Darwin’s Scientific Skeptics

By John G. WestSenior Fellow at Discovery Institute Is evolution compatible with faith in God? It’s a question that is … Continued

By John G. West
Senior Fellow at Discovery Institute

Is evolution compatible with faith in God? It’s a question that is receiving lots of attention of late.

On the one hand, “new atheists” like biologist Richard Dawkins insist that Darwinian evolution makes “it possible to be an intellectually fulfilled atheist.”

On the other hand, “new theistic evolutionists” like Francis Collins assure people that Darwin and God get along just fine, thank you. Former head of the Human Genome Project, Collins recently unveiled a website that seeks to convince the faith community to accept Darwinian evolution.

Dawkins and Collins are often put forward as the two alternatives in discussions over faith and evolution, but since they both embrace Darwin’s theory, they represent only a thin slice of the overall debate. Largely shut out from current media coverage are the growing number of scientists, as well as the vast majority of Americans, who view Darwin’s theory with skepticism.

In an effort to broaden the conversation, Discovery Institute has launched www.faithandevolution.org, a website featuring scientists and scholars who aren’t afraid to ask tough questions about both the science and implications of modern Darwinian theory. The website includes a “Debates” section highlighting competing views on such topics as evolution’s impact on religion, the claims of intelligent design, and the relationship between Darwin’s theory and “Social Darwinism.”

The website also seeks to clear-up confusion about why Darwin’s theory poses such a challenge to faith in the first place. Contrary to what many people suppose, it’s not because evolution proposes that living things change over millions of years, or even because it suggests that animals are descended from a common ancestor.

The real sticking point is Darwin’s claim that all of life–human beings included–developed through a blind and undirected process of natural selection acting on random variations. In the words of late Harvard paleontologist George Gaylord Simpson, “Man is the result of a purposeless and natural process that did not have him in mind.”

There are ways to try to reconcile Darwinism’s undirected process with theism, but they involve throwing overboard some long-cherished beliefs about God.

The first idea to go is the belief that God directed the development of life toward specific ends. According to biologist Kenneth Miller, one of the most prominent proponents of “theistic” evolution, God did not plan the specific outcomes of evolution–including the development of human beings. Miller describes humans as “an afterthought, a minor detail, a happenstance in a history that might just as well have left us out.” While God knew that undirected evolution was so wonderful it would create some kind of creature capable of praising Him, that creature could have been “a big-brained dinosaur” or “a mollusk with exceptional mental capabilities” rather than us.

Seeking to lessen the discomfort such arguments pose for most religious believers, Francis Collins suggests that God “could” have known the specific outcomes of evolution beforehand even though He made evolution appear “a random and undirected process.” In other words, God is a cosmic trickster who misleads people into thinking that nature is blind and purposeless, even though it isn’t.

One need not be a religious fundamentalist to find such arguments less than satisfying. Indeed, one need not be religious at all. Media coverage notwithstanding, theistic evolution has been shunned by leading evolutionary biologists, 87 percent of whom deny the existence of God and 90 percent of whom reject the idea that evolution is directed toward an “ultimate purpose” according to a 2003 survey.

While theistic evolutionists are mired in the past trying to defend Darwin’s nineteenth-century mechanistic process, other scientists and scholars are suggesting that twenty-first century science is fast making Darwin obsolete. Experiments with bacteria, where evolution can be tested in real time, are showing just how little undirected processes like natural selection can actually accomplish. Experiments with protein sequences are revealing how astonishingly fine-tuned protein sequences must be to work at all. And the DNA inside each of us is disclosing massive amounts of genetic information that points to mind, not chance and necessity, as the ultimate source of biological innovations.

Such discoveries do not “prove” God’s existence, but they do provide tantalizing evidence that life was produced by an intelligent process rather than a mindless one, a finding that certainly has positive implications for faith.

If we want a real discussion about faith and evolution, the conversation must be broadened to include the growing number of scientists and scholars who find Darwin’s theory unsatisfying. Otherwise we will be having a monologue, not a dialogue.

John G. West, Ph.D., is a Senior Fellow at Discovery Institute and author of “Darwin Day in America” (ISI Books).

About

  • edbyronadams

    Many erstwhile supporters of Darwinism recoil at the emerging field of evolutionary psychology. Being wedded to the old Rousseau notion of the noble savage is clearly blown out of the water by the persistence of such ugly behaviors as war, genocide and rape.The question of direction in evolution is interesting. Human evolution is quite improbable. Intelligence comes with big head babies that threaten the life of the mother and neoteny in humans that lower reproductive potential dramatically.What it did produce anyway was an organism capable of choosing between the heaven and hell of altruism and xenophobia. That creates a need for morality and a reason to choose the better side of our natures.

  • WmarkW

    Creationism and Intelligent Design are idiocy by cranks who think the Bible is a single work written by God to convey a single message and is free of factual errors. Once one understands that it’s an anthology of works from diverse times, places, cultures and competing sub-sects, the whole idea that the world was originally created with talking snakes falls apart.This “21st Century” view is at least trying to frame the issue as a scientific question capable of evidentiary hypothesis testing. I suspect it all comes down to a question of time limits and rapidity of mutations. It should eventually be answerable.

  • FizzmickPaChee

    Thankfully Darwin’s discovery of evolution completely rules out the possibility that man came from some dirt that a god used to make an image of himself out of, and that woman came from a rib of this dirt-man. Compare the amount of interlocking data from every applicable scientific field including geology, physics, and even molecular biology, all having observational experiments done, that test and prove the hypotheses of evolution occurring (elevating it to a FACT and a THEORY), with the DISCREDITED FAIRY TALE – a big invisible monster that nobody has ever seen or heard did it.It is frightening that mass delusions of supernatural beings still exist today. It is the same thing as saying that my invisible fire breathing dragon is more powerful than your multi-headed fire spewing sea monster. So, come around to my way of thinking or I will commit atrocities for it.Everything from the murderous blood stained Sky Daddy who drowned virtually all humanity and other life, sentenced everyone to leave Utopia after Eve (persuaded by a talking snake) ate a magical apple, had Jonah take a ride in the belly of a whale, ruined the life of Job, told Abraham to murder his own kid, killed all the first born of Egypt, had his chosen people commit genocide on the original inhabitants of Palestine, to letting his own son be nailed to some wood so mankind could party with a ghost – is a FAIRY TALE that humanity needs to reject if we are to see many more generations. By the way if you are dumb enough to believe that this fable is real; in the Bible, the murder count is God/millions – Devil/zero. Whom would you rather spend time with, a vengeful monster or a fallen angel who thought he had a better way? I am NOT promoting the Devil, just illustrating the craziness in this stupidity.Hopefully if you were previously deluded, after reading this you will see how foolish you have been. Society needs to accelerate its retreat from worshiping outlandishly absurd fictional psychopathic beings. There is no middle ground.

  • ThomasBaum

    WMARKWYou wrote, “Creationism and Intelligent Design are idiocy by cranks who think the Bible is a single work written by God to convey a single message and is free of factual errors.”As far as the single message conveyed by the bible, have you ever thought that it might be God trying to tell us, “I Care”?And by implications that, “We should care for each other”.Take care, be ready.Sincerely, Thomas Paul Moses Baum.

  • ThomasBaum

    FizzmickPaCheeYou wrote, “Thankfully Darwin’s discovery of evolution completely rules out the possibility that man came from some dirt”Isn’t “dirt” made out of atoms and such and aren’t we also?Where do you think that the “dirt” came from?I have met God and not only is God a Trinity but God is also a Being of Pure Love.You seem to have a conception of God that some of those that call themselves “Christians” have, because if God was even close to being the egotistical, revengeful, piece of garbage that some that know God’s Name, think that God is, than I cannot see how anyone with a drop of decency running thru their veins would want to have anything to do with Him.God’s Plan is for ALL to be in the Kingdom, ultimately, and this seems to upset many.As I have said: God wins, satan loses, a tie is unacceptable.I have also met satan and besides being a liar and a thief, he is also a loser and a sore loser at that.See you and the rest of humanity in the Kingdom.Take care, be ready.Sincerely, Thomas Paul Moses Baum.

  • justillthen

    This is a fascinating adjustment in the evolution debate. I have great distaste for blind and egotistical faith, assumptions against reason that a belief must be true because it has longevity, and arrogant elitism, especially regarding human causality and the existence and purpose of essential Self, or Soul.I write off a literal interpretation of all spiritual texts, but I do no write of a metaphoric one. I disbelieve in any orthodox reading of Universal Causality, but believe deeply in Soul and the everlasting life of Consciousness.Intelligent Design can be valid, while all specifics of it may be invalid. I do not believe in ID as presented by Christians, for they cleave to a Biblical rendering of Creation, and I see that as patently false, when read literally. But symbolically it may be true. As science moves forward what was not understood, or misunderstood, comes to light, and human perceptions change as a result of what becomes undeniable truth. For decades religionists rejected as lies and blasphemy Darwinian evolution. Yet, evolution is real and true, both to the physical form and to the mental processes. I have no doubt that as science progresses some of Darwins theories, like those of any historical scientist, will be show as wrong, or will be adjusted. All theories are based on some assumptions and those assumptions eventually are corrected to better serve current knowledge.I look forward to how this debate progresses.

  • GlenDavidson

    It’s nice to see a Discovery Institute spokesperson bypassing claims that ID is about science, and simply selling their apologetics as religion. From this article, “broadening” the debate is understandable as catering to religious pre-conceptions, just as we always knew it to be.This is misleading, however:theistic evolution has been shunned by leading evolutionary biologists, 87 percent of whom deny the existence of God How was theistic evolution “shunned” by anybody, any more than ID has been? No evidence for either proposition has been found, but that’s the fault of nature, not of the scientists.the conversation must be broadened to include the growing number of scientists and scholars who find Darwin’s theory unsatisfying.Actually, dissatisfaction with the one explanatory theory (not Darwin’s per se) is no argument for including apologetics. Only relevant data is, and, as usual, West and his fellows are lacking in just that.Glen Davidson

  • norriehoyt

    TPMB writes:”As I have said: God wins, satan loses, a tie is unacceptable.”Looking over the history of the 20th Century and the first part of the 21st, it’s inescapable that Satan racked up a higher score than god.

  • InterfaithNation

    Att: “The Lion” & “TPMB” & CCNL et al;Ya Ya!

  • ThomasBaum

    norriehoytHi, hope you are doing fine. You wrote, “Looking over the history of the 20th Century and the first part of the 21st, it’s inescapable that Satan racked up a higher score than god.”You haven’t seen nothing yet, so to speak. As I said, satan is a sore loser.As I have said, the dawning of the seventh day will arrive but the night of the sixth day is coming.The world is crumbling, in many ways, before our very eyes and yet some think the “brilliance” of man is going to save it or is it going to be the “arrogance” of man to destroy it?Don’t worry, God has a Plan and God’s Plan will come to Fruition.Knowledge for the most part, in and of itself, is neutral even tho some make a “god” of it but how we use that knowledge can be anything but neutral, don’t you think?Take care, be ready.Sincerely, Thomas Paul Moses Baum.

  • DrFill

    Excellent commentary on this subject can be viewed in a YouTube video series entitled “Why do people laugh at creationists?” by Thunderf00t.

  • DrFill

    Also, check out AronRa’s YouTube video series on the Foundational Falsehoods of Creationism.

  • walter-in-fallschurch

    the belief that life is designed is not a new one. in fact it is at the beginning of EVERY religious cosmology. darwin, a christian, also saw evidence of design in nature. and by the 1800s there was enough fossil evidence to show that life on earth used to be very different. people offered various, often flood-related, theories about what happened to these ancient species. darwin proposed they had become the familiar modern species.this was shocking enough, but darwin’s “Great Idea” was that we are designed by nature: so finely adapted by/to our environment that we APPEAR to be Designed.

  • spidermean2

    DrFill posted “Why do people laugh at creationists?”These idiot evolutionists have no idea that even the act of laughing requires intelligence. It’s not hard to find idiots these days. Just look for an evolutionists.

  • spidermean2

    walter-in-fallschurch wrote ” but darwin’s “Great Idea” was that we are designed by nature ” There is no such thing as “DESIGNED BY NATURE” unless there is a Designer even that of nature. IDIOTS. A straight line is a very simple figure but you can’t find stones lining up in staight lines unless INTELLIGENCE is applied. Having said that , the DNA is a trillion times more complex than an aligned set of stones. IDIOTS.

  • walter-in-fallschurch

    despite this tripe,”Experiments with bacteria, where evolution can be tested in real time, are showing just how little undirected processes like natural selection can actually accomplish. Experiments with protein sequences are revealing how astonishingly fine-tuned protein sequences must be to work at all. And the DNA inside each of us is disclosing massive amounts of genetic information that points to mind, not chance and necessity, as the ultimate source of biological innovations.”the is NO SCIENCE that supports “intelligent design” “theory”. what could there possibly be? what would we look for? i presume this “science” west refers to must be michael behe’s popular books? or maybe his stellar appearance at kitzmiller v. dover? (ha!). behe’s and any “intelligent design” “evidence” amount to a criticism of evolution. it’s an argument from ignorance and incredulity (and incuriosity). because behe himself can’t fugure out flagella evolution, he’s sure it can’t be done.sure, there are “gaps” (as creationists love to say) in our knowledge. this is a dangerous place to put your god, because his domain just kepps getting smaller. think of it – he’s been relieved of all that meteorology we used to think he controlled, volcanos/earthquakes no longer have cosmic significance, he doesn’t move those planet spheres around anymore. the god of the gaps has been reduced to manipulating dna mutations…

  • walter-in-fallschurch

    spidermean2,

  • spidermean2

    If stones cannot align themselves in straight lines, neither can strands of DNA link together to form complex objects which can fly like birds, insects , etc and trees which can bear edible fruits to feed the idiot evolutionists.Doomsday is coming to wipe out these people. They just don’t realize how angry God is with their stupidity.

