Benjamin L. Corey

Benjamin L. Corey

BLC is an author, speaker, scholar, and global traveler, who holds graduate degrees in Theology & Intercultural Studies from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, and received his doctorate in Intercultural Studies from Fuller. He is the author of Undiluted: Rediscovering the Radical Message of Jesus, and Unafraid: Moving Beyond Fear-Based Faith.

No, The Gospel Isn’t “Good News” For Everyone

Is the Gospel of Jesus truly "good news" for everyone? I used to think so, until now.

 

Over the years I’ve been fond of saying, “if the Gospel isn’t good news for everyone, it isn’t good news for anyone.”

When I’ve said it, I believed it and said it with sincerity. I can also recognize that I said it in part to push-back against the faith of my youth which essentially proclaimed a gospel that is bad, bad, news for the majority of human beings who have ever lived. Pushing back on things that are wrong is good– but sometimes we can push too far in the opposite direction, not because it’s true or accurate, but for the sake of distancing ourselves from the alternative.

But today, I admit: I was wrong. The Gospel isn’t good news for everyone.

I have never been more aware of this as I have been this past week when reading stories of the Trump administration’s practice of separating children from their families at our southern border, and housing them in cages like animals at best– or handing them off to human traffickers at worst.

This feeling inside me has been building as I have read stories of children crying for their mothers. It’s festered as I’ve seen pictures of where the children are kept–pictures that look like my local dog kennel instead of a place for children. And it surely boiled over as I read an article by former First Lady Laura Bush, who reported that government officials who warehouse these children are instructed not to touch, pick up, or comfort children who are crying.

Hogar de Paul Harris, 2011. Benjamin L. Corey photo.

While I live in Maine and am about as far away from the southern border as one can get, these stories strike eerily close to home for me. You see, on the day I became a father it wasn’t in the delivery room of our local hospital. My first glimpse of my two wonderful daughters wasn’t as the nurse wrapped them in blankets, proclaiming “both girls!”

No, my first glimpse of my children was seeing them wave to me through the bars of the cage they were locked in.

I had no idea the first time I’d lay eyes on my children there would be a steel door with bars and a prominent lock in the middle separating us. I had always imagined our first moment would be filled with overflowing emotions of joy, but instead, as I saw my girls reach out between the bars to get our attention, the first emotion that filled my heart was absolute fury at the realization they had been waiting and locked in a cage all this time.

And so when I read stories of children being ripped from their mother’s arms, when I see images of cages that have little humans in them instead of dogs, and when I hear reports of children crying and needing comfort– but those tasked with caring for them being prohibited from picking them up, touching them, or soothing them, I realize I have been beyond erroneous in saying the Gospel is good news for everyone.

No, no, no– it is not.

The Gospel is not good news for those who rip children out of the arms of their mothers as they flee from places of poverty and violence.

The Gospel is not good news for those who toss these children in cages, subjecting them to additional trauma.

The Gospel is not good news for those who prohibit touching or comforting crying children, nor is it good news for those who obey such immoral directives.

For those who make these unjust policies, for those who carry them out even in the name of keeping their jobs, and for those who support the oppressors who enact these policies that destroy families and traumatize children, the Gospel is actually no-good-very-bad-news.

Regardless of theological position or nuance of what does or does not happen in the afterlife, what cannot be denied for anyone who claims to follow Jesus is that he clearly and articulately warned of a coming judgement. In fact, he laid it out in Matthew 25 so there were no questions: at the final judgement there will be two groups of people, and one will face divine punishment.

As much as I hate to spoil the surprise for those who haven’t gotten to this part of the Bible yet, it’s not “the gays, fake news media, and ‘godless progressives'” who get separated from the pack in order to receive their punishment.

Those who face the wrath of God, Jesus said, are those who did not welcome the immigrant, who did not clothe the naked, or feed the hungry. And specifically regarding harming children, let me remind you, is an act where Jesus said it would be better to have a rock tied around your neck and be thrown into the deepest ocean.

No matter which way you spin it, the Gospel is not good news for everyone if you believe Jesus.

No… it’s actually no-good-horrible-news for those who enact, support, or participate in the Trump administration’s unconscionable actions of ripping children out of the arms of their mothers, and then locking these children in cages.

Benjamin L. Corey

Benjamin L. Corey

BLC is an author, speaker, scholar, and global traveler, who holds graduate degrees in Theology & Intercultural Studies from Gordon-Conwell, and earned his doctorate in Intercultural Studies from Fuller.

He is the author of Unafraid: Moving Beyond Fear-Based Faith, and Undiluted: Rediscovering the Radical Message of Jesus.

It's not the end of the world, but it's pretty #@&% close. Trump's America & Franklin Graham's Christianity must be resisted.

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It's not the end of the world, but it's pretty #@&% close. Trump's America & Franklin Graham's Christianity must be resisted.

Join the resistance: Subscribe for posts and updates from BLC!

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  • If my memory serves me correctly, there are references in at least three of the gospels (in little red-lettered words/pretty significant) that it would be ‘better to have a millstone around their necks and cast into the sea’.

  • Whats with the gay evangelical conservatives stalking posters?

    You’d think Ted Haggard would’ve learned his lesson.

  • I wonder what Benjamin Corey believes the Gospel is? Using Matthew 25 as a club makes him every bit a fundamentalist.

  • Great to see you writing again Benjamin. Thanks so much for this.

    I wasn´t aware of the human trafficking aspect of all this.
    Who in the U.S. system is handing the children over to traffickers?

    Lord have mercy.

    • Who in the U.S. system is handing the children off to traffickers?

      Adults claim children fraudulently, but separation is one of the primary tools used to prevent human trafficking at the border. Reducing border enforcement, the preferred “solution” of many, increases the risk of human trafficking. If parents and children got preferential treatment at the border, human trafficking would be incentivized. See [this article] from the Obama-era for some real life examples.

  • “Trump administration’s practice of separating children from their families at our southern border”
    Why mention Trump without mentioning any other president?

    • With all due respect, brother, does it change the situation? Your response appears to be an attempt to deflect the truth of the situation as opposed to dealing with the here and now. I see your point but the biggest issue is that if we are hearing about it now we need to deal with it now, and the administration would rather throw God under the bus with out of context verses than address the issue at hand… not a very biblical response, though unfortunately, historically an American Christian one.

    • This is why: “There is no federal law that stipulates that children and parents be separated at the border, no matter how families entered the United States. An increase in child detainees separated from parents stemmed directly from a change in enforcement policy repeatedly announced by Sessions in April and May 2018, under which adults (with or without children) are criminally prosecuted for attempting to enter the United States”

      https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/was-law-separate-families-passed-1997/

      I also find it interesting that the morality of the practice is defended by some by saying or implying that “Obama/Clinton/anyone did it” (which is a lie, but how in the world is that a defense?)

    • Josh – There are some people who are probably criticizing President Trump who looked the other way during the previous administration, but I would guess most people just didn’t know what was going on. A lot of that has to do with the press – their biases lead them toward (or away from) particular stories. But Trump is the President now, and that’s why the attention is on him.

      • “But Trump is the President now, and that’s why the attention is on him.”
        This may be; yet it still doesn’t excuse Corey of bearing false witness when, in the same sentence, accuses his administration of “handing them off to human traffickers at worst.”–which was actually an Obama administration report.
        https://www.nytimes.com/2016/01/29/us/politics/us-placed-immigrant-children-with-traffickers-report-says.html

        Having known this issue, Corey cited it which means he could also read who the president was at the time. Therfore, to center this on Trump is categorically dishonest.

        That being said, it also serves the purpose of directing blame at one man and one administration, when, in recognizing that this behavior was also taking place in 4 other administrations, we should be aghast at this at all eras of government–that is at government.

  • Predicting a comment starting with “Well, ACTUALLY…” coming in 3… 2…

    Anyway, good to see you back, Ben, and couldn’t agree more. The arrival of a new world is bad news for people who have put themselves at the top of the current one and will do whatever it takes to stay there.

    • Not only good to see Ben back, but good to see you back here as well Phil. BTW, do you plan to pick back up in Matthew on “Letters” blog?

  • You do know most of these illegal immigrants are Christian themselves, so the Gospel when used correctly is good news.

    • That article is about how the Gospel is bad news for those who would separate children from their parents, for those who harm children are condemned, and those who are unwelcoming to refugees are condemned, and those who are cruel to others are condemned.

      The only way you didn’t understand the point is if you didn’t read any of the article. Par for the course?

  • What boggles my mind is not that Trump still has defenders, but rather who those defenders are. How anyone can read the words of Jesus, claim to take them seriously, and yet still defend this administration is mind numbing to me.

    • His approval rating has actually gone up among white evangelicals. I am not sure, though, if it is defensiveness because of the backlash or if they really like what this administration is doing.

      • Yeah it’s bizarre. In a strange way, I think a huge factor comes from one’s view of the scriptures. It shapes a Christian’s entire worldview. Hardcore biblicists stress inerrancy where the entirety of the Bible inevitably overrides the specific teachings of Jesus. In other words, Jesus’ hard sayings like turning the other cheek and loving one’s enemies are contextualized such that they ultimately are superseded by the actions of a wrathful God, especially as depicted in the OT. So when one views God thru a lens of “the Bible” rather than through a lens of “Jesus”, then the actions of Trump are not counter to their faith. Just my 2 cents.

        • I´m wondering … these days … about the other hard sayings of Jesus like God can throw you into hell, a servant not doing the will of God deserves a severe beating, etc. (there are others).

          I´ve been learning over the last few years or so to make Jesus the center of my understanding of scripture. Many say, “Look to Jesus and you see the true revelation of what the Father is like”. Even more say, “The Bible should only be understood via a Christo-centric hermeneutic”.

          But I ask … is Jesus really all “hugs and kisses”? I know there are probably hermeneutical and metaphorical issues I am missing, but on the surface, Jesus seems to have said some hard things other than love your enemy and turn the other cheek.

          I think a progressive Christian with more knowledge than me should write a book entitled:

          The Tough Sayings of Jesus: What they really mean and why they still point to a God of perfect love.

          • That is a great question. Unfortunately, the answer I’ve come up with is: they don’t. The Old Testament YHWH was terrible indeed, with his vengefulness and tendency to utterly disproportionate retribution for even the slightest slip-up. (Plague as punishment for a census, anyone?) The silver lining is that at least he stopped when you were dead. It wasn’t until Jesus came along that the idea of eternal consequences came into the picture. He’s the guy who told people that they need to keep fearing YHWH even after death, because that’s only the beginning. Not only that, he made it impossible to be “good enough”. Now your default state is eternal damnation, and only an ephemeral emotional state(faith) can save you. If you ask me, the only relationship you can have with the god of Abraham, Moses, and Jesus is an abusive one. At least according to his book.

            • Well Bones … it´s my understanding that many in the church have struggled to explain this difficult portion of scripture over the centuries.

              Why do you think Jesus called the woman a dog, Bones?

        • Exactly. Inerrancy of scripture ends up creating “followers” who don’t seem to follow very well. The other issue is how conservatives treat “sin.” Rather than seeing it as “missing the mark” in a broad ethical sense, it always devolves into particular sins, resulting in legalism. Broad, more nuanced application of scripture such as our responsibilities to refugees, racism, the poor and jobless, etc., are easily overlooked because of the narrow interpretation of sin. And, of course, if they are not fornicating or aborting babies, one has met their obligations to God. Not to say all evangelicals miss the mark on social responsibilities, but most seem to view it with a great deal of mistrust. It’s viewed as “political.” Strange!

    • Ron,
      I think it’s probable that most people look at Presidents and their administrations and judge each policy and action on its own. Yes, there are some people who will defend any President regardless of what he does, and President Trump does seem to have a higher than usual number of these people (or perhaps they’re just louder?), but most people aren’t like that.

      For example, I can say that I oppose the President’s tariffs and policy of separating children from their parents while at the same time supporting some judges he’s appointed or his elimination of some Obama-era executive branch policies. I claim to take Jesus’ words seriously, but will also defend some of the policies of the present Administration. I’d like to think this is how most Christians operate.

      But yes, still far too many people look at themselves as “defenders” of the President or part of the “resistance.” That’s only healthy at election time when you have to make a choice.

        • Hi Matthew – A couple examples are the Obama Administration policy on Title IX and sexual assault that was rescinded last September and the Obama rules on school bathrooms that was rescinded in February of last year.

      • Sorry if it appeared I broad-brushed. I probably didn’t do a very good job of articulating my point. Where I grow weary are professing Christians who can’t bring themselves to criticize ANY of Trump’s decisions, actions, words, or policies because they equate their Christian faith to being loyal to a fiercely conservative agenda, viewing Trump as a type of American Messiah. I also don’t want to come across as painting a majority into this box, so I appreciate your clarification.

        • “Where I grow weary are professing Christians who can’t bring themselves to criticize ANY of Trump’s decisions, actions, words, or policies because they equate their Christian faith to being loyal to a fiercely conservative agenda, viewing Trump as a type of American Messiah.”

          Nice straw man! That one could fool a lot of ignorant people.

    • Indeed, Jesus was overwhelmingly clear about his stance on what should happen to those who bring harm to children. Yet, U.S. Evangelicals still following Trump illustrate to the world their lust for the mirror opposite of what Jesus taught. This is how history will remember these Evangelicals.

      • 150 years from now people may look back on our times much like how we look back at the atrocities of Christians justifying slavery 150 years ago. They’ll go, “so professing Christians actually tried to justify hate using the Bible for LGBT bigotry and separating children from immigrant parents? Like seriously?”

        • All the while Christians will be moving on to commit new atrocities in the new age, thinking nothing of the atrocities of the past.

        • History just keeps repeating itself.

          We just can’t help using religion to justify our hate of others.

          We ignore the teachings of the Christ and instead slam the nails in him for not conforming to our doctrine and ideology.

            • Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world 1 John 4:1 …. its a great tool to help understand a lot of BS in the world

      • Really? The so-called Jesus was part of the Community of the Poor (in spirit), lead by James, Brother of Jesus, in Jerusalem, which characterised itself as being “zealous for the law (of Moses (another syncretic apocryphal character). Jesus supposedly came for the Jews, preached that Mosaic law would not change, warned that those who sought to go to heaven would need to be “more righteous than the Pharisees”, and said that those who made excuses for children who failed to honor thrir parents, as commanded by the law, rather than executing them as prescribed by the law, were hypocrites who nullified god.

        How many children did you stone today?

    • Taking the alleged “words of Jesus” (not even a name but the acronym of a rabbinical curse at the time) serioisly requires the same kind of delusional thinking as the oligarchs have been using to condition Americans into supporting the Democrats and Republicans for decades.

    • Manufactured, huh. The pictures, the stories, the eyewitnesses, the cages, etc. All manufactured? The change in policy by Trump and Sessions to require the children to be separated that started in April 2018. Made up?

      I’d say you’re living in an alternate reality, but you’re not. You’re just lying.

      • Regardless of Bob’s inaccurate statements, I think it’s lame that you upvoted that comment by John Elton Smith. Don’t encourage that type of behavior.

      • All that you mention has been in place for a long time. All President Trump did was enforce existing law. Presidents don’t make law and that is why he cannot and must not change it by executive order. As far as the hysteria it is most certainly manufactured by the democrat machine because they are out of ideas to promote and have resorted to insanity. This fall the worst Progressives will be put in a box and put away for another 30 years. Blue Wave indeed.

        • Virtually every line you wrote is false. For example, there is no law that requires children to be separated. Trump and sessions could stop it immediately. They choose not.

          You lie and you are a liar. Stop lying.

        • “All President Trump did was enforce existing law.”

          Uh huh. So why did he wait 16 months into his presidency to start “enforcing” this existing law?

        • Bob and OutsideLookingIn,

          I found this explanation of the issue by Rich Lowry of National Review helpful: http://www.nationalreview.com/2018/05/illegal-immigration-enforcement-separating-kids-at-border/#slide-1

          Mr. Lowry writes:

          The Trump administration isn’t changing the rules that pertain to separating an adult from the child. Those remain the same. Separation happens only if officials find that the adult is falsely claiming to be the child’s parent, or is a threat to the child, or is put into criminal proceedings.

          It’s the last that is operative here. The past practice had been to give a free pass to an adult who is part of a family unit. The new Trump policy is to prosecute all adults. The idea is to send a signal that we are serious about our laws and to create a deterrent against re-entry. (Illegal entry is a misdemeanor, illegal re-entry a felony.)

          So President Trump is not changing the policy on when to separate children from parents, but he is changing the practice of what to do with adults, which does change what happens to children. This was a choice President Trump made, and a different choice than President Obama made.

  • https://www.weeklystandard.com/holmes-lybrand/fact-check-did-democrats-pass-a-law-separating-children-and-adults-at-the-southern-border

    https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/was-law-separate-families-passed-1997/

    A White House spokesman referred [Factcheck.org] to a DHS statement regarding a 1997 legal settlement and 2008 antitrafficking law affecting minors who are apprehended without a parent present:

    Under the 1997 settlement, DHS could detain unaccompanied children captured at the border for only 20 days before releasing them to foster families, shelters or sponsors, pending resolution of their immigration cases. The settlement was later expanded through other court rulings to include both unaccompanied and accompanied children.

    The William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2008 requires unaccompanied minors from countries other than Mexico and Canada to be placed in the care of the Office of Refugee Resettlement, or relatives in the U.S., while they go through removal proceedings. The bipartisan bill was approved by unanimous consent and signed by Bush.

    But neither the court settlement nor the 2008 law require the Trump administration to “break up families.”

    The “zero-tolerance” policy he announced [in May 2018] sees adults who try to cross the border, many planning to seek asylum, being placed in custody and facing criminal prosecution for illegal entry.

    As a result, hundreds of minors are now being housed in detention centres, and kept away from their parents.

    Over a recent six-week period, nearly 2,000 children were separated from their parents after illegally crossing the border, figures released on [15 June 2018].

    [Attorney General] Sessions said those entering the US irregularly would be criminally prosecuted, a change to a long-standing policy of charging most of those crossing for the first time with a misdemeanour offence.

    This administration’s “zero-tolerance” policy is purely meant to deter any immigration, especially from those brown people seeking refuge from gangs and sure death for their children. Josh and Bob are no less puppets for white rule only proponents, such as President Trump, Attorney General Sessions, General Kelly and Stephen Miller, than were those no Jews, period, under Nazi rule.

    So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.

    Matthew 7:12

    Jesus replied: “ ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.

    Matthew 22:37-40

    Everyone of mankind, the only animal species on this earth made in the image of God who is spirit, is an other to each other, regardless of any carnal or spirit differences.

    Sitting down, Jesus called the Twelve and said, “Anyone who wants to be first must be the very last, and the servant of all.” He took a little child whom he placed among them. Taking the child in his arms, he said to them, “Whoever welcomes one of these little children in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me does not welcome me but the one who sent me.”

    Mark 9:35-37

    Shame on those, who rule today, whose heritage in the United States of America began with blood relatives who were all others in “huddled masses”. They offer no Good News to any seeking hope to just survive, inside or outside our borders.

    The Good News is the Spirit of truth in me, and I in him, who teaches me empathy in joy and grief for all others of mankind. Woe be to the enforcing rulers of the United States of America today who cannot see others as themselves.

    Thanks Ben! Nice to have you back!

  • Bush signed Trafficking Victims Prevention Reauthorization Act & this is the law that prevents unaccompanied minors from entering. Many are brought in by ‘coyotes'(smugglers). My question is why should America be lenient in this matter for ANYONE trying to enter illegally? What kind of example is it to children if their parents do not obey the laws of the country they’re entering? All countries have penalties(some harsh) for breaking their laws & America is no different. My next question is what is their motives to enter illegally? If they want to come & make an honest living AND pay taxes then do so according to the LAWS OF THE LAND. We have these laws to protect law abiding citizens. I have personally known several families that have risked their children’s lives to get them in illegally while they themselves worked here in US illegally. What makes this so wrong is that law abiding, tax paying citizens end up paying for it.And even Jesus said ‘Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s’…

    • Because I adopted internationally, I went through the process of bringing in a child, legally, from another country (South Korea). I am white, male, a veteran, upper middle class, born an American citizen. The international adoption practices between the US and South Korea have been in operation for over 50 years.

