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From altar boy to atheist: a coming out story

Posted by Andy Welfle on September 13, 2008

The Author

The Author

Hello, my name is Andy Welfle, and I’m an atheist.

This is my “coming out” story — how I transformed from a good Catholic boy who had dreams of becoming a priest, to the skeptical, cautious person I am today. Sit back, because, well, I can be loquacious at times, and I have a lot to say about this.

Like so many freethinkers in my generation, I went through a full decade in Catholic school — 12 years if you include pre-school and kindergarten. I credit that for my current worldview. I wound up going to Catholic school for a number of reasons. Primarily, though my mother taught at a different Catholic school, and although I can’t speak for her, I think she was caught up in the parochial agitprop that they were the last good, safe schools. Public schools are evil, rough badlands that make kids click up and join a gang to survive. Private, secular schools were too expensive for a good Catholic family, so the diocesan schools were about it.

(Since then, my mother has left the Catholic school system, and my sisters are happy in Fort Wayne Community Schools. They’ve never been mugged, raped, or otherwise maimed.)

Most of my elementary school life was spent in oblivious, pious bliss. I announced in third grade that I wanted to be a priest, and the pastor of the church thought it was great. I was a server (altar boy), and like everyone else in my class, I went to mass twice during the week, and then with my family on Sunday. It’s a wonder we ever learned anything.

Pedophile priest jokes aside, I remember the pastor (head priest) fondly. He was an intelligent, well-spoken guy, and except for the fact he took the vows and became a priest, he’s a respectable guy — he would never do anything like those priests you hear about in Boston.

I never had a problem in school, until eighth grade, when we had a letter sent home from our teachers saying that next week, we were going to have a special 2 hour session about sexual education. The letter said if parents didn’t want their kids to participate, please sign and return. My parents, being the liberal and educated people they are, didn’t have a problem with that.

So next Tuesday, the boys in the grade went to one classroom, and the girls went to another. I don’t know who led the discussion for the girls, but our pastor talked to us boys. That’s when I realized, “What could this dude, someone who pledged in front of God and everybody never to have sex, what could he possibly teach us about our sexuality?”

Please click through to read the rest below the fold.

Every sperm is sacred, / Every sperm is great. / If a sperm is wasted, / God gets quite irate.

Every sperm is sacred, / Every sperm is great. / If a sperm is wasted, / God gets quite irate.

As an eighth grader, I certainly had no clue about my sexuality, or anyone else’s for that matter, but I did know enough to realize that condoms certainly were not a bad idea, and that it would be more of a sin to have ten children you couldn’t support, then to wear a rubber when you went at it. Whenever I think about that now, the Monty Python song, Every Sperm is Sacred pops in my head. (Click the link to let it pop in your head, too.)

Anyway, the priest was actually pretty progressive about it. He told us that although the official Vatican position was against contraceptives, personally he thought condoms were a good idea. Chastity was still the best means of birth control, but if you had to have sex, a condom was a good idea. We didn’t talk about female birth control (they were in a different room, discussing that, I’m sure). So, to be honest, I was still a Catholic through elementary and middle school.

Then came high school. I am trying very hard to not name names just because there are teachers there who I still respect. I went to the bigger of two local Catholic high schools. Let’s call it CHS for now, short for Catholic High School.

Anyway, CHS is very concentrated on athletics, so much so that if you weren’t a jock, you were nobody. Especially if you were a late-blooming performing arts geek like me. Being involved with theatre automatically got you labeled as “gay,” and the fact that I didn’t date and was too meek to flirt with my female classmates didn’t help that fact.

Early on in my freshman year, my Church Doctrine class discussed Pascal’s Wager, Catholic morality, and all sorts of biblical philosophy. We talked about all the different reformations, counter-reformations, Nicene conferences, and credos, et cetera, ad nauseum. I approached this with a wary appreciation, only because it lent some amount of intellectualism to something that so far had only provoked emotional responses in me. It was like someone was justifying, or qualifying, the religious beliefs that up until this point, didn’t really seem worth all the fuss. I was still young and impressionable, so I hadn’t even thought about weaknesses of the arguments. I was just grateful for there to be any arguments for Christianity/Catholicism. I felt validated.

It wasn’t until my teacher told the class that if we went to “pray” in front of the local women’s clinic before school once a month, we’d get extra credit, that I started to realize I was being led astray. Why on earth would this thinly-veiled attempt at bullying some scared pregnant teen further my academic studies? If I was failing a class, would I just have to get up early every day and go tell people that their unborn child already has developed fingernails, Juno-style, and then I pass? If I thought about it too much, my head would spin.

Well, after a year of CHS, I realized, and my parents realized that I wasn’t happy there. My mother, who has a MA in education, and was a long-time teacher, decided to home-school me, and I jumped on the chance. To this day, I am a strong advocate of homeschooling. It isn’t for everyone, and there are many who would abuse it, but when you have a strong support system from your parents, and an independent streak (like me), you can flourish in that environment. I sure did.

My mother, still convinced that I should have some Christian-influenced education, got a reference to an accredited home-school program (meaning I could get my diploma from them) called Seton Home Study School. I have absolutely no reservations using their name because they fully deserve any and all bad publicity they can get. To this day, my mother and I regret having been affiliated with them at all.

Think about the crazy Catholic morality from the early 20th century. Those of you with Catholic parents and grandparents who had abusive nuns smack their hands with rulers, and had to write “JMJ” (Jesus, Mary, and Joseph) at the top of each and every paper they wrote for school. Now drag this into the present, and make it a correspondence school. Seton is an anachronistic, bigoted, narrow-minded, anti-Semitic relic of the days when Catholics didn’t believe in interracial marriage, and if a Catholic married a non-Catholic, the marriage wouldn’t be valid in the eyes of God unless the non-Catholic person converted.

Let me list some of my classes, and a short course description:

English: Some of the writing topics were, no lie, “Why I Think Suicide is Evil” and “Why I Like to Attend Pro-life Rallies”. After writing that I didn’t think suicide was evil, only that it was out of an act of desperation, and that if they were going to hell, well, that just couldn’t be right. I wrote this only after I called and was assured by a Seton staffer that I was being graded on my writing technique, not my subject matter. When I turned this paper in at the end of the semester for review, I got a call from a guy named Father Harvey, who proceeded to counsel me — thinking that I must’ve known someone who committed suicide and that I was trying to convince myself they weren’t going to hell. I was too young and meek to tell him that’s exactly where he could go, but I was shocked at the audacity of this guy.

<em>Christ the King, Lord of History</em> by Anne W. Carroll

Christ the King, Lord of History by Anne W. Carroll

History: This is one of my more shocking stories, and it has been met with disbelief from any honest, decent, clear-thinking person. My text book was called, Christ the King, Lord of History (no joke: Check it out on Amazon if you don’t believe me), and it distorts history just as you think it would. It was very sympathetic in tone to the Spanish Inquisition (recounting that history makes an overly big deal of it, and it was only about 2000 Jews, anyway.), Galileo (Yeah, the Church apologized for how they treated him, but seriously — he was a troublemaker),  Zoroastrianism (devil-worshipers), and atheism (also devil-worshipers). Soon I will post passages from the book, as soon I can dig it out of my old stuff. I kept it for the sheer insanity and propagandist drivel it contains. Even as a 15 year-old boy, I was outraged that they were exposing us to this non-information.

Earth-Space Science: My mother and I were actually surprised to see that this textbook was published by Bob Jones University, but I guess that if there was no Catholic physical science book, they’d rather collaborate with the Baptists than with, well, the truth. Needless to say, nowhere in the book did they mention anything about evolution, the world being any older than 6,000 years old, or even something that could easily expose Christian fictions like carbon-dating. My text book was from the mid- to late-1980s, and was comically out of date. In the chapter about weather, they talked about these amazing new inventions called “facsimile machines,” and how this ground-breaking technology was just used to communicate weather patterns and forecasts between different organizations. I don’t know the edition of the book I used, but an edition from 2000 is here.

<em>The World that Perished</em> by John C. Whitcomb

The World that Perished by John C. Whitcomb

I also had a supplemental book called “The World that Perished,” which was a “scientific” approach to biblical catastrophism. Again, even at that young age, I found the book to be ridiculous. I still have this book, and would be happy to lend it to any local freethinkers. I’ll bet they sell it in the Creation Museum gift shop.

Literature: We read books like Animal Farm, and, surprisingly, Tale of Two Cities, which has a character who is an evil, corrupt bishop. The study guide did include parts about how that Catholic Church is not the same as the Catholic Church today, and really, he was not one of God’s Children, and Yadda Yadda Yadda.

Religion: See: Every other subject listed above. Seriously, though, there were textbooks about Catholic Morality, and had pictures straight out of the 1950s. If Beaver Cleaver’s name was James Joseph, and he and his sister Mary Katherine went to church every Sunday, this would have been a memoir. This is where I learned the Church didn’t endorse inter-faith marriages, and that all the world’s problems would be solved by praying the rosary. This is where I learned that the Catholic Church actually believed in transubstantiation, that the wafers the priest blessed turned into the ACTUAL, WITHOUT-A-DOUBT, PHYSICAL BODY OF JESUS CHRIST. AMEN.

And that’s when I laughed. That’s when I realized that anyone who actually, truly believed this couldn’t be thinking rationally. I guarantee you that less than half of those Catholic church-goers you see in the pews every Sunday don’t really believe in the intensely fanatical, cult-like tenants of the Catholic Church. Like me, like my parents and grandparents, so many of them are just going through the motions. To them, it is a comfort-device. Mass hasn’t changed significantly since the days when it was spake in Latin. It is a constant in your life. When you think of the Church, you think of a giant, stately institution. Trends may come and go; hell, governments may come and go, but the Catholic Church continues. And if you just pray 10 Hail Marys, and a couple Lord’s Prayers, any sins you have are forgiven. Just like that.

Simultaneously during my studies, I kept going to church with my family. I started to realize that the place was full of robotic, inflectionless voices. During the Nicene Creed (you know, “We Believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, etc. It’s the Christian manifesto), everybody said it, but you could see it in their eyes — nobody listened to what they were saying.

I started to rebel. First I wouldn’t say the Creed. Then I wouldn’t take Communion. I’d still walk up to appease my grandmother, but I would put the host in my mouth. I would put it in my pocket, or something. I just wouldn’t let it in my body. Later, I wouldn’t make the sign of the cross, or sing the songs. I didn’t want to be part of an institution that in my view, was full of lackadaisical followers. They were good, smart people — why were they holding on to this ceremonious relic from the Feudal era? It just reinforced my burgeoning belief that religion (Catholicism, in particular) was an opiate, and was specifically designed to quash any free thought. It was a tool designed to keep peasants in their place and obedient to their feudal lords, and it was so effective, it existed even in modern America’s democratic society.

Meanwhile, back during school, my mother and I quickly realized that Seton was oppressive, and we dropped them at the end of the school year. We found a much better, much more palatable place called NARS (North Atlantic Regional School). It still had a Christian bent, but they totally didn’t press the issue in subjects unrelated to religion. My math was totally secular, as was my English, History, etc. My mother even let me pick out my texts from local book fairs.

Thus ended my educational oppression. I took a couple college courses during high school, worked retail part time, and had a free and open schedule. I graduated at 17, and was active in the local theatre community. I was happy, and had time to start to think about my spirituality.

I still had a fear of the word “atheism”. To me, it was still a extremist, immoral label, used to describe people who would bomb churches and poison the Holy Water. I reluctantly called myself an agnostic, only after realizing I was more than merely against organized religion. “Agnosticism” was a safe word, and when I said that, I wasn’t leaving myself open to debate. After all, I didn’t not believe in a god. I just didn’t know. And I left it at that.

Then I went to college. I started to do some actual learning. I had some science classes. I had a philosophy class. And I was too busy working toward a degree in journalism to do the deep introspection required to actually realize where my actual religious beliefs stood. I was the editor of my student newspaper, and through it, I met my friend Dave, and through Dave, I met Chad and Tom. All are “out” atheists, and lo and behold — each of them are good, decent people with a strong moral fiber. They don’t torture cats and rob stores, not because they feared eternal damnation, but because they know what’s right and wrong.

Richard Dawkins, South Park-style

Richard Dawkins, South Park-style

Dave showed me a film by Richard Dawkins that not only taught me some of these arguments, like why an atheist can be moral, but also taught me that as an agnostic, I was an atheist. Those terms aren’t mutually exclusive. I lived my life like I assumed there wasn’t a god, and didn’t actually actively believe in a god. Therefore, I was an agnostic atheist.  After this, I accepted that indeed, I was an atheist. If God wanted me to believe, then he had better go ahead and come tell me, because I wasn’t going looking for him. Meanwhile, Chad enriched my atheist education by exposing me to some good literature and atheist communities, like the amazing blog Pharyngula, Austin Atheist Community’s public access show, The Atheist Experience, and this very group, right here in Fort Wayne. It’s not that I wouldn’t have discovered all this on my own, or arrived at any of these conclusions. I don’t feel like my friends have pushed me one way or the other — each of them has Christian friends, and would have accepted me and been my friend had I been one, too. But their presence in my life has enriched my clarity of thought, and showed me that it is all right to call myself an atheist.

Another thing I’ve learned is that Religion is at war with science. Really. There are middle-of-the-road religions like Unitarianism, Universalism, and even some of the United Church of Christ sects. But it’s the fundamentalists — the Baptists, the Pentecostals, and Roman Catholics, who will dispute what’s right in front of them — that evolution is a fact, and that there is actual, indisputable proof that the earth wasn’t created in six, twenty-four hour days. It boggles my mind that there are people out there who still believe otherwise.

And to top it off, the Church’s view of homosexuality is deplorable to me. More than half of my close friends are gay. Through my encounters with them, I see that their feelings and attractions are just as valid as mine. Why would an institution deny them their right not only to live in a particular way, but to get married and to have a child? Hell, I have gay friends who would be WAY better parents than I would be.

I’m not going to get into these issues now. This is a coming out story, not an editorial. Currently, I am fortunate enough to work at a small nonprofit organization with people who understand people who aren’t Christians. I am married to a freethinking woman who loves me and supports me. My grandparents have passed away, so there isn’t anyone for whom I need to pretend to be “a good Christian boy.” And although my parents would still consider themselves Catholic, I think they recognize the fundamental problems of the Church, and know that the Christian “Right” is destroying the basic civil liberties in this country. I know they realize that although their son, who has always been a good person who makes good decisions, isn’t destroying his moral center and becoming a bad person by rejecting the traditional notion of a higher being.

I realize I don’t have any reason I can’t tell anyone I am an atheist, so here it is — all 3160 words (and counting!) of my coming out story. Thanks for sticking with me to the end. And I hope I can inspire you to speak out — condemn me, praise me, or just talk to me. Blogs are a great tool for discourse, and this is the perfect kind of topic. Tell me your story.

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112 Responses to “From altar boy to atheist: a coming out story”

  1. agnohumanist said

    Andy–Great post! I really enjoyed reading it. A very interesting and well-written story. As a teacher, I was especially intrigued by your educational adventures and how your independent thinking enabled you to see through the absurdities and inconsistencies of much that was thrown your way in the name of education. Sorry I didn’t get to meet you after the meeting the other night–had to take off a bit early. Looking forward to meeting you next time and to reading more of your posts.

  2. andyscathouse said

    Great post! I think FFW has room for two Andys; moreover, I think we could take a few more in. I have to browse those “history” books sometime. It was wise to keep them. Coming out stories are empowering and help us welcome each other. Maybe we could make a section on our site for all of our coming to reason stories. I am glad you found us.

    PS: I was explicitly named after the disciple Andrew.

  3. Butter said

    I am so looking forward to seeing some passages from the Lord of History. More than the downplaying of religious intolerance, I’m curious how he can be the Lord of History when he didn’t arrive on the scene until over 4000 years of it (by their own storybook timeline) had gone by. I mean, what kind of a king lives in the clouds and lets Dad take care of all the killing and other important stuff until he’s 4000? Very odd.

    At any rate, thank you for sharing all that, and getting it off your chest. I’m impressed you made it through that garbage heap of an education and came out the other side as one of the smartest and kindest people I know. I think you really did miss out on some of the learning experiences that every kid ought to have; math classes, when taught by someone who doesn’t have “Coach” in front of their name, are incredibly fun, as are physics and chemistry projects. And there’s the evolution discussions, dissections, and Drosophila experiments you ought to get to do in 9th-grade bio. And of course, the experience of being a kid without being made to feel guilty about every impure thought that races through your mind or new feeling in your body; the borderline-fundie Methodist church I grew up in gave me more than my fill of that, so I can only imagine what Catholic self-loathing would be like.

    Seriously, you’re doing damn good for yourself. I really do admire your ability to overcome all that and still maintain a decent, adult relationship with your family. Not everyone can do that.

  4. Dave said

    Good essay. I’m proud to have you as a friend and I think I’ll send this post you my Dad, because I think it reflects a lot of my own feelings.

    Thanks Andy.

  5. Daniel said

    I like your reasoning. You don’t take anything for granted. You like to investigate. I think that’s very positive. On the other hand, try to see another side of the Catholic Church. It’s like when you have a fight with your best friend. Maybe he did commit a big mistake. He did hurt you, but you can see the another hidden side of him. Notwithstanding the hurt, you shared something so beautiful. Even if you don’t talk to each other any more you’re still what you are because of this incredible friendship! You can’t take away your past, even if you don’t like it.

    The easy way out is to condemn. The most difficult is try to build something more beautiful. Why don’t you give a helping hand to make a better church? Obviously it’s an invitation which you can refuse because like you, I believe first and foremost in freedom of thought! But this is not just regarding the church but it has to do with your outlook on life. You have to work with people you don’t like, sometimes even in your house or life. Not everything is up-to-standard. Are you going to throw everything overboard? Or do you try to improve things?

  6. Butter said

    Daniel:

    Name one positive aspect of religion that requires religion. Organ music and charity work don’t count, as those can be, and are, done for rational reasons. (As it should be, since the world would be a poorer place without them.) But the Church (I’ll limit myself to Christianity, since that’s what started the discussion) relies on faith and supernatural belief at its core; excise those, and you can still have the social, artistic, and charitable infrastructure—which I agree we need—but without the infliction of the torture of irrational guilt; without the denial of membership based on petty, anachronistic moral and sexual codes; without the superfluous division of the community and the world into us-vs-them camps; without ready-made soapboxes for charlatans and flim-flam men; without the encouragement of an obsequious subservience to unearned authority; without blind adherence to mythological narratives that misrepresent the history of one’s own culture; without retardation of members’ skepticism, critical thinking ability, and scientific inquiry; without a hierarchy that seeks to wield unearned political power; and just in general without a reliance on magical thinking irrational decision-making.

    Is that that kind of Church reform you had in mind? Keep the social networks, fancy buildings, and artistic assets, but dump the supernatural claims? Make attending Church more of a just-for-fun cultural immersion thing, like going to a Renaissance Fair or Star Trek convention, where you can enjoy the art and narratives without believing them or having to believe they have any moral authority over your life? And remove from leadership positions any person who wants to bring back such authority?

    Cause I can get behind that kind of reform of the Church. When do we start?

  7. Butter said

    And by the way, Andy has “[built] something more beautiful”: with this one essay he’s brought more beauty into the world than all the nitwitted religious ideas thrown at him in his childhood put together. By using his mind and enumerating and criticizing the lies he was told as a child, and describing why they failed, he has done the most important thing anyone can do to reform the Church: he told the truth.

    Besides concern-trolling, what have you done?

  8. That’s funny, Agnosticism is my safe word too… oh wait, are we talking about the same thing?

  9. agnohumanist said

    Wow–I was going to reply to Daniel’s challenge, but Butter gave a brilliant answer and I fear mine would look weak by comparison. Great job, Butter! However, Butter, I have to take exception to one little comment in your earlier post that appeared to denigrate teachers who coach. I am one such animal and consider myself a very good teacher. I don’t teach math–to respond to the specific example you cited–but the best math teacher I ever worked with was a terrific coach. Many of the current high-level math teachers at our high school also coach or have coached–and they are very good. My own kids have been fortunate to study under them and hold them in high regard. I suspect that your own experience with teacher-coaches has been less positive. I’m sorry if that’s the case, but bad teaching isn’t limited to teacher-coaches. I’ve seen bad teaching from people who wouldn’t know a shot put from softball. Fortunately, the vast majority of people I’ve worked with are competent, dedicated, caring teachers whether they coach or not.

  10. Seriously though, I grew up in a very Protestant, ultra-conservative tradition and I find these Catholic coming-out stories fascinating. It’s really a whole other world.

    Hell, I was taught that the Catholic Church IS the Whore of Babylon, John Hagee-style. And don’t get me started on Dispensationalism, oy vay.

  11. Andy said

    Daniel,

    Thanks for your comment. I appreciate your concern, although at this point, it isn’t going to do much good. It’s sort of a “been there, done that” situation for me. If you’re going to use the “the church is your best friend,” metaphor, I think that a more appropriate comparison in my experience would be this:

    The Church is my best friend, the kind of friend whom I idolized and thought was the coolest, but who had very little regard for me. I was really just one of his posse, and didn’t really give me the time of day. It was an unhealthy, one-sided relationship, and I am more enpowered now that I am in a place, mentally, where I don’t depend on him.

    That’s what the Catholic Church does. It takes away your self-esteem, your confidence, and replaces it with guilt, fear of eternal hellfire, and pressure to conform to a 2000 year-old standard of life.

    Believe me, Daniel, if I tried to help Catholicism become a better religion, the best way I can think of to do that would be to work toward dissolving it. I truly believe that given enough time, the church and its rigid policies and worldviews will be the tools of its own undoing. It just doesn’t know how to reform anymore — we’d get something strange like “Catholicism – WOW!” from Kevin Smith’s movie, Dogma.

  12. […] Past Speakers « From altar boy to atheist: a coming out story […]

  13. Butter said

    Agno:

    You’re right, and I apologize for my bigotry against otherwise qualified teachers in that situation. Myself, I don’t get any enjoyment out of sports, and I resent both the encouragement I received when I was a kid to play them despite my repeated demonstrations of FAIL in that area, and the encouragement kids receive towards them at places like Andy’s CHS, where more intellectual or artistic alternatives are not as numerous, not as well funded, or not as socially acceptable.

