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Mar 15 2012

Florida Man Protests Teaching of Evolution

A local resident in Lake City, Florida apparently spends every morning picketing outside the county school administration building, protesting the fact that the state requires the school to teach evolution in biology classes.

Every weekday morning you can see him along busy West Duval Street. Sign in hand, Kenny Merriken has been picketing the Columbia County School District offices for about four months.

Merriken, 63, also pickets during school board meetings and sometimes on Saturdays if there are cars in the parking lot.

“I’m protesting the scientific teaching of evolution, which is a fallacy contrary to the Holy Bible,” he said.

Merriken said he has an open challenge for the Columbia County School District and its teachers to a public debate in Lake City on the Scientific Theory of Evolution. Or he wants a public acknowledgment that Evolution is a fallacy contrary to the Bible, he said.

“I believe these [Theory of Evolution] teachings are persuading those who are weak,” Merriken said, in faith, courage or intellect. Or students may just feel outmatched by the state-mandated curriculum. “I’m standing up for the little guy,” he said. “I’m standing up for the little guy,” he said.

No, you’re standing up for ignorant people.

Merriken said he has talked to city council, county commission, a state representative and the state department of education, but all have responded with a “politically correct sidestep response” or silence.

Merriken said he has talked with school district officials and received the same responses.

Michael Millikin, Columbia County School District superintendent, said he has met with Merriken several times and corresponded through e-mail.

“We use state-approved textbooks and we teach state-approved curriculum,” he said. “We are simply doing what the state has charged us to do.”

When I was in high school, I was part of the school radio station. There was one guy who would come to the station all the time to tell us that we were going to hell by playing rock music (he was actually a student). We gave him the same reaction that I’m sure this idiot gets every time he beats the same dead horse, eyerolls and lots of “oh shit, he here comes again.”

64 comments

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  1. 1
    richardelguru

    But Ed, surely you know that Scientific arguments are always settled by picketing, and in extreme cases hitting your opponent over the head with your placard.

  2. 2
    tommykey

    Well, he’s 63, so I guess they can always wait him out.

  3. 3
    Cuttlefish

    Wow. He really truly appears to be a Merriken.

  4. 4
    Raging Bee

    Merriken said he has an open challenge for the Columbia County School District and its teachers to a public debate in Lake City on the Scientific Theory of Evolution.

    Has anyone tried to tell this guy we already had that public debate back in 2005, and his side lost and lost badly?

  5. 5
    dingojack

    “…Merriken said, in faith, courage or intellect.”

    What the writer wasn’t sure about Mr Meniken’s motives? Did the writer ever consider asking him? ;)

    My immediate reaction is ‘good on him’, he’s completely wrong, but he has the perfect right to make a fool of himself in public, as long as it hurts no one else. He has not threatened nor offered violence to anyone, he has broken no laws in protesting something he feels passionate about. What’s the problem?
    He might be an idiot, but he’s a dedicated, and (dare I say it) principled idiot.

    Yay first amendment!

    Dingo

  6. 6
    axilet

    Has anyone tried to tell this guy we already had that public debate back in 2005, and his side lost and lost badly?

    It’s just a flesh wound.

  7. 7
    ogremk5

    He is right about one thing. Evolution is contrary to the Bible.

    100,000s of thousands of peer-reviewed, repeatable, falsifiable papers, experiments, and observations

    vs

    1 heavily edited, transcribed, and translated text mostly written by ignorant shepherds (or not so ignorant shepherds fleecing the flock) that has some significant statements that are easily proven to be totally and completely wrong.

    sigh…

  8. 8
    HumanisticJones

    Evolution is a fallacy contrary to the Bible

    He keeps using the word fallacy, I do not think it means what he thinks it means.

  9. 9
    Reverend PJ

    What’s the problem? He might be an idiot, but he’s a dedicated, and (dare I say it) principled idiot.

    Being principled when the principle is willful ignorance is verging on contemptible. There are all sorts of principled folks out there whose only redeeming feature is they’re principled. I’m fairly certain that Santorum is principled, yet I find him repugnant.

    While he certainly has the right to publicly proclaim his ignorance, there is nothing admirable about it.

  10. 10
    starskeptic

    “Evolution is a fallacy contrary to the Bible, he said”

    The Bible is a fallacy contrary to Evolution, he would have said if his brain was turned on…

  11. 11
    peterh

    @#4:

    Better, provide him with references to the many, many times the topic has been debated in an intellectually rigorous manner and in which debates his side has lost very, very resoundingly. Every single time.

  12. 12
    DaveL

    Has anyone tried to tell this guy we already had that public debate back in 2005, and his side lost and lost badly?

    2005? How about the 19th century?

