Saturday, June 09, 2007

A little bored

You scored as Scientific Atheist, These guys rule. I'm not one of them myself, although I play one online. They know the rules of debate, the Laws of Thermodynamics, and can explain evolution in fifty words or less. More concerned with how things ARE than how they should be, these are the people who will bring us into the future.

Scientific Atheist




Apathetic Atheist


Spiritual Atheist


Angry Atheist


Militant Atheist




What kind of atheist are you?
created with


Anonymous said...


If you're going to refuse to acknowledge God and His Word, you ought at least to check out some of
these publications... if nothing else, it will confirm what you already know. It might even challenge what you think you know.

'Bones of Contention' by Marvin L. Lubenow

'Darwin on Trial' by Phillip E. Johnson

'Darwin's Black Box' by Michael J. Behe

'Doubts about Darwin' by Thomas Woodward

'Not by Chance' by Lee Spetner

'Billions of Missing Links' by Geoffrey Simmons

kwandongbrian said...

Its interesting that most, if not all the books on your list are about evolution (against, I presume). I am an atheist. I don't 'refuse to acknowledge' anybody. From your reading list, it seems to me that you refuse to acknowledge that evolution is not anti-Christian.

There are millions in the US alone that accept Christianity and that evolution is the best explanation for the diversity of life we see in this world. I suspect there are millions of Canadians as well, but those surveys don't make the news so much.

Evolution did not turn me away from God. I'd like to return to your choice of phrasing, "...refuse to acknowledge God..."
There are many clear facts. The sun does not rise , the Earth rotates, for example. We could talk about acknowledging or refusing to acknowledge that for example.
The existence of God is not a fact to be acknowledged and your phrasing it that way is the kind of thing that did turn me away. Illogical thinking does that.

Anonymous said...


We can get into all sorts of arguments about strains of this and compromised versions of that... but, well, I'm just trying to put across another point of view. I walked into a bookstore the other day, and was confronted by a gigantic placard saying 'Dawkins is God?' followed by a quote from his latest book, and copies of it everywhere. Now, to my mind, a bookstore should be a neutral space... then again, is there such a thing? If I came across as petty or contentious, I didn't mean to. I'm just someone who's interested in the truth, and has serious doubts about the supremacy of certain scientists, since the theory of evolution is not testable in the same way that other scientific theories are. The authors I referred you to can express this better than I can. Take care.

kwandongbrian said...

I really can't explain how or why bookstores publisize books the way they do. Do you really blame evolution for the bookstore management trying to catch your attention? I guess we can agree that libraries should be neutral spaces, but even there, I would want science in the science section and religion in the religion section.

I'm just someone who's interested in the truth, and has serious doubts about the supremacy of certain scientists, since the theory of evolution is not testable in the same way that other scientific theories are.

The first problem with this statement is that 'certain' suggests (to me, anyway) 'a few' and evolution is considered the best explanation by an overwhelming number of scientists. Also, more than ten thousand active clergymen in the US signed a statement that evolution is not anti-God and is consistent with biblical teachings (I'm paraphrasing -please don't dissect this statement the way I have mean-spiritedly dissected yours ;) ).

A bigger problem with your statement is the claim that evolution is not testable the way others are.
Thank you for using the word 'testable'- it shows you probably understand that 'proof' is only for alcohol and math.

Evolution is well-supported and could easily be disproven. I think Huxley, more than a hunderd years ago, stated that "finding fossilized rabbits in the Cambrian would disprove evolution." I think that a few more ancient species, long thought extinct, may be found. But if a modern species (I am excluding sharks, turtles and celocanths among others of their ilk) is found beyond a certain point, evolution would be disproven.

Evolution also makes claims about relatedness. The various cats are more closely related to each other than they are to other groups. Carnivores, including cats, are more closely related to each other than to other groups. And so on.

The evidence I think best supports evolution involves bacterial DNA that has been inserted into various animals DNA over the course of life on Earth. If we are not related to chimps why do we have the same inserted DNA of bacterial origin in the same location as they do?

