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Philosophia
January 6th, 2009, 08:27 PM
Richard Dawkins launches 'There is no God' adverts on buses across Britain

The archsceptic professor Richard Dawkins today launched Britain's first atheist campaign posting the message: "There's probably no God. So stop worrying and enjoy your life" on the side of 800 British buses.

The posters launched in conditions cold enough to freeze a presumably non-existent hell over co-incided with the Christian feast of the Epiphany, when according to tradition three magi from the East presented the baby Jesus with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.

From here (http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/faith/article5459138.ece)

I don't know whether this belongs here or somewhere else. _inabox_

spiral
January 7th, 2009, 05:46 AM
Wow, that must be some kind of milestone for atheism. It will be interesting to hear how people react.

David19
January 7th, 2009, 12:34 PM
Personally, I think this is just evangelicalism, except for Atheism, although, me, and, probably, everyone else in the country, religious or non-religious, will see it how we all see similar religious adverts (you know, the ones that say "Jesus is here to save you", "God loves you", etc), as pathetic, and, we won't pay any attention to them.

Although, if a Muslim did this, I bet you'd get an uproar, including some Atheists (especially Richard Dawkins) bitching about it.

You know, I'm wondering something about Richard Dawkins, he's a scientist, but, what has he done, or is doing, that helps people, and campaigning for militant Atheism doesn't count, is he trying to develop a cure for cancer?, no, is he trying to develop a cure for HIV/AIDS?, no, etc. I just wonder what is he doing?, just enjoying making loads of money?.

Caitlin.ann
January 7th, 2009, 12:52 PM
Personally, I think this is just evangelicalism, except for Atheism, although, me, and, probably, everyone else in the country, religious or non-religious, will see it how we all see similar religious adverts (you know, the ones that say "Jesus is here to save you", "God loves you", etc), as pathetic, and, we won't pay any attention to them.

Pretty well how I feel. Dawkins is a militant atheist, the exact opposite of fundamentalist evangelists and just as annoying.

Laisrean
January 7th, 2009, 04:23 PM
I think what he is doing is his right, and should be 100% legal under freedom of expression.

That said, I can also see why people would be upset by this. Whether God is real or not, people like to believe he/she/it does exist because it gives them hope. Telling adults that God doesn't exist isn't much different than telling children Santa Claus doesn't exist. Even if that's true, it is upsetting to people.

Caitlin.ann
January 7th, 2009, 04:24 PM
I think what he is doing is his right, and should be 100% legal under freedom of expression.

That said, I can also see why people would be upset by this. Whether God is real or not, people like to believe he/she/it does exist because it gives them hope. Telling adults that God doesn't exist isn't much different than telling children Santa Claus doesn't exist. Even if that's true, it is upsetting to people.

How is it not legal?

Laisrean
January 7th, 2009, 05:52 PM
How is it not legal?

I never said it wasn't.

Caitlin.ann
January 7th, 2009, 05:55 PM
I never said it wasn't.

This


and should be 100% legal under freedom of expression

threw me off..

Infinite Grey
January 7th, 2009, 06:02 PM
Personally, I think this is just evangelicalism, except for Atheism, although, me, and, probably, everyone else in the country, religious or non-religious, will see it how we all see similar religious adverts (you know, the ones that say "Jesus is here to save you", "God loves you", etc), as pathetic, and, we won't pay any attention to them.

Although, if a Muslim did this, I bet you'd get an uproar, including some Atheists (especially Richard Dawkins) bitching about it.

You know, I'm wondering something about Richard Dawkins, he's a scientist, but, what has he done, or is doing, that helps people, and campaigning for militant Atheism doesn't count, is he trying to develop a cure for cancer?, no, is he trying to develop a cure for HIV/AIDS?, no, etc. I just wonder what is he doing?, just enjoying making loads of money?.

He created a small revolution by bringing the focus of evolution around to the genes - it is his Selfish Gene that has led to some pretty comprehensive theories about group altruism, homosexuality, and general evolutionary behavior.

