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.

Advertisements

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.

Skepticon 6 Day 2

It was very difficult to get up and around this morning as the day started out grey, cloudy and rainy. But Seth Andrews and Aron Ra were going to be speaking first thing, so we got up and got our coffee.

As we walked up to the convention center, we could hear someone squawking out of a mega-phone/ loud speaker type thing. I knew immediately it was some dude, preaching hell fire and damnation rubbish. As we walked closer he was going on about the brainwashing of universities. How they were teaching the lies of evolution. He also wailed on about how the fool says in his heart there is no god. As I held the door open for my wife, a lady said welcome and handed me a piece of paper. I said thanks and politely accepted. I glanced at it and sure enough it read something about accepting christ. So I then politely threw it away.

We were a bit late for Seths talk. But what we did hear was nice and encouraging. Atheists, non-believers and skeptics surely have a reputation for being obnoxious, rude, immoral, etc. But as Seths talk was about and what I for the most part witnessed so far at the convention, the person yelling at us just outside the convention doors was a great deal more rude and obnoxious.

Yes, I acknowledge that there is a certain number of non-believers that can be obscene and insulting to believers. But I believe I am witnessing before my eyes a group of skeptics that I can relate to in a more mature and rational way. And this is what Seths talk was about. The love and respect for humanity. It was awesome.

Next up was another of my hero’s, Aron Ra. I am amazed at how much is known about the fossil records. Here again, I admit that a lot of what he talked about, I don’t completely understand. But I do get the gist of the evolutionary records and science. I understand that the data puts the nail on the coffin of creationism. Yes, I don’t grasp most of it now, but look forward to continuing to learn about it. It is fascinating. Its not that evolution is so difficult to understand, its that there is so much information, its going to take time for me to take it in.

The next highlight of the day for me was getting to see Richard Carrier. The room was nearly full for his presentation. He talked about good and bad philosophy. Again, a lot of information about a discipline that I have looked very little into. But it was really cool seeing how good philosophy comes about. Just more stuff I look forward to studying up on.

Richards talk was the last one before dinner. So after it was over, about 1000 people were making their way out of the auditorium. It was very slow going and my wife made the comment, “man, this is like leaving church.” I had to laugh because it was true. We used to go to a mega-church and it is always slow walking out of the building.

We didn’t make it back to any more presentations after dinner. My wife needed some rest as her pregnancy was getting the best of her. So we just relaxed in the room and talked about the day. Its been awesome getting the opportunity to experience Skepticon with her. Having conversations about religion, evolution, science and raising our kids in it all has been good for us.

American Nephilim and Giants

In my earlier post titled Giants, I mention that one of the problems I have with the god of the bible is how he sent the Israelites to slaughter races of people. Including women, children and infants specifically. A question I have is, Is it ever ok to kill an infant? According to believers and god, it is ok. Their reasoning is that the races that god orders baby killing were giants and descendants of “fallen angels” who impregnate women.

The first round of “proof” that came my way was a video with pics showing people digging up remains of “giants” that were monstrously huge. Much bigger than 8-10 feet large. But I did some checking and found all these were photoshopped. So out the window it went. Still no proof. Gods still a baby killer.

Then another video link was sent to me by text message. It is a video of a man named Jim Vieira giving a presentation about a giant race. He gets into the large race part around the 37 minute mark.

So when not being challenged at his own presentation, he gives a pretty convincing talk. He shows newspaper clippings and magazine articles hoping to make what he’s saying more convincing. He talks about all the various skeletal remains dug up at various sites in America. Remains between 7 and 8 feet tall.

One of the main points he makes in his presentation is that the Smithsonian took the skeletal remains and kept them forever hidden from public viewing or study. It screams conspiracy theory. When asking the person who sent the video what reason would the Smithsonian have to hide the remains, the response was, “because it wouldn’t fit in with Darwins theory of evolution.”

Another person who was also included in the text message, (who is also quite the conspiracy theorist) replied all another text message. It said how great of a video it was and some other conspiracy theory speak. I didn’t quite follow it. To which the original messenger replied:

“I think the Smithsonian started confiscating these oversized skeletons at the same time our scientific and academic national community adopted Darwins theory of evolution. Bfor that hundreds, if not thousands of articles were freely written about then and pix taken. Whether of not u subscribe to evolution, hiding evidence that doesn’t quite fit is NOT the way to scientifically discover the truth!”

And also:

“Funny how when we were nationally embracing biblical creationism there was freedom in new discoveries. But now, we r punished professionally if we theorize there might be an intelligent designer. Or discoveries that don’t fit Darwin are downplayed.” 

Now, I’m a new little Doubting Dragon, so I had to ponder the thought of that for a while. I had to take time to wrap my head around all this new information from this video. I mean, he was presenting a case with “credible articles and clippings” right?

I then did a google search the the presenter in the video. Jim Vieira. And first saw this article. Good information to expose yet another possible conspiracy theorist. But I know creationists would dismiss TED’s rejection of Jims presentation as they are just trying to shut him up, because he “speaks the truth.”

Also in my research about the newspaper clippings, it was interesting to find out just how much exaggerating papers did back then. How much more spectacular they would make things seem, just to sell more papers. Besides, back then, no one really did any fact checking. There was no google! So the papers could say practically anything they wanted or were paid to say.

I also found this BLOG post that was interesting.

The more I thought about it, even if there had been a race of giants, it wouldn’t change the fact that theres no proof they were super naturally brought to the earth. It still doesn’t change the fact that the god of the bible (if he was real) brutally murdered women and children, even if they were to grow up to be giants. Its still no proof for belief.

I found interesting info online from the tallestman.com I believe that there are today, this very day, at least 20 people alive that are over 7 ft. tall. So why doesn’t god have them killed? Are they descendants of fallen angels? Are they evil?

Where are the bibles contemporary bronze age writings about races of giants? Seems like yet another thing that would be hard to miss.

But the thing that kind of puts this whole thing to bed for me is how much of a motivating factor money is. If there were actually races of giants to be found archeologically, I doubt very much that the Smithsonian could keep such a tight grasp on all digs everywhere. Money talks, and there would be other groups out there to find their own giant skeletal remains and would want to profit heavy off of such a discovery. If there were races of giants, I would expect to see more finds other than just here in America. I would expect there to be some found, like say…hmm, I don’t know. Maybe where the bible says the slaughtered Amalekites were killed by the Israelites.

Until some other “proof” is brought forth for a race of giants or if I find something else to rant about, I’m putting this subject to bed.

God it seems, is still just a woman, child and infant killer after all.