Scopes

I spoke in Dayton, TN, last night. I didn’t know this was where the Scopes “Monkey Trial” was heard in 1925. I drove by the historic courthouse.

IMO, this trial conceived legalized abortion in America. If humans have no souls, if we are mere morphs of animals, we are equally expendable. Only these days many consider animals not expendable. The monkey outranks the human. But I digress….


I became sad when learning where I was, when driving by the court house. Angst-filled, really, the same kind of feeling I get when driving through former slave states. The last time I felt like this I was passing through the Great Dismal Swamp in NC, through which slaves attempted escape. (And the swamp really is dismal.)
These sorts of places are related. I expect I’d get the same kind of feeling visiting the Coloseum. Only pro-lifers would understand.
Coincidentally, Jack Cashill reviewed Ben Stein’s evolution-busting film Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed yesterday, to be released April 18. I’ve posted the trailer before, but here it is again:


Here’s the “Super Trailer” if interested in knowing more.
Reported Cashill:

A rousing SRO preview on Tuesday of the new Ben Stein documentary, Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed, brought a Kansas City audience to its feet.
And with good cause. Stein’s often funny, always engaging frontal assault on the oppressive neo-Darwinist establishment is arguably the smartest and most sophisticated documentary ever produced on the right side of the cultural divide on any subject, ever….
Although the role Stein plays has been compared to the one Michael Moore plays in his films, the Stein persona is conspicuously brighter and more benign.
Nor do Stein and his producers resort to the kind of editing that make Moore movies something other than documentaries….
Expelled opens nationwide on April 18. The neo-Darwinists and their allies in the major media will do their best to kill it.
Co-producer Mark Mathis tells me that two network news producers have already chosen not to cover the film because it was “biased,” unlike, say, the much-covered Fahrenheit 911….

Stands to reason. No intelligence allowed.
[Photo of Scopes placard courtesy of MissBaker’sBiologyClass]

143 thoughts on “Scopes”

  1. Jill: If humans have no souls, if we are mere morphs of animals, we are equally expendable.
    Soul or not is a matter of belief. Same for “expendable.”

  2. Interesting thing about the Scopes trial is that the teacher at the center of it apparently believed in Intelligent Design. He thought that God created man through the process of evolution.
    Another interesting thing about the Scopes trial is that the people on the creationist side wanted ONLY creationism taught in the schools, while many on the other side wanted both ideas taught. See how things have changed? Now it’s the creationists who will allow for evolution to be taught – as long as it’s made clear that, no matter how plausible, it’s still theoretical since nobody has a time machine to go back and check it out – while the evolutionists will allow absolutely no dissent, and crush those who oppose them with ridiculous regulations.
    Awhile back there was a controversy because some school district was putting stickers in the front of the Biology textbooks, and the stickers had “Evolution is a theory” or something like that written on them. In reply, the neo-Darwinists ironically replied that any Bibles in the school should have similar disclaimer stickers placed on them. They must have forgotten that their friends already had the Bible banned from public schools.

  3. Doug:
    Soul or not is a matter of belief. Same for “expendable.”
    Those two statements are either sad or funny, or perhaps they’re both. Whether or not a person or animal is “expendable” is a matter of value, and those values will vary according to one’s beliefs. Some slave-owners thought their slaves were expendable. Other slave-owners — poorer, with fewer slaves — did not. It all depended on the value that they attributed to their slaves.
    Hopefully, we’ve now all realized that someone is not expendable simply because of darker skin color. One day, we’ll eventually realize that someone is not expendable because of age, disability, or gestational status.
    Anyway, whether or not human beings have souls is not merely a matter of personal belief. It’s a claim of fact. Either it’s true or it’s false. Claiming that human beings have souls is like claiming that we have opposable thumbs, only souls are harder for us to detect. Still, you wouldn’t claim that thumbs are a matter of personal belief, would you? Then why do you make the same claim about souls?
    Either we have souls, or we don’t. Which statement do you believe to be true?

  4. Hi John,
    I taught in a public middle school.
    You can bring a bible into a public school. You can pray. You can say the name God and Jesus. You can hold a bible study. Students can pray at graduation. These cases are being won. Praise God!
    http://www.aclj.org/

  5. I became sad when learning where I was, when driving by the court house. Angst-filled, really, the same kind of feeling I get when driving through former slave states.
    But slavery is endorsed in the Bible.
    ‘Your male and female slaves are to come from the nations around you; from them you may buy slaves. — Lev 25:44
    Why would you feel bad driving through former slave states?

  6. Hey reality. It’s clear that you have no real intention of even trying to understand that Bible passage, and prefer to ignorantly use it as a bludgeon to attack Christians.
    I mean, it doesn’t matter that if you read the complete context of Leviticus and see exactly what “slaves” are, they’re actually indentured servants. It also doesn’t matter that those rules were only for one society at one point in time, thousands of years ago. After all, the Bible is a mean, mean book, since those people who read the Bible think that you shouldn’t be able to trick women into having sex with you and then drive them to an abortion mill if an “accident” “happens”.

  7. That’s hilarious, John. I love how Christians always fight against doing what’s right and decent when it conflicts with the Bible (slavery, interracial marriage, gay rights), but once the right and decent position becomes mainstream, nobody is allowed to mention that the Bible is wrong on those issues.
    The Bible is full of “rules that were only for one society at one point in time, thousands of years ago,” eh? Well then, guess there’s nothing wrong with gay marriage, after all.

  8. Yes, reality, it is hilarious that Christians fought and died to end slavery, while you ignore their sacrifice by ignorantly bludgeoning them with a passage in a book which you clearly do not understand. But you’re right; that old atheist Martin Luther King, Jr was perhaps the loudest voice in favor of a colorblind society. Oh wait a sec, he was a Christian.
    So now we see that your beef is not that mean, mean Christians won’t let you kill your child, but that they won’t let you marry your boyfriend. Well, sorry, but marriage being between a man and a woman isn’t one of those things that’s just for one point in time, as both Jesus Christ and St. Paul make abundantly clear. But, it’s kind of silly for me to explain any of this to you, considering that you prefer to pick a phrase or two out of context from the Bible in order to bash Christians, since they have the audacity (of hope) to refuse to sanctify your homosexual relationship.

