Doublethink in Religious America

42% of Americans in general reject the notion that life on earth evolved and believe instead that humans and other living things have always existed in their present form. However 65% of white evangelical Protestants, most of whom regard the Bible as the inerrant word of God, hold this view.*

21% of those surveyed say that although life has evolved, these changes were guided by a supreme being.*

26% of those surveyed say that they accept evolution through natural processes or natural selection alone. *

87% think that scientific developments make society better. *

87% the same number, among those who describe themselves as being very religious, share the opinion. *

(62%) say that they believe that scientists agree on the validity of evolution. *

* 2006 Pew poll

64% or nearly two-thirds of Americans say they would continue to hold to what their religion teaches rather than accept any contrary scientific finding.**

81% say “recent discoveries and advances” in science have not significantly impacted their religious views.**

14% say that these discoveries have actually made them more religious.

4% say that science has made them less religious.**

**October 2006 Time magazine poll.

Many of the people who reject natural selection also recognize that scientists themselves fully accept Darwin’s theory.

How can Americans say that they respect science and know what scientists believe and still disagree with the scientific community on some fundamental religious questions?  Much of the general public will simply pick and choose and not believe the scientific theories and discoveries that contradict any important long-held religious or other beliefs.

The data from these two polls shows that in the minds of most people in the United States, there is no clash between science and religion. When the two realms offer contradictory explanations, religious people, who make up a majority of Americans, rely primarily upon their faith, rather than reason, for answers.

Parts adapted from: The Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life

Say What ?

Doublethink: The power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one’s mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them….To tell deliberate lies while genuinely believing in them, to forget any fact that has become inconvenient, and then, when it becomes necessary again, to draw it back from oblivion for just so long as it is needed, to deny the existence of objective reality and all the while to take account of the reality which one denies — all this is indispensably necessary. Even in using the word doublethink it is necessary to exercise doublethink. For by using the word one admits that one is tampering with reality; by a fresh act of doublethink one erases this knowledge; and so on indefinitely, with the lie always one leap ahead of the truth. George Orwell’s 1984


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About the word of me
Interested in family and friends,grandchildren, photography, darkrooms, history, archaeology, scuba diving, computers, software, fast cars, journalism, writing, travel, ecology, news, science, and probably most other subjects you could think of. Did I mention family and friends?? I require iced tea or cold brewed coffee and a internet connection to be fully functional. Sometimes there are just so many words in my head they spill out.

8 Responses to Doublethink in Religious America

  1. Shocking I agree with you!

    The issue as I see it is that many scientist do not know what comprises a human being.

    There is no conflict that the material which makes up a person evolved over time. I accept micro-evolution and lean in support of macro, but the latter has not been demonstrated empirically so I withhold consent on it.

    A person however is comprised of both body & spirit. The latter does not evolve so the religious person shouldn’t have any issue with science in its claims. The problem with many religious is that they don’t know what makes up a human either and therefore accept they valid religious beliefs but reject valid scientific ones.

    So IMO their both double minded because they simply lack knowledge.

    Modern science was developed by the church and those scientist’s being good monks and priest had no problem grasping these concepts. The conflict started when the atheist pushed ideologies on scientific searches (sorry I couldn’t resist) and the reformation loss the meaning of what it means to be human.

  2. thewordofme says:

    Hi Qboa, I hope you have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

    You agree?? That is shocking…give me a moment to regain my composure. 🙂

    You write:
    “There is no conflict that the material which makes up a person evolved over time. I accept micro-evolution and lean in support of macro, but the latter has not been demonstrated empirically so I withhold consent on it.”

    Do you accept that we all have a common ancestor from maybe 3.9 billion years ago…that we are related to the first bacterium, the first fish, etc.?? Do you believe that we are now at the end of a long line of hominids that originated in Africa maybe 2.5 to 3 million years ago and slowly spread over the face of the earth, and we humans were counted in the millions when Adam and Eve were supposed to have been created?

