If you’ve frequented various blogs, especially and ironically the freethought blogs it seems, you will have seen an ad that claims that there are 6 reasons to believe in God at a website called everystudent.com.
Being bored, I followed that link and found that the author Marilyn Adamson does indeed give six claims on why she thinks people must believe in her god but alas, anyone who actually thinks and who is a rational person will find them pathetically funny and ineptly deceitful. Unfortunately, there’s not one scrap of anything new here. I do find it a shame that this group of Christians is out there wasting more money trying to convert others. Such a waste of resources, but alas this is typical for this type.
Ms. Adamson claims to have been a “former atheist”. She may have been but she’s also one of the dumbest former atheists in existence evidently if these “reasons” convinced her that this god exists.
Let’s look at her claims. Here’s a link to her site if you wish to bother and one can see the sources she uses for her footnotes. Unsurprisingly, they are creationist sources and the bible as well as a couple of books used deceitfully to make it appear if actual scientists agree with this creationist nonsense.
“1. Does God exist? The complexity of our planet points to a deliberate Designer who not only created our universe, but sustains it today.”
Here we have the common claim that the universe is “perfect” for mankind and thus this must mean that there is a designer (Christian of course). Marilyn blithely ignores that her argument can be used for any creator god, and hasn’t a scrap of evidence that it was only hers. She then tries her best to give “facts” to support her claims.
“The Earth…its size is perfect. The Earth’s size and corresponding gravity holds a thin layer of mostly nitrogen and oxygen gases, only extending about 50 miles above the Earth’s surface.”
Poor Marilyn, can’t even consult a science textbook to get her claims right. I suppose she can’t risk actually having some real information come near her. The atmosphere doesn’t have a hard “end”, but the usual ways to determine the border between atmosphere and space is the Karman Line, where 99.9997% of the atmosphere is below 62 miles up. Even 75 miles up, spacecraft and satellites experience noticeable atmosphere it drag. So, no, Marilyn, the atmosphere doesn’t extend “only about 50 miles above the earth’s surface.
“If Earth were smaller, an atmosphere would be impossible, like the planet Mercury. If Earth were larger, its atmosphere would contain free hydrogen, like Jupiter.3 Earth is the only known planet equipped with an atmosphere of the right mixture of gases to sustain plant, animal and human life.”
Again, she fails, dramatically. Marilyn is ignorant of simply science and hopes her audience is too, quite typical for a creationist to do. If the earth was only very very much larger (around 10 times the earth’s mass) would it retain free hydrogen. Marilyn also seems to be really hoping that science will not succeed in finding a planet that has a oxy-nitrogen atmosphere, but considering the number of planets we have already found, that doesn’t seem likely. Alas for Marilyn and creationists in general, science continues and they are stuck with their lies. What does it say about people who tell lies that are so easily shown to be false? It doesn’t show much respect for those they are lying to.
“The Earth is located the right distance from the sun. Consider the temperature swings we encounter, roughly -30 degrees to +120 degrees. If the Earth were any further away from the sun, we would all freeze. Any closer and we would burn up. Even a fractional variance in the Earth’s position to the sun would make life on Earth impossible. The Earth remains this perfect distance from the sun while it rotates around the sun at a speed of nearly 67,000 mph. It is also rotating on its axis, allowing the entire surface of the Earth to be properly warmed and cooled every day.”
Marilyn has no idea that the orbit of the earth isn’t circular as she would try to claim. The different between perihelion and aphelion are 5 million miles, so the claims of a disastrous “fractional variance” are wrong. Again, simply looking at a science book would have shown her she’s wrong and as it stands now, she’s just shown as a liar or lazy or perhaps both. Here are links about what really goes on here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milankovitch_cycles http://starchild.gsfc.nasa.gov/docs/StarChild/questions/question53.html
She also seems to think that the entire earth is perfectly fine for humans. The top of Everest, the bottom of the Mariannas Trench, Antarctica, the Atacama, all present severe problems for humans if not for our technology.