  9. Those Christians who fought against slavery? They were fighting against other Christians, who used the Bible to defend slavery.
    If the Bible is such a wonderful book, full of timeless moral lessons for all, why does it contain passages that endorse slavery?

  10. Oh, and by the way, John… Margaret Sanger was Catholic. She was also friends with Martin Luther King Jr. The inventor of the birth control pill was also Catholic.
    Most pro-choice people are Christian. Most abortion providers are Christian. Most people who have abortions are Christian. So 100 years from now, when abortion and birth control are uncontroversial, Christians like you will argue that Christianity was always on the pro-choice side.

  11. I love Ben Stein. He’s so insanely intelligent and I can’t wait for the film to be released.

  12. Are you seriously asking a question? Be careful, I might actually answer it. But then I already answered the question earlier, and you didn’t like the answer so you ignored it.
    And the answer is… if anybody ever used the Bible to justify slavery, their interpretation of it was wrong. As I already said, Leviticus is not talking about arbitrarily taking a person, putting him in chains, and making him work for you. The slaves of Leviticus are essentially people who elected to become slaves, either because of their own poverty or because they committed crimes and being made a slave was their punishment. It’s a completely different connotation than what we think of now when we think of “slaves” – men and women violently stolen from their homelands by vicious slave traders.
    And even then, these rules were only for the Israelites at that one point in time. Unlike laws like the Ten Commandments which are for all times, yes, the Bible is full of the laws of the various societies which only applied to one society and one time. Many of these laws no longer apply, for example, St. Peter abolished the kosher dietary laws. While many Jewish people still follow them, Christians do not.

  13. Reality, surely you are not so ignorant as to think that Margaret Sanger used her Christianity to justify her pro-abortion position. She, and all pro-choice Christians, NEVER use their religion to justify themselves. They run away from the Bible as fast as they can. Why they decide to keep calling themselves “Christian” I have no idea. I assume it’s because even a fake Christian is more influential than an atheist, who is taken seriously by no one.

  14. BTW reality –
    Here’s a reality for you:
    The RCC didn’t have an opinion on the Pill until a few years after it came out. It wasn’t approved OR outlawed by the Church. In 1968 Pope Paul VI’s encyclical “Humanae Vitae” took their official position.
    And although Margaret Sanger’s parents were Catholic she never professed any belief in God what-so-ever. You can hardly say SHE was Catholic.

  15. Kristen, that is exactly right. Reality saying that a Catholic invented the pill so that means the Catholic Church will eventually accept it is like saying that Hitler was born Catholic, so the Church will eventually accept that the Holocaust was a good thing. It’s absurd.
    I would also note that sex outside of marriage has been considered socially acceptable for decades now, and yet the Catholic Church continues to be completely against it. How can that be if the Church bends to the will of society as Reality claims?

  16. BWAAAHAHAHAHAHAHAA!!!
    Are you serious? Wow, way to give the pro-life side some credibility. So….anti-gay, anti-black, anti-abortion, anti-evolution….what else can we add to the list of “pro-ignorance”?

  17. …ohmygosh I can’t stop laughing…I just read the line in the movie review about “the oppressive neo-Darwinist establishment”…..heeeheeheeheee
    That is HILAROUS! Are you sure this isn’t a parody of creationists? Because otherwise, I think you’re gonna need special tinfoil hats to get into this movie.

  18. Wow. No. This is such a stretch…wow. I think it’s best I just say nothing at all. :)
    Though for what it’s worth, I like Ben Stein:
    “Bueller? Bueller? Bueller?”

  19. I saw him speak once at a pro life benefit. He is amazing. I loved the chalk dust all over the floor.
    God is in the details, right?

  20. I just read this about Margaret Sanger…
    There she witnessed the conditions that workers, reformers, and intellectuals were fighting to change: low wages, extreme poverty, homeless or abandoned children, and inaccessible health care.
    Sheesh, too bad Obama wasn’t around back then, huh?

  21. Are you serious? Wow, way to give the pro-life side some credibility. So….anti-gay, anti-black, anti-abortion, anti-evolution….what else can we add to the list of “pro-ignorance”?
    Well I’ll be danged. You just proved Ben Stein correct. Anyone who dares to disagree must be “ignorant”…

  22. Hello my love,
    I’ve been awfully busy on that “theological” post.
    I’m afraid I’ve been neglecting my duties as a prolifer…lol.
    How are you this beautiful morning?
    We turn our clocks ahead tomorrow…God is good.
    I HATE WINTER!!!!!

  23. I am very displeased with the fact I have to turn my clocks ahead. I need all the “beauty” sleep I can get! :-p
    I am cold and procrastinating going to physics. Well, I suppose I better head out and get to class, gotta lurn me some facts ’bout THE FORCE!
    :)
    (I was going to try out for Jeopardy yesterday at my school, but I had to work instead. :( I’m sad.)

  24. Ooooh, bummer, you would have kicked kiester on Jeopardy!
    Okay, get lost, may the “force” be with you…

  25. “IMO, this trial conceived legalized abortion in America. If humans have no souls, if we are mere morphs of animals, we are equally expendable. Only these days many consider animals not expendable. The monkey outranks the human.”
    While the belief in evolution has certainly led to the contraceptive and abortive mindset, I think the acceptance of contraception in 1930 by Protestant churches has had a more definitive effect on producing the abortive culture throughout the West.
    Once you push the idea that sex is mainly for recreation and separate it from it’s procreative aspect, you have a very warped idea that spreads throughout society.
    If the Christian churches had stood together against this evil, things might be quite different today.

  26. “Jill: If humans have no souls, if we are mere morphs of animals, we are equally expendable.”
    I’m not sure what exactly happened at the Scopes trial, i.e, what kinds of “evidence” was entered and what types of statements were made; however, I’m not sure that “descended from apes”* is mutually exclusive with having a soul. In other words, we can be descended from animals and still have a soul.
    *(well, not really, since the ancestors of humans were not apes, but rather, were early hominids, while the ancestors of apes were, well, early apes)
    S.