  • spidermean2

    SELF REPRODUCTION is the reason why every living cell continue to live after thousands of years.The science of SELF REPRODUCTION is so complex that no human invention can self produce itself. An “intelligent” computer will just rot and cannot reproduce another new computer. That’s how INTELLIGENT nature has been designed. IDIOTS who don’t have an engineering background training like evolutionist Biologists is NOT capable of realizing that concept.The all have dumb brains that’s why they can’t see the intelligence surrounding them.

  • walter-in-fallschurch

    spidermean2,evolution is pretty complicated, and really an unbelievable story – but the evidence supports it. the ancient mesopotamians didn’t think of it. that’s why we got the “god created snow-globe earth and spoke species into existence.” we’ve been stuck with that theory for a while now.also, you might be conflating “evolution” with “origin of life”. evolution does not address where the first life form came from. evolution is about the second life form.

  • walter-in-fallschurch

    spidermean2,

  • spidermean2

    walter-in-fallschurch wrote “evolution is pretty complicated, and really an unbelievable story – but the evidence supports it.”It’s not possible that idiots who can’t discern intelligence in an given object can find evidence of intelligence.The word “evolution” by itself is an intelligent concept. A simple working device cannot evolve into a more complex working device without INTELLIGENT inputs. That is a very basic science.

  • spidermean2

    walter-in-fallschurch “do we get diabetes from “sin”?”Every object or matter has limits or inherent properties. Every design has limits too. If a person is ignorant of these limits like the amount of sugar he should take and his need to move his body to tune it up, then it’s not surprising that he will get sick or shall we say his body reached the breaking point. That is basic science.

  • walter-in-fallschurch

    ah…the mousetrap. a tornado assembling a 747. more good ones…which really just demonstrate a failure of your imagination.do you think the “swine flu” evolved from another flu? or did god create it recently? why do you think he did that?

  • spidermean2

    I don’t know how swine flu mutated but we also don’t know how man-made medicines or antibiotics has influenced its mutation. Bacteria or viruses are essential in many ways to enable living but like fire or the knife it has negative consequences too. Maybe that’s the reason why God created man to limit the negatives like putting fences along cliffs, heal the sick, etc.

  • walter-in-fallschurch

    you said,first of all, people with diabetes don’t eat too much sugar… diabetes, broadly, is a FAILURE of the body to produce insulin. it’s a design flaw…. god didn’t have to design us that way.how old is the earth?

  • spidermean2

    walter-in-fallschurch wrote “diabetes, broadly, is a FAILURE of the body to produce insulin.”Bad eating habits, man-made food like cakes made from bad ingredients and lack of exercise make our body susceptible to diabetes. Failure by the pancreas to produce insulin is a result of of all those bad practices combined.Darwinian evolution is different from evolution of the universe. There are scientific reasons why the universe is old (millions or billions of years old) but I can find NO scientific reason why I should believe the idiot Darwin.While Iam trained in the field of science, the guy is just a B.S. Theology Degree holder. NO real scientific training whatsoever.In engineering, almost all terms has an equivalent mathematical equation. That’s the reason why idiotic theories don’t thrive in engineering. You have to prove it scientifically and not just thru stupid fictional stories.

  • persiflage

    Diabetes is a genetically determined disease. Children with a diabetic parent have a 50% chance of developing diabetes themselves. Natually enough, bad eating habits, severe and prolonged stress, being overweight and a lack of exercise can trigger the onset of diabetes, and will also influence the severity of the condition in adult onset cases. Whether it can be managed by diet alone, or with pills and eventually insulin injections, is impossible to predict as the disease runs it’s course in adults (whom I work with daily). Juvenile onset diabetes always means insulin dependency and can be accompanied by other disabilities. Blindness is one of the major risks in both juvenile and adult onset diabetes. Close management of blood glucose levels is critical in all cases. Metabolic syndrome in adults is often seen as a pre-cursor to adult onset diabetes, without significantly reversing a host of bad habits. PS. The universe is estimated to be 14 billion years old…..evolutionary theory has nothing to say about cosmology in particular – but the study of microbial mutations is telling science quite alot about the process of evolution – who says you can’t see evolution in action??

  • edbyronadams

    “In engineering, almost all terms has an equivalent mathematical equation. That’s the reason why idiotic theories don’t thrive in engineering. You have to prove it scientifically and not just thru stupid fictional stories.”In general, shallower younger rocks contain larger, more complicated fossils while older deeper ones only contain fossils of simpler organisms. No bible story explains this observation but evolution does. No physical evidence supports a six or seven day creation myth.While, abiogenisis, unfortunately taught even in high school biology, is only faith based, natural selection is not.

  • walter-in-fallschurch

    persiflage,spidermean2,the goals are:There are 3 phases to the strategy:”Phase I: Scientific Research, Writing & Publicity, hilariously and tellingly, they’re doing great with phases 2 and 3, which is all the more remarkable because THERE IS NO PHASE 1. they have no science to report. they were supposed to do scientific research and publish scientific papers! sure they’ve published popular books (darwin’s black box, evolution – a theory in crisis, etc…) but NO PAPERS.the problem with “intelligent design” “theory” is there’s no there there. there’s no science.

  • edbyronadams

    The background history of Darwinism is interesting. Lyell had just revolutionized geology with the explanation that the landforms we see are the result of processes we see in action today taking place over a long period of time. His thinking replaced a kind of biblical catastrophe based explanation that was common in geology up until that time.He was a precursor to Darwin’s thinking in biolgy. The ironic thing is that now we have come full circle, recognizing that some landforms are the result of catastrophes such as collisions with large meteors or comets and these catastrophes are important to evolution as well since they empty niches allowing for speciation from the survivors.It is this integration of gradual and sudden change, punctuated equilibrium, that is absent from the public’s mind in discussion of the subject. It is why there are so few transitional fossils. The relatively rapid process of speciation to fill empty niches does not leave many fossils.

  • InterfaithNation

    abc

  • DanielintheLionsDen

    Sigh…Here we go again…John West, in his essay, says, in so many words, that the processes of life are so complex, that, how could they not have been “intelligently designed.” But that is no proof of anything. “How could this not be true?” is not proof of God’s existence, nor of anything else. The vast majority of scientists accept the scientific basis of evolution and will continue to do so until something else comes along with more compelling evidence.Belief in Intelligent Design cannot complete scientifically with evolution because it is not based in science; it is religious in nature, and science is not. People can believe whatever they want, but insistence on scientific approval for religious beliefs is basically a political move, designed to promote a non-scientific agenda.

  • InterfaithNation

    Remember: The AGE (NEWER than NEW) of INTERFAITHNATION via “OUR”"RELIGION Of Everything Before the SCIENCE Of Everything” A NEW-Song coming from All Ye Old songs!

  • InterfaithNation

    Remember the INTERFAITHNATION Creed:”We art born in Miracle and never via Anyonesbiblio Sineth/Curseth Story’s & that WE [i] art “NATURALLY SELECTED” & Not/Never borneth as if from a SECT-ion or a CULT-ure be selected by a HIM (instead of IT) “god(s) Chosen People”!Say; “WE [i]‘m a HU{MATE} Kind & no longer a HUMAN {unkind}”!Is’nt IT pecular that Suddenly These NEW-WEB-sites are popping-up like Mushrooms by trying to incorporate (via Word Merchantizing) & thus BOLLIXing Ye MYTH Systems (opposite of TRUTH) as if Science!Sorry Pope’s, Sorry Rabbi’s, Sorry Priests, Sorry Imams, Monks & other Pre-Apocalyptic believing (not FEELING) folk.Ahhhh, The Superiority of the “Holy-i Cosmic Feeler’s Faith”! The TRUTH (opposite MYTH) of OUR (not You) REALITY!Hence We [i] art “MEME”s. And hence the “IT” Revolution!

  • spidermean2

    It’s very hard to understand what kind of brains evolutionists have. “The FOOL has said in his heart that there is no God.”Nobody can argue with the Bible. These idiots are fools. I doubt if these people can even solve simple algebra problems and yet they are so sure about how man evolved. Imagine that. They don’t even have any idea how step cells work.IDIOTS!

  • walter-in-fallschurch

    spidermean2, you said,at least you’re up front about why evolution bothers you. it’s obviously the religion aspect, not the science aspect.also, it’s EASY to argue with the bible. it is clearly wrong in many ways: do you think earth’s “foundations” (whatever that is) are “immovable”? where exactly is the “under” the earth that holds the “waters under the earth”? we’ve launched spaceships into outer space without crashing into that “firmament” of which the ancients spoke. these expressions are clearly vestiges of ancient mesopotamian flat-earth, snow-globe geology, which is plainly WRONG.need i go into the 4-legged insects and the cud-chewing rabbits described in the books of moses?those are just a (very) few of the scientific things WRONG with the bible. how about the moral wrongs? was joshua wrong to (supposedly) kill the amalekites?speaking of amalekites, or how ’bout this gem: genesis 36:12 explains that the amalekites are descendents of abram’s great-great-grandson amalek. this makes it EASY TO ARGUE with the biblical claim in genesis 14:7 when abram, STILL CHILDLESS, attacks the amalekites.see? it’s pretty easy actually to argue with the bible.

  • spidermean2

    Persiflage mentioned about the Drake equation. It’s funny coz as an engineer I know that it’s an idiotic equation. Many criticized the equation and I can’t agree agree more with their comments :”Unfortunately, all the probabilities are completely unknown, making the result WORSE THAN USELESS.” (TJ Watson)”An expression that can mean anything means nothing. Speaking precisely, the Drake equation is literally MEANINGLESS…”Im very sure the same can be said of Darwinian evolution –MEANINGLESS AND WORSE THAN USELESS. No surprise coz it come from people with dumb brains.IDIOTS.

  • spidermean2

    walter-in-fallschurch, you can’t argue with the Bible coz in the first place, you don’t understand it. How can you dissect something which you cannot comprehend?Even Christ said it very clearly that he spoke NOT in plain language so the IDIOTS won’t understand.

  • InterfaithNation

    We art on a Holy Cosmic Mission via [This] S.pace-S.hip Earth, of many, thus avoiding lonliness {Love in Holy-Photon-form(s}, aka immortal Souls} in the Warmth [+/- 4 degrees K above Absolute Zero] of the SOURCE, aka Creator of OUR miracle in Motion borneth from the great Momma/Poppa NEBULA of whom “IT” iTSELF too appeareth, in MIRACLE from the Ether of the VOID of ETERNITY AVOIDING LONLINESS in and out of US All!Hint: Nebulanically knowing Thati [We] was/are all Pre-Baptized, so to speaketh, from the Holy-Cosmic Nebula’s “MAGMAPERCOLATION” effect that Transmited & then Transmuted US [WE, i} out of the Holyi"OCEANIC MEGAPLUME WOMB" again, via the Miraculous "DUE-TO-BE" effect!So: Please Help Celebrate the INTERNATIONAL YEAR OF ASTRONOMY {2009} & Focus on "TIME", not thinking in terms of tic-tok/clocks, but rather Frequencied between ABSOLUTE HOT & ABSOLUTE COLD hence TIME=TEMPERATURE!WHEREFORE: "BIOFINITEDEATH", same as in Carbon-Based, "MIRACLE-BIRTH" awareness, is Never 1's "TRANS{FINITE}-DEATH"! So,WE [i] Always get Re-SYNERGIZED! Again & Again & Again SPERM/EGG-wise. Not Man-Made BIBLE [un] wise!

  • walter-in-fallschurch

    spidermean2,

  • walter-in-fallschurch

    spidermean2,those silly bible parts i spoke of have nothing to do with complex spiritual issues. there’s not really much interpretation required to understand that when the devil and jesus went to a “high mountain” where they could see “all the kingdoms of the world”. even an idiot like me can see that this implies the author thought the world was FLAT. you’re a smart (haha) engineer, right?. can you understand that one could not see all the kingdoms of the earth from anywhere if the earth is spherical?

  • edbyronadams

    I don’t even know what a step cell is.Everybody is an idiot except those who swallow the bible whole, contradictions and all.Okay.

  • walter-in-fallschurch

    persiflage,

  • volkmare

    edbyronadams i dont see contradictions in the bible.mark

  • persiflage

    Hi Walter – enjoying your posts as always!Before Spidey jumps me on step cells, I have to acknowledge that currently they’re more useful in subcutaneous devices such as pain medication delivery systems, pacemakers, and even insulin pumps.Ironically, stem cell research may one day make these devices both unnecessary and obsolete….not to mention organ transplants, which require a future lifetime of anti-rejection medications (that come with their own side effects). All of these are interim life-saving measures that would be unnecessary if we can figure out how to stimulate a greater level of self-organ repair and even re-growth at the cellular level. We’re at a point where our future evolution may soon be greatly enhanced by our own ability to fix and repair genetic anomalies and abberations. Humans were born to tamper…..

