back to article Pope says gravity proves technology can't supplant God

The Pope has warned the faithful of the folly of thinking that technology could replace the almighty. Pope Benedict, speaking at a Palm Sunday Mass to kick off Holy Week, noted that mankind had always sought to become "like God". But, Reuters reports, Pope Benedict said: "Mankind has managed to accomplish so many things: we …


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  1. Anonymous Coward

    Science can not replace God

    God: A made-up idea to (a) stop people going nuts because they don't understand everything (b) provide an emotional crutch and (c) provide a way of abusing power and influence to keep the stupid masses under control.

    Science: The study of nature with a view to (a) working out how and why things work the way they do (b) expanding the mind (c) presenting basic tools from which all modern societies have been built.

    Mmm... yes, maybe the pope does have a point - how could Science ever replace God? Now he's made his point, maybe he should consider getting a proper job that has tangible benefit to human-kind at large? Or at the very least, stop sponging off the stupid masses?

    1. Ivor 1

      Self-contained in your madness.

      It must be so disappointing to spend your entire working life equivocating, so I can understand why "scientists" do it, but puh-lease stop cloaking your "faith" as "fact".

      "I believe there is no God" - a statement of faith.

      1. Circadian

        @Ivor 1

        Oh, that old play on words.

        "I believe that you are a self-important twat" - does that make me religious?

        It seems that the religious and lawyers both make their careers out of twisting language so that words can be forced into meanings almost certainly not intended by the people who wrote them down. (Exception: recent UK Parliaments - I'm pretty sure that the weasel-words used in writing laws these days are deliberately designed to be as twisted and flexible as possible.)

        Scientists, however polysyllabic and difficult to understand the vocabulary, at least try to make things open - they even have a process of vetting each others' papers to try to ensure integrity.

        Religion - bringing intolerance and hatred to all those not of that faith for 2k+ years. Which is strange, as often some of the text in each of the holy writings for the various faiths talk about being nice to your fellow human beings. Or is that part of the stuff that gets twisted so that it can be ignored?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          the wisest

          The wisest course of action when it comes to the existence or not of deities is to file it in the "I neither see evidence for or against their existence and will therefore wait to find out."

          It may turn out that when we pop our collective clogs we discover that actually that the universe was created by a gang of bored sentient super meerkats to while away the endless hours in their infinite flat meerkativerse. But as it is, there's little point in arguing about it, it just makes you look silly, on either side of the debate.

        2. Ivor 1

          I'm not sure. It might be.

          Can you quote a bit more precisely which text you are referring to?

      2. fiddley

        Your email address is never published

        "I believe there is no God" - a statement of faith.

        "I believe there are no faries" - a statement of faith.

        "I believe there is no Santa Claus" - a statement of faith.

        "I believe there are no Goblins" - a statement of faith.

        "I believe there are no Werewolves" - a statement of faith.

        Go on, admit you can't provide any evidence either for or against any of those things. You're just as much of a fruitcake believing in your beardy sky man as those nutjobs who believe they've got faries in the garden. The only trouble with your particular fantasy is that it's state sanctioned and force fed to children.

        1. Ivor 1

          Wait. What?

          I admit no-one has yet proved the existence of any of those things. Or will likely ever disprove any of those things.

          That's scientific that is.

      3. Anonymous Coward

        @Ivor 1

        I assume you make your statements from the point of view of someone who DOES have a completely irrational and unsupportable belief in a deity?

        If you wish to believe such clap-trap then that is, of course, your prerogative, however misguided that belief may be. However, please do not judge those who have a more rational mind, grounded in common-sense and an analysis of the evidence presented to them, using your own baseline of nonsensical gibberish.

        Just to hammer home the point, "I believe there is no God" is NOT a statement of faith. It is a statement of common sense. And while I must accept that this statement could (in theory) be proven incorrect, until such time, it is for all intents and purposes, a "fact". if you find that fact uncomfortable or find that it kicks away that emotional crutch that many people seem to rely on because they can't cope with reality, then I'm sorry, but that's not my fault.



        1. Ivor 1

          Whassat now?

          Something unproven is a fact until proved otherwise?

          I thought that something unproven was a theory until proved?

          1. Anonymous Coward


            Something unproven is a fact until proved otherwise?

            Nope - that there's called a hypothesis, idea, wondering, dream or imagining.

            Theory or theorum comes later with the collation of data that supports it.

            Data which that refutes that there hypothesis leads to it not becoming a theory.

            1. Ammaross Danan


              hypothesis: a proposition assumed as a premise in an argument

              theory: a proposed explanation whose status is still conjectural, in contrast to well-established propositions that are regarded as reporting matters of actual fact.

              fact: something known to exist or to have happened

              Therefore, "I believe there is no God" is not a statement of "fact" but, at best, could be considered a Theory. However, theory (or theorem for those maths people) is something at seems to work, but doesn't have definitive proof to make it a "law" or "fact." So, the statement then takes the actual role of "hypothesis" since there has been no supporting evidence for or against the existence of the beardy sky-man.

              However, I think everyone is missing the point that a religious leader has denounced humankind's push to control the world around us and stated we should all give it up. This is definitely blind devotion if I've ever heard of it. Any (other) religious person would suggest beardy sky-man would want us to learn and grow in knowledge....or was that passage simply skipped over in bible study?

            2. LaeMing

              I'm ambivalent about whether or not there may be a 'god'

              but I am very confident nothing humanity has dreamed up would come minutely close if there is.

          2. Barticus

            Something unproven is a theory until proved...

            A hypothesis is a proposition that attempts to explain a set of facts in a unified way. It generally forms the basis of experiments designed to establish its plausibility.

            A scientific law is a hypothesis that is assumed to be universally true. A law has good predictive power, allowing a scientist (or engineer) to model a physical system and predict what will happen under various conditions.

            A theory is a set of statements, including laws and hypotheses, that explains a group of observations or phenomena in terms of those laws and hypotheses. A theory thus accounts for a wider variety of events than a law does. Broad acceptance of a theory comes when it has been tested repeatedly on new data and been used to make accurate predictions.

            Theories aren't facts. Theories don't get proved right...a good one just doesn't get proved wrong for a long time.


      4. mike2R
        Thumb Down

        Re: Self-contained in your madness.

        "I believe there is no God" - a statement of faith.

        Not necessarily. I'm fully willing to believe there are atheists who are so convinced of their position that they reject even the possibility of a God. The fact that I've never met or even heard of one doesn't matter. I'm sure you can find one somewhere in this big world of ours (although you might explain to them that they should really call themselves an antitheist rather than an atheist).

        But your normal atheist will say "I believe there is no God" in the same way he would say "I believe that your asthmatic three-legged horse will not win the Grand National". It isn't a statement of faith, simply an opinion on probability. It is _possible_ that your horse will win, it is just that, based upon the available evidence, it is very very very unlikely.

        1. copsewood

          @mike2R: presumption unsupported by evidence

          "But your normal atheist will say "I believe there is no God" in the same way he would say "I believe that your asthmatic three-legged horse will not win the Grand National". It isn't a statement of faith, simply an opinion on probability."

          Those who use the term "probability" or "improbability" to justify a proposition as "reasonable" should be asked either:

          a. to demonstrate how they calculated their number close to zero (if improbable) or close to one (if probable), showing assumptions, formulae, computations and method

          b. or they can't begin to do this so they should admit that they really don't know.

        2. Kevin 6


          When when people start pestering me on religion I don't use the word believe I just say there is no god (or if they piss me off there is no all knowing sky fairy) ;)

      5. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward


        Don't be a . Every fcuking person on the planet is an atheist. You are too.

        It just happens that i/we are atheists about *your* god. You are an atheist of every *other* god from history.

        There is no need for belief or faith that there is no god.

        1. Handle this!

          That would be...

          ...a YES vote for AV then?

          "Don't be a . Every fcuking person on the planet is an atheist. You are too.

          It just happens that i/we are atheists about *your* god. You are an atheist of every *other* god from history."

      6. Cian

        @Ivor 1

        > "I believe there is no God" - a statement of faith.

        Hmm... perhaps it should be stated as "I don't believe there is a god"

      7. This post has been deleted by its author

      8. Andrew Richards

        @Ivor 1, 13:38

        > "I believe there is no God" - a statement of faith.

        Only because you choose to interpret it that way based on how you've phrased it and conflate belief (as spiritual) and belief (as conclusion of thought).

        Personally, I _think_ there is no God. No faith needed.

        I don't believe (and or think) there's a teapot in orbit with Betrand Russell's name on it either.

      9. Richard Brown

        You don't understand science do you?

        Science requires the postulation of a disprovable hypothesis. The notion of a god is not testable by science because it is based on faith not proof or disproof.

        So from a scientific perspective god is irrelevant.

        And then there is Occam's razor ....

        .... which tends to get rid of the need for a god as there are better explanations (i.e. scientific ones) for the natural phenomenon we see around us.

    2. Elmer Phud

      A Grave Situation

      The Pope needs to be a bit more scientific - gravity doesn't have 'down'. We made that bit up for convenience. He's sort of suggesting that there is a force-field of godness that keeps us mere mortals in place.

      So where the hell does the devil hang out if god's keeping us here on earth?

      Sweet Jayzus, I'm so glad hiswotsitness has the answers, this 'science' thing really is diffcult.

    3. Kevin Bailey

      Recent scientific discoveries...

      ...point to the existence of alternative universes and some kind of design to the universe we're in.

      I'm afraid your Newtonian view of a cold, clockwork universe is outdated - science itself is leading us to some very strange ideas about the universe. Science still can't explain gravity properly as one example. See 'the Quantum self' by danah zohar for example.

