How Much of the World’s Population Did God Kill?

There is a piece of information bouncing around atheist websites just now.  It asks, “How many people does the Bible say God killed?”  The answer given is about 2 1/2 million.   But, even this number does not include those drowned by Noah’s flood.

This number of 2 1/2 million killed was about five percent of the world’s population at that time.   According to estimates of those who study ancient times, world population around the Biblical “beginning of time,” 6,000 years ago, was about 5o million.

One wonders if killing that many sinners lowered the level of sin.  Did it accomplish what God hoped that it would?

The flood which Noah and his family escaped in the ark would have wiped out of the entire population,  50 million.  In spite of removing those 50 million sinners, we have today what some call the gravest sin ever known, gay marriage.  That being the case, I wonder what the god thinks was gained by the flood?

The same data being passed around says the Bible assigns only ten killings to Satan. If this is true, and we have such Satan-inspired sin today as gay marriage, it seems like Satan’s technique of bending people to his will is better than the killing done by God.

I need to add a disclaimer here that I did not personally count the killing attributed to either God or Satan in the Bible.  Others may come up with  different numbers.

What ever the number, the killing of people by God makes the popularity of faith hard to understand.

Avatar of Jon Lindgren

About Jon Lindgren

I am a former President of the Red River Freethinkers in Fargo, ND, a retired NDSU economics professor and was Mayor of Fargo for 16 years. There is more about me at Wikipedia.com.
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75 Responses to How Much of the World’s Population Did God Kill?

  1. Bob says:

    Its God and the government who both kill.

    I don’t know which is worse: perhaps both equally.

  2. Henry says:

    “How Much of the World’s Population Did God Kill?”

    Zero according to atheists as they do not believe in the bible, nor consider it to be even a historical record. However, they also say 2 1/2 million and 50 million. Just another inconsistency from the supposed masters of reason.

    • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

      Henry 3:19 “Zero according to atheistis as they do not believe in the Bible nor consider it to be even a historical record.”

      You are right about that. You are actually the right one to tell us how many people God killed. Would you dispute either the 2 1/2 million excluding the flood? And, the 50 million including it?

      • Henry says:

        “Would you dispute either the 2 1/2 million excluding the flood? And, the 50 million including it?”

        Yes. The tail of the enormous red dragon does the killing.

        You and I have the same answer, but coming from different directions.

  3. entech says:

    The existence or lack of is irrelevant. The question should be how many people were killed by people who claim that their deity told them to, how many were killed by those whose faith gives them a false justification. There can be no justification for mass murder, for any religion or ideology, whether a belief in a deity is accepted or not.
    As Hugh Montefiore said when he was archbishop of Birmingham, “There has been more blood shed in the name of the prince of peace than any kingdom this world has ever know.”

    • Chris Finstad says:

      How about the athiestic dictatorships of Stalin, Hitler, Mao, etc. who killed between 100-200 million. Or how about the 54 million children killed in this country to abortion? Athiests/Secularists have a long list of death themselves.

      • Bob says:

        Hitler was Catholic, read Mein Kampf and the evidence of his god Catholic god worship is there.
        Stalin’s god was his government.

        Both government and god kill. They both know better what’s good for us, and by god they’ll kill us to prove it.

      • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

        Chris 6:47 Thanks for joining in on our discussion page.

        My reply would be the both Hitler and the German Catholic church regarded him as a genuine Christian. I would guess the majority of doctors who perform abortions, judges who have made it legal and legistlators would vote to keep it legal are also Christians. The last abortion doctor who was murdered was murdered while attending his church. The man who murdered him also thought he was a most perfect example of a Christian. I realize many who make judgements about such things would say neither was a “Christian.”

        When one gets to the Communists, it is complicated because they and the church were political enemies. Some of the communist leaders were Christians. Nevertheless, if we attribute all the deaths under communism to its ideology then compare the number killed by or for the Christian God, which is larger? Neither side can say they are a group of saints.

        Whenever someone makes tha argument that the communists and Hilter killed so many people, I wonder what the point is trying to be made? Is is that it’s OK for Christians to kill lots of people so long as it’s at least a few less than the Communitsts?

      • entech says:

        There can be no justification for mass murder, for any religion or ideology, whether a belief in a deity is accepted or not.
        As I said there is no excuse for anyone. The ones you mention were doing it for the sake of an ideology and were clearly mad (Hitler is arguable, he does say in Chapter two that he felt he was doing Gods work ridding the world of Jews). Torquemada is only one of many and probably the best known as the inquisitor, killing people because they did not accept the official version of Christianity, the inquisition should not be picked out as the only example just the most widely known and quite specifically killed in the name of their deity: Stalin was a monster that even killed some of his loyal followers, insanity not atheism was his motivation.
        With a population of about 313 mill. the 54 mill you mention would be about 17%, possibly an exaggeration?

