Tag Archives: Atheist

I Don’t Believe in Atheists

A good friend of mine sent me a link to the article, I Don’t Believe in Atheists, and asked for my opinion. My initial response was to say the author obviously has no understanding of the theory of evolution. However, that statement doesn’t address the errors in the article, so I decided a more thorough response was needed.

To begin with, the author confuses acceptance of evolution with atheism.  These are two wholly separate concepts.  An atheist is someone who does not accept claims about the existence of deities. Atheists can’t, by definition, believe in “Special Creation”, because they don’t believe in gods, however they can be atheists and not believe in evolution. Also, there are millions of religious people who accept evolution. A notable example is Francis Collins, head of the human genome project and devote Christian.  Collins acknowledges the truth of evolution but believes it was the tool chosen by God.  The author of the article is simply wrong if he thinks refuting evolution is the same as refuting atheism.

The rest of the article is the authors attempt to show problems with evolution. He posits special creation as a better alternative while providing absolutely no evidence for creationism.

I am not a biologist, nor do I work in that field.  I will discuss his points from a layman perspective. If you want to see thorough arguments showing evidence for evolution and the problems with creationism, I recommend watching the Foundational Falsehoods of Creationism video series from AronRa on YouTube.

Now on to the article:

I have issued three public challenges (not to mention several private ones) to the more than 215,000 followers on my Facebook page for atheists to provide specific qualified evidence for Darwinian evolution. Each time, my challenge has been met with deafening silence.

I have not seen his Facebook page but I doubt that his challenge has been met with deafening silence.  A simple Google search will provide millions of scholarly articles from numerous and diverse scientific fields providing evidence for evolution.  If I were to speculate, I would guess he has had his challenge met numerous times but he has rejected the responses.

Yet, when I say something about faith in God or the wonder of His creation, I am met with hostility, insults and mockery from outspoken atheists who say I am unscientific and stupid.

I doubt he is holding himself to the same criteria he demands of atheists, mainly “specific qualified evidence” for his claims about faith in God or creation.  If not, mockery may be the correct response.

If you didn’t see my challenge, here it is again. I am asking for one example (just one) that meets these five criteria:

  1. It must be a random mutation that has occurred naturally
  2. It must have been observed (aka science)
  3. It must have added NEW information to the genome
  4. The mutation must also benefit the host
  5. Don’t resort to citing silly examples of E. Coli or other microorganisms.

There are several problems with his challenge.  Lets look at the first two criteria. If you provide an example of evolution observed in a lab he will reject it because it will fail the first requirement, because anything that occurs in a lab couldn’t have occurred naturally. If you provide an example from nature it will violate the 2nd requirement because it wasn’t “observed” scientifically in a lab. The first two criteria essentially cancel each other out, making his challenge meaningless.

The third item seems arbitrary.  What qualifies as “new” information?  Technically any change will be “new” in the sense that it is different from what was there previously.  Thousands of books have been written in the English language but they all use the same 26 letters in the alphabet.  Do the books published this year count as “new information?” Does an author need to make up new words or add new letters to the alphabet for “new information” to be present? I’m not sure what he is looking for here, and I doubt that he knows what he is looking for either.

As for the 4th criteria, evolutionary scientists agree that the vast majority of mutations are neutral (not helpful or harmful to the organism), others are harmful, and a very few are helpful.  Limiting “evidence of evolution” to beneficial changes would be like asking for proof of a poker game while ignoring any hand that isn’t a royal flush.  There can be plenty of examples of beneficial mutations, but they are not the ONLY examples of evolutionary changes.

The last requirement shows his bias.  Humans have a limited lifespan so most of the evolutionary changes we will be able to observe will be in organisms with a significantly shorter lifespan.  Examples of evolution in E. Coli or other microorganisms are not “silly” they are some of the easiest things we can observe due to their rapid rate of reproduction and the limitations of the human lifetime.