  13. 13
    Tualha

    Wow, great show of support for science there from the superintendent. They don’t teach evolution because it’s good science or because of church-state separation, oh no. They just do it because that’s what they were told to do.

  14. 14
    aaronbaker

    “oh shit, he here comes again.”

    Did you use the strange word order to psych him out?

  15. 15
    Donovan

    I have to agree with Merriken. These heathen science books also say that the earth is round, the sky is not a dome, there were never any unicorns, and human sacrifice is never permissible when the voices in your head tell you to, not even as a reward for genocidal victory. Clearly, science is wrong.

    God said, “Let there be light!” And, lo! The Christians struggled mightily to drag the darkness back.

  16. 16
    dingojack

    Reverend PJ – And if you go out there to counter-picket I’d support you too.
    As long as you didn’t try to shut down someone simply because you disagreed with the message. That would be a kind of ad hom. – This guy’s ideas should be officially ignored because I think he’s nuts.
    He is principled in that he has, unlike other protests, neither offered nor threatened violence, or affected the well being of anyone else (as far as I am aware).
    But I guess for you, the first amendment exists for ideas you support only.
    Dingo

  17. 17
    harold

    “I’m protesting the scientific teaching of evolution, which is a fallacy contrary to the Holy Bible,” he said.

    I appreciate Mr. Merikken’s severely misguided honesty and strongly support his right to express himself. Since he admits that his problem with evolution is grounded in religion, that makes it crystal clear that the same freedom of speech and conscience that allow him to protest, forever prevent his views from being taught as “science” in taxpayer funded schools, which cannot favor any individual sectarian dogma.

    Merriken said he has an open challenge for the Columbia County School District and its teachers to a public debate in Lake City on the Scientific Theory of Evolution.

    Although this sounds a bit narcissistic, he has a right to make such statements. Needless to say the statement is completely meaningless.

    Or he wants a public acknowledgment that Evolution is a fallacy contrary to the Bible, he said.

    Yes, there do seem to be some delusions of grandeur on board. Of course, he has every right to “want” all the “public acknowledgments” he can think of.

  18. 18
    Chiroptera

    “I’m protesting the scientific teaching of evolution, which is a fallacy contrary to the Holy Bible,” he said.

    Does that fallacy have a name? The most common informal fallacies have a name.

  19. 19
    The Lorax

    I think it would be fun to travel around the country and find people like this and debate them. You could get them to sign a statement saying that they can make any argument against evolution, but if they at any time resort to faith or the Bible, they immediately lose the debate, and they must admit to it in writing, right then and there.

    Might be fun to see how many statements you can collect that explicitly say, “Evolution should not be taught in schools because my god says so, signed Jon/Jane Doe”. Then, when anyone, anywhere in America tries to legally challenge the educational standards of teaching evolution, you pull a Miracle on 34th Street, and march the fuck in there with bags, BAGS I tell you, of these statements and pour them out in front of the judge and jury, who are sworn to uphold the Constitution of the United States of America.

    Trial over, they lose.

  20. 20
    Modusoperandi

    brianjones “He keeps using the word fallacy, I do not think it means what he thinks it means.”
    As in, “I don’t like bananas. They’re too fallacy.”, it means “penis-like”, right?

  21. 21
    Reptile Dysfunction

    “Kenny Merriken” doesn’t really work, does it? He should have chosen a first name like Truman or Harley.

  22. 22
    kermit.

    If I were to meet this gentleman, I would nod my head sagely and say “Yes, reality is contrary to the bible.” He would most likely protest loudly but politely, and I would explain (for the sake of any onlookers): “Evolution is, I assume, your shorthand for ‘the theory of evolution’, and not the natural process of evolution. A scientific theory is a model that explains a large body of verified evidence on a specific subject – and is compatible with all evidence. To the best of the ability of millions of scientists over the last 150 years, evolution is what happens to produce the many species of life around us. Ergo, reality is contrary to the bible. Are you sure you want a public announcement by the school board to this effect?”

    I wouldn’t convince him of anything, of course, but maybe it would inform some nearby witnesses or even make it into a local paper.

  23. 23
    caseloweraz

    Mucklededun wrote: ““Kenny Merriken” doesn’t really work, does it? He should have chosen a first name like Truman or Harley.”

    “Rale” seems to work.

  24. 24
    JustaTech

    See, this could be a fantastic teachable moment for the civics classes in the district. “This man is protesting because he doesn’t hink that the biology classes should teach evolution. What amentment give him the right to stand there and protest?” If the teacher were brave (and knew the students well) they could continue on to why creationism isn’t taught and how these are both sides of the same wonderful amendment.

