this initial set of emails to the left were posted Ed send
me a series of lengthy emails that "proved" everything.
They were so long
that I couldn't even fathom having the time to retort.
with me ignoring him led Ed to post these two pages on his site
(in place of the pages I linked him with-top right). He has since
removed these pages from his site, so these are from Google archives:
Page 1 includes all of the
letters he sent me. Page
2 is just blatant hurtful wishes and mockery that
made me cry.
are reactions from fans.
I'm trying to figure out if I'm confused...
This is regarding
a man named Edward Britz.
went through the effort to read all of Ed's "evidence" he
posted on his retorts page. And after all of that, I'm not
sure if he actually made a point. The only thing I got out
of it is that he's one arrogant mother fucker. First thing
he needs to realize is that if he's gonna try to argue valid
points, it's not a good idea to use the arguments of a saint
(Thomas Aquinas), I mean saints are people that were near
psychotic in their beliefs. And he actually for me managed
to further discredit the Bible by saying that it hasn't changed
over time. Afterall if nothing has significantly changed,
then it's quite obvious that the original authors were eating
the wrong mushrooms. Nothing makes sense. Read the gospels.
Four people giving accounts of the same events. But in several
cases their accounts were drastically different. I still love
his 6 points.
1. The universe
displays a staggering amount of intelligibility.
2. Either this intelligible order is the product of chance
or of intelligent design.
3. Not chance.
4. Therefore the universe is the product of intelligent design.
3 and 4 are what
get me. True if 3 were true, then 4 would be true. But at
what point does he make any argument for why 3 is true. He
pulls completely unrelated arguments to try to prove his point.
It's like he's saying grass is green and it is alive, trees
are green and they are alive, traffic lights can be green,
HOLY SHIT TRAFFIC LIGHTS MUST BE ALIVE. It seems to me that
he says 3 is true because he says it is. And therefore he
loses credibility by going with the I say so argument. Of
course life occured by random chaos, why do you think it took
3 billion years for life to begin to develop on this planet.
Oh well. My mind
hurts now after reading several pages of what in the end amounted
to nothing. If you were able to get anything substantial or
intelligent out of his drivel, please tell me as I can't figure
out what he was trying to prove other than he can make long,
boring, empty arguments to try to make himself sound bright.
Awe crap, at this
point I'm so brain dead I don't know if I made a point. Well
fuck it I'm not changing anything.
I have been quite
a regular viewer of Mr. Smith's site, and to tell you the
truth have been very impressed by the things I've read and
seen. I have also read your rebuttals and even gone to your
site. You have put together some very nice things; however,
talent is not the issue. You are in a flame war with an obviously
intelligent man who is asking you to provide the impossible.
Every bit of evidence you put forth can be contradicted and
really has no stance to support it other than somebody said
so, or "it is written."
Well, I don't know
if I necessarily consider myself an atheist, but by your standards
I am no Christian. You see that you have a completely biased
opinion and outlook on what is to be the "truth". Well unfortunately
for all of us we are biased. Everything in our lives and our
surroundings has some sort of a beginning and an end including
lives themselves. Well we are always leaning towards the trend
that this universe we live in must follow that same order.
It also seems that we are a bit of an oddity just by being
on this little blue marble. Conditions were just right molecules
formed into chains in the correct amounts and Voila! Life.
Now look at it
like this, what if the universe and everything in it just
is, was, and always will be. What need is there for a creator?
We who havee such a microscopic time of existence in the quantum
web of space and time, seem to think that we are so important.
Well I got bad news for sunshine. We're not. We are self-absorbed,
self-important, beings who need to belong, because we are
so small and here for such a short time, we feel a need to
belong to the big picture. Well, in my opinion that's fine.
But understand that its only a need pressed upon us by our
culture and environment for the past 2000+ years.
The grand failure
to all of this Christian or whatever belief, is that you never
really had the choice. You know if my folks had me going to
church since I was two and that was done every Sunday and
religious holiday, it would be normal. So why quit now, or
ever? Well my parent salso could have told me that the sky
was made of lentil soup. Well as long as that was enforced
why shouldn't I believe it's true. We human beings try to
rationalize things. We try to bring order to chaos. Try watching
TV with the sound off, and turn on some music, pretty soon
the TV is in sync with the tunes. Is this some strange phenomenon?
