Missing Link Between Humans and Apes Found?

Filed under News, Philosophy & Science on May 20th, 2009 by M. French

Researchers say they have found the “missing link” between humans and apes in a fossilized primate they have dated at 47 million years old. According to Daily News:

A team of researchers Tuesday unveiled an almost perfectly intact fossil of a 47 million-year-old primate they say represents the long-sought missing link between humans and apes.

Officially known as Darwinius masillae, the fossil of the lemur-like creature dubbed Ida shows it had opposable thumbs like humans and fingernails instead of claws.

Scientists say the cat-sized animal’s hind legs offer evidence of evolutionary changes that led to primates standing upright – a breakthrough that could finally confirm Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution.

“This specimen is like finding the Lost Ark for archeologists,” lead scientist Jorn Hurum said at a ceremony at the American Museum of Natural History.

“It is the scientific equivalent of the Holy Grail. This fossil will probably be the one that will be pictured in all textbooks for the next 100 years.”

The History Channel will air a film concerning the fossil next week, the promo is below: [Link to Video]

Interestingly, the announcement of this research comes just a few weeks after the launch of evangelical Christian Francis Collins’ pro-evolution BioLogos initiative (for perspective on how the BioLogos team believes God could have had a role in evolution, click here).

Robert Crowther at Evolution News & Views of the pro-intelligent-design Discovery Institute was not shaken by the news:

If they weren’t atheists, you’d think the scientists raising the ballyhoo over Ida were hailing the second coming.

Here is yet another icon of evolution. Every time one of these discoveries is made, there’s a huge PR snow job from the Darwin lobby to make it seem like it answers all the questions and objections. I thought Tiktaalik did that. Or maybe Archaeopteryx. It goes at least as far back as Proconsul. Each time the Darwinists seem to forget they already found the missing link — the one fossil to rule them all — and re-find it all over again.

At least CBS News was a bit more skeptical than Sky News when they reported it on Friday.

While the fossil doesn’t relate to the more heated debate over whether chimpanzees and humans share a common identity – the fossil is not the so-called “missing link” — the two factions will likely pounce on this new find with evolutionists claiming the skeleton adds to the limited fossil record.

Today’s Sky News article is amazing in its breathless excitement over this latest missing link. Naturally, this more nuanced and balanced piece is the one the media is jumping on and trumpeting today.

The discovery of the 95%-complete ‘lemur monkey’ – dubbed Ida – is described by experts as the “eighth wonder of the world”.

For perspective on another fossil that was proclaimed to have “illuminat[ed] our ancestors’ transition from sea to land,” only later to be dismissed as a fossil of “poor” quality with radials that “did not seem to match the way modern fingers and toes radiate from a joint, parallel to each other” by evolutionists, take a look at Evolution News & Views’ TikTaalik article.



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109 comments
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  1. Looks more like the link between lizards and apes has been found.

  2. The ape-human transitional species is known as Australopithecus and these animals lived about six million years ago. I’m not sure what this picture is supposed to be of but it does look like something that was around about 47 million years ago like the article says. Of course there were no human or ape like animals on Earth 47 million years ago. I’m surprised Ken Ham and other creationists aren’t claiming this thing is a 5000 year-old fossilized cockatrice or a dragon or one of the other absurd animals the Bible claims exists and demanding they get to display it at their Creation museum.

  3. Robert Crowther is not a scientist. His Discovery Institute has never discovered anything. His intelligent design is an idiotic childish belief in magic.

  4. Robert Crowther holds a BA in Journalism with an emphasis in public affairs and twenty years experience as a journalist, publisher, and brand marketing. Wow a real BA! Gee those are rare! Naturally like the other liars at the Discovery Institute he is not a scientist. He is a typical creationist scientific ignoramus. The claim that this particular propagandist wasn’t shaken by the latest news is hilarious. The liars at the Discovery Institute are cowering on the edge of their flat earth as they do every time advancing science throws another shovel full of dirt on the corpse of the Christian religion.

  5. Dear Bernie. the Christian religion is not a corpse, it is more alive today than it ever was, just like its leader, Jesus Christ who is God Himself. It will never die, just like its leader, it is alive forevermore. Christ is alive, we know Him, He is real. and also Christianity is not a religion, God never started a religion, all He did was speak through men to tell humanity what He is like. religions are made by men who try to explain who God is. I’m sure you wont listen to what im typing and will mock and scorn. You sarcastically attack Robert Crowthers credentials instead of trying to defend your own argument which is an absolute joke. Lets be honest without fancy words, you believe the world came into existence on its own, the earth just appeared here and people grew on it. I advise you to get out of the city when you get a chance and look up at the stars, and say to yourself “these just happened by themselves”. You don’t know what happened six million years ago, you have incredible faith to think that you do. your belief in the past is not science, nor is it scientific, it is speculation, you (along with other evolutionists) have such strong faith that if it was in Jesus Christ you could be a world changing Christian and serve the True and Living God and bring His revelation of Truth to the ends of the earth (btw Discovery institute doesnt believe the earth is flat, but you will keep saying that no matter how much they say it) and the Discovery Institute is not liars, all liars are going to have their part in the lake of fire (Revelation 21:8) 
     
    Jesus is alive, revealing himself to honest people all over the world who are willing to face the Truth regardless of what it means. He is saving and setting free drug dealers, criminals, liars, those bound in sexual addiction, depression, self loathing, and all the other fruits of sin and death that entered our world. 

  6. [...] magazine’s Brian Switek had the following to say with regard to the Ida fossil being described as “the missing link” by many: Is Darwinius important to understanding [...]

  7. Hey, if there’s a greater and greater amount of believers willing to accept the earth is billions of years old and that Genesis 1 is not literal, why not accept evolution too?  It seems to be a moot point whether creation was gradual or instantaneous if you already admit the 7 day description didn’t happen literally as described.

    –Dan

  8. Jeff May,
    Dear Bernie. the Christian religion is not a corpse, it is more alive today than it ever was, just like its leader, Jesus Christ who is God Himself.
    Answer: You better check the stats from your own Christian researchers. They point out that 75 – 80 percent of Christian college students reject their faith at some time during their college years. Hank Hanegraaf adds that by the time these students reach the age of 30 that percentage jumps to 94 percent of Christians who reject their religion forever. Who is going to pass this religion on for another generation? There’s really no one left.

    It will never die, just like its leader, it is alive forevermore. Christ is alive, we know Him, He is real. and also Christianity is not a religion, God never started a religion, all He did was speak through men to tell humanity what He is like. religions are made by men who try to explain who God is.
    Answer: if you look at the American Heritage Dictionary definition for “religion”:
    1a. Belief in and reverence for a supernatural power or powers regarded as creator and governor of the universe. b. A personal or institutionalized system grounded in such belief and worship.
    2. The life or condition of a person in a religious order.
    3. A set of beliefs, values, and practices based on the teachings of a spiritual leader.
    4. A cause, principle, or activity pursued with zeal or conscientious devotion.
    You will see that mainstream Christianity as it is believed and practiced certainly falls into these definitions without a problem. Nevertheless, while the attempt to make Christianity stand out from the rest by emphasizing this personal relationship concept is emotionally comforting, consider the following.
    1) Almost every religion tries to set itself apart from the rest and from the common definition of the word “religion” in some way. For example, Buddhists explain that Buddhism is not a religion, because
    “Buddhism is not a religion because, first, the Buddha is not a “supernatural being power.” The Buddha is simply a person who has reached Complete Understanding of the reality of life and the universe…….Second, Buddhism is not a religion because “belief” in the Buddha’s teachings is not blind belief, blind faith and far from superstition. Buddha Shakyamuni taught us not to blindly believe what he told us, he wants us to try the teachings and prove them for ourselves. The Buddha wants us to know not merely believe…….Third, Buddhism is not a religion because all the “rites and celebrations” are not centered on a supernatural being, but rather on the people attending the assemblies…….Finally, Buddhism is not a religion because the “devotion” used in Buddhism is not one based on emotion, but one based on reason.” – Debunking the Arguments of Christian Fundamentlists
    Likewise, even cults such as Scientology have made the claim that it is not a religion but
    “an applied religious philosophy” (http://www.holysmoke.org/cos/religion-not.htm).

    I’m sure you wont listen to what im typing and will mock and scorn. You sarcastically attack Robert Crowthers credentials instead of trying to defend your own argument which is an absolute joke. Lets be honest without fancy words, you believe the world came into existence on its own, the earth just appeared here and people grew on it. I advise you to get out of the city when you get a chance and look up at the stars, and say to yourself “these just happened by themselves”.
    Answer: I suggest you look through a telescope and you will see stars like our sun being formed as we speak, some existing like our sun and some dead or dying stars like our sun. I would ask you to explain this but since you have no explanation you will no doubt ignore this very embarrassing fact which demolishes your creationist fantasies.

    You don’t know what happened six million years ago,
    Answer: You don’t know what happened 6000 years ago. People who live in glas houses shouldn’t throw stones.

    you have incredible faith to think that you do. your belief in the past is not science, nor is it scientific, it is speculation, you (along with other evolutionists) have such strong faith that if it was in Jesus Christ you could be a world changing Christian and serve the True and Living God and bring His revelation of Truth to the ends of the earth (btw Discovery institute doesnt believe the earth is flat, but you will keep saying that no matter how much they say it) and the Discovery Institute is not liars, all liars are going to have their part in the lake of fire (Revelation 21:8)
    Answer: Your evidence for a lake of fire comes from where exactly? From your flat earth holy book?

    Jesus is alive, revealing himself to honest people all over the world who are willing to face the Truth regardless of what it means. He is saving and setting free drug dealers, criminals, liars, those bound in sexual addiction, depression, self loathing, and all the other fruits of sin and death that entered our world.
    Answer: If you want me to believe in Jesus you must give me some evidence that this person actually existed. Let’s see your best evidence that Jesus Christ actually existed. Remember I don’t believe the Bible so you can’t use the Bible to prove the Bible is true. I need some solid secular evidence that proves Jesus Christ really existed. Let’s see what you’ve got. I could use a good laugh.

  9. Bernie,

    Look at some secular New Testament studies textbooks on the subject.  Bart Erhman’s is recommended, but any one from a secular college will do.  There is plenty of evidence he actually existed, and most secular historians believe he did.

    –Dan

    P.S. –  Brutally trying to attack someone’s faith is useless and puts up defenses to filter out any truth that you’re saying.  If you wish to be persuasive, you must be gentler and non-offensive, otherwise it’s an exercise in your own ego that accomplishes nothing.

  10. [...] the wake of news concerning the “missing link” fossil, an internet poll was recently released by OneNewsNow asking the question “Do you believe you [...]

  11. Dan May,
    I’m not trying to persuade you of anything you’re trying to convince me that Jesus Christ actually existed. By saying there is plenty of evidence that he actually existed or telling me that most secular historians did you’ve said exactly nothing. I asked you to provide me with this evidence that supposedly proves your claim. I say you cannot come up with one shred of secular contemporary evidence that Jesus Christ existed or any of the other major figures described in the Bible existed either for that matter. Now I’ll ask again, let’s see what you’ve got. I will not accept any mentions of Christians by second century historians Pliny, Tacitus or Seutonius (scholars tell us they’re all forgeries anyway) nor will I accept any forgeries in the writings of Josephus done by Eusebius. You should know that Origen and some other church fathers wrote there were no mentions of Jesus in the works of Josephus. These “golden passages” about Jesus in Josephus did not appear until church liar and propagandist Eusebius magically produced a copy that did in the fourth century. Now that I’ve shot down all the arguments you would have made it’s going to be very interesting to read your response.

  12. http://www.unpopulartruth.org/missinglink.html

  13. Bernie May,

    Instead of trying to use the whole “gotcha” attitude to prove your position with mere bloggers, why not do some actual research? It would be useless nonsense to rewrite what has already been written. You desperately need to read “The Case For Christ” by Lee Stroebel. He was an atheistic journalist with the Chicago Tribune when he decided to collect some evidence for himself. When he did, naturally he stumbled onto the truth. Well, not really. We already know the truth–it bears witness with our very conscious–but for some strange reason we decide to stiffle it in favor of fairy tales and 18 & 19th century fables.

  14. Bernie,

    Not trying to win here, just directing you to the evidence you’re looking for, if you are in fact looking for truth.  If you’re just looking for one on one battle, I’m afraid you’ll have to look elsewhere.

    I don’t see a reason to reinvent the wheel when other phd’s in the subject can explain the evidence far better than I can.  The non-biblical historical mentions you talk about have some more value than you expect, once you hear a historian’s explanation rather than a christian apologists.  I’m not talking about Lee Strobel here, but people who actually research this day and night.

    So as I said, look at any secular university’s New Testament textbook, and look at the evidence.  If you’re smarter than them already, you’re probably smarter than me too, so I can’t help you.

    Be well,

    Dan

  15. Oh, and Scott,

    Lee Strobel is really, really unpopular with non-believers, as a lot of his stuff can be easily discredited.  I’d recommend just pointing someone towards a secular source which is unbiased as possible  That Jesus existed is easy.  That he’s God is…. well rather difficult.  I don’t believe in the gospel stuff myself, but I can tell you Lee Strobel is only convincing to people who really want to believe already..

    –Dan

  16. Scott May,
    You desperately need to read “The Rest of the Story (1999) by Jeffrey Jay Lowder.” Lowder says: “I review Lee Strobel’s The Case for Christ. I conclude that “Strobel did not interview any critics of Evangelical apologetics. He sometimes refutes at great length objections not made by the critics (e.g., the claim that Jesus was mentally insane); more often, he doesn’t address objections the critics do make (e.g., the unreliability of human memory, that non-Christian historians do not provide any independent confirmation for the deity of Jesus, etc.) Perhaps this will be a welcome feature to people who already believe Christianity but have no idea why they believe it. For those of us who are primarily interested in the truth, however, we want to hear both sides of the story.”

    Lee Strobel was never an atheist. On Hank Hanegraaf’s Bible Answer Man show Strobel has said on at least two different occasions that when he was an “atheist” he believed in God but he just didn’t want to deal with his own sinful nature so he tried to ignore God. Then he said that this is the case with all atheists – that atheists all really know there is a God but don’t want to accept that they are sinners. That is not true and it isn’t the definition of an atheist either. Strobel rambles on about what a hopeless mess he was before he found Christ in order to smear atheism. He’s a liar. Strobel is a religious spokesperson. When it comes to telling the truth no profession on earth has ever had a worse reputation when it comes to dealing with the truth. We couldn’t believe these people if they told us they were lying to us. Strobel is a compulsive liar so he fits the mold.