  27. “Most pro-choice people are Christian. Most abortion providers are Christian. Most people who have abortions are Christian.”
    This does not mean that Christianity endorses abortion. It simply means that most people who follow Christ are, like everyone else, flawed human beings who are easily led astray.
    S.

  28. John L’s on fire this morning! Go, boy.
    Patricia, 8:44a, said: “While the belief in evolution has certainly led to the contraceptive and abortive mindset, I think the acceptance of contraception in 1930 by Protestant churches has had a more definitive effect on producing the abortive culture throughout the West.”
    I agree.
    And backing up a bit, I think the real root of abortion worldwide was planted by Thomas Malthus in the early 1800s. He proposed the first overpopulation myth, that the solution to starvation was not more food but less people.

  29. The root of abortion goes all the way back to Adam and Eve and people thinking they know better than God. People wanting to do what pleases them…

  30. Hey! Here are another hundred or so creation theories:
    http://www.crystalinks.com/creation.html
    Anyway – speaking of movies being released – “Lake of Fire” is being released on home video March 11. If I figure shipping time, weather delays and Daylight savings time, I calculate that returning your current Netflix selections and putting “Lake of Fire” at the top of your queue will assure arrival by Tuesday or Wednesday. (We really should have a Movie Night. We used to do that on another board when pieces like “If These Walls Could Talk,” “Ciderhouse Rules,” and “Vera Drake” came out. It lead to some animated discussions…)

  31. Laura,
    I LOVE that idea! I’ll bring the beer.
    Posted by: mk at March 7, 2008 9:25 AM
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Cool! I’ll bring a big sammich.
    We’ll need sustinance as the documentary is better than 2 1/2 hours.
    Interesting note:
    Evryone I know who has seen it thought it was partisan – every pro-lifer thought it tilted pro-choice, and every pro-choicer thougt it was tilted pro-life.
    There’s an old saying in arbitration that maintains that you know you have a fair deal when nobody leaves the table happy.

  32. “And backing up a bit, I think the real root of abortion worldwide was planted by Thomas Malthus in the early 1800s. He proposed the first overpopulation myth, that the solution to starvation was not more food but less people.”
    Yes, I’d go for that Jill.
    We can’t seem to get rid of the overpopulation myth. Even with declining birth rates in Western countries. Now we are being told to not have babies because of global warming. In the 70’s it was because we were all gonna starve to death.

  33. Are you seriously declaring yourself to be an creationist, Jill, who does not “believe” in evolution? If so, then you should be just fine with receiving penicillin the next time you contract an antibiotic-resistant strain of staph or TB. Enjoy!

  34. OMG the funniest thing just happened. I was writting an essay for history about how Hewbrew beliefs affected Western civilizations and I began writting about how the Hebrews believed their God was the God of all nations and that was transferred to Christiantiy which led them to try to convert people and so on and so forth and as I was leaving I was thinking about how I kind of went off on a tangent about colonization and it was too bad I couldn’t fit the subject of abortion in there. Then I remembered I meant to write about the Hebrews belief of people as being special in their creation and how that is now used as the driving force in the pro-life movement. D’oh! I think it’s kind of funny that I can turn any topic into a discssion of reproductive rights.
    P.S. Why must we always talk about evolution vs. creationism? It doesn’t matter how we got here we’re already here. I just know if it wasn’t for alcohol I wouldn’t be here. So I guess I have beer to thank more then God : /

  35. Ray
    The evolutionist position declares that the universe was not the product of a higher being. There is no God in the strict evolutionist position.
    However, the complexity of organisms and biochemical processes suggests that these are in fact the product of some incredible intelligence – an all knowing, all powerful God.
    There is no doubt that organisms react and respond to their environment – such as bacteria becoming resistent to antibiotics.
    However, most mutations do not improve organisms but rather result in their death.
    Hey Jess it was beer and lust! (just kidding!!)God was there and definitely wanted an needed you as part of his overall plan!!

  36. I assume it’s because even a fake Christian is more influential than an atheist, who is taken seriously by no one.
    Posted by: John Lewandowski at March 7, 2008 7:45 AM
    Yes…exactly, because no one takes Richard Dawkins seriously at all. Oh John, what a fascinating world you must live in.

  37. The evolutionist position declares that the universe was not the product of a higher being. There is no God in the strict evolutionist position.
    Actually….the evolutionist position doesn’t declare a thing about the origins of the universe. The theory of evolution addresses the origins of biological diversity on our planet.
    And no scientific theory says a single thing about God, for or against, because science doesn’t address the supernatural.

  38. “The theory of evolution addresses the origins of biological diversity on our planet.”
    Correct.
    However, I assert once again that the evolutionist position is that there is NO God- no omnipotent being who created the universe. The theory of evolution is that higher forms of life evolved from lower forms of life. There is very little evidence in the fossil record for this. In fact, the great hopes that evolutionists and biologists had that the fossil record would in fact, support Darwin’s theory have not been upheld. Nevertheless, in spite of this lack of evidence, scientists continue to assert that evolution is a FACT, which it is not. It is a theory.
    When I studied science in university – I have both a BSc and an MSc this is THE position taken in higher academia.
    This position has profoundly influenced how science is studied and how scientific research is conducted.

  39. Oh please Patricia. If you actually studied science at an accredited university, you know that science makes absolutely no assertions whatsoever about the existence of God.
    And evolution is both a fact and a theory. Theory, in that sense, being a scientific theory, which has a significantly different meaning than the one you are trying to spin onto it.
    And…there is a mountain of evidence in both the fossil record and in genetics demonstrating that evolution happens. Why do you feel the need to lie about this?

  40. Well, Hieronymous, I happened to have worked as a GEOLOGIST. Geologist’s as you know study the earth. While my specialty was not paleontology, I did study biology, ecology, zoology, organic and inorganic chemistry, paleontology, sedimentology, and stratigraphy. My degrees were at accredited universities, McMaster and University of Toronto, here in Canada. In fact the Mac program was very highly rated when I studied there. You don’t need to tell me what was presented at university as fact.
    The purpose of science is to understand our world around us. That means to observe what we see and critically think about it. It means to design research studies that seek to discover the truth, not what we want as the truth. Stem cell research is one area of science that has definitely followed the latter path. To the point that scientists will publish results which are not reproducible.
    And, by geologist’s own admission, there are huge gaps in the fossil record. Anything that may be transitional is highly debated within the scientific community – for example archeoptryx (which I did a special research project on in my 4th year paleo course).
    As another example, even within the scientific community studying the development of man (anthropology) most of the information presented about discovered fossil skeletons is highly conjectural and often retracted decades later as scientific techniques improve.

