The Doomsday Code

Last night we watched Channel 4’s documentary, The Doomsday Code – which was one of the most worrying television programmes that I’ve seen for a long time.

The programme was about the groups of christian fundamentalists who believe that we are now living in the end time predicted by the Book of Revelation and who are conducting their lives as though they expect the Rapture to take place at any moment.

This is all very well. They are, of course, free to believe any ridiculous nonsense that they choose to believe. It’s nice that they have a hobby and it gives the rest of us someone to laugh at. But in this documentary Tony Robinson demonstrated that it’s a little more serious than that. End-time believers are in very powerful positions in the US and their actions can effect us all. Some examples:

  • As the Book of Revelation clearly mentions Israel as a nation, Endtimers are strong supporters of the Zionists and will fight anything that they see as a attack on the Israeli state. This is clearly a big problem when trying to address the problems in the middle east. Some go further and believe that an all-out war in the Middle East can only hasten the arrival of the Rapture.
  • If the End-time is just around the corner, why would you care about any detrimental effect you are having on the enviroment? You’re not going to be around to deal with the problems, so leave it to the unbelievers to deal with it. it’ll just add to the problems of the Tribulation – which has to be a good thing, right?
  • The Book of Revelations also mentions that at the End-times the word of god will be preached to all countries. So missionaries are out all over the world trying to make this prophecy come true. The documentary picked on the example of Uganda, where End-time preaching is so endemic that large parts of the population seem to have almost given up the will to live as all they have to do is to be true to god in order to be ensured of a place in heaven when the Rapture comes.

These are just a few examples. The documentary was full of many more. It also had plenty of smug American christians telling us how wonderful this all was and how if we embraced dangerous philosophies (like evolution) then we were in for a whole bunch of trouble on judgement day.

It’s a nasty, pernicious belief and, of course, it’s all based on a misinterpretation of what the Book of Revelation is trying to say. There’s no evidence that it was written by Saint John and it’s far more likely to be a criticism of the Roman Empire than a book of prophecy (“666”, for example, is just an encoded way of refering to Nero).

So what we have here is a powerful sub-sect in the christian church who are wilfully misinterpreting the bible in order to support their owen warped view of the world. As I said above, this would just be amusing if it wasn’t for the fact that some of the most important people in the US either hold these views or are influenced by people who hold these views. It seems a bit trivial arguing whether or not Islam is a peaceful religion when christians are busy cheering on the end of the world – and some of them are doing what they can to hasten its arrival.

Update: If you didn’t see it, it’s repeated late tonight (Monday 18th September) – 1:30 tomorrow morning on Channel 4. Set your video.

34 comments

  1. The thing is they’ve been banging on about the end of the world since before the Gospels were written. In one of his letters St paul rebukes a community who have become all lazy because the end of the world is nigh and they can’t be bothered.On a slightly related note – I wonder whatever happened to “the end of the world is nigh” bloke who used to patrol Oxford Street before loudhailer man took his pitch

  2. Ian,

    1. Should we care?

    Well, as I said, I didn’t used to think so. I thought they were just figures of fun. But now I realise how powerful some of these people are, I really think that we should care.

    2. Can these people be stopped?

    Let’s hope so.

    3. How?

    I’m open to suggestions. Currently my best plan is using posts like this to expose the flaws in their thinking. But this may not be particularly effective as people don’t seem to be open to logical discussion.

  3. There’s no point going in for logical thinking with these people, because they think on an emotional level. It’s kind of like branding. We all know that some branded trainers are made in sweatshops, and that they’re not worth the price, but we go for them anyway.

    Maybe the key is to figure out what’s at the root of why they believe this stuff, and why they act as they do. Is it out of fear of something? Is there something missing in their lives like a loving family? Are they all poor, or from specific underprivileged backgrounds?

    I think if we can understand why these people have this emotion, why they *need* to believe, then we can start to tackle it.

    So the next job is to figure out these root causes. Over to you!

  4. Finding such a topic as very important and interesting I wish to add my point. I have supported the Christian faith and its gospels in the search for truth for quite some time now as well as embraced the theory of evolution and the naturalistic point of origin. I’m on a 3 way path to truth that is Evolution, Creation or neither.

    Which do I support most? Creation. Why? The scientist in me asks why??? And Christianity gives plausible philosophical answers aswell as a universe built with knowledge. While I won’t relate to the evolution, creation debate and their arguments i.e. contradictions in the bible or carbon dating here (it’s not the topic), I do feel the end times is a fascinating topic and enjoy comments from supposed free thinkers.

    I would like to think as a free thinker that other free thinkers wont get abusive when I say “I found the Jesus, you should to” and be in my face about it. There is a purpose and meaning in the teachings of Christ are never really scoffed at by any one and it’s this line of teaching which differ him from any zealot leaders or even fabricated divine interventions such as Hercules.

    My point to this conversation is the bibles chapter “revelations” is overlooked often only by naturalistic evolutionists. While I have found remarkable evidence in its chapters regarding current events i.e. the seasons changing (post 2000 years evolutionists call global warming), Israel the main talking point of war (post 2000 years evolutionists call coincidence), wars the rumours or wars, increase in plagues, quakes and all manner of disasters (evolutionists say have always happened but disregarding the scientific statistics that prove an increase). I find naturalistic evolutionist only regard the doomsday events with utter dismay and rely on what is regarded as still undeniably a theory (faith? … in evolution?) but as the bible is the only real source of documented history through out mankind’s existence, it also links the 3 main religions together (Hebrew, Islam and Christianity) to one point some time ago in the past. I think its curial that no free thinker over looks the revelations account for the future.

    I agree that no religion should be forced into anybody’s mind and only enforce the ability to think free; I’m in favour of keeping my environment friendly, clean and well protected but most importantly I am very concerned that American leaders are indeed using the power of God in their conquest of the last oil reserves and such like. I have witnessed governments using religion for support for power in Northern Ireland and the Middle East (I don’t hate Catholics but hate being called Irish which narrows down to nationality).

    I just watched the repeat of “The Doomsday Code” on channel 4 and I’m sad to say I feel angry at the fact I’ve seen another documentary on television that refuses to show any strengths to support creation like the alpha and omega account. Why don’t these documentaries follow ordinary Christians and their opinions instead of the usual critical observations and extremist as examples, why not a documentary based on Hitler’s mad race ideas or Stalin’s communist regime based upon evolution that lead to the death of millions?

    Lastly, I have so much to say but I have gone on a bit and would like these points raised. Keeping in mind I’m still young and come from a great loving family that is not without usual faults. Keep up the good work in thinking free as God intended but do tread carefully.

    Phil

  5. I agree, the megaphone touting Christian is very irritating but so are a lot of things in life but we live with them anyway i.e. taking promises from certain mobile networks for granted or even owning a car which involves paying a higher price for petrol every year, tax, insurance, M.O.T right down to speed cameras and my biggest growing irritation is watching movies based on myth being absolutely ruined by naturalist evolutionists like King Arthur or Troy.Christians or religion in general however seem to get blasted worse by so called free thinkers and intellects alike more than any other irritation. Does it not occur to these people that megaphone touting irritations might actually be concerned about their well being and that their souls will only live this life of sin.Where are the intellects anyway? Sitting in classrooms and halls across the world getting a pay check for spreading a belief in a theory with the only intention to counter theism and get rid of god. The problem here however is when challenged properly on the origin subject they claim it’s not their field. They are making the bible increasingly more valid in its claims in “the last days” which talks of scoffers and over confident, proud, boastful men who will reject God and spread lies of science falsey so called. ASBO jokes aside I more or less am ready to be subjected to harsh criticism or another barrage of jokes as I am after all an idiot!

