Evangelicals pressure Kenya’s National Museum to hide its hominid fossils.

August 13, 2006 | By | 25 Replies More

Reading Dispatches from the Culture Wars, I learned of this recent article published by the Telegraph (U.K.):

Powerful evangelical churches are pressing Kenya’s national museum to sideline its world-famous collection of hominid bones pointing to man’s evolution from ape to human.

Leaders of the country’s six-million-strong Pentecostal congregation want Dr Richard Leakey’s ground-breaking finds relegated to a back room instead of being given their usual prime billing.

No, science cannot co-exist with this type of religion.

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Category: Evolution, Religion, Science

About the Author ()

Erich Vieth is an attorney focusing on consumer law litigation and appellate practice. He is also a working musician and a writer, having founded Dangerous Intersection in 2006. Erich lives in the Shaw Neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri, where he lives half-time with his two extraordinary daughters.

Comments (25)

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  1. Tom Harebottle says:

    What is it with you people? What could I possibly care about a few, supposed ape to man fossils. How many do you have, any? You make such a big deal about a tooth, or a jawbone or whatever the last earthshattering fossil find is, but you have nothing. Look even your god Darwin said his whole stupid theory wood collapse if the fossil record wouldn't show all these intermediate forms, AND WHERE ARE THEY??? Piltdown man…if you took all of your 'missing links', including the blatantly fraudulent ones, would you even have a dozen…and I'm supposed to believe with all the different kinds of animals and plants we have that because of survival of the fittest and because of tiny incremental changes over billions or trillions or quadrillions of years, I've only got less than 12 examples of intermediates?

    WHAT A JOKE, and you actually laugh at me because I have faith in God. What kind of faith does it take to believe your farce? O, I forgot all your circular reasoning proof, all we date the fossils because of the old rocks and we date the rocks because of the landmark fossils. You actually say 'No, science cannot co-exist with this type of religion.' Well I say you would not know science if you were smacked in the face with it. Isn't science questioning, asking questions and finding answers, even if they are answers you weren't seeking? You evolutionists get into such 'hissy-fits' (worse than spoiled brats) if anyone questions any of your dogma. What is it, are you scared that when put to the test, not one of your so called proofs is anything more than an untested theory? IT'S A THEORY, NOT A FACT.

    What really pisses me off, is how you cannot admit that evolution/humanism is your religion…you have no guts and worse yet, you're tax-payer supported. Why, because you cannot stand on your own four feet, you know you could not sell your hopeless theory of death and destruction to anyone if you had to. At least we whacky Christians have hope, and my friend, if our Hope, our Bible is just a myth, than tell me why it has not just survived so long, but has thrived and changed so many lives, why is it my Hope can be taught to the worst in society and change them for the better, and what does teaching your theory do? Do people get changed for the better, no, it turns them into the animals you think we are! How sad.

  2. Erich Vieth says:

    It sounds like Tom would prefer to relegate the hominid fossils to the back room.  BTW, I don't recall any scientist relying on Piltdown Man since well before 1953 .  I would also point out also that the Koran has survived for a long time, has thrived, and has changed many lives. Using Tom's logic. The Koran must therefore be true. Many posts from this blog address the other issues raised by Tom. They can be searched under the categories "evolution," "religion" and "science."

    PS. Humans do seem to be animals. We eat, breath, poop and procreate just like the other animals. Those other animals are incredibly exquisite organisms that inspire me. I am not insulted to be compared to them. See My Life as a Sponge.

  3. John says:

    The sentiment that Tom expresses is disturbing; the sentiment that he appears to be reflecting is that of a scared child striking out from the corner the child is backed into. I do not think there is anything necessarily wrong with having faith in any given religion, but when people cling to them as absolute truth, trumping that in which we have evidence (perhaps the validity of evidence should be questioned rather than attacking the person conveying the information?), how can those of us who use our minds see them as any more than yet another brand of fundamentalist?

    The Tanakh (Jewish bible containing the Torah and two other books) has also survived for a long time, has thrived, and has changed many lives. Using Tom’s logic the Tanakh must therefore be true. In fact both Christianity and Islam emerged from Judaism, what does this do to Tom's faith? I suppose that logic too is a religion as it does not yield "hope" and does not necessarily support any given religious faith as being the correct one. Hmm, thinking about it more, the Tao Te Ching has been around for a long time as has been the Bagavadh Gita and numerous other religious texts. These too must be true as well, even in the places where the different traditions seem to contradict, but then what?