  41. Hehehehe, anthropology is the study of humanity, not the study of the development of man.
    And, by geologist’s own admission, there are huge gaps in the fossil record.
    Um, except the fossil record isn’t a geologist’s field of study. Here’s some light reading on the actual fossil record by a PhD zoologist: http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/faq-transitional.html
    And I’m glad that you went to accredited universities. Which means that you do actually know that science says nothing about the existence of God.

  42. …and this is some more light reading on the massive amount of evidence supporting the theory of evolution. It even includes a link to a critique of the evidence along with a response to the critique!
    I’ll talk to you in a month or two when you get finished reading it.
    http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/comdesc/

  43. THe fossil record is one of the major fields of study within geology. EXCUSE ME!!!
    For your information: Paleontologists study the fossil record. Who do you think does research on dinosaurs? They work in conjunction with geochemists, stratigraphers and paleobotanists etc. They also work with zoologists but they alone do not have the scientific expertise to do the research necessary.
    Science has everything to do with God because it is the study of the world and universe that God alone created!

  44. Unfortunately, H, the internet is full of unreliable, inaccurate sources of information, without authority or scientific credence.
    Even within the scientific community there are HUGE numbers of respectable scientists at highly respected institutions who know longer subscribe to the evolutionist theory. There is simply not enough evidence to support it.
    I wonder why it is that you are so adamant that there cannot be a God who created the universe? Why take it soooo personally that you have to beat down anyone, much less a person you don’t even know.
    Yes, come back in a month or two when you’ve calmed down and we can talk about it in a calm manner, instead of labelling someone you don’t know a liar.
    Adios and GOD BLESS!

  45. Hi Jill. I am pro-life too, but your notion about connecting evolution and abortion is obscure to me. Haven’t you ever heard of something called “theistic evolution”? It’s the notion that man did “evolve,” but that God still created man (as well as everything else in the universe). God infused man with a soul when he created Adam and Eve. He did not literally cerate them out of nothing, but he still “created” man because he created the soul of man in an instant. Ask any of the 1.1 billion Catholics around the world and they will tell you the same thing. IMO it is ridiculous to refute the mountains of evidence pertaining to evolution and the age of the earth. It is not “unchristian” to believe in evolution, as long as you still believe that God created it all, and that God instilled men with souls.
    Still, I love your piece about how Jesus wouldn’t vote for Obama.

  46. Hehehehe, anthropology is the study of humanity, not the study of the development of man.
    Posted by: Hieronymous at March 7, 2008 11:27 AM
    Physical anthropology does study the development of man. Applied anthropology or “Ethnology” studies human culture which I believe Heironymous is talking about.
    I believe Patricia was referring to Physical anthropology.

  47. When did I ever say anything about whether a God created the universe? Yes, I’m an atheist, but I don’t really care whether other people are religious or not. All I said was that God isn’t an issue addressed by science, and rightly so. Science looks for natural explanations for natural occurrences. That’s it. Whether God exists is a topic for philosophers and religionists. Maybe someday physicists will be able to tackle the subject, but we’re not anyplace close to that yet.
    For the record, I couldn’t care less if creationism or intelligent design get discussed in school. Just not in science class, because they’re not science.
    I really do recommend that you look at the links, btw. That is, if you’re actually interested in evaluating the evidence honestly. Talkorigins is a perfectly creditable source with peer-reviewed information published by actual scientists.

  48. NAAMAN,
    When are you going to ask Jill to remove that piece of fiction you call a conversion story? Or at least respond to me?

  49. Hieronymous said: “Yes…exactly, because no one takes Richard Dawkins seriously at all. Oh John, what a fascinating world you must live in.”
    I am unfamiliar with anyone who takes Dr. Hawkins seriously. Well, aside from his fellow atheists, but who cares about them?

  50. See that? He’s so anti-influential that I can’t even get his name right. Dr. Dawkins’ main thesis that religion results in stupidity can be proven wrong by mentioning the name of one man:
    Pope Benedict XVI.
    Pope Benedict is both extremely intelligent and extremely religious. When your entire argument can be disproven in five seconds, it’s no wonder that you aren’t influential.

  51. “I am unfamiliar with anyone who takes Dr. Hawkins seriously. Well, aside from his fellow atheists, but who cares about them?”
    Doesn’t Jesus care about us atheists?

  52. Jesus loves you atheists, but he doesn’t take you seriously. Most likely, he feels bad for you. He died on the cross to open the way to salvation for you; not so that you could indulge in self-worship like Lucifer.

  53. Pope Benedict is both extremely intelligent and extremely religious.
    Posted by: John Lewandowski at March 7, 2008 12:20 PM
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Right.
    Why don’t you Google “Pope Crimen Sollicitationis” and study his part in the coverup?

  54. Jesus loves you atheists, but he doesn’t take you seriously.
    Posted by: John Lewandowski at March 7, 2008 12:26 PM
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    You speak for Jesus? Cool! You get the lotto numbers?

  55. Hier-
    I’ve noticed that they fundamentally ignore any evidence from reason because they find it threatening to their belief system. No matter how much evidence you give them, they will either ignore it or bring up something else.

  56. “All I said was that God isn’t an issue addressed by science, and rightly so. Science looks for natural explanations for natural occurrences. That’s it. Whether God exists is a topic for philosophers and religionists. Maybe someday physicists will be able to tackle the subject, but we’re not anyplace close to that yet.”
    Oh golly, I know I’m gonna get slammed by my PL friends for this, but I do have to agree with Hieronymous here. I have no problem with evolution, and I have no problem with those who take a more literal understanding of Genesis, 6 day creation, etc. Unfortunately, most of the time those two views are mutually exclusive, which causes the conflict.

  57. Bobby, you don’t agree that Jesus don’t take us seriously do you?
    Jesus is probably more concerned about us athiests than all the believers put together.
    If you believe that stuff.