      If ever you're in real big need of help then try praying - you might be surprised.

      1. Someone Else Silver badge

        Geez ... Gravity's **easy**

        The earth sucks!

        (You people are soooo superstitious....)

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Recent scientific discoveries...

        "If ever you're in real big need of help then try praying - you might be surprised."

        You can spend your life grovelling on your knees in the misguided hope that some hate filled mythical being will listen to your whining rather than damn you to everlasting torture on a whim.

        I prefer to live my life in reality and solve my problems like a grown up.

        Oh and that help you pray for, had any replies lately?

    4. The atheist
      Jobs Horns

      Shades of Galileo

      Didn't this Nazi pope's predecessors try this same BS on Galileo many centuries ago. Of course like any politician, when in trouble (did he mention in his pronouncement on gravity anything about covering up priestly pedifiles) deflect by confusion with some saintly edict. This ex Nazi needs to get a serious day job!!!

    5. Anonymous Coward

      Lay off everyone

      Fact: There is absolutely nothing that proves that the existence of God, by whatever name, can't exist. In fact, it's quite easy to reconcile the belief in a higher power with our current scientific knowledge.

      Faith: There can't be a God because our science can explain everything.

      Fact: The universe is an infinitely complex place. The odds against it even coming into existence randomly are astronomical. So much so in fact that it requires a 'many worlds' theory to account for the very existence of our planet. That taken into consideration, atheism and and belief in a higher power require approximately equal amounts of faith.

      Now, if we can all behave like civilized, modern men instead of like the barbaric civilizations of yore that felt the need to belittle and attack everyone who didn't share their faith I'm sure it would be greatly appreciated by all.

      Kudos to Ivan for having the balls to openly point out the extremely erroneous thinking that leads one to believe that faith is foolish. Now I'll just take my coat and go before you all descend into adolescent name calling and frothy rage at the thought that someone intelligent enough to be reading El Reg can still accept the possibility of a higher power.

      1. Rattus Rattus

        re: Lay off everyone

        "So much so in fact that it requires a 'many worlds' theory to account for the very existence of our planet. That taken into consideration, atheism and and belief in a higher power require approximately equal amounts of faith."

        Not remotely. The odds for the existence of an Earthlike world are pretty good actually. The odds of the universe itself coming into being? We don't know. We don't have enough information. You really can't infer anything from that. And "we don't know" DOES NOT mean "God did it," it only means we don't yet know, and don't know if we can ever know.

        Besides, even if "God did it," that just turns the question into "So where did God come from then?" Any answer to that can just as easily be applied to the beginning of the universe in the same way, without any need to invoke a "God" in the first place.

        Equal amounts of faith? Not hardly. The God-botherers are the ones postulating the existence of a God in the first place, it's up to them to find hard evidence that he exists. The rest of us simply have more useful things to do. We don't need to prove nonexistence.

        1. kjdavies

          Odds of existence

          "The odds for the existence of an Earthlike world are pretty good actually. The odds of the universe itself coming into being? We don't know."

          In fact, we *do* know the odds of the universe coming into being: 1. It happened. There is no *chance* of it being, it *is*.

          As a matter of fact, given the evidence available you can conclude that a universe cannot fail to be created -- to date, all known universes exist, there are none that failed to come into being.

      2. Shakje

        Ok, let's just go over this simply

        1. Reconcile is the important word. It's possible to reconcile the belief that Zeus causes lightning by flinging bolts from the sky, but when you have to reconcile a belief you shouldn't be asking "how can I make this fit in with the real world", you should be asking "could it just be that that belief is wrong?" The fun thing about believers is that the second question almost never gets asked, and mostly, I've found, when they do ask themselves it they either go off on an extremist tangent (i.e. proper fundy) or lose their faith. I'm not a fan of anecdotal evidence, but the above is more impressive than evidence for prayer.

        2. You know what? It'd be nice if there was a benevolent god up there, I just don't think it's likely, and I find it even more unlikely that it's the Judeo-Christian one, and quite frankly I wouldn't want it to be anyway, he's a pretty horrible god, not very far removed from his warlike bronze age roots. Saying that something is so complicated therefore conjecture A must be right is utterly ridiculous. If you don't see this, just replace it with something else that humans have created. Computers are ridiculously complicated, therefore God. See why it's silly?

        3. The universe isn't infinitely complex.

        4. The universe is here, just because we haven't explained it yet doesn't mean we should assume god. Tell you what, show me one piece of evidence that isn't revelatory, doesn't mention complexity or isn't a thinly veiled argument against scientific reasoning that god exists based on the formation of the universe and I'll convert if it's actually reasonable.

        5. Why do you think that the many worlds theory is bizarre? I don't get this at all. Yes it's counter-intuitive, but that doesn't make it wrong. In one of those recent sciencey programmes on BBC4 the guy went to a lab where they supercooled a liquid so that it could pass through a stopper. Is that intuitive? Or how about quantum tunnelling or quantum entanglement? Is that intuitive? Do you deny that it occurs? Goodness, you believe in something that your own revelatory text says can't be explained, yet you think that is more natural and intuitive than a many worlds outlook? If the many worlds outlook explains all the evidence, why not use it as a framework? Look at it this way, the Bible says that Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead. Which is more intuitive, that it's a flat out lie, plain wrong, or that Jesus was actually the Son of an immeasurably powerful being who knows everything, sees everything, and changes the course of history once in a while.

        6. "That taken into consideration, atheism and and belief in a higher power require approximately equal amounts of faith." This is ridiculous. Do you put more or less effort in cultivating your belief in a god than your belief that fairies do not exist? How often do you spend each day considering your belief that fairies do not exist? See where I'm going?

        7. "modern men instead of like the barbaric civilizations of yore that felt the need to belittle and attack everyone who didn't share their faith" Presumably you mean the Israelites under the command of the Judeo-Christian god. Take your god out of our schools, our science, and our politics and I'll consider it.

        8. I do believe that faith is foolish if it's something that has no real basis. I would call someone a fool if they told me that they had faith the world was flat, or if they told me that they had faith that Santa was coming (and they were over the age of about 7), or if they told me that they had faith that a voice in their head had told them something. I have faith that time will continue going forward, but there's a very good reason for that. Unquestioning faith in something that leads to framing unrelated events and discarding anything that might disagree with your belief is foolish, there's no question of that.

  2. Sarah Davis

    supporters of ancient fantasy, wrong again !!

    "become "like God". " - why set your sights so low ?

    God can't fix my computer, but i can

    1. BristolBachelor Gold badge


      You are being too narrow minded. Those who embrace god never need to fix their computer because it never goes wrong!

      Or alternatively, they just need to pick it up and shake it upside-down to re-boot and then twiddle the two grey knobs again until they get the picture that they had before. (with acknowledgement to Dilbert)

      1. takuhii
        Thumb Up


        The Etch-a-sketch approach to fixing a PC LOL!!

      2. Chad H.

        @ Bristol

        So those closest to gods... Use a mac?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Jobs Halo

          No no no no no...

          God designed the mac...

      3. Paul_Murphy

        Not quite there..

        >Those who embrace god never need to fix their computer because it never goes wrong!

        I would imagine* that it's more likely that the computer is working the way that God wants it to, it's all part of his plan and it is not likely that a humble being such as a user would understand why anyway.


        *cos lord knows I don't intend to actually think about it.


      4. Someone Else Silver badge


        No, no, no! You're really missing the point. Those who embrace god will never need (nor use) a computer...because they **know* whatever answer they already have to a question or issue is automatically right.

        (ref. evangelicals, Tea Baggers, Taliban, Whazzits Armadinnerjacket, etc. and you're soon see my point)

    2. Anonymous Coward


      "God can't fix my computer, but i can"

      and you know what God can and cannot do, how exactly?

      1. mike2R


        A dead guy said so a couple of thousand years ago. If you can't trust a two millennia old stiff, his chroniclers several centuries later, and various successive sets of partisan translators, who can you trust?

  3. Anonymous Coward

    praise the lord !

    Just curious: is this the pope with the shady past that doesn't seem to register that his staff has an issue with staying away from kids ? Did he mention anything about this in that Mass ?

    For the record: I live in Belgium, I'm baptized (tradition, apparently) but my kiddo's are not. I've heard that in the near future we'll be able to mention on our tax forms which religion (if any) we want our tax euro's go to, and I can't wait for the day that happens.

    I have no issue with religion (in moderation), but I wouldn't mind if the Vatican encountered 3 of the apocalyptic Horsemen (not Death, he would be too nice. I read Pterry's works, so I am biased. As for War: maybe better send his wife).

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Popes should have a GCSE in science

    "like God"

    Actually, better than God: he doesn't exist, and I stubbornly do, so I win.

    "we can fly (...) yet the force of gravity which draws us down is powerful"

    Well, electro magnetism is a lot more powerful, so does that mean that God used his weakest force to keep us on earth, only to eventaully see us flying? Slap your forehead God! You should have put more iron in our blood, and a bigger magnet in earth's core!

    1. Fredrick Smith

      Exist ?

      Are you sure ? I thought I'd made you up.

    2. Annihilator


      I was surprised he chose gravitation as the "powerful" example. Or maybe that's his point, that even "God's" weakest force can defeat us ;-)

      "The Lord is veangeful. Oh Spiteful One, show me who to smite, and he shall be smoten!" - H. Simpson

      1. DavCrav


        "I was surprised he chose gravitation as the "powerful" example. Or maybe that's his point, that even "God's" weakest force can defeat us ;-)"

        Probably because he's never heard of the others.

