What do the Moranogate emails reveal?

Randy Olson (maker of Sizzle) has an interview with Mark Morano.

RO: Are you an anti-evolutionist?

MM: Haha, not at all. In fact, you know it's not an issue. The implication of your question is that somehow the skeptics are aligned with creationists. In all my years of dealing with Senator Inhofe the subject of creationism and evolution never even came up. Someone even did an analysis of it in our scientists report, and I think they may have only found one or two creationists out of 700-some names.

Wait, that was my analysis. I looked at the people who were on the Discovery Institute's Darwin dissent list and Morano's and found these names: Edward Blick, David Deming (Correction: Deming says that he accepts evolution but rejects natural selection as the mechanism) , Guillermo Gonzalez, Robert Smith and James Wanliss. Can you count higher than Morano? And these are just the creationists on the Discovery Insitute's list. There are also Chris Allen, Roy Spencer, and maybe Ross McKitrick and Tim Ball. No-one has done an exhaustive check, so there are likely more.


Like one of their favorites -- they love to say, "Every single scientist at the National Academy of Sciences, and the American Meteorological Society, they all agree, they all agree!" They always do that, leaving out the fact that surveys of the actual rank-and-file scientists showing vastly, radically different story.

Who do you believe, Morano, or your lying eyes?

Do you think human activity is a significant contributing factor in changing mean global temperatures?



Beyond that eco-fears have prevented the wide use of DDT in these countries, so there have been deaths of many people that could have been prevented by modern pesticides.

Actually, due a little something called evolution:

So the people with significant responsibility for the resurgence in malaria were the chemical companies that stymied efforts to reduce the agricultural use of pesticides. And it was chemical companies that helped set up the astroturf junkscience site that has attempted to blame Rachel Carson for causing the resurgence. Nice. It's like a hit-and-run driver who, instead of admitting responsibility for the accident, frames the person who tried to prevent the accident.


Among my circle of skeptics, within 3 or 4 days after the story broke, we actually had open emails about what would be the best name.

So it sounds like there were emails where Morano and his "circle" conspired to use some sort of trick to hide to hide the fact that there was nothing to the stolen emails. What else did they discuss? It would be irresponsible not to speculate. I call on Morano to release all his emails to clear this matter up.


More like this

'Open emails'? Where are they?

Forget Marc Morano's emails. I want to read Lindzen's emails ... if he ever makes them available.

Brian, what do you think? Seriously, senators voting for a law that could make them look really bad? No way!


"Who can I send a FOIA request to?
The FOIA applies to Executive Branch departments, agencies, and offices; federal regulatory agencies; and federal corporations. Congress, the federal courts, and parts of the Executive Office of the President that function solely to advise and assist the President, are NOT subject to the FOIA." (from http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/nsa/foia/guide.html)

So Marco is right, Congress exempted themselves from FOIA. Sigh.

Wow. I learn new stuff everyday.
I wasn't aware that some of the 'Usual Suspects' were creationists!

I should read some of Tims past blog posts.

I am very sorry that is shall be necessary to follow up "skeptics" this way; by the weight of their arguments they should just be left alone.

And I'm very glad someone takes the task of following up when it is in fact necessary. When there is so much lacking in basic moral committments in parts of the media, we have to provide the bug-tracking systems they don't want to set up themselves.

Actually a quick search around the net reveals a few more obvious and direct testament from a Usual Suspect:

Roy Spencer:

It is of course interesting to speculate that some of these people would happily and actively persuade people that ice cores, tree rings etc. were not accurate or suitable sources of data, because such theories wouldn't fit in with creationism, intelligent design etc.

eg. if you have strong beliefs, then those beliefs can override sensible science.

SNratio, by the weight of their arguments, the denialists should be totally ignored, yet they get a huge amount of media. The fact that they have other anti-science factions (creationism aka intelligent design, pro-tobacco, anti-ozone hole; I wouldn't be surprise if the HIV doesn't cause AIDS myth is connected) in their ranks helps illustrate where they came from and how to counter their dishonest tactics.

