Dear Atheist,

Yes dear christian?
Do you think its a coincidence that...
of billions of stars and planets in the many galaxies, only earth has life, and abundance of it?

the sun is 400 times the size of the earth's moon, 400 times further away from earth than the moon, yet they look both proportionally the same size in our sky?

the sun lights the days nicely, while the moon glimmers in the night sweetly and the clouds bring forth rain to water our crops, which bring forth food in your stomach?

I think that being as none of us have traveled the entire length and breadth of the universe and visited every little star and planet, to make such an assumption is not only brave, but a little silly. The universe is filled with organic molecules. Life arose on our planet very soon after it condensed, indicating that life is almost inevitable. Any planet that can support life most likely will support life. This leads into the law of large numbers - As in "If it can happen, given enough opportunity, it will happen.

The Earth has the atmosphere it does because of life. It is not the other way around. The oxygen available was minuscule until plants started to exhale it. Concerning the distance from the sun - the Earth (with its moon) is currently in the "Habitable Zone"(HZ) of Sol. This zone is the region around a star within which a planet can have liquid water on the surface (a necessary precondition for life on Earth as observed). For Sol, this region is widely accepted to stretch from approximately 0.725 astronomical units away from Sol to 3.0 astronomical units away from Sol. An astronomical unit is the distance between Earth and Sol. Which is about 150 billion kilometers. So in other words, we could be either 27.5% closer to Sol, or 300% further away, and life on Earth would still be supported.

The earth hasn't even always been this size. The size of earth has changed since the time it first appeared as a recognizable though slightly flattened sphere. An impact from a body approximately the size of mars resulted in then two spheres, one of which is the moon. (material identical to the earths upper mantle also forms the moon) Continuous bombardment by solar debris increased the size of the Earth (by approx 20%), until it reached its present size. The earth has been through several atmospheres, and in the early stages of development the elements making up the atmosphere have varied greatly. (Carbon Dioxide, Methane, Nitrogen, water vapour ) Oxygen did not appear in great abundance until some 3.5 Billion years ago, previously the dominant gas was nitrogen. Most of the methane is now at the bottom of the oceans, along with vast quantities of carbon dioxide.

As for the clouds/rain/food thing, that would be weather. Even Mars has weather. And yes, plants grow with water & sunlight, this is known as photosynthesis, i'm sure you've studied it at some point. Some plants have food on them. Yes. We eat it. Yes.

This is all parsimony & reductio ad absurdum. The planet did not form for us, we adapted to the planet as basic as it was, and evolved all the way to where we are at now. Having this debate. None of the above statements require a divine hand to have come about in this fashion, and no, they are not coincidence.


Do you think its a coincidence that...
birds in the air whistle sweet songs and dogs show unconditional love?

your body heals naturally when you cut yourself, or you become sick and it goes away?

humans have intangible senses, called emotions where we feel love, hate, anger, sadness, happiness, shock, confused, hurt, healed, and so forth?



Birds sing because they are trying to impress mates and proclaim territories. Experiments with recorded songs have shown that birds sing to attract mates. House Wren songs broadcast near nest boxes will attract female House Wrens, for example. Female birds may also judge the quality of a male's song when selecting a mate. Some studies have shown that males with extra food on their territories are the most persistent singers, and in some species, the most persistent singers attract females the soonest. Even the dawn chorus is now considered to a complex interchanging of conversations between male birds.

The statement that dogs love unconditionally is an exaggeration for several reasons, one of which is that all dogs unconditionally "love" everyone - not just some people, but everyone. While it is true that dogs seem predisposed to form long-term relationships and develop strong bonds with people (what we'll call love), not all dogs "love" all people. The roughly 300,000 people that have to undergo medical treatment for dog bites every year will probably attest to that. Even dogs that are strongly attached to their owners or other familiar people may not always be friendly to them. We have seen numerous cases of dogs that were very bonded to family members but would become aggressive around possessions or when disturbed when resting or sleeping.