    Did God take a couple of unenlightened Cro-Magnons or Akkadians 6000+- years ago and infuse them with some kind of spiritual goo and tell Moses to call them Adam and Eve? Does the Church even believe in Moses or Adam and Eve anymore? Evidence is pretty much against them.

    You write:
    “A person however is comprised of both body & spirit…”

    Define “spirit”

    I don’t think I have ever seen anybody who was under the spell of the “spirit” or infused with it and I have a hard time accepting this as a true happening. I have seen the people in a Pentecostal service speak in tongues and rolling about and found it really silly and had a really hard time thinking of those people as normal after that.

    I have talked to some people who were totally serious and obsessed with the “Power of Jesus” and when I looked into their eyes…they were scary, and seemed a million miles away and although I don’t believe in Satan or Demons or such, the first thought that came to me was of a Devil in their heads (that Christian upbringing raising its head).

    Altogether I don’t believe I have seen or experienced any revealed spiritual phenomenon or person who was in a real spiritual/religious state.

    I have been in a state of denial or love or forgiveness or happiness and however many other sates there are…but never a religious state. I have never felt (despite actually trying when I was a child of 10 or 12) anything resembling spirituality. Never felt like there was something other than what can be seen or felt or measured. No prayers were ever answered when I was actually trying to believe, or later as silly tests. No Demons were ever conjured up by experimenting as a young adult. In total I don’t believe there is a spirit or spirits of any kind that has ever been or ever will be.

    There is no Satan, no Demons, no spirits, no God.

    I see it as clearly as I see the mountains by my home. I see down through time and places and I measure what I see against what I know from long study and experiences and living in this world with constant contact with real people and I see no God that was ever active on this planet. I see rampant conning of simple people who never bother to learn anything after grade school, who never question what people of authority or politicians or the church minister/pastor/rabbi/priest tell them. I see people who grow up with their parent’s religion and who each believe that this religion is the only one that has real access to the truth.

    If God has spoken…how is it that everyone doesn’t know the truth?

    You write:
    “…The conflict started when the atheist pushed ideologies on scientific searches (sorry I couldn’t resist)…”

    I don’t know if atheists pushed ideologies on scientists or atheists picked up on what science was developing and realized that it (new knowledge) could be used to refute what religion had been trying to shove down our throats. Over many thousands of years, as our human knowledge base expands, thousands of beliefs that were once attributed to supernatural/magic in the past have been shown to be natural events or happenings…and conversely, no natural event has ever been shown to be supernatural or magic…ever. It’s been a one way flow, showing that there is no supernatural in this world.

    All friendly arguments aside Qboa, I wish you the best in the New Year that is almost upon us.
    twom

  3. A Merry Christmas to you. It’s Christmas until Jan. 6th. I’m a stickler on the point because the secular society has taken so much of the meaning out of Christmas and the Christians have failed to address it. But a happy new year to you. I don’t celebrate those pagan celebrations, but I did when I was young.

    TWOM: Do you accept that we all have a common ancestor from maybe 3.9 billion years ago…that we are related to the first bacterium, the first fish, etc.?

    QB: No of course not. That hasn’t been demonstrated, your free to hold that myth, but don’t force it on anyone else.

    Do you believe bacterium is God?

    Perhaps the religious should have been grateful to be descended from apes instead;>) I rather like In the beginning God created bacterium.

    TWOM:We are now at the end of a long line of hominids that originated in Africa maybe 2.5 to 3 million years ago and slowly spread over the face of the earth…

    QB: The average number of generations needed to achieve even a single point mutation in a particular gene is around 100,000 generations. Then you have to have the mutation fit in the right place to achieve anything meaningful since there are only about 35,000 genes in a base of three billion genes for humans. So I figure ruffly the odds are 1 in 30 trillion of success. But if you have a population of say 100 million primates in Africa we can reduce the odds to say 30 million years. If you had that population back 1.5 billion years ago. Sadly there isn’t any evidence of that happening. So I don’t think you have enough time to mutate. This doesn’t mean your wrong, science may find something else that triggers an acceleration, but the fundamentalist aren’t wrong at this point.