  • GlenDavidson

    Such discoveries do not “prove” God’s existence, but they do provide tantalizing evidence that life was produced by an intelligent process rather than a mindless one, a finding that certainly has positive implications for faith.Uh, yeah. Well, no, why don’t you actually look for evidence of a designer, rather than claiming that intelligence is the default? It’s because you have nothing in the slightest that shows rational planning in life, the novelty and “borrowing” that designers engage in, external purpose for life (as opposed to the internal purposes some organisms evolve), or the merely “conceptual precursors” that Behe sold as a marker for life. Why does life rely almost exclusively on “physical precursors, as predicted by non-teleological evolutionary theory?No answers. And no answers for why the “poor design” of the archaeopteryx (relative to modern birds) “just happens” to fit evolutionary expectations of an animal having the transitional features of a dinosaur evolving into a bird. Indeed, no explanations for anything at all, unless one credits “god did it” as explanation.What are the probabilities that all life would appear to have evolved within evolutionary limits, if intelligence were really behind it all? Life differs rather greatly from designed machinery, yet, rather than understanding design as providing the criteria for determining design, the IDists try to insinuate the definition of design into life so that they don’t have to provide evidence that life was designed (knowing full well that they cannot). This is why ID is always about trying to game real science, and to avoid doing legitimate science based upon real design criteria.The grade for ID is the same as it always has been, a huge “fail.”Glen Davidson

  • walter-in-fallschurch

    the problem with “intelligent design” (“god our designer” – or “GOD”) theory is its vagueness. in a way it’s TOO GOOD of a theory. it could be used to explain anything.there are no facts to check GOD against. it cannot be tested so it cannot be disproved. we can never know if GOD theory is wrong. in science, theories are frameworks for organizing knowledge. without them, science would be just a collection of data and equations.a scientific theory is created to explain, to make sense of, facts and observations. the FACT that a progression of animals and plants are found in the fossil record can be explained by the THEORY of evolution. the FACT that all reptiles, birds and mammals have basically the same anatomy can be explained by the THEORY of evolution. the FACT that humans and chimps share 99% or our genes can be explained by the THEORY of evolution.evolution could be EASILY disproved. if mutations were not inheritable, evolution would not “work”. if a fossil human were found alongside a dinosaur, evolution would fall apart. but every single fossil ever found “fits” with the theory of evolution.any “alternative” theory of life would still have to explain these same facts. and GOD can explain these facts.unfortunately, for its status as “science”, GOD could also explain a hypothetical opposite set of facts. therefore it is useless as a scientific theory. again, there’s no “there” there.

  • WmarkW

    When I wrote my comment below, I somehow missed that the author is from The Discovery Institute, the same people who run the Creationism Museum in Kentucky.They are the perfect example of anti-scientific fundamentalists. A fundamentalist can be defined as someone who believes that since their scripture is by God and therefore perfect, it can never be superseded by any amount of human knowledge. So, if radiocarbon dating contradicts Genesis, there must be a problem with radiocarbon dating.These guys have been backpedaling their “God of Gaps” arguments forever. When Creationism couldn’t be taught in public school, they repackaged it as Intelligent Design. When that was prohibited, they asked to simply “teach the controversy.” Since there is no scientific controversy, they’re backtracking into “guided evolution.”They’re still just looking for the thinnest nail on which to hang their hats; and if they get it, they’ll trying hanging their whole wardrobe on it, too.

  • semidouble

    If the Earth was indeed designed, it was the work of a stupid diletant.

  • Paganplace

    Ok. I’m having some difficulty even reading the rest of the article before I say this: Creationists quoting Darwin to say it’s ‘The Bible Vs Darwin’ is like someone quoting *Babbage* to claim there’s some doubt about whether or not my Imac works.

  • Paganplace

    I wouldn’t go into details, yet, Persiflage, these are distractions: when it comes down to it, Creationists simply refuse to recognize the scale of even the universe as we can see it, never mind the cosmology. :)

  • walter-in-fallschurch

    persiflage, pagan,i recently saw this, which takes it another step:

  • fox2

    the Pope answers this so long ago – the Holy Catholic church supports Darwin and evolution, opposes the Death Penalty, declared the war in Iraqi unjust, and continues to speak for the least among us, supporting social justice and punishing priests who have fallen from grace.Who cares about the American evangelicals. While they continue to have clout even the GOP is jettisoning them. They are becoming irrelevant. Your attention to them only gives them false hope. Why even Dick Cheney supports same sex marriage. At last almost no one cares about Bush and his evangelicals.

  • timscanlon

    Creationism is as real as Santa Claus. Only the latter is a far more altruistic fantasy.

  • madmax8600

    There are two things in the Bible, wine and a lot of stuff that’s hard to believe. The more wine the harder the stuff is to believe – unnamed comedianIf people are good only because they fear punishment, and hope for reward, then we are a sorry lot indeed. (Albert Einstein)

  • InterfaithNation

    F O X 2 & CO:Behold; ALL, Every & Any “Pre-Apocalyptic-Religion-SYSTEM(s) via Ye Ceationism & their IntellDesign, Abrahamics & Vedics..) are inferior Religion(s) JEALOUSY competing & hastling over a Name for “MY-god” INSTEAD OF ‘OUR’ G-D [an IT, never a HE nor a SHE]“! Remember & Never forget YOU [i] & WE, US.. are ALL Inately, “Naturally-Selected” & that No-1, on this Holy-i Cosmic NEBULA-BUILT S.S. Earth are appearing as if “god(s) Chosen People” via Ye (not OUR) He YAWAH, He JEHOVA, He ALLAH, He ISHVARA et al via someone elses (not Your) old time Pre-Apocalyptic Faith/Belief/Religion(s)! Soo,There’s a difference between a PRE-APOCALYPTIC Man/Womb thinkers/believers [i.e. like Francis Collins, like R. Warren, Farakkan, or the Pope, Ayatollahs, Rabbi's, Immams, Priests, Monks etc..)] ANDbetween an APOCALYPTIC Man/Womb thinkers/Feelers [i.e., Richard Dawkins, i, Us Eklaht-ion's et al].Hint: Pre-Apocalyptic Scientists whom believe in someone elses oldtime Biblical ‘water’ storys & their complementary ‘light’ story’s, can NEVER compare to OURApoicalyptic ‘H2O’ true-story’s (opposite Myth), includes OUR (not Their) ‘PHOTON’ true-story’s (opposite Myth). So,An Apocalyptic-Scientist Like RICHARD DAWKIN’s et al; is Superior in thinking, Living & Loving when compared to those Pre-Apocalyptic-Scientists like Francis Collins et al!So Apocalyptarianity is the NEW-SONG [Dynamic Faith/Religion/Beliefs, aka FEELINGs], & not like Ye (not Our) Pre-Apocalyptic OLD-SONGS [Static & Superstupid Splitminded..]!

  • madmax8600

    If you want proof of Evolution look no further than Religion. Christianity has evolved into Catholicism, Baptism, Evangelism, Protestantism, and the list goes on and on and on. Judaism has evolved to Orthodox/Haredi, Traditional/Conservadox, Conservative, Reform/Progressive, Reconstructionist, Humanistic, Karaite. Islam has Sunni, Shi’a, and Sufism. And of course each sect believes they’re the One true religion.

  • InterfaithNation

    oooppss.How can the “VATICAN” & CO; whom Caused the Pre-Mature-Death (forget abortion) of OUR (not un-Holy SEE) Father-Of-The-TELESCOPE; Professor/Brother/Prophet GALALIO [pbuh et al] and Today have nerve & after the PEDPHILE tsunami, lay claim to the [his/OUR] Telescope ??Note: As a Pretext, Via Jealousy; the Pre-Apocalyptic Vatican-Church has now a Newly built so called ‘Giant Bonocular Observatory in Arizona, USA attempting to Devilishly commingle their religio-pretext’s with OUR (not their) Apocalyptarian’s “Holy-Cosmic-Feelers-Faith awareness??! IT’s like saying that the [inferior/Pre-Apocalyptarians] Talibans, Vatican, evangelicals, Riyahdians & Co, now are conspiring to use OUR, not Their; Patents, Technology, Inventions [M-16's, Ak47's...] against US; the Inventors [Victims of them split minded folk]????Goodbye All, Every & Any Pre-Apocalyptic [man made] “Abrahamic” JUDEO-JEWS & their CHRISTIAN 2ndary’s & their ISLAMICS 3ertiary’s , includes the Pre-Apocalyptic “Vedic” JUDEO-HINDUs & Their BUDDHA 2ndaries & their Sub Confusionary’s..!HELLO “APOCALYPTARIANITY”! Praise the HOLY+i No-MAN/WOMB! A Real Miracle Birth Awareness in Holy Cosmic Motion, not MYTH (opposite of TRUTH)!

  • ketchie1

    This editorial is nonsense. The Discovery Institute is a fringe organization that just happens to be well funded and has no standing or influence in the scientific community. So-called intelligent design has been refuted and rejected time and time again by real scientists as well as ALL of the major scientific organizations in the world (no exaggeration) including the National Academy of Sciences, the AAAS, the Royal Society, etc, etc.

  • washpost18

    Why is Newsweek/The Washington Post allowing the DI a free platform to advertise themselves? How is West’s self-promotion above different from any other spam infecting the ‘net? Offering an outlet in an attempt to balance coverage and prevent legitimate accusations of a bully pulpit is one thing but you’ve been, unsurprisingly, taken advantage of.A note for the readers – the only controversy surrounding the scientific theory of evolution is that created by DI to advance their own agenda; that of supplanting testable, verifiable, factual science with creationist woo. Check the credentials of their so-called “experts” and you’ll find that they are less qualified to speak to the credibility of scientific research in the realm of evolution than a well educated layperson. If you need a laugh sometime, challenge them to produce a well constructed description of an experiment designed to support or disprove one of their creationist-based hypotheses. Don’t ask for the experimental results (there are none), just ask them to describe the outline of an experiment. Then sit back, close your eyes, and listen to the crickets chirp.

  • bevjims1

    spidermean2 wrote: “Even Christ said it very clearly that he spoke NOT in plain language so the IDIOTS won’t understand.”Reference please? Just where in the bible does Christ say this? Or are you making more stuff up?

  • bevjims1

    ” And the DNA inside each of us is disclosing massive amounts of genetic information that points to mind, not chance and necessity, as the ultimate source of biological innovations.”Reference please? What scientific paper concludes that DNA shows “mind as the ultimate source of biological innovations”. And, if you can find one, was it peer reviewed?

  • InterfaithNation

    Att: P E R S i F L A G E @ 10:00P;I enjoyed the two links (Nictitating & Recapitualation , respectfully), aka “VESTIGIALITY” that ye hath provided US.Note: one of OUR great prophets, of many; mr. Joseph CAMPBELL [pbuh et al] 1974 revealed (opposite secret) us the “VICARiON SELECTION” Philosophy that compliments OUR living prophet Hir Richard dawkins et al’s via OUR MEMEtics; which is Superior to GENEtics!Note: So when WE [i] US Apocalyptarian’s, aka Eklaht-ion’s, sing, “WE art all NATURALLY-SELECtioned & Not/never as if CULTurally or SECTionally pre-apocalyptically chosen/jealouslypicked as in “god(s) chosen People” syndrome/selfishness manmade song & story’s… la la la” THATVicarious Selection process (in Nature, aka OUR real/innate “CLAUSES” from OUR Universe, aka OUR real/innate “CONSTITUTION”) is so much more efficient & thus the “carrier” (like YOU/i/WE/US & in other similar world/planets) of a “MEME” does not/no need to be killed in order to eliminate an “inadequate-MeMe” [like Hamastians, Talibans, osama Bin Ladens et al].Remember Cyber Freund(s): WE art All “Naturally Selected” not Biblically/Jealously as if ‘god(s) chosen People”! ANDRemember: Pre-Apocalyptic religio Pride can get one killed. Hence WE [i] Eklaht-ion’s, aka Apocalyptarian’s, are HU{e}Mate Kinds, and no longer as if still HUMAN unkind’s! Note: According to the “OUR-BOT”, Under the “HO-CO-FE-FA” Religion/Belief/Faith (HOly COsmic FEeler’s FAith) scripture as SYSTEM, THATNow the concept of “HEURISTICa/O” is superior to the “MEMEtic” Philosophy!So, the Solution to Pollution is Evolution!

  • Carstonio

    “In the words of late Harvard paleontologist George Gaylord Simpson, ‘Man is the result of a purposeless and natural process that did not have him in mind’…Miller describes humans as ‘an afterthought, a minor detail, a happenstance in a history that might just as well have left us out’…”My question for West is this – so what? The factual accuracy of any origin for the human species has nothing to do with whether one finds the origin satisfying or comfortable. West seems to expect some external validation for humanity.

  • michael39

    Shame on Newsweek and The Washington Post for failing to distinguish this flim-flam from legitimate debate.This article is a flowery version of the sneaky ‘teach the controversy’ tack that creationists have taken. That argument has been conclusively rejected in court and by essentially every worthwhile scientist who has considered the issue. There is real, robust, even hostile ongoing exploration of and challenge to evolution among scientists. Real scientific debate and constant legitimate challenge is exactly what has solidified Darwin’s idea as THE harmonizing principle of biology.‘Teach the controversy’ in any of its insidious forms is not legitimate science or legitimate debate about science. It’s merely back door publicity for a religious position.If The ‘Discovery’ Institute wants a seat at the science table, it needs to do science. It needs to employ the scientific method, attempt to prove – and attempt to disprove – its own hypotheses, subject them to critical analysis and to legitimate peer scrutiny, and actually accomplish something.

  • walter-in-fallschurch

    bevjims1,”To you it has been given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God; but to those who are outside, all things come in parables, so that (mark4:11-12, and similar in other gospels)i think “those who are outside” are the “IDIOTS”… i.e., me and possibly you…

  • lufrank1

    Bottom line: Evolution is an observable Fact.

  • phxbuster

    For the WashPost to put this drivel in print says more about the newspaper than the author.

  • bpuharic

    John West’s self aggrandizing publicity statement for the Taliban Christian organization known as the “Discovery Institute” should, I hope, fool no one. The tiresome attacks mounted by West and others at this fringe organization are, on their face, obviously religious. Yes there are scientists publicized by the DI who ‘question’ evolution. The basis of their attacks is driven by religion coated with a thin veneer of science. If the DI voiced a valid objection to science, then Elaine Ecklund of Rice University would have found it when she interviewed thousands of scientists regarding their views on religion and science. None of them questioned evolution, though many were religious. It’s time to put this to rest. Evolution is science. The DI is just another creationist group seeking to lie its way to God.

