“Belief in God is a part of human nature” concludes a research study led by Oxford University

You might have heard in the news lately that a recent study by some Oxford Academics has revealed that it is a part of human nature to believe in God!

Obviously, Christian commentators and bloggers like myself are posting this everywhere.

The research has taken three years to compile, and at the conclusion, the Telegraph led the way in sharing the findings of the research study. The Daily Mail has also reported on the findings:

The project, involving 57 researchers who completed more than 40 studies, found that human thought was ‘rooted’ to religious concepts.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1386533/Belief-religion-simply-universal-human-nature.html#ixzz1MSaNlQWr

However, the best person to talk about the research is no other than the co-director of the project itself, Professor Roger Trigg:

We have gathered a body of evidence that suggests that religion is a common fact of human nature across different societies.Attempts to suppress religion are likely to be short-lived as human thought seems to be rooted to religious concepts, such as the existence of supernatural agents or gods, and the possibility of an afterlife or pre-life.There is quite a drive to think that religion is private. It isn’t just a quirky interest of a few, it’s basic human nature. This shows that it’s much more universal, prevalent, and deep-rooted. It’s got to be reckoned with. You can’t just pretend it isn’t there.

Well said Professor Trigg. Who can pretend that a basic human nature isn’t there? or that God isn’t there… but that’s a different story.

What is my view on this article?

Well, this is cause for celebration for Christians, but usually after something like this there will be another press release which will try to disprove the existence of God next week.

What I find interesting is the fact that people are willing to spend £1.9 million pounds on searching for God. That alone speaks volumes; the world is searching for God, even in the post modern, secularised, pluralist, atheistic society that we live in.

For the Christian, this is a news article of hope.

What do you think?

 

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Dean Roberts

Dean is a Minister in the Anglican Church. Currently he is Curate in the parishes of Bedwas, Machen, Michaelston-y-Fedw and Rudry in South Wales. He was born and bred in Wales, is married to Megan, and has two dogs called Taliesin and Melyn, and two cats named Sinsir and Hâf. He graduated from Cardiff University with a BA Hons. in Theology & Religious Studies, and has studied for an MA in Theology, Ministry & Mission at Trinity College Bristol. He also holds a Cert.RSCM from the Royal School of Church Music. He loves playing music, walking, reading, blogging and horse riding as well as going to the cinema and theatre. Read More @ http://deanroberts.net/about

  • Eva

    Well my comments for this were over at blog catalog but I just wanna say, nice blog!

    • Thank you Eva! Please continue to read the blog and post comments. Greatly appreciated and valued when someone comments on my posts!

      Hope you’re well!

  • Dean,

    Thank you for sharing the news. I am a Muslim and I think such findings further strengthen the faith of all those who believe in the existence of God.

    Perhaps you might have also read about the research of Dr Justin Barrett, a senior researcher at the University of Oxford’s
    Centre for Anthropology and Mind he did a research on children and found that Children are born believers in God.

    Dr. Barrett: “If we threw a handful on an island and they raised
    themselves I think they would believe in God.”

    Read the article here:
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/religion/3512686/Children-are-born-believers-in-God-academic-claims.html

    Thanks once more.

    • Thank you for sharing, Eyewitness!

      Dr Barrett’s research seems really interesting – thanks for pointing this out to me! I’ll have a read of it now 🙂

      Do continue to post thoughts on here. It’s really great to see people interacting with the site! If there’s anything you’d like me to discuss or post on here then do let me know 🙂

      Have a great day!