    TWOM: and we humans were counted in the millions when Adam and Eve were supposed to have been created?

    QB: Ah, here is where the fundamentalist would be wise to change their view. Those that hold to 6,000 years of human existence are clearly in the wrong, but that doesn’t make a case against the biblical story just the interpretation of it.

    It would seem the evidence points to the human gene pool starting in Africa. Now given the time it takes for mutations to occur, what are the odds of making several mutations all at the same time in the same local region? I think you’d likely be up against the creation of the universe if not longer, which means you’d need the mutations to exist before the earth existed. So its likely that humans evolved from a single set of parents, just as described in the bible.

    But again that just means certain Christians have to give up their fixation on a literal age of Adam as 6,000 years. That IMO is not very hard.

    TWOM: Does the Church even believe in Moses or Adam and Eve anymore? Evidence is pretty much against them.

    QB: Adam in Hebrew simply means “man” his actual name isn’t known. That he existed is a belief, but not the time frame that he existed.

    TWOM: Define Spirit.

    QB: Genesis 2:7 And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.

    Note that the term “man” and then the living soul was breaded into him. The soul is the spiritual principle of God within man. The ability to love, to seek truth, justice, compassion etc. is the spirit of God in man.

    TWOM: Altogether I don’t believe I have seen or experienced any revealed spiritual phenomenon or person who was in a real spiritual/religious state.

    QB: No offense intended, but note that everywhere without exception you mentioned feelings (subjective to the individual) and senses(material). You can’t come to a know of the spiritual seeking it that way.

    TWOM: I see rampant conning of simple people who never bother to learn anything after grade school, who never question what people of authority or politicians or the church minister/pastor/rabbi/priest tell them. I see people who grow up with their parent’s religion and who each believe that this religion is the only one that has real access to the truth.

    QB: Yes indeed I agree with you. There is much of that going on. It seems to me that many simply want to be told what to believe rather then questioning their beliefs. That’s much harder work. God did say the road is narrow.

    TWOM: If God has spoken…how is it that everyone doesn’t know the truth?

    QB: It’s written in everyone’s heart/soul. Ever see two 2 year olds with their toys? When one takes the others toy, they both know right away that its wrong. When they are older they know when they lie, when they hit/assault someone that its wrong. We are wired that way, because we have souls. So in that sense you don’t need a religion to tell you that. However one needs religion because God did provided us with free will and because of the fall we are now flawed and can’t chose the right without His help. However, He doesn’t force it on us. The end product however is much better then making everyone good and having no free will don’t you think?

  4. thewordofme says:

    Hi Qboa, I hope you are well.

    I don’t celebrate them myself, but I thought you probably did as I assume you are Catholic.

    Anyway, good holidays to you.

    Regarding Common ancestry you write:
    “QB: No of course not. That hasn’t been demonstrated, your free to hold that myth, but don’t force it on anyone else.”

    I wouldn’t dream of forcing anything upon you Qboa. I would however direct you to Richard Dawkin’s new book “The Greatest Show on Earth.” If you ever run across it in your library it’s worth a read. He explains much better than I ever could how most scientists have come to this conclusion. The explanation is very logical and straight forward and rings true.

    You write:
    “Do you believe bacterium is God?”

    I doubt it, but that is inconsequential to our argument. Perhaps a God did created the “first” bacterium…and then floated away.