    Ill pray for you guys even though I dont know you from Adam.

  6. I suppose the key issue here is one of proof. So for the purpose of discussion, set up a creationist approach on one side, and a non-creationist approach on the other.The non-creationist approach offers proof to substantiate its argument, in the form of fossil records, repeatable experiments, etc. This is proof beyond logical doubt (note I say logical here, not emotional).

    By contrast, the creationist approach is not able to offer proof to support its assertions in a form that can be subjected to any kind of verification. Holy books, of whatever sort, cannot be verified as being the word of a deity. Sometimes, the authorship and the authority of the text via copying over the years cannot be established either.

    Let’s briefly now turn to the issue of holy books which discuss the end of the world. If I were to draft this kind of claim today, due to the enormity of what I am saying I would expect people to take issue with it, and so I would look to build something in the text to defend my argument. However, I can’t know exactly what kind of approach the people who doubt me will take. So the safest thing to do to cover myself is just to suggest that anyone who does not believe my claim is a liar, or a fool. Notice that this approach offers nothing by way of proof, evidence, or logical argument. It merely seeks to pre-emptively strike on anyone who takes a different view.It might be instructional at this point to search the internet for “day trading courses”, or other ways to trade the financial markets, and read the sales pitches of the companies that appear. Not all of these companies are reputable. Many of them will, at some point in their sales pitch, tell you of the many other methods available in the market place, and how none of these methods work. Indeed, they seek to argue that they are the one true way to achieving trading profits. Yet, just because they disparage their competitors, it doesn’t make their own claims more true. It is clear that this parallel can also be drawn with creationist, or endtime, arguments.In fact, in my own personal view, a logical analysis of the arguments presented by both sides comes down so overwhelmingly against a theistic interpretation that there is really no issue to argue.

  7. Ill pray for you guys even though I dont know you from Adam

    Phil,

    I know you mean well, but please do not pray for me. I do not need or want any help or support from you or your imaginary friend.

    I’d also like to point out that it’s actually very simple to tell me from Adam. One of us is living breathing human being, and the other is mythological stereotype who never really existed.

  8. If your referring to fossils then you must understand the process and that it does not take millions of years to form as there has been lots of non pre-historical items uncovered which have been fossilized i.e. a cowboys boot with foot and bone intact.

    Fossilized material can form from lack of oxygen amongst running water and since there is a hell of lot fossils out there then I can only assume there was a huge flood that buried them without the bibles interpretation not to mention the many layers of strata that has form around the earth because of hydrologic sorting.

    Please don’t use carbon dating for millions of years of dating because over 30000 years it becomes immeasurable. Yes there is tonnes of dating methods but since they keep giving inaccurate results they are not 100% reliable, this to me is to think critically with logic.

    Science may one day discover the answers regarding the point of origin but as it stands it relies on FAITH driven theories and you cant deny the answer may swing in favor of “nothing exploded and created everything by itself” (and Im mad)or in favor of “a creation event with a purpose that has been delayed due to sin”. I know Christ exists because I found him and I stand today to think for myself in the majesty of the whole creation. This however I agree is religous and I admit its true undeniable faith but what upsets me is naturalistic evolutionists dont admit the same.

    I have no scientific evidence to support evolution or a naturalistic point or Kent Hovind would have to pay up big but I am enjoying your comments as you are bright rather than antagonising.

  9. You may as well let him pray for you. If you don’t believe in prayer, it won’t make any difference either way. The worst that could happen is that he wastes his time. But just imagine if the prayer did work, it could be awesome! And since it doesn’t cost you anything, the risk to reward ratio is infinite!

    If you could pray for me, Phil, that would be top. And also my Auntie, because she’s ill with pneumonia and wrapped up in cling film!

    One other observation while I’m here: if the amount of time people spent supporting theories such as End Times and Intelligent (sic) Design was put into doing Good Works, the world would be a better place. But talk is cheap.

  10. I too was somewhat blown away by The Doomsday Code.VERY scary stuff indeed.I was aware that Reagan had some pretty ‘off the wall’ beliefs and indeed that President Bushs’ pastor was a believer in ‘The Rapture’ and so one assumes is The President but I had held back from the, in hindsight, logical conclusion that these beliefs were not only as widespread as Tony Robinsons’ Documentary reveals them to be but were widespread within the American Government.

    Should we care?

    I’m afraid thats’ a bit of a no-brainer.

    Apart from anything else these bonkers beliefs make more sense of US foreign policy in the Middle East than anything else I can think of and to some extent explains the failure of The US to ratify the Kyoto Protocols Armageddon?……. Bring it on!!Global Warming?….. Bring it on!!

    Who Cares we’re all going to Heaven YeeHaa!!

    We should particularly care if we are in any way Jewish because for The Rapture to happen something like two thirds of you guys have to cease to exist…..(I know its crazy but this aint about what you and I think. Its about what the Waco with the money & the cunning plan & the power thinks!) Perhaps you chaps should take a hard look at just exactly what your bestest friends in the world really have planned for your fair Nation?

    Can these people be stopped?

    Probably not.

    If all the people currently adhering to primitive Bronze Age Belief Systems came to their senses overnight then…Mission Accomplished but that is NOT going to happen anytime soon, in fact if the growth of Creationism is anything to go by, quite the reverse is happening out there.

    So I think its Armagedon here we come!!

    By way of an afterthought.Once the Middle East has been comprehesively irradiated it will be interesting to see what all the ‘End of Dayers’ will do when they are not teleported up to heaven like they expect.I just hope there are enough of us left to have a chat with them.

  11. ” Does it not occur to these people that megaphone touting irritations might actually be concerned about their well being “

    He quite clearly didn’t care about my well-being. If he did, he wouldn’t have shouted through his megaphone when I was standing right in front of him. He’s lucky I didn’t give him the kicking he so richly deserved for deafening me.

    But feel free to pray for my poor lost soul if it that’s what makes you stiff. At least while you’re concentrating on wasting your time like that you won’t be doing any real damage.

