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As promised, I’m following up on my previous blog post where I revealed the first video I’ve produced here at TheSkepticalMagician.com – “Genesis Creation Visualized – Scientifically.”  I put a considerable amount of thought and energy into creating this video, and I wanted to give you a behind the scenes look into the reasons why I made it the way I did.

Why re-write Genesis?

A common response one gets when talking to Christians about the origins of the Universe and the lack of specificity and accuracy of the Genesis account — is that the complex laws of physics would have been lost on bronze age peoples, so God had to dumb it down so humans could comprehend all that he had done.  In other words, the divine creator had to be vague, and not quite as accurate because the concepts were not there to explain it fully.  This seems to make a lot of intuitive sense to believers, and it is something that enables them to continue believing what they want to believe, so they don’t take that next crucial step that everyone should take when determining whether or not something they believe is true… They don’t try to prove themselves wrong!  And just like a scientist who submits something for peer review without first trying to disprove their ideas, if they don’t do it — someone else will.  By re-writing the Genesis account as I did (and I could have been far more detailed were it not for my time limits), I was able to show that one could give a scientifically accurate portrayal of the evolution of the Cosmos that a bronze age human could understand, while still maintaining certain poetic liberties.  Had the first 18 verses of Genesis been something similar to what I created, we in present day would have to stop and ask, “How in the heck did these bronze age illiterates know about things like fusion and the forging of the elements within stars?”  “How did they know the Earth orbits the Sun, and how did they know it rolls upon the fabric of space like it does?”  Instead of having to answer difficult questions like these, we’re left with undeniable evidence that the Genesis account of creation is just one more in a long line of creation myths.

Now, I fully admit that the Genesis account as currently written could have happened just like the Bible says, and I say as much in the video.  There is no way for me to disprove this, though I don’t think most Christians would be comfortable with what this would tell us about the creator.  If the Genesis account of the Bible is a literal, historical account of the creation of the Universe, then the creator is a deceiver.  He’s a trickster.  He’s a hoaxer.  In order for the Genesis account to be true, it would mean that creator would have had to intentionally alter time and space itself to make it look like things had occurred completely different than they actually had.  In essence,  that God is one who not only tricks people, but tricks people into not believing in him, or in his written text, which plainly goes against the idea in 2 Peter 3:9 that God is “…not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

A track that many liberal Christians take is that the Genesis account is not a literal history of creation, but that it’s a symbolic or metaphoric account of man’s relationship with his creator etc, etc, etc.  Again, I can’t disprove that either, though I don’t think people who follow that line of thinking consider the greater negative theological implications for the Christian faith later on down the line.  Without a literal Genesis, or a literal Adam and Eve – there is no basis or necessity for a literal 2nd Adam (i.e. Jesus) to undo what they did in Genesis.  For these types, much of the Bible is looked at as metaphorical or symbolic, and these issues aren’t of any great concern to them, and they are happy to believe just the same.  Again, trying to disprove their perspective is a bit like trying to nail jello to a wall, and there are so many ad hoc fallacies, and so much special pleading injected into the conversation that one can find themselves quickly frustrated.  In general, these types of believers aren’t usually trying to get Biblical creation crammed into science classrooms, and are often times just as against their fundamentalist brethren in that regard as secularists are.  So while I don’t agree with their conclusions, and can no more disprove their claims than I can disprove Russell’s teapot, I can at least respect their ability to accept the clear evidence of origins instead of dogmatically clinging to ideas that are either false (my position), or the product of an omnipotent trickster. (more…)

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I feel really bad for the kid in this first video.  Kids like him have literally gotten kicked out of their homes for admitting to their parents that they do not believe in a god.  Others endure physical abuse in a addition to the verbal abuse, and others yet endure that, and then are made homeless.  It is situations like these that necessitate non-believers being out about their non-belief and saying, “Guess what… It’s okay not to believe.”

This second video I posted just for its wow factor.  This lady flips out in a coffee house after talking about how some people sitting in the pews aren’t really Christians.  She goes on a racial rant against a hispanic guy in the corner, starts hitting the guy with the camera, and throws some potting soil and weeds at him before storming off.  She is clearly an unstable person.

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Nonstampcollector has a new video out that involves Moses and God discussing the importance of the 10 Commandments as the basis of our current laws and morals.  Enjoy!

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God can’t lose.  The video below by DarkMatter2525 explains it all.  Do you know anyone with that perspective?

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I dropped a little coin last week and got The Book of Mormon musical from iTunes.  I mainly got it for my wife who loves musicals and who has wanted it ever since seeing the Tony Awards clip below, but I have to say that I’m quite impressed and enjoyed it thoroughly.  It took about 7 years to put it together and the quality of the production really shines through.  The clip below gives a preview of just how hilarious it is, and I wish I had the money to drop on a couple of plane tickets to go see it on Broadway.  For now though, I’ll just have to settle for the soundtrack.  Enjoy!

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…the possibility that everything you treat as truth, is complete and utter bunk?  Or maybe that your point of view is the one that is flawed?  I don’t think you have, though of course I could be wrong.

I originally posted the Horrific Tale in response to Rob Bell’s book, Love Wins.  The response was to say that Rob Bell wasn’t questioning far enough.  Why stop at hell?  I think the line of questioning should go far deeper.  Having read Love Wins however, I don’t think Bell does a very good job of arguing for a change in perspective on the concept of hell, at least not as far as the Bible is concerned.  I’m not going to go into a detailed review of the book, but I think his approach can be summed up as such: Focus on the scriptures that seem to point in the direction of your premise, and ignore every single scripture that contradicts it. 

Having watched the video above, I hereby offer an invitation to Mr. Francis Chan.  I will be more than happy to read your book and respond to it, if you take the time to read this one post, and give a thoughtful response to it.  I’d say we could have an interesting if not fruitful dialogue… are you up for it?

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For everyone who didn’t get an opportunity to catch Dr. Steve Novella on the Dr. Oz Show when it aired the other day (including myself), here are the links to all three parts:

Controversial Medicine: Alternative Health, Pt 1.
Controversial Medicine: Alternative Health, Pt 2.

Controversial Medicine: Alternative Health, Pt 3.

Overall, Steve thought he was treated well and that the editing was fair.  He did have a couple of complaints that you can read about by clicking here, which included not allowing him to respond to Dr. Oz’s extremely long closing remarks.   All in all it seems to have been a worthwhile venture, and by all accounts Steve did an excellent job.

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