New Planets, No Jesus

I remember how furious some right-wingers, and one in particular calling himself “Doc,” got when I posted an entry called “Should Christians Rethink Earthcentricity?” Among other brilliant things, this “Doc” character promised he sees me all the time and would be watching me. Part bully, part coward, part scared little boy, and par for the course when it comes to comments from the religious and the right.

Don’t believe me? Watch any YouTube video about atheism, and for as long as you can stand the hatred and illiteracy, read the comments. Go ahead. I’ll wait.

There, see?

By the Way... Matthew 6:5-6...
“And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full.

“But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.”

That's right.
That’s right.

So recently there is bad news for the young Earth creationists and their ilk, and is another nail in the coffin of all religions, all of which, and I’m talking to you, are demonstrably false. Untrue. Wrong.

It can be temping to pick on certain religions sometimes, since their tenets are so alien to some of us, but they all start from one basic premise, that the world is magic or comes from magic, so it doesn’t matter if there are golden parchments or bridges made of paper, it’s all false.

Anyway, the bad news for them is this: the scientific research community is constantly discovering exoplanets. As of this writing, there are 1815.

Every time we look harder and more rationally at the Universe, the Earth seems less and less like the center of it all, and within that, the bronze-age fairy tales told by religion seem even sillier than ever. The problem, as you may have divined, is that some of these worlds must support life, and some of that life is going to be sentient, and absolutely none of this life will have Jesus. No where in your holy book does it make any mention of the Christ appearing anywhere but here on earth.

But don’t you worry, Bubba. The preacher man’ll know just how to ‘splain this. He’ll tell ya that science is the devil’s work, or that the work of Satan is all around us, or that “science” (using air quotes when spoken out loud) “can’t be sure” of their findings because it’s “just” a theory.

I’ve got to give them that. It’s true. Science does author theories. A theory is an idea or set of ideas that is intended to explain facts or events.

Religion is not a theory, thus is not an idea or set of ideas that is intended to explain facts or events.

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15 Comments

  1. Snake church…wait I have to go feed fluffy. We may not all way agree but when we do it is cosmic happenings!

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  2. I believe in God and never once has Earth being at the center of everything been a part of my beliefs. I believe you have made the common mistake that many Christians make when judging non Christians through your comments. I believe all people have so much more in common with their beliefs than are different.

    This most certainly requires further discussion with you. I look forward to hearing more about your perspective!

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  3. It’s not individual beliefs I am addressing. There are as many belief systems as there are people. I was addressing the nature of theism, particularly Christianity, to cling to beliefs that were orchestrated in the bronze age, and those beliefs have a clear propensity to teach and practice that we are the center of everything.

    The Bible is regarded by many as the roadmap of Christianity. Please cite chapter and verse that gives concrete and specific information about God or his “only Son” appearing anywhere else in the Universe.

    Also, I’ve seen you and other theists claim that “Jesus + Nothing = Everything” is a math problem. Please stop saying that. You and I know that’s not math.

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  4. Or consider that since the Renaissance, science has been looking at the Universe, and has found countless demonstrable, testable facts about everything from medicine to the edge of space, and has never, even once, found any evidence of God.

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  5. As you’re aware, I’m a former “radicalized” Christian, including four years of college-level study on the subject. I can assure you that any Christian who says the Bible teaches that the Earth is the center of everything has not studied the Bible very thoroughly. While it’s true that the book only describes events that pertain to life on Earth (due to its entire audience being Earth-bound?), it never once says or even implies that there’s no life elsewhere, that the sun revolves around the Earth, or anything close to it — other than common figures of speech like “the Sun rose”.

    ‘Please cite chapter and verse that gives concrete and specific information about God or his “only Son” appearing anywhere else in the Universe.’

    This, as you know, is a logical fallacy. No chapter or verse indicated that God (or his various relations) didn’t go anywhere. If they ever did, there’s no reason for it to have been mentioned to the readers.

    Please don’t take my statements here as a defense of Christianity, or any other religion. I’m merely hoping to illuminate the discussion, having extensively studied one of the books in question.

