Monthly Archives: July 2010

The Universe is Ancient

The bible holds that the universe is less than 10,000 years old.  Once upon a time this may have been believable, but with the amount of science available to us now, it’s a wonder that anyone can actually be in such deep denial.  Consider the following data:

Stars are too far away – If we see a single star in the sky that is over 10,000 light years away, then obviously it has taken over 10,000 years for its light to reach Earth. How do we find the distance to stars? Read here.

Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation exists as proof (and a dating agent) of the big bang – While this is a very hard concept to wrap one’s head around, it is explained slowly and easily here. It was proven to date the universe at 13 billion years old here.

Radiometric dating – Carbon dating, by far the most popular, is but one form of radiometric dating. All radioactive isotopes have a half-life, and they have a stable and predictable way of breaking down over time. Using math we can find out how long a “zeroed” clock (such as igneous rock) has been on the earth. A complex explanation is found here (complex but thorough) and an easy-to-understand video is found on YouTube here.  This video not only covers Dendrochronology, which is another proof of the world’s age, but it covers every single argument against carbon dating and why they are fallacious.

This is all very hard for the average person to have a good grasp of, and creationists play on this ignorance of the masses. I used to have a limited view of evolution and a terrible misunderstanding of it based on what creationists had taught me. “Why are there still living intermediates?” I’d ask. “Where are the missing links?” These are stupid questions based on ignorance of the issue, and since then I’ve corrected my ignorance.

The church is a source of misguidance. They teach us the scientific findings of herdsmen tribes that lived thousands of years ago and then they tell us that anything contrary to that must be false.  It’s agnosticism – all new information has to be compared with old information, and if found incompatible, discarded. We all know of Galileo’s struggle with the Catholic Church when he tried to disavow public belief in a geocentric universe.

Science allows us to not only learn new things but to fix old mistakes in thought. This branch of learning is not filled with conspirators who wish to throw disinformation at us in order to kill religion, but rather discoverers who want to share their discoveries with others so that the whole world may know every truth. If a new discovery conflicts with religion, it’s not because of bias, but because religion is outdated and pragmatically unlearned. You don’t have to take a researcher’s word on faith, but you yourself can duplicate their process to get a similar (or dissimilar) result.

However, “christian science” is filled with bias. Do you expect or believe that a religious scientist will, if finding new information that is incompatible with the bible, accept and share it? The famous Templeton Study, which sought to prove prayer’s power, was conducted with a research grant from the John Templeton Foundation. A brief synopsis can be found here, and the actual published material from the researchers can be found here.

In short, prayer was tested and found to have no effect. In fact, it had a worse effect on those who were being prayed for and knew about it. Now, one might wonder, why even include this group? This is outside of the double-blind and therefore completely reliable part of the test. But, I think it was done to prove that prayer works. We all know, from the layman to the scientist, that people get healed from the placebo effect. Might prayer itself work as a placebo? It seems logical, but the answer is that (at least in the case of heart surgery) it has a detrimental effect.

Science can be used to test religion, its beliefs as well as its history. There’s a good reason that science and religion clash so often – religion is unscientific, and constantly proven to be false. Such as the bible’s take on the universe’s age – totally false.

-Supernova

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Made in Whose Image?

Genesis 1:27 – So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

So when the world was created, all living beings were put on the earth.  God made male and female creatures of every type of animal except man.  God created Adam and later created Eve as a “helper suitable for him” (Genesis 2:18-22).  It seems pretty clear that Adam was originally intended to be alone, and yet he was created with sex organs.  And every other animal was made in sets of 2 or more (otherwise, how would the first ones create another generation?).  This whole story seems suspiciously like a way to prove that men are superior to women in some way, which of course was the universal belief for at least the past 10,000 years.  Man was made first, so he must be God’s intention for the way humans should be.  Woman was an afterthought.

Evolution is a fact.  Whether you believe that all life on earth came from a single primordial soup (still theory) the effects of modern evolution are apparent.  We have new strains of disease like swine flu coming into existence all the time.  An entire group of flu cells mutated in a way that was beneficial to their survival.  That’s evolution, no matter what word you use to denigrate such a fact of biology (such as “adaption”).

Evolution explains why we have such diversity of organs and how they function.  It makes sense that we have a stomach, for instance.  We require calories to do tasks that keep us alive, and those calories have to be created in some way.  We take in food, and something has to convert that food to usable calories.  This seems beyond obvious, that all of our body parts are useful and make sense for us to have.  Some may call this a divine plan, that God was wise enough to know how to keep us alive and to build us in this manner – but the bible doesn’t even suggest this.

The bible does not say that we were built for survival – it says that we were made in God’s image.  We have hands because God has hands, feet because God has feet, and eyes because God has eyes.  Well, it makes sense that we would need all of these things, but why would God need them?  Why would He have feet with nothing to walk on, hands with nothing to hold, eyes with nothing to see?  It seems certain that He had a human form before He created a universe that would require any of it, right from the start (in Genesis 1:3, “God said”, implying speech and a language, before there was anyone to hear Him.  In verse 4 He “saw” his creation).  Why would God have a mouth?  Is it necessary for his survival?  Why would he have a penis if there were no wastes to excrete or anyone to have sex with?*

There is no logical reason for God to resemble man.  Not a single one of his organs is useful for anything, as an eternal spirit has no use for tools of survival.  And yet the bible makes reference to God having a body even before coming to earth in the form of Jesus, such as the story of his passing by Moses while Moses hid in the cleft of a rock (Exodus 33:22) or the story of God coming to find Adam and Eve in the garden (Genesis 3:8).

Allow me to suggest a more logical alternative – God was made in man’s image.  It’s easier to relate to a God who looks and acts like us, only in a more “holy” manner.  There are religions where the Gods only vaguely resemble humans (Hindu, for instance) but in the majority of cases God is just like man, only superior.  Inversely, snakes are impersonal and unlikable, ugly and scary. Can you suggest a more rational explanation for Satan’s appearance as a snake instead of his beautiful angel form?

-Supernova

*While some may find this raunchy, why do believers object so strongly to God being a “She” if not for strong resemblance to a male?  Have you even considered what could possibly make God “the Father” or “the Son” in the sense that we understand these words?  It seems to make sense that God would be referred to as “He” as a grammatical default, and the titles Father and Son are only honorary titles and not literal, unless God actually had sex with a woman who later bore his Son.