I all these areas, they try to claim that science is a matter of opinion, to distract attention from the fact that they lack a plausible evidence-based argument.


Quibble: it's Marc, not Mark.

By TrueSceptic (not verified) on 08 Mar 2010 #permalink

Anthony Watts during an online Q&A session during a school board candidacy:

There has recently been a surge in people running for school boards in order to influence the teaching (or non-teaching) of evolution or creationism. What are your thoughts on the teaching of these two subjects in public schools?

I have no designs on either issue, as neither is part of my platform. But I do believe in balance, and if one subject is taught, the opposing view should also get attention. Ultimately, parents should discuss religion with their children, as it is a personal choice. The debate over creationism versus evolution goes back decades, and is now part of our American History. A student needs to know that history to make an intelligent choice about how they view religion.

Spoken like a true politician.

More at Lightbucket:

If you are a denier of evolution then you simply don't have the intellectual underpinnings of true scepticism to engage in a debate about what is true above what they would like to be true. Evolution is a true as anything can be in science; if you let ideology blind you to this, then it is going to blind you in other areas. Sorry, but for me all those people are rendered utterly non-credible. http://anarchist606.blogspot.com/2010/03/creationism-climate-change-den…

There is something in anti-creationist circles called the "second denial theory" or something like that. Basically, it postulates that a creationist has an extremely high probability of being in denial of some other commonly accepted science, such as HIV/AIDS, relativity, etc., even when it has nothing to do with creationism. And it almost always holds true. Once a person has gone through the mental contortions necessary to convince himself that scientists are all stupid and corrupt, and that he knows more about the subject than they do, it's easy to apply that model to lots of things.

Global warming denial is a relative newcomer, but the theory applies to that as well. If you're willing to believe in a global conspiracy of scientists who fake evidence for reasons that make no sense, then it's a small step to believing all kinds of nonsense.

"Crank magnetism" is my favourite term for it.

Looks like Spencer and Christy are hiding the incline, at least that would be the denialist-type headline to such a story. They've created a new version of the satellite data, based on a correction to the seasonal cycle that Deep Climate alerted them to. It adjusts January downward substantially, but also spring numbers upward, with no effect on the trend.


I noticed Christy failed to acknowledge Deep Climate for this correction, but instead acknowledged Anthony Watts for bringing it to their attention, as if he's' the one who discovered the error.


Tim, a very clever headline!

Aaah, so some of the prominent anti-science and anti AGW groupies are creationists and also happen to be members of 'Friends' of science in Canada (Tim Ball).

Well, Google is your friend, read this rant by non other than Tim Ball and Tom Harris:


So looks like we can add Tom Harris (International Climate Science Coalition, astroturf denier group) to the list.

By MapleLeaf (not verified) on 08 Mar 2010 #permalink

@MapleLeaf - I particularly enjoyed the following:

But the entire essence of Darwinâs theory is that there is no God as Darwin was a professed atheist.

Good to know that crazy/stupid needn't be narrowly focused.

There is some link between climate denial and HIV/ AIDS denial- But HIV/ AIDS denialism is more marginalised now (thank God).

However one of the things I noticed when reading about HIV/ AIDs denial was some familiar names cropping up. In particular the Heritage Foundation (climate denialist) has publised Duesberg's work (the main 'scientific' HIV/ AIDS denialist). The paleolibertarian blog LewRockwell.com has also published articles supportive of AIDS denialism, and climate denialism.

There is also a link between climate denialism and 911 conspiricy theories (eg. Alex Jones).

Comment 15: Agreed. In my experience there is no such thing as a person who believes in only one wacky conspiracy theory.

On #17 - anybody know why the started their latest adjustment in 1999 (or late 1998)? From the difference graph they just posted it looks like it was turned on in two abrupt steps. Seems rather odd.

Arthur - instrument switch from the old MSU to the newer AMSU sensor.

