What I mean is this: how much do you actually know about the science most atheists parrot? Most atheists know as little science as most Christians know as little theology. Just as a Christian trusts his priest to tell him what he believes, an atheist trusts scientists with a Ph.D. tacked to their name to tell them what they believe. But how many times have the scientists turned out to be wrong? I only ask this because it seems this is central to the problem that most atheists have. They are repulsed by the phrase “believe” – they are addicted instead to the phrase “know”. But honestly, do you really know, or are you just believing what you’re told? I would like to remind you that in the 1970′s the scientists of the day were seriously concerned that we were about to enter an ice age, and less than 30 years later they are now convinced Earth is about to turn into a desert.
Unless you’ve observed something yourself, or observed and interpreted the evidence yourself and drew your own conclusions, you are just as guilty as faith as any religious person.
Of course Newtonian physics is theories and interpretations. What else would they be?
Newtonian physics has good predictive power at the scale of planetary spacecraft (at least until you start doing precision stuff like GPS navigation), but that's why we choose to teach those theories and interpretations.
The term "Law" when used in science - like the Ideal Gas "Law", Newton's "Laws", etc. refer to well-accepted theories that originated during the period when the construct of natural law was common parlance. Scientists of that age were attempting to find the laws (perhaps God's laws) that governed natural phenomenon, so successful theories were believed to be "laws." By the mid to late 19th century that notion had been replaced by the more contingent view of scientific constructs as "theories", or, more recently still, "models." They are, however, the same thing.
So you're trotting out the old saw, "Well, science is all theories, which amount to beliefs, so it's just an issue of beliefs --"
Maybe you could give us a rousing chorus of Chicago's "Does Anybody Ever Really Know What Time It Is?"
Why not go Kafkaesque, and ponder if we're Humans, dreaming we are butterflies, or butterflies dreaming we're Humans? (I prefer butterflies to cockroaches)
It's amazing to see how far a theist will reach - even an intelligent, educated one, such as yourself - in an effort to validate a belief system, the credibility of which is fading daily.
The butterfly query isn't Kafka, it's Zhuangzi (Zhuang Tzu, Chuangtse, Chuang Tzu):
Once Zhuangzi dreamt he was a butterfly, a butterfly flitting and fluttering around, happy with himself and doing as he pleased. He didn't know he was Zhuangzi. Suddenly he woke up and there he was, solid and unmistakable Zhuangzi. But he didn't know if he was Zhuangzi who had dreamt he was a butterfly, or a butterfly dreaming he was Zhuangzi. (source)
Better trot out the bifocals, as you seem to have missed the parenthetical, "(I prefer butterflies to cockroaches)" - the truly well-read would know that with Kafka, it was a cockroach, hence my statement that I preferred butterflies, but thanks for the intrusion, you KNOW how I always look forward to your input.
Most words have mutliple meanings and nuances, and this includes such words as "theory" and "law." For example, one meaning of "theory" has a meaning along the lines of a guess or surmise; but it can also mean an operational structure that functions to organize facts in a way that they make sense together and imply areas of further study.
A "law," likewise, can mean some legislated rule to be enforced. On the other hand, it can mean something which is so regular and reliable that its operation comes to be assumed.
Religious people have been using the "it's only a theory" ploy for a long time, which of course refers to the weak sense of theory, ignoring the power of the strong sense of the word.
It's not a "theory" in any sense of the word that metals expand when heated. It's a physical law. Should it prove to be false now and then, it would call all of metallurgy and chemistry into question. Luckily, the universe does seem to operate in a lawful manner. The parts of it we understand, anyway. You seem to be saying that there's nothing we can really ever understand.
Well, if one REALLY wants to pick nits, and it would appear that Doc Bob does, one could always fall back on (N + 1), that postulates that even if something we believe to be true, such as 2 + 2 = 4, although it may have proven itself to be true a billion times in succession, there are no guarantees that it will the next time, only probabilities.
However little we may actually KNOW about science and the way the world works, despite our centuries of attempting to understand it, one can safely assume that those who wrote the Bible, knew even less about invisible spirits who live in the sky.
You seem like such an erudite individual, Bob, it's almost unfathomable that you can lend any credence to the ramblings of superstitious, uneducated, Bronze Age/early Iron Age priests, much less compare them to the vast compilation of scientific data extant today.