"The gene-centered view of evolution, gene selection theory or selfish gene theory holds that natural selection acts through differential survival of competing genes, increasing the frequency of those alleles whose phenotypic effects successfully promote their own propagation. According to this theory, adaptations are the phenotypic effects through which genes achieve their propagation."

He also helped develop the concept of the Meme, and coined the term.

He was often an intellectual rival of Stephen Jay Gould - though I dare say, Gould was the better of the two.

BlackLili
January 7th, 2009, 06:54 PM
He created a small revolution by bringing the focus of evolution around to the genes - it is his Selfish Gene that has led to some pretty comprehensive theories about group altruism, homosexuality, and general evolutionary behavior.

"The gene-centered view of evolution, gene selection theory or selfish gene theory holds that natural selection acts through differential survival of competing genes, increasing the frequency of those alleles whose phenotypic effects successfully promote their own propagation. According to this theory, adaptations are the phenotypic effects through which genes achieve their propagation."

He also helped develop the concept of the Meme, and coined the term.

He was often an intellectual rival of Stephen Jay Gould - though I dare say, Gould was the better of the two.
They sort of had one of those "frenemy" things going on, didn't they?

Infinite Grey
January 7th, 2009, 07:04 PM
They sort of had one of those "frenemy" things going on, didn't they?

Yeah, personally they were great friends - professionally they were at each other's throats. That's often the way of scientists - Just read the bio of Stephen Hawking for some stark examples of that.

mayu
January 7th, 2009, 07:19 PM
I think what he is doing is his right, and should be 100% legal under freedom of expression.

That said, I can also see why people would be upset by this. Whether God is real or not, people like to believe he/she/it does exist because it gives them hope. Telling adults that God doesn't exist isn't much different than telling children Santa Claus doesn't exist. Even if that's true, it is upsetting to people.

i agree.

David19
January 8th, 2009, 12:56 PM
Pretty well how I feel. Dawkins is a militant atheist, the exact opposite of fundamentalist evangelists and just as annoying.


I think what he is doing is his right, and should be 100% legal under freedom of expression.

That said, I can also see why people would be upset by this. Whether God is real or not, people like to believe he/she/it does exist because it gives them hope. Telling adults that God doesn't exist isn't much different than telling children Santa Claus doesn't exist. Even if that's true, it is upsetting to people.

I agree with Sacredsin (as my OP shows), it is legal, and Dawkins has every right to do this, but, there are better things to do, we get it, he's an Atheist, how is this any different than an Evangelical Christian, or fudamentalist Muslim, etc, going on about the wonders of Jesus, or how Allah is the greatest, and we should all worship him, etc?.

It's just a waste of time, IMO, and, just a publicity stunt.

David19
January 8th, 2009, 12:59 PM
He created a small revolution by bringing the focus of evolution around to the genes - it is his Selfish Gene that has led to some pretty comprehensive theories about group altruism, homosexuality, and general evolutionary behavior.

"The gene-centered view of evolution, gene selection theory or selfish gene theory holds that natural selection acts through differential survival of competing genes, increasing the frequency of those alleles whose phenotypic effects successfully promote their own propagation. According to this theory, adaptations are the phenotypic effects through which genes achieve their propagation."

He also helped develop the concept of the Meme, and coined the term.

He was often an intellectual rival of Stephen Jay Gould - though I dare say, Gould was the better of the two.

I'm not saying he's not a great scientist, I know he is (even some Christian Apologetics acknowledge that), I just think he should focus on the science, and not philosophy or theological matters, those aren't science subjects.

spiral
January 8th, 2009, 01:11 PM
I don't think that particular message (so relax and enjoy life) is going to do much to change the minds of most people... I think it would have been better to address some of the misconceptions about athiesm, like that athiests can't find meaning in life, or that they have no basis for morality. People who are religious are just going to think, well I'm basically relaxed and enjoy life already.