  • Gary

    Religion came about before scientific advances, it was a means of explanation for people who otherwise could not understand the world around them and how they came to be here. Therefore they came up with the concept of a supreme being who created everything they know and everything we know despite the fact there is no evidence for it.
    As science began to advance and theories such as the theory of evolution were compiled, (and there is stronger evidence to support such scientific theories than evidence to support the existence of God), religious people went mad and tried to abolish these ideas. As evidence got stronger, some Christians even began to change their tune and say that God created evolution. All seems very contradictory.
    Dr. Barrett’s quote links in perfectly with this – a handful of people on an island never exposed to the concepts of religion or science would most likely believe in a God, simply because it is easier.
    However, if you placed a handful of people on an island with all the evidence there is to support scientific theories about evolution then they would most likely never come up with the idea of a God, because there would be no need for one.
    Also, Dr. Barrett’s quote seems worthless when you consider the fact that the God this new society would believe in would be totally different to the one you believe in.
    The fact there is so much contradiction both between different religions and within religions which is not found in science should be evidence alone to support the idea there is no God. There is even contradiction in the Bible!!
    It also scientifically proven that a virgin cannot give birth. That is not even remotely feasible. Women in those days would have been killed if they cheated on their husband. Has nobody ever considered the fact that perhaps Mary got pregnant by another man and told her husband she was still a virgin to save herself, and then the whole story got a little out of hand?
    Moreover, as these scientific theories and facts come to fruition, the number of theists in Europe is in decline as with the current scientific explanations for the world there is no need for a God anymore.
    ( http://people-press.org/http://people-press.org/files/legacy-pdf/312.pdf – Pg30 )
    And finally, if there was a God who loved each and every one of us, why the inequality? Why are there people starving in Africa with no food and people with tremendous wealth they do not need in the West? How can you defend the idea of a God that loves everyone equally with that in mind?
    I don’t want to fritter away precious moment of my life worshipping to a God that isn’t there.

    • Hey Gary, I think I’d fundamentally disagree with you for a variety of reasons here.
      1. Science has not gotten rid of God: I mean, there are Christian scientists all over the place, and people who see science and religion as compatible (see the science and religion video on my site). It’s not by sheer ignorance that people believe I’m afraid, whether you take that or not. People have a plethora of reasons for believing.
      2. There is definitely no contradiction in the Bible. Most people who use this line have never read the Bible as a whole to begin with. And even if they have, this doesn’t mean to say that they understand it. Many of the arguments put forward by those who claim the Bible is contradictory can be easily answered.
      3. Science can’t explain miracles. How can science explain someone who is miraculously healed of a brain tumor or cancer? Or how can it explain how someone is dead and then comes back to life? It’s the same with Mary and Jesus; God did a miracle. And if God is God, then he can do anything, can’t he?
      4. Science doesn’t prove that there is no need for God anymore. You’re just simply picking laws of physics out and explaining God away. Christianity is all about a bigger picture; not just creation, I’m afraid. Scientists need to get over this if I can be so blunt.
      5. I’ve answered the inequality/suffering question in a different post I think. But your previous statements kinda give me ammo to say, “Well, you’re the one who wants God out, so he’s honoured your choice and stepped away”. Of course, this is very arrogant, but it is a feasible view. Again there’s a video on my blog about God and suffering.

      Thanks for the comments, objections and questions Gary. Please continue to interact 🙂

    • AJ

      Those fictional stories you quoted told by Dr. Barret are completely useless, there’s no place for quotes like that in a scientific debate, stories made up by an atheist which are based only on his bias opinions, what good are they to anything? We’re all taught the theory of evolution in schools as fact but when have you ever been taught in schools the evidence for it? Does the fossil record show a gradual evolution of life and a development into man as we are today or does it show an immediate appearence of life fully formed pretty much exactly as it is today? – Scientific answers for this? none, only more made up theories to avoid acknowledgment of a God. Is the idea of people avoiding God a new idea which came along with the ‘scientific advances’? No it has been happening since the beginning, man has consistenly turned and said no, I can do it better my way, I do not want God. Can biology give evidence for evolution – the change from one species to another? No, biology cannot and will not ever be able to do this, it is impossible, it has only shown bacteria which can lose some information and change slightly or duplicate some information and change slightly then give it as proof of evolution, when it is not at all. This is only variation within species. Can geology give proof of evolution? No, geology shows that man has lived side by side with dinosaurs and lived side by side with the supposed neanderthals also. The fossil records show that life burst into existance without any transitional “evolutionary” stages. This evolution lie is running dry and the atheist world is going to have to come up with a better reason to continue to ignore God. Stop wasting your time frittering around saying there is no God, turn from these ridiculous theories and give God everything.
      You suggest Mary told a little lie which got a litle out of hand. Do you think it’s logical to say that the people who knew Jesus went under extreme torture because they would not deny Jesus as the son of God? Church history tells us that some disciples went under more physical torture than Jesus did, even being hung upside down on a cross, all for a little lie?
      Why all the equality and suffering? Why are you blaming God for this? We’ve always pushed God out saying we don’t need you! Then we have the audacity to turn around and blame him when things start going wrong. Much like darkness is the absence of light, cold is the absence of heat, all this pain, equality and suffering is the absence of God, because we pushed him out, we walked away from God. Atheists will continue to blame God for suffering and anything which goes wrong in the world, but wait.. they don’t believe in Him? No, they do, but they hate God.

