Pew survey: Zero members of new Congress claim no religious affiliation

posted at 10:30 pm on February 14, 2011 by Allahpundit

I know, I know, Pete Stark is an admitted “nontheist,” but he describes himself as a Unitarian so technically he doesn’t count.

Dude:

Amazing. Not the raw numbers, I mean — those are clearly bogus. No doubt there are plenty of closet agnostics/atheists in Congress. In fact, given how virtually all other religious subgroups have representation that’s roughly proportional to their size of the population, I wonder if secret nonbelievers in Congress might exceed 10 percent. No, what’s amazing is that even with more than 15 percent of the American public claiming no affiliation — the third biggest group overall, behind Protestants and Catholics — and notwithstanding the fact that incumbency and gerrymandering make many members of Congress virtually invulnerable electorally, there’s still not a single member apart from Stark willing to cop to agnosticism. I know it’s a heavy liability politically (see this all-time classic poll from Pew from a few years ago to understand how heavy), but still. Not a single member besides Stark has the courage of his/her convictions? Embarrassing.

Speaking of closet agnostics/atheists, Bill Maher’s taking this straight to the top.


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Allah, Join us…….. Jooooooiiiiiiin uuuuuuuuus!

ThePrez on February 14, 2011 at 10:32 PM

Who is the other muslim, and what exactly is “other” religion, does that include both Shintos and satanists?

Bishop on February 14, 2011 at 10:32 PM

Faith in nothing is still faith.

BKeyser on February 14, 2011 at 10:33 PM

Don’t Know Category? Heh… Is that like voting present?

darclon on February 14, 2011 at 10:34 PM

Did they use the descriptions on this printout in the poll?

I hate the word “Protestant” and don’t know why anyone would use it.

I guess I’d choose “unaffiliated” as I wouldn’t want the taint of anything else on there (taint in regard to my personal beliefs).

mankai on February 14, 2011 at 10:36 PM

What, no Hindus?! Calling Ganesh!

John the Libertarian on February 14, 2011 at 10:36 PM

In fact, given how virtually all other religious subgroups have representation that’s roughly proportional to their size of the population, I wonder if secret nonbelievers in Congress might exceed 10 percent.

I don’t know. You may be seeing the result of atheists typically being in urban areas. You can have lots of atheists or agnostics, but if they reside in many of the same liberal districts and are overwhelmed by other liberal voters, it doesn’t count for much.

amerpundit on February 14, 2011 at 10:38 PM

No doubt there are plenty of closet agnostics/atheists in Congress.

Yeah. Around 10 %, AP. Just like the national average.

kingsjester on February 14, 2011 at 10:38 PM

Pew survey: Zero members of new Congress claim no religious affiliation

Ya think there’s got to be a Savior in there some where?

Rovin on February 14, 2011 at 10:38 PM

Who is the other muslim, and what exactly is “other” religion, does that include both Shintos and satanists?

Bishop on February 14, 2011 at 10:32 PM

Well, if any of the members were born in Japan, they are considered to be Shintoists.

Asher on February 14, 2011 at 10:39 PM

Awww…

But how sad that AP cannot accept his non-representation in Congress with good cheer, but instead must take the same route that liberal race-victims take. “I don’t like the numbers … it must be rigged!”

I guess we all do that sometimes, don’t we?

Jaibones on February 14, 2011 at 10:40 PM

There are probably some atheists in there. In my years in Christendom, there are a lot of “cultural [fill in various denominations]” who don’t believe anything, they just like “being [whatever]“.

mankai on February 14, 2011 at 10:41 PM

I like how Norah O’Donnell sits there laughing about how Republicans are stupid, insisting Obama’s always been a pragmatic centrist (yeah, we notice in November).

amerpundit on February 14, 2011 at 10:43 PM

But how sad that AP cannot accept his non-representation in Congress with good cheer, but instead must take the same route that liberal race-victims take. “I don’t like the numbers … it must be rigged!”

I don’t think it’s rigged. I think people are simply lying about their affiliation, with good reason. In fact, Stark lied about his own for years.

You seriously believe that Pete Stark’s the only agnostic/atheist in Congress? With 535 people there? Many of them hard-left liberals?

Allahpundit on February 14, 2011 at 10:43 PM

You seriously believe that Pete Stark’s the only agnostic/atheist in Congress? With 535 people there? Many of them hard-left liberals?

Allahpundit on February 14, 2011 at 10:43 PM

Usually I’d say “no” but I’m not sure anymore. Not since I’ve realized how prevalent the “social justice” crowd has become in religion.

But who knows. This isn’t really something that can be proven or disproven. Even family members can’t tell for sure what your religion is. Only the individual can.

amerpundit on February 14, 2011 at 10:45 PM

Many of them hard-left liberals?

Allahpundit on February 14, 2011 at 10:43 PM

Hard-Left Liberals go to church, too, AP. Obama attended Trinity Church of Christ for 20 years.

kingsjester on February 14, 2011 at 10:47 PM

Who is the other muslim?

