Friday, December 19, 2008

We Get Mail!

Since we're not exactly the hottest thing out there right now and aren't getting a flood of e-mail, I thought I'd share this one with you since I thought it was fairly interesting and, despite a progressively deteriorating use of language, is fairly indicative of the average fundie Christian in general. First his message, and then my response:

Science and Religion Clash

Intelligent design is no less far from the scientific method than evolution or spontaneous generation. It is the theory of how everything in this world is so uniform that it must have been created by a powerful force with intelligence and therefore living. I’m not referring to creationism, strictly defined as the universe being created in 6- 24 hour days. The Bible does not specify that, rather days are a period of time, not the whole universe but just the earth could have been created in- say 6- 20,000 year ‘days’.. The contrasting theory is that everything came from a singularity, the concept of something or the lack there of, with no time, space, matter, or energy. The foundation of the Big Bang Theory is more inconclusive on where the energy came from to create all existing matter and energy than that a designer had first created time and hence in theory infinitely exists. Spontaneous generation is the theory of life emerging from molecules in a ‘soup’. Those molecules of organic elements are believed to have formed into amino acids eventually becoming a single celled organism that could grow and reproduce, eventually becoming intelligent enough to comprehend, wonder, imagine and love while putting together this e-mail. The chances of the compounds forming amino acids and then DNA are extremely slim by themselves, let alone in such a hostile condition of the early earth. Evolution is flawed simply by the understanding that cells cannot mutate what there is no original formula to make. Such as fish scales eventually becoming bird feathers. The chances of a mutation being beneficial such as enabling a fish to grow legs and only breathe are almost as slim as the amino acids forming, 1 in 1000, I believe. The rest are mostly neutral and some harmful.
There is a point of rationality that is irrational, fogging the view, refusing to see potential because the laws seem to contradict it. Einstein altered Newton’s accepted laws. Has evolution been successful in making man better, more peaceful (Matthew 24:1-14) or smarter potentially? I bet thousand year old Egyptians could hack a computer if exposed to the same environment a skilled hacker has been exposed to.

You discussed the hypocrisy of religion in particular: Christendom. Look up Matthew 24:23-26 and think twice about referring to all Christianity as hypocrisy built on lies and fear.

The attitude: “Why should what God say go?”
(From a Bible perspective, not atheist or Hindu or the couple who want an open marriage and to believe in God)
“Father knows best”, so just because the neighbor tells me to do it means I can go against him cause I’m myself?
“God Is Love” 1 John 4:8
Questioning God’s right and just ability to rule is the very theme of the Bible. In the beginning…God Created man. Adam and Eve, the Bible’s first humans lived in perfection, they were created in God and Jesus’ likenesses, that is, possessing the quality of love. They also had free will, deciding what they want to do when. Their choice whether or not in accordance with the laws of their maker. One angel chose to go against God, he wanted glory from the creation. In the form of a serpent he approached Eve and told her to eat from the only tree forbidden to them. He implied that God was holding something back from them when he gave this command. That although they were told in that day (again day being a longer period of time) they would die. The devil told otherwise, in that day they would know right from wrong and become like God himself. They died and passed death and imperfection onto their children. The question is, are humans better off without their guide to slaughter and to hate?
And what of Hellfire? Simply it is a miss interpretation. Hades or She’ol are other names, just a reference to the grave were everyone who has died goes. The dead are unconscious- Ecclesiastes 9:10. This is biblically true because of what is foretold in Revelation 24:13,14; Hades spat up the dead, in reference to the resurrection, and Hades (hell) was thrown into the Lake Of Fire (Gahanna…(gahenna?)). This is illogical if hell is a physical place. The two are deaths. Hell is temporary and the Lake Of Fire is everlasting destruction- not torture but something destroyed forever, gone.

Before you exploit all of Christianity as hypocrisy and nonsense. Do research about what the Bible really says instead of what the Churches say.

I responded:

Hi, thank you for writing into the show! I’ll respond to your e-mail in the order in which you wrote it.

First, give me ONE shred of evidence for intelligent design. One. Next, give me evidence that the Bible is literally true, especially in its creation accounts. Your descriptions of ID are useless unless they can be backed up. Indeed, the Big Bang theory may not be true, but that doesn’t mean that we immediately insert God. It is not rational to simply say, “We don’t know how it works, therefore, God did it.”

Next, you talked about the chances of life starting on its own. The fact is there are a number planets around our sun (a star), 100 billion stars in our galaxy, 50 glaxies in a supercluster of galaxies, and thousands of superclusters on top of that. Add to that the moons that surround planets and the near 10 billion years that all the chemicals on all those planets had to bump into each other and you start to see that it’s not quite as unlikely as you might think for a self-replicating chemical to form. Besides, we know it happened. You know how we know? Because we’re here. Yes, it might be unlikely, but we beat the odds. If we didn’t we wouldn’t be around to know it.

As for the chances of beneficial mutation, again we take natural selection over time as our model. Let’s go with your estimate of 1 in 1000. If we had one million reptiles we see, based strictly on the probability, that we might expect to have 1000 beneficial mutations. And that’s with just one millions reptiles in one generation. Think about it over millions of years and millions of generations. The ones with neutral continue to survive, the ones with harmful mutations die and spare the rest of the gene pool.

Your next point, about humanity’s recent evolution is an interesting one, however you neglect a few points. First, you neglect that there is only a few thousand years of “civilized” human existence, and therefore not nearly enough time for us to evolve as a species. Second, you neglect to notice that humans are distinct in our social interactions. Humans work to keep those with negative mutations alive instead of letting nature kill off the weak. Humanity will have a difficult time evolving in the future due to our hospitals and medical advances. Indeed, in the wild, the less intelligent children would have died most likely and the children with the higher intelligence would have survived better, had an easier time of propagating their genes, and would have spread their “smart genes” further down the road. But in our world it is fairly easy for the less intelligent to survive and therefore their weaker genes will be kept alive.

As for the feathers and scales thing: I admit I don’t know, but I sure as heck am not going to act like I do and just invoke God. I’ll do some research. And if I can’t find anything, I’ll be comfortable knowing that all the patterns of evolutionary research have shown that there is a mechanism to all nature and that although it is currently unknown, there is one to explain the feathers thing.

As for your next point about my denouncement of “Christendom” as hypocritical, I’m not sure what you were getting at. I read the passage and all it said was that there would be false Christians. Okay, so tell me who the true Christians are and I’ll tell you how they too are hypocrites.

The language in your next “point” about “why should what God says go” kind of breaks down, so I had a really hard time understanding what you were trying to explain with the neighbor allegory.

As for Hell? Read you Bible, man. Mathew 13:41-42. ‘Nuff said.

Before you try to defend your indefensible religion of destruction and hate, do research about what the Bible and Science really say instead of what the Churches say.


I'll be sharing this on probably the first episode of the next season of Atheists at the Table. Leave your thoughts in the comments section and I'll talk about it on the show!

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