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Darwin & Evolution vs Creationism & Intelligent Design: Who Believes? (updated 7-20-12)

Updated on September 18, 2016

Scopes Trial

Clarence Darrow and William Jennings Bryan Chat in court during Scopes Trial
Clarence Darrow and William Jennings Bryan Chat in court during Scopes Trial | Source

This Hub is About Surveys, Please Take These Surveys First

This hub is about the results of some surveys regarding Creationism and Evolution that I found very interesting. I would very much appreciate it you would take these few surveys before you read the hub. I am requesting this for comparison purposes to see if the results of this survey approximate those by Gallup and others. Come back often to see if people are voting and see what the results might be.

Your View

Which of the following statements comes closest to your views on the origin and development of human beings

See results

Your Knowledge of Evolution

How much have you heard or read about the Theory of Evolution:

See results

Evolution and Your Religion

In general, would you say the theory of evolution conflicts with your own religious beliefs, or is mostly compatible with your own religious beliefs?

See results

The Politics Of It

If a presidential candidate stated that he or she DID NOT believe in the theory of evolution, would that make you much more likely to vote for that candidate, a little more likely, not make a differen

See results

GRANTED, THE ABOVE POLL only has 34 responses so far (the bare minimum needed) we see that how one believes in evolution DOES have an impact on who the President of the United States will be. Has you can see, only 18% (~6 ppl) don't think what a candidate believes will influence their vote.

For those to whom belief in evolution is a factor in their voting it appears at the moment that NOT believing in evolution could be an impediment to their ultimate victory. The results currently show believing in the theory of evolution gives a candidate an edge, 50% (17 ppl) to 33%.(~11 ppl); as large a difference as that appears to be, that IS NOT a statistically significant difference ... at this point in time.


What is the highest education level you have attained?

See results

I am in the process of buying this game for my grandkids

2014 Update

THE LATEST GALLUP POLL GOMES IN with consistent results.where 42% of Americans still hold the 10,000 year creationist view, 31% are still creationists but think it all started millions of years ago, while a meager 19% hold the evolutionist position. It is interesting to note that the degree of what one believed in is highly correlated with the amount of education one has and the amount of church attendance, and how old you were. So, the less educated, more church-going, and older you are, the more likely you are to believe in creationism; while the more educated, less church-going and younger you are, chances are you believe in evolution.

Some Amazing (to me anyway) Statistics

I heard about these statistics one or two years ago but blew them off as being something the far right would put out; very biased in other words. Well, I heard them again in December 2010 with the name Gallup attached to them and my curiosity was immediately peaked; I wasn't sure I heard right. I Googled it. Boy was my INTP system in for a shock!!

Fully 40% of the 1,109 adults polled between 12/10/2010 and 12/12/2010 said they believe that human beings were created by God within the last 10,000 years! I was floored, to say the least. This had to be wrong, just a statistical fluke. Nope, I was wrong. I found this number is the lowest it has been since at least 1982! Measurements between then and now have fluctuated between 43% in 2007 and 47% in 1993 and 1999.

Another, more believable, for me at least, 38% believe that human beings evolved the way that evolution theory says it does but God guides this process. Finally, a meager 16%, that is up from a low of 9% in 1982 and 1999, go completely along with Charles Darwin's Theory of Evolution. (Note - I inserted one word "active" into my survey that wasn't in the original to allow for those who are spiritually inclined, agnostic, or atheistic to vote in the same category. I am one of those with a definition of God that doesn't fit either of the original answers.)

To gauge the above results are a few more numbers:

How much have you read about the Theory of Evolution? (VA Commonwealth University Life Sciences Survey, 2010)

  • A Lot - 44%
  • Some - 32%
  • Not Too Much - 13%
  • Not At All - 10%

In general, would you say the Theory of Evolution conflicts with your own religious beliefs or is mostly compatible with your religious beliefs? (VA Commonwealth University Life Sciences Survey, 2010)

  • Conflicts - 42%
  • Mostly Compatible - 43%
  • Unsure/Refuse to Answer - 16%

(Note - the VA survey asked a similar question as did the Gallup poll and came out with somewhat the same results.)

Do you believe man and ape have the same common ancestry? (Harris Poll, 2005)

  • Do Believe - 46%
  • Do Not Believe - 47%
  • Unsure - 7%

Well, there is some food for thought and comments. I hope you voted. If not, please do, I and the rest of the hubbers would appreciate it. As always, I will have more to say on this later but thought it would be fun to get this out now.


DEMONIC MALES was a fascinating book to read if you are interested in where we came from. It traces the history of primates comparing their traits with ours and ending with description of WHY and HOW we evolved with Gorillas and Chimpanzees being our closest cousins (I wish it had been the Bonobo; there would have been a lot less bloodshed in our history). One hint, a river played a major role.

Why Were the Results Amazing to Me?

 Well, like the mountain, because they were there! ... just kidding.

Only one result really got my attention; the gargantuan number of Americans who actually believe the earth, or at least the human race is no more than 10,000 years old.  That is double my expectations.  The reason this is double my expectations is the last survey figures I "thought" I saw told me that somewhere around 20% of Americans are hardcore Fundamentalist/Evangelical Christian who firmly believe the Bible is the unalterable word of God.  If you do a genealogy from the Bible (I have by the way) you can easily get between 6000 to 10,000 years, give or take, depending on some assumptions you make.  Well, with a figure like 40% believing humans have been around only 10,000 years left me wondering about what I "thought". 

As it turns out, what I "thought" was of the mark it bit, like about by 20%!  A 2004 ABC poll has Evangelicals at around 37% and a 2005 Harris poll came in at 39%.  I had no idea!  Now, my only solice is that this is an American phenomenon.  If you bring in the rest of the world, Evangelicals as a percentage of all Christians, let alone all religions, drops significantly, maybe into the single digits, because the ratio of Protestants to Catholics changes radically.

I know from personal conversations with a few friends who are or were deeply into this brand of Christianity that they firmly believe that, and I forget now the exact reasons why, God has made the Earth to look like it is millions and billions of years old and to make life, of one sort or another, to appear to have been around for hundreds of millions of years, when in fact it has only been around for 10,000 years or less.  This has to be the case, the reasoning goes, because the Bible simply cannot be wrong.  All of the archaeological finds to the contrary are false; God is deceiving us from the real truth for some unknown reason but you must have faith that the Bible is correct.  I have argued with one particular friend until I was blue in the face, but, to no avail.

For whatever reason you have people who run the gamut from the very uneducated to the very educated. from the lower IQ to the very high IQ, and from the very poor to the very rich who absolutely believe the above to be true.  Why people can turn away from what I would consider irrefutable proof of the age of the earth (I am not talking about evolution yet) and the history of plant and animals on Earth in order to continue to believe an interpretation of Scripture that leaves absolutely no room for compromise is beyond my understanding.  But this is reality in America and America alone to such a degre.  Such structured, immovable belief systems have gone to extremes as we have seen with such sects as Jim Jones and Waco, which clearly are aberrations, but nevertheless show how far this blind devotion can go.  (I will share some of the ABC poll results in the last section.)

I don't make fun or ridicule those with these beliefs, as alien as they are to me, for these people are most definitely sincere about them.  I simply cannot understand them; as somebody from Star Trek might say "it does not compute."  The only time I start getting my back up, by the way, is when my rights start becoming infringed by religious political action. 

Occasionally, one or two souls will see one too many discrepancies in the Bible for their comfort level and start looking closer with a more inquiring mind.  Two friends of mine from Idaho did that before I met them and went from one extreme to the other.  Now they are as hardcore atheist as they were hardcore Evangelicals years ago.  Another friend who was just as Evangelical as the other two became unenamoured when after spending her youth and young adulthood serving the church, it turned on her when she rejected and divorced her abusive husband.  She is still giving God a chance, but not the church.

I think I have wandered off couse here a bit.  So back on point.  I guess that now that I know that in America, almost 40% of Christians are Evagelicals. I guess I have to say that I am NOT too amazed at the poll results because it IS consistent with the religious tenets of their particular brand of of faith.  Further, given the general belief in God among most Americans, the remaining results didn't surprise me in the first place nor do they now.

