The Power of God


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A Sane and Logical God

Would a sane and logical God create as many as 80 sextillion stars (update–300 sextillion is new estimate-12-2010) in an observable universe that is about 93,000,000,000 light years ( a light year as distance is about 6 trillion miles) in diameter, all because he wanted to lord over a few people here on earth 6,000 years ago?

Why would a God this powerful and omnipotent want the adoration of a group of goat herders and set in motion the obscene sequence of events on this poor planet that has resulted in the unimaginable horrors that human history has witnessed?

Why would an all-powerful being that has an intellect and (reputed) powers that us mere humans could not even fully comprehend, want a bunch of savages to pray and idolize Him/Her/It and want to tell these “chosen” people how to live, what to eat, how far to set up a latrine from your camp tents, etc., etc.?

Why would an omniscient, all seeing, all knowing God even think up the god-awful stupid melodrama of “Original Sin” and sending a “son” to earth to be a “human” sacrifice to expiate our non-existent “sins”?

How can a loving, caring, compassionate God sit on His/Her/It’s throne and watch the millions and millions (probably billions) of agonizing, excruciating, horrible, bloody deaths of pure innocent humans…women, children, infants, and men who are doing nothing more than trying to care for their families.

How can this omniscient being possibly justify all the misery He/She/It has caused to be suffered by my brothers and sisters on this lonely planet spinning around a third rate star in a third rate galaxy?

But, the best question of all…how can so many people believe this crap with all the stupidly nonsensical,  non-logical, and seriously demented stories?
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Human Origins at the Smithsonian Musuem

“I do not fear death. I had been dead for billions and billions of years before I was born, and had not suffered the slightest inconvenience from it.” -Mark Twain

The Smithsonian Museum has a new exhibit at the David H. Koch Hall of Human Origins in Washington, DC.  The exhibit will take you through about 6 million years of pre-human and human history.  Their website can be found HERE

“The strong similarities between humans and the African great apes led Darwin in 1871 to predict that Africa was the likely place where the human lineage branched off from other animals – that is, the place where the common ancestor of chimpanzees, humans, and gorillas once lived. The DNA evidence shows an amazing confirmation of this daring prediction. The African great apes, including humans, have a closer kinship bond with one another than the African apes have with orangutans or other primates. Hardly ever has a scientific prediction so bold, so ‘out there’ for its time, been upheld as the one made in 1871 – that human evolution began in Africa.

The DNA evidence informs this conclusion, and the fossils do, too. Even though Europe and Asia were scoured for early human fossils long before Africa was even thought of, ongoing fossil discoveries confirm that the first 4 million years or so of human evolutionary history took place exclusively on the African continent. It is there that the search continues for fossils at or near the branching point of the chimpanzee and human lineages from our last common ancestor.  From Smithsonian: http://humanorigins.si.edu/evidence/genetics

The Missing Links

Some of our missing links and when they lived.
Note that some or all of these times and general information may change as new data emerges or new finds are made.  Sorry, that’s the way science is.

Ardipithicus ramidus
The Ardipithecus specimen, an adult female, stood four feet tall and weighed about 120 pounds, almost a foot taller and twice the weight of Lucy. Its brain was no larger than a modern chimp’s. It retained agility for tree-climbing but already walked upright on two legs, a transforming innovation in hominids, though not as efficiently as Lucy’s kin.  4.4mya to ??

Australopithecus afarensis
The most famous member of the species is Lucy, an adult female skeleton discovered in 1974 and nicknamed after a Beatles song. Lucy lived about 3.18 million years ago and was fully capable of walking and running on two legs.

Australopithecus africanus
A. africanus was an early descendent of Lucy and lived in Southern Africa between 2 million and 3 million years ago. Its brain was larger than Lucy’s and its facial features were more human-like.  Recent finds are probably going to push this timeline further back in time.

Paranthropus aethiopicus
This early ape-like hominid walked on two legs and lived between 2.8 million and 2.2 million years ago. Based on skull measurements, scientists concluded this species had the smallest adult hominid brain ever discovered.

Paranthropus bosei
It is believed that P. Bosei split from the line leading to modern human some 2 million years ago and lived alongside our ancestors for hundreds of thousands of years, but died out after failing to adapt their diets.