    Religion is a human creation to try to understand the incomprehensible. That is not to say that that which is incomprehensible is not some divine being or existence, but it is still beyond the capacity of the human mind. Science and religion can coexist, but not when religion concerns itself with that which is comprehensible (empirical matters). There are a great number of scientists that are deeply spiritual yet they find and support evidence that conflicts with the explicit word of their respective religious texts.

    Considering the traditional conception of the Judeo-Christian God; God is infinite and omniscient, correct? God created humans, correct? If so, then why did God give humans minds if we were not meant to employ them? Is it because we are being decieved? By whom or what? If it is not God that is deceiving us, then why does God not stop the deceptions? Through this line of reasoning and at least several others that I am aware of (including the problem of evil) it seems that we are led to see the traditional conception of God as either wrong (our mistaken conception) or God as being that is either arbitrary or not actually good. Take your pick, I think it is the former (our conception of God is incorrect, thus the fundamentalists of any given faith have faith in something false).

  4. Erika Price says:

    I think Erich and John have dealt with the issues brought up by Tom sufficiently, though I would like to suggest Tom look up the definition of the word "theory".

  5. Deb says:

    It always so odd to me that some religious people think there is no hope without their religion. I have lots of hope: I hope that I will do a good job today; I hope that my life will have a positive effect on others; I hope that my children and grandchildren remain healthy, happy people that contribute to their community, etc. The difference in my hope is that I can do something about it. I don't have to pray that another ALLOWS me to do a good job, or that another PREVENTS from doing it. My hope can take action.

    I also find it sacrilegious when people think they can coerce the Creator into blessing what they do. They count beads, they beg, they cry. Worse yet, some people believe they understand the Creator, and know what the Creator wants (so they can tell the rest of us what is right and wrong). How can a human understand the meaning and purpose of creation? That would be like me discussing the theory of relativity with my cat.

    The essence of spirituality is awareness of creation, of the magnificence of the universe, not the interpretation of it.

  6. Jason Rayl says:

    Tom is not interested in what is. He is invested in his view of What Ought To Be. The argument over intermediate fossils is old and is demonstrably wrong, if only Tom would look at the published work detailing this.

    What is sad is that Tom adheres to such a small-minded god, one who would be far inferior to one that might actually have come up with all this stuff–existence, that is–and would praise curiosity as the highest trait of a conscious entity. He is willing to accept a lesser conception because, probably, it's easier to imagine.

  7. grumpypilgrim says:

    Sounds like Tom needs to read my post about the meaning of life (http://dangerousintersection.org/?p=362), which points out that the "meaning" provided by the Christian God leaves much to be desired.

    As regards texts being around for a long time…what about the story of Beowulf? That's over 1000 years old: does that mean it's true? And what about the ancient stories from Greece, featuring characters like Zeus, Icarus and the Minotaur? And what about Homer's Odyssey and Iliad? Are they also true just because they've been around a long time?

    Sadly, most opponents of evolution are like Tom: they blindly reject all scientific explanations about fossils, then offer no rational explanations of their own. They subscribe to the absurd belief that any scientific findings (about evolution or any other subject) that conflict with their own personal religious beliefs must be wrong (and, therefore, ignored), and they lash out with irrational insults at anyone who suggests otherwise.

    For example, Tom is wrong about the completeness of human fossils. He has conspicuously ignored, for example, the hominid fossil nicknamed "Lucy": http://www.asu.edu/clas/iho/lucy.html.

    Tom is also wrong about methods of dating fossils. It is not just about old rocks and landmark fossils. It's also about dendocronology, ice core data, varve data, lava flow data, erosion data, plate tectonics, astrophysics, DNA analysis…the list goes on and on. Evolution explains virtually all of it (and has even made predictions about unknown events that have later proven true); creationists can explain none of it.

    Even more sad is the fact that for virtually everything Tom declares to true, there is another Christian somewhere who would dispute him, which is why scientific facts, not Tom's particular religious dogma, should be the final judge.

  8. Dan Klarmann says:

    I just received an irate email from a friend who saw this story on ABC News on Dec 5.