      • T says:

        How many died during the Protestant Reformation? Christian on Christian violence…

    • entech says:

      ps. of,course if you are one of those strange people that believe story of Noah and the flood the answer must be better than 99%, which by coincidence is the probability that the story is just a story. As everyone, except the immediate family, was destroyed and the book of Genesis was supposedly written by Moses it is to be wondered where he got the information from. Even if you were foolish enough to believe it was literal truth you cannot claim it to be historical record, it could be nothing else but 900 year old hearsay.

  4. Kurt says:

    If you take Genesis literally, Adam and Eve would’ve spent eternity in the Garden in fellowship with God. Because of sin (satan), they were cast from the Garden and death was introduced. By this logic, every death can be attributed to Satan, which is obviously well into the billions.

    • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

      Kurt 5:44 “Because of sin (satan), they were cast from the Garden and death was introduced..”

      I had never thought of that. Now we have a contest, real competition, among God, Communists and Satan. Could we possibly put Eve into the competition? If she, and all women, had not succombed to Satan’s temptation, and then sweetly beguiled the hapless Adam into eating the apple, sin would not have happened.

      Thinking a little more, it was God who sent up the rules. I mean, there is nothing bad about eating apples. God made up an absurd and abitrary rule that eating the apple was a sin. So, it seems a case could be made that God was the cause of sin and all the deaths thereafter.

      Actually, we can save God, Adam, Eve and Satan from blame because, so far as we know, none of this happened.

      • Henry says:

        “I mean, there is nothing bad about eating apples. God made up an absurd and abitrary rule that eating the apple was a sin.”

        Apples? I learn something every day from Jon. On the good authority of Jon, Adam and Eve apparently ate apples.

        • entech says:

          OK. nowhere does it say the name of any fruit. Apple is only a tiny bit of mythology. The genesis story is all mythology. IMHO

        • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

          Henry 6:51 So, God said it was a sin to eat something, maybe was not an apple. Explain what the point was to label something good to eat a sin? It is something a tyrant would do. It is something the leaders of North Korea would do.

          Why people would worship a such a small-minded god puzzels me.

          • PK says:

            “Explain what the point was to label something good to eat a sin?”

            God gave man free will, the right to choose. There was the choice between living in Heaven/Paradise/Eden forever not knowing sin and death, or to eat the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil and surely die. It’s a simple choice. Was God supposed to make us like robots programmed to obey Him unquestionably? Why isn’t the God of the universe allowed to destroy His own creation if they turn against Him and start corrupting the creation?

          • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

            PK 12:14 So as parents, we should sit down with our ten year old child and say, “Here is a nice frosty mug of beer. It’s such a hot day.”

            This God is our “Father”, protecting us? Have my doubts.

          • entech says:

            PK. Prior to the eating they were innocent didn’t know the deference between good and bad, didn’t know what sin was. What kind of free will is it that says choose between two things that you know nothing about.
            The creator can be the destroyer no problem with that. The problem is why play around with water sports.

          • PK says:

            Jon, i don’t follow your metaphor.

            Entech: He gave them a choice between eternal life or death, that’s it. They understood this simple concept and chose to disobey God.

          • Henry says:

            Jon: “Explain what the point was to label something good to eat a sin?”

            Who said the forbidden fruit was good to eat? You are apparently still thinking apple.

          • PK says:

            It does say the woman saw that it was good for food. Otherwise they probably wouldn’t have eaten it.

          • Henry says:

            The serpent said it was good to eat.

          • PK says:

            He said nothing of the sort. He said they wouldn’t die.

            4. And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die:
            5. For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.
            6. And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat,….
            Genesis 3:4-6

          • Henry says:

            Didn’t the serpent represent eating the forbidden fruit as good, listing his version of the merits? If the forbidden fruit was not represented as good to eat, no sale would have been made. This is clearly implicit.

          • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

            Here we go, it’s talking snakes again. It’s impossible to have too much analysis of what the snake said.

          • PK says:

            Yeah he said it was good to eat it, but he didn’t trick them into thinking it was edible. It was a good fruit for food, that they weren’t supposed to eat.

            9. And out of the ground made the Lord God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil.

            Genesis 2:9

          • Henry says:

            Jon: “Here we go, it’s talking snakes again.”

            Not just any snake, Nachash “a shining one”.

          • PK says:

            Maybe it wasn’t a snake at all, perhaps just a shining being, an angel.