  12. I would actually care for what Dr Hyde had to say were it not for the fact he believes he’s a monkey whose thought and reasoning process, innate knowledge of right and wrong are chemicals that got together one day (by themselves) by a comic burp long ago and far away lol.I don’t mean to have a pop mate but please if you have no consideration for those trying to show you a whole new life without delusion, then don’t waste time telling strangers that you would use violence on these guys. Christ says it’s a path to truth. Christ died for you but you have free will to choose you own actions, this is no indoctrination, you don’t have to sit a certain way when praying, and you don’t even have to pray a certain amount of times a day to my imaginary friend. All you need to do is open your eyes, take a look at a decaying world infested with sin.We are free thinkers who decide what is right and wrong based on our own existence, ask freely for forgiveness and do as you wish after but I can assure you, your eyes will open.Time is not wasted, hey I’m out numbered by time wasting megaphone touting atheists in here who couldn’t get a bunch of people together to discuss there immoral line of thinking although you certainly get together to blast my beliefs though and how my evil plans need stopped. And why is it that atheist get over excited and unreasonably bad tempered when Christ is mentioned? Freedom is what makes the path of truth exciting.On the subject of the end times not even the son knows when it will happen. Fare enough if you don’t believe in such nonsense like the bible but if all you go by is people who want to make money and a name to criticize my belief then you guys need a new hobby.I agree that governments should not hammer religion of any kind into people.I agree that America is out of order and control and its government should only focus on defending itself encase of attack or criminal justice while staying out of peoples minds.I agree religious leadership can be dangerous in the hands of extremist and fanatics.I agree that when I see people on T.V. shaking shouting and whaling on stages they are insanely under delusion. T.V. airs this or Songs of Praise which looks plain boring and time wasting. T.V however is not real life.I believe the rapture will come to judge everyone according to his works, an accounting to explain actions such as rape, murder and allowing oneself to become subjected to the darkest corners of free will and intelligence (which exists not because god had a laugh creating it but because dark is the absence of light, can you hand me a jar of darkness?)Read the bible with an open mind and make your own judgements on its chapters. If you can’t then your mind is closed to an improvable dying naturalist THEROY which takes a religious amount of belief, faith (a bang from nothing in the vacuum of nothing) but I wish you well.Steve your turn lol, while using words like teleport I can only assume god to you is a big invisible bearded man who lives in the clouds with the minds of creationists. I spoke with a big banger who told me (after viewing the matrix) that this existence may be computed by intelligences greater than our own and this is merely a smaller dimension to something greater.I told him he just agreed with what religious men have understood since history was recorded in the bible in a kind of sense.Prove your non creation argument is correct and withstanding then. I have an open mind. I am not deluded by my faith (but remember I ADMIT mine is faith). Prove to me without using “it may have” or “could have” or even “it probably happened like this” that a void of nothing exploded by itself creating matter that as far as science tells us cant happen. I will follow that idea if you can prove it but let me say creation is a more scientifically visible interpretation based upon complex systems (that can only work together to exist) are understandably created by a working intelligence.

  13. If a creationist can’t explain it we apparently say “god did it” but please look at what you say “random chance did it!” Forget it guys. Who cares if a Rabbit does or doesn’t chew the cud? Its petty arguments amongst ourselves that actually make us avoid leadership issues.Ian you supposedly want to set up a creationist and an atheist. This happens around the world a lot and from many viewings I’ve witnessed the creation scientist usually finishes with results rather than the big banger but you failed to mention this. I can’t use possibly use tactics to suppress a messenger or message of scientific theory. I’ve never (ever!) been trained on how to. I have however experienced the love of our father and now await either my end or thee end in this life but it’s not about being good. I’m sure your all good (in ways lol) but you need to be forgiven to show him you’re righteous. I don’t need god to scientifically appear to me for me to be righteous. I can be righteous on my own after admitting sin and this is what our loving father cherishes. If you want proof god exist then seek him and stop chasing implausible explanations (Nothing.Bang!!.Complex interworking systems with no purpose) because time is short.I won’t hate you for believing this bang stuff but I would like a more open minded approach.Dave science has proven we came from one woman but hasn’t the bible said that already (cough. coincidence) so if that woman was Eve then you and Adam are closer than you think.What worries me the most guys is that you compare ordinary Christians to the obvious loonies and you feel threatened by their ranting, because of this you will feel UNENTENTIONALLY threatened of people like me. If I compared you to Stalin and his Marxist approach to leadership you’d hate me for forming an unrealistic opinion, this is stereo typing at its most extreme and we must trend very carefully or we’ll a big wedge between ourselves. This kind of blog I when I read it was uncomfortable to me because it didn’t oppose incompetent leadership but my faith in general.If I agree with you in some of my views I mentioned earlier then why did I feel intimidated when reading this blog. Keep the discussion on incompetent leadership such as Marxist, religious or whatever and Christians will stand by you for a change of leadership. Attack it with extremist stereo typing and you’ll find them supporting the likes of the Bush campaign. This is up to us because the world is what we make it.Remember god didn’t create the universe by the click of his fingers as it took 6 days. It been created by INTELLIGENT science and we can see this using science. Don’t wedge religion and science apart and don’t poison sciences on the purpose of get rid of god with unproven theories or lies for science is the search for knowledge and uncompromising truth.

  14. Phil,

    You give me so many areas to debate. But I’m just going to pick on two.

    science has proven we came from one woman but hasn’t the bible said that already (cough. coincidence) so if that woman was Eve then you and Adam are closer than you think

    It’s true that there is a “Mitochondrial Eve” and a “Y-chromosomal Adam“. But these individuals differ from your mythological friends in three important ways. Firstly, they were not the first humans. Secondly they were not the only humans on Earth at the time they lived. And thirdly they never met each other. The current theory says that they were separated by about 30,000 years. If you want to debate topics like this then please read a good book on the subject – I recommend Out of Eden.

    Also, like most creationists that I have talked to, you have a major misunderstanding about how science works. You try to discredit evolution by describing it as “only a theory”. But all of science is made of theories. That’s how science works. We develop theories to explain observed facts. When two theories explain the same thing then we design experiments or look for evidence to decide which one is the most likely. It’s quite possible that a better theory than evolution will come along at some point at some point in the future, but it will need to explain all of the available evidence. And it is very likely that it will be a refinement of evolution rather than something completely different. It certainly won’t be a fairy story that is completely untestable.

    Richard Dawkins has stopped debating with creationists as he believes that discussing the pros and cons of evolution versus creationism gives creationism and intellectual standing that it doesn’t deserve. So I’m going to withdraw from this debate now. Feel free to keep expounding your delusions here, but I’m very unlikely to respond.

  15. Dave you admit that there is a Mitochondrial Eve and a Y-chromosomal Adam but you differ these from my mythological friends. You state passionately they were not human when there is no evidence to suggest it. There were other humans somewhere else in the world. And they never met. But then you state the current theory separates them by about 30000. You mean you don’t know? When was the last theory disproved? When will the next one arrive? Will this one be proven? You can’t determine this theory through carbon dating as that is about as much time it takes to decay.I think science is great and you’re absolutely right. It’s based upon theories through working examples i.e. atomic fusion: we can’t see atoms but through theories and repeatable, testable experiments we are able to show their existence and the results show we can harness its energy for various purposes. This however is not true with evolution and its big bang origin. Its currently sits in classroom textbooks with a base of lies that have been proven wrong long ago I wont get into these lies but I recommend collecting Kent Hovinds debate series and seminars on DVD, I think its seminar-4 Lies in the text books which is about 2 hours long itself. Evolution has not helped in any field of science. It’s utterly useless. I’m not having a pop at science just a disproved theory that gets ram raided into people’s heads as if it were a proven fact. Do not get upset to understand the only other alternative to the evolutionary account is creation or that it may seem I’m attacking it, I’m not but I want strong supporting evidence we came from nothing by ourselves. If you cant then do get in my face when I mention Christ.Richard Dawkins stopped debating creationist because they are right and he couldn’t admit it. If you want to see a good debate then track down 3 views (Kent Hovind again, sorry but its very good viewing). And what intellectual standing do creationists have? Ian stated earlier that when you get a theist and an atheist in the same room together the ATHEIST has proof BEYOND logical doubt for his argument, not the theist, if this is true then base on logical science, Richard Dawkins should not have given up his day job, but again I have to say the argument swings in favour of creation. Get that debate.Dave I have absolutely no delusion in what I believe. You however can continue to believe that you came from muck that got together one day by itself after a very big bang until the next ridiculous theory comes along that you can hope to but let me tell you one thing. God will give you up to your own boastful ways and that is your misfortunate and downfall as an intellect, I suggest you read the whole 3rd chapter to 2nd peter for rather scary personal insight (you to Ian) regardless of whether you believe it or not.Keep in mind that theists are also intellectual and don’t rely on disproved theories to throw god away. My last point to this blog (if I can help it) is it came to me as if creationist were nuts. I know a lot who are in well paid jobs due to outstanding achievements in school, college and university and they don’t believe in evolution. Nor does it have an effect on their work. If they are sectarian or opposition then you guys are seriously deluding your selves and IL continue to pray for you.Phil

  16. I leave it to readers of this page to consider Kent Hovind’s biography and determine whether he is a credible, reliable and suitably impartial assessor of the facts: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kent_Hovind .Having read 2 Peter Chapter 3 at http://www.newadvent.org/bible/2pe003.htm , it seems that the author is effectively threatening those who do not agree with his view. A threat neither strengthens or weakens the correctness of an argument, and so I cannot see how this passage is relevant to determining whether theistic or atheistic interpretations of the universe are correct.As for Richard Dawkins’ decision to decline debate with creationists, readers may consider the assertion of this Professor at Oxford University that science does not work by way of rhetoric and public debate, but by way of scrutinising evidence. I am not convinved that the theistic lobby can put forth sound arguments, with verifiably true premises leading to a logically valid conclusion, that would make debate worthwhile.