      • Gary

        Actually, we are not taught the theory of evolution as fact, we are taught it as a theory, clue’s in the name.
        You have no grounds to make any of these claims on, I study biology at university and at A-level, no doubt in more detail than you have studied it, and we are</i? actually taught the evidence for it. You clearly are just making up false claims to provide evidence for your God, but I'm afraid you've done so to the wrong person. I actually know what I am talking about.
        Evolution has not been proved, which I haven't said once, but the evidence to support it is stronger than the evidence there is to support Gods existence. You present an unreliable argument and I your opinion is discredited on the mere fact that you do not know what you are talking about from a scientific point of view!!
        Geologically, humans did not exist alongside dinosaurs! The age of fossils can be detected through radioactive probes and no human skeletal remains have been discovered which are as old as the dinosaurs remains.
        Plus, there are a more similarities between the human genome and the genomes of chimpanzees than the genome of a slug; showing they are more closely related in the phylogenetic tree. There have been DNA analyses of Neanderthal humans which are closely genetically related to both humans and chimpanzees, yet humans did not exist at the same time as these prehistoric hominids, providing a possible link.
        The theory of evolution is certainly not drying up; there is even evidence to suggest that evolution is still occurring today; molecular evolutionary rate of the
        Sphendon punctatus is one of the fastest evolving species’ discovered – google it. Homologous structures, such as the pentadactyl limb, are common in many species suggesting descent from a common ancestor.
        And no, I do not believe in God, but I do no blame him for disasters – I was making the point of how Christians can defend said disasters if there is such thing as ‘God’.
        How you can say the theory of evolution is drying up yet still believe in God is beyond me; there is more evidence to support evolution than God!
        And do you know what is more annoying?, there is no afterlife for you to even realise how wrong you are. You are the one frittering away your one precious life by worshipping a God that will never hear you.
        And how would Mary’s lie ever be found out? A virgin cannot get pregnant. It is impossible. Maybe the Christian world needs to come up with something better?
        Anyway, I genuinely believe you have no right to even be making this argument when you clearly have not got the faintest idea about evolutionary concepts, geology or biology. Go and do your research and come back with something of a bit more worth.

        • AJ

          Thanks for your reply, you’ve studied biology at university and your A-levels which is great but doesn’t mean the rest of the world is stupid. I’m a medical engineer which as you probably know, being an educated man, involves studying medicine, biology, physics, chemistry and mathematics and hey i also studied geology so yeh I guess I do know what I’m talking about. Yes evolution is a theory, everything in science is theory, nothing can be proved with science, the only proof we have is in mathematics. When we’re taught evolution in schools we’re taught it as a theory which has become accepted as fact and taught to accept it as fact.
          Yes huge graves have been found containing “neanderthals” and humans. Yeh dinosaur bones, t-rex bones have been found with red blood cells which date back a mere 16 thousand years, doesn’t quite tie in with evolution, scientists brush it under the rug.
          Thanks for the info about the Sphendon punctatus. Just had a little look, first thing I read, ancient bones show that Sphendon punctatus hasn’t changed physically. So all they’ve proved is that there’s variation within species, this species hasn’t changed, it hasn’t evoloved, it’s still the same Sphendon punctatus it always has been, maybe slightly different due to environment changes.
          As i googled what you asked me to do I ask that you go read the work of one of the world’s leading scientists Dr Francis Collins, he’s fairly educated too.

  • Gary

    I think the reasons for your disagreement are less valid than the reasons given for disbelieving in God. The thing is, just as God is impossible to prove, he is virtually impossible to disprove – something Christians are aware of and can use this to change their ideas.

