Pharyngula

Britain has some wacky beliefs, too

Perhaps my fellow Americans feel a little dismayed at the news of all those young creationist school teachers…well, a recent poll in Britain showed that people have some awfully materialist opinions about god.

Only 1% of people think of God as female, with 62% considering God to be male, the online survey conducted earlier this month of 1,050 adults in Britain found.

Weird. So god has a penis, and a Y chromosome?

Some day, they’ve got to ask people some other details of god’s physical attributes. What shade is his skin color? What color eyes does he have? At his age, does he get regular prostate exams?

When you get bored of speculating on imponderable nonsensicals, you can take a second and crash their poll: do you believe in the supernatural? Yes is winning 60:40 right now.

Comments

  1. #1 Lena
    May 20, 2008

    What’s best is that they claim web polls “tend to reflect general public opinion and can sometimes make the authorities sit up and take notice on important matters that affect our way of life.”
    Oh, really?

  2. #2 Judas
    May 20, 2008

    God is a white male with a very large penis, thus…

    “One nation, UNDER God”

    KY or Wet(tm)

  3. #3 LordJiro
    May 20, 2008

    uh…And what about the other 37%?

  4. #4 Nick Gotts
    May 20, 2008

    But if you asked me Odin’s gender I’d say male! (Note: I am not an Odinist.) When you’re asked about the attributes of a legendary character, you generally just take your answer from the legends concerned.

  5. #5 maxi
    May 20, 2008

    It’s 57:43 now. Not yet pharyngulated!

    And for anyone not able to find it (it took me a while) it’s towards the bottom of the page on the right and side of the comments (which are spectacular in their inanity).

  6. #6 ampersand
    May 20, 2008

    I like to imagine (and its all imagination) that God is some mystical third gender. It has as-yet-undreamed-of genitalia, but top theologists are working on it.

  7. #7 Andreas Johansson
    May 20, 2008

    uh…And what about the other 37%?

    Some combination of “don’t know” and “God doesn’t have a gender”, no doubt.

  8. #8 Duncan
    May 20, 2008

    #2: “God is a white male with a very large penis, thus… “One nation, UNDER God”

    So is God a teabagger?

    I’ve often considered the claim that ‘God greated man in his own image’, which therefore implies that God does indeed have a penis. Which begs the question, what does He do with it?

    (And if we’re intelligently designed, why the need for circumcision?)

  9. #9 MsNomir
    May 20, 2008

    I have reasons to believe that Gods are Walt Whitman. Anyone out there ever read his Leaves of Grass.

    Very powerful stuff.

  10. #10 Tristan
    May 20, 2008

    54:46. This one’s gonna go down hard!

  11. #11 danley
    May 20, 2008

    More evidence for the hirsute shemale hypothesis.

  12. #12 slang
    May 20, 2008

    Heh… what a pathetic site. It unquestioningly marks posts as “unsuitable” after being reported, and hides them from view. At least that’s what my little experiment leads me to believe… Sorry xian dude that got his post hidden. *snickers*

  13. #13 alex
    May 20, 2008

    CUTTLEFISH! NOW!

  14. #14 Barry Pearson
    May 20, 2008

    In 2005, a European Union survey of the UK indicated:
    Belief in God: 38%
    Belief in a high power (etc): 40%
    Don’t believe in God or higher power: 20%
    Don’t know: 2%
    http://ec.europa.eu/public_opinion/archives/ebs/ebs_225_report_en.pdf

    How does that relate to this new survey? I suspect you get what set out to get. I wonder what the questions really were.

  15. #15 falterer
    May 20, 2008

    #4 is right on the money.

    belief that myth represents god as male != belief in god

  16. #16 Christianjb
    May 20, 2008

    Should have asked a Mormon.

    They believe that God has a wife (I don’t know her name, no Mormon would tell me).

    I’m not entirely clear if the Mormons believe that Mrs. God also has superpowers.

  17. #17 Janus
    May 20, 2008

    Uh, what’s the point of poll crashing?

  18. #18 MikeM
    May 20, 2008

    The kids’ apologist magazine article I read said that God is made of nothing. If He was made of something, that would imply someone made Him.

    In a way not intented, I can kind of see this writer’s point. After all, figments of the imagination never have substance.

    The same magazine has an article on “Angelology.”

  19. #19 ThirdMonkey
    May 20, 2008

    I thought God looked like Alanis Morissette.

  20. #20 John McKay
    May 20, 2008

    Shouldn’t the correct response to “do you believe in the supernatural?” be “heavens forbid!”?

  21. #21 Gobaskof
    May 20, 2008

    You think THAT is bad. Have you seen the documentary on fundamentalist Christians in the UK. The ones who actually are personally friends with MPs and are legally teaching children the earth is 6000 years old.

    Britain has some complete fucktards, just normally they stay a bit more under the radar.

    Link to first part: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TeTfW8-dCNE

  22. #22 falterer
    May 20, 2008

    (And I’m ignoring the whole “god is a spirit” blah blah blah argument. The Bible makes it pretty clear that God assumes the male gender in all His dealings with Earthling Man.)

  23. #23 Ted D
    May 20, 2008

    Uh, what’s the point of poll crashing?

    Posted by: Janus | May 20, 2008 6:04 PM

    Why, to annoy you of course :D

  24. #24 slang
    May 20, 2008

    Uh, what’s the point of poll crashing?

    What’s the point of these kinds of polls?

  25. #25 Moggie
    May 20, 2008

    #19:

    I thought God looked like Alanis Morissette.

    But s/he sounds like Alan Rickman, of course.

