Tufts University professor Daniel Dennett. RNS file photo courtesy Tufts University.

Philosopher says no to major science forum over Templeton funding

(RNS) Tufts University professor Daniel Dennett is the co-author, with Linda LaScola, of a recent study, "Preachers Who Are Not Believers'' in the journal Evolutionary Psychology. RNS file photo courtesy Tufts University.

Tufts University professor Daniel Dennett. RNS file photo courtesy Tufts University.

(RNS) A prominent philosopher-scientist has pulled out of a popular public science forum over concerns about one of its funders, the John Templeton Foundation.

Daniel Dennett, co-director of the Center for Cognitive Studies at Tufts University, said he will not appear at the World Science Festival due to a long-standing "personal embargo" against Templeton money. The World Science Festival will be held May 27-31 in New York City and attracts upwards of 100,000 people to its public events.

The John Templeton Foundation, named for Sir John Templeton, a British-American businessman and philanthropist who died in 2008, funds numerous projects centered on creativity, love, freedom and gratitude. It focuses on what it calls "Science and the Big Questions," and has regularly sponsored projects that investigate links between science and religion.

Dennett said he objects to Templeton sponsorship because he finds some of the projects they fund scientifically questionable. He is one of several scientists and philosophers who have refused to take Templeton money in the past, including physicist Sean Carroll and philosopher Massimo Pigliucci.

In a 2013 article in Slate, Carroll wrote: "Any time respectable scientists take money from Templeton, they lend their respectability -- even if only implicitly -- to the idea that science and religion are just different paths to the same ultimate truth. That’s not something I want to do."

For Dennett, the issues were a bit different.

"I would be very happy to have the Templeton Foundation sponsor research on religion and science," he said in a phone interview from Spain, where he is lecturing. "But what they are doing now is sponsoring some very fine science with no strings attached and then using their sponsorship of that to try and win prestige for other projects that are not in the same league."

He pointed specifically to the Darwin Festival held in Cambridge, England, in 2009, which was also funded in part by Templeton. He wrote that some of the presentations there were "full of earnest gobbledegook."

"I compare it to an art collector who spends a lot of money on excellent art and then has a show with a few pieces by his brother," Dennett said this week. "It's trying to elevate the prestige of his brother by having them in the same room with a Cezanne and a Monet."

Dennett is also a famous atheist, one of the so-called "four horsemen" of the New Atheists, which include Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris and the late Christopher Hitchens.

"It's not so much that it endangers the objectivity of the conference," he said of Templeton's sponsorship. "It's that I have made it clear that I am not going to take Templeton money until they change their policies about what they fund and how they fund."

Dennett said he has raised his concerns with Templeton leaders in the past and they have made some changes. He said they used to require that fund recipients include input from theologians, and they no longer do that -- "to their credit." He said he did not know of Templeton's funding of the event he was to appear at in New York until recently.

Earl Whipple, vice president of communications and public affairs for Templeton, said the organization invests in individuals with "an attitude of humility and open-mindedness."

"Discoveries often result from competing ideas, rigorous scholarship, and civil dialogue, not from the inhibition or limitation of debate," he said.



  1. Glad to see Mr Dennett is tolerant and inclusive. But I guess he does make a point. One of these days Biological and Environmental Research Science will begin refusing money from the Global Warming Lobby for similar reasons.

  2. The hubris in this denial screams of intolerance. To say that “theologians” should not have any input is to remove some of the greatest minds in the world. I guess Dennett has his own religion – not science, but scientiism.

  3. “……Daniel Dennett, co-director of the Center for Cognitive Studies at Tufts University, said he will not appear at the World Science Festival due to a long-standing “personal embargo” against Templeton money……”

    Daniel Dennett may not have time to attend the World Science Festival. He is an old atheist and probably plans to die and go “black.” Why waste time in boring meetings. If Daniel Dennett is not having fun then he’s wasting precious time.

  4. If climate change deniers sponsored a scientific forum, would you criticise atmospheric physicists for not attending?

  5. I love when intelligent people give valid arguments in articles. I can immediately start counting the number of stupid people who don’t understand in the comment sections. Hello morons.

  6. Hmmm. Perhaps Dr. Sennett is tired of seeing theology riding on the coat tails and success of science. Templeton has an agenda that many find disingenuous. Religion and science parted ways long ago…..good riddance.

  7. Environmental research is the reason there is a climate change lobby. The thing about actual science, the findings hold whether or not you believe them.

  8. I know, how extremist of Dennet to not participate in something he disagrees with. Such a terrorist!

    Now if only the religious could learn the same tactic in place of legislating their bigotry and committing rampant violence against anyone who lives differently the world would be a far more peaceful place.

