence of the supernatural when by definition it can never be an empirically demonstrable in vitro experiment that yields a numerical value that satisfies the left brain.

      I can say that my 20 year old memory of a near death experience is more clear than what I did yesterday but I'm afraid that even if I'd brought my astral camera to the event you would only claim that I'd photoshopped it.

      So I refute this hung jury and clearly state my case that I have watched the drivel that this argument is based upon and have nonetheless formed my own interpretation.

    46. @Daniel Jones,

      Of course I was not patronizing. I was just pointing out to you that you're equally guilty as the ones you accuse.

      By using the word "swine" you're just proving my point even further. And in the same time you're convinced that your words are "pearls." What an irony.

      You're entering the discussion with desire to defend spirituality, near death experiences, religion and what not, while accusing science.

      If you're unable to answer the questions and arguments posed at you, I wonder why you want to discuss in the first place?

    47. 1) So you've never heard of the quote "Pearls before swine?" It's in the Bible apparently Matthew 7:6 according to google. It is an accepted phrase meaning a waste of time.

      2) I entered the discussion in order to defend an underdog viewpoint and I used personal experience, including spirituality and other facts to demonstrate that my point was valid even if not conclusively provable. Only to be heckled as an id**t at almost every turn.

      3) I am more than capable of answering these questions and holding my own in debates of any size or description. Don't think for a second that this is in any way intimidating. I enjoy discussions but I do not enjoy playing the tool in in a theatrical spectacle with an a priori assumption that science is right because i says so and a determination to make all others feel small.

    48. @Daniel Jones,

      1. Yes I heard of the quote. But you didn't use it correctly. To refresh your memory, you've said "such swine", referring to @Robert.

      2. If you want to defend your underdog viewpoint, you need to make it without: "I don't have a proof, but please believe me."

      3. "that science is right because i says so". I don't recall anyone saying that. The science is right simply because countless of times over the last several centuries turned out to be right by all accounts.

    49. In answer to 1) you're right but it seemed in the same spirit as his thrust. I succumbed to the parrying instinct.

      2) I never said anyone had to believe me. But a witness to an event is seen as evidence in a court of law so it should at least be allowed into a discussion that relates to what has been observed - provided the witness doesn't bind the listener into believing him. It should still be shared with the debaters with an honest intent to add value to the discussion. The evidence would be circumstantial at the very least. Certainly not worthless or as claimed evidence for something it never was as has been implied.

      3) Many scientific theories are presented as irrefutable facts. Take Plate tectonics for example. There is an Earth crustal displacement theory that contradicts the taught paradigm and Albert Einstein thought it was good enough to write a forward to Hapgood's thesis on the subject. You would never even know it existed if you didn't dig into it.

      There is un undeniable hubris in the scientific mindset. It assumes where it has no right to tread simply because it has managed to label and quantify what it can see and observe. It's the small quantum bits and bobs it has trouble reconciling as perfectly at the moment and it is within the world of the impossibly small that I personally believe without proof that many unifying answers will be found.

      I read "The Dancing Wu Li Masters" many years ago and recommend it highly to anyone seeking a bridge between eastern philosophy and physics.

    50. At least science is changable and open to new evidence even if they are wrong they can admit it and make the changes. We will never know everything but is that not wonderful. If i believed in god i would have to disbelieve so many of the wonderful facts nature is still showing us. We are on this earth to learn and pass it on to the next generation so our species can survive.

    51. If there was a god why do you suppose he would not work through the periodic table to manifest his/her creations? Why would god not allow for evolution within his paradigm? Why would you have to abandon science? Surely everything science had ever discovered would continue to be true whether there was or was not a god. And, again to be clear, I am not a christian creationist.

      And what makes you think science always admits when it's wrong? Do you have proof of that statement as some here would demand?

      I attended a lecture by Jacques Benveniste shortly before his death. A hugely influential and successful scientist who followed the truth and threw away a successful career because he threatened the vested interests of the status quo. So no I do not believe that science finds it any easier to admit when its wrong than religions. They are both influenced by human frailties.

    52. @Daniel Jones,

      Jacques Benveniste introduced the "water memory" and was embarrassingly debunked by well-known skeptic James Randi, and fraud expert Walter Stewart. No one was able to replicate the original results of Benveniste, thus his theory went down the drain along with his reputation.

      You also mentioned Hapgood (was not a geologist BTW) who's theory is riddled by logical and factual gaps.

      The above tells me you lean to conspiratorial worldview.

    53. If a conspiratorial world view means I dont believe everything the establishment sells me hook line and sinker yes. Just what vested interest was Benveniste threatening? The pharmaceutical industry. And you seriously want me to believe they would sit there and do nothing when their empire was threatened by a serious validation of homeopathy? Please.

      The actual facts of their debunk are unique and never occurred before in the history of Nature. They arrived with a tv charlatan with the intent to discredit the work of 5 labs. No surprise they achieved their mandate. No such effort was ever made before. You don't get published in Nature in the first place if you aren't peer reviewed.

      I spoke with a great man. I can no more prove it than fly to the moon but I know of at least one scientist who ruefully (truly he wished he hadn't bothered) followed the results of an experiment to the end - no matter the cost to his career. He went for the truth and politics and vested interests be damned. Respect.

      And it all boils down to simple electromagnetism in the end and will one day be no more mysterious to the open market than quartz crystals being the basis for all modern electronics.

    54. No, you spoke with a quack. And Benveniste's allegation of vested interests and your unsubstantiated and unfounded endorsement sound more like sour grapes than anything else.

    55. You're either very naive or very duplicitous. The entire pharmaceutical industry is supposed to be described as not being a vested interest? Are you serious? Do you have any idea what was at stake on multiple levels? It was huge and would have affected far more than just them. What about the minute amounts of crud in your drinking water for instance. Who would pay for that clean up? I cant even bother to go on. I feel like I'm making people suck eggs over the patently obvious here.

    56. All you're doing is trying to pass off conspiratorial allegations as facts--but again, you've never been a great one for proof.

    57. Your implication that a conspiratorial allegation is any less valid than an establishment one sounds like a terrible argument. In fact conspiracies have always and will always exist in the form of quangos, cartels, monopolies, fraternal orders, establishment groups. As an historian I can assure you that one small group has always conspired to remain in power against the wishes of a much larger group and known they would lose power if the truth ever got out. This is axiomatic of every civilisation we have ever known and first started with the priest cults and temples long before it was politicised. Now its merely been monetised but its the same thing. Economic weapons of mass destruction certainly qualify as a conspiracy in any of their guises.

    58. My knowledge of history is probably just as great if not greater than yours, so don't try to play that card.

      Now, where is your evidence of a conspiracy on the part of the pharmaceutical companies against your false idol? "As a historian, I can assure you . . . " cuts it just about as much as your glittering generalities.

    59. To be fair elements of the Pharmaceutical industry do have some serious conspiracy S*** and evil activity under their belt.

      Jones is absolutely, entirely and completely wrong though in the assertion that it's against homeopy etc. That stuff doesn't need a conspiracy to stop it, logic, reason, good old facts and experimentation do that nicely. Besides, most of the homeopathic "treatments" on the market are owned or supplied by groups like GlaxoSmithCline...the very people Jones would accuse of being in the "conspiracy".

      Question, Daniel, why would they be against something else that can and does make them money? The people who are against "naturalist medicine" are the ones who don't want (frankly) gullible people to get hurt by them. You'll find that most critics are actual scientists, doctors, previous victims or the families of victims. Dan, you really should pay attention to this video and others on critical thinking, you might save yourself some long-term harm or a few quid which would otherwise gone on useless quackery.

    60. @Daniel Jones,

      You really do believe in homeopathy. Well this is getting serious. Spiritualism, religion, homeopathy, NDE, crustal displacement theory... what a mix.

      The controversy was in 1988. To this day no one was able to replicate the results from the experiments. Not to mention Randi's $1 million prize-money if the test succeeds.

    61. I'd forgotten about that. Thanks for reminding me.

      For your list, everything Mr. Jones supports smacks of quackery.

    62. Actually your assumptions partially incorrect. I never once said anywhere that I believed in Religion. In fact it implies dogma and I have explained my position on that. I only posited crustal displacement as an example to illustrate that there are always counter theories to accepted ones and these are rarely given space, even when they come with some serious weight behind them. Homeopathy works on animals and children so it avoids the placebo affect and is worthy of serious consideration, and is by a large number of users and practitioners. Spiritualism, NDE you have me there.

    63. @Daniel Jones,

      Hey, no one was able to replicate the results from the experiments since 1988. That is 24 years. No one was able to collect 1$ million prize-money. Do you know what people are capable of for $1 million.

      You sincerely believe that pharma is preventing this "discovery?" You can't be serious. Did you ask yourself what would be the net worth of that kind of a patent? Probably gazillion of dollars. You know what people would do for gazillion of dollars? For example what would a Russian tycoon do for $100 billion pharma patent. He would start World War 3 to get his hands on that "patent."

      Of course all of the above would be possible (at least in a movie) only if the "patent" was valid. But simply it is not, thus no one is interested in it. Daniel, homeopathy is a complete quackery. Get over it.

    64. Well if the proven efficacy of homeopathy can be put down to the power of mind over matter to heal it opens up another huge can of worms doesn't it? Homeopathy still exists and still works independently of Benveniste or his experiments.

      And you have missed the point on the Patent. There can be no patent on water memory and that is a huge part of the problem. It would ruin fortunes and make new ones freely available.

    65. @Daniel Jones,

      Well, if there is no patent, if homeopathy already works and it is in practice, where are the healed patients? They should be all over the news 24/7, and pharma should have gone bankrupt long time ago.

      Are we in a full scale word wide conspiracy?

    66. Vlatko I am not going to waste my time in another mud slinging match today but your statement about homeopathy is just too ignorant to let pass.

      The worlds most expensive racehorses are often treated with homeopathy. Easily googled info on homeopathic veterinarians.

      Europe and Australia are full of medically qualified homeopathic doctors making good livings. And even Naturopathic doctors legally allowed to prescribe medicines. Again just google it it's not a conspiracy.

      In the UK you can still get homeopathic treatments as part of the NHS of all places. No conspiracy under that bed.

      Funny thing is though, the pharmaceutical industry inspired Codex Alimentarius is attempting to make homeopathy and every other form of supposedly alternative medicine illegal at the behest of the UN, while labelling nutrients like vitamin C as toxins and things like oven cleaner, windshield wiper fluid and drain cleaner as acceptable food additives.

      If you're looking for a real conspiracy start with Codex.

      I'm done here folks. It's been fun :-)

    67. @Daniel Jones,

      Well, so why do you complain? According to you homeopathy is mainstream after all. At first you whine that it is suppressed, now you claim it is accessible worldwide. Which one is it?

      Anyhow, I wish you all the best with it, of course if you ever decide to try it out.

    68. I complained about nothing other than your claim that it was a bogus treatment. In my opinion the pharmaceutical industry's opinion that homeopathy is a bogus treatment is bogus itself and betrays their vested self interests. And I'm tired of being held to account by corrupt institutions with premeditated agendas to discredit their competition.

      I and my family use homeopathic doctors regularly btw. My kids are unvaccinated and healthier and smarter than their peers too.

      “It is simply no longer possible to believe much of the clinical research that is published, or to rely on the judgment of trusted physicians or authoritative medical guidelines. I take no pleasure in this conclusion, which I reached slowly and reluctantly over my two decades as an editor of The New England Journal of Medicine.”

      And later "So many reforms would be necessary to restore integrity to clinical research and medical practice that they cannot be summarized briefly. Many would involve congressional legislation and changes in the FDA, including its drug approval process."

      (Marcia Angell, MD, The New York Review of Books, January 15, 2009)

    69. 'I and my family use homeopathic doctors regularly btw. My kids are unvaccinated and healthier and smarter than their peers too.'

      First, how do you measure their health or intelligence, and likewise how do you measure their peers?

      Second, do you have any evidence that your results are actually indicative of any effect of the homeopathic treatment?

      Third, do you any have controls in place to eliminate your own personal bias?

      I do not think necessarily that homeopathic treatment has any therapeutic effect at all. 2 years ago I knew 2 people suddenly diagnosed with late stage Hepatocellular Carcinoma, both with tumors as big as tennis balls, at similar times, at similar ages, both male. Both had developed as a result of long term liver damage from undiagnosed, asymptomatic Hepatitis C. The consultant oncologist gave them the same prognosis, i.e. without treatment, 80% of people presenting this condition are dead inside 6 months.

      One received Transarterial Chemoembolisation, and is still receiving Kinase Inhibitor chemotherapy as part of an on going drug trial at an NHS hospital, the other refused conventional medicine and chose homeopathy amongst other holistic therapies.

      Now I know only 1 person, as the other has been dead for 21 months.
      Thankfully, my father for whom I care full time, still has a very good quality of life, the only thing he has to do is take 2 pills, twice a day, with occasional tiredness being the only side effect, and for the last six months his tumor has not grown at all. We went to the Silverstone F1 last weekend.

      You are making the claim that homeopathy is effective, can you satisfy your burden of proof?

    70. Daniel Jones
      here is a quote from the same doctor (Marcia Angell, MD)
      "It is time for the scientific community to stop giving alternative medicine a free ride. There cannot be two kinds of medicine -- conventional and alternative. There is only medicine that has been
      adequately tested and medicine that has not, medicine that works and medicine that may or may notwork. Once a treatment has been tested rigorously, it no longer matters whether it was considered
      alternative at the outset. If it is found to be reasonably safe and effective, it will be accepted. But assertions, speculation, and testimonials do not substitute for evidence. Alternative treatments
      should be subjected to scientific testing no less rigorous than that required for conventional treatments."
      The New England Journal of Medicine -- September 17, 1998 -- Volume 339, Number 12
      Alternative Medicine -- The Risks of Untested and Unregulated
      Remedies

    71. Yes agreed. Equal playing field. We currently do not have an equal playing field though do we?

    72. Daniel Jones
      there is nothing stopping the level playing field (i suggest you read the full article). what she proposes is scientific testing of these alternative remedies along with peer reviewed evidence before accepting any cure alternative or not. nobody is stopping these remedies from doing the proper tests other than the unwillingness of the supporters of these remedies themselves or their failure when they are exposed to these tests

    73. @Daniel Jones,

      But we do have equal playing field. Homeopathy supporters are free to prove their method in an independent, repeatable, falsifiable manner. Plus they can collect Randi's $1 million prize money.

      Don't tell me big pharma is not letting them. They can use any of the private laboratories and research centers across the world. Is this a world wide plot?

    74. Is that your answer to the quote from Over_the_Edge which showed your quote up for the out-of-context distortion that it is.

    75. Thank you. This shows DJ up for the liar and cheat he is. However, I fear for his unvaccinated children and those around them.

    76. robertallen1
      you are welcome. what is scary is that i think he thinks my post helps prove his point. how do you debate selective interpretation on that scale?

    77. I don't know the way things are in your country, but in the US, parents who refuse to have their minor children vaccinated face serious criminal charges such as child endangerment.

    78. robertallen1
      not so here in Canada.while health care is a provincial mandate and some provinces have requirements it is my understanding that an exemption isn't hard to get. private schools and daycare can require vaccination for admittance as far as i know but i do not have children and i am not sure of these claims so i reserve the right to be in error

    79. Thanks for the info. But not having one's children vaccinated is dangerous both to the children and the community at large.

    80. You are right, anyone can choose not to vaccinate their kids, and school cannot refuse them. It has been like this for quite some time, which places Canada as a good country to do study on the benefit of vaccination or non vaccination.
      Does anyone knows if this study is being done?
      az

    81. by not vaccinating your children you risk others health. thanks for that. any kids out there who might not be ABLE to get vaccinated because of some condition will now have to worry about your children spreading a disease because you believed conspiracy bulls*** about vaccinations causing harm

      *facepalm* its all fun and games until you harm your kids or other peoples kids.

    82. The subjective opinion of one person is evidence only of that person's opinion and nothing else.

      So by being unvaccinated and subjecting them and untowards others to who knows what, your kids are somehow healtheir and smarter than their peers. What makes you think so? Do you possess the medical records of some of their peers and compare them to those of your offspring? On what do you base your children's superior intelligence? If I had a father like you, I would gladly break the fourth commandment.

      Obviously you don't live in the US where it would be very difficult for you to get away with having your children unvaccinatted, especially if you lived in a populous area.

    83. As usual, you got it wrong--and from your past performance, it seems to be deliberate. In the United States, homeopathic treatment of horses is not FDA-approved. In the UK, it is looked down upon although tolerated. Now, where is the support for your allegation that the pharmaceutical industry or the UN is making oven cleaner, windshield wiper fluid, etc. acceptable food additives while labelling vitamin C as a toxin? Sounds fishy to me.

      P.S. Quacks such as Benny Hinn and L. Ron Hubbard make/made good livings too.

    84. I,m not focusing so much on the admitting when they are wrong. And your right its a human fault to not want to admit when they are wrong. I just think having a scientific view on life answers more questions and opens up yet more questions to be be answered. I find religion stops me in my tracks of having a curious interest in the world around me. Even within christianity there are so many different takes on god that they cant all be right. However i,m also really curious about what it is in the human brain that makes us have to believe and belong to these groups. I think its in our make up a survival instinct to trust and follow blindly what we are told by the people in power. I dont want to be insulting and i,m sorry if i insult anyone i,m just really interested in this subject. I believe you believe, what I,m interested in is why you do and not just because of what you tell me but every factor, race, country of birth, childhood, ect every factor comes into play as to why people believe in a god.

    85. And I'm really curious about what it is in the human brain that makes someone feel he owes someone an apology when he doesn't or should even care whether the other person feels insulted or not by being asked a perfect valid question. Keep up the good work and forge on, giving no quarter.

    86. Its my first time ever interacting like this on a computer. I,m glad my first time is on this topic. I live in a very catholic area of west Ireland so i have forever made appologies for my beliefs as i will sometimes end up insulting my friends. A reformatory school in my local village run by christian brothers is the sole cause of many deaths of children and i have had the pleasure to meet many of the now grown children that survived their buggery and brutality, not such a pleasure to hear thier stories of torture (all in the name of god?). I visit the mas grave of children from four years to sixteen. A case of slipped in the bath, slipped in the bath. Poor mites. And people around here knew what was going on behind those wall and in blind belief never questioned the brothers because they had faith. Its long closed now, thank god? no thank knowlege. This is where my curiosity of religion spawned. And as i started reading and learning, again and again history has shown only the suffering and spilling of blood of the innocents. I,m reading a book about Jerusalem.Look how much blood has been shed in the name of god in just one tiny place on earth. Have we not learned anything from our history. Religion is a dangerous game where no one religion can be right and no one can prove them wrong.Scary.

    87. Yes, they claim, it is " God's Will " they stick their man penises into little children and it is in the name of God when they kill. Hardly a religion or group of followers that deserve recognition or adoration, never mind the fantasy world they claim exists. They deserve prison and to be abolished.

    88. I'll bet you have a delightful accent. Ireland can't be such a dreadful place if it produced the likes of George Bernard Shaw and Jonathan Swift. Have you ever heard of Samuel Lover or Charles Robert Maturin?

      While I appreciate the autobiography and can understand your shyness, so far you have nothing to be ashamed of and a lot to be proud of and if your friends feel insulted when you speak your mind, they're not your friends.

      Please keep your posts coming.