      The process was incredibly long, convoluted, and expensive. Granting citizenship to my adopted son cost thousands of dollars. The amount of documentation I had to produce was not only enormous, at one point we hit a completely impossible situation where three different agencies required the documents the other two provided before they would produce theirs. It was literally a documentation deadlock until one day I just happened to talk to the agent who wasn’t as up on their requirements as the other agents I talked to, which allowed me to get an initial document that allowed me to clear the other two.

      Once we had done all of this, it was still nine months before a judge allowed me to be the parent of my son. My son was in the country the entire time, however, and allowed to stay with me, although ICE could have taken him from me at any time for any reason.

      I had the savings to cover all this, the time to spend, a nice place to come home to when I was tired of hanging out at Random Government Agency X, I speak fluent English and had birth certificates, passports, proofs of residency, etc.

      And I -still- was greatly, greatly tempted to circumvent these procedures, especially when I only cleared one of them due to the “failing” of a government worker that day. If you think people come to America without following proper channels just because they’re willfully defiant of laws, you have no idea what the hell you’re talking about and need to shut up. You may still not think it’s right, but it is amazingly expensive, intensive, and occasionally impossible to come into this country legally. Once again, I was born an American citizen, and I still had all this trouble.

      • You’re right, Phil- the amount of red tape that immigrants to the U.S. have to negotiate is mind-boggling. For example, to come to this country as a refugee can take close to 10 years, and involves all kinds of background checks, U.N. involvement, etc. etc. And that’s to say nothing of how incredibly expensive it is.

        With a system like this, why is anyone surprised by the number of people who try to come illegally? And no matter what, it’s just plain immoral to separate children from their parents.

    • The coyotes are no better or worse than the conductors of the Underground Railroad, who often did bad things in order to rescue their charges from worse conditions imposed upon them by unjust laws. Modern immigration regulations are no more morally justified than the Fugitive Slave acts were.

    • Where in hell is the “Christian Truth” that you tout? Can you not read “Trafficking Victims Prevention“? What makes unaccompanied minors “Trafficking Victims” in your spiritless mind, who you feel need to be prevented? What does this have to do with my Lord’s laying down the Christian law in:

      So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.

      Matthew 7:12

      My Lord is not your lord.

      • Paul writes in Romans 13:1 that Every person is to be in subjection to the governing authorities. In doing so God is glorified b/c He gives them their authority. I didn’t call them trafficking victims but that’s why many are being detained b/c they fall under this “Act”. Again I personally know families that have endangered their children to get them into America illegally & the REAL question is ‘WHY WOULD ANY PARENT IN THEIR RIGHT MIND RISK THEIR LIVES & THE LIFE OF CHILD(CHILDREN) to enter into a country illegally? Is that love? Does love say break the law in order to gain more money? I see it as the ‘love of wanting more’ at ANY expense. The main reason they come here is to make $ to send back home not to contribute to for the better of society. As a large percentage end up living off (free medical, schooling etc)and the law abiding citizens pay for it at the expense of their own lives. That’s what God wants? Not in a million years! Sir u can quote Scripture but make sure u quote Scripture that is relevant to THIS particular situation…
        Romans 13:1-7 states, “Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, he who rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and he will commend you. For he is God’s servant to do you good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword for nothing. He is God’s servant, an agent of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer. Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also because of conscience. This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God’s servants, who give their full time to governing. Give everyone what you owe him: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor.”

  • Immigrants who come to points of entry to seek asylum aren’t actually illegally in the country – they’re not arrested. They’re processed through ICE, and their children stay with them. If, however, illegal immigrants cross the border illegally, the Trump administration now treats them as criminals. If they choose deportation, they aren’t separated from their kids; if they choose to apply for asylum, they stay in the country longer than 20 days, and their kids have to be removed by operation of law.
    Indeed, potential refugees are more than welcome to come to the U.S., the government just asks they do it legally.

    As of the end of May, the U.S. had admitted more than 14,000 refugees in fiscal year 2018,
    according to data from the Refugee Processing Center. The Trump administration has capped the allowable number of refugees in a single fiscal year at 45,000.

    • Immigrants who come to points of entry to seek asylum aren’t actually illegally in the country – they’re not arrested.

      The Trump Administration certainly claimed this, but the facts on the ground speak otherwise. CPB and consular officials have been playing games with the asylum process, illegally failing to open an asylum claim when it is made, telling people making asylum claims that they will not be admitted for processing because they are “at capacity” (even if true, the law gives them no discretion in this matter, so being “at capacity” is irrelevant), and yes, removing their children from them anyway.

      So the real question is, are you gonna believe blindly the story you’ve been told to pacify your conscience, or are you gonna wake up?

      • Indeed. And Jesus was unmistakably clear about the consequences of harming children. Today is a great day for Mr. “Christian Truth” to learn what Jesus actually had to say about that.

    • Being an atheist requires one to accept stuff for which zero evidence exists, yet you all say that us theists are exercising “blind faith”.

      Don’t believe me? Then show me the evidence that life arose on this planet by natural causes. I can show you scientific evidence that makes it unreasonable to hold such a belief.

      • Biologists are still working on the abiogenesis problem. I’m in no hurry for an answer, because I’m not working in that area of research and don’t have any projects that depend on getting that answer.

        If natural origins versus divine origins were running a foot race, the natural origins runner would be at least 30% of the way along the course while the divine origins contestant would be sitting at the starting line claiming it was the finish line.

        • Fair enough answer. “. . . the divine origins contestant would be sitting at the starting line claiming it was the finish line” because too many of them keep spouting self-contradictory, illogical beliefs that contradict clear evidence and what is actually written in the book that they claim they get their beliefs from. For instance, the most glaring one is the rubbish that the earth was created and populated with life in 7 days of 24 hours each, 6,000 years ago. The bible says no such thing! It does not say how old the earth was when it was terraformed, and it does not state how long each “day” was. As in English, the Hebrew word, “yohm” has more than one meaning. The most obvious (to me) contradiction is Adam naming all those animals in such a brief period.

      • Atheists are free to believe – or disbelieve – anything they like, as long as they do not vest belief in god thingies.

        You are completely confused about abiogenesis. If it is possible at all, given the size of the universe and the elapsed time since conditions conducive to the formation of life first arose, and the wildly varied conditions under which we know that credible precursors have formed, it is inconceivable that life has not formed many times in many places across the universe no matter what odds you give against it.

        Science only needs to show that this is a credible path to life, using existing well understood physics, which it is, for this to stand as a far more viable alternative to a vastly complicated sequence of magickal implausibilities, motivated by unknown magickal entities of unknown origin, motivated by unknown reasons, by means of unknown mechanisms, that have never being detected, never been documented, never been credibly described, and having unknown qualities are only promoted by the delusional and the gullible.

        There is no comparison possible

          • Only in your delusional opinion. To the rest of us, your raving simply demonstrates your detachment from reality

            • Hermit!! You surprise me! You usually rebut using evidence.

              Anyway, I can always depend on you to find evidence. Show me an article or paper where the scholar uses actual observations to support his opinion. I do admit that very often, the proposed explanation often sounds plausible, but since they do not add observations to support the proposed explanation, I always reject it. “Plausible” does not equal “fact” to me. Way too many plausible explanations have been subsequently proved false when further study is done.

              • I don’t need to rebut your misunderstandings about the scientific method or biology. You need to attempt to support your idiotic claims in the face of generally accepted science. And you cannot do that, because life exists and magic does not. Which is why I let you rant on.

                By the way, it will probably horrify you to discover that analyzing samples from Miller-Urey some 70 years after the fact, that all 22 amino acids encoded for in nature have been found in original samples from their “volcanic” model, even though they had been in an aqueous solution for that entire period (See https://astrobiology.nasa.gov/news/miller-urey-revisited/). And a quantum investigation reflected that one path to the production of guanin was via formamide eliminating the need for formaldehyde intermediates which I think obviates many of your arguments against abiogenesis (See http://www.pnas.org/content/112/49/15030), not that your assertions deserve or need to be taken seriously in the absence of a credible alternative.

                • Regarding your 1st paragraph, your conclusion is merely based on the fact that I disagree with the conclusion that there are reasons to believe that abiogenesis is the explanation for life as we know it. I base my disagreement on the findings of the very scholars who believe that abiogenesis is the explanation. Shapiro has disproved the RNA first world hypothesis, but still held the belief in a “pre-RNA” hypothesis, but I have not read anything from him showing the observations or findings that support his hypothesis.

                  Regarding the 2nd paragraph, I have already read that. First, the concentrations of the others discovered were very low. Second, remember that I have no problems regarding the formation of the chemical units; my point is that they were available, but would not automatically link up. Nobody has shown me why I should believe that they would link up.

                  BTW, why do they keep referring to the Miller/Urey experiments? According to Shapiro, the atmosphere proposed bore little resemblance to what is known about the atmosphere then. The 4 billion year old zircon crystals is evidence that the atmosphere back then had oxygen in it.

                  • Living things exist in the universe on at least one planet. Space is full of the building blocks of life. At an earlier point in the life of the universe, the elements of which we are comprised did not exist. Therefore life arose in the universe. Before life arose in the universe there was nothing in the universe capable of establishing life other than physics (which current life forms prove is sufficient). So, by elimination, we know that abiogenesis occurred.

                    We know that all life of which we are aware exists to assist entropy hydrolyze carbon dioxide. Again, this is what living things do. We are all a fart’s way of ensuring that there will be another fart. So that is why those precursors organized and developed some of the emergent attribute of life. We see this process occurring today when lipophilic compounds globularize on water. However, it is unlikely that new life will originate in the current environment, because with the vast array of existing life everywhere, new developing stuff tends to look too much like lunch to all the hungry life forms that already exist to survive for long enough to evolve defenses.

                    Miller-Urey-Bada broke ground and created awareness. The volcanic experiment has been shown to be even better at producing amino acids, and the reducing environment preserved their results for half a century in an aqueous solution. Your arguments from personal incredulity not withstanding. The initial abiogenetic breakthrough could have occurred anywhere. Given 3 x 10^55 g of material and billions of years in which it could have occurred, there have almost certainly been many clones of every possible arrangement of molecules in configurations that we would recognize as living. And give that homeostasis, organization and reproduction are among the attributes of life, it only had to happen once to have a good chance of persisting wherever matter and energy were available. You are undoubtedly on the wrong side of this bet.

                    From iron bands in early sedimentary rock, we know that the atmosphere only oxygenated as a consequence of life. http://www.geosociety.org/gsatoday/archive/21/3/article/i1052-5173-21-3-4.htm.

                  • I think that the list of things that Dennis does not know is exceeded only by the list of things that Dennis does not want to know.

        • Still no evidence that abiogenesis has occurred I see. Where is the rebuttal for Dr. Robert Shapiro’s findings? Where is the rebuttal for Dr. Miller’s findings? Every link merely shows opinions unsupported by even one piece of evidence. The very first has this statement: “there is no hard evidence about how LUCA arose from a boiling caldron of
          chemicals that formed on Earth after the creation of the planet about
          4.6 billion years ago.” A warm temperature would have destroyed ribose and cytosine way too rapidly. That observation by Dr. Stanley Miller frustrated him. It has already been shown by Dr. Carl Woese that archebacteria, bacteria and eukaryotes developed separately; none evolved from the other.

          See? I don’t ignore what you present, but all I see from you are opinions and conjecture that have already been shown by other experts to be unreasonable expectations. It remains a belief based on zero evidence.

          • Quote: ” It has already been shown by Dr. Carl Woese that archebacteria, bacteria and eukaryotes developed separately; none evolved from the other.”

            That is definitely a unique interpretation of Dr. Woese’s ideas and words. It’s also incorrect. Source: I’m a microbiologist. I study microbial ecology and evolution.

            Of course those three lineages did not arise from each other. That’s because they all arose from a common ancestor. They are different branches on the same evolutionary tree, growing from the same root.

            This is similar to the misunderstanding of human evolution that I’ve heard a lot, in which people claim it’s patently ridiculous that humans evolved from chimpanzees and this disproves evolutionary theory. Of course it’s ridiculous. But it’s not ridiculous because of a flaw in evolutionary theory. Rather, the flaw is in the understanding of evolution, which is descent with modification *from a common ancestor*. Humans and chimpanzees are cousins who both evolved from a common ancestor. Our common ancestor was neither a human nor a chimp. Rather, it was some other organism which shared some of our basic characteristics. We are no more descended from one another than you and your first cousin are descended from each other. We DO, however, have a set of grandparents in common, way back in the family tree. Different branches, same root.

            BTW, I’d just like to note: you used the term archebacteria, which is technically incorrect. The correct term used to be archaebacteria, but the domain has since been recognized as separate from bacteria and renamed Archaea to reflect that separation.

            (Also, there is some conjecture that Eukarya actually is a descendant of an Archaeal lineage, and we are in fact more closely related to Archaea than Bacteria, but that’s a whole ‘nother discussion.)

          • Being an atheist requires no proof of anything. Religionists are the ones with the fantastic claims without evidence. Just because something is not fully understood in the scientific community in no way implies that origin stories of ancient tribes of the Middle East are factual. But the fact that the kingdom of heaven didn’t come in the first century as predicted in the storybook ought to be enough to discount it.

              • Neither inconsistent nor hypocritical, just understand that we’ve evolved to jump to conclusions, assuming cause and effect in places where that is not factual. If there were anything supernatural, wouldn’t the religionists all agree?

                • Also, you clearly have not studied biology as extensively as I have. Two experts with equal qualifications and experience will examine the very same evidence and each draw different conclusions 😀

                  • If you had actually studied biology and ignored the pseudo science of lying creationist – you would not be repeating the recycled garbage you spout.

                    Please reference the scientific papers that have been published and that support your assertions or once again prove yourself to be a gullible and delusional liar.

                    No evidence suggests that evolution is losing adherents. Pick up any issue of a peer-reviewed biological journal, and you will find articles that support and extend evolutionary studies or that embrace evolution as a fundamental concept.

                    Conversely, serious scientific publications disputing evolution are all but nonexistent. In the mid-1990s George W. Gilchrist, then at the University of Washington, surveyed thousands of journals in the primary literature, seeking articles on intelligent design or creation science. Among those hundreds of thousands of scientific reports, he found none. Surveys done independently by Barbara Forrest of Southeastern Louisiana University and Lawrence M. Krauss, now at Arizona State University, were similarly fruitless.

                    Creationists retort that a closed-minded scientific community rejects their evidence. Yet according to the editors of Nature, Science and other leading journals, few anti-evolution manuscripts are even submitted. Some anti-evolution authors have published papers in serious journals. Those papers, however, rarely attack evolution directly or advance creationist arguments; at best, they identify certain evolutionary problems as unsolved and difficult (which no one disputes). In short, creationists are not giving the scientific world good reason to take them seriously.

                    Evolutionary biologists passionately debate diverse topics: how speciation happens, the rates of evolutionary change, the ancestral relationships of birds and dinosaurs, whether Neanderthals were a species apart from modern humans, and much more. These disputes are like those found in all other branches of science. Acceptance of evolution as a factual occurrence and a guiding principle is nonetheless universal in biology.

                    Unfortunately, dishonest creationists have shown a willingness to take scientists’ comments out of context to exaggerate and distort the disagreements. Anyone acquainted with the works of paleontologist Stephen Jay Gould of Harvard University knows that in addition to co-authoring the punctuated-equilibrium model, Gould was one of the most eloquent defenders and articulators of evolution. (Punctuated equilibrium explains patterns in the fossil record by suggesting that most evolutionary changes occur within geologically brief intervals—which may nonetheless amount to hundreds of generations.) Yet creationists delight in dissecting out phrases from Gould’s voluminous prose to make him sound as though he had doubted evolution, and they present punctuated equilibrium as though it allows new species to materialize overnight or birds to be born from reptile eggs.

                    Your bunkum remains debunked, Dennis.

                  • I don’t know how much you’ve studied biology, so I cannot compare that area, but I know that scientific conclusions are always conditional on finding more evidence, often with more advanced tools. This is where it contrasts with religion. Please provide a specific example of of the different conclusions of equally qualified scientists. Often they agree about the big picture, only differ in the details. Some ask different questions, therefore seeing things a little differently. I don’t know when you studied biology, but it’s become way more scientific since I did in the 1950s! Of course there are a few smart people who study science only to get the credentials so they can claim non-scientific conclusions by ignoring scientific method: http://www.discovery.org

                • If you require no proof for your beliefs, but criticize others of requiring no proof for theirs, that is either inconsistent or hypocritical.

                  The clergy has made sure that truth will be hidden by teaching contradictions. If their congregations ever discover the truth, the clergy will lose all control over them.

              • How so?

                Atheism does not speak to whatever you imagine god thingies may be, and I know that you have no clue what intersubjectively verifiable attributes are necessary and sufficient to qualify a thing as a god thingie, meaning that your concept of god thingies is incoherent and indefensible, but to the attitude of the person. Atheists, for any or no reason, do not vest belief in any god thingies.

                I would argue that vesting belief in undefined, indistinguishable things you call god thingies is beyond asinine, but please feel invited to rebut.

            • Nice “cop out”. It is that very requirement that made me start out as an agnostic. I have not suggested that, if something is not fully understood in the scientific
              community, it implies that origin stories of ancient tribes of the
              Middle East are factual.” I also needed evidence that those stories were factual, hence I started out as an agnostic. I was not prepared to believe either without reasons to believe. The fact that the kingdom of heaven didn’t come in the first century as
              predicted by the clergy back then was enough for me to discount their teachings. My personal studies showed that they were, and still are, contradicting what was written in the very book they claim is the source of the teaching. Getting lies from the clergy does not prove that the bible is wrong.

              • “Obviously, if theism is a belief in a God and atheism is a lack of a belief in a God, no third position or middle ground is possible. A person can either believe or not believe in a God. Therefore, our previous definition of atheism has made an impossibility out of the common usage of agnosticism to mean ‘neither affirming nor denying a belief in God.’ Actually, this is no great loss, because the dictionary definition of agnostic is still again different from Huxley’s definition. The literal meaning of agnostic is one who holds that some aspect of reality is unknowable. Therefore, an agnostic is not simply someone who suspends judgment on an issue, but rather one who suspends judgment because he feels that the subject is unknowable and therefore no judgment can be made. It is possible, therefore, for someone not to believe in a God (as Huxley did not) and yet still suspend judgment (ie, be an agnostic) about whether it is possible to obtain knowledge of a God. Such a person would be an atheistic agnostic. It is also possible to believe in the existence of a force behind the universe, but to hold (as did Herbert Spencer) that any knowledge of that force was unobtainable. Such a person would be a theistic agnostic.”

                ― Gordon Stein

                • You defined my position when I was an agnostic; I thought that it would not be possible to know one way or another. As you have shown me, I therefore started out as an atheistic agnostic, then became a theistic agnostic.

                    • The first was my biology classes. No way was it reasonable to conclude that life arose on earth by natural causes. That forced me to accept that it was a deliberate act, however, since science never identifies the individual responsible, I changed my position to hold that any knowledge of that entity was unobtainable.

                      However, a chance reading of a text book on geology made me decide that the entity was the one described in the bible because it read almost like Genesis chapter 1, but because it didn’t tell me much more, I became a theist without a religion (is that a deist?) It took almost two years of debate with theists before I chose a religion that taught what I was reading in the bible. To all the others, my religious beliefs were plain heresy! Jesus was not God, hell as described by the clergy does not exist, the soul is not immortal, when you die, you cease to exist, you will have to be resurrected to exist again, paradise is going to be on earth. All those beliefs were way too offensive to the theists I debated with; except one.

                    • Many things we know to be true are not intuitive, else Galileo wouldn’t have been put under house arrest! You need to explain where your creator came from, and why you chose the one in the bible rather than any of the many others. I realized by the time I was 20 (in 1960) that it was just as easy to believe that the universe has always been as to believe that a creator has. Deist and theist both derived from words for god: Latin deus and the Greek θεός, so originally meant the same thing, but evolved to be different: deist to mean someone who thought a god started the operation, then let it run by itself; and theist to mean someone who believes the supernatural being continues to interfere with the operation of it.