  26. #26 Slaughter
    May 20, 2008

    God *is* a man!
    But he’s gay.

  27. #27 Dee
    May 20, 2008

    #16
    When I was still LDS, about the age of 13, I asked my bishop about God’s wife. I started the conversation by asking if a man had to have a wife to reach the highest kingdom of heaven, did that mean God was married. To my surprise the bishop said yes. Then I asked why we didn’t pray to her as well. He said something like “because Father-in-heaven loves Mother-in-heaven so much that he doesn’t want their children to hurt her”. I remember thinking at the time that Mother-in-heaven wasn’t much of a mother. A little while later, I remember thinking that if I was god’s wife, and he was keeping me away from my kids, I’d kick his ass.

  28. #28 EyeNoU
    May 20, 2008

    Does God pee standing up?

  29. #29 Ryan F Stello
    May 20, 2008

    Finally, some ammunition against a religionist I know that thinks believers of ‘God’ are embracing some metaphysical quality, and not literal attributes (Because men have an inherent image of power or some shite).

    It does make one wonder, though, why these people don’t see a contradiction in giving a supernatural being natural attributes.

    Sad.

  30. #30 Umbo
    May 20, 2008

    Poll;

    Can God create a turd so big he can’t crap it out?

  31. #31 EyeNoU
    May 20, 2008

    Follow up question to my post at #28 – If he does, does he remember to put the seat back down?

  32. #32 Quiet Desperation
    May 20, 2008

    What shade is his skin color?

    Light.

    What color eyes does he have?

    Yellow with vertical slits like cats.

    At his age, does he get regular prostate exams?

    Yes. Lucifer does that. Part of his continuing punishment.

    Let’s see…. how to reach bottom here.

    Oh. Right.

    How big is His dick?

    Thank you!

    (bows)

  33. #33 Anon Ymous
    May 20, 2008

    lol… I had this conversation with my chaplain (really great guy, his theology is fairly weak but that’s a plus in my book since I’m atheist – and his humanitarian side is very strong, with good people skills). I can’t remember exactly what I said, but I referred to God as “he”, and my chaplain stopped me and said “Who says God is male? Why can’t God be a she?”. I had a bit of a think about it (I was trying to point out some kind of inconsistency, so my grammar wasn’t what I had been considering), and finally answered that assigning gender to a word is very different to assigning sex to an individual – the word “God” is masculine (and the word “Goddess” is feminine), and using the appropriate singular pronoun “he” doesn’t imply that you believe God has a dick (or even that he exists at all).

    Besides, referring to something deemed to have a personality as “it” seems kind of rude to me… I refer to my rabbit as “he”, even though the relevant parts of his anatomy got removed early enough that “it” might well be more biologically accurate…

    *grin* I like bunnies… much more interesting than gods anyway… ;o)

  34. #34 stonkin
    May 20, 2008

    45% Yes
    55% No

    another poll bites the dust

  35. #35 Glen Davidson
    May 20, 2008

    That is the thing about theology. The philosophers may have their “god” who is unknowable or who does not exist (yet is responsible for being), but that doesn’t affect your average theist much.

    I suppose more interesting than the old question of whether god has a penis etc. (and why) is if he evolved as well. Or did he have the same strange designer who could only modify hereditary traits just like Behe’s god?

    OK, this is Britain, I suppose we can discard the bizarre ID god. So the question is why god is a version of an ape (so to speak) as we are.

    And why, considering that Americans no doubt see god as a super man, or no better, as a super woman, would anyone suspect that god would design life completely differently (and in glaringly stupid ways in many cases) than humans design things? If ID were even an honest theology it would be asking questions like this. Even more so if it were any kind of science.

    Glen Davidson
    http://tinyurl.com/2kxyc7

  36. #36 Ale
    May 20, 2008

    Just under a half, or 49%, of people think all religions “fundamentally discriminate on grounds of gender” and 56% think all religions discriminate on grounds of sexual orientation, according to the poll findings.

    At least some people recognize some of the harmful elements of religions. Better than nothing, I guess.

  37. #37 Helena
    May 20, 2008

    Haven’t you ever read the Shiur Komah literture within the Talmud and kabbalah? Every part of god’s body is described in great detail. I haven’t looked at it in years myself so I can’t tell you the exact figures, but I can assure that god’s penis is there said to me several hundreds of thousands of miles long. Circumcised goes without saying.

  38. #38 Anonymouse
    May 20, 2008

    43% Yes
    57% No

  39. #39 Siduri
    May 20, 2008

    #27:

    God, sometimes you just don’t come through.
    God, sometimes you just don’t come through.
    Do you need a woman to look after you?
    God, sometimes you just don’t come through.

    I’m guessing the god-as-male thing comes from a general public perception of male=default sex, female=other, “marked” sex. But this raises so many questions! Does God get blueballs? Embarrassing erections? Does he wear underwear?

  40. #40 BMcP
    May 20, 2008

    I suppose that has a lot to do with the masculine pronouns used to describe God in the Bible, even though it states God is a spirit, without physical form. So I would imagine most take those pronouns and assign physical characteristics in an act of anthropomorphizing God so to have an easier way of imagining God.

    Or something to that effect.

    I don’t get the whole need to “crash polls”, yet again who takes Internet polls seriously as a measure.. of anything?

  41. #41 Janine ID
    May 20, 2008

    #19:

    I thought God looked like Alanis Morissette.

    But s/he sounds like Alan Rickman, of course.

    Posted by: Moggie

    You are both mistaken. God looks and sounds like Marianne Faithfull. Strangely enough, so does the devil.