    89. Likewise for Lorna. We like new friends around here. Although my time is limited, and i do not post for months at a time due to work, you will find you are not judged around here too harshly, that is unless you tout obvious lies. As seen here. Lesson 1. Religious threads usually degrade quickly into not friendly territory. The rest of them spark excellent debate most times. The best posters here are more than friendly. Good people, and Vlatko is the man. Nuff said.

    90. I know religions seem to be preocupied fighting each other but if it came down to the world divided,one half believes in god the other doesnt. Would it cause a war.? Both would want the power to rule and would do anything to get it. Death and corruption would ensue from both sides. Maybe? I dont know.
      Good to meet ye all. Interested in all sides as i think religion is more about the human mind and make up rather than,..god. Still, debating is great esp this way as one cant throw anything heavy at ones opposition.

    91. Religion was beaten into you around here.From a very young age. Those first few years of learning, so important. The church was the law. Its how they were brought up. If they were born in the east it would be a different god, same type of brain washing. My close friends dont believe in god but its a small place around here and many do and they are good people. As long as they dont shove it down my throat. But the church still has too much power in this country.

    92. And they have too much power here as well. I say tax "the hell" out of them.

    93. Amen to that, brother. Especially the Cult of $cientology and Catholicism, those mega-rich feckers can spare a few bob to improve hospitals and things that actually matter. Paying taxes is the least they could do.

    94. And going out of business is the best.

    95. That's the best pun so far. Even if it isn't a pun.

      I'll drink to that.

    96. Now that you mention it, I'm not to sure whether it is or not, but it should be.

    97. I can only surmise, life there could not have been easy as a kid. I have visited that gem of a Country, and the sad tales of its history do not reflect the beauty it entails. This Country should be an example of why religion needs to be shunned.

    98. Shunned? Stamped out is more like it.

    99. I never said I believed in a god. I believe it may be possible. Through my own experiences and observations I have been witness to events that cause me to suspect that there is a much bigger picture than we have currently been given as reality. The ultimate truth remains to be seen. And science will be useful for describing that ultimate truth when it's found. It's just that I don't believe that science is a replacement for truth or a transhumanist religion of sorts.

      My own software has always encouraged me to avoid groups until further notice. I have never found comfort in crowds.

      The only religions that ever interested me were the ones that cut out the dogma, insistence on faith and the middle men and insisted instead on direct experience. In spiritual terms that is the closest thing to a proof you're ever going to get.

      And you did not insult me and I thank you for your courtesy:-)

    100. You want proofs? I'll give you some. Darwin's view of genetics, Lamarckian evolution, disease caused by bodily humors, eugenics, phrenology, geocentric universe, do you need more? So, once again, you've lied?

      And let's get the story on Benveniste straight. His experiments in homeopathy failed, not because of any vested interests, but because they couldn't pass the double-blind tests conducted thrice by Nature, one of the most reputable scientific journals. Again, you've lied.

      So why should we believe anything you say about a god or your near-death experience?

    101. Lied? Wow you are getting really desperate. Try reading something other than Wikipedia for your facts Robert.

    102. You asked for examples and I provided them.

      Once again, you're unable to refute me. So it's you who are getting desparate and sounding more obtuse.

    103. Another proof of science admitting it was wrong: homeopathy.

    104. @Daniel Jones,

      Just watch the videos. They tackle all of your concerns.

      Anyone can be and it is a witness of some form of their own personal experience. That is completely subjective and it is useless argument in any form of discussion, especially this one (atheism, religion, etc.) It can serve only as an anecdote, nothing more.

      Some theories are irrefutable. Some are far away to get into mainstream, but offer quite interesting explanations. Some are laughable, and some are literally blunders (as shown in the past). Science is a self correcting process and nothing comes close to it, when it comes to explaining the world around us in every aspect. It is also true that even the greatest scientists are not immune to mistakes, not even Einstein. Believe it or not he got wrong not once, not twice, but 23 times (google it). But he was corrected (by himself and others) because of the very nature of the scientific method.

    105. Your knowledge of the law and what constitutes evidence is as limited as your knowledge of everything else. Eyewitness testimony has to be beliveable. If I stated on the witness stand that I observed the tooth fairy in my sleep or saw Santa coming down the chimney, my testimony would undoubtedly be impeached as would yours if you were to testify as to your supposed near-death experience. So another of your false analogies bites the dust.

      To set the record straight, the concept of plate tectonics is accepted by the overwhelming majority of mainstream geologists (the only geologists who count) the world over--and there's no use lying about it.

      In your life-death struggle to argue from authority, you do just the opposite. Einstein was not a geologist, he expressed some serious reservations in his introduction to Hapgood, a salient fact which you fail to mention, just as you also fail to mention that Hapgood's earth crustal displacement theory has been discredited by those in the field, the only ones whose opinions count. be that as it may, great men are sometimes plainly wrong, such as Darwin on genetics and Newton on imaginary numbers--and that the beauty of science is that, regardless of the stature of those who make them, errors are corrected and concepts refined as new information comes in--which is more than I can say for anything you've espoused.

      Don't try to elevate your chimeric beliefs to the level of anything booting serious consideration, speaking of which, how can a unifying answer be found without proof?

      P.S. Just why would anyone want to read a work seeking a bridge between eastern philosophy and physics when the two are entirely separate?

    106. Robert you come across as so hopelessly ignorant sometimes. I mean really, please grow up and have a conversation like an adult. If my kids acted the way you did I'd feel a complete failure as a parent. Did no one ver teach you any manors or are you always this special when you feel threatened?

      "First new ideas are ridiculed etc etc then they are accepted as given" Your protests that the establishment disagree is a hollow one considering vested interests must always die out before new growth can take place. And the establishments retreat to the pillars of the establishment for self justification is easily seen through given enough time or space to see clearly. You're obviously still in the thick of the trees and haven't got the whole picture yet. Give it time and have patience.

    107. From you comments and your factual boo-boo's (read out-and-out lies), you should feel like [...content removed by the mod...].

      Your frustration at failing to disprove anything I or other informed posters have posited is now apparent in the tenor of your posts.

      No, I don't feel threatened, only disgusted.

    108. personal experience by its very nature is subjective. that is not a good way to base a world view.

      how come near death experiences are always culturally consistent? you never have a hindu having a christian NDE or vice versa. know what i mean?

      perhaps the experience is a psychological one and is not actually real but more like a dream.

    109. Actually my near death experience involved a Pagoda, 12 golden sphinxes and a giant ball of white light that could have been anything. So mine had Asian and Egyptian references. I am completely open to any interpretation as to who or what I was conversing with (the white ball in the pagoda). I have never ever labeled it. It is an open question mark that I await more data on before deciding. I merely shared the event as is...

    110. Eating psycilocibin will do that to you. I had a near death experience at 20 years old too, I saw a a different set of meanings though. What the f--k a bent fork and a talking bread machine has to do with God is beyond me, but hey, it is all in the eye of the beholder right. Some good advice is to just lay off the drugs, those delusions will pass at some point.

    111. Actually it was a bit more traumatic and serious than that. Thanks for the advice though. I'll keep it in mind.

    112. and your personality is probably one that is more open to other cultures and ideas.

      more new agey if you will. and your NDE fits that.

    113. Agreed. I never saw an angel, jesus etc and I am allergic to churches.

    114. Evangelical christians like many other religions flood their sences with rythems and dance ect and basically trip out and experience hallucinations because their brains are reacting to too much stimuli In a near death experience ones body must be under a major amount of stress and i do believe they experience the same result. I like your culture point. I,ll have to use that one if you dont mind.

    115. How can a point be valid if not conclusively provable? Considering the mentality embraced in your trip down memory lane, you should expect the heckling of which you complain and if it makes you feel small, it's done its job and done it well.

      So far, you've made a poor showing of being able to hold your own and given a stellar performance as a tool (or do you mean fool?).

    116. Any point is valid in life Rob. Particular the true ones. The trick in life is to learn to weed out the wheat from the chaff. That's easily done in a laboratory but much harder in the real world in human interactions.

      Being a proud father I shudder to think what a family life would be like if conducted under your rules of engagement. It sounds like a post apocalyptic reality dictatorship where human experience is relegated to the backseat and nothing but scientific rules and dogma prevail. I don't think I'd be mister popular for long anyway.

      And I've made a good enough showing to get you flapping from the start so I take that as a sincere compliment and I'm not even kidding.

    117. First of all, my name is Robert.

      "Any point is valid in life . . . particular the true ones." Does this mean that although a point is false it is still valid? And this is what you call a good showing? Well, maybe in your own mind, but frankly your self-flattery on a level with your obnoxious delusions and conceit.

    118. And what a shallow, vapid and conceited interpretation it is ("Why should I bother to throw more pearls before such swine?")

      P.S. Just how does the "answer the argument" tact eliminate all possibility of the opposition being able to respond the question in the first place and how is it circular? Or is this merely a smoke screen for your lack of intellectual depth?

    119. I don't believe I asserted that I loved my mother. I don't believe I asserted that I even have any kids. I don't believe I asserted that I have a dog. So, unlike you who assert the existence of spirituality and whatever, I don't need to prove anything. Obviously, you didn't watch the documentary, preferring instead to run off at the keyboard.

      Spare me your milk-and-water advice. Coming from you, it's an insult to the intelligence.

    120. Rob you are welcome to keep a world where the only things that can be discussed are those that can be proven. Really. Keep it. I wont even try to borrow it mate. It's all yours.

      And I dont recall my little vignette being a challenging statement that required proof. It's no different that saying I had eggs for breakfast really.

    121. Daniel Jones
      i speak only for myself but i don't think anyone said "only things that can be discussed are those that can be proven" i have said many times before if your beliefs make you happy and don't interfere with anyone else or their beliefs go ahead. the problem usually starts when someone tries to state a belief as fact,tries to force it upon others,tries to influence the rights of others,uses the belief to spread hate or intolerance,uses it to indoctrinate children or claims something as scientific that clearly isn't. like it or not but i will stand up every time those things are done.

    122. Or tries to pass belief off as fact.

    123. Always clearly differentiating between the two but often overlooked by those looking for Straw Men under the bed.

    124. you forgot they use it to sexually abuse children, then cover it up and protect the abusers. This in itself creates loathing and contempt for anyone who associates themselves with pedophiles and monsters under the umbrella of the purple sky fairy that rules us all. Please, get a grip, get a clue, get a brain. Seriously, all you bunnies.

    125. Another strawman, Rob, nor anyone else has advocated a world where only the provable is disussed. Infact it's a ridiculous thing to say, if it weren't for he discussion, dreams and questions of scientists and intellectualls who questioned the way things are, you wouldn't be here with us having this discussion as the internet wouldn't exist, nor the technology to create or use it.

      In fact, stopping discussion, questtions and ideas, is the typical act of the relgious state, not the scientific.

    126. Another strawman, wouldn't you say?

    127. And as the documentary clearly stated, no one would normally ask for proof of what you had for breakfast anymore than when you last brushed your teeth. But again, I keep forgetting, you haven't watched the documentary, preferring merely to comment on what you haven't seen and what you know nothing about.

    128. If it was any longer than 11 minutes I would have had to have switched it off to be honest.

    129. @Daniel Jones,

      Actually the documentary is 1 hour and 32 minutes long (web series). Watch the rest and come back. Lot of nice arguments inside.

      Edit 1: Hahaha... you've edited the comment to save yourself from an embarrassment. You thought that the documentary is only 11 minutes long.

      Edit 2: You've restored the original comment. That is honest.

    130. Agreed. Only watched first part. Will get back tomorrow. And what was wrong w my reply to you just now?

    131. @Daniel Jones,

      Nothing wrong. Just watch it.

    132. No there was no bad intent other than i was watching it again just now to be sure i hadnt missed anything, realised my error and simply wanted to avoid a feeding frenzy based on an honest mistake.

    133. When you force your opinions and beliefs on others, ones that are akin to being completely off your rocker, I find it more than offensive you question a mans love for his mother, his kids and his dog. You do a disservice to the human race blithering on and on and on about nothing. Another guy with 20 posts of nothing. We should bow to thee over thy awesomeness.

    134. You must not have read my posts. Shame really. They contain more honesty and zeal for inquiry and the search for truth than your attempted attack.

    135. There was no attempt son. I just did it, period.

    136. What they really contain is a bunch of outright lies coupled with unsupported contentions being passed off as facts and a whole army of strawmen.

      Again, the untoward conceit.

    137. @Daniel Jones,

      2. Whatever specifics you reveal, you will not find anyone from the "science brigade" calling the others r*tard. BTW the man who used the word r*tard, you actually defended him. You think he is HUMANIST.

      3. What duality? You refuse to define science in a proper way. Having said that you find science guilty on no basis. You say: "Scientific genocide is as real as religious genocide." That is completely dishonest statement, because science and religion are two completely distinct incomparable categories (tool and dogma).

      4. You're telling me that building shrines to unknown supernatural beings is a way to go. And in order to have the right to argue against it I have to experience an expanded state of consciousness? Are you saying Scientology, Johnstown, are way to go.

      5. "holistic" or "theistic" thinkers/believers are not treated as pond scum, unless they try to interfere with education, politics, public life.

    138. Actually, I have referred to them as such more than once, because the truth hurts, they take offense. I am from the science brigade, I call em like I see em, much to the chagrin of some people I work with from time to time.

    139. Ouch! (hands over ears) you really don't have to shout to get a fair reading...in fact, I can't read your wall-o-text for all the caps. Quotes ( "these") work just fine.

    140. One person says something and this makes it so.

      Has the "science brigade" called anyone a r*tard, much as I'm sure its members would like to?

      Finally, accusation does not constitute rebuttal. So don't delude yourself, you haven't turned the tables on anything nor are you capable of such.

    141. I'm confused, are you saying that religion is needed for a moral agenda? Because frankly we know for a fact that is enitrely incorrect.

      "I see nothing here but agendas. Scientific technocratic bullying of anyone who seeks to keep a human/spiritual element to the world view is treated with far too much contempt by a small number of trolls here who I can only assume either have large trust funds or benefactors with dubious agendas."

      You see agendas, trust funds and benefactors, based on the fact that people here disagree with religious argument?

      Based on what? What evidence leads you to such conclusions? What prevents the posts on this forum, simply being from people who think differntly than you about religion and the nature of the universe? It's a bit of a strange reaction to have;

      "These people disagree with me, no one individual can possbily have a different opinion to me...it must be a conspiracy....."

      People are disagreeing with the religious postings because those posters are using the exact methods to try to disagree with the video, as are seen in the video and apparently they haven't even watched it before coming to their conclusions. Seems pretty simple to me but maybe I'm missing something.

      Re: "near death experience". Good for you. You've apparently witnessed something different and survived to talk about it. That really doesn't change the matter hand, nor is it evidence of the existence of the supernatural. I'd love to see evidence of the supernatural, sadly, everything I've seen can be explained by logic (curse you, reason!!).

      It's all very well wanting to see magic and unicorns in the world, that's what freedom of religion is all about. I'm pretty sure it doesn't mean you get to sit in judgement on those of us who don't want to dismiss reality in favour of personal fantasies.
      I also missed where a commenter regarded a 'unicorner' (heh I invented a word) as a degenerate ape. If they did, that's pretty unusual and pretty unfair but you can't use it to paint the whole forum.

    142. Can I suggest just simply reading the thread? The answers you claim to seek are found within. Have a great day :-)

    143. Strawman! Strawman! Strawman!

      "You can no more trust a scientist than you used to be able to trust an inquisitor in the middle ages." Well, you can no more trust a religee or self-appointed arbiter of morality than you can a mad dog.
      And by the way, just who is to determine this "moral compass?" [read cork on knowledge] which you're hawking? Some religee who uses his fairty-tale belief system as the basis of his campaign against stem cell research, abortion and birth control? Some ignoramus who knows nothing about physics, biology or for that matter any other scientific discipline who believes himself qualified to pass judgment on what scientific research should be pursued what shouldn't (like someone whom I've recently been reading)? Someone who believes he knows what should be (like that same person)? In short, some uneducated boob trying to dictate to the educated?

      You're right. It would be a shame to consign your pointless anecdote to the dust bin when it can furnish so much amusement and recreation to any intelligent, discriminating reader.

      By "Openheimer," do you mean Robert Oppenheimer? Who are the "Nasa intelligencia [SIC]? " Who are these "worlds greatest scientists and inventors [who have] accepted that there was something higher than mankind?" Why do you hide behind the shield of vague generality? Are you afraid of being unmasked or confronted with the embarassing proposition that merely saying it's so doesn't make it so, no matter who says it.

      Talk about lack of critical thought--non-existence is more like it. And to think this twaddle comes from someone who prides himself on his education.

    144. Wow. Just wow! You are a precious one. Bullied much at school?

    145. @Daniel Jones,

      That is the problem. Robert wrote wall of text to you as counter argument and you return with simple subtle insult.

      What does "Bullied much at school" have to do with anything he said?

    146. Is this to pass as a refutation?

  67. @slpsa

    being scientific minded and being religious are not mutually exclusive events. Albert Einstein (a not very well scientist), once said :

    Every one who is seriously involved in the pursuit of science becomes convinced that a spirit is manifest in the laws of the Universe-a spirit vastly superior to that of man, and one in the face of which we with our modest powers must feel humble.

    the way you rant in your ivory tower-esque tone makes you sound no better than a fundamentalist of any religion talking out of their ***hole. You may be educated (it's very easy to boast being something you're not over the internet), but in all reality you sound like a r*tard.

    1. @ASAP902,

      Don't call people r*etards. Strike one. You just came, you don't want to go early.

      Quoting Einstein out of context is really something. Now read what he really thinks about religion.

      Further more scientists are not robots and are allowed to have their feelings and opinions, religious included, don't you think. For example Tesla was in love with a pigeon. That's right, he said: "I loved that pigeon as a man loves a women, and she loved me. As long as I had her, there was a purpose to my life."

    2. I don't believe that's a misquote, he clearly states what he's saying, so what if there's inconsistencies with other quotes by him, people are inconsistent.

    3. @ASAP902,

      I didn't say it was a misquote. I said you quote him out of context. Two different things. Read all his letters and everything else where he refers to religion, to form an opinion whether he was religious or not.

      Even if he was, that doesn't prove or disprove anything.

    4. Please re-read. Vlatko clearly indicated that it was a quote OUT OF CONTEXT. What an unforgiveable distortion!

    5. Suggested additament: "Quoting Einstein out of context is really something DISHONEST."

    6. Most people if quoted from different periods of their life would be shown to have altered their perception along the way. Quoting them at 15, 25, 35, 45, 55 and so on, is not out of their context, it is showing that through certain thoughts they progressed towards their end thought.
      az

    7. @Azilda,

      Really, so why do you complain that you've been sort of constantly misquoted or quoted out of context.

      If what you claim is true, why don't you say that you've just "progressed."

    8. "Most people if quoted from different periods of their life would be shown to have altered their perception along the way. Quoting them at 15, 25, 35, 45, 55 and so on, is not out of their context, it is showing that through certain thoughts they progressed towards their end thought.
      az"

      Yes, excpet when you use a quote taken at 25, then fail to point out the other quotes from the rest of the life, which completely refute the first quote, that IS dishonest. And it's exactly what was done, hence people pointing out that it was out of context.

      You can't just "say, Yeah well he MAY have said it in 'this' context once..."
      Einstein was not in favour of religion over science, the only people who claim otherwise are creationists or people who've read what creationists have said, then not bothered to find out for themselves.