  58. John, you crack me up every time you post. I love your spin on your inability to either get his name right or to recognize that Dawkins is a pre-eminent evolutionary biologist with highly acclaimed publications on the topic (aside from his other writings). Kudos to you!

  59. “Bobby, you don’t agree that Jesus don’t take us seriously do you?”
    My comment about John L was mostly directed to a lot of the stuff he said to “reality.” I think Jesus takes you seriously in the sense that he is seriously concerned (I hate to use such anthropomorphic language for God) for atheists, as he is for all his children. But I mean, what does it mean for Jesus to “take, say, me seriously”? I guess I”m not really sure.

  60. My comment about John L was mostly directed to a lot of the stuff he said to “reality.” I think Jesus takes you seriously in the sense that he is seriously concerned (I hate to use such anthropomorphic language for God) for atheists, as he is for all his children. But I mean, what does it mean for Jesus to “take, say, me seriously”? I guess I”m not really sure.
    Posted by: Bobby Bambino at March 7, 2008 12:52 PM
    Ya know Bobby, you are way too reasonable to be posting on here :-)
    Seriously though, kind of like with PIP and the pro-life stuff, if anyone could ever talk me into converting to Catholicism, it would be you (or maybe MK).

  61. And, BTW, MK is waaaaaaay more knowledgeable, kind, and better at explaining things than me.

  62. Yes, I did look at that thread. I tried to follow some of it, but quickly got lost in the details. I did marvel, however, at how nice you all were being to each other. I’ve seen some religious doctrine arguments get quite heated, and you all seem to have mostly avoided that. It’s nice :-)

  63. “Even the Catholic Church accepts evolution.”
    Well, depends what you mean by “accepts”. If you mean “does not condemn,” then yes. But if you mean “Catholics are required to believe in evolution under pain of mortal sin,” then no. Catholics are free to hold to evolution, but Catholics can also believe in ID or 6000 year old earth etc. I think the wiki article http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evolution_and_the_Roman_Catholic_Church does a great job of explaining it. God love you, Jen.

  64. that trailer is hilarious. The one on your site isn’t really much of a trailer.
    The super trailer…SO funny.
    For “watching this film” you may “lose your friends” or “lose your jobs.” Are you serious?

  65. “I just mean that officially, the hierarchy says there is no conflict between evolution and the Church’s beliefs.”
    bo-yaka-sha!

  66. For “watching this film” you may “lose your friends” or “lose your jobs.” Are you serious?
    Posted by: prettyinpink at March 7, 2008 1:55 PM
    Of course they’re serious!! Didn’t you know that white fundamentalist Christians are one of the most oppressed and disenfranchised minorities in the United States!?!?
    I mean, you can’t imagine one of them ever becoming President, or raking in millions of dollars in donations because God might call them home if you don’t give give give or anything like that? That would be preposterous!

  67. LOL Hier!
    Question to Jill:
    If you don’t accept the validity of evolution and that if you do it leads to lack of respect for life…
    …how do you accept the validity of the athiest pro-life position?

  68. “For “watching this film” you may “lose your friends” or “lose your jobs.” Are you serious?”
    Yes PIP, of course. You’ve been blind to intolerance on your side.

  69. You know, I love Dawkins. I really do. “The Selfish Gene” is one of the best layman’s books out there on evolutionary biology, but he is, unfortunately, pretty easy to take out of context.

  70. “BTW bobby, reading “Finding Darwin’s God” and I LOVE it so far.”
    Ah yes, great stuff, friend.

  71. I love Dawkins as a science popularizer. As a spokesperson for atheism, not so much. You don’t have to be anti-religious to be an atheist.

    And man, if I were going to lose friends or my job for watching a movie, I’d at least make sure it was a *good* movie. ;)

  72. You know, I love Dawkins. I really do. “The Selfish Gene” is one of the best layman’s books out there on evolutionary biology, but he is, unfortunately, pretty easy to take out of context.
    Hiero, I love him too! Wasn’t he great on Family Feud? lol. (Just kidding!)

  73. ROFL Janet! I actually really liked that Family Feud guy, especially when he was on Hogan’s Heroes.

  74. he slaves of Leviticus are essentially people who elected to become slaves, either because of their own poverty or because they committed crimes and being made a slave was their punishment. It’s a completely different connotation than what we think of now when we think of “slaves” – men and women violently stolen from their homelands by vicious slave traders.
    …………………………
    Right John. Those people chose to be impoverished. No matter that they had no say in law making and many were not allowed to own lands. Sound like slavery to me. Kind like the way you would like to wrest ownership of a woman’s body away.

  75. Sally said: “Right John. Those people chose to be impoverished.”
    No, they chose to become slaves as a solution to their poverty. That form of ‘slavery’ was only temporary. The slavery of criminals was much more permanent.
    Attn Dawkins fans: Religion and science are not mutually exclusive. That they are is The Dawkins Delusion.

  76. Sally said: “Right John. Those people chose to be impoverished.”
    No, they chose to become slaves as a solution to their poverty. That form of ‘slavery’ was only temporary. The slavery of criminals was much more permanent.
    Attn Dawkins fans: Religion and science are not mutually exclusive. That they are is The Dawkins Delusion.
    Posted by: John Lewandowski at March 7, 2008 6:08 PM
    …………………………….
    Oh come on John. Women without male relatives had no choice but servitude if a husband wasn’t to be found. Making marriage equal servitude. Women could not own land. What occupations were they allowed? Oh yes, prostitution. Societies create poverty. Having slaves wis convenient and cost effective.

  77. PIP, this has always been one of my favorite quotes:
    “Science without religion is lame. Religion without science is blind.” -Albert Einstein
    Atheists like Dawkins like to accuse religious people of being anti-science since we’re against embryonic stem cell research and other abominable abuses of science. Yet any honest look at history will show you that religious Christians have contributed a great deal to scientific progress. How is it that Dawkins can be an authority on genetics and not know that the father of that scientific field was a Catholic monk, Gregor Mendel?