  42. #42 Bill the Cat
    May 20, 2008

    So, God is a dick. I always suspected.

  43. #43 F'tang F'tang
    May 20, 2008

    A man, eh? Then God has two dependents, and they’re both nuts.

  44. #44 Russell
    May 20, 2008

    Hey, PZ. You’re a biologist. You should realize not all males are heterozygous. Across all species, the male sex is defined by.. uh,.. well, in the species that aren’t hermaphrodite, monoecious, or trimonecious, .. well, dammit! I didn’t say I was a biologist.

  45. #45 Oaf
    May 20, 2008

    God may be a man, but He squats to pee!
    (I have pictures!!!)

  46. #46 Airor
    May 20, 2008

    A penis? I was taught that the definition of male just means that the sex (haploid?) cells are smaller. The male seahorse carries the young and all that? Do male seahorses even have a penis?

  47. #47 Och
    May 20, 2008

    At His age, God must have a prostate you could bowl with. And His nuts must be dragging behind Him.

  48. #48 aarrgghh
    May 20, 2008

    i remember sometime during the last millenium catching part of a documentary about christians in korea or some such topic and the one clip that stayed with me was an interview of a korean man saying that not only did he believe in jesus christ son of god but he also believed that christ was a caucasian with blond hair and blue eyes.

    i immediately thought: “how horrible!” this pathetic person had built himself a mountain that he could never scale.

    most deists with an anthropomorphic vision of their diety create one in their own image and define themselves as the chosen people of that god, yet here was a person submitting to a god that he could never claim kin to, no matter how hard he prays, no matter what he sacrifices. it seems that instead of enjoying the ego-boost most religions give their faithful, this person was basically condemning himself to a permanent inferiority complex. and if god is white, blond & blue-eyed, how could this person ever have any kind of relationship with any white blond & blue human being in which he wasn’t automatically inferior all the way down to his corpuscles?

    watching that guy confirm his strange faith just seemed so heartbreakingly tragic.

  49. #49 Sili
    May 20, 2008

    Here you go again with your infantile notions of the divine.

    Everyone knows that real theologians ponder whether God has a navel.

    Fuck his dick!

  50. #50 kevin
    May 20, 2008

    Almost thoroughly pharyngulated now. 40/60. I’m betting 10/90 by 9PM EDT.

    -Kevin

  51. #51 watercat
    May 20, 2008

    “Man is a mammal who nurses his young.”

  52. #52 Bride of Shrek
    May 20, 2008

    The comments section related to the poll is patently ridiculous. You have to register to leave a comment but you can just be a lurker to delete one. I managed to delete one by just entering in a fake email address and a pithy comment. And before you get all anti on me it was one of a series of identical spam posts by a user so I wasn’t messing with anyone’s comments maliciously.

  53. #53 Etha Williams
    May 20, 2008

    Some day, they’ve got to ask people some other details of god’s physical attributes. What shade is his skin color? What color eyes does he have? At his age, does he get regular prostate exams?

    Inquiring minds want to know!

  54. #54 Allytude
    May 20, 2008

    Well in India a god is a penis…. ( I know they will hound me and probably have a death warrant issued in my name, but could not resist it….) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linga

    Maybe god is Michael Jackson, neither black nor white, gay nor straight, man nor woman…..

  55. #55 Robert Byers
    May 20, 2008

    Just discovered this from the ICR magazine. I am a YEC agitator.
    I am confident that the number of Yec teachers here would be higher if they were themselves given a good education on YEC. They only support evolution etc because they believe its the accurate conclusions of scientific research. Their opinions are based on very little self thought or self research. They just accept what they read in their teachers manuels unless they have a different belief system going on already.
    Despite all the educational and societal censorship of creationism there is great evidence that with equalit,y or almost, the whole confidence in evolution or much of its conclusions would shatter and be put with all the other discarded errors of thinking men in the assheap of history

  56. #56 Cthulhu
    May 20, 2008

    Un oh, the Canadian YEC spokesman found out about this forum.

  57. #57 qbsmd
    May 20, 2008

    #52, by the time I got there, only one comment on the first page was left uncensored. Interestingly, no one bothered to touch the second page of comments.

  58. #58 Tilley
    May 20, 2008

    As someone who went through the UK school system this doesn’t surprise me at all. The god of the bible is quite clearly male . But that of course is irrelevant, just because we were brought up on bible stories doesn’t mean we believe them to be true.

  59. #59 Greta Christina
    May 20, 2008

    “Some day, they’ve got to ask people some other details of god’s physical attributes. What shade is his skin color? What color eyes does he have?”

    The Zombies’ song “She’s Not There” keeps coming to mind. With a little tweaking, it makes an excellent atheist song.

    Well, let me tell you ’bout the way He looks
    The way He acts
    And the color of His hair
    His voice is soft and cool
    His eyes are clear and bright
    But He’s not there!

  60. #60 David Marjanovi?, OM
    May 20, 2008

    Mr Byers, you don’t know what you are talking about. I recommend you start here.

  61. #61 MkieK
    May 20, 2008

    For the poor ignoramus at #55, An educational suggestion:
    When you escape from the cellar that your fundie parents have apparently locked you up in for the past 13 or so years, you might want to get a remedial English class or two, before you try to grasp any basic biological facts. It will make comprehension SO much easier for you. You’re clearly not ready for the stuff where you have to pay attention yet.

  62. #62 lytefoot
    May 20, 2008

    Intriguing… according to scientific poling methods, the general theological consensus appears to be that God’s skin is turquoise.