  • monel7191

    I must agree with many of the informed posters; this article is nothing but creationist poo-poo, a regurgitation of their “doubts about Darwin” argument, hoping that it will gain traction among the 15-second-attention-span Americans. And, as is usual, the author uses the “some scholars” and “experiments have proven” lines to add pretend credibility.

  • dougd1

    Why does the Washington Post think it’s legitimate to publish this kind of dishonest religious propaganda?

  • justillthen

    Hello Semidouble,”If the Earth was indeed designed, it was the work of a stupid diletant.I am not a Christian ID supporter, though intelligent Creation makes sense to me. It seems that you make some broad assumptions, particularly that if a place is designed for us, all should be made specifically to fit our particular needs. One, who is to say that the oceans are not useful for us? Also, for a place to support us, (if again we are the Center of All Reasons), and yet we require external sources for maintaining life in the physical vehicle, (feed me!), then the creation would require what supports food, as well.No species is self-sustaining, it seems to me. Diversity is essential for life to exist and continue to do so.

  • justillthen

    It is fascinating to me the level of negative posts on this thread. It seems to me that there is a marked difference with the message forwarded here compared to straight Christian ID messages. A skeptical mind may assume that the ‘delusional believers’ are just adjusting their tactics in the face of the growing body of scientific knowledge that contradicts a literal version of the Bible. Makes sense. But that is a foregone conclusion. The fact that Scriptural Texts are not literally true does not dissolve the very real possibility of Intelligent, or Conscious, Causality.The debate will go beyond fighting over the validity of historical texts while continuing to move on with the work of understanding the universe we live in and the causes, and keys to, balance and longevity of physical and mental life. We will continue to seek immortality…

  • Comunista

    Wow, I’m real sorry I read this whole article. It really gave me nothing of substance, and sorta insulted my intelligence.Simply put, evolution is real, it’s been proven quite thoroughly on a micro level, and is being increasingly supported by the fossil record on a macro level. Yet it doesn’t rule out any theism, since even if evolution is ‘blind and unguided’ or however it’s put by some evolutionary scholars, it doesn’t eliminate the possibility that some ‘Creator’ didn’t/doesn’t have a greater PLANNED system in play to cause all the nuanced, ‘chaotic’ outcomes since the beginning of time as we know it. This debate is silly, and the Dawkinses and Wests of the world are only trying to fuel the flames. If it were solely confined to the internet, I’d just call you a bunch of 4chan trolls and be done with it :)

  • screwyou

    There just isn’t any room for debate on this issue. As the christianists continue to be defeated at every turn, they continue to trot out new baseless “theories” to salvage their faith. It is impossible to engage their line of pseudo-scientific drivel in any final way, because they will simply “create” a new cosmology to replace each discredited one. Time wasted on each restatement of creationist claptrap could be much better spent on new discoveries.We need to instead increase basic scientific literacy among the public so that people can see through the nonsense themselves. Knowledge is the best defense against superstition, so rather than lighting candles to illuminate each dark corner of theism we should empower each individual to hold their own light. We are winning the battle, as the increasing desperation of the christianists demonstrates. We’ll weather their terrorism and ignorance and emerge stronger for the fight.

  • washpost18

    justillthen: “The fact that Scriptural Texts are not literally true does not dissolve the very real possibility of Intelligent, or Conscious, Causality.”There’s another fact to be considered and that is in thousands of challenges for creationists to present even the description of a scientifically relevant experiment that could be used to test their hypotheses not a single valid answer has been forthcoming. Not one.If the leading “scientific” institution for “research” into intelligent design can do no more than henpeck other people’s science while producing none of their own, what does that say about the scientific relevance of such an institute? Not a rhetorical question.The answer is that said institute is intellectually bankrupt.

  • walter-in-fallschurch

    justillthen,but, it does kind of cut the legs out from under the judeochrislamic saga of sin, redemption and heaven promised by the intimately involved god described threin. i mean there MAY be some kind of a god, but there’s no evidence for one like in the bible/koran etc…

  • elife1975

    The statement “they do provide tantalizing evidence that life was produced by an intelligent process” is ridiculous. The author is using the term “intelligent” to define a biological process in an attempt to connect it to a higher power. There is no argument here.

  • elife1975

    And why is spidey still on here? Can’t we report him as offensive for hurling insults and eliminate him from these threads? Online (and I’ll hurl an insultive bit here by adding “as in life”) he just takes up room and wastes everyone’s time.

  • justillthen

    Hello WashPost18,You are quick to condemn, Washpost. I gather that you think little of those that have faith in orthodox, (at least!), religion and it’s spiritual texts, but that does not make them by ‘design’ “intellectually bankrupt”. Neither does it prove, (you seem to be calling for experiments to validate hypotheses), that believing scientists and others at this foundation are intellectually bankrupt if they are seeking proofs to validate that an Intelligence was Creator of Life. Again, the tenor of their presentation seems less fundamentalist than past supports of ID, and I appreciate that. Man has been seeking understanding of the Mysteries and that continues. Scientists are some of the forerunners of that work. So, some of these scientists are as well. Though there is a rats chance in hell, (hey, they might do well there, come to think of it!), that Genesis will be proven valid with the discovery of the Perpetual Garden of Eden near the Euphrates, the jury is still out, (a long way!), from proving or dis-proving the existence of spirit, much less Causality. The physical world is relatively easy, for it is what we look at with our eyes and feel with our hands. Most will agree that there is something more beyond that, but our focus is far blurrier. There is space aplenty for Intelligence or Consciousness to have pre-existed the Big Bang, and to continue to exist.

  • oldguy2

    Mr. West:Your column proceeds from an incorrect premise, as inidicated in your final paragraph. I doubt that the vast majority of the scientific community is interested in a “real discussion about faith and evolution.” The people who are interested in such a discussion consist, I suspect, largely of you and your DI cronies, and those who mistakenly think that “intelligent design” does represent real science. I think the rest of us would prefer that you just took your belief in a mystical “designer” back to church, where it belongs.

  • wowisdabomb

    The paws of Da Masta will come down from the heavens and smite the unbelievers.. into edible bits of kitty snacks.Praise Toby….Five Claw..

  • justillthen

    Hello walter-in-fallschurch , Yes, and going around legless is a challenge for anyone. :-) I think that there will be a continuation of ‘adjustments’ to attitudes and beliefs in those that are religious. Perhaps science will lead a way into a new understanding of life on the deeper levels as well as the more mundane or superficial. Sin and redemption are not wrong or destructive by themselves, though. All societies have laws to support and uphold what is right and wrong, moral and immoral, and processes to purify the self of ‘blemish’. Certainly in the west these moral perceptions are in no small way influenced by “judeochrislamic” :-) beliefs. Yet, any number of insulated cultures have had their own moralities as well as creation mythologies. Usually the creation mythologies informed the cultural moralities, not visa-versa.

  • washpost18

    Why hello justillthen, Thank you for confirming you are a representative of the Discovery Institute. It’s always good to know what intentional biases one might be able to expect.I have plenty of goodwill towards those scholars of religion and it’s spiritual texts, in the context of literature, sociology and other contexts where the discussion of same is actually germane.You, and by implication DI, think that there is something (*gasp*) vindictive in asking a self-described research institute attempting to promote an alternative scientific hypothesis that challenges well-established scientific theory to do so in the context of…science! This is about as irrational a position as I can imagine a group to take. That DI is intellectually bankrupt is really no longer arguable. You tried your best in Dover and not only failed to win your challenge you demonstrated beyond the shadow of a doubt that Intelligent Design and Biblical Creationism are synonyms in all but your public facing literature. Instead of graciously accepting that you were wrong and you better needed to develop your hypotheses you have instead redoubled efforts to attack science because *you didn’t get what you wanted*. This is intellectually bankrupt behavior that has absolutely no place in the context of science. You want credibility? Demonstrate some original work and submit it for *scientific* peer review because if you want scientific acceptance you play by the well established rules of scientific procedure that have served mankind well for thousands of years. True scientists don’t tend to care about the who they care about the what. As long as you do nothing but nitpick and purposely misrepresent what you perceive as your opposition your credibility in the community of rationalists remains zero.

  • DIMMY

    God is an alien. He sent an experiment down here. Adam and Eve. They mated with the monkeys and we evolved. Those that believe in religion have not evolved yet.

  • walter-in-fallschurch

    justillthen, you said,now that’s a topic for discussion! of course i would say a culture’s creation mythology and associated religion is a product of their cultural morality.

  • justillthen

    walter-in-fallschurch, :-)Not being one with enough knowledge to debate the point, and knowledge of origins of human culture shady at best anyway, it may remain a point of debate. I think though that cultural mythology arises early as developing humans and their developing minds look at the world and try to understand it and themselves. From this ‘explaining’ of it they develop concepts of morality, perhaps a more human construct. I am not so sure that animals have a ‘morality’ as much as a ‘way of being’. They may not consider that a tiger eating them is ‘bad’, just undesireable. Or that an usurping lion, killing the offspring of the male he just beat and ejected from the pride, may not be seen as evil by the females he has just taken as his own. We, however, have a far more complicated system.

  • walter-in-fallschurch

    justillthen,

  • Jamalc

    Darwinian evolution requires as much of a leap of faith as belief in an intelligent creator. However, unlike many of the evolutionists who posted on this site, I am not so arrogant or dismissive as to assume that those who don’t agree with me are idiots or delusional. Practice some tolerance and respect, please. The insults are boorish.

  • justillthen

    Washpost18,”Thank you for confirming you are a representative of the Discovery Institute. It’s always good to know what intentional biases one might be able to expect.”Good to know what intentional biases one might expect, Washpost? You were the one seeking proofs, and yet you jump at a itch on an assumption, by association no less!I am no representative of Discovery Institute. Have not seen their website until now, nor read anything on them or from them till this appeared in the Washington Post, Washpost18.Shall I infer from your name that you are a WaPo informant? Seems obvious. So by extension you are responsible for the extreme biased views of this paper!…You seem far too biased against these folks to judge. Intellectually bankrupt is a strong term, and I have to doubt that educated people are that broke. There is nothing that invalidates that “Intelligence” did not or could not have been seminal in the formation of life. If it is not then that will become clear over time. If it is then that will become clear. These folks may be looking at science from the perspective that it could be true, and I see nothing wrong with that. In fact, this posture is far more comfortable than postures I have seen before.You, however, seem very quick to condemn… Hmmm…

  • washpost18

    justillthen writes:So when you wrote, “… believing scientists and others at this foundation…” it was just a sloppy application of a pronoun and not meant to imply employment, membership, or other connection? If that is indeed true my apologies for the mistaken assumption.”You seem far too biased against these folks to judge. Intellectually bankrupt is a strong term…You, however, seem very quick to condemn…”No, actually, it is not too strong a term and I am not at all quick to condemn. I, along with thousands of others many of whom are subject matter experts and far more erudite than I, have been asking the same exact questions and drawing the same exact conclusions for decades; DI just being the latest, largest and best-funded of the Biblical creationist bunch. It’s gotten tiresome refuting the same old tired claims time and time and time again but they just keep floating up to the top.It really doesn’t get any simpler than this:”There is nothing that invalidates that “Intelligence” did not or could not have been seminal in the formation of life. If it is not then that will become clear over time.”There is nothing indicating the existence of some designing intelligence beyond a collection of religious manuscripts and attempts to impose patterns upon everything because that’s one of the things evolution has made us very, very good at. If you have evidence to the contrary, share it.Instead we get ridiculous screeds like “Irreducible Complexity” ( a nice summary of the latest failing of which can be found at “… the extreme biased views of this paper!”You’re cute when you’re playing “persecuted Republican”, anyone ever tell you that? It’s funny; if you actually spent a significant amount of time reading through the comment boards at WaPo you’d find that damn near everyone claims the paper is biased. If they’re getting accusations from all sides I guess that indicates they’re keeping it darn near the middle.

  • screwyou

    JamalC: Darwinian evolution does not require a leap of faith to believe, and that is precisely the point. It is based on evidence and analysis, which is what distinguishes science from faith. There’s no way to say this without sounding dismissive, so I apologize in advance for any misunderstanding. But read the scientific literature. There is no leap of faith required, every step is transparent and supported by data. Seek and learn, make the effort to read for yourself and you will be rewarded. A little scientific knowledge dispels superstition, and prevents perversions of pseudo-science like intelligent design from resurfacing.

  • jneps

    In general, it is not a good idea to attribute any objectivity or honesty to the blather issuing from the Dishonesty Institute. It is also important to realize that Mr. West’s Ph.D. is in Government. He is a teacher of political science and history, not science of any kind. He is therefore not a credible spokesman for this issue in any sense of the word.In short, poorly written statements statements such as “If we want a real discussion about faith and evolution, the conversation must be broadened to include the growing number of scientists and scholars who find Darwin’s theory unsatisfying. Otherwise we will be having a monologue, not a dialogue.”, reveal the author’s fundamental bias and ignorance, for the “number of scientists and scholars who find Darwin’s theory unsatisfying” is shrinking, not growing.

  • rmtaylor2

    Darwin was a man of his time. He did not espouse what this controversy agues about one way or the other. The questions of either Evolution or ID are both red herrings of the highest order. You either believe or you do not. That belief or lack there of should be as it is alone. Biases of any stripe calling itself science will be found to be the lie it truly is. Science is not a choice. Science is a system of investigation, a way of learning to ask even more enlightened questions. Seen in this light it is no wonder that Galileo was quieted by the Roman Catholic Church as harshly in his day. Religious beliefs today are making the same mistake. Science is subject to new data and insight and faith is not.

