Un-Enlightenment – redux

BBC NI’s Will Crawley is having somewhat of a Creation Weekend [to atone for past sins? – Ed]. On Sunday Sequence, 9am Radio Ulster, he will be discussing this “dramatic serialisation” of the Book of Genesis.. and before that he’s visiting the Waterfront Hall where the founder of Answers in Genesis USA, Ken Ham – previously mentioned here – is hosting an 2-day event. Do tell us if you spot any NI Executive Ministers there, Will. Some of us like to keep an eye on what they’re up to with the Giants Causeway.. What with The Un-Enlightenment already being promoted elsewhere.. Adds pauljames, in the comment zone, points to this additional piece of information – “Also, please remember all the speakers in your prayers–particularly as Ken will be meeting with members of the Northern Ireland Assembly Government. He will also be doing interviews with the BBC.”

, , , , ,

  • Rory

    Ever anxious, as is any grandparent, that my grandchildren are open to all the superior educational influences, I had of course hoped to bring the little darlings along to the Waterfront Hall this comimg weekend to discover all the “Answers to Everything” in Genesis.

    Unfortunately they have just returned from Egypt where they have visited, among other places, the Pyramids and St Catherine’s Church and enjoyed all the accompanying commentary and (probably due to all those E numbers in the sweet diet) seem to be quite Bolshie.

    “No more fuckin’ nutters, Grandad. It’s Legoland or you’re dead, man!”

    What does a big softie grandfather do? I capitulated.

    Tell me please, Pete – you do have all the answers – shall I now go to Hell?

    What about the kiddies?

  • Pete Baker

    “shall I now go to Hell?

    What about the kiddies?”

    Almost certainly, Rory. On both counts.

    See you there. ;o)

  • pauljames

    AiG are hoping for a rerun of the March 2005 waterfront hall event which they claim was “the largest audience ever for a creation event in Europe.” The website also asks for prayers when Ken Ham meets with members of the NI Assembly- any idea who these might be Pete?

  • Pete Baker

    pauljames

    “The website also asks for prayers when Ken Ham meets with members of the NI Assembly”

    Got a link?

  • pauljames

    Pete

    try this then scroll down to “specifics” or you could sign up as a prayer partner while you are there!

  • Pete Baker

    Thanks paul.

  • This post is like a troll-fest waiting to happen!

  • Pete Baker

    Alan

    Let’s keep the futuring to a minimum.

  • I remember hearing Ken Ham in Great Victoria Street Baptist one night about ten years ago. Seems to have moved onto bigger venues now!

    I went out of curiosity as some friends were big fans (subscribed to the monthly magazine etc). But it was all very convincing … ish. Mild science => knocking the kind of people that don’t agree by citing single examples => and then allegations of if-you-don’t-believe-this then the-virgin-birth-falls-apart and you’ll-be-wondering-next-about-Jesus.

    Not sure you could pay me to go back. Good people. But with views that seem unsustainable.

  • Greenflag

    “Also, please remember all the speakers in your prayers–particularly as Ken will be meeting with members of the Northern Ireland Assembly Government’

    A case of one ham meeting a lot of other hams and in the latter case they perhaps do need whatever help they can get . Mind you I don’t think they have a prayer of ahem ever having their prayers answered:(. Their respective God/Gods has been remarkably unattentive these past several decades . Anyway God is too busy ‘drowning ‘ all those people in Myanmar so that the world will sit up and take notice of another one party paranoid military dictatorship:(

    Are people from Belfast not embarrased by these ‘Creationist’ eejits? I hope I’m wrong but thinking of Belfast now conjures up an image in caracture of three hairy primates sitting on a park bench with hands over eyes , ears and mouths respectively while the note above each says . See no science -Hear no science -Speak no science.
    Now there’s an idea for cartoonist Knox 🙂

    Y

  • TAFKABO

    Confession time.

    I used to be an evangelical Christian, Baptist to be precise. I also attended creationist events in great Victoria Street Baptists church.
    Unfortunately I took the advice that we should all go and investigate this issue ourselves literaly.
    After some investigation, including reading some Stephen jay Gould ( I particulalrly recommend ), I was left in no doubt that evolution occured, and is occuring, the interpretation by biblical scholars was wrong.

    The rest,as they say, is history.

