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So I was thinking about this earlier, and it seems to me that, in the question of whether or not creationism is a viable scientific field of study, despite Bill Nye's very good, factual answers, it was Ken Ham the creationist who delivered the decisive blow in the debate. Alas, for young earth creationists, it was against Ken Ham.

When asked what would change their minds, Ken Ham's response was, in effect, "nothing". "Well, I'm a Christian," he explained. And that was indeed explanation enough: evidence does not and cannot trump belief. By contrast, Nye responded with "evidence".

That, ladies and gentlemen, is the difference, the only answer you will ever need to "is creationism science?" Scientists reshape ideas to fit evidence, not the other way around. Nye responded as a scientist. Ham responded as a zealot. Ham has every right to be as zealous and as closed-minded as he likes. But that is not science. It is a direct rejection of science and rational thinking.

So I would say that Ken Ham, even more than Bill Nye, delivered the decisive answer in last night's debate: no, creationism is not science. It is a belief system based on a literal reading of select parts of a scientifically inaccurate book. Nothing less and certainly nothing more.

Originally posted at Rachel's Hobbit Hole

Originally posted to Rachels Hobbit Hole (on Daily Kos) on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 06:46 PM PST.

Also republished by Street Prophets and Progressive Atheists.

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  •  I just finished watching the debate (78+ / 0-)

    easy to find on youtube.

    My take-away is that Bill Nye was did a great job and I think he handled it about as well as anyone could given the venue. I appreciate that he didn't try to go point-to-point with the wacko - and instead hammered over and over his points about science education and the lack of predictability of 'historical science'.

    If anything I think Bill was too easy on him - I would have liked him to have closed repeating that there's no such thing as 'historical science'. - just SCIENCE! -and call out the BS one more time.

    "The price of a memory is the memory of the sorrow it brings" Adam Duritz/Counting Crows... Or if you prefer... "Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof" Carl Sagan

    by zipn on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 06:52:23 PM PST

    •  Ah, but you can't fight faith (39+ / 0-)

      with facts. That's a truism that people ought to bear in mind. Those who KNOW what isn't known, or KNOW what science stands in contrast to, won't ever have their minds changed by inconvenient facts. Ever, in a million years. If they believed in that kind of number. They don't.

      ...there y'go.

      •  That is what a lot of people at this site don't (10+ / 0-)

        understand. Nye lost the debate because he was speaking a totally different language to the faith based community.

        •  Could not disagree more (115+ / 0-)

          Nye won that debate hands down.  Will it change the minds of many believers that watch it?  Of course not.  Most are beyond reason and beyond reach.  But for some, the seeds of becoming a "reasonable person" have been planted and will soon take root.

          Put another way.  Is there an atheist/secularist/humanist that will change their mind and suddenly think that the earth is 6,000 years old because some people think that is what the bible says?  No.  Are there some young creationists that have doubt injected into their world by hearing, for perhaps the first time, the real truth about the age of the earth and the age of the universe?  Absolutely.

          It's a long game and picking up converts here and there is the best that can be hoped for.

          (Reasonable minds may disagree)

          We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them. Albert Einstein

          by theotherside on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 04:49:12 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Eventually Climate Change wins the debate (17+ / 0-)

            Humanity and most everything else that walks or crawls, swims of flies loses. The Planet and its evolution then take another stab at life and possibly some hundreds of millions of years down the road the next" intelligent" life form finds us in the fossil record.

            Live Free or Die --- Investigate, Incarcerate

            by rktect on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 06:33:40 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Probably no second chance... (7+ / 0-)

              The sun will start to heat up and expand.  We've only got a few hundred million years left before this place is cooked.

              The cockroaches better figure things out pretty quickly.

              The good news is - they may be better suited to living on mars, which will be much nicer by then.

              Good luck little guys!

              The Fail will continue until actual torches and pitchforks are set in motion. -

              by No one gets out alive on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 06:55:06 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Wrong order of magnitude (18+ / 0-)

                Our sun is middle aged and has around 4 billion years of main sequence life remaining.  

                •  Increased solar output will get us a lot sooner. (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  radv005, rktect

                  "Over the course of the next billion years or so, the amount of energy the Earth receives from the Sun will increase by about 10%. Which doesn’t sound like much, but it means a greenhouse effect of epic proportions.

                  Whatever is left of the ice caps will melt, and the water itself will boil away, leaving the planet dry and parched. Water vapor is a powerful greenhouse gas, this will drive the temperatures even hotter.

                  So there’s no need to panic. Life here has a few hundred million years left; a billion, tops. But if we want to continue on for billions of years, we’ll want to add solar heating to our growing list of big problems."

                  The Fail will continue until actual torches and pitchforks are set in motion. -

                  by No one gets out alive on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 07:59:44 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Where the heck is that from? (3+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    renbear, SilentBrook, wishingwell

                    Never heard anything remotely like that.

                    •  Scientists used to believe (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      No one gets out alive, gffish

                      that life on Earth would get vaporized when the sun blew up 5 billion years from now but then they realized that the sun would get hot enough to vaporize the ocean in only 1 billion years. That would create a runaway greenhouse effect like the one that occured in Venus.

                      It is estimated that such a runaway greenhouse effect, were it to occur today, would raise our temperature to 600 degrees Fahrenheit with an atmospheric pressure 200 times that of the present (all the oceans will turn to steam).

                      A million Arcosantis.

                      by Villabolo on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 12:57:31 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                  •  It isn't the sun that's the problem (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    No one gets out alive, soarbird

                    Its the greenhouse gases that trap the suns radiation inside the Earths oceans and atmosphere warming them up. The time frame involved isn't millions of years or billions of years its three to five decades.

                    As the earth warms and climate changes 100 year storms become ten year storms, sea levels rise cities are destroyed, the oceans and rain forests die, the organisms that absorb carbon dioxide and replace it with oxygen are among the species extinctions.

                    According to the 5th Report of the IPCC by the time we hit 2°C somewhere between 2035 and 2050 three earth atmospheres of methane hydrates stored around the plate boundaries and in Siberia will have begun to outgas, that process has already reached the km in diameter size but it gets much worse quickly.

                    By the time we hit 4°C the tropics are no longer habitable

                    Live Free or Die --- Investigate, Incarcerate

                    by rktect on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 03:27:06 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  They're both a problem. (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      peregrine kate

                      The current human contribution to global warming is greater than 100% because of the cooling effects of the current ocean and solar cycles. When the sun comes out of it minimal phase, far more energy will be available to be trapped.

                      •  We are in the Anthropocene (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:

                        Because big energy has been jawboning about what a wonderful thing it would be to warm the poles and melt all the ice for more than a century.

                        The first problem with that is albedo.  Ice and snow reflect a lot of the sunlight that warms the ocean, and atmosphere. Combine our warming and pollution to acidify the ocean and kill all the life in it and you take out the species that make oxygen. . A second problem is rising sea levels, a third releases of Methane Hydrates.

                        You aren't alone in not thinking things through.

                        Current ocean and solar cycles are anything but cooling. Had there been an ice age we would have different conditions  than what we in effect have and different sets of tipping points.

                        Temperature has risen almost one degree C since the industrial revolution, its projected to be 2 degrees C by 2035 -2050 and 4 degrees C plus by 2100; none of that is good for life on this planet

                        1877 Harvard geologist Nathaniel Shaler proposed channeling more of the warm Kuroshio Current through the Bering Strait to raise temperatures in the Polar region by 30 degrees.

                        1912, New York Engineer and Industrialist, Carroll Livingston Riker proposed building a 200 mile jetty off Newfoundland to increase the Gulf Stream’s flow into to the Arctic Basin with the added benefit that it would “shift” the axis of planet earth. The New York Times characterized the proposal as “amazing”… but not insane.

                        1929: Hermann Oberth, German-Hungarian physicist and engineer; Proposed building giant mirrors on a space station to focus the Sun’s radiation on Earth’s surface, making the far North habitable and freeing sea lanes to Siberian harbors.

                        1945; Julian Huxley, biologist and Secretary-General of UNESCO 1946-48; Proposed exploding atomic bombs at an appropriate height above the polar regions to raise the temperature of the Arctic Ocean and warm the entire climate of the northern temperate zone.

                        1946 Village Voice article from 2005 reporting on theMay, 1946 issue of Mechanix Illustrated that featured several arctic-warming geoengineering proposals. One “brave new idea” was proposed by Julian Huxley, then the Secretary-General of UNESCO, and brother of Aldous Huxley, that would detonate atomic bombs to warm the Arctic.

                        1958; M. Gorodsky, Soviet engineer and mathematician, and Valentin Cherenkov, Soviet meteorologist; Proposed placing a ring of metallic potassium particles into Earth’s polar orbit to diffuse light reaching Earth and increase solar radiation to thaw the permanently frozen soil of Russia, Canada, and Alaska and melt polar ice.

                        1958; Arkady Markin, Soviet engineer; Proposed that the United States and Soviet Union build a gigantic dam across the Bering Strait and use nuclear power–driven propeller pumps to push the warm Pacific current into the Atlantic by way of the Arctic Sea. Arctic ice would melt, and the Siberian and North American frozen areas would become temperate and productive.

                        1958 Russian Oil engineer, P.M. Borisov’s proposed melting the Arctic and Greenland icecaps by spreading black coal dust on the ice, creating cloud-cover across the poles to trap heat and to divert warm Atlantic waters into the polar regions. This scheme was taken seriously by Soviet climatologists. Two conferences were held in Leningrad in the early 1960′s following an initial meeting in Moscow by the Presidium of the USSR Academy of Sciences in 1959.

                        1958 Atlantic Richfield geologist L.M. Natland, proposed exploding up to 100 underground nuclear bombs to mine the Alberta Oil Sands. Heat from the detonations was expected to boil the bitumen deposits, reducing their viscosity to the point that standard drilling operations could be used. The plan was encouraged by US efforts to find “peaceful uses” for atomic energy. The project was approved in 1959 but the Canadian government reversed their decision in 1962 and declared that Canada was opposed to all forms of nuclear testing. In 2012 the Canadian Tar Sands are, again an issue of international concern.

                        1962 Harry Wexler (March 15, 1911- 1962) was an MIT graduate and PhD in meteorology. Wexler had been researching the link connecting chlorine and bromine compounds to the destruction of the stratospheric ozone layers, but died of a heart attack while on vacation in Woods Hole, Mass. Wexler had already accepted an invitation to deliver a lecture entitled “The Climate of Earth and Its Modifications” at the University of Maryland Space Research and Technology Institute. (Source)

                        Live Free or Die --- Investigate, Incarcerate

                        by rktect on Fri Feb 07, 2014 at 07:14:06 AM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  "You aren't alone in not thinking things through." (0+ / 0-)

                          What an asshole you are. I'm very familiar with climate science, and nothing you posted contradicts the well-established scientific fact that

                          "Current ocean and solar cycles are anything but cooling"

                          is false.

                          Temperature has risen almost one degree C since the industrial revolution, its projected to be 2 degrees C by 2035 -2050 and 4 degrees C plus by 2100; none of that is good for life on this planet
                          Yes, no kidding. And what the fuck does this have to do with the fact that we're in a period of solar minimum and the oceans are absorbing heat?

                          Fucking jackass.

                        •  Chew on this, you jerk: (0+ / 0-)


                          Current ocean and solar cycles are anything but cooling.
                          Wrong, denier.
                          •  Human on the left , natural on the right n/t (0+ / 0-)

                            Live Free or Die --- Investigate, Incarcerate

                            by rktect on Fri Feb 07, 2014 at 03:29:19 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Yes ... AND (0+ / 0-)

                            positive (heating) on the left, negative (cooling) on the right. Are you just blind, or stupid? Again,

                            Current ocean and solar cycles are anything but cooling.
                            Is WRONG.
                          •  The man made heating extinguishes any cooling (0+ / 0-)

                            from natural cycles by several orders of magnitude so that Anthropogenic warming of the oceans and the atmosphere are going to kill us all in a few decades.

                            Current ocean cycles are the sum of heating and cooling or more simply since the cooling is negligible the warming. As for the solar cycles what counts is not the radiation received but the warming from the radiation kept trapped in the atmosphere by greenhouse gases. Again any solar fluctuation is negligible the man made anthropogenic warming on the other hand, is not.

                            Live Free or Die --- Investigate, Incarcerate

                            by rktect on Fri Feb 07, 2014 at 07:00:08 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Scientific and mathematical illiteracy (0+ / 0-)
                            The man made heating extinguishes any cooling from natural cycles
                            Yes, of course it does, which is why, as I said and as the skepticalscience article says, the human contribution to warming is > 100%. But they are cooling cycles, which you denied, oh dishonest one.


                            so that Anthropogenic warming of the oceans and the atmosphere are going to kill us all in a few decades
                            For a large enough value of "a few", but yes. Why are you telling me this? You write as if I were a AGW denier when I'm the opposite ... apparently because you have poor reading comprehension.
                            Current ocean cycles are the sum of heating and cooling or more simply since the cooling is negligible the warming.
                            The current state of the ocean cycle is heat absorptive, with a net cooling effect. That's why those bars are below zero on the right of the graph ... more energy going into the oceans means less in the atmosphere so lower surface temperatures ... thus the current "hiatus", which is a lower than expected rate of surface temperature increase. But when the ENSO cycle shifts so the oceans start giving up some of that heat, the rate of surface temperature increase will soar ... goodbye ecosystem.
                            As for the solar cycles what counts is not the radiation received but the warming from the radiation kept trapped in the atmosphere by greenhouse gases.
                            This is nonsense and misunderstands basic arithmetic. Nothing would be "kept trapped" if there were no radiation from the sun. The greenhouse effect slows the escape of energy, and we have put enough CO2 into the atmosphere that the net effect is a steadily increasing temperature ... but this is directly related to the amount of incoming radiation. The rate of global warming is considerably lower than it would be if we weren't in a solar minimum. When the sun cycle goes into its high phase, the current "hiatus" will end and we will roast far more rapidly.
                            Again any solar fluctuation is negligible
                            No it isn't. You've confused this with the bogus denier argument that the sun is the major cause of climate and CO2 is irrelevant -- the deniers are ignorant idiots and completely wrong ... solar fluctuation is irrelevant to global warming precisely because it's a cyclical fluctuation; CO2 is the relevant factor to global warming because the amount of CO2 is increasing. But at the moment, the sun is at a minimum and it has a significant cooling effect. But, as you say it is overwhelmed by the human CO2 influence, so the net is warming. But because the solar effect is significant, when the sun comes out of its minimum the rate of warming will soar, and all those idiot deniers will be proved wrong but it will be curtains for all of us.
                            the man made anthropogenic warming on the other hand, is not.
                            The man made warming is due to putting greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, not to direct warming. The greenhouse gases retard the escape of the solar energy ... the amount of incoming energy is essential to the calculation of the rate of warming.

                            This is the last I have to say to such an ignorant uncomprehending crank who has foolishly mistaken me for an AGW denier and idiotically and ignorantly claimed that I hadn't thought things through.

                          •   I think we are done here (0+ / 0-)
                            The current state of the ocean cycle is heat absorptive, with a net cooling effect.
                            Do you read what you write? The oceans are a heat sink. its like a solar heated house where the sun comes in through a greenhouse, rises and is recirculated by a fan through a heat sink and then at night while the greenhouse is blocked off with insulated curtains radiates back through the floor.

                            The natural effect bars on the right that are below zero are negligible, exactly the opposite of significant cooling relative to the Anthropogenic warming bars on the left, thus there is no danger of an ice age any time soon.

                            What would be kept trapped even without without the radiation from the sun is the heat from the burning of fossil fuels, the bars on the left. Where is it you think all that heat goes? The radiation from the sun adds heat but anywhere close to what fossil fuels add.

                            I am sure that you know that heat can be transferred by conduction, convection, radiation and phase changes; greenhouse gases retard the escape of all heat energy, not just solar.

                            I think we are done here

                            Live Free or Die --- Investigate, Incarcerate

                            by rktect on Sat Feb 08, 2014 at 04:17:09 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                        •  Up until the sixties some people agreed with you (0+ / 0-)

                          They though global warming would be good, didn't think things through. Now we know the oceans have been absorbing heat until they have reached the point where they are cooking off methane hydrates. In the graph you provided from skeptical science, human effects are on the left, natural causes on the right. There is a difference.

                          Live Free or Die --- Investigate, Incarcerate

                          by rktect on Fri Feb 07, 2014 at 03:33:30 PM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                  •  Human civilization doesn't have nearly that long (0+ / 0-)

                    because of global warming and ocean acidification.

                •  And by 4 billion (0+ / 0-)

                  You must mean 6000. Wait, I'm confused.

                  THE ONLY WAY YOU CAN CONTROL PEOPLE IS TO LIE TO THEM. You can write that down in your book in great big letters. -- L. Ron Hubbard Technique 88

                  by xenubarb on Fri Feb 07, 2014 at 12:10:07 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

              •  They've got a good start as chronicled in this (4+ / 0-)


                The Cockroaches of Stay More

                depicting the cockroach community, who perambulate on gitalongs, apprehend their environment through sniffwhips
                to die is to west (giving rise to such expressions as west to the world or west drunk); to be alive is to east (fertile females lay easter eggs). Their existence is influenced by the downfall of Man (in delicious irony, he is a writer who boozes too much), whom they worship as a descendant of Joshua Crust.

                Now they have the 2nd (safety net for sloppy) Amendment, and can't be infringed to actually treat their gun like a gun and not a video game controller.

                by 88kathy on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 07:37:17 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

            •  And the creationists (7+ / 0-)

              will just attribute that to God punishing the Earth.  The oft-mentioned Rapture will finally be here!  /snark

              It never ends with those religious fanatics.

              "Give me a lever long enough... and I shall move the world." - Archimedes

              by mconvente on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 07:26:36 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  It's te GAYS, of course, who are to blame for the (4+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                MooseHB, snazzzybird, Pixie5, MDhome

                coming Rupture. So just to be safe, keep a hernia truss in your emergency kit!

                "Government by organized money is just as dangerous as Government by organized mob." -- Franklin D. Roosevelt

                by Kombema on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 07:30:40 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  THE Rapture? (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                wouldn't that be the 2nd Rapture? About 3000 years ago, in the age of Noah, god commanded Noah and family to build a ship a bit larger that a 3 story football field and put breedable samples of all land based life aboard. Then because god was pissed at all the people, he drowned the whole garden of Eden. And that was the 1st Rapture when god ended it almost all.

              •  No they won't. (0+ / 0-)

                The extremist, fundamentalist Bible-thumpers might claim God is punishing the earth, but we Creationists know that God won't punish the earth because the earth hasn't done anything wrong.  He may punish humanity, because humans have the knowledge of good and evil and many humans (most?) often choose to do evil.  If we didn't have that knowledge, we might be free from the risk of punishment, like lions and tigers and bears (oh, my!)
                "Something has got to hold it all together. I'm saying my prayers to Elmer, the Greek god of glue." - Tom Robbins

            •  I doubt the fossil record millions of years ... (6+ / 0-)

              ... from now will find any record at all of the Tea Party!

              2014 is HERE. Build up the Senate. Win back the House : 17 seats. Plus!

              by TRPChicago on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 07:43:12 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  Are you sure about that? (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Zyphex, rktect, Dragon5616, jubal8

              We are still in an ice age, one which has short warm spells, and long cold ones.  We are just past the end of one of the warm spells, yet it is still warm.

              I think global warming is real, and I think man contributes to it.  But I'm still asking the question, what if we contributed nothing to it, would the sheets of ice be returning soon?   If we solve the climate change problem, can we survive the potential return of the ice sheets that reduce the habitable and arable land to a mere fraction of what it is today?

              I'm not a climate change denier, and I'm no conservative.  But I am wondering if the climate debate is asking the right questions.  Is it possible that man's destructive influence on the planet is going to result in the end of the ice age and improve the long term survivability of mankind?  If so, we will have more arable land, with which to grow food to feed the population, but we will eventually need to master population control, food production in limited space, and some manner with which to keep the atmosphere from becoming excessively toxic as the co2 levels rise.

              I think man has some challenges ahead, regardless of what the future holds for us.  But I'm not sure the climate debate is even rationally founded.

              •  the ice sheet (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                The Nose, Anna Wise, Dragon5616

                Read Plows, Plagues, and Petroleum by William Rudiman, a climate scientist. It's a small little book and written for the general public, not in the technicalese of the major science journals.

                He notes that the 55 glacial cycles of the last 2.5 million years have graphs which one can overlay, they are so similar. They reflect the orbital characteristics of our planet : there's axial tilt which changes from 22.+ to 25 degrees-- a 40k year cycle. Then there's wobble -- kinda like a spinning top wobbles -- a 22k year cycle. And then the actual orbit goes from almost round to an elongate oval -- a 100k year cycle (note -- my numbers are off a little -- tho not a lot. I'm going by memory here.)

                Rudiman notes that about 8k years ago, our cycle graphs started deviating from the rest of our historical cycles. He determined that even 8k years ago, our  land clearing started making a significant difference. And that's the start of the handle on the "hockey stick" model of climate change.

                Long story short -- if we followed the graphs of former cycles, we would be in the early middle of a minor ice age, with glaciers across north east Canada. And it is humans who made the climate difference. We are still making that difference at an increasing rate and my fear is that we passed a great big sign a few years ago -- saying "POINT OF NO RETURN" kinda like you'd expect to see along a river a quarter mile before the Niagara River turns vertical.

                •  Thanks for the pointer... (0+ / 0-)

                  I'll get the book and read it... makes perfect sense to me.  

                  So I guess what you are saying is the ice age barely had a grip on the climate, and it only took the start of mankind to tilt the scales.  


                  Ok, so while that partially answers my question about "is climate change good or bad", it doesn't completely answer.

                  I mean I could take a guess that the fact man is here now is all the climate change we need to keep the earth habitable.

                  But how much do we need for best use of the planet?  For our long term survival?  How much is too much?  Do we need ice caps?  I know loosing them will raise the oceans a bit, but it will increase land mass even more...

                  Do we know enough to even answer these questions?  I mean beyond the simple concepts of "let's not damage the planet and ruin what was once beautiful and pristine".

                  I guess part of the answer is that we, as a global species, need to develop a consensus of what we want for our future, and master climate control, population control, and resource control to achieve that goal.

                  But I have no idea what that goal should be.  I also don't know what happens to the ice age cycles when we throw it off-balance...  Will it rebound?  There have been super ice-ages where even the oceans froze, and most life was extinguished.  Will we eventually trigger one of those if we go too far the other way?

                  •  "is climate change good or bad" (0+ / 0-)

                    Sigh. If we continue business as usual, we are looking at something like a 6 degree centigrade increase in the average global temperature -- this spells the end of human civilization. But even before our ecosystem falls apart because of the heat, it will fall apart because of acidification of the oceans.

                  •  Ice age (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:

                    Ice ages are very slow things. I don't think we really can conceive of how an ice age happens.  We tend to think about glaciers just coming along and covering everything, but it happens over many thousands of years. Don't glaciers move just a few inches a year? Before there were enormous masses of humans with their permanent settlements, an ice age would not be a disaster because it would happen so slowly and imperceptibly that life would have time to adapt.  Plants would slowly move, animals would slowly migrate (including humans).  We would all adapt, without even being aware of the changes.

                    Of course, the next ice age will be a different story, but that's nobody's fault but our own.  Our technology allows us our hugely bloated population and our permanent cities, which are also the things that will make the next ice age so difficult. Still, we will have plenty of time to adapt. I suppose we will slowly migrate to warmer latitudes and abandon those cities over many centuries.

                    Climate change is a whole different story.  We are driving the change at such rapidity that there simply isn't time for adaptation, particularly on the part of animals and plants.  There will have to be mass extinction.

                    People often say "isn't the sun going to expand and incinerate the earth anyway?  So none of it really matter." This makes me think of our individual death.  Since we are all going to die someday, do we think we might as well commit suicide today?  Do we kill our children because we know they will die someday anyway?  Do we burn down our house because we know it will not exist someday?  

                    The fact that something will die or cease to exist in the future is no excuse for destroying it or neglecting it now.  Taking care of ourselves or the earth has an intrinsic value of it's own, doesn't it?  We don't just take care of ourselves for the sake of our future, because eventually we have no future left.  And we should take care of the earth for its own sake, not only for future generations.

                    Mind you, there is a limit to this.  If I knew for certain that I would be dead within the month, I would not bother going to the gym...

                  •  Yes, we know enough to answer these questions. (0+ / 0-)

                    And no, we would not be able to exercise sufficient influence to trigger an ice age.

                    Support Small Business: Shop Kos Katalogue If you'd like to join the Motor City Kossacks, send me a Kosmail.

                    by peregrine kate on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 09:20:11 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  Ice ages and anthropogenic global warming (0+ / 0-)

                    Raising the CO2eq of our atmosphere to 400 ppm has been inadvertent terraforming.  The lowering of the pH of oceans is giving fish weak bones and shellfish weak shells and overstimulating algae so they form massive blooms and then suffocate.  NOT good.  We have the technology to replace fossil fuel with renewable energy.  We can generate electricity with enhanced geothermal systems, wind turbines, and solar energy, and improve efficiency with smart grid electronics, energy storage, and high voltage direct current transmission lines.  The bio-fuels Algae Systems is working on for US Navy have the added feature of bio char soil amendment byproduct storing carbon and making the overall process carbon negative.  I suspect it would be very worthwhile to heavily subsidize the fossil fuel portion of our energy industry to switch from fossil fuels to these bio-fuels, paying Dane geld in the form of buying fossil fuel reserves as mineral rights.  We need higher prices for energy both for prohibitive tariff effect to force conservation and reduce the amount of equipment we need to replace and to raise funds for the new equipment.  I suspect the best greenhouse gas concentration will turn out to be between 300 and 350 ppm CO2eq and play it by ear to find out what is best within that range, burning more carbon when we want more heat, capturing and storing more when we want less heat.
                    That snow-ball earth episode was from photo-synthetic Cyrano-bacteria going overboard and bringing the level of CO2 in the atmosphere too low.  Humans were not around then.  

              •  Your question is a good one (0+ / 0-)
                I think global warming is real, and I think man contributes to it.  But I'm still asking the question, what if we contributed nothing to it, would the sheets of ice be returning soon?   If we solve the climate change problem, can we survive the potential return of the ice sheets that reduce the habitable and arable land to a mere fraction of what it is today?
                If for the last 12 thousand years we had done nothing its likely the sheets of ice would be here now. The fact that they aren't here and that our oceans are at temperatures last reached in the 5th mass extinction in the Permian, is the reason we call this age the Anthropocene.  The ice sheets aren't coming back any time soon.

                If we mediate climate change now so as to prevent the warming from turning the earth into something approaching the planet Venus in temperature, what we have already done will linger on for another half millenia with the poles melted, the oceans and rain forests dead, most species extinct, and civilization returned to the level of hunters and gatherers with nothing left to hunt and to gather.