    9. Are you alleging that this was the case with Einstein?

    10. Coming from a bible thumper, I am sure that means alot to me. I could care less what you and your ilk think. I live in the here and now and in the numbers of life, You live in fantasy. Enjoy it. Insulting me means nothing. It is normal behavior from your type. Nothing new, just more deflection of direction and running from reality. Lash out when you cannot win. We know, been there, done that. You must be new.

    11. Lol from your type
      Sent from my BlackBerry device on the Rogers Wireless Network

    12. Yes, your type mate. We have been here a while, this is not a new debate and neither are the BS arguments. As one intelligent poster suggests, Religion is full of charlatans and hucksters, which is the least type that offend me. It is the blind faithful who attach themselves to institutions that bugger young children and protect the criminal monsters, add to that, the mass ignorance associated with pushing religion on people who have half a brain to know better. You can believe in floating sky fairy's all you wish, but the minute you open your traps about how it is us that have to bear the burden of proof of your false deity's and proceed to state it as fact that gets posters with any intellect ire's up. Again, think what you like, but do not think for one minute the lies people like you post will not be opposed, blown to shreds and ostracized. People tend to get that way when others are blatantly trolling or blatantly lying.

    13. Your a Rogers Customer. Enough said. LOL! You must like paying more than you have to for your fancy smart phone. Does God have a decent plan for wireless? If so, you should get one and switch from the most expensive one, I am sure God can fix you up. Just trying to help you out.

  68. Religion has provin again and again to be, fatal, for millions. One religion against another, repeated through out history, in an ever changing soup of beliefs and customs. It is the believers that i believe need saving or they might just kill each other off and probably take the rest of us down with them.

    1. It would be nice if the rest were left out of the battle.

    2. I get an overwhelming feeling of doom when I see how much power religions have throughout the world. And sometimes it is hard to sit back and shut up when I feel like their wars are going to come to my door. ... So i post something on this page as if it will make me feel better. I didnt because its not enough. I cant start a war to stop it and i wont start a war because I think i,m right. So i,ll sit back again and watch helplessly while the wars continue. What a sad way to be when so many have kept the ancient mindset from the time of the bible, when lets face it they were not very well educated nor had the knowlege that we have now. They were just fairly good at filling in the gaps when they didnt understand things.

    3. Only, since the enlightenment, they've not been so good at it any more.

    4. Lorna,
      You are correct that FALSE religion is the cause of most of the world's wars etc

    5. FALSE religion, what a tautology.

    6. Is that like a double double?? LOL! The futile nature of that statement overwhelmed me for a moment as well Robert. A double falsehood, or double oxymoron, take your pick. Just wow. There is grasping at straws and then there is pulling down redwood trees in a single sentence. Just wow. Yes, you keep wondering all you like jeffroko, it seems to me, it is pretty obvious why people do not believe in your false God. Statements like you made there say it all, without any doubt whatsoever. I cannot help but feel sorry for your kind at times. Then I remember the pedophiles abusing young children and being harbored and protected within your beloved Church. Your type makes me physically ill quite honestly. Hypocrites of the worst kind and smart like a bag of Doritos to boot. How awesome.

    7. I don't think you meant to write this to me.

    8. Meh, I am lost, its late, I for sure have yet to disagree with one word you have posted, so yeah, wrong guy...lol.

  69. @Vlatko, Over_the_Edge, Epicurus, Achem and, of course, anyone else with knowledge, not naked belief:

    Two questions:

    1. Is there really much difference between a modern day atheist such as Richard Dawkins, and an agnostic? They both seem to be saying that because there has been no evidence to establish the existence of a supreme being, they refuse to believe in one.

    2. Like the term theory, doesn't the term law have two meanings, one in the legal or pedestrian sense as a precept and the other in the scientific sense as a description of a phenomenon with nothing jussive intended?

    1. robertallen1
      to try to answer your questions first i must say that the definitions of atheist and agnostic are being expanded and reinterpreted to the point of uselessness to define a persons stance in my opinion.
      1. i believe that atheist and agnostic concern two different views. the first concerns belief and the second concerns knowledge
      2 yes

    2. Thanks for your reply. However, the way Dr. Dawkins defines modern day atheism just doesn't seem to be all that different from agnosticism. However, I would appreciate an elaboration.

  70. In any classroom on any subject the person in authority is the professor, and he/she is the final word on any disputes. But in a room without a professor there is no final authority. Everybody here thinks he knows more than everybody here and that the final-word microphone is rightfully his/hers.

    In this kind of environment, nothing is settled, everybody leaves pissed off and the janitor is left to clean up the sandwich wrappers, parakeet feathers and popsicle sticks left all over the desks and floors.

    Nothing can be settled or understood without a structured format and an authority to lay it out. It is not going to happen, and in in the interest of avoiding the flying sandwich wrappers and hysterical parakeets, I am following Shawn's lead. I herewith hike up my skirt and split.

  71. I think this documentary illustrated what baseless propaganda is. It asserts that we as believers must provide proof of God's existence. But that is the whole point, there is no proof and we believe by faith alone. There is evidence though for example the bible and other texts which explain the life and death of Jesus. The majority of scientists and historians will agree that Christ was a historic reality. The bible may have its flaws, but where faith comes into it is when you start to believe that the story of Jesus as described in the bible is accurate. Who knows what is possible? No amount of Figgs Boson material is going to prove one way or another that God does or does not exist. We'll probably find out when we die though.

    1. "There is evidence though for example the bible and other texts which explain the life and death of Jesus. The majority of scientists and historians will agree that Christ was a historic reality. The bible may have its flaws, but where faith comes into it is when you start to believe that the story of Jesus as described in the bible is accurate."

      I've been doing some reading on the subject, and since there are no first-hand accounts extant (nor have any been for about 1800 years, give or take 50 or so), the biblical scholars seem to think that there *probably* was a historical Jesus.

      But they also know that everything any bible says about this person has been cobbled together from handed-down oral traditions, stories and rituals, which subsequently were translated, re-translated, (re-re-etc.), so that whoever this person was, very little of his own words actually come down to us.

      I've read a translation of the "Q" document, and it only amounted to a few pages of English translation. As for the rest of the biblical 'filler', it was all written by men, for their own purposes and not always worthy ones.

      Granted, I am a not a biblical scholar, nor have I learned any of the ancient languages the original texts were written in, but I don't think *any* of the stories written generations after his death--for purposes which had nothing to do with the teachings of this presumed wise man--bear any resemblance to him. I sure have major doubts that any biblical stories come close to accuracy.

    2. By the Q document, do you mean the concordance of similarities among three of the synoptic Gospels? If so, it was developed more as a scholarly tool than anything? Have you read any works of Bart Ehrman?

    3. Yes, I do mean the concordance, and I do realize it's a scholarly tool. But since I will never learn ancient Hebrew or Greek, it's all I have to go on.

      I currently have 3 of Ehrman's books on my ipad, "Lost Christianities" "Jesus, Interrupted" and "Misquoting Jesus", although I have only read a little of the first so far.

      I am not a practicing Catholic (have not been since about age 15 or so), but I am always curious as to the all-pervasiveness of religion's hold on society. Also, I am always curious. (I am a Kat!)

    4. All three are worth reading. So what's stopping you?

      I was not criticizing you for using the Q source, however synthetic it is. After all, some of the best biblical scholars have availed themselves of it. I compare it to proto-Indio-European in the sense that the "language" though synthetic constitutes a wonderful description of the evolution of western languages.

    5. The only thing stopping me reading is time and tired eyes. I downloaded them a couple of weeks ago because someone mentioned Ehrman on this site, in a different discussion. Also, they are not books to read straight through like a novel.

      My interest in seeking out the Q document was to see what Jesus was really teaching, when stripped of all the added stories and political layers, and I came across it--oh, 15 or 20 years ago? It is more intellectual curiosity than a rigorous field of study for me. I don't think I was ever coerced into believing the bible was an 'inerrant' document, for which I thank my parents, so I have always felt perfectly free to look for the nut inside the shell.

    6. As I've told you before, your parents obviously did a good job on you.

      Actually, you can read Dr. Ehrman's books straight through like a novel; that's one of their beauties. When you have finished one of them, I would be interested in your impressions.

    7. But it is possible that the story of Jesus' life is factual as written. Even after being handed down from however many generations have been between now and then. That is where faith and striving to live in the example of a faultless man come into play. When you look at the lives of those who do, and those who don't (live by Jesus' example) you begin to see why someone would choose to live by blind faith. It casts a much more beautifying effect on what some would refer to as a meaningless existence.

    8. " . . . it is possible that the story of Jesus' life is factual as written." Nonsense. There are too many conflicts among the synoptic gospels.

      And by the way, what is a faultless man? I find the biblical account of "Jesus" to be the story of a conceited fool ("I am the way, the truth and the light." John 14:6 ) with a warped sense of values (the story of Doubting Thomas, John 20:24-29) and an officious meddler (chasing the money changers from the temple, one of the acts contained in all four synoptic gospels). How can anyone live by "Jesus'" "example" when we have no idea what his example was?

      What it all amounts to is the "beautifying effect" of idiocy and wilful ignorance.

    9. Idiocy and willful ignorance must be your forte. I get the feeling Jesus may have been on to something when he tried to rid a place of worship from something as filthy as a monetary trade. Can you imagine what a world would be like if everyone gave willingly of their time and resources to the betterment of others' lives without the exchange of money taking place? Or a world where people weren't expected by society to do monotonous work against their will to earn a living? Think about it for a little while. You have stated that the notion of the possibility that the account of Jesus' life is true, is nonsense. You just may know for a fact that it's all an elaborate lie, but the proof will never show it's face. It takes a lot of faith to actually believe that the elaborate whole of the universe came to being spontaneously. No scientist will ever prove how the consciousness of a man really exists. Some things only God himself can know. Maybe some day he'll let you in on that little secret, if you ask him nicely ;D

    10. You obviously haven't studied the bible in a scholarly sense--and any other study is worthless. The contradictions render all the accounts suspect, so at least a good part of them must be untrue on their face. Of course, this take reasoning, something you're dead set against.

      And speaking of reasoning and knowledge, how embarassing to find that there are grown-ups like you who believe in the resurrection and all the other little twaddle tales found in a book of which you have not the least understanding.

      Contrary to your assertion, it does not take a leap of faith to verify the "Big Bang," merely an examination of the evidence with a knowledge of basic physics and, of course, an education--and a rational one at that. So don't insult my intelligence by trying to drag through the mud of your ignorant and unfounded beliefs (read faith), such as "No scientist will ever prove how the consciousness of a man really exists." Is this something your fairy godmother told you or did you discover it on your own and if so, how?

      "Some things only God himself can know." Before you can even make such an outlandish statement, you must first prove that there is a god--and faith is a pathetic, puerile and vapid answer, so don't even attempt it.

      P.S. Spare me what passes for your Eutopian visions. Just try to live without money and see how far you get.

    11. You religee's always talk as if your big JC was real, since you are talking as if he was real, you are making a claim that he existed as written in your bibles, none of you religious has even determined to us (skeptics) satisfaction that your big JC was a moving and a-grooving deity, instead if he existed at all was just a mere tiny, inconsequential carbon unit, a mortal.

    12. We do not need a false God for this bud. It is called Zeitgeist and the guy that had these ideas is not God the last time I checked. Stealing Jacques ideas is about the speed of a bible thumper. Good job on stealing. But we already knew the Church breaks every single Commandment they tout. Unless raping young kids is not a sin, I guess.

    13. Possible, but not likely. Most of what was written down are stories made up decades and centuries later. I'm not sure why one must suspend disbelief in the stories in order to comprehend the truth.

      You don't have to have 'blind faith' in order to strive for a moral life. You just have to be self-aware and willing to make the effort. Jesus was *a* teacher and should be honored for that. But he was not the *only* teacher. Edit: He was also not the only ascetic preaching in his region. Perhaps he was simply more charismatic than most, and was therefore remembered.

      The path should be justification enough; the beauty comes in the effort made. It's a personal path, however, and each person walks it alone. It's the height of arrogance to assume that one's own path is more meaningful than someone else's; one has no way to make or validate such an assessment.

    14. Your head's certainly in the right place; however, there is no way of knowing if "Jesus" was a teacher. Most likely his "teachings" came from those who followed him which explains just about all the contradictions. (I implore you now more than ever to read the three books you have by Dr. Ehrman). If we go by the writings of Pliny the Elder and Lucian who lived a century to a century-and-a-half later, "Jesus'" charisma, if any, extended only to a small group.

    15. It is unreasonable to believe something without a reason for that belief. It is especially unreasonable to expect others to believe it without good reason.

      If you simply believe it, that's fine, all well and good. It is your right and privilege. If you express it to others, as an assertion rather than an opinion, you cannot avoid the burden of proof. It is created the moment you express your belief, by the fact that you express it. It is part of how language works. It is not propaganda, it is how we communicate ideas, information and so on.

      Some people may not ask you to shoulder that burden, but you are being unreasonable to deny that it is your burden to those who do require it from you.

      Faith? Where is your doubt?!

    16. Where's the honor in doubt? I see honor in faith in an all knowing, all forgiving, all loving creator of conscious, yet-imperfect beings with free will. Reason is used to prove points which are irrelevant when it comes to a personal relationship with one's creator. I have doubted creation, but I realize that the evidence is too overwhelming when I think of all the countless blessings, the near-death experiences, and other close calls, that I decided it's too much of a coincidence that I have come this far and have such a beautiful existence despite my past. I can't say I blame anyone for doubting God's existence in a world so screwed up by humanity's free will.

    17. The honor in doubt is called intelligence, something lacking in people of faith. What you have decided is your own business, but quite frankly it's illogical and silly.

      However, prove to me that there is a creator--and don't try to wiggle out of it.

    18. You will someday come to the same conclusion many of us have, being brought up in a religious family. You have been lied to, and lied to big time pal. Get over it, and move on. God does not fix things, you do. Enough said.

    19. Who said anything about honor? Moreover, where is the honor in suspending the most powerful critical function of mind? Where is the honor in believing things that may be lies, without checking first?

      More to the point, what is the point of believing something that cannot be checked, for true or false? Why would you do that? It indicates you are content and willing to accept and repeat lies as truth, with faith as your excuse. That is both dishonest and dishonorable.

      You cite coincidence as your evidence, but as I mentioned in a previous post, this argument is well covered and soundly refuted in the latter part of the doc, did you watch it?

    20. I tried to watch it, but there are so many better things to do than watch what tries to come across as the irrefutable side in a debate (it goes nowhere in proving creationism wrong).. but if it were. the author would be here on this board defending his argument against the one true statement that comes from it.. there is no proof to either side of the debate. This doc is a piece of propaganda fueling a debate with no definitive answer. I'd like to point out that one side (of the debate) gets pretty heated when challenged, yet the other stays calm and firm in their beliefs. That's where unscientific themes come into play, Honor, Trustworthiness, Courage, Patience,and Grace. Which side does more name calling and childish finger pointing? And which side has definitive evidence as to the truth or falsehood of a supreme being? Neither.. Faith is the only guide.

    21. So now you admit that you haven't watched it and yet you state, "This doc is a piece of propaganda fueling a debate with no definitive answer." How would you know or are you just using your faith as a guide?

      Anyway, if you haven't watched the documentary, what business do you have commenting on this string? Yours seems to be a classic case of trolling.

    22. If one claims that bubblegum causes rabies, I would want to see the evidence that supports that claim. Until that evidence is presented I will not believe it. It is not faith that motivates me but doubt.

      This film says it best. One starts out in life not knowing anything as the default position. Any knowledge accrued should be verifiable or you stay at the knowing nothing stage. At that stage no one knows of the existence of a creator. He is at the knowing nothing stage. For one to know of a creator's existence from that nothing stage he has to hear it from outside. When one is told that there could be a creator one has the right to ask how the tellar could know this. Like the bubblegum claim, there should be evidence or there is no reason to believe it. It's not that difficult a concept.

    23. For most, but for some, it's impossible to graduate from the know-nothing stage.

  72. The documentary illustrated what critical thinking is, and why, in the author's well-reasoned view, it led to his atheist viewpoint--while pointing out that 'atheism' has as many different meanings as does 'theist.'

    If a theist of any persuasion can give an equally-well-reasoned response, using critical thinking, please do so.

    But only if critical thinking rules are applied to the answer. If you are not sure what the rules of this debate are, please review the material in the documentary and apply them to your point of view.

    @Crispy777: It is due to Vlatko's hard work and dedication we are even having these discussions, and he deserves our respect. 'Nuff said.

  73. @DerekC

    Again, I wonder why you reply. I have not asked you to convince me or anyone else of anything, I have asked you some simple questions in order to get a better idea of what you think, and what your position really is. Your deflection albeit eloquent, maybe even well meaning, is similar to saying 'it simply cannot be explained' or at the least you are unwilling to, which basically concedes that you have nothing to say, which is why I wonder why you bother to post at all. All I know about you is that you support Shaun Lewis' posts which are of the creationist/ID ilk, and you like to avoid answering questions.

    Likewise I am not trying to convince you of anything, I was trying to get a better understanding of you and why you post what you do, but I realise that you do not wish to share. That is OK with me, sorry for bothering you. You are off the 'hook' - and I am no fisherman.

    If you are interested, why not ask a few questions yourself? I suspect sadly, that you believe you already have the answers.

    Regards,
    Sam.

    1. Sam...you are absolutely right in your entire assessment.

  74. Here we are discussing the highest matter in the universe. How much progress can we expect from conversing on the level of, "Yo mama."

    1. Well, that being said, I have to dumb it down for people like you, so I use colorful, uneducated language. I am sure if you read my posts from other subjects, you might notice the level of intellect dropped steadily as I had to explain simple concepts of life to simpletons. If you cannot understand big words and scientific talk, we have to resort to hood talk. After all, I have watched Jesus Camp and understand what level I must be at to even attempt to communicate with idiots. They use dumb arse redneck talk, I come back at them with hood talk. It is not really rocket science, you must adapt to your surroundings and work with what you are given. When it comes to this topic, the idiots have a head start to be totally honest with ya bro.

  75. rob...okay...if you've been paying attention...and to drag this down to the nasty level that seems to prevail...obviously you haven't--I've said several times that I am interested, but not in defending my thinking.

    1. You've obviously forgotten your last comment.

      As for defending your thinking, you can't defend what doesn't exist.

    2. Moving right along. Do we wonder why we get nowhere?

    3. Speak for yourself.

  76. Since Religion and Science took different path, science has always tried to prove or disprove that God does exist or not (if indirectly), and it will continue to do so until it can.
    I realize that most commenters will argue this, but that still remains my opinion.
    az

    1. However ill-informed.

    2. @Azilda,

      By saying God what do you exactly mean? In order science to begin to disprove something we need to establish what that actually is.