  • DavidK2

    Creationist key words: suggesting, points to, do not “prove” God’s existence, tantalizing evidence …Never evidence, never proof, only innuendo, outlandish claims, skewed numbers, vague references, demonizing real science and scientists, falsely arguing religion versus science rather than creationism versus science. That is the mark of the creationist.”… the growing number of scientists, as well as the vast majority of Americans, who view Darwin’s theory with skepticism.” The Dishonesty Institute has barely eked out 700 worldwide dissenters (including 4 dead people who refuse to remove their names from the DI’s list) out of the millions of biologists, scientists, and other professionals who have no problem with Evolution. [The] Dishonesty Institute has launched http://www.faithandevolution.org, a website? A highly censored site that features creationists who ask biased questions and provide their own (DI’s) answers and are always in opposition to the facts. God’s purpose? John never defines what exactly is his God’s purpose. One need not be a religious fundamentalist? Ah, but John emphasizes precisely that thinking at his frequent church talks.Evolutionary biologists reject religion? Is this the 2003 Cornell survey? Only 147 scientists were interviewed, thus West’s statistics are as usual highly skewed and biased, as expected from a creationist.No, Darwin wasn’t aware of DNA or RNA, but natural selection is explained very nicely with today’s discoveries in the lab, thank you, and are not making Darwin obsolete but instead enhancing his credibility and incredible insight even further.DNA inside each of us is … points to mind, not chance and necessity, as the ultimate source of biological innovations? “Such discoveries do not “prove” God’s existence, but they do provide tantalizing evidence that life was produced by an intelligent process rather than a mindless one, a finding that certainly has positive implications for faith.” Oh dear, then we can logically conclude such studies point to the Great Atheist that sits at the pinnacle of creation and to whom the Christian god is subservient. If you disagree with that statement, kindly provide the test that will show otherwise, that can distinguish the “owner” of this so-called mind.

  • walter-in-fallschurch

    jneps, you said,-good point. if you look at the discovery institute’s “scientists” it turns out they are political scientists, mathematicians, lawyers and sometimes chemists. very rarely biologists.two biologists i know of are michael behe and jonathan wells. i mentioned behe below, and his miserable showing at kitzmiller.the case of wells is interesting, and revealing: he is highly educated. he has a masters degree in religious education, a PhD in religious studies from yale, and has been a seminary professor. but what makes him relevant in this discussion is his PhD in molecular and cell biology.you might wonder why a theologian would get a degree in biology, or how an academic, a professor with two Doctorates no less, could be so sloppy, selective and deceptive with the facts. what’s going on here? wells explains his agenda:”Father’s [Sun Myung Moon's] words, my studies, and my prayers convinced me that I should devote my life to destroying Darwinism, just as many of my fellow Unificationists [Moonies] had already devoted their lives to destroying Marxism. When Father chose me (along with about a dozen other seminary graduates) to enter a Ph.D. program in 1978, I welcomed the opportunity to prepare myself for battle.” –Jonathan Wells, Darwinism: Why I Went for a Second Ph.D.so, again, every time you look under the veneer of one of these “scientific critics” of “darwinism” (no one says “darwinism” except creationists…) you find a good old-fashioned creationist.

  • walter-in-fallschurch

    persiflage,i interact with brainwashed people on an almost daily basis at a nearby church/school. seriously, they’re the nicest, most loving, caring bunch of people i’ve ever met, but they’re crazy. they selectively reject any contra-biblical science.

  • walter-in-fallschurch

    JudeoChrIslamic fundamentalists have no qualms with the moral atrocities of scripture. they let god be god. their challenge is the science. some shrug their shoulders, incuriously content, just happy that their faith has given them salvation.the rest – the otherwise rational ones who want to understand things – have reacted to science by erecting a rube goldberg-like scaffolding of denial, obfuscation and rationalization to prop up their literalism: radiometric dating is unreliable, scientists themselves are confused about evolution, archaeologists are atheists with an agenda, and “flood geology” explains the grand canyon and fossils. they’ll (mis)quote the second law of thermodynamics, and point to the latest paper that (doesn’t) show how bombardier beetles couldn’t exist without god’s intervention.their minds are compartmentalized. these people are rational in most respects, except when it comes to scripture. they are accountants, lawyers and mathematicians. they wouldn’t bet on an inside straight, but they think 99% of scientists are completely wrong about evolution. they enjoy the fruits of the technological application of science in the form of medicine, nuclear energy and aviation, without accepting the underlying principles. they’ve conceded the (contra-biblical) copernican solar system and have grudgingly accepted one ice age (probably a quick one, sometime between the creation and the flood), but still live in a 6000 year-old universe.maintenance of this construct requires extraordinary mental agility, and it is very difficult to adapt the scaffolding to new evidence. every scientific finding must be checked for compliance with ancient mesopotamian beliefs. the best thing, from their perspective, is not to see any new evidence, so they walk around, eyes closed, with their fingers in their ears, humming.

  • walter-in-fallschurch

    “One could conjecture that brainwashing (a kind of hypnosis) is a subtle form of torture, in that the victim’s mind, beliefs, opinions, and behavior in general, are no longer under their own control.”reminds me of that insect that lays eggs inside a caterpillar. somehow, the insect’s eggs/larvae “take control” of the caterpillar and cause it to not make a cocoon and to just keep eating – so the baby insects have lots of caterpillar to eat when the time comes.

  • justillthen

    Hello WashPost18,Interpretation is the key word for me here. You may call it “sloppy application of a pronoun”. Fact remains that I have nothing to do with DI, and that you jumped to that conclusion without verification or further proofs. Perception is fascination, no?Again, I am not versed in the politics and infighting of the debate between IDers and the scientific community. I am not a believer in ID as put forward by literalist Christians. I believe in evolution, but also in Causality by Consciousness, if you will. Literalists who attempt to subjugate science to their prejudices will fail, as any science based on inaccurate assumption will prove. There is no proof of a God or Intelligent Creator as yet. If that comes to be, as I believe eventually it will, it may not do so by scientific experimentation. So far most of our forms of proofs require measurement and observation of the physical universe. Consciousness, and certainly the concept of the spiritual, and still beyond qualifying.When we are closer to that sphere there may be more for the Creationists to speak of. Yet, by that time I am guessing, the picture of that Intelligence will be unrecognizable by those of orthodox religion. Hey, they may even call it the Devil!And you bas tard scientists will have brought it into focus. See, science IS evil! :-)

  • walter-in-fallschurch

    persiflage,i recently was an adult chaperone on a trip of scientifically-sheltered literalist children on a field trip to the smithsonian national history museum. indeed, they were prepared ahead of time to make sure they wouldn’t believe any of those secular “dates” they’d see. they were told something like, “scientists tell us dinosaurs lived millions of years before humans, but the bible tells adam and eve were made on the sixth day”. at the museum, i could hear them laughing at those crazy incompetent secular scientists and their “evilution”. it’s insidious because it breeds contempt for science.btw – LOVE (hate) that sculpture of the triceratops with a saddle at the creation museum. that’s great! too funny (sad). kids can probably climb on and have a picture taken up there. see – there’s no need to be afraid of dinosaurs. noah probably had one.

  • Paganplace

    (continued from next post) Life’s evolving everywhere, but how much of it is both tool-using in a way like ourselves and *cares* to even send massive broadcasts around in hopes someone’ll hear? (Signals fade into the background radiation a lot sooner than we tend to think… even in that way it’s not just like inventing the telephone, it’s like two people on different continents deciding to invent the *same* telephone independently at the ‘same’ time (leaving out the simultaneity issues) Even beings similar enough to us to be interested in the same things would have a hard time finding us. And a creature doesn’t have to be very different from another to basically be ignored. It’s not just like wandering the Sahara on foot looking for someone else, but like wandering the Sahara on foot and only being able to even *see* see people who would be a good match at chess. At this point, it’s all about our detectors and how much we look, and how many other creatures have both the capability and inclination to a) do anything that might result in detection and b) Do such something like ‘our way.’ ….not ‘whether life evolves elsewhere.’ I’m sure it does. Could well be some ‘Bedouin’ types out there. I understand some of them like chess. :) Not only is the *universe* vast, but so are the possibilities. A small difference in our *temperament* as a species or in culture and we wouldn’t *care* about aliens any more than we expect a brown bear to. :)

  • Paganplace

    Persiflage: at least if you want to bring this into any debate about evolution, once again we’re talking about problems of scale, as well as some very big practicalities:”I’ve always admired philosophies and religions that intuitively understood the magnitude of the cosmos, which is now confirmed beyond doubt by science. Both monistic and pantheistic religions have long incorporated a vision of the grand empirion.’”As to the question of extra-terrestrial life, the link below asks the question in no uncertain terms. Where are the aliens?? Heh. Out there, one could say. Could even be *here* by some means without us even noticing each other. These mathematical kinds of calculations have a tendency to not consider the practical difficulties and the vast distances involved, not sufficiently, anyway. There’s something more you could learn from a more pantheistic/animistic worldview: Our technologically-monotheist culture is *human-centric* in the extreme, in ways people just haven’t done too much thinking on, with the implications. Book-traditions and the like tend to see even our own spirit world as actually a pretty barren place, with only human-like beings of ‘good’ and ‘evil’ in it, …seeing a desert where it’s more like a living, thriving forest. How can you expect that worldview to really intuitively understand how *idiosyncratic* what we call ‘intelligent life’ is? How many assumptions are in our very thought-patterns about what ‘intelligent life’ would do, think, or even *’see?’*

  • Paganplace

    (And what I say below leads to the amusing thoughts, …even if we met an ET species face to face, we’d have the best chance of *communicating* if we both sent out our ‘shamans.’ Those among us most used to getting along with beings very *different* from us, …and likely more aware of our own capabilities and limitations in this regard. Maybe while the mathematicians talk shop. :) We’re animals, too. How do we know when a fixed binocular gaze shows interest, curiosity, affection, and how do we know when it’s *predatory?* All kinds of instincts we take for granted that you couldn’t expect to be there… or correct, if you met ‘E.T.’ It’s a pretty deep universe, not just big. :)

  • washpost18

    Hello again justtillthen:No this isn’t a fact it’s an unsupported claim that, while provable beyond reasonable doubt, doesn’t lead to a conclusion that is worth the effort involved in obtaining the necessary observational data. At the moment it’s just as plausible that you’re lying. What is factual, as demonstrated above, is that you remain terribly ungracious.”I believe in evolution, but also in Causality by Consciousness, if you will.”Is that a convoluted way of saying, “correlation equals causation”, another favorite logical fallacy of the ID clique?”There is no proof of a God or Intelligent Creator as yet. If that comes to be, as I believe eventually it will, it may not do so by scientific experimentation.”I’ve not asked for proof, I’ve asked for the outline of an experiment designed to demonstrate the existence or lack thereof of some Creator and received bupkis in response for years except various flavors of word salad.You have an obvious bias in that you believe in the existence of some intelligent creator yet you cannot honestly explain the source of this belief. Care to give it another shot? Dollars to doughnuts it will circle back around to Scripture, and Kitzmiller v. Dover did a wonderful job of torpedoing that ship. It wasn’t just sunk, it had it’s backbone broken.”So far most of our forms of proofs require measurement and observation of the physical universe. Consciousness, and certainly the concept of the spiritual, and still beyond qualifying.”If some intelligent actor is responsible for the creation of life then that actor by default must interact with the Universe and therefore must leave tell-tale signs. If the initial assumption is hypothetically considered true then the following conclusion must also be true since the probability of our existence P=1. Now explain how one might identify the handiwork of this actor since it’s been demonstrated that they or their effects must have uniquely identifying characteristics.Establishing your own pseudo-scientific framework (which we’ll identify by the moniker “strawman” for the sake of clarity) from which to attack unrelated disciplines such as the well established physical sciences is (and we’ve come full circle here) an intellectually bankrupt endeavor.

  • walter-in-fallschurch

    Paganplace,we also assume water in a liquid form – existing in the “habitable zone” around a star. water is another “magic” substance out there that “mixes” well.

  • walter-in-fallschurch

    i don’t know where you’re going with this justillthen’s-a-DI-guy thing (that seems silly), but i do think you’ve got a valid question here:”I’ve not asked for proof, I’ve asked for the outline of an experiment designed to demonstrate the existence or lack thereof of some Creator…”THAT’s the crux of the bisquit. what experiment could possibly prove or disprove god? that’s what would make it science.now, there’s really no experiment that could disprove god, but there are some that could “prove” god. suppose every time someone prayed for something, it came true. that would be pretty convincing. you might even be able to ascertain it was the christian god since that’s what jesus promised mt21:22.”If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer”the problem with the “prove god” kind of experiments is they never work. so, all science can say about god is he/she/it is not disproven.

  • persiflage

    Paganplace – truly, the assortment of possible (advanced) life forms that might be found in the universe are not incorporated in monotheism – admitting that possibility would throw the entire theologically limited anthropic view into complete disarray. ‘It’s all about us’ is an attitude that might well keep more advanced life forms at a distance for another few millenia – if they care at all. And this doesn’t take into consideration the possibility of extra-dimensional life -who says there’s only ‘one’ physical universe…how about a multi-verse? Brian Greene, the noted string theorist, believes that holographic dynamics will one day play in crucial role in understanding how the cosmos works. This is exactly what David Bohm hypothesized in ‘Wholeness and the Implicate Order’ and his ideas on the holo-universe. What we see and what we are, happen to be projected displays from a higher order of reality. Very interesting!