No, it's are brains trying to bring order. So now we are faced
with a solid dilemma of being in this vast infinite area of
lots of nothing spruced up with gas, dust, fusion combustion,
and various other debris. We think, "It's so big!" "We are
so small!" So now we give ourselves purpose, a reason for
being. God must've put us here. Well go ahead and believe
it I could care less.
There is nothing
that decides what, where, and how you live your life except
you. Basic human behavior is the deciding factor on this.
Believe what you wish. All I ask is you think about it. Bob
has asked these questions as have I to many people, and they
shovel back the same BS, some of it just has more perfume.
Mr. Dana Mikkelsen
Whoo-pee, Eddie. Here's your "evidence" for a supernatural
1. How did life
come on Earth ?
Answer : A question is not evidence ! Research in abiogenesis
is progressing all the time, something which you obviously
know nothing about. Start by reading about the Urey/Miller
experiment and work your way from there.
2. Nothing comes
from nothing !
Answer : Then where did God come from ? Either the universe
is the First Cause, or God is, and we know the universe exists
already. Circular reasoning makes baby Jesus cry.
3. DNA is complex,
so God must have made it !
Answer : Man, that's one clever argument. Did you think that
one out yourself ? Some natural processes also create complexity.
Biological evolution is one such process. Go back to high
4. The New Testament
is historically accurate !
Answer : How much logic-leaping can you make in one post ?
Because Pilate was a real man, that means Jesus existed (let
alone resurrected from the dead) ? There are real historical
details in most Hollywood movies, does that mean they are
5. The universe
is intelligible, therefore God exists !
Answer : No, you idiot. The universe is intelligible because
our brain and sense organs evolved to the environment we are
in. Yes, EVOLVED (does that word scare you ? It sure scares
a lot of sky-fairy-believers, mostly because they refuse to
evolve). Sense organs which do not make the universe intelligible
would not have persisted, since they would be useless.
Please read a book.
George Smith's (no relation with Normal Bob Smith, I'm sure,
but he's a great guy) "The Case Against God" would be a good
Yours in Reason,
an extremely dull on-line
portfolio that no one goes to... so he decided to write
to me again in an attempt to drum up business from my readers.
emailed me once before back in February (page
65) to critique my web page design and my sense of humor.
designed this picture of the squirrel eating a corn cob. His
sense of humor is very similar to it. He
also designs a lot of Christian
theme logos and often substitutes
the letter "T" with a cross.That's a good example
of his cleverness.
put this quote on every page of his site to explain why most people
don't care about his stuff:
percent of a design's beauty is seen only by the designer and those
who can empathize. It is in the creation of the work; the symphonic
trio of time, talent and production, a silent form of genius that
lingers, but is not heard by those who have not created."
I think it's neat to read that while looking at his squirrel drawing.
emails are in blue
& mine are in black and white.
mean, hey, if you want to be more than just heard,
you gotta be respected, right?
Hey Bob! Me again.
I just wanted to send you a few juicy morsels to clear up
a little evident confusion that might discredit your views
to the informed. I mean, hey, if you want to be more than
just heard, you gotta be respected, right?
is / was Catholic! Unfortunately Catholics all go to hell."
Maybe yes, maybe no. The fact is, denomination is irrelevent,
and to categorize like this is evidence of a rather hefty
judgement call that may give those angry, little Christians
a reason to yell, "hypocrite," since it is their judgementalism
that you target. Just a thought.
"Yes it's true,
Walt Disney was not a Christian, he was an atheist. That means
he's strung up-side-down with his head in a bucket of dung
beetles forever." If Walt Disney was not a Christian then
yes, this is true ... more or less. Christ refers to the bucket
as being full of eternal "worms" as opposed to the alleged
"dung beetle." We must give credit where credit is due. (Mark
Mother Teresa is boiling with the rest in the devil's dinner."
Bob, if Mother Teresa's motives were to get closer to God
through her self-sacrifice, then yes, she is eating out at
the previously mentioned establishment. Scary for some but
nonetheless true, the finite cannot impress the infinite.