Oh, I only know one of the books listed at all. I have a copy of Darwin's Black Box by Michael Behe. It, like most all I know about Intelligent Design, is a science stopper. Ten years or so ago, we didn't know much about bacterial flagellae. Behe said it was intelligently designed. If scientists accepted that, there would be no reason to do further research. Over the last ten years, intermediates that Behe said couldn't exist have been found. By the way, Behe does accept evolution and an ancient Earth; his designer just reaches in and tinkers here and there, as far as I understand it. His designer wasn't able to make a smoothly running world and must make adjustments -probably not the Christian God I was taught about.

I am unwilling to pay for books I feel are full of junk science but if I can find any on your list as reasonable prices I may read them.

Anonymous said...

I appreciate the time you spent answering this, and hope you'll find something of interest among the books suggested. It's a shame you can't borrow them from your local library. Perhaps your university has some copies of Creation magazine or the Journal of Creation

As regards the clergymen who are now supporting evolution, one could say that there is a massive split within the Church, stemming from the so-called 'Higher Criticism' movement of the late nineteenth century

The problem really is one of credibility. If the Bible is not the Word of God written through the chosen minds of men, then what is it? And surely, if you are a believer in Christ, you are a believer in miracles having happened. So God created heaven and earth, and possessed a human body (while still being God!), but He's not capable of leaving an inspired record of what He wants from us in a Holy Scripture? What kind of Christianity is that?

No, I quite agree with you that science and religion should be kept in their different departments. One deals with the highest height that man can achieve, ie. to 'know oneself'. The other deals with the soul, ie. to 'know God.'

kwandongbrian said...

I am going to ignore the first half of your response. I have no particularly negative reason for doing so, I just found the second half more interesting. Perhaps later I will check the links you gave me. If you mention ‘blueletterbible’ or ‘creationontheweb’ again, I almost certainly will have a look.

I believe there is a line in the bible, “Peter, you are my rock” or “you are the rock I will build my church upon.” This could be a joke –Petra is Greek for rock, or a metaphor –Peter was not literally a rock, I hope we can agree. Once we see at least some parts of the bible are not literal, other parts might be open to interpretation as well. I am no theologian so I can’t say how or why the Roman Catholic Church, the Lutheran Church, the Anglican Church, the United Church of Canada, the Church of Latter Day Saints and others choose to accept evolution as the best explanation of life’s diversity, but they do.

I, in finding evidence for God unsatisfactory, dodge the whole question and can say that the bible is no more God’s word than Buddhist or Hindu Sutras, the Koran or Persig’s “Zen and the art of motorcycle maintenance”.

I have been responding to your comments but perhaps I need to extend the currently narrow scope of our discussion. Dawkins said something like, "Evolution isn't neccessary for one to become an atheist but it is neccessary to be a fulfilled atheist".

I didn't become an atheist exclusively because I learned about evolution but I would have trouble saying why exactly I did become one. I got tired of church while in elementary school; sunday school was too much like the other kind and I didn't like either one.

I remember a strange sort of daydream I had in those days; I wanted to be good and strong and famous and have lots of money and in my dream I imagined having lots of money and giving lots of money to charity but how could I have lots of money after that? There was more to the dream but that part is what I particularly remember...

I will consider this and see if I can write about how or why I chose atheism. I may not be able to. Still, I am willing to further discuss other aspects, such as evolution and you could try to interest me in the bible.

Anonymous said...

Well, I admire your open-mindedness. You're totally unlike Dawkins, who in the 'God Delusion' facetiously reduces God to a scientific concept which he then debunks, and in the 'Blind Watchmaker' cynically rejects God on the basis that we can't account for His origins!

I think there are two things which turn people off the bible. Firstly, they don't believe its historical authenticity. Secondly, they struggle to appreciate its wisdom, and so don't give it a chance to 'work' on them by reading it sincerely.
The other areas, especially the scientific and the archaeological are, I believe, secondary. People want to know, above all, whether the bible is historically valid, before they can then confront what it says about Jesus Christ. There is a third thing, which I will talk about later.

With regard to the authenticity of the bible, there is both external and internal evidence to consider. As regards external, there are the 'dead sea scrolls'

which confirm the authenticity of the Old testament, many parts of which prophesy a coming Messiah (which Christians claim were all fulfilled by Christ). They were written in greek, by the way, since the ancient Jews transcribed all their Hebrew scriptures into that language. The New Testament writers similarly used greek, and so the bible we have today is essentially translated once, from greek to english, and not from loads of different languages as some would have us think.