    3. I wrote:"Since Religion and Science took different path, science has always tried to prove or disprove that God does exist or not (if indirectly), and it will continue to do so until it can."(or as long as we can)
      I think:
      If infinity exist ahead of us, then infinity exist behind us. If infinity exist then god exist. What is god? "Anyone's guess for now" is my anwer. But it is by searching that we will find.
      It is easy to understand that a word like God has spread the world over. The word god is not that old but the concept of the mystery of life itself likely goes as far back as before humans could talk. The question: Who am i and what is outside of me? Does not require one to know how to talk. We assume our predecessors knew very little because we compare what their knowledge must have been according to artifacts and tools that are found but who knows how they used their mind...not necessarily their brain.
      When i say that we have been pregnant of the idea of god for eons and that we will one day give birth to it, I don't know what that could be. The union of all people's conciousness seen as a mass, is "the" creator of our immediate present, it can take any direction, especially if infinity is. Could it be that when the whole world comes to realize that we have this power, that the world will also realise that we can direct it in any direction we wish.
      Certain scientists bring the idea that we are nothing but energy, what could that mean? Where could this idea go? Where could someone take it? Where could millions take it?
      I am not bothered by people who believe in the God of their religion, i say, let them be. Stop the fight any way possible, but at the same time let's invest in the power of alliance.
      To take life without tension is to change the way humanity has always fonctioned and it start with the self in all possible situations.
      az
      I expect to be misundestood because words never represents the depth of what we feel.

    4. Well, organizations, such as say, oh, the Vatican, who harbors pedos and religions that protect them, should bother you. But who I am I to say? I will say this in defense of my hatred of the Catholic religion. I am a father of four, two sons, two daughters. That is enough reason for these idiots to bother me, greatly.

    5. "If infinity exist, then god exist." Where is the logic in that statement. "If infinity exist ahead of us, then infinity exist behind us." Isn't this merely a sententious way of saying that infinity is infinite?

    6. @Azilda,

      You're bound to be misunderstood. You're talking in vague concepts. As if two people read the Bible and they interpret it differently.

      Since you "defined" God as "anyone's guess for now" lets look at how silly is this sentence:

      Science is trying to disprove anyone's guess for now. Or science is trying to disprove the union of all people's consciousness.

      There is no "definition" of God and science is not trying to disprove something which is not defined in the first place. Further more it doesn't fit the scientific method. Otherwise science would have been examining the possibility of the existence of my unicorn on Titan - the master of the universe.

    7. You speak of science as of a deity

    8. @aptnw,

      Are you still here?

      A deity is a being, natural, supernatural or preternatural, with superhuman powers or qualities, and who may be thought of as holy, divine, or sacred.

      Give it another try.

    9. Still here?
      Just the occasional visit is all.

      And "give it another try" with someone who edits at will?
      No thanks.

      [edited by the moderator who edits at will]

    10. i was so tempted to edit this to say something funny....

    11. @aptnw,

      Good I just edited your comment. Cheers.

    12. You prove my point

    13. Once again you take my words and play cards with them.
      Which was expected as i wrote at the bottom.
      And yes people on your side (some aren't) are trolling, if you want i can quote many phrases that belong in the trolling verbiage.
      az

    14. Thanks for the trolling support Az. And also for not naming names too. Counterproductive.

    15. @Azilda,

      No, I don't take your words and play cards with them. I'm just quoting you. Whenever confronted you whine that you've been played.

      And no, people on "my side", in this thread do not insult nor troll. Now take off your biased glasses for once please.

      All of them were trying to be polite. Even @Robert was doing his best not to insult anyone.

      You're definitely not fair.

    16. Well that being said, I tire of suffering fools, someday's I regress into out and out insults and colorful language to accompany it, other days I use the language of the professional I am. It depends who is talking, what they are saying and their intellect level. We do have to dumb it down sometimes. That being said, I apologize for writing some of what I said, but it does not change the fact, religious nut jobs are what they are.

    17. Az...see I can understand you some times. You said..."The union of all peoples consciousness seen as a mass, is "the" creator of our immediate present, it can take any direction especially if infinity is."

      That is a round-about way to say that with all our collective thinking we make our day to day reality and en-mass form the present reality as in accordance to "Julian Barbour's theory "the end of time" that time is nothing but an illusion, and that everything is static and everything that is, and was, and will be, already happened, waiting for us to pull out our unlimited probabilities at our disposal every Planck second and flipping the universe every Planck second to give us our flow of linear time. Right? Makes sense to me!

    18. You have such words to explain it. Mine sound like a child song played on a piano, yours may be the same song but played by an orchestra.
      az

    19. Hmmm. I do not think science has ever truthfully even attempted either, because as has been stated many, many times, the only rule is; making a claim burdens the proof/disproof upon the claim maker.

      God(s) existing or not is not a claim that science makes or has made either way, ever.

      Some atheists would like to disprove god. Even so it is not their burden, unless they claim to be absolutely certain that no god(s) exist.

      I myself as I have expressed before, have my doubts about all things. Absolute certainty is simply a naive idealisation in my book.

      I choose to live and think as an atheist and I am a hard line agnostic.

      Each to their own, of course. And opinions are welcomed for what they are.

      Regards,
      Sam.

    20. "Since Religion and Science took different path, science has always tried to prove or disprove that God does exist or not (if indirectly), and it will continue to do so until it can.
      I realize that most commenters will argue this, but that still remains my opinion.
      az"

      I sort of agree, but gods aren't the target of science one way or another. Understanding is the target of science and if that understanding leads us to discover there is or is not a god, it's kewl but not a priority. It's just one more thing on the list of discoveries waiting to be ...well, discovered.

      Half the problems that face the atheistic community come from Thesists [falsely] claiming that we're out to get them and "God". It'd be better all around if they understood that gods don't register with us one way ot ther other. We're interested in factual truth, wherever the factual truth may take us.

    21. Gods are not the target of science, the fundamental idea of a "god" (whatever it is) is though, god being the utmost unknown....again this is my opinion.
      az

    22. Yes, if you say that "god" means the unknown, but then, why not just say that the target of science is the unknown? It's more precise, doesn't risk alienating the religious and doesn't imply that the non-religious are seeking to remove 'theism' from the world.

      It's just semantics and PR but unfortunately, in heated debate (where most forums tend to reside as it's tough to recognise the sentiment and emotion behind a paragraph on a page) it's a good choice since people will look for anything to misinterpret, especially if they theink they're being attacked.

    23. @Azilda,

      ...god being the utmost unknown... again this is my opinion

      What are you trying to convey for God's (utmost unknown) sake. Are you saying that science is against discovering the unknown. Science is all about the unknown.

  77. See, its all fun and games until someone losses an eye.

    1. I can't watch it because of the bad animation. It hurts my eyes to see the faces with only one eye.

    2. I have no problem with the content, but rather with the presentation. Like Mr. Ra, the narrator rambles on in an all-too-fast monotone with all-too-fast animation ostensibly to complement his points. If public speaking is not his forte, he should confine himself to scripting and find someone else for the delivery.

  78. Thank you for proving my point robertallen1.

    1. What point? That you lack the intellectual capacity to tackle your subject with anything approaching competence?

  79. Ok, well this is annoying. I posted on here initially to provide my opinion and was only responded to with non-sequitur, tautologic and straw man arguments and personal attacks. I’m waiting my time trying to debate the existence of God on this thing because evidently people here have the emotional maturity of third graders. The fact is that the universe is something we live in and still cannot completely define. Saying there is no God is being as closed minded as atheists claim theists are. We just don’t know what happened or who’s out there.

    I'm done.

    1. Talk about the emotional maturity of a third grader. Anyone who aspires to be an elementary school teacher can simply read your posts and then apply for a position. Besides, what does emotional maturity have to do with the existence of a supreme being? Now, intellectual maturity coupled with accuracy is something else--and you obviously could use a liberal dose.

    2. @Shawn Lewis,

      "We just don’t know what happened or who’s out there."

      Of course, which means my hypothesis could also be true: "On Titan, there is a Unicorn who is the master of this Universe."

      Also every other religious claim could also be true, such as the one in the African mythology which says that "the elephant is always the wise chief who impartially settles disputes among the forest creatures."

      Having no logical, theoretical or empirical means to examine all those distinct hundreds of thousands ridiculous claims that exist at this time, science doesn't bother with YOUR God at all. It has many better things to do.

      So when I say "On Titan, there is a Unicorn who is the master of this Universe", what would you say to me? Or even better, what would you say when I want this belief to be taught to small children, along with the science classes.

    3. I am quite willing to debate the existence of God but you first must provide a platform from which we can begin a debate. You claim that he exists. I offer that there is no evidence so I highly doubt his existence. Provide the evidence and I will examine it and we can discuss it. I can assure you that it will not become a personal attack on your intelligence. My mother attended school until grade five in the Netherlands, yet she taught herself to read and write in English. Obviously she possessed a degree of intelligence even though she was a devout Christian. I respected her beliefs even though I did not share them. I can do the same for you.

      You are correct that no one really knows if a God truly exists and to reject that existence, outright, is close minded. That would imply absolute knowledge. However, I can say we need proof to allow his existence to be known as fact. That is not unreasonable or aggressive in nature.

    4. Your statements are correct, but I don't think you need to rationalize, apologize or treat the matter shamefacedly in any way.

    5. Shawn. "evidently people here have the emotional maturity of third graders...I'm done." Ha! You couldn't make it in the parakeet cage either, huh? I'm sympathetic. It's a gap that not only cannot be bridged, those you are trying to reach do not WANT to be reached. The most futile of communication efforts...:-)

      You have presented the most salient and cogent concepts here, and your words were wasted. For what it's worth...I hear you. Loud and clear.

  80. There are a few religions that provoke interesting thoughts and do very well at trying to explain what it means to be conscious, and what you should do as a conscious being. That being said, all religion is just the imagination of people throughout time trying to explain the meaning of existence and reality with no physical evidence to prove w/e religion they believe in. None. There is no testable proof that any of it is real. You can ask, "what about faith!!???" but faith just means you are insane. Take that as you will. A person who believes something, and the only proof that it exists is that you have a strong feeling that it is real (which is NOT proof), is nuts. Some religions like christianity (ha! our fav religion to pick on as atheists) do nothing but make the masses conform to the idea that if you believe in these ancient texts you will live forever in heaven. Therefore not giving a squat diddly (see vlatko i learned how to swear nice) about the present existence. Which is your only chance at consciousness. You get one chance to experience life, and you throw it all away talking to yourself on your knees, and hoping to do it forever in the clouds. Now if you can see how horrible that thought is, you can see why atheists abhor organized religion. I personally have no major problem with buddhism, or even rastafarianism to name a couple, but monotheistic religions disgust me. K rant over. I'll probably do it again in different words in a week when we get another religious doc. =P

  81. The more a man knows, the less he believes--
    --Oriental Proverb--

    1. The more a man believes, the less he knows.

      --an identical statement--

  82. @DerekC

    Jacks argument is that believing that the universe requires a designer is comparable to believing that trees make the wind blow, and is well put. If you think differently, as you appear to do, defend your position and explain why Jacks argument is wrong, in your eyes.

    1. Okay Samuel...here we go:

      Our(!) perception is linear. We experience time sequentially. First the wind blows, then the trees move. But sequence in time/space is merely a belief like everything else. Suppose we remove ourselves from the time/space continuum and view it from outside? Then it is all in the same moment...now. Or--if we wish we can go backward. First the trees move, THEN the wind blows.

      Cause and effect are one; they cannot be separated except in a person's belief structure. The four year old who sees the trees move THEN the wind blow has a thought structure no less valid than the "adult."

    2. Firstly, sequential time is not merely a belief. It is a testable observation. Secondly, your reference to the 'space/time continuum' apart from sounding like star trek, is irrelevant in this case, as we are not talking about relativistic spacetime.

      We are talking about cause and effect, however. Your argument is that cause and effect are somehow interchangeable or indistinguishable from each other. They are not, if time ran backward, cause would still precede effect, though effect would be experienced first. If time was stopped, cause and effect may appear to be simultaneous, but this does not mean that they are the same thing. Cause will still be cause, and effect will still be effect, no matter what arbitrary demands you make upon time.

      [edit] Also consider when arguing about cause and effect that it is part of the claim for a designer 'cause' creating the universe 'effect' . In effect your argument is self defeating.

      We are not talking about the validity of thought structures, between the adult/child. We are talking about the accuracy of their conclusions. So which is more accurate?

      Regards,
      Sam.

    3. I have no interest whatever in defending my way of thinking, and your response is precisely why I avoided stating it. I only laid it out because you insisted. Your disagreement with my belief system is merely your belief system and if you are fine with what you think so am I.

      Most people will die to defend their opinions (that's why Oprah is rich). I am not one of them. My beliefs are just as useless and mercurial as yours. If you really want to have a meaningful conversation tell me what you know.

      Then we can talk. In meantime, may the Force be with you...:-)

    4. Well excuse me for thinking that being as you posted a reply (to me rather than Jack whose argument you failed to address), you actually wanted to discuss, now I am left wondering why you posted in the first place if as you state you have 'no interest whatever' - my mistake.

      Tell you what I know?

      OK Derek, I know that some beliefs are more valid and carry more weight than others, namely those built upon logical reasoning, observation, testing and evidence as opposed to those depending on a priori or circular deterministic assertions.

      But then you have no interest, what's it to you anyway?

    5. Nope...still yer opinion.

    6. So then in your opinion, the belief that the trees make the wind blow is as valid and holds as much water as the belief that convection currents combined with the rotation of the earth amongst other things makes the wind blow?

      [edit] for clarity, the question put to you (for the 2nd time) is; which belief do you think is more accurate?

    7. Samuel,

      For clarity; my position is that ALL beliefs are nothing more than that--beliefs. All are equally invalid. All that matters is Truth. And for clarity--Truth is that which can be known.

    8. Derek, sorry for the late reply, I had to take my elderly father for a hospital visit, much as I indeed wanted to continue this discussion, I was not able until now.

      I have not once attacked your beliefs, merely questioned the logic behind them. You seem to equate beliefs with opinions with theories with facts, similarly as you confuse cause and effect, but there are very distinct differences between these things. This is not simple semantics, they have many both subtle and profound dissimilarities and their proper usage is of utmost importance if you are to be clear - for clarity.

      And no, all beliefs are not equally invalid, some are more valid than others, again, why do you not address the question, do you really think believing the trees make the wind is as valid as believing that convection and rotation does? Consider that one of these is clearly closer to 'truth' which brings me neatly to my next point. If truth is all that matters, surely beliefs that reflect it are more important to you than those that don't?

      Truth... now, there is a powerful word, one should be very careful when employing it. I completely agree it is the crux of the matter. I ask you, how do you think we come by it - all that which can be known? There is to my knowledge only one method available to us.

      I do not expect you to answer that question, as you evidently prefer to deflect, but please consider what the answers are for your own benefit.

      Regards,
      Sam.

    9. I think his beliefs should be attacked because from his posts, he wants to spread them about and render those around him as ignorant as he.

    10. Samuel,

      Again, I have no wish to convince anybody of anything. As I said, if you are happy with your way of thinking, so am I.

      You are obviously sincere in your inquiry, but yer just gonna hafta let me off the hook. Our perceptual constructs are too different; we speak different languages. For you to understand my language would take decades...literally. A bat that uses echolocation couldn't be further from your perceptual arrangment than mine.

      To quote Alexander Pope:
      "Say first of God above or man below,
      What can we reason but from what we know?"

      I respect your thinking. You obviously do not take it lightly. It will take you to where you are going...:-)

    11. You try to rationalize your lack of counterarguments (read proof) with the self-serving assertion, "You'll never understand me because we're worlds apart," as if there is somehow alters the facts.

    12. rob...no, I rationalize my lack of counterarguements with the self-serving assertion that I just don't give a rusty @#%&.

    13. If you're so insouciant, why are you posting?

    14. Interesting, so you have absolutely no belief in a God? Since no 'god' can be known, existence of a god cannot be, per your statement, true.

      I can get with that. I have absoutely no belief in any gods. In fact I have a really tough time understanding how other people can. The idea seems ludicrous to me, an infininte, invisible, perfect, infallible sky-man who's bigger than infinity and came before infinity but didn't have a start itself (contradiction) and with infinite power and infalibility, created entirely fallible life in it's own image (contradiction).
      Then spent thousands of years doing nothing but be obsessed with the life only on that planet, demanding worship (contradiction, if something has needs, it is not perfect or infallible).

      Don't get me wrong, I think that other people having beliefs is fair enough, whatever floats yer boat and all that, and difference makes life interesting. I just can't quite understand it myself.

      All the arguments presented for the existence of God amounts to less than would prove the existance of Hogwarts, Elves or Darth Vader.

    15. In other words, logical reasoning, observation, testing and evidence is simply opinion which is just as good as a priori or circular deterministic assertions.

    16. And if you will note carefully, I didn't say I had no interest, I said I had no interest in defending my way of thinking.

    17. didnt you mean you had no way of defending your way of thinking

    18. Mr. Morrissey has science to back him up; you have nothing. So don't equate your ignorance with his knowledge.

    19. "Our(!) perception is linear." What about curves in space?

      By definition, time is sequential, so your statement that we experience time sequentially says absolutley nothing and does not justify the four-year-old's belief structure about the sequence of the wind and the rustling in the stress, for it is simply wrong, despite the toddler's perception and yours--and speaking of YOUR perception, cause and effect cannot be separated in YOUR belief structure and only in YOUR belief structure.

    20. When you get in your car you always turn the key to start the engine. That is the sequence that is necessary to drive the vehicle. The engine will not start before you turn the key. It is not opinion. Your intellectual argument is not supported by practical application. If it was, you would spend a lot of time waiting for the car to start without having to turn the key. Listening to the radio might help to pass the time but you know that you have to turn that on also...don't you.

      The point of my story about the four year old (true story) is about how we arrive at conclusions. We can never arrive at a correct conclusion unless we have the empirical data to back it up. I don't see how such a simple idea can be so confusing for some people.

  83. Jack--I take it then, that you don't think the wind is caused by trees blowing about?

    1. No. The trees moving their branches about does not cause the movement of air which we call the wind. Its possible I thought so when I was four but not for a long time.

      If you find this concept confusing it is no wonder you cannot understand this documentary.

  84. Shawn Lewis
    all your posts say is that i believe in something i cannot or will not define. we don't know everything so i believe in a god. and things require a cause.the thing is you can believe anything you wish but you have provided no proof for your belief and don't even define your belief in any way that others can test for themselves. you did say that you have as much proof as there is for the up quark but still haven't shown it so you did make a claim. like the doc stated we can sit here forever and list things not proven wrong all day . none of that adds up to anything that means squat to anybody but those who already believe as you do. science is about asking questions making observations and figuring out how things actually work. your assertion or belief states here is the answer i believe. it answers no questions provides, no insights and can't even be defined. so go ahead believe that if you wish but there are those of us that require more and we are trying to get some answers so if you don't mind if you cannot define your god and provide positive proof for it or at least a way we can test and look for this proof please don't compare your belief to science in any way shape or form i find it insulting.

  85. I'm passing the mike to Shawn. You say what I'm saying only better. Good luck in the parakeet cage...lol

  86. Oh--Achem...I have read Hawking and I like him very much. I started off with his "brief History of Time," and have followed him pretty closely.

    You and I would probably find we agree much more than we disagree.

  87. To robertallan1: Newton's first law of motion states that "every object continues in its state of rest, or of uniform motion in a straight line, unless compelled to change that state by external forces acted upon it." In the beginning there was no motion; then there was. Something caused it. And yes, if something itches there is a cause. Furthermore, why do I have to provide proof that God exists simply because I believe He does? I didn't demand proof that God doesn't exist because you don't believe He does. The reason I didn't ask is that our answers would be insubstantial to each other. You can no more "prove" that God doesn't exist than I can "prove" that he does making your assertions just as "worthless" as mine. I have found compelling reasons to believe God exists, and you've found compelling reasons to believe He doesn't.
    My background in science isn't limited at all. Both Pluto and the Higgs boson were postulated prior to proof being found, one out of spite and one out of mathematics. The discovery of Pluto is not proof that the Higgs boson exists, neither is is what it was originally theorized to be (a planet), so I'm not even sure why that was brought up.
    Not all people who believe in God blame Him when things go wrong. Your comment makes no more sense than me saying that all atheists blame other people when things go wrong because they have no higher authoritative moral standards to live by (to be clear, this is not something I believe).
    But at least I didn't make any unsubstantiated, misinformed personal accusations.