                      “The first principle is that you must not fool yourself and you are the easiest person to fool.” — Richard P. Feynman (theoretical physicist)

                    • I saw no need to answer where the creator came from. I reasoned according to cause and effect, which meant that I should arrive at an un-caused first cause. As an agnostic (atheist agnostic) I therefore reasoned that it would not be possible. It was what was shown to me in biology that forced me to acknowledge that the un-caused first cause was intelligent. This went completely against intuition, but I just could not shake of what the biological evidence clearly showed. Not that the complexity itself was proof, but that it was achieved way too rapidly for natural causes to be a reasonable explanation. By your definition then, I became a theistic agnostic.

                      The fact that there were so many religions and religious belief reinforced my theistic agnosticism. I was given a bible and I was (still am really) addicted to reading, so I read it. It was while waiting in a bookshop for my daughter to find what she wanted that I just passed the time reading that book on geology and saw that amazing chapter that looked so much like Genesis chapter 1. I then decided that the god responsible for the bible was the correct one, but that still left way too many religions, each teaching contradictions. My reading of the bible made me adopt religious beliefs that, to theists, were heresies.

                      Richard Feynman is correct. I noticed very early that everybody chooses what information to process, usually it is those that confirm to ones preferred beliefs that are processed and everything else is ignored. Another problem I encountered was that what one already believes to be true will affect his/her perception of what is shown to him/her. It was troubling because acknowledgement of that fact did not make me immune. The answer, to me was to diligently search for contradictions. If two beliefs contradict each other then one or both is/are wrong.

                    • Where do you get that from? The evidence does not exclude it. Also, what is wrong with basing beliefs on what is currently known. Saying that new information may exclude it amounts to having a belief based on zero evidence, and requires a generous application of circular logic.

                    • What evidence do you have that points to a ‘god’ in/behind the cosmos?

                      “…what is wrong with basing beliefs on what is currently known”. Again, what ‘knowledge’ are you referring to?

                    • There is no evidence for “prime movers”, and no known example of a single instance of anything. In addition, even if prime movers were necessary (which they are not), and not purely imaginary (and there is no evidence they are more than a product of second rate thinking), and were cognitively competent (which there are no grounds to assume they would be if they existed), they would necessarily exist outside any universe they instantiated, and as such could not interact with such universes (by definition a universe contains everything, imaginary and more than imaginary, which it is possible for anything in that universe to experience) which shows that your ideation rests on flawed thinking. Then too, the bible, including Genesis 1, syncretes many mutually and factually contradictory creationn myths (See my “Once upon a time in Genesis” https://goo.gl/Ax3i0p). Why do you prefer this confused and invalid mish-mash to science?

                    • Why would prime movers not be necessary? You are correct that a prime mover would exist outside the visible universe. The current opinion is that the visible universe is what appeared 13.8 billion years ago. Since it is obviously expanding, it must be expanding into something (unless you view it as expanding in nothing). The prime mover would therefore, logically, be able to interact with the visible universe. There is nothing in the bible that was taken from Akkadian myths. What the clergy tells their congregation about Genesis is not what Genesis says. The clergy’s version might very well be from Akkadisn myths, but the account in Genesis is not. I use science as part of my religious beliefs. There is no antagonism between science and the bible. There is conflict between what the bible says and what the clergy says it says. Another conflict is between what scientific evidence says and the beliefs of atheistic scientists.

                    • A scientist is a scientist because he/she subscribes to the scientific method, and sticks to it in his/her scientific work. Thus there are some scientists who are deists, but they are acknowledged as scientists, not because of their religious beliefs, rather in spite of them.

                      As for Akkadian myths, you really have no idea of the impact that extant Pagan mythology had in the syncretic concoction of the so-called ‘bible’, have you? Why not research it for yourself. instead of merely denying it. You could do worse than start by reading the Epic of Gilgamesh, for example, noting its impact on Genesis.

                      Touching the OT we also have ‘Inventing God’s Law – How the Covenant Code of the Bible Used and Revised the Laws of Hammurabi’, by David Wright, 2009, OUP.

                      Then there is the ‘Biblical Canon Lists from Early Christianity – Texts and Analysis’, by Gallagher and Meade, 2017, OUP.

                    • “Why would prime movers not be necessary?”

                      “Prime movers” are your thing. I know that no matter what you imagine them to be (and you have not defined them anymore than you have defined your god thingies), they are not necessary for the universe to exist and thrive. If you want “prime movers”, please motivate why they must exist or even why you imagine that they could exist.

                      “The current opinion is that the visible universe is what appeared 13.8 billion years ago.”

                      I try to keep up with modern science, so I know that the Big Bang is not a singularity, that universes instantiate continuously and embed no energy, that energy is required to transfer information which is always bidirectional and so not only are universes closed by definition, but that anything interacting with a universe from the outside would either be incorporated in that universe (which would require energy from somewhere), or, more likely, would result in the collapse of the universe.

                      “Since it is obviously expanding, it must be expanding into something (unless you view it as expanding in nothing).”

                      The universe did not “appear”, it evolved. Think of the universe as a loaf of raisin bread being baked. As the bread bakes the gaps between the raisins increase, but they never leave the loaf, the outside skin of the loaf always defines the boundary of the raisin universe, and it does not expand into anything. The loaf is always defined by its boundary. Similarly, the Universe is not shooting apart , the gaps between things in the universe are increasing. This and the speed of light will result in a reduction in the visible universe over time, such that astromers in a few billion years time will see thge universe as a big dark empty place without stars, because the gaps between the stars will exceed their visible horizons. However the Universe will still be defined in terms of the boundary that has existed since the strain energy released in the instantion of the Big Bang established it, and that boundary will continue to define “everything imaginary and more than imaginary that can be experienced”.

                      “The prime mover would therefore, logically, be able to interact with the visible universe.”

                      Your “obviously”, and “logically” both having been shown to be false by evidence, your conclusion is necessarily false too. And you would need to propose a mechanism outside of existing physics, because noppt only we understand physics well enough to know that this is not happening, but the horizon would necessarily work both ways.

                      “There is nothing in the bible that was taken from Akkadian myths.”

                      See my monograph, Once Upon A Time in Genesis where I identify the actual fables incorporated from the Akkadian mythos into Genesis 1 and 2. If I live long enough I will probably tackle some of the other blatant borrowings from Bronze Age sources. Against this your assertions fail.

                      “I use science as part of my religious beliefs. There is no antagonism between science and the bible.”

                      As I have repeatedly shown, your belief is what you do in the face of the evidence or in the absence of evidence, and reject evidence that conflicts with your beliefs. That is the opposite of what science does, which is to build evidence based models that make intersubjectively verifiable predictions or projections and adapts, extends or replaces models when they do not make good predictions. So your belief in this matter is as delusional as all your other dogmatic beliefs.

                      “Another conflict is between what scientific evidence says and the beliefs of atheistic scientists.”

                      There are no “atheistic scientists”. Only scientists, who apply the scientific method, and others who are not scientists. Your delusional beliefs notwithstanding.

                    • Almost forgot: There are atheistic scientists, agnostic scientists, deistic scientists and theistic scientists. I have even encountered a few who used to be atheistic, but abandoned atheism because of their own discoveries. Application of the “scientific methods” often causes a scientist to abandon atheism.

                    • There is no proof that none exists and lots of reasons for saying that they do. Your statement that, “they are not necessary for the universe to exist and thrive” is not based on any evidence and is just an assumption. Nothing wrong with assumptions, but one should always remember that that is what they are.

                      In order to evolve, the universe must first appear. Please don’t confuse start with development; I don’t.

                      “anything interacting with a universe from the outside would either be incorporated in that universe”. You are making another assumption. The universe is much larger that the part that appeared 13.8 billion years ago. Your assumption is that the observable universe is the entire universe. It is not. The prime mover exists in that part of the universe outside the observable universe and can therefore interact with it.

                      Another mistake you are making is believing that the teachings of the clergy are the teachings of the bible. The bible contradicts the clergy!

          • Robert Shapiro is one of the originators of the modern hypotheses of abiogenesis and far from ridiculing the modern concept of life from raw chemistry he endorsed that concept saying: “life arose from some self-sustaining and compartmentalized reaction of simple molecules: “metabolism first” instead of “RNA first”. This reaction would have to be able to reproduce and evolve, eventually leading to RNA. He claimed that in this view life is a normal consequence of the laws of nature and potentially quite common in the universe.”

            Your creationist garbage is not consistent with modern science.

            • Read that already. As I said, I have not used the findings of any “creationist”. However, you again merely cite his opinion without stating the evidence on which it is based. I quoted his opinions and the evidence he used. Do the same here.

          • just curious. What is your background? You seem to be speaking some weird information that interest me

            • No scientific background appears possible for those who mindlessly cut and paste dishonest propaganda from corrupt creationist web sites and recycle that debunked bunkum across the web.

              There are none so blind as those so brainwashed and indoctrinated that they refuse to see. Fortunately they form a small and rapidly declining human cohort more to be pitied than despised.

              • “There are none so blind as those so brainwashed and indoctrinated that
                they refuse to see. Fortunately they form a small and rapidly declining
                human cohort more to be pitied than despised.”

                Careful there; you have just described almost every atheist. Unfortunately, that description also fits way too many theists; especially the “young earth creationists”.

                • Old Earth creationists like you also fit the description, Dennis.
                  Religion is bunkum.
                  Creationism is nonsense.

                  • That’s a creationist web site? Didn’t know. The information in that article actually contains stuff that supports atheists’ arguments. I saw nothing in it that seemed to have been written by a creationist. What did I miss?

                    • Of course not. Are you really as dumb as you appear to be.
                      Many links to education have been presented to you.
                      You appear to prefer to ignore the opportunity to cure a little of your ignorance and superstition.

                    • Only naive in that they still had the simple “warm primordial soup” model that has been overtaken by more evidence supported models of the very young Earth of 400,000,000 years ago.

                      Spot on in the knowledge of the 100,000,000 suns within our own Milky-way Galaxy system many/most of which have rocky Earth like planets in orbit around them and the 100,000,000 similar galaxies in which the unstoppable natural and non-magical abiogenesis of abundant chemicals into primitive proto-life and then onto actual life must have occured and still be occurring.

                      The most naive concept of all must surely be the idea that there is anything unique about our insignificant little planet or that life upon it could be the result of undetected and undetectable super-spooks simply wishing things into existence from nothing.

                  • “The Miller-Urey experiments predate modern research and were naive at best.” Already read that from Shapiro.

                    I have neither cited or quoted anything from any “creationist” site. Show me anything that shows why I should still believe that RNA or DNA will form by natural causes. Show me why I should believe that RNA was formed by some other set of chemicals that had formed by natural causes. Show me how RNA would have survived being hydrolyzed. The cytosine in RNA readily changes spontaneously to uracil. Why should I not expect that the information in RNA would not become garbled? Ribose is destroyed by the very oxygen in the molecule. RNA does not stick around for very long, it is hydrolyzed by the very water in which the polymerization occurs. Why should I accept the hypothesis as plausible?

                    See, I give scientific reasons from actual observations. I showed you my scientific reasons, now show me yours.

      • Your infantile condition of blanket denial continues.

        It is you who fail to justify your blind faith in that for which no evidence exists.

        Show me the evidence of gods and magical creation when the evidence of natural processes are all that can be observed.

        • I already did:

          1. Life based on DNA and RNA does not arise by natural causes because DNA is destroyed by the very water in which the polymerization occurs. The oxygen we must breath in also damages DNA, so DNA must co-exist with its repair system or life will be impossible. Also 5 of the components of DNA and RNA are so unstable that it is unreasonable to expect that there would be enough of them to form a polymer. Cytosine is so unstable that an enzyme must constantly read the code sequence of DNA and replace any uracil it comes across with a new cytosine molecule.

          2. Life as immensely complex as cyanobacteria was teeming in the ocean almost as soon as the earth got its ocean.

          3. The bible contains stuff no human could possibly have known to be true at the time it was written.

          Now show me the evidence that abiogenesis has occurred on this planet. The evidence says it has not!

          • The bible contains an immense amount of nonsense, most of it by unknown authors at unknown times, that can be interpreted to mean anything the motivated reader wants to find in it.

            For example pi is approximately three. Given that other cultures had far better approximations much earlier, that is signally unimpressive.

            Why do you imagine that it is important that “abiogenesis has occurred on this planet”? The presence of life in a universe brimming with precursors shows that it has happened somewhere at least once.

            • “The presence of life in a universe brimming with precursors shows” nothing. Those precursors will never form DNA or RNA. Dr. Robert Shapiro has already shown that they won’t and nobody has proved him wrong.

              • Nobody has “already shown that” “[t]hose precursors will never form DNA or RNA”. All that anyone can have shown is that some paths from precursor to RNA or DNA are more likely and others more convoluted. Nobody can say, “Those precursors will never form DNA or RNA” unless they can show that there has never been any possible path from precursor to RNA and DNA which we know is utter specious nonsense, because “those precursors”, the amino acids, are in fact the building blocks of RNA and DNA.

                • As Dr. Robert Shapiro and even Dr. Stanley Miller had observed, ribose would not have stayed around long enough to become part of a polymer. Shapiro has also pointed out that cytosine is even more unstable than ribose, so both men have proved that it is unreasonable to expect that those precursors would form DNA or RNA by natural processes.

                  The amino acids? Are you saying that amino acids linked up to form a protein that acted as the catalyst for the polymerization? That is an unreasonable hypothesis. Aside from the vanishing probability of getting the sequence right, there is the observation that a protein will not assume the correct shape unless the polymerization occurs on a ribosome. Some had proposed clay particles performing the role played by the ribosome. I had mentioned that to Dr. Seymour Garte in a discussion and he pointed out that experiments involving attempting to use clay particles turned out to be very disappointing, so they were discontinued.

                  Without a catalyst, the components do not stick around long enough for a polymer to form and as Dr. Shapiro has indicated, even when the polymer is formed, the water in which it occurs hydrolyzes the bonds and pulls units off, breaking the chain. That is one big reason why the nucleic acid must co-exist with its repair system. At least two proteins must exist simultaneously; one to catalyze the reaction and another to repair the breaks. The probability of each forming with the correct sequence is a vanishing probability (that’s two vanishing probabilities)

              • Yet they have not addressed anything written by Dr. Shapiro. They simply ignore the fact that much of the components necessary for DNA and RNA were not available. They have ignored the fact that the very water in which the polymerization occurs will hydrolyze the polymer.

                • Today the theory of evolution is about as much open to doubt as the theory that the earth goes round the sun.

                • It ain’t necessarily so. See my post above. The Miller-Urey Volcano experiment produced all 22 amino acids used by RNA and DNA, which survived almost half-a-century in an aqueous solution before being analyzed.

                  • Ahhhhhh, I love it when you exhibit that faith and belief of yours Hermit in something like the “Worlds most ridiculous lottery’ where you win nothing in hindsight. Congrats on the mind bending wishful thinking to avoid looking at ‘self’ and having to make a decision to either conquer self to a higher being or living a completely pusillanimous life full to the brim with your momentary gasconades of blatheskite that will be sizzlefitzed into time.
                    I pray you are not an agelast to all Christers and if you were to be correct surely you can seen the irony of wasting one second writing anything as all will be forgotten in your view of things to come. Why waste your time on expunging truth at all.

              • Indeed! Paraphrasing the words of one molecular biologist I recall reading a few years ago: “The basic chemistry required for life is so abundant across the universe that it appears to be unstoppable and must be abundant”.

                There is nothing magical or mysterious about the evolution of basic life from proto-life and the most common chemical elements.

                As the introduction to one of the best creationist debunking web sites observes:
                “Creationism is not the alternative to Evolution – ignorance is”

                https://www.noanswersingenesis.org.au/

                  • Who says that the ancient precursors of RNA and DNA did not combine and evolve as modern science has indicated?
                    You will be quoting that crackpot liar Ray Comfort as a credible scientist next!

                    In any event: You cannot validate magical creation from nothing by an entirely hypothetical, undetected and undetectable super-spook by failing to discredit outdated experiments and misquoting long dead respected scientists (like Robert Shapiro) who actually supported accepted and supported abiogenesis.

                    Your dishonest bunkum remains debunked.

                    • How dare you continue to desecrate the memory of Robert Shapiro by misquoting him?

                      Robert Shapiro proposed that life arose from some self-sustaining and compartmentalized reaction of simple molecules: “metabolism first” instead of “RNA first”. This reaction would have to be able to reproduce and evolve, eventually leading to RNA. He claimed that in this view life is a normal consequence of the laws of nature and potentially quite common in the universe.

                      His argument against the spontaneous formation of RNA is and was common among modern scientists who share the concept of the long evolution of common compounds into a succession of forms that have led eventually to RNA, DNA and other results of 4,000,000,000 years of the evolution of life on Earth.

                      So much has progressed since Robert Shapiro published his “Skeptics guide” and as he observed at the end of that book: “`We may be closer to the answer than we think.’ Subsequent discoveries, experiments have led to leaps in understanding of which you are ignorant or dishonestly choose to ignore.

                      Too much Ray Comfort and creationist garbage and too little attention to modern science and actual scientists, Dennis. Shame on you!

                    • First, I quoted Dr. Robert Shapiro. I don’t know who Stanley Shapiro is. However, if you meant Robert instead of Stanley, then you are very correct about his opinion, however, you will notice that nowhere does he present any evidence to support the conclusion.

                      Another error: Life appeared on this planet by the very latest, 3.5 billion years ago, so it occurred within the first 500 million years. To get from simple precursors all the way to something as complex as cyanobacteria in such a brief amount of time by natural causes is an unreasonable expectation.

                      All the progress made since Robert Shapiro has not actually brought us any closer to a plausible “natural causes” explanation. Insisting on RNA still leaves the situation of RNA’s being a bad place to store information. Ribose is destroyed by the very oxygen in the molecule and cytosine readily changes to uracil, corrupting the information. There is still no evidence to support the belief that RNA can be synthesized by any other means than how it is now being done. I see nobody addressing the problem posed by the fact that the ribose unit will destroy itself (ie. how it is replaced when that happens) One scholar has proposed a double helix RNA which will easily allow the molecule to be repaired when cytosine becomes uracil. cytosine bonds to guanine and uracil bonds to thymine, so an enzyme that reads what is on the other strand will be able to easily identify which uracil used to be cytosine. When water hydrolyses a bond, breaking the polymer, an enzyme could simply read the other strand and replace the missing unit with the correct one, but he could not identify any such system.

                      Who is Ray Comfort? I have never heard of him! Also I agree that the “creationists” are spouting loads of garbage, so I very strictly avoid using their posts. “Creationists” get even more irritated with me than you because I usually don’t take their sides in a debate; to them, I’m a heretic 😀

                      .

                    • It appears that you consider 500,000,000 years to be a short time??

                      I suggest you read “Life: an Unauthorized Biography” by the eminent Professor Richard Fortey who is the now retired CEO of the worlds leading Natural History Museum in London UK.
                      https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B0044DE96A/ref=dp-kindle-redirect?_encoding=UTF8&btkr=1

                      It is somewhat refreshing for a creationist to admit that creationists spout garbage. This was rather unnecessary since you (and the equally wacko Ray Comfort and Ken Ham) all spout similar garbage.

                      Please read and at least make some attempt to understand some reasonably current thinking on abiogenesis.
                      https://www.mpg.de/8234936/origin_of_life_basetext.pdf
                      https://phys.org/news/2015-06-evidence-emerges-life.html
                      https://www.physicsoftheuniverse.com/topics_life.html
                      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abiogenesis
                      https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3718341/

                      You could also enter into your search engine the keywords: abiogenesis, origin of life, dynamic kinetic stability, systems chemistry but studiously avoid the lie factories of creationists while you research the actual evidence and current scientific consensus of probabilities.

                      It is clear that we do not know the exact method by which inanimate chemistry formed “proto-life” but several experiments demonstrate the probability and one laboratory recently saw the resulting proto-life begin to mutate and evolve – so we are clear on that possibility.

                      While your straw man arguments against the minutia of some scientific hypotheses continually fail – What you have also signally failed to do is to present evidence of the possible existence of supernatural or paranormal super-spooks or explain and demonstrate how an undetected and undetectable hypothetical paranormal “entity” could magically wish the infinite and rapidly expanding universe into existence from nothing? Of all the possibilities experimented with and all the scientific hypotheses that consider the fact of abiogenesis – super-spooks and magic appear to be not among those sensibly considered?