  17. Dan May,
    There aren’t any New Testament textbooks that mention any contemporary historical references to Jesus Christ, the Apostle Paul or any of the twelve disciples. There simply were no contemporary historians that mentioned a word about Jesus Christ, his disciples, his supposed early movement in and emanating from Palestine, the Jerusalem Church (no has ever found this mythical place you know), the preaching of Paul or anyone that ever met him or anything else mentioned in the New Testament. This would be quite impossible had Jesus actually existed. We are expected to believe that Jesus was entirely ignored by all secular writers at the time that he supposedly lived even though:
    Special star appears to signal his birth (Matt 2:2).
    Massacre of infants in attempt to kill him (Matt 2:16).
    Goes about ‘healing every disease and every infirmity’ (Matt 4:23).
    Fame spreads throughout all Syria so ‘all the sick’ are brought to him – who are then healed by him (Matt 4:24).
    Followed by ‘crowds’ (Matt 5:1).
    ‘Great crowds’ follow him (Matt 8:1).
    Heals leper (Matt 8:3).
    Heals paralysed servant (Matt 8:13).
    Heals Peter’s mother-in-law (Matt 8:15).
    ‘Many’ afflicted brought to him: he heals ‘all who were sick’ (Matt 8:16).
    Great crowds follow him (Matt 8;18).
    Heals demoniacs and kills some pigs (Matt 8:32).
    Heals paralytic (Matt 9:7).
    Crowds witness healing (Matt 9:8).
    A ruler comes to him for help with daughter (Matt 9:18).
    Heals woman with hemorrhage (Matt 9:22).
    Heals ruler’s daughter (Matt 9:25).
    ‘Report of this went through all that district’ (Matt 9:26).
    Heals two blind men (Matt 9:30).
    They ‘spread his fame through all that district’ (Matt 9:31).
    Heals dumb demoniac (Matt 9:33).
    Crowds marvel (Matt 9:33).
    Heals ‘every disease and every infirmity’ as he travels about cities and villages (Matt 9:35).
    Followed by crowds (Matt 9:36).
    Preaches in cities (Matt 11:1).
    Speaks to crowds (Matt 11:7).
    Heals man with withered hand (Matt 12:13).
    Many follow him and ‘he heals them all’ (Matt 12:15).
    Heals blind and dumb demoniac (Matt 12:22).
    ‘Great crowds gather’ around him (Matt 13:2).
    Speaks to the crowds (Matt 13:34).
    Herod hears about Jesus’ fame (Matt 14:1).
    Crowds follow him, he heals the sick, and feeds 5000+ (Matt 14:13).
    On entering Gennesaret, he is recognized and all the sick are brought to him and all those who touch him are healed (Matt 14:36).
    Great crowds come to him with the sick and they are healed (Matt 15:30).
    ‘The thong’ see ‘the dumb speaking, the maimed whole, the lame walking and the blind seeing’ (Matt 15:31). Feeds 4000+. Crowds are sent away (Matt 15:38).
    Meets crowd and heals epileptic (Matt 17:14,18).
    Large crowds follow him in Judea and he heals them (Matt 19:2).
    Great crowd follows him on leaving Jericho (Matt 20:29).
    Heals two blind men (Matt 20:34).
    Ejects Temple traders (Matt 21:12).
    Heals blind and lame (Matt 21:14).
    People call for his execution (Matt 27:23).
    All the people admit responsibility (Matt 27:25).
    Darkness ‘over all the land’ (Matt 27:45).
    Temple curtain torn and earthquake (Matt 27:51).
    Saints came out of their tombs and appear in Jerusalem (Matt 27:52-53).
    Resurrected from dead (Matt 28:1ff).

    It is of course too absurd for words for any rational person to suggest that anyone who was involved in all of this (and the above is only from Matthew – John has further miracles), and in just three years (John) or one year (Synoptics), could go unnoticed by all the secular writers of the time, and indeed anyone capable of writing. – Mark Smith

  18. Bernie,

    You could be right, but you are in the minority of non-christians who have education on the subject.  You are correct that there are no non-Christian contemporary writers about Jesus’ life.  If you want to ignore the New Testament writings COMPLETELY just because they are believers, then you might as well ignore POW’s accounts of Japanesse prison camps because they are too biased after being captured by an enemy.

    The fact is that people who are biased often still have valuable information.  Also, keep in mind that there is absolutely no contemporary reference to Buddha available, but I have yet to hear someone deny his existence.  No one wrote about Buddha for 300 years after his death.  This is someone from royal blood who started a world changing religion and all we have is traditions from his followers, who added some miracles to the story.

    We also have no contemporary accounts of Muhammad within 120 years of his death.  Instead we have followers’ accounts which often include their own miracles added on.  I have yet to hear someone say Muhammad never existed.

    With Jesus, we have works within 20 years of his death that give vague references to his life on earth, and lengthier descriptions that are written between 30-60 years of his death.  This is pretty good in terms of time, but there is very good reason to doubt much of content in terms of what’s factual.  However, if you compare the time between the pieces written and Jesus’ death with other figures in history, the existence for Jesus measures up pretty well.  Are you aware of any other historical figures with huge followings that are completely made up?  I can’t think of one.

    Bottom line, you have reason to doubt his existence, but you would be in small company around people with doctorates in the subject who have studied the early Christian group’s history.  They know better than what you can read on the internet.  However, you are free to disagree, though it amounts to a very unpopular conspiracy theory, even among atheists.

    That’s about all I can say about the subject, besides that if you ended up acknowledging that Jesus lived a normal human life, and made some speeches, you would not be obligated in any way to consider the claim that he is the son of God.  You would just be accepting that modern scholarship has some accuracy in describing the early times.

    –Dan

  19. ‘Bernie’, 

    you said: “… the Jerusalem Church (no has ever found this mythical place you know)”

    That’s because it does not exist! But not for the reasons you give. The Jerusalem ‘Church’ was a congregation of followers of Christ, made up predominantly of Jewish disciples of Yeshua. It was never a building or place, but a congregation.

    Just for the record, that’s why this ‘mythical’ place does not exist. 

    Andrew Yeoman

  20. Dan,
    You could be right, but you are in the minority of non-christians who have education on the subject. You are correct that there are no non-Christian contemporary writers about Jesus’ life. If you want to ignore the New Testament writings COMPLETELY just because they are believers, then you might as well ignore POW’s accounts of Japanesse prison camps because they are too biased after being captured by an enemy.
    Answer: The POW’s accounts of the Japanese didn’t include any fantastic tails about angels, demons, Satan, magical healings, miracles and there aren’t any word for word accounts of people speaking in complete sentences in them either. The Gospels don’t contain any elements of any kind of historical narratives even ancient ones but they do have all the elements of ancient fiction writing. Not being able to place an exact location for things like the empty tomb or a location, approximate date or even an exact year for the supposed ‘best attested event in history’ is very damaging to the case for a historical Jesus. It’s also very revealing as to how Christian apologists constantly repeat wild claims for the historicity of the Gospels for which they truly have no evidence whatsoever until most people just accept them unquestioningly.

    The fact is that people who are biased often still have valuable information. Also, keep in mind that there is absolutely no contemporary reference to Buddha available, but I have yet to hear someone deny his existence. No one wrote about Buddha for 300 years after his death. This is someone from royal blood who started a world changing religion and all we have is traditions from his followers, who added some miracles to the story.
    We also have no contemporary accounts of Muhammad within 120 years of his death. Instead we have followers’ accounts which often include their own miracles added on. I have yet to hear someone say Muhammad never existed.
    Answer: I have denied the existence of Buddha, Muhammad and Moses on this blog for the same reasons that I claim that the Jesus of the Gospels never existed. Buddha wasn’t exactly from royal blood he was supposedly born to a virgin name Maya. There is no evidence for Moses simply because there’s no evidence for any Jews anywhere for about 500 years after the time Moses supposedly existed. I think perhaps people might be afraid to write anything that shows the implausibility of the existence of Muhammad. I mean wouldn’t they wind up like Salmon Rushdie with a price on their head? Who wants to deal with that do you think? Many scholars doubt the existence of these people and there isn’t an honest historian anywhere that writes about the past without good evidence to back up what they write. Hearsay is not evidence.

    With Jesus, we have works within 20 years of his death that give vague references to his life on earth, and lengthier descriptions that are written between 30-60 years of his death.
    Answer: Actually the Pauline epistles make no references whatsoever, not even vague references to the supposed earthly life of Jesus, his ministry, miracles, parables, healings or anything else. Many scholars doubt Paul or whoever wrote these things was even talking about a historical figure at all but rather some cosmic Christ figure. The writers of these letters were certainly were not aware of the Jesus described in the Gospels at all.

    This is pretty good in terms of time, but there is very good reason to doubt much of content in terms of what’s factual. However, if you compare the time between the pieces written and Jesus’ death with other figures in history, the existence for Jesus measures up pretty well. Are you aware of any other historical figures with huge followings that are completely made up? I can’t think of one.
    Answer: Christian apologists have pushed the dating of the Gospels back as far as they can based on nothing but wishful thinking. There are no mentions of the Gospels by anyone until Iraneus wrote about them in 190 CE that I know about. If you can provide an earlier verifiable witness to any of the Gospels before this date post it.

    Bottom line, you have reason to doubt his existence, but you would be in small company around people with doctorates in the subject who have studied the early Christian group’s history. They know better than what you can read on the internet. However, you are free to disagree, though it amounts to a very unpopular conspiracy theory, even among atheists.
    Answer: I read the Bible carefully and studied this particular subject long before there was an Internet. Nicholas D. Kristof said: “Despite the lack of scientific or historical evidence, and despite the doubts of Biblical scholars, America is so pious that not only do 91 percent of Christians say they believe in the Virgin Birth, but so do an astonishing 47 percent of U.S. non-Christians.” The existence of Jesus Christ has been widely accepted by the masses but many intellectuals and scholars have doubted that any such person existed. I have never believed any of the stories about Jesus even as a child simply because they’re absurd. They involve angels, demons, Satan, a bunch of innocent children being slaughtered and all kinds of things I’ve never believed in.

    That’s about all I can say about the subject, besides that if you ended up acknowledging that Jesus lived a normal human life, and made some speeches, you would not be obligated in any way to consider the claim that he is the son of God. You would just be accepting that modern scholarship has some accuracy in describing the early times.
    Answer: I take a dim view of “modern scholarship” if we’re talking about Bible literalists. But I know many Christian scholars are not. The consensus among those that are not literalists is that the stories of Jesus were historical oral traditions that became mythologized by the time the Gospels were written. I disagree. Like say Crossan to name one scholar, I think the Gospels are mythology that became historized. I can’t acknowledge Jesus even living a normal life without some evidence that he did. I don’t think the Gospels make any sense if you take the miracles out of them and so I do think, no I can tell for sure, that they’ve always been part of the stories.

  21. Andrew Yeoman
    The mythical congregation in Palestine didn’t exist either. What secular evidence do you have that there were ever any Jewish followers of Jesus in Palestine? I say Christianity was founded right where it sits today and the Gospels were written there – in Rome.

  22. I wanted to add that a good referecne for secular reference to Jesus can be found in some of the writings by F. F. Bruce. (although Bruce was a believer himself).  But after further review it seems that Bernie is pretty much of a skeptic in terms of denying the existence of many  historical figures.  Really, it appears that some basic foundations in historical methodolgy would be necessary to uncover some of his biases.   Here is a clue – miracles are not possible, therefore, the Gospels must be false. This is a philosophic argument by Bernie.  Now does this mean any fantastic tale should be accepted? No.  Consider, however, the fact that the Apostle Paul said that Christians are to be the most pitied of men if Jesus did not rise from the dead. This is a remarkable statement it demonstrates a concern for the actual truth of a miracle.  There is no need for the Christian to concede any argument for reason to the likes of those like Bernie.  Bernie makes the following statement,  “Actually the Pauline epistles make no references whatsoever, not even vague references to the supposed earthly life of Jesus, his ministry, miracles, parables, healings or anything else.”  Bernie simply disregards the main miracle – namely the ressurrection. 
    But what was Paul interested in?  How might Paul respond to Bernie?  Consider 1 Crinthians 18-23:  The message about the cross is nonsense to those who are being destroyed, bu it is God’s poer to us who are being saved. Scripture says, “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise. I will reject the intelligence of intelligent people.” Where is the wise person? Where is the scholar? Where is the persuasive speaker of our time? Hasn’t God turned the widom of the world into nonesense. The wrold with its wisdom was unable to recognize God in terms of his own wisdom. So God decided to use the nonsense of the Good News we speak tosave those who believe. Jews ask for miraculous signs, and Greeks look for wisdom, but our mesage is tha Christ was crucified. This offends Jewish people and makes no sense to people who are not Jewish. ” 

  23. The wise and the philosophers are still here. The Apostle Paul never existed. He’s an invention of the Church just like Jesus and the other disciples are. Prove me wrong.

  24. Bernie,

    I think it is quite convenient that people who don’t fit in with your world view either do not exist or are completly wrong or else just plain crazy. The writings of Paul had an enormous influence on both religious and secular thinking – remember Mars Hill?

    Eusebius of Caesarea, I read although I have not seen it (I’m sure you will like this), records Paul’s death by beheading in Rome somehow. 
     
    Proving the existence of Paul is just the same as say… proving the existence of Herocletus. Your philosophy came from him somewhere along the line, but you can’t show evidence of him to me.

    Marc

  25. Guys,

    You might have to put Bernie in “troll” status at this point, because arguing anymore is completely fruitless.  There are a few people who argue that Jesus didn’t exist, but pretty much no one argues that Paul didn’t exist.  That’s the one pretty indisputable fact, unless you’re going by Zeitgeist conspiracy theories.

    I wouldn’t bother, anymore, save your breath for skeptics who are on at least a similar playing field.  You have more common ground with Richard Dawkins at this point than Bernie.

    –Dan

  26. Folks,

    I finally figured things out. Bernie doesn’t exist! He’s just a figment of everyone’s imagination and the creation of the internet. Now that we’ve worked that out, we can move on to more fruitful and productive discussions. :)

  27. hahahaahaha

  28. I think it is quite convenient that people who don’t fit in with your world view either do not exist or are completly wrong or else just plain crazy. The writings of Paul had an enormous influence on both religious and secular thinking – remember Mars Hill?