  17. You state passionately they were not human when there is no evidence to suggest it

    Wrong. What I said was “they were not the first humans”. By which I meant that they were humans, but not the first. The Earth was already well-populated by humans when “Mitochondrial Eve” was around. Which is about 30,000 years before “Y-chromosomal Adam” was around. These dates are not measured by carbon dating, but by the rate of DNA mutation.It’s also important to realise that these are just titles. “Mitochondrial Eve” is not a single identifiable woman. The identity of “Mitochondrial Eve” changes over time as populations change and genetic lines die out.Kent Hovind is a crook and a charlatan. His theories are patent nonsense. Adam Kisby has shown that his $250,000 is couched in terms that are logically invalid and that the challenge is therefore impossible to meet.

  18. You missed the fact that the chapter is over 2000 years old and pretty much hit the nail on the head about scoffers professing themselves to be wise but became fools. This is my final statement and would like to raise a few points.You guys neglected to comment on the dangers of evolution i.e. a Marxist approach to leadership.Why carbon dating doesn’t work.No arguments to Jesus’ moral teachings that differ him from the myth like Hercules.I stated over and over there was no evidence for evolution and you failed to show any during the discussion.The fact the bible is the only real source of documented history.As a creationist I agree with the points about incompetent leadership especially America but no one seemed to care, they just wanted to blast religious people which I know was the reason of this blog.Anger at the fact T.V. has shown another documentary on the bible not to highlight its great moral teachings in its passages but to criticize it and those who live by it as loonies.The fact that there are so many Christian charities doing excellent fund raising work for the sick and poor Ian. But what about the evolutionists who attack it on a daily basis in rooms this. They sit spreading the useless rubbish among others this very way or pump it into any student who has no other choice because they have taken out a £12000 loan for education. You guys should be ashamed. After my first comment the return was an ASBO joke! Richard Dawkins would be shamed at you for not progressing with an intellectual response unless he’s a clown to.No mention of King Arthur (the lastest movie) getting a battering by naturalistic evolutionists.No comment on why you believe you came from a simple life form that came from a rock during the rainy season that came from the biggest bang in history that came from nothing! Its theory driven theory that will eventually get replace by another could have, may have happened like this theroy.Read through everything I’ve commented on as I have to much more to say but I need to go. I also realise that when I do go these points will be raised amongst yourselves and a little laugh at my expense but since I’m now finished (Il probably be back, your a great bunch) they wont be valid and will consist of more lies and theories at sciences expense.I literally pray you people don’t hate people like me in a violent sense as Ian’s 3 questions earlier seemed valid until it became clear that it was to do with incompetent leadership at all but religious people like me during the discussion. If you want answers scientifically then ask a creationist and see if you agree, not your professor not your dad not even text books or blogs like this but you! If it makes more sense then good for you. Your open minded, if not then thanks for trying.God bless.

  19. Well, let’s see what the latest batch of comments has raised:

    You missed the fact that the chapter is over 2000 years old and pretty much hit the nail on the head about scoffers professing themselves to be wise but became fools.

    Not really a fact, since the text of Peter is not over 2,000 years old. But that’s a minor point. The substance of the text might well be interpreted in the way that you suggest, but it has no basis for its authority. It might be argued that it’s in the bible, but there is no logical argument to distinguish the text of the bible from any other text, so it cannot be rationally taken as a universal truth.

    You guys neglected to comment on the dangers of evolution i.e. a Marxist approach to leadership.

    We also neglected to mention Michael Schumacher, for the simple reason that he’s not relevant to a discussion of religion. In addition, I fail to see how evolution leads to a Marxist approach to leadership, and even if it did why this would confirm or deny the existence of God. This is a red herring.

    Why carbon dating doesn’t work.

    Well, carbon dating, like any technique, has its limits, but it works with enough accuracy to give weight to the findings it leads to. I’m not a scientist, but scientists who do work with dating techniques feel reasonably confident.

    No arguments to Jesus’ moral teachings that differ him from the myth like Hercules.

    The moral teachings of Jesus, if they are boiled down to “Be nice to each other”, are difficult to argue with. And science does not seek to argue with these teachings. They do not help us to decide the truth or falsity of the existence of God. They are another red herring in this discussion.

    I stated over and over there was no evidence for evolution and you failed to show any during the discussion.

    The evidence for evolution has been refined in scientific literature since Charles Darwin published The Origin of Species in 1859. The body of evidence and literature is available to anyone with internet access, and thus scarecely needs elaborating upon here.

    The fact that there are so many Christian charities doing excellent fund raising work for the sick and poor

    Again, we don’t dispute this, and I personally feel that this work is greatly worthwhile. There are also many secular charities doing this work. The existence of Christian charities, or those from other religions, does not argue for or against the existence of God. Again, it is another red herring.

    they have taken out a £12000 loan for education

    It takes more that £12,000 to get a degree from Oxford University. However, this is money well spent if students graduate with the ability to construct and evaluate logical arguments and their sources.

    No mention of King Arthur (the lastest movie) getting a battering by naturalistic evolutionists.

    Well, movies are usually made for entertainment, rather than strict factual accuracy, so they’re not relevant to this discussion.

    No comment on why you believe you came from a simple life form

    That’s implicit to the entire argument put forth by evolution. We believe that we descended from simpler life-forms because there is evidence for this. Lots of evidence, from many different sources, measured in many different ways, by many different people. It requires no belief. The techniques can be tested and independently verified, and indeed they have to be before mainstream science will accept them. Modern genetics proves without a shadow of doubt that evolution happens. Scientists here in our laboratories at Oxford are doing it right now! We therefore conclude what the evidence tells us, namely that evolution happens.

    If you want answers scientifically then ask a creationist

    Wouldn’t it make more sense to ask a trained scientist?Coming back to the issue of leadership in America, I personally don’t feel comfortable in telling another country how it should run its affairs, so I won’t. I would just make the general comment that I believe that leadership should be based on evidence and verifiable fact wherever possible, thus governing in the best interests of all the people, irrespective of religion or race.Finally, in a spirit of learning, I would like to recommend a book to you Phil, that I personally have found very useful. It’s called “A Rulebook for Arguments“, and it’s very short. It goes through the basics of how to construct and interpret logical arguments. Other books on critical thinking are also useful for this. These books will help you to put forth a stronger argument in favour of creationism if that is what you choose to do.

  20. (Dave, I used the HTML quot tag for these quotations but they didn’t come out. Perhaps you’d be good enough to correct this, and let me know which is the correct tag to use.)