          • entech says:

            PK 2:49. They were newborns they didn’t know right from wrong, they could not have known life from death, before the fall if I remember the mythology correctly there was no death – nothing to compare, no precedent to go by just an instruction and by definition they didn’t know what it meant to be disobedient, they didn’t know right from wrong, what is the point of freedom of choice when you don’t know what the choices are. If I offered you a choice of a cheque for a million dollars or a voucher for a hamburger which would you choose, by the way they are in separate but identical sealed brown paper bag.

            The innocents are being asked to make decisions without knowledge, decisions which will ultimately affect all of creation, virtually on the toss of a coin. Do you think that the serpent was really Satan and he was daring god to let him try the temptation thing , I guess then Satan won the big bet but lost the later one over Job.

          • PK says:

            I believe they had knowledge, just not of good and evil. They weren’t babies crawling around, at least not when they ate the fruit. I think they could understand life and death. Most people can grasp that around the age of 3-4. Why would the devil need to coerce Eve into eating the fruit when she knew the consequence?

          • PK says:

            *Why would the devil need to coerce Eve into eating the fruit if she didn’t know the consequence?

          • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

            PK 2:41 “Why would the devil need to coerce Eve into eating the fruit…?”

            Actually, I can’t fault you logic if one really believes this event really happened. If one believes, as I assume you do, (but correct me is I’m wrong) that the event took place as described, it was an effort to establish a.) there is such a thing as sin and b.) there are consequences to committing it.

            If instead, one takes my view, it was written by some unknown person, who obviously was not present, but wrote to a specific audience at that time to accomplish a specific objective, and is all about something else. It’s about control of that audience. The personality reflected by the behavior of the god character in the fable is a controlling and threatening one. That is it an invisible god offloads the unlikable traits from the writer and puts it where the victum cannot reach it for revenge.

          • PK says:

            Jon 2:41. Well the effort of the devil was to get man to fall away from the direct communion with God by beguiling them into disobedience.

            From your viewpoint, was the Bible, Old/New, a success in mind control? Wasn’t sun worship working just fine from Egypt up to Rome and even up until today in various secret societies that have a lot of influence in the world? Why this new mind control mechanism that challenges sun worship all throughout the text?

          • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

            PK 2:00 I’m just unable to understand how there could have been either a devil character nor a god. Thus, I conclude the Biblical authors were writing about these for their own purposes.

          • PK says:

            Yeah but were the authors successful in your opinion with their mind control experiment? And why would there need to be this new mechanism of control when the sun worship was working so well for the great empires? Were the Hebrews trying to conquer the sun worshiping empires with the Bible for their own interests? What were their goals?

          • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

            PK 4:21 “Were the Hebrews trying to conquer the sun worshipping empires witht the Bible for their own interests? What were there goals?”

            Given that most walked only a few miles from their homes during their entire lives, one would have to guess their goals were to dominate competitors within their own tribe and try to take down the tribe just up the path (who was also trying to take over them). That’s what their writing was intended to accomplish.

        • Henry says:

          PK: “Maybe it wasn’t a snake at all, perhaps just a shining being, an angel.”

          The account is very much allegorical.

  5. Bob says:

    Fruit Cake!

  6. Chris Finstad says:

    Thank you for being so polite in your conversations, Jon. It’s a rarity with athiests. I believe strongly that Hitler used the Roman Catholic Church for his own purposes. He openly mocked Christianity. He also spoke of his love for Darwinism and plans for a ‘master race.’ This was completely based on Darwinism. Himmler also talked quite a bit about Darwinism. Hitler also loved the eugenics movement in the United States. Most of the progressive movement, which I believe gets it’s roots from Darwinism with the idea of an ‘evolving constitution,’ started the eugenics movement. Hitler was known to praise this movement. You man disagree with this, Jon, but I do not believe Roman Catholicism is biblical Christianity. Nowhere in the Bible do we find the doctrines of praying to the dead, Mary worship, and the eucharist. I know I opened up a can of worms there but I feel like it needs to be said. Stalin got most of his ideas from Leninism. Lenin wanted the church and Christianity destroyed. You are correct in saying that This is why the communists destroyed most of the churches in Russia. If you don’t think they hated Christianity just read what happened to Richard Wurmbrand in Poland. Wurmbrand went on to start the Voice of the Martyrs, which helps the persecuted church around the world.
    While I do not believe Tiller should have been killed by anybody, I do think that he should have been tried in court and received the death penalty. If I remember correctly partial birth abortion is illegal in this country. It is a fact babies can feel pain during partial birth abortions and it is a DISGUSTING practice. Just my thoughts.

    • PK says:

      Hitler was also into occult sun worship, which may be why he chose Roman Catholicism as his “religion”. Very good post.