                Live Free or Die --- Investigate, Incarcerate

                by rktect on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 03:36:21 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  "We are still in an ice age" -- no we aren't. (0+ / 0-)
                I am wondering if the climate debate is asking the right questions
                There is no such debate. There is science, and there is denial politics. Don't be so arrogant as to suppose that you've hit on "the right questions" that the world's climate scientists have missed.
                Is it possible that man's destructive influence on the planet is going to result in the end of the ice age and improve the long term survivability of mankind?
                No, absolutely not. You may not be a denier, but this is straight out of their talking point playbook.
          •  Sure, for those who follow and understand science (0+ / 0-)

            he did win. But that isn't who he was debating. Do you get it?

            •  What you don't seem to get Yoshimi (19+ / 0-)

              is the point being made about the possibility that within that audience there were creationists who were exposed to science through Bill Nye that they had never heard before.  

              Put it this way... most atheists/agnostics were once believers in the tenets of some religion.  How did they change their minds?  By being exposed to bits and pieces of the atheist worldview and finding that it sparked a recognition of veracity within them.  And that is all Bill Nye wanted.   It would have been interesting if someone could have followed some of the younger creationists in the audience over some years beyond this debate to see where Nye's ideas took them.

              •  That's me, to a tee. (9+ / 0-)

                Exposed to fundamental Xian ideas when young. My parents became disenchanted with the church first so I was left to my own "devices". I fell in love with science when I was in elementary school (anyone else remember the Gilbert Science Sets, The Visible Man and Estes Rockets?) and ended up a Pathologist and an atheist after a brief foray into Catholicism.  

                Daily Kos and Pharyngula are the two blogs I read every day.

                "Jeder nach seinen Fähigkeiten, jedem nach seinen Bedürfnissen!" oder "From each according to his ability, to each according to his need"

                by drpmeade on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 11:27:54 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Thumbs up for Pharyngula (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  The Nose, susans

                  PZ is awesome.

                  •  Indeed (0+ / 0-)

                    I've been reading him since we hung out in Talk Origins on Usenet. There are other folks from TO here at DK.

                    I had the pleasure of sitting with him at a Skeptics conference in Orange County a few years ago. PZ was sitting at a speakers/VIP table and I went over to deliver a message from a mutual friend who lives in Australia. I sat down next to him to talk for a few minutes and never found another seat for the conference. Probably the organizers assumed I was supposed to be with PZ and who was I to disabuse them of that?

                    Chutzbah: I haz it.

                •  Estes rockets (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Anna Wise

                  You can still get 'em. I introduced my stepson to them about age 12, it got him to pick a science-based career.

                  Visible anythings were cool, too. ;-)

                •  Christians, do not touch the science (8+ / 0-)

                  I saw a comment from a Christian college student on Salon today that said the order of creation described in Genesis matched up pretty well with what modern science has independently concluded.
                  I said WTF? Genesis has the earth being created before the sun. Science says no! Genesis has light being created before the stars. Genesis has the moon being created at the same time as the sun. Science says no. Genesis 2:5 says there was a time when Earth had a sky but no rain: a daily mist came up from the ground to water the plants. That is eerily similar to the snow formation theory of Lucy in the Peanuts comics.

                  Genesis 1:16 says the sun rules the day and the moon rules the night. Moonless nights happen with predictable regularity. Even bronze age shepherds and clerics knew that. So, on a moonless night, there is no ruler and therefore no rules? What about all those days when the sun is supposedly ruling but the moon is also visible? Who's ruling then? Why would a perfect God allow such glaring oversights in his holy book? Is it a translation error? If so, I guess that's on us too. Because Tower of Babel. But if God possessed any foresight, he would have made us without opposable thumbs. No opposable thumbs means no Tower of Babel which means no need to create multiple languages which means no translations which means no translation errors.

                  Verse sixteen also says the sun and moon are two lights. But technically, the moon is not a light. And moonlight is just reflected sunlight so isn't the sun just lighting and ruling by proxy?

                  Christians, stay away from the science. You are not ready for it and you might break it.

                  •  creationism (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    gffish, Pixie5

                    You know you might be imprisoned in your own house, like Galileo, by the Pope who is always right like the creationists, in view of your comments.  Did you know chromosome testing recently demonstrated dinosaur chromosome on the 'shroud of Turin' proving that not only did Christ have a pet Dinosaur, but it was interred with Him, being the last one of course.

                  •  If people read Genesis through the eyes of those (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    jqb, eatapeach

                    who wrote it, then the problems with its cosmology are glaring as you pointed out.

                    Further problems (not just in Genesis but throughout the Bible) The Bible describes:

                    1. A flat circular earth surround by ocean on all sides (some creationists claim that a verse referring to "the circle of the earth" means that the writer knew that the earth was round. But it says "circle" not sphere)

                    2. A solid dome over the earth called the "firmament" which separated "the waters above" from "the waters below" meaning sky and ocean. The sun, moon and the stars are suspended in this solid dome and above it is a "storehouse of rain" that God let loose periodically. Above that is a literal physical heaven.

                    Obviously the idea of outer space and the vast distances of it would not have even occured to the writers of the bible. But when modern Christians read the bible they read into it modern science instead of what is written. Ironically they believe that they are taking the bible literally.

                    One big proof we have that this is EXACTLY how they envisioned the Universe is that we have actual maps from the Ancient Near East depicting this cosmology.

                    Ironically the Flat Earth Society (which still exists based in my hometown..WINCE) are actually right in terms of how to interpret the cosmology of the bible. But even most creationists don't go that far although they expect everyone to take the rest of the Genesis literally. While I am willing to acknowledge that most people are unaware of this, the Ken Ham's of the world do..and yet STILL ignore it or explain it away.

                    Creationists are the most dishonest of all least the ones who claim that this is "science"

                    •  The Bible is NOT the inerrant word of God: (0+ / 0-)

                      Jesus is.  

                      Don't get us Creationists confused with Bible Thumpers.  We Creationists believe the universe and all that's in it was created since the beginning of time, is being created in the present, and will continue to be created far into the future til the end of time.  For all we know, God has used Evolution to experiment with different combinations of fire, earth, air, and water to make different species (who can say that the duckbilled platypus was not an experiment?).  Or maybe He uses salt and sand.  We don't know.

                      But we're not Bible-Thumpers.  We don't believe the Bible is the inerrant word of God. We aren't even sure it's the errant word of God.  Maybe the Essene Gospels are the word of God.  Or the Nag Hammadi Library.  

                      We don't pretend to know what God is doing, or if He's doing anything at all.  We don't pretend to know what He wants, or if He wants anything at all.  We don't pretend to know how He thinks or if He thinks anything at all.  In short, we don't know much of anything about God.  Except that we know He's ineffable.

                      •  I get your point but most Creationists believe (0+ / 0-)

                        in a literal 6-day creation and a young earth. You sound more like an ID person (intelligent design). I have never met a creationist who even entertains the idea of evolution. Nor have I read anything pertaining to creationism online or in books that uses the definition that you do. And i have never heard any creationist who does not believe that the bible is infallible. In fact the cornerstone of their argument is that if evolution were right then it would invalidate the perfect Word of God. That is what motivates people like Ken Ham and he says that frequently.

                        I lean more towards your ideas although I am not a Christian because I do not believe God has a religion. I believe that God is part of the process of the universe or more to the point that the universe of part of God.

                      •  Wow.... if Jesus is the inerrant (0+ / 0-)

                        "word of God", then that gives me another reason not to like that god.

              •  He did remind them this as well.... (9+ / 0-)

                I watched the debate just for giggles.  What I did like was that he reminded them that this idea of how old these fanatics have been brainwashed to believe the World is, is actually a fringe idea, not what millions and millions of religious people believe, including Christians.

                He won that debate and was much better than I anticipated. Fact after fact in language the Scientific ignorant would be able to understand too.

                Funny part is I understand that Ham said on the Internet later that it did not matter if he was proved wrong he would still believe, oh and I love it when he could not answer some facts he just babbled things, that were not even related, out of the Bible.

                You might want to check this map out of publicly funded schools that teach Creationism in USA, it is disturbing..

                If your beliefs cannot stand up to scrutiny, the scrutiny is not the problem.

            •  I get your point but disagree (7+ / 0-)

              with it.  Sure, the creationists will not agree that Nye won.   I saw a bit of the video with Eric "Son of the Fraud" Hovind doing a wrap up of the debate and they think Ham won.  That's fine.  But that is not the group of people that I'M talking about.

              Answer a simple question:  do you think more atheists are going to convert to Ham's side or do you think more creationists are going to come to the reality side?  I personally think the magnitude is pretty negligible on either side but I think more young creationists have been introduced to the seed of doubt and it will grow within them.

              If you don't think so, that's fine.  And I do understand that some people think debating creationism is like debating flat earthers but I disagree with that thought too. There is not a push by the extremely small group of flat earthers to influence curricula across the country.  Creationists are a much larger group and are attempting to do that and it needs to be squashed.

              We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them. Albert Einstein

              by theotherside on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 11:24:16 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  I get your unwarranted arrogance. n/t (0+ / 0-)
          •  How could he win if he was playing baseball (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            radv005, beckfieldd

            and Ham was playing hockey?

            There was no win.

            •  No one ever wins a debate. (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Yoshimi, larryrant, cocinero, wishingwell

              Unless you're in school and there are agreed upon rules and parameters by which a group of judges can determine an official result, there can be no definitive winner.  Even then, people will continue to debate if the decision of the judges was right and rehash the debate to prove their position.

              All other debate, regardless of whether it's on TV or in your kitchen depends on the audience and the individuals in that audience.  Debates such as this one are won or lost on a person by person basis.  There will never be a definitive winner or looser.

              America, where a rising tide lifts all boats! Unless you don't have a boat...uh...then it lifts all who can swim! Er, if you can't swim? SHAME ON YOU!

              by Back In Blue on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 08:32:08 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  How could simplistic if simplistic simplistic? (0+ / 0-)

              There is no depth.

          •  I go back to this quote (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            shariys, dmze48, Anna Wise

            The aide said that guys like me were "in what we call the reality-based community," which he defined as people who "believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality." ... "That's not the way the world really works anymore," he continued. "We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you're studying that reality—judiciously, as you will—we'll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that's how things will sort out. We're history's actors…and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do."[2]

            This is the same thinking as the Creationists. Nye did his best to show that "solutions emerge from judicious study of discernable reality" but then the rug is pulled out from under him by Ham who claims "I know this book."  

            How does one debate insanity?

            •  How does one debate insanity? (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              Nye was not debating to prove anything to Ham.

              As you point out, Ham's positions are not reality based (ie, not sane).

              Who "won" the debate?  The one who opened the most minds.  

              And that would be Nye.

              The debate was worthwhile, because Ham's position could not possibly have convinced anyone who was sitting on the fence.

              Nye's could.

              Everything is part of a system. Some people believe that system is science, some believe it is G-d. I believe science is part of G-d's system.

              by Anna Wise on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 03:58:12 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  Wow! I wish I had said this! (0+ / 0-)

              I love this quote:

              Everything is part of a system. Some people believe that system is science, some believe it is God. I believe science is part of God's system.

          •  Nye could have done better (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            I was disappointed that while Nye continually failed to challenge Ham's assertion that Nye "assumed" everything that he was trying to assert, but Nye never challenged Ham's "assumption" that everything in the Bible was true and/or actually the word of God.

            The Bible was written by man over a very narrow period of time. Ham acknowledged that he believed parts of the Bible were poetry, parts were historical documentation, etc. Why he chose to determine that Genesis was somehow actual creation documentation instead of poetry should have been challenged since, as Ham constantly asserted: "we weren't there, so we don't know".

            And why should that VERY NARROW portion of literature be deemed the word of God, while all the immense range of literature before and after should be ignored. Maybe the screen writer for the John Denver/George Burns movie "Oh God!" was actually passing on the word of God.

            Ham liked to point out that popularity (the number of mainstream scientists that disagree with his theories) didn't necessarily indicate truth. But then that means that just because the Bible became an immensely popular book doesn't mean that it actually held any kind of truth.

          •  Creationism and Evolution (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            d web

            I'm a believer!  I believe the universe and everything in it was Created, not assembled out of random parts at random intervals wholly by chance.  BUT.  I also believe in Evolution.  After all, there is no law saying that God can't use Evolution as the mechanism by which He created and continues to create new species and new instantiations of species.  God can use any mechanism He chooses to do His creating.  

            I believe the earth is about 4.5 billion years old and that most of the universe is at least that old.  After all, it says in the Bible that a day is as a thousand years and a year is as a thousand days to the Lord.  And since that's only the English translation, I strongly suspect that the Hebrew word that was actually used when the Bible was written probably means 'countless' days or years.

            I believe that the earth was made on the third day of creation.  But since you can't have a 'day' without having the earth, I don't really know how long the first two 'days' of creation were.  And 'I don't know' is as good an answer for faith as it is for science.

            I believe humans are made in the image of God.  Not, however, human bodies, since God is Spirit and not flesh. Can you imagine God suffering from flatulence, for example, or picking his nose?  Nope, I believe God is Spirit.  And the human Spirit is made in the image of God.  We are creative beings, we have reason and imagination and memory.  We love, we grieve, we sometimes have bad tempers, and all of us love to get our own way about whatever's going on wherever it happens to be going on.  And we have free will.  I believe God does not interfere with human behavior because He DID grant us free will. (This was in the Garden of Eden, when he offered Adam and Eve the opportunity to obey him by not eating the fruit from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil.  We've been seeking after knowledge ever since.)  

            So we're rather sorry, imperfect reflections of God, but we're told He loves us anyway.  I think if I were God, I probably would have destroyed the earth a dozen times by now just to stop people from being so inhumane to each other and doing so in My name.  

            Anyway, I just wanted to write and point out that Creationism and Evolution are not mutually exclusive, that humans do have the spark of God within them, that God gave us free will, and it's not at all unreasonable to have faith in a creator while at the same time struggling to figure out the way the world works.  Science will eventually have all the answers - hopefully not for a few more millennia.  After all, the Bible DOES say that eventually, all will be revealed.
            "Something has got to hold it all together. I'm saying my prayers to Elmer, the Greek god of glue." - Tom Robbins

          •  Nye did very well. (0+ / 0-)

            IMO, Nye did a very good job and easily "won" the debate.

            Had Nye known more Bible, he would have been more effective, but Bible is apparently not a part of Nye's knowledge base.

            I watched the post-debate talk by Hamm and one of his staff profs, and they truly believe Hamm dominated.  

            I guess I shouldn't be surprised. The religious fanatics think "science" and "logic" are god-constructs incapable of being explained by anything other than "god-did-it".

            To a Democrat, "democracy" means "free elections." To a Republican, "free markets."

            by XOVER on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 09:21:28 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  He lost because he didn't take the time to explain (13+ / 0-)

          THe fundamental difference.  He spent all that time giving wonderful examples of the knowledge that science has produced over time.  Examples that would have convinced anyone with an open mind.  But that isn't really the point.  The point is that science is not a body of knowledge.  Science is a process whereby we use observation and experiment to learn about the natural world.  The knowledge gained is a byproduct of science.  Science is a search for understanding.  You cannot be engaged in a legitimate search for understanding if you already know the answer.  Creation Science is an Oxymoron because Creationists already "know" that everything is laid out in Genesis.  

          Now it gets a little tricky because of course there are many scientists who are essentially secular theologians.  Who simply accept everything that is in the textbooks as received wisdom and question nothing.  These people are not real scientists.  And that does sort of cloud the issue.  But any real scientist puts data above all else.  And a scientist has to be perfectly willing to discard any theory regardless of how venerated if that is where the data leads him or her.  Show me a creationist who would be willing to discard his god or the bible if that is where the data leads.  If you can't do that you are not a scientist.  Period.  And this means that creationism cannot be a science.

        •  I haven't seen evidence either way (6+ / 0-)

          about whether minds have been changed, or if people just continue believing what they believe. It's entirely possible that these debates are peeling off creationist supporters, we just don't know without numbers.

          If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

          by AoT on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 06:48:40 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  The long-term evidence (6+ / 0-)

            not limited to this debate, is that several million mostly young people fall away from the Religious Right and the various Right wing hatreds every year, amounting to about 1% of the US population annually. Another 10% would radically transform our national politics, and would shift many states from Swing to Democratic, and from Republican to Swing.

            Texas is the biggest and best example, because the generational shift there is compounded with a large demographic shift. Thus Battleground Texas, to get young people and Latinos especially to register and vote at higher rates. Including getting more Latinos to become citizens. The Republican War on Women and Everybody Else in Sight is assisting in the transformation through sheer nastiness.

            The debate will be shown triumphantly to many children of Creationists on DVD and in downloaded form. We can expect conversions to our side to result, although we cannot predict how many. Direct and immediate conversion is not likely. Instead, exposure to Bill Nye should lead to asking questions and seeking evidence, which is becoming ever more comprehensive and available all the time.

            Back off, man. I'm a logician. GOPBusters

            by Mokurai on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 10:21:54 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  You dont lose a debate when obstinate people (21+ / 0-)

          dont change their mind

          you can lead a person to knowledge

          but you cant make them think

          •  Problem is, he gave them credibility by even (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Yoshimi, cocinero

            agreeing to "debate" them. It was a loss even before Nye said a word. Same goes for every time the MSM privileges the climate denialist by having their "side" of the bullshit "debate" over climate change. People perceive that the anti-science positions must have some merit when they're given a forum alongside legitimate science facts, positions, and scientists.

            "Government by organized money is just as dangerous as Government by organized mob." -- Franklin D. Roosevelt

            by Kombema on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 07:33:49 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Like Will in The Newsroom, we should all be ... (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Kombema, dmze48, SilentBrook, The Nose

              ... "on a mission to civilize." Exhibit No. 1: Bill Moyer.

              2014 is HERE. Build up the Senate. Win back the House : 17 seats. Plus!

              by TRPChicago on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 07:45:24 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  And if he ran away? (10+ / 0-)

              That somehow gives them less credibility?

              Somehow, not.

              But there is a special kind of debating technique you can use with these doofuses. It isn't exactly new -- it was first outlined by the Chinese philosopher Zhuangzi in the third century BCE -- but it's the only one that works here.

              It consists of accepting, for the purpose of argument, the terms and definitions of the person your are arguing with. Then you turn them on each other -- show how the parts of the incorrect system as defined by your opponent don't even agree with each other. The aim is to get your opponent to inadvertently deny some of his or her own basic beliefs. With a believer in one of the Abrahamic religions, which are arrogant enough to assign absolute powers to their gods, this is both relatively easy and extremely fun.

              "They bash your face in, and say you were always ugly." (Solzhenitsyn, Gulag Archipelago volume 3)

              by sagesource on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 07:49:37 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Fair enough -- but I don't believe Nye did that, (0+ / 0-)

                since he's blinded (as are most rational people) by the delusion that if you give enough information and facts to people, they will come around. But Nye would have to be versed in the Bible to do that, at least in part, and he would be treading on unfamiliar ground even if he did.

                But your point is well taken.

                "Government by organized money is just as dangerous as Government by organized mob." -- Franklin D. Roosevelt

                by Kombema on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 08:06:57 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  Actually, Socrates, also (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                Both Socrates and Zhuangzi were 4th century BCE.

                I am familiar with Zhuangzi's Daoist teaching. Can you give us a link to what you describe?

                Back off, man. I'm a logician.—GOPBusters™

                by Mokurai on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 10:34:06 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

            •  If there was actually a debate on climate change (0+ / 0-)

              in the MSM that would be great, because too often the MSM presents climate change debate as being equal on both sides, while a  legit debate would at least show people interested that that is NOT the case

            •  This is a common supposition not supported (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              by observable fact. Millions of their children fall away every year. Making another factual resource available to the abused children in question is not a failure for our side, no matter what their parents may delude themselves into thinking.

              Back off, man. I'm a logician. GOPBusters

              by Mokurai on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 10:25:16 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  On the contrary, the supposition in principle IS (0+ / 0-)

                supported by public opinion and cognitive research showing that the he said/she said approach to such false dichotomies leads people to false equivalencies. They suppose that the truth lies somewhere in between, even if one side is fact based and the other wholly not so.

                For instance:
                Featuring Skeptics in News Media Stories About Global Warming Reduces Public Beliefs in the Seriousness of Global Warming” -- Malka, Krosnick, et al (Stanford
                -- June 2009)

                "Government by organized money is just as dangerous as Government by organized mob." -- Franklin D. Roosevelt

                by Kombema on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 12:26:14 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  You are talking about the impact on (0+ / 0-)

                  the true believers. I am talking about the children who are still trying to figure the world out. If you have a study on them, I would be interested to discuss it, but I have not heard about anything of the kind.

                  Back off, man. I'm a logician.—GOPBusters™

                  by Mokurai on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 08:26:26 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  No, these (including the one above) are broad (0+ / 0-)

                    population studies that show those on the fence and/or low information are unsubtly influenced by the optics of things like what Nye did. I respect the guy and what he's trying to do, but it's bordering on counterproductive because of the vagaries of human psychology.

                    "Government by organized money is just as dangerous as Government by organized mob." -- Franklin D. Roosevelt

                    by Kombema on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 08:43:34 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

          •  You don't win either. (0+ / 0-)
        •  Not at all (10+ / 0-)

          His intention was clear from the way he delivered his information.  His intention was to speak directly to the people who are in the same ideological boat as Ken Ham, but who don't feel comfortable with the literalism that so much of today's media delivered Christian narrative seems to be based on.


          by otto on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 06:53:28 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Ham and his followers are a minority (0+ / 0-)

            within the Christian faith. It would be like a political debate before the diehard GOP 35% who believe Bush was an awesome president.

            Not worth it.

            •  We don't have the luxury of ignoring (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              JVolvo, mikejay611, dmze48, SilentBrook

              any potential "converts", given the closeness of our elections and the direness of our circumstances. If even one person changed his/her mind because of this, don't you think it was worth it (as long as Nye doesn't mind his investment of time/energy)? It's not like he could have lost any people to the other side, right? No downside.

              "Lone catch of the moon, the roots of the sigh of an idea there will be the outcome may be why?"--from a spam diary entitled "The Vast World."

              by bryduck on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 09:23:27 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  True...they are in the minority... (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              ColoTim, dmze48

              but the problem is when this minority places their trust in power/money than the god they claim to makes them very dangerous. With the belief in their god...they could eventually get their way and make the US the living Hell they have always imagined.

        •  Can't reason people out of a position.. (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          dmze48, denise b, SilentBrook

          ..they didn't reason their way into. --Johnathan Swift

          If you can find money to kill people, you can find money to help people. --Tony Benn

          by rhetoricus on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 12:25:50 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Not so fast there... (0+ / 0-)

          Even Pat Robertson thinks Ken Hamm needs to pipe down.  

        •  I would put it differently: (0+ / 0-)

          Nye lost the debate because it happened in the first place.

          People need to remember that Ken Ham has been holding these "debates" over and over and over, with anyone willing to argue with him, willingly facing the same debunking and rebuttals time and time again.  He does this on purpose; why would he do so if it really amounted to a loss?

          The reality is that Ken Ham holds these debates so that his particular denial movement gets continual exposure, and he gets more traffic to his web site.  He likes to challenge college professors to debates because it allows him to appear on a college campus, where creationism isn't taught, and promote creationism in an institution of higher learning.  Then he can get his people to set up tables outside and hand out literature.  

          Debates allow him to reach people he normally wouldn't, because the false and fringy nature of his claims restrict his access to mainstream channels of dissemination.  It's a trick that is also used by Holocaust deniers, climate change deniers, and 9/11 truthers.

          On top of that, simply by having a debate you are letting this dude promote the myth that there is an ongoing debate.  Like any denial movement, the goal is to take a settled issue and fake the appearance of controversy.

          Taking jokes seriously is the exact mirror activity of laughing if someone says they have cancer. --jbou

          by Caj on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 01:36:34 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  What language is that (0+ / 0-)

          that the "faith based" communities speak?  Do they speak in tongues, so that it is jibber jabber? Well, in a way they do. They seem to think that the bible is history, which it is not, it is made up of stories, some of the stories are the retelling of Hebrew Scripture stories, albeit, embellished. They think that it is science? The science of the first century had people thinking that the Earth was flat, menstruation was dirty, and men could not even speak with women if the women were menstruating. The "science" of the Hebrew Scriptures or the New Testament, is valueless today, we know that what they said was wrong and knew no different. Science keeps changing as we learn new information. The Bible stays the same as, unfortunately, it is not a loose leaf note book that can be amended.
          Nye should not have bothered debating Ham, as debating or arguing with Ham would be analogous to arguing or debating with a coffee table. OK...that's a quote from Barney Frank of Massachusetts.

        •  What's this "faith based community" crap? (0+ / 0-)

          Many people in that community accept science and evolution; Catholics teach it in their schools.

          And even if that weren't the case, it's absurd to say that Nye lost ... why not say that Ham lost because he was speaking a totally different language to the rational community? The fact is that many of us didn't want Nye to debate and feared he would lose to Ham's rhetoric, but he didn't ... in terms of objective debate scoring as used in formal debate, Nye wiped the floor with Ham.

          But maybe I'm speaking a totally different language than the one you understand.

        •  Nope. (0+ / 0-)

          A poll shows that the majority of Christians who responded think Nye won. Which he did.

          THE ONLY WAY YOU CAN CONTROL PEOPLE IS TO LIE TO THEM. You can write that down in your book in great big letters. -- L. Ron Hubbard Technique 88

          by xenubarb on Fri Feb 07, 2014 at 12:08:53 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Years ago my 10 year old daughter asked me to... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        …define "faith."

        I thought about it, then said: "Faith is belief in the absence of proof."

        There you go.

        •  Or, perhaps more to the topic (0+ / 0-)

          of hard core Creationism (which doesn't actually have any scriptural basis, according to the people whose ancestors' tribal origin mythologies are recorded in Genesis), faith is belief in spite of all proof [as much as science considers evidence to be proof] to the contrary.

          But people will believe what they choose to believe regardless of evidence to the contrary. Makes 'em feel special to have their own reality. Makes 'em feel even more special to spend their lives seeking the power to impose that exclusive reality on the rest of humanity.

          •  Creationists stumble on their own ideology (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            Even Ham's arguments accepted evolution. But it only seems to take root after the Flood. The argument of Creationism would be more accepted if they accepted that God set up all the elements and rules, packaged them and released them in one BIG BANG.

            There! Those are the rules and elements needed to create everything that God may have in mind. But they come about using the system that God set up. For mere man to have the audacity to second guess how God set up the evolution of everything, including all those elements that man wrote about in the Genesis poetry portion of the Bible (written by man, who of course, as Ham pointed out, "wasn't there so we don't know"), is a bit arrogant.

        •  More accurately, (0+ / 0-)

          faith is belief WITHOUT proof.  Do you believe your car will start every morning when you put your key in the switch and crank?  That, like it or not, IS faith, although not unfounded faith.

