ABC’s “The View” co-host doesn’t know whether world is flat

And unfortunately that title is to be taken literally. Wow…just wow. Sherri Shepherd, new co-host for the daytime show “The View”, declared on today’s episode that she doesn’t “believe in evolution, period.” This is not news – she was open with her religious and evolutionary beliefs before getting hired onto the show. What is news, however, is what happened after fellow co-host Whoopi Goldberg then asked her whether she thought the world was flat….and Sherri didn’t know! She claims she’s “never thought about it.” Seriously? No, I mean is this woman serious, or is she trying to fool us with her acting skills? I’m assuming she has at least some high school education. I probably knew the earth was spherical before starting elementary school, but once you start school there is no excuse. I mean, hasn’t she ever seen a globe before? Please tell me this woman was joking…otherwise our education system is worse than I thought.

To see the video of Sherri’s stupidity, visit The Huffington Post.

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46 Comments

  1. Tim Kurek said,

    September 18, 2007 at 6:10 pm

    Well heres the deal… The world is round, but evolution is false… Wish she knew what she was talking about before she opened her mouth. Lets bring Ken Hamm onto the view and let him talk about it all!

    http://UriahMinistries.wordpress.com
    tim kurek

  2. Lily said,

    September 18, 2007 at 6:38 pm

    Tim, while I appreciate you taking the time to comment on my blog, I am going to have to (very strongly) disagree that evolution is false.
    Have you ever taken a college level biology class? Taken an antibiotic? Learned about genetics? Evolution is most definitely true and real. And Ken Hamm probably would only be a small step up compared to this Sherri Shepherd – he may know the world is not flat, but I’m afraid a lot of the other information he spouts is garbage.

  3. Tim Kurek said,

    September 18, 2007 at 10:16 pm

    Actually I have and the more I learn the more I know that evolution is false.. Actually watch Ken Hamm, and you won’t be referring to Sherri Shepherd.

  4. meme cecile said,

    September 19, 2007 at 12:04 am

    evolution is so beautifully true. and god is love.

  5. meme cecile said,

    September 19, 2007 at 12:08 am

    and sherri shepherd is funny, but shamefully sheepish and simpleminded.

  6. Tiffany said,

    September 19, 2007 at 1:07 am

    I love knowing that the people who so oddly don’t believe in evolution and see it in the everyday world around them will eventually not exist. That’s the beauty of evolution – only those suited to the environment in which they are placed survive. And in this day and age the environment in which we live depends on us studying and learning from the billions of years of evolution that God has so diligently worked on and given to us.

  7. Tim Kurek said,

    September 19, 2007 at 1:15 am

    Do you understand that your belief system is still classified as theory?

    “I love knowing that the people who so oddly don’t believe in evolution and see it in the everyday world around them will eventually not exist.”

    What is sad is that the opposite is true. The people who don’t believe in God will know the truth sometime soon and will feel foolish for basing their beliefs off of flawed “carbon dating” and age analysis tests.

    Here is what I believe….
    The earth could be 65 billion years old, in appearance. When God created Adam and Eve, were they children? No they were adults. Therefore it is likely He created the earth in much the same way.

    Either way, I love how you criticise me for not believing in your theory.

    http://UriahMinistries.wordpress.com
    tim

  8. edtajchman said,

    September 19, 2007 at 5:26 am

    Tim go read a first grade science book pal,…lol…

  9. Lily said,

    September 19, 2007 at 7:07 am

    Tim said “the more I learn the more I know that evolution is false”

    All this tells me is that you are likely “learning” your material on evolution from people who are not evolutionary biologists (e.g. Ken Hamm, whom you seem to love, does not hold a masters or PhD in the biological sciences). But something also tells me that no matter how much I, or anyone else on here, tries to convince you and present the multitude of evidence, you will likely remain happily ignorant in your “evolution is false” bubble until the day you die. Fine by me, but if you are going to reject evolution perhaps you should consider rejecting a lot of the medical advances based on evolution that you will inevitably benefit from (vaccines, antibiotics, etc) – or is that the equivalent of thinking the “earth is flat”?

  10. Yong Hwee said,

    September 19, 2007 at 7:15 am

    This is just sad.

  11. Tim Kurek said,

    September 19, 2007 at 1:06 pm

    I am sorry that you are attacking me for believing in truth, sadly is will take you a long life and death to understand where you are wrong.

    My question is, evolution aside, Why have all of you attacked me and done nothing but insult me for my beliefs? Why are you spending your time attacking anyone for that matter, on these stupid blogs? We only have around 80 years on this planet, why not spend it blessing others and encouraging them. Why not spend them fighting for an actual cause instead of fighting someone who believes differently. I get what you are saying but the difference between you and me is while you sat here and called me names and treated me like an ignorant person, I sat here and didn’t throw one verbal assault back at you. Why is that? Well your insults have shown nothing but ignorance as it pertains to dealing with people, and for that, it is I that pitty you guys. Conducting oneself with honor and respect is something you need to think about because even if I am wrong about evolution, at least I treated you with dignity. I am praying for you guys. Sorry this had to turn into what it did, as opposed to an intelligent conversation between respectful and mature adults. Funny thing is you are probably all older than me. I’m only 21.

    In Christ,
    timothy Kurek
    http://UriahMinistries.wordpress.com

  12. Locky said,

    September 19, 2007 at 1:12 pm

    “Do you understand that your belief system is still classified as theory?”
    That statement proves how little you know about the scientific theory.
    Also the earth is not 65 billion years old it is 4.6 billion years old. You seem to have confused the date with when the dinosaurs went extinct approximately 65 million years ago.
    No one who has done honest research into ‘evolution’ (using the creationist definition of evolution which actually encompasses the big bang, star formation, geology, abiogenesis, evolution, biology, and genetics) can make these mistakes. Gravity is still a theory, Theory merely means it is the current model that fits the observable data.

  13. Locky said,

    September 19, 2007 at 1:14 pm

    When I said “That statement proves how little you know about the scientific theory.” I meant to type “That statement proves how little you know about the scientific method.”