    • T says:

      Chris, Darwin himself never spoke of “master races”. Charles was actually the third generation of Darwin to oppose the slave trade and he based much of his research on natural selection on a little-known ulterior motive; all humans are related to one another and slavery is deplorable. Remember, all Darwin really talked about was generational descent, with traits being expressed variably from one generation to the next. He did not speak of improvement, just change; he did not speak of one group of humans being “better” than others or “superior” to others. He wanted to come up with a way of showing that regardless of skin color we are all in a sense related to each other (a neat idea, if you ask me). Darwin, an insecure man who questioned his own faith, was staunchly against slavery, whereas the captain of the Beagle (for the five years Darwin was on board and a man whom Darwin initially befriended) was a Biblical literalist who was staunchly pro-slavery. Darwin’s later writings on biology eventually resulted in the two men falling out of favor with one another. Chris, when you speak of Hitler’s “love for Darwinism” what you are really refering to is social Darwinism, a misinterpretation of Darwin’s works and certainly not his own ideas. Darwin did not start WWII. Adolph Hitler started WWII.

      • PK says:

        It depends on which Charles Darwin you’re talking about. The original may not have agreed with his families inbreeding and such, but his work did pave the way for modern eugenics. Charles Galton Darwin, his grandson, was a big participator. Eugenics dates back to the Greeks and before, so it’s nothing new. It’s the ancient Luciferian philosophy of playing God.

        • entech says:

          I don’t think that you can say Darwin paved the way for Eugenics any more than you can say Jesus (or Paul if you prefer) paved the way for the crusades or the inquisition or the internecine fighting between Catholic, Church of England and Cromwell’s Puritans. Neither are they the only ones to get their thoughts and words twisted. It is very popular to decry Darwin for everything because so many fundamentalist/evangelical types think evolution is incompatible with god, it may be with their version but not with that of the Catholic Church or scientists like Francis Crick (amazing that he is quoted as a fine example of a Christian scientist but not often as an evolutionary biologist).

          In Hitlers Germany amongst the criteria for banning books :
          All writings that ridicule, belittle or besmirch the Christian religion and its institution, faith in God, or other things that are holy to the healthy sentiments of the Volk.
          and
          Writings of a philosophical and social nature whose content deals with the false scientific enlightenment of primitive Darwinism and Monism.

          The concept “survival of the fittest” comes from Herbert Spencer “Principles of Biology (1884)” and the term social Darwinism has little to with The Darwin who wrote “Origin of Species”.

          • PK says:

            I didn’t say he paved the way, just his work. His cousin Galton and his descendents sure did a lot for eugenics though.

  7. Chris Finstad says:

    Yes, Darwin was a racist.

    At some future period, not very distant as measured by centuries, the civilized races of man will almost certainly exterminate, and replace, the savage races throughout the world. At the same time the anthropomorphous apes … will no doubt be exterminated. The break between man and his nearest allies will then be wider, for it will intervene between man in a more civilized state, as we may hope, even than the Caucasian, and some ape as low as a baboon, instead of as now between the Negro or Australian and the gorilla (Darwin 1887:156). The Descent of Man

    • entech says:

      This is only true if you do not understand that at that time Darwin spoke of ‘races’ he was talking about ‘varieties’ as he mentions several times in “Origin’ the several races of the cabbage.

      To understand the partial quote you use you need to read the entire paragraph, and, take into account we are talking about all men being of the same species and descended from a common ancestor, he is talking about why there seemed to be larger gaps between similar species than would be expected and that extinctions supplied the cause.
      It starts:
      The great break in the organic chain between man and his nearest allies, which cannot be bridged over by any extinct or living species, has often been advanced as a grave objection to the belief that man is descended from some lower form; but this objection will not appear of much weight to those who, from general reasons, believe in the general principle of evolution. Breaks often occur in all parts of the series, some being wide, sharp and defined, others less so in various degrees; as between the orang and its nearest allies , … and all other mammals. But these breaks depend merely on the number of related forms which have become extinct. The gap I left only gives more examples.
      He then continues, a crucial part is omitted from your version, the remark about the human like apes becoming extinct is from a different source, Professor Schaaffhausen.
      At some future period, not very distant as measured by centuries, the civilised races of man will almost certainly exterminate, and replace, the savage races throughout the world. At the same time the anthropomorphous apes, as Professor Schaaffhausen has remarked, will no doubt be exterminated. The break between man and his nearest allies will then be wider, for it will intervene between man in a more civilised state, as we may hope, even than the Caucasian, and some ape as low as a baboon, instead of as now between the negro or Australian and the gorilla.

