Dismantling of Faith

Religions last chance to prove something is by waiting…

If you do not consider god first in all things, there is no room for god in any thing. If one chooses to give faith the benefit of the doubt, there is no room for reason. Whittled away from what once was, faith has suffered a methodical deconstruct of magnanimous proportions. Philosophies expand, explanations more grand, but supernatural positioning is dwindling to irrelevance. All one has to do is consider—

There are very few second chances in religion—None! If facts and scientific reason are considered and tested firstly, no superstition will ever supplant it. Psychology, Anthropology, Philology, Archeology, Astronomy, Biology, and Neurology, have quite nicely explained and proven—contradicting gods word at in-depth, unprecedented levels as never before. Even neurological experiments can re-create the spiritual experience—without the supernatural.

There is but one animal left to prove. Science has conquered belief every step of the way. Creation will be no different. While religion makes its scientific claim without explanation, it too will fall as the final hope for god. Not with why, but with how. I have faith we’ll get there, but many are hoping we won’t. Maybe they should pray about that too…The cosmological first-cause will be their last call.

What will they do when soon, enough is known to discredit this one last gasp of man’s greatest contrivance? Weeping and wailing tantrums against reality? We are on our own—let’s start acting like it. Physics, anyone?

Author: jim-

One minute info blogs breaking the faith trap.

309 thoughts on “Dismantling of Faith”

  1. I like the post, but WTF is going on with the time stamps? Your post is dated “1 day ago” (which would be 2019-01-20, I assume) with comments dated late October and someone posting with my name using a different avatar? Have I woken up in an alternate universe or is WP Reader totally FUBAR?

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    1. That was the wacko Ron. You should check his site. When he first piped in i thought you’d lost your fuckin mind. Good to have you you back. I’ve been busy so I just changed the post date in settings and it’ll repost. Nice feature bit puts you back on top of the reader. It had a lot of comments but not a lot of views. I though it was worth throwing out there again. I like this one a lot.

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    2. Maybe you should comment on Ron’s shit and you guys go head to head and we’ll see who the real Ron is…rotflmaohahah
      That would be a fun thread!

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        1. That’s what we had decided too. I think it was Taboo who picked up on that. We wished him well. It is telling though what damaged information can do to the wrong mindset. It’s a wonder that anyone is sane.

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          1. My motto has always been to “play the ball and not the player”. As such, I try to keep in mind that I’m dealing with another human being and make a conscious effort to treat that person with dignity and respect, regardless of where we stand on any particular issue.

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    1. When you’re feeling sad, 🎶 Hey there are some great resources available. Have you ever seen anthropologist Wade Davis TED talk? Some people live the life—He’s one of em.

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  2. My goodness Jim, you are a tricky one! LOL I was about to comment on this, was scrolling down and see… MYSELF!!!! And some imposter or the future-past me already commented!!! I’m like…

    WTH? Am I now suffering from time-warp dementia too!? 🤪

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    1. I should’ve taken the time to delete Ron and a couple others. I felt like it deserved a revisit since it was bogged up by goofy boy. It is a favorite of mine but some of the thread is blah blah

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    1. Usually, yes (on the eyes thing) There’s a great TED talk about a lady who was seeing ghosts and feeling doom, creepy, cold in her basement. Turned out she had carbon dioxide poisoning. After she did all the exorcism stuff she called the gas company on the advice of a friend…and those things she was seeing are the symptoms of CO poisoning. All the shadow figures went away. Makes ya wonder how easily influenced our brains can be over random exposures to just pollutants or chemicals.

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  3. Has anyone popped over to Our Ron’s blog and actually read any of it?

    I did, and that was enough to stop me in my tracks, and certainly not bother reading anything else he posted, here or anywhere else.

    Just a quick glance at the blogs he follows should be enough for the average visitor to say: ”Hmmmm …. okaaay.”

    The phrase pertaining to sandwiches and picnic comes to mind.

    Just a thought …

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    1. It’s just as likely, anyway. I watched the video of the gal that presented the FSM to some council to get acceptance into some religious convention. I can’t believe she didn’t bud up laughing, but in her sincerity, they had to allow her in because of belief. Just goes to show how the system allows crazy to flourish by belief.

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  4. If you’re saying you’re going to vanquish religion by vanquishing anti-evolutionists, you’re wildly overestimating their numbers and their influence.

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    1. Take what you want from it Loy. Christians are mostly ignorant of the details of evolution. They believe the well-poisoning preachers like Ray Comfort. When creation is toppled it may take a while to reach the pulpits, but it will when our young ones have an obvious and open choice and hard data. Now they are mostly shielded from actual advances. That’s how religion survives. Wasn’t this a great post and observation? Thank you.

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      1. You’re really saying that Christianity — let alone all religion — depends on anti-evolutionism? Don’t you think that’s a little… let’s just say, far-fetched?

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        1. It’s baby steps Loy. Can’t I have a dream that one day truth and discovery will be more important than ostriching reality? To what end is your victory? Complete submission? Acquiescence to myth that provides no sustenance? Religious leaders want to win this debate, and will do it by lying—Pretending at times to not understand, hand waving proving facts as trivial. Why? Why does Ray Comfort lie? Why does he preach against evolution while willfully failing to understand it at all? Why do the churches poison the well against academia? Fear. In all fairness though, the Catholics are not part of this ridiculous play. But, they have their own set of rules to choke on.

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          1. Quote: “In all fairness though, the Catholics are not part of this ridiculous play. But, they have their own set of rules to choke on. ” Good one there, Jim (from an ex-Catlicker!)

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          2. @jim – Stepping on your dreams is the very last thing I would ever want to do, boss. I just hope (and pray) you’re not setting yourself up for a big disappointment.

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            1. I don’t get disappointed Loy. That’s my old life a prayin’ “oh lord take me on, flee far my weary ways, join me in the jubilee, brought by un theistic ways” travel on sweet Loy man, oh glory me travel on, no bubbles are a burstin’, Carry on, carry on, carryyyyy ooonnnn.”

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            2. Let’s just say all the bolts are loosened, ready for disassembly. Kick a tire and the whole thing will collapse, or enough opened eyes will see the futility of hanging on to the past. ”Tis true that those who do not learn history maybe doomed to repeat it. But those worship the past are destined to live in it.

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            3. Well, you can say whatever you like, but faith is totes about the future. It takes no faith at all to deal with what’s over and done. It takes faith to leap fearlessly into the future with both feet, an open mind and open eyes.

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            4. Thanks Loy. I do have faith that humanity can come together. Faith is all about the future, and about ignoring the past origins and inadequacy. Acknowledging your systematic failures and restarting a better way may help too.

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            5. Definition of Faith
              1.complete trust or confidence in someone or something.
              “this restores one’s faith in politicians”

              2.strong belief in the doctrines of a religion, based on spiritual conviction rather than proof

              Loy, this conversation and most of those in this blog is about the second definition of faith and not the first

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            6. @jonathan: You’ve cited that definition before, and it’s not one I find useful. Faith is not about belief. Much less is it about acceptance of particular doctrines. Rather, faith is about trust: above all, trust that truth is real, accessible and intrinsically meaningful.

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            7. Faith is not about belief. Much less is it about acceptance of particular doctrines.

              Religious faith is about beliefs. Religious faith is about acceptance of particular doctrines

              Rather, faith is about trust.

              I am pretty sure that if you check the definitions of faith I gave, something was said about trust.

              Religious faith is about the trusting your religious teachings and doctrine and spiritual conviction rather than proof

              In different context, faith means different things. What I am drawing your attention to is your habit, of taking what someone says about faith in one context (mostly religious faith) to faith in another context

              above all, trust that truth is real, accessible and intrinsically meaningful

              Faith has nothing to do with trusting that truth is real, accessible and intrinsically meaningful
              Sure you can have faith in the notion that truth is real, accessible and intrinsically meaningful
              But it isn’t a requirement that if you have faith in anything you must accept the notion that truth is real, accessible and intrinsically meaningful

              You can do a quick google search on the definition of faith
              https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/faith

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            8. Loy doesn’t find any definitions useful when they don’t suit his arguments. This is where he gets to define what things mean to other people. He’s leaping into the future with an open mind…so open, even established science and basic definitions of words mean nothing, when you can make reality what you want it to be to suit your beliefs. 🙂

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            9. Defining one’s terms is a basic rule of rational discourse, especially when definitions are problematic and disputed and there’s a wide gulf of mutual incomprehension. The nature of human language is such that the most important and disputed concepts defy simple-minded dictionary definitions.

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            10. The nature of human language is such that the most important and disputed concepts defy simple-minded dictionary definitions.

              Those concepts are words which possess meaning.
              The nature of the english language is one that enables the meaning of words to be updated. So the meaning of a word found in a general english dictionary ( not one specific to a particular field of study) is an indication of what that word means in the majority of human discussions

              concepts defy simple-minded dictionary definitions

              If you don’t like the dictionary definition because it doesn’t suit you that’s your problem. But to say that the concept defies “simple-minded dictionary definitions” doesn’t make any sense
              How does a concept defy “simple-minded dictionary definitions”

              The dictionary tells you the most popular definition/meaning attributed to that concept

              @jonathan: You’ve cited that definition before, and it’s not one I find useful.

              Thats your problem if you don’t like the general definition.
              But in a discussion about “faith”, unless otherwise stated, there is a far more probability that it would be about one of those two definitions I cited and not the definition you like

              Faith is not about belief. Much less is it about acceptance of particular doctrines

              In one of the most common usage of the word “faith”, faith is about beliefs, faith is about acceptance of particular doctrines based on spiritual conviction rather than proof

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            11. @jonathan: It all comes down to whether you have a sincere interest in entering into honest dialog with another person, in fruitfully communicating with them, in genuinely seeking to understand their perspective — and in being unafraid to learn something and change your mind in the process. Does that sound like you, dear friend?

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            12. Sure, I am open to learning from you
              I want to understand your perspective
              But to change my mind, it would require evidence. Maybe you are the one who would provide it, maybe not
              That’s why I have been communicating with you

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    2. 1) The overwhelming multi-disciplinary evidence in support of evolution (and the existence of so many obviously misinformed, ignorant rejectionist “true believers”) is only ONE of COUNTLESS rational and ethical reasons why I am openly secular.

      2) I don’t “believe” in evolution. Jim doesn’t “believe” either. I/we understand how evolution works.

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    1. I don’t do Facebook, but you’re welcome to try a direct link. I read the heading, and that is easy enough to see through. Really!! A Ray Comfort video? Please. With all due respect. The explanations of what we don’t see, are not clear to anyone outside or even inside the faith. 33,000 different Christian denominations spell that out pretty well. I would have to ask How did your knowledge of this occur? How do you know this other than a decided belief in scripture. Virtually every item but the creation of the world itself, from evolution to spiritual experience is clear as day if one just takes a moment to look. Have you done us the favor of equal time comparison?

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      1. The can be watched even if you don”t use facebook. It is public. Are you afraid to watch it? If you do, then I will watch what you post. I have been reading your posts for tje past few days.

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        1. I’ve already seen it. Ray Comfort is a huge liar and deceived people with half truth. Really, if ray Comfort is the best you can do, You’re wasting everyone’s time. If you’re unable to discern ray Comforts deception and lie tactics, no one here can help you. You are way out of your league. What’s wrong is you’re afraid to watch my video. It’s just a short science presentation.

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        2. Summer, there’s is no need for any non-believer to watch this film. It says the same things we’ve heard time and time again. There is no more validity in this film than in the hundreds and hundreds of resources that Christians seem to think contain totally convincing, soul-winning, sinner-converting content.

          If you don’t think atheists have “heard it all,” you’re fooling yourself. In fact, the primary reason they are atheists is because they have examined ALL the facts … and found them wanting.

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            1. Sha’Tara here… I abhor Facebook so no access. If you have another public link I will take a gander although just be the image I already know what it’s going to say. As others have said, we non-believers do our research because we have to. I’m not an “atheist” myself due to a natural propensity to wander into the astral and spiritual worlds but I call myself one of those who “believe all things, believe IN nothing.” Seems to fit, for now. Enjoy Jesus, he was a great lover of mine once… then he blew it.

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            2. It’s from Ray Comforts atheist delusion. The entire YouTube thing is like an hour and nine. This was an excerpt. He plays nicely in people’s lack of quick reasoning skills in a topic they are poorly educated in. Basically a modern version of Paleys Watch. Enjoy

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            3. I think I’ll pass, Jim. I don’t get all excited about discussions pitting creationism against evolutionism. I watched that very long UTube thing beating up on creationists, probably with good reasons, but I’ve never, ever, been keen on evolution either. Something bothers me in this argument, like there’s a great big missing link that neither religious people and their creating divinities, nor scientific people with their science, are the least eager to discover. I’d say that neither wants the facts of the case because it would take down the Two Towers that stand in opposition to one-another and which claim to lead to some sort of Utopian life. What am I saying? That I don’t believe “in” evolution? That’s true, I don’t. I don’t because I don’t need evolution to teach me how to live my life in relation to others, as I don’t need God or any divinity to do that for me either. To me it comes down to figuring out how many angels can simultaneously dance on the head of a pin. God didn’t solve our social problems, He multiplied them in spades. Should I believe that Evolution is going to do better? I’m concerned about that child somewhere, anywhere, who is dying of preventable causes because, well, it’s in the way of progress, of civilization. Evolution is not going to deal with that murderous injustice; it is not going to bring us closer to becoming compassionate beings, Jim, and that concerns me. Science is not making us better people and that concerns me. I don’t need to call down creationists for their stupidity, ignorance and pig-headedness. I don’t need to do it for atheists becoming the same as they pound away at their nemesis. We don’t need gods to screw us up more than we already are and we don’t need scientists to prove the non-existence of deities unless we are so unsure of whatever stand we’ve taken, we do need, key word: need. This great debate that has lasted at least since Darwin is getting old. People need to grow up, look around and start getting serious about fixing their social and global problems. Whether I can be convinced that whales have a transitory ancestor isn’t going to do it for me. But for those who enjoy arguing for argument’s sake, have at it. It won’t solve anything but maybe somebody can turn it into a video game and make a quick buck while the issue is still hot.

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            4. Fair enough. I’ve not been fanatic about it at all either. Just an observation. Certainly not the reason for my atheism, but I do care about truth and accuracy. Religion has stonewalled the advances of science. Like you said, wasting time bickering when there are issues to solve. Appreciate your insight as always. “Often we get caught up in the importance of what we’re doing, but it only takes a second to put importance back in its place”. We shouldn’t have to have some tragedy to find our unity.

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            5. What can evolution do for us? A great many things.

              1. First understanding our true origin means a great deal as opposed to stories that focus on things like original sin. In Judeo Christian thought, the idea that we are all born sinners because of this creation story matters a great deal.