    You write:
    “QB: The average number of generations needed to achieve even a single point mutation in a particular gene is around 100,000 generations. Then you have to have the mutation fit in the right place to achieve anything meaningful since there are only about 35,000 genes in a base of three billion genes for humans. So I figure ruffly the odds are 1 in 30 trillion of success. But if you have a population of say 100 million primates in Africa we can reduce the odds to say 30 million years. If you had that population back 1.5 billion years ago. Sadly there isn’t any evidence of that happening. So I don’t think you have enough time to mutate. This doesn’t mean your wrong, science may find something else that triggers an acceleration, but the fundamentalist aren’t wrong at this point.

    Statistics aside, we know what happened and we pretty much know the sequence and the timeline. The odds of winning the Powerball lottery are pretty big, but people seem to keep winning. For the roughly 4 billion years that life has been on this earth the odds may be high,
    but it did happen.

    You write:
    “QB: Ah, here is where the fundamentalist would be wise to change their view. Those that hold to 6,000 years of human existence are clearly in the wrong, but that doesn’t make a case against the biblical story just the interpretation of it.”

    What makes a case against the Biblical story is that we have the timeline and we have the physical evidence of who, how, where, and when…incomplete as it is it still explains much better than the Bible. The science and the bible do not synchronize at all and the science is checkable and peer reviewed many times over.

    The Bibles wording of the creation event leaves no doubt in my mind that we’re talking literal days not day ages or a thousand years is as a day…godly time.

    You write:
    “It would seem the evidence points to the human gene pool starting in Africa. Now given the time it takes for mutations to occur, what are the odds of making several mutations all at the same time in the same local region? I think you’d likely be up against the creation of the universe if not longer, which means you’d need the mutations to exist before the earth existed. So its likely that humans evolved from a single set of parents, just as described in the bible.”

    Yes, lots of evidence for the out of Africa theory, but there is still some emerging evidence for a two point Genesis…Asia keeps getting mentioned and the ages keep going back. I just found out yesterday that all humans carry a single gene that determines skin color. Whether it’s off or on or somewhere in the middle determines our color. Same “race” for us all, just a gene placement difference and we could be slaves or worse.

    You write:
    “QB: Adam in Hebrew simply means “man” his actual name isn’t known. That he existed is a belief, but not the time frame that he existed.”

    How about 200,000 or 300,000 years ago?

    You write:
    “QB: Genesis 2:7 And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.”

    So spirit is our soul, that thing that has never been seen or measured or documented in any way? I would argue that man has “The ability to love, to seek truth, justice, compassion etc.” innate in him when born, and the ability to hate , lie, kill, act evil, etc. as well. What probably makes the most difference is the nurturing received when growing up. Men have always known what evil and good were.

    You write:
    “QB: No offense intended, but note that everywhere without exception you mentioned feelings (subjective to the individual) and senses(material). You can’t come to a know of the spiritual seeking it that way.

    Sorry Qboa, I’m not quite sure of what you are saying here. The last sentence escapes me.

    You write:
    “Yes indeed I agree with you. There is much of that going on. It seems to me that many simply want to be told what to believe rather then questioning their beliefs. That’s much harder work. God did say the road is narrow.”

    Most people of the fundagelical bent have no idea what is going on with their religion or with science in the real world. They have closed minds and their leaders prefer to keep it that way. Wide is the road to destruction and narrow is the road to life…(Paraphrased) is that the one? Matt 7:13,14

    “TWOM: If God has spoken…how is it that everyone doesn’t know the truth? QB: It’s written in everyone’s heart/soul. Ever see two 2 year olds with their toys? When one takes the others toy, they both know right away that its wrong. When they are older they know when they lie, when they hit/assault someone that its wrong. We are wired that way, because we have souls. So in that sense you don’t need a religion to tell you that. However one needs religion because God did provided us with free will and because of the fall we are now flawed and can’t chose the right without His help. However, He doesn’t force it on us. The end product however is much better then making everyone good and having no free will don’t you think?”