John Merrick the Elephant Man was not a Christian and he had
to go to hell. God can be such a pisser sometimes." RIght
on Bob! Non-christians go to hell. You've really got that
one down. As far as God being a "pisser," well, your blame
is in the wrong place. Let me illustrate with a parable (no
pun intended):Jumping off of a cliff does not make gravity
a "pisser." It makes the jumper mentally-challenged since
all nature around this individual screams that the laws of
nature are in perfect working order. And 9 out of 10 reletively
intelligent people agree that breaking laws produce inevitable
and negative consequences. All that to say, God doesn't send
you anywhere. You know your options. You send yourself by
your own choice.
"No, it can't
be! Yes it's true. Gandhi was not a Christian, he was a Hindu.
God doesn't care, and now he must pay!" Ah ... your sentence
structure is a little muddled here, but I am assuming that
"God doesn't care" refers to the man Ghandhi, the fact that
he was not a Christian, and that fact that he was Hindu. The
"he" refers to Ghandhi, I suppose. WIth that being established,
it is all untrue ... except for the "he must pay" part. It
is clear in scripture, that God cares about everyone and would
love the whole world to join Him at His place upon going through
death's inevitable porthole. This includes our peaceful friend.
But as cuddly as Ghandhi was, he is found wanting. As stated
above with Mother Teresa, the finite cannot impress the infinite.
Hence the reason for the God-man.
"No, not Screamin
Jay Hawkins! Sorry folks, Screamin' Jay had no religious beliefs,
thus another burning cinder in hell's oven." Clever word
pictures and very true, Bob. I have nothing to add, except
that "religious beliefs" are irrelevant. God dislikes religion
as much as the next guy. (Matthew 9:13 & 12:7 among many,
many others) This mistake is common for those on the outside
looking in. Don't worry about it.
"And did you
know that everyone who died before Christ died went to hell?
(This is all merely speculation on my part.) This includes
Mary's parents and their parents and so on! This goes all
the way back to Adam and Eve and their kids! It's all really
astounding if you think about it. I'm guessing that anyone
who died while Jesus lived went to hell as well. If there
is any Christian out there who can explain to me what happens
in this scenario I am keen for answers." Boy have I got
answers! This "speculation" is another common error, but who's
counting? Jesus Christ always existed. John 1:1 is quite clear
on this matter. "In the beginning was the Word ..." But it
gets better. The book of Hebrews establishes God-man's eternal
existence in verse 2 of chapter 1 refering to the Christ as
someone "...through whom [God] made the universe." Oh so clever
how the author just tucks that little morsel in there, hey?
It's so easily missed by those narrow-minded, self-proclaimed,
enlightened ones who like using the Bible to back up what
they already want to believe. Anyhoo, an entire chapter (11)
is devoted to clearing up any last remnants of this common
misconception. Like I said, "don't worry about it." Moses
is safe. As is Beltashazar and Zaphenath-Paneah.
"Now there is
one loophole for anyone who dies after Jesus. What is that
you ask? Well, if you accept Christ into your heart while
you lay on your death bed, no matter how bad you've been,
God has to let you into heaven! It's a fact. You can spend
your whole life raping babies and pissen' in collection plates,
then if you confess your sins and accept Jesus as your savior,
he has to let you into heaven!" Hey Bob, colorfully said
and very true ... except for the "God has to let you into
heaven" part. Let there be no mistake. God wants to let you
in, and He's just going nuts waiting for you to embrace the
magic Word. (The capital "W" is no typo. There is only one.)
accepted Jesus into his heart before he died. God must hate
that rule." Actually, no. God LOVES that rule.
"This is the
route that you take if you have any brains at all. Of course
there is the risk that you might die unexpectedly. That's
the chance you take. Like Tony Mangan says, you only go around
once then you're worm food. You'd better enjoy yourself 'cause
you ain't commin' back and that's all part of God's great
plan. Make sense?" Boy you're right there, Bob. You could
die anytime. No guarantees. That's what life is all about
... suprises. Yep.
Whoops, I almost
forgot one more tidbit of info to put in your pipe. That "route"
you refer to works only for religions. But that's not what
were talking about, is it, Bob? Absolutely not. Nope. We're
talking about a relationship here.
You know, that
little thing that we depend on for self-worth and purpose?
For some it's money, or stuff, or sex. For others, like us
extroverts, Bob, it is how much attention and respect we can
bring to ourselves and our ideas. But whatever we fill that
little void with will eventually let us down when we run out
of money, or words, or viagra. Because, Bob, here's the thing.