    I often wonder why the anti-evolution emotions are so high? Jason has a point in his response to my response to the "…Anti-Darwinist… post: Anti-evolutionists haven't had any serious math or science learning. By Serious, I mean with a prerequisite of calculus. Unless you have this basic tool, it's hard to understand the other tools used in these fields. If the only "science" you know is the list of conclusions and theories spoon fed to you by primary and secondary schools and/or your church, then it is equivalent to taking it on faith. Science is a technique for discovery, not a book of conclusions.

    As for dating old bones, the usual dating methods are radiological (generally carbon, and potassium isotopes), geomagnetic and thermo-luminescent (for adjacent rocks and clays that have been fired), amino-acid racimization (usually only in icy environments), and then the methods mentioned by Grumpy.

    If we want good answers, it is necessary to expose people to the evidence itself, not just the conclusions. This particular battle is about concealing evidence that conflicts with the dogma of a socially and politically powerful church.

  9. Scholar says:

    Below, I have a provided a couple of superb "intermediate fossil" links for Tommy Boy, although I'm sure he is too busy attending Church to care.

    http://tiktaalik.uchicago.edu/

    Tom, please follow the link to this *stunning* proof of evolution, don't worry, the "fossils" won't bite, they are extinct (this one was a dinosaur, you do believe in dinosaurs don't you?).

    Anybody with a BACKBONE needs to read this…

    http://geology.er.usgs.gov/paleo/vertebra.shtml

  10. James Davenock says:

    As I see it, most of us just want to go about our daily lives without being attacked for our beliefs so we keep them to ourselves. A quiet spirtuality that lives in most of us. Most of us do not claim to know the mind of God and that is a good thing. My wife believes in God but I'm not so sure God exists though extra-ordinary things do happen in my life for which I have no explanation…so maybe there is something. I really don't think God cares one way or the other like a concerned Uncle or Aunt about how my daily life goes. If there is a God, God leaves it too me to find my way as I was blessed with a half decent brain and a pair of eyes with which to explore this world.

    I prefer science to explore my world and spirtuality to explore my soul and I have never seen a problem of their co-existance in my life.

  11. Scholar says:

    That sounds like a great fairy tale James, but I have outgrown fairy tales (not necessarily by choice).

    I prefer using science to explore my world and SCIENCE (brain chemistry/physiology/psychology) to explore my soul. The phenomena of "soul" is really just neurons firing in our (sometimes thick) skulls.
    http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/full/303/56

    I witness the incompatibilities between science and spirituality on a *daily* basis. Here is a link to an article by Sam Harris, if you would like to better understand my (Harris's) viewpoint.
    http://www.secularhumanism.org/index.php?section=

    "…reconciliation of reason and faith would be stunning for its stupidity even if Noah’s Ark had been discovered on the slopes of Mount Ararat, intact and bursting with fossils." -Sam Harris

  12. sander marham says:

    Tom Harebottle's entry is frightening on so many levels. First, the idea that faith must trump science is somewhat ridiculous. Faith is belief without proof. Fine to have it, but it doesn't negate scientific evidence. Secondly, Christians did not

    invent faith, did not recieve the Ten Commandants, and did not even have the first part of the Bible. They have expanded and appropriated ideas of others, and combined with the needs of some Christians to live only through the prism of religion indicates fear of what is because they don't to think or explore. They have no curiousity and are hypocritical. The many scientific advances which give their lives comfort, ease and good health would be unavailable if intellect was given over to blind faith.

  13. James Davenock says:

    Thanks for your comments Scholar. Next time, I'll just go to Sam Harris' website where I'm sure to find all your opinions already written for you. Problem with guys like Tom and Scholar is they let someone else do the thinking for them be that God or Sam Harris. They are more alike than either would admit.

    While you may not agree with my musings, they are my own, not Sam's that you pass off as your own. So perhaps you should leave your cabin in the woods and join the real world and come up with an original thought instead of quoting someone else's thoughts.

    I believe in science yet Im open to the fact I'm not privy to every bit of knowledge in the universe.

  14. Dan Klarmann says:

    Believing-in and understanding science are two different things. One implies faith in the conclusions, while the other implies certitude of the merits of the process that leads to those (often disquieting) conclusions.

    Science, formerly called natural philosophy, is actually a branch of philosophy. The only branch in which every underlying assumption is dragged up and examined repeatedly and mercilessly, and this the whole process is intricately documented. The only philosophy in which the credentials of the person publishing are less important than the verifiability of what was said.

    Einstein, that icon of scientific understanding openly opposed the quantum uncertainty principle that led to such inventions as transistors and lasers.