    3. Ru

      Least powerful force?

      There are quite a few examples in nature of where gravitational attraction exceeds electromagnetic repulsion. Neutron stars and black holes, for starters.

      1. Richard 12 Silver badge

        Gravity doesn't even exist, you know.

        It's the curvature of spacetime, not a force of attraction - ask Einstein.

        You fall down because space is bent.

        (Also the Strong Force is much stronger than electromagnetism. Hence the name.)

      2. Random Glitch


        I think they meant in their smallest measurable amount a Photon is 6 x 10 -39 stronger than a Graviton(?)

        It's possible the Papal schools don't cover the fundamental interactions in particle physics.

        1. Anonymous Coward

          Education these days

          National curriculum ftw.

  5. albaleo

    Man should abandon hopes of being like God...

    ...because no matter how hard we try, we'll never achieve his level of malevolence and ironic humour.

  6. Anonymous Coward

    You can tell they're getting desperate

    You know that it's the beginning of the end when christians start relying on something that they previously regarded as heresy to prove that their god exists!

  7. Graham Marsden

    "Man should abandon hopes of being like God...

    "...if he wants to have a relationship with God."

    So Man should abandon hopes of being like someone's mythical sky fairy in order to "have a relationship" with said mythical sky fairy?

    I sense a circular argument here...

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Man / Woman / God

      Surely this is proof God must be a woman.

      Man and God could not have a relationship if God was male.

      1. corwin

        Bible proves god is male

        I had reason to read Leviticus 18 in the King James variant of the

        Christian bible. L-18 is the chapter the anti-homosexual people point to. It

        bans the following three combinations.

        1) man on man

        2) man on animal

        3) woman on animal

        Does not say a thing about woman on woman. The christian god must be a guy:)

        1. A J Stiles

          I've never understood this

          See, this is something I've never understood: Why do so many heterosexual guys object so strongly to gay men (who pose a negative threat to them; the more gay guys there are in the world, the more women there are left to go around the het guys), yet practically embrace the thought of gay women (who are competing directly with them for the same resource)?

          Beer, because there's no cake icon.

    2. Ivor 1

      Sky fairy?

      I think maybe you made that description up yourself didn't you?

      Where on earth did you get these ideas? God lives in the sky? The devil carries a gardening implement?

      I think maybe you just sleep easier when you can write it all off as childish mythology?

      1. Graham Marsden

        @Ivor 1

        "I think maybe you just sleep easier when you can write it all off as childish mythology?"

        Err, WTF? What makes you think that I lose any sleep over this at all?

        It's the "believers" who worry because they have been convinced that if they don't do X or say Y or behave like Z that they're they're damned to some Nasty Place(tm) instead of going to some Nice Place(tm)

        PS Try looking at for definitions of "sky fairy" dating back at least 5 years.

      2. Anonymous Coward


        You and all your brethren provide as much evidence as all other childish mythology so why not put it into the same class?

  8. Christoph

    become "like God"?

    Exactly how is someone who doesn't believe in a god supposed to be wanting to become like god?

    Science is about finding out how the universe works by examining and testing it, rather than by taking tribal legends created thousands of years ago as infallible.

    Technology is about building on scientific knowledge to make useful tools.

    Neither of those require any gods in the process.

    1. Gav


      Scientific discoveries in the last 100 years make it appear that humankind are just microscopic, insignificant specks of conciousness, in a unimaginably vast and complex universe.

      The pope's beliefs, on the other hand, have it that we are special favourites of the ultimate big guy, around which all things were created.

      Who has the bigger complex about themselves?

    2. copsewood
      Thumb Down

      Because you've "Gotta Serve Somebody"

      "Exactly how is someone who doesn't believe in a god supposed to be wanting to become like god?"


      We all have it and wanting to become like god is where pride takes us. Being atheists didn't immunise Stalin or Pol Pot.

      1. LaeMing
        Thumb Down

        Being atheists didn't immunise Stalin or Pol Pot.

        And being religeous doesn't immunise the kiddie fiddlers (though in their own minds I'm sure they believe it does).

  9. Tom Chiverton 1


    But gravity isn't powerful. It's the weakest of the four forces. Even the whole mass of the earth pulling down on my sandwich can easily be counter-acted by my arms...

    1. F111F

      For How Long?

      Tell you what, I'll wager your next month's pay you can't keep your arms raised forever, or more probably, more than an hour without external support, ergo, gravity wins and you lose once again.

      Now, apply that to the Pope's message about Man trying to be like God and you're on the right track...

      Mine's the one with the Bible in the pocket...

      1. longbeast

        I'd take that bet.

        I don't know about the original poster, but for a month's pay I'd certainly be willing to hold my arms up for an hour.

        Trying to hold them up forever has a few flaws though, such as the end of the universe, and the fact that I could use that forever to earn more than one month's pay.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I eagerly await...

      ... you throwing the sandwich into orbit!

  10. BristolBachelor Gold badge

    Drugs permitted in Vatican?

    I'm curious. Does this mean that mind-bending substances are allowed in the Vatican? (or do they just turn a blind eye to those rules, as they do to so many others?)

  11. Geeky Monkey

    An interesting interpretation

    To me natural disasters show our technology hasn't progressed far enough and we should stop letting the those who believe fairies hold us back with scaremongering that our behaviour will make the beared sky man angry.

    1. Paul_Murphy

      Yes - but's it's not about what you think is it?

      It's to do with how much longer a parasitic church can extract a free lifestyle from the gullible and ill-educated/ desperate people that believe what the pope says.

      I wonder how long it will be before people and countries refuse to acknowledge the vatican as a sovereign state (or whatever the right wording is) and demand that it behaves itself (you know - like a bank or something) - for starters in handing over their child-abusing leaders and members for fair trial, rather than spending efforts in hiding them.

      Alternatively if they started living as they should (not surrounded by gold and riches), sold all their non-religious items (and by that I mean everything aside from a few churches, relics and a change of clothes) and give their money to the needy.

      The church (and I suspect I am not just talking about the catholic church) should be ashamed of themselves.


      1. copsewood

        The Church is ashamed of itself.

        Started when St Peter came face to face with the fact his denial of Jesus was a betrayal.

        "The church (and I suspect I am not just talking about the catholic church) should be ashamed of themselves."

        The Church is ashamed of itself. Just attend in order to observe a communion service and check what is said and I think that you'll agree the Church is ashamed of itself, as it should be.

        More problems are caused in the world by unrepentant sinners who don't acknowledge they're sinners than by repentant sinners who acknowledge what we are. But you won't make the Church any less bad than it currently is from the outside, e.g. by helping the Church increase on her current level of giving to the poor as you suggest. You'll have to be inside the Church in order to do that, but to go inside from outside you'll have to acknowledge your own sin and your need to turn away from your sin first.

        1. Willington


          Bollocks. We are all thinking people who self-analyse constantly. If I feel that I'm doing something wrong then I stop doing it whereas Catholics tend to accept that they do wrong, confess it, then do it again. The confession absolves them of guilt and assures them a place in Heaven but it doesn't stop them being cunts. Your assertion that I have to go into church to acknowledge my own failings (or as you call it "sin") is complete and utter bollocks. The church does not have the monopoly on morality and it actually offends me to hear this kind of crap from a bunch of pederasts.

          1. longbeast

            Repeating myself.

            I've said this before, and it is worth repeating.

            Personal development of any worth has to start by looking for truth. Trying to be good while you are lying to yourself doesn't work - there are too many ways that it can go wrong.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "become like God"

    I thought God made us in his image? Did I misread something?

    I know he's been lording (or should that be "Lording") it over us ever since with perverse and often contradictory arbitrary limitations but that's because he's patently a sadistic, egomaniac, psychopath.

    1. copsewood

      @ac - why bother ?

      "I thought God made us in his image? ... but that's because he's patently a sadistic, egomaniac, psychopath".

      Why bother insulting someone whom you don't believe exists unless you'd rather have a god made in your image than you being made in His ?

    2. Uncle Slacky Silver badge

      You know when...'ve made God in your own image when he hates all the same things you do.

  13. Flugal

    Oh dear

    There are still grown adults who believe in the supernatural. How embarrasing.

    1. Allan George Dyer

      You can't really blame him..

      it's part of the job description.

      In other news, bears...

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      are you saying

      there is no santa claus?

    3. ArmanX

      I'm wondering...

      What do you define as the supernatural? Let's say, for instance, you decide that anything that is observable, repeatable, and measurable/quantifiable is "natural," and everything else isn't. Obviously, this means that God is "supernatural," as are ghosts, angels, and fairies. Feelings, on the other hand, are observable, repeatable, and measurable, so they are natural, as are microwaves, earthquakes, and indeed, gravity (we don't have to fully explain something for it to be "natural"). Ball lightning? Supernatural. It's been observed and repeated, but in no measurable or quantifiable way. Aliens? Same thing; repeated observations, but in no measurable way. Big bang? It's been measured by the drift of the universe, but it wasn't observed, and it has yet to be repeated, so it's supernatural, too. Evolution? Supernatural; regardless of evidence that exists, there are no creatures today that were observed to evolve. Even fruit flies, with their reproductive cycle of mere days, haven't turned into anything measurably different. Obviously Creationism is supernatural, too, as no one watched it happen. Stage magic? Not supernatural; while no one in the audience can measure or quantify how the tricks are performed, the performer (and possibly some staff) know exactly what's going on.