It only stands to reason that the created will not be at rest
until he/she finds the Creator. (Hebrews 4 if you really are
interested)Those who truly understand the purpose of the Christ
will find Him quite irresistible to avoid until one's death
bed. In fact, the one who can and does, won't, because they've
missed the whole point. And that is sad, and maddening, especially
when all the evidence is there. Ask Mark Twain.
Hey Bob, I gotta
run. Look, if you still have questions or if we God-man followers
still have your head spinning, ask, ask away. That's what
I'm here for, Bob. Take care of yourself. Hope to hear from
In His service,
... don't give up on me man
So, how have you been? Havent heard from you in awhile. You
too busy or what? Just wondering if you've given any thought
to my last email. So ... don't give up on me man. Our conversation
was just getting interesting.
In His service,
The biggest mistake
that Christians make when attempting to convince others what
they say is true is assuming belief. You assume that the person
believes God exists. It's an annoying personality trait (assuming
belief, then correcting) and unfortunately this trait ruins
many lines of communication you hope to establish leaving
you responsible for yet another perishing ghost in the devil's
caldron of pain.
What every Christian
(or any God believer) should do before approaching the lost
is assume that he/she doesn't give His Holy Majesty credit
for even being. Start off with that evidence you spoke
of and establish that God exists. Now keep in mind this tool
of Satan you're approaching doesn't even consider the possibility
that Satan forges prehistoric evidence to throw us off Creation,
sin equals bad weather or that somewhere out there the Elephant
Man is weeping eternal regret in another dimension. You must
assume that your listener believes the physical evidence that
the devil has fabricated to deceive.
Now holding up
a book isn't the evidence I'm talking about. Every God has
His own book. It's going to take more than that. Pointing
at rainbows, sunsets or a piece of Noah's Ark isn't going
to do it either. A non believer is the way he is because he
needs more than just a savvy salesman.
This evidence you
mentioned is key. I'm not sure exactly what you've got (God's
fingerprints, surveillance footage, notarized documents?)
but you need to lead with that. You saved it 'til the very
end with me and then it turned out to only be a teaser! You
should be starting right off with that info Ed, because then
the rest will be a piece of cake!
you corrected in my comedy bit were answers I already knew
were there. I wrote that to be funny because I don't even
believe that God exists, not because I think that God is unfair.
with evidence. You're gonna save a lot of souls with this
Let's have it.
you for your timely response...
Thank you for your timely response ... and I appreciate that
as I do your thought process. You seem like quite an intelligent
person, interested and introspective enough to have thought
through not only why you believe what you believe, but why
others believe as well.
And you are right
in pointing out that I started at the end and ended with the
beginning. If more people understood what you have just shown
me you do, we wouldn't have such an empty, goody-two-shoes,
refined, spiritual culture with all these good morals and
no reason for them. There is a cause and there is an effect.
If you lead with the effect, you teach only proper behaviors
based on do's and don't's, and what you have created is another
religious person. Yadda, yadda, yadda. I'm preaching to the
work of Christ crucified is the cause of what brings an individual
significance, acceptance, the change of habits, attitude,
overall sense of well-being and ofcourse, absolute truth.
My interest is
not in selling Christianity, but in loving Christ more today
than I did yesterday. Now, the results of that will lead the
curious to ask questions. It is my belief that you cannot
sell Christianity and keep it Christianity. Selling denotes
talk and we all know that there is too much of that. And if
all it is is talk, you've got the wrong religion.
So, Bob, my thoughts.
Thanks for your response. I have a new-found respect for you
... not for what you believe, but for the way you think. Behind
all the humor, there is serious thought. Ask yourself these
questions. There is nothing better than having a peace in
what you believe and a certainty in it.
Do I have any kind
of spiritual belief?
To me, who is the man Jesus Christ?
Do I believe in a heaven or a hell?
If I were to die right now, where would I go?
If what I believe is not true, would I want to know?
What? No evidence?
OK, here are the answers to your questions anyhow.
Do I have any
kind of spiritual belief? No. It's absolute silliness,
completely and totally.