          •  No, I don't believe my car (0+ / 0-)

            will start every morning when I put my key in the switch and crank. That's because it fairly often doesn't. That is true of everyone I know as well, since no one I know is rich enough to get a new car every couple of years (or whenever the battery wears out, whichever comes first).

            That kind of faith is reserved for people with mechanics who double as chauffers. §;o)

      •  So true! (0+ / 0-)

        In the words of the Long Haired Preacher, "You'll have pie in the sky when you die" (and that's a lie)

      •  Well, that's a denial of facts right there. (0+ / 0-)

        Religion has historically withered away in the face of science, with faith succumbing to fact.

        •  No, religion doesn't (0+ / 0-)

          wither away because of science, its message fails to inspire over time and changing realities - social evolution. Its adherents die out, and the younger folks invest their faith in the next shiny spiritual bauble that comes down the pike.

          Young earth creationism is a relatively new belief, not something traditionally held strongly by either Jews or Christians once it became generally known that the earth is a whole lot older than people understood thousands of years ago. Or even hundreds of years ago. It's a marginal belief among a minority of Christians today as well - not exactly growing in popularity outside the TheoNazi crowd. Which is why they're so adamant that their belief be taught instead of science to other people's children.

          •  Yes it does. (0+ / 0-)

            Sociologists such as Phil Zuckerman have demonstrated this through their research. But ideologically held beliefs do tend to get in the way of accepting science, yo.

            •  "Accepting" science is (0+ / 0-)

              sometimes an exercise in believing you 'know' what is merely provisional. Mostly a shrug to people who can manage to live fine lives without giving most of it a second thought. Because there's quite a lot of it that simply has no impact or application to regular life.

              Quite a lot of what I was taught in school about science either changed drastically halfway through ('eternal' universe to big bang, for instance) or did the changing long after school years when most people never even heard that it changed. No biggie for people who aren't scientists or in allied occupations where they have to know the latest of any subdiscipline.

              Evolution is generally accepted everywhere as what it is. It's part of the culture, people are exposed to it from childhood on from various media. Even kids whose schools try to make them believe in creationism know in general terms what evolution is and know about things like dinosaurs.

              Religious beliefs have no business in public schools as serious subject matter. That is, in fact, against the law. Hence the loud whining and moaning from the TheoNazi crowd. Meh. They're a dying breed, the noise is just noise.

              •  Your intellectual dishonesty is noted. (0+ / 0-)

                You're happy to make unsubstantiated claims and then discard the contrary science by labeling it as "provisional" and, according to you, science has "changed drastically" -- this is pig ignorant and is the same sort of argument made by AGW deniers. The "'eternal' universe was never a scientifically based position, it was just the default assumption in the absence of evidence, much as intelligent design was the default assumption before Darwin. The Big Bang theory grew out of attempts to explain red shift .. you aren't that old. Physicist and priest Georges Lemaître proposed an expanding universe before you were born. The Big Bang became the prevailing cosmological view after the remarkable accidental discovery of the 3 degree background microwave radiation in 1964, after a period of debate between Steady State and Big Bang proponents and the gathering of additional evidence. This wasn't a "drastic" change and this anecdote has nothing to do with the case at hand other a grossly dishonest attempt at denial.

                I won't waste more of my time on you.

                •  Why the insulting attitude? (0+ / 0-)

                  I have nowhere discarded science, nor have I made unsubstantiated claims. I have expressed my observation - and opinion earned by observation - of the stupidity of YECs as well as their marginal status even among their fellow religionists.

                  I was taught up until the 7th grade that the universe was like a "clockwork," and that it had no beginning. That was what was presented to school children as fact in general science books. Which are extremely short on historical background or current controversy, simply listing things you are supposed to answer accordingly on the weekly end-of-chapter test. That is how science is taught to the plebes in the lower [public] grades - these factoids will be on the test, shut up and don't ask questions.

                  Even in the '80s science was taught badly. My daughter was informed by her 8th grade teacher that there were exactly nine planets in the universe. Daughter raised her hand and tried gentle correction, "don't you mean nine planets in our solar system?" Yeah, that's before Pluto was demoted. The teacher sent her to the Principal's office for "asking entirely too many questions" which, apparently, is a sign of teenage rebellion that needs immediate admin intervention. Or wasting some idiot teacher's not-so precious time. A teacher whose degree could have been in phys-ed for all anybody in the educational system cares about who's qualified to teach what. There's a textbook, you don't have to know shit.

                  So long as this is how science is taught to public school children, most of them will regurgitate the factoids on demand and promptly forget or ignore what they don't really need to know to live their lives just fine. That's not entirely the fault of TheoNazis trying to teach their bunk alongside or instead of all the other bunk kids are getting their heads stuffed with in the name of 'science'. Which, just like everything else, evolves over time.

                  I took the whole cosmology charade with a large salt lick, was taught something quite else about the universe at home. But I regurgitated the required response on the test. When the 1965 textbooks came out it had all changed due to the CMB, and suddenly the universe had a beginning. And it was taught just as dully by the same dull teachers who never mentioned that's not what they taught last year. Hell, most of 'em probably never even noticed the presentation had changed at all. Kids will learn what they need to learn to get by in the world. It may or may not be the current state of the art science. Cultural resources tend to offer much more for the curious/ambitious than public schools do.

                  I am entirely uninterested in 'wasting' your not-so valuable time. I will note that calling me intellectually dishonest and pig ignorant and grossly dishonest violates the civil discourse rules of this website and deserves to be HR'd. It's also frankly mystifying, as it is so completely out of context to anything I have said.

                  Grow up.

      •  Those relatively few people (0+ / 0-)

        aren't the ones for whom debates are conducted. The targets are people with open minds, people who may have been raised or trained to believe in the dogma of a religion but haven't fully committed to it. There are more such people than might at first be apparent. Reasoned debate is never useless.

        The value of an idea has nothing whatsoever to do with the sincerity of the man who expresses it.--Oscar Wilde

        by Gene in L A on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 08:17:49 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Why isn't science also evidence of God's design? (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      88kathy, Sychotic1, soarbird, ColoTim

      ...If one is of a mind to put any theological overtones on science and the evidence-based reasoning that underlies it, why isn't the latter valid evidence of God's design of the universe and mankind's place in it?  The scientific record IS a reflection of God's "creation" in this light.  The descriptions in the Bible of creation are better seen as the  understanding of bronze-age people, as best they were capable of comprehending at the time - the first few chapters of Genesis containing the creation story does have a rough accuracy, albeit flawed in many details.

      DOESN'T for example, the fact that Cain and Able were the children of Adam and Eve (the original pair of humans created by God), and yet Cain somehow found himself a wife over in the land of Nod- cause these Biblical literalists to question just how this could possibly be,?  The Bible is completely silent on where Cain's wife (and many other people who seem to come along so quicky in Genes 4, including wives of Cain's sons and descendents) come from over in the land of Nod?  No mention is made of any daughters of Adam and Eve, and even if there were some, wouldn't that be incest, and wasn't Cain cast out away from them anyway?

      Geez Louise, even if one does try to stay strictly with the Biblical account of creation as literally credulous, the train runs completely off the tracks of plausible consistency as early as Genesis 4 (!)  And that doesn't even count the potential flaws in taking Gensis I literally right from the opening dozen verses or so, instead of as a rough allegory whose truth doesn't depend on literal interpretation.

      •  As a commentor said above. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        sethtriggs, SilentBrook
        And a scientist has to be perfectly willing to discard any theory regardless of how venerated if that is where the data leads him or her.
        The goal of the revisions of the Bible discarded only that which challenged their power. The remaining stories became more and more disjointed as certain beliefs were supported by the 'evidence'.

        Now they have the 2nd (safety net for sloppy) Amendment, and can't be infringed to actually treat their gun like a gun and not a video game controller.

        by 88kathy on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 07:45:00 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  There's the point - our Bible is literature. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        congenitalefty, SilentBrook

        The Old and New Testaments have been cobbled together over time in various ways, to establish various points of view and to diminish others.

        Like other durable literature, the bible is drawn from many sources and there are no first hand witnesses to many of the events recorded. The bible may be inspired writing, but the books are at best journalism together with some fiction and futuristic prophesy.

        It has much to teach us, but not EVERYthing. Anyone who puts as much belief into the Bible as the Creationists owe it to others to whom they may pass along their teachings to read the history of the preparation, editing and assemblage of their bibles.

        2014 is HERE. Build up the Senate. Win back the House : 17 seats. Plus!

        by TRPChicago on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 08:10:08 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  You can't out-logic them on the texts (0+ / 0-)

        Cain, Abel, and Seth married their unnamed sisters. Genesis only mentions the names of two wives (Lamech married Ahad and Zillah) and no daughters after Eve and before Abraham's wife Sarah and Lot's wife Milcah. It appears to be one of those cultural things that changed over time.

        Some Christians have been willing to consider evidence, and some theology. Mainstream Christians take Genesis to be an allegory, following Augustine.

        With the scriptures it is a matter of treating about the faith. For that reason, as I have noted repeatedly, if anyone, not understanding the mode of divine eloquence, should find something about these matters [about the physical universe] in our books, or hear of the same from those books, of such a kind that it seems to be at variance with the perceptions of his own rational faculties, let him believe that these other things are in no way necessary to the admonitions or accounts or predictions of the scriptures.
        Ham insists that Original Sin must be a historical fact or else we cannot believe in Redemption through Jesus being Crucified and Resurrected. Other Christians see no problem there.

        Ham then contradicts himselfby saying that it is fine for Born-Again Christians not to be Young-Earth Creationists and not to take the Bible literally, apparently including those who believe that God is the author of the laws of nature so that Evolution occurred in a purele natural manner, so that Genesis is in no way literal. It doesn't interfere with faith in God's mercy and forgiveness and their chance of Heaven.

        But their beliefs, he says, will eventually destroy Christianity, because their descendants will compromise further and fall away if they fail to hold to YEC.

        When one generation compromises God's word by accepting man's fallible ideas, like Evolution and millions of years, and reinterpreting parts of the Bible, then the next generation tend to reinterpret other parts of the Bible as well, and over time it loses its authority. Eventually, Biblical authority becomes so undermined that people begin to drift away from the Bible. I truly believe that this is  ultimatelywhy the culture is losing losing the Christian influence it once had.

        Back off, man. I'm a logician.—GOPBusters™

        by Mokurai on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 11:18:45 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  What sucks is (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      This was predicted long before the debate.

      Now, both sides will again proclaim victory.

  •  I didn't see that part, but I agree. (28+ / 0-)

    That pretty much does it.

    As a doubter sometimes I wonder why people never consider the fact that "the Bible" didn't exist in Jesus' time, and he never mentioned it.

    You can't make this stuff up.

    by David54 on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 06:56:23 PM PST

    •  what do you mean (6+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      marykk, Philpm, Aunt Pat, Matt Z, Yoshimi, catwho

      that Jesus never mentioned the Bible?

      that He never actually said, "the Bible says"

      or to actual scriptures?

      The Senate has no guts. The House has no brains.

      by gossamer1234 on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 07:04:40 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  He referred to the Hebrew scriptures which are (17+ / 0-)

        different from the "Old Testament" of the Holy Bible.
        He didn't refer to First Corinthians etc. as far as I know.

        You can't make this stuff up.

        by David54 on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 07:51:50 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  That's because it didn't exist yet. (16+ / 0-)

          First and Second Corinthians were written by the apostle Paul as letters to the Corinthians well after Jesus's death.

          •  and resurrection/ascension, I should say. n/t (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
          •  That's my point. They make a claim for The Bible (23+ / 0-)

            as if it were know, found by Moses on the mountain, rather than assembled by a bunch of guys in power.
            It's a small point, but I think it points to bigger questions about their assertions.

            You can't make this stuff up.

            by David54 on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 09:19:54 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Actually, Moses was supposed to have (18+ / 0-)

              received the 10 commandments, not the bible. The bible hadn't yet been written and most of the events described in it wouldn't even have taken place yet, e.g. fall of Jericho, David, Jezebel, etc. But I get your point.

              I can see why uneducated people believe in it, having no basis to dispute it. But an educated person who believes in it literally is an idiot, or cuckoo.

              "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

              by kovie on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 10:12:36 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Moses is traditionally supposed to have (8+ / 0-)

                received the first five books of the Bible.

                Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D.
                DEMAND CREATES JOBS!!!
                Drop by The Grieving Room on Monday nights to talk about grief.

                by TrueBlueMajority on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 10:55:14 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Well, either "received" or simply (7+ / 0-)

                  made up out of his imagination.

                  Either way, their is "proof" that Moses did write them.

                  What proof you might ask? Well if this blurb from the Let Us Reason  website doesn't convince you, nothing will:

                  The issue as to the authorship of the first five books is enforced by the testimony of the Jesus Christ. Jesus made it clear that Moses wrote these books
                  Case closed.  
                  •  The Bible tries hard to show it wasn't Moses (4+ / 0-)

                    On at least the literal level the Bible is a law book. It records the birth of the written Law as a deity that those who join the consensus to be law abiding attempt to make sovereign over all the other platonic ideals or gods of the Egyptians. Moses who is illiterate, requires Aaron to speak for him, has no knowledge of law or custom, literally breaks all the ten commandments and then breaks the tablets they are written on.

                    In addition to that the ten commandments are just the image of the Law carved in stone; ie written. Its the writing of it down to make it eternal that is important not the law itself which goes on through hundreds of commandments and the glosses and edits on them.

                    That's a point all the people of the book miss.

                    For a people who the book tells us have been in Egypt half a millenia and therefore may be presumed assimilated, specking the language of the Egyptians, living amongst them and worshiping their gods in the Egyptian manner, the Ten commandments are an image of the god, carved in stone and housed in an ark placed in a sanctuary in the Egyptian manner as a piece of conceptual art, not a physical thing.

                    The rock in the box starts its story with the Pentateuch which is a compilation of ancient wisdom literature laid over a basically historical set and setting as n historical romance.

                    The earliest parts of Genesis are written in Akkadian in the time of Abram/Abraham. Sarai/Sarah shares the same semitic triliteral root as Sharia. Hagar represents the Egyptian Hathor or Hotep; the law as what's right and proper, the common law.

                    That is I think what the people of the book are trying to Grok, the physical universe and all the worlds in it may be immeasurably ancient, but the part that counts to them starts the clock each day afresh.

                    Very few believers have any idea what their book says.

                    Live Free or Die --- Investigate, Incarcerate

                    by rktect on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 06:53:28 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  This is quite fascinating. (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:

                      I don't believe I've heard this claim before:

                      The earliest parts of Genesis are written in Akkadian in the time of Abram
                      Is this your own theory or is there another source?

                      And which portions of Genesis do you identify as the oldest and how does their age compare to that portion of the book of Exodus often called the "Book of the Covenant?"

                      Do you identify any Akkadian texts that are similar in literary form, vocabulary or subject matter to those portions of Genesis you see as being written originally in Akkadian?

                      •  Some parts of the Genesis myth and of Job (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Ezekiel in Exile

                        are found in the Akkadian text Enuna Elish and the Sumerian Ludlul-Bel-Nimeqi going back to the 18th century BCE. Exodus quotes the Code of Hammurabi, written in Akkadian in the 18th century BCE. Thee are other influences from Mesopotamian civilization, Egypt, and others.

                        Literalist Bible chronology puts Abraham earlier than that, in the 20th century BCE.

                        The best evidence for the composition of Genesis and Job puts them at about the time of the Babylonian Exile.

                        Back off, man. I'm a logician.—GOPBusters™

                        by Mokurai on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 12:34:51 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Familiar with those. (0+ / 0-)

                          I was interested in what rktect was talking about.

                          John Collins and others have shown how parts of Ugaritic mythology found its way into the Hebrew bible as well.

                          I wouldn't say that the Book of the Covenant really quotes Hammurabi.  It definitely uses the summa awilum format in a large section, but it's more of a commentary than a reproduction.  Compare the goring ox laws.  Also interesting is the direct rebuke in Deuteonomy of Hammurabi's principle that a builder whose house collapses and kills the owner's son must lose his own son.

                          Re: the timing of Genesis, I was taught that they reached more or less their final form under editors in Ezra's time.  And I had never heard any claims that parts of it were derived/translated from an Akkadian text.

                          •  The Bible quotes the line (0+ / 0-)
                            An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.
                            and then totally ignores that thought, providing in many cases for monetary damages.

                            Back off, man. I'm a logician.—GOPBusters™

                            by Mokurai on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 08:36:20 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Is that necessarily contradictory? (0+ / 0-)

                            I'd say that the talion principle underlies money damages.

                            An eye for an eye is in contrast to a life for an eye.  There wasn't a criminal, much less a civil legal system in the sense we think of it.  If you broke my arm, I might get my relatives and friends to together, and we'd come over to your place and break you neck.

                          •  Sari/Sarah share a semitic root with sharia (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Ezekiel in Exile

                            and Hagar is considered to express the attitudes and values regarding what is right and proper Hathor helps establish as Hotep, the Law.

                            I'd have to argue there was a civil legal system as regards contracts and inheritances, deeds, titles to land and other property, contracts for the performance of a given task with a date, a fee, a test of compliance and a penalty for breach.

                            Criminal Law tended to depend on your status as slaves had different levels of protection from free men, and men of fighting age from women and children. People with a marriage contract had different rights from people with a common law marriage or producing children out of wedlock. Prostitutes had some rights but not the same rights as a wife or sister.

                            Live Free or Die --- Investigate, Incarcerate

                            by rktect on Fri Feb 07, 2014 at 10:40:36 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  That's what it means (0+ / 0-)

                            The lex talionis was, at least in Jewish law, interpreted not as a system of revenge, but as a system to avoid revenge by limiting the damages for a damage.  It really means don't extract a penalty greater than the value of the original damage.  Once it started being enforced by courts rather than by the family of the injured party, it meant monetary damages.  

                            Otherwise you'd have the equivalent of the legendary hillbilly feuds from American times.

                          •  Hebrew doesn't exist as a language (0+ / 0-)

                            in the time of Abraham, its hard to find any example of it c 950, certainly nothing as complicated as a covenant until 600; so all of the wisdom literature and history, everything of which there is a detailed record giving personal names, toponyms or place names, dates, the sequence of blessings and curses in contracts, treaties or covenants tends to leave what Ken Kitchen calls "textual artifacts" of Akkadian.

                            In the case of the written law, it has common law precedents, in particular there are standards of measure which define property and so are resistant to change. Modern English and Metric measures can be traced back to the bronze age.

                            If a measure is given in cubits divided into fingers, hands, and feet its source is Mesopotamia, Persia or Greece. If its cubits  divided into fingers, palms, hands, and feet (plus spans, remen and nibw) its source is Egypt and Rome.

                            In Genesis 14 we are told Ched orla Omer is a name but its clearly a phrase which which ends in a standard of measure who's definition isn't kosher in the Akkadian form compared with Hebrew.  The reason the standards of measure  are different in Hebrew and Akkadian, and an Akkadaian Omer is different than a Hebrew Omer is because the division is sexigesimal rather than decimal. It has the effect of making you pay 6 for 5 as an unofficial tax or tithe.

                            Hebrew doesn't normally continue the use of Akkadian Logograms such as URU KI (Arioch) although there are some legacies as for example URU URU Salaam KI (Jerusalem)

                            Live Free or Die --- Investigate, Incarcerate

                            by rktect on Fri Feb 07, 2014 at 10:29:12 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                      •  Akkadian was the lingua franca in Abrahams time (0+ / 0-)

                        down through the time of the Amarna letters half a millenia later.

                        The oldest parts of Genesis would be the creation myth which is the Egyptian story of Geb and Nut, Epic of Gilgamesh (Noah's ark), the Garden of Eden, the daughters of men going with the sons of gods to create the im, everything up to the story of Abraham, much of which consists of a gloss establishing the covenants which is attributed to the priestly source.

                        In Bahrain at the temple of Ba Bar you can still find the remnants of the place where Bilgames met with the immortal Upanished.

                        Live Free or Die --- Investigate, Incarcerate

                        by rktect on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 03:03:46 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                      •  Kitchen says the sequence of blessings and curses (0+ / 0-)

                        is datable for the covenants of Abraham with el Shadai (Shamsi Adad of Mari, lord of the earth),Yahwah, (the power of the air), el roi Hagars water sprite who saves her at the well, and Molock the power of fire to whom Abraham is instructed to sacrifice his first born

                        The Genesis schema of documenting creation and listing two sets of eight or ten representative generations living before and after the Flood also finds commonality in ancient Sumerian and Babylonian literature. This demonstrates that the OT fits the literary forms and practices of the era it documents. Finally, long lives like Methuselah’s 969 years are no bar to personal historicity; ancient Sumerian documents maintain that king (En)-me-bara-gisi reigned for 900 years. The 900-year reign is not credible, but king (En)-me- bara-gisi was not fictional. He is known to be historical because archaeologists have discovered inscriptions bearing his name. It was a widespread ancient convention to “stretch” spans of true events and ages of people that hailed from primeval times.
                        With Abraham we enter the era of the patriarchs (ca 2000–1600 b.c.). Historical records are more plentiful from this point on in history. The patriarchs herded sheep and cattle, ranging from Ur (modern Iraq) down to Egypt. Data from Ur during this era record large flocks of sheep, which fits with OT depictions. Archives from Mari mention Haran, where Abraham once lived. From the time of Abraham down to Jacob, Canaan was a land of independent “city-states” like Shechem, (Jeru)salem, and Gerar. These population centers were sustained by pastures, frequented by local herdsmen and visitors like Abraham and his descendants (Gn 37:12-13). Egyptian “execration-texts” provide extrabiblical evidence of this practice. The war between the Canaanite kings and eastern rulers from Babylonia (Shinar, Ellasar—see Gn 14) and Iranian Elam is true to this period. The Mari archives verify that this was the only period in which Elam’s forces reached so far west and when many war alliances flourished. Patriarchal customs involving things like marriage and covenant- formation reflect this period, as does the sum of 20 shekels paid to purchase Joseph (Gn 37:28). Egyptian details mentioned in the OT (personal names, deadly famines, the practice of “reading” dreams, etc.) match what is learned about Egypt from other ancient sources.

                        Live Free or Die --- Investigate, Incarcerate

                        by rktect on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 03:13:14 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                  •  Well Thomas Paine said that Moses (3+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Roadbed Guy, JVolvo, SilentBrook

                    could not possibly have written those books and end them with reporting his own death and what happened afterward.  And I tend to believe real people on this rather than imaginary Jesus.

                    •  What Thomas Paine apparently didn't fully (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      bryduck, JVolvo

                      appreciate was that Moses was a Biblical Character and that type of thing is not a problem for Biblical Characters.

                      Seriously, what are trying to do here, make Baby Jesus cry?

                    •  A problem long recognized among Jews (0+ / 0-)

                      One theory is that Moses wrote down everything up to his death, and Joshua or somebody wrote about the death and finished the last bit of Deuteronomy. Whoever it was then wrote the Book of Joshua, which is in exactly the same literary style and language.

                      A medieval Rabbi opined that God dictated it all, right to the end, and Moses, with tears in his eyes, wrote.

                      But there is no evidence for a historical Moses or an Exodus, and the actual composition is best dated to the Babylonian Exile, with sources in the Monarchic period at the earliest.

                      Back off, man. I'm a logician.—GOPBusters™

                      by Mokurai on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 12:44:51 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                •  Traditionally, yes, but in actuality that ... (7+ / 0-)

                  clearly isn't true, since Deuteronomy describes Moses' death. It's pretty well agreed among most modern Biblical scholars that the Pentateuch (the first five books of the Bible) was assembled out of various pre-existing sources during the Exile.

                  Bin Laden is dead. GM and Chrysler are alive.

                  by leevank on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 05:31:36 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  My understanding was that they were the (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:

                    books OF Moses, not by Moses. It's fairly clear from the text that Moses wasn't the author.

                    •  I certainly agree with you (2+ / 0-)

                      But some fundamentalists insist that Moses wrote the words down.

                      Bin Laden is dead. GM and Chrysler are alive.

                      by leevank on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 06:19:07 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                    •  No, they're attributed to Moses (6+ / 0-)

                      The traditional Jewish view (still held by the Orthodox) is that the five books of the written Torah were "to Moses on Sinai", along with the Mishnah Torah, the Oral Law which elaborated on it.  (That was written down into the Talmud, along with commentary called the Gemara, in the Roman era.)  And his description of his own death was, well, just an example of how special he was.

                      There is of course considerable debate within the Jewish world as to the literalness of this. Non-Orthodox Jews tend to accept the documentary hypothesis, which explains how the various texts, from different traditions, were redacted together some hundreds of years after Moses (probably by Ezra) to create the canonical text of the Torah (five books).  This is more obvious when looking at the original Hebrew text than translations.

                      Of course if you deal with the original Hebrew text, in its Jewish context, you can see how a lot of what Ham takes literally is really poetry.  It can be metaphorically useful without being literally true.  But then fundamentalists do not get metaphor -- ever notice how country music lyrics are almost all literal?

                    •  They aren't the books of Moses either (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      TrueBlueMajority, bryduck

                      The first book spends a lot of time on covenants or agreements made before there was a written law; the common law of what was right and proper, what was expected, the norms and mores and expectations of things that were owed as hospitality, or courtesy, of what went into the balance in a trade, of just plain human decency.

                      In the book of Genesis at 14:1 as written in the original Akkadian, we read  the story of one king, not four.

                      "At the time when Amraphel was ruler of Shinar,
                      Arioch ruler of Ellasar"

                      Al Ghabat is a village in Lebanon located in the Jurd area of the caza of Jbeil in Mount Lebanon, about 40 kilometres away from Beirut. It is located on the mountains above Byblos at an altitude of 1000 to 1200 metres. It is surrounded by the villages of Afqa and Lassa and has around 433 people registered on the electoral lists. Its main ressources include agricultural exploitation of apple, peaches and other vegetables.
                      Historically El Lassa is the city of Baalbeck located on the summit ridge of Mt Lebanon , overlooking the Litanni river border east west between Lebanon and Syria and North South between what became the Hittites north of upper retnu or the Orontes river watershed and to the South Canaan as an Egyptian province bounded by the watershed of the djadi or Jordan river

                      His name is Ari Och and he is el or lord of lassa in the time when Amraphel is ruler of Shinar (Eshunna)

                      Eshnunna (modern Tell Asmar in Diyala Province, Iraq) was an ancient Sumerian (and later Akkadian) city and city-state in central Mesopotamia. Although situated in the Diyala Valley north-east of Sumer proper, the city nonetheless belonged securely within the Sumerian cultural milieu. The tutelary deity of the city was Tishpak (Tišpak).
                      Ari och  is the ruler of El Lasar the city of Lasa; he measures, weighs and judges what is right and proper in the markets of the sanctuary cities along the northern border of Canaan

                      Ked orla Omer ruler  of Elam and Tidal ruler  of Goyim, these rulers (in the sense of standard of measure) went to war against Bera ruler of Sodom, Birsha ruler of Gomorrah, Shinab ruler of Admah, Shemeber ruler of Zeboyim, and the ruler of Bela (that is, Zoar).