      Feel free to disagree, of course, but I've yet to hear a better system for classifying "supernatural" and "not supernatural"... and I'm not saying my system is perfect, of course (insert jokes about "not observing your brain," etc.), but it's a decent working definition.

      1. LaeMing

        While I like your definition

        I will argue the evolution point. While historical evolution can't (by definition) be directly observed, the fossil record does a prety good demonstration (yes there are gaps, but not nearly as many as a few decades ago, and while there isn't - and may never be - a direct link between two distanct branches on the life taxonomy tree, there are more than enough clear examples of moderate stretches of evolution).

        For directly observed evolution, I will reference the fruit flies of your own statement, and numerous other lab and wild creatures (particularly ones with a fast lifespan and high reproduction and infant mortality rates).

        To claim no evidence of evolution is, simply, willfull parochialism.

      2. Cpt Blue Bear

        Nice straw man you've got there, did you make it yourself?

        I see what you've done there: you've made up definitions for the purpose of having them fail. A fairly common tactic amongst the cleverer believers in something irrational.

      3. Handle this!

        @ ArmanX - Where would you place...

        the e.coli observable evolution experiments for the last 23 years?

        1. ArmanX
          Thumb Up

          @LaeMing, Handle this!, and Cpt Blue Bear

          @Handle this! and LaeMing - the fruit flies I mentioned (and the e. coli - cool article, by the way, my wife worked with e. coli for a while) easily show micro-evolution, but no macro-evolution. I know, muddying the waters, but the point is that while micro-evolution - changes within a species - has been observed, measured, and repeated, macro-evolution - a new species being formed - has not been observed, repeated, and measured. We don't know how many mutations need to occur until a new species is formed, for instance. Currently, not enough is known about the world around us to fully understand the origin of life; it is, thus, "supernatural," by my definition. I'm not saying evolution is wrong, just that it has yet to be explained.

          @Cpt Blue Bear - If you say so; but I see you've crafted your own in return! How nice! I hear that's a fairly common tactic amongst the cleverer believers in something irrational, but I wouldn't worry.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Why the hell do people even listen to him?

    If I went out on my balcony and started preaching to people about my amazing friend who performs magic tricks, lives in the sky and has a bunch of fairies flying around doing stuff for him I'd be sectioned...Yet this nutter does it and gets hundreds of millions of people to give their money and hang off of every word.

    1. mccp

      The title is required, and must contain letters and/or digits.

      It's the way he tells them.

    2. easyk


      Have you tried doing it while wearing a funny hat?

    3. Long John Brass

      @Micky 1 Re: Why the hell do people even listen to him? #

      What does Lady Gaga have to do with any of this?

  15. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

    I never wanted to be like god

    What is the point of being a piece of fiction argued and fought about for thousands of years. Technology may not have prevented the earthquake in Japan, but neither did the invisible beard in the sky. The pope is half way down a slide into irrelevance. If he wants to draw attention to that by trying to be controversial then he is welcome.

    Our Bread-Maker who art in the kitchen. Morphy Richards be thy name. Thy ping will come, thy work be done on time as it smells good already. Give us this day our daily bread.

    1. A J Stiles

      Die Infidel Heretic Scum!

      How dare you utter the cursed name of M***** R******* in this Forum?! Every right-thinking person knows Panasonic is the One True Bread Maker Maker!

      Hand Grenade of Antioch, for the Holy War effort .....

    2. Willington


      True. And technology never claimed it could stop an earthquake yet God is apparently omnipotent. The difference is that if technology could have prevented said earthquake then it would have done whereas God, if He exists, is a proper bastard.

  16. DPWDC

    What a di*k.

    That is all.

  17. This post has been deleted by its author

  18. John G Imrie

    The Pope Says ...

    Benedict also pointed out that for all Man's resourcefulness, recent natural disasters have highlighted that Man is not all-powerful.

    I'd have thought that this should be a call for us to learn more science so we can try and mitigate these disasters, not less.

    Or is he upset that mankind is using it's ingenuity to try and counteract God's rightful punishment of the heathen Orientals.

    1. farizzle

      and reinforces the ironic nature of God...

      So we should bring down the flood defences, cultivate on the hills ad mountain-sides with no thought for erosion and mudslides, let raging forest fires burn till THEY wish to stop, and switch off all volcano warning systems JUST to appear as sheepish as all those who DO blindly follow that which they assume is the right truth for them?

      Instead, we are to wave bibles at those tsunamis next time eh? Or welcome them with open arms as gifts from on high??

      What happened to "God helps those who help themselves..."?

      Those of certain faiths need to REALLY look around before uttering such gibberish...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        ...and don't forget...

        ... to remove the lightning rods from all the church steeples.

  19. Uncle Slacky Silver badge

    The next time someone asks you if you're a god... say "YES!"

  20. cnapan

    God's tsunami certainly showed us who's boss!

    "Benedict also pointed out that for all Man's resourcefulness, recent natural disasters have highlighted that Man is not all-powerful."

    It's hard to know where to start with this...

    This God who supposedly exists... why did he just do what a made up being would do when a country's people are threatened by killer waves? (i.e. nothing).

    Perhaps he thought that the best way to get people into church and praise him was by killing a few of them off.

    Here's my advice to God:

    1) If you're going to exist, please start having a measurable effect on reality. It would greatly help those people who currently end up on the losing side of arguments when asked to prove your existence.

    2) If you're going to exist, could you *please* sort out all your warring followers? They really can't agree on anything about you. They're all bleating about being your chosen people, and a few of them go around detonating people who don't agree.

    Ta lots,


    1. copsewood

      @cnapan: 2 prayers well received

      "Here's my advice to God:"

      1) If you're going to exist, please start having a measurable effect on reality. It would greatly help those people who currently end up on the losing side of arguments when asked to prove your existence."

      If God chooses to make his existence unprovable to his creatures, does anyone ever "win" or "lose" such arguments ? Like in your appeal, Christians also pray for miracles and occasionally these happen and often they don't. The greatest miracle is something coming out of nothing - us being here to discuss this, but interpretations of "cogito ergo sum" will vary.

      Because we do very badly playing at being god when we do try, the world would be worse if we, rather than God, were to decide which miracles should occur. Sometimes prayed for miracles occurring (e.g. the miraculous and major healing of someone extremely close to me) bolster faith, and sometimes hard-prayed for miracles not occurring (e.g. the expected death last week of a grandchild of close friends after 3 days of very much better than expected life, due to a heart condition diagnosed in the womb) also bolster faith because we should care more about the Kingdom to come (including heaven) than for life here and determined prayer can help focus our minds, our intentions and our help for others into that direction.

      "2) If you're going to exist, could you *please* sort out all your warring followers? They really can't agree on anything about you. They're all bleating about being your chosen people, and a few of them go around detonating people who don't agree."

      Christians and others also say similar prayers to yours daily. But a God who gives us free will is more creative than one who doesn't. So differences of opinion are OK, detonating people isn't. Continue praying along similar lines and maybe you'll believe this prayer with enough determination to become a peacemaker, described by Jesus as "blessed" in the sermon on the mount.

      As to tsunamis and other natural disasters and whether God cares, do you imagine you could have figured out how to go about creating a universe with laws of nature of your choosing, resulting in the evolution of intelligent beings capable of exercising free will and done a better job of it than the universe you observe ?

      1. Anonymous Coward


        "As to tsunamis and other natural disasters and whether God cares, do you imagine you could have figured out how to go about creating a universe with laws of nature of your choosing, resulting in the evolution of intelligent beings capable of exercising free will and done a better job of it than the universe you observe ?"


        Next question

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Ummm just one small flaw in all the arguments so far...

        ... as epitomised by this glorious irrationality.


        Because we do very badly playing at being god when we do try, the world would be worse if we, rather than God, were to decide which miracles should occur.


        If you believe in God then you believe that he is in control of what we try and what we don't try, after all he is all seeing and all knowing. We are created in his image, and with the wisdom he imparted too us. We can only advance as he has planned for us to advance.

        This has to lead us to the following conclusions :-

        We can only be bad at being God because that is Gods plan. Therefore if our bad attempts at being God make the world worse, it is Gods plan that the world should be made worse.

        1. copsewood

          @Dave Dowell

          "This has to lead us to the following conclusions :-

          We can only be bad at being God because that is Gods plan. Therefore if our bad attempts at being God make the world worse, it is Gods plan that the world should be made worse."

          God's plan is not to control us as robots. Free will results in genuine moral choices and consequences. If God's purpose is to be in good relationship with us, why should God want to be in a good relationship with robots ?

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            The title is required, and must contain letters and/or digits.



            God's plan is not to control us as robots. Free will results in genuine moral choices and consequences. If God's purpose is to be in good relationship with us, why should God want to be in a good relationship with robots ?


            Free will doesn't exist in a controlled state, which is what you want us all to believe we exist in. See God controls us by a) creating us in his image and, b) granting us our abilities. Given this he has controlled what we are capable of as a part of his design of us.

            I'm afraid I can't see any evidence supporting God wanting to be in a relationship (good or otherwise) with us at all. In fact if that is Gods aim his distinct lack of making his existance provable is going to be a severe impairment to there being any relationship at all. For example, how did he envisage having a relationship of any kind with the native tribes whom he never even informed of his existance? Like for example any of the Native American Tribes, who were never visited by any prophecies, or the Ancient Egyptians... etc, etc...

  21. TeeCee Gold badge

    "...we can fly!"

    A wholly unexpected ringing endorsement of the value of LSD from the pontiff there!

    Presumably if there is a God, he's now muttering: "You just try it sunshine....".