  • 6countyprod

    I am just wondering if TAFKABO, when he says that he used to be an ‘evangelical Christian’, does he mean that he once believed the Bible to be the inspired and inerrant word of God but now believes it to be false, and does he mean that he once trusted Christ as his personal Saviour but no longer does. Or, does he equate going to a Baptist church with being an evangelical Christian.

    There is a huge difference.

  • TAFKABO

    It was the former.

  • Turgon

    I do not want to be one of the trolls that Alan is worried about but that comment from TAFKABO in my view illustrates one of the potential problems with making a song and dance about Creationism.

    I have said before and will again confess to believing in creationism. However, this is a faith position. I feel (and cannot explain why exactly) that God wants me to believe this. My mother, also an evangelical Christian, believes in evolution (not that either of us are very into all this). I used to believe in evolution but have felt that God wants me to believe something different. However, this is a faith position. There seem to be some holes in evolution but I freely admit that there are many more in creationism. However, creationists have the great advantage which evolutions lack: that is saying we believe x y and z from an a prori position. Evolutionists; having to explain everything without recourse to this are clearly in a much more difficult position. A difficulty the likes of Answers in Genesis pretty ruthlessly exploit (which is fair enough in my view).

    I am, however, firmly of the belief that one does not need to be a creationist to be an evangelical Christian, even a fairly fundamentalist one. There is always a danger that by making a huge song and dance about creationism that we can put some off becoming Christians and indeed can damage or even destroy the faith of others. Christians need to be wary of putting stumbling blocks before fellow Christians and using belief in creation as one of the tests of how good a Christian one is (which sometimes does seem implicit in creationist circles) is dangerously close to heresy and could fall foul of the injunction “Judge not lest ye be judged”. I have in jest at times suggested that if I said the world was only 4,000 and not 6,000 years old: would that make me a better Christian?

    I am much more interested in there being lots and lots of people in heaven than in whether or not the world was made in six consecutive twenty four hour periods six thousand years ago. I also do not for a moment believe that people will be consigned to hell for not believing the above. If I get to heaven and discover that the world evolved I will not ask to leave and will be just as in awe of God as if I discover it was created.

  • Turgon – you don’t sound like a troll!

    You make a great point re not needing to be a creationist to be a (fundamental) evangelical. I think we’ve a lot more (an awfully lot more) in common than we disagree on. My experience of AiG was one of trying to make a gap, putting clear distance between the different sides of the argument, rather than offering any accommodation of different views. Hope to see you in heaven, if not before – bet we’ll both be surprised by what we find!

  • Greenflag

    Turgon,

    ‘will be just as in awe of God as if I discover it was created. ‘

    There are over 100 billion galaxies in the known Universe and each galaxy contains roughly 100 billion stars . We don’t know how many planets are orbiting these stars but it is certain that on at least one of them life has evolved to the point at which the universe has been made aware of itself. So far the planet Earth is the only one on which ‘intelligent’ life has been found and that only in the past 100,000 years of it’s 4.3 million year existence .

    I’m in awe . Not at God or a God but at how we got here and how we became ‘conscious’ and why? Science does not explain everything but it’s clear from the evidence that evolution is a fact of life but it is not directed at creating or ‘evolving’ an intelligent animal such as man. Religion and God are rather creations of man as he has progressed/evolved over the ages just as he has progressed from hunter gatherer to farmer to tribesman to subject of a king/queen to citizen of a nation state or member of a multi national union. In our effort to explain the world about us the God concept has helped to answer many a difficult question.

    Some of those questions are now being answered Ohne Gott(without God) but even so deep in sub atomic particle theory we are learning that the material universe which we see around us is not all it appears . The universe is queerer than we can imagine and full knowledge of it may be beyond us just as much as differntial calculus is beyond the reach of our chimpanzee cousins .

    I came to my ‘atheism’ in such the same way as Tafkabo. This does not mean I disavow that a God cannot exist just that I cannot personnally perceive such a being or have faith in one . Yet I remain in ‘awe’ of our existence brief though it is both as an individual and as a species .And JC’s sermon on the mount is as good a maxim to live by as any.

  • Pete Baker

    Alan

    AiG’s rejection of all evidence which conflicts with their supernaturally-based belief in a particular literal interpretation of their sacred text and evolutionary theory inhabit entirely different worlds.

    Which, of course, is why AiG try to create the impression a linked gap between the two.

    Their objective is to portray the two as being on opposite sides of a scientific debate.

    They’re not.

