Matthew 24:34
"Truly I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place."

January 18, 2009

An Atheist and Christian Debate: Part 6

What do you get when you mix together Bill Gates, atheism, Warren Buffet, Evolution, Creationism, 'The Secret' and unicorns? A shitload of frustration...

To: Daniel
Subject: Re: Research Volunteers Needed
From: Julio
Date: Thu, 31 Jul 2008

You are either reading to quickly through my careless email to you and not understanding. I really don't want to go through the same thing twice, for example:

Your Bill & Warren example.

You got what I was trying to communicate just that you always have your guard up, this is a "discussion" not a battle that's why we told each other in the beggining about being open minded about our responses. Thus far you have had a closed mind. Yes! I would want to ask Bill & Warren that one question, again, that's why its important to have success to attract. You can't tell me that success (again, don't just think money) has nothing to do with attraction! Once you attract that person or a group due to your success where they go next is totally up to the person being looked up too. This true whether you believe in evolution, God, Allah,etc. Success attracts, period! I will take that person to different mindset than what you would and vice versa, its kinda like a race foo'. I'm just answering your "God doesn't give a dam" part of your reply.

The other responses you have about consistency I am not going to bother answering and waste my finger tips since you already said you don't want to discuss anything about "unicorns" unless you believe it exists.

"You don't understand evolution"

The same frustration that goes through your mind on how I lack "evolution" knowledge is exactly how I feel about you lacking knowledge about other beliefs. I don't have to go through a Anthropology class to tell you that scientist have a belief too!

Example: When I was a lil' younger I was in a class that had to do with creation/evolution. Let me break this down to you from my eyes. Scientist do have these fossils and evidence (whatever it may be), your right! Let me tell you where my problem is about this so called "evidence". After lining up all these fossils and discoveries that date many centuries, after reading big fat/thick text books(hmm, that sounds familiar),anyways, after hundreds of years of "evidence" these scientist discovered and they keep collecting, this is what it says in a nutshell "scientist discovered X fossils or made X discoveries, this is why scientist BELIEVE that humans/creation/evolution exist or have evolved to......."This is what it says in all the textbooks in the world that you call "evidence". That word "BELIEVE" is in their, this means that its a belief in something that they have not seen they don't have that one piece of evidence that can GUARANTEE 100% on how man came to be man.

If I'm wrong please enlighten me, don't just shut down on me and say "you don't understand so I won't answer that part of this discussion." Here is your chance to win a "soul" for the atheist. Why the heck would I wanna be warned about "creationist" websites when I have the King Atheist at my finger tips, give it to me and give it to me raw!

So the question stands, "does evolution exist"?

What would it take for me to stop believing in God?

For the sake of discussion, here you go! I want to see the precise hard evidence that shows how man became man? I want you to tell me how the Ape came and was born in this world? I want to know how the very first mammal was created? Why haven't the Apes on this Earth turned into Human Beings if this is their so called process? (Its tough I know, but your belief is in scientist and "limited" fossils and evidence that's here now, the magic word will always be there forever "scientist BELIEVE...")

Hit me off Pastor D!

Captain America


From: Daniel
To: Julio
Subject: RE: Research Volunteers Needed
Date: Thu, 31 Jul 2008 21:35:27 -0700

The evidence that we evolved from Apes is much greater than the evidence that we were created as-is by God. An understanding of evolution is key to understanding this.

What class did you take on evolution? If it consisted of creationism, than it is not a science class at all. Creationism is not science, because it cannot be proven or disproven. Science can be disproven by anyone, anywhere. Have you actually tried disproving the theory of evolution, or are you just shooting from the hip?

You can no more prove that God created us than I can prove that we were created by martians. However, the difference is that I do not need to prove to you that Unicorns don't exist. You are the one making the claim for God, so it is up to you to prove your claim. You've done nothing but preach and draw odd conclusions for Jesus based on financial success. That is not proof.

Again, you show that you don't understand the theory of evolution with your question about why Apes have not yet turned into human beings. If you want to understand evolution, than I suggest you take a course on Physical Anthropology and Evolution from an accredited college, non-religious school, and discuss why it is all fake with the Professor. It could do wonders for you: There is a person that we both know who went from Christian to agnostic/atheist based almost solely on a Physical Anthropology class. Of course, maybe your religious convictions prevent you from learning anything that goes against it?