Human body cells get disturbed and injured regularly and have an ability to 'heal' themselves by changing back to their original shape. The injuries faced by the cells often result from free radicals, partially oxidized molecules like superoxide' and hydrogen peroxide' which are unstable and damage the proteins and lipids of cells by chemically reacting with them. This damage is prevented within the cells by antitoxidants, which combine with free radicals and neutralise them. The damaged proteins and lipids are separately repaired by complex metabolic processes using a variety of enzymes and metabolites. Of course the animal kingdom has this same special ability, what you might want to consider, is why is it, that a starfish or a newt can regrow an entire limb - yet a human amputee cannot. If *god* were behind this scientific human function, would he not want humans to be able to do the same? Does god prefer newts to humans? A true question to ponder. Also, it seems very rare that we be able to heal ourselves of critical illnesses. Not many people ever recover from cancer, sure there have been cases where it's just *gone* away. Once again though, this does not mean "god did it". Sometimes...weird things happen, and that's ok.

Emotionality comes as an all-inclusive evolutionary package and so you have to take the good with the bad; with love comes its evil twin hate, with happiness comes the flip side of sadness, individual emotions are actually adaptations selected by evolution to help us cope with specific situations. Kind of like "the mind's software." Faced with a sad situation, the mind brings up the sadness program to cope, and when the situation brightens, the mind get into the happiness loop. It's not so much about the specific emotions, as the situations, because many emotions have similar cognitive, psychological and physiological effects. Faced with a situation, our feelings ratchet up and any number of emotions can, for example, put the body on alert, shut it down, change thinking patterns or motivate behavior. What matters is not so much the name of some emotions as what the mind and body does with it. The bottom line is that over evolutionary time, those emotions that have been useful in keeping people alive, compelling them to mate and bring up offspring, and so they have been have been hammered into our brains, even if we don’t like them. Since humans are fundamentally social animals, we have specific social emotions that are also deeply embedded in human nature. We are animals that, in the deepest sense, rely on others for survival. And so we don't just have personal emotions, we have ones that ensnare us with the actions and emotions of others. If you go ahead and do something that makes the other person angry, you are likely to feel guilty. That's why we are able to trust others (the good part) and feel betrayed (the bad part), and here, too, we apparently have to take the good with the bad. Fact is, without these complex social emotions that involve others, we'd be stuck back in the forest, living alone in the trees. All emotions are "good," at least in the evolutionary sense. They are there to help us, and they bring hope. Even in the depth of sadness, we always know that the opposite feeling of happiness might bubble up, and how would we recognize the happy part without experiencing the sad part?

This is more parsimony, as pretty as those sentences were, they don't bare the slightest resemblance to an argument for god. All can be proven scientifically. So no, i don't think it's a coincidence.

Do you think its a coincidence that...
you were born from a lady's womb and you will die a death, without choice of either?

the complexity of dna is so mind boggling, that scientists worldwide now have gone from 'no god' to claiming a "Divine Creator"?

your body's anatomy is complex, so fine and so articulate that you wonder how this "accident" came to be?


I think the first point you make is kind of null and void. If you factor in abortion and suicide, then it seems we do have a choice who is born and who dies, when and where. The inevitably of those who are born, dying eventually, though, is something no-one can escape from. How exactly this factors into an argument for gods existence i do not know. It is the same for every form of life on the planet. In fact every planet & star too. To simply say "god does it" makes no sense, and is at best, lazy.

Concerning the second question & provided example, the double helix was found in the 50's. Simple because DNA structure is so complex it can appear astounding does not give credence to the idea that it had to have had a creator. Where you seem to think that "scientists worldwide" now seem to think there is one i have no idea. The amount of scientists that doubt evolution in favor of intelligent design is astoundingly low even to this day. According to Newsweek in 1987 (over 30 years after double helix was found): "By one count there are some 700 scientists with respectable academic credentials (out of a total of 480,000 U.S. earth and life scientists) who give credence to creation-science..." That would make the support for creation science among those branches of science who deal with the earth and its life forms to be about 0.14%.

That was in 1987.

Skip forward to all the astounding revelations we have discovered in the last 20 years or so, and you'll no doubt find more who firmly side with evolution. Of course, a lot of scientists believe in both a divine spark & evolution. Still though, this gives no credence to the idea that the double helix can disprove evolution. Evolution is still the best and most widely held concept as to our eventual modern societal existence.