  9. You’re right, those numbers might be fiddled. And once they make a minute change to one paper they can start on the tens of thousands of peer reviewed and published research which utterly back it up.

    In a world where two people have difficulty keeping a mundane secret, people think millions of people who’s primary role is to disprove current beliefs are in perfect collusion.

    Conspiracy theorists are such optimists.

  10. The Templeton Foundation = Creationist Museum

    They both put money into science only
    so they can force fit the results into “Jesus did it.”

    It is a shame so many scientists participate in such duplicity.
    Good for Dan Dennett for staying away.

  11. Dr. Gary Westra,

    “intolerance…. To say that “theologians” should not have any input is to remove some of the greatest minds in the world.”

    Great minds like Augustine and Clement lived in a time when nobody knew where the sun went at night.
    Great minds had good reason to think there was a god manipulating things like tides and planets since gravity, photons, atoms and other such things were completely unknown.

    Augustine and other theologians were completely wrong.
    They had no idea what the truth was – so they did the best they could.
    For goodness sake – we have only been living with science for a few hundred years.

    Good grief!
    Christianity is just a terrible blood sacrifice story from primitive, ignorant tribesmen who knew almost nothing compared to modern people.

    “The world is flat”
    “bats are a kind of bird”
    “Rainbows didn’t exist before the Noah Flood”
    “God murdered all of humanity because god is love”

    Silly nonsense.

  12. Hi Gary,
    (I have a J.D., you may call me Sam.)
    Dr.’s of Theology have contributed nothing of value to the world for quite some time- if ever- while many scientific and natural science fields have changed our lives, our understandings and and our life expectancy. Hubris indeed!

  13. Dear Max

    Issue: no difference between Templeton people and Creation Museum:

    Since my hero Bertrand Russell sometimes uses the word “spiritual”, do you consider him on the same level as a fundamentalist preacher?

  14. All the great biological discoveries were made by men of Faith.

  15. Hey Max, Mathematics and Engineering (both sciences) have ben with us for millennia, at least since the ancient Greeks and Romans. Too brad a brush Max…Too broad.

  16. “All the great biological discoveries were made by men of Faith.”
    Like say Darwin? Carl R. Woese?

  17. All “scientists” are frauds who lied that fen-phen was safe; that children should be exposed to allergens later rather than earlier, to develop immunity; there were signs of mass production of banned weapons systems in Iraq. All for money or power. The “scientists of the APA removed homosexuality from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual not because it isn’t a mental illness but because homosexuals threatened to reveal those “scientists’” ugly private lives if they didn’t.
    To invoke atheism is to demonstrate the wholesale fraud of “science”.
    The “debunker”, “skeptic” and “nay-sayer” types live by deceit.

  18. They deny the presence of God and proclaim they make all their decisions by proof. But you ask for the proof of their claim that God is not present and they’ll declare, “You can’t prove a negative”. Actually a negative statement is the positive of the opposite of that statement. They don’t say you can’t prove positives, but still refuse to prove what they claim they have “proof” of! And, even if you can’t prove either positives or negatives, as some of them slither behind. Then noter they are making the proclamation denying the presence of God with absolutely no proof at all.

  19. Only one example of the imbecilic doggerel aimed at their target audience of morons. Another, Carl Sagan’s debased and depraved, “Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof”. Note the calculated refusal to define “extraordinary”. As a result, the scam of declaring a statement they don’t want to accept “extraordinary”, without proof, and claim that comprehensive proof you want to deny is “not extraordinary enough”, also without proof. This has been used widely, even to topics like the claim that micro meteorites no bigger than a refrigerator regularly hit the atmosphere.

  20. And Christopher Hitchens’ malignant claim, “Anything that is asserted without proof can be dismissed without proof”. In their desperate bid to look like something more than malignant misfits and freaks who can’t have normal healthy relationships with others, they pretend this is a legitimate philosophical principle, even calling it “Hitchens’s razor”. So, if you claim there are purple giraffes in Australia but don’t provide one, that, purportedly, “proves” there are no purple giraffes in Australia. It’s not necessary for you to actually look through the continent and verify your statement. Fermat never proved his Last Theorem, yet mathematicians didn’t think that that proved it was untrue, they searched for a proof for centuries! But, basically, “Hitchens’s” razor” declares that, if someone feels there are wolves around the campsite but don’t prove it, then it’s safe to sleep without protection, because there aren’t any wolves!
    “Scientists” are all frauds.

  21. Julian, you mention Hitch’s claim: “Anything that is asserted without proof can be dismissed without proof”. You assert there is a god. Do you have any proof? There is none. A wolf around a campfire could exist because wolfs exist. Your god doesn’t pending some evidence.