To me, who is
the man Jesus Christ? A man who had a message of peace
and morals who was elevated to the position of "God" by hopeless,
Do I believe
in a heaven or a hell? God no. I'm not a mental patient
yelling at invisible enemies on the street corner. There is
If I were to
die right now, where would I go? The same place that the
dinosaur, tadpole, polar bear and milkweed go when they die.
Nowhere. The end is the end. No coddling. No hurt feelings.
No final battle. No everlasting hug. That is absolute truth
if I ever heard it.
If what I believe
is not true, would I want to know? Yes. I only want truth,
and I won't be suckered into fantasy again. It almost drove
me insane the last time.
This is actually a response to Ed. His smug and ignorant
little web page annoyed me. Ignorance always annoys
me. What a fucking loser that guy is. Has he ever
read anything that wasn't a fundamentalist tract?
I strongly suspect not.
First issue: There is no way to prove that anything
- however silly it might be - doesn't exist. Are you
familiar with logical thinking at all, Ed? I can't
prove that green elephants, Santa Claus, leprechauns,
or Whos from Whoville don't exist. Neither can you.
If we naturally assumed that any assertion that can't
be disproven must be necessarily true, then there
would be no limits to the "truth" of the imaginary
things that people make up. That is why the person
making the assertion of the truth of any thing (in
this case, God) bears the burden of proof. No one
has been able to offer the extraordinary evidence
necessary to prove this extraordinary claim, which
is why people who are familiar with logic have such
a difficult time buying it.
#1 - First, the more accurate term for "evolutionists"
would be "scientists," since all actual physical scientists
today believe in evolution. As for space - I'd like
to point out that we are in space. This entire planet
and everything on it is from space. It may be difficult
for an Aristotelian to believe, but ask any astronomer
and she will back me up on this. Also - things in
outer space aren't actually beyond our reach for inquiry.
Nothing that actually exists in physical reality is
beyond our reach for inquiry - we are only limited
by current technology.
Argument #2 -
Actually, I believe that physicists used mathematical modeling
based upon observed astronomical data to posit the big bang
theory. There is actual real live evidence to support it,
and although it isn't a 100% certainty, no one has a better
explanation for the observed natural behaviors of the stars
in question. Do a little research on these things before
you make ignorant assertions. If you had actually studied
science before making your decisions as thoroughly as most
atheists study your silly religious beliefs (and believe
me, we do) before we find that they are nonsense, you'd
be in a much better position to debate these issues.
As for "everything
comes from something," if so, then where does your deity
originate? You would go back as far as your god, then stop.
The difference between us in that respect is that I am not
prepared to go that far, for lack of evidence. Something
existed before the Big Bang, of course, but we have no way
of knowing what it was. To not know the answer to a question
is not an admission that some magical deity must explain
it. A natural explanation exists for most everything that
people once attributed to a god, and this is no different.
Every unanswered question is just that - only the intellectually
lazy are so desperate for immediate answers to everything
and so averse to acquiring the actual knowledge required
to search in reality that they must attribute unkowns to
superstitious "causes." Superstition is superstition, book
or no book, Ed. Motion really doesn't suggest a prime mover,
either, unless you are trying to posit the existence of
a prime mover to begin with. Movement is a natural state,
like any other natural state.
Again, if we
presuppose a deity to kick things off, it begs the question
- what made the deity move or even exist? It's funny that
you say that people will believe anything "to get away from
the big G." That certainly hasn't been my experience. Almost
everyone unquestioningly believes in a god. That doesn't
make it true, but most people seem to have a need to believe
that they are better than the other animals, and that they
aren't subject to the finality of death. Ed, do you really
think that values are a "drag"? How sad for you. Some of
us have values because we think that it is important to
treat other people with respect and behave well and conscientiously
because we are all human beings and must live together as
happily and pleasantly as possible. Of course, if you need
a punishing god, without which you'd be a mass murderer
or something, then by all means, continue to believe! I'd
hate to take your only restraint from you. The rest of us
are constrained by our common humanity.
I'm pretty sure that no one would suggest that people
had made up the universe. The bible, yes, but not
the universe. One is highly likely, and the other
is laughable. I'm still not seeing any "evidence"...
