How science has already tested the assertions of supernatural faith

Via Jerry Coyne:

* The earth was suddenly created, complete with all its species, 6,000 to 10,000 years ago. This was falsified by science. The falsification likewise goes for other religions’ creation myths, like those of Hindus and the Inuits.
* God put the earth at the center of the solar system and the universe. Also falsified.
* God is both omnipotent and benevolent. Falsified by the data.
* All humans descend from Adam and Eve, who also lived a few thousand years ago. Falsified by genetic data.
* Praying for sick people makes them better. Falsified by the intercessory prayer study.
* People who lived in the past can be reincarnated as modern people, complete with their earlier memories. Investigation has shown no evidence for this.
* Jonah was swallowed and regurgitated by a giant fish (or whale). Probably impossible; nobody has survived such an occurrence.
* God confounded all the languages at once at the Tower of Babel. False: languages diverged gradually from common ancestors.
* Tribes colonized North America from the Tower of Babel several thousand years ago. (Book of Mormon). No evidence.
* Faith by itself can cure dire diseases and medical conditions, which result not from organic conditions but from imperfect belief. (Christian Science). No evidence for such faith healing.
* U.S. soldiers will return to South Pacific islands bearing wonderful goods for the inhabitants. False: won’t happen.

Don’t forget water-to-wine and virgin births. Of course, we haven’t given David Blaine a crack at these magic tricks yet.

16 Responses

  1. Others that have been disproved or no evidence:

    – Resurrection
    – Virgin birth – not possible until J. Craig Venter :)
    – The ark of the Covenant
    – Person turning to a pillar of salt
    – Rising to heaven on a horse
    – Smiting whole tribes
    – 40 years traversing the Sinai
    – Tooth Fairy
    – Santa Claus
    – The biblical flood

  2. A virgin birth is more of a statistical impossibility. The virgin birth of a male has even longer odds, requiring at least one more genetic imperfection.

    Of course if there is a deity than the odds would immediately be worth betting on.

  3. Similarly, if a deity were to show up in the Riviera in Las Vegas, the odds would be so immediately worth betting on that I’d be ol’ Beelzy’s valet and buttboy just so I could ride his gambling coattails.

  4. Your probably right. Either way, I can’t imagine a virgin male birth is any less likely than life springing out of chemical soup unaided.

  5. Nice seque into stupidity.

  6. Oh come on, your claiming the odds are not quite long on life coming about by chance? I understand it is completely possible and probable that this could happen given the number of unique planets in the universe. Obviously we have life here. If not by God than by chance.

  7. So far, the evidence shows that the odds are 1:1, seeing as how we’re here and all.

  8. Only that life exists, not the odds on what its origins are.

  9. Until Jebus steps out from his cloud, and tells me about how things are, the evidence suggests that the odds that life formed from random chance is 1:1.

  10. are

  11. Lack of evidence is not evidence of lack. Even though I’ll be crucified for saying so.

    I try and reconcile my religion with science. Sir William Herschel said “The undevout astronomer must be mad.”, I see the universe a a giant machine and all machines have boundaries under which they must work. I think of science as the studies of these boundaries and principles under which it all works.

    You can say I am wrong if I believe in a God, you can say my religious practices are insane or anything else you wish. It will not, however change the fact that it all acts very much like a machine.

  12. It takes the same mechanism in the human mind to trust (have faith in) the logic of science as to believe in God. As a Christian, it doesn’t matter to me whether everything stated in the Bible literally happened, but whenever I read the Bible, I learn about the human condition and how to be a better person. Should religion be anything more?

  13. It takes the same mechanism in the human mind to trust (have faith in) the logic of science as to believe in God.

    That is just a stupid statement. Science uses observation, testing, logic, reason, critical thinking and peer review and fixes mistakes and moves on. Religion uses bronze age fairy tales of woo woo. There is little to be learned on the human condition from the bible that one can’t learn better from Mother Goose.

  14. at the age of 11 i began reading books of philosophy. being that i had already been put through LDS school and Bible school. In the two years that followed I learned more about the truth of human condition than in the previous decade. This was not due to a compounding of truths but rather a revelation of hidden ideas, and ancestral pasts. There is no need for a diety to exist when you know that your beliefs are what make you think within certain boundaries. When nothing lasts forever, than nothing is always true and every sinister act is permitable at one time or another. This is why today we still accept corporatist ideologies even when we know it is not constitutional (meaning not in the best interest of the public at large.)

  15. Man, you rock, McInnis. I mean, jeez, our school had some pretty iron-lunged headbangers in attendence, but we never got the greatest designation any school could hope for: LSD school! Dayum, you must be a proud sumbitch! I mean, if you can still read a whole paragraph while the margins are moving all over the page, and the words keep spelling out stuff like ducks and covers forever and spam the door closed for Summer, but I see that you’re able to type and all, which is nice. You’re my new hero, so don’t mess up by harshing my buzz, awright?

    Heads up, dude; Anyone showing up at the school reunions better be getting out of a taxi, or they’ll nail ya for DUI! True story, man!

  16. Latter-Day-Saints? Who’s trippin’ now? Ahahahahahaha, man I crack me up.

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