Friday, May 30, 2014

Things Christians should bear in mind

Kristor of The Othoshpere wrote an article in response to Debunking Christianity's 'Ten Things Christians Should Keep in Mind When Debating Atheists.' Here are a few snippets that caught my eye...

1. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. Consequently, the burden of proof is on the theist rather than the atheist.
The atheist as Taggard construes him – the agnostic atheist – does not know enough yet to warrant either the claim of the theist that there is a God, or of the gnostic atheist that there is no God. From the agnostic atheist’s perspective, both claims are equally extraordinary, and require equally extraordinary evidence.

Strictly speaking the agnostic atheist has no evidence at all, one way or the other; nothing, at any rate, that he considers proper evidence. If he had any, he would not remain an atheist, but would instead commit himself either to gnostic atheism or to theism.
Kristor doesn't have this quite right. It sounds like he's attempting to redifine agnostic atheism as a position of endless shoulder shrugging. That's not the case. Agnostic atheists (like myself) do have a lot of evidence on our side. My non-belief is not devoid of evidence as Kristor suggests. Far from it. I posses evidence of falsified Bible claims, logical impossibilities pertaining to the supposed nature and abilities of God, scientific explanations supported by further evidence... As an agnostic atheist, I can have all the evidence I want and still not be a gnostic atheist. You can be 99.99% sure in your non-belief, but if you still allow for a sliver of possibility that you could be wrong, and don't claim to posses all knowledge, you still wouldn't be gnostic.

Also, from the agnostic atheists point of view, both views aren't equally extraordinary. One claims the existence of an infinitely powerful super-being. The other? Well the other claim is that there is no infinitely powerful super-being... Add to that the idea that there is no such being has some evidence on it's side, and the claimed existence of God is by far the more extraordinary claim.
The agnostic atheist has nothing he is trying to prove. He is not making any claims at all about whether or not God exists. So not only does the burden of proof not fall on him, but he needn’t provide a single jot of evidence of any sort. He has no dog in this fight; has no substantive argument either with theists or gnostic atheists, but rather only isolated methodological disputes over the cogency of the items of evidence they propose.
Thus unless the agnostic atheist or the theist forget for a moment that the former doesn’t claim that there is no God, this point never pertains to their discussions.
It would be interesting to theists here whether agnostic atheists such as Taggard have ever sallied forth against the arguments and evidences proposed by gnostic atheists, or if they reserve their efforts to repudiating those of theists. What is the agnostic atheist methodological critique of the proposition that there is no God?
Personally, I feel that the claim to know for 100% that there is no God is a silly one. After all, to completely disprove the existence of anything is impossible. But Kristor has made another mistake. The burden of proof doesn't fall on the one(s) making any claim, but the one making the positive claim. Remember, it's impossible to 100% prove that God doesn't exist. Thus, that line would be a waste of time. But it should be very possible to prove that he does exist (if he does). Until the theist fulfills this burden of proof, agnostic atheism is the only logical position.
2. Science has radically altered how we understand the universe, so theism must grapple with the implications of science before offering prescientific beliefs as truth.
The notion that theism has not grappled with science is simply false. Theists have spent huge amounts of time and effort grappling with science. Why shouldn’t they? Science is a Christian invention, after all. I suppose it’s just that atheists haven’t read what theists have written on the subject.
Science is a Christian invention... Come again!? That statement couldn't be any less true. Lets start by determining when Christianity was 'born'. Was it 107 CE, when the oldest use of the term Catholic Church was recorded? Maybe it was 30-36 CE when Jesus is said to have been crucified. Or was it 27-29 CE when he supposedly started his ministry. The oldest we could place Christianity's birth would be the story of Christ's birth in 2-7 CE.

But science is a much older discipline. So how could it be a Christian invention? The Greek's where already doing science as far back as 700 BCE. Pythagoras and  Aristotle are two of many minds of early science that you've no doubt heard of. Eratosthenes ran a scientific experiment in about 250 BCE to measure the true size of the Earth. And that's just one example.

There's no doubt that Christianity didn't invent science. Sometimes Christianity accepts it, sometimes it denies it, sometimes it begrudgingly accepts it after years of denial, and yes, the church has had
scientific clergy, and funded research. But it's quite a mixed bag of good and bad.
5. The problem of miracles is a serious challenge that must be overcome for any testimony or private revelation of the divine to be taken as veridical.
This cuts both ways, doesn’t it? At least, that’s what a thoroughgoing, consistent agnostic atheist would have to insist. So long as science has failed to nail down an *absolutely exhaustive and complete* naturalistic explanation for *absolutely everything,* naturalism has some serious challenges to overcome before it can be taken as veridical.
Incorrect again.  Remember, agnostic atheists can, and usually do, have evidence. Science has explanations that are supported by evidence. These explanations are explanatory and consistent with the natural world. But as with all theories in science, they are conditional. Miracles? Well, they have no evidence in their favor at all. So Kristor is comparing apples to oranges.
6. Faith is not [a sound] epistemology, and the retreat to faith is a concession of the failure of the belief to be defended on rational grounds.
This is true only if “faith” is taken to mean “belief in a proposition that cannot be defended rationally.” If that is what “faith” means, then:
  • It is true tautologically, by definition, and trivially.
  • Everyone has faith, including the atheist. There is no other way to think, because in order to get started with reasoning, we must perforce presuppose some axiom or other which we cannot but intuit to be true, even though we may not be quite sure why they are true; as for example the Law of Noncontradiction, or the Identity of Indiscernibles, or “cogito.”
Faith is belief without evidence or proof. Kristor says that atheists have faith too. But I'd contend that what we display is trust, which is a very different animal.
But this is not in fact what “faith” means. Faith is the willing assent of the intellect to a proposition whose truth the intellect does not immediately see to be either intuitively obvious (such as the Law of Noncontradiction) or demonstrably true (such as that 2 + 2 = 4, or that there can be no more than one necessary being). We all have faith in thousands of propositions. E.g., when someone believes that Julius Caesar existed on the basis of the
testimony of others, he has faith. Likewise, when someone believes that the Earth orbits the Sun without having made the necessary observations and worked out the math for himself, he has faith. Faith is not – thanks be to God – an unreasonable thing to do. If it was, we’d all be nuts.
Faith is not needed to know that Julius Caesar existed. Why? Because there is proof of his existence. The same is true of the Earth orbiting the Sun. There is evidence! But what if you believe the Earth is round only because someone told you so. That still doesn't require faith. If that person has been reliable or is an expert in that field, it's trust you're displaying, not faith.
Identifying God with the Good is the only coherent way to think about him. A god who is evil would not be worthy of worship, and would not therefore qualify as God; for he would fail to meet the definition of God, who as the perfect being possesses all perfections perfectly, including the perfection of Goodness. If you aren’t thinking of God as identical with the Good, you aren’t thinking about God at all. Even the silly old Gnostics knew this. Honestly, this is so basic; it’s been common knowledge for 4,000 years.
 You're right, the Christian god isn't worthy of worship. Anyone who has actually read the Bible honestly can't help but think that God can be pretty damn evil. He certainly doesn't come across as 'the perfection of goodness'. Killing babies, ordering his people to wipe out cities, and committing mass genocide (to name a few) doesn't sound 'all good'. Sorry, but you don't get to redefine 'god' to fit your premise.