                      All these latter rulers joined forces in the Valley of Siddim (that is, the Dead Sea Valley). 4 For twelve years they had been subject to Ked orla Omer, but in the thirteenth year they rebelled."

                      In Egyptian ked is illustrated by a glyph of a boat drifting downstream, in motion without an action to relieve its stasis; as the power of inertia. The ked of the Omer is changed by the influx of the Indo Europeansand their standards into the djadi.

                      "Ked orla Omer ruler of Elam Ti dal ruler of Goyim"  refers to the corruption of the measure of the omer in Canaan which is as corrupt a place as ever existed  to a non semitic standard  possibly associated with an incursion up the Arabian Gulf of the "Goyim" Indo European trading conventions from Lothal, c 1750 BC about a half century before we find hard evidence of the language in the instructions of Kikul a horse trainer written in Hittite"

                      Hittite (c. 1700 – 1200 BC). This is the earliest-recorded of all Indo-European languages, and highly divergent from the others due to the early separation of the Anatolian languages from the remainder. It possesses some highly archaic features found only fragmentarily, if at all, in other languages. At the same time, however, it appears to have undergone a large number of early phonological and grammatical changes which, combined with the ambiguities of its writing system, hinder its usefulness somewhat.
                      The omer (Hebrew: עמר‎) is an ancient Israelite unit of dry measure used in the era of the Temple in Jerusalem. It is used in the Bible as an ancient unit of volume for grains and dry commodities, and the Torah mentions as being equal to one tenth of an ephah.[1] The ephah was defined as being 72 logs, and the log was equal to the Sumerian mina, which was itself defined as one sixtieth of a maris;[2] the omer was thus equal to about 12⁄100 of a maris. The maris was defined as being the quantity of water equal in weight to a light royal talent,[3] and was thus equal to about 30.3 litres,[2] making the omer equal to about 3.64 litres.

                      The omer is not easy to fit into the remainder of the ancient Israelite measurement system, as it constitutes 1.8 kabs and 0.3 se'ah. It is alleged that the unit is a result of the sexagesimal[4] system being decimalised, perhaps under the influence of Egypt or Assyria, which both had decimal systems.[2][5]

                      The word omer is sometimes translated as sheaf — specifically, an amount of grain large enough to require bundling. The biblical episode of the manna describes God as instructing the Israelites to collect an omer for each person in your tent, implying that each person could eat an omer of manna a day. In the Instructions of Moses (Torah in Hebrew), the main significance of the omer is the traditional offering of an omer of barley on the day after the Sabbath during the feast of unleavened bread (during the period of Temple sacrifice) as well as the tradition of the Counting of the Omer (sefirat ha'omer) - the 49 days between this sacrifice and the two loaves of wheat offered on the holiday of Shavuot.

                      The omer should not be confused with the homer, a much larger unit of volume for liquids

                      Live Free or Die --- Investigate, Incarcerate

                      by rktect on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 07:56:11 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Sorry, all I can think is (0+ / 0-)

                        "Blood and souls for my Lord Arioch!" when I see his name . . .

                        "Lone catch of the moon, the roots of the sigh of an idea there will be the outcome may be why?"--from a spam diary entitled "The Vast World."

                        by bryduck on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 09:26:46 AM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Arioch is not really a name its a phrase, (0+ / 0-)

                          Akkadian URU KI (of this place here). It appears in the Book of Genesis chapter 14, but compare Jerusalem which in the 18th dynasty campaign correspondence of the Egyptians  with their Garrison Commanders in Canaan known as the Amarna letters Akkadian is Uru Uru Salaam Ki . The point is most believers are reading ideas that were current when they still called science alchemy.

                          Earlier in the 20th century, it was proposed to identify "him" with "Eriaku" - an alternative reading of either Rim-Sin or his brother Warad-Sin, who were Elamite rulers over Larsa contemporary with Hammurabi, or a Hurrian king named Ariukki.

                          Live Free or Die --- Investigate, Incarcerate

                          by rktect on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 12:13:04 PM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                      •  Links (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:

                        Links or it never happened.

                        Back off, man. I'm a logician.—GOPBusters™

                        by Mokurai on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 12:52:49 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  links (0+ / 0-)

                 Amraphel ]has been thought by some scholars such as the writers of the Catholic Encyclopedia and the Jewish Encyclopedia to be an alternate version of the name of the famed Hammurabi. The name is also associated with Ibal Pi-El II of Esnunna.[4][5]

                          Arioch has been thought to have been a king of Larsa (Ellasar being an alternate version of this). It has also been suggested that it is URU KI, meaning "this place here".

                          38 URU
                          (before) cities, often in combination with KI after city names.
                          Cities are often indicated with their Sumerian names (Akkadian logograms)

                              meaning: Sum. uru `city', Akk. alu(m) `city'
                                  urununki,     Eridu,     the city Eridu, home of the water god Ea

                                  uru shesh .unug ki,     Ur,     the city Ur,
                              important port in South Mesopotamia
                              home of the moon god Sîn

                          (31)--LUGAL-EN-ia a-na URU-ki-("city-yours")/ šu-("-His")
                          nu-wa KUR URUHa-at-ti hi-in-ga-na-az a-ru-um-ma me-ek-ki ta-ma-as-ta-at

                          Live Free or Die --- Investigate, Incarcerate

                          by rktect on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 02:39:11 PM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                        •  The documentary hypothesis (0+ / 0-)
                          The documentary hypothesis (DH), sometimes called the Wellhausen hypothesis, proposes that the Pentateuch (the first five books of the Bible) was derived from originally independent, parallel and complete narratives, which were subsequently combined into the current form by a series of redactors (editors). The number of these narratives is usually set at four, but this is not an essential part of the hypothesis.
                             the Yahwist source (J) : hypothetically written c. 950 BCE in the southern Kingdom of Judah.
                              the Elohist source (E) : hypothetically written c. 850 BCE in the northern Kingdom of Israel.
                              the Deuteronomist (D) : hypothetically written c. 600 BCE in Jerusalem during a period of religious reform.
                              the Priestly source (P) : hypothetically written c. 500 BCE by Kohanim (Jewish priests) in exile in Babylon.
                          Genesis Since the 1970s there has been a revolution in scholarship: the Elohist source is now widely regarded as no more than a variation on the Yahwist, while the Priestly source is increasingly seen not as a document but as a body of revisions and expansions to the Yahwist (or "non-Priestly") material. (The Deuteronomistic source does not appear in Genesis).[11]
                          In composing the Patriarchal history the Yahwist drew on four separate blocks of traditional stories about Abraham, Jacob, Judah and Joseph, combining them with genealogies, itineraries and the "promise" theme to create a unified whole.[12] Similarly, when composing the "primeval history" he drew on Greek and Mesopotamian sources, editing and adding to them to create a unified work that fit his theological agenda.
                          The Mesopotamian sources for Genesis would be written in Akkadian which was the lingua franca for the period 950-1750 BC

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                          by rktect on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 05:25:02 PM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                    •  that's my understanding too (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:

                      but fundies claim Moses wrote the books.  even though one of them talks about Moses's own death

                      Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D.
                      DEMAND CREATES JOBS!!!
                      Drop by The Grieving Room on Monday nights to talk about grief.

                      by TrueBlueMajority on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 08:05:04 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

              •  I know Moses received the 10 commandments. (5+ / 0-)

                and when . According to the story, he received them directly from God, on the mountain.
                Theoretically, the "last communique" from God was the death and resurrection of Christ, until his return.
                But you have all the bureaucratic stuff about the forming of the church and the assembly of the scriptures and the inclusion of some and rejection of others.
                The product of this is supposed to be the complete and unerring word of God. It takes considerable willfulness and arrogance to assert their interpretation of this as the direct will of God.

                I doubt the existence of God, but I reject totally the authority of the Bible as the instrument of their power over my life.

                You can't make this stuff up.

                by David54 on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 11:11:49 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  I thought it was 15 commandments? <snicker> (4+ / 0-)
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                Matt Z, David54, Nailbanger, JVolvo

                "Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities" Voltaire.

                by JWK on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 01:06:55 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  No. There are many intelligent believers. (7+ / 0-)

                Anyone who is intelligent sees that the important aspects of the human condition cannot be explained rationally. The absence of a rational explanation does not imply that there is no explanation.

                The fact intuition does not count for everything does not imply that intuition counts for nothing.

                There are many Christians, like me, who understand that life on earth evolved from one-celled organisms over billions of years. We do not see this as a threat to our faith. Fundamentalists are only a subset of Christians.

                "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

                by HeyMikey on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 05:44:12 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  There are no sane, intelligent, educated (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:

                  believers in the bible's literal truth. NONE. Some of it is true, of course, historically. E.g. the existence of David, Jesus, the two kingdoms, etc. But much if not most of it is clearly made up, with huge internal inconsistencies and little to no supporting evidence in fact or science. For an intelligent and educated person to believe in it as a way of explaining things that allegedly have not yet been explained by science and reason (and what might those be?) is arbitrary and quite silly, even if it is "comforting". Might as well believe in Zeus.

                  "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

                  by kovie on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 06:11:18 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Please re-read my comment. (6+ / 0-)

                    Rather obviously I was saying that there are many Christians who do not take the Bible literally.

                    There are others who do take the Bible literally. And--unfortunately--some of them are sane, intelligent, and educated. This is quite frustrating to me, yet it simply is. The lesson I take from this is that people have an amazing ability to compartmentalize; to stop themselves from applying things they know to all areas of their thought and belief. E.g., in the 1860s there were many sane, intelligent, educated Confederates. In the 1930s-40s there were many sane, intelligent, educated Nazis. [I have just demonstrated the ongoing validity of Godwin's Law.] Such people seem obviously wrong to us, so we want to say it was a failure of reason. But if we apply our reason, we will see that the ability to deny the obvious is present in all humanity...including the humanity we share.

                    "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

                    by HeyMikey on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 06:27:00 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  They are suspending their sanity, intelligence (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      BPARTR, sagesource

                      and knowledge to engage in such nonsense, meaning that in the instance they're not being sane, intelligent and knowledgeable. Let's put it in the same broad category as heroin addiction, frequent unsafe sex and voting GOP.

                      "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

                      by kovie on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 06:43:40 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  "Such nonsense?" (2+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        SilentBrook, soarbird

                        If you mean the beliefs that the world was created in six 24-hour periods about 6,000 years ago, and that we are all descended from an individual Eve and an individual Adam, then I agree.

                        If you mean the belief that there is a creative force at work in the universe that humans can fleetingly glimpse but cannot understand, which many label God, then I disagree.

                        On suspending sanity and intelligence--I agree. That's what I was talking about--compartmentalizing. It's human. It's natural. It's both good and bad. It's frustrating as hell.

                        E.g.: don't you understand, intellectually, that you could live on far less than you earn, and give the rest to charities that would use it to ease much death and suffering in the developing world? Don't you understand, intellectually, that this is the only moral course? Do you do it? Me neither.

                        "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

                        by HeyMikey on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 07:09:44 AM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  "a creative force...." (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          pasadena beggar

                          If you mean anything other than automatic and blind natural law, the consequences of things being as they are and not otherwise, you're back to gibbering idiocy again.  What created the Creative Force? An Even Bigger Creative Force? So, then what created.... Anyone who can't see the endless regression problem in the concept of a creator god is, at least at that point, as dumb as anyone who believes in a literal Adam and Eve, and usually much more dishonestly evasive.

                          "They bash your face in, and say you were always ugly." (Solzhenitsyn, Gulag Archipelago volume 3)

                          by sagesource on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 08:00:34 AM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  You have just made a statement of faith. (0+ / 0-)

                            Why does gravity have the force it has, and not some stronger or weaker amount of force?

                            Why does electromagnetism create two kinds of charges--positive and negative--and not three?

                            What caused the Big Bang? (As I understand it, our best understanding is that there was no "time" before the Big Bang, as time itself was created in the Big Bang. Nothing "caused" the Big Bang, because "before" the Big Bang, there was no cause-and-effect. How is a human really supposed to understand that? Does that really make more sense than God saying, "Let there be light?")

                            You assume that all these things happened because physical laws required them; but why are physical laws the way they are, and not some other way?

                            If you think I am asserting that there is some proof of God in nature, then you are mistaken. I freely admit my belief is irrational. As I said in an earlier comment, the fact intuition does not count for everything does not imply intuition counts for nothing.

                            I merely assert that the disproof of God is also not in nature.

                            The statement, "there is no God," is an assertion that cannot be proven. That is the definition of a statement of faith.

                            Choosing to believe, or choosing not to believe--either is a step into the unknown. Either is ultimately based on intuition.

                            "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

                            by HeyMikey on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 08:19:44 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  The existence of A god cannot be disproven (0+ / 0-)

                            The existence of the biblical god, literally interpreted, has been, amply.

                            Or has his cell phone been stolen?

                            "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

                            by kovie on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 08:29:42 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  There is not "a" Biblical God. (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:

                            Look, I'm not trying to be clever, play semantic games, or "win" a debate with a stranger on the internet. I'm trying to get this discussion somewhere useful.

                            Among Christians there is a wide spectrum of beliefs. There are many Christian conceptions of God. If you are making the point that God did not create the world in six 24-hour periods about 6,000 years ago, and did not create a single Eve and a single Adam in contemporary human form--well, a lot of modern Christians agree with that. And if you are implying that God did not tell the Israelites to slaughter all the inhabitants of modern Palestine and seize that ground forever--well, a lot of Christians agree with that, too. There are also many modern Christians who do not believe in the virgin birth, or even the resurrection.

                            I suppose my ultimate point is that there's not really a Them and an Us. Both the best and the worst habits of thought are found among both believers and non-believers. For better and worse, there is really only an Us.

                            "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

                            by HeyMikey on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 09:01:53 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  While there might be a broad spectrum (0+ / 0-)

                            of literal interpretations of the biblical god (and the people, places, things and events described in it), they are all pretty much substantially wrong as literal interpretations, for scientific, logical, archeological and historical reasons. That is all that I'm saying. I'm not sure why it's hard for you to understand this.

                            I.e. whether you believe that the bush was literally burning, or appeared to be burning because of a mirage effect or the angle of the sun on it, or because Moses was drunk or crazy or exhausted, there simply was not a "god" who spoke to him, because there cannot have been. Period. End of discussion. To believe otherwise is simply nuts, if you're an educated and intelligent person.

                            As for a more metaphysical and symbolic interpretation of "god", as a stand-in and vague explanation for all that we don't know and can't answer about the universe, I'm ok with that as one possible explanation for the unknown, because it doesn't attempt to present itself as literally true, but just a hunch.

                            "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

                            by kovie on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 09:33:24 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  example (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:

                            I'm not even sure there was a Moses. It's entirely plausible that the whole story of Moses, the enslavement of the Israelites by the Egyptians and their eventual freeing, is a fable.

                            But the best fables illustrate truths. People should treat each other decently; it's what's best in the long run. People need hope; people need some degree of material security; love transcends conventional social boundaries; great leaders can arise from humble, unexpected roles; if we work together, we can achieve great things. All these are found in the story of Moses.

                            Many modern Christians find the story of Moses worthwhile because of these lessons it teaches, even if they do not believe it is factual history.

                            There are many other examples.

                            "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

                            by HeyMikey on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 09:46:46 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Not disputing any of that (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:

                            I'm not disputing that there's SOME literal truth in the bible. Just saying that much if not most of it isn't grounded in fact or reality.

                            I'm not disputing that it's fine to believe in something "out there" beyond what we can see and explain to help make up for some of the unknown.

                            Nor am I disputing the moral, spiritual and allegorical aspect of scripture as a means of relating to and dealing with the world.

                            I sometimes myself, a non-believer Jew, read the bible for various reasons, especially to help understand or at least deal with some of the less pleasant aspects of the human condition, e.g. cruelty, injustice, loss, etc.

                            It's just the uncritical literal interpretation part that I reject. Not only is it quite silly, but it misses what I believe is the much greater genius of the bible.

                            It's sort of like obsessing over what a starlet wore to the Oscars and who she's dating than on her actual acting performance.

                            "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

                            by kovie on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 11:01:15 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Yes, I agree with that approach. NT (0+ / 0-)

                            "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

                            by HeyMikey on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 11:04:23 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Science and God (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            NM Ray, HeyMikey

                            What you state has always been my strongest fall back reason when disputing whether there is a God.  The religious folks say that the world is far to complex to be created by nature but then they avoid the whole; Where did God come from issue. And if God has been here for eternity, what was God doing before the creation story took place?

                            But I feel as though you are arguing semantics with Mikey.  I have little issue with people who see the bible or their religious books as parables that can be used to guide us through life. Human history has used stories to place us in our time. IMO the bible does the same thing. It uses stories to guide people and define a moral structure to live by. IMO the question of God is best framed by Taoists who pretty much say if there is a God, God is so far beyond our understanding that any reasons God may have for acting a certain way is also beyond our comprehension.  History has shown that the powerful use God as a tool for control. Their belief is secondary to the control the religion offers. Religion is a tool for the powerful and always has been.

                            I majored in philosophy (Well, triple major of psych, soc and phil) and I took many, many religion classes on many, many different religions. I find things I like and things I really dislike in every religion, based on a God, that I ever studied.

                            I am an atheist and do not believe there is a God. But once again, that is secondary to what religion can offer people. Meaning of life is a challenge for many and religion does give meaning to life.

                            I use logic to define the world. My son is a Chemical Engineer who uses science to define the world. Some people use religion to define the world.  All of these have weaknesses. Science is proven wrong on a regular basis. We used to think rats propagated when cloth and grains were left in a dark area. Logic is just as limited. Many things do not make logical sense and to try to understand them logically will not be effective. It is the same for religion. Defining the world through religion will create its own distortions of reality.

                            My biggest issue with God and the religious, beyond using it as a power grab, is that people treat their religion like a smorgasbord. They pick and choose what they like and ignore what they don't like. If it is the ultimate reality for someone, how can they then pick and choose what they want to follow?

                            The legs of the crane have become short in the summer rain. Buson

                            by Travelin Man on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 10:52:18 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  funny you should ask today... (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            SilentBrook, Travelin Man

                            Between my earlier comments and just now, I went to get my hair cut by the man who's been cutting it since the late 1980s. He is also a pastor, and a fundamentalist, which (I trust is obvious) I am not.

                            We were discussing the nature of God's law, God's justice, God's mercy. He said the Bible is God's divine, inspired, perfect Word, and that you either believe it all, or believe none of it; and that much of the problems of modern life stem from people starting with what they want, and then trying to figure out how to get themselves and others to believe what they want is what God wants.

                            I agreed 100% with the human tendency to start with what we want, and then try to figure out how to get ourselves and others to believe that's what is best..."best" defined as either what God wants, or what is moral or ethical or practical or whatever best matches up with our religious or secular supposedly-highest values. But I explained that where he and I differ is that I believe this human tendency to equate what we want with what is best resulted in much of the Bible. In other words, I see much of the Bible as people's attempt to create God in our image.

                            If it is the ultimate reality for someone, how can they then pick and choose what they want to follow?
                            That, of course, is the critical question. And here is Jesus' answer:
                            “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”

                            Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

                            The whole thrust of Biblical history shows people over and over again trying to define who is In and who is Out of God's favor, and always being proven wrong. Every time, God's favor turns out to be wider than people previously imagined. The whole thrust of the Bible is God always expanding people's notions of who is worthy of respect, worthy of favor, worthy of love.

                            Who is worthy of love? Everyone. Everyone. EVERYONE.

                            Jesus did not require people to fix themselves before Jesus died for us. Even Jesus' closest follower and friend, Peter--the Rock on whom Jesus had decided to build the church--betrayed Jesus on the night Jesus was arrested. Yet Jesus died for Peter, and for all of us, anyway.

                            That is the example Christians are called to follow.

                            That's how I pick and choose what parts of the Bible to believe: Is it loving? Is it consistent with Jesus' example?  

                            That's really not difficult at all.

                            The difficult part--of course--is following it.

                            "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

                            by HeyMikey on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 01:07:10 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  New vs Old (0+ / 0-)

                            Most religious folks get pretty upset when I say that the 2 books do not even seem like they have anything in common.

                            The new testament has many positions I can follow and believe in and even live my life by. The old testament is an affront to my morals and ethics. None of the main Christian religions separate the old testament out which leaves that as part of the teachings.

                            It's like the old testament is more geared to the powerful while the new testament is more geared towards those who have less power.I don't think Jesus ever implied that the old testament was no longer our guide post and that he was creating a new direction for us to follow instead.

                            As has been proven to the extent of my needs, the Christian church was created by the Romans. IMO all Gods were nothing but man made creations to either explain that which was too complex or to control people. The Romans did it for the later reason.

                            As I said in the previous post, real or not it can offer a benefit to people. If I live a better life and feel more comfort during hard times because I believe a little blue man on my shoulder is guiding me, that's fine. Anything that gives people meaning to life in such a way that they do as little harm to others and as much good as they can, I am all for. IMO the words attributed to Jesus fill that bill. As Buddha said when he read some of the words attributed to Jesus; That is an enlightened man.

                            One of the lessons I got from my tagline is how we perceive the world has a lot to do with how we define the world. And vice versa. :-)

                            The legs of the crane have become short in the summer rain. Buson

                            by Travelin Man on Fri Feb 07, 2014 at 11:54:20 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Kant pointed out that you get the same (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:

                            endless regression if you insist on material causation exclusively, so that a beginning and no beginning equally fail to make any sense. It was one of his Antinomies of Pure Reason, which to me is the best idea he ever had. It is historically possible that he could have heard of the Buddhist version in the questions raised by Malunkyaputta and rejected by the Buddha, and thus not thought of it entirely on his own. Certainly Hume, to whom Kant was responding, had learned something of Buddhism from French missionaries.

                            On the other hand, Kant's argument that Euclidean geometry is necessarily true went for a Burton only a few decades after he published it.

                            Let us admit that our view of material causation is moderately clear from the initial symmetry breaking after the Big Bang on, and before that it is more than murky. There are conjectured mechanisms to create a Big Bang from possible earlier conditions that seem to be consistent with Quantum Mechanics and General Relativity (limited by their essential incompatibility with each other), but we know of no way to observe anything that would distinguish among the possibilities.

                            Back off, man. I'm a logician.—GOPBusters™

                            by Mokurai on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 02:02:26 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                        •  If you re-read my comments (0+ / 0-)

                          You'll see that I was talking about a literal, not spiritual, moral or even literary reading of the bible, and ONLY a literal reading of it, which on its face is idiotic.

                          As for your last paragraph, kind of OT as you're referring to morality, about which sane and reasonable people can and do disagree, as opposed to a basic understanding of the difference between fact and fiction, which is what I was referring to. However, I'd offer that, ideally, that's what government is supposed to do, make up for the many injustices and unfair inequalities in the world, and take that portion of our money necessary to pay for it, obviating the need for people to give charity, although of course it should continue to remain an optional virtue. But in such an ideal world, there wouldn't be a need for charity. Of course, we don't and never will live in such a world.

                          But back to my point, if you literally believe in the rapture, the burning bush, Jonah in the belly of the whale, etc., and you're a reasonably intelligent, educated and sane person, then there's something wrong with you in this particular arena (likely, I'd guess, a subconscious fear of social ostracism).

                          "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

                          by kovie on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 08:27:38 AM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                    •  A Jewish joke from the Nazi period says (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      HeyMikey, SilentBrook
                      God gave the German people three great gifts: honesty, intelligence, and Nazism. But there was a catch. No German could have more than two of those gifts.

                      So if a German were honest and a Nazi, he couldn't be intelligent; if he were intelligent and a Nazi, he couldn't be honest; and if he were honest and intelligent, he couldn't be a Nazi.

                      But it applies to so much more.

                      Back off, man. I'm a logician.—GOPBusters™

                      by Mokurai on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 01:08:26 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                  •  The existence of David and Jesus are (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    HeyMikey, pasadena beggar

                    highly in doubt.  However, here is a link to a book on David (based on archeology)


                    And... Richard Carrier's book "On the Historicity of Jesus Christ" will be out in Feb/March.

                    •  the "Jesus seminar"... (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Fishtroller01, congenitalefty

                      ...was a group of scholars who met annually in the 1980s and 1990s to try to figure out what about Jesus is historical fact and what isn't. They are still active and publishing.


                      "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

                      by HeyMikey on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 09:31:27 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                    •  I thought that their existance was likely (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:

                      and that it was the biblical specifics that are in doubt?

                      In college over 30 years ago I briefly worked on a dig in Israel where a stone tablet had been discovered that represented an official correspondence from nearly 3000 years ago in which a David that resembled the biblical David had been mentioned. IIRC it mentioned that he was an Israelite mercenary who had worked for the Philistines, or something on those lines.

                      The idea that many of the people, places, events and things mentioned in the bible could be true, to one extent or another, isn't inconsistent with the reality that much of the bible is made up or distorted. If the bible was, among other things, ancient propaganda, intended for local and contemporary consumption, then like all effective propaganda it had to contain some truth to be believable.

                      "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

                      by kovie on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 09:39:19 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  I think what you are mentioning might (0+ / 0-)

                        be the same discovery as the link to the book on David I provided?

                        •  No, it's a different one (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:

                          This is the dig I briefly worked on in college. This article doesn't appear to mention any discovery of anything having to do directly with David, so my recollection is probably of something I was told by one of the archeologists I worked under about findings from a different dig going on at the time.

                          30 years does that to one's memory. Not to mention 3000 years. :-)

                          Btw I can attest with absolute certainty that the Romans built a nice mosaic floor at this site nearly 2000 years ago, because I unearthed it on this dig.

                          "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

                          by kovie on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 11:10:14 AM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                  •  The existence of David is seriously in doubt (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    kovie, HeyMikey

                    We have no archaeological evidence for him or his supposed successors. The kingdoms of Judah and Israel enter the historical record about 900 BCE, with references to Kings Omri and Jehoram. There is an Egyptian reference to a territory of Israel in about 1200 BCE, but nothing about its governance.

                    Back off, man. I'm a logician.—GOPBusters™

                    by Mokurai on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 01:05:10 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  It was my understanding (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:

                      That there's one stele referring to a royal house of David.  Which of course no more proves David's existence than the medieval house of Yngling proves the existence of the Norse god Freyr, but it does speak to a group of people who saw him as a (perhaps legendary) ancestor.

                    •  Nonsense (0+ / 0-)

                      God said there was a King David so what better proof is that?!?

                      You godless heathens amaze me sometimes with the mental density!

                      "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

                      by kovie on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 01:53:36 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                •  This statement, (7+ / 0-)
                  Anyone who is intelligent sees that the important aspects of the human condition cannot be explained rationally.
                  (emphasis mine)

                  with its categorical assumption that your position is the position of all intelligent people, is problematic. You have the right to practice your faith as you wish. Some of us think it is possible that "the important aspects" of the human condition can be rationally explained, even if we have not yet succeeded in doing so. That is science. Does it make us unintelligent?