    As I wrote way above, men have always known good from evil, and it’s well known all over the world, and I personally don’t think anyone forgets this. All the people I know (many are atheist or agnostic, most are Christian whether they practice or not) are aware of the difference between good and bad, and strive to be good…successfully. I follow no sky spirit and I am still driven to treat people well; whether they are friends, family, new or old acquaintances, stranger on the road in need of help. The ‘Golden Rule’ covers all, and I believe in it strongly. Free will has never entered in to my equations.

    Peace.

    twom

  5. TWOM: I would however direct you to Richard Dawkin’s new book “The Greatest Show on Earth.” If you ever run across it in your library it’s worth a read. He explains much better than I ever could how most scientists have come to this conclusion. The explanation is very logical and straight forward and rings true.

    QB: Mercy your asking me to read Dawkin’s again. Ok, I’ll put him on the list again for you. He’s not your movements best example.

    TWOM: Statistics aside, we know what happened and we pretty much know the sequence and the timeline. The odds of winning the Powerball lottery are pretty big, but people seem to keep winning. For the roughly 4 billion years that life has been on this earth the odds may be high, but it did happen.

    QB: Sorry, my point is that the math and science don’t add up to a viable solution. The process by which science explains it, doesn’t allow for enough time for it to occur as we know the age of the earth and the universe. Given that fact and given the fact we are here doesn’t validate the science, it demonstrates that the theory is flawed and needs to be reworked. Meanwhile the creation story isn’t uprooted.

    TWOM: What makes a case against the Biblical story is that we have the timeline and we have the physical evidence of who, how, where, and when…incomplete as it is it still explains much better than the Bible. The science and the bible do not synchronize at all and the science is checkable and peer reviewed many times over.
    The Bibles wording of the creation event leaves no doubt in my mind that we’re talking literal days not day ages or a thousand years is as a day…godly time.

    QB: You support a solar day theory in the creation story yet don’t believe in God. Why would you do so? You should at least be open to the possibility of a non-literal day without being fixed on either position

    Traditionally there have been any number of views allegorical or literal taken, which is to say that there has never been a consensus on the topic.

    The difficulty with Genesis is that it in not like hymns, parables, poetry, or liturgy. It’s likely historical prose, but I wouldn’t venture much past that point. It’s hard to place and given that it was passed down orally and the writer obviously wasn’t a witness to the event, the text can move from God perspective to man’s. Ancient writers in the east often wrote differently then we do today. It was common to write sequence historical material by topic, rather than in strict chronological order.

    TWOM: Yes, lots of evidence for the out of Africa theory, but there is still some emerging evidence for a two point Genesis…Asia keeps getting mentioned and the ages keep going back. I just found out yesterday that all humans carry a single gene that determines skin color. Whether it’s off or on or somewhere in the middle determines our color. Same “race” for us all, just a gene placement difference and we could be slaves or worse.

    QB: Agreed, but that’s micro evolution not macro. Everyone accepts micro because we witness it in everyday life.

    TWOM: How about 200,000 or 300,000 years ago?

    QB: No problem from the Catholic view.

    Quote Pope Benedict XVI : While the story of human origins is complex and subject to revision, physical anthropology and molecular biology combine to make a convincing case for the origin of the human species in Africa about 150,000 years ago in a humanoid population of common genetic lineage. (#63)
    http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/cfaith/cti_documents/rc_con_cfaith_doc_20040723_communion-stewardship_en.html

    TWOM: I would argue that man has “The ability to love, to seek truth, justice, compassion etc.” innate in him when born, and the ability to hate , lie, kill, act evil, etc. as well. What probably makes the most difference is the nurturing received when growing up. Men have always known what evil and good were.

    QB: Yes we are they are born with it, yet will you say that those creatures prior to homo sapiens possessed that as well? If not then you have to show me the DNA sequence that this developed.
    And good and evil in the atheist system is relative not absolute, which isn’t really what good and evil really means.

    TWOM: Sorry Qboa, I’m not quite sure of what you are saying here. The last sentence escapes me.