              2. The idea that evolution is both non-divergent and is iterative over a long timescale has numerous benefits to us as a people:

              a) Evolution wasn’t trying to create us. Intelligence is just one other way to adapt to an environment. We are not the most successful species or the pinnacle of evolution by any means. Human conceit is a big problem and this is largely built the idea that there is a divine reason for our being here that does not apply to the rest of the universe.

              b) Because evolution is iterative, we know that as a species we are part of a continuum, not some large gap above every being. This relates to a) above, but the fact that evolution allows us to recognize that all creatures, plants, microbes, other animals have a right to life is extremely important. It also helps us understand how best to preserve conditions that are going to prevent creatures from going extinct before their time to allow for a more natural adjustment of ecosystems. But beyond a) knowing that we are a continuum allows us to study other organisms and their behaviors to help us understand ourselves. It also might allow us to forgive ourselves a little more for our imperfections.

              c) The fact that evolution is a slow process is something that helps us understand the vast well of time that it takes to make life as complex as ourselves and gives a sense from where we fit into the history of the Earth and of the universe. It is humbling to say the least and that’s important. Humility. I find contemplating this span of time to also be more awesome than a magical wave of God’s hand and a 6000 year history. And if awe and wonder is important to you, than the ways in which evolution works are filled with much to contemplate and awe at. Understanding the longer story of evolution and human development gives us a better sense of what we can expect out of ourselves for the future.

              3) Evolution has also had an enormous impact on our understanding of the brain, and helped bust through the paradigm that our mind is somehow separate from our body. This is something that was built on the human conceit. The brain is an organ like any other, and evolved along with the rest of our organs and thus we can understand much about how the brain works by understanding past environments that we spend much of our time in surviving. This has enormous impacts on understanding human behavior, helping people overcome thought patterns which may not be very helpful, and again by seeing ourselves on this spectrum with other life we can see that our brains aren’t vastly more special than some of our closest relatives. Without evolution we would not have bust through the notion of free will which has enormous implications on how we practice justice. More than that it can increase our empathy for those that are our worst actors in society to see them as sick and not intrinsically evil.

              Understanding evolution has increased my empathy, made me more forgiving, gives me more hope for the future, and fills me with a sense of awe and wonder that the spiritual world could not even come close to. Perhaps that’s not your experience, but to suggest that it tries to be some sort of pillar against religion or that people who have studied evolution had some goal to take down religion seems ludicrous to me. Trying to understand the world is a fundamental curiosity and evolution is the truth. It serves us far better than the illusions. Global and social problems can be addressed through an acceptance of evolution. Not only by the contents of the theory, but the acceptance that there is a better way to acquire knowledge about the universe than just make guesses, and believing in things real hard to convince yourself that you’re right. Evolution isn’t obvious, as are a lot of things that science has discovered. They are nuanced, you have to look carefully, you have to be systematic in your observations and you have to check in with others to make sure those observations are sound. This is actually really really important to solving problems. To suggest that we ignore one of the most meaningful and important scientific theories because it doesn’t help us solve the problems of today is just simply untrue.

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            6. Ah, to reply or not to reply. I have a bad feeling about the theory of evolution. It lies in that it has too many believers so eager to defend it. If evolution is a natural process it needs no defense, subtle or not. Either it is, or it isn’t. If it was gravity that was being attacked by non-gravitarians, would there be as great an outcry from the pro-gravitarians as there is from the pro-evolutionists? I don’t think so. Let the non-gravitarians have their gatherings and throw each other off a fifth floor building to prove gravity does not exist… To me, the way you extol evolution makes me think of someone who is desperately attempting to bolster a shaky nature spirit created basically to counter another spirit or spirits one chooses (for whatever reason) to denigrate, mock, fear or hate.

              I try to steer clear of the concept of evolution unless it crosses my radar and I feel like it needs taking a pot-shot at. I can understand that nature adapts overall to changing conditions due to pressure. But that magical cross-over of one species into another, or several others, that to me is more far-fetched than believing in deities.

              You mention the mind and the brain and if I read correctly you assume as do many people who have a problem with “spirit” or the invisible unquantifiable, that mind and brain are the same thing. Well, have fun with that while it lasts because soon enough you will discover, to your own amazement and joy, that they are not at all the same thing. In “my” world, I exist primarily as a timeless mind. Astral travel, OBE’s and NDE’s are products, or conditions, of mind existence as is encountering “spirit” beings. These experiences are outside the realm of any science known to man because they cannot be measured by physical means. That does not render them illegitimate, except for those who cannot ‘go there’ because it violates a set of rules (beliefs) they have chosen for themselves. Not being able to see or sense a “thing” does not mean it doesn’t exist. That’s too cheap a way out. There are lots of things we cannot see or sense that we are discovering do in fact exist. How far, how deep, will that take the (open) scientific mind? Deep enough that it will, with great shock, meet the transcendental mind?

              I’m not in the business of proving or disproving “things”. I do however challenge anyone who would try to tell me that the way I live my life is in error because he/she cannot sense my story. So, I say to myself, fine, don’t believe me but don’t expect to be able to convince me to believe your story either. I have a simple saying to deal with things that are questionable: ‘Believe all things, believe in nothing.’ That’s how I stay out of any faith trap, whether it uses a god or an unproven natural process as bait.

              Closing with evolution: if it is a legitimate natural process, leave it alone and like Little Bo-Peep’s sheep, it will come home wagging its tail behind it.

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            7. The sheer amount of discovery when pointed in a productive direction has dwarfed the stagnated controls of religion. You don’t have to treat evolution as a religion. I certainly don’t. Throughout history breakthroughs have been fought and won, same as this here. To leave it alone is to acquiesce to falsehood. To accept it may lead to a final discovery we haven’t even thought of yet—but an open search for truth is everything. And when science inches closer, this too may fall, but only for the sake of improvement. For millennia men have fought to escape the controls of religions. They demanded proof, then wave off the proof as “insignificant” for it threatens the pulpits. I for one embrace any discovery that will break the bonds of religion. I have a feeling your reluctance lies in understanding. Much of evolution is observed and recorded and proven beyond any reasonable doubt. This is not even debated but in the churches.
              As for your intuitive side, there is no threat to that by embracing other truths. There are things we are all not equal in, and as I’ve said before, there may be some with more intuition in certain areas. That doesn’t make it god. Those things are us!

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            8. Ah, to reply or not to reply

              I share your trepidation.

              I have a bad feeling about the theory of evolution. It lies in that it has too many believers so eager to defend it.

              That’s your personal feeling. But it is a feeling. It also requires no belief. I do not defend it because I believe in it. I defend it because it’s true and can and has helped us. I find that contrary philosophies (or at least the most prevalent ones) cause more harm.

              If it was gravity that was being attacked by non-gravitarians, would there be as great an outcry from the pro-gravitarians as there is from the pro-evolutionists? I don’t think so.

              I think there would be a fight. Would it be as much of fight, well who knows because there isn’t a major world religion centered around a belief in non-gravity. I also don’t know what morality might be derived from a belief in non-gravity. Evolution says something very specific about how we came to be, which generally doesn’t mesh well with the biblical message and one of the fundamental precepts of most world religions, that humans are some how special. It is no surprise that evolution still fuels debate in a way an argument about gravity would not. But that being said, I think it would still be important to counter the arguments of non-gravitarians because permitting thinking that reality can be derived solely based on feeling regardless of how evidence stacks up against those feelings is a poor system of truth finding. Bad ideas persist when we don’t have at least some shared standards about how to describe reality.

              To me, the way you extol evolution makes me think of someone who is desperately attempting to bolster a shaky nature spirit created basically to counter another spirit or spirits one chooses (for whatever reason) to denigrate, mock, fear or hate.

              I can’t decide whether to be offended here or confused, because “bolstering shaky nature sprirts…” just sounds like nonsense to me. You are the one who made the claim previously “Evolution is not going to deal with that murderous injustice; it is not going to bring us closer to becoming compassionate beings”, and I was simply arguing that point. At the very least I made the case that it has made me more compassionate, but for someone who takes offense of people telling them they are living their life in error because they cannot sense my story…you sure were pretty demeaning and dismissive of my story.

              Your long paragraph about spirits, mind, and astral travel you present those beliefs on the same footing as evolution. So if you want to make that claim then we are having a purely aesthetic disagreement. So even if I were to ignore the fact that you are making the same argument a theist would make regarding their religious beliefs versus scientific findings, you simply have not afforded me the same freedom to put value in my beliefs. If our argument was about ice cream flavors you have simply said vanilla is the best flavor and the fact that I think chocolate is better and have explained why I think it is, simply gets denigrated by you. At the very least I have successfully made the case that evolution has aesthetic value at least to me, and that it has made me a more compassionate person. If you want to get more joy out of your beliefs that’s fine, to be as dismissive as you were about evolution, simply out of aesthetic preference is simply unwarranted, and demonstrates that you are no different than us believers (theists and atheists alike) that you claim don’t have the open mind that you do.

              But that magical cross-over of one species into another, or several others, that to me is more far-fetched than believing in deities.

              But even if I was the type to denigrate somebody else’s flavor of ice cream, I would at least have the courtesy of trying it first. It is crystal clear that you don’t even understand evolution to even label it as a belief. The evidence that evolution leads to diversification of species is overwhelming and requires no magic. Whether you find it “far-fetched” doesn’t make it not true. Personal incredulity is a fallacious argument.

              Closing with evolution: if it is a legitimate natural process, leave it alone and like Little Bo-Peep’s sheep, it will come home wagging its tail behind it.

              Why should legitimate natural processes be left alone? Why can’t they be appreciated and celebrated? The fact that someone can be filled with wonder, joy and awe at natural processes is a problem for you?

              I’m not in the business of proving or disproving “things”

              That much is clear. But I am in that business. It’s what I do as a scientist. Now you are free to think we’re all deluded or deceitful somehow. You clearly believe there is some sinister agency to scientists who study evolution. You say your creed keeps you out of “faith traps” but you clearly believe that evolution is not proven, you clearly believe in many other things that require faith, so I hate to break it to you, but you are in a faith trap, trying to convince yourself that others are in faith traps and you are somehow free of this when it clearly isn’t true is dishonest.

              I honestly found your response no less condescending than any theist dismissive of other people’s knowledge of the world. Replace spirit, timeless mind, and astral travel, with Jesus, God, and the Holy Ghost and your message could have been written by any number of theists I know on word press who is eager to dismiss science without really understanding it, Having then reduced their well-researched argument to a belief, denigrates it, and then provides no evidence to support their own claims (because they declare then conveniently don’t need to).

              So well done I guess.

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            9. Thank you for that long reply, Swarn. Good and hard work. Now’s the problem: we, as an intelligent, sentient, self-aware species, will always swim in that same whirlpool of different beliefs. I accept that fully. What I do not accept is the need some believers have to “push” their beliefs upon others. There is never any need for that. If evolutionists just went about their business of using their knowledge to really make this a better world and just stopped shoving their belief against anti-evolutionists, I probably wouldn’t have a problem with it, anymore than I have with that Cern particle booster. I probably wouldn’t care because it truly does not affect me, or my way of life, unless I chose, for whatever reason, to engage the topic because I could see it being helpful to me, in my own quest. Until now it hasn’t, anymore than a Picasso would. I don’t like Picasso and I wouldn’t have one on my wall even if it was an original and worth zillions. Evolution in the form of some fossil isn’t going to hang on my wall either.
              I mentioned my story only to make a point that we are all different. OK, I stepped over the line about the mind-brain statement. None of my business and I have no way of knowing if some day you will realize what I have, that the mind is an infinite, timeless aspect of humanity, of the cosmos. Apologize for that.
              I had no intention of denigrating your belief IN evolution either. I just wanted to show that a belief is just that, a belief. What I believe, and I have a personal slogan that explains it well – believe all things, believe in nothing – is mine alone. I don’t care if anyone else believes along similar lines but beliefs are personal. Established belief “systems” push themselves unto others and try to topple others’ beliefs to establish themselves in their place. Evolutionists have been doing that since Darwin, turning a natural process into what is essentially becoming a faith-based religion. It has sparked endless controversy and certainly much lucrative propaganda. From that basis it is no longer science but a cross of philosophy and religion. That’s what I object to.
              As for evolution (theory or reality) making this world “better” I would not put any money on that bet. That’s not how it works. Replace all organized religions with faith in evolution and the very same evils will rise everywhere. Well, they already have through much acrimonious grandstanding over these counter beliefs. Evolution would ‘teach’ me what a human being is? How can an inanimate natural process teach? I may learn something from studying the theory as I may learn something from climbing a mountain or kayaking the Fraser river but these things aren’t teachers, they are there and my interaction with them provides me with certain experiences from which I may or may not learn something. It’s up to me because god forbid if it isn’t; if evolution becomes a teacher the next step is godhood when it directs my life. That’s what I see is so wrong with how evolution is being presented to the world: it has all the potential of becoming a god in its own right, a pagan, nature spirit god. We’re still in the whirlpool, Swarn.

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            10. While you still view evolution as some sort of faith, then there is little discussion to be had. The fact that you see theory as something vastly different from reality is concerning. But to be fair my initial response to Jim was based on statements you made which were not universally true. You did not say, “I personally don’t believe that evolution can help us be more compassionate”, you said “evolution is not going to bring us closer to becoming compassionate beings”. The former is true, because it’s true for you, but the latter statement you made thus must be defended if you make that claim. I, at the very least proved that your assertion does not apply to me. I never claimed that it should mean that to you only there are true facts about evolution that can lead to the betterment of society. Whether you reject that for your personally is your choice, but that’s not the way you had expressed your beliefs.

              Furthermore your argument is akin to a “nothing is true” argument. What is the point of teaching anybody anything, if everything is a belief? Now if you have some standards for which truth can be determined then why doesn’t evolution meet it. And shouldn’t you be actually familiar with all the evidence before even making that decision.

              You make numerous unsubstantiated claims here for which you have no evidence, and/or for which there is substantial evidence against. Again, that’s your choice,. I never set out to prove evolution was true though, there are tons of sources for that and clearly you aren’t interested in that evidence, what I set out to show was that evolution can have value and help us question some of the fundamental precepts that civilization has been built on. That evolution can lead to a more compassionate view of life in general and to shed our conceit as a species which has been deadly to other life and our own survival. You clearly disagree, but seemingly only because you don’t think evolution is true, and also think that scientists who study evolution have a nefarious agenda. Those are beliefs. And beliefs that can be countered by a large volume of data. Now if none of that matters, you must believe that belief alone is the basis for which reality is defined, then indeed anything can be real.

              But the universe clearly doesn’t work like that. How indeed could the electronic device you are typing on could even work if all of sudden belief decided what was real. Should I fail to believe in Ohm’s Law would my computer just stop working? I am aware that we leave in a world of beliefs and I am certainly not free of having beliefs. But that doesn’t mean I think for one second that any of my beliefs necessarily represent reality. Luckily there is a way of acquiring knowledge that requires repeatability, that requires evidence, that demands careful observation, and through that process we have been able to gain a lot of information about how the universe works and we’ve been able to reliable predict things through that understanding. That’s how we know we are close to perceiving reality. Now if you are advocating a better way of describing reality than the scientific method, I’m all ears. If you think that reality is defined by beliefs and nothing more, than this also requires some evidence, I am not sure how one can make such a claim, but I’m open to hearing how you think it works. But at the very least to reject evolution as a scientific fact then you have to at least have some criteria for which you have determine’s falseness. And this means you have at least some personal method for determine what is true and what is not, or at least what is probabilistically more true than something else. So if you have such a methodology, even if it is not the scientific method, then you too have a belief in what is the best way for discovering truth. How are we to determine whose method for determining truth is better? If you would argue that neither is better, then your belief system is purely based on aesthetic preference and you have no basis to assert that a belief in evolution can’t lead. If you believe that there is a way to determine which method for acquiring knowledge is superior then what would be that method?