1. (in Christianity and other monotheistic religions) the creator and ruler of the universe and source of all moral authority; the supreme being.

2. (in certain other religions) a superhuman being or spirit worshiped as having power over nature or human fortunes; a deity.

You see? Neither says that God has to be all good. You can't just redefine your deity to equal 'all good' and then just claim that this shows him to be all good. I could redefine my cat as a Pulitzer prize wining author, but that's not going to make it so.
9. Atheism is a conclusion, not a worldview. Atheism is not an answer to life, the universe, and everything – just the conclusion that theism isn’t.
Agnostic atheism isn’t a conclusion that theism is not the answer to life the universe, etc., but rather that the agnostic atheist himself doesn’t know that theism is or is not that answer. Taggard has no opinion about whether or not theism is or is not that answer. He is in the dark.
Thus agnostic atheism is not a conclusion at all. It is rather a radical openness to persuasion on the question of theism.
Seriously... He's still riding this horse? Agnostic atheism is a conclusion. A tentative conclusion that is open to change, but a conclusion none-the-less. True, I may not know 100% that theism is not the answer. But I do know that I've seen no evidence that theism is the answer. So in the mean-time I'll go with the evidence... which isn't in theism's favor by the way. Yes, I am open to change, but that in no way means that I am the clueless straw man Kristor repeatedly makes out agnostic atheists to be.

And why does he continuously list the choices as theist, agnostic atheist, and gnostic atheist? Why split both kinds of atheism, but not theism? He presents agnostic atheists as people with no evidence and no real convictions. But what about agnostic theists? They are agnostic as well, so by his reckoning, they should also be shoulder shruggers an no more as well. Yet his pretends that theism doesn't have two halves. Maybe it's because he realizes that even a Christian can't know for sure that their god is real. Or maybe he just splits atheism to try and make it appear weaker. But one thing is for sure. His methods are not even handed, and may even be purposely deceptive.

-Brain Hulk

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Thursday, May 29, 2014

A better world?

A reader wants to know if the world is now better or worse than it was in Billy Graham's youth...
Q:As you look back over your life do you think the world is in better shape than it was when you were young, or is it worse? And what do you think it will be like 100 years from now?
The answer kind of depends or what we mean by 'better'. But by and large, I'd say that it is a better world now than it was even when I was young.
A: Only God knows the future, of course, and ultimately our future is in His hands. However, I pray for a better world for my grandchildren and great-grandchildren, and I hope you will, too.
Pray for a better world? Even though earlier this month he talked of Satan blocking all the prayers for world peace? So are we supposed to pray for something that Billy said won't happen until Jesus puts the beat down on the Devil?
In some ways, today's world is better than it was when I was a child. I think, for example, of all the advances that have taken place in medicine; many of us wouldn't even be alive if it weren't for them. Things like the Internet or television or jet airliners were unheard of only a few generations ago. God has given us an amazing ability to harness nature and create new things for our use.
No, don't thank God... Thank science! You know, that little truth machine that  the religious seem to embrace when it helps them, but denounce when it contradicts their beliefs.
Tragically, however, we haven't always used our God-given abilities to make a better world, and in many ways the world today is worse. Think, for example, of the countless millions killed in wars during the last century. Terrorism, drugs, gang warfare, corruption, random violence, pollution, weapons of mass destruction - the list is almost endless.
Yes, lets think of the many wars and acts of senseless violence that were entirely or partially motivated by religion. Sure, it's not the sole source of conflict. But it's a big one, and one that tends to reach the flash point faster than most everything else.
What is our real problem? Our real problem is within us - within our own hearts and minds. Paul's indictment of his own generation is true of ours, as well: "They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity" (Romans 1:29).
Sure, the problem is within. Some are too greedy, some oppress others, and others take their religion far too seriously. When someone feels that their religion is the unquestionable final law for all, and then give them the power to force it on others or commit violence in it's name and trouble is going to brew.
This is why we need Christ, for only He can transform our hearts and give us the desire to do what is right. And someday He will come again to destroy all evil and make the world a perfect place. Is your faith and hope in Him?
We do need to do what's right. But that involves letting go of religious superstitions that are standing in the way of making this a better world. At least in the United States, the acceptance of evolution and the Big Bang are far too low.  This stands in the way of progress.

The biggest problem I see right now is climate change. There are those that claim it isn't real because God promised not to flood the Earth again in Genesis. Politically, the religious right has adopted the stance that science is the bad guy, and works against it. Then there are those that believe in climate change, but see it as something that is bringing along the end times. Rather than wanting to do
Yes how arrogant to believe in science that's backed with evidence,
instead of your religious myth that has no evidence at all.
something, they look forward to the end. All these lines of thinking imperil future generations to come.

So yes, while science helps give us a better world, so does the letting go of religious thinking. In my lifetime, changing opinions have already begun to grant gay Americans the rights they should have had all along. And if we can do what needs to be done, we just might save humanity as well...

-Brain Hulk

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Wednesday, May 28, 2014

The sounds of atheism

Like most people, I love music. Everyone has their own personal tastes, but for me, it's rock music that I love. When it comes to music, I've heard it said that the believers have it better. That there are so many songs about faith, but none for non-believers. Sure, there are plenty of religious songs, but us atheists are far from left out in the cold. In fact, I have a playlist on my computer that is nothing but atheist themed music.

When it comes to Godless music, one of the bands with a lot of songs that fit the bill is Bad Religion. And if you prefer a bit of musical heathen humor, there is none better than the hilarious Tim Minchin. But there is so much more out there. Take the song that plays at the start of the Atheist Experience for example. Listen to Reason by Bryan Steeksma is a seriously good song.

Another artist that is very much worth a look is Shelley Segal. I heard of her for the first time when I attended the Reason Rally in 2012. Her album, An Atheist Album is a great collection that every non-believer should purchase and enjoy. Hard Believer by First Aid Kit, and Dear God by XTC are great, as is the atheist anthem Imagine, which was penned by the incomparable John Lennon.

But lets look at some hidden gems...

Sades of Grey -Billy Joel
Now with the wisdom of years, I try to reason things out
And the only people I fear are those who never have doubts
Save us all from arrogant men, and all the causes they're for
I won't be righteous again
I'm not that sure anymore
When I was young, I loved this song... Hell, the whole album. But it wasn't until I was older that I picked up on the meaning.

Heaven's a Lie -Lacuna Coil
Set me free
Your heaven's lie
Set me free with your love
Set me free
This was the first Lacuna Coil song I think I ever heard. They have since become a favorite of mine.

Atheist Like Me -Stanley Huang

I wanna believe in all the miracles too
I wanna believe in all the the fairy tales with you
I want the happy ever after really I do
But how can that be when I don't know if heavens true
But theses no eternity for an atheist like me

Dark Age -Burn the Rez
An ancient mythology will bring
Too many hollow remedies that prolong suffering
And still we indoctrinate another generation
To be misguided like we were

Don't wait to discover
Our future is facing an emergency
Know that faith is a virus
A world divided should bury the walls
Of invisible gods, just a fantasy
I actually just discovered this song the other day thanks the a post of the Friendly Atheist.  A solid modern rock song with a message I can get behind. Seriously, check it out.

