## God Said Pi = 3; Stand By Your Beliefs Dammit

Welcome to the Gospel of Reason.

Perhaps you might also be interested in other posts, such as:

George Carlin, “The Planet Is Fine”

Blasphemy Is A Victimless Crime

So, Nothing Happens When You Die?

The Case Against Religious Education

Babies Are Born Atheists

Enjoy your strange circles with pi = 3!

Ed note: Given the amount of number pseudo-crunching I’ve seen apologists perform, I would like to reference the readers to the following explanation. You may or may not agree but it’s just as much a tug of war as using the ‘inner circumference’ argument.Ed ed note: Some people woefully take this article personally. Allow me to elucidate for those who have not managed to interpret my word correctly (ha). I am not bashing the Bible. I am not bashing Christianity as a whole. I am trying a reductio ad absurdum of the Creationist stance of Biblical Infallibility. That one can interpret the Bible in one way or another is beside the point.

Ed ed ed note: The Bible is a fantastic source of literary entertainment and a strong case can be made for secular biblical literacy lessons in schools as a complement to English Literature lessons since a lot of English Literature owes its heritage to biblical influence.

In other words, it’s a great piece of fiction. Some people misguidedly choose to base their life on the assumption that it’s absolutely true. Other people pick and choose from pieces which are actually moral (or in some cases, not all that moral – the Catholic Church’s stance on sex and homosexuality is an example of misguided morals), and dismiss the obviously inane as mythology.

That’s great. But there’s a point when I take great offense in the book which is when it’s forced down my throat. I choose to read the Bible like I read Greek mythology. That certain lobbyists try to hijack the education system by infiltrating the Bible in, not as a source of literary study, but as a source of ‘moral and scientific’ rectitude (whatever that means) is what provokes me into pointing out clear (or not so clear) discrepancies in the whole biblical infallibility thing.

I Kings 7:23-26

He made the Sea of cast metal, circular in shape, measuring ten cubits from rim to rim and five cubits high. It took a line of thirty cubits to measure around it. Below the rim, gourds encircled it – ten to a cubit. The gourds were cast in two rows in one piece with the Sea. The Sea stood on twelve bulls, three facing north, three facing west, three facing south and three facing east. The Sea rested on top of them, and their hindquarters were toward the center. It was a handbreadth in thickness, and its rim was like the rim of a cup, like a lily blossom. It held two thousand baths. (NIV)

The Bible is the word of God, yes? Anyone who claims otherwise is a heretic bastard.

Well look at this grave, grave offense to your beliefs.

Pi. π. $\pi$.

The value for pi used in calculators is 3.141592654. But if we look at the word of God, it states that the ratio of the circumference to the diameter is 30:10 cubits. In other words:

3

Also known as 3.00 or 3.0. But here we have these self important mathematicians who believe they can improve on the word of God! What an effrontery. Biblical literalists, you are faced, as when with evolution, with an important dilemma if you wish to continue your peace of mind.

You can either accept that the word of God is fallible and men have improved upon it, therefore casting into doubt your claims of Creation.

Or you could hold steadfast to your God-given beliefs. Stand by in the face of scientific persecution and shout loud to the heavens that PI, goddammit, is equal to 3.0 because God said so.

Chances are if you’re not a hypocritical believer that you’ll take the second road. I’ve anticipated this, and I’ve made a partial list of all the things which you are going to have to forbid teaching in schools and universities if you want to preserve moral rectitude:

• Trigonometry
• Complex numbers
• $\hbar$
• Circular motion
• Physics
• Electrostatic force
• Isotropic transmission

I invite the readers to contribute to this list in order to make sure no further offenses to God’s word take place.

Interesting dilemma for biblical literalists: Either recant and accept the Bible is just a cute collection of bloodthirsty stories (Genesis included) or stand strong in face of the whole world of science and maintain that Pi = 3. Teach it in schools.

You can stop me here, now. You can say that “Ah, but if you look at the volume measurements and cook some of the values here and there you end up with Pi = 3.14, which is the modern version! QED, bitch!”. That the Bible doesn’t state that the value of Pi has no end is a testament to the fact that it was written by Middle East settlers in the BRONZE AGE. Clearly nobody expects the people who wrote the Bible to put down all of the digits of Pi – the book would be a greater pain in the ass than it is now if only out of sheer size. But a simple disclaimer, a simple Pi 3:23 “Oh yeah, but it has no end” or Numbers 1:1 “And God told Moses: ‘Pi, it hath no end'” or even I Kings 3:27 “And God rudely interjected: ‘Sorry guys, I forgot to mention, Pi is irrational'” would have done.

These stickers are for the public to use freely and paste over math textbooks the world over. Have fun!

EDIT: MY BAD PEOPLE, the previous stickers had the misleading approximation of 20/7 (which is an approximation to not very much, I’m afraid). I’ve corrected it. Carry on spreading the true value of Pi!

#### 859 Responses

1. I love this, I’ve been on this bandwagon for ages now.

PI IS EQUAL TO EXACTLY 3.

2. Check out this coincidence, folks.

Apparently the variant spelling of the Hebrew word for “circumference” found in the I Kings text has a numerical value (“gematria”) of 111 versus the value of 106 for the usual spelling. So, factoring in this internally implied correction: 30 cubits x 111/106 = … well, you do the math….

There’s a piece at http://www.khouse.org/articles/1998/158/ with some details. There’s also an interesting thing on pi and e at http://www.khouse.org/articles/2003/482/

3. […] Umfang = Durchmesser * Pi Ein Durchmesser von 10 Ellen bei einem Umfang von 30 Ellen ergibt: 30 = 10 * Pi -> Pi = 3.0 Hier gefunden. […]

4. You could send this to the Blogs4Brownback guy (who wrote that heliocentrism is an atheist doctrine, because the Bible says the Earth doesn’t move). 🙂

5. Pi? Now I’m starving.

6. Well…. if it’s 30 cubits around, and 10 cubits across, then that *is* a ratio of pi… to one significant digit.

Just sayin’. 🙂

7. The better approximation is 22/7, not 20/7 as can be read on that note in the image. 20/7 is actually even less than 3.

8. […] June 13th, 2007 [link][more] […]

9. Just why would you expect the bible to say 31.4 cubits? It’s an approximation. If anything it proves at least one thing: the writer had some mathematical knowledge that goes beyond the time period.

10. I’ve corrected the stickers, my bad for that.
Monkey, as I wrote, I would not have expected the Bible to write down all the digits of Pi. I leave that for Creationists to do in future editions of the Bible text.
At the very least, God could have been omniscient/omnipotent enough to write that Pi is infinite.

11. Has anybody taken into account the fact that it says that the rim was a handbreadth in thickness? This could alter the measurements – if the circumference were measured along the inside of the rim rather than the outside, then your ratio would be less than 3.14 and closer to 3. I’m just saying The text is not specific for us to know exactly how where from and where to measurements were taken.

Come on, let’s not be total idiots, I guarantee you these people could measure the things they built; either it was measured differently to how we are assuming they measured or an approximation was used.

As an aside, I really wish atheists would get a life. If there is no eternal significance to life, we are all going to be dead in 100 years and none of this will matter. Why do atheists spend so much time caring what other people (who I guess are just conglomerations of atoms at the end of the day) think?

12. The text is alright if you don’t interpret it to the last fullstop. Honestly? I wouldn’t have even posted this if there were not elements in American society who campaign for the teaching of fairy tales as science in schools.

As an aside, I really wish faith-heads would stop using atheists as the universal punching bag. Why do religious people spend so much time obsessing about other people’s sins?

13. Not to be a prick, but seriously, how does this pertain to a literal/figurative interpretation of the bible? Any dumbshit knows that a cubit is an approximate measurement to begin with. It would be redundant to say about 30 cubits, because 30 cubits *is* about 30 cubits.

14. The diameter of 10 cubits is from outer rim to outer rim, the way anyone would measure a circular object. The circumference of 30 cubits, however, was of the inner circle, after subtracting the thickness of the brass (two handbreadths—one for each side) from which the bowl was made. This would be the number needed to calculate the volume of water.

Check for yourself.
Substitute the length of your cubit (elbow to longest fingertip) for the letter C in the following formula, and solve for H.

30C / p + 2H = 10C

The width of your handbreadth will be the result. For example, my cubit is 20 inches long. If I had built the brass bowl, the outer diameter would have a circumference of 600 inches (30 x 20 inches) and a diameter of 190.986 inches (600 inches / 3.14159). The difference between the two diameters is 9.014 inches (two of my handbreadths).

Option #2

They may have measured the bowl’s circumference under the lip and the diameter including the lip, which added enough to make 10 cubits across.

15. We don’t care what you think — we care when you advocate a change in policy based on those thoughts.

16. […] de bijbel is PI = 3 God Said Pi = 3; Stand By Your Beliefs Dammit Gospel of Reason Bijbel – Koran: 0- 1 […]

17. Again, you can cook numbers nicely and 3.14 will come out every time. That the Bible did not mention, even _hint_ at the irrationality of Pi is a testament to the fact that it cannot have been written/inspired by God and is therefore fallible.

If you take the Bible as what it really is, a vestige of literary exploration and stories, then it doesn’t matter at all.

But when you take it literally, then not only are you sticking your neck out incredibly far, but you risk the whole world of science as we know it. Just for a couple of decimal places.

18. lol funny

19. Lou- well said. I don’t care what people believe or don’t believe as long as it doesn’t affect me personally. I don’t care if you believe in flying spaghetti monsters, but if you try to rewrite the constitution because you think the flying spaghetti monster doesn’t like abortion, the fact (not theory) of evolution or gay marriage, *that* is when I have a problem.

Nice blog.

20. Please don’t turn this into a false dichotomy of “atheism or pi = 3” please.

21. @Monkey, who wrote “the writer had some mathematical knowledge that goes beyond the time period.”

A kid with a STRING could have measured the circumference, wth. How is measuring something with a string “beyond the time period”?! It even SAYS “[…] it took a line […]”

You were trying to be funny, right?

22. Looks like someone has too much time on their hands.

The world as we know it isn’t going to collapse based on this information, and anyways, who said scientists were infallible?

23. I want to see “biblicycles” that have wheels with the same geometry as the bible indicates.

If the faithful ride the biblicycles, and the seats are pretty hard, Darwin will solve the problem in no time (and they don’t believe in Darwin so they won’t be worried).

24. Stephen & kjhand:

Scientists are not infallible, that’s the beauty of scientific exploration.

All I’m doing is trying to point out the incredible failures of Biblical Infallibility. There are countless Christian denominations with far more sense in them than Biblical Innerancy. It’s not ‘atheism or pi = 3’. It’s ‘Biblical innerancy is a crock of horse shit’.

25. God is unfathomable and transcendental. Universal Constants are Gods numbers. Why would they be finite?

26. I don’t know, which is why I Kings 7:23-26 puzzles me.

27. […] 13Jun07 there is nothing left to say. the entry speaks for itself. Filed under: fun, religion […]

28. […] Anyone who claims otherwise is a heretic bastard. […]

29. God Said Pi = 3; Stand By Your Beliefs Dammit

This story has been submitted to Stirrdup. If it can generate enough interest, it will make it to the main page.

30. If the bible WAS ‘improved upon by men’… why didn’t somebody fix this…

I’m just sayin’…

31. Pathetic. If this stupid argument is the best you can do, then your position is pretty weak. Especially since a cubit is ABOUT 18 inches, and it was a general description of something, not an engineering schematic. It wasn’t telling you HOW to build one, it was telling you what it looked like. I suggest you being a pogrom against all history professors because you can lay money they don’t describe things in precise mathematical terms either. It’s not the PURPOSE of their instruction.

Please, stop spouting nonsense like this, it makes you look like an ignorant ass. Sort of like the guy in the previous talkback commenting on hard bicycle seats and evolution. Someone should have told him Lamarkism was discredited a hundred years ago.

32. @eltower: Good, because then I’m totally with you.

33. @frgough: And I say that saying the Bible doesn’t support evolution is just as silly as saying the the Bible says pi is 3. As a starter: where did the people in the city of Nod come from? Who was the mother and father of Cain’s wife? Who were the people God was protecting Cain from?

34. There’s too many faults in this argument for it to effectively be used. First, you’ve got the arguments regarding internal/external measurements. Plus, there’s this: pi isn’t equal to 3, but it’s also not equal to 3.141592654. You didn’t completely print the value of pi, just as the Bible didn’t. God wouldn’t have benefited humanity by telling us in 1000 B.C. that the value assigned to a theretofore nonexistent Greek letter is transcendental. That would’ve stolen Archimedes’ thunder 800 years later. Also, I would contend that “pi” is a man-made concept, and only useful to man-made mathematics (which describe the non-man-made world). It doesn’t have a unit, it’s simply a ratio. The ratio was always there, but it hasn’t always been useful, and it hasn’t always had a fancy Greek letter assigned to it.

35. Well if it’s in the bible then in must be true.

36. […] God Said Pi = 3; Stand By Your Beliefs Dammit […]

37. Timmy, I don’t claim to be the infallible word of God.

38. […] is the correct venue for this. Suffice to say that I completely disagree with the idea of “God Said Pi=3” and another article on the same topic, sited by the other. Why don’t you site the […]

39. …But what God was refering to in the Old Testament was just plain old apple pi. In the New Testament the Son of God gave us apple pi alla mode.

Too bad he didn’t replace the bulls too…All the methane from those bulls could be contributing to global warming.

40. Ah, there’s another nice approximation:

eπ – π = 20

or (if the above doesn’t come out nice)

ln(20 + pi) = pi

Approx .001% out.

41. Let’s remember that only wise men from the era of the bible are the only ones who can listen and interpret God. No so called “advancements” in science and spirituality should be accepted. So everybody sit down shut up, deal with your painfully oppressed lives (because suffering and sacrifice is good) and wait for the Jesus to come save you from it.

42. To make the stout claim that “God Said Pi = 3” is a very ignorant and inaccurate assumption. There’s nowhere in the Bible that this is said. You merely make this assumption based on facts available, without realizing the difference between our finite world and an infinite constant.

“We cannot construct a perfect circle but we can compute the ratio of the circumference to the diameter of the perfect circle, pi, to a million or more decimal places with a very high certainty that we have done it correctly.”
http://www.mtnmath.com/pom.html

Could you please tell me where it says it is a perfect circle? Anything less than a perfect circle would make your argument groundless. It says “circular”. If we still are unable to construct a perfect circle, how could one have ever been constructed? For all we know, it could have been somewhat hexagonal, which would have fit the “circular” and “lily blossom” description as well as the measurements exactly.

Also, “pi” probably isn’t in the Bible because contemporary mathematical nomenclature didn’t exist when it was written. It is called “π” now because it is the first letter of the Greek word περιφέρεια (“periphery”).

This is beside the point, but don’t you think it would be a little unfathomable to have the infinite decimal representation of pi in a finite form? Or why would God feel people needed to know whether a measurement in a building plan was an infinite constant? I have yet to see any building blueprints showing pi as being infinite or grossly approximated beyond the decimal point and wouldn’t expect it to happen in the past. Your argument is irrelevant.

One other thing you gloss over is the fact that the circumference-pi formula was known in 950 BC, which is quite amazing to me. I find your argument very compelling, but fundamentally flawed when faced with reason.

43. pie equals yum

44. Bible thumping idiots and morons.

45. Travis, you are correct. The same can be said of the religious arguments against abortion, same-gender marriage, evolution, etc. Thanks for making the point obvious.

46. Ok moron. How exactly would the writer have described decimals to these simple people? Even better, since none of this was written in real time, how would that have been passed down?

Seriously, get the fuck over it. The bible isn’t suppossed to be literal…thats the point.

ITS A FUCKING STORY. Sure, maybe you can learn something from these stories, but to claim they got Pi wrong or the *whole* *world* was covered in water is just nit picking. Maybe it was *their* whole world that was covered in water. Was creation really literally 168 hours or was that just a way to explain the ELAPSE OF TIME?

Geez. Sometimes you guys are just as bad as the bible thumpers.

47. Please consider the basis of your argument, sir. You take a writers measurements that are approximations (e.g. cubit, handbreadth, etc.) and then try and disprove based on calculations not being exact.

Please remember that what you do to one side of an equation, you must do to both. So let’s replace “about” with +-.

+-30/+-10=+-3
If you want to replace the 3 with an exact figure, you will have to replace the 30 and 10 with exact numbers as well.

You can not state that this is “Cooking” or fixing the numbers. It is only applying mathmatical inteligence with regards to consistancy on both sides of the equation.

But yes, you are correct that if you remove the intelligence, your argument will stand.

Terrill Standifer

48. Why all those who want to interpret various ways that the Bible story might get us to 3.14…? What if the measurements are wrong, and other similar questions suggest that the words of the Bible are not exactly the truth. Just approximations of truth.

The point is, either the Bible is LITERALLY true, no interpretation necessary, because once that happens multiple interpretations can leave you with conflicting meanings, or that the Bible is not literal and we must bring our own reasoning and judgement to bear and that use that method to discern the truth.

Of course, the inconvenient thing about this for ID/Creationists, is that once we get multiple competing interpretations, how do we determine which, if any, is correct? Some of us use the scientific method. Others prefer to go based on revelation and what they’ve read from the Bible. I prefer the former, as it has been proven time and again to generate information that is predictable, repeatable, and therefore useful. The latter ultimately just leaves us with the “it’s God’s will” non-answer answer.

49. Ummm Pie…………[Homer]

50. @ My Mom:
“Seriously, get the fuck over it. The bible isn’t suppossed to be literal…thats the point.”

THANK YOU. That is the point. Now go get me a sandwich.

51. Regardless of the arguments for or against, you have to admit it is pretty funny.

52. Which bits of the bible are supposedly literal then? Surely it’s either all or none. It’s either a very bad story or the literal truth (sorry Truth). You can’t just pick and choose.

53. The bible never actually says that pi equals 3, that is nothing more than a misinterpretation. Visit http://www.recoveredscience.com/const303solomonpi.htm for the longer explanation of how ancient mathematics was much more accurate than it is typically given credit for.

54. @Brian: I fail to see how you equate geometry with moral issues. The Bible is clear about each of the items you presented anyways. Religious or not, there are such things as ethics in society and that is an entirely different discussion.

55. Let’s see:
As the writer for the Gospel of Reason, I contend the following of the Bible:

It’s a fantastic source of literary entertainment and a strong case can be made for biblical literacy in schools as a complement to English Literature lessons since a lot of English Literature owes its heritage to biblical influence.

In other words, it’s a great piece of fiction. Some people misguidedly choose to base their life on the assumption that it’s absolutely true. Other people pick and choose from pieces which are actually moral (or in some cases, not all that moral – the Catholic Church’s stance on sex and homosexuality is an example of misguided morals), and dismiss the obviously inane as mythology.

That’s great. But there’s a point when I take great offense in the book which is when it’s forced down my throat. I choose to read the Bible like I read Greek mythology. That certain lobbyists try to hijack the education system by infiltrating the Bible in, not as a source of literary study, but as a source of ‘moral and scientific’ rectitude (whatever that means) is what provokes me into pointing out clear (or not so clear) discrepancies in the whole biblical infallibility thing.

56. @Brian Actually, the Bible is pretty explicit with regards to same-sex relationships, both in the Old and New Testament. Two entire cities were destroyed because of their homosexual practices, and 1 Corinthians 6:9 speaks to the fact that homosexuals will not enter heaven.

@Stephen There’s nothing in the Bible that indicates that God didn’t create a whole large group of people that lived outside the Garden of Eden. There’s also nothing that indicates that Adam and Eve didn’t have children prior to Cain, Abel and Seth.

Because the purpose of the Bible is to instruct as to the way to receive eternal life, the people of Nod and Cain’s in-laws don’t really matter. It would be like needing backstory in EVERY book you read, regardless of its relevance to the purpose of the book.

Looking that intently serves only to detract from the message of salvation whose ground work was laid from the beginning.

57. […] = 3. Lo pone en la Biblia Hoy vamos a ser un poco críticos después de leer éste post “God said Pi = 3; Stand by your beliefs dammit” o lo que sería lo mismo en cristiano “Dios dijo que Pi = 3; apoya tus creencias […]

58. Evolutionists get more disparate every day. This “attack” if you can call it that, is a prime example of the logic employed by evolutionists.

The Bible is accurate in EVERYTHING, historical and scientific. The problem with your childish attack is that pi is an irrational number (a mathematical term which means it cannot be expressed as a fraction). If God were to give the actual values, the Bible would need an INFINITE number of pages to just write down the diameter or the circumference. Clearly, this is not practical. If the evolutionist would care to read more carefully he/she would see that the molten sea had a BRIM. It’s diameter is measured from one edge of the BRIM to the other, while the circumference is measured “round about” the sea _under_ the brim. Since God cannot lie (writing 3.1416 is NOT pi, it’s a shortened version we use for convenience), he expressed the dimensions of the sea using rational integers, easily understood by all. This, as with all alleged “contradictions” or “problems”, is not a problem at all, and, as is the case much of the time, is a failure in reading comprehension.

FYI – For a better idea of what exactly a “sea” is, here is the definition from Websters 1828 dictionary….
“1. A large bason, cisternor laver which Solomon made in the temple, so large as to contain more than six thousand gallons. This was called the brazen sea, and used to hold water for the priests to wash themselves. 1 Kings 7. 2 Chron. 4”

59. @eltower
“That certain lobbyists try to hijack the education system by infiltrating the Bible in, not as a source of literary study, but as a source of ‘moral and scientific’ rectitude (whatever that means) is what provokes me into pointing out clear (or not so clear) discrepancies in the whole biblical infallibility thing.”

Obviously, and I really am on your side with this one. But here’s the point. When you attack The Bible instead of the idiots who ram it down your throat with petty arguments like they missed a couple of decimal points, you only further their agenda.

By using your “superior intellect” to debunk The Bible’s version of Pi, you are merely flaunting your ignorance.

Honestly, I have a theory that traces all of this horse shit to one simple word….NUCULER.

ITS NUCLEAR YOU MORON! By letting that idiot get away with that we validated every half baked moron with some misguided opinion spewing “science” out of his ass.

60. Mom, I’d rather resort to intellectual debate than to ad hominem or personal attacks on ID proponents.

That I’m resorting to Pi = 3.0 is merely representative of the closed mindedness of the Creationist side. They’ve been trounced, over and over again to the point where I can only amuse myself further by watching their wigs spin as I use reductio ad absurdum attacks.

The root of the Nuculer problem is that the current, Websters, model of English semantics is incomplete and lacking in evidence. Websters changes all the time. When will it end?

61. Religious Buffoons:

Stay out of my schools and I’ll stay out of your church.

Deal?

62. Phoenician, could you just link to where you ripped that from instead please? I’d rather not have a comment column the length of Wyoming.

63. If thats the “craziest” thing you can dig up in the old testiment, you must be mildly retarded.

But if you insist on being mildly retarded I’ll give you a tardy treat and pat you on the head. You sure showed those people who believe in a higher power.

64. pi is usually written as 22/7ths. Even Egyptians from the Old Kingdom used 8/9 x 2, a value which is almost exactly 3.16 in decimal notation…

65. Perhaps cubits are like integers and there are no partial cubits, so this was the best approximation possible, lol. “The world has been defined using integer math, NO FLOATING POINT ALLOWED!”

66. Not a well-thought-out argument. This will make a great example for someone pushing the Bible as to why “science and atheism” is flawed, and how a postulation that’s claimed to be based on real facts instead of superstition or tradition can be shot down by its own methods.

67. If you look at the 2nd response from Dan, you will see that if the original language of the text is translated properly, the number referenced is 111, not 106, and thus we would get an approximation for pi that is more accurate than the one we use in classrooms today. Or one can reference the Phoenician’s insight about the inner rim and once again get a very close approximation which makes the whole Pi = 3 argument look a little silly.

I am truly sorry for anyone and for everytime that the Bible has been rammed down your thoat. In my belief that is not the purpose of the Bible, nor is it written to be an all encompassing scientific or historic textbook. It was written to convey messages, concepts, to the readers of its time, and to be used by those that follow to continue understanding those messages. The further removed we become from the time in which they were written, the more work and study has to be done to understand them by those of the current time.

There is a big difference in believing that the Bible is infallible in speaking to the purpose for which it was written (understanding of spiritual things) and believing it is trying to teach the calculus and nuclear physics in its pages.

If I pick up a book that is trying to teach me the correct usage of nouns and verbs, should I scour that book for mathematical knowledge? No. I should use it to learn about the subject about whch it was written to teach me. I understand that some claim the Bible can teach all things at once. But there are many of us who feel that is a misguided use of the Word. It is also misguided to try to force anyone to believe.

Ultimately, arguments like Pi=3 will change no one’s mind. There is probably some “misguided” in all of us… good luck!

68. @thiilguyin:

Religious buffoons in the US would probably go along with this compromise if they didn’t have to help pay for your schools.

69. hey thats good. FINALLY some way to get back at those damn scientists for all their lies and manipulations! they can have their damn computers, give me dogmatism!

70. @eltower (and HisMom)

Man. You guys are obviously looking at them same thing from different angles or different things from the same angle.

It is obvious to me, HisMom, that the author of this article CLEARLY was using satire and irony. Thereby, getting his point across more CLEARLY. The CLARITY of the tone of the article should have been CLEAR to you.

…(leaves)…

…(comes back)…

Oh, and eltower, get a life. Watch some soap opera or Dr Phil or something during the day. Trying to educate people always ends in tears, my boy.

71. Hi!

I liked your post! Very well written! It made me write an article dealing with this subject on my blog and my opinion on it, based on an ideea I had a while ago:

http://andreivajnaii.blogspot.com/2007/06/pi-is-not-constant-or-curvature-of.html

72. […] God can’t do math Hey, neither can I! […]

73. My translation states, “…it was round all about…”. Round does not equate to a circle. End of story. =)

74. And teh lord spakethz: “LOL”

75. The Bible also says we can have slaves from neighboring lands.

I want some hot Canandian girls.

’cause the Bible says so!

76. Really great post. You’ve got all those Bible-thumpers in a bind.

If they accuse you of it being just an artifact of the time (no decimal points yet) then you can come back and say that anything stated in the Bible is up for scrutiny by modern science.

If they come up with some convoluted explanation for why the Bible is infallible and that you’re deliberately misconstruing it by taking it literally to serve your own purposes then you can come back and say, “yeah, that’s what people do with the Bible, right?”

Great find.

77. I’d like to chime in to say that the Bible is not a science textbook. What I mean by that is that the Bible is a story that explains things to people in ways that they can understand them. I think for all intents and purposes with the Israelites, this approx. was good enough to convey a description of the temple. I do not believe the purpose of this description is to teach math.

With that being said, I think the crux of this argument is really on the measurement of a cubit. Because honestly, a cubit is not a standard measuring and is an approx in itself. Around the length of ones elbow to the tip of their finger. If the purpose of this description is to describe the temple of God then I think it was done well. You understand that the Sea was circular and in cubits it measured around 3 to 1 nothing wrong with that. I don’t think you need to bring repeating decimals into an approximation.

78. To all the people sending me to get a life: I bid you good luck on recovering from your sarcasm-ectomies.

I think My Dad got it pretty well.

79. Me esperaba de todo menos que me hablases en Español, te lo juro, ha sido como quedarme sentado como un tonto leyendo tu comentario.

Vamos, creo que es obvio el tema del creacionismo, es tan tremendamente absurdo el hecho de creer en la Biblia a pies juntillas que sólo y únicamente te podías referir a algo tan evidente como el creacinismo.

Lo único que te puedo decir es que como diría mi abuelo. Dejémoslos, son felices haciendo lo que hacen.

I think it’s so obvious that you are talking about creationism, It’s so unreal and odd to just believe the things that bible say by heart that you could only be referring to the most stupid of all biblical theories that I know. Creationism.

Well, the only thing that I could point out is the ol’ words of my granpa: Let them be, they are happy doing what they do. 😉

Thanks for the comment, It is nice to know that I’m not a lonely mad guy and that so many other people think the way I do.

Suerte y nada, que te seguiré por la blogosfera 😀

80. The simplest possible clash between the seemingly different worldviews of religion and science may be found in the value of pi. However, the Torah does not say pi = 3, TRANSLATIONS of the Torah say pi = 3.

I am sure that 99 % of the people reading about pi = 3 have never in their life ever seen an authentic Torah Scroll.

This url will take you to a line in Genesis VII.17
http://bible.ort.org/books/torahd5.asp?action=displaypage&book=1&chapter=8&verse=17&portion=2

The blue lines give the vocalization ” Kree ” and the black lines gives the text ” Ksiv”. If you look carefully at the third line from the end of the blue, second to last word from the end of the line you will see a little circle. Now go to the same word in the black and there is no circle. This is called a kree( apparent) /ksiv ( true)which means that the word is not read ( kree) the way it is written (ksiv). When you go to I Kings VII.23 there is a different kree/ ksiv.

In the Hebrew language letters have numerical equivaents and it comes out that the I Kings VII.23 gives the value of pi as 3 times 111/106. Thus the Torah agrees with modern science to four decimal places.

Also, the two stories of creation in Genesis 1:1-31 and 2:3-24 sharply differ in the use of two different verbs for the act of creation: “Va’yivra Elokim et ha’adam” (Genesis 1:27, And Elokim created [ex nihilo] the man) and “Va’yitser Havaya Elokim et ha’adam afar min ha’adama” (Genesis 2:7, And the L-rd G-d formed the man of dust of the ground). The concept of formation is clearly not ex nihilo.. Whereas the first account of creation is a creationist story, the second account is an evolutionary story.

The two accounts of creation unify the seemingly contradictory viewpoints of scientific creationism with evolutionary theory. In this unified view, macroevolution is clearly attributed to the Creator, whereas “formation,” the completion of the creative process described by science as microevolution, can be accounted for by natural selection. This Torah view of creation further shows that the major mutations that drive the evolutionary process are positive mutations, which act at the top of the evolutionary ladder (as opposed to the view of evolutionary theory, in which mostly negative mutations introduce variation from the bottom up).

The evolution of consciousness is the next major change operating at the forefront of the evolutionary process. As we become ever more conscious of the Creator, our faith in, and love for the Creator increase. Humans are G-d’s partners in the creative process, and the emergence of humans conscious of the continuous re-creation of the world ex nihilo anticipates the fulfillment of the purpose of creation.

81. Oh my! What did I do for light reading before the advent of blogs??? Thanks for conversation material for the next boring luncheon, wedding or dinner party.

This is great stuff!

82. Nice attempt, and funny to boot, but unfortunately the others are correct in that the argument has made an illogical jump from approximations to exactitude on only one side of the equality.

And it is strange that so many atheists should spend so much time fighting the christians, when according to their separate world-views, only the latter has a real interest in the other. It plays into the christian world-view, and doesn’t really accomplish much for the other side, however fun the intellectual acrobatics might be.

83. […] Regular Schedule Kicks In Again Before any more armchair theologians pummel my article on Biblical Pi, allow me to elucidate on the reasons why I tackled it this […]

84. I cannot imagine this debate taking place anywhere except in America. God bless America. How come time is GMT ?

Pierre JC Allard

85. I always hear 22/3. Try 355/113.

86. The Gospel of Reason runs on GMT +1, which is the geographical location of its writer.

87. …. God is so cool he keeps sending newer and newer versions of his book to keep up with it. You want to believe in God and his PI=3 very welcome you are. You want to stop teaching ur kids “science” very welcome you are. You would probably want to go sit under a tree and wait for your nirvana, while i go get a red-bull and do what i do best, and what i like best … explore and appriciate the beauty of God so great who doesnt need to send newer and newer versions of his books … especially written by … well we know who!

88. Given the definition of a cubit:

“An ancient form of measure, equivalent to the length from a Pharaoh’s elbow to the farthest fingertip of his extended hand.”

…I don’t think the writer of Kings was striving for mathematical precision. Therefore:

He made the Sea of cast metal, circular in shape, measuring about ten Pharaoh forearm lengths from rim to rim about five Pharaoh forearm lengths high. It took a line of about thirty Pharaoh forearm lengths to measure around it. Below the rim, gourds encircled it – about ten to a Pharaoh’s forearm lengths. The gourds were cast in two rows in one piece with the Sea. The Sea stood on twelve bulls, three facing north, three facing west, three facing south and three facing east. The Sea rested on top of them, and their hindquarters were toward the center. It was a handbreadth in thickness, and its rim was like the rim of a cup, like a lily blossom. It held two thousand baths.

So,
3 and about 1/14th a Pharaoh’s forearm length = Pi = silly.
😉

89. Who cares what the actual value of a cubit is? We’re talking about a ratio…

The unit is on both sides of the equation and cancels out, much like the factor of 10, so it’s really a question of measurement precision and accuracy. It could be “about 18 inches” or “about 42 light years”…

Let c be the measurement of a Cubit.

30c = 10c * Pi (divide both sides by 10)
3c = 1c * Pi (divide both sides by c)
3 = Pi

Pi = 3 no matter how you cut it, as long as the subject is consistent with measurements. Since God isn’t capable of screwing up, you’d expect him to get such a simple measurement right.

And besides, this is the word of God we’re talking about, so it doesn’t matter who wrote it down. If you can’t trust the people who wrote it down, then you can’t trust any of it.

BTW, this was in the top 10 Doggdot.us section of my iGoogle homepage. Nice read. Good job. Pi is delicious.

90. good going tho… i love the satire.

91. teh ishoo has ben delt wif:
http://loljesus.wordpress.com/2007/06/13/227thz/

92. Oh yeah, one more thing… it is a part of Christianity to spread the word of God to the non-believers.

In this way, it is much like a virus.

If the influence of Christianity in our governmental affairs (education, etc.) continues I will end up home schooling my children and possibly moving to a less fanatical country.

93. Great post!! I’m with you on everything. All these pussnuts who give a crap about π and the Bible need to go back and actually read the bible, paying special attention to the NEW TESTAMENT, not the Old Testament where God is some kind of ego maniacle wrathmeister. If that doesn’t cool you out then read up on your Joseph Campbel, at the very least rent “The Power Of Myth”. Try actually gaining enlightenment from research, not Jerry Fallwell.

Now, on to more important things, how can I get a certain family member of mine to stop badgering me about certain religious issues, when I’ve made it perfectly clear that I am not a “believer”?? SRSLY, it never ends. Just when I think its stopped, another EMAIL comes in!! I’m being belittled and hounded by EMAIL, not the phone, not a hand written letter, but EMAIL!! NO, I cannot just tell this person to go f*ck themselves, and NO I can’t just have a rational discussion. Remember, this person has a case of sanctimonious asshatery that boarders on madness. Any ideas? Please??

sure hope you allow a little basic html…

94. guess not

95. Interesting. I just wrote a blog on this too.
http://paintingfaith.wordpress.com/
I think the thing that I find most compelling is not whether or not the Bible is infallible, but all the people who believe that their particular interpretation of what they think the Bible says is infallible.
With all the different interpretations and translations, I think we’ll have more than a few disappointed people at the pearly gates. I’d go as far to say all people, but that’s another entry I’m cooking up for my own blog.
cheers!

96. A standing ovation is in order. Not in defense or offense to any of the previous commentary or dissertation, but I must say. This is far more than a slice of logic and a rather meaningful notion toward something greater than itself–call it what you will. Education is meant to be salvation from most darknesses but in some cases, it is the clause of the inferior.

Bravo, my good man.

97. faith is about spirit, not numbers

98. wow, this is briliant! 🙂

99. faith is about spirit, but it doesn’t justify ignorance towards numbers

100. cool

101. Idle minds are the devil’s workshop.

102. Numbers are real

103. […] God Said Pi = 3; Stand By Your Beliefs D$#$@# – Gospel of Reason […]

104. […] Get the whole scoop here… […]

105. a cubit is a unit of measure =~ an arms length
if people were measuring in tens of arms, i doubt they particularly cared if it went all they way to joe bob’s finger tip or his wrist. It’s called rounding, and also significant figures, get with the program.

p.s. pi’s are square, piEs are round.

106. Sounds to me like God is a physics teacher.

107. By the way, circular in shape != a perfect circle. I have a tire on my car that is circular in shape, but the weight of my car makes my tired buckle at the bottom, so my tire’s average diameter in relation to its circumference could very well be closer to 3 than 3.14.

108. Interesting article, but it seems (to a person who does place value on the authority and truth of the Bible) to be a bit misguided. Have you proven that according to this passage Pi is misrepresented? Yes. But for people who regard the Bible as having both literary and moral value, it won’t do much to dissuade. After reading this passage, I’m not thinking to myself “Huh. I guess Pi really does equal 3.0 because that’s what’s written here.” It’s more like “Alright, so the writer was approximating dimensions.” Not all Christians are literalists, fundamentalists, or strict conservatives. The relevant message of the Bible is found in the New Testament (let’s avoid a Council of Nicea debate if we can), not in the rough dimensions of various structures found in the Old Testament.

donquixote…I know it’s aggravating. Your family member obviously cares about you and great deal and is convinced that their way is best. I know it’s a tough situation, just try to be patient with them and remember what their motivation is.

109. GET.
A.
LIFE.

You’re only a few weeks into summer break and you’re out of beer already?

110. I keep hearing this idea that people have no meaning as an inherent part of Atheism, which is simply not true. Atheism is the belief that there is no god. Nihilism is the idea that people and things have no worth and that we are just atoms and dust on slightly larger balls of dust and atoms. You are confusing the two. There is such a thing as meaning without God, and it is not at all hard to find. Being a Nihilist and an agnostic, it irritates me to hear people build this huge link between Nihilism and Atheism. The two are not mutually inclusive, nor exclusive, you can be both, or you can be neither, or one or the other. Just like any ideology pretty much. I could be very religious and yet believe in evolution, its not hard at all to be multidimensional, it’s almost automatic.

111. Ignorance at its finest. You’re eliminating reason in favor of faith in a favor of the translation of a decrepit ancient book, supposedly written by god, even though this is untrue and absurd – much like yourself.

112. As a non-athiest, I still gotta say, beautiful.

113. Religion is worthless.

114. Pi is a theoretical constant which is the ratio of the circumference of a perfect circle to its diameter. No circle on Earth can actually have this ratio, and if you computed this ratio for a circle you drew, you’d get probably 3.148, or 3.107, or something close to ‘pi’ but not exact. So, it is very likely that this (real life) bowl had a ratio of 3, because it wasn’t a theoretical circle, it was only (as the passage states) “circular in shape”.

Using you’re logic, you could never show someone a circle, because as soon as you did, I’d show you that the ratio of its circumference to diameter didn’t equal ‘pi’, but that it equaled 3.146 or something ‘close’ to pi.

115. GOD it’s nice to see that other’s don’t think the bible is to be taken literally. It’s a compilation (I almost said copulation…that’s funny) of stories to explain the unknown, written by MEN. Men are fallible and pretty dumb. Now, if it were written by WOMEN, then it would be a completely different story… not that I have anything against men. I like men, they are cute.

116. The religious fanatics will wet their panties when they read this. LOL

a book that (supposedly) teaches love but NEVER fails to bring out the blood lusting hounds.

What is the bible?

I know that this is not very funny but it is something you should think about you know before you start writing your next hate speech.

117. This supposed proof is wholly flawed. If you measure the inner circumference as 30, then the Biblical pi is only off by 0.00205:

http://www.purplemath.com/modules/bibleval.htm

I am by no means a Biblical literalist, or even a Christian (though most Christians aren’t Old Testament literalists, anyway), but this is just lame. I mean, who has ever claimed pi = 3?

118. I see a major flaw in your argument. (As a disclaimer, I do believe the Bible to be absolute in its authority and correctness in all manners.) It says, “…circular in shape….” It doesn’t say, “a perfect circle.” Pi applies to a perfect circle; I think we have all described something “circular in shape” that wasn’t a perfect circle. Therefore, it isn’t too hard to surmise that this “pi” might have come up a bit short of the 3.14….number seeing as it wasn’t necessarily a perfect circle. Faith may not be about numbers, but it is about God always being right. If we can’t count on that, then what’s the point. God is not bound by time (He’s infinite) or by space (He’s omnipresent) or by knowledge (He’s omniscient). Therefore, why don’t you give it up to Him that just because you think a circumstance turned out “wrong,” there may be some part of the equation that you don’t (or can’t) see that, indeed, makes that event RIGHT because you are limited by all 3 of the items listed above (time, space, knowledge) and He isn’t. You are crazier than you think I am (for believing in the Bible) if you think you have to be able to understand something before it can make sense. There are great and wonderous things that happen everyday that you’ll never be able to wrap your brain around that make perfect sense to a multitude of people (Christian Bible toting and heathen alike) because of their perspective, etc. Grow up. Existence goes far beyond you and your brain.

The author is pointing out the hypocrisies displayed by those who believe in Biblical Infallibility.

All the arguments attempting to debunk the author’s math are irrelevant. The Bible SAYS, specifically, that the ratio of a circle is 30:10 cubits.

As soon as you start attempting to INTERPRET what is literally written to match 3.14 you have forfeited your belief in Biblical Infallibility along with any other claims based on it.

The author could have used any one of a large number of examples displaying inconsistencies and his point would still stand. I personally like this one, but that’s a matter of taste.

The author is not bashing any believers out there, he’s simply asking you to not be hypocrites!

120. Pi is more rational than a theist.

121. It’s amazing how many bible-thumpers totally missed the point here. The writer’s argument is not weak at all. It’s targeted at the people who claim the Bible is the LITERAL, infallible truth. (Many Christians don’t take the Bible literally, and maybe they’re the ones missing the point.) If the Bible is the literal, infallible truth, then how can it claim that the ratio of circumference to diameter is 3?

Either:

1. The Bible has an approximation in it (making it no longer the literal truth)

or

2. pi *is* equal to three.

Which is it?

122. […] Fort heureusement, en 2007, les vieilles doctrines n’enflamment que les cervelles qui s’en imprègnent au lieu des corps des sages, comme il fut jadis coutume. Rions donc avec l’auteur anonyme qui nous prouve que π=3, selon la très sainte Bible. […]

123. For the Christians that have a problem with this, I offer..

Consider the vast amount of religions that came before yours and it will prove likely that the Bible simply cannot be the only source you consider for accuracy in the world.

Christianity came along much later than many other religions, which are still going strong, and have adapted to the world we live in. If you close your eyes to scientific advancements because of the doctrine taught in the Bible, then you are only limiting your own education. That is the point of the article.

Let us instead take the teachings of great leaders, such as Christ, or Buddha and have them serve as a guide to our conduct in the advancement of science and this world.

A mind closed to possibilities will only limit you, not the world around you.

124. Although I agree with your underlying principle, that science is more important than religion in school (and hard facts always outweigh superstition), your argument has some serious problems.

First, you’re quoting from the Tanakh, which is a Jewish document, not a Christian one (regardless of what Christians may believe). Since it is a Jewish document, you should defer to Jewish understanding of it from which you will learn that only the Torah, the first five books, are considered to be the literal word of G-d. Thus, Kings was not written by G-d and is thus subject to approximation and error.

Furthermore, even if Torah is the literal word of G-d (something which I am neither trying to prove nor disprove here), that doesn’t mean that it can’t be allegorical or mythological. In other words, it isn’t what’s written that’s meant to be taken literally but it’s what you might learn from it. Kind of like a puzzle: the reality of it isn’t necessarily in what you see, it’s what you don’t see.

Anyway, this is just another way of looking at it. As I wrote, I’m with you in your motive, it’s just that your tactics are reactionary, sensationalist, not well researched, and a little bit hypocritical. But, by all means, don’t stop trying.

125. THANK YOU TYCHO

“As soon as you start attempting to INTERPRET what is literally written to match 3.14 you have forfeited your belief in Biblical Infallibility along with any other claims based on it.

The author could have used any one of a large number of examples displaying inconsistencies and his point would still stand. I personally like this one, but that’s a matter of taste.

The author is not bashing any believers out there, he’s simply asking you to not be hypocrites!”

It’s like reading my thoughts exactly.

And could we please put a stop to the personal attacks? It’s kind of making me uneasy. I’m not on summer break, incidentally. I still have one or two exams and essays left.

126. Gospel of Reason:

You are going to hell for being fucking retards.

127. Haha, faggot ass christians.

128. I find this highly amusing. The fact that people actually wasted their breath trying to point out how invalid your argument was just validates its tongue in cheek style. Of course the Bible didn’t exactly represent PI, hence why it would be just an approximation. The fact that people actually believe that you are trying to debunk the Bible using this really amuses me as well.
How do people miss the fact that you are mocking them for taking other things so literally? It boggles my mind. They get so caught up with the fact that it “may be an attack on the Bible by an atheist” that they don’t even notice the sarcasm. This is really too funny. Not just the article. That was the beginning. I really loved the comments. I agree with the writer totally. The ultra-religious types need to learn and laugh at how silly they are.
I mean seriously how many times has religion been right over science? I think the problem is science seeks truth in the natural world. Religion runs around screaming about beliefs. Scientists (and people of a rational mindset) will admit they were wrong. We used to think heat was a fluid…seriously that is pretty dumb(at least now). Religious people won’t admit they are wrong. They scream about faith. What about just being good to each other? I love you, why can’t you love me for who I am?

129. So…I guess you don’t care about the precision or a cubit or significant digits. Technically, 30 and 10 each only have 1 significant digit, meaning that even if it said 31 cubits the proper answer for 31/10 is still 3 (if you care about precision).

130. The most sensible explanation is that the cubits lengths given are whole cubits and therefore approximations. It’s the same way that you might say a pitch is 30 yards long when in fact it is 29 yards and a bit.

http://www.angelfire.com/my/elliott83/BiblePi.html

A very interesting one I’ve heard, was that the author did not have a flexible tape measure but instead he probably had a few stiff measuring rods in various lengths, one of them being 5 cubits long. If you measure the circumference of a circle of which the diameter is 10 units with a stiff rod that is 5 units long, you can fit 6 of them in (and 6 x 5 units = 30 units). (sorry, can’t find the URL of it right now, but it’s fairly self-explanatory).

131. “The Bible SAYS, specifically, that the ratio of a circle is 30:10 cubits.”

No it doesn’t. It doesn’t say that at all.

132. “The Bible SAYS, specifically, that the ratio of a circle is 30:10 cubits.”

Wrong, the bible says that someone made a bowl and measured it with their forearm (a cubit) and found that it’s ratio 30 forearms to 10 forearms. It does not say all circles are a ratio of 3:1.

Clearly they should have recorded the infinite digits of pi. I mean how could they round down by 1 forearm??? I can’t beleive they ignored the .14159169 additional forearms (finger joint?)!!!! Math does not allow rounding! Science forbids rounding!!!!! THIS IS AN OUTRAGEEEEEEE!!!!

Oh wait, this is the dumbest arguement I’ve ever seen.

133. frgough said: “Especially since a cubit is ABOUT 18 inches, and it was a general description of something, not an engineering schematic. It wasn’t telling you HOW to build one, it was telling you what it looked like.”

Well too bad for Noah then, considering God gave him instructions in cubits. That sucks. (But there’s a movie coming out about it, so we’ll get The Rest of the Story. 🙂 )

134. Shall we perhaps (as my children would say) “get real”? The Bible is not a scientific document anymore than it is a history text in the way a work by, say, Bruce Catton would be. It’s a religious text and should be approached as such. If the authors of a text not intended to be a scientific text choose to describe an object with less-than-scientific precision, where is the issue? I don’t see it. (Let’s also realize that you are dealing with an English translation of a Hebrew text and the numbers are rather different in the Hebrew reading … but someone else has already addressed that.)

135. I am a Christian. Hence, I do believe the Bible is factual and the word of God. However, I also believe in the modern value of pi. I respect your beliefs, but in my studies, I have learned to take a more latent approach to reading the Bible. Perhaps the cubits were spaced evenly along the circumference? Perhaps the Bible is written such that there exist sometimes misleading and misunderstood verses, a result of common, day-to-day approximations/estimates? I mean, 0.14 of a cubit doesn’t seem a likely measure in Biblical times, eh?

136. Considering a cubit is an approximate measurement, this makes you look really dumb and pretentous. Rounding off to the nearest unit is the only solution when using approximate units. Carrying something to the 5th decimal place implies that level of measuring accuracy, when in fact you can not achieve it with an approximate unit. You, Sir, show your ignorance by spouting how the whole bible is false based on data that proves just one thing. That you are a troll scouring an old book for flaws to stir up controversy.

137. “Either:

1. The Bible has an approximation in it (making it no longer the literal truth)”

You should read the link I posted. If you measure the inner circumference, which makes sense given the rule of thumb methods used back then, it is accurate to .002. Even if you don’t, we’re talking about CUBITS. We are talking about inherently approximate methods of measurement. If I say that I drank five glasses of water, they don’t have to be the same size for me to be LITERALLY correct. Get it?

I don’t believe the Old Testament is the literal truth. And almost no Christians do. But I am not a Christian. I am, however, disturbed by poor argumentation no matter who it’s coming from.

138. Zack, this isn’t the “dumbest argument around.” Instead, you responded to one of his claims: You admitted the Bible used rounding, and you’re admitting the Bible, therefore, isn’t the absolute, literal truth.

139. @Anthony Gregory:
The simple fact that there is no agreement upon whether the Bible is or is not describing a circle, should be evidence enough that it is not infallible.

@Zack:
I agree.

140. Why are people who don’t believe in God so /angry/ about it?

“You can either accept that the word of God is fallible and men have improved upon it, therefore casting into doubt your claims of Creation.”

How about this: God gave His Word to mankind, who over thousands of years of oral history, and at least three total changes of language and resulting translation. Things are BOUND to get a little messed up each time it’s retold, just by simple forgetting, and purposeful alteration.

PS: I’m a Christian who also believes in science (eg evolution, physics, astronomy) and doesn’t find a conflict between that and religion.

141. @frgough:

He’s not talking about Lamarckism you hick. Hard bicycle seats damage sterility. He was talking about “cleansing the gene pool.”

142. Have you ever tried to draw a perfect circle? The ratio of Pi assumes a perfect circle. I guarantee the basin described in Kings was not perfectly round at the size mentioned.

Now look at this as if you were an author. Would you write that the diameter was 9.54929659 cubits or would you just say basically 10? Your editor would approve of you using 10 and so did God. It’s not like this was an indepth math lesson.

143. @AndrewMoyer
Your numerology is blasphemous! Ain’t nuthin’ in the bible ’bout no algebra! You’s must be in kahootz with the devil!

Rev. Spaminator, Keeper of the Chainsaw of BoB, Commander of the Legions of St. Ash, Exile from the Palace of the Milk Dawg, Founder of the Bastard Children of the Immaculate Conception.

Repent your satanic ways and find a more profitable faith! Collect donations in the name of Jesus, BoB, Eris, or the FSM! *

*Make sure your foundation has all the tax stuff set up and aren’t violating any federal, state or municipal laws. (i.e. copyright, arms, mass suicide, polygamy, etc…)

FNORD!

144. Choas — I live only a couple miles from the new Creation Museum. I’ve met many Christians who agree with you, and many other Christians, unfortunately, who would disagree. Around here there are many, many Christians who do not believe the Bible was in any way corrupted whatsoever, even after translations. They believe the Bible is 100% literal, absolute truth. The problem I have is these people are fighting against Science and ultimately teaching children not to trust science, and, unfortunately, are managing to get their beliefs into the schools and in the science classrooms. As a father of a little boy approaching Elementary School age, I find that incredibly disturbing, and it upsets me that I may have to start the “un-learning” if he is taught things by these people that are scientifically wrong. That’s where my own personal frustration comes from.

145. “Because the purpose of the Bible is to instruct as to the way to receive eternal life…
Kristin – June 13th, 2007 at 6:23 pm”

So eternal life is a reasonable proposition?

You sure stirred up the nutters there eltower.

Excellent work!

146. The ratio of the circumference of a circle to its radius (pi) is 3.1415926……only on a flat plane. It’s different if you draw the circle on the surface of, for example, a sphere.
So we cannot prove that the value of pi stays the same over long periods of time. This is because we cannot prove that the local curvature of space-time has remained constant.
Also, if the universe is a fractal and has fractional dimensionality, then there could easily be not 3 spacial dimensions, but pi (or some other figure) spacial dimensions. It could be that when you measure pi, you are just measuring the fractal dimensionality of the universe.
So don’t be too sure about the constancy of math constants. The more we know, the more we realise how little we know, and how wonderous the universe is.

147. I’ve just remembered a sentence about God and Numbers…

“God is real… unless it´s imaginary” 😉

148. I’ve always had the feeling that modern circles were in some way “mocking” me. Why can’t we just return to the good old days where the ratio of the circumference to the diameter of a circle is just 3!!

I detect the hand of the DEVIL in these modern physical ratios, trying to confuse us with his diabolical non-whole numbers and soft fleshy trigonometry enticing us to perform unusual circular motions!

149. “I don’t believe the Old Testament is the literal truth. And almost no Christians do.”

Unfortunately, some Xtians do … and they use these ideas to damage and endanger other people’s lives.

So if most Xtians don’t want to be associated with them, they need to loudly and publicly DISAVOW that ignorance.

150. John Murray dixit:

The ratio of the circumference of a circle to its radius (pi) is 3.1415926……only on a flat plane. It’s different if you draw the circle on the surface of, for example, a sphere.

I’m sure you are a creationist… 🙂

151. This is the funniest thing I’ve seen today! The measurements to Noah’s ark were way off as well if you will note. It was exactly .000093 cubits longer than reported. I will be neat to see if we have more precise measurements later…

I barely have enough faith to believe in Christianity, I think it’s great that there are those with much more faith and can actually believe in evolution and stuff,

152. , talk about a fairy tale! Even more so to be an Atheist, to claim infinite knowledge of the universe and be able to say “I know there is no God”.
Those of you who can say that, never let a Christian or any other say you are without faith for you have many times more faith than even the greatest religious person of all faiths.

153. @Chaos Motor

“Why are people who don’t believe in God so /angry/ about it?”

I’m not angry about not believing in God. I’m angry about others shoving their beliefs down my throat. I’m angry about logic and rational thought being replaced by faith and dogma. I’m angry about every innocent person who suffers because of the faith of someone else.

154. @Heath:
IMO: To say “there is no God” takes EXACTLY the same amount of faith as to say “there is God”.

I guess that’s why I’m an agnostic 🙂

155. This is the worst argument against the bible being the true word of God I have ever seen.

#1 the measurements given only allow you to calculate pi to the nearest whole number…which should and does equal 3. So the text is correct.

#2 The fact that the bible does not mention that pi is irrational means absolutely nothing. The value of pi is totally irrelevant in this book, so why would it be mentioned?

Your efforts to sound intelligent only serve to prove the opposite.

156. Heath,

Good grief. An atheist is by defintion ‘a theist’, as in ‘without faith’. A good book (let’s call it The Dictionary) is powerful beyond belief, go read it literally.

The difference between an atheist and a theist is that one requires evidence while the other does not. God is fairy tale told to scare children, who then grow up and tell their kids. The circle will one day be broken, believe in that.

PS The only time in recorded human history that religion had almost complete control of society was what we call today ‘The Dark Ages’ – let’s not go back to that…

157. It doesnt matter that a cubit is approximate.

The approximation falls out of the RATIO of diameter and circumference !

Which is latin for REASON !

158. Pi = 3.14159, we know this already.

159. You’re confusing faith with belief. They are two very different things.

Focusing on belief, you paint an absurd portrait of what you imagine to be a Christian – literal when it comes to the bible, exclusive, etc — and create your own “dogma” that you rail against. If God was a question of the accuracy of calculations in a book reflecting the human attempt to move from foisting their own limitations on the Divine to a realization of the Divine, I would have to agree with your dismissal of God.

With any atheist I’ve spoken with, it’s not God that’s being rejected, but a very silly concept of God.

In the same way, you can no more move past the Bible than a fundamentalist, lol, and risk being just as short-sighted.

160. Did anyone care to notice the description of the object as “circular” in shape. I may not be an Greek scholar, but the “ular” suffix means “relating to” so appended to the root “circ” means that the object was like a circle in shape. Just like you would call a toilet bowl circular. If you had a tire that was around 5% flat (also not a math scholar), would it not still be circular and able to be traveled upon? In that case your whole argument is null since what is being described may never have been intended to be an exact circle!

I am a Christian and enjoy learning, science and math. I don’t believe something just because it’s in the Bible. I believe that the purpose of the book is not to compete with or disprove math or science, but to describe the relationship of God with men. True faith is when you can believe that the book is infallible as we continue to discover new things about our world. The meaning and insight you can glean from this book changes with the context with which you approach it. So if you read it expecting nothing and just read the words and stories, you surely will get nothing out of it.

I think what true intellectuals should be capable of is respecting each other’s hypotheses, beliefs, ideas, etc. I believe it is foolish to just accept something without applying any thought to it or following leaders based on their word. It is equally poor judgment to alter your hypothesis based on your beliefs. If you want the biblereading masses to blindly accept what you believe as fact, you must be willing to blindly accept what they believe as fact. Otherwise you are a hypocrit.

We must be constantly challenged to change our perspective of our world with all these inputs (science, belief system, literature, etc). But you must also realize that some do not have the capacity to change their minds as quickly as academic participants.