While I think it's pretty cool to see that athiesm is becoming more public, I don't really care whether people believe in God/s or not if they're decent, compassionate people (and I know there are exceptions, but most religious people aren't monsters). I'd like see athiests promoting the idea that tolerance and respect for life should be independent of religious beliefs, or the lack thereof, rather than just suggesting that life as an athiest is cruisy.

DoktorSick
February 4th, 2009, 03:10 AM
It's like if you are an atheist and you decide to voice your opinion all of sudden you are labelled a militant atheist.
I think dawkins is just trying to get the idea of atheist out there.And to show that there is fact an alternative to religion.

NefertSatSekhmet
February 4th, 2009, 06:51 AM
I've seen a couple of these buses about and think they are cool.

Though I am not atheist, my hubby is and I respect Humanism.

This ad campaign has certainly done its job and brought attention to the British Humanist Association.

http://www.atheistbus.org.uk/

Infinite Grey
February 4th, 2009, 07:32 AM
It's like if you are an atheist and you decide to voice your opinion all of sudden you are labelled a militant atheist.
I think dawkins is just trying to get the idea of atheist out there.And to show that there is fact an alternative to religion.

I pointed out that double standard in the Penn thread... Christians and other religions are allowed to voice their opinions and beliefs... but an atheist that is vocal about their lack of religion or beliefs suddenly they're militant atheists and as bad as fundamentalists.

Cunae
February 4th, 2009, 01:35 PM
I find it interesting that the signs say "probably." What does that mean? An iota of doubt? Why don't they say "There IS no god." like the headline falsely reports? I don't think I've ever heard an atheist say it that way. You'd think it puts doubt in those reading the signs who are already confirmed atheists. Like... what if there is a god? What if those wacky Christians are right? What if the signs create more doubt than promoting out right disbelief?

spiral
February 4th, 2009, 01:44 PM
I find it interesting that the signs say "probably." What does that mean? An iota of doubt? Why don't they say "There IS no god." like the headline falsely reports? I don't think I've ever heard an atheist say it that way. You'd think it puts doubt in those reading the signs who are already confirmed atheists. Like... what if there is a god? What if those wacky Christians are right? What if the signs create more doubt than promoting out right disbelief?

I think I read somewhere that someone other than Dawkins decided on the word 'probably', and that he wasn't too happy about it. I guess whoever it was thought that saying there definitely wasn't a god would be too confronting or something.

Fluffmeister
February 4th, 2009, 02:05 PM
I pointed out that double standard in the Penn thread... Christians and other religions are allowed to voice their opinions and beliefs... but an atheist that is vocal about their lack of religion or beliefs suddenly they're militant atheists and as bad as fundamentalists.

In the UK, atheism is pretty acceptable - and indeed, most scientists are atheists here without being labelled as "militant".

However, the difference is that most scientists will express their views forthrightly, but accept that some other people do have a religious belief, and that they have the right to do this. Dawkins simply labels anyone with a religious belief as "wrong", and his own understanding of religion is incredibly narrow - basically his concept of religion is fundamentalism, and the idea that god is a sort of "policeman in the sky". The many religions that don't have this view of god - Buddhism, Paganism, Hinduism, Taoism are simply off his radar - but they're still "wrong".

That's what makes Dawkins an annoying and militant fundamentalist atheist - not his atheism per se.

memnoch
February 4th, 2009, 02:19 PM
He is an asshat...I can't believe people take him seriously...yes he has had some accomplishments in science, but now he seems to spend his days making money off of anyone willing to him go on about how there is no god. As an agnostic, I find his views, and opinions the same as I do of the religious, so I think it is a very valid point comparing him to Fallwell, Robertson, and their ilk.

I'm waiting for him to die so we can begin with the "Dawkins doesn't exist-God".

Iris
February 4th, 2009, 07:55 PM
Me and my SO saw this on a bus the other day and laughed our asses off. We think it's fantastic.

And FYI, there are definitely Christian adverts on the side of buses (I remember seeing a few for the Alpha Course) so I think it's perfectly fine to have atheist adverts.