Homo habilis
Many scientists believe H. habilis is the missing link between the ape-like hominids like Lucy and the more human-like ones that came after. They had long ape-like arms, but walked on two feet and were capable of creating tools.  2.2 mya to 1.6 mya

Homo ergaster
Scientists can’t decide whether this African hominid is just a failed predecessor of H. erectus or the rightful ancestor of modern humans. It had a thinner skull than H. erectus and was more proficient at making tools and using fire.  2 mya to 1.5 mya

Homo erectus
H. erectus is generally believed to be the direct ancestor of modern humans and also the first hominid to live in caves and tame fire.  2 mya to 400,000 years ago.

Cro-Magnon/Homo sapiens
These people were modern humans and lived in Europe from about 65 to 50,000 BC to present. They are found in Africa from about 200,000 years ago to present. Found in Australia from about 50,000 years ago to present.  Their cave paintings, petroglyphs, and sculptures are the earliest known examples of art by a prehistoric people.

Neanderthal
Stocky, muscular, squat and well suited for the cold, Neanderthals looked distinctly different from modern humans. But they were like us in other ways: they buried their dead, cared for their sick and injured and were probably capable of language and music. Bones of Neanderthal have been found in Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. Scientists not long ago put together a complete Neanderthal skeleton, and have just this year (2009), completed their genome. They have a 99.5% gene match to us humans.  250,000 years ago to about 30,000 years ago.

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Old Biblical Stories…Redux

I spent a lot of time on this reply, it needs to be on the blog front page.

Hi Marianne, Thank you for writing.

You write:”
I am a scientist that is paying attention. I have spent 30 years in biochemistry, which includes cell biology, toxicology, pharmacology, inflammation, biophysics of DNA and RNA, and medical research in general.

Great, I’ve always wanted to talk to someone in the research. If you are comfortable with it, could you tell me where you received your degree, what degree you have, and what particular field you work in today?

You write:
“Most scientists do not have any proof for what you say. It is all just “tradition.” They just assume evolution did this, and evolution did that. There is no proof. What the lay person perceives as proof is just scientific speculation, based on this traditional thinking.”

So are you saying here that you do not agree with or accept evolution?
How old do you think the earth and our universe is?

You write:
“you make several unsubstantiated comments. Like Noah did not exist. Well there are records of him, just like there are records of Julius Caesar. There was a garden of eden, and the description of what happened to it is consistent with the syrian african rift – most of it fell into this pit. The bible knew about this rift before modern science did. And the descriptions of the Garden match up with local areas, if you understand tectonic plate shifts.”

Here is what I actually wrote in my reply to your earlier post:
“Looking around and paying attention and studying the world we find the evidence that there never was a world-wide flood, which means we are not descended from Noah’s 3 sons. We find that real humans have been walking the earth for at least 200,000 years (means that there was no Adam and Eve as the Bible relates), which also means there was no fall from grace in the Garden of Eden, which means there is no Original Sin…which also means there is no need for a redeemer (Jesus) for our (non-existent) original sin .”

I did not say Noah never existed (although I do doubt that he did) I said there is NO evidence of his supposed flood, and you will find the evidence for this fact is all over the internet. You say there are records of him…could you perhaps guide me to them?

Regarding the Garden of Eden, there are many stories and guesses as to where it was. The Discovery and Nat Geo channels have had a few specials  about that, and it has variously been placed in Turkey, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Ethiopia, and Kenya. The Great Rift Valley which goes through Ethiopia, Kenya, and Tanzania, and goes right by the Afar depression…you know where Lucy and her brethrens bones are found, also the border area between Namibia and South Africa, and probably other places I haven’t heard about.  Yes, I am familiar with plate tectonics

The Largest DNA study on record at this time is the IBM, Nat Geo Genome Project which has over 350,000 DNA samples right now, and they are showing all the existing human bloodlines come from Africa, primarily the Ethiopian, Kenya area and the border area between Namibia and South Africa.

And why would there be a Garden of Eden if Adam and Eve did not exist?