2004 ABC News Poll Results on Religious Preferences

- Protestant
- 53%
-- Non-Evangelical
-- 28%
-- Evangelical
-- 25%
- Catholic
- 22%
-- Non-Evangelical
-- 19%
-- Evangelical
-- 3%
- Other Christian Religions
- 8%
Non-Christian Religions
No Religion

2004 ABC News Poll Results on Religious Preferences

% of Denomination who say they are evangelical

  • Baptist - 62%
  • All other Protestant Denominations together - 47%
  • Non-Denominational - 36%

% by Region who say they are evangelical

  • South - 55%
  • Northeast - 21%
  • Midwest - 26%
  • West - 31%

% by Ethnicity

  • Black - 67%
  • Caucasian - 33%

Among households that earn less than $35.000/yr, 45% are evangelical. That figure drops to 31% as income rises

49% of evangelical Protestants have incomes under $50,000, as do 43% of non-evangelical Protestants, compared to 36% of Catholics. .

36% of Catholics are college graduates; that declines to 23% of Protestants, and 17% of Baptists.

40% of white evangelical Protestants identify themselves as Republicans, as do 34% of white non-evangelical Protestants. By contrast only 5% of blacks, and 11% of non-Christians, are Republicans.

62% of evangelical Protestants say it should be illegal in all or most cases; by contrast, 65% of non-evangelical Protestants say abortion should be legal (as do 55% of Catholics).

44% of white evangelical Protestants say they're conservative on most political matters; that compares to 33% of white non-evangelical Protestants and white Catholics alike. Blacks are different in this regard; just 24% of blacks say they're conservative politically. And among people who have no religion, only 19% are conservatives.

3/4/2012 UPDATE

I included a poll at the top which, so far, has only garnered 13 votes. As a statistician, I can definitively say, that isn't enough votes to say anything intelligent about the results yet, I need at least 30. However, as a commentator, as is the habit with most commentators who don't provide their sources, I have no problem making statements of fact anyway, sort of like the myth that Obama promised to keep unemployment below 8% ... never happened. In this case, I am telling you there isn't enough data to draw conclusions I am going to give you.

You will notice in my poll, I included a question on Education. That is because of the information presented in the 2004 report I just cited. Now the limitations of Hub Polling prevent me from getting a direct answer, I can make inferences. My going position is that the more educated a person is, the less religious they are, or at least Christians; the data at the bottom of the 2004 survey seem to suggest that. I am hoping my poll will help me in my research on this question.

As I said, Hub Polling has its limitations, so I can't ask a two-part question at the same time, belief and education level; I have to ask them separately. So, the best I can do is determine if education plays any role at all. I can be a bit more precise with the question, "Does Christian belief play a significant role in choosing a President."

What are the results as of this moment in time?

  • To the question of "Does one's education level influence their belief in evolution?", the answer, after 13 votes, is "Can't tell, but maybe not." Why do I say that. With 13 votes those who believe in evolution of some sort and those who don't is statistically 50/50; even though the actual results are 46%-Yes and 38%-No, the margin of error is so large there is no difference between the two, statistically speaking. 92% say they have some college level schooling and 50% say they have post-graduate work. Because almost everybody has some college-level education, I can't draw a distinction between education level and belief in evolution. The best I can say, if I want to go way out on a limb, and say maybe post-graduate level education does, but then that falls in the category of saying Obama promised no more than 8% unemployment.
  • Something can be said about the other question, however, ""Does Christian belief play a significant role in choosing a President." In tis case both of the poll results are 50/50. Even with only 13 votes, that suggests strongly, but doesn't prove, that if the Presidential candidate and the voter believe the same way about evolution, then the voter is more likely to vote for that candidate.

Take it for what it is worth.


3/10/2012: Below is a comment made to the above question that xx posed. I wanted to respond to it a bit.

Konata says

Honestly, people may say Darwinism is a proven theory, and anthropologists and scientist may find many ways to prove that we evolved from nothingness or from the big bang, but this cannot be true, because how can something in our superior intellect and advanced creation be a product of mere evolution, if you think about it, only something unlike us, or anything in this world could have pieced something together like a human being. Even trillions of years of evolution couldn't bring an animal to our specific creation. Only something with an incomprehensible power could be responsible and directly because saying indirectly is like saying it was evolution's responsibility.

A reasonable response for a person who has absolute faith in the Judeo-Christian-Islamic (monotheistic) view of religion; but, not accurate, even if you believe in a God in such a way, because of the lack of understanding, or even fear, purely religious folks have of science. The Catholics burned scientists at the stake, literally, Geordano Bruno, executed February 17, 1600, back in the day because scientific theory, such as "the Earth is not the Center of the Universe". A sad fact in Christian history for sure but no different than today's brewhaha over Creationism vs. Evolution.

Let me pose this theory for starters, "I claim there will be a dawn tomorrow." Most everyone, I suspect, believes this to be a fact, yet, it is not; it is just a theory. It is a theory because we cannot predict with 100% certainty that our sun won't go Nova tonight and obliterate the earth before when dawn should have been. Now, our science tells us that there is a 99.9999999% chance will show up in the East tomorrow, but it simply cannot be guaranteed.

Evolution is exactly the same, our science tells us with probably 99% certainty that a Darwinian-type evolution is a reality. What is nailing it down to that 99.9999999% is the science of DNA, even though archeology may not be able to find the few "missing links" that are left to find, Other science, like DNA, is filling in the gaps in our knowledge.

If fact, science has progressed so far that scientists are, as a group, convinced that the "Big Bang" concept of how the Universe was created is the correct theory. They are convinced because they can make predictions from their theoretical calculations and have them borne out in observations. Scientists have a very good idea of what took place from about 300,000 years after the "Big Bang" to the present; they can account for just about everything except something called "Dark Energy". What happened from 0 to 300,000 years is somewhat murkier, but totally opaque anymore, even though the Universe was up until that time.

What scientists can't explain, however, is what it was that exploded at the moment of the "Big Bang". It is that "what it was" which I conceive of as God because it is at that point creation, in today's Universe, began. In that "what it was" is the template of life, and everything else. If you want to say a that a thinking God, whom we happen to look like, but separate from its creation, created that template, fine; but science takes over from there.


7/9/2012: I DON"T TRY VERY HARD NOT TO JUDGE the answers I get to my poll questions, I really am interested in what people think and my opinions have no place anywhere around them .. just wanted you to know. I have had very few respondents so far to any of the questions, but, even so, one stands out as very interesting with only 16 votes, the fourth one on politics, whether a candidate's belief in evolution would affect your vote. Preliminary results say emphatically, YES! That was a surprise. Only 13% or 2 votes said it wouldn't, meaning the other 14 said it would; now that is polarizing, don't you think? Even at 16 votes, it will take long string of "It doen's make a difference" responses to bring that back into balance.





BECAUSE THIS FIELD IS SO NEW, there is much more work to do to flesh out the full picture, but, even at this early stage, the DNA evidence supporting evolution is overwhelming! First let's orient ourselves before diving into the specifies, which I will try to keep brief and talk, if you are an evolutionist about our family tree; it is pictured above with all of its scientific jargon, which I will try to decode.

  • Hominoidea is just the name given to the Superfamily that contains humans
  • Hominidae is the name given to the Family that contains humans
  • Homininae is the name of the Subfamily
  • Hominini is the Tribe from which humans, chimps and bonobos dirive from, and
  • Homo is the Genus that contains modern humans

While there is much evidence of many different types, the DNA evidence found in the human Chromosome 2 is extremely persuasive and gets around many of the dodges used by creationists such as, "where are all of the fossils?"; which to a degree, isn't a bed question. At a gross level, one piece of DNA evidence that leads one to believe in the common ancestry theory is the fact the Chimpanzees and Humans share roughly 99% the same DNA sequencing, something I suspect is very hard for creationists to explain. Why is there only a 1% difference between humans and chimpanzees and bonobos (the only truly peaceful species of the primate family)?