    To over the edge: I never defined my God. I never said I had proof. I just said I believe. I was simply making a comparison. The point is that there is no hard, substantial, tangible evidence that I can point to and say "God exists" or "the up quark exists".

    1. Shawn Lewis
      first off claiming "There's as much proof that God exists as there is that an up quark exists." ok the up quark has been observed. it has mass,spin and charge. this has been done under controlled conditions and reproduced by others. if god had as much evidence where is your equal proof that has been observed and replicated under controlled scientific conditions? and again which god are you referring to/ can you even define it and propose a way of testing it?

    2. That's what I mean, a very limited science background. That's also what I mean by someone making statements about something of which he knows nothing. And please note the usual tactics of strawman, shift of burden and other tactics limned in the documentary, a perfect textbook case.

    3. robertallen1
      i am truly getting frustrated this is the third or fourth thread i have been on in a week that i honestly don't see how the opposing posters even watched the doc let alone took it seriously or understood it. i am getting close to "losing my religion" as my mom would say (pun intended)

    4. Robert, I fail to understand your failure to understand (and accept) the vast differences between us. A change of heart is the only measure that will bridge that gap (for either of us), which is as wide as the universe, itself. The atheist's arrogance in believing that he is the only one capable of critical thinking, will negate any meaningful dialogue, so please do us all a favor, and let it go. As much as you would like to think that your brain is fully in gear, on this subject of God, it's actually your heart that is the real focal point of the argument. Your hatred and vehement disdain for those like me, prove that it's a heart issue, otherwise it wouldn't interest you in the least. As a person who prides himself on his adeptness at logic, reason, and ultimate truth, you ought to ask yourself why you even care.

    5. Chrispy777
      before i respond i need to ask was this post a response to me or robertallen1 as you did start the post with "Robert"?

    6. Crispy777, you addressed 'Robert' but you replied to Over the Edge - your post is incoherent, and seems to be an attempt to project your feelings - 'disdain' 'vehemence' 'arrogance' onto him.

    7. I can't speak for Robert but I, personally, and every other atheist I know could not care less about what you or any other person personally believes- but you knew that already didn't you? What we do care about is the fact that your so called personal beliefs have invaded our politics, our educational system, are used for justifcation of all kinds of dysfunctional and destructive actions that effect us directly, and are used to marginalize and ostracize anyone who doesn't accept them as truth. You guys know very well that religion is not just some personal belief held by people, but saying it is sure makes it seem unfair when someone attacks it- doesn't it? Its funny how seemingly important concepts held by religions, such as honesty and intellectual integrity, seem to go right out the window when religious beliefs are challenged.

    8. wald0
      great reply. i was waiting for confirmation on if the post was meant for me or not. but now either way no need .you said it better than i would have.

    9. Thanks for the compliment but, I am trying to stay out of this really. Every once in a while though someone asserts something as truth that I just can't let pass. Most people don't even realize the underlying assumptions their statements imply. Many times this is because they are simply repeating an argument they heard someone else use which ….. Ahhh see, I was getting involved already. Never mind, carry on…….

      P.S. I will say this though, the statement "order demands a orderer", besides being horribly incorrect from a grammatical point of veiw, is merely the Anthropic Principle regurgitated in another form- it answers nothing. Look up the Anthropic Principle on google and you will find endless counter arguments for this pointless assertion of fine tuning.

    10. wald0
      "I am trying to stay out of this really" i have noticed lol. all i can say is "everytime i think i'm out they pull me back in " the Godfather

    11. Amen bro, a f****In men. Well said. Thanks for that.

    12. You've obviously not watched the documentary or not used your head to do so. Religion (theism) has no place in any scientific discussion--as a matter of fact, it has no place in any intelligent discussion about anything other than religion (philosophy).

      Atheists may not be the only ones capable of critical thinking, but when it comes to such, they beat theists like you hands down for by not needing some supreme being whose existence is questionable and by nature unknowable, they can look matters more directly in the face--and that's all that matters, not your so-called, catch-all heart, whatever that is.

      I care because those of your clades are not content to keep their pie-in-the-sky Disneyland within their own purview, but rather endeavor to infuse it into public schools (especially science classes) and governments.

    13. There is no such thing as a "heart" issue. What you are trying to say is it is a faith issue. Anyone with faith in something that they cannot prove exists is insane. Sorry, but you and every other person who believes in some silly deity because they know in their "heart" (which is a muscle that pumps blood through out your body if you did not know) are wackos. I feel sorry for you. Just because the thought that there is a big eye in the sky watching over you makes you feel warm and fuzzy does not prove that it exists. I do not understand why you people cannot see why this is crazy thinking. As a member of our species, i ask you to stop it, because you are embarrassing us all with self righteous crazy talk. Just grow up all ready, and put the imaginary best friend away for all our sakes.

    14. I do not think there is hatred of anyone, just pity that you are so empty and fearful, you need to believe in fairy tales and fables to get you by. You insult educated people by implying our brains are not in gear. Well, I guess we needed that tidbit of awesomeness to inform us we are damaged goods, of course, coming from a bible bunny, that really means a lot to me and will affect me for the rest of my days posting on TDF. Touche my friend, I believe it is people like you who infect this planet with BS and fear over nothing. God is for wimps and fearful humans, not smart ones or educated scientific types. It will go the way of the steam engine eventually, the numbers say so. Irrelevant to our happiness and needs of the time. You can live your dream. I will live in the here and now and reality based knowledge.

    15. No, those aren't reasons for pity, but rather for hate.

    16. Now you can understand my position (not that you haven't).

      Are you familiar with NCSE, National Center for Science Education? Although I'm not a science teacher or even in the sciences, I took out a membership ($35 per year). I'm sure you've heard of Eugenia Scott who publishes its newsletter. Your thoughts.

    17. robertallen1
      i am familiar with the NCSE while i know i have read some of their papers i cannot recall any one in particular. they are a great resource for information and i have watched many discussions on their youtube channel (very informative but they tend to be dry)most recently i watched one on "The Texas evolution wars" and was surprised at some of the creationist antics that still exist

    18. I agree. Some entertainment value would be nice.

    19. Birds of a feather......you both don't know what the flock you're talking about. Here's the crux of the matter: One of THE most basic tenets of science is cause and effect. For such a huge effect as the universe (which includes your conscious efforts to understand and explain, in a VERY limited way, what you see before you), it is eminently logical, reasonable, and axiomatic, to conclude a creator. The burden to prove that God does NOT exist is a much grander problem for you to solve, and the level of faith which you employ is infinitely stronger than mine, because your common sense (if utilized) will always tell you something different. The truth could not be plainer. Willful ignorance is your specialty, because you side-step (or ignore) the most fundamental principle that science HAS established, i.e., crudely put, "you don't get something from nothing"....never, ever, ever, EVER! Please try not to gloss over what I just said....but I know you will. You'll cite something "scientific," and chide me for failing to be scientifically-minded, and that I have failed to offer any real proof. Allow me to quote, quite aptly, from the God/Man, Jesus Christ; Intellectually, the atheist will "strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel." Atheists vainly attempt to cloud the issue by constantly challenging a theist to explain which "god" we are talking about (among millions), or to demand an answer as to where God came from. These are nothing but distractions from the core issue, and if I could answer the origin of God, I probably wouldn't be wasting my time on you clods. Heck, you guys can't even explain the Higgs/Boson particle, and that's just ONE mystery, among quintillions, in the universe. If you guys could master but 1/10 of 1% of all that there is to know, then 1. I'd be very surprised, and 2. you would realize the futility of arguing against the existence of a Supreme Creator, and finally 3. have a nice day! :)

    20. Because you can't understand it, does not mean they can't explain it.

      You have not watched the documentary.
      Logic, reason and rhetoric demand that the burden of proof is with the claim maker. God/ divine creator/ purple sprouting broccoli beasts from Betelgeuse/ Whatever/ is your claim - it is not up to anyone else to prove you wrong, it is up to you, to prove yourself wrong, if you expect your claim to be considered in any way at all.

    21. Chrispy777
      1.other than the vague " cause and effect"where the cause does not necessarily have to be a god in general or your god in particular. what is your proof for "it is eminently logical, reasonable, and axiomatic, to conclude a creator."?
      2,i never said god doesn't exist so i have no burden to prove that.
      3. where did i make any claims on how the universe came to be? what did i say that would require the response of ""you don't get something from nothing"
      4. why are you bringing up the higgs? why is it my responsibility to explain it when i never brought it up or claimed it exists?
      5.you are right science does not have all the answers. and i not only don't claim to know the answers to the universe i will readily admit that my understanding of the universe and its origins are so limited that i can only say i don't know as an answer to "how it began"
      6. why is it clouding the issue to ask for a definition of the god you believe in? i would have thought asking for clarification in order to properly understand where the person that i am debating is coming from would be a good thing. am i wrong?
      7. again i am not "arguing against the existence of a Supreme Creator," i am asking for evidence that i can examine for myself.
      in closing you are asking me to justify claims i never made and trying to push the burden of proof on me. i will back up any statement i made or apologize for an error if i am wrong. all i ask in return is the same from you. does that sound fair?

    22. Textbook case of strawman, don't you think. Obviously, he either doesn't subscribe to a word of the documentary or feels that it doesn't apply to him.

    23. robertallen1
      the list of people i think didn't even bother to watch a documentary that they feel qualified to comment on keeps getting longer. i am serious even if i am half right this trend is disturbing

    24. I don't want to rub your nose in it, but please recall your observation yesterday about the quality of those commenting on this thread.

    25. robertallen1
      lol i was waiting for that from someone. and yes i deserve it

    26. And what a shame that you do.

    27. When this doc came up, I was really interested to see what religious folks would make of it, whether or not they would actually watch it before commenting and so on. I hypothesised that someone of faith who had enough gumption to actually watch it would be unlikely to comment as whatever their argument pro theism would likely have been effectively countered logically in the doc itself. So far it seems my hypothesis is holding.

      I also wonder if many will not comment in the hope that this doc does not get so much attention, which is amusing to me because it is not primarily about theology of any kind, rather it is about critical thinking and the definition of atheism, which surely has great value whatever your position and can only help strengthen your reasoning ability, if only to understand what you are arguing against.

      I myself think this one in particular deserves more attention than most, whether you are theist or not, so...

      @Kateye70 - If i may quote you.

      'If a theist of any persuasion can give an equally-well-reasoned response, using critical thinking, please do so.'

      Yes, please do so. I for one would sincerely like to read it, and currently you are severely under represented on this comments board.

      Regards,
      Sam.

    28. Fair play to you, I was actually thinking exactly the same; folks, please watch the doc, most of the 'arguments' ye are giving have been dis-proven in the video.
      And Yes, this doc is about critical thinking, brilliantly expressed, I have to say.

    29. You are in effect asking for the reason that God created everything. If you continually ask for evidence for something which cannot be reasonably proven, you are asking for public mockery. The arrogance you have in placing a burden of proof on something you obviously don't understand is misleading by its attempt to discredit beliefs which cannot be proven factually incorrect.

    30. Faith=abrogation of thinking=lack of evidence=fraud.

    31. faith=fraud?! Try making a complete sentence starting with, "faith is fraud because..." I'd like to hear the extrapolated version, if you don't mind.

    32. It is a complete sentence, but to bring it down to your level, faith is fraud because it relies on the unsubstantiated, the unprovable and the nebulous. In addition, it's an abrogation of all intelligence and reason. He who seeks credence from others based on faith is merely a charlatan and a huckster and those who believe based on faith are mere dupes and mental pygmies.

    33. Well I Never! I've been called many things my good man, but Charletan?!? Huckster!?! I do appreciate you bringing it down to my level, and your attitude of superiority is duly noted, though unprovable 8D (I hope you're having a good time). You sell these conclusions you've jumped to as if they were facts. You've resorted to name-calling which drops the dignity bar and denotes a very basic fear. You can no more prove that matter spontaneously came into existence from nothing (a.k.a. created itself) than anyone could prove that an infinite being created all matter.

    34. "You can no more prove that matter spontaneously came into existence from nothing (a.k.a. created itself) than anyone could prove that an infinite being created all matter. "

      So you agree that there is no proof either way?

    35. Right.. I maintain my view that there is no proof either way. And those who say one side or the other should try to prove the other incorrect are going to continue to waste everyone's time including their own in a futile search.

    36. I totally agree with you when you say 'there is no proof either way.'

      The problem is, that means exactly; it is not worth discussing outside the realm of creative fantasy, the same as fairies, unicorns, polka dot pudding plants etc.

      Therefore if people decide to bring it up in reasonable discussion, then by doing so they create their own burden of proof, in order to validate the usage within that discussion. It is not a demand the sceptic makes, rather an obligation created by the proposition itself. If you cannot satisfy this burden, you can and should withdraw the proposition from any rational discussion.

      Not only do the proposers generally deny this responsibility, they then demand that the sceptic who has proposed nothing should shoulder it instead. This is a grotesque double standard, and your post implying that both viewpoints are equally flawed, highlights the fallacy within your own view, whatever that may be.

      But all this is clearly covered in the documentary, did you watch it yet?

    37. Who cares what you maintain about matter spontaneously coming into existence, considering that you have neither the knowledge nor the background to maintain it? In short, your uncritical and untutored observations are worthless.

    38. Any rational, educated person is superior to you. Your statement that it takes faith to aver that matter spontaneously come into existence is symptomatic of an appalling ignorance of science coupled with a complete and deliberate misunderstanding and distortion of the concept, so typical of a huckster and a charlatan (please note the spelling).

      Don't confuse fear with disgust and don't try to command a dignity which you don't deserve.

    39. The truth is, he is right. Liars and crazy people/pedophiles can be easily called those names. Psychotic is better though, it fits the bill much tighter. You bible thumpers are all the same. You want us to prove you wrong, it is not our job. It is yours to show us undeniable physical and scientific proof he exists. We are back to square one, after 320 posts. You want us to prove you wrong, we cant be bothered to debate truth with fools, we suffer you enough every day in life. Look around the globe and be happy about how many religious wars are in motion and go pray to your uncaring make believe friend if it floats your boat. But at the end of the day, you sick f***s make my stomach turn. It is not even worth debating such obvious BS at times, but I cannot let fools pass by unchecked and unhindered. You all need a special island for the lot of you to practice your warfare, intolerance and hatred. Leave the rest of us normal intelligent people the hell out of it. For humanity's sake, wake up and smell the coffee.

    40. From the large number of religees in the world, perhaps it is the intelligent who are abnormal, sad as it may seem.

    41. I do wonder sometimes if it us that is crazy and blind to truth. Then I woke up from my bad, bad, dream. Nope, still here, and still correct on all counts.

    42. How uplifting--for about a minute.

    43. Rubber room material, no doubt about it.

    44. You were was the star actor in Jesus Camp weren't you. I already figured it out. Busted......

    45. I wish.. I was only the girl on the cover of the DVD though, *sigh..

    46. Faith (when given as reason) is fraud because it denies the responsibility of the burden of proof, and curtails intellectual development by refusing the duty of doubt and honesty.

    47. Faith must be present on both sides of the argument in the ever-present atheist/creationist battle.. neither side can prove with certainty that God does not exist. So faith is the tie that binds anyone to either belief.

    48. After all this time and effort, you still don't get it--and naturally, you still haven't watched ALL or the documentary. If you assert that a supreme being exists, you must offer valid, solid proof, not conjecture, not interpretation. If someone says that he does not believe in a god because so far there has been no evidence, he has not made an assertion and there is nothing to prove--but I guess it's too much for you to understand.

    49. I needn't do what science tells me to do. You just want me to do that, so that you'll have PROOF to believe something that requires FAITH. But, it doesn't work that way. When you say "I don't believe in a god", You also say "I believe there is no God." But asking you to prove that would be a waste of time (I have faith).. kind of like watching a documentary that tells me I have to prove every belief I have. Can you say "mindless followers?" Trust in the all-knowing DOCUMENTARY.. By our leader QUALIA SOUP? I wouldn't put it past them to be complete liars who can use big words and confuse people. Oh boy, better watch the documentary again.. I think I'll start quoting the bible. "they may be ever seeing but never perceiving, and ever hearing but never understanding; otherwise they might turn and be forgiven!"

    50. No one is telling you to do what 'science' tells you--science doesn't tell you to do anything at all. 'Science' is a method, not a being.

      In this documentary about critical thinking skills, you appear to have missed the point.

      Critical thinking requires that you apply a methodology to a problem.

      The narrator gives you the methodology, but it is not something he made up--you can google 'critical thinking' and find a myriad of courses that teach this skill.

      That's all critical thinking is. A skill.

      Anyone can learn it.
      It does not require faith.

      Anyone can apply it.
      It does not require belief.

      All it does is return a result, which you are free to accept or reject.

    51. Obviously anyone can't learn or apply it.

    52. As you haven't watched the whole documentary, nothing you write about it is of any validity and as I stated before, you have no business commenting on this thread. Now, if big words confuse you, stop blogging and go back to school--as a matter of fact, considering the state of your knowledge and intellection, you should go back to school just on general principle.

      P.S. I think you had better refrain from quoting from a book you know nothing about.

    53. Its so simple a concept and yet most theists don't get it.

    54. Faith has nothing to do with it and it is not a belief. The scientific method is a way of understanding the world and is neutral in its belief system. It uncovers what it uncovers without prejudice. It is not faith that says that there is no empirical data that supports the existence of a creator. It is fact. Faith lies in the realm of the religious. They are the ones who believe without the evidence. They could even be correct but all they have to go on is the faith they have in their creator.

      I have asked on this thread if there was any proof of a God's existence that has been arrived at using the scientific method and no one has answered. I can't help but wonder why.

    55. You don't know what you're talking about (what authority are you on faith?). Faith has everything to do with belief in God. Whether you do or you don't, there is no proof either way (you know this, so stop asking). Evidence, feelings, emotions, but no proof. The scientific method is better at proving things like your bubble gum and rabies theory.. a very interesting one at that. Science has it's place, but it's better at helping people physically than spiritually. Peace

    56. Hmm. So if science should stay out of religion, does it follow that religion should stay out of science?

    57. I guess it isn't a shocker the religitards start chiming in and totally missing the entire video. Probably not even watching it themselves. I'm glad you view your belief in ''God(s)'' as an after-life insurance policy and I'm sure a all-knowing God(s) not going to notice it either. Since you're basically stating your opinion as an fact. I'll ask you where's your evidence for your belief? Where's your burden of proof? You obviously didn't even watch 6 minutes in. A moronic double standard and asking that religion doesn't need to prove itself. It's amazing the people who know the least amount on a topic are the fastest to state their ''opinion.''

    58. Before you can make that statement, you must scientifically prove that spirituality exists.

      As you have still not watched the document, you have no business adding to this string.

    59. Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen (Hebrews 11:1, KJV). That is your authority.