                      Creationists and Scientific Logic
                      – Scott Anderson

                      “Creationists are of the opinion that creationism constitutes a better explanation of the evolutionary process? By what standard would they consider it better? Creationism demands that the logic of the scientific method be abandoned in favor of whatever logic one might be able to scrape out of the Bible.

                      Special creationism demands that we believe that some six thousand years ago the universe was magically created, with the sun appearing long after plants, and man apparently living concurrently with carnivorous animals (perhaps including dinosaurs). It demands that all the planetary evidence that coincides with evolutionary theory (the geologic table, continental drift, erosion, et cetera), all the biological evidence (DNA, biochemistry, microbiology, anthropology, et cetera), all the historical evidence (the fossil record, archaeology, anthropology, et cetera), all the astronomical evidence (quantum singularities, the age of stars, the history of the universe, et cetera) has been misinterpreted. The evidence from physics and chemistry (the speed of light, the laws of thermodynamics, amino acids and proteins, et cetera, et cetera, ad infinitum, ad absurdum) have all been misinterpreted. And I’m even leaving out several fields.

                      They are all in error, I take it? Why, then, has it all seemed to fit so well? Was it a conspiracy, or was it simply science’s way of hiding the fact that they had no idea?

                      Creationists still have to show that science is, in fact, wrong. This must first occur before they can begin postulating how the errors (as they must call them) persisted for so long. Creationists are more than happy to accept scientific reasoning but are unwilling to accept the conclusions. That’s why the battle is not creation versus evolution. Perhaps many creationists believe that, but it is not the case.

                      The same thoughts and processes thereof that led to the theory of evolution exist in all branches of science. It’s called the scientific method. In addition, evolution gets direct and indirect support from a thousand different facts from every constellation in the sky of science. In addition, evolution gives direct and indirect support to every constellation. Science is not a batch of unrelated theories – science is a unit.

                      To replace evolution with creationism would dictate that we throw out all the data we have about the age of the universe (all of it points to billions of years, not thousands). We would have to throw away the psychological data gained from testing on, for instance, lab rats. How could the data from rats relate in any way to the inspired, specially created souls of human beings? Anthropology would have to be dispensed with. Archaeology would find itself in the trash bin. Biology books would be so much toilet paper. In short, a thousand different independent but strangely cohesive facts and theories – a million tidbits of knowledge about ourselves and our world – would have to be destroyed in favor of magic and mysticism.

                      We’ve been through that before – it was called the Dark Ages. I see no logical reason why we should return to them.”

                    • Half a billion years is way too short a time to expect hundreds of billions of galaxies to be all over the universe. Had it all been by natural causes, there would not be that degree of order and complexity so soon.

                      Who are “Ray Comfort and Ken Ham”? I won’t even bother to google them

                      “”Life: an Unauthorized Biography” does not include any evidence t support the opinions stated. I never blindly accept something simply because it is the opinion of experts. I will consider it if the opinion is accompanied by actual discoveries or observations.

                      The same is true of what is written in the other articles.

                      My search always include those words. BTW, don’t bother with wikipedia.org.

                    • So now you are a Nobel prize winning cosmologist as well as a Nobel prize winning biologist, having redefined two major scientific fields. Or you are a delusional loon trapped in blanket denial of anything you imagine contradicts the belief you vest in primitive myths.

                      I wonder what odds I would be offered on this by the bookies?

                      Comfort and Ham are rabid creationists who say a lot of idiotic things.

                      You have not rebutted my assertion that, “Living things exist in the universe on at least one planet. Space is full of the building blocks of life. At an earlier point in the life of the universe, the elements of which we are comprised did not exist. Therefore life arose in the universe. Before life arose in the universe there was nothing in the universe capable of establishing life other than physics (which current life forms prove is sufficient). So, by elimination, we know that abiogenesis occurred.” The hurdle to establishing an alternative hypothesis which matches observation is one which you have not begun to approach.

                      I’m sure you loathe the fact that reputable academics curate many of Wikipedia’s “origin” pages to prevent vandalism by religiots.

                    • I thought I did refute it, sorry for that oversight.

                      Space being full of the stuff that make up life forms means something only if you can show those substances spontaneously polymerizing. I did show that it is unreasonable to conclude that the components will form polymers by natural causes. I also showed that for life as we know it to be possible, nucleic acid must co-exist with its repair system because the water in which the polymerization occurs pulls units off the polymer, and cytosine keeps becoming uracil, corrupting the code. Also ribose is destroyed by the very oxygen in the molecule. Deoxyribose is less unstable, but it too needs to be replaced. Uracil and adenine spontaneously deaminates and must be periodically replaced.

                      FYI, I am pleased “that reputable academics curate many of Wikipedia’s “origin” pages to prevent vandalism by religiots.” I get way too much self-contradictory garbage from them.

                    • Again, we have irrefutable evidence that ” the components will form polymers by natural causes” because that is what they do in every living thing and in space as well (See e.g. https://phys.org/news/2006-08-formation-chemical-precursors-life.html). You have not “shown” anything. You have waved your hands and said that you can’t imagine how something happened, so it must be impossible, missing the elephant in the room that your lack of imagination is no obstacle to anything else. As I noted previously, the right environment can preserve molecules, even in an aqueous solution, as can a membrane as spontaneously forms in the case of lipophilic substances in the presence of water, including the tars formed in the Miller-Urey apparatus, and that not only formaldehydes but many alkanes and alkenes, some of which act remarkably like RNA precursors, are capable of spontaneous polymerization (See e.g. https://www.quantamagazine.org/in-chemistry-of-life-seeking-a-precursor-to-rna-20140205/.

                      Unless you have tested every possible combination, you cannot credibly say what is “impossible”, particularly as I keep pointing out, life, usually exhibited by bags containing aqueous solutions, robustly rebuts your assertions.

                    • Great articles! Many thanks.

                      However, I am not surprised that polymers can form without enzymes. I have already read about peptide nucleic acids (PNA’s) with can form without enzymes. However, in the first article, those are not the units that should spontaneously polymerize. The second article is also great, but did you notice this: “Proponents of the traditional RNA world hypothesis say that moving from an RNA precursor like Hud’s to RNA itself still represents an incredible challenge, possibly as daunting as making RNA from scratch. If these molecules were successful enough to launch the origins of life, where are they now?”

                      Both articles, though immensely interesting are both unconvincing.

                      FYI, it is not necessary to, test “every possible combination”, it is sufficient to indicate that when two or three things, each with an incredibly tiny probability of forming with the correct sequence, must co-exist, then the belief that they all formed by natural causes is an unreasonable belief. Nucleic acid must coexist with its repair system or life based on them will be impossible. To keep proposing the RNA first hypothesis, they must also propose a double helix molecule because when the strand gets broken, how will it be possible to correctly repair the damage? “We don’t know” is not a good answer; it means that the hypothesis remains unreasonable.

                    • That would be a wriggle and massive shifts of the goal posts. You claimed that “spontaneous polymerizion” did not occur. I showed that it does. Now you claim that the spontaneous polymerization shown does not involve “the units that should spontaneously polymerize”, completely ignoring my point that it happens continuously in every living thing. That that is what life has evolved to accomplish.

                      While the odds may be small, we know that life on Earth happened within 300 million years of it being possible for it to occur in a universe containg the equivalent of 5.0234427e+27 earth sized crucibles ((3*10^55 g)/(5.972*10^27) g). When you have spent 300 million years trying every possible combination of precursor that existed under all the conditions that prevailed at one time or another on the early Earth, in an equivalent set of cruciblesc (and that is not even insisting that you avoid the anthropic fallacy by performing the experiments in all the possible metaverses, including all those in which life could not evolve) using the well understood processes of physics, and recognizing that in a universe where life has already evolved to regard less optimized processes as lunch, you need to protect your experiment from competition, it will be time enough to evaluate alternatives. The balance of your cavailing is spurious, for the reason given a over. Life evolved to accomplish what your imagination cannot encompass being possible. A chemical interaction can occur in Planck time (10e-43 seconds). In a universe
                      some 4.35e+17 seconds old, all those molecules have had some 4.35e+60opportunities to interact. And bearing in mind that one of the emergent properties of life is to form a self-reproducing, persistent, less energy intensive state over time, it only had to happen once, somewhere. Against that, stories made-up by Akkadian priests are completely irrelevant.

            • And you could cure yours by abandoning presuppositions. I still see no rebuttal even to the very first argument, “DNA is destroyed by the very water in which the polymerization occurs.
              The oxygen we must breath in also damages DNA, so DNA must co-exist with
              its repair system or life will be impossible. Also 5 of the components
              of DNA and RNA are so unstable that it is unreasonable to expect that
              there would be enough of them to form a polymer. Cytosine is so
              unstable that an enzyme must constantly read the code sequence of DNA
              and replace any uracil it comes across with a new cytosine molecule.”

              Give me even that rebuttal.

              • You , and more advanced lifeforms are a complete rebuttal. As von Neumann showed, self-organizing cellular automata will arise wherever it is possible for them to arise, because this contributes to entropy. Once they have instantiated, they can perform any computable task with no limits to complexity.

                So despite the CRI’s never ending streams of crap, it is likely that life evolved and continues to evolve anywhere it can.

                • Where is the evidence to support the belief that “self-organizing cellular automatically will arise wherever it is possible for them to arise”? That is what I keep asking; there is absolutely none!

                  I did experiments myself using the contents of bacteria. Did it several times. I was very disappointed to note that even when every component is fully formed and in the same enclosure with a nutrient solution, none of the bacteria re-assembled themselves. It was not until I read Dr. Robert Shapiro’s papers that I realized that a major major cause was that the water hydrolyzed the DNA.

                  Even worse, I read this from one of his papers, “These suggestions still presume that the bases adenine, cytosine, guanine, and uracil were readily available on early Earth. I have argued that this presumption is not supported by the existing knowledge of the basic chemistry of these substances” (There is an abstract at http://www.pnas.org/content/96/8/4396) So, If none of those were available, and the water in which the polymerization occurs will hydrolyze the DNA, why should I believe that it had occurred by natural causes? Nobody has yet shown Shapiro’s findings to be in error!

              • This is a vast amount of speculative nonsense, even for the CRI. Besides which, I addressed most of this steaming pile of woo last time you raised these same supposed issues. Many known processes result in the formation of globules, and some in membranes. Although not strictly speaking necessary, to establish self-replicating molecules, either would suffice to permit the evolution of RNA molecules and all amino acid protein precursors. That makes this a far more likely path to life than, “and then some magic happened”.

                • See my comment to your other reply. Dr. Robert Shapiro has completely debunked the RNA First hypothesis. They first need to refute, with evidence, what he has shown. The hypothesis assumes that the bases adenine, cytosine, guanine, and uracil were readily available
                  on early Earth. He has argued “that this presumption is not supported by
                  the existing knowledge of the basic chemistry of these substances”. Am I to still accept it simply because the experts say so? My mind doesn’t work that way!

              • Nobody needs to. Your sources are “creationist” sources lacking not just any hint of scientific credibility, but any cognitive competence.


                    • I regularly check sites such as : http://www.pnas.org/content/96/8/4396.

                      Look for this: “Many problems have arisen with both the prebiotic synthesis and the stability of ribose (4–9). To avoid the need for ribose, some authors have preferred to invoke an RNA-like polymer, with a simpler or more accessible backbone. . . ”

                      And this: “These suggestions still presume that the bases adenine, cytosine, guanine, and uracil were readily available on early Earth. I have argued that this presumption is not supported by the existing knowledge of the basic chemistry of these substances (4, 17). If the availability of the Watson–Crick pairs at the start of life appears implausible, then more attention must be given to theories that employ a very different replicator or no replicator at all.”

                      Shapiro still believed abiogenesis is the explanation, but he has presented no evidence to support this belief.

                      Here’s an interview with Dr. Stanley Miller: http://www.accessexcellence.org/WN/NM/miller.html

                      You can download a pdf of one of hi papers from: http://www.pnas.org/content/pnas/92/18/8158.full.pdf. Here are two observations:

                      “The half-life at pD 7.4 extrapolates to 300 days at 25°C and to 44 years at 0°C. Even with correction for the buffer concentration, this is a very short period of geological time, and it is difficult to see how ribose could have been available for prebiotic use, even at low temperatures.”

                      “2-Deoxyribose decomposes at pD 7.4 and 100°C with a half-life of 225 min (2.6 times slower than ribose). Ribose 5-phosphate decomposes with a half-life of 7 min (12 times faster than ribose). These differences in rate are relatively minor, so that the same considerations apply to these ribose derivatives as to ribose itself.”

                      Dr. Miller still believes that abiogenesis is the explanation for life on earth, but I am still waiting to read any evidence supporting the belief.

                • You are making an unfounded assumption. I have not yet quoted any “creationist”. Dr. Stanley Miller and Dr. Robert Shapiro are/were not “creationists”. At the time they wrote what I read, they were both atheists. I do not know if any of them converted.

                  • How dare you desecrate the memory of Robert Shapiro by misquoting him?

                    Shapiro proposed that life arose from some self-sustaining and compartmentalized reaction of simple molecules: “metabolism first” instead of “RNA first”. This reaction would have to be able to reproduce and evolve, eventually leading to RNA. He claimed that in this view life is a normal consequence of the laws of nature and potentially quite common in the universe.

                    His argument against the spontaneous formation of RNA is and was common among modern scientists who share the concept of the long evolution of common compounds into a succession of forms that have led eventually to RNA, DNA and other results of 4,000,000,000 years of the evolution of life on Earth.

                    So much has progressed since Robert Shapiro published his “Skeptics guide” and as he observed at the end of that book: “`We may be closer to the answer than we think.’ Subsequent discoveries, experiments have led to leaps in understanding of which you are ignorant or dishonestly choose to ignore.

                    Too much Ray Comfort and creationist garbage and too little attention to modern science and actual scientists, Dennis. Shame on you!

                    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK21514/
                    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Shapiro_(chemist)
                    https://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Evolution:_A_Fairy_Tale_for_Grownups
                    http://www.godofevolution.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/Nye-vs-Ham-cartoon-evidence.jpg

                • creationist sources unfortunately have significantly much more cognitive competence. You can see it in many ways with morals, self discipline, respect, etc. With science we are limited to what little understand we have of something that is wayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy older than us. If anything science is a lack of cognitive competence and constantly being discovered, rediscovered, and changed. Science is extremely flawed and we are babies in the universe. Science and creationist sources have killed many people. Like comparing apples to oranges. 2 completely different ideologies that do not add up. There is no comparison. A study on religion and its main purpose of religion really shows how great of a tool it is in your life and you can see the changes it makes just like science can. Its a whole other animal

                  • Science is continuously reducing error. Religion cannot even do that.

                    The evidence is that government, city building, religion and war all co-evolved on an Earth that was rapidly drying, leading to enormous stress on previously easy-going hunter gatherers. We can see in history, as today, that religions sustain and exacerbate UTism (US-versus-THEM-ism), supporting the banding together of religiots in groups of “US” larger than family, clan and tribe; and to fear, hate and depersonalise the “OTHER” also defined as groups going beyond family, clan and tribe; and so for the “US” to do things to the “OTHER” that go far beyond mere cruelty, so making wars larger, nastier and more decisive than they would otherwise be. Which is why religion is a social phenomenon which does not address questions, or provide answers, outside of answering the question, is that person part of US or part of THEM, by carefully evaluating, down to fine nuances, whether other people vest belief in similar ridiculous things to ourselves, and if not, to depersonalise the THEM, depressing empathy in order to make THEM easier to abuse or kill. History proves that religion, while not the exclusive source of UTism, is remarkably good at that job, and that of the world’s religions, the so-called Abrahamic religions, are much more effective than others.

                    If you imagine that you see any other more fundamental role for the world’s many religions, you are deluding yourself.

                    [From https://goo.gl/gVzEY1 “Religion considered Harmful”]

                    • Science was created by creationists. Western Society is what it is because of Christianity and you are free to say what you think, live how you want thanks to Christ.
                      Should be a little grateful little one.

                    • What a lot of tripe. Modern science only developed in the 1920s when scientists and mathematicians finally threw off the bonds of religiosity and the miasma of metaphysics, while everything that is best about “Western Society” is what has happened since the religiously deluded lost the ability to immolate those who had the temerity to disagree with them.

                    • AHHAHAHA That can be your little secret Hermie, You really do hate reality, I guess that is why you are a big distorter of truth and very selective about what is science and what is not. But hey My opinion matters because My God thingy loved me so much he died for me…and you but you choose to be obscure and worthless and a complete nothing in time as you believe in Nothing Faith in Nothing, A complete chance at being nothing , you choice confounds me. But hey you must be an intellectual.

                    • I do not disagree whatsever. Hit it right on the head. I hate how humans have taken advantage of such a beautiful tool to spread hate and division. Its actually quite the other half if used properly. I do see also though that sometimes things need to be done in order to do what is right. Like if I see a man who rapes and kills women, children, men, etc with zero remorse and has no effort to stop. I can see justification on ending life. even in the case of whole cities. Unfortunately morally proper to end life in order to keep peace. But you are absolutely right. Its been twisted and taken advantage of. That is why I gave you that scripture. Even “religious” people are terrible people just trying to trick you. Because properly practiced “religion” reduces error also. It can reduce the error of hate, violence, division, etc. It also is a very powerful tool. I also am weary of false prophets in the science world. so many instances of false studies and evidence. Test and question always. That is how we become smarter

                  • Your description of your own personal degree of ignorance is at least honest.
                    The sum total of all human knowledge has expanded by more since around 1950 than the whole sum total of all human knowledge up to that time.
                    Creationist ignorance and dishonesty remains debunked.
                    https://www.noanswersingenesis.org.au/
                    https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/15-answers-to-creationist/

                    http://www.godofevolution.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/Nye-vs-Ham-cartoon-evidence.jpg

                    • Simplistic fairy tales, legends, and regurgitated folklore (as found in the so-called ‘bible’), being mostly derived from Pagan sources. are only believed by the ignorant, and superstitious among us.

                    • I guess you are so familiar with the bible you believe Yahushua was born in December on the 25th…………..Maybe you need to start again with an open mind and not be fooled into trap of believing the Roman Catholic church which used the garb of Christianity over their unchanging pagan beliefs. While you are at it why don’t you look into the clash between the True Christians of the Syria to Northern Israel areas and how they differed from the doctrine and the much later Roman and Alexandrian Sects that mirrored Paganism which were condemned by the Christians in the regions known as Turkey and Syria now, where the Christians fled before the sacking of Jerusalem in 70AD. Why do you think Rome tried to expunge these people who love Yeshua the salvation of Gods people. When you look at what the actual Bible says instead of Roman Catholic Pagan garbage you find no similarity at all.

                    • “… Yahushua was born in December on the 25th”. Yes, at 0300hrs., with a menagerie of animals looking on!

                      Your lack of knowledge concerning the history of christianity is palpable.

                      There is no evidence that any god-man named JC ever existed, whether written or archaeological. If you know of any, let’s have it. The same goes for the real existence of your favourite ‘god’.

                      By the way, there is not much difference, give or take a book or two, between the Codex Sinaiticus and the Codex Vaticanus (the earliest known ‘bibles’, both dating from the 4th cent, CE). Both Codices have since been edited, added to, or had later interpolations. by a variety of writers, over the succeeding centuries.

                    • There’s nothing confounding about simple minded ignorance and gullibility.

                      The complexity of reality takes more than myths, legends, lies and superstition to confound.

                      Education confounds superstition.

      • You can copy a pass on the truth as many times as you wish. That’s the best upvote of all.
        Thanks

    • Jesus is indeed mentioned, but every time I indicate where, atheists claim that it was forgery.

      The very same writing that mention Pontius Pilate also mention Jesus, but you all accept Pilate, but reject the mention of Jesus as forgery.

      • Wrong. In the earliest writings, dated before 15 CE, Simon son of Joseph, a messianical rebel is described as being told by Gabriel, “After three days, rise”, providing the earliest “Jesus” prototype, within the Society of the Poor (of spirit) and the writings by that group, the so-called Dead Sea Scrolls. Mid first-century, Chrestus the magician, another messianical rebel, was crucified, providing the basis for a tradition of fables related to the writings by Saulus the Herodian traitor about his cosmic man myth. Chrestus’ followers, the Chrestians, eventually joined the messianic Jewish groups in Rome to become what we think of as the the christers, apparently in the third century. The fables continued to be extended and amended until about the 12th century.