Bishop on February 14, 2011 at 10:32 PM

Rep. Andre Carson from Indiana is the second Muslim in Congress after Rep. Keith Ellison of Minnesota. Both are Democrats.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2008/03/12/us-usa-politics-muslim-idUSN1164415020080312

wren on February 14, 2011 at 10:47 PM

I think the “don’t know/refused” can be easily assumed to be agnostic or atheist.

cthulhu on February 14, 2011 at 10:48 PM

If only about 200 had identified as “Shakers”, imagine how much fun Congress would be then.

Bishop on February 14, 2011 at 10:49 PM

If Nancy Pelosi can claim to be Catholic, despite her daily begging for excommunication, I don’t see why any of this self-identification should be taken seriously at all.

cthulhu on February 14, 2011 at 10:49 PM

Ap- I’d venture to guess there are at least the same number of Agnostics/Atheists in Congress as the general population. Surely, as you noted above, many on the hard left are atheists. So yeah, they’re lying to their constituents.

Hard as that is to believe.

BKeyser on February 14, 2011 at 10:50 PM

Aw shucks.

And on Valentine’s Day too.

Happy VD, Allah!

(if I were AP’s kitteh, I’d hide behind the curtains for a while…

hillbillyjim on February 14, 2011 at 10:52 PM

Yea AP – you were the person in the chilly – early spring who said that no one would go to Washington for a “tea party”

“not I” to quote you.

I never forget the words of a fool.

You are a “denier” and in the end you’ll be left behind from everything.

mj

amend2 on February 14, 2011 at 10:53 PM

My first bf is a Unitarian – a bone fide lefty who considers himself a Christian. (Thank God we ended it in high school).

AP, give it up. Even S.E. recognizes the value of religion. People who promote its demise are creating a vacuum which will be filled by “something.” Is that what you want? Years ago, I said here that if there was a nuclear war that wiped up most of the planet on Wednesday, someone would build an altar by Friday and it’s true.

Connie on February 14, 2011 at 10:55 PM

3 Buddhists. Awesome.

Paul-Cincy on February 14, 2011 at 10:55 PM

I’d like to know how many members of Congress can balance their own checkbook.

Bishop on February 14, 2011 at 10:56 PM

Gaia… REPRESENT!

mankai on February 14, 2011 at 10:56 PM

Sorry, God won’t let the atheists get elected.

Little Boomer on February 14, 2011 at 10:56 PM

Apparently atheists believe that if they break the Law of Gravity, that Newton will smite them, or Faraday if they violate the electromagnetic commandments. Science just offers a bunch of patterns that are always observed, with no explanation of who or what makes the “laws” hold.

pedestrian on February 14, 2011 at 10:57 PM

Takes a lot more faith to be a true Athiest, then to believe in God.

Agnostic makes much more sense, at least they admit there could be a God out there….

jjjen on February 14, 2011 at 10:57 PM

Not one representative of the Holy Church of the Jugeared Jesus?

hillbillyjim on February 14, 2011 at 10:58 PM

It says that there are 39 Jews in Congress bit there’s a world of difference between the orthodox Judaism that Eric Cantor practices and the secular-humanistic tripe that passes for Judaism on the left.
*Yeah_ know Lieb’s claims to be Orthodox but since he supports Partial-birth abortion he’s really just Shomer Shabbos*

annoyinglittletwerp on February 14, 2011 at 10:59 PM

No doubt there are plenty of closet agnostics/atheists in Congress.

AP, I beg to differ. Even the ones who are in the non-religious closet, so to speak, do believe in a god…

Namely his or her own self.

TXUS on February 14, 2011 at 10:59 PM

According to Westminster, even the dogs have changed.

Rovin on February 14, 2011 at 11:04 PM

Jews, Episcopals, and Presbyterians are over-represented. But I bet that, along with some of the Catholic members, several of these self-identified religionists are closet o practicing atheists.

mydh12 on February 14, 2011 at 11:07 PM

Dennis Kucinich – Raëlian?

DeathB4Tyranny on February 14, 2011 at 11:10 PM

There are exactly as many Jews in the US as Mormons… lot’s more in government though… we have some catching up to do. ;)

petunia on February 14, 2011 at 11:23 PM

OH yeah Allah’s point… don’t worry I’m sure there are other non-believers… they just have to lie to get elected.

Think how blessed you are to be able to declare your unbelief openly… it’s a miracle actually.

petunia on February 14, 2011 at 11:24 PM

What, no Hindus?! Calling Ganesh!

John the Libertarian on February 14, 2011 at 10:36 PM

What is the point? You get to hand cash to the priest so he says your name during a prayer?

Inanemergencydial on February 14, 2011 at 11:33 PM

The table shows muslims only make up 0.6% of American adults. I thought CAIR claimed muslims were about 4 to 6% of the population. Probably when you add in the kids…..

Canadian Infidel on February 14, 2011 at 11:37 PM

What no members of the Jedi faith.