      What he is saying here is that the differential between ape and man will increase over time, not comparing Negros to gorillas. This attested to by the following paragraph a few pages later.
      Although the existing races of man differ in many respects, as in colour, hair, shape of skull, proportions of the body, &c., yet if their whole organisation be taken into consideration they are found to resemble each other closely in a multitude of points. Many of these points are of so unimportant or of so singular a nature, that it is extremely improbable that they should have been independently acquired by aboriginally distinct species or races. The same remark holds good with equal or greater force with respect to the numerous points of mental similarity between the most distinct races of man. The American aborigines, Negroes and Europeans differ as much from each other in mind as any three races that can be named; yet I was incessantly struck, whilst living with the Fuegians on board the Beagle, with the many little traits of character, shewing how similar their minds were to ours; and so it was with a full-blooded negro with whom I happened once to be intimate

      It is common throughout the work that Darwin is saying that from the point of view of an evolutionist, the differences are superficial, all from a common ancestor all much the same. He says the people that have problems with this are mostly those who believe that God created everyone and they are different because God created them that way. Contrary to you argument it is the fundamentalist/creationist that is racist.

      If you take bits and pieces from the Bible, as many do, it is easy to make the case that your God, is a genocidal maniac, and I am sure you would, quite rightly, disagree with that.

  8. Chris Finstad says:

    I see where you are coming from, entech, but he clearly believed that whites were more superior to blacks. The only difference is education in my opinion.
    Now as far as God being a genocidal maniac I find that offensive. We live in an age where war is considered to be ridiculous. Remember back in ’94 when the Tutsis and Hutus were fighting in Africa? What did the world want us to do? Wipe out the army that was commiting genocide. Would Clinton have been a genocidal maniac to wipeout that army? I think not. One of the people groups that God demanded be wiped out was the Ammorites. If I remember correctly God said in Genesis that the time of the Ammorites was not yet fulfilled for the Jews to be taken over. Now again it may not be the Ammorites, but I believe they were using the heads of their children for bowling balls. Now if this same atrocity was going on today, what would you think the world should do?

    • entech says:

      “and I am sure you would,quite rightly, disagree with that.”
      Is what I said I was making the point that you can read into things anything that suits your purpose. And people and do it is known as “quote mining” take something out of context leave bits you don’t like out and you can have anyone appear to believe anything, Stein is a grand master at this.
      The purpose in denigrating Darwin is attack evolution by default, many creationist/fundamentalists will attack evolution at any cost. They think, wrongly, that it is essentially anti religion as I pointed out the Vatican doesn’t find it so and nor do many ‘mainstream’ churches, from the perspective of a young earth creationist you would be correct, but I think the young earth theories are so far removed from reality that that are not even wrong, it would be flattery to give them sufficient consideration to say they were wrong. Just my view.
      A lot of the language used in Darwin’s day sounds extremely racist today but was normal speech at that time. Read my last quoted paragraph again, where he talks of the difference being so unimportant or of so singular a nature and a line earlier that apart from the obvious skin colour, hair and so on, they are found to resemble each other closely in a multitude of points Give the long standing anti-slavery stance of his family and the consistent idea that we are all evolved from a common ancestor, and that he says there is little difference I cannot see where racism comes in. Again, I would suggest that it is people who say that God created the different races as they are and with a natural hierarchy implied that are the real racists.
      Genocide is always and under all circumstances wrong, Clinton wiping out the aggressors to save the other, I am not sure how to argue a case for genocide to prevent genocide, same as it being difficult to explain being pro-life and pro-death penalty at the same time.
      I have said in the past that I think a lot of the old Testament is part myth and magic and part history, it was written from the point of view of the Judeans and a lot is to glorify there prowess in battle and at the same time pass the blame for the atrocities, and what better way than to say god made me do it which is part of the theme of this topic.
      If we are still talking genesis remember it is supposed to be written by Moses, and much of it centuries later, hearsay written by people that weren’t there and events that in many cases are so outlandish that they most likely never happened.
      Ok, finish at the beginning of your 8:03. I agree that the only difference is education, there is only one race and that is the human race all essentially the same all children of the same source, the source depends on you belief system a creator God or evolution from a common ancestor and these are not incompatible, the conflict comes from belief in a creator God, or, from something else – lots of theories about what that something else could be some simple some as hard to believe as “let there be light” main difference science say it does not know and keeps looking, religion say it knows the answer.
      The actions of your God can only be known from a lot of old writing, I don’t think the writings are all valid or true.

  9. Bob says:

    “Thank you for being so polite in your conversations, Jon. It’s a rarity with athiests.” Chris 2:44

    I agree with you on this Chris.