“And our moon is the perfect size and distance from the Earth for its gravitational pull. The moon creates important ocean tides and movement so ocean waters do not stagnate, and yet our massive oceans are restrained from spilling over across the continents.4”
Oh my, I do have to laugh. Really, the oceans are kept from covering the earth by the moon? Alas for Marilyn, she’s again ignorant or lying. The moon has been moving away from the earth for billions of years so the distance has never been “perfect”. It’s a shame that she trusts her fellow Christians at the Moody Bible Institute not to lie to her. The real reason that the oceans don’t “spill over”? The fact that continents are thick and stick above the ocean floor, which makes the basins that oceans sit in.
“Water…colorless, odorless and without taste, and yet no living thing can survive without it. Plants, animals and human beings consist mostly of water (about two-thirds of the human body is water). You’ll see why the characteristics of water are uniquely suited to life:It has an unusually high boiling point and freezing point. Water allows us to live in an environment of fluctuating temperature changes, while keeping our bodies a steady 98.6 degrees.”
Iron has an unusually high boiling point and freezing point too. Marilyn continues her nonsense by ignoring one problem, we fit the earth since we evolved here, it was not made for us by some god. That explains everything just as well as her bedtime story and doesn’t get us into trouble with not being able to show that it was some special god that was the creator. She also forgets that all animals do indeed have water in them, but alas not all of them have the same body temperatures, so her claims of cause and correlation fail.
“Water is a universal solvent. This property of water means that thousands of chemicals, minerals and nutrients can be carried throughout our bodies and into the smallest blood vessels.5 Water is also chemically neutral. Without affecting the makeup of the substances it carries, water enables food, medicines and minerals to be absorbed and used by the body. Water has a unique surface tension. Water in plants can therefore flow upward against gravity, bringing life-giving water and nutrients to the top of even the tallest trees. Water freezes from the top down and floats, so fish can live in the winter.”
Here we go with more evidence of lies and ignorance. If something is “chemically neutral”, it therefore cannot be a “universal solvent”. Plants and animals have evolved with water, water was not invented for them.
“Ninety-seven percent of the Earth’s water is in the oceans. But on our Earth, there is a system designed which removes salt from the water and then distributes that water throughout the globe. Evaporation takes the ocean waters, leaving the salt, and forms clouds which are easily moved by the wind to disperse water over the land, for vegetation, animals and people. It is a system of purification and supply that sustains life on this planet, a system of recycled and reused water.6”
And again, there’s no evidence that Marilyn’s god did this. Why not Tlaloc the rain god of the Aztecs? And if this god made the earth just “perfect” for us, why not make all of the water something we can drink? There are places running out of clean drinking water, and it seems that this god doesn’t much care for them.
“The human brain…simultaneously processes an amazing amount of information. Your brain takes in all the colors and objects you see, the temperature around you, the pressure of your feet against the floor, the sounds around you, the dryness of your mouth, even the texture of your keyboard. Your brain holds and processes all your emotions, thoughts and memories. At the same time your brain keeps track of the ongoing functions of your body like your breathing pattern, eyelid movement, hunger and movement of the muscles in your hands.”
Of course, Marilyn must ignore that the brain is fallible and has many problems with how we perceive things, being easily fooled, and that the brain suffers from a multitude of diseases and injuries. It also processes a lot more than “a million messages a second”, more like a 100 trillion, again evidence of how creationists must keep themselves ignorant of science as it progresses. She also falls into the trap of claiming that human brains are somehow “special” and the feelings in them not available to other animals.
She then tries a good ol’ creationist target:
“The eye…can distinguish among seven million colors. It has automatic focusing and handles an astounding 1.5 million messages — simultaneously.8 Evolution focuses on mutations and changes from and within existing organisms. Yet evolution alone does not fully explain the initial source of the eye or the brain — the start of living organisms from nonliving matter.”
She also gets evolutionary theory wrong and makes a common excuse by creationists, we don’t know everything so therefore “God did it”. Evolutionary theory does explain the initial source of the eye and the brain, it is only by willful ignorance that she claims that they don’t. She also conflates abiogenesis with evolutionary theory. They do not mean the same thing.
“2. Does God exist? The universe had a start – what caused it?
Scientists are convinced that our universe began with one enormous explosion of energy and light, which we now call the Big Bang. This was the singular start to everything that exists: the beginning of the universe, the start of space, and even the initial start of time itself.