From John Christy via Roy Spencer's website:

As discussed in our running technical comments last July, we have been looking at making an adjustment to the way the average seasonal cycle is removed from the newer AMSU instruments (since 1998) versus the older MSU instruments. At that time, others (e.g. Anthony Watts) brought to our attention the fact that UAH data tended to have some systematic peculiarities with specific months, e.g. February tended to be relatively warmer while September was relatively cooler in these comparisons with other datasets. In v5.2 of our dataset we relied considerably on the older MSUs to construct the average seasonal cycle used to calculated the monthly departures for the AMSU instruments. This created the peculiarities noted above. In v5.3 we have now limited this influence.


". if you have strong beliefs, then those beliefs can override sensible science."

That's a two edged sword of course. If you are implying that it only applies to one side of the argument, recent events have already proved you wrong.

By Dave Andrews (not verified) on 08 Mar 2010 #permalink

24 Dave Andrews
"That's a two edged sword of course. If you are implying that it only applies to one side of the argument, recent events have already proved you wrong."

Well, I'm all eyes and ears. How about elaborating on that one? Give me an example rather than leaving me on the edge of my seat.

DA @ 24, ok I'll bite your trollbait. Pray tell to which "recent events" do you refer? (Please note that a transcription error of 2350 for 2035 or the emails stolen from UEA have been rehashed ad nauseum and can't really be considered 'recent' anymore).
By the way, what are your views on HIV/AIDS, evolution, DDT, Obama's birth certificate, etcetera?

By James Haughton (not verified) on 08 Mar 2010 #permalink

Turboblocke - Tim and his readers are well aware that DDT was never banned as an anti-malarial agent. You should look through the Deltoid archives to learn more than you even wanted to know about it.

By S. Molnar (not verified) on 08 Mar 2010 #permalink

Randy Olson ... the guy who thinks the most important thing about a person is whether they would (IHO) be good to drink beer with? That might explain all the squishball questions with no followup.

RO: Last question. So you donât feel that youâre anti-science?

MM: Not at all. I think that if anything at all I see myself as a champion of science and I think Iâm being vindicated as we speak here. When it comes to global warming, I think this has been the biggest breath of fresh air, to watch the U.N. IPCC process collapse. And that is a victory for science. And any role I play in that, I do it proudly, and I do it with a pro-science stance.

By letting that stand, Olson does a grave disservice to science.

As an evangelical christian my view is that creationsism should be discussed in scripture classes under the topic of 'bad theology' along with ID. Why anyone would put it in a science class I don't know.

On Creationism - I loved that Doonesbury comic where the Creationist goes to be vaccinated. The doctor says something like, "Well the virus has mutated and evolved but I guess you'll still want the original vaccine."

James Haughton,

". By the way, what are your views on HIV/AIDS, evolution, DDT, Obama's birth certificate, etcetera?"

Well you are asking for a treatise here but in short,

HIV/Aids - serious illness, treament getting a lot better.

Evolution - fine theory, borne out by the fossil record.

DDT - might take a different view from our host on aspects of this.

Obama's birth certificate - that's personal and I'm not interested

Etcetera - who knows?

By Dave Andrews (not verified) on 09 Mar 2010 #permalink

There is some link between climate denial and HIV/ AIDS denial- But HIV/ AIDS denialism is more marginalised now (thank God).

Dave Andrews, two people (@25 & @26) have asked you for examples of recent events to support your assertion. You dodged both in favor of submitting your puff opinion.

Empty and typical.

On Spencer and adjustments to the MSU data; To quote Spencer himself " We donât hide the data or use tricks, folksâ¦it is what it is." and "[NOTE: These satellite measurements are not calibrated to surface thermometer data in any way...".

Maybe I'm missing something, but aren't these changes related to a mismatch with other (surface thermometer) temperature data set and changing them means the data isn't simply what it is, but is adjusted?

By Ken Fabos (not verified) on 09 Mar 2010 #permalink

Maybe I'm missing something, but aren't these changes related to a mismatch with other (surface thermometer) temperature data set and changing them means the data isn't simply what it is, but is adjusted?

Why won't Spencer release the raw data? What is he hiding?

;-) ;-)

By Lotharsson (not verified) on 09 Mar 2010 #permalink

Re: 37 Lotharson.

