Lying For Jesus

In another exchange with a christian believer about “Intelligent Design” this clip from Ben Steins movie Expelled was sent to us. It is the scene where Richard Dawkins talks about the “possibility” of an alien race seeding the earth to begin life. It is unclear what the point was for sending the video link. I think to show that even an evolutionary biologist and prominent atheist such as Dawkins can perceive of an intelligent designer starting life here on earth. And I assume the message for us should be to have an open mind about Intelligent design.

Here is the youtube clip.

Here is an article from Richard Dawkins himself stating the truth behind this interview and the “science fiction” that Dawkins proposes about the aliens. The part that Ben Stein or whoever put together and edited this movie fails to show the viewers. Thus attepmting to make Dawkins look silly. His explanation begins on paragraph 14.

Lying For Jesus by Richard Dawkins

How blatantly dishonest can these ID people be? It always seems their position can not stand on its own, so they stoop to these levels. This is why atheist and unbelievers can not trust what any of these ID people have to say. They try to sound scientific in these documentaries. But this example proves they are just liars for Jesus.

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It’s just a theory?

Almost daily on Twitter there seems to be a debate or argument going on between those supporting evolution and those opposed to it. I see comments from people who support creationism like, “its just a theory” or the classic, “if we came from monkeys, why are there still monkeys?” I even have to jump in from time to time on these discussions.

I know that christian creationists have to be opposed to a scientific theory like Evolution and Natural Selection. Evolution doesn’t line up with what they believe is true, which they get from their bible. So they have no choice but to be opposed if they want to continue to believe in their god and holy book. Regardless of the facts that the scientific community has proven about evolution. Some creationists will even bend and stretch their beliefs and their bible and try to make it fit what science says about how we evolved.

All of these exchanges and discussions got me wanting to look more into what a scientific theory is. What does it take for an idea to become a theory and did the theory of evolution have to go through the same scientific process to get to where it is today.

The first thing I had to clear up, is why do christians say, “it’s just a theory?” What do they mean by that? I tried to take my mind back to when I was a believer. I had absolutely no idea what evolution was about or what it said. All that I knew is what the bible said and believed it was true, hook line and sinker. If there was anything refuting the bible, then it must be a lie from the enemy. Therefore, I never bothered with it. So I can imagine in this mind set saying something like, “its just a theory” would take the meaning, its just a guess, unsubstantiated and speculative, which is an example from Wikipedia I found. I’m almost certain this is what most christians mean when they make that statement. Nothing against them, its just what most believers I was around for 20+ years would say and dismiss a theory like evolution and choose to remain uneducated about it if it threatened belief and faith. “It’s just the devil, so don’t even go there.”

Now on to what a scientific theory actually is.

1. A Scientific theory is a well-substantiated explanation of some aspect of the natural world that is acquired through the scientific method and repeatedly confirmed through observation and experimentation. Scientific theories are testable and make falsifiable predictions. They describe the causal elements responsible for a particular natural phenomenon, and are used to explain and predict aspects of they physical universe or specific areas of inquiry. Scientific theories are the most reliable, rigorous, and comprehensive form of scientific knowledge. This is significantly different from the common usage of the word, “theory”, which implies that something is a guess (ie. unsubstantiated and speculative) *Wikipedia

2. ..large bodies of work that are a composite of the products of many contributors over time and are substantiated by vast bodies of converging evidence. They unify and synchronize the scientific community’s view and approach to a particular scientific field. *RationalWiki

Live Science has a good article explaining the scientific theory.

So, it seems to me that for an idea or hypothesis to become a scientific theory it has to go through a long, proper and strict process. The hypothesis is looked at by several scientist in the field who run experiments repeatedly and ending with the same or better conclusions. Once the hypothesis is overwhelmingly agreed upon within the community after testing, it then becomes an actual scientific theory.

Scientific theories are open to scrutiny and can be disproven at any time if evidence is found, tested and proven to show that scientific theory to no longer be valid. And they can also be improved upon as  more knowledge of the theory comes in and with refined technology.

With the knowledge of what a scientific theory is, I then looked to see if a similar process was taken by those claiming “creationism” was science. Is it really taken seriously by the scientific community? Does it have equal footing? I could not find anything that shows creationism to be a scientific theory. The creationist claim from what I can find just a guess, unsubstantiated and speculative. Creationism can only be believed and taken on faith. I know that creationist apologist try to argue their points in various different ways. They bring up one or two scientists that see things the way they do, but unfortunately for them, they do not have an actual Scientific Theory that has been peer reviewed and tested. They only have faith.

The understanding of Atheism

As I scour the internet on Twitter and various blogs on the subject of faith, religion and atheism, it seems I learn something new practically every day. Either some new fact about science, evolution, the bible, family issues.  Also from time to time I see tweets, articles and blogs from people who clearly have a misunderstanding about things like atheism and evolution.

Almost daily I see a re-tweet of some one that either doesn’t understand the evolution theory or just wants to reject evolution based on their religious beliefs. I see the same thing, “If we evolved from monkeys, whey are there still monkeys?” Granted, some of these people may not really understand what evolution says or are just making condescending remarks just to be annoying. I don’t pretend to understand evolution fully by any stretch, but I understand the basic premises of the theory. (I’ve included a link to the definition of theory. It shows the rigorous process that takes place in science for an idea to become a theory.)

Another misunderstanding that I frequently see from believers is what an atheist is. An atheist is nothing more than a person who is without a belief in a god or gods. That’s it. We say that there is no evidence proving the existence of any claimed god.  Atheism does not make the claim that no god could exist. We don’t know, and neither does the believer. There is not any evidence whatsoever that can prove the existence of god. Atheist do not declare that they can prove that god does not exist as this blog post goes on about. And no atheist claims to be all knowing or a god. The first argument in this blog comes from ignorance in the understanding of what an atheist is.

Yes there are a few rough edges in the atheist movement. But from what I’ve witnessed it is a small portion out of the rest of the reasonable people.

Their second argument for intelligent design is easily thrown out, as it has been time and time again with science. But the most damning fact is that 99.9% of the worlds species to ever live has gone extinct. This is the Folly of any idea of an intelligent designer that is absolutely not required for natures natural selection.

Of course christians and people from other religions will ignore the facts and insist on believing anyway. To them it is more important to just believe that to pay attention to real scientific facts.

Thanks to @perth_atheist on Twitter for bringing the Candid Apologetics site to our attention. Its still fun stuff to read and see what science REALLY says about the claims of those believing on faith.