  10. Chris Finstad says:

    Entech, I wish you would quit using the Roman Catholic church as something that should be considered Christianity. I explained that I believe it is not and have the evidence to back it up. If there was sin (death) before Adam and Eve than we would not have needed Jesus to come rescue humanity from our sin.
    As far as the Old Testament being a myth, when you understand how meticulously the Jews kept the scriptures it leaves no doubt they have been preserved. Just look at the Dead Sea Scrolls. I would also read Josh McDowell’s Evidence That Demands a Verdict 1 and 2.
    As far as evolution goes you can believe that if you want to. Without it we would have just as much science as we have today. Evolution has contributed nothing to our technological advancement over the last 150 years.
    My wife and I are friends with a man named Rick Oliver. He holds Ph D’s in evolutionary biology and anthropology from the University of California. He worked at Mt. St. Helens with David Johnston, the lone scientist killed in the eruption. Rick was on the helicopter that got blown sideways in the blast. Anyways, he became a creationist when he saw how rapidly a canyon could form when the Little Grand Canyon formed in moments. I highly recommend listening to him here: http://radiofreechurch.com/conference_display/16
    Well I work nights so I will check your reply this evening. Have a good day.

    • T says:

      Chris 1:58 “Evolution has contributed nothing to our technological advancement over the last 150 years.” Sorry, simply not true. You need look no further than how we practice much of our modern medicine and how we produce much of the food we eat.

    • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

      Chris 1:58 “Well I work nights so I will check your reply this evening.”
      Thanks for contributing a little about yourself–the variety of people, careers and backgrounds makes this such an interesting place. You may be on the same schedule with entech (David) who lives in Australia.

      “Evolution has contributed nothing to our technological advancement over the last 150 years.”
      I don’t know if we could all come to an agreement as to what is meant by the term ‘technological advancement’, but I would suggest that it has contributed, perhaps indirectly, to some parts of technology. To begin with, it has put on the defense the view that “God has caused these changes” because there is evidence the changes occur due to survival of some and not others.

      A more applied application comes to my mind, use of agricutural pesticides. In the recent past, blanket application was used because that “got rid of the critters.” Except, it did not. Statistcal variations found one out of a billion insects survived, bred and attacked crops again. Now, there is a recognition of the “Darwin” principle. Applications are made in limited strength to merely keep the numbers down, but not so powerful as to give a competitive advantage to chemical resistant mutants that then take over the species. Another method is to vary the kind of chemical used to accomplish the same ends.

      Organic farming trys to pit competition between the bugs that attack the crops an predators of those bugs–a Darwinian concept it seems to me.

      I need to add, here, I am not an expert is the above–what I wrote is my impression of what goes on in that industry.

      • T says:

        Antibiotic resistance for many bacterium is another example.

        • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

          T 3:06 “Antibiotic resistant..is another example.”

          Good point–a bigger application than the agricultural one I mentioned.

          • T says:

            Since various bacterium populations are now resistant to the antibiotics that was have made, the pharmaceutical companies are constantly trying to develop new antibiotics that can treat these new strains. I hope that answers Chris’ “technological advancement” statement adequately. Let’s not forget mapping the mutation rate of many of the viruses that can affect human health, such as HIV (it mutates, or evolves, quite frequently).

          • Henry says:

            The measured…measured rate of mutation is very, very low. Unfortunately, this low rate is challenging to the principles of evolution.

            I’ll give you home brewed skepticism. We know that the Plasmodium falciparum requires one-hundred-billion-billion (10²º) organisms in order to develop resistance to chloroquine. That is just one relatively simple feature of amino acid alteration for resistance. Applying that rate of mutation to a deer to elk conversion, we can see where the theory of evolution completely falls apart. Let’s assume the average deer weighs 100 pounds. Let’s give the theory of evolution the benefit of the doubt and say that evolution can instantaneously make all necessary genetic mutations in one generation from one species to another. If the rate of mutation for a deer to elk is at the same rate as observed in Plasmodium falciparum, that is one in every (10²º) organisms, we would have evidence of (100 x 10²º) pounds of deer carcasses, fossils, and bodies necessary for the transformation to take place. We know the mass of the earth to be (132000 x 10²º) pounds and that the crust consists of approximately 1% of the mass of the earth. Therefore, the mass of the crust would be approximately 1320 x 10²º) pounds. Therefore, 7.5% of the earth’s crust should consist of deer bodies, carcasses, and fossils in order to achieve the mutation only from deer to elk under the most favorable conditions. The rest of the animal kingdom is not considered, nor the evolution prior to the deer.
            It is indeed not only a factor of time. It is indeed a factor of space as well. Where are all the fossils and bodies? Where would we put all of them to achieve evolution? This evolution deal when given the extreme benefit of the doubt is not working out very well.
            http://redriverfreethinkers.areavoices.com/2011/08/29/a-new-religion-meeting-in-christian-churches/#comment-10565

          • T says:

            Introducing the elements of accumulating deer carcasses and the weight of the planet is a silly game of straw man. As to the location of all the dead deer on the planet I would suspect microbes took many, carnivores claimed others, and humans with blaze orange vests took the rest. And evolution is not “achieved”, it simply “happens”.