  14. agnohumanist said

    Butter,

    Thanks. I accept your apology. I do understand that, unfortunately, sports are overemphasized in schools. Even as someone who really enjoys sports and spends a lot of time playing and coaching them, I realize that kids who excel in other areas get short shrift compared to athletes. The talent that some of our students exhibit in art, academics, theater, and music is absolutely breathtaking, and it’s a shame they too often do not get appropriate recognition.

  15. Claire said

    Great post, and looking forward to reading some passages from the textbooks. As another former Catholic now Atheist, but in the UK, it’s interesting to note the similarities and differences. I was in high school in the late eighties and early nineties, a state funded Catholic school (school funding works strangely over here) with nuns in it who *would* hit you with a ruler if they were so inclined, and sometimes worse (they occasionally got into trouble for this and were sent on missionary work for a few months) We had to say a Hail Mary before and after every class and write AMDG at the top of every page in our notebooks (for those who don’t know, this stands for Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam – I think!- To the greater glory of God). Your sex education sounds positively progressive compared to mine- we were handed a pamphlet entitled “God’s Work Through Us” which told about how masturbation was evil and referred to sex as “the marriage act”. And that was it.

    On the other hand, we were never asked to protest at abortion clinics, and I never had any contact with the creationist worldview until I briefly converted to pentacostalism in my teenage years.

    Once again, thanks for sharing and hope to read more of your stuff!

  16. I wasn’t brought up religious, though I did attend a Church of England primary school, but the default position of society in the UK (as it was then) was one of Christianity.

    I was an atheists from the get-go you could say. Never indoctrinated I saw the immediate problem in an all-loving all-powerful God who did sod-all on a planet where a great deal needed doing.

    Still, Christianity formed the backdrop to my early life, a subtle influence that was very difficult to deal with when I realised death meant eternal oblivion, or eternal afterlife. Burning or otherwise.

    God being the head of the Church, indeed of all Judeo-Christian churches (to the mind of a child who else is in charge but the top man?), I naturally blamed him for sticking me (and everyone else) between a rock and hard place.

    Eventually, my original atheistic state reasserted itself along with logic and reason (I started reading more than ‘The Famous Five’), and I began to realise that my anger was directed at a non-existent figure and those who had perpetuated the falsehood were to blame, even though, I am sure, those who directly influenced me meant no harm.

    I went through a pagan-wiccan phase as well, but every single concept I ran across fell short when examined. There was no divine truth, nothing supernatural, just unexplained (as yet), and I’ve been the happy, angry atheist I am now for quite some time.

    For some children God is water off a duck’s back and people say ‘it doesn’t do any harm, they can change their minds later!’ when I argue against defaulting children to one religion or another (over here we have compulsory christian-based worship in schools). Well, that’s fine, but for some children there *is* harm to be done.

    Those children who think about things, ponder on the universe, wonder where their dreams come from, why God doesn’t fix disease and starvation, for those children the goals keep being moved and God isn’t moral and just, nor a benign fatherly figure, but a phantom of dread who will toss you into a lake of fire because you dared to question why he crashed the school bus and let the children die.

    On other matters of physical education, aka ‘sports’, the UK government have implemented a minimum of five hours in the hopes of reducing obesity in children instead of dealing with the root cause of poverty (I could be wrong but I live at ground zero as it were), plus a lack of education and parenting skills.

    I was not the sporty-type at school, but still, a two mile cross country walk once a week (once a day if I had to) would have suited me fine, much better and much less demeaning and soul-destroying than the obligatory ‘team’ sports which twisted the knife in the you-are-bottom-of-the-food-chain wound twice a week.

    Sorry, I appear to have rambled at length. I thoroughly enjoyed the post however, hence the lengthy diatribe.

  17. stoat100 said

    Very interesting piece. I went through de-conversion age 12 – I suspect it was the masturbation thing that broke the camel’s back 🙂

    Seriously, when masturbation was mentioned in video series we were shown for our sex-ed, the religious studies teacher turned the VCR over to a random program about newts and muttered something about sin.

    Very suspicious.

    We never got taught creationism though (this was the UK), even of the old earth variety. First I knew of it was in a book of ‘strange but true’ facts, talking about that fucking Usher guy and 16:30 on a Tuesday afternoon in 4004 BC. Little did I know…

    Are there many Catholic creationists in the US?

  18. @literarydeadkittens

    Rambling is strongly encouraged around these parts. Although I doubt you will ever reach my level of mastery in the Ramblin’ Arts. Seriously just read some of my posts.

  19. Kevin said

    I was taught evolution at my Jesuit High School (in the 80’s) although Missouri law required some goofy creationist video be shown as “balance” but that was treated as a joke.

    I never had an experience like the home schooling BS, but I went to catholic school until college. I ended up atheist too. I actually still have respect for the Jesuits, they taught me a lot of science and thinking skills (and a more realistic history). The rest of the church? Not so much.

    I have met catholics that still have who think Vatican II was the biggest evil ever done to the church and have that attitude the Seaton group had. I think they’re in the minority in the US, although the 3rd world countries may have those attitudes in larger numbers.

  20. Defaithed said

    Always good to hear another “coming out” story. My take is also one of an escape from the nuthouse (Jehovah’s Witnesses – who, incidentally, reserve special vehemence for the Catholic church [cathedral envy?]), though fortunately for me, JW kids generally attend “normal” schools with actual history and science.

    One of the things I’ve learned since taking an active interest in atheism/religion issues is just how mundane my upbringing was compared to some of the *real* religious looniness out there!

    I’m looking forward to some of the promised “Christian history” book passages. (In the same way that I “look forward to” the scariest part of a movie, of course. Gotta brace myself…)

  21. Codswallop said

    Although an atheist today, I went to parochial elementary school in the 1960’s, and we were taught evolution in science class. The church embraced evolution a long time ago. There may indeed be individual Catholics who deny it, but they are not following the teachings of their church.

    Period.

  22. Paul Johnson said

    Keep on keeping on.

    Though I still think the catholic church beats the crap out of all those other crazy churches… except the episcopalians maybe but lets not split hairs here.

    Nothing beats atheism

  23. Andy S. said

    Andy –

    Great post – great story. Thanks for sharing it.

    Meanwhile, the Andy r(evolution) continues in the Fort…

  24. Pat said

    Had a similar tale, partly through being a Protestant at a Catholic school, but mostly due to Protestant doctrine that good people go to hell if they don’t know Jesus. If I, as a ten-year-old, could see that it wasn’t right, what kind of God were we looking at?

    Anyway, good to hear your story – I still can’t be “out” much: I work for an institution that has half the company store full of angels and crosses, and I work in Texas (you can surmise the rest). The elevators regularly have fingerprint-vandalism of multiple crosses and fishes, as if Christians are saying “This be our turf!”

    An I’m comparatively an old man now. I still can’t just “be” without somebody thanking God or saying I should pray, or they’ll pray for me.

  25. Administrator said

    Too bad. So sad.

    When people like Dawkins and Little Paul Myers become your prophets, you are exchanging one delusion (for you) with a still larger one.

  26. Hi Andy,

    I’ve just read your story as the result of seeing it plugged on Pharyngula. Very interesting, but I suspect not all that unusual either.

    One thing I would like to suggest is in regards to belief in religion vs belief in God. I certainly don’t want you to change your views – but I don’t think it’s entirely rational to conclude that because one religion’s beliefs are questionable, all religions are the same.

    Indeed, there’s a huge difference between Catholicism (and Christianity in general) and other religions – and I don’t mean that in the sense of “Remove this {silly bit} and replace it with a different {silly bit}”.

    To be sure, given that most religions claim God says different things, it’s very possible that God is entirely divorced from religion. He may laugh at the dogma and various Books that claim to express his traits.

    I guess I only want to caution that it is entirely rational to dismiss various God concepts (as they can be patently ridiculous), but that these concepts are entirely the creation of humanity. If God exists, he may be completely independent of our notions of him.

    Anyway, cheers on your coming out. I can’t fault anyone who chooses self-awareness and skepticism over dogma

  27. Rob Jones said

    Great story, thanks for sharing.

  28. Ice Giant 37 said

    “The church embraced evolution a long time ago.”

    They never really embraced it, but they ceased to actively oppose it. In recent years, Cardinal Schoenborn has written in favor of Intelligent Design Creationism, and the pope, a man allegedly empowered by God himself to speak infallibly on issues of faith and morals, rides the fence on the issue. He doesn’t want to offend either the scientifically literate, or the vast hordes of tortilla worshippers. The Catholic church is one of the biggest of the big tents.
    2007: Pope Benedict says evolution can’t be proven

  29. Rebecca said

    Wow, this story is amazingly like mine. I grew up in Ft Wayne, went to school (for only a year) at a small Catholic school outside the city, and was homeschooled for the rest. In highschool my mom forced me to use Christ the King, Lord of history, and science books like Exploring Creation with Biology (Apologia). Now I am a proud athiest (unlike the rest of my family–my little brother is still homeschooled and is also encouraged to be a priest) and am studying biology in college. Congratulations on “coming out”!

  30. garth said

    my story took place in a mormon seminary. i’d get up at 430AM every day to wash up and head to the little brick building for seminary before school. as a freshman rebel-without-a-clue going to a new high school (and having attended four years of xtian elementary) i was ripe for the picking, and my cousin’s church went for it. i clearly remember falling on my knees and praying in dismay at 14, trying to resolve some conflict, beseeching the lawd almighty.
    that was an actual turning point. i remember, after the emotional sharpness had passed, thinking…”wow, that’s embarrassing”, and trying to reason out why, even if it did exist, some diety would care. it was uphill from there. though i didn’t start to formally investigate atheism til many years later, from that point onwards i began actively questioning everything, stopped seminary, and started thinking things through on my own.
    thanks for sharing your story, andy

  31. garth said

    “Too bad. So sad.

    When people like Dawkins and Little Paul Myers become your prophets, you are exchanging one delusion (for you) with a still larger one.”

    “prophets”? did you miss the whole point? you’re displaying piss-poor reading comprehension skills, boy-o.

  32. Jacques said

    Andy, excellent personal history. Now good luck convincing the other 50 million or so Americans who have been brainwashed by their respective churches into thinking that science is evil. The rest of the world is counting on clear thinkers like you to help turn the tide on the plague of American fundamentalism.

  33. @ Administrator

    At what point did Andy say that he uses PZ or Dawkins as a reference to live his life? Last I checked, there arn’t any atheists using Carl Sagan’s “The Cosmos” as the divine book of truths.

    Atheists don’t believe in god.

    That is it. Nothing more, nothing less.
    Not all atheists beleive in evolution, though I would say that the majority of us do.

    Interestingly enough, your post seemed to lack your personal stance on this issue. Are you just playing the fence, or trolling angry atheists?

  34. awelfle said

    Haha, thanks for the defense Infektid. I’m pretty sure I’ve seen Administrator around Pharyngula, working toward saving the heathen commenters.

    It’s good that he keeps busy. And he has plenty of chances to practice his rhetoric.

    🙂

  35. Butter said

    Whateverman:

    I don’t think it’s entirely rational to conclude that because one religion’s beliefs are questionable, all religions are the same.

    Andy didn’t do that. Read more carefully.

    If God exists, he may be completely independent of our notions of him.

    Maybe. If invisible gnomes live in my underpants drawer, they may be really into Phil Collins. Do you have any evidence that any supernatural claim from any religion is true?

  36. awelfle said

    Butter,

    Your logic is entirely way out of wack. You obviously have no idea what you’re taking about — I’ve heard those gnomes listening to John Mellencamp. 😛

    No, you’re spot-on. There might be a god, divorced from religion and existance as we know it. There might be those sock-drawer gnomes. We all might just exist in the brain of a giant, immortal turtle.

    Great comment!

  37. You put the host in your pocket instead of your mouth?

    HATE CRIME! HATE CRIME!

    Kidding, kidding, kidding. Great post. And the stuff about the crazy textbooks is something I’ll definitely be pointing to in future debates.

  38. moother said

    well done son! you no doubt know that PZ plugged you on his blog and i hope that dawkins does too.

    here in free-thinking holland we hope that your sensible words will be heard by your credulous compatriots.

  39. awelfle said

    Greta,

    Haha, true. After I wrote that and posted it, I thought back to Crackergate and that whole scandal and realized I didn’t want to open any cans of worms. But, too late. I’m sure if the Catholic church wanted to come crucify me, they would have plenty of reason to do so already.

    Talk to you later!

  40. Russell said

    At first it can be quite scarry to give up faith. I’ve found that replacing irrational beliefs with rationality causes one to have undefined fear. The reason is that we have to change everything to reflect ‘reason’ instead of ‘belief’. The two types of motivation are completely different, you go from a beleif in something you cant support logically to one you can. It takes practice. It gets easier as you learn to reason everything out, after all it takes a while to change a life time of belief, I am always amazed at how many things you have to change (ways of thinking) to make the adjustment.

  41. sphex said

    Thank you. I was raised without religion, and am always grateful to hear of people, like you, who had the courage to call a spade a spade and walk away.

  42. Tom said

    Andy, Thank you for that. I too was brought up catholic – with a mother who had blind faith, and a father who had actually trained to be a priest – so you can imagine how catholic my upbringing was!

    Fortunately, the whole catholic/religious thing never really took hold. I went to mass to please my relatives but I never really believed it – not even at 5 years old – even then it sounded like nonsense (I was a clever kid).

    The serious point I would like to make is this: as atheists, we do give up something. The one thing the religious have over us (perhaps the only thing) is that they believe they will meet their nearest and dearest who have passed away. It’s a lovely idea, particularly as my lovely mother died a year ago. I know that no amount of wishful thinking will make it so, but I almost envy people who sincerely believe that they will meet their loved ones again.

    I think we have to acknowledge that; as people who face reality head on, we do have to cope with the fact that reality can be brutal as well as wonderful; that nature doesn’t give a stuff about us as individuals.

    I am in no way suggesting that we engage in unrealistic nonsense, but like all people who hace undergone radical change in our lives, we do grieve that which we lost. Fairy tales ARE wonderful. It’s just a shame they’re not true.

  43. Artoo45 said

    Thanks for sharing your story. It’s going to make it that much easier for one more person to awaken to their own mind, and that’s one of the most important things anybody can do for another person in my opinion. I rebelled against my father’s atheism and took a 20 year detour through all manner of moonbat loopiness. Ironically, rational thought turned out to be the greatest comfort and peace of all. Who knew?

  44. awelfle said

    Artoo,

    I think that “moonbat loopiness” is quite possibly the greatest phrase I’ve ever heard. Thanks for your comment!

    -Andy

  45. We’re very proud of you down here in Indianapolis.

  46. Marie said

    Found your blog entry via Pharyngula and had to say hello because I’m a fellow atheist/agnostic survivor of the caudron of idiocy that’s Seton Home Study School. In fact, I was a Seton kid from 1st through 12th. I remember “Christ the King, Lord of History”, and once received an evening phone call from one of their staff over a comment I made in support of the ordination of women. I didn’t have that text “The World that Perished”, but I do remember all those Beka Books texts for the science classes. Sometimes the year’s lesson plan would have to call for skipping certain chapters on advanced topics, but the portion alleging to discredit evolution was always a must. You really missed out on 12th grade English — my year, at least, one of the major pieces of fiction for study was a short novel on the topic how terribly wicked the French revolution was and how good and kind the king, the nobles, and the clergy were. Whew… anyhow, good work!!

  47. Sean said

    Well done Sir – what is so nice about Atheism is that it requires no beliefs and no real difficult choices once you make the leap. Added to that, it’s all so obvious. Any doubt disappears, at least it did for me. Enjoy your free-mind and welcome to the dark-side…

  48. awelfle said

    @ Marie —

    That’s astounding! I thought I was an isolated case with the counseling. I guess if they sense one of their lambs is straying off the beaten path, they need to lay the smack down.

    Thanks for your Seton story. Any others out there with a Seton story to share?

  49. awelfle said

    Oh, and @ Sean,

    Thanks for the comment! It is a lot more free and less guilt-ridden on this side, once I realized how I could continue to live a meaningful existence without having a “higher authority” to tell me what to do.

    In fact, if someone brings that up, I can come back at them with a “at least I’m not doing good because I fear eternal damnation if I don’t.”

    It’s fun to be holier-than-thou, even when you’re not!

  50. Chris said

    Very well done! I’ve posted a link to this article on my blog… I also stole the Pope pic. 🙂

  51. Dave said

    Hey, I just have something I got to say:

    I DO worship Phil Collins. Pseudio. One More Night. In the Air Tonight. Something else Tonight. Don’t Lose My Number. Against All Odds.

    Crap, I have to go create a playlist on iTunes.

    But before I go, isn’t it neat that you’ve attracted the attention of a few trolls with their “prophets” and attempting to insert their own, religion-free, definition of a god that you couldn’t possibly have defended against and probably have never even heard of?

    “Well, I might believe, except that your God doesn’t solve this problem!” “Oh, noz, waits, he DOES! Unlike all of religious philosophical history, MY god DOES solve X problem. Dude, ghet in the KNOW.”

    Idiots.

    Anyway, also I want to respond to Tom’s comment. Yes, it sucks we won’t be able to reunite with the dead people we loved. And while that does suck with people like dead friends who left a lot of questions when they had a successful night with a fit of depression and a shotgun, it might not be so cool with a grandfather with an innocent heart-attack and a set of values formed well before you were born. Assuming my dead grandfather can watch upon me, omnipresently, in everything I do…well, isn’t that a bit embarrassing. First and foremost, I suppose, would be the whole having sex with other men thing (which he can watch like a bad night of skinemax), but even beyond that; dude would know I once did this harm to a girl when I was 14 (not sexual, cuz, you know, but bad nonetheless–though not violent! I just hurt her reputation…) and anyway I’ve made peace with that but in the afterlife when I met him up there I’d have to probably watch a video of it and try to explain my idiot teenager reasoning to my grandfather that died before I was born.

    That would suck. Also, if my parents ever go on John Edwards, you can bet that the only letters my dead relatives would be screaming to that ghost-hearing asshole will be “H-O-M-O”! Cuz that’s probably what they’d be concerned about, aside from telling everyone they love them. Although, if I were dead, I’d assume everyone knew that, and would instead choose to talk about what Kurt Cobain is like now, and whether he and Mozart ever hang. Probably not, but it’s the afterlife so there’s been time.

    (Q: Do they get haircuts in heaven?)

    Anyway, sorry PZ misspelled your name, but as he’s our prophet you really can’t correct him and now must adopt that spelling of your name.

    (Still just as proud as I was earlier in the posts.)

    Dave

  52. Ardsnard said

    Another Seton survivor here, 8th – 11th grade. I remember all those books. Har-har. I also got calls late in my last year, as I began to question the empire. Ironically, I think their heavy-handed lessons actually helped start me down the freethinking path. So, from another healthy, happy, well-adjusted, liberal, voting, productive member of society atheist- thanks Seton!

  53. Peter said

    I started RC school back in 1962 and lost my faith by the second or third grade, so I can really relate to your story. What killed it for me was being told that all non-Catholics went to hell.

    Check out The Atheism Tapes and The Four Horsemen if you haven’t already/ All are online.

    Good job.

  54. congratulations for this coming out! great article!
    I realized at age 14 that I was an atheist… and I remember also the comments of some teachers and friends : “dont say that, it’s dangerous!!!”

  55. claribari said

    It’s always the good little Catholic girls and boys! I was fortunate to have one of those parental unions not recognized by god; my dad was fiercely anti-Catholic. He made sure we went to public school and challenged mom on CCD and the like, which made us in turn do the same. I went through a period where I really got into religion because I felt like it was respectful to my mother.

    I had the same disdain for the church’s views on homosexuality and abortion. I remember seriously questioning religion (and being incredibly angry)after a sermon that was about homosexuals going to hell and being damned and all. We had one priest who was more liberal and used to make his sermons more about doing good in life and *gasp* would make jokes! I remember him bringing in a chicken that sang the chicken dance…so not your typical Catholic priest! When he transferred, that was it for me. No more church.

    It was until a college activity where we had to fit ourselves to different labels that I actually ‘came out’ and showed myself to a chunk of the world as an atheist. I remember how much it concerned me; to look at everyone and have them know my ‘deep dark secret’ but now that I look back it was an important point.

    My future husband and I are having a ‘generic’ ceremony. I was insistant on a church until asked why I wanted that when I don’t go to church or believe in God. It was odd realizing how much Catholicism is still entrenched in my subconcious.

    I would recommend the book Jitterbug Perfume by Tom Robbins. A good look at the world from pre-christianity days on up and an all around good read. Keep fighting the good fight. Thanks for the great post!

  56. 451 said

    From Guy Montag’s draft Universal Dynamics – The Metaphyics of One

    Jewish scholars agree that God is certainly the “Lord of History” while Karl Jung’s gravestone reads “Called or not call, God will be present.” Socrates also weighed into the question and stated “To discover the maker and father of this universe is indeed a hard task, and having found him it would be impossible to tell everyone about him. ”

    God as primary concept is revealed in the history of consciousness as the natural and hierarchal order of the masculine and feminine, of goodness, beauty and truth, of form, essence and substance, the eternal, the objective and the absolute. In conclusion God is the ONE, the UNIVERSAL, and the Ideal, which in turn makes man into his image and all things created copies, the subjective and relative, the MANY, the PARTICULAR, the IDEA.

  57. Anon said

    “I started to rebel. First I wouldn’t say the Creed. Then I wouldn’t take Communion. I’d still walk up to appease my grandmother, but I would put the host in my mouth. I would put it in my pocket, or something. I just wouldn’t let it in my body. Later, I wouldn’t make the sign of the cross, or sing the songs. I didn’t want to be part of an institution that in my view, was full of lackadaisical followers.”