    A purple giraffe? I would contend there might be. There is a blue wildebeest. A white and a black rhino.

    Starting out “All “scientists” are frauds…” shows you are prone to hyperbole since that blanket statement would be very unlikely.

    The extraordinary evidence btw would be variable to the claim. If you claimed you could run a mile in 7 minutes, it would not require much extraordinary evidence. I would probably take you at your word. If you claimed you could run a mile in 2:40, that would require more evidence and you running for a spell.

  22. @Diogenes,

    Blood sacrifices to air pockets in the sky have nothing to do with Math and Engineering. It is hogwash and superstitious nonsense.

    Science is trying to answer questions. Chalices of magic blood and voodoo water are not science and they are not answering any questions!

  23. Greg,

    “men of faith”

    95% of the members of the National Academies of Science are men of ATHEISM. And they always were.

  24. Bertrand Russell – athiest – was using a manmade word, “spiritual”, to describe a human observation in a poetic way.

    Your problem is your lack of irony and your lack of poetry. God as a metaphor is very different from “GOD” as a “God”!
    Bertrand Russell would never claim anything to be true unless evidence made it obviously clear.

  25. dmj76,

    I know that YOU dmi76 do NOT LACK irony or poetry – I’m referring not to you but “those who” – as in those who put themselves in the box you describe.

    “Spiritual” is a man made word to describe a poetic state of mind. There is no evidence for any real spirit – I’m aware you already know this from our previous conversations.

    But there is nothing wrong with Atheists using man made words: God (as Einstein did) , spirit (as Russell did), or Soul (as Hitchens did).

    These are just poetic usages of literary metaphors.
    For example, saying “The devil made me do it” is a playful way of saying “I knew it was wrong by I did it anyway”.
    It doesn’t mean you really believe in a devil. It is completely okay to use these terms in any way you want to without it meaning you believe in these literal things.

  26. Art,
    You have said it in just a few words. Dennett writes off the many contributions of theologically trained scientist, like John Newton who contributed much to science.

  27. bob gehrls demonstrates the cravenness of “scientists” in their illegitimate responses to my statements.
    I said that Hitchens’ claim that, essentially,a claim being provided without proof is automatic “proof” that it is untrue is an illegitimate assertion. bob gehrls tries to “disprove” what I said by invoking the presence of God. That is not the point being discussed here but whether or not it is legitimate to say that, if someone does not provide evidence of a claim, then that automatically disproves the claim. A common tactic of the crooked. When you can’t argue a point, argue something else and hope that your target audience doesn’t realize that’s what you’re doing.

  28. As for “evidence” of God’s presence, among other things, where is the proof there will be a tomorrow, but how many God haters don’t have money saved and invested? A researchers in a psychological experiment would not alert a subject that they are monitoring their actions, but does that mean the researcher doesn’t exist? It’s not necessarily the case that every phenomenon will be subject to the system of one time only universal proof. Are there any spots in the decimal expansion of pi where a million zeroes come together consecutively? How many pieces of lint were on the suit FDR wore on January 5, 1943? If you can’t answer that or prove any amount, does that mean the suit didn’t exist?

  29. And the fact of the matter is that dismissing a statement as necessarily false if no proof was provided does call for leaving yourself wide open to wolves. Hitchens’ assertion does not call for extending a premise a possibility. It demands that, if no proof is provided, even if the situation can exist, it must be declared necessarily not to exist.
    And Sagan’s statement deals with evidence not direct, absolute proof. Those who use Sagan’s assertion would watch someone run a mile in 2 minutes 43 seconds and say that it is not “extraordinary enough” to suggest that the person can run the mile in 2 minutes 40 seconds.
    And, as for the blanket characterization of “scientists”, there were crooks who insisted there was no sign there wasn’t mass production of banned weapons systems in Iraq, and all the rest didn’t criticize or condemn them for that. They are all frauds.

  30. Gosh Chaplain, Dan Dennett wrote off all theologically trained scientists! Really? Wow! Where did he do that? I’ve looked and looked.

  31. To say that input from theologists should not be required is to say that theological input is of no value in science. If someone is a theologist and also a trained scientist then their scientific input is very desirable and their theological input is not.

  32. Useless ad hominem. Also completely ignorant of Mr Dennett’s actual attitude. Learn to pay attention and not make false claims bqrq.

  33. Julian, massive word salad.

    Hitch never said he was “dismissing a statement as necessarily false if no proof was provided”. He was “dismissing” claims about the nature of the world with no evidence at all as unworthy of consideration.