See, here's my problem, Bob - you profess to be a Catholic theist, as well as a University science instructor.
You've clearly read the Bible - you've read of Noah's World-Wide flood, and being, I must assume, well-read, have also read of Zuisudra's 3-county flood in Mesopotamia, upon which Noah's flood was plagiarized; you've read of the Tower of Babel, and being well-read, have recognized it as a Mesopotamian ziggurat; you've read of the fictitious "Abraham," "Issac," and "Jacob/Israel," and recognize them for what they are, iconic representations of a people, rather than individuals, and you know that Moses, for whose existence there is no evidence, never wrote any of the books - Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy - attributed to him, and in fact, ascribe to the same belief as does your Church, in the Wellhausen hypothesis, which holds that the first five books of the Bible were written at different times - from 950 BCE to 400 BCE, by a number of different, unknown authors, whose testimony, for lack of an identity, cannot be proven nor disproven.
My question is, knowing all of the falsehood that has gone into the fabrication of the Bible, Old Testament, as well as New, at what point in this reading - and bear in mind, I have read the same book, many times - did you find yourself saying, "OMG, yes, it's true that I am intelligent, and a man of science, but this invisible spirit that claims to have created the universe, is real, and I believe in him/her/it!"
That is why he's called the y-chromosomal Adam; the y-chromosomes from father's of females are not passed on, only Adam's y-chromosome remains, even as you've described the lineage.
That's why we also have mitochondrial-Eve; the mitochondrial DNA from mother's of sons are not passed on.
What I find fascinating about thinking about family trees is that as I go up, my ancestors double with each generation, so I think of big my family gets as I go back. On the other hand, if you think of someone living 1000 generations ago, their tree gets bigger with each generation procreated, so we think of their progeny as becoming more populous moving towards the present.
As it is, however, even with all my ancestors, my mitochondrial DNA only comes from my mother's mother's mother's mother's......one female pre-human from a very long time ago. As with you, your Y-chromosome comes from one male pre-human from very very long ago. Given those pre-humans lived in a very small population, almost all of whose lineages died out, we are left with one human Adam, and one human Eve, who never met and who may have been one of the other's descendants.
True. I read somewhere that the y chromosome only emerged once - meaning every single creature with a y chromosome shares a single, primordial ancestor. :D
@Robert - The reality is that almost all cultures worldwide subjugated women -
So, if most, (which is not true) at that period of time, do it, that excuses this all encompassing loving church?
What about all the goddesses who came before your god. A supreme being, just one, for instance, Nammu, who created the world. There were many goddesses in many cultures, revered and respected. Yes, there were women who were respected in the bible, but they fell by the wayside. Ask any christian the names of the women who were (supposedly) at the opening of the tomb. That is the most abused statement from apologists, oh, but, women were respected - if that is the case, why are there no female priests, bishops etc.
The only women college professors or presidents? Catholic nuns. St. Catherine of Sienna after all even ordered popes around way back in the 1300s -
So, why didn't SHE become Pope?
God was the Biggest god. God was a jealous god. God required commitment.
How about love and respect, as are the Hindu gods, no judgment, a hindu god can be male, female or gay. And there is no hell in Hinduism, a much nicer religion :)
Do you believe the story of Exodus?
Then the jewish god comes along, usurped and plagiarized many stories adapted pagan celebratory dates as their own, and voila, Judaism is born.
Then, yet another religion is thought up. Along came the Trinity.
Once again a problem arose, your god, as is tradition, usurped by yet another god, allah, with his jesus lookalike, except for the headgear, mohammed.
Have you ever done any research on how the stories of your bible came into being?
The Rosary is really a sort of mantra, a meditative prayer similar to some eastern practice. -
Also stolen from pagan practice. It was called the Witches Ladder. Yes, other religions do use sort of the same thing - Indoctrination, re-inforcing.
How to interpret the Genesis stories - Another problem - I see evil and stupidity in the genesis story - I would also have gone for the Tree of Knowledge - Talking snake - really?
Mitochondrial Eve existed - Where was Adam? - I was trying to be funny - if your god is omnipotent, and knows every hair on my head, why didn't he know about mitochondrial female.