  21. Not really a fact, since the text of Peter is not over 2,000 years old. But that’s a minor point. The substance of the text might well be interpreted in the way that you suggest, but it has no basis for its authority. It might be argued that it’s in the bible, but there is no logical argument to distinguish the text of the bible from any other text, so it cannot be rationally taken as a universal truth.

    I’m afraid classifying a 2000 year old text from the gospels as my interpretation to today’s events are meaningless and this is why you miss point of the bible. You are been blinded by one view and are therefore closed minded to its meanings and teachings how ever you have the right that no one should take force your away. You also failed to mention we don’t actually know how old the gospels are our calendar isn’t 100%. To suggest things have been added in later is a kick in the teeth to atheist who have studied its passages over the last few hundred years to disprove it as they have failed to notice such action. No argument you say, the bible is one of the oldest books in the world today. As the scribes copied it over and over they did the copies 100% or we would see discrepancies in various old versions.

    We also neglected to mention Michael Schumacher, for the simple reason that he’s not relevant to a discussion of religion. In addition, I fail to see how evolution leads to a Marxist approach to leadership, and even if it did why this would confirm or deny the existence of God. This is a red herring.

    *Red herring? I don’t think so. The issue hear is leadership issues and if you know your history Karl Marx was a passionate follower of Darwin. This topic is not to confirm or deny the existence of god but where such beliefs (creation/evolution) should be used under powerful leadership i.e. America. Should we care? Can these people be stopped? How? When did proving god come into it Ian. Anyway the universe is an example of god’s creation in its vast infinite complexity. Your comment is the red herring. This is known as “shifting the burden of proof”

    Well, carbon dating, like any technique, has its limits, but it works with enough accuracy to give weight to the findings it leads to. I’m not a scientist, but scientists who do work with dating techniques feel reasonably confident

    *I’m not a scientist, I don’t understand. This is typical slap and run approach. Stand by evolution then any question thrown is I don’t know. The evidence is there. You are bright so study it. By this example, it’s in relation to carbon dating. It dates different parts of the same fossil at the difference of thousands of years. You call that confident science. Since I believe the earth is younger than most evolutionists and I have full confidence in scientists working with it. My point is you go too far into the past then the dating becomes immeasurable due to decay and your living in a belief or fantasy.

    The moral teachings of Jesus, if they are boiled down to “Be nice to each other”, are difficult to argue with. And science does not seek to argue with these teachings. They do not help us to decide the truth or falsity of the existence of God. They are another red herring in this discussion.

    *Boils down to being nice? CORRECT! Should we care? Can these people be stopped? How? If Christians are taught by Jesus to be nice why would you want to stop them? Right so we have left the topic “does god exist?” again (which you seem to be using as a shield for some apparent reason when I question your belief, or the point of this blog) so we’re back to “beliefs behind power”. Il say it again, I agree, I don’t want any government forcing any beliefs into peoples heads Marxist, Creation or whatever. This is my choice to follow what seems reasonable to me. If you wish to revert back to “does god exist” then make this clear in your opening statement that started this blog. Il recommend you read the idiots guide to debates (in reference to your later comment).

    The evidence for evolution has been refined in scientific literature since Charles Darwin published The Origin of Species in 1859. The body of evidence and literature is available to anyone with internet access, and thus scarecely needs elaborating upon here.

    *Ok I will. Darwin’s holy book, and what you have failed to mention is that rest of the title included “favoured races”. Yes Darwin was a racist (as most were at that time) but he wanted science to explain why. There is only one race “the human race” and I know some Christians back then were racist but this is always elaborated and thrown in every Christians face. Jesus said all men are equal and we should be “nice”. There is no evidence to support evolution. They use dog drawings still that show a dog foetus very similar to human foetus but that was proven wrong in a court of law 150 years ago, I checked today’s evidence and the court case on the internet, you wouldn’t believe it!. I recommend (again) Lies in the text books by Kent Hovind for a full run down on the evidence Ian refers to. His argument is the red herring again.

    Again, we don’t dispute this, and I personally feel that this work is greatly worthwhile. There are also many secular charities doing this work. The existence of Christian charities, or those from other religions, does not argue for or against the existence of God. Again, it is another red herring.

    *Red herring? Your whole comment again is the red herring as your blog is not about the existence of god. I only raised this point in relation to the commet made earlier about time wasting christains.

    It takes more that £12,000 to get a degree from Oxford University. However, this is money well spent if students graduate with the ability to construct and evaluate logical arguments and their sources.

    *I agree again. Take rubbish out of the text books like the prehistoric table that exist only one place… the text books! Logical arguments? What about why it is now the earth is losing speed on its rotation? Or why is the oldest desert or tree less than 6000 years if the earth is billions and what speed was it travelling then if its slowing down now? The fact that we are losing the moon indicates it must of been on the earth a couple of million years ago. These aren’t problems to myself but through in a few million or billion years and these become problem but they are never mention or highlighted.

    Well, movies are usually made for entertainment, rather than strict factual accuracy, so they’re not relevant to this discussion.

    *You dont seem to care then if our greatest myths are torn apart to explain how it really happened. I was entertained until dragons were no longer part of Arthur’s tail. Or when Achilles was just a good fighter nothing else but you are right, it isn’t relevant to this discussion.

    That’s implicit to the entire argument put forth by evolution. We believe that we descended from simpler life-forms because there is evidence for this. Lots of evidence, from many different sources, measured in many different ways, by many different people. It requires no belief. The techniques can be tested and independently verified, and indeed they have to be before mainstream science will accept them. Modern genetics proves without a shadow of doubt that evolution happens. Scientists here in our laboratories at Oxford are doing it right now! We therefore conclude what the evidence tells us, namely that evolution happens.

    *Ok I am willing to follow this fact of the theory of evolution so show me the best evidence. I don’t want drawings, I don’t want, “it may have” or “could have” and I don’t want a bad example of a unbeneficial mutation I want to see a good one without micro evolution (Kind) being used.

    Wouldn’t it make more sense to ask a trained scientist?

    *Yes, I agree I know some who will be pleased to scientifically show you the view that is near and dear to me or I can give you sources. They even have full qualifications (what these mad raving megaphone touting Christians? How?).

    Coming back to the issue of leadership in America, I personally don’t feel comfortable in telling another country how it should run its affairs, so I won’t. I would just make the general comment that I believe that leadership should be based on evidence and verifiable fact wherever possible, thus governing in the best interests of all the people, irrespective of religion or race.

    *Thank you, I agree. “Existence of God???” or was that just for me?

    Finally, in a spirit of learning, I would like to recommend a book to you Phil, that I personally have found very useful. It’s called “A Rulebook for Arguments”, and it’s very short. It goes through the basics of how to construct and interpret logical arguments. Other books on critical thinking are also useful for this. These books will help you to put forth a stronger argument in favour of creationism if that is what you choose to do.

