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Religion or science?

Fairly enough this has been debated so manny times but i feel the need to bring this back up for a reason. I love logic and reasoning but both science and religion meet their end at obious points. To me religion is just a stroy to guide people in the right direction as science tries to find answers. Now im going to give credit to science and then a brief idea. Science maps out our existance Heres how. Dose it really make sence some one superior and all powerful created every single species in this world and the universe? That he created every species the way they are and they have not changed? I mean Religion dosent meet its solid facts at any point, If you think evolution is dumb and that thres no way it could of happened then your telling me all the spicies stayed the same for the past million years? Now for the idea what if god did create every thing and it evolutionized over time........ Dose this make more sence? i belive so but science has the upper hand. If you think im wrong or exagerationg post on comments about why with solid proof.

  • Jan 2 2012: To me, science and religion describe two different approaches to life.
    Science is founded upon skepticism, while religion upon faith.

    Science makes the claim that in order to pursue the truth, one must not assume that he or she is initially correct. Those upon the path of scientific-philosophy typically embrace uncertainty: the mystery and wonder of the observable and yet-to-be observable universe. Science values man's mind rather than intuition.

    Religion is founded upon the belief in an absolute truth (be it god or spiritual presence). It too celebrates the wonder of the world, but is founded upon certainty and confidence.

    Although both can be polar opposites, life is all about mixing and matching- warm and cold, alive and dead, dry and wet. One way this is done is to draw lines regarding what controls what. Should skepticism dictate morality or should faith? Does science allow us to enjoy nature, or is it necessary to embrace religion?

    Science can never prove religion wrong, but religion can never prove itself right.

    To me, neither side is right or wrong. Both sides have positives and negatives, and therefore to be right, one should embrace (to an extent) both sides.

    In the books like Crime and Punishment, Hamlet and Frankenstein, protagonists embrace skepticism to such an extent that they commit immoral actions in order to gain truth, only to regret such actions in the end.

    In texts like Oedipus, Death of a Salesman, and Moby Dick, the protagonist latches upon a single truth, but the collapse of that truth in turn ruins him.
    • Jan 3 2012: I am stunned when I read your reply I felt this said well thank you. You make fair and well stated opinion and I realy did not mean to ask for proof at was kinda dumb I have to admit but I enjoy both of these aspects
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    Jan 2 2012: And to me, both religion and Science are the creations of people minds.
    religion is created by the unconscious mind and have been throw to the conscious mind to make it calmer a little: 'calm down, my friend, conscious mind, you worry about the lightning? You have no idea what's that?! There's a god of lightning above it, actually, so calm down a little! ...After the ages... Now, you know the truth about the lightning... But you are still anxious, fellow. The sense of a life? The start of the universe? Sweetie, GOD.'
    Science, to my view, is a result more of conscious mind, but not so necessarily: one dreams about a table, the other gets formula dictated by god...
    Nathan, to you, god has started the universe, but how god has started? Of course, without any doubt it's eternal, Julija, how don't you know this?! But it does not satisfy the logic you give to the universe. But god is not about the logic, Julija, you are bad pupil!
    Your theory described actually is one of two. Give a link, to an article, please, where scientists claim it will be like this.
    (I'm happy there is not thumb down...)
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      Jan 2 2012: Julija, I'm happy there is not thumb down :)

      By the way I liked some of your points...well expressed
    • Jan 3 2012: Well I also liked your reply thank you I wanted to see peoples ideas of this and I honestly don't go all for science both play big roles in peoples life
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        Jan 3 2012: Billions of people are believers, of course, they both play big roles. My answer just revealed my perception especially of one.
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      Jan 9 2012: Agree, some people think the universe couldn't just start naturally, so imagine a creator that just happens not to be created itself, is not matter or energy, is outside space and time, but can create matter and energy. Wow. And they can't see the irony.

      Then there is this spiritual realm, also outside of matter and energy. In fact there is more to us than our brains, bodies. We are somehow completely different to other animals even mammals, even chimps who use tools, feel loss etc. Not just more intelligent with more sophisticated brains. We also have an invisible undetectable immortal spirit. Not sure what these spirits are doing before we are born, but they apparently live on after we die.
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        Jan 9 2012: APPARENTLY?! Do I not know something?
        The idea of immortal spirit is absolutely attractive, calming and desired. I would probably love spirit to exist, firstly, and then be immortal. But to me it's clearly not apparent.
        I'd read once about a hypnotist who had hypnotized one person and he told about his past life and what it was like after his death, he told he was 'floating' in clear endless space, something like this, I do not remember it clearly. That hypnotist was awarded somehow by someone, I don't remember. Probably that's way way way too vague, but, you know, that may give some nice hope or something like that. Maybe I'll try to find about this some more information.
        I don't believe in any invisible undetectable things, if 'something more' exists, science sooner or later will detect and explain it; but probably it tends to be 'later'.
        The idea, again, is just fantastic and it gives so much relief and so on, but there's APPARENTLY a big question mark.
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          Jan 10 2012: Don't worry, your not missing out on anything.

          While I don't think we have immortal spirits (I think when we die and our brain stops, our consciousness dies same as for a dog or ant) but also wonder if it would be a good thing or not.

          Would the afterlife be like life with a mix or joy and pain?

          Certainly would like to live longer with a heath body and mind, if not destitute or enslaved etc.
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          Jan 20 2012: Hi Julija

          " if 'something more' exists, science sooner or later will detect and explain it; but probably it tends to be 'later'."

          Mainstream science at the moment is totally materialistic. If there is an 'afterlife' then mainstream science is very unlikely to 'discover' it. You probably better to look elsewhere.