Merely ecclesiastical law -
As thought up by a married pope, who left his wife.
" A man cannot be perfect, and be married at the same time."
As usual, the rules kept on changing, depending on the whim of the pope ruling at that time.
Before the Council of Laodicea, it is thought that women were ordained.
Then the fabulous St Augustine said - "Nothing is so powerful in drawing the spirit of a man downwards as the caresses of a woman."
There are those bloody sirens again - and men have no power against them, so let's just put them into the backblocks.
How about the Council of Tours - "Any cleric found in bed with his wife would be excommunicated for a year, with no pay."
But, priests were still getting married.
Then, along comes Pope Gregory VII, who said, "Anyone to be ordained must first pledge celibacy: ‘priests must first escape from the clutches of their wives."
Pope Urban II went one better and had priests’ wives sold into slavery, children were abandoned.
Read the history of celibacy - it really is an eye opener - and still being argued today. The ruling of celibacy for the majority of priests, has caused havoc, untold pain and grief, so why don't they change it. Education of the masses is the key. The more that people research, and find out how the different religions originated and evolved, the more likely they are to leave it, and that is what is happening.
Greek Catholic and Assyrian Catholic churches, and they have married clergy -
So why not all priests? Why not a rule for all? - There are many priests who have fathered children, some stayed priests and hid the fact they were fathering children, while others left.
Catholics around the world are ignoring the teachings of the catholic church, the celibacy, the hatred of gays, the subjugation of women - many more are seeing the light :) Religion is losing respect.
Besides the rampant, unfettered pedophilia in the catholic church, there are little gems like the Legions of Jesus. The bloke that started this lovely little group, abused, raped and tortured children for forty years. No doubt he would still have raped children, but the Catholic church gave him the 'cover' of protection. There were many who knew about it, but did nothing. The Catholic church has been dragged kicking and screaming to courts. Unforgivable. There are thousands of other cases just like this.
Celibacy is a man made rule - can a single man become a priest in your diocese, marry have children, and stay a priest.
That led to all kinds of problems in terms of inheritance, and nepotism in the clergy,
This I already knew - but it never worked, and still isn't working to this day, meanwhile, testosterone filled males are causing untold damage. The majority of priests, as part of their commitment, must not get married. Priests are still not getting married - because the pope has not said it is OK.
Typically they were married in another faith and then converted - they are welcomed with open arms, as they already have property - works a treat.
Isn't the Pope infallible - NO. Definitely not.
Not what I was taught. Educated people have worked that out for themselves, understand all the contradictions in your book, and are using contraception, except of course, for third world countries, where a woman has a child every year, until her body gives out, but is still waiting for the pope to say that using contraception is OK.
The pill is considered a Mortal Sin - There is a general Christian warning against
decision-making based solely on materialistic factors -
Tell that to women in third world countries, that have ten children by the age of thirty, and can't feed or clothe them. Despicable.
Catholics are not fundamentalists - I do consider them a cult, a large cult, no doubt, but any religion that has such control over peoples lives on an everyday basis, who has control over them through fear - of hell - of good people, turning into nasty people, who can kick their kids out of the house because they are not christian - yep, it is a cult, and it is fundamental. Opus Dei and it's magic underwear and flailing themselves because of the sins they have perceived to have committed, called Corporal Mortification. Appalling. It may say in the bible not to flail oneself, (who thought this stuff up in the first place?) that doesn't stop this group on insisting on it, and if you don't you are out.
I am not saying all catholics are numbnuts, they are just the sheep holding up this business empire.
No different with the Bible - The bible is the best teacher for Atheism. If you didn't have the bible, as a guide, what would theology actually teach. Isn't that where christianity comes from - the bible, and still not even christians agree on what they think is true. Bit of a problem, that one.
In this case, if there was no bible, all would be well, we could well still think Nammu created the world, or even my lovely white unicorn. No temper tantrums there, no hissy fits, no power agenda.
It is a text to learn from, not a book by which to be regimented -
Tell that to the Pope and his henchmen.
No trying to figure out what is true, what is analogy, what is myth, what is history, who stole what piece of the story to fit their own agenda.
Just common sense and logic, and not wanting to read about despicable behavior from a supposed god.