    1. farizzle


      Walk into a mental health ward and proclaim your ability to fly Mr Pope - we'll soon have you sectioned good and proper!

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So what's his point?

    "Mankind has managed to accomplish so many things: we can fly! We can see, hear and speak to one another from the farthest ends of the earth. And yet the force of gravity which draws us down is powerful."

    So what's his point?

    The statements don't seem related to me. The slightly wonky inclusion of the phrase "And yet" might indicate that he is comparing man's technological advancement with the laws of physics (which aren't exactly comparble) and is suggesting that the force of gravity is actually the force of God, which despite being ludicrus, is nether provable nor dis-provable, par for the course from religious bullshit aimed at people who can't think.

  23. Vladimir Plouzhnikov

    Just a thought

    Are the rules of nature immutable or subject to a whim of God?

    They can easily be subject to God's whim while he is tweaking the program for his new universe creation experiment and then become immutable for that new universe after the apparatus has commenced the Big Bang sequence...

    As to us aspiring to be "like God" - that may be the whole point of the experiment. And when we ourselves will push the button on our own brand new experimental universe creation machine we may receive a congratulatory (or otherwise) trans-universal message from the higher authority.

    And it's not the Church's place to interfere with the divine plan.

    1. Steven Knox

      Wrong question anyway

      "The question of whether the laws of physics are immutable or are the product of a supreme being's whim..." is entirely the wrong question. First off, the two choices aren't mutually exclusive. Second, most modern physics theories tie the laws of physics to "constants" (e.g, the speed of light) which have either been observed or theorized to change.

      The more accurate phrasing of the question would be whether the laws of physics are the result of a random combination of factors or of a unseen driving force. Since those two cases are, from within the system, entirely indistinguishable, science is unable to answer the question. Since they have a vested interest in one answer, religions are unreliable sources to answer the question.

      So if you're looking for a logical position, agnosticism is the way to go. If you want to make a personal choice, choose either way. Just don't try pushing your personal choice (whatever it is) on the rest of us.

    2. copsewood


      "Are the rules of nature immutable or subject to a whim of God?"

      Interesting question. As a believer who is also a scientist I have to admit that I'm uncomfortable about the idea of God breaking His own laws of nature. This depends upon your value for the rules of nature. The existence of randomness as an inherent as opposed to as an emergent property of nature seems very much a matter of faith, and was described as such in an article in "The New Scientist" concerning the nature of randomness several years ago.

      Miracles, (those most credibly described in the Bible and more recently), do seem inconsistent with the second law of thermodynamics as this is conventionally understood, but the 2nd law is probabilistic and not certain. This understanding might define miracles as inherently improbable events, as opposed to as scientifically impossible events. But if there is no such thing as randomness (other than as an article of faith or as an emergent as opposed to underlying property of nature) then our understanding of what is probable and improbable has to be taken with a pinch of salt anyway when considering reported miracles if we are to be cautiously skeptical while not closed minded.

      Perhaps randomness as we normally understand this occurs during the allegorical 7th day of creation when God rests. Interestingly also, the 2nd law also governs the only physical transformations which give time any forward direction, i.e. by making events irreversible in time and by doing so giving the universe a start and an end, an Alpha and Omega.

    3. amanfromearth
      Gates Halo

      Whim of God of course

      Have you ever studied quantum mechanics.

      The beardy git is having a laugh...

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Gravity proves technology can't supplant God...

    ...Yet. I give it another 150 years.

  25. takuhii


    Wasn't Gravity purported to actually be quite a weak force? BEHOLD the lowly fridge magnet, see how even it escapes gravity's mighty pull. ALL HAIL... THE LOWLY FRIDGE MAGNET!!!

  26. Forget It

    Genesis 3.5

    Just saying you don't believe in God is saying that you want to take his place

    (translated as "to be like God/s")

    See this bit of Genesis 3.5 (kjb)

    For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be

    as gods, knowing good and evil.

  27. Is it me?

    For a bit of balance

    I actually have no problem whatsoever in reconciling my faith in God and science, and neither do the vast majority of my fellow parishioners.

    And as I believe in God, I can't see why anybody would really want to be like him, would you really want to have to deal with all that moaning and grumbling from your believers. Ok it might be cool to zap your enemies with a thought, be adored by the multitude, create new and strange lifeforms and watch live sex whenever you feel like it, but just remember, if you can be god-like, so can everyone else, or at least the rich.

    1. Ross 7


      "and watch live sex whenever you feel like it"

      God has the internet?

      1. farizzle


        the broadest broadband of them all!

  28. Matt Bucknall


    "And yet the force of gravity which draws us down is powerful"

    No, it isn't.

    "We can see, hear and speak to one another from the farthest ends of the earth."

    The earth is not flat.

  29. DrDeth

    IF god did exist...

    .. then surely science is merely using what god gave us? God is meant to be omnipotent and omniscient and if he did exist as such, probably wouldn't give his 'children' the means to break his universe - and if he did, then it's by design anyway.

  30. Lamont Cranston

    Am I the only one who thinks that science and religion are not mutually exclusive?

    Or is this forum acting as a front for Richard Dawkins?

    1. Michael H.F. Wilkinson

      Not at all

      Science can prove religion exists!!

      Us staunch atheists are just amused every time the pontiff declares something about science which is patently wrong.

    2. RichyS
      Thumb Down


      Well, the Pope doesn't seem keen.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      When religion can come up with a credible, replicable method of confirming god's existence (i.e. less of the "no, he moves in mysterious ways and cannot be measured by the normal methods"), and that existence is demonstrably confirmed, then science and religion can live hand in hand. Until then they ARE mutually exclusive.

      1. copsewood

        @AC18/4/11 13:39: How small do you prefer god to be ?

        "When religion can come up with a credible, replicable method of confirming god's existence (i.e. less of the "no, he moves in mysterious ways and cannot be measured by the normal methods"), and that existence is demonstrably confirmed, then science and religion can live hand in hand. Until then they ARE mutually exclusive."

        If you'll only believe in a god whom you can measure with our pathetic experiments and prove with our petty little logic then you've defined a god you're willing to believe in as one smaller than yourself, a god cast in your image rather than the other way around.

        Funny, I don't believe in that pitiful god either, and for the same reason I reject William Paley's "god of the gaps". The God I believe in is Lord over what science does understand as well as over what science doesn't understand. You're making the opposite error to Paley, but just as blatant an error as Paley is considered to have made.

        1. Alex 67

          The title is required, and must contain letters and/or digits.

          "If you'll only believe in a god whom you can measure with our pathetic experiments and prove with our petty little logic then you've defined a god you're willing to believe in as one smaller than yourself, a god cast in your image rather than the other way around."

          Ah, interesting. Did you see what you did there? You appear to have defined your god as having no detectable influence on the real world, in any shape or form. Is that what you intended? It's almost as if it doesn't exist. You've also defined it in a way that locks you completely into your belief system. Still if it makes you happy.

          1. copsewood

            @Alex 67: God is effective but unpredictable

            "Ah, interesting. Did you see what you did there? You appear to have defined your god as having no detectable influence on the real world, in any shape or form. Is that what you intended?"

            No. Proof by experiment or logic requires controllability or predictability and not everything is controllable or predictable. Inability to prove doesn't mean the same thing as lacking evidence. History isn't generally repeatable and is often unpredictable, but it accumulates its own evidence and questions about evidence. For Christians the primary evidence of God's effects and influence is the history recorded in the Bible.

    4. Paul_Murphy

      Fact vs faith

      No, you're probably not the only one - my argument would be why is it assumed that religion has a place in society to begin with.

      Since religion had been around for quite some time I say it's time that science is allowed to have a similar time to prove itself - shall we say 3000 years?

      I must admit that the science-version of the inquisition would be pretty boring'

      'believe in gravity...'


      'look - I'll drop this apple'

      'Oh - yeah I guess gravity must exist, fair enough.'


      Why religion is still being followed at all after the middle ages is a mystery to me.


      1. Ru

        @Paul_Murphy, Re: The Scientific Inquisition

        Following in the spirit of the original inquisition, it is clear that those two do not believe in gravity should be hastened off the top of the nearest tall, overhanging structure or landform to ponder their lack of faith on their descent.

        1. Chad H.

          @ Ru/Paul Murphy

          But its not Gravity... Its inteligent falling!

          The Boogey-God wants it all to go down, so it does. And behold the Miracale of God, Harold by thy name.

      2. Oninoshiko

        The Science inquisition?

        The Science inquisition? Sounds like a good name for some of the GW activests...

        The UN Population Fund made a recommendation that global warming should be combated with population controls, despite admitting "The linkages between population and climate change are in most cases complex and indirect"

        how about Jacques-Yves Cousteau?

        "World population must be stabilized and to do that we must eliminate 350,000 people per day."

        or maybe Prince Phillip

        "In the event that I am reincarnated, I would like to return as a deadly virus, to contribute something to solving overpopulation"

        maybe David Bower?

        "Childbearing [should be] a punishable crime against society, unless the parents hold a government license ... All potential parents [should be] required to use contraceptive chemicals, the government issuing antidotes to citizens chosen for childbearing."

        Combined that with 10:10's exploding head video... no, I don't think I want to see the science inquisition, thank you very much.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Faith vs Science

      Proof. Proof is positive. You cannot prove a negative outcome, you can only prove a positive outcome. i.e. you cannot prove that an outcome will not happen, only that it will happen.

      Science is about finding outcomes that are repeatable given a set or parameters - Object A of mas X moves in a straight line until passing Object B of Mass Y and they mutually affect each other. Proven set of circumstances with a predictable repeatable outcome.