    While science and reason have been, and will ultimately be, the downfall of religion, geocentrism isn’t (I think) the right place to attack. It’s a side issue that man created along the way. While it might be a tenet of faith in some religions, it’s not taught in the Bible.

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  6. I guess part of my thinking on this matter is that science is once again illuminating a portion of reality that religion doesn’t address. Time and again religion has claimed to hold ultimate truth within its tenets, yet has always been outmatched my science. Are you saying that God didn’t know that we would eventually find exoplanets, so he didn’t bother to mention them in the Bible, the word of God? If his audience is the people of Earth, surely an all-knowing God would make more mention of this, or mention it at all.

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  7. Also, it discredits you to preface an argument with “I believe in God,” like it’s some kind of underlying proof. Your belief in something has no effect on whether it’s true or not.

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  8. An interesting thought experiment. How would god through jesus have tried to explain exoplanets and other intelligent life to bronze age jews? Would any of it have made enough of an impression that it would be included in notes written two hundred years after jesus’s death by people trying to remember things that his disciples taught their great-great grandfathers?

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  9. >>How would god through jesus have tried to explain exoplanets and other intelligent life to bronze age jews?< < This really points out what an absurd fairy tale the whole Jesus story is. Why come to earth just once? Why then and there? Why buried in secrecy instead of being obvious? Why make it so easy to miss? Why make it so easy to get into hell? Why make the rules of the Bible like stoning and rape and slavery so untenable in the modern world? WHY BE INVISIBLE?

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  10. “Are you saying that God didn’t know that we would eventually find exoplanets, so he didn’t bother to mention them in the Bible, the word of God? If his audience is the people of Earth, surely an all-knowing God would make more mention of this, or mention it at all.”

    No. God couldn’t have known or not known, since he didn’t exist. I’m just hoping to help refine your argument a bit, to make sure you’re not tilting at straw windmills, so to speak. ;-)

    But, let’s stipulate for a second that he did exist. I don’t see how there would have been any point in instructing the readers of the “holy book” about the solar system and other planets, comets, nebulae, dark matter, black holes, and so on. It’s not a science book, even to believers. Nor is it a history book, though too many today have taken it to be such.

    “Why make it so easy to miss? Why make it so easy to get into hell? Why make the rules of the Bible like stoning and rape and slavery so untenable in the modern world? WHY BE INVISIBLE?”

    These are some of the very questions that my inquiring mind went through more than a decade ago, when tendrils of my psyche were still stuck in the religion I’d previously embraced. It always led back to the question: Why create us in the first place? Is there some kind of sick amusement to watching the game play out? “It’s all for a greater purpose” never satisfied me.

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  11. Well, that reaffirms my ‘faith’.
    You can’t proof that there isn’t a supreme, omnipotent, omniscient being.
    And there is no scientifically valid proof that there is such a being.
    We, and I mean ‘I’, cannot know. Which is the definition of agnostic.
    (If we ever get a grand, unified theory of everything…well, it will still just be a theory…but right now, it looks like god is a weak force, far weaker even than “the weak force” but so omnipresent that we haven’t figured out how to tell if it isn’t there.)

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  12. “Please watch this in its entirety and discuss…”

    You got the wrong guy. That’s about 11 minutes worth. ;-)

    Plus, note my full sentence: “Nor is it a history book, though too many today have taken it to be such.” I know full well that many believe it IS a history book, but keep in mind, these are the same people who believe that a bloody crucifixion absolves them from sin. It still doesn’t make it a history book.

    Michael: “…cannot know. Which is the definition of agnostic.”

    Aren’t there some agnostics who don’t ascribe the cannot part? I’ve read that there’s “weak agnosticism” — “The view that the existence or nonexistence of any deities is currently unknown but is not necessarily unknowable” (emphasis mine).

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  13. The weak agnostic “will withhold judgment until evidence …becomes available.” He should think through what evidence would be universally acceptable as definitive proof of god. If this happens there is a god and if it doesn’t then there isn’t. Or vice-versa. Maybe a different agnostic analogy will illustrate it; ‘Just because I’m not going to eat it, that doesn’t mean it’s inedible.’ This seems like a reasonable statement, except that by deeming it ‘not suitable for eating’ by your personal standards, it falls into the definition of inedible.

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