You write:
“I do not accept the Jewish archeologist denying the Exodus or Joshua. I say the opposite. They are uncovering new evidence every day. They have sites where the Red Sea was crossed, and the pharoah’s chariots are still down there, under water. THey also have sites where the Israelites offered sacrifices in the desert, with hebrew symbols. The israelites were instructed to leave markers along their journey, and these markers have been found. “

You do not accept the Archaeological evidence? Do you have other scientific evidence that refutes this? Is this part of your field today? Also it’s not just one archaeologist.

There has never been a discovery of Pharaohs chariots in the Red Sea, or the Reed Sea for that matter, and believe me they have been looked for.  If you insist there is…could you please point me to the evidence, as I have scoured the internet for almost three years now for evidence of this (and other Biblical things) and have had no luck at all.

To the best of my knowledge many, many archaeologists have scoured the Sinai for a hundred years looking for any evidence at all that over a million Hebrews wandered there for 40 years and have found absolutely nothing.  There is even no evidence at Kadesh-Barnea where a million Hebrews supposedly spent the majority of their time during this 40 years.  You know that the evidence of Joshua defeating the town of Jericho and Ai are lacking also, don’t you?  I haven’t heard anything at all about markers.

You write:
“Most modern church and theology seminaries are getting away from the truth, not going toward it. Much is crap. They need the holy spirit to know truth, not a man getting paid a salary. He is just a hireling.”

I guessing here that you are an evangelical fundamentalist and believe in the literal Bible as being inerrant in all matters. Would I be right?  I think a lot of what the modern church and seminaries are doing is trying to keep up with the emerging science that somehow impinges on religion.  This is what’s going on with the Old Testament and Genesis specifically. The circumstantial evidence against Adam and Eve, Noah’s flood, Tower of Babel, Exodus, Joshua, and the subsequent fallout from these stories being false…nothing but myth, is changing our world of religious thought. Denying facts do not make them go away.

You write:
“As far as time on the earth, no data is any better than the tool that measures it. There is no realistic tool that can measure over 500o years. The rest is speculation, and going off the standard curve, which is bad science.”

Have you heard of Potassium Argon dating?  There are also about 20 or 30 radioactive element methods of dating besides the common C-14

Also there are the following:
Absolute dating
Amino acid dating
Astronomical chronology
Biochronology
Datestone
Dendrochronology

Electron spin resonance
Fluorine absorption dating
Ice-Core dating
Iodine-xenon dating
Law of superposition
Obsidian hydration dating
Oxidizable carbon ratio dating
Principle of faunal succession
Relative dating
Thermoluminescence dating

I’m sure I’ve missed one or two…but then you know all this as a scientist.

Dendrochronology can go back 11,000 years now. Not helpful in the Sinai, but useful in other parts of Israel…to sometimes fact check the old stories.

You might want to check out an older post of mine here: https://thewordofme.wordpress.com/2009/06/06/carbon-dating-and-the-bible

In it I reference a Christian writer and scientist who actually works in the age-dating field. I have there a link to a PDF file about age-dating that the man wrote especially for Christians. Also I will post his contact data here: Dr. Roger C. Wiens RCWiens@MSN.Com Dr. Wiens has a PhD in Physics, with a minor in Geology. His PhD thesis was on isotope ratios in meteorites, including surface exposure dating.

He was employed at Caltech’s Division of Geological & Planetary Sciences at the time of writing the first edition. He is presently employed in the Space & Atmospheric Sciences Group at the Los Alamos National Laboratory.

He has published over twenty scientific research papers and has also published articles in Christian magazines. Dr. Wiens became a Christian at a young age, and has been a member of Mennonite Brethren, General Conference Baptist, and Conservative Congregational, and Vineyard denominations.
Whole PDF article can be found at: http://www.asa3.org/ASA/resources/Wiens.html

Age Dating in the many ways and methods used by science nowadays works…there is NO real dispute about this…except from YEC’s

You write:
“If you want to know Jesus, he will make himself known to you, in a way that is unique to you.”

Is there really a need for Jesus…if there was no Adam and Eve and consequently no “Original Sin”?