  63. #63 Sili
    May 20, 2008

    Etha (#53),

    FtM obviously. Our friends here learned in the bible has informed me that God’s wife was folded into him at some point in the revision.

    And I think that micropenility and an old, untended prostrate does a lot to explain much of his behaviour, n’est-ce pas?

  64. #64 Etha Williams
    May 20, 2008

    @#32 –

    How big is His dick?

    Based on a Freudian reading of the Tower of Babel story (not to mention his hatred of the serpent in the GoE) I’d have to say pretty small.

  65. #65 JeffreyD
    May 20, 2008

    What if god was one of us…what if god smoked cannabis

    god is a white, European male with a fine beard. I saw this in Michelangelo’s painting. It also shows Adam with a small penis and no body hair – apparently Mickey’s ideal male.

    My personal visions of god, back in the 60′s, always involved giant purple bats, so not sure exactly what god looked like, the bats really caught me eye.

    god pees standing up, that is what rain is. Thunder is stomach problems and/or flatulence. You probably do not want to know what hail is.

    Ciao

  66. #66 Margaret
    May 20, 2008

    One of the comments:
    This is kind of sad because it demonstrates a lack of understanding of language (and the importance of it). God is not male, HE is MASCULINE. As in the “universal” meaning of masculine which is in contrast to the “universal” feminine. This is because God can only act or affect others, He cannot be acted upon. In other words, nothing can change God. There is nothing in all of creation which can change God. This is the definition of masculine.
    To say that God can be feminine, is to say that He can be influenced or changed by things exterior to Him. In other words, to say God is feminine is to say God is not perfect. And if it can be said that God is not perfect, then why not worship something other then the “perfect” God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob . . . . maybe worship something like nature or a perfect society.

    Wow. The sexism. But this does explain the fundie inability/refusal to ever learn anything: that would require changing, which would not be masculine.

  67. #67 craig
    May 20, 2008

    “Should have asked a Mormon.

    They believe that God has a wife”

    Just one?

  68. #68 the izz
    May 20, 2008

    “God’s prostate” is my new favorite swear phrase…or band name.

  69. #69 Ryan F Stello
    May 20, 2008

    Robert Byers (#55) remarked,

    I am a YEC agitator.

    Seems redundant. That’s all that YECs do….ever.

  70. #70 the izz
    May 20, 2008

    #8: “I’ve often considered the claim that ‘God created man in his own image’, which therefore implies that God does indeed have a penis. Which begs the question, what does He do with it?

    (And if we’re intelligently designed, why the need for circumcision?)

    God is not circumcised. He wants to be the only one.

  71. #71 lostn
    May 20, 2008

    “Intriguing… according to scientific poling methods, the general theological consensus appears to be that God’s skin is turquoise.”

    You spelled ‘prostate’ wrong. It isn’t ‘prostrate’, that means to grovel.

  72. #72 BobC
    May 20, 2008

    “Yes is winning 60:40 right now.”

    Now it’s 32% Yes 68% No.

    “But when asked whether religion has ‘no place’ in modern life only 29% agreed while 62% disagreed.”

    That’s not bad compared to America.

  73. #73 DingoDave
    May 20, 2008

    Comment #28:
    “Does God pee standing up?”

    Of course not!
    If you read your Bible, you’ll find that he always sits on his ‘throne’. :D

  74. #74 Ann
    May 20, 2008

    And that’s not what “beg the question” means. I know, I know–language changes. But this is such a valuable concept, I hate to see it lost through ignorance.

  75. #75 Etha Williams
    May 20, 2008

    @#71 lostn –

    You spelled ‘prostate’ wrong. It isn’t ‘prostrate’, that means to grovel.

    Damn, you’re right, of course. The poll doesn’t have an edit option (probably so people won’t edit the answers to suit them) either, so I can’t change that, or the horribly vague “1-5″ scale for skin tone, which doesn’t say whether darkest is 1 or 5. I really need to pay more attention next time I create a Very Scientific Poll….

  76. #76 AlanWCan
    May 20, 2008

    Wonder what exactly He is supposed to do with that big godly penis…I didn’t think He really went in for all that sexual reproduction stuff.

  77. #77 a lurker
    May 20, 2008

    Britain^h^h^h^h^h^h^h Every place has some wacky beliefs, too

    Fixed it for you.

  78. #78 Alan Kellogg
    May 20, 2008

    God gives regular prostate exams, and He knows when His prostate is cheating.

    (Grading on the curve is a sin.)

  79. #79 Ian H Spedding FCD
    May 20, 2008

    Yes = 30% No = 70%

  80. #80 Nemo
    May 20, 2008

    By an odd coincidence, I was Googling the phrase “God’s penis” earlier today, and I came upon this nice piece of anti-apologetics:

    http://www.cretinworld.com/father_phallus.html

    (Summary: God is constantly masturbating.)

  81. #81 EyeNoU
    May 20, 2008

    @#65 Kidney stones?

  82. #82 cicely
    May 20, 2008

    Well, of course the majority think God is male! If ideas are affected by the words used to think of them, I don’t see how a conventionally Christian majority would think otherwise. God(masculine) sent his(masculine) only begotten (presumably this is where the penis…ah…comes in) Son(masculine). The Father(masculine), the Son(still masculine) and the Holy Ghost (the only gender-neutral component of the Trinity.) The obvious patriarchal set-up in the Old Testament (are any of Adam and Eve’s daughters given airtime? Or, indeed, names?

    IOW, kind of a no brainer.