      Faith is the other end of the proof slider. Once Science does prove something to be fact, it moves along the slider from faith to science - just the way the Flat Earth believers changed their mind over time (most of them). Every time we discover some new scientific fact we have demystified the universe.

      But it is impossible to prove there is no higher being. (I don't believe there is, but I can't prove it)

    6. veskebjorn

      Donald Knuth agrees with you, as did Newton, as do and did hosts of others

      Donald Knuth, who is Stanford's "Professor Emeritus of The Art of Computer Programming" and arguably the most profound and important programmer ever, is a Lutheran who attends church regularly. He was the long-time substitute church organist at Faith Lutheran when he was a professor at Cal Tech and has been a member of First Lutheran in Palo Alto since he moved to Stanford. He sees no conflict between God and science and has said so a great many times.

      Isaac Newton, the greatest physicist and one of the greatest mathematicians in history, spent more time as a professor of natural philosophy studying and writing about the Bible than he did working on physics. He once said, "I have a fundamental belief in the Bible as the Word of God, written by those who were inspired. I study the Bible daily."

      Georg Cantor, the inventor of set theory and the (to me, still almost completely inexplicable) transfinite numbers, was another faithful Lutheran.

      Francis Collins is both a chemist and medical doctor . He led the first group that was able to identify the specific gene responsible for a genetic disease (cystic fibrosis). He went on to lead the Human Genome Project, a non-profit organization that competed so successfully with Craig Venter's attempt to privately patent the human genome that Venter's group eventually gave their material freely to the HGP. Collins was responsible for directing and coordinating the efforts of thousands of scientists around the world. He is now director of the U.S. National Instiutes of Health and an evangelical Christian of, I seem to recall, a Methodist bent. Hs has published two significant books about the intersection of God and science. Richard Dawkins, the man who has turned atheism into a profit center, has been rendered all but speechless by Collins on occasion.

      Robert Bakker, the paleontologist who was largely responsible for the current understanding that at least some dinosaurs were warm-blooded and that birds are directly descended from dinosaurs, is an ordained Pentecostal minister.

      Simon Conway Morris is an evolutionary paleobiologist who is the world's leading investigator of the Cambrian period and arguably the most profound evolutionary biologist in the world today. He was an associate of Stephen Gould, and went on to show that Gould's assessment of "the Cambrian explosion [of new life forms]" was largely erroneous. His work in the Burgess Shales and similar deposits in China and elsewhere is a model for the scientists in his field. Morris is a faithful adherent of the Church of England, which is part of the Anglican Communion that, in the U.S., is known as the Episcopal Church. His recent work, "Life's Solution: Inevitable Humans in a Lonely Universe," explains, among other things, why he is not a Deist.

      A full list of prominent religious scientists would include about half of all the prominent scientists in history. Also, remember or learn that most of what the world now knows about Greek and other early science and math is known because faithful Muslims translated scientific manuscripts into Arabic and used these texts as the starting point for their own studies. Somewhat later (and overlapping with the Muslim efforts), Christian monks painstakingly copied ancient manuscripts of all sorts, so as to preserve knowledge and make it available to others.

      No, God does not hate science, but some scientists appear to hate God. I pity those who are spiritually deaf and dumb. As Psalm 115 puts it: " They have eyes, but do not see. They have ears, but do not hear."

      1. Alex 67

        re: Donald Knuth agrees with you, as did Newton, as do and did hosts of others

        You're using an 'appeal to authority' fallacy in your argument. Logically, it adds nothing to the question of whether your god exists or not. If you were born in ancient Greece you'd probably believe in their gods.

        1. Lamont Cranston

          Given that this was a response to

          my question was around the compatablilty of faith and science, and not the existence of god, you would appear to have missed the point.

          If you are Richard Dawkins, can I have £5 for spotting you?

      2. Chad H.

        @ veskebjorn

        Issac Newton also spent a fair bit of his time trying to turn lead into gold. let me know how that works out for you.

  31. RichyS

    Palm Sunday

    Hasn't 'Palm Sunday' now become 'HP Sunday'?

    <-- Mine's the one with a Palm Pilot in the pocket...

  32. DJV Silver badge

    The downvoter

    I'm just amusing myself trying to imagine what colour of 'beetroot' the down-voter's face was going as he/she/it down-voted the list of anti-Pope comments above...

  33. Blubster

    Mankind has managed to accomplish so many things:.....

    .. we can fly!

    No thanks to the early papists who stifled science and invention under the threat of torture and death thus slowing down progress. Even in the face of positive proof (that the earth travelled around the sun for example) they refused to accept the truth of things in favour of dogma.

  34. Anonymous Coward

    I dunno...

    "Instead, Man should abandon hopes of being like God, if he wants to have a relationship with God."

    These priests will try and shag anything...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      Everything except women it seems...

      1. wibbilus maximus


        They still don't want them as priests so i guess they are trying to fuck them in other ways

  35. Nathan 13

    Title reqd

    Breaking news "Pope talks bollocks for umpteenth time"

  36. Blubster

    @AC 12:33

    "For the record: I live in Belgium"

    You poor bastard.

  37. The Nameless Mist

    Let him try ....

    .. travelling on foot / riding / sailing from the Vatican to the UK.

    then travelling through the UK on foot /riding and standing in a large field and preaching to the masses without the aid of any sound systems.

    THEN he can start bitching about techology.

    Until then can the god-squad leader in chief please STFU.

  38. adnim


    Gravity proves that gravity exists and that eating all the pies will make one heavy. Following the 'logic' of the Pope, I am of the opinion that the existence of clouds proves that god, should it exist, cannot make rain without them and is therefore not omnipotent.

    To suggest that the mere existence of gravity is enough to prove that technology cannot supplant god is taking a huge leap of faith.

  39. F111F

    Greeks Once More and Forever It Seems

    Maybe we should make interchangeable the "Greeks" of old and the "geeks" of today...

    1 Corinthians 1:18-25, and 1 Corinthians 2: 6-8

  40. Ian Davies

    This is the same pope...

    ...who goes everywhere behind 3 inches of bulletproof plexiglass?

    There's faith for you. </billhicks>

  41. WonkoTheSane

    As seen on the side of a London bus...

    Science can fly man to the moon.

    Religion can only fly him into buildings.

    1. copsewood

      @WonkoTheSane: do your homework

      The idea about it being worthwhile to discover pre-existing laws of nature didn't come from atheists or pagans who believe in an essentially random and disordered universe. It did arise from the idea that natural laws exist if nature has a lawgiver.

      So it's hardly a coincidence that modern science as we now understand this originated in Protestant societies once it started being decided that people who ask interesting questions about the laws of nature should be encouraged to ask and test questions about nature rather than have their heads chopped off as heretics or dissidents.

      The fact that power mad idiots deliberately kill those they disagree with is nothing new and lacking religion didn't prevent Stalin and Pol Pot amassing greater body counts than those claiming religion as a motive for murder.

  42. Identity

    OK, let's start an argument...

    No problem reconciling for me. I believe in "God by definition:" everything that exists and the organizing principle thereof is God. We try to understand this via science. As such, God does not micromanage the affairs of a few puny mammals in some corner of the Universe.(cf: religion)

    BTW, "a red rag might when waved before the proverbial bull" — presumably a Papal bull?

    1. Alex 67

      re: OK, let's start an argument...

      Well it's not a very useful god then. If it doesn't get involved with the affairs of mankind ('puny mammals' I assume) then really what *is* the point of believing in it? The god would just be fairly pointless. ergo, nothing to reconcile.

  43. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Blar blar blar

    Blar blar blar blar, im just going to jump in here and stick up for all the negative button pushes to all these semi anti god posts

    we're all to stupid to understands Gods great plan

    there we go, no one needs to argue any more as thats impossible to counter, now for all you God preachers out there i would really apprechate it if you just said that and cut down on all the other guff some folk like to go on about, same for you Mr Pope, no one can argue with that wee line so just say it and be done, i hate to think of all the trees and bytes wasted by trying to argue this one way or the other when in actual fact its not going to make the blindest bit of difference

    So what ever you believe pick one of the following

    A, If you believe, be kind and if you must go on about it, then tell other people my wee quote up there

    B, if you dont believe, be kind and except my wee quote up there as truth and get on with you life

    C, for everyone else, be kind and a bit more decisive, then see above


    1. Trokair 1

      Yes I can.

      "we're all to stupid to understands Gods great plan

      there we go, no one needs to argue any more as thats impossible to counter,"

      God can't have a plan because he doesn't exist.


      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        no no no

        you all missed my point, i dont believe he exists but there is no point arguing because no one can prove it either way, so if they say we are all as human beings to stupid to understand, they are happy because we cant counter it and we are happy because we all know its a load of bollocks.

        Blimey, i know was subtle but i didnt think i needed to spell it out!


    2. Dave Gregory


      Why would we accept something as the the truth, if by believing it we had to presuppose the existence of something we do not believe in?

      "we're all to stupid to understand god's great plan"

      Bollocks, mate. There is no god, no plan. Go on. One shred of proof, just one, and you can change the world forever.

  44. James Micallef Silver badge

    Replace god???

    i AM god!!

    1. Chad H.


      No I am god.

      No wait, I'm spartacus. Sorry, I always get those two muddled up.

      1. The Fuzzy Wotnot


        I'm Brian and so is my wife!

        Oh wait...

  45. Stephane Mabille

    Natural disasters


    So the Pope use natural disasters as a proof that human is not that powerful...

    Let me use the same natural disasters argument to prove wrong the base of Christianity:

    "God is good and almighty".