    Heh, that reminds me of my passively rebellious days at school. I dont know if this is so in the secular schools of america, but in the UK we are still ( or were at the time anyways..) required by law to have a collective act of worship through the week. This is for everyone, not just faith schools. The entire year group would assemble in the hall and the headmaster would give some random speech which i cant recall any of the topics of now, then we would have to say the lords prayer. In primary school we had to do this every day as well as singing hymns, in secondary it was just the prayer.

    Well, I always kind of knew the whole god thing was a crock of shit ( The language may be harsh but i think its justified. ) but didnt think i was allowed to express this opinion, i didnt know athiests existed, i thought everyone believed in god even if they believed in a different god. When i eventually realised it was ok to not want anything to do with christianity i went at it full force. I refused to sing hymns, i refused to say the lords prayer and hummed songs to myself when it was said in an effort to deprogram it from my brain- easier said than done, i still mute tv shows now if they start to say it.

    I refused to do any work in RE ( religious ed ) lessons and i took to writing ‘GDNE’ standing for ‘god does not exist’ in the margins of every page of my RE book. I guess the irony now is that im fascinated by religion, but only from an outsiders POV. Being forced to take part in prayer – even though thats not that harsh a tradition to have to do- made me feel dirty, made me feel like i was being forced to worship a concept which utterly offended the reality of the universe.

    I’m glad we never had a religious scope to every subject, though its worrying that people are forced to sit through this untruth. It must have been quite the shock to the system to start to learn reality at college, realising everything youve been taught for the past 10 years has been factually worthless except as a memoir x_x.

  58. Wow, Andy, I thoroughly enjoyed reading your story and the posts that followed.

    Personally, I don’t believe there are any atheists. Just people who can’t stand religion. I can’t stand it either and I’ve been a pastor for 52 years. At age 75 I am still pastoring and having the time of my life!

    There’s a world of difference between religion and just knowing the one who made you personally. I invite you to continue your search for Truth by checking our my web site,

    Mal

  59. David Hunter said

    451: God is also the WAY, the BEING, the PATH, and the STOVE LIGHT.

    hiddentreasures: Nice try, buddy pastor. I believe you! You’re on our side! Personally, though, I believe I would do anything for love, but I won’t do that. No, no, no I won’t do that.

  60. John Robie said

    Great to hear your story. Congratulations on making it through.

  61. colaboy29 said

    A great posting! I am along the same lines as you: went to Catholic schools from 3rd grade through 12th. And I began questioning things they taught. Being gay, when in Theology class the Church’s view on homosexuality was discussed, that was it for me and Catholicism. I’m not quite sure how I describe myself. I believe in a God, but not one through an organized religion.

  62. 451 said

    Truth – Albert Camus – The Fall

    Truth, like light, blinds. Falsehood, on the contrary, is a beautiful twilight that enhances every object. p 120

  63. 451 said

    Open Question from Guy Montag

    Leo Tolstoy,s wrote in his essays on Civil Disobedience and Non-Violence, “If man finds no meaning in life, he dies.” Without God where does man find his meaning and how does he verify and validate his or her life.

    From Church and State p211

  64. Peter said

    Personally, I don’t believe there are any atheists. Just people who can’t stand religion.
    —-

    Sorry. Wrong.

    Please refrain from projecting.

    TIA

  65. ZorkFox said

    I came here as a visitor from the Amazing Pharyngula. This isn’t so much my story as an affirmation of my position, but I wrote it all down in my own journal a few months ago in the hope it would inspire or encourage other atheists: The Scarlet Letter. Feel free to let me know whether or not you think I succeeded. 🙂

  66. Rob Sparling said

    There are such things as atheists.

    I was never raised religious and no one in my family ever guilted me into church attendance. I went to a few evangelical services with my great grandparents but that was only because my Nana would make lunch afterward. When I was 12, I started to research religion and nothing about any of them made much sense to me. So I never had to deal with the “coming out” issues that many here seem to have had. Informative though.

    So well done. Nicely stated.

    Also you may want to block 451. He’ll just keep posting these silly quotes because even religious people can find a way to harass you on the internet.

  67. 451 said

    To Rob Sparling

    I am sorry you feel you have to block my comments. The idea behind 451 is to bring to light the great knowledge that is in books that according to Howard Beale of Network claims only 3 percent of Americans read.

    As for me I am a mature, experienced, and caring individual, with a siritual mission that has provided one on one Compassionate Care. I have work with extreme patients including palliative care, post surgery recovery, and individuals suffering from mental illness including dementia, delusion, hallucination, and attempted suicide. As of Sept 2007, I have over 7000 hours working in various wards including Emergency, Psychiatry, Geriatrics, General Surgery, Intensive Care, Neurology and the Heart Institute.

    As Socrates stated “To discover the maker and father of this universe is indeed a hard task, and having found him it would be impossible to tell everyone about him. ”

    In short I have found God because it takes real effort and a desire to experince God and to dismiss that effort by those who seek God and truth shows both an ignorance and apathy by people like yourself.

    Remember All Men are Brothers.

  68. flynn said

    Thanks for the story, and for the thoughtful comments on your parents’ role in your education.

    I grew up Catholic with a mom who had a standing quarrel with the local church about their education program (she thought the Sunday School textbooks were babyish and insisted on bringing her own when she taught, and she disliked Catholic Schools for murky childhood evil nun trauma reasons). I think that seeing a parent question an institution or an ideology is a great first step, as is living with parents who let us make our own age-appropriate choices.

  69. JRR said

    This whole piece has a feeling of falsehood to it. A man educated in Catholic schools thinks he was an “alter boy”? Try “altar boy.”

    Also, the Catholic Church does not not teach Creationism! Get your facts straight before you start blathering on about these things.

  70. awelfle said

    @ JRR:

    Thanks for your comment. First, oops, that was an easily overlooked typo. It was fixed. You’ll notice, though, that the title was spelled correctly — “Altar”.

    Secondly, I’m pretty sure my facts are straight. The Catholic church’s official stance is that church doctrine doesn’t conflict with science, that there was a time when God willed a spark of intelligence into hominids. Intelligent design? Check out the Dover controversy. Not much difference than creationism. And there are plenty of branches of the Catholic church that still believe in old-school, 6-day creationism. The Daylight Origins society, and those following the Traditionalist Catholic Movement.

    Seton Home Study School, the organization about which I was writing, in fact advocates for creation “science”. Check it out for yourself: SetonHome.org

    As for the validity of my story: you can believe it or not, I don’t much care. I think the number of comments from people with experiences similar (or worse) than mine more than corroborates my post.

    -Andy

  71. I know I’m a number of days short, but needed to respond to something Claribari said: I totally understand about the Catholic upbringing affecting you in ways you don’t even see. Specifically about weddings, I realized a while back that I really don’t know how I want my wedding since my only idea of a “real” wedding is a Catholic wedding, whether it’s the whole mass or just a short service.

  72. Arthur said

    Greetings.

    I enjoyed reading Andy’s life story and the posts that follows. Part of my attraction is that the views are honestly held and in many instances, they may well be contrary to my own. After all, it is no fun discussing matters with those who are already in agreement with me.

    About me: I am a christian and I love being a christian. I can’t imagine anything better short of actually being in Heaven. In all honesty, I am brain damaged and am legally disabled on account thereof. But I believe you will find my thougts to be interesting and challenging. Give me a chance and you will find my replies are not ordinary.

    Before I write anymore, I will see if this post gets through. No sense writing something if it can’t get through. I hope you allow me into your discussions.

    Sincerely,

    Arthur

  73. awelfle said

    Arthur,

    Thanks for the post — we welcome all comments as long as they are respectful of the poster and other commentators and do not have obscenities. Personally, I welcome all viewpoints. Please post anything you like, as long as they fit with the above qualifications.

    -Andy

  74. Arthur said

    oh well, I see that me efforts to post here has exceeded my wildest expectations. It appeared in less than a second.

    Andy, I too grew up a Catholic. I knew I was a christian at age 4. My older sister taught me the ‘Our Father’ and the ‘Hail Mary’ prayers. I stopped saying the ‘Hail Mary’ at age of 7. Every morning and night I prayed, usually saying the ‘Our Father who art in Heaven…’ and then sharing my personal thoughts and inquiries with God. Among my personal prayers I constantly asked God that I be a stepping stone, and not a stumbling block, to others. I learned the Bible by reading the epistles that were found in the pews during mass. My church was still giving the Mass in latin, so I had time on my hands to read. I learned a lot from this.

    Masturbation for me began at 7 from a sex dream. I seemed to have peaked at the age of 10 having done so 11 times in one particularly day. I may have been inspired by a ‘Screw’ magazine I found in the woods near my house that told of a male youth who came 19 times in one day before going unconscious. I knew I had to try it, but was unable to go beyond 11.

    Don’t get me wrong, I was not a lustful youth seeking porno and sexmates. I actually shunned porno. Orgasm simply felt nice. My sexual thoughts during masturbation were simply things like being locked in a stock with just my underwear on or some kid pouring milk down my pants. Later I would resort to arousal via using tracing paper to copy onto paper nudes or near nudes artwork found in encyclopedias, and filling in the missing penis. I looked through that Encyclopedia years later and knew it must have been obvious to all who seen the art therein as to what I was up to.

    At 11, I was with my best friend Mike when he was telling a pretty girl (Loretta) from our school that all boys masturbated. I was shocked he was giving away such a ‘hidden’ secret to a girl. Becuase of my clean reputation as a regular churchgoer who was very nice and never cursed, She pointed me and betted that I don’t do it. so Mike told me to tell her that I did. Now, I never knew that Mike did it, and I never told anyone that I did. But I never lied to anyone. I could not lie, but I could not bring myself to admit it, so I froze. My best friend understood me, so he said to me to look at my wrist as if I was wearing a watch if I had ever masturbated. So I did with a blush, and then quickly went home.

    I did not attend Catholic School, but public schools. But I still went from my Public School to Catechism class at my Catholic Church. I was about 14 when the ‘Brother’ leading Catechism class taught us about avoiding the lusts of the flesh, it is an abomination to God. His great advice was that when sexual thoughts enter the mind, we can eliminate our sexual urges by thinking about our mother. There was no way I was going to do that. Besides, at that point, it was already too late.

    This was the same insturctor who argued that evolutionists are dumb because they think we descended from monkeys. “Isn’t that redicoulous.” said he. I knew his argument was false and dumb. By this time in my life, I loved science and was real read on its various branches. I became an evolutionist.

    I will continue this slow moving saga after my Bible Study which is at 7:30 tonight. And also address other points raised by Andy’s very informative post that starts this thread.

    TTFN

    I attended Catholic mass nearly every Sunday from youth until I graduated college at 23.

  75. Butter said

    ^_o o_^

    Is your brain damage related to impulse control? Prefrontal cortex maybe? The question is meant seriously.

  76. Arthur said

    As a child I planned to follow the Catholic teaching of being chaste and having pure thoughts at all times. But when puberty fully set in and the sex chemicals flowed through me, my sexual tension was enormous and I recall crying out to God while lying flat on the floor naked that this was not fair and begging Him to take away these powerful sexual passions. In the past, from the 19th century and earlier, it was normal for teens to marry shortly after puberty set in. An unwed woman of 21 was considered an old maid. I knew that in our modern society, that I was years away from marrying. Had an adult female or male agressively came on to me sexually during this time, I do not believe I would have entertained thoughts of calling the police.

    I remember as a teen, being at my Catholic Church with other male teens swearing not to commit numerous sex acts, naming each one and vowing not to do it. By the time we finished, I was more turned on sexually than I had ever been before.

    Those days are gone. I had come to be convinced that masturbation was not a big deal as long as I did not focus on real people or imagine any sexual act that would cause real harm to another person. I was also glad that Famed Christian psychologists, Dr. James Dobson pointed out that 98% of boys admit to masturbating, that masturbation is not a sin, but it is an acceptable way to relieve sexual tension, and that it also has health benefits for the prostrate. It’s a message the Christian community needed to hear. It is also consistant with the New Covenant established by Jesus.

    Not all of my youth was focused on sex. I did not walk until I was four, which coincided with my talking. I was left back in 1st grade because the school concluded I was retarded. My 2nd year in first grade I was permanently placed in the ‘4’ category which was composed of the schools dumbest kids. I was also sent for analysis of my retardation at some special hospital where it was determined I was not retarded, I simply had a heart murmur. My mother read me William Shakespeare plays starting with Othello, Macbeth, and Hamlet. By the time I finished 3rd grade, I had read about half of Shakespears plays and read on my own books by Dickens, Stevenson, Hawthorne, all Sir Arthur Canon Doyle’ Sherlock Holmes, Science Fiction by Asimov and Ray Bradbury. At the begiining of summer following 5th grade, I read the unabridged Light In August by William Faulkner in just two days. I eventually read a few works by Conrad and Kafka’s ‘The Trial’. That was the last fiction I read. It was mostly math, science and history books after that.

    In sixth grade I received a compliment from my 6th grade teacher. She pulled me aside late in the school year and quietly informed that when she first saw me. She thought I was really ‘dumb’, but that she has come to see how incredibly smart I am. A rather strange compliment, but I knew she intended as a most sincere praise.

    At 23, I graduated from college having earned degrees in Electrical Engineering, Physics, Math and History. Then I left the Bronx for a suburb and I found a baptists church that had an excellent pastor and a very nice young adult group.

    Thus I severed my ties with the Catholic Church, whose theology suffered from theological drift over the centuries. Thus I felt very comfortable at the evangelical church because because all theology must be limited to the Scriptures. It was no wonder that the ‘protestant’ movement occurred shortly after the invention of the printing press. People now had direct access to the Hoy Scritpures and discovered that the Catholic theology goes well beyond what the Scriptures actually state.

    For instance, Paul acknowledges that though he prefers celibacy to give all his time in an effort to the spread of the gospel, that Christian men may have more than one wife, but priest, Bishops may only have one wife. The issue of a priest being married was brought up at the Council of Nicea, a few hundred years later, and it was agreed that a Priest may have one wife. In the fifth century, St. Jerome and the sexually profligate St Augustine pushed hard for forced celibacy of clergy and they managed to suppress the views of the opposition, and the Catholic Church adopted and enforced celibacy as the official teaching of the church even though it was based on the whims of mere men, in opposition to the Bible on that matter.

    Andy, I read your list of grievances with the Catholic School system. Since I did not go to Catholic School, I’m not directly familiar with them, but I do believe you suffered those things and I agree that your grades should be solely based on your comprehension of the subject taught and not on extra curricular activities such as marching in front of abortion clinics.

    However, several of my friends and my younger brothers went to a Catholic school that had grades kindergarten to 8th grade. The men who taught and the teachers hired from outside the church were ok, but the nuns were, almost without exception, horrible. Johnny was so abused by the nuns (not sexually) that he pleaded with his parents to take him out of that school when he was in 2nd grade. They met with the nun and others at the church and, being the good Catholics, sided with the nun over their child’s protests. By the end of the third year, the boy had a psychological nervous breakdown and the parents finally took him out of the school, but too late, The damage done lasted into adulthood. His older brother Victor was also received similar damage, just not the same extent.

    My brother told me of his own suffering at the hands of the nuns. He told me of kids peeing in their pants when, once by not being allowed to go to the bathroom, and another during a severe scolding in front of the class.

    He also told me of an incident in 5th grade when a girl told her ‘nun’ teacher that someone stole her crayon. The nun sternly asked, who stole this girls’ crayon. No one admitted to it. So the Nun ordered all the girls to go outside the class into the hallway. The angry nun lined up the boys and had each boy hold out their hands, She asked each boy if they knew who stole the Crayon, and as each boy was said no, she wapped their hand with a hard wooden ruler. My brother knew who had it, but he said he did not know and accepted that hard hit on his knuckles. After she went through all the boys and they all said no, she was angrier than ever, and brought the girls in. She had the girls brought in and they saw several of the boys were still in pain. The first girl she asked told the nun who had the crayon, apparently it had been discussed among them in the hallway. The nun had the class sit and called the boy who took the crayon up to the desk. He tried to explain that he didn’t mean to steal, he had thought the girl next to him wouldn’t mind if he use it for a moment. The Nun would hear none of it and yelled at him, berated him up and down, repeatedly shamimg and embarrassing before the entire class. My brother saw the boy walking home all by himself crying all the way. The boy never was the same after that incident. So much for Christian Love and Mercy.

    As for me, I went to one of the worst Juniour High Schools in the Bronx, I was an object of scorn for three years, but my Christian nature had me privately praying for my persecutors, and constantly forgiving them. I wanted God to punish them for how they were mistreating me, and yet I prayed that they would become Christians. And I knew that if they became Christians, God would forgive their sins against me and I would not get my revenge. But then I accepted that I wouldn’t be revenged because it is best that they learn to do the good they were created to do and not evil. The world would be better.

    My High School was in the South Bronx and it was a lot better because it was a trade school, all students were boys, and all druggies were kicked out in 9th grade. I was one of four or five white kids in that school. My younger brother was one of them. He was respected for his physical prowess, I for my intellectual abilities and grades. They couldn’t believe we were brothers. I was lucky to get two exceptional Math teachers and I had the same exceptional History teacher for all three years I attended that school. All the other classes I had were way sub-par. So public schools are not always better everywhere.

  77. Arthur said

    No Butter. I had two minor strokes recently that left me with short term memory loss. I forget names all the time, and I often forget things thirty or so seconds after I hear them. I have also lost a third of my strength on the left side of my body. I also get very tired at various times of the day.

    I’m ok in the here and now, but may not remember later what I had been thinking about or even what I wrote without reading it again. For instance, sometimes I can go downstairs to my former office to get something, and when I get down there, I’m wondering what it was I was getting.

  78. Butter said

    Okay. You gave us a, um, lot of detail right at the get-go, so I thought it was a fair question. I’m sorry to hear about your strokes.

    Your story left me curious about a couple things, though. You’re obviously troubled, and rightly so, about psychological damage to children at the hands of zealous, repressed, cruel, and probably stupid religious authority figures. But how then can you justify indoctrination of children at the hands of Baptists and other fundamentalist Protestants? Aside from not so much of the getting whacked on the wrist by a ruler (which is really getting off light compared to what Leviticus says ought to be done to unruly children), what’s the difference? Further, why do you accord any moral authority to Scripture (or, good lord, to Dr. Dobson) at all?

    Which makes me wonder: When you’re at Bible Study, what precisely do you do? How do you study it? Do you look at sources beyond the book itself? If so, what kinds? If not, and the text is just treated by itself, what elements of it do you discuss? What standards is a participant held to in forming arguments about the text? In general, is the book treated in the same way as any other book of history and belief from antiquity–the Odyssey, for example? If not, what’s the justification for that difference?

    Perhaps I should just ask: You do realize that giving no moral credence to Scripture at all is an option, right?

  79. Arthur said

    Evolution!

    Upon graduation, my best friend in High School gave me a book that consisted of quotations from famous evolutionists and scientists that cast serious doubts on evolutionary theory. I knew evolution was a fact, I assumed the quotes were out of context, and I planned to set my friend straight. Where better to start than at my City University library and the New York Library on 42nd street.

    However, quote after quote was in context. Sure, the authors were staunch evolutionists, but when talking to fellow scientists, fellow evolutionists, they were more free to acknowledge the problems that they were encountering with the evidence for evolution. These problems were not to be found in the highschool or college textbooks, and they were serious problems. It took several years of research before I finally changed my position about evolution. I became an agnostic about evolution. I kept thinking there must exist evidence that I am missing and sooner or later, someone will prove evolution to be a fact.

    I started going on the internet to the science forums, and I expected to be blown away by scientists who knew the evidence for evolution, but that never mateialized. I found myself debating college Professors of science, who teach evolution in their college classrooms, and I was beating these Professors in debates. I do not think their views were ever challenged before.

    My first debate was on aboiogenesis and I demonstrated that the Miller-Urey experiment not only failed to provide any evidence that abiogenesis can occur, that experiment also provided positive evidence that abiogenesis can not ever occur. Apart from the Miller-urey experiment. I succesfully demonstrated that the early atmopshere was oxidized, which is deadly to any formation of life.

    My second debate was on why Evolution by natural processes violates the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics. The professor I debated taught the 2nd law at the university where he was tenured. Yet he did not even know why the 2nd law held true. It is true because molecules will always flow from states of low probability to states of ever higher probability. and I went on to demonstrate why this presents a fatal blow to materialistic evolutionary theories.

    Another Professor tried to take me to task for ‘quote mining’ and I tore his argument apart. He was embarrassed, though that was not my goal.

    They took me to tasks for using the term ‘baramin’, and I asked them to provide a clear scientific definition for the word ‘species’ and they could not. One of them suggested that it means whatever the scientist using the term wants it to mean.

    Then I debated the fossil record. They appealed to a paper written by one their pro-evolution professors that allegedly documented many fossil sequences that clearly demonstrates Darwin’s gradualistic evolution. I tore every one of their alleged fossil series demonstrating evolution over time apart, using the true nature of the fossil record.

    Then a few, not necessarily professors, appealed to Richards Dawkins book, the Blind Watchmaker. They thought the book was an attack on Creationists, probably because it was written during the time of big Propaganda effort by evolutionary efforts to attack Creation and creationists and push evolution as a fact. It took me awhile to convince them that Dawkins book was not an attack on Creationists, it was an all attack on Gould/Eldredge’s Theory of Punctuated Equilibria and a defense of Darwinian Gradualism. I then went on to demonstrate that Dawkins examples defending Darwinian gradualism were dead wrong or simply misleading.

    I also effectively debated the materialistic Big Bang theory as a failed theory.

    I have become convinced that the best scientific statement for the origin of the cosmos we observe is: “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.”

  80. Arthur said

    Butter, To acknowledge your post, I’m answering this question you presented now, and the rest I hope to get to tomorrow.

    Butter asks “Perhaps I should just ask: You do realize that giving no moral credence to Scripture at all is an option, right?”

    Yes, of course. there are many different Scriptures and they all can’t be right as they are in conflict. Even atheism has its Scriptures, be it the Humanist Manifesto or some similar creed.

    If you have any questions concerning the Moral Credence of the Holy Bible of the Jews and the Christian New Testament, I’d be more than glad to discuss it with you. But not tonight. I grow tired.