Philosophia
February 4th, 2009, 08:04 PM
Dawkins doesn't like organized religion, not religion as a whole. I definitely don't think he's an asshat or a militant but rather exposing Atheism to the world (which he did).

princeether
February 4th, 2009, 08:17 PM
He is an asshat...I can't believe people take him seriously...

I think he is far from an 'Asshat'.

Darth Brooks
February 4th, 2009, 08:50 PM
However, the difference is that most scientists will express their views forthrightly, but accept that some other people do have a religious belief, and that they have the right to do this. Dawkins simply labels anyone with a religious belief as "wrong", and his own understanding of religion is incredibly narrow - basically his concept of religion is fundamentalism, and the idea that god is a sort of "policeman in the sky". The many religions that don't have this view of god - Buddhism, Paganism, Hinduism, Taoism are simply off his radar - but they're still "wrong".

That's what makes Dawkins an annoying and militant fundamentalist atheist - not his atheism per se.

He is not anywhere so bad as some atheists I have met face-to-face. But I do agree with what you have said about his knowledge of religion. Dawkins is an expert at science and when it comes to his opinions regarding scientific data, I will listen to him. But even just based off of what he had to say about polytheism, I don't think he's quite as well-researched in the religion department as some people think he is.

I don't really care about the buses. If atheists want to advertise atheism all over the place, then why not. After all, lots of other people advertise their beliefs like cheap whores and get away with it. There ought to be equal opportunity, right? The only thing I ask - no, demand - is that they don't get all bent out of shape when I exercise my right to think differently. Making snide remarks and generalizations about religious people only succeeds in alienating those of us who are religious and who defend the right of atheists to think the way they do. And since there are apparently fewer atheists in the world than I thought there were, I don't think they can exactly afford to just push away potential allies like that. I wouldn't recommend it, at least.

Infinite Grey
February 4th, 2009, 10:34 PM
I find it interesting that the signs say "probably." What does that mean? An iota of doubt? Why don't they say "There IS no god." like the headline falsely reports? I don't think I've ever heard an atheist say it that way. You'd think it puts doubt in those reading the signs who are already confirmed atheists. Like... what if there is a god? What if those wacky Christians are right? What if the signs create more doubt than promoting out right disbelief?

It's called intellectual integrity - nothing is absolutely certain and an honest person admits that. It's not doubt that makes people and scientists add qualifiers, it's that even if they are really really really really certain about something - there is still a possibility of the contrary, how ever remote. Religious people tend not to do that.



In the UK, atheism is pretty acceptable - and indeed, most scientists are atheists here without being labelled as "militant".

However, the difference is that most scientists will express their views forthrightly, but accept that some other people do have a religious belief, and that they have the right to do this. Dawkins simply labels anyone with a religious belief as "wrong", and his own understanding of religion is incredibly narrow - basically his concept of religion is fundamentalism, and the idea that god is a sort of "policeman in the sky". The many religions that don't have this view of god - Buddhism, Paganism, Hinduism, Taoism are simply off his radar - but they're still "wrong".

That's what makes Dawkins an annoying and militant fundamentalist atheist - not his atheism per se.

I hate defending Dawkins as it often labels me as an apologist - but you are misrepresenting what he has said in the past and present.

He has gone after other religions besides the monotheists, there's a pretty cool series where asks some basic questions to the people you listed and got the same crap answers he gets from the monotheists. He only focuses on the monotheists because they're the most common where he circulates his media.

Fluffmeister
February 6th, 2009, 01:24 PM
It's called intellectual integrity - nothing is absolutely certain and an honest person admits that. It's not doubt that makes people and scientists add qualifiers, it's that even if they are really really really really certain about something - there is still a possibility of the contrary, how ever remote. Religious people tend not to do that.




I hate defending Dawkins as it often labels me as an apologist - but you are misrepresenting what he has said in the past and present.

He has gone after other religions besides the monotheists, there's a pretty cool series where asks some basic questions to the people you listed and got the same crap answers he gets from the monotheists. He only focuses on the monotheists because they're the most common where he circulates his media.