Astrophysicist Robert Jastrow, a self-described agnostic, stated, “The seed of everything that has happened in the Universe was planted in that first instant; every star, every planet and every living creature in the Universe came into being as a result of events that were set in motion in the moment of the cosmic explosion…The Universe flashed into being, and we cannot find out what caused that to happen.”9 Steven Weinberg, a Nobel laureate in Physics, said at the moment of this explosion, “the universe was about a hundred thousands million degrees Centigrade…and the universe was filled with light.”10 The universe has not always existed. It had a start…what caused that? Scientists have no explanation for the sudden explosion of light and matter.”
Again, why only assume her particular god? Or any god at all? Dr. Jastrow had claimed that there are supernatural forces at work at the beging of the unverse, but unfortuantely, that is a claim with no evidence for any god much less the Christian god (Jastrow also was head of group that said acid rain wasn’t caused by human technology, which we know isn’t true, so as any man he can be wrong) Dr. Weinberg never says that a god is needed for the Big bang theory though she does her best to try to make it appear they did. She’s also again sadly behind scientific research (various theories on what caused the BBT, could be branes, etc.) as all creationists must be, and again, nothing says that if we don’t know something yet, we never will *or* that the only answer is that the Christian god is responsible. It’s rather cute to watch Christian creationists try to scrabble for anything that shows their religion true and to claim that “Let there be light” must mean it’s correct since the BBT says there was light involved. Sadly for them, their myth immediately fails when claiming that light comes from nothing and the moon makes its own light, having different versions of what was created when, thinking hailstones are in “warehouses”, among many many other factual failures from a primitive set of myths.
“3. Does God exist? The universe operates by uniform laws of nature. Why does it?
Much of life may seem uncertain, but look at what we can count on day after day: gravity remains consistent, a hot cup of coffee left on a counter will get cold, the earth rotates in the same 24 hours, and the speed of light doesn’t change — on earth or in galaxies far from us.
How is it that we can identify laws of nature that never change? Why is the universe so orderly, so reliable?”
Again, no need for her god or any god at all. Her use of a quote from Dinesh DSouza, a theologian who has evidently no knowledge of science, just another lie from yet another Christian.
“The greatest scientists have been struck by how strange this is. There is no logical necessity for a universe that obeys rules, let alone one that abides by the rules of mathematics. This astonishment springs from the recognition that the universe doesn’t have to behave this way. It is easy to imagine a universe in which conditions change unpredictably from instant to instant, or even a universe in which things pop in and out of existence.”11
The “greatest scientists” (note the usual inability to actually cite names) may have been struck by strangeness but have not needed any god to explain it. There’s no “logical necessity” for a universe that doesn’t obey rules either. One can indeed imagine a Dr. Seussian universe where anything happens at any time, and that’s *exactly* what the bible claims happens. The laws of the universe do not support a magical being that can do *anything*.
“Richard Feynman, a Nobel Prize winner for quantum electrodynamics, said, “Why nature is mathematical is a mystery…The fact that there are rules at all is a kind of miracle.”12”
Always good to see Marilyn try to make it seem like Feyman is claiming it is “miracle” aka an action by her god. But if you’d like to see what Feynman was saying in those pesky ellipses here you go:
“ Incidentally, the fact that there are rules at all to be checked is a kind of miracle; that it is possible to find a rule, like the inverse square law of gravitation, is some sort of miracle. It is not understood at all, but it leads to the possibility of prediction–that means it tells you what you would expect to happen in an experiment you have not yet done.
It is interesting, and absolutely essential, that the various rules of science be mutually consistent. Since the observations are all the same observations, one rule cannot give one prediction and another rule another prediction. Thus, science is not a specialist business; it is completely universal. I talked about the atoms in physiology; I talked about the atoms in astronomy, electricity, chemistry. They are universal; they must be mutually consistent. You cannot just start off with a new thing that cannot be made of atoms.
It is interesting that reason works in guessing at the rules, and the rules, at least in physics, become reduced. I gave an example of the beautiful reduction of the rules in chemistry and electricity into one rule, but there are many more examples.
The rules that describe nature seem to be mathematical. This is not a result of the fact that observation is the judge, and it is not a characteristic necessity of science that it be mathematical. It just turns out that you can state mathematical laws, in physics at least, which work to make powerful predictions. Why nature is mathematical is, again, a mystery.