    *Thanks for the reference, I hope you seen mine. This started in relation to a worrying documentary exploring the madness in the coming end times. This esculated into an assault on myself because of my beliefs. What I’m trying to do is point out is the universe is a mystery. I want answers, you want answers. I go from an ancient source that teaches wonderful values an testable workable demonstrations. You go by testable workable demonstrations which is great but the ones you use are based on lies. If questions are raised then seek them out. There is reason and hope but do not be scorned with a closed mind. To say we have cracked the answer to the point of origin is just plain ignorant. Let me finish by saying “choose what makes sense to you”. Don’t let people who are fast talkers who are quick of the top of their head bolt you down. There is plain rotten lies in these books and documentaries to discredit a book that is about as old as our own recorded history. The best predictions are from the bible are excused by atheists as coincidence or it was added later. Remember and atheist can’t find god for the same reason a burglar cant find a policeman.Dave I hope this hasnt turned you completey away from god. I knew a very smart guy (were science was concerned) that threw a christian out of his house screaming profanties at him all over the place, 7 years later when we met in a shop he confessed he found god and became a born again christian himself.I am leaving my comment here but please do not worry yourslevs with what we believe for you might see it yourself someday. Or not. But Il pray for you in any case and dont reject it I am after all apparently wasting my time.Phil

  22. Good maybe you can face the truth aswell then.Believe what you want but don’t criticise what I believe without criticising your own belief (hell there’s even scientific atheists who agree with me on the issue of evolution and some don’t even think the big bang or creation is vesicle, you can find them in science articles, magazines and on the net).I mean well mate and under different circumstances we would probably be drinking each other under some table having a laugh but don’t stereo type me with the nut cases T.V. shows all to often.

  23. I don’t seem to be doing a very good job of staying out of this discussion. But Phil keeps coming up with so much nonsense that needs to be refuted. Here’s a random ramble through some of his recent points.

    The issue hear is leadership issues and if you know your history Karl Marx was a passionate follower of Darwin.

    I think the point here is that Marx’s thinking was heavily influenced by Darwin’s writing and that if you believe in evolution then you’ll turn into Marx (or Stalin or Hitler, who Phil has previously mentioned as fans of Darwin).Firstly, it’s a complete non sequitur to say that Hilter and Stalin were bad people because they believed in evolution (I’m going to leave Marx out of the discussion as I don’t see him as evil in any way). Hitler and Stalin both had reasons for doing what they did. I’ve never heard anyone seriously suggest that it was due to their belief in evolution. And secondly, there are, of course, a far larger number of evolutionists who aren’t mass murderers and a pretty large number of mass murderers who believed in creationism. This whole argument is nonsense.

    the bible is the only real source of documented history

    Just pulling this one out so we can all point and laugh. Just look around any decent sized library. There are thousands of sources of documented history. And the bible’s place in that group is dubious to say the least.

    If Christians are taught by Jesus to be nice why would you want to stop them?

    Well, if they just went round being nice to people then we wouldn’t need to stop them. And the majority of them – the ones that go round being nice to people – don’t need to be stopped. It’s the dangerous ones who were covered in the documentary who need to be stopped. The ones who are telling people that the end of the world is near and who are doing all they can to bring it about as soon as possible.

    Darwin’s holy book

    This is another way that creationists try to denigrate evolutionists. No-one sees Darwin’s writings as a “holy book”. It’s just a scientific work like any other. Darwin’s ideas are open to experimental verification and reassessmentjust like any other scientific theory. And that is what has happened. It’s almost 150 years since The Origin of Species was published and in that time the theory has been expanded and refined. Reading Darwin’s work doesn’t give you any idea of current evolutionary theory. You should only read it for historical interest. If you want to know about current theories in the area then I recommend Richard Dawkins’ books. His most recent book, The Ancestor’s Tale is very good. It answers a lot of the questions that you raise about things like the validity of carbon dating.

    You dont seem to care then if our greatest myths are torn apart to explain how it really happened. I was entertained until dragons were no longer part of Arthur’s tail. Or when Achilles was just a good fighter nothing else but you are right, it isn’t relevant to this discussion.

    I’m not really sure what this has to do with the rest of the discussion, but I don’t have a problem with people trying to find out the truth about myths and legends. The myths and legends still exist. You can still read Malory or Homer. These myths are now no more or less true than they ever were. And the work getting to the truth of these stories is being done by historians. There’s no way of knowing if they are evolutionists or creationists :-)

    Ok I am willing to follow this fact of the theory of evolution so show me the best evidence. I don’t want drawings, I don’t want, “it may have” or “could have” and I don’t want a bad example of a unbeneficial mutation I want to see a good one without micro evolution (Kind) being used.

    Read the Dawkins book I recommended above. It’s full of evidence.

    Dave I hope this hasnt turned you completey away from god.

    No danger of this discussion doing that. I realised that god was an imaginary friend almost forty years ago!

  24. Hi Dave can you answer a couple of these for me while ive got you in the mood.(1) Where are the trillions of fossils of such true transitional forms?Critics of creationism often say that creationism is simply religion, whereas evolutionism is based on science. The Bible says in Genesis 1 that all creatures reproduce “after their kind” (no change to another kind, i.e., no transitional forms). So the complete absence of transitional forms in the fossil record supports creationism.(2) Is this scientific evidence for creationism, or isn’t it?I have also noted that evolutionists only discuss this subject in the broadest terms. If evolution is true, why don’t they give us answers to questions such as these:(3)Where did all the 90-plus elements come from (iron, barium, calcium, silver, nickel, neon, chlorine, etc)?4) How do you explain the precision in the design of the elements, with increasing numbers of electrons in orbit around the nucleus?(5) Where did the thousands of compounds we find in the world come from: carbon dioxide, sodium chloride, calcium hydroxide, hydrochloric acid, oxalic acid, chlorophyll, sucrose, hydrogen sulfide, benzene, aluminum silicate, mercaptans, propane, silicon dioxide, boric acid, etc.?How was it determined how many bonds each element would have for combining with other elements? When did these compounds develop from the elements (before the big bang, during the big bang, after the big bang)? When evolutionists use the term “matter”, which of the thousands of compounds are included? When evolutionists use the term “primordial soup”, which of the elements and compounds are included? Why do books on evolution, including grade-school, high-school and college textbooks not include such important, basic information? Evolutionists are masters of speculation. Why don’t they speculate about this?(6) How did life develop from non-life?(7) Where did the human emotions, such as love, hate, and jealousy come from?(8) What are the odds that the evolutionary process, proceeding by random changes, would produce human beings, plus millions of species of animals, birds, fish, and insects, all with symmetrical features, i.e., one side being a mirror image of the other? We take symmetry in all these creatures for granted, but is that a reasonable outcome for a random process?(9) What are the odds that of the millions of species of animals, birds, fish, and insects, a male of each species developed at the same time and in the same place as a female of the same species, so that the species could propagate?(10) Why are there 2 sexes anyhow? This is not foreordained in the evolutionary framework. Is there some sort of plan here?(11) If the first generation of mating species didn’t have parents, how did the mating pair get to that point anyhow? Isn’t evolution supposed to progress when an offspring of a mating pair has a beneficial mutation?Conclusion: No parents, no evolution. A species would have to jump from a primitive form to a fully developed male and female, each with the ability and instinct to mate.(12) How did the heart, lungs, brain, stomach, veins, blood, kidneys, etc. develop in the first animal by slow, minute steps and and the animal survive while these changes were occurring?For example, did the first animal develop 10% of complete veins, then 20%, and on up to 100%, with veins throughout its entire body and brain? Then how did the heart slowly develop in the animal and get attached to the veins in the right spot? How did the blood enter the system? The blood could not enter before the veins were complete or it would spill out. Where did the blood come from? Did the blood have red corpuscles, white corpuscles, platelets, and plasma? At what point in this process of development did the heart start beating?Did the animal develop a partial stomach, then a complete stomach? After the stomach was formed, how did the digestive juices enter the stomach? Where did the hydrochloric acid as part of the digestive juices come from? What about its kidney and bladder? The animal better not eat anything prior to this. How did the animal survive during these changes? (And over thousands of years?) Of course, at the same time the animal’s eyes must be fully developed so it can see its food and his brain must be fully developed so the animal can control its body to get to the food.Like the heart, brain, veins, and stomach, all of the organs and systems in the first animal’s body must be fully functional in the first moments of life. This indicates that evolution couldn’t occur, and the fossil record indicates that it didn’t occur!!! In other words, if you cannot come up with a detailed, feasible scenario of how the first animal developed, the whole evolutionary theory goes out the window, because it never could have even gotten started! Or is your attitude going to be: “Don’t bother me with such details. My mind is made up.”?(13) Why do books on evolution, including biology textbooks, always start with a fully developed animal when attempting to explain how one species developed into another species? Why don’t evolutionists first explain how the first animal developed? (An animal with a heart, lungs, brain, stomach, etc.)(14) What are the odds that the evolutionary process, proceeding by random changes, would produce a system in human reproduction whereby exactly 50% of offspring are male and 50% are female (based on 50% X-chromosomes and 50% Y-chromosomes)? Again – is there some sort of a plan here?To a creationist, the incredible complexity of human life, animal life, plant life, and the universe is absolutely overwhelming evidence that there must have been a designer.Evidence for a designer: The law of gravity is basic to an understanding of the universe.(15) Where did the law of gravity come from? Did it have a beginning? Isn’t it reasonable to assume that when matter was created, the law of gravity was established at the same time to regulate matter?Further evidence: The earth receives an incredible amount of energy from the sun, even though the sun is 93,000,000 miles away. Yet the earth only receives one part in 2 trillion of the sun’s total energy. And since the sun is only an average star among the 100 trillion billion stars in the universe, the total energy in all these stars is absolutely beyond human comprehension. ( I have read that the number of stars is greater than the number of grains of sand in every beach and desert in the world! )(16) Where did this energy come from? Isn’t the only reasonable answer that it was the result of a creative act by an almighty designer/creator?(17) Why do evolutionists summarily dismiss the evidence from design without any serious consideration?Professor D.M.S. Watson, zoologist and Chair of Evolution at University College London has given us some insight as to why this is so. He said, “Evolution [is] a theory universally accepted not because it can be proved by logically coherent evidence to be true, but because the only alternative, special creation, is clearly incredible”. This of course is an admission that the foundation of evolution is not science, but a rejection of the supernatural. Evolution then is simply the best alternative anyone has been able to come up with. This also means that evolution is the only field in science where one decides on the answer first, and then looks for evidence to support that predetermined answer.(18) Other than rejection of the supernatural, how else can one explain the steadfast adherence of evolutionists to this theory even though they do not know the origin of the 3 main bases of evolution: the origin of matter, the origin of energy, and the origin of life?If you believe in evolution:(19) Can you give us just one coercive proof of evolution, i.e., a proof that absolutely eliminates any other possible explanation for the origin of the universe, the material world, and human life?(20) Isn’t it true that rather than proofs of evolution, all that evolutionists can come up with are evidences for evolution to someone who already believes in evolution?Let’s see some answers to important questions such as these, rather than a discussion of what is science and what is religion. That type of discussion is entirely irrelevant. What we seek is the truth, and creationism is a far more reasonable and logical explanation of the origin of the universe, the material world, and human life.