So all that being said, I admire the debate. I hope that perhaps this conflict will allow you to take a second look at the Bible; not to disprove it or blindly accept it, but rather to use it as input for the constant pursuit of knowledge and wisdom.

161. Well if the bible says its 3 then it must be true… just like talking bushes that burst into flames and unicorns or leprechauns…

162. I’m not an atheist or a nihlist… I do believe that there is a God. I don’t believe that the bible is the exact word of God though. It was written by men… men are fallible…

I agree with the ed ed ed, though… the bible is an amazing work of fiction. and possibly should be taught as that… but not for moral rectitude… if you want moral rectitude, there are plenty of other things we should be doing as a society. starting with getting our troops out of harms way…

163. Strange. I always find it strange that people who feel so passionately about something, as it seems you do, and step so far to one side completely in their beliefs, as it seems you do, will over rationalize their perception of other people’s beliefs in their arguments against. Or will over think a supposed piece of evidence until it says exactly what you want it to.

By stepping so far into your rationalizations to prove your bias you become incredibly irrational yourself in most of your proclamations, as I’ve seen several people point out… no they don’t say that the ration of a circle is 30:10, but through your eyes it does, because it allows you to prove it wrong, because you don’t believe in it.

And then we get to, what exactly is God’s word, and what should be taken literally within the bible’s pages? Is it the Bible itself, or is God’s word contained within the bible? Certain elements and passages of the bible are recorded by non-mathematicians. Certain elements are recorded in a way of historical documentation (as this passage seems to be), some in letters…here’s what I’m getting at. In all of the analogies and metaphors and symbolisms and parables in the bible you tell me if what should be taken literally is the circumference of a circle or the meaning behind the story containing the circumference of a circle it which it clearly doesn’t state what pi is. In your simplistic nitpicking of something here and there you’ve overlooked the much bigger arguments that theologians have been kicking around for centuries.

But nice try!

164. This conversation/argument is moot. One side will point out fallacies in the Bible, while being blind to the others’ explanations. The other side will be blind to fallacies that do exist.

My opinion, not that anyone cares, is that no one bothers to read the commentary for the Old Testament. The Torah was meant to be read with commentary. The gematria is commentary.

Imagine the Torah as Cliffnotes. The commentary is the full book.

Since Noah was a prophet, God did not say to built something, Noah saw God’s vision.

Oh well, none of you will listen.

165. All this arguement over a bathtub, gee.

It is kinda simple: man lived in paradise, he was told not to eat from the Tree of Knowledge, he did it anyway, so he got thrown out. So it is up to man to learn the math himself (by the sweat of his brow LOL), not for G-d to give it to him. Wake up people.

no one said math would be easy… ROTFLMAO

166. Why do people say evolution is fact? I believe in intelligent designer vice random chance but I KNOW its my BELIEF. All creation theories are THEORIES because they obviously have not been observed and cannot be reproduced by anyone. The idea of “disproving the bible” by pointing out the fact that the author left out .14 is assenine. Get a life.

167. God isn’t redefining pi, he’s redefining the value of 3.

168. Come on people!! I am no religious fanatic but you guys are really reaching with this one. pi is only acurate on an exact circal, what sea have you seen that is exactly round. Also I am pretty sure those measurements where probably estimates. And by any estimation, being off by .14 isn’t that all bad.

169. Listen, the Bible has plenty of errors. However, to argue about this involves a lack of reasoning. Those who argue that PI is anything but 3.14159265 have no ability to reason. Anyone who argues that in 1000 BC engineers could make a bath tub that was PERFECTLY round have no ability to reason. But, let’s look at one scenario:

If we replace common values for cubits (17.75 inches) and handbreadths (4 inches) and measure the OUTSIDE diamater of the bowl and the INSIDE (Why the inside? They may have placed the measuring rope on the lip of the bowl and in this way not stretched the rope. Measuring outside the bowl would need the rope to be strechted to be held in place) circumference of the bowl we get: (10 – 30/p)/2 x 17.75 = 4. From this we get that PI=355/113 = 3.1415929. 700 Years later Archimedes says: 223/71

170. Come on people!! I am no religious fanatic, but you guys are really reaching with this one. pi is only acurate on an exact circle. What sea have you seen that is exactly round? Also I am pretty sure those measurements were probably estimates. And by any estimation, being off by .14 isn’t that all bad.

Had to post again to fix errors.

171. > Why do people say evolution is fact?

Feel free to provide a link to someone actually do this.

172. “circular in shape” does not mean “an exact circle”. It means roughly the shape of a circle.

173. With or without a creator, existence is miraculous. The scope of this miracle has been beyond the grasp of human intelligence — neither our myths nor our equations have come close to an explanation. Keep an open mind.

174. cake > pi

175. The kind of dogma I’m railing against is the kind that insists the bible is absolute truth, that biblical texts outweigh reproducible observation, and that people are deserving of less than fair treatment because of their individual faith.

Do I know what it means to be Christian? I was raised in the Greek Church. (Old School – Close as you can get to the way it was nearly 1000 years ago.)

I don’t believe in Santa or the Tooth Fairy. (I’ve found hints that the Easter Bunny is real, but in an unexpectedly dark and Lovecraftian way.) Jesus, I’m convinced was not resurrected but more like reanimated and still walks the earth feeding upon the flesh of the living. (The “flesh and blood” was supposed to be a warning to living.)

To say I believe in nothing is false. I believe in the absurdity, and countless hours of joy it can bring to all of us.

FNORD!

176. could that have been the _Old Covenant_ pi?

177. eltower, how is the belief of the infallibility of the bible forfeited if I interpret the 30:10 ratio as being an approximation of pi? Your reasoning escapes me. All reading requires interpretation–reading the fantastical and reading the literal, and one of the goals may be (probably ought to be) to understand the author’s original intent. We’re separated from the author (and audience) of the text by thousands of years and significant cultural differences concerning how we think and what we know. For all any of us know (a nod to the agnostics), the book may in fact be infallible, but the rightwing nuts and religious fanatics have interpreted it incorrectly for the rest of us, scaring the reasonable in us away from wanting it to be so (or finding it credible to be so.) It seems highly likely that in this one case you’ve chosen, the instructions do not deviate from mathematical reality. I find nothing in the demand of interpretation that debunks their claims to the text being infallible. Just because we have to ‘interpret’ it–that is, actively make sense of it in our own particular culture and sense of reality even though it was written in a completely different setting–doesn’t prove anything except that modes of expression (and measuring) change over the millennia. The text may in fact be the fanciful writing you claim, but I don’t see how this demands it.

jb

178. I agree with all of the religious people pointing out that the argument is pointless because it assumes that what is written in the Bible is accurate and has a fixed meaning.

179. Christianity is a theory as well. The only thing that’s certain is math and death.

180. John Murray: I don’t believe that you are a creationist. I like your argument. The value that we recognise as Pi derives from Euclidean geometry, which is based on an idealized flat plane. This exists only in our minds. Pi does not hold the same value in hyperbolic geometry, for example

It’s amazing how many people miss the point. Your Mom said, “The bible isn’t suppossed to be literal…thats the point. ITS A FUCKING STORY.” Exactly! This is the point of the original post, but it’s not being directed towards the people who already believe that “IT’S A FUCKING STORY” (note the apostrophe). It’s being directed towards people who believe that the bible is fact – the literal word of god. It’s being directed towards the people who want your schools to teach the bible as “scientific fact”. I say ‘your schools’ because I live in a country where we teach proper science. I pity the Kids In America (wo oh) where ‘concerned parents’ can vote in curriculum that teaches children that an infallible, incomplete, lost, bronze-age text trumps 200 years of accumulated scientific research. Folks, just because a million idiots believe that something is true, “doesn’t necessarily make it fucking so” (to quote Nice Guy Eddie).

Way to go USA. Bottom of the class. Leave your weapons at main reception.

181. eltower, I think it’s kinda funny that you haven’t tried to reply to the more well written responses from the likes of Terrill and Travis. I really don’t give a damn but it seems like you’re avoiding it.

182. @dugfromthearth

Yeah, I’ll agree with that. To assume the Bible is accurate and has a fixed meaning could lead to something as idiotic as creationism be taught to our kids in public schools. How do I make that leap? You have to believe and convince others that the bible is absolutely infallible. From there you convince people that an accepted scientific idea is in conflict with the bible. The you just have to rile up your mob. Thermodynamics will probably be the next concept on the radar.

183. Blessed are the cheeseparers.

184. You seem to be very against “Biblical literalists”. I would urge to remember that the vast majority of people who call themselves Christian are not Biblical literalists at all. I am a Catholic, and hold Scripture and Tradition as equal authorities.

The Catholic Church has sole authority to interpret the Bible, and I am sure that the Church would have no problem with Pi being 3.141592654.

Thank you.

J Browne, University of Wales

185. Wow… Y’know, I was just directed to this page and I’m AMAZED at how much discussion has gone on in the span of only a single day. Given the futility of Faith v. Reason arguments, I’m even more astounded… Although, I will admit that I like the stickers.

If we could chain all of you to a machine that generated electricity from keystrokes, I bet we could eliminate worldwide reliance on fossil fuels…

If I’m elected God, I promise to build such a machine and chain all of you to it for the greater good of mankind.

Please, vote for me in ’08!..

Do it for the environment.

Do it for the children.

186. “Have you ever tried to draw a perfect circle?”

I mean when Pope Benedict asked Giotto for a drawing to prove his worth as an artist, what he did was draw a perfect circle freehand. Perfection is a powerful message.

– Dr. Ted Fielding, Sphere

187. Love the idea.

If only I had a bumper.

188. The Bible can be inerrant and still speak in the ordinary Language of everyday speech . This is especially true in “scientific” or ” historical” descriptions of facts or events. The limits of truthfulness would depend on the degree of precision implied by the speaker and expected by his original listeners. It should not trouble us then to affirm both that the Bible is absolutely truthful in everything it says, and that it uses ordinary language to describe natural phenomena or to give approximations or round numbers when those are appropriate in the context.

189. There was once a man named Jeff. Everyone considered Jeff to be infallible. And Jeff was of the opinion that Bob should get a raise, and so his followers did hold the same belief.

And it came to pass that Jeff came into work. And his followers asked “How was your commute, Jeff?”, and Jeff did say that it took him 30 minutes, and that he enjoyed a variety of his favorite music. And his followers did believe.

And so it came to pass that Haverdash entered the office with his stopwatch of divine accuracy, having followed Jeff that morning. And Haverdash exposed that Jeff’s commute was not 30 minutes but 31 minutes and 24.59 seconds. Jeff was 4.5% off in his report of a 30 minute commute.

Yet the words of Haverdash were as follows:
“You can either accept that the word of Jeff is fallible (and men have improved upon it), therefore casting into doubt your claims that Bob should get a raise.

Or you could hold steadfast to your Jeff-given beliefs. Stand by in the face of stopwatch persecution and shout loud to the heavens that THE COMMUTE, goddammit, was equal to 30.0 minutes because Jeff said so.”

And everyone laughed, because Jeff’s imprecision was no cause for alarm. He was just describing a commute, for Go–err–for Jeff’s sake, not recording data for an almanac!

(Note that the above actually happened. The followers of Jeff got all uptight and counter-attacked Haverdash, saying Jeff was just approximating.

Then Haverdash and his followers started acting as if that was their only goal all along! They were only trying to get Jeff’s followers to admit that Jeff wasn’t always literal, so ha, we win.

But when you actually look, Haverdash’s argument didn’t stop there. It continued that “If the stopwatch is right, then Jeff is wrong…better think again about that Bob fellow!”

In the end, Jeff’s claim of 30 minutes was ruled correct for purpose, everyone on both sides was a little red-faced, and the jury’s still out in regard to Bob).

190. @J Browne

Some from the Eastern church might disagree with you as to who has “sole authority” to interpret the bible.

But this wasn’t about people who are rational enough to realize that the bible isn’t to be interpreted literally. This was about nutjobs who use the bible to drive a mob into a political movement.

191. Hehe, I think I have to support the theory that men of biblical times could only pull out the ‘one cubit’ stick and lay them end to end; then, being the good scientific people that they were, did not want to inaccurately estimate the measurements past one significant figure in a holy text. 😀

192. What as ass, but you already knew that.

193. Yahweh is all like: “Oh noes, I’z forgot to add teh rest of teh numbaz! Quick! To teh bat-mobile!”

194. Wow! You just strengthened my faith that the Bible is od’s word. I mean, rounded up, Pi=3. At an age when there were no calculators or sophisticated measuring instruments, what do you expect?

195. Of course this verse is infallible and literally true. PI = 3 for the item in question! Of course, ordinary basins display a ratio of diameter to circumference equal to the accepted mathematical value of PI, but this was no ordinary basin.

196. @sigh

The jury was hung in regard to BoB a long time ago. But in any case, BoB doesn’t care as long as he can smoke from his sacred pipe. 🙂

197. God likes pie – pretty sure, even if it’s not in the bible there are things to discover about Him through relationship, not words.

198. I tried to have a relationship with God, but over time it became needy and unhealthy. Besides, he would never show up for anything, always sending the Holy Ghost in his stead. Talking to God was just like talking to myself. All in all, it was a pretty one way relationship that I’m glad is over.

FNORD!

199. Is this a joke???

If anyone wants to find the value for Pi by themselves get a circular can, a piece of string, and a ruler.

Wrap the string around the base of the can, mark it, record it’s length(i.e. the circumference) Measure the diameter of the can.

now

circuference over diameter equals Pi.

200. It doesn’t take long to find peculiarities in the Bible.

Genesis 1:26
“And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness…”
Either God doesn’t quite understand singular vs plural, he’s schizophrenic, he’s using the ‘royal we’, or it didn’t get translated appropriately.

Or take this from Genesis 3:
“9: And the LORD God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou?
10: And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself.
11: And he said, Who told thee that thou wast naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat?
12: And the man said, The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat.
13: And the LORD God said unto the woman, What is this that thou hast done? And the woman said, The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat. ”
Why did God have so many questions? Doesn’t he know everything? Is he asking questions to see if they lie. Or is it again possible that it was mistranslated.

My point is this: Since the Bible wasn’t written by God himself, and since it wasn’t originally written in any of our modern languages, its ‘could be’ riddled with inaccuacy, bad translations (sometimes words don’t really translate, so the translator just guesses or uses a phrase), and biases towards what the translator wanted it to say. It is NOT the word of God. Only clergymen and crazy people hear the direct word of God.

It’s pretty simple to know right from wrong. If you need a book to tell you, then you are retarded.

As far as PI goes, my favorites are apple, french silk, and hair.

201. @ Rev Spaminator

No, I don’t think they would, by and large. The Eastern Churches are Catholic, and therefore share in that authority.

However, I should have been more clear.

J Browne, University of Wales

202. @John Browne

There are some differences. They are trying to work them out, but I know how stubborn Greeks can be.

203. […] When asked of the Great Toast “What is that answer of PI?”.  The Great Toast replied, “It is an irrational number and yee feeble mind cannot […]

204. […] God Said Pi = 3; Stand By Your Beliefs Dammit Ed note: Given the amount of number pseudo-crunching I’ve seen apologists perform, I would like to reference the […] […]

205. […] π = 3.0 Filed under: lulz — OwlManAtt @ 7:00 pm […]

206. While we’re on the subject…
If being gay is “wrong” and catholic priests have taken a vow of celibacy, then does that mean those gay, child molesting catholic priests are going to have to do a shitload of hail mary’s after confession? I bet they get off easy… ha ha I made a funny.

PSA: My catholic priest molested your honor student!!

YES I TOTALLY WIN THE INTERNET!!!

207. The Bible says a lot of things. The Bible also says that menstruating women should be stuck in a hut for 7 days so as not to contaminate everything. And I think I can figure out on my own that killing people and stealing is bad.

God is the sum of man’s ignorance.

208. @ Rev Spaminator

Indeed! I’ve written papers on this issue in the past, and to be honest, I think a union with a Third Anglican Province is more likely that full East/West reunion, in this century anyway.

@ therealdonquixote

What? Someone delete that comment, please. It’s most distasteful.

209. @Rev. Spaminator

And will continue to be until the end. As someone who started without strong feelings on either side who takes it all away for a “third-party review”, if you will, these are the main problems. Keep in mind that when I say “neither camp” I am clearly not talking about *all* members.

First, neither camp understands the other’s beliefs. Clearly this is a barrier to healthy discussion.

Second, neither camp properly understands their own. Both prefer to regurgitate what others in their camp have said before them, blindly accepting it, rather than taking things away for study on their own.

Third, neither side can stand it when the other makes a valid point. Discussion then devolves into debate, and further into what I can only call a flame-war.

Fourth, members of both sides get so giddy when they think they’ve spotted a chance to make a slam-dunk that they spew a bunch of nonsense before they realize that their ball is flat. This is usually followed by the opposing camp going nuts on a counterattack, and half of the allied camp posting their embarrassment at the poorly constructed argument.

And that’s where it all breaks down. Opposing, allied. Everyone’s looking at each other as enemies to be thwarted, when we should all be working together to discover the truth (which will include a lot of “wow” moments on both sides).

The interesting thing that I’ve found is that, while there is still a lot of doubt to swim against, the Bible is a lot more logical, and God a lot less crazy, than I thought when I started. Emphasis on “still a lot of doubt to swim against,” but even that is dissolving into a case of what I *thought* it said, and what I *thought* they taught (in many cases what they *do* teach as victims of point two above), as opposed to what it actually contains.

@HairPieLover

Thank you, as I wrote my post you exemplified the first point. Always refresh before hitting Submit 🙂

The plural is used because of the concept of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Some would teach that each of the three is fully and completely God, and they are separate / distinct, but that there’s only one God. Obviously this would be contradictory, but I have yet to find where the Bible states it in this way. I’m starting to read
http://www.heaven.net.nz/writings/trinity.htm
for an alternative and hopefully logically consistent view. However as I haven’t completed the read, I cannot endorse it.

Have you ever asked your dog “What did you do!? What is this!?” when you are staring right at the mess? I know I do. If you don’t have a pet or kids that have done wrong against you, you may never understand this one, unless you had good parents and can remember them doing it to you.

We urge the other side, constantly, to open their minds and give an alternate set of beliefs a chance. I’ve gone ahead and taken that advice myself, and have begun to look at theirs, and hope you will too. Solving the four points above could be the start toward a lot of answers.

210. I see this from two perspectives. First, for the Word of God to be of any effect, it must be mixed with faith. No faith, no spiritual profit. If you’re looking to disprove the credibility of the bible to your satisfaction, no doubt you will succeed in your evdeavor if you are persistent.

My second perspective is found in one of those “fictional” scriptures that I’m going to throw your way in closing- “For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to those who are being saved it is the power of God.” 1 Corinthians 1:18.

211. I wish I knew that the bible actually said pi = 3 before now, thats amazing, great work, spread the word! I also think its funny/sick that fundamentalist christians hate terrorists which has become a label for religious extremists, i.e themselves. Time to pick sides, ignorance or intelligence.

I can’t wait until pi = 3 is in those looney creationist museums.

212. […] Interesting…no comments Filed under: Uncategorized — benedictchan @ 5:36 pm Taken off from another blog: https://gospelofreason.wordpress.com/2007/06/13/god-said-pi-3-stand-by-your-beliefs-dammit/ […]

213. + Millennium bug II

214. I am amazed at the cubits nonsense. It doesn’t matter what the units are, the could be angstroms, feet, or foo as long as they are consistent. The ratio, which is what pi is, remains constant. Innumeracy is still rampant.

Also, I Kings does not predate pi. Good knowledge and practical use of that ratio far predates the 600-800 b.c.e. period when the books of Kings were written.

215. Has no one seen this website?

The last verse says the rim was like the calyx of a lily. (At this point you may want to search for a picture of a lily to refresh your memory). A lily is flaired outward – not straight and vertical like a bucket.

So the ten cubit diameter measured across its top from rim to rim was larger than that of the vessel’s body which “took a line thirty cubits long to go around it”.

The surveyors would hardly have tried to stretch their measuring rope around the proud outside of that rim where it would never stay up. The only practical way to measure such a flared vessel is to stretch the rope around the body below that rim.

The circumference and diameter reported were thus not for the same circle, and deducing an ancient pi from these unrelated dimensions would be about as valid as trying to deduce your birth date from your phone number.

216. I think the more serious underlying issue around faith and the belief in things without evidence is what can happen when people misuse the “legitimacy” that faith has in society today. In most civilized societies today one person’s faith is usually not a big deal to the next person, except when faith collides with evidence-based reason and someone gets hurt. At that point, our legal systems take over, presumably to resolve the issue based upon reason and evidence.

Problems occur when faith trumps evidence-based reason. When this occurs under the guise of religion (Sunni vs Shiite, the crusades, etc.) the only common ground is evidential based law, which is what was undermined in the first place by faith-based reasoning.

Most people agree that extremism in religion is not good for society, but unfortunately extremism is an example of faith-based beliefs despite overwhelming physical evidence to the contrary of those beliefs. In order to discredit extremism, one must discredit their faith-based methods of reasoning, which then causes anxiety in faith-based moderates. Because lots and lots of people have certain degrees of faith about God and the Bible, the extremists are effectively protected by the masses that tolerate faith-based reasoning because they share elements of that reasoning. Where does one draw the line when it comes to faith-based reasoning? How is that line enforced and upon what method of reason?

If we agree that we cannot force faith-based beliefs upon one another, then the logical outcome is that the legal and political systems today must not allow faith-based laws and actions. It really is all or nothing, in my [humble] opinion.

217. @tillman

Your argument, made many times before, is what’s fallible. It *does* matter that the units are cubits, because units are not a standard and precise measure.

Since a cubit is not a precise measure, 30 cubits is not 30 times anything. It’s
18 + 16.5 + 19 + 17 + 16.9 + 18.2 + … + 18

So you cant say
30(c) = 10(c)pi
And solve for x
Because c is not constant.

Instead of using 30 and 10 I’m going to use 3 and 1 to illustrate the point.
3 cubits = 18 + 18.5 + 18.2
1 cubit = 17.4
Do the math. You can do the same with 30 values and 10 values if you want.

218. edit above:
because units are not a standard and precise measure.
because cubits are not a standard and precise measure.

219. […] Said Pi = 3; Stand By Your Beliefs Dammit (Gospel of Reason) Compártelo Mantente informado y recibe las actualizaciones antes que nadie. Agrega el feed […]

220. I know that people need religion to

not fear something as complicated and secretive as the outcome of death and what happens to an individual after he dies,

and I know that people also need religion because they believe that morality equals religion and that you need religion to be moral,

and that you need to be scared into being a good person otherwise you will be punished in a theoretical afterlife….

but can people just wake up… for mankinds sake..
we as humans will always have the endeavor to seek more knowledge. We need to know why, and how.. of what if…
we develop ideas that can mathematically explain things very precisely and sometimes even exactly, and we call this science. It is us and now..

what we do not need is conflict.. we do not need combative behavior and opinions that jeopardize the very well being of mankind.. we do not need excessive abuse and misuse of material things, and mental pride.. which all come about with poorly developed economics and even religious hubris.

the bible is a long congregation of documents pinned together at the Council of Nicea along with the old documents of the herew culture. They are documents.. documents.. both non-fictional and fictional… documents..

many people on this planet whom are humans just as well, do not know of these bibles, nor preachings, nor ideas because they are culturally taught otherwise.

Do not try to amalgamate religion and culture to what is fundamental in science and mankind’s ever growing infinite wisdom.

Life is scary, death is scary, but if it wasnt we wouldnt know of the the beautiful things.. we need fear to understand bravery.. we need pain to understand pleasure.. we need death to understand life.. we don’t need other peoples insecurities infecting the rest of us truly happy people.

I am happy… truly happy… I am content and completely satisfied in the knowing of death to come to me.. and that people I have loved I will never see again after they have died. I do not need religion effecting my life and my science and my people.. I do not need anybodys religion effecting the world’s life and science. I do not need to believe in a everlasting afterlife or so called heaven… a boring place of clouds and only good.. what would the good be without the bad.. therefore there is no good in heaven… nor do i need an afterlife of hell of only bad… what would bad be without the good therefore there is no bad in hell…

we need cohesion.. in our short lives.. in our conflicting meaningless wars.. in our ever changing planet of potential natural disaster… we need cohesion, we need eachother

221. who gives a fuck guys we r all gonna die one day, an y argue over things that never matter to us??

222. A lot of the things that were said in the bible were bull shit, becasue god didnt write the bible people did so during the middle ages some stuf prob. got changes, also the person said everything kept changing,wtf man count the number of bible versions, the lords words changed too man, thats wat im sayin it dont make no sense to argue ova this and i agree with justme.

223. ayo, yall r gay u knoe that, pi = 3.1415… this has been proven a long time ago, yall mad late(a lot of centuries).

224. Its funny watching all of you waste your time arguing, I got bored after the fifth reply

225. This is easy to explain… it took some time back then to measure things… after all, we are using the distance from the elbow to the TIP of the longest finger… so measure the circumference… probably took all day.. Hey its 30 cubits… that night the pharaoh cuts his finger nails ( well actually he didn’t do it, but one of his slave girls cut his nails, nice manicure, perhaps even washed his feet… it was a good time to be a pharaoh!)

Next day they measure the diameter… ought oh! the cubit’s a little smaller because his nails are cut..

so Pi ends up being 3. Oh the humanity !!!

Now you need to get to the real meaning of the story and not get caught up in the mathematics… God was just trying to show that Pi are not square… Pi are round.

In the next chapter, we will deal with rho. Is rho the weight of water, or is rho the wait in water until the sail came along ???

226. Your argument is as flawed as you claim your subject to be.

This is also old news. Google it or even find it on wikipedia and you will find more explanations and rational ones at that, unlike your ideas for articles on this website.

If you would put as much effort into something more productive then you do with this small time blog then you might not have so much bitching to do at other peoples beliefs.

Where are your rebuttals to some of the informative comments left here? Are you just too ignorant to accept you’re wrong?

227. […] […]

228. In ancient texts, whenever they start mentioning mathematical quantities, they are really instructing in math. It is a feature of ancient mathematical writing that it is couched in everyday experience- for instance, a Babylonian text might talk about a 3,4,5 triangle in terms of distance between buildings. And in this case, the ratios of the sides are exact. Ancient people knew that mathematics is an exact science, and that the ratios and relationships have meaning that transcends the examples used in the writing, but they would still use everyday items and situations to illustrate the underlying exact mathematical relationships. Taken in this context, it does seem that the author is saying that 30/10 = pi. In other words, the math was intended to be separated out from the example, and it should work out exactly.

229. The pool is 10 cubits from one end to another and has a thickness of 1 hand-breadth. If you take the 30 cubit circumference as the circumference of the inside of the pool (so excluding the rim), you get pi (or close enough, I got 3.136).
So try this: measure your cubit and your hand-breadth. Cubit=c, hand-breadth=h. Assuming that the circumference described is the inner circumference, calculate 30c/(10c-2h) and the h is multiplied by 2 since you run into it twice, once on each end. I have a cubit of 37 cm and a hand-breadth of 8 cm. 30*37/(10*37-2*8) = 3.13559, which is close enough.

Just like there are idiots who get carried away about Christianity/Creationism and make false claims about it, there are idiots who want to bash it so much that they don’t bother to check everything. This is why the debate never goes anywhere.

230. Kit Peters makes a good point that yes that is the ratio of pi to one significant digit. I would like to also add… that knowing something about bible literacy and context of these writings, a cubit in length was not an exact measurement like we would treat a meter or a foot defined down by international standards. Rather a cubit was actually the length of a person’s forearm, varying from person to person. Thus this passage from Kings is merely just stating approximate size. It follows that the ratio pi = 3.14…. could still stand because of error either in measurement, significant digits, or even in our number theory if you will. Whatever it is, I believe that God did not give divine inspiration to the Bible just to make everything easy for us and to reveal all the secrets of the universe. We have to search and find out for ourselves the finer details.

If you are going to make an argument based on the bible as you pro port “a work of fiction”, I pose this question why was it written in Daniel 12:4 “But you, Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book until the time of the end; many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall increase. ”
Does this not say that we will increase our knowledge of the physical world around us, through scientific method, theory, and proof? We are indeed gaining more knowledge and understanding of the world than ever before.

If you ever took a numerical analysis class in university/college which i have, the you would know that numbers are just a tool that can easily be manipulated. ie 4 may look like 5 for large values of 4 and small values of 5.

My point… we don’t know everything, the Bible was not the end all of knowledge nor was it meant to be, It was just a guide to give people hope of a brighter future, and a model to pattern their lives after so that future may be obtained. Anything else is nitpicking, of course unless you don’t believe a word of it then you really shouldn’t care what it says should you? Simple really!

231. Interesting. Except how many metal workers do you know use that type of precision for something decorative? Also, you are assuming the sea was perfectly circular or spherical.

The passage just says the sea was circular in shape. For example, if you take the bottom 3rd of a sphere the distance accross would not be the diameter. If the sea were shaped like this then you would be correct in saying that the circumference was 30, but the 10 you get would not be the diameter.

232. I dunno, I’m kinda laughing at all of you right about now.. trying to shove what each of you believe down each others’ throats (Yeah, the atheists too).

I’m with the objective bunch who says none of you know what the hell you’re talking about. ..Well, aside from the calculations.

233. I will accept the contents of this article as the Real Truth only if you provide an Aramaic translation 🙂

234. Yawn. Should have been doing a random act of kindness. ( I’m laughing too TK! )

that accomplish nothing.

235. HELLO!

Have you seen the advances in technology in the past 70years they are FAR beyond ANYTHING people of that time could have even imagined. HELL there was 1 guy thousands of years after Christ died that figured out how to get the measurement of the 3rd side of a triangle when you only know 2 sides and or an angle!

DONT BE SO NARROW MINDED!

236. god rulz!.

Hi from Argentina!

237. yeah u dont know anything about the bible or math… the bible was written by men – who knew less math than we do now… pi is a theory, so is god, so is the bible

stfu noob

238. Everyone before has pretty much said it all. Why are you wasting your time with something as stupid as this? Many atheists would think this article is just as stupid as Christians think it is.

239. OK, I read it. Yawn.

I’m underwhelmed by the premise.

Overwhelmed by the self-satisfied narcissism of the writer.

He seems to believe he’s knocked down 2,000 years of scholarship.

And he’s invited the blogosphere to join his circle-jerk.

I’m struck by the fact that the atheist crowd is far more strident and intolerant than anything I’ve ever experienced first hand from a person who believes in God.

Wonder why that is?

240. Hmm,.. Maybe we should throw in a couple images of Paris Hilton to keep it interesting? Just a thought.

241. Jesus is my bitch, and you (christians) are jesus’ bitch, therefore you are my bitch.

242. JEdwardFuck, you are my hero. Thank you for owning those Christians so hard.

243. What an absurd argument.

Hebrews itself is a very very “vague” language, trying to get an infinite number in there would be absurd to them. Am I lieing to a person if I say pi = 3.14? Well “technically” its not 3.14, but the person would get the point. I am sure the audience of this passage gets the point.. Like one commenter said, the passage is meant to show what the object looked like.

Now in regards to how literal the Bible is:
I believe the Bible is literal, except where it says it is not literal, or when using poetic language. So basically if a passage gives an allagory/parable, then explains it somewhere else, then that passage was non-literal. Or if for instance “As a deer pants for rivers of water, so my soul longs for you” that is poetic. or “She had hair like a dove”, is poetic, its not saying her hair was made out of birds. Be realistic.

However on all other parts, I believe the Bible literally.

244. oh, and alakazarm, It was written in Hebrew, not Aramaic.

245. I have a common caution that I express to people, and that is to beware of rabid personalities.
For instance, rabid republicans, rabid democrats, rabid racists, rabid atheists, rabid christians.

By the by, did you contemplate the possibility that this vessel was somewhat elliptical in nature? An ellipse that was 10 cubits wide at its widest point could still be 30 cubits in circumference. The text just said “circular”, and that’s pretty vague.

246. I hate to side with the biblical literalists here, but this argument is nonsense.

Say that when they took their measurements, they rounded to the nearest cubit. So the circumference was actually somewhere between 29.5 and 30.49 cubits, and the diameter was between 9.5 and 10.49 cubits.

Calculating from these rounded measurements, the value of pi could be anywhere from 2.81 to 3.21.

So yeah, pi could be “3” when you take into account rounding errors.

One thing I hate worse than fundamentalist Christians is obnoxious atheists who want to win the debate using ridicule.

247. I’m pretty sure they couldn’t even do division back then, so this entire article is debunked as of now.

248. From John Murry
“The ratio of the circumference of a circle to its radius (pi) is 3.1415926……only on a flat plane. It’s different if you draw the circle on the surface of, for example, a sphere.
So we cannot prove that the value of pi stays the same over long periods of time. This is because we cannot prove that the local curvature of space-time has remained constant.
Also, if the universe is a fractal and has fractional dimensionality, then there could easily be not 3 spacial dimensions, but pi (or some other figure) spacial dimensions. It could be that when you measure pi, you are just measuring the fractal dimensionality of the universe.
So don’t be too sure about the constancy of math constants. The more we know, the more we realise how little we know, and how wonderous the universe is. ”

Look I find this amusing….but I hate bastardizations of Math. I know you make reference to hyperbolic geometry but what I really find funny is the fact that this is the equation for the area of a circle in hyperbolic geometry:

Area = Area = 4 pi sinh^2(r/2)

What? Pi exist and is used in the hyperbolic plane. Hmm…also you can have a set with PI numbers in it? Are you really that much of a moron that you know absolutely nothing about set theory? Explain to me how in a set that is the basis for my dimension or the dimension of the universe it contains exactly PI elements? Well, a little basic linear algebra can help you there bud. It can’t b/c it doesn’t make any sense. It can have 3 distinct basis vectors and .141592… of another basis vector??? You lose please stop quoting some pseudointellectual BS. PLEASE STOP BASTARDIZING MATH

249. Why is it that every argument from a hardcore atheist only consists of sarcasm and ridicule? I’m just as skeptical as you are, but I’m not a pompous asshole about my beliefs. You talk about shoving things down peoples throats… look at you, basically calling people idiots for their true beliefs. It really doesn’t get shoved down your throat more than that. Grow up you jerk.

250. […] God said Pi=3               ( The old rant gets a thorough workout ) […]

251. reyalp:

Your guidance on common caution; truly wise words !

252. too many comments, too little original thought

253. @ Hair Pie Lover and @sigh

You are not exactly correct – Genesis 1:26 did NOT get translated correctly. However the real issue is that it is misinterpreted. Also however, the use of “us” is on purpose. Although sigh is incorrect in the why – it was not to state or even allude to the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Because those are Christian ideals, and this is HEBREW SCRIPTURE we are talking about. Funny how they always claim that Hebrew Scripture is replaced by the New Testament and is no longer valid, however they will continuously refer to it to justify certain things in “their book”. And even by calling it New Testament vs Old Testament they try to reduce the status of “our book”. But their misinterpretations are not their fault…because it’s not their book. It’s the book of the Hebrews, which are my people. (credit to Lewis Black here)

The meaning of “…Let us make man our image after our likeness…” is quite simple.

Rashi…”

26. Let us make man

The modesty of the Holy One, Blessed be He, we learn from here: because man in the image of angels was [to be] created and they would be jealous of him; therefore, He took counsel with them. And when He judges the Kings He [likewise] takes counsel with His Heavenly household; for we find in the case of Ahab (1 Kings 22.19) to whom Mic(ai)ah said: “I saw the Lord sitting on His throne and all the host of heaven standing by Him on His right hand and on His left,” – Has [He} then a right and left [hand] before Him? But [it means that] there were those [angels] on the right for acquittal and those on the left for conviction, And so (Dan. 4.14): “The matter is by the decree of the watchers and the sentence by the word of the holy ones.” Here also He sought permission with His {Heavenly] household. He said to them: “There are some higher beings, in my likeness. If there should be none in my likeness among the lower beings there would be jealousy among the works of creation.” (Sanh. 38)

– Let us make man

Even though they [the angels] did not help Him in His creation [of man] and it is in place for the skeptics to disagree [with the use of the plural “us”], Scripture does not shrink from teaching us the way of the world [proper conduct] and the trait of modesty that the might should consult with and seek permission from the lowly. But if it [Scripture] had written: “I shall make man,” we would not learn that He was speaking with His [Heavenly] court but to Himself. And the rebuttal to the heretics is written next to it [the following verse] “and He created man” and it [Scripture] did not write “and they created.”

– In Our image

In our form.

– After our likeness

Refers to our power to understand and discern.

…End Rashi”

In regards to Genesis 3, as my Rabbis taught me, all things are known to the Holy One, Blessed be He – except man’s reverence to heaven. This is the “free will” bestowed on man.

Rashi has an equally enlightening comment on Genesis 3, but I am not going to waste the time on this audience.

And the Torah was written by G-d, (but not the New Testament) – but as a Jew I would never push that on anyone as Christians do. In fact, Jews openly turn away converts. You are going to have to really want to convert on your own, and do a lot of learning first.

And I hate pushy people anyway…

@ artfuldodger

If you had even been around my wife and daughter during their menstrual period you might have appreciated the 7 day hut idea… (I am not even going there)

254. You people are fucking idiots.

255. @Jonathan Enns – don’t call my language vague just because you can’t read it. 🙂

256. Nerddddddsssssssssssss

257. Oh man, this is wonderful. I’ll have to show this to my math geek friends. They’ll get a kick out of this.

258. A self-proclaimed atheist who takes great pains to investigate the bible. Interesting….

259. Even more funny – a self-proclaimed Christian who takes great pains to investigate science. Amusing…

260. How about we all agree that we are each free to believe AS WE CHOOSE. Even the seeming exactness of mathematics and science is an illusion based on human constructs.

People have been in conflict from the beginning of time trying to convince each other that “I’m right and you’re wrong!”

Observation: even highly intelligent individuals disagree in dramatic fashion over so much that it staggers the mind. NO TWO PEOPLE ON EARTH HOLD EXACTLY THE SAME BELIEFS, and VERY FEW (IF ANY) BELIEFS ARE HELD BY EVERY SINGLE PERSON ON EARTH.

Supposition: God created the universe (whether by evolution or the Big Bang or in 6 implausibly short 24-hour days, it doesn’t much matter) with this singular objective: to leave each person FREE TO CHOOSE what they believe (or not) by making almost nothing (beyond “I think, therefore I am”) absolutely provable and thus universally accepted truth.

Kind of sheds a whole new light on the Bible, I think. NOTHING CAN BE PROVEN or DISPROVEN BY THE BIBLE – because it all comes back to WHAT YOU CHOOSE TO BELIEVE IN THE FIRST PLACE.

So good news – believe whatever you choose and live with the consequences.

Dave

261. […] God Said Pi = 3; Stand By Your Beliefs Dammit « Gospel of Reason (tags: politics math humor) […]

262. Truth Brush, I think you meant “He seems to believe he’s knocked down 2,000 years of circle-jerk. And he’s invited the blogosphere to join his scholarship.”

I hope that helps. I love to see you credulous theists flail for your nonexistent deity. The fact that you don’t get the author’s point is like an extra scoop of Ben & Jerry’s on the logic sundae.

263. Val, you said “Why is it that every argument from a hardcore atheist only consists of sarcasm and ridicule?”

Because it is funny?

“You talk about shoving things down peoples throats… look at you, basically calling people idiots for their true beliefs. It really doesn’t get shoved down your throat more than that.”

Val, if you thought about it, you would likely see how absurd this statement is. It gets rammed up our collective asses much harder than that in the form of religious doctrines being forced upon everyone via legislation.

264. I couldn’t resist.

He even states a few times in comments and updates that this is of the form reductio ad absurdum. “In formal logic, reductio ad absurdum is used when a formal contradiction can be derived from a premise, allowing one to conclude that the premise is false.” – From Wikipedia

Creationist stance (remember this word Creationist), everything in the Bible is absolute literal truth (or “correct”). A “circle” measures 30 around it’s perimeter/circumference and had a diameter of 10 in the Bible. So it follows that Pi, the constant used to calculate perimeter/circumference, is 3 by basic algebra. This is generally known to be wrong which lets you then conclude that the the Bible is *not* absolute literal truth (or “correct”), a contradiction.

Looks like a solid argument to me *shrug*

All he’s trying to say is the faction of Bible believers that take the stance that the Bible can’t be wrong in any way shape or form are closed minded luddites that need to think instead of having all of the “facts” of the world fed to them.

No more, no less. Stop pulling more out of this than is there. He’s stating one specific subset of a specific religious faction is idiotic. Which you can then take further if you want, but that’s all I get out of the article. He even points out some of the counterarguments which help further prove the *specific* point being made here.

Go team Venture.

265. […] Here is proof that Pi = 3 […]

266. To say that the Bible says pi = 3.0 would be to take the bible literalistically not literally. Interestingly, since pi is an irrational number, both answers can be considered correct. Based on the technology of the day, 3.0 is a good accuracy. This ranks as one of the stupidest arguments against the Bible that I have ever heard.

267. Do you read aramaic? No? Well then you haven’t read the original text. You don’t know what a ‘cubit’ refers to, nor does anyone really know the standards for measurement back then. So why are you basing your high-school math argument off of something that you plucked out of cynical atheist polemic arguments?
I wish you luck in pursuit of honest truth, but your objectives are obscured by your personal agenda and insurmountable bias.

268. Kristen the flying spaghetti monsters promises me eternal meatballs in the afterlife how can your god possible compete? Have fun riding your pi=3 bicycle and have a nice day. 🙂

269. You know that a cubit is the length of a man’s arm right? Grab a nearby guy, compare arm lengths, and tell me they are EXACTLY the same. For using dudes arms, 3.14159265… is a VERY small stretch from 3.

270. Wow…is this really an issue? I’ve been a Christian forever and I could really care less if the man who wrote this passage in the Bible really knew pi to the most infinite decimal point. Is this really supposed to rock my faith? An interpretation of an interpretation? Snore.

271. it all so says who shall add or subtract from these words Your name shall be subtracted from the book of life. such a sentance shows words can be wrongly added or subtracted.

and You want to aurgue math with God? every thing You see is math every twig, rock, element, cloud every thing is a math equation.

the sadest thing about not having a God is all that Love is worth nothing and lost forever. ed

272. With regard to Solomon’s large bowl: I wonder what the calculation would be if the diameter was measured inside the basin and the circumference was measured on the outside, i.e., a handsbreadth further out??

273. Talk about squeezing the gnat and swallowing the camel.

I too used to think the Bible was absurd until I read the whole thing myself. My goal was to find all the mistakes and supposed “contradictions”. I was armed with an extensive list of these fallacies that was given to me by some atheist friends, and this pi issue was on it. I was shocked to find out that it is shockingly historically accurate – non-fiction actually.

Evolution…hmm…even when I was a die hard atheist, I thought the THEORY to be quite stupid, and nothing more than the result of the playful imagination of some people who wanted to be known as scientists. The “proof” of the “pi” is about as ridiculous as the “proof” that our universe is merely a gigantic accident.

274. Darwin who??????,

275. Oh yeah… when I got done reading the Bible 2 times, I decided to believe in Jesus and he completely transformed my life. All my pride in my academic & other achievements was turned into love for Him & others. We still talk to this day!

My hope is that if you also read it with an open mind, and the desire to know the truth – you’ll find it.

God bless you all!

276. PI = 7.23

Because I like it better that way!

277. Atheist rules and I hope that someday christians will reject their web of inconsistencies so that they may accept reality, rationality and reason into their hearts!

Oh joy! 😀

278. Weee!
I am so amazed and ha! I do believe you, hee hee.
I am so sick of people trying to divide the world into bible-lovers (they say they’re good) and bible-nonbelievers (who are “evil”).
Personally, I believe you that the Bible is literature… not sure about it being a page-turner though.

279. I just noticed something. In this big, ongoing argument, each of us simply takes the side we were already on and finds ways to support it. And then we insult the other side.

Don’t mean to be critical, it just doesn’t seem like we’re getting anywhere anymore.

280. […] God Said Pi = 3; Stand By Your Beliefs Dammit « Gospel of Reason The value for pi used in calculators is 3.141592654. But if we look at the word of God, it states that the ratio of the circumference to the diameter is 30:10 cubits. In other words: 3 (tags: religion funny math pi mathematics) […]

281. Malachias Invictus – Good news man, after high school, when you get a real life, people don’t randomly approach you nearly as much trying to talk to you about things that you don’t have time to talk about.

Honestly, are people really approaching you on a constant basis telling you that you are going to burn in hell? Or are you just angry that it is happening somewhere to someone else?

282. […] Obviously, it has arrived. […]

283. Okay first of all, I appreciate this blog even though I do not agree with it because it has obviously gotten many intelligent people to speak their mind about some very complex issues.
Myself? I read the Bible, I believe the Bible. When I see a special about Science/Mathematics/etc:Proving/Disproving the Bible, I take it all in & enjoy it but it does not sway my faith at all because that is what my relationship with God is. A “faith-based” relationship. I don’t need God to “prove” Himself to me.
I have to agree with GARETH from a post above me.
(Gareth – June 13th, 2007 at 2:00 pm-go read it)
These people WERE Middle Easterners from the ancient past, but still, any time we think of “marvels of architecture”, what do we think of?
The Pyramids, Greece, Rome…all these were around the same era as Christ and the Bible.
So why would we doubt their knowledge of architecture.
Maybe it IS an approximation, maybe it isn’t.
Point is, again, agreeing with Gareth, if Athiets don’t believe, then leave it alone eh?
There are more important things in the world to do (feeding the hungry, ending war, curing disease, aiding the elderly, helping your neighbor with their fence) than to spend all your energies on “proving you are right”.
Do Christians “point fingers” and the like as well? Of course, and to my brothers and sisters I would encourage you to dig deeper in your OWN walk with God. DOn’t turn a blind eye to science, history, etc, but still, always hold onto your faith and LIVE the Word and you wont have to go around bashing everyone. The only ones Christ “bashed” were the religious leaders…follow His example, Jesus LOVED everyone and pointed them to God with His own example.
(Crap, i said I wouldn’t get preachy in this thing, anyway, there ya go.)
Again, I appreciate this post.
God bless you all,
I encourage you all to seek the truth,
Kevin L. Briles

284. Easy tiger, fractions were only just coming into use by Egyptians around 1000 bc so how on earth would an ancient Israelite know about how to express Pi as a fraction?

285. I can’t stand it anymore!

How dare you people dictate who I CAN and CANNOT love and make love to!

How dare you try to FORCE your beliefs on me through the LAW of the country!

How dare you JUDGE me just because I hold to different beliefs from you!

I reject the bigoted accusation that I am amoral, corrupted or a pervert.

It is all of you, liberal and conservative alike, who are the real criminals when you arrest me for trying to HAVE HOT WET SEX WITH MY DOBERMAN PUPPIES!!!!!11!!

I mean, what’s so gross about that… They’s my best frens.

http://scottthong.wordpress.com/2006/08/30/morality-of-absolutes-and-relatives/

286. “if Athiets don’t believe, then leave it alone eh?” Why? why not point out each and every error in religious thinking? If I make an error I would hope that someone would point it out to me so that I can correct myself. I wouldn’t want to go through life making a complete tit of myself by telling people 1 + 1 = 3.

One day evolved humans will look back and wonder how their primitive ancestors could possibly have believed such nonesense. At least I hope so.

287. As we all know, the ancients knew *nothing* of our advanced concepts of “approximation” and “rounding off”…

288. […] when you feed off of zealotry and superstition to further an anti-freedom agenda… this is where you eventually find yourself. The Iranian […]

289. Hilarious.

290. Jdavis2, spare us the bullshit story about being an atheist, reading the Bible to find contradictions, and finding none. I doubt any fish are biting. As for your criticism of evolution as a “theory,” you display a shocking ignorance of both what a scientific theory actually *is*, and how powerful a theory evolution is. In case you did not know, pretty close to all biological science is based upon it.

291. Val, don’t be a moron. I am not even close to a high school student. As for your criticism, I am sure it is easy to sit there smugly knowing that your government supports your particular brand of religious delusion. The rest of us are, in increasingly large numbers, sick of it. The United States is supposed to be a secular nation, yet pious crackpots have managed to insert an offensive religious motto onto the currency, and better yet, shove religion down the throats of many schoolchildren in the form of the Pledge of Allegiance. Add a healthy dose of homophobia, unwarranted intrusion into the private lives of others, anti-science lobbying, stripping people of choices based upon religious dogma, prohibition, and other such nonsense, and you get a secular population that is up in arms.

292. Hmmm…one other point in addition to all these great points. Does the Bible simply record the dimensions that Solomon used while building the temple or does it say, “God says Pi=3”? Many times the Bible simply records things as they are and does not share how they should be. Perhaps (and that’s a big perhaps) what you are saying is true, and the best they had back then was an imperfect measurement. Does that mean God endorsed it or merely recorded their imperfect efforts to serve Him? Read the passage again. The Bible merely records Solomon’s efforts. If you’ve got a problem, blame it on Solomon. I guess Solomon must not exist because he messed up! What’s with this logic anyway? God works with us in our imperfections as we seek to go to the next level in our relationship with Him.

Perhaps this is yet another attempt to make the Bible say something that it never said to begin with. Nice try buddy, keep digging. It’s amazing how deep people go into reading the Bible to try to disprove it that they even are reading something as miniscule as the dimensions of Solomon’s temple with that much vigor! What reaches people have to go to find problems in the Bible! Put’s me to shame and I am a believer!

Imagine what would happen if people started listening to the Bible instead of trying to spend so much time disproving it!

Did you really think you would get any of “Bible literalist” to reject the Bible because of this? Show the body of Jesus and then maybe we’ll talk.

293. Your thoughts are too deep for me. Gee, I thought this was going to be a creative article on the Trinity (Pi = 3). Sorry, not a math-major — so much of your well-thought out logic is largely missed by me (although I’m sure enjoyed by others of like mind). Appreciate your creative approach, however.

http://warriorsink.wordpress.com/2007/06/14/the-doctrine-of-a-personal-relationship-with-god/

Oh — That’s Warriors Ink (not warrior sink) Ha!

294. To say that there is no God doesn’t require the same amount of faith as to say there is one – that’s assuming that both concepts are just as likely as one another. Whereas I reckon that if the universe is incredibly improbable, the only thing more improbable would be the being that created it, thus rendering the idea of a God more improbable than the idea of there not being one.

Most atheists aren’t incredibly dogmatic when it comes to their rejection of God – most have the same attitude as they would to any other hypothesis, in that if overwhelming evidence (lets say, the same kind of evidence as is clearly available for Darwinian evolution) was brought about that there really -was- an intelligent designer of the universe, it would have to be accepted. Somehow, I don’t think it’s going to happen.

There’s a huge difference in believing the literal fact of a 2,000 year old book without any proof or reason, and believing that, for example, in a right angled triangle, a squared + b squared = c squared. There’s a proof for the literal truth of Pythagoras; there just isn’t one for the Bible (and faith alone doesn’t count!)

and @Hoverfrog: I hope so too, if we haven’t wiped ourselves out before that happens, possibly in the name of faith.

295. Joe, you said “Imagine what would happen if people started listening to the Bible instead of trying to spend so much time disproving it!” Indeed! Imagine:

“If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.” (Leviticus 20:13)

“And ye shall eat the flesh of your sons, and the flesh of your daughters shall ye eat.” (Leviticus 26:29)

“…their infants shall be dashed in pieces, and their women with child shall be ripped up.” (Hosea 13:16)

“Now therefore kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman that hath known man by lying with him. But all the women children, that have not known a man by lying with him, keep alive for yourselves.” (Numbers 31:17-18)

I love it! Let’s hear it for the moral superiority of the Bible!

296. “Imagine what would happen if people started listening to the Bible instead of trying to spend so much time disproving it! ”

Things like the Crusades perhaps or attacks on abortion clinics or homosexuals.

297. I love it! Apparently so do 300 hundred other people (current comment count when I posted)

It’s sad how people simply trust the bible blindly just because they were taught to do so when they were children by people who had the same experience, and those were taught by people who had the same experience, and it goes on and on for a couple of millennial.

It always has surprised me who defensive and insulted most Christians get when you challenge their beliefs. You don’t even have to get into the “Does God exist?” conversation (that’s too much for some people to swallow). What the author of the article has posted here is more than enough to plunge fear into the hearts of some and generate violent reactions.

When will it stop? When will we trust reason? It’s a sad world we live in.

298. Once again I make the observation that atheists do not have a problem with the existence of God, they have a problem with His character.

Also, blaming the Bible for the Crusades and attacks on abortion clinics is like me blaming George Washington for everything George Bush does. I make no defence for the Crusades, or attacks on abortion clinics or homosexuals, and I’m pretty sure you’re not going to find a defense for them in the Bible either. Endorsing the Bible doesn’t mean you have to endorse “church” history. Don’t get me started on church history because I’ll be more than tempted to join your band wagon.

Malachias Invictus – Your Bible passages are all from the Old Testament written specifically for the nation of Israel for a specific period of their history and are never commanded to continue on today. Those who see the “modern” church as “God’s replacement” for the nation of Israel are greatly confused about their Bible.

“I love it! Let’s hear it for the moral superiority of the Bible!”

If you haven’t read about God’s mercy, love, and kindness to us in the Bible, you’ve only read about 10% of the Bible. The whole thing is God giving people chance after chance after chance to repent of their rebellion and to turn to Him. It is only God who exercises judgement and justice and those who think they act on His behalf in that juncture…well, let’s just say I personally believe God’s got a special hot spot reserved for them.

My duty is to respectfully share what the Bible teaches as truth, and if you don’t believe it, fine. Let’s part as friends. Anyone who has to try to force someone to believe something is very insecure in their own beliefs. But again, don’t get me started.

299. […] blog I’ve read in awhile (that has nothing to do with television or entertainment).  The Gospel of Reason had a post yesterday called “Pi=3″, and I was in tears from laughing so hard.  […]

300. There’s only one problem…

301. There’s only one problem…

THERE IS NO GOD

Now go have a beer, and think about the crap you’ve spouted.

302. As a Christian I sometimes wonder about things in the bible that don’t seem to run true.

However I do know that Jesus referred to the Scriptures and so they must have been true enough for Him.

And Jesus must be true because most of his apostles died for His name, claiming that He was the Son of God and has risen from the dead.

All this talk of denying God and discrediting the Bible comes from Satan the father of all lies.

Atheists want to believe there is no God because then they do not have to answer to any one, they can be free to live life the way that they choice.

Satan wants you to believe there is no God because then you belong to him.

And you know, on a final note, no matter what you say about the bible, when you get through with the nit picking and look at it. It is the most amazing thing.

Here is a challenge for you all……try and live you life according to the values set down in the bible and see how your life goes!

And I don’t mean burning goats or what ever, I mean

Love people and treat them as you would want to be treated. (The world would be so much better, no wars or violence. And yes I know many wars have been fought in the name of religion, but that is of man, not of Jesus)

Kev 🙂

303. “There’s only one problem…

THERE IS NO GOD

Now go have a beer, and think about the crap you’ve spouted.”

Wow! That was a blessing! 🙂

304. Hey look, now I’m comment number 305. I bet nobody’s EVER going to read this far down the list. Cool…

305. Love it! An island of rationality in a sea of insanity! I still don’t get how any rational person can ignore science and believe in creationism yet do math at the same time!

306. Okay, I read this book once, I don’t know how old it was but probably over 2000 years old. There was one thing written in this book. It was “Written by God”. I believe the book, even if it is over 2000 years old and that there is no proof of the fact that God wrote it.

I just find it absurd that people think that they should act exactly as a book says. Of course we shouldn’t kill other people just for fun and so on but quoting a book that was written in a totally different society and thinking that it still applies to the present world is just a bad excuse for not thinking yourself.
I don’t belive in God but I still act according to a lot of the “rules” written in the book – I don’t steal, I don’t kill others and so on. I don’t have anything against believers untill they start accusing me of acting wrong. Shouldn’t christianity be about being tolerant and forgiving?

307. A-“I don’t have anything against believers untill they start accusing me of acting wrong. Shouldn’t christianity be about being tolerant and forgiving?”

A, how can someone be forgiving unless there is something to forgive? Jesus said, “physician, heal yourself.” He also said that he came, “to seek and to save the lost.” How can he not save us unless we know we’re lost? How can he heal us unless we’re sick? How can he forgive us of wrong unless we have actually done something wrong? Don’t be offended by what the Bible says about our need for God because Jesus didn’t even come to condemn us. He didn’t need to, we’re already condemned (John 3:16-18 states this). He came to get us out of this mess we’re in and to help us, not to rub it in even more.

Do we tolerate those who are different? Absolutely! There is no excuse for those who persecute others of different beliefs. The only people Jesus condemned were religious hypocrites. He came for the rest of us who know we need help.

By the way, I think you’d be surprised at just how relevant the Bible is for today. Why else would people try so hard to discredit it? They don’t do that with the writings of Homer, Plato, or Aristotle.