It is completely acceptable to answer the question "Where did life begin" with a simple "I don't know". There is no reason to say that you do know, when you don't. I do not know. That doesn't mean I will never know. For example, fifty years ago nobody would have dreamed that the internet was possible. Does that mean that it was impossible? Of course not. It's possible that we'll learn the origin of life, and it's possible that we won't. What we shouldn't be doing is filling in the blanks based on a book full of evil deeds, magic spells and scientific impossibilities, and pretend that we know. We shouldn't be obstructing the very science that can uncover the answers to our existence.

I've said a couple times now that I'm ready to learn about why God exists, and why Jesus is that God. You've done nothing to prove to me that it exists. Do I know where we came from? Of course not. Do you know where we came from? Apparently, yes. You know exactly how the universe began, and exactly what happens when we die, and exactly which God is the correct God. You know that evolution is impossible for man (no matter the evidence), that gay people cannot be born gay (no matter the evidence), and that saying "fuck" makes Jesus sad. And all of that without any type of science whatsoever. It's so simple!

I, on the other hand, do not know these things. I am more than ready to learn them, but the extraordinary claims that you make require extraordinary evidence to support them. You've provided nothing to back up your claims. Why, in a hundred billion years, would I ever believe you when you don't give me proof, logical argument, and rational reasoning? Is it because I should be scared of Hell? Or maybe I should just be really happy to go to Heaven? Is it because I'll be rich or successful? Maybe I'm secretly feeling lost, and I'm longing for that little extra something?

The only people who have a problem with science are those who are scared of it disproving their most cherished beliefs. You have absolutely no scientific basis for believing that the theory of evolution is false. In fact, nobody does...that's why it's still accepted as fact. Anybody, any single person on this earth, is welcome to disprove it and show that the evidence is wrong, and scientists would have to accept it. You are also welcome to prove that the theory of gravity is false, any time you please. Nobody has.

"The other responses you have about consistency I am not going to bother answering and waste my finger tips since you already said you don't want to discuss anything about "unicorns" unless you believe it exists."

I'm more than happy keeping it right there if you'd like. There's nothing more to be said if you can't at least show me why it's more likely that God exists than not. If I wanted a sermon, I'd go to church. But there's nothing at church except a guy describing an invisible unicorn to people...and those people are taught not to question whether the unicorn exists.

Pastor D


At this point I'm ready to drive my head through a wall. It's so frustrating, that I actually send Julio a follow-up email and begin to explain the very basics of evolution. Not that it would get me anywhere, but it sure as hell made me feel better.

From: Daniel
Date: Thu, 31 Jul 2008 21:59:36 -0700
To: Julio
Subject: RE: Research Volunteers Needed

You want some understanding of evolution, I'll give you a little bit with a response to your "Apes" thing, just to show you that I'm not bullshitting you. Honestly, I'm not teaching you want to understand, you gotta get a formal teaching in a college class. And I may be a bit rusty on it, but I got teh core down.

For evolution to occur, there needs to be a couple things:
1) A need to evolve
2) Time, and lots of it

Apes have evolved over time, millions of years. The apes that you see today are different than their ancestors were 10 million years ago. They evolved because they had a need to evolve as a species (ie have better defenses against predators, live in safer places, etc).

The apes that you see today occupy their niche in nature quite well. Thus, they have no real need to evolve. But aren't they going extinct, you ask? Why yes grasshopper, they are! But that is because we are taking their land, and hunting them for meat. But don't they have a reason to evolve then? Why yes, they do! But they don't have millions of years to evolve anymore, because we are here. We shit all over the creatures of the earth. We take their space, eat them, domesticate them, whatever.

The very nature of evolution means that we cannot see it occur today in real-time. That's really a silly suggestion, completely counter to what it's all about. Evolution needs time. The fossil record, however, shows evolution progressing. You can see creatures of all types changing over time, including Apes. If you aren't allowed to believe in that sort of thing though, I don't really know what to tell you. You can see it for yourself in class anytime you want, but not if you flat-out refuse to believe it. Your refusal doesn't change the data though.