      Pasted from the Mirriam-Webster's dictionary. Another authority.
      a : allegiance to duty or a person : loyalty
      b (1) : fidelity to one's promises (2) : sincerity of intentions
      2
      a (1) : belief and trust in and loyalty to God (2) : belief in the traditional doctrines of a religion
      b (1) : firm belief in something for which there is no proof (2) : complete trust
      3
      : something that is believed especially with strong conviction; especially : a system of religious beliefs

      Notice definition 2b. You see. I do get it.

      If I am not told of the existence of a creator till I'm sixteen years old that doesn't mean I have spent the first sixteen years of my life having faith in the non-existence of a creator. I would be in a state of total ignorance of such a concept...a state of not knowing. When I'm finally told of this idea, with no evidence to back it up, I can either accept it or not. If I accept it as fact, I do so on faith. If I feel the idea lacks merit I will reject it on the grounds that I have no faith in the idea. No faith. None. I am still in a state of not knowing...the state of knowledge at which I began at as a newborn.

      Spirituality is allowing one's imagination to be accepted as fact. Whether it comes from the Bible, the Koran, the Hindu holy books or the tribal shaman, neither of these spiritual beliefs has any merit over another. Your faith in one over the other does not make it so. It is quite likely your upbringing and the environment you live in which decides your choice of spiritual beliefs. Why does the accident of birthplace make that choice the correct one?

    60. Samuel Morrissey
      completely agree

    61. How much science have you studied? Obviously not very much, for you don't even know that cause and effect is not one of THE most basic tenets of science, for the only tenets (if you can call them that) of science are hard evidence, replication and falsifiability, all of which are absent from your amusement park asseveration of a logical, reasonable and axiomatic universe with a creator at its head. Did it ever occur to you that the forces of nature don't operate "reasonably" or axiomatically," and that such devices are an a posteriori means of describing the world around us without in a natural way with no need for cloudland?

      Like a typical creationist, you try to shift your responsibility to prove your assertions onto those with the temerity to pooh-pooh you and when that doesn't work, try to denigrate them and reduce their knowledge to the intellectual level of your unfounded beliefs.

      Quote mining doesn't work and marginalizing the importance of issues such as which god you're talking about and his provenance only display the vacuity of your thought. All those who've responded to you have offered some form of proof for their assertions; in return, you've offered only assertions.

      P.S. Your scientific ignorance also extends to the Higgs/Boson particle. How about reading up on it in a real science journal before commenting on what you perceive as the inability of scientists to explain it.

    62. @Chrispy777,

      You say because of "cause and effect" it is logical, reasonable, and axiomatic to conclude a creator? If that is the case the "cause and effect" rule must apply to the creator too, which begs the question: Who created him? Everything must have a cause right. By your logic you're ending up in infinite creation regress, which is far from the premise of the existence of the creator that you're trying to describe.

      If you exclude your God from the "cause and effect" circle, that means you're making an exception, without any reasonable and logical explanation, except maybe the standard religious rhetoric of God being eternal, omnipotent, etc. Attributes which are logically and philosophically impossible.

      You also say "science HAS established, i.e., crudely put, 'you don't get something from nothing'

      I don't know from where are you getting your "science" but science says quite the opposite. You can get something from nothing indeed (quantum mechanics).

      You say: "Heck, you guys can't even explain the Higgs/Boson particle, and that's just ONE mystery, among quintillions..."

      Science and atheists don't claim that they know "everything". What they claim is that the scientific method is the best tool for arriving at the most reasonable conclusions.

      However you turn it, the burden of proof is on you. You make an extraordinary claim just because it makes sense to you. But ultimately that is not the problem. The problem is when you try to impose your belief onto others just because it "makes sense" to you.

      While we're at the senses you must learn to abandon them at some point.

      "No longer you're justified to say 'that idea in science is not true because it doesn't make sense.' Nobody cares about your senses. Your senses came out while you were growing up: something is in your hand, you let go of it - it falls, tip the glass - water spills. You assembled a rule-book for how nature works in the macroscopic world. The microscope takes you smaller than that, the telescope takes you bigger, and other laws of physics manifest themselves in those regimes that you have no life experience reckoning." - Neil deGrasse Tyson.

    63. Okay, Vlatty....if quantum mechanics can create something from nothing, where's the proof? Have you ever witnessed something coming into existence from nothing? For that matter, where did quantum mechanics come from? Extraordinary claims, buddy, require extraordinary proof. How can you be so blind, that you'll acknowledge, as an expert in science, that the universe is governed by laws, yet refuse to acknowledge through The Governor and/or The Law-giver? Get back to basics, before you try to snow me with your empty arguments.

    64. "The universe is governed by laws"--wrong, the laws describe what we know of the universe. If anyone needs to get back to the basics it's you. How about reading something about particle physics and quantum mechanics--and I don't mean in some creationist piece of nonsense--before making comments about them which expose your lack of education.

      And speaking of basics, his name is Vlatko, not Vlatty or buddy and when you have to resort to diminutive vocatives, you've admitted the lack of valid arguments.

    65. Hey, give me some credit, Robert. I've stopped calling you "Alien." You can't expect me to evolve too quickly, or perhaps I'm becoming a "hopeful monster"....I can only hope. It's nice to see you defending your atheist buddies. You've got the "brotherhood of man" thing down, now let's see if you can incorporate the "Fatherhood of God," by believing in a sure thing.

      I will admit to you...I've only read light treatises, and have seen documentaries on particle physics ("Down The Rabbit Hole," and one is located on this site, about "Higgs/Boson," which I will recommend to you), but your obvious conclusion (pertaining to my limited knowledge on these subjects) is that unless I can engage in "particle physics speak," (as you apparently can), that this somehow marginalizes me, and labels me as one who has no credentials, to stand toe-to-toe with you. Very arrogant and presumptuous of you, but exactly what I would expect. If you watch the Higgs/Boson doc, that I just referenced, it ought to become painfully obvious to you, that the level of intellect necessary to grasp these concepts is well beyond the average schmoe, and is, admittedly, above those who are the principle players, in this grand search for the "God Particle." Now tell me, "science wizard"...how does something so illusive and unsearchable, not only come to be, but be so complex a problem that even the evolved brains of "trained" scientists and intellectuals, are barely capable of wrapping their heads around it, let alone put their finger on it? You vainly attempt to figure out how a combustion engine works, without first acknowledging and consulting the mechanic, who assembled it.

      The idea that religion is responsible for justifying oppression and murder is a fact I wouldn't deny (naturally, I have no part in such paganism or Roman Catholicism), but by the same token, the acceptance and promulgation of evolution exceeds in scope (for the last century) of the detrimental effects of a belief system that excludes God, and dismisses the necessity of a morally principled society. Darwin's "On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of FAVORED RACES (my caps) in the Struggle for Life," is a highly inflammatory title, which full title is rarely spoken of, for obvious PR reasons, and rarely known among its own proponents. Hitler's "Eugenics" program was solely based on "Darwinian Evolution," and was grounds for the "Angel Of Death," Josef Mengele, to perform his butchery. Needless to say, 20 million deaths, at the hands of the Nazi regime, rid this world of genetically-inferior undesirables (from their perspective). Are we done, here? No, of course not. Go ahead....you've got the last word.

      ps Stephen Hawking ain't got nothing on me! .....might as well throw in Carl Sagan, Stephen J. Gould, and of course YOU, Robert.

    66. Chrispy777
      how dare you capitalize the "FAVORED RACES" as if to try to make evolution look racist. have you read the book? if not please don't speak of something you know nothing about and if you have you would know that that statement was not directed at humans. that particular title was for a edition of the book that did not even mention humans. so let me ask you seeing as you wouldn't dare comment on a book you never even read what was he referring to with that title? finally Nazis i was waiting for that one one of the favorite tricks of a religious person. first off hitler was a christian and never denounced it or excommunicated. second science is a tool used to discover how the natural world works, it is silent on the application of this information and does not claim any moral high ground or teachings. in short it unlike religion it never tries to justify terrible acts. finally are you going to address the factual links presented to you by others or continue to ignore them. are you going to be a christian and apologize for falsely accusing me of saying things i never said? or are you not interested in learning anything and being intellectually honest?

    67. "Darwin's "On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of FAVORED RACES (my caps) in the Struggle for Life," is a highly inflammatory title, which full title is rarely spoken of, for obvious PR reasons, and rarely known among its own proponents."

      He initially decided to call his 1859 book “An Abstract of an Essay on the Origin of Species and Varieties Through Natural Selection.” But with publisher persuasion, he changed the title to “On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life.”

      In the book, he writes the word “races” when he talks about “the several races, for instance, of the cabbage" and then proceeds to a discussion of "the hereditary varieties or races of our domestic animals and plants."

      Reference to the cabbage race won't make Darwin a racist. It merely refers to the variety of the cabbage. Even if he's a racist, the book's title doesn't reflect his position.

      Today’s word “races” isn't like "races" in Darwin's book title and content. In his later book, Descent of Man, he favors the cultural level of the northern European. He says that cultures that lack in technological advancement or modern education are “savage races.” And he expects the civilized races to absorb them eventually. As far as that goes, he may be a cultural snob, but he insists that all living humans are one species. That is, his theory of evolution says there aren’t any lower human species in existence in his day.

    68. "Push one of Epi!" LOL! I hear that all the time on "Grey's Anatomy."

      Just on a societal level, our species is filled with prejudices, whether real or imagined. Evolution feeds into those prejudices quite nicely. Evolutionary thinking pervades our world, and is the latest indoctrination (for the last century) of a faith-based world view, that is anything but scientific. Various forms of evolution, such as cultural, spiritual, and technological, have led many to conclude (as did Hitler) that there are levels of biological evolution, within the species, Homo Sapien. It's no stretch to say that, based on evolutionary principles, many people still think that European stock are inherently better than the pygmies, dwarves, or black people. I'm not saying it's true, but that the theory leaves open the possibility, and people will use it as justification, thereby denigrating and disrespecting certain peoples. "If the root is evil, so will the fruit be."

    69. Your ignorance is positively universal. Biological evolution has nothing to do with social Darwinism and whether it agrees with what passes for your philosophy or not, evolution is a fact--but again facts and you have never met up.

    70. Both history and current data confirm the well known fact that in the U.S. the most racist area is and always has been the southeastern U.S (my home).- you know, home of the KKK, segregation, and the Birmingham church bombings, the death of MLK, the civil rights marches, etc.This same area is and has always been the most religious, in fact it is known nation/world wide as the bible belt. This is the same area, Tennessee to be exact, where they fought and lost the supreme court battle to teach creationism as a valid scientific theory- in other words you can't find a place in the U.S. where less people beleive in evolution or more people believe in creationism, yet it is clearly and by far the most prejudice area in the country.
      Yes, some sick men in this world used Darwin's theory to play into their racist agenda- so what. Shall we talk of the sickos that have used religion for the same purpose, becuase there are far more examples throughout history of this occurring than evolution being perverted into eugenics. Ask many evangelicals I know why blacks and whites shouldn't mix blood and they will site bible verses to justify their belief- something about each fruit bearing seed after its own kind. Your the christian, you tell us.
      I, on the other hand, being an atheist and chemist- believe the fact of evolution, to not is really just silly in my opinion, yet I was married to a black woman for nine years, until she died of cancer. I grew up here in a religious and racist environment and what opened my eyes to the absurdity of both those ideologies, religion and racism, was education and science- and purposely avoiding the religees that surround me.
      I certainly don't care to get into this petty fight but you are asserting things that don't just apply to those posting back and forth wth you, you are insulting millions when you suggest people who believe in evolution are doomed to be racist, its not only not true it is small minded and arrogant. It ios also a huge stretch to blame racism on evolution, the people that used Darwins theory to create eugenics were already racist evolution was simply something they perverted for their own agenda. You know- just like thousands have perverted religion and used it to justify murdering millions throughout history- by your logic we should blame religion for that.

    71. You make some good points, Wald0, but your response was a bit of a knee-jerk reaction, or perhaps I wasn't clear enough. I don't want my posts to get too lengthy, trying to cover all the angles, but misunderstandings and misinterpretations are inevitable.

      Justification for evil, using the bible, IS well-established, which is the thrust of my point with evolution, but what's sadly lacking in evolution (besides hard evidence and true science) is a lack of a plan or purpose. We're all just a huge, cosmic accident, floating about.....with no direction, no plans, no goals, no purpose, and no basis for morality.

      In fact, the Darwinian gospel of "survival of the fittest," many times, involves the killing of another animal, in order to survive. It's not wrong to kill, as long as it allows one to survive for another day. This does translate from the natural world to Homo sap, as one (evolutionist) would expect, but you won't see them preaching this "doctrine." Why not? People who kill, for an advantage (however slight), are simply doing what nature teaches them.

      How the process (or mechanism) of evolution knows what is advantageous, or beneficial, to a species' development and propagation, without intelligent intervention, is a mystery that will never be bridged by those who, like you, think that I'm "just being silly." I would posit that you believe in the god of Mother Nature. You constantly point to nature (or "natural" processes), as though this exempts you from believing in a supernatural being, but then you still employ such phrases as, "the miracle of nature," or "natural selection," which have all the earmarks of design, with a purpose, and intelligent decision-making, without any inherent intelligence. At least I can point to an "Intelligent Creator," whereas your "god" is a "know-nothing, be-nothing, and do-nothing, impersonal force." It's not even a fair comparison to ask the question, "Which God, based on the observable universe, makes more sense, to believe in?"

    72. You've just regressed this entire thread back to the very beginning with this post, there are so many errors in your assumptions about evolution, Darwin, and morality.

    73. "Survival of the fit" is closer to what Darwin expressed in the fifth edition of "On the Origin of the Species." As a matter of fact the phrase was not even his, but rather that of Herbert Spencer. Besides, who are you to comment on evolution when you haven't read any of Darwin's works or any real works about him just as you haven't watched the documentary?

      But the real corker of this, your recent and possibly most benighted post, is your ejaculation, "How the process (or mechanism) of evolution knows what is advantageous, or beneficial, to a species' development and propagation, without intelligent intervention, is a mystery . . . " Evolution is an inexorable process, not a knowledgable being, and your Teddy Bear deity makes an awfully poor guide, for evolution produces far more failures than successes.

      And speaking of your Teddy Bear deity, you can point to an "intelligent creator" all you want, but whether you like it or not, it isn't science; it's merely the intrusion of your cheap cosmology into an intellectual discipline

      Again, is there anything that you know except how to use the send button?

    74. Chrispy777
      so we can add evolution to the list of things you know nothing about

    75. Not that I am answering for Wald0 (he has proven that he is quite capable of speaking for himself), but I fail to see why there has to be purpose in the mechanics of the universe. It is guided by certain physical laws. It is what we can observe. The how or why is unknown, thus far.

      Evolution has nothing to do with morality. It describes how the species on earth came to be through random selection and survival. If someone uses the principles of evolution to further their own agenda that does not render evolution as a theory invalid. It renders that person as immoral.

    76. based on those reasons those people would clearly not understand biology or evolution.

      i am not going to answer for people who are too stupid to understand evolution.

    77. "Just on a societal level, our species is filled with prejudices, whether real or imagined. Evolution feeds into those prejudices quite nicely. "

      This whole post, not just the quoted part, was absolute drivel. You seem to be implying that evolution is a philosophy which damages society, you also claim there is no real evidence of evolution. This is of course even more ludicrous as the rest of the nonsene you've posted. Firstly, religion has by far a greater record on causing harm to society. Thousands of years of record in fact.
      You use Hitler as an example but his crusade was based on his religious and political views, not Evolution. Eugenics was based on the same principals as breeding animals, dogs and pigeons for example.To claim it as Evolution, is sheer ignorance.
      Now religion; The vaticans lies about HIV and condoms, they have caused millions of people to suffer and die from this terrible disease, for the sake of their ideas on what the bible says. The bible's promotion of slavery, the treamtment of peoples of different races as inferior, the murder, nay mass-murder, of anyone who doesn't follow the same beliefs. Gender inequality, homophobia, murder, genocide, abuse of power, the class system, these are all on the head of religion, supported by religion and actively advocated by religious groups.
      What's more, it is historical fact that whenever a group wish to do something entirely immoral, they find their excuses in religion, and use relgion to make it acceptable to others. They do not look to Evolution. We have thousands of years of evidence supporting this fact.

      Secondly there are millions of forms of evidence for Evolution, not only in the form of fossils but also categorization of species, DNA matching, even other branches of science come together to support evolution and each other. Geology, climate studies, biology, oceanology, physics, astrophysics, astronomy and good old fashaioned maths, all work together to further prove that Evolution is the best, most accurate understanding of how life formed on Earth. There is nothing "faith-based" about Evolution and to claim otherwise is the act of a desperately ignorant person, who clearly has no information or understanding of the subject.

      What really annoys me about your post (other than afformentioned ignorace and ludicrously, factually wrong statements), it has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that video is about critical thinking.

    78. Quite the contary, his posts have everything to do with crticial thinking, as they form a stunning antithesis.

    79. Hah! I stand corrected :D

    80. Obviously, you haven't learned that evolution has nothing to do with a supreme being or a system of morality. Obviously, you haven't learned that biological evolution and social darwinism are two different animals. Obviously, you haven't learned that your belief system upon which your criticism of evolution is founded (and a rickety foundation it is) has nothing to do with science. Obviously, you haven't learned that whether you like it or not, evolution is a fact.

      Obviously, you haven't read any Darwin. Obviously you are unaware that the term FAVORED RACES has nothing to do with racial bias, but rather with biological survival. So describing the title of one of Darwin's important works as inflammatory constitutes a polemic distortion indicative of a lack of education and constitutes an unforgiveable attempt at deceit so common to religees.

      It goes beyond the pale of rational, realistic and intelligent thought to posit that one must consult the designer of an internal combustion machine to find out how it works. You examine it and learn--that's what science is all about. The "'evolved" brains' of scientists" (as you pejoratively put it) have a much better chance of finding out what they don't know now than any product of your parochial mentality. Yesterday's mysteries are tomorrow's commonplaces. So by attempting to put them down, you only put yourself down.

      Obviously, you don't know as much as you think you do. Obviously, your ignorance and lack of intellection are engendered by your religion. So the sooner your "god" is gotten rid of, the better.

      P.S. You're right. Stephen Hawking, Carl Sagan, Stephen J. Gould have nothing on you. These leaders in their fields are intelligent, educated and don't make uninformed statements.

    81. As @robertallen1: said "and when you have to resort to diminutive vocatives you've admitted the lack of valid arguments".

      How true, I find that most religee's as you, when they are running out of ammo, out of steam, they always resort to ad hominem, or name calling, as in your case.

      They/you, have no where else to go when they have exhausted their circular logic.

    82. My ammo stays the same, and cannot change..."In the beginning, God...". I have yet to hear a logical argument detailing where the universe came from, and who caused the Big Bang, and just how did a massive explosion become ordered and complex,with regular orbits. Don't bother....I already know what you're gonna say.

    83. i would explain to you. but you already have your mind up.

      you didnt use logic or reason to get to the position you are so why would anyone think you would use logic or reason to get out of it.

      if you think a book just saying some words is enough for you, fine. but just realize that anyone with half a brain thinks you are stupid.

      what is the hindu creation story and why dont you believe it?

    84. And your intelligence is like your ammo. What makes you think the universe has to come from something, much less from your little pixie friend? What makes you think there's order? Did it ever occur to you that the concept of order is a posteriori.

    85. Really, you know what I am going to say? is that the same as you knowing what happens to you 2 seconds after you die?