The way the last congress played old Jedi mind tricks with O-care at least some had to get in again.

tjexcite on February 14, 2011 at 11:51 PM

“Damn”? On a person-to-person level, Pete Stark is the biggest eighwhole in Congress and perhaps all of Washington. I say you all should clean up your act before you get any more.

L.N. Smithee on February 15, 2011 at 12:08 AM

Here is why the numbers are wrong. A lot of those good folks in Congress are being taught by Mormon missionaries. The problem is that they don’t want to say so because of what happened with Mitt (whom I loathe). The fact is that the population of Mormons is probably 3 to 4 times larger.

(This analysis brought to you using the same analytical gymnastics required to turn 0 atheists into many atheists. And, just because it makes no sense doesn’t make it wrong. I wonder if the CBO is hiring? Hmmm.)

Mormon Doc on February 15, 2011 at 12:12 AM

Faith in nothing is still faith.

BKeyser on February 14, 2011 at 10:33 PM

No… lacking belief in gods is not faith.

lexhamfox on February 15, 2011 at 12:18 AM

No… lacking belief in gods is not faith.

lexhamfox on February 15, 2011 at 12:18 AM
To quote the group ‘Rush’: If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice.

annoyinglittletwerp on February 15, 2011 at 12:21 AM

annoyinglittletwerp on February 15, 2011 at 12:21 AM

“…I will choose free will.”

It is indeed a choice but not a faith.

lexhamfox on February 15, 2011 at 12:23 AM

L.N. Smithee on February 15, 2011 at 12:08 AM

Here is why the numbers are wrong. A lot of those good folks in Congress are being taught by Mormon missionaries. The problem is that they don’t want to say so because of what happened with Mitt (whom I loathe). The fact is that the population of Mormons is probably 3 to 4 times larger.

(This analysis brought to you using the same analytical gymnastics required to turn 0 atheists into many atheists. And, just because it makes no sense doesn’t make it wrong. I wonder if the CBO is hiring? Hmmm.)

Mormon Doc on February 15, 2011 at 12:12 AM

I actually think we should get some of the “other” numbers. When people go inactive they probably don’t go out of their way to answer LDS. And some newbies think if they slip up and drink a cup of coffee they can’t really say they are a Mormon anymore. Lot’s of our inactives are more active than many actives in other religions… like they were just baptised as babes and never went back.

So some of the “other” is ours… not in Congress though… cause I’m not thinking they are the ones we want.

petunia on February 15, 2011 at 1:30 AM

Faith in nothing is still faith.

BKeyser on February 14, 2011 at 10:33 PM

No… lacking belief in gods is not faith.

lexhamfox on February 15, 2011 at 12:18 AM

I agree, but militant disbelief takes a lot of mental work and that is very similar to faith.

petunia on February 15, 2011 at 1:31 AM

Cheer up, AP, I’m pretty sure you have the President and most of the Democratic caucus on your godless, super-train to hell side. :)

American Elephant on February 15, 2011 at 1:35 AM

Allahpundit it is time you joined us

you have faith allahpundit

A belief in nothing is a belief in something

JOINNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN USSSSSSSSSSSS

Kevin43 on February 15, 2011 at 1:50 AM

I agree, but militant disbelief takes a lot of mental work and that is very similar to faith.

petunia on February 15, 2011 at 1:31 AM

The militancy or the mental effort? :)

lexhamfox on February 15, 2011 at 1:54 AM

AP, give it up. Even S.E. recognizes the value of religion. People who promote its demise are creating a vacuum which will be filled by “something.” Is that what you want? Years ago, I said here that if there was a nuclear war that wiped up most of the planet on Wednesday, someone would build an altar by Friday and it’s true.

Connie on February 14, 2011 at 10:55 PM

Nice observation. I agree with that. Human beings seem to be built to have a need to believe in the Divine.

3 Buddhists. Awesome.

Paul-Cincy on February 14, 2011 at 10:55 PM

Thumbs up! I think Congress could use more Buddhists.

If Nancy Pelosi can claim to be Catholic, despite her daily begging for excommunication, I don’t see why any of this self-identification should be taken seriously at all.

cthulhu on February 14, 2011 at 10:49 PM

I just wish Harry Reid wouldn’t announce himself as Mormon. :(

Conservative Samizdat on February 15, 2011 at 2:00 AM

In other news, 99% of our legislative candidates are religiously affiliated.

WE HAVE NO HEATHEN AGNOSTICS HERE. NO SIRREE BOB.

THE ONE PERCENT ARE RON PAUL. ALSO RON PAUL.

This is like a 7 on a 1-10 link bait thread. Are things getting tight at TH?

Tman on February 15, 2011 at 2:32 AM

They forgot the Religion of Big Government on that list, I would say at least 75% of them are practicing members of that religion

the_ancient on February 15, 2011 at 3:58 AM

but he describes himself as a Unitarian so technically he doesn’t count.