    Believing in science is as comforting as believing in Jesus, Rama, Osiris or any other invisible friend with a big following.

    Understanding science enhances the wonder of the huge complexity of the universe, while giving us unprecedented control over those aspects of nature that we can accurately understand.

    Science benefits from easy access to all evidence by the largest possible audience. Faith can become unsteady when people learn to think independently.

  15. Dr. Smug says:

    Dave, I admire Sam Harris' viewpoints (obviously there might be some details which we disagree, but you might have to look pretty hard). I did not know of Sam Harris until about a year ago. When I first read his writing, it seemed like a breath of fresh air. He is not the only one who I have *recently discovered* that I share common ideals… also Richard Dawkins, PZ Myers, Jason Rosenhouse, the group of folks here at DangerousIntersection, and many other talented writers. By quoting Sam Harris, its an easy way for me to let you to know how I feel about many subjects. Feel free to let me know who you most resemble in your beliefs (mine is probably Dawkins).

    Please see here for the nitty gritty on Harris,
    http://dangerousintersection.org/?p=1021

  16. James Davenock says:

    It seems that many here could simply replace the name Sam Harris, with Jesus, Newton or Sullivan in their writings. Many keep quoting others in an attempt to get their point across rather than just trying to get their point across. You could say "Dave, I admire Jesus' viewpoints" or "Dave, I admire Sam Harris' viewpoints" or "Dave, I admire Newton's viewpoints". Each of them uses a well rounded arguement to try to influence your view of the world though I don't think any of them really cares whether you take that view of the world. The problem seems to stem from those that fervently need you to take their view of the world and if you do not you are then either stupid or a sinner.

    Science routinely operates the same way as Big religion. Someone comes along upsets the apple cart and the establishment dumps on them for it. Years later they are proven correct as rigourous testing proves their hypothesis to be correct. The difference between Science and Religion is Science has a process by which to prove its ideas while Religion does not and requires you to simply accept or excommunicate. I have found the same smugness in both religious and science types and that is a bit disquieting.

    The wise man first says "I do not know"

  17. Dr. Smug says:

    James, I do not feel obliged to re-say what has been said by others smarter and more articulate than myself.

    This link provides an example of how Jason Rosenhouse (and I :P) feel about "free-thinking-Christians-types" and their attempt to reconcile Science and Faith by "re-burying" fossils.
    http://scienceblogs.com/evolutionblog/2007/02/cre

    Also, be aware of yesterday's 6-4 decision by the Kansas board of education…

    No more "intelligent design" allowed in school. Victory for science!
    http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/wireStory?id=287

  18. What's amazing is that no one has actually critiqued the article this post is based on. Your all just using this tiny blurb as an excuse to sound off on your personal beliefs. Get a fucking grip. You'll never be taken seriously if unfounded accusations and Michael Moore-esque positions and arguments send you flying off the handle. The freelance writer who submitted this article offered absolutely no evidence to his position. He quoted one evangelical minister, likely the minister with the most extreme position, and acted as if there was a burning cross on the lawn of the archeologist.

    I've never understood why this is such a polarizing debate. Faith and evolution aren't mutually exclusive. Only the most literalist reading of the bible forsakes belief in natural selection along with micro and macro evolution. Evangelicals are the silent minority in this debate. Evangelicals are not the proponents of intelligent design, intelligent design is the product of Christian fundamentalists.

    You must make this distinction if you want to enter this debate and not have your voice swept away into the two extremes. James has been one of the few voices that has not allowed himself to be marginalized by rhetoric. Evangelicals are generally opposed to evolution but recognize that refuting it might mean a general refutation of science (which many of you have fleshed out with overheated bluster). Evangelicals are unwilling to pay this price and rather go along with the perceived momentum of initiative.

    Those interested in this debate must make themselves acquainted with both religion and science. Denouncing religion as "the opiate of the masses", as many of you have hinted at, is a very common mistake. Jerry Falwell and Paul Griffiths are not the true representatives of religion, they are as much a caraciture as Bill Nye is for science.

    Here are my beliefs (so feel free to jump to conclusions as soon as possible and ignore as much as you see fit in order to satisfy your preconceptions): evolution is a theory as much as gravity is a theory. That's right, gravity is still technically a theory. We've come to accept it as law because of its pervasiveness. While we can't observe an ape mutating into a human, it's evidence is just as prolific.