        See my “On Jesus and the so-called New Testament” at https://docs.google.com/document/d/1suoqwsyVciuu8_1kP6gOrN_NJkFqQTd9JlehczYNffA/.

        All other known referrals are from much later documents of uncertain provenance, forgeries, interpolations, skewed dating of much later documents or lies.

          • Which is why Eisenman, who is just one of many sources, is a respected academic, biblical scholar, prolific author, respected historian, acclaimed archaeologist, tenured professor and director of the Institute for the study of Judeo-Christian and Islamic origins at California State University Long Beach, consultant to the Huntington, Senior Fellow and Senior Member of Linacre College Oxford and national endowment for the humanities fellow at the Albright Institute of Archaeological Research in Jerusalem. And you are?

            If you imagine that you have evidence contradicting anything I have said, you are invited to bring it on. If you don’t, stop yammering and engage in some actual studying.

            • I have met Eisenmann, he is a speculative scholar and creates his theories out of little more than thin air and his
              interpretation of texts that we have little contextual knowledge of.

              You can believe what he writes if you want to, but few others do, and it goes against common history.

              • I don’t do “belief”. I follow the evidence, Which you appear to be ignoring.

                Appeal to “Common history” is Argumentum Ad Numerum and consensus gentium fallacy. History is full of examples of ideas held ny many or even most people that are dead wrong.

                Claiming that having “met” somebody is grounds for criticism is like claiming that you are fit to be president because you can see Russia from your house. A complete non sequitur.

                What are your credentials to criticize any textual specialist and archaeologist? What is your actual evidence against his well supported arguments and the evidence I have provided?

                • Hermit,

                  Everyone does belief, most of what you claim to know is just belief, you did not do the original archeological research,
                  you did not transcribe and translate the texts you cite, if you are not the original scholar involved in the study, then
                  you just have a belief concerning what they present to their audiences.

                  Appeal to Common History is not an Argumentum ad Numerum and it is not a Consensus Gentium Fallacy.
                  By that statement alone, I am led to wonder how old you are and what is your educational background.

                  When you say that History if full of examples….you are making an appeal to Common History but you deny such
                  appeals and so you have hoisted yourself on your own rhetorical petard.

                  Your analogy is broken and fails to show anything.

                  I have met Eisenmann and I have listened and read what he said and has written and in my mind, and many others
                  he is just trying to make a name for himself.

                  Doctorate in Ancient History, Doctorate in Philosophical Theology, Masters in Archeology, Retired Professor of
                  Biblical History, Languages, Texts.

                  • “Everyone does belief, most of what you claim to know is just belief, you did not do the original archeological research,
                    you did not transcribe and translate the texts you cite, if you are not the original scholar involved in the study, then
                    you just have a belief concerning what they present to their audiences.”

                    Again, I do not do “belief”. Belief is usually the assignment of a truth value in the face of compelling confounding intersubjectively verifiable evidence, or occasionally the assignment of a truth value in the absence of sufficient intersubjectively verifiable supporting evidence. When sufficient intersubjectively verifiable supporting evidence is present, belief is not required, merely observation, evaluation and acceptance of the preponderance of the evidence.

                    This follows from the dictionary definition of belief:

                    Assent to a proposition or affirmation, or the acceptance of a fact, opinion, or assertion as real or true, without immediate personal knowledge; reliance upon word or testimony; partial or full assurance without positive knowledge or absolute certainty; persuasion; conviction; confidence; as, belief of a witness; the belief of our senses.” –Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913)

                    I’m fond of “weyken”, a neologism that makes theis explicit. Weyken is significant intersubjectively verifiable provisional knowledge preferably derived by means of application of the scientific method (which is the end result of the proper application of agnosticism) to proximal and compelling evidence. Weyken is a provisional, mutable, revocable, testable datum or data agglomeration which has been intersubjectively verified.

                    As far as the research I reported, I rely on the assessments of competent in-field researchers and how well their analysis comports with the sparse physical evidence. Which is why I support the positions I do.

                    How else do you imagine that “common history” originated, other than through reaching a colloquial consensus? While “biblical maximalism” (to coin a phrase) was a thing, the “common history” was interpreted entirely through biblical perspectives, even when this required ignoring evidence and straining time-lines beyond breaking point. When burned cities with collapsed walls were found, they had to be “proof” of Exodus and the Jericho fables, even if we already knew that Moses was the syncretic borrowing of Egyptian and Akkadian legends, genetics told us that Hebrews are Canaanites, archaeology tells us that there was no late bronze age invasion of the Levant, that Hebrews never were slaves in Egypt, nobody spent years wandering around in sensitive eco-systems without leaving a trace, and radiometric chronology tells us that the burning was a thousand years too early. It was only when scholars discarded beliefs in the biblical narratives that “common history” began to have some intersection with actual evidence and Middle Eastern history to make some kind of sense. Though I have never heard an apology from a maximalist. They go protesting to their graves.

                    Outside of closed systems of limited applicability, there are no “truths”, and even if there were, all we have access to are interpretations of limited information, contaminated by error and deliberate confabulation.

                    I am not relevant to this discussion as I am not claiming expertise or engaging in per se defamation of a respected academic.

                    When I said that “history is full of examples” that was not an appeal to numbers, but a statement of fact. For example, at the time that Solomon was supposed to have ruled, Israel was controlled by Egypt, and Jerusalem was occupied by about 200 people. So goodbye Solly (and Dave before him). More recently, the “pilgrims” did not flee England to avoid persecution, but went to America so that they could persecute others. They hijacked the Mayflower, which was supposed to have gone South to Virginia (and did after dropping off the hijackers). When they were too stupid to fish in a bay that they almost could have walked across if they had balanced carefully on the marine life, they turned to cannibalism and grave-robbing the indigenous people to survive. So much for moral exceptionalism. Contra the beliefs of most Americans, the American insurgency against the crown was lead by the wealthy merchant class who owned warehouses full of the sweepings of the tea sorting floors bought at high prices (but without paying tea taxes) from Dutch smugglers. The merchant class were threatened with ruin when the taxes on tea were reduced and the English East India Company were allowed to sell their high quality teas directly to the public in the US, rather than to wholesalers at auctions in London. So the merchants, the oligarchs of their day, who controlled the press and the economy, ginned up a revolutionary war, using the poor and farmers to do the fighting, paying them in worthless script that nobody, including themselves, would accept. Even more recently, the US entered WW I for Israel. The Soviet Union did not engage in mass murder in the Ukraine. WW II was completely unnecessary. FDR had foreknowledge that Pearl Harbor would occur. Neither US attacks, nor nuclear weapons resulted in the surrender of Japan. Iraq did not have “Weapons of Mass Destruction” or any intent to attack anyone when they US engaged in an illegal war of aggression against it, making that war a crime against the peace. And that was off the top of my head using examples for which I can provide support if challenged.

                    Oh, so you think that “being able to see Russia from your house” qualifies you to be president, or “hav[ing] met” somebody qualifies you to criticize them?

                    Ah, now you have an opinion about Eisenman based on what he has said and written. Before it was based on having met him. Which of his more significant assertions do you consider “create[d] … out of little more than thin air” and which “texts” do you think we “have” more than a “little contextual knowledge” about, making them more credible” that Eisenman, who seems to be a lot better known than “Henry”. At least, the better known Henrys I knew in those fields are all dead now Are you motivated by jealousy perhaps?

                    Felicitations. Was all of your study at “bible colleges”?

                    • Acceptance is an act of the will, not of the intellect
                      so your long definition fails as you choose to accept which is an act of the will which is dependent upon a belief.

                      Neither you, nor I or anyone has any knowledge, but we do have well accepted beliefs.

                      You are, whether you intend to or not, a modern day gnostic in your interpretation of what occurred in
                      Palestine in the first century. You are entitled to your views, but you are in a distinct minority and the evidence
                      upon which you base your views are a shambles.

                      Archeology of the Levant is very tricky, people have lived there for over 3.000 years.
                      Walls were either torn down or built upon, if torn down then evidence of fires could be lost,
                      whole towns and fortresses were torn down and rebuilt.

                      A friend of mine in Lebanon had a marble middle support for their dining room table that was
                      from a palace of Herod the Great, they had no idea, it had been in the family for centuries.

                      How eco-sensitive the Sinai was 3500 years ago is an open question.

                      My favourite philosophy professor was Ukrainian and lived through those times and would disagree with you.

                      Explain about World War I and Israel, please.

                      No, Israel was not controlled by Egypt in the years 1.000 – 900 BC – the Egyptians
                      exaggerated their claims of territory, victories.

                      No one can precisely date the population of Jerusalem in 1050 BC.

                      I agree with most of what you have to say about the Founding Fathers and the Pilgrims.

                      Explain Israel and World War I.

                      I had a Professor who lived though the starvation/genocide in the Ukraine, he would disagree with you.

                      Why didn’t Hitler agree with you about World War II.

                      My grandfather, who lost three sons in World War II, two in the Pacific would agree that FDR

                      had to be aware that the Japanese would attack American Bases soon after the Embargo was tightened.

                      The Emperor seems to have asked the Imperial Council to find a way to end the War after the Atomic Bombs

                      and the Russian opening a front against Japan.

                      Iraq had come close to creating a super-cannon to fire long range shells at Israel.

                      They did launch missiles at Israel during the first Iraq war.

                      Listening to someone give a talk, or engage in conversation may tell you more than

                      reading what they have published. You get a better sense of the person.

                      His theory of the rise of Christianity is a distinct minority view based on texts that he interprets the

                      way he so wishes to.

                      Oxford, Cambridge and Stanford.

                    • “Acceptance is an act of the will…”

                      Again you fail. This time by attempting to formulate an argument around a murky philosophical idea, “will”, which neurology has shown is an inherently flawed and incoherent concept, even in subjective terms, utterly unsupported by evidence (See e.g. Harris S. (2012-03). The Illusion of Free Will. Simon and Schuster.), and which physics has shown is not only imaginary, but in this deterministic universe cannot exist, because our universe has been proven chaotic meaning that you cannot predict the deterministic outcome. Refer Aydiner E (2018). Chaotic universe model. Nature Scientific Reports. Vol 8, Article number: 721 https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-017-18681-4.

                      “Neither you, nor I or anyone has any knowledge…”

                      You indubitably have beliefs. I do not. I continuously evaluate myself for and reject beliefs.

                      Like Huxley, I utterly reject gnosticism. “When I reached intellectual maturity, and began to ask myself whether I was an atheist, a theist, or a pantheist; a materialist or an idealist; a Christian or a freethinker, I found that the more I learned and reflected, the less ready was the answer; until at last I came to the conclusion that I had neither art nor part with any of these denominations, except the last. The one thing in which most of these good people were agreed was the one thing in which I differed from them.They were quite sure that they had attained a certain “gnosis”–had more or less successfully solved the problem of existence; while I was quite sure I had not, and had a pretty strong conviction that the problem was insoluble. And, with Hume and Kant on my side, I could not think myself presumptuous in holding fast by that opinion …”

                      “You are, whether you intend to or not, a modern day gnostic…”

                      I see the modern “New Testament” as a syncretic accumulation of third and fourth century Rome, based on the messianical beliefs of the Community of the Poor (of Spirit), the sayings of Simon son of Joseph (“ישו” acronym for “ימח שמו וזכרו(נו”)” ), and the followers of Chrestus, known as Chrestians.

                      “…the evidence upon which you base your views are a shambles.”

                      As I emphasize, the evidence upon which I base my opinion is tangible. The radiocarbon dated documents, contemporaneous alterations, and artifacts supporting this perspective are laid out in detail. Claiming that it is “a shambles” without providing counter evidence showing that there is a better interpretation than that which I present simply exposes you as a bloviator.

                      “Archeology of the Levant is very tricky, people have lived there for over 3.000 years…”

                      While there is evidence of earlier neanderthal and human habitation, genetic and cultural evidence of the from the Upper Paleolithic Boker Tachtit at Ksar Akil level XXV dating to 52,000–50,000 BCE shows that the Levant has been continuously occupied for over 50,000 years.

                      “Walls were either torn down or built upon…”

                      The point was that contra the biblical minimalists finding the ruins of a city did not support the historicity of the bible anymore than finding a cart embedded in the walll between stations 9 and 10 of Kings Cross Station supports the historicity of Harry Potter.

                      “How eco-sensitive the Sinai was 3500 years ago is an open question”

                      The eco-sensitivity of the Sinai is not an “open question” at all. Lichens grow at a rate of 0.9 – 0.3 millimeter per year, and are easily damaged by being walked upon. The Sinai is well supplied with Lichen. with 9 fruticose, 7 foliose and 84 crustose species identified, supporting reliable lichenometry to at least 7 kybp. We would indubitably not only have solid evidence for, but would be able to reliably date any large scale wandering in the Sinai at any time in the Bronze Age, but that dog is not barking.

                      “My favourite philosophy professor was Ukrainian and lived through those times and would disagree with you.”

                      The weight of the evidence is against your favorite philosophy professor. See e.g. http://www.northstarcompass.org/nsc9912/lies.htm

                      “Explain Israel and World War I.”

                      At the onset to WW I, Britain had only recently permitted Jews to enter England Legally after banning them for 600 odd years. By the early 1900s, they were experiencing high levels of immigration from Europe and did not like it. Britain was sympathetic to the Zionists on the basis of resettling Jews anywhere but in England. In this environment, Sir Mark Sykes met with Zionist leaders including Lord Rothschild and Chaim Weizmann on 1917-07-02 where Lord Rothchild proposed that he could influence the Americans to enter the war on Britain’s behalf in exchange for some guarantees that a Jewish state would be established. This was agreed and America’s entry to the war accomplished on 2017-04-07. In a meeting on 1917-06-19 Lord Balfour requested Lord Rothchild to produce a proposed letter, and this was done and discussed by the cabinet in September and October leading to the Balfour declaration on 2017-10-31. The war went from stalemated which would have ended in an equitable ending, to an unconscionable armistice which made WW II inevitable, and the Zionists received a deliberately vague promise of a homeland in the Palestine, which they turned into a license to steal the entirety and murder the Palestinians.

                      “No, Israel was not controlled by Egypt in the years 1.000 – 900 BC – the Egyptians exaggerated their claims of territory, victories.”

                      Given that the Egyptians had a chain of provisioned forts across Canaan and the Palestine after Thutmose III’s (who is one of the syncretional sources for Solomon) conquests, that they were still burying soldiers in Jerusalem in 1150 BCE, and that we have found amulets bearing Thutmose III’s seal in Nahal Iron and Jerusalem, while the Tell el-Amarna letters, including one from Abi-milku, Prince of Tyre, reflects subordination to Egypt so I’d suggest that your ideas on this issue need to be refreshed.

                      “No one can precisely date the population of Jerusalem in 1050 BC.”

                      I’m not sure how one would “precisely date” any population, but the population can be estimated by, inter alia the extent of the buildings and layers of the middens. I could have said, as Israel Finkelstein does in (2006) David and Solomon: In Search of the Bible’s Sacred Kings and the Roots of the Western Tradition , “not more than 200”, rather than “about”, but it would not have changed the meaning or provided the “:precision” you apparently seek.

                      “I agree with most of what you have to say about the Founding Fathers and the Pilgrims.”

                      Thank-you.

                      “had a Professor who lived though the starvation/genocide in the Ukraine, he would disagree with you.”

                      Asked and answered. Supra.

                      “Why didn’t Hitler agree with you about World War II.”

                      Hitler did. In March 1939, he told his generals that he did not expect war, but to prepare for a sharp but short war with the Soviet Union in 1942. See Buchanan P.J. (2008). Churchill, Hitler and the Unnecessary War: How Britain Lost Its Empire and the West Lost the World. Crown.

                      “My grandfather, who lost three sons in World War II…”

                      Not only was he aware in general (and the appended transcript shows that too), but a specific warning including the date of the attack. We know this because we have the actual original German transcript of the intercepted radio telephone call between FDR and Churchill (which was on telex like tape, pasted into a signals log as it was received, along with tens-of-thousands of other such transcripts). The transcript is contained in Douglas G. (1999). Gestapo Chief — The 1948 Interrogation of HEINRICH MÜLLER. Bender*.

                      “The Emperor seems to have asked the Imperial Council …”

                      You are incorrect about the Emperor and the “atomic bombs”. See Tsuyoshi Hasegawa (2006). Racing the Enemy, Stalin, Truman, and the Surrender of Japan. Belknap Press. and e.g. https://foreignpolicy.com/2013/05/30/the-bomb-didnt-beat-japan-stalin-did/.

                      “Iraq had come close to creating a super-cannon to fire long range shells at Israel.”

                      Bullshit. Gerald Bull, whose space cannon was being paid for by Hussein and built in Iraq to launch satellites, not attack Israel, had been murdered by the Israelis in 1990, the parts for his space cannon were held in Britain, and the project abandoned by Iraq before the US launched the first US Iraq war let alone the second.

                      “They did launch missiles at Israel during the first Iraq war.”

                      Yes, which was started by the US. However, Iraq was a basket case, and the US not only knew it, but had engineered it, long before the second US Iraq war. They had neither the intent nor the functional missiles to attack anyone.

                      “Listening to someone give a talk, or engage in conversation may tell you more than reading what they have published. You get a better sense of the person.”

                      I agree. But sometimes disagreement with what they have to say leads to argumentum ad hominem instead, which I suspect it s the case here, as your assessment is at odds with that of many other competent academics. See for example, Robert Price’s (1997) Robert Eisenman’s JAMES THE BROTHER OF JESUS: A Higher-Critical Evaluation. Institute for Higher Critical Studies (Drew University). Retrieved https://depts.drew.edu/jhc/RPeisenman.html 2018-11-17

                      “His theory of the rise of Christianity is a distinct minority view…”

                      I agree. The, now rapidly collapsing, majority view is riddled with religiosity and “traditional interpretations” informed by christianity. In textual analysis and history, as in science, as Max Planck said, “Eine neue wissenschaftliche Wahrheit pflegt sich nicht in der Weise
                      durchzusetzen, daß ihre Gegner überzeugt werden und sich als belehrt erklären, sondern vielmehr dadurch, daß ihre Gegner allmählich aussterben und daß die heranwachsende Generation von vornherein mit der Wahrheit vertraut gemacht ist.
                      ” [A new scientific realization does not overcome opposition through making opponents perceive the light and convicting them of its accuracy, but rather because its opponents eventually die, and a new generation familiar with the new understanding arises, or more succinctly, in my articulation “Progress occurs over the corpses of its opponents.”] That does not mean that Eisenman’s interpretations are incorrect or indeed, that anyone else does it any differently The majority view is greatly troubled by the plethora of contradictions that it takes great pains to avoid. Eisenman (along with Reza Aslan and Richard Carrier who have independently reached similar conclusions through very different approaches) do not participate in the selective conspiracy. Which is why, if you read what I wrote, I found Eisenman, Aslan and Carrier very helpful in contextualizing and explaining recent archeological discoveries, particularly the Hazon Gabriel which are not otherwise coherent.

                      “Oxford, Cambridge and Stanford.”

                      Respect.

                      *

                      [Encrypted phone call from Winston Churchill to Franklin Roosevelt, 11-26-41, as intercepted and decrypted by German intelligence]

                      B — I am frightfully sorry to disturb you at this hour, Franklin, but matters of a most vital import have transpired and I felt that I
                      must convey them to you immediately.

                      A — That’s perfectly all right, Winston. I’m sure you wouldn’t trouble me at this hour for trivial reasons.

                      B — Let me preface my information with an explanation addressing the reason I have not alluded to these facts earlier. In the first
                      place, until today, the information was not firm. On matters of such gravity, I do not like to indulge in idle chatter. Now, I have in my hands, reports from our agents in Japan as well as the most specific intelligence in the form of the highest level Japanese naval coded messages (conversation broken) for some time now.

                      A — I felt that this is what you were about. How serious is it?

                      B — It could not be worse. A powerful Japanese task force comprising six of their carriers, two battleships and a number of other units to include tankers and cruisers, has sailed yesterday from a secret base in the northern Japanese islands.