  14. James said,

    September 19, 2007 at 2:54 pm

    Well it comes down to wether or not you believe in a supreme diety based off a collection of books written by different people 2000 or so years ago. These same people had very little idea about how our universe works, almost no sense of science beyond the very obvous. The fact is it comes down to faith. Personally I see a universe billions of years old, fossils of creatures that came before modern man and an universe amazingly complex and wonderous. Others see a world 4000 or so years old, a universe that is full of lies (carbon dating, dinosaur bones, distant solar systems, etc). Much like the catholic church condemned the idea of a heliocentric universe, these people simple answer is the bible (or whatever book they follow). You will never convince them of anything unless it is 100% in front of their faces (ie earth is round, lightning is not god being mad, but rather a natural occurence with scientific explanation, etc).

    Personally I do not believe a deity would put the universe together in such a complex way, give man the ability to reason and solve problems, then demand they ignore their discoveries and rational explanations or be damned. Seems a stupid and cruel idea, but then again I don’t follow a book as if it is the direct word of some god. Especially since 99% of people who follow any given religous text do not have any idea where the book came from, who translated it, who initially wrote it down, how it changed throughout time and generally just trust the publishers of the book as if they were somehow guarenteed to be right about god’s thoughts. After all, did Jesus speak english?

    James

  15. Shana said,

    September 19, 2007 at 3:47 pm

    “I went to public school in Kansas and all I got was a poor understanding of the scientific method”

    Tim, unfortunately we live in a politically correct world where people think that they are not only entitled to their beliefs, but that other people HAVE to respect them if they are religion based. To say someone’s belief is wrong or stupid is considered tabboo if it is a religiously centered belief. But you know what, just because you dress it up in religion doesn’t make it true. I went to Catholic school and was taught that God and the bible explain WHY things happen, and science class (including evolution) explains HOW these things happen. I never saw any conflict between religion and evolution until the creationist movement gained a national audience a few years ago. Evolution and religion are not contradicting theories, and to say creationists are woefully ignorant and only get their information from one source has NOTHING to do with Christianity. If you say something stupid, you should be treated accordingly. If you say that “evolution is a theory” then you obviously have not picked up the most basic of science books, in which it explains that the word “theory” in scientific terms has a different connotation than when we use it to say “I have a theory” as in “I have an idea.” They are not the same word. Kind of like how if I say “I’m putting on my glasses” I am not covering myself in drinking glasses, but am instead putting on my specticals, which are very much LIKE glasses in that they are both curved, of similar thickness, and made from glass, but are in fact quite different things in practical application.

  16. Shana said,

    September 19, 2007 at 4:04 pm

    And the reason people do not respect your opinion is because your opinion deserves no respect. Not all opinions deserve respect. Muslim countries which forbid their women from working or showing their face do not deserve to have that opinion respected. A parent who will not let a child with a treatable illness receive medical treatment because they believe in faith healing should have thier child put into protective custody, not be respected. My old fashioned grandfather believes women shouldn’t be in certain professions, like law enforcement and politics; he is entitled to this view, but I do not respect it and nor should I, because it is a dated belief that has no place in a modern world with modern problems. Creationism is a dangerous movement that threatens to turn America back to a time before the age of reason, when we lynched witches and treated illness by bloodletting. Once we start saying science doesn’t count, that reasoning, and empirical evidence, and what WE CAN SEE WITH OUR OWN EYE, then we threaten what it is that makes us humans, that makes us special, in the first place.

  17. Tim Kurek said,

    September 20, 2007 at 3:46 am

    Shana,

    “And the reason people do not respect your opinion is because your opinion deserves no respect. ”

    That had to be one of the most ignorant things I have ever heard in my entire life. I am saddened by your apparent lack of tact and understanding of people. Just because you don’t agree with an opinion doesn’t mean you can’t respect someone’s opinion and the right to that opinion. You are funny.

    I am just sitting back here reading people’s comments, laughing at the immaturity most of you are displaying in your responses, and wondering how people with two eyes can’t see the very hand of God right in front of you. It takes more faith to believe in an accident than a to believe in an intentional event. And creationism is dangerous? So sayeth someone that doesn’t even understand the most intricate nuances of that scientific belief and wouldn’t last 5 seconds in a debate with any of the creation scientists… But oh wait, you would try to mudsling because you don’t respect others’ beliefs, you only respect yours Shana.

    Guys, stop mudslinging and actually say something.

    http://uriahministries.wordpress.com
    tim kurek

  18. Josh said,

    September 20, 2007 at 4:32 am

    Hi there. Nice commentary here. I agree with each of you on different points. I consider myself to be a rational person, a logical human being with a working brain, and I am a Christian. I can hear the sighs of exasperation from many of you, and it amuses me because it’s so typical. People who adhere to a faith system are always ‘ignorant, uneducated bigots’ according to most. I have respect for everyone, regardless of their color, gender, or creed and intend to maintain that mindset. Now, my opinion on all of this (and I am fully willing to admit that I could be wrong)…

    1. Lily, I hope you weren’t looking for an actual intellectual on the View! I’m joking, of course, but when you consider for a moment that the majority of celebrities we are forced to observe are not exactly models of academia, then you will see why I am so adamant in my insistence that there are very few complete sets of neurons firing in the brains of Hollywood. Regardless of if they agree with my particular faith or not, most celebs are ignorant (and I will acquiesce to the opinion that nearly ALL of them that do follow my chosen path are morons, but not for the ‘faith’ they profess.)

    2. I do believe in evolution, to an extent. Microevolution is something I have been witness to. Any Christian who would deny microevolution or ‘adaptation’ is ignorant. Macroevolution, however, is another matter. I’ve yet to see one of the ‘missing links’ to fully tie the chains together. There have been numerous contenders to the title, if you will, of Missing Link, but no lasting champions. There have been multiple hoaxes as well as several well documented mis-classifications, and that is to be expected when large groups start grasping at straws. I mean no disrespect, but I must call it like I see it (without resorting to being rude.) And, if I am coming off as pompous or disrespectful, I honestly request your forgiveness. However, as I mentioned earlier in my rant, I could be wrong.