  • washpost18

    walter-in-fallschurch: It was an assumption based on an ambiguous statement that was made and one that I apologized for. That would have been the end of it in my mind but it was brought up yet again. If there’s nothing there so be it but since it wasn’t dropped and it was presented in a sloppy logical context it got a response.”now, there’s really no experiment that could disprove god,”Sure, but that’s not precisely the question. No insult intended with this pedantic response but the audience here is larger than just you and I so hopefully I can be excused.One of the way science works is to propose a hypothesis and then construct an experiment to disprove that hypothesis. If the hypothesis survives the experiment then construct another to disprove the validity of the hypothesis or the design of the first experiment, rinse, repeat. Science isn’t about absolute certainty it’s about relative confidence (From which I think we get the sensationalist “science turned on it’s head!!” type of headline) and acceptance and integration of newly discovered contrary data when merited.So DI et.al have a base hypothesis – there is an intelligent creator. Now they need to make the next step if they wish to challenge established scientific theory. Until they do, or even explain that they have the faintest inkling of how to take the next step they have no legitimate business being dismissive of any scientific findings. Thus far all I’ve seen offered is, “those guys are wrong and we’re right because we have constructed this framework that doesn’t allow for testable hypotheses yet it still interacts in a visible fashion with the physical universe.”

  • walter-in-fallschurch

    washpost18,like i’ve said, that idea is way too general to be of any use in science. some more specific god hypotheses have been tested. like the ancient mesopotamian “6-day creation” hypothesis (or is that a bull-blown theory, with supporting hypotheses?). this idea has been disproved. unfortunately for theists, there’s really no ancient cosmology theory that has been borne out by science.anyway, as we begin to assign qualities to god the hypotheses, they become testable. some say “god is good”. well, ok, i’d say if you look around the best you could say is he’s sometimes good and sometimes bad.i may be being a little bit loose in my use of “hypothesis” and “theory”.

  • walter-in-fallschurch

    “Well, cosmic eggs and great epochs of creation and destruction aren’t exactly *contradicted* by science at this point, either. ;) “well, if i’m not mistaken, according to egg theory, the most recent creation began about 2,000,000,000 years ago. admittedly that’s pretty good – by far the closest religious estimate. i think, i may be mistaken or mixing myths here, but doesn’t it involve a turtle or something?like you said, myths are fine – if we all know they’re myths. but some have not let go of the judeochrislamic myths as truth.

  • ThomasBaum

    walter-in-fallschurch You wrote, “there’s not really much interpretation required to understand that when the devil and jesus went to a “high mountain” where they could see “all the kingdoms of the world”. even an idiot like me can see that this implies the author thought the world was FLAT”This is not even close to what I get from this story from the bible. To me, “all the kingdoms of the world”, means just that, not just the “kingdoms” that were in business at the time, so to speak, but also those in the future and I also believe those that already bit the dust.There are both those that believe in God and don’t believe in God that have such a puny view or conception of God.By the way, if this story implies that the earth is flat, does it also imply that Jesus’s eyesight became much better by your take on this story?satan is real and he is powerful and Jesus did tell us that satan is the prince of this world but Jesus also told us that satan has been defeated and until God flat out declares VICTORY, satan the loser will continue to push his agenda which will be crushed in utter defeat.This is the “Good News” and this “Good News” is for ALL.See you and the rest of humanity in the Kingdom.Take care, be ready.Sincerely, Thomas Paul Moses Baum.

  • ThomasBaum

    semidouble You wrote, “If the Earth was indeed designed, it was the work of a stupid diletant.Are you serious?All of the different aspects of the earth work together in harmony supporting the various aspects whether living or non-living.You mentioned the oceans being salt water besides salt being an important thing in and of itself but much of the rain being distributed over the whole earth is obtained thru the hydrosphere of which the ocean is an intregal part.We might not have gills but fish do and fish and other creatures of the oceans supply much of the world’s food.Jungles are an important aspect of the reoxygenation of the atmosphere as is the vegetation of other regions.The polar and equitorial regions are important components of the world’s climate system, as is the tilt of the earth which is why we have the polar regions and the equitorial region in the first place.Not only does the earth work in harmony with itself but so does the solar system and I imagine so does the rest of what is up there.Some people may think that all of this came together as a fluke and some think quite differently.Exactly how God created all of this and how much time, earthly time, God took to create the earth, I don’t know, but I think God did a nice job of it, we sure are making a mess of it tho, don’t you think?Take care, be ready.Sincerely, Thomas Paul Moses Baum.

  • ThomasBaum

    madmax8600You wrote, “And of course each sect believes they’re the One true religion.”In the bible, it says that true religion is “taking care of widows and orphans” which as I see it is to take care of those that are worse off than ourself and all of us are worse off than someone else in one way or another so it is for us to care of each other.It doesn’t even say anything about believing in God as being part of true religion.Considering the fact that God is a Being of Pure Love, there are some that believe in God and some that even know God’s Name and that is the extent of their knowlege of God.It is important what one does and why one does it and what one knows.Take care, be ready.Sincerely, Thomas Paul Moses Baum.

  • ThomasBaum

    washpost18You wrote, “Then sit back, close your eyes, and listen to the crickets chirp.”God created not only the crickets but your eyes and that which you sit upon, and needless to say absolutely everything else, seen and unseen, not just in the physical sphere.God is Real and one day all will know.Take care, be ready.Sincerely, Thomas Paul Moses Baum.

  • ThomasBaum

    lufrank1You wrote, “Bottom line: Evolution is an observable Fact.What you wrote above is not a FACT, for the simple reason that I have met God and God is a Trinity and I am a human being.Also, God is a Being of Pure Love, love is not an attribute of God but is God’s Very Being, there is a difference, a big difference in the two.I can not prove to you or anyone else that God is Real but God will, in due time, God’s Time.Take care, be ready.Sincerely, Thomas Paul Moses Baum.

  • ThomasBaum

    PaganplaceYou wrote, “I don’t think ‘God/dess’ is particularly small, either, but you can’t say ‘This or that is *Real* cause a book tells me so,’”I did not say that God is Real because a book told me so, I said and have been saying for quite a while the reason that I say that God is Real is because I have met God, haven’t I?You also wrote, “‘Tempts’ yer Jesus with showing him some false picture of a world he could rule. One of the “kingdoms of the world” that Jesus was shown, could very well have been the present day. If it was, do you think that just the “bells and whistles”, so to speak, of today was shown or all of it? You have heard that satan, among other things, is known as the deceiver, haven’t you?You also wrote, “Forget about defending it… is it *good* to claim talking some ‘intelligent design’ means the world’s something you could rule, just like that? As long as you believe crazy things about it?”I don’t understand what you are trying to ask here.You then wrote, “Where’s the *real* lesson, there, and why so slow on the uptake?”If you are talking about Jesus and satan’s encounter, then the lesson is that it is not about power but Love, not about manipulating but helping others. As far as “slow on the uptake”, it should not be our concern to live other people’s lives but to live our own.Then you wrote, “You don’t need to defend that, if you wanna be of help today, Thomas”I don’t understand what you are trying to say.Then you wrote, “It’s the ‘attacks’ on seeing the real world clearly today which are *justified* with that book that are …not your path, right?”I am not sure what you mean with this question but if you mean something to the effect that some use “their” interpretation of what is in the bible to justify their bigotry, hatred and prejudices when Jesus so clearly and simply said, “Love one another as I have loved you”.You also wrote, “What did JC *really* say ‘no’ to, and how his followers been doing on that?”I look at it from a different angle, I suppose, in that Jesus said “YES”. Jesus’s invitation was to “Come follow Me”, it was not to follow His followers, was it?Take care, be ready.Sincerely, Thomas Paul Moses Baum.

  • ThomasBaum

    PAGANPLACELike I have said many times, not only have I met God but I have also met satan and even tho satan can try to come across as mister nice guy, he isn’t.See you and the rest of humanity in the Kingdom, God is neither the egomaniac nor the putrid, vile, revengeful piece of garbage that some that know His Name seem to think God to be.God wins Total Victory, seems as if a lot of people are in for quite a surprise.Take care, be ready.Sincerely, Thomas Paul Moses Baum.

  • Paganplace

    And I only say all this to you, Thomas, cause I think you have the capacity to know. This is not a *war.* This is a *planet.* And people live here. I could give two flying flips what you think ‘Total Victory’ is. Of all the wonders of this universe, our home is worth us thinking She’s a bit bigger than us. Living as *if* we’re coming back. Even if in some Fundie’s world anyone who says so gets incinerated for eternity. Yayaya. I may be no ‘prophet,’ but I *have*U been around the block a couple times.

  • walter-in-fallschurch

    paganplace, thomas,i know it’s not really what we WANT to happen to our (imaginary) souls, but we don’t get to choose. there is no evidence for any survival of a brain or “soul” after your heart stops pumping blood to your brain. it just begins to decompose.i agree i would be really cool if we didn’t really have to die. this desire to “cheat death” is why humans have invented all the religions of the world.anyway, if you have a belief that you will cheat death, it must rest ENTIRELY on faith – as there is no evidence for it, and plenty of evidence against it. again, sorry, don’t hate me. just my (and “science’s”) opinion.;-)

  • walter-in-fallschurch

    ThomasBaum,what if the “god” you say you’ve met is actually the devil posing as god? again, seems like lots of evil fun from the devil’s perspective.given that you believe in the devil, and you think he’s really really evil, i don’t think you can logically rule out those possibilities.

  • washpost18

    ThomasBaum: “God created not only the crickets but your eyes…”The inverted nature of the human eye (where photons are required to pass through all other eye structures including blood vessels and the like before reaching the photo-receptive cells themselves) is, if designed, one of the poorest examples of engineering. On par with something I’d expect from spidermean.Which puts the creationist believer in somewhat of a pickle – if God is perfect, and what He creates is perfect, and we were created in His image, then our eyes must have been perfectly designed. Since the eye is most demonstratably imperfect then it could not have been created by God. If you’re trying to be convincing, please try harder.

  • walter-in-fallschurch

    re: “intelligently designed” eyes:as intelligent as G.O.D. (god our designer) appears at first glance, we are learning that He makes mistakes. darwin marveled at the eye:“To suppose that the eye, with all its inimitable contrivances for adjusting the focus to different distances, for admitting different amounts of light, and for the correction of spherical and chromatic aberration, could have been formed by natural selection, seems, I freely confess, absurd in the highest possible degree. YET REASON TELLS ME, that if numerous gradations from a perfect and complex eye to one very imperfect and simple, each grade being useful to its possessor, can be shown to exist; if further, the eye does vary ever so slightly, and the variations be inherited, which is certainly the case; and if any variation or modification in the organ be ever useful to an animal under changing conditions of life, then the difficulty of believing that a perfect and complex eye COULD BE FORMED BY NATURAL SELECTION, though insuperable by our imagination, can hardly be considered real.” [Emphasis mine]it turns out we have figured out the eye. just as Darwin supposed, we have found “numerous gradations” from simple to complex eyes, with each stage conferring an advantage. but unlike what darwin supposed, our complex eyes are not “perfect.”given the individual parts that comprise our eyes, no competent designer (or Designer) would arrange them as they are. since each successive stage is built on its functioning precursor, our eyes are a horribly-designed, jerry-rigged disaster. it’s a miracle they work at all. but, their design reveals their evolutionary history.eye evolution:how it’s a bad design:

  • washpost18

    walter-in-fallschurch:This is another fine example of published creationist dishonesty as they frequently cite this passage from Darwin in an effort to “prove” that Darwin himself did not “believe in evolution” (as if the other hundreds of pages of his writings were not proof enough that he had indeed thought quite thoroughly on the matter), but only out out context by providing the first sentence:“To suppose that the eye, with all its inimitable contrivances for adjusting the focus to different distances, for admitting different amounts of light, and for the correction of spherical and chromatic aberration, could have been formed by natural selection, seems, I freely confess, absurd in the highest possible degree.”Always keep one eye on the references and one hand on your wallet in dealing with the ID crowd…

  • ThomasBaum

    Paganplace PART IYou wrote, “I dunno what constitutes ‘total victory’ for you, or why Christians always use that as a veiled threat,”First, God’s Plan is for ALL to be with Him in His Kingdom. Second, why do you group all of those that call themself, “Christian”, as being the same as if they are mindless drones or something? Third, if you think of what I write and very simply spell out what “Total Victory” means to me then there is no way that I can see for anyone to think of it as a “veiled threat.As I have said many times, there are some who call themself, “Christian”, who vehemently disagree with me concerning the universality of God’s Plan, of course there are others that identify themself as “other than Christian” that just as vehemently disagree with me.You also wrote, “As a pent-sporting, Lady-loving, totally unashamed queer Pagan.”That’s fine but do you look down on those that are different from you?One of the ways that I look at things is that God became One of us so that He could look at us, not down on us or up to us but eye to eye and this could be one of the unspoken, so to speak, examples that He gave to us.No matter what label someone applies to themself, they should not look down on others, we are all different, not the same, but equal in God’s Eyes. God didn’t make us clones and we should not attempt to be the same, it is our “uniqueness” as individuals that should shine thru but not in a crummy way, so to speak.You then wrote, “Maybe you need to believe something, Thomas, while alive. I’m assured that I can believe there’s a rubber room in the VA psych hospital at Inis Avalon General that’ll take care of my soul getting over all these Gods-damned flashbacks of yer violence here.”Kind of sounds like you have been reading things into what I wrote that I didn’t put in there.

