Wednesday, January 23, 2008

The Gazette On the Court Hearing

In this town, you have to say the Washington Post is the big paper. It's more than a local paper, with DC being the center of the federal government, stuff that happens here affects the whole country. For some reason, the Washington Times, the conservative paper owned by the Unification Church, also has a large circulation. And then, in our area, the third paper is The Gazette. It appears in your driveway whether you ask for it or not, and most people do pick it up and read it because it has thorough local news, accurately reported. You really find out about the things that are going on in your neighborhood, in your town, and they actually pay some attention, where the bigger papers sometimes will send somebody out without really looking into what's going on.

We saw Marcus Moore from The Gazette at the hearing last week; he sat in the row in front of us. We still think of him as the "new guy" over there, but he's been on the beat for a year, at least. His story about the hearing is very good:
The fight over what is right or wrong to teach teenagers about homosexuality, which has lasted years, played out before Judge William J. Rowan III in a Rockville courtroom last week.

The groups — Citizens for a Responsible Curriculum, Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays and Gays, and Family Leader Network — argue that it is illegal to teach students that homosexuality is innate. After a battery of curriculum changes, which included the overhaul of a condom use video, the critics say that the lesson plans still teach alternative forms of sex to students.

School system officials contend that they have done everything possible to make sure the lessons were balanced, and that the opponents want to rewrite the curriculum. In addition to the video, the lesson plans include two 45-minute sessions in eighth and 10th grade on sexual orientation.

The groups filed an appeal with the state school board in February to have the lesson plans thrown out before they could be taught. In July, the state board sided with the county board, saying that the sex-education curriculum does not violate state law.

While there may be some disagreement on how homosexuality and ‘‘transgender issues” are taught in the classrooms, the board wrote in its opinion, it would not ‘‘second guess the appropriateness of the local board’s decision governing curriculum, unless ... that decision is illegal.” Judge deliberating sex-ed dispute

If you've been following this story you will want to click on the link and read this. As usual, The Gazette has good, thorough coverage.

The article takes an interesting tangent in the middle, I'm glad he included this:
Not all religious groups oppose the lessons.

In November, 63 members of the Rockville United Church signed a petition and sent a letter to the county school board to support the sex-education curriculum.

‘‘We don’t believe that homosexuality is a sin per se,” Paul H. Verduin, chairman of the church’s Church in Society Committee, told The Gazette in November. ‘‘We encourage people to follow their inner personality, their inner makeup. We don’t think that homosexuals should be made by our society to think something is wrong with them.”

Hey, that's cool, that church is right here in my neighborhood. I go to their rummage sales every year, I've found some good junk there.

41 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

But you won't be going to services, right, Jim?

Churches like that who don't have biblical views don't have much in the way of attendance and participation because people who share their views don't generally find such involvement important. They are declining and have been for a long time.

January 23, 2008 9:21 PM  
Anonymous Mr. Teacher Man said...

And is your wisdom, Anon... Declining quickly! Just like the public's trust in extreme right-winged groups like CRC and CRW(wierdos).

January 23, 2008 9:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Witty comeback, TM. Against your hopes, however, the truth is unobscured.

January 23, 2008 9:33 PM  
Anonymous Mr. Teacher Man said...

The truth is just that; the truth.

I am happy with that :-).

See, unlike you, I love my neighbor.

January 23, 2008 9:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Andrea- not anon
Yes, true religion is found in mega churches led by the likes of Ted Haggard.

January 23, 2008 9:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I guess we can assume, Anonymous, that you have attended services at the Rockville United Church and are thus in a position to judge the congregation's "biblical views". I doubt it, however. You take your usual position of attacking anybody or any group that does not parrot your narrow, bigoted, intolerant, and unChristian views. If anything is in decline, it is your pathetic hatred of anybody who is different from you. You win no friends or allies here and your views are rejected by the majority of Montgomery County's educated citizens. How sad you are!
RT

January 23, 2008 10:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jim, what planet are you living on ? They mention that a tiny little church in Rockville approves of the lessons, DON"T MENTION that the Catholic Church (the Archdiocese of Wahsington with 45 churches and I don't know, probably 30,000 members at least) distributed a circular calling the lessons immoral, and you think that's balanced...
You amaze me buddy.

The Gazette as usual was one sided.
No surprise there.

January 23, 2008 11:49 PM  
Blogger JimK said...

Anon, a couple of months ago I had a long talk with the person at the archdiocese who published that flyer. The Catholic Church is opposed to the use of condoms, period. That's always been their position. From their point of view, the curriculum is immoral because of that. The gay thing didn't bother him or concern him in the least.

The man I talked to is a couple of steps down from the archbishop. He was embarrassed about the idea that the Church's statement was being used by bigots to promote their point of view.

JimK

January 24, 2008 6:55 AM  
Anonymous Robert said...

I think the Catholic church distributing a circular putting down gay people is immoral in itself, and inciteful of discrimination.

rrjr

January 24, 2008 7:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The WT does not have a large circulation compared to its power and influence. I think it recently dropped out of the top 100 papers in circulation.

Moon created the paper to push our nation hard right which in turn makes for fertile political ground for his beloved theocrats. Something a lot of people are not aware of is that Moon has outspent anyone funding, propping up, and molding the right wing horror we see today. Moon literally brags about using the paper to influence our politics. Moon has bragged that he used the paper to "influence America along with [his] other activities." Moon has also said on different occasions that he created the paper for his followers to use to influence our nation. Moon told the first president of the paper that he created it "to protect Reagan."

Probably the biggest fraud ever perpetrated on our country is the idea that the WT is not an integral part of Moon's plan to subdue the planet or somehow is "independent" of Moon. He was quoted in US News and World Report on March 27, 1989 as saying his goal was "the natural subjugation of the American government and population." They go on to report that by 1989 virtually every conservative organization in DC had ties to his organization.

Our country knows so little about Moon, his plans and what he is and has been doing behind the scenes to shove our politics into this gutter, it is frightening. Moon rightfully should be called the “True Father of Today’s Conservatism” and Coulter and Rush should get on their knees before him. 3 Billion on the WT alone.

No time for all the details but here are couple of quotes from the very conservative first editor of the WT.


go to this link for a short video in which Moon's top agent at the time will tell you “what the third world war is all about.”

Here’s an excerpt from that FRONTLINE in 1992:
Narrator: James Whelan was the editor and publisher of a Moon-financed newspaper, the Washington Times.
Whelan: "Probably more on influence and the obtaining of influence, of power, than of any organization I know of in this country, and that includes the AFL-CIO, that includes the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, that includes General Motors, that includes anybody."


I suggest you watch this video featuring three former Moon media editors.

Here is quote from Whelan in the video. This IS what happened to our nation over the last 30 years but people do not see, YET!!

Whelan: "They (the Moonies) are subverting our political system. They're doing it through front organizations--most of them disguised--and through their funding of independent organizations--through the placement of volunteers in the inner sanctums of hard-pressed organizations. In every instance--in every instance--those who attend their conferences, those who accept their money or their volunteers, delude themselves that there is no loss of virtue because the Moonies have not proselytized. That misses the central, crucial point: the Moonies are a political movement in religious clothing. Moon seeks power, not the salvation of souls. To achieve that, he needs religious fanatics as his palace guard and shock troops. But more importantly, he needs secular conscripts--seduced by money, free trips, free services, seemingly endless bounty and booty--in order to give him respectability and, with it, that image of influence which translates as power."