What do you get when you cross a Unitarian and a Mormon?
….someone who knocks on the door, and when answered, says nothing.
Unitarian believe in, well they believe in, in, in, most everything…

right2bright on February 15, 2011 at 6:59 AM

What, no Hindus?! Calling Ganesh!

John the Libertarian on February 14, 2011 at 10:36 PM

I’m Hindu. Where’s my representation? How can I be uniquely represented? I protest… /snark

Dandapani on February 15, 2011 at 7:09 AM

They forgot the Religion of Big Government on that list, I would say at least 75% of them are practicing membershigh priests of that religion

the_ancient on February 15, 2011 at 3:58 AM

What they really wanna be.

VelvetElvis on February 15, 2011 at 8:00 AM

I guarantee you that none of them hold my religious beliefs (similar, sure, but certainly not remotely close on certain aspects of faith).

In the end, their governmental “religion” should be the Constitution. To that end, I only worry about people who come from religious traditions that have historically been opposed to the tenets of Constitutionalism.

mankai on February 15, 2011 at 8:22 AM

Allahpundit it is time you joined us

you have faith allahpundit

A belief in nothing is a belief in something

JOINNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN USSSSSSSSSSSS

Kevin43 on February 15, 2011 at 1:50 AM

What is this?
“We are the borg Christians, you will be assimilated. Resistance is futile, your cultural and technological distinctiveness will be added to our own.”

Count to 10 on February 15, 2011 at 8:57 AM

You seriously believe that Pete Stark’s the only agnostic/atheist in Congress? With 535 people there? Many of them hard-left liberals?

Allahpundit on February 14, 2011 at 10:43 PM

Sooo… atheists have socialist tendencies?

darclon on February 15, 2011 at 9:05 AM

Amazing. Not the raw numbers, I mean — those are clearly bogus. No doubt there are plenty of closet agnostics/atheists in Congress.

Those numbers seem pretty reasonable to me.

Churches are the original social network, and they’re in every district in America. Since religious candidates are not only available, but abundant in every district, it stands to reason that they should be somewhat overrepresented. Let’s see: Catholics, Protestants, Mormons, and Jews are all somewhat overrepresented. That doesn’t leave a lot of room left for 54 closet non-believers (which assumes that even 10% of the country is somewhere on the spectrum of disbelief, much less congress).

I see 6 refused to answer/didn’t know, which would probably be your closet non-believers. Sounds about right.

RightOFLeft on February 15, 2011 at 9:07 AM

AP’s point is valid.

How likely would it be that ANYBODY would be elected who happens to be an open atheist in this country?

Not very.

Good Lt on February 15, 2011 at 9:20 AM

Takes a lot more faith to be a true Athiest, then to believe in God.

Agnostic makes much more sense, at least they admit there could be a God out there….

jjjen on February 14, 2011 at 10:57 PM

False.

Agnostics believe in a higher power – just a non-specific one.

Atheists by definition do not believe in a higher power because there is and has been no evidence presented supporting its existence. They don’t rule out the remote possibility for one – they just observe, correctly, that no evidence of one has ever been shown, and logically, they cannot just “have faith” that one exists.

Good Lt on February 15, 2011 at 9:28 AM

Wow, AP. With no evidence whatsoever, and based entirely on your own, dare I use the word, “faith,” you have created upwards of 50 mythical athiest/agnostic members of Congress, and further decided that these members, whose existence is only guaranteed inside your own head, are guilty of cowardice and hypocrisy.

And yet you pride yourself on your coldly logical world view, eschewing fairy tails like “God” and “Jesus” and the like, in favor of pure rationality. Except, of course, when you’re lonely, and need to cook up some imaginary friends….

notropis on February 15, 2011 at 10:12 AM

Good Lt on February 15, 2011 at 9:28 AM

I don’t believe you exist.

Since an atheist has experienced only 1 gajillionth of the universe, it is an act of utter stupidity to assume that there is no “higher power.”

Even atheist god Richard Dawkins realizes the idiocy of life self-creating by accident, for no reason, to accomplish nothing that he believes that aliens must have come here and planted life (on an inorganic planet, no less). He readily believes in aliens for which there is no evidence because he can’t explain design, yet he refuses to consider even the possibility of a higher power beyond nature… because unseen aliens (who have somehow discovered how to defy the laws of physics and biology) make no moral demands.

mankai on February 15, 2011 at 10:15 AM

Allah you’re wrong about the atheists lying. The poll asked for church affiliation, not whether you believed in God or not. There are 41 Episcopalians and 58 Unspecified/Other in Congress and I’d be willing to bet a good size portion of those are atheists. They simply view church and religion as a social justice medium and Jesus as a Socialist. I am sure if they had asked do you believe in the Christian God you would have got different numbers.

Rocks on February 15, 2011 at 10:16 AM

I don’t believe you exist.

Since an atheist has experienced only 1 gajillionth of the universe, it is an act of utter stupidity to assume that there is no “higher power.”