Good point! What's the story there? Sounds like a case for McI and his CAccolytes.

Paul UK: "Wow. I learn new stuff everyday. I wasn't aware that some of the 'Usual Suspects' were creationists!"


A Call to Truth, Prudence, and Protection of the Poor:
An Evangelical Response to Global Warming

E. Calvin Beisner, Ph.D., Paul K. Driessen, Esq., Ross McKitrick, Ph.D., and Roy W. Spencer, Ph.D.
As evangelicals, we commend those who signed the Evangelical Climate Initiativeâs âClimate Change: An Evangelical Call to Actionâ for speaking out on a public issue of ethical concern. We share the same Biblical world view, theology, and ethicsâ¦
â¦Therefore we pledge to oppose quixotic attempts to reduce global warming. Instead, constrained by the love of Jesus Christ for the least of these (Matthew 25:45), and by the evidence presented above, we vow to teach and act on the truths communicated here for the benefit of all our neighbors.

The Cornwall Alliiance itself says..


â¦Our examination of theology, worldview, and ethics (Chapter One) finds that global warming alarmism wrongly views the Earth and its ecosystems as the fragile product of chance, not the robust, resilient, self-regulating, and self-correcting product of Godâs wise design and powerful sustainingâ¦
â¦Earth and all its subsystemsâof land, sea, and air, living and nonlivingâare the good products of the wise design and omnipotent acts of the infinite, eternal, and unchangeable Triune God of the Bible. As such they reveal Godâs glory. Mankind, created in Godâs image, is the crown of creation. Human beings have the divine mandate to multiply and to fill, subdue, and rule the Earth, transforming it from wilderness into garden. They act as stewards under God to cultivate and guard what they subdue and rule. Calling them to be His vicegerents over the Earth, God requires obedience to His lawsâin Scripture and imprinted in the human conscienceâin their stewardship. Although sin, universal among mankind, deeply mars this stewardship, Godâs redemptive act in Jesus Christâs death on the cross and His instructive activity through Scripture, communicating the nature of creation and human responsibility for it, enable people to create wealth and decrease poverty at the same time that they pursue creation stewardship and, even more important, the true spiritual wealth of knowing their Creator through Jesus Christ.

The Biblical worldview contrasts sharply with the environmentalist worldviewâwhether secular or religiousâin many significant ways. Among these, four are particularly germane:â¦


The Cornwall Stewardship Agenda


Secularist thought provides no rational basis for a stewardship ethic, for according to it humans are simply a product of random causes in a random universe. Some modern environmentalists take an even more extreme view of humans, seeing such a limitless obligation to nature as to make the existence and prosperity of humanity a curse on the world. In this view, untouched nature is the ideal and virtually all human activity results in degradation. Thus, the ethical ideal is not to tend nature wisely but to restrict most human activity.

The Bible, in contrast, places humanity both within and above nature. We are created out of the dust of the Earth and are commanded to be fruitful, yet we have stewardship over the Earth and all its creatures. Thus, humans are not merely a part of nature; we have obligations towards nature. As Biblical Christians, we reject the secular extremes in favor of the balanced Biblical picture: God has made humans for his eternal purpose and has given us an earthly home to tend and care for and to be sustained by for a time. As a consequence, Biblical revelation provides a sound basis for humane creation stewardship, particularly as it relates to energy supply and climate change.

We see the two names again in that document...

Chapter Two: Energy and Climate Change
David Legates, Ph.D. â Chapter Editor
Director, Center for Climatic Research, University of Delaware
Rev. Peter Jones, Ph.D.
Executive Director, Christian Witness to a Pagan Planet
Professor of New Testament, Westminster Seminary California
Ross McKitrick, Ph.D.
Associate Professor and Director of Graduate Studies, Department of Economics, University of Guelph
Expert Reviewer, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Working Group 1
Russell Moore, Ph.D.
Senior Vice President for Academic Administration and Dean of the School of Theology,
Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
Roy W. Spencer, Ph.D.
Principal Research Scientist, University of Alabama in Huntsville
Former senior scientist for climate studies, Marshall Space Flight Center, NASA


I took you for an intelligent person but you seem to be painfully unaware of the world around you.