But the crucial piece of evidence for the "evolution of Homo sapiens from a common ancestor with chimpanzees is found in the number of chromosomes in humans as compared to all other members of Hominidae. All Hominidae, with the exception of humans, have 24 pairs of chromosomes. Humans have only 23 pairs. The human chromosome 2, as it turns out, is a result of an end-to-end fusion of two ancestral chromosomes.[18][19]" (from a Wikipedia article on DNA research)

The evidence for this includes:

  • The correspondence of chromosome 2 to two ape chromosomes. The closest human relative, the common chimpanzee, has near-identical DNA sequences to human chromosome 2, but they are found in two separate chromosomes. The same is true of the more distant gorilla and orangutan.[20][21]
  • The presence of a vestigial centromere (created when two chromosomes cross during mitosis). Normally a chromosome has just one centromere, but in chromosome 2 there are remnants of a second centromere,[22]meaning two other chromosomes joined together.
  • The presence of vestigial telomeres, (end caps of chromosomes). These are normally found only at the ends of a chromosome, but in chromosome 2 there are additional telomere sequences in the middle;[23] again implying that two chromosomes fused together

Chromosome 2 thus presents very strong evidence in favour of the common descent of humans and other apes. According to J. W. IJdo, "We conclude that the locus cloned in cosmids c8.1 and c29B [Chromosome 2 for short] is the relic of an ancient telomere-telomere fusion and marks the point at which two ancestral ape chromosomes fused to give rise to human chromosome 2."[23] - end of Wikipedia article.

So, what does all that say? It says that ALL other members of the Hominidae Family (Humans, Orangutans, Gorillas, Chimpanzees, and the gentle Bonobos) share nearly identical pairs of 22 chromosomes. Non-humans have two other chromosomes to make 24 pairs while humans have only 23 pairs. It is this last two pairs of ape chromosomes and the last pair of human chromosomes (#2) that is of interest hear. As pointed out in bullet one above, the DNA in the two Chimp and Bonobo chromosomes are almost identical to the DNA in chromosome 2 in humans.

Hard evidence to refute, don't you think.


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    • My Esoteric profile image

      My Esoteric 4 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL

      Actually, Wikipedia is a wonderful source. Most of what I read is properly sourced and can be checked out. When a piece appears biased, Wikipedia staff notate it is such and often asks for citations.

      To expect the Church hierarchy to follow its own teachings is like asking me to keep my New Year resolution to lose weight; the Church, like any other organization, does what it needs to maintain power.

      The Western and Eastern Catholic Churches have two completely histories and divergent belief sets; they don't even recognize each other's Bibles in their entirety. It is the Western Catholic church that has such a poor history and makes a terrible model to follow as to how to run a religion.

      Yes, some of the inquisition was done by civil authorities, at the direction of the Church, but more often it was done by church officials assigned to such duties. The fact that only a 1,000 or so people were put to death by the inquisition in its 6 or 700 year history is not much solace given the orders of magnitude more tortures or other methods of corrosion the Church used to either convert Jews and Protestants to Catholicism or get them leave. Trying to deny this is part of Western Catholic history is like denying the holocaust. BTW, when did the Pope at the time officially object to Hitler's genocide?

      Were Christians persecuted, tortured, and murdered by the Pagans prior to Constantine, there is no doubt. Likewise, they did not "turn the other cheek" once in power themselves in the form of the Catholic Church for they returned the favor to Pagans in spades. There is also no question the Church of England (Catholics who did not recognize the Pope) persecuted Catholics. They also persecuted Protestants which ended up in the move to America by some of those who felt the pressure.

      America needs to live up to the black days in its past vis-à-vis Native Indians, Blacks, Asians, or anyone else who wasn't White; so does the Catholic Church (as well as the Protestant Church for their sins).

    • Rob Lattin profile image

      Rob Lattin 4 years ago from Born in Chicago, now I'm in Mostly Michigan

      Thanks My Esoteric. I am sorry but the information you have is faulty. St Clement around the year 112 had already used the word "Catholic" to describe and distinguish the Church from heretical beliefs that were springing up. There were many other writers, but not as well-known as Clement. On your next point, prior to Constantine, the Roman empire persecuted the Catholic Church (Yes Peter and Paul were both martyred there.). Constantine ended the persecution and allowed people to practice their faith. He also allowed non-Christians to practice their own religion.

      Your next point is a description of the Great Schism which there was a separation between Orthodox and Catholic - East and West. Though this is a division, mostly on a few theological concepts, both are the same Church. As a matter of fact Orthodox faithful consider themselves Catholic (meaning universal) and Catholic faithful are orthodox. Both sides of the Church have struggled but never the less seek unity. Many former Eastern Churches had changed their loyalty to Rome yet retained their oriental rites.

      I will not get into the Inquisition as it is a long and often misunderstood subject, but I can tell you that it was the civil authorities and corrupt men in power in Spain who inflicted death and torture on people and such a thing is disgusting and contrary to Catholic teaching.

      Please also understand too, that the Catholic Church never persecuted Jews. This is contrary to church teaching. What many confuse burning at the stake and beheadings is with the Church of England (Anglican) that persecuted Roman Catholics because they did not acknowledge the king as leader of the Church. Lands and buildings were confiscated by that church in an effort to eradicate Catholicism in Ireland, Scotland and England.

      Although I appreciate your effort to learn the history of the Church, wikipedia is not the place to get an unbiased historical account.

    • My Esoteric profile image

      My Esoteric 4 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL

      I appreciate your comments, Rob. The Catholic Church evolved from the disciples of Christ, Peter and Paul being the most well known as they gave their lives for their belief (I think both were put to death). The Catholic Church came into its own in 380 BCE when Christianity became a state religion in the Roman Empire. After the split between East and West in the 11th Century, the Catholic Church solidified in the form as the West knows it today.

      In 1588, Pope Sixtus V instituted what we now call the Roman Inquisition, designed initially to combat the spread of Protestantism but evolved into the general persecution of the Jews. It was from this beginning, either with the active participation of or acquiescence of the Popes that followed, horrors of the Roman, and later Spanish Inquisitions occurred, including the burning at the stakes.

      The last formal Inquisition was in 1858 in Bologna, Italy where a Jewish boy was taken from his parents because he was allegedly baptized by his nursemaid. Pope Pius IX raised the boy.

      This came from Wikipedia, but had a good volume of references attached.

    • Rob Lattin profile image

      Rob Lattin 4 years ago from Born in Chicago, now I'm in Mostly Michigan

      Well, I liked your idea of having poll just to see what people thought. And, clearly you are an evolutionist, which you have the right to believe. I will not engage in a debate between Creation by fiat and the so called theory of (macro) evolution as that would be futile on your hub and I just wanted to say you are a very good writer EXCEPT for one thing that bothers me and is not true. To say that "Catholics" burned people at the stake - are you referring to the Catholic Church founded by Christ or Catholics in civil life who lived during that time. If you are inferring the Church, you are utterly wrong as killing -burning is not something the Church does or ever did. If you get a chance please clarify or back up your resource. Other than that, thanks!

    • My Esoteric profile image

      My Esoteric 5 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL

      I understand your point, Danny. One of the things they found, I am much more precise in my hub, that in the particular genetic sequence they are looking at that is common to the chimp family and the human family, where the branching took place, that while the string of genetic material is the same, certain pieces of it are turned on (the genes are active) in chimps and bonobos while they are not in humans.

      This is the kind of evidence they are turning to make pretty conclusive, the idea that evolution took place more or less the way Darwin theorized. Obviously, this one set of genes isn't the only thing that is different, but it is a start.

      What these differences did lead to is this debate. What ever path that set of genetic switch-setting put us on, gave us the ability to have this discussion and not the chimps. It gave us the ability to be spiritual and to even conceive of the idea of God.

      Mark, unfortunately (although I doubt you see it that way Mark), is stuck in a box. In order for the world to conform to what he believes is the Word of God as encoded in the particular bible he is invested in, he is required to challenge and deny most of science's revelations because, more often than not, they run counter to the what the bible says is literally true.