    Evolutionary theory stands or falls on the basis of the questions asked about it by scientific inquiry.

    It has survived in the face of all such questioning so far and shows no signs of failing in the future. That lengthy questioning has enabled refinement of the theory during the process – but then that’s science in action.

    The attempt by AiG to portray their supernaturally-based beliefs, a 6000 year-old Earth among them, and evolutionary theory as being on opposite sides of a scientific debate is merely another example of The Un-Enlightenment.

    Many believers in a creator god, of course, readily accept that evolutionary theory is perfectly valid – but then evolutionary theory, in itself, has little to say about the origins of life, and even less about the origins of the universe.

  • 6countyprod

    If a troll on Slugger is defined as someone who writes ‘an email or newsgroup posting with the intention of provoking an angry response’ (OED), then Pete and Greenflag seem to fit the bill.

    Judging by the mocking, sarcastic and sneering tone of some of the comments earlier in this thread, starting with the initial posting, it would appear that some Sluggers are not aware that we now live in the post-modern age. Apparently there is no such thing as absolute truth, and no one has a right to say that someone else’s opinion is not valid. That being the case, Creationism has as much right to be heard as the theory of Evolution.

    This post-modern broadmindedness, and acceptance and tolerance of everything and anything, however, does not appear to be extended to those who adhere to biblical Christianity. I suppose arrogance and intellectual snobbery are some of the most difficult things to overcome, and pride in ourselves and our achievements hinder us from acknowledging our basic dependence on a God who loves us and wants to communicate with us through His word.

  • Turgon

    Pete Baker,
    “but then evolutionary theory, in itself, has little to say about the origins of life, and even less about the origins of the universe. ”

    Extremely true and something which many of my fellow supernaturalists (I am learning the correct lingo am I not?) fail to understand. Creationism on the other hand tries to answer all those issues and as such its proponents frequently feel the need to (mis)identify their “enemies” (the evolutionists) as using evolution to explain everything.

    Also in firness the likes of Richard Dawksins do seem to mix evolution and astromony etc. in their opposition to religion and then drag in religion being the cause of wars, macassres etc. which is in some ways a mirror image of some creationists.

    As one rather wise (and quite liberal) Christian friend of mine observed science is very good at answering the question How? but poor at the question Why?

  • pauljames

    First reports from Ham in Belfast detail an interuption from a fire alarm, (do you have an alibi Pete?) plus an account of an interview “By a well-known BBC radio personality who is known to attack biblical creationists” (surely not Will Crawley.) Still no word of who the MLA’s might be though.

  • Pete Baker

    “Creationism on the other hand tries to answer all those issues and as such its proponents frequently feel the need to (mis)identify their “enemies” (the evolutionists) as using evolution to explain everything.”

    Turgon, your first point re-inforces the argument that creationism does not belong in the field of science – being a supernaturally-based belief.

    Btw, I realise that supernatural may appear to be antagonistic, but it merely separates a belief from what is observable in nature.

    Your second point identifies the modus operandi of those who seek to equate, or entwine, religion and science – which is why I’ve placed AiG’s argument among those promoting The Un-Enlightenment.

    What Dawkins does or does not do is irrelevant to this discussion. In fact, it verges on the ‘whataboutery’.

  • Pete Baker

    pauljames

    Alibi?

    They wouldn’t get one red cent from me – I’d need to have bought a ticket.

    Interesting that they’re in first with an attack on Will Crawley before tomorrow’s[?] broadcast.

  • Turgon

    Pete,
    Sorry you misunderstand me. I am not trying to suggest that creationism is a scientific position although I know some promote it as such. It is a faith position.

    I actually think the term supernaturalist is in no way an insult. It groups people like me with various crystal healing nutters but actually in this context that is fair enough as both believe in essentially faith positions and refute any scientific “proof” of how incorrect they are. I am fully aware of the internal inconstiences in my beliefs. Personaly I feel that at the end of the day I have to believe in something and this is what I believe in. I can say it is real to me but no I cannot prove it. That is why it is a faith. I feel I try to believe in God the way my 4 year old believes in me. My four year old will soon enough discover my fallability, foolishness and my bad points. I believe I will never discover any such in God. However, at the moment just as my son seems to believe I am practically perfect I believe God is perfect.

    Re Dawkins I am merely pointing out that some people do manage to make what seems almost a belief system out of science which is indeed a perversion of what it (science) is about.