  • walter-in-fallschurch

    washpost18,

  • walter-in-fallschurch

    thomas, you said,”Third, if you think of what I write and very simply spell out what “Total Victory” means to me then there is no way that I can see for anyone to think of it as a “veiled threat.”"it’s part of your “take care, be ready” thing. you’re warning us to repent because the end is near – and we’re going to hell forever unless we join your team….funny, ’cause jesus told his disciples the same thing – but you think he meant YOU, living 2000 yrs later. now, you’ve explained/rationalized to me before about how “the end” could be just the end of one’s own personal earthly existence (not actual “death” of course because faith means you don’t have to die), and that’s a clever accomodation, but jesus sure made it sound like he was talking about the apocalypse. of course to you the apocalypse would be a good thing, but to pagans and atheists, not so much. that’s why it’s a threat. you’ve got to realize this as you’re saying it, right? i mean, you can’t really think any non-christian would take that as anything other than a threat. and you’ve got to also realize that “convert to my religion or go to hell” is the same thing muslims are saying about you and jews, and jews are saying about you and muslims.kind of funny looking in on it all from out here.

  • ThomasBaum

    walter-in-fallschurch You wrote, “what if the DEVIL wrote the bible? i mean, he’s a deceiver, right? if i were the (imaginary) devil, seems like posing as god would be alot of fun, and really kinda extra-evil, you know.”The “god of islam” is satan but as I have said: God is a searcher of hearts and minds not of religious affiliations or lack thereof and It is important what one does and why one does it and what one knows.You then wrote, “what if the “god” you say you’ve met is actually the devil posing as god? again, seems like lots of evil fun from the devil’s perspective.”As I have said, I have met God and I have met satan. God knew that I needed to know that satan was also real, that is, I believe, at least one of the reasons that God allowed satan to do what he did to me.You then wrote, “given that you believe in the devil, and you think he’s really really evil, i don’t think you can logically rule out those possibilities.”satan is a deceiver, a liar and a god-wannabe, I have never said that satan was “really, really evil”, by the way, what is “really, really evil”?satan is a “phoney” and he has misused the power that God gave to him, he will be judged and we also will be judged in how we have used what has been given to us.Whether or not one believes in God, why do you think that some seem to get bent out of shape to even think that we are going to be held accountable for what we do and how we use what has been given to us?It seems as if there are plenty of both those who believe in God and those that don’t believe in God that think we are not responsible even tho it may be for different reasons that they think this and yet they seem to have no problem with earthly accountability, so to speak.It sure seems that there are going to be plenty that are in for quite a shock concerning God’s Plan and the universality of God’s Plan.Take care, be ready.Sincerely, Thomas Paul Moses Baum.

  • walter-in-fallschurch

    ThomasBaum,”Is there any evidence that complete “nothingness” or whatever term you wish to use occurs at physical death?”well, no there’s really no way to access that evidence, i mean, you’re dead. any medical instruments designed to measure anything in a dead person’s body yield nothing. there’s no evidence of a soul rising up out of a dead body like in cartoons. there’s just evidence that the person’s dead. in the absence of any evidence for life after death, the “default position” has to be death after death. it’s just the simplest conclusion.of course we can (and have) made up all sorts of various things about what happens after death, but there’s no evidence for any of that. mind you, life after death COULD be the case, but it must be believed on faith.

  • walter-in-fallschurch

    ThomasBaum,”As I have said, I have met God and I have met satan. God knew that I needed to know that satan was also real, that is, I believe, at least one of the reasons that God allowed satan to do what he did to me.”but that’s my point! you think you’ve met god, but couldn’t the devil have fooled you? i mean, you think he’s fooled other people into believing their false religions, right? it’s possible that what you thought was god was actually some other religion’s devil deceiving you?

  • walter-in-fallschurch

    ThomasBaum,

  • walter-in-fallschurch

    “by the way, what is “really, really evil”?”the devil posing as god would be really really evil.

  • washpost18

    ThomasBaum: “The “god of islam” is satan…”In other words, according to you, Abraham, son of Terah, father of Ishmael and Issac, worshiped satan.History has shown time and time again that every normal man claiming to hear god’s voice heard nothing but their own words echoed back at them, and you ain’t nothing special.

  • justillthen

    WashPost18,”You have an obvious bias in that you believe in the existence of some intelligent creator yet you cannot honestly explain the source of this belief. Care to give it another shot? Dollars to doughnuts it will circle back around to Scripture, and Kitzmiller v. Dover did a wonderful job of torpedoing that ship. It wasn’t just sunk, it had it’s backbone broken.” I have not attempted here to explain the source of my belief in “Creator”, honestly or deceitfully. But it is not based on Scripture, I assure you. As I said, I am not much of one for Scripture as a valid source for anything specific or literal, though it does a good job of metaphor in storytelling, and is certainly extremely influential in the west.”If some intelligent actor is responsible for the creation of life then that actor by default must interact with the Universe and therefore must leave tell-tale signs.”Tell tale signs I am sure would be present, but what are they? Your assumption that this ‘actor’ must be interacting with the Universe may or may not be valid. And again, if the actor is “Intelligence” then its’ signs may be that, as well.One cannot assume, for instance, that prayer WILL BE answered, and certainly not in the specific way that was prayed for, just as wishes of intentions do not always manifest specifically, though they focus and direct thought and so perception.Your full circle ends nicely of intellectual bankruptcy. Again, I think that it is a harsh term, but I do not subscribe to IDers version of Truth by faith in Scripture. I do however believe in the ongoingness of consciousness, and the non-physical root of Life.

  • justillthen

    Hello again WashPost18,Everybody is so chatty in here!Regarding my: “Fact remains that I have nothing to do with DI, and that you jumped to that conclusion without verification or further proofs.”Thank you for that. :-) Thing is, in this case, I am not seeking to prove it to anyone. I am clear that it is, in fact, a fact but I am happy to leave it as an unsupported claim, as it is beside my point. Point really was our tendency to jump to conclusions based on assumptions with no compelling supporting evidence. “At the moment it’s just as plausible that you’re lying. What is factual, as demonstrated above, is that you remain terribly ungracious.”Okay, though ungraciousness is an eye of the beholder thing. If I was then I certainly apologize. Yet, if it is true then the same perception may be aimed at your responses to me.And I actually like much of what you say!”Correlation equals causation” is an assumption used in the science as well as it seeks proofs. Again, as I said before, there are no proofs of God. And I am not sure what form of data would be required to make those proofs if in deed an Intelligent Creator was Causal. It seems not in the realm of matter, as the presumed definition of that Intelligence is not matter but perhaps consciousness. There is as yet no verifiable scientific proofs that consciousness resides outside of form, and few ways to qualify or quantify it. But knoweldge advances speedily. These things are for the future to uncover.

  • washpost18

    justillthen:”Your assumption that this ‘actor’ must be interacting with the Universe may or may not be valid.”You didn’t quote me completely. What I said, in total, was:Phrased another way, if some creator is responsible for our existence then it’s a certainty said hypothetical creator interacts with the physical universe in a measurable fashion because we exist. You can’t have it any other way.”Tell tale signs I am sure would be present, but what are they?”Dunno, that’s your responsibility as a believer in ID, not mine. Work out your own experimental framework and let us know what you come up with.”I do not subscribe to IDers version of Truth by faith in Scripture.”Funny thing that; “IDers”, like West and the DI as a whole, are adamant that they do not subscribe to Scripture either, preferring to leave that field to some other beast labeled ‘creationists’, yet those annoying little facts keep demonstrating otherwise.”"Correlation equals causation” is an assumption used in the science as well as it seeks proofs.”"Used” in science as an indicator there may be something worthwhile to investigate, sure. It’s also abused all too frequently by IDers as if it’s sufficient proof of a hypothesis.”Again, as I said before, there are no proofs of God.”And as I said before nobody asked you for a proof of a god; it has been asked for years that the intelligent design/creationist crowd pony up scientific research, experimental framework, hell ANYTHING that supports their hypothesis and justifies their attacks on legitimate science. The floor has been left wide open long enough and many of us are tired of asking for them to take the podium because we know we’re only going to get silence in response.”Regarding my: “Fact remains that I have nothing to do with DI,…”That must have really gotten under your skin; you just can’t let it go can you.

  • walter-in-fallschurch

    WashPost18, justillthen,i don’t think that’s necessarily the case. i mean, his “interaction” could have ended with the big bang. mind you, there would be no proof or disproof of this big bang god, so it’s not a scientific proposition, but it COULD be the case, theoretically.

  • washpost18

    HUH? walter-in-fallschurch I submitted a (long winded, as usual :) ) reply to you but it was, “held for moderation”?

  • walter-in-fallschurch

    WashPost18,

  • washpost18

    walter-in-fallschurch: I was just thinking that very thing (juggling too many things at once before the coffee has fully kicked in). Thanks, I’ll do some editing and give it a shot.

  • washpost18

    walter-in-fallschurch: Recall that the creationist/ID claim is that a god created us either as fully formed humans or as some precursor that we evolved into. At a meta level there is no difference between the two claims; they are both spun out of whole cloth and represent just different distances that the goal posts have been moved.I’ll repeat my summary of the consequences of this hypothesis from below: “…if some creator is responsible for our existence then it’s a certainty said hypothetical creator interacts with the physical universe in a measurable fashion because we exist.”Continuing with your posting:Well sure. It could also be the case the skies were formed from the body of Saturn or that this universe is simply the contents of a bag carried through time by an old man existing in some higher dimension that we do not have access to.The thing is, it’s not germane to the scientific theory of evolution as initially developed by Darwin and refined over the last 100+ years. [cont. above]

  • washpost18

    [cont. from below]It’s easy for them to do so; they can claim a single entity is responsible for all wash their intellectual hands of the problem without further effort with the dismissive claim, “Goddidit,” then continue backwards by launching little nitpick attacks against scientific findings while contributing nothing concrete to the store of human knowledge.Meanwhile the physicists will continue their research probing into and refining the Big Bang model, the paleontologists will continue evaluating their fossil findings and refining the physical connections between life forms, the geologists will continue examining geologic forms and refining models of planetary formation and dynamics, the biologists will continue examining the cellular functions of life that allow us to better understand how we function and improving the quality of life for all. And when it makes sense, various of these parties will get together to share information and design experiments to test their interpretations and all will continue to provide mankind with, “Woah! That was unexpected but very, very cool!” moments.

  • washpost18

    The magic number appears to be around 1500 characters.

  • walter-in-fallschurch

    washpost18,the only reason i “quibbled” with the idea that god’s existence would necessarily leave “telltale signs” is just a purely logical exercise. it could be that god created the universe 14,000,000,000 ya to evolve into the universe we see today, and while we’re making up god-characteristics, that he “hid” his involvement. as we both said, this is an untestable unscientific proposition.strictly speaking, intelligent design (G.O.D. – god our designer) does not tell us about the age of the earth, evolution or much of anything, really. it just says the creation is Designed – capital “D” – by an intelligent entity (historically assumed to be male). many creationists want this belief taught in science class. they call it an “alternative theory,” and it might be, but it isn’t science. it’s religion, or maybe philosophy. it is the old teleological (from design) argument for god: life is so complex and purposeful that it could not have happened by itself. something designed it. they wink and say they can’t venture to say who the designer is, but they don’t think it was frank lloyd wright.so, beneath the veneer of science it’s just religion. like a pastor wearing a lab coat over his robe. the idea that it’s science is just to get a foot in the door – to get this crap taught in science class.i followed the kitzmiller case daily – reading the transcripts as soon as the became available on line. it was really great to see (christian) ken miller dissect michael behe’s testimony. it was great to see all those other discovery institute “fellows” back out of testifying. and the best part was when the bush-appointed concervative, church-going judge jones write a lengthy, some thought too lengthy, opinion condemning (the religious would say “rebuking”) the school board and behe’s discovery institute. he said the trial provided “overwhelming evidence” establishing that intelligent iesign “is a religious view, a mere re-labeling of creationism, and not a scientific theory.”

  • walter-in-fallschurch

    here’s the statement the dover school board wanted put in science books:Intelligent design is an explanation of the origin of life that differs from Darwin’s view. The reference book, “Of Pandas and People,” is available for students who might be interested in gaining an understanding of what intelligent design actually involves. With respect to any theory, students are encouraged to keep an open mind. The school leaves the discussion of the origins of life to individual students and their families. As a standards-driven district, class instruction focuses upon preparing students to achieve proficiency on standards-based assessments.”

  • washpost18

    walter-in-fallschurch: “…and while we’re making up god-characteristics…”(The timing was too perfect to pass up). While we’re making up god-characteristics, real scientists like PZ Myers are making observations and taking the work upon themselves to do what creationists have been unable to do: propose characteristics based upon the observations of knowledgeable creationists. From HuffPo via “Huckabee was not to be outdone in the use of hyperbole. The former Republican presidential candidate called the United States a “blessed” nation whose victory against the British in the Revolutionary War was “a miracle from God’s hand,” indeed the same type of miracle that defeated the legalization of gay marriage in California.Since we know how both of those victories were accomplished, that tells us something about the nature of the agent behind them. Thanks to Mike Huckabee, we now know that God is a) French, and b) Mormon.

  • walter-in-fallschurch

    i can just hear huckabee saying that-

  • washpost18

    walter-in-fallschurch:Good luck with that. There are a lot of creationist minded folk around who are really sincerely nice people (Huckabee even seems like a pretty decent sort himself on a lot of levels), but it can be really hard sometimes to remember to engage the social filters and not, metaphorically, kick the puppy.

  • walter-in-fallschurch

    thanks. it’s fun though. and you’re right – “social filters, social filters…” for the most part, that’s my policy, but there are certain people (the pastors for instance, and others i’ve percieved as intellectually curious) to whom i’ve reveled my infidelity. and they’re ok with that. if i haven’t said it before, these are the nicest bunch of people i’ve ever met. if only all religious fundamentalists were as loving and caring as these people there would be no religious wars.for me, it’s kind of an interesting psychology study: how can people so smart and educated (but not in science) be so crazy.