    3. Most importantly, to me, I believe in an Intelligent Designer. Regardless of macroevolution being true or false, there is overwhelming evidence, in my opinion, that we are not the product of random chance or, as one scientist put it, “the aftermath of God forgetting to clean his swimming pool.” I see too much complexity in DNA, the nervous system of the human body, the human brain, the Earth in relation to other bodies in space, and many other things to believe that we are just here because that’s just what happened. I could be wrong, but so could anyone who disagrees with me. I know there will be many who will respond to my post and repeat what I am about to say right back at me, with a sarcastic bent of course, but my spirit confirms within me that my beliefs are not built upon ‘fluffy’ ideas or ‘hollow’ evidence. If macroevolution is a fact and we did evolve from an apelike common ancestor, I still cannot deny that there is an Intelligent Designer overseeing it all.

    Whether you agree with me or disagree, I earnestly pray that you have given my ideas consideration without judging me a fool before you heard me out and that, perhaps, I might have been the exception to the ‘norm’ of Christianity that you have experienced.

    No matter your faith, I pray that God would bless you in every way and that your life would always find purpose in the pursuit of knowledge, wisdom, and truth.

    A servant of Christ,
    Josh

    http://www.joshsisson.com
    hissanctuaryministries.wordpress.com

  19. Shana said,

    September 20, 2007 at 2:34 pm

    Tim,
    I really like how you attack my personality because you can’t go after the facts, which is that you are so scientifically ignorant you don’t know the difference between a coloquial theory and scientific theory. Just keep on attacking everyone on this post for being meanies, because you obviously have no actual knowledge you can offer us.

    -Shana

  20. Shana said,

    September 20, 2007 at 2:36 pm

    Tim,
    I really like how you attack my personality because you can’t go after the facts, which is that you are so scientifically ignorant you don’t know the difference between a coloquial theory and scientific theory. Just keep on attacking everyone on this post for being meanies, because you obviously have no actual knowledge you can offer us. You also were absolutely unable to address how I see no conflict between God and evolution. All you could do was call me mean. That will get you really far in life. Whenever someone presents you with facts, just yell “MEAN MEAN MEAN!” at them, because you are correct in that I cannot debate someone who offers no intellectual insight and only cries about everyone being mean to him.

    -Shana

  21. Shana said,

    September 20, 2007 at 2:47 pm

    One final thought tim,
    I studied theology, philopsophy, and anthropology at the University of Florida. As a result, I have read many many many MANY texts on both sides of the issue of creationism and evolution, and my belief in evolution was only strengthened. When it comes to creationists though, I have yet to meet ONE who has actually READ Charles Darwin’s “The Origin of Species.” It is hilarious to me that most people who are “against” evolution could not even define it! If you have not read “Origin,” which Darwin wrote as a devout Christian, by the way, then you really have no business talking about whether evolution happened. Believe it or not, your pastor might just have given you an incomplete explanation of what the “theory” is. I am well versed in both creationism and evolution and thus can debate my position well. Anyone who hasn’t read “The Origin of Species” and has an opinion on evolution is like someone who’s never read a page of the Bible or been in a church having an opinion on Christianity.

    -Shana

  22. Shana said,

    September 20, 2007 at 3:01 pm

    Oh and Tim, you know how you said that I couldn’t hold my weight against creation “scientists.” As a research fellow for the MIT branch of the Human Genome Project, I actually was featured on NPR twice in evolution/creationism debates, and also in a 3 part series on the debate in the Miami Herald, in which I feel I did very well. Perhaps you could give me your address and I will gladly mail you the transcripts. I also have transcripts from several symposiums I have attended with Richard Dawkins and Richard Leaky, which really go into great detail in answering every one of creationisms major counter claims. Obviously these are too long to type out on this message board but give me your mail and I will send them out to you. Maybe you can learn something.

  23. Shana said,

    September 20, 2007 at 3:10 pm

    And the reason I did well in these debates was for the reasons I mention above: whereas I was extremely familiar with all the religious and “creation science” texts they referred to, my counter-debaters were completely flummoxed when I started getting into scientific methodology and details from “The Origin of Species” and later texts. They CLEARLY had NO working knowledge of what evolution actually is, for instance they couldn’t even define the most rudimentary evolutionary terms, and what is more alarming, in two of the three debates they could not even tell me the actual steps involved in postulating a scientific theory! Evolution scientists will start taking criticisms clearly when creationists can start defining what evolution even is and entails “we came from monkeys” is I’m sure what your pastor told you is all there is to it, but it’s a little more than that!

  24. Shana said,

    September 20, 2007 at 3:30 pm

    This ACTUALLY is my final thought Tim,
    You are taking this WAY too personally. Just because I do not believe this one opinion you hold carries any water does not mean I think you are a stupid or bad person. I respect you, just not this one opinion you hold. I went to college in the south, many of my closest friends there were by default creationists, and we got along fabulously, having heated debates over coffee from time to time. I’m sure you’re a stand up chap, and I am not going after your Christianity at all, I am a Catholic myself. For instance I have always been a sensitive soul, and so have been a vegetarian (no fish or poultry either) since childhood. Many friends and relatives think this is a ridiculous lifestyle and tease or criticize me about it constantly. And I understand, I mean, being vegetarian does seem to go against human nature and culture at its very core, so, knowing my belief comes from faith in what I think is right and not what is perhaps the most logical, I expect this part of my life to come under attack, and I know that people who criticize this ONE thing about me aren’t criticizing me. My whole family thinks it is “ridiculous” even though they believe that fundamentally I am a very reasonable and smart girl. Just because someone thinks ONE thing you do or say is ridiculous or doesn’t deserve respect doesn’t mean they think you are a worthless PERSON who doesn’t deserve respect. Please understand the difference, and that though I think you are ignorant in this one thing, I don’t claim to know anything about what kind of chap you are overall. I’m sure you’re a fine fellow, so don’t take it so personally, just actually read what I am trying to say. Cheers!

