Every being, created by God and unspoiled by man, is perfect, strictly defined and autonomous, entirely complete and at the same time with a built-in ability to grow and develop. This is the essence of its dignity and holiness. It is not an embodiment of God’s immense Personality, but only one of the realisations of His perfection.
According to the Buddha's teaching the beginning of the life-stream of living beings is unthinkable. THe believer in the creation of life by God may be astonished at this reply. But if you were to ask him 'What is the beginning of God?' he would answer without hesitation 'God has no beginning', and he is not astonished at his own reply.
Tell me something. Do you believe in God?' Snow darted an apprehensive glance in my direction. 'What? Who still believes nowadays?' 'It isn't that simple. I don't mean the traditional God of Earth religion. I'm no expert in the history of religions, and perhaps this is nothing new--do you happen to know if there was ever a belief in an...imperfect God?' 'What do you mean by imperfect?' Snow frowned. 'In a way all the gods of the old religions were imperfect, considered that their attributes were amplified human ones. The God of the Old Testament, for instance, required humble submission and sacrifices, and and was jealous of other gods. The Greek gods had fits of sulks and family quarrels, and they were just as imperfect as mortals...' 'No,' I interrupted. 'I'm not thinking of a god whose imperfection arises out of the candor of his human creators, but one whose imperfection represents his essential characteristic: a god limited in his omniscience and power, fallible, incapable of foreseeing the consequences of his acts, and creating things that lead to horror. He is a...sick god, whose ambitions exceed his powers and who does not realize it at first. A god who has created clocks, but not the time they measure. He has created systems or mechanisms that serves specific ends but have now overstepped and betrayed them. And he has created eternity, which was to have measured his power, and which measures his unending defeat.' Snow hesitated, but his attitude no longer showed any of the wary reserve of recent weeks: 'There was Manicheanism...' 'Nothing at all to do with the principles of Good and Evil,' I broke in immediately. 'This god has no existence outside of matter. He would like to free himself from matter, but he cannot...' Snow pondered for a while: 'I don't know of any religion that answers your description. That kind of religion has never been...necessary. If i understand you, and I'm afraid I do, what you have in mind is an evolving god, who develops in the course of time, grows, and keeps increasing in power while remaining aware of his powerlessness. For your god, the divine condition is a situation without a goal. And understanding that, he despairs. But isn't this despairing god of yours mankind, Kelvin? Is it man you are talking about, and that is a fallacy, not just philosophically but also mystically speaking.' I kept on: 'No, it's nothing to do with man. man may correspond to my provisional definition from some point of view, but that is because the definition has a lot of gaps. Man does not create gods, in spite of appearances. The times, the age, impose them on him. Man can serve is age or rebel against it, but the target of his cooperation or rebellion comes to him from outside. If there was only a since human being in existence, he would apparently be able to attempt the experiment of creating his own goals in complete freedom--apparently, because a man not brought up among other human beings cannot become a man. And the being--the being I have in mind--cannot exist in the plural, you see? ...Perhaps he has already been born somewhere, in some corner of the galaxy, and soon he will have some childish enthusiasm that will set him putting out one star and lighting another. We will notice him after a while...' 'We already have,' Snow said sarcastically. 'Novas and supernovas. According to you they are candles on his altar.' 'If you're going to take what I say literally...' ...Snow asked abruptly: 'What gave you this idea of an imperfect god?' 'I don't know. It seems quite feasible to me. That is the only god I could imagine believing in, a god whose passion is not a redemption, who saves nothing, fulfills no purpose--a god who simply is.
I believe, if there is some sort of higher power, the universe is it. Whenever religious people ask me where the universe came from, I tell them that it has always been here, and was never created. The Big Bang theory is based on the fact that the universe is expanding right now. And if you rewind the tape, the universe appears to be shrinking. If you rewind the tape far enough, eventually the universe must be just one singular point. Or so the theory goes. But what if the universe has not always been expanding? What if it's pulsating, and one pulse takes trillions of years, and right now the universe is inhaling, and before that, trillions of years ago, it was exhaling?
Don't creationists ever wonder about the fact that the paleontologists found ape-like skulls with the 'human leg and foot bones,' rather than the other way around, i.e., human skulls with 'ape leg and foot bones?' . . . Come on, creationists, think about it! Did God hide the human skulls, only leaving behind leg and foot bones belonging to human midgets with misshapen feet, and mix such bones only with the skulls of ape-like creatures with larger cranial capacities than living apes? What a 'kidder' the creationists' God must be.
People cited violation of the First Amendment when a New Jersey schoolteacher asserted that evolution and the Big Bang are not scientific and that Noah's ark carried dinosaurs. This case is not about the need to separate church and state; it's about the need to separate ignorant, scientifically illiterate people from the ranks of teachers.