Now, in terms of non-biblical sources which refer to the New Testament, the two most cited are Josephus and Tacitus, although these are disputed by some. Nevertheless, the persecuations of Christians by Nero are well documented, and the early church fathers of the 2nd century are undisputed and all refer to the Scriptures without any sense of doubt or uncertainty. The notion that the bible was cooked up centuries later is a myth.

In terms of how the bible refers to itself... ie. the internal evidence of its authority, here are some references which you can later peruse if you wish...

Deuteronomy 32: 45-47
Proverbs 4: 4-7
Proverbs 30:5 Matthew 4:4
Luke 24: 44-45
Acts 17:10-11
1 Corinthians 4:6
1 Thessalonians 5:19-22
2 Timothy 3:16-17
2 Peter 1: 20-21
Rev 22:18-19

A very strong emphasis is put on the written 'Word'. In the 'gospel' (good news) of John, we have Jesus Christ being referred to as the 'Word of God', as if He is everything about God which we can understand. God communicates to us through His Word, just as I am now communicating to you through this body of words. I hate using banal metaphors, but I suppose it's like me creating a comic book which is in two dimensions, and then having to find a way to communicate to these characters that there is such a thing as a third dimension.

And so, the third thing which keeps people from taking the bible seriously is the notion of being 'born again'. Numerous times in the New Testament, there is reference to a 'new birth' or 'new man' which really means that our spiritual connection to God has been enabled by Him.

Unlike all other religions, including much of modern-day Christianity, being 'born again' is not something you do or don't do, but something which is done to you as and when God determines. Indeed, Christ refers to His parables as having been written only for those who are born again (Matthew 13:10-12). It's for those who God has spiritually enabled, and cannot be properly discerned otherwise.

To many this sounds elitist and unfair. But I would say that it is exclusive but not elitist. It's available for anyone, but not everyone desires to accept it. And it is all too often misunderstood. Dawkins in the 'GD' refers to it only in terms of visions or voices in one's head. But it is not like that at all. It is more like an experience of understanding which fulfils and combines the emotional AND intellectual part of you. You can't understand it and not feel it. Neither can you feel it but not understand it.

At the church I go to, there are people from all backgrounds, and all levels of intelligence. Dawkins would have us believe that only idiots are fundamentalists. To see a history of where the mainstream church has gone wrong, try this article

But why is the 'new birth' necessary? Well, this is where it gets really provocative. A careful reading of the New Testament shows how all humans are sinners. Indeed, Jesus admitted the reason the religious world of the time hated him so much, was because of this message (John 7:7).

It's not just a question of specific misdeeds or sins. It's more like knowing that sin is that cynically corrupt, self-seeking part of human nature which is so seductive yet ultimately so destructive. Indeed, if the Old Testament with all its commandments was like a stick to drive us to Christ, the New Testament was that same stick handed to us as a walking stick. It's possible to be 'saved' from one's natural sinful self, but only by accepting that Christ has taken the punishment for our sin and was fully God and fully man and so fully entitled to do this.

Instead of the neutral world of endless uncertainty which we naturally feel comfortable with, the bible presents us with a fallen world, where the consequences of not seeking God are dire, but the benefits of seeking and being found by God are immeasurable (Luke 7:28, 23:43).

But that moment of spiritual birth is key, for without it you are just a body, heart and mind in search of a soul. But with it, you are living by the grace in God, and are entitled to enter the kingdom of God, with
"one body, and one Spirit,
even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; One Lord, one faith, one baptism, One God and Father of all, who [is] above all, and through all, and in you all.
But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ." (Ephesians 4:4-7)

I can appreciate Dawkins' viewpoint in some respects, particularly since I once would have bought into it. I've only been 'born again' for a year and a half, and can see both sides of the so-called 'delusion'. I know a lot of it sounds like an untestable paradox, but then again I suppose a God that could be fully reduced to the realm of human understanding would not be God!

kwandongbrian said...

I'm a little busy right now. I probably want to respond but won't for a day or two. No problems at home but i do have family visiting.