Every Christian, no matter how conservative, believes that organisms do adapt and speciate… But the Darwinian claim that organisms can evolve into different “kinds” (as opposed to species) by gaining complexity through the addition of new genetic information has NEVER been observed…not even once!

A “kind” is a biblical term, it has no meaning to the scientific community.  No scientific paper on evolution has EVER claimed organisms change into different “kinds” because there is no scientific definition saying what a “kind” is. However, since the author already agrees that organisms adapt and evolve into different species, I guess he believes in Darwinian evolution afterall!

This means that the kind of mutations we have observed cannot change organisms into different or more complex kinds. They will adapt, but they will never be anything other than what they are:

  • A dog’s genes may be manipulated to produce many different breeds but they will always be dogs.
  • Fruit flies may grow a second pair of wings, but they will always be fruit flies.
  • Finches may grow longer beaks, but they will always be finches.
  • Bacteria may find new food to metabolize will always be bacteria.

… There is not one shred of evidence to suggest that bacteria are becoming dogs and flies are becoming finches. This means that Darwin’s cult is a matter of faith not science.

The theory of evolution by natural selection does NOT predict that flies will turn into birds or bacteria will become dogs.  The theory states that offspring will be different from their parents, and that offspring with beneficial traits will be more likely to survive and pass on those traits to their own offspring. Changes happen slowly, one generation at a time, and changes build on what is already there.  Insects will ALWAYS be insects.  Humans will ALWAYS be apes.  AronRa explains it best in his 11th Foundational Falsehood of Creationism video, quoted below:

To comprehend evolutionary Theory, one must first understand that it’s only ever a matter of changing proportions –altering or enhancing existing features to build on what is already there.  Developmental biology, genetics, and comparative morphology combine to confirm many of these taxonomic stages such that organs do not seem to have appeared abruptly or fully-formed as if out of nowhere, because there is an implied evolutionary origin evident in every case.  Even the transition of fish-to-tetrapods, dinosaurs-to-birds, or apes-to-men are each are just a matter of incremental, superficial changes being slowly compiled atop successive tiers of fundamental similarities. These represent monophyletic clades which will forever encompass all the descendants of that clade.  This is why birds are still dinosaurs, and humans are still apes, and both are still stegocephalian chordates.

No matter how much you or your heirs may change, you obviously can’t outgrow heredity.  The very concept of common ancestry is a multi-tiered and intertwined complex phylogenetic system which shows why there can’t be any distinctly separate “kinds” to begin with!  At the same time, the act of speciation splits the population presenting an eventually impassable boundary between them.  We often see this demonstrated live in the form of “ring species”, where different evolutionary stages exist all at once in a geographic rather than chronological distribution.  Subspecies (A) may breed with subspecies (B), and (B) may breed with (C), and (C) with (D), but (A) and (D) cannot interbreed because by the time their territories overlap again, they’ve grown too distant genetically, and can’t come back.  This is when we see the formation of new features, organs, or skeletal structures, each examples of new genetic “information”.  What all these show is that even though a new species of perching bird (for example) is “still” a finch, it is now a different “kind” of finch, a distinct descendant species proving there is no “boundary” against macroevolution.

The author ends the article by changing his subject to atheism and claiming victory for God:
My bottom line – I don’t believe in atheists. They are at war, not with God, but with themselves. They are as conflicted as a child denying its mother. This is why their resistance seems painful and passionate – not what you would expect from someone denying a fairytale. They are rejecting the inner witness of their own souls, the testimony of nature and the conviction of the Holy Spirit. It must be an extremely itchy existence “kicking against the goads.” My heart is broken for the atheist. I’m praying for you today (sincerely). I don’t pray that you would come to any religion (I hate religion as much as anyone). But I pray that you would come to know the love of God through Jesus Christ.

The author’s flawed understanding of basic evolutionary principles is not evidence for Jesus. In order to refute evolution, he should find out what it actually is first.  Then, if he was successful, he would still need to provide “specific qualified evidence” for his alternative (i.e.: Creationism).  Until he has done that, no one is justified in believing it. And, even if evolution were proven false it would not be evidence that the world was created by the Christian God or that he tortured and killed himself as his son in order to persuade himself not to torture and kill all of us for the crime of being born.