308. I don’t get it. If you don’t have faith, great. If you do, great. Why on Earth would you put this much time and effort into attacking (alright, maybe not the best word… nitpicking) faith? You’re guilty of exactly what you find distasteful in the fundamentalists… you’re illustrating a need to say “I’m right.” To be honest, it’s kind of tired and sad.

309. Great!!!!!!!!!!
Another clue for you…….
Pi= 3
Personnal Identity = 3 for a beginning
Open Systems Interconnection level 3
What is after numbers and words?
Kind regards
Jim Courbis
http://angejimcourbis.wordpress.com/
For those who can understand French

310. Hey guys, it’s me God. I’m sorry about all of this. I told King about the correct value of Pi. He forgot it though, cuz he was a drunk. I’ll make sure it’s corrected in Bible 2.0.

311. Dad, wtf are you doin? I told you not to tell anyone about Bible 2.0 yet. Damn it, PR is not going to like it. You know how the Pope hates spoilers.

312. @Hebrew

I hope you didn’t think I was making a case for the Trinity or trying to push anything down anyone’s throat. What I’m saying is I didn’t *have* an answer, but this is how some would teach it, as a starting point for others to maybe look into things on their own and try to understand others’ beliefs before making a decision about them.

I really appreciate your post and found it pretty educational. I accept that you are right that this is a Hebrew text and should be studied in that context. Thanks for furthering my understanding as I am truly looking for it. I wish everyone else would take a similar approach, but I guess that would be asking way too much when regurgitation of their preconceived notions and spewing of vitriol are such an easy road.

It’s too bad we can’t continue this and similar discussions, but this is clearly not the place and to post email addresses would be a grave mistake. :p

313. I said
understand others’ beliefs before making a decision about them
and understand their own before attempting to discuss them

As for you, Hebrew, you did a good job explaining what you clearly have taken much time to study and understand. Thanks again.

314. Perhaps this post was meant as a joke. Anyone, including a fundamentalist (which I am not), can tell you that a literal interpretation of the Bible doesn’t imply that you accept obvious approximations to physical constants as the God-given truth.

If this is as sophisticated as your understanding of the Bible and its interpretation gets, then maybe you should stick to just bashing Christians openly.

315. I totally agree with “Hebrew” that the Torah should be understood in the context of a “Hebrew” text. Especially Christians should understand this and know that many of the promises given to the nation of Israel in the Torah are not meant for “Gentiles” but will still ultimately be fulfilled by the LORD.
The Bible is clear that we can apply the Jewish history and promises to the Jewish people can serve as “examples” for us to learn from, but they are meant for, and will be fulfilled by the nation of Israel, not by Christians.
A Bible believing Christians should love the Jewish people and respect their faith in God.

316. Any time you look at the Bible, considerations on its original wording must be taken. Even Christians must be held to this standard, and study the oldest texts in order to gain the true meaning of what was said. You said in your article, “You can either accept that the word of God is fallible and men have improved upon it.” Well, I accept that men have attempted to improve upon it, and that men have interpreted it according to their own bias’ for generations. That doesn’t mean that God’s Word is fallible, but the men interpreting and “improving” on it and misunderstanding the importance of details ARE fallible. Follow the link I’ve pasted to this article:

http://www.khouse.org/articles/1998/158/

The interpretation of pi=3 assumed in your article is a mistake based on faulty translation from the original Hebrew.

317. @lowerleavell

I agree. In one of my earlier posts I reference people who don’t even understand their own beliefs. Certain Christians who have negative or ambivalent feelings toward Jews have not even followed the teachings of their own text, at least not as I have understood them in my studies so far.

So I repeat the call for everyone, regardless of what you believe right now, or what you have been told all your lives, to read / study / think for yourselves. Let your teachers be your guides, sure, and some of them are probably exactly right. But cross-reference *everything*, if not to logic and reason, then at least to your own text. By relaxing and taking everything without question, you become the blind sheep you are accused of being.

And be open to the text of others, all of you — Biblically it is not a sin to be uncertain or to question, and scientifically it’s just part of the job to investigate thoroughly. As it’s been said, the hardcore scientific atheists often seem no better than the hardcore fundamentalists when it comes to discussion of alternative beliefs.

318. well what ever but it’s no use having pi = 3 because then we would just need a new name for the number which we need to calculate so many things..circles n stuff
no wonder pi has changed.. that’s because it gets preciser all the time! it’s a number with infinite numbers after the comma.
of course you could call it 3 but if you want more accurate calculations then you have to accept the pi as it is defined now and will be redefined.

319. Clearly there was a typo in the bible:

“It took a line of thirty cubits to measure around it.”

“It took a line of 40 ( arctan(1/2) + arctan(1/3) ) cubits to measure around it.”

or many of its variants. Much more elegant, don’t you think?

320. Yes, you are correct. The Bible has at least this one error. Actually it has more than this one. Usually, most Evangelical Christians say that the Bible is “infallable”, not “inerrent”. Since it is a document totally written by people, copied by people, and interpreted by people, there are always going to be errors in it. But it is also a document that is God Breathed and trustworthy. It is not fiction.

321. When we study the Bible, we need to be careful to take into consideration it’s historical context, literary genre, and authorial intent. The men who were directed by God to write the Bible were not experts in science or math. Your argument seems to be somewhat of a red-herring.

Your issue is not with the scientific accuracy of the Bible. It is with those who would force it down your throat. You don’t have to believe it. However, if you write off the Bible based on how people have treated you, I hope you are right. If you are not, then God really does exist, you are accountable for your sin. The good news is that Jesus died in your place so you can spend eternity in heaven with God. I suggest reading more of the gospel of John.

322. Wow, El…you really pissed some people off. Not bad.

🙂

323. […] Here it is. […]

324. Funny stuff!

It is unfortunate though, that the argument is always between the fundamentalist and the atheist. When one looks at the text through the lens of historical criticism, one can realize that mythology and metaphor can at times say more about the reality of something than our best science can… but not about science itself.

The text was written by a multitude of different authors over a long period of time, always in retrospect, and always flush with that author’s interpretation. That reality must be taken into account. These were people in a specific society with a specific culture and scientific worldview writing this stuff. Why people need the text (or the Pope for Catholics) to be infallible is beyond me. It is a source. A big one for me, personally, but because, well because of feminist theology and liberation theology to be honest. Wikipedia has decent articles on both of those.

The really funny thing is, if the religious right and the fundamentalists really want to use the Bible as the sole source for morality, and they really wanted to take the text seriously, (meaning they actually find out what the text meant when it was written before trying to apply it to today) then they wouldn’t be nearly as “right” and “conservative” as they are.

God’s Politics: Why the Right Gets It Wrong and the Left Doesn’t Get It.

The right has the wrong attitude and politics, and the left doesn’t realize that the Bible is more about Earthly justice for the poor and oppressed than the “Right” wants you to believe, and the text can be of great cultural and inspirational value to the left instead of an opponent.

As the type of Christian that I am (friend to atheists, homosexuals, feminist, social justice oriented, pluralistic), it makes me sad when I think about how the “Right” has hi-jacked what could have been/could be a wonderful and progressive tradition. I still have hope though, which is perhaps more than anything, what makes me a Christian.

325. @Sandy, El

326. you losers are as big a bunch of idiots as the Bible thumpers.

327. I like your point that some people can take the bible literally down to the last detail, without considering the context. But the thought that Moses may have been using approximate measures sort of ruined the humor for me.

328. Significant digits, anyone? 🙂

329. I know you don’t care and that you probably won’t even think twice about what I say but you gave two options, accepting the word of God as fallible (and screwing your beliefs) or holding your beliefs, dispite the facts.

What about a third (there are probably more), viewing the Bible as ‘God’s word’ (whatever that means) fallibly written by men…viewing the Bible as mans fallible interpretation of ‘God’s story’…

Yer, the Bible is fallible, any decent theologian will tell you that. Just because fallible men told us a book was infallible when it never was, is that reason to give up?

330. Tim, I think that’s a pretty good reason actually. The holy book supporting your God is shown to be false. Definitely time to embrace a different philosophy or at least to abandon the old one.

331. I’m sorry, I am honestly trying to see your point of view. But I don’t understand how one approximation, written AS an approximation and not as an exact measurement, makes an entire document fictional.

I understand you were trying to be ironic, but your inference just doesn’t make sense and doesn’t help your cause at all. It actually makes you look foolish.

What you should do is focus more on the fact that the bible cannot solve certain problems that science and math can. Esteem science and math all you want.

Of course the Bible was not meant to give us answers to the details of our physical origins, at least not in ways we can understand. Stick to expounding that theory and you will not ‘rile up’ so many so-called right-wing conservative fundie literalists….errr… n/m you probably will. But you will at least merit more intelligent discussion.

332. Joe, you said “Once again I make the observation that atheists do not have a problem with the existence of God, they have a problem with His character.” Wrong. Atheists do have a problem with the existence of a deity. Specifically, there is no credible evidence for such, and as an extraordinary claim, it requires extraordinary evidence. As for the “character” of this creature of mythology, it is utterly repugnant to anyone who is not a moral cripple.

You also said “I make no defense for…attacks on…homosexuals, and I’m pretty sure you’re not going to find a defense for them in the Bible either.” I am pretty sure I am, actually: In Leviticus 20:13 it says “If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.” That sounds like advocacy for violence against homosexuality to me.

You also try the old technique of claiming the Old Testament does not apply any longer. You are wrong, according to Jesus. “For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.” (Matthew 5:18), and “And it is easier for heaven and earth to pass, than one tittle of the law to fail.” (Luke 16:17). Don’t try to weasel your way out of it, either: “Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.” (2Peter:20-21)

Finally, you said “If you haven’t read about God’s mercy, love, and kindness to us in the Bible, you’ve only read about 10% of the Bible.” Quite frankly, I find such to be largely irrelevant. If you found out that Hitler loved orphans and little fuzzy puppies, and used to volunteer at soup kitchens, would that make him any less of a genocidal, reprehensible monster? If not, why does the Abrahamic god, who has engaged in mass genocide and advocated child-killing, rape, slavery, and all sorts of other nastiness, get a pass?

333. Lowerleavell, you said “I think you’d be surprised at just how relevant the Bible is for today. Why else would people try so hard to discredit it? They don’t do that with the writings of Homer, Plato, or Aristotle.”

Thinking people work (and not hard, mind you) to discredit supposedly infallible holy books because delusional faithheads use them to justify all manner of ugly and oppressive things. The reason people do not discredit the work of Homer, is that there are not Homerians running around claiming that everyone should live by the “literal truth of the Homerian epic.” As for philosophers, tons of later philosophers and other thinkers try to discredit or improve on their ideas all the time. This is healthy, and should be applied to religious ideas as well as philosophical ones.

334. Markcole, you claim there are errors in the Bible, then turn around and claim it to be trustworthy. How do you tell the difference between the erroneous and trustworthy passages?

335. Questioning a religion’s precepts is not hating it.

336. JCShutout: “…the left doesn’t realize that the Bible is more about Earthly justice for the poor and oppressed than the “Right” wants you to believe.”

All those parts about slaves obeying their masters are about Earthly justice for the poor and oppressed? All that “last shall be first, first shall be last” stuff sounds like it’s talking about justice in the afterlife, not “Earthly justice.” All you downtrodden just tough it out there, and surely things will be better after you die, mm’kay?

337. Love it!
And I enjoyed reading some of the comments here trying to justify the bible, can’t believe some people take this kinda thing that seriously!

Anyway, we all know that todays modern theory of pi is merely put forward by the devil, to try and trick the devout from their beliefs…like dinosaurs.

338. PI IS A SUPPOSED TO BE A MEASUREMENT NOT A CALCULATION. IN THIS DEBATE, HOW MANY PEOPLE ARE MEASURING AND HOW MANY ARE CALCULATING?

339. First. Take a look at what was written:

“It took a line of thirty cubits to measure around it. Below the rim, gourds encircled it – ten to a cubit.”

This is not a clear measurement, nor is it stating that this is an equation. It has a measurement of gourds and decoration. And the ring around the circle. This isn’t a “how to build Solomons Palace” guide. lol.

Its a description, not a building guide, and the way the text is written its not so clear as to what all the gourds include in their measument.

Second.
A Cubit is an UNSTABLE unit of measurement, but at the time thats what was used… you are talking about an understood unit of measurement that is not set in stone a unit of measurement that fluctuates.

How can you hope to get exacts from something that fluctuates?

This is from Wikipedia.

Cubit is the name for any one of many units of measure used by various ancient peoples and is among the first recorded units of length.

The cubit is based on measuring by comparing – especially cords and textiles, but also for timbers and stones – to ones forearm length. The Egyptian hieroglyph for the unit shows this symbol. It was employed consistently through Antiquity, the Middle-Ages up to the Early Modern Times.

340. Mark, you said “The men who were directed by God to write the Bible were not experts in science or math.” Judging from what they wrote, they were not experts on ethics or morals either. Why should we trust that book on *any* of those subjects?

341. @Malachias

Leviticus 20:13 is a red herring unless you also note that cursing ones parents and adultery are cause to be put to death. Obviously we aren’t punishing these things so severely either.

These were civil laws for the nation of Israel, to set them apart from other nations. While they clearly show God’s preferred behaviors (do not lie with men as with women + do not spill your seed = population growth for my chosen people), they do not show that all nations through all times will be held to the same consequences as the nation of Israel.

Since I am only studying these things as a third party, this might not be the endorsed views. There might be something else and I’d like to see Hebrew come back and give his take on it.

342. Before anyone freaks, “my chosen people” was used because I was writing the equation from God’s POV.

343. Also, for clarity, Lev. 20:1-2
1
The LORD said to Moses,
2
“Tell the Israelites: …

Not “Tell all nations”

344. Lord God,

I pray that you would open the spiritual eyes of the people who read this debate, and Lord that you by your Son would be Glorified. Lord we know that with out Jesus, eternity in hell awaits, even if people agree with your judgment or not, Lord you will still be Judge over each person here.

God your word says that each person will give an account for the life we live, every sin, every good thing, every lie, every cruel thing, every act against you.

And some day, their knees will bow, before you, and they will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.

Lord each of us, have sinned, Lord everyone needs your truth, God I ask for your blessing and drawing over the author of this blog, so that in the quest for knowledge and truth you would allow the authors eyes to be opened.
Amen.

“Even if I didn’t believe in Semi-Trucks, if I stepped out in front of one going 80mph, the truck would still be a force to be reckoned with.”

Your life is a lot like that, you can try to say its all a fallacy because of your how conclusions, but God is still going to be God, and at the end of the day, the truth is bigger than the both of us.

345. And I thought Pi was 2. At least the Bible’s an improvement.

346. What does his holiness the Sphagetti monster say? His ord is final R’amen

347. @David Montgomery

Some would teach that the wages of sin are death, and that Jesus was sent that none should perish but have eternal life.

If without Jesus one would perish, and not have eternal life, then how would that one burn for all eternity? The dead feel no pain, so to speak.

Could it be that in sin, without the gift of Jesus, the sinner is obliterated and simply denied entrance to paradise? Sme would teach this is the case.

It would be more logical to me that way. I wouldn’t want to see anyone suffer for all eternity, and I’m a wretched human right? If someone came and mutilated my family, my sense for vengance might go so far as to see them be put to death as well. Maybe that far. But burn for all eternity? No, not even them.

Take that a step further. I certainly wouldn’t want to see my kid suffer for all eternity. Regardless of how many times he rebels against me. So why would God create a system where he’d have to watch his creation suffer for all eternity — as opposed to just wiping it out?

348. Pi is a theoretical constant which is the ratio of the circumference of a perfect circle to its diameter. No circle on Earth can actually have this ratio, and if you computed this ratio for a circle you drew, you’d get probably 3.148, or 3.107, or something close to ‘pi’ but not exact. So, it is very likely that this (real life) bowl had a ratio of 3, because it wasn’t a theoretical circle, it was only (as the passage states) “circular in shape”.

Using you’re logic, you could never show someone a circle, because as soon as you did, I’d show you that the ratio of its circumference to diameter didn’t equal ‘pi’, but that it equaled 3.146 or something ‘close’ to pi.

349. And please don’t respond with “Well, they die over and over again for all eternity.” I’ve heard that before and it implies that you also live for all eternity.

350. And rereading I noticed you said eternity in hell, making no claim that hell is a state of burning. If your concept of hell is simply to perish and be destroyed, even if it is in a lake of fire (and after being destroyed, it ends since you have perished), then disregard my question.

351. When I’m dead I will be in precisely the same state as I was before I existed. No hell, no heaven, no anything.

352. I love how so many of you are quick to condemn those who take the Bible literally, then by the same token take the Bible literally to make a point for yourselves.

I honestly can’t believe some of the comments about how the Bible is a sham because God didn’t explicity define Pi or point out that Pi is infinite.

For starters lets get one thing straight, God didn’t write the Bible, man did.

Secondly, God also didn’t tell us anything about DNA or about a million other scientific discoveries we have made since the time these texts were written.

The Bible was meant as a guide for faith, a guide about how humans should respect eachother and their maker. It isn’t a book about God trying to prove he exists.

353. […] Pi = 3 […]

354. Literal interpretation of anything violates a healthy skepticism.

355. David Montgomery: OK; I’ll risk it. God, strike David! See? Nothing happened. God… strike me! Ah, I feel someth- no, just an itch. The truck argument is a fallacy. People who invoke God are definitely a force to be reckoned with. I would think twice before insulting a suicide bomber’s mom in his face (unless he were chained up). But God himself as a force is less harmful than a magnolia petal.

Grant is absolutely right.

356. Well, are we now to believe that Atheism is just another form of religion? The religious Atheist must revoke any and all other religions to prove his religion correct, and the one and true belief (religion)?

I see just the same religious fervor from atheists proving their atheism is the only true interpretation of the universe as many religious people do with their religious fervor proving that their religion is the only true interpretation of the universe.

Sigh…

Again, what someone else said in another blog: “Why is it that all religions do not apply to those not a member of the religion?”

And why must everyone try to convert others to their religion?

Sigh…

Scientists are often just as religious in their efforts to prove there is only one interpretation of the universe.

Sigh…

Just look at the Global Warming Religion – there is Global Warming and no one disputes this – but there is only one interpretation – it must be caused by man – terrible, horrible, carbon dioxide spewing man. No other causes can be mentioned or they are called heretical. The fact that the models only look at CO2 but do not include the water cycle, solar output, methane, etc., is a failing of the models. Human made models. So applying only solutions regarding CO2 is ridiculous until more is understood about the real causes of global warming. More research is stifled by the Global Warming by Man-Made CO2 religious bigots, since the world is now explained by the Holy Gospel of the CO2-only Model and there can be no changes to the Holy Model since it is now Gospel.

The same methodology appears in many places – it must be built into human nature…

357. @Ollie

Stop taking MY name in vain, now.

j/k

358. Ryan either the Bible is true and God exists or the Bible is false and God either doesn’t exist or is so alien to what we know to be reality that it doesn’t matter one way or another. The Bible cannot be a bit right or a bit wrong because then you get people claiming that some bits are right (like never working on the Sabbath) and that they’ll follow those bits while others say that working on Sunday (or Saturday) is OK but you must die if you happen to fancy fornicating with a member of your own sex.

To pick and choose renders the book meaningless. It is from the basis that it is fiction that you should define your own life. You can take moral lessons from any work of fiction and few would argue with you as long as it caused no harm. In fact you’d be better off following the morality of “Lord of the Rings” than the bible. That Frodo was really brave and Sam was very loyal. Of course you don’t because it is fiction.

359. OK, so from the Multiverse point of view, 3.14… is perfectly legit in our universe, and 3.0 is perfectly legit in some other universes, perhaps many of them. If all of these were constructed by God how would we know?

How do we disprove God or prove God?

Read Thomas Aquinas sometime, he was one of the more eloquent and interesting writers on the topic of proving or disproving God.

360. Ollie, to continue your analogy though, if a new model arose for global warming that withstood rigorous testing then it would be adopted. You can’t say that about any religion.

361. @hoverfrog

It also prohibits fornicating with members of the opposite sex, and again, the death penalty was part of the civil code for the nation of Israel, not all nations.

Again, everyone please do at least *some* research before you (deep breath) repeat what you think you’ve heard someone else say that they think they read or someone might have said is what it maybe means but I haven’t looked myself so I’ll just spew it forth again even though it’s already been clarified in posts above but really I’ve heard before somewhere that maybe it might mean this and I can’t possibly have heard wrong because I’m a floating amphibian for Jef–err–for God’s sake.*

Got it yet?

* Yep, that was a big hard to read run on. There was a symbolic reason I made it so. Think about it.

362. “How do we disprove God or prove God? ”
First state your hypothesis and then test it.

What is God?
Where is the evidence, what are the effects and how can they be measured?

Thomas Aquinas’ Proofs are flawed. He assigns divine meaning to things that do not require them. Read them and reassess them from a logical, atheist point of view. Go on.

363. Sorry that was kind of rude. I’m just trying to figure why everyone keeps repeating everything instead of going and having a look for themselves.

364. Sigh, it doesn’t matter what the religious rule is. Whether is applies to Israelites, to fishmongers or to people who keep parrots. It’s a work of fiction. Or rather works of fiction, written from second and third hand accounts, translated (often badly) and just plain edited so that it says what the editors wanted it to say.

You seem to have missed the point I was trying to make.

365. @hoverfrog

I don’t see how a prohibition for the nation of Israel to work on the Sabbath or lie with men as they lie with women, establishing a code which they did actually follow, disrupts the historical account?

Are you saying that because we no longer follow the code of the nation of Israel, that they must never have?

I’m not trying to argue, I’m trying to understand your view.

366. […] 14th, 2007 psipsina I commend this otherwise stupid story to your attention only because of the opening […]

367. It is incumbent on the Atheist to prove there is no God… again where is the proof? I think the jury might be out for a long time. Faith is not a proof based methodology… at least not yet. Confusing faith and logic IS the confusion.

In my opinion science only proves that there is a God. The complexities of the universe are far beyond our comprehension. We can only see small pieces of it. And, the realities of our existance are not just probability based. Too many probabilities and scientific constants would have to be manipulated for we humans to be here. There are just too many coincidences in science to make us possible as the end result of evolution. It would lead one to believe that some or maybe all of the probabilities and constants were predetermined. Just small variations in many of these probablities and constants and we would not exist.

This is a fun discussion…thanks for your input @Hoverfrog. And, I still think Thomas Aquinas has made some good points. It is refreshing to read many ancient writers and realize just how similar their thought processes were to our own, and that they wrestled with many of the same questions as we do today.

368. “As an aside, I really wish atheists would get a life. If there is no eternal significance to life, we are all going to be dead in 100 years and none of this will matter. Why do atheists spend so much time caring what other people (who I guess are just conglomerations of atoms at the end of the day) think?”

If our time on Earth is but a heartbeat of eternity, and you will spend timeless eons at God’s right hand, then why do you care that some people need to “get a life”?

Also: If the bible is to be taken literally, then Jesus was an actual lamb of God.

369. I’m saying that the rules themselves are arbitrary and hence without value. The fact that people followed (and still follow) them doesn’t make them good rules. Why shouldn’t I work on Saturday or have sex with whoever is willing to have sex with me?

The rules laid down may have had logical reasons 2000 years ago. Establish a day of rest so that workers are not overly exploited and worked to death. Ban homosexuality so that the religious population grows. It makes sense. I’m saying that these rules are no more divine than a rule not to wear the colour yellow in the presence of a butcher.

When providing alternate theories it is not vital to utterly disprove the existing or incumbent theory. You simply need to lay the theory out so that it is sufficiently different and more accurate than the incumbent theory. I don’t need to prove that a bat is not a bird. I just need to prove that a bat is actually a mammal.

370. “Ollie – June 14th, 2007 at 8:08 pm”

You say there’s a man in the sky who governs everything that happens on Earth (and in the entire universe). But you say it’s incumbent on ME to prove otherwise? Huh?

Science leads to the conclusion that God created the Earth? Huh?

Also, evolution didn’t set out to “create” humans. Your argument is like saying it’s impossible that I just got to work “by accident,” considering all of the variables and coincidences that had to occur. (That car has to swerve at the last second to avoid hitting me, the guy who delievered the gasoline to the gas station had to be born, his parents had to be born, etc.) But no one believes the universe was organized in such a way to allow me to get to work today. Or, well, I don’t believe I’m the center of the universe. Maybe you hold different views of your significance.

371. I’m not a believer in the bible. But it has been re-written a shit load of times.

372. @Ollie

“Just small variations in many of these probablities and constants and we would not exist.”

I *think* (still being new to studying all this) that evolution science would say that you are precisely right, and/but some other form of being would exist. Or some alternate form of ourselves. Something that “worked” in the alternate environment.

In other words, creation says “the environment was designed to support our being”. Evolution says “we would develop into whatever environment we had”.

So whereas in my studies I’m coming closer to belief in something higher than ourselves, I don’t think this argument is the best one to make.

373. Sigh, you said “Leviticus 20:13 is a red herring unless you also note that cursing ones parents and adultery are cause to be put to death. Obviously we aren’t punishing these things so severely either.”

Obviously. That does not make that passage a red herring, however. It just goes to show how fundamentally flawed the moral teachings of the Bible are. Sure, there are good things to be found. Many were mentioned previously in other cultures, some without religious overtones. One can affirm the dignity and worth of all human beings, based on the ability to determine right from wrong by appeal to universal human qualities, such as rationalism, without the need for all this dogmatic garbage.

374. @Malachias

When I called it a red herring, I got two conversations intertwined. I thought you were trying to distract attention from whether the account of the civil code is accurate by trying to stir up a discussion about whether we should kill homosexuals. Read the rest of the post and you’ll see the explanation that it’s a civil code for the nation of Israel, not a blanket statement for all nations of all times.

Your actual point was whether the Bible promotes violence against homosexuals, namely that it does. The more complete answer is that, for the nation of ancient Israel, it does, but for today’s society it most certainly does not. Anyone who says it does is not properly studying the text in its context.

375. Got it? Have at it, Israel!

376. As for the Global Warming Religion, new models have been proposed and do withstand the rigourous testing methodology. Though, several have been called heretical because the Global Warming by CO2 Religion Model is considered the only one, even though the numbers behind it and the assumptions have not been rigourously tested, mainly because they have not been published, and have been known to be revised for each run of the model, and additionally, data has been pruned to fit the assumptions.

No new models are allowed under the religious fervor. They are immediately subordinated to those of the “Consensus”.

So we will suffer the consequences of not knowing what the real parameters of Global Warming are. We will suffer the consequences of following the CO2-only model of Global Warming, especially if something else is really the driving factor.

The religious Global Warming by CO2-only Gospel is THE Gospel and must be taken literally and cannot be changed because it is the Gospel.

This is the same methodology as used by any religious group.

It is not a scientific methodology.

As stated above (by @hoverfrog) a scientific model must withstand the rigourous testing of assumptions, data, and hypotheses with regard to reality. A bayseian analysis of what factors really impact global warming, or even how much is really known compared to models and reality might show some surprising results. In fact, there are some doing just this and they are finding that too little is still known about Global Warming causes. Factors that are not in the CO2 model but are now deemed to be of higher importance include: water vapor (at least 2 orders of magnitude larger than CO2 in our atmosphere and not well understood), albedo (becoming better understood), solar output (much better understood as a factor – and which may be the real driving factor, it does correlate very well with global warming since 1820), methane (also larger than CO2 in the atmospheric mix and not yet as well understood), CO2 – not a factor in the global warming from 1820 to 1930 which has continued at the same rate since 1820 to current times.

377. Ollie said, “It is incumbent on the Atheist to prove there is no God… again where is the proof?” Nonsense. The burden is on the positive claimant, not the skeptic. While you are at it, disprove the existence of Ahura Mazda, the Flying Spaghetti Monster, the Invisible Pink Unicorn, and the Celestial Teapot. Are you beginning to see how absurd your assertion is?

You also said “There are just too many coincidences in science to make us possible as the end result of evolution.” You obviously have done little or nothing to understand the matter, or you would not be spouting such ignorance. Go to the talk.origins archive and be enlightened.

378. How about outlawing the fruits of the poisonous tree, such as anything circular, wheels, knobs, pretty much anything with a circle.

a

379. I thought knobs already WERE against the rules. Wait.

380. FYI…A cubit was a unit of length based on one’s forearm. These measurements were for a specific persons arm length, not a specific unit of measure. A cubit was a way God used to explain to Hiram (the man that was charged with building this building) how to build it in a way that Hiram could understand.

2 Good definitions of a cubit (the unit of measurement):
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cubit
http://www.m-w.com/dictionary/cubit

Also, since PI is concidered an infinite number, if you do the math correctly, you do not come out to a specific digit, but an infinite number. A cubit is an approximation. In mathmatics, when using PI, most mathmaticians, engineers, etc, use 3.0 or 3.14 as PI. Ratios, which is the math you’re doing, not volume which is where PI is needed, is not exact.

I’m sorry, but your logic is skewed. If you disagree with someone’s stance on the Bible, that’s fine. But to try and rewrite what the Bible says with flawed and incorrect logic is just sad.

Plus the book (1 Kings) you are referring to is concidered a historical document, not specifically a book of the Law. Therefore, your assumptions of it’s meaning are incorrect. It was a chronicle of the acts of the kings of the nation of Israel during Biblical time and shows how man cannot complete the Law (the first 5 books of the Old Testament, or the Pentatuch (Tora) ) that was set before him on his own. He had to depend on God to complete him. The Bible teaches us that God loves all and created us to be with him, not to lord over us but to love us as His children. I hope one day you understand that.

381. As an aside, I really wish faith-heads would stop using atheists as the universal punching bag. Why do religious people spend so much time obsessing about other people’s sins?

I wish religionists would just use some reason. It surely wasnt the theory of evolution that led Jim Bakker astray (he wouldn’t know the theory if it bit him . . .). It wasn’t evolution that led W. T. Grant astray, or Aimee Semple McPherson, or Robert Tilton, or Jimmy Swaggart.

If knowing evolution theory were evil, how can we explain that Darwin was such an outstanding man, a doting and caring father, a faithful and loving husband?

If you didn’t laugh through the entire post and most of the thread of comments, put the Bible down and back away slowly. Go rent a Marx Brothers movie, and get real.

382. @Malachias

You are correct that in matters of existential proof, there is no way to prove that something does not exist. You must prove it does. Until something is proven to exist, it is valid to believe it does not.

On the other hand, I think you’d agree that it doesn’t mean “stop looking”. It would be absurd to say that just because we haven’t found a cure for cancer, there must not be one. What in the name of science are all these doctors doing, still looking for something that clearly isn’t there, right? :p

I think Ollie was trying to speak to those who take the title of atheist and dogmatically force their beliefs on everyone else. However they have no proof of their own stance, and as you’ve pointed out, it is absurd to expect them to.

Skepticism (“there may not be a cure”) and dogmatic denial (“stop looking you idiots, there is clearly no cure!”) are very different plays.

383. @Roy Vestal

This is a repost, slightly edited for clarity, because David M. hasn’t been able to respond yet and I am curious to observe varying viewpoints:

Some would teach that the wages of sin are death, and that Jesus was sent that none should *perish* *but* have eternal life.

If without Jesus one would perish, and not have eternal life, then how would that one burn for all eternity? The dead feel no pain, so to speak.

Could it be that in sin, without the gift of Jesus, the sinner is obliterated and simply denied entrance to paradise? Some would teach this is the case.

It would make God more logical to me, that way. Here’s why. Even though I’m this wretched fallen human, I still wouldn’t want to see anyone suffer for all eternity. If someone came and mutilated my family, my sense for vengance might go so far as to desire that they be put to death as well. Maybe that far. But burn for all eternity? No, not even them.

Take that a step further. I certainly wouldn’t want to see my kid suffer for all eternity. Regardless of how many times he rebels against me. So why would God create a system where he’d have to watch his creation suffer for all eternity — as opposed to just wiping it out? Could the “lake of fire” be a disposal mechanism instead of an eternal prison?

384. http://www.auburn.edu/~allenkc/tbhell.html

Quickly, the OT word for hell simply means place of the dead (good or bad). In the NT it’s similar and eventually gets destroyed with the return of Christ.

The concept of never ending punishment was, to my cynical mind, probably introduced for one of two reasons. Sell more indulgences or motivate conversion (upping the tithes) through fear. In either case, much of the church is not doing a good job following Christ, His teachings, or those of the Bible.

In the end, the choice isn’t to turn or burn. It is to repent or perish. To be more precise it’s not even a choice but a gift. Either you’re given the faith or you’re not and nothing you can do will change it. If you’ve been invited to the party, rejoice! If you haven’t, you’ll be destroyed.

You’ll probably wonder from that…if man can do nothing to change the guest list, why did Jesus command them to spread His word? Well you seem to like parental examples. Do you ask your son to take out the trash? You could do it full well, couldn’t you? You let him built character and responsibility, as well as give him purpose.

Hope this helps out. I know it’s a view that many of the church-goers will find totally ludicrous, but to them I say, paraphrased, “Follow sigh’s advice and do some studying for yourself”.

P.S. – Wait a minute? Did he just say cynical mind AND he seems to follow Christ? How can this possibly be?! Well, the cat’s out I guess — yes it is possible to be a Christian who questions his pastor. Even questions the Bible! Like sigh said, Job did it, why can’t I? There’s a lot about the world of Christ that many do not understand, due to misrepresentation by those who claim His name. I’m not judging them, that’s His job, and heck I could be wrong! But what I am saying is please don’t believe the stereotypes. Now I get to enjoy being flamed by BOTH SIDES! 🙂

385. A big amen to hib.
I love being a Christian. I hate it when people assume I believe X.

To the Gospel of Reason may I thank you for suggesting that the bible be taught within English lit classes. It’s incredibly sad to re-read a classic novel filled with footnotes explaining what is meant by every little biblical reference.
Terri

386. @hib

I think that anyone who flames you will be doing it out of their own discomfort.

Other than that, wow / thanks / speechless.

387. Sigh, the cancer analogy above is flawed I’m afraid. We look for a cure for an illness we don’t decide that the cure is X and then try to prove it even if it repeatedly fails to work…..actually that isn’t fair because I’m sure medicine used to work just like that.

The whole argument for an afterlife always struck me as strange. I mean before I existed I wasn’t in eternal suffering or paradise. Why should it be any different when I cease to exist?

388. @hoverfrog

Sorry but I disagree with your defense. Your dismissal of my analogy relies on me comparing one particular and supposed cure for cancer to one particular and supposed god or God. Clearly that’s not what I said. I said a cure, some cure. Just because what has been presented to you so far hasn’t worked, why have you stopped looking?

389. @hoverfrog

As for the afterlife, it makes sense to me.

No one that I’ve read so far has said that a soul is pre-eternal so that doesn’t work. Even if it was, I’m sure you don’t recall your first weeks of life or your time in the womb, so who’s to say you’d remember eternity past.

As for post-eternal, hib’s view (which seems a much more logical interpretation of the texts than what the fundies spew forth) doesn’t show eternal suffering as an option.

390. I didn’t do a good job explaining myself on that post about the afterlife. I know what I meant, but re-reading it, it didn’t come out. Disregard it until I can get it better communicated — sorry 🙂

391. Attempt 2:

Your point if I understand it correctly is “if we have a beginning, we must have an end.” If we are not eternal toward the past, we must not be eternal toward the future.

But consider the term indestructible. If there comes into being an indestructible object, then from the point it is created, it will never in the future cease to be. Does that mean that it always existed in the past? I don’t think so.

I don’t know if you read hib’s view, but in that view, we *are* destructible, and in fact those remaining unreconciled to God will be destroyed, not thrown to eternal suffering. Those crying “fire and brimstone!” are mistaken.

392. I’m calling it a day but please reference “sigh” in any response or comment to me and I’ll check back tomorrow.

Not that this thread is so busy anymore as to need the search function, but just in case.

393. […] ein Special für …? Tja, für wen eigentlich? Den Kategorien nach für alle die mit rationality, bible, […]

394. I’m trying to figure out if this post is actually “for real” or if it is merely a satirical argument.

I understand that you might be concerned about people teaching “fairy tales” in school, but I think that is the least of your concerns. Public education is diminishing in its effectiveness in preparing kids to become responsible adults; and, although I cannot draw a direct correlation between that and the fact that the Bible is slowly being extracted from public education, there is a noticeable drop in most public schools in any kind of positive character development. Like it or not, teaching about God and the Bible at least provides young people with a motive to be moral people.

The teaching of Scripture has no negative consequences except for the violation of non-believers personal preferences. And, to that degree, we could argue about any number of things– I could get teachers fired who like the New York Yankees, just because I don’t like them.

Also, if people treated one another in a Christ-like manner, this whole conversation would be pointless. Who would hate someone who loved him back? Who would hate someone who served him?

In that, I would rather be a part of the solution, rather than the polarization of “sides.” So…if you would like to discuss your questions further, I am more than willing to continue to converse in a respectful manner.

As far as “refuting” your pi argument goes…there is sufficient evidence in other people’s responses for you to recalibrate your judgments about that particular argument. I think, deep down, you know that that particular argument was going to get a rise but not yield any results. Congratulations, you’ve gotten people to check out your post and gotten some interesting dialogue, but you are really banking on exact measurements from a society that dealt with measurements in approximations. Pi is still safe. Also, why on earth would God have to include the length of pi in the Bible? It’s not like He also gives advice about other “fundamental” things: don’t eat yellow show, don’t pet skunks, and back massages don’t always mean that your wife with want to have sex with you. The exclusion or omission of these details (along with the precise definition of pi) don’t diminish God’s omnipotence.

395. […] sin embargo la biblia y dios nos da otra mirada acerca del numero, y esto es lo que propone gospelofreason, un blog didicado a la biblia, sin […]

396. […] God Said Pi = 3; Stand By Your Beliefs Dammit « Gospel of Reason […]

397. strewth

398. Supermannino said “The teaching of Scripture has no negative consequences except for the violation of non-believers personal preferences.” You mean other than creating phobias of Hell in children, encouraging homophobic bigotry, and encouraging credulousness?

You also said “Like it or not, teaching about God and the Bible at least provides young people with a motive to be moral people.” So does teaching secular humanism, and it does not carry with it any dogmatic garbage.

399. Sigh, your cancer analogy makes no sense. There is evidence that cancer can be stopped, and in some cases cured. The same goes for most diseases and disorders. There is not that same evidence to support the existence of any deity. Evidence is what matters. In fact, I agree with you strongly that we should never “stop looking” when it comes to understanding the universe. The problem with religion is that it encourages just that. Religion claims to already have those answers, so why bother looking?

400. Sigh, you said “Your actual point was whether the Bible promotes violence against homosexuals, namely that it does. The more complete answer is that, for the nation of ancient Israel, it does, but for today’s society it most certainly does not.” The fact that the Abrahamic god did so in his mythologies is ample reason to rule him out as a role model for morality.

401. how did you expect them to know the exact number for pi. They didn’t have calculators, why would God give them a never ending sequence of numbers?

402. This has GOT to be a sick and twisted joke.

403. to much talking i think im ginna faint pant pant pant

404. […] Bible on Pi Filed under: pedantry, pointlessness — Brian @ 7:36 pm I found this post today in the WordPress Dashboard, making what at first almost appears to be a Good Argument that […]

405. Did the ancients have decimals? If not, why would they use them. I think 3 is pretty damned good estimation for pi.

I think Pheonician’s post was brilliant.

But, at the end of the day, the original essay was great! I like the stickers! And it’s true, crewationists are wee bit off the head and should never be in charge of educating ANYONE-including their own kids.

406. # 1 Kings 7:2 I.e. One cubit equals approx 18 in.

407. amazing!!! thanks for sharing, are we brothers by any chance?

408. What a pathetic post of self indulgent bullshit.

409. Malachius Invictus, excellent job in taking some verses completely out of their context to strengthen you argument. I salute you. *clap clap clap*

———–

“And ye shall eat the flesh of your sons, and the flesh of your daughters shall ye eat.” (Leviticus 26:29)

This historically happened when the Assyrians, Babylonians, and Romans destroyed Jerusalem and refugeed the Jews.

“…their infants shall be dashed in pieces, and their women with child shall be ripped up.” (Hosea 13:16)

IN CONTEXT:
16 The people of Samaria must bear their guilt,
because they have rebelled against their God.
They will fall by the sword;
their little ones will be dashed to the ground,
their pregnant women ripped open.”

It is a good and commendable tactic not to show the verses in context, because if you did readers would realize that these are not God’s commands to the people, but rather a statement of what will happen if the people keep giving the finger to God. God will give the finger back at them, and God’s finger just happens to be much, much bigger.

———–

“If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.” (Leviticus 20:13)

56 to 62 million “unnatural deaths” for the USSR overall, with 34 to 49 million under Stalin. (http://users.erols.com/mwhite28/warstat1.htm#Stalin on the crowning achievements of atheism)

“Now therefore kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman that hath known man by lying with him. But all the women children, that have not known a man by lying with him, keep alive for yourselves.” (Numbers 31:17-18)

“According to the American Medical Association, this procedure has four main elements. First, the cervix is dilated. Second, the fetus is positioned for a footling breech. Third, the fetus is extracted except for the head. Fourth, BRAIN OF THE FETUS IS EVACUATED so that a DEAD but otherwise intact fetus is delivered via the vagina.” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Partial_birth_abortion#Intact_D.26X_surgery on partial birth abortion)

Let’s hear it for the moral superiority of atheistic liberal humanism! When there is no God existing to tell us what to do, we can be our own gods and do whatever we think is best! Yay!

410. To sigh and hib, here is a much more public-friendly definition and inetrpretation of hell. You really do need to do more studying on a topic before you make an ass of u and me (ASS U ME).

http://scottthong.wordpress.com/2006/11/07/hell-if-i-know/

Summarized: Fire and burning is often used as a metaphor for judgement in the Bible. Hell may not literally be a place of real fire.

But it will be a place of suffering and torment – if God and His heaven really are real and full of goodness and all sorts of nice and happy things, it would be torment not to be with Him!

So why not be with Him? Because, having rejected God’s laws (such as no homosexual acts, free sex, animal kinky sex etc.) for a lifetime and absolutely hating the idea of a Creator you are morally responsible to… You would likely hate to spend an eternity with that snobbish, self-righteous fellow… Who doesn’t exist, btw!

For an atheist, spending eternity in the presence of God would be worse than eternal barbequeing of his tender regions. Agreed?

411. The Bible is an ancient scripture, that spouted a lot of believers that stood by the fact that we have the follow all the words in it.
However, isn’t it true that the Quo’ran is also an ancient scripture? Then why don’t we follow all of the words in it also?
Granted, Christianity/Catholicism is larger than Islam, so the Bible dominates the Quo’ran, because the Catholic church beat the Islamic doctrine in the crusades.
What I’m pointing out is this: if only the Muslims won the crusades and dominated the world, then we’d all think the Bible is all false and we’ll praise the Quo’ran to high heavens.
Unlike today, when we believe the Quo’ran’s declarations of jihad and they’re abuse of women to be full of shit.

412. […] God Said Pi = 3; Stand By Your Beliefs Dammit […]

413. […] Leidsin siit: God Said Pi = 3; Stand By Your Beliefs Dammit. […]

414. Couple of points:
1:We know that the Egyptians uses standardized cubits–taken from either the High Priest or Chief Engineer of a project, apparently. This is such a good idea that I’m sure everyone did it.

2:That’s a /nasty/ shape to make–not the circle, that part’s easy, just tie a rope to a stake, measure off 10 cubits, hold everything at right angles, walk the circle. But the basin, which hold a /lot/ of water–remember, by definition, a cubic meter of water ways about a metric ton (should be exact, but the guys in charge futzed it up a bit….)–that’s a /huge/ weight those bulls have to support, and much of it is cantalevered, suspended without direct support. That he succeeded sais that ol’ Hiram was pretty good at his job, he should have been able to measure the distance at 31 cubits and one or two spans, the level of precision seen in other Biblical references–See the description of Goliath, for instance.

3:I have been seriously told that, /specifically/ the Word of God is inerrant and infallible, in the language that God wrote it in–otherwise known as the Authorized version, or The King James–even though you can point to several (apparently deliberate) mistranslations. For instance, the Hebrew commandment is, as best my poor brain can work it, “Thou shalt not murder”–with the word having the older English meaning of committing any unapproved killing of a human. If you aren’t one of these people, you aren’t the target of this barb! If you are–you can’t cherry-pick. My position is that anything even slightly touched by man is befouled, and errant.

4:The only Book of the Book written in Aramaic is Jeramiah, which doesn’t have anything to do with this discussion; /Hebrew/ is the language in question.

5:Virtually every Christian church I know of to the contrary, the epistles generally, and those of Paul in particular, aren’t Gospel. Excepting when one relates a message from the One, I give them no standing as Revelation. (Interestingly, Revelation is in that minority group.) Note that generally, they make no claim to such…

6:On a sde note, Onan’s sin wasn’t that he /spilt his seed/, per se, but that he did it to avoid getting his late older bro’s wife preggers, with the kid being credited to onii-chan. BTW, most of the other day-to-day rules make sense, if you’re a nomadic people trying to survive in the Negev….

pgf
____

Yeah, I knowe Ai kan’t spel, or kount

415. geekcritic – Partly due to the many decades of ‘higher criticism’ of the Bible, centuries of general criticisms and accusations, and more recent stuff like The Da Vinci Code, the Bible has been nonstop researched, attacked and defended.

From all of this research, the Biblical texts are considered at least accurate stretching back close to the original texts. Historical events described in the Bible have also been verified, such as Solomon’s collonade (John 8) and the walls of old Jericho having fallen flat enough to walk on.

Jesus’ existence is recorded by several nonChristian historians. Tacitus seems to me particularly poignant.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Historicity_of_Jesus#Greco-Roman_sources

On the other hand, anyone found trying to debate the historicity, accuracy and date of writing of Muslim holy texts is usually immediately fatwa’d for death.

Secular scholars have nonetheless decided that the Hadith, at least, was compiled in written form only around 100 years or more after Muhammad’s death. This is as opposed to the Gospels’ gap of perhaps only a few years (see links below), and is important because the longer the time span between the event and its recording, the more legendary material tends to be included.

You can see this in that the earlier Quran has very little in the way of strange reports (Iskandar Zulkarnain chasing the Sun to the pool of water where it submerges at sunset is one example); whereas the later Hadith is chock full of things like Suleiman literally conversing with ants, Adam having been 80 feet tall and Muhammad saying that a couple’s baby will look like whoever orgasmed first.

Note that this is just my view of it; Muslim apologists have given defenses and explanations, such as Adam being 80 feet tall only in the Garden of Eden.

On the Crusades, technically the Church LOST them… The Holy Land came under Muslim control until the British and the Israelis took over again.

You might instead rather quote the Muslim Umayyad conquests of Spain and parts of France. If the Reconquista had failed, Columbus probably wouldn’t have sailed west to look for ‘India’, and America would be under the Native American rule today.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reconquista

Anyway, it’s only us infidels who think that jihad sucks. After all, WE are the nonbelievers who will be slayed. I think it’s a pretty sweet deal for whoever DOES the slaying, conquering and pillaging.

The following is a list of my posts partly describing the textual accuracy of the Old and New Testaments.

The modern book of Isaiah has almost 100% exactly the same contents as the copy found in the Dead Sea Scrolls, which is dated as far back as 100-300 BC (by secular researchers):

A brief logical argument counting backward from the book of Acts to determine when the Gospels were written:
http://scottthong.wordpress.com/2006/11/24/when-were-the-gospels-written-internal-evidence-from-acts/

Refutations of the (Muslim) claim that the Bible was changed (to remove all references to Muhammad from it):
http://scottthong.wordpress.com/2006/11/25/was-the-bible-changed-reasons-why-it-could-not-have-been/

A description of Jesus’ role appearing (amazingly) in the OT Hebrew names from Adam to Noah:

More ‘coincidence’ between Jesus’ life and Old Testament passages (incidentally from the book of Isaiah, which as I mentioned is dated back way before Jesus’ lifetime):
http://scottthong.wordpress.com/2006/12/14/christ-as-god-in-the-old-testament/

Quite cool this one… The Old Testament Israelites unwittingly display a cross:
http://scottthong.wordpress.com/2006/11/10/a-cross-to-the-promised-land/

416. PS. Also… Due to the huge number of OT and N documents – whether medieval, ancient or very ancient – there is ample material to do cross-checking with.

That is why versions of the Bible like the New International Version (NIV) has footnotes saying things like: ‘The earliest and most reliable manuscripts and other ancient witnesses do not have John 7:53-8:11.’

The exitence of variants is not denied; rather, the authenticity of each is carefully weighed, and the differences taken into account. All together, this allows for more accurate and faithful-to-the-original modern compilations of the Bible to be made.

Whereas, according to the Hadith itself, Caliph Uthman destroyed all the variants of the Quran that he did not deem to include in his official version.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Origin_and_development_of_the_Qur%27an#First_standardization

Therefore, no cross-checking for accuracy or typographical/recording errors can be made for the Quran.

And the reference for the baby looking like whoever comes first – Hadith Bukhari, Volume 6, Book 60, Number 7. http://www.usc.edu/dept/MSA/fundamentals/hadithsunnah/bukhari/060.sbt.html#006.060.007

417. Oh, Don’t forget, the mustard seeds are the smallest seeds ever (according to biologist Jesus) !

418. Smallest of all seeds and biggest of all trees within the socio-cultural context of the Jews back then… Would Jesus have made much sense if He talked about epiphytic orchid seeds and giant redwood sequoias?

Notice that there are no guidelines for whether eating armadillos is kosher, since it would be pointless as no ancient Jew would ever come across one. Nor is rice even mentioned in the Bible, not really thriving without constant rainfall as it were. The Jews grew wheat instead.

Jesus also said that He would draw all men to Him… But from your response, that obviously doesn’t literally mean 100% of adult male humans and 0% of females and immatures.

So the Biblical critics are suddenly Biblical literalists now?

419. […] You can read his blog here: Gospel of Reason […]

420. I have heard something about the Persian bible? Written long before AD and containing stories such as king solomon, midas etc. Any idea where I can find a copy of that? I searched high and low, but in the wrong places.

Now, this whole discussion above is interesting, but I think many people are completely missing the point.

We should by now all know that the bible isnt 100% accurate and that is just fine. It doesn’t have to be perfect.

However, we should ask ourselves ‘who are we to dictate others how to live their lives?’

Who are we to force our believes of wrong and right upon others? Who are we to judge?

We aren’t GOD!!

Thus why should the bible be taught in schools as the truth and the only truth? That equals forcing a religion upon other, telling them how to live their lives. Telling us what is wrong and right.

Our laws are telling us how to behave to protect us from harm, I can accept that. Our laws are funny enough based on the 11 commandments of Christianity which in turn are based on the simple common sense of ‘living as a good person’.

But the problem with the bible is simple. The bible itself may not really dictate anything bad, it is the people that interpret the bible that make up silly rules.

I am curious (as I don’t know) but is there anywhere in the bible that literally says: ‘homosexuality is forbidden and a sin?’ / ‘Abortion is a sin’ / ‘having sex before marriage is a sin’. Or do when interpret these things from what we read?

Did Jesus himself ever said such things?
Or even worse, did Jesus ever say: Go burn millions of people if you think they are witches?
Did he ever say: Go and kill in the name of my God?
Leaving the question beside, the Roman Catholic church has a great history of killing in the name of god and sin.

Closing this:
I believe the bible to be a great book with many great lessons we should learn from.
I also believe that many people try to read more into this book then Jesus ever intended to teach us.
Lastly I believe that there is a great group of people that use the bible as a way to power by interpreting it in a way it was never meant to. These last people are in my opinion the greatest sinners.

Live by the word of Jesus, no doubt he existed and was a great and wise man. Don’t blindly follow the herd! He would have never wanted you to!

421. Pi != 3

to put it another way

3 != pi.

but nice post

422. Sigh, your original post “It would be absurd to say that just because we haven’t found a cure for cancer, there must not be one. What in the name of science are all these doctors doing, still looking for something that clearly isn’t there, right? ” is flawed because you have evidence of a disease in cancer and we have cured other diseases so we know that it is possible to cure a disease and it should be possible to find a cure for cancer. If we had found that Thor, for instance, existed then it would be plausible to assume that Yahweh also existed and to continue to look for him.

423. When I say nice, I mean funny.

Is is supposed to be serious? or funny?
I can’t figure that out.

It certainly is funny.

424. […] Strong Are Your Beliefs! There is a blog out there which is rewriting fundamental mathematics. All in the interests of Biblical fundamentalism […]

425. Scott Thong, you said “IN CONTEXT:
16 The people of Samaria must bear their guilt,
because they have rebelled against their God.
They will fall by the sword;
their little ones will be dashed to the ground,
their pregnant women ripped open.

It is a good and commendable tactic not to show the verses in context, because if you did readers would realize that these are not God’s commands to the people, but rather a statement of what will happen if the people keep giving the finger to God. God will give the finger back at them, and God’s finger just happens to be much, much bigger.”

Kindly explain how context makes it okay to murder innocent children and rip open pregnant women’s bellies. According to your comment, if people “give the finger to God,” he will cause horrific things to happen to them (just like a tyrannical dictator). He is a loving god, though, right? You people are so wrapped up in your delusion that you truly cannot see how utterly reprehensible this is.

426. The bible is wrong, this is obvious from the fact it claims to be the word of God but is written by man. Man will inevitable put a certain degree of interpretation and a number of errors within the book.

Quote
Monkey – June 13th, 2007 at 1:41 pm
Just why would you expect the bible to say 31.4 cubits? It’s an approximation. If anything it proves at least one thing: the writer had some mathematical knowledge that goes beyond the time period.

Its an approximation … So from that I deduce God dose not know the size of his own planet OR the bible is wrong because as you stated the writer (who isn’t God, other wise it would be mathematically right) wrote the bible and thus it is not the complete word of God.

Math is THE ONLY pure subject which is the fundamental tool to everything in the universe. If the bible cant get Pi (math) right when it is suppose to contain the exact word God, the creator of the universe then it is clearly wrong, IMO.

427. @Malachias and hoverfrog

You’re still missing it. I’m not saying the search for a cure is analogous to finding the God of the Bible. You’re merging two arguments (“God of the Bible?” and “Any God?”) into one.

I’ll accept that you believe the God of the Bible fails. I’ll accept that there is no evidence for him, and in fact, reason to believe the opposite if he wants to kill homosexuals.

But I can’t accept that if *that* God doesn’t work, *no God* could. What teachers did you have that taught you “if one disease can be cured, they all can”? We hope and search that things will be the same for cancer, but surely you can’t believe that it’s automatically true that there *is* a cure for everything.

As I’m not a biologist but rather a computer scientist, let me know if I missed the latest report. Was something found where all diseases, sickness, etc., have a common property called “Cureable” and you just have to pick the right lock? I know that question sounds sarcastic but I don’t intend it to be — please correct me if I’m missing something and perhaps we can form another analogy. Or we can just accept that I’m sure you see the point I’m trying to make with the analogy, even if my medical background failed me.

So moving on, you say that since we have seen *a* cure work, there’s reason to hope, reason to assume, reason to try for another. That much is logical. What we must also realize is that there had to be a first time, and I wonder if people said “We’ve never been able to heal that or anything like it before. Why do you keep trying!?” I think it would be a grave error to assume the impossibility of any success based on the prior failure of specific trials.

As for second argument, “God of the Bible?”, I am currently at a point that I believe the God of the Bible *as promoted by today’s vocal population* fails. However, once we realize that our understandings are incorrect based on x number of years of faulty tradition, it becomes necessary from an investigative standpoint to launch a complete and objective review. It’s the same as if a detail of an experiment was found to have gone awry: if the inputs change then so might the results. Even if there’s only a 1% chance that the result will be different, it has to be tested.

@Scott Thong

If you read *all* my posts you’d see that I’m on neither side of this argument and trying to get true understandings of others’ views. I realized that I have not studied either “side” myself, but rather have only observed what others report about their beliefs, and taken those reports as, pardon the term, gospel. That said, I am looking for answers rather than trying to prove / regurgitate ones that I already have. I appreciate your input and will be reading it thoroughly later today.

428. The Bible is basically a love letter to you from God. Pick at the letter if you’d like but still the basic point if God loves you. So my response is to say to God, Gee thanks and then commence listening to the rest of what He has to say to me. As a result my whole life has changed. That is why I believe in a literal application. Which for someone who has not tried it is as difficult to understand as it is for anyone who has not and will taste a strawberry to understand how wonderful that fruit tastes.
I’d recommend you read some C.S. Lewis. He was an atheist and writes eloquently on the scriptures.

429. @Malachias

Your response to Scott Thong and the context thing…I am inclined to believe you still didn’t read carefully. The passage basically says that if they give God the finger, as Scott so delicately put it (good job Scott), their nation will be destroyed. It doesn’t say God will destroy it. It doesn’t have God telling anyone else to destroy it. It just says “You don’t want me? Fine, don’t have me, and see what happens without my protection.”

At least that’s what I get from the passage when read in the context of 13:9 above
13:9 O Israel, thou hast destroyed thyself; but in me is thine help.