    With a bit of logic at least one of the three propositions don't hold:

    - God is

    - God is good

    - God is almighty

    Back to worshipping Cthulhu (at least he's not good) and/or the Flying Spaghetti Monster.

    1. Chad H.


      Isn't the story of Noah interesting...

      Let's pretend for a moment the bible is literally true, and the story of Noah happened the way the bible says (and wasn't ripped off from a Persian story).

      God gets annoyed, and drowns everyone but one family and a boat load of animals.

      God realises his mistake and creates the rainbow as recompense.

      If god is all knowing, god would have known beforehand he'd regret it; genocide is a bad act; ergo god is either not all knowing, or not good.

      If god is all powerful, he could undo the mistake, ctrl-z, do a superman reverse spin trick; god did not even though he acknowledged the mistake; ergo god is not all powerful, or not good.

  46. Anonymous Coward

    The worst type of preacher

    I'm not sure who annoys me more. When I walk down the high street and a semi lunatic shouts out "Have you heard the word of God my son?" I cringe and hope he is shouting at some other poor soul.

    It's annoying and its intruding on other peoples lives. It is ok to have your own beliefs but to try and force them on others is an intrusion.

    On the other hand, the worst preachers are the atheists who absolutely insist that there is no God and that you are stupid for believing there is one. They will spend a day happily listing all the reasons why you are stupid and try to convert you to atheism.

    The difference between the two is that the believer genuinely wants to help you, he wants to spread the word but the atheist is driven by a need to be right. On this forum whenever there is a faith article everyone comes out of the woodwork and posts against faith because they believe that not believing in God is a sign of intelligence and that believing in God is a sign of stupidity.

    What all of you forget to realise is that you are attacking a persons faith. For many people it is an incredibly important part of their lives. It means that their parents or lost son are now safe with God. It means that their loved ones always have someone watching over them. Why is it ok for you to take that away from people?

    1. Keith 21

      Not really, no.

      "What all of you forget to realise is that you are attacking a persons faith. For many people it is an incredibly important part of their lives. " says oliver8.

      So what?

      For many people, alcohol is an incredibly important pasrt of their lives.

      For many people, illegal drugs are an incredibly important part of their lives.

      Shall we refuse to suggest that alcoholics need treatment and that drug abusers ( mean those fucked up by heroin etc, not the occasional spliff smoker) don't need treatment and we shoudl never warn people of the problems?

      Just because people are too weak-willed and develop a dependancy on alcohol / heroin / religion does NOT mean it is a Good Thing and that its considerable dangers shoudl not be brought to everyone's attention.

      1. Charles 9

        Think Prohibition.

        People seem more willing to declare war on their COUNTRY than to declare war on their VICE. In certain aspects, some people simply cannot be reasoned with.

    2. Andrew Richards

      @oliver 8

      [snip ... unusually intelligent question about benefit of religion ... snip]

      > Why is it ok for you to take that away from people?

      It's a progression of understanding. If someone wants to believe that thunder is a result of something being upset with them then an understanding of weather might serve to improve their lives.

      But, as you're inferring, this type of belief needn't do anyone else harm. However, organised religion can be seen to be divisive and dangerous. E.g. views on homosexuality and contraception.

      As an atheist I'm happy for those with belief to believe what they want. However, if it's dogmatic and at some level serves to screw up (and historically organised religion has had a steam-roller elemenet to it with respect to contrary belief) the world then I have a problem with it and reserve the right to point out bigotry, incosistency and irrationality where I see it.

      I don't think you're an idiot if you have faith: I think you're wrong. And in some cases that wrongness can impinge on other people's wellbeing in quite devastating ways. (Which is a broad generalisation - your post I read as an intelligent one and this reply isn't ad-hominen ranting in anyway.)

    3. EyeCU

      Replace Believer with Psychic

      Is it OK that they continue to pretend to talk to peoples dead friend/relatives if they genuinely want to help? They provide a good service because they give desperate people hope that they will see their loved ones again? How about for those that a psychic is an incredibly important part of their life and won't do anything without consulting one first. Is it right that these so called psychics continue to get rich by preying on the gullible and weak?

      Or are they just scumbags who want to make money with as little effort as possible? That they actually hinder not help those who pay them as they don't allow the grieving process to follow its natural cycle of pain then acceptance. They deny their followers the right to move on with their lives withg the promise that one day everything will carry on as before?

      Priests, Vicars, Imams, Psychics whatever you want to call them are a best self-deluded fools and at worst know what they are saying is a lie and definite scumbags.

    4. amanfromearth

      because my deluded friend

      once you start cosying up to those christians, the next thing is they have your sons in the choir .. and guess whats next..

    5. heyrick Silver badge

      @ oliver 8

      Bollocks. I've listened to enough preachy crap from a variety of groups, and while it is framed in the context of "we are trying to help you", it is the same self-important power trip, namely "I am right, you are wrong". Just ask the next Jehovah's Witness you see what is the correct way to refer to God and you'll maybe reach an enlightenment.

      You are, oddly enough, attacking your own argument. Quote: "believer genuinely wants to help you, he wants to spread the word" and quote: "What all of you forget to realise is that you are attacking a persons faith". We *all* have a faith. That faith may be God (in various guises), it may be Mother Nature, it may be a strong belief that religion is a crock, it may be faith in scientific principle. Some of us might not even know what exactly our faith is. For somebody to come along and "spread the word" is, frankly, not much different to a committed athiest explaining why it is all really rather silly. Both are attacking what you believe, and the principles that define you and guide you in your day-to-day life. Why is is okay for somebody to try to take that away from people?

      Indeed religion is an important part of people's lives. Some for good reasons, some for very evil reasons. However I fear the whole thing about "<relative> is safe with God" is nothing more than a convenient delusion. Expecially that part about loved ones have somebody to watch over them. Excuse me? They're dead. They don't need nannying.

    6. Stu who?

      aye right

      So a believer is trying to help me? Only in the context of his own delusion. Islamists spout their venom, hate Christians, Jews (the People of the Book), atheists (me) but above all apostates, (people who disagree with them or renounce some trivial notion of the one true faith etc)

      Islam is comfortable with conversion by force ( on threat of death) and has not, like its more urbane, of late, predecessor Christianity, recently invented faith by choice.

      When a pope spoke to god and pronounced infallibly that the medieval superstition surrounding the assumption of the virgin was a true creed to be believed unquestioningly, was he therefore trying to help anyone roasting in a fire for dissent?

      Now we know that heaven is not literally up there above the clouds, where exactly did the not-to-be corrupted corpse of Mary actaully head when it reached the exosphere? Orbit? Still going?Like a holy Energizer Bunny swinging around perihelion into the void?

      Atheist proselitysation does exist I grant you, since I do it myself :-) is not about certainty or claimed intelligence. Its about altruism - the same instinct that has me help a stranger or rescue anyone in trouble, give my change to winos or a charity. I just want them freed from the narrow minded controlling influence of religions that justify everything from fatwahs to paedophilia, corruption and political interference that organised Squad seem so keen to promote.

      I attack no one's faith - I just point out they don't share it, exactly the same, with any one other person. Most cannot articulate what they believe in or not and accept with a shrug that the inconsistencies are behind much evil in the world but they are pretty sure there is "someone" or "something else" out there. Really? And He (with a penis then?) approves of Inquisitions? Auto da Fe? Martyrdom?Purgatory? Original Sin? Papal authority? She (boobs?) disapproves of abortions, gays, proven facts like an ancient earth (~4 billion years old), or natural selection, or the solar system, etc. etc.

      The questioning intelligence absent in true believers is indeed scary, but the lack of critical thinking and evident wishful thinking in Dawkins' "benign herd" that support religiosity are far more dangerous phenomena abroad than any that the nutters exhibit.

      If you must think of your dead relatives as with you in a spiritual way and that gives you comfort or you talk to them in your head - go for it. However you don't say that. You use 3rd party grammar for such people. Dare I say it is because you don't believe it, yourself even though you wish it true? Your attitude then is revealed as one of the shepherds, aloof from the flock, claiming humility but behaving disingenuously. An episcopalian, a mullah, a guru or a witch doctor you reveal it is you that considers yourself better and you need a compliant congregation to exploit and maintain your self importance. Not me. I just like an argument.

      1. heyrick Silver badge

        Like a Holy Energiser Bunny

        That has given me a vision that has totally made my day. Wheeeee!

  47. Anonymous Coward

    Matthew 5:5

    Blessed are the geeks: for they shall inherit the earth

  48. Anonymous Coward

    Teach the controversy!

    We know that this so-called 'theory' of gravity must be flawed because it contradicts the theory of quantum mechanics! This world-wide conspiracy of scientists must not be allowed into the classrooms to brainwash our innocent children - Instead, they should be taught the Divine Truth of Intelligent Falling!

  49. Anonymous Coward
    IT Angle

    I avoid church religiously...

    When the church censured Galileo and put him under forced arrest the church lost me. To stay in power by keeping your followers ignorant is the same reason Libya is in revolution today.

    The Crusades (including the Childrens' Crusade of 1212), the Inquisition and too many cases of modern child abuse keep me from believing in anything but cynicism. Religious zealots follow the same ignorance path today by only allowing the Bible or the Quran and no other books to be read in their schools. Oh and some say women are not allowed to be taught anything either.

    To those who want God in their lives then all the best; but God is not the only facet of life and religion should be taught in conjunction with the rest of mankind (and womankinds) complied knowledge of the ages.

    Too many past wars have been fought in God's name. Yet, all three of the major religions have that pesky "Thou shalt not kill" thingie. Another hard pill to swallow for me.