    Now, is anyone actually going to do that? Hell no. But they could.

  25. 25
    Gvlgeologist, FCD

    @24: Civics classes? Indoctrinate out children in being concerned about their fellow citizens? Are you kidding? Do they even have civics classes anymore? Sounds socialist to me!

    Another thing about Lake City – it is the home of the End Timers, a group awaiting the apocalypse: http://thetandd.com/lifestyles/article_2e296f19-bbc9-5a14-982a-3a32a6c31a56.html

    It doesn’t sound like Merriken is a member, but he’d probably fit right in.

  26. 26
    tomh

    @ #25

    Another thing Lake City, FL, is known for, is a number of faith-related deaths of children, some of them connected to the End Timers you mention, when parents substitute prayer for medical care. After one baby died this way in the 1990′s the long-time mayor of Lake City, Gerald Witt, said, in a famous statement, “It may be necessary for some babies to die to maintain our religious freedoms. It may be the price we have to pay; everything has a price.”

  27. 27
    Chiroptera

    tomh, #26: “It may be necessary for some babies to die to maintain our religious freedoms. It may be the price we have to pay; everything has a price.”

    You know the old saying: to make an omelette, you need to break a few eggs.

  28. 28
    cottonnero

    Yes, but usually the eggs are neither human nor fertilized a year and a half ago.

  29. 29
    leonardschneider

    Ugh, bloody literalists… I’m always surprised to hear of Young Earthers who have lived as long as Kenny M. have. After all, to completely disregard evolution would require a refusal to ever use antibiotics, wouldn’t it? Penicillin simply shouldn’t exist; for a Creationist to use it could be viewed as an act of hypocrisy.

    @ The Lorax (#19): Here’s a quickie guide for your endeavor: How To Debate A Young Earth Creationist. You might want to check out the TalkOrigins.org FAQ for some more in-depth information.

  30. 30
    Reverend PJ

    dingojack – Would you care to point out where I suggested censoring or shutting down Merriken? Stating that I find some principles contemptible, or some folks repugnant is not advocating shutting them down. RAther than ending with an attack on me, attack what I’m saying.

    The observation that, “X is a y of principles”, is frequently used to sidestep the discussion of X‘s stated positions and actions. Enough of that nonsense, if someone objects to X‘s positions and actions they should not have their criticisms shutdown because they critical of X‘s “principles”.

    As for Merriken, if he’s pushing creationism then he is, in my opinion, doing damage. He is promoting willful ignorance. He’s also wasting the time the local folks trying to do their job. If he wants to eliminate the teaching of evolution, prove that what the schools are teaching is wrong.

    More power to him for obeying the local laws regarding picketing, for that he should be commended. His obedience to the law doesn’t give him a pass for anything else though.

  31. 31
    kennethmerriken

    Hello, my name is Kenny Merriken and I love the Lord God Jesus Christ as my Savior. I appreciate everyone who wrote comments. Why? I served honorably in the US Navy during the Vietnam Era. I have been to countries that lack freedom of speech like we have. PTL for the First Amendment. Now, I have a question for all of you.
    Did Jesus Christ feed the 5000 with five loaves and two fish? Yes or No or PCSR (Politically Correct Sidestep Response). Support your answer with research, please.
    My answer is “Yes” My reference is the Word of God found in the Gospel of Mark 6:30-44

  32. 32
    dingojack

    kennethmerriken – just answering yes or no, did Tom Sawyer dose Peter (Aunt Polly’s cat) with ‘pick me up’ syrup?
    I’d say ‘yes’, my reference: The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain (Chapter XII).

    In 300 words or less, how exactly is your question relevant to Evolutionary Theory?

    Dingo

  33. 33
    Chiroptera

    kennethmerrikan, #31:

    Heh. My research tells me bats are bugs.

  34. 34
    kennethmerriken

    dingojack, the answer is “Yes”. “So Tom pried his mouth open and poured down the Pain-killer. Peter sprang a couple of yards in the air, and then delivered a war-whoop and set off round and round the room…” (The Adventures of Tom Sawyer – Chapter XII). Now, how does my question about feeding the 5000 relate to evolution. Answer The feeding of the 5000 (recorded in all four Gospels) Shows that Jesus Christ has the authority, power, skill and intelligence to turn a small amount of physical matter (five loaves and two fish) into a large amount of physical matter. “And they that had eaten were about five thousand men, beside women and children.” (Matthew 14:21) Evolution tries to explain how atoms and energy came into existence out of nothing. Both evolution and the Holy Bible are in agreement that at one time there were no molecules of matter. The answer to how matter and energy got here is the Messiah, Jesus Christ. Evolution is not able to scientifically replicate the bringing matter into existence. Jesus Christ showed the world he can do just that. Now my next question: Yes or No or PCSR (Politically Correct Sidestep Response). In Capernaum, did The Son of Man, Jesus Christ, have the authority to forgive the sins of the paralytic let down through the roof at the feet of Jesus Christ by four faithful friends? ( Mark 2:1-12)

  35. 35
    kermit.