Perhaps you've heard of Project Steve?

Project Steve is a project dedicated to proving how false the information you provided (albeit taken from another post on the same website) is. I suggest you give it a look http://ncse.com/taking-action/project-steve

Those who believe in evolution do not wonder how our bodies came to be the way they are. They can piece together the gradual forming through the bits and pieces we have discovered over the years of studying evolution as a theory. Natural selection explains a great deal, so no, i do not consider it to be a coincidence. Or even an accident. We are the way we are because that's how our species of primate best evolved to survive as long as we have. Nothing magical about it. Unless you consider the majesty of nature itself at work. When one studies nature for so long, one can only be in absolute awe of its wonders. You do not need to believe in a creator to see & feel that.

Do you think its a coincidence that...

there are endless variety of delicious fruits, vegetables, nuts, wheats to make infinite delicious recipes to satisfy our hunger?

there are thousands and thousands of exotic amazing land animals and thousands more amazing sea creatures?

you have eyes so you can see, ears so you can hear, heart so you can feel, mind so you can think?


To avoid posting up walls of text that would reiterate what i just said. No. I don't believe any of that was coincidence. I believe it was evolution. With all the natural selection, mutated genes, and billions of years of life, ever changing, and growing. Each species branching out into new and more fantastical kinds of the same animal/plant, or entirely new ones. Each vying for the survival of its individual species. Each having different types of eyes/ears/hearts & minds, to suit the individual cause of its own habitat and nature. Evolution and natural selection explain all of that with fervor and reason. Much more so than "god did it".

Do you think its a coincidence that...
there are thousands of recovered artifacts proving the validity of Scripture, the Holy Bible itself?

those who have faith in Jesus Christ witness miracles, worldwide?

almost all Old Testament prophecies have been already fulfilled and more continue being fulfilled?


Using the example you produced of the dead sea scrolls, perhaps you need to read this - http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1885421,00.html?cnn=yes - also its worth pointing out that scripture, scrolls, the bible, and all its various counterparts, were written by man (and/or woman) - simply because something is old and on paper (or papyrus) does not make it true. There are many alternating reasons as to why what was written in history has been written; if they truly believed they were correct, if they were forced to write under penalty of death, if they were writing fiction as we do nowadays, if they were writing things as they had heard them through rumors. Mankind is imperfect and always will be. The possibility of things being claimed true that were not is far too high for us to just blindly follow anything that's been said. I'm not saying Jesus never existed. He may well have done. That however, does not mean he was a divine entity. It's a far more likely scenario that he was proclaimed to be viewed as a divine entity after his eventual death. In writings such as these. Remember, St. George slayed the dragon in old writings too.

Regarding your second point, i see you've also asserted your particular religion as the only one that can experiance "miracles". Many people who do not have faith in jesus also witness things that could be considered to be called "miracles" aswel. What makes you so exclusive in this matter?

How's this?

No event can be attributed to a rational agent unless its occurrence is regular and repeatable.

Miracles are by nature not regular or repeatable.

Therefore, no miracle can be attributed to any rational agent (e.g., to God).

Unless an event can be repeated over and over again we have no right to claim we know who (or what) caused it. For example, one should not make a causal connection between the golfer's type of swing and a once-in-a-life-time-hole-in-one he shot. Rather than drawing a direct causal connection between them, we would consider it a lucky shot. And scientific analysis is not based on fluke relations but on repeated relations. This is why scientists use the principle of concomitant variation. For unless there is a direct correlation between the presence and absence of the cause and the presence and absence of the effect, then there is here no scientific basis for believing it is the cause.
This same point applies whether the cause is a natural force or an intelligent being. With regard to an intelligent cause, certainly no one would believe that there is a scientifically established causal connection between one's intellectual ability to pick a winning horse and a one-time win at the racetrack. For unless the intelligent being can do it over and over we would believe the result was a matter of luck, not a matter of scientific intelligence. Likewise, with regard to non-intelligent causes, there is no scientific basis for belief in a causal connection between spilled letters of alphabet cereal and a fan which blew them into the word "careful." Unless the fan does this repeatedly with randomly dropped letters we would consider this one-time event an anomaly. In such a case no scientific causal connection will be drawn between the apparent message and the fan. So whether we are dealing with non-intelligent or intelligent causes, there must be a relationship repeatedly observed before one can consider the connection scientifically based. But this repeated relation is precisely what we do not-indeed, cannot-have with miracles because they are one-time events. Hence, by nature, singularities such as miracles would seem to be ruled out of the realm of science.