Moon is an authoritarian, theocratic homophobe. He has made conservatism into his image. Now for the kicker, he has moved onto the planet for his main dish. The Universal Peace Federation is the culmination of his grand plan. The leaders of his "church" carry the title of "Chairman" of that organization. He has put all of his front groups at its service. Keep an eye on the UPF and you will watch the world as he swallows it under the guise of bringing "peace."

January 24, 2008 1:07 PM  
Blogger Randi Schimnosky said...

Red Baron said "Churches like that who don't have biblical views".

We've seen your laughable idea of a "biblical" view - their's are just as biblical as yours.

Red Baron said "and don't have much in the way of attendance and participation because people who share their views don't generally find such involvement important. They are declining and have been for a long time.".

All Christian churches are declining, this isn't a phenomena restricted solely to pro-gay churchs. Atheism has grown 100-fold since 1900, as people get more and more educated and global prosperity grows religion declines, Christianity in particular.

January 24, 2008 1:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"We've seen your laughable idea of a "biblical" view - their's are just as biblical as yours."

Laugh it up, funny face. My biblical view is the traditional one that is booming around the globe.

"All Christian churches are declining, this isn't a phenomena restricted solely to pro-gay churchs. Atheism has grown 100-fold since 1900, as people get more and more educated and global prosperity grows religion declines, Christianity in particular."

You are sadly deluded. They are probably more atheists now than 1900 but between 1-2 billion people were forced into abandoning churches and embracing atheism in the 20th century in the name of wiping out the idea of God by murderous Communist regimes. Hundreds of millions of Christians and other religious people were murdered by these regimes. Still, those who actually have concluded, irrationally, that there is no God are a tiny sliver of the world population. Always will be.

Many who say they believe this irrational view are actually people who have some bad experience with either their family or some bad member of the clergy and are trying to hurt these people by attacking God. Unfortunately, they hurt themselves more.

Contrary to popular belief being circulated in the media, authentic Christianity is growing faster than any other religious belief system including Islam. Not only that, it is the only major religion that is winning converts rather than expanding primarily by inheritance and is the only religion that is a major factor on every inhabited continent in the world. Ask any educated expert about the prospects for the atheist religion and you'll get a hearty laugh.

You can find this amply explained and referenced in a book by Philip Jenkins, Distinguished Professor of History at Pennsylvania State University, called "The New Christendom: The Rise of Global Christianity."

Expand your horizons, Randi.

January 24, 2008 1:46 PM  
Blogger Randi Schimnosky said...

http://richarddawkins.net/articleComments,956,Why-the-Gods-Are-Not-Winning,Edge-Gregory-Paul-amp-Phil-Zuckerman,page1#36316

Red Baron said "between 1-2 billion people were forced into abandoning churches and embracing atheism in the 20th century"

Nonsense. No one can be forced to believe something they don't want to. People may have been forced to deny that they were Christians, but it most certainly is impossible to force anyone to embrace any belief they don't want to. No one's persecuting religious Russians now, yet 3/4 of the population remains atheist.


Red Baron said "those who actually have concluded, irrationally, that there is no God are a tiny sliver of the world population.".

You're deluded - take a look at the facts for once - I know you are afraid of them:

http://richarddawkins.net/articleComments,956,Why-the-Gods-Are-Not-Winning,Edge-Gregory-Paul-amp-Phil-Zuckerman,page1#36316

The number of nonreligionists…. throughout the 20th century has skyrocketed from 3.2 million in 1900, to 697 million in 1970, and on to 918 million in AD 2000…. Equally startling has been the meteoritic growth of secularism…. Two immense systems have emerged at the expense of the world's religions: agnosticism…. and atheism…. From a miniscule presence in 1900, a mere 0.2% of the globe, these systems…. are today expanding at the extraordinary rate of 8.5 million new converts each year, and are likely to reach one billion adherents soon. Christianity on the other hand has declined from well over 1/3 of the world's population in 1900 to less than 1/3 of it today.

The rational view is that we don't believe things without evidence and there is no evidence for the supernatural, never has been and never will be. That's why non-belief in gods is strongly correlated with higher education.

As to your book, fundamentalist Christians are well versed liars. They start with the conclusion they want and then work backwards to make the "evidence" fit the conclusion - the exact antithesis of science, logic, rationality, and truth.

January 24, 2008 2:23 PM  
Blogger Randi Schimnosky said...

A decade and a half of sampling finds conservative (thought to be about two thirds to four fifths of the total of) evangelicals and born-agains consistently stuck between a quarter and a third of the population. The majority that considers religion very important in their lives dropped from over two thirds in the 1960s to a bare majority in 1970s and 1980s, and appeared to edge up in the Clinton era. But instead of rising post 9/11 as many predicted, it is slipping again.

Those who feel the opposite about religion doubled between the 1960s and 1970s, have been fairly stable since then, but have been edging up in recent years. American opinion on the issue of human evolution from animals has been rock steady, about half agreeing, about half disagreeing, for a quarter century. What has changed is how people view the Bible. In the 1970s nearly four in ten took the testaments literally, just a little over one in ten thought it was a mixture of history, fables, and legends, a three to one ratio in favor of the Biblical view. Since then a persistent trend has seen literalism decline to between a quarter and a third of the population, and skeptics have doubled to nearly one in five. If the trend continues the fableists will equal and then surpass the literalists in a couple of decades.

Even the megachurch phenomenon is illusory. A spiritual cross of sports stadiums with theme parks, hi-tech churches are a desperate effort to pull in and satisfy a mass-media jaded audience for whom the old sit in the pews and listen to the standard sermon and sing some old time hymns does not cut it anymore. Rather than boosting church membership, megachurches are merely consolidating it.

From a high of three quarters of the population in the 1930s to 1960s, a gradual, persistent decline has set in, leaving some clerics distressed at the growing abandonment of small churches as the big ones gobble up what is left of the rest. Weekly religious service attendance rose only briefly in the months after 9/11—evidence that the event failed to stem national secularization – and then lost ground as the Catholic sex scandal damaged church credibility. As few as one in four or five Americans are actually in church on a typical Sunday, only a few percent of them in megachurches.

January 24, 2008 2:34 PM  
Anonymous Emproph said...

Anonymous said...
Randi: "We've seen your laughable idea of a "biblical" view - their's are just as biblical as yours."
--
Anonymous: Laugh it up, funny face. My biblical view is the traditional one that is booming around the globe.

"All Christian churches are declining, this isn't a phenomena restricted solely to pro-gay churchs. Atheism has grown 100-fold since 1900, as people get more and more educated and global prosperity grows religion declines, Christianity in particular."

You are sadly deluded. They are probably more atheists now than 1900 ... but those who actually have concluded, irrationally, that there is no God are a tiny sliver of the world population. Always will be.

Many who say they believe this irrational view are … are trying to hurt these people by attacking God. Unfortunately, they hurt themselves more.

Contrary to popular belief being circulated in the media, authentic Christianity is growing faster than any other religious belief system … Ask any educated expert about the prospects for the atheist religion and you'll get a hearty laugh.

You can find this amply explained and referenced in a book by Philip Jenkins, Distinguished Professor of History at Pennsylvania State University, called "The New Christendom: The Rise of Global Christianity."

Expand your horizons, Randi.