    I believe in God. In my opinion, while we are animals it is ridiculous to think that a process of natural selection and gradual evolution would lead to sentience. There are numerous other phenomena that are not sufficiently explained by science alone, and not for a lack of data or technology, but sentience will serve as my example. You'll immediately point to the fact that neanderthals and homo erectus, africanus etc. are the midpoints between us and chimps and no doubt possessed intermediate intelligence. But that jump to self-awareness, I would argue, is beyond human comprehension. It is something that was exogenously introduced. The idea of a perfectly just society is another idea that I think was exogenously introduced. How else can you explain it? While a dog may become jealous of another dog if that second dog is given more food, he would never willing eat less food in the name of substitutional justice (or logic, or love). People, throughout history, have willingly suffered the punishment deserved to others in order to preserve the concept of justice (rather than promoting arbitrary mercy).

  19. Dr. Smug says:

    I don't believe in God. In my opinion it is downright naive to believe in something which has ZERO evidence. Actually, I strongly believe that there is no God. Science has been an integral force leading me to (and supporting) my beliefs against a Creator. However, I must concede that science has not empirically proved the farce of Christianity (yet).

    Donald, your post indicates that you lack a basic understanding of modern science (especially your prose on the implications of evolution). My purpose here, is indeed to educate the *opiated* Christian masses. Please put down your bible for a few moments and clear your mind of religious thought.

    Now Donald, you are ready to embark on a scientific voyage about how sentient life evolved from the depths of Earth's oceans. Please read this outstanding scientific article on the transition from *slime* to sentience.
    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2005/7/29/52121/225

  20. Erich Vieth says:

    Oh, come on, Donald!

    This “tiny blurb” quotes “Bishop Boniface Adoyo, head of Kenya's 35 evangelical denominations,” which he claims have 10 million followers.  This story appeared in reputable papers in both the UK and the US. Are you suggesting that the museum is not being pressured to hide its hominid fossils by the leaders of millions of people who find those fossils inconvenient to their religious beliefs?

    Is Adoyo an extremist? You bet. But there are ever growing numbers of extremists out there. Adoyo is an extremist with millions of followers who would love to hide incredible fossil evidence of our incredible biological journey.

    I dispute that evangelicals are silent. True, they are not a majority in many places, but they are recruiting hard and working non-stop to influence the science curriculum across the U.S. See here and here and here. That these monstrous school board decisions are often reversed does not make them truly reprehensible. When the evangelicals come to power, they base their decisions on highly questionable ancient texts instead of skeptically considered reason. Do you go to a doctor who uses only treatments used by people from the Middle East 3000 years ago? Or do you rely on modern science? The same approach should be used for science education, in my opinion.

    Hiding hominid fossils out of public view would be the moral equivalent of finding “a burning cross on the lawn of the archeologist.” By the way, that archeologist happens to be a world-renowned scientist, Dr. Richard Leakey. When he is concerned, I am concerned, because he has dedicated his life to following the evidence where it leads.

    If you think the writers at this site are not acquainted with religion and science, you haven’t done your homework. Take a look at the posts on the topics of “religion” and “science” on the homepage.

    Because you think it’s “ridiculous” to believe that sentience could result from natural selection doesn’t mean it’s not true. Think of all of the other things that people (even prominent scientists) previously thought to be “ridiculous” (examples include plate tectonic theory and the cause of ulcers, as well as the recent discovery that human adults are still growing brain cells). All of these things were once considered “ridiculous.” But we now know that they are undeniably true. They were not proven true by chanting from religious books. They were proven true by painstaking experimentation. If we stopped inquiries because someone thought the theory to be “ridiculous,” we’d still be teaching our children about phlogiston.

    So don’t let your failure to use your imagination paralyze you. Don’t trash a theory because you can’t fathom it or because you don't want to believe it. Follow the evidence where it leads. Don’t follow dusty self-contradictory books when you need to understand the world around you in a precise way using the best tools.

    And you can’t knock science off the table by saying that “science alone” is not adequate. Science is the way that careful and skeptical people try to understand the world. Is science always right? No way, but it is, by design, self-correcting (calling something “ridiculous” is notably not self-correcting). Does science give a full understanding of the world? Absolutely not, as I’ve elaborated here.  “All scientific explanations are partial stories.”  But, at least those explanations are partial. And, by the way, who do you trust more to give you the straight scoop about what he or she does NOT know—the limits of his or her knowledge, a religious leader preaching about the deficiencies of science or a career scientist?