    Hey Butter, it is nice meeting you, I thank you for your replies, and I hope my replies to you will be most respectful.

  81. Butter said

    First, because of the site redesign, it appears to be screwing up the timestamps and posting comments in the wrong order. So that makes this more confusing than it ought to be, but we’ll try to muddle through.

    Re: the myriad in-context quotations from scientists; the devastating arguments you have against abiogenesis and Miller-Ulrey; the “true nature” of the fossil record; and the rest of your fantastic discoveries: Examples please, or they don’t exist. Bare assertions of works of genius, without the actual works actually being presented, are, um, insufficient.

  82. Butter said

    Hey Butter, it is nice meeting you, I thank you for your replies, and I hope my replies to you will be most respectful.

    I don’t care if you’re respectful; I care if what you say is true.

    Yes, of course. there are many different Scriptures and they all can’t be right as they are in conflict. Even atheism has its Scriptures, be it the Humanist Manifesto or some similar creed.

    I’ve never heard of this Manifesto, yet I’ve described myself as an atheist for years. So, no.

    If I were to read anything that purported to be a Humanist Manifesto, I would critically analyze each of its assertions, looking for the truth of any premises it was founded on, and see if any moral dictates it contained followed logically from them. I would feel free to reject any that didn’t pass muster. I would certainly feel no obligation to accept the thing in whole or part simply because of its status as a “creed”.

    (Oh, and atheism is not the same as humanism.)

    Name one tenet you think I hold on faith.

    If you have any questions concerning the Moral Credence of the Holy Bible of the Jews and the Christian New Testament, I’d be more than glad to discuss it with you. But not tonight. I grow tired.

    You’ll need some rest for your big day tomorrow, what with demonstrating God’s existence, finding the Atheist Scriptures, and explaining what’s wrong with paleontology, history, anthropology, ecology, genetics, anatomy, cosmology, biochemistry, and cosmology. Sleep tight.

  83. Arthur said

    Ok Butter, per you request, I’ll start by addressing the science concerning abiogeneisis, the evolution of life from non-life matter.

    Based on the science, Famed Atheist and long time apologist for Atheism, has come to believe that a God must exist, simply because he acknowledges that life requires a intelligent designer, thus a God being must exist. The following is the science that supports Anthony Flew’s decision to abandon his atheist worldview.

    Evolutionists have distanced themselves from Abiogenesis. The evidence against it is (IMO) overwhelming. My summary post on the falsification of it is below, though I’m sure it is all “Old Hat” for participants on this forum..

    Creation can be falsified by the establishment of Phylogenies.
    [quote=”empther”] … scientists have detected complicated amino acid molecules, the basic building blocks of all life as we know it, in space where there is no life. Some of the amino acids had no use or presence in earth life. The molecules assembled by chance, obviously not repealing the 2nd Law, and in fact depending on the 2nd Law.[/quote]

    As with so much of evolution, the misinformation on the topics related to the “spontaneous generation of life”, also known as “Abiogenesis”, have been so often repeated instead of being deleted, especially in school curriculums and textbooks, not to mention sites like these, that science fiction has been, for far too long, masquerading as science.

    Let’s start with famous “Miller-Urey” experiment and update it from there.

    An important pioneer in scientific research on abiogenesis is Alexander I. Oparin. In 1924, he determined what chemicals must be in the earth atmosphere for amino acids to be formed (e.g. methane, hydrogen, and ammonia) and what chemicals ought not to be there that will prohibit the formation of amino acids (e.g. Oxygen). Scientists like A.I. Oparin and J.B.S. Haldane proposed a sequence for life’s origins in the 1920’s, from complicated molecules in an oily liquid he called coacervate droplets, to the first protocell, to enzymes, to finally genes.

    Miller prepared an experiment to observe what complicated molecules’ might be produced under Oparin-Haldane’s proposed ideal pre-biotic atmosphere. Sure enough, in an assumed atmosphere that was DESIGNED to produce amino acids, it was not at all surprising that amino acids formed:

    The Products of the Miller Experiment: Tar 85%
    Carboxylic acids not important to life 13.0%
    Glycine 1.05%
    Alanine 0.85%
    Glutamic acid trace
    Aspartic acid trace
    Valine trace
    Leucine trace
    Serine trace
    Proline trace
    Treonine trace

    Note: Glycine and Alanine are the two simplest amino acids of the twenty proteinous amino acids found in living creatures.

    Miller’s results were well received and widely reported by the mass media to be a major confirmation of evolution and of life arising spontaneously without a Creator. It became a valuable weapon in the evolutionists’ propaganda arsenal for brain washing and brow beating the public and more so, unwary students, into accepting the legitimacy of Evolution.

    The Miller-Urey experiment that produced amino acids under laboratory controlled conditions has been misrepresented in many High school, college and other text books. It is often presented that this experiment demonstrates that amino acids, necessary for life, form naturally in a primitive atmosphere. It is usually further asserted or implied that this experiment demonstrates that abiogenesis is highly probable and that this further demonstrates that evolution (Darwinian) is indeed a fact because a pathway has been established from non-life matter to self-replicating molecules that would eventually evolve into man. Of course such textbooks are nonsense; this experiment demonstrates nothing of the kind. In fact, the Miller-Urey experiment demonstrates the opposite, it revealed the overwhelming difficulties that exist with the view that life can form naturally from non-living chemicals. In my view, that Abiogenesis has been scientifically falsified.

    The key word above is ‘controlled’. Intelligent control is what gets one the outcome they are looking for.

    Using a system of glass flasks, Steven Miller attempted to simulate Alexander Oparin’s ideal atmospheric conditions. He passed a mixture of H2O, ammonia, methane and hydrogen through an electrical spark discharge. At the bottom of the apparatus was a trap to capture any molecules made by the reaction. This trap prevented whatever chemicals formed from being destroyed by the energy source used to create them. Eventually, Miller was able to produce the above described mixture, containing the amino acids described above, and the building blocks of proteins.

    This was as good as the science ever got for the evolutionists and their hopes for abiogenesis. From now on things get much worse for the Evolutionists. What the public and students have not been told about what science actually knows concerning the ‘origin of life’.

    To achieve his results, Miller had to use something that material evolutionists ‘KNOW’ did not exist in the pre-biotic earth: intelligence and mental “know-how”. He drew on decades of knowledge of organic chemistry in setting up his experiment. The proportions of the various gases used, the actual apparatus, the position of the electrodes, the intensity of the spark, and the chemical trap, were all carefully adjusted to create maximum yield from the experiment.

    Many attempts by Stanley Miller failed to produce any amino acids or other building blocks of life.

    In an effort to make his Oparin atmosphere to mimic actual atmospheric conditions, Miller arranged fro his electrical discharge to simulate lightning. After a week of these lightning type electrical discharges in the reaction chamber, the sides of the chamber turned black and the liquid mixture turned a cloudy red. The predominant product was a gummy black substance made up of billions of carbon atoms strung together in what was essentially tar, a common nuisance in organic reactions.

    However, no amino acids used by living systems or other building blocks of life, were produced on the first attempts. In his own words, Miller stated “An attempt was made to simulate lightning discharge by building up a large quantity of charge on a condenser until the spark jumped the gap between the electrodes. … Very few organic compounds were produced and this discharge was not investigated further.” from Robert Shapiro: “Origins, A Skeptics Guide …” P. 103. 1986.

    Only by intelligently readjusting and fine tuning his apparatus and by using a continuous electrical charge that Miller eventually obtained the amino acids indicated it above. Even when using the same gas mixture and a continuous electrical discharge, Miller did not obtain any positive results until placing the apparatus in a different order. Shapiro, Ph.D. Chemistry, noted that with the use of “Intelligence” and “Know How:” on the part of the “origin of life” experimenters to achieve the results they desire prejudiced the results of their “Origin of Life” type experiments:

    (P. 102-103)

    “another significant factor also influences the products being formed in an experiment of this type, but is less recognized, selection by the experimenter.”

    “One clear message should emerge from this discussion. A variety of results may be possible from the same general type of experiment. The experimenter, by manipulating apparently unimportant variables, can affect the outcome profoundly. The data that he reports may be valid, but if only these results are communicated, a false impression may arise concerning the universality of the process. This situation was noticed by Creationist writer, Martin Lubenow, who commented: “I am convinced that in every origin of life experiment devised by evolutionists, the intelligence of the experimenter is involved in such a way as to prejudice the experiment.””

    Now the science learned from the Miller-Urey negates rather than support Abiogenesis.

    (1). The tar tends to fix the amino acids so that they are not that free to Bond. Bonding between amino acids must happen if theses amino acids are to form any kind of molecular structures leading to a replicating life form.

    (2). Miller’s amino acids, even if they were capable of bonding, are useless as a basis for abiogenesis.

    The amino acids formed were racemates. That is, each double handed amino acid was produced in equal quantities of Dextrorotary (Right handed Molecules) and Levorotary (Left handed) molecules. Furthermore, both right and left handed amino acids bond to each other equally well. However, all of life’s proteins are made from left-handed amino acid chains. If just a single right handed amino acid molecule binds to a forming three dimensional chain of left handed amino acids, that right handed amino acid is lethal to the formation of the three dimensional chain.

    “Without exception, all of Miller’s amino acids are completely unsuitable for any type of spontaneous generation of life. And the same applies to all and any randomly formed substances and amino acids that form racemates. This statement is categorical and absolute and cannot be affected by special conditions. This is scientific fact.” (1)

    All amino acids that form by natural causes alone are racemized. Even those found on comets are racemized.

    Though the above is fatal to any scenario for abiogenesis, science continues to bring more bad news for the evolutionist’s conception of origins.

    (3) Oparin’s ideal atmosphere of Methane, Ammonia, Hydrogen, and without Oxygen never existed! We’ve known for at least the past forty years that the pre-biotic atmosphere had oxygen that is lethal to the formation of life’s building blocks, and it had at best, only traces of methane, ammonia, and hydrogen.

    (4) Ultra-violet light would have destroyed amino acids formed in the atmosphere, and the chemicals of the ocean would have destroyed life’s building blocks that ended up there.

    Along the lines of beating a dead horse, the evolutionist’s hopes for establishing abiogenesis gets even more bad news from science:

    (5) When amino acids bond together in pre-biotic experiments, they do so in several different ways using several types of links as the molecular bonds. Yet, only the type of link known as the ‘alpha link’ is used in all proteins of living organisms. In origin of life experiments, the alpha link is greatly outnumbered by the other types of links.

    (6) There are 20 amino acids exclusively used in all living organisms. These are called proteinous amino acids. There are hundreds (and perhaps thousands) of amino acids that are not proteinous. In regard thereto, Stephen Gould asked this question: “Why only a few amino acids in organisms when the [primordial] soup must have contained at least ten times as many.” Amino acid molecules can link-up (polymerize) to form polypeptide chains. Those with certain structure and characteristics are called functional proteins. Functional proteins will consist of chains of 90 to 1000 amino acids. In a soup containing proteinous amino acids and 10 times the number of non-proteinous amino acids (which Gould says must have been there) then the probability of getting a functional protein consisting of 100 proteinous amino acids is one in 10 to the 100th power. This is just not going to happen.

    (7) Handedness is only one of the hurdles to overcome on the way to life. The real big one is the origin of information, which is fundamentally differently to matter and molecules, even if you could get exclusively left handed molecules. We want to know how books get written, not just how paper and ink are formed. Of course if you can’t get paper, you can’t write anything on it, but the really critical thing to all known life is the message, not the medium.

    Information expert Hubert Yockey in 1978, did theoretical calculations to determine the information content of cytochrome C while allowing for ambiguity. Mr. Yockey based his calculations on phylogenetic sequence comparisons. His calculations revealed that an undirected search arriving at this protein has a probability of occurrence of 1 in 10^65, even after assuming the most ideal conditions that all amino acids are left handed, all necessary amino acids are present, that only alpha bonds occurred, and all chemicals and/or energy that could neutralize or destroy the amino acids are not present.

    Robert T. Sauer and his M.I.T. team of biologists undertook the scientific research of applying hard science that would put Yockey’s Theoretical claculations to the test. substituting the 20 different types amino acids in two different proteins. Upon each substitution, the protein sequence was reinserted into bacteria to be tested for function. They discovered that in some locations of the protein’s amino acid chains, up to 15 different amino acids may be substituted while at other locations their was a tolerance of only a few, and yet other locations could not tolerate even one substitution of any other amino acid. One of the proteins they chose was the 92 residue lambda repressor.

    Sauer et. al. calculated that:

    “… there should be about 10^57 different allowed sequences for the entire 92 residue domain. … the calculation does indicate in a qualitative way the tremendous degeneracy in the information that does specifies a particular protein fold. Nevertheless, the estimated number of sequences capable of adopting the lambda repressor fold is still an exceedingly small fraction, about 1 in 10^63, of the total possible 92 residue sequences.”

    They achieved similar results with another short protein.

    Sauer et. al. go on to highlight that Yockey (1978) had obtained a similar result for cytochrome C.

    Biologists R.T. Sauer, James U Bowie, John F.R. Olson, and Wendall A.Lim, 1989, ‘Proceedings of the National Academy of Science’s USA 86, 2152-2156.

    and

    1990, March 16, Science, 247; Olson and R.T. Sauer, ‘Proteins: Structure, Function and Genetics’, 7:306 – 316, 1990.

    This hard science is a striking confirmation of Professor Yockey’s theoretical work and is a major defeat for the concept of abiogenesis.

    Beyond amino acid bonding, there are other scientific facts that drive more nails into the coffin of the concept abiogenesis.

    (8) To make life, we need amino acids, sugars, bases, and phosphates. This gives us several catch 22’s. You need formaldehyde to make sugars, but formaldehyde fixes amino acids so that they do not react. Methane polymerizes formaldehyde, but must be present to make amino acids. Amino acids plus bases destroys formaldehyde. Calcium and magnesium in our oceans destroy phosphates; you can’t get phosphates in oceans. Energy needed to make amino acids also destroys the amino acids.

    R. Shapiro, Ph.D. Chemistry, “The Improbability of Pre-biotic Nucleic Acid Synthesis” 14 Origin of Life 565, 1984, relates how experiments like Miller-Urey have very limited significance because of the implausible conditions under which they are conducted:

    “Many accounts of the origin of life assume the spontaneous synthesis of a self replicating nucleic acid could take place readily. However, these procedures use pure starting materials, afford poor yields, and are run under conditions that are not compatible with one another. Any nucleic acid components that were formed in the primitive earth would tend to hydrolyze by a number of pathways. Their polarization would be inhibited by the presence of vast numbers of related substances which would react preferentially with them.”

    The above is much more than enough to convince all informed reasonable people that abiogenesis is scientifically unfeasible. Louis Pasteur is correct when he gave us the biogenetic law that states that life only comes from life. It takes intelligence and ‘know how’ to create life and to seeding the earth to produce the diversity of life we observe. Non-thoughtful processes cannot create life because those processes are controlled by the Laws of Physics and Chemistry and these two laws of nature cannot place the necessary boundary conditions on matter and energy to form a living being.

    What the laws of chemistry and physics tell us is that the most profound statement ever written on origin of life is: “In the beginning, G-d Created…”.

    (1) Arthur Ernest Wilder-Smith: “The Natural Sciences Know Nothing of Evolution”, p. 17, (1981, TWFT Publishers).

    Part 2

    I have just posted a very powerful scientific refutation of abiogenesis. These science facts have been known in scientific circles, but scientists still published, or permit to be published, misinformation and untruths about the significance of the Miller-Urey type experiments, thereby misleading both the public and, even worse, vulnerable students, and thus indoctrinating them into believing falsehoods, again as witnessed by many postings on internet forums and show up in school text books and tests.

    They were most likely influenced by many sources of misinformation such as:

    Carl Sagan appearing on a Nova episode about three decades ago declared how the Earth once had an atmosphere consisting mostly of Methane for hundreds of millions of years, ‘a methane world’ he called it, a world in which living things breathed methane. Then he spoke of how life as we know it had begun under this reduced atmosphere, and he speculated how life that lived off methane was destroyed by a new poisonous gas that entered the atmosphere. It was being produced by this “new life”, and this gas replaced the methane: that gas being Oxygen! And his BS was all based on the Oparin model and he spoke to the public as if it was scientifically established fact.

    Here is another example from the third (1984) edition of a College textbook `Elements of Biology’ which still declares, like many others text books being used in our schools, that the Miller-Urey 1953 experiment provides `important support for his [Alexander Oparin] theory’ that `living things chemically evolved from inorganic gases … in the primitive earth atmosphere’. As if this lie was not enough this textbook goes on to state as follows:

    “The relative ease with which the amino acids were formed is of great significance. … In many other experiments that have followed Miller’s breakthrough effort, other forms of energy have been successfully used in the laboratory to create not only amino acids but also other critical biological molecules. Thus it appears that no special obstacles would have interfered with the construction of the essential building blocks of life on the primitive Earth, given the amount of time now believed to have passed since the formation of the Earth (see fig 219)

    [ fig. 219 shows the sun as energy input shining on Earth during `chemical evolution’ during Earth’s 1st 800 million years, `1st self-replicating molecule or protogene over next 300 million years, `Life’ 3.5 billion years ago].

    … these experiments have led many biologists to accept the idea that once air and ground conditions on Earth were suitable for life [Oparin Model], LIFE WAS INEVITABLE.” [Emphasis mine]

    Here is a more recent example:

    Barron’s Review Course Series “Let’s Review: Biology”, Barron’s
    Educational Series, 1995.

    “… the [pre-biotic earth over hundreds of millions of years] “filled with inorganic and organic substances such as water (H2O), ammonia (NH3), methane (NH3), hydrogen gas (H2), and various mineral salts. These substances mixed together in a primitive atmosphere and oceans to form a thin hot soup, in which random chemical reactions could occur at a rapid rate. Gaseous oxygen and carbon dioxide are thought NOT to be present in this early stage.” P. 246-7.

    Barron’s “Let’s Review: Biology” continues: Scientist Stanley Miller “set up a controlled environment that simulated [THE Pre-biotic Atmosphere described above]… After several days of continuous electrical input, Millers experimental flasks contained the precursors (beginning forms) for several simple organic substances, including amino acids, simple sugars, and nucleotides. In later experiments, Sidney Fox, and other scientists demonstrated Miller’s precursor’s could be joined together into complex molecular arrangements and grouped to form cell-like structures. … Increasing structural complexity of cellular aggregates, including the formation of complex proteins and nucleic acids, is thought to have led to the ability to reproduce new cellular aggregates. The ability to reproduce is considered to have represented the last critical step leading to a living condition, marking the difference between mere chemical aggregates and true living cells.” P 247-248.

    These misleading false statements that show up in textbooks are an outrage, and easily deceive students, just as these false proclamations deceived their teachers.

    Scientists knew decades before the 1995 publication of Barron’s widely read High School Science Book Review that this whole scenario from beginning to end was false. Science had established that the pre-biotic atmosphere lacked methane and free hydrogen, and had ample oxygen to destroy amino acids and other building blocks needed for life, and that the thin hot soup never existed. That ultra-violet light, oxygen, and the chemicals of the ocean would rapidly destroy any biological building blocks that might form. That the amino acids formed in these experiments were always racemized and thus made it impossible to get a chain of just the right left handed amino acids in an extremely precise order necessary for the formation of proteins.

    And that is just the software of life, I have not even addressed the Hardware needed to fold the amino acid chains into proteins. We are just beginning to understand the complexity of the biological machinery to fold a left handed chain into a protein.

    Then the folding process itself has several feedback systems to guarantee faithful reproduction of the original body plan’s proteins.

    The above public school textbook statements on the Miller-Urey type experiments are FALSE, these type experiments did just the opposite as the above demonstrated. They demonstrated just how extremely implausible abiogenesis is. Many informed leading Scientists have known for decades these statements in textbooks are false, so why do these falsehoods still persist in school textbooks?

    Abiogenesis, An evolutionist’s article of faith!

    The evidence for abiogenesis was never good, but it was widely accepted by scientists promoting Evolutionism because it conformed to the philosophy of naturalism.

    Nobel Prize laureate Harold C. Urey once stated:
    “All of us who study the origin of life find that the more we look into it, the more we feel it is too complex to have evolved anywhere. We all believe as an article of faith that life evolved from dead matter on this planet. It is just that its complexity is so great, it is hard for us to imagine that it did.”

    F. Dyson, ‘Origins of Life’ (1985, Cambridge University Press, p. 31):
    “The Oparin picture was generally accepted by biologists for half a century. It was popular not because there was any evidence to support it, but rather because it seemed to be the only alternative to biblical creationism.”

    Yet Dyson admits, and many other evolutionary scientists were fully aware, even in the 1950’s and 1960’s, that these experiments were not solutions to abiogenesis but rather magnified the problems with any notion of abiogenesis.

    Evolutionist A. Cairns-Smith, “Genetic Takeover and the Mineral Origins of Life” 1986. Points out that experiments like Miller-Urey demonstrate that critical prevital nucleic acids are highly implausible:

    “But so powerful has been the effect of Miller’s experiment on the scientific imagination that to read some of the literature on the origin of life (including many elementary texts) you might think that it had been well demonstrated that nucleotides were probable constituents of a primordial soup and hence the prevital nucleic acid replication was a plausible speculation based on the results of the experiments. There have indeed been many interesting and detailed experiments in this area. But the importance of this work lies, in my mind, not in demonstrating how nucleotides could have formed on the primitive Earth, but in PRECISELY THE OPPOSITE: these experiments allow us to see, in much greater detail than would otherwise been possible, just why prevital nucleic acids are highly implausible.”
    [emphasis mine].

    R. Shapiro, Ph.D. Chemistry, “The Improbability of Pre-biotic Nucleic Acid Synthesis” 14 Origin of Life 565, 1984, relates how experiments like Miller-Urey have very limited significance because of the implausible conditions under which they are conducted:
    “Many accounts of the origin of life assume the spontaneous synthesis of a self replicating nucleic acid could take place readily. However, these procedures use pure starting materials, afford poor yields, and are run under conditions that are not compatible with one another. Any nucleic acid components that were formed in the primitive earth would tend to hydrolyze by a number of pathways. Their polymerization would be inhibited by the presence of vast numbers of related substances which would react preferentially with them.”