--
Yes, let’s consider those “Christian” horizons…

Paraphrased:

1) Laugh it up, funny face.
2) My view is booming around the globe.
3) You are sadly deluded.
4) those who concluded no God = tiny sliver of the world.
6) Always will be.
7) irrational view
8) trying to hurt these people
9) authentic Christianity = growing faster
10) atheist religion = hearty laugh.
11) The Rise of Global Christianity

Thank you Anonymous for your...anonymous contribution.

Now, by show of hands, how many of you feel that those eleven examples are indicative of a God who loves every single one of us unconditionally?

January 25, 2008 10:21 AM  
Anonymous David Weintraub said...

There is obviously an emerging movement of authentic Christianity, which predictably gives the "special rights for straight, non-trans people" crowd apoplexy. Check out some of the precious comments on this article about Donald Miller:

http://www.cnn.com/2008/LIVING/wayoflife/01/24/best.selling.christian.ap/index.html

January 25, 2008 1:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Red Baron said "between 1-2 billion people were forced into abandoning churches and embracing atheism in the 20th century"

Wrong Randi said: "Nonsense. No one can be forced to believe something they don't want to. People may have been forced to deny that they were Christians, but it most certainly is impossible to force anyone to embrace any belief they don't want to. No one's persecuting religious Russians now, yet 3/4 of the population remains atheist."

Quite ignorant, Randi. Few people who survived Stalin and Mao are still around. The best religious leaders were murdered. The remainder were forced to raise their kids as atheists. That could have an effect on the numbers.

Red Baron said "those who actually have concluded, irrationally, that there is no God are a tiny sliver of the world population.".

Wrong Randi said: "You're deluded - take a look at the facts for once - I know you are afraid of them:

http://richarddawkins.net/articleComments,956,Why-the-Gods-Are-Not-Winning,Edge-Gregory-Paul-amp-Phil-Zuckerman,page1#36316

The number of nonreligionists…. throughout the 20th century has skyrocketed from 3.2 million in 1900, to 697 million in 1970, and on to 918 million in AD 2000…. Equally startling has been the meteoritic growth of secularism…. Two immense systems have emerged at the expense of the world's religions: agnosticism…. and atheism…. From a miniscule presence in 1900, a mere 0.2% of the globe, these systems…. are today expanding at the extraordinary rate of 8.5 million new converts each year, and are likely to reach one billion adherents soon. Christianity on the other hand has declined from well over 1/3 of the world's population in 1900 to less than 1/3of it today."

You really need to expand your base of knowledge beyond the links on Dawkins' website.

Also, we all noted that you refer to non-religionists rather than atheists. We were talking about the growing realization that atheism is irrational. Few non-religionists are atheists.

"The rational view is that we don't believe things without evidence and there is no evidence for the supernatural, never has been and never will be. That's why non-belief in gods is strongly correlated with higher education."

Actually, you have no evidence that the supernatural doesn't exist. As Kant rightly argued in the eighteenth century, the assumption that nothing exists beyond those things that we are equipped to perceive is not only irrational but likely untrue. The materialist view you take such comfort in is based on the fallacy that nothing can exist unless we can perceive it with our five senses. There may at least be an argument for some level of agnosticism but atheism is generally based on an emotional response to some type of negative experience.

Furthermore, science has now established that the universe we see had a beginning and so was caused by something outside the universe, something supernatural.

Furthermore, as physicists now agree, our universe is held together by fine-tuned forces which appear to have been designed, leading the most rational to conclude that a God does indeed exist.

We could go further and discuss the evidence that narrows the candidates to the Judeo-Chrsitian God but that's another conversation.

"As to your book, fundamentalist Christians are well versed liars. They start with the conclusion they want and then work backwards to make the "evidence" fit the conclusion - the exact antithesis of science, logic, rationality, and truth."

An outrageous slander on Philip Jenkins. He is not a fundamentalist. He began his career at Cambridge in England and is now a Distinguished Professor of History at Penn State. The book I cited documenting the explosion of Christianity in Southern and Eastern Hemispheres won awards and was published by Oxford Press. He has taught short course at many esteemed instituions, including Harvard. He has also published widely, including articles within the last year in The New Republic and Atlantic Monthly, a couple of magazines generally regarded as having a liberal slant. He is a Catholic whose books are are critical of Northern Hemisphere Christianity.

His book is amply referenced. You might want to check it out before you slander the reputation of a highly regarded scholar.

The following is a rant which you didn't reference so I'll ignore until you do so:

"January 24, 2008 2:23 PM
Randi Schimnosky said...
A decade and a half of sampling finds conservative (thought to be about two thirds to four fifths of the total of) evangelicals and born-agains consistently stuck between a quarter and a third of the population. The majority that considers religion very important in their lives dropped from over two thirds in the 1960s to a bare majority in 1970s and 1980s, and appeared to edge up in the Clinton era. But instead of rising post 9/11 as many predicted, it is slipping again.

Those who feel the opposite about religion doubled between the 1960s and 1970s, have been fairly stable since then, but have been edging up in recent years. American opinion on the issue of human evolution from animals has been rock steady, about half agreeing, about half disagreeing, for a quarter century. What has changed is how people view the Bible. In the 1970s nearly four in ten took the testaments literally, just a little over one in ten thought it was a mixture of history, fables, and legends, a three to one ratio in favor of the Biblical view. Since then a persistent trend has seen literalism decline to between a quarter and a third of the population, and skeptics have doubled to nearly one in five. If the trend continues the fableists will equal and then surpass the literalists in a couple of decades.

Even the megachurch phenomenon is illusory. A spiritual cross of sports stadiums with theme parks, hi-tech churches are a desperate effort to pull in and satisfy a mass-media jaded audience for whom the old sit in the pews and listen to the standard sermon and sing some old time hymns does not cut it anymore. Rather than boosting church membership, megachurches are merely consolidating it.

From a high of three quarters of the population in the 1930s to 1960s, a gradual, persistent decline has set in, leaving some clerics distressed at the growing abandonment of small churches as the big ones gobble up what is left of the rest. Weekly religious service attendance rose only briefly in the months after 9/11—evidence that the event failed to stem national secularization – and then lost ground as the Catholic sex scandal damaged church credibility. As few as one in four or five Americans are actually in church on a typical Sunday, only a few percent of them in megachurches."

January 25, 2008 2:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There's been a repudiation of the long-held notion that science is the source of all of life’s answers, adds Huston Smith, Syracuse University professor emeritus of religion and author of the 2.5 million-copy-selling The World’s Religions: Our Great Wisdom Traditions(HarperSanFrancisco, 1991).

“Belief in an afterlife has risen in the last 50 years,” he says. “Serious thinkers are beginning to see through the mistake modernity made in thinking that science is the oracle of truth.”

January 25, 2008 3:51 PM  
Blogger Randi Schimnosky said...

Red Baron said "Quite ignorant, Randi. Few people who survived Stalin and Mao are still around. The best religious leaders were murdered. The remainder were forced to raise their kids as atheists.".

By that rationale your argument that people are only atheist because they were forced to be is irrelevant - all those people are dead and no one now alive who is an atheist was discouraged from being a christian instead. You've defeated your own argument. Your suggestion that people raised their kids as atheists and that this is the reason they are atheists contradicts your lie that Christianity has achieved mass conversions - clearly not.

Red Baron said "Also, we all noted that you refer to non-religionists rather than atheists. We were talking about the growing realization that atheism is irrational.".