430. Hey Lord! What’s a “cubit”? — Bill Cosby. He made me laugh, too.

431. @Scott Thong

Did you read hib’s link? Yours is fine, don’t think I’m disrespecting you, but the article hib posted went along the same lines while diving deeper into the actual historical and scriptural implications. For example, you allude to Gehenna but the article hib posted actually explains it and how it relates.

It also goes a step further than your editorial and provides scripture stating that death will be thrown into destruction. The place apart from God, which you say is hell, seems to be the Sheol of the OT, a gloomy place of (all) dead. After which death will be destroyed and the faithful brought to God at the very end.

432. Sigh, “What teachers did you have that taught you “if one disease can be cured, they all can”? ” None that I recall but I did have teachers that helped me to realise that the limits of human achievement are those that we place on ourselves. Cancer may not be curable, I don’t know if it is. I suspect that a disease that can go into remission and that we combat with drugs can also be cured.

I’m saying that the same logic doesn’t apply to divinity. You don’t have little gods that can be seen or who’s effects are recordable. Why is there the likelyhood of a big god then? It just defies logic. However, I’ll run with it for a moment. Let’s give the existence of God a small probability and go and look for him/her/it. What are the properties of God that we can look for? What effect does God has on the universe?

Various people have described God as omnipotent and omniscient. Excellent, if He’s everywhere then he should be fairly easy to spot. Still can’t see Him though.

If you are looking for absolute proof of God’s existence or non-existence then you won’t find it. God is no more impossible than it is for me to spontaneously transform into a large strawberry (forgive me but I’m hungry). It is a possibility, you must admit. Just not very likely.

433. There’s a logical joke on the omnipotent and omniscient properties of God that I must share (again).
Can God get lost?
If God is omnipotent then he can do anything so must be able to get lost.
If God is omniscient then he knows everything and therefore cannot get lost.

434. @Sigh
(post was …sigh – June 14th, 2007 at 10:13 pm)
The Old Testament was originally in Hebrew, and most of the New Testament is in Greek. The scripture you are referring to is found in the Epistle to the Romans, Chapter 6, verse 23 “The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Simply put, death is used here as a term for ” eternal seperation from God”, and it’s contrary “life” is used to describe “in the eternal presence of God”. The first book of the law, Genesis, teaches us that we were made to live (again “be in the eternal presence”) of God as His children.

I think about it this way. First I have 3 children and I love them dearly. I have friends that do not believe what I believe about God. I have collegues at work and neighbors that believe that there is no God. But we all love our children, doing anything we can to teach them what is right and wrong. We all do what we can to protect our children. This is a very tiny example of what the word “love” means, simply to make others more important than yourself.

This is what God did. Sin is simply rebelling against God and His rules. If we break one rule (sin), we have to leave the very presense of God. As you have pointed out, the wages of sin is death, first the dying of our physical bodies, and second an external separation from God in Spirit. So He sent Jesus Christ to pay the debt owed by sin. Because Jesus Christ was sinless (never sinned), and died in my place, my debt was paid for. We still have to suffer the consiquences of sin (the physical death) but we no longer have to be seperated from God eternally. I have to do 3 things in order to be put back into a right state with God (righteousness as it’s called in the Bible):
A – Admit that I have sinned. Simply admit I’ve rebelled and broken God’s rules
B – Believe, not just know, but believe that Jesus Christ is who He said He was and that he died in my place to pay for my sin
C – Confess (say out loud) that Jesus Christ is my Lord and Savior.

I’ve done this, so I know in my heart that I will be with Him when I die. This doesn’t mean I’m perfect. My family and friends will say that. It just means I’m forgiven for my sin.

This is what I am hoping anyone reading this will understand. They don’t have to be perfect to be forgiven.

As far as the “lake of fire”, God states in the book of Revelation, that at the end of time (not the end of the Earth but at the end of time), All will be judged, including those that have died. If someone has rejected God and His Son Jesus Christ, then they will suffer the “spiritual death” (the eternal seperation I mentioned earlier) and be thrown in to the lake of fire to be eternally punished for their disobedience along with Satan (or the Devil which ever name you want to use) and his minions.
Ref: http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Revelation%2020;&version=31;

I would suggest reading Romans sometime. It answers a lot of the questions I’ve seen posted here re: why God did what He did.
http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Romans%20;&version=31;

I would hope anyone with questions on why I believe what I do, would read this. It will help you understand.

435. @hoverfrog

Good, I think we are done then. All I am trying to say is that it’s still possible.

I do however have to say that omniscience and omnipotence are, well, not a very good argument. I get the joke, but clearly omnipotent means “has the power to do anything [that he/she/it chooses to do]”. From what I’ve read so far, the Bible would teach that God will choose to “forget” one’s sins. I don’t think it means that he know longer knows about them, violating omniscience. I think it means that, similar to how we “forgive and forget” amongst ourselves, the knowledge and pain of the offense remains, but it is treated as forgotten and no longer held against the offender.

Similarly, if your joke was an actual question, I’d say that from my readings so far, he could choose to forget where he was and how to get back. In other words, he can choose not to exercise his omni* attributes. For example, Jesus chose not to escape the desert or the cross, for the means of achieving a purpose.

436. […] same time most thoughtful entry in the Creationism and Biblical Infallibility EVER! Read more at Gospel of Reason. Oh, and do be so kind as to read his disclaimer as well before accusing me of part-taking in bible […]

437. @hoverfrog

On second thought, we’re not actually done, I just don’t think we can go further. I wouldn’t search for ways to turn you into a strawberry because I don’t see how that would make anything any better. But if there was a God or gods, and we could him/her/it/them, whatever, I think it would bring incredible benefit.

I guess it depends on your level of doubt weighed against the perceived benefit.

438. ^could know

439. @Roy Vestal

Thank you for your response, I appreciate you taking the time to explain your view.

440. @Roy Vestal

It says the devil, beast, and false prophet are thrown into a lake of burning sulfur to be tormented day and night.

It says those not found in the book of life are thrown into a lake of fire, which is the second death. No mention of being tormented day and night.

Am I over analyzing, or is there a subtle difference here? Is there a reason that these are assumed to be the same thing?

441. Sorry for posting 5 times but sometimes these things get over intellectual and some might say “pfft, burning sulfur IS FIRE!” I’m not saying you would, but since some would, I feel the need to clarify.

I know burning sulfur could produce a fire, but what I’m asking is why were different names / descriptions used. It would be logical, given the purpose of these texts, to be as clear and possible and leave no room for confusion. Ifthey were supposed to be the same thing, they should have used the same naming. Do the original untranslated texts use the same names?

442. two thousand baths is alot

443. Sigh, what benefits would there be in “knowing God”? Seriously. As opposed to living a life free from religion.

444. It is not necessary to abide by the rules laid out in any book. You can learn from experience that reciprocity is the best social rule.

The problem is we are in a world of masochists practicing reciprocity.

Learn to love yourselves and stop splitting hairs in religious texts.

445. @hoverfrog

Are you serious?

Besides, I didn’t say anything about following some set of religious rules. I said benefit from the ability to know God or gods, or at least, if not personally know them, know their nature and intentions.

You see “religion” and, validly, run far far away. So do I. That’s not what I’m after here.

446. Very serious Sigh. I don’t believe in Gods so the benefits are pretty alien to me. I’ve had religious friends tell me that their belief is wonderful and all encompassing which I don’t understand at all. I’d quite like someone to explain it to me.

I suppose it’s a feeling of validation that their illogical views are somehow supported. The illogic would grate at me and spoil and rapturous feelings but I suppose the human brain is perfectly capable of deluding itself.

If I claimed these feelings from a sincere belief in the power of the Flying Spaghetti Monster I’d rightly be viewed as a lunatic. Is religion then merely mass mental illness? A delusion taught to each generation? I think so but I’m not everyone so I wondered if someone could point out the benefits of faith. I mean the personal benefits not the societal or political ones. I am well aware of the power of religion to unite people to a common cause.

447. Scott Thong, you attempt to excuse reprehensible passages in the Christian Bible, and to malign “atheistic liberal humanism” by bringing up Stalin and an extremely rare abortion procedure.

Humanism is a broad category of ethical philosophies that affirm the dignity and worth of all people, based on the ability to determine right and wrong by appeal to universal human qualities—particularly rationality. Stalin was in no way a humanist. Stalinism, in fact, bears striking resemblances to religion. It was a personality cult, with a larger-than-life, infallible Stalin as the object of worship.

The humanist perspective on abortion is that it should be minimized. The most sensible and effective way to accomplish this is to increase birth control access and education. However, the same theists promoting the anti-choice “pro life” movement also work to restrict birth control access and education, which in turn leads to more abortions. This is nonsensical and utterly illogical.

You then said “Let’s hear it for the moral superiority of atheistic liberal humanism!”

In fact, humanism is morally superior in every way to revealed morality, and Christian doctrine in particular. There are overlaps, of course, because there are good, sensible, moral things that are part of Christian doctrine. However, no one need believe in mythological nonsense in order to follow these morals.

You then said “When there is no God existing to tell us what to do, we can be our own gods and do whatever we think is best! Yay!”

There is no god telling people what to do, and we should, as human beings, work out what we think is best. By using rationality and ethics to promote a balance between personal liberty and social responsibility, we can achieve great things.

448. @hoverfrog

I see your point, that it is alien to you how belief in an illogical construct can bring joy.

My point remains: what if there is actually one who does not defy logic. Explanations you’ve been exposed to so far do defy that logic, and therefore cannot bring you joy or benefit. The same is true for me, 2 + 2 MUST equal 4, every time, or I lose sleep over it.

But I think that as long as I can find evidence that the exposition is corrupt (i.e., that those doing the explaining haven’t even done a proper study of their own texts), it merits further investigation. Assuming that someone had never heard teachings of evolution: They shouldn’t dismiss the concept if their first lecture on it came from a someone who, not even understanding it himself, gave an illogical representation. They should go find out what the teachings truly are.

“If Jack and Jill get freaky on Saturday night, kill them” is obviously a major cause for pause. However, until I do a complete study of what that actually means in the context of the original text, culture, history, and all other factors, I can’t unilaterally dismiss it. As an admittedly crazy example, what if by having sex with a camel back then, you contracted a terrible and contagious disease. It was of such a nature that if you were not put to death, the entire camp would surely be eliminated by plague. In that case, the command is actually for the greater good: The offender is going to die anyway, and now the rest are spared. Again, an admittedly crazy example, but until I complete the study it’s the only one I’ve got, right? Maybe there is a true and valid reason, which is just not known to us because no one has taken the time to look. If no such reason is found to make the command valid for its time and cultural context, then we can move on.

As for the personal benefits of faith, first let me point out again that this would be different than the benefits of actually discovering God(s). However it is clear that faith can have a tremendous personal benefit for the truly faithful. We tell athletes “mind of matter”, and the faithful tell themselves the same thing. The power of a positive attitude has been documented even in science. Not “go to the tent, have someone put his hand on your head, faith heals!”, or anything as dramatic as that, but certainly one’s attitude can truly shape their life. The following link shows the life changing effect of an attitude shift. While it is not necessarily driven by faith, the cause of the attitude shift is irrelevant when trying to investigate the effects of an attitude shift.

http://www.getrichslowly.org/blog/2007/06/13/the-power-of-yes-a-simple-way-to-get-more-out-of-life/

449. @Malachias

I agree that Scott made a really bad call, but I do hold to my prior post about Hosea 13:9 effecting the reading of Hosea 13:16, and I think it proves that until we stop looking at chunks that prove our case, ignoring the greater whole, we are no better than they.

450. On my link to the power of yes, it could be considered a conscious change of behavioral reaction rather than a change in attitude. I encourage you to research psychological studies that are more closely tied to attitude and attitude alone, but so far I have found no good link for you that isn’t a 24-page preview of a 80 page dissertation.

451. Sigh, you said “Your response to Scott Thong and the context thing…I am inclined to believe you still didn’t read carefully.” Actually, I have. I have read the entire chapter, in fact. You claim “It doesn’t say God will destroy it.” Yes, it does. Read 13:15, where “the wind of the LORD shall come up from the wilderness…” etc.

452. […] Quelques plaisanteries innocentes sur Gospel of Reason. […]

453. I’ve come to the conclusion that the Bible must be investigated in two distinct ways. First, for internal logic and consistency. Second, for external logic and consistency viewed against seemingly contradictory arguments (i.e., creation vs. evolution). The following is a search for internal consistency in regard to a common question, “How could a loving God command a death sentence?” It is no way should be taken as a view endorsed by anyone, nor even as something I’ve fully ringed out even in my own mind. It just kind of came to me in the shower. I’m open to thoughts from anyone.

It is said that we are created by God, and since this is an internal study we must accept that. We’ll deal with the external arguments that this can’t possibly be some other time, as again I haven’t studied nearly enough for either side of that particular argument.

Now, just as you have full rights to destroy pottery crafted by your own hand, so any creator has a right to terminate his creation. The human mind will object just as the pottery, if it had a voice, would object, stemming from the will to live. However, this does not negate the right.

It follows that God has the right to pass a death sentence on whoever He might choose, for looking at Him sideways if He so chose. Or in the pottery analogy, because you realized you just don’t like how the brim turned out.

However His patience and mercy outlasts his wrath in many cases, and the rules he gave never reached a point so ridiculous as walking backwards, arms crossed, with one foot always off the ground — we could have been given such instruction if he really wanted to have a laugh. Again this is a study toward internal consistency and so, “Well that’s just because man would never give himself such a rule” doesn’t apply (side note: what man would give himself such a rule as to prevent sleeping with his neighbor’s wife, just out of thin air? probably only a homosexual, but…hmm, then why? hmmmm. tongue in cheek but interesting)

So why do any of the rules exist? Several reasons, including the allowance for free will, whereby without any rules, we would have no choices. God, it seems, does not, as you might expect from watching his self-proclaimed followers, want mindless drones.

As to the death sentence for homosexuals, this isn’t even accurate. It’s a death sentence for anyone lying with another man, as with a woman, inside the bounds of the nation of Israel. You could go perform those acts elsewhere and suffer no consequence. If that was your chosen course of action, please just leave town. Ample allowance was given for homosexual activity without being put to death. Don’t pee on the sidewalk, don’t walk on my lawn, and take that stuff elsewhere.

But why forbid bestiality, homosexuality, and the cursing of one’s parents, among other things? Forbidding murder, stealing, etc. make sense — heck, even forbidding beastiality makes sense to me — but homosexuality? Teen angst?

Because God wanted His nation to be holy which means nothing more than set apart. Different. For others to look on them and notice they had something else, good or bad, and start discussion on what it was. He chose to protect that distinction and took it very seriously, to the point of the death sentence for those who violated the pact. Just as if someone broke into your home and attempted to destroy all you loved and had worked for.

Again, just some thoughts which I hope will spark more intelligent and respectful discussion. Thanks to everyone for the fun so far.

454. @Malachias

It does say the wind is from “the LORD”, and that it will cause the springs and wells to dry up. Full stop end of sentence. Then talk about plundering, killing, and destruction which is surely NOT being done by that wind. Again please read not fully, but carefully.

455. ^now you know where you get my name bc I’m sighing at another typo:

456. I have to say this but it’s hard to do without sounding like a jerk. Please take from it my meaning, and leave behind the tone.

For all the talk about reading comprehension, and the superior intellect of the atheist, etc., etc., I’m embarrassed that I had to point that out to you.

457. @hoverfrog

Another thing that came to me in regard to faith and the positive personal benefits thereof:

Two terminally ill patients. One believes a cure will be found, one doesn’t. I believe (correct me if I’m wrong as I don’t have time to verify right now, got to get to work) studies will show that the one who does believe will last longer as well as do better during that extended time.

Here the faith is in science, leading to hope for a cure, leading to an enduring will to hold out and live.

So whatever your faith is in, it doesn’t matter. To say “Science is good enough to find a cure for *me* in *my* lifetime” is a claim of faith. There is no evidence that science is *that* good, even if we assume that a cure will come “someday”.

Plenty of the terminally ill holding onto their faith in science still die without a cure. The faith still brought them positive results, despite the fact that they were proven wrong.

Interestingly, the progression from faith->hope->perseverance appears in the Bible. Not that it means anything for it to appear there, as I’m sure the phenomenon was observed among various people in ancient times just as well as it can be with the terminally ill today.

458. Sigh, you should be embarrassed for yourself, not me. It is clear from a reading of that passage that these guys pissed off Yahweh, and therefore he is putting the smack down on them. Hosea 13:15-16 is a continuous passage:

15 Though he be fruitful among his brethren, an east wind shall come, the wind of the LORD shall come up from the wilderness, and his spring shall become dry, and his fountain shall be dried up: he shall spoil the treasure of all pleasant vessels.
16 Samaria shall become desolate; for she hath rebelled against her God: they shall fall by the sword: their infants shall be dashed in pieces, and their women with child shall be ripped up.

It does not say “I am going to hit you with this wind, and then leave you to your own devices.” It is clearly a continuation of the punishment the tantrum-throwing tyrant deity is handing down over the fact that these people turned their back on him.

Also, is it morally right for the Abrahamic god to cause the children of this nation to die of painful dehydration because their parents choose not to worship him?

459. A question for Christians: if your god is omnipotent, why can’t he affect chariots of iron?

Judges 1:19 And the LORD was with Judah; and he drove out the inhabitants of the mountain; but could not drive out the inhabitants of the valley, because they had chariots of iron.

460. Great pot stirrer! If nothing else, you’ve made people think. I can only find two “holes” in your arguments:

1. If it is crazy to say that Pi equals 3, would it be equally crazy to say it equals 3.1 or 3.14 or 3.141? Where do you draw the line?

2. Cubits weren’t very accurate measures. It is hard to argue anything based upon measurements that “sloppy”.

But good post. I look forward to reading more of your work.

461. @Malachias

Are you saying that the WIND is tearing women open? Or are you saying that magic laser beams are? Because to me, it sounds like something a conqueror’s sword would do (and historically did) if a country was left without proper defenses.

The only way to read it the way you are reading it is to have a preconceived notion that God is throwing a tantrum. From any other view, you get “God sends wind which dries the wells and springs. The town is plundered by something or someone.” All it says in regard to God’s actions “I dont have your back, and I’m taking your water”. If someone tells you that they don’t want your help, then why force it on them?

462. Hmm…Pi=3. Thought provoking.

463. @Malachias

Umm, because it wasn’t God driving them out, it was Judah, and just because God is with you doesn’t mean you get super powers? Again omnipotence doesn’t imply that you will always exercise it, and it certainly doesn’t imply that you will grant it to your followers.

464. Sigh, you said “Now, just as you have full rights to destroy pottery crafted by your own hand, so any creator has a right to terminate his creation. The human mind will object just as the pottery, if it had a voice, would object, stemming from the will to live. However, this does not negate the right.”

Nonsense. Reprehensible nonsense. Killing a sapient being is not in any way analogous to destroying an inanimate object. There are other flaws in your logic as well. Are you claiming that parents have the right to kill their children? They are, after all, the creators of those children. Additionally, there are many circumstances under which a potter would *not* have the right to destroy his creation. For example, if he were working for someone else, and was being compensated.

465. @Malachias

From the standpoint of an internal study, which is what it was, parents don’t create their children. Your point about creating for compensation and sale is valid until we realize that it’s not what God would be doing when creating a child. You know full well the difference there and your attempt to discredit it based on a counterexample that doesn’t apply is frustrating.

I am still open to intelligent and respectful discussion from anyone, even you, but to call it reprehensible nonsense because you violate the very premise under which it was written doesn’t qualify.

466. I should really get back to work.

Check back in 3 hours. Please don’t stir up too much before I get back

467. Sigh, even taking your ““I dont have your back, and I’m taking your water” argument, your “loving god” is consigning innocent children to death by dehydration. How do you justify that?

468. @Malachias

Are you saying that if you had a well and it went dry, you’d just stare at it until you died? I’d probably start packing.

I’m going to be fired. The curse of working on a freaking computer.

469. @Malachias

And WHOA! *MY* God?

You obviously haven’t been reading where I stand on this issue.

470. this is a joke, right? please tell me this is a joke.

471. […] with controversy and disputes within the Christian community. I have seen some of the very best and very worst methods of handling controversy in the past few weeks. Bottom line – we are called to contend […]

472. And before you ask, Hosea 13:7-8 is using poetic language to describe the fall of the nation of Israel as it was conquered and its people scattered throughout the conquering lands. Just as a coin purse, if ripped open, will scatter the coins about, so were the people of Israel not only here but in verified historical records.

474. This is stupid.

The history of pi has it that a more accurate calculation of pi (than ‘3’) was extant before this was even written (the Egyptians in the 1500 BCE’s had a 3.1something calculation, and there’s some research suggesting that some sub-Saharan cultures had similar calculations even earlier) – but a little common sense says that, for the most part, the approximation of 3 did enough for most people and most situations.

The Hebrews didn’t claim to invent pi, or even discover it… I’m not even sure why you’re writing about this.

Way to bait a Fundamentalist position that almost nobody even believes in…

Once again, this is stupid.

475. @Patrick

His point was that if a fundamentalist is going to take the Creation story as a literal account that trumps contrary findings, they’d have to also take this story as a literal account that trumps the actual value of pi. He follows that since they could not possibly, honestly, hold to a belief that Pi is exactly 3, then they have no grounds on which to continue holding to Creation.

However, the simplest counterargument is that since circular does not imply a perfect circle, there is no dilemma. While it would be ridiculous to believe that Pi is exactly 3, it is perfectly valid to believe that something circular could be 10 across while 30 around.

476. Cubit

Heb. ‘ammah; i.e., “mother of the arm,” the fore-arm, is a word derived from the Latin cubitus, the lower arm. It is difficult to determine the exact length of this measure, from the uncertainty whether it included the entire length from the elbow to the tip of the longest finger, or only from the elbow to the root of the hand at the wrist.

WOW

477. I will likely not be checking back over the weekend, so don’t think I’ve run off. If the thread gets cluttered please make anything you want me to see pretty easy to find. Thanks.

478. @ Malachius

If phobia truly means fear, then why would that be a bad thing in and of itself? Now, if you take phobia to mean irrational fear, well, then you are being quite irrational yourself. What is irrational about steering children away from eternal damnation? Oh, no, let’s hold them over the fire! At least they won’t be afraid. That’s like saying that you should tell your kids not to talk to strangers because you don’t want them to develop a phobia of strangers. Assinine reasoning.

“encouraging homophobic bigotry”

Again, your definition betrays you. I laughed at the definition of bigotry from dictionary.com. It’s painted with such a wide brush that it’s pretty silly. To not subbornly not accept someone else’s beliefs is not necessarily a bad thing. Am I a bigot towards pedifiles because I don’t agree that children should be molested? Am I a bigot towards serial killers because I don’t believe that people should be killed for sport? By that definition, I (and probably you) are bigots. The problem is that you don’t believe that there is an absolute truth and I do. I am trying to steer people (and, yes, children) towards life. You are just trying to do your own thing.

You must like that “phobia” word, since we’re also homo”phobic.” Do you really think it is because Christ-followers are “afraid” of homosexuals that we believe the homosexual lifestyle is a sin? OK, lean in close, I’ll whisper the truth in your ear. it’s not.

The reason that we believe that it is a sin is because it has been called such by God. I am not afraid of homosexuals and the Bible only tells people to fear sin. The Bible creates no phobias, only reasons to avoid sin. By calling someone “homophobic” you are implying weakness (or fear). This is simply not the case. I can speak for people who judge and sling stones, but I can definitely say that I must overcome my fear of homosexuals’ bigotry towards my Christian beliefs in order to share the Truth with them that would set them free. Sounds like you’re a bigot towards my beliefs too. What we have here is a case of discursive entrenchment.

“encouraging credulousness”

Again, I do want my children to believe things that are right easily. I love you. I want to help you. I want you to experience life. Yes, a person in authority can promote “crudulousness,” but I would definitely say that I have my work cut out for me trying to deprogram the godless thinking that occurs in most public school environments.

Secular humanism does not promote morality. There is no morality apart from a person realizing what they are created for. (But I do appreciate the fact that you conceded that Christians are motivated to live a moral lifestyle…even by your minus-God definition).

The use of the word “dogma” is another interesting, boobie-trap. Of course someone who knows that they are right would be confidently espousing what he knows to be true. To spin it and call that arrogance is only if the listener believes that the person isn’t telling the truth. Well, what if the person is telling the truth! It’s not arrogance. It’s compassion. It’s a public service.

So…yet again…we create phobias in school for people who stand firm in their beliefs. We have plenty of arrogant dogma about how we MUST be open-minded and “tolerant.” Little by little, the very thing that you are arguing against is happening anyway. The difference is that you’re winning. You’d be complaining if you were on the other side. Oh…and since it’s just about you having things the way you like them (you’re not even being motivated by a higher calling)…yes…it’s about your personal preference!

479. Sigh, you said “From the standpoint of an internal study, which is what it was, parents don’t create their children.”

Sorry, but reality and all available evidence indicates that they *do*. Additionally, you *still* have the problem of sapience. A being does *not* have the right to arbitrarily destroy a sapient being, under any rational moral code.

480. Sigh, I made the comment that the Abrahamic god, by making Samaria “desolate” and removing all the water there, was consigning innocent children to death by dehydration. You responded with “Are you saying that if you had a well and it went dry, you’d just stare at it until you died? I’d probably start packing.” Obviously, you are not familiar with the region, which is dry and hot, and not a place you could travel through without water. Children would certainly die. You are also ignoring the fact that, were these people to try to go elsewhere, they would be met with the hostile inhabitants of the regions they entered. Thus, “they shall fall by the sword: their infants shall be dashed in pieces, and their women with child shall be ripped up.”

The Abrahamic god has, though his actions, condemned innocent children to death.

To revisit your claim that the Abrahamic god was not trying to cause these violent deaths, how do you justify this stance in light of Hosea 13:8? “I will meet them as a bear that is bereaved of her whelps, and will rend the caul of their heart, and there will I devour them like a lion: the wild beast shall tear them.”

481. Supermannino, you said “Now, if you take phobia to mean irrational fear, well, then you are being quite irrational yourself.”

Explain exactly how I am being irrational.

Supermannino: “What is irrational about steering children away from eternal damnation?”

That is simple: there is no credible evidence of this “eternal damnation” whatsoever. Believing in things for which there is no credible evidence is irrational. Abusing children by inflicting needless fear upon them is reprehensible.

Supermannino, your interpretation of the definition of bigotry is pure idiocy. Bigotry is the stubborn and complete intolerance of any creed, belief, or opinion that differs from one’s own. Your examples of pedophiles and serial killers are nothing but straw men.

Supermannino: “I am trying to steer people (and, yes, children) towards life. You are just trying to do your own thing.”

We are both just trying to do our own thing. However, your “thing” includes the abuse of children via religious fearmongering and indoctrination. Mine does not. The “life” you are trying to steer people towards is full of fear and delusion.

A clue for you, by the way: “phobia” can mean “irrational antipathy” as well as “irrational fear.” Incidentally, do you treat people who work on Sunday the same way you treat homosexuals? You are supposed to put them both to death, by the way.

Secular humanism does indeed promote morality. Do you claim that affirming the worth and dignity of all people is not moral? Of course, the definition you offer for “morality” is a perversion, so you probably do.

Supermannino: “I do appreciate the fact that you conceded that Christians are motivated to live a moral lifestyle…even by your minus-God definition”

I never said such. I said “there are good, sensible, moral things that are part of Christian doctrine.” Christians may or may not be motivated to live a moral lifestyle; there are plenty of examples of the opposite.

You are right that “we” (that is, rational people) are winning. It appears that open communication and exposure to a wide variety of belief systems proves to be a pretty effective innoculation to the mind virus that is theism. Unfortunately, many young children are infected before they have a chance, and either succumb, or have a long fight ahead of them.

482. 1. God is omniscient.
2. God is omnipotent.
3. God wants everyone to believe in him.
4. Since God is omniscient, he knows exactly what demonstration would convince any given person that he exists.
5. Since God is omnipotent, he is capable of performing this demonstration.
6. Since God wants everyone to believe in him, he wants to perform this demonstration.
7. However, atheists manifestly exist.
8. Therefore, the god described by the first three conditions does not exist.

483. […] When math and religion collide. June 15th, 2007 — geekbaby I absolutely love this kind of thing. How often do mathematics and religion mash together in such a glorious way? So check out where the bible and pi clash. Apparently it’s in 1 kings. Here is the post: Pi=3 […]