      You better go back to trolling school, or better yet, ask for your money back.

    86. The question is not who caused the big bang but what caused it. Science does not assume a who and does not start its investigation with this assumption. Scientists also concede that all knowledge has not been attained and quite freely admits when things are unknown. Not knowing all the answers does not leave us with religious beliefs as the default explanation.

    87. Circular ad hominem arguments are so 1400 BC. You will one day get it. You have said twenty posts of nothingness. It is not new. It is the same every time.

    88. Your post is why I have nothing but the utmost respect for you Vlatko. On topic, and pretty much logically bullet proof statements. There has never been, nor will there ever be, a need for non believers to prove a damn thing. The burden of proof is undeniably on those who partake in such fantasy's. I have a little more disdain in my big heart for certain things about religion, one of them being what I previously mentioned, the fact that some of them breed pedophiles by trying to tame a human beings sexual feelings that come as naturally as the sunset comes each day. They expect some of us to support their beliefs and causes, but never once do they mention the deeds done behind closed doors to innocent little children on behalf of the idiotic rules the Catholic religion teaches. Is that what " Gods Will " is all about? Buggering children? You make me ill, some of you. I am a father of four grown children, my feelings towards the Church are well established at this point. What should be done to these sick bastrds is not becoming of my general attitude in life, but at heart, real men feel seething anger when children are abused. To say this taints my view is a correct statement. Anything that entails such things does not belong in a civilized world or in good men's hearts. They cannot defend it in any way shape or form, and to even suggest we put any " faith " in their claims while they harbor sexual predators within its structure, well, you can do the math yourself. They deserve a cell or worse and so do the liars that protect them. They spread intolerance and make rules for everyone to live by, while perverting any sense of morality with their hidden crimes. For that, they are despised, and with them, all people who subscribe to this madness.

    89. @slpsa,

      I agree. Organized religion is a far cry from what it tries to sell to the masses.

    90. Yes, we all need to worship a religion that hides and protects pedophiles. I see how that could be important. Your type of people just plain scare me. To think they are actually in on foreign policy and decisions. A nightmare is what that is.

    91. " For such a huge effect as the universe (which includes your conscious efforts to understand and explain, in a VERY limited way, what you see before you), it is eminently logical, reasonable, and axiomatic, to conclude a creator. "
      ...no it isnt.
      thats like saying "because my shoes are still where i left them earlier it is eminently logical, reasonable, axiomatic to conclude i have banished the shoe stealing goblins from the house. cause and effect see? effect= myshoes are where i left them
      cause= antigoblin sigils on the door"
      how dare you even use the word logic...

    92. Greetings, Pops. You're too kind, in laboring to give me an example that refutes my point, but you've labored in vain. You've failed to acknowledge a shoemaker. Didn't anyone ever teach you that there's no such thing as the "spontaneous generation of shoes," and that even shoe-goblins have a progenitor?

      Q: How did the shoes get in my house? A: I brought them in, from the car. Q: How did they get in my car? A: I put them there, after I purchased them from the store. Q: How did they get in the store? A: They were shipped there, from the factory. Q: How did they get in the factory? A: Materials were shipped to the factory, where the shoes were assembled. Q: Where did the materials come from? A: Laces were made from cotton, leather from cows, and rubber from living plants and petroleum. Q: Where did those materials come from? A: They just popped into existence, in a rudimentary form, billions of years ago, and over time, became more complex. Ah. Got it.

      Ignore First Cause, and you look like an ignoramus. It's no wonder there is such a disconnect, with atheists. Their logic centers make enormous leaps over the most obvious evidence for God, and then they feel it is their God-given right to use His own creation against Him. No one has the last word on this topic, but two seconds after your final breath, is when you'll realize that Chrispy was right.......but then it's too late to change your mind. Right now is the time to change it. Oh, and by the way......I didn't make up that last point. God told me, in His bible.......and now I'm telling you.

    93. How do you know where you will be 2 seconds after your final breath, it is the same as knowing were you where before you were born?

      Describe both visually since you seem to know.

      God told you, in "his" bible? You are even doing a bad job with your trolling, give it up!

    94. That one sentence about God and "his" bible literally floored me as well. It's hard to picture such a statement coming from a sentient mind.

    95. "God told me, in His bible . . . " I can't believe an adult wrote this, especially someone, the extent of whose knowledge of the former consists of unspecified "obvious evidence." First cause, while consistent with your vagueness, simply doesn't cut it.

      You have no idea how silly you sound when you refer to yourself in the third person.

    96. "Except ye become as little children..."

      "The fool hath said in his heart, 'There is no God.'"

    97. Once again, you have no idea how silly you sound quote mining, especially from the bible.

    98. Yeah, God told me many things too, but I had drank about 2 40's of Irish Whiskey at the time. It is pretty foggy to this day, I do not recall what he said, but it was something about " your a dumbass son! " Then I woke up with a really bad hangover, and I promised God I would never drink again if he took my headache away. I lied though, I drank again. So what does that make me? A sinner?

    99. No, just a drunken mathematician.

    100. Circular arguments are not your original idea, we have heard this before, it is nothing new. More typing from you that amounts to nothing. Do you not tire of circular arguments? You bunnies just cannot process the burden is on you to prove what you say, it is not on us to prove you wrong. Again, being crazy is nothing to be proud of and trying to prey on people who are not intelligent enough to understand they are being lied to is reprehensible. We can go further and say: Is it God's will that the people who are tasked with spreading the word like to touch young boys peepees? This is why my sad friend, you are not taken seriously, are ostracized for the most part by a large percentage of posters for your ridiculous ad hominem arguments. You and people like you protect and harbor, sexual predators. I do not think anymore needs to be said. Sexual predators are forgiven, sheltered, covered up and hidden within these dens of " sin ". Yeah, some great bunch of people that is. A shining example of humanity.

    101. Exactly. People love to spout off about things in which they have next to 0 knowledge of. This guy using Newton's Law as an example is enough said. I am an engineer by trade, this has been my calling my entire life. To listen to bible bunny's twist and use what I know to be unbreakable as an example that some supreme being made all of this, it not only ridiculous, it borders on insulting real professional's knowledge base. When that guy can prove to me that Newton's Law was involved in the big bang, you all let me know. Until then, I will be curled up in the corner in the fetal position, laughing my guts out until it hurts to the point of wanting to commit hari kari or stab myself in the eye with a lead pencil, repeatedly. I love satire and comedy like anyone else, this type is not even funny anymore. It is insanity to debate bible bunny's, but here I am anyways. I cannot and will not ever shut up when people talk nonsense.

    102. If you don't mind my asking, just what type of engineer are you. I don't think one who drives a choo-choo.

    103. 38 years in Civil/Materials Engineering, moved onto Structural later on. I have 4 certifications as well. I now work in the mining industry though. Geo-technical Engineering is my forte now. Hence, you now understand my take on things like 9/11. You cannot just talk s***t to me and expect me to zip it. lol.....

    104. Does your field require much math and if so, of what type?

    105. You name it. Algebra, geometry, different kinds of calculus, like vector calculus for instance, physics, trigonometry, statistics may even be required. Depending on which field you are practicing in, they are all relevant at some point. You may or may not need those courses, again, depending on what field you are going into. A more specific question would narrow down the answer somewhat, but I am sure you get the idea. You work, live and breathe in a world of math. And no, God is not a number and cannot be quantified. :)

    106. God's not a number? Why, that goes against the very principles of numerology.

      What I find fascinating about vectors is that they don't represent just one entity like a line, but rather an infinite group which provides a more liberal interpretation of parallelism. By the way, I finally found a simple, accessible explanation as to why cross-products are computed the way they are (i.e., via determinants) and another on LaGrange multipliers. I've also found a simpler proof of the chain rule using linear approximation. Are you at all interested?

      Speaking of calculus, I also like differential equations. Do they have much use in your line of work?

    107. Again, certain types of math are job specific, there are literally billions of computations used in engineering depending on which line of work you are into. Differential equations are numerous and have different uses.There are first order, second order, highest order, LaPlace transform, Fourier series differentials. Vector representations of solutions of linear systems is cool stuff for sure. This is just scratching the surface really though. It is literally, eat, sleep, breathe and ingest math, everyday I work. You have to love math, or this job is not for you, put it that way. We are talking shop here, I feel like I am teaching again...lol.

    108. So you use LaPlace transforms and Fourier series in your daily work. I envy you. Personally, I take mathematics from the point of view of an art form--and I still feel like someone lower than an amateur in the field(s). So you've taught math, too. How did you like it?

    109. I taught for 4 years, in the US, and decided I would rather insert bamboo shoots under my fingernails than suffer another semester teaching people who for the most part, were ill prepared to meet the stringent requirements needed for engineering degrees. Not a slight on Americans, once again, but a slight on how poor they prepare students for College and University degrees that require math skills, above and beyond what the education system passes off as adequate knowledge. I cannot say anywhere else if different at this point, I have never taught anywhere other than the US, but that being said, noone in my classes seemed to struggle so badly with engineering concepts like they did when I taught US students. I was educated in Canada, from start to finish, even my recent certifications. It seems as though the Canuck system better prepares the students for this career anyways, but again, I have not taught in 28 years to see if this has changed or not.

    110. Just about all the intelligent, well-informed and educated posters on this site are Canadian. So being from Los Angeles, I feel somewhat left out. As I informed you, my mathematical bent (assuming I have one, for I am far from a mathematical genius) is more towards the abstract or theoretical as opposed to the applications such as engineering, physics, population dynamics.

      You've given me your opinion on the caliber of math students, at least from an engineering point of view. Do you have any thoughts on higher math textbooks in general, on subjects such as calculus, abstract algebra, differential equations, differential geometry, etc.?

    111. Yes introduce those concepts and books at an earlier age, like we do in Canada. That would go a long way to fixing the problem Rob. Off topic, but hey, why not, God is a useless topic most times anyways.

    112. I'm still awaiting your opinion on Andrew Wiles.

    113. I did give it Rob, scroll back...lol.

    114. It seems the name Rob slides when it comes from you. Haven't you read a dozen times "Rob" does not like nicknames.
      lol
      az

    115. Off topic but I was thinking that myself. lol

    116. I was never much good at following norms. Hence the math head on me. Soz, I will endeavor to use Robert, no probs AZ.. :)

    117. And btw AZ, my name for the record, is Rob/Robert/Robbie. I do not care which one they use. Names and their variants do not annoy me whatsoever. I have been called many things, a$$hole is not new. LOL.

    118. az, no capitals...lol
      az

    119. OI! LOL! another touchy guy huh? Ok, i will conform. No caps in az name. check. Do not call Robert Rob. Check. Anyone else?

    120. Hey Bob, I was joking, touchy guy?...no a girl....no joke!
      You are having a hard day? May be all this arguing is making your neck stiff.
      az

    121. That was in jest honestly...lol. Now that I know you are a female, that mistake wont repeat itself, I know az is a girl now. You are another of my favorite reads, you will probably never find me opposing you or patronizing you.

    122. I taught Engineering Concepts, by the way. Yes math, but with a twist or a billion or three.

    123. Another question. What do you think of Andrew Wiles?

    124. Ahhh, Fermat's Last Theorem. This man is pure genius. He figured all of this out at 10 years old. How awesome is that Rob? He has used the Iwasawa Theory on elliptic curves and complex mathematics to create totally real fields. If there is a God of science and math, it is this man. The purple sky fairy has got nothing on this guy.

    125. Actually, Dr. Wiles didn't figure it out when he was ten years old; according to him, he first became interested in math at that age. And let me refine your statement a bit, it's genius with a lot of hard work and thought (over 7 years) and one major frustration or bugbear which it took him, I believe, a year-and-a-half to overcome. He's a modern example true scholarship. Maybe he'll succeed in proving the Goldbach Conjecture.

      Incidentally, I've read two books on him, an intelligent and well-informed one by Simon Singh and an idiotic and ignorant one by Marilyn vos Savant who because she once did well on an IQ test feels qualified to call Dr. Wiles into question for using hyperbolic functions. Like you, I hate ignorance passing for knowledge.

      It's amazing how much good, new mathematics came out of all the failures.

    126. I was vague about that part, what I meant was he knew at ten the theory could be proven and if a ten year old could do it, there had to be more. vos Savant is about as fake as it gets, I am happy to see I was not the only one who saw through her. I read 5 pages and tossed it into the trash bin. I have not read the other one, although I have heard of Mr Singh. I am searching it as we speak.

    127. I would appreciate your thoughts on Mr. Singh's book after you have read it. However, I must correct you on something. According to what Dr. Wiles stated about himself in a documentary I saw about him, he became interested in mathematics at the age of ten, learned about Fermat's last theorem (at that time, a double misnomer if I ever heard one) when he was sixteen and forgot about it for twenty years. He never indicated that while a teenager, he knew it could be proved. He simply never considered it. Now, if he could only prove the Goldbach conjecture, he would have two major mathematical break-throughs under his belt.

    128. That was not the impression I had the way it was taught to me, but perhaps you have read more than me about his history. I tend to pay more attention to the elite mathematicians and their actual work than their history, as it pertains to my work. Albeit, it has not really ever been part of my work to use Fermats Theorem, that is for things that go beyond my scope of expertise, although I have dabbled in reading about it. it is not beyond my comprehension, but practical use of that level of math is much beyond what is required in any of the engineering work I am certified to do. I stand corrected again, thanks for the info.

    129. I have to admit that I have a long way to go before I can understand it the way I would like to and may never get there, but it's worth trying. As I informed you, my mathematical bent is more towards the theoretical whereas yours is more towards the practical--and one certainly feeds into the other. I mean three hundred years ago, who would have thought of the role complex numbers would play in everyday existence? Who would have thought of the role non-Euclidean geometry would play in our understanding of the universe? On second thought, perhaps the feeding is mutual. The mathematical solution or modeling of a practical problem has often led to the enrichment of theoretical mathematics as with Stokes' theorem.

      Some of my favorite mathematicians (besides Newton and leibnitz): Gauss, Riemann, LaPlace, Legrange, Bernoulli (the whole family), Cantor and, of course, Euler and naturally Wiles. My guess is that you agree, but can certainly add others just as respectable and respected.

    130. How do you know that in the beginning there was no motion? How do you know that something caused it? How do you even know that Newton's First Law of Motion applied at the so-called beginning?

      Contrary to what you write, throughout your posts you have asserted the existence of a supreme being, not a merely belief in same. The facts speak for themselves. Therefore, you must either provide proof or state uncategorically that it's merely your fairty-tale belief. On the other hand, I don't need to provide proof that a supreme being doesn't exist, because again contrary to what you write, I never made such an assertion. So you're the one making unsubstantiated and misinformed personal accusations.

      And speaking of distortion or outright misrepresentation, show me where I used the discovery of Pluto to prove the existence of the Higgs Boson. If you re-read, you will find that I suggested you read up on the discovery of Pluto and I did this as an analogue to the method used for Higgs Boson because, again despite what you write, your understanding of science is extremely limited.

      Your reading of my paragraph on the merits of atheism is as skewed as your reading of the rest of my post. At least atheism examines the facts and only the facts and doesn't need to posit a creator the way you do.

    131. The rubber room is down the hall, especially prepped for people like you. Free rent and food as well. Good deal for you. I'd take it man. You have no proof, other than regurgitated BS we have all heard from tens of thousands upon tens of thousands that came before you. You got nothing. Period. Unlike the educated people in this place. We do not have to grasp at old sayings, statements or lines of crap to get our point across nor do we have to prove the impossible to get ours across. You guys are the ones touting this fake deity, not us. So that being said, show me a picture of Jesus and God and all they entail. Hardcover would be fine if that is possible, after all, God can do anything right? I'll have a double cheeseburger to go with that proof as well, God should be able to fix me up I am sure.

    132. "Newton's first law of motion states that "every object continues in its state of rest, or of uniform motion in a straight line, unless compelled to change that state by external forces acted upon it." In the beginning there was no motion; then there was. Something caused it."

      that law doesnt apply to quantum physics and that is the state the singularity was in.

      "Furthermore, why do I have to provide proof that God exists simply because I believe He does?"

      why would you believe ANYTHING without proof?

      "I didn't demand proof that God doesn't exist because you don't believe He does."

      just like you dont demand proof that unicorns dont exist. that wouldnt make sense.

  88. Achem... "Hell by definition we or anything else is not even real, what is matter?"

    I couldn't agree with you more. We are all asleep and dreaming.

    And as Shawn was saying, what difference does it make whether you say,

    "In the Beginning, There was only an immeasurably small point of infinite mass that went BANG!"

    Or...

    "In the Beginning there was void, and Spirit moved on the Face of the Deep."

    It's all da same. Words are symbols and symbols are infinitely removed from what they represent. I have a hard enough time communicating with my wife and we've been married 40 years. Here we all are--perfect strangers--discussing the ultimate question(s) of the universe. Think we'll get it all taken care of by tomorrow?

    1. I'm on it. I am quite used to time restraints. I will endeavor to give us all the definition of the meaning of life by mid morning, tomorrow.

  89. Don't mind me. I'm still growing. Hell, I'll probably be figuring out the universe for at least another 20 minutes. Then I'll change my mind in the next twenty.

    1. Listen to the ones that are talking science to you, we are only here because of "quantum jitters" from the quantum foam that when it jitters enough will coalesce and form virtual particles that are in itself illusive and going in and out every (Planck, Planck) second from this and other reality's.

      The whole universe is formed by complete chaos, chaos theory, uncertainty theory, an unlimited vast sea of probabilities, that form your day to day living I may add, forming your present personal reality taking into consideration interactions. Hell by definition we or anything else is not even real, what is matter? nowhere to be found in any atoms, virtually empty, therefore we are basically made of energy.

      The only grand design you are referring to is laid out rather succinctly in Stephen Hawking book "The Grand Design" read it.

  90. Semantics aside: The universe had a beginning. I don't think there's any argument there. Since there was a beginning there must have been some mechanism/force/reason it began. I choose to believe that mechanism/force/reason was God. There is no argument or evidence that proves my belief wrong; however the anthropic principle does lend credit to my belief. This is really no different than saying, for instance, a particle called the higgs boson must exist because of x, y and z, but we've never seen it; in fact, we'll never see it, but we're still going to look for proof of it's existence. There's as much proof that God exists as there is that an up quark exists. And I find it rather hypocritical to make a documentary specifically to persuade people toward atheism and say that people with faith have no place demanding agreement.

    1. Shawn Lewis. VERY well said. I wish I could have done it so adroitly...:-)

    2. Shawn Lewis
      you stated "There's as much proof that God exists as there is that an up quark exists." really? ok what is this proof? which of the 28000000 gods do you believe in and why is yours more likely than the others?

    3. Another non sequitur. Just because something begins does not mean there has to be a reason for it. Also, which universe are you talking about? If you mean the one with whichwe are familiar as the only one, then it can't have had a beginning in the usual sense of the word.

      You've obviously learned nothing from the documentary. If you assert the existence of a supreme being, you must provide proof and not try to foist this responsibility off on those who don't believe you. Without proof your assertion is worthless, even though there is no contradictory evidence. It's like my averring that Banshees created the glaciers--and no, the antrhopic principle lends no credit to your belief, only comedy.

      As for your comment on the Higgs Boson particle, I suggest you read up on how Pluto was discovered. Your background in science is obviously quite limited.

      At least atheists are responsible only to themselves and can't come crying to or blaming a third party of questionable and unknowable existence. This makes modern day atheism a lot more intellectually healthy than theists and by the way, what do you mean by " . . . people with faith have no place demanding agreement."