For the yourself there seems to be two basic avenues of escape from this argument. First, you could simply admit there is no scientific basis for belief in miracles. Simply because miracles are not subject to repetition does not mean they do not occur. After all, a hole-in-one has happened; desperation shots have gone through the hoop, and some have won at the lottery on the first ticket. So all you need to admit is that singular events (such as miracles) are not subject to scientific analysis. That is, there may be no way to have a scientific understanding of them; they might be understood only by "faith." In this sense, what i would call a "fluke", you may choose (by faith) to see as the "hand of God." Thus you can admit that there is no scientific way to differentiate between a natural statistical improbability and a miracle. Both would have the same empirical data associated with them and neither would be based in the scientific principle of repeatability. Of course, if you admit this then you do yourself an injustice. Because you have admitted that there is no scientific basis for a belief in either the creation of the universe or of life, to say nothing of the resurrection of Christ. I could press the argument in that there is no rational or evidential grounds for belief in miracles either. For all rational connections seem to be based on previously observed causal connections. And all empirical evidence is likewise dependent on empirical observations of regular events. In brief, if you admit there is no regularly observed phenomena as a basis for miracles, then you have given up any basis for knowing they have happened. It has become simply a matter of unjustifiable faith in believing they have happened. If this is so then your faith is empirically unfalsifiable. This would not differ in principle from someone who claims his watch works because a little invisible green gremlin changes the time each second.

As for almost all the old testament prophecies being fulfilled?

The claim: “All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet: Behold, a virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and his name shall be called Emmanuel.” (Matthew 1:22-23)
The OT source: Isaiah 7:14
The reality: The “prophecy” is false on several grounds. Obviously, Jesus was not called Emmanuel. Also, by examining the context of Isaiah 7:14, it is clear that it cannot refer to Jesus. In the Isaiah passage, king Ahaz fears an imminent attack by two enemies. The birth of the child in verse 7:14 is part of a promise from Yahweh that the lands of the two enemies feared by Ahaz will be deserted “before the child knows how to refuse the evil and choose the good.” (Isaiah 7:15) So obviously the child was to be born during the time of this conflict, which is well before the birth of Jesus. And surely Jesus, if he truly was god, would have already known “how to refuse the evil and choose the good” so the Isaiah child, who has to learn these things, cannot possibly be identified with Jesus. Finally, the debate over whether Isaiah 7:14 should best be translated as “a virgin shall conceive” or “a young woman shall conceive” is of no consequence. There are reasonable arguments on both sides of this question. But even if “virgin” is correct, it carries no weight, because it would be very easy for the gospel writer to “fulfill” this prophecy by simply writing into his story a claim that Jesus was born of a virgin.

The claim: “He inquired of them where the Christ was to be born. They told him, In Bethlehem of Judea, for so it is written by the prophet: And you, O Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for from you shall come a ruler who will govern my people Israel.” (Matthew 2:4-6)
The OT source: Micah 5:2
The reality: The passage from Micah cannot apply to Jesus, because Jesus never ruled over Israel.

The claim: “And he [Joseph] rose and took the child and his mother by night, and departed to Egypt, and remained there until the death of Herod. This was to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet, Out of Egypt have I called my son.” (Matthew 2:15)
The OT source: Hosea 11:1
The reality: The Hosea verse reads in full, “When Israel was a child, I loved him, and out of Egypt I called my son.” Thus, the “son” referred to is the nation of Israel, not Jesus. The passage from Hosea continues, “The more I called them, the more they went from me; they kept sacrificing to the Baals [false gods], and burning incense to idols.” (Hosea 11:2) The continuation calls attention to the sin and wickedness of the nation of Israel as they strayed from Yahweh’s commandments. Are we to understand that this sin and wickedness apply to Jesus? We also read in Hosea that “They shall return to the land of Egypt.” (Hosea 11:5) But the gospels do not record any return to Egypt by Jesus after the birth story told by Matthew. Based on context, it is clear that Hosea 11:1 is not a prophetic reference to Jesus of Nazareth.