By Dave Andrews (not verified) on 10 Mar 2010 #permalink


>>Dave Andrews, two people (@25 & @26) have asked you for examples of recent events to support your assertion. You dodged both in favor of submitting your puff opinion.
Empty and typical.

Dave Andrews:
>*jakerman, I took you for an intelligent person but you seem to be painfully unaware of the world around you.*

Dave, thanks for the data, your input happens to support my stated hypothesis.

Empty and typical.

J Bowers, I guess the key question for those folks is "What're you gonna believe - your religious axioms or your lying eyes?"

The declaration you quoted tends to suggest the former may trump the latter.

Secularist thought provides no rational basis for a stewardship ethic, for according to it humans are simply a product of random causes in a random universe.

What a stupid statement, and I use the word advisedly. If we're truly the product of "random causes in a random universe" (leaving aside the characterisation of evolution that most biologists would point out is grossly incomplete), then the earth is immensely **precious** because as far as we know it's the only habitat for intelligent life in the entire universe.

Ironically, secular environmentalists may be BETTER stewards of the earth and its fantastic environment than people who presume some grand design that humans won't be "allowed" to irredeemably screw up in their quest to make over the entire earth.

In a similar thinking style, some evangelicals quietly rejoice when various things occur that most of us think are bad. This is because their religion expects these things to happen in order to fulfill prophecies and advance the grand religious narrative towards the "rapture" (where they will be removed from the earth to heaven) and subsequent apocalypse (where everyone else will suffer immensely). Most at best conflicted about - and at worst have no interest in or even actively oppose - ameliorating these issues because that would slow down the prophetic narrative.

By Lotharsson (not verified) on 10 Mar 2010 #permalink

43 Lotharsson: "In a similar thinking style, some evangelicals quietly rejoice when various things occur that most of us think are bad."

Oh... my... stars. I knew that kind of thing was potty, but.. it's like Dungeons & Dragons based on real stuff.

...it's like Dungeons & Dragons based on real stuff.

Funny you should mention that - Dungeons & Dragons is generally seen by evangelicals as the work of the devil.

I guess they don't want anyone to notice the parallels and start asking questions ;-)

By Lotharsson (not verified) on 10 Mar 2010 #permalink

[J Bowers](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/03/what_do_the_moranogate_emails.p…).

The Cornwall Alliance statement itself does not surprise me - I have relatives (by marriage!) who push that philosophy - but that both McKitrick and Spencer apparently put their names to it leaves me gobsmacked.

After all, the cognitive dissonance involved would cause the head of any rational person, and especially one trained in science, to explode...

By Bernard J. (not verified) on 10 Mar 2010 #permalink

Thanks for posting that stuff P Bowers it's .... flabbergasting. So this is what those two actually believe is it? - well it's now clear why no mere science could stand in the way of their faith.

I should think that would be, for every non-fundamentalist or non-Christian reader of Spencer and McKitrick's "Agenda", as clear a picture of the evil potential in irrational religious belief as could be imagined.

Sorry, J Bowers.

@36 above, sorry, the adjustments didn't involve surface thermometer measurements but I still found Spencer's snarky commentary uncalled for and out of line - as well as a bit hypocritical given he does do adjustments to his "is what it is" data. What his choice of phrasing does make clear to me is that he has no objection to the denialist spin machine attempting to undermine the credibility of the carefully considered, published, peer-reviewed work of others on the basis of smear.

By Ken Fabos (not verified) on 11 Mar 2010 #permalink

Lotharsson @45

I don't know what kind of evangelicals you know, maybe it has some kind of different meaning in the USA (or your home country, I realise I don't know where you're from). That D&D (or any related game) is 'the work of the devil' is not an opinion I have heard voiced, and I know a lot of evangelicals! Personally I tend towards a more liberal Christianity, as I can't defend the hardline YEC evangelical literal-interpretation stance in the light of scientific evidence. The strongest line of reasoning being 'surely if God is God, he could have created the world fully formed 6000 years ago and made it look really old to fool everyone*, but then why would He do that!?'.