    Answer: Who did I say was crazy? The consensus among Bible scholars is that many of the books commonly attributed to Paul were actually written by other people. I think the entire New Testament is a collection of frauds and forgeries, not just part of it.

    Eusebius of Caesarea, I read although I have not seen it (I’m sure you will like this), records Paul’s death by beheading in Rome somehow.

    Answer: Right, somehow. What are Eusebius’ sources for anything he wrote? In History of the Christian Religion to the Year 200 by Charles B. Waite it says: “No one has contributed more to Christian history, and no one is guilty of more errors.” “The statements of this historian are made, not only carelessly and blunderingly, but in many instances in falsification of the facts of history. Not only the most unblushing falsehoods, but literary forgeries of the vilest character darken the pages of his… writing.”

    Proving the existence of Paul is just the same as say… proving the existence of Herocletus. Your philosophy came from him somewhere along the line, but you can’t show evidence of him to me.

    Answer: I don’t have a particular philosophy. I’m a product of my genetics and environment. There are several legendary stories about Heraclitus that are probably fictions. All we have are fragments of other writers quoting him. So it is possible a collection of well-known sayings was gathered and attributed to a mythical philosopher.

    You might have to put Bernie in “troll” status at this point, because arguing anymore is completely fruitless. There are a few people who argue that Jesus didn’t exist, but pretty much no one argues that Paul didn’t exist. That’s the one pretty indisputable fact, unless you’re going by Zeitgeist conspiracy theories.

    Answer: What exactly makes this “fact” so indisputable? What secular references to this person are there? If you can find any post them and we’ll discuss them. I’ve never seen any. Let’s see some.

    I wouldn’t bother, anymore, save your breath for skeptics who are on at least a similar playing field. You have more common ground with Richard Dawkins at this point than Bernie.

    Answer: Christians never realize just how many things they’ve taken for granted as fact without ever actually checking to see if there is any real evidence to support any of them.

    I finally figured things out. Bernie doesn’t exist! He’s just a figment of everyone’s imagination and the creation of the internet. Now that we’ve worked that out, we can move on to more fruitful and productive discussions. :)

    On the Truth Talk Live blog under “Is God Finished With Israel?” on 17 March, 2009, 9:32 pm Dr. Brown made this post:
    “Stanley, The arguments of this fellow who calls himself Dudley are quite reminiscent of those of an atheist named Fred Weis (aka Boris). Sadly, Dudley (Boris? Fred?) needs to rely on insults and attacks, since the factual data is against him.”…
    On May 10 11:32 pm on this blog Dr. Brown made this post: You’re sounding more and more like atheist Fred Weiss (aka Boris or Fearless)…
    On May 18 12:46 am on this blog Dr. Brown made this post: Your last comments are completely unworthy of a response, except to point out that once again, you are sounding more and more like the atheist Fred Weiss (aka Boris; Fearless, etc.), whose conduct got him banned from this forum…

    It seems like when Dr. Brown gets asked questions he has no answers for or loses an argument or debate he claims he’s already dismissed all these problems in some previous debate and always with the same character. He then accuses whoever it is of actually being that person. Anyone can read where I challenged Dr. Brown with some interesting questions and he ducked them and attacked my character instead. And of course if I’m sounding more and more like someone it follows that Dr. Brown had no answers for that person either, if they even exist at all.

  29. Bernie, Boris, Fred, etc.,

    The only point I spotted so far worth responding to was your reference to recognized Holocaust scholars who allegedly supported your view of Hitler as a Christian, but I haven’t had a moment to check the sources yet. As soon as I do, I’ll post a response.

    I’ll also extend to you the same invitation I extended to you earlier (or, to the person who appears to be your avator of sorts): Let’s agree on a topic, and you can be my guest on the Line of Fire to debate the issues. Shall it be the historical evidence for the existence of Jesus? Of Paul? Let me know, and we’ll set it up — but PLEASE come better equipped than you (or Fred) did last time. 

  30. Dr. Brown vs. Bernie on “Did Jesus & Paul Exist?”

    I would SO pay for that :-)

    –Dan

  31. I have a better idea. You contact whoever it is you debated before, have them on your show and I’ll listen and comment on it. I’m not debating someone unless it’s an even playing field with an impartial moderator. So I’ll contact the Infidel Guy and see if he’d like to moderate a debate between the two of us on his show. You up for that?

  32. what a waste of time. who cares what you would say in a debate? your going to say theres no evidence Jesus or Paul existed, great, thanks. We’ve been here for millions of years, we evolved from lower life forms, some time in the future humanity will become extinct and the sun will burn up, and then it will all be as if this never happened, everything will be forgotten, why bother wasting time arguing with Christians when you can do something fun? The world happened by accident, it just came out, like this post. like our dna. Go to a waterpark or something, eat cotton candy and funnelcake. just remember that at the end of this ride you will meet the Conductor, who you denied exists, whose creation who attributed to random chance.

    If I waste time arguing with one atheist, i might as well argue with everyone in every blog and forum that exists and spend 7 hours a day typing. I’d rather go to the grocery store!

  33. Bernie,

    I was asked if I’d be on the Infidel Guy’s radio show by a listener and I answered in the affirmative, but the last I heard, he had not issued an invitation to me. I always take invitations to discuss these issues among those who don’t believe, so once again: Yes, this time with you as well. With joy!

  34. Jeff,

    One note of clarification. When I debate an atheist or unbeliever, I generally do it for the sake of the others listening, since I’m aware that those I’m debating already have sharply framed views (just as I do). So, if I can influence them, great, but I mainly write and speak for the sake of the others listening in.

  35. Jeff May,
    Following your line of reasoning one might wonder why anyone should do anything. Did you ever play ball and have a coach give you that old ‘In so many billion years our planet won’t even exist and no one will know we were even here’ speech? You know ‘But right now this game is the most important thing in the world’ or something to that effect. Just because the universe and life happened by accident doesn’t mean we shouldn’t make the most of it.

    Chris Hitchens said that the argument over whether there is a God is the most important argument in there is. I debate people for several reasons but one of them is essentially the same reason Dr. Brown gave – to give the readers something to think about. The more you can get people thinking the more likely they will reject untenable beliefs.

    Just remember that at the end of this ride you might meet a different Conductor, who you denied exists, whose creation you attributed to the Bible God instead of the Almighty Allah. I often wonder if Christians realize they are just in much danger of going to the Muslim hell as anyone else is in going to theirs. If you ever really understand why you don’t believe in the Muslim hell you’ll figure out why atheists don’t believe in yours. It almost never fails. When a Christian sees all their best arguments refuted they almost always resort to this threat of eternal violence and torture as the ultimate penalty for rejecting their religious superstitions. A God that has to use the threat of violence to induce worship of him self isn’t worthy of our praise or worship anyway. So even if your God did exist I still would want nothing to do with him.

  36. Bernie,

    I agree with you on your last point.  You can find meaning in any world view, and you can deny meaning in any world view.  If God created the world, his view of your purpose is just as arbitrary as anyone else’s.   If no one created the world, your own chosen meaning is what you live by and it’s just as compelling if you believe in yourself.

    –Dan

  37. Bernie, can we leave it at this? debating in forums is rediculous, If we sat down and talked that would be a different story, but i doubt i will bump in to you on the street. but who knows.
    this is what you said “Just because the universe and life happened by accident doesn’t mean we shouldn’t make the most of it.”
    my point was that “making the most of it” does not involve arguing continually, day after day on an internet blog with people who believe in something different about the origin and destiny of humanity.
     
    then you said “Chris Hitchens said that the argument over whether there is a God is the most important argument in there is”
    He is right, great point.
    finally,  you said :
    “Just remember that at the end of this ride you might meet a different Conductor, who you denied exists, whose creation you attributed to the Bible God instead of the Almighty Allah.”
    hey bro, I already met the Conductor, I was locked up in jail and I prayed to see if there was a true God who was listening and His power and love invaded my heart in my cell, and He turned me from a filthy, foul, hateful, gun packing, home invading drug addict into a brand new person with a love for life and everyone else. When I called out to God it wasnt the god of islam that answered me, or the flying spaghetti monster or zeus, it was the Father of Jesus Christ. I dont have to worry about which God I will meet when I die because I already know Him, the One I will meet is the One who has already dealt with me so kindly and given me a new heart. The only reason I am alive is because God intervened in my life. I should be dead right now and you would have never seen my post on this blog. I dont even know why I am talking to you, why should I be sharing my personal life online with a total stranger? well I guess its because you said My Savior isnt real. He is not threatening you with hell if you dont worship Him. He will let you have your own way though, and if you dont want to live with Him when you die you can be alone. You will also have to pay the penalty for your sins. You broke God’s Law, the same way you can break the City’s Law. the Penalty is Big, thats why God made it so easy for you to be forgiven. We’ve all transgressed the Creator’s Law (by lying, lusting etc.) and the Innocent Christ took the penalty on Himself. the Judge is offering you a way out, do you know how happy you should be that He is willing to let you go? You and Me are guilty criminals sitting in front of the Judge of the Universe, and He is willing to pardon you and pour out the punishment on His Son…..How is that forcing you to worship Him by threatening you with Hell.
    Does theis even penetrate your heart or do you not even entertain the idea that it could be true? if you respond at least say that so I know whether or not I’m totally wasting my time and hurting my back sitting in this uncomfortable chair typing.
    Jeff.
     

  38. Jeff,

    Let me give you an analogy.

    Suppose the President passes a law that everyone needs to drive at exactly the speed limit for their entire road trip.  This means you have to drive at 65mph in the 65 zone, and 35mph in the 35 zone, and so on, with an acceptable 5 second grace transition period between speed zones.  Violating this, even by going 66mph or 64mph in a 65 zone,  results in death by lethal injection

    If you are guilty, the only way out of this is to praise the President as your Lord and Savior.

    Can you see how this setup equates to sentencing everyone who doesn’t worship the President to death?  A standard of behavior, perfection, is chosen that no one on earth is capable of living up to.  No one short of the Terminator can drive at exactly the same speed without varying it up a bit.  Because of this, every single person will be sentenced to death, because they violated the law.

    Oh, the President isn’t forcing you to worship him.  He’s just giving you his grace by letting you off the hook.   You can always go your own way and be punished for not driving at the right speed, but that’s your choice.  He didn’t send you to your death, you did.

    Can you recognize the problems here?  This is actually a kinder setup because you’re given explicit proof that the President exists, rather than having to guess which President is actually in charge of your country. 

    Either way, you’re being effectively forced to worship someone while you’re in danger of your life. 

    That’s not a real choice.  And it certainly is not love.

    –Dan

  39. hey man, first off you brought the standard down from God’s Law to human laws. God punishes people for intentional dishonesty, stealing, slandering, lusting etc. not traffic violations.

    but lets say that the President did prescribe the death penalty for people who intentionally speed, and everyone broke the Law because we all speed! so the President said, Hey, I am the only one who never broke the Law, so I am going to have your guilt placed on me. I will be a sacrifice that will die in your place. All the people would be happy because they were shown mercy, and the President took the very death penalty that was prescribed to uphold His very own Law.  but then the people find out that the lethal injection was harmless against the President, and he overpowered it, and is still alive.

    Then the President made this declaration “everyone who accepted my sacrifice will never be held guilty for breaking the speed limit again, not only are you free from all future transgressions, but I will send an agent with you when you are driving to tell you when to slow down and when to speed up. I realize the speed limit is hard to keep, especially when your a bad driver, so all you have to do is agree to the conditions I have provided and you won’t have to pay the penalty.
    thats a President I would truly honor and serve thankfully. thats my King.

  40. Hey Jeff,

    What I was pointing out primarily was that in my analogy, the President had effectively made it mandatory to worship him in order to live, because no man can live up to his rules.  The sacrificial stuff wasn’t taken into account.

    To put this in simple terms.

    Premise A: God has a standard of holy expectations for every person on earth, which result in eternal hell if it is broken in the slightest

    Premise B: No human alive today is capable of meeting his expectations.

    Premise C: God will let you off the hook if you become Christian (whatever that entails, accepting Jesus, etc.)

    Conclusion:  Therefore, God is effectively saying “Become Christian or go to hell.”

    Bear in mind the word “effectively.”  In legal terms, this means that even if words are danced around and a different meaning is said explicitely, that the underlying cause and effect consequence is “Convert or burn.”  Another example of this would be a Skinhead in an orthodox Jewish neighborhood, holding job interviews only on Saturday.  No matter what he says, he’s effectively discriminating against Jewish people who want to apply.

    Remember that everything in the Salvation system is under God’s control, including the rules, man’s inability to follow them, the punishment, the need for a substitute, and man’s need to believe in the subsitute.

    If you want to say that God is actually, contrary to popular belief, not all-powerful, and a victim of this legal system as much as we are, that is something else.  Maybe he can’t control what the penalty for sin is.  Maybe he can’t creat humans that can live up to it. Maybe he can’t forgive without punishing someone.  He just can’t.  He’s not powerful enough to have that free will to.

    The lamb that was slain before the foundation of the world talked about in Revelation is proof that God knew this was going to happen anyway, so you can’t say he didn’t know.  This was all planned from the beginning, even before Adam and Eve had their fall, so don’t blame them.

    Even if you say God’s not powerful enough to make his own rules about sin and it’s consequences, you’re left with the fact that God made it necessary to believe in Jesus in order to be covered by his blood.  This is not a “free will” matter, given the billions of people who believe they know God without Jesus and worship him every day.  Also evidence for this not being man’s own choice is the fact that not only will God not let you out of hell once you realize your mistake, but that he has plans to fool you into not believing if you’ve been sinning already (2 Thess 2).

    What is this then?  An ego stroke.  This guy doesn’t love you.  You can say God loves you for leading you out of jail and drugs, but he has a special spot in the firepit reserved just for you, should you ever renounce him.  You are not saved for life.  Paul makes it very clear you can lose your salvation, and if you do, he’ll turn his back on you in a heartbeat and say he never knew you.

    To be honest, I love you more than your god does, because I wouldn’t want you to suffer for any insult you throw at me.  True love is compassion without asking for anything in return.  True love does not demand worship.

