"Religion" Archive

Creationist Nonsense

When Charles Darwin introduced the theory of evolution through natural selection 143 years ago, the scientists of the day argued over it fiercely, but the massing evidence from paleontology, genetics, zoology, molecular biology and other fields gradually established evolution's truth beyond reasonable doubt. Today that battle has been won everywhere--except in the public imagination.

Scientific American: 15 Answers to Creationist Nonsense :: Opponents of evolution want to make a place for creationism by tearing down real science, but their arguments don't hold up. Based on the Bible, the universe was created about six thousand and 9 years ago, so it stands to reason that evolution isn't possible for so many people the world over.

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December 14, 2006 | America , Religion | Comments

Quran may promise grapes, not virgins

It has long been a staple of Islam that Muslim martyrs will go to paradise and marry 72 black-eyed virgins. But a growing body of rigorous scholarship on the Quran points to a less sensual paradise -- and, more important, may offer a step away from fundamentalism and toward a reawakening of the Islamic world.

...The Quran is beautifully written, but often obscure. One reason is that the Arabic language was born as a written language with the Quran, and there's growing evidence that many of the words were Syriac or Aramaic.

For example, the Quran says martyrs going to heaven will get "hur," and the word was taken by early commentators to mean "virgins," hence those 72 consorts. But in Aramaic, hur meant "white" and was commonly used to mean "white grapes."

Some martyrs arriving in paradise may regard a bunch of grapes as a letdown1. But the scholar who pioneered this pathbreaking research, using the pseudonym Christoph Luxenberg for security reasons, noted in an e-mail interview that grapes made more sense in context because the Quran compares them to crystal and pearls, and because contemporary accounts have paradise abounding with fruit, especially white grapes.
>> Charlotte Observer

If it's virgins, 72 seems a bit too many, while if its grapes, than why only 72?

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August 10, 2004 | Religion | Comments

Why do people believe in God?

Why Religion?

It's obvious as we look around us that theism is a popular meme. Probably all of you have friends who are theists, and most of you probably have friends who are weekly church-goers. Many of you are likely theists yourselves. But why? Why religion? Why believe in the first place? Why do most people on the earth believe in a supreme being of some sort, especially one who fails to manifest himself to us?
>> Kuro5hin.org

Brilliant post over at Plasticbag:

I'm an atheist. I have been for nearly twenty years, and before that I wasn't really anything - I didn't really have a position on God vs. No God. I suppose I just hadn't thought about it properly. I can't really understand how anyone can be anything other than an atheist, but - despite my incredulity - people do still seem to conjure for themselves other non-atheistic options from the spiritual ether.
>> On the existence of God...

A collection of links:

Note: This post will be updated with links as I come across them.

July 6, 2003 | Religion | Comments

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