    Speaking as an evolutionist, and therefore, an apriority believer in abiogenesis, Klaus Dose, Interdisciplinary Science Reviews, 1988, 13(4) 348. writes:

    “More than 30 years of experimentation on the origin of life in the fields of chemical and molecular evolution have led to a better perception of the immensity of the problem of the origin of life on Earth rather than to its solution. At present all discussions on principal theories and experiments in the field either end in a stalemate or in a confession of ignorance.”

    “Considerable disagreements between scientists have arisen about detailed evolutionary steps. The problem is that the principal evolutionary processes from pre-biotic molecules to pregenotes have not been proven by experimentation and the environmental conditions under which these processes occurred are not known. Moreover, we do not actually know where the genetic information of all living cells actually originates, how the first replicable polynucleotides (nucleic acids) evolved, or how the extremely complex structure function relationships in modern cells came into existence.”

    Leslie Orgel “The Origin of Life on Earth” Scientific American 271, October 1994. P 77-83.

    “It is extremely improbable that proteins and nucleic acids, both of which are structurally complex, arose spontaneously in the same place at the same time. Yet it seems impossible to have one without the other. And so, at first glance, one might have to conclude that life never could in fact have originated by chemical means.”

    “We proposed that RNA might well have come first and established what is called the RNA world. … This scenario could have occurred we noted, if pre-biotic RNA had two properties not evident today; a capacity to replicate without the help of proteins, and an ability to catalyze every step of protein synthesis. …”

    “The precise events giving rise to an RNA world remain unclear. As we have seen, investigators have proposed many hypotheses, but evidence in favor of each of them is fragmentary at best. …”

    As an ardent evolutionist whose worldview is atheist based, addressing a pro-evolutionary audience in a science peer reviewed article published in a main stream and widely read science periodical, this despairing summary remark was the most positive statement he could come up to encourage his reading audience about evolution and the atheistic worldview.

  84. mightymjolnir said

    Well, I guess that settles it. Arthur has completely destroyed evolution, which, as we all know, is the same thing as abiogenesis, in one blog comment. Nice job, sir. I guess I will be quitting FreeThought Fort Wayne, effective immediately. I’m a creationist now. Somebody get me a Chick tract, post-haste.

  85. Arthur said

    mightymjolnir Says:
    September 30, 2008 at 10:48 am

    Very funny Mightymjolnir.

    I know evolutionists like to divorce Evolution from abiogenesis. However, it is still true that if abiogenesis can not occur via natural causes, then it requires an intelligent causes. At that point there is no need to believe in Evolution because, using occams razor, the intelligence that created life on Earth would most likely be the same intelligence that made each creature after it’s kind. In genesis comes the claim that an intelligent Being prepared Earth to support life and then seeded the Earth, the last to be created is man who is made in god’s image and given authority over the earth.

    Anyway, here is a more direct approach. Darwinian Evolution via natural causes violates the 2nd law of thermodynamics.

    Part 1
    Energy is an abstract idea. The basic scientific definition of ‘Energy’ is: “The ability to do work”.

    We humans developed this idea to enable us quantify the amount of work that material things and processes will allow us to perform, and to measure the efficiency of the work being done.
    The impetus for developing this idea of ‘Heat’ to describe one form of energy came in the 19th century due to the ever increasing use of steam engines. Steam was dependent on fossil fuels which had to be mined and transported. The use of steam engines cost money. Thus it became increasingly important to corporate profits to replace inefficient steam engines with newer more efficient, more productive steam engines. This was simply a case of invention not driven by science, but science driven by invention. The new science was named ‘Thermodynamics’. As one commentator noted, “Science owes more to the steam engine than the steam engine owes to Science.” [Chemical Biologist L. J. Henderson (1917)]

    Heat is defined as the form of energy that is transferred across a system boundary to another system or surroundings that is/are at a lower temperature/s.

    Accordingly, by this definition, isolated system containing cold water, and isolated system containing molten lava, share a common property, neither have any heat. That is not to say that the molten lava or the cold water do not contain energy. Both contain kinetic energy in the form of moving molecules, Molecules of the molten lava of course would be moving much more rapidly. These molecules also have other forms of energy such as the potential energy of their mass (E=MC^2) and potential energy from being in a gravitational field. However, no work can be done by a system that is in temperature equilibrium. Thus a system at equilibrium has no free energy available to do any work.

    If the isolated molten lava system should come in contact with the isolated cool water system (thereby becoming thermally connected) heat is transferred from the Lava to the water and this heat transfer is available energy for performing work, at least until this system’s equilibrium in temperature is established. At the point of equilibrium we no longer have heat transfer. The kinetic energy of the Lava due to molecular movement will have decreased and the kinetic energy of the water molecules will have increased such that the total heat energy of the new isolated lava/water system will be identical. If this isolated system remains isolated (i.e. thermally disconnected from any other system) it would remain in this ‘heat death’, even though it still may have a good deal of molecular movement.

    In the real world, all real processes are irreversible, entropy rules, and molecular movement will approach minimal temperature equilibrium. If something moves, entropy increases. This is the 2nd law of Thermodynamics.

    Since the 19th century, scientists have disocvered the equivalency of every type of energy, thus the 2nd law applies to all types of energy.

    The physical property of entropy is defined in terms of probability. From this point of view the net increase in entropy that occurs during an irreversible process can be associated with a change of state of the molecules en masse from that of a less probable state to that of a more probable state. The more probable state of a cup of hot coffee will be to cool to the same temperature of its surroundings.

    Part 2.

    Though in experiment after experiment the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics held sway, not just for closed systems, but for open systems too, provided energy transfers occurred within well defined boundaries. The 2nd law became very valuable for analyzing and measuring the amount of work and efficiency of systems that utilize energy, even though no one knew exactly why the 2nd law held. However, a physicist in the 1930’s (whose name I can’t remember) discovered that the 2nd Law is simply the result of a greater principle of Physics: “Massive amounts of Molecules, atoms, atomic particles -tend over time to flow (i.e. rearrange themselves) from states (i.e. configurations, energy) of low probability to states of ever increasing probability.

    Physicist Richard P. Feynman explained entropy as the flow from order to disorder, from states of lower probability to states of higher probability. He gives the example of filming two gases, a gas of white particles and a gas of black particles, in a container separated by a boundary. He calls this state highly ordered as all the black particles in the container are all on one side and all the white particles are on the other side. When the boundary is removed, the particles will mix together, order decreases and disorder increases. This is considered an irreversible process. But Feynman has an objection, if you play the film backwards, the particles separate and all the white particles go to one side of the container and the black particles go to the other side of the container, and not only that, but careful observation shows that no physical laws are broken, all the particles are moving at just the right speed and are forming just the right collisions at just the right angle for this to happen. Thus the process is reversible and, Feynman adds, so are all the fundamental laws of physics. So what is it that makes the natural mixing of the two gases irreversible? Feynman’s answer is `probability’. The number of states (particle distribution) of disorder far outnumbers the number of states of order, so much so that it becomes unrealistic to expect reversibility. The gases are moving from states of very low probability to states of much higher probability, from order to disorder. Feynman considered it a mystery how the universe as a whole began in such a low state of entropy.

    A 2nd example from Feynman: When a large vase falls and smashes onto a stone floor, it would produce little tea cups if the probability of the molecules arranging themselves into cups was much higher as compared to all other possible configurations. But the laws of physics being what they are, the vase breaks up into many pieces of varying sizes and shapes that will be meaningless in terms of performing a useful function for human beings. Upon shattering, the molecules of the vase have “naturally” undergone a change in arrangement from a specified complexity that performed a desired function for humans to a much much more probable disordered chaotic functionless arrangements.

    Concuring with Feyman about the problems the 2nd law give to evolution: According to information theoretician & evolutionist Hubert Yockey:
    ” An uninvited guest(Schroedinger, 1955; du Nouy,1947; Prigogine,and Nicolis 1971; Gatlin, 1972; Prigogine, Nicolis & Babyloyantz, 1972; Volkenstein, 1973) at any discussion of the origin of life and evolution from the materialistic reductionist point of view, is the role of thermodynamic entropy and the ‘heat death’ of the universe which it predicts. The universe should in every way go from states which are less probable to those which are more probable.
    “Therefore, hot bodies cool; energy is conserved but becomes less available to do work. According to this uninvited guest, the spontaneous generation of life is highly improbable (Prigogine, Nicolis, and Babyloyantz, 1972). The uninvited guest will not go away nor will the biological evidence to the contrary notwithstanding.”

    Science has demonstrated that the molecular arrangements needed for life, both abiogenesis, and for Darwinian Evolution (the Hypothesis of common ancestry) have extremely low probability. Evolution Theory posits an initial progenote that had initial simplicity in the biological world and that through repetitive reproduction there has been a steady upward movement in biological complexity by means of mutations to the genome. The flow of molecules in both situations is from very high probability states (the arrangement of potential bio-molecules before life on earth) to extremely low probability states such as an amoeba. Thus the trip from no life to amoeba to man is an enormous flow from high probability states to enormously low probability states. This is a real violation of the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics. Physicists have acknowledged this and have quietly suggested that Evolution is in need of a yet undiscovered new physical law, one that would provide molecules an ordering principle that bypasses the 2nd law so as to allow life to form via natural casues, as well as the diversity of life as we know. So you can see that the scientific problems facing abiogenesis are the same ones that deter any materialistic theory of evolution.

    With regard to confirmation of the extremely low probability molecular arrangements required for the Evolution of life: Distinguished scientist and expert on origins, A.E. Wilder-Smith stated: “The pure chemistry of a cell is not enough to explain the workings of a cell, although the workings are chemical. The chemical workings of a cell are controlled by information which does not reside in the atoms or the molecules”

    The Theory of Evolution demands that since the very earliest life, new classes of proteins must have come into existence and new instructions must be continually encoded into DNA to produce novel physical features, organs, traits that we know have come into existence.

    Hubert Yockey, in 1978, did theoretical calculations to determine the information content of cytochrome C while allowing for ambiguity. Mr. Yockey based his calculations on phylogenetic sequence comparisons. His calculations revealed that an undirected search arriving at this a protein has a probability of occurrence of 1 in 10^65.

    Such a probability is certainly very damaging to any possibility of macro-evolution being at all plausible. To counter this, a scientist with excellent mathematical skills, Mr. Ken Dill, using different assumptions than Yockey, arrived at a 1 in 10^15 probability of finding via an undirected search a protein molecule the size of cytochrome C, which under other reasonable assumptions may occur as frequently as once every 32 years.

    Yockey’s analysis had more support from actual studies on varying amino acids in cytochrome C, but this was inconclusive and Dill’s analysis may be correct. Hard experimental data was needed to resolve this issue and Sauer et. al. provided the solid empirical data which turned out to confirm Yockey’s analysis.

    Robert T. Sauer and his M.I.T. team of biologists undertook the scientific research of substituting the 20 different types amino acids in two different proteins. upon each substitution, the protein sequence was reinserted into bacteria to be tested for function. They discovered that in some locations of the protein’s amino acid chains, up to 15 different amino acids may be substituted while at other locations their was a tolerance of only a few, and yet other locations could not tolerate even one substitution of any other amino acid. One of the proteins they chose was the 92 residue lambda repressor.

    Sauer et. al. calculated that:
    “… there should be about 10^57 different allowed sequences for the entire 92 residue domain. … the calculation does indicate in a qualitative way the tremendous degeneracy in the information that does specifies a particular protein fold. Nevertheless, the estimated number of sequences capable of adopting the lambda repressor fold is still an exceedingly small fraction, about 1 in 10^63, of the total possible 92 residue sequences.”

    Sauer et. al. go on to highlight that Yockey (1978) had obtained a similar result for cytochrome C. Biologists R.T. Sauer, James U Bowie, John F.R. Olson, and Wendall A.
    Lim, 1989, ‘Proceedings of the National Academy of Science’s USA 86,
    2152-2156. and 1990, March 16, Science, 247; and, Olson and R.T.
    Sauer, ‘Proteins: Structure, Function and Genetics’, 7:306 – 316, 1990.

    This hard science is a striking confirmation of Yockey’s theoretical work.

    In summing up, I quote the accurate analysis of creationary scientists Professors Percival Davis (Ph.D., Life Sciences) and Dean Kenyon (Ph.D. Biology):
    “These calculations [Sauer’s] showed that the odds of finding a folded protein are about 1/10^65, a striking confirmation of Yockey’s calculations. It means all proteins that have been examined to date, either experimentally or by comparison of analogous sequences from different species, have been seen to be surrounded by an almost infinitely wide chasm of unfolded, nonfunctional, useless protein sequences. There are in fact no “stepping stones”! In other words, an undirected search will not hit upon any of the end protein sequences sought in the time allowed by the age of the universe. The various functional classes of proteins apparently are so isolated, they could not have risen from one another.”

    Physicists are aware that Evolution is in need of a new natural law. A 1993 Time Magazine issue covered the astonishing explosion of diverse biological life that occured in a very narrow range of the Cambrian period. Nearly every known Phyla of life appeared at that time. Physicists have argued that Evolution will never make sense unless some new physical Law is discovered that will provide an ordering principle that can account for the natural organization of molecules into the known arrangements that are required for life.

    e.g. Physicist Henrik Lipson, an agnostic, examined evolution theory from the point of view of the 2nd law. His conclsuions was published in a science ‘peer reviewed’ journal. The following are excepts of that aricle. his views reflect that of many physicists.

    “I have always been slightly suspicious of the theory of evolution because of it’s ability to account for any property of living beings (the long neck of the giraffe, for example). I have therefore tried to see whether biological discoveries over the last thirty years or so fit in with Darwin’s theory. I do not think they do. … To my mind, the theory does not stand up at all.”

    “Evolution became in a sense a scientific religion; almost all scientists have accepted it and many are prepared to ‘bend’ their observations to fit in with it.”

    “I think, however, that we must go further than this and admit that the only acceptable explanation is creation. I know that this is anathema to physicists, as indeed it is to me, but we must not reject a theory that we do not like if the experimental evidence supports it.”
    (Physics Bulletin, “A Physicist Looks at evolution,” Lipson, 1980, Vol. 31,p. 138.)

    Professor J. Wolfgang Smith wrote:
    “Today, a hundred and twenty years after it was first promulgated, the Darwinian theory of evolution stands under attack as never before. There was a time. not too long ago when it seemed to the world at large that triumphed once and for all, and that the issue was henceforth closed. And yet, within the last two or three decades the debate about evolution has not only revived but is showing signs of heating up. Indeed, the question whether claims are justified is currently being discussed and argued, not just in fundamentalist circles, but also on occasion in research institutes. and in the prestigious halls of academe. The fact is that in recent times there has been increasing descent on the issue within academic and professional ranks, and that a growing number of respectable scientists are defecting from the evolutionist camp. It is interesting, moreover, that most of these `experts’ have abandoned Darwinism, not on the basis of religious faith or biblical persuasions, but strictly on scientific grounds, and in some instances, regretfully, as one could say.”

    “The salient fact is this: If by evolution we mean macroevolution (as we henceforth shall) then it can be said with utmost vigor that the doctrine is totally bereft of scientific sanction. Now, to be sure, given the multitude of extravagant claims about evolution promulgated by evolutionists with an air of scientific infallibility, this may indeed sound strange. And yet the fact remains that there is not a shred of bona fide scientific evidence in support of the thesis that macro evolutionary transformations have ever occurred. …

    “We are told dogmatically that evolution is an established fact; but we are never told who has established it, and by what means. We are told, often enough, that the doctrine is founded upon evidence, and that indeed this evidence ‘is henceforward above all verification, as well as being immune from any subsequent contradiction by experience’; but we are left entirely in the dark on the crucial question wherein, precisely, this evidence consist.” Professor
    J. Wolfgang Smith, Ph.D. Mathematics, MS Physics, ‘Teilhardism and the New Religion’, 1988, Tan Books and Publishers. pp. 2,5,6.

    Postscript:

    “Scientists who utterly reject Evolution may be one of our fastest growing controversial minorities. … Many scientists supporting this position hold impressive credentials in science.” Science Digest: ‘Educators against Darwin’, winter, 1979.

    In a Newsweek article, 1985, “The great body of work by Charles Darwin is under increasing attack and not only by Creationists, but by all sorts of other scientists.” In this same article, one evolutionist stated that “things have gotten so bad in the field of Evolution that I am thinking of moving into a field with more intellectual honesty, like being a used car salesman.”

    Speaking of Darwinian evolution

    “The fact that a theory so vague, so insufficiently verifiable,and so
    far from the criteria of HARD science has become dogma can only be
    explained on sociological grounds.” Biologist Ludwig von Bertalanffy,
    as quoted by Huston Smith, ‘The Post Modern Mind’ (New York,
    Crossroads, 1982) p. 173

    Dr. Guiseppe Sermonti, Professor of Genetics at the University of
    Peruvia, former director of the Genetics Institute of the University of
    Palermo, Senior Editor of the Biology Forum, and co-author and
    paleontologist Dr. R. Fondi (Dopo Darwin, 1980) stated that:
    “The result we believe must be striven for can therefore only be the
    following: Biology will receive no advantage from following the
    teachings of Lamarck, Darwin, and the modern hyper-Darwinists;
    Indeed, it must as quickly as possible leave the narrow straits and
    blind alleys of the evolutionistic myths and resume its certain
    journey along the open and illuminated paths of tradition.”

  86. Arthur said

    I just saw your movie telling about who you are and what you stand via ‘Center of Inquiry’. I did not come here to attack your views or win you over to Christianity or to be contrary. I simply ended up here via an internet search on Catholic schooling experiences.

    I also did not mean to discuss Evolution at all, but I naturally shared my views about me growing up Catholic in comparision with Andy Welfe. I was interested in the diffferent paths we took from our Catholic upbringing.

    Finally, I did not mean to take over Andy’s page, this page. I would have, and should have transferred the Evolution posts to another page, but I do not know how to do that. If the moderator wishes to do so, I’m all for it. I would like my other posts to stay here as they relate to Andy’s post.

  87. awelfle said

    @ Arthur:

    I don’t think any of us have a problem with you posting here. Just keep in mind that if you are going to stray from topics relating to the post, you’re going to encounter types who will follow your tangent to land’s end. Many of us Freethinker’s enjoy a good tangential foray.

    I can’t even begin to tell you if the moderator would give you a guest post, but I suppose it never hurts to ask — his address is FreethoughtFW@gmail.com

    Good luck, otherwise, we’ll see you around this comment list.

    -Andy

  88. awelfle said

    @Arthur

    One other thing I need to mention is that I did a little checking, and your post #83 is almost word-for-word with a post on the forums of L2Guru. If you follow this link, you can see the page that I mean. Someone named Eruadan posted it, and if you search the page for the word “abiogenesis”, it’ll come right up. It’s word-for-word in many spots.

    Sorry, it’s the hidden English teacher in me. When I suspect someone using words that are not their own, I check up on it.

    Arthur, if this is you, that’s cool, it gives some more context. But if it isn’t you, are you aware of how close your wording is, and that you didn’t give this person or any other original sources credit?

  89. Arthur said

    Thanks Andy, the info helps me understand this site better.

    I was surprised as you to learn that the Catholic Church actually believes in transubstantiation. If it were true, we could clone Jesus DNA.

    All the things they attribute to Mary, Jesus earthly mom, gives me pause for concern. It’s completely unbiblical. And I do believe that Mary gave birth to other children (Joseph being the father, the greek clearly indicate they were her sons and not Jesus cousins. They try to get around this by claiming that the gospels were written in Aramaic and the Aramaic was mistranslated into Greek.

    From Scripture it is clear that James, who is constantly addressed as the Brother of Jesus, was the head of the early church, and not Peter.

    And I disagree with their mandatory Celibacy for priests. For 350 hundred years the church permitted clergy to be married to one woman, other Christians could have more. Then St Jerome and St Augustine worked to make make celibacy mandatory, and this after Augustine was a sex addict from 15 to 37 years of age. He then abandons his family and declares himself celibate based upon Platonism and Manicheanism that he learned when he was young. He certainly should not have been the one to establish sexual policy for the church as he switched from one extreme to the opposite extreme.

    I was giving a ride home to a new Christian who was attending the Baptist Church I was attending. He just came out of a life of drugs, sex, etc. I turned on my car radio and The Beatles song ‘Yesterday’ was playing. He demanded I immediately pull over and he jumped out of my car yelling at me for playing demonic music. You just can’t put a person who goes from one extreme to another in charge of anything.

    I know your an atheist and this stuff does not mean much to you anymore, but I am not only a Christian, but I am probably the most informed Christian on the Gospel and the old and new testaments you will meet, and I am convinced I have a very wonderful day to day fellowship with Jesus.

    And I hope we can be friends regardless of our different views.

  90. Arthur said

    awelfle

    LOL Ha Ha Ha

    Yes, I know Eruadan very well and he has my permission to use my work.

    Everything I post originated with me and is from my research. Of course the quotes I use are those of the authors, but I believe that is readily understood. As I indicated in an earlier post that I have debated many leading defenders of Evolution and my postings are sound science.

    And the person that replied “outdated” on that form, is – shall we say, ignorant. I realize that reply was an off the cuff summary dismissal of my article, a sophistical reply known as pooh-poohing.

    I will advise Eruadan that he ought to at least indicate that he is not the original author of the articles I prepared. He usually does from what I have seen.

  91. awelfle said

    @arthur

    I just wanted to make sure; your writing about abiogenesis sounded different than your regular writing. Google being as incredibly useful as it is, I thought I’d investigate. Carry on.

    I feel like you’re pretty intelligent — you talk about complex scientific hypotheses and theories that I’ll admit I don’t understand — I usually defer to Butter or some other Freethought regulars. And I can see that you were burned by the Catholic church as well. But what I don’t understand is why you went back to Christianity. How could you be driven from the church but right back into the arms of believerhood? I just feel like you must have to have some amount of self-loathing to do that. I don’t like to psycho-analyze those I don’t know, but this is the only conclusion I can come up with — it’s like a slave being freed only to flee to his master’s neighbor’s house.