                  "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself."........ "The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little." (yeah, same guy.)

                  by sidnora on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 06:13:27 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  You are right. I overstated. (6+ / 0-)

                    Please see my reply to kovie.

                    I made the mistake that I pointed out to kovie--assuming my position was the only intelligent one.

                    As I said to kovie, intelligent people believe many things that seem, to other intelligent people, crazy.

                    "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

                    by HeyMikey on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 06:29:34 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  You intentionally miss the point (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    pasadena beggar
                    You have the right to practice your faith as you wish.
                    Atheism is NOT a faith. period.  as has been said repeatedly,
                    If atheism is a faith, then not collecting stamps is a hobby.

                    As my father used to say,"We have the best government money can buy."

                    by BPARTR on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 07:14:15 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  You replied to wrong commenter. (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Ahianne, sidnora

                      Sidnora made that remark, intending "faith" to refer to Christianity (and perhaps other religious faiths as well). Nobody in this thread called atheism a faith.

                      "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

                      by HeyMikey on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 07:18:02 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                    •  Not sure if I agree with the hobby analogy (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      HeyMikey, sidnora

                      Being agnostic isn't a faith. It's simply conceding, 'I don't know'. Being atheist is a faith. A faith that there absolutely isn't a god.

                      Being an agnostic, myself, I don't have faith in either proposition. But for those that do, regardless of which side they fall on, it's a matter of faith.

                      •  It's not a "faith" that there absolutely (2+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        BPARTR, pasadena beggar

                        isn't a god for atheists... it is a knowledge that there are no gods based upon total lack of evidence for their existence.

                        •  The lack of evidence is not (3+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          congenitalefty, HeyMikey, sidnora

                          evidence of absence.

                          You simply 'believe' with all or your heart that there is no god. I don't know. But I don't think you do either.

                          •  We have more than absence of evidence (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:

                            to prove that the angry, vengeful, bigoted, but also omnibenevolent God put forth by some Christians does not exist. The idea is simply self-contradictory. Ken Ham's omnipotent God who cannot save us from His own Hells without the hugger-mugger of Original Sin and Resurrection cannot exist. We have plenty of evidence against Gods who work miracles, not just absence of evidence for them. Praying for lightning to smite your enemies simply does not work outside of Bible fairy tales. We have huge amounts of evidence against Biblical Creation.

                            You can redefine God to mean something that cannot be disproved, such as a God that created physics and then let it run uninterrupted, but those are not generally the Gods that Christians believe in or that atheists quite rightly reject on the evidence.

                            The phenomena of religion, such as mystical union, are unquestionably real, as William James pointed out in The Varieties of Religious Experience, and others have greatly expanded on. We have come to know a fair amount about the neurology behind them. None of that bears on the question of existence of a supernatural being. Nor does the fact that religious practice and teaching of some kinds leads people to behave better toward each other, and of other kinds leads them to behave much worse, and that some people overcome the religion they were brought up with.

                            I am a Buddhist. We don't need Gods, although we don't waste our time on the question. Those of us who are really doing the thing focus on understanding and relieving suffering, including giving up on fussing about the sorts of irrelevancy that lead to wars of religion.

                            Back off, man. I'm a logician.—GOPBusters™

                            by Mokurai on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 02:29:18 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I agree. And I practice Christianity. (0+ / 0-)

                            And I hope to keep practicing till I get reasonably proficient at it.

                            "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

                            by HeyMikey on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 07:47:37 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                      •  i completely disagree (3+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        devis1, Travelin Man, denise b

                        Being an atheist is not a faith that no god or gods exist.  It is simply the lack of belief in any of them.  Theists disbelieve thousands of other gods postulated by men but believe in a single particular god.  They see no need to prove the other gods do not exist. and neither do they take it as an article of faith that they do not believe in them.

                        To call onself agnostic is a bit of a copout.  Fire insurance if you will.  there are an infinite number of things in which you do not believe- the Easter bunny, magic, flying elephants, the tooth fairy to name a few.  You are not agnostic about any of them, you simply take a rational view that no evidence exists for them, and evidence exists agant the notion that they exist.  I do not believe in a god that can alter the physical laws of the universe ( imagine the chaos if the sun didi stand still inthe sky...)  and I do not think I need to be agnositc since I cannot prove that such an event could not occur.

                        The onus is not on atheists to prove that a god does not exist ( just as the onus is not on you to prove that the Easter bunny does not exist.)

                        I do not believe in any gods.  That is not a faith, it is simply a lack of beleif.

                        As my father used to say,"We have the best government money can buy."

                        by BPARTR on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 08:50:11 AM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Please see my other comment... (2+ / 0-)

                          ..."You have just made a statement of faith."

                          "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

                          by HeyMikey on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 09:06:44 AM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  um, did you read what I wrote? (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:

                            for many xtians, it is an article of faith that not believing takes faith, and no logical argument will disuade them.oh well.

                            As my father used to say,"We have the best government money can buy."

                            by BPARTR on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 09:22:14 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                        •  Please explain (2+ / 0-)

                          the distinction between "faith" and "belief".

                          "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself."........ "The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little." (yeah, same guy.)

                          by sidnora on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 10:24:55 AM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  That is not the operative distinction (0+ / 0-)

                            One of the most fundamental tenets of Judaism is to love God. Not believe in God. Love. Many people who disbelieve absolutely in the Gods of the pseudoChristians show by their actions that they love the real God of the Jewish Prophet who said, "It has been told thee, O man, what is good: to do justice, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God." God comes last on that list after justice, mercy, and humility.

                            It's easier for atheists if you reframe it as accepting the Buddha Nature that we all share than an external personal God.

                            Back off, man. I'm a logician.—GOPBusters™

                            by Mokurai on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 06:05:49 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                        •  I disagree with your definition of atheism (2+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          HeyMikey, sidnora

                          You say that it's a lack of belief in any system and then go on to decry agnostics. Your definition of atheism is what I consider my definition of agnostic. The lack of a belief. That's me. I don't have a belief about something that cannot be observed. I haven't observed god or god's actions, but I also can't rule out god's existence simply because little old me hasn't seen any evidence. I don't consider my observations to be the sum total of all that matters.

                          If you are 100% positive that there is, in fact, no god. That's fine with me. I'm comfortable with others beliefs. But please try to step outside of yourself enough to be able to distinguish what is belief and what is fact.

                          There are very few facts. In fact, the only one I'm aware of is that I'm aware of my conscious existence. And sometimes, I'm not even sure about that.

                          •  Lovely, thoughtful comment. (4+ / 0-)

                            I only stopped calling myself an agnostic after reading Dawkins, who points out the legitimate place of doubt in any belief system. Any time someone tells me they know something they cannot prove, I know the discussion is over.

                            "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself."........ "The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little." (yeah, same guy.)

                            by sidnora on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 01:45:11 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                    •  HeyMikey is correct (2+ / 0-)

                      Nobody in this thread, on either side of the discussion, called atheism a faith.

                      However - and I say this as someone who calls herself an atheist - there is a certain element of belief in atheism. We cannot prove that gods exist, but if we are going to be honest we must admit that neither can we prove that they do not. IMO, the preponderance of evidence makes the likelihood of gods existing vanishingly small, which is why I choose to call myself an atheist, rather than an agnostic. But it is not a rational impossibility.

                      "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself."........ "The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little." (yeah, same guy.)

                      by sidnora on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 10:23:16 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                •  I'm curious as to an answer to this (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  HeyMikey, JVolvo, Friend of the court

                  I have this question regarding the sacrifice of Jesus.  I've asked many right wingish believers, but never a more moderate, liberal believer.  

                  What is a sacrifice?  

                  The entire faith rests on the idea that God loved his creation so much that he sent his son to them, and sacrificed him.  He did this to cure the world, but the sacrifice is also used to demonstrate the level of love that God has for the world.  He sacrificed his son for them.

                  So.  Is God omniscient?  If so, how can what happened with Jesus be considered a sacrifice?  Presumably, an omniscient God would be aware that his son would be immediately at his side, and that the only thing actually being sacrificed was the mortal flesh of Jesus.  

                  I don't see any sacrifice in this story.  I might see it as a "sacrifice" in the way that the word is used in chess.  It's an intentional loss of material that you intend to recoup one way or another.


                  by otto on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 07:04:19 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Primitive understanding. (3+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Sychotic1, Ahianne, SilentBrook

                    Sacrifice--of livestock, crops, even children--was a common feature of ancient religions in the Middle East (and elsewhere).  It was a concept that made sense to early Christians, who applied this familiar concept in their new context.

                    Some modern Christians continue to conceptualize Christ's crucifixion that way. Not all. For instance, I see Christ's suffering as more an expression of solidarity with humanity; not an explanation of the Meaning of Suffering and Life, but a profound message that we are not alone.

                    "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

                    by HeyMikey on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 07:22:36 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  That's basically metaphorical (0+ / 0-)

                      It seems like you're looking at the document as something that is more about getting across a general idea, and shouldn't be read literally.  Even the most reliable and necessary fixture of Christianity, the sacrifice, is open to being read as a metaphorical statement.


                      by otto on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 07:35:33 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  That's pretty much my view. (0+ / 0-)

                        A man said it would be best for us to love each other, and then the powers of his day nailed him to a cross. There is widespread (not universal, but widespread) belief that this happened, among both Christians and non-Christians.

                        Why? What does it mean? There remain many ways of answering those questions, even--no, especially--among Christians.

                        "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

                        by HeyMikey on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 07:50:50 AM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  This man who was nailed to the cross (2+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          pasadena beggar, devis1

                          said a whole lot more than just "love each other".  He believed in and threatened eternal torture for whole towns of people he never met.  And he did it more than once.  Jesus was NOT an ecumenical passive hippy.

                          Of course, you have to read all the passages of the gospels to see that, and it has been my experience that when I mention this about this character, most Christians deny that Jesus believed in hell and damnation.

                          •  hell & damnation, etc. (0+ / 0-)

                            As I have noted in other comments, many modern Christians do not take the Bible literally. And that includes some parts of the Gospels (i.e., the four books of the Bible that deal with Jesus' time on earth). Reasons why modern Christians would pick & choose what parts to believe, disbelieve, or believe metaphorically:

                            * The gospels were written decades after Jesus' crucifixion. They were based on foggy memories, third-hand oral retellings, etc.

                            * You see how the media this week is putting various spins on what the CBO says about Obamacare's effect on jobs? The truth about that is not a simple "yes" or "no," and not even "in-between." Rather, the truth is that the CBO report says Obamacare will affect the labor market in several ways--some consensus good, some consensus bad, and some that are good or bad depending on your values. The same kind of interpretation undoubtedly went into writing the gospels.

                            * The gospels show Jesus's own thinking evolving. For instance, in this passage Jesus initially takes the conventional Jewish view that Canaanites are contemptible and not worthy of his attention. But Jesus--in full view of his (all-male) disciples--is taught a lesson by a Canaanite woman (woman!) that transforms Jesus' and his disciples' life and work: So the fact Jesus at times preached hellfire and damnation does not even make that The Truth, even among Christians.

                            Yes, absolutely, this means modern Christians are imposing their own thoughts and values on the Bible. Since the authors of the Bible did the same, I think this is unavoidable. I think this is the way humans must approach not just the Bible, but practically all information about almost anything.

                            "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

                            by HeyMikey on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 09:24:27 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  So Jesus, who was "God" too, (0+ / 0-)

                            was perfect, but not perfect in that he had to be taught lessons about how to treat people humanely?  This makes no sense and appears to me to be another type of apologetics.  Salvation itself is a very divisive concept, but bottom line is, you can't call yourself a Christian if you don't accept it.  Jesus didn't just die on the cross so "God" could share the experience of human suffering with his creation, he also died to set up a new system and reject the old system he had going with the Hebrews (apparently Yahweh/God makes lots of mistakes too). That new system, salvation, says that human MUST accept Jesus as God's rep (or actually God himself... this is so confusing) in order to have an eternal life with the creator of the universe.  There's no dancing around that message unless one is super cherry picking, and it is a message that says "no" to other religious paths.  So Jesus was not selling ecumenicism, no matter how liberal Christians try to spin it.

                            Thomas Jefferson called the whole God/Jesus/Holy Spirit thing "unintelligible".   I agree.

                          •  cherry picking... (0+ / 0-)
                            Thomas Jefferson called the whole God/Jesus/Holy Spirit thing "unintelligible".   I agree.
                            Funny thing is, I'm a practicing Christian, and I agree too. And so do most Christians.

                            We refer to this unintelligibility as "the mystery of the Incarnation"--that Jesus was both fully God and fully human. Christians miss an important aspect of Christianity if we let the "fully human" part stop at knowing what it feels like to pee, poop, enjoy food and drink when you're hungry and thirsty, and whack your thumb with a hammer. Those are all well and good, but critical parts of being human include wondering why we exist, as individuals and as collective humanity, and what is our individual and collective ultimate fate.

                            If Jesus was to be fully human, then he had to experience existential angst.

                            And no, I don't see how that's compatible with being fully God, either. But I find it inspiring.

                            As far as what you "have" to believe to be a Christian, that's no more yours to define than what you "have" to believe to be a Democrat, or a Cubs fan, or an American patriot. Sorry, but people are entitled to their own opinions on that kind of thing.

                            Please see my comment above, "funny you should ask today...."

                            "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

                            by HeyMikey on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 01:25:17 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  What would you do if you found out (0+ / 0-)

                            that the whole Jesus story was a concoction cobbled together out of Greek philosophies and Old Testament writings and then sold as a package by the early Roman church?

                            By the way, why DO we exist?  

                    •  God could have written "you are not alone" (0+ / 0-)

                      across the sky and it would have saved everyone a whole lot of nonsense, war and the other effects of the fact that the concept of salvation is divisive.

                      •  difference (0+ / 0-)

                        Writing a message across the sky would have maintained the separation between God and humanity. The crucifixion was God choosing to share human suffering. It's the difference between saying and acting. It's sublimation of the self, the ego...which Christians are called to follow.

                        "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

                        by HeyMikey on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 09:52:17 AM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                    •  His suffering (0+ / 0-)

                      as opposed to anyone else's? Is he the divine son of God? If not, then what makes his suffering so special?

                      •  He had a choice. (0+ / 0-)

                        Humans suffer because we cannot avoid it. Jesus suffered because he chose to share the human condition.

                        "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

                        by HeyMikey on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 07:50:37 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                  •  men created God in their own image. (0+ / 0-)

                    wrathful and violent, a mass murderer, the,"my way or the highway", kind of God.

                    •  yes, I agree... (0+ / 0-)

                      I agree that God you describe is one that humans created in our own image. That is not the God I worship, or attempt (poorly) to emulate.

                      "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

                      by HeyMikey on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 07:51:36 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

              •  No. Wrong. Fail. Derp. Idiot. Loser. Jerk... (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                He received the 15 Commandments!  Moses just had a poor grip:


                "But I do apologize, JVolvo, for you are arbiter of all that can and cannot be discussed and I bow down to your supremacy when it comes to what can be written on this website." WinSmith 1/22/2014 - "OK" JVolvo 1/23/2014 (sorry, Clive)

                by JVolvo on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 09:32:43 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

          •   That's because it (the bible) didn't exist yet? (0+ / 0-)

            Neither did Jesus, so the speculation on whatever the gospels report him as saying or doing are all mythological anyway.

            It was the RCC who cobbled together was was in the bible and they rejected many texts by committee vote because they contained "heretical" materials... like the idea of women being equal religious members.

        •  There's many references to Jesus liking Enoch (10+ / 0-)

          though the Book of Enoch was left out of the Old Testament.  Too much of that love thy neighbor stuff there.

        •  is this snark? (0+ / 0-)

          Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D.
          Drop by The Grieving Room on Monday nights to talk about grief.

          by TrueBlueMajority on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 10:54:34 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Although there is some argument, the Jewish (9+ / 0-)

        Testament probably wasn't fixed in Jesus' day.  Certainly the Pentateuch, central to Judaism, was set many years before Jesus' birth, but other books were still in flux, or at least whether or not they were part of the canon was yet to be determined.

    •  Genesis existed. (0+ / 0-)

      It's part of the Torah, which I believe was set to writing about the time of the Babylonian Exile.

  •  A very important point (49+ / 0-)

    The very essence of science is the formulation of hypotheses, and the testing of those hypotheses against empirical evidence.  For an hypothesis to qualify as science, it has to be subject to falsification by empirical evidence, should the evidence fall that way.  

    So you're exactly right. Creationism is a belief system, or an article of faith, and how you feel about it as such isn't subject to rational debate (as Ham amply demonstrated). But as it isn't subject to falsification by empirical evidence (by Ham's own admission) one thing it isn't, is science.

    •  I was waiting for a Popperian to raise this point. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Liberal Protestant, weirdsli

      nt  :-)

    •  Not falsifiable = no useful predictions (4+ / 0-)

      Ham's statement is directly linked to the question Nye kept asking: can you make a prediction?  The answer must be no, because otherwise if you make a prediction and it is wrong, then it should challenge your faith.

      Although to be fair, science makes false predictions all the time, but it doesn't shake my faith that the universe makes sense...

      •  Science hypothesizes many things (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        rat racer, Smoh, Liberal Protestant

        but until they are proven to be false or factual, they are called theories.  There may be substantial anecdotal or circumstantial data that support a theory, most notably the Theory of Relativity and the Theory of Evolution, the latter of which suffered from a dearth of factual data due to current limits of our technology and gaps in the fossil record.  That is not a basis for discounting the theory.

        This debate between Creationism and Evolution should not logically exist since they do not start out as equally able to subject their theories to analysis.  'God said it so it must be true' is not a factual statement.  It might be true, but no one heard God say it.  In fact, no one has defined God beyond being 'the unknowable'.  

        'As our area of knowledge expands, so too does our perimeter of ignorance.' - Neil deGrasse Tyson

        by American Expat on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 01:50:09 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  No, they are called theories AFTER (12+ / 0-)

          they have been proven to be "factual" :

          but until they are proven to be false or factual, they are called theories.  
          That snippet is essentially completely ass-backwards.
        •  American Expat - As I tell my students (11+ / 0-)

          a theory is a systematic explanation of a set of observations.
             Theories may or may not be "true" but they must be useful - IOW be used to make predictions.
              Newton's theory of gravity, for example, is useful in the sense that it accounts for almost all observations scientists might encounter, and you can make predictions from it.
             Einstein's theory of gravity (known as general relativity) accounts for phenomena that Newton's theory is unable to explain, and it makes predictions that have been confirmed.
             However, it isn't "true" in that it breaks down at the quantum level.
             A theory is as good as it gets in science. There is no higher level of "truth" in science than a theory.

            Scientific laws are actually lower on the understanding scale than theories. A law is a description (not an explanation) of something that always happens. The 2nd Law of Thermodynamics seems to always be true, but there is no clear theory as to why.

          •  I always, when in discussions like this, (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            bryduck, denise b

            tell people that science can only prove things untrue, if it can't prove an hypothesis/theory is untrue, that is the working explanation

          •  And even theories have gaps (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            tommymet, SilentBrook

            ... and that's not a bad thing.

            Take the theory of gravity: neither Newton nor Einstein's theory can explain exactly why gravity is related to mass.  They can explain the effects of that relationship, and make predictions based upon those effects, but we don't know why heavier things have larger gravitation to begin with.

            Some physicists propose yet-undiscovered particles called gravitons to explain this relation.  But we don't really know.  

            It doesn't affect the usefulness of the theory of gravity, though.

            Nobody deserves poverty.

            by nominalize on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 08:20:53 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Yes, but (0+ / 0-)

              This is an implicit interpretation that I don't think gets stressed when science is explained to non-scientists.  When Niel DeGrasse Tyson talks about black holes, he doesn't say "science's best guess is that your feet fall away from your head and you get stretched and squeezed, and we think this because...".  He says "here's what happens when you fall into a black hole: you get squished".

              Now in his mind, OF COURSE there's a reason behind it, and OF COURSE he would be willing to say something different if he was actually able to jump in a black hole and saw something different.  But if you don't understand that implicit caveat, "you get stretch out and time stops" is as mysterious as "you will be greeted by a heavenly host" (if not more so).

              I think that even "reasonable people" who really get science are still using a lot of the same human faculties to understand and explain science that religion uses; we tell stories to each other, and we believe that because the stories come from people who understand and practice the scientific method that when they explain a theory that the theory is based on their observations.  The scientific method is critical because it adds a safegaurd to our human way of building up our understanding of the world

        •  That's not how theories roll (5+ / 0-)

          A theory is never truly "proven." It is considered a good theory to the extent that it explains observations (data), and also predicts future observations. Evolution is one of the best supported theories, with literally billions of bits of highly consistent data from varied sources (fossil record, anatomy, genetics, and more). To support their agenda, the foes of evolution would need only one example of, say, a mouse fossil found next to a trilobite. But, of course, that NEVER happens.

    •  Although most Christians do believe in evolution (8+ / 0-)

      though you pretty much have to look at polls in Europe...
      since American evangelicals skew the polls here..
      They are in the low 20s as far as percent believing in evolution, right with Mormons and Jehovah witnesses.

      Close to 60% of Catholics believe in evolution, though as church grows more right wing who knows how that will change.

      Seems if one believed in a creator God they might figure he created evolution
      unless they think God hates all that science and math crap

      But het... United states is dumb but not yet dumbest. (Give us time) fromthis 2010 poll of 25 countries

      The "evolutionist" view was most popular in Sweden (68%), Germany (65%), and China (64%), with the United States ranking 18th (28%), between Mexico (34%) and Russia (26%);
      the "creationist" view was most popular in Saudi Arabia (75%), Turkey (60%), and Indonesia (57%), with the United States ranking 6th (40%), between Brazil (47%) and Russia (34%)
      See, more of us believe in evolution than 7 other countries
      and 5 countries have a greater percentage belief in creationism.

      Though... we may have devolved in the last few years

      •  The numbers I saw recently had "Creationism" (5+ / 0-)

        pegged at 58% in the USA (from Pew, IIRC).  That would leave only 14% as "undecided" (unlike in your poll which would mean 32% were, which seems implausibly high for an issue like this).

        Their higher number (58% vs 40%) is because they lumped "Creationism" and it's twin "Intelligent Design" together (rightfully so).

        So in reality we take at least the Bronze Medal in belief in creationism . .. .. (I suspect that there are very few ID believers in the other countries on you list, so if somebody believes in Creationism there is less ambiguity).

    •  It isn't science (3+ / 0-)

      Hamm and Nye might as well had been debating a wall instead of each other. Or as I said above, it was like a debate between two people speaking different languages.

    •  What Science Is, And What Science Isn't (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Liberal Protestant, SilentBrook

      Science engages in the scientific method.  The scientific method is a way ask and answer question about natural phenomenae.

      The scientific method requires that an investigator first formulate a hypothesis about a phenomenon, then design a way to test that hypothesis.  The investigator then does that test, and collects the results.  Finally, from the results of the test, the investigator draws conclusions about the validity of the initial hypothesis.  This is the practice of science.

      Note the differences with creationism.  Creationists say they know God created the universe in seven days because the Bible says so.  Having come to a conclusion, the creationists then try to find evidence to support it.  And of course, outside of the Bible, there is really no test results that provide support for the ideas of creationism.  For evidence to support their ideas, creationists refer back to the Bible, and also make critiques of scientific theories on the origins of the universe.  This is very different from the practice of science.

      Creationism is not science because creationism does not practice the scientific method.

      I have no quarrel if people want to teach creationism in school, but it should be taught in the theology class, not the science class, and it should not be called "science".  

      "The fool doth think he is wise: the wise man knows himself to be a fool" - W. Shakespeare

      by Hugh Jim Bissell on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 06:28:42 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Very important (5+ / 0-)

      When I teach about fundamentals of science, I always hit the point about a hypothesis being REQUIRED to be disprovable.  If you can't test it, if cannot be shown to be false, it isn't science.  And in fact, I end up phrasing it that way to my graduate students as well, formalizing even little steps in analysis in terms of hypothesis-testing-conclusion.

  •  Ham's "Historical" Science Is Hogwash (44+ / 0-)

    Even though you can't go back in time to do experiments, you can still make predictions, like Nye said. Ken Ham couldn't explain how kangaroos got to Australia from the Ark's supposed landing in the Middle East given there have been no fossils found along the way from there. Yet evolutionary biologists predicted they would find intermediate marsupial forms in the layers dating between 30 and 40 million years old under the Antarctica, since evidence supports the idea that pre-marsupials originated in what is now South America and that continent, Antarctica and Australia were once connected. And lo and behold they found them there in the exact layers they predicted! That's how science experiments work in paleontology. Predictions are based on previous evidence and then proven true or not. Ham's "historical science" is bunk.

    •  It is far easier to learn what to believe than (20+ / 0-)

      how to think.  Ham clearly took the easy way out which left him defenseless around a believer in reason like Bill.

      Never promote men who seek after a state-established religion; it is spiritual tyranny--the worst of despotism. It is turnpiking the way to heaven by human law, in order to establish ministerial gates to collect toll. John Leland

      by J Edward on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 08:10:24 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  "historical science" is his atttempt at a wedge (18+ / 0-)


      If you weren't there, you couldn't see it, so you can't prove it Nyah nyah..

      That's suspiciously akin to what we all do when we're two years old. If you can't see it, it isn't real. I assure mr ham that when I play peek-a-boo with a 2 year old, I actually exist when I am out of sight.

      Fear is the mind-killer - Frank Herbert, Dune

      by p gorden lippy on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 09:39:29 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  It builds on the doubt (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Smoh, SilentBrook

      purveyed by woo-meisters such as Rupert Sheldrake that we can't know for certain what the physical rules of the universe were in the past or will be in the future.

      I really am surprised that he did not say that maybe light moved faster in the past and that is why we think stars are millions of light-years away.

      If you aren't outraged, you are an idiot

      by indefinitelee on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 10:03:24 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  not entirely.... (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mkor7, Ahianne, SilentBrook, dconrad

      Actually I think he has a real, important philosophical point that shouldn't be dismissed out of hand.  There is a real distinction between what you actually observe and the models and inferences that you derive from those observations.

      There are articles of faith that underlie science.  You must assume that experiments are repeatable, and that experiments that have been repeated many times with the same result hold more weight than those that don't.  You also make generalizations as soon as you translate measurements into numbers, compute with them, and then make predictions based on your calculations.  And you make assumptions when you say that the ability to predict unknowns means your process is sound.

      These are all assumptions that I'm happy to make.  What was a little infuriating was that Ham was both saying these assumptions are religious beliefs and so if you're going to teach them then you should teach creationism as well, and also his claim that anyone who makes these assumptions is automatically assuming there is a God and thus every scientist in the world is using creationism.

      •  another unstated assumption (0+ / 0-)

        Is that experiments that are described and that I could in principle carry out probably will produce the outcomes the authors claim.  I believe in the Higgs even though I haven't built an LHC lately.  Again, assumptions I'm perfectly happy to make, but it's good to realize that they're there.

        Is it really less reasonable to believe what your parents and other authority figures taught you, and what all of your friends and community believe?