Atheism has never been more popular, the number of converts grows at 8.5 million per year, atheism has grown 100-fold since the 1900's the thought that there's a "growing realization that atheism is irrational" is hilariously wishfull thinking on your part.

Red baron said "Few non-religionists are atheists."

Perhaps as many as 1/2 of non-believers prefer not to use the atheist label because they find it too antagonistic, but these people are in no sense theists - they would all agree they are non-believers.


Red Baron said "Actually, you have no evidence that the supernatural doesn't exist.".

You're the one making the claim that something out of the ordinary exists, you're the one obligated to prove it. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence and you have none. There's never been any evidence of the supernatural and one by one things we once presumed out of ignorance had supernatural causes (the weather, disease, the movement of the planets) we've found to have every day causes. You have no evidence that the tooth fairy or leprechauns don't exist - do you want to argue that this proves those are just as likely to exist as not? I didn't think so.

Red baron said "The materialist view you take such comfort in is based on the fallacy that nothing can exist unless we can perceive it with our five senses."

Straw man - I never said any such thing and I don't believe it. The idea that a "god" can interact with, create, and influence the world and yet leave no evidence of such is totally bankrupt.

Red Baron said "science has now established that the universe we see had a beginning and so was caused by something outside the universe, something supernatural.".

LOL, you're a joke. Science has established no such thing - show us the proof. The idea that the universe had a beginning is merely a theory - there is no definitive proof of this. The fact of evolution is far, far more supported with evidence than such speculation.

Red Baron said "Furthermore, as physicists now agree, our universe is held together by fine-tuned forces which appear to have been designed, leading the most rational to conclude that a God does indeed exist.".

There is no agreement on this. There is nothing saying that universal forces are fine-tuned, it may be that these forces couldn't be anything other than what they are - we simply don't know. The existence of billions of stars, galaxies and planets other than the earth - a galaxy mostly of garbage as far as our existence is concerned is proof that the unviverse most certainly wasn't designed - if it was such non-essentials wouldn't be there. By the same token the fact that most DNA is junk proves that DNA most certainly wasn't intelligently designed - this is clear evidence of bottom up tinkering by random processes, not top down design.

The most rational have concluded that "god" does not exist. 93% of the members of the academy of sciences don't believe in a god. The higher a person's education level - the more rational they are, the less likely they are to believe in gods.


Red Baron said "We could go further and discuss the evidence that narrows the candidates to the Judeo-Chrsitian God but that's another conversation.".

There's no such evidence, and considerable evidence to prove that the Christian god is a myth:

http://www.godvsthebible.com/

Fatal Flaw #2: How Can the Bible Be the Word of Our Creator When It Has Such a Poor Understanding of the Cosmos?

Forget about evolution. The Bible makes many ridiculous assertions about the nature of the cosmos that can be debunked by the most remedial of scientific knowledge. You don't need a doctorate in astronomy to understand how scripture is wrong about the universe. This chapter lists the seven ways that the Bible is wrong about Creation, from its assertion that the sun revolves around the earth to its idea that you can get to heaven by building a really tall tower.

Chapter 3 Sections: Introduction / The Bible Says the Sun Revolves Around the Earth / The Bible Says the Moon is a Source of Light / The Bible Says the Sky is a Dome / The Bible Says the Stars are Little Lights Fixed in the Sky-Dome / The Bible Says the Earth is Small, Flat and Supported by Pillars / The Bible Says the Universe was Created in Six Days / The Bible Says You Can Get to Heaven by Building a Really Tall Tower /


Red Baron said "An outrageous slander on Philip Jenkins. He is not a fundamentalist. He began his career at Cambridge in England and is now a Distinguished Professor of History at Penn State. The book I cited documenting the explosion of Christianity in Southern and Eastern Hemispheres."


LOL, he most certainly is a fundamentalist. He starts with the conclusion that his bible must be true and that his religion must be the biggest and he works backwards from there to fabricate a story to support his prejudice. You've pointed that out yourself - he documents the "explosion" of Christianity in the southern and eastern hemsipheres while ignoring the implosion of it in the northern and western hemispheres - he's got his blinders on, he refuses to see any evidence that contradicts his pre-chosen conclusion and vastly overblows the "evidence" that he thinks supports it. Science is based upon looking at the evidence and deciding which conclusions this leads to. Religion is based upon choosing the conclusions you want first and filtering out evidence that doesn't fit the conclusion while overblowing that that might. Religion is the antithesis of science.

The fact is that the percentage of the population of the planet that is Christian declined from over 1/3 of the planet in 1900 to less than 1/3 of the planet today.

It is a well known fact that Islam is the fastest growing religion.

http://www.cnn.com/WORLD/9704/14/egypt.islam/


You're in a state of panic over this because you can't accept reality. Atheists (non-believers if you prefer) are the fastest growing group of people on the planet. Its no coincidence that this is occurring during the time of unprecidented education of the masses.

January 25, 2008 4:08 PM  
Blogger Randi Schimnosky said...

Red Baron said "“Belief in an afterlife has risen in the last 50 years,” he says. “Serious thinkers are beginning to see through the mistake modernity made in thinking that science is the oracle of truth.”".

Directly contradicted by the facts

http://richarddawkins.net/articleComments,956,Why-the-Gods-Are-Not-Winning,Edge-Gregory-Paul-amp-Phil-Zuckerman,page1#36316

At least its nice to see you admit that religion is at war with science.

January 25, 2008 4:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Directly contradicted by the facts"

As according to the gospel of Dawkins.net.

He's wrong. Like you he's carefully squirreled away the stats he likes. They contradict the facts.

"At least its nice to see you admit that religion is at war with science."

This is a tension created in recent years. Science, as we know it today, would not exist without Christianity.

January 25, 2008 6:32 PM  
Blogger Randi Schimnosky said...

Red Baron said "As according to the gospel of Dawkins.net.".

As I've told you before this had nothing to do with Dawkins, it was written by Gregory Paul & Phil Zuckerman. Take off your blinders for a second and face reality.

Red Baron said "Science, as we know it today, would not exist without Christianity.".

That couldn't be farther from the truth. At virtually every step along the way organized religion has fought science tooth and nail. From the Christian burning of the incomparable and irreplaceable library of Alexandrea to the persecution of Galileo to the lies told today about Evolution religion has been the very antithesis of science. Science most assuredly would be much further along were it not for the malicious interference of the superstition based Christianity.

January 25, 2008 6:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"By that rationale your argument that people are only atheist because they were forced to be is irrelevant - all those people are dead and no one now alive who is an atheist was discouraged from being a christian instead. You've defeated your own argument. Your suggestion that people raised their kids as atheists and that this is the reason they are atheists contradicts your lie that Christianity has achieved mass conversions - clearly not."

Actually, Christianity has grown exponentially in Russia and China in the last twenty-five years. It's a phenomena of mass conversions. Comparing it to 1900 is misleading. Alot of atheists have killed alot of people in the name of atheism since then.

"Atheism has never been more popular, the number of converts grows at 8.5 million per year, atheism has grown 100-fold since the 1900's the thought that there's a "growing realization that atheism is irrational" is hilariously wishfull thinking on your part.

Perhaps as many as 1/2 of non-believers prefer not to use the atheist label because they find it too antagonistic, but these people are in no sense theists - they would all agree they are non-believers."

This is a lie atheists tell themselves. Agnostics don't avoid the atheist label because its antagonistic. It's because its irrational.