Why didn't the other apes become humans too? Because they had no need to. They occupy their niche well. Why aren't all dog species the same (wolves, dingos, domesticated, etc)? Why aren't all cats the same (lions, tigers, cheetahs, etc)? Because they don't need to be, each one works well where it is.

There you go, that's why Apes are not human beings, and that's why it's just a strange question to begin with. It's evolution, I don't know what else to tell you. If you don't want to accept it, then there's nothing I can do. I can't unaccept it, because it's real, accurate, and scientifically supported by evidence. It would be like unaccepting that 2+2=4.

BTW, feel free to share this entire email chain with anyone you'd like, including your pastor. I'd like to hear what he has to say about it. Trick him, tell him that you're seriously having your doubts about Jesus, and see what his response is. "You just gotta have faith, my son". I bet, for sure, that he won't respond 'scientifically'.

pastor d


Where does it go from here? Check back next week to find out!


  1. Hi! I'm an agnostic going on a spiritual journey, and happened upon your blog while searching for atheist blogs. I believe that one must look at all sides of the picture before one can make a decision about what to believe in.

    I have actually read some good books (written by christians but based on archeological proof) that answer some of the questions you have, and respond to statements such as "That doesn't mean the bible is the true word of God, or that anything within it is based on fact."

    The _Case_for_Christ_ by Lee Strobel is a good one. I was wondering if you've read it and what your responses would be to their claims.

    I will agree that taking, at the very least, the Book of Genesis as being honest to goodness truth it pushing it, but there are good arguments out there for a lot of it being accurate.

    Thanks for posting this blog, and thanks for reading my comment!

  2. Hi Thpider, thanks for your comment!

    Let me first say that I disagree with your assertion that "one must look at all sides of the picture before one can make a decision about what to believe in." You are presuming the requirement that something must be believed in, when in fact nothing has to be believed in at all. It is perfectly acceptable to choose "none of the above". Richard Dawkins, in his preface to The God Delusion, makes this point very well. In it, he tells a quick story about one of his friends who grew up as a child with the understanding that 'she must choose between the Christian God, Muslim God, Jewish God, etc". What she never understood, until just recently, was that she didn't have to choose any of them at all. There is no evidence for any of them, and it's quite acceptable to choose "none of the above".

    I agree with you that people should look at all sides of an argument prior to coming to a conclusion. However, what evidence does any theist have, be it priest, pastor or pope, for the existence of any God? There is no evidence. None. They use only circular logic (God exists because the Bible says so), appeals to emotion (Shouldn't bad people pay for their crimes and good people be rewarded?), and arguments without termination ("Everything needs a creator"). If you have any real evidence, or have heard of any real evidence, please let me know. I am more than happy to hear it, and perhaps I can be persuaded if it is compelling.

    Perhaps this book you've mentioned contains this evidence. I've never read The Case for Christ, though I'd be happy to review a copy if it turned up in my possession (possibly a gift from Jesus himself?)

    As I haven't read the book, I can just shoot in the dark here and ask you some basic questions to see if this book answered them.

    1) Does the book provide unbiased extra-biblical sources and peer reviewed evidence of Jesus being born of a virgin?

    2) Does the book provide unbiased extra-biblical sources and peer reviewed evidence of Jesus resurrecting?

    3) Does the book provide unbiased extra-biblical sources and peer reviewed evidence of Jesus ascending to Heaven?

    4) Does the book explain why BibleGod is considered the ultimate good, even when His character takes part in and prescribes murder, rape, and infanticide, as well as oppression of women and gays? (See Numbers, Leviticus, and Deuteronomy for details).

    Men are not born of virgins. Men do not rise from the dead. Men do not walk on water, and they do not float up into the sky in a beam of light. They do not spontaneously turn into salt, and they do not live for 969 years. Not only do men not get superpowers from having long hair, but bushes and snakes also cannot talk to them. These are impossibilities, and they exist only in make-believe land. If Christians would like people to believe these things, then it is incumbent on them to prove that they occurred.