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            11. Hi again, Swarn.

              OK, let’s look at this quote, hopefully not taken out of context: “what I set out to show was that evolution can have value and help us question some of the fundamental precepts that civilization has been built on. That evolution can lead to a more compassionate view of life in general and to shed our conceit as a species which has been deadly to other life and our own survival.”

              I still don’t understand if evolution is a natural process, or some kind of “force” that can do things that no other philosophy or religion has been able to do. If the former, then your argument cannot hold if it’s but a natural process. What does a mountain standing in the middle of a plain teach?

              If evolution is not a natural process but a force, a philosophy (and I’ll refrain from calling it a religion) then how is it going to solve our massive societal problems? Is evolution going to end wars, if so how? Is it going to challenge and defeat the patriarchy, if so, how? Is it going to change man’s mind regarding rampant social injustice , if so how? Is evolution going to teach that the entire concept of predatory behaviour is wrong and there is a better way to interact with all and sundry (realizing that predation is a major source of most of our problems) and if so, how? Does evolution support the concept of survival of the fittest and the food chain? If it does then no change is possible through this medium.

              Skipping most of your reply, though I have read it, I quote: ” If you believe that there is a way to determine which method for acquiring knowledge is superior then what would be that method?” Yes, there is a better “method” if you want to call it that, though is is more a choice, and that is becoming self-empowered, using that to live a compassionate life. Neither religion nor any scientific theories enter into this. This is a choice a human being makes on her/his own simply because it is seen as the next step in spiritual evolution. Did I just say that? But of course! In my understanding the human must evolve on the spiritual and mental plane. The material/physical is of little consequences. Material/physical “evolution” is quite pointless – what difference can it possibly make if a jay turns into a hawk over 500 million years? Will knowing this stop the unjust death of a child today? Self empowerment is within all of us, regardless of education, economic condition, race, gender and to some extent, even age.

              I do not define reality by what is physically observable because, well, all of that is temporary, impermanent,ephemeral. In my world reality is measured in joy and sorrow and everything in-between. Now, maybe, you have a better idea why I’m not all that excited about evolution, or for that matter any other scientific “discovery” popping up. Evolution, as part and parcel of scientific and technological applications of the last century and beginning of this one, has not accomplished anything that I can see in making mankind more compassionate or understanding. It’s had enough time, in my opinion.

              This has been a good discussion!

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            12. I still don’t understand if evolution is a natural process, or some kind of “force” that can do things that no other philosophy or religion has been able to do. If the former, then your argument cannot hold if it’s but a natural process. What does a mountain standing in the middle of a plain teach?

              I don’t understand why you’ve made this analogy. A mountain is just a data point. The theory of evolution is the explanation of a process. These are two very different things. It’s like asking what can I learn about fixing a combustion engine by just looking at a piston. I can’t of course, because a piston is just a piece of an engine it tells me nothing about processes.

              Your analogy here also breaks down because even if I were to change your data point into a process, say plate tectonics theory which explains how mountains form, to suggest that plate tectonics would have the same impact on who we are as a species as the theory of evolution which explains the origins of species on this planet, seems to me, obviously very different. Evolution has to do with how we work, plate tectonics has to do without how mountains work. I would never expect the details of plate tectonics to help explain anything about me.

              Before the theory of evolution we had a completely different idea of how we came to be. Evolution was an entire paradigm shift in our thinking about our origins. I am not sure how it could be argued that this wouldn’t cause change. Now you may argue about whether that change is positive or negative, but given that some of the concepts that religious thinking rests on which cause great harm, the fact that evolution challenges those assumptions seems important.

              If evolution is not a natural process but a force, a philosophy (and I’ll refrain from calling it a religion) then how is it going to solve our massive societal problems? Is evolution going to end wars, if so how? Is it going to challenge and defeat the patriarchy, if so, how? Is it going to change man’s mind regarding rampant social injustice , if so how? Is evolution going to teach that the entire concept of predatory behaviour is wrong and there is a better way to interact with all and sundry (realizing that predation is a major source of most of our problems) and if so, how? Does evolution support the concept of survival of the fittest and the food chain? If it does then no change is possible through this medium.

              Much of this is a strawman. I never claimed that evolution alone represented some sort of panacea for all our ills. All I said was that the process of evolution, and that understanding what it says can lead to some things like better earth stewardship, a greater respect for life, and a greater sense of equality. Now you can say this is not a general finding, but I at least know how it has impacted me, my spouse and numerous other people that I know. So if it hasn’t impacted you in the same way that’s fine, but for me understanding how we work has had an enormous impact on my empathy and compassion. Again the only thing that I was objecting to was your blanket statement about science and evolution not having a positive influence on morality. I am at least living proof of that, and by your own rules you have to honor the truth of my story and accept that your feelings about evolution and science may only be true for you.

              and that is becoming self-empowered, using that to live a compassionate life

              Several things to say here about your last two paragraphs, but this quote seemed most poignant. Thank you first for answering my question clearly, it gives me a better idea of where you are coming from. First of all, I don’t see how this isn’t a religion. There are plenty of religions that teach self-empowerment, even Christianity I believe. But at best you can say that you don’t subscribe to an organized religion but you have creeds you follow, beliefs you have faith in and you’ve developed your rules to live by. And you seem to be a wonderful person, and that’s great. But if your beliefs are immovable there is no difference between you and any theist. If your rules you live by are open to reasons, wherever those reasons may come from, congratulations you are one step closer to being a scientist. Moreover I don’t understand how your method here can be argued to be superior. It might be what works best for you, but the idea that what you describe alone is going to make the world a better place simply doesn’t make sense. There are people who do bad things who I’m quite certain feel pretty empowered. Even Buddhism, which is a lot about self-empowerment, says that the practice of buddhism doesn’t automatically make you a better person. The Busshist monk in Burma committing genocide against th Rohingya would be a good example, so something must be informing you about what to get sad about and what to get joy about. I am fairly certain there are psychopaths who have taken joy in causing others misery. Are feelings of sadness and joy enough to fuel our compassion? If my child is crying because he dropped his ice cream cone, is that teaching him about compassion?

              Have you never come to realize that a situation that never struck you as sad before, not does strike you as sad and that you want to do something about it? What informed you about this new cause you now care about, that you didn’t before even though you knew it was happening? Some sort of new data was presented to you and you incorporated that into what you know about the world and it changed your emotional reactions. There are a multitude of scientists who are driven to make the world a better place through a better understanding of how things work. In my profession alone I know many people who want to understand the atmosphere better so that we can better forecast and save lives. We have definitely made a difference. And there are many people, who after learning about what science has discovered become aware of things they never were aware of before, or see the world they have always looked at in a completely different way. It might not mean anything to you, but curiosity and learning are fundamental qualities and to suggest that increased understanding of the physical world can transform how much you care about just seems like a wildly unjustifiable assertion. If that’s true for you, that’s fine, but you are clearly an intelligent person and I doubt that it’s true in any way that your beliefs aren’t open to some adjustments and/or that your compassion hasn’t grown as a result of learning more about the world. IF that’s not the case then you would be far more the exception than the rule.

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            13. Weekend hovering in sight which means I will have some blogging time. I intend to write responses to your long comment as an article, then I will break it down into questions and answers, removing anything obviously redundant or of a primer nature which you don’t need. But before that happens, I have a couple of comments and questions.
              Evolution then, from the Darwinist perspective, explains the origins of species on this world. Does that include everything, animate and inanimate? Another way to put the question would be, what exactly is a species?
              Other question is straightforward: Do I need to be an atheist to understand and/or accept the theory of evolution as the one that supplants all others to explain how we all got here, and to here?
              Just so you know, I have read a lot of “stuff” over the years, but I boast a Canadian grade 12 education, no more. Therefore some terms common to you may have to be explained. Like, what’s a “data point”? Until now a mountain was a mountain. If a mountain is a “data point” wouldn’t it follow that every thing else is just another data point? Take that one more step and we’re a computerized simulation? Since a mountain is pretty big, and it’s made up of atoms, doesn’t that say the mountain itself is a vast set of data points, not one data point? But an atom isn’t the smallest particle… and since all this stuff is always in motion I’m seeing a process instead of a mountain. Let’s see where this goes from a layperson point of view.

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            14. I knew there was a scientist in you…you ask questions…that’s the starting point to knowledge acquisition and I could tell from the beginning that you are someone who asks questions. 🙂

              Evolution then, from the Darwinist perspective, explains the origins of species on this world. Does that include everything, animate and inanimate? Another way to put the question would be, what exactly is a species?

              It only explains the origin of species from a single origin. It does not explain how we went from no life on the planet to life on the planet, and it explains nothing else about any processes that involve non-organic matter. I shy away from the word inanimate here, simply because a fossil could be considered inanimate, but is a record of life. I took your question to mean inorganic, but if you mean inanimate which would include fossils then the theory of evolution does include past life on the planet.

              Do I need to be an atheist to understand and/or accept the theory of evolution as the one that supplants all others to explain how we all got here, and to here?

              You do not. The article I linked mentions this as well. But evolution does at least say something about the nature of a divine conscience perhaps. I could imagine inventing a religion that happily took evolution in as part of God’s plan. Such a God might look very different from the Judeo-Christian one though. Evolution challenges many tenets of religion in which civilization was built on, but certainly doesn’t disprove the existence of a divine conscience. To my knowledge know scientific law or theory does that. Largely because God remains to be proven. The existing scientific knowledge does seem to indicate that this God is likely not a personal one that intervenes in the physical world for the benefit of particular individuals.

              Just so you know, I have read a lot of “stuff” over the years, but I boast a Canadian grade 12 education, no more.

              I also boast a Canadian education. 🙂 I was born and raised in Edmonton and stayed there for my undergraduate at the University of Alberta before I left for grad school in the U.S. A grade 12 education in Canada is a pretty solid one, if I may brag about my country of origin. 🙂

              Like, what’s a “data point”?

              Great question. So theories and laws (although they are different) in general describe a process. Theories are actually more involved than laws, as laws are more of a description of what we observe, and theories explain how what we observe came to be. So we observe different species, and evolution explains why we have the phenomenon of different species. Both laws and theories however rest on the analysis of data to formulate. So let’s say I find a fossil. A fossil in of itself means very little. I can conclude almost nothing about how the universe works by founding one fossil. But I can do much more if I find many fossils, and if I find them in a variety of rock layers, and if I find fossils of creatures than no longer exist. All of a sudden I can start to reason that some creatures have been around for awhile, some still exist today,and some have gone extinct. From that data I’ve got a working hypothesis for perhaps how life evolved on the planet. But before that hypothesis can be turned into a law I need much more data. DNA evidence, fossils of related creatures by our classification system, information about how radioactive elements work so I can date when various life existed in our history…well it’s a long list.

              So you are right in a way, that everything observation is a data point. What we call empirical evidence. I can observe my banana rotting in my fruit bowl and observe that my car won’t start. Those two things are data, but of course they have no relation to each other (at least I hope not!). Maybe a more simply way to explain it, is imagine you had a plot of average daily temperature throughout the year. From the entire plot you could determine a seasonal trend in temperatures. However, with only one observation…the temperature from one day you could determine nothing. You would of course to be free to make wild guesses, but you can see that as you increase the number of data points on the plot, the closer you get to understanding the seasonal variation of temperatures at your location. Of course you might have had a very unusual year and so you’d want to look at the same data for years in the past to see whether or not your judgement of seasonal variations in temperature for your year matches to past years. Only then could you get a complete idea of the seasonal variation in temperature for your location. Now even with that complete seasonal variation data from your location we can now say that this also represents one data point geographically. How true is your analysis of seasonal temperature variation for some location in the southern hemisphere, for a marine environment, for a continental environment, for a polar environment? So in a way you’ve developed a working understanding for how climate works at your location, but any guesses you make about other locations might be prone to error without evidence that either confirms or contradicts what you think you know about how climate works. We need many data points to understand the process and that processes are also a matter of scale in time in space. So you might understand the process well at your geographic location, but perhaps less well at other locations without enough data.

              So when you mentioned the mountain, I considered that a data point, because it is an observation that there is a mountain. But you’re right in that a mountain is made up of lots of stuff. From different rocks, minerals, and then we can analyze down to the molecular and atomic level. The observation of where there were mountains was actually key in the first continental drift hypothesis proposed in 1915, before we knew much about the atom. The hypothesis was incomplete, but later understanding of mineral composition of mountains and rocks in general helped us understand why mountains were where they were, why earthquakes and volcanoes happen where they do as well. This was part of the plate tectonics theory that was developed in the lat 1960’s and early 1970s. So here again it’s a matter of scale. An observation of one mountain is just a data point, but if I take a mass of data about where mountains are, and what their composition is, how they are layered and folded, then I can start to form an idea of how mountains form. That’s a process. So this is why your comparison of evolution to the observation of mountain wasn’t a good one, because you were comparing a theory which incorporates loads of data and describes a process to just a single observation which represents one data point.

              Another way to put the question would be, what exactly is a species?

              Sorry, I realized I missed one of your questions. This is also a great question. I could just paste in the definition of this from the internet, but you can do that yourself. What makes your question great is that evolution in many ways sort of points out the gray area of any classification system we might develop. In general the definition of a different species is whether they can mate with each other and produce fertile offspring. It’s not a bad definition, but it is just a categorization system we created as is the whole taxonomy of Kingdom, phlya, class, order, family, genus and species. In my school we learned the “kings play chess on fine glass stairs” as a way to remember all of that. lol While I think the categorization systems is decent, evolution shows that changes are small and slow in any one species and so when it officially crosses over from one species to another is not necessarily clear. The two species may look similar, they don’t mate, and when that officially happened is hard to pinpoint. Usually some geographical separation is initially involved for one reason or another.