    –Dan

  41. Jeff,
    A person who doesn’t have a clear understanding of the consequences that exist in our society of being a filthy, foul, hateful, gun packing, home invading drug addict, is a likely candidate to fall for the nonsense of religion also. Not to mention not understanding the consequences of that either. We’ve all heard plenty of ‘I found Jesus or God in jail’ or “Jesus saved me from drugs or alcohol’ stories. People of all religions make the same claims. I don’t know how you expect me to accept the exact same arguments for the existence of your God that you your self would not accept from members of other religions.
    If you are trying to change my mind, yes you are definitely wasting your time because I do not believe that anything you said or that the Christian religion could possibly be true. I doubt there is a God but I specifically deny the existence of the Christian God, the supposed “truth” of the Bible and that God selectively saves people from drugs or lives of crime. Many people save themselves from these things one way or another and many others are not saved from them at all by any means. You should get one of these big comfortable chairs you can move around in like I have. I often watch TV or listen to the radio while I do this.

    Here’s a major problem with your dogma: “but then the people find out that the lethal injection was harmless against the President, and he overpowered it, and is still alive.”
    I shouldn’t have to point this out but since the lethal injection was harmless the ultimate price was not paid, not even a real sacrifice was made. So I’m not really sure what it is Jesus supposedly did to absolve sin but it sure wasn’t dying.

  42. Hey Dan, you certainly know the Bible better than most people who reject it. I’ve had Professors mock it saying it is a crazy, silly book, and they admitted they didnt even know what Genesis was.
    One verse I would caution you with, maybe you’ve read it.
    2 Timothy 3:7
    “always learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the Truth”
    you can keep learning the Scriptures but if you can’t see that they are real it is useless.

    Your conclusion is right, in the plainest of terms, yes, thats what Jesus Christ taught, believe in Him or go to Hell.

    about the points you raised.
    God does have an incredibly high standard, it is total perfection, like He is. No human alive can live up to his standard because humanity is fundamentally flawed, thats why Christ met the standard on our behalf. He is the only one who lived a perfect life.
    Regarding Premise A, God gave His Law to Adam, and Adam broke it, and wasnt condemned to burn in hell forever, He was cut off from knowing God and alienated from His true source of Life. If Adam died in that state, he would have remained that way forever, that is what hell is like. Yes it speaks of torment and wailing because people realize they are in this lost state forever and will continue to exist.
    regarding the other comments, God’s standard of holiness and total perfection comes out of His nature, it’s not something He cannot control , it is who He is. thats where it comes from. God knew Adam and Eve would sin, but they still made the choice. Theres no way Im getting into the foreknowledge vs. free will debate because there is no satisfying answer, humans cant figure it out (ow that hurts our pride) and people have discussed it and written volumes on it and come to no conclusion. but God knew, and He knew that Jesus would eventually come and pay for all mans sins. Why wouldnt you want your sins to be forgiven? If you get a speeding ticket today and go to court, don’t you want the judge to let you off? especially when our crimes are alot more serious than speeding?
    I appreciate your kind responses. Although I dont want to keep responding because I dont like expressing my thoughts through my fingers… maybe one day we can talk on Larry King.

  43. Hey Bernie, its been good talking, maybe we even both learned something from these dialogues.
    you said:

    “Here’s a major problem with your dogma: “but then the people find out that the lethal injection was harmless against the President, and he overpowered it, and is still alive.”
    I shouldn’t have to point this out but since the lethal injection was harmless the ultimate price was not paid”
    my comparison from the President taking the injection was not exactly the same as Jesus dying, I could have said the president did die, but came back to life. Jesus did die and pay the death penalty for my crimes.
    last thing.
    you said there could be a God, but not the Christian God.
    Im sure you think God is possible because of creation. right?
    but, if there is a God who created it, where is he? why is the world so messed up.
    doesnt the Bible account make sense that we rejected God’s authority and leadership and are here trying to run things on our own?
    so God created the world, but there is a huge problem with the world and with humanity, but God came up with a solution to reach out to the estranged world and help us, thats the plan of Jesus Christ. doesnt make sense? can you find some logical contradiction or fallacy with that? Maybe you just dont want too believe this account.
    take care man

  44. Jeff,

    I must point out that Jesus did not simply “come back to life,” he was resurrected “to doxa [glory].”  He was the firstfruits of the resurrection that is to come at the end of the age, not simply dead then alive again for a little while longer.  This is why analogies such as these don’t work if we’re trying to compare them to other possible human scenarios (though I think stories like “The Chronicles of Narnia” do it justice).

  45. Jeff,
    I don’t believe in creation and I think it is the wrong word to use to describe the beginnings of the universe, as we know it. Like scientists I think the mass-energy that comprises the universe has always existed just in a different form before the Big Bang. The reason I don’t think there is a God is because the universe and life itself can be explained by naturalistic causes. So I do not see how a God could possibly exist. None of the Bible’s accounts about anything make any sense at all especially in the light of modern science and history. We know why biological organisms die. But leave it to the Bible and religion to make up a fairy tale reason for death. We know why some animals are carnivores and some herbivores and some like humans and crocodiles are omnivores. Leave it to the Bible to tell us this all has to do with magical trees and disobedience to the Bible God.
    The concept that humans have rejected God’s authority and this is the reason the world seems chaotic or full of problems is very ancient and appears in all religions and their writings. This is so obviously a man-made concept. The Christian solution for this is absolutely ridiculous and as untrue as any lie ever told on this planet. Believing a bunch of stupid and obviously untrue stories is not going to make anyone a moral person. It is only going to dumb them down and make them subservient to an imaginary being, the goal of their religious leaders.
    It isn’t a matter of not wanting to believe the Bible. It is a matter of not being able to believe the Bible because the stories in it are simply not true. The grand events described in the Bible, the supposedly well-known people described in it simply could not have occurred or existed and gone unmentioned in every inscription and all the literature we have from that period. There isn’t a shred of evidence to support any of the Bible’s claims, stories or the existence of any of the major figures it describes. Please don’t tell me that some of the places and people mentioned in the Bible are historical. Almost all fiction from any era mentions historical places and people and is placed in a historical setting. The fact that the Bible does this too only further proves my point and does not in any way mean the Bible even might be historically accurate. It isn’t.

    Marcus,
    The Bible says that when Jesus died graves opened up and dead corpses came back to life climbed out of them and appeared to many people in Jerusalem. Marcus you said in a previous post that you had no reason to doubt anything in the Bible. You have no reason to doubt this ridiculous story? Would you like to explain why exactly? Also you made the claim that you distinguish between microevolution and macroevolution. Can you explain why you do this since scientists do not and also name and describe the naturalistic mechanism that could keep microevolution from becoming macroevolution over time?

  46. Bernie,

    Could you let me know where “[I] said in a previous post that [I] had no reason to doubt anything in the Bible” so I can see the context of my statement?

  47. Bernie,

    I finally got some time to check some of the books in my Holocaust collection, which includes a number of the authors you mentioned earlier who allegedly pointed to Hitler as a committed Christian, but thus far, I have no found support for your position among these scholars.

    Rather, I have found what I understood to the case all along: Hitler exploited “Christian” anti-Semitism for his own purposes while at the same denying many fundamentals of Christianity (in particular Catholicism) both in word and, of course, deed.

    For good insights on this — if, in fact, you’re willing to look up sources that refute your own position — see Robert Wistrich’s important book Antisemitism: The Longest Hatred, specifically, the section entitled “From the Cross to the Swastiska.” On p. 69 he notes that the Nazi leaders, with the exception of the official philosopher of the Nazi movement, Alfred Rosenberg, “were generally careful to restrain their Christophobia in public and, whatever their private feelings, it did not stop them from exploiting the rich amoury of Christian myths of the Jew as Satan, Antichrist, sorcerer, usurer and ritual murderer for their own political ends. . . . In this way they successfully subverted Christianity from within, even as the replaced it with a pseudo-scientific, irrational ideology based on blood and soil, race and destiny, the worship by the Herrenvolk (‘master race’) of its own eternal renewal.”

  48. Dr. Brown,
    Peter de Rosa, a former Jesuit priest and theologian: In 1936… Hitler assured his lordship [Bishop Berning of Osnabruch] there was no fundamental difference between National Socialism and the Catholic Church. Had not the church, he argued, looked on the Jews as parasites and shut them in ghettos? ‘I am only doing,’ he boasted, ‘what the church has done for fifteen hundred years, only more effectively.’”

    You’re still relying on the “No true Scotsman fallacy.” Every Christian has their own personalized version of their religion. Hitler had his, you have yours, other people have theirs and Hitler’s willing Christian accomplices had theirs.

  49. Bernie,

    Would you be kind enough to supply the quotes from the scholars whom we agreed were respsected Holocaust authorities? Some of my Holocaust books are in storage, so I could not check everyone on your list, but none of those I checked supported your claims.

    So, you cited the names in support of your position. Therefore you should have no problem providing the citations from their books, correct?

    I can also assure you that your argument, in the post above, does not jive with the evidence that supports Hitler’s fundamental rejection of many Christian principles. See again the work I just cited by Wistrich as one example among many.

  50. Like it or not, there were a large number of Christians involved in the Holocaust.  By “Christian,” I mean people who believed the Bible to be true, and worshipped Jesus as the son of God and the Messiah, without additional deities.  Was their behavior Christian?  Of course not.  Where they believers though?  Absolutely.

    There were signs hung above death camps saying “You are here because you killed our God.”  However erroneous their conclusion was, they did apparently believe in the sacrificial atonement, and in the Christian God.  They just chose to blame the Jews for it, unfairly.

    There is no inherent anti-semitism in Christianity, but anti-semitism and Christianity are NOT exclusive of each other.  One can be both, or one can be neither, or one can be one and not the other.  Unfortunately, with all the wisdom that Jesus taught, he left very little wisdom for how governments and armies and family systems should work.  This is why Christian application has such a myriad of views in the evangelical cultures. 

    Since “Christian” is barely even used as a word in the New Testament, how do you define it?  A follower of Jesus?  What if he looks at porn here and there?  What if he gets in bar fights once in a while, and doesn’t think that’s a problem.  What if he cheats on his wife once every 5 years and doesn’t think that’s so bad.  Is he not a Christian then?

    You can never draw the line on what’s a Christian and what isn’t, without projecting your own value system on the church as a whole.  Was Hilter a Christian Believer?  It wouldn’t surprise me either way, but I’ll take your word that evidence shows he wasn’t.  However, you’re not going to find a secular source saying that there wasn’t a vast number of Christians involved in crimes against humanity during the holocaust.  Ask Wistrich or Rosenberg if there were Christian Nazi guards, or Christians who looted Jewish homes after they were rounded up into ghettos.   Ask them as well if the Christians who put on passion plays and then wrought pogroms on the Jewish neighbors were really Christians, or just Christians in “name only.”

    It’s a cop out to take everyone monstrous out of your religious group.  They’re there, and it has absolutely NO bearing on whether Jesus’ message is true.  No bearing whatsoever.  Christianity can be 100% true without having only well behaved people be Christians.  It does offend just about everyone else however, and make one seem self righteous, to act like if someone’s a killer or a rapist, or a war criminal, that they’re automatically not Christian.

    –Dan

  51. I have to agree with Dan in part. 

    While there are two credible schools in holocaust theory, structuralism and intentionalism, I have to fall in between the two but leaning towards structuralism to say that in fact, the Nazi regime were responsible for a lot of what happened but also that the final solution was carried out or with the express knowledge in large part by ordinary citizens.

    Christianity had become confused by the Church and so many people who would have been true in their faith were led astray by the actions of the Church leadership in National Socialist Germany.

    I think this is the most honest point of view.
    Marc

  52. Dan and Marc Thomas,

    I recommend you read my book Our Hands Are Stained with Blood, the opening chapter of which talks about the “Christian” component of the Holocaust. That is not what I’m disputing in my interaction with Bernie. Daniel Judah Goldhagen’s Hitler’s WIlling Executioners is chock full of disturbing information.

  53. Dr. Brown,
    No, I’m not going to be kind enough to supply the quotes from the scholars whom we agreed were respected Holocaust authorities. I’ve already proved my point beyond any question, refuted the posts I intended to and won the debate I started by responding to the following posts and some others:

    Jane Underwood | May 7th, 2009 9:42 pm :
    It is interesting that Bernie wants to act like creationists are the ones responsible for Nazism when history says the other way around. Dr. Jerry Bergman has shown in several articles that Nazism is founded in evolution. Eugenics came from evolution and Hitler got his ideas from the eugenics evolutionists here in America.

    Ewan | May 10th, 2009 9:00 am :
    Richard Weikart, professor of modern European history at California State University, Stanislaus, has thoroughly documented the Darwinian roots of many aspects of the Nazi terror in his recent book From Darwin to Hitler: Evolutionary Ethics, Eugenics, and Racism in Germany. See a review here.

    Whether Adolph Hitler was a Christian or an imposter using Christianity to further his political ambitions as you claim is beside the point. There has never been a time that the Theory of Evolution or any modern science has been accepted by literalist Bible believing Christians or mixed up in their theology somehow and of course it still isn’t and never will be. Claims that evolution was the basis for Nazi eugenics are absolutely false. I also showed how the Theory of Evolution was rejected by communist Russia, which instead embraced of version of intelligent design called Lysenkoism contrary to Christian propaganda.
    Christian apologists systematically repeat the same outrageous lies until an unsuspecting and undereducated public just accepts them. Creationists know they have no scientific case against any of the modern science that refutes the claims of their holy book. So they dishonestly make wild unsupported claims about how the acceptance of modern science has led to moral decay and will lead to the destruction of the human race. They can’t accept this since they’re all waiting for Jesus to destroy the human race with his tongue sword or whatever.

    By putting the fundamentalists on the defensive on this subject here they had to retreat to at least admitting that the Nazis did actually use Christianity for political gain which of course refutes the previous claim that the basis for Nazism was somehow rooted in science and in particular Darwinian Evolution. Fundamentalist Christians will still have nothing to do with evolution. The claim that they did somehow in a far away land over a half-century ago is ridiculous. The creationists on this blog and the Nazis in Germany in the past have very little in common. I’m in no way insinuating such a connection. But one thing that is definitely shared between them is their disdain for Charles Darwin and his Theory of Evolution by Natural Selection.

  54. “Evolutionary Ethics” are only used by people who want their own “type” to survive. 