    Aside from these questions, does the author offer any input from non-Christian 'experts', or does he only provide one side of the issue? While this wouldn't necessarily be a deal-breaker for me, it would offer insight as to whether the book is meant to be a real scientific proof of Jesus' supposed divine nature, or merely a propaganda piece. If I want to read Christian propaganda, I'll just re-read More Than a Carpenter.

    I'm interested in hearing your reply. I'll even go out of my way to find and read this book if any of my questions were answered satisfactorily. If not, then I'd rather not waste my time. After all, you wouldn't waste your time on a book which *proves* that Santa Claus is real if it didn't pass a few simple tests first, right?

    EDIT: A quick look at the comments on the book on Amazon show some pretty glaring errors and omissions by the author. I'm also seeing a book that you might be interested in, a direct refutation to Strobel's book, called Challenging the Verdict. I'm sure this deserves a read, so that the other side can be heard ;)

    As for the book of Genesis, I would definitely like to know what scientific, peer reviewable evidence is available to show that:

    1) This is an accurate description of the creation of the Universe?
    2) Noah's Ark could have held two of every land creature on the planet?

    I would also like to know what evidence exists to document when this particular book was written?

    I'm looking forward to your reply, Thpider. I'm not sure if you've read any of my history, but I was an agnostic for a few years until letting go of my God security-blanket and realizing my atheism. I hope that you are enjoying your spiritual journey, as I'm certainly enjoying mine ;)

    Hope to hear from you soon, and if you have any questions, ask away! Sorry if this is a bit jumbled, I don't have time to proofread at the moment.

    -Pastor D

  3. Thanks for replying!

    I should clarify my "one must look at all sides of the picture before one can make a decision about what to believe in." comment. I include atheism as a belief, just on the basis that a belief is something a person holds to be true, just like a diet is merely defined as what someone eats.

    I'm not taking all the arguments put forth in A Case for Christ at face value, which is why I was wondering if you've read it and what your responses would be, since you are an educated person and have put a lot of thought into this very same thing. No, Strobel doesn't use any non-Christian sources. Most of his authors do have a string of credentials after their names, though. They also quote a lot of atheist arguments, but since this is a book about proving Christianity, everything they say must be taken with a grain of salt.

    I aggree that circular logic, appealing to emotions (my pet peeve right there. Why shouldn't someone be good to benefit others? Why do people need to have something in it for them?) and arguments with out termination don't help. It's sad that people need a reward or punishment for being nice to others or not, but unfortunately, that's human nature, so I can understand (thought I hate it) religions pointing out such things.

    I will say that scientists don't have an answer to where the universe began, either. True, they don't claim some unseen deity, but their theories don't sound much better. "All of a sudden things exploded and we had life! Chemical reactions and boom! A universe was born!" >.>; How's that much different from a giant consciousness?

    Now for the questions, which I will answer based on my own understanding o.o;

    1) I have actually read medical evidence that it is possible for a virgin to give birth, just as it is possible for a person to be born with both genitalia. Mary may have been born with both working inner parts, and there you go with a kid. It is possible and has been documented outside of the Bible, and I think, if I remember right, recently. It's not common, obviously, but it /could/ happen.

    Another theory is that she wasn't really a virgin (oops) and she took the vow of chastity (which Catholics believe she took from the beginning) /after/ getting pregnant. But that debunks the whole Christ thing right there.

    2) It says (and I've read the same elswhere) that third party (Roman and the like) archives mention that Jesus's body was missing from the tomb. No mention of Christ being risen is mentioned because they didn't believe he was the Christ. Anyone who had doubts about his being Christ and saw him ressurected went "ZOMG" and converted and started preaching, and those are what ended up in the Bible. So there is difficulty finding mentions of a Christ outside the Bible because if it was written and canonized, it's in there. Not a lot of ancient writings survived this long, either.

    Another argument they made is that those books were written, as you yourself said, 30-40 years after it happened, when people were still alive who would remember if it didn't happen that way, and they were preaching it /before/ they wrote it, so the ideology and the beliefs were around before then. As for the Gnostics, those were written 400 years after the events and are heavily influenced by Eastern theology (I read a lot of them). One sounds a lot like Buddhism, from my limited knowledge of it. The reason they aren't included in the Bible has most to do with their dubious authorship, the length of time they were written from the actual event, and the strong influence of Eastern theology which, while not bad, wasn't what the Church was going for, and contradicted the earlier writings by people who are understood to have been there.