          • T says:

            I stand corrected: Straw man AND Red Herring.

          • Henry says:

            Silliness is demonstrated by the unreasonableness of evolution given the measured….measured rate of mutation. The deer/elk example by itself isn’t silly. The result is silly.

            By some, the terms “mutates”, “evolves”, “quite frequently” are loosely thrown around and readily accepted. But when one closely examines the measured….measured rate of mutation, the process becomes out of scale as applied to evolution. The only rebuttal is the accusation of “red herring” and “straw man” with no substantiating facts or calculation. We are apparently supposed to just accept.

          • PK says:

            Yes accept it Henry, and simple adaptation is absolute evidence that we evolved from a single cell, that self-assembled itself in a soupy mud pile.

          • Henry says:

            RATS! PK just stumbled upon the proof. That clinches it. Thank you, PK. Although now we will have to suffer through with it.

          • entech says:

            “we evolved from a single cell, that self-assembled itself in a soupy mud pile.”

            Fascinating insight, PK and Henry. I have always had a strange fascination with abiogenesis and never before heard it expressed like that before. Most scientists that express an opinion all seem so wishy washy and full of ifs and buts (bit like my atheism, perhaps that is why I like them) the few that have anything that is vaguely like a hypothesis have nothing but failed experiments to show for it. So good to know that you creationists have the real answer.

            People keep tell me insane things about breathing on dirt (or blood if you are Muslim) and then as making them one at a time was obviously going to be a chore you take the rib of the first one and make a second one, the second one is different so that a process of self reproduction is possible through a process called fertilisation and achieved by an action called impregnation. Once there is fertilisation a single cell then develops or evolves into a new human being, and it only takes nine months not millions of years. This process is obviously so efficient that it is used to create all new plants and animals.
            There is a tiny problem that creeps in, all the originals were created perfect in the image of the perfect creator, as the process was left in automatic mode errors crept in (rotten errors creep in everywhere the biological and the theological) and reproduction became less than perfect in fact some things changed into something quite different. The differences tended to increase and on occasion the newer version survived and the older one failed (extinction is the word used to describe this failure) it seems to have been very common). The divergences became so great that sometimes the original disappeared totally and the different offspring were so different that they could no longer fertilise each other and did not even have any family resemblance. Some people said this was evolution but they are quite wrong this is a fall from the perfect state envisioned by the perfect one. The problem lies in the way this form of reproduction worked, to ensure that the time and energy was put into the project the urge to recreate or procreate was made a part of the nature of things, obviously participating in this activity when procreation was not possible was not part of the nature of things and was unnatural, not normal or perverted (from the verb pervert meaning to turn aside or corrupt (pervertere latin), from the verb forms we nouns like pervert) unfortunately in order to make this impulse to multiply, to ensure the propagation of the species, the act was made pleasurable. As creatures got less and less like the original perfection they started to find the pleasurable aspects becoming a bit more dominant than they should and less than perfect creatures started to find pleasure in actions that were unnatural (unnatural in the sense of not being capable of leading to procreation, or slightly lesser to preventing procreation). To counter all of this perversion, this leading astray from perfection, the acts had to be prevented, thus the concept of sin was devised, to prevent leading away from the perfect path, to disobey the perfect one and act in less than perfect ways – and they called it sin. Originally the reward (in a negative sense) for sin was to be sorry for you sin and repent and offer reparation, you could say the wages of sin is atonement. After a few thousand years it was found that this wasn’t enough things were just the same, in spite of trying to quench the evil by drowning (everyone good or evil) and other punishments it was decided that a new slogan was needed to bring them in line, and so, we had the wages of sin is death, still not enough, death and eternal damnation. But, lots of buts, if it turns out that we are all guilty of this sin thing by association or hereditary well anything goes, to counter this we need a saviour.

            This is turning my mind inside out, thanks for the lead PK and Henry, but I think for all its problems I will take the idea of starting simple and evolving into something better by simply selecting the things that work and forgetting the rest. No creation with intelligent design, that gets too complicated the relatively simple evolutionary idea works better.

          • PK says:

            Sorry to break it to you like that. But we should probably let go of our faith and latch onto whatever they like to call their “beliefs” in how we and the other animals got here.

          • Henry says:

            PK: “Sorry to break it to you like that.”