    • Dannytaylor02 profile image

      Daniel Nathan Taylor 5 years ago from United Kingdom, Liverpool

      i see your point on DNA however the reality is the difference between humans and other mammals is far more involved than that becase if that was the case a bannana would be 70% similar to us....which i dont think it is :)

      in essence humans are physical creatures not spiritual, the bible doesn't disagree with this everyone know the famous saying from dust you where created and dust you will return and its certainly not a bad thing being compared to animals physically or mentally, romans 1:20 says that we can see gods eternal power and qualities through creation.

      i would not have had to look at DNA to tell you that apes are the closest thing to us physically...i mean just look at them but that doesn't mean that we evolved from them and the evidence just doesn't support that idea.

      i can still relate to my dog more than i can an annoying chimp even though we are supposed to be more closely related :P

      no offense to alexander mark but it is creationists and organisations like it that are the problem, they make people who believe in god look stupid and unscientific....which i dont think i am, i believe god made all things but i look to science to explain how he did it, its that simple (for me anyway)

    • My Esoteric profile image

      My Esoteric 5 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL

      Please, Danny, jump in all you like, the more the merrier. Granted, you are certainly correct, in fact, something like 98% of the genetic material is similar among most of not all living animals (I won't throw plants in yet, I would have to go look that up).

      What these guys are specifically looking for are genetic sequences common to the theorized parent of the chimp/bonobo family and the human family which passed down in some reconizable form to both of our subgroups but to no other specieces. They have found at least one, so far.

    • Dannytaylor02 profile image

      Daniel Nathan Taylor 5 years ago from United Kingdom, Liverpool

      Having DNA similar to chimps and other animals could just as easily be proof of having a common creator rather than a common ancestor

      (sorry to just jump in :)

    • My Esoteric profile image

      My Esoteric 5 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL

      As to science itself Mark, there isn't much to say. For every one anecdote which says science isn't correct in the main (leaving human evolution out of it for the moment) others can find 10,000 anecdotes that says it is. The thing about established science, those things that scientist say are correct, such as the speed of light, (the speed of a photon in a vacumn) have been proven beyond all reasonable doubt, so that all that is left is unreasonable doubt; and that is generally spouted by non-scientists. When scientists are working on a theory, they call it that. Einsteins theories on Special and General Relativitiy have long ago been sustained, even the one thing Einstein said he was wrong in his calculations about (the gravitational constant), he turned out to be right. There is observable evidence of virtually every facet of each of his theories, withness the atomic bomb and GPS; they exist only because of his theories.

      The only boulder really left unturned is the conjoining of the Theory of General Relativity with Quantum Mechanics; the theory of the large and the theory of the small.

      As to human evolution itself, your undoing won't be archeological evidence, enough of that may never be found for "conclusive" proof, just probable cause. Instead it will be DNA. I am working on a hub at the moment showing why that is so. The problem with DNA for the religious is that it is hard, irrefutable evidence that doesn't depend on finding "missing links", that goes by the way-side. No, DNA can, and it looks like does, show direct linkage between the chimp and the human. Scientists, if I remember my hub correctly, have already found one genetic sequence that proves this and are now looking for others.

      Besides, what is so bad if we did evolve in this mannaer? God still made it happen, didn't He?

    • My Esoteric profile image

      My Esoteric 5 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL

      Mark, good to have you back. You get into many things here an I will pick on two for the moment.

      First is your reliance on the Bible for comfort, wisdom, solace and other such comforts. Who could fault that, there is a lot in both the Old and the New Testaments from which to draw all of that, regardless of which Bible you pick up to read; the "good" parts do read the same. But, in my view, there is no dichotomy in using the Bible in this manner and still not accepting it as the literal Word of God; these are two separate choices from where I sit. Let me also throw in that by focusing solely on the Bible, you forgo much wisdom others have learned from their persuit of God, who, in the end, must be the same God, because there can only be one God.

      Next. let me take this statement of yours in a couple of directions,"If I believe in a God who created everything and is all-powerful, then isn't logical to conclude that this very same God is able to use men to preserve his word?"

      Of course it is. It is also logical to conclude that he didn't or that he used or could have used some other means. It seems illogical to me that God would choose such a dubious method of insuring the whole human race understood His Word; the fact that we are having this discussion is proof of that. Instead of the faces on Mount Rushmore, God could have put His Word there instead in such a way that regardless of which language they spoke and read, the words would be intelligable and mean precicely the same thing with no interpretation needed: then there would be no doubt what so ever, would there.

      But that is not the way it came down, is it. Instead he intrusted his Word to the vagaries of man. And, even if God burned His Word indelibly into the mind of early man such that it was passed down generation to generation exactly as God had spoken, at some point it was put down on paper and man lost the memory of God's Word, for there is no man in written history, beyond Jesus, who is God, that exhibited such knowledge again.

      Once God's Word was committed to paper, the original of which is lost, we are back to where we are today; no man with a memory of God's exact words and no original documents containing God's exact words, only documents which contain words which man wants God's words to be, don't you see.

      For some reason I stayed and came back and slowly but surely, I found the Bible to teach the truth, and the deeper I dig into it, the more it changes me into a wiser, happier and more content person. ...", all that I just said about the Bible doesn't change that one whit; the Bible, even if it is in the form I say it is, still provides you the comfort you seek.

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      Alexander Silvius 5 years ago from Portland, Oregon

      I'm glad I finally have a chance to get back to this discussion, even if ony briefly: I do not know when exactly the Old Testament was written (something I have not studied yet), but I believe it was passed down by word of mouth until it was written. This changes nothing for me because of the answer to your first question: If I believe in a God who created everything and is all-powerful, then isn't logical to conclude that this very same God is able to use men to preserve his word? The entire basis of your argument is that men are flawed. But that doesn't illegitimatize the concept of God in any way. How I first came to believe is another story. All I can tell you is that the Holy Spirit moved me to believe in the Messiah, I was compelled to accept salvation by a force I had never before experienced. When the message was preached, I knew I wanted it. But it wasn't until years later that I came to fully embrace the Bible. I came to a pastor who listened to all my problems and to my dismay and amazement, he opened the Bible. My first thought was, "I have never been able to find the answers to my problems in there before, I KNOW it won't help me now!" For some reason I stayed and came back and slowly but surely, I found the Bible to teach the truth, and the deeper I dig into it, the more it changes me into a wiser, happier and more content person. 

      Now this doesn't answer the debate between creationism and evolution, but this is how I came to believe in a book, "written by man." If God created even just the planets and not the universe, if he had created even just man and not the animals, or just the animals and man and so on, wouldn't that be enough to tell us that he is powerful enough to keep his own words alive through all of history? But if you believe, that God created everything, surely such a God will not have any trouble preserving one set of documents for our use. The key word being "IF". 

      I don't depend on Einstein for my knowledge of the world, even he has been proven wrong from time to time. But if anything, the theory of relativity actually helps us to question even more the evolutionary theories about the start of the universe. Time moves very differently outside of Earth, but a day here is still a day no matter how quickly other planets or suns are aging outside of the confines of our planet. But the argument about days in the Bible is different from our scientific argument. The definition IN the Bible of a day does not change, unless the context says so. For God there is no time, he created that for us, therefore he gave us the description, "and the evening and the morning," and so on. So, in our measurement of time given to us and defined by God, the Earth WAS created in six days, and the Bible cannot support evolution. Again, all this is only applicable to a faith in the Bible. 

      The speed of light is not constant, a compilation of all the measurements of the speed of light since 1675 supposedly reveals an exponential decay. At the least, the measured speed of light is slowing down. 

      The problem with any scientific observation or theory is that it can only be understood by what we see in relation to whatever it is we are studying. The geologic layer could be part evidence of evolution, but it can also very easily be evidence for a worldwide flood. Assuming evolution to be true, where are all the, "missing, missing links,"? My favorite one to harp on is the archaeopteryx. If it is THE missing link, where are all the missing links between it and the dinosaur, the transitional links where it slowly evolved from one form to the other, and of course also be forms between the so called half-dinosaur, half-bird to the bird itself? If evolution is a slow, gradual process of mutations, then we should be able to find as many examples of the species that emerged and thrived as the archaeopteryx obviously did. Besides all this, macro evolution has never been observed, merely theorized from possible evidence. It's a good theory but it doesn't hold up to true science (what is observable). 