    Hello, Kenneth!
    Do you think reality can be trusted, or is it all an illusion? If reality is indeed real, then it can be trusted, but our understanding of it can be in error. Scientific methodology seeks to minimize these errors. Only use verifiable data, and verify it; only use explanatory models that can be tested, that make predictions, and test ‘em; actively try to falsify theories by looking for refuting data; that sort of thing. Over and over – many eyes, many repetitions, much testing.

    The result has been pretty good. We can sometimes reattach a severed limb; we have antibiotics; we built the intranet; we have refrigerators, etc. Science works.

    Now, if you start with the premiss that the bible is a reliable source of information (I don’t see any reason to accept that, but that’s another issue), this still doesn’t establish that a believer reading it can’t make mistakes. Unless he is claiming to be infallible. Are you?

    My workout buddy in the university was a devout Christian, and said that “Science was studying how God does things”. He earned his PhD in microbiology. He certainly accepted mainstream biology, and even taught me some evolutionary science while we we training together.

    If reality seems to contradict the bible, where do you think the error is? In reality, in the bible, or in your assessment of the bible? It’s true that a logical fourth alternative exists: error in understanding science, but remember that science is all about verification and testing and double-checking.

    Evolution happens, and has been happening for four billion years or so. There are mountains of evidence, from multiple fields of science, which all paint the same picture: life on Earth is ancient, all living species are descended from a common ancestor (or pool of ancestors), the species were created largely but not entirely by natural selection acting on a pool of variability of inherited traits. Scientists who are believers (roughly half) simply say “This is how God does things”.

    Whether Jesus existed or not, whether he was simply a teacher, or divinely inspired, or actually divine, doesn’t change any of that.

  36. 36
    dingojack

    No. If you can believe one work of fiction as being true why not another? How about The Vampire Diaries, 1984, or Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas? Each are equally ‘true’, using your criterion.
    Evolution tries to explain how species change over time in form and function. You seem to be confusing ‘The big Bang Theory’ (of which there is a plethora of evidence BTW) for Evolutionary Theory.
    Try again.
    Dingo

  37. 37
    MikeMa

    @Kenneth,
    Evolution does NOT explain the beginning of matter. Never did. It explains how the existence altered over time. A very LONG time.

    As for the loaves & fishes, that is bollocks. Physical laws prevent it. I know, you think your god can change physical laws but it didn’t happen. It is another made up PR story. All accounts were written hundreds of years later by con men who needed cash.

    Faith is not science.

  38. 38
    kennethmerriken

    Chiroptera, You wrote “bats are bugs”. Bats have biosonar to find bugs and eat them in flight. Bugs do not have biosonar.
    It is passed from one bat generation to the next through reproduction. It is a living sonar. It can replicate itself in the next generation of bats. Man made sonar is not as sophisticated. Man made sonar has a designer and a maker. It did not evolve, it was made by intelligent human beings. Questions: Did man-made sonar evolve? Did bat biosonar, which is more complicated, evolve? Yes or No or Politically Correct Sidestep Response (PCSR) Support your answer with proof. (Isaiah 2:20)
    kermit, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness” (II Timothy 3:16)
    Readers are encouraged to study the Holy Bible and learn (II Timothy 2:15). Who validates that the Bible is the one and only Word of God? The Messiah, The Lord Jesus Christ. How does he validate it? He rose from the dead on the third day. John 2:22, I Corinthians 15:4. Now, kermit, I have a question for you. Did Jesus Christ rise from the dead on the third day? Yes, or No or Politically Correct Sidestep Response. (PCSR)
    dingojack, “Evolution tries to explain how species change over time in form and function.” Louis Pasteur disproved spontaneous generation in 1862. but rather proved biogenesis (Omne vivum ex vivo “all life is from life”). No evolution experiment has been able to produce life from non-life. So, dingojack, I have a question. Did Jesus Christ raise Lazarus from the dead after he had been dead for four days and stinketh? Yes, or No, or Politically Correct Sidestep Response. (John chapter 11, KJV).
    MikeMa, “As for the loaves & fishes, that is bollocks. Physical laws prevent it.” Jesus Christ is God. He created the physical laws. (Genesis 1, John chapter 1) He created the universe by speaking it into existence. Jesus Christ demonstrated his authority over physical laws with His spoken word. MikeMa, Did Jesus Christ calm the storm on the Sea of Galilee? Yes, No, or Politically Correct Sidestep Response. (Mark 4:35:41) Support your answer with research.