  78. Sally, Leviticus’ “slaves” aren’t wives. Good grief. If you hate marriage so much, don’t get married.
    Though I do wish some of you folks would make up your minds, that is, those of you who are anti-marriage but somehow pro-gay-marriage at the same time. Is marriage an archaic, evil institution which oppresses women and should be abolished, or is it a wonderful institution which homosexuals should have the right to enjoy?

  79. I agree, John. Dawkins is a BRILLIANT scientist, but his atheism is personal philosophy, not a systematic one. Many contributers to science were religious. Even the Big Bang theory was first proposed by a Catholic priest.
    That’s why I find the evolution debate to be so silly :)

  80. Personally I find the evolution debate to be silly because I don’t care how God created mankind. That’s not something we Catholics generally care about. But, I don’t like it when atheistic neo-Darwinists say that God is a “delusion” or that it’s stupid to say that human life came about by anything other than random chance.
    This argument is mainly between atheists and Evangelicals, but I find myself siding with the Evangelicals, as usual.

  81. John,
    I’m reading Finding Darwin’s God- written by a Roman Catholic biologist..who actually wrote the textbook that the “warning” label was first put on. Bobby has read it and liked it too. You might find it interesting.

  82. PIP, I’ve heard most if not all of the arguments on both sides already. I would say that both the Evangelicals and the atheists have one thing wrong – both seem to be arguing that if evolution is real, then God does not exist, and vice versa.
    Who is the aggressor here? I’m not sure, but to me, it really looks like its the atheists, who seem to be vindictive, hateful people for the most part. After all, what difference does it make how humanity came to exist, except that atheists like to use evolution as a weapon to attack religion?

  83. I know, I’ve read the arguments many times before, I’ve been debating it and trying to find the middle ground for about 5 years.. but I still find the book fascinating. It was just a recommendation…

  84. “Who is the aggressor here? I’m not sure, but to me, it really looks like its the atheists, who seem to be vindictive, hateful people for the most part. After all, what difference does it make how humanity came to exist, except that atheists like to use evolution as a weapon to attack religion”
    Lovely generalization.
    However, I think you’d be hostile too if people treated you like you were an immoral, hedonistic bastard for not believing in God and were considered the least trustworthy minority in the US.
    Needless to say, I find the hostility and intellectual arrogance of many atheists to be really annoying and counter-productive and only provokes a group of people who already hate us to hate us even more.

  85. Well, Ari-chan, I for one don’t find atheists to be immoral, hedonist bastards just because of their lack of faith in God, but apparently, if you want to be an immoral, hedonist bastard, disbelieving in God is a lot of help in that endeavor. Isn’t it interesting that what leads a lot of people to atheism isn’t a disagreement with or a dislike of Jesus Christ, but rather an embrace of, well, hedonism, which is frowned upon by nearly all Christian denominations?
    Though in my experience, atheists are usually ignorant brats who are rebelling against Mommy and Daddy by taking part in the latest fad.

  86. “Isn’t it interesting that what leads a lot of people to atheism isn’t a disagreement with or a dislike of Jesus Christ, but rather an embrace of, well, hedonism, which is frowned upon by nearly all Christian denominations?
    Though in my experience, atheists are usually ignorant brats who are rebelling against Mommy and Daddy by taking part in the latest fad.”
    Cute. But once again, another generalization.
    I’m not an atheist because I want to be a “hedonist”. I’ve been an atheist since I was 13 and it wasn’t due to “rebelling” against my parents because let me tell you, the day I realized I didn’t believe in God anymore was *very* difficult. I didn’t tell my parents for two years because I was afraid they wouldn’t love me anymore. I can’t explain why I don’t believe, because it’s really just a gut feeling I have.
    Anyway.

  87. Oooooooooh!
    Did you guys see Real Time with Bill Maher?
    He’s having Richard Dawkins on as a guest March 21st.
    (He’s also having PJ O’Rourke – one of the funniest guys alive.)

  88. Can anybody tell me just what it is that homosexual couples want to gain by insisting they be able to get married?

  89. After all, what difference does it make how humanity came to exist, except that atheists like to use evolution as a weapon to attack religion?
    Posted by: John Lewandowski at March 7, 2008 9:02 PM
    Well John, there is a huge differnece, and if you had acutally read Dawkins as you claim, you could at least relate the argument.
    Evolution (or science)sees an illness or other human problem or even an unexplained phenomena and seeks first a why, then a solution (cure), or explanation.
    Religion (creationism)sees an illness or other human problem or unexplained phenomena and to be logically consistent, must say “God created it thus, so it must be God’s will, and humans shouldn’t meddle.”
    Now, before you go there, I don’t deny that many religious humans have indeed gone against the above logic and actually done some good for humankind, but to do so, they either didn’t examine their religious beliefs or their logic too closely, instead following their sentiments. For those religionists who lucidly confront the religion/science problem, the mental gymnastics required are prodigious, and from what I’ve seen and heard, not too successful.

  90. John L,
    Comments like this:
    “I’m not sure, but to me, it really looks like its the atheists, who seem to be vindictive, hateful people for the most part.”
    and this:
    “Isn’t it interesting that what leads a lot of people to atheism isn’t a disagreement with or a dislike of Jesus Christ, but rather an embrace of, well, hedonism, which is frowned upon by nearly all Christian denominations?”
    and this:
    “Though in my experience, atheists are usually ignorant brats who are rebelling against Mommy and Daddy by taking part in the latest fad.”
    Only reveal how trapped you are in your mind. Have you ever had an honest, heart-to-heart conversation with an atheist about why she/he believes what he/she believes and vice versa? Have you ever been able to let go of preconceived notions long enough to actually listen and not just condemn? You might be surprised by what you find.

  91. Of course, that would require moving beyond your comfort zone and confronting truths that you may not want to see.
    It is so much easier to simply demonize those who don’t share your views than to actually risk engaging with them and possibly being forced to realize that they are human beings too.