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        Jan 10 2012: Sorry, you were not talking about what you think, you where talking about some believers; I confused this.
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      Jan 10 2012: Love it! LOL
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    Jan 2 2012: Religions exists to explain the super-natural, non-observable methods of a god, or gods.Science exists to explain all that is natural and observable. The two are opposites. They are not mutually exclusive. It is not necessary to pick one and reject the other. Some religions do claim to explain natural phenomena. True science cannot claim to explain the super-natural without violating its purpose.
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      Jan 2 2012: "The two are opposites. They are not mutually exclusive."

      pretty sure mutually exclusive means one excludes the other, which means opposites. just so im not confused.
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        Jan 2 2012: They are opposite ends of the scale so to speak
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        Jan 2 2012: Reynaldo's question seems to say that we must pick one-- science or religion-- as a life view. My point is that we can follow science AND religion because they are not mutually exclusive, it is not a matter of one or the other.They deal with totally dissimilar subjects, they are opposites.
        (I was in the Philippines in the late 60's and I have to ask why you call yourself Benny Boy).
        • Jan 3 2012: Thank you for your answer and such but Edward that is not what I'm trying to say I'm not saying you have to pick one I posted this to see peoples Idea's and ways of thinking what I honestly and truly believe is that every on need something to believe in that is what I stand on and thank you all
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      Jan 9 2012: Edward, I suggest there is nothing supernatural. Everything is natural. We might not understand it all but everything, including some of what some may see as having metaphysical, spiritual or supernatural causes actually have natural causes and the metaphysical explanations are just speculative, often built on pre-scientific concepts.

      Expect there is less metaphysical and more natural paradigms nowadays compared to thousands of years ago, thanks to science.

      Agree you can have religious, supernatural beliefs and scientific beliefs simultaneously, but when it comes down to specific they are mutually exclusive. We either have a spirit (supernatural) or we don't (science/natural). Some super being created the universe or it happened naturally. God is wreaking earthquakes on sinners or it's impersonal plate tectonics. The framework a religious or metaphysical believer has will assign some things to completely natural processes and others as having some metaphysical aspect either completely or a hybrid where natural processes are run by gods, set up by gods, etc.

      When it comes to someones metaphysical beliefs, they are essentially mutually exclusive when it comes to specific beliefs.

      When it comes to specifics you do pick one e.g. you either believe in a supernatural creator or you don't. You either believe that god picks favorites and was responsible for someone over coming an illness or it was some natural process. God either is or isn't influencing weather. Speaking in tongues is a spiritual activity or mumbo jumbo. Seizures are due to natural electrical storms ion the brain or demonic possession.
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        Jan 9 2012: 1) Nothing supernatural? It is semantics. The word was coined as a name for all that science cannot explain. Once science explains something to their own satisfaction it is no longer supernatural. I think the word deserves to continue in usage. 2) Science and Religion are not mutually exclusive. Science does not purport to explain philosophy. Both have a place in a complete world view. Science can explain how antibiotics kill germs, but it cannot explain everything. The things beyond science's grasp are, for the time being, called "supernatural".If, someday, science explains Everything one question will evade explanation: What is the uncaused cause of Everything? QUOTE: "Two men please God-- who serves Him with all his heart because he knows Him; who seeks Him with all his heart because he knows Him not." (Nikita Panin).Thanks GM.
        • Jan 9 2012: "1) Nothing supernatural? It is semantics. The word was coined as a name for all that science cannot explain."

          That would be the phrase "I don't know", not supernatural. Supernatural means, by definition, beyond nature, of which there is zero evidence of such a thing, which means there is zero reason to believe such a thing. Just as there is zero reason to believe in unicorns or Santa Claus and his magical flying sleigh.

          "I think the word deserves to continue in usage."

          I think the word is a manufactured term which causes people to stop looking for answers and stop being productive members of society.

          "The things beyond science's grasp are, for the time being, called "supernatural""

          Again, a term used by those who promote magic as a real thing instead of admitting to themselves "I don't know", then proceeding to figure it out. If we all lived by the term "supernatural", we would continue to live in the Bronze Age, people would continue to be slaves, be stoned to death and killed for being and thinking differently.

          "Science can explain how antibiotics kill germs, but it cannot explain everything"

          Given enough information, science can indeed explain everything. If fact, science itself is a method to explain everything.

          "What is the uncaused cause"

          That is doublespeak and nonsensical. Just as there are no such things as "not-red red objects".

          "Two men please God"

          Show a single shred of reproducible, observable, objective evidence in which a god named God exists or ever has existed. Otherwise, you are making a void argument. You could easily insert "big foot and abducting space aliens" into that sentence for all the credence your assumption provides.

          This is precisely why science and religion will always be mutually exclusive, because science is a requirement of observable evidence and "religion is believing what you know ain't so", as Mark twain so eloquently put it.
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          Jan 10 2012: Thanks for the feedback. I guess supernatural has different connotations to different people.

          I've never heard supernatural used to describe all we currently don't have a scientific explanation for. Suggest gaps in scientific knowledge and understanding is not supernatural but people may explain these gaps with force/being beyond scientific understanding or the laws of nature. Perhaps you are confusing a torch or photo might seem magical to the scientifically ignorant.

          Even when humanity as a whole has a scientific explanation, not everyone may be aware of it, some people may know of it but not believe it, some of these may assign a supernatural explanation.

          One class of supernatural beliefs is in immaterial, immortal spirits or godlike conscious beings that created the universe.

          When we don't fully understand something, some people may make an assumption there is a supernatural cause e.g. lightening is caused by gods. Others might say hypothesize something based on scientific principles, known, physics, chemistry etc. Others might just accept they don't know.