#3 - I'm sorry - you base your information about the
scientific establishment on the movie "Contact"? May
I suggest that you rethink that? I suppose your knowledge
has been supplemented by Discovery Channel specials
about SETI and its search for alien life. Would it
dissappoint you terribly if you were to discover that
SETI isn't really considered by anyone in the scientific
(or even educated) communities to be representative
of scientific thought? Once again, you find the lone
kooks on the periphery of pseudo-science and hold
them up as representatives of actual science. For
information about the difference between science and
pseudo-science, I refer you to the Amazing Randi's
website, and Skeptical Enquirer magazine. In fact,
I'd like to refer you to any real science professor,
who should be able to update you on a little concept
we call "the scientific theory". Hardly anyone has
heard of it, of course, but if you actually use it,
you can learn how scientific theories are actually
formed, and the difference between what constitutes
scientific evidence and what does not. They covered
it in school, of course, but I suppose you must have
been reading a bible in that class.
There is really
no "anything but god" idea, any more than there is an "anything
but pink monkeys riding leprechauns" idea. There is only
the idea that to believe something without compelling evidence
(commensurate with the fantastic nature of the claim) to
support that belief is not scientific, and even silly. You
do this every day. Do you believe in the literal existence
of the Honey Nut Cheerios bee? Why not? You've seen him
on TV, haven't you? He even interacts with children in those
commercials, and picks up real spoons... And when you go
to the supermarket, there are Cheerios there, aren't there?
That proves that he is out there somewhere making them.
No one can deny the existence of cheerios. Oh, "scientists"
may claim that there are factories where those cheerios
are made, but I've never seen one, and I have seen those
commercials a hundred times. Besides, a prominent scientist
I know, "B.U. L.L. shit" has stated that no one can really
explain what makes Honey Nut Cheerios so great, so the bee
must be responsible. See? Proof postitive! Are you beginning
to understand how your arguments sound to us?
Argument #4 -
I'm not sure what you are arguing here... Even supposing
that the bible was compiled and that 400 copies were made
of the text as it was compiled (by the early Catholic/Xtian
church, of course, who admits to having left some things
out, after all - this was a compilation and not a storybook),
that doesn't prove that anything in the bible happened any
more than my saying "Martians attacked my pet dog and removed
his tail" and then copying it 400 times and distributing
it to everyone I know makes that true. As for your historians,
it's good that you put "non-christian" in quotation marks
when talking about them, because their status as affiliated
in some way or unaffiliated with interested parties in the
early christian church is questionable, to say the least.
"Between 20 and 150 years after the death of christ," the
christian church was gaining a whole lot of power in Rome,
and it would be in anyone's interest to affiliate themselves
with those in power. The existence of christ is not considered
to be a definite fact because, once again, the evidence
is questionable. No one really knows whether anyone by that
name existed, when, or what he may or may not have really
done if he did exist (although common sense would indicate
that the "miracles" attributed to him and many of the stories
of things he was said to have done were cribbed, often word
for word, from the stories of previous deities from other
religions and in some cases from ancient Jewish texts. Maybe
if your grandchildren who never met you write about you
100 years from now, they will write about the amazing miracles
you performed that Nostradamus predicted (and which have
a suspicious resemblance to christ's miracles), and then
if they make 400 copies of that book then you'll be considered
a deity in 1000 years, especially if your children go on
to become the next emperors of the US, and are in a position
to impose their theory on the rest of the population for
hundreds of years, until their power is consolidated and
enough generations have passed so that no one even questions
the truth of it anymore. I don't think that anyone would
argue that some stuff described in the bible was common
during Roman times. Crucifixions happened, Roman emperors
ruled, and young girls had sex out of wedlock... Any good
work of fiction includes details from the time period in
which it happens. Once again, the existence of courthouses
and the United States of America being an actual country
is not proof that any of Tom Clancy's characters really
exist. Posters about Tom Clancy's novels and characters,
and movies portraying them do not make their existence any
more likely, nor do they constitute "proof", no matter how
popular he is nor how many people would like for it to be
so, and no matter how many copies of his books are found
in 1000 years.
no one has to "disprove the accuracy" of the New Testament.
The burden of proof rests with the person making the
assertion. There are many, many websites about logic,
and you'd be well advised, Ed, to read up on it.
evidence" and logic"? Finally! Just what we've all
been waiting for!
intelligibility... If, by that, you mean that it is
understandable by human beings, then yes, it is astounding.