  92. Just to answer a few things:
    I never claimed to have read Dawkins. If I had read him, don’t you think I would have been able to get his name right? I just said I’ve heard all of the arguments on both sides. I don’t have to read the book to know what his main argument is, ie, that religion is dumb and believers are morons, therefore God doesn’t exist. Because that’s just so logical.
    Enigma, I know why atheists believe what they believe. It’s one of the following reasons, usually:
    -They’re mad at God over some (usually) stupid nonsense, so they shake their fist at the sky and pretend He doesn’t exist… at least when they aren’t complaining about how mean He is. Nobody has EVER had it as bad as they have it… especially not that guy who died on a cross, what’s his name, Jebus?
    -They hate Christians and/or Christianity, usually because Christianity has rules against hedonism.
    -They just don’t “feel” God. I ain’t feelin’ it, bro. I go into the Catholic Mass, and I ain’t feelin’ no holy light coming from the Sacrament, making me feel hella cool. Why the other day I went to Mass and I had a papercut on my index finger. I prayed and prayed and it didn’t heal! I even received the Eucharist, and wouldn’t you know it, my papercut was still there. Well, that PROVES it. God is a delusion!
    Enigma, I’m not saying that you’re not a human being. I’m saying that you’re a severely misguided, extremely troubled human being who doesn’t have a clue as to what reality is. That’s all.

  93. “Can anybody tell me just what it is that homosexual couples want to gain by insisting they be able to get married?”
    @Truthseeker: To get the government and society to finally accept their relationships to be just as valid and equal to a heterosexual relationship as opposed to the current state where homosexual relationships are seen as inferior and invalid.
    “-They’re mad at God over some (usually) stupid nonsense, so they shake their fist at the sky and pretend He doesn’t exist… at least when they aren’t complaining about how mean He is. Nobody has EVER had it as bad as they have it… especially not that guy who died on a cross, what’s his name, Jebus?
    -They hate Christians and/or Christianity, usually because Christianity has rules against hedonism.
    -They just don’t “feel” God. I ain’t feelin’ it, bro. I go into the Catholic Mass, and I ain’t feelin’ no holy light coming from the Sacrament, making me feel hella cool. Why the other day I went to Mass and I had a papercut on my index finger. I prayed and prayed and it didn’t heal! I even received the Eucharist, and wouldn’t you know it, my papercut was still there. Well, that PROVES it. God is a delusion!”
    @John L. : Huh. Interesting. I’ve never met an atheist who is atheist for those reasons. I’m not mad at God, it’s tough to be mad at something that I don’t think exists. I don’t hate Christians or Christianity because of their beliefs against hedonism (considering I’m 20 years old, a virgin, never even been kissed or on a date, I don’t drink, I don’t do drugs).

  94. “Soul or not is a matter of belief. Same for “expendable.”
    Naaman: Those two statements are either sad or funny, or perhaps they’re both. Whether or not a person or animal is “expendable” is a matter of value, and those values will vary according to one’s beliefs. Some slave-owners thought their slaves were expendable. Other slave-owners — poorer, with fewer slaves — did not. It all depended on the value that they attributed to their slaves.
    Yep. I don’t see stating such facts as “sad” or “funny,” it’s just noting the truth. Granted that the reality of it may sadden many people, most people, a given person, etc.
    ……
    Hopefully, we’ve now all realized that someone is not expendable simply because of darker skin color. One day, we’ll eventually realize that someone is not expendable because of age, disability, or gestational status.
    Naaman, I’m with you on skin color, age and disability. None of those involve being inside the body of a person. So, we disagree about gestation, to a point in gestation, anyway. And it’s not only a question of valuing the unborn, it’s valuing them relative to the pregnant woman and what she wants. I more want women to keep the freedom they have in the matter, more than I want every unborn life to necessarily continue. For you it’s the opposite, I assume, from what you’ve posted.
    However, there are people right now who would pretty much gladly wave a magic wand if they could, and zap all Jews, for example, out of existence. Same for Muslims, etc. One tribe sometimes really gets pissed at another tribe, and I don’t think that’s going to change. “Expendable” or not is still in the eye of the beholder. As you define “everyone,” I think you’re wrong in saying that “one day we’ll eventually realize…”
    Doug

  95. Naaman: Anyway, whether or not human beings have souls is not merely a matter of personal belief. It’s a claim of fact. Either it’s true or it’s false.
    The claim can exist without there being proof either way, though. In lieu of that proof, it indeed is a matter of belief.
    ……
    Claiming that human beings have souls is like claiming that we have opposable thumbs, only souls are harder for us to detect. Still, you wouldn’t claim that thumbs are a matter of personal belief, would you? Then why do you make the same claim about souls?
    Yes, the two claims are similar. But there really is no saying “souls are harder for us to detect,” since there’s no proof of the soul in the first place. Imaginary things are actually impossible to detect since they don’t exist, and at this point we don’t know if the soul is imaginary or not. Again, there’s no proof either way.
    The physical reality of our thumbs is well agreed-upon.
    ……
    Either we have souls, or we don’t. Which statement do you believe to be true?
    Without proof, it’s not true to say either. If we are talking about belief, then I really don’t know.
    Doug

  96. You can even say Merry Christmas!! gasp
    Carla, I have to laugh. I agree with you there – my family, for example, grew up without being religious much at all, yet we had Christmas and said “Merry Christmas” without worrying about anything. Maybe it’s a secular or just a cultural view of Christmas, but either way I think “outlawing Christmas” is silly and going too far.

  97. “I never claimed to have read Dawkins. If I had read him, don’t you think I would have been able to get his name right? I just said I’ve heard all of the arguments on both sides. I don’t have to read the book to know what his main argument is, ie, that religion is dumb and believers are morons, therefore God doesn’t exist. Because that’s just so logical.”
    Was this directed to me? Because I didn’t ask you to read Dawkins..

  98. “The evolutionist position declares that the universe was not the product of a higher being. There is no God in the strict evolutionist position.”
    Hieronymous: Actually….the evolutionist position doesn’t declare a thing about the origins of the universe. The theory of evolution addresses the origins of biological diversity on our planet.
    And no scientific theory says a single thing about God, for or against, because science doesn’t address the supernatural.
    Right on. I watched the super trailer, and while I certainly like Ben Stein, I saw nothing really against evolution there. If somebody has evidence of intelligent design, I’d like to see it, and there may indeed have been unfair treatment of certain people, but while we don’t know everything about evolution, that it operates really isn’t in doubt.