    Thanks for your story — I am glad this post accomplished what it was trying to accomplish; to get people to speak out for themselves.

    Good luck to you in your future endeavors, an

  92. Arthur said

    Well, Awelfle, I was not exactly burnt by the Catholic Church, because I did not go to Catholic School and I learned my Christianity from the Bible. I actually debate them in an effort to bring them closer to the truth, but it is hard as they are taught only to believe what the leadership of the church says to believe. But I do believe I had some impact on a few.

    I understand to some degree what you went through based upon what you wrote. As for me, though I sin and am imperfect, I do really walk with Jesus, and He with me, and I have deep insights to the Bible, I understand what God is doing, and I help people with good words. I help free them from slavery and from failures of all sorts, and give them hope, though I should say – God does this through me.

    I will share with you my favorite song. To me, it is the greatest song ever written and sang. It is called ‘La Vie En Rose’. You can hear it on You Tube

    The lyrics below are the original words. It is very true for me, or I should say, for my soulmate Jesus and me. I’m sure what I just wrote is very strange and alien to those who read, yet it is true and here are the lyrics english translation absent the intro verse:

    When he takes me in his arms,
    he speaks to me so low,
    I see my life ‘en rose’

    He tells me words of love,
    Everyday these words,
    And this does something to me

    He has entered my heart,
    With a happiness,
    Of which I know the cause

    It’s him for me and me for him in my life,
    He tells me this every day of my life

    And these things become apparent,

    Then I sense in me,
    My beating heart

    I thought that love was just a word
    They sang about in songs I heard
    It took your death to reveal
    That I was wrong and love is real

  93. Dave said

    Oh, allah, please, will you stop feeding the troll:

    “Finally, I did not mean to take over Andy’s page, this page. I would have, and should have transferred the Evolution posts to another page, but I do not know how to do that.”

    While he apparently has disproved evolution and everything else, and also had internet folk stealing HIS thoughts, and openly debated with and shown the door to many college professors, he is yet still TOO STUPID TO FIGURE OUT BLOGGER.COM.

    Right, you know, that site where you can setup your own website in about 30 seconds to post your own long, insipid ramblings for the whole internet to read.

    “If the moderator wishes to do so, I’m all for it. I would like my other posts to stay here as they relate to Andy’s post.”

    FAIL. Your posts relate to other posts as much as my dick relates to Ron Jeremy’s pony. Don’t know what that means? WELCOME TO READING YOUR CRAP.

    Hey! Here it is: https://www.blogger.com/start

    And in case it’s beyond your super-scientificHristian, crazy brilliant mind to create a blog–even though illiterate 9/11 truthers take up like 25% of said blogosphere, here’s some HELP:

    http://help.blogger.com/

    Now go post your crazy there. Then teh world will understand your awesomeness, despite the conspiracy, and you’ll be crowned and all that, and little boys will pour milk down your pants.

    Please, mods, you do own a blog and I think you’ve found your first true troll, so do as PZ and create a dungeon, and ignore or ban this self-righteous, dishonest, pity-humping idiot.

    Please.

  94. Arthur said

    Okay, I’ll make this my last expose of the scientific evidence that refutes evolution. But it is an important one. It addresses what the Fossil Record says about evolution.

    According to the theory of evolution, every species has emerged from a predecessor. One species that existed previously turned into something else over time, and all species have come into being in this way.

    According to the Darwins theory on how evolution occurs, this transformation proceeds gradually over millions of years. Very long lineages of descent with very gradual modification, producing innumerable generations of intermediate species, each diverting lineage eventually undergoing the transformations of accumulating new organs and body plans that ancestors did not have, but very gradually over long periods of time.

    If this were true, there had to be billions of such creatures that made up these evolutionary trends. More importantly, the remains of these creatures should be present in the fossil record, documenting the millions of the predicted gradual trends of morphological evolutionary transformations, which are also known as ‘phylogenies’. This is the one solid real science prediction of evolution, that we would be able to see it in the fossil record if such broad-scale evolution is true.

    The fossil record embarrassed Charles Darwin. It was suppose to provide and establish these innumerable phylogenies, but few could be found in his day, and these few were questionable. A contemporary of Darwin, a paleontologist, questioned Darwin’s Theory by pointing that if Darwin’s Theory be true, why do each successive layer of fossil beds merely have the same unchanged fossils of each type of animal or plant that are found at the different layers.

    Darwin was well aware of this, and in his book, Charles Darwin attempts to explain this ‘unpleasant’ fact away by appealing to the imperfection of the fossil record in his day. Darwin gambled the validity of his theory on his prediction that future generations of paleontologists will discover the phylogenies. For the next 100 and so years after Darwin, Paleontologists (and others) traveled the world hoping to make a name for themselves by finding these phylogenies that Darwin’s Theory predicts, must exist.

    They were never found in the geological record. They do not exist. Not even one.

    Testimonies to this fact include:

    Botanist and evolutionist Dr. Heribert Nilsson (From a 1953 Science Journal, as quoted in Arthur C Constance book: `The Earth Before Man’, part 2, Doorway Publications, Ontario Canada, 1984):

    “My attempts to demonstrate evolution by an experiment carried on for more than 40 years have completely failed. At least, I should hardly be accused of having started from a preconceived anti-Evolutionary standpoint. … It may be firmly maintained that it is not even possible to make even a caricature of an Evolution out of paleo-biological facts. The fossil material is now so complete that it has been possible to construct new classes, and the lack of transitional series cannot be explained as being due to the scarcity of material. The deficiencies are real, they never will be filled.”

    Confirming this view in 1960, Evolutionary paleontologist Neville George stated:
    “There is no reason to apologize any longer for the poverty of the Fossil record. In some ways it has become almost unmanageably rich.”

    Evolutionary paleontologist David Kitts, Ph.D. Zoology, Head Curator of the Department of Geology of the Stoval Museum, `Paleontology and Evolutionary Theory’, Evolution, Vol. 28, Sept. 1974, p 467. Writes: “Despite the bright promise that paleontology provides as a means of `seeing’ Evolution, It has presented some nasty difficulties for evolutionists, the most notorious of which is the presence of `gaps’ in the fossil record. Evolution requires intermediate forms between species and paleontology does not provide them.”

    Evolutionists Dr. Edmund J. Ambrose, Emeritus Professor of Cell Biology at the University of London, writes:
    “At the present stage of geological research, we have to admit that there is nothing in the geological record that runs contrary to the view of conservative creationists, that God created each species separately, presumably from the dust of the earth.”

    Right after the pounding of Neo-Darwinian Theory of Evolution that was presented by mathematicians at the 1966 Wistar Symposium that was held in Philadelphia and was titled, ‘Mathematical Challenges to the Neo-Darwinian Theory of Evolution’. A young Stephen Gould and Niles Eldredge published:

    “Under the influence of phyletic gradualism, the rarity of transitional series remains our persistent bugbear. … it has stood as the bulwark of anti-evolutionist arguments: “For evolution to be true, there had to be thousands, millions of transitional forms making an unbroken chain.” (Anon., 1967- from a Jehovah’s Witnesses pamphlet).

    Thus, not only in Darwin’s day, but throughout the Twentieth century the creationists were rightly rejecting Darwin’s theory on this basis, as Gould and Eldredge pointed out.

    By the 1970’s there came a big rumble against the two Darwinian Theories of evolution emanating from the Field of Paleontology, led by the Evolutionary Paleontologists: Stephen Gould, Niles Eldredge, Steven Stanley, and Colin Patterson. Gould and Eldredge believed they were saving The General Theory of Evolution, by casting out Darwin’s Theory – which they deemed to be ‘DEAD’, and the Neo-Darwinian Theory called ‘The Modern Synthesis’. Gould and Eldredge believed that their new theory for the mechanism of evolution (Punctuated Equilibrium = P.E.) would replace the false Darwinian Paradigm and thereby preserve the Academic credibility of the General Theory of Evolution (i.e. Common Ancestry). P.E. basically states that evolution occurs in small populations and in too short a time period, and therefore is not recorded in the fossil record. This did not at all sit well with the leading evolutionary biologists (e.g. Dobzhansky, Mayr, Maynard Smith, Richard Dawkins etc.)

    Perhaps unwittingly, in one of his earlier books, Ernst Mayr laid the groundwork for G&E’s Theory of Punctuated Equilibria. Mayr went against the Modern Synthesis in proposing that rapid speciation occurred in geographical isolated areas and that this may account for the abrupt appearance of species and the lack of evidence for evolutionary transitions in the fossil record. However, according to Paleontologist Steven Stanley: “little attention was paid to the punctuational elements of his work until the 1970’s. This paradox was partly the result of the diffuse, but ever present, counter pressure supplied by the field of genetics, in which Mayr was not a specialist. This gradualistic march of the geneticist had gathered too much momentum to be diverted by peripheral activities.”
    (Steven Stanley, “The New Evolutionary Timetable”, 1981, p.78).

    Now, back to Darwin’s prediction:

    Gould (Natural History, May 1977) writes of Darwin’s gradualism:
    “The evolutionary trees that adorn our textbooks have data only at the tips and nodes of their branches: the rest is inference, however reasonable, not the evidence of fossils. Yet Darwin was so wedded to gradualism that he wagered his entire theory on a denial of this literal record: Darwin wrote “The geological record is extremely imperfect and this fact will to a large extent explain why we do not find interminable varieties, connecting together all the extinct and existing forms of life by the finest graduated steps. He who rejects these views on the nature of the geologic records, will rightly reject my whole theory.”

    “We have all heard the traditional response so often that it has become imprinted as a catechism that brooks no analysis: the fossil record is extremely imperfect. … This traditional approach to morphological breaks merely underscores what Feyerabend meant … in comparing theories to party lines, for it renders the picture of phyletic gradualism virtually unfalsifiable.” (G&E, 1972).

    Gould & Eldredge go on to explain the failure of the Modern Synthesis:
    “To Darwin… speciation entailed the same expectation as phyletic evolution: a long and insensibly graded chain of intermediate forms. Our present texts have not abandoned this view, although modern biology has.” (G&E, 1972).

    By 1981 The Biologists and powers that be in Academia were very upset with the ‘Punctuationists’ and forced them to tone down their theory, particularly because it is a theory not based on observing evolution in action, but rather, it was based on the inability to see evolution in action in the geological fossil record. They were forced to say their theory of PE was complementary to the Modern Synthesis (even though at one point Gould and Eldredge already called the Modern Synthesis ‘dead’). They were also coerced into putting out attacks on creationary scientists, who used the punctuationists admissions as confirmation of what they had been saying all along.

    Return of: THE MYTH OF THE INCOMPLETE FOSSIL RECORD! 1991.

    One evolutionist that recently argued forcibly for the incompleteness of the fossil record is geologist Tjeered H. van Andel (Nature, 294; 1991,397-398; Consider the Incompleteness of the Fossil Record). Van Andel points out that rates at which sediment is deposited in the Gulf of Mexico is well known. He applies this rate to the Wyoming marine strata that was once submerged under water similar to the Gulf of Mexico. He concludes that the Wyoming strata could have been deposited in 100,000 years using uniformitarian assumptions and the known rate of deposition from the Gulf of Mexico. He then points out that paleontologists have that strata pegged at occurring over 6 million years. Tjeered H. van Andel, like the good evolutionists he is, ignores the possibility that the strata in question most likely had been deposited over a period that could not more than 100,000 years. Instead, he keeps the evolutionary timetable of the paleontologists and concludes that 5.9 million years of deposition is missing from the geological record and that “key elements of the evolutionary record may be forever out of reach.” So Van Andel defends evolution by covering the fact that the fossil fails to document any evolution by simply proclaiming that 5.9 million years of sentiment must be missing.

    Next, Van Andel tackles the question: Shouldn’t the lack or erosion forces present on continental land masses, be absent at the sea bottom and thus result in a more complete record at the sea bottom sediments? But this was not the case, he disovered that large portions of sea bottom sediments predicted by evolution were also missing. Then using the same logic as above, he points to the South Atlantic and concludes that of the 125 million years of sediment deposition, half of it is missing.

    Mr. Van Andel, is it not possible, even most probable, that the missing sediments are missing because the evolutionary assumptions of some evolutionary biologists and geologists are just plain wrong as the real evidence from the geological evidence is actually saying, and that the alleged missing sediments and the associated presumed evolutionary time never existed in the first place. Of course evolutionists cannot accept this possibility, they know evolution is a fact and, therefore the sacred evolutionary timetable must be upheld and the sediments must have existed but are now missing. This is not science, but myth making in order to preserve ‘evolution the fact’.

    This was similar to Paleontologist J. Wyatt Durham (“The Incompleteness of our Knowledge of the Fossil Record”; Journal of Paleontology, 41: 599-565, 1967) Wherein he points out that according to evolutionary theory, 4.1 million fossilizable marine species have existed since the Cambrian and only 93,000 have been discovered. Like Van Andel, Durham argument for the incompleteness relies solely on the assumption that evolution is a fact and this many species are needed to fill the evolutionary gaps. His evolutionist assumptions led him to conclude that only one out of every 100 fossil species of Cambrian invertebrates with hard parts are being found. The situation has worsened since he wrote this, fossils of every Phylum have their origin within a 10 million year span of the Cambrian. A redicoulosly short geological time for them to come into existence by materialistic Darwinian processes.

    Problems With The Evolutionary Time Table:

    Getting back to the Wyoming Strata. Kvale, Mickelson et. al. have discovered mega track dinosaur sites (Palois, 16:233-254, 2001). Previously, Dinosaur tracks were rare in Wyoming and it was considered to be mostly marine prior to this find. In fact, the tracks were found in Carbonate units that were believed to be totally marine. This caused the evolutionists to conveniently ‘reinterpret’ the paleoenvironment of the sedimentary rock deposits. Evolutionists now see “… previously unrecognized intertidal to supratidal carbonate units once thought to be totally marine in origin.” Also, since Van Andel 1987 paper, a shoreline was invented to account for the presence of dinosaurs. [This find of buried land Dinosaurs in what scientists previously observed to be marine deposits may well be a strong evidence for Noah’s flood, but evolutionists, the media, and academia will never let that fly.]

    Now it gets much worse for the evolutionists, Dinosaur tracks appear in different strata, and using the established paleontologists time scale, the lower strata tracks and the upper level tracks are separated by over 3 million years. Furthermore the tracks are all similar (tridactyl, small to medium size of bipedal dinosaurs), no other tracks of other types of dinosaurs were found. All the upper layer tracks are headed in a southerly direction and fossilized egg sites and baby dinos have been found just to the north. Absent in the mega tracks are any juvenile or baby forms of tracks. The tracks are made in flood sediments. As a whole, the 3 million years evolutionists gave for these sediment layers on the paleontological time chart clearly seems to have been laid in days by bipedal, tridactyl dinosaurs fleeing a catastrophic flood. The lower strata tracks laid at the beginning of a great flood that quickly left many strata of sediments, followed by the water receding and the adult dinosaurs fleeing south abandoning their young and eggs as the next wave of flooding rapidly covered and preserved the second set of tracks at the allegedly presumed 3 million year younger higher strata. This scenario if further evidenced by a wet substrate, swim tracks in the lower strata, and ripple marks formed at the same time as the tracks were formed. These events had to occur rapidly in order to cover up and preserve the large quantities of tracks. These strata may have been formed in a day, but certainly not the 3 million years the evolutionists assign to it.

    The answer to the question, Is the fossil record vastly incomplete? is NO!!!
    The real problem is that the fossil record is not at all as Darwin and Neo Darwinists predict it ought to be. It looks like Creation, not Evolution. The old argument by evolutionists for dismissing the fossil evidence against Evolution is the claim; the fossil record is very incomplete.

    The new argument by evolutionists for dismissing the fossil evidence against evolution is the claim by Gould/Eldredge that Evolution occurs in spurts and happens to occur too rapidly to be preserved by the fossil record (i.e. Punctuated Equilibria. Gould, Eldredge, Stanley, Patterson and many other paleontologists and geologists recognized that the fossil record looks very unlike Evolution and that this is not at all due to a poor incomplete fossil record, that the true fossil record is a tale of the abrupt appearance of the species followed by stasis for their duration in the fossil record. Thus they invented the Theory of Punctuated Equilibria to save Evolution as a materialistic explanation of life on Earh. They were forced to tone down their claim when it became apparent that a lack of evidence is not evidence for a theory. In any case P.E. put the paleontologists and geologists at odds with the biologists who had been suppressing the true fossil record with their claims that the record was very imperfect and incomplete.

    The correct observation, derived from an extensive and exhaustive review of the fossil record, is that there are no known transitional series clearly linking any of the natural groups of animals or plants above the species level.

    Today leading evolutionary scientists, though not talked about publicly, that the gaps in the fossil record are huge, and not a question of filling in a few minor speciation events know it. Further, the trend has been that the more fossils found, the more fossils species discovered, the clearer the gaps and the inconsistencies become. This is contrary to the prevailing rumor that new fossil finds are closing the gaps in the fossil record. Rather, fossil finds are clarifying the gaps in the fossil record.

    For example, with a few fossils, evolutionists were able to fill the gaps with their imagination. Niles Eldredge once wrote of what appeared to be a significant transition in lineage. The fossil record had recorded a certain trilobite species as lasting for millions of years and then becoming extinct, only to be replaced in higher strata by a similar, but significantly different, trilobite species of the same family. Evolution in action? Well not quite. As more fossils were found, these two species turned out to be contemporaries at their point of origin in the geological strata.

    Though it is true that rocks containing fossils do erode and some fossils end up in private collections, these are lame excuses for explaining away why the fossil record has not provided any of the millions of transitional series that must have existed if large scale Evolution truly occurred.

    The truth of the matter is that the Fossil record is abundantly rich. Over a quarter billion fossils have been catalogued of over 300,000 species. The gaps can no longer be rationalized away with appeals to the imperfection of the fossil record.

    “All paleontologists know that the fossil record contains precious little in the way of intermediate forms; Transitions between major groups are characteristically abrupt.” Stephen J. Gould, `Return of the Hopeful Monster’ Natural History, Vol. 86, 1977, p. 22)

    “The extreme rarity of transitional forms in the fossil record persist as the trade secret of paleontology. The evolutionary trees that adorn our textbooks have data only at the tips and nodes on their branches, the rest is inference, however reasonable, not the evidence of fossils.” Stephen J. Gould, `Evolutions Erratic Pace’ Natural History, 1979.
    Paleontologists Steven Stanley (1979) points out:
    “In part, the role of paleontology in evolutionary research has been defined narrowly because of a false belief, tracing back to Darwin and his early followers, that the fossil record is woefully incomplete. Actually, the record is of sufficiently high quality to allow us to undertake certain kinds of meaningful analysis at the level of the species.”

    In the same book (‘Macro-evolution: Pattern and Process’, p.38), Stanley points out:
    “The known fossil record fails to document a single example of phyletic evolution accomplishing a major morphologic transition.”

    Dr. Steven Stanley repeats this fact in his 1981 book “The New Evolutionary Time Table:

    “Since the time of Darwin, paleontologists have found themselves confronted with evidence that conflicts with gradualism, yet the message of the fossil record has been ignored. This strange circumstance constitutes a remarkable chapter in the history of science, and one that gives students of the fossil record cause for concern,.”

    Dr. David Raup, curator of geology at the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago, stated in a lecture at his Museum in 1979:
    “Darwin’s’ theory of natural selection has always been closely linked to evidence from fossils, and probably most people assume that the fossils provide a very important part of the general argument that is made in favor of Darwinian interpretations of the history of life. Unfortunately this is not strictly true. … The evidence we find in the geologic record is not nearly as compatible with Darwinian natural selection as we would like it to be. Darwin was completely aware of this. He was embarrassed by the fossil record, because it didn’t look the way he predicted it would, and, as a result, he devoted a long section of the ‘Origin of the Species’ to an attempt to explain and rationalize the differences. … Darwin’s general solution to the incompatibility of fossil evidence and his theory was to say the fossil record was a very incomplete one. … Well, we are now about 120 years after Darwin, and the knowledge of the fossil record has been greatly expanded. We now have a quarter million fossil species, but the situation has not changed much. The record of evolution is surprisingly jerky, and, ironically, we have fewer examples of evolutionary transition than we had in Darwin’s time. By this I mean that some of the classic cases of Darwinian change in the fossil record, such as the evolution of the horse, in North America, have had to be discarded or modified as a result of more detailed information – that what appeared to be a nice simple progression when relatively few data were available now appears to be much more complex and much less gradualistic. So Darwin’s problem has not been alleviated. …”

    Dr. Kenneth Hsu, geologist at the Geological Institute of Zurich, (‘Darwin’s Three Mistakes’ Geology, Vol. 14 1986) Shows that the lack of transitional forms in the fossil record cannot be blamed on the inadequacy of the Fossil record:

    “We know that Lyell and Darwin were wrong on their insistence on the imperfection of the geologic record. … The Cretaceous/Tertiary boundary falls within magnetostratigraphic Chron C29R, which was less than .5 m.y. in duration (Kent, 1977). The boundary is recorded by precision stratigraphy, which has a resolution power to recognize events in thousands, if not hundreds, of years duration.”

    “Paleontology is now looking at what it actually finds in the fossil record. Not what it is told by that it supposed to find. As is now well known, most fossil species appear instantaneously in the fossil record, persist for millions of years virtually unchanged, only to disappear abruptly – The Punctuated equilibrium Pattern of Eldredge and Gould.” Tom Kemp, Curator of the University Museum at Oxford University, `A Fresh Look at the Fossil Record’, New Scientist, Vol 108, No: 1485, Dec. 5, 1985, p. 66)

    And what they were definitely not finding were the evolutionay transistion, the phylogenies predicted by the Theory of Evolution.