Under the Sun -Coloursound
I don't want to live a future blinded by eternal faith
I want to live five minutes five minutes in the real world
I don't want to come again i don't need a second chance
I believe in one life one life one life only
Alive at the centre of everything
Under the sun is where I want to be under the sun
This one has to be right near the top of my atheist song list, and possibly may be my favorite song in general. Yet many people probably never heard of it. I've actually been a fan since before my personal realization that I was in fact an atheist. Coloursound was fronted by none other than Mike Peters of The Alarm (Who have always been a favorite of mine). Excellent rock with an infectious driving beat. Add in some great lyrics, and how can you go wrong?

There is a ton more atheist themed music out there, and a whole lot more by atheist artists. So please check these songs out, and support the creators. Also, if you know of some more atheist music tell me in the comments. I'm always game to add more tracks to my library!

-Brain Hulk

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Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Contacting the dead = Bible no-no?

This time around, a mother asks Billy Graham about her request to her children to contact her after her death...

Q: I’ve told my children that I want to communicate with them after I die, and that they should find a medium who can arrange this. But one of my daughters refuses to cooperate. This hurts me very much. What’s wrong with asking them to contact me after death? — Mrs. M.G.
Oh jeez...  To date, there is no indication that there is an afterlife, let alone that anyone would be able to communicate with it. Also, every single supposed psychic that has submitted to scientific testing has been found to be a fraud (knowingly or not).
A: Elsewhere in your letter, you mention that the daughter who’s refusing to follow your desires says she has recently committed her life to Jesus Christ. That’s undoubtedly why she doesn’t want to get involved with this, because she knows the Bible forbids it.
And considering that MG is writing Billy Graham, the odds are that she is a Christian as well. And if she is, her belief in talking to the dead wouldn't be surprising. I know plenty of Christians that believe in ghosts (not to mention their holy one), psychics, fortune tellers, astrology, and many other forms of supernatural nonsense.

I also love the double-standard at play here. The Bible forbids psychics and fortune tellers, but when it's one of God's supposed prophets these condemned activities are suddenly labeled instead as 'prophecy'. Seems awful convenient to me.
Any type of occult activity (including attempts to communicate with the dead through a spirit medium) can involve us with spiritual forces that are not from God, but are actually opposed to God. On the surface, they may appear very innocent or benign, but in reality they aren’t. The Bible is very clear: “Let no one be found among you... who is a medium or spiritist or who consults the dead” (Deuteronomy 18:10-11).
So I assume that Billy Graham also condemns Catholic confession then? After-all, they are communicating to a person that in essence works as a middle-man between you and God/Jesus (spirit plane). Sounds a bit like talking to granny through a medium to me.

But why stop there? What about praying to the saints (dead) or praying to a dead loved one? Plenty of Christians go to grave sites and pray to a mother, father, child, etc... If using a psychic can put you in touch with the 'wrong' spiritual forces, why not regular old prayed as well? Suppose Satan intercepts your prayer and answers it instead of God? What if its a whole other god? Baal could be the one telling you to quit your job and make that move you always wanted to. It's not like a Christian can ever really know that God is the one they think they hear back from. They do make the Devil out to be pretty damn powerful (trying to deceive, causing trouble/hurt/evil within God's plan, etc), so leaching off God's WiFi ought to be pretty damn easy.
My real concern, however, is for you. Those who follow occult beliefs would have us believe that the next world will be a place of peace and happiness, but this isn’t necessarily true. The Bible tells us that eternity is real, but if we’ve turned our backs on the living God and rejected His Son, we have no hope of heaven. Instead, our destiny will be that place of absolute loneliness and despair the Bible calls hell, separated from God forever.
 I love the instant assumption that MG isn't a Christian just because she believes in some things that a lot of other Christians actually believe in as well. And I also love the fact that Billy just showed that he has no freaking clue about the beliefs that he's decrying. Pagan beliefs on the afterlife are quite varied. Some believe in a Heaven and Hell type scenario. Some have the 'good place' as a party, and the 'bad place' as never ending boredom. More still believe in an afterlife that is neither good nor bad, and then there are those that don't believe in an afterlife at all. It would seem that Billy has a bit of
homework to do...
Don’t be deceived, and don’t miss the great gift God offers you -- the gift of eternal life. Instead, by faith repent of your sins and open your heart and life to Jesus Christ. He alone is “the way and the truth and the life” (John 14:6).
Or is it? Maybe the Bible is Satan's greatest trick against Christianity yet. Billy thinks he is following God when he follows the Bible. But what if he isn't?

-Brain Hulk

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Monday, May 26, 2014

Read the Bible for yourself

Someone whites Billy Graham stating that the Bible doesn't make sense. This should go about as well as reasoning with a brick wall...
Q: I don't see how any intelligent person can believe what the Bible says. The people who wrote it thousands of years ago didn't know anything about science, and anyway, it's full of contradictions. I'm sorry, but I just can't swallow the idea that it's God's word. — S.C.
Contradictions in the Bible
The full size file is a must see!
I can understand why some intelligent people still believe in the Bible, despite it's many flaws. The answer is compartmentalization. They may be logical about everything else, but when it comes to religion, they keep it over in the corner. They treat it differently than everything else, and don't apply the same logic to it as they do everything else. Usually this is done for purely emotional or sentimental reasons.
A: I'm sorry you have this attitude toward the Bible, because it means you're cutting yourself off from the hope and peace it alone can give you. In a world of confusion and despair, where else will you look to discover life's meaning? 
And I'm sorry Billy has the same attitude about the Tipitaka, because that means that he's cutting himself off from the hope and peace only the Buddha can bring.

Also, in my opinion, if you need to have meaning for life spelled out and handed to you, then you're not properly living. Life without God is still full of meaning! I don't need a book to tell me to love my wife and family, to enjoy gardening or working on cars, to love learning, and to just plain enjoy life. If you need to be told what to value in life, than quite frankly, I take pity on you.
I can't help but wonder, however, if you've ever actually read the Bible. Or are you only going on what you've heard from others (who may never have read the Bible either)? You see, I could list a number of reasons why I believe the Bible is God's word, but they probably wouldn't make much of an impression on you. What will is you actually reading the Bible for yourself, with an open heart and mind.
 And actually read the Bible with an open mind is exactly what most atheists have done. In fact, doing just that leads many believers from Christianity, and to atheism instead. I know that in my case, I read the Bible as a believer. I read it from the perspective of a believer, but honestly as well. The result was that I began to have doubts. I couldn't ignore the many contradictions, the impossibilities, improbabilities, outright errors, and just how evil the God I thought was loving really was.
After all, if the Bible really tells us about God and how he wants us to live, then it's the most important book in the world. Don't dismiss it lightly. The Psalmist declared, "Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path" (Psalm 119:105).
After all, if the Tipitaka really tells about the Buddha and how he wants us to live, then it's the most important book in the world. Don't dismiss it lightly Billy... Seriously, I feel like I'm playing theology Mad Libs here!
I suggest you begin in the New Testament with the Gospel of John. In it, you will discover not only God's written word, but the living word, Jesus Christ — who was God in human flesh. Don't let your pride, your desire to control your life or anything else keep you from seeing Christ as he really is and then committing your life to him.
Ah, the old 'read the New Testament first' trick. Apologists will tell you to do this because the NT is usually less terrible than the OT (aside from introducing the whole eternal hellfire and human sacrifice bit...). They know that the OT is where all the glorified genocides, barbaric rules, and most of the glaring errors and absurdities are. Lets face it... The Bible is quite a long read. When they tell you to start with the NT, they are banking on you not sticking with it. Just read the better bits, have
what you already think confirmed and move on...