  • Pete Baker

    Turgon

    It’s not that I was mis-understanding you, it’s more that I was clarifying what the actual argument by AiG was – i.e. attempting to portray it inaccurately as a scientific argument.

  • pauljames

    Turgon

    I believe yours is the only honest position a believer can adopt and I respect you for that. AiG hold that “The 66 books of the Bible are the written Word of God. The Bible is divinely inspired and inerrant throughout. Its assertions are factually true in all the original autographs. It is the supreme authority in everything it teaches.”
    People live or die by this book, there is no a la carte option, the choice is indeed yours.

  • BfB

    I’m a “Go forth and prosper” type of guy. Creation.. and then Evolution….
    Works for me.

  • majordolittle

    Turgon/pauljames
    Since you are incapable of understaning science, indeed life, nice god showed those Burmans, eh?
    100,000 refugees on heavens shores.

    http://www.evilbible.com/

    The nonsense you were spoonfed since birth..Time to ditch that wee comfort blanket/duvet. It’s hard, I’m sure.

  • Greenflag

    6countyprod,

    ‘and no one has a right to say that someone else’s opinion is not valid.’

    Nobody is saying that. Prove to me that the Earth is 6,000 years old and I’ll change my belief . I don’t deny you the right to practice your faith . Just don’t mix ‘creationism’ with science . The latter is based on material facts and observation not on words from the void or a book /books written a couple of thousand years ago.

    ‘That being the case, Creationism has as much right to be heard as the theory of Evolution.’

    It has a right to be heard but in the realms of religion and faith not in the realm of science .

  • SHanna

    It always amazes me that we are subjected to the utter puerile foolishness by the evolutionary fundamentalists like Pete Baker who seems obessesed with trying to attack Creationism (Ironic as according to his fairy story we are all a product of determinstic evolutionary genes, yet he tries so hard to convince us!).

    I have raised this perennially on this forum that the Scientific Method cannot even be proven yet Baker et al place their whole confidence on this and lambast those who have “faith” in a revelation like the Bible.

    Evolution is not science as it is a tautology that cannot be disproven e.g. who are the fittest to survive? They repeat those who have survived ad nauseum! It postulates a theory of the origins of man that cannot be observed because the circumstances they claim existed “back then” can never be repeated or tested for (convenient eh.. for Pete and his gang when awkward questions are asked!)

    For Baker et al – as they are so confident in their paralysing intellects, perhaps they could give us all a “scientific” answer to the following:

    (1) What is morality and how do we judge it?

    (2) What is “good” or “evil” and how can we judge it?

    (3) Why is there an “is?”

    (4) Can they describe one biochemical pathway (just one!!)that is credible how one step of macro evolution can occur?

    (5) When did the first “force” for evolution occur and what drove this force?

    (6) Do you believe the universe had a beginning in time? If so, where did all of time, space and matter come from? (be prepared readers of Slugger for the greatest fairy story in history if any of our intrepid heros dare to cobble something together here).

    (7) Do you believe that the laws of physics have come about by chance and are undesigned? Is the force of gravity a real force or imagined?

    (8) Is mankind at the top of the evolutionary tree? Will there be something greater than us to emerge?

    Pete Baker – no doubt you live under a little world of cyperspace of your own vivid imagination, but do us all a favour and don’t assume we all checked our brains at the door before switching on our computers and believe your little tritisms and fairy stories. If you really want to believe that we all came into existence by a “mysterious force” which you call “evolution” playing around with particles that exploded out of nowhere by nothing to produce something, then more power to your elbow. The majority of the world who (thankfully!)do not inhabit your atheistic universe will not so easily surrender our critical thinking. Whatever dope you were smoking when you write your posts is certainly working.

  • TAFKABO

    (6) Do you believe the universe had a beginning in time? If so, where did all of time, space and matter come from? (be prepared readers of Slugger for the greatest fairy story in history if any of our intrepid heros dare to cobble something together here).

    If you look up the word irony in a dictionary, it would probably have this statement, with a note explaining that it came from a Christian.
    Thanks for the laugh Sam.

  • Rory

    Some evidence here:

    from Carl Reiner that that 6,000 figure estimate might require some readjustment.

  • Peter (Not Baker)

    (6) Do you believe the universe had a beginning in time? If so, where did all of time, space and matter come from? (be prepared readers of Slugger for the greatest fairy story in history if any of our intrepid heros dare to cobble something together here).