At least two important conservative thinkers, Ayn Rand and Leo Strauss, were unbelievers or nonbelievers and in any case contemptuous of Christianity. I have my own differences with both of these savants, but is the Republican Party really prepared to disown such modern intellectuals as it can claim, in favor of a shallow, demagogic and above all sectarian religiosity? Perhaps one could phrase the same question in two further ways. At the last election, the GOP succeeded in increasing its vote among American Jews by an estimated five percentage points. Does it propose to welcome these new adherents or sympathizers by yelling in the tones of that great Democrat bigmouth William Jennings Bryan? By insisting that evolution is 'only a theory'? By demanding biblical literalism and by proclaiming that the Messiah has already shown himself? If so, it will deserve the punishment for hubris that is already coming its way. (The punishment, in other words, that Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson believed had struck America on Sept. 11, 2001. How can it be that such grotesque characters, calling down divine revenge on the workers in the World Trade Center, are allowed a respectful hearing, or a hearing at all, among patriotic Republicans?). [. . . And Why I'm Most Certainly Not! -- The Wall Street Journal, Commentary Column. May 5, 2005]
Evolution provides a scientific foundation for the core values shared by most Christians and conservatives, and by accepting–and embracing–the theory of evolution, Christians and conservatives strengthen their religion, their politics, and science itself. The conflict between science and religion is senseless. It is based on fears and misunderstandings rather than on facts and moral wisdom. (138)
So one must be resigned to being a clock that measures the passage of time, now out of order, now repaired, and whose mechanism generates despair and love as soon as its maker sets it going? Are we to grow used to the idea that every man relives ancient torments, which are all the more profound because they grow comic with repetition? That human existence should repeat itself, well and good, but that it should repeat itself like a hackneyed tune, or a record a drunkard keeps playing as he feeds coins into the jukebox...
Do you, good people, believe that Adam and Eve were created in the Garden of Eden and that they were forbidden to eat from the tree of knowledge? I do. The church has always been afraid of that tree. It still is afraid of knowledge. Some of you say religion makes people happy. So does laughing gas. So does whiskey. I believe in the brain of man.
The most sensitive period of their developmental age, when the kids are supposed to be taught to question everything and nourish their reasoning skills, they are taught that God created the world in seven days – that the human race did not evolve from apes through millions of years, rather it came from the amorous congress between two God-made humans, named Adam and Eve. And if you ask why? The answers of the uneducated primordial teachers would be that the scriptures say so. And now if you ask, can’t the scriptures be wrong – do I have to take these stories literally? They would lash out with rage and shout at you – how dare you question the scriptures! Every single word in it is true. There is no greater truth than the truth of these sacred texts.
How can we find spiritual meaning in a scientific worldview? Spirituality is a way of being in the world, a sense of one’s place in the cosmos, a relationship to that which extends beyond oneself. . . . Does scientific explanation of the world diminish its spiritual beauty? I think not. Science and spirituality are complementary, not conflicting; additive, not detractive. Anything that generates a sense of awe may be a source of spirituality. Science does this in spades. (158-159)
Current theories on the creation of the Universe state that, if it were created at all and didn't just start, as it were, unofficially, it came to being between ten and twenty thousand million years ago. By the same token the earth itself is generally supposed to be about four and a half thousand million years old. These dates are incorrect. Medieval Jewish scholars put the date of the Creation at 3760BC. Greek Orthodox theologians put Creation as far back as 5508BC. These suggestions are also incorrect. Archbishop James Usher (1580-1656) published Annales Veteris et Novi Testamenti in 1654, which suggested that the Heaven and the Earth were created in 4004BC. One of his aides took the calculation further, and was able to announce triumphantly that the Earth was created on Sunday the 21st of October, 4004BC, at exactly 9.00 a.m., because God liked to get work done early in the morning while he was feeling fresh. This too was incorrect. By almost a quarter of an hour. The whole business with the fossilized dinosaur skeletons was a joke the paleontologists haven't seen yet.
If amino acids can only be made where there is no free oxygen in the atmosphere, and porphyrins can only be made when there is free oxygen, then these things needed by every cell could not have existed together to form the first cell! What’s more, many of these compounds are antagonistic. They will combine and destroy each other—anywhere except within a living cell.
Darwin theorized that mankind (both male and female) evolved alongside each other over millions of years, both reproducing after their own kind before the ability to physically have sex evolved. They did this through “asexuality” (“without sexual desire or activity or lacking any apparent sex or sex organs”). Each of them split in half: “Asexual organisms reproduce by fission (splitting in half).