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Conversation about God’s reality

The following is part of a discussion between me and a very intelligent Catholic apologist.  We have been at this off and on for many months now and I truly enjoy “talking” with him

Qb: “Now wait a minute. 1) If you believe that man was alive around 250,000 years ago then that’s when Adam was around not 6,000 BC. And “all the earth” can mean either the whole globe or the known world at that time (which could be localized). The moral of the story works fine in either case. You haven’t disproved the flood story by demonstrating that there wasn’t one when Creationist say Adam lived. You’ve demonstrated that either the flood was 250,000 years earlier or you’ve disproved that it was local not global. IOW’s your disproved their interpretation of scripture, you haven’t undermined the bible’s moral story that humanity pays for its sins.”

Me: No, actually there is no evidence for a world –wide flood…ever.  There has been no time in at least the last 100 million years that I (courtesy of science) know of, when the earth was completely covered with water.  The Biblical story doesn’t make much sense if it is interpreted as a local flood.  Why go to all that trouble to build a boat structure (that would have actually been impossible for the times) like described in the Bible, when all you would have to do is herd the animals to the surrounding hills or mountains.

The story just doesn’t make any sense at all; in any context you try to put it.  Logic and geology and archaeology and palaeology say the story is false.  All the information given in the bible, the little and large clues about time and place and people do not lead any further back than 10,000 years, and for thousands of years this is what organized religion has been telling people is the truth.  The Bible is 100% true in all matters they say.  This Christian book is the be-all-end-all in the life of man.  2 Timothy 3:16-17 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. This is supposedly one of the Pastoral Epistles of Paul, but was probably written a hundred years after his death by an anonymous author so we probably should discount everything it says.

I digress…sorry.  What I am trying to say is that the Bible has these stories that the Church has been saying are true for 2000 years. It has all these chapters with all these sayings and instructions that the church has passed off as truly inspired from God and therefore true in all ways…it has ground this stuff into our brains for 2000 years…killed to further its vision…browbeat all who would dissent…demonized those who would not accept.

Now humans have grownup and we have learned about our world and its history and for the first time in over 200,000 +- years we can view and plot what has been our and our planets history.  It’s a foggy view at times, but sometimes things are crystal clear…we know things that people who lived many thousands of years ago couldn’t have even visualized or wouldn’t have thought possible.  We can prove things of the past with circumstantial evidence.

We can genetically plot the rise of man from the orangutans  or monkeys. We can genetically plot the meanderings of humanity for tens of thousands of years, across the whole face of the earth.  A real God would have known this and would not write a story that can so easily be dismissed nowadays.  The stories of the Bible are myths written by men to tell around the campfire or to entertain children…they have no basis in a real God…way to many mistakes that we can now see, they do not resonate as truth in today’s time because of the false stories that are passed off as truth…there is absolutely no sign of transcendent knowledge which we would expect a God to have.

Yes the story of Noah’s flood does have a moral, but it a false one because it tells that God will kill you if you do not bow down to him….but where is the God who tells false stories, where is a omniscient God who would know that people would pass off this story as true for 2500 years only to have it disproven later by a much smarter people…people who don’t believe in magic or demons or provably impossible myths.  There is no God…its getting clearer all the time.

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Truth Saves

Myths about Jesus…Myths in the Bible

“Many people– then and now– have assumed that these letters [of Paul] are genuine, and five of them were in fact incorporated into the New Testament as “letters of Paul.” Even today, scholars dispute which are authentic and which are not. Most scholars, however, agree that Paul actually wrote only eight of the thirteen “Pauline” letters now included in the New Testament collection: Romans, 1 and 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Philippians, 1 Thessalonians, and Philemon. Virtually all scholars agree that Paul himself did not write 1 or 2 Timothy or Titus– letters written in a style different from Paul’s and reflecting situations and viewpoints in a style different from those in Paul’s own letters. About the authorship of Ephesians, Colossians, and 2 Thessalonians, debate continues; but the majority of scholars include these, too, among the “deutero-Pauline”– literally, secondarily Pauline– letters.”
Elaine Pagels, Professor of Religion at Princeton University

“When the Church mythologists established their system, they collected all the writings they could find and managed them as they pleased. It is a matter altogether of uncertainty to us whether such of the writings as now appear under the name of the Old and New Testaments are in the same state in which those collectors say they found them, or whether they added, altered, abridged or dressed them up”.   Thomas Paine (The Age of Reason)