          I accept your point that a narrow view of science does not encompass all of our life experience, but science explains how we exist, live, reproduce, how we think and philosophize, if not the philosophies themselves. So I would add rational thought without religious dogma, revelation, scriptural truths, without supernatural assumptions is the way to go in this sphere. In fact any sphere of life you suggest except religious type beliefs and experiences can manage just fine without supernatural gods and their laws and handbooks. In fact, even religions and religious experience can probably be explained via sociology, secular history, biology, psychology etc.

          Not completely sure what you mean by uncaused cause. I guess I won't fully comprehend how the universe started in my life. Big call to assume some godlike being got things started just because our human intellect struggles to understand it.
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    Joe B.

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    Jan 2 2012: There are quite a few religions around the world including Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism Confucianism and many, many more. While some have common roots (i.e. the first three) they all have various beliefs regarding the creation of the universe, how life evolved and whether or not a single god or multiple gods exist. If you look at the number of followers, the followers of the first three religions combined only make up ~50% of the world's population (ref: Many of these religious followers are also scientist, engineers, doctors, nurses, technicians or other professionals that require some degree of belief in scientific methods.
    All religions and science require a degree of belief. Most religions require a belief in the philosophy of one person or a small group of people. However, science has and always will be open for input from anyone willing to put forth a logical explanation at this risk of being proven incorrect. A belief in science is a belief in all of humanity and not in just one or a few people. Only the scrutiny of humanity over the course of time will tell if we evolved, were created by a supernatural entity or something in between or totally different.
    • Jan 3 2012: Yes I agree with you and I hope you also get the chance to read every one else's ideas and opinions on this
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    Jan 2 2012: I personally think it's a combination of both. The universe started with a Big bang caused by the collapse of a singularity...what came before the singularity? This is where, I believe, God comes in. But here's another theory. Right now the universe is expanding, but the galaxies are slowing down. Eventually they will stop and gravity will pull everything closer. The pull would become stronger and stronger as the other galaxies moved closer to the source of gravity, eventually resulting in the collision of everything. Gravity would push everything together, tighter and tighter until it is the size of a singularity. Then the singularity gets so small it ruptures and releases a massive amount of energy. Gasses from the past universe are released causing the creation of stars and planets known as a universe. Is that what happened to our universe and the past. But eventually we get to the beginning only to find that this singularity has come from nowhere, the only explanation is God.
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      Jan 8 2012: Agree with you !
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      Jan 9 2012: And where did this god come from? Your proposal just pushes the limits of our understanding back to something even harder to explain and with no straight forward evidence of it's existence.

      It's a bit like saying we understand gravity up to a point but not how it works in detail so there must be invisible undetectable conscious beings pulling matter towards other matter.

      Actually you don't describe this god thing. Is it a conscious being or a label for some natural but yet to be explained unconscious natural process?

      For those who believe in a creator being, I really don't get how people can't see explaining what you struggle to understand with something even more inexplicable and complex doesn't make much sense. I understand how 2000 years ago or even 200 years ago in relative ignorance and extensive religious instruction in limited belief systems, but with everything we know now why do people jump to some conscious being or creator rather than natural processes? Everything seems to work okay these days without any supernatural help. Why was supernatural help need to get things started?

      I acknowledge there could be god, gods, creator beings of infinite variety. There could be 20 watching me type this. There just isn't any evidence for them. Pure speculation.
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    Jan 24 2012: I just watched a wonderful TED talk given by Clifford Stoll. He ends it with the following quote which is engraved on the bell tower at SUNY:

    "All truth is one. In this light, may science and religion endeavor here for the steady evolution of mankind: from darkness to light, from narrowness to broad - mindedness, from prejudice to tolerance. It is the voice of life, which calls us to come and learn." Judge Cuthbert W. Pound Chief Judge of the New York State Court of Appeals

    Thought I'd contribute it to this conversation.

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    Jan 23 2012: both for the time being. but hopefully an increasing proportion of the later as time goes by and the shackles of ignorance give way to rational conderation.
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    Jan 23 2012: Religion is man made, to answer questions that are distant ancestors needed answered.The human brain is programmed to believe and is indoctrinated from childhood.

    Physics answers the question about the origins of the Universe with the Big Bang theory.

    Evolutionary Biology answers the origins of the species.
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    Jan 18 2012: Religion and science are both inter-related.
    In religion their exist some misconseptions but you can also feel that science also do not explain all.
    we need to have to go in look for religions concepts in some situations.
    Relating to Life existence you can see this in both ways
    1. science: Evolution
    2.religion: your superpower God
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    E G

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    Jan 17 2012: Do you know to put a question ? there is too vague all you said .
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    Jan 11 2012: Three weeks remaining for this provocative question you have asked. Can you give us a summary of responses so far? (Maybe something like: SCIENCE ONLY=38 votes/ RELIGION ONLY= 19 votes/ COMBINATION OF BOTH= 23 votes/ OTHER=2). Thanks for the energy.
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      Jan 11 2012: The stickler for details in me couldn't resist:

      Both: Albert, C Sarrin, Luis Javier, Mary, Joe, Adam, Peter, Grace, Mark, Nathan, Clark, Edward

      Neither: Julija (not sure really??)