    When you go beyond “science alone” (as you advocate), you are choosing to inform your decisions in ways that are not careful and not skeptical.  In that world, anything goes. That is the world where witches are found and burned and where children with chemical imbalances in their brains are beaten.

    I agree that dogs don’t have a sophisticated sense of social justice, but I don’t understand your attempt to connect that phenomenon with the alleged inability of evolution to take simple organisms on a path to ward complex sentience.

    And I’m curious, in light of your arguments, whether you would consider the other apes (oranges, chimps, bonobos and gorillas) to be sentient. I do.  I suspect that you don’t. I suspect that you put humans in a privileged place on the tree of life. That is the topic of yet another post I wrote: “My Life as a Sponge.”

  21. Dr. Smug says:

    Great response Erich, I didn't think Donald's post would fly too well here. Are you sure the Discovery Institute is still up to no good though? Lately, all I have seen (on TV) is great science documentaries from them. To me, it seems they have adjusted their image and aren't the real enemy here, and are actually good for science. (Please enlighten me if I am wrong)

  22. Erich Vieth says:

    I've responded to the comment of James Davenock at length here: http://dangerousintersection.org/?p=1066

  23. Jason Rayl says:

    "evolution is a theory as much as gravity is a theory. That’s right, gravity is still technically a theory. We’ve come to accept it as law because of its pervasiveness. While we can’t observe an ape mutating into a human, it’s evidence is just as prolific. "

    Donald. This phrasing alone demonstrates that you don't understand the difference between a legal theory and a scientific theory. Theory in science means the matter is established. Everyone with an armchair understanding of what they think science is makes this mistake. The term for what you mean is Hypothesis, which is very different. A hypothesis is a working idea that still requires evidence to make it a theory. A theory is an established explanation based on evidence. Which means that until a new Einstein comes along to blow it out of the water, it's as good as an established fact. So when one hears the phrase "It's 'just' a theory" one knows that the speaker is talking through his ass, even if it appears that the speaker is defending science.

    On this basis, religious claims will never be theories. There is no equivalence. They are, in many ways, different languages. Critiquing one with the other is possible only in the areas where the two coincide, that is in what Dawkins has called "existence claims"–matters of observable fact. When religion makes such claims (the earth stood still, the waters parted, the universe was created in six days) science can step in and viably say "Bull shit." And religion can't argue, because it is not based on a system whereby defense of such claims can be made independent of the claimant.

    What this means is that while science and religion can indeed coexist, their claims are not mutually compatible.

  24. Mr. Smug says:

    Dr. Smug, it turns out that the "Discovery Institute" is NOT related to the "Discovery Channel". The link Erich provided for the Discovery Institute indeed led us to a warped right-winged-beast. The website almost seems humorous at first glance, but becomes truly horrifying when the realization hits that this is how people are lured into supporting the likes of Michael Behe and William F. Buckley.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Discovery_Institute

    Hopefully, the similarity in names hasn't confused too many people (other than myself). Please continue to enjoy the magnificent educational productions by the Discovery Channel, friends of science and nature.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Discovery_Channel

    I absolutely love the Discovery Channel HD documentaries, and am so relieved to learn they are not funded by (or related to) the despicably unscientific "Institute".

  25. James Davenock says:

    Theories come and theories go with science and that is the way it should be. The scientific method is the only tool we have that allows us to test our hypothesis and that is why I believe science is a better tool for explaining the world I can see around me.

    This debate between science and religion is frankly stupid as there can never be a winner in this entirely illogical argument . The fact that some people of the scientific community fail to see this is a fault in their reasoning process and a form of elitism that many in the scientific community seem prone to. Not everyone has been given the oppourtunity of a university education and they have to simply make it up as they go, best they can.

    People rely on religion because they are scared shitless of death and due to the plain sad fact in this world that shit just happens for no apparent reason to everyone. Try and tell the person who just lost his or her family because some earthquake buried their village that it's just a case of stress being released between tectonic plates, they don't care as they have just lost everything they depended on in their life.

    There is a big black void beyond this Earth that I can't recall anyone coming back from with proof about what happens when you die one way or the other. That's why we have religion, to try and explain death to people because no one in science has brought back a videotape of John the Baptist and Darwin having tea with Buddha.

    If you want to kill religion then come up with proof of what happens when you die otherwise religion will be with the human race forever.

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