        •  You shouldn't "believe" in the Higgs. (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          pasadena beggar, SilentBrook, jubal8

          It is a mathematical prediction based upon other evidences.  And if some evidence comes along to pop the Higgs out of it's evidenced status, then science will pursue that and leave the Higgs for the science history narrative.  That is the essence of science, and the words "belief" or "faith" have no place in it.

          I point this out because I have helped edit a book on the experiments in CERN and have contact with scientists working there.  They would frown upon the idea that they "believe" in the Higgs.

          •  Understood, but (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            jubal8, Fishtroller01

            I completely agree with you, but I'm trying to say that there is a different perspective that we must be aware of if we want to explain science and the scientific process to others.  Nye kept saying that he prefers to accept the evidence that he can see with his own eyes and find in his own backyard.  I agree.  But to put the Higgs boson and black holes and even global warming in the same category is a big stretch for the folks who can't tell the difference between creationists and scientists.

            I agree that "belief" is not the right description for the scientists at CERN.  It's a bit more accurate of a description for mere mortals like me, and perhaps even more so for non-technical people like most congresspersons.

            The data coming out of CERN is evidence for the existence of the Higgs, but it isn't evidence that science works.  The evidence that science works is that one group of people did a bunch of calculations, and then another group of people built a gigantic machine and did some measurements, and that the calculation predicted the right answer.

      •  I don't think that was his point. (0+ / 0-)

        His point was that the observations themselves were of a different character. That so-called 'historical' observations were of a different nature from contemporary observations.

        Which is hogwash.

        Now, there are certain types of observations that one can't make 'historically', such as taking the rectal temperature of a T-Rex to determine whether they were warm or cold blooded.

        But then, there are certain types of observations that can only be made historically, such as tracing the changing length of the thigh bone in fossil lineages.

        Yet, both these types of observations involve some measurement or data that is incorporated into some hypothesis to either support or disprove a theory.

  •  I wish "Christians" like Ham (31+ / 0-)

    (and Sarah Palin, Bryan Fischer, et al) would stop working so hard to make the rest of us look bad.

    I'm a Christian, therefore I'm a liberal.

    by VirginiaJeff on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 07:30:46 PM PST

  •  Bill Nye Destroyed Ken Ham And ... (67+ / 0-)

    ... Ken Ham destroyed creationism.

    First let's look at this. Prior to last night the leading religious nutcase in this country was Pat Robertson. And when it comes to stature there is no comparison. Ham may own his own museum but Robertson owns his own TV Network, University, and has even fun for president. And Robertson turned on Ham like a rabid dog this morning with this "Pat Robertson implores creationist Ken Ham to shut up: ‘Let’s not make a joke of ourselves." And you can't do much better than getting prominent religious nutcases to publicly attack each other.

    Second, Nye just destroyed Ham over a question asked if Ham believed in a "literal" interpretation of the bible. Ham saw the trap in that question because if you say you do then you are also saying you believe in killing homosexuals, adulterers, and countless other various sinners. So Ham tried to deflect from that question and claimed that some parts of the bible like Genius are literal, others are poetic, and others are historical. And then Ham really tried to hedge his bet by saying in effect that looking at the old laws of the bible was like looking at the US laws of the 1700's and comparing them to today's laws. Get it? Ham essentially said the bible has evolved.

    And Nye jumped right on that and pointed out that what Ham was actually doing was cherry picking the parts of the bible he based his theory on claiming the bible is absolutely true but then admitting that other parts of the bible are not absolutely true or should be taken as absolutely true.

    That was devastating and defeating enough but we have to realize it actually goes even deeper than that. And that would be that to a large portion of Ham's base he had just committed blaspheme.

    To illustrate that let's look at another Robertson, the famous Phil Robertson. Because if he and his Duck Dynasty family were watching their heads would have had to explode because they and many other fundamentalists do believe and profess that the bible is the divine word of God, every word absolutely true and every word meant to be taken literally.

    To them killing homosexuals and other sinners is not wrong. That is God's command. Its our modern laws against killing them that are wrong and why there is so much sin in the world.

    So Ham managed to not only turn billions of religious people who don't believe in his personal interpretation of the bible against him like Pat Robertson, he also all but spit in the faces of a large percentage of his own base by trying to cop out on his literal/non-literal answer. That will not be forgiven nor forgotten.

    All and all like many others I had my doubts about the wisdom of Nye agreeing to this debate but as the aftermath mounts I've come to see it as nothing short of genius.

    Either that or it was divine inspiration because God wants Ham to shut up to.  

    Collect Different Days

    by Homers24 on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 07:32:44 PM PST

    •  Nobody was destroyed (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mightymouse, mconvente

      this is a classic case of each person talking to their own audience, to great acclaim.

      I suspect that out their in the blogosphere the other side is also celebrating their huge win right now (although IMHO, for the same reason, neither side won as well).

      •  I don't agree (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        I think it was pretty clear that Bill Nye was speaking to the Ken Ham audience, but Ken Ham was speaking to them, as well.  

        Ken Ham was citing scripture in a debate.  He wasn't speaking to Bill Nye's audience.  Bill Nye was asking Ken Ham's audience to consider some of the difficulty with a literal reading of the bible.  He made some things plainly clear that might not have been.  It was a good attempt at peeling some ideologically convicted folks.  


        by otto on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 07:13:37 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Nobody ACTUALLY believes that the entire ... (6+ / 0-)

      Bible is literally true. Lots of people say they believe that, but when pushed, they retreat to pretty much Ham's position, although they may choose to identify different parts of the Bible as literally true and others as allegorical or poetic imagery.

      If the entire Bible is literally true, then the Earth is flat, and the Sun revolves around the Earth. Even most fundamentalists concede that the parables don't describe literal events that actually happened. And they concede, as Ham did, that parts of the Bible use poetic imagery that isn't literally true.

      They all pick and choose, based upon who knows what standards, which parts they insist are literally true, and which aren't intended to be taken literally. Heck, if they believe Paul in his letter to the Galatians, they would recognize that the story of Abraham, Hagar, Sarah and their children is allegorical.

      Bin Laden is dead. GM and Chrysler are alive.

      by leevank on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 05:43:12 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  In that case, (10+ / 0-)

        the most incisive question would be, "how did you decide which parts of the Bible are to be taken literally, Mr. Ham?"

        Because that answer would definitely take some 'splainin.

        "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself."........ "The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little." (yeah, same guy.)

        by sidnora on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 06:23:47 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  I have to admit (8+ / 0-)

        I enjoy tweaking those who believe every word is literally true because it's easy to discover if they've:
        a. actually read it
        b. actually believe it
        c. all of the above.

        the answer is almost always c. most have never read the thing cover to cover--I'm still amused at how the adults reacted when I did just that at the age of 11 (it wasn't a positive reaction) and most pick and choose what they like to believe.

        This is a conversation I had once (abeit, on Twitter):

        Me: So every word is true? every single word?
        Fundie: yes. Every word. Literally true.
        Me: So the earth is flat? The moon generates its own light? Bats are actually not mammals but birds? Slavery is okay?
        Fundie: how DARE you be so CHEAP with the WORD! How DARE you! Repent!!!!!

        That was fun. But it is what it literally says, after all.

        The "one man one woman, so sayeth the Bible" is another fun conversation. I usually just bust out a graphic I have that shows all the various forms of marriage that are depicted in the Bible, and not negatively either. That usually gets silence or "well times were different" or "the Bible doesn't actually approve of them." I've yet to get the response that I got above though.

        Dawkins is to atheism as Rand is to personal responsibility

        by terrypinder on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 06:24:17 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  You're much more patient than I am w/ (0+ / 0-)

          so-called literalists.

          All I want is for us to teach science earlier and more comprehensively so that kids (and the adults they eventually become) understand that we do science from the moment we realize we can affect our environment (and my bet is that this point occurs in utero), that science is not an arcane mystery performed by a cloistered priesthood who then stoops to spoonfeed us the benefit of their wisdom.

          If people grow up seeing that science is everyday practicality based on principles of physics and mathematics they themselves can learn (with of course the understanding that more sophisticated projects require more sophisticated machines and math), it will be much harder for the forces of divide-and-conquer to portray it as class warfare between the noble wee folk who don' need no estinkin' 25-cent wurds and the airy-fairy egghead scientist priests.

          We're in the mess we're in today wrt science, evolution, creationism, etc., because most of our population does not know enough science to do more than "trust" that what scientists report is generally true and worthwhile. The Koch brothers, Exxon, et al have shown just how easy it is to use propaganda to undermine that trust.

          Fight them to the end, until the children of the poor eat better than the dogs of the rich.

          by raincrow on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 11:14:38 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I was getting ready to write a long (0+ / 0-)

            rebuttal but then I got into it with someone who thinks the Yellowstone Volcanic Observatory is actively hiding the truth and a huge eruption is coming all because one of their instruments had a malfunction. sigh.

            That's an oblique way of saying that I agree with you. However, I find that when things are explained and it's done well, most people go along with the explanation.

            Dawkins is to atheism as Rand is to personal responsibility

            by terrypinder on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 03:18:13 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I'm a molecular biologist and, dang it, (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              I want people to GROK SCIENCE!!!

              Really, what I want is for people to grow up with more than a collection of explanations they go along with but may not perceive as the result of a methodological whole based on principles they themselves can understand and participate in. I want kids to know (or have passing knowledge of) the basic steps for engineering a Coke/Mentos rocket that can travel >100 feet; how math is used to calculate basic stuff like the trajectory of a projectile; how fluid dynamics works for flying, surfing, gecko feet, and microfiber cloths; how pesticides, herbicides, and antibiotics work (at least in broad strokes) and how they are tested for efficacy -- even kids who are not going to be rocket scientists or immunologists need some sense that understanding of sci/tech may not be their primary interest but it is not impossibly beyond their reach.

              But then I also want them to graduate high school with a sturdy understanding of the balance of powers; lawmaking from local to federal; how regulations are promulgated; how the courts work; how local to federal voting works, including the electoral college; how the census, apportionment, and redistricting work; the difference between rights and privileges; the differences between absolute monarchy, constitutional monarchy, democracy, and democratic republicanism; and our federal constitutional rights when confronted by the legal system.

              Pipe dreams.... pipe dreams.....

              Fight them to the end, until the children of the poor eat better than the dogs of the rich.

              by raincrow on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 03:59:00 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  Re: supervolcano CT (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              I haven't seen that on FB yet, but I'm sure it's coming. The tide of scaremongering about West Coast rad contamination from Fukushima is driving me batshit.

              Fight them to the end, until the children of the poor eat better than the dogs of the rich.

              by raincrow on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 04:12:45 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

        •  The answer is almost always c? (0+ / 0-)

          Given the choices you listed, that would mean that they both have read it and believe it, but the rest of what you say seems to indicate that you meant they had actually not read it (or didn't really believe it).

          We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.

          by dconrad on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 03:51:49 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  ALL christians...every single one of them... (0+ / 0-)

        are cafeteria xians, no one follows every single thing the bible requires them to follow. This is true of all religion they all cherry pick the bits they like and blissfully ignore the troublesome parts.

        You don't have to believe the bible is literally true to be a cafeteria xian.

        That Ken Ham clearly and perhaps unwittingly admitted in the question this diary is built upon, that creationism isn't science isn't a 'bug' to fundamentalists - its a 'feature' (to borrow computer program jargon). To the fundamentalist its not a weakness of their argument to say nothing can change their mind, it is basis of their argument, the foundation upon which it is built.

        I was a huge skeptic of this event but have to admit that Bill Nye did as good a job as anyone could hope, I still lean towards the 'debating creationists is a waste of time' camp, but agree Nye did well.

        Religion is like a blind man, in a pitch black room, searching for a black cat that isn't there.....and finding it.

        by fauxrs on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 07:47:57 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Hmmm... ~2000 years behind the times.... (0+ / 0-)

          You appear to have a rigid, personal definition of Christianity and how one must live in right relationship with God and humans after the example of Jesus. Happily, where not constrained by the various methods of authoritarianism, Christians are quite capable of deciding for themselves how best to embrace the complexities of these relationships.

          Fight them to the end, until the children of the poor eat better than the dogs of the rich.

          by raincrow on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 10:51:40 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Astute observation! n/t (7+ / 0-)

    If I have any spit left after I've licked my own wounds, I'll be glad to consider licking yours. Peace.

    by nancyjones on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 07:52:10 PM PST

  •  I keep finding Bill to be ever more awesome. (15+ / 0-)

    All fundies are not hopeless, here in Grand Rapids at Calvin College, a Christian Reformed inst. there is a science prof who has been telling his denomination to drop the opposition to evolution since to reject evolution increases the likelihood that others will reject any other arguments they have. I, for one, do not understand how there is any opposition to evolution after the discovery of genes, which have been argued to show the mind of god.

    Never promote men who seek after a state-established religion; it is spiritual tyranny--the worst of despotism. It is turnpiking the way to heaven by human law, in order to establish ministerial gates to collect toll. John Leland

    by J Edward on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 08:03:37 PM PST

  •  I've been watching creationism for decades (19+ / 0-)

    I first noticed it in the mid-1980's. I followed it closely then.

    I don't mean to be a downer but not much has changed in all of those years.

    And I'm of the opinion that debates with creationists should stop. Creationists have been debating for a long time. They use debates to raise money and get attention.

    FYI, the National Center for Science Education has been fighting creationists for decades. Check them out.

  •  Did not watch this debate (9+ / 0-)

    but Christopher Hitchens's debates on this issue expose the folly of creationism (now doing business as intelligent design).  He butchers each of his opponents.  

    •  There is room in our tent for (8+ / 0-)

      both butchers (Hitchens) and dissectors (Nye).

      I must admit I was one of those who thought the debate was a bad idea, but Nye surprised me. His presentation (except for the part about bow ties!) was excellent, and he kept control of the proceedings from beginning to end.

      Vote, dammit, even if you think it won't matter, Especially when you think it won't matter. (-7.25, -6.21)

      by Tim DeLaney on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 12:50:15 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Now try to put yourself in the mind of a (0+ / 0-)

        creationist true believer. I know it is hard to do.

        Do you think Nye won? I don't.

        •  Who cares? (6+ / 0-)

          It's not the true believers who'll change in response to any kind of debate. On either side. If Nye had to win over the creationist true believers to win, he lost. If Ham had to win over those already firmly convinced of evolution, then he lost.

          It's the mushy middle that they're fighting over. The ones who might be persuaded that both should be taught in school because creation science calls itself science.

          The Empire never ended.

          by thejeff on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 04:58:55 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  how about the audience? (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          terrypinder, Ahianne, raincrow, Danali

          Debates like this aren't for the debators.  Ham admitted he'd never change his mind.  And it's an easy bet that a mental lightweight like Ham isn't going to change Nye's.  

          These debates are for the audience.  And many in the audience aren't as locked onto their mindset as Ham or Nye... so, the debators are convincing them, not one another.  Because the audience is where all the wiggle-room is.

          Go look around on Twitter or some other social media site, and see how many people you can find who think Ham won, and how many are saying Nye kicked his ass.  It gets pretty clear who the audience picked... and the audience was the target.  The more guys like Ham get their ass handed to them in rational debates, the sillier their position looks.  And that's the point.  It's why Ham was foolish to want to do this in the first place.  In an increasingly-rational world, he's taken a position that is quickly becoming untenable.   In a century or two guys like him are going to be regarded the same way we do flat-earthers now.

          "Glenn Beck ends up looking like a fat, stupid child. His face should be wearing a chef's hat on the side of a box of eclairs. " - Doug Stanhope

          by Front Toward Enemy on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 06:47:21 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Nye's trap about the literalism (4+ / 0-)

            I thought that was well done, now that I've had time to think about it.

            Ham's smart enough to know that (to use an example) using the story of the Shibboleth as a positive story because it's in the Bible and God was apparently for the events of that story (the genocide of an entire tribe) as a literal happening would just not cut it in the 21st Century. So that story becomes "poetry" and not "literal truth," although shibboleths have been used to  fuel plenty of genocides in history, sadly.

            But there are Ham supporters who are going to be confused.

            Dawkins is to atheism as Rand is to personal responsibility

            by terrypinder on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 06:52:13 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Are you serious? (0+ / 0-)

            Do you really think those on the fence would bother attending one of these debates? They have better things to do like watch Bachelorette.

            •  it's not just attendees (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Yoshimi, pasadena beggar, raincrow, Danali

              This debate has been reported in the media pretty widely.  Heck, it was a lead story on Yahoo for most of the day yesterday.  So people will get exposed to the fact that Ham got schooled whether they're looking into it or not.  

              The world's getting used to creationists looking silly.  And that's a good thing, because it'll get them out of the way of progress.  

              "Glenn Beck ends up looking like a fat, stupid child. His face should be wearing a chef's hat on the side of a box of eclairs. " - Doug Stanhope

              by Front Toward Enemy on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 08:17:59 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

        •  Why do you keep pounding this point? (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          pasadena beggar, Danali

          As I pointed out somewhere above to you, most atheists were former believers who changed their minds when exposed to comments here and there or readings that planted the seeds of doubt.  You can't say that Nye did not accomplish that and I would be willing to bet he did.  On the other hand, I would also be willing to bet that Ham did not change the mind of a single evolutionist.

  •  Jonathan Swift put it quite succinctly... (37+ / 0-)

    “It is useless to attempt to reason a man out of a thing he was never reasoned into”

    “The aim of mankind should be to tame the savageness of man and make gentle the life of this world.”--Edith Hamilton (1867-1963)

    by cinepost on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 08:22:19 PM PST

  •  The Creationist Emperor has no clothes (11+ / 0-)

    And he put that on full display last night.

  •  Ham's argument that science can't know what (23+ / 0-)

    happened years ago because scientists weren't physically present then logically means that astronomers can't study the universe because humans have never physically gone beyond the moon and beyond the solar system with rockets.

    And Ham's version of God is pretty remarkable, a being who in the days of ancient Israel had the sun orbiting the earth, but somehow between then and Copernicus' day, God changed things so the earth now orbits the sun.  What a miracle!

  •  Are there any unbiased polls (6+ / 0-)

    on the debate results? I don't think it's a stretch to say that most of us here (myself included) would give the win to Bill Nye. Just look at this diary. If you think about it, it's an indictment of the man (Ham) not the theory.

    It's about whether that individual could be convinced, that's not evidence of the theory, only of the presenter and his opinions. The indictment of the theory is whether there is actual evidence to support it. That is how the win/loss judgement should be made.

    Ham's argument seems to be that all that "evidence" comes from one source, a three thousand year old text, written by laymen, that has been repeated translated through many languages before we see it in its present form.

    Bill Nye touched on that repeatedly but obliquely, he never really pressed the issue much. Ham never seemed to feel like he had to defend it, which is a sign that the issue was indeed not sufficiently pressed.

    "crush in its birth the aristocracy of our monied corporations which dare already to challenge our government" -Thomas Jefferson

    by Phil In Denver on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 08:45:03 PM PST

  •  impervious to evidence (11+ / 0-)

    We can all have notions that prove incorrect. Most wrong notions don't do much harm.

    It's when you cling to your notions in the face of contradictory evidence that things start to get dodgy.

    When you seek to enforce your wrongheaded notions through law & arms, you are dangerous.

    If you find yourself arguing with someone it might behoove you to ask them if, presented with the right piece of evidence, they would change their mind. If the answer is no, then arguing is pointless. If you are arguing before an audience it would be good to get that very important piece of information exposed as soon as possible.

  •  CONservative Christians now rewriting the Bible: (16+ / 0-)

    "The Conservative Bible Project"

    The CONservatives are busy editing out all the "lib'rul" stuff that they don't like.

    •  Thanks for the link (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TrueBlueMajority, rat racer

      that's brilliant, IMO.

      I had serious doubts about Nye doing this--which was silly, even if he is a Really Nice Guy, and could have been set up, he's still got Science on his side. And Science always wins.

      Not to mention, if you lose Pat Robertson, son, you done lost.  The End.

      This all started with "what the Republicans did to language".

      by lunachickie on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 10:24:42 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I agree with your ... (6+ / 0-)

    ... takeaway from the debate, Rachel191! You are spot on. That's why the picture of Charles Darwin's hand-drawn Tree of Life with the words, "I think," written above it make up my avatar. Not, "I know" or "100% True and If You Don't Believe Me You Will Burn in Hell." Scientists look for evidence, and as Bill Nye repeatedly said during his presentation, evidence against a theory is at least as, if not more, welcome as evidence supporting one.

    I also wanted to note that at 1:58:00 into the video of the debate, the moderator read a question submitted by the audience for Ham. It was: "What evidence besides the literal word of the bible supports creationism." Ham spent two full minutes--his allotted time--not answering that question.

    In the end, your takeaway is the important one as it explicitly demonstrates the difference between religion and science. It shows exactly why religion shouldn't be taught in schools. Now for something fun and educational:


    Rand Paul is to civil liberties as the Disney Channel is to subtle and nuanced acting. On biblical prophesy: If you play the bible backwards, it says, "Paul is dead."

    by Tortmaster on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 09:31:40 PM PST

  •  I didn't see the debate (6+ / 0-)

    But forty years ago I watched "Inherit the Wind."  It's been done.  

    "If there are no dogs in heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went." - Will Rogers

    by Kentucky DeanDemocrat on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 09:35:29 PM PST

  •  The bible is hearsay (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Front Toward Enemy

    All of it--at BEST.

    I mean, I like matzoh ball soup and latkes and all that, but don't expect me to believe the complete and utter horseshit that claims to explain the true origin of all that. Puhleeze! It was propaganda then and it's propaganda now.

    A literal belief in scripture--ANY scripture--is like draino for the brain.

    "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

    by kovie on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 10:07:34 PM PST

  •  I have to give Bill Nye a lot of credit. (28+ / 0-)

    I was among the many voices that thought this was a terrible idea, debating creationism vs evolution.

    Apparently, Bill Nye thought so as well.

    A debate billed as one pitting creationism against evolution quickly turned out to be a debate between science and creationism. Instead of defending evolution, Bill Nye spent his time poking holes in the outrageous claim that the Earth was only 6,000 years old to undermine all of Ken Ham's assertions. If you can show that the very basic idea of creationism, which relies on the Earth being only 6,000 years old, is laughably impossible, you strike at the very foundation of creationism.

    So instead of defending one scientific theory, Bill Nye took it upon himself to defend the scientific method while very gently, but very firmly ridiculing the notion that the 7000 kinds of animals on Noah's Ark had somehow morphed into the tens if not hundreds of millions of species that exist on the Earth today in only 4000 years since the Great Flood.

    And if the Grand Canyon was created when the waters from the Great Flood receded, then why weren't there Grand Canyons all over the Earth? And how did Kangaroos get from the Middle East where the Ark supposedly settled to Australia? Did they hop? Did they swim? Why didn't any of them stay behind?

    Nye continued to hammer home points like this in his presentation.  It obviously had no impact on people who believe in magic, but it was an impressive display, a smart strategy and if it only made one young, open mind kick start their curiosity, it was worth it.

  •  Pat Robertson complains Ham needs to STFU (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    p gorden lippy, lirtydies

    because he is making the rest of them look stupid.  Errrrr, no, to give a theological answer, that is God, not Ham doing that.

    The funny thing is that on the side of evolution, about 99% of scientists agree on its mechanisms while the Creationists cannot agree on the most fundamental issues, for example, the age of the world, where estimates range from 6000 to billions of years old.  It is funny to me that Creationists claim that, in order for science to be true, it must not be uniform.  Uniformity proves, in their viewpoint, that the Science Nazis are at work again, doing nefarious things to all who dispute Evolution.

    Some time ago, in the Enlightenment, religion and science split company, as they evolved into their current forms from philosophy.  This is the reason there is so much concern over the intent of the Founding Fathers as Fundamentalists are determined to prove Jefferson was SBC.  Reading the Constitution, for example, out of historical context, yields errors.  The references to a deity in documents of this era were more a result of influences such as Deism or Theophilanthropy, and reflected the then current split developing in Science and Religion.  For this matter, references in this era to the "Nature of Man" or "Natural Law" is completely different from its current interpretation  

  •  Isaac Asimov gave the best one-line smackdown (15+ / 0-)

    of religion I've ever heard.  Paraphrasing slightly:

    "If you want to say that science is fairly described as 'only theories', then religion is fairly described as 'only myths'."

    Odds and ends about life in Japan:

    by Hatrax on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 10:40:17 PM PST

  •  We lose if we are even debating this...... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    protectspice, Roadbed Guy, scottdc

    ......this was unbelievable for this country for this day and time. Just shocking really.

    If you hate government, don't run for office in that government.

    by Bensdad on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 10:47:32 PM PST

    •  No. We've been slowly losing by NOT debating. (14+ / 0-)

      "Don't debate them, it gives them credibility" is a recipe for failure, and the slowly growing percentage of people who disbelieve in evolution is ample testament to the inefficacy of ignoring the enemy.

      Nye knows what happened after the Scopes trial:  the Fundies crawled away beaten and discredited. It took them decades to recover.  But recover they did.

      That the Fundies didn't all give up after Scopes does not mean Nye's debate is automatically a "loss." Nye clearly saw that they must once again be publicly confronted and trounced. And trounce them he did.

      You can tell Monopoly is an old game because there's a luxury tax and rich people can go to jail.

      by Simian on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 11:45:15 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  You Have to Understand the Mind Set (0+ / 0-)

        of the fundamentalists: they are SCARED.

        the world, particularly the hideous, only-money-matters- world we have created is very frightening place for numerous people. add in the continuing gun carnage (a symptom of our F***ed up system), violence in places like the Mideast, the obvious immorality and lack of ethics of our so called political leadership, etc. etc.

        of course numerous people are going to look to "God" for some sort of hope and answer-- because MEN have totally failed.

        years ago I regularly attended a church in farm country in the Midwest-- a couple I knew who raised sheep had several die from a disease. they actually said: "well, we could just as well have this happen to us if we did not believe in the Lord".

        that's right; they actually thought their faith would always protect them bad luck, bad things happening to them. they are not the only Christians who think this way.

        "It is essential that there should be organization of Labor. Capital organizes & therefore Labor must organize" Theodore Roosevelt

        by Superpole on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 03:49:47 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  That's not what I am saying. (0+ / 0-)

        I am saying we are LOST. If in this day and time we even HAVE to debate this, we are hopelessly lost.  I am not saying DON'T DEBATE THIS. I am saying the fact that we must debate this tells you how very far gone this country is.

        If you hate government, don't run for office in that government.

        by Bensdad on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 10:53:14 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I sympathize with the lament, (0+ / 0-)

          and I agree we're far gone, but I don't think we're lost.   With fundies like Robertson denouncing young-earth creationism, I believe it's clear that Nye struck a strong blow for science.  I think belief in science is going to rebound--as it did after the Scopes trial.

          You can tell Monopoly is an old game because there's a luxury tax and rich people can go to jail.

          by Simian on Fri Feb 07, 2014 at 04:07:31 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Can't win rational argument with magical 'thinkers (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Matt Z, wvmama, Roadbed Guy, radmul

    ' and con-men.