      And for Danny, zero missing links have been found between the archaeopteryx and their believed dinosaur ancestors and the form of the bird today, science is not basing facts on assumptions. We can theorize, but when numerous examples of our so called transitional bird exist, it is scientifically ridiculous to assume that all of its ancestors and descendants exist based on an unproven fact. That requires faith. 

      Also, I have to answer your repeated statements about foolishness. 1 Corinthians 2:14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him:...

      We shouldn't care how the world judges us, only whether we are right with God. Even so, a literal interpretation of the Bible matches the evidence we do have for creationism.

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      Daniel Nathan Taylor 5 years ago from United Kingdom, Liverpool

      there are many messages but in a nut shell the main message is:

      We where given the gift of life out of undeserved kindness, satan rebelled in heaven along with a multitude of angels as well as us humans, jesus died for our sins giving us the potential to regain our standing with god if we repent for our sins, there is now a divide between people who want to do gods will and people who dont want to do gods will and they will be seperated during armageddon, the ones who survive armageddon will go through another 1000 year process of refining us ready to be acceptable to god and within those thousand years everyone who died before armageddon (not including the ones that god has already judged such as the flood, soddom and gommorah and such) will get a ressurection and will be given the real knowledge of wht is right and wrong and if they decide they dont want to do things the right way then they will not be allowed to live but the ones that do want to do the right thing will enjoy everlasting life in a perfect earth.

      where the message gets confused is when so called christians try to tell you that our reward is in heaven however we all agree that we have fallen short of gods standard, jesus died for ours sins and it is up to us to prove that we have repented and want to live the right way.

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      My Esoteric 5 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL

      But what is the message? Nobody can seem to agree on that, not the Jews, not the Christians, not the Muslims and they all believe in the exact same God, the God of Abram. How many millions of people have been tortured or died in battle over the proper interpretation of that message? It still goes on today in New York City, Jerusulam, Congress (well they aren't killing each other yet but some people probably wish they would), Dakar, Afghanistan, etc.

      I stand outside this whole fray and hear not a single message but a cacophony of them. Messages that God is Love and would never hurt you, messages that God is Love but will kill you if you disobey Him, messages that God gave use free-will, messages that God didn't, and this goes on for miles; and these are just from the Christians. I suspect I would need just as much paper for the Jews and Muslims as well.

      My question to you, Danny, is can you provide me what you think the one message of the Bible is that every single devote Jew, Muslim, and Christian will agree with you on that is not the same message all other faiths in the world beleive is true as well.

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      Daniel Nathan Taylor 5 years ago from United Kingdom, Liverpool

      There are over 50 commandments really the ten commandments is just a saying its not evidence that the bible is different, I agree there are different translations of the bible but the message of the bible stays the same regardless so again not evidence. Nobody is saying that every word in the bible is sacred that is silly but the point and message of the bible is.

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      My Esoteric 5 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL

      Danny, I am in the middle of listening to a lecture about the Dead Sea Scrolls (the Essene Bible) and there is clearly a difference between the Bible composed by the Essenes (forerunners to Christians, most likely) and that of the Pharisees and Sadducees, there arch-enemies. Even in today's multitude of English translations of the Greek, Aramaic, and Hebrew versions, there are substantial differences. Even the Ten Commandments are different between the Catholic and Protestant versions, for goodness sake; for that matter, some versions have it as Twelve Commandments. The "only" thing that really appears to be common among all versions is the belief in a single God; which even I believe in with my mishmash of Eastern and Western philosophies.

      (Of course, even from there we depart; I think the single God is Nature and you think the single-God is different from Nature and created Nature separate from Himself. -- sorry, just had a thought I need to get down; if God and Nature are two separate identities, do they take up two separate physical spaces?)

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      Daniel Nathan Taylor 5 years ago from United Kingdom, Liverpool

      My esoteric the bible has barely changed since it was first documented there is plenty of evidence for that not least the dead sea scrolls, Alexander mark why are you treating the bible like a science book? True it has many scientific accuracies however genesis is just a brief description of how we came to be until it goes on to the main issues such as why we die and how we can attain everlasting life. The word day is not literal all the time in the bible it's a time period, my grand mom uses this expression all the time "back in my day" your making a fool of god for no reason it's true humans haven't been around for long but there was life before us that was created.

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      My Esoteric 5 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL

      Alexander, how is that you have come to believe a document, whose first words were put down on paper (or whatever passed for paper in those days) by human beings no earlier than 800 BCE) is 1) literal in its truth and 2) the source of all truth. Its greatest flaw is that it has been touched, "and worse, changed", by human minds. Even IF the original was the exact Word of God, it doesn't exist anymore (we have no idea what it actually said, do we), every copy and translation of it has been. What you are reading in the Bible today is no less the product of the mind of man than what is written in all the science books produced by Man.

      As to a day being a day in all instances except at creation, well it isn't. Einstein's General Theory of Relativity shot that one full of holes. That was his greatest contribution to the world, understanding Time wasn't a constant, but relative, and that the speed of light (the photon) is what was the one constant God's Universe. God made Light constant, not Time. It is the understanding of that fact, that time slows down relative to other things the faster you go, that allows things like GPS to work in today's world.

      So, no, a day isn't a day, even today.

    • Alexander Mark profile image

      Alexander Silvius 5 years ago from Portland, Oregon

      I really wish I had time to dig in to this debate, but I do appreciate our civilized discourse (Dannytaylor02 also). I must contend on one point - do you believe I deny the existence of dinosaurs? I do not, but I do believe they have been around throughout human history and continue to survive in very small numbers. You may think I'm a simpleton for believing this, but dinosaurs are simply dragons. They have been prevalent in depictions of human activities and as symbols all around the world in at least the major existing cultures.

      As far as layers as evidence of evolution, it is more plausible it is evidence of a world flood. Carbon dating is also unreliable and the time periods assumed to exist in the evolutionary theory has radically changed since scientists in Darwins' time came up with their numbers.

      I do not have detailed information for educational and rebuttal purposes memorized the same way I know the Bible, but if I get the chance, I'll check out your new article and try to give more detailed facts to support creationism.

      @Danny, how can you assert that the days of creation are not literal? If they are not, then it is odd that only in the instance of time of creation the meaning of days was not literal when everywhere else it seems to be.

      More importantly, if you believe that history, as calculated according to the Bible, is nearly 6000 years, then there is no way we are in the day of rest. But it does make sense that the sabbath will be the thousand year kingdom prophesied after the end of this world.

      The order of creation of animals does not match up with evolution. On the fifth day the whales and birds were made, and on the sixth day every land creature, and also man. Evolution states life started in the ocean, progressed to the land, some returned to the ocean and became warm blooded animals (whales) and others evolved into birds. The orders do not match up Biblically.

      Nevertheless, I was open to the possibility of evolution except that evolution has so many holes in it AND it doesn't match up with the Bible AND scientific evidence points to creationism - I would be a fool to deny creationism.

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      Daniel Nathan Taylor 5 years ago from United Kingdom, Liverpool

      Look forward to reading it!

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      My Esoteric 5 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL

      To believe that the earth is 6000 years old is simply to deny science; to deny dinosaurs (which died out 65 million years ago), to deny the fossile evidence of evolution, as scarce as it is, Lucy (3.2 million years ago) and Ardi (Ardipithecus ramidus), 4.4 million years ago.

      Even so, I have been wanting to add a section on the latest development in DNA research and thanks to your comments, I got to the motivation to do so; you might check it out for it is hard to refute.

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      Daniel Nathan Taylor 5 years ago from United Kingdom, Liverpool

      some good points alexander and its not even a case of just finding one missing link because there should literally be millions upon millions of these missing links that we haven't found yet.

      having said that im not a creationist and without sounding too derogatory i think cretionism is even more dangerous to god than evolution is because it makes him look foolish, the earth is billions of years old....FACT: that does NOT go against the bible genesis 1:1 simply says "in the beginning god created the heavens and the earth so it doesn't even give a time frame.

      Animal fossils date back millions of years...FACT: you simply cant argue with that however again if you look at the genesis account no contradictions are to be found: for one the order in which living things appear are the same in science as in the bible: fish, birds, mammals, humans totally coherent the only question is what does the word day mean in the bible...its a time period not a literal day there are a number of reasons we know this but the one that comes to my mind is that we are still technically in gods day of rest now which started straight after god created eve.

      its great that you believe in god but make sure not to inadvertently represent him as a fool.