You might as well tell someone to read a biography of Thomas Edison, but black out all the times he was a dick to Tesla, and actually had people's pets stolen and publicly electrocuted to attempt to discredit AC electricity so that he could make more money promoting his DC electricity. Edison was smart, but was no saint.

So I agree with Billy that people should read the Bible (the whole Bible) with an open mind. But I have a feeling that the result of doing so would surprise Billy. After all, it has been said that the Bible is the greatest force for atheism ever concieved.

-Brain Hulk

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Saturday, May 24, 2014

Love a bitter aunt

Billy Graham answers a letter from a reader with a bitter aunt...
Dear Rev. Graham: My aunt is a very bitter person, and to be honest I can understand why, since she’s had some real disappointments. She claims to be a Christian, but I’m not sure if she really is. Aren’t Christians supposed to be kind and forgiving? -- Mrs. M. McN.
Hey look, a Christian alluding to a no true Scotsman fallacy! Are Christians supposed to be kind and loving? Well, that kind of depends...
Rev. Graham: Yes, Christians are supposed to be kind and forgiving toward others -- just as Christ is toward us. And we will be, when we give up trying to change our lives by our own strength and allow Christ to change us. The Bible says, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control” (Galatians 5:22-23).
Yes, Jesus said some nice stuff... Love your neighbor and all that. But he also tells believers to hate their family (Luke 14:26),  to love him more than their family (Matthew 10:37), and that he had come to divide families (Luke 12:51-53). That's one huge problem with the Bible. Pretty much anything can be justified by reading the right parts... even contradictory things. A book that justifies everything is a book that's good for nothing!
Does this mean your aunt’s faith isn’t genuine? Not necessarily; only God knows her heart, and it’s not up to you to judge her. But Christians aren’t perfect, and Satan will do everything he can to turn us away from Christ. We may not even realize it’s happening -- until it’s too late. The Bible calls him “a roaring lion looking for someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8).
I must say that I'm actually surprised. Billy usually jumps to claim that anyone that doesn't apply to his narrow definition of who is a Christian.
One of the devil’s chief tricks is to turn our emotions away from God, twisting them instead into anger or jealousy or greed or bitterness. They become like a poison, eating away at our souls and pulling us farther and farther from Christ. The Bible warns, “See to it… that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many” (Hebrews 12:15).
Or what if Christians are all victims of deception perpetrated buy the Egyptian god Set.
Pray for your aunt, that God will convict her of her bitterness, and replace it with his love and forgiveness. Pray, too, that you will be an example to her of Christ’s love and compassion. And pray, as well, that God will give you an opportunity to speak candidly (and yet gently) with her about her need for Christ’s healing touch on her heart.
And then he finishes with his usual final paragraph. Nothing new here. Just remember this... The Bible is a text that is so varied in it's direction and what it condones that any Christian that claims that
another isn't really a Christian has likely just exposed their ignorance of the book by which they claim to live their lives. Pretty sad really...

-Brain Hulk

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Friday, May 23, 2014

Bible: Medium-Well

It's a story heard pretty much anytime there's a church fire (or even a home fire). There was a blaze, but when the remains were checked in the aftermath, a Bible survived! Somehow this is celebrated as a miracle... Celebrated as proof of the Bible's importance. This book with paper pages was in a fire, and somehow survived! Impossible, right?!

I find it odd that the Christians that spread these stories are able to convince themselves that God's own hand protected this book, but don't wonder why he wouldn't, I don't know... Maybe just prevent a fire from catching in a church in the first place.

Sometimes these stories are even more absurd than usual. One example I read touted the 'amazing' fact that a Bible was found on the alter, open and in tact. What they failed to mention in this case was that the fire station was half a mile from the church, they sent all their trucks and had the fire extinguished in minutes. The fire hadn't even made it to where the Bible was, yet somehow it's survival is supposed to be a miracle. I'll have to remember that the next time my barbecue grill catches a hotdog on fire and my neighbor's house doesn't burn down as a result...

One horrible example actually left me feeling rather disgusted. There was this one church that kept it's oldest Bible closed and on display. But an electrical fire broke out one day and caused a terrible blaze that killed nine. While surveying the damage however, it was found that this specific Bible was mildly singed, but in otherwise in fine shape. In the wake of nine deaths the main story was shockingly, "The Bible survived! God is great!"  What! The lives of nine people, people who belonged to that church are overshadowed by a Bible? God is so great that he'll save a book, but not nine followers? I must be missing the 'great' part, so please... point it out for me.

There are obviously rational explanations as to why Bibles may survive a fire. Explanations that don't rely on magic... The first should be obvious. The Bible is regularly the best selling book year after year. Statistically speaking, is it any surprise that the most plentiful book in the world will survive a fire from time to time? Of course not!

A church actually claimed this Bible as a survivor?
It looks like it's at least 50% gone. What's the percentage
of loss when it ceases to be a miracle?
The more important explanation is a scientific one. Books are almost always stored closed, and a closed book is actually quite hard to burn. You can throw gasoline on a  closed book, you can light in several times, but you'll likely just end up with a book with no more than charred edges. This is because books are too dense. The outside gets hot, but not hot enough to ignite the inside of a book that's just sitting in a normal closed manner. Heat from the initial fire is dissipated to the inside of the book. But the inside doesn't reach ignition temperature. But the fire on the outside of the book causes a layer of char which in turn raises the temperature needed for ignition. So what you need is a hotter fire.

But how do you get a fire that's hot enough? Because the fire from one closed book just won't get hot enough. Well, you could take a page (pun intended) from the book burnings throughout history. First you start with a big fire. Perhaps started with kindling and pages torn from the books that are about to be burned. Then books are thrown in one by one. They may land open, which burns much easier, or they may land closed. But a pile begins to form... an irregular pile that has many gaps and channels for airflow. This allows for a much hotter and sustainable fire to form.

All that said, I hate the idea of burning books. Sure, I don't agree with many a holy book, but I don't want to burn them. Books are an amazing thing. A way of recording ideas and thoughts and passing them on to following generations. Sure, sometimes they contain and pass on rubbish. But sometimes
A church burning Harry Potter books... Wait, what?
they are invaluable. To this day, when I think of the great loss the world sustained when the Christians burned the great library of Alexandria, I can't help but still feel wronged by them, as well as wonder how much more advanced we could be today if that knowledge had not been forever lost.

So yes, a Bible may survive a fire, but it's in no way miraculous. What it is, is physics in action. It could be a Bible, Qur'an, cook book, or an illustrated history of the Ford Mustang. Physics... explaining 'miracles' since, well... always.

