We debate origins of the Universe, life, Earth, humans, religion, atheism, using common sense, evolution, cosmology, geology, archaeology, and other sciences, to repel biblical creationism and other religious beliefs.

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The portrait is Charles Darwin, age 31, in 1840

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Neanderthals, Denisovans and ancestor X

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Has man evolved?

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The Probability Of Being

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A new theory explaining the origins of life?

Started by Donald L. Engel. Last reply by Donald L. Engel Mar 31. 5 Replies

Map of Archaic Ancestry

Started by Qiana-Maieev. Last reply by Joseph P Mar 29. 5 Replies

Homo Erectus food processing

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner. Last reply by Joan Denoo Mar 19. 1 Reply

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Comment by Tony Davis on November 16, 2010 at 8:50am
All - Thanks for the replies. Maybe later today I will post the draft on my personal website, then after getting feedback I will publish it. The easiest thing to do would be to just publish it, then update it based on feedback but I don't want to risk my credibility by accidentally posting something STOOPID! I guess I'll decide when I see how I feel about the draft.

Ron - no worries on now knowing that much about the minimal facts approach. It is relatively new and frankly rocked me back on my heels when I first heard it. Not because it is any good, but because it makes some claims that made me think to myself "well, if THAT'S true then the apologists might be on to something now". The short version is that Dr. Gary Habermas surveyed most of the relevant literature (in English, French and German) from about 1970 to today (he is still updating his database I think) and pulled out only a minimum number of facts that are agreed upon by nearly all scholars who have written on the subject of Jesus crucifixion and resurrection. There are 12 "facts" that he claims are agreed upon by about 95% (except for one that is about 75%) of scholars, even the atheists. Among these are Jesus died due to crucifixion, he was buried, the tomb was found empty, the disciples truly believed they saw the resurrected Christ, the list goes on but they are all of that nature.

I have many problems with this approach, not least of which not a single one of these things are actually "facts". And ultimately, even if they were "facts" none of these things are best explained by someone who was dead coming back to life and magically appearing to folks (many of whom didn't recognize him) later.

What I am looking for and I might have to read Habermas' entire dissertation to get it, is how does he justify saying "almost all scholars agree, even the atheists", when some of the guys he cite, like Robert Price, doubt Jesus ever even existed in the first place.

Comment by david perry on November 16, 2010 at 3:15am
@Ron- Doctor of Atheology? I guess getting an advanced degree in the study of "nothing" is nothing new.
Phd = piled higher and deeper.
Comment by david perry on November 16, 2010 at 3:13am
@Tony- Love to. Post the link.
Comment by Joseph P on November 16, 2010 at 2:00am
I'll cover the grammar. :-D
Comment by Tony Davis on November 16, 2010 at 12:39am
OK, slightly different topic (maybe not so slight...). Anyone here interested in discussing the finer points of the "minimal facts approach"? I am writing a series of articles refuting the major apologia and I decided to take on this one first. I've got a pretty good start of it but would like a second (and third and fourth...) look before I publish it.

Any takers?
Comment by Bryon on November 16, 2010 at 12:16am
Well I don't care what we are called...except "Brights"...I love brother Richard but...can file that under not so good ideas.
Comment by Ken Jackson on November 15, 2010 at 9:04pm
Living not at the end of the world but over it, I feel very fortunate to find this site that allows me to retain my sanity while being surrounded by every and all cults of christianity here in the South Pacific.

I have found that the islanders are a lot more respectful of my non beliefs than the average fundie in the United States. But, it is still gratifying to be able to have a place to be with others that are of the same mind.

I have found that the people here are more tolerant and better educated, even thought we do not have the employment opportunities that many others have. Being islanders there is a certain trait that keeps us working together no matter what our nationalities or beliefs or lack thereof.

I very much enjoy reading the posts by those who are by and far better educated than I. I find myself reading and examining statements by all of you and my lookups have served me well. I find myself becoming much better educated and more inquisitive than I was even as a young man...

Thank you all

Just this old Chief's 2 cents
Comment by Tony Davis on November 15, 2010 at 8:12pm
LOL I had better be more careful when taking credit for making up a new word in the future! What I was trying to do (and I often do when talking to fundies, not that anyone here is like that) is avoid all the unfair baggage that so often comes with the word "atheist", as if it means that in addition to not believing in God we also eat babies.

But maybe I will start using "atheologian" in the future. Thoughts? We are studying the reasons why gods aren't real right? Or at least the reasons we don't believe in them?
Comment by Dr. Terence Meaden on November 15, 2010 at 6:57pm

There's a great word----meaning somebody who is a supporter of "atheology" but which, at first, I thought might mean the study of atheism.

However, I have just looked up my copy of the Shorter Oxford English Dictionary where I find

atheological = opposed to theology

atheology = opposition to theology

atheologian = one destitute of theology

Of course, the editors of the OED were and still are christians and god believers, so, I suggest, that they selectively massaged a little the meanings to suit themselves.

So, next, I looked for the editors' definition of 'theologist'. It means 'a professed theologian'.


'theologian' = 'one who is versed in theology'

and more specifically

'one who makes a study or profession of theology'; 'a divine'.

So there,
I am content to be an atheologist who supports atheology in opposition to theology, seeing that theology is defined as 'the study or science which treats of God, His nature and attributes, and His relations with man and the universe'.
Comment by Tony Davis on November 15, 2010 at 5:07pm
I don't know if the Examiner tracks IP addresses of folks who post there, I certainly have no idea who posts. BUT, I suspect that Tom is a guy that I met on an airplane about 6 months ago. This guy, nice enough and seemed not at all UNintelligent, engaged me in conversation because I was reading on my Kindle (greatest invention of the past couple of years IMHO!). When he noticed that I had books on there like The God Delusion, the King James Version of the Bible, Letter to a Christian Nation, The Case for a Creator, etc., he became interested. But when he found I was a "Atheologist" (OK, I think I made that up, don't know if it will stick..or if others have used it) he resolved to convert me.

Fast forward a bit. We had been emailing each other our debate points for months and after a series of emails that sounded identical to what "Tom" commented on my article, I told him that I respectfully had to break contact. I informed him that I cherish intellectual debate but when he insists that there is zero scientific support for evolution, yet ID is broadly supported by the evidence, we are not even talking as adults and I am frankly too busy.

He wrote me again a few days ago in a last ditch effort to convince me that ID is solid science. Part of my rebuttal was to link back to my articles rather than rehashing previously made points. Then mysteriously "Tom" shows up two days ago.

Sounds a lot like what happened here:

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