                      A — We both knew this was coming. There are also reports in my hands about a force of some size making up in China and obviously intended to go South.

                      B — Yes, we have all of that. (Interruption) . . . are far more advanced than you in our reading of the Jap naval operations codes. But even without that their moves are evident. And they will indeed move South but the force I spoke of is not headed South, Franklin, it is headed East . . .

                      A — Surely you must be . . . will you repeat that please?

                      B — I said to the East. This force is sailing to the East . . . towards you.

                      A — Perhaps they set an easterly course to fool any observes and then plan to swing South to support the landings in the southern areas. I have . . .

                      B — No, at this moment, their forces are moving across the northern Pacific and I can assure you that their goal is the (conversation broken) fleet in Hawaii. At Pearl Harbor.

                      A — This is monstrous. Can you tell me . . . indicate . . . the nature of your intelligence? (conversation broken) reliable? Without
                      compromising your sources . . .

                      B — Yes, I will have to be careful. Our agents in Japan have been reporting on the gradual (conversation broken) units. And these have disappeared from Japanese home waters. We also have highly reliable sources in the Japanese foreign service and even in the military . . .

                      A — How reliable?

                      B — One of the sources is the individual who supplied us the material on the diplomatic codes that (conversation broken) and a Naval offices(sic) whom our service has compromised. You must trust me, Franklin and I can not be more specific.

                      A — I accept this.

                      B — We cannot compromise our codebreaking. You understand this. Only myself and a few (conversation broken) not even Hopkins. It will go straight to Moscow and I am not sure we want that.

                      A — I am still attempting to . . . the obvious implication is that the Japs are going to do a Port Arthur on us at Pearl Harbor. Do you
                      concur?

                      B — I do indeed. Unless they add an attack on the Panama Canal to this vile business. I can hardly envision the canal as a primary
                      goal, especially with your fleet lying athwart their lines of communications with Japan. No, if they do strike the canal, they will have to first neutralize your fleet (conversation broken).

                      A — The worst form of treachery. We can prepare our defenses on the islands and give them a warm welcome when they come. It
                      certainly would put some iron up Congress’ ass.

                      B — On the other hand, if they did launch a bombing raid, given that the aircraft would only be of the carrier-borne types, how much actual damage could they inflict? And on what targets?

                      A — I think torpedoes would be ruled out at the outset. Pearl is far too shallow to permit a successful torpedo attack. Probably they
                      would drop medium bombs on the ships and then shoot (conversation broken) damage a number of ships and no doubt the Japs would attack our airfields. I could see some damage there but I don’t think either an airfield or a battleship could sink very far. What do your people give you as the actual date of the attack?

                      B — The actual date given is the eighth of December. That’s a Monday.

                      A — The fleet is in harbor over the weekend. The often sortie during the week . . .

                      B — The Japs are asking (conversation broken) exact dispositions of your ships on a regular basis.

                      A — But Monday seems odd. Are you certain?

                      B — It is in the calendar. Monday is the eighth. (conversation broken)

                      A — . . . then I will have to consider the entire problem. A Japanese attack on us, which would result in war between us . . . and certainly you as well . . . would certainly fulfill two of the most important requirements of our policy. Harry [Hopkins, UK amb. to US] has told me repeatedly . . . and I have more faith in him than I do in the Soviet ambassador . . . that Stalin is desperate at this point. The Nazis are at the gates of Moscow, his armies are melting away . . . the government has evacuated and although Harry and [Gen. Geo.] Marshall feel that Stalin can hang on and eventually defeat Hitler, there is no saying what could transpire if the Japs suddenly fell on Stalin’s rear. In spite of all the agreements between them and the Japs dropping Matsuoka, there is still strong anti-Russian sentiment in high Japanese military circles. I think we have to decide what is more important . . . keeping Russia in the war to bleed the Nazis dry to their own eventual destruction (conversation broken) supply Stalin with weapons but do not forget,
                      in fact he is your ally, not mine. There are strong isolationist feelings here and there are quite a number of anti-Communists . . .

                      B — Fascists . . .

                      A — Certainly, but they would do all they could to block any attempt on my part to more than give some monetary assistance to Stalin.

                      B — But we too have our major desperations, Franklin. Our shipping upon which our nation depends, is being sunk by the huns faster than we could ever replace (conversation broken) the Japs attack both of us in the Pacific? We could lose Malaya which is our primary source of rubber and tin. And if the Japs get Java and the oil, they could press South to Australia and I have told you repeatedly, we cannot hold (conversation broken) them much but in truth I cannot deliver. We need every man and every ship to fight Hitler in Europe . . . India too. If the Japs get into Malaya, they can press on virtually unopposed into Burma and then India. Need I tell you the resultant destruction of our Empire? We cannot survive on this small island, Franklin, (conversation broken) allow the nips to attack, you can get your war declaration through your Congress after all. (conversation broken)

                      A — . . . not as capable as you are at translating their messages and the army and navy are very jealous of each other. There is so much coming in that everyone is confused. We have no agents in placed in Japan and every day dozens of messages are (conversation broken) that contradict each other or are not well translated. I have seen three translations of the same message with three entirely different meanings (conversation broken) address your concern about British holdings in the Pacific . . . if the Japanese do attack both of us, eventually we will be able to crush them and regain all of the lost territories. As for myself, I will be damned glad to be rid of the Phillipines. (sic)

                      B — I see this as a gamble (conversation broken) what would your decision be? We cannot procrastinate over this for too long. Eleven or twelve days are all we have. Can we not agree in principle now? I should mention that several advisors have counselled against informing you of this an allowing it to happen. You see by my notifying you where my loyalty lies. Certainly to one who is heart and sour with us against Hitler.

                      A — I do appreciate your loyalty, Winston. What on the other hand, will happen here if one of our intelligence people is able to
                      intercept, decipher and deliver to me the same information you just gave me? I cannot ignore it . . . all of my intelligence people will know about it then. I could not ignore this.

                      B — But if it were just a vague message then?

                      A — No, a specific message. I could not just sweep it under the rug like that (conversation broken)

                      B — Of course not. I think we should let matters develop as they will.

                      A — I think that perhaps I can find a reason to absent myself from Washington while this crisis develops. What I don’t know can’t
                      hurt me and I too can misunderstand messages, especially at a distance (conversation broken)

                      B — Completely. My best to you all there.

                      A — Thank you for your call.

                      .

                    • The will is not murky, you have one and you can exercise it.

                      As William James said:

                      We are far more aware of our own wills than anything else.

                      The experiment(s) you mention are flawed, and why do you assent to believe in them,
                      since you did not carry them out, only through an act of will which leads to your belief that they are valid.

                      If you are a free thinker, you are a free thinker, but since you cannot verify all that you hold to be the case,
                      you are, like the rest of us, reliant upon others knowledge claims, and thus a believer.

                      The claim that the Church formulated the Christian faith as most live it today, in the third century is
                      unsupportable. We have the writings of the Early Fathers of the Church before the third century unless
                      you wish to believe the claim by some, one man in particular, that medieval monks created all those writings.

                      Your statements about the Sinai are laughable as you act as if only Moses and the Children of Abraham went through
                      there some 3500 years ago, armies went back and forth, caravans, pilgrims. North Africa used to be a land rich
                      in agriculture but the Sahara sent it sands in to cover the fields.

                      When you dispute someone who lived through the Famine, who say people arrested and taken away, who lost his grandparents and father to Stalin, you only make yourself look silly. Again and again you cite reports that you did not write and
                      which you cannot verify.

                      That does not mean those seeking the State of Israel brought about World War I, but did their best to bring the
                      Americans into the war.

                      No claims, that I am aware of that David and Solomon ruled in 1150 BC.

                      Again, archeology in the Middle East is tricky, buildings were torn down for their stones, there may be an older part of
                      Jerusalem that they evacuated but that does not show that was all there was to David’s City at that time. Digging in
                      Jerusalem is a nightmare. Again you did not participate in the dig and so you only have a belief about the population.

                      News to the Poles and the French that Hitler did not want war.
                      Hitler, like Trump, said a lot of things off the cuff that were not his definitive statement on the matters at hand.
                      Somehow he changed his mind and decided to invade Poland…

                      My professor of Japanese History, whose Uncle was present when the Emperor asked that a way to Peace be found said the Russians entering the war along with the Atomic Bombs, led the Emperor to ask for Peace Terms.

                      If the Iraq’s intended to launch satellites via the cannon, why they would do so is an open question, then they would have had the cannon constructed in Souther Iraq and pointed east, not west, so as to have the greatest chance of putting the
                      satellite in orbit. Why would Iraq seek out such a method when they were developing long and longer range missiles that could be adapted to launch satellites as India has done ?

                      Richard Carrier confabulates in order to become well known.

                      Are you sure that was not Mach that said what you attribute to Planck, or they said two very similar things.

                      If you wish to believe in the “Chrestus” theory – you are free to do so – but it will never become mainstream.
                      The evidence is just not there and the history of the Early Church does not support it.

                      If the transcription is accurate then why didn’t Churchill prepare Hong Kong/Singapore for the oncoming war with
                      Japan to a better degree ?

                    • “The will is not murky, you have one and you can exercise it…”

                      More nonsense. I am aware of the evidence that my ability to make choices is limited both by the emergent domain exposed to my awareness by the brain (which nullifies any meaningful expectation of “will”), and by the evidence that, at least at the levels at which we operate, this universe is both fully determinate and ultimately chaotic, which utterly prevents me from doing anything which was not going to happen including through predicting what is going to happen, which means that not only is any notion of “will” incoherent, but that your thinking on this issue is clouded by the beliefs which riddle your thinking.

                      “As William James said…:”

                      Not being hag-ridden by the hobgoblins of belief, and being fully aware of the inherent doxastic undecidability of anything of a complexity rising above the level of closed systems of limited applicability, which includes the natural numbers upon which most (perhaps all) science is dependent, I rely on intersubjective verification to reduce error in my thinking over time, rather than delusional logic which can take you anywhere, perhaps especially when propounded by a mystic, and usually is (taken anywhere). Awareness is yet another murky poorly defined concept from a prescientific miasma.

                      “The experiment(s) you mention are flawed,…”

                      I did not mention experiments. I mentioned a book and a paper. The book relies on the standard neurological model and a broad range of arguments while the physics is the standard model. Even if you had provided compelling proximal evidence that “the experiments” (which experiments, how do you know) are “flawed”, this would not be the same as showing that our neurological models are invalid. I do not vest “belief” in experiments. I accept that experiments appear to confirm, within the limits of the measurement boundaries established, the consensus neurological model which is that the brain formulates decisions and then justifies those decision to the emergent processes experienced as consciousness. My conclusion is provisional and open to modification based on compelling proximal intersubjectively verifiable evidence from competent sources.

                      “If you are a free thinker, you are a free thinker, but…”

                      Bifurcation? I expected better. Again, like Huxley, I reject belief. I can provisionally act on information without verifying it or vesting belief in it. That which contradicts observation is likely wrong. That which does not, may be correct. That lets me act as if it is, without vesting belief in it at all. See how easy it is. Repeating your claim without providing supporting evidence simply makes you look ridiculous. You have provided no evidence that you know more of my mental processes than I do, and until you can, your claim must fail. Even if you point to what I say and do, and go “Ah hah! Caught you behaving as if you have beliefs”, you could still not show that the behavior was ultimately caused by what you term “a belief” (whatever you imagine you mean by that), or some other model, reason or even chance, making it a particularly silly claim to attempt to persist.

                      “The claim that the Church formulated the Christian faith as most live it today, in the third century is unsupportable. We have the writings of the Early Fathers of the Church…”

                      More bifurcation? Really? Again, I do not do belief. I do evidence. There are no original writings of the “Early Fathers of the Church” precluding radio-chronological dating or verification that later versions are accurate, except through happy accidents, due to the christers having deliberately eliminated most documents from the era, which is why we have many earlier and later documents, but very little for the critical period, only variants of copies of copies, which show continuous transformation and adaptation. For example, can you cite an example of the critical Pericope Adulterae predating the Codex Bezae? And then the strawman of a medieval forger? What has happened to standards at “Oxford, Cambridge and Stanford?”

                      “Your statements about the Sinai are laughable as you act as if only Moses and the Children of Abraham went through there some 3500 years ago…”

                      And you act as if there were not well defined routes across the Sinai, from which most travelers did not deviate – for thousands of years. Where later travelers or development has not obscured their tracks, we can still see the paths – even of individuals deviating from the roads for whatever reasons – and we can date these excursions when they seem interesting. But as Israel Finkelstein (who adduces a lot more evidence to show that Exodus is entirely mythical) observes, if 600 thousand to 2.4 million people had wandered around the Sinai for any time, it would be a miracle if any lichen had been left undamaged. Which is why I alluded to the Hound of the Baskervilles.

                      “When you dispute someone who lived through the Famine,…”

                      You bring personal anecdotes and stand them against contemporaneous records? Whatever were they teaching, when you attended “Oxford, Cambridge and Stanford”?

                      Sure there was a “famine”. That is what happens when you have no rain and no gold, and people with grain will not sell it to you except for gold. That however is not what you objected to, I said, “The Soviet Union did not engage in mass murder in the Ukraine.” and you asserted “”had a Professor who lived though the starvation/genocide in the Ukraine, he would disagree with you.” Without motive, intent and results, a famine is not “mass murder”. In the absence of mens rea and compelling evidence of surplus deaths caused by motivated actions murder is not on the table, and given the relatively few (however nasty) deaths across the entire USSR, with no particularly exceptional number of deaths in the Ukraine, no grounds to invoke “mass murder” at all.

                      “That does not mean those seeking the State of Israel brought about World War I, but did their best to bring the Americans into the war.”

                      Did you misunderstand, “Even more recently, the US entered WW I for Israel”?

                      “No claims, that I am aware of that David and Solomon ruled in 1150 BC.”

                      Did I claim that they did? I merely cited this to rebut your claim that “the Egyptians exaggerated their claims of territory, victories.” On the other hand, as Finkelstein (supra) notes, “”we still have no hard archaeological evidence–despite the unparalleled biblical description of its grandeur–that Jerusalem was anything more than a modest highland village in the time of David, Solomon, and Rehoboam.”

                      “Again, archeology in the Middle East…”

                      An extended phenotype of an argument from personal incredulity somehow mated to a slippery slope? I’m not sure that there is even a name for that. The problem you have is that the magnificent empire described in the bible has vanished, leaving a village behind. Losing a village in the detritus of a city is credible. The reverse, not so much.

                      Again, I am not relevant to this discussion, and you know nothing about me.

                      “News to the Poles and the French that Hitler did not want war.”

                      But not to actual infield historians like Buchanan (supra) or military researchers who have studied the primary sources. Hitler did not expect a war. Poland provided far stronger grounds for Germany to intervene than Germany had had in Silesia (Czechoslovakia), and as history shows, the declaration of war by the UK and France was completely pointless as far as Poland was concerned.

                      “My professor of Japanese History, whose Uncle was present when the Emperor asked that a way to Peace be found ”

                      Actually some of the Japanese leaders had intended that from before the war, and others from 1944, when they determined that, as Isoroku Yamamoto had warned, there was no path to victory for Japan.

                      In any case, as the sources I provided showed, your professor was incorrect. The Japanese noted that many cities had been destroyed, and it was actually argued that the Japanese people would get used to the idea (!). Their deliberations show the use of nuclear weapons was not understood by them as significantly different or germane to the decision taken. That was driven by the fact that the Soviets would be in a position to occupy the Northern island “within ten days”.

                      “If the Iraq’s intended to launch satellites via the cannon…”

                      Iraq had just engaged in a brutal war with Iran when satellite imagery would have been invaluable. Bull could put satellites into orbit almost as fast as the special castings could be delivered. The initial cannons were neither designed as weapons against terrestrial targets, nor could they be used as such except with ballistic reentry, as there was no way to elevate the cannons which were far too powerful for anything except fixed mountings. At the time he was murdered, all that had been constructed was a small prototype, with the main cannon under construction intended to fire almost horizontally, in the same way as Bull’s earlier HARP system, due to the challenges involved in dealing with a muzzle longer than 150 meters (over 500 feet). Bull had considered building super-guns, with very large bores and 100m long barrels mounted in turrets to use as as weapons, but they would have had really slow rates of fire and would have been ridiculously easy to identify and destroy, which is probably why they were not even prototyped. Iraq was concerned about the reaction from Iran and the potential loss of payloads to Iran if they fired to the East. Israel also launches rockets to the West so as not to have them shot down. It is after all just 450 m/s or less compared to the 7.5 km/s or greater escape velocity.

                      “Richard Carrier confabulates in order to become well known”

                      Another per se defamation. Project much? I am beginning to think that “Oxford, Cambridge and Stanford” might be “confabulat[ion] in order to become well known.”

                      “Are you sure that was not Mach that said what you attribute to Planck, or they said two very similar things.”

                      I’m sure. Source is Johann Ambrosius Barth J.A. (1949). Wissenschaftliche Selbstbiographie. Mit einem Bildnis und der von Max von Laue gehaltenen Traueransprache. Verlag (Leipzig), p. 22,

                      It is also quoted in Planck M.K., trans. Gaynor F. (1949). Scientific Autobiography and Other Papers, Philosophical Publishing (New York) , pp. 33–34 which is cited by Kuhn T. S. (2013-04-30). The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. University of Chicago Press; Fourth edition. Chapter XII – The Resolution of Revolutions.

                      “If you wish to believe in the “Chrestus” theory – you are free to do so – but it will never become mainstream. The evidence is just not there and the history of the Early Church does not support it.”

                      Are you sure that you were at “Oxford, Cambridge and Stanford” ? We have the Chrestus Cup “Magician through Chrestus”, from Alexandia harbor, as well as the early altered copies of both Suetoneus (Claudius 25.4) “Since the Jews constantly made disturbances at the instigation of Chrestus, he expelled them from Rome” ( Ultraviolet image showing “alteration” from Chrestianos to Christianos appended)

                      https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/31a7f814ffed427199e0698ba4d08c833eca06dc77e8a514bbf46fa04a74ae1b.jpg

                      And of Tacitus “Consequently, to get rid of the report, Nero fastened the guilt and inflicted the most exquisite punishments on a class hated for their disgraceful acts, called Chrestians by the populace. Christ, from whom the name had its origin.” and in any case the jump from Nero to Tiberius and back again has lead to the citation being regarded as an interpolation, rather than a mistaken correction, which my explanation eliminates.

                      So I rather think that it is your position which is unsupported by evidence. PS The evidence is compelling that there was no “Early Church” (sic) and that as the church emerged, just as today, christers would support any weird notions including the ideas that black is white and up is down.

                      “If the transcription is accurate then why didn’t Churchill prepare Hong Kong/Singapore for the oncoming war with
                      Japan to a better degree ?”

                      The transcription is accurate (the source has a photograph of the original signal tape). The British went to extreme lengths to prevent the Axis powers from learning that they could read their codes, including deliberately allowing vessels to be sunk and vial war factories to be bombed.
                      .

                    • “Acceptance is an act of the will, not of the intellect”, which explains why religiots accept the existence of the supernatural in the absence of any irrefutable, falsifiable, evidence for doing so.

                  • “… if you are not the original scholar involved in the study, then you just have a belief concerning what they present to their audiences”.

                    This, obviously, does not apply to you, in your deluded christer’s philosophical theologians’ imagination.

          • Now to demonstrate that you are not a liar you are required to list these authentic and original 1st century originated “public records” and inform readers of the location in which they are conserved and available for study.
            You continually condemn yourself as a LIAR when you make claims you cannot support through evidence.
            Shame on you for your dishonesty!

            • Everything in the bible is factual; you simply don’t wish them to be.

              Read your article. See, Jesus is mentioned! The Jewish writings even admit that he performed powerful signs; they simply attributed it to his practicing magic. I had read that decades ago, but could not recall where I did. Many thanks for that link. BTW, did Josephus write that the Christians fled Jerusalem when Cestus Gallus’ forces were routed? Or was that another forgery. When I read that account, I was amazed! That was clear proof that Jesus had given them that instruction.

              • King’s Cross Station exists. Therefore, according to you, Harry Potter is “real”?