484. gotcha paddy k(june14)…ur post really catches attention,
i happened to read all the above throwing of ideas,some r intresting some make me feel happy,some makes me feel sad esp the post of those who doesnt believe in “GOD”i wonder what kind or reasoning they have,f ther’s no GOD why did they exist who gave them the place to live in,the air they breath..and so on….
Pretty bad many still doesnt believe the integrity of the Holy Bible,some says that it only written by men(not by women!*%$@),who else will supposed to write the scripture?come to think of this f the angels,or chicken or other creature were to write the Bible,will it be understand by men??? idont think so, because the Bible was meant for men to read.its the prime reason why.. Just a piece of brotherly advice for those who questioned the the existence of GOD and to lessen ur ignorance of the holy scripture…..please visit “http://esorianowordpress.com “THIS SITE WILL SURELY BENIFITS YOU GUYS” 485. Malachias Invictus: Your logic is wrong. Premise #4 is nonsensical because it assumes that demonstration can convince a person that God exists. The argument falls apart from there. Belief in God comes from faith, not demonstration. A believer will argue that even though God wants everyone to believe in Him, God does not want to force anyone to believe in Him. If a demonstration existed that could convince a person that God exists, then the choice to believe in God would disappear and the person would be forced to believe in God. The very existence of atheists suggests that God does not force people to believe in Him, and thus the unstated premise between #6 and #7–that a God who wants to demonstrate that He exists and who can demonstrate that He exists will do so–is false. I would agree that the god you describe does not exist. But I believe in a God that wants people to decide whether they will believe or not and who gradually reveals Himself to those who choose to believe. The real question is not “Does God exist?” but rather “Do I choose to learn for myself whether God exists?” As for the whole pi discussion, I’m surprised that there are people who are actually defending the idea that pi=3. The post does a great job of satirizing this line of thinking. Let me just say of behalf of all the Christians in America who believe that pi is an irrational number, that evolution is good science and that countries should be governed rationally, we do exist and are as baffled by the pi=3 people as the rest of you are. 486. I can’t believe how damn long this thing is. Anyway everyone who is saying all this nonsense about cubits being approximate and the bible not meant to be a science book whathaveyou. this post isnt directed at your heaven-bound asses, this post is directed at the idiots who ACTUALLY DO INTERPRET THE BIBLE LITERALLY IN EVERY ASPECT. not those who think its a nice story that tells you how to be good to others to get into heaven cause the author basically agrees that that’s what the bible is, a nice story. IF YOU DONT UNDERSTAND THEN DONT FUCKING POST YOUR BULLSHIT “IMA CHRISTIAN AND I KNOW LOGIC TOO ROFLOL!!!!!111” I would rather just rot in the ground then somehow spend eternity with a bunch of stupid douchebags like you. my point is christians = teh suxorz better to NOT believe, die, and never come back, than have be around a bunch of idiots forever. 487. Nilustheyounger, your refutation was, quite frankly, weak. Your best line was “Belief in God comes from faith, not demonstration.” In that sentence, you expose the fact that belief in God (any god, in fact) is not rational. Faith is belief without evidence. You add “If a demonstration existed that could convince a person that God exists, then the choice to believe in God would disappear and the person would be forced to believe in God.” That is nonsense. Some would *still* choose not to believe; granted, they would be irrational to do so, but as you demonstrate, irrationality is in plentiful supply. 488. Ciencia Vs. Religión: La batalla por PI Especialmente en EEUU, hay un gran debate entre ciencia y religión, ya que los religiosos se ven obligados a creer a pie juntillas lo que dice la Biblia, el libro inspirado por Dios. En dicho libro queda reflejado el valor de PI = 3 (Reyes 7:23-26). E… 489. Yeah, it wasn’t from the Bible, but from the ancient Greeks (Eurpides, if I recall correctly): Whom the gods destroy, they first make mad. Let’s hear it for the moral superiority of atheistic liberal humanism! When there is no God existing to tell us what to do, we can be our own gods and do whatever we think is best! Yay! We can see from the missing sense of humor that the gods — or God — is getting ready to destroy. Can somebody pass that guy some laughing gas? Maybe it will slow the destruction . . . (Darwin predicted there would be days like this. So did Jesus.) 490. Well, this is why He has a lousy record as an architect – consider that the flood in reality was the first gigantic scale insurance fraud known in history… 491. […] Pi = 3, because God Said So! […] 492. Wow! YouTube-like for quantity of comments, you must be proud! (Not being sarcastic.) Was unable to read all comments (which I typically do, before submitting mine), but I agree with the concept that they should’ve been able to measure what they’ve built — God or no God. However, I do see the merit in your post — it shows that the Bible is not the Absolute Truth many seem to acknowledge it for — and that is a good thing ™. 493. I’m sorry, I still can’t understand the rationality of your argument (no pun intended) I’ve read this over and over along with many of the comments and still can’t fathom why a lack of laser precision proves the Bible to be fallible. Different people have come up with other ways of using the same numbers in the passage to get 3.14 (or theorize how 3.14 might be obtained) You say yourself that if you “cook” the numbers 3.14 can be obtained. Hypothetically couldn’t you cook the numbers and get 3? Your logic is flawed. 494. God didn’t said Pi = 3 God said its words. God said Pi is an irrational number. You are stupid in math. 495. NO this is a just theory. NO Alternative theory. You have the bad theory, the worst theory for morons. The anti-God said 2+2 = 5. 496. […] American Pi: it’s 3 by the will of “God” I thought it was funny, someone remembered the Bible (i.e. infallible source of all truth and knowledge on Earth) mentions that pi is exactly three. […] 497. The Bible is a book of Egyptian astronomy. God is a mythical reference to the sun. God brings light in the darkness. God is up in the sky watching you. God gives life. Get it? 498. Has no one noticed that the Sea wasn’t an exact cylinder (“its brim was shaped like the brim of a cup, like a lily blossom”)? If the measurement of the circumference was taken in the middle of the Sea, as opposed to the rim, that could account for the difference. There are other ways to criticize the Bible. This one’s just lame. 499. nilus, your argument was almost good except where you say “Belief in God comes from faith, not demonstration.” Belief and faith are synonyms, therefore you are saying, essentially, “Faith in God comes from faith” or “Belief in God comes from belief.” Surely there is some other grounds for faith besides the act of doing it. 500. nilus, your argument was almost good except where you say “Belief in God comes from faith, not demonstration.” Belief and faith are synonyms, therefore you are saying, essentially, “Faith in God comes from faith” or “Belief in God comes from belief.” Surely there is some other grounds for faith besides the act of believing; otherwise you’re saying that those who believe in God should do so without any evidence to support God’s existence. 501. Donnie, it’s a joke, you dweeb. charles, another definition for faith is trust in something, or an unjustified belief. It depends on the context, and in this case it’s belief without evidence. Unless of course you count the claims of “miracles” as evidence for any specific deity. 502. […] Teach the Controversy, Pi = 3.0: I find this rather comical, and figured I’d throw it in here for all of my math-geek friends. I seriously want to get a t-shirt that says π = 3.0. Totally rad! […] 503. eltower: Religious people spend so much time obsessing about other people’s sins so they don’t have to think about their own. 😉 And since Pi and God are both infinite, doesn’t that mean that Pi = God and vice versa? Just imagine, math proving the existence of God! 504. zufi: Number of people Hugh Hefner has ploughed in his lifetime = infinite. Time = infinite. Hugh Hefner’s genitalia = Time? 505. I would think there are much better arguments against the bible than this. This is kind of grabbing for straws. 506. It’s amazing to see the quality of arguments here: piss poor for the most part. 1) First faith and belief are not synonyms despite what your little thesaurus might say. Faith is (as it was hinted to above) a trust in something that does not require proof. It goes beyond belief. Faith simply is or is not, much like our live. We are either dead or alive. No arguments either way. Belief on the other hand is one’s opinion or ideas about a certain subject aka God, No-God, Math, Life etc. For example, I believe you are a complete moron, who ever says that God does not exist. The response is then usually, “Well I believe you are a complete moron for believing in God.” But, if you interpose Faith for belief you yourself would sound like quite a fool because you would inevitably be asked to define what you mean by faith. Thus, in your stupidity, you will say ‘belief’ and people will know what you mean even if you were completely wrong about the synonym. So, belief about X God and belief about X no-God is the problem. Not the faith. Faith simply says Yes. No faith simply says No. There is no moral judgment based on faith or the lack there of because humans have a brain, reason, and a soul which can guide them to the right answers about living life and having faith in a God. Why faith is so important is simply because it asks us to look beyond ourselves in an attempt to get us to make some beneficial changes in the world instead of being self-absorbed and only caring about number one. So, comments on the thread as a whole: First, to you religious out there: You think your faith in God is being challenged by these people who pull lines out of scripture, interpret them literally then give you an argument against the absurdity of literal translations and that is supposed to mean anything? Try doing that to Shakespeare, Plato, Aurelius and they would be laughed at. Do it with scripture and people think they are heroes of the greatest intelligence. Laugh at them like they deserve. But don’t be so foolish as to even care what they unless you yourself have no clue what you believe about this ‘God, Goddess, God’s etc’ To all the people of ‘greatest intelligence’: The only people you ever end up offending are those who have no clue what they believe or are in the boat of believing we have been created via a diagram and the entire world was created 6000 years ago. To the true Theologian and the person of great spiritual integrity your arguments only show the hollowness of your inner life. Go ahead, attack fundamentalism, but if you think that you are not going to succumb to your arrogance about God and the spiritual life then you are blind by your own brilliance. What you are rebelling at is the stupidity of humanity in their understanding of this ‘God, Goddess, God’s etc’ and all you are doing is helping the process of true realization come true. It has been said that you reap what you sow, so I thank you for aiding true light and knowledge in finding a birthplace because of your own misguided beliefs. The first rule of philosophy has to do with consistency and if you attack someone else but your attack also defeats your own argument (aka pi=3 and then saying it=something definite despite its inability to be conclusively finished) then you are a complete moron. But, more existentially, if there is nothing after this or there is no ‘God, Goddess, God’s, etc’ then why are you even arguing? Do you think what you say matters at all? Or do you respond to all these ‘religious wackos’, as you would have it be called, only to soothe your own egos, thus proving that for all your brilliance your are a slave to the self? Just wondering….but I could see the comments fly….fly away….fly away…. 507. To nilustheyounger: Good stuff. Good stuff. Glad to see someone ask others to think for themselves. “But I believe in a God that wants people to decide whether they will believe or not and who gradually reveals Himself to those who choose to believe. The real question is not “Does God exist?” but rather “Do I choose to learn for myself whether God exists?”” Beautiful. Welcome to life. 508. It’s amazing to see the quality of arguments here: piss poor for the most part. It’s nice to see that you raised the mark with your own insipid little rant. 509. What an incredible waste of bytes and time. 510. Omega: The God he describes sounds suspiciously like early stage schizophrenia. Voices in your head which reveal themselves to you if you accept them? Bring on the antipsychotics! 511. […] the outrageous falsehood, foisted by Satan himself upon our poor children’s malleable minds, that Pi is anything OTHER than 3….and to those deluded cunts who claim the Old Testament is somehow ‘different’ […] 512. Omega, you said “So, belief about X God and belief about X no-God is the problem. Not the faith.” The faith *is* the problem. It is what allows a person to believe extraordinary claims without the presence of extraordinary evidence. Omega: “Faith simply says Yes. No faith simply says No.” Wrong. Faith simply says “yes.” No Faith simply says “show me the evidence, and I will decide based upon it.” Omega: “There is no moral judgment based on faith or the lack there of because humans have a brain, reason, and a soul” Wrong again. You have “faith” that you have a “soul,” and that this “soul” has properties that match your faith-based notions. Omega: “Why faith is so important is simply because it asks us to look beyond ourselves in an attempt to get us to make some beneficial changes in the world instead of being self-absorbed and only caring about number one.” Balderdash. Secular humanism accomplishes the same exact thing, but rather than being based upon faith, it is based upon a rational examination of human commonalities and qualities. 513. Omega, you said “if there is nothing after this or there is no ‘God, Goddess, God’s, etc’ then why are you even arguing?” That is obvious. We are arguing because people who *do* believe this nonsense are, via actions based upon irrational beliefs, increasing misery in the one and only life people are going to have. A good example is the anti-homosexual nonsense many theists seem to be obsessed with: “Why, we cannot allow *them* to get married, can we? It would destroy marriage! It would offend our deity!” Contrast this with the humanist, who looks at gay marriage from this perspective: “Is the right of homosexuals to marry likely to make the parties involved happy? Yes. Is this right likely to cause suffering? Not especially. Okay, seems reasonable.” 514. @Malachias We will forever disagree. You are the Scully to my Mulder. Despite myself, just like Mulder had on his wall in the X-Files, I want to believe. So far no argument has convinced me that the notion of (G/g)od(s) is *impossible*. It can be improbable as the day is long without being ruled out as a possibility. Forgive any typos, spelling/grammar mistakes, as I will compose this pretty hastily. The work has come on hard this week, especially due to time I lost last week diving into all this for so long. Before going any further let me reiterate my position: Holding currently no belief, as I have found all options presented to me failing in logic and/or sensibility, I am attempting to objectively review various belief systems to determine if they might have been presented improperly — even by those who claim to hold so strictly and literally to them. Even evolution when first presented to me was done so very improperly, to the point of absurdity, and only after researching it independently did I find it to be anything worth looking at. I’ll accept that the region is hot and that neighboring nations would be hostile. I accept that therefore if God sent a wind to dry their wells, they would likely be in for quite an adventure. After further thought, I want to pose as an alternative that, inside the world presented by the text, they could turn their faces back to him and be restored. It is their continued rebellion (pride, deciding not to turn back), that they are met with the hostile nations. Note that I answered in advance the Hosea 13:8 text and how it is a poetic representation of, if my history is correct, the fall of the nation of Israel and scattering of the Jews among nations. I think you are still misunderstanding my post about parents creating their children. The post that started this line of questioning gave the fundamental premise that it was an analysis for *internal* consistency, external scrutiny to be put aside for later. Unfortunately our discussion went off on a tangent from “is it internally consistent and logical?” to “does it stand against modern science?” From a purely internal standpoint parents do not create their children but rather they are crafted by god in the womb. My reasons for completing the internal study first are even more longwinded than this and my other posts, so I’ll spare you of them. As for your valid response that pottery is not sapient, I don’t know where you draw the line for sapience but we see cases of infanticide in nature. Granted rats are not supremely wise, but they are conscious of what they are doing. Granted they have no apparent moral system, but this is yet an example not of sapience but now of pack behavior. Mother rats will eat their wounded or otherwise unviable young to increase the strength of the pack — how much more might a god want to increase the strength of his nation by trimming the fat? I respect that you find this to be cause to question the loving nature of that god, but I don’t think it can logically stand as reason that the god could not exist. Furthermore I think that love can justifiably be, and often is, balanced by discipline. As I was brought up in my youth my parents often did things which I claimed were unjust, unfair, over the top, horrible, terrible, etc. Now I see what it allowed me to be and thank them for it, with no question of their love. I see discipline as no cause to believe that the depicted god is a hate monger or homicidal maniac, especially compared with what alternative punishments that an omnipotent god could execute and on how many other occasions. Therefore I find no *internal* inconsistency. 6. Since God wants everyone to believe in him, he wants to perform this demonstration. valid until you include the supposition that God wants everyone to have a free will and make their own choice. This is the contention of the Biblical texts and probably some other religions as well, and peforming a demonstration that would leave one without such choice would be contrary to that will. I hope you’ll understand that if I don’t come back here, it’s due to (1) other responsibilities limiting my time and (2) the fact that I don’t think we’ll get anywhere further in this discussion. I started out thinking that you were keeping your mind shut to any possibilities that would go counter to a decision you made beforehand, namely to reject at all costs. I don’t think that anymore, but I do think that if we continue our discussion we’ll just go in circles, because whereas you may very well be looking at things just as objectively and open-mindedly as I, we seem to continuously get differing results. To the point that many probably think I have made a decision beforehand to accept at any cost, however again this is not the case. I want to believe there is SOMETHING, because as I see it, we’re getting nowhere on our own. I don’t care if it’s a pack of freaking aliens but some help would be awesome. To that end, I don’t want to reject any one possibility until ALL of its angles are considered, and many of the angles of so-called popular belief systems are in hidden corners being obscured by vocal “followers”. To dismiss them based on their false representation would be as heinous as me dismissing evolution just because my science teacher couldn’t communicate it properly. I understand the stance of those who don’t want to believe, or can’t believe, etc., and I respect that stance as well. In fact I currently can’t believe because there are still *apparent* errors and inconsistencies. But each time I thoroughly scrutinize, the error or inconsistency is moot. Am I through the list yet? Not by a long shot, but so far the track record is impressive. However in contrast to simple disbelief, when I see adamant claims that those who seek on are wasting their time, it frustrates me. I think of similar cases found in history, even in the realm of science, and occasionally I think the seekers eventually produced results that we’re now grateful for. I know that just as they I will be ridiculed for continuing my quest but I will never stop hoping that there’s something for us, whatever it may be. I’m discarding my bookmark to this page so that I can return to normal life now. “Whatever”, if it be, bless you :p 515. you’re crazy, so crazy, in europe people laugh a lot with all this kind of things, wahahahaha, it’s a pitty but in the end it’s funny!!! “Saludos” From Spain! 516. […] Stick to Your Beliefs Dammit! 19 06 2007 Thinking fun find of my day comes from the hot wordpress blog, “Gospel of Reason”: “God Said Pi=3″ […] 517. To Malachias Invictus: Forgive me for taking so long replying but I am not big into the blogs and have just now caught up to date on this thread. I will also reply to your thoughts to “Joe” since that is also me, I just wasn’t logged into my signature name. Again I will make my claim that atheists have a problem with the God of the Bible’s character, not His existence. “Wrong. Atheists do have a problem with the existence of a deity. Specifically, there is no credible evidence for such, and as an extraordinary claim, it requires extraordinary evidence. As for the “character” of this creature of mythology, it is utterly repugnant to anyone who is not a moral cripple.” As it is impossible to disprove the existence of the God of the Bible (can’t prove a negative), atheists have rejected His existence based on His character. My point is that based on His character, you really wouldn’t care if He existed or not because you wouldn’t put your trust in Him anyway. If Jesus miraculously appeared to you, would you be a believer? Why? You don’t agree with His “followers” and your perception of His character is off because of your atheistic bias. (I’m biased the other way. It’s ok to admit you have bias, because we all are biased one way or the other.) Why then are atheists surprised when they mock God by demanding in “prayer” that He show Himself to them in 30 seconds or less or they won’t believe He exists. Do we really expect God to stoop down to that level? Why would God subject Himself to being our lab rat? What would that accomplish? I appreciate “Sigh” showing the importance of putting the Bible in the context with which it was written. Here’s an example. The Bible records that Judas went out and hanged himself. Jesus also said, “Go and you do likewise.” Those are two verses totally taken out of context to fit together to say something that was never intended. You can make the Bible say anything you really want it to. This is why it IS important to take the Bible literally unless it specifies exceptions. Malachias, with your writings, should I say, “I wonder what the deep, hidden meanings are behind what he’s saying? He must not really mean that, he means “X”. It would be rude for me to take what you say, take it out of context, and make it say what I want it to say. How is it any different with the Bible? The Bible should only mean what it was meant to say, not what we want it to say, either pro or against it. You quote Lev. 20:14, “If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.” “That sounds like advocacy for violence against homosexuality to me.” You’re taking that passage to say that all Christians should try to find homosexuals and put them to death? Dude, that’s a serious charge, Man! These laws were written to Jews for Jews, as “Hebrew” has already stated (context). God commanded Israel not to have homosexuals in their nation. For me to take that for me today is to take it out of context and to make it say something it never said. You said, “You also try the old technique of claiming the Old Testament does not apply any longer. You are wrong, according to Jesus. “For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.” (Matthew 5:18), and “And it is easier for heaven and earth to pass, than one tittle of the law to fail.” (Luke 16:17). Don’t try to weasel your way out of it, either…” I am happy that you have learned enough Bible to try to foil those dastardly Christians. Dude, if you would have simply quoted verse 17 as well as 18 you would have saved some writing time. Here’s the whole thing, “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.” Jesus says He is the fulfillment of the law. If you read much of Paul’s writings he makes it very clear that even Jewish people are no longer under the Mosaic law. The law won’t fail, it’s been fulfilled. It’s purpose was to point people to their need for a Messiah. Once the Messiah came that need was fulfilled. “Quite frankly, I find such to be largely irrelevant. If you found out that Hitler loved orphans and little fuzzy puppies, and used to volunteer at soup kitchens, would that make him any less of a genocidal, reprehensible monster?” You got mad at Scott Thong for using an example comparing Stalin with humanists yet you compared God Himself with Hitler? Wassup with that? Why don’t we just all get rid of the comparing apples and oranges? “As for philosophers, tons of later philosophers and other thinkers try to discredit or improve on their ideas all the time. This is healthy, and should be applied to religious ideas as well as philosophical ones.” You’re not going to believe this, but you and I agree here. I totally agree that this is a very healthy discussion. No one should accept the existence of God apart from reason. No one should be expected to just take the Bible as their authority simply because someone tells them to. Checking your brain at the door is a very dangerous thing to do. Christians who do that are simply weak or young in their faith, so please be patient with them. They’ll grow…hopefully. 518. Please, rather then commenting back to the arguments that are easy for you, answer mine, and please- e-mail it back to me because i don’t have time to check up on this lameness… and the only reason that i am bringing this up is becuase it is my duty as a math major. – it is a grave mistake to say that 3 = 3.0 = 3.00 3 means the smallest unit of measurement was to one significant digit, 3.0 means your smallest unit of measure was to two significant digits and so on. considering how much you know, or atleast think that you know, you can not expect someone to measure their arm with the devices that they had to more that one significant digit. frankly this verse if anything proves the awesomeness of the bible, because it is correct. if it was say 90/10 which would make the ratio 9 rather then pi then you could come out all day with this argument. and you can say all day ‘god could have said pi is infinite’ but why should he? if God added a phrase to explain everything that’s fuzzy, the book would increase 100 fold. the point here is that God correctly gave the numbers. the measurement were given with one significant digit, therefore you can not expect an answer to be in any more then one significant digit. if you’re not satisfied, say that the diameter was 9.50 and the circumference is 29.83.. there is your 3.14 to your fancy significant digits. isn;t it more reasonable and consistant with the rest of the bible to say 10 and 30? one other thing, if you want to be respected as a writer, simmer down on the large words. our literary culture has evolved far enough to see through big words and now consider them clutter.. if you want to say ‘let me explain’ then say ‘let me explain’ not ‘let me elucidate’ because the people who do know what it means will laugh because they know you are trying to make yourself sound smarter so that your writing has some sort of credibility, and those who do not know what it means will loose interest quickly. QED. 519. it is a grave mistake to say that 3 = 3.0 = 3.00 Seems like someone didn’t learn about fractions in school. 3 = 3.0 = 3.0… (zeros to the infinity). You got mad at Scott Thong for using an example comparing Stalin with humanists yet you compared God Himself with Hitler? Wassup with that? Why don’t we just all get rid of the comparing apples and oranges? It is the association fallacy, and not valid logic. However, comparing the actions of Hitler to the ones attributed to God in the Bible is valid. Jesus says He is the fulfillment of the law. You are correct, I will give you that, but please inform all the literalists like Phelps, Ken Ham and so on. I wonder what will they say. There is also the issue that the prime specialists about the Bible, the Jews, consider Yeshua to be a false messiah because he did not fulfill the required biblical prophecies. He did not end all wars, did not unite mankind under one faith and so on. If he even existed, that is. The Torah does not say anything about a second coming or a virgin birth also. If your faith depends on these kinds of things, save yourself the trouble and just give up. The Bible should only mean what it was meant to say, not what we want it to say, either pro or against it. There is no agreement between all the thousands of sects of Christianity as to what that would be. You can not draw a consistent ethical teaching out of the Bible. The more recent liberal theology was not at all evident to people who studied the Bible in earlier ages, and is the result of advances in morality that the bronze and iron age yokels couldn’t dream of. I don’t usually say this, but read a book that isn’t bent on making sense of the Bible or downplaying the contradictions. 520. I was gonna comment same as others. So I will add my view.. “… It’s an approximation. If anything…the writer had some mathematical knowledge.” Monkey – June 13th, 2007 at 1:41 pm I say – maybe the stick or whatever is being used to measure had divisions, but i doubt if they were 1/10ths As i understand, a cubit is about half an arm length, so the nearest cubit is prob near enough for the context. It is not an architects brief we’re talking about. the author is just giving an IDEA of the size. —————————- “…I really wish atheists would get a life…..Why do atheists spend so much time caring what other people think. Gareth – June 13th, 2007 at 2:00 pm Again (clapping) thank you for saying that. I say – if you DON’T believe in something. Then thats cool. Its not true for you. If its not true for you why focus on it so much?! And if something does not exist. Why should you need to PROVE that it does not exist. (if you believe it doesn’t?!!) Dont you just love these soap box websites! 521. […] God Said Pi = 3; Stand By Your Beliefs Dammit « Gospel of Reason wtf? (tags: religion) […] 522. […] The Bible says so. […] 523. Manly Tears: “It is the association fallacy, and not valid logic. However, comparing the actions of Hitler to the ones attributed to God in the Bible is valid.” This is a fallacy, especially since God (the creator) is not in the same class as Hitler (created). For instance, as a parent I have the right to send my oldest son to his room when he does something wrong. However, my oldest son does not have the right to tell his little brother to go to his room. Why? Same action, different person doing the action. God, as the creator of the universe has every right to do whatever He wants with what He’s created. If He really is the creator (which I know you don’t believe, but for sake of argument…), does He not have that right? He has the right to tell you to do anything He pleases. Why? Because He made you. This is why atheism has been popular. It is because people do not want to be subject to a God who has the right to tell them how to live their lives or don’t like what He tells them to do. It means you have to bow your pride and admit to God that His way is the only way that matters. Because of free will, everyone wishes to do things their own way and rebel against their creator. I know that was always my first instinct when faced with my creator. “How dare you?!” He does dare, and He has the right to! When we don’t do things the way He wishes us to do them, He has the right to any form of correction that He deems necessary. Why? Because He’s our creator. If you choose not to serve Him, that’s your right, but don’t begrudge Him the right to do what He wants with what He’s made. However, you are mistaken in comparing God’s character with Hitler’s. Those of you who are atheists, look at it this way. If there really is a God, and He hasn’t wiped you off the map because you’ve thumbed your nose at Him, doesn’t that attest to His mercy? An ego maniacal God would have destroyed this world that doesn’t worship Him, a long, long time ago. Even with the flood, God had Noah teaching repentance and God’s mercy to the people for over one hundred years! He had mercy on the human race and left a remnant to continue on. Jeremiah the prophet says in the middle of telling Israel if they didn’t turn back to God He would remove His blessing and they would be destroyed, in Lamentations 3:22,23, “Through the LORD’s mercies we are not consumed, Because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness.” I could double the size of this thread with quotes from both the Old and the New Testament about God giving people second, third, etc. chances to turn back to Him. That is the only thing the God of the Bible asks, is that we do things His way. If you reject that, that’s your God given right. But don’t even try to say you’re rejecting a “Hitler”-like, ego manical, tyranical dictator. He’s been way more patient with us than we deserve! “Jesus says He is the fulfillment of the law. You are correct, I will give you that, but please inform all the literalists like Phelps, Ken Ham and so on. I wonder what will they say.” I can’t speak for Ken Ham or Phelps for that matter since I honestly don’t know where they stand on every issue. If Ham and Phelps disagree then I still could count them as brothers. This is something that many atheists don’t understand. Christians can disagree on things, even to a point where they can’t go to the same church, and still be brothers. Many of the differences you see in Christianity are because we have too much time on our hands to squable about little details that don’t really matter very much. If Christians actually lived with love and patience as Christ commanded then you would see a lot of that disapear. Again though, you will always see inconsistencies with the followers of God. Why? Because God’s perfect, we’re not. Honestly, I get more frustrated with hypocritical Christians and churches a lot more than I do with you atheists. At least you are consistent and actually stand by what you believe. There’s a lot of self proclaimed “Christians” who did nothing more than try to purchase “fire insurance.” “There is also the issue that the prime specialists about the Bible, the Jews, consider Yeshua to be a false messiah because he did not fulfill the required biblical prophecies. He did not end all wars, did not unite mankind under one faith and so on. If he even existed, that is.” The Jews did not always reject Jesus, especially since the first churches were made up of 100% Jews. By and large though they have rejected Jesus because He was not what they expected. If you wish to get into a dialogue about Jesus fulfilling Old Testament prophesies as well as the Old Testament’s prediciton for His return, by all means, we can go there. Let’s just say for now I could find at least 16 prophesies He fulfilled just in his birth and early life, before He could read about prophesies of the Messiah. Sure, if you’d like to go there, lets. “The Torah does not say anything about a second coming or a virgin birth also.” The fact that Jesus did not fulfil all of the prophesies concerning the “second coming” and predicted His return to fulfil them shows that those prophesies are predictions for a second coming. Daniel and Ezekiel speak of many things that haven’t happened yet, but both orthodox Jew and Christian alike both believe they will come true. The difference between the Jewish faith and the Christian faith is that Jewish people believe when the Messiah comes it will be for the first time while Christians believe it will be for the second time. Either way, we both believe He’s coming. Isaiah 7:14,”Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel.” The Hebrew word for “virgin” used here is “almah,”. Actually, if you do some cool research you will notice that there are two words used for virgin in the Old Testament. The first one is “b@thuwlah” and the second one is “almah”. What’s interesting is that both are used of the virgin Rebekah in Gen. 24. It is obvious from both context and the meanings of the words that Isaiah 7:14 is predicting a virgin birth. The word “almah” can also mean a virgin who is engaged but not yet married, so it may be that Isaiah 7:14 is an even more accurate prophesy than what it is given credit for. It is groundless to say that the Old Testament does not prophesy of a virgin birth. “There is no agreement between all the thousands of sects of Christianity as to what that would be. You can not draw a consistent ethical teaching out of the Bible. The more recent liberal theology was not at all evident to people who studied the Bible in earlier ages, and is the result of advances in morality that the bronze and iron age yokels couldn’t dream of.” As already mentioned, if Christians spent more time doing what Christ actually commanded (love your God, love your neighbor, bless those who curse you, give to the poor, obey God’s Word, etc) then there would be a lot more agreement. The problem comes when men try to make themselves the authority and say, “listen to me, not the Bible.” (i.e. much of the Catholic Church) When people try to make the Bible say what it never said, that’s when people who are Bible literalists will always disagree with them. I’d guess maybe 90% of the Bible is very clear and straightforward on understanding, it’s just that people don’t want to obey it. I like what Mark Twain said on the subject. He said, “It’s not the parts of the Bible I don’t understand that bother me, it’s the parts I DO understand that bother me!” “I don’t usually say this, but read a book that isn’t bent on making sense of the Bible or downplaying the contradictions.” I have spent many years doing just that. Sorry, the Bible still holds up, especially with accusations like the one presented in this thread. 524. “Just wondering….but I could see the comments fly….fly away….fly away…. Omega – June 18th, 2007 at 4:27 am ” Omega, your comments were brilliant, towards both sides. I like your comments on faith/belief. “Laugh at them like they deserve. But don’t be so foolish as to even care what they unless you yourself have no clue what you believe about this ‘God, Goddess, God’s etc’” This only applies if everyones lives don’t hang in the balance. Like it or not, the Bible says that rejection of God means spiritual death, which is why many Christians take this subject so seriously and defend it so adamately. They care about people. I hope I don’t offend you atheists by telling you that is my motivation (not that it matters much), is that I care about you. On the other hand Jesus stated in Matthew 7:6 that sometimes giving true statements to some people is like “casting your pearls before swine.” I wonder how much time is wasted by Christians trying to defend the Bible to people who really wouldn’t care if God Himself appeared to them, they wouldn’t put their trust in Him anyway. I have been debating if that’s what I’m doing. Not sure yet. 525. Nag: how again was the early church made up of 100% Jews??? There’s even scholarship suggesting it wasn’t even made up of Jews primarily – certainly not exclusively. Paul was called the Apostle to the Gentiles, but there’s no doubt that, as Jesus was reasonably conversant with Greek and Roman thought of his day as well as with the Jewish religion’s intellectual heritage and ethical debate, and given as he was to traveling, he addressed non-Jews directly in his lifetime. Nit = picked. Anyways.. 526. […] is just a theory” stickers for all.read more | digg story Share and Enjoy: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can […] 527. Patrick, “There’s even scholarship suggesting it wasn’t even made up of Jews primarily – certainly not exclusively.” It didn’t take the church very long to spread to the non-Jewish world, but if you read in Acts 2 the first believers were either Jewish or Jewish proselytes. The primitive church thought it was necessary for people to become Jewish in order to accept Christ, but it didn’t take very long for them to understand what they were given was for all mankind and not just for the nation of Israel. You are right that many people who Jesus was in contact with were non-Jewish people, and some believed in Him. However, again, the very first church on the day of Pentacost was made up of Jews or proselytes. Check any credible church history book and the book of Acts. I’m not seeing how this is a big deal though, except to be nit-picky as you put it. 528. However, you are mistaken in comparing God’s character with Hitler’s. I was talking about actions. The deity in the Torah acts like a malevolent, genocidal maniac. He throws a hissy fit and wipes out the entire of creation to repopulate it with incest, he indiscriminately destroys entire cities, he pauses the Earth’s movement just to let the Isrealites finish a genocide against their enemy (victims always including innocent people), and the list just goes on. The death toll is in the millions at the least, so the comparison of his actions to the actions of an evil dictator like Hitler is more than apt. It is just pure obscurantism when apologists talk about things like Agape; the picture that the Bible draws is not of a God that is love, unless you have completely surrendered to delusions. The Jesus story is not much better, provided you put it in non-religious terms. You have a deity sending himself down to his creation through parthenogenesis to be a scapegoat or a human looking sacrifice (agnus dei, the sacrifice has to be innocent) to seal a new covenant, call himself his own son like a schizo (a “son” that has existed forever, by the way), get a bunch of babies killed just that he could live, have his mom forget whose son he really was, predict that your followers will be laughed at, tell some parables, none of which are original and some of which are insane, completely fail to leave any contemporary evidence and just fly up in the sky, leaving a bunch of disciples that don’t even write down a word for decades and instead reveal himself to a guy that’s never even met him, and still fail to tell that guy about most of your life save for the very end. I mean, is there even anything patent to this story? The tales about god-men are penny a dozen in that day and age, and all the other elements like virgin birth and the various miracles precede this supposed authentic creator of the universe by ages. I’m sorry, but I don’t buy this crap, and your religious clichés irk me. The religious industry pretty much had monopoly on the evil and wars in the world just until recently, and now that the enlightenment and rationality is finally taking over, we still have holy-rolling idiots spouting their bullshit and trying to blame everyone else for not believing in their childish, superstitious stories while everything points to all gods being just man-made inventions, like all the other stuff that we used to believe. About the prophecies, your confidence is most amusing. What is more likelier, that the laws of nature really were suspended or that someone wrote down fake evidence? It’s not about power in numbers anyway, because failing to fulfill a single prophecy makes the entire house of cards tumble. Case in point, the gospels also refer to non-existing prophecies, and even Jesus himself makes promises that were not kept, like that the Kingdom of Heaven coming before his disciples die, or that they will be able to safely drink poison or heal (meaning perform exorcisms, because illnesses are supposedly caused by evil spirits) people with miracles. As already mentioned, if Christians spent more time doing what Christ actually commanded (love your God, love your neighbor, bless those who curse you, give to the poor, obey God’s Word, etc) then there would be a lot more agreement. More like, if the Bible wasn’t such an ambiguous piece of text with parts that are obsolete. You know, different sects even have different canons, and most of them were put together arbitrarily by “divinely inspired” councils anyway. 529. About the virgin birth, first, the context of the Isaiah does not point to “virgin” being the correct meaning of “almah”, second, the primary usage for that is not “virgin” either, third, Isaiah was proven false in the later chapters. It’s just a mistranslation, and the prophecy of the messiah being born to a virgin was never made in the Tanakh. Seeing the popularity such ideas shared among pagans of that time, and that Christianity was supposed to be universal, it’s not hard to imagine why this particular myth was invented. You have still to answer why is it that non-messianic Judaists can’t accept the “truth” of their messiah having already come. Hiding the ball won’t do, and please no improvised hypothesis or generalizations, but verifiable facts. 530. Manly Tears: Once again let me say, if God is the creator of the Universe, He has every right to do whatever He wants with His creation. You are correct that God is not just a God of love, He is also a God of justice and is always consistent and balanced with His character. His love cannot overshadow His justice. If, after giving someone many chances to repent and do things God’s way, does God have the right to discipline, even to the point of death? What does a potter do when the clay won’t shape the potter’s way? He reshapes it to fit his design. If we rebel against God and won’t let Him shape us, does He not have the right to reshape us (mankind)? You are saying God did these terrible and horrible things. I am saying that from the Bible’s point of view, God (and only God Himself mind you) has the right to (after balancing his wrath with warnings and chances of repentance) do what He pleases with His creation. “predict that your followers will be laughed at…” Laughed at? Wow, I wish that was the only thing done to Christians. Even today Christians in Arab countries and others like China are being persecuted for their faith, even to the point of death. Ever heard of Nero? Not a nice guy to the Christians. “The religious industry pretty much had monopoly on the evil and wars in the world just until recently…” Again, there is no defence for any war that is being fought in the name of any deity. However, you can not say God does not exist simply because people use His name to get some more dirt. “I’m sorry, but I don’t buy this crap, and your religious clichés irk me.” Forgive my “religious cliche’s.” It is not my intent to offend. However, if the Bible offends, it offerers no opologies and neither do I. It’s not my job to make you buy this crap. If God Himself would appear to you and you still say you wouldn’t put your trust in Him, who am I to try and make you “see the light.” No my friend, you will not find me trying to “convert” you. The Bible stands for itself and doesn’t need a puny guy like me to try and dress it up and make it look like yummy crap. You either put your trust in it or you don’t, but don’t bother insulting people by trying to convey that all Christians are stupid, un-intelligent morons who blindly follow a ego-maniacal deity who simply throws “hissy-fits” on a wim and kills people for fun. You say you wouldn’t serve a god like that, and believe me, I sure wouldn’t either! “Case in point, the gospels also refer to non-existing prophecies, and even Jesus himself makes promises that were not kept, like that the Kingdom of Heaven coming before his disciples die…” Um, I’m not familiar with those gospel prophesies that aren’t really there. Could you give the quotes please? Also, Jesus’ prediction did come true considering you’re mis-quoting Him. He really said this, Luke 9:27, “But I tell you truly, there are some standing here who shall not taste death till they see the kingdom of God.” Look at the word “see.” Can you think of any writer of the New Testament who might have “seen” the “kingdom of God?” John (probably the youngest disciple) wrote the book of Revelations where he attests to seeing heaven. Sounds like Jesus spoke the truth to me. “…or that they will be able to safely drink poison or heal (meaning perform exorcisms, because illnesses are supposedly caused by evil spirits) people with miracles.” I don’t remember reading anywhere that illnesses are caused by “evil spirits.” I remember the disciples asking Jesus about one instance and He said that it wasn’t the case. Also, read Acts and you’ll notice that the “snake handling” prophesies and some of these others you can mention have already come to pass and were only meant for the apostles. “About the prophecies, your confidence is most amusing. What is more likelier, that the laws of nature really were suspended or that someone wrote down fake evidence?” Considering that the ones who wrote it down went confidently to a martyr’s death defending the truth of their claims, I’m going to go with the former. You’d think at least one of the twelve disciples, or someone somewhere would have said, “nope, we just made it all up for a laugh” instead of being horribly tortured and being used as human torches for Nero’s garden. You make it sound as if all Christians (and I’m sure someone somewhere has) all put their trust in a crappy, stupid god apart totally apart from reason and intelligence. A couple years ago I went with my family to Machu Pichu, Peru and watched as a bunch of New Agers gathered around a sacraficial rock with a stick pointed staight into the air and prayed for “mother nature” to “energize” them. This, my friend, is faith, without reason. But, if they choose to believe that, it is not my responsibility to stand in their way. 531. Even today Christians in Arab countries and others like China are being persecuted for their faith, even to the point of death. Ever heard of Nero? Not a nice guy to the Christians. Nero as a monster is mostly a myth propagated by Christians themselves. It’s also completely ludicrous that you take on the victim pose, considering that not so long ago exercising free thought in regards to religion meant a visit from the inquisition, and apostasy meant certain death. It’s not just theoretical, the people put to death for heresy are beyond count. Let’s also not forget the witch hunts (“suffer not a witch to live”), the Bible regulating or even supporting slavery, the misogyny of its authors, and other accomplishments of Christendom. You are saying God did these terrible and horrible things. I am saying that from the Bible’s point of view, God (and only God Himself mind you) has the right to (after balancing his wrath with warnings and chances of repentance) do what He pleases with His creation. That’s malevolent beyond words. Speaking in the terms of the Bible, humans ate from the tree of knowledge, so we are equipped to recognize good and evil. And so the character described in the Bible called “God” is a genocidal bastard. He creates beings that can’t comprehend the concepts of right and wrong, and then tells them that it’s wrong to eat from certain trees he also created (for whatever purpose) and leaves him to their own devices. A snake tells them that they can get knowledge if they eat from the tree, and they do so out of innocent curiosity. God, apparently having turned off his omnipotence for a while to take a nap, finds out and puts ruin on all of creation (not just humans), designs plagues and elaborate, deadly mechanisms like viruses, puts a curse on the females and expels them into the now ruined world, blaming everything on their disobedience. He then occasionally kills someone, or has them blinded, or turned into salt for no good reason, or their progeny cursed, but at least they’re left alone after death. Now, this obviously was suboptimal because it didn’t inspire enough terror, so after a while he decides that you have to also torture them after they’re dead, and sends a “savior”. Benign indeed. However, you can not say God does not exist simply because people use His name to get some more dirt. I do not say that. I’m commenting on what a good job he did spreading his “good news”. You either put your trust in it or you don’t, but don’t bother insulting people by trying to convey that all Christians are stupid, un-intelligent morons who blindly follow a ego-maniacal deity who simply throws “hissy-fits” on a wim and kills people for fun. You say you wouldn’t serve a god like that, and believe me, I sure wouldn’t either! Obviously, I’m not generalizing about the intelligence of all Christians, because there really are people like Ken Miller who are brilliant and still believe in Jebus. However, I am talking about your self-righteous drivel and trying to attribute disbelief not to the flimsy (or more like nonexistent) evidence and arguments you guys offer, but to our own faults. You’re even saying that we wouldn’t believe the evidence anyway, so it doesn’t matter that you don’t have any. Talk about self-serving. I don’t remember reading anywhere that illnesses are caused by “evil spirits.” Well, Mark 1:21-28 is one place. Considering that the ones who wrote it down went confidently to a martyr’s death defending the truth of their claims, I’m going to go with the former. Yes, and the evidence for this is what again? Oh, the Bible. Ever heard of circular arguments? A couple years ago I went with my family to Machu Pichu, Peru and watched as a bunch of New Agers gathered around a sacraficial rock with a stick pointed staight into the air and prayed for “mother nature” to “energize” them. This, my friend, is faith, without reason. Yes, those fools don’t realize just how frilly and sophisticated the emperor’s clothes are, unlike civilized people (you, for example). Not that they have less evidence for their claims, though… 532. Also, read Acts and you’ll notice that the “snake handling” prophesies and some of these others you can mention have already come to pass and were only meant for the apostles. Mark 16:16-18 clearly talks about all believers, sorry. If I recall correctly, there are actually people who have tried snake handling and been bitten, and died due to these passages. Speaking in tongues is popular among evangelicals in the States today still. You’ve also yet to answer my question from earlier. 533. Lowerleavell, you said “As it is impossible to disprove the existence of the God of the Bible (can’t prove a negative), atheists have rejected His existence based on His character.” You still don’t get it. What part of “there is no credible evidence for a deity, and as an extraordinary claim, it requires extraordinary evidence” don’t you understand? It is not necessary, and indeed impossible, to prove the nonexistence of a thing. If that is your standard of proof, you had better put a pirate hat on and make good with the Flying Spaghetti Monster. The character of the mythological Abrahamic god is another issue entirely. He is a repugnant tyrant, with weird obsessions about things like seafood and butt sex. 534. Lowerleavell, you said “My point is that based on His character, you really wouldn’t care if He existed or not because you wouldn’t put your trust in Him anyway.” No, I wouldn’t. Hell no. As a mythological character, the Abrahamic god supports slavery, genocide, rape, and child killing. Sorry, but that is not something a moral individual would be interested in emulating. You also said “If Jesus miraculously appeared to you, would you be a believer?” Of course I would be a believer. That is demonstrable proof. That does not mean I would be a worshipper, or a follower. You want to accuse me of taking things out of context. However, even if I accept interpretation of Leviticus as correct (“it only applies to Israel”), that still means that your “loving god” ordered the painful death of men for doing nothing more than having sex with each other. That is morally repugnant. It does not matter a bit whether or not it applies now. Of course, you are welcome to show scriptural justification for your stance, given Matthew 5:18 “For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled” and Luke 16:17 “And it is easier for heaven and earth to pass, than one tittle of the law to fail.” 535. Lowerleavell, you said ““Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.” So, you claim “all is fulfilled”? I guess you Christians can just go home, then, and quit shoving your bullshit in everyone’s faces. It is fulfilled. Heaven and earth have passed, right? Give me a break. 536. Lowerleavell, “You got mad at Scott Thong for using an example comparing Stalin with humanists yet you compared God Himself with Hitler? Wassup with that?” What is up with that? Compare the Holocaust with the Flood. Who caused more suffering, terror, and death? How about the deaths of all the first born in Egypt? 537. Lowerleavell, regarding the comparison of the Abrahamic god to Hitler, you said “This is a fallacy, especially since God (the creator) is not in the same class as Hitler (created). For instance, as a parent I have the right to send my oldest son to his room when he does something wrong. However, my oldest son does not have the right to tell his little brother to go to his room. Why? Same action, different person doing the action.” When your son is a competent adult, are you still allowed to tell him to go to his room? Why not? Are you allowed to kill your disobedient children? Why not? 538. Lowerleavell, you said “You make it sound as if all Christians (and I’m sure someone somewhere has) all put their trust in a crappy, stupid god apart totally apart from reason and intelligence. A couple years ago I went with my family to Machu Pichu, Peru and watched as a bunch of New Agers gathered around a sacraficial rock with a stick pointed staight into the air and prayed for ‘mother nature’ to ‘energize’ them. This, my friend, is faith, without reason.” The funny thing is that you don’t get why your comment is so funny. 539. Malachias Invictus, to be fair, you’re quoting those passages out of context. Their meaning is that the Law is supposed to be fulfilled after Jesus has resurrected, and you are supposed to follow the gospel. That’s a crude mistake I often see made. However, it is true that the prophecies weren’t strictly fulfilled, so maybe they’re supposed to follow the Law until the second coming? That doesn’t make sense either, because they’re not the chosen people. It’s a mess. 540. Wow, after 16 hours of straight work, I’m a little bit tired guys. You’ll have to forgive me if I get a little bit of sleep and be with my family for tonight before I work on replying to the ten or eleven posts that have appeared (on both threads) since I’ve commented this morning. My question is, how deep into this do you want to go on this and the other thread? I have not said that it may be pointless to give you arguments because you wouldn’t put your trust in the God of the Bible, just because there aren’t any arguments and I am bluffing. I am saying that because I’m trying to budget my time, and this is taking a lot of it! Do I claim to know everything to every question and comment that you make? I’d be a pretty brazen moron if I said yes. But much of what you say is skewed with your perception that it deserves an answer from the other side of the aisle. Please be patient, it’s coming. 541. I’m not sure that anyone can be an atheist unless they know everything! Perhaps God may be someone they haven’t met yet!! 542. Ohmigod, this comment log is like a car crash – I couldn’t stop reading, and now it is 5 in the morning. So I better at least let y’all know I was here. On the internets. Live. @lowerleavell dude says “Like it or not, the Bible says that rejection of God means spiritual death, which is why many Christians take this subject so seriously and defend it so adamately. They care about people. I hope I don’t offend you atheists by telling you that is my motivation (not that it matters much), is that I care about you.” I hear ya, LL, and I appreciate your attempt at concern, I really do. But you can show you truly care by understanding that others may not be rejecting God so much as they reject the literality with which many Christians believe in the King James Bible (or whatever version is current, forgive my ignorance). Some find inflexible adherence to inherited dogma a form of spiritual death, or they might just be tired of trying to mash the inconsistencies into a smooth paste. Which I think was kinda the point of this site, four hours ago. ‘Like it or not’ seems to imply that you have some avenue into reality that (non-fundamentalist Christian) others do not, and you come across, to me at least, as rather authoritarian and patronizing. It scares many people when one particular religion is presented as true for everyone everywhere, especially when the adherents of such religions try to pass legislation to enshrine these beliefs into law, despite a clear statement in the US Constitution. You could try and show respect to others by trusting that their spiritual life is something they can decide for themselves and that this may have nothing to do with the Bible, and might instead have everything to do with the infinite perfection of a well-baked pie, or something else just as tasty or relevant. Love, Fletch. PS: By the way, I think you mean ‘adamantly’ instead of ‘adamately’. Funny that one of the meanings for the word is ‘inflexible’. This is from some online Dictionary -my personal favorite good book- but you need not believe me or my choice of helpful book. Look around for yourself…I trust you to make your own decisions about usage and self-presentation. 543. “I’m not sure that anyone can be an atheist unless they know everything! Perhaps God may be someone they haven’t met yet!!” I don’t know everything and I’m an atheist. The point being that I know enough to reason that mythology is simply that. I include Christian mythology and other forms of superstition. If God wants to introduce him (or her) self and demonstrate his (or her) power in some measurable way then I may consider a conversion. Until such an unlikely event occurs I shall remain a skeptic. 544. I’ve been pondering over the weekend of why I have been contributing to these threads. I am not here to win an argument, nor am I here to hear myself prattle. However, in recent discussions I’ve had it something has occured to me. No atheist will ever accept the claims of the Bible as true because they have a different foundation than I do for their worldview. For that reason, we can go round and round for years on this argument, and that argument, and even though I plan on doing some answering here, I don’t expect you to adhere to anything because you’re worldview is different than mine. From my perspective, and those who’ve accepted a “God” scenario, my argumentes make sense. For those who have accepted a “godless” scenario, no persuading will do, because “god” does not exist and therefore the argument will always be lacking. So here’s the place the discussion needs to be at, our foundations. We need to discuss if truth can be know, if there are absolutes, and if you’re absolutely sure we can’t know truth, why or why not? We need to examine evidence, not just look for ways to refute evidence. We also need to have a discussion on the origins of origins, because the argument still stands that you either have eternal dirt/matter, or an eternal God. So, if you guys would like to discuss the foundations for why you believe what you believe (because Yahweh is evil is not a good reason to be an atheist) and vice versa, then I am willing to continue on here. If not, I have better things to do with my time than waste it all on a never ending cycle of argumentation that neither one will ever accept anyway. 545. Manly Tears: “Nero as a monster is mostly a myth propagated by Christians themselves.” What? It’s not just Christian handbooks and Christian history books that I’ve read up on Nero. I’ve never actually heard someone defend the insane emperor known as Nero before. If you’re bent on comparing people to Hitler, Nero’s the guy. It wasn’t just Christians he killed either. It was anyone who stood in his way or wouldn’t “worship” him. He wasn’t the only emperor that killed Christians anyway, he was just contemporary with the apostles, and that’s why I mentioned him. “It’s also completely ludicrous that you take on the victim pose, considering that not so long ago exercising free thought in regards to religion meant a visit from the inquisition, and apostasy meant certain death.” Once again, I CAN take the “victim pose” as you put it because as I mentioned before my spiritual for-fathers were among the ones dying in the inquisition and were “apostate” according to the Catholic Church. However, being a victim of a hate crime doesn’t make my position right, it just means at the end of this argument I will say this: if you find the arguments for God reasonable, that’s great, glorify God with your life. If not, just don’t kill us for our beliefs. Your rant against God in your post is irrelevant to you, since you don’t believe in Him anyway. You have chosen not to trust in His character, I have chosen to trust in His character. Again, your world-view, and your beliefs in “no God” make it impossible for you to understand the God of the Bible. For instance, your statement, “He then occasionally kills someone, or has them blinded, or turned into salt for no good reason…” That has no bearing on the discussion at all because it’s not true. God says He never does anything for “no good reason” and so your logic about God is faulty. You live in a country with laws right? Or are you from the Netherlands? Just kidding. As long as you are on the same side of the law the police and government will be on your side and everything will be fine. I’ll bet you though if you visited a local jail and asked them what they thought of the police and the government you wouldn’t find too many kind words. I believe this is the same thing going on here. You are on the other side of God’s law and so don’t have very many nice things to say about Him. I have chosen to obey His law (though obviously not perfectly) and so I see Him in a positive light. Any wonder why we disagree? You are saying He doesn’t have the right to set up laws and punish people if they don’t abide by them. That’s like saying if a drunk driver kills someone in a crash it’s just plain wrong and “malevolent beyond words” for the cops to put him in jail. Justice and punishment is God’s right, and you simply say He does not have that right. However, based on who He is, as our creator, He does have that right, and the fact that you baulk at it shows you to be on the other side of God’s moral law. “You’re even saying that we wouldn’t believe the evidence anyway, so it doesn’t matter that you don’t have any. Talk about self-serving.” I didn’t say there was no evidence. I said that nothing I say is going to convince you, so why confuse you with the facts? I’ll still present the evidence, but I won’t be surprised if you don’t examine the evidence, but rather just look for ways to refute it. I don’t remember reading anywhere that illnesses are caused by “evil spirits.” “Well, Mark 1:21-28 is one place.” Read it again Man. There’s nothing there that says sickness comes from “evil spirits.” Dealing with the dark forces is dangerous yes, but that doesn’t mean someone with cancer is demon posessed. Once again you’re trying to make the Bible say something it never said and make it sound “mythological”. I’ll have to continue later. Again, I’ve got to go to work. I work to much… 546. The assumption that you can’t convert “us” because we share a different “world-view” is not correct, because what you say would still be hogwash even if we accepted your presuppositions about your deity. Don’t forget that you are also a YEC ignoramus, which is about as respectable as being a dinosaur-denialist or a geocentrist, and it’s an outrage that it doesn’t always bear the appropriate stigma in the US, like it does in the rest of the world, save for, say, Pakistan. Once again, I CAN take the “victim pose” as you put it because as I mentioned before my spiritual for-fathers were among the ones dying in the inquisition and were “apostate” according to the Catholic Church. It is an insult to all the people who are still suffering indignities or death in the name of any faith or whatever today. How many “witches” or heretics did the Protestants kill, by the way? If you claim you personally are a victim because of your ancestors history, it follows that you are also personally guilty of the atrocities that were perpetuated by them. I’ve never actually heard someone defend the insane emperor known as Nero before. You say that like it meant anything by this point. Nero was, of course, a despot and not a role model for children, but he was later demonized by Christians. Relative to his era and other Roman emperors, there was nothing exceptionally evil about him, unless you are a whiny Christian. Once again you’re trying to make the Bible say something it never said and make it sound “mythological”. I don’t need to, because that’s exactly what “casting out demons” sounds like, and illness there is often accompanied by “unclean spirits”. Though I admit that it doesn’t explicitly say that they cause it, except for Luke 4:39, where Jesus “gives orders” to a fever and it “goes away”, which is in line with his other exorcisms. He also promised that his followers would be able to perform exorcisms and miracle healings too, but I suppose they don’t have enough faith these days, because it’s been shown to generally not do anything. Anyway, must be tough being a Christian, having to deal with invisible dark forces and all. Your analogy with atheists being the criminals is amazing in its own right. You’re such an irritating little twit. Your arguments seem to be that I can’t understand what is said in the Bible because I don’t imagine it is true, and that everything your god does is good, because he says so, and because he is the creator of everything. First, textual criticism does not rely on accepting all you read as true, otherwise no one would be able to analyze any work of fiction, save for the insane. Second, as I said earlier, in the terms of the Bible, after eating from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, all people are equipped to recognize what is ethically right or wrong. Thus, your god being the Creator of the Universe does not mean he can’t do anything that is ethically wrong, because humans do not need to rely on anything but themselves to make that judgment. I think it is also generally accepted that children are not their parents slaves or property, and the responsibilities are mutual. If you were to treat your children like the tyrant described in the Bible, you would be rightfully put away. Oh, and they also deserve to be free when they grow up. I do agree that the Creator of the Universe would be entitled to make the rules, though, but that doesn’t mean he couldn’t abuse this right, like in the Eden story. The Flood story, for example, is actually unparalleled by any human genocide in its arbitrariness and violence. I mean, he personally killed everyone except for one incestuous family. The suffering of the Egyptians was also due to him just wanting to show off. The story of Isaac’s sacrifice should send shivers up the spine of any human. The Holocaust and all the endless misery of the Jews was clearly his doing too, because his chosen people weren’t living in their chosen land. The filigree design of the Ebola virus, or the appendicitis, just the kind of thing you’d expect from a loving parent, and not a sadist. Anyway, most of what you do is evade the fact that you have no real evidence that your religion is true, that you haven’t even bothered to look, and that you have shit for brains and can’t comprehend what is being said. For example: I said that nothing I say is going to convince you, so why confuse you with the facts? I’ll still present the evidence, but I won’t be surprised if you don’t examine the evidence, but rather just look for ways to refute it. We saw your “evidence”, and it’s only your own fault that it was so shoddy. If you think it was not, prove it, otherwise shut up. 547. Look at you. You know how to start a fire, don’t you? I am working on my thoughts about it all. Truly, I think you protest too much. Do you have any other life than “trying to point out the incredible failures of Biblical Infallibility”? Just curious. Also, you must have studied the Bible in depth to be so certain – have you? 548. To everyone who might be wondering why I’m not answering: 550 responses. Enough said. I’ve already clarified my post and explained away arguments here and in some of the comments further up. To recap: Biblical innerancy is a crock of horse shit. The Bible fails wherever you look at it. In the particular case of Pi = 3 any arguments of approximations or interpretations only prove my point: That the Bible is there to be interpreted and picked from, not to be taken literally. The minute you start delving into meaning and context then the literalism falls apart: the Bible says God created the world in six days – either He did or He didn’t. Biblical literalism either stands or falls as a whole. It turns out (not just because of this ridiculous Pi argument) that it falls as a whole. 549. Marsha: As a matter of fact, I do have the vestiges of a former life before I started to take on Biblical literalism, thanks for wondering. 550. Manly Tears: Continuing on with answering your responses as I have time: “first, the context of the Isaiah does not point to “virgin” being the correct meaning of “almah”, second, the primary usage for that is not “virgin” either, third, Isaiah was proven false in the later chapters.” The technical term for almah: a young woman of marital age, one of whose characteristics is virginity. In the culture of the day, a young woman who was unmarried was a virgin. They didn’t have this, “let’s try living together for a few years and see if it works out” sort of thing. It’s no stretch of the culture, context, the meaning of the word, or imagination to call an “almah” a virgin. Also how is Isaiah “proven false” in later chapters? “You have still to answer why is it that non-messianic Judaists can’t accept the “truth” of their messiah having already come. Hiding the ball won’t do, and please no improvised hypothesis or generalizations, but verifiable facts.” That’s like me asking why non-atheistic Christians can’t accept atheism. There are not a huge number of Messianic-Jews, but there are several that I know personally. You also have prominent people like Ray Comfort that claim to be Jewish as well. Many Jewish people don’t accept “Yahweh” today either, so why would they accept “Christ”? You have an interesting view of the Garden of Eden. You seem to think that God was standing up there in heaven with a big stick just waiting for them to mess it up. Of course they had no knowlege of good and evil. They’d never been tested in their obedience before. This argument goes back to free will and God not creating robots to worship Him with no choice whatsoever. God was just in His actions. He said don’t eat; they ate. How was He wrong in standing by His word? By the way, it wasn’t just the tree that gave knowledge of good and evil, it was their actions. By either obeying or disobeying in their test they would have gained the knowledge of good and evil. Also, He drove them out of the garden so that they wouldn’t live forever in separation from Him. Adam and Eve I believe are in heaven today because while they didn’t obey in the one instance, and had to live with the consequences, they still put their trust in God for reconciliation. The story of Adam and Eve is the first story of God’s mercy and justice balanced together. He punished sin, yet gave the promise for redemption. “Mark 16:16-18 clearly talks about all believers, sorry.” Acts 28:5, Paul handles a viper safely, and in Matt. 10:1 and Acts 3:7,8, and other places, the disciples heal the sick. God gave a “sign” of those who believe. Those signs were accomplished and are no longer necessary with the completion of the Bible. Could God do it? Obviously, but people who are finding snakes to test it out for kicks don’t have the protection or promise of God backing them up. “Speaking in tongues is popular among evangelicals in the States today still.” While I don’t believe tongues are for today, that’s a doctrine I’m not going to hound my fellow “evangelics” about all day long. Another instance where we can agree to disagree and still both be Christians. Malachias: “What part of “there is no credible evidence for a deity, and as an extraordinary claim, it requires extraordinary evidence” don’t you understand?” We can discuss this if you wish, that’s not a problem. I will gather some info, so I don’t have to try to give it off the top of my head and miss some techincal jargon, and present some (I obviously don’t have time nor the space to give it all in a blog since volumes have been written)arguments for the existence of God. Thursday night will be a good time while I’m at my other job. “Of course I would be a believer. That is demonstrable proof. That does not mean I would be a worshipper, or a follower.” Then why would He bother showing Himself great to you? I have seen some pretty subjective things about the existence of God that I usually don’t bring up because they are subjective and not examinable. However, just to give you an instance. My friend asked, “if there is a God my cell phone will ring right now! (She wasn’t trying to put God to the test to prove Him wrong, she had a good heart about it.) Instantly her phone rang and she answered it. On the other end she hears from someone she’s never heard from before, “um, I’m supposed to tell you that I just put my trust in God.” click. I’ve heard many stories like this, and while they don’t prove anything, most people I talk with about the existence of God can point to something unexplainable in their lives that convinced them that God must really exist. I have some of those experiences too. Subjective, so take it as such. “that still means that your “loving god” ordered the painful death of men for doing nothing more than having sex with each other. That is morally repugnant. It does not matter a bit whether or not it applies now.” Why is that morally repugnant? He set up a law saying, “don’t do this or else” and when people did it, the “or else” happened. He lived and lives by His Word, which is called, “telling the truth.” How is that morally repugnant? By the way, why is your standard of morality the one we should go by anyway? Morality is generally accepted (nowadays) as the collective good of the masses. Historically, those masses got their morality from religion. You are arguing against God using morality from religion that you don’t even believe in. For an atheist, morality is relative anyway. How am I supposed to take your argument serious? Ugh, off to work. 551. One other point on the Immanuel prophesy in Isaiah 7:14. Here’s the verse: “Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel.” Ok, if it’s not a virgin, read it this way, Behold a young woman shall bear a son… Wow! What a sign! That doesn’t happen every day, does it?! A young woman giving birth? You don’t say! If it’s not saying that she is a virgin, what’s this amazing sign that Isaiah’s fortelling? My wife is a young woman and has had two sons. That’s significant to us, but not a fulfillment of prophesy. No, there’s a little bit more to this verse than just saying a young woman will give birth to a son. 552. “It is an insult to all the people who are still suffering indignities or death in the name of any faith or whatever today. How many “witches” or heretics did the Protestants kill, by the way? If you claim you personally are a victim because of your ancestors history, it follows that you are also personally guilty of the atrocities that were perpetuated by them.” You are right here, and I don’t claim to fit anywhere in the same category with anyone who has ever physically suffered for their faith. I don’t mean to imply that I am anywhere close to on that same level, my apologies. By the way, I would claim some of the Anabaptists as being the closest theologically to where I stand during the time of the reformation. As far as I have researched, they were hated and killed by the Protestants AND the Catholics. One group known as the Waldensians were passivists and allowed the Catholic Church to literally mow down their villages and towns killing pretty much everyone. These people I believe to be great in their faith, and who I want to spiritually be like. Not those who were doing the persecuting. Sorry, Martin Luther. Luther, I loved those 95 thesis, but so not cool to kill those who didn’t agree with you (still too much Catholicism in his bloodstream, I guess). 553. Malachias: “So, you claim “all is fulfilled”?” No, as Manly Tears stated, you are taking this verse out of context. Manly Tears: “However, it is true that the prophecies weren’t strictly fulfilled, so maybe they’re supposed to follow the Law until the second coming?” Again, Paul’s writings make it very point blank clear that we (including Jews) are no longer under the law because the law’s purpose was to show people they needed a Messiah. A Bible literalists believes that anything that was not fulfilled when Jesus came will still yet literally be fulfilled. Malachias: “When your son is a competent adult, are you still allowed to tell him to go to his room? Why not? Are you allowed to kill your disobedient children? Why not?” “If you were to treat your children like the tyrant described in the Bible, you would be rightfully put away. Oh, and they also deserve to be free when they grow up.” All analogies break down, and you’ve found where this one does. As adults our parents have trained us to be self-sufficient, yet God is not trying to make us into “gods” ourselves. We will always need God and there will never be a time when we outgrow Him, unless of course, you think you can live without what He’s made, like air for instance. “The funny thing is that you don’t get why your comment is so funny.” I got it Dude. I was pretty sure you’d think that is what Christians do, have faith without reason. Fletch: “But you can show you truly care by understanding that others may not be rejecting God so much as they reject the literality with which many Christians believe in the King James Bible (or whatever version is current, forgive my ignorance).” The people in this discussion so far have been saying there is no God period, not just that the KJV should not be taken literally. There is a great case to be made for taking the Bible literally, for one reason, because it’s rude not to. As I said before, I took what you said literally, why not give the Bible the same courtesy, except in places it says not to? “Like it or not’ seems to imply that you have some avenue into reality that (non-fundamentalist Christian) others do not, and you come across, to me at least, as rather authoritarian and patronizing.” My apologies if I am coming across that way. I want to stand on the Bible, and if you show me where it doesn’t back up, I will shut up about it. I am not a perfect orator (big suprise) and there are many, many apologists who would do a much, much better job than I. However, the Bible claims to be true, and I have put my trust in that fact, after careful study. For those who put their authority on themselves and their interpretations instead of on the text, I do have a problem with that, yes. “By the way, I think you mean ‘adamantly’ instead of ‘adamately’. Funny that one of the meanings for the word is ‘inflexible’.” Why isn’t there spell check on blogs?!!! 🙂 Hoverfrog, “If God wants to introduce him (or her) self and demonstrate his (or her) power in some measurable way then I may consider a conversion. Until such an unlikely event occurs I shall remain a skeptic.” Again, why would God show Himself to prove a moot point? Manly Tears: “Don’t forget that you are also a YEC ignoramus, which is about as respectable as being a dinosaur-denialist or a geocentrist, and it’s an outrage that it doesn’t always bear the appropriate stigma in the US, like it does in the rest of the world, save for, say, Pakistan.” If I was worried about being “respectable” I wouldn’t have joined in on this conversation to begin with. Several people I know wonder why I took the time to join the mess just because the title includes an expletive. By the way, YEC’s believe in dinos, Dude. They just believe they were contemporary with man. You’d think the many footprint fossils they’ve found underneath dino footprints would make that easier to beleive. “Relative to his era and other Roman emperors, there was nothing exceptionally evil about him [Nero], unless you are a whiny Christian.” Yeah, comparing him to the other Roman emperors is a good way to compass his morality. Good call. …”and illness there is often accompanied by “unclean spirits”.” Though the Bible shows that “unclean spirits” can cause it’s victim harm and illness, it never says that illness is rooted in demon posession. Here’s a question. Do you deny the existence of anything supernatural? Do you believe in aliens? It’s funny, but most atheists I talk to believe in aliens or have had some experience with the supernatural. I am just wondering if you do too. “Your analogy with atheists being the criminals is amazing in its own right. You’re such an irritating little twit.” Of course, you didn’t answer the claim, just made a judgment on my character and left it at that. Anyway, the Bible makes it clear that we are ALL (myself a big one) criminals apart from God’s grace to us, and stand on the opposite side of His law. We were all enemies of God and He has the right to punish us for our transgressions. However, because of His mercy (that word pops up a lot) He provided a way for us to be reconciled to Himself. Those who choose that path are forgiven because the payment for the trangression has been made. Christianity in a nutshell. “First, textual criticism does not rely on accepting all you read as true, otherwise no one would be able to analyze any work of fiction, save for the insane.” That is correct, but it does require that you leave as much bias on the table as you can, and read with an open, sincere mind. You have already made your mind up before you came to the Bible, and as you guys admitted to already, even if God physically appeared to you, you wouldn’t put your trust in Him anyway. So, how would you be expected to put your trust in the Bible? “I mean, he personally killed everyone except for one incestuous family. The suffering of the Egyptians was also due to him just wanting to show off. The story of Isaac’s sacrifice should send shivers up the spine of any human.” He told everyone in advance that the flood was coming and they needed to repent to be saved from it. God warned ’em and they didn’t listen or take God seriously. Why was He evil for doing what He said? Also, God didn’t just want to “show off,” again, if Pharoah would have let the Israelites go, the plagues would have stopped. But if you read you’ll notice that he kept hardening his heart over and over, so God gave him over to his choices. In the story of Isaac, no one is killed, just one person’s faith tested. I would wonder about it too if God actually made Abraham kill Isaac, who hadn’t done anything wrong. “The Holocaust and all the endless misery of the Jews was clearly his doing too, because his chosen people weren’t living in their chosen land.” What?!!! Where did that come from?!! Have you actually heard this argument?! Whered id you get that idea?! What a sick thing to say! 554. 3 Also known as 3.00 or 3.0. There you made a very fundamental, simple, high-school mathematical mistake that forms the basis of your erroneous conclusion. There is a basic mathematical principle of precision. The precision of the calculation’s result cannot exceed the precision of the calculation’s least precise starting variables. This equation’s variables have a precision of only a single decimal place because decimal places are calculated going left to right and ending with the first zero which is followed by nothing but zeros (unless zeros are explicitly enumerated past the decimal point). For example: 30 = 1 significant decimal place 3001 = 4 significant decimal places 38700 = 3 significant decimal places 329.23 = 5 significant decimal places 30.000 = 5 significant decimal places The calculation in question is 30/10. 3 is the correct answer. Since the equation has a precision of only one significant decimal place, the correct answer is indeed 3. 3 is not the same as 3.0 or 3.00. 3.141592654 (with a precision of 10 significant decimal places) is the same as 3.14 (with a precision of 3 significant decimal places) which is the same as 3 (with a precision of 1 significant decimal place). Without precise measurements (such as 30.49582934 cubits/10.02348238 cubits) you cannot assert that the Bible is saying anything about digits on the right side of the decimal point because it makes no assertion to that level of precision. My ruler asserts to be 12 inches long not 12.00 inches long. In fact, if it was measured by a highly accurate instrument, it would probably be found to measure 12.01 or 11.99 inches long. However, it is still entirely mathematically accurate to say that it measures 12 inches long because such a statement does not assert a precision beyond two decimal places. In fact, it is quite a simple matter to see that given the asserted precision of numbers in this passage of Scripture, one is forced, if one wants to perform calculations on those numbers while being mathematically accurate, to round to the proper number of significant decimal places: 30/3.141592654 = 9.549[…] cubits. If one follows standard mathematical principles of precision (The result of a mathematical equation cannot have a greater precision than its least precision variable.), one is forced to round 9.549[…] cubits to 10 cubits. So even if the object had an exact circumference of 30 cubits (not a given since a cubit is a relative/approximate measurement depending on a person’s arm), we see that the diameter is indeed properly rounded up to 10 cubits, the asserted precision in Scripture. In conclusion, if one uses your fallacious mathematical methodology, one can say that your blog has error in its assertion of Pi being 3.141592654 because actually Pi (to a precision of 4 million significant decimal places) is 3.141592653589793238462643383279502884197169399375105820974944592307[…] (non-truncated version found here). However, if one uses correct mathematical methodology, one sees that you are correct in saying Pi is 3.141592654 because you are not asserting a precision greater than 10 significant decimal places. In the same way, if one is careful to use standard mathematical methodology, the Bible’s figures are not shown to be in error because the figures given are accurate given the stated precision. 555. […] he makes a very simple mistake that underlies his entire diatribe against the Bible’s accuracy and is fatal to its thesis. […] 556. Hey, did you guys delete my posts? I spent a long time writing on here last night and I got all caught up with where the discussion is. It had a note on it saying it needed “moderator approval” but now it’s gone. 557. Manly Tears, you said “Malachias Invictus, to be fair, you’re quoting those passages out of context. Their meaning is that the Law is supposed to be fulfilled after Jesus has resurrected…” So, heaven and earth passed when Jesus was resurrected? That is what you interpretation asserts, after all. 558. Lowerleavell, you said “No atheist will ever accept the claims of the Bible as true because they have a different foundation than I do for their worldview.” Yes. Our foundation is evidence and rationality. Yours is authority and credulity. 559. Lowerleavell, you said “Your rant against God in your post is irrelevant to you, since you don’t believe in Him anyway. You have chosen not to trust in His character, I have chosen to trust in His character.” The Abrahamic god’s character, as shown by the Christian Bible, is that of a genocidal megalomaniac. You also said “Again, your world-view, and your beliefs in ‘no God’ make it impossible for you to understand the God of the Bible.” I understand the mythology just fine. I understand Greek and Norse mythology as well. “For instance, your statement, ‘He then occasionally kills someone, or has them blinded, or turned into salt for no good reason…’ That has no bearing on the discussion at all because it’s not true. God says He never does anything for ‘no good reason’ and so your logic about God is faulty.” No, it just means that he does not accept stupid “special pleading” arguments. 560. Lowerleavell, you said “As long as you are on the same side of the law the police and government will be on your side and everything will be fine.” Apparently, you don’t live in America, bub. Ever hear of civil rights lawsuits? 561. Lowerleavell, you said “I didn’t say there was no evidence. I said that nothing I say is going to convince you, so why confuse you with the facts? I’ll still present the evidence, but I won’t be surprised if you don’t examine the evidence, but rather just look for ways to refute it.” You really need to catch a clue: looking for ways to refute evidence is a fundamental part of examining it. That is why science trumps faith every time. 562. I wrote ““that still means that your ‘loving god’ ordered the painful death of men for doing nothing more than having sex with each other. That is morally repugnant. It does not matter a bit whether or not it applies now.” Lowerleavell said “Why is that morally repugnant?” Lowerleavell, that should be obvious to anyone who is not an utter moral cripple. Fellow atheists, freethinkers, and fence-sitters, let this be an example of why we cannot allow Dominionists to take over the United States. 563. I keep trying to post stuff but it keeps getting deleted. Is this you guys or my error? 564. Malachias: “You really need to catch a clue: looking for ways to refute evidence is a fundamental part of examining it. That is why science trumps faith every time.” Here’s how the “best of the best” scientists explain the universe/origins of life: “There are also hypotheses, such as alternate dimensions of time or an eternally oscillating universe, that allow a universe without a first cause.” http://talkorigins.org/indexcc/CI/CI200.html 565. “Yes. Our foundation is evidence and rationality. Yours is authority and credulity.” “When all the gravitational potential energy is added to all the other energy in the universe, it might sum to zero (Guth 1997, 9-12,271-276; Tryon 1973).” http://talkorigins.org/indexcc/CF/CF101.html Here’s hoping it “might” sum to zero. I’m sure this hypotheses is based on “evidence.” Hilarious! 566. This one’s my favorite. An attempt to explain where life came from: I like this answer, “Something that no one has thought of yet.” http://talkorigins.org/indexcc/CB/CB010_2.html Basically, we have no clue, but we know it couldn’t have been God because that’s not logical! 567. Another possibility is that the universe is in an eternal cycle without beginning or end. Each big bang might end in a big crunch to start a new cycle (Steinhardt and Turok 2002) or at long intervals, our universe collides with a mirror universe, creating the universe anew (Seife 2002).” http://talkorigins.org/ Oh, this is much better! Again, an eternal universe, or eternal big bangs. So, again, where did life come from? 568. Guys, you’re smarter than this right? The best they’ve got is eternal big bangs or maybe someone will come up with something better in the future? Come on! These are just examples of some of the problems with your atheistic views. Please forgive me for turning the tables on you and becoming the skeptic to the “truth” of atheism. Over and over that talkorigins site dismissed any “God” hypothesis by simply waving the word “incredulity.” How’s that any different than an uninformed Bible literalist saying, “God said it, I believe it, that settles it?!” I’m supposed to trust these experts who basically say there’s a lot of theories but we don’t have the slightest clue? Again, forgive me for being a skeptic. To me, it’s obvious you guys have the arguments you need to make an informed decision. If you choose to put your trust in God, by all means, you have my blessing, but if you choose not to, good luck with coming up with that better hypothesis that is assuredly true. Maybe someone will come up with a better “truth” someday soon. You’re gonna need that luck. Do the words, “willingly ignorant” sound familiar to anyone? Seems to fit. Atheists, freethinkers, and fence-sitters, let this be an example of why atheism breaks down at its foundation. They have no clue about our origin but criticize anyone who has examined the evidence and appeals for an “intelligent” designer based on the intelligent information you have in the universe. 569. Lowerleavell, you said “Here’s how the ‘best of the best’ scientists explain the universe/origins of life: ‘There are also hypotheses, such as alternate dimensions of time or an eternally oscillating universe, that allow a universe without a first cause.'” First of all, it is highly intellectually dishonest of you to insinuate that this is *the* explanation the “best of the best” scientists use. Note that these ideas are merely hypotheses, not theories. You are attempting to mock them, I assume, because to you they sound ridiculous (the argument from ignorance is a favorite of theists). That is likely because you haven’t the educational background to begin to comment on the physics involved. Therefore, you are arguing from near-complete ignorance. This is not surprising, as theists have been taking this stance against science since science has been around. I find it particularly arrogant of you to think you know more about cosmology than Stephen Hawking. 570. Lowerleavell, you once again attempt a mocking argument from incredulity: “‘When all the gravitational potential energy is added to all the other energy in the universe, it might sum to zero (Guth 1997, 9-12,271-276; Tryon 1973).’ http://talkorigins.org/indexcc/CF/CF101.html Here’s hoping it ‘might’ sum to zero. I’m sure this hypotheses is based on ‘evidence.’ Hilarious!” First, it is hypothesis with an “i.” “Hypotheses” is plural. Do you even have the slightest clue what you are talking about? Do you even know what a hypothesis *is*? It is either a suggested explanation for a phenomenon or a reasoned proposal suggesting a possible correlation between multiple phenomena. A hypothesis requires more research in order to either confirm or disprove it. A *confirmed* hypothesis may become a theory or an extension of an existing theory. Back to the subject, do you know for a fact that the sum of the gravitational potential energy, when added to all the other energy in the universe, does *not* sum to zero? Of course you don’t. You don’t even have the education necessary to even comment intelligently on the subject. Quite frankly, neither do I. In fact, it is likely that no one who has posted a comment here does. So you really do not have a basis of knowledge for your argument, which seems to consist of “If I cannot imagine it to be true, it must be false.” 571. Lowerleavell, you do us all a great service with this one: “This one’s my favorite. An attempt to explain where life came from: I like this answer, ‘Something that no one has thought of yet.'” Thank you for illustrating that scientists are unafraid of admitting they don’t know some things. Theists seem to fear this. They seem to need an airtight explanation for everything. Sorry, bub, but there will always be unknowns out there. In places where you fearfully retreat behind your god myth, scientists boldly seek to understand and explain. http://talkorigins.org/indexcc/CB/CB010_2.html I note that you ignored the other 6 theories listed on that page. You said “Basically, we have no clue,” No, what was said is “we have a couple of ideas, including one that looks very good (Emerging Hypercycles), but we are not certain yet, and still working on it.” Finally, you said “but we know it couldn’t have been God because that’s not logical!” No one said they *know* there is no deity. However, there is no evidence for one, and the existence of one is not necessary to explain anything. 572. Lowerleavell, you said “Oh, this is much better! Again, an eternal universe, or eternal big bangs. So, again, where did life come from?” Once again, you argue from ignorance, somehow arrogantly thinking you know more about cosmology than Hawking. Have you looked at his research? Can you even *comprehend* his research? 573. Lowerleavell, you said “Guys, you’re smarter than this right? The best they’ve got is eternal big bangs or maybe someone will come up with something better in the future? Come on!” So, you think a bunch of ignorant, Bronze Age sheepherders knew better? You are honestly thinking this is an intelligent position to take? Lowerleavell: “Over and over that talkorigins site dismissed any ‘God’ hypothesis by simply waving the word ‘incredulity.'” Rightly so. Your “God of the Gaps” has to keep shrinking in response to scientific advances. You claim to have a hypothesis, yet your hypothesis fails at every turn. A deity is simply not needed, and has no explanatory value. Lowerleavell: “I’m supposed to trust these experts who basically say there’s a lot of theories but we don’t have the slightest clue?” You apparently do not understand that “there’s a lot of theories” and “we don’t have the slightest clue” are contradictory statements. Lowerleavell: “If you choose to put your trust in God, by all means, you have my blessing, but if you choose not to, good luck with coming up with that better hypothesis that is assuredly true.” That is the strength of science: theories adjust to fit each piece of evidence. It is not absolutist. Theism chooses to make the arrogant claim that it has a complete lock on the truth. Science, on the other hand, make a far humbler claim: it provides the best explanation for the evidence. If new evidence comes to light, the explanation must adjust to include it. That is why it has such incredible explanatory power. “Goddidit” does not, and is in fact an intellectually bankrupt position. 574. “First of all, it is highly intellectually dishonest of you to insinuate that this is *the* explanation the “best of the best” scientists use.” First, re-read what I wrote. I said that it was the scientists that were “the best of the best.” You have a habit of taking my words out of context. You did it when I spoke of God’s character by simply saying one sentence that I said, “Lowerleavell said “Why is that morally repugnant?”” instead of quouting my whole statement, and you’re doing it now. Second, I simply made comments on what the scientists themselves said, and even gave links so you could read them yourselves if anyone wished, to be fair. “That is likely because you haven’t the educational background to begin to comment on the physics involved.” I am educated enough to know how to copy and paste a web-site and let people read the quotes for themselves. If what they say isn’t defendable to the average “Joe” on the street (an attempt at humor since you already knowthis is my name), then do you wonder why scientists simply wave their hands and insult people’s intelligence? Do I tell you, “Mal, you’re not an educated theologian, you have no business talking about God. You’re an idiot!”? People with no degree in theology talk about God every day and yet I would be shooting myself in the foot if I didn’t encourage discussion and questions rather than put people down for their lack of understanding on certain issues. 575. “First, it is hypothesis with an “i.” “Hypotheses” is plural.” My bad. My wife is the English major in the family, and my spell check. Once again, proof that man needs woman. 🙂 “Back to the subject, do you know for a fact that the sum of the gravitational potential energy, when added to all the other energy in the universe, does *not* sum to zero? Of course you don’t.” No I do not, and if it did, it would really show how marvelous God is for an unbelievable balancing act of energy to make it sum “zero”. However, it is flawed to say that the energy that exists doesn’t matter because somewhere else it may not and they balance each other out. If the universe came from nothing (and that’s an enormously mind-boggling concept) then you wouldn’t expect to find intelligence (like people building machines and blogging each other across the reaches of the ocean). Yet it was Quentin Smith the atheist who concluded, “the most reasonable belief is that we came from nothing, by nothing, and for nothing.” If that is the case, the burden is on the atheists, not the theists to explain by nature and by science how something can come from absolutely nothing. At least in theism you have intelligence at the beginning with information. In atheism, you just have…nothing. “Thank you for illustrating that scientists are unafraid of admitting they don’t know some things. Theists seem to fear this. They seem to need an airtight explanation for everything.” Not this theist, nor many others I’ve read. Actually, I learned a lot by reading up on just about half of the arguments from that web-site you provided. I did find it interesting that many of the “creationist” arguments came from Jehovah Witness tracts (Watchtower). Now there’s the best of the best that theists can muster! 🙂 576. “I find it particularly arrogant of you to think you know more about cosmology than Stephen Hawking.” No, I didn’t way I knew more than Hawking. I’m sure he’s a bright and imaginative man. It probably took a lot to come up with “the Ocillating Model.” However, I have read what William Lane Craig has written in responce to him, but I’m sure he’s not credible either. He says about Hawkins’ theory, “For one thing, it contradicts the known laws of physics…The whole theory was simply a theoretical abstraction. Physics never supported it.” He says quite a bit more on the subject that totally refutes Hawkins’ theory. He sums up by saying, “So if the mother universe were eternal, eventually a universe would have formed at each point. Think about that. Finally these universes would be running into each other or coalescing until the entire quantum vacuum in the mother universe would be filled wihth an infinitely old universe, which contradicts our observations. That’s why this model hasn’t survived.” (The Case for a Creator, Strobel. pg. 117) If you’ve never read William’s reply to Hawkins in “The Case for a Creator”, you really need to. “I note that you ignored the other 6 theories listed on that page.” That’s because I posted the link for people to read on their own if interest. I simply just found the last “explanation” funny, that’s all. “Emerging hypercycles: This proposes a gradual origin of the first life, roughly in the following stages: (1) a primordial soup of simple organic compounds. This seems to be almost inevitable; (2) nucleoproteins, somewhat like modern tRNA (de Duve 1995a) or peptide nucleic acid (Nelson et al. 2000), and semicatalytic; (3) hypercycles, or pockets of primitive biochemical pathways that include some approximate self-replication; (4) cellular hypercycles, in which more complex hypercycles are enclosed in a primitive membrane; (5) first simple cell. Complexity theory suggests that the self-organization is not improbable. This view of abiogenesis is the current front-runner.” http://talkorigins.org/indexcc/CB/CB010_2.html Ok, from my limited perspective this means, it rained on the rocks for millions of years to make a “primordial soup” and poof, the process of life begins. Question: Where did the rain come from? Where did the rocks come from? Where did any of the nucleoproteins etc. come from? Even theistic evolutionists have enough sense to say that the rocks and rain had to come from somewhere. Ok, so basically, there are six “theories” that scientists accept as plausible? Why is the “intelligent design” concept not among those on the list? Even if it was something someone just came up with out of the blue, it still ranks up there with “something that no one has come up with yet.” 577. “So, you think a bunch of ignorant, Bronze Age sheepherders knew better? You are honestly thinking this is an intelligent position to take?” Tell that to people like Daniel who was royalty and one of the top advisors to King Nebechadnezzar of Babylon. Tell that to Moses who had the top Egyptian education of the day since he lived in Pharoah’s house. Tell that to Dr. Luke. Yeah, they’re all sheepherders. That’s an accurate portrayal! You do a great job of portaying the Bible in a skewed manner. No wonder you hate it so much. “Rightly so. Your “God of the Gaps” has to keep shrinking in response to scientific advances. You claim to have a hypothesis, yet your hypothesis fails at every turn. A deity is simply not needed, and has no explanatory value.” You are right that the “God of the Gaps” has continually been shrinking the more we know. Yet, He is still there, and our knowledge of Him is growing. Intelligent design is a theory that is really catching on with many intellectually honest scientists who do not fear scrutiny from their colleagues. “You apparently do not understand that “there’s a lot of theories” and “we don’t have the slightest clue” are contradictory statements.” Let me clarify. We don’t have the slightest clue which one is correct or even which one is the most plausible. We just know which one is the most popular. That’s supposed to make it true? Something really happened, and science does not have the answer. But yet you claim we’re supposed to trust science for everything? “That is the strength of science: theories adjust to fit each piece of evidence. It is not absolutist. Theism chooses to make the arrogant claim that it has a complete lock on the truth. Science, on the other hand, make a far humbler claim: it provides the best explanation for the evidence.” I like your key words that you say of science like, “strength, evidence, humbler, and best” and then your words for theism, “absulutist, arrogant, lock on the truth.” That’s like saying pro-choice instead of anti-life. Which one sounds better? Your key words don’t make your position true, they simply mean you are biassed toward things that science can’t possibly explain with science, because the origin of the universe is neither testable nor observable. ““Goddidit” does not, and is in fact an intellectually bankrupt position.” Wow, intellectually bankrupt. It’s funny how much you put me down for my lack of knowledge and yet you fail to comprehend how intelligent design is completely compatible with science. By the way, your quoted web-site did a horrible job of explaining irreducibly complex machines. Behe’s arguments still stand especially since he replies to the same critique that’s on the web site this way, “The problem is that it’s not an argument against anything I’ve ever said. In my book, I explicitly point out that some of the components of biochemical machines can have other functions. But the issue remains–can you use numerous, slight, successive modifications to get from those other functions to where we are now? Some of the objections seem silly.” (The Case for a Creator, Strobel. pg. 200) Your quoted web-site also failed to explain how we have a mind with intelligence, emotion, and will, and not just a brain. 578. Lowerleavell, you accuse me of taking your words out of context. You said “I said that it was the scientists that were ‘the best of the best.'” No kidding. If you read for comprehension, you will see the emphasis I put on the word “the.” You seem to have difficulty understanding that there are many theories about cosmology, some better than others. There is no “*the* theory.” You then say “If what they say isn’t defendable to the average “Joe” on the street, then do you wonder why scientists simply wave their hands and insult people’s intelligence?” What makes you think complicated physics can be dumbed down in this way, and still make sense? Do you feel the same way about medicine? Quantum mechanics? YOu are being absurd. Feel free to show evidence that these scientists are simply waving their hands and insulting people’s intelligence. I find it incredibly funny that you make this accusation, given that “Goddidit” is the ultimate hand wave, and likely the greatest insult to human intelligence. As far as theology goes, I agree with Stephen Jay Gould: Theology is a subject without a subject matter. 579. Lowerleavell, you quoted me when I said “Thank you for illustrating that scientists are unafraid of admitting they don’t know some things. Theists seem to fear this. They seem to need an airtight explanation for everything.” You then said “Not this theist, nor many others I’ve read.” Yet this seems to contradict what you said before: “If you choose to put your trust in God, by all means, you have my blessing, but if you choose not to, good luck with coming up with that better hypothesis that is assuredly true.” Note the “assuredly true” part. 580. Lowerleavell, first you mock the idea that the sum of the gravitational potential energy, when added to all the other energy in the universe, may sum to zero. Then, when confronted with the possibility that this may be the case, you preemptively give your deity credit for it. Do you feel the need to hedge your bets? By the way, I have a better Quentin Smith quote for you (one that can be sourced outside of Craig’s book, that is): “In Craig’s and other theists’ causal principle, ’cause’ means something entirely different: it means creating material from nothingness. It is pure speculation that such a strange sort of causation is even possible, let alone even supported in our observations in our daily lives.” 581. Lowerleavell, you claim that William Lane Craig (who has a background in philosophy and Christian apologetics) “totally refutes” Stephen Hawking (widely considered to be one of the greatest cosmologists and theoretical physicists in the history of those disciplines) on the subjects he is known for. You are going to have to forgive me for trusting Hawking on this, particularly when Craig’s arguments have largely been shredded using their own assumptions by other philosophers. On the subject of Emerging Hypercycles, you say “Ok, from my limited perspective this means, it rained on the rocks for millions of years to make a ‘primordial soup’ and poof, the process of life begins.” You see, that is part of the problem. You bring your “limited perspective” into play, which seems like a code word for “reduce a complex subject into something simplistic and silly-sounding.” You ask where the rain and the rocks came from. That is nothing short of jumping to another subject, although those questions are answerable (outgassing/comets and accretion, most likely). You ask where nucleoproteins come from, when the answer is stated in the description: they come from the simple organic compounds. 582. Lowerleavell, you said “Ok, so basically, there are six ‘theories’ that scientists accept as plausible?” No, there are six theories. They are not “theories.” I hope you can see the difference. Not all theories are created equal, either. “Why is the ‘intelligent design’ concept not among those on the list?” Why? Because it has no scientific basis, that is why. “Even if it was something someone just came up with out of the blue, it still ranks up there with ‘something that no one has come up with yet.'” That is not the way science works. “Making things up without proof” is theism, not science. 583. Lowerleavell, you are just too funny. You bring up Daniel, Moses, and Luke, some fictionalized characters in your holy book, as if I am supposed to be impressed. These clowns, assuming they were even real people, knew less about cosmology than my 10-year old son does now. Comparing their knowledge to that of modern cosmologists is like bringing a group of one-legged men to an ass-kicking contest. Lowerleavell: “You are right that the ‘God of the Gaps’ has continually been shrinking the more we know. Yet, He is still there, and our knowledge of Him is growing.” What “knowledge” is that, pray tell? Lowerleavell: “Intelligent design is a theory that is really catching on with many intellectually honest scientists who do not fear scrutiny from their colleagues.” First, “Intelligent Design” is not a theory at all, in the scientific sense of the word. The definition of “scientific theory” under which it falls would also include astrology. It is a bad joke, promoted by zealots who are doing their best to destroy real scientific education. Lowerleavell, talking about theories on the origins of life: “We don’t have the slightest clue which one is correct or even which one is the most plausible.” Actually, we do. The most plausible theory, given our current knowledge, is Emerging Hypercycles, because it has the best explanatory power, and matches the facts best. Lowerleavell: “We just know which one is the most popular. That’s supposed to make it true?” Feel free to knock down another straw man. Lowerleavell: “Something really happened, and science does not have the answer.” No, science does not have the answer, *yet*. It is being worked on. Progress is being made. You can bet against science, but history has shown that to be a pretty dumb bet. Lowerleavell: “But yet you claim we’re supposed to trust science for everything?” For everything? No. For figuring out how the world and the universe work, you bet. It is the best way humankind has figured out how to explain things. It certainly beats relying on mythological nonsense. 584. Lowerleavell, you said “you are biassed [sic] toward things that science can’t possibly explain with science, because the origin of the universe is neither testable nor observable.” So, if a bomb goes off, we cannot figure out what explosive was used, because the bomb is no longer testable, nor observable. Right? Wrong. When you figure out why that is wrong, you may be able to piece together why your statement above is wrong. 585. You said “It’s funny how much you put me down for my lack of knowledge and yet you fail to comprehend how intelligent design is completely compatible with science.” “Intelligent Design” is not science, it is religion, nothing more than creationism with a fancy label. Don’t start quoting that debunked buffoon, Behe. To invoke his name should be embarrassing. He agreed that astrology is a scientific theory. http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/behe.html Even better, a video eviscerating Intelligent Design, and by a theist to boot: Lowerleavell: “Your quoted web-site also failed to explain how we have a mind with intelligence, emotion, and will, and not just a brain.” Since studies have shown that damage to various parts of the brain can remove each of those things, I guess the burden of proof is on you to show that these things *don’t* come from the brain. 586. Mal, you said,”You seem to have difficulty understanding that there are many theories about cosmology, some better than others. There is no “*the* theory.” ” So, what is your own view Mal? Do you think that the universe is eternal, or in the oscillating universe theory, or what? Even though the scientists have an educated guess, it’s still a guess nonetheless. What makes theism a worse guess if it’s all just a guess? “What makes you think complicated physics can be dumbed down in this way, and still make sense?” I did not say it could. I said it is not *defendable* to the average “Joe”. “Feel free to show evidence that these scientists are simply waving their hands and insulting people’s intelligence.” By stating a bunch of theories and then expecting everyone to bow to their authority and not be skeptic of their findings. They also have a big problem with people like Ken Ham who has done the same research and come to a different conclusion. There has been a lot of controversy on the national news level about the creationist museum opening up here in the States. Atheistic scientists are going into a frenzy that something other then their authority will be used. “As far as theology goes, I agree with Stephen Jay Gould: Theology is a subject without a subject matter.” Then this whole thread and it’s proposition is irrelevant. Why are atheists spending so much time putting down a god they don’t believe exists? Sounds like you need another hobby then, my friend. I said, “Yet this seems to contradict what you said before: “If you choose to put your trust in God, by all means, you have my blessing, but if you choose not to, good luck with coming up with that better hypothesis that is assuredly true.” ” You said, “Note the “assuredly true” part.” You have way of ever knowing what you believe is true, and to 100% degree, I do not either. Therefore, both of are arguments are based on faith. You have faith in scientists and science, and I have faith in science as well as One who said He was there. I was making the challenge in my statement for you to come up with reasonable certainty that what you hold to is what really happened and not simply a theory. “Lowerleavell, first you mock the idea that the sum of the gravitational potential energy, when added to all the other energy in the universe, may sum to zero. Then, when confronted with the possibility that this may be the case, you preemptively give your deity credit for it. Do you feel the need to hedge your bets?” I’m saying it would be virtually miraculous for that to be the case and almost an appeal to theism because of the odds. There is no extensive evidence that this is the case, it’s just a “maybe” scenario. Maybe’s are not very convincing science. You said, “By the way, I have a better Quentin Smith quote for you (one that can be sourced outside of Craig’s book, that is): “In Craig’s and other theists’ causal principle, ’cause’ means something entirely different: it means creating material from nothingness. It is pure speculation that such a strange sort of causation is even possible, let alone even supported in our observations in our daily lives.” ” We see intelligence causing things on a daily basis. Even this thread, as unbelievable as it sounds, is a result of intelligenc. However, something has never been observed springing from nothing. It is within those laws that it is entirely possible to have something intelligent create information. It is completely illogical and unscientific that nothing created something. If you can defend that successfully and scientifically, you will be the first one to do so. Zero, plus time, chance, and selection, still equals zero. First grade math. The information must come from somewhere! You said, “You are going to have to forgive me for trusting Hawking on this, particularly when Craig’s arguments have largely been shredded using their own assumptions by other philosophers.” You also said that, “William Lane Craig (who has a background in philosophy and Christian apologetics)…” So, his background in philosophy and Christian apologetics make him wrong? You did not reply to his arguments. He is a credible, respectable source, and his studies on philosphy and apologetics are a result of his studies on science. His philosophical argument is known as “The Kalam Cosmological Argument” and has never been successfully refuted. Basically, it says, “Whatever begins to exist has a cause.” Craig and Hawkins are both credible sources. But to say that Hawkins’ arguments are based completely on physics rather than philosophy and belief and that Craig’s arguments are just philosophy and belief is not accurate. You said, “You bring your “limited perspective” into play, which seems like a code word for “reduce a complex subject into something simplistic and silly-sounding.” ” We all bring our “limited perspective” into play. Unless you have a handle on all knowledge, my friend, you do too. I do this same thing with theology and philosophy. I take a complex statement and break it down to its most basic form. For instance, either God=eternal or the universe=eternal. You said, “You ask where the rain and the rocks came from. That is nothing short of jumping to another subject, although those questions are answerable (outgassing/comets and accretion, most likely). You ask where nucleoproteins come from, when the answer is stated in the description: they come from the simple organic compounds.” I am trying to get you back to the root issue. Where did it all come from? You can still ask in your answer, where did the outgassing/comets come from? Where did the organic compounds come from? Again I’ll say, you ether have in the beginning God, or in the beginning dirt/matter. You haven’t yet told me why that statement is wrong. You said, “No, there are six theories. They are not “theories.” I hope you can see the difference. Not all theories are created equal, either.” Ok, I’ll take the quotations out. My apologies. You responded to my statement on why intelligent design is not among the theories by saying, “Why? Because it has no scientific basis, that is why.” I’d say to begin with, that cause and affect is a very scientific argument that you haven’t explained yet. “Lowerleavell, you are just too funny. You bring up Daniel, Moses, and Luke, some fictionalized characters in your holy book, as if I am supposed to be impressed.” Not necessarily impressed, just informed that your statement on them all being sheep herders was skewed. By the way, the only named shepherd I can think of became the greatest king of Israel. David was a shepherd. Don’t knock the shepherds dude. What did they ever do to you? 🙂 You said, “What “knowledge” is that, pray tell?” Our knowledge of the universe only helps us better appreciate our creator. The more we know about how things work, the more we see the amazing attention to detail there is in this world. Detail that is way too amazing to explain by chance, like DNA. Einstein said, “God does not play dice.” Even Einstein was a theist to some degree. So, if we’re going to go with a human authority, you go with Hawkins, I’ll go with Einstein. Sound fair? “No, science does not have the answer, *yet*. It is being worked on.” Perhaps science does have the answer and is simply looking the other way because it is not an academically popular view and scientists fear being called unscientific. I’m not betting against science. I’m betting against atheistic scientists who refuse to allow for the possibility of God. “It (science) certainly beats relying on mythological nonsense.” I agree. “So, if a bomb goes off, we cannot figure out what explosive was used, because the bomb is no longer testable, nor observable. Right? Wrong. When you figure out why that is wrong, you may be able to piece together why your statement above is wrong.” So, can someone when a bomb goes off then we can know where the bomb originated and who made the bomb? Only because we can deduce people did it. The making of the bomb is not observable or testable, but the effects of the bomb, etc. is observable and testable. It’s funny, but your illustration shows how ridiculous it is to have something come from nothing. A bomb requires a bomb-maker. 587. Lowerleavell, you quoted my statement, directed at you: ”You seem to have difficulty understanding that there are many theories about cosmology, some better than others. There is no ‘*the* theory.’ ” You responded with “So, what is your own view Mal? Do you think that the universe is eternal, or in the oscillating universe theory, or what?” Personally, I have not settled on a theory at all. I think this puzzle is going to take quite a bit more work, and in fact it is possible we will never figure it out. I do like Smolin’s “Fecund Universe” theory, though. Lowerleavell: “Even though the scientists have an educated guess, it’s still a guess nonetheless. What makes theism a worse guess if it’s all just a guess?” Two words: supporting evidence. Scientific theories start with evidence, then try to build a framework around that evidence. Sometimes other evidence requires an alteration of that framework, or even an outright scrapping of the theory. Theism starts with a framework, their holy texts, then tries to warp evidence to support it, and ignore/supress contradictory evidence. If that does not work, the holy texts are “reinterpreted” to match the evidence. It is nothing more than disingenuous wishful thinking coupled with shameless hucksterism. 588. Lowerleavell, you quoted me as saying “What makes you think complicated physics can be dumbed down in this way, and still make sense?” You responded with “I did not say it could. I said it is not *defendable* to the average ‘Joe.'” Give me a good reason why it should be. The fact that a random paste-eater cannot comprehend the physics behind gravity theory does not make that theory false. The same goes for any scientific theory. 589. Lowerleavell, you quoted me as saying “Feel free to show evidence that these scientists are simply waving their hands and insulting people’s intelligence.” You responded with “By stating a bunch of theories and then expecting everyone to bow to their authority and not be skeptic of their findings.” That is pretty funny. You must be quite ignorant of reality to miss the fact that scientists go after each other’s theories like packs of rabid dogs. For example, Lee Smolin, who I mentioned earlier, wrote an entire book that is strongly critical of String Theory and its prominence in current theoretical physics. Lowerleavell: “They also have a big problem with people like Ken Ham who has done the same research and come to a different conclusion.” Ken Ham has done nothing of the sort. He is a charlatan who couldn’t write a theory to keep his pants up after someone handed him a belt. Lowerleavell: “There has been a lot of controversy on the national news level about the creationist museum opening up here in the States. Atheistic scientists are going into a frenzy that something other then their authority will be used.” Wrong. The controversy is over the fact that religious zealots are trying to pass off theism as a substitute for real science, and trying to force this madness upon schoolchildren. Scientists and other educated people are doing nothing more than trying to keep the US from slipping into the Dark Ages. Incidentally, there are plenty of theists among the outraged scientists, including Intelligent Design’s biggest debunker, Ken Miller. 590. Lowerleavell, you quoted me as saying “As far as theology goes, I agree with Stephen Jay Gould: Theology is a subject without a subject matter.” You responded with “Then this whole thread and it’s proposition is irrelevant. Why are atheists spending so much time putting down a god they don’t believe exists?” I would not bother if theists did not spend so much time injecting their delusions into public policy. 591. Lowerleavell, you said “You have way of ever knowing what you believe is true, and to 100% degree, I do not either. Therefore, both of are arguments are based on faith.” Nonsense. They are not analogous. I assume you do not believe in the Celestial Teapot, the Flying Spaghetti Monster, or the Invisible Pink Unicorn. Why not? 592. Lowerleavell, regarding the idea that the sum of the gravitational potential energy, when added to all the other energy in the universe, may sum to zero, you claim the following: “I’m saying it would be virtually miraculous for that to be the case and almost an appeal to theism because of the odds.” Once again, the argument from incredulity. If the Law of Conservation of Energy is true, it would not make much sense for this to *not* be the case, unless something else is going on. Previously, you mocked the very *idea* that this was based on evidence. In fact, it is. I suggest you educate yourself about the implications of the WMAP satellite findings. Have you actually *read* Guth’s work? Do you have the scientific background to even begin to understand it if you did? 593. Lowerleavell, you said “We see intelligence causing things on a daily basis. Even this thread, as unbelievable as it sounds, is a result of intelligenc. However, something has never been observed springing from nothing.” That is correct. That puts some major burden of proof on the idea that a deity created everything from nothing, doesn’t it? Lowerleavell: “It is within those laws that it is entirely possible to have something intelligent create information.” Are you claiming that “information” is some form of matter or energy? If not, I fail to see what sort of point you are making. Lowerleavell: “It is completely illogical and unscientific that nothing created something.” Who is claiming this? Be specific and provide cites. 594. Regarding William Lane Craig, Lowerleavell said “So, his background in philosophy and Christian apologetics make him wrong?” No. However, Stephen Hawking is, by every measure, a much better source of knowledge on the subject of physics, particularly cosmology. Lowerleavell: “You did not reply to his arguments.” Do you mean that old Kalam Cosmological Argument? Lowerleavell: “He is a credible, respectable source, and his studies on philosphy and apologetics are a result of his studies on science.” Funny, but I see nothing indicating a scientific background, let alone an extensive one, in his educational biography. Perhaps you would like to point this out. Lowerleavell: “His philosophical argument is known as ‘The Kalam Cosmological Argument’ and has never been successfully refuted.” I accept that it is a valid syllogism. However, there is nothing in it that indicates divine cause, even if it *is* true. Furthermore, neither logic nor empirical data support its conclusion. In effect, it is nothing more than a philosophical circle-jerk that can never be proven, nor likely disproven. 595. Lowerleavell, you claim that the statement “Craig’s arguments are just philosophy and belief” is not accurate. Kindly point to some empirical data that supports it, then. Good luck with that, since Craig has not even managed as much. 596. Lowerleavell, you said “We all bring our ‘limited perspective’ into play. Unless you have a handle on all knowledge, my friend, you do too. I do this same thing with theology and philosophy. I take a complex statement and break it down to its most basic form. For instance, either God=eternal or the universe=eternal.” You see, once again you have oversimplified. There are certainly possibilities other than those two. What if time itself is different than you imagine, and “eternal” in fact has no meaning? Perhaps “eternal” can only extend to the future, as time itself did not exist in the distant past. I don’t know, but I am happy to see people use available evidence to find out what is most likely to be true. 597. Lowerleavell, you said “I am trying to get you back to the root issue. Where did it all come from? You can still ask in your answer, where did the outgassing/comets come from? Where did the organic compounds come from? Again I’ll say, you ether have in the beginning God, or in the beginning dirt/matter. You haven’t yet told me why that statement is wrong.” Guth may be correct. So far, his theory fits the available evidence. Then again, he may be wrong, and one of the other theories may prove to be correct. You seem to have difficulty realizing that classical physics breaks down in certain areas, and “common sense” may not be the best guide to how things began. The thing is, we start with evidence and work from there. We don’t start with a holy book and look for ways to make it correct. 598. Lowerleavell, you said “You responded to my statement on why intelligent design is not among the theories by saying, ‘Why? Because it has no scientific basis, that is why.’ I’d say to begin with, that cause and affect is a very scientific argument that you haven’t explained yet.” No, it really is not. Even Craig calls his idea a “metaphysical intuition.” Even assuming this syllogism to be true, it does not naturally lead to theism, or even deism. Adolf Grünbaum has long since torn Craig’s thesis apart. It is based upon nonsense and disingenuous reference to a “relativistically impermissible Big Bang model.” 599. Lowerleavell, you wrote “Our knowledge of the universe only helps us better appreciate our creator.” My knowledge of the universe only helps me better appreciate the universe. No deities are necessary. Lowerleavell: “The more we know about how things work, the more we see the amazing attention to detail there is in this world.” Once again, you anthropomorphize natural occurrences. Lowerleavell: “Detail that is way too amazing to explain by chance, like DNA.” Who ever claimed DNA arose by chance? Certainly no evolutionary biologist has. Care to trumpet your ignorance of the biological sciences some more? Lowerleavell: “Einstein said, ‘God does not play dice.’ Even Einstein was a theist to some degree.” Nonsense, and you should be ashamed of yourself to repeat such blatant theistic propaganda. Don’t take my word for it, though. Let’s hear it from Einstein himself: “It was, of course, a lie what you read about my religious convictions, a lie which is being systematically repeated. I do not believe in a personal God and I have never denied this but have expressed it clearly. If something is in me which can be called religious then it is the unbounded admiration for the structure of the world so far as our science can reveal it.” Lowerleavell: “So, if we’re going to go with a human authority, you go with Hawkins, I’ll go with Einstein. Sound fair?” I will go with both Hawking and Einstein. I guess that leaves you with Ham and Craig, sad to say. 600. Lowerleavell, you said “Perhaps science does have the answer and is simply looking the other way because it is not an academically popular view and scientists fear being called unscientific. I’m not betting against science. I’m betting against atheistic scientists who refuse to allow for the possibility of God.” Oh, nonsense. Bring on the evidence. 601. Lowerleavell, you said “So, can someone when a bomb goes off then we can know where the bomb originated and who made the bomb?” Yes. We can determine many things about the bomb, how and when it went off, what explosives were used, etc. Lowerleavell: “Only because we can deduce people did it.” No. It is because the exploding bomb leaves behind evidence. The universe has done the same thing. Lowerleavell: “The making of the bomb is not observable or testable, but the effects of the bomb, etc. is observable and testable. It’s funny,” Indeed it is. The universe is testable. It exists, and provides evidence as to the properties of its existence, past, present, and future. Lowerleavell: “but your illustration shows how ridiculous it is to have something come from nothing. A bomb requires a bomb-maker.” You keep claiming this “something come from nothing.” There are plenty of theories that do not involve such. Additionally, you theists have the whole “where did God come from” question to answer. If you say “he always existed,” then provide the evidence, since there is equal evidence that the universe always existed. In fact, there is more: we can actually prove the universe exists *now*, whereas you cannot prove the same about any deity. 602. This seem to me to be a lot of talk about nothing significant. What’s the point? 603. wow, I can’t believe this. 604. f1d10276e894267c4423628b4ac35ebf f1d10276e894267c4423628b4ac35ebf 605. I agree, f1d10276e894267c4423628b4ac35ebf 606. Hey Guys, As I’ve said before, I am in the process of moving. We have been really busy and are loading up our truck soon. I won’t be able to post here for a while, so you’ll have to forgive me for bowing out for a while. We are going on vacation (holiday for you Europeans out there) after our move so it may be a few weeks. Mal, I just wanted to pay you and the other guys a compliment. I appreciate that you have taken the time to study the arguments and not just stick your head in the sand and say, “No God!” 90% plus atheists that I chat with have never really done any research into the matter, they’ve just been really hurt by something personal in their lives, or wondered why 9/11 happened or something like that. So they get mad at God and say, “No God!” That’s why I said, and will continue to say, that atheists don’t really care if there’s a God or not, they just don’t like His character. You guys on the other hand, have at least studied out the issues and though I disagree with your conclusions, I am glad that you haven’t left yourselves ignorant on what the issues are. My appreciation as you’ve stretched my thinking in matters and made sure I know where I stand and what I believe. Having said that, I do want to challenge you when you are arguing against the Bible. Study it out a little better first so you won’t take it out of context. You guys are great at debates, but not the best at debating the Bible, sorry. Your arguments against the God of the Bible are out of context, out of bias, and out of lack of knowledge of the Bible. I don’t blame you because I would be pretty bad at debating the Koran, though I’ve read enough to not accept it. Mal, the arguments of Cosmology alone would never prove the existence of God, though they do hold up with the “God scenario”. You have to look at Biology, Physics, Atronomy, Biochemistry, the mind, etc. to come to any conclusions. Though you cane come up with alternate scenarios, theism still stands up against atheism. At the end of the day however, you base your faith on scientists, I base my faith on the One who said He was there. Because neither one of us have a 100% guarantee, both are a system of some faith and trust. By the way, you never answered my question about where the mind (intellect, emotion, and will) come from. You also didn’t touch irreducibly complex machines, or the fact that we know what they can do individually, but we have no clue how they know to pull themselves together or work together, or came together in the first place. You said, “Nonsense. They are not analogous. I assume you do not believe in the Celestial Teapot, the Flying Spaghetti Monster, or the Invisible Pink Unicorn. Why not?” You don’t beleive in the Invisible Pink Unicorn?!! I’m sorry Uni, he didn’t mean that one, really! 🙂 Again, informed believers in God don’t do so without studying the evidence for themselves. People like Lee Strobel and C.S. Lewis started out as atheists and “converted” to theism after being challenged to study the evidence with an open mind. No one is asking for Fedeism here, just open your mind and be intellectually honest about the “God scenario” and you’ll be surprised at how well all the pieces fit together and how much it makes sense of our world. Sorry, the String Theory makes no sense to me, and it’s not because I don’t understand it. Just like your bomb scenario, why is it wrong for us not to just know about the bomb, but to find out who the bomb maker is? I’ll bet that in England after these last terrorist attacks the authorities didn’t just say, “Oh well, the cars and the bombs got here by chance, time, and selection, therefore, just go about your business because there’s no such thing as a bomb maker.” It’s only when we come to the big picture and the origin of the whole universe does anyone question the fact that there’s a “cause”. Any other cause we can accept, but not God, because there’s no evidence. I’m sorry, but if there’s no God, then the universe is the exception, not the rule. If the whole universe doesn’t abide by the laws of nature, then I’m going to keep trying to walk through walls, because the laws of nature are relative and random, because the universe doesn’t abide by them by being eternal, or just popping into existence from nothing. You said, “What if time itself is different than you imagine, and “eternal” in fact has no meaning? Perhaps “eternal” can only extend to the future, as time itself did not exist in the distant past. I don’t know, but I am happy to see people use available evidence to find out what is most likely to be true.” To me, it sounds like you are the one taking the leap in the dark and arguing for Fedeism with your chosen theories. There are no evidences for any alternate universe, or any of the other theories, they are just things scenarios that scientists have come up with as alternatives to intelligent design. If there are evidences for oscilating universes, etc. please bring them forward. Have you ever heard of Pascal’s wager? Though I’m not a big fan of it, I think if you present the evidence of both sides, I’m going with theism. You have the God given right to choose atheism, but remember, it’s an attestation His mercy that you are still alive, and all of us for that matter. Take care guys. We’ll chat later. 607. Yea, if you read the thing at k-house.org, you’ll no longer have a problem with skeptics like this. The Bible gives enough room for critics to be fooled and I think that it does this on purpose. I mean, it seems that the Lord will allow cracks in the scriptures just wide enough for your pride to fall through. But, at the same time, he will allow the believer the ability to have his faith sustained. That if we are humble enough to say, “Yea, this looks wrong but let me study it more closely because I have faith that the Lord will reveal himself here.” And then the Lord lays it out. Confusing the wise in their own wisdom! http://www.khouse.org/articles/1998/158 1Cr 1:27 But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; 1Cr 1:28 And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, [yea], and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: 1Cr 1:29 That no flesh should glory in his presence. The funny thing is that if you prove to someone, like the author of this page, that the Bible really is infallible, they still don’t care to believe in it. This is because it is a spiritual matter. We wrestle not against flesh and blood. And so as I post, I will take a moment to pray for this person. Grace and Peace in the name of the Living God Yeshua Ha Meshiach (Jesus the Christ). 608. Gabi: You can’t prove the Bible is infallible. And you sound like the Ministry of Truth in Orwell’s 1984, just FYI. 609. If I thought God was anything like the way you portray Him to be, I’d be an atheist too. If I use different rules for reading the Bible than I use for other books I would be selective in picking statements to support my case, too; and I would ‘explain away’ other passages. 610. 30.4 / 9.7 = 3.13 … just needed a little rounding 611. “If I thought God was anything like the way you portray Him to be, I’d be an atheist too.” You don’t have to, it’s all in black and white in the bible. Why would you use different rules for reading one book than you use for reading another? Are you giving more respect to one because the subject matter is religious? Why? 612. 613. […] = 3, en wel om deze reden. Voor de mensen die niet goed snappen waarom ik dit op deze blog post (en dus eigenlijk een beetje […] 614. God says you’re a @#$%^&* moron.