              Anyway, I hope that answers your questions. I look forward to reading your blog. Keep in mind my goal was not to convince you of the reality of evolution, but rather, whether you call it a belief or accept it as a theory, that it has positive value in society. For me I take great care to make sure something is true before I derive value from it, but you may still say that I have just subscribed to a religion and that’s fine. I also want to say that I am no enemy of self-empowerment. I think that”s very important. 🙂

              Liked by 1 person

            15. Thanks for that comment, Swarn. Keep in mind that ‘philosophers’ also ask questions – of everything. Question everything, believe all things, believe in nothing is how I approach life. Self empowerment is necessary to anyone who would qualify as a human. However it is not a stand alone process. As you pointed out it can be used wrongly, so it requires purpose, as in, a life purpose. Mine is the quest to become an avatar of compassion.
              There is also the danger of thinking that any empowerment is self empowerment. If the empowerment comes from reading Mein Kampf for example, or the bible, or Origin of Species, or some of Plato’s best known works, taking it at face value, as “God’s truth” and acting on it, that is not self empowerment. That is the problem with many proponents of great ideas: they did not arrive at their conclusions from their own thoughts but from regurgitating the thoughts of others, usually old dead smart guys. Self empowerment is living one’s life based entirely on one’s personal choices, not, of course, excluding an ecclectic awareness of efforts many by other people to try to understand and explain ‘man’ and his propensities, be they to evil or to greatness in self sacrifice. Self empowerment arises from the daily, constant, practice of some philosophy. One cannot think self empowerment, one must live it.
              I was thinking about evolution, now that you’ve explained it to me better than anyone ever has to date, that it is much like a very tall ladder that a scientist thrusts up among a cluster of trees in a forest in hopes of getting to the top of a particular tree. As the scientist nears the top he realizes the ladder is not going up the ‘right’ tree. Will he continue anyway to see what this top has to offer or will he climb down again and try to relocate the ladder so it will take him where he wants to go? Will he still be asking questions or will he force his ladder to take him where he has predetermined it must lead him?

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            16. True philosophy asks questions, but this is also what a Ph.D. stands for doctorate in philosophy. People in science who have a high degree of expertise also philosophize about their field. They delve into the leading edge of knowledge in their field and hypothesize and often find out their educated guess wasn’t a good one. Historically philosophy was the degree that all scientists took. Darwin was not a biologist, he was someone who was educated with philosophy as a big part of the curriculum. Unfortunately philosophy is not considered as important today as it should be.

              However, I should mention that philosophy’s ability to make truth claims are limited without the evidence to back them up. One might ask a question and using logical argumentation might arrive at an answer, but a logical chain of reasoning doesn’t make it true. It still requires one to test the premises for which an argument is made and that requires data. Philosophy is great and divining what is possible, science is what sorts that out with evidence attributing increased or decreased probabilities the likelihood of any philosophical argument being true.

              I think the fundamental problem will remain here that you believe that evolution does not have sufficient evidence to be true and that scientists have some sort of nefarious agenda. Again my initial comments to you was based on demonstrating that evolution had value as a philosophy or belief to embrace whether or not it was true. As long as you believe it is not true, then you and I are simply having a conversation about aesthetic preferences. You prefer your belief system for makiing the world a better place, and I prefer mine. And I feel based on that criteria you have to grant that evolution has value to some portion of people even that is not you.

              Now if evolution is true, you might still not see the value of it, and that’s fine too, but again there are many people that do. People who yell survival of the fittest means “might makes right” do not understand the theory, and yes any theory, poorly understand may be misused. Just as anything may be misused. The fact still remains that true or not, at least I and many people that I know think that evolution is transformative. The paper I linked does a good job talking about it.

              For your analogy of ladders and trees to be correct, despite the fact that you said you aren’t in the business of proving or disproving things, you have to provide some evidence here. In science we build on past work. If the past work is faulty, then assumption we make or hypotheses we create that rest on the truth of a prior claim will simply lead us to failure. This is how we know past work was wrong is because it doesn’t explain all the evidence adequately. A hypothesis is like a prediction…it represents what we think we will see when we perform an experiment based on prior knowledge. When that prior knowledge is wrong, our experiment fails. The reason evolution is true is because it explain all available evidence and is predictive. Now if let’s say tomorrow a fossil of a rabbit is found in the paleozoic era long before mammals were supposed to exist, this would be a great example of evolution being inadequate as a theory, because evolution would be unable to explain how that fossilized rabbit existed at that time. So for scientists to be doing what you claim they are doing they would have to be continually falsifying their results or ignoring contradictory data in order do their work. IF you have evidence for this, that’s great, you should present. In fact anybody who could demonstrate the validity of such evidence would be one of the most famous scientists ever, because a major theory was proved to be wrong and whole new line of inquiry would be developed. To my knowledge no such evidence exists. BUt I’m willing to be wrong here.

              Scientist are some of the biggest skeptics you will meet. So to say that they blindly accept things and take them at face value is an incorrect assumption. Skepticism and science go hand in hand…if we weren’t skeptical we wouldn’t do experiments and test.

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            17. In searching for a person who has done more research into how evolution has impacted our thinking for the better I found this Scientific American article. You can certainly read the details if you like, but I’ll quote part of the summary here:

              I hope I have successfully illustrated the wide reach of Darwin’s ideas. Yes, he established a philosophy of biology by introducing the time factor, by demonstrating the importance of chance and contingency, and by showing that theories in evolutionary biology are based on concepts rather than laws. But furthermore—and this is perhaps Darwin’s greatest contribution—he developed a set of new principles that influence the thinking of every person: the living world, through evolution, can be explained without recourse to supernaturalism; essentialism or typology is invalid, and we must adopt population thinking, in which all individuals are unique (vital for education and the refutation of racism); natural selection, applied to social groups, is indeed sufficient to account for the origin and maintenance of altruistic ethical systems; cosmic teleology, an intrinsic process leading life automatically to ever greater perfection, is fallacious, with all seemingly teleological phenomena explicable by purely material processes; and determinism is thus repudiated, which places our fate squarely in our own evolved hands.

              To borrow Darwin’s phrase, there is grandeur in this view of life. New modes of thinking have been, and are being, evolved. Almost every component in modern man’s belief system is somehow affected by Darwinian principles.

              Again take it our leave it. Even if one believed that this was a belief system and not scientific fact, what evolution claims to be true would still be more valuable than any religious philosophy I have personally come across. Perhaps I suffer from the ignorance of knowledge of enough religious philosophies, but again the fact that the possibility exists within the theory of evolution to create a more egalitarian worldview makes it at least as useful as the philosophy you claim as your own guiding principles. In fact as the article demonstrates and which I quoted in the summary “and determinism is thus repudiated, which places our fate squarely in our own evolved hands.” Sounds like evolution promotes self-empowerment to me.

              https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/darwins-influence-on-modern-thought/

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            18. Perhaps as in my case, your entire world view is influenced positively by how the theory evolution has transformed our thinking without even realizing it. I certainly think a case could be made for that. It has given me a viable premise that previously was under control of the clergy, and that is a huge step towards self empowerment. And by your comments it is evident…you automatically presented choices that were not available in the past. Food for thought.

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            19. This is a very good point Jim. By challenging some long standing precepts that existed in religious thought, many new avenues of thinking became available for many people.

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            20. Conclusion.
              OK, I’ve read this, Swarn and here’s the result. Hope you are sitting down.

              Quote: “I hope I have successfully illustrated the wide reach of Darwin’s ideas. Yes, he established a philosophy of biology by introducing the time factor, by demonstrating the importance of chance and contingency, and by showing that theories in evolutionary biology are based on concepts rather than laws. But furthermore—and this is perhaps Darwin’s greatest contribution—he developed a set of new principles that influence the thinking of every person: the living world, through evolution, can be explained without recourse to supernaturalism; essentialism or typology is invalid, and we must adopt population thinking, in which all individuals are unique (vital for education and the refutation of racism); natural selection, applied to social groups, is indeed sufficient to account for the origin and maintenance of altruistic ethical systems; cosmic teleology, an intrinsic process leading life automatically to ever greater perfection, is fallacious, with all seemingly teleological phenomena explicable by purely material processes; and determinism is thus repudiated, which places our fate squarely in our own evolved hands.” (end Quote)

              Wow… that is one hell of a claim… Hyperbole and pretentiousness chasing each other.

              First, as a run-on sentence it just won the Preakness by three and a half lengths.

              “Influence the thinking of EVERY person”? Really? Even those who have never heard of evolution and wouldn’t know if it should be blanched before it’s fried? So this theory of evolution becomes the greatest philosophical idea ever posited by man? No longer just a method for explaining species differentiation, it is now a philosophy that will change the world by changing man’s thinking about everything? Excuse me while I try to smother my inner chuckles… somebody has one huge infection of hubris here.

              “Evolution is an intrinsic process leading life AUTOMATICALLY (my emphasis) to ever greater perfection”? Now why didn’t I think of that when looking for a life’s purpose? It’s automatic folks, nothing to do. Just carry on and you’ll all AUTOMATICALLY become smarter, healthier, longer lived, stronger, more beautiful, kinder, more compassionate, less greedy, less violent, until evolution brings you to that yearned for Utopia. Except there is one thing you must do: get rid of any thinking about spirituality and/or transcendence. It’s all bullshit, so says evolution, and you must be a believer or it won’t happen.

              So, when it doesn’t happen, and I guarantee it will not happen, we’ll all know who to blame, won’t we. Blame that old time religion. Blame the other party. Blame the non-believers.

              The way I read this expletive of evolutionary utopian pollyannish serendipity, it’s the be-all, end-all. Believe in evolution and all your sins will be absolved by fossilized truth, washed in the mind of the Great Father of all, Darwin. Believe, my friends, just believe in evolution. Trust the Great Father Darwin, or GFD! So easy, you see? We only had to replace the middle letter and you get it right this time, right? Let your tears of joy flow and go on with your life rejoicing forever for the future is rosy and golden for your world. It’s AUTOMATIC. Remember that, and teach it to your children: Automacy.

              I think that even trumps cheap grace. (Cheap Grace is the Goddess of Fuddlemental Christianity – in case anyone needed an explanation. She’d lovingly take Hitler to heaven if he professed a belief in Jesus as his Saviour – deeds be damned, saved by grace not deeds!)

              Man is on a treadmill caused by programming and no matter what ‘he’ tries to do, until he breaks out of that programming, he will continue to spins his wheels. This isn’t “evolution” it’s “revolution” – and like all revolutions it takes believers right back to where they started from.

              Long ago when there was another era of controversy between established religion and evolution or Darwinism, and I was trying really hard to be a good atheist, I intuited that evolution was another of those tangents designed to capture those escaping old time religion into a new type of belief system and that nothing essential would change. So let’s not kid ourselves, as I already said, nothing has changed since (as claimed above) presumably EVERY person’s thinking has been affected by Darwinism.

              Do note that all the old evils evolutionists blame on religion are alive and well on planet earth and will continue to plague us even if all of the god-believing systems were abolished. There is always another believing (faith-based) system ready to be foisted on the sheeple so they will continue to fear, hate and kill as of primary and primal importance. Evolution is not standing in the wings as man’s panacea but bait.

              Quote: “To borrow Darwin’s phrase, there is grandeur in this view of life. New modes of thinking have been, and are being, evolved. Almost every component in modern man’s belief system is somehow affected by Darwinian principles.”

              Several times you used the term ‘straw man’ to describe false reasoning. I think I would apply it to your quote here. Where are your examples of these evolved new modes of thinking affecting ‘almost every component in man’s belief system’ etc? I may have heard of pink elephants but until I personally interact with such, what can I know of it? If I do have interaction with pink elephants but I’m blissfully unaware of it, how does that change the way I think; how does it change me? What would be the percentage of Earthians who are fully aware of their interaction with evolution and can make the claim that it, and only it, has changed the way they interact compassionately with all other life? Honestly?

              So it turns into a philosophy but that isn’t forceful enough, so a certain evolutionist element decides it must become a belief system, a force, and they forcefully introduce it into all public school curricula, the predictable result being massive, endless, pointless controversy – but what really matters is, there is a power shift, from the pulpit to the lab and the battle is fought over the desk of little Susan and little Johnny who frankly would just rather be allowed to go out and play. But power equates profit and control and it comes down to who will have it. Children are the future after all.

              I reiterate my point one final time: if evolution is indeed a real-time scientifically proven process then it cannot be denied. Therefore why not just leave it to do its thing as it must and let “evolved” generations adapt to this concept since it will AUTOMATICALLY explain to them how they became such as they are?

              But aren’t you afraid that it will NOT perform as claimed? That it will fail to explain how simply evolved creatures developed a thoroughly evil and corrupt power system we call the patriarchy? Will not explain how beliefs in gods and organized religions came about? Will fail utterly to explain why people are innately evil rather than good and express their propensity for, and love of, violence (war,genocides, rapes, tortures)? Sure, someone will expound on it, write tomes of philosophical clap-trap around it and of course, fall back upon blaming whatever remnants there may be of God believers for all the ills of the planet.

              My conclusion and the end of the matter for me, Swarn: evolution, as a philosophy, is a straw man.

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            21. Wow! That’s a pretty strong conclusion from a blog post and one article. I shy away from philosophy myself and go with physical connections, experiments and the math connections. Some very brilliant work to be poo pooed by a two day evolution student. You asked, by the way. Your response was pretty rude for someone just trying to show you some options.

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            22. Honestly I did not mean to be rude at all, just thought I was replying in context. If someone is BS’ing me big time, I’ve learned to respond in kind. The trick is to pick up on the BS, and when it’s thick enough to overflow the boots… To me, this defense and propagation of evolution was truly over the top. I’ve been around the block a few times, Jim, and I know the saying, ‘Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me.’ I don’t care how many university degrees or letters one has, I care about what is being proposed as a working hypothesis. If it’s been tried and failed before, it isn’t going to work and foisting it on a gullible person using a different format or conveyance is dishonest. It the perpetrator doesn’t know s/he is being dishonest (making unfounded claims that cannot be proved or supported) it doesn’t change the fact. I call it as I see it.

              It may be that some people truly believe IN evolution as the upcoming saviour of mankind, I’m not one of those. Mankind, individually, will be the saviour of mankind, not by one system debunking another system ad nauseam. We need, as individuals, to take responsibility for our own lives, as people, no matter what we believe, where we live, what race, gender, age we may be. The future belongs, not to some belief system but to the individual. It doesn’t matter where we come from or how we’ve arrived to this shore in our stinking rags on our rat-infested ship. It matters that as we disembark, we leave the rats and the rags behind. To reach self empowerment we must practice detachment and that means from all of our pet beliefs also and of necessity. Only a detached being can understand the need to express life compassionately.

              One more important thing I learned from life: any “system” that needs defending is, de facto, an idol. By its demonstrating that it needs to be defended, evolution becomes as much of an idol as is God. Idols have no innate power, they are vampires that suck energy from believers then use that power to rule those they prey upon. When a theoretical scientist gets on the defense bandwagon, s/he has turned whatever theory into an idol. How far is that from it becoming an established religion? There is a parable that says, let the wheat and the weeds grow side by side until the harvest. Then they will be separated… We need to learn to do that if we would end our endless conflicts.

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            23. Not sure where your at, but in the next verse you take recommendations from someone who has not been honest or non-circular-apologetic windbag in months of roundabout, claiming special
              Inside spiritual knowledge with no specific explanation nor facts. Wouldn’t even admit he was Catholic for two months till it was too obvious to deny. Weird. Trying to sound relevant because his roots would betray common sense.
              Some people cling to some type of spiritual guidance outside themselves. I would say your looking for something to confirm what you’ve already decided. Which is fine if that’s where your happiness lays.