    – I’m not sure what this has to do with evolution, like much of your post, but… the smartest person admits to his/her ignorance and you seem to be asking people to explain something that at the minute, amongst scientists, is educated speculation. There is no need to sling out a fairy tale (like you do). Science may or may not find this answer out in time… That there is no current answer in no way proves the existence of God.

    As far as I am aware the Big Bang theory does not say that the universe came from nothing. You are just setting up a straw man here. In any case, if something cannot come from nothing as you seem to be asserting, where did your God come from? Nothing perhaps?

    I find Christians like you appear to be so infuriatingly arrogant. You disdainfully reject the work of millions of scientists across the world, work that you clearly don’t understand and a discipline you don’t understand, on the whim of a book, cobbled together originally about 2000 years ago by men who couldn’t keep their excrement out of their food.

    “The majority of the world who (thankfully!)do not inhabit your atheistic universe will not so easily surrender our critical thinking.”

    – I don’t think i’ve ever read as silly a statement. Your post displays absolutely no element of critical thinking. Rather, you sound like a sheep who has just been at a Ken Ham talk.

  • BfB

    ‘you disdainfully reject the work of millions of scientists across the world, work that you clearly don’t understand and a discipline you don’t understand’

    Millions of scientists? Put the pipe down kiddo. Most Christians I know (hundreds..almost) don’t take the literal road you so blithely ascribe to we stoooooooooopid creationists. Rather we interpret in many different ways and arrive at the same conclusion… an intelligent design.
    You fools are full of shit at every turn, thinking that if you bleat something a few million times it becomes reality. I’m sure these same million scientists ( my apologies to real science professionals) have their global warming beanies and their pro choice tshirts at the ready so when their secular, foaming at the mouth, atheist screamers pull the chain, it’s off to the next fabulous misguided race.

    No element of critical thinking indeed. Shovel the soda cans, dorito bags, and the inflatable dolls out of your subsidized flat and stick your empty head out the window. Take a deep breath.
    Read a book (non-fiction)
    Prat.

  • Peter

    BfB,

    That is a funny response indeed. The non-fiction works that I read aren’t half religion/pseudo-science.

    Do I thnk creationists are stupid? Yeh the vast majority probably are in this context.
    .
    “Millions of scientists…”

    By the way, what ‘most Christians’ are you talking about? I was talking about Christians like SHanna. Plenty of Christians accept evolution.

    Yes, millions of scientists who have worked or are working on evolutionary science over the course of 150 years or so, across the world in fields such as molecular biology, population biology, gentetics, geology, phyisics, anthropology, paleontology and so on. I’m not sure what you find so fantastic about that.

    “You fools are full of shit at every turn…”

    This whole paragraph means nothing.

    Peter

  • Peter

    BfB,

    Actually i’ll take you up on that offer. Recommend me a good book on evolution then and maybe you can enlighten me…

    Peter

  • Sam Reno

    There were about 20 kids in full uniform from Portadown Independent Christian School – pretty disturbing.

  • Ken Ham is Dawkins’ mirror image. Neither is a scientist. Both are shit stirrers, both are rich. Ham is more polite. Ham believes in his god, Dawkins thinks, like the sexist/imperialist/genocidal Darwin before him, that he is god.
    Because neither of them is science, neother evolution nor its bastard child (creationalism) should be taught in school.
    Just as Dawkins says the children of believers should be taken from them for “indoctrination”, so also should the children of atheists be taken off them. Remeber George Bush’s wise words re atheists. They cannot be trusted. Just like homosexuals but without the gay bits.

  • mickd

    Greenflag, I like your summary and Turgon, I really appreciate your honesty here.

    Greenflag “…it’s clear from the evidence that evolution is a fact of life but it is not directed at creating or ‘evolving’ an intelligent animal such as man”

    The awesome scale of time and space has always bothered me and it seems clear that the human race is not in any final sense necessary or inevitable. And yet, the universe has surely in some sense created us, clearly at a ‘higher level’ than the other life forms we know of.

    Evolution has created something amazing, and perhaps it was inevitable that it would do so. Are we, in a singular, accidental and contingent way, the universe’s way of ‘knowing’ itself? Fuckin’ hope so.

  • Peter

    mickD,

    Sounds like something from a Raymond E. Feist novel with us being one the universe’s attempts at understanding itself.