    3) Nope, not that I saw. They focused more on the resurrection and I got the impression that they assumed if he ressurected, he ascended as well.

    4) Hehe I'm still in the Old Testament, and I find BibleGod to be pretty funny. My favorite part is when Moses is on the mountain and finds out the Israelites are worshipping gold calves (why is it always calves with them? o.0) and BibleGod goes "Ok, that's it. Out of my way, Moses, I'm going to smite these ungrateful bastards." and Moses says "Um, please don't... It'd give you a bad name... plus you just saved them and all...." and BibleGod says "Fine, fine, but I'm leaving, cause if I have to be around these people any more right now I swear I will kill them all!" XD

    Point of all that: I have trouble reconciling the God in the Bible, and the Christian God that is preached about, especially in protestant churches. They take all the fluffy happy parts and conveniently forget the rest, which is why I am reading for myself. I believe FluffyGod is propaganda cause I haven't been to a Protestant church yet that wasn't devoting 20 minutes of every sermon to asking for my money. I say protestant cause the Catholic chuch is the only one I've been to that /hasn't/ asked for money, but I notice that they do less propagandizing to begin with. Maybe that's just in my area. People have selective hearing/seeing/learning, and most people would rather have the happy stuff than all of it.

    I have some problems with evolutionism. Yes, archeological proof has found that animals adapt, that I can understand and believe. But there is no proof that everything evolved from a single ancestor. Ancient man isn't even modern man's ancestor. They aren't even the same species. And they've found that pigs are just as close, if not closer, than apes to man.

    A lot of the history of the Old Testemant, if you ignore the miracles and BibleGod stuff, is true and accurate based on archeological evidence of third party records (letters in the archives of the kings of Babylon, Assyria etc., destruction of towns at the times the Bible says so, contemporary documents that collaborate with what the Bible says, etc.). And they have found old old old copies of the Bible that they dated to around.

    Some of the books of the Bible also seem to be collections of writings written much much earlier than when the Bible was collected. In the book of Eszra they have pieces that are considered as being taken directly from his own record, written in the first person.

    The style of Genesis (which is, I believe, a bunch of stories without a lot of truth, whether divinely inspired or not) lends itself well to oral tradition, which was how these stories would have been passed down before they could have been collected and written. Tradition states that it was Moses who wrote them, and there has been no evidence that I have found either for against that.

    Also, I've never read anything by a scholar who claims to know anything they don't know. Most are very eager to say "I don't know...." or "This is what tradition states, but...."

    Fun fact before I close this incredibly long reply XD Noah didn't just bring 2 of every animal on board. God told him to bring 7 pairs of birds and all the clean animals and the herd animals so they would have something to eat. Hurray for completely physics ;) A way I heard this reconciled (by Christians, so there you go) is that the flood wasn't in the whole world, just in the known world. Seeing as how limited their view of the world was, a relatively large flood in their area (of which archeological evidence has been found) could have been considered the whole world, cause they didn't know better. No news or anything. It would also explain how so many (or so few) animals could have fit on the boat, because there weren't all that many animals. They have found a ship of that design (not the same size as the one described in the Bible, though) dated from that time periad.

    Granted, none of the objective evidence can "prove" the subjective claims of the miracles and prophesying and that so of thing. The evidence of a flood doesn't explain how Noah new to build the ark. That, or so all the Christians tell me, is where faith comes in.

    Ok, I guess I've got a question for you. Why would you believe a scientist who claims he's an atheist over a scientis who claims he's a Christian? They both have agendas, and they both want you to believe what they believe (the atheist cause it's stupid to believe in a higher power, and Christians because if not you're going to hell.)

    Also, how do you view alternative medicine (herbs, prayer, actupuncture, chi, etc.)?

    Thanks again, Pastor ;)

  4. Oh, and I'll have to look up that book. I wasn't kidding when I said I wanted a good picture of all sides ^.^