Even atheist god Richard Dawkins realizes the idiocy of life self-creating by accident, for no reason, to accomplish nothing that he believes that aliens must have come here and planted life (on an inorganic planet, no less). He readily believes in aliens for which there is no evidence because he can’t explain design, yet he refuses to consider even the possibility of a higher power beyond nature… because unseen aliens (who have somehow discovered how to defy the laws of physics and biology) make no moral demands.

I see someone has been carefully “studying” Ben’s Steins propaganda film.

Pablo Honey on February 15, 2011 at 10:20 AM

They don’t rule out the remote possibility for one – they just observe, correctly, that no evidence of one has ever been shown, and logically, they cannot just “have faith” that one exists.

Good Lt on February 15, 2011 at 9:28 AM

Not to get you going but why would anyone who had evidence which could logically show there is a God need faith? Absent evidence or logic, faith is the only way anyone could believe in God.

Rocks on February 15, 2011 at 10:23 AM

I see someone has been carefully “studying” Ben’s Steins propaganda film.

Pablo Honey on February 15, 2011 at 10:20 AM

Cool! You managed to ignore the facts and attack me personally while questioning my motives based on nothing. Wow, you ARE committed to logic!

mankai on February 15, 2011 at 10:35 AM

Not to get you going but why would anyone who had evidence which could logically show there is a God need faith? Absent evidence or logic, faith is the only way anyone could believe in God.

Rocks on February 15, 2011 at 10:23 AM

True.

And the claim by the previous commenter I responded to said that “it takes more faith to be a true atheist than to believe in God.”

That’s false. Atheists, by definition, to not have “faith (ie, belief without evidence)” in a higher power.

That’s all I was sayin.

I don’t believe you exist.

That’s nice, but it can objectively be demonstrated and tested, with copious evidence to support the notion, that I do in fact exist, so you believing it or not doesn’t change it.

Good Lt on February 15, 2011 at 10:45 AM

Wow, AP. With no evidence whatsoever, and based entirely on your own, dare I use the word, “faith,” you have created upwards of 50 mythical athiest/agnostic members of Congress, and further decided that these members, whose existence is only guaranteed inside your own head, are guilty of cowardice and hypocrisy.
notropis on February 15, 2011 at 10:12 AM

There’s no special headwear or icon to identify Atheists. All we can objectively determin is that at least that many Congressmen are slimeballs. So, by AP’s definition, his numbers are actually conservative.

In the atheist religion, there is only one “sin”: that of hypocrisy. And anyone who OPENLY proclaims his nonaffiliation can never be guilty of it.

Every other religion offers some sort of retroactive forgiveness or redemption from impiety. Atheism is completely different. It offers – from a purely subjective point of view – prospective moral perfection.

logis on February 15, 2011 at 10:48 AM

I question your motives because your entire post is full of lies…much like the Ben Stein film.

Pablo Honey on February 15, 2011 at 10:51 AM

Allah, you really should say “darn” because “damn’ is something that God does…

Big John on February 15, 2011 at 10:54 AM

I question your motives because your entire post is full of lies…much like the Ben Stein film.

Pablo Honey on February 15, 2011 at 10:51 AM

More great logic. You say it’s full of lies, therefore it is. Awesome.

I only wrote what the synapses in my brain caused me to write. All thought, in a purely materialistic construct, must be explained by the laws of chemistry and physics. Therefore, what I wrote is the natural result of chemical reactions. We can only be stimuli-response mechanisms and therefore you have no basis for complaint. Your problem is with nature and the laws of chemistry.

mankai on February 15, 2011 at 10:56 AM

I only wrote what the synapses in my brain caused me to write. All thought, in a purely materialistic construct, must be explained by the laws of chemistry and physics. Therefore, what I wrote is the natural result of chemical reactions. We can only be stimuli-response mechanisms and therefore you have no basis for complaint. Your problem is with nature and the laws of chemistry.

mankai on February 15, 2011 at 10:56 AM

This says what about God or the existence/non-existence thereof?

Good Lt on February 15, 2011 at 11:00 AM

Good Lt on February 15, 2011 at 11:00 AM

It means you can’t explain thought, let alone design or the universe in a purely natural construct.

Weren’t you embarrassed enough trying to defend evolution to try and jump in here?

mankai on February 15, 2011 at 11:10 AM

Even atheist god Richard Dawkins realizes the idiocy of life self-creating by accident, for no reason, to accomplish nothing that he believes that aliens must have come here and planted life (on an inorganic planet, no less).

No, he doesn’t believe that. Here’s an interview where he makes it clearer than you could possibly ask for.

RightOFLeft on February 15, 2011 at 11:18 AM

RightOFLeft on February 15, 2011 at 11:18 AM

So he has an answer as to how complex life self-generated for no reason on an inorganic planet?

mankai on February 15, 2011 at 11:23 AM

It means you can’t explain thought, let alone design or the universe in a purely natural construct.

You CAN explain thought and consciousness, though, in a natural construct.