-Brain Hulk

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Thursday, May 22, 2014

Atheist by Thanksgiving

A fellow called Bruce Bishop wrote a letter in to his local paper. In it he claims that colleges are on a mission to create America hating, socialist, atheists... Is this a joke?
Thousands of bright young people will head off to college this fall with smiles on their faces and Jesus in their hearts.

By Thanksgiving, many will be convinced that they are atheists. They also will be socialists, “peace activists,” anti-capitalists and “environmentalists” who are ashamed of their country.
I went to college. My wife went to college. Several people we know went to college. But none us were transformed into anti-capitalist America haters. And to tell the truth, I never saw a hint on the conspiracy that Bruce is positing.

Oh, and why is he saying 'peace activists' and 'environmentalists' as if those are bad things? Oh yes, those terrible environmentalists want to stop destroying our planet, and those dangerous peace lovers don't want to go about killing people for no good reason. Won't someone think of the children!

Granted, I realized my atheism around my college years, but that wasn't a direct result of college, or some anti-Christian scheme. Actually, religion was never touched on in a negative tone at all.
There are thousands of atheist/socialists teaching on college campuses who take great joy in converting our kids to their way of thinking.
Really? Because I've never seen any, nor has my wife... Or any college graduates that I know for that matter.
Their primary weapon is ridicule and the most “churchified” kids have little armor against it. Of course the “cool” kids will have already abandoned any moral or religious teachings, and thus contribute to the conversion of the innocent.
The enemy of religion is not this supposed ridicule that Bruce claims devout students are the victims of, but education. You see, the more actual facts that you learn, the less believable religion tends to become. And you know what? If your religion's greatest enemy is facts, then that should tell you something about your religion...

'Abandoned any moral teachings'? Really? He's breaking out the tired amoral atheist bit? How insulting. Too bad for him, the facts defy him again. Atheists can and usually are wonderfully moral people.

Also, why do I feel like he would consider it ridicule when a believer tells someone else how to live their life, and they reply by asking them to mind their own business?
While these know-it-all professors would be “owned” by real Christian apologists, our kids are no match for their combination of classroom authority and grading power.
Only so long as they come from the lands around them... Oh, you don't mean that kind of owned. Sorry, I got confused what with the Bible telling who you can own as a slave.

But seriously, I have easily poked holes in the arguments of many a religious apologist, and I'm no professor. Granted, theology interests me, and most professors are probably best versed in the field of study that they teach. But so what if a particular professor can't quote scripture? They are there to teach biology, accounting, nursing, etc... Not religion. Leave that to their personal pastor.
These professors are elitists who look down their noses at religious people as being backward and unsophisticated. The truth is, they are intellectually lazy and narrow-minded; otherwise they would see the overwhelming benefits of our Judeo-Christian heritage on our country, and on Western civilization.
Yeah... The people that went to school for all those years, and probably earned a doctorate are intellectually lazy... How did I never see that before?! We got it already Bruce, "Knowledge bad!"

Oh, and must I remind that the United States stated in our very first treaty that the US was 'in no sense founded on the Christian religion', and that the founders went out of their way to write a wholly secular Constitution? Sure, Judeo-Christian culture can have it's pluses, but it's negatives can't be ignored. We also shouldn't look past the fact that Christianity isn't needed in order to have those benefits either.
What drives these people is a need to feel superior. This is easy in front of a classroom full of college freshmen, the most clueless and easily manipulated creatures on the planet.
That's awful insulting to college freshmen! And I also find it odd that Bruce would take issue with the manipulating of the easily impressionable. What does he think churches are doing when they indoctrinate small children every Sunday?
The real driver, however, is socialism, driven by envy and a lust for power. These people have been told their whole lives that they are the“best and brightest.” Then someone asks, “If you are so smart, why aren’t you rich?”
Teaching facts is not bullying, persecution, or an attempt to
convert... It's the transfer of knowledge. Which is, after all,
what school is for. If you want to deny knowledge, why
go to college in the first place?
Their only answer to that question is to attack those who are rich by accusing them of cheating, stealing, exploitation and greed. Thus they are committed to tearing down what works (capitalism) and replacing it with something (socialism) that has failed every time it has been tried.
Again, I've never seen a sniff of this. Oh, and the two choices are not only mass income inequality under capitalism, and socialism. How about option three...? Fixing capitalism! As money has become more and more intertwined with politics, capitalism has become distorted and rigged if the favor of the 'haves' and against the 'have nots'. May I ask what is wrong with a returm to fair capitalism?

So despite what Bruce claims, atheist and socialist are not synonyms. And there is no mass conspiracy against Christianity in college. College is there to make kids smarter and better prepared for the real world. And if something as simple as knowledge causes a loss of belief, then those beliefs weren't exactly as obviously true as Bruce would have us believe.

-Brain Hulk

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Wednesday, May 21, 2014

The average American is wrong

YouGov recently ran a survey where they asked 991 Americans if they thought they were as intelligent as the average American, much less intelligent, slightly less intelligent, slightly more intelligent, or much more intelligent. The results showed that 55% or respondents opined that they were more intelligent. So the average American thinks that they are smarter than the average
American. Interesting...

The sad truth is that many of those that think they are more intelligent are actually incorrect. Let's first consider IQ. The average IQ in the United States is 98. At last testing, mine was 138 (you can thank sleep deprivation for my occasional spelling errors). Being in the 99th percentile, I'd say I would be classified as much more intelligent than the average American. That considered, I still realize that there are those in our grand nation who score much higher still. It seems to me that the average American tends to overestimate their intelligence.

Lets also consider another recent poll. Americans were asked the gauge their degree of acceptance of different scientific issues. There are some results that aren't bad. 82% accept that smoking causes cancer. Sadly, that was the question with the highest degree of acceptance. Only 53% feel that childhood vaccines are effective. Only 33% recognized the evidence for climate change. A far too low 31% were confident in the process of evolution. 27% were sure about the earth being 4.5 billion years old. And a staggeringly low 21% accept the Big Bang theory.

These are all those that are supported by evidence. Things that are actually true. Yet only the minority of the Americans surveyed actually answered those last few questions correctly. Climate change is real. So is evolution and the Big Bang. The evidence is all there to see, yet far too many allow politics or religious belief to convince them to reject these truths. With the majority of Americans posting such dismal results, I feel it lowers the bar of 'average' even further.

The good news is that I feel that this is a problem that can be corrected. If we can get conservatives to stop fighting the teaching of science in our school science classes instead of trying to force in religion, that will go a long way. That won't fix everything though. We also need an investment in and rehabbing of our education system. Improve the education system so that learning and critical thinking are paramount, rather than just test scores. Also, our schools aren't getting the money they need to do the job they need to. An increase in funding would be very welcome indeed.

There is more to be done. But I feel that we really do need to do what we can to assure that being an averagely intelligent American is something much more impressive on the world's stage than our current ranking of 19th.

-Brain Hulk

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Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Which god exists?

Robin Schumacher wrote a story for The Christian Post entitled "Answering the Question ‘Which God Exists?’"...
A favorite tactic of various atheists and skeptics who struggle to supply valid rebuttals against the arguments that a creator God exists is to ask the question, “OK, so tell me which god exists? Odin? Thor? Allah? There are countless gods to choose from so why I should I believe in the one you’re talking about?”