Whether you believe in atheists or not is irrelevant.  And no, it isn’t an “extremely itchy existence” to say stories about talking animals are too silly to believe without evidence.

Religious News 4/30

What’s happening around the world, in the name of God?

Vandalizing for Jesus
http://x.co/pisschrist

Facebook Pedo Pastor
http://x.co/pedopastor

Psychic Fraud
http://x.co/psychic

Noah’s Ark
http://x.co/noahsark

Don’t Say Gay Bill passed
http://x.co/dontsaygay

AZ “Nullification Act”
http://x.co/nullify

AZ Birther Bill
http://x.co/birther

Day of Prayer
http://x.co/prayerday

Multi-National Superman
http://x.co/USsuperman

Is Santa Real?

The following is an except from the book, Parenting Beyond Belief. As a parent of a 2yr old, I struggle with the question of what to teach my daughter about Santa.  On one hand, I don’t want to lie to her, but the author does make a good case for the benefits of using Santa belief as a teaching tool.


IT’S HARD TO even consider the possibility that Santa isn’t real. Everyone seems to believe he is. As a kid, I heard his name in songs and stories and saw him in movies with very high production values. My mom and dad seemed to believe, batted down my doubts, told me he wanted me to be good and that he always knew if I wasn’t. And what wonderful gifts I received! Except when they were crappy, which I always figured was my fault somehow. All in all, despite the multiple incredible improbabilities involved in believing he was real, I believed – until the day I decided I cared enough about the truth to ask serious questions, at which point the whole façade fell to pieces. Fortunately the good things I had credited him with kept coming, but now I knew they came from the people around me, whom I could now properly thank.

Now go back and read that paragraph again, changing the ninth word from Santa to God.

Santa Claus, my secular friends, is the greatest gift a rational worldview ever had. Our culture has constructed a silly and temporary myth parallel to its silly and permanent one. They share a striking number of characteristics, yet the one is cast aside halfway through childhood. And a good thing, too: A middle-aged father looking mournfully up the chimbly along with his sobbing children on yet another giftless Christmas morning would be a sure candidate for a very soft room. This culturally pervasive myth is meant to be figured out, designed with an expiration date, after which consumption is universally frowned upon.

I’ll admit to having stumbled backward into the issue as a parent. My wife and I defaulted into raising our kids with the same myth we’d been raised in (I know, I know), considering it ever-so-harmless and fun. Neither of us had experienced the least trauma as kids when the jig was up. To the contrary: we both recall the heady feeling of at last being in on the secret to which so many others, including our younger siblings, were still oblivious. Ahh, the sweet, smug smell of superiority.

But as our son Connor began to exhibit the incipient inklings of Kringledoubt, it occurred to me that something powerful was going on. I began to see the Santa paradigm as an unmissable opportunity – the ultimate dry run for a developing inquiring mind.

My boy was eight years old when he started in with the classic interrogation: How does Santa get to all those houses in one night? How does he get in when we don’t have a chimney and all the windows are locked and the alarm system is on? Why does he use the same wrapping paper as Mom? All those cookies in one night – his LDL cholesterol must be through the roof!

This is the moment, at the threshold of the question, that the natural inquiry of a child can be primed or choked off. With questions of belief, you have three choices: feed the child a confirmation, feed the child a disconfirmation – or teach the child to fish.

The “Yes, Virginia” crowd will heap implausible nonsense on the poor child, dismissing her doubts with invocations of magic or mystery or the willful suspension of physical law. Only slightly less problematic is the second choice, the debunker who simply informs the child that, yes, Santa is a big fat fraud.

“Gee,” the child can say to either of them. “Thanks. I’ll let you know if I need any more authoritative pronouncements.”

I for one chose door number three.