  99. John L: Yet any honest look at history will show you that religious Christians have contributed a great deal to scientific progress.
    John, indeed, but there’s also many instances of “the priesthood” (no specific religion there) wanting to keep the masses ignorant and afraid, thinking they really, really needed the priests and that they should feed them, house them, support them in quite high style, in fact.
    It’s not like religious people never contribute to scientific knowledge, but there have been numerous times when religion has made for opposition to it.
    Doug

  100. JL,
    Your responses only reveal the depths of how closed-minded you are.
    Those are the reasons that you think become atheists, not the reasons that people actually do.
    Still, I see no reason to pursue this when it is clear that you are not able to accept anything beyond your immediate worldview.

  101. “Can anybody tell me just what it is that homosexual couples want to gain by insisting they be able to get married?”
    I assume the same things us heterosexuals want to gain.

  102. “Can anybody tell me just what it is that homosexual couples want to gain by insisting they be able to get married?”
    I assume the same things us heterosexuals want to gain.
    Posted by: hal at March 8, 2008 12:25 PM
    Uh, you do understand that homosexuals cannot reproduce with each other right?
    The point of marriage is to protect the children of the union, and by extension the mother of those children.

  103. Can’t agree with Jill that animals are not viewed as expendable.
    Animals used in research have increased exponentially over the past 20 years. They are being expedend more than ever.
    Interestingly advances have not increased exponentially.
    I think animal research has entered a phase of diminishing returns.
    The curve is approaching the asymptote.

  104. Have you ever had an honest, heart-to-heart conversation with an atheist about why she/he believes what he/she believes and vice versa? Have you ever been able to let go of preconceived notions long enough to actually listen and not just condemn? You might be surprised by what you find.
    Posted by: Enigma at March 8, 2008 5:16 AM
    I think there is variation among atheists often somewhat related to their backgrounds.
    To me the original type is the honest skeptic. Who may come from a religious background yet looks at the world and does not believe in a supernatural element from the evidence of the observable world.
    There are those who may be petulant brats who don’t want to believe because they are just rebellious. There are all sorts of petulant brats so why shouldn’t some of them be atheists?
    There are atheists whose parents are atheists and they are following the family tradition.
    There are those from nominally religious backgrounds who never became believers because they weren’t instructed in such matters.
    There are some who are a mix of these sorts.
    I think we could substitute ‘believer’ for ‘atheist’ and construct a similar list based on the range of variation among people and their experiences.

  105. The point of marriage is to protect the children of the union, and by extension the mother of those children.
    That is the most archaic, out of date notion I’ve seen!

  106. The point of marriage is to protect the children of the union, and by extension the mother of those children.
    Posted by: Anonymous at March 8, 2008 1:32 PM
    ……………………………………..
    Protect women and children from what?

  107. Protect women and children from what?
    Posted by: Sally at March 8, 2008 4:23 PM
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Meteors.
    You know many married people and their children.
    Have they ever been struck by meteors?

  108. Enigma delights in telling me how wrong I am about why people are atheists, but fails to provide the supposed “real” reasons why people are atheists.
    Of course my reasons are all correct. There can be no scientific excuse for atheism, because science can neither prove nor disprove the existence of an immortal soul, sin, salvation, etc. Atheists like Dawkins use science to challenge the notion that the Earth is 6,000 years old. But as a Catholic, I don’t care how old the Earth is. To me, the Bible is not a history book, but an instruction manual to eternal life.
    This is why we have bizarre attempts by atheists like Phillip Pullman to define sin in scientific terms. But sin is not scientific, and science doesn’t fill a void left by disbelief. The two disciplines of science and theology are unrelated.

  109. “Meteors.
    You know many married people and their children.
    Have they ever been struck by meteors?
    Posted by: FetusFascist at March 8, 2008 8:39 PM”
    @FF: I think somebody has been watching way too much “Carrie”. :D

  110. Meteors.
    You know many married people and their children.
    Have they ever been struck by meteors?
    Posted by: FetusFascist at March 8, 2008 8:39 PM
    ……………………………………….
    I was thinking of attacks by killer tomatoes or crazed clowns.

  111. Interesting, speaking of academic freedom:
    “Several people have asked me to dig into this and post something on Pharyngula, but I really don’t want to

  112. *****
    “Can anybody tell me just what it is that homosexual couples want to gain by insisting they be able to get married?”
    I assume the same things us heterosexuals want to gain.
    Posted by: hal at March 8, 2008 12:25 PM
    ***
    Hal,
    Marriage always has been arecognized as the union of a man and a woman. And a sanctified marriage has always been and is now the union of a man and a woman and God. By definition same sex partners fall outside of marriage.

  113. That’s one of the reasons why I’m very against “academic freedom”. No, not because I think professors with different points of view should be fired, but because professors can essentially lie to their students and fill their heads with nonsense all in the name of “academic freedom”. Ward Churchill comes to mind. A professor who teaches that 2 + 2 = 5 SHOULD be fired. The point of college is education, not indoctrination.

  114. Enigma delights in telling me how wrong I am about why people are atheists, but fails to provide the supposed “real” reasons why people are atheists.

    If you’re really interested, hippie did a pretty good job.

    Of course my reasons are all correct.

    Of course!

  115. JL,
    “Enigma delights in telling me how wrong I am about why people are atheists, but fails to provide the supposed “real” reasons why people are atheists.”
    Of course not, because then I would be doing exactly what you are doing–generalizing. If one wants something quick and easy, one should seek generalizations. If one wants truth, one should look elsewhere.

  116. Tens of millions of Americans, who neither know nor understand the actual arguments for or even against evolution, march in the army of the night with their Bibles held high. And they are a strong and frightening force, impervious to, and immunized against, the feeble lance of mere reason.

  117. That’s one of the reasons why I’m very against “academic freedom”. No, not because I think professors with different points of view should be fired, but because professors can essentially lie to their students and fill their heads with nonsense all in the name of “academic freedom”.
    Posted by: John Lewandowski at March 9, 2008 7:44 AM
    ……………………………..
    Wow! Fascism is alive and well apparently.

  118. Expelled from Expelled

    I’ve blogged a couple times over the past 6 months (here and here) about the movie Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed, to be released April 18. View the 7:30 “super trailer” if your interest is picqued by this shorter one: The…

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