    As is often the case in evolution theory, hopeful confirmations along new lines of inquiry often end up to be bitter disappointments for the evolutionists. Evolutionist N. Macbeth and E. Saif give yet another example.
    ” A. The Commitment in Theory: Darwinian theory asserts the physical descent with modification has been universal, which means that every modern species is the latest link in a phylogeny. There must therefore have been hundreds of thousands of phylogenies, and it was Darwin’s’ expectation that these would be found. His followers, sharing his expectation, felt a duty to seek and find the phylogenies. …

    B. Another Miserable Failure: The expectations were in vain. In the 125 years since the Origin was published, nothing has been accomplished. No phylogenies have been established and the pursuit of them has fallen into dispute.”
    Evolutionists E. Saiff and Norman Macbeth. Evolution, 1985.

    I will finish by pointing that the Fossil records fails to support the Theory of Common Ancestry because it is a record abrupt appearance the species followed stasis (no chnage) and with all major transformations of Bauplane undocumented.

    Yet even more peculiar, the whole fossil record is backwards from what evolution predicts. Your suppose to start with a single species. 1st life, which evolves into two species, which evolves into genus which evolves into a family. And family members spread out and evolve separately into new species, genuses, families – until new orders become distinguished, and the proces continues with many major transistions occurring over very long periods of time, causing all the different Phyla to evolve into existence.

    But the fossil record truly starts with the Burgess explosion of life, immedaitely followed the totally unconnected Cambrian Explosion of life, where all Phyla known today are found in a very short geologic span of less than 10 million years. All major body plans appear in a very short geologic time. Impossible for it to have evolved in that time period. The only life onserved before these explosions of life are four bacteria that go back billion years, plus one unrelated type whose name I can’t remember at this time, totally different from the bacteria. These 5 are alive and well today, and completely unchanged.

    Conclusion, the fossil record does not look at all like Evolution, but it does resemble special creation: i.e. sudden appearance followed by stasis (no change) for each type of creature’s duration in the fossil record.

  95. Wow, nice it looks like you have done some homework. However, the arguement is fundamentally flawed.

    Perhaps I didn’t grasp or comphend your long winded essay of spotty eveolutionary education history.

    But from what I gather you are arguing that evolution does not exist becuase its missing a fossil rocord for a short period of time? To me that is absurd. In fact, in recent years we have found many trasitional fossils. I think that your 1950’s literature is a bit outdated.

    Also, maybe …. those 18 years of Jesus’s life that are unaccounted for in the bible should be an indication to you that since there is missing information that you should totally discredit the entire thing. Or wait… does that not apply to your religion? Wouldn’t you think that such a controversial and astounding character would have some kind of documentation about these missing years? Oh wait… there is, it’s called the Gospel of Thomas. Thomas…a Saint none the less would never lie? Why would he lie about his savior? The man he loved and adored…

    Speaking of reading outdated literature… stopping reading a 2000 year old tome of mother goose stories…

  96. Arthur said

    Oh Great, ‘666’ to the rescue.

    Greetings Infektid666.

    I see that you are well versed in the modern defense tactics used by ‘scholars’ for defending of evolutionary theory.

    You start off by declaring that my “… argument is fundamentally flawed.” That is a declaration. Declarations are okay if you follow through with evidence that your claim is correct. Looking over what you actually wrote, you totally failed to support your hypothesis that my “… argument is fundamentally flawed.”

    This reduces your initial attack on me to a well known sophistry called ‘pooh-poohing’.

    To Pooh-Pooh an argument or claim is to brush it aside as being unworthy of any real response, to dismiss with the wave a cavalier wave of the hand as unworthy of any serious attention. Pooh-poohing an argument is not refuting an argument, but ignoring the argument. It is a refusal to enter into a serious discussion or to show that an argument is not acceptable for definite reasons. The hope is that everyone who sees your remark will follow your lead and also summarily dismiss my arguements without any further thought.

    To resort to the sopistical tactic of Pooh-poohing is to attempt what every consumer dreams about, to get something for nothing.

    Next you ask: “But from what I gather you are arguing that evolution does not exist becuase its missing a fossil rocord for a short period of time?”

    What are you talking about? I just demonstrated that to date, not one evolutionary phylogeny has ever been established that documents a major morpological transition from extinct ancestor to a clearly known descendant that is morphologically different. Is not that what Darwinian evolution is suppose to be all about, connecting ancestors to their descendants into one phylogenetic tree.

    Then you label me as ‘long winded’. Insults and ridicule has been the evolutionists primary weapon for attacking opponents and for keeping their ranks and files in the evolutionary camp lest they will suffer the same. They call this browbeating. A tool efficiently used on unwary students and the general public also. You preachers of materialistic Evolution even turn on your own when your own criticize Evolutionary Theory, such as famed scientists Fred Hoyle and Chandra Wickramashinge, on whether or not Darwinism has replaced Paley’s design argument. After presenting in their book much scientific evidence, they concluded that it does take Intelligent Design to produce the life we observe on earth. They concluded:

    “The speculations of ‘The Origin of Species’ turned out to be wrong, as we have seen in this chapter. It is ironic that the scientific facts throw Darwin out, but leave William Paley … still in the tournament with a chance to be the ultimate winner.” (Evolution From Space,1982, P. 96).

    The dogmatic evolutionists attacked these two excellent scientists with a vengence. Evolution is not all about science, it is about conflicting worldviews.

    And what is this?: “those 18 years of Jesus’s life that are unaccounted for in the bible should be an indication to you that since there is missing information that you should totally discredit the entire thing. Or wait… does that not apply to your religion?”

    I do not know anything about those 18 years, but my faith in Jesus is not based on those 18 years, it is based on what I do know about Jesus. From the OT and the NT. But that is by faith, enlighten faith, but I do not criticize you for not sharing my faith. You have a right to hold to your own beliefs. And I will respect you as a person and will even be your friend if you allow me.

    But scientific theories requires positive confirmations. The number one source for seeing evolution in action (if evolution be true) is the Fossil record, and the fossil record does not provide any evidence for evolution what-so-ever. And by ‘evolution’ we mean the General Theory of Evolution which proposes that all species share a common ancestry.

    In Darwin’s day, evolutionists came up with several examples of evolutionary transitions, their best one being the Horse series. But these alledged transitional series went down the tubes as more science was done.

    Evolutionist Gordon Rattray Taylor, in his book “The Great Evolution
    Mystery” sarcastically quips ‘sure the fossil record is imperfect, but
    you’d think they’d find at least 1 or 2 phylogenies.’

    To confirm this point, I quote geologist Dr. David Raup, from his

    “Darwin’s theory of natural selection has always been closely linked to evidence from fossils, and probably most people assume that the fossils provide a very important part of the general argument that is made in favor of Darwinian interpretations of the history of life. Unfortunately this is not strictly true. …

    “The evidence we find in the geologic record is not nearly as compatible with Darwinian natural selection as we would like it ot be. Darwin was completely aware of this. He was embarrassed by the fossil record, because it didn’t look the way he predicted it would, and, as a result, he devoted a long section of the ‘Origin of the Species’ to an attempt to explain and rationalize the differences. … Darwin’s general solution to the incompatibility of fossil evidence and his
    theory was to say the fossil record was a very incomplete one. …

    “Well, we are now about 120 years after Darwin, and the knowledge of the fossil record has been greatly expanded. We now have a quarter million fossil species, but the situation has’t changed much. The record of evolution is surprisingly jerky, and, ironically, we have fewer examples of evolutionary transition than we had in Darwin’s time. By this I mean that some of the classic cases of Darwinian change in the fossil record, such as the evolution of the horse, in North America, have had to be discarded or modified as a result of more detailed information – that what appeared to be a nice simple progression when relatively few data were available now appears to be much more complex and much less gradualistic. So Darwin’s problem has not been alleviated….”

    Taken in context, Dr. Raup is clearly saying that the fossil record was an embarrassment to Charles Darwin because it was not compatible with his theory of natural selection because of its failure to record evolutionary transition. Darwin blamed this on the incompleteness of the fossil record. Then Dr. Raup points out that after 120 years of digging up the Fossil record, it has become very rich, over 250,000 fossil species have been found. The result of this search, there are FEWER EXAMPLES OF EVOLUTIONARY TRANSITION TODAY THAN IN DARWIN’S TIME. He then gives the horse series as such an example.

    If the General Theory of Evolution were true, paleontologists should have established thousand upon thousand of evolutionary transitional series by now. They have not even uncovered one such transtion in the fossil record. What they have found is that all clearly morphologically different species appear in the fossil record abruptly, they remain morphologically unchanged for their duration in the fossil record, then either suddenly beame extinct, or are alive today.

    And your ‘mother goose’ remark, very funny. But Boyle’s laws of pressure, and Newton’s laws of motion were discovered long before any of my quotes, but they are still valid today. If you have disagreement with any of my quotes, you ought to address then directly as to specifically why you consider them to be invalid rather than just pooh-poohing them.

    Anyway, thanks for replying. My best wishes for your well being.

    Sincerely,

    Art

  97. awelfle said

    @ Dave’s comment #93:

    Thanks for following this thread all the way through, but please play nice. This is not a personal blog, but rather one belonging to a open community. While we don’t need to keep things professional, we do want to keep it civil.

    Refute Arthur’s information all you want, and counter his arguments, but please, no insulting of his intelligence.

    Thanks!

    -Andy

  98. Arthur said

    On a Catholic forum, I was asked the following question by a Catholic:

    Most creationists I know are Protestant (or at least non-Catholic Christians). Do you find the same to be true for you?

    The essence of his question was: ‘Why do people believe in Creation at all? Catholics are more enlightened since a far greater percentage of Catholics believe in evolution. Even if your an atheist, I believe you will find this to be interesting.

    My reply:

    40 years ago I attended Catholic catechism once a week, and the teaching on origins was clearly man did not share a common ancestry, that God actually did create each type of animal and plant according to their kind. Yet my public school education and science presented on television programs that taught evolution as fact. Why should I doubt Walter Cronkite and Animal Kingdom? I had a genuine love for science and math, so I believed in evolution too, because it was always potrayed to me as good science.

    I currently attend an evangelical church and several members are, or have been, teachers in public schools, and they believe in evolution. The same is true at a Christian High School that my children attended. The science teacher firmly believes in evolution and teaches it as a fact. that is how she learned it on her way to get her teaching degree. When my oldest son was in 11th grade, we went to several non-Catholic Christian colleges, all but one taught evolution as a fact. The one college that did not teach evolution as a fact was having trouble obtaining accreditation. I also know a Professor of Biology who is a Creationist and taught at a Christian College where the science department consisted of 3 Creationary scientists and the theology department were all evolutionary Theologians. Go figure!

    So I really can’t fathom a guess as to whether or not there are more non-Catholics Christians, or more Catholic Christians who believe in Evolution. Those who do believe in Creation presumably are either the under educated who did not go to college, and thus not intiated into the indoctrination of unquestioning accepting evolution as fact, or you really have to be one of those who really know the science and be capable reviewing the evidence for evolution, or lack thereof.

    Catholic Robert Faid, A Nuclear Physicists, followed the same path I did. As an evolutionist and a Catholic, he wanted to include in a book he was writing how evolution and the Catholic Faith are not contradictry. He went to some very good scientists and asked them for the scientific evidence that affirms Evolution the fact. One after the other told him that they knew not of any scientifically sound evidence that confirmed the theory of Evolution to be true. Dr. Faid was shocked, and he went from being an evolutionist to a Creationist, and in his book “A Scientific Approach to Christianity” He presented argument that the scientific evidence refutes evolution.

    As children, we took the Bible on face value and and God created all creatures, each according to their seed, and that there was a world wide flood that cover all land, afterward which God confused a one language people into many separate languages sent them throughout the world.

    However, ever since FDR, John Dewey’s pragmatism, the Humanists Manifesto of 1933: the secular humanists seized control of Public Education, Kicked at all Christian influences out of ppublic education such as the popular McGuffy Reader, and made all religious beliefs equal and Evolutionism superior, and many impressionable young minds grew up learning evolution is a fact, God had nothing to do with origins, The Bible is myth, and even if there is a god that does exist, he is irrelevant to the workings of the cosmos and our very existence were accidents of nature. I have seen many young people go from Christianity to total unbelief in a deity, especially science majors.

    In his 1951 controversial book, God and Man at Yale , William F. Buckley, Jr. commented that:

    “The teachings of John Dewey and his predecessors have borne fruit. And there is surely not a department at Yale that is uncontaminated with the absolute that there are no absolutes, on intrinsic rights, no ultimate truths. The acceptance of these notions, which emerge in courses in history and economics, in sociology and political science, in psychology and literature, make impossible an intelligible conception of an omnipotent, purposeful, and benign Supreme Being, who has laid down immutable laws, endowed his creatures with inalienable rights, and posited unchangeable rules of human conduct.”

    How much more so today! A 1998 Poll revealed that 72.2% of scientists who are members of the powerful National Academy of Science (NAS) are Atheists, 20.8% are agnostics, and 7% believe in the existence in some version of a God.

    The process of browbeating young minds into adults who unquestioningly accept Darwinain evolution as a fact is somewhat revealed by evolutionist Norman Macbeth, who believes evolution as a fact based upon his atheistic worldview, but he, in his honesty, after examining the scientific facts, has concluded that the Theory of Evolution is not at all scientifically established:

    “Darwinism, a Time for Funerals – An interview with Norman Macbeth,”
    Towards, Fair Oaks, Ca., V.2 Spring 1982, pp 18-31

    Speaking of the problems with Darwinian Natural Selection During the interview:

    “But a much deeper and more penetrating analysis of the problem was put together by Ronald H. Brady of Ramapo College in a quarterly ‘Systematic Zoology’ for December 1979. … He seemed to me to utterly destroy the entire idea of natural selection as presently conceived.”

    One of the ideas that revised Darwinism was supposed to have contributed to biology was the contention that individuals do not evolve, populations evolve: populations would become isolated and drift, gradually forming new species. Norman Macbeth had some comments about the contribution of so-called population genetics to science.

    “Lewinton says some shocking things too, but some of these men are regarded as “enfants terrible” who like to startle people. The profession as a whole settles right back into its normal routine and ignores them.

    I wrote a paper recently on the subject of population genetics with a neighbor who is a professor of zoology. We discovered that three leading recent treatises on population genetics, one by Lewontin, one by Spiess and another by Jonathan Roughgarden at Stanford, all stated that population genetics had contributed nothing to evolution theory. Therefore, our paper said we didn’t see any reason why courses in evolution should waste any time on population genetics.

    One of our colleagues at a nearby college read it over and said, “I really agree with you; this is all true, but you can’t publish that. Publish that and the creationists will get a hold of it and throw it in our faces.” There still is a conscious effort to cover up problems with evolution. This professor didn’t quite realize what she was saying, and if we pointed out that this was just sweeping it under the rug, she might have changed her mind. But they instinctively take the position and try to protect the traditional and sacred theories that were taught to them in school and that they’ve been teaching to their own students. You have to wonder where they would be if they did say this had all been a lot of rubbish.

    “So here we have another example, a living example of the basic theme in my book – that they are not revealing all the dirt under the rug in their approach to the public. There is a feeling that they ought to keep back the worst so that their public reputation would not suffer and the creationists wouldn’t get any any ammunition.”

    “A few minutes ago I mentioned Ron Brady’s article on natural selection in ‘Systematic Zoology’. I will not name the man or the college in this case but it was an Ivy League college and a respectable man. … So they told [a student] to go on down to the library … and read it right there. He came back in an half an hour and said ” … the article isn’t there, it was scissored out.” Next day the assistant Professor went into the office of the head of the department on some other business and on the Head’s table he saw the missing pages…. The head of the department said, “Well, of course I don’t believe in censorship in any form, but I just couldn’t bear the idea of my students reading that article.”

    We had in that article that Gene Fairley called both Gregory Bateson and Marshall Sahlins and asked them what they thought of his creation myth theory – that Darwinism was a creation myth and you don’t question creation myths. These two anthropologists answered “That’s not a bad idea.” Bateson said, “I’ve written something on that myself” and he read off a very sarcastic note about natural selection. “Wonderful theory,” he said, “it demonstrates that if things are the way they are, they tend to remain the way they are. It’s about as stupid as that.”

    Sahlins in Chicago said, “That not a bad idea. I never thought of it before, but it is all right. But why are you so excited about natural selection anyway? Natural selection is all bunk… On tape he said “Science is like an eclair, it’s firm on the outside but it is all mushy on the inside. It is good in the eating, however, so we enjoy it and go on with it.” These are terrible confessions.”

    It was noted that those are confessions of honest scientists and Macbeth replied, “They are outside the gang that staked their life on (evolution) it.”

  99. Arthur said

    Just a clarification,

    In my above post and near the end, when Macbeth says: “We had in that article that Gene Fairley called both Gregory Bateson and Marshall Sahlins …” He is referring to his article that he wrote with the Professor of Zoology, and not Ron Brady’s article that was published in “Systematic Zoology.”

  100. Arthur said

    Hello Dave,

    I have just seen your post for the 1st time.

    I regret that my posts has caused you such grief.

    I assure you I seek no ones pity. It would be meaningless to me. I was just trying to share who I am. I do not feel sorry for myself. Perhaps a little lonely at times, but I am very happy and joyous overall.

    I do not believe my responses was that of a troll. Andy wefle, whose post I was responding to in several posts, Including our shared Catholic Backgrounds. He got burnt by the Catholic church, I didn’t, but my younger brother and a few of my friends did get burnt, and I was sharing that with him. One of my posts addressed the Catholic Church handling of creation/evolution wherein Andy was exposed to some absurd examples of Creation. My response as a science major was to inform him, and anyone else so interested, That there exist a body of sound science that refutes the General Theory of Evolution that all species share a common ancestry which evolved from some progenote all the way up to humans via natural causes. I thought it would be of interests to some here precisely what this scientific evidence consist instead of knocking down strawmen versions of the same.

    Others too asked questions pertaining thereto, and I provided a few more examples from different areas of science as food for thought in lieu of the lame examples that you often come across and can easily refute.

    In addition, I have written several posts honestly revealing who I am. I was unafraid to do so because my experience with Atheists have been positive, which includes a friend of mine, Thomas Huxley, and Christopher Hitchens. In a speech on the dangers of Muslims, Hitchens stated that if he ever chose a religion, it would not be Christianity with its’ history, but would be based upon the words and teachings of Jesus. (I’m parahrasing, been awhile since I heard it’)

    Today I listened to two freethinkers on this blog and I saw that movie of the Christian girl who
    grew up to be attracted to the same sex. I found these to be interesting and informative. I enjoy listening to people who think differently than me.

    I myself, when in an all boy high school was attracted sexually to two different boys. I have no doubt that I would have had sex with either of them had I the opportunity. I remember confessing to a priest at age 15 that I had homosexual tendencies. He increased my penance to saying a whole rosary instead of one Our Father. I never confessed that again. But I never doubted God’s love for me and mine for him. I still prayed every morning and every night, in my own words as if it were a conversation. And I shared all with Him as I share with you now. And I prayed that I never be a stumbling block to anyone, but rather, a stepping stone.

    At CCNY in harlem, I use to pass a black baptist church that had colorful titles of the coming sermon on an outdoor sign. One I remember was: “God wants spiritual fruit, not religious nuts.” But the one I really liked because it is so true: “Holiness is not the absence of sin in ones life, but the presence of God.”

    Anyway, I regret that my posts caused you so much grief, Dave. I guess it is time for me to move on.

    By the way, I am a freethinker too, I never charge for my thoughts, not even for a penny. 🙂

    Best Wishes,

    Arthur

  101. […] Deconversion Corner:  Altar boy to Atheist […]

  102. I’m a Christian, and I consider myself a free thinker. There are always extremes, and I think the world will be better if we can find ways to meet in the middle (b/c let’s face it, neither the radical conservative Christian or the radical atheist is going to cave into the other side…unless God comes and tells you, of course). The comic about God deciding to use evolution or simply let evolution happen is actually an idea that I literally stay open to.

    My parents were strict Catholics and switched to just plain Christian (their current church is “nondenominational”). I learned about the tricky/weird parts of Catholocism from my mom, and starting in junior high I began to be honest about the tricky/weird parts of my parents’ church.

    Sounds like Catholocism was so repulsive to you that you wanted to get as far away as possible. I’m writing to remind you that there are a lot of Christians (or at least non-atheists) out here who want to have honest, open-minded conversation, and not just to prove who’s core beliefs are “right.” I hope that atheists like yourself can think freely enough that you can still respect the opinions of those of us who believe in God.

    To be honest, I would bet you already have friends like me, but I want to at least let your readers know that just like Christians shouldn’t assume atheists/agnostics are lawless, morality-depraved, or evil, Christians don’t want to be lumped together as illogical, religious robots.

  103. awelfle said

    @Tranchiturn

    Thanks for the comment. I appreciate your feedback and your story.

    In this context, “freethought” and “freethinker” refers to the Freethought Movement, which since you sound fairly well-informed, you probably already know about. As I interpret it, it doesn’t necessarily conflict directly with Christianity, though it does conflict with creationism and intelligent design, or anything that involves a creative intelligence influencing the origin of Life, the Universe, and Everything (with my apologies to the late great Douglas Adams). The vast majority of Christians, or at least their doctrine, will fit within this category.

    Personally, I don’t think there is any middle ground between atheism and Christianity. I think there could be some middle ground between atheism and theism (an agnostic, perhaps), but I have a fundamental difference between anyone who uses the Bible as a historic text, rather than a book of stories.

    And I am an agnostic. Agnosticism and Atheism aren’t mutually exclusive terms. What you have to keep in mind that is that almost all agnostics are de facto athiests. I am willing to concede that there is a infinitesimal chance that there is a supernatural intelligence in the universe. I’ll give that same chance to there being fairies that live in my garden. Or that there is a teapot in synchronous orbit of the sun between Earth and Mars. You just never know. But I live my life like there is no god, that there are no fairies in my garden (although maybe they just look like mosquitos, and that there is no teapot up there. So, more specifically, I guess I would be agnostic, but technically, all agnostics are atheists anyway (“a” being the greek prefix expressing negation, and “theism” being the belief in one or more god. Agnostics don’t actively believe in a god, so they fit well within that definition.)