“Some people believe the sleigh is magic,” I said. “Does that sound right to you?” Initially, boy howdy, did it ever. He wanted to believe, and so was willing to swallow any explanation, no matter how implausible or how tentatively offered. “Some people say it isn’t literally a single night,” I once said, naughtily priming the pump for later inquiries. But little by little, the questions got tougher, and he started to answer that second part – Does that sound right to you? – a bit more agnostically.

I avoided both lying outright and setting myself up as a godlike authority, determined as I was to let him sort this one out himself. And when at last, at the age of nine, in the snowy parking lot of the Target store, to the sound of a Salvation Army bellringer, he asked me point blank if Santa was real – I demurred, just a bit, one last time.

“What do you think?” I said.

“Well…I think all the moms and dads are Santa.” He smiled at me. “Am I right?”

I smiled back. It was the first time he’d asked me directly, and I told him he was right.

“So,” I asked, “how do you feel about that?”

He shrugged. “That’s fine. Actually, it’s good. The world kind of… I don’t know…makes sense again.”

That’s my boy. He wasn’t betrayed, he wasn’t angry, he wasn’t bereft of hope. He was relieved. It reminded me of the feeling I had when at last I realized God was fictional. The world actually made sense again.

And when Connor started asking skeptical questions about God, I didn’t debunk it for him by fiat. I told him what various people believe and asked if that sounded right to him. It all rang a bell, of course. He’d been through the ultimate dry run.

By allowing our children to participate in the Santa myth and find their own way out of it through skeptical inquiry, we give them a priceless opportunity to see a mass cultural illusion first from the inside, then from the outside. A very casual line of post-Santa questioning can lead kids to recognize how completely we all can snow ourselves if the enticements are attractive enough. Such a lesson, viewed from the top of the hill after exiting a belief system under their own power, can gird kids against the best efforts of the evangelists – and far better than secondhand knowledge could ever hope to do.


Ask an Atheist: Questions on Bhagavad-Gita Teachings

Hi Shawn,

Thanks for presenting different views on popular religions of present
world. Sanatana Dharma (Hinduism) is third biggest “religion” in line
and I am a Hindu by birth.

While Sanatana Dharma (Hinduism) offers multiple books (Vedas),
Bhagavad-Gita is revered as the summary of all the Vedas.
Bhagavad-Gita contains the teachings of Lord Sri Krishna.

As a believer of Sanatana Dharma (Hinduism) I respect Bhagavad-Gita
and my views are always in favor of these great teachings. During our
childhood, we always enjoyed the encouragement from our
parents/priests to interpret these teachings in our own way and
justify our interpretation. As a kid I always enjoyed the freedom of
asking questions on Bhagavad-Gita teachings, though my understanding
of the subject was next to nothing.

Going through your videos reminds me of those days. The important
point is that you ask questions without any emotional baggage. I want
to take this opportunity to humbly request you to spare some time to
look into Bhagavad-Gita and pose questions just like the way you are
doing on other religious teachings.

While there are multiple English translations available, I would
recommend the book “Bhagavad-Gita As It Is”. It provides the
original Sanskrit text, English translation and Purport from the
Author. If you prefer I could order one book for you or pay through
Donation option on your site.

Once again thank you for your time and effort.

Regards,
Vasu

Hello Vasu,

Thank you very much for the email, and I appreciate the offer.  Most theists that contact me tell me to read their holy books, but you are the first that has offered to purchase a copy for me.  Luckily, I don’t need another copy of the Bhagavad-Gita.

I have a copy of the Bhagavad-Gita on my Kindle.  I have read parts of it but I must confess that I have not read yet read the entire book.

I have had people requesting that I make “Tough Questions” videos for many different faiths including Mormonism, Islam, Hinduism etc. and I wish I had the time to study each religion in depth enough to create a video series for each – however most of my time is currently taken up by my job and my family, so it may be awhile before I am able to study enough about Hinduism to feel comfortable creating a video series specifically for that faith.

Thanks again for your email.

Your friend,
Shawn