The claim: “And he went and dwelt in a city called Nazareth, that what was spoken by the prophets might be fulfilled, He shall be called a Nazarene.” (Matthew 2:23)
The OT source: None. This alleged prophecy does not appear anywhere in the Old Testament, nor is the town of Nazareth mentioned anywhere in the Old Testament.
The reality: The suggestion that Matthew has Judges 13:5 in mind (“the boy shall be a Nazirite to God”) cannot be supported. “Nazirite” does not mean a person from the village of Nazareth, but “one consecrated to God by the taking of these special vows.” (Oxford Annotated Bible, 1973, p. 312) The passage in Judges is from the story of Samson’s birth, and has nothing to do with Jesus.

The claim: Jesus orders two of his disciples to "go into the village opposite you and immediately you will find a donkey tied, and a colt with her; untie them and bring them to me . . . This took place to fulfill what was spoken by the prophet, saying, 'Tell the daughter of Zion, Behold, your king is coming to you, humble, and mounted on a donkey, and on a colt, the foal of a donkey.'" (Matthew 21:2-5)
The OT source: Zechariah 9:9
The reality: Donkeys were a common mode of transportation in the ancient middle east, so this prediction is nothing remarkable. It would be like saying today that the messiah will arrive in an automobile - but so does everyone else. Again, the context shows that the claimed prophecy is not about Jesus, because the Zechariah passage continues: "He shall command peace to the nations; his dominion shall be from sea to sea, and from the river to the ends of the earth." But Jesus did not rule over all the nations, nor did he bring peace. He did not even claim that peace was his purpose: "Do not think that I have come to bring peace on earth; I have not come to bring peace, but a sword." (Matthew 10:34)

Unless you're referring to the bigger predictions like the rapture...which of course was meant to happen in fall of 2009...as cited by a christian webpage here - http://www.rapture-soon.net/FAQ/FAQ_Reasons_Rapture_2009.html - and well....we're still here Incidentally, there was many more times the end of days was predicted, and many more times it failed to materialize.

Most things the Aztecs and Nostradamus said can also be casually linked with minor of major changes in history. If you're looking for a link. You'll probably find one. No coincidence.


Do you think its a coincidence that...
a farmer plants the seeds, yet the farmer does not make the seed grow and the farmer never initially created the seed?

that fruits and vegetables have seeds so that they produce more fruits and vegetables?

your body needs vitamins and nutrients found in GOD's natural foods such as fruits, vegetables, fish, meat, wheat?



Concerning the farmer and his seeds. If we're really going to get into the whole chicken and the egg thing. I have a question for you. Assuming that what you're saying is that everything has to have been created by something. What or who created god? ...goes in circles doesn't it.

Fruits and vegetables produce more fruits and vegetables because that is what live things do. They attempt to continue the survival of the species, through reproduction. A simple evolutionary fact.


Due to your capitalizing of the word "GOD'S" i can tell this whole argument is probably going to be lost on you at this point, i will however continue. The body doesn't *need* all that many vitamins and nutrients to survive, sure for optimal cell performance we can take plenty of great vitamins and nutrients that have been provided to us through the evolution of different species of different plants and animals. You know how we figured that one out? Science. No coincidence.

and lastly...

Do you think its a coincidence that...
you just happened to be here on a Christian site reading this letter?

your calendar says that the current year is 2009? What happened 2009 years ago?

Actually the first question may well be the first real coincidence of your entire letter. I was on twitter and searched the word "atheists" - i see your post, read your letter, and well here we are.

You should know the term A.D first used in 731 by Bede in Ecclesiastical History of the English People, but only translated into English in 1643 AD. ‘AD’ meant ‘time of Christ’s conception’ – 25 March – backdated from 25 December – the day after the three shortest days and the resurrection of the sun (≈6 BC–O AD). ‘BC’ (Before Christ) was first used in 1474 AD. Both were kind of forced upon people as a way and means of measuring our time as humans on earth. Of course no one knows our original inception date. I'm pretty sure it was the least of anyones worries back then. So everyone seemed to just deal with it. I guess its a damned sight easier than saying its the year 4,500,000,000.. Again though, none of this is an argument for a divine creator. You're grasping at straws.