  39. 39
    Chiroptera

    kennethmerrikan, #38:

    Actually, I was hoping that people would pick up on the Calvin & Hobbes reference.

  40. 40
    slc1

    Re Kennethmerriken

    Here’s a question for Mr. Merriken

    Did god stop the Sun in the sky for a day via the request of Joshua as recounted in Joshua 10:12–13? If Mr. Merriken believes that this event actually happened, please explain why there is no other record of such an occurrence in the writings of other civilizations that were around at the time of Joshua. One would think that an event such as this would have been noted elsewhere in the world.

  41. 41
    Modusoperandi

    kennethmerriken “It is passed from one bat generation to the next through reproduction. It is a living sonar. It can replicate itself in the next generation of bats. Man made sonar is not as sophisticated. Man made sonar has a designer and a maker. It did not evolve, it was made by intelligent human beings.”
    *Click, click click*

    “Did bat biosonar, which is more complicated, evolve?”
    Yes.

    “Support your answer with proof.”
    1. Proofs are for math.
    2. *Click click, click* (alternately, google “evolution of sonar”)

    “(Isaiah 2:20)”
    “In that day a man shall cast his idols of silver, and his idols of gold, which they made each one for himself to worship, to the moles and to the bats;”?

    “kermit, ‘All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness (II Timothy 3:16)”
    Oh boy! Unicorns!

    “Louis Pasteur disproved spontaneous generation in 1862. but rather proved biogenesis (Omne vivum ex vivo “all life is from life”).”
    /says kennethmerriken, ducking in to his own punch
    Also, people thought that flies came from rotting meat. That’s the “spontaneous generation” that Pasteur disproved.

    “No evolution experiment has been able to produce life from non-life.”
    Who’s trying? We’ve duplicated the posited conditions of an early Earth’s seas and atmosphere and come up with remarkable precursors; the building blocks of life.

  42. 42
    kennethmerriken

    slc1, wrote, “Did god stop the Sun in the sky for a day via the request of Joshua as recounted in Joshua 10:12–13?”
    Answer: Yes, slc1. Why did it stop? Read Joshua 10:14: “And there was no day like that before it or after it, that the LORD hearkened unto the voice of a man: for the LORD fought for Israel.” The Lord, God of Israel listened to Joshua’s request and granted it. (Jeremiah 32:27, and 33:3, Philippians 4:13)
    Modusoperandi, I will get back to you when I have more time to answer you properly.

  43. 43
    TCC

    kermit, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness” (II Timothy 3:16)
    Readers are encouraged to study the Holy Bible and learn (II Timothy 2:15). Who validates that the Bible is the one and only Word of God? The Messiah, The Lord Jesus Christ. How does he validate it? He rose from the dead on the third day.

    1) Using the II Tim. reference is problematic because a) the canon wasn’t set when the Pastoral Epistles were written, and so “scripture” could have only meant Jewish scriptures (not much in those about Jesus!), and b) the Pastoral Epistles are pretty widely thought to be psuedepigraphal by biblical scholars (i.e. Paul didn’t write them).

    Also, the logic that the Bible is validated by a claim that only it makes (all other sources derive from the same community, show evidence of emendation or revision [cf. Josephus], or are otherwise late or unreliable) is circular and ludicrous.

    By the way, the answer to all of your “Did [miracle described in the Bible] happen?” questions is going to be “No, because a 2000-year-old religious text is not sufficient evidence.” And certainly it has nothing to do with evolution, which can be corroborated with, you know, actual evidence.

  44. 44
    Modusoperandi

    kennethmerriken “Answer: Yes, slc1. Why did it stop? Read Joshua 10:14″
    Cool. 10:13 has it hanging around for an extra “about a whole day”. Why didn’t anybody else notice?
    That’s even more bizarre than the dead getting up and wandering around Jerusalem and nobody but the author of Matthew noting it in their diaries. That was just one town. Joshua’s purported sun-magickery, much like, say, a literal, worldwide flood that lasted the better part of a year, would’ve been worldwide.

  45. 45
    kennethmerriken

    Dear people who took the time to comment on this page. I understand that many of you have a problem accepting the 66 books of the Bible as the Word of God. So, let me get back to a more basic question. It is an historical event in human history that directly influenced the calendar that makes this the year 2012. Question: Did The Messiah, Jesus Christ, rise from the dead three days after dying on a Roman cross? Yes, No, or PCSR (Politically Correct Sidestep Response)

  46. 46
    TCC

    Question: Did The Messiah, Jesus Christ, rise from the dead three days after dying on a Roman cross?