Animals “think” on a basic level – they would need to in order to survive. Humans also think and are conscious on a natural level- indeed, you just stated that everything you’re consciously doing is the result merely of chemical interactions and physiological processes in your brain.

Again, this says nothing of the existence of God. The fact that animals are at some level conscious, as are the smallest of insects, doesn’t say anything about the existence of a sky being.

Weren’t you embarrassed enough trying to defend evolution to try and jump in here?

mankai on February 15, 2011 at 11:10 AM

Evolution’s a fact.

I’m sorry to have to break the news to you that there is no “controversy” in the scientific community about whether or not evolution happened. There hasn’t been for over 100 years.

Good Lt on February 15, 2011 at 11:26 AM

So he has an answer as to how complex life self-generated for no reason on an inorganic planet?

mankai on February 15, 2011 at 11:23 AM

No. Nobody has answered that question yet, although there are some compelling possibilities.

RightOFLeft on February 15, 2011 at 11:27 AM

So he has an answer as to how complex life self-generated for no reason on an inorganic planet?

mankai on February 15, 2011 at 11:23 AM

It doesn’t appear that you understand what evolution actually is, or what Dawkins OR Darwin think about it.

Good Lt on February 15, 2011 at 11:28 AM

So he has an answer as to how complex life self-generated for no reason on an inorganic planet?

mankai on February 15, 2011 at 11:23 AM

I should probably point out that I’m ignoring all the loaded parts of that question and treating like it asked the more reasonable question, “so he has an answer as to how life originated on earth?”

RightOFLeft on February 15, 2011 at 11:33 AM

RightOFLeft on February 15, 2011 at 11:18 AM

You need to watch the clip… while trying to explain away his clear comments, he adds that he believes in the “possibility” of life on other planets, etc.

This poses two problems in his parameters:

1. He has absolutely no evidence of such life, yet he concludes. based on the design he sees here, that similar design exists elsewhere based on nothing.

2. Life on other planets only makes the problem of spontaneous complexity more difficult. The subject is a clever way of avoiding the problem of explaining the accidental arrival of life on an inorganic planet (with no design) when we have intelligent life, on an organic planet, using computer models and a known end which cannot duplicate anything which they believe (as a matter of faith) blindly organized itself for no reason.

mankai on February 15, 2011 at 11:33 AM

2. Life on other planets only makes the problem of spontaneous complexity more difficult.

Actually, it makes the Earth-centric religious belief that God only cares about life on Earth and Earth is life’s focal point in the universe because God Said So, etc., much harder to believe, doesn’t it?

1. He has absolutely no evidence of such life, yet he concludes. based on the design he sees here, that similar design exists elsewhere based on nothing.

He didn’t “conclude” anything. He said he thinks there’s a possibility.

Are you even listening to what he’s saying, or are you hearing what you want to hear and ignoring the rest?

Good Lt on February 15, 2011 at 11:37 AM

Good Lt on February 15, 2011 at 11:28 AM

I don’t understand evolution? When I asked you previously for an example, you gave me the Peppered Moth, then couldn’t explain how it was evolution.

mankai on February 15, 2011 at 11:38 AM

I don’t understand evolution? When I asked you previously for an example, you gave me the Peppered Moth, then couldn’t explain how it was evolution.

mankai on February 15, 2011 at 11:38 AM

Let’s see if you understand evolution.

If I tol you that humans and chimpanzees shared a common evolutionary ancestor, would you say, “yes, they do?”

I submit that you don’t understand evolution, or scientific reality, if you think that there’s a “controversy” in the scientific community about whether or not evolution happened.

Do you think there’s a “controversy” in the scientific community over this or not?

Good Lt on February 15, 2011 at 11:42 AM

Actually, it makes the Earth-centric religious belief that God only cares about life on Earth and Earth is life’s focal point in the universe because God Said So, etc., much harder to believe, doesn’t it?

One does not follow the other. If one believes in God based on the evidence presented, he will also believe what God has said about certain things. Speculating about terrestrial life on other planets is an act of faith… to wit…

He didn’t “conclude” anything. He said he thinks there’s a possibility.

Religion.

Are you even listening to what he’s saying, or are you hearing what you want to hear and ignoring the rest?

Good Lt on February 15, 2011 at 11:37 AM

I listened and heard him speculate on life on other planets while an eager audience soaked up the religious belief… based on zero evidence.

Can you conclude that a higher power does not inhabit a place somewhere in the universe? Dawkins speculates on life somewhere in the universe which may not exactly resemble life here (based on no evidence), yet he concludes that there cannot be life in the form of a higher being somewhere in the universe. So he’ll accept by faith, accidental and meaningless life as long as it is not greater than his own life. By doing so, he inadvertently raises bacteria to the equivalence of man.

mankai on February 15, 2011 at 11:45 AM

Do you think there’s a “controversy” in the scientific community over this or not?

Good Lt on February 15, 2011 at 11:42 AM

How does that prove anything?

They’ve concluded it’s true while changing there theory on a regular basis. They not only change the timing, they change the mechanisms!