Putting aside the normal acerbic tone that typically accompanies the question, it’s actually a very valid matter to discuss. Is there a reasonable way to determine what kind of supernatural deity or deities really exist?
Struggle to supply valid rebuttals? Believers I debate typically struggle to present a logical argument without falling back on faith alone or one or more fallacies. That aside, I'm happy to hear that Robin
rates the question instead of just brushing it aside.
Looking at all that we know and observe, here are some characteristics of the creator / first cause that are fairly obvious:
  • The cause must be supernatural (because it created the natural).
  • The cause must be powerful (incredibly).
  • The cause must be eternal or self-existent.
  • The cause must be omnipresent (it created space and is not limited by it).
  • The cause must be timeless and changeless (because it created time).
  • The cause must be immaterial (because it transcends space/physical).
  • The cause must be purposeful/personal (defined as “having intent”).
  • The cause must be necessary (as everything else depends on it).
  • The cause must be infinite and singular as you cannot have two infinites.
  • The cause must be diverse yet have unity (as unity and diversity exist everywhere).
  • The cause must be intelligent (supremely).
  • The cause must be moral (no moral law can be had without a moral law giver).
  • The cause must be caring (or no moral laws would have been given).
Taking these observable and discoverable qualities and applying them to the supposed countless gods of various mythologies produces no direct match, with only the God described in the three major Abrahamic faiths (Judaism, Islam, Christianity) making the grade. However, applying them to the God as described in the Bible results in the proverbial bull’s-eye.
Sure, when you stack the deck in the manner Robin has, you can make it look on the surface like the god of the Bible fits the bill best. But when you look at his list, you will find that most are not necessary at all. Instead it looks like a list that was built to fit his God first, and then claimed that these are all necessary truths. A Norse believer might as well insert "The cause must have a hammer (you use a hammer to build things, so you need one to build the cosmos) Therefor, Thor." Or what about, "The cause must have wings (how else would the creator view creation?) Therefor Isis."? I hope he was unaware of this stacking of the deck. Because if it was deliberate, that is a pretty deceptive and dishonest move.

But lets look closer at each one...

• The cause must be supernatural (because it created the natural).

Incorrect. Remember, 'supernatural' refers to things that are outside scientific understanding and/or the laws of nature. If a god was to be known and explained by science, it would then become part of the natural model.

• The cause must be powerful (incredibly).

Most likely. Unless they had some way to harness energy external to themselves somehow.

• The cause must be eternal or self-existent.

This one isn't true at all. A deistic god creates and then steps back and then only watches with no intervention. With that in mind, why couldn't a deity die or use up all their energy when creating the universe? The only thing they'd be needed for is the initial creation. After that, there's no need for them.

• The cause must be omnipresent (it created space and is not limited by it).

In what way is this trait even remotely required? Suppose a god does create the universe... They wouldn't just automatically have to then be omnipresent. This is just here to make the Christian god look more likely.

• The cause must be timeless and changeless (because it created time).

Why timeless and changeless? Perhaps this god simply has a very long, yet still finite life span. And why wouldn't it be able to change? Perhaps it ages... Perhaps it changes to fit the world it's in... Or maybe it changes just because it wants too... Hey, Robin did say this god is supposed to be incredibly powerful. Say, powerful enough to change to fit his desires?

• The cause must be immaterial (because it transcends space/physical).

Perhaps. But what is he then? If God isn't made of atoms, then how does he have a body? Or is he arguing for a disembodied 'mind', even thought there is no 'mind' without a brain, which is itself, material?

• The cause must be purposeful/personal (defined as “having intent”).

Sorry, this one is not needed either. Did this deity have to have a purpose in creating? It could have just been bored, or an accident. But when you throw 'personal' in there, this is more stacking of the deck. Remember the deistic god? That one isn't personal, yet is just as, if not more likely than the Christian god.

• The cause must be necessary (as everything else depends on it).

In the context of getting a universe, sure, whatever caused it (God, Big Bang) was necessary to get that universe. But stop and ask this... Did there have to be a universe? The answer is that no, there doesn't. But there is, so a cause is obviously needed for the reaction we find ourselves in.

• The cause must be infinite and singular as you cannot have two infinites.

Actually, it doesn't have to be infinite. Once creation takes place, the deity's job is done. They  could go on living forever, or the universe could be created from them. But the causal deity need not be totally infinite.

• The cause must be diverse yet have unity (as unity and diversity exist everywhere).

And why couldn't it just get the ball rolling and everything fall into place from there?

• The cause must be intelligent (supremely).

Actually, no. It could also be that a creator deity is powerful, yet not intelligent. Creation could have all been a big beautiful accident.

• The cause must be moral (no moral law can be had without a moral law giver).

Not even close. The fact that atheists are exceptionally moral is proof that a moral law giver is not needed. Furthermore, how can anyone that has honestly read the Bible consider the genocidal god within it's pages to be moral? Oh, and this is yet another attempt to unnecessarily plug God in the have to have list.

• The cause must be caring (or no moral laws would have been given).

Once more, Deism shows that a caring creator isn't needed either. This is of course, another attempt to shoehorn God in. But I really fail to see how Christians seriously consider their god to be caring...

Oh, and then Robin references Bible passages to show that God fits all her criteria. Sorry, but that doesn't float. You need actual verifiable sources and evidence. I could write a book right now about a magic eternal sock-puppet that also fits all of Robin's criteria. Would that then prove my sock-puppet to be the god that exists?
Putting agendas and worldviews aside, which truly makes more sense: (1) That an impersonal, non-conscious, meaningless, purposeless, and amoral universe that had its own beginning accidentally created personal, conscious, moral beings who are obsessed with meaning and purpose, or (2) That a personal, conscious, purposeful, intelligent, moral, eternal God created beings in His likeness and established the universe and laws to govern their existence that reflect His character?
Since you're asking, the first one. You know the less complicated (and therefore more likely) option that actually has evidence on it's side. Call me silly, but I find evidence rather persuasive. 
With the first option, you have a cause that reflects none of its effects whereas the second option’s cause reflects them all.
Oh, and considering that only 0.0000000000000000000042% of the universe contains matter (of which we are an even smaller fraction), isn't it silly to project our existence at relative to meaning of the entire universe? The fact is that the vast majority of the universe is consistent with option one, and we are but a miniscule minority. But a miniscule minority that has somehow learned to stand on the shoulders of giants and learn as much as we have. Damn it feels good to be alive!

-Brain Hulk

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Monday, May 19, 2014

Is God still working miracles?

A reader of Billy Graham's asked him is God is still working miracles. I don't think it should come as any surprise that Billy's answer is 'yes'...
Q: Does God still do miracles, like He did in biblical times? If He does, why doesn't He do more of them? Maybe more people would believe in Him if He did. -- K.J.H.
'Still do miracles'?  Sorry KJH, but there's no proof that anyone has ever preformed a miracle... Ever!
A: God is not limited, and He is certainly able to work in miraculous ways today just as He did in biblical times, if He so chooses. If He didn't, why would we bother to pray when a loved one falls ill or God's work is opposed by evil forces?
He's not limited? This poor excuse of a deity is unable to defeat chariots that are fitted with iron (Judges 1:19), so I'd say he has plenty of limitations... Or is iron just his Kryptonite, so to speak?