However, to be a Christian you have to be some sort of creationist! That's just the way it is. I'm a Christian who really likes science, and nothing I see in science prevents me from believing that God is the ultimate cause of everything we see in the universe, including the incredible complexity revealed by scientific endeavour. No, not even evolution.

So, this is why I'm so discouraged when I see anyone who professes belief in a creator being shot down and their other work being dismissed as the work of a wingnut (unless it contains wingnuttery - then you can have at it!). Or, to put it another way, I don't see a contradiction in being a scientist who believes in God. And putting it a third way, I don't see anything in science to discourage belief in God... merely to put paid to a literal interpretation of certain religious texts.

*The same logic applies to the universe being created yesterday, or one millisecond ago. Yes, if God is God it's possible, but it makes no sense!

Stu, this is perhaps a little hard to take, but so many of those pushing denial use their religious orientation as both a start and an end that it washes back on those who are both serious and religious (such as John Houghton and BPL to pick two examples). There is an entire package of people who deny evolution, climate change, and more and share a US evangelical belief system. Trying to discuss scientific matters with them is fruitless.

At this point, all I would say is that it is up to people such as yourself to make the separation clear, and that means making it clear to all, including the denialists that their views on science are not religious.

At this point, all I would say is that it is up to people such as yourself to make the separation clear, and that means making it clear to all, including the denialists that their views on science are not religious.

I take a slightly different view, Mr Bunny Rabbit.

It may be *helpful* for Christians and other religious people to make it clear their views are not just religion dressed up as science, I don't think it's fair to say it's their responsibility to make such a statement.

I sounds a bit like "Are you now or have you ever been blah blah blah.."

I'm happier to assume rationality until evidence indicates otherwise.

It usually doesn't take long anyway.

Stu, thanks for your thoughtful and measured comment.

I was brought up in Australia in a mildly fundamentalist evangelical environment, but I've lived in the US for a few years and had a bit of exposure to that variety too. In my subculture-of-origin D&D was certainly considered the work of the devil and might lead to demonic possession and other horrific fates (but these were also invoked for several other behaviours - including possessing objects of significance to devil worshippers, even if you did not know them to be such, and despite God supposedly being on your side and more powerful than the devil. I found it hard to take these seriously as I started to think about them more rationally.)

I can see why people might believe at a minimum in deism (a deity created the universe or set it in motion somehow, but is not actively intervening any more), and I think it's difficult to falsify such a proposition with current science. I'm certainly open to the possibility, but (without wishing to diverge into a long metaphysical discussion) I don't see why it matters either.

I think theism as claimed by major religions (roughly speaking = an interventionist deity) leads to falsifiable propositions that can be tested scientifically, and the research I've seen does not seem to support the theistic hypothesis; if anything it appears more likely to reject it. But on this question opinions differ ;-)

By Lotharsson (not verified) on 14 Mar 2010 #permalink

Thanks for your equally thoughtful and measured reply.

Because I subscribe to Christianity, I believe that God can and does intervene in the universe. I myself (and I hope a majority of Christians!) know that there are natural laws that are in place for the vast majority of the time. If this were not the case, we would not be able to recognise a claim of the suspension of those usual laws (for example, the claim that Christ rose from the dead).

So yes, what we have observed tells us that people don't come back to life after being dead for a couple of days. Either it was a miracle, or it didn't happen. Scepticism of the miracle is recorded in the Bible (), so I ask myself: if the couple of hundred hardcore followers of Jesus knew he was dead, why did they continue at great personal risk and loss to spread the notion that he was alive again? Either they'd seen him alive, as the Bible claims, or they were morons. Many of them (particularly the Apostle Paul) were well versed in Greek rheotoric arguments and their writing is self-evidently well constructed and intelligent - so I don't think they were morons.