    Nice thought tho 😛

    Peter

  • Nestor Makhno

    Mickd – I think most evolutionary biologists would be uneasy with the concept that the universe has created us in some sort of teleological sense.

    It’s actually ‘just’ blind random chance. We’re not the top of some sort of evolutionary ‘ladder’ either – we actually sit on a niche parallel to, say, the chimp and the amoeba – who are no less successful, in evolutionary terms, than ourselves (although the chimp’s days are probably numbered).

  • ISBN: 0307396266
    The Devil’s Delusion: Atheism and Its Scientific Pretensions
    by David Berlinski

    Educate that you may be free.

  • TAFKABO

    The Devil’s Delusion: Atheism and Its Scientific Pretensions

    If the title, which alludes to an imaginary mythical character as some kind of reference, is any indication of the rest of the book, I think I’ll pass.
    Science, being science, is duty bound to offer criticims of the evolutionary models, and indeed it does so, there are perfectly valid criticism from within the scientific sphere, no need to go asking the religious nutters for advice.

    One of my favourite exchanges in the Evolution Vs Creationism debate comes from A christian radio station which invited biologist PZ Myers to debate with a creationist. Despite the fact that the Christian fundies changed the topic to be discussed without informing Myers makes his clear victory all the sweeter.
    The phrase “rip someone a new arsehole” seems to be about the best summation of what happened
    You can hear it at this location.

    http://www.kkmslive.com/MP3/15013108-Simmons%20&%20Myers.MP3

  • Greenflag

    mickd,
    ‘And yet, the universe has surely in some sense created us, ‘

    Not in some sense actually in a very real sense . Take any human being and if reduce said person to his/her basic elements you ‘ll find about 60% water i.e H2O (Hydrogen and oxygen ) along with carbon and traces of essential minerals such as iron , copper, zinc traces and other rare elements . These latter heavy elements were only created were created a couple of billion ears after the Big Bang and were created in the heat of super novae . At some point these ‘heavy’ elements made it to the this region of earth before the planet started to coalesce into it’s present form . Evolution did the rest . Mind you we still don’t know how life was created but at some point several billion years ago it ‘twitched’ into existence and it’s been going on ever since .

    ‘ Are we, in a singular, accidental and contingent way, the universe’s way of ‘knowing’ itself?’

    Who knows ? When you add up the singular , accidental and contingent ways we as humans have come to be – it appears to be unlikeley that we have been replicated elsewhere . However life may be found elsewhere and a lot of the space effort and research is directed to finding ‘life’ elsewhere. Bear in mind that for 4,200,900,000 years of this planets existence – Homo Sapiens was not around . His predecessors Homo Habilis, etc etc had been climbing the evolutionary tree for a couple of million years prior to our ‘sudden ‘ appearance approx 150,000 years ago in NE Africa . It appears also that we nearly did’nt make it . At one point there may have been as few as 2,000 separated into small groups barely surviving . From this group we are all descended in one way or another .

  • Greenflag

    nestor makhno,

    ‘ who are no less successful, in evolutionary terms, than ourselves

    Don’t omit bacteria 🙂 They have been around longer than any amoeba 🙂

    (although the chimp’s days are probably numbered).’

    You might think that but there is evidence on this thread that at least one chimp has advance to the point of signing his thread dave o connell 🙁

  • Greenflag

    ‘Remember George Bush’s wise words re atheists. They cannot be trusted.’

    So the only people who can be trusted are those who are not ‘atheists’ ? Well lets look at the evidence . Nobody doubts the sincere attachment to their religious beliefs of the people of Northern Ireland . The display of trust between these fine upstanding Catholics and Protestants has been remarkable over the past 40 years and longers . So much trust have these non atheists in each other that they came to a political agreement without the help of others and only after 40 years of senseless killing of each other .

    But perhaps God is not a Christian and he/she/it prefers to be called Allah or Shiva . We remember the heady days of India winning it’s politcal independence from the British Empire. Surely every non atheist believer remembers the trust shown between Muslim and Hindu back at that time . Had these believing folk not had so much trust in each other then surely they would have killed more than the 1,500,000 estimated to have been slaughtered in the mass exhibition of religious fervor in 1949? Trust between believers ? -sure there’s nothing like it for racking up the body count .