    If someone raises an alarm about wolves then you know wolves exist and probably had a sentry looking for them. A sentry that proved to be incorrect you would probably begin to doubt in the future. You have read Aesop’s fables I assume?

  34. I think we may be getting confused by a fundamental probability issue. Any intellectually honest scientist will tell you that we cannot ever have ‘proof’ of anything, if you require ‘proof’ to mean 100% absolutely watertight certainty. They deal instead with what is likely – what, as far as we can tell, on the basis of currently available evidence, is the most likely hypothesis to be true.

    And that works pretty well. As regards there being a tomorrow, we have a pretty good understanding of how the laws of gravity keep the earth spinning, and we have a very long historical record of time continuing to operate without any sudden stops. If someone wanted to assert that there wasn’t going to be a tomorrow, they would need to have very good evidence in support of that claim, if they were to overturn the existing position that, on the basis of all that we have so far discovered, it is far more probable that there will be a tomorrow than that there won’t.

  35. [continued from previous reply]
    With gods on the other hand, there really is no strong evidence in favour of the existence of any of them, let alone the highly specific god or gods of any particular religion. The fact that they cannot be 100% absolutely disproven does not make it more likely that any given god exists than that it doesn’t. Gods, so far as we can tell, have an ontological status similar to Carl Sagan’s dragon in the garage – there are lots of people who believe very strongly in them, but tend to meet any attempt to run a test that would distinguish that god’s existence from its non-existence with an ad-hoc excuse for why it won’t work – in the process making their gods more and more nebulous. At some point, for any given god or dragon, it has to become more likely that it is imaginary than that it is real but immune to any efforts to test its realness.

  36. David said;
    “…… At some point, for any given god or dragon, it has to become more likely that it is imaginary than that it is real but immune to any efforts to test its realness……”

    Dear David,
    When an atheist gets old, sick and near death, they tend to soften their hatred of God because they are gripped by morbid fear. We all fear death, but those of us who follow God eagerly anticipated our deliverance “after death.” Conversely, a typical atheist will try to convince themselves that there is nothing “after death,” but since there is no “proof” of this, they are condemned to suffer fear, loathing, guilt and hopelessness during their last days. It’s pure hell to be an atheist and to face death all alone and have nothing to save your soul.

  37. Again, even if it were true that all atheists are throwing themselves into traffic(that reminds me – I’d better clear the afternoon schedule) it’s utterly irrelevant. Whether you’re blissfully happy or deeply insecure and filled with animus towards those who criticise your daft beliefs;) – it’s beside the point. In fact I’d be surprised if believing religious inanities didn’t make you happier(although it doesn’t necessarily seem to be doing you much good). After all, that’s all religion is – an enormous comfort blanket. ‘that vast, moth-eaten musical brocade / invented to pretend we never die’.

  38. Your reasonable, polite deconstruction of brother Penrod’s fallacious argument is unlikely to be taken on board, but it was excellent nonetheless.

  39. Atheists don’t dismiss a statement as ‘necessarily false’ if no ‘proof'(you’re not defining your terms very well here – proof is something dealt with by mathematicians and logicians, not empiricists) is provided. They simply dismiss it as unjustified, just as you do with all quotidian empirical evidence except that which satisfies your philosophical preconceptions. When you look through your window and see no-one at your door you don’t assume that the head of the lottery has come by to give you free money, only he’s invisible. You take it as evidence that there actually isn’t anyone there. It’s not ‘proof’, after all there could be an elaborate prank being played on you, but the assumption that someone is there, on your doorstep, waiting to make you rich, is unjustified. It’s the same with God, only the evidence for God is exponentially less convincing than the evidence for the invisible head of the lottery stood on your doorstep. None of your confused strawmandering will…

  40. (cont.)…change that. The rest of the fallacies in your posts have been thoroughly dismantled by the other non-believers who’ve replied. As for the irony of a religious dogmatist with a voluptuous ignorance of science dismissing all scientists as frauds – well that was the cherry on a particularly piquant cake. Excellent stuff…

  41. Greg,

    “Academy of Science was created by the Catholic Church (1936); Louis Pasteur was Catholic…”

    Excuse me?

    The first Christians were just jews and pagans who plagiarized old blood sacrifices and invented a new one. Even if a real Jesus existed his death had to be interpreted as a blood sacrifice to a god who was exactly like the previous gods – in love with blood.

  42. A-theist, as usual, no serious discussion.

  43. Why is everyone always picking on us Christians? So what if we don’t actually know what we claim to know and so what if we aren’t exactly very intelligent. That doesn’t mean that our Gods aren’t going to make the Earth extra hot by Their own free will. And our Gods never said that humans aren’t allowed to mitigate the problems associated with Global Warming so that our grandchildren could have a better life.