    How many Darwinist countries do you know that banned the use of vaccines, so that small pox would wipe out the weak among them?  How many evolution-believing countries have banned the use of antibiotics and medicine in general so that we would progress as a race with more powerful anti-bodies in our blood? 

    None? I thought so. 

    You’re talking as if Darwin is the evil Apocalypse villain from the X-men comics.  No one actually uses natural selection as a policy, even if they claim they do.  I only hear people excuse someone dying from riding a sled off a roof as “natural” selection because they take some joy in feeling superior to other people.  But take away their health insurance?  Heavens no!

    Evil regimes use anything they can to motivate followers to do their bidding, be it religion, or evolution.  You can use the Mosaic Covenant as an excuse to terminate the Jews because according to the Torah, any harm the Jewish people take is because they violated God’s commandments, so you’re by definition, doing God’s work.  If they didn’t deserve it, God would stop you from succeeding, right?

    You can use Christianity as an excuse to wipe out a hospital of little children because you are effectively guaranteeing their admission to heaven.  (Obviously Jesus would be against this)

    Evolutionary theory is amoral, not immoral  It doesn’t justify any human action, it just states what is, for better or worse.  It’s no different than the theory of gravity.  Someone dying because of natural selection doesn’t mean they deserved to die, and it doesn’t even state that natural selection is preferable, only that it exists.

    The reason why intelligent atheists in America don’t try to preserve natural selection is because they think the human race is better off with a growth in compassion and taking care of each other, rather than being able to survive diseases and hurricanes without anyone’s help. 

    And for the record, a Atheist government is different from a Secular government.  Atheist rule means religion is forbidden.  Secular rule means that everyone can practice religion as long as you’re not infringing on others’ rights.  Big difference between Stalin’s rule and Denmark today.

    –Dan

  55. Dan and Marc Thomas,
    Good posts. Now I’ve already heard and read several Christian apologists claim that there is no way they would call the guy who shot Dr. Tiller the abortion doctor, Scott P. Roeder a Christian. Again, this is the ‘No true Scotsman fallacy.’ The guy is a Christian activist until he does something embarrassing to his faith and then the faithful deny him who they previously accepted and often revered. Dan thanks for pointing out that this just will not do.

  56. I’d also like to point out that that abortion doctor wasn’t a favorite of many pro-choicers either.  He specialized in very very late abortions.  I personally don’t think his practice should be allowed.

    Here is the atheist perspective on why he might not have been a good doctor.  http://commonsenseatheism.com/?p=2250

    –Dan

  57. Dr Brown,

    I have actually studied Goldhagen (and holocaust theory.) I respect that you are a far far greater academic than I, but I still do not think there is enough evidence on either side of the argument to support a teory other than a middle ground. Although, I’m not sure you were even discussing this with anyone. So that’s probably my fault! :F

    Any chance you could send me the opening chapter of ‘Our Hands are stained with blood.’ It would be really interesting for me. I’ve got quite a few essays on 20th century German history if you’re interested… or not.

    He knocks,
    Marc

  58. Re post #45, the following article “describe[s] the naturalistic mechanism that ….. keep[s] microevolution from becoming macroevolution over time”: The evolution train’s a-comin’ (Sorry, a-goin’—in the wrong direction)

    Also regarding this so-called “missing-link” the following article mentions how even “a number of evolutionists are criticizing the over-hyping of [the Ida] fossil”: Darwin fossil Ida hype

  59. Also, I don’t know where this ‘scotsman’ thing comes from, but it’s not as simple as that. The man is not made by one action, neither is he destroyed by another action. While there is a definite right and wrong, the person doing the actions is seperate from the actions in a way.

    The guy who shot the abortion doctor was obviously somewhat taken by the extremity of any number of environmental factors – the company he kept, the blurring of the line between conviction and zeal that characterises a passionate person (and this is hard to define from the inside).

    I refuse to say that someone is not a Christian because they shot someone. Certainly the action is not Christ-like and in this sense, he doesn’t appear to be, but at the same time, this is one action – he sinned even as Christians constantly sin. His may have been intentional of course, and in that way it differs from everyday ‘unintentional’ sin resulting from our old nature.

    I just don’t think it’s as easy as saying that person is saved, that person is not.

    However, I see the issue that this causes for a lot of other unrelated issues i.e. what about besetting sins and issues such as a homosexual man claiming he loves Jesus but cannot stop his sin.

    It’s tougher than black and white I feel,
    Marc
    (heknocks.com)

  60. Stu Epperson called Dr. Tiller a murderer. That’s really offensive not to mention false. Then he refused to acknowledge the guy who shot Tiller was a Christian, which is also really offensive and false. Late term abortions such as Dr. Tiller performed are illegal unless the mother’s life is in danger as they should be of course. Unlike abortions done early in the pregnancy, which are quite routine and safe, late term abortions are very dangerous and very difficult both physically and emotionally. Dr. Tiller was saving women’s lives. He wasn’t giving careless or otherwise unfortunate women a way out of an unwanted pregnancy, which is really what most abortion doctors are doing by performing only early and safe procedures. We didn’t hear any of these facts on the radio today but then facts have no place in religion do they?

  61. I suppose Bernie you think Tiller should be cannonised? What a saint you make him out to be. Like you he must have had a very warped concept of morality.

  62. We didn’t hear any of these facts on the radio today but then facts have no place in religion do they?

    So where did you hear them? Also, how many of those women did you know? Surely it’s unethical for a doctor to break a patient-doctor confidentiality?

  63. I will eventually address this topic, but….

    I have shied away from referring to myself as a “christian,”  rather identifying myself as a “disciple” of Yeshua due to preconceived judgments regarding unscriptural actions and teachings of past and contemporary “pillars” of the church. Throughout the centuries, the church was predominantly Roman Catholic, still steeped in the Babylonian “sun-god” definition of christianity. Please refer to the myriads of historical documents that show the who, what, when, where and why of “Constatinian” Roman Christianity. The hatred of Jews by the so-called christian church and countless other abominations perpetrated by the inquisitions, the holocaust and so many other unBiblical acts, have created an almost “air-tight” prosecution against Christianity. The world cannot understand the true “spirit-filled, “on-fire” Christian and the motivations, burdens, love and care that exudes from him/her. The only thing the world can judge is what has happened in the past by supposed christians. Well world, know this… “they weren’t christians!!!” Or, they made a mistake; for which, we need to be careful in how we purport ourselves. Anyway, they had a name, a politcal stance and incredible power to carry out their agenda, but they did not operate “in the name of Jesus.”  Matt 7:22, “22 On that day many will say to me, Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?… And then will I declare to them, I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.” There is a payday for the “strange fire” that’s been offered in the Name of Jesus. Therefore, anything we say or do is colored by what “well intentioned” but incredibly wrong “christians” have done to further a passionate but ignorant belief system.

    No matter the object of discussion, when the Disciple brings forth the Scriptural evidence, first the primary source of authority for the Believer is thrown out. “Creationism has no validity” says the world’s view. hen we bring up supportive evidence, backing the scriptural truth, they have some other reason not to believe. As disciples of Yeshua, we can see the absurdity of the humanistic view. Scientists that were once on board with Darwinism, now speak out against it. It has been trumpted up from the very beginning. There was an agenda of the Atheist’s religion, evolution, to eliminate God from the philisophical equation of “the meaning of life.”

    All these side issues that a link was found here, a tooth was found there, a fossil was found frozen for 80 billion years in the south pole (not really, just making a point), etc… The root issue is “humanism” and their approach to life. Humanists will always come up with “evidence” that will back up the fact that “God does not exist.”  Though the evidence is of no scientific value, intelligent and credentialed people will tout their find as some sort of breakthrough. What doesn’t come to the forefront is well balanced reporting, where one side states their issues and the other side defends their’s. The world system, run by the god of this world, will not let truth be proclaimed for fear that they will appear to be ignorant, unscientific and exposed for what they are. The people of this world have been lied to, deluded and treated like idiots by the same ones that are “warm fuzzy and caring” leftists that have the truth of our existence.

    What people need to be aware of is the agenda of the atheistic humanists. Their lies are so insidious, many humanist views have been operating in many churches in America at the denomination level downward. The cry to answer Jesus’ knock on the door must be answered. The fire of one’s first love must begin to burn in the bosom. The regenerated, renewed soul must cry out to the Lord for mercy on our fallen state. The only way for us Disciples of Jesus to have any relevance in this world is to return to our roots, be filled with God’s Spirit, move in the demonstration of God’s power and leave the flowery intellectual sermon’s behind, trading for words of revelatory, fire-breathed messages straight from the Throne of God. All the symptoms of humanist and atheist behavior can only be fought with the demonstration of God’s Spirit and Revelation. These are the only things that will thwart all the efforts of the world to side-track us into the bunny-trails of: homosexuality, evolution, abortion, etc… These are valid issue’s, but they all have a common thread and goal. Addressing the root issue, “God’s existence and authority over all,” by the demonstration of the Holy Spirit and operating like the Church Jesus sent us out to be, will defeat all issues. I have said this for years and recently heard someone else use the same analogy. It takes many brush strokes for us to paint a picture or many words to make a point (especially for me). With our Father God, in one stroke of the Master’s hand, a priceless, precious portrait is painted or one Word from the Mighty Orator’s mouth, a flawless, beautiful Creation or Novel is formed. It’s that authority and power we must walk in. It only takes one’s entire life, all one’s being. I truly believe that when we walk in the strength, power and authority Jesus wants us to walk in, people of this world will finally see what Jesus was talking about. They will have a very clear comparision and will want on board. Many in the end days will be seeking oil for their lamps and many seeking lamps in the first place. Finding links that “prove” we are descendants from apes, finding legitimacey in sucking the brains out of viable birthing babies, claiming homosexuality is a gift from God, etc…, all will be moot issues. The “sky is falling, the world is shaking” and people are fainting from fear. These are the times to prepare for, not get side-tracked into non-sequitor issues that detract from the “root” of the problem. Let’s treat the illness, sin, by offering treatment, regeneration, then all these distracting issues will go away. We must show the world what the Messianic, Jewish revolt Jesus formed almost 2000 years ago is.

    This is not an admonition as much as it is a call to bring the world a real view of what Discipleship with Jesus is and to put Satan under our feet.

  64. As a friendly reminder, I’d like us to rethink whether these “agendas” are really as big as we make them out to be.  Consider this playful (obviously not serious) graph:

    http://graphjam.com/2008/11/12/song-chart-memes-us-political-belief/

    Most homosexuals aren’t trying to turn Christianity on its head.  Most Christians don’t want evolution removed from schools.  Most atheists don’t fantasize about a world where Jesus is never mentioned and are only mildly bothered by “under God” being in our pledge of allegiance.

    Also, most biologists aren’t hell bent on disproving God by promoting a well attested evolutionary theory that has no close competitors for biological explantion.  If evolution is “only” a theory, then creation is “only” a hypothesis.  No matter how many holes are still left in our trace of fossils, there is far more evidence for evolution than creation. 

    Fossil records show anything but spontaneous generation of species within a 7 day period.  Even if you believe in old earth creationism, you’re left with hypothesizing about spontaneous generation of species in a cascading fashion.  No evidence for that either, and honestly, if you’re going to be that non literal about Genesis to admit the earth is billions of years old, then evolution is pretty much a moot point anyway.

    You can be Christian and believe in evolution.  A good example is Dr. Collins of the Human Genome Project, with the “Language of God.”  He makes his case for God through DNA, which is a fair point to be considered on its own.

    The number of biologists speaking out against evolution is very, very small.  The one star witness, Michael Behe, has been wildly discredited by his peers and forced to retract many of his key claims.  If you are not a biologist, do not assume he was unfairly treated, since it’s all “techno-babble” to people outside the field, whether flagellum bacteria has “too complex” a set up or not.   It’s like claiming to say you know which church teaching is accurate if you’ve never read the bible.  I claim no biological knowledge except that the people most qualified to speak on the subject firmly hold evolution to be the best theory today.  Richard Dawkins has even admitted it’s not a perfect theory, and that if something new and better comes along, they’ll go by that.  He’s given several ways it can be falsified as well, such as if certain modern animal fossils are found in rock sediment from the Cambrian era.

    Think about it.

    –Dan

  65. Ewan,
    Let’s talk about your sense of morality. A woman is about to die because of a pregnancy that has gone terribly wrong. BTY your Intelligent Design hypotheses ain’t so intelligent is it? Following your dogma this woman should just have to face death with what, prayer and faith in Christ right? To hell with medical science or any science at all, right? Isn’t that what you Bible believers have been telling us ever since the Bible was written? You’d just let all these thousands of women die a horrible painful death because your ideology is so much more important than public safety isn’t it? Dr. Tiller was performing life saving operations not abortions on demand because some hapless female made a mistake. As far as we know all these women Dr. Tiller operated on intended to carry these fetuses to term and give birth. Then they had complications for which abortion was the safest alternative. I fail to see where you have a problem here. I’d like to see you explain where you stand on this issue and why.

    As far as Dr. Tiller having some kind of warped sense of reality I totally agree. He was an usher at a church and his wife was in the choir.

  66. Bernie,

    If the evidence is there to support your position, provide the quotes. Otherwise, just admit you don’t have it. You proved absolutely nothing so far re: Hitler being a Christian, and I checked some of the sources you claimed supported your position, and they did no such thing.

    So, the onus is back on you.

  67. Dan,

    Send us your address through Contact Us on the main website, and we’ll gladly send out the book to you. Other issues relative to German Christianity are tied in throughout the chapters. Feel free to send any relevant essays and articles you have our way.

    Thanks!

  68. Bernie,

    From Non-Christian to Non Christian, consider what I’m saying.  No one reacts well to being judged, called immoral, warped, stupid, etc.  It just makes them defensive and filters out ALL the content you’re saying so anything good you have falls on deaf ears.  I’m not saying be nice becasue it’s the good thing to do.  I’m saying be nice because it’s the only way your words will make a difference.