      Science: GM, Kwang, Frans, Matthieu, Gerald

      Religion: ----

      Hmm. Very interesting. I threw myself with both. Like most reasonable, rational, thinking persons, you have to know that we don't know everything. Balance in life is essential. Science and religion can go hand in hand for all times. This is my humble seems most would agree with me.Please escuse any mistakes in my quick data analisis.
    • Jan 14 2012: Sure! and here is my long awaited answer. I acttualy never meant the post to be one sided i wanted to see both sides and its more than obious that they both need each other and that both play important roles in todays society. From what we learn and do both come into play> They both explain fair points and amazeing discoveries its just incredible how mutch this has grown thank you all for your responces. As to all other comments thank you for your info on this. Nor science or religion win......They both stand strong And i beleive that what makes man thrive is the thirst for knowladge. We want to know more, we want to see more, we want to understand more thats what leads us ahead. Thank you once again :)
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  • Jan 6 2012: Although likely initiated with the best intentions, I sort of think that this topic is pointless to debate. Science relies on interpreting evidence, whereas Christianity relies more on faith. I believe that it's a personal choice - you can't really tell someone else what to believe. There is a different right answer for everyone. We're not going to accomplish anything by debating whether evolution or Christianity is "right." People will believe what, ultimately, they choose to believe.

    However, I completely respect that Christians believe that spreading the word of God and saving people from Hell as part of their Christian duty.

    Also, I think it's important to note that you completely excluded all other religions besides Christianity. Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, etc. We should recognize that there countless other spiritual belief systems in the world.
  • Jan 4 2012: I always thought that religion and science are two sides of one coin, and both are needed in life.

    Well, not religion as such. There different religions because there are different kinds of people. We all believe in roughly the same thing: someone is watching over us when we're in need, and that there is something good in the afterlife. Religion is just an etiquette which we should follow to be loved by God, and it is different whenever people writing it down change.

    Faith is the important thing.

    To have faith, you can't know something for certain. Without any rational, physical evidences. When you don't have any logical explanation but still believe something to be true. That's what it means to me.

    Now, scientists on the other hand have to know everything. They need to break everything down until they can explain the smallest detail.

    That's basically explains for me why religious people and scientist don't go well together.

    But the thing I can't understand is why so many people find existence of laws and rules in nature (that scientists work so hard to uncover) so degrading to God??

    Of course, I can't possibly know how God would think, but can anyone imagine God checking every second if gravitation is still working?? I mean, He's almighty... but would it make any sense??

    I believe that all those discoveries scientists make is nothing more that taking a peak at God's notebook. Unveiling universe's blueprint, if you will.

    That's why I stated that religion and science go together. Scientists always make a big fuss about their ground breaking discovery... And good for them. They deserve it after a lifetime of research.

    But there should be a person of faith standing right next to them when they calm down and say something like "If you're so smart then, please, explain to me how (insert whichever miracle you see fit)... can you do that?? Can you make that happen??" And then it should be explained.

    Because, in the end, there's always something bigger.
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      Jan 9 2012: Adam, everything would, and probably does, work fine without any supernatural beings.

      I assume as scientific understanding of the universe grows and spreads, less and less people will see the need for invisible being(s) micromanaging everything. As we learn how old, big and complex everything is, I expect more people would have your transition view that it doesn't make sense to have a micromanager god. But some people still believe in a god that punishes sinners through severe weather events or earthquakes.

      Does it make sense that god created polio, birth defects, cancer etc or does it make sense that all life (and viruses) struggle to survive and reproduce - from the single cell creatures to whales even plants. Killing or living parasitically. Sure gods or super aliens from a previous universe could have set it all up, but suggest the natural explanation is more logical.
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        Jan 9 2012: Re: your closing phrase: Logic is functional in the natural realm only. So natural explanations, theories and imaginings are, as you say, more logical than supernatural explanations. Logic does not govern the supernatural. Statistics, probabilities, logic, hypotheses, etc. are out the window when it comes to that large segment of life called the supernatural. Good energy GM!
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          Jan 10 2012: Thanks for the feedback Edward.

          Plenty of room for the irrational, intuitive and speculative in the human experience given the limits of our biology despite having evolved the greatest known intellect in the universe.
      • Jan 9 2012: Well, since there's a character limit here, I didn't quite explain how I define God.

        It is well known that whenever people don't quite understand why or how something happened, they create stories based on what they know for certain to ease their mind.

        That's why whenever something grand happened... That was God (when it was bad that was the Devil, but that's beside the point right now). What I'm saying is, think of everything people don't know as God. The great unknown.

        If you look at it that way, then (let's assume) all those miracles happened. We just don't exactly know how.

        That's why I meant that a person of faith, constantly believing that there's more to it has to be there. Because, seriously, we, as species, haven't changed that much. Earlier we made stories. Now, with all our science and technology, we have better ones.

        But I simply can't see that we know as much as we believe we do. On the cosmic scale, I would imagine our species as teenagers - the rebellious phase would also make sense if you consider all those troubles we constantly put ourselves in.

        So, first earth was flat, then it was in the centre of the universe... and as much scientist want to say "We got it right this time", I just can't take that, my reply being "Well, you are close enough, but I wouldn't be surprised if something bigger came up". I don't know if anyone noticed, but "from what we know" plays a big part in those kind of debates.

        Then, is there a micromanager god as you called him?? I don't know. But people didn't know a lot of things until they were thoroughly researched. And just like I stated earlier, there's always something bigger. Research can be pushed one step further. Old theories finding new applications. In all of it, there's just too much yet to learn for us to be so certain of everything.
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          Jan 10 2012: Thanks for expanding Adam. I think I understand your concept.
          Its difficult to discuss god until an individual explains what they mean by god.
          There are so many views. Ranging from a god created in our image (Jesus) to some all powerful unknowable power or being. Seems you define god as what we don't know or understand.Fair enough, but suggest labeling this god is fairly loaded. The term god is often connected with a conscious powerful entity. Why not call what we don't know and understand stuff we don't know or understand.

          I like your metaphor that as a species we are unruly teenagers. MAkes sense in regards to religion. Biologically we have been around about 100,000 years as a distinct animal group. Guess this might need to be revised when we reach 200,000 years. Assuming there are alien species with intellects at least as good as ours that have been around millions if not billions of years we may seem like newborns.