No less astounding that the number of scientists who
have worked so hard for hundreds of years to make
the universe increasingly understandable. Too bad
more people don't appreciate all that work on their
behalf. I guess it's easier to give credit to imaginary
entities than to credit people who studied their asses
off and learned about the amazing qualities of the
real world around them, then increased our knowledge
incrementally through careful examination of data
and dogged perseverance. Shit - who wouldn't rather
believe someone who "hears voices" and believes in
the truth of a 2000 year old book that explains the
history of the earth without mentioning dinosaurs?
As for chance and "purposeless cosmic forces," once
again, I'm going to have to suggest that until you've
actaully studied the theory of evolution in all its'
complexity (as explained quite thoroughly by the greater
scientific establishment), you should refrain from
displaying your ignorance. Cosmic forces just exist,
and purpose is an emotion, not a tangible thing. Evolution
is not about chance, which you'd know if you had any
grasp of evolution whatsoever.
I've read the
bible over and over. I've studied every christian sect's
belief systems - how they are similar and how they differ,
both historically and currently. I've read tons of your
religious texts with an open mind over the years (before
I became and atheist, and then again afterwards), and if
I'm going to condescend to debate with someone, they should
at least have gone to that much trouble to understand basic
science, of not atheism. How many years did you spend studying
science before you came to believe in a deity? How many
classes did you attend? How many texts by actual respected
scientists have you read and understood? Gould? Hawking?
Einstein? They all wrote very simple books that are the
very minimum that any educated person should read and learn
enough to thoroughly understand. When you have read hundreds
like them - when you have read five times as many books
about science written by actual scientists (and not xtian
apologetics experts or pseudo-science "experts"), then you
will know enough about science to match what I've already
heard about your religious beliefs. Go educate yourself
for 15 years about something new - science - and then come
back and debate a while. By then you will have had as much
information about science as I've had about religion, upon
which you can base your beliefs, or lack thereof.
We only have
evidence for evolution, (which is, as I have already stated,
not "chance" as such,) so that's what I'm going with. "Intelligent
design" is a logical quagmire that makes no real sense at
all and for which there is no evidence.
Once again, evolution
is not "disorder" "chance" or anything of the sort. "The
informed and the credible" refrain from making blanket statements
or holding ridiculous false beliefs about something they've
never bothered to study at all.
only from a designer. That is true in the case of a painting.
The universe, however, is not "designed" it "happened" and
we "evolved". Point 4 presupposes some acceptance of design
"theory", which no reasonable person does.
The burden of
proof is not something we have arbitrarily laid at your
door. Scientists, reasonable people, and everyone who isn't
a total moron, understands that the person making an assertion
is responsible for proving that assertion. The assertion
that a deity exists has not been proven. Period. Something
like 98% of scientists who hold PhD's are atheists because
of this. It's not stubbornness or lack of "knowledge" about
theism. It's that the more a person knows and actually studies
about the natural world, the more that person comes to understand
the difference between the validity of what can be proven
and what cannot be proven. Furthermore, science (contrary
to fundamentalist belief) demands the exact same burden
of proof and extends the same rigorous criticism and standards
of proof to every single assertion that any scientist makes.
That is what scientific journals are for - so that people
can make assertions (based upon actual evidence, and supported
by strictly regimented proof) so that all of their peers
in the scientific community can criticise those assertions,
disprove them, and even shoot them down entirely. All scientific
knowledge is only as good as its evidence, and all of it
is subject to immediate revocation as soon as anyone can
offer a better, more scientifically sound explanation for
the evidence presented, or as soon as someone can repeat
the experiment with different results. Science is about
percentages of likelihood, and about asking hard, hard questions
and being able to take it when your pet project or theory
turns out to be incorrect. Most atheists are this way because
after a very serious, thorough, and difficult examination
of the evidence, they found that religious belief has no
valid supporting evidence whatsoever. It's not an easy realization
for most people (no one likes to lose that childhood dream,
any more than they like to doubt Santa) but it is a very
conscientious one. Once again, I refer you to the earlier
passage in this letter for an explanation of why "burden
of proof" must be on the person making the assertion. I
doubt you'll understand it, since you seem to have trouble
with the most basic scientific or logical concepts (most
kids "get" these things at 10 or 11 at the latest, but I
guess some folks are slower than others), but we can only