  25. Lily said,

    September 20, 2007 at 9:20 pm

    Thanks for all of the comments, guys.

    A few brief responses:
    Tim said: “Just because you don’t agree with an opinion doesn’t mean you can’t respect someone’s opinion and the right to that opinion.”

    I think most rational people respect you as a person and respect your right to an opinion, but I tend to side with Shana in that not every opinion deserves respect. And this is a good thing – we should always be actively questioning what is told to us, because ultimately every statement is filtered through someone’s brain, and likely to be at least a little biased (other than stating simple facts). Not “respecting” an opinion does not mean you do not respect a person. I disagree with many of my close friends on political situations – I don’t agree with/respect their views, but I respect them and love debating these topics with them. I’m sorry you feel personally attacked, but I don’t think that is the intent of anyone on here, and I would encourage you to also consider how your words might come across (for instance your claim that some of us don’t “even understand the most intricate nuances of that scientific belief” is probably insulting to people who have spent many years of their lives engaged in rigorous scientific research).

    To Josh:
    No, I understand you can’t expect an intellectual on the View. Sometimes you can’t even find them on major news channels – TV caters to a specific audience, and my standards are obviously higher than reality allows. I also understand that someone like Sherri Shepherd (or other hollywood-types) is not necessarily representative of Christians (just as Christopher Hitchens is not necessarily representative of atheists). I know many Christians that clearly know the world is round, and that also believe in evolution. However, I think you will likely see a very religious person making anti-evolution statements (or not knowing the shape of the earth) much sooner than a non-religious person, not because non-religious people are inherently smarter than the very religious, but just that they tend to more vigorously question the information that is given to them – hence the terms “skeptic” and “faith”…these imply very different worldviews. (feel free to disagree – I likely have a very different perspective than you)

    To Shana:
    Sounds like you are well-versed in the debate between evolution and creation. Certainly one of the best ways to debate your opponent is to read the books and arguments that they cite. It takes a lot of time, but it also means that you have a better understanding of where they’re coming from, and are better at finding major flaws in their arguments. This is why I love debating with people who disagree with me but are well-read – eventually you get to a point where you know what the other person will say, and that both of you have good evidence to support your views, but ultimately the differences come down to some small but fundamentally distinct points in the argument. It can all depend on the premise, or on what one person values more. Of course this is more common in philosophical and political arguments, rather than scientific, but even scientific research takes years and decades to produce solid evidence and is much debated and critiqued in the process. I wish more people were willing to openly debate their views with others without getting emotional or feeling attacked, but I guess we’re all guilty of overreacting a bit when our closely held beliefs are challenged…just a part of human nature I suppose.

  26. Tim Kurek said,

    September 21, 2007 at 1:18 am

    Shana,

    I don’t respond with a lot of info because I don’t want to waste the time talking to someone who feels they have it all figured out. I appreciate your passion for your point of view and I agree that a lot of Christians and religious people in general are ignorant of what they believe… Which is sad. My point? I do not care to debate. Congrats on all of your accomplishments. I just merely wished you hadn’t become so defensive. Either way, peace.

    tim

    http://UriahMinistries.wordpress.com

  27. Shana said,

    September 21, 2007 at 9:47 am

    Tim,
    One thing we anthropologists know is that we certainly do not have it all figured out! I do believe that I know a LOT about evolution because I have spent years of my life in labs devoted to studying fossils of our ancestors, but just because I feel science can quite adeptly explain this one aspect of our creation, there is still the matter of yes but where did it ALL start? That lies with God and is far far beyond the scope of my comprehension.

    -Shana

  28. Shana said,

    September 21, 2007 at 9:56 am

    Actually you know what, it isn’t all the bones and geology and genetics that make me sure that though God didn’t design everything as it is is this:

    In my second year anatomy and physiology labs we had to study TONS of diseases, mostly tropical since that’s where they flourish. And we studied this particular bacteria. Now this bacteria ONLY goes after an unborn fetus while in utero, it doesn’t actually affect the host mother’s body it resides in, this bacteria is not known to affect anything other than an unborn fetus. The baby is then born covered in horrible lesions which cause the baby unending pain for about six months, after which the baby is no longer in pain but spends the rest of its life horribly disfigured. Now obviously babies are born with horrible birth defects all the time, but this IS NOT a defect from something going wrong during pregnancy, it is from the effect of a living organism that is known ONLY to affect human babies. Now if I were to hold with intelligent design, that God purposefully invented every living thing exactly how it is now, that means that God took the time to invent a bacteria that ONLY causes innocent babies to suffer, that is the only thing it does. Keep in mind the babies don’t DIE, so its not like population control, they simply suffer nonstop for months. So what you are saying if you believe in intelligent design is that God purposefully created something to torture babies. If I believed this were true, I could never love and respect God, I would only despise him. So while some keep a belief in intelligent design because it helps them keep the faith, if I were to ascribe to it, it would make me haste God.

  29. Matty said,

    September 21, 2007 at 2:08 pm

    You know screw science, let’s keep this a religious debate, Tim, how do you answer this:

    I’m a Jew. The Old Testament is OUR book. God gave it to US, we wrote it down, interpreted it and kept it for thousands of years. Our book wasn’t good enough for you, you guys decided you wanted a New book, and that’s fine, that is totally cool. In temple, our rabbis do not comment on your book because it’s not ours to interpret. Yet Christians have NO PROBLEM interpereting OUR book. The Jewish consensus is that the creation story was written for its meaning, not for its factual history. In fact, if you look at earlier editions of the Old Testement, there are actually FOUR different creation stories, each slightly different. Yet three of them are cut out of the King George version, so that it looks like there was only ever one clear consensus on how the world was created. I have no problem with Christians, I have problems with Christians who look at heavily edited versions of OUR holy texts that we have spend MILLENIA transcribing and worshipping, and then tell US that we have the message wrong.