    1. God didn’t create man – man created God, as I said, as a means to explain our being. There is no longer any reason to believe in God which is reflected in the declining numbers of theists.
    Christianity has had to change for science, but science has not had to change for Christianity. And there are plenty of reasons to suggest why religion and science are incompatible. For example, the point I made about evolution – Christianity is constantly changing and contrasting its opinions to fit in with the new discoveries in Science.
    The big bang theory, as another example; Christians said for years that God created the Earth in 7 days. The rest of the universe wasn’t even taken into account in this explanation. And now some Christians say that God created the big bang – well this conflicts with the views held not only by some other Christians, but of traditional Christian views as well!
    I didn’t imply that it is by ignorance that people believe in God, but the article states that it is in human nature to believe in religion – whereas I think the findings could also equally support the view that people naturally just want an explanation for the world around them and how it came to be. Hence, they want to believe in a God. This doesn’t mean there is one.
    This idea is backed up through the fact that there are so many different Gods throughout the world, different peoples throughout history have believed in several different Gods, and there are disputes even today between different religions. This is surely significant, as if there was only one true God then the whole population would be the same religion. Which is not true and never will be.
    2. In actual fact I have read the Bible and found there to be many unexplainable inconsistencies:
    GE 1:26-27 – Man and woman were created at the same time.
    GE 2:7, 21-22 – Man was created first, woman sometime later.
    GE 17:15-16, 20:11-12, 22:17 – Abraham and his half sister, Sarai, are married and receive God’s blessings.
    LE 20:17, DT 27:20-23 – Incest is wrong.
    DT 6:5, MT 22:37, MK 12:30, LK 10:27 – Love God.
    DT 6:13, PS 33:8, 34:9, 111:10, 115:13, 128:1, 147:11, PR 8:13, 16:6, 19:23, 22:4, IS 8:13, LK 12:5, 1PE 2:17 – Fear God.
    1JN 4:18 – There is no fear in love.
    To name but a few of many.
    3. I don’t think I know of any real or credible cases in which someone has been definitely healed of a brain tumour or cancer. In fact, I only know of the converse. People who have been told they have been healed so decline medical treatment and then die of the ailment from which they were afflicted. I’m afraid miracles do not happen. I do not know of any reliable records of miracles which have occurred from anyone non-religious. Christians can claim it to be a miracle, but at the end of the day, miracles have never been proven to exist, and it is not out of the question that Mary was pregnant by another man.
    Plus, who is to say that Jesus was really the son of God and not just some man desperate for glory? This is a possibility that cannot be ruled out. The Bible was not even written whilst Jesus was alive.
    4. I think science does prove there isn’t need for a God anymore. As science has advanced and religion is in decline, there is obviously a direct correlation between the two; science is increasing, religion is decreasing.
    5. This idea conflicts with everything that God is supposed to represent!!, ‘God is not a man, that he should lie, nor a son of man, that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill?‘. And why would he so readily turn his back on people he loves if he supposedly never changes his mind?
    And what of those people in small and faraway corners of the world, tribes in Papua New Guinea, who have never been introduced to society, God or the Bible? They certainly haven’t led life through God. But they have never had the chance. What would God do in this circumstance? Again, there is no explanation provided for this in the Bible.

  • AJ

    1. Yeh you’re right, man created some gods, but only to avoid the one true God.
    You’re missing the point talking about what Christians are saying with regards to the big bang theory/ evolution. What does God say? Uneducated Christians have tried giving answers to questions tey don’t understand but it doesn’t change what God says. With repect to the big bang theory, yeh God created the world in ‘7 periods of time’ is it important how he did it? No, maybe for some, but the important thing is God did it.
    2. Read the bible, see these things in context, the context of the whole bible, then come back and say if you still think they’re contradictions.
    3. Look at the evidence that Jesus rose from the dead. Eyewitnesses etc.
    4. That’s nonsense there are so many Christians who are top scientists. Are more people turning away from God or are more people taking an opportunity they can to deny God.
    5. Google Papua New Guinea missionaries and see all the great work Christians are doing out there.
    “For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities – His eternal power and divine nature – have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.” Romans 1:20