    I’m going to refer you to my blanket response:

    No, because a 2000-year-old religious text is not sufficient evidence.

  47. 47
    tomh

    I’ve never understood why these religious whackos are always asking questions. You’d think they would be satisfied just spouting off answers

  48. 48
    Modusoperandi

    kennethmerriken, you’re way off. Everybody knows that the Real Christian Bible has 81 books. What, you’re not Ethiopian Orthodox?
    Oh.

  49. 49
    slc1

    Re kennethmerriken @ #42

    And, as expected, Mr. merriken is unable to provide a coherent explanation as to why nobody else in the world took note of the sun stopping in the sky. Is Mr. merriken going to claim that god gave everybody except Joshua and his listeners amnesia so they forgot that they saw this occurrence? Is he going to claim that he put everybody else in the world to sleep for 24 yours so they missed the event? Is he going to claim that he hypnotized Joshua and his listeners so that they thought that they observed the sun stopping in the sky?

    I have a much simpler answer. It never happened and the goat herders who told the fairy tales that appear in the Hebrew scriptures that were passed down through several hundred years between the time of Joshua and the time of the writing of the Book of Joshua were making shit up.

  50. 50
    slc1

    Re TCC @ #46

    Actually, I don’t think that Yeshua of Nazareth rose from the dead because he was never nailed to the cross in the first place. The Muslims have it right, the man who went to Golgotha was not Yeshua but Judas Iscariot. Yeshua was told to get out of town by Pontius Pilate and hied himself off to Damascus where he went into the furniture manufacturing business and made a good living, eventually dying in his bed.

  51. 51
    TCC

    That doesn’t exactly seem like the most parsimonious solution, but okay, sure, you can go with the Muslims’ speculatory account concocted several centuries after the fact (so to speak).

  52. 52
    dingojack

    Did Jesus get crucified? Well possibly or possibly not, there’s no real evidence either way.
    However, this doesn’t make this year 2012 as that comes from a ‘guesstimate’ made by a monk (long after Jesus’ death) as to the year of Jesus’ birth. As it is, the guess was 4 to 6 years out.
    You’d think such important dates would be recorded , but they weren’t. Guess it’s not as big a deal as first thought.
    Dingo
    —–
    BTW this year is:

    Gregorian calendar 2012
    MMXII
    Ab urbe condita 2765
    Armenian calendar 1461
    ԹՎ ՌՆԿԱ
    Assyrian calendar 6762
    Bahá’í calendar 168–169
    Bengali calendar 1419
    Berber calendar 2962
    British Regnal year 60 Eliz. 2 – 61 Eliz. 2
    Buddhist calendar 2556
    Burmese calendar 1374
    Byzantine calendar 7520–7521
    Chinese calendar 辛卯年十二月初八日
    (4648/4708-12-8)
    — to —
    壬辰年十一月十九日
    (4649/4709-11-19)
    Coptic calendar 1728–1729
    Ethiopian calendar 2004–2005
    Hebrew calendar 5772–5773
    Hindu calendars
    – Vikram Samvat 2068–2069
    – Shaka Samvat 1934–1935
    – Kali Yuga 5113–5114
    Holocene calendar 12012
    Iranian calendar 1390–1391
    Islamic calendar 1433–1434
    Japanese calendar Heisei 24
    (平成24年)
    Korean calendar 4345
    Minguo calendar ROC 101
    民國101年
    Thai solar calendar 2555
    Unix time 1325376000–1356998399

  53. 53
    dingojack

    God never changes his mind?
    Jonah 3:4-10

    “4 And Jonah began to enter into the city a day’s journey, and he cried and said, ‘Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown.’
    5 So the people of Nineveh believed God, and proclaimed a fast and put on sackcloth, from the greatest of them even to the least of them.
    6 For word came unto the king of Nineveh; and he arose from his throne, and he laid his robe from him, and covered himself with sackcloth and sat in ashes.
    7 And he caused it to be proclaimed and published through Nineveh by the decree of the king and his nobles, saying, ‘Let neither man nor beast, herd nor flock, taste anything; let them not feed, nor drink water.
    8 But let man and beast be covered with sackcloth and cry mightily unto God. Yea, let them turn every one from his evil way, and from the violence that is in their hands.
    9 Who can tell if God will turn and repent, and turn away from His fierce anger, that we perish not?’
    10 And God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way. And God repented of the evil that He had said that He would do unto them, and He did it not.”

    You were saying?
    Dingo
    —–
    PS: Notice Jonah put no qualifiers or conditions on his statement, so presumably the citizens of Ninveh who hadn’t followed the king’s proclamation (and therefore didn’t starve or die of thirst) stoned Jonah to death for being a false prophet as god commanded them to do because his prediction was clearly false. No? Moral relativists!