  30. Tim Kurek said,

    September 22, 2007 at 2:33 am

    Matty,

    Here is the deal, you are looking that the Bible (old testament or new, doesn’t matter) as your book, when in reality it’s God’s. And the old testament gave the foundation and the prophecy for the new testament. What do you think Isaiah refers to, or Psalm 22? Jews are still waiting for their Messiah because they do not want to admit that they killed Him already. But this blog is not a forum for religious debate, and neither is mine. E-mail me if you must. fugitivepoet04@yahoo.com.

    Peace,
    tim
    http://UriahMinistries.wordpress.com

  31. October 2, 2007 at 8:05 pm

    […] To see my original post on the topic from a few weeks ago click here. […]

  32. Jim Thio said,

    October 14, 2007 at 10:22 am

    Square water melons and genetically engineered food are samples that once in a while, life is created. Not a proof, but a plausibility.

  33. Greg said,

    February 23, 2008 at 5:34 pm

    Evolution is a way of thinking, a philosophy a way of interpreting facts, evidences and observations of science based on assumptions and believes. Evolution theory is NOT science per se.
    As it is the Creation theory. For example if you see a fossil, what do you see? Do you see a missing link, or do you see a dead animal that got quickly berried during the worldwide flood in the days of Noah?
    Well, it is hard to tell by just genuinely looking at the fossil. And here your faith kicks in, to interpret what you see. If you believe evolution, you see a missing link; if you believe the Bible you see the evidence of the flood.
    Both interpretations are bias based on presumptions.
    But only one is told in schools as part of science, and that sucks. Why don’t present both views and let the students decide what they want to believe
    Greg

  34. Greg said,

    February 23, 2008 at 5:44 pm

    Shanah
    You talk about the suffering of babies. It is a very sad thing, but here is something to think about: If we have to blame God for these cases, whom should we thank for all the healthy ones?
    In a broader scale… if we are to blame God for all the suffering in the world (and there is a lot of it) whom should we thank for every good thing we are given?

  35. fox1882 said,

    February 23, 2008 at 10:57 pm

    Greg, you seemed to be confused regarding the discursive framework of science. You assert that evolution is a way of thinking and suggest that it is somehow distinct from science. In point of fact, evolution is a theory developed according to and supported by the methods of investigation prescribed by the language of science. To borrow your typography, evolution decidedly IS science, which is to say that it is a perspective capable of expression only within a system that recognizes logical conjecture repeatedly subjected to empirical validation.

    It is at least theoretically possible that an extraordinarily powerful being actually created all that we routinely encounter and encumbered us with minds predisposed to detecting patterns that would directly undermine the credible belief in his existence, but of course, given such minds, discussion of such a theory would be impossible in the context of scientific empiricism. It would have to take place under the rubric of philosophy were it to hope to gain any traction at all. Of course, you are entitled to believe anything you want, but when it comes time to take actions based on your beliefs, you should be prepared to weigh the results against your expectations. In this area, science, and particularly evolution, have a decided advantage when compared to theological creationism. Predictions regarding molecular and macroscopic forms based on the principle of natural selection are routinely borne out by inspection of the real world. The theory of a great worldwide flood accompanied by an ark carrying a severely restricted sample of genetic material leaves us helpless to explain the vast diversity of life we see all around us to say nothing of a fossil record that extends well beyond a few thousand years.

    Finally, your response to Shanah seems also to miss the mark. Shanah was explicitly saying that we do not have to blame god for all the pain and suffering in the world because god does not exist. Furthermore, an act of moral calculus that would attempt to weigh the good things in our life against the bad would be inconsistent with the notion of an all-powerful, all-loving creator. When it comes to bestowing thanks, I suggest you look to the people most directly responsible for the happy event. If it is a natural phenomenon that pleases you, say a rainbow after a thunderstorm, I suggest you meditate deeply on the remarkable effects of natural selection under which auspices a brain developed capable of appreciating the scintillating vitality of the world it inhabits.

  36. Greg said,

    February 24, 2008 at 5:22 am

    Again, Evolution Theory was established on the interpretation Darwin developed based on what he observed. What I want to convey is that as long as interpretations and deductions have to be made the chances are open for attribution errors, misinterpretations or wrong deductions.
    In my opinion evolution makes attribution errors in its interpretations and predictions.

    However it is interesting that you see evolution as something to disprove God. More then once I hear from the Evolutionists that evolution has nothing to do with how life or the universe itself started, but only studies and explains how life evolved once it already existed.
    If that is true, I don’t see how Evolution theory would disprove a Creator, in any case.

    Science has BIG explaining to do on how dead matter birthed life. Yes I hear the assumptions that say this is how must have happened, but to me that is no science, just an ardent fantasy.
    For the simplest living cell to function at all, there are needed at least 397 chromosomes. You can’t go any further down. There is a big gap from non life to a cell with 397 chromosomes. Big gap that needs a big leap… of faith…

    Big Bang basically says that the whole universe, space, time and matter came from nothing.

    Now if these are the two basic things you have to convince me that there is no God, I am afraid you have to do better then that.

    The Bible is not per se a book of science, but it is a trustworthy source. There is so much evidence that it is God’s communication with us. I give you only one: In the Old Testament, only about Jesus, we find more then 300 prophecies, something that can’t be explained by natural means.

    Also a Christian believer has a personal relationship with God. And what “prove” of the origins you have to disprove God is a very feeble argument to argue him out of his daily experience with His Creator.

    I understood what Shana was saying. She basically was saying that the existence of such nasty viruses and bacteria is prove against the existence of a loving and caring Creator.
    And this was my point: If the bad things that exist make you conclude there is no Creator, why do not the good things make you conclude there is One?
    Again, in this case we have an attribution error. In order to disprove God you have to attribute to Him the suffering in the world, and have to attribute to evolution all the good things we have.

    I hope you see my point.

    Still, if evolution is right, why not have both options taught, believing that the students would use their brains and choose the right way. Why evolutionists are so nervous about it?