I approve of the adverts. I think it's great that atheists are questioning belief - as a non-atheist, I love engaging in those sort of discussions, and they can be fruitful.

My objection is not to atheists in general, but to Dawkins and his simplistic arguments. In "The God Delusion" he asks - imagine a world without religion. There would be no Northern Ireland conflict (to give just one weak example). Yes there would. The conflict in Northern Ireland had nothing whatsoever to do with the fact that the Republicans are Roman Catholic and the "loyalists" are Protestants. When grown Protestant men were throwing rocks at five year old Catholic girls going to school, it wasn't because they were angry that those little girls believed that during Sunday communion that the wafer literally turned into the body of Christ, while they (the Protestants) considered this a metaphor. They were throwing rocks at them because they considered those girls were part of a community that gave its loyalty to a different nation state than the one that they gave their own loyalty to. If they didn't have religion, they'd find another excuse to attack each other.

Humans fight. It's what we do, sadly. Pol Pot and Stalin managed to massacre millions without the benefit of religion.

As for Dawkins' views on non-monotheistic religions, I'd like to hear them expounded. When I heard him interviewed and the interviewer said that Hinduism didn't fit in with his arguments he said "I'm not counting them, I'm talking about religion in the Christian/Muslim sense". Way to dismiss a billion people!

Cunae
February 6th, 2009, 01:37 PM
It's called intellectual integrity - nothing is absolutely certain and an honest person admits that. It's not doubt that makes people and scientists add qualifiers, it's that even if they are really really really really certain about something - there is still a possibility of the contrary, how ever remote. Religious people tend not to do that.

<snip>

But then it's ok to INSIST a Creator does not exist when it comes to evolution? We cannot teach intelligent design as a theory next to the "from nothing to something" theory?

Isn't that a double standard?

Infinite Grey
February 6th, 2009, 01:42 PM
My objection is not to atheists in general, but to Dawkins and his simplistic arguments. In "The God Delusion" he asks - imagine a world without religion. There would be no Northern Ireland conflict (to give just one weak example). Yes there would. The conflict in Northern Ireland had nothing whatsoever to do with the fact that the Republicans are Roman Catholic and the "loyalists" are Protestants. When grown Protestant men were throwing rocks at five year old Catholic girls going to school, it wasn't because they were angry that those little girls believed that during Sunday communion that the wafer literally turned into the body of Christ, while they (the Protestants) considered this a metaphor. They were throwing rocks at them because they considered those girls were part of a community that gave its loyalty to a different nation state than the one that they gave their own loyalty to. If they didn't have religion, they'd find another excuse to attack each other.

A bold assumption, completely contrary to what history and study of human nature shows. I know, especially to most believers - that blaming belief (specifically religion) sit uncomfortable, as it by vague extension applies to all religious belief... I guess that's why believers try their damnist to apply the same attributes of religious behaviour to Atheists, curious. Anyways. I would suggest you look up the results of the Milgram experiment and then think about the function of the clergy and god within religioin.




Humans fight. It's what we do, sadly. Pol Pot and Stalin managed to massacre millions without the benefit of religion.

Pol Pot and Stalin both had extreme political ideals at least, which substituted for religious belief... but in both cases, their positions of power were set up by strict and oppressive religious influence.



As for Dawkins' views on non-monotheistic religions, I'd like to hear them expounded. When I heard him interviewed and the interviewer said that Hinduism didn't fit in with his arguments he said "I'm not counting them, I'm talking about religion in the Christian/Muslim sense". Way to dismiss a billion people!

Yes, but he is not talking to them is he? The question was a red herring.

Fluffmeister
February 6th, 2009, 11:45 PM
But then it's ok to INSIST a Creator does not exist when it comes to evolution? We cannot teach intelligent design as a theory next to the "from nothing to something" theory?

Isn't that a double standard?

Not at all. Science doesn't insist that a creator god doesn't exist. What it does say is that such questions lie outside the remit of science, and shouldn't be taught in science classes. They can certainly be taught in theology classes.