  54. 54
    dingojack

    Oh BTW for evidence that evolution works as a scientific theory see:
    Darwin’s Orchid and Morgan’s Hawk Moth

    Dingo

  55. 55
    annunaki

    When Fools Rush In-

    I have read with some amusement, the adds placed by Kenny Merriken espousing his view that Biblical Theology/Creationism be taught in the local schools either exclusively, or along with Science.

    Of course my first thought was which version of the Bible did he mean?

    Was it the current one based on those books approved by the Pagan Emperor Constantine at the First Council of Nicaea, where he picked and chose which books stayed and which ones got tossed?

    A few words on The Pagan Constantine
    Constantine is perhaps best known for being the first “Christian” Roman emperor; there can be no doubt that his reign was certainly a turning point for the Church. Nonetheless, his actual devotion to the Christian faith is largely disputed since there are more numerous and persuasive evidences which arguably demonstrate that his primary and personal worship was aligned with Roman Paganism, particularly with worship of the sun God, Apollo. It is argued by many scholars that his “conversion” to Christianity was largely a political tactic to ensure his lineal successor to the throne of the Empire.

    Or, in the interest of fairness, should one or all of the other versions also be taught?

    Were Mr.Merriken’s wishes met, this “Fool’s Folly” would then open the door to all belief systems being worthy of equal time, including but not limited to The Book of Morman, The Torah, The Quran, Witchcraft, Voodoo, Scientology, Buddhism Hinduism, Oh and lets not forget all the ancient multi Gods of Egypt Greece and Rome, -or one of my favorites-

    “The Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster” -see:( http://www.venganza.org/)

    The “Flying Spaghetti Monster” was first described in an open letter written by Bobby Henderson in 2005 that used satire to protest the the Kansas State Board of Education decision to permit teaching intelligent design as an alternative to evolution in public school science classes.] In that letter, Henderson parodied the concept of intelligent design by professing belief in a supernatural creator that closely resembles spaghetti and meatballs. Henderson further called for Flying Spaghetti Monsterism to be allotted equal time in science classrooms alongside intelligent design and evolution.

    I think we can all look forward to the time when these three theories are given equal time in our science classrooms across the country, and eventually the world; one third time for Intelligent Design, one third time for Flying Spaghetti Monsterism, and one third time for logical conjecture based on overwhelming observable evidence.
    —Bobby Henderson[4]

    According to Henderson, since the intelligent design movement uses ambiguous references to a designer, any conceivable entity may fulfill that role, including a Flying Spaghetti Monster.[2] Henderson explained, “I don’t have a problem with religion. What I have a problem with is religion posing as science.

    Florida Dispute
    In December 2007, the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster was credited with spearheading successful efforts in Polk County, Florida to dissuade the Polk County School Board from adopting new science standards on evolution. The issue was raised after five of the seven board members declared a personal belief in intelligent design. Opponents describing themselves as Pastafarians sent e-mails to members of the Polk County School Board demanding equal instruction time for the Flying Spaghetti Monster.

    In closing, this foolish pursuit were it achieved would result in all hours of the school day being used up devoted to providing equal time to all of these beliefs. There would be so many hours needed that summer vacations might have to be eliminated and no time left for any other school subjects.

    But wait I almost forgot the atheists. They would be entitled to there view;

    The Atheists: A Whole Separate Can of Worms

    They see the basic flaws of religion beginning with the Assumption that the Universe had a
    Beginning.

    Many believe there is nothing that supports that assumption and it could
    just be a constant series of Big Bangs-Expansions-Contractions-Big
    Bangs, resulting in an eternal reshuffling of the atoms through out its
    infinite existence. Of course, if that is the case, then there is no
    need to invent a “Creator” to try to explain a mythical “Beginning”.

    In short,many feel that the Universe never had a “beginning” but “Just
    Always Was”.

    Those Of the opposite viewpoint will argue that “Everything”, must have
    a “Beginning”, but when asked about “God’s Beginning”, they contradict
    themselves by saying that “God had no beginning, he just Always Was”.

    Sound familiar?