  37. Greg said,

    February 24, 2008 at 9:47 am

    Ups , I made a mistake, 397 genes, not chromosomes. My lapsus. But the quetion remains the same

  38. fox1882 said,

    February 24, 2008 at 10:57 pm

    Greg, you seem to be missing an integral part of what I am saying. Yes, it is true that the theory of evolution began with Darwin’s observations and interpretations, and yes, it is true that, being human, he might have erred in his analysis; however, what makes the theory of evolution different from theistic explanations for the origin and development of life is that Darwin’s observations, propositions and conclusions were all framed within the language of science which provides an apparatus for independent scrutiny, validation and rejection. As it turns out, after over a hundred years of vigorous interest, the bulk of Darwin’s theory stands validated as originally stated having been significantly augmented, though not undermined, by further discoveries at the microscopic level. If you believe that evolution makes “attribution errors” then it would be incumbent upon you to establish where the errors occur and why they have not been detected by the multitude of scientists who have heretofore examined the theory.

    If you read my previous reply closely, you’ll find that I did not propose that evolution disproved the notion of god, per se. I said that there is scant room for such an idea within the context of scientific empiricism of which the theory of evolution is an outgrowth. Evolution does go against propositions related to particular religious dogma such as a worldwide flood and Noah’s ark. Geology, physics, chemistry and mathematics also all contribute knowledge that directly contradicts accounts found in the bible. The thing is, if you agree to participate in a debate regulated by the twin concepts of reason and empirical evidence, then religious dogma can only enter the conversation as a hypothesis to be examined, not as evidence itself. Regarding the claim you make that the simplest cell requires approximately 400 genes to live, I’m not sure where you came up with this claim and so cannot comment on its validity, but I can note that an incomplete explanation is not necessarily wrong on the parts whereof it speaks. As an example, people knew that air was a vital element of fire before they knew that oxygen was an indispensable component of combustion.

    Regarding the prophecies you mention, again I am not sure where you are getting your numbers, but given that you say there are over 300, it should be no great difficulty for you to produce one that you find convincing and inexplicable by means other than recourse to the supernatural.

    You say you understand Shana’s objections, but your simple restatement of your original argument suggests that you do not, so here is the problem in more direct terms. 1) God is all powerful and created everything in the universe, futhermore, nothing is beyond his ability. 2) God is all-loving, loves only the good, and finds the suffering of innocents bad. 3) There in fact exists a bacteria which, according to (1) must have been created by god that exclusively attacks unborn human children and inflicts significant suffering upon these innocents in violation of (2), thus at least one of the propositions must be false. At this point, in the face of a contradiction, you do not proceed on to attempt to rescue your original hypothesis by introducing new evidence with which it is consistent. You must first return to your premises and modify them to account for all the facts at hand, even the ones you don’t like. Your options then are: a) no god exists, b) god exists, but he is not all powerful and did not create everything, c) god is omnipotent but he is not all-loving and is either indifferent to or delights in human suffering. Which do you prefer?

    Finally, as I said last time, there is no problem with presenting creationists theories in a classroom, but it would be inappropriate to present them in a science classroom since they are not scientific theories. You could discuss them in a philosophy or social studies context, but if you tried to advance them as representing a legitimate scientific point of view, they would have to be accompanied by evidence and not contradicted by other known facts. Its like the notion of the ether in physics which is mentioned as a passing historical curiosity that has since been replaced by the concept of a vacuum.

  39. Greg said,

    February 27, 2008 at 4:05 pm

    The article about the number of genes necessary for the simplest cell to function is found in Nature, January 6th, 2006

    The Old Testament envelopes astounding prophecies not only about Jesus but about world events, hundreds of years before they happened. Only in the book of Daniel is prophesied, the fall of Babylon, the rise of Persia, then the fall of Persia and the rise of Greece, Alexander the Great and all to the Roman Empire. Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel and few other books tell of coming historic events.

    .For any field of science to disprove God is still something to happen. Because it still hits the wall of the origins. In the last years the famous atheist philosopher, Antony Flew, has changed his position, saying that in the light of all new findings especially on the molecular field, he has arrived at a conclusion that there is a creator.

    Coming back on Shana’s argument, you leave out at least one other option. That God might not be responsible for the evil in this world, but we are.

    For the sake of the argument let’s use an imaginative illustration. If you tell me not to go to a certain country because a dangerous virus has spread there that can cause death, but I do not listen to you and decide to go, then I take my fate into my hands. Let’s say I get the virus and then I come home and my children get it to. Now we have a tragic situation, but who is responsible for that? It is me. Yes my children are innocent but they suffer in any case.
    According to Bible account God created men in His own image, and that not on the physical sense where we are animal life, but on that which distincts us from the animals like the ability to fantasize, create, project, make plans, and so forth. In this sense men was unique and a reflection of some characteristics of God.
    God told Adam (and Eve) to not eat form the tree of knowledge of good and evil or else he/they world die. Satan said you will not die but become like God. They had a choice to make whom to listen to, and choose to believe Satan. Certainly death (separation from God) came and this “virus” spread to their children in a tragic way, one brother killing the other…
    The thing with the “virus” of sin (which in my paraphrased version would be defined as not taking God seriously) is that it effects not only those who in a particular situation sin but the others who in that particular situation are innocent. Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot can illustrate this point.
    We actually kill unborn babies (and that is a horrible death if you witness it how it happens) more then any bacteria makes them suffer, but this fact does not seem to bother many. We have the choice to do that…but the inocent suffer.
    We have the choice to experience free sex and drugs, but then get AIDS and then inocent children are born with it.
    The bible actually goes to say that sin makes the whole creation suffer. And that prior to the time we could pollute our planet in a material way.
    Now you can blame God only for giving Adam and Eve (and us today) a free choice. But it is a little like we do with our children when they grow up. They have to make decisions for themselves. We might not agree with what they choose, and are grieved if they take a wrong path in life, but still have to respect their choices.
    Is there a way out? Yes Jesus on the cross. The prove of God’s love does not stand in the fact that there are not bacteria to make children suffer, but that Jesus took the penalty for my sin. The righteous for the unrighteuos, He who had no sin, dying for me the sinner (who has not taken God seriously and has suffered the consequences of that).