There are lots of creation myths - should all of them be given equal teaching time? If so, it would really dilute science teaching. Surely the double standard would be to teach one specific religious viewpoint and pass it off as science, while ignoring all the others.

I'm with the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster on this one! (Google it :hahugh: )

Fluffmeister
February 6th, 2009, 11:51 PM
A bold assumption, completely contrary to what history and study of human nature shows. I know, especially to most believers - that blaming belief (specifically religion) sit uncomfortable, as it by vague extension applies to all religious belief... I guess that's why believers try their damnist to apply the same attributes of religious behaviour to Atheists, curious. Anyways. I would suggest you look up the results of the Milgram experiment and then think about the function of the clergy and god within religioin.



I'm familiar with the Milgram experiments. They're not dependent upon religion, merely upon an (unexpectedly rigid) obedience to authority. Sure, religious organisations can provide the structure that instils that kind of unquestioning obedience, but then so can non-religious organisations.

I'd be interested to know why you think this is contrary to what studies of human nature show. We're primates, and primates fight. Studies of chimps show that they not only fight, but declare war on other tribes of chimps. Is this because they have a religious conviction? It's possible, because we don't really know what other species think, but we don't have any evidence for this.

Cunae
February 6th, 2009, 11:56 PM
Not at all. Science doesn't insist that a creator god doesn't exist. What it does say is that such questions lie outside the remit of science, and shouldn't be taught in science classes. They can certainly be taught in theology classes.

There are lots of creation myths - should all of them be given equal teaching time? If so, it would really dilute science teaching. Surely the double standard would be to teach one specific religious viewpoint and pass it off as science, while ignoring all the others.

I'm with the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster on this one! (Google it :hahugh: )

A lot of science classes don't teach the something from nothing theory as a theory. They teach it as stone-cold fact (despite never being able to explain where all of the something actually originated). That's my problem with it.

Infinite Grey
February 7th, 2009, 12:07 AM
I'm familiar with the Milgram experiments. They're not dependent upon religion, merely upon an (unexpectedly rigid) obedience to authority. Sure, religious organisations can provide the structure that instils that kind of unquestioning obedience, but then so can non-religious organisations.

I didn't say it was dependent on religious organizations - my point was that religion provides the ultimate authority in which to transfer responsibility. If a person truly believes a person is the voice of god and orders them to slowly mutilate an infant to death, it is well within the means of an average human to do it if they truly believe it is god's will. The same is true for the authority of governments or corporations - but they can be eventually held accountable, god can not.




I'd be interested to know why you think this is contrary to what studies of human nature show. We're primates, and primates fight. Studies of chimps show that they not only fight, but declare war on other tribes of chimps. Is this because they have a religious conviction? It's possible, because we don't really know what other species think, but we don't have any evidence for this.

Yeah, and some primates form family units in which only the Alpha Male is allowed to breed. Chimps may be our closest living relative, but they are not homo sapiens - there are some marked differences.

Cooperation and imagination has always been the key to human success... the advancements in war show this, the war is actually inconsequential as it is the motivation of a immediate threat that is important factor, the same could be achieved with natural phenomena such as drought.

The wars themselves are based on territory conflicts being transcended into the more complex social ideologies... I am thinking of starting a thread musing on these subjects.

Fluffmeister
February 7th, 2009, 12:09 AM
A lot of science classes don't teach the some from nothing theory as a theory. They teach it as stone-cold fact (despite never being able to explain where all of the something actually originated). That's my problem with it.

Depends which theory you mean.

Evolution is not a "something from nothing" theory.

The Big Bang theory (accepted as the most likely explanation for the creation of the universe by most scientists) is a something from nothing theory in some respects - but in that respect, it's pretty similar to the Judeo-Christian creation myth (that the universe was created out of nothing). In fact, in the 1960s scientists disliked the Big Bang theory for precisely that reason initially - while the Catholic church were very keen on it. Scientists changed their mind because they were convinced by the overwhelming evidence.