And I'm afraid I've wondered really, really far off topic! Anyway, you say that the notion of an intervening God provides a chance for scientific testing of the notion. My slightly cop-out answer is well, yes it does, but apparently you wont find God obliging. The Old Testament says 'Do not test the LORD' and in the New Testament Jesus says 'Why does this generation ask for a sign?'. There's such a heavy emphasis on faith that here we just reach an impassé. Always interesting to discuss it though, reminds me why I believe what I do :)

@ 54 Stu,
But what you talk of isn't the point. The question is, like McKitrick, Spencer, Ball and others state clearly in their Cornwall Alliance announcement, made a vow about, and is expanded upon in the Cornwall Alliance's written agenda: Do you believe that it is mankind's religious duty to hold dominion over the Earth as ordained by God, to steward it, and to continue releasing CO2 into the atmosphere to increase prosperity, regardless of all else, and to work against environmentalism whether that be for religious or secular reasons?

JB, I was aware I was way off topic, but I kept on rambling anyway! Sorry about that.

I wholeheartedly disagree with the Cornwall Alliance statement regarding climate change. I agree with these people.

There are theological reasons why the Cornwall Alliance statement is flawed (for example, evangelical theology asserts that at present creation is temporary and fragile, not totally robust, and will pass away at some point), but frankly the out-of-hand manner in which they dismiss the scientific evidence is much more glaring. They also seem to miss the obligation we have, not to nature, but to the people who may be severely impacted by global warming in the future.

It's all a bit sad really.


Nice to see you again. Love the question: Do you believe Morano, or your lying eyes? LOL

What I believe is that a 2009 article which quotes a 2008 Gallup survey (for the general public data) isn't that relevant given the rate at which opinions are shifting.

You might want to quote sources a little more current on your site Tim.

What I believe is that a 2009 article which quotes a 2008 Gallup survey (for the general public data)...

Ah, so you apparently don't disagree with Tim's main point on what Morano actually said - you're just trying to shift attention away from it.

Thanks for the confirmation.

By Lotharsson (not verified) on 16 Mar 2010 #permalink

Either they'd seen him alive, as the Bible claims, or they were morons.

You really can't think of any other possibility? Like that maybe the Bible is an inaccurate account, written decades after the alleged events, and may refer to persons who never even existed and events and actions that never occurred?

The Old Testament says 'Do not test the LORD' and in the New Testament Jesus says 'Why does this generation ask for a sign?'. There's such a heavy emphasis on faith that here we just reach an impassé.

I don't understand why someone with a scientific attitude would obey a command to not think.

By truth machine (not verified) on 16 Mar 2010 #permalink

My slightly cop-out answer is well, yes it does, but apparently you wont find God obliging.

Slightly? We don't find unicorns or ghosts obliging, either.

By truth machine (not verified) on 16 Mar 2010 #permalink

I was going to leave this one alone in the interests of remaining on-topic, but we're there now. Tim, feel free to delete if this is getting too OT.

You really can't think of any other possibility?

What truth machine said (false dichotomy).

The Old Testament says 'Do not test the LORD'...

This injunction is at the core structure of many cons, dodgy sales tactics and cult programming practices. That realisation contributed to my consideration that everything I'd taught to be true might not be, and...eventual departure from my religion of upbringing.

Furthermore, it implies that the deity in question wants people to indulge in thought processes that leave them MORE vulnerable to these types of exploitation by unscrupulous entities - and yet from other theological claims the deity will punish them if they get sucked in by some of them (e.g. have the wrong beliefs).

Similarly it beggars belief that a deity that apparently created us with a brain would command us NOT to use it to our fullest ability to try and discern truth. (Shorter: faith is a vice, not a virtue.)

And both of the previous paragraphs appear to me logically inconsistent with the other attributes claimed for the deity, and disregarding logic entirely render it unworthy of adulation and worship.