    Sorry, I did not mean to be preaching, I only aimed to explain my position on why God is not the author of suffering.

  40. fox1882 said,

    February 28, 2008 at 8:38 am

    Greg, I don’t mind if you want to preach, though to the extent possible I think you will be better served if stick to philosophical arguments as opposed to dogmatic assertions. For example, when I asked that you provide evidence of a prophecy contained in the bible that could not be explain by other than supernatural means, you responded simply by asserting that particular prophecies were included. It will not do just to say that the fall of Babylon was forecast in the book of Daniel. You actually need to cite the passage that you believe foretells this event and then explain why the text is so clear and attempt to construct an argument that would exclude liberal interpretation or human reasoning as viable alternatives to its expression.

    Second, I think you and I hold different views of the defining characteristics of a god. My understanding of the idea of god that people want to defend is an entity that is all-powerful, all-knowing, and all-loving. The problem with the scenario you described above in which human beings, which are created by a god, are somehow solely responsible for the emergence of evil in the world is that it violates the constraints listed above. To be all-knowing implies that god must know the full shape and contour of the path that will be followed by anything he creates. To be all-powerful implies that god can create or modify anything he makes to follow any path he likes that is not a logical contradiction. To be all-loving implies that god would not create something that followed a logically consistent path that involved the suffering of innocents. It will not do to say that god created men to be free because freedom implies unpredictability which violates the premise that god is omniscient. So which of the three premises do you think should be disregarded?

  41. Greg said,

    February 28, 2008 at 7:32 pm

    You have to ask a scientist of the field, which I am not, about the role of bacteria in the world and how indispensable they are.
    Shana’s deduction (and yours) is not taking in consideration the possibility that…maybe… IF God is, and HE has created humans perfect, their original immune system was such that no bacteria or virus would harm them. IF so then the bacteria was not created to attack and harm unborn babies in the first place.
    It does not take in consideration the possibility that after separation from God humans declined in many arias and their immunity system is malfunctioning to, or has lost a great deal of it’s power. (Isn’t that the case that more and more people seem to get cancer too?)
    IF so then it’s simply not true to say that God created bacteria to harm innocent babies.
    It is rather a byproduct of the fall of mankind.

    About free choice God gives men, I don’t know if I can make you see my point but let me use another example: In fanatic Islamic culture wife does not get outside the house. And she is faithful to her husband. Of course she is, she has no chance to not be. But she really doesn’t know until she is given the freedom to get out on her own, meet new people and other men. Then she will really know how much she loves her husband and how much she will be faithful to him.
    If God were to manipulate us (being all knowing, all powerful, and all loving), in order to keep us “safe” then we would be kept in “ a prison” of having-to-be-with-God not really knowing what we would chose if we had a choice. You would not have the choice to be who you are right now – an atheist. Would you want a God like that? I think that would have been an awful thing, worse then any bacteria…

    I like to think that democracy and freedom has flourished in the Christian cultures as a reflection of the nature of the God of the bible.
    Islam has a god that is not compatible with neither democracy nor freedom. Is not same personality.

    God has opened a door of return, again according to His nature, giving a choice in Jesus, but again it is completely by our free will.
    Now about the verses of prophecy I will start with few founnd in Psalm 22 and Isaiah 53

    Psalm 22:
    A prophecy about the suffering of Jesus on the cross writen by King David
    Actually Jesus aluded that this was a prophecy about him by crying outloud from the cross the same words of verse one.

    1 My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me? Why are You so far from helping Me, And from the words of My groaning?
    2 O My God, I cry in the daytime, but You do not hear; And in the night season, and am not silent.
    3 But You are holy, Enthroned in the praises of Israel.
    4 Our fathers trusted in You; They trusted, and You delivered them.
    5 They cried to You, and were delivered; They trusted in You, and were not ashamed.
    6 But I am a worm, and no man; A reproach of men, and despised by the people.
    7 All those who see Me ridicule Me; They shoot out the lip, they shake the head, saying,
    8 “He trusted in the LORD, let Him rescue Him; Let Him deliver Him, since He delights in Him!”
    9 But You are He who took Me out of the womb; You made Me trust while on My mother’s breasts.
    10 I was cast upon You from birth. From My mother’s womb You have been My God.
    11 Be not far from Me, For trouble is near; For there is none to help.
    12 Many bulls have surrounded Me; Strong bulls of Bashan have encircled Me.
    13 They gape at Me with their mouths, Like a raging and roaring lion.
    14 I am poured out like water, And all My bones are out of joint; My heart is like wax; It has melted within Me.
    15 My strength is dried up like a potsherd, And My tongue clings to My jaws; You have brought Me to the dust of death.
    16 For dogs have surrounded Me; The congregation of the wicked has enclosed Me. They pierced My hands and My feet;
    17 I can count all My bones. They look and stare at Me.
    18 They divide My garments among them, And for My clothing they cast lots.

    Isaiah 52:13 – 53:12 was writen about 700 years beffore Jesus lived on earth

    13 See, my servant will act wisely; he will be raised and lifted up and highly exalted.
    14 Just as there were many who were appalled at him— his appearance was so disfigured beyond that of any man and his form marred beyond human likeness—
    15 so will he sprinkle many nations, and kings will shut their mouths because of him. For what they were not told, they will see, and what they have not heard, they will understand.
    1 Who has believed our message and to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed?
    2 He grew up before him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of dry ground. He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.
    3 He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. Like one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
    4 Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted.
    5 But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed.
    6 We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all.
    7 He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth.
    8 By oppression and judgment he was taken away. And who can speak of his descendants? For he was cut off from the land of the living; for the transgression of my people he was stricken.
    9 He was assigned a grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death, though he had done no violence, nor was any deceit in his mouth.
    10 Yet it was the LORD’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer, and though the LORD makes his life a guilt offering, he will see his offspring and prolong his days, and the will of the LORD will prosper in his hand.
    11 After the suffering of his soul, he will see the light of life and be satisfied; by his knowledge my righteous servant will justify many, and he will bear their iniquities.
    12 Therefore I will give him a portion among the great, and he will divide the spoils with the strong, because he poured out his life unto death, and was numbered with the transgressors. For he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.