          Wonder what we will be like in another 100,000 years.

          Agree the role of science and non scientific beliefs have overlapped in terms of explaining life. But Suggest there is a big difference between science and non scientific explanations.

          Life and the universe in both the cosmic and quantum scales, it's size, age and complexity stretches our overdeveloped monkey brains. The cosmic and quantum are so different to the scale and complexity that was important for our survival, what we sense, our life spans of a few decades, etc.

          I remember our high schools physics teacher explaining that we are made of atoms and atoms are 99.99% empty space. There was one student who could not except our apparent solidity was in fact due to our limited senses and electromagnetic forces that stop virtually empty atoms passing through each other.

          Agree we have just scratched the surface, but nowhere have we found gods, demons, elves..

          There is a big difference between accepting the limits of our knowledge and inventing millions of imaginary supernatural explanations
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    Jan 4 2012: Hi Reynaldo,

    This is one of these questions that never goes away. Up until recently it is fair to say that most scientists believed in god; many still do. I can only speak for christianity. Jesus called himself the 'Truth' & encourages us to seek him out.

    John 8:32-33 (KJV)
    32And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.

    John 14:6 (KJV)
    Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

    So we should stick to science; that is evidence driven deductions that can be tested against known data. The trouble is that we have two worldviews among scientists. Take the 'geologic column' as a prime example. Atheistic scientists will tell you that it was laid down gradually over millions of years, & shows the evolution of creatures from simple to complex.
    Theistic scientists will tell you it was laid down rapidly, drowning the creatures in a massive flood.
    All of 'origins science' is like that. Both groups claim to be scientific, both are using known data to come to their conclusion. Theists accept the possibility of god, Atheists do not. We all have our biases from childhood, education, etc. However if we are seriously seeking the truth, we really have to compare the two sets of evidence in an even handed manner, and decide for ourselves. Scientists can be biased as well, unfortunate, but true. Happy Hunting' .

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    Jan 4 2012: Both, each in its field. Religion as phylosophy. Science to describe reality.

    The same way science doesn't proclame moral guidelines, religion shouldn't try to impose reality.
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    Joe B.

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    Jan 4 2012: I think there is little doubt that King Solomon and the people of that time had a significant amount of what we call scientific knowledge. It took scientific knowledge to build temples, to obtain gold and other metals from the Earth, to create the paints used to decorate those ancient marvels that amaze us to this day and the many other abilities for which we have archeological proof.

    According to the estimates I've seen Adam and Eve lived on Earth around 3000 to 4000BC or about 5000-6000 years ago. In contrast, evolution estimates the first structurally modern humans appeared around 200,000 years ago with the first behaviorally modern humans appearing around 50,000 years ago.

    If we assume Adam and Eve received basic knowledge of how to survive from a divine being, is it possible they and their subsequent generations were able to gain enough knowledge and a large enough population in 1400 to 2400 years to do and build all the things I mentioned above? How could they have built all the temples and pyramids of Egypt and Mesopotamia?

    What about genetic diversity? How could one couple produce all the genetic variations and belief systems we see in recorded human history and today? I think this has been scientifically proven to be impossible…unless there was divine intervention.

    Perhaps, this divine intervention only happens when we aren't looking. Kind of like the double-slit experiment that demonstrates the quantum characteristics of light. With recent developments in theoretical physics with String Theory and 11-dimensions of space-time, it becomes difficult to discredit the existence of a divine power. This is due to the fact these theories are in their infancy and partially because most people don't understand them.

    Only time will tell how this all turns out. In the meantime, enjoy the journey!
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      Jan 9 2012: Joe, a literal interpretation of any religion with roots in the bronze age is hardly worthy of debate. Especially one that suggests the Earth is 6000 years old. I mean even the light from the most distant stars and galaxies we see took millions and billions of years to reach us. We are looking back in time with Hubble. It's an error factor of 2 million. Even a lot of Christians who believe Jesus is part of the god trinity, was resurrected etc don''t think the world is 6000 years old.

      I recall Peter saying that the common elements in DNA life forms were economy of design rather than evidence of evolution. To think the gods created a universe with matter and energy spread over inconceivable distances, with huge empty spaces, just to focus initially on some desert tribes. Bit of redundancy I suggest.

      I kind of understand the drivers that allow people to still believe this. Some are really smart and well educated and informed. Still I think the dots are there to be joined if people start excepting that for most of history your religion was an accident of birth, time and location. If they look at other religions and see how they developed without the real god, there isn't much difference in the development of their own.

      Every fundamentalist believer believes their version is the right one. Over the thousands of years we've had so many different literal belief systems and yet some people continue to believe they have the truth.

      Even if the earth was 6000 years, for 4100 years god was just concerned with perhaps a million Hebrews living in a small portion of the globe and a relatively insignificant portion of the universe.
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        Joe B.

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        Jan 10 2012: I agree GM. I believe science is correct that the universe was created 13.7 billion years ago, the Earth was created 4.54 billion years ago and that the first humans emerged from apes around 200,000 years ago. I also believe that without widely accepted belief systems (aka religions) throughout human history the world would be very different for better or worse. Religions are a part of our human history and many people still rightfully respect those religions and the traditions of their ancestors.

        The one thing that keeps me wondering about a divinity is "me". Beyond a physical body, there seems to be something that keeps "me" looking though the same eyes, hearing through the same ears, etc. Are we all just unique, complex chemical reactions that will dissolved into the Earth after death? Is there some aspect of our existence that crosses into other dimensions or another part of the "multiverse"? Are we an attempt by the Universe to understand itself?