  • ThomasBaum

    washpost18 You wrote, “HUH? walter-in-fallschurch I submitted a (long winded, as usual :) ) reply to you but it was, “held for moderation”?”I have run into the same situation at times and I have had to break my reply up into pieces, it seems as if it is the length that gets them “held for moderation” which seems to actually mean rejected.Take care, be ready.Sincerely, Thomas Paul Moses Baum.

  • ThomasBaum

    walter-in-fallschurch You wrote, “in the absence of any evidence for life after death, the “default position” has to be death after death. it’s just the simplest conclusion.”What is with this “default position”? Sounds like a cop out, doesn’t it? And why is it the “simplest conclusion”? As so many people say, “Where is the evidence”?You also wrote, “of course we can (and have) made up all sorts of various things about what happens after death, but there’s no evidence for any of that. mind you, life after death COULD be the case, but it must be believed on faith.”I would say that this is true even for me, even tho I have met God, but since I have met God and know that God is a Trinity and that God is a Being of Pure Love rather than Love being an attribute of God, I look at things differently.I do not attempt to speculate just what exactly the “afterlife” will be, but I trust that God’s Plan is, to put it mildly, much better than some think it will be and much better than some seem to want it to be.As I have asked before: Do you, this is not just you but all of the yous out there, really think that God asked us to be more forgiving than Him, more merciful than Him, more loving than Him …?As I have also said before: God is not a He, a She or an It, even tho God-Incarnate was a Male, but a Being of Pure Love.Take care, be ready.Sincerely, Thomas Paul Moses Baum.

  • ThomasBaum

    walter-in-fallschurch You wrote, “but that’s my point! you think you’ve met god, but couldn’t the devil have fooled you?”No.You then wrote, “i mean, you think he’s fooled other people into believing their false religions, right?”As I have said: God is a searcher of hearts and minds, not of religious affiliations or lack thereof and it is important what one does and why one does it and what one KNOWS. I have also said: It is not about religion but about a relationship and that True Religion is taking care of widows and orphans, meaning we should look out for those that are worse off than ourself and since everyone is worse off than everyone else in one way or another then we are to look out for one another.Something interesting in the bible, it says something to the effect that the forces of evil are working, even if inadvertently, to the fulfillment of God’s Plan.You then wrote, “it’s possible that what you thought was god was actually some other religion’s devil deceiving you?”No.If you want to know why God chose me to speak for Him than you will have to ask God because I don’t know but God chose me and I said YES.Take care, be ready.Sincerely, Thomas Paul Moses Baum.

  • ThomasBaum

    washpost18You wrote, “The inverted nature of the human eye (where photons are required to pass through all other eye structures including blood vessels and the like before reaching the photo-receptive cells themselves) is, if designed, one of the poorest examples of engineering.”Kind of picky, ain’t we? When you meet God, you can take it up with him.I don’t think of God as a “engineer” at all.Then you wrote, “Which puts the creationist believer in somewhat of a pickle – if God is perfect, and what He creates is perfect, and we were created in His image, then our eyes must have been perfectly designed. Since the eye is most demonstratably imperfect then it could not have been created by God.”Not even close but it does seem to put your thinking in a “pickle”, it happens to say that God said: “And it is good” or something to that effect, it says nothing about “perfect”, does it?And who’s definition of “perfect” are we going to use anyway?God created absolutely everything and the eye, which is only part of a person, would have nothing to even look at if God hadn’t created everything else, now would it?If God hadn’t created you, then you wouldn’t even have to ponder this, would you?You also wrote, “If you’re trying to be convincing, please try harder.”I am not here to convince, I am here to speak the “Good News” and the “Good News” is that God wins, satan loses, a tie is unacceptable and the “Good News” is for all which is why a tie is unacceptable.If you want to be convinced that God is Real, don’t worry, you will be and God will do the “convincing” in due time, God’s Time.God’s Plan will come to Fruition, the seventh day will arrive, the new heavens and the new earth, of course the night of the sixth day will precede it.Take care, be ready.Sincerely, Thomas Paul Moses Baum.

  • walter-in-fallschurch

    ThomasBaum, you wrote,”walter-in-fallschurch well, the “default position” is the “ordinary” assumption made in the absence of “extraordinary” evidence: it’s kind of like with ufos. people claim to have seen ufos. (actually, by definition they HAVE seen “unidentified” flying objects). there are all kinds of claims about this, but no real evidence. in the absence of concrete evidence, the “default position” here is that they did not see alien spaceships.what i mean by the “simplest” explanation is that explanations that are simple and not convoluted are more likely to be true. see ocaam’s razor.

  • walter-in-fallschurch

    ThomasBaum, you said,uh…well…no, because god is make-believe.

  • ThomasBaum

    walter-in-fallschurch You wrote, “ThomasBaum, you said,Whenever I make a reply on this thing even tho it may be addressed to one person, it is intended for all of humanity.The above reply of mine is more so directed at those that believe in God and more specifically toward those that know God’s Name but seem to know absolutely nothing else about God.You’ll meet God and don’t worry, God is not even remotely like what some conceive of God To Be.Take care, be ready.Sincerely, Thomas Paul Moses Baum.

  • walter-in-fallschurch

    ThomasBaum,anyway, i enjoy our conversations.

  • ThomasBaum

    walter-in-fallschurch I enjoy our conversations too.It is about listening to what others have to say and replying to it, it isn’t about trying to cram things down other people’s throats.I know God is Real for the simple reason that I have met God but I can see why so many would not want to have anything whatsoever to do with God if He were even remotely like what some conceive Him to be.As it says, “Faith is a gift that no man should boast”, so apparently not all have “Faith” in God and yet since: God is a searcher of hearts and minds, not of religious affiliations or lack thereof; there are some that don’t believe that are right with God and some that believe that are not right with God.There seem to be many that believe in God, that try to put God in a “box”, Thank God that God is not the puny entity that some seem to think that He Is.God Is LOVE, sounds simple and it is and yet beyond anybody’s imaginings.Take care, be ready.Sincerely, Thomas Paul Moses Baum.

  • brenda6

    I have spent considerable time reading the many posts in the comment section here and I hope that the discussion has not been closed. For some reason, the last post date is 6/12.

  • brenda6

    Well, I’ve established that we are open so I guess I’ll go ahead. There is a new theory of explanation based on the fact that 1) a theory is defined as a well-tested explanation that unifies a broad range of observations, and 2) in science, theories are frameworks for organizing knowledge. Both of those statements were submitted by Walter in FallsChurch. I tested the explanation that I read about in theosophical literature and I discovered something that makes the theory more plausible. Blavatsky had THE SECRET DOCTRINE published in 1888 which was fine timing to serve as a response to Darwin’s books, however our society shunned her 1) perhaps because she was a female treated with disrespect and 2) because her theory was largely missing the discovery that I have made with her help since she published. For all intents and purposes, it was her intent and some grand design that obligated her to write this theory of evolution in “secret.” The work has to be studied, applied, even confirmed independently before the idea could become known by me in a sort of epiphany. I have worked for 14 years trying to publicize my findings and have yet to find anyone (scientists, journalists, religious leaders included) doing their jobs. If the readers here could help me by putting pressure upon The Washington Post to publicize my work I would greatly appreciate it. If you search the word “girasas,” you will be able to find my internet writings and I have a webpage at

  • brenda6

    Here is the theory which I think you will find fascinating:Kingdoms follow each other in progression. Hence, when humanity arrives on earth as a non-material “formless” entity, they encounter a fully developed, material, living community of evolving animals already residing on earth. In our attempt to evolve, we penetrate the material forms (a process that takes hundreds of millions of years) and “ascend” the animal kingdom which responds to our “descent” by leaving the earth. This process takes three human races (1-3) and three animal races (5-7). The process takes place again when a higher kingdom which I named girasas, begins their descent into form and works upon the material forms that humans have generated to a point that the two kingdoms exist in one body during the 6th human and 2nd girasas kingdoms.The Bible is reporting in Genesis with the story of Adam and Eve, the beginnings of a 5th human kingdom – this is currently our race and by default that is also our world and our earth. A 4th human race would be a different world/earth if we had more words which we could use to describe life.Other terms which this theory requires are: shista, involution or involving kingdoms of angels, etc. One method of terminology that could be used is i. animal for involving animal and e. animal for evolving animal. The involutionary kingdoms accompany each evolving kingdom, such as humanity, for the purpose of taking the forms that make up our environment. They also progress in a reverse direction to evolution and what we see around us in lower kingdoms are angels using them for their purposes as we “partially” command them to do. Angelic kingdoms involve by being obedient. Evolving kingdoms evolve by using free will. The results of encouraging an audience for this new theory would be, according to my calculations, an interest in knowing, meeting, and engaging a higher kingdom or girasas. The results of learning our present theory of evolution is largely nothing but an attack on religion, which is perhaps warranted. A new religion or 6th race religion will be needed to go with our new land mass, the Americas.

  • brenda6

    Why don’t people want to explore the use of this material which is already present in usable written form? I would think a scientist eager to experiment with bringing the girasas into a more material state. What it requires is a purification of the life of the person doing the investigation to the tune of 1) vegetarianism, 2) abstention from alcohol and drugs, 3) abstention from sexual overuse, to name a few. A continued investigation might include using the material that was brought to us in the 1930s-1950s by an American-born couple, Guy and Edna Ballard. The material consists of introductions to cosmic beings and personalities and the use of their words in attempting to speak to them and command life. We don’t have a system in place to recognize the work done by these two organizations or people like myself who have spent over 20 years studying and practicing and now would like nothing more than to inform you of my work (done outside the schools, which should have been tackling the problem in THE SECRET DOCTRINE all along) and to help build this type of church to continue our discovery process.

  • brenda6

    In one of the posts I said “5th human kingdom” but meant to say “5th human race.”After this epiphany, which consisted of arranging the races on a downward/upward cycle and overlapping them with the previous and latter kingdoms, I went through a terrible stage coming to terms with the prospects in front of me. I hope I have developed myself through working to a degree. No one at The Theosophical Society or the “I AM” Temple (Saint Germain Foundation) found the time or inclination to direct or guide me, but preferred rather to push me out of their nest with nothing but our prior contacts to sustain me. I have been raising two children, trying to hold down a job, and trying to rise to this task of communicating a new theory of evolution. I don’t want the job. I didn’t apply for it. It hasn’t been exciting or pleasant, but rather boring. I just get kicked off and have to repeat the process over and over again. I left my own “ticket” to higher consciousness in hopes that I could bring this information to you and I admit, I am afraid of having to live in a body with something that different than I am. I’m also afraid of the civilization I am living in because I believed and hoped that the ideals we learned in school were true and that there were individuals who were eager for new ideas and would pay for them, but I haven’t really found this true. This job is tedious and boring.

  • walter-in-fallschurch

    brenda6,how have you tested your “theory”?what facts does it explain?

  • ThomasBaum

    BRENDA6Actually, it is not at all complicated, it is rather simple.God created everybody and everything.God gave us free will and we are responsible for what we do, which includes what we don’t do when we make a decision to not do something.Even tho some will never be sorry for what wrongs they have done this side of breath, God has a Plan that includes everyone, ultimately, to be in God’s Kingdom, the new heavens and the new earth.Christianity is part of God’s Plan and everyone ultimately being in God’s Kingdom is what it is about not what some have seemed to twist it into.God has had His Plan since before creation and His Plan is unfolding before our very eyes and His Plan will come to Fruition.We have made a mess of this world in many, many ways and God knew that we would.God gave us free will, without free will we would be nothing more than puppets on a string or words to that effect.Divine Justice and Divine Mercy are two sides of the same coin and they go hand in hand, even tho there are some that, at the present time, seem to abhor this thought and many of these call themselves “Christians” and of course many of them also call themselves other “labels”.Take care, be ready.Sincerely, Thomas Paul Moses Baum.

  • brenda6

    Well, Walter, for my own purposes, it explains many, many things. It explains humility, for example, and forgiveness. But for the purpose of a grand scale of time, it explains why there shouldn’t be the type of debate we are having. We should be debating actions that we want a “small” group to take for the benefits of a “large” group. If we could get information from subraces about their needs, i.e., what could we do now to make things easier for a 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 7th subrace (obviously because we in America are becoming a 6th subrace)? Rather than worry about who has the girasas living in them and who doesn’t, how many of the girasas are currently present on earth, etc., we could worry about communications between our groups that have specific interests and want to make efforts along the lines of another stage to our existence. If we can keep those “initiatives” represented, then we can best make decisions that will effect our futures, because remember, according to this theory, we will be descending through animals again – at least 24 more times out of the total of 49 descent-ascents onto globes. To correctly anticipate evolution and what we need to succeed, we need voices to represent those stages. I don’t want everyone to try to “host” the girasas kingdom, but we should all know about them and try to understand the difficulties that the relationship must pose, also hoping to set up human to girasas lines of communication that cannot be broken down due to the death of a messenger or some other unforeseen event.

  • brenda6

    Thomas, I am concerned about this free will issue, too, and the best that I can come up with as a tenet of being occupied by a higher kingdom is that we can focus upon being free “from wrong” which can also be very tricky business if we commit an act (due to girasas communications) that would be human consciousness appear to be wrong. It’s not an excuse. It is just a labor of love – to do something we ordinarily would not do, something we cannot particularly understand due to the higher evolution of the girasas, and something that we and others may very likely view to be immoral or illegal. And yet by every interpersonal indication this act has to be accomplished according to the direction of this higher kingdom for the benefit of all concerned. It’s an annoying facet and will likely put many people into unbearable predicaments, but perhaps we can learn to handle these situations as groups rather than as individuals and we may be able or willing to “skirt” these circumstances in some way that we, as scientists devise. Best to you, Brenda

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