  25. I think the point here is that Marx’s thinking was heavily influenced by Darwin’s writing and that if you believe in evolution then you’ll turn into Marx (or Stalin or Hitler, who Phil has previously mentioned as fans of Darwin).Firstly, it’s a complete non sequitur to say that Hilter and Stalin were bad people because they believed in evolution (I’m going to leave Marx out of the discussion as I don’t see him as evil in any way). Hitler and Stalin both had reasons for doing what they did. I’ve never heard anyone seriously suggest that it was due to their belief in evolution. And secondly, there are, of course, a far larger number of evolutionists who aren’t mass murderers and a pretty large number of mass murderers who believed in creationism. This whole argument is nonsense.

    * Your right, there are a large number of evolutionists who aren’t mass murders but you fail to point out that there are a large number of Christians who are normal, sensible and intellectual, instead you refer to them as the mass murderers. I don’t believe if you follow evolution you will become Hitler, Stalin or Marxist, all I have done here is use examples of people who bring this idea to power (which THEY HAVE DID deny it or not, Mussolini being another culprit) and you have seriously missed the point of your own blog with leadership issues.

    Just pulling this one out so we can all point and laugh. Just look around any decent sized library. There are thousands of sources of documented history. And the bible’s place in that group is dubious to say the least.

    * Wrong again. The bible is one of the oldest books in the world and is the main reason I have used it as a pure example of documented history. Laugh all you want but Dave but if you put your faith on the now crumbling Big Bang theory and jump the band wagon to the next ridiculous theory that’ll come along in its place then I will have the last laugh as those entire library books will have to be rewritten.

    Well, if they just went round being nice to people then we wouldn’t need to stop them. And the majority of them – the ones that go round being nice to people – don’t need to be stopped. It’s the dangerous ones who were covered in the documentary who need to be stopped. The ones who are telling people that the end of the world is near and who are doing all they can to bring it about as soon as possible.

    * I agree with some of your points here especially the point about the dangerous Christians who are trying to bring about the end of the world. They are not reading the bible clearly and should seek help. What the purpose of this blog indicates is that if you don’t believe “nothing, bang!!! A complex universal structure working with other mechanics (matter with gravity) that goes against any random chance calculation” then you’re an idiot, I have jumped in to raise my point. You need to clarify were you stand next time you create a blog (I aint having a pop but come on at least believe in a sensible scientific understanding of the point of origin or don’t bother with it at all and certainly don’t laugh at people like me).

    This is another way that creationists try to denigrate evolutionists. No-one sees Darwin’s writings as a “holy book”. It’s just a scientific work like any other. Darwin’s ideas are open to experimental verification and reassessmentjust like any other scientific theory. And that is what has happened. It’s almost 150 years since The Origin of Species was published and in that time the theory has been expanded and refined. Reading Darwin’s work doesn’t give you any idea of current evolutionary theory. You should only read it for historical interest. If you want to know about current theories in the area then I recommend Richard Dawkins’ books. His most recent book, The Ancestor’s Tale is very good. It answers a lot of the questions that you raise about things like the validity of carbon dating.