"You're the one making the claim that something out of the ordinary exists, you're the one obligated to prove it."

No you're an atheist. You claim that something out of the ordinary doesn't exist. You have no proof of that.

"Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence and you have none."

The discovery that the universe had a beginning proves that something else exist. That it was designed in such a precise way proves it was an intelligence.

"There's never been any evidence of the supernatural and one by one things we once presumed out of ignorance had supernatural causes (the weather, disease, the movement of the planets) we've found to have every day causes."

This is a canard concocted by the modern atheist idiots. Understanding natural causes doesn't prove there isn't an underlying sovereign deity at work. No one ever thought it did.

"You have no evidence that the tooth fairy or leprechauns don't exist - do you want to argue that this proves those are just as likely to exist as not?"

No, because their is no evidence of their existence. God performed miracles which were witnessed and recorded and clearly influences history to this day.

"Anon said "The materialist view you take such comfort in is based on the fallacy that nothing can exist unless we can perceive it with our five senses."

Straw man - I never said any such thing and I don't believe it."

You've often said this.

"The idea that a "god" can interact with, create, and influence the world and yet leave no evidence of such is totally bankrupt."

The evidence is abundant. You refuse to accept it.

"Anon said "science has now established that the universe we see had a beginning and so was caused by something outside the universe, something supernatural.".

LOL, you're a joke. Science has established no such thing - show us the proof. The idea that the universe had a beginning is merely a theory - there is no definitive proof of this. The fact of evolution is far, far more supported with evidence than such speculation."

Oh, evolution has some evidence but its greatly overstated. Evidence of the Big Bang is much stronger. Scientists can measure galaxies flying away from each other at astonishing speed and they have detected the background radiation left over from ythe explosion. Scientists resisted this evidence for years because they knew it proofed the existence of God but they've come around. Apparently, news like this takes decades to filter to the outer provinces of countries in the Great North.

"Red Baron said "Furthermore, as physicists now agree, our universe is held together by fine-tuned forces which appear to have been designed, leading the most rational to conclude that a God does indeed exist.".

There is no agreement on this. There is nothing saying that universal forces are fine-tuned, it may be that these forces couldn't be anything other than what they are - we simply don't know."

There is indeed agreement on this. "We don't simply know" much- that is true. But we know this as well as anything. Read Martin Rees latest book on the great fundamental forces holding the universe together. (he's not a Christian). Neither is the guy who developed the anthropic principle forty years. Google it and follow a few links in the references. You might get an education.

"The existence of billions of stars, galaxies and planets other than the earth - a galaxy mostly of garbage as far as our existence is concerned is proof that the unviverse most certainly wasn't designed - if it was such non-essentials wouldn't be there."

Actually, I don't quite understand it but these secular proponents of the anthropic principle say the amount of matter in the universe is perfectly calibrated to maintain the possibility of life.

"By the same token the fact that most DNA is junk proves that DNA most certainly wasn't intelligently designed - this is clear evidence of bottom up tinkering by random processes, not top down design."

Ignorant. If DNA was the result of random forces, there would likely be many different kinds rather than the double twenty-three that appears to have always been prevalent. And the fact that we discovered the function of some parts, suggests the other parts have a purpose too.


"Red Baron said "We could go further and discuss the evidence that narrows the candidates to the Judeo-Chrsitian God but that's another conversation.".

There's no such evidence, and considerable evidence to prove that the Christian god is a myth:

seven ways that the Bible is wrong about Creation,:

The Bible Says the Sun Revolves Around the Earth / The Bible Says the Moon is a Source of Light / The Bible Says the Sky is a Dome / The Bible Says the Stars are Little Lights Fixed in the Sky-Dome / The Bible Says the Earth is Small, Flat and Supported by Pillars / The Bible Says the Universe was Created in Six Days / The Bible Says You Can Get to Heaven by Building a Really Tall Tower /"

All figures of speech except the six days and they were always seen that way. Read Augustine, from the early 1st millenium: he didn't think the Earth was created in six days. The church at Galileo's time had a vigorous debate about helio-centrism. The pope at the time actually favored Galileo's beliefs.

It's just like now when the weatherman talks about the sun rising, he doesn't really think that's what's happening.

"Red Baron said "An outrageous slander on Philip Jenkins. He is not a fundamentalist. He began his career at Cambridge in England and is now a Distinguished Professor of History at Penn State. The book I cited documenting the explosion of Christianity in Southern and Eastern Hemispheres."

LOL, he most certainly is a fundamentalist."

No, he isn't.

"He starts with the conclusion that his bible must be true and that his religion must be the biggest and he works backwards from there to fabricate a story to support his prejudice."

That's not the point of his book. He says a type of Christianity resembling first century Christianity is spreading in the Southern Hemisphere by massive conversion. He nowhere argue for his beliefs. Try to find out what you're talking about before you slander.

"You've pointed that out yourself - he documents the "explosion" of Christianity in the southern and eastern hemsipheres while ignoring the implosion of it in the northern and western hemispheres - he's got his blinders on,"

No, I didn't point that out and it's not accurate. You obviously haven't read the book or even heard of it.

"he refuses to see any evidence that contradicts his pre-chosen conclusion and vastly overblows the "evidence" that he thinks supports it."

It's not a science book.

"Science is based upon looking at the evidence and deciding which conclusions this leads to."
Religion is based upon choosing the conclusions you want first and filtering out evidence that doesn't fit the conclusion while overblowing that that might. Religion is the antithesis of science."

Tomorrow I will discuss this misrepresentation.

"The fact is that the percentage of the population of the planet that is Christian declined from over 1/3 of the planet in 1900 to less than 1/3 of the planet today.

It is a well known fact that Islam is the fastest growing religion.

http://www.cnn.com/WORLD/9704/14/egypt.islam/"

Wrong.

"You're in a state of panic over this because you can't accept reality."

So, why am I in a panic? How does the inability to accept your fantasy cause panic?

"Atheists (non-believers if you prefer) are the fastest growing group of people on the planet. Its no coincidence that this is occurring during the time of unprecidented education of the masses."

Atheism's noon was around the middle of the 20th century. It's twilight is now.

January 25, 2008 7:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"As I've told you before this had nothing to do with Dawkins, it was written by Gregory Paul & Phil Zuckerman. Take off your blinders for a second and face reality."

Linked from Dawkins' website.

"Red Baron said "Science, as we know it today, would not exist without Christianity.".

That couldn't be farther from the truth. At virtually every step along the way organized religion has fought science tooth and nail. From the Christian burning of the incomparable and irreplaceable library of Alexandrea to the persecution of Galileo to the lies told today about Evolution religion has been the very antithesis of science. Science most assuredly would be much further along were it not for the malicious interference of the superstition based Christianity."

So sad. Will discuss tomorrow, you demented fool.

January 25, 2008 7:29 PM  
Blogger Randi Schimnosky said...

Dawkins just linked to it you moron, he had nothing to do with its writing.

January 25, 2008 8:03 PM  
Blogger Randi Schimnosky said...

Red baron said "Christianity has grown exponentially in Russia and China in the last twenty-five years.".

No, with the fall of the Soviet Union a lot of Christians in the closet are now able to be open about it. Its just like polls have shown that there "are" four times as many gays as there were 10 years ago - the number of gays hasn't grown, just those willing to admit it has. The vast majority of people in russia, 75% are atheists.

Red Baron said "Alot of atheists have killed alot of people in the name of atheism since then.".