615. Mal, I’m back.

You said, “You keep claiming this “something come from nothing.” There are plenty of theories that do not involve such.”
There are theories about just about everything, but there is no solid evidence for any of these supposed theories. When have we ever observed something come from nothing? Yet atheists claim that is the case, or that the universe is eternal, or that we have eternal big bangs, we have different dimensions of universes, etc. Yet, there is no evidence for any of those things. The only one that I see credence for is an eternal universe because the universe is now presently observable. However, the universe is crammed full of intelligence and yet we are told this intelligence came from nowhere and from nothing? If you have no intelligence creating everything vs. an intelligent being creating everything I’m going with observable science and say intelligence must come from intelligence, not nothing.

You said, “Additionally, you theists have the whole “where did God come from” question to answer. If you say “he always existed,” then provide the evidence, since there is equal evidence that the universe always existed.”

If God is the creator of the concept of time and is outside the boundry of time, seeing the whole picture (as He claims in the Bible), then your question is a moot question. The evidence is an appeal to the logic of a first cause. You either have an eternal universe or an eternal Creator. Both boggle the mind, but one HAS to be true. You either have eternal nothingness begetting information, or you have eternal intelligence begetting information. We can dance around this subject all you want, but the bottom line is, eternal God vs. eternal matter.

Gabriel,
“The funny thing is that if you prove to someone, like the author of this page, that the Bible really is infallible, they still don’t care to believe in it. This is because it is a spiritual matter. We wrestle not against flesh and blood. And so as I post, I will take a moment to pray for this person.”

Great post Man! Thanks for the reality check.

Hoverfrog, “Why would you use different rules for reading one book than you use for reading another? Are you giving more respect to one because the subject matter is religious? Why?”

I think neiladams is saying that you’re supposed to use the same rules for the Bible that you do for other books. If you treat it fairly and not read your bias into the book, it gives you a totally different perspective than if an already convinced atheist reads it with his mind made up before he reads the first page. I thought you guys were supposed to be skeptics and open minded people to “outside the box” ideas. Why do the rules change when it comes to the Bible and God when you guys have told me, “\$*% no!” to God?

Mal said,”My knowledge of the universe only helps me better appreciate the universe. No deities are necessary.”

This is the root issue. Atheists don’t want to admit to the existence of God because it shows that a deity IS necessary. If a deity IS necessary, then that means we are accountable to our Creator. Since we all desire to be masters of our own fate and lives and don’t wish to subject ourselves to our Creator or His laws, we therefore reject His existence.

You said, “Oh, nonsense. Bring on the evidence.” regarding evidence for God.

You still haven’t answered “cause and effect” by giving evidence for intelligence and information springing from nothing, so until then, I’m going to keep on one subject at a time. We still have astronomy, biochemistry, irreducibly complex machines, the existence of the mind, etc. These are all things that have to spring from nothing. You guys claim this is the “Gospel of Reason.” I’m the skeptic of atheism who says there’s no evidence for atheism. Please show me conclusively where everything came from apart from intelligence and I’ll go away.

616. without making a huge post.
can’t it be that the biblical “creator/God” (i capitalized not to show undeserved respect to a misguidedly understood being, but to show respect to the people on this board who put their faith in such a being, and feel that it should be capitalized).
anyway, can’t there be another “creator” “eternal intelligence” or “god” (this time i did not capitalize it) than the biblical one.

I don’t see why the very logical idea of a higher something translates into Jehova.(I’m only making matters worse for myself, but i didn’t say it in hebrew, so it doesnt count at all, and anyone who thinks it does is woefully uneducated and should immediatly go re-read the bible before speaking)
anyway, i find it allittle silly that the only “god” being considered is one of biblical creation.

MY two sense.

617. To “The Piper”,

The God of the Bible is really the main deity that atheists have a problem with, because they don’t like His character. They also have a big problem with His followers, so they spend a lot of time trying to discredit Him. As you can tell by this thread, it’s not too easy of a job for them to do as it seems the atheists have abandoned this thread.

If anyone would like to through another deity into the mix by all means, feal free. However, be prepared to defend your views tooth and nail because they will be scrutinized from every angle, as they rightly should.

618. If atheists only had to point to followers to discredit a deity, the wackoes who dominate Christianity in the western world would guarantee that atheism would be a majority (lack of) faith.

God isn’t the fool who said Genesis is literal.

619. I think that we atheists have a problem with the god of the christians more than others only because we are more familiar with christianity than with other religions. Our religious opposition is also predominantly christian. Personally I give christianity as much respect as I give hinduism, the Olympian gods or any other set of stories. i.e. None at all.

620. “I think that we atheists have a problem with the god of the christians more than others only because we are more familiar with christianity than with other religions.”

You are probably right, hoverfrog. I wonder if anyone has ever done a poll to see where most atheists are from. From what I understand, most atheists come from historically Christian countries. I could be wrong though, especially since when I was in Peru for two months (a Catholic country) I didn’t meet any atheists at all. I just can’t imagine an atheist in Buddist, Hindu, or Islamic countries. Maybe it’s because they don’t have freedom of religion like we do.

621. pi in the bible. i cant write to well i flunked 5X in school but i can do math. so i’ll make it short. the bible is giving instructing with demantions on how to make a big pot, look at it that way. the bible is correct. you dont have to streach or fudge the instructions. ten cubits is outside diamiter 30 cubits is inside circumfance and a hand (like in horses) is the thickness of the metal wall of the pot. check the radius of a 10 cubit circle and a circle w/a 30 cubit circumfrance the diffrence is hand or 4″ . PS. a bath of water (womans work) is about 11 liters, one in each hand, my wife was a water girl…….jim whitley………. let’s talk bible

622. 2nd Law of Thermodynamics: The amount of energy in the universe available for work is running down, or entropy is increasing to a maximum.

If this is the case, and the universe were eternal like Mal, and Manly Tears would have us believe, then the amount of usable energy would have long exhausted itself and everything would be dead. For that reason alone, the universe is not eternal and must have a cause. Thus again I ask, what’s your answer for cause and effect?

The freedom of religious choice is an excellent point or rather the lack of it in some countries. Often you have a choice of, say, Catholicism or Protestantism (or Islam or Hindu, Judaism or Christianisty) with no option for neither. in countries that promote religious tolerance you get the option of saying “Actually, you’re all wrong, there is no God\Allah\Jesus\Zeus\Flying Spagetti Monster\Vishnu\Coyote\etc”. I am personally saddened by many of the stories I hear about North Americans attempting to limit these religious freedoms in the name of “security”.

624. Most cities I have lived in have every religion known under the sun. It wouldn’t surpise me to find a “Flying Spaghetti Monster” somewhere, sometime either. 🙂

I agree with you hoverfrog. Freedom of religion should be just that and if any Christian think he needs to limit that, then he should do a little more reading, because if the God of the Bible doesn’t make anyone be a believer, then neither should we.

625. No, thermodynamics does not suggest the universe should have run down already. (Where do such crazy, unscientific ideas get started? How do they root in otherwise sane people?)

Thermodynamics suggests the universe is trending toward lower energy states, and ultimately, a lowest energy state for the entire universe. However, life occurs in the transfers of energy, say from our Sun, technically “winding down,” to wherever the energy is radiated to, in whatever form. So in that rush to entropy, plants get sunlight and can use the Sun’s emitted energy to make sugars, which ultimately are eaten by animals. To stretch things out farther, some of those living things will die, “ferment” in pools, and form collections of carbon that can be mined for future energy use — peat, coal, petroleum and natural gas, for examples. So the energy transfers can be moved millions or billions of years down the line. Sure, it’s all on the way to entropy, but in the meantime, there’s plenty of room for living things to make a little whoopee, and leave a legacy for the next several millions of descendants.

The last windup of the universe was the Big Bang. It’s all been cooling from there.

626. Ed,

If the universe is eternal, then we could stretch the energy, mold the energy, etc. But it would eventually run out. Do you understand the concept of eternal? If there is no beginning…at all…then the energy would have been used up trillions and trillions of years ago, because there would have been quadrillions of years before that, all the way to infinity. To say we’re somewhere in the progression of the wind down is to say there is a beginning.

“The last windup of the universe was the Big Bang. It’s all been cooling from there.”

So, where did the Big Bang come from? When was the first “wind up”? If it is an eternal progression of Big Bangs, you still get the same problem because each Big Bang would be smaller than the last because each time, energy would have been used up. Even with the Big Bang, you still get the same results.

“Sure, it’s all on the way to entropy, but in the meantime, there’s plenty of room for living things to make a little whoopee, and leave a legacy for the next several millions of descendants.”

This is only possible if the universe is not eternal and had a beginning.

627. You’re right, if there is nothing else to stir the universe, it’s all downhill from the Big Bang. It’s at least a 20 billion-year ride, probably much longer, and we’re only about 12 billion years in — but what’s time to a gnat, eh?

But who knows “beginning?” Clearly the Big Bang was a sort of a beginning. Steady State was falsified in 1965. What’s this “eternal universe” strawman you’re hungup on?

Who knows what was before the Big Bang, or what caused it? No one. Why does such a mystery bother you? What makes you so crabby you can’t say “Gosh! What a great question! What is it? How could we know?”

On what basis do you say following singularities would be smaller than the Big Bang? What do you mean, “smaller?” What do you mean, “following?” Why do you let your tongue wobble in your head so, when you’re so far outside anything anyone knows?

Energy transfers are. They simply are. Big Bang or no, there is plenty of energy transfer right now for life to exist (but, we have photographs of shortly after the Big Bang — isn’t that rather dispositive in most courts?). I think you’re a bit at sea, lowerleavell, and you’re not thinking through the material on the Big Bang. Have you read Hawking? Brian Ferris? Get a couple of books and see what really is known about Big Bang.

628. Pi? Make mine apple, please 😉

629. excellent!
(Flying Spaghetti Monster) * (Invisible Pink Unicorn) = (Circumference of the Celestial Teapot) = 3.000 …. not 37.68/12

630. Misquoting the Bible again…

See these links for a better explanation:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rabbi_Nehemiah
http://david.tribble.com/text/biblepi.htm

631. Ed,

“But who knows “beginning?” Clearly the Big Bang was a sort of a beginning. Steady State was falsified in 1965. What’s this “eternal universe” strawman you’re hungup on?”

The “eternal universe” is posed by atheists who prove that since God does not need a creator, neither does the universe. However, as you are sharing with me, you agree that the universe does have a beginning or a starting point. I am trying to say that matter doesn’t just pop out of nowhere, does it? As thermodynamics shows, entropy makes an eternal universe impossible, which is problematic to atheists. Otherwise you have something coming from nothing. That is not scientific in the slightest.

“Why does such a mystery bother you? What makes you so crabby you can’t say “Gosh! What a great question! What is it? How could we know?” ”

Bother me? No, the mystery doesn’t bother me at all. What I am saying that there’s this book out there that makes a claim that the cause of the effect (the Big-Bang, universe, all matter) is God and answers the mystery. The atheists are the ones saying, “No!”, have no alternate theory of their own except an eternal universe, but say, “why do you have to know everything? It just popped out of thin air!” and then tell me theists are the ones who are unscientific and unintelligent. I’m not a smart man, but theists are not the ones burying their heads in the sand on the existence of matter. Theists really don’t mind science at all because it is in harmony with a theistic worldview with things like cause and effect, and biogenesis, etc.

This is the atheists dilema. The universe is not eternal so it needs a source. The Big-Bang could not have simply happened on its own, but since we don’t know what caused the world’s beginning (since we weren’t there), they say, “how dare you be so egotistical in saying you know what the cause is!” I’m not saying I know everything, obviously. All I am saying is that the Bible claims that the cause is God. Don’t get mad at me, I’m just saying that a bold claim has been made. Since you don’t know, and I don’t know (neither of us was there), why get all up in arms when someone says it was them and then gives their credentials for their power to do the job? I don’t understand the militancy against the existence of God, especially since you all have admitted you don’t know for sure anyway. But yet you seem to say that the thing you DO know for sure is that it wasn’t God. But no one knows that for sure, so you are only saying what you believe.

“On what basis do you say following singularities would be smaller than the Big Bang?”

I am speaking of an eternal progression of Big-Bangs, which is a theory I read about in my science book back in school and I’ve heard repeated by atheists. It would be impossible again because of entropy. Each explosion would be smaller because the usable energy would be less. That is, unless I am a total dunderhead in my science, which is a distinct possibility. Hey, no comments. 🙂

“Energy transfers are. They simply are. Big Bang or no, there is plenty of energy transfer right now for life to exist.”

Are you saying energy transfers are eternal? Where did the energy come from if they are not? Are you telling me not to ask questions or be skeptical? You are right that obviously life exists right now. Both sides should be thankful for what we have and work for a better community.

“Have you read Hawking? Brian Ferris? Get a couple of books and see what really is known about Big Bang.”

Yes, I’ve read some of Hawking, but not Ferris. I’ve read some of Paul Davies as well. I’ve read enough to know that 1) not all credible scientists even agree that there even was a “Big Bang”, 2) There’s no plausible explanation as to why or how the energy just exploded out of the black hole and there’s no real explanation as to where the energy came from. It is dismissed by Hawking as a “non question”, 3) there’s no convincing evidence to show why the gas coming out of the Big Bang would cause galaxies, planets, or life, and 4) To believe that the known universe was once condensed into a point of zero dimensions takes an unimaginable leap of faith, because it sure hasn’t been proven by science.

So, are you really saying that the Big Bang is the answer to “cause and effect”?

632. lowerleavell, you do more interpreting of simple statements than anyone else I know. I’m not a prophet, I’m not ciphering my comments. Just read what I write, and don’t try to “interpret” it according to any method you learned in any Sunday school.

No one argues for a universe without Big Bang — which, incidentally, is when time started. There is no school of atheism arguing something else. Where do such wacky ideas come from?

So far, we have not a shred of evidence that the singularity that kicked off Big Bang was anything BUT spontaneous. Christians accept on faith that God is behind it somehow. Some people — I don’t know what faith they have, but it’s not Christian, I don’t think — say they know from some scripture they have that God personally did it. I prefer the Christian view. The Bible does NOT claim God is the immediate cause of Big Bang. The Bible’s claim is greater than that.

And if it doesn’t bother you, why do you feel compelled to say you have the answers, when the fact is, you don’t?

Neither one of us was there, but we have the photographs. (See the COBE project). I don’t know what would motivate anyone to make a claim beyond the evidence we have.

Yeah, we Christians take it on faith that God is the creator of the universe. But we have no proof. Big Bang, on the other hand, has a lot of evidence. None of it has God’s fingerprints on it, that we can see. That would be troubling, if we lacked faith. Nor is any scientist “burying [a] head in the sand” about the creation of matter. About 100,000 years after Big Bang, the universe was cool enough for subatomic particles to form; atoms took longer. Your claim that Big Bang means “from nothing” is false.

I don’t understand the obstreperous militancy against faith and atheists. It wouldn’t hurt to admit we don’t know, like the atheists do. In fact, it would probably help.

In pointing out Big Bang, and evolution, and gravity, and atomic theory, I’m not merely stating what I believe. I’m pointing out what the evidence says. There’s a difference between a faith statement and a statement of fact.

The eternal progression of Big Bangs? If you have a text that actually says that, I’d love a citation. That’s wild conjecture, wholly without evidence. It’s a theological statement, and not one that is found in physics.

Nor is there any way you could say the energy would be less in each such expansion — absolutely no evidence, no hint of such a theory. You’re making this stuff up.

If you know of a credible scientist who denies Big Bang at this point, reveal the name. There’s no one who has made that argument outside of theology in a long, long time. The evidence does not support such a claim.

Energy is what resulted from Big Bang. Matter, on the other hand, took longer. Energy had to cool to make the transition. Read Hawking again. Get Ferris.

No gas came out of Big Bang. Energy came out.

There is a lot of convincing evidence that Big Bang resulted in matter, gases, stars, galaxies, planets, and that life lives on those planets. We have the photos of each step of the process.

I have never heard anyone argue that all matter was condensed to nothing. You’re making that up again.

No, I’m not saying Big Bang is the answer to ultimate cause. I’m saying you’re setting up straw men, and because I’ve read a bit more, I reject your straw men.

633. “Yeah, we Christians take it on faith that God is the creator of the universe.”

Ed, are you saying you’re a Christian?

634. Interesting how so many assume that anyone who knows anything about science isn’t Christian, isn’t it?

635. This is such a long thread!

But:
– why is religion so male centered (read some of the posts above stating ‘their women would be…. ) and why is it so against women (impure, sinners, cause of getting kicked out of paradise?)

– and why do people always have to read more in any statement in the bible than simply the statement?

– Why can’t we accept the wise lessons of the lord as they are without having to make them bigger, larger and in the end simply ridiculous? This kind of thing leads to hatred and war!

– Why do some churches treat gay people as if they have a illness, as sinners? Isn’t it the will of god to leave the judging of others to god and god only? I hope for the person that did write about gays being sinners that his kids will turn out to be gay and that he may learn to love them anyway.

There are so many things wrong with those practicing religion, with the institutes promoting it. I find it simply scary!

Believe in god by all means, but please understand wrong and right clearly for yourself using your common sense rather that a bible interpretation of the word of your parish priest! Judge only yourself and let god be the judge of others.

Maybe I should start a new religion that combines the sane parts of all religions on this planet? Who will join?

636. J, rather than forming a new religion that combines the sane parts of all religions on the planet you could remove all insane parts from your own religion.

That’s how I ended up an Atheist.

You do make a valid distinction between faith in a higher power and church religion though. I see little harm in the former and a great deal of harm in the latter especially when religious leaders twist doctrine for their own ends. Take the Jehovah’s Witness restriction on blood transfusions as an example. A single phrase against the ‘taking of blood’ means that people are allowed to die. What this has to do with faith on a higher power escapes me.

637. Hoverfrog,

I think that was your best post I’ve read. I totally agree with you, except the becoming an atheist part. 🙂

638. I’m not just a pretty face you know. It’s good to see you totally agreeing with me apart from all the bits that you don’t agree with. 😉

639. “Interesting how so many assume that anyone who knows anything about science isn’t Christian, isn’t it?”

I never assume someone is a Christian unless they tell me otherwise. If I did, then it would be putting words in people’s mouths, which is rude. So again, even though you sarcastically answered the question, you never directly answered the question. Why is this question so difficult?

Honestly, from your writings I have no idea where you are coming from or what your point is. The thread was talking about why the universe isn’t eternal and thus why it needs a cause. You jump in and claim “Big Bang” which is a side issue anyway. If you wish to discuss it then fine, I’ll do my research and discuss it in more detail, but don’t jump in here to try to puff your ego up by claiming how much science you know and how much I don’t. Simply reading on a subject doesn’t make any of us an authority.

“God isn’t the fool who said Genesis is literal.”

When I read your writings I give you the courtesy of taking what you say literally. Where in the Bible does it say to take Genesis is not literal and not historical? What evidence do you have to suggest that you are more of an authority on the subject than God Himself who was there and telling me why not to take Genesis literally?

You seem to take Hawkings and other scientists literally. What if I said their writings were not literal but figurative? I don’t recall ever reading them say, “take me literally”, so why not take them allegorically? Because it’s rude! It’s no different with the Bible, and if it is, please explain why the Bible says it is.

640. Ed, you said, “No one argues for a universe without Big Bang — which, incidentally, is when time started.” No atheistic scientist does, obviously.

Here’s just a couple names, and there are many more of those I’ve done some reading on who reject the Big Bang, though I’m not endorsing their teachings or their findings. — Halton C. Arp, Hans Jörg Fahr, who is a German professor of astrophysics, Ernst Peter Fischer, another German, and Werner Gitt, a creationist. Just one or two names is a lot more than “no one” as you suggest. The problem is that there is no one you would ever listen to who reject the Big Bang.

You don’t know that time started with the Big Bang, and you wouldn’t know how or why if you did. Your statement of fact is not a fact, but a theory.

You said, “Bible does NOT claim God is the immediate cause of Big Bang. The Bible’s claim is greater than that.”

What is the Bible’s claim? You left me hanging.

“None of it has God’s fingerprints on it, that we can see. That would be troubling, if we lacked faith. Nor is any scientist “burying [a] head in the sand” about the creation of matter.”

Ok, you’re basically saying that atheists are right, and that we are fedeistic (believing apart from reason)? If there are no footprints for God, whatsoever, then the Bible is a lie, and God is a liar (which would be impossible because He wouldn’t exist), as the atheists say, “amen” to that statement. Why then would I want to be a Christian if God can’t even get the big picture right? If the whole is wrong, why trust the parts? To let the Bible speak for itself, “For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse.” (Romans. 1:20) Don’t tell me the Bible doesn’t teach creation, because it’s very clear. Either it is true, or it’s a lie. Don’t go trying to tell people it’s both or something worse.

“And if it doesn’t bother you, why do you feel compelled to say you have the answers, when the fact is, you don’t?”

I never said I have all the answers, did I? I said that the Bible claims to have the answers. My views either stand or fall based on the verifiability of the Bible. If I allign my views to the Bible, they rise and fall as the Bible rises and falls. That’s why atheists try so hard to disprove the Bible, because if they do, they know that many Christians will sit down and shut up. And guess what, they’d have a right to say sit down and shut up if the Bible is false.

“The eternal progression of Big Bangs? If you have a text that actually says that, I’d love a citation.”

You’ve never heard of an oscillating universe? Go to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oscillating_universe for your citation. I did make a mistake in saying that the universe would be smaller and smaller because of entropy. According to what I’ve read, entropy would make the universe expand more and more with each passing…what would you call it, oscillation? This theory has been abandoned by most scientists now, but from what I understand, even Hawking didn’t denounce it.

“Neither one of us was there, but we have the photographs. (See the COBE project). I don’t know what would motivate anyone to make a claim beyond the evidence we have.”

I agree.

“I don’t understand the obstreperous militancy against faith and atheists. It wouldn’t hurt to admit we don’t know, like the atheists do. In fact, it would probably help.”

I’m not saying I know, I’m saying the Bible says it does. Since atheists don’t know, and I don’t know, and you don’t knwo, who are we to say the Bible’s claim is invalid? I have put my trust in the Bible because in every other area it checks out. Why then would I not trust in in this area when no one else knows the answer either? But atheists would have us say, “no” to any possibility that God is not the creator of the universe.

“Nor is there any way you could say the energy would be less in each such expansion — absolutely no evidence, no hint of such a theory. You’re making this stuff up.”

You are right, as I’ve already stated, I was wrong on that one, but not on the energy part, and I did state that it was coming from me, not science and to take it as such. However, read that posted article and see what you come up with.

“I have never heard anyone argue that all matter was condensed to nothing. You’re making that up again.”

Stephen Hawking defines a black hole as, ‘A region of space-time from which nothing, not even light, can escape, because gravity is so strong.’ And he defines the ‘big bang’ as, ‘The singularity at the beginning of the universe.’–(“A Brief History of Time” pg. 194)

No, I didn’t make it up, I got it from Hawking. The singularity he speaks of was condensed to what point?

So basically, with Hawking’s theory, you get (virtually) nothing exploding (because it is condensed to such a small pin point it’s not even funny), and forming everything over the process of billions of years, nothing made it explode, the matter and energy came from nothing, everything was formed from this explosion, even though we don’t know how or why life sprung from it, even with billions of years. We don’t know why it is not consistent with what a random explosion would look like, etc. etc. The only answer to these questions is God or eternal matter. We’ve ruled out eternal universe which leads to one thing…God.

“No, I’m not saying Big Bang is the answer to ultimate cause. I’m saying you’re setting up straw men, and because I’ve read a bit more, I reject your straw men.”

What are my straw men again? Your accusation was rather vague. Are you saying “cause and effect” is a straw man? Are you saying the question of an eternal universe is a straw man? What?

641. Lowerleavell, this is the U.S. About 3% of Americans will confess to being atheist. Fully 86% of Americans claim to be Christian. Fundy television preachers aside, why would anyone assume that any other American is NOT Christian? If you thought my answer snarky, that’s sorta my point. It was a good-humored jab at your apparent surprise that said I was Christian. You claim not to make assumptions and ask instead, but when I flat out make the statement, you question it.

Forget any snarkiness you misread into my answer, and look instead at why you were surprised. I’m defending traditional Christian views here — if you’ve got different views, that’s fine, but understand they are not traditional Christian views.

Why is it so difficult for you to confront your unjustified biases? I answered the question before you asked it — why don’t you take words at face value?

I said: “God isn’t the fool who said Genesis is literal.”

Lowerleavell responded:

When I read your writings I give you the courtesy of taking what you say literally. Where in the Bible does it say to take Genesis is not literal and not historical? What evidence do you have to suggest that you are more of an authority on the subject than God Himself who was there and telling me why not to take Genesis literally?

You seem to take Hawkings and other scientists literally. What if I said their writings were not literal but figurative? I don’t recall ever reading them say, “take me literally”, so why not take them allegorically? Because it’s rude! It’s no different with the Bible, and if it is, please explain why the Bible says it is.

Where in the Bible is there the faintest hint that Genesis is literal? Nowhere. There are several different creation stories in the Bible, and they all conflict. Genesis 1 conflicts with Genesis 2 in the order of creation, and especially in the order and method of creation of Woman (this conflict has been recognized by Genesis scholars for thousands of years, and is the origin of the Lilith story, which is mentioned in Isaiah — please don’t pretend this is news to you). The Word of God is the theological message that comes through those stories — and in no case is the intended theological message that “God made the Earth in 144 hours.”

I might ask why anyone would assume anything differently? We know the origin of the literal six-day creation myth (and I use “myth” here as in “people believe it,” and not “false,” though it is also false). It was created by a scientist/hostorian, in papers published in 1650 and 1654. It’s 17th century science.

Where in the Bible are we told to bow down to 17th century science?

God didn’t write Genesis. Tradition holds that Moses or someone around him originally recorded the story, but in any case there is absolutely no record of its being written down until after the Babylonian captivity, which was long after Moses, and which was also the inspiration for Genesis 1. Nothing in the Bible suggests in any way that God wrote Genesis. So where did you get that idea?