Also, why people pray is a meaningless question when you consider that prayer simply doesn't work. But the usual underlying reason is a psychological coping mechanism. It may make some people feel at ease, but it's no more than a placebo effect.
At the same time, much of what God does in the world is hidden from us. Think, for example, of the work He has given His angels to do on our behalf. Occasionally they may make their presence known, but for the most part, they're hidden from us, and only in heaven will we understand how they protected us or delivered us from danger. Much of what they do could be labeled as miracles. The Bible says, "Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation?" (Hebrews 1:14).
Seriously? Is Billy really arguing for secret miracles? I could argue that my big cat (lets call him Goddamnly Cat) works secret miracles as well. Hell, maybe he turns the knobs that control the universe and smites the damned... All secretly of course. Would Billy believe such a claim? Of course not! Yet the proof that the Goddamnly Cat performs miracles and God does are exactly the same. Remember, the invisible and non-existent look exactly the same. That goes for supposedly secret miracles as well...
Would more people believe in God or in Christ if they saw a miracle? Not necessarily. Countless people saw Jesus perform miracles, yet they refused to believe in Him or give their lives to Him. Don't let this be true of you!
Here's the thing... There is no proof that Jesus actually existed, let alone that he preformed miracles. If I witnessed a genuine miracle, I would believe. Simple as that. In fact, I wager that a proven and public miracle would change the minds of the vast majority of those that don't believe. After all, the one thing we are always asking for is evidence.
And on the seventh day, Goddamnly rested
The greatest miracle of all, however, is the miracle of a changed life -- and this can happen, as we open our hearts and lives to Christ. Do others see Christ in you -- His love, His compassion, His purity, His joy? Make sure of your commitment to Christ, then ask Him to change you from within by His Holy Spirit, and make you a living witness to the miracle of His transforming power.
Or the great miracle of a changed life after accepting the Buddha, Krishna, Allah, Goddamnly Cat, etc... If you call that a miracle, either all other Gods are also real or that feeling isn't a miracle at all.

-Brain Hulk

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Friday, May 16, 2014

One question to ask unbelievers?

I stumbled upon this video from One Minute Apologist. On this video, they claim to have one question that believers should ask non-believers. And even claim it to be a gotcha question that will reveal that atheists just don't want to believe...

They suggest that the one question that all believers should ask of non-believers is, "If Christianity was proven true, would you become a Christian?" It is then claimed that if the atheist hesitates at all, or even says no, that they are being unreasonable or just don't want to believe. Anyone that's being honest already knows that belief in anything is not a choice, so let's instead focus on the claim of it being unreasonable rather than an intellectual position.

So here we go... So if Christianity was proven true, would I become a Christian? Probably not. Am I being unreasonable? I certainly don't think so. It would be unreasonable to claim Jesus never existed if it were proven that he did. And what if that was the case? That it was proven that Jesus lived, died, rose from the dead and was the son of God? I would certainly admit that to be the case and believe Jesus was who Christianity says he was. I'd admit that I was wrong, but I probably still wouldn't become a Christian. Not unless Jesus came to me and said, "The Bible... Yeah, I don't know who wrote that rubbish but that crazy and evil shit wasn't me and my dad."

Why? I've read the Bible. Quite simply, the god of the Bible is not a god that deserves worship. He created the first two people and told them not to eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. However, he created them without the concept of understanding good and evil. So they had no idea it was bad to do why God said not to do. And furthermore, God is supposed to be omniscient, so he would have known this before he started, but still didn't correct the error. In short, God set them up to fail in the very first act.

Read on and you find God commanding genocides, drowning the whole world for no good reason at all, punishing women for being raped, condoning slavery, killing children, misogynistic rules, demanding a ritual human sacrifice, and then demanding us to accept it as well. He says he wants to forgive, but won't unless we shortchange our morals, and the list goes on... Oh, and he'll punish you infinitely for finite crimes. That is, except for people that worship him no matter what they were like... Kill a busload of kids? You believed, so welcome to Heaven! Oh, you were a good person but didn't believe? Hell for you!

He demands respect instead of earning it. Due to God's Biblical character, I would view it as a moral prerogative not to worship such a vile and hateful being. Would it get me on his bad side? Sure. But at least I'd be able to sleep at night knowing that I was standing up for what is right. I wouldn't be an atheist anymore though. Remember, we're operating under the premise that Jesus is real. Given that, I'd probably end up as a Shinto-Buddhist. Remember, the Bible does allude to there being other gods. So if Jesus is real, maybe the Buddha is too.

Then there's the tired claim that we don't believe because we don't want anyone telling us what to do. Sorry, but if belief in God is the only thing keeping you from a shooting spree, you are the one people should be worrying about. I'm moral without religion, and my non-religious life isn't much different from my religious one. And hey, most Christians ignore most of the rules in the Bible anyway. Bacon sales alone prove that point.

And finally they claim to have talked to an atheist that has never read the Bible. Congratulations, they found the anomaly! Why do I say that? Because I know far more atheists that have read the entire Bible, than I do Christians who have done so. In my experience, Christians tend to only know the bits that are mentioned at their church services. Surprisingly often, I find myself telling a believer what the Bible actually says.

My atheism was a search for truth, and for that reason, I think the atheist they talked to should read the Bible as well. But doing so is no guarantee of the result of conversion that they expect. In fact, actually reading the Bible was an eye opening experience for me. It was a big part of me falling from faith, as well as the discovery that the Christian god is far from the all-loving figure that believers present him as.

So, no... If Christianity was proven true, I wouldn't convert. I'd admit I was wrong, and instead stand up for what is right. That may be rooting for the underdog, but it certainly wouldn't be dishonest or unreasonable on my part.

-Brain Hulk

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Thursday, May 15, 2014

Duck-suit atheist?

I ran across this story from the Roanoke Star the other day by Dennis Garvin. It's so absurd that I almost didn't bother writing this blog. But then I say that some people had actually 'liked' this story's facebook link. Sigh...
“If it waddles like a duck and quacks like a duck and flies like a duck, it must be an atheist in a duck suit.”   –  Dennis Garvin, former atheist and duck-suit wearer
Well this is off to an interesting start already... Duck-suit? Is that a Virginia term, or am I missing something? Also, Dennis claims to have been an atheist but doesn't say why. Simply stating you were once an atheist is a meaningless statement because everyone is born with no belief in God. Based on the rest of this article, I'm going to guess he wasn't an atheist due to reason.

 Atheistic science suffers from the same foibles common to all humanity… narrow-mindedness, intolerance, judgmentalism
First, it's important to point out that there is no such thing as 'atheistic science'. There's just, well... science! Also, I'm guessing Dennis doesn't quite understand science or how it's self correcting nature works. Oh, and it seems that for the remainder of this Dennis also doesn't understand that science and atheist are not interchangeable terms.