  44. “When an atheist gets old, sick and near death, they tend to soften…[…]”

    Not this old chestnut. Atheists can’t hate something that doesn’t exist. I don’t hate invisible dragons or purple giraffes so why should I hate gods?

    Hitchen’s Razor certainly applies to the problematical “soul”. There is no evidence for one and there never has been. It is a contrivance of the religious to “explain” why the body rots yet goes to the “afterlife”. It is a story for the ignorant.

    “…a typical atheist will try to convince themselves that there is nothing “after death,”…..

    Again, Hitchen’s Razor, you have no evidence for an “afterlife” it is another religious tale to oppress the ignorant.

    What’s next? condemning me to hell?

  45. Dan Denney wrote off people who like to mix legitimate scientific research with theological gobbledygook.

    I see a whole bunch of people don’t mind undermining professional reputations and respect in the field, in favor of shoehorning religious mysticism where it just looks silly.

  46. Theology is of no value in scientific research. It contributes nothing to its findings or methods.

    Its only possible value is in how believers of a given faith can deal with societal effects of said research. Even then, your mileage varies depending on personal belief/faith/sect.

    Religion will never have the objective credibility and universal acceptance of science. Many religious types like to latch on to that scientific credibility. But their goals and methods are far too divergent.

  47. Julian is a hit and run troll who likes to spout crap but will never respond to his drivel. It is best to ignore him.

  48. Greg,

    “God exists”

    is not a serious discussion unless you have evidence for it.
    And you refuse to supply.

  49. Hit and run troll actually responded to a person. Of course its stupid circular arguments and nonsense arguments. A religious fanatic has to attack all forms of credible information gathering to give his glorified voodoo superstitious junk a patina of credibility.

    We know things to the best of our knowledge and evidence. You lack both for god and rely on faith. Denying faith as the basis of your belief is dishonesty incarnate. People who claim proof of God’s existence are liars. Pure and simple.

    People who believe on faith, lack of evidence, are far more understanding of their own religion and its limitations.

  50. @bqrq,

    “a typical atheist will try to convince themselves that there is nothing after death,”

    Try to convince?

    1. We are all animals and nothing more – according to the evidence.
    2. We die like animals died – according to the evidence.
    3. This life is the only one we have – according to the evidence.
    4. Religion is bunk – according to the evidence none of it appears to be true.

    It doesn’t take any convincing.
    There is no evidence for Magic Fairies – so the convincing needs to be done by those who claim such nonsense.

  51. I hate purple unicorns and fire breathing raccoons. Therefore I have no morals and just want to end it all. Ohh the humanity.

    Yep, it is as silly as it sounds

  52. Are you honestly backing up your assertion with a Christopher Booker article? In the Telegraph? Really?

  53. Can you list all the biological discoveries that you consider to be great, right up to May 10th 2015? We should all go over them together.

  54. A-theist “believes” God does not exist; Greg “believes” God exists. Both positions are stated systems of “belief.”

  55. Larry, you miss the point entirely. God, who is the Author of Nature, and by default, all Scientific Principle, is the Great Scientist, or the more appropriately, the Great Cause Itself. So men of Faith who pray to Almighty God for guidance in their work, are simply prayerful scientists, who reach out to the higher order for assistance. Since when has being religious disqualified a person from being a successful scientist? That is the most bigoted position I have ever heard expressed. Science has discovered many things, but to date, nobody has discovered the “Cause” of the Big Bang. Who are you to say God had nothing to do with it? That might be your “belief” but it isn’t established fact. Get a grip. You keep alluding to unsubstantiated “belief” but accept your own system of beliefs.

  56. Greg,

    “You believe there is no god”




    I am Agnostic: I DON’T KNOW if god exists
    I am Atheist: I DO NOT BELIEVE a god exists.

    Atheism is the LACK OF BELIEF in your claims about your god.

    JUST Prove your God exists and YOU WIN!!!

    SHOW ME YOUR GOD – or stop telling me it exists!

  57. Greg,

    Name a single scientist who didn’t commit blasphemy by their discovery!
    Almost all of them had to abandon their religion in order to conduct their science!

    In one tone of voice you talk about how evidence and science are not relevant to God.
    In another tone of voice you talk about how brilliant god is to use science!


  58. Dear Atheists,
    One point that no one has yet denied is the absolute certainty that all of us (especially anyone over 30) only has a relatively short time left in this life. This is sad news for anyone who lives their life according to the standards of the material world.