I take the writings of scientists to be science-based — that is, based on evidence which I can also check to corroborate, and subject to revision when new evidence comes in, especially if there is new, contrary evidence. We know that Hawking wrote Hawking’s books, because Hawking said so. There is nowhere any statement similar suggesting God as the author of any of the creation stories — though, in Job, the telling of the creation story there is attributed to God. Incidentally, that story bears very little resemblance to the stories in Genesis.

A rational Christian, not wishing to provoke a faith war or a falling from the faith, would suggest that the theological aspects of those stories are what we should be looking at, and not get hung up trying to claim, counter to scripture, that the stories are science texts. Otherwise, we’d have to say Jesus was ill-informed (impossible!) or a liar (more impossible!) when He said the mustard seed is the smallest of all. It isn’t — not even if you’re talking something other than the black mustard (which has very large seeds).

Moses was instructed to write down the laws, not the history, not the science. Don’t try to stretch the Word of God.

There are a couple of consistent messages in all of the Bible’s creation stories: God is the ultimate mover (or prime mover, if you choose); God created out of love; creation is good, and true. Stick to those messages, and you’ll discover they apply equally to any story of creation, even the story of creation that creation itself reveals, with a caring God investing 4.5 billion years in preparing the planet for us, and at least 3.5 billion years in getting life ready for creatures like us. The Word of God is NOT that Man was created before all the other animals, and that when God couldn’t find an animal mate for Adam, God used magic surgery to somehow clone a woman. Have you ever considered that story, and what it means about God, if it were literal?

642. I’m not sure where you get the idea that Arp argues against Big Bang — in a couple of searches, including his own website, I note that he’s questioning the general, simple explanation for red shift; since he proposed that idea in the middle 1960s, just before the falsification of Steady State, better telescopes have shown much of his data to be faulty. Arp is, in short, far outside the mainstream of astronomy — and I can’t find that he argues against Big Bang.

I’m sure you can find a couple of cranks or crackpots to say “no Big Bang;” but they don’t argue from new data that raises serious questions. Generally they will be well outside the general thrust of astronomy or physics, and frequently they will be well outside their own expertise.

What I meant is that the counter-Big Bang stuff you’re hinting at does not appear in textbooks, it doesn’t appear in lists of active research projects, and pretending that it is serious science is not a good idea. I’m saying those fields are scientifically sterile, and serious scientists are not pursuing them; consequently, they do not show up in texts.

No, I don’t generally listen to crank science. Who has the time?

Arp, to his credit, doesn’t appear so much a total crank as a polite dissenter. He’s arguing that some very quickly-receding-from-us objects are going faster than their red-shift suggests in the standard theory. That’s no argument against Big Bang, and it assumes all of Big Bang to be accurate, so far as I can see (with my layman’s understanding). The other guys, I haven’t checked out.

My point stands: These are not mainstream guys, their work is generally regarded as crank (or irrelevant), and they don’t argue from new contrary data.

Consequently, their work does not raise serious questions about the mountains of evidence confirming Big Bang and falsifying Steady State.

You said, “Bible does NOT claim God is the immediate cause of Big Bang. The Bible’s claim is greater than that.”

What is the Bible’s claim? You left me hanging.

The Bible claims God is behind everything in the universe, including what was before Big Bang, if anything.

(continued later)

643. Lowerleavell said:

“And if it doesn’t bother you, why do you feel compelled to say you have the answers, when the fact is, you don’t?”

I never said I have all the answers, did I? I said that the Bible claims to have the answers. My views either stand or fall based on the verifiability of the Bible. If I align my views to the Bible, they rise and fall as the Bible rises and falls. That’s why atheists try so hard to disprove the Bible, because if they do, they know that many Christians will sit down and shut up. And guess what, they’d have a right to say sit down and shut up if the Bible is false.

The Bible doesn’t claim to have “all the answers,” either, especially with regard to science. The Bible is a theology text, the recorded laws and, later, history of the relationship between God and His covenanted people. Nothing there suggests that anything in nature will be false — the message of Genesis is quite the opposite, that creation is good, does not like, and probably has the fingerprints of God, if we can only discern them.

As Christians learn in the New Testament, we are not to test God unnecessarily, nor should we set up false tests for God’s Word. Saying that any of the creation stories is literally true is asking for exactly that sort of test. And in the case of the creation and flood stories, there is plenty of stuff to falsify the usual, shallow and magical creation stories people try to claim are told in the Bible.

So, I suggest you back off the claims that the Bible is literally verifiable. It’s not. If we set it up that way, it’s falsifiable in some parts. If, as you suggest, the entire canon must stand or fall on such tests, then it’s simple to say that the Bible is false. But I’m not suggesting we should test scripture that way — you did. When the falsifying information comes in, all you can do is deny reality.

You know what? Nowhere does Jesus or God suggest we should deny reality as a general practice, and especially not in our quest for faith.

So, as Jesus said, so say I: Devil, get thee behind me. That’s not what scripture is for.

Don’t confuse the ability to test and prove things in science with scriptural veracity. They are not the same thing. The same tests will not produce results you want, or the results scripture suggests we should get. Nowhere in scripture is there a command, or verification, that we can count the “begats” in Genesis and determine an age for the planet, let alone an accurate age. That wasn’t Ussher’s intent when he did it, and we shouldn’t ascribe scriptural authority to 16th century science that was not claimed at the time, nor vouched for elsewhere in scripture.

Same with the flood of Noah. The message isn’t that a massive flood explains all geology on the planet — Christians disproved that over 200 years ago — but the message is that God hates sin, we should strive to lead Godly and humble lives, and we have a duty to be stewards of the planet, as God commanded Adam before. That no flood literally drowned the entire Earth does not falsify that message. But if you insist on hanging the Bible’s veracity on whether there was a worldwide flood, it’s easy to falsify.

Why would you urge a test that easily falsifies the Bible? Whose side are you on, really? 😉

It’s not the atheists who say God is a liar, by the way. Atheists don’t argue that nature lies in revealing the universe to be more than 12 billion years old, the solar system to be about 4.5 billion years old, the planet the same age, life about 3.5 billion years on the Earth, rocks (with God’s fingerprints on them) to be lying about their age, the red-shift to be lying about the age of the stars, etc., etc. Those are all claims of creationists. I find it odd, too — the atheists have the Christian view, that creation is reliable. Christians believe creation reliable because it is a literal second testament of God, from God. I’m not sure where that leaves creationism, except outside of Christianity. Since it’s not a salvation issue, such cult views are probably held by many Christians — just not Christians who have thought the whole thing through.

(Continued, perhaps, later)

644. nice one man.

645. [cite]J, rather than forming a new religion that combines the sane parts of all religions on the planet you could remove all insane parts from your own religion.[/cite]

Hoverfrog, funny assumption that I could remove all insane parts from ‘my own’ religion. I don’t have one and am happy not to.

But I believe removing insane parts of religions will be an impossible task. Better take the best of all religions and combine them.. Maybe it would eventually lead to peace on earth. Religion thus far has been a major catalyzer for war!

And people, all this what is and isn’t in the bible and is or isn’t proven shouldn’t be of such importance. It is more important to use your common sense and live a good life whereby you will not intentionally harm another being and judge only yourself. (of course live by your country’s laws too)

646. Lowerleavell said:

“I have never heard anyone argue that all matter was condensed to nothing. You’re making that up again.”

Stephen Hawking defines a black hole as, ‘A region of space-time from which nothing, not even light, can escape, because gravity is so strong.’ And he defines the ‘big bang’ as, ‘The singularity at the beginning of the universe.’–(”A Brief History of Time” pg. 194)

No, I didn’t make it up, I got it from Hawking. The singularity he speaks of was condensed to what point?

A black hole is incredibly dense matter. Matter is not “nothing.” When Hawking says “nothing escapes,” that means it remains incredibly dense. Hawking does not say ‘a black hole converts matter and energy to nothing.’

How small can all the matter and energy in the universe be condensed? Very small — but it’s still all the matter in the universe, and it’s not “nothing.” You might want to look at the first lecture listed here, Hawking on “The Beginning of Time”: http://www.hawking.org.uk/lectures/lindex.html

Also, this site has nice pictures to accompany solid explanations: (see URL, next post)

647. I’m not sure why these are going into the spam filter — maybe the blog is set to disallow “PBS?”

Here’s the second Hawking URL, modified to try to get past the spam filter:
http://wwwDOTpbs.org/wnet/hawking/strange/html/blackhDOThtml

648. Ed, you said, “Fundy television preachers aside, why would anyone assume that any other American is NOT Christian?”

Half of the people that I meet who say they are Christians don’t even know the meaning of the term. Look up the word “Christian” in the dictionary. A Christian is not a noun, it is an adjective. People attach a label to themselves and think they’re “ok” with God because they say some “Jesus” words, attend an occasional church service, or were born in the USA, as you seem to be saying. Those things have nothing to do with being a Christian.

So, don’t be too offended when I ask, are you a Christian? Getting offended by the question is a great way to prove yourself in the negative.

649. Ed, you said, “I’m defending traditional Christian views here — if you’ve got different views, that’s fine, but understand they are not traditional Christian views.”

You’ve got to be joking right? Have you even read any of the early church fathers at all? Iraneaus, Polycarp, Tertullian, Augustine, etc. would roll over in their grave to read your attacks against the validity of the Bible. They defended the very words of Scripture, not just their overall message. I’m sorry, but anyone who has read very much on the history of the church (Romanism excluded) would back me up in saying that you are in no wise speaking for traditional Christianity.

“why don’t you take words at face value?”
Forgive me if I am not. Beyond your accusation, I wasn’t aware that I was reading into your words. Let me see if I got it staight, a literal view of the Bible is cultic, and traditional Christianity defends evolution. Is that about right?

“Where in the Bible is there the faintest hint that Genesis is literal? Nowhere.”

I find it ironic that you are getting offended by me not taking your words at face value and then are telling me NOT to take the Bible’s words at face value. Something here doesn’t compute.:-) Seriously, the Bible doesn’t tell us to take the Gospels literally either. It doesn’t tell us to take Acts or the Epistles literally either. However, it doesn’t tell us to take Genesis figuratively either. Even Jesus, when talking about the days of Noah, never even hinted that it wasn’t a true story. He never hinted that Jonah, Moses, or even Hell for that matter was figurative. So, my question is this, why would you take it to be anything BUT literal?

“There are several different creation stories in the Bible, and they all conflict. Genesis 1 conflicts with Genesis 2 in the order of creation, and especially in the order and method of creation of Woman…”

Are you sure these are contradictions? Look at this site:
http://danofisrael.com/id136.html

I remember hearing people say that the Lilith story is in Isaiah, but I could never find it. Where is it again?

“It [literal 6 day creation] was created by a scientist/hostorian, in papers published in 1650 and 1654. It’s 17th century science.”

Again, your joking right? Here are some early church
father’s on the subject:
Basil said,
‘“And there was evening and there was morning: one day.” And the evening and the morning were one day. Why does Scripture say “one day the first day”? Before speaking to us of the second, the third, and the fourth days, would it not have been more natural to call that one the first which began the series? If it therefore says “one day”, it is from a wish to determine the measure of day and night, and to combine the time that they contain. Now twenty-four hours fill up the space of one day—we mean of a day and of a night;” (Basil AD 329-379; Homily II:8)

Martin Luther said it this way, “He [Moses] calls ‘a spade a spade,’ i.e., he employs the terms ‘day’ and ‘evening’ without Allegory, just as we customarily do we assert that Moses spoke in the literal sense, not allegorically or figuratively, i.e., that the world, with all its creatures, was created within six days, as the words read. If we do not comprehend the reason for this, let us remain pupils and leave the job of teacher to the Holy Spirit.” (Luther, Lectures on Genesis Chapters 1-5, Vol. 1 (St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1958), pp. 3, 6.)

John Calvin put it this way, “I have said above that six days were employed in the formation of the world; not that God, to whom one moment is as a thousand years, had need of this succession of time, but that he might engage us in the contemplation of his works.” (Calvin, Genesis, p. 105)

Please don’t pretend that theological giants as these didn’t hold to a literal creation and that these views are new, unChristian and cultic. It’s misleading at best.

650. Ed, you said, “We know that Hawking wrote Hawking’s books, because Hawking said so. There is nowhere any statement similar suggesting God as the author of any of the creation stories…”

“Nothing in the Bible suggests in any way that God wrote Genesis. So where did you get that idea?”

Just these three verses, “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness,” 2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Pet. 1:21, “for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.” and Hebrews 1:1-2a, ” GOD, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son…” The Bible claims that God is the source of all the Scriptures.

651. Ed, you said, “Otherwise, we’d have to say Jesus was ill-informed (impossible!) or a liar (more impossible!) when He said the mustard seed is the smallest of all. It isn’t — not even if you’re talking something other than the black mustard (which has very large seeds).”

I don’t remember Jesus saying that the seed was the smallest. What He said is this, “Which indeed is the LEAST of all seeds: but when it is grown, it is the greatest among herbs.” So, what’s he saying? He’s making a comparison and saying though it’s small, though it’s the most insignificant of seeds, it becomes a great resource for us.

You also seem to be misrepresenting those who take the Bible literally. When Jesus speaks a parable or when someone says they are talking figuratively, then we do as they request. That’s why Revelation is a lot of allegory because it says it is. You seem to be saying that in every instance at all times Bible literalists say you have to take it literally. If the Bible says to take something as a figure of speech or a parable, then it should be taken as such.

“Moses was instructed to write down the laws, not the history, not the science. Don’t try to stretch the Word of God.”

So, you are giving Scripture credit as being “the Word of God”? I’m confused at where you stand.

No one said the Bible is a science book or a history book. It is a theology book, but if it doesn’t even get science or history right, why would we give it credence to theology too?

Here’s my questions for you: Did Jesus bodily come in the flesh, and did He bodily rise again from the dead? Also, is He the Son of God?

652. “I’m sure you can find a couple of cranks or crackpots to say “no Big Bang;” but they don’t argue from new data that raises serious questions.”

Have you done any reading on answersingenesis.org or from the Institute for Creation Research? I’m sure they will be dismissed as crackpots, but even so, what are your refutations on their views besides insults?

I am not a scientists nor an expert on the Big Bang (obviously). I have only studied enough to know that scientists don’t really know exactly how it happened, but that the idea of intelligent design is gaining in popularity and has less of a backlash now when scientist state that they are theists.

“What I meant is that the counter-Big Bang stuff you’re hinting at does not appear in textbooks, it doesn’t appear in lists of active research projects, and pretending that it is serious science is not a good idea.”

It does not appear in textbooks because it’s illegal to appear in textbooks. It is labeled “theology” and the separation of church/state takes over. That’s sure a fair statement to say it’s not in any textbooks and not mention that all any textbook that teaches intelligent design is outlawed. However, within the last 60-80 years, the Bible itself was used as a textbook in American schools.

“Arp, to his credit, doesn’t appear so much a total crank as a polite dissenter”

I don’t know much about Arp, but I do know he is as you said, “a dissenter”. His motivations are his own, so I will not guess.

My point is that any scientist or anyone who says anything contrary to the Big Bang theory is immediately labeled “crank” (your own words) and dismissed. Of course then there are no mainstream scientists who don’t stand up to it because to be mainstream you have to hold to the Big Bang Theory. If you try to “dissent” you are dismissed as a fanatic. No, I’m sorry, the deck is stacked against design.

“The Bible claims God is behind everything in the universe, including what was before Big Bang, if anything.”

So, would you call yourself a “theistic evolutionist?” Here’s one problem with that position for Christian evolutionists. If we are evolved then there is death before sin with evolution. If there is death before sin, what is the purpose of death or the consequences of sin, if any?

“The Bible doesn’t claim to have “all the answers,” either, especially with regard to science.”

I didn’t say the Bible has “all” the answers, what I said is that it has the answers, not to every question (like finding out the formula for pi 🙂 ) but for some main things we need to know, like where did we come from, how did all this get here, and what is our purpose on this earth? Those are the answers the Bible claims to have. Some answer rub shoulders with science and others with history and archeology, but I never said the Bible is a history/science book and answers every question known to man.

“As Christians learn in the New Testament, we are not to test God unnecessarily, nor should we set up false tests for God’s Word. Saying that any of the creation stories is literally true is asking for exactly that sort of test.”

How so? Jesus Himself even told the Jews to search the Scriptures to see if what He was saying was true or not. The Burean church also tested Paul’s words with Scripture to see if what he was saying was true. Your claiming the Bible is not literally true, so I am asking you to show me that from Scripture. What the Bible actually says is this, “But avoid foolish and ignorant disputes, knowing that they generate strife. And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient,” 2 Tim. 2:23-24. If I have been in violation of this principle, please forgive me for my lack of patience and gentleness. I am not simply trying to win an argument, I love you Ed, and desire you to have confidence in God and His Word. If you want to know, that is my motivation, whether it matters or not.

“And in the case of the creation and flood stories, there is plenty of stuff to falsify the usual, shallow and magical creation stories people try to claim are told in the Bible.”

I am horrified to hear you say this, because its simply not true. There’s so much evidence for a world-wide flood its not even funny. Just as one example, look at all the world’s mythologies of flood stories. There’s hundreds of them! Where did they come from?

“So, I suggest you back off the claims that the Bible is literally verifiable. It’s not.”

You have not demonstrated this to be the case, and either has any atheist on this site. I am not the one trying to falsify the Bible either, I am trying to show that it is impossible to falsify the Bible. They’ve been trying for thousands of years! If I offend you, I’m sorry I will do my best to not let my personality stand in the way. But if God and His Word is the offence, I will refuse to back down and will not apologize.

“You know what? Nowhere does Jesus or God suggest we should deny reality as a general practice, and especially not in our quest for faith.”

Did I say that? Did anyone suggest that anywhere?

“Nowhere in scripture is there a command, or verification, that we can count the “begats” in Genesis and determine an age for the planet, let alone an accurate age.”

Frankly, again, that’s a side issue, and one that I am not willing at this point to attempt to defend, because it’s not really important. However, there’s a difference between counting the geneologies and throwing them out entirely as fiction. I wonder what the allegorical messages of the geneologies are?

“Same with the flood of Noah. The message isn’t that a massive flood explains all geology on the planet — Christians disproved that over 200 years ago…”

Again, what??? That’s simply untrue. The flood has not been falsified.

“but the message is that God hates sin, we should strive to lead Godly and humble lives, and we have a duty to be stewards of the planet, as God commanded Adam before.”

That is definitely correct. Bravo in your statement here. Morally, you and I totally agree.

“Why would you urge a test that easily falsifies the Bible? Whose side are you on, really?”

Well, go ahead, let’s see how well the Bible stands up. I’m not an expert on every “supposed” contradiction in the Bible, but the Word of God is worth defending, if you wish to be on the attack.

“It’s not the atheists who say God is a liar, by the way.”

That statement is not even slightly humorous. I find this discussion that we are having the hardest and most sad thing I’ve ever been apart of. I never would have guessed in a hundred years that I would be on an atheist’s web-site defending the Bible with someone who claims to be a Christian saying the atheists have it right and the Bible is wrong. I have no doubt the atheists are watching us and just laughing at those “Christians” who can’t even agree on anything. Ed, you boggle my mind. I don’t mind talking God’s existence with our atheistic friends because they at least have decided which side of the fence they’re on, but this…I am not enjoying this in the slightest.

653. “A black hole is incredibly dense matter. Matter is not “nothing.” When Hawking says “nothing escapes,” that means it remains incredibly dense. Hawking does not say ‘a black hole converts matter and energy to nothing.’ ”

Who am I to disagree with you, and again, I’m no expert and definitely not an expert on atheistic scientists. From what I understand Hawking to be saying is that matter was condensed down to a small, insignificant little point. A “singularity”, as he put it. Is that correct?

Oh, I found a quote from Arp I thought you’d like. He says this, “‘I am tempted to say that if there is a creator (and if so I would not presume to attribute anthropomorphic properties to it) we might expect to hear: “Look you dummies, I showed you the Virgo Cluster and you did not believe it so I will show you another one just like it and if you still don’t believe it—well let’s just forget the whole thing”’.

I was wondering what you thought of this article from Dr. John G. Hartnett. He seems to tell a different story than Hawking.

654. lowerleavell said:

So, don’t be too offended when I ask, are you a Christian? Getting offended by the question is a great way to prove yourself in the negative.

Well, I’m guilty, too. I had assumed you thought yourself Christian, too. Sorry for the assumption.

Are you Christian? You’re attacking the veracity of the Bible, and claiming to know better than God what nature is about. So I fell compelled to ask.

655. Ed, you said, “I’m defending traditional Christian views here — if you’ve got different views, that’s fine, but understand they are not traditional Christian views.”

You’ve got to be joking right? Have you even read any of the early church fathers at all? Iraneaus, Polycarp, Tertullian, Augustine, etc. would roll over in their grave to read your attacks against the validity of the Bible. They defended the very words of Scripture, not just their overall message. I’m sorry, but anyone who has read very much on the history of the church (Romanism excluded) would back me up in saying that you are in no wise speaking for traditional Christianity.

Not once have I “attacked the validity of the Bible.” I merely point out that claims that one book is superior to all the others — as your claim about Genesis — is an attack on the Bible. I’m sure you find that astonishing. So I wonder whether you’ve read the other books.

There is nothing in scripture which claims the Earth is very young. There is nothing in scripture which says the Earth is only as old as mankind. There is nothing in scripture that says we can calculate the age of the Earth from begats in Genesis. There is nothing in scripture that says we should ever try to calculate geological ages from scripture. There is nothing in scripture that suggests belief in a young Earth is a Christian virtue or a salvation issue.

The traditional Jewish view of Genesis is it’s an interesting, human account of creation that contains messages for the faithful from God. The traditional view of Christianity is the same. You, on the other hand, are arguing that there is also, or instead — you haven’t answered the question about whether you consider yourself Christian yet, I shouldn’t assume — a science text in the first two chapters of Genesis that is literally accurate, despite the fact that Genesis 1 and Genesis 2 plainly and clearly contradict each other on key details (when Woman was created, when Man was created with regard to the animals, other orders of creation issues, for starters), and despite the fact that none of the other creation stories in the Bible repeat Genesis, and the creation story God tells in Job differs radically (no Eden, no Adam, no Eve, an interesting dragon, and a fight between God and the dragon for dominion over the Earth, etc.).

As an elder, I must rebuke you for misleading others. I am representing nothing but the traditional view. You on the other hand, are representing the Darby view. It may be valid, and the rest of Christianity (the Pope, the Presbyterians, the Methodists, the Disciples of Christ, even the Mormons) may be wrong. But on what authority do you claim Job is fallacious, as is John, and others?

Don’t pretend to wear the mantle of Christian correctness. This is exactly the sort of haughty theology that Darwin opposed, when the fundamentalists of his day claimed that evil people who had performed certain sacraments were bound for heaven while good people who missed those sacraments were bound for hell. It’s not our place to make such judgments.

The traditional view of creation, among Christians, is that we don’t know the exact way God did it. God “spoke” creation. What does that mean? How can we say it doesn’t mean evolution works? That’s silly. We can’t say that.

Augustine, in particular, warned that where a literal reading of the Bible conflicts with reality, with what is observed in the real world, Christians shouldn’t make fools of themselves and insult the Bible by claiming the Bible knows better than God — any fool could tell the difference. Did I say “the Bible knows better than God?” Yes. Creation is a testament of God, from God’s own fingers (Darby hadn’t convinced Augustine that all of creation was corrupt, and since the Bible doesn’t say that, Augustine remained ignorant). Which testament is correct? Augustine said reality is reality. Scripture contains the Word of God, and reality isn’t denied by scripture.

The story of Noah is inspiring. The story of Noah warns against sin. The story of Noah tells us there is hope for virtuous people. But to the extent that it claims there was a worldwide flood, ever, it is in error. The error may be in translation. The error could be in the view of the human who first recorded it. The error could be because the story looks like it was cribbed almost verbatim from the Babylonian scriptures, the Gilgamesh Epic, and there had to be some changes to make it Jewish instead of Babylonian.

But in any case, there was no world wide flood. There have been great local floods. There was the incredible flood when the Mediterranean rushed in to make the Black Sea, and it has all the proper landmarks. But there is no boat on Mt. Ararat. The flood never topped those mountains (in a furious rain, who could tell?) No single flood could explain the geology of the planet. So when we put together all the evidence, we say it’s an inspiring story and we learn from it. But we don’t go around claiming that the Earth was once flooded completely — not if we follow Augustine’s advice.

Do you see the point yet? Jesus taught with parables. They were not Eyewitness News accounts — they were stories, fictional stories, that were grounded enough in common experience that people would identify with them. Such stories are not intended to start people hunting for the talents the one servant buried (in the Parable of the Talents).

Later on you note this difference — you note that parables are not literal. Well, wake up and smell the coffee, the same thing applies to much of the Old Testament, including especially Genesis and what it would imply about the age of the Earth, were it literal.

Have you read the Babylonian creation story, as told by Babylonian scientists at the time of the Babylonian captivity? In the Babylonian story, there was the Earth and it was dark and void. Then light created itself, in the Sun and the Moon — which the Babylonians worshipped as gods. And then the stars, and the oceans and rivers and lakes. And then plants were created, or made themselves, and then animals, and then humans, including First Man. In the several generations that the Israelites were kept in Babylon, it was difficult for the priests to get people to stick to the monotheistic religion they had previously practiced. And so, among many other things, the priests came up with a poem. It recited the Babylonian creation story (remember, this was the best science available at the time), but instead of each of the Babylonian gods arising, it was the God of the Israelites who was behind each creation — the God of the Israelites was so powerful that He created even those things the Babylonians held out as gods. And there you have Genesis I.

Now: If we know how the stories were written (and we very well do know), and we know the purpose they were written for, to remind Israelites of their monotheistic religion, why would we instead claim that the 6th century B.C. science is the message of the story? That’s the sort of foolishness Augustine warns us against.

Maybe you don’t think that the OT theology is “traditional.” One may believe that — under our Constitution one can believe any fool thing one wishes. One may not insist on one’s views if they are not corroborated in reality — and as science, Genesis is uncorroborated at almost every step.

Take the scriptures as scriptures. They are not science texts, and trying to make scriptures work as science texts is, to me, scripture abuse.

656. “There are several different creation stories in the Bible, and they all conflict. Genesis 1 conflicts with Genesis 2 in the order of creation, and especially in the order and method of creation of Woman…”

Are you sure these are contradictions? Look at this site:
http://danofisrael.com/id136.html

Only by making a major departure from the text can that fellow make those claims. Why not the plain meaning? you’re the one arguing it should be literal. There is absolutely not one word of any part of the Bible which suggests that Genesis 2 is a flashback of God’s to when He was thinking about what Adam would need. What a tortured interpretation! What torture of scripture is that!

For more than 2,000 years the Jews have held that the plain meaning should be used in Genesis 2. You claim to speak for traditional views, but you depart from the scriptures the way they’ve been used — since Jesus? Do you begin to see why I say creationism causes departures from scripture, and ultimately from the faith? In order to make creationism work, one must reject the scriptures as Jesus knew them, as the prophets knew them, as they were preached by the Disciples, as they were known until the 19th century. Why? Did Joseph Smith say so? Did some other man claiming to be a prophet say so? Who? And why?

There is a dissonance and conflict between the two stories. They come from two different traditions (close traditions, true, but different as we can see). Faithful scholars have recognized those conflicts for thousands of years, and said, “we just don’t know why — but the Word of God is clear, and that little conflict over timing of creation is not of consequence since this is scripture and not science.”

“danofisrael” decides that these scriptures don’t really conflict — “Let’s see, if we imagine that God is having a flashback to His planning session, we can say the two stories are really just different views of the same thing at different times! Yeah, THAT’S THE TICKET!”

I don’t buy it. It’s contrary to the most basic rules of interpretation. I wager it’s contrary to your preferred rules of interpretation, if you apply them. And there is no scripture anywhere which supports such torture of those verses.

I remember hearing people say that the Lilith story is in Isaiah, but I could never find it. Where is it again?

Isaiah 34:14. In the NIV Lilith’s name has been replaced by “night creatures.” “Night monster” in the New American Standard Version. “Screech owl” in the King James. It’s Lilith in the versions we have closest to the original.

By the way: By what rule are these translators allowed to change that verse, to take out the name of the woman created with Adam, and replace it with an animal’s name? Aren’t we supposed to take this literally, according to you? And how can we do that when the translators muck it up like that?

“It [literal 6 day creation] was created by a scientist/hostorian, in papers published in 1650 and 1654. It’s 17th century science.”

http://www.stephenjaygould.org/library/gould_house-ussher.html)

Ussher was not arguing for a literal interpretation. Ussher was simply using the best texts he had at the time. Read the article — it tells how Ussher’s attempt at a science paper came to be considered scripture when printers put in the dates he’d calculated in the margins of Bibles they printed. It’s not scripture, it’s not gospel certainly! It was a way to sell Bibles.

And you defend it as if it were the Word of God. How ironic!

Read the Gould piece — his Bible scholarship is exemplary. He notes near the end:

I was delighted by Ussher’s defense of his chronology in this catechism–simple words that illustrate the basic humanism of his enterprise. How do we know about creation, he asks–and responds: “Not only by the plain and manifold testimonies of Holy Scripture, but also by light of reason well directed.” His main quarrel, we note, is not with other timings of the human epic, but with Aristotle’s a historical notion of eternity. “What say you then to Aristotle, accounted of so many the Prince of Philosophers; who laboreth to prove that the world is eternal.” Ussher answers his own question by defending God’s majesty against a mere unmoved mover of eternal matter, for Aristotle “spoileth God of the glory of his Creation, but also assigneth him to no higher office than is the moving of the spheres, whereunto he bindeth him more like to a servant than a lord.”

We should likewise be careful that we don’t “spoileth God of the glory of His creation.”

Here are some early church
father’s on the subject:
Basil said,
‘“And there was evening and there was morning: one day.” And the evening and the morning were one day. Why does Scripture say “one day the first day”? Before speaking to us of the second, the third, and the fourth days, would it not have been more natural to call that one the first which began the series? If it therefore says “one day”, it is from a wish to determine the measure of day and night, and to combine the time that they contain. Now twenty-four hours fill up the space of one day—we mean of a day and of a night;” (Basil AD 329-379; Homily II:8)

Good for Basil. Are you arguing that Basil’s interpretations of scriptures are correct? Is it your claim that Basil says this is a science text?

Basil discusses, but does not claim, as creationists do, that the text is literal even for science. Basil’s concerns for the days has nothing to do with creation. He is instead aiming simply to enlighten so others will understand.

Martin Luther said it this way, “He [Moses] calls ‘a spade a spade,’ i.e., he employs the terms ‘day’ and ‘evening’ without Allegory, just as we customarily do we assert that Moses spoke in the literal sense, not allegorically or figuratively, i.e., that the world, with all its creatures, was created within six days, as the words read. If we do not comprehend the reason for this, let us remain pupils and leave the job of teacher to the Holy Spirit.” (Luther, Lectures on Genesis Chapters 1-5, Vol. 1 (St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1958), pp. 3, 6.)

I don’t regard Luther as a prophet. It’s an interesting interpretation, but it tells us more about Luther than about the Bible. Notice, though, even Luther here urges that we let the Holy Spirit be the teacher. Ultimately, he says, it’s the theology we want out of the text; not science.

John Calvin put it this way, “I have said above that six days were employed in the formation of the world; not that God, to whom one moment is as a thousand years, had need of this succession of time, but that he might engage us in the contemplation of his works.” (Calvin, Genesis, p. 105)

Calvin gives me the willies. He may be a good example of how trying to make these texts literal drives one over the edge. His participation in the capture, trial, torture and murder of Servetus illustrate to us that Calvin was more a Pharisee than a follower of the mercy of Christ. Calvin’s plotting to murder Servetus or get Servetus murdered is pure sin, and something that we do not sanction under our more moral laws in the U.S. — thank God!

But note, even Calvin hedges — the purpose of the text, and of creation, is to make us study and contemplate God. Calvin does not argue scripture should trump science (though he may well have been that deranged); Calvin does not claim the Bible as a science text.

Please don’t pretend that theological giants as these didn’t hold to a literal creation and that these views are new, unChristian and cultic. It’s misleading at best.

Have you ever studied their views on how disease is spread? Are you willing to say that they were correct, there, as well — and that we must hold to their odd, extra-scriptural and non-scriptural pronouncements now, even if we know better?

I don’t think any of these people argued against science. We know that some of them came out of that tradition of Christian study of astronomy, if only to try to get the moveable feast days correct.

But the fact is, they didn’t have the information we have now. Just as we wouldn’t argue that mere dissenters should be put to death as Calvin did, nor would we argue that “bad night air” causes disease as was a common belief of their times, neither need we now ignore science, especially on things that any one can confirm.

You’re trying to say theologians ask us to deny reality because they didn’t know about science. I don’t see that in their arguments at all.

657. I have a post with too many links, “awaiting moderation.”

In the interim, Leavell, I ask you to look again at the post that started this thread. If we are to take the Bible literally, the Bible gets pi wrong. If you agree that we should not take that verse out of 1 Kings so literally, then you agree with me, that we should not let text thousands of years old get in the way of factual knowledge. The Bible is not a math text; for the purposes of making the theological point, 3 is close enough.

And that’s the whole game. There is no rule of interpretation that allows Genesis to be literal, but 1 Kings not to be. To require us to abandon the traditional views of Christian scripture in order to make creationism work is simply an insult to the faith and to the scriptures. The truths of the Bible are not about the technicalities of creation. The Bible is a history of covenants between God and chosen people. It is not a science text.

658. Ed said, “Are you Christian? You’re attacking the veracity of the Bible, and claiming to know better than God what nature is about. So I fell compelled to ask.”

Yes, thank you for asking, I am a Christian. 🙂 Whether I can be identified with the characteristics of being “Christ-like” (Christian) is something to be strived for, but I can’t make the claim to have apprehended.

There are still some unanswered questions Ed. 1) What were my strawmen? 2) What do you do with death before the fall, if there even was one? 3) Did Jesus come in the flesh, die in the flesh, and rise again in the flesh? Is He the Son of God or simply a good man? 4) What did you think of this? htp://www.answersingenesis.org/tj/v17/i2/heavens.asp

“I merely point out that claims that one book is superior to all the others — as your claim about Genesis — is an attack on the Bible.”

Now you must be taking what I say to be allegorical because I didn’t say Genesis is superior to all the others. My intend was to say that if Romans is right then Genesis is right. If Genesis is wrong, how do we know Romans is not wrong? Genesis is the foundation book that too many people just throw out the window because they have a different interpretation of how they think it happened. Ed, science is constantly changing and adapting to how they think things happened. Today it’s the Big Bang, what will it be tomorrow? As long as people keep God out of the equation the answer will always keep changing. You’ve jumped on this Big Bang bandwagon and thrown what the Bible says happened out the door for “the message”.

I come from the West which is a highly populated Mormon territory. When confronted with things about the Book of Mormon, like Jesus being predicted to be born in Jerusalem, horses and cows in the Americas in 600 BC, no evidence for any city in the Book of Mormon, Christ using Greek to talk with people who have never heard of Greek, references to plants that are not found in the Americas, etc. They say the exact same thing as you do Ed, to the letter. It’s not the words or the history, etc. that’s important, its the message. My question is if the Bible can’t even get little facts straight, and even have to borrow from Babylonian worship to get their creation story (as you deduce) then why on earth would anyone adhere to the Bible any more than any other book like the Book of Mormon? Are you Mormon Ed? Are you Hindu? Are you Buddist? Are you Islamic? Why or why not? They have great morals and great teaching and also respect Jesus for being a good teacher. Why would we be so brazen as to say God had a hand on writing the Bible when it couldn’t even get something as huge as the flood of Noah right? Why wouldn’t the Bible just say that the things in Genesis are allegory and that such and such is the message you get from them instead of just telling the story and leaving it up to us to interpret however we should so choose? Who says “this is the message”? The Church? History shows us what good that does making “the Church” the authority. If it is not simply what it says it is, it’s a garbled mess. Don’t twist my words to say I’m saying it’s a garbled mess, I’m saying it’s what it says it is!

The Bible says in Proverbs 30:33, “For as the churning of milk produces butter, And wringing the nose produces blood,
So the forcing of wrath produces strife.” What is the allegory behind wringing someones nose? None, whatsover. I contend it merely means that if you wring someone’s nose, it will bleed. Now, the Bible’s not a medical book, but I’m going to go out on a limb here and say the Bible got this one right. You don’t have to read these deep messages into the Bible, there already there! You simply take it for what it says and build your theology around it, and not read what you will into the text. That’s just rude! The Bible’s not a science book, but if it didn’t get its science right, how can we know the message behind it is true?

659. “There is nothing in scripture which claims the Earth is very young.”

Again, I’m not sure if you read what I said or not, but I already said I believe this is a side issue not the main issue. However, the Bible doesn’t even slightly hint at evolution, so you can’t make that claim either.
So for now, let’s leave that one alone?

In regards to the Genesis accounts of creation, I like how Jesus tied in both chapter 1&2 together when He said, “”But from the beginning of the creation, God ‘made them male and female.’ (Gen. 1:27); ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife,’ ” (Gen. 2:24). Aparently, Jesus didn’t see the contradiction because He gave each chapter equal footing. Also, I don’t know if you’ve studied any Hebrew at all, but in Hebrew there is no contradiction at all because the verb tenses are taken from the context. If you wish to get into the Hebrew that would be fine too. Here’s another link that goes into a lot more detail: http://www.answersingenesis.org/creation/v18/i4/genesis.asp Ed, its not a contradiction, you just give up on your Bible too easily.

“As an elder, I must rebuke you for misleading others.”

This sounds like when the Catholic Church had two popes who were excommunicating each other. 🙂 You do know the Bible says, “Rebuke not an elder” right?

“I am representing nothing but the traditional view. You on the other hand, are representing the Darby view.”

The whole reason I put those quotes from Luther, Calvin, and Basil was to show that a literal six day creation was around long before Darby. It may have been formulated by Darby, just like systematic theology is a relatively new concept, but it is something thats been around since the beginning, just not formulated. To say a literal interpretion of the Bible began with Darby is, let’s just say misinformed.

“But on what authority do you claim Job is fallacious, as is John, and others?”

Did I say that? Are you trying to say that Job 26:13 is in contradiction with the rest of the creation accounts? That’s ridiculous!

“…evil people who had performed certain sacraments were bound for heaven while good people who missed those sacraments were bound for hell. It’s not our place to make such judgments.”

I agree. According to John 3, your performance has no bearing on your eternal destination. Darwin had a right to be frustrated. John 3 states that even Jesus did not come to condmen the world. He didn’t need to, we are already condemned. He came to redeem us, not condemn us.

“Augustine, in particular, warned that where a literal reading of the Bible conflicts with reality, with what is observed in the real world, Christians shouldn’t make fools of themselves and insult the Bible by claiming the Bible knows better than God — any fool could tell the difference.”

Could you provide quotes? Augustine has some real interesting views, especially when it comes to salvation, but if you don’t mind, I’d prefer to read his own words. He made Calvin look like an Armenian.

“(Darby hadn’t convinced Augustine that all of creation was corrupt, and since the Bible doesn’t say that, Augustine remained ignorant).”

Are you saying Darby was before Augustine?

“But to the extent that it claims there was a worldwide flood, ever, it is in error. The error may be in translation. The error could be in the view of the human who first recorded it. The error could be because the story looks like it was cribbed almost verbatim from the Babylonian scriptures, the Gilgamesh Epic, and there had to be some changes to make it Jewish instead of Babylonian.”

It’s funny that you give adherence to Gilgamesh, because if either the Bible is right or the Gilgamesh Epic is right, there still was a worldwide flood. Even Pacific Islanders have legends of flood stories. Did they borrow from Babylon as well?

“But in any case, there was no world wide flood. There have been great local floods.”

So why didn’t God just tell Noah to move?

“But there is no boat on Mt. Ararat.”

I agree. Especially since the Bible says “the MountainS of Ararat” not just the mountain itself. It would be very difficult to find the boat in the whole mountain range.

“No single flood could explain the geology of the planet.”

The Bible never says it does. I for one still believe there could have been a meteor that hit one of the poles that could have started the flood. That would account for us being on a tilted axle. It would also explain how Mamoths were frozen instantly with food still in their mouths. That definitely didn’t happen over millions of years.

“Do you see the point yet? Jesus taught with parables.”

And He told us they were parables! You would think He would have had the decency to tell us the Old Testament was a parable. He talked about creation and the flood several times and never once mentioned it to be anything but true. So, I would contend they are true because Jesus is not a liar or misleading.

“Well, wake up and smell the coffee, the same thing applies to much of the Old Testament, including especially Genesis and what it would imply about the age of the Earth, were it literal.”

You still haven’t answered why not the New Testament as well? Why not the whole story of Jesus?

“Maybe you don’t think that the OT theology is “traditional.” ”

I don’t think YOUR OT Theology is “traditional.” Even saying that I believe the literal view is traditional, that doesn’t make it right, nor does it prove one way or the other.

“For more than 2,000 years the Jews have held that the plain meaning should be used in Genesis 2.”

After your last post I went back and looked at it in the Hebrew again. There is no contradiction in Hebrew at all. That’s why for more than 2,000 years Jewish people have never had a problem with the creation accounts, because there’s no contradiction at all. You are right, DanofIsrael was stretching.

Regarding Lilith, “Lilith” is what the Hebrew word is. If you want to make that to be the fabled first wife of Adam, that’s your call, but all it says is some sort of nocturnal creature. I’m not sure what other word they would have used if it wasn’t Lilitith. That’s why the KJV used “Screech owl”. Honestly, no one knows one way or the other so you are reading your bias into the text.

I know who Ussher was and what he said, though I didn’t know it was all ascribed to him personally. You are right, he was wrong to deduce that the earth was created in 4004 BC. I’ve met people who have even taken that date to say that the end of the earth is exactly seven thousand years from that date. (seven being the perfect number) I’ve also heard people do the same thing with the tribulation and when the exact time will come. Those things are silly, but to say that Ussher came up with the concept of 6 literal creation days is unfounded. Look at the Hebrew in Genesis 1. The Hebrew is clear that if He wanted to say they were literal days, those are the words He would use.

“Are you arguing that Basil’s interpretations of scriptures are correct? Is it your claim that Basil says this is a science text?”

All I said was that he said, “And there was evening and there was morning: one day.” And the evening and the morning were one day.” I’m saying that Basil said each day of creation was one day, not an allegory to mean something else or that it came from fables.

“Ultimately, he says, it’s the theology we want out of the text; not science.”

I agree with you and Luther on that one. However, I find it difficult to hold up the Bible and say, “thus says the Lord” if the Lord lied (and He didn’t) about how we got here and simply used fables and mythology to introduce Himself.

“Calvin gives me the willies.”

I agree. I am not a Calvin defender by any stretch. I only was showing that the views were pre-dating dispensationalism.

“Are you willing to say that they were correct, there, as well — and that we must hold to their odd, extra-scriptural and non-scriptural pronouncements now, even if we know better?”

Again, I was only trying to show that your statement about a literal interpretation of Genesis was invalid. I’m a Bible defender, not a theologian defender.

“If we are to take the Bible literally, the Bible gets pi wrong.”

Ed, have you even read this thread? Many Bible literalists jumped in long before I got here and demonstrated how absured this thread’s claim is. The Bible never even claims that pi=3.0 as this thread claims. Again I’ll say, those who mock the Bible are getting pretty desperate to be reading 1 Kings to find problems with the Bible.

660. “In other words, it’s a great piece of fiction.”

661. Ed, have you even read this thread? Many Bible literalists jumped in long before I got here and demonstrated how absured this thread’s claim is. The Bible never even claims that pi=3.0 as this thread claims. Again I’ll say, those who mock the Bible are getting pretty desperate to be reading 1 Kings to find problems with the Bible.

The claim that the verse in Kings gets pi incorrect is based on exactly the same authority that claims either of the Genesis creation accounts is literal. You can’t distinguish any different authority, nor can anyone else. You’re right, the claim is absurd. So, also absurd, is the claim that Genesis is literal.

Just out of curiosity, why is your claim that Genesis (one of them, anyway) is the correct account NOT a problem, considering the different creation account given in Job, the differing creation story in Proverbs, the differing story in Ecclesiasticus (ignore for a moment that you don’t even recognize that as part of the canon), or Baruch, or Wisdom, or John?

If, as you say, Genesis is literal, then all these other books must be, by your account, false. Yet, there they stand, part of scripture.

This sort of hypocritical, “I know literal when I see it” exegesis is wearying, and silly until someone takes it seriously, like the several dozen people who show up to ruin biology books in Texas when it’s textbook choosing time.

How do you dismiss all those other books so cavalierly?

662. I’m picking snippets I can answer quickly.

It’s funny that you give adherence to Gilgamesh, because if either the Bible is right or the Gilgamesh Epic is right, there still was a worldwide flood. Even Pacific Islanders have legends of flood stories. Did they borrow from Babylon as well?

Neither was correct, exactly. There never was a worldwide flood. There was a massive flood of the Black Sea, within the last 10,000 years, and it chased out dozens, if not hundreds of farmers who had lived in what is now the bottom of the Black Sea. There was a dam at the Bosporus, and it broke. The Mediterranean was considerably higher than the Black Sea valley, and the water rushed in, for weeks. It must have seemed like the end of the world. If it was accompanied by a calamitous storm, one would have all the elements of the flood stories of the Babylonians and the Jews. (See Noah’s Flood by William Ryan and Walter Pitman to get the research behind the events.)

So there is an historic incident that might have triggered the stories. But the Judaic flood story does not appear until after the Babylonian captivity — intrigueing, no? Some of the verses look to be borrowed verbatim from Gilgamesh (my citing the story doesn’t suggest I “give adherence” to it, by the way).

The Pacific Islanders’ stories I’ve seen sound like tsunamis. They don’t square with either the Noah story, nor with Gilgamesh. The written records of about that time from the Nile Valley don’t have a flood story. African cultures don’t have the same flood story. Hindus, Jainists, and other ancient religions don’t have such stories. The flood stories of the Chinese all relate to the great rivers, and to floods that are obviously seasonal. The Navajo have four flood stories, but in them the heroes float to the sky, find a hole there, and climb up to the next level. If you’re going to cite every mention of a flood as corroboration for the Bible, it wil get very silly very quickly.

God’s evidence shows no such flood. Jericho, to pick one example that should be dispositive, has been continuously occupied for the past 15,000 years. Archaeologists have found no evidence of any flooding there, at all. This is significant, because Jericho is 800 feet below sea level. Were there a worldwide flood at any time, Jericho would have been inundated. In fact, the lake over Jericho would not have been dried yet, had it been flooded at any time in the past 15,000 years (same for Death Valley, California, by the way). And yet, there it is — a city that is often mentioned in scripture.

Nor is there evidence of a great flood over all the Earth, anywhere else. There are a couple of places where we can see what the geological evidence of such a flood should be,such as the Scablands of eastern Washington State, which were scoured when the ice dam that created the massive, now extinct Lake Missoula broke, and a body of water about the size of Lake Erie completely emptied and rushed to the Columbia River, and to the ocean. The Scablands are limited to the flow path of that flood; there are only one or two other places like it on Earth. The rest of the Earth does not show signs of such a flood.

The caves in France with Neanderthal art were not flooded. The Alps, the Himalayas, the Rockies, the Appalachians, the Andes, the Atlases, the Cardamoms, the Urals, the Appenines, Kilimanjaro, none of these mountains have the marks of a great flood, either. Who should we trust: The story invented to keep people faithful in Babylon, or the mountains God made? Why do I even have to ask that question?

663. A few flood stories from different cultures: Bundaba Flood Story, KURANGARA (Australia), the Chinese flood story: Fuhi, his wife, three sons, and three daughters escaped a great flood and were the only people alive on earth (doesn’t sound like just a river flood), Hawaii flood story: Nu-u and his family escaped a global flood by building a great canoe and filling it with animals. Only he and his family were left alive (doesn’t sound like a tsunami) . The Biami (Papua New Gunea), the Choctaws (America), the Lillooet of British Columbia, the Greeks believed Zeus destroyed the whole earth and only King Deucalion and his family are saved by taking refuge in an ark well stocked with provisions, manuscripts from 6th century BC in India tell the story of Manu, meaning “man,” who is warned by a fish about a coming flood. In the legend Manu builds a boat and saves himself, Gilgamesh, of course (Babylon), The Iban people of Sarawak tell of a hero named Trow, who floated around in an ark with his wife and numerous domestic animals, The Aztecs tell of a worldwide global flood in a story with striking parallels to the biblical deluge. “Only two people, the hero Coxcox and his wife, survived the flood by floating in a boat that came to rest on a mountain” (Schoch, p. 103). I could go on and on for quite some time!

There are over 200 global flood stories around the globe. Either all of them are wrong or not. Whether the Jews got their story from somewhere else is not the point. The point is that something happened that almost all cultures thought was worthy to be put into folklore.

664. James Perloff noted:

In 95 percent of the more than two hundred flood legends, the flood was worldwide; in 88 percent, a certain family was favored; in 70 percent, survival was by means of a boat; in 67 percent, animals were also saved; in 66 percent, the flood was due to the wickedness of man; in 66 percent, the survivors had been forewarned; in 57 percent, they ended up on a mountain; in 35 percent, birds were sent out from the boat; and in 9 percent, exactly eight people were spared (p. 168).
http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/40

Sounds like a familiar story, does it not?

665. Ed, I will leave pi alone because it has been discussed on this thread to ad infintum. Let’s just say from my perspective there’s been plenty of evidence to show that the Bible got it right and that it is reliable. Can we drop pi?

“Just out of curiosity, why is your claim that Genesis (one of them, anyway) is the correct account NOT a problem, considering the different creation account given in Job, the differing creation story in Proverbs,”

Are you saying those other stories do not back up the Genesis account? Are they teaching the Big Bang or something? You sound like the scoffers who talk about the Gospels being different and that being a problem. Those different accounts are different aspects of the exact same thing. Look at Job, it emphasizes the omnipotence of God. Look at Proverbs, it emphasizes His wisdom. None of them say they are giving a chronological account, Job says, “who do you think you are to lecture God?!” There is no contradiction.

“If, as you say, Genesis is literal, then all these other books must be, by your account, false. Yet, there they stand, part of scripture.”

Not true because they don’t stand in contrast with the Genesis account at all, but merely back it up.

“the differing story in Ecclesiasticus (ignore for a moment that you don’t even recognize that as part of the canon”

“How do you dismiss all those other books so cavalierly?”

The only one I dismiss is the one not in the Bible, but I’ll venture to guess it still doesn’t hint at the Big Bang.

“There was a massive flood of the Black Sea, within the last 10,000 years, and it chased out dozens, if not hundreds of farmers who had lived in what is now the bottom of the Black Sea. There was a dam at the Bosporus, and it broke.”

Saying that there were other floods doesn’t show that there wasn’t a world-wide flood at all. It just shows that floods ar possible and historical.

By the way, the Babylonians weren’t the original tellers of the flood story either. The earliest dates I have researched goes back to the Sumerians in 2,600 BC. You can read more about it here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ziusudra

This is a legend that goes back over 4,500 years! That’s a long time for something that have no basis in fact.

As far as Jericho goes, it is not accurate to say it has been continually been lived in for 15,000 years. There are three different sites for Jericho, one in particular which shows the walls were destroyed by either an earthquake or a seige (sound like a familiar story?). Since we don’t even have any writing until about 3000 BC or so, it is hard to date when Jericho actually was populated but the guess is 11,000 BC. I would surmise it would have been populated after the flood, not before.

Eastern Washington is pretty cool to see, if you ever get a chance to go there, it is well worth it. There is a dry waterfal that is so much bigger than Niagra Falls it’s not even funny.

Go here for some evidenes for the flood:

To say there is no evidence is just turning a blind eye. Where did the oil deposits come from? Where did the coal deposits come from? Where did the fossils come from? How do we find fossilized sea shells on the top of mountains? The earth screams catastrophy! To say it wasn’t a flood but required millions of years is really to turn a blind eye.

“The caves in France with Neanderthal art were not flooded.”

Because many of the mountains were begun and caused by the flood! Mountains are a result of catastrophe within the earth. This is spoken of in Genesis when it says that the fountains of the deep opened up. If the Bible is correct then the flood wiped out virtually all technology which would have made the earth start again technology wise. If that is true then the cave drawings were done after the flood, not before.

“The story invented to keep people faithful in Babylon, or the mountains God made? Why do I even have to ask that question?”

Your question is a fallacy. You are saying it must be either A or B, but the answer is C, as I already said.

“The written records of about that time from the Nile Valley don’t have a flood story”

That is misleading because Egypt does have a flood story!

“If you’re going to cite every mention of a flood as corroboration for the Bible, it wil get very silly very quickly.”

I agree, it will. But what doesn’t get silly is the fact that they are there and many of them have similarities to the story of Noah. Which makes you wonder if something actually happened. Hmm…

666. I also have one comment awaiting moderation

667. In 95 percent of the more than two hundred flood legends, the flood was worldwide; . . .

In 100% of the Earth, there has been no worldwide flood.

It’s a great meme, it makes for great stories. But there isn’t enough water on the planet to do it. The rocks in our mountains show that it didn’t happen. Jericho’s dryness for the past 15,000 years should raise serious questions about both young Earth ideas and any notion of a worldwide flood.

Didn’t happen.

(What percentage of those stories talk about multiple gods? Would that verify Roman mythology instead? Figuring how many religions mention floods is not nearly so dispositive as looking at the actual rocks, or looking at the written histories that cover those time periods, in Egypt and China — both of which seem to have missed the flood. Maybe they were sinless?)

668. “I am representing nothing but the traditional view. You on the other hand, are representing the Darby view.”

The whole reason I put those quotes from Luther, Calvin, and Basil was to show that a literal six day creation was around long before Darby. It may have been formulated by Darby, just like systematic theology is a relatively new concept, but it is something thats been around since the beginning, just not formulated. To say a literal interpretation of the Bible began with Darby is, let’s just say misinformed.

None of those early interpreters was arguing that the Bible trumps what we can measure in nature. They were arguing theological points. They were arguing that the scriptures are accurate in the scriptural messages that God is behind creation, and that God created out of love. At no time did they argue against the clear findings of science.

Nor did they do the calculations that Ussher did, trying to match events in the Bible with actual dates. Frankly, I don’t know the context of their remarks — but if they were arguing against Augustine, they were wrong. Christianity does not require that we take flights into denial of reality. Christianity cannot require denial of reality.

Darby was the first to say that the Genesis version of creation was superior to all the others, to reject the usual view that the truths of the Bible are theological, and to explicitly argue that denial of science was a religious imperative.

Put it in chronological context: Basil died in A.D. 379, an entire millennium before Nicolaus Copernicus and a clear, documented argument for heliocentricity. Luther probably never read any part of Copernicus’ work (Luther died three years after Copernicus’ heliocentric solar system work was published). Calvin, if he could comprehend what Copernicus was writing about, probably didn’t read it either.

And all three of those you name came long before the biological and geological evidence for a very old Earth was widely known — Newton wasn’t born until 1643, Carl Linne wasn’t born until 1707, and William Smith’s maps got distribution only in the 19th century. As I tried to humorously note with my reference to Darby, a 19th century Texas lawyer, trying to influence Augustine, it is unfair to claim these writings on theological issues, hundreds or thousands of years prior to scientific discoveries, were commentaries against those discoveries.

669. I think this is an accurate translation of Augustine’s note on claiming scripture trumps science and common sense; I copped it from Wikipedia:

It not infrequently happens that something about the earth, about the sky, about other elements of this world, about the motion and rotation or even the magnitude and distances of the stars, about definite eclipses of the sun and moon, about the passage of years and seasons, about the nature of animals, of fruits, of stones, and of other such things, may be known with the greatest certainty by reasoning or by experience, even by one who is not a Christian. It is too disgraceful and ruinous, though, and greatly to be avoided, that he [the non-Christian] should hear a Christian speaking so idiotically on these matters, and as if in accord with Christian writings, that he might say that he could scarcely keep from laughing when he saw how totally in error they are. In view of this and in keeping it in mind constantly while dealing with the book of Genesis, I have, insofar as I was able, explained in detail and set forth for consideration the meanings of obscure passages, taking care not to affirm rashly some one meaning to the prejudice of another and perhaps better explanation.

– The Literal Interpretation of Genesis 1:19–20, Chapt. 19 [AD 408]

670. Shoulda said “almost accurate.”

671. Curious.

At the Catholic Answers site, I find a different version of the Basil quote:

“‘And there was evening and morning, one day.’ Why did he say ‘one’ and not ‘first’? . . . He said ‘one’ because he was defining the measure of day and night . . . since twenty-four hours fill up the interval of one day” (The Six Days Work 1:1–2 [A.D. 370]).

One day, not first day. We’re interpreting the interpretations. Better to stick with the testament of God as nature gives it to us, I think.