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            24. Sorry Jim, you lost me on that one. Do you mean my saying I’d look into the Teilhard de Chardin recommendation? I know nothing about the blogger who recommended this but I had meant to read some TdC back when, then got busy. I didn’t know of any connection to the Jesuits – my Catholicism didn’t talk about TdC then. Maybe it’s more BS, I’ll soon find out. I have a very active BS detector that I keep well tuned. Would you feel better if I stopped following your blog? Just asking, I know you did not imply that but I’m causing waves here and I don’t like doing that. Or, I can stay on, read, and refrain from commenting. That may be best. This is a great blog and you post good food for thought.

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            25. Oh I enjoy your unique perspective on many things and have learned from you and consider you a friend as well. I would be happy for you to stick around and keep your BS detectors in my wing. Keeps one honest and on their toes as well. The Teilhard seemed a bit contradictory, but hell, everyone has something to offer. Thanks. If nothing else I always know where you stand. We won’t agree on everything anyway, not should we.

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            26. “Influence the thinking of EVERY person”? Really?

              Every person who carefully considers the principles will have their thinking influenced. Even if one rejects one must have particular reasons to do so, in the way it challenges world views. In context of the article it seems pretty obvious what he means in this summative statement.

              Your derision here is purely emotional. You haven’t presented any refute to the claims here, just taken an emotional stance on the conclusion without reading the evidence he presents or evidence that exists out there for the claims he is making. Mayr was an expert in evolutionary biology and lived for 100 years, and has numerous books and publications explaining evolution and talking about its history. You dismiss all of it based on…yep…zero evidence other than your continual use of the Personal Incredulity or Divine Fallacy (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Divine_fallacy)

              Your final words here that “Evolution is a straw man”, doesn’t even make sense. It’s not clear you understand what a straw man fallacy is. I will link this for you as well (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Straw_man) and give you some more examples of how you’re the only one who has committed it here.

              Who are fully aware of their interaction with evolution and can make the claim that it, and only it, has changed the way they interact compassionately with all other life? Honestly?

              Who has made the claim that only evolution has changed the way they interact compassionately with all other life? The author has not made this claim, I have not made the claim. Influencing thought doesn’t imply in anyway that it is solely responsible for any ideas we might have about what we should value.

              By the way in your previous nonsense about pink elephants in that paragraph, why not read the entire article to find evidence for the author’s claims. Why not read some of his books? The answer for you is that it’s clearly easier to remain ignorant of what things means so as not to shake any confidence to what you want to be true.

              But aren’t you afraid that it will NOT perform as claimed? That it will fail to explain how simply evolved creatures developed a thoroughly evil and corrupt power system we call the patriarchy?

              This is another strawman argument. Why would I be afraid that the theory of evolution will fail to explain the patriarchy when it makes no such claim. Nobody has made this argument. You’ve brought up the patriarchy numerous times for some reason, and while I share your loathing of it, I am not sure why it’s being brought into the conversation. Indeed if I were to bring it into the conversation it would be to point out that evolution does not show that any biological sex be favored. It does not suggest that might makes right. It does not suggest anything about males being dominant over females. Indeed if society more broadly accepted what evolution offers about who and what we are, we could easily recognize that a society buiilt on male dominance is an oppressive and unnatural one.

              Evolution is not standing in the wings as man’s panacea

              Again another straw man argument here. No one is making this claim. No one suggests that faith based systems disappear at the drop of a hat. But the world is more secular now that it has been in the past. https://news.nationalgeographic.com/2016/04/160422-atheism-agnostic-secular-nones-rising-religion/

              But again, nobody is claiming that this solely based on evolution. Only you are making this claim.

              So this theory of evolution becomes the greatest philosophical idea ever posited by man? No longer just a method for explaining species differentiation, it is now a philosophy that will change the world by changing man’s thinking about everything?

              All straw man arguments. Not claimed by the author of the article anywhere.
              “Evolution is an intrinsic process leading life AUTOMATICALLY (my emphasis) to ever greater perfection”? Now why didn’t I think of that when looking for a life’s purpose? It’s automatic folks, nothing to do. Just carry on and you’ll all AUTOMATICALLY become smarter, healthier, longer lived, stronger, more beautiful, kinder, more compassionate, less greedy, less violent, until evolution brings you to that yearned for Utopia.

              Another straw man. Even giving you the benefit of the doubt that your emotional bias here has led you to not read what was said properly by the author, where you cut off the important part of the sentence that comes right after your cutoff which is where it says “IS FALLACIOUS”…that’s the whole point…that you seem to have missed this point is either through through ignorance or dishonesty, I’ll let you choose. But you have misrepresented the argument.

              but what really matters is, there is a power shift, from the pulpit to the lab and the battle is fought over the desk of little Susan and little Johnny who frankly would just rather be allowed to go out and play.

              Really do you know that what all children want? Children are never inspired by science? They don’t enjoy recreating experiments in the lab, looking at fossils They don’t get excited learning about how things work? Do you even have children…because thus far I haven’t found your statement to be remotely true. And I know many people who feel the same way about what science offers. There is nothing more empowering for children than to help them think critically about the world they live and science is a fantastic vehicle for doing that. You once again display emotion-filled bias for all to see here.

              The methodology for which divine truth in this world is no different than any theist. It is by remaining blissfully unaware of our cognitive biases and a stubborness to define reality based on your own beliefs rather than attempting to look at the world via a system of discovery and knowledge acquisition that attempts to free us from those biases. When our personal beliefs define reality, this is absolutely the type of thinking that creates harmful institutions in society. This is the type of thinking that leads to things like the patriarchal power structures that persist. You may think you’ve broken free of dogmatic thinking, but you are every bit as dogmatic as any fundamentalist. You think you are perhaps free because you don’t default to other authorities, but making yourself the authority while not taking the time to educate yourself on the things you reject. You treat your own brand of mysticism as true while rejecting any other ideas regardless of how well evidence they are. You protect yourself from having to think critically about your own beliefs by not even searching for evidence for your claims, or searching for evidence that rejects the claims of others. You use anecdotal experience solely as a means for determining reality. And furthermore, even based on your own flawed standards for knowledge acquisition, you reject the experiences of others theist and atheist alike in favor of your own views.
              Sorry, but that is simply the most dangerous philosophy an individual can have. It is simply fortunate that you have chosen to strive to be more compassionate, because a different philosophy in the hands of someone who thinks like you could cause great harm indeed. In fact, an easy search through history will find many people like you have.

              I came into this conversation in good faith, trying to not hammer you with evidence for evolution, but to demonstrate that it has positive elements that can help build a more egalitarian society that has a greater respect for life. While at times you seemed open to learning, in this last response I could see that I was very wrong about your willingness to learn, but also your unwillingness to accept other people can feel empowered to become better people through things that you don’t place value in.

              There is just a level of bad faith that you have brought to this discussion that has me no longer interested in continuing. Feel free to respond, but I shall spend no more time addressing your straw man arguments, and non-evidenced assertions. I get that there is a lot to be angry about in the world and you certainly seem to have a good deal of anger. BUt if you want to become that avatar of compassion that you say is your goal, I hope in the future you are able to actually learn what the actual harmful ideologies are that fuel your anger and the better ideas to combat them.

              Liked by 1 person

            27. The hour-long version is on youtube. Couldn’t find a link to this version. It’s only 7 minutes. What do you mean by, “he was a great lover of mine once…then he blew it”. What did he do? If you are uncomfortable sharing it here I can give you my email address.

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            28. To your query, Summer, I think I can respond fairly directly and hoping Jim will allow this lengthy comment. (If not, I am keeping a copy)

              When a “man” or someone you have chosen to trust implicitly makes you both explicit and implicit promises then breaks every single one of those promises, first there’s the heartbreak, then the anger, then after the storms of emotions realizing you were lied to, there’s the decision to make about the remainder of your life, a life you know you will have to live alone if you don’t want to exist in a delusional fantasy propped up by the charade of meaningless religious performances. Jesus’ promises were (and remain within the pages of the gospels) that he would return to the Father and send us (me!) the Holy Spirit to indwell me, empower me and teach me all things. As a young person needing to be filled with love, the love of Jesus is a blend of love for God and all godly things, and the love of the ultimate man, the super hero who cannot fail you as you saw love fail your parents, siblings and friends. Your innate intelligence directs you to choose something that is the most secure available.

              You become a servant of the holy. You trust, you depend, you pray and wait for your empowerment to send you, literally, into the world to serve in ‘good deeds’. The years wane and you become increasingly alone and whatever little bits of service you provide others come from your own meager earnings, your own time, your own willingness to self sacrifice. There is no esoteric source of power to draw upon. There is no “husband” or “lover” – just whatever you insist on believing in, or not. No difference except the morbid fear that somehow you failed and you’ve been abandoned without even a Dear Jane letter.

              That’s what happens when you really choose to follow the directives rather than conform to some Pauline BS religion. Religion will accommodate you, manufacturing an entire entertainment medium to cushion your worldly faith, a faith that leaves a believer no different than any other individual, often much worse; a faith based on words, not on effective power, but on outright lies! Religion is designed to gather the spurned lovers of sanctity and hand them all the goodies of ‘the world’ whitewashed in fake holiness that becomes the worst kind of hubris.

              I would have none of that, Summer. I ‘divorced’ – three times if you must know – until I knew I was alone and whatever choices I made to walk a path of “sanctification” I supplied the power for such and the consequences were all mine. My life became my sole responsibility and through trial and error I found another source of empowerment that serves me well and can never fail me.

              To see more into this quandary of service and abandonment, I recommend watching the movie “Novitiate”. It is a bit long and slow but the effect is powerful. The waiting, the questioning, more waiting, unfulfilled desires, abject guilt, sense of failure, abject repentance that changes nothing, more waiting, more despair leading to more questioning in which nothing, NOTHING, is answered or resolved until…

              Most believers never give themselves body and soul to their claim of first love, commitment and dedication. God or Jesus to them are but conveniences, conveyances and guarantees of some unspecified future life of bliss requiring no sacrifice in the here and now. That’s what’s wrong with “your” religion: it promises that you can have your cake and eat it to. Let me tell you this: you cannot.

              Better, by far, to be an avowed atheist or active unbeliever than to be a member of any current religion. Their honesty is respectable whereas there is no honesty in any religion, there is not even the possibility of respect residing there.

              Liked by 5 people

            29. As regards the influence of evolution on spiritual concerns, and especially man’s self-understanding, the best thinker so far, by far, is Teilhard de Chardin.

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          1. Way to go, Nan. It is indeed those who examine the claims of their religion, honestly, seriously and often with great trepidation who finally, notwithstanding the losses and conflicts engendered, walk away. Some, such as myself, do return to try again through a different avenue only to realize, sadly I might say, that it all comes down to the same … let me find the right words: bull shit. I even tried to connect a third time through a friend who did Christian-based volunteer work. I threw myself into this avenue thinking that good works must mean this “faith” has some value. Error! I ran into the incomprehensible of ult-right Christian fundamentalist politics and, silly me, should have known, the underlying and all important agenda of “spreading the good news” and bringing non believers to Jesus. This time, 3 strikes and I’m out, done, finished, the game is definitely over. Maybe I should thank my Christian friends for being so convincing?

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        1. Not if your sharing Ray comfort. At least be honest it use honest people. He is a known liar and charlatan. If you’ll watch the video I gave you, I’ll watch yours. If you are at all informed you’ll be very familiar with the person in the video.

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      1. Whew! Mine was only 7 minutes! Yours, an hour, lol! Anyway, yes, Ray Comfort has made some laughable blunders, I’ll admit. When it comes to scientific study he, and I, are out of our league. That said, even if it wasn’t Comfort that made the video, the argument makes a lot of so-called atheists ponder a bit. The reality of my faith is that I have experienced God’s love and work in my life. I hope someday you are able to experience the same.

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        1. I was a full time believer for 50 years. I know a little about it. One thing about the video you shared. Most people, and obviously the subjects from Rays movie are not schooled well in biology. It is a typical argument from Christians who also have never given the overwhelming evidence for evolution any real consideration. In fairness, it wasn’t biology or evolution at all that led me from faith. It was a systematic deconstruct of every point. Nothing adds up.
          I remember my time in Sunday school, we came from monkeys and atheist have more faith than believers. Rubbish. The hour you just watched touched a small fraction of legitimate studies, peer reviewed and duplicated work. Fossil evidence is demolishing the old notion of no missing link, and the LUCA/progenote project is very close to definitive answers. I didn’t write this article as tongue and cheek or presumptuous at all. All of the disciplines I listed are replacing old notions of faith and forgery by the bucket load. Creation is last on the list.
          I hope you’ll take a moment to browse my site. I see in observable opposites. Things are never what we hear, nor match what religion is supposed to do. It produces the opposite of what we were told. Every time.

          Liked by 2 people

            1. Yep. Born in it and indoctrinated heavily from the word boo. That’s what it breeds in people. My parents were good people. Joined a church got saved, then proceeded to force feed us the faith (in a loving way) but it was all church all the time. Kind of a free will conflict of interest.

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    2. It might make uneducated atheists ponder, but the argument is easily dismantled. Read the Blind Watchmaker by Dawkins. But more simply just because something is made and engineered, doesn’t that everything is made and engineered. It’s like natural selection is proven, but we can also do unnatural selection and genetically modify organisms. The iterative process for which random mutations occur explain how this instruction book of DNA was written. No Gods need apply.

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    3. @ Summer
      Oh, the gods!
      Fracking Ray Comfort.

      The banana man. Are you serious?
      What next, a video on ship building by Ken Ham?
      How about William Lane Craig on Divine Command Theory and why it’s okay for Yahweh to slaughter an entire global population ‘cos, after all. From dust. And a bone.

      It really is time to grow up a little, Summer.

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  5. Wow! What a weirdo! I just now read the entirety of comments and then went for a look-see at his website. Like I said … what a weirdo.

    It truly makes the person of average intelligence, who understands (and uses) logical thinking, wonder how people can believe in a god that prompts such wide-ranging and strange ideas about “him” and “his” workings. It simply doesn’t make sense.

    And yet … they are there. Some hiding in the woodwork, others (like Mel) proudly spouting their version of some (non-existent) supernatural entity, and still others simply riding along on the flimsy cloud of “faith.”

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    1. I actually deleted a couple of his comments. Just too rank and rude. Can we say self-glorified ego? When you have a problem with everybody, you are the problem.

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  6. Boy, you must have hit a nerve. I live in a world full of Gods and Spirits. You do not. It doesn’t bother me one bit. So why do these folk arguing with you insist that you must believe? Sigh. There are a great many creation myths, which one is correct?

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  7. Hi Jim:-) A recent study found scientific evidence that atheism exist within the brain. On brains scans it lights up specific areas associated with atheism. Studies furthermore suggests that this trait has to do with human biology and psychology. Certain chemicals within the brain is thought cause these atheism experiences. In experiments a selection of drugs seem to provoke the same type of hallucinations within the test subjects. Also, known as the observers. Studies like these questions non-belief in a god altogether. The study is called “atheism in the brain,” I highly recommend you check it out.

