It is not the absence of evidence that makes me an atheist. It is my awareness of the fact that the idea a frankly absurd. Intelligence or skill in one area does not mean intelligence or skill in all areas. It does not matter what other people think the world is like, whether or not they are 'scientists'. We have varying degrees of genetic susceptibility to being overwhelmed by our emotions that getting in the way of an objective world view. I don't find it surprising at all that many people good at science, don't understand the full implications of the axioms they use to do science.
It appears to me that Francis Collins believes because he wants to believe. He had at least one experience that seemed mystical to him, but he fails to realize that our marvelous brain will conjure-up strong emotions, even visions, if we want them strongly enough.
Exactly. Idaho Spud. And furthermore, he testifies very clearly that he does not agree with creationism and their errors of logic, but he does have a sense of the spiritual.
Is it possible that he and others feel a sense of wonder? I feel that all the time, i.e. My goodness, this water is precious and I am not the one responsible for creating it, only to manage it wisely; the sky full of stars enchant me and I had nothing to do with making them even as I enjoy them; or my great-grandchildren are very special even as my step-great-grandchildren are; or the baby girl I watched being born in China is a marvel to behold, even as I wept knowing she had few options in this world.
"Isn't it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too?"
MCT, yes, it is enough to see that a garden is beautiful.
We live in a culture that embraces a god belief based on the ignorant assertion of our forbearers of power and wisdom to proclaim as known the unknown decrying the unknown to be god. God is nothing and represents the something unknown to the wisdom of vanity denying our own ignorance with arrogance. God and the question of god exists in and of this paradigm alone. Even as Atheist we are trapped by believers into this mindset. Leave being an atheist, step outside the box into a world where god never was an imaginary answer nor a something such as a social bonding mechanism confused for a driving power of god's spirit. step out and away into nature as it evolved into the complex from the simple from powers such as exploding stars the cooled into planets and stars and later life forms that emerged because the it simply could as it could not in other places and did not in other ways. step into that world searching for the reason life caught a foothold and life as people now looks back upon itself. we as natures entity building a body of information that informs anew, each generation without reverence to the infallible or outdated wisdoms of the past assessments, grow that human conscience to an understanding of self and nature, such that we traverse the black-hole in the center of our earth through wormholes out into other galaxies and back through particle data streaming. Now that we are outside that paradigm of old into what is natural, what is possible, and what becomes real, we have arrived to a new paradigm that is 100 percent free of god. It is only the precedent of religion preceding science much like ignorance precedes knowledge or bad habits learned first rear their ugly heads, that we are not 100 percent sure those old myths may have some place in life.
Jon T, it isn't easy to parse your sentences, but a black hole at the center of the Earth would doom us all in exceedingly short order. It would be disastrously evident in a matter of perhaps hours, were one ever to appear at the Earth's core. I don't dispute your other conclusions (if I understand them correctly), but you can't be serious about this idea.
My point is that god is an imagination of old ideas that we debate endlessly because we imagined it to be true first, and ignorance as does knowledge shapes belief if sprinkled with imagination. There are many things we are 100 percent sure do not exist like the imaginary infinitesimally small black hole that pulls matter into it at the center of the earth.
Hubris, Madhukar; evolution yes, origins no. Any headway in understanding origins only begs the question. A bit deeper into the unexplored cave goes the spelunker. On what rational basis can the spelunker be said to know what is beyond known limits?
I am wondering: wherefrom my name comes here? I am not in this discussion for long time.
Madhukar, it does get confusing and I am constantly trying to find the thread of a conversation. There are some things I want to chat with you but taxes are taking too much time. My dear family came for dinner tonight, but one of my sons and his family live far away and couldn't join us. We had 12 at the table tonight, ranging from two years old to 76 ... and I am so grateful for and proud of this splendid family. Life is sweet! I'll get back for a chat in a day or two. Hope all is well with you.