  83. #83 Brandon P.
    May 20, 2008

    What makes me curious is what a male god in a presumably monotheistic universe wants to have sex with. After all, if he’s male, he presumably has male needs.

  84. #84 Jams
    May 20, 2008

    Where was Jesus conceived again? Wherever it was, God’s penis is clearly the length of the distance between that place and heaven. Duh.

  85. #85 Brandon P.
    May 20, 2008

    So god has a penis, and a Y chromosome?

    Wait, if Jesus is a raptor as proposed by a recent online meme, than so would his daddy God. Therefore, God would have two WW chromosomes.

  86. #86 Scott D.
    May 20, 2008

    God is a black man, he goes by the name Morgan Freeman. There were two movies about Him.

  87. #87 Caveat
    May 20, 2008

    It’s 72% No right now.

    What’s with all the deleted comments – reported as unsuitable – at that site by the way? Have you guys been naughty again?

  88. #88 Kermit
    May 21, 2008

    @55 “Their opinions are based on very little self thought or self research.”

    Can I ask what research you have done?

    I was raised YEC, the grandson of the preacher, but I got better. I don’t do research myself, but I read some books and some papers by people who accrue verifiable data or test models that fit those data.

    Kermit

  89. #89 Mike
    May 21, 2008

    27% Yes
    73% No

  90. #90 Patricia C.
    May 21, 2008

    #21 – Gobaskof – Holy shite! Thanks for that link. If I hadn’t seen it, I would never have believed that the UK had fundies as henshit crazy as the US.
    Must be some sort of stupidity virus.

  91. #91 blf
    May 21, 2008

    I’ve always assumed the supernaturals have a giant control console with lots of knobs to twist, switches to throw, and lights to blink. So when a god hankers after a pretty shepherdess, it selects MALE, maybe increases the TESTOSTERONE, and perhaps makes a few adjustments to assorted bodily parts, then beams itself down besides her and….

    For some reason they don’t always bother to select HUMAN, occasionally materialising as various other creatures. LION with WINGS and HORNS was, I think, at one time popular.

    One of the more interesting controls is FISSION, which breaks the god into pieces so it can be in more than one place at once.

  92. #92 Brain Hertz
    May 21, 2008

    I’m thinking the key phrase to bear in mind here is “…in an online survey…”.

    Oh, and about this:

    Online web polls tend to reflect general public opinion and can sometimes make the authorities sit up and take notice on important matters that affect our way of life.

    ROFLMAO. “the authorities”?

    Yeah, whatever….

  93. #93 Brain Hertz
    May 21, 2008

    By an odd coincidence, I was Googling the phrase “God’s penis” earlier today…

    Words. They fail.

  94. #94 MikeM
    May 21, 2008

    I hereby nominate one Robert Byers for worst agitator ever.

    Come on, man. You gotta keep coming after us.

  95. #95 BetentacledBrad
    May 21, 2008

    I like to imagine (and its all imagination) that God is some mystical third gender. It has as-yet-undreamed-of genitalia, but top theologists are working on it.

    Perhaps it says something about my current mental state, but I read that as “but topologists are working on it”, which would fit nicely with the whole “as-yet-undreamed-of” bit. Oh, and 74%/26%.

  96. #96 Brain Hertz
    May 21, 2008

    Perhaps it says something about my current mental state, but I read that as “but topologists are working on it”…

    LOL… literally. Thanks for that; that’s the funniest thing I’ve read all week ;-)

  97. #97 Brain Hertz
    May 21, 2008

    Robert Byers wrote:

    They just accept what they read in their teachers manuels unless they have a different belief system going on already.

    I speak biology very well. I learn it _from_ a book…

  98. #98 Quiet Desperation
    May 21, 2008

    Fuck his dick!

    Oof. I don’t think I could ever relax that much.

  99. #99 Pyre
    May 21, 2008

    Yes 25% – No 75% – Does that mean we get proportional representation in the House of Commons?

  100. #100 kai
    May 21, 2008

    Well, to protect the honour of the British, this was in the “Weird News” section of LEP.

  101. #101 CosmicTeapot
    May 21, 2008

    OK, so according to the christians, god is a male ghost. He made Mary, a young virgin, pregnant with his only begotten son, who is in fact himself!

    And if Dee (comment 27) is correct, and he is married, does that mean he was playing away? Or have they only been married in the last 2000 years?

    That also means gods wife is also the step mother of jesus, who is also god, so she is gods step mum, as well as his wife!!!

    And if we are all gods children, who gets custody of us if they divorce?

    Confused? You will be. Tune in next week for the answers to these questions, and more.

  102. #102 psychodiva
    May 21, 2008

    what is so suprising in an imaginary being invented by men reflecting their own prejudices- most gods invented by men are male – how else would they consolidate and validate their control of women?

  103. #103 Andreas Johansson
    May 21, 2008

    i remember sometime during the last millenium catching part of a documentary about christians in korea or some such topic and the one clip that stayed with me was an interview of a korean man saying that not only did he believe in jesus christ son of god but he also believed that christ was a caucasian with blond hair and blue eyes.

    i immediately thought: “how horrible!” this pathetic person had built himself a mountain that he could never scale.

    Plenty of blond and blue-eyed Christians think of Jesus as dark-haired and brown-eyed (I used to be one). Does this strike you as equally horrible?

  104. #104 Andreas Johansson
    May 21, 2008

    i remember sometime during the last millenium catching part of a documentary about christians in korea or some such topic and the one clip that stayed with me was an interview of a korean man saying that not only did he believe in jesus christ son of god but he also believed that christ was a caucasian with blond hair and blue eyes.

    i immediately thought: “how horrible!” this pathetic person had built himself a mountain that he could never scale.