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    1. I just looked at one study. Have to sleep soon, but Interesting approach how they interpret the study was predertiminate bias. Mine and many others did not come to atheism by logic as it claims. Logic is used in arguments, sure, but unbelief is brought by a non-results based incremental step process. We all tried to hard to keep faith, but nothing added up to any objective reality. I’ll look at some more tomorrow. But, say you’re right and I have a lessor brain than you. Not my doing. Can’t help the fact my physiology does not allow me to believe in something that’s not there. I can’t say it if I don’t believe it. The premise of my article today will dismantle the hold outs anyway with one final discovery. The only reason we use logic is in discussions we feel it’s the most concise path to reason. But Christians can’t seem to follow the dots. Their belief is a hard-wired one, where ours is more fluidic with a variety of possibilities.

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      1. Dear Jim:-)<3. The study I mentioned was just a fictive one to make a point. Thank you for the research you mentioned. My point was that of course you find faith in the brain, but also atheism. The observer of our reality is located in the brain. So, linking experiences to parts of the brain does not disprove them. It simply suggests that the observer is still alive. Now, distinguishing what is truth, faith, dreams and fiction that is a different story. I know for a fact that I am not highly intelligent, and by no means do I have a superior brain. That is not what I am seeking either, I am trying to be a humble, just and loving person.

        https://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/atheists-more-intelligent-than-religious-people-faith-instinct-cleverness-a7742766.html

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        1. “if religion is considered an instinct” Its an interesting take. Religious are less apt to problem solving so rely on instinct instead of intelligence. The evolution of religion and the history of religion counters his claims a bit though. Not considering the origins of superstition is a mistake in the study. It’s a powerful implication as well. I have a neighbor in Panama whose family believes in gold shifting, underground gremlins that keep him from finding Spanish treasure on his property…For 500 years! Cmon, people are ineptly gullible to a mere campfire story half a millennia ago. That is not reasonable. They are also catholic. That is not reasonable either. I could go along with it if it was productive, say like, personal spirituality, but it rarely ends there. So much so they went out into the world and shared it by force! Thanks for getting back to me. What do you think of the study?

          Liked by 2 people

          1. I think there is one major flaw in the study. Instincts are stuck in here and now. Event, response according to the environment. It has no hindsight or foresight. For humans no memory like this would be comparable to death.

            It would have to be the emotions that came next in brain development that caused primitive faith if anything. To back this up studies have shown that religious people are more emotional. However, emotions encourage in the moment behaviour and that is a problem. Why? Well all stories including those that are religious have a point to them. They do not promote in the moment behaviour rather events in the past has consequences in the future, and from this we are to learn. Stories are all about sequence.

            Evolution is randomness taking formation. Order coming from something disordered. One could call it chaos.

            https://www.thesaurus.com/browse/chaos?s=t

            However, as humans we are pattern seekers.

            Summary and Analysis: Greek Mythology The Beginnings — Creation

            In the beginning there was only Chaos, an empty void. But somehow this enormous vacancy gave birth to Gaea, the earth, to Tartarus, the great region beneath the earth, and to Eros, the shining god of love and attraction. Chaos also bore Erebus, the darkness of the netherworld, and Night, the darkness over the earth. Then Erebus slept with Night, who gave birth to Ether, the heavenly light, and to Day, the earthly light. Later Night alone produced such beings as Doom, Fate, Death, Sleep, Dreams, Nemesis, and a long list of other atrocities that steal upon men in darkness.

            Summary and Analysis: Egyptian Mythology The Creation

            At first there was nothing but Nun, the primal ocean of chaos which contained the seeds of everything to come. In this jumble of waters the sun god reposed. Finally, by an exertion of will, he emerged from chaos as Ra and gave birth to Shu and Tefnut by himself. In turn Shu, the god of air, and Tefnut, the goddess of moisture, gave birth to Geb and Nut, the earth god and sky goddess. Thus the physical universe was created.

            Norse Mythology

            The Origin of the Cosmos

            Before there was soil, or sky, or any green thing, there was only the gaping abyss of Ginnungagap. This chaos of perfect silence and darkness lay between the homeland of elemental fire, Muspelheim, and the homeland of elemental ice, Niflheim.

            We are pattern seekers, yet the very process that formed everything is random and unplanned. Our order seeking, planning nature contradicts the foundation of evolution itself. Not to mention the fact that all options are in superposition with each other at the quantum level.

            This comment is not perfect and it is incomplete just like its author.

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            1. Our order seeking, planning nature contradicts the foundation of evolution itself.

              I don’t see why this is the case
              Evolution is primarily concerned with the propagation of traits that leads to survival.
              The pattern seeking nature of humans is one that has greatly enabled humanity survival. So I don’t see how our pattern seeking contradicts “the foundation of evolution itself.”

              Liked by 1 person

            2. Reproduction and survival of the fittest – measurement of human success

              Humans may be through with the past, but the past is not through with us. In evolution «marriage» has to do survival of the fittest, and the passing on of genes giving rise to the alpha male and external beauty. Fighting and competing to not go extinct basically, strength, resources, and favorable features are shown of and the winner becomes worthy of mating.

              These desires are written into the genders to promote behaviour accordingly. However, these urges tend to clash both internally and between the genders. Let us explore, from strictly nature’s point of view it is preferred that men reproduce with as many women as possible, holding on to one woman would after all limit the number of off springs. His instincts are not in compliance with hers, unable to reproduce in large quantities women have different perspectives. In fact, a mother must invest a lot of time and effort if she is to succeed, and it involves being pregnant for on average 40 weeks at a time and risky and excruciatingly painful births.

              “In pain you shall bring forth children.”

              “UCLA researchers analyzed dozens of published and unpublished studies on how women’s preferences for mates change throughout the menstrual cycle. Their findings suggest that ovulating women have evolved to prefer mates who display sexy traits – such as a masculine body type and facial features, dominant behavior and certain scents – but not traits typically desired in long-term mates.”

              http://newsroom.ucla.edu/releases/what-do-women-want-depends-on-249813

              “Your desire shall be contrary to your husband,
              but he shall rule over you.”

              Genesis 3:16 – second part

              Partner preferences seem to crumble under the words “if you get what you want, would you want what you get?”

              “As you saw the iron mixed with soft clay, so they will mix with one another in marriage, but they will not hold together, just as iron does not mix with clay.”

              Daniel 2:43

              Wealth – another measure of human success

              “Researchers have theorized that wealth makes us less generous because it makes us more isolated – and isolation also has a deleterious effect on happiness. Wealth is isolating for both psychological and physical reasons. Psychologically, the acquisition of wealth—and more generally, possessions that signal high status—makes us want to distance ourselves from others. This may be due to a feeling of competition and selfishness that sets in with the acquisition of wealth or status. It may also be because, quite simply, we don’t need other people to survive the way we did when we were poorer. Patricia Greenfield of UCLA and Dacher Keltner of Berkeley have both (independently) found this in their studies; as we grow wealthier, we value independence more and social connectedness less. As for the physical element, it’s quite straightforward: the wealthier we become, the more likely we are to erect boundaries between ourselves and others—for example, by living in a bigger house with a fence around it.”

              https://hbr.org/2016/06/why-rich-people-arent-as-happy-as-they-could-be

              “Results from a Notre Dame study found that generosity indicators—such as giving money, volunteering and being available to friends—were highly correlated with happiness. Similarly, generosity had a positive effect on happiness in 93% of 136 countries studied.

              That’s also because we tend to be happy when we’re more social. Studies show we can’t be happy without at least one meaningful, close relationship. The more vigorous social life we enjoy, the more likely we are to experience positive emotions.

              If you are lucky enough to be rich, be mindful of your scientifically-proven tendency to isolate yourself. And if you’re still feeling down, try giving some of your wealth away to charity.”

              http://time.com/money/4363201/wealth-rich-happiness-people/

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            3. Furthermore sexual selection is on top of natural selection and neither of this was planned. It is a by-product of evolution itself that does not guide or concern itself with anything. Sure, survival of the fittest may give some guidance. An all peace loving man like Genhis Khan shows us the wonderful success of sexual selection.

              https://www.thevintagenews.com/2018/06/09/genghis-khan/

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            4. I was just reading the Gestalt principle a couple days ago. Patterns, even where there are none. I have to say, the choice of words, instinct doesn’t sit well. Necessity would be a better fit.
              Remember, I just want a steak. You’ve again given me the whole cow! Lol. Hehe

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            5. Let us explore, from strictly nature’s point of view it is preferred that men reproduce with as many women as possible holding on to one woman would after all limit the number of off springs.

              Not quite so. It depends on what metric you are using to determine what is nature.
              Though polygamy is by far most common in the animal kingdom. Monogamy also has some evolutionary advantages
              Studies have shown that children belonging to monogamous relationship tend to receive more care, attention and protection ( not to talk about more food per child if there is some form of scarcity ) from their fathers than those from polygamous relationship. Sure holding on to one woman would limit the number of off springs of a man but the less the number of off springs the higher the chances of those offsprings to actually survive and grow to adulthood

              His instincts are not in compliance with hers

              Not quite so. When you view but the male and female “instincts” are to ensure the continuity of the human species there is no clash, what exist is that the take different approach to achieve this goal

              “In pain you shall bring forth children.”

              This was just an observation that who ever wrote this part of the bible who have observed in their society

              Their findings suggest that ovulating women have evolved to prefer mates who display sexy traits – such as a masculine body type and facial features, dominant behavior and certain scents – but not traits typically desired in long-term mates.”

              If you take into account that for much of human history, humans undergoed one form of communal clashes with other tribes and other wild animals. It would be expected that women would have preferred men with masculine body type and facial features, dominant behavior and certain scents simply because for the perceived protection this men would offer
              I don’t see how this is in any conflict

              “Your desire shall be contrary to your husband,
              but he shall rule over you.”

              Genesis 3:16 – second part

              Partner preferences seem to crumble under the words “if you get what you want, would you want what you get?”

              I don’t get what you’re implying here

              I don’t see how the part of your comment about wealth and happiness was related to the conversation

              Reproduction and survival of the fittest – measurement of human success

              It is just a measure of human success, it is the measure of any species success.
              ( remember success in this context is a bit different from what is normally thought of success)

              Furthermore sexual selection is on top of natural selection and neither of this was planned. It is a by-product of evolution itself that does not guide or concern itself with anything.

              Evolution is concerned with the survival of a species
              Evolution is guided by natural selection

              An all peace loving man like Genhis Khan shows us the wonderful success of sexual selection.

              I don’t see how Genghis Khan is related with the success of sexual selection.

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            6. Dear Jonathan. I think we overdid this discussion. Like Jim said to me: “I asked for steak and you gave me a cow”. We all have time restrictions so I for one am going to try hard to simplify in the future. I completely see the side that you are mentioning as well. There is democracy, monogamy and the golden rule all over nature. It is not this all black or all white picture. I hope you see me as a friend, rather than an enemy<3. Have a wonderful day <3.

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      1. I believe that she is offering a critique of the correspondence theory of truth, by way of satire.
        Neural correlates of religious experiences are frequently held up as proof of the illusory nature of those experiences.
        But there is no causal necessity there – kind of a Gettier problem.
        Type physicalism has the same troubles. So does intelligent design, though there are more profound problems for ID.
        You will never swat all those ID gnats. I got tired of it long ago, and just have a page on my site (Blip!) to which they may refer.
        But it makes no difference.

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        1. You were right on, although I do not think the rest of the comment was a compliment (Norweigian). Have you ever watched the Bee Movie? In the end a mosquito gets job as a lawyer, and gets congratulated on its achievements whereas he responds: “Well, I was already a bloodsucking parasite, all I needed was this suitcase.” This gnats wishes you all the very best and thank you for making me smile today ❤ (I do not say this to annoy you, Jim can probably confirm this as he is my friend).

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        2. My ID is that the Gettier problem is comparable to Bohr vs Einstein on quantum entanglement. Bohr was right and has been proven so. I have no glove, you have no glove and when we observe and measure there are predictable outcomes. It is not my job to judge anyone, it is my job to love everyone. Period.

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    2. I’d have to compare the exact study to your comments. Link? Using the same logic behind the study I saw…Evolution would not not true, the earth was created in 6 thousand years, and flat, with Noah putting 10,000 species in an ark. Your theory of everything could only include the god parts…Rubbish. Shutting off logic to disprove atheism is 10,000 years of neurological indoctrinated herd behavior that probably does numb 30% of the brain. Even their own studies are quite bias due to that influence. You cannot be a believer and objectively evaluate something you dislike! They cannot see a bigger picture.

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        1. True. As a believer every ounce of physical knowledge was interpreted to justify faith, the religion, and the revelation. Funny how when you come to unbelief is when the picture hits its creciendo. The key to understanding is unbelief. Faith only flourishes with lack of evidence. It wains at the face of facts.

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          1. Religions have always thrived best on poverty & ignorance & still do. I find the believers ability to discard anything & everything that challenges their belief very frustrating, but most real believers, as oppose to nominal brain washed believers, are just responding to their own intrinsic need to believe.

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            1. It can be frustrating when we forget there are about 35% that need the thing outside themselves. I think that conditioning is very ancient. Codependent ancient slavery gene developed as a survival mechanism. I guess we be careful not to rush things too much.

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      1. Thank you so much for your feedback my friend. The ark is as far as I can tell not an actual event rather a parable. We need to rethink the Bible. Evolution is a fact, and I will not at all try to disprove it. Now that flat earth thing there might be something too … LOL. I cannot be a believer and objectively evaluate everything that I dislike.

        https://www.near-death.com/experiences/triggers/extreme-gravity.html

        As for numbing off the brain? I do not know:

        https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-3272289/Could-views-God-immigration-changed-using-MAGNETS-Brain-stimulation-alter-beliefs-study-claims.html

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        1. Excellent links. Thank you. I have to say it is not what you portrayed in your original comment. I have posted on the NDE and magnetic studies prior to now. It is a fascinating recreation of the outskirts of human neurology. Insults to brains cause an array of signs and symptoms. Is this what they mean when they say “signs follow them that believe? Lol

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    3. Seems to be quite an indictment on 50% of your fellow countrymen. The study was purposed, and they got what they sought. No surprises. I’ll admit I don’t know everything, but I do know I have no inclinations of supernatural belief. If I did I would relay that discovery.

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      1. I do not rely on one study. I rely on this:

        An object is never stronger than its weakest part, and I am such an object.

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    4. I am so sorry if this comment offended anyone. Friendly exchanges of ideas is what I am trying to go for.

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  8. Well, Jim, it is time for me to raise my ugly ideas. I believe in the supernatural. My experiences in life dictate that. To me it is knowledge, though to anyone else it would seem to be belief. And I will not dispute it seems to be that way. It can even be said to be a sort of faith, for I believe in my experiences. Yes, I talk about them when they are appropriate, but I do not try to give my experiences to anyone else. Where does that put me in your non-belief, non-faith structure? Just wondering?

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    1. I have a great deal of respect for those of you predisposed with a greater intuitive connection of humanity and its surroundings. Supernatural…not likely. It’s you my friend. It’s my wife. It’s Sha’Tara and Neptunes Dolphin. These words do not discredit the abilities of some of you to see things from a closer/broader perspective from your slightly different wiring. It is true that no supernatural explanation will supplant a natural one. It never has. But that doesn’t exclude you from offering a beautiful perspective to how we are consciously joined together by a force we don’t quite understand. Yours and their feelings are a benefit to humanity.