                From your inability to comprehend the so-called “bible” I should have expected you to misunderstand my article too. “Jesus” is merely the acronym of a rabbinical curse, “ישו” (“Yeshu”) used in place of a name in some rabbinical writings (and carried over in Latin and Greek transcriptions, sometimes as a marginal gloss). The first prototype appears to be Simon son of Joseph, and the second is Chrestus the Magician, who was still being confused for the Herrodian traitor Saulus’ mythical cosmic-man, Christos, centuries later. Whenever you see “Jesus” or “Christ” or “Christian” before the fourth century, you can be reasonably certain that some later scribe “corrected” an older work on the assumption that this is what must have been meant. See https://www.richardcarrier.info/archives/12334 from an actual in-field historian and expert.

                Did you mean Cestius Gallus perhaps? There were no christers then, but Josephus did say that “After this calamity had befallen Cestius, many of the most eminent of the Jews swam away from the city, as from a ship when it was going to sink, Costobarus, therefore, and Saul, who were brethren, together with Philip, the son of Jacimus, who was the commander of King Agrippa’s forces, ran away from the city, and went to Cestius.(Josephus Of the War Book 2 Chapter 20 paragraph 1 http://penelope.uchicago.edu/josephus/war-2.html). You were probably confused about that too.

                Seeing that one prototype was definitely killed between 5 BCE and 15CE, and the other in 59CE, while Cestius Gallus only invested Jerusalem in September 66 CE, you would be as wrong about your “clear proof” as you are about all your other projections and interpolations.

                • Surprising me again Hermit. I have never suggested anything as what you infer in that 1st sentence. You’re the first atheist to say that i have an inability to comprehend the bible; so far, only theists have told me that 😀

                  You are very wrong about “Jesus” being merely the acronym of a rabbinical curse, “ישו”. It was a very common name then (probably still is) The edits made by the copyists did not include adding that name. I have seen nothing on which to base that conclusion. I have seen clear evidence of the other edits.

                  Sorry about that type, I did in fact mean “Cestius Gallus”. The Christian congregation did in fact exist at that time. What evidence do you have that said it did not?

                  The Christian congregation did abandon the city, however, I would be very surprised if they were the only ones. Sensible Jews would have also done so, having reasoned that the Romans would return and keep coming back until they completely crushed the revolt. To avoid that, the zealots sealed up the city as soon as they returned from chasing out the Romans.

                  BTW, is the name “Cestius Gallus” chiseled into stone? or did you accept what was written on the historical documents, the copies of which has survived, or do you say that those you read were the original documents?

                  • ” I have never suggested anything as what you infer in that 1st sentence.”

                    When you try to claim this place or these people are real, therefore the so-called bible and all of its magic is real, you are doing exactly what I pointed out. Confusing the part for the whole and asserting that fiction is validated as fact because things mentioned in it can be validated. I’m sure today we can find a child called Harry Potter. Even if he went to Kings Cross Station and stood next to the cart that now appears to protrude into the wall between platforms 9 and 10 for an artfully posed photograph, it would no more confirm the veracity of the magical Harry Potter of the famous books, than a late 1st century BCE rebel named Simon, bastard son of Joseph, or mid 1st century CE rebel called Chrestus, can possibly validate a magical character, even if the people lived in a real place called the Palestine, Simon’s parents featured in the fictional stories, and the stories about the former were borrowed for the latter and set in the same locations. Even if the people who wrote and vested belief in the fiction expended enormous efforts in the succeeding millennia in attempting to obliterate any contradictory evidence.

                  • I am not wrong about “Jesus”. Refer my monograph where this is discussed at length and with references.

                    Christianity is a much later invention. At this time the head of the “church” in Jerusalem was “James the Brother of Our Lord”. He was only assassinated in 62 or 69 CE. The “church” which referred to itself as “the Society of the Poor (in Spirit)”, to which James and Simon son of Joseph belonged, was indubitably as zealous as they come. Indeed, they self identified as such, being “Zealous for the Law (And the Law was of Moses)” Again, see my monograph or refer to Robert Eisenman’s extensive works on this issue.

                    There is no reason to doubt Cestius Gallus, whose name, as a suffect consul, is in fact chiseled in stone. More importantly, unlike the so-called “Jesus”, he did not have armies of authors and editors making up, modifying, and suppressing stories about him for the next millennium or so, to suit the needs of the day.

  • so… “justice is inherently exclusive (i.e., evil, etc.); therefore, the Gospel is exclusive,” eh?

    aren’t you just using “social justice” the same way the fundies you criticize use doctrine?

    Republicans: “Democrats deserve Hell!”
    Democrats: “Republicans deserve Hell!”
    Jesus: “I’m the only one who *doesn’t* deserve Hell, but I died to make my enemies into family.”

    The Gospel is good news for everyone who knows they need mercy.
    It’s bad news for everyone prideful enough to think they can do it themselves – left, right or in between.

    • The Epistle to Hebrews 9:11 But Christ being come a high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building;

      The Epistle to Hebrews 9:14 How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?

      And the others answered: “We all do the laws of Moses, our lawgiver, even as they are written in the holy scriptures.”

      And Jesus answered: “Seek not the law in your scriptures, for the law is life, whereas the scripture is dead. I tell you truly, Moses received not his laws from God in writing, but through the living word. The law is living word of living God to living prophets for living men. In everything that is life is the law written. You find it in the grass, in the tree, in the river, in the mountain, in the birds of heaven, in the fishes of the sea; but seek it chiefly in yourselves. For I tell you truly, all living things are nearer to God than the scripture which is without life. God so made life and all living things that they might by the everlasting word teach the laws of the true God to man. God wrote not the laws in the pages of books, but in your heart and in your spirit. They are in your breath, your blood, your bone; in your flesh, your bowels, your eyes, your ears, and in every little part of your body. They are present in the air, in the water, in the earth, in the plants, in the sunbeams, in the depths and in the heights. They all speak to you that you may understand the tongue and the will of the living God. But you shut your eyes that you may not see, and you shut your ears that you may not hear. I tell you truly, that the scripture is the work of man, but life and all its hosts are the work of our God. Wherefore do you not listen to the words of God which are written in His works? And wherefore do you study the dead scriptures which are the work of the hands of men?”

      “How may we read the laws of God elsewhere than in the scriptures? Where are they written? Read them to us from there where you see them, for we know nothing else but the scriptures which we have inherited from our forefathers. Tell us the laws of which you speak, that hearing them we may be healed and justified.”

      Jesus said: “You do not understand the words of life, because you are in death. Darkness darkens your eyes and your ears are stopped with deafness. For I tell you, it profits you not at all that you pore over dead scriptures if by your deeds you deny him who has given you the scriptures.

      I tell you truly, God and his laws are not in that which you do. They are not in gluttony and in wine-bibbing, neither in riotous living, nor in lustfulness, nor in seeking after riches, nor yet in hatred of your enemies. For all these things are far from the true God and from his angels. But all these things come from the kingdom of darkness and the lord of all evils. And all these things do you carry in yourselves; and so the word and the power of God enter not into you, because all manner of evil and all manner of abominations have their dwelling in your body and your spirit. If you will that the living God’s word and his power may enter you, defile not your body and your spirit; for the body is the temple of the spirit, and the spirit is the temple of God. Purify, therefore, the temple, that the Lord of the temple may dwell therein and occupy a place that is worthy of him.

      “And from all temptations of your body and your spirit, coming from Satan, withdraw beneath the shadow of God’s heaven.”

      Jesus Christ, from the “Essene Gospel of Peace, Book One” unearthed in Palestine in 1948, along with the dead sea scrolls. The Dead Sea Scrolls are a collection of 972 texts discovered between 1946 and 1956 at Khirbet Qumran in the West Bank. The elimination of many Christian books occurred during the meeting of the first Council of Nicaea in 325 AD, thus determining the context of the official “New Testament.” Then also began the inquisition to eliminate all possible opposition and to burn all the so-called blasphemous books known as apocrypha. Original Hebrew and Aramaic texts translated and edited by Edmond Bordeaux Szekely. They remain the oldest untouched copies of Christs original and most intimate teachings, and the Hebrew Torah. Palestinians are currently seeking to get them back from Israeli custody.

      • That is an excellent example of your religious bigotry- nothing but ridicule and mockery. The truth is God is the same yesterday, today and forever.

        • You still have not come up with an intersubjectively verifiable attribute to qualify your non-omnipotent goddities* as god thingies. I don’t care what you believe about your imaginary thingies, whatever they are, I am only speaking to the stories about god thingies recorded in the bible.

          Your problem is that the above is a perfectly valid characterization of the biblical fables, and you know it. So you are reduced to waving your hands and shrieking, rather than attempting to explain why it is invalid. You are confirm that your cognitive dissonance is so overwhelming that you cannot even consider how to attempt to address the fact that what I have said is a perfectly legitimate synopsis.

          *Aside from any other limitations, you have established that they are not naïvely “omnipotent” (whatever you may mean by that) as previously claimed, by asserting that they are incapable of cooperative “omnipotence”.

          • No Christian that I know says, “that the God of the New Testament is completely different than the God of the Old..”
            The truth is that the Old Testament is outfolded in the New Testament, and the New Testament is infolded in the Old Testament. The entire Old and New can be summarized as this: God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself. It is a complete narrative from beginning to end. It is not an instruction manual, but a book of revelation of what God wants us to know.

            We both agreed that “omnipotent” means the ability to do anything at all.
            Given that definition, it is logically impossible for there to be any more that ONE omnipotent being because the presence of any alleged “omnipotent being” would limit the power of the other and vise versa. There could be two powerful beings, but neither would be omnipotent.

            The God of the Bible created all things from absolutely nothing. God says that He is the All-Mighty.

            • And you have now asserted that your concept of omnipotence for your goddities precludes sharing capability, therefore your god thingies are not omnipotent in the sense originally agreed, and therefore your goddities are shown, by your own statements, not to be omnipotent and therefore not even worth of being regarded as deities.

              • Is it really beyond your capability to understand the difference between a “powerful” being and an “all-powerful” being?

                  • Given that atheists operate at best on a 6th grade level, it is no wonder that conceptualization is beyond their capabilities. They are stuck at that learning phase between what to think and how to think.

                    • Conceptualisation is one thing, but reification is another, more difficult, exercise!

                    • Thank you so much for once again demonstrating the puerile and risible level at which you (and most ignorant arrogant religionists) operate.
                      This further demonstration of the effect of indoctrination upon the ignorant and the gullible was superfluous as it has been evident within every meaningless and logic, reason and evidence devoid attempt at ad hominem against those who continually confuse, confound and humiliate you.

                      You are stuck in the twilight zone of indoctrination that blocks you from thinking at all about the garbage you recycle but can never validate, justify, defend or excuse.

                      Thanks also for the demonstration that it’s really beyond your capability to understand that there is no practical difference between an imaginary, undetected and undetectable being and a non-existent one.

                      Please keep up this pathetic behavior. You are probably doing as much good as Dawkins in attracting attention to the risible and pathetic nature of religionism.

                • Is it really beyond your capability to understand that if something cannot do something then it is not omnipotent in the sense of being able to do anything.

                  • The absurdity of your retorts is exceeded only by the exuberance of your intellectual dishonesty, hermit.
                    Again, you sling another paradox which does nothing but declare yourself to be a sore loser. God is omnipotent which means he can do anything at all. But he ain’t stupid.

                    • Oh – the irony!
                      Your ridiculous recycled claims regarding childish superstitions, myths legends and lies are confounded by two words:
                      PROVE IT!

                      Talk about a “sore loser”.
                      Your bunkum is constantly debunked and your humiliation made complete. Only your pathetic level of ignorance and egotism blinds you to that self evident fact.

                      https://img.buzzfeed.com/buzzfeed-static/static/2015-08/11/4/enhanced/webdr07/original-30282-1439282033-3.jpg?downsize=715:*&output-format=auto&output-quality=auto

                    • What is there to prove? You have already rejected it.
                      “Egotism” is another word you should study up on. Maybe you are projecting since you have wasted your mind.

                    • Now you are just lying to yourself. The Bible has the answer that you are looking for. Get a good teacher.

                    • Where is the evidence/proof you claim exists? In the absence of such proof/evidence from you, that makes you the liar.

                      The so-called ‘bible’ is not the answer to anything pertaining to reality. Quoting the ‘bible’ is merely committing the fallacy of the circular argument, since it cannot be used to confirm anything it makes claims about. Hence the need for the external evidence/proof that you have failed to adduce in support of your persistent claims.

                    • What is “reality”?
                      You are going to die. That is a fact. The promise is eternal life for those who trust in the Lord.
                      A lot of the things prophesied in the Bible have come to pass. There still remains much that is yet to come.
                      You can either wait to die to see if any of it is true, but I am afraid it may be too late at that point.
                      Or, you can jump on board and live a life of faith. The choice is yours.

                    • The reality is the fact that you have been unable to provide a shred of irrefutable, falsifiable, evidence for the real existence of your puny ‘god’. That is the elephant in the room.

                    • The fact that you refuse to accept the possibility of the supernatural limits your understanding of reality.
                      The fact that you continue to ridicule and mock that which you don’t understand makes you a punk.

                    • In a universe that will end, the “promise” of eternity is a lie. To an entity like a human, dependent on aa functionin brain for existence, a “promise” of a “life” divorced from that brain is a lie. I would say, You’ve been had”, only you have already proved that you vest no confidence in these lies.

                      So in what kind of a psychotic position are you left?

                    • What is there to prove?
                      Everything that may contradict the charge that all religions are fraudulent and that there is no evidence of the existence of any and all the millions of undetected and undetectable gods and goddesses so profitably sold to the ignorant and the gullible by the oily tongued and dishonest employees of all the vile and anti-humanitarian businesses of religion.

                      I reject nothing, son. I have been offered nothing tangible and evidence supported to reject.
                      Your infantile beliefs are known, understood and rejected on the grounds that they are baseless and that you cannot validate, justify, support or excuse those ridiculous beliefs.

                      Get back to me with authentic and verifiable evidence of more than the fact that you have been brainwashed to believe nonsense – and we can interact based upon that.

                      Thanks for this further demonstration of mindless denial however. It may help those not so profoundly ignorant and deeply indoctrinated as you continually demonstrate yourself to be.

                      http://theatheistpig.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/image.jpeg

                    • Given that I am fully aware that the very idea of god thingies is incoherent and that all of them are imaginary, I did not say that god thingies are anything at all. That is your insane prevarication. It is the people who imagine god thingies that appear to be stupid. Some are even stupid enough to assert naïve omnipotence and immediately contradict themselves.

                    • Given that you are fully aware and content with the idea of eternal nothingness, you are to be pitied. Your level of indoctrination is so ingrained that you have wasted your mind.

                    • There is no eternal. Our universe had its start when strain energy was released by a gravitational fluctuation some 13.82 nillion years ago, and will end when the last matter evaporates and energy is expended some 200 google years from now. For most of its existence, the universe will not support anything like human life. And either everything we know about physics is wrong, or there are no souls, ghosts, zombies, disembodied consciousness or other “supernatural” or “paranormal” effects. See e.g. https://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/ghosts-brian-cox-large-hadron-collider-cern-real-truth-standard-model-physics-a7598026.html.

                      You are too delusional or stupid to accept this well supported evidence, which leaves you looking ridiculous as you flap your gums and hands with no visible means of support.

        • The truth is – that there is no evidence of the existence of any/all the millions of undetected and undetectable gods and goddesses.

          For the prime example of religiot ignorance and bigotry, look in a mirror Ed Senter…

          • If you were indeed capable of rational thought, an intelligent person would at least wonder about an afterlife. As any educated person would know, there is more that we don’t know than what we know.
            The Bible is evidence of God. Whether or not you understand what is written, says more about you than it.

            • Intelligent people, even “true Scotsmen”, know that “afterlife” is nonsense. Death is irreversible.

              Not knowing everything is not the same as not knowing anything, neither would it imply that what is known is probably or even possibly wrong. Indeed, when delusional people, such as you, bring up ideas which are incompatible with what is already known, then sensible people, such as almost everyone here, discount their nonsense, precisely because it does conflict with what is already known

              Just as the Harry Potter series are proof that somebody wrote something, the Bible is the same, although the Harry Potter books are more coherent, tell a better story and are much better written

            • Sure. And A Midsummer Night’s Dream is evidence that Oberon and Titania were king and queen of the fairies.

            • An intelligent person would at least wonder why there is no evidence of the existence of any of the millions of undetected and undetectable gods and goddesses and why no historical evidence supports the diverse and very different, confused and contradictory, historically unsupported, historically inaccurate and scientifically absurd content of any of the different christian bibles fabricated by men since the oldest/first prototypes appeared in the late 4th century.

              The many diverse and different bibles contain the evidence of their human fabrication – nothing more.

              http://www.ancientpages.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/oldestbiblelent3.jpg

              • Yet, what you call “the many diverse and different bibles”, everyone of them proclaim the basic tenets:
                1. God = All-Mighty Supreme Being (I am), therefore, there is only one true God.
                2. God was in Christ (Jehovah = to reveal) reconciling the world to Himself.

                The Bible is not an instruction manual. The Bible is God’s word revealed. The fact that there are minor discrepancies between diverse writers over centuries of time attest to their authenticity.

                • Does the fact that the so called “bible” is a steaming mound of manure also “attest to their authenticity” in your opinion? Did I miss where you explained why your opinion in this matter, unlike all others, should be regarded as significant?

                  • I don’t know why some get it and others don’t. 99% of Christendom don’t get it. They are what’s called enculturated Christians.
                    I have a great teacher. And, I continue to learn everyday. If you put a straight stick next to a crooked stick, you can tell the difference IF you are intellectually honest.
                    I have debunked all of your objections, so far. You are as crooked as they come, hermit.

                    • You are a delusional nut, and practically everyone here is aware of it. You project a lot and have “debunked” nothing. So far all your bloviation has accomplished is to make you a laughingstock while showing that your goddities do not even deserve to be considered deities.

                    • If there is a God, your opinion about “deserving” to be a deity just reveals how muddled your thinking is.

                    • Yes, I know that your opinions are based on regurgitations of fools like Harris and Dawkins.

                    • My opinions are based upon my own research and the actual evidence that exists.
                      I leave it to lazy religionists to base their enslavement to lies upon the opinions and imagination of other people.

                      You appear to have chosen unwisely.

                    • You are a liar because you claim that you think for yourself yet demonstrate routinely how indoctrinated you really are.

                      Harris like Epicurus start from false premises on the meaning of good and evil, then claim because God does not conform to their indefinite meanings of good and evil, God is either evil or not omnipotent. That premise false flat on its face.
                      The truth is:
                      Omnipotence means unlimited power.
                      God is omnipotent.
                      Good and evil are subjective value judgments.
                      If there is an objective meaning to a value judgment, it takes power to make it so. (Might makes Right).
                      Therefore, whatever God does is good.

                    • How could any supposed ‘god’ be omnipotent if it cannot eradicate evil from the world?

                    • Your pathetic condition of indoctrination and denial is once again noted.

                      If your pathetic god exists, it will need to beg forgiveness it does not deserve.

                      Thank goodness such a vile, hate filled, cruel and murderous thing is only a figment of the imagination of idiots and barbarians.

                    • Ha! Not one word of rebuttal…
                      What is good and evil?
                      It must be a figment of your imagination based upon your pathetic condition of indoctrination and denial.

                    • You are a self-evident nihilist who believes contradiction is the same as argument. Ha!

                    • Oh dear. Is that the very best you have on offer?
                      You have demonstrated that you mistake opinion for evidence and recycled indoctrination for argument.
                      Denial is not rebuttal.

                    • Error 1: Demanding scientific proof for the supernatural.
                      Error 2: Rejecting the written word.

                      Your errors prove that you are indoctrinated…

                    • You major error is mistaking propaganda for evidence.
                      There is no evidence of the existence of “Jesus” or any of the content of the legends that were written by teams and generations of men starting centuries after the time in which those confused and contradictory legends are set.