    • Gary

      1. How could man create Gods to avoid the one true God? That makes no sense. Are you saying Muslims believe in Allah to avoid believing in your God? I don’t think so. They genuinely believe it. There is so much disparity between different religions and even within your own one. You won’t find scientists at war with each other over disbelieving in different things – instead, they look for proof and/or evidence to back up their argument. Something religious people, unfortunately, will never have.
      And where does the 7 periods of time come into the big bang theory? The fact of the matter is, Christians, again, changed their story for science.
      Christians: God created the world in 7 days.
      Science: Big bang theory.
      Christians: …God created the big bang theory.
      Science: So he didn’t create it in 7 days?
      Christians: No. He created it in 7 periods of time.
      Right. Not convinced by that, I’m afraid.
      2. Did you not see that I have read the Bible? I went to a very Catholic school. And you say to put these contradictions in context, which I have done and still find them to be contradictory. Please explain how it is possible for the examples I have given above to be compatible?
      3. That is possibly the worst evidence you have given. Eyewitnesses could either a) lie or b) be completely made up considering the Bible wasn’t even written when Jesus was alive. How can they be a reliable source when they lived thousands of years ago? We can’t question them. It’s another great get-out-clause for Christians to say that ‘there were eyewitnesses’. Yeah, great.. 2,000 years ago!
      4. I already gave the statistics that show people are turning away from God. With current patterns of decline, religion will be becoming extinct in Europe in the next few centuries.
      5. Firstly, Christians shouldn’t be out there trying to convert these ancient tribes and their ancient beliefs to Christianity. And that doesn’t ever answer my point anyway. My point was that there are people in the world who have never been introduced to the idea of God and the Bible and so haven’t lived through it, therefore according to Christianity, if they haven’t lived a life through God, then they are denied eternal life. Surely that is not fair because they have never had the chance. What I am saying is that it is not a natural instinct to believe in God and Jesus, etc., yet there are aspects of human evolutionary behaviour that can be explained in evolutionary terms. God is not a natural instinct for humans.

  • Gary

    In short, I think Christianity is brainwashed. You say evolution is taught as fact, which it is not, it is taught as a theory, which is why it’s called the THEORY of evolution. God is not the theory of God. You are taught it from a young age as fact, in school, in society, everywhere. Imagine you had been brought up never having been introduced to the Bible and been taught science facts, things that have been proven and which are true, as well as theories and all the evidence to support them. And then at the age of 20 when you are able to make your own decisions without being brainwashed like you were able to be when you were little, someone told you ‘there’s a big man in the sky who made you, me, and everything. There’s no evidence for it but a virgin got pregnant 2,000 years ago and gave birth to his son, who performed miracles, died on the cross because we’re all evil and then came back to life. Oh and the written records about him weren’t written by him, and were written after he died. So even though there is no reliable evidence to support any of this, just blindly trust that it happened, and even though there is more evidence for the theory of evolution than for God, God is true and evolution is not, because God made us all. Obviously’.
    That is basically the Christian argument!! Delusional!!
    Sorry, I’m just not buying that. Life is precious, you only live once. I think you all just want the cushy, safe, yet ridiculous idea that you’re all going off the heaven after you die.
    I am not giving up my Sunday morning lie in to go and apologise to a God for being human. Especially to a God that isn’t there.