    QB: Ok, spirit is inmaterial and your saying you haven’t found it based on material observations (which of course you can’t its inmaterial) and emotions which are subjective and not spiritual. So its no wonder you can’t “find” it. Observing the spiritual is found under virtues and vices. Without grabbing hold of faith I can’t help you further along then that.

    TWOM: Most people of the fundagelical bent have no idea what is going on with their religion or with science in the real world. They have closed minds and their leaders prefer to keep it that way. Wide is the road to destruction and narrow is the road to life…(Paraphrased) is that the one? Matt 7:13,14

    QB: I think that’s pretty harsh of them, but I respect your personal experience in it. I’ve seen some of this as well, but mostly its in response to what they would view has harmful to them which they have a lot of experience themselves to avoid.

    TWOM: All the people I know (many are atheist or agnostic, most are Christian whether they practice or not) are aware of the difference between good and bad, and strive to be good…successfully.

    QB: No you haven’t described the human condition. We fail at this almost hourly and pat ourselves on the back for it. Most of humanity (including Christians) most of the time act more like Buddhist rather then Christians.

    Here is what Christians are required to do, as you’ll notice we fail at all of them and when we do accomplish a little its due to God not us.
    Matthew 5-
    * Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. (Verse 3)
    * Blessed are the meek: for they shall possess the land. (Verse 4)
    * Blessed are they who mourn: for they shall be comforted. (Verse 5)
    * Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after justice: for they shall have their fill. (Verse 6)
    * Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy. (Verse 7)
    * Blessed are the clean of heart: for they shall see God. (Verse 8)
    * Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God. (Verse 9)
    * Blessed are they that suffer persecution for justice’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. (Verse 10)

    The 10 commandments are easy compared to the Beatitudes.

    Blessings to you & yours.

    Tom

  6. thewordofme says:

    Hi Qboa, thanks for your reply.

    You write:
    “Mercy your asking me to read Dawkin’s again. Ok, I’ll put him on the list again for you. He’s not your movements best example.

    “Hangs head in shame” Yeah I know, he’s like that weird uncle who doesn’t get out much. However, his science is spot on, and in the new book he explains evolution better than anyone I have read so far, and very easy to understand for anyone who is just a little bit literate…like me…not much theist bashing in this one. 🙂

    You write:
    “ Sorry, my point is that the math and science don’t add up to a viable solution. The process by which science explains it, doesn’t allow for enough time for it to occur as we know the age of the earth and the universe. Given that fact and given the fact we are here doesn’t validate the science, it demonstrates that the theory is flawed and needs to be reworked. Meanwhile the creation story isn’t uprooted.”

    I think understanding some of the finer points in evolution and biology make it easier to assimilate and see how none of this depends on statistics. “Life will find a way.” (Line from Jurassic Park…sorry)

    You write:
    “You support a solar day theory in the creation story yet don’t believe in God. Why would you do so? You should at least be open to the possibility of a non-literal day without being fixed on either position. Traditionally there have been any number of views allegorical or literal taken, which is to say that there has never been a consensus on the topic.

    Well I do read the Bible, and the words that are there seem to leave no room for day age theory. Just my opinion of what’s in front of me. One can read the book without believing in God and you can form opinions on the literary form and information in it without going to Seminary. If someone has the words that can convince me otherwise, I can adjust…I don’t consider myself an expert. 🙂

    I found this line on the internet a few days ago and haven’t had time to check it out yet:

    “Saint Augustine… laid down an important principle … that if a scriptural text contradicts science, you must give it an allegorical interpretation.”

    You write:
    “The difficulty with Genesis is that it in not like hymns, parables, poetry, or liturgy. It’s likely historical prose, but I wouldn’t venture much past that point. It’s hard to place and given that it was passed down orally and the writer obviously wasn’t a witness to the event, the text can move from God perspective to man’s. Ancient writers in the east often wrote differently then we do today. It was common to write sequence historical material by topic, rather than in strict chronological order.”