I come now to an important point. The old laws may be wrong. How can an observation be incorrect? If it has been carefully checked, how can it be wrong? Why are physicists always having to change the laws? The answer is, first, that the laws are not the observations and, second, that experiments are always inaccurate. The laws are guessed laws, extrapolations, not something that the observations insist upon. They are just good guesses that have gone through the sieve so far. And it turns out later that the sieve now has smaller holes than the sieves that were used before, and this time the law is caught. So the laws are guessed; they are extrapolations into the unknown. You do not know what is going to happen, so you take a guess.” http://www.nytimes.com/books/first/f/feynman-meaning.html
Dr. Feynman finishes this essay with “Doubt is clearly a value in the sciences. Whether it is in other fields is an open question and an uncertain matter. I expect in the next lectures to discuss that very point and to try to demonstrate that it is important to doubt and that doubt is not a fearful thing, but a thing of very great value.”
Doubt is one thing that religion cannot tolerate or conceive of. It is built on dogma, the assumption that the theist has the truth and will have it for all time. And creationists have demonstrated how they have failed at this for years. Indeed, the creationists of the 19th century would be apoplectic and calling “heretic” to their supposed brethren who accept “micro evolution”, who agree with an old earth, etc. Creationists can’t even remain faithful their own supposed “facts”.
That Marilyn even acknowledges that DNA works would cause her to be drummed out of some creationist circles.
4. Does God exist? The DNA code informs, programs a cell’s behavior.”
Indeed, it does and it can be totally screwed up. So much for a perfect “instruction manual” from a magical being. If one accepts evolutionary theory, and I’m guessing even Marilyn does when she uses modern medicine, modern food stuffs, etc, it is no difficult thing to see DNA being very much not constructed unless one wants to think it was constructed by an imbecile, who added copies, redundancies, and indeed allowed his creation to be so easily damaged. DNA is not “precise” as Marilyn would claim. Again, these false claims only speak to pure ignorance.
“5. Does God exist? We know God exists because he pursues us. He is constantly initiating and seeking for us to come to him.”
Evidence for this Marilyn? Where is this god? What evidence says it exists much less “pursues” us? She then goes into some of the oldest most pathetic “reasons” that Christians gin up for people being atheists.
“I was an atheist at one time. And like many atheists, the issue of people believing in God bothered me greatly. What is it about atheists that we would spend so much time, attention, and energy refuting something that we don’t believe even exists?! What causes us to do that?”
Well, Marilyn, what is it about Christians that they would spend so much time attention and energy trying to convert other people who already have religions to their own? By Marilyn’s own “logic”, this means that Allah, the gods of the Aztecs, the gods of the Native Americans, the South Pacific aboringines, etc are all TRUE. The reason I counter such obvious lies as Christians like Marilyn have told is that these lies cause harm to people. It’s that simple.
“When I was an atheist, I attributed my intentions as caring for those poor, delusional people…to help them realize their hope was completely ill-founded. To be honest, I also had another motive. As I challenged those who believed in God, I was deeply curious to see if they could convince me otherwise. Part of my quest was to become free from the question of God. If I could conclusively prove to believers that they were wrong, then the issue is off the table, and I would be free to go about my life.”
Indeed, I am curious if someone can convince me that their god exists, being it the Christian Jehovah, the Wiccan’s Goddess, the Muslim’s Allah, Amaterasu of the Shinto, etc. I’m content to keep an open mind. But the sorry fact is: they’ve all failed. So, I am indeed free to go about my life.
“I didn’t realize that the reason the topic of God weighed so heavily on my mind, was because God was pressing the issue. I have come to find out that God wants to be known. He created us with the intention that we would know him. He has surrounded us with evidence of himself and he keeps the question of his existence squarely before us. It was as if I couldn’t escape thinking about the possibility of God. In fact, the day I chose to acknowledge God’s existence, my prayer began with, “Ok, you win…” It might be that the underlying reason atheists are bothered by people believing in God is because God is actively pursuing them.”
Marilyn’s insistence that she’s so special that this god of hers personally wants her to believe is fairly typical too. Marilyn “knows” that this god “wants to be known” in exactly the way that Marilyn has chosen to believe, but evidence shows that this is not the case. If it where, I would have never become a atheist, since I did pray for this god to help me from losing my faith. But, as all prayer fails, nothing happened.