  • AJ

    You’re still not grasping this idea of theories within science and how it’s all theory within science. Yeh you’re right about all men not creating gods to avoid the one true God, some did.. and then the others were deceived.
    As for the big bang theory, I’m not sure wether or not I think God created the unvierse that way, maybe, maybe not, I’ve seen some scientists claim that the entire theory defies the laws of physics but then other scientists give a fairly good argument for it, it is a very interesting theory which I can’t sit here and say God didn’t create the universe that way because I don’t know however I will continue to research and learn more because it’s fascinating.
    Yeh, the new testament wasn’t written when Jesus was on Earth, read it and find out how it was written about his death, resurrection then ascension, so why’s it so suprising to you that it was written after? There are however numerous prophecies about the death of the Messiah a long time before he even existed as well.
    It’s funny you use the age 20 in your rant, I didn’t become a Christian until the age of 20, until i had become educated in a variety of teachings and found that there is no other plausible option but for there to undeniably be a creator. Look into all the reams of non-Biblical accounts of Jesus if you want more proof about the life of Jesus.
    Yes there are disagreements even within Christianity, but remember, Christianity is not a science, it’s a faith. The Bible isn’t trying to scientifically describe God. Try and scientifically describe a kiss to somebody, the exchange of saliva and what not… was a kiss created to be something which is supposed to be something explained scientifically or experienced personally?
    Some of the most horrendous atrocities have been done in the name of a God you’re absolutely right. This would be absurd to assume though that this is the result of the teachings of the Bible. It is generally down to political motives and deluded individuals. The Bible teaches you to love unconditionally.
    That’s interesting you went to a catholic school, possibly why you seem to have it in so bad for Christianity now. Christianity is not catholocism. I just did a simple search copying exactly those contradictions you copied into your post and found them laid out on a webpage exactly the same way you copied them into your post. That webpage had underneath it all the answers for the alleged contradictions which are infact people taking scripture out of context then not having a clue what it means, go back to that webpage and see all the answers to all the contradictions you copied.
    Christianity isn’t about giving up your sunday morning, which I’m guessing you learnt from your catholic school, it’s so much more, it’s about a permanent relationship with God. The atheist has chosen to say no to God and you summed this up perfectly when you started ranting on about studying biology at A-level and what not claiming you know better and then stating your “genuine” beliefs which I have shown you to be completely wrong based on your completely ignorant and arrogant assumptions.
    Going back to your earlier point about Christianity never going to be able to have proof. Ofcourse there is proof, all the testimonies of Christians from hundred of different countries for years and years is proof, no this is not scientific proof but we’re not talking about a science we’re talking about a faith. However mathematicians have been convinced of certain proofs of God suchas the ‘golden ration’.
    Going back to your comments about evolution having evidence, lets just stop and look at the cold hard facts. Life came into existance, fully formed with no transitional stages, does the fossil record prove thi or not? Yes, it does, it also shows as I’ve already said, the Sphendon punctatus has not changed at all physically. It looks exactly the same as it always has done but horaa it’s the fastest evolving animal that we can provide, who’s doing the brain washing?

    • TinyT

      Hi AJ. Reading up this conversation I must say I am in complete agreement with Gary.
      Although science has its gaps, there is a lot of evidence to support it. How you can say that evolution is a lie I don’t understand, when there is no evidence to support God at all. God is a pure belief, at least science has some factual evidence.
      Using the Bible as proof for gods existence is like using Harry Potter as proof of wizards.
      Are you sure you are a medical engineer? You don’t seem to know much about evolution. The simple fact that mutations can occur in populations, which can then be passed down, changing the appearance or behaviour of that species, is evolution!!
      Do you really think that God would plant a bunch of bones in the earth to test your faith? Either you’re in denial or God has some serious self-esteem issues.
      Anything Christians can’t explain, they put down to miracles or God. Faith doesn’t give you these answer. It stops you asking the questions. And allows you to be satisfied with not understanding and putting it down to a miracle.
      If God made me, why did he make me an atheist, hm?
      And anyway, personally, I wouldn’t want to live forever praising a God. Think I’d get pretty bored. The invisible and the non-existent look very similar to me.

      • AJ

        Hi TinyT welcome to the convo.. Well it depends what we’re talking about when we say evolution… Darwinian evolution.. not a shred of evidence. Natural selection etc, happens all the time all over the place and is in no way a contradiction to what the Bible says.
        Now I know your comment about Harry Potter cannot be serious, you seem like an educated person, perhaps you’re just trying to aggravate. Lets stop trying to tell me who I am and have a respectable debate about this topic. I haven’t talked about God putting bones in the Earth to test my faith that’s preposterous so don’t make things up.
        Yeh God did make you and He made you with free will which is the beauty of it. How could God then force us to be in relationship with Him? Would that be a real relationship? God didn’t make you an atheist TinyT, you chose to be, it was your free will. I can assure you, you will not get bored forever living in the presence of God, but it’s great that you’re here and searching.
        If you’d like to read more on the authenticity of the Bible then I’d happily point you to some great resources