    For citizens of the City of God, this is not sad news. Our life is different from yours. We live our life according to the standards of the Spirit. We view this short time as a prelude, howbeit an important prelude which we must use wisely. We believe in the “Good News” which is a far better way to live and continue living.
    May God Bless

  59. Again, Max, you are incapable of serious discussion.

  60. brbq,

    So you are saying it is easier to pretend everything will end in a Happy Gumby Fantasy and it is foolish to seek the truth!

    Don’t call that honorable.
    Don’t call it pious.
    Don’t call it righteous
    Don’t call it respectable.

    It is nothing to be proud of. Pretending there is a magic fairy running your life is no way to argue against ISIS, Al Queda, and other fairy worship – and it causes endless damage to humanity.

    Your argument only digs you deeper into a very sad, pathetic
    and dangerous philosophy of life:
    “Execute them in front of me” – JESUS (Luke 19:27)

    You admit that you are pretending, that the damages to the world are worth the price we pay for your nonsense – and worse – you don’t want the truth!

  61. “Why is everyone always picking on us Christians?”

    Because we’d hate to see your persecution complex go unfulfilled.

    You’re welcome, by the way.

  62. Atheist Max said,
    “……… and it is foolish to seek the truth!……”

    Many atheist believe that sodomy is truth, The allurements of this wicked world do not lead one to truth.

  63. I like this. It demonstrates that, for some theists, belief in the supernatural stems from a dissatisfaction with reality.

    Bqrq goes so far as to use his supernatural beliefs to insult life itself.

    How blind, petty, and ungrateful.

  64. Sodomy is harmless.
    Heterosexuals have been doing it for a million years. Gays too.

    This is the sort of information you forbid for yourself, but worse you spread the lies about ‘sodomy’ – a religious word for ‘icky’.

    You admit you have embraced ignorance. The consequence of ignorance are profound.

    As long as you don’t call yourself righteous, pious, respectable or honest – I’m fine with you living in your cocoon of self-denying, self-censoring blindness.

  65. Greg,

    You keep claiming a god exists – yet you have no evidence.

    If you are going to claim “Mermaids are everywhere” don’t you think you had better have some evidence to show?
    Where is your evidence?

    Telling me that I am incapable of a conversation is ridiculous if you won’t answer the main question at the heart of your argument!
    Where is Yahweh God, Jesus, Satan or any of your other gods?
    Where?? Show me.

  66. My point was not about religion, it was your error in declaring that science has only been with us “a few hundred years.” You are so busy railing against religion that your rhetoric impedes your argument, because you garble basic facts.

  67. A-theist, for you to say that God does Not Exist, is simply your “belief,” as you have no way to prove your position. See you are a man of Faith!

  68. …”The findings hold”, UNLESS you later find out that the data behind those “findings” got fudged and finagled, by cultists who are supposed to be doing real science but instead choose to focus on ensuring that the $$$$$$ keeps on flowing into their little cult.

  69. The scientific method adopted by all fields in its present form came from the works of Isaac Newton. 17th Century on.

    There were attempts at a scientific method before, but most of it was haphazard or far less rigorous than needed. The components were all out there for centuries, but Newton put them together to make a coherent system that works to the present day.

    Diogenes, you are relying on assumption and snark to get to a point better served by learning a subject.

  70. You may think that is the case, but nobody has to take it seriously unless you are of the same faith.

    You believe God is the “Author of Nature” because your faith directs you so. Nothing else. Your faith/opinions do not affect how scientific work is done. No scientist ever has to care about such statements.

    Religion contributes nothing to science and visa versa. The two require diametrically opposite forms of belief. Neither can have real influence on the other.

    “Science has discovered many things, but to date, nobody has discovered the “Cause” of the Big Bang. ”

    So to you God’s existence is based on being far too lazy to consider a question open until further evidence is found.

    You are insulting both religion and science with your statements. You are cheapening religious belief to a default for the lazy and cheapening science for expecting answers without available evidence.

  71. @Diogenes,

    “your error in declaring that science has only been with us “a few hundred years.”

    We did not have the scientific method until the 18th Century!

    Without any doubt millions of brilliant people were born before 1700!
    Yet they had NOTHING to work with – no method to determine what is and is NOT true.

    Brilliant minds can be excused for thinking that earthquakes were the work of the Devil! Or a God! Why not?

    They had No knowledge of anything.
    I repeat – Religions were invented in caves by people who did not know where the sun went at night. They had to make up stories to explain reality.

    It is disgusting to think that people cannot grow out of these ancient fables. Stories which have no explanatory power are fanciful nonsense.

  72. @Greg,

    I don’t know whether mermaids exist.
    So I don’t believe they do.

    This does not mean “I BELIEVE THEY DON’T Exist”!