    –Dan

  69. Dan,
    I was responding to being accused of having a warped sense of morality: “Like you he must have had a very warped concept of morality.” Nowhere in my post to Ewan did I make any kind of accusation such as that. I have no reason to assume that other people filter out all content when they are being judged, called immoral, warped, stupid, etc. because it happens to me all the time and I don’t and know others who don’t either. Do you? I’ve read this Ewan’s posts before so I know that nothing he reads is going to change his mind anyway. Dr. Brown pointed out that he debates people he disagrees with mainly so others will get to see both views expressed, not so much to change his opponents mind. It’s the same deal with me.
    I used to think I had no effect on fundamentalists in debates. I mean they do seem to be unreachable do they not? But both current and former fundies have confided in me that when they read harsh criticisms of their positions it makes or made them very timid about evangelizing and otherwise sharing or discussing some or even all of their beliefs with unbelievers. This is why they are so intent on poisoning the minds of our public school students with their religious dogma.
    Your posts are very informative and well thought out. Even the ones I’ve refuted. Dr. Brown may accuse you of being aka whoever, some guy he’s already debated and refuted all their points so there’s no need in anyone paying anymore attention to you. Just kidding Dr. Brown.

  70. Bernie, anyone who can claim that “as far as we know” all the abortions performed by Tiller were due to complications with the pregnancy and not due to convenience, is just denying reality big time. The reality is that the vast majority of abortions are performed for little more than social reasons. But I guess such blindness coming from you is to be expected given your staunch adherence to the atheistic evolutionary faith.

    Dan, I have “thought about it” and I concluded that you are ill informed on the creation/evolution debate. You said “there is far more evidence for evolution than creation.” But the issue is not the evidence, it is the framework within which that evidence is interpreted that determines the conclusion. The evidence for creation is exactly the same evidence for evolution, the difference is in the paradigm of the scientist examining that evidence. For example, an evolutionist looks at a fossil and assumes it to be millions of years old, whereas a biblical creationist may look at the same fossil and conclude that it was formed during Noah’s Flood. There is no empirical scientific method to determine who is right. It is a question of belief  – If you are a philosophical naturalist you will interpret it within your evolutionary belief system (or worldview); if you are a biblical creationist you will interpret it within your biblical worldview.

  71. “But the issue is not the evidence, it is the framework within which that evidence is interpreted that determines the conclusion. ”

    That’s a really interesting point. Did you get that from somwhere else or is it original? If it’s original you’d do well to elaborate on that idea more than you have because it’s a good one.

    Have you thought about the idea of perception/ malperception?
    Marc

  72. Ewan,
    Bernie, anyone who can claim that “as far as we know” all the abortions performed by Tiller were due to complications with the pregnancy and not due to convenience, is just denying reality big time. The reality is that the vast majority of abortions are performed for little more than social reasons. But I guess such blindness coming from you is to be expected given your staunch adherence to the atheistic evolutionary faith.

    Answer: That’s right, when you see an argument that demolishes your position and shows just how foolish and untenable it is just pretend it doesn’t exist. None of Dr. Tiller’s abortions were performed for social reasons because if they were he would have been arrested, tried and imprisoned for performing illegal abortions. When right-wing losers did manage to get him arrested it was under false pretenses and Dr. Tiller was acquitted.

    Your statement about staunch adherence to the atheistic evolutionary faith is about as ignorant a statement as a person could make. Most of the world believes in some kind of deity and all but about 30 million of them accept evolution. Science isn’t based on faith or staunch adherence to anything. It’s based on facts and evidence. Creationism isn’t supported by any facts or evidence but only adherence to blind faith dogma that comes from a man-made collection of nonsense and lies, the Buybull. I asked you why you believe the earth is round and it moves. Where is your scriptural evidence that the earth moves? Why do you believe the earth moves when the Bible says it’s immoveable? I suppose you’ll just ignore this insurmountable problem like you do all the others that disprove your creationist delusions and fantasies.

  73. To replace evolution with creationism would dictate that we throw out all the data we have about the age of the universe (all of it points to billions of years, not thousands). We would have to throw away the psychological data gained from testing on, for instance, lab rats. How could the data from rats relate in any way to the inspired, specially created souls of human beings? Anthropology would have to be dispensed with. Archaeology would find itself in the trash bin. Biology books would be so much toilet paper. In short, a thousand different independent but strangely cohesive facts and theories – a million tidbits of knowledge about ourselves and our world – would have to be destroyed in favor of magic and mysticism.

    We’ve been through that before – it was called the Dark Ages. I see no logical reason why we should return to them. – Scott Anderson

  74. Ewan,

    The framework that scientists take is “Natural until Proven Magical.”

    That is the only way you can investigate any phenomenon in nature, or or medicine, or physics.  If you take a New Age frame work, you’d assume we are creating the fossils as we speak when we discover them, from our imaginations.  Obviously this wouldn’t do either.

    If you can’t see the problem with taking a biblical framework while looking at fossils, there’s not much more I can say.  Scientists believe the earth is billions of years old not because it’s different from the bible, but because of carbon dating, differences in rock sediment, and a lot of other factors. 

    If the ONLY reason you think the earth is 5 thousand years old is the bible, then you honestly cannot comment on what is good scientific research.

    –Dan

  75. To elaborate:

    “The evidence for creation is exactly the same evidence for evolution, the difference is in the paradigm of the scientist examining that evidence. For example, an evolutionist looks at a fossil and assumes it to be millions of years old, whereas a biblical creationist may look at the same fossil and conclude that it was formed during Noah’s Flood.”

    Where are you getting the idea that the evidence is the same for both?  Are you aware that dinosaur fossils are found in a very different rock sediment from wooly mammoths, which are found in a different rock sediment than modern tigers?  Are you aware the carbon dating places certain fossils way ahead of other ones?

    Do you really think the scientists decided that the earth was billions of years old and THEN started looking at the evidence?

    Since you began your response by saying I was the ill-informed one, this leaves me a bit confused…

    –Dan

  76. Dan, the framework that evolutionist scientists take is not “Natural until Proven Magical.” What it is, is philosophical naturalism. This is the point. It is the presupposition that everything must have a naturalistic explanation. For an evolutionist there can be no exceptions to this rule. It would be more accurate if your statement read “Natural only and we exclude the possibility of the supernatural.” So everything must be interpreted within this paradigm no matter how counter intuitive and no matter how many “just-so” stories are invoked along the way.

    Charles Lyell originally popularised the concept of uniformitarianism into geology. This is the basis for the concept of millions/billions of years. If the Genesis Flood is real then uniformitarianism is false and the long-age paradigm collapses.

    It certainly is true today that many scientists have decided the earth to be billions of years old (4.5 billion to be exact) and then they make the evidence fit that paradigm. This is how paradigms work.
    Dan, if you are believing that “carbon dating” is proof of millions/billions of years, then it really is you who is the ill informed one here. The half life of carbon14 is 5730 years. What this means is that carbon dating has a theoretical upper limit dating range of about 50,000 years because after this time there should be no detectable level of carbon14 remaining because it has decayed away. It is the many other types of radiometric dating, not carbon dating,  that claim to “prove” ages in the millions or billions of years.

  77. Ewan,

    Are you saying that Genesis is the only reason you wouldn’t believe in evolution or the earth being beillions of years old?

    –Dan

  78. Ewan,
    Dan, the framework that evolutionist scientists take is not “Natural until Proven Magical.” What it is, is philosophical naturalism. This is the point. It is the presupposition that everything must have a naturalistic explanation. For an evolutionist there can be no exceptions to this rule. It would be more accurate if your statement read “Natural only and we exclude the possibility of the supernatural.” So everything must be interpreted within this paradigm no matter how counter intuitive and no matter how many “just-so” stories are invoked along the way.

    Answer: The fact is that there isn’t any evidence for anything supernatural existing or ever occurring in the universe. All the things that used to be explained by supernatural mysticism now have naturalistic explanations. Therefore there is no reason to assume that the universe and life itself cannot be explained by naturalistic causes. Should any evidence for the supernatural ever be discovered then it would be scientists who would be the most qualified to explain it anyway, not theologians.
    Charles Lyell originally popularised the concept of uniformitarianism into geology. This is the basis for the concept of millions/billions of years. If the Genesis Flood is real then uniformitarianism is false and the long-age paradigm collapses.

    Answer: The 500 year old man building a ship the size of the Titanic out of nothing but wood and pitch is what is false and this the paradigm that collapses. The Noah flood has been refuted on over 100 points. This story is the most retarded and indefensible story in the Bible, which is really saying something considering all the other obviously false stories and claims in the Bible. Like dead people coming back to life and climbing out of their graves and appearing to many other people.
    It certainly is true today that many scientists have decided the earth to be billions of years old (4.5 billion to be exact) and then they make the evidence fit that paradigm. This is how paradigms work.

    Answer: The creationist paradigm: The creationist practice of beginning with all the answers from a supposedly inerrant source (scripture) and then disputing all evidence that contradicts their beliefs is about as far from science as one can get.

    Dan, if you are believing that “carbon dating” is proof of millions/billions of years, then it really is you who is the ill informed one here. The half life of carbon14 is 5730 years. What this means is that carbon dating has a theoretical upper limit dating range of about 50,000 years because after this time there should be no detectable level of carbon14 remaining because it has decayed away. It is the many other types of radiometric dating, not carbon dating, that claim to “prove” ages in the millions or billions of years.

    Answer: Using a procedure analogous to the radiometric dating of rocks, we can determine which radioactive elements are still present on and above the earth. If our planet is truly billions of years old, we should expect elements with short half-lives to be absent from the list of those still present in nature, while elements with long half-lives should be the ones to comprise that very list. In other words, elements that transform at a relatively rapid rate should have disappeared, but elements with lengthier survivals should still be naturally observable. We cannot consider any element with a replenishing source for inclusion in the list because its continuous production will always yield a fresh supply of the element. Unsurprisingly, we find that all eighteen criterion-meeting radioactive elements with a half-life in excess of eighty million years are still found in nature, while all others have disappeared. Thus, we can reasonably conclude that any radioactive material with a half-life less than eighty million years has been present for such a long period that we can’t find it naturally unless some chemical reaction is currently producing it. After twenty half-lives, these elements were in such low quantities that they were virtually undetectable when researchers first performed this experiment many years ago. If the earth’s elements had a starting point 1.6 billion years in the past, we would witness the exact scenario I just described. This discovery opened the door for scientists to place increasingly accurate estimations on the age of the earth, currently believed to be 4.3 billion years. Incidentally, the odds that all these elements would line up in this manner by chance are greater than half a billion to one. – Dr. Jason Long

    Ewan why do you believe the earth moves? Stop ignoring this question.

  79. OK… there’s been a lot of sharing of views. There are marked differences between believers in Jesus, our Saviour, as the Word that spoke all things into existence and humanists that …… ???? not really sure… doesn’t make sense.

    As disciples of Jesus, we are not to take the wisdom we have and share it with the world. they will take it and trample all over it. They believe all their philosophical babble substantiates intelligence.  Humanists & Athiests (redundant, I know) will never understand what we know.

    What they believe takes an infinite level blind, insane and, down right stupid, trust in scientists that have an insidiously evil agenda in propagating their idiotic rubbish. Regardless of how far down the evolutionary timeline, something had to be created. If a microscopic, infinitely dense, heavy sphere, the size of a period at the end of a sentence, erupted and formed what we call the universe…. where did that little “period” come from and where did the void it exploded in come from?  Where did all the substances, amino-acids, DNA, knowledge of cell structure, brains, hearts and the need for a rectum to eliminate waste, come from?

    Unbelievers constantly suck believers into long-winded apologies for what and why we believe what we do. let’s take the wind out of their sails and state what we believe regarding any topic and leave it at that. They are obviously stuck in neutral.

    When people like Bernie are coming up against an argument, best just take the Biblical approach or do what Dr. Brown does, plan a debate get all the facts and kick major humanist butt, (sorry, had to say it. ) God has given Dr. Michael Brown a real gift. Plus he has been lead to much information and uses God given wisdom to bring out the truth to non-believers; and yet… they still reject the truth. So, if they reject Jesus, through Dr. Brown, the scripture about “pearls before *****” is alive and well.

    Atheists/Humanists don’t need the truth about any other issue except for Jesus, the cross and Him crucified. Salvaltion is the utmost and primary pearl of wisdom that needs to be disseminated. If they reject that, they will reject everything else we have to say.

  80. “What they believe takes an infinite level blind, insane and, down right stupid, trust in scientists that have an insidiously evil agenda in propagating their idiotic rubbish.”

    Best admission ever that creationism has no scientific basis.  Thank you.

    –Dan

  81. Dan, I don’t agree with that statement of John’s that you highlight, as I doubt too many serious creationists would. If you are using such a statement as being representative of creationist beliefs to justify your unbiblical acceptance of evolution, then you are guilty of resorting to straw-man tactics.

    To answer your earlier question: No, the clear straightforward understanding of the creation account in Genesis is not the only reason why I reject evolution and millions/billions of years. I reject them also on the basis that there is much scientific evidence to the contrary. Probably the majority of the ID movement are skeptics when it comes to the straightforward understanding of Genesis creation, but they still reject naturalistic evolution mostly on the basis of the evidence alone. They also recognise that belief in evolution is underpinned by a belief in philosophical naturalism.

  82. Dan, I don’t agree with that statement of John’s that you highlight, as I doubt too many serious creationists would. If you are using such a statement as being representative of creationist beliefs to justify your unbiblical acceptance of evolution, then you are guilty of resorting to straw-man tactics.

    Fair enough, withdrawn.  Sorry, I guess the tendency to lump ideological opponents into one group happens with non-believers as well.

    I reject [evolution & millions billions of years] also on the basis that there is much scientific evidence to the contrary. Probably the majority of the ID movement are skeptics when it comes to the straightforward understanding of Genesis creation, but they still reject naturalistic evolution mostly on the basis of the evidence alone

    Ok, now here I”m interested.  You seem to think that the age of the earth is thousands of years, correct?  What scientific evidence are you referring to?  By this, I mean peer reviewed scientific research by people with degrees in the subject.

    By the way, I’m still not sure how you expect to scientists to act without a natural inclination.  When do we resort to assuming supernatural means?  Evolution doesn’t disprove the supernatural, it just takes away some leverage in people who want to prove the supernatural.  Does that make sense?  God could still exist without creationism.

    As it stands, there is more evidence for evolution than spontaneous generation of species over a 7 day period.  Correct?

    There are other non-supernatural explanations for life on earth, if you get creative.  It doesn’t just have to be a simple “God did it.”

    If you found out tomorrow the bible was completely false, would you still believe evolution has no basis?