And this, I think, is where science wins. It's easy to see what exists now and "make up" a theory for it - whether that theory is "God created it" or something that sounds more scientific. The beauty of science is not just in its ability to make up plausible theories for why things are they way they are now - but to make predictions based on that theory. In the case of the Big Bang theory, the scientific model predicted that we should be able to measure a background microwave radiation of between 2 to 3 Kelvin. That radiation was subsequently discovered. More recently, it was predicted, from the scientific model, that there should be subtle fluctuations in that background radiation. That theory came about before we had the equipment to measure it - but in the 1990s, we did develop the equipment to measure it - and the fluctuations were exactly as predicted.

By contrast, the religious model relies on faith. It can "explain" a pre-existing condition, but has yet to make any predictions that have been tested out. Sure - the Christian model makes a prediction too: it predicts that Jesus will return and be recognised as the Messiah worldwide. If that happens, we can say that the religious model has passed the test - but so far, it hasn't done so.

Infinite Grey
February 7th, 2009, 12:19 AM
Depends which theory you mean.

Evolution is not a "something from nothing" theory.

You get used to that, creationists can't seem to get into their heads that Evolution does not deal with the origins of life - just how life changes over time. Though, even abiogenesis hypothesis does not say "something from nothing".


The Big Bang theory (accepted as the most likely explanation for the creation of the universe by most scientists) is a something from nothing theory in some respects

No not really. Big Bang talks about a singularity of all the energy and matter in the universe compacted into one point... then it expands. We have no idea what happen before that singularity, or even what the singularity was like. But it certainly was not "nothing".



- but in that respect, it's pretty similar to the Judeo-Christian creation myth (that the universe was created out of nothing). In fact, in the 1960s scientists disliked the Big Bang theory for precisely that reason initially - while the Catholic church were very keen on it. Scientists changed their mind because they were convinced by the overwhelming evidence.

Indeed. The majority of Christians have reconciled their beliefs with Big Bang, General and Special Relativity, Nebula Theory, Evolution, Natural Selection and even Abiogenesis. All they have to do is 1> Not take the bible as completely literal 2> Put God as the motivating force behind the forces of nature.


And this, I think, is where science wins. It's easy to see what exists now and "make up" a theory for it - whether that theory is "God created it" or something that sounds more scientific. The beauty of science is not just in its ability to make up plausible theories for why things are they way they are now - but to make predictions based on that theory. In the case of the Big Bang theory, the scientific model predicted that we should be able to measure a background microwave radiation of between 2 to 3 Kelvin. That radiation was subsequently discovered. More recently, it was predicted, from the scientific model, that there should be subtle fluctuations in that background radiation. That theory came about before we had the equipment to measure it - but in the 1990s, we did develop the equipment to measure it - and the fluctuations were exactly as predicted.


Have you seen the X-ray and Thermal snap shots of the universe near it's birth? Turned out to be a simple matter - point the equipment in a direction and isolate 13 odd billion lightyears.

Infinite Grey
February 7th, 2009, 12:25 AM
A lot of science classes don't teach the something from nothing theory as a theory. They teach it as stone-cold fact (despite never being able to explain where all of the something actually originated). That's my problem with it.

Evolution is a fact

Evolution by Natural Selection is a Scientific Theory that proposes a testable, observable, falsifiable explanation of the fact of Evolution.

Neither fact nor Theory is supposed to explain the origin of anything - they explain how things change over time. If you want to origins of life, look to abiogenesis. If you want to origin of our solar system and planet look into nebula theory and general relativity. If you want to know how the universe came to be as it is, Big Bang or Expanding Universe theory... if you want to know more beyond that... no idea. The origin of matter and energy is a mystery... though some hypothesis within the String Theory (really just a set of hypothesis and Mathematical Mainframes) collection look promising.

Infinite Grey
February 7th, 2009, 12:43 AM
On the subject of human horrors, this video came out recently... huge coincidence.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o2YyNr9x_jE