672. Ed,

If you don’t mind, I’m not going to write anymore until you address my questions and other comments in my previous posts. Specifically:

“There are still some unanswered questions Ed. 1) What were my strawmen? 2) What do you do with death before the fall, if there even was one? 3) Did Jesus come in the flesh, die in the flesh, and rise again in the flesh? Is He the Son of God (God come in the flesh) or simply a good man? 4) What did you think of this? htp://www.answersingenesis.org/tj/v17/i2/heavens.asp”

Question number three is the most important.

673. I have no idea how long the post that is awaiting moderation will take to be moderated, so I’m going to post it in pieces. This is what I said:

Ed, I will leave pi alone because it has been discussed on this thread to ad infintum. Let’s just say from my perspective there’s been plenty of evidence to show that the Bible got it right and that it is reliable. Can we drop pi?

“Just out of curiosity, why is your claim that Genesis (one of them, anyway) is the correct account NOT a problem, considering the different creation account given in Job, the differing creation story in Proverbs,”

Are you saying those other stories do not back up the Genesis account? Are they teaching the Big Bang or something? You sound like the scoffers who talk about the Gospels being different and that being a problem. Those different accounts are different aspects of the exact same thing. Look at Job; it emphasizes the omnipotence of God. Look at Proverbs, it emphasizes His wisdom. None of them say they are giving a chronological account, Job says, “who do you think you are to lecture God?!” There is no contradiction.

“If, as you say, Genesis is literal, then all these other books must be, by your account, false. Yet, there they stand, part of scripture.”

Not true because they don’t stand in contrast with the Genesis account at all, but merely back it up.

“the differing story in Ecclesiasticus (ignore for a moment that you don’t even recognize that as part of the canon”

“How do you dismiss all those other books so cavalierly?”

The only one I dismiss is the one not in the Bible, but I’ll venture to guess it still doesn’t hint at the Big Bang.

“There was a massive flood of the Black Sea, within the last 10,000 years, and it chased out dozens, if not hundreds of farmers who had lived in what is now the bottom of the Black Sea. There was a dam at the Bosporus, and it broke.”

Saying that there were other floods doesn’t show that there wasn’t a world-wide flood at all. It just shows that floods are possible and historical.

674. By the way, the Babylonians weren’t the original tellers of the flood story either. The earliest dates I have researched goes back to the Sumerians in 2,600 BC. You can read more about it here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ziusudra

This is a legend that goes back over 4,500 years! That’s a long time for something that have no basis in fact.

As far as Jericho goes, it is not accurate to say it has been continually been lived in for 15,000 years. There are three different sites for Jericho, one in particular which shows the walls were destroyed by either an earthquake or a siege (sound like a familiar story?). Since we don’t even have any writing until about 3000 BC or so, it is hard to date when Jericho actually was populated but the guess is 11,000 BC. I would surmise it would have been populated after the flood, not before.

Eastern Washington is pretty cool to see, if you ever get a chance to go there, it is well worth it. There is a dry waterfall that is so much bigger than Niagara Falls it’s not even funny.

675. Go here for some evidences for the flood:
To say there is no evidence is just turning a blind eye. Where did the oil deposits come from? Where did the coal deposits come from? Where did the fossils come from? How do we find fossilized sea shells on the top of mountains? The earth screams catastrophe! To say it wasn’t a flood but required millions of years is really to turn a blind eye.
“The caves in France with Neanderthal art were not flooded.”
Because many of the mountains were begun and caused by the flood! Mountains are a result of catastrophe within the earth. This is spoken of in Genesis when it says that the fountains of the deep opened up. If the Bible is correct then the flood wiped out virtually all technology which would have made the earth start again technology wise. If that is true then the cave drawings were done after the flood, not before.
“The story invented to keep people faithful in Babylon, or the mountains God made? Why do I even have to ask that question?”
Your question is a fallacy. You are saying it must be either A or B, but the answer is C, as I already said.
“The written records of about that time from the Nile Valley don’t have a flood story”
That is misleading because Egypt does have a flood story!
“If you’re going to cite every mention of a flood as corroboration for the Bible, it wil get very silly very quickly.”
I agree, it will. But what doesn’t get silly is the fact that they are there and many of them have similarities to the story of Noah. Which makes you wonder if something actually happened? Hmm

He does a great job of describing scientifically what we’ve been talking about.

http://www.globalflood.org/papers/insixdays.html

By the way, even if you proved that every church father didn’t believe in a literal creation or the flood, you’d still have to contend with Jesus and the disciples on the subject. Let me give you the quotes, just so there is no question:

1 Peter 3:20, “20 who once were disobedient, when the patience of God kept waiting in the days of Noah, during the construction of the ark, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through the water.”

2 Peter 3:3-6, “3 Know this first of all, that in the last days mockers will come with their mocking, following after their own lusts, 4 and saying, ” Where is the promise of His coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all continues just as it was from the beginning of creation.(NOTICE THE WORD CREATION, NOT ALLEGORY)” 5 For when they maintain this, it escapes their notice that by the word of God the heavens existed long ago and the earth was formed out of water and by water, 6 through which the world at that time was destroyed, being flooded with water.”

Luke 17:26-27, Jesus is talking and says, “And just as it happened in the days of Noah, so it will be also in the days of the Son of Man: 2 they were eating, they were drinking, they were marrying, they were being given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all.

Matthew 24:37-39, Jesus says, 37 “For the coming of the Son of Man [Jesus] will be just like the days of Noah. 38 “For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, 39 and they did not understand until the flood came and took them all away; so will the coming of the Son of Man be.”

So, if the flood was simply allegorical, someone should have told Jesus and the disciples because they obviously got it wrong if it never really happened.

677. Dr. John R. Baumgardner makes another great point here:
http://www.globalflood.org/earthage/index.html

If the earth is millions of years old and the flood never happened, then why do the fossils still have a carbon 14 rating? The carbon would have been long gone if they had been there for millions of years. Contamination of every single fossil ever found is not the answer either. He addresses the subject in his article.

678. Very quickly — just passing through on a busy day — you’ve got every old creationist canard about Noah’s flood. Baumgardner’s claims have been debunked dozens of times — but I wonder if you’ve event thought about them? Galileo, for example, looked at marine fossils in the Alps and immediately realized why they disproved a flood, rather than proved it.

First, the fossils are IN the rocks, penetrating the mountains, not ON the mountains. In the Himalayas, marine sediments on some of the mountains form a layer 3,000 feet thick; the sediments on top of the mountains lack the fossils, the sediments below them lack the fossils. The fossils were not placed by a flood.

Second, the fossils are of shallow water creatures only. If the shallow water creatures were somehow splashed over the entire world, it would make sense. That’s not the distribution of them. Why only shallow water creatures and no deep water creatures?

As a correlative problem, how could the shallow water creatures move to the peaks of the mountains? Flood waters would have kept them from moving themselves. As a pragmatic matter, the freshwater probably would have killed them.

Third, the fossils are not in flood or flowing water sediments, but instead are in sediments from non-moving waters.

So, what does Baumgardner have that hasn’t been debunked already, that wasn’t well refuted by Galileo hundreds of years ago?

Generally, Answers in Genesis is a crank religion site, and their science is even worse. Except for the fact that religious fraud is legal, I think their site would be shut down. Check some basic geology texts. Check some basic paleontology texts. Baumgardner’s and AiG’s stuff lacks academic heft, quality and honesty.

679. Dr. John R. Baumgardner makes another great point here:
http://www.globalflood.org/earthage/index.html

If the earth is millions of years old and the flood never happened, then why do the fossils still have a carbon 14 rating? The carbon would have been long gone if they had been there for millions of years. Contamination of every single fossil ever found is not the answer either. He addresses the subject in his article.

Carbon 14 dating only works on air-breathing, land-dwelling creatures. Carbon concentrations are radically different in sea water.

That sea shells and other marine life remains will give faulty Carbon 14 readings was discovered four decades ago. The question I would have for Dr. Baumgardner is why is he foisting such a hoax on unsuspecting Christians? That’s not a friendly, or Christian, thing to do.

680. Ed said, “Baumgardner’s claims have been debunked dozens of times.”

You say this and then the only argument you give is Galileo without even quoting him?

“In the Himalayas, marine sediments on some of the mountains form a layer 3,000 feet thick; the sediments on top of the mountains lack the fossils, the sediments below them lack the fossils. The fossils were not placed by a flood.”

Ed, you do know how fossils are formed right? You do know why we really don’t see new fossils today? How can you write what you did and not see the connection with the flood? Have you ever heard of the Cambrian explosion? Scientists are having a doozy of a time explaining how that happened without the flood. You have basically no fossils at all, then bam, you have an amazing amount of fossils. How could have that happened in evolution? It’s completely the opposite of what should be expected if evolution were true. Fossils don’t form overnight and are the result of catastrophe because the animal must be buried where decay couldn’t reach the bones. Many of the fossils also appear to have been killed in a sudden, unnatural, violent death. So, unless you take the other catastophe theories, like a meteor striking the earth, then good luck explaining how we even have the fossils today, let alone why we have marine life on the tops of mountains. (By the way, I don’t know one creationist who denies the ice age, either.)

The people who believe in a flood don’t really have to explain why there’s no fossils above the layers of fossils, it’s evolutionists. Why are there no new fossils today on the tops of mountains, etc? Why don’t still see marine life climbing Everest to die and make themselves into a fossil? Stupid question! Yet, there they are on the top of mountains. What’s your answer Ed? Mine is that the Word of God is correct and there was a global. Yours is that the Bible is in error and who knows what else. You did nothing to explain why they were there, you merely tried to pick apart the flood.

http://www.science-frontiers.com/sf040/sf040p12.htm
I hope someone follows this link because it shows how the scientific community scrambles to explain things away that might be in line with the flood story. This is a human fossil that was buried in limestone originally dated 25 million years old. Since they found the human fossil in there they have changed the dates. I wonder why they date the fossils by the rocks and then if they don’t like what fossils they find they date the rocks by the fossils? Seems kind of circular if you ask me.

“Why only shallow water creatures and no deep water creatures?”

I have no idea Ed. You still have to explain what they’re doing on the top of a mountain at all because even shallow water creatures have a hard time breathing at 20,000 feet. By the way, you do remember that they found some marine fossils on Mt. Everest right?

How about the 500 plus giant oysters found at about 15,000 feet in the Andes (those oysters are supposed to be older than the Andes themselves)? How’d they get there?

How about the fossilized whales found in the same fossil bed with porpoises, turtles, seals, fish, and land animals such as ground sloths and penguins in Peru?

Could it just be that the Bible got it right and that mainstream science is turning a blind eye because en mass they’d have to admit to being wrong and admitting the Bible (a religious book nonetheless) is more reliable then them? Can you imagine the scandal?

“As a correlative problem, how could the shallow water creatures move to the peaks of the mountains?”

Perhaps because during the flood the fountains of the deep were opened up causing a tremendous worldwide tremor that would have caused the mountains to begin their formation. That’s why the water would have dispersed, because the valleys would have dropped and the mountains would have risen. Right now, if the earth was entirely flat there would be enough water to flood the earth over a mile deep. That doesn’t mean all the mountains formed from the flood, but it does mean it could have been the trigger switch for many of them. Don’t tell me a global flood wouldn’t have been possible. The only question I have left is what was the trigger switch to cause it? The theory I like states that a meteor could have hit at one of the poles. That would explain how the mamoths are buried in ice so rapidly.

Ps. 104:8, “The mountains rose, the valleys sank down
to the place that you appointed for them.” (sounds a lot like how the whole plate system works)

The problem is not the evidence but the mindset of those looking at the evidence. If you predetermine that there was no flood, it doesn’t matter what evidence you see, you’ll just keep on saying, “there was no flood” (as you have done repeatedly, instead of examining the evidence). If you have an open mind to the subject then you would be amazed at how well the evidence stacks up for a global flood.

“Generally, Answers in Genesis is a crank religion site, and their science is even worse. Except for the fact that religious fraud is legal, I think their site would be shut down”

Wow, besides hurling stones of name calling at them, can you actually “debunk” what they say? Even a lunatic can speak the truth. They make a lot of good points if you actually read them with an open mind instead of just calling them names. If your presupposition about Hawking was that he was a lunatic that simply had an agenda against God’s existence would you read him with an open mind? Your presupposition against answersingenesis doesn’t make them “crank science”, it merely means you are showing your bias.

“Carbon 14 dating only works on air-breathing, land-dwelling creatures. Carbon concentrations are radically different in sea water…The question I would have for Dr. Baumgardner is why is he foisting such a hoax on unsuspecting Christians? That’s not a friendly, or Christian, thing to do.”

This statement shows you didn’t even check the article! He wasn’t just talking about marine fossils at all but about fossils in general. You might want to try to read the quotes instead of just hurling insults at them. It doesn’t sound very scientific if you are found to be in error about a quote, especially judging someone about being unfriendly and unChristian” when in fact it was you obviously didn’t even read the article.

To me, it sounds like you have a “my mind’s made up” mentality in which case it would really not do us any good to continue this discussion. Whatever case I present for a flood (for the veracity of the Bible for that matter) will be brought on deaf ears. My only hope in this discussion is that someone else will be reading these posts with an open mind and be able to determine for themselves if the Bible is truly accurate or merely a “myth” or a “fable” as you claim it is.

By the way, you still didn’t answer any of my questions. I’m getting the impression that you don’t want to.

681. http://s8int.com/boneyard1.html

Here’s a great site about the fossil boneyards. Please, look at it before commenting.

682. Here’s a better site about fossil boneyards — it’s a state park in Nebraska, easy to get to: http://ashfall.unl.edu/

Notice that there is no sign of a flood, anywhere. This was a volcanic event, millions of years ago. Never flooded.

683. Hi, I have made a french translation of this post on my blog, if you don’t mind I’ll leave it. (feel free to contact me)

If some french speaker get in there, I’ll be glad to improve my translation !

684. Was there a volcano? Yes, anyone who’s been to the west, especially Idaho (Craters of the Moon) and the coastal states (Mt. Hood, Mt. Shasta, Mt. St. Helens, Mt. Rainier, etc) knows that there have been several active volcanos through the centuries. Millions of years ago? Not necessarily, but a guess.

However, your post does nothing to add or take away from the discussion of whether there was a global flood. What you’ve told me is that there are volcanos. Great! Now back to the discussion about floods… I believe you have many things to answer besides telling me that volcanos can bury animals. Are you saying that volcanos account for all the fossils?

Ed said, “Notice that there is no sign of a flood, anywhere. This was a volcanic event, millions of years ago. Never flooded.”

There’s never been a flooding of the Mid-West?! Are you sure you want to stick by that statement?

685. Wow, I just spent about three hours researching supposed “problems” with the flood. After checking about ten sites I’ve got to say, the evidence for the flood does a pretty good job of standing up. Does it mean that creationists have all the answers and know how everything happened? No, not at all because we we’re there and don’t know many things. But I’m sorry Ed, the facts point to a lot of people starting with the presupposition that the Bible is false and any evidence that points to the contrary is discarded as “junk science”. And there is a LOT of things in relation to the flood that is labeled “junk science” and discarded.

My question is this, if there were no Bible and no theory of evolution, and scientists just looked at the evidence with no presuppositions, would they look at the evidence and say, catastrophe, or millions of years? As even your example of the volcano shows, fossils are the result of catastrophe. Though the flood doesn’t explain everything (nor should it have to) there’s plenty of evidence that there was a flood. The problem with that is that it makes the Bible right, which makes people have to admit they (en mass) were wrong. This is why science will never admit that there was a flood.

686. By the way Ed, you still haven’t answered those questions.

687. As far as the Grand Canyon goes (as I’ve already mentioned), a few problems for the evolutionists is 1) the Colorado River did not carve itself uphill and even evolutionists are abandoning that scenario, claiming that the river is only five million years old; 2) dating of the canyon has proven tricky since the bottom dates at 1.0 billion years old and toward the top it dates 1.3 billion years old. That’s only 300 million years older than the bottom, not a problem right? And 3) At the Tapeats, you have a Cambrian formation (dated 570 mil. years old) right on top of pre-Cambrian strate (1-2 billion years old). So, you have 500 mil. to 1.5 billion years of no new strata? Hmmmm….

Evidence points that the Grand Canyon is the result of catastrophe. Though it doesn’t answer every question, these questions pose serious threats to how evolutionists date the rocks at the very least.

688. I noted: “In the Himalayas, marine sediments on some of the mountains form a layer 3,000 feet thick; the sediments on top of the mountains lack the fossils, the sediments below them lack the fossils. The fossils were not placed by a flood.”

lowerleavell said:

Ed, you do know how fossils are formed right? You do know why we really don’t see new fossils today?

I was unaware any fossilization process had stopped. That’s an amazing claim. It’s also false as far as I can see — no chemical laws have changed, no geological laws have changed. We do see fossilization continuing today, and perhaps at the same rates as in the last 65 million years, perhaps the past billion years.

How do this fantastic errors creep into creationism claims? And note, everything you claim based on the premise that fossils do not form today, is in error.

How can you write what you did and not see the connection with the flood? Have you ever heard of the Cambrian explosion? Scientists are having a doozy of a time explaining how that happened without the flood.

Say what? Now you’re claiming that the flood spurred the development of shells and other hard parts of life? Yes, I’ve heard of the Cambrian, and I’m well aware of the relative “explosion” of fossilization in that time as living things developed shells and other calcified parts.

But I must say, it looks to me as if you’ve never heard of the Cambrian. What in the world is it you claim happened then?

You have basically no fossils at all, then bam, you have an amazing amount of fossils. How could have that happened in evolution? It’s completely the opposite of what should be expected if evolution were true. Fossils don’t form overnight and are the result of catastrophe because the animal must be buried where decay couldn’t reach the bones. Many of the fossils also appear to have been killed in a sudden, unnatural, violent death.

In the Cambrian, living things developed hard parts that fossilize. This isn’t a difficult concept, I think. You are aware, I hope, that modern life bears not much resemblance to Cambrian life. There were no fish, reptiles, especially no mammals, few plants and certainly no flowering plants, trees or grasses. We have quite a few fossils from the Precambrian, too, now that paleontologists are making systematic, hard searches for them.

Almost none of those fossils demonstrate anything like a rapid death, and floods would probably destroy most of what was fossilized.

What do you think was alive in the Cambrian?

So, unless you take the other catastophe theories, like a meteor striking the earth, then good luck explaining how we even have the fossils today, let alone why we have marine life on the tops of mountains. (By the way, I don’t know one creationist who denies the ice age, either.)

You still missed my point. It’s not “marine life on the tops of mountains.” It’s marine life IN the tops of mountains. It’s millions of annual layers of rock encasing the bodies of creatures that died natural deaths and sank to the bottom of a shallow ocean where their bodies were encased in rock that was put down at a rate considerably less than a millimeter a year on average. After those sea bottoms and their multi-million-year histories were encases in stone, other sediments piled on top of them for millions of years. Then (for the Himalayan fossils) the Indian plate rammed the Asian plate, and the sea bottom was raised tens of thousands of feet. Erosion cut through the sediments. The layers are exposed where millions of years of erosion revealed billions of years of sedimentation. There is no sign of a flood ever having covered those mountaintops, and there is no sign that sea life ever existed ON them. The marine life found entombed there was entombed at the bottom of a sea (the Tethys Sea in this case), a sea which no longer exists.

I’m convinced you don’t know what a fossil is, how a fossil is formed (hence your reliance on flood models), and that you’re not paying any attention to any site I cite.

Think for a moment: Volcanic incidents. Where is the evidence of a flood in those cases? None there.

689. Wow, I just spent about three hours researching supposed “problems” with the flood. After checking about ten sites I’ve got to say, the evidence for the flood does a pretty good job of standing up.

Seriously? Where is the sediment from those floods? Where are the humans supposedly killed and buried in those floods? Where are the cities they left?

Why is it that we can have fossils from desert areas that show absolutely no signs of every having been flooded? Why is there absolutely no evidence of any flood ever at Jericho, in the last 15,000 years that we can document humans living there?

What do you think would be the signs of a flood, other than the signs of a flood? Where we have slow erosion that could not survive a flood (say, Delicate Arch in Arches National Park), how do you answer? Where we have signs of massive floods, like the Scablands, the flood is limited — what’s your claim to what happened to the rest of the evidence? God hid it to fool us? What a joker God must be, to creationists.

It appears to me that you’re now claiming any sign of water anywhere on Earth is “evidence of a past massive flood.” That’s just wrong. Christians realized that in the 19th century — see the work of Agassiz and others on what had been thought to be flood sediments in Europe, but which turned out to be glacial moraines instead.

690. “By the way Ed, you still haven’t answered those questions.”

We’re probably even, then. Which set of questions is it you’re worried about? You’ve answered almost none of mine, either.

691. Was there a volcano? Yes, anyone who’s been to the west, especially Idaho (Craters of the Moon) and the coastal states (Mt. Hood, Mt. Shasta, Mt. St. Helens, Mt. Rainier, etc) knows that there have been several active volcanos through the centuries. Millions of years ago? Not necessarily, but a guess.

However, your post does nothing to add or take away from the discussion of whether there was a global flood. What you’ve told me is that there are volcanos. Great! Now back to the discussion about floods… I believe you have many things to answer besides telling me that volcanos can bury animals. Are you saying that volcanos account for all the fossils?

Ed said, “Notice that there is no sign of a flood, anywhere. This was a volcanic event, millions of years ago. Never flooded.”

There’s never been a flooding of the Mid-West?! Are you sure you want to stick by that statement?

The Nebraska Ashfall was not washed away in a flood. Yes, I stick by my statement: The volcanic remains at the Nebraska site were not flooded. The fossils are not water-made fossils, but instead are ash made fossils.

And that is one more disproof of the idea of a world wide flood.

While we’re at it, how do you explain Death Valley’s lake, and the lake that covers Jericho? Or, rather, the lack of those lakes, which could not dry out in much more time than you allow?

692. Grand Canyon:

As far as the Grand Canyon goes (as I’ve already mentioned), a few problems for the evolutionists is 1) the Colorado River did not carve itself uphill and even evolutionists are abandoning that scenario, claiming that the river is only five million years old;

Carving uphill? That’s a problem for creationism’s claim of a quick erosion. The entire plateau slopes the opposite way — were it a one-time flood, the Grand Canyon could not exist, and the Colorado River would run east off of that part of the plateau, not west. The ONLY plausible explanation is the one that all geologists who have studied and written seriously on the thing agree upon: The river was there seven million years ago when the Colorado Plateau begin its uplift. The river cut through the layers as they were uplifted. The river has always run downhill, still does (though of course it no longer meets the sea due to human use of the waters). Five million years to cut the river is not that much different from seven million years — but I don’t know anyone who claims five million. The age of the deposits at the end are about seven million years.

By the way, the youth of the river should not be confused with the ancient age of the canyon walls. The Vishnu Schists are still about 4 billion years old. A trip down the Grand Canyon with a competent, truth-telling geologist reveals lots of layers of ancient age.

2) dating of the canyon has proven tricky since the bottom dates at 1.0 billion years old and toward the top it dates 1.3 billion years old. That’s only 300 million years older than the bottom, not a problem right? And 3) At the Tapeats, you have a Cambrian formation (dated 570 mil. years old) right on top of pre-Cambrian strate (1-2 billion years old). So, you have 500 mil. to 1.5 billion years of no new strata? Hmmmm….

At some places, there is only a 300 million year difference between the rocks at the bottom and the rocks at the rim — that makes sense. However, if one looks at all the layers, including the basement rocks, on gets a view through four billion years of rocks. Have you looked at any stratigraphic maps? The USGS has a good one.
http://www.nps.gov/archive/grca/grandcanyon/quicklook/Geologicstory.htm

And, by the way, the area is rife with exploration for minerals and fuels. Such geology is dependent upon a very old Earth not rearranged by a massive flood. Flood geology cannot predict oil or gas, and in that way proves itself untrue.

Evidence points that the Grand Canyon is the result of catastrophe. Though it doesn’t answer every question, these questions pose serious threats to how evolutionists date the rocks at the very least.

Gaps in strata indicate where erosion stripped away the strata after it was deposited. That would be expected in a long-term deposit and long-term erosion — and that chronology is borne out in other rock formations all over the Colorado Plateau and Great Basin. Why do you think that would be a problem? One can map previous rivers that did the erosion.

You failed to note the magma layers in the Grand Canyon. The area was volcanically active in the past (the craton has passed over the hot spots by now), and at several places the rocks were covered by lava. In several places, we find magma flows that were subsequently buried by new sedimentation, which in turn was covered by new magma. Such geology is absolutely inexplicable in any creationist chronology.

There are also the absurd claims that the layers in the canyon walls were deposited in the flood — literally millions of years (one can count several tens of thousands of annual layers in an afternoon; I’ve done it) of deposits from shallow water form layers hundreds of feet thick. In a few places, these are overlain by desert deposits. In a few places, sand dunes have been fossilized by other sand inundations, freezing footprints of animals across the dunes. This would be absolutely and completely impossible in a flood, of course. When all of these layers are interspersed with lava, it become clear that the layers visible in the canyon were deposited over billions of years, not millions; the claim that one flood made the deposits is an insult to anyone’s intelligence.

693. Okay, I see a 5 million year figure in a USGS site. Same issue — that’s too old for creationists, not a point for creationism.

694. Oh, good grief.

My question is this, if there were no Bible and no theory of evolution, and scientists just looked at the evidence with no presuppositions, would they look at the evidence and say, catastrophe, or millions of years?

Modern geologists started from the assumption of a great flood, and as the evidence against it mounted up, they changed their understanding and statements of theory. If there were no Bible, I suppose there would have been no assumption of a great flood. Were you aware that the historic assumption was of a flood?

Geologists in the 18th century especially worked to reconcile what the rocks show with the flood hypothesis, finally abandoning flood geology as the evidence demanded it. The gravel deposits in Europe turned out to be wrong for flood deposits — they were glacial moraines. Gravel deposits that should have been evident from a flood were simply missing. All other evidence of a great flood was missing, too — no cities buried in one great flood (the few buried cities then known were not buried at the same time, even geologists without modern dating techniques could tell); no human fossils among the others; fossils rather neatly sorted by age of their existence in rock layers consistent with that time, and not deposited as if from one event. And so on.

As even your example of the volcano shows, fossils are the result of catastrophe.

Some fossils — those of mammals in North America in the last 65 million years, during which time there was no flood in Nebraska, for example, as I indicated — were the result of catastrophe. We also have fossils in some places that were the result of local, seasonal flooding, such as some of the deposits in Dinosaur National Monument in Utah and Colorado.

But we have many other fossils that were the result of slow, steady, non-catastrophic processes. Ferns in coal; archeopteryx and other animal and plant fossils deposited in shallow oceans with almost no flowing water, in what is now Europe; almost all the Cambrian and Precambrian fossils. Across Montana, we have great deposits of fossils from smaller incidents in non-catastrophic times — triceratops, tyrannosaurs, hadrosaurs, and many, many others, deposited in non-catastrophic circumstances.

In other places, the catastrophes are specifically non-flood related. Many of the fossils out of the Gobi Desert were made when sandstorms covered dinosaur nesting areas. In a few places, there are such dry catastrophes OVER other such dry catastrophes, showing very long periods of time between the fossil deposits.

The Burgess Shales appear to be the result of underwater cliffs sloughing off — but in repeated events over a very long period of time. While this might speak of catastrophe, it is local catastrophe, and cannot be the result of a great flood at any time. On top of that, the Burgess Shales, which are fossilized remains of a great coral reef, now reside 14,000 to 15,000 feet up in the Canadian Rockies. The entire reef is there, testimony that the thing was buried at the sea floor, formed into rock, and then slowly thrust up over tens of millions of years at a minimum. These processes deny flood geology at each step; in the case of the Burgess Shales, there are several steps, each of which cannot be explained by a great flood.

God’s not that much of a joker, not that much bent on deceiving us as to the hows and whys of creation, at least not in Christian theology. Maybe you’re thinking of Loki?

Though the flood doesn’t explain everything (nor should it have to) there’s plenty of evidence that there was a flood. The problem with that is that it makes the Bible right, which makes people have to admit they (en mass) were wrong. This is why science will never admit that there was a flood.

The problem is that you’re trying to be agnostic, trying to substitute evidence (that is not there) for faith. So long as you continue to lack faith in the veracity of God and God’s creation, you will blind yourself to the true age and wonder of nature, as God created it. It’s not a question of “making the Bible right.” You even deny the story of the fight with the dragon God had, as described in Job. You don’t think that “makes the Bible wrong.”

You’re picking and choosing, trying to square a poetic description of creation, a description colored by the science of the Babylonians, into modern science. Go back and read Romans 1:20 — don’t torture scripture to do what it was never intended to do, and don’t torture nature out of what it does so well.

695. Here’s a great view of the Grand Staircase, which demonstrates that the geology of the Grand Canyon is part of a much larger world that creationists generally refuse to acknowledge. One can see the unconformities that lowerleavell thinks are unexplained, but that in no way support a young Earth claim, nor a Noachic flood claim.

http://www.bobspixels.com/kaibab.org/geology/gc_stair.htm

696. “Baumgardner’s claims have been debunked dozens of times.”

You say this and then the only argument you give is Galileo without even quoting him?

He does a great job of describing scientifically what we’ve been talking about.

http://www.globalflood.org/papers/insixdays.html

Either Baumgardner is way out of his depth in chemistry, or he’s purposely constructing a deceptive scenario to fool people who are.

Chemistry isn’t random, and never has been. His assumptions for random reactions required to get a specific chemical reaction, or a molecule, or a string of molecules, depend on the affinities of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen, to pick three examples, not working at all.

Let me offer an example. If we had to depend on random reactions to get a molecule of water, there likely would never be more than a thimblefull of water in the universe. What are the odds that one hydrogen atom could break out of its molecular bond with another hydrogen atom, and tease an oxygen atom out of its molecular bond with another oxygen atom, and band together (that combination being quite unstable), and then teas yet another hydrogen atom to break its bonds and join them? The odds are, by such calculations, that a molecule of water could never, never, never form. The odds are slightly greater than the number of atoms in the universe that water could ever form.

Of course, we know that’s not how it works. If we have a quantity of oxygen and a quantity of hydrogen together, it is virtually impossible to keep them from combusting, and the product of that combustion is water molecules. The reaction is greatly speeded by a spark or flame — but in any case, it is impossible to put hydrogen and oxygen together and NOT get water.

Water is one of the molecules required for life. Baumgardner’s assumptions that random reactions won’t do it might be correct; he fails to account for the properties of the two component substances, however, and the laws of chemistry, which require that water be formed.

Almost all of his calculations are similar.

Now you tell me: Is he that bad a chemist? Or is he trying to deceive someone? Doesn’t he know that water MUST occur in the combustion of hydrogen and oxygen? He treats it as a freak occurrence.

I find such deception to be unchristian.

698. I will have to reply later. I have no time right now. My apologies.

699. ‘This “quantum cosmology” provides a loophole for the universe to, so to speak, spring into existence from nothing, without violating any laws of physics.’ (Paul Davies, “Science, God and the Laws of the Universe” pg. 37)

Hmm…seems I wasn’t too off with the thought that everything came from “nothing.”

700. Which quantum cosmology is Davies talking about? What’s the context?

701. You’re not cribbing that off of the Answers in Genesis, nor any other quote mine site, are you?

702. There’s no book by that name, let alone one done by Davies. What’s the real source, what was Davies really saying?

703. What Paul Davies, the real one, really said:

The lesson of quantum physics is this: Something that “just happens” need not actually violate the laws of physics. The abrupt and uncaused appearance of something can occur within the scope of scientific law, once quantum laws have been taken into account. Nature apparently has the capacity for genuine spontaneity.
It is, of course, a big step from the spontaneous and uncaused appearance of a subatomic particle-something that is routinely observed in particle accelerators-to the spontaneous and uncaused appearance of the universe. But the loophole is there. If, as astronomers believe, the primeval universe was compressed to a very small size, then quantum effects must have once been important on a cosmic scale. Even if we don’t have a precise idea of exactly what took place at the beginning, we can at least see that the origin of the universe from nothing need not be unlawful or unnatural or unscientific. In short, it need not have been a supernatural event.

Inevitably, scientists will not be content to leave it at that. We would like to flesh out the details of this profound concept. There is even a subject devoted to it, called quantum cosmology. Two famous quantum cosmologists, James Hartle and Stephen Hawking, came up with a clever idea that goes back to Einstein. Einstein not only found that space and time are part of the physical universe; he also found that they are linked in a very intimate way. In fact, space on its own and time on its own are no longer properly valid concepts. Instead, we must deal with a unified “space-time” continuum. Space has three dimensions, and time has one, so space-time is a four-dimensional continuum.

In spite of the space-time linkage, however, space is space and time is time under almost all circumstances. Whatever space-time distortions gravitation may produce, they never turn space into time or time into space. An exception arises, though, when quantum effects are taken into account. That all-important intrinsic uncertainty that afflicts quantum systems can be applied to space-time, too. In this case, the uncertainty can, under special circumstances, affect the identities of space and time. For a very, very brief duration, it is possible for time and space to merge in identity, for time to become, so to speak, spacelike-just another dimension of space.

The spatialization of time is not something abrupt; it is a continuous process. Viewed in reverse as the temporalization of (one dimension of) space, it implies that time can emerge out of space in a continuous process. (By continuous, I mean that the timelike quality of a dimension, as opposed to its spacelike quality, is not an all-or-nothing affair; there are shades in between. This vague statement can be made quite precise mathematically.)

The essence of the Hartle-Hawking idea is that the big bang was not the abrupt switching on of time at some singular first moment, but the emergence of time from space in an ultrarapid but nevertheless continuous manner. On a human time scale, the big bang was very much a sudden, explosive origin of space, time, and matter. But look very, very closely at that first tiny fraction of a second and you find that there was no precise and sudden beginning at all. So here we have a theory of the origin of the universe that seems to say two contradictory things: First, time did not always exist; and second, there was no first moment of time. Such are the oddities of quantum physics.

Even with these further details thrown in, many people feel cheated. They want to ask why these weird things happened, why there is a universe, and why this universe. Perhaps science cannot answer such questions. Science is good at telling us how, but not so good on the why. Maybe there isn’t a why. To wonder why is very human, but perhaps there is no answer in human terms to such deep questions of existence. Or perhaps there is, but we are looking at the problem in the wrong way.

Well, I didn’t promise to provide the answers to life, the universe, and everything, but I have at least given a plausible answer to the question I started out with: What happened before the big bang?

Paul Davies, here: http://www.fortunecity.com/emachines/e11/86/big-bang.html

704. Ed said, “There’s no book by that name, let alone one done by Davies. What’s the real source, what was Davies really saying?”

It was on “ABC Radio 24 Hours” , not a book. Google it and it comes up. I can’t find the actual article to read though. Your right, that one I did find on AIG. I was just doing some reading and came upon that and wondered what you would think of it.

The quotes that you provided only back up the point even more. You quoted him to say, “we can at least see that the origin of the universe from nothing need not be unlawful or unnatural or unscientific…” He sees no problem with the universe having no cause for time, matter, energy, etc. The quote that you provided sounded more like a statement of faith than of science. Time simply popped into existence, matter simply popped into existence, etc. Why, as even a theistic evolutionist are you defending these guys? I’d thought you’d be coming from “The God Theory” perspective more than an atheists perspective. I don’t know, maybe they’re pretty much the same and one just tacks on God.

Here’s my question, if the Big-Bang really occurred, then why don’t we have the same thing happening today? If you say because things aren’t set up right for that to occur, then that would mean that something existed before the Big-Bang to “cause” it to happen. If nothing caused it, there is no reason why it shouldn’t happen over and over again. I’m really curious to see what your answer will be.

By the way, the two other main questions I mentioned that you haven’t answered were these: 1) What do you do with death before the fall, if there even was one? 2) Did Jesus come in the flesh, die in the flesh, and rise again in the flesh? Is He the Son of God (God come in the flesh) or simply a good man? Question #2 I believe is the most important.

705. “Well, I didn’t promise to provide the answers to life, the universe, and everything, but I have at least given a plausible answer to the question I started out with: What happened before the big bang?
The answer is: Nothing.” –Paul Davies as quoted by Ed.

So, again, the answer again is “in the beginning matter,” “in the beginning ‘nothing’, ” or “in the beginning God.” Cause and effect shows that the most plausible explanation is “in the beginning God.”

706. Ed,

I need to reply to some of the things that you mentioned but for time I can’t reply to all of them at this moment. My apologies.

You said, “I was unaware any fossilization process had stopped. That’s an amazing claim.”

I was not saying that fossilization had stopped. I was saying that you don’t see many new fossil beds and coal deposits etc. like you had seen in the past. The reason I believe is because the bulk (not all) of them happened with the flood.

“Say what? Now you’re claiming that the flood spurred the development of shells and other hard parts of life?”

Ugh, no! I’m saying that the Cambrian shows the first things that would have been buried in the flood (since they were probably at the bottom anyway). Yes, I’m aware of the “Pre-Cambrian” as well. You know what they find? A worm is still a worm.

“You still missed my point. It’s not “marine life on the tops of mountains.” It’s marine life IN the tops of mountains.”

By the way, they are not simply IN the tops of mountains. Where is your source for that data? Even finding them near Everest wouldn’t require a lot of digging.
This link shows the fossils scattered on the ground:
http://library.thinkquest.org/10131/geology_visual.html

You and I are in agreement that there once were no mountains there, and that’s why I wasn’t just saying the Hymalayans. I’m talking about the Americas, Europe and Asia. Either ALL of those places were once oceans, or perhaps there once was a flood too. To me, the marine life on mountains is a small argument to take with the whole.

“Think for a moment: Volcanic incidents. Where is the evidence of a flood in those cases? None there.”

Unless those volcanos came after the flood. You have to remember that the flood only covered the whole earth for a relatively short period of time. As the new valleys formed and the new mountains rose it wouldn’t have taken very long for the water to begin to recede. Some places I’m sure it would have left more evidence then others.

“Why is it that we can have fossils from desert areas that show absolutely no signs of every having been flooded? Why is there absolutely no evidence of any flood ever at Jericho, in the last 15,000 years that we can document humans living there?”

Again, some places would have left more traces than others, and no we don’t have documentation of humans living in Jericho for 15,000 years. We don’t even have writing that is more than 5,000-7,000 years old. Please produce your documentation for evidence on Jericho being continually lived in for that amount of time.

“Where we have slow erosion that could not survive a flood (say, Delicate Arch in Arches National Park), how do you answer?”

The water ran of some places faster than others, and also wouldn’t the Arches be a result of the flood anyway and wouldn’t have to worry about “surviving” a flood?

“It appears to me that you’re now claiming any sign of water anywhere on Earth is “evidence of a past massive flood.” That’s just wrong.”

I didn’t say that. I simply said it happened and that the strata that we see backs it up and does not need millions and millions of years to form. You seem to be claiming that while there is evidence for water flooding all over the earth, you claim that there is no sign that there was no massive flood. I do admit I like what Ken Ham says. He says if the flood were true, we’d expect to find, ‘Billions of dead things, buried in rock layers, laid down by water, all over the earth.’ You know what we find? ‘Billions of dead things, buried in rock layers, laid down by water, all over the earth.’ Hmmmm…..

“The Nebraska Ashfall was not washed away in a flood. Yes, I stick by my statement: The volcanic remains at the Nebraska site were not flooded. The fossils are not water-made fossils, but instead are ash made fossils.”

That’s fine. I didn’t say that they weren’t. I simply said that Nebraska, Wyoming, South Dakota, etc. were involved in a flood before that time.

“While we’re at it, how do you explain Death Valley’s lake, and the lake that covers Jericho? Or, rather, the lack of those lakes, which could not dry out in much more time than you allow?”

From what I understand, Death Valley was formed from the Ice Age (after the flood) and DID have a lake. Jericho, we’ve talked about already.

707. “Well, I didn’t promise to provide the answers to life, the universe, and everything, but I have at least given a plausible answer to the question I started out with: What happened before the big bang?
The answer is: Nothing.” –Paul Davies as quoted by Ed.

So, again, the answer again is “in the beginning matter,” “in the beginning ‘nothing’, ” or “in the beginning God.” Cause and effect shows that the most plausible explanation is “in the beginning God.

Davies is not saying nothing existed. Notice his phrasing: “What happened before the big bang?”

A plausible explanation is God. It’s no more or less plausible, in the absence of evidence, than any other explanation. Another mystery. Science doesn’t deny God in that place, but neither can we say the God hypothesis is more plausible — science doesn’t provide evidence of God, either.

708. Regarding the Grand Canyon, the best thing I think I could do would be to shush and let you read this link:

Yes, its answersingenesis and yes, you have to read it to get my position. 🙂

Some quick points:

You said, “At some places, there is only a 300 million year difference between the rocks at the bottom and the rocks at the rim — that makes sense.”

You do realize that the rocks at the bottom were the ones 300 million years younger?

“Flood geology cannot predict oil or gas, and in that way proves itself untrue.”

“Gaps in strata indicate where erosion stripped away the strata after it was deposited.”

Erosion would not be smooth, right on top of another layer, like you find in the columns. There is no satisfactory evidence that erosion stripped away the strate because the strata is still horizontal and doesn’t show the necessary signs of erosion.

“You failed to note the magma layers in the Grand Canyon.”

Those are the dates I gave. The layers of magma at the top are dated to be 300 mil. years older to 1 billion years older than the ones at the bottom.

“Modern geologists started from the assumption of a great flood, and as the evidence against it mounted up, they changed their understanding and statements of theory.”

Who were these geologists you’re speaking for? Can you give some examples?

“no cities buried in one great flood”

What about the city off the coast of India? Wouldn’t that be one example? It even had indoor plumbing. Of course I’m guessing you’ll say local catastrophe even though its on the bottom of the sea.

“You even deny the story of the fight with the dragon God had, as described in Job.”

Did I do that? I thought I was a Bible literalist. Are you sure you’re not just putting words in my mouth? I never denied that.

Regarding Baumgardner:

It is interesting that while you gave a great example, you failed to show why hydrogen and oxygen are attracted to each other. His point wasn’t so much just the odds, but the fact that something or someone had to make it so those things would be attracted to each other and that random chance is unfounded from the top on down. What keeps an atom together? What keeps DNA together? What keeps cells working together?

By the way, from your reply it looks like you only read about a paragraph of what he wrote and then wrote three or four paragraphs in return. Did you read the rest of it? What did you think?

Here’s the crux of the matter. You see the world through evolution’s eyes and no matter what evidence is presented you’ll interpret the evidence based on evolution. I see things through a creationist’s perspective and so when I see things like the Grand Canyon I see evidence that the Bible is correct. The problem that we’re dealing with is not the evidence because we both have the same evidence. The problem is that we have both chosen different glasses to view the world with. You have chosen to abandon God’s Word for science and I have chosen to keep God’s Word and science together because science merely backs up the Bible’s claims anyway and I don’t have to check my brain at the door to be a Christian. So, we can keep debating issues if you want, but really I think we need to go back to the root and discuss our bias, cause and effect, and the Big Bang, where you jumped in.

Again, read the whole article on the Grand Canyon to really get a creationist’s perspective.

709. “Davies is not saying nothing existed. Notice his phrasing: “What happened before the big bang?” ”

So you’re saying that Davies’ position is that before the Big Bang there was nothing but that at the Big Bang there was something? Where did that come from? Cause and effect shows that it came from somewhere.

“A plausible explanation is God. It’s no more or less plausible, in the absence of evidence, than any other explanation. Another mystery.”

This sounds like you’re a Christian becaues of Pascal’s wager. Well, we don’t know, but just in case there’s a God…

710. Repost, to get around spam filter:

I note the owner of this blog has ceased new posts. We should carry the discussion somewhere else, most likely.

Lowerleavell said:

The quotes that you provided only back up the point even more. You quoted him to say, “we can at least see that the origin of the universe from nothing need not be unlawful or unnatural or unscientific…” He sees no problem with the universe having no cause for time, matter, energy, etc.

That’s not what he said at all. The physical trigger for the singularity, the disruption in the state of existence of the tighly compacted ball of energy, is unknown. Hawking spends some time figuring whether the Big Bang itself would erase all evidence of what came before, and the general consensus is that it would — but it’s difficult to figure if that works for everything all the time.

But that’s not the same thing as saying “no cause.” Scientists will say we don’t know the cause, but not that there was none.

Big Bang is the cause of time — that’s when time started.

The quote that you provided sounded more like a statement of faith than of science. Time simply popped into existence, matter simply popped into existence, etc.

No. The expansion of the universe created conditions by which time could start. Matter required that the energy state cool to the point, first that sub, subatomic particles could form, second that subatomic particles could form, and finally, so that the simplest atoms could form (hydrogen). Remember Einstein’s famous equation E=mc(c). Energy and matter are the same thing, different state. All matter and energy that exist now existed prior to Big Bang, but in energy form.

Why, as even a theistic evolutionist are you defending these guys? I’d thought you’d be coming from “The God Theory” perspective more than an atheists perspective.

I start from the Christian belief that God is the creator; what the universe shows, therefore, is what God did.

I don’t know, maybe they’re pretty much the same and one just tacks on God.

Here’s my question, if the Big-Bang really occurred, then why don’t we have the same thing happening today?

The expansion is continuing — that’s where we get the red-shift phenomena. The key question is whether we get a big crunch and and oscillating universe (which you proposed earlier), or whether the energy was too great and mass too small to reverse the process to get a big crunch.

The complicating factor — here’s where the real world imposes on philosophical encounters — is the 75% of the universe’s matter which is invisible to us so far. That mass is detectable through gravity measurements, but no other way. Even with that mass, however, there is a force that is increasing the acceleration of objects very distant, beyond what we can explain with mass and gravity.

For every thing we know, there are wonderful and perplexing new mysteries.

If you say because things aren’t set up right for that to occur, then that would mean that something existed before the Big-Bang to “cause” it to happen. If nothing caused it, there is no reason why it shouldn’t happen over and over again. I’m really curious to see what your answer will be.

I’m not sure what your question is that you think is such a killer. The expansion continues.

We don’t know what existed before Big Bang. My usual response is that the cause of the Big Bang was the Big Foreplay. But we just don’t know. I think I recommended a couple of sites a few posts ago, but if not, here they are:
httpCOLONSLASHSLASHmap.gsfc.nasa.gov/m_uni/uni_101bb1.html

George Alpher, one of the original Big Bang theorists (with George Gamow), died just last week. Newspapers missed a great opportunity to explain stuff then.

By the way, the two other main questions I mentioned that you haven’t answered were these: 1) What do you do with death before the fall, if there even was one? 2) Did Jesus come in the flesh, die in the flesh, and rise again in the flesh? Is He the Son of God (God come in the flesh) or simply a good man? Question #2 I believe is the most important.

There is no scriptural or theological reason to think there was no death before the Fall of Adam, since the it was a spiritual and not physical event. Pragmatically, had there been no death, the bacteria would have overwhelmed Eden in a few days. Nor could there have been anything for anyone to eat. Where did you ever get such a wacky idea, that there was no death before the fall?

Yes, I believe Jesus came in the flesh, suffered, died and was resurrected. Such miracles are somewhat disconnected from the natural world, which is why we call them miracles. That’s the fundamental belief of Christians. It’s not dependent on whether evolution is accurate or not.

711. What you said, “That’s not what he said at all. The physical trigger for the singularity, the disruption in the state of existence of the tighly compacted ball of energy, is unknown.”

What he actually said, “we can at least see that the origin of the universe from nothing need not be unlawful or unnatural or unscientific…”

He’s saying that the origin of the universe is not simply unknown, it’s ok if it is nothing. Again, that’s a statement of faith, not science.

“Big Bang is the cause of time — that’s when time started.”

We don’t know that for sure. That’s simply a hypothesis so that the question “what happened before the Big-Bang?” is invalid. It’s way to convenient to say “time began with the Big-Bang” because there’s no proof.

“The expansion is continuing — that’s where we get the red-shift phenomena. The key question is whether we get a big crunch and and oscillating universe (which you proposed earlier), or whether the energy was too great and mass too small to reverse the process to get a big crunch.”

Isaiah 40:22 teaches that God “stretches out the heavens like a curtain, and spreads them out like a tent to dwell in.”
It’s interesting that just recently science is catching up with the Bible. The idea of an expanding universe used to be taboo and “unscientific.” Now, basically the scientists are agreeing with the Bible. Are you sure you’re ready to abandon the Bible as being accurate? (Notice too the word “like.” Just to clarify, the Bible is not teaching that the universe is a big curtain or a tent, but is using language that people would understand to explain it.)

“I’m not sure what your question is that you think is such a killer. The expansion continues.”

My question was, why don’t we see new universes simply popping into existense from other black holes?

Here is a list of a few things that the Big Bang does not explain:

1) The origin of life-biogenesis
2) How did the stars form? (the current models don’t and scientists admit that they really don’t understand)
3) How physics evolved and developed- why laws are constant
4) How did the sun, moon (which is critical for life on the earth) and the earth evolve just so, so that it was possible for life?
5) How is our solar system perfectly positioned in the universe to sustain life?
6) (from AIG) The problem is this: even assuming the big bang timescale, there has not been enough time for light to travel between widely separated regions of space. So, how can the different regions of the current CMB have such precisely uniform temperatures if they have never communicated with each other?
7) What about galaxies (Francis Filament) that are found fully mature that would not have had time to develop from the Big Bang timescale?
8) Why do galaxies form at all if the Big Bang occurred? They shouldn’t exist at all.
9) Given the “Law of Conservation of Angular Momentum”, why does the sun spin relatively slowly if it evolved? When developing as well, it should have pushed out other gasses in the solar system.

There are many more questions of course, but if The Big Bang cannot answer these questions, and evolution cannot answer these questions, then perhaps instead of keeping the theory, it should be rejected for something else. Creation comes to mind.

712. That’s funny that 8) is 8 )

713. I couldn’t get your links to work. Could you try them again?

“I note the owner of this blog has ceased new posts. We should carry the discussion somewhere else, most likely”

I agree. What do you suggest?

“There is no scriptural or theological reason to think there was no death before the Fall of Adam, since the it was a spiritual and not physical event.”

Have you ever read Romans 5? Here’s verse 12:
“Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned”

But if you don’t take Genesis literally, wouldn’t there be no Adam, and thus no spiritual sin? It was folklore, and mythology, so, why would we need Christ if there was no Adam, and no fall? Obviously, we live in a corrupt world where evil abounds. Christ was very much needed. The very fact that we have evil, it also demands a beginning. If Genesis is not literal, what is the beginning of sin, death, and why do we need Jesus?

“Yes, I believe Jesus came in the flesh, suffered, died and was resurrected. Such miracles are somewhat disconnected from the natural world, which is why we call them miracles. That’s the fundamental belief of Christians. It’s not dependent on whether evolution is accurate or not.”

I totally agree with your statement and am very much thrilled to see you make it! My question is this though: how do we know that it literally happened? The Gospels could be allegorical as well. Perhaps Jesus was simply a good man who lived a good life, got married, had some kids, died a horrible death, and his followers immortalized him. How can you stand on Scripture in the Gospels and not in Genesis? Why is one folklore and the other not? Atheists believe that Jesus is folklore, why are they wrong?

You are right though, that you can definitely be a Christian and not believe in a literal 6 day creation. I simply believe though that you have abandoned the Bible mid-stream without giving it a fair shake.

714. Big Bang is the cause of time — that’s when time started.”

We don’t know that for sure. That’s simply a hypothesis so that the question “what happened before the Big-Bang?” is invalid. It’s way to convenient to say “time began with the Big-Bang” because there’s no proof.

That’s a proof Hawking and Penrose worked out, as I recall — Time began at the Big Bang. It’s a hypothesis like the hypothesis that gravity tugs on things. There’s quite a bit of proof, including the fact that we exist, and that time goes on, now.

Can we move this over to my blog? I can copy the last several of your responses; we can find a quiet corner and shoot away . . . (go see it if you wish: http://www.timpanogos.wordpress.com)

715. […] π = 3: A discussion of Biblical literalism In the comments — continued from a thread at Gospel of Reason, a blog no longer growing. […]

716. Sure, I’ll see ya’ over there. 🙂

717. i get the whole ad absurdum thing but one quick obvious gaping damning hole in your argument: 1) the verse talks about a specific piece of metal, not circles in general so it could not be a definition for pi, and 2) this piece of metal happens to be CIRCULAR in shape but have those measurements. is this really impossible? no. i have a strong, personal, spiritual, conviction that something can be circular without being an exactly perfect circle. are you postulating that everything that is circular must be a perfect circle? because webster’s has been disproved above i rely on dictionary.com which states “shaped like or nearly like a circle; round.” i think that God would agree with me when i say that 3.0 is “nearly like” 3.14159.
as an experiment to support this, draw a free hand circle on a sheet of paper and ask every human being alive what shape it is. everyone you know over 3 years old will tell you its a circle but its diameter/circumference ratio will not equal pi. it may be more off than the Sea. the piece of metal in the bible is off from being a perfect circle by less than 0.15, but would you have not walked up to it and called it circular if you had seen it?

718. A.) The cubit is a nonstandard, inconsistent, and variable measurement. Had multiple people measured the size of the bowl, the size of cubits could compensate for 1.5 cubits quite easily.
B.) To the people saying “why couldn’t the bible just say pi=irrational”: the verse taken is not about pi! The verse is about the immensity of the cauldron. Clearly if I were telling my friend, “there was a hole in the ground. It was THIS MUCH in diameter and THIS MUCH AROUND” my friend would not reply, “er, dude, that’s not a 3.14 ratio”. The point of the text was to describe the size of something that was circular, not teach math.
C.) the term “circular” alone is a point of interest. Circular just means like a circle, not having a perfect ratio that equalled pi. An oval, something with inconsistencies, or even something with lumps could be described as circles. Lily-pad shaped alone implies it wasn’t perfectly circular.

719. […] read more | digg story […]

720. I M MUSLIM AND MY BELIEF IS THAT BIBLE IS ALSO FROM ALLAH BUT UNFORTUNATELY IT IS NOW NOT IN ITS ORIGINAL STATE.NO OFFENCE TO ANY BODY.SO MAY B SOME VERSES OF BIBLE STILL CAN B ORIGINAL (MEANS FROM ALLAH).IN CASE OF VALUE OF PI , I HAVE HEARD IT BIBLE SAY PI IS 3. I DO AGREE PI IS 3 AND I HAVE ITS PROOF WITH ME BUT I DONT KNOW WHERE TO SUBMIT IT TO CHECK ITS REALITY.TELL ME WHERE TO SUBMIT SO IT CAN B ACCEPTED INTERNATIONALLY IF IT WORTH.PLEASE LET ME KNOW AT R_HASEEB@HOTMAIL.COM

721. I find it almost humorous, yet distasteful when people like you create fallible arguments, anything to get a word in edge-wise, to say “Bible False! Bible False!” Did you ever consider the fact that, in reality, the created object was not perfectly mathematical? Heck, when I do construction its hard to keep every single plank within 1/16th of an inch. There are constructual errors. In other words, the Bible says “x length around”, written by a human (Moses?), in which since said lengths were probably off, if one were to use such lengths in determining pi, they very well might come up with EXACTLY 3. If anything, this passage shows that the ancients of our world knew a bit more about what they were doing than what secularists often try to downplay them as.

722. Do you realise that creating a circle 30×10 is absolutly impossible? It cannot be done? So, either the bible was imprecise or it simply lying. And since its suppose to be the word of god, why is it that it’s imprecise or lying?

723. Did the language the verse was originally written in actually have decimals? Did they have a concept of this Pi at all?

Probably not.

You’re really reaching here. Take a deep breath. Calm down. It’s okay. The Bible has truths, but not every verse makes it through translation perfectly. Go learn Hebrew and Aramaic and try reading in the original before you throw your next snit fit.

724. I stopped reading halfway through, so i don’t know if anyone said this already. but the arguement that they may have measured from the inside of the bowl makes absolutely no difference. A circle is a circle, no matter how big or small, and it has the exact same circumferance to diameter ratio: 3.14159. I do find that article about the revising the scriptures interesting, that is possible that they had 3.14 calculated, but revised. I am not an athiest, but some of these religious windbags need to shut it and check the facts. these times were long ago, give the bible some scientific slack, i think the bible is good for morals, but i wouldn’t trust it for my science facts. If i followed it to a key, i could sell my daughter to canada, (I don’t have a daughter) but we need to understand that the bible was written in a different time than now, you can still apply concepts, but the cultural differences can be overlooked, unless you truly do want to sell ur daughter to a neighboring country.

725. pi in the bible. i cant write to well i flunked 5X in school but i can do math. so i’ll make it short. the bible is giving instructing with demantions on how to make a big pot, look at it that way. the bible is correct. you dont have to streach or fudge the instructions. ten cubits is outside diamiter 30 cubits is inside circumfance and a hand (like in horses) is the thickness of the metal wall of the pot. check the radius of a 10 cubit circle and the rarious of a circle w/a 30 cubit circumfrance the diffrence is 8″ or a 4″hand on each side. i did this by using the on line caculator the value of a cubit 18 3/4″ cubit and a 4″ hand the errior was .050 of a inch not bad f