    Plenty of blond and blue-eyed Christians think of Jesus as dark-haired and brown-eyed (I used to be one). Does this strike you as equally horrible?

  105. #105 kuratkull
    May 21, 2008

    23% Yes
    77% No

    Wmahahaa ;)

  106. #106 Emmet Caulfield
    May 21, 2008

    What’s with all the deleted comments – reported as unsuitable – at that site by the way? Have you guys been naughty again?

    No, I think there was a fundagelical creotard babysitting the site, marking all new posts with which he disagreed as “unsuitable” — when I looked at it, on the first page of posts, only 3 of 4 were visible and they were all PTLs from American fundies — I think it’s likely that someone else noticed this pattern and marked the PTLs as “unsuitable” in retaliation: I was tempted to do exactly that myself.

  107. #107 DingoDave
    May 21, 2008

    “Homer and Hesiod have attributed to the gods everything that is blameworthy and disgraceful among humans. Theft and adultery and mutual trickery… But humans suppose that gods have been born and wear clothes like theirs and have voice and body.
    But if horses or cows or lions had hands to draw with, and produced works of art as men do, horses would draw the figures of gods like horses, and cows like cows, and they would make their bodies just as the form which they each have themselves.
    Ethiopians say that their gods are snub-nosed and black, and Thracians that theirs have blue eyes and red hair.” – Xenophanes of Colophon (c.570-c.475 BC)

  108. #108 Kenny
    May 21, 2008

    By wacky beliefs you mean something like Atheism never causes harm to anyone on the planet and Atheists are tolerant and full of reason when they are intolerant of other’s own beliefs and ignore the rest of science beyond biology?

    You mean wacky beliefs like dismissing the Bible and religion and then say science (in the most generic term)knows all there is to life/reality and there is nothing more to learn. Science is a replacement for God. That kind of myth?

    “Science without Religion is Lame”
    “Religion without science is blind”

  109. #109 Kitty
    May 21, 2008

    Emmett @ #106

    “No, I think there was a fundagelical creotard babysitting the site,”

    I don’t think there’s anyone babysitting the site at all and this is an automatic response to clicking the unsuitable button.

    The Lancashire Evening Post is a small newspaper with little circulation – as well as an overly cautious attitude to being brought to the attention of the Press Commission. If one person flags a comment as ‘unsuitable’ it’s gone, working on the ‘better to be safe than sorry’ principle.

  110. #110 Brandon P.
    May 21, 2008

    @ Kenny

    By wacky beliefs you mean something like Atheism never causes harm to anyone on the planet and Atheists are tolerant and full of reason when they are intolerant of other’s own beliefs and ignore the rest of science beyond biology?

    Atheism per se (disbelief in God) does not hurt people. Neither, for that matter, does theism per se. And I have no idea where you got the idea that atheists ignored science beyond biology.

    You mean wacky beliefs like dismissing the Bible and religion and then say science (in the most generic term)knows all there is to life/reality and there is nothing more to learn. Science is a replacement for God. That kind of myth?

    There is a critical difference between investigating phenomena using the scientific method and 3,000-year-old books written by desert peoples that make dubious claims about humans being made from dirt and the sky being a huge dome with water above it. I leave it to you to figure out why.

    “Science without Religion is Lame”

    If you believe that science is boring if it doesn’t invoke gods or other supernatural things, than I strongly disagree with you. You do not need to be religious to be amazed at the beauty and majesty of what modern scientists have found out in the last few centuries.

  111. #111 Mike O'Risal
    May 21, 2008

    I don’t care what anybody says. The USA still leads the way in cutting-edge wacky. Heck, we’re exporting insanity and ignorance the world over. Thanks particularly to Florida, witchcraft-plagued villagers in underdeveloped nations in Africa can feel safe and justified in beating old women to death for shrinking penises and crop failures. Praise Jesus!

  112. #112 maxi
    May 21, 2008

    I’m sticking up for the UK here, it has been a good week for science.

    1) The government backs the use of hyrbid emrbyo research as well as voting down a a bid to ban saviour siblings. IVF has also been approved for lesbian couples.

    2) Last night MPs voted to keep the abortion limit at 24 weeks, in line with current research; despite a ferocious pro-life campaign.

  113. #113 Jason Apple
    May 21, 2008

    Kenny 108

    Wow. Genius. You could build a wolf-proof pig’s house with that amount of straw men. It was such an inane post its almost not worth commenting, but ok.

    Straw Man/Non Sequitur: “Atheism never causes harm to anyone on the planet”
    -who makes this claim, and what does it even mean?

    Wrong: “Atheists are tolerant and full of reason when they are intolerant of other’s own beliefs”
    -first, you never dispute that they are full of reason. Thanks, I appreciate that. Second, I assume you think that questioning the validity of someone else’s’ beliefs, or asking for evidence and proper logic in debate is intolerant?

    Straw Man: “say science (in the most generic term)knows all there is to life/reality and there is nothing more to learn. ”
    -I dont know if you’ve ever heard of a straw man, Kenny, but if you haven’t, this is about as good of an example as you could give. Thank you for that. If science knew everything and there was nothing left to learn, there would NO scientists, or science journals, or science experiments, or anything. AND NOBODY IS ARGUING THAT SCIENCE KNOWS EVERYTHING. Hence, STRAW! In fact, its reasonable to say we will never know all there is to know. So stop with the Straw Men!