    No matter how much evidence you pile up, how many chasms you expose in their b/s, they just respond with 'MAGIC!' and fold their arms and smirk in smug satisfaction that the rubes know who won and the monthly receipts will prove it.

  •  Did Nye (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Roadbed Guy, Amber6541, Ahianne, raincrow

    point out any falsifiable/refutable statements in the Bible?

    I'm thinking of something like 1 Kings 7:23, which speaks of a "molten sea," 10 cubits across and 30 cubits around.  

    It's a biblical verse that clearly doesn't consider pi.

    . . . and it turns out the creationists already have their defense!  This link goes into all sorts of detail about how a cubit can mean this and may mean that.

    But I think Nye could've cited the verse, gently refuted it on its face -- then explained that creationists often justify it with their own interpretations.  Interpretation -- that's the narrow end of the wedge.  Because once a creationist admits that they're interpreting the Bible, it can truly mean anything. (I remember hearing someone explain that "turn the other cheek" didn't mean in "biblical times" what it means today, but that's another story.)

    Christie is toast.

    by deminva on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 03:19:05 AM PST

  •  The Problem with the Bible as (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wvmama, LynChi, Amber6541, caliberal2001

    "the word of God": the document has been "translated", what? 1,000 times over the past centuries?

    The notion the documents has NOT been altered/edited to support the needs of the powers that be- like the odious catholic church, is about as bogus as it gets.

    not only is the bible not any sort of scientific document, it's a document that has been altered for dubious reasons. entire sections have been left out in these alterations.

    "It is essential that there should be organization of Labor. Capital organizes & therefore Labor must organize" Theodore Roosevelt

    by Superpole on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 03:36:21 AM PST

  •  Watched too (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Listening to every word of the debate it seems that Ham, as Nye the Guy said, had no proof.

    The only thing Ham had going for him was the Bible tale.  What Nye failed to point out was that in addition to the other proofs/facts of science is the fact that we can prove that stories, such as that Bible, are embellished and distorted over time and the number of times that a story is told.

    The Bible is analogous to the story of the fish that got away.

    Man created GAWD and invented incredible, and unbelievable, stories to draw attention to the story teller.

  •  Good for Ham! (0+ / 0-)

    Nothing wrong with faith. In this case, there's especially nothing wrong with it because it's a question with absolutely no importance in most settings.  For the vast majority of people who aren't evolutionary biologists, the only setting in which it even comes up is the K-12 classroom and he's given us a gift as the diary notes.

    It's not the side effects of the cocaine/I'm thinking that it must be love

    by Rich in PA on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 04:16:28 AM PST

  •  don't overplay this . . . . . (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Young-Earth Creationists and Old-Earth Creationists have been harping at each other for a century now. There's nothing at all new about that.

    But they're both just as anti-evolution and anti-science. The OEC "day-age" theorists and the "gap" theorists" base their opposition to each other on differing scriptural interpretations of Genesis, not on science or reality. They're both just as nutty. And when it comes to opposing evolution and imposing creationism in schools, they are both on the same side.

    In the end, reality always wins.

    by Lenny Flank on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 05:41:26 AM PST

  •  I watched later (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    p gorden lippy, lirtydies

    the "debate" went better than I thought. Nye was polite but firm.

    Ham lied of  course.

    (Also, any astronomer who says there's nothing in observational astronomy that negates a 6,000 year old universe? The university that awarded them their degree should ask for it back and refund their money, and I know it wasn't Liberty because they have no such program.)

    Dawkins is to atheism as Rand is to personal responsibility

    by terrypinder on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 05:59:54 AM PST

  •  Have you considered (6+ / 0-)

    the possibility that it was Ham, not Nye, that walked wide-eyed and greedy into a trap?

    I think it's possible, probable even, that Ham is basically a grifter.  He seemed too intelligent to believe what he was preaching.  He likely has convinced himself so as to sincerely play the role, but deep down he knows it's bull.

    His probable motivations involved boosting his Museum, and boosting his status in the Creationist world.  And thereby lining his pockets.

    I was one who thought this debate was a bad idea from Nye's (and the scientific) point of view, that is was just a trap laid by Ham and Nye was walking into it naively.

    I was wrong.  I didn't give Bill Nye enough credit for knowing what he was doing.

    Which was to use his personality and celebrity to bring tons of viewers to this debate.

    To give credence to Ham and the creationist?  No, to expose them.

    To his believers Ham was a soldier for God.

    To everybody else, he made the argument for Creationism (and everyone who pushes it) look and sound ridiculous -- because it is.

    The objective here was never to tilt at the windmill of converting him or his believers and disciples.  It was to expose their foolish desperate beliefs for what they are.

    I was right only in that it was a trap.  But not the way I feared.

    Brilliant.  My hat's off to Bill Nye and his advisers and helpers.

    "A hierarchical society is only possible on the basis of poverty and ignorance." -- George Orwell, 1984

    by Treats on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 06:23:03 AM PST

    •  Bill Nye just gave us the template (0+ / 0-)

      ...for how to debate Creationists properly.

      1) Stay calm, keep the high ground.
      2) Squash anecdotes under a ton of science.
      3) Concern-troll closed-mindedness.
      4) STEM edu is $UPER IMPORTANT.
      5) There are trees that are older than God.

      That said, Bill missed a couple of opportunities to devastate Ham's central positions:

      A) When Ham says, "There's a book that explains that!", Bill could have gone for the jugular and asked what gives the Bible so much credibility, using Ham's own argument: "Were you there when it was written?"

      B) He could have pointed out the logical contradiction in Ham's argument that a) creationists can be scientists, and that we can "trust the Christian(!?) laws of nature and the laws of logic"... The very same laws he disavows every time he implies/claims that things were different in the past ("Historical Science") than in the present ("Observational Science"). How can these laws be trusted if they were broken within the last few thousand years?

      •  A) was my thought (0+ / 0-)

        at the moment Ham first popped out his line about "there's a book that answers that" I was hoping -- even expecting -- that Nye would say exactly that:

        "Were you there?  Then how do you know?"

        But it wouldn't have done much.  He'd just have replied "I trust the Word of God."

        "A hierarchical society is only possible on the basis of poverty and ignorance." -- George Orwell, 1984

        by Treats on Sat Feb 08, 2014 at 03:32:07 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Best way to discuss a topic with the Brainwashed ? (0+ / 0-)

    There is no best way.

    A person who is brainwashed, is complete within their own mind, and there is no "best way" to discuss anything rational.  These people who are brainwashed by their own religion, no matter what religion, have been , in essence, brainwashed.  

    It could be an extreme radical religion, that has brainwashed that person into killing himself, or killing themselves, and others, to move on to "A better place"

    It could be a harmless religion, where blissful ignorance, and blind faith, could cause more harm, in mass, than the single brainwashed whom decided to kill himself, and others.

    We have the worst case situation of brainwashing here.
    Mass Brainwashing, through the Christian religion, where Science is ignored, completely, and replaced by faith.

    This is an epidemic, and our planet is at risk.

    " With religion you can't get just a little pregnant"

    by EarTo44 on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 06:34:09 AM PST

  •  it's superstition, not science (0+ / 0-)

    And you can't stop superstition.  People will believe anything they feel they have some vested interest in believing.  Ham is fooling himself, but he likes fooling himself.  It's comforting.  No amount of proof or logic is going to pry him away from something he wants to believe, even if it's something absurd.  It's filling some need that he has.

    What Ham doesn't get, though, is that not everyone has that need.  Some people are able to deal with the "scary" things in life - mortality, not being watched over by a celestial shepherd, no divine intervention, etc. - without having a god.  Just like not everyone needs to carry around a lucky rabbit's foot or a four leaf clover.  And the people who do need those things can't understand those who don't.  And, sometimes, vice-versa.

    You can prove that walking under a ladder doesn't give you bad luck, but if you make someone who believes that it does walk under one, they're going to be nervous all day, and they'll look for bad things to happen to them so they can attribute it to transgressing against the bad-luck genie or whatever.  If you don't believe it, you'll just walk under ladders and go about your day.  It's just how human brains work; we're good at playing tricks on ourselves.

    Ham should have his faith and enjoy it if it makes him happy.  Where he's going wrong is pretending it's science.  It's no more scientific than carrying around a lucky dime... although, psychologically, a lucky dime might help someone who believes it has power.

    "Glenn Beck ends up looking like a fat, stupid child. His face should be wearing a chef's hat on the side of a box of eclairs. " - Doug Stanhope

    by Front Toward Enemy on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 06:37:01 AM PST

    •  At some point, (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Front Toward Enemy

      during the evolution of the human being, mankind began to believe in the supernatural. Every single human society has done this, in addition to toolmaking and the like.

      What is the science behind why people believe? That to me is the question that should give a scientific answer to the source of faith rather than people just being assholes.

      •  inquisitive minds (0+ / 0-)

        I think it's just because humans are inquisitive.  We see things we don't understand, and we want answers... even if we have to make them up.   We're a story-telling race.  And the supernatural makes for some of the best stories, even if it isn't real.  I think that's really all the science to it... combined with the persistence of myth.  Even when humans find out the real science behind why lightning happens, it's still fun to believe some Thor guy is doing it.  And, we're also a self-medicating people... and, for many, "faith" is a medicine.

        Like I said, we like to play little tricks on ourselves...

        "Glenn Beck ends up looking like a fat, stupid child. His face should be wearing a chef's hat on the side of a box of eclairs. " - Doug Stanhope

        by Front Toward Enemy on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 07:55:55 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Humanity has always been curious (0+ / 0-)

        We have always tried to explain the world around us, even bearded men living in dusty tents in the desert 3000 years ago wanted to explain what they saw.

        Since they didn't have science they fell back on the supernatural, that's the origin of gods in my opinion. Cant explain why the sun rises and sets?, well its a god in his fiery chariot. No idea why it rains, well its the water above the firmament (or something).

        No one holds those beliefs against those peoples, its a perfectly understandable conclusion for a simple people to think such things. It is certainly NOT about those beliefs at that time making them assholes.

        What's astounding though, is that since the beginnings of the scientific method, that as each item once proscribed to a god is explained, that religion continues to peddle itself as an answer to something scientific. Perhaps that's a new thing I don't know. The astounding part is that people still hold up these bronze age myths and cling to them as an explanation to anything.

        Does that make them assholes? Not in my eyes, at least not if they keep those beliefs in their church, as far as I am concerned they are free to believe whatever they wish, bigfoot, fairies, superman or the flying spaghetti monster makes no nevermind to me.

        The second though, the second they claim that their belief, which cannot be supported in any scientific manner, trumps science, is the second I scream foul. This is what Ken Ham is doing, this is what the DI is doing, its what a great many faith based politicians are doing. Its what the catholic church is doing, its what every xian who thinks that their religion should be taught in science class, as a alternate to real science is doing.

        They are probably the assholes.

        Religion is like a blind man, in a pitch black room, searching for a black cat that isn't there.....and finding it.

        by fauxrs on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 08:18:24 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Really don't see the point of the debate. (3+ / 0-)

    The idea that creationism is a science is just not a point worth debating, unless you're the type of people who like to debate such things.

    Science and Faith occupy two different realms of the human experience. Science is basically a process. It is a method for understanding the physical world and how it operates. Faith, essentially, is a worldview. Comparing the two is apples and ... not even oranges. Its apples and saltwater taffee.

    How we decide to live as human beings need not cause one to be 'anti-faith' or 'pro-science.' One need not 'believe' in science anymore than one needs to 'believe' in fire. Faith, however, is very much subject to belief and guess what...belief is a thing that does exist in the natural world among humans. The human experience cannot occur without science. But it can occur without faith, albeit for most people in the world that sort of human experience is rather unfulfilling for some reason.

    Creationsim, as a movement, isn't about science or religion at all. Its just about Republican Traditionalism and White Supremacy. Its just their way of rebelling against the modern world where they are no longer in charge.

    •  Academically Faith and Science are mutually (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Front Toward Enemy

      exclusive disciplines.

      It's fucking elementary.

      Church belongs in church and should not be forced on a captive audience of school kids trapped in class.

      Science belongs in school because it teaches something that is neutral and necessary so that children can grow up to become intelligent, educated, productive adults. Science and Math are universal languages, religion is certainly not.

      Gentlemen, congratulations. You're everything we've come to expect from years of government training (Zed, MIB).

      by GreenMother on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 06:53:12 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  At some point in the evolutionary experience, (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        humans began to believe in the supernatural. Unless there are people who believe that every single one of the worlds human societies just decided to be jerks to screw with atheists.

        There is a science behind faith, we just don't understand it yet. Seems to me atheists would focus on the science of why humans believe rather than dismissing it.

        •  The supernatural.. (0+ / 0-)

          is nothing but a simplistic explanation for something these early unsophisticated peoples didn't understand .... Lightning? no idea how its caused, must be a god up there.. There is nothing scientific about faith.... period....

          Even the bible admits faith is unscientific.

          Hebrews 11.1
          Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
          There is nothing scientific about "the substance of things hoped for" Faith is purely belief in that which cannot be proven, it is the antithesis of science.

          Religion is like a blind man, in a pitch black room, searching for a black cat that isn't there.....and finding it.

          by fauxrs on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 07:57:46 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  BBB's last sentence reminds me of a question (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            fauxrs, brooklynbadboy

            I sometimes ask my atheist and agnostic friends.  A fair number of them seem to possess a belief in certain principles that starts to look like a kind of faith.  They might believe that human existence over time uncovers ever more truths.  They have a certainty that "truth will out"  Some experience the power of beauty in a numinous way.  To some there seems to be a moral arc to human society.

            So is there something hardwired in the human psyche that gives everyone some kind of belief or faith in something?  If not a deity, then a principle or common shared human experience?

            So that is what I think BBB may be getting at.  And that question could be investigated with logical (if not scientific) methods.

            I'm not liberal. I'm actually just anti-evil, OK? - Elon James White

            by Satya1 on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 08:14:49 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Much like one of the questions (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              ..... from the question and answer period "what is the source of consciousness" that Bill Nye answered most awesomely with "I don't know".

              I do wish he had explained why that is such a terrific answer, why its so much more satisfying than "goddidit" why its the honest answer and why it leads us to further knowledge.

              What do we learn if we say goddidit? nothing. Think of it, if we don't look into this question, if scientists don't try to find the answer what do we miss out on? It is possible the search for this answer could lead us to a cure for Alzheimer's, ALS or all manner of neurological ailments. If however we say "goddidit" and then rest upon our laurels basking in our exquisite faith we miss out.

              that's the danger of religion putting itself forward as science. By all means we could look for the neurological origins of faith, who knows what other answers we may come across during that search, but lets realize that even if we are hardwired for faith, it doesn't make faith very useful in answering questions about reality.

              Religion is like a blind man, in a pitch black room, searching for a black cat that isn't there.....and finding it.

              by fauxrs on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 08:40:12 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  absolutely (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                lirtydies, brooklynbadboy

                "I don't know" leads to
                "I want to find out" leads to
                "How can I find out" leads to...

                In other words the scientific process.  I didn't listen but I hoped he explained that somewhere.

                But I didn't feel the need to watch.  I've met some Young Earthers and in my estimation they have completely closed minds impervious to any realistic discussion.  I highly doubt it will sway any minds.

                The weird thing for me personally is that the most honest religious people I know also not only respond "I don't know" but confess that their knowledge of reality is too miniscule to be measured.  There's a priest that covers this point in a unique way in this video from minute 15 to 19.

                To me "goddidit" is not only criminally lazy science, but it is criminally lazy faith as well.

                I'm not liberal. I'm actually just anti-evil, OK? - Elon James White

                by Satya1 on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 10:09:42 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  A proper question for Bill Nye is this: (0+ / 0-)

                Faith is an observable pheonomena. It is clear that people of every culture on the globe seemed to develop one of some sort. What is the scientific explanation for why this occurs?

                It would seem to me that would be the question that a science based atheist would ask if one were intellectually consistent.

                If the answer is 'i don't know' than it would seem to me that this is a problem!

        •  You have missed the point entirely (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          Science seeks to understand the mechanics of the world we experience, through the gathering of empirical data.

          Faith does not do that. Because often faith is based on unsubstantiated personal subjective paranormal experiences.

          Note two words: Unsubstantiated and Subjective.

          What one person might see as a "sign" another might say is simply a natural phenomenon.

          Science doesn't care if lightning stuck at just the right moment to make you THINK is is the wrath of some god or spirit.

          Science wants to know what properties in this existence come together that make lightning happen, and what properties exist in this world that attract lightning to certain objects.

          The hubris is not in having a faith, it's in the belief that one can force their unique subjective interpretation of certain occurrences on others OR ELSE.

          The hubris is in the notion that there is no need to understand the physical world at all, and that every excuse can be had to attribute ALL to this or that god or spirit always, especially when such claims socially or materially benefit the claimant.

          Faith is immaterial to science, not because it's not important, but because it simply does not fit into the scientific method, and it's existence is based more on emotive mechanisms within the mind, rather than empirical data that can be replicated in order to understand a the world without an emotional charge.

          Gentlemen, congratulations. You're everything we've come to expect from years of government training (Zed, MIB).

          by GreenMother on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 08:49:40 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  You speak of science as if it were a god. (0+ / 0-)

            To me, it's not a proper noun, but a verb.

            •  Not at all. You are simply frightened of the (0+ / 0-)

              notion that you cannot threaten or guilt someone into silence or compliance with your own belief system.

              You make gigantic assumptions about me because I refuse to play your messed up game.

              Gentlemen, congratulations. You're everything we've come to expect from years of government training (Zed, MIB).

              by GreenMother on Fri Feb 07, 2014 at 05:23:24 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Quote: (0+ / 0-)
                Science seeks to understand the mechanics of the world we experience, through the gathering of empirical data.
                I wasn't aware that science was a sentient being that sought to understand anything. I thought human beings performed science for their own understanding, not on science's behalf.
                Science doesn't care if lightning stuck at just the right moment to make you THINK is is the wrath of some god or spirit.
                You also speak of science's feelings. Science has feelings?
                Science wants to know what properties in this existence come together that make lightning happen, and what properties exist in this world that attract lightning to certain objects.
                Once again, you speak of science as if it were a being. That's three quotes, not assumptions.
                •  Go back to church if that suits you (0+ / 0-)

                  No one is stopping you.

                  But you have no power to force your beliefs on others, no matter how fearful you may be at heart.

                  Gentlemen, congratulations. You're everything we've come to expect from years of government training (Zed, MIB).

                  by GreenMother on Fri Feb 07, 2014 at 01:25:46 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

          •  Oh yes, and then there is this part: (0+ / 0-)
            and it's existence is based more on emotive mechanisms within the mind, rather than empirical data
            Where is the empirical data that backs up that assertion?
            •  My suggestion would be read some scientific (0+ / 0-)

              papers. Inform yourself about the Scientific method.
              then this conversation will make more sense to you, and perhaps you won't feel so inclined to put that emotionally negative charge on this topic, as if stating simple facts were somehow an attack on your personal faith.

              Gentlemen, congratulations. You're everything we've come to expect from years of government training (Zed, MIB).

              by GreenMother on Fri Feb 07, 2014 at 01:27:11 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Heh. (0+ / 0-)

                The response above and this one says all one needs to say  about who is the zealot here. You can't provide a cogent scientific response to a single question. Just ranting cause you hate religion.

                The fact is it is unknown, for now, why people developed faith. You don't know the answer because it hasn't been examined and reproduced in a lab to properly test and confirm theories.

                What is clear is that, for reasons unknown, people have developed faith as a thing that exists. People also developed science as a means to understand themselves and the physical world. Science has been used for evil horrors (think Nagasaki) and wondrous goods. Just like Faith (think Martin Luther King, Jr.).

                The two occupy different realms of the human experience, albeit one can live without faith, one cannot live without science. However, one is very hard pressed to find folks who live without a faith of some sort, including in things like luck, fate, optimism or 'gut feelings.' For some reason, people tend to believe in things that have no scientific basis.

                That is quite a separate discussion from organized religion, just as science is a separate discussion from its modern progenitors, corporations. I doubt many of the science-lovers here love Monsanto. But Monsanto does a boatload of pure science. Perhaps evil, but science nonetheless. So much is also true of, for example, the Catholic Church or Al Qeada.

                You mistake me as a religious zealot. I am not, and nobody here has ever accused me of being one. I keep my faith to myself and don't bother anyone with it. I couldn't exist without science. But I choose to exist with faith.

    •  well said (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      The idea that creationism is a science is just not a point worth debating
      Very well said indeed. Now all we need to do is get xians on board with that.

      Now when I say xians I don't mean the reasonable ones who agree. I speak of course of the various xians who populate school boards, sit in chairs at the Senate or House, those who actually do think that creationism is science....and better science at that.

      Religion is like a blind man, in a pitch black room, searching for a black cat that isn't there.....and finding it.

      by fauxrs on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 08:22:55 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  the words of Creationists often the best evidence (0+ / 0-)

    that  Creationism in no way should be taught in a public school

  •  There is so much more to this (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ahianne, Kanscott

    Not only is Christianity NOT Science, nor based on Science, Christianity is not the ONLY belief system in the world.

    This is the 2nd biggest chink in the Christian Creationist armor. There are plenty of other people out there who have their own independent belief system, who have no desire to convert (even at the point of the proverbial sword) who have every right to express their religiosity as well.

    When Christians monopolize this topic and push their religion exclusively, that is nothing more than indoctrination. It's not even a debate about creationism and science. It's really a power grab for the opportunity to not just push religious thought, but to push their religious doctrine specifically and unlawfully at captive audiences (public school kids) regardless of the beliefs or philosophies embraced by the child in question or in the child's home in general.

    Gentlemen, congratulations. You're everything we've come to expect from years of government training (Zed, MIB).

    by GreenMother on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 06:49:58 AM PST

  •  The Pope Is Probably Christian, Too (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I don't suspect it makes him believe in creationism, though.

    Bill Nye is the guy. He took it to the creationists, and he won. We need more like him, advocates for sanity.

  •  As a retired educator (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    science is my guide to reality. However, I never deny anyone their beliefs, even religious beliefs that claim creationism (as long as those beliefs do not impact my life). The debate was interesting.

    The aim for science is not to convince religious fanatics that their beliefs are ludicrous. Science endeavors to understand the universe, where it came from, how it came to be, what will it impact and when will it end, if ever. Then to teach those findings to those intelligent enough or open-minded enough to understand it.

    Religion endeavors to bring social and moral comfort to those who believe spirituality and a higher being is omnipotent. If Ken Hamm justifies his entire philosophy based on his religious beliefs and refuses to accept scientific facts, then that is the limits of his intellectualism. Even snails have limits to their intelligence. I can accept snails exist and have a place in the world so I can accept crackpots like Ken Hamm exist and have a place too.

    Solitude is painful when one is young, but delightful when one is more mature...Einstein

    by tazz on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 07:42:03 AM PST

  •  Planetary conciousness is missing here. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    So I would say that Ken Ham, even more than Bill Nye, delivered the decisive answer in last night's debate: no, creationism is not science. It is a belief system based on a literal reading of select parts of a scientifically inaccurate book. Nothing less and certainly nothing more.
    Your money para says it all except it is not broad and holistic enough on a planetary basis.  Christianity, Judaism and the other "Abrahamic"  religions are a small, small sampling of the religions on the planet.  An insignificant part if you count from the beginning of our species in paleolithic times and perhaps even before.  

    Many examples exist of spiritual and cultural practices (known in the aggregate as "religious practices") such as the aboriginal inhabitants of Australia who have such practices that go back 40,000 years or more.  China, India, Japan all have religious practices that go back in time and are far better represented by numbers as well as in time.

    In some ways we do the world a disservice by limiting our discussion to these middle east religions.  The world is so much bigger and greater than just that middle east tunnel vision of spirit, God, and religion.

  •  Just wanted to add my vote (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    raincrow, Danali

    to the pile of skeptics on Nye's decision to do this debate who were very pleasantly surprised by his excellent performance.  He negotiated the gish galloping and blustering of Ham very well and avoided falling into the traps.  And I am willing to bet that he planted some good seeds of doubt among the creationist crowd.  Kudos to Nye!

  •  What some folks don't understand... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    raincrow that this was never about "Nye beating Ham" or "Ham getting the better of Nye."

    It's all about the viewers.

    In that sense, it's very much like commenting on posts here at Daily Kos.  How many of us comment with the expectation that we'll "change the diarist's mind"? I'd say that very few of us have that in mind; we post comments to support or rebut the thesis of the diary, or to convince another reader. I, for one, always try to write in a fashion accessible to the third-party reader who "comes in later," not just the person to whom I'm replying.

    The question isn't whether Nye "beat" Ham, but rather whether observers came away with the right questions in their minds.  In political terms--this is Daily Kos, after all!--neither of the two was likely to sway the other's "base;" this was all about reaching "the undecided" - and I think that Nye did an excellent job in that respect.

    The word "parent" is supposed to be a VERB, people...

    by wesmorgan1 on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 09:56:51 AM PST

  •  It's *NOT* a "literal reading" of the OT (0+ / 0-)

    just for the record.

    The ancient Hebrew in this compilation of creation stories discussed creation as happening in epochs or phases of varying lengths, with some aspects of the universe already long in existence before creation of Earth and its environs; for instance, one account in which a dark void already exists; and another portraying the restoration of an already existent world wiped blank by cataclysm.

    One has to deliberately discard most of the origin accounts and then misread the ancient Hebrew in order to arrive at young-earthism.

    Fight them to the end, until the children of the poor eat better than the dogs of the rich.

    by raincrow on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 10:23:24 AM PST

  •  Science and Doctrin (0+ / 0-)

    A Jesuit priest (and physicist) while teaching a class on world religion said that science explains the how doctrine explains the why.

    He expanded this with a comment that man is free to chose his doctrine but not his science.

    Only two things are infinite, the universe and human
    stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former.

    Albert Einstein

  •  It is a hopeless task to try and argue Logic (0+ / 0-)

    and reason against brute force and ignorance.

  •  Not all Christians are close minded (0+ / 0-)

    The thing that upsets me most about a statement like "I'm a Christian you never change my mind" is that it tends to paint all people of faith with a broad brush of ignorance. I myself and many Christians I know have certain religious tenants which are unshakable but they are about basic doctrine and moral issues and not about such extraneous things as creationism. It is possible for both faith and science to peacefully coexist in the same person. As mentioned in another comment here, even those who claim to be taking a "literal" interpretation of Scripture still pick and choose the portions of Scripture that suit their preconceptions and ignore those which don't support their views. A more reasonable approach be upfront and honest that one is taking their own interpretation and not hide behind some inerrant external authority when referring to Scripture. I interpreted it my way. I could be wrong. For me it's always about the message behind the stories and not the details themselves. Science can and often does change my mind about theological matters. For example if homosexuality really was a choice against "nature" as fundamentalists claim I could support that view. But science is pretty much concluded that is something inherent in the person and not a choice. The way we are made by our Creator. How can that be wrong? The bottom line is not all people of faith are close minded nor are they hypocrites.