  56. 56
    kennethmerriken

    Annunaki, My Christianity is based on an historical event which validates The Messiah, Jesus Christ and His words found in the Holy Bible. So let me put you to the test. “Yes” or “No” or “PCSR” (Politically Correct Sidestep Response) Did the Messiah, Jesus Christ rise from the dead? Without His resurrection, then Christianity is false. With His resurrection, then Christianity is true and therefore what the Bible says is true. You are free to give me a PCSR, Annunaki. Surprise me with a “Yes” or a “No” then support your answer. (I Corinthians chapter 15) My answer to my question is “Yes”. When I die I am going to be with the Lord Jesus Christ in heaven. I pray that I will see you there. Kenny Merriken

  57. 57
    slc1

    Re Kennethmerriken @ #

    So let me put you to the test. “Yes” or “No” or “PCSR” (Politically Correct Sidestep Response) Did the Messiah, Jesus Christ rise from the dead?

    The answer is no because he wasn’t executed. Judas Iscariot was executed instead, and Yeshua of Nazareth was ordered to leave town, whereupon he traveled to Damascus. This is the Muslim position and there is as much evidence for that as there is for the Christian position.

  58. 58
    slc1

    By the way, Mr. merriken has still failed to provide an explanation as to why nobody else in world observed the Sun standing still in the sky for a day.

  59. 59
    Michael Heath

    kennethmerriken writes:

    My Christianity is based on an historical event which validates The Messiah, Jesus Christ and His words found in the Holy Bible.

    Citation of independently validated convincing empirical evidence requested which validates all of your incredibly provocative assertions you claim are factual given your “historical event” premise.

    I’m obviously aware millions if not billions hope and believe what you claim is true, however I’ve yet to encounter even one shred of empirical empirical evidence the Jesus character referred to in the Bible even existed as a human being, let alone evidence this biblical character was something other than human, crucified, and resurrected. I suspect you don’t understand the difference between faith and objective factual truth.

    kennethmerriken writes:

    Without His resurrection, then Christianity is false.

    That’s not true, millions of Christians believed and still believe in a theistic god where the Jesus characters plays an important role in their beliefs. Where they also don’t believe in a super-natural human-god but instead see the Jesus character as a vehicle to a more fulfilling relationship with a monotheistic god. Only the theologically conservative and most mainline denominations believe what you believe, some mainliners and most theologically liberal Christians do not require a resurrected Jesus as a premise of their religion and faith.

    In addition there is evidence that prior to and during the apostle Paul’s time some Christians believed that the Jesus character was never a human but instead a character in another plane of existence. So your understanding of Christianity is in fact fatally defective, there is instead a continuum of beliefs which is partly why we encounter so many different sects. The other predominate reason is, given the total lack of evidence for all the provocative claims made within the Christian faith community, people are able to conjure up their own beliefs regarding what is true. We encounter you doing that in this thread, to the point you deny the reality other Christians have existed and currently exist who reject your entire framework regarding the possibilities of Christian belief; Christians who both devout and practice their faith in manner which is arguably far more consistent with the edicts attributed to Jesus in the New Testament than we observe come from conservative Christians.

  60. 60
    kennethmerriken

    Dear slc1. Sun standing still for about a day, correlated evidence. http://patriot.net/~jlazio/essays/missing.html (Joshua 10:1-15). Read also how the sun went backwards as a sign to Hezekiah. (2 Kings 20:1-11) Now I have a question for you. Was Jonah in the belly of a fish three days and three nights? My answer is “Yes”. Read Jonah and Matthew 12:38-45.
    Did Jesus Christ rise from the dead on the third day? My answer is “Yes”. What is your answer? Yes/No or PCSR (Politically Correct Sidestep Response) Kenny Merriken, Lake City, Florida.

  61. 61
    slc1

    Re merriken @ #60

    1. Once again, Mr. merriken swings and he misses. He fails to explain how come nobody else in the world remarked upon the remarkable event of the Sun stopping in the sky for a day.

    2. I already answered the question relative to the Resurrection. It didn’t happen because Yeshua of Nazareth wasn’t crucified on Calvery, Judas Iscariot was. Yeshua hied himself off to Damascus where he and his girl friend, Mary Magdelen, shacked up together and he went into the furniture manufacturing business and died in his bed a relatively well to do carpenter.

    3. There is no fish that could swallow a full grown man whole. The writers of the Hebrew bible did not know that whales are not fishes.

  62. 62
    dingojack

    kennethmerriken – And there are giantanic spiders with bodies over over 8 feet long. I read about it in The Two Towers by J.R.R. Tolkien. [Book 4. Chapter IX. SHELOB'S LAIR] so it’s just gotta be true, right? [eye-roll].

    SLC – IF it happened 1.5+ M yrs ago there’s always this.
    (Just when you thought if was safe go back in water)!
    :) Dingo

  63. 63
    dingojack

    SLC – it’s all those cud-chewing hares and four-legged insects you’ve got to worry about!
    Dingo

  64. 64
    dingojack

    kennethmerriken (#60): Reading for comprehension – FAIL!
    :D Dingo

  1. 65

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