    • Alexander Mark profile image

      Alexander Silvius 5 years ago from Portland, Oregon

      In regards to the universities, I am basing my view on these facts: They only teach evolution in science classes, and do nothing to present the other valid argument (for intelligent design). The classes I have attended are filled with rhetoric that is very left leaning - in literature classes, psychology classes and even computer classes, feminism, praise of liberal heroes (such as Hunter Thompson) and a general world view of humanism is presented and woven into the material. The reason almost no one complains is because they have been raised to believe this and have had it taught to them in high school. In these classes I have attended, we were taught mostly facts without understanding why and how they occurred. Perhaps that comes later as I did not continue my education, but the point is that the groundwork is already laid.

      From what I understand, the communists, when they take over a country, first go into the schools and start teaching evolution. That makes acceptance of humanistic views more palatable.

      One more reason I believe colleges brainwash rather than teach reasoning ability is the students I have talked to. They are nearly incapable of debate, but fall back on what they have learned over and over again. Most of my conversations with various students end up being very similar. Combined with my experiences at college, and the people I have talked to who are nearing completion of college, I am convinced that they are being taught biased information in a supposedly open-minded and accepting environment.

      I am glad to hear your experiences are different, I certainly can't speak to that, and maybe my experiences are different because the educational landscape has changed in the last ten years?

      I'm sorry I was unclear about what I believe concerning the age of the earth. I believe it is about 6000 years old. I do not believe the evidence supports an old earth theory. I think it is a good theory, but unprovable. Carbon testing is fraught with errors. The geologic column can not be found in completion anywhere, and where it is found, it more easily supports the theory of a worldwide flood.

      I don't mean to preach, but these are the basic reasons why I believe the way I do.

      What would it take to get me to believe in evolution? Honestly the evidence. My faith does play a strong part I admit, but even before I had any clue about creationism, in high school when they taught us about evolution, there were too many things that didn't make any sense. Like the so called missing link: archaeopteryx. I found the idea tantalizing, but if so many examples can be found of that bird, where are all the other examples of the missing links between it and the dinosaur form? It would make sense that we would find missing links for the majority of animals if there truly are missing links since change is gradual. Plus, if dinosaurs were here millions of years before humans, why are human tracks found alongside dinosaur tracks? Why are there so many stories of dragons all around the world? So in short, the answer is that all the evidence contrary to evolution would have to be wiped away, and the evidence for evolution would have to be solid. I'm not saying a 100% but at least 90%.

      There is a lot more to say, but I would have to re-research to get all my facts down, and I could write several hubs about that, so forgive me if it appears to be a rant. I do appreciate the chance to expound my views in response. I hope this doesn't sound like an attack!

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      My Esoteric 5 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL

      I am very glad you have found the hub useful Mark. Do understand, however, those percentages only hold in America, they fall off sharply when you go outside our borders into the rest of the Christian world and then into the rest of the world itself.

      I ended up getting a bit confused in what you said, so let me ask a direct question; do you think the Universe is the 13.75 or so billion years old, as science has figured out it is?

      I have attended three universities, two in California, 1965 and later in 1982 and one in Virginia in 1993, and I my experience at each was just the opposite as you described, they definitely challenged me to think for myself.

      Thank you for voting in my polls, I wish more readers would take your interest.

      What would it take to get you to believe in evolution?

    • Alexander Mark profile image

      Alexander Silvius 5 years ago from Portland, Oregon

      That was most eye-opening. I have a hard time believing that so many people believe the way I do because media and people I talk to make it seem as if only a very small percentage of misguided idiots believe in the young earth theory. But looking at your poll and what you stated was the Gallup poll, I am pleasantly surprised. Now I am even more disgusted by those who make it seem as if 99.9% of people naturally believe in evolution and dismiss the Christian God.

      I voted almost completely to the "far right" of fundamentalist beliefs in your polls, except for the politician one. Just because they don't believe in evolution, doesn't make them a favorable candidate, so I voted "more likely," on that one.

      I do not believe the Earth was made to look millions or billions of years old, there is way too much evidence that counters evolution and the ages involved. Yes, there is a bias on my account for that belief, but when you look objectively at both theories (Creationism and Evolution), you can find very good reasons for either. I must admit this on a scientific basis (observable) because predetermined perspective cloud both theories.

      However, there IS evidence that man and dinosaurs lived at the same time and there is evidence of a worldwide flood. I could never in good conscience, as a Christian or Evolutionist, deny this.

      "God is deceiving us from the real truth for some unknown reason but you must have faith that the Bible is correct." I used to wonder the same things, but I no longer prescribe to this sort of thinking - it makes no sense. If you believed as I do, and also believed that God would deceive us to force us to have faith to believe, then you would have to believe that God is the devil!

      I'll tell you what, if I thought the evidence for evolution was sound - truly sound, I would consider how it fit into the Bible. But the more I learn, the more I see the errors in evolution and am convinced the young earth theory is correct.

      I think that you will find that there is a definite correlation between education and belief in evolution, and that is simply because in almost all colleges, evolution is taught as fact, as are humanistic values. When someone young enters college, they are more easily convinced of different ideas than someone who has solidified their beliefs. Naturally, when you are that age and in a place of reason and learning, you trust the structure in place because it is exactly what you are depending on to base the rest of your life's beliefs.

      There is an idea out there that education is a solid foundation in which you can trust. I think that it is a giant ruse, colleges teach people to absorb information and biased points of view, but hardly ever to think for yourself. There is a good aspect to this I suppose, like teaching a child the dangers of fire. But time after time, conversations with college students reach a dead end because of their admiration for their professors and solid trust in what they have learned. They are scared to have an opinion that is contrary to popular opinion.

      Yes, I have the same and even more immutable belief in the Bible, but I CHOSE it, I sought it out and studied it on my own.

      So educated people, in the sense that most people are educated in socially and politically progressive colleges, are going to be more inclined to believe in evolution.

      I really appreciate your polls by the way, I find the fact that there are about 40% of American Creationist Christians out there, encouraging. I did wonder if the numbers were much less, but I do live in California and that might explain some of my erroneous views - I am surrounded by die-hard liberals and evolutionists. So thank you - we may not agree, but this has been educational.

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      My Esoteric 5 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL

      Thank you for you comments and thoughts Danny, I do appreciate them. However, on your number count, think about this.

      Dinosuars, et al, were around for millions of years prior to the first chimpanzee finally mutating enough to walk upright, grow a brain slightly larger so as to do what we are doing right now, and a few other things; there are only a few genes different from a chimp and humans. (That is true whether you believe in evolution or creationism.) Consequently, there was plenty of time for millions upon millions of them to be born and to die and then to die all at once when that meteor sort of bumped into earth a while back; which, if I am not mistaken had a bit to do with preserving some of them.

      Then on the other hand, assuming you buy into evolution for a moment, how many of the earliest hominids do you think existed? The same number as there were dinasaurs? I would seriously doubt it. There were a lot, no doubt, and the fact that over this span of time we have found as many as we have, attest to that.

      So, to say that the fact that there are so few examples of the missing link available to study is, in my opinion, obvious, there simply can't be very many. But do notice, that as we move forward, the number of pieces of fossil evidence of what came afterwards increases substantially.

      Just some things to think about.

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      Daniel Nathan Taylor 5 years ago from United Kingdom, Liverpool

      Great hub, very informative I personally believe that we did not have a common ancestor to apes but rather a common creator and I really don't see much in science that can dispute this . What people don't realise is that the fossil record on this is icredibally sparse, we have more dinosaur fossils than potential missing link fossils even though dinosaurs came first and there were fewer of them which to me seems quite odd because there should be millions upon millions of fossils but there aren't even enough to cover a small table...evolution is going the same way as Egyptology went they just keep building on a faulty premise until eventually it comes tumbling down, I'm not saying that evolution is wrong on many occasions but when it comes to explaining species evolving from another over millions of years it just doesn't have the fossil evidence to back its claim up

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      My Esoteric 6 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL

      I appreciate your comment, RacksJackson, thanks for stopping by and reading this hub.