        • TinyT

          Thanks!
          But Darwin’s theory of evolution revolves around the idea of natural selection. Darwin postulated that the finches on the Galapagos islands had evolved by natural selection, from one common ancestor finch. Darwin assumed there must be a reason for this differentiation from the ancestor finch; and that was that the finches had to modify their diet in order to minimise competition for food. Some evolved to eat insects, some to eat sees, etc. So their beaks became different to suit the diet they had evolved, and eventually they became different species that could no longer reproduce to produce fertile offspring. These finches are not found anywhere else in the world, again, suggesting that an ancestor finch arrived at the island, and evolved there, in a way that the same species of finch would evolve anywhere else on the planet.
          There is still a genetic link between the birds, some closer than others, but all are closely genetically linked with one in particular, most likely to be the ancestor finch.
          The basis for Darwins theory of evolution is natural selection. They are effectively one and the same.
          Hence, this is the fundamental reason I say there is more evidence for evolution than for God.
          Considering how significant Jesus was supposed to be in terms of the Romans in the Bible, they have no written records whatsoever about him.
          I agree with you in some ways though, I think it’s a nice idea to believe that we could all go to a safe place where we are happy for eternity after we die rather than a cold, eternal sleep. In fact, I’d go so far as to say I’m jealous of people who believe that. But it’s something I could never convince myself to believe. And is still an idea I think is slightly brainwashed, I’m afraid.
          You say God gave us free will as though it is fact, but where is the evidence for this? And where is the evidence he even exists?
          You say he gives free-will, but as far as I’m concerned he is supposedly an all-knowing, all-powerful God, who creates humans whose attitude displeases him, and then blames them for his own mistakes.
          And also, what, may I ask, of animals? They cannot believe in God because they lack the abstract thought and language skills to read the Bible or to understand through preaching about God. Do they, then, go to hell because they haven’t lived by God’s word? It either seems unfair if they go to hell yet slightly hypocratic if they go to heaven.
          As I have said in another comment, the basis on which you dismiss all other Gods is the basis on which I dismiss your God.

          • AJ

            Funny you should bring up those birds I was talking about that whole concept with a biologist earlier today. He stated how this could not be given as proof as the lineage of the birds cannot be proven, so it would be fair to assume that they were always two seperate species just as one could say they evolved from one species, without the evidence for it. The evolutionist does not have this rock solid evidence of a species evolving into a new species. Without this evidence evolution cannot be proved and has no leg to stand on. There are the simple examples within the study of bacteria but I’m sure as you know cannot be classified as evolution as these mutations would’ve always existed and will pretty much always lead to a detrimental effect on the bacteria which has ‘evolved’ due to which is mostly always a loss in it’s genetic structure.
            Darwin’s theory has incorporated natural selection to prop itself up, there is no solid evidence for Darwin’s theory, nobody could deny natural selection it’s a part of life.
            You say on the basis that I dismiss other gods you dismiss my God. Don’t think for a second that i took my decision lightly. I spent over 2 years researching into other religions and evolution along with other aspects to do with belief before I came to know God. For some people they come to faith in an instance through some kind of a religious experience but due to my own nature I had to be sure of what I believed in before making that step. Maybe that’s down to my own pride, being raised to question everything so it is wrong for you to simply say that I just dismiss things.
            Maybe you’ll say 2 years isn’t long enough but it was for me and as you know, faith is a personal relationship with God. My coming to faith was not “convincing” myself to believe in God but it was a realisation, a long hauled eye opening experience if you will.
            Animals is a good question, I’m not entirely sure, the bible does talk about animals in heaven however I can’t claim to have all the answers I’m afraid.
            Written records of Jesus are found in the bible, you have four seperate accounts matthew, mark, luke and john. But if you’d like more then there were historians who spoke of Jesus. Try Josephus and Cornelius Tacitus.