    You do not know – and neither do I know – whether some planet YET TO BE DISCOVERED has mermaids! They may be out there!
    I just haven’t seen them yet – so, at this time, I don’t believe they exist. At least not on this earth.

    Why is that so hard for you to grasp?
    Perhaps you don’t like that fact that this puts the responsibility on you?

    Where is your God?
    I’ll believe it when you show me good evidence.

  73. With respect to the business about evidence, among other things, there was no evidence that Iraq had mass production of banned weapons before the invasion and, in fact, even evidence of a lack of infrastructure necessary to maintain such production. How many of those declaring “expertise” in judging the presence of God took the administration up on its lies?
    How many of them disputed the supposedly “evidence” based decision by “scientists” to expose children later rather than earlier to allergens to develop immunity?
    For all the declamation about vaccines, where was the “evidence” that people were getting measles in the “outbreak”? They don’t even have to provide names. They just say there are so many people and the devotees of “science” accept the claim!
    When a psychologist conducts a study of a subject from behind a one way mirror, does the subject have evidence that the psychologist isn’t there? Does the psychologist, then, not exist?

  74. An important point in this is the issue of evidence and the careful, calculated withholding of evidence from those who want to promote lies.
    How many know that homosexuals have been campaigning silently for the decriminalizing of knowingly, therefore willingly, therefore maliciously transmitting HIV/AIDS to another? How many know that they arranged for it to be only a misdemeanor, punishable only by a fine? How many know that it’s been this way since the late Eighties, when HIV/AIDS was considered a death sentence, showing the hammer lock control homosexuals have over “government”?

  75. In fact, God doesn’t want so much overt indication of His controlling things. If there was, then many, many people would either stop short and demand to be taken care of or will at least harbor resentment at being required to obtain that which God can provide! God wants people to work toward goals, with an awareness of an interest in acting decently and a knowledge of signs of appreciation, or disapproval, depending on how they behave. God wants His interaction to be appropriate, not so overt where there are those who would react incorrectly, more overt where people are noble and superior enough to still be willing to work on their own toward goals.

  76. But there is evidence of God’s interaction, it’s just that many viciously or stupidly refuse to acknowledge them. If there wasn’t a plethora of people who couldn’t see the sky is blue, there wouldn’t be admonitions such as saying insanity is thinking results will necessarily be different if you did the same thing more than once. In fact, if you undergo the sea change, acting scrupulously, work to improve the world and yourself, and do it because it’s right, not for the reward, and you will see evidence of God’s interaction in your life.

  77. Atheist, you keep claiming that God does not exist, but you have no proof for your position. Tell you what, tell me “why” the human brain functions as it does.

  78. No Larry, you are being closed minded. Until you can tell me what or who caused the Big Bang, then all options must remain open.

  79. Philosophy is the First Science. All modern science has sprung from Philosophy, of which, grew to great proportions through the Church, leading to great discoveries.

  80. Philosophy and science inform each other. Philosophy is not science, itself.

  81. He didn’t say theological input should be excluded. He said that “fund recipients [were required to] include input from theologians” and he saw it as an improvement that such is no longer the case.

  82. Without proof, such a bold claim is a fairly weak conjecture. If you would like to strengthen your claim, a survey or even some anecdotes would greatly enhance it. Otherwise, you come off sounding (literally) ignorant.

  83. Are you going to continue speaking for a portion of the human population without citing sources to support your claims?

  84. @Julian Penrod,

    “In fact, God doesn’t want so much overt indication of His controlling things.”


    And you think you can just drop these claim onto people’s laps and expect them to accept this nonsense? Where do you folks come from?

  85. Greg,

    Where is your Orange Haired, Yellow Rabbit-shaped God?
    I am not the one making these claims – you are.

    Your logic:
    “I know where God is”
    “Prove I don’t!”

    It is ridiculous.

  86. @Greg,

    “leading to great discoveries….”

    Like the first discovery that religion was wrong.
    None of these Bible lessons are useful or true:

    The Earth is flat
    The Earth is 6000 years old
    Donkeys can talk
    Bats are a kind of bird
    Snakes can talk
    Shaving deserves capital punishment
    Rainbows did not happen before the days of Noah.
    Eating shrimp is a capitol crime.
    Wearing some fabrics is worthy of death
    The mustard seed is the smallest seed.
    People can live inside of fish without air for 3 days
    Women should feel at fault if they are raped
    Men should cut off their wive’s hands
    Non-jews are dogs
    People should execute God’s enemies
    People should judge others harshly
    People should hate themselves
    People should kill unruly children

    I would trade any of this garbage and nonsense for a single useful bit of information about the importance of brushing teeth!