    But India and Northern Ireland are perhaps aberrations on the map of the world and surely not comparable to the wonderful example of Christian fundamentalist America . White and Black americans share their Baptist faith and we know that throughout the history of the United States this unity of belief in God has meant that White Americans and Black Americans have trusted each other so much that there was for a long time need for Black Americans to have a vote much less use the same washroom or swimming pool as white Americans ?

    Perhaps George Bush’s words on this matter cannot be trusted 🙁

  • Greenflag

    mickd,

    ‘The awesome scale of time and space has always bothered me and it seems clear that the human race is not in any final sense necessary or inevitable.’

    Humbling is’nt it :)? I’m not that bothered about the ‘awesome ‘ scale of the macro universe . What I find utterly awesome is what is happening and why and how with the micro universe i.e at the sub atomic level . Now thats a whole other universe which may yet ‘awe’ us all a lot more than the final frontier 🙂

  • Tak tak: The Devil’s Advocate is written by an atheist. Not that closed minds want to know or anything

  • TAFKABO

    The Devil’s Advocate is a work of fiction, atheists can write tales based around imaginary characters without compromising their beliefs.
    What was your point again?

  • Peter

    Dave O’Connell,

    Was that a recommendation for me? Berlinski’s book isn’t about evolution or creationism/intelligesnt design, just an insecure rant on the back of ‘The God Delusion’ et al… The synopsis is amusing…

    “Has anyone provided a proof of God’s inexistence?
    Not even close.”

    – Erm David Berlinski, it is the religious who claim that God exists. The burden of proof is on them. Most people think it is impossible to disprove 100% and very few has argued that it is possible (including the bogey man Dawkins), although it can be shown to be very unlikely. On the flip side, has anyone proved the existence of God… not even close Mr Berlinski.

    “Have the sciences explained why our universe seems to be fine-tuned to allow for the existence of life?
    Not even close.”

    – Oh right, so in a world where 99% of species that have existed have become extinct, where humanity has existed for a tiny proportion of the Earth’s existance, a ridiculously small proportion of the universe’s existence and given the size of the universe we can only knowingly exist on this tiny planet… hmm if God does exist, he gets 1/10 for effort. I would suggest the universe is not fine-tuned for life!

    Anyway, apologies for the digression. TAKKABO, I heard that PZ Myers debate with the creationist too… It was pretty hilarious.

    Peter

  • Peter

    Dave O’Connell,

    I presume you meant ‘The Devil’s Delusion’ rather than ‘The Devil’s Advocate’ which is an average film at best.

    Berlinski describes himself as an agnostic (which is distinct from being an atheist), secular Jew, although you wouldn’t believe it from his writing.

    It’s hardly relevant though is it. Even if he was an atheist what is your point?

    Peter

  • ISBN: 0307396266
    The Devil’s Delusion: Atheism and Its Scientific Pretensions
    by David Berlinski

    I did give the reference and I find it amazing the way the would be atheists dneer sat a book that would have to be at least as good as the non scientific screeds of Dawkins, Hitchens, Harris et al.
    Popper was right when he said evolution is not a theory. It should not be taught in schools unless it is as light relief (towel and hand cream stuff that it is)
    Has Dawkins ever written a serious scientific paper? Say one on ethologym not a general kick the pope one, but one actually adding to scientific knoweldge.
    Methinks he prefers the simplistic rants we see here. Politics in Ireland has not been about religion. It has been about the Brits using the Orange spawn for purposes of oppression and genocide against hte native abroiginals of this island.
    The same process happened in India under the bisexual Battenberg pervert. Some goons have wantched to omany Gandhi propaganda movies.

  • Greenflag

    ‘Popper was right when he said evolution is not a theory.’

    That’s right -evolution is fact and is accepted as such by almost all biologists, scientists, anthropologists, paleontologists , on the planet and I mean this planet in case you inhabit some other 🙁

    ‘Politics in Ireland has not been about religion.’

    Not entirely but nobody doubts the significant role ‘religion’ played in the historical outcomes which we currently enjoy on this island .

    I recall an Oliver Cromwell who was ‘moved’ by an Anti Catholic ‘spirit’? The there was the great Daniel O’Connell who delivered Catholic Emancipation. In recent times we have seen a Cleric i.e Rev Ian Paisley elected as FM of NI .

    I’d suggest you read Jared Diamonds – ‘The Third Chimpanzee’ and watch Patrick Moore’s recent program on BBC re ‘We just don’t know’ for the age of the universe .