        If we saw God would we know we saw God? I doubt God is a white haired old man sitting on a throne among the clouds. Perhaps we have been looking at God all our lives. Perhaps, God is every thing around us; the entire Universe including ourselves. However, if we thought this we likely wouldn't be abusing our planet or each other the way we have and continue to do today. We may all still be hunters and gatherers. Religion served the purpose of getting us from being indistinguishable from animals to being who we are today and now it is time to move on...but not without remembering from where we came.
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          Jan 10 2012: Totally agree with your first paragraph.

          Share you wonder and appreciation of our consciousness and self. Obviously you are not alone in this contemplation. I for one think it ends when we die. Same as other animals (including the ones we eat) with less developed brains. We are just lucky to have the most highly developed brain and I suppose the richest conscious experience, while we live, until our brain processes stop through injury, age or death. The fact we can ponder this is part of the richness of our brief existence.

          Would we know god if we saw god? The God concept means so many different things to different people. Perhaps equating the universe with god is just as valid as others.

          Suggest our brains are what distinguish us from other animals and religion was just one of the many outcomes from our superior cognitive abilities, speech, and invention e.g. writing. Are we really that different from the great apes? Tool use, sign language etc. We just do more and better.
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          Jan 10 2012: Joe, regarding your second paragraph: you will enjoy listening to a TED Talk by Dr. Antonio Damasio speaking about consciousness. He believes SELF is an essential element of consciousness.
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        Jan 20 2012:

        Did we really survive for 200,000 years with zero population growth? Isn't that a recipe for extinction.

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    Jan 3 2012: There is no choice between science or religion. The choice is science or science and religion. You cannot live a life devoid of science if you live in a house. You can chose not to care about it or be in denial about its pervasiveness, but science is ominpresent.

    As for your description... spell check...and you're preaching to the choir. Very little Creationism here.
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      Jan 3 2012: Matthieu, you need spell check too lol :)

      And. yes, the choice is science, or science and religion.
      I prefer science and God/Creator.....I'm not too fond of the word religion as used today.

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    Jan 2 2012: Reynaldo, science and the Bible are not in opposition to each other. It is certain religious fanatics that reject science.
    Even the Bible speaks scientific truths, read on:

    The earth’s waters undergo a cyclic motion called the water cycle. The oldest surviving non-Biblical references to this cycle are from the fourth century BC. However, Biblical statements predate that by hundreds of years. For example, in the 11th century B.C., King Solomon of Israel wrote: “All the rivers run into the sea, yet the sea is not full. To the place from which the rivers come, to there and from there they return again.”—Ecclesiastes 1:7, The Amplified Bible.

    Likewise, about 800 B.C.E. the prophet Amos, a humble shepherd and farmworker, wrote that God is “the One calling for the waters of the sea, that he may pour them out upon the surface of the earth.” (Amos 5:8) Without using complex, technical language, both Solomon and Amos accurately described the water cycle, each from a slightly different perspective.
    The Bible also speaks of God as “hanging the earth upon nothing,” or he “suspends earth in the void,” according to The New English Bible. (Job 26:7) In view of the knowledge available in 1600 B.C.E., roughly when those words were spoken, it would have taken a remarkable man to assert that a solid object can remain suspended in space without any physical support. As previously mentioned, Aristotle himself rejected the concept of a void, and he lived over 1,200 years later!
    Does it not strike you as amazing that the Bible makes such accurate statements—even in the face of the erroneous yet seemingly commonsense perceptions of the day? To thinking people, this is one more evidence of the Bible’s divine inspiration. We are wise, therefore, not to be easily swayed by any teaching or theory that contradicts God’s Word. As history has repeatedly shown, human philosophies, even those of towering intellects, come and go, whereas “the saying of Jehovah endures forever.” 1 Peter 1:25
    • Jan 3 2012: Thank you Mary for your reply I felt a little hit reading it but just know I do respect both sides and I wouldn't force or try to shove any of this down some ones throat I just want to see what people think about this and I'm happy to see the replays I hope you read every one else's ideas
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      Jan 3 2012: There's nothing amazingly accurate about these statements, there's modern interpretation, that's all.
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        Jan 3 2012: You my young friend are mistaken. that's all.

        Don't you think that is precisely the point of the information?...the fact that thousands of years ago people thought that the cycle of the water was within the earth itself. Until the 18th century that belief was prevalent. And yet, we can now in 2012 see that the writers of scripture were divinely inspired to write scientifically accurate information.
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          Jan 3 2012: But I guess Adam and Eve birthing the whole of humanity is a metaphor on the other hand...Convenient...
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        Jan 3 2012: Matthew, I'm sorry, I do not understand your comment.
        What is it that you are trying to ask or say to me?
        Could you be clear please?
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          Jan 4 2012: I mean that every vague passage that sounds like scientific knowledge is treated as such, but every passage that is clearly at odds with science is treated as metaphor.
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          Jan 4 2012: ah ah, a Jehovah Witness pointed out a word for me on his Bible. The world was said to be a disc, "or a sphere..." the old man added "the same word translates into disc or sphere. You see, they did have advanced knowledge at the time."
          Of course, the sentence was about grasshopers living in space over "our circular wolrd", so I had a good time asking explanations about the whole thing.

          As long as people think it'll save their souls, there is no limit to how much they're willing to embarrass themselves in simple conversations.
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      Jan 3 2012: Meager evidence you portray Mary.
      Salomon living about 3 centuries before the Bible was written down and being the one king that tried to learn from outsiders. There was a lot of knowledge around in the Middle East and originated for a large part from India. Jews learned a lot from the Babylonians and among it was writing. They incorporated much knowledge that was common allover place.
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        Jan 3 2012: Hi Frans,

        I wasn't trying to provide any kind of evidence. I was merely trying to point out some scientifically accurate information that the Bible provides. I have no issues with science. It is the way we learn about everything around us and come to a deep appreciation of the marvels of life.