    So Genesis was supposed to be written by Moses in…what…1700-1800 BC? And he’s writing about events that took place a few billion years before his time? The narrative just doesn’t hold up at all. Besides that, Genesis probably wasn’t written by Moses…and we don’t know for sure that Moses existed. See quote above by St. Augustine.

    You write:
    “Agreed, but that’s micro evolution not macro. Everyone accepts micro because we witness it in everyday life.”

    Unfortunately macro takes much longer than human lifetimes so the proofs are harder to discern, but science does have some pretty good full lines of descent in fossils and more to come. Also Dawkins book goes into macro and explains it well.

    You write:
    “Quote Pope Benedict XVI : While the story of human origins is complex and subject to revision, physical anthropology and molecular biology combine to make a convincing case for the origin of the human species in Africa about 150,000 years ago in a humanoid population of common genetic lineage. (#63)”

    The Pope is following the science of course, but the times are getting longer the more we find. 200,000 years…or more…is now fairly widely accepted.

    You write:
    “Yes we are they are born with it, (ability to love, hate, etc.) yet will you say that those creatures prior to homo sapiens possessed that as well? If not then you have to show me the DNA sequence that this developed. And good and evil in the atheist system is relative not absolute, which isn’t really what good and evil really means.

    Well, we think the evidence shows that Homo-Neanderthal made musical instruments, decorated human burials with flowers, cared for their disabled. I think that shows that good existed in their lives. They were not fully human as the DNA is different than ours by a small percentage.

    You write:
    “Ok, spirit is inmaterial and your saying you haven’t found it based on material observations (which of course you can’t its inmaterial) and emotions which are subjective and not spiritual. So its no wonder you can’t “find” it. Observing the spiritual is found under virtues and vices. Without grabbing hold of faith I can’t help you further along then that.”

    I keep my eyes and ears on the lookout for spiritual people and happenings. I do the same for any signs of real supernatural or magical people or happenings.

    You write:
    I think that’s pretty harsh of them, but I respect your personal experience in it. I’ve seen some of this as well, but mostly its in response to what they would view has harmful to them which they have a lot of experience themselves to avoid.

    Mostly the fundagelicals. I think deep down they know that what their dogma is telling them is stupid and proven wrong, but are unable to deal with it for one reason or another. Probably due to inability to move out of their intellectual comfort zone.

    You write:
    “No you haven’t described the human condition. We fail at this almost hourly and pat ourselves on the back for it. Most of humanity (including Christians) most of the time act more like Buddhist rather then Christians.”

    A recent poll found out that very many “Christians” pick and choose what they will believe from the Bible or church sponsored dogma. I guess that accounts for the plethora of denominations. Again I posit that this is a sure sign that religion is false, for a true and real God would be noticed by all in the world, and all would worship Him/Her.

    You write:
    “Here is what Christians are required to do, as you’ll notice we fail at all of them and when we do accomplish a little its due to God not us.
    Matthew 5-
    * Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. (Verse 3)
    * Blessed are the meek: for they shall possess the land. (Verse 4)
    * Blessed are they who mourn: for they shall be comforted. (Verse 5)
    * Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after justice: for they shall have their fill. (Verse 6)
    * Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy. (Verse 7)
    * Blessed are the clean of heart: for they shall see God. (Verse
    * Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God. (Verse 9)
    * Blessed are they that suffer persecution for justice’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. (Verse 10)”

    So we are required to be poor in spirit, meek, mourning always, hungry for justice, merciful, with a clean heart (what does that mean?), peacemakers, and suffering. I qualify for at least 5 or 6 of these. Same with the 10 commandments.
    Peace
    twom

  7. TWOM: Well I do read the Bible, and the words that are there seem to leave no room for day age theory. Just my opinion of what’s in front of me. One can read the book without believing in God and you can form opinions on the literary form and information in it without going to Seminary. If someone has the words that can convince me otherwise, I can adjust…I don’t consider myself an expert.