“All four gospels are anonymous texts. The familiar attributions of the Gospels to Matthew, Mark, Luke and John come from the mid-second century and later and we have no good historical reason to accept these attributions.”
Steve Mason, professor of religious studies, York University in Toronto

“The question must also be raised as to whether we have the actual words of Jesus in any Gospel.”  Bishop John Shelby Spong

“A generation after Jesus’ death, when the Gospels were written, the Romans had destroyed the Jerusalem Temple (in 70 C.E.); the most influential centers of Christianity were cities of the Mediterranean world such as Alexandria, Antioch, Corinth, Damascus, Ephesus and Rome. Although large numbers of Jews were also followers of Jesus, non-Jews came to predominate in the early Church. They controlled how the Gospels were written after 70 C.E.”
Bruce Chilton, Bell Professor of Religion at Bard College

“Other scholars have concluded that the Bible is the product of a purely human endeavor, that the identity of the authors is forever lost and that their work has been largely obliterated by centuries of translation and editing.”
Jeffery L. Sheler, “Who Wrote the Bible,” (U.S. News & World Report, Dec. 10, 1990)

“The clerical confessions of lies and frauds in the ponderous volumes of the Catholic Encyclopedia alone suffice …to wreck the Church and to destroy utterly the Christian religion…. The Church exists mostly for wealth and self-aggrandizement; to quit paying money to the priests would kill the whole scheme in a couple of years. This is the sovereign remedy.”
Joseph Wheless, “Forgery in Christianity”

“Enterprising spirits responded to this natural craving by pretended gospels full of romantic fables, and fantastic and striking details; their fabrications were eagerly read and accepted as true by common folk who were devoid of any critical faculty and who were predisposed to believe what so luxuriously fed their pious curiosity. Both Catholics and Gnostics were concerned in writing these fictions. The former had no motive other than that of a Pious Fraud.” Catholic Encyclopedia

Church historian, Johann Lorenz von Mosheim, writes: “The Christian Fathers deemed it a pious act to employ deception and fraud.” Again, he says: “The greatest and most pious teachers were nearly all of them infected with this leprosy.”  “Ecclesiastical History”, Vol. I, p. 347.]

Many scholars think that Eusebius interpolated his writings. In Ecclesiastical History, he writes, “We shall introduce into this history in general only those events which may be useful first to ourselves and afterwards to posterity.” (Vol. 8, chapter 2). In his Praeparatio Evangelica, he includes a chapter titled, “How it may be Lawful and Fitting to use Falsehood as a Medicine, and for the Benefit of those who Want to be Deceived” (Vol. 12, chapter 32).

There is not the slightest bit of physical evidence that supports a historical Jesus; there are no artifacts or dwellings, no works of carpentry, no written manuscripts (by Jesus), nothing.  All we have are writings from other people and there is no contemporary recording of the man/God nothing written while he was alive.  All documents about Jesus came well after his supposed life on earth from people who had never even met him, from unknown authors, or from fraudulent mythical /allegorical writings.  There are no Roman Records that show Pontius Pilate executed a man named Jesus.

“The gospels are all priestly forgeries over a century after their pretended dates.” Those who concocted some of the hundreds of “alternative” gospels and epistles that were being kicked about during the first several centuries C.E. have even admitted that they had forged the documents”  Joseph Wheless, “Forgery in Christianity”

“Pauline/Roman Christians: When the Roman-backed instance of Christianity went in search of the ancient centers of Christianity, they discovered to their horror that the Ebionites and Gnostics pre-dated them. Their un-Christian answer was to edit verses, burn books, arrest and harass the other poverty-stricken Christians until no opposition was left. The form of Christianity that we have inherited from the Roman Empire is far from what Christianity originally was.”
Types of Christianity: Who were the original Christians?”  by Vexen Crabtree (2006)

According to the Gospels several things happened around the time that Jesus died on the cross.
His death was supposedly accompanied by a three hour blackout of the sun, earthquakes, and the rising of the dead. No record of these events is to be found anywhere outside the Bible.

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