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        1. I wouldn’t trade the realness of your contributions for anything. An honorable quest and a heartfelt example of what spirituality should be. Personal and expansive. Us..

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  9. Sorry, can’t resist:
    “The Babel fish,” said The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy quietly, “is small, yellow and leech-like, and probably the oddest thing in the Universe. It feeds on brainwave energy not from its carrier but from those around it. It absorbs all unconscious mental frequencies from this brainwave energy to nourish itself with. It then excretes into the mind of its carrier a telepathic matrix formed by combining the conscious thought frequencies with nerve signals picked up from the speech centres of the brain which has supplied them. The practical upshot of all this is that if you stick a Babel fish in your ear you can instantly understand anything said to you in any form of language. The speech patterns you actually hear decode the brainwave matrix which has been fed into your mind by your Babel fish.
    “Now it is such a bizarrely improbable coincidence that anything so mindboggingly useful could have evolved purely by chance that some thinkers have chosen to see it as the final and clinching proof of the non-existence of God.
    “The argument goes something like this: Ì refuse to prove that I exist,’ says God, `for proof denies faith, and without faith I am nothing.’
    “`But,’ says Man, `The Babel fish is a dead giveaway, isn’t it? It could not have evolved by chance. It proves you exist, and so therefore, by your own arguments, you don’t. QED.’
    “Òh dear,’ says God, Ì hadn’t thought of that,’ and promptly vanished in a puff of logic.
    (this bit of humour provided free of charge by Douglas Adams)

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  10. I to do not believe n mans belief system.

    So… as a man/male yourself, do you believe in YOUR own belief system, or like you are asserting, do you do NOT believe in your own belief-system as a man? It’s a simple inference and question.

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    1. What we see here is the ultimate application of faith. It ends as a zealots game, fanatic, friendless and wanton wanderthought trying to make sense of something that’s misfiring in your own mind. Good luck to you Ron.

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  11. The larger the library of (1) knowledge and (2) ignorance, the less “faith” (individual faith especially) has any influencing factor or significance. Those libraries are (3) numerous and (4) diverse. The combination of those four components interacting and perpetually growing make those libraries the BEST protective hedge against fallacy, error, bias, and authoritarian and monistic regimes or ideologies. IOW, are any of those scientific disciplines exclusive to one culture, one nation, one continent? 😉

    But many people around the world use “faith” synonymously with intuition, gut-feeling, hallucinations, or adrenaline highs or dopamine highs, even degrees of paranoia. The various disciplines of science you mentioned have much more concrete databases of verifiable knowledge and ignorance, and hence are much more precise AND definable than “faith” or faiths. Does that make sense? 🤔

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  12. My finger is sore from scrolling down here. LOL. Much as been said, but I like this phrase you wrote, ‘faith has suffered a methodical deconstruct of magnanimous proportions.’ How those nine words can be only 20 syllables and say so much is mind boggling of magnanimous proportions.

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  13. we need to keep asking “them” “How did this occur?” And “How do you know this happened?” Most have no clue. Some have studied scripture enough to know to dissemble. Others, the apologists, lie and lie, and lie … except the really stupid ones who don’t understand enough to be lying.

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          1. Wow, that’s a big drop in population. Well I’m guessing the exponential growth can’t continue forever as resources and space diminish, but still… Maybe they have their own Sims: Planet Earth game that they ran out to 2300? lol. Perhaps they factored in another world war, which would certainly be devastating. I’ve always found it concerning that many countries say they don’t want a war yet won’t get rid of their nuclear and chemical weapons stockpiles…

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  14. Have you never read the laws of Thermodynamics, you can not create something out of nothing. Most sciencies are best guess answers. Even Darwin at the end of the day realized there was an intelligent design. Even Stephen Hawking, the physicist, knew that there was a intelligent design at work. Faith can be proven but not through man.

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    1. Faith can be dismantled pretty thoroughly through neurological studies. Our best guesses are improving in every way. Our best guesses have satellites and GPS and millions of advances occuring in spite of religious ostriching. I’ll take my chances. Religion has been so thoroughly dismantled I can’t believe we’re even having this conversation.

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      1. I told you before I am not a religion, but I figure you have never read Thermodynamics. Neurological studies are based on the researchers biases. No different than climate change, no one can predict the future. Plus they do not take in gravitational forces and magnetic fields of the moon and other forces.

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        1. I’ve read thermodynamics Ron. I just didn’t think your comment had much weight. Sure your energy dissipates when you die. But what about birth? Our growth and incremental absorption of energy as we increase in mass is no secret. When you die it goes back to where it came from. Earth! Your first cause is a guess. It has been in the works for a while, but our abilities are still catching up to the theories. I’ll wait.

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            1. Not by misquoting information as Jonathan showed. As I stated in the article, we don’t know yet. Yet! Being the operative. Every other biblical theological philosophical misstep along the way has been debunked. Religion is making scientific claims on faith. I don’t know yet is not a moniker for “god did it”.

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            2. You can’t create something out of nothing, you don’t understand, how do you get past that.

              What evidence is available that the initial state was “nothing” and not “something”

              Even if there was “nothing” why can’t “something” not arise from it.
              If there was true “nothingness” then it would not have any properties, neither would any law to govern it exist
              So the rule that governs your claim that “something can not come from nothing” wouldn’t exist, neither would “nothingness” have to follow it

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            3. And making a claim that there was nothing and then something is a strawman. So you can complain about circular reasoning, but you are still arguing against a position scientists don’t take, so you kind of started it with the fallacious arguments. This is what Jonathan is pointing out. What proof do you have that there was nothing and then something?

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            4. Reuters 2007, Hawkins s I believe that the universe is governed by the laws of science, conceding that the laws may of been decreed by God but God does not intervene to break the laws.

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            5. He was still in reconciliation. Later he affirmed “I believe the simplest explanation is, there is no God. No one created the universe and no one directs our fate. This leads me to a profound realization that there probably is no heaven and no afterlife either. We have this one life to appreciate the grand design of the universe and for that, I am extremely grateful.

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            6. So what? With a barrage of faith thrown at one since birth, we are all open to something by default, but that something has never been presented or verified. Only philosophies. I’m ahead of hawking I guess. There ain’t nothin in the scripture or “revelation” that is convincing in the least.

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            7. Hawking’s statement is without proof. What difference does it make that Hawking believed this? This is just appeal to authority which is a fallacious argument. And as Jim points out he didn’t even believe this as he continued his research.

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            8. All your doing is what is called circle of reasoning it’s a foolish argument with no thought behind it.

              @Ron define “nothing”

              What evidence is available that the initial state was “nothing” and not “something”

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            9. All your doing is what is called circle of reasoning it’s a foolish argument with no thought behind it.

              How is it circular reasoning

              Let me lay the point out for you
              On defining nothing
              1. If it has any property then it is something and not nothing
              2. If it obeys any law then it is something and not nothing
              3. In a state of nothingness, no law can exist because if any law exist then it would not be a state off nothingness because something exist.

              So, it logically follows that the law “something can not come from nothing” would not exist in a state of nothingness and “nothing” would not have to obey it

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            10. Reuters 2007, Hawkins s I believe that the universe is governed by the laws of science, conceding that the laws may of been decreed by God but God does not intervene to break the laws.

              This quote was made by Hawking in his 1999 book, “A brief history of time” ( if I can remember correctly, His works are far away from me now, I will confirm later, if I’m wrong I would make it known )
              Read this my comment

              https://jimoeba.wordpress.com/2018/10/27/dismantling-of-faith/comment-page-1/#comment-10521
              The quote and video I cited were all post 2007, many years after he made that comment. In different interviews he had after that comment he made his stance on god clear, that he is an atheist

              The two Hawking’s book I cited were published in 2010 and 2018 respectively

              In “Brief answers to big questions” which was released this year, Hawking states clearly that “The is no god”

              Certainly, it is ones most recent statements that would be used to determine what the person believed

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            11. Evenby your answer the word probably your not sure.

              In that Hawking’s quote the only place you find the word “probably” is when he talks about heaven

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            12. That is what you call a guess, it is not defined.

              What I am noting is that the word probably is only found when talking about heaven and an afterlife and not when he said “the is no god”

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            13. We are not even talking about afterlife try and stay focused, I really don’t care a horses butt. if you are n atheist

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            14. We are not even talking about afterlife try and stay focused, I really don’t care a horses butt. if you are n atheist

              Take your own advice and stay focused.
              You said that Hawking used the word probably in that his quote implying that it was a guess
              And I am saying that he only used the word probably when he talked about heaven and the afterlife and not when he talked about god
              If you had stayed focused and not make a reference to the part of his quote that talked about the afterlife then I won’t be saying this

              And by the way you said you are not talking about god but intelligent design.
              Then why did you provide a quote that had the word god in it and did not contain the phrase “intelligent design” when I asked you to provide a citation by Hawking that showed that he knew that there was intelligent design

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            15. ¡Exactamente! How is that so hard to wrap your head around. I went through that same thing with Mel. It just is baby! And no amount of philosophy can change that one fuckin bit!

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            16. The debate was diminishing faith. I will clarify Faith is probable by the fact even your no god is structured by another belief system no different then me, the debate centered around laws of nature not opinions. I deal in law a facts not innuendos.

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            17. Faith is not extinguished when you die because you taught others what you believe so it travels generations it is an spiritual entity that flows through time.

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            18. I might of misspelled the word it is a belief that everything has a spirit trees plants sun stars ect. It predates mans religion’s by thousands of years. Look around n you see the same belief structure. Faith is synonymous with belief this has lasted for thousands of years. It showed up n sumerian cuneiform about 6000 bc.

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            19. We have a pretty good understanding why this occurred. Faith is useless. No supernatural explanation has ever supplanted a natural one. Creation will prove no different.

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            20. Faith resides in two realms physical imagery n spiritual expression which is your mind. Faith or belief if you like travels spiritual threw time. It does when we die faith which is true but it continues on across evolving societies. But it by itself it does not change expressions.

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            21. I could say the same about hunches. Faith is unproductive and destructive to human growth and potential. How much friggin time wasted on imaginative indoctrination. And undoing it!

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            22. That wasn’t the question Faith can be proved by empirical data..whether it is destructive then you cross into other areas of metrics. You would have to assess aninism with religious structures going back in recorded history to Sargon the Great about 3500 BC.they worshiped a complex system of 3000 gods.

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            23. If the Big Bang Theory is even vaguely valid, In The Beginning, EVERYTHING existed…. every erg of energy, every quantum entanglement , every sub-atomic particle! All that has happened in the intervening a14 Billion years, is some minor rearranging.
              If you want to go back before the bang happened, there was no Time, there was no Space, and there were no rules. Even now, sub-atomic particles appear to be winking into and out of existence.
              There may be a parallel dimension, or an alternative ???Place, which is a cosmic junkyard, and crap is just getting flushed into our Universe. But it could all occur without the need for or presence of an unverifiable God.

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            24. Nicely put. I’m betting we’ll find the answer—maybe right under our noses. It was only 200 years ago we finally saw a germ. We just need a breakthrough to figure out how to look. Space goggles or some dam thing. Great comment! Thanks.

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            25. Quote: ” it could all occur without the need for or presence of an unverifiable God.” Exactly. In fact, that makes the most sense. If our known universe was omnipotently intended and directed by a perfect deity, how could it have ended up being such a mess? So chock full of gargantuan mistakes? My own anguished question: how could it have had evil in it? How could we, the result of its efforts,do aught but mock its vaunted perfection? Anyone of us with the same power and intent (?) could have done, and would have done… BETTER. Had we made similar mistakes, in retrospect… I say, goddam it, we would have fixed it instead of trying so hard to be worshiped and casting blame for our own mistakes. Oh sure, there is a god. He exists in the minds of psychopaths and their brainwashed dupes. He is the titular head of another of man’s truly hideous invention: the patriarchy.

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            26. I will play your circle of reasoning before the big bang there was black matter. Black matter has a structure they just can,t figure it out. The cern collider is looking for what is called the God particle. Your argument falls to the ground.

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            27. ‘Inside the Universe,’ before the Big Bang occurred, no matter existed as such, including Dark Matter. If you are positing that Dark Matter exists/existed outside the universe, I am unaware of any scientific proof that it does, but you have provided a theoretical place, and a thing, where you have intimated there is ‘Nothing,’ for something to be created from, but still no proof of, or need for, “God.”
              BTW; The CERN collider apparently has found the Higgs boson. As a snide, sarcastic dig at religious fundamentalists, it has been nicknamed The God Particle, because it seems to do what fundies insist only God can do, as usual, with no proof, only desperate hope.
              It seems to be your argument which has collapsed.

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            28. You quit learning there is a smaller particle then the Higgs boson. They are revamping the collider to find the next smallest particle
              which they call the God particle. Besides of which if you remember simple mathematics to negatives make a positive. That is Black matter it is not complicated.

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            29. You’re making useless guesses into the minds of .1% of the scientific genius. Please stop pretending you know anything about this and still have time to blog.

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            30. The Higgs boson is called the God Particle because it is believed to give mass to matter. It does not automatically give up that title and pass it on, simply because a smaller particle(s) exists.
              If a smaller particle is proven, it is unlikely that is comes from the Higgs. Even if it does, the complete, assembled boson is still required to impart mass, and the title remains.
              Given the seriousness and complexity of the subject matter, it is difficult to take a discussion seriously, when the comments are replete with punctuation, spelling, usage, and construction errors. I’m done, as are you. 😯

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            31. Not knowing an answer doesn’t mean the answer is God.

              Just because they call something the God particle doesn’t mean they believe it proves God. It could just be the name they give it since God is part of our vocabulary. In fact it might just be meant to be ironic.

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            32. If you do not believe in god then the opposite side of your argument would be true. You constructed yourself as a god, no different than the Pope?

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            33. Then you have no nuts, when children are concerned they come out with all kind of tantrums and accusation just by virtue common sense would tell you. If you believe there is no god then you believe in nothing which is absurd we all believe in something. Belief has a framework that wraps around your head.

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            34. I think that your belief system wrapped around your head is defective, Ron. It’s not allowing any coherency to filter through and that is not a healthy sign. Maybe you should have a pressure test done on it. Or, failing that, have your IQ rating lowered, it’s obviously interfering with your communication system. Otherwise, I’d pray for you but I don’t pray so there isn’t much else I can offer to help you out as I don’t know any really good shrink. There is Dr. Leo Marvin but as luck would have it, he’s only a movie character. Sorry.

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            35. What is your point young lady. You are like the other idiots the simple fact we all believe in something that is a given, nothing hard about that. If you say you don,t believe in something then you are lying and so is the rest of the other little youngsters you run around with.