        • TinyT

          This is a reply to your comment further down as for some reason there’s no reply link on that comment anymore :s.
          The birds aren’t proof, but they are suggestive evidence. And I was just making the point that you cannot really say Darwinian evolution and natural selection are different things, when they are effectively one and the same. So yes, mutations that get passed down in populations, which essentially changes their gene pool in some way in order to benefit that species, is evolution.
          Another example, the black peppered moth, has undergone very significant physical changes which have been observed in the past few years. Its genome underwent changes as a response to its environment – evolution. It used to be a light whitish grey colour, but as pollution and soot spread throughout cities, a new form appeared which was mostly black. This black moth was the same species as the white one, but had just become a different colour in order to benefit it in terms of survival, so it had a natural advantage from predators over the lighter moth, which was more visible. In areas where soot pollution was less of a problem it was noticed that the lighter coloured moths were favourable in terms of the environment, because it was then those that had the survival advantage. This is a very significant example of evolution that cannot be disputed.
          The peppered moth is a classic example of the rise and fall of a major mutation, and we want to try to understand the consequences for genetic diversity‘ – Dr Ilik Saccheri.
          http://planetearth.nerc.ac.uk/news/story.aspx?id=237
          And you misunderstand my meaning of the word dismiss. Dismiss as in to choose not to believe in, which is something you have done; chosen not to believe in other Gods over the one you do believe in, aka you dismissed other Gods. It wasn’t about the amount of thought you had put into choosing the God that you did. I did not imply that it was a decision you had undertaken lightly as I do not know you, so how can I make that judgement?
          There may well be 4 accounts of Jesus, but still, all written records of him are written by other people, and were passed down by word of mouth given they were written after his death. He was supposedly a carpenter, but no works remain. No other objects or artefacts he may have possessed remain. No self-written manuscripts. And although you have given examples, there isn’t a single Roman record which describes Pontius Pilate executing a man called Jesus.

          • TinyT

            Further to this, religion does not define whether a person is ‘good’ or ‘bad’. So, if a ‘good’ person who had lived their life honestly and generously but non-religiously, but a ‘bad’ person who prayed to God but harboured bad or ill feelings and was manipulative, what would the outcome be? God would accept the ‘bad’ person who believed in him and send the ‘good’ person who did not to Hell?

          • AJ

            Thank you for bringing up the black peppered moth I was hoping you would and I’m going to have to disregard this just as I did with your previous attempt at evolution evidence.
            Bernard Kettlewells’s research into this was seriously flawed and also partially fabricated, it’s not the first time an atheist/evolutionist has chosen to fabricate evidence in an attempt to give proof of evolution, possibly for fame? Who knows, but this black peppered moth is a classic example, and what’s worse is the fact that since it’s been shown to have been fabricated, it still remains in the texts books within our schools teaching our children the fabricated lies. What’s nice for creationists though is the fact that it wasn’t disproved by creationists but by atheists who pointed out the fabrication and lies in his work. Feel free to learn all about it here
            http://www.icr.org/article/evolutionists-moth-myth/
            Christianity isn’t about good going heaven bad going to hell, it’s about choosing to be in relationship with your creator and getting past our pride barriers through repentance, use the parable of the prodigal son as an example of what Christianity is and how God views us and also how we turn away from God.
            As for your doubts about the authenticity of Jesus, it’d be much better for me to give you over to a website which can explain it in much more detail than I can
            http://www.answering-islam.de/Case/case1.html
            then if you want more go onto the second part
            http://www.answering-islam.de/Case/case2.html
            I really appreciate you taking the time to make questions and aiding me in learning more, feel free to ask anything else

  • Amelia

    This might be slightly off topic… but something that puzzles me concerning belief/non-belief in God is that if faith in God is one of the theological virtues and cannot be obtained through human effort, but only through God’s divine grace – then why are there people who don’t believe in God? Why wouldn’t God want everyone to believe in Him? Why doesn’t He want everybody in His Church? I’m agnostic myself, and I can’t seem to shake off the feeling that God doesn’t want me because I can’t seem to make that leap of faith…

    • Well I would say, Amelia, that faith is often a two way thing. God chases everyone to believe. He WANTS to be in relationship with everyone. But not everyone wants to be in relationship with him.

      Many people don’t want faith. It’s a simple as that. I think it’s very important for people to ASK for faith. If they WANT to believe that God is there, and that he sent Jesus to die for them in order to have right relationship with him, then they should ask for that reality to be revealed to them.

      Salvation is indeed a gift from God. It’s grace; undeserved kindness. But it says in the Bible that ANYONE who calls on the name of the Lord WILL be saved. That’s a definite promise. But God can’t call on the name of the Lord for you! You have to do that yourself 🙂

  • Amelia

    I hear what you’re saying, thanks for replying 🙂 oh and by the way my comment wasn’t a criticism of God or anything – it’s just a thought that goes round in my head a lot, a sort-of contemplation and an attempt to understand myself 🙂 so far not very successful on my part but who knows what the future brings…