Is your trust in science based on faith or based on science?

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.

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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!"

You'd have to talk to the geneticists.  I truly find some of the work being done by the Human Genographic project to be fascinating.  If I remember correctly, he came some time later, if indeed there was only one male from whom all humans have descended.

There are different projections for Y-chromosomal Adam which range quite far apart. I thought I read somewhere recently of findings which put Adam at a much earlier period than Eve despite previous estimates placing him much later (~60,000 years vs. 200,000 for Eve).

There wouldn't very likely be only one male from whom we all descended (or female in the case of Mitochondrial Eve). These individuals would have lived concurrently with others of their kind who bred into that patrilineal line, yet aren't necessarily a common ancestor to us all.

Imagine Adam has two sons. Adam's sons take a female mate each, but from different families. The sons in turn have two sons each. Adam, his sons, and all of his grandsons are part of the same patrilineal line, but Adam's son's wives carry the dna of different men outside of that line. Adam's grandson's are also the product of those genetic contributions. 

So here we have a scenario where Adam is the only common patrilineal ancestor, but the third generation is stemmed from three different men. Keep in mind that this scenario only deals with single-mate pairings and no inbreeding with immediate family.

('Patrilineal line' seems like a redundant term, but patrilineage may have a different technical meaning. I'm not certain.)

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' 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.

"...only Adam's y-chromosome remains, even as you've described the lineage."

In terms of inheritance yes. It mutates and evolves, but it is inherited without recombination during sexual reproduction. The Adam is still misleading though, imo. As stated earlier, he represents a hypothetical MRCA, not a genesis figure. After all, Adam had a father too, and so too did his father (and so on and so forth).  My y-chromosomal and mtDNA haplotypes are not the same as these Adam or Eve figures, and all (or most) other DNA may have no direct line of inheritance from them.


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

A strange thought, but given that that sex is an even stranger phenomenon to biology than it is to gawkish pubescents, it's easy to entertain the possibility that the awkward y-chromosome structure only arose once outside of self-propagation.

When I think that the impulse driving hundreds of millions of years of life to struggle to reproduce genes somehow led to the existence of furry fetishists, I can't help but think that Earth is a beautiful place.


@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.

It's lunacy, yes? These people dug up the corpse of a former pope and put it on trial, found it guilty, mutilated it, threw it in a river.

It gets better. It seems his dug up, mutilated, water-logged corpse was "rescued", and the twice dead pope began the miraculous healing of people before ultimately being vindicated and finally reburied. The formal name of this event is the "Cadaver Synod". Seems even death is not always easy for the one guy that has god's ear.

I'm sure it all gets rationalized, they are experts at that. Really, what else do you really need to know about Catholicism?

That seemed to be a Church fad that really caught on there for awhile.

Between 600 and 1600 CE, the Church declared it punishable by death to own a Bible in any other language that Latin, which the average man couldn't read, if he could read at all.

In the late 1300’s, the secret society of Culdees chose John Wycliffe, an Oxford professor, scholar, and theologian. well-known throughout Europe for his opposition to the teachings of the organized Church which he believed to be contrary to the Bible, to lead the world out of the Dark Ages. Wycliffe has been called the “Morning Star of the Reformation”. That Protestant Reformation, for believers, was about one thing: getting the Word of God back into the hands of the masses in their own native language, so that the corrupt church would be exposed and, for those, the message of salvation in Christ alone, by scripture alone, through faith alone, would be proclaimed again.

The first hand-written English language Bible manuscripts were produced in the 1380's CE by Wycliffe. With the help of his followers, called the Lollards, his assistant Purvey, and many other faithful scribes, Wycliffe produced dozens of English language manuscript copies of the scriptures. They were translated out of the Latin Vulgate, which was the only source text available to Wycliffe. The Pope was so infuriated by his teachings and his translation of the Bible into English, that 44 years after Wycliffe's death, he ordered his bones to be dug-up, crushed, and scattered in the river!

Yes, there were women who were respected in the bible, but they fell by the wayside.

Really?  The Catholic and Orthodox veneration of Mary ("Queen of Heaven and Mother of God" no less) has fallen by the wayside?  Who would have thought?

Why didn't Catherine of Sienna become pope?  Why didn't any women become Roman Emperors?  Can you name any secular women potentates before Elizabeth I of England or Catherine de Medici (and Catherine was just regent)?  How about any women U.S. Presidents?

The Church is in many ways countercultural, but it is not immune to the cultures in which it operates.   Women through most of the history of the world have been abused property.  The Church taught monogamy, that women were to be cherished and protected, that they deserved loyalty and respect.  It taught chivalry.  It was the first organized body to educate women, to allow groups of women to own property and engage in commerce, to serve as leaders in their own right.  It canonized Joan of Arc who was burned for being a soldier and wearing pants.  It paved the way for de Medici and Elizabeth. 

I'll agree that our 20th century record has not been in keeping with our previous record in some ways, more's the pity.  Honesty demands that we attend to the whole.

Yes, other religions do use sort of the same thing - Indoctrination, re-inforcing.

Careful about the pejorative terms.  They're signs of bias, not reason.

A better expression would be to say that meditation, repetition, etc. are ritual practices.  There's a fine Scientific American article this month on the psychological research establishing the value of ritual practices in improving concentration, performance, and mental health.

Besides the rampant, unfettered pedophilia in the catholic church, there are little gems like the Legions of Jesus.

Legionaries of Christ.  An absolutely wrong-headed order that should be forcibly dissolved.  I blocked them from access to all the youth in our area back in the early 1990s as best I could. 

Yes, there are bad Catholics, wicked popes, wrong-headed religious.  I think Dante put more popes and religious in hell than any other group (though politicians were probably close), and for good reason.  If you are expecting all of us to be free of sin, that's as irrational as expecting all democratically-elected Congressmen to be wise or all scientists to be free of research fraud. 

Because some scientists commit fraud does not mean that science is wrong, or isn't a worthy endeavor.  Because politicians are sometimes scum does not mean that freedom and democracy are bad things.   That way lies the Tea Party and the Islamists.  Is that the way you really want to go as a rationalist?

I get that atheism is mostly a form of negative campaign advertising and spin, both as a culture and an intellectual tradition.  Perhaps, though, it's possible to set some of that aside and look more academically and honestly at things.

I for my part am not participating in a cult. I'm not being controlled in any way, on an everyday basis or more broadly.   I am not fearful, of hell or anything other than not doing my best.  My doors at home are not locked, and I welcome strangers and family of all stripes.  And yet I'm a faithful Catholic.  There are many like me.  As a rationalist, isn't that data that you have to incorporate into your thinking?  Does that not disprove your theory as surely as Michelson-Morley was the end to ether as a medium for electromagnetic waves?

@Doug P;

I say: "doG Damn you're right!"

When the Cliff Notes for this thread come out I'll take a look. :D


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