  42. Greg said,

    February 29, 2008 at 5:39 am

    Coming back to the original topic.
    You can’t blame the bible if someone does not know if the earth is flat or round.

    Isa 40:22 He sits enthroned above the circle of the earth, and its people are like grasshoppers. He stretches out the heavens like a canopy, and spreads them out like a tent to live in.

    The verse above speaks of a round earth and implies an universe in expansion,

    Luke17: 34-35 I tell you, on that night two people will be in one bed; one will be taken and the other left. Two women will be grinding grain together; one will be taken and the other left.”

    Jesus is referring to his second coming. The moment of His return seems to find some at nighttime, sleeping, and some at day time working. Maybe in the distant past someone thought that Jesus contradicted himself. But when it was found that the earth was round, and turned around itself, so that at the same time in the planet someplace is nighttime and some place is daytime… there was no contradiction in Jesus’ words.

  43. fox1882 said,

    February 29, 2008 at 11:27 pm

    Greg, you sure threw a lot of verses out there, but of course you realize that there is a problem with prophecies that forecast events included in the same historical narrative. Namely, writers with access to the older works can modify their versions to make them line up with the story they want to tell. What you should really be looking for is a prediction that extends beyond the time frame of the volume’s original composition. For instance, if the character called Jesus was imputed to have said that in the year to be identified as 1903 men will create a device allowing them to fly through the air, then we would have something to discuss. Metaphorical language is not specific enough to be falsifiable which makes it ineligible for evaluating prophetic accuracy. Also, you don’t seem to comprehend that “free will” is incompatible with the notion of a god that is omniscient and omnipotent. If a god knows everything, that means he knows everything: including all that his creations will ever do.

  44. Greg said,

    March 1, 2008 at 9:45 pm

    Yap, many verses, sorry. But you asked me… there are many more.

    The Dead Sea scrolls contain the book of Isaiah, dating 400 BC. Exactly the same book as we have today, except for about five words in the whole book that are misspelled.
    Prophecy in Isaiah 53 is very specific. No other person who ever lived on earth can have a claim on that, except Jesus.

    Only in the two paragraphs I put in there are mentioned: Jesus’ disfiguration from the beating, the crucifixion (piercing of hands and feet), dividing of the clothes and casting lot for his tunic, The thirst Jesus had while on the cross, dying among criminals, being buried in a rich man’s grave., the mocking of those that watched, the purpose of his death, and the fruit of his act.

    Sorry it did not come with a date…

    You seem to forget Old Testament is the Bible of the Jews, not only of the Christians. If anyone would have wanted to counterfeit it by adding fake prophecies about Jesus (it had to be done AC time) would find itself before an impossible task. OK he could counterfeit the Christian version of OT but then the Jews who think Jesus was fake, would always produce their authentic version.
    As it is the O T of Christians and Jews is the same. Jews carry in their bibles all those prophecies about the Messiah they did not recognize.

    The way the Apostles persuaded the early Jewish disciples was by using already written Old Testament to point out all that Jesus had fulfilled in accordance with what it was written in there.

    Also I see a logical problem for anyone who would counterfeit text to make Jesus look like Messiah… It has to do with the question: What did the early Christians profit from it? From the Apostles only two died natural death. The others where killed. The early believers, where killed by the scores, tortured horribly, robed of their possessions, treated like scum. So what was the catch? I can’t find any.

    And you are so right. God knows everything. Past, Present, Future. The problem is that we don’t really know the past, (we seem to have different versions of it), we kind of know the present, and we don’t know the future. Maybe it is because we know so little that we can’t understand why God acts the way He does…. Just something to think about…

  45. fox1882 said,

    March 2, 2008 at 3:26 am

    Greg, as for the prophecies, you clearly ignored my last post which indicated that a legitimate prophecy would have to address time beyond the period of its composition. You can trot out all the old testament verses addressing the possible description of Jesus that you want, but they will all equally be susceptible to the legitimate criticism that the authors of the new testament could have altered their writings to conform with past expectations.

    Regarding the fundamental characteristics of the god you choose to defend, you are still left with the problem of explaining how an all-knowing, all-powerful, all-loving being created a bacteria that inflicts pain upon innocent children. The statement, “God works in mysterious ways,” is not a justification, and has no place in an argument regulated by the rules of logic. If you want to invoke it, so be it, but you should recognize that in doing so you have effectively forfeited your position in the debate.

  46. Greg said,

    March 4, 2008 at 9:13 am

    It seems we are going round in circles.

    You are saying that the writers of New Testament have created this fake character – Jesus to make him fit the Old Testament prophecies.
    I already answered. Why would they do that? So they all would be persecuted all their lives and die horrible deaths? Talking about rules of logic. People have to believe in the thing they are ready to die for. People have died because believed in Communism, or Nazism. Even if we would probably agree that it was the wrong thing to believe in.
    But who would be ready to suffer and die for some story they made up themselves?
    These people had to at least believe that Jesus was the Messiah prophesied about in the Old Testament, and had to at least believe that he was raised from the dead.

    Also the gospel accounts where written so shortly after the events described that it is improbable to create such a myth in such a short time

    Paul the apostle writes in 1 Corinthians that there have been in one occasion 500 people who have seen Jesus after his resurrection, and although some of them have died, most of them are still alive. In other words things were still verifiable at the time of the writing.

    Jesus had a very public ministry; his crucifixion was a very public event, involving specific authorities mentioned by name.
    The time of his death (Passover -implying he was the true Passover lamb) and the place of his death (mount Moriah where God provided a substitute sacrifice for Isaac – implying that Jesus is the true substitute sacrifice, dying in our place) could not be altered while thousands of witnesses still living would negate the account of events.

    I don’t think your theory holds.

    Using moral judgment as evidence against the existence of God is in itself a paradox. If there is no God, there could not be an absolute standard of morals, by which we can all agree making innocent children suffer is evil.


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