Red Baron said "Agnostics don't avoid the atheist label because its antagonistic. It's because its irrational.".

Red Baron said "You claim that something out of the ordinary doesn't exist. You have no proof of that.".

Of course I have proof. The thousands, if not millions of attempts to find the supernatural are in effect a scientific experiment. The god hypothesis has been falsified thousands or millions of times. You're the one making the extraordinary claim, its up to you to provide proof for it. If someone tells you leprechauns exist are you doing to insist that's reasonable because you have no proof they don't or are you going to say the onus is on them to prove they exist? That's what I thought.

Wrong. Its irrational to believe in something without evidence. Atheism and agnosticism are rational, theism is irrational.

No one has ever killed anyone "in the name of atheism". However Millions of people have been killed in the name of god.
Red Baron said "The discovery that the universe had a beginning proves that something else exist. That it was designed in such a precise way proves it was an intelligence.".

Its far from a certainty that the universe had a beginning, and even if it did this in no way proves a god. There is no proof the universe was designed and the existence of billions of stars, planets and galaxies that are just so much extraneous junk as far as humans are concerned proves it wasn't designed.

Red Baron said "Understanding natural causes doesn't prove there isn't an underlying sovereign deity at work. No one ever thought it did.".

The vast majority of scientists know this to be the truth. Science is based on finding the simplest explanation to explain the evidence. When an explanation doesn't require the extraneous idea of a god its accepted as the truth. Science works, this proves its based on the proper principles, principles that have never shown "god" to be a necessary part of any explanation for how the world works.

I said ""You have no evidence that the tooth fairy or leprechauns don't exist - do you want to argue that this proves those are just as likely to exist as not?"

Red Baron replied "No, because their is no evidence of their existence. God performed miracles which were witnessed and recorded and clearly influences history to this day.".

But by your logic its up to you to provide evidence that they don't exist. By your logic the lack of evidence that they don't exist doesn't prove they don't. By your logic the tooth fairy and leprechauns are just as likely to exist as your god.

As to your "proof" that god exists, unsubstantiated claims of miracles prove nothing. Anyone can write a story claiming miracles happened and that people witnessed it, doesn't make it true. Hinduism and Islam have the same claims of miracles witnessed and an influence on history - do you want to claim this proves they are true too? I didn't think so.

Red Baron said ""Anon said "The materialist view you take such comfort in is based on the fallacy that nothing can exist unless we can perceive it with our five senses."

I replied "Straw man - I never said any such thing and I don't believe it."

Red Baron replied "You've often said this.". You're a bald faced liar - I've never said any such thing. Science has proven the existence of many things we can't perceive with our five senses, light outside of the visible spectrum, radiation, black holes, etc.


I said "The idea that a "god" can interact with, create, and influence the world and yet leave no evidence of such is totally bankrupt."

Red Baron said "The evidence is abundant. You refuse to accept it.".

You've presented no such evidence because there isn't any. The bible is a collection of fairy tales, it is not evidence for anything anymore than Hinduism's holy texts are evidence that Vishnu exists.

Red Baron said "Oh, evolution has some evidence but its greatly overstated. Evidence of the Big Bang is much stronger.".

Ridiculous. The vast majority of scientists agree that the theory of evolution is as uncontroversial as the theory of gravity. There is NO debate in the scientific community evolution is a fact and the big bang is merely informed speculation.

Red Baron said "There is indeed agreement on this".

False. Show me the statement from the national academy of sciences that the "unverse appears designed" - you're a liar and wishful thinker.

Red Baron said "these secular proponents of the anthropic principle say the amount of matter in the universe is perfectly calibrated to maintain the possibility of life.".

Merely wild speculation on things we don't know by a handful of theists.

Red Baron said "Ignorant. If DNA was the result of random forces, there would likely be many different kinds rather than the double twenty-three that appears to have always been prevalent. And the fact that we discovered the function of some parts, suggests the other parts have a purpose too.".

Yes, you are ignorant. DNA was inherited from one organism to the next, that's why we don't have different versions of it. In the early days when cell biologists were describing satellite DNA and all those other interesting repetitive sequences Arthur Whitely talked about this stuff how he was scratching his head and wondering what it did — there was initially no assumption that it was non-functional, and if Darwinian preconceptions fed into the argument at all, it was to suggest that there must be an underlying utility to such ubiquitous elements of the genome. What led to the conclusion (not assumption) of non-function was observations of its nature and experimental work that showed it was highly variable, and changed and deleted without observable consequences to the organism. It also helped that comparative work showed no discernable pattern to the distribution of the stuff. Junk it was, and junk it still is.

The Bible Says the Sun Revolves Around the Earth / The Bible Says the Moon is a Source of Light / The Bible Says the Sky is a Dome / The Bible Says the Stars are Little Lights Fixed in the Sky-Dome / The Bible Says the Earth is Small, Flat and Supported by Pillars / The Bible Says the Universe was Created in Six Days / The Bible Says You Can Get to Heaven by Building a Really Tall Tower /"

Red Baron said "All figures of speech except the six days and they were always seen that way.".

False. This is all consistent with the way ancient peoples viewed the world. They didn't understand it and given that they created god in their own image "his" book reflects the naivety of ancient peoples. A real god wouldn't have written such folly into his bible and had people question its truth based on that. A real god would have included great scientific truths that no one could have known a the time to prove he was a god. There is nothing of this sort in the bible because it wasn't the work of a god.

Red Baron said "The church at Galileo's time had a vigorous debate about helio-centrism. The pope at the time actually favored Galileo's beliefs.".

Have you no shame?! Are you that incredibly stupid?! Its a well known fact that the church forced Galileo to retract his statement under penalty of death, the church most certainly didn't have a "vigorous debate" about it - there was no debate, you opposed the church you died. The pope didn't get around to apologizing for persecuting Galileo for over 300 years. What kind of drugs are you on anyway? Sober up and come back down to earth.

Red Baron said "It's just like now when the weatherman talks about the sun rising, he doesn't really think that's what's happening.

Because we know better. People in biblical times didn't. They really thougth the sun was rising and their writing reflected that primitive misunderstanding.

Red Baron said "That's not the point of his book. He says a type of Christianity resembling first century Christianity is spreading in the Southern Hemisphere by massive conversion. He nowhere argue for his beliefs.".

Like I said, he has his blinders on. He focuses on the slim evidence that supports his prechosen conclusion and filters out that which contradicts it - the collapse of Christianity in modern progressive societies. That's the kind of thinking Christianity drills into people - choose your conclusions in advance and try to fabricate a story to support it, the exact antithesis of science where you look at the evidence first and then decide which conclusion appears the most likely.

Red Baron said "It's not a science book.".

And hence the problem. He's not relying on science to draw his conclusion that Christianity is "exploding", he's relying on the process of religion to spread a lie.

I pointed out It is a well known fact that Islam is the fastest growing religion.

http://www.cnn.com/WORLD/9704/14/egypt.islam/

Red Baron says "wrong".

Go ahead and prove CNN, Gregory Paul & Phil Zuckerman, and all the others documenting this fact wrong then. You've got nothing, your insane rants on this are on a par with your side-splitting claim that the church had a "vigorous debate" about galileo.

Red Baron said "Atheism's noon was around the middle of the 20th century. It's twilight is now.".