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            36. Oh dear me… you’re not jealous that we little idiots are having so much fun, are you? There is a joke you may not have heard. An inmate in the asylum is called before the head shrink. He’s shown inkblot pictures and asked what they remind him of. ‘Sex’ he says, to each picture. The shrink says, ‘You’re obsessed with sex, aren’t you.’ The inmate says, ‘You’re the one showing me all the dirty pictures!’ There’s a point there, Ron.

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            37. You have no idea what your doing little girl . You get cornered to save face you throw out your garbage go play with the rest of your children n boyfriends and play in your filth.

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            38. OK, and thanks for the entertainment. I’m not going away mad. I hope your don’t either. Be well, take care o’ you and know that I’d really like to meet you face to face one day. I bet you’re not at all what you sound like. Play time is over now, mom says I have to go in and do the dishes.

              Liked by 1 person

            39. I thought you had toned it down a bit. Oh well. I know the site is so alluringly well done you can’t resist. Even though you hate most everyone here, here you are. I’ll take that compliment. Good night Ronnie. Have a Valium. Librium?lithium? It’s in the house. Your choice. I do know a good anger management blog. Would you like the link?

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            40. Facts don’t require belief. Belief is not what makes reality. Whether I believe in God or not is irrelevant. Either God is or isn’t… Independent of my beliefs. Just as your apparent disbelief in climate change doesn’t change physical reality. You’re really doing poorly on the logic front here

              Liked by 4 people

        2. Neurological studies are based on the researchers biases

          Do you have proof for this? To say that statement requires some sort of study to back that up.

          But even if we said every scientist is prone to some personal bias, this is irrelevant as science also require some consensus. If the bias of one scientist leads to inaccurate results this will be proved by another scientist doing a similar study or trying to build a new hypothesis based on an erroneous previous finding.

          no one can predict the future

          Not true at all. In fact the whole point of having a theory is because of it’s predictive capabilities. If you are talking about weather and climate. The national weather service is 93% accurate on it’s one and 2 day predictions. For climate models (different than weather models), if you go back and look at the predictions for the first climate report by the IPCC you will find the predictions astonishingly accurate. https://www.livescience.com/25367-first-ipcc-climate-report-accurate.html

          Plus they do not take in gravitational forces and magnetic fields of the moon and other forces.

          If they were relevant to climate change we certainly would. I have a Ph.D. in Atmospheric Science. You are misinformed if you believe this to be important.

          In this exhaustive look at predictions about climate that have occurred since the 70s, the author concludes:

          Climate models published since 1973 have generally been quite skillful in projecting future warming. While some were too low and some too high, they all show outcomes reasonably close to what has actually occurred, especially when discrepancies between predicted and actual CO2 concentrations and other climate forcings are taken into account.

          Models are far from perfect and will continue to be improved over time. They also show a fairly large range of future warming that cannot easily be narrowed using just the changes in climate that we have observed.

          Nevertheless, the close match between projected and observed warming since 1970 suggests that estimates of future warming may prove similarly accurate.

          https://www.carbonbrief.org/analysis-how-well-have-climate-models-projected-global-warming

          Liked by 3 people

    2. And do you know that particles in quantum physics can come into existence from nothing

      Let me don’t use the word nothing anyhow
      @Ron define nothing

      Even Stephen Hawking, the physicist, knew that there was a intelligent design at work.

      It’s dishonest to ascribe claims to someone when he didn’t hold those claims

      “Before we understand science, it is natural to believe that God created the universe. But now science offers a more convincing explanation,” he said. “What I meant by ‘we would know the mind of God’ is, we would know everything that God would know, if there were a God, which there isn’t. I’m an atheist.”Stephen Hawking

      Read Stephen Hawking’s “The Grand Design” and “Brief answers to big questions”

      Even Darwin at the end of the day realized there was an intelligent design.

      Can you provide evidence that supports this

      Liked by 4 people

      1. As uo no that can,t man can create from what they have not from what is not seen. That law has been on the books for my lifetime and has never been refuted.

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        1. As uo no that can,t man can create from what they have not from what is not seen.
          That law has been on the books for my lifetime and has never been refuted.

          I don’t understand what you wrote here. Can you be a bit clearer

          Liked by 1 person

      2. Hawkins never said he believed n God neither Darwin but they both agreed on intelligent. Don,t come in on a side conversation if you don,t know what we are talking about. Me and Jim never said anything about God much less religion.

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        1. You said this

          Even Darwin at the end of the day realized there was an intelligent design. Even Stephen Hawking, the physicist, knew that there was a intelligent design at work

          Saying that Hawking or Darwin knew that the was intelligent design is just another way of saying that they knew that there is an intelligent designer ( if this is not what you mean then go ahead and clarify what you mean by intelligent design)

          And that is a view that Hawking did not hold ( maybe he held those view early on in his life but he did not hold that view in the latter part of his life).
          Feel free to cite any work of Hawking or Darwin that says that they knew that there was intelligent design
          In the video I linked l, Hawking states that no one created the universe

          Read Stephen Hawking’s “The Grand Design” and “Brief answers to big questions”

          Liked by 4 people

        2. @Ron the standard usage of the phrase “Intelligent design” is a pseudoscientific argument for the existence of god, presented by its proponents as “an evidence-based scientific theory about life’s origins”.

          If this is not what you mean by “Intelligent design” then clarify

          Liked by 3 people

          1. If intelligent design is pseudoscience then mans science is a best guess. Molecular structures within their own right have n intelligent design not created by man. DNA by itself is structured however man can alter RNA expressions

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            1. Your presuppositions for a creator have you assuming a lot. These things can be created in alternate atmospheric testing, matching up with what earth atmosphere most likely composed many moons ago. I’m not digging all that up for you, but it’s happening.

              Liked by 2 people

            2. Most likely is not a definitive conclusion, along with statistical probabilities. It’s an theory with no proven hypothesis.

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            3. The point of the post Ron, is everything has been explained but this. Everything else has fallen. Your reaction is exactly what I’d expect as a last ditch effort to hang in to the silliness of god. This will fall too. If it proves a creator, so be it.

              Liked by 1 person

            4. What is the “Word” you refer to on your site? Where do you stand? Gimme a short version. What are you trying to prove here. Your all over.

              Liked by 1 person

            5. Rubbish. You are in such a hurry to say something you haven’t said anything. No one here knows what the hell you’re talking about anymore.

              Liked by 2 people

            6. The talk was on intelligent design y,all get frustrated because you argue opinions based on ignorance then when you lose you put. Goodnight

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            7. I have told that before, I m an equal opportunity employer I slam all churches. All I do is interpret the images of the Word. It is up to you not me to interpret the Words by your perception not me. I do not try to convince anybody of what I believe.

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        3. THIS IS THE EXACT WORDS YOU JUST QUOTED

          Reuters 2007, Hawkins s I believe that the universe is governed by the laws of science, conceding that the laws may of been decreed by God but God does not intervene to break the laws.

          This looks like someone who is talking about god

          Liked by 3 people

        4. So, Ron, what is intelligence? Is it the formation of an idea to go and shoot up a synagogue just because you don’t like non-Christians? Does that sound intelligent to you? It certainly is not spiritual, no matter how you define that term. It doesn’t accomplish anything useful in the long run. Is that intelligent?
          A billion people can talk about intelligent creation, that does not make it so. Chaos is so much more powerful than intelligent design. Trying billions of species to come up with one billion workable species is not intelligent, it is chaos, and that is what evolution is, chaos.
          Yes, religion came out of animism, but that doesn’t make religion believable, does it? Animism at least makes sense, religion does not.

          Liked by 2 people

    3. Faith can be proven but not through man.

      What a bizarre statement. I guess if it’s not through men, then women? Little children? One or a few of the Earth’s animal species? Aliens?

      Anyway, there are some 5.99 billion humans on Earth that would definitely disagree with you Ron. They’d say it IS demonstrated by humans. Perhaps not “certain” type men, but faith’s many different versions can be demonstrated if one truly wants to seek them. But faith and truth are very different things, not equal.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Your incorrect since you came in on the side, there are 7 billion humans belief systems are the same as faith. Animism predates religion by thousands of years n people still believe n it by faith. It is simple the belief that have thing has a spirit. Go back to school.

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        1. That was your very first comment here Ron. “Came in on the side” makes no sense. There are approx. 5.985 billion theists in the world that would tell you that they CAN prove to you (at least in their mind or via their orthodoxy) their faith — and I’m quite sure, based upon your blog content, you were connecting “faith” with YOUR individual belief-system — and hence it IS shown to be something via mankind. The connotation of religious faith (vs a cultural lifestyle, social norms, or paradigm) was at least intended by both Jim’s post and your comment and use of the word backed up by your blog’s content. The other 1.6 billion are NOT theists. Simple math and deduction. 😉

          Regarding your animism assertions, will you provide some citations or links to this? Thanks.

          P.S. There’s no need to get hyper-sensitive Ron. I’ve had LOTS of schooling, well above the average American level of attainment. Please keep your replies civil and mature. Thanks. 🙂

          Liked by 3 people

          1. I know you think your a professor the discussion was never what I believe or even what you believe. I don’t care about your numbers. You come in on a conversation with Your BS. The conversation was faith dies over time. My assertion was that it does not. Before you accuse someone make sure you don’t put your foot in your mouth. Jim and none has ever asked me about my faith. So quit trying to turn your molehill into a mountain.

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            1. Faith will implode with the final discovery. True lack of evidence is the breeding ground for faith, but that last straw will dismantle the hoax. And pipe down Ron. These are friends of mine. Your are the guest today. Might think about that.

              Liked by 2 people

            2. I know their you friends but they throwing assertions in that I never said, my faith is my business n nobody else’s I never told you I believed n a God, I never once told you or your friends to believe n any God. I was debating you on the merits of faith. Your n atheist then your faith in no God still has a structure to it that you built. The question remains does it extinguish itself when you die. I am n old combat soldier I don’t like taking the same ground twice. You have an indigenous tribe they found in Brazil about 2 yrs ago, no western influence, they believe everything is a spirit. That is also why I said faith does not extinguish itself but is past down from generation to generation.

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            3. I think you should take most of the blame here. Hurried, misspelled, many incoherent phrases. I’m moderating and I can’t keep up with your frisbee juggling tennis wresting. Make some concise, non angry comments or else I’m blocking you.

              Liked by 2 people

            4. The auto spell screws me. The core essence that I responded to is where you said Faith dies. My contention is that it does not, simple as that. I don’t believe in mans belief system. I don’t believe n the Catholic, Baptist or any other church what I believe does not sit n those pews. I would be the first to tell you to run like hell.

              Liked by 1 person

            5. I don’t believe in mans belief system.

              And yet as a male yourself, you clearly imply by our comments that YOUR manly cognizance is beyond what you condemn and operates above it with impunity. Do you not see that??? If you are right, then are you from another planet, another species that looks down upon humanity like a god? 😉 Think about it Ron while you simmer down.

              Liked by 2 people

            6. However, with a little patience you can actually share your ideas. I have 2-3 followers here that have some similar ideas as you. I think you’ll find the group here different than what you expect. Ideas are respected, reflected, cross examined and hell, some of your points may find common ground if not just understanding. Easy bro.

              Liked by 2 people

            7. I understand that but your friends think I am some kind of pastor ,I’m far from that my Faith is predicated on 65 yrs life experience. I will never tell you to believe in what I believe. I would never tell you to go to any church. As you said we are exchanging ideas.

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            8. If they think you’re a pastor that is because of your clarity. Take a breath, slow down, proof your comments. No hurries. You are the author of today’s confusion.

              Liked by 1 person

            9. Understand but like I said before I have a 163 IQ your friends might not know. I am not a preacher, I teach simple as that to cause people to think. I have n incurable disease there is no gain or motive to lie. I love to teach, I taught men how to survive in combat. I am a teacher.

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            10. After the mass shooting today in Pittsburg, PA, the psycho mail-bomber Cesar Sayoc — did you see pics of his van!? 😮 — and the long, long, LONG killing spree history this country is amassing… it is clear that hate, toxic language, and fragile hyper-sensitive mentally unstable persons have been unleashed upon Americans, social-media, and it seems too on your blog-post here Jim. Was there something you said to them? 😉 🤭

              (but in all seriousness, this type of behavior is beyond unacceptable, especially from those who “claim” divine love????)

              Liked by 2 people

            11. As you can see I gave him every opportunity to participate. His comments are blocked now. I sent you an email of his last comment. What a jerk. I’m picturing a van like you mentioned in his front yard. Too bad someone who fought for his country so many years ago, now hates the very ones he fought for.

              Liked by 2 people

            12. That a close definition of mentally unstable. Perhaps there is some PTSD going on? That is a VERY bad, dangerous, yet treatable dysfunction. It has to be addressed and rehabilitated quickly before it snaps, blows up into violent outbursts though. If this is the case with Ron, then I have sympathy and wish him nothing but the best.

              Liked by 2 people

            13. He had the teddy bear avitar, posted great comments and a lot of Monty python. He is super intuitive about human nature and faith. That Ron. He never had a page.

              Liked by 1 person

            14. It was a bit crazy. Ron pretty much hijacked/diverted any productive dialog. You should pop over and see his site—you’ll understand. Hehe

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            15. Ron, your immaturity only undermines and degrades your posture and comments which would also explain your very poor grammar. Thus, at this point you are a waste of time and energy and contribute nothing but childish absurdity to this discussion. Try working on this flaw. Nevertheless, have a good remaining weekend.

              Happy Halloween! If your behavior here will be the same to young trick-or-treaters at your door, then you are going to scare the 💩 out of them… much worse than Hannibal Lecter ever could. 😄

              Bye 👋

              Liked by 2 people

        2. Animism predates religion by thousands of years n people still believe n it by faith.

          And so what.
          It doesn’t matter if animism predates religion or not. What matters is if evidence supports it or not
          And certainly, non-religion also predates animism by thousands ( if not millions ) of years

          Liked by 2 people

    4. Even Darwin at the end of the day realized there was an intelligent design

      Do you have evidence of this? I’ve heard this claim but never seen anybody present evidence that Darwin believed this. He was fairly agnostic about the existence and nature of God.

      Even Stephen Hawking, the physicist, knew that there was a intelligent design at work.

      What is your source for this? I can find no source where Hawking claimed this.

      Faith can be proven but not through man.

      Are you saying Faith than can be proved through God. But God cannot be proven. So faith can be proven by something that cannot be proven? Makes sense.

      Have you never read the laws of Thermodynamics, you can not create something out of nothing.

      I know them intimately. But what do they have to do with the start of the universe. I think you are also creating a strawman here, because scientists don’t say the universe came from nothing.

      https://www.csicop.org/sb/show/did_the_universe_come_from_nothing

      Liked by 4 people

        1. Thanks. If the god thing were real, we have a part of us that could return to him. That’s what we have in common, so it’s not impossibly elusive. In theory…if it were true. But it’s only philosophy. That’s all they have. We can access the universe through patience and discovery. No god needed.

          Liked by 2 people

          1. But it’s only philosophy. That’s all they have.

            Philosophy? Is that what it is!? 😄 I could describe it in numerous terms starting with a C-grade version of The Wizard of Oz and his diversionary Munchkins & green-curtain Magical shows. 😉

            Liked by 2 people

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