    Funny: “Science without Religion is Lame”
    “Religion without science is blind”
    -I love that you quote Einstein here in light of his recently released letters:
    http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2008/05/einstein_on_gods_and_judaism.php

    I think my favorite part is the “childish supersititions”. No, wait, the “human weakness” part. Ah hell i love it all.

  114. #114 Jason Apple
    May 21, 2008

    Kenny #108

    Golly gee i think I forgot the best quote of all:
    “ignore the rest of science beyond biology?”

    Where do you get your information? Cause if you’ve even glanced at 1 atheist book, you might find some stuff in there about astronomy/cosmology…geology…paleontology…physics…

    So you’re right…except for ALL the other sciences. Seriously, get some more information. It will do you good. Even though Ben Stein says that “Darwinists” think that evolution holds the planet in orbit, doesn’t mean that he’s right. It means he is a moron.

  115. #115 negentropyeater
    May 21, 2008

    Excavations in the Bactria-Margiana Archaeological Complex in Turkmenistan seem to indicate that God decided to go for a sex change and grow a penis around the time of the Oxus civilization dated to ca. 2200-1700 BC.

    Ugaritic texts (ancient israelites 14th through the 12th century BC) seem to indicate that God’s penis is very big indeed :
    El’s penis extends like the sea,
    Indeed, El’s penis, like the flood.

    So, if god had a sex change and has a penis that extends like the sea, what does that make him ?

  116. #116 dcwp
    May 21, 2008

    Gawd…

    Reading the comments thread on that article is like listening to Trekkies debate about why Captain Kirk couldn’t use photon torpedoes on the mushroom planet in episode 173.

    Rationalizing the fantastic and taking fiction this seriously is a fine (if nerdy) pastime. But when it starts affecting the rest of your life and you can’t identify the line between the real and the unreal… That’s what we call addiction folks.

    Get help!

  117. #117 Cuttlefish, OM
    May 21, 2008

    Sorry, alex@#13–I got here a bit late…

    My God is pretty self-assured, and quite convinced He’s right.
    He made me in His image, so He’s green-eyed, blond, and white;
    And he’s very, very wrathful with the folks who disagree;
    He’ll hold a grudge for centuries–Oh, wait–that might be me.

    He’s insecure enough to want to hear how much you love Him
    And He never will forgive you if there’s someone else above Him;
    He’ll jealously react to any threat to His domain
    By smiting all His enemies–Oh, wait–that’s me again.

    He’ll make the world a better place for those who think like Him
    For those in opposition, well, the situation’s grim;
    He’ll call jihad, or else crusade–some form of Holy War
    Because He knows He’s always right–Oh, wait–that’s me once more.

    He’s handsome, bearded, steely-eyed, deep-voiced and somewhat haughty
    So wonderful, his naughty bits are never seen as naughty
    But perfectly proportioned, grand and firm and never shrinking,
    A miracle of awesomeness–Oh, wait–that’s wishful thinking.

    http://digitalcuttlefish.blogspot.com/2008/05/oh-wait.html

  118. #118 Chuck C
    May 21, 2008

    @CosmicTeapot – #101

    Sounds like we all live in a big heavenly trailer park!

  119. #119 Pat
    May 21, 2008

    By wacky beliefs you mean something like Atheism never causes harm to anyone on the planet and Atheists are tolerant and full of reason when they are intolerant of other’s own beliefs and ignore the rest of science beyond biology?

    You mean wacky beliefs like dismissing the Bible and religion and then say science (in the most generic term)knows all there is to life/reality and there is nothing more to learn. Science is a replacement for God. That kind of myth?

    “Science without Religion is Lame”
    “Religion without science is blind”

    Yeah, a lot of fake people to knock down. I’m not sure anybody here really cares what people believe. I care when somebody tries to state their story is somehow more real than, well, reality. I will argue and ask questions, which appears to fit in the criteria of “doing harm.”

    And, well, I’m sorry – it’s wacky to dismiss somebody’s story which on the surface is pretty wacky? Kenny, why do you not adhere to the Mormon stipulation on special full-length undergarments? It couldn’t be because you consider that belief wacky, could it?

    I’m never going to stop asking questions. It’s my nature, and gets me into trouble; but I’d be remiss in denying my nature. I’m a cynic in the old sense. I don’t feel like changing my inquisitive nature because it makes people uncomfortable to have their stories questioned.

    And regarding biology, question away. If I or somebody else doesn’t know, oddly enough that is probably the answer we’ll give. Saying “I don’t know” is not, by the way, a blank check to fill the void with the spackle of any story that comes to mind.

  120. #120 Scrofulum
    May 21, 2008

    I’m glad we still have our fundie nutjobs here in the UK, but I’m also glad we don’t seem to have so many of them as you guys in the US.

    The Dispatches programme aired a couple of nights ago on UK fundamentalists getting access to government officials to perpetuate their beliefs tried to have us believe (and by ‘believe’ read ‘worry and get angry’) that they are getting increasingly powerful. At the end of it though, I just got the impression of a load of toothless homophobic racists doing themselves more harm than good by wittering on in public.

    Give ‘em enough rope and they’ll hang themselves.

  121. #121 Sastra
    May 21, 2008

    Of course, they say, God being a male is not to be taken literally. Giving God a gender is just a handy little device that allows humans to conceive of God. Same for God considering options, or regretting actions. God doesn’t have thoughts — not the way we do. That’s just how we think of and speak about God.

    Evidently, it’s hard to imagine something so outside of all human understanding, so theists are regretfully forced to anthromorphize. God isn’t really male. God isn’t really a person. God isn’t really anything familiar at all.