Marilyn tries again with the common Christian claim that there is evidence of this god all around (Romans 1). Unfortunately, she forgets that all religions make this claim for their creator god. All creator gods have the same “evidence” for their existence aka reality, but alas no one can show that *their* god is the only one.
“I am not the only one who has experienced this. Malcolm Muggeridge, socialist and philosophical author, wrote, “I had a notion that somehow, besides questing, I was being pursued.” C.S. Lewis said he remembered, “…night after night, feeling whenever my mind lifted even for a second from my work, the steady, unrelenting approach of Him whom I so earnestly desired not to meet. I gave in, and admitted that God was God, and knelt and prayed: perhaps, that night, the most dejected and reluctant convert in all of England.”
Lewis went on to write a book titled, “Surprised by Joy” as a result of knowing God. I too had no expectations other than rightfully admitting God’s existence. Yet over the following several months, I became amazed by his love for me.”
And other theists of other religions make the same claims, that their god gave them a “feeling”. Marilyn also insists that this god loves her, and does things for her. How wonderful for her, a woman in a first world country, not having to worry about starving, or having a worm in her eye, not to die from diarrhea from a easily controlled disease. Golly, Marilyn is just so very important to her god, why care about all of those whose prayers are not answered, who also believe but who have the bad luck to be born somewhere that they don’t have enough to eat or a computer to type at.
“6. Does God exist? Unlike any other revelation of God, Jesus Christ is the clearest, most specific picture of God revealing himself to us.
Why Jesus? Look throughout the major world religions and you’ll find that Buddha, Muhammad, Confucius and Moses all identified themselves as teachers or prophets. None of them ever claimed to be equal to God. Surprisingly, Jesus did. That is what sets Jesus apart from all the others. He said God exists and you’re looking at him.”
This is quite amusing since even theists and even Christians can’t agree on this, if Jesus is equal to this god or not. Not even the authors of the gospels could agree That’s what’s caused massive schisims in their “truth”.
But let’s assume that Marilyn does have the only OneTrueChristianity. Then that begs the question, why isn’t she doing those miracles that her god promised that any follower of Jesus could do, the healings (and indeed why can’t this god heal amputees in all of the supposed healings that have happened?), the speaking in tongues, creating food for thousands, etc? She’s right, JC did say that one didn’t even need to accept him, but accept the evidence of the miracle he did. Funny no one except the bible authors noticed these miracles at all. Not one independent word about them.
Marilyn also wants to claim that this god of hers is like a father, always a problem for Christians.
“Jesus Christ showed God to be gentle, loving, aware of our self-centeredness and shortcomings, yet deeply wanting a relationship with us. Jesus revealed that although God views us as sinners, worthy of his punishment, his love for us ruled and God came up with a different plan. God himself took on the form of man and accepted the punishment for our sin on our behalf. Sounds ludicrous? Perhaps, but many loving fathers would gladly trade places with their child in a cancer ward if they could. The Bible says that the reason we would love God is because he first loved us.”
Alas for Marilyn, loving fathers don’t set up the rules of the game requiring a bloody murder to “save” everyone and to damn everyone who has the bad taste to be born in the wrong time or place. Marilyn’s god is more the firefighter who does arson so he can be seen as a hero. This god failed repeatedly at his plans for having humanity obey him, a genocidal flood, a failed set of rules and finally, it “occurs” to this god to kill himself for himself to make up for the failure of this god in the first place. For being claimed omnipotent and omniscience, this god fails at those things immensely.
All religions claim that “only through this” will you get the “real” answer, and as always all of these “answers” fail. Marilyn’s final bits are the repeated claim that only her god exists per this “evidence” in creation, and that by a certain magic spell aka prayer, one can finally get the attention of this god. She’s sure if you say this, it’ll work, really and for true (well maybe not but golly you can’t blame her can you?) :
“Jesus, thank you for dying for my sins. You know my life and that I need to be forgiven. I ask you to forgive me right now and come into my life. I want to know you in a real way. Come into my life now. Thank you that you wanted a relationship with me. Amen.”
Okay, Marilyn, I did pray this and I’ve prayed something very similar to it when I was losing my faith decades ago. In that I’m *still* an atheist, no god to been seen or “felt”, what is your excuse this time?