I'm afraid you've got that backwards. Christianity reached its peak around 1960 and has been declining ever since. Atheism has continued to grow since then and has never been more prevalent than it is now. Its no coincidence that there's been a series of best sellers by atheists. Since 9/11 in particular people are catching on to the inherent evil at the heart of religion. Once again the facts about the rise of atheism and the decline of Christianity are apparent here:

http://richarddawkins.net/articleComments,956,Why-the-Gods-Are-Not-Winning,Edge-Gregory-Paul-amp-Phil-Zuckerman,page1#36316


Your forlorn wailing about this in no way refuts it.

January 26, 2008 1:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Red Baron said "The church at Galileo's time had a vigorous debate about helio-centrism. The pope at the time actually favored Galileo's beliefs.".

Have you no shame?! Are you that incredibly stupid?! Its a well known fact that the church forced Galileo to retract his statement under penalty of death, the church most certainly didn't have a "vigorous debate" about it - there was no debate, you opposed the church you died."

Well-known and false. Like virutally everything Randi says. This misconception originated in a play in the 1930s by Bertolt Brecht. It was a brilliant play but the history is wrong. It was for entertainment and propaganda purposes.

Galileo believed heliocentrism and so did a large part of the clergy in his day, which funded most scientific endeavours at the time. Galileo was summoned by the Jesuits, who believed in heliocentrism too but were having a hard time proving it. They had hoped he could provide the evidence. After looking at Galileo's "proofs", both the Jesuits and Galileo agreed that his evidence wasn't solid. Among proofs Galileo gave, for example, was that that the tides were caused by the motion of the Earth. The Jesuits agreed to fund his research if would stop teaching heliocentrism until he had sufficient evidence. A little known fact is Galileo never proved it. It wasn't proven until Kepler. (btw, Copernicus never proved it either but his book which first made the hypothesis was dedicated to the Pope.)

Galileo was quite a celebrity and after the pope under which he made the agreement with the Jesuits died, the new pope was an admirer and invited Galileo to Rome to meet him. There was a grand reception attended by nobles and dignitaries. Somewhere in the midst of this, a paper surfaced in which Galileo ridiculed the pope as a "simpleton." Angered, the pope put him on trial and his old agreement with the Jesuits was uncovered, along with the accusation that he broke it.

Being found guilty, he was sentenced to "house arrest", which he served for five months in the palatial villa of a nobleman. During this five months, he twice left to visit his daughter in another city. Not exactly torture in the dungeon.

The whole incident had nothing to do with a war between science and religion. Science was one of the many projects of the church at the time. The issue was really about politics and, to the extent it touched on science, was about providing sufficient evidence for one's claims.

There is so much ignorance in so much of what else Randi writes above, it would take hours to answer fully. For example, when the Bible was written, it was common knowledge that the world was round. The passages that say things like "four corners" are figures of speech. They were understood that way when written.

Most physicists, for another example, agree that the anthropic principle is an unresolved mystery. The Big Bang also is a more proven theory than evolution about which a number of questions remain.

I could go on.

This can all be documented but Randi never really backs up any assertions except to say all sources that disagree with Richard Dawkins' website are "liars". If that's the only lame reply, what's the point?

January 27, 2008 11:32 PM  
Blogger Randi Schimnosky said...

You really have no shame. Its well known historical fact that in the spring of 1633, Galileo was delivered before the dreaded Roman Inquisition to be tried on charges of heresy. He was denounced, according to a formal statement, "for holding as true the false doctrine . . . that the sun is the center of the world, and immovable, and that the earth moves!" The statement went on to read that "the proposition that the sun is the center of the world and does not move from its place is absurd and... heretical, because it is expressly contrary to the Holy Scripture!" Galileo was found guilty and forced to renounce his views. Ill and broken in spirit, he was sentenced to a life of perpetual imprisonment and penance.


http://members.cox.net/deleyd/religion/galileo/

Galileo's championing of Copernicanism was controversial within his lifetime. The geocentric view had been dominant since the time of Aristotle, and the controversy engendered by Galileo's opposition to this view resulted in the Catholic Church's prohibiting the advocacy of heliocentrism as potentially factual, because that theory had no decisive proof and was contrary to the literal meaning of Scripture.[7] Galileo was eventually forced to recant his heliocentrism and spent the last years of his life under house arrest on orders of the Inquisition.

Galileo was convicted of heresy you moron, he spent the rest of his life in jail, no respectable historian disputes that. The pope apologized for it recently

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Galileo_Galilei

January 28, 2008 2:26 PM  
Blogger Randi Schimnosky said...

Red Baron said "For example, when the Bible was written, it was common knowledge that the world was round. The passages that say things like "four corners" are figures of speech. They were understood that way when written.".

Most certainly not the case. If it was common knowledge there was no reason to write as though the earth were small, flat and supported by pillars. In one part of the bible it talks about a person climbing a tall mountain and looking at all of the earth. Clearly the writers of the book thought the earth was small and flat.

January 28, 2008 2:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Randi

If you're going to link sites, you should read them in their entirety. The spin you put on the Galileo story is wrong and if you've read the entire wikipedia entry you linked, you'd see the basics confirming my account are all there.

"The dreaded Roman inquisition" you speak of was nothing of the sort, btw. You're thinking of the Spanish Inquisition.

As the wikipedia entry correctly states, the Pope was a supporter of Galileo's when he came to Rome but turned against him because he ridculed the Pope as a "simpleton" in a new book. His trial had political motivations.

His arrest, after a short time in a friend's villa, was a house arrest and was actually limited to not being allowed to go to speaking engagements promoting heliocentrism.

The idea that the Sun revolved around the Earth was not from the Bible but from the classical Greeks. The church supported the ancient Greek teachings and some incorrectly thought it was supported by certain scripture. That wasn't a unanimous view in the church though and when he was called before the Inquisition, it was to explain his proof. There was open-mindedness to heliocentrism among his interviewers. The problem is, Galileo didn't have proof and, as Kepler later agreed, Galileo's proofs were demonstrably wrong. Based on the evidence at the time, geocentrism was accurate. If this really was a clash over science, the church was on the side of science.

BTW, Ptolemy in early AD drew pictures of a geocentric solar system with a round Earth at the center. No one remarks on it because it wasn't remarkable. Everyone at the time knew the world was round and they always had. They could watch ships sail off and the bottom disappeared first. They could watch the shadow of the Earth on the moon. As one of the earliest and still most revered theologians, Augustine, correctly stated, these scriptures were not meant literally but as figures of speech. Atheists who you read have cynically misrepresented this. They are irrational and would like to spread it around.

January 29, 2008 12:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just to put the final nail in the coffin of Randi's little theory that Galileo was persecuted because he said the sun goes around the Earth, here's an excerpt from a letter written to Copernicus from Archbishop of Capua Nicholas Schönberg at the behest of the pope, in 1536, more than half a century earlier:

"Some years ago word reached me concerning your proficiency, of which everybody constantly spoke. At that time I began to have a very high regard for you... For I had learned that you had not merely mastered the discoveries of the ancient astronomers uncommonly well but had also formulated a new cosmology. In it you maintain that the earth moves; that the sun occupies the lowest, and thus the central, place in the universe... Therefore with the utmost earnestness I entreat you, most learned sir, unless I inconvenience you, to communicate this discovery of yours to scholars, and at the earliest possible moment to send me your writings on the sphere of the universe together with the tables and whatever else you have that is relevant to this subject."

Doesn't sound like the church had any problem with helio-centrism then.