        As for king Solomon, he reigned from 1037 to 998 B.C. The Bible contains the account of the Queen of Sheba visiting him to view the glory and riches of Solomon, since his fame had reached "all the people of the earth" according to the account in the book of 1 Kings 10:1-10.
        After the queen observed the splendor of the temple and of Solomon's house, the Bible records her saying: "You have surpassed in wisdom and prosperity the things heard to which I listened." Why did she say this? because, "his wisdom was vaster than the wisdom of all the Orientals and than all the wisdom of Egypt. And he was wiser than any other man, than Ethan the Ezrahite and Heman and Calcol and Darda the sons of Mahol; and his fame came to be in all the nations all around".
        Where does the Bible say he got his inspiration? "he would speak about the trees, from the cedar that is in Lebanon to the hyssop that is coming forth on the wall; and he would speak about the beasts and about the flying creatures and about the moving things and about the fishes. And they kept coming from all the peoples to hear Solomon's wisdom, even from all the kings of the earth who had heard of his wisdom" 1 Kings 4:30-34

        I would like to know what source you have proving your point. Where did you read that Solomon got his wisdom from people of the world?

        Also Frans, the oldest part of the Bible (Genesis through Deutoronomy) were completed already by 1473 B.C.
        some 336 years before Solomon began to rule as king.

        If you have information to back up your statements I will be more than glad to read them.

        Thanks for your reply, Mary
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          Jan 4 2012: Mary, in my opinion the Bible isn't a good reference for history the same way as schoolbooks in North Korea today aren’t a good source to get an accurate picture of our current world. What can be said is that Salomon established a vast state with aid of many people’s from around that brought skills and knowledge to build his temple. He made many contacts abroad and overseas. He was eager for knowledge in as far that he even started to appreciate foreign cultures and honored their Gods. The legendary queen of Sheba is symbolic for the riches and wealth of the time. She certainly gave him a compliment.

          Stories from Genesis where widespread over the place and heard by all nomadic peoples. The origins are unknown but Sumerians started to write them down after they developed writing. Among other sources a part of it was found at Ebla dating back more than 2000 B.C.

          I saw the book of Biblical tables on the net and maybe that’s your source?

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        Jan 4 2012: Thank you for your input. I'll look up the wikipedia article. As for my source, I have an interlinear bible original language to many other versions. I have been studying now for over 20 years. I cannot find it in me to put down anybody else's point of view when they site factual information that I can verify.

        "The Bible isn't a good reference"....your opinion. Yes, I agree, your opinion.

        But, whether it is a good reference or not, how can we deny it's existence, and the fact it is still around after so many people have tried to eliminate it throughout the ages? I find that like most other biases, when people speak in general terms and then back off when given proof, or even have comments wiped off the face of the internet, hmm it makes me wonder why such attitude towards something so insignificant and such a terrible reference. If it is such a bad reference, and so very ridiculous, why not leave comments which use it and let everyone laugh at it.

        The last link you provided I have never visited...
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          Jan 5 2012: Thank you for your thoughts, Mary.
          The Bible is a good reference for entering the minds of people once lived but not for history.
          The, Veda's ans Bhagavad Ghita I can recommand as well.

          As Karen Armstrong said she started to appreciate Christianity as she started to learn about Islam so it was the same for me as I started to dive into the remnants of Mythology from Germanic and Nors origins. Maybe you have to step out first to have a good look at it.
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      Jan 7 2012: Mary, not sure the bible comments on Solomon regarding knowledge indicate the ancient jews were more knowledgeable or advanced scientifically or technically than other peoples at the same time - Chinese, Mayans or even their neighbours.

      A few examples that may be interpreted as corresponding to modern scientific understanding are not that convincing, especially when there is so much that conflicts with modern science starting with all the miracles, adam and eve, creation. Not sure how literally you take the modern bible. It varies between different Christians - but overall the different parts look to be consistently a product of their times (and place) whether from a scientific or a social view point.
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      Jan 9 2012: At the risk of seeming pedantic, I thought our understanding of the water cycle didn't rely on a god calling the waters. Interesting how you interpret this as evidence that the subject, authors, or editors had a surprising modern view on the water cycle. I read it as involving a god.

      Pity the bible doesn't reflect modern human rights more. No slavery. Equal rights for women. No death penalty. No race or people being gods particular favourites for a few thousand years. Then it would have seemed something more than a product of its times.

      Does it really make sense that the creator of life, the universe, and everything would attach itself to a desert dwelling tribe. Just seems like another tribal religion, but one that evolved and found a wider market, and then got a little help from the Roman emperor. Amazing it all came down to Abraham. And then Moses. And then ....

      Honestly, taking a step back, when I read the bible, it just seems so obviously a schizophrenic collection startling with the mythology of an ancient people, with their god helping them win wars and the story of a later offshoot sect with very different views and less exclusive.

      When you compare it to other religions and their texts, they all look quiet similar and man made. I guess a lot of religious followers think all the others are man made or devil inspired. I just go one more than them.

      Hope religious believers can see that for non believers all religions, including the dead ones, and their texts look man made. Can you comprehend how many different and contradictory religious belief systems there are and have been. Even Christianity in a mass of variations that you would expect from a man made socio-political construct influenced by powerful personalities, not to mention the derivatives such as Mormonism, JW etc.
  • Jan 2 2012: It seems to me science includes man's processes for discovery. Religion has to do with values and relationships with the Unseen realities of the Cosmos. Religion ennobles the best in man for it guides his inner urges to worship something. Religion evolves as man discovers more, even long before man had an urge to know more of his material environment. Religion evolves with aid from revelation. Auto revelation is what is revealed to a person in thoughts and ideas. Epochal revelation is major new update for a long period of time for the masses. Jesus' teachings is an example.