  •  I think this is a relevant counterpoint (0+ / 0-) credit to Jonathan Rosenberg

    Us atheists are just as zealous in our non-belief.  God could show up in a beard and flowing robes and we'd still question the evidence til kingdom come.  But it's also just a hilarious comic.

  •  I'd laugh . . . (0+ / 0-)

    if the abject ignorance and the inflexibility it begets weren't so pathetic.  But my overwhelming reaction is one of hopelessness.  To think that, in 21st-century America, so many are willing to live according to the precepts of semi-literates who lived almost two millennia ago strains credulity.  Yet hopelessness is one thing; horror is quite another.  For it's the latter I feel when I consider the evidence that the number of fundamentalists in this country is growing.  Go figure.

  •  The biggest difference... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    ... when watching the debate had to do with questions beginning "How do you explain ...?" (For example, how consciousness comes from matter).

    Bill Nye said, in effect, "we can't explain it yet, that's why scientists are hard at work looking for the answer to this fascinating question."

    Ken Ham said, in effect, "we can't explain it, so God." That, Mr. Ham, is called religion, not science.

  •  Zealotry is not a "Right" It's a sickness (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ham responded as a zealot. Ham has every right to be as zealous and as closed-minded as he likes.

    Nuclear Reactor = Dirty Bomb

    by olo on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 12:16:52 PM PST

  •  Epiphany (0+ / 0-)

        As a confirmed evolutionist, I had an epiphany upon listening to a “scientist” employed by the Creationist Museum back in June of 2006.   He made Creationism seem so simple that he had me wondering why public schools have been teaching Evolution to students all these years.   After all, any 5 year-old could understand that “God put it there, “or, that “God made it.”  

         I then realized that it is this very simplicity of Creationism that is the problem.   Did God endow humanity with superior intellect so that it could operate at the level of sophistication of a 5 year-old?    Since Americans voted for a leader (Bush II) whose intellectual aspirations did not much exceed those of a 5 year-old, and who would like his subjects to believe that “God put it there,” or that “God made it,” the Creationist answer to the above question looks like it should be “Yes.”

  •  Confronting zealots not alway a waste of time (0+ / 0-)

    Private arguments with zealots of any belief system is an exercise in futility. Logical reasoning base on facts and clear thinking, by definition, is not something a zealot is prepared to do.

    However, confronting zealots in a public forum is important because it shows the world that these sacred ideas do not go unopposed. While the zealot can frame his antagonist as evil, there are usually ears in the audience, often the younger ones, or the older ones that have begun to doubt the infallibility of their doctrine, that may just hear enough to see their world view contains some serious errors. I applaud Bill Nye, and others, who enter these debates confronted with appalling ignorance and willful twisting of the truth (any informed creationist knows what  scientific theory is, yet they call evolution "only a theory," but then again, perhaps informed creationist is an oxymoron).

    The majority of any group of strong believers will be unaffected by logical arguments, but if only a few began to ponder that the world may be different than what they have been told all there lives, that is a victory. You can't change a life-time of indoctrination in one debate, but the continual drip, drip, drip, of truth may eventually lead a faith based world view to an evidence based world view.

    It would be better not to know so many things than to know so many things that are not so. - Felix Okaye

    by eclecticguy on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 12:21:48 PM PST

  •  When I was young (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Around the days of Vatican II's aftermath, (and from what I learned of Catholic History), the co-existence of evolution and the infusion of human knowledge by a Supreme Being - were completely compatible - and that is what I was taught - in Catholic schools.  The church has not changed on this, though I left the church decades ago - for other reasons.

    It is the growth of Fundamentalism/dominionism/charismatic bible thumping that brought Creationism into the public domain.  It is a very flawed and ridiculous worldview - in light of the enlightenment and modern science's dominance in the world.

    I see the triumph of belief over science in the eyes of many as ignorance.

  •  I have a simpler suggestion. (0+ / 0-)

    All of the creationist nonsense has been settled from the times of Paley and Agazziz.  There is nothing new for creationists to chew on.

    Forget the debate, forget trying to explain science to the reptilian brained faithful. The best thing that we can do, the only thing that makes sense, is to marginalize these ignorance seeking people.  We must ensure that even their opinions have no legitimacy in public discourse.

  •  Good Debate (0+ / 0-)

    Being a believer in science I would say Nye won, but I'm sure he did nothing to sway the "true" believers. Ham fell back on the old "it's in the Bible so it must be true" defense that plaques all true believers and will forever resign them to a realm of fantasy over fact. The belief that it's the word of god is hard to comprehend when you realize that in reality it is just a book in which one of the many authors "proclaims " it to be the word of god.

  •  Yeah… (0+ / 0-)

    What is an camel? A horse reverse engineered by Ham.

    Ham like to reverse engineer things without a degree in engineering. See what happens?

    I would tell you the only word in the English language that has all the vowels in order but, that would be facetious.

    by roninkai on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 01:06:07 PM PST

  •  Thanks (0+ / 0-)

    Hey Rachel Hobbit Hole -- i like the way you put this --- Ham delivered the decisive answer in the debate -- and it was against himself -- (some details) and therefore Christianity is not science, it is a belief system.


    Beside being a truism, it is great to see journalists (including bloggers) spreading this across the media. Pat Robertson should be furious about the way Ham embarrassed him, tho i think most of the far right Christians will applaud him for keeping them separate from those (ahem!) atheistic pagan scientists.


  •  Religious God Beliefs (0+ / 0-)

    Billions of people who's minds have been literally distorted through a number of psychological devices from birth on are believing in things that are not based on reality. Their minds are virtually corrupted with it!

  •  Creationism vs. Science (0+ / 0-)

    I tell my political science students that the first rule of discourse is this: Don't try and convince those who base their positions on faith of the fundamental flaws in their reasoning.  That would be nothing more than beating your head against a wall.  But, if you really want to beat your head against a wall, make sure that you're OK with concussions, because that's all that's going to come out of the discussion . . . The K.F. Stone Weekly

  •  Nye versus Ham (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I think you hit the nail on the head. Bill Nye made Ham look very foolish. I live within miles of Petersburg, and it used to be known as a Civil War site, until that ridiculous "museum" was built. People riding dinosaurs! I wouldn't pay a dollar to visit the place!


    by phineasflapdoodle on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 01:30:10 PM PST

  •  What is also interesting ... (0+ / 0-)

    is that Mortimer J. Adler (philosopher) gave a talk in the 1960's when he was not quite an atheist, but heavily leaning in that direction.  He said he thought it rather silly that creationists (specifically young-earthers) wouldn't accept evolution.  He argued that their God isn't diminished in any way by the theory, and neither is the "miracle of human creation" if HE created us from apes.  He argued that at some point in history, God had to somehow instill "cognition" into the ape/human creation.  He argued from a quasi-Aristotelian standpoint regarding the inability of cognition to have evolved (too complicated and time-consuming to explain here, but deals with potentialities and actualities).  Can't help but agree in the sense that Adler's form of a sort of "evolutional creationism" wouldn't really break any heretical rules ... except those of the extremists (hate to add it but) ... like Ham.

  •  This just get better and better... (0+ / 0-)

    Even Pat Robertson is slapping his forehead...

  •  One sentence comes to mind (0+ / 0-)

    Half-way through reading this, I could hear the (in my opinion charlatan) Rev. Fred Price saying his signature line:  "For we walk by faith, not by sight." People like Ham don't care what they see, what's obvious. They blindly follow the stories in their fairy tale book.

    Go ahead and hate your neighbor, go ahead and cheat a friend. Do it in the name of "heaven", you can justify it in the end.

    by 1GirlieGirl on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 02:27:01 PM PST

    •  This turns out not to be the case at all (0+ / 0-)

      Most mythologies have the Gods appear in a pre-existent world. Some don't bother about origins at all.

      I don't feel like giving a catalog, but in Norse mythology a giant cow named Ædhumla appears in a world of ice and licks at the ice until the Earth and other realms appear.

      Buddhism says that the Creator God, Brahma, is deluded, only thinking that he created the current cosmos that came into existence the same time he did, as multitudes like him did in previous worlds.

      Back off, man. I'm a logician.—GOPBusters™

      by Mokurai on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 06:13:25 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  The heart has reasons of which reason doesn't know (0+ / 0-)

    How and how long it took; whether a day or over a gigajigacamabillion years ago, it is still a miracle that anything is here at all rather than a vacuum of existence sucking void of black empty nothingness.

    Consider the rainbow in a dewdrop on a rose in the morning sunlight reflected in the eye of a curious baby.

    Or the baby in your arms that came out of your body smiling back at you for the first time.

    A butterfly learning to fly for the first time.

    A million other things in the universe that are a miracle.

    Stop, be glad, and say thank you for the opportunity to have enjoyed at least one of these beautiful mysteries of life.

    There is a door through which even reason cannot enter, but the soul alone.

    Quote in subject line is by Blaise Pascal, a famous mathematician.

  •  Reason Ends Where Faith Begins. (0+ / 0-)

    That is a fact.  Not a judgment.  Science and religion are two different subjects.  Any connection between them is pure coincidence, much as one might claim a connection between woodworking and mathematics since both use numbers as units of measurement.

    That said, it is the most supreme form of arrogance for any person relying solely upon a religious book to condemn or gainsay any form of science.  Every religious tradition holds that a deity created the universe.  None, to my knowledge, explains how it was done.  Anyone who disputes the findings of a scientist with no argument other than "that's not what it says in the (insert religious book here)" is, in effect, claiming to know better than his or her god(dess).  

    Scientists have been wrong about many things.  No doubt they always will be--creating a hypothesis and testing it are basic parts of the scientific method.  Good scientists admit when they are wrong and move on to other possibilities.  Religious fundamentalists, most notably, never admit to error, even when the error lies in their reading of their own "infallible" book.

    •  Oh I dont know.... (0+ / 0-)
      Every religious tradition holds that a deity created the universe.  None, to my knowledge, explains how it was done.
      Actually I think the xian bible does explain how it was done. In Genesis 1:3, 1:6, 1:9, 1:14, 1:20 and so on.. they all begin with "And God said...."
      in·can·ta·tion  [in-kan-tey-shuhn]  


      1. the chanting or uttering of words purporting to have magical power.

      It was an incantation that created the world, a magic spell, just like Harry Potter only no wand required.

      Religion is like a blind man, in a pitch black room, searching for a black cat that isn't there.....and finding it.

      by fauxrs on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 04:19:58 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  debate science vs creation (0+ / 0-)

    I believe in science but unfortunately there are far too many that believe in religion. Eventually our sun and earth will be gone from natural progression. However humankind will have destroyed life and our planet long before that happens due to a self fulfilling prophecy as taught in the so called good books. Armageddon or whatever else it is called is a self fulfilling prophesy. We will destroy ourselves!

  •  Yes and ahem! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    freelunch, muziker, Silina

    I have an interest in this topic being a rehabilitated fundamentalist who simply accepted the story I had been told.  My brother is not rehabilitated.  He is in his 80's.  

    I said to him one day:  "Do you still believe that the earth was made in 6 days?"  The look on his face could not have been any different if I had confessed to being a serial killer. His response indicates how important this belief is to the practicing fundamentalist.

    I understood how he must, had to, believe it.  Several other of his key beliefs depended on that being true.  

    The creationists response noted in the article and answer are indeed just what any good fundamentalist would have to say.  They have already agreed that such is such and to back down would be like denying Christ.

    Denying Christ is another aspect of this fundamental experience altogether.  

    The fundamentalists have only themselves to blame when people tell them they're out of their minds. After they get done sputtering, they are proud to be mocked for Christ.  They're likely to say "Of course this would happen the Devil never rests." Or something like that.

    Changing their mind or even listening to an opposing view with an open mind is not an option for the fundamentalist Christian.  

    The abortion issue proves this as well and their activity against abortion has led them to be labeled terrorists.

    "I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness," Allen Ginsberg

    by Hermenutic on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 03:24:15 PM PST

  •  The debate just furthered for many the idea (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    muziker, LynChi

    that science is the opposite of creationism. Creationism belongs in religious studies, science belongs in science. Case closed.

    Knock twice, rap with your cane

    by plok on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 04:00:52 PM PST

    •  Some would tell you that Creationism belongs (0+ / 0-)

      in Abnormal Psychology. Real religion is something else entirely. Some strands of Buddhism even encourage observational and experimental religion, with no Gods required and nothing supernatural.

      Back off, man. I'm a logician.—GOPBusters™

      by Mokurai on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 06:16:32 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Truth? (0+ / 0-)

    I have long said that many Christians are going to be very surprised, if not shocked, when they die and get to their "heaven" and they discover the reality of the universe.

  •  bill nye (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Science is truth, faith is wishful thinking.  Truth trumps every time.

  •  Christianity IMHO (0+ / 0-)

    as well as all other faith based beliefs were intended to answer the questions of who, what, when, where, how and why. The same exact questions I was taught to ask when investigating any incident as an MP when I was in the military.

    Even the Native Americans had their stories of creation. Interestingly enough those that I know of also spoke of flood waters. The Cherokee lived "above the sky vault". They sent water beetle down to go below the waters and bring up a ball of dirt. Buzzard was sent down to fan the ball of dirt to dry it. Where his wing tips touched the ball of dirt formed the mountain and canyons.

    The Navajo lived on a sacred mountain which was higher than the waters around it.

    As was stated, there will always be converts. I was baptized Protestant yet couldn't stop my mind from reasoning.

    Personal opinion but I fully believe there are a lot more Atheists than we realize. They just don't have what it takes to admit they are wrong publicly or are afraid of what the Jones' might think.

    Then again there is a faction in Congress that finds religious beliefs a rather useful weapon.

  •  Debate (0+ / 0-)

    Religion and science actually have a lot more in common that either side of this are willing to admit.  I'm a scientist so for me creation science is rubbish.  What I'm suggesting is that both religion and science are both attempting to find truths.  They each use different methods but in the end they have parallel objectives.  I object to religious zealotry because it often leads to an obsession with one strain of religion over another when almost all religions seek  the same thing.  Upon retirement, Physicist John Polkinghorne became an Anglican priest.  Physicist Amit Goswami teaches the concept of a self aware or living universe using the concepts quantum mechanics.  As we reach out to learn about the universe and what we call reality, both Polkinghorne, Goswami, and others find that the ultimate goals of religion and science begin to blur.  Of course, religious and scientific methodologies shall always remain different.  I once believed that religion and science were incompatible with each other.  Problems arise when religion tries to become science and science seeks to replace religion.  In fact, the human condition requires both.  People have a right to seek 'truth' as they see fit while science must adhere to the scientific method.  The only real conflict occurs when religionists seek to become scientists and when scientists belittle the validity of religion.  In fact, many brilliant minds have proven time and again that both are needed and may coexist in harmony with each other.

  •  I prefer that... (0+ / 0-)

    the losing side provide their own rope to hang themselves.  In this, Ham did an admirable job!

  •  I watched the whole debate this morning. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Ken Ham's argument: "I believe it, and you should too."
    Bill Nye's argument: Fact, after fact, after fact, after fact. Evidence, evidence, evidence.

    Ken Ham did not do a good job.

    "For we, the people, understand that our country cannot succeed when a shrinking few do very well and a growing many barely make it." - President Barack Obama, Second Inaugural Address, January 21, 2013.

    by surfermom on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 11:43:16 PM PST

  •  This is not a debate--Ken Ham needs cash (0+ / 0-)

    There can be no debate between mercenary fiction and a theory of evolution.

    My interest in this Ham person is how is going to pay off his next circus which is reported to cost at least 60 million. In this GOP-challenged economy, he had best make all the money he can by doing these bizarre public displays and fast. This guy has bills to pay. I would guess the loan for the next entertainment venue would exceed the 60 million development costs.

    This whole refusal of facts and science thing is getting kind of old by now, too. I don't know how much longer people can garner cash by playing superstitious weirdos. Fake dinosaurs and Palin fantasies are getting tired. Conspiracy theories used to be fun when they were still new and Rovian. They are not working anymore. I think the whole country is past the fascination with bible-thumping shills.

    Ignorance is just not as fashionable as it used to be. Banks want to get paid and income depends on finding gullible people who will pay admission fees to be insulted by this Ken Ham.

    Since the GOP is busy trying to destroy this country's economy as it always has been, money can get tighter in the future. What does that say about having a 60 million development coming? Business is still in the caution mode. Ham needs better marketing all around.  

  •  Creationism debate (0+ / 0-)

    Little does anybody realize it, but both sides lost the debate because they argue about an issue according to an illusion in their thinking.

    Both sides were attempting to describe their belief about the Universe using the limited powers of the human mind.  

    The Universe where we all live is everything.  It is defined as the totality of known or supposed objects and phenomena throughout space; the cosmos. This includes any anti-matter universes.

    Obviously we were all created in the Universe, so it follows that we are a part of its totality.  Therefore we are part of the eternity that makes up the Universe.

    Some people might call this God, it's up to them if they choose so.  Others may call it random chaos. That too is up to those people.  They can all call it what they will but it doesn't make them any more enlightened nor does it bring them closer to understanding this place or God or anything.

    I know for a fact that over 50,000 trillion years ago, life forms once argued this same question on their planet.  Who knows?; they may have even killed each other over the debate.   The other life forms who had lived 500,000,000 trillion years earlier than those life forms may have had the same debate and settled it peacefully.  

    In any event, it's most likely best to not bother with a debate and keep our beliefs to ourselves since none of us is really any more than a short dream that never mattered.  

    Neil Young once made an LP album titled  “ Everybody knows this is nowhere”  I thought it was a great title since in so many ways it's true.  Our true knowledge and wisdom deep within us knows all these things.  We all know this quadrant of the Universe is nowhere and that there is no up in space and there is no down.  No sideways either.  True wisdom knows this.  It is more powerful and knowing than the limited human mind.  It is born of the past and has eternity on its side.  Every tiny segment of the Universe fits together to create the Eternal Now.

    Every segment contains all the laws and principles that govern the Universe and align the planets into their orbits.  It infuses us with knowledge far beyond what a team of scientists can do.  All the scientists put together cannot mend a broken bone in our body.  They can only set it in place and step back in awe as the wisdom of the Universe knits the bones back together.  It will even do it for the common idiot.

    This wisdom inside each of us is unavailable to our minds. There have probably only been about 20 people who were born on this planet that were able to access it and use it.  

    Christians, Muslims, Jews, Buddhists and all of the religions as well as the atheists and scientists are but a joke to this Power governing the Universe.  I can only see these debates taking place as a total waste of time.

    The Creationism debate is uncreative. It's like a drug addict arguing with an alcoholic over what's the best path to get high.

  •  Well, that's Ham's shtick, (0+ / 0-)

    isn't it? He's never been about looking at the world objectively; he's all about looking at it through "God glasses".

  •  So-called Creationism (0+ / 0-)

    Ham's imaginary invisible friend certainly did not help him in this "debate", which was rife with delusionary thinking --  a true life example of Sam Harris' contention that of all the mind viruses religion is the worst.

  •  Cosmic Design (0+ / 0-)

    Creationism lacks dimension and substance and the Bible upon which these ignoramuses rely is in many instances a repeat of stories written long before in Sumerian by Magi whose Wisdom writings are contained within "The Epic of Gilgamesh"!  That Epic contains the Flood Story, The Garden of Creation Story and other stories about a race called the Annunaki, who came from a distant planet called Niribu at least six thousand years before.  This event happened long before Abraham left the City of Sumer in Sumeria to father Isaac and Jacob from whom the Jews descended.  That Star civilization bequeathed all of the information upon which the Sumerians developed the sciences of mathematics, animal husbandry, crop rotation, astronomy, architecture and a written language; just to name a few academic disciplines that grew from that original knowledge.  Other cultures and civilizations including that of Polynesia, Peru, Chile, Mexico, Columbia, Hawaii, Africa, Egypt, China, Mayan, Aztec, Inca, Hopi, Zuni, Navajo, the 7 Dakota Tribes and many others including the Inuit claim a similar story of VISITORS who brought them the knowledge and cultural traditions, spiritual practices, healing arts etc.!  Ignorance of these facts has kept "so-called" Christians in isolation and ignorance for at least two thousand years and is the reason for murderous and stupid WARS, persecutions of other Religions, Racial and Cultural Prejudice, and other atrocities.   Many scientists today are awakening to these facts through archaeological finds all over Mother Earth.

  •  Just Bad Theology (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Science is a method of study and observation of "what is". It is dynamic and constantly changing because as we learn more and develop better tools these enable us to learn more about our universe. In the light of new information we have to add, modify old understanding and even throw out some things we thought we had right. Those who can not handle change can not endure science. If you need unchanging certitude to feel secure then the exploration of reality is not for you.

    However, that being true, religion isn't for you either! Scientific methods allow us to learn more than what our basic physical senses tell us about creation. Ex; flowers are covered with patterns that act as landing strips for bees. We aren't polinators. When we look at a field of white flowers we only see white. The bees can see into the UV spectrum and so their perception of reality contains colors ours doesn't. Science enables us to see what the bees see - that the "all white" flowers are in fact covered with the same landing strips the other flowers have.  This should instruct us about the creator as much as the creation, don't you think?  But, if your emotional makeup is shattered by these revelations instead of excited by them then the more we learn about the nature of God's nature the more threatened and insecure you'll feel. You'll desperately want to stick with some ancient hunter-gatherer vs. settled farmer stories of struggle and murder ordered by a "mountain god" from 4-6,000 years ago because you can pretend there is unchanging stability in that. For people of this nature it seems like a comfort, but it's actually a trap - like any fantasy existence.

    The religious who think that "god" is the creative force and energy field of all of creation are instructed about their part and place in the wonder of the universe by learning more about it.  

    Those who are consumed by a fearfull need for a simplistic, unchanging definition made by a long dead "authority" don't have "beliefs" - they are living in a world of make-believe. It's not just that they construct for themselves a bad reality - they construct a bad theology. It is a theology that leads them to hate their creator for letting them die when the cycles of reality, when quantum physics show there is no such thing as death. It's bad theology - their trusted religious agree with the scientists! From Confuscious to the New Testament the great prohets and philosophers try to comfort the masses with their mental discovery, (now deliniated by scientifically proven fact),  that all energy, including life energy - is finite, eternal and constantly changing behavior but not volume. In fact the philosophers, shamans, wise men and prophets show an amazingly accurate understanding of what we would later have the ability to "prove".  This increases every day and it is exciting.  

    Creationism isn't just bad science or bad theology though. It's a modern heresy because instead of enlightening it misdirects those who fall for it and the motive for this misdirection is nefarious. Never forget, those who can make you "believe" absurdities can make you commit attrocities. Just ask the victims of the Inquisition, those burnt at the stake for being witches, and those Jews killed because ancestors they never knew of were accused of being "christ killers".  When bad religion is allowed to get away with grabbing power their fantasy world becomes the heinous nightmare of the innocent. It's no longer religion - it's just political manipulation of the masses to get them to committ attrocities that fullfill the lust for power and monetary greed - both of which are cardinal sins to any religion and every ethical civilization.

  •  But, (0+ / 0-)

    are creationists arguing that creationism is Science? If they're not, then there has been no 'decisive blow' to creationism. Unless Nye convinced even 1 creationist to open their mind and consider scientific answers to the questions they believe are answered in their bible, then the whole 'debate' was null/null. Of course Nye 'won' the 'Science' question since he was not debating another scientist. The 'creation' question couldn't have been 'won' by Ham since it's an unprovable belief & that's why he'll always have a job/believers/sheeple.

  •  Thomas Jefferson (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    We discover [in the gospels] a groundwork of vulgar ignorance, of things impossible, of superstition, fanaticism and fabrication.  Thomas Jefferson

    Being made from stardust just isn't good enough for some people. RtheK

    •  Good quotation! Here's a tip for posting those. (0+ / 0-)

      Select the text you are quoting, then, while it is selected, click the Blockquote radio button at the bottom of the comment composition window. Thus, your quotation would appear like ...

      We discover [in the gospels] a groundwork of vulgar ignorance, of things impossible, of superstition, fanaticism and fabrication.  Thomas Jefferson
      Then, post a link to a site where the quotation may be found, for validation (a site like this one).

      Thanks for posting this.

      Welcome from the DK Partners & Mentors Team. If you have any questions about how to participate here, you can learn more at the Knowledge Base or from the New Diarists Resources Diaries. Diaries labeled "Open Thread" are also great places to ask. We look forward to your contributions.

      "The opposite of war isn't peace, it's CREATION." _ Jonathan Larson, RENT -9.62, -9.13

      by BeninSC on Sat Feb 08, 2014 at 06:31:36 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  What seriously blows me away (0+ / 0-)

    is how the Christians just do keep on coming down on the wrong side of reality.  

    First, they said the earth flat.
    And then they said earth was the center of the universe.
    And that a vacuum cannot exist because [get this!] nothing can exist in a vacuum and, therefore, God couldn't exist there - - - so it must not exist.

    And now they say, "OK, yes.  The earth isn't flat OR the center of the universe and vacuums exist.  Science won those rounds.  

    But we're still determined to prove science wrong so - - - -

    Now, some of them insist that the earth is 5,000 years old and has always existed just as it does now.  And that God is a malevolent prankster that made the earth LOOK as if it's 4.5 billion years old just so the scientist would make fools of themselves.

    Yeah.  That makes sense.

    And that's not even to mention Global Warming - - - even though the evidence is right here in front of us.

    The price of apathy is to be ruled by evil men - - Plato . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . We must be the change we wish to see in the world - - Mohandas Gandhi

    by twocrows1023 on Sun Feb 09, 2014 at 12:39:03 PM PST

  •  Scary people. (0+ / 0-)

    It is really scary for me to go on Facebook these days.  I have family and friends that are "creationists", and yet, they seem to be of normal intelligence.  They tell me that I am "ignorant" about their "beliefs" and they have absolutely no problem with throwing all the science out the window!   They make me feel like a "racist", since they seem to be all from a different race!  And the thought of ever going to a family reunion with them is terrifying.

  •  Religious Right's Hidden Adgenda is Very Rational (0+ / 0-)

    What gets lost is the 'Why' of this debate. The whole object is to grab power for Christianity in this world. Never mind that Jesus strictly warned about seeking after power in this world; The goal is to bully & control people in the world of the living. Never mind that our Constitution strictly forbids religious notions becoming part of law & government, these people aim to rule over you & me. That is why them & Corporate America form such a natural alliance. Neither of them believe in Democracy & both of them seek to impose rule of the minority over that of the majority.

  •  This is why my personal religion is (0+ / 0-)

    the Golden Rule.

    That is pretty much the total extent of my "religious beliefs". In other words, I believe that everyone should treat everyone else as they would like to be treated. Everything else will come along nicely, if we do this one thing. Period.

    Now, outside of my "religion", I believe in evidence.

    Too bad Ken Ham is afraid to be confused by the facts. The evidence seems to show that he is a total jerk.

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