In 1533, a Johann Albrecht Widmannstetter has come to Rome and delivered a series of lectures on Copernicus' theory of heliocentrism. The pope and many high-ranking cardinals had attended and were very impressed.

Randi would have us believe that, a half a century later, the church had decided unanimously that the Sun revolved around the Earth and were so determined to destroy any other theory that they would try, imprison and torture anyone who said otherwise.

How gullible do these atheists think we are? Do they have no regard for the evidence? What accounts for a determination to destroy religious belief so strong that they are willing to lie in an attempt to do it? What gives here?

January 29, 2008 12:24 PM  
Blogger Randi Schimnosky said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

January 29, 2008 2:01 PM  
Blogger Randi Schimnosky said...

Red Baron said ""The dreaded Roman inquisition" you speak of was nothing of the sort, btw. You're thinking of the Spanish Inquisition.".

No, it was the Roman inquisition - you're ignorant of the facts and making up lies. The Roman Inquisition was a system of tribunals developed by the Holy See during the second half of the 16th century, responsible for prosecuting individuals accused of a wide array of crimes related to heresy, including sorcery, blasphemy, and witchcraft, as well for censorship of printed literature.

The Holy Office also had an international group of consultants, experienced scholars of theology and canon law, who advised it on specific questions. In 1616 these consultants gave their assessment of the propositions that the Sun is immobile and at the center of the universe and that the Earth moves around it, judging both to be "foolish and absurd in philosophy," and the first to be "formally heretical" and the second "at least erroneous in faith" in theology. This assessment led to Copernicus's De Revolutionibus Orbium Coelestium to be placed on the Index of Forbidden Books, until revised and Galileo Galilei to be admonished about his Copernicanism. It was this same body in 1633 that tried Galileo, condemned him for a "grave suspicion of heresy", and banned all his works.

Among the subjects of this Inquisition were Francesco Patrizi, Giordano Bruno, Tommaso Campanella, Girolamo Cardano, Cesare Cremonini, and Galileo Galilei. Of these, only Bruno was executed; Galileo died under house arrest, and Campanella was imprisoned for twenty-seven years. The miller Menocchio was also put to the stake on the orders of Pope Clement VIII in 1599.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roman_Inquisition


Red Baron said "His arrest, after a short time in a friend's villa, was a house arrest and was actually limited to not being allowed to go to speaking engagements promoting heliocentrism.".

Prove it. I say you lie.

Red Baron said "There was open-mindedness to heliocentrism among his interviewers. The problem is, Galileo didn't have proof and, as Kepler later agreed, Galileo's proofs were demonstrably wrong. Based on the evidence at the time, geocentrism was accurate. If this really was a clash over science, the church was on the side of science."

False, there was no evidence that Galileo's proofs were wrong. The Church most definitely wasn't on the side of science, science is open to questioning conclusions and the churchs actions were the very antithesis of this. Scientists don't convict people they disagree with of heresy and imprison them. Scientists don't order people they disagree with to recant their ideas as the church did with galileo, scientists don't bar people from promoting their ideas as the church did with Galileo, Scientists don't ban the publication of theories they don't agree with and they don't ban the publication of any future works by someone they disagree with, all actions taken by the church. The church most certainly wasn't on the side of science.

The Inquisition's ban on reprinting Galileo's works was lifted in 1718 when permission was granted to publish an edition of his works (excluding the condemned Dialogue) in Florence.[67] In 1741 Pope Benedict XIV authorized the publication of an edition of Galileo's complete scientific works[68] which included a mildly censored version of the Dialogue.[69] In 1758 the general prohibition against works advocating heliocentrism was removed from the Index of prohibited books, although the specific ban on uncensored versions of the Dialogue and Copernicus's De Revolutionibus remained.[70] All traces of official opposition to heliocentrism by the Church didn't disappear until 1835 when these works were finally dropped from the Index.[71]


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Galileo_Galilei


Red Baron said "How gullible do these atheists think we are? Do they have no regard for the evidence? What accounts for a determination to destroy religious belief so strong that they are willing to lie in an attempt to do it? What gives here?".

The facts are undeniable, well known and well documented. The church forced Galileo to recant his theory under penalty of death and imprisoned him for the remainder of his life. The church banned his works on the heliocentric theory, banned all his non-related work, and banned any future publications by him. Its clear you're the one with no regard for the clear evidence that was laid before you and you're so incredibly stupid that you think you think its worth the attempt to convince people that this never happened. You're like a holocaust denier, even when facts are well established and accepted by 99.999 percent of the population you fabricate your outlandish denials and rush into spreading them like the fool you are.

January 29, 2008 2:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Randi

You are one mixed-up, irrational and ignorant atheist. Many of the things you said above are directly contradicted by that scholarly wikipedia entry you keep referencing. Try reading the whole thing.

Additionally, you've now opened a whole area where you need to be disabused: misconceptions about the Inquisition. Oh well, I'll try to give you some more education tonight if I have a chance.

You could start by upping the quality of your sources. Wikipedia has its uses but it's not an authoritive source. One problem is that it may reflect popular misconceptions because of its unique method of democratic editing. The other source you cited on the Galileo affair previous to today was some personal website of a guy and his wife out in California. They looked like nice people from the family photos on the website but I don't think they're exactly the go-to authority on history.

Not exactly.

January 29, 2008 3:17 PM  
Blogger Randi Schimnosky said...

Red Baron, nothing is more mixed-up, ignorant and irrational than the idea that the human sacrifice of an innocent person makes the wrongs of others alright.

All reputable sources agree with wikipedia that the catholic church convicted Galileo of heresy, forced him to recant under penalty of death, imprisoned him for the rest of his life, and banned his works and the promoting of heliocentrism.

January 29, 2008 3:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's amusing to see you keep narrowing your assertions to keep from being found to be lying.

It's no use though, Randi. Number one, you still are wrong, even with these more ambiguous and limited charges. Number two, tonight we will cut paste all your lies and expose each with authoritative historical sources.

January 29, 2008 4:11 PM  
Blogger Randi Schimnosky said...

I've told the truth and backed it up. Its you telling the preposterous lies and foolishly thinking anyone's going to believe you.

Red Baron said "tonight we will cut paste all your lies and expose each with authoritative historical sources."

No, you'll post a bunch of unsubstantiated lies and I'll correct you as always happens.

January 29, 2008 4:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

unsubstantiated lies= not on Richard Dawkins website

January 29, 2008 5:36 PM  
Blogger Randi Schimnosky said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

January 29, 2008 6:11 PM  
Blogger Randi Schimnosky said...

None of the links I posted about Galilio or the Roman inquisition were from the Dawkins site and the only link I posted in this thread that was on Dawkins site wasn't writen by Dawkins or anyone who had anything to do with his site, it was written by Gregory Paul & Phil Zuckerman on Edge. Not that there's anything wrong with anything Dawkins has written.

January 29, 2008 6:39 PM  
Anonymous Emproph said...

January 29, 2008 12:24 PM said...
"Randi would have us believe that, a half a century later, the church had decided unanimously that the Sun revolved around the Earth and were so determined to destroy any other theory that they would try, imprison and torture anyone who said otherwise."
---
How ridiculous, everyone knows that if it weren’t for the church, ships would still be sailing off the four edges of the Earth into oblivion. Not to mention the oceans!

Clearly the child rapist protecting Catholic church has the ability to change God's meaning of square...and flat.

January 31, 2008 3:50 AM  

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