So i guess you have our answers, 90% of what you wrote is parsimony, the rest has explanations in science. You have to realize, as atheists. We don't claim science to be the irrefutable perfect evidence for the god argument. The difference is, when science gets things wrong - which it does - it admits it, and strives for a better answer than before, its constantly testing the limits of knowledge and bettering things for all of us. Just because something cannot be outwardly explained by science does not mean that "god did it" - we all have a god-shaped whole in us, and its far to easy to just fall into that line of thinking. As rationalists, skeptics, atheists & agnostics though, we do our best to strive for real evidence, real reason, and real accountability. As i understood it, god was always about faith anyway, not proof. So why are you trying to prove anything with sweeping romanticized statements? Can't you just believe and leave us out of it? I understand that you feel you *need* to save us, the compulsion...it's like you're certain we're going to be run down by a large bus, that we cannot see, and you want to dive in at the last minute and save us. Please though, leave us to our fate. We made the decision or have always known our own personal truth about the god argument. We ask little of you; we want church seperate from state, we want people to stop killing or abusing power in the name of a god or religion, we want our thoughts to be our own and to be left alone concerning them.

I hope at least some of this has sunk in considering the shallow nature of your original statements as a persuasive argument. Sometimes, it doesn't have to be simple. Complexity, whether designed or not, is a beautiful thing.

Be well our christian friends,

Signed,

Atheists.

Views: 5

Tags: Atheist, creationist, letter

Comment by Dan on January 5, 2010 at 5:59am
FEATURED!
Comment by Dave G on January 5, 2010 at 10:24am
Very nice, although I do have one minor nitpick. Our original change from a reducing atmosphere to an oxygen atmosphere was generated by anaerobic bacteria. And since oxygen was toxic to them, after it hit a certain concentration they underwent a massive die-off, allowing the atmosphere to return to a reducing state. The survivors began to flourish again, generating oxygen, and the cycle continued. (The reducing/oxygen atmosphere cycles produced the banded iron deposits we see today) Eventually, one strain of bacteria evolved to a point where it could make use of oxygen and the cycle was broken. Plant life, as we know plants, didn't come about until long afterwards.
Comment by a7 on January 5, 2010 at 7:02pm
wow man, when I said write a wee blog about your thoughts,mi meant a wee blog. Longest blog I have EVER read.

nice stuff man


puff and worlld peace man
Comment by Mr Good Without God on January 5, 2010 at 9:23pm
Thanks everyone for the comments. Please spread the word if you can.
Comment by Neil Weightman on January 8, 2010 at 4:11am
I'm afraid you lost me a bit when you started to use the Latin name for the sun. What's that all about?
Comment by Wendy on January 10, 2010 at 6:38am
Neil - I'd guess he's just differentiating our sun from all the other stars, which are technically considered suns as well. Similar to calling our planet 'Earth' to be distinguished from Mercury, Venus, etc.

One contention I'd have is on the use of vitamins. They're beneficial to us because our bodies have evolved to use the nutrients around us. If there was never a Vitamin C, our bodies would have died off from scurvy, leaving creatures who weren't susceptible to it to be the "fittest" to survive.
Comment by Wendy on January 10, 2010 at 6:39am
Oh, and Neil - to be technical, Sol is the "name" of our sun, as agreed upon by the scientific community, not just the latin word for it. (I believe so, anyway... I could be wrong, but that was my understanding)
Comment by Neil Weightman on January 17, 2010 at 5:16am
Mmmm... Well I bet you'd have a hard time finding a scientist or anyone else who didn't know what you were talking about if you said "the Sun" (as opposed to "a sun"). Calling it "Sol" (not the official name according to the IAU, by the way, and according to Wikipedia the name comes from - ironically - the Latin name for the Sun god) makes it sound like some kind of sci-fi story and distracts from the point. "Sol" is not the common name for our sun, as far as I can see.

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