  83. Let me clarify: to believe as the evolutionists(humanists/atheists) do, takes a tremendous stretch of a very ignorant imagination. If you want to accuse me of having the utmost faith in my Creator, Saviour and God and personal friend, then  I am guilty. If you think I have not studied the issues of evolution and other Religious systems, then your wrong. I come from a very intellectual society of thinkers. I put all that behind me for a truth that doesn’t make sense to the world.

    I know this, Faith is the substance of things hoped for; the evidence of things not seen. Faith transcends intellect and reason. Truth is based on faith. Truth cannot be seen by the physical eyes nor the physical mind. Philosophize, intellectualize and reason all you want. Did you ever hear the voice of our Creator?  All the answers of relevant purpose are in Him, but most of the world’s issues are but vain and moot topics, as the meaning and purpose of life is not in what this world deems important, except, of course, for hunger, medicine and shelter.

    Anyway, have at it. I’m movin on!

  84. No John, faith is believing what you know ain’t true.

  85. Wow, Bernie. Like Dr. Brown said regarding you, ” you don’t exist.” I think you’re a “SPAM” machine that ‘wets’ on anything Disciple of Jesus say. A true “devils advocate.” I know your kind because I was one of your species. Not too far down in your soul, there’s no peace. Not the kind that one experiences when Yeshua gives it. There’s a high degree of anger, just under your skin, ready to come out and bite anyone that believes in Yahweh, His Plan and His Word. You actually prove His reality. This generation and the world’s condition prove the Bible. Nostradamus has nothing on the Bible. So, when I respond to the mocking and scoffing attitudes on various Blogs, I laugh. I have a peace that I never knew existed when I was like you: a mocker and a scoffer.

    Here’s some Scipture, just in case your never read it before.:
    2 Peter 3:3-7 knowing this first of all, that scoffers will come in the last days with scoffing, following their own sinful desires.
    4 They will say, Where is the promise of his coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all things are continuing as they were from the beginning of creation.
    5 For they deliberately overlook this fact, that the heavens existed long ago, and the earth was formed out of water and through water by the word of God,
    6 and that by means of these the world that then existed was deluged with water and perished.
    7 But by the same word the heavens and earth that now exist are stored up for fire, being kept until the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly.

    2 Timothy 3:1-5,
    1 But understand this, that in the last days difficult times will come.
    2 For people will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy,
    3 unloving, irreconcilable, slanderers, without self-control, savage, opposed to what is good,
    4 treacherous, reckless, conceited, loving pleasure rather than loving God.
    5 They will maintain the outward appearance of religion but will have repudiated its power. So avoid people like these.

    Funny that, approx, 1,925 years ago Jesus’ Apostles nailed this society to a tee. Other generations had their difficulties, but not like this one and, maybe, the one to follow. The “church” has these people too. In fact, they are those purporting to be religious. They are called “tares.”  Jesus said they would be there. That’s why I prefer to be called a disciple of Jesus, not a christian.

  86. Bernie, 

    You just keep discrediting yourself. You say that we are delusional, but then we are willing to at least debate with you. You debate AT us. Of course, we shall not be swayed into believing the view you put across because at the base of all of our belief is the principle that Scripture is the infallible word of God good for teaching, correcting, rebuking and training in righteousness. 

    I believe it is more solid than scientific fact and of greater scientific proof. Scientific “facts” have shifted over time, biblical fact (however much you debate its validity) has remained the same (even though it is translated in different ways.) 

    What is a firmer foundation? A wet concrete or dry? You believe you have the correct interpretation of the correct scientific facts, but so did your predecessors (and admittedly, some of them were Christians) but in the future, this conversation will continue but laughing at the facts that you thought you had through scientific experiment. 

    I really hope that you can at least become less heart-hearted. Imagine that there is a judgement day and that you and I are standing before the judgement seat of Christ. He will not allow you to argue about scientific fact and theistic fallacy with Him. 

    You have one choice with two outcomes, ‘Kiss the Son’ or ‘receive His wrath’ (Psalm 2:12 paraph.) (Not a literal kiss, but a humble repentance for your heart and a new trust in Christ reflected through a life of worship). 

    You have to choose. Science is fleeting and fading. Eternity is eternal.
    Marc

    P.S. Scientific beliefs have changed? - http://www.livingwaters.com/witnessingtool/scientificfactsintheBible.shtml – admittedly some do seem a bit ‘far-fetched’ even for me… but a lot of them seem very reasonable. 


  87. 2 Timothy 3:1-5,
    1 But understand this, that in the last days difficult times will come.
    2 For people will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy,
    3 unloving, irreconcilable, slanderers, without self-control, savage, opposed to what is good,
    4 treacherous, reckless, conceited, loving pleasure rather than loving God.
    5 They will maintain the outward appearance of religion but will have repudiated its power. So avoid people like these.”

    Sounds like Rome and Corinth at that time, to me :-)
    Seriously, you could be right, but there’s been societies matching that description (from a Christian’s point of view) for the last 2 thousand years.
    Marc,

    I believe it is more solid than scientific fact and of greater scientific proof. Scientific “facts” have shifted over time, biblical fact (however much you debate its validity) has remained the same (even though it is translated in different ways.)
    What is a firmer foundation? A wet concrete or dry? You believe you have the correct interpretation of the correct scientific facts, but so did your predecessors (and admittedly, some of them were Christians) but in the future, this conversation will continue but laughing at the facts that you thought you had through scientific experiment.

    I’m glad you brought this point up.  Yes the bible never changes, but you’re assuming it’s correct to begin with.  It could very well be that scientific theory in 500 AD was 20% more accurate than the bible was at the time, and continued to develop until it was 1500% more accurate.  Just because the bible stands firm doesn’t mean it is any more correct.  (I’m using generous standards here for numbers.)
    A belief that never changes is only good if it’s true.  If it’s not, it’s actually far more damaging.  I credit the Dalai Lama for saying that if it turned out that scientific research contradicted the Buddha’s sutras, then we should go with science instead.
    You have one choice with two outcomes, ‘Kiss the Son’ or ‘receive His wrath’ (Psalm 2:12 paraph.) (Not a literal kiss, but a humble repentance for your heart and a new trust in Christ reflected through a life of worship).
    That’s very similar to something I read in the Koran last night.  It was saying that if you worship Jesus as God, you burn in hell forever.  The “believe or burn” argument isn’t really an argument but just an intimidation tactic once you’ve run out of anything convincing.  If fear is your tool, you’ve lost your way.
    –Dan

  88. Dan,

    It’s not so much fear as honest concern. I am not afraid of an argument neither am I trying to make someone afraid – but I wish that they would fear for themselves. This is a biblical thing to do and also very humanitarian when you think about it. Being absolutely convinced of the accuracy of the Bible, I would be a wretched person to not tell other people of the wrath to come. 

    You make a good point about the ‘percentage principle.’ (Neat name right?) But do you assume that science must become more accurate? What if science at one time confirmed the Biblical account/fulfilled the truth (if the Bible is not the truth), but in changing actually went further away? 

    Marc

  89. “Dan,
    It’s not so much fear as honest concern. I am not afraid of an argument neither am I trying to make someone afraid – but I wish that they would fear for themselves. This is a biblical thing to do and also very humanitarian when you think about it. Being absolutely convinced of the accuracy of the Bible, I would be a wretched person to not tell other people of the wrath to come. “
    True enough, if you think someone’s going to hell, the only good thing to do is to do whatever possible to save them.  If hell is real, even conversion by the sword is the humanitarian thing to do (if that counted as salvation).
    It makes me curious sometime, if someone went to a Hindu baby hospital, and blew it up, saving all the babies from hell, and just being damned himself, would you call him anything less than a true martyr for salvation?  He would be giving his soul to save hundreds who more likely than not, would have remained Hindu and been damned to hell forever.  That sounds like a much bigger sacrifice than Jesus took, knowing he wouldn’t come back.  Thoughts?


    “You make a good point about the ‘percentage principle.’ (Neat name right?) But do you assume that science must become more accurate? What if science at one time confirmed the Biblical account/fulfilled the truth (if the Bible is not the truth), but in changing actually went further away? “
    If one is following the scientific method, then they will come closer to the truth, unless some bizarre abberation happens.  Your “what if” doesn’t seem to really be reflected in how true study works.  These theories are always being tested, retested, and challenged as much as possible.  It’s been found that even Einstein was wrong about some things, but he still brought more “net” knowledge to the world of physics than was there before.
    –Dan
     

  90. The Hindu baby thing is something I’ve genuinely never been asked. Obviously it is still killing babies. Additionally, you assume that babies are righteous or at least not sinful – this is a massive debate for Christian theologians. From a human point of view it would certainly seem that they were innocent – but God’s not a human – I don’t know. I would probably suggest that we leave the decision down to God – bombing of any kind is a big no-no for us really. Unless it’s dive bombing in the summer months. ;)

    But what if your ‘looking glass’ is wrong or the scale by which you measure your findings. Even with re-testing? There’s heaps of little analogies of things like this – but if you think about it I’m sure you’ll come up with your own.

    Marc

  91. Marc,

    I guess that leaves us two options. 

    Either:

    A) God sends at least some babies to hell

    or

    B) When you kill a Hindu baby in India, you’re guaranteeing his admission to heaven, which is in the baby’s best interest by any standard.

    Either side doesn’t paint a very good view.

    –Dan

  92. Yes – you’re right about the options, but under option A there are a plethora of other options for the babies who survive.

    Additionally there is the third option (although this one seems like almost too strange to even put forward, but in the interests of a fair argument) that God chooses between individual babies. 

    I don’t believe the latter is true, but I just put it there as an addition anyway,
    Marc

  93. John,
    You were never like me. You never learned the art of critical thinking, got a basic scientific education or developed a philosophical worldview or no one would have been able to convince you to believe the unbelievable. As for your Bible passages I’ve read the Bible a lot more carefully and more often than you have. Every generation of Christians has believed that the mythical apostles had their particular generation nailed and that Jesus was surely coming on the clouds to take their generation to heaven and kill everybody else. FYI fictional stories written to conform to earlier prophecies, which are just as vague as those from Nostradamus or even the Psychic Friends Network, prove only that the Bible is a man-made socially constructed collection of literature.

  94. Bernie,

    WOW!!!

  95. Marc,
    I don’t think you fundies ever think about what you say. First “but then we are willing to at least debate with you” and then “Of course, we shall not be swayed.” Closed minded are you? I on the other hand, am quite willing to change my mind about what I currently think about anything. How come you aren’t?
    I believe it is more solid than scientific fact and of greater scientific proof. Scientific “facts” have shifted over time, biblical fact (however much you debate its validity) has remained the same (even though it is translated in different ways.)

    Answer: Let’s look at an example of how the Bible has been receiving a sort of Hollywood makeover during just the last few centuries. For one example the Bible is full of some very bad advice, which has been rewritten to make it seem like this bad advice was never even part of the Bible. In 1Tim 4:8 the KJV tells readers that exercise if of little profit especially compared to religion or godliness. The KJV reflects a fairly wooden translation of the Greek, which says exactly the same thing. Notice how the NKJV adds the indefinite article “a” to make it seem like the author is saying that exercise is of at least some value. Then in the NIV, NRSV and all the newer translations we actually see the word “some” or “enough” replace the word “little” in the text completely distorting what the original Greek and the KJV really said which is that physical exercise is basically worthless.

    For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that is, and that of which is to come (1Timothy 4:8 KJV).
    For bodily exercise profits a little: but godliness is profitable for all things, having promise of the life that now is and that of which is to come (1Timothy 4:8 NKJV).
    For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come (1Timothy 4:8 NIV)

    The Bible has been undergoing revisionism ever since the various books in it were collected and voted on to be the written basis for the Christian religion. I have a collection of many examples just like this one. It’s quite an interesting fact that the supposed unchangeable Word of God keeps having to changed and revised by human beings.

    What is a firmer foundation? A wet concrete or dry?

    Answer: Looks more like quicksand once you realize how the Bible has been changed and revised over the years now doesn’t it? Especially since we have no originals or anything even close so we don’t even know what the Bible really said when it was written anyway.

    You believe you have the correct interpretation of the correct scientific facts, but so did your predecessors (and admittedly, some of them were Christians) but in the future, this conversation will continue but laughing at the facts that you thought you had through scientific experiment.

    Answer: You believe you have the correct interpretation of the Bible but so did your predecessors (and admittedly, some of them were Christians) but in the future, this conversation will continue but laughing at the facts that you thought you had through faith.

    I really hope that you can at least become less heart-hearted. Imagine that there is a judgement day and that you and I are standing before the judgement seat of Christ. He will not allow you to argue about scientific fact and theistic fallacy with Him.

    Answer: I can’t imagine how it is possible for anyone to exist in any way after they die and their brain functions shut down. There is no evidence for any kind of afterlife and I’m quite sure in my own mind that there isn’t one. If I was in that situation though, I would explain how I had read the Bible more than most people, taken some of his advice, studied a little about religion in a Lutheran college, thought about Christianity more than most Christians and then tell Jesus he really needs to get some better representation on earth because the people who told me about him were totally unbelievable and unconvincing; and I would do this all in New Testament Koine Greek Jesus’ only language here on earth. If that isn’t good enough then forget him.

    You have one choice with two outcomes, ‘Kiss the Son’ or ‘receive His wrath’ (Psalm 2:12 paraph.) (Not a literal kiss, but a humble repentance for your heart and a new trust in Christ reflected through a life of worship).

    Answer: No that is a false dichotomy. There is at least one other option you obviously fail to recognize which is that I just ignore the whole proposition because neither of your outcomes are plausible or even possible as far as I can tell.

    You have to choose. Science is fleeting and fading. Eternity is eternal.

    Answer: Not true. Advancing science has always done much damage to religious beliefs especially Christian religious beliefs. Science is going to keep advancing too. That’s what we call progress. Scientists aren’t ever going to change the way they do science or revise their theories because of the claims of your religion. You should just grow up and accept that.

    P.S. Scientific beliefs have changed? -http://www.livingwaters.com/witnessingtool/scientificfactsintheBible.shtml – admittedly some do seem a bit ‘far-fetched’ even for me… but a lot of them seem very reasonable.

    Answer: I’ve read that nonsense. It’s a classic case of ad hoc reasoning gone into orbit. You know it too.