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      My Esoteric 6 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL

      Gingersmaltese, I see our conversation has had one useful outcome, a couple of more people of voted; while the numbers didn't move in the way I would have liked, they at least moved. My real disappointment, however, is that out of 96 people who have viewed this article, only 9 have troubled themselves to vote.

      I found a Wikipedia article that sheds some light on this; it is From this, I counted an estimated minimum of 12,750,000 to a maximum of 45,455,000. This would be compared to 81,248,000 and 1,663,200,000, respectively. To be an order of magnitude different, the non-religious would have had to be between 127,500,000 and 454,550,000, respectively. Of course, as luck would have it, we are both right, depending on which end you look at; isn't that the way it always goes in cases like these.

      Do know, however, I left out those numbers dealing with China because frankly, I have no idea how much religion was tied up in the politics of those conquests. I also left out the untold millions of deaths resulting from the church led imperialism by Europe, mainly Spain, Portugal, and Belgium where you could not distinguish between church and State at that time, into the lower Americas, Africa, Indonesia, and the coasts of Asia. There is simply no way anyone can sugarcoat the period from roughly 1200 - 1950, in my opinion, and say the organization that represents the Christian faith, either Catholic or Protestant, has any legitimacy in representing what they portray as their God; they never followed their own rules even though the faithful, like you Gingersmaltese, that trust in them tried and still try to do just that.

      That is what I find the most frustrating of all. Here I am arguing with you, with whom I really have no argument with at all and you are defending an organization which you believe in, rather than yourself or your faith because it is your organization that I have the issue with. It is this aspect, disassociating between the faithful and their organization that is the hardest for me to articulate. I have no doubt of your morals and ethics and faith in your God and the desire to do right by all but, whether Protestant or Catholic, I have very serious doubts that the leaders of your church, at the highest levels, have those same morals and ethics because it is my firm belief after 63 years of looking at this that you are going to have a hard time showing me any sustained period throughout history, from Peter up until about 1950, when either church has acted by the Golden Rule or the Ten Commandments. If you want to extend that to the other two monotheistic religions, then you can go back to the beginning of recorded history to try to find such a period.

      I truly don't think you can, Gingersmaltese, but for your sake, I hope you can.

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      gingersmaltese 6 years ago from 27597

      You make some good points but there is no way religious and non religious killings are anywhere in the same ball park. Hittler- 11 million, stalin- 20 million, mao - 15 million, pol pot- 2 million. here's over 50 million with these four alone.

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      My Esoteric 6 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL

      My apopolgies Gingersmaltese in one respect, my count, but not my point. Going back to Wikipedia, to get the lowest possible of all estimates, I find that in the Spanish Inquisition, from the records maintained during 1480 to 1834, historians determine there were approximately 4,757 executed in Spain and its possessions. The same historians also admit that their estimates are very low because one, most local records have been lost during one of the more active periods, 1480 - 1530, but that not all of the Inquisition activities, especially the inhuman tortures, or the Inquisition inspirired activities of the local populace that led to the death of innocent people were ever recorded. At least another 1175 were burned to death by the Catholics in Portugal in the same time period, and I am still looking for Roman (of which I know of one for sure, Giodana Bruno, who was burned at the stake for suggesting that the earth was not at the center of the universe) and Medievil (beginning in 1231) Inquisitions. I took the Protestant, not the Atheist, estimates of the Catholic atrosoties.

      I also apologize for putting Hitler in the wrong column, he needs to be lumped in with the religious murders as the murder of the Jews is clearly a case of religious killing, I would assume that you do agree he was responsible for that and it was religious in nature. I must also point out the Pogroms in Russia, which resulted is uncounted deaths of Jews was also religious in nature. I suspect that Stalin killed many Jews as well, but I will concede the point that he simply killed anybody he could get his hands on.

      Weren't the Crusades a religious war institgated by the Church not as a result of a defensive action? If so, then any deaths that resulted need to be counted. If the opposite is true, that the Crusades were, if fact, and act of self-defense by the Chruch because the Church was being attacked by another religion, then the deaths still have to be counted because it is still a religious war. That is why I didn't mention the Crusades, they were self-evident a religious war. Whether the Inquistion itself took one like or ten million, in the scheme of things, throughout history, secular and non-sucular caused death are still on par with each other.

      By the way, I am not an atheist, I never was and never will be. I have very strong spiritual beliefs, just not yours. I absolutely believe in a power stronger than mine but what that is, I can't define and don't even try, I just know that it exists and attempt to live my life according to the Ethics that are Universal and are part of all Great religions and philosophers from Spinoza to Aristotle to Jesus to Krishna to Buddha.

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      gingersmaltese 6 years ago from 27597

      Oh, how atheists love to bring up the Inquisition. Im surprised you didn't mention the crusades also. Im very interested in where you get your numbers that the inquisition killed that many people. especially considering that the area the inquisition covered did not have that that many people living there, unless you think the inquisition killed 120% of the population of southern Europe. All the numbers i find range from 2k to 5k. deaths from the inquisition with 180k to 200k being interrogated total.

      The number of deaths caused by the non-religious would most certainly be an order of magnitude larger than the deaths caused by the religious. That is if you use "real" numbers.

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      My Esoteric 6 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL

      You make a good point, Gingersmaltese, but nevertheless are still on fragile ground. It is hard to use the beginning of the U.S. as a comparison as there was no alternative to the Protestant religion at that point in time, save for Pennsylvania and Rhode Island; even in those two colonies, however, you still had to be Christian. So it goes without saying that whatever institutions that were created at that point in time, save the Federal government itself, was the creation of Protestantism, for the most part. To put a blemish on that, however, there were two reasons England colonized the Americas, one was monetary and the other was to keep the Catholics out. While it did not quite come to all out war over the question of religion in early America, like it did in the rest of Europe in the very bloody Ten Years War, it did come close to it and was a major undercurrent in the French-Indian War.

      You also have the problem of the Catholic Inquisition, in all its forms, that lasted from somewhere in the 1300 to the 1800 which murdered more people than Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot, Mao combined. Now, if you do a tabulation of all non-religious wars and religious wars in mankinds history, you are probably right. But, I bet you will find they are not different by an order of magnitude; which, at that scale, makes them about the same. Given, what God and religion is supposed to be about doesn't say much about religion does it.

      This brings me to my point. There is a massive divide between those individuals who believe in the idea of a monotheistic God whether modified by a Jesus Christ or the words of Muhammed or not and what that is supposed to mean in the way you conduct your life and how you are supposed to act toward others and those that make up the leadership of the institution that claim they represent that particular sect of Jew, Christian, or Muslim.

      It is my belief that it is the individual or groups of individuals at the lower instistutional rungs that do principal good one sees from religious institutions and it is the leadership, the religious equivalents of Stalin and Hitler, there are examples of many throughout history, that are responsible for the millions of innocent beings murdered in the name of God. They are also the ones responsible for determining the religious doctrine they want their followers, meaning you for your particular sect, to believe in; a doctrine that continually changes over time to fit the current situation.

      It would seem to me, as on outsider, that the law that your God set down in the origial Bible, the Old Testament, would be the only words that counted. Further, it would seem to me that the only logical interpretation that should be believed is that of the original people communicated with or at the very least were most contemporary with the original writings. Any interpretations my man (or woman) after that are biased by the desires and predilections of the person doing the interpretation. They cannot be the words of God because they are being interpreted by man; man is saying what they THINK God meant; they are simply guessing. Why do I say that? Because there are three separate main monothesistic religions, each of which wants to kill the other, and within each branch there are an almost uncountable number of subbranches, none of which cannot agree on what the Bible says and all of which, at one time or another have wanted to kill one another.

      Sorry, Gingersmltese, that doesn't make to much of an impression on me.

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      gingersmaltese 6 years ago from 27597

      People love to point out the damage religions have done in the world but fail to acknowledge the good. The first hospitals, schools, and universities in the USA were started by Christians for altruistic reasons. If you were to add up the number of deaths and suffering caused by the non-religious it would dwarf the examples of the religious. Must i point out the Hitlers, Mao Zedong, Stalin, pol pot, the list gos on. The claim that religions cause the most hurt in this world is ridiculous.