That’s not science, that is religion.

Give me one example of evolution. If it’s “science” I want to see it.

mankai on February 15, 2011 at 11:47 AM

“their theory”

mankai on February 15, 2011 at 11:47 AM

Speculating about terrestrial life on other planets is an act of faith

Or a SPECULATION.

Unless you regard Christianity as merely a speculation.

Religion.

Religion = affirmative belief without evidence.

Speculation = taking a guess.

I listened and heard him speculate on life on other planets while an eager audience soaked up the religious belief… based on zero evidence.

They speculated about the possiblity.

Again, unless all religion is now reduced merely to a speculation, your attempt to equate belief and speculation is severely flawed.

Can you conclude that a higher power does not inhabit a place somewhere in the universe?

I am forced at this point to conclude “no” because there has been no evidence to suggest or show it.

Dawkins speculates on life somewhere in the universe which may not exactly resemble life here (based on no evidence), yet he concludes that there cannot be life in the form of a higher being somewhere in the universe.

One does not follow the other. Saying that life exists here and possibly elsewhere says nothing whatever about God or “a creator.” They two are obviously tightly entwined in your mind, but not so much in Dawkins’. I can assure you of that.

So he’ll accept by faith, accidental and meaningless life as long as it is not greater than his own life.

You’re clearly drawing conclusions from somewhere other than the clip you are citing.

Good Lt on February 15, 2011 at 11:52 AM

You need to watch the clip… while trying to explain away his clear comments, he adds that he believes in the “possibility” of life on other planets, etc.

Yeah, no dispute there. We’re not communicating somehow. You wrote that Dawkins believes that aliens implanted life on earth. The clip you just watched clearly shows that’s not true, he merely accepts it as a remote possibility. For that matter, so does the clip in Expelled.

1. He has absolutely no evidence of such life, yet he concludes. based on the design he sees here, that similar design exists elsewhere based on nothing.

He infers the possibility of life on other planets from the known existence of life on this planet. How is that unreasonable?

2. Life on other planets only makes the problem of spontaneous complexity more difficult.

It doesn’t make the problem any more or less difficult. One way or another, self-replicating molecules evolved chemically from some environment (possibly several).

The subject is a clever way of avoiding the problem of explaining the accidental arrival of life on an inorganic planet (with no design) when we have intelligent life, on an organic planet, using computer models and a known end which cannot duplicate anything which they believe (as a matter of faith) blindly organized itself for no reason.

That’s not how I would characterize abiogenesis. I’ll just leave it at that.

RightOFLeft on February 15, 2011 at 11:54 AM

Do you think there’s a “controversy” in the scientific community over this or not?

Good Lt on February 15, 2011 at 11:42 AM

You’re evading answering “yes” or “no:”

How does that prove anything?

They’ve concluded it’s true while changing there theory on a regular basis. They not only change the timing, they change the mechanisms!

And? The debate isn’t over whether it happened or not.

IT DID. That is what everyone agrees on. They’re improving upon the theory by describing the exact mechanisms and time frames over which it all happened. The debate over whether or not it happened is done.

Sorry.

That’s not science, that is religion.

No, what the Discovery Institute does is religion.

Give me one example of evolution. If it’s “science” I want to see it.

mankai on February 15, 2011 at 11:47 AM

Try this:

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/evolution/darwin/origin/index.html

Predicted response: Psha! It’s PBS! Obviously an atheistic propaganda site! Science loses!

Good Lt on February 15, 2011 at 11:56 AM

To quote the famous line, going to church doesn’t make one a Christian (jew, hindo, etc.) anymore than going to McDonald’s makes you a hamburger.

Attending a church is not proof of faith. Nor is non-attendance a proof of faithlessness. A person’s higher belief system is between themselves and their Creator.

That said, to deny the Christian impact on the founding of this nation is pure idiocy. Mark Levin had a few words about that last night. No nation is more tolerant of the “religious” variations present in the world, and it is precisely due to the tenets of Christianity, and the fervor of Colonial preachers, which steered the development of the Bill of Rights, those declarations of liberty which protect the beliefs of all legitimate faiths.

I’m not the judge of another’s standing with the Almighty, but if asked my opinion, I’d say less than half of those currently sitting in Congress have a sincere devotion to their declared faith. Most are likely of the stripe that “my parents were XXX, therefore I’m XXX”. No value in that whatsoever. And anyone who tries to tell you that he became a Christian because he learned the lesson from Jesus that we are our brothers’ keepers, is also likely to lie to you about anything else that he feels like.

Freelancer on February 15, 2011 at 11:58 AM

The speculation is based on no evidence, butyou have no problem with the speculation.

They speculated about the possiblity.

I am forced at this point to conclude “no” because there has been no evidence to suggest or show it.

So with no evidence, you feel free to assume that life spontaneously created itself here and elsewhere in the universe… and with the understanding of about 1/100000000000000000000000000 of the universe, you have concluded that there is nothing beyond your experience… except the possibility of aliens.