    4. with all due respect Mr Robert, you know as I know, this debate with the true believers is a waste of energy. Do not ask for logic or proof, there is none. Back to the circular debate once again, Everyone has to prove something to the other guy. And vice versa. An endless amount of drivel in between, the result is always the same. The burden of proof is on the believers, and always has been. Nothing has changed whatsoever. The bible bunny's got squat to back it up, the other side has logic, science and intelligence to use as fuel. This argument has not changed since Jebus was a cowboy. Or was he? lol....this s**t always makes me laugh, but cry at the same time, You know what I mean?

    5. We both obviouly find it offensive when ignorance is passed off as knowledge. The problem is that those like Shawn Lewis and Derek C try to inflict their twaddle on others who are so uneducated and gullible as to swallow it.

    6. As a redneck would say. " And Bob's your Uncle. " Exactly my friend.

    7. The documentary didn't say God didn't exist. It says that there is no evidence of his existence and until there is we cannot arrive at this conclusion. As for the Higgs boson particle, scientists in Geneva have just announced that they have discovered what they are sure is the Higgs boson particle.

      The idea that such a particle must exist came as the result of a great deal of research and based on scientific models that seem to say that this must be true. There is no scientific research that gives us a model that leaves us with the conclusion that God must exist. If there is, please enlighten me.

    8. As you find it hypocritical, I find it offensive that people are made to be that shallow and brainwashed by a bunch of books written by men for men to live a good life. Most educated scientifically trained people do not believe in fables and fairy tales. One mans religion is an others man's bad joke. People with faith deserve a kick in the arse for being so stupid, so afraid of their own mortality, or afraid of their own choices, good or bad, semantics aside. There is no gods, and no devil and no heaven and no hell. There are only human beings who cannot handle their own futures and cannot face death like a person should. Religion is the bane of our existence, and the sooner all those bible bunny's wake up and get it, the more peaceful of a world we will inhabit. Semantics aside, religious freaks need a rubber room, not a pat on the back. I was raised in a devout catholic family, and when I reached the age of 13 and started down a path of reading and educating my self, the truth became clear. These people are lying to me and everyone else, only a child would believe such nonsense. I thought of that when I was 13, it seems a few billion have not grown up yet or educated themselves as to the improbability of the claims made by all the " holy books ". I think as one poster said, these weak people need to be smited, more than they need a fruitless, circular debate with people who have enough sense to call it what it is. BS.

  91. Are we using words to investigate or argue?

  92. This is all silly. Some people are looking for a drinking fountain in the pouring rain.

  93. S'cuse me? If'n ya don' mind...how can science work without structure (design, pattern, idea, whatever...)???

    1. As several posters have tried to enlighten you, order ? design, but you don't seem to get it. Second, probability, like statistical variance, is living proof of lack of order. And you still haven't answered the question: what is design and how would you know it if you saw it? Once more, order ? design.

  94. Big waste of time... The entire argument. Nobody will ever totally prove or disprove the existence of God. The fact that Atheists try to place a burden of proof on believers shows how insecure they are in their BELIEFS! The burden of proof of God's existence is an attempt at provocation. Personal beliefs are most inspirational when they are on a personal level between man and his maker.

    1. jeffroko
      if your beliefs are personal and they are not pushed upon others or stated as anything more than a belief then i agree no proof is needed. but if you think these beliefs should govern other people's choices,education.personal freedoms or is used as justification to limit,judge,kill or demean others than the burden of proof is yours. the statement "Atheists try to place a burden of proof on believers shows how insecure they are in their BELIEFS!" was not only directly addressed in the doc but i will ask anyway what are the atheist "beliefs"?

    2. Atheists belief is that there is no creator. I must not have made it that far in this particular show. It was very long winded, and I got the feeling the creator has an unhealthy love of his own voice (however monotonous). I can't sit here and watch something that attempts to place a burden of proof on a belief based on faith, therefore needing no proof. I don't particularly believe that my beliefs should govern others choices... Maybe humanity would be better off if believers got their own act together, and their beliefs started to actually govern their actions.

    3. jeffroko
      maybe i am reading the comment wrong so feel free to correct me if that is the case. i do not remember stating that "Atheists belief is that there is no creator" . i do not speak for any atheist other than myself but all i say where creator is concerned is that i have not been presented with any evidence that a creator exists or is necessary to exist. your particular approach to your faith is fine with me and if you express it that way i will never try to place a burden of proof upon you. it is only when someone claims their belief as fact,tries to inject it into where it doesn't belong forces it upon others that the problems start with me

    4. Are you sure? I wouldn't want to see another inquisition or witch-burning.

    5. Athiests didn't decide the burden of proof is on believers, it simply follows logically that this is the case. Atheist don't have one standard for the assertion that god exists and then another for other assertions- we have one standard, outlined by the scientific method, that we expect anyone making any assertion concerning the nature of reality to meet if they hope to be taken seriousely. Like the documentary explained, if anyone wants to hold a personal belief without requiriing proof that is of course their right, and as long as it remains personal who cares- it is when they start trying to intergrate their belief structure into our educational system or our political system, when they use their belief to justify destructive and dysfunctional actions and policies that affect us all, when they try to marginalize and demonize those who disagree- that we object.
      Now you may see that objection as a waste of time but, I see it as necessary if we ever hope to survive as a species, to make war and violence at least minimal, to understand the great mysteries of life, etc. In my opinion religion is just like capitalism, it had its uses and helped make us what we are but its time is over. Cultures evolve when new ideas are introduced and old ones fall away, natural selection is calling- can't you hear the wolves at the door?!?- its time for change again!!!

    6. There's no such thing as a burden of proof for a belief which is based on faith and will never (nor need ever) be fully proven.. does that make sense? I don't see your objection as a (complete) waste of time.. I don't think public schools should have anything to do with religion. I don't see any point in trying to prove one way or another how we got to this place in history.. The better bet is to work on how we can get to a sustainable and peaceful way of life. I like your avatar by the way. 8D

    7. "Proof" demands a corresponding level of consciousness. You can explain basic arithmetic carefully and definitely in easily understood terms, but if yer explaining it to your pet parakeet, he ain't gonna get it.

    8. yay. birds don't get math. try leaving less comments. people are more likely to take you seriously.

    9. Science places the burden of proof on any claim that one makes. It would be inconsistent to insist on proof on any idea proposed but not where God is involved.

    10. You said it Jacko. The burden of proof is on the bunny's. There is no proof. Period. It is considered idiotic to try and prove God exists in any scientific forum, unless it is a religious one. I have seen a thousand debates on this subject, every single time it comes up on scientific threads, it is discarded, abused, bemoaned and chastised as BS. I live in that world, so therein lies my thoughts.

  95. All Fibonacci replies appreciated peeps.

  96. i find it encouraging that after a little over a day there has been only one poster referring to a specific god and claiming proof. there have been a few creator/designer claims, but even with those the arguments they use to justify their claims are getting more end more desperate (in my opinion). it wasn't that long ago when there would be multiple claims of "my specific god did it and here is why". then they went to "it was created and my specific god cannot be proven wrong" now with few exceptions we get " it could have been designed" with no mention of a specific god. it is still early and i might have just jinxed it but as i said i find the trend encouraging

  97. Nice documentary indeed!

  98. Vlatko, just had to say thanks yet again. I followed the link above in the doc description to QualiaSoup's youtube channel--very interesting! And more to the point--I had a revelation!

    In fact...I found the name of god: Jean Francois Poujot! The Haitian who created the wonderfully delicious banana that is so perfectly designed to fit the human hand..and to be inserted into the human mouth...with it's own biodegradable wrapping!

    (Please, please don't tell me it all started with a mutation...)

  99. I see nothing wrong with saying "I don't know"- in fact I think if one really wants to hold to the spirit of the scientific method, not just the literal definition, then this is technically the most correct answer currently available. Yes, it is splitting hairs in a way, and can easily appear to be only a question of pointless semantics but, if we are going to use science as our defender, the scientific method as our mode of thinking- we have to present a position that we can defend down to the detail while remaining true to these ideals. Since, technically speaking, no one can disprove the existence of any god with 99.9 % scientific accuracy, saying you know with absolute certainty that no god exists is not defensible within the guidelines of the scientific method. Science uses a scale to quantify how certain they are of certain theories, 99.9 % certainty is generally required before most scientific institutions are willing to go out on a limb and annouce a new discovery and what it means.
    In the end I suppose it is a matter of opinion but, in my opinion we can't use science as a defense unless we are willing to tediousely follow the guiding principles of that discipline- in other words, we must practice what we preach. And in this case that means admitting we don't know with scientific certainty whether any god exists or not. I don't see this as a weakness in our argument but as a definite strength.

  100. I am grateful to the atheists for dissecting religious claims to supernatural. I was born and indoctrinated (against my wish) in religion. But even as a child I wasn't convinced, I was skeptical, but did not dare question anything, what do you do? it's all around you, everyone believes the same thing, dissent is prosecuted and crushed. Keep it up folks, there are too many victims of religion out here, too many buildings of great architecture (mosques, churches, synagogues, Vatican, etc.) full of fictional stories. Religion is mind control, illogical, unscientific, divisive and promotes tribal mentality.

  101. I don't know, I like philosophy. I read mystery novels but I'm always reading a historical, religious or atheist themed, and conspiratorial books.

    1. Would you be interested in a work about the history of dictionaries? How about one on creationists? How about both?

  102. @Daniel Jones - The fibonacci sequence is truly fascinating. Once again though, I think that our lack of understanding does not equal a supernatural explanation. Maybe it's the simplest way for nature to evolve? Since everything is made of the same basic elements, it stands to reason that there might be some common similarities when one sees the final outcome.

    I don't know if you like hard rock, but the band Tool was heavily influenced by mathematics and relied heavily on the fibonacci numbers in the song Lateralus. Brilliant really.

    1. just youtubed it. Thanks for the tip :-)

  103. I think DerekC is trying to make the God of the gaps argument. Lack of understanding in any particular field does not prove the existence of a God. And why God as the designer? Why not an intelligent alien? Who created the creator? More questions come from his answer. As Robert alluded to, he is indeed the type of person that this video is trying to address. He should ask himself why he requires to prove his God when there will never be any proof available? I think he is beginning to question his faith and I hope that he finds his way. You gotta let go the idea of being "right." Enjoy being wrong. Question everything always. Even your own cherished beliefs.

    1. I, for one, have to be right, even when I'm wong.

      But more important, your earlier blog echoed Dr. Dawkins who in a debate with William Lane Craig asked why we can't just appreciate and try to understand the fascinating world around us without trying to bring in some third outside party. Back in the 80's, during a lecture to students, Dr. Drawkins also stated in essence that the truth is far more fascinating than anything mankind has made up about it.

      P.S. During a debate with Bart Ehrman, Mr. Craig offered a mathematical proof that the resurrection probably occurred.

    2. I've also read a mathematical proof that dragons actually did exist. And yes, I read the book The God Delusion years ago so I'm sure that the points in the book stuck with me. The consequent to his point would lead one to incredible amount of fallible proofs. I like picking your brain Robert. Do you have any good literature you can suggest that you've read lately?

    3. On what subject?

      I would like to work up a mathematical proof that religion doesn't exist or that Catholicism is merely a trivial singularity.

    4. I'm absolutely convinced dragons do exist! I'm glad to hear I'm mathematically correct, 'cause I fight them all the time. They are oddly persistent in my universe, but fortunately they do not require weekly worship.

    5. Heaven help us if they didn't exist but you were mathematically correct anyway.

    6. In this case we are talking about the definition of God. I'm fine with aliens. At some point consciousness has to be at the beginning.

    7. The universe must be a certain way or science wouldn't work.

  104. So what is the general consensus on the ubiquitous presence of the Fibonacci sequence in nature? I've always found it more than intriguing, even possible evidence of intelligent design. And I'm neither an Atheist, a deist or transhumanist. Just curious.

    1. The same as with pi and e. They're descriptions, not hard-and-fast rules.

    2. @ Daniel Jones. Law of large numbers, mate. There are thousands of billions of forms of life in nateure that exist or have existed. That a handful show possible correlation with Fibonacci sequences is not only highly likely, but mathematically innevitable.

      To even contemplate this as proof of a "creator" requires that you entirely ignore the staggeringly important fact that Fibonacci number sequences do not occur in nature, thousands of millions of times more than they do occur. It's a matter of misunderstanding the relationships between things, between cause, effect and description.

      It's like, if I were to say;

      "I was watching a butterfly and saw it die, therefor I must have the power to kill things by looking at them".

      That two things happen to co-incide is not proof of any interaction between them. Just because I looked at the butterfly did not necessarily cause it to die. Furthermore, what about the hundreds of butterflies I watched that did not die? What about the millions of things I've seen in my life, why didn't they die as I looked at them?

      Our world is based on principals which can be defined and understood through Mathematics. To say that these things are possible BECAUSE of mathematics would be ludicrious. It's a means of understanding, not creation. Newton discovered the equation for calculating gravitational effect, this did not give him the power to move planets or fly.

      That we can see Fibonacci numbers in a few liforms out of billions isn't evidence of intelligence, it's evidence that life and nature take many forms and that numbers can be used to describe these forms.

      The flower's beautiful shape corresponds with Fibonacci sequence, it is not created by it. Just as the butterfly died while being watched, not because it was being watched.

    3. Right. Mathematics is a descriptive tool, not a prescriptive one. Newton obtained his equations basically through observation. Euler obtained them through deduction. Other fine mathematicians, such as Gauss, Cauchy and Taylor obtained them through both.

      But far more than that, math often provides viable answers to the question "what if."

      However, with all this in mind, what I like most about mathematics is the art form.

    4. @RikG01
      Elegant! You could give some tips to the scientists fumbling with their various and seemingly incoherent descriptions of the 'elusive' Higgs boson because your analogies invoke such clear images. xx

    5. As if the scientists know nothing about math.

    6. Oh! Thanks very much. I'm hoping that wasn't sarcasm, normally my explanations of things are so dreadful, even I need them explaining to me...

      RE: Higgs Boson, I kinda understand the principle (I'm not a physicist) but not well enough to explain it any better than we've already seen. Where is Pr. Brian Cox when you need him?

      Help me, Pr. Brian, You're my only hope...

    7. Well there are several thing to consider when pondering this observation-
      # 1- its over hyped considerably, check out Fibonacci and the Golden Ratio Exposed on Keen Talks and you will see what I mean.
      # 2 The Fibonacci sequence is a logical sequence, not just some odd, random sequence of numbers. Its a sequence which lends itself to fractal geometry, which has it's own inherent benefits and is generally how nature creates what seems a totally random and odd display of structures but really boils down to a few simple shapes being repeated in a fractal manner. So to ask why we see the Fibonacci sequence in nature may be the same as asking why nature utilizes fractal geometry- because ti is a very simple way of creating variation and seemingly random structures.
      #3 some kind of set pattern has to be transferred with the ocassional random variation in order for evolution to work- why not use the Fibonacci sequence, its simple and easily encoded and gets the job done.

  105. It may sound weird but the only thing that makes sense to me is the quantum world, quantum mechanics et al. None of this man-made religious garbage, not to far in the distant future perhaps 1,000's of years religion will drop by the wayside and dissipate into the cloak of invisibility from whence it sprung.

    We are here because we collapse the wave-form en-mass and form reality from all the illusion of space and time (spacetime) and latch on to "one" of the vibrating strings that give rise to all we know and see, (string theory) which to me will be at the forefront of scientific endeavor.

    1. Maybe in 1,000 years religion will exist only as a historical curiosity.

  106. I think god was at deer creek in noblesville, IN on june 28th and 29th. My church was the mothership and i ate magical wafers with fractal images on them and we all held mass for 2 days and sang about the multi beast, and how our hands and feet are made of mangos. I remember something about guitars gentley weeping, and please me have no regrets. All nonsense, except in the eyes of Me.

    1. That was a Jeff Healy concert silly boy, and I thought we told you not to eat the brown acid!!! hehe.....

  107. Btw, I'm getting real tired of christians. I'm thinking of smiting them soon. Such silly make believe stories and archaic rituals. Anyone ever been to a catholic mass before? I literally can't help laughing out loud at the nonsense that is performed on a daily basis in these wastes of space and resources called churches. Seriously if you have never been you got to check it out. There is no comedic act anywhere that can make you laugh that hard. Oh ya, and they cannibalize their god in this magic ceremony that turns wafers and wine into pieces of flesh and blood. How sick is that. And hilarious. I only made christians to entertain me, not annoy me with their self righteousness about how insane they are.

    1. Yeah, as a young man, I had some serious issues with being forced eat someones body. It was traumatizing to say the least.

    2. I had to do it 3 times a week for 8 years, I feel your pain.

    3. I was forced for 13 years. The early ones I do not recall, but I would guess noone touched my peepee since I came through it with my intellect and body intact. I just had to, sorry, it screamed at me to say that. Is it God that tells those Priests to touch young peepees? Or is that just normal for God to let his servants abuse young people? This is the part noone ever addresses. The sick f***s who spread the word of God but yet, behind closed doors, they are deviates of the worst kind. God in all his infinite power, allows young boys and girls to be sexually abused eh? Any group that allows such lowlifes to be associated with it is reprehensible beyond imagination. Therefore, the bunny's can take all this BS and shove it where the sun don't shine. It is lies and more lies, and the Catholic Church seems to me to be a breeding ground for pedophiles. You can take that and them and choke on it. Rant over. Sick f***s, all of them.

    4. Christianity is the 2nd most powerful institution ever devised by man. Besides banking. Not a fan of either. Its just a way to get people to step in line, and its so deep rooted in our society it will take millenia to exorcise it. If we ever can. Maybe if we find out how to fold space and time, and discover vast inter stellar civilizations out there, it would disappear. But i doubt it. I'm sure they will try to explain that we are special amongst the billions of other sentient species in the universe, and god made us in his likeness to taunt the other species. Because of course evolution is a tool of satan to make the flock stray from his light and blah blah. Ya i went to church, i can talk churchy. Though i'm pretty sure the catholic school i went to had no pedophile priests (it definitely had gay nuns though), the fact is that it has more pedophiles in it then nambla. Anyone respecting such an institution is beyond contempt. And jesus was a man. Thats it. A man. Not a god. A dude who said some stuff that made some jews angry and the romans killed him for being a rabble rowser. The end. If he walked on water then he was an alien, but I'm pretty sure some old dieing apostle, or crazy midevil dictator, made that crap up to add some spice to the story. If you take all the bogus miracles out of the bible, it would be the most boring thing ever written. Who would read that? So lets give these dudes super powers so people read this stuff man!

  108. If i hadn't thought up the universe and everything there in, this conversation would not exist. You're welcome.

  109. one of the best documentary ever!

  110. If the universe is intelligently decipherable, it HAS to be intelligent in its origin. The mind of man cannot even begin to understand the design of the cosmos. But the design undoubtedly exists, and on an infinitely complex scale. How is it that anybody can accept the idea that the cosmic design can eventually be understood by mind but MIND didn't think it to begin with?

    1. "If the universe is intelligently decipherable, it HAS to be intelligent in its origin." What a glaring non sequitur.

      How do you know design exists? As a matter of fact, how can you tell when something's been designed and when something hasn't? As a matter of fact, what is design?

      Talk about uncritical thinking!

    2. At some point I quit. If you don't see design what is science about?