    • My Esoteric profile image

      My Esoteric 7 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL

      Thanks again for your comments Terry, very insightful. I am neither religious, agnostic, nor atheistic; rather a spiritual pantheist with a pinch of Buddhism and a dash of Hinduism with some plagiarism from Confucius for framework might be an apt, if not esoteric, description. Oh yes, you can't forget to add in Aristotles concept of virtue and a "good" life.

      In putting words to my thoughts on God, Benadict (Baruch) Spinoza came to my rescue but left me unsettled with the idea of absolute determinism. I just don't buy it for it defies common sense and observation although it is a logical outcome if you accept the Big Bang.

      Here, science comes charging in on the White Horse, I hope. I recently listened to a couple of courses on quantum mechanics and was in the middle of one on Dark Matter/Dark Energy, when the person I lent it to couldn't find it again. In them were various discussions of Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle.

      That is all the further I have gotten at the moment, but, I bet cha' one can make a formidable theory that free will can co-exist within a deterministic universe because of the properties of the Uncertainty Principle.

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      Terry.Hirneisen 7 years ago from Shenandoah Valley

      Mark Twain did an experiment and put in a cage a dog and a cat. After they learned to get along he added bunny. And so on.... They eventually lived in harmony. Then he tried the same with an Irish Catholic, a protestant, a Muslim, a Jew, etc. He returned to find nothing left in this cage! Such is man, the religious animal.

      We have entered a dark age in America. I thought the Scopes Monkey trial had settled this issue. If you tell me you believe in Creationism I will be forced to pray for you and I am an Agnostic! These must also be the people that listened to their mother when she warned them they would go blind if ... LOL Some people are trying to figure out Dark Energy and Dark matter, and black holes. To think they must coexist with those denying evolution is sad.

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      My Esoteric 7 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL

      OpinionDuck, when it comes to religion and evolution, facts somehow seem to lose all meaning to a large segment of the American population.

      TonyMac, thank you for your nice comment, I do appreciate it. I am, I believe, correct with Luther. He chose the term himself to replace the more derisive term "Lutherism" used by his Catholic opponents of the time. Later in the 16th century, his followers picked it up to distinguish themselves from Calvinists and others.

      I am wrong, however, in identifying Calvinism as identical to Protestanism. Instead, Calvinists were known as Reformers. Protestants, as a term for a faith, was used to define those who were against Catholic orthodoxy.

    • tonymac04 profile image

      Tony McGregor 7 years ago from South Africa

      Very interesting and useful Hub - thank you. I agree with you in most of what you say, especially about reason and the dangers of the religious promotion of hate (as in your comment to CMerrit above).

      Couple of detail points I would like to make, respectfully. Firstly you imply that Luther started the Evangelical movement and Calvin Protestantism. I think it was actually the other way round. Secondly there is a tendency to link Evangelical and fundamentalist. I know of many Evangelicals who are not in any sense fundamentalists, in the Biblical literalism sense. Evangelicals are not necessarily in the Biblical literalism camp.

      Thanks for an interesting read and I think your book would be a great addition to the literature on this subject.

      Love and peace


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      OpinionDuck 7 years ago

      We know for a fact that some creatures have evolved while others have remained the same.

      The ant and the roach haven't changed although they have adapted to different environmenets.

      Man hasn't changed since recorded history.

      Some creatures have gone extinct.

      Are deadly viruses and bacteria a work of God or just stuff that can happen with DNA or RNA or something even less than that?

    • CMerritt profile image

      Chris Merritt 7 years ago from Pendleton, Indiana

      Not to get off on a tangent, but I simply believe the our creator, gave us a simple set of rules and directions to live here by. Faith is the only true measure and requirement to prove to Him that we accept this, and through that alone, He has provided us an eternal life. This is merely a belief that I have accepted. My intentions is not to be a friend that makes your face turn blue. I respect your standards of requiring proof to the "secrets" of this universe. Facts are without a doubt, extermely important. I have also, in the recent years have accepted the facts, that organized religion is, for the most part, a bad thing. I think being a Christian, is a personal relationship with God, through His son Christ. I agree, hate is just part of man, despite religion or no religion being involved, that is just part of who we are. Throw in some arrogant "religious" folks who think they know what is best for everyone, and BOOM...we have wars.

      With all my heart, I stand by the belief that the principals of God and those that Christ taught are essential in a moral, upright society. They was also utlized as the cornerstone to building this Nation over 200 years ago. This is where I will probably part with you, but I think God's divine intervention was shed on our forefathers, and this country received His blessings. A creator who can build a complex universe with life as we know it, can surely have a simple and personal relationship with the very "life" He created.

      By the way, I look forward to more of your hubs, and encourage you to proceed with your book. You have a marvelous way of explaining your thoughts and beliefs.

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      My Esoteric 7 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL

      And thank you again CMerritt for your erudite answer (a very Evangelical Christian friend of mine loved that word, the same friend that turned my face blue). My secular belief in provable science aside, Christianity has a major schism within its own ranks. You have the left, middle, and the right both within the Catholic and Protestant ranks. Those of the "young earth" believers, the best I can tell, align themselves most closely with the original teachings of Martin Luther and John Calvin who broke from the Catholic Church and founded the Evangelical and Protestant movements, respectively. Both argued fervently that only faith is needed to believe in God; there is no place for reason and dismissed the Catholic's attempt to "prove" God exists. They argued instead that the words written in the Bible they were using (I am not sure of the version) are the absolute, literal word of God.

      That line of belief is represented today by the Evangelical/Fundamentalist movement in America. In America, as can be seen from the statistics above, this is a large segment of the Christian community. But having said that, the other half of Christians don't hold to such a strict view or the “young earth” view but 1) nevertheless practice an equally fervent belief in God or 2) hold a belief in God without really practicing that belief.

      For me, of course, reason must win out. Proof, based on the well established principals of the scientific method, must reign supreme or what is the point of having a brain? So, suppose God created our brain directly, He must have given humans the capability to reason with it as well since the capability actually exists. Then the question I must ask myself, and others, is would He limit the subjects the brain was allowed to reason about? Well, without any literal reference in Scripture, that is what Martin Luther and John Calvin want us to believe.

      As to the age of the earth, there is simply no question. It isn’t a matter of faith with me; it is just a matter of fact. Evolution, on the other hand, isn’t quite so lucky because there are a few holes left. DNA research should close those in time, but, at the moment, it hasn’t met the standard of complete proof.

      One of the greatest benefits of organized religion is the one you bring up, the social aspects. The support and succor it can provide can be palpable. Unfortunately, as with the case of my friend who got divorced, they can turn on you. She and her husband were evangelists and when she divorced him because of his abuse, they basically shunned her. She had given her life over to God and the church in much the same fashion you have. There was no reasoning involved, she had pure faith until they turned her away and succored her husband; she started asking questions.

      As to hate, it is simply endemic in the nature of Man. When religion is added to the mix, history has shown violence is sure to follow. I will definitely be writing hubs on it and am contemplating a book.

    • CMerritt profile image

      Chris Merritt 7 years ago from Pendleton, Indiana

      As always, a very interesting hub. You always challenge me to think in a fashion that I respect.

      I too, have decided not to ridicule those who find comfort with the secular "scientific" explanations to what I refer to as the "young earth". I have read many well written theories and explanations to support the "young earth", as there are plenty of secular explanations. It comes down to faith for me, and I know that may very well seem as a cop out of an answer, it IS my answer. My faith has been my support system for a large part of my life, and has fulfilled me beyond my expectaions. I have also saw first hand the hatred that many of the secular world has against those of faith, that some of the "evidence" that is used to support their own beleifs has become a mater of "faith" in their own rights. There is also a growing number of "creationist" scientists who many of them were at on time evolutionists.

      Again with a very interesting hub, I am a fan, despite some of our disagrements of some issues.

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      Howard Schneider 7 years ago from Parsippany, New Jersey

      Very interesting survey. I did vote and I look forward to reading more from you on this. I wrote a Hub on my own feelings on this and other similar matters in my Hub "Musings on the Meaning of Life". I hope a lot more people vote in your survey. I'd like to see if it tracks the Gallup Poll.