    QB: Well your opinion certainly isn’t invalid, but there is believe it or not a science to reading the Bible called hermeneutics and the interpretation is Exegesis. Sadly most of us don’t engage the text that way and draw any number of false or conflicting conclusions. That doesn’t mean that any individual can’t read an understand the bible its just when your trying to draw inferences from the bible to support something that it is not intended (science & history) you need quite a bit of formal training and rarely can you draw absolute conclusions on it.

    I doubt St. Augustine used the term science but he did support the concept that one not to depart from the literal sense, except only where reason makes it untenable or necessity requires. But even then there is still a literal sense in all scripture, but the meaning is unclear. The problem is that many have difficulty with accepting that there are some passages in scripture that we don’t understand and they feel compelled to make an explanation up.

    TWOM: The Pope is following the science of course, but the times are getting longer the more we find. 200,000 years…or more…is now fairly widely accepted.

    QB: My point was that the church isn’t opposed to science not that 150K years was the limit. I will say that 600,000 years is the limit since that’s the last ice age.

    TWOM: A recent poll found out that very many “Christians” pick and choose what they will believe from the Bible or church sponsored dogma. I guess that accounts for the plethora of denominations. Again I posit that this is a sure sign that religion is false, for a true and real God would be noticed by all in the world, and all would worship Him/Her.

    QB: Indeed disunity is a scandal for Christianity. But really even if we were united who that persuade you to consider the faith? I don’t think so.

    TWOM: So we are required to be poor in spirit, meek, mourning always, hungry for justice, merciful, with a clean heart (what does that mean?), peacemakers, and suffering. I qualify for at least 5 or 6 of these. Same with the 10 commandments.

    QB: I didn’t mean that atheist are less moral then Christians if that was what your suggesting. Simply that Christians may tout the 10 commandments, but never the 8 beatitudes because they are much more difficult. Clean of heart means right intentions , no false motive in doing or not doing some act.

    • Thomas Riley says:

      “The average number of generations needed to achieve even a single point mutation in a particular gene is around 100,000 generations.”

      Good thing I know genetics more than the average, because I caught this “Creationist” error.

      This is a blatant lie. Now, there are genes that tend not to change as fast as others, this is because they play a vital role in the organism, and if changed in certain places, their function ceases and the organism may not develop correctly, or not develop at all. This occurs because organisms build on, through successive generations, multiple genes that all work together to perform a particular function.

      There are places that they can change easier than others in the strand of DNA. The per 100,000 generations is a lie though. Being that there are billions of base pairs in organisms, we do genetic mutation rates as per base pair per generation. The average between all life per generation(each birth) is 1 base pair change per 100,000,000. That means if you were the average organism and you have 5 billion base pairs, you would have 50 base pair changes via mutations, making new proteins, shutting off old proteins, or altering prior proteins, or doing nothing at all. (most do nothing at all). Populations evolve, not individuals, so that means, with a population of 50 million individuals, you would end up having a lot of variance over a few hundred generations. Speed natural selection up via strong selective pressures on a large population and you can have large changes in population traits in a relatively small number of generations.

      We humans have 3 billion base pairs(letters). Not on the dot, but I am simplifying it. The largest genome of any animal recorded so far is 152 billion letters in a plant species, a very simple one at that. This is because there is a lot of junk DNA accumulation per generation, you have duplication mutations, inversions, translocations of segments, chromosomal duplications, inversions, etc. These all change protein structures and give new functions in so many ways including jumping in the middle of old functioning proteins, making new ones, giving more of the protein than normal, etc.

      So basically, the 100,000 generation thing is bullshit. Made my creationists or misinterpreted by creationist in some way, in order to trick the layman. And also humans have about 25 thousand genes, not 35 thousand

      http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/10/101007120641.htm

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