  87. Dear Max

    I am glad you are not one of those modernists or post-moderists or whatever who laugh at the idea of truth.

    best wishes

  88. God knows, as could any, that, if He did make a show of overt direct intervention to make the universe going an arbitrary way, then the loathsome and self centered would resent having to do anything for themselves since God would always have it in His capacity to do all for everyone. That resentment could lead them to acts of aggression against God that could hurt people, as well as ruin what God wants to have happen. That is eminent. In the same way, God is aware that, if a and b are real numbers and a > b, then a^2 > b^2. Is Atheist Max going to say that God thinks numbers act differently than that in this universe? In fact, you can know what God is thinking.

  89. @Julian Penrod,

    Which God is the one that knows these things you speak of?
    Satan, god of the underworld? The Holy Spirit God? Yahweh God? Jesus God? Nephilim Gods? Angel Gabriel?

  90. Barry,

    If you are a baptist, you are the one who needs to show evidence for god – not others.

  91. Indeed Philosophy is Science; in fact it was the first science. It is the Science of Causation, the difference between physics, and metaphysics. And actually Aristotle was the the one giving empirical science reason, calling it by its proper title: Philosophy. I will admit, however, that in our day, science has stepped away from its foundation of Philosophy, and has become an entity of its own with no bulwark. That is how it has become a godless thing. Now I love Science, especially Chemistry, but I keep things grounded properly, as God Almighty gave science its design. Anyway, look up what PhD stands for.

  92. Wow, you really have a very limited view of how scientific studies work. I guess you think there is just a room with about 6 guys who represent all SCIENCE!!!!!

    And if you are going to accuse scientists of taking bribes, at least acknowledge the real money is in the people supporting the fossil fuel producers.

  93. Yes I am close minded to people who conflate faith with rational proof because the two are not the same thing. Your attempt to do so reeks of self-deception and immaturity.

    You believe based on faith, but are dissatisfied that it is not objectively credible enough for others to do s as well. But that is the limitation of faith. Its annoying, so you spin this elaborate rhetorical wankfest.

    But in the end it shows how dishonest you really are

    You are trying to deny faith with all this talk of alleged “evidence of God” (which shows you don’t really care what passes for evidence). Your goal, to claim faith is really irrelevant to belief. That something else forms the basis. Something which has objective credibility.

    But you know as all religious believers do, that faith is really the only proof you have that forms the basis of your belief.

    So yes I am not open minded to people who must lie to themselves and others in service of their faith.

  94. Well then, your almighty God does a very poor job at interacting then. If it is so easily refused and unacknowledged, it speaks badly for the convincing power and credibility of one’s deity.

    Given your prior inane, hateful, ignorant nonsense posts, its safe to say that if God is revealing himself to you, he has extremely poor taste in heralds. He would do himself a favor and find less insufferable types who would have a better chance of being believed.

  95. Hi Chaplin,
    I think your comment “writes off the many contributions of theologically trained scientist, like John Newton who contributed much to science.” is not up to your usual high standards. Newton and most other scholars lived in a world of little freedom and few alternatives. Darwin, and most other naturalists were theologically trained, because there were few alternatives and many examples of repression of novel ideas.
    Who knows what scientific history would have been like had Galileo not been suppressed.
    “Roman Inquisition in 1615, which concluded that heliocentrism was false and contrary to scripture, placing works advocating the Copernican system on the index of banned books and forbidding Galileo from advocating heliocentrism” Wikipedia

  96. Greg cannot prove that the Almighty Coven of 6 and a half Carnivorous Grilled Cheese Sandwiches created the Universe and all life do not exist.

    Greg’s religious faith is to disbelieve in the Almighty Coven does not exist.

    Since Greg cannot prove our Lords, the Coven, do not exist, the Almighty Coven PROVES Greg’s spell casting cloud wizard is a fairy tale.

    Now, Greg. You can continue to state your claim that the Almighty Coven does not exist, even though you do not have a single bit of evidence, so that you can just live a morally relativistic life where your morals change day to day on whatever whim you decide you want your fairy tale wizard to say is moral, but when you die it will be too late to atone for your sins.

    Look at it this way. If, on the minute chance, that the Almighty Coven does not exist, then what have I risked and lost? Absolutely nothing. I just cease to exist. But if I am right, I gain an eternity in paradise. Why take the risk???

  97. Come on Greg, I have yet to see you offer even the tiniest proof to back up your repeated claim that our Lords, the Almighty Coven of 6 and a half Carnivorous Grilled Cheese Sandwiches that created the Universe and all life, do not exist.

    When you make a claim, you need to provide proof. I will await your proof that your claim and your religion that the Almighty Coven, does not exist.

Leave a Comment