    Bull. There are two Gods. There is the anthropomorphic God that they actually believe in — and He is male — and then there is the vague and nebulous God they tell themselves they believe in — and that one is beyond all categories.

    Theists only drag that second one out when they think the first God is starting to look silly, even to them.

  122. #122 phantomreader42
    May 21, 2008

    Cosmic Teapot @ #101:

    And if we are all gods children, who gets custody of us if they divorce?

    And if all men were brothers, would you let one marry your sister?

  123. #123 synthesist
    May 21, 2008

    prayer for today :-
    http://www.gumtree.com/london/04/23956004.html
    spiritual huh !!!

  124. #124 AR
    May 21, 2008

    Does God have public hair? Ick.
    Does God NOT have public hair? Ick.

    It’s like asking the same questions about your father. You don’t want to even think about it. That’s why gender assignment is undignified for unwed father-god type figures.

    Now, for Hindu deities that happily have lots of sex, it’s great that they’ve got all the body parts.

  125. #125 Ryan F Stello
    May 21, 2008

    Sastra (#121) concluded,

    Theists only drag that second one out when they think the first God is starting to look silly, even to them.

    That’s been my opinion of the phenomenon as well, but your explanation is far better. Kudos!

  126. #126 eric
    May 21, 2008

    20% yes
    80% no

  127. #127 Iain Walker
    May 21, 2008

    Sastra (Comment #121):

    There are two Gods. There is the anthropomorphic God that they actually believe in — and He is male — and then there is the vague and nebulous God they tell themselves they believe in — and that one is beyond all categories.

    Theists only drag that second one out when they think the first God is starting to look silly, even to them.

    Which itself looks rather silly if, having stripped their concept of God of any meaningful content, they still expect to be taken seriously.

  128. #128 Nemo
    May 21, 2008

    And if we are all gods children, who gets custody of us if they divorce?

    I once asked a priest, if we were “all God’s children”, then how could Jesus be “his only begotten son”? The priest explained that the rest of us were adopted.

    I think that moment was the beginning of the end of my faith.

  129. #129 John Phillips, FCD
    May 21, 2008

    Nemo: LOL

  130. #130 Robin
    May 21, 2008

    Web poll smack down:
    19% Yes
    81% No

  131. #131 Bill Dauphin
    May 21, 2008

    “God’s prostate” is my new favorite swear phrase…or band name.

    I was thinking “God’s penis!” sounded vaguely like a neo-Shakespearean exclamation, which might shorten to something like “Zenis!”

    This whole topic puts a new spin on the word omnipotent, no?

  132. #132 cicely
    May 21, 2008

    Kenny @#108:

    Science is a replacement for God.

    Only in the same way that Art, or Economics, or Psychiatry are replacements for god. In other words….not.

    (I was also going to take you task for your assertion that “science (in the most generic term)knows all there is to life/reality and there is nothing more to learn”, but I see that it’s already been covered.)

  133. #133 Julie Stahlhut
    May 21, 2008

    I’m not entirely clear if the Mormons believe that Mrs. God also has superpowers.

    Betcha she can whip up one mean lime jello, raisin, and carrot salad.

  134. #134 foxfire
    May 21, 2008

    @ Mike #111:

    Heck, we’re exporting insanity and ignorance the world over. Thanks particularly to Florida, witchcraft-plagued villagers in underdeveloped nations in Africa can feel safe and justified in beating old women to death for shrinking penises and crop failures. Praise Jesus!

    Apparently they have advanced from beating to burning

    @# 117: Cuttlefish!!!!!

  135. #135 Nick Gotts
    May 21, 2008

    I am a YEC agitator. – Robert Byers

    Do you do Mormons as well? If so, what are your hourly rates? I have this pair in the neighbourhood who’ve called to pester me three times now, and I’d really like to have them agitated.

  136. #136 Lyle G
    May 21, 2008

    Female without male is possible, male with out female is meaningless – maybe the Pagans are right about the Goddess.
    However, ‘God made Man in his own image, male and female created he them.’ So God is bi, or hermaproditic.

  137. #137 Clifford M Dubery
    May 22, 2008

    For the anti-Mormons amongst the commentators.

    It is true that the Mormons believ in a Heavenly Mother, however it is no more unusual than the Monotheism Trinity practiced by many faiths.

    Margaret Barker, a Methodist Preacher in the UK has established such a belief that pre-dated Josiah, King of Israel, and may have persisted into the times of Jesus and Later.

    Her name is Asherah and is represented by The Tree of Life, both of which were banished by Josiah and the Deuteronomists (the early monotheists) around 600BCE

  138. #138 Matt Heath
    May 22, 2008

    @Lyle G, #136: He is a quantum of Godliness (a theion) in a state of superposition between male and female.

  139. #139 JT
    May 22, 2008

    Hey, there’s a faith healer named Benny Hinn (not Hill, though just as goofy) who claims to have seen god. Apparently he’s about 6’2″ to 6’3″, with long, light brown hair (what is it with long hair and the divine?).
    As an aside, there’s a great article about Benny at http://www.wittenburgdoor.com

  140. #140 aporeticus
    May 22, 2008

    Wouldn’t being male simply mean God has smaller gametes than…what exactly? Mary?

  141. #141 momo
    May 24, 2008

    I like this comment at LEP:

    > 13 mary77, USA 20/05/2008 15:34:20
    > People wrote The Bible and used language & linguistic rules available at the time. Do you folks think you can tell G-d what it is to be?

    strange that the languages this god guy invented (babel?) did not have a proper pronoun to refer to him/it/self.

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