  96. ok guys, I was gona say this LAST WEEKEND. this discussion is fruitless and doesnt seem to be getting anywhere. and I keep getting emails everytime someone responds. its friday night. why don’t you guys talk on the phone since you can’t seem to separate. I think Christians and Atheists create very close bonds, and are deep down good friends. I think we should all get together for a BBQ. maybe next time the earth creates itself on its own it will be much smaller, so we can assemble much easier. but wait, next time we won be here. unless the evolutionary process recreates all the same humans in the event that the world happens again in trillions of years. what joy that would be! maybe there is life after death, and the evolutionary process will use its memory to recreate all of us and bring us back! Hallelujah!

  97. Jeff – You can always unsubscribe from further comments, so if you don’t like this thread, just ignore it.

    Bernie does have a point that Christians take pride in not being swayed from their faith.  I’ll be honest, if someone makes a compelling case, i’m down, any day.  My choice to not follow Jesus is well reasoned and intellectual.  If Jesus comes back, I’m there.  If Obama becomes world dictator and requires a mark to buy and sell things, I’m there. 
    What would make a good Christian deny faith in the bible?  Anything?
    –Dan

  98. The problem for Christians is that the stakes are so high. Believing in the Bible is not a requirement for Salvation, but all of the precepts for salvation are in there. That’s the issue.

    Bernie, those things had little difference in the translations. Honestly. Whether or not I’m a Christian. They were the meaning. 

    Sweet stuff, enjoy your anger, Bernie. 
    Marc

  99. Marc,
    The problem for Christians is that the stakes are so high. Believing in the Bible is not a requirement for Salvation, but all of the precepts for salvation are in there. That’s the issue.

    Answer: This statement is very revealing. The fundamental teaching of Christianity, that some beliefs lie beyond the scope of criticism, and that to question them is sinful, or morally wrong and will send someone to hell for eternal punishment takes away a person’s objectivity. You are admittedly very AFRAID to question the supposed authority of the Bible. Yet we are supposed to think people like you can make objective decisions about the Bible and about all the science and historical facts that refute it. What you’ve done is admitted that you are totally brainwashed and your mind is slammed shut like a steel trap.

    Bernie, those things had little difference in the translations. Honestly. Whether or not I’m a Christian. They were the meaning.

    Answer: That was a demonstration of how the subtle changes in the Bible have totally transformed it into something it was never meant to be.

    Sweet stuff, enjoy your anger, Bernie.

    Answer: That’s right keep telling your self I’m the angry one. Well I’m just as happy and satisfied as a person can get. I get a lot of satisfaction out of toying with fundamentalists and watching then squirm. No one on any of these blogs is a match for me in any debate especially you fundies. You people and even your leaders like Dr. Brown and his minions are so far out of my league it’s bizarre and anyone reading these posts can easily see that.

  100. What would make a good Christian deny faith in the bible? Anything?

    Answer: Reading the entire Bible BEFORE trying to believe it would do the trick.

  101. Hi Dan, To answer your questions from earlier (post #80).
    For evidence supporting the “young” age of the earth, go here. (Remember it’s not so much a question of “evidence” as it is of presuppositions which can determine the interpretations/conclusions drawn from that evidence. This is especially the case with what we call “origins” or “historical” science – that which deals with events that happened in the past and which cannot be repeated.) As for this “peer reviewed” crap, you need to realise that evolutionists are not going to peer review any scientific paper that doesn’t tow the party line. In other words, something that directly challenges the evolutionary/long age paradigm. Creationists have their own peer reviewed scientific journals basically because of the prejudice existing in the mainstream scientific community (which is dominated by evolutionists) against anything connected to ID or creationism. Creation scientists (and ID scientists) are at least as well qualified as evolutionary scientists, so in that sense the evidence to which I refer most certainly has been “peer reviewed…..by people with degrees in the subject.”
    “[In science] When do we resort to assuming supernatural means?” I will have to get back to you on this one because I can’t find a particular article that I recently read that addresses this very question.
    “As it stands, there is more evidence for evolution than spontaneous generation of species over a 7 day period. Correct?” No, I don’t accept that. As I said before it all depends upon presuppositions. As far as I am aware, there is no evidence for evolution, just a bunch of just-so stories. Do you know of any real evidence?
    “There are other non-supernatural explanations for life on earth, if you get creative. It doesn’t just have to be a simple “God did it.”” Agreed. So what? The question is, which explanation best fits the facts/evidence?
    “If you found out tomorrow the bible was completely false, would you still believe evolution has no basis?” A hypothetical, but probably not, because evolution is not a credible alternative explanation as far as I am concerned. Some kind of deistic explanation would be the next best. This is what many in the ID movement would hold to, and also is the view of the former world’s leading atheists, Antony Flew who converted a few years back simply on the basis of the evidence that life requires an intelligent designer.
    I disagree with John’s comment (#77) where he suggests that Christian apologetics is not necessary. Christians are commanded in 1 Peter 3:15 to “Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.” It is often the case that for non-Christians (especially in the evolution saturated West) a belief in evolution is an impediment to belief in the Gospel for non-Christians. So refuting evolution should rightly be seen as a form of pre-evangelism, in a similar way that answering Jewish objections to Jesus is a form of pre-evangelism to Jews. As for John’s other comment, I wouldn’t agree that evolutionist scientists are “insane”, “stupid”, “idiotic”, or “evil.” But I would agree they are in some respects “blind.” Certainly they are often blind to their own presuppositions.
    Mark Thomas (comment #69). It is not an original idea of mine. See here for an elaboration.

  102. Hi Dan, To answer your questions from earlier (post #80).

    For evidence supporting the “young” age of the earth, go here. (Remember it’s not so much a question of “evidence” as it is of presuppositions which can determine the interpretations/conclusions drawn from that evidence. This is especially the case with what we call “origins” or “historical” science – that which deals with events that happened in the past and which cannot be repeated.)

    As for this “peer reviewed” crap, you need to realise that evolutionists are not going to peer review any scientific paper that doesn’t tow the party line. In other words, something that directly challenges the evolutionary/long age paradigm. Creationists have their own peer reviewed scientific journals basically because of the prejudice existing in the mainstream scientific community (which is dominated by evolutionists) against anything connected to ID or creationism. Creation scientists (and ID scientists) are at least as well qualified as evolutionary scientists, so in that sense the evidence to which I refer most certainly has been “peer reviewed…..by people with degrees in the subject.”

    “[In science] When do we resort to assuming supernatural means?” I will have to get back to you on this one because I can’t find a particular article that I recently read that addresses this very question.

    “As it stands, there is more evidence for evolution than spontaneous generation of species over a 7 day period. Correct?” No, I don’t accept that. As I said before it all depends upon presuppositions. As far as I am aware, there is no evidence for evolution, just a bunch of just-so stories. Do you know of any real evidence?

    “There are other non-supernatural explanations for life on earth, if you get creative. It doesn’t just have to be a simple “God did it.”” Agreed. So what? The question is, which explanation best fits the facts/evidence?

    “If you found out tomorrow the bible was completely false, would you still believe evolution has no basis?” A hypothetical, but probably not, because evolution is not a credible alternative explanation as far as I am concerned. Some kind of deistic explanation would be the next best. This is what many in the ID movement would hold to, and also is the view of the former world’s leading atheists, Antony Flew who converted a few years back simply on the basis of the evidence that life requires an intelligent designer.

    I disagree with John’s comment (#77) where he suggests that Christian apologetics is not necessary. Christians are commanded in 1 Peter 3:15 to “Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.” It is often the case that for non-Christians (especially in the evolution saturated West) a belief in evolution is an impediment to belief in the Gospel for non-Christians. So refuting evolution should rightly be seen as a form of pre-evangelism, in a similar way that answering Jewish objections to Jesus is a form of pre-evangelism to Jews. As for John’s other comment, I wouldn’t agree that evolutionist scientists are “insane”, “stupid”, “idiotic”, or “evil.” But I would agree they are in some respects “blind.” Certainly they are often blind to their own presuppositions.

    Mark Thomas (comment #69). It is not an original idea of mine. See here for an elaboration.

  103. Bernie said: 

    “You people and even your leaders like Dr. Brown and his minions are so far out of my league it’s bizarre and anyone reading these posts can easily see that.”

    I think that’s what we might call a Freudian Slip ;)
    Marc

  104. “The problem for Christians is that the stakes are so high. Believing in the Bible is not a requirement for Salvation, but all of the precepts for salvation are in there. That’s the issue.”

    This is what keeps Christian apologists, evanglists, and pastors from looking like they’ve researched this all and are choosing Christanity with a sound mind.  The “precepts” of salvation you mentioned are the fear that you’ll have a very unpleasant eternal afterlife if you lose faith.

    Even consider this, would you be open if further archeological research revealed that the Gospels of Matthew and John were complete fabrications, but the rest were all all fine.  Would you be willing to let go of those if archeologists and historians found compelling evidence, or does it have to be an all or nothing deal for you?

    If you need the whole bundle to keep your faith, that should tell you something.

    –Dan

  105. In fact, Christian faith as Paul writes, rests on the Resurrection. If Christ did not rise from the dead, we have no hope of faith. If He did, then our faith is certain. 

    If someone thinks this is ignorance or ‘intellectual suicide,’ God bless them. I’m happy to be ignorant and intellectually dead but spiritually alive. Books will rot and ideas (unless you take Plato’s stance) will die and fade… Faith in God stands fast. 

    This is the most intellectually stimulating and engaging point in the whole of creation (or ‘accidental existence’ if you prefer to look at it like that.)

    Marc

  106. “In fact, Christian faith as Paul writes, rests on the Resurrection. If Christ did not rise from the dead, we have no hope of faith. If He did, then our faith is certain. “

    Marc, can your recognize the fallacy here?

    If he didn’t raise from the dead, then obviously he was wrong about a few things.

    However, if he did rise, does it really prove all of his claims?  Does a man rising from the dead prove that he’s God, that the Old Testament is true, that he’s the son of God, and that he took your sins away?

    Or does it merely prove he had the power to rise from the dead?

    What most Christians don’t recognize is that a man with powers doesn’t necessarily lead to the conclusion that that man is God.  Even if that man was in the right community where messianic expectations were at the time, for him to do some wondrous things does not make him all he claims.

    To give a short list of literally hundreds of possibilities (and I’ll try not to blaspheme the holy spirit in this)

    He could be…

    A) Hermes from Greek mythology playing a prank
    B) Loki from Norse mythology playing a prank
    C) Any spiritual being having a little fun
    D) An extra-dimensional being or alien
    E) A holy angel meant to test the faith of the Jews, to see if “signs and wonders” would lead them astray

    I do think D) is the least likely, so no need for a Brown-esque refutation :-).   What I’m saying is a man with powers does not equal God.  You have to be assuming the Old Testament (a very unverified text) is 100% true on the outset to even know which “God” to match Jesus up with. 

    How does a resurrection prove anything more than the power to be resurrected?

    –Dan

  107. Sorry, meant E) As the least likely, because Dr. Brown has talked a lot about that in the past. the extra-dimensional being or alien is a lot more plausible

  108. To all those who hold the Faith in Messiah Jesus and the bible as being the Inspired & infallible word of God: didn’t or book tell us that these people would come up against us? Truly, when the justified imprisonment and death of believers in Messiah Jesus becomes a reality in America, like it is all over the world, these “uncircumsized philistines” who blaspheme our God, like Goliath, would turn us over in a heart beat. Why is it that Christians are the ones who need to recant their faith and deny Jesus or die. If this faith of ours wasn’t such a huge issue, and TRUE, if I may say so, why are Christians dying. I will bet that if a certain belief system was deemed to be subject to a “death sentence,” that if these “empty suits,” blaspheming Yahweh, held to that damning belief, they wouldn’t have the integrity to die for it. The irony is, us “weak, ignorant, senseless” Christians will die for our faith in Jesus. No prob Bob! End of story! Of course, I’m talking about life in other countries around the world, but it will happen in America. 

    The figure of speech in the Bible that says, “Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.” Sorry, no matter how stupid you think Christians are, you have no idea why we would die for our faith. And the tragedy is, you may never know why! You take what you think you know about the Bible and don’t realize that it is a spiritual bunch of writings that unregenerated  people will never figure out.

    In the end, you will stand before the “Ancient of Days,” Creator of all things seen and unseen, the ONLY God, and like He said, “for it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.” You will try to give some reason why you couldn’t find your way to believe, even though many people tried to convince you. You see the more you read and listen to Christians, the more you condemn yourself. We will stand faultless before the Throne of Grace, because though we sin, we confess, repent and go on. You will not be able to blame the your problems on us. Believe me, if you are reading these words and don’t come to believe in Jesus, these words will ring in your ears for an eternity. You will gnash your teeth because you became a willing enemy of God. He didn’t subject you to eternal seperation, you willingly made up your mind to not live with God for an eternity. And God, being a good, just God, did not go against your wishes. Unfortunately, the rules to the game of life, death and eternity is to make up your mind before you die. If He makes an exception for you, He would have to allow Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin, Kim Jong Ill into eternity with Him, along with every vile baby raper and mother killer that ever lived.

    It is tragic you think I’m an idiot, because I speak the truth. And if there are any other believers blogging in this site, you may not agree with my tactics, but you know what I am saying is true. I am not a Christian that’s afraid of offending people to to make a point. And love means going to whatever length needed to reach people with
    absolute blasphemous statements about our Heavenly Father. King David, before he was king, was incensed to hear the words of Goliath about God. Life and death is no joke and the truth needs to be put out there, stood by and to die for, if necessary.  Someday soon we will be doing just that.

    “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word WAS God.” “The Word was made flesh and dwelt among us.”  That Word, being God, was raised from the dead, was God and His name is Jesus… Yeshua (Yehoshua).

  109. Ewan siad: For evidence supporting the “young” age of the earth, go here. (Remember it’s not so much a question of “evidence” as it is of presuppositions which can determine the interpretations/conclusions drawn from that evidence.

    Answer: Interpretations of evidence can be proven wrong. For instance, when creationists assert that radiometric decay was once much faster, we can know this is not true simply because if it were the earth would have been fried to a crisp long ago!

    To give another example, we can know that the geologic column was not created by a great flood because it shows signs of having been created over millions of years. (Varves are a great example of this.)

    Finally, “Answers in Genesis” is being inconsistent by saying that there are many ways to interpret the physical evidence of the past but that there is only one plain meaning of the Bible. An evolutionist could likewise claim that the plainest, best, and only way to interpret such things as the hominid fossil sequence is through Common Descent. – AIG Busted

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