By Lotharsson (not verified) on 16 Mar 2010 #permalink

so I ask myself

One last comment on this OT subject: Anyone who seriously and honestly wants to ask questions , rather than pose false dichotomies, based on considerable ignorance of biblical history and analysis, on a par with the worst we get from the denialati, that conveniently entail one's "faith" beliefs, should look into Richard Carrier's work. e.g.,


it seems distinctly possible, if not definite, that the original Christians did not in fact believe in a physical resurrection (meaning a resurrection of his corpse), but that Jesus was taken up to heaven and given a new body--a more perfect, spiritual body--and then "the risen Jesus" was seen in visions and dreams, just like the vision Stephen has before he dies, and which Paul has on the road to Damascus. Visions of gods were not at all unusual, a cultural commonplace in those days, well documented by Robin Lane Fox in his excellent book Pagans and Christians.[23] But whatever their cause, if this is how Christianity actually started, it means that the resurrection story told in the Gospels, of a Jesus risen in the flesh, does not represent what the original disciples believed, but was made up generations later. So even if they did die for their beliefs, they did not die for the belief that Jesus was physically resurrected from the grave.
That the original Christians believed in a spiritual resurrection is hinted at in many strange features of the Gospel accounts of the appearances of Jesus after death, which may be survivals of an original mystical tradition later corrupted by the growing legend of a bodily resurrection, such as a Jesus that they do not recognize, or who vanishes into thin air.[24] But more importantly, it is also suggested by the letters of Paul, our earliest source of information on any of the details of the original Christian beliefs. For Paul never mentions or quotes any of the Gospels, so it seems clear that they were not written in his lifetime. This is supported by internal evidence that suggests all the Gospels were written around or after the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D., well after Paul's last surviving letter, which was written around the year 58.[25]
Yet Paul never mentions Jesus having been resurrected in the flesh. He never mentions empty tombs, physical appearances, or the ascension of Jesus into heaven afterward (i.e. when Paul mentions the ascension, he never ties it to appearances in this way, and never distinguishes it from the resurrection event itself). In Galatians 1 he tells us that he first met Jesus in a "revelation" on the road to Damascus, not in the flesh, and the Book of Acts gives several embellished accounts of this event that all clearly reflect not any tradition of a physical encounter, but a startling vision (a light and a voice, nothing more).[26] Then in 1 Corinthians 15 Paul reports that all the original eye-witnesses--Peter, James, the Twelve Disciples, and hundreds of others--saw Jesus in essentially the same way Paul did. The only difference, he says, was that they saw it before him. He then goes on to build an elaborate description of how the body that dies is not the body that rises, that the flesh cannot inherit the kingdom of God, and how the resurrected body is a new, spiritual body. All this seems good evidence that Paul did not believe in the resurrection of a corpse, but something fundamentally different.[27]

By truth machine (not verified) on 16 Mar 2010 #permalink

Sorry if I gave the impression I hadn't thought about it. I have. Just a bit rusty on the argumentatal train of thought - yes, sorry I did make a false dichotomy. The gap between the two options is filled by other things, for example even though the gospels were written decades after the fact, this timespan compares favourably with other classical works, in terms of how long after the event the original documents were written, in how long after the event the first complete manuscripts are available, and in how many complementary fragments are manuscripts survive to this day.

I note that Richard Carrier constructs something of a strawman to argue against, since the Gospels make it clear there's something very different about Jesus after the resurrection. According to Luke, Jesus was able to conceal his identity to two of his followers, and suddenly appear in a locked room. Wierd. But when he did so, he said "Touch me, and see. For a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have." And then he had a snack.

So he's definitely not portrayed as a normal person any more. Paul would undoubtedly have known this, hence the term 'appeared' that he uses. However, Jesus isn't entirely spirit either, as he ate some fish. Paul knows this too - the word he uses for 'body' in 1 cor 15 is 'soma', which means a physical body, in contrast to the word used for 'spirit' elsewhere, 'pneuma'.

Quite a tenable argument presented though, I needed to look some stuff up :)

All this graph shows is that the more the warmists make off of this scam, the more likely they are to work towards keeping the paychecks coming.

By Interglacial John (not verified) on 23 Mar 2010 #permalink

Interglacial John, when you don't have science on your side, go conspiracy crazy! And don't forget to project your motives onto others.