    Where was I? Oh yes, Christianity. You are right, Catholicism is an extreme example. And right again, I do have Christian friends. Heck, I still have Catholic friends. And don’t worry, I’m not going to disrespect a person solely because of their belief system. If you have strength of character, a good sense of morality (that comes from you, not from some stone tablets that may or may not have existed), and a sense of humor, I would be more inclined to be your friend, rather than if you do or do not believe in a god. Although I am finding more and more than people who have a healthy skepticism, intelligently make logical connections, and can step out and be objective about themselves, they usually are atheists, whether they realize it or not. It’s just a common characteristic among people.

    Here’s where you and I disagree:

    “b/c let’s face it, neither the radical conservative Christian or the radical atheist is going to cave into the other side…unless God comes and tells you, of course”

    I know of, and know personally, several people who were staunch, fundamentalist Christians (Baptists, Pentacostals, etc.) and “caved in” to the other side, although that’s not a very accurate term, “caved in”. THe best example I can think of is Matt Dillahunty, the host of The Atheist Experience was a Southern Baptist, Studying to be a preacher. He was as unswayed as he could be. It wasn’t until he seriously started studying the Bible and its doctrines, stories, etc, that he realized that it was all a lot of cow pies.

    I think that undermining debates and forums such as this by saying “this won’t make a difference, and why can’t we all just get along” is a really feeble argument. Because sometimes people are swayed. Sometimes Christians (including Catholics) do become atheists, and yes, sometimes atheists do convert to theism. Would you want a president to become elected without the chance to debate the other candidates?

    Anyway, don’t take it personally. I’m not trying to attack you or your belief. You seem like an intelligent person, and the fact that you would even read and comment on this post shows that you’re open-minded, at least to some extent.

    Thanks again for the comment!

  104. I didn’t actually go back and read what I wrote, but just to clarify:

    When I implied (or said? ha, don’t remember) it would be nice to find a “middle ground,” I guess my point was that there are at least important things we may agree upon and that it would be good to care about those things together.

    For example, I believe it is my duty as a member of the world population to help people that need it. So maybe you also agree, and we share a “good sense of morality” as you put it (or at least our moralities overlap). I want to be “good” to or “love” other people. This just feels right, but for me, I also believe that the most important thing about my Christianity is that I love others. Anyway, I don’t want to make this more confusing than it has to be. So when I say “finding a middle ground,” I mean that our sense of moralities can overlap, and we can appreciate each other for that.

    (sort of beginning a new topic…)

    I haven’t read your review of Religulous or seen it myself yet, but I read something about that guy saying that (extremely paraphrased):
    “I don’t want to create a non-religion religion. That’s defeating the purpose. I want to encourage skepticism. I think it’s dangerous and stupid to have a bunch of religious people who share the same beliefs and say, ‘we agree that we’re right, so we must be right.'”

    I agree.

    From what I read, that guy seemed pretty obvious about wanting people to join with him in seeing how stupid and dangerous religion and belief in a god is. Whether or not he wants a non-religion religion, he’s getting a bunch of people to share his beliefs. That’s completely valid, but I think that those skeptics should also be skeptical about everything, including their idea that God or religion is a complete farse. I think it’s also stupid to have a bunch of skeptics saying, “we agree that we’re right, so we must be right. And if you’re a religious nut, I have nothing to learn from you.” I’m not going to act like a scientist and I do NOT want to restart this argument, but for example, there are educated scientists who believe some sort of intelligent design is just as valid a theory as pure evolution from nothing.

    AH! I remember why I started to get off track, I wanted to say that…first of all, I see what you mean and agree that people can switch from one extreme to the other. BUT, and this is what I should have said, I don’t believe that either side will ever “win” by getting everyone to join them. So let’s respect each other and find out how we can better the world–withOUT assuming that bettering the world means getting people to our “side.”

  105. Oughtist Tic said

    Perhaps every age believes its uniqueness is beyond comparison, but there is cause to suggest that the age we live in is uniquely unique in most profound ways. The lack of templates we have to address our global paradigm, for instance, and the dissolution of the nation state. Likewise, the extent to which we are formally free not to believe in a theological construct. What pacifies we athiests is the thought that the world will evolve out of our psychic need for a cosmic parental figure (a need that nonetheless haunts the recesses of many an atheist mind). What aggitates us is that we won’t be around to see what that world will be like. Please, dear christians, excuse us, if, when you get in the way of our anticipatory awareness, we seem rudely awoken. Your ubiquity remains apparent, and that is not pleasant to our aesthetic sense… nothing personal, you understand.

  106. awelfle said

    Haha, Oughtist Tic, I couldn’t have said it better myself. Literally. I don’t know half the words you used. 😛

  107. i like the cosmic parental figure image, oughtist tic. and i appreciate your honesty about it haunting the recesses of your mind.

    i’m not being rude here, just an honest question, does it haunt you more that society won’t evolve out of that psychic need during your lifetime or that society won’t ever evolve out (perhaps b/c of the 1 in a googolplex chance that God is real)?

  108. One more thing, oughtist tic. I’m really glad you explained how you feel about Christians getting in your way.

    When I meet the “angry” type of athest/agnostic in the future, I’ll keep in mind that he/she might be angry because they are trying to put the idea of a “cosmic parental figure” out of their heads, but we Christians are always bringing the subject up again.

    Maybe they’re even angry with themselves that something that they logically know is almost certainly riduculous keeps bugging them.

    I know i’m extrapolating from your comment. I’m not trying to assume any of this about YOU necessarily, but please let me know if I’m totally off.

  109. Oughtist Tic said

    Tranchiturn, what haunts me most is things such as right here, right now, metaphysical speculations over-ruling scientific progress (e.g. stem cell research), or significantly influencing the course of world events (name your war). Barring something akin to nuclear holocaust resulting from Palin bringing on the Rapture, I have little fear that humanity will transcend the mask of god. If, in fact, there is a god, well, then, hey, Hi God! Hope you’re enjoying the show! Who’se writing your script recently? Fire them.

    To your second comment, make no mistake, I can be a good old brimstone-breathing athiest on occasion. I take it as simply the result of me retching-up the bile of my childhood indoctrinations, sweet as they seemed to be at the time. It’s not only the parent-figure god I reject, but the concept of a personal mega-being of any non-finite description. I could even entertain the spuriosity that there’s a “god dimension” out there with a pantheon of wonderous characters, but not as a matter of objects to worship. Sorry, I’m leaking some Buddhism here. Bad ex-xian, bad ex-xian! Aaah. That’s better.

    When you meet angry atheists, it likely has very little to do with what you say or do. Rather, it’s the bubble we’re trapped in and the air we breathe that is choking us so much. Then again, I don’t want to claim to represent all atheists. Just an empirical speculation…

  110. Arthur said

    Andy writes i reply to tranchiturn:

    “In this context, “freethought” and “freethinker” refers to the Freethought Movement, which since you sound fairly well-informed, you probably already know about. As I interpret it, it doesn’t necessarily conflict directly with Christianity, though it does conflict with creationism and intelligent design, or anything that involves a creative intelligence influencing the origin of Life, the Universe, and Everything (with my apologies to the late great Douglas Adams). The vast majority of Christians, or at least their doctrine, will fit within this category.”

    I guess we all have our irrational prejudices. 🙂

    You state well precisely what the foundation of atheism actually is. Unfortunately, as I have already more than demonstrated both here and on science forums, science does not support the General Theory of Evolution that all diverse creatures came into being solely by natural cause.

    You put your atheistic faith in the hands or people like atheist Richard Dawkins, but he is little more than a lighweight whose views have been challenged and dismissed, even by many of his fellow evolutionists, and by superior scientists such as Stephen J Gould, Nile Eldredge, Steven Stanley, Colin Patterson etc. Christopher Hitchens is an admirable and intelligent atheist, but he knows next to nothing about science and he surrenders his intellectual capacity to the likes of Dawkins, Maynard Smith, Francisco Ayala, and other hyper-Darwiists.

    Evolution is merely religious Dogma. Despite the overwhelming science to the contrary, Evolution is a necessary belief for Atheists, 93% of our the National Academy of Science have rejected outright the existence of God, and their religiously held atheistic beliefs demand Evolution to be taught as a fact, otherwise their materialistic beliefs would be unfounded and ugly. Evolution is a religion, and not science. Those scientists who openly reject evolution get ostracized and ridiculed by the establishment. Most scientists curtow to the evolutionary powers that be in Academia, in order to keep their jobs and get funding.

    I am not making a charge of conspiracy against scientists, but against dogmatic evolutionists who have taken over our education systems and insist on ‘Evolution the Fact’ despite all the sientific evidence to the contrary. These are the ones who are so thoroughly convinced of their ‘TRUTH’: materialistic Evolutionism, that they must convert the whole world to it. Their very worldview depends on it being true. So much so that they will never let any scientific facts get in their way. To them, all biological data must be interpreted in accordance with Evolutionism and Evolutionism must constantly be modified to account for all such data, or stories invented to show how the data may fit Evolutionism. Whatever data remains is simply cast
    off as irrelevant or faulty, not worthy of any further consideration because it must false since it did not fit in with the ‘TRUTH’ – EVOLUTION.

    Theses dogmatic evolutionists see the Creationists as their arch-enemy because the idea that there may exist a Creator God who used Wisdom and “know how” to organize the right molecules into the necessary configurations to have DNA, RNA, enzymes, the proper amino acids, all in a protective cell that has portals to let in needed chemicals, including the dealy poision to biological molecules, ‘Oxygen’, under a carefully controlled fully functional system, etc., etc., is an idea that is totally incompatible with their “TRUTH”, Evolutionism.

    Organized? Yes, these evolutionists are very organized. Talk Origins for instance on a lower level.

    On the highest level, in the 1980’s, after Carl Sagan called for a moratorium on evolutionary scientists debating Creationary scientists because of the embarrassment of losing every debate to the Creationists. Under the strong forceful arm of the NAS, many pro-evolution scientists (e,g, Gould, Eldredge, Ashley Montagu, Dawkins, Montagu, Patterson, Kichner, Futuyama, etc.) united to write many anti-creationists articles and books, and took their anti Creationists ideas to liberal friendly television, especially PBS. The National Science Foundation joined in to promote Evolutionism in schools. They also applied great pressure on libraries and schools to ban books that criticized evolution theory. Evolutionists organized to prevent or limit Creationism being taught in schools, seeking victories in courts and, if that did not stop Creationism from being taught or force evolution to be taught as fact, they used peer pressure on Universities and publishers to promote Evolutionism or censor Creationism and/or Creationists. They sought to discredit Creationists not by sound scientific arguments (they didn’t have any) but by via ad hominem attacks, ridicule, insults, and censorship. They even censored or attacked their own should they leak to the public any science that conflicted with evolutionary theory.

    Evolutionists also conspire to hide from the public things that might undermine the public confidence in Evolutionism. e.g.

    In 1972, Eldredge-Gould formulated a Palaeontological theory of Evolution (i.e. Punctuated Equilibria), based on the scientific data that the gaps in the fossil record are real and not due to “a poor record”, and that the geologic record does show that species appear abruptly followed by stasis. They did so knowing this data is fatal for neo-Darwinism (i.e. the Modern Synthesis).

    There was no specific mechanism of evolution put forth with this Theory of Punctuated Equilibria. It was the intention of the punctuationalists to free Palaeontology from the fetters placed on it by the neo-Darwinians, and to open up evolutionary science to the
    possibility of fresh research and ideas for new mechanisms, modes and tempo’s for Evolutionism.

    They clearly believed neo-Darwinism was dead and would be replaced by some other evolutionary theory in a decade or so. The paleontologists continued this attack throughout the 1970’s.

    Come the 1980’s and the NSF and many scientists began twisting the Punctuationists arms to stop attacking Neo-Darwinism because PE had no mechanism and was simply based on lack of evidence and this fact and the infighting between the two camps was abetting the Creationists.

    From 1982 on, PE was tranformed from a theory of evolution that declared Neo-Darwinism ‘dead’, to one that ‘complemented’ Neo-Darwinism.

    Yet, the truth is, the Punctuationalist never believed PE to be a complement of Neo-Darwinism! Reference the Gould-Eldredge 1993 paper reviewing the status of Punctuated Equilibria (Punctuated Equilibrium Comes of Age, Nature, 366:223)

    In that article it appears that Gould/Eldredge labeled Punctuated Equilibria as “a useful extension” and “complement” of the Darwin’s basic model. Well, if Gould and Eldredge wrote this in their paper, then I must be lying, right. But If I told the Truth about these evolutionary scientists, then someone else must be lying.

    In an interview given a few years after publication of that article, Gould was asked about that paper and how it seemed to agree with the evolutionary views of his longtime Neo-Darwinian (i.e. the Modern Evolutionary Synthesis) evolutionary foe Richard Dawkins. Gould stated that some gradualism may exist in the fossil record, but quickly added that: “…it is really not important in the overall pattern of things.”

    Gould proclaimed that Punctuated Equilibrium is the dominant frequency in the fossil record. Gould spiritedly defended Punctuated Equilibria vs. neo-Darwinism declaring, “you can’t explain [speciation] at the level of adaptive struggle of the individuals in Darwinian, conventional Darwinian, terms.”

    When asked about switching from the “alternate” to neo-Darwinsim in his 1972 paper to the “Useful extension” and “complement” in his 1993 paper, Gould exclaimed angrily that “I didn’t write that.” He stated that the editor of “Nature” inserted those phrases into the papers headline without checking with him or Eldredge. Gould fumed, “I’m mad at him about that.” (“Steven Jay Gould’s View of Life: Shit Happens”, Chapter 5, “The End of Science”, John Horgan, 1996).

    Some years ago, Richard Dawkins debated the brilliant creationary scientist A.E. Wilder-Smith.

    I offer the following on a debate that took place at Oxford Union, England. Wilder-Smith’s opponents were famed evolutionists Maynard-Smith and Richard Dawkins (who several years before this debate had Authored “The Selfish Gene” and “The Blind Watchmaker”)

    The debate took place at Oxford Union and was formulated as follows:

    The Huxley Memorial Debate, 1986

    This was in honor of Atheist evolutionists Thomas Huxley. In 1860, Bishop Samuel Wilberforce, opposing Darwinism, had the weight of the establishment and culture on his side, whereas Thomas Huxley was decidedly counter-cultural. In 1986, it was those speaking for evolution that had the establishment and culture on their side, and those speaking for creation were the ones who were counter-cultural with little sympathy from those who were permitted to vote on the debate.

    The Debate was Titled:

    “The Doctrine of Creation is More Valid Than the Theory of Evolution”.

    Obviously the title was loaded against the Creationary view of origins as it was labelled a `Doctrine’ (i.e. religious) and evolution was labelled a `theory'(scientific). Though nearly a thousand people were in attendance, only 350 members of the Oxford Union were allow to vote on the debate and they were strongly entrenched in Oxford Unions purely materialistic naturalistic viewpoint. By 1986, England had already seized from being a Christian Nation. Less then 10% of the population were Christian. And Oxford University, being a bastion of liberalism and materialism, it was understood that their own Richard Dawkins, and Maynard-Smith, were favored

    Before the debate commenced, it was agreed in the Oxford Union’s President’s office that NO religious, NON-scientific material, or NON-repeatable material should be introduced into the debate. Only repeatable falsifiable scientific fact would be acceptable.

    Representing Oxford Union’s evolutionary point of view were famed evolutionary scientists Richard Dawkins and Maynard Smith. Representing the creationists viewpoint were Professor Andrews of London University, and Creationary Scientist A.E. Wilder-Smith.

    The debate did not go well for the evolutionists as A.E. Wilder Smith did an excellent presentation of how science validates creation theory while at the same time science discredits evolutionary theory. Richard Dawkins, apparently realizing he and Maynard Smith were losing the debate, gave an impassioned plea right after the debate ended and before the voting took place, in which Dawkins “implored” (the very word Dawkins used) the voting audience not to give a single vote for the creationists position, for every vote in favor of creationism, Dawkins maintained, `would be a blot on the escutcheon of ancient University of Oxford’.

    Richard Dawkins then proceeded to attack A.E. Wilder Smith personally, not on the basis of his scientific position, but on the basis of A.E. Wilder-Smith’s RELIGIOUS beliefs, alleging A.E. Wilder-Smith as a christian fundamentalist. Since it had been agreed not to let religious factors play any role in the proceeding, Professor Andrews brought up a point of order that that no religious considerations should be brought up, and the President of Oxford Union agreed and Richard Dawkins had to sit down.

    Then Professor Maynard-Smith stood up and said he was glad that A.E. Wilder-Smith stuck with pure science in the debate, science (which Maynard-Smith stated privately to Wilder-Smith) was `impeccable’. But then he said that A.E. Wilder-Smith believed in a small tribal god, which was not acceptable in today’s enlightened society. Then he claimed that he and his friends believed the whole big universe was God which was a superior belief to Mr. Wilder-Smith’s belief. So again it was the evolutionist who raised the issue of religion, and who attacked their opponent not on scientific grounds, but purely on religious grounds.

    No, the creationists did not get a majority of the votes, but they did get 150 of the 349 votes from a group of voters who were, at least initially, overwhelmingly in the evolutionists corner.

    The Huxley Memorial Debate:

    ‘That the Doctrine of Creation is more valid than the Theory of Evolution’

    Oxford Union, 14th February, 1986
    Featuring (along with members of the Oxford Union):
    Ayes
    Professor Edgar Andrews
    Dr Arthur Wilder-Smith
    Noes
    Dr Richard Dawkins
    Professor John Maynard-Smith

    Score: Ayes 150 – Noes 198

    Most Oxford Union debates are given automatically nationwide press, radio, and television coverage. A debate featuring such prominent evolutionists and creationists debating evolution vs. creation should have been no exception, yet Oxford Union moved to cover-up the debate, letting not a word of what transpired leak out to the media.

    Transcripts for this debate were never published. The Oxford librarian attempted to get the report on the debate for the library and was told that no such debate had ever taken place and that information on A.E. Wilder-Smith or his address were unknown. The librarian obtained Professor Wilder-Smith’s Swiss address from friends in Australia. Upon request, he provided the Librarian with a photocopy of his invitation to the debate with it’s title of the motion before the house, which he had received from Oxford Union and which had his correct address on it. Oxford Union took extreme measures to suppress the scientific knowledge behind the debate and felt obliged to suppress the spread of knowledge of the scientific inadequacy of the materialistic, atheistic, naturalistic, evolution. This is how evolutionary materialism is defended and promulgated.

    Thus the Darwinian view on origins and evolution of life is sustained in our schools and universities to a good extent not by the active spread of scientific learning and knowledge, but by its’ specific suppression. It is not the church suppressing science, It is the evolutionary science fiction that is suppressing science.

    Speaking on Darwinian evolution:

    “The fact that a theory so vague, so insufficiently verifiable, and so far from the criteria of HARD science has become dogma can only be explained on sociological grounds.” Biologist Ludwig von Bertalanffy, as quoted by Huston Smith, ‘The Post Modern Mind’ (New York, Crossroads,1982) p. 173

  111. awelfle said

    Arthur,

    You are what we in the blog world call a troll. You copy, paste and generally overwhelm the comment forum with so many topics that can easily be refuted, and you get away with it because, well, no one else has three hours to spend just breaking down your argument point by point.

    For now, I’m going to just respond to this. And then I’m going to end this thread and close comments. Unfair? Maybe. I am the author, the moderator, and it’s my right to have the last word. This is old news, people, and let’s check out some of the other posts FreeThought FW has created!

    Arthur sez:

    Evolution is merely religious Dogma. Despite the overwhelming science to the contrary, Evolution is a necessary belief for Atheists, 93% of our the National Academy of Science have rejected outright the existence of God, and their religiously held atheistic beliefs demand Evolution to be taught as a fact, otherwise their materialistic beliefs would be unfounded and ugly. Evolution is a religion, and not science. Those scientists who openly reject evolution get ostracized and ridiculed by the establishment. Most scientists curtow (sic) to the evolutionary powers that be in Academia, in order to keep their jobs and get funding.

    You seem to have read Talk Origins, or at least have heard about it, so I invite you to take a closer look, particularly at “Evolution is a Fact and a Theory” by Laurence Moran of the University of Toronto.

    In that large vomit of text above, nothing you use to refute any of my comment has any substance. You claim that “Talk Origins” is merely a tool for evolutionists to organize. You don’t speak at all about its content and the compelling arguments it makes.

    You say that Richard Dawkins is “a lighweight (sic) whose views have been challenged and dismissed”. Where? The only support to this claim you can give is a 22 year-old debate he had with A.E. Wilder-Smith (congratulations, I see that you can read Wikipedia, too!) and that, by chance, we can’t get a transcript of this debate.

    What I am confused by in your comment is that when I go to the Wikipedia article about the debate itself, I am shown that the motion (which was “That the Doctrine of Creation is more valid than the Theory of Evolution”) was defeated 198 to 115, not by 150. And I find it weak and, frankly, ridiculous that your big evidence is a debate where creationism lost. I’m sure that Wilder was surprised that he won so many votes, but the fact that he’d be surprised at all shows that he didn’t have a leg to stand on in the first place.

    Finally, one does not need faith at all to accept evolution. I can’t see how evolution or science can be referred to as “religious”, since it doesn’t necessitate us to believe in supernatural beings. There are no sacred rituals, objects, places, etc. we need.

    Nothing in science can be proved with absolute certainty. Absolute proof can only be achieved in mathematics, and in mathematics, you control the rules which make up the universe in which you are working. In science, you are working with rules you cannot control, so therefore you cannot prove with certainty. You can achieve high levels of certainty, though — I know that the sun will come up tomorrow. I know that when I jump, I will land on the ground. I can’t absolutely prove this will happen every time, but I do have a high level of certainty.

    So let’s shut this comment thread down, shall we? Thank you, all, for taking part in this discussion. I’ll see you on some of the other posts!

  112. […] is the kind of person I was talking about earlier. She gave this little shudder when she talked about how Obama’s mother was an atheist, […]

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