For years, the atheists said the universe and all its particulate matter had always existed.  Then came the Big Bang Theory where, in an infinitely small period of time, light came into existence (and Only light, no solid stuff) That sounds eerily like Genesis 1:3 “And God said ‘let there be light,’ and there was light.”  Carl Sagan, producer of ‘Cosmos,’ refused to accept this theory and insisted on continuing to reinvent the flat tire.
Um... I guess that Dennis also doesn't realize that light (photons) was not the first thing that was created in the Big Bang. So much for that claim, huh? And of course early theories would be that the universe always existed. At that time there was no evidence to suggest otherwise. But guess what? We found evidence and changed our minds accordingly. That's not a shot against science at all! As for his Carl Sagan claim... citation needed.

Atheists laugh at the six days of creation versus the 15 billion years of he universe, claiming it to be irreconcilable. That is laughable only if you are stuck in the Newtonian physics of the 18th century.  Einstein introduced Relativity.  This explains for us, for example, why we would weigh less on the moon than we do on earth, the force of gravity changing relative to the space rock we are standing on. The atheist embraces Einstein but doesn’t want relativity applied to the passage of time itself; that Time is influenced and changed by many factors. Using the wavelength of Cosmic Background radiation and Einstein’s Time Dilation, we find that the 15 billion years of scientific creationism fits precisely with the six days of biblical creation, those six days passing at the speed of time back in the beginning.  Atheists really should get their heads shaved so these concepts won’t get caught in their hair as they zoom over their heads.
No doubt there would be severe time dilation if one were watching the Big Bang from afar. But there was no 'somewhere' to watch it from in the first place. Remember, that if you were somehow in the Big Bang, time would appear to pass normally to you. Models clearly do not support a local creating of the entire universe in just six days. The formation of Earth itself took about 767 million years to coalesce and cool. That alone doesn't match the Biblical account of Earth being created the first day.

It it any better if we are viewing from an Earthy perspective? Nope. Each day of creation is described as dawn to dusk. But while light was created on day 1, the light sources (sun and stars) were not created until day four. If the sun had not been created until day four, there was no way to keep track of dawn to dusk days. Also, the Bible has the Earth being created first, and then the Sun. This is very much the reverse of what actually happened. Furthermore, all stars are not the same age. It is plain wrong to say that all stars were created at one time. Our very own solar system was born from the death of a previous generation star. Also, we can see light today from stars that are at distances of millions and billions of light years. This again, does not wash with Biblical creation.
Evolutionists opined that mankind appeared on the earth simultaneously in multiple different locations, sneering at Adam and Eve.  Then came the finding of mitochondrial DNA which can trace mankind back through generations along the maternal line.  Doing regression studies, they have traced the origin of humanity back along a migratory path that began in eastern Africa, possibly northeast; quite close to where the Bible places Eden.   The media referred to a prime beginner female and called her ‘Eve.’ The evolutionary biologists sputtered and denied it.  When you search through their Latin, their denial is only based on a desperate hope
There are various evidences that support the 'out of Africa' theory. So what if that has become the primary explanation rather than simultaneous evolution?  Remember, science adjusts and improves as evidence is collected.

The desperation is palpable when you are trying to make the use of the term mitochondrial Eve into a controversy. Unlike the Eve in the Bible, mitochondrial Eve was not the only human female alive at that time. She's simply the one still with an unbroken genetic chain to the present. Also, I've never heard outrage over calling her Eve. Does Dennis think we fear that calling her Eve somehow gives credence to the Biblical one? Does Thursday's being named for Thor leave an impression of Thor being real. The space shuttle Enterprise is named after the star ship in Star Trek. Is that a nod to Captain Kirk and Spock being real? Does the recently named Pinocchio Rex lead one to outrage and worry that the name will cause others to think Pinnocchio is real? The simple fact is that names often have cultural references so that they are easily recognizable and understandable to people. And Eve just happens to fit the bill.
The Flood.  This is a favorite whipping boy for the atheists: pure fantasy, they squeak.  They come up with strangled explanations (superposition; an aberrant shift of tectonic plates) for marine (salt water) fossils found two miles above sea level in the Andes. Then, there are ancient maps indicating that the Antarctic ice was absent at a time when humans were alive to map the land mass beneath it (the melting of that ice would raise sea-level 200 feet across the globe).
 Yes, if all the ice on earth melted, sea levels would rise 200 ft. But one pole melting doesn't
necessarily tell us what's going on at the other. But let's suppose all the ice did melt. Remember, Mt. Everest has an elevation of 29,029 ft. So 200 ft is only a drop in the bucket needed. A 200 ft higher sea level causes problems for Noah too. Not only would it make getting all the impossible to obtain animals even more difficult, that extra water may very well mean that where the story was supposed to take place was already flooded before the flood. Plus the Earth being covered with that much water would slow it's rotation, making days longer. Meaning that the days of creation would have had to been even shorter than 24 hours.
Oh Oh.  In March 2014, Scientific American published an article in which they are now believing that there is ‘another ocean worth of water’ caught in the mantle of the earth.  Were that to have come up to the surface, it would seem oddly like Genesis 7:11 ‘all the springs of the great deep burst forth.’  Yes, boys and girls, it did rain for 40 days and nights, but that isn’t where most of the water came from.
Yes, Scientific American did publish such an article. But it didn't mean what Dennis thinks it does. The water is not present as liquid water. Rather it is in the form of hydroxide ions and trapped within a type of mineral called ringwoodite. When you add up the estimated amount of ringwoodite in the mantle, and assume that the mantle is equally 'wet' throughout, you get an oceans worth of water. But water that is trapped in a gem. Not exactly like liquid water shooting out of Old Faithful by any stretch. But what if it was liquid water?  Well, it's too hot in the mantle, so it would erupt as super heated killer steam. But let's just pretend it's liquid water anyway. What if we assumed that water was equal to the above ground oceans, and we melted all the ice? Well, we're still a long way off from the amount of water needed to flood the Earth. Also, let us not forget that the water question is far from the only problem with the flood story.
Scientists talk about entire continents separating from each other.  Gosh, how might that happen?  It couldn’t possibly be from an expansion of the earth as the water receded back into the earth’s mantle.  Naw!  We may need to go on EBay for a better duck-suit.
Except that such a catastrophic and sudden shift would fracture the Earth with devastating earthquakes. Oh, and the fact that we already know how continental drift works...

No statement in the Bible has been proven false.
  Oh really? Lets start with Leviticus 11:13-19...
This is NOT a bird!
And these you shall regard as an abomination among the birds; they shall not be eaten, they are an abomination: the eagle, the vulture, the buzzard, the kite, and the falcon after its kind; every raven after its kind, the ostrich, the short-eared owl, the sea gull, and the hawk after its kind; the little owl, the fisher owl, and the screech owl; the white owl, the jackdaw, and the carrion vulture; the stork, the heron after its kind, the hoopoe, and the bat.
That's right, the Bible says that bats are birds. That's certainly something we've proven to be false. There are many more examples, but Dennis said there wasn't even one, so I feel satisfied stopping with that.

To close, what disrespectful and mocking behavior on Dennis' part... Maybe he thinks he's being cute or clever. But the good news is that it makes him easy to not take seriously. But I have just one final question... What the hell does 'duck-suit' mean (aside from a Halloween costume)?

-Brain Hulk

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