            Yes. It is a bummer. We will have to let go of our allegorical interpretations of the creation account. We will have to embrace intelligent life spontaneously generating into some semblance of order from the muck. The muck as well spontaneously generated into substance from nothing prior to the life forms spontaneously generating. Nice and tidy. We will have to embrace the ideologies of the rabid evolutionists (no wishy-washiness for them to be sure, they know what they believe in).

          • entech says:

            didn’t know you had a sense of humour.

  11. entech says:

    Hi Chris, sorry you have lost me, I don’t know how to define a Christian, it does seem to depend on a personal interpretation of a book of fables. Roman Catholicism seems to be the first to gain a dominant position, I have mentioned some of the others that were around in the early days, the adoptionists (born man and adopted son of God when baptised by John, popular with Islam that one), the Jesus was only a necessary illusion (some kind of Gnostic idea – if Jesus was God how could God die), Marcion (actually the son of a different God, actually sent to save humanity from the cruel and evil God of Abraham) and the list goes on. There are so many different churches now with so many different viewpoints, interpretations and dogmas.
    It is sometimes asked why America how so many different churches and believe so many different things, I think the answer is that America actually has so many different Gods, the confusion comes because they are all called Jesus. Personally I have a certain fondness for Zoroaster and do believe that the Aryan migration had a huge influence on the early ideas of the fertile crescent, with this as a starting point we could, and I do, say that all varieties of monotheism evolved from a common ancestor.

    Evolution is so unlikely it is true, highly improbable as well, but that does not make it impossible. Genesis is even less probable but people defend it with their (or more usually, other peoples) lives.

    Can’t remember who now, but a well respected cosmologist said that given the vastness of the universe it was mind boggling to think that earth was the only place where there was life, at the same time life was so amazing that it was mind boggling that it existed in even one place. The existence of “the Creator God, that knows all of us personally and all the other stuff about sons and sins and sacrifices by us and for us and so on” is so mind boggling and so improbable that I cannot understand how anyone can take it seriously, let alone can seriously entertain so many different varieties , that their are some many different races of religious thought as Darwin might say, at the same time it is not impossible any more than evolution is.

    I guess I have nothing more to say, the walls of faith have risen up, in the words of the old song So high can’t get over them, so wide can’t get round them so I will leave this in the bosom of Abraham.

  12. Bob says:

    The U.S. has so many gods because we don’t have a state church unlike most of Europe.

  13. Chris Finstad says:

    Jon and Entech, you are give examples of microevolution. We’re not talking lightning striking pond scum and going from that to humans in 20 billion or whatever the latest number is. Just look at all the variation that humans have gone through in a very short period of time. God has created us and animals with this adaptability.

    Entech, the examples you are giving of the heresy in the early church with certain groups, mostly gnostics, was taken up by the apostle John in the Book of 1st John. I believe you will find a defense of the true christian faith there. Humans are not perfect and put their biases in where the don’t belong. The Bible is not that difficult to understand. However, you can only understand it by the Holy Spirit. You may think that is a copout, but it is biblical.

    You wrote:
    Evolution is so unlikely it is true, highly improbable as well, but that does not make it impossible. Genesis is even less probable but people defend it with their (or more usually, other peoples) lives.
    I am glad you realize this, but so sad you don’t see the Bible as being the true source.
    I have never read about anybody defending the book of Genesis with their life, but maybe you can enlighten me on that.

    I have come to realize, and suspected before I started, that we can bicker about these things until we have 20,000 posts on here. I am not going to consume so much of my time with these things. I thank all of you for your insights and healthy debate, but I have better things to do. I also find myself geting pretty upset with some of the comments on here, not because I think they are correct, but because I wish all of you could have the joy of knowing Jesus Christ. It is the best life possible and I wish all of you would park your pride at the door and let Jesus into your hearts.

    Jon, again thank you very much for being mostly respectful and polite on here. I repeat it is so rare to see an athiest that is respectful towards creationists. I kind of get the gist that you think creationists are stupid. I hope you re-think this. There are plenty of people in this country more highly educated than you that believe the complete opposite on evolution. The Supreme Court even says secular humanism is a religion. As a Christian I consider evolution to be an idol that you have. It is a fairly demanding one on you because you feel the need to blaspheme God with so much of your time. If God does not exist, why bother trying to prove he doesn’t? I hope someday you find the joy I have in Jesus and would quit hating him so much. Again, thank you for a very interesting blog.

    Entech, if you are in Fargo sometime I would like to see you come to Calvary Chapel Fargo, where my wife and I attend. I promise you will see more love their than anyplace else you could find. You will also find Christianity practiced the way it is supposed to be. Thanks again for the debate.

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