    Religion is needed and despite the fact we have many thousands in the world today, we are destined to a high and glorious future when the religion OF Jesus is more fully discovered and adopted worldwide. Science must continue for it helps us to discover more of the material realities. Religion helps us to appreciate our material realities----shall religion play a role in appreciating "mother earth'? There are many religions, but personal religion motivates one to seek higher plains of relating to God for all aspects of life.

    Go seek knowledge of both and help us to appreciate both realities of life! Discoveries within both are good. Religion helps us to use our scientific knowledge with good ethical application.

    In the ultimate sense, man's scientific efforts are not the upper hand. We only discover what the Upper Hand provides.
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      Jan 9 2012: Suggest we have a pretty good handle on ethics without the need for any supernatural beings or religious dogma.

      Agree relationships with the unseen and I suggest imaginary is for religion, although some overlap with science when it comes to childhood imaginary friends, perception, delusion, psychological states, etc.

      Suggest you can appreciate life and our world without religion, just differently.

      I have no urge to worship anything or anyone. I'm a republican in the anti monarchy sense. Credit where deserved and recognise we all struggle through life in our own way.

      Agree understanding religions and secular philosophy and science is all good and if people want to choose a religious path, good for them. Just hope secular government/state/education continues. This is also good for religious freedom, not just freedom from religion. Hope we can agree on some human rights with more religious people. Hope religion enriches people more than it limits or diminishes them.

      Honestly fear fundamentalists, extremists of political and religious varieties. Hope religious can be more inclusive of non religious. Atheists should be equal citizens to religious.

      Depends on your perspective - for me there is no supernatural upper hand.
      The religious are the majority, so perhaps you do have the upper hand so to speak. But expect non religious % to grow in first world.
    • Jan 9 2012: "Unseen realities of the Cosmos"

      If you have no evidence of something, there is no reason to believe it exists. So you are making a claim with zero evidence and stating as proven fact. When, in fact, if it weren't for science ignoring the dogmas of religious ignorance, mankind would still think the sun revolved around the Earth and the "cosmos" was Earth, the moon and the sun and a big flat ceiling just out of arms reach.

      "Religion evolves as man discovers more"

      Your use of the term "evolve" in a sentence promoting religion is ironic. Followers of religious dogmas have altered religion in order to keep from admitting their lives have been wasted worshiping nothing as science has proven hundreds of times how utterly baseless and factually wrong every holy book in existence has been. The religious perform revisionist history by reevaluating and re-translating every so-called prophecy which never came to pass in order to "correct human mistakes". With every new discovery, religion fights to stay relevant in the diminishing gaps of human knowledge, inserting an imaginary "God" into the last shreds of human ignorance.

      "long before man had an urge to know more of his material environment"

      This is a nonsensical statement. Man would have died at birth had he not instinctively wished to learn more.

      "personal religion motivates one to seek higher plains"

      And causes them to stand still, occasionally kneeling.

      "Religion helps us to use our scientific knowledge with good ethical application"

      Such as in holy wars and genocide, spousal slavery, intolerance and promoting ignorance and Bronze Age dogmas. Religion is the opponent of scientific knowledge and ethical application. It seeks to tell people what they should do in lieu of deciding for themselves by means of rational thought and discovery.

      There are good and bad people, but for good people to do bad things takes religion.
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        Jan 10 2012: Edward, I suggest there is a continuum of religious beliefs or so called beliefs in the things outside matter and energy such as spirits, gods, angels etc in regards to being opposed to ethical development and scientific application. Some religious/spiritual perspectives are extremely limiting. Others less so.

        It's not black and white. Just like people who call themselves Christians have a wide range of beliefs.
        E.g. some scientists believe in a creator but this doesn't limit their scientific endeavours.
        Agree other religious views, especially literal or fundamentalist views, may be limiting or be used to justify inequality etc.

        Also suggest there are snippets of wisdom in religious writings. Of course I disagree with theists that religion has a monopoly on ethics and how to live a good life.
        • Jan 10 2012: "Some religious/spiritual perspectives are extremely limiting. Others less so."

          You will note, none of them are beneficial. Not one.

          "It's not black and white. Just like people who call themselves Christians have a wide range of beliefs."

          It is not black and white in the same way some people have mild schizophrenia and some are institutionalized by it.

          "some scientists believe in a creator but this doesn't limit their scientific endeavors."

          There is no question anyone who believes in something without evidence is not practicing science, seeing as the entire basis of science is objective, reproducible observation and evidence. Assumptions based on nothing more than not knowing the answer is irresponsible and, far worse, causes a person to stop searching for an answer. It is widely known as "god of the gaps". "You don't know the answer? Well, stop looking, it must be god!"

          When an actual scientist discovers the answer, "god" is moved to the next gap in a sad attempt of religion to remain relevant, as though it ever was.

          It is equally as easy to believe in Santa Claus or Big Foot as it is a magical being outside space and time (to which there is no evidence of such realm existing) who made you, or anything at all. If any sane person met someone on the street who swore up and down Santa Claus existed, they would think him mad. There is no difference between the two. One could point to equally as many books written about Santa, or Huckleberry Finn, or Tom Sawyer, or Charlie Brown and claim those as "proof" they exist. Further, to believe you have any communication with such an imaginary being is well documented as schizophrenic.

          To give credence to such fantasies and the "scientists" who believe in them is to hold back science, just as the church has for centuries. It is important to not apologize for those who wish to hold us back. They do so willingly, let them take the blame they have earned and be chastised in the only life there is, this one