    * You keep using Richard Dawkins. Here are some points you may or may not agree with…1. In addition to being a great writer, Dawkins is so quotable, so entertaining, so controversial and colorful because he is a fundamentalist zealot, albeit of the atheist variety. This makes for great press and wonderful book sales, but it is hardly a compliment when it comes to the matter of careful comment about complex matters like religious faith. All the modesty, nuance, controls, and qualifications that characterize careful scientific work vanish when Dawkins dons his philosopher’s hat. I have to believe that many of his scientific colleagues cringe at his bombastic and pompous pronouncements, however entertaining. Admittedly, this is an issue of style, but at some point style and substance merge. In engineering lingo, there is a problem with Dawkins’s signal to noise ratio. In cards we would say that he has overplayed his hand.2. Dawkins seems to defend “scientism,” the belief that science is the only or best source of reliable knowledge about what is worth knowing. In his book River Out of Eden, for example, he writes that “all my books have been devoted to expounding and exploring the almost limitless power of the Darwinian principle.” But as my friend and neuroscientist from Stanford, Bill Newsome, has observed, many, maybe even most, of life’s most important questions cannot be answered by the scientific method: What is love? Should I get married? Is it sensible to bear children? How should we assess scientific explanation? We rightly do not expect science to answer these or many other important questions.3. Closely related to this, many have observed that you cannot move “from is to ought.” Einstein, for example, insisted upon this point. That is, science tells us what is, but it cannot tell us what ought to be. It can build a bomb, but not advise us when and whether to drop it. It can describe the acoustics of a Mozart symphony, but not explain why that symphony moves us to tears.4. Science limits itself to empirical evidence, which makes much of it so compelling, but empirical evidence yields only limited information. Further, even such an ostensibly objective act as “empirical observation” is both theory laden and “tainted” by the subjective knower. In addition, like all disciplines, science operates with its own unprovable assumptions (eg, that the world is rational). In this sense Dawkins, and all scientists, are people of faith. When recently asked, “what do you believe is true even though you cannot prove it?” Dawkins responded, “I believe that all life, all intelligence, all creativity and all ‘design’ anywhere in the universe, is the direct or indirect product of Darwinian natural selection. It follows that design comes late in the universe, after a period of Darwinian evolution. Design cannot precede evolution and therefore cannot underlie the universe.”4 As an article of faith, fair enough. As a “proof” demanded by science, no.5. Dawkins the grandstander gets more than his fair share of the press, and this should not obscure the untold and often unknown story that there are many scientists, prestigious and obscure, who are people of deep religious faith. My favorite science-faith writer is John Polkinghorne—a particle physicist, former president of Queens’ College, Cambridge, and ordained Anglican priest. Others come to mind, like Owen Gingerich, professor of astronomy and the history of science at Harvard, or Ian Hutchinson, a plasma physicist who heads MIT’s Department of Nuclear Science and Engineering. I have already mentioned Bill Newsome at Stanford. Scientific “authority,” whatever its cache, cuts both ways. As a university pastor for almost nine years at Stanford, it was my pleasure and privilege to meet hundreds of Christian professors, Protestant, Catholic and Orthodox, from every academic discipline. It does not disturb or surprise me to encounter a Richard Dawkins every once in a long while.6. Beyond the narrow confines of the scientific community, Dawkins the atheist and people like him form a tiny minority. As the Harvard Islamicist Wilfred Cantwell Smith has observed, the overwhelming majority of intelligent peoples of all times, places, and cultures have been religious: “To be secularist in the negative sense is to be oddly parochial in both space and time, and to opt for what may be a dying culture”.5 Granted, truth is not a matter of democratic vote, but this historical fact begs for an explanation beyond Dawkins’s sarcastic derision of religion.7. What about the every day voices of ordinary people as they interpret their own experiences? I am willing to bet Dawkins that the average Jew, Hindu, Muslim, Buddhist or Christian most devastated by the tsunami has not jettisoned her faith. Most people, however tragic their experiences, maintain their religious faith, they want to continue to live, and they believe that, however painful, it is better to have lived than never to have lived at all. This empirical reality also demands an explanation other than insisting that people of faith are badly befuddled idiots.8. Is the Dawkins world view more intellectually compelling or humanly satisfying? After all, the “tsunami problem” of religious faith does not disappear just because you excoriate Christian belief; the problem remains for other faiths or atheists like Dawkins to explain and incorporate into their own world view. He admits that we should not privilege the human species above any other life form or believe that it deserves any special moral consideration.6 Many people believe that it is a short step indeed from such an atheist world view, in which physical matter is all that exists, to a depressingly nihilistic world view. We do know that the greatest crimes against humanity, Soviet and Chinese communism, killed over 100 million people in the name of atheism (with the help of scientific technologies), and that in Dawkins’s world view you might consider those deaths unfortunate, despicable, socially counter productive, or whatever, but you cannot call them Wrong with a capital W.9. The Christian world view does not turn a blind eye to suffering or candy coat it with pious cliches. Rather, our faith encourages a large measure of protest, doubt, and questioning, not to mention concrete deeds of love to address the human condition (most of which are never reported on the nightly news). The book of Job is perhaps the best example; likewise the Psalms. One irritating habit of Dawkins’s is to present the weakest and most tendentious examples of Christian faith, and then proceed to destroy them (the straw man argument). Another is to insinuate that he is among the first or brightest thinkers ever to consider the place of the problem of evil in the life of faith. Christians do not embrace the irrational or claim ignorance as an ally. We do not understand faith as blind obedience or “believing what you know ain’t true.” Christians, in fact, find a place for something like the tsunami, believing as we do that “the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time” (Romans 8:22).10. Most important of all, Christians believe that God in Christ has done something about human suffering, that He has entered our suffering and in some mysterious way taken it into Himself to transform it to our good: “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet without sin. Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and grace to help us in our time of need” (Hebrews 4:15–16).When talking about Hovind earlier you failed to mention his DVD`s have no copyright implications and when you purchase them you can copy them, send them back only to receive a full refund! Does Dawkins do this with his books?

    I’m not really sure what this has to do with the rest of the discussion, but I don’t have a problem with people trying to find out the truth about myths and legends. The myths and legends still exist. You can still read Malory or Homer. These myths are now no more or less true than they ever were. And the work getting to the truth of these stories is being done by historians. There’s no way of knowing if they are evolutionists or creationists :-)

    * Why did you bring this up again!! I agreed it isn’t relevant to the discussion!!! They’re myths. My point again, if I want to watch them on the big screen costing production companies millions of dollars I want to see Achilles heal in its original context, not the evolution context. Leave this alone its not relevant.

    Read the Dawkins book I recommended above. It’s full of evidence.

    * I have and its full of theories and leaps of faith from a naturalistic evolution point of view. Life from nothing? Prove your theory! If you can’t then admit its faith like me … please!!! If there is hard proof then please show it and change the theroy to fact.

    No danger of this discussion doing that. I realised that god was an imaginary friend almost forty years ago!

    • I realised evolution was the biggest fairytale for adults since I matured. Jesus wants you to be “nice”. God wants you to be righteous and admit your sin or you won’t see the purpose to this horrible life. I don’t care what you believe and YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO BELIEVE IT, I won’t hate you but don’t hate me for my beliefs and we can live in harmony. I wont say god bless or ill pray for you (I’ve already have done it) but if you want to create a blog with the intellect of Russell Brand (sort your hair out) then good for you.On a final note, these answering answers will go on forever so I’m stopping it here. I will hope all who read this can only see sense and find God as I did.Phil.

  26. This is my final comment on this site and you can discuss whatever you find necessary so please if you must have a laugh at my deluded self and pat yourself for being bright! But don’t state how I don’t understand how science works and how I’m neglecting it.The evolution theory will be change in time by a court ruling by theists and atheist alike if suitable evidence is not collected (this is how science works) and a new theory will come along once the understanding of dark matter or superstring theory becomes more apparent or thrown in the bin.I however will stick to the oldest recorded reference in the history of man and follow the evidence from it such as the layers of strata that have formed after the flood which killed the animals we see fossilized today. You can continue to believe nothing went bang and made everything from the complex molecule to the biggest of stars and their worlds, I would sway toward that favour where it not for the fact these same people can’t tell me if Pluto is a planet let alone where it came from.Thank you Dave it was fun.

  27. Hi every body, hi Dave, i’m from Mexico, my english is not good but a saw this docu almost a year ago and i’m trying to translate to spanish but is very difficult in some expresions or sentences, so i want to ask you for help because text is easier to translate, can you send me the transcription if you have a free time? (in parts could be easier for you). You and your web adress will appear in subtitles with the credits. I hope you can help me because in Latin America many people is in this groups of religion that belive this interpretation (some Catholics, Adventists, Mormons, Jehovah Witnesses, Evangelics, etc., and maybe with this info they can see how this is watch from outside of religion. Thank you anyway if yu can help me or not :) I`ll be backing to your site, good bye!

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