You cannot take organic materials, with a known design, with computer assistance, with a desired outcome and create a living cell, yet you believe it happened on an inorganic planet, by accident, for no reason and evolved into more complex designs with no design for no reason based in ever-changing theories which contradict each other.

I tell you what you got there, you’ve got a religion.

mankai on February 15, 2011 at 12:00 PM

And? The debate isn’t over whether it happened or not.

IT DID. That is what everyone agrees on. They’re improving upon the theory by describing the exact mechanisms and time frames over which it all happened. The debate over whether or not it happened is done.

Sorry.

Yeah, Exactly. They’ve concluded it happened based on NOTHING except that they’ve ruled out God. That’s all they’ve concluded.

Most books on evolution (including Darwin’s) are not even considered by scientists today because most of the speculation has been disproven. The theories of mechanisms are not just adjusted, they are totally contradictory.

Darwin didn’t understand genetics. His theory was simplistic nonsense, but it gave atheists an out. They “concluded” he was right even though his “evidence” is idiotic and the things he SWORE would bear him out have not.

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/evolution/darwin/origin/index.html

Could you be more specific? Where exactly is the evidence for evolution? Where is the example? Can’t you argue it?

If I just send you to a link that disputes the known theories would that be conclusive for you?

You previously based your faith in evolution on an example that you could not defend. I see you’ve totally given up on even trying. I guess your grand fear that you might be responsible for your actions has dimmed your ability to reason.

mankai on February 15, 2011 at 12:09 PM

Yeah, Exactly. They’ve concluded it happened based on NOTHING except that they’ve ruled out God. That’s all they’ve concluded.

Wrong. 100% wrong.

I’ll let you figure out why.

Again, evolution has nothing to do with God or his existence.

Could you be more specific? Where exactly is the evidence for evolution? Where is the example? Can’t you argue it?

Can you click the link and learn something? Or not?

If I just send you to a link that disputes the known theories would that be conclusive for you?

Nothing you can link “disputes (or disproves) evolution.”

And if it does, I suggest you submit it to a peer-reviewed scientific journal. That would indeed be big news.

Good Lt on February 15, 2011 at 12:14 PM

And if it does, I suggest you submit it to a peer-reviewed scientific journal. That would indeed be big news.

Good Lt on February 15, 2011 at 12:14 PM

They’ve tried that… and they lose their jobs.

I guess you believe AGW.

Again, evolution has nothing to do with God or his existence.

Could you take one position and hold to it for more than 10 minutes?

You can’t defend evolution, you just believe it.

“Faith”

mankai on February 15, 2011 at 12:20 PM

mankai on February 15, 2011 at 12:00 PM

We don’t know exactly what causes cancers to spontaneously form in some people. Does that imply that god causes cancer? Of course not. Should we consider the possibility that gypsy curses cause cancer? Or karmic retribution from a Hindu god? Or death rays from lizard people of the 10th dimension? No, no, and no. Why treat the origin of life differently?

RightOFLeft on February 15, 2011 at 12:23 PM

Apologies to the rest of hotair for indulging in an off-topic debate. Got carried away, will cut it out now.

RightOFLeft on February 15, 2011 at 12:25 PM

What happens when a scientist tries to oppose the religion:

Evolutionary biologist Richard Sternberg made a fateful decision a year ago.

As editor of the hitherto obscure Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington, Sternberg decided to publish a paper making the case for “intelligent design,” a controversial theory that holds that the machinery of life is so complex as to require the hand — subtle or not — of an intelligent creator.

Within hours of publication, senior scientists at the Smithsonian Institution — which has helped fund and run the journal — lashed out at Sternberg as a shoddy scientist and a closet Bible thumper.

“They were saying I accepted money under the table, that I was a crypto-priest, that I was a sleeper cell operative for the creationists,” said Steinberg, 42 , who is a Smithsonian research associate. “I was basically run out of there.”

Sternberg is an unlikely revolutionary. He holds two PhDs in evolutionary biology, his graduate work draws praise from his former professors, and in 2000 he gained a coveted research associate appointment at the Smithsonian Institution.

Not long after that, Smithsonian scientists asked Sternberg to become the unpaid editor of Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington, a sleepy scientific journal affiliated with the Smithsonian. Three years later, Sternberg agreed to consider a paper by Stephen C. Meyer, a Cambridge University-educated philosopher of science who argues that evolutionary theory cannot account for the vast profusion of multicellular species and forms in what is known as the Cambrian “explosion,” which occurred about 530 million years ago.

Sternberg has seen stress piled upon stress in the past year. His marriage has dissolved, and he no longer comes into the Smithsonian. When the biological society issued a statement disavowing Meyer’s article, Sternberg was advised not to attend. “I was told that feelings were running so high, they could not guarantee me that they could keep order,” Sternberg said.

That’s what happens when you question someone’s religion… which he can’t back up with evidence to dispute.

mankai on February 15, 2011 at 12:28 PM

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