                      Your blanket and mindless denial is pitiful and anything you write that does not begin with:
                      “Here is the evidence of the existence of “Jesus”…”
                      And include:
                      “… and here is the location within which that evidence is conserved…”
                      ..is worthless recycled propaganda and pathetic denial.

                      https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DHD-FaKUwAAhH7S.jpg

                • 1) A common theme for most gods and many goddesses and nothing unique or original regarding the originally Canaanite god “Yahweh”. The men who invented the Judaeo-christian religions followed an well established format for the successful attainment of power of riches from the ignorant and the gullible. The significant differences between the oldest 4th century fabricated christian bibles (Codex Sinaiticus and Codex Vaticanus) and between those early prototypes and later human authored bibles remain for all to observe and as a condemnation of the obscenely wealthy and corrupt institutions of religion that have profited so much from spreading the lies you so glibly recycle but cannot validate, justify or excuse.

                  2) There is evidence of the existence of a few messiahs (“christs” as the Greeks coined that word) between Circa 6BCE and Circa 140 CE. “Yeshua/Jesus” is not mentioned among them in any text, letter, inscription or graffito. The diverse and different, confused and contradictory later written legends of “Jesus” are pathetic in themselves.

                  You once again reference “The Bible” but do not reveal which version and upon what evidence you consider that version credible over all other different versions?

                  https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-SLVOq77YxcI/WdD49ptS1SI/AAAAAAAAlOs/FqEnF3E72zoc4HIK4i_jqfQAVYLOGvclACJoC/w1435-h1221/20171001_101457.png

                  • The truth about faith defined: Faith is an ACTION based upon BELIEF and sustained by CONFIDENCE.
                    Given that definition, you can’t exist without faith. Your only choice is the object of your faith. When the object of your faith is God’s word, that is Christianity. Faith operates in spite of the circumstances. Faith is the substance of things hoped for; the evidence of things not seen. When the thing hoped for becomes fact, faith is no longer in operation because that is truth.

                    I don’t care which version of the Bible you read. I say read them all. Because if you can’t “rightly divide” the word of God, you ain’t going to get it anyway. Jesus did not come to save the world. He came to provide the way to eternal life. Jesus is and has always been the way to eternal life. The choice is yours- believe or not believe. Without faith it is impossible to please God. God is calling some out of the world.

                    • “Faith is an ACTION based upon BELIEF and sustained by CONFIDENCE”, you claim. but not a word about EVIDENCE!

                      ‘Faith’ is a mindset, contingent upon indoctrination, such that the credulous, willing, ‘believer’ may be induced to believe anything, no matter how absurd, as you have abundantly illustrated.

                    • You are standing at point A. You desire to get to point B. What do you call the act of getting in a car in the hope that you will reach your destination of point B? That is called faith, blockhead.

                      What exactly is absurd about hoping for an afterlife?
                      What is truly absurd is proclaiming that you know with 100% certainty that there is no afterlife.

                    • Cars exist and no faith (imagination/indoctrination/brainwashing) is required for the expectation that a well maintained car will complete any particular journey.
                      You are the self evidently a simple minded and delusional “blockhead”.
                      Thank you!
                      Keep up the good work in attracting attention to the ridiculous nature or religion and the stupidity of religionists. You may be doing more that all the pedophile priests and dishonest sybaritic preachers in provoking folk to recognise the truth that already lead one third of the human demographic to atheism with more following every day.

                      https://monicksunleashed.files.wordpress.com/2011/07/99-percent-atheist.jpg

                    • A wish is dreaming about winning the lottery.
                      A belief is the lottery will pay millions of dollars to the winner.
                      Faith is actually buying a ticket.
                      I don’t think you are smart enough to get it.

                      Logically, there can only be one All-Mighty Supreme Being. Just like the Bible proclaims.
                      So, I don’t concern myself with the many “false” gods, or the anthropomorphic gods of human fabrication, or the collective consciousness of those who wish to be a god.

                    • But you have already proved, repeatedly, that your goddities are not actually omnipotent (in the form defined here as being capable of doing anything), and so are not qualified as god thingies by the one criteria you asserted for them. You have failed to provide any intersubjectively verifiable attributes for your goddities, despite repeated challenges. You have failed to show any entities possess the quality of omnipotence despite repeated challenges, and you have failed to provide any that your god thintersubjecively evidenceverifiable test that could support the idea of o nipotence as not being imaginary.

                      You also appear to be ignorant of Akhenaten who worshipped an worshiped only the sun god, Aten, an “All-Mighty Supreme Being” (with added kefalalia, just like your goddities), centuries before the Greeks persuaded the Hebrews to rewrite their scriptures with a single god thingie. By your argument, the existence of Attention precludes the Hebrew god thingie from existing in anything but imaginary form.

                      Finally, if logic, in the absence of evidence can be used to prove things, then the followings statement, true in all the logics capable of expressing it, leaves your goddities where they belong.

                      “If this sentence is true then all god thingies are imaginary.”

                    • Faith is pretending to yourself that the expected value of buying a ticket in a lottery is greater than the cost of the ticket (it is not).

                      Faith is invariably pretending to know something that you do not or cannot know.

                    • So cunning, hermit. You are not smart enough to get it.

                      Faith has nothing to do with the economy of the action. Faith is simply the action. For faith is the substance of things hoped for; the evidence of things unseen. Once the unseen hoped for thing becomes fact, faith ceases.

                    • Religious faith is a delusion based upon indoctrination and sustained by myths and lies.
                      Thank you for so consistently confirming that already self evident fact.

                    • Sorry, that is not a “self-evident fact”. It is merely your opinion based on indoctrination and caricatures and is devoid of reason.
                      If you do not seek, you will find nothing.

                    • I have been a seeker for several decades and I have discovered (beyond much doubt) that there is really NOTHING to find.
                      Millions of undetected and undetectable nonexistent gods and goddesses.
                      Confused and contradictory fiction and fables supported by not one single shred of actual evidence.
                      Testimony of the indoctrinated that indicates only the fact of their indoctrination and nothing more.
                      Thank you for so consistently confirming these already self evident facts.

                      Your evidence free and reason devoid opinion is noted however…

                    • What is truly unreasonable is your indoctrinated belief “that there is really NOTHING to find.” No intelligent person would say such a thing. You prove the statement that “only a fool says there is no God.”
                      The Bible is evidence of a Supreme All-Mighty Being. Even if there were no Bible, I would at least leave open the possibility of something beyond this material existence.

                    • There have been an almost endless stream of diverse and very different human authored bibles that have been written by men since the prototypes (Codex Sinaiticus and Codex Vaticanus) first appeared in the late 4th century.
                      All the different bibles are evidence only of the duplicity and imagination of men. Although we do not know the names of the four authors of the Codex Sinaiticus (published online since 2008) – we do know them by the different handwriting styles of the three principal scribes and the forth that added to and erased from their work and added some sections of his own.
                      All bibles are self evidently to work of delusional and/or dishonest MEN.

                      For those who believe the Bible is the inerrant, unaltered word of God, there are some very uncomfortable questions to answer. Codex Sinaiticus shows there have been thousands of alterations to today’s bible.

                      The Codex Sinaiticus is probably the oldest Bible. It also has books which are missing from the Authorised Version that most Christians are familiar with today – and it does not have crucial verses relating to the Resurrection.

                      In addition to the thousands of discrepancies, the Codex contains two extra books in the “New Testament”.

                      One is the little-known “Shepherd of Hermas”, the other, the Epistle of Barnabas. The prototype bible contains subsequently deleted anti-Semitic kindling ready to be lit. “His blood be upon us,” Barnabas has the Jews cry.

                      So WHICH version of human authored bible do you consider to be valid and upon what EVIDENCE do you claim it’s validity?

                      The proclamation that you personally buy into the garbage within one version of so many different versions of bible has no more validity than the fact that a rapidly declining number of similarly brainwashed folk share your belief in human contrived myths and legends.

                      “Even if there were no Bible, I would at least leave open the possibility of something beyond this material existence.?
                      Any and all of the millions of undetected and undetectable gods and goddesses among which yours is lost?
                      Leprechauns?
                      Ghosts?
                      Goblins?
                      Fairies?
                      Santa and the Tooth Fairy?

                      Have you no idea how ridiculous your claims appear?

                      https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-SLVOq77YxcI/WdD49ptS1SI/AAAAAAAAlOs/FqEnF3E72zoc4HIK4i_jqfQAVYLOGvclACJoC/w1435-h1221/20171001_101457.png

                    • I do not practice bibliolatry. I do not believe that “the Bible is the inerrant, unaltered word of God”. The King James was not handed down to Moses on Mt. Sinai. However, I do believe that the Bible contains the word of God. The Bible is not an instruction manual. The Bible reveals God. So I compare scripture with scripture.

                      I don’t need to worry about all of these “other” deities. Because logically there can be only one All-Mighty Supreme Being. Just like the Bible proclaims.

                    • There is nothing ‘logical’ about believing in any imaginary supernatural entity in the absence of any irrefutable evidence for its actual existence.

                      If you believe in just one supposed ‘god’, for example, what criteria do you use to deny the existence of all the others?

            • More tosh.

              Given that we all know that fish, guests and corpses stink after three days, why would anyone consider an “afterlife” whatever you might imagine that to be? Any “educated person” should know that life is an energy dependent emergent process . When the body stops producing energy, the processes stop. When the cessation of the emergent processes of life is irreversible, then life has ended. Nothing to “wonder” about unless you are only half-educated and filled with delusional bronze age superstitions.

              The so called “bible” is a book. That is actually what “bible” means. A book is only evidence that some human wrote something. For anything other than that, a book is not evidence. And the “bible” is full of half-baked idiocy.

              https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/35119f2098f096b84ced638eb8b90bdae9385aa3fb7076b82c5ba9b72bd1f818.jpg
              https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/a71cf44125992ae785694fe4cb7c078bb024a929faa855abf50cdab329b459ed.jpg

                • The idea of supposedly all powerful ethical god thingies requiring a substitutionary human sacrifice in order to allow themselves to forgive the supposed descendants of imaginary ancestors set-up by the same god thingies so that it can love these humans so much that those that do not love them back can be tortured forever – in a finite universe.

                  One could go on, but that would be gilding the lilly.

                  • what if the idea is a mentallity? Like you can either have a mind full of positive thoughts (or majority of positive thoughts) or a mind of negative thoughts. I personally do not recognize as heaven or hell as physical places but mental states

                    • Like all religiots, you have invented a private interpretation, a little more select tive, a lot less literal, but still not founded in anything meaningful. When you take the next step and recognize that you’re making it all up as you go along anyway, so you might as well establish your own ethically based worldview that matches what we understand about the universe, you’ll find that you can abandon the bizarre trappings of ancient religions.

                  • the idea of nothing becoming something is very mind boggling to me. It is a very strange phenomenon if proven to be true some day. I highly respect the words of wisdom the books provide. I enjoy taking a piece from all religions because they all tend to lead to the same source. A sense of moral values and the effort to keep your mind on the side of peace. Its quite powerful. Especially those who are mentally abused or suffering from childhood or adulthood experiences.

                    • Why on Earth would you be doing such a stupid thing? What is a “god” anyway? What intersubjectively verifiable attributes are sufficient and necessary to qualify a thing as a God thingie?

                    • and you posted an article about something creating something. not nothing creating something. so you did a oopsy and accidently contradicted yourself

                    • I did not address “creation”. I pointed out that your use of words you do not comprehend, is leading you to assume things not in evidence.

                    • Lol but you did address creation by saying “nothing comes from something continuously” which makes absolutely zero logical sense

                    • I responded to your assertion, “the idea of nothing becoming something is very mind boggling to me”, by pointing out that “Nothing becomes something continuously everywhere”. Let me try to simplify the underlying physics down to middle-school accessible words, so far as this is possible.

                      What is left when you remove everything, including space-time? “Nothing”. If “nothing” has any meaning at all, this is it. Absolute nothingness. This absolute nothingness would violate uncertainty, because the energy level of “nothing” would be absolutely known to be zero. So in this nothingness, particle-anti-particle pairs instantiate and self-immolate on a continuous basis. In some models of physics, this is known as the “flux”. The flux is not actually a thing and is not part of any universe. It is a necessary component of the background mathematical reality in which the multiverse exists, and which we perceive as uncertainty. Nevertheless, like much of modern physics, while outside day-to-day human experience, it was predicted by quantum physics, was modeled, searched for, finally detected and has now been measured and characterized using multiple indirect approaches. Sometimes, when particle-anti-particle pairs instantiate, these “virtual particles”, so called because they exist for a statistically indeterminate period usually less than Planck-time, meaning that they do not exist long enough to influence things around them, potentially last a little longer, which causes a gravitational fluctuation. In the absence of existing space-time this might result in the release of strain or vacuum energy, causing a big bang and the instantiation of a temporary phenomenon which we call a universe. When the energy released in its instantiation is completely redistributed, restoring the vacuum energy, the universe will evaporate, having leaving nothing behind, not even regrets, having used no net energy over its entire existence. Until then, parasitic noise can happen assisting entropy, and we perceive this as the beautiful complexity of galaxies, stars, planets, whales, petunias, people, viruses and quantum physics. Every particle ever examined, conforming to its Feynman integral of occupying all possible configuration,s in all possible locations, at all possible times, from infinite negative to infinite positive time, fully confirms this model.

                      No “creation” needed. No intent. No knowledge. No skill. No action. No position available for a “creator”, or indeed, for a “destroyer”. Simply a mathematical dance in at least 11 dimensions.

                      I’m prepared to make bets that it is beyond your understanding, but that doesn’t mean that it makes any sense to call this description of what, to the best of our ability to discern and describe underlies all experience everywhere, “god”, simply because you lack the mental capacity to follow those who do, anymore than it makes any sense to refer to those performing conjuring tricks at children’s parties sorcerers because you cannot understand how their tricks are performed, or to visualize hard-working, hammer-wielding, thunder-monsters simply because you can’t begin to understand the effects of lightning on the atmosphere. It just makes you look like an uneducated primitive mangling words and sense.

                      Grab a physics book and read instead. That way it will at least appear as if you are trying to wriggle out of intellectual squalor into the light. There are many great accessible works written for the general public. I recommend Krausse L.M. (2012).A Universe from Nothing: Why There Is Something Rather than Nothing; Hawking S. Mlodinow L. (2010) The Grand Design; Carroll S. (2016). The Big Picture: On the Origins of Life, Meaning, and the Universe Itself; and, Hawking S. (2018), Brief Answers to the Big Questions which, in addition to physics, cosmology and extinction, addresses the fact that “Belief in the afterlife is just wishful thinking,” and that there is “no possibility” of god thingies. So much for that.

                    • I’m not claiming evidence. It is an observation. Something nobody is able to currently refute only debate

                    • What “observation”?

                      An observation, if proximal and cogent may be “evidence”, and it is compelling evidence that makes debate superfluous. So far all I see is somebody waving their hands and waffling about a non-existent special kind of “nothing” not observed anywhere, and not apparently theoretically possible given our comprehensive understanding of physics based on observation at the human scale.

                      You might find that changing my mind is challenging in the absence of strong evidence.

                    • If i were trying to change your mind I would be speaking to you in an entirely different way. Just seeing how much you really know. I like your information.

                    • You said “Nothing becomes something continuously everywhere” . How does nothing create something. When nothing cannot create something because it doesnt exist. It has to be something creating something. And in the beginning nothing created something. Aka God or whatever it may be

                    • I provided the supporting information. The flux continuously fluctuates. One way to regard this is as the continuous production of particles and antiparticles. We can (and have) observed this. The problem is not that this happens, and happens continuously (and can be responsible for the instantiation of universes), the problem is that you don’t comprehend that it is an unexeptional background process, and not “creation” which requires intent.

                    • Correction: the problem is that flux is something and not nothing. So something came from something. Contradicting what you are saying to me. But that is some cool stuff to read. I like it

                    • You are defining some kind of imaginary ideal Platonic “nothing” that does not exist, that has additional unspecified requirements beyond what remains when everything else is removed. That is up to you, but you should not expect the metaverse to comport to the limitations of your imagination or anyone else to respect your non-articulated, but apparently idiosyncratic ideation.

              • Just like quantum mechanics can not be explained using classical physics, yet, you insist that the supernatural must be explained by materialistic means. It is no wonder that the hermit is a pseudo-intellect- all superficial with no substance.

                When all the humans who wrote the books of the Bible, wrote such things at different times and under different conditions, and they all focus in on the same thing -eternal life- an intelligent person investigates. The only intelligent conclusion is- there is a God-the All-Mighty Supreme Being.

                The mind is a terrible thing to waste- hermit has wasted theirs.

                • The fact that you have no idea how you could determine if a thing were a god thingie, or even if a thing were one of your god thingies rather some other god thingies means that all your bloviation about your god thingies are as completely meaningless as your bloviation about me.

                  • The fact that hermit has no idea why they exist, yet they think they exist, but maybe they are just a holograph that reverts back to meaningless non-existence…I tell you, it boggles the mind!
                    Ha!

                    • I exist because I exist.

                      I think I exist because I can think.

                      Any Turing capable machine can perform any operation, including thinking, that can be performed by any Turing capable machine.

                      A cellular automaton is a Turing machine.

                      In any suitably complex environment, where self-organizing automata are possible, self-organizing automata will necessarily arise.

                      In the absence of evidence of contradiction, we cannot discriminate between models except on an aesthetic basis.

                      We have no evidence that we are not Turing machines.

                      You are still talking nonsense about things you do not begin to comprehend.

                    • Now that is an example of tautology. Ha!
                      Yes, hermit, you are indeed a robot- programmed to compute and spew that which you have been fully indoctrinated in what to think.
                      However, you also fully lack the capacity in how to think, that is, to simply ask the question why? (By which you have so adroitly proclaimed, “philosophy is dead”. Ha!)

                    • The nice thing about tautology is that tautologies are simply formula or assertions that are true in every possible interpretation. So a declaration like the above, of tautological propositional variables connected by logical connectives, can be constructed such that the accuracy of the overall proposition is provable (and in this case, evident). Which leaves you with nothing to do but wave your hands and demonstrate (again) your unfamiliarity with formal logic, by bleating. “tautology”, as if this were some kind of meaningful rebuttal.

                      Your vociferate spouting is contradicted by what others can perceive for themselves, again relegating you to the midden of muddled metaphysical mumbo-jumbo.

                      As far as philosophy is concerned, I simply passed on the joyous news, first introduced by Wittgenstein, upon which many others have propounded, that philosophy, is indubitably as dead as the god thingies addressed by Nietzsche. As with all your other foot-stamping, arm-waving performance art, you have utterly failed to support your objections. You are so reliable at this that I have no expectation you will ever change.

                    • I think, therefore, I am.
                      Now that is a meaningful statement distinguished from your nonsense.

                      Philosophy is the study of meanings. To say that it is dead (something you probably misinterpreted) is to say that there is no meaning. How sad.

                    • What strange punctuation!

                      ‘Cogito ergo sum’ is the proper quote from Descartes. ‘Faceo ergo sum’ would have made more sense.

                      Although some philosophers have considered ‘thinking’ to be an action, nevertheless, any cabbage could sit in the corner cogitating without doing anything to confirm that he/she exists in the world in any meaningful way.

                    • Do you realize, old man, that you have proffered absolutely nothing intelligent to any conversation that I have seen?
                      What a bunch of do-do.

                    • P.S. All the above are tautologies, and vastly superior to “I think, therefore, I am”, which includes unstated assumptions.

                    • I think you will find that most philosophers will continue to regard Wittgenstein as more significant and infinitely smarter than yourself, no matter how passionately you attempt to defend their long deceased field.

                    • Again, I think that you have indeed misinterpreted Wittgenstein and philosophy.
                      Perhaps you should head Wittgenstein’s rebuke about ” the temptation to think of God’s existence as a matter of scientific evidence.”

                      What baffles me, hermit, is your zeal for ridicule and mockery about things you do not understand.

                    • You appear to have nothing to say – but keep on saying it.
                      By all means get back to me if you ever have anything interesting, evidence supported and rational to offer.
                      Your childish garbage is further evidence of your ignorance and gullibility.

                • Your ignorance is only exceeded by your arrogance, Ed.

                  Your pathetic assumptions remain debunked bunkum.

                  • It is you who is ignorant because you ignore the evidence before your eyes.
                    How strange for you to claim that any of it has been “debunked” since eternal life is yet to come.
                    Our hope is the eternal life yet to come. What is definite is death. Since you are so sure of and have settled for death means you are the arrogant one. We shall see, won’t we.