    1. F111F

      You Didn't Know Galileo...

      Just how old are you that the church "lost" you when Galileo was put under house arrest? Also, you might want to reconsider why Galileo was put under house arrest...not because he was right, but because he couldn't prove it. He was given the opportunity to explain his proof, but utterly failed to do so, because Galileo didn't have the maths to prove his version was incontrovertible. However, he WAS an arrogant fool who believed he could go about teaching whatever he wanted. It was for his insistence on teaching what he couldn't prove that Galileo was put under house arrest.

      Next, I would argue every institution and every nation has it's share of scofflaws, murderers, lunatic leaders, and insanity. That is the nature of man. And, unfortunately, the Church on Earth is also run by man, who sometimes errs, commits greivous crimes, etc. Yet, the Church continues to stand and thrive for good people do step up and work hard to rid the Church of such evil that plagues the rest of mankind. It's a never-ending fight and one that will continue until the Second Coming (whenever that is). So, don't blame God for the work men do. Going further, you might as well give up on everything ever attempted anywhere at anytime by man--science, literature, government, art, industry, family, the internet, The Reg, etc just because someone, somewhere did something bad in each of man's endeavours.

      I suspect, if you count, many more wars have been fought over territory, title, power, etc, than over religion.

      As for the ""Thou Shalt Not Kill" thingie"--it's actually "murder", as in illegally taking a life.

      1. John G Imrie


        It was for his insistence on teaching what he couldn't prove that Galileo was put under house arrest.

        Arrest the Pope then.

      2. Stu who?

        epicycles and ex cathedra tosh

        What nonsense you talk. Galileo had his book (which claimed only a mathematically superior predictive calculus could be had for planetary motion if one supposed the Copernican hypothesis - and this only as the winning dialogue in a fictional debate among the ancients) pre-approved by the Vatican. Publishing in his day being more than just printing a pdf to a wireless laser printer, he was undone by a change of Pope and a new guard seeing heresy in his work. Or more probably an "oops he's right" moment.

        Thirteen years of house arrest and an apology from Rome in the 1990s are not the behaviour of an institution certain in its faith and confident to inform reality. Notwithstanding Galileo's personal foibles, we know he was correct and was wickedly abused by the same authority whose permission to publish he had sought and obtained. That'll teach him huh?

        Your incoherent God, man, Church rant appears to excuse the excesses of Religion with the notion that other people than the religious do bad stuff too so the church must be good? Because it says so? Even as anointed pederasts and official cover-ups are brushed aside with untold millions of dollars of cash controlled by God's anointed vicar on earth? Bull.

        No-one needs God to come up with right and wrong. It's in our DNA. We know, even as we cheat.

    2. copsewood

      @AC 18/4/11 15:26

      "When the church censured Galileo and put him under forced arrest the church lost me."

      Followed by the usual list of evils trotted out as done in the name of religion. So when Stalin exterminated a few million slave workers in Siberia did this put you off athiesm ? Do you know what Stalin did to the geneticists who didn't agree with Lysenkoism ?

      Not a very good argument against atheism is it ? If not, then neither is yours against theism in general or Christianity in particular.

      1. Chad H.

        @ Copsewood

        Ah, the old "But the other boy did it too" argument. What a sure way to reclaim the moral high ground.

        Oh Wait.

  50. Antoinette Lacroix

    Gravity ?

    What a blasphemous thought.. It's a well know fact that the Flying Spaghetti Monster pushes us down with his noodly appendages..

  51. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge


    >The pope's beliefs, on the other hand, have it that we are special favourites of the ultimate big guy,

    Only us catholics - the rest of you he can't stand!

  52. The Fuzzy Wotnot

    Want to know the truth?

    Get hold of "Old Harry's Game" by Andy Hamilton, explains all you need to know about Christian religion and what a nice and misunderstood guy Satan really is!

    "40% of American's believe in angels! Angels! What are you fucking stupid?" - George Carlin

  53. Fading

    I don't believe in the Higgs-Boson!

    I believe gravity is a merely a consequence of spin (waveform collapse into particle spin). As I don't believe in a God particle should I expect a Cern inquisition?

  54. Charles 9

    Scientific Laws = Articles of Scientific Faith.

    Believe it or not, what we call science itself has fundamental bases which we can neither prove nor disprove. They're simply ASSUMED to be true. If you don't believe me, ask someone to provide concrete proof of such concepts as the conservation of matter (or of energy), the Newtonian concepts of force and inertia, and so on. It made interesting reading to my Religion professor.

    1. Alex 67

      re: Scientific Laws = Articles of Scientific Faith

      Er, no, they don't assume them to be true. They (the scientists) come up with testable hypothesis about the data that's been gathered. If the preponderance of evidence supports the hypothesis then the hypothesis may become a theory. Like the theory of gravity for instance. If there isn't sufficient evidence then it remains a hypothesis. And here's the important part; if new evidence comes to light then the theory is either modified or discarded.

      And when it comes to gravity. There is a theory of gravity: how we *think* it works, and there is the fact of gravity: we are held on to the earth.

      Finally, in science there is no proof. Just evidence that fits theories. Science tries to explain what happens in nature/universe; it doesn't prove anything. Of course some theories have a *lot* of evidence. The TOE has much more evidence, say, than the various theories of gravity.

      1. Blakey

        A theory . . .

        is not, never has been, and never will be, a hypothesis that has "graduated". This is an irritating misconception to see constantly pushed by people I generally agree with.

        "Theory" refers to a body of knowledge. "Musical theory" isn't a pretty good guess about music - it is the body of knowledge that describes the way music works. That is what theory means in the context of science. Stop spreading this BS about, it doesn't support your position. At all.

      2. Charles 9

        Then what do you call...

        ...the scientific LAWS? By DEFINITION, they're ASSUMED to be true. And BTW, Newtonian physics (inertia, reactions, etc.) are all described as laws rather than theories. Same with conservation of matter and energy: both described as laws rather than theories. And the most fundamental scientific theories and so on rely on these laws at their base: otherwise, there's nothing to start the chain of logic.

    2. Cpt Blue Bear

      Deliberate misunderstanding, perhaps?

      Sigh. They are part of a model. Don't confuse the model with the real universe. Without them the model does not match reality.

      You, and your Religion professor (why the lower case? does he merely profess to religion, rather than holding a Professorship? Just kidding, you there), need to study a little more about how science, and physics in particular, works.

  55. tom 24

    Gravity - it does so many things!

    Tide comes in, tide goes out. Never a miscommunication!

    ^ Gravity = proof of God! :D

  56. Steve May 1
    Thumb Down


    Faith would seem to mean belief without evidence.

    Not even the church (christian) would seem to have any evidence.

    The state of the world would seem to be ample evidence of the absence of a new testament caring god.

    So why believe?

    Why not choose the Flying Spaghetti Monster??

  57. Anonymous Coward

    In the true Bible it covers this and I quote the religious text "It's a trap"

    So does this mean that if say the pope fell over a high-up balconey and `gravity` took him to a deathly fall, would it then be a act of God that killed him and nobody could be accused of anything.

    Will this now casue religious people to jump off cliff's as a test of faith in `Gravity` aka God.

    Also does this mean that all lemmings are religious and believe in God and as such fully explain why they jump of cliff's.

    On another note the only person I know who fell off a cliff and lived was a athiest, not sure what this is telling us, but there it is.

    So in summary the Pope who say's all athiests are Nazi's and who are we too argue given he has way more experience of what a Nazi is himself given he was actualy one, so I have to bow to his knowledge upon what a Nazi is, though I do question that he doesn't know what an authiest is as he has no experience and could be deemed somewhat biased perhaps. But gravity, something we all know is there but has yet to be fully scientificaly defined is actualy God's magic/doing and controlled by him. So given this, why doen't he prove it. If he can jump off a high cliff and live I'll bite but until then... I refer you to the Jedi Bible reference upon such matters and quote from the hallowed scripture - "It's a trap".

    1. copsewood


      "Will this now cause religious people to jump off cliff's as a test of faith in `Gravity` aka God."

      You're not the first to propose that devilish idea. See Matthew 4:5-6

      'Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down. For it is written:

      “‘He will command his angels concerning you,

      and they will lift you up in their hands,

      so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’[c]" '

  58. KeithSloan
    Thumb Down

    Omnipotent God

    "Benedict also pointed out that for all Man's resourcefulness, recent natural disasters have highlighted that Man is not all-powerful."

    Well recent natural disasters have also highlighted that there is NOT an all omnipotent and loving God

  59. Anonymous Coward

    He is wrong....

    Watch this: and thumb me up. The Pope is a dumbass.

  60. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

    @I don't believe in the Higgs-Boson!

    Nobody expects the CERN inquisition -

    Their chief weapon is surprise, surprise and a bloody big magnet .....

    1. Stu who?

      Higgs may be God and we can prove it soon

      Yo anon. Good post. By the way the Higgs reality or not will soon be resolved unequivocally. Belief will not be required, it will be found, found with several flavours or not found. The sceptic nonreligion of science will elevate Standard Model (one and only one true Higgs boson in the 15 TeV range) or let us know that Supersymmetry may be a better bet ( several Higgs show up) or a return to drawing board may be needed (no Higgs found).

      Putting phiosophical objections aside ( how will we KNOW?, who trusts CERN?, conspiracy etc) this will be a settled question. Peer reviewed summaries in the field do not allow a Higgs consistent with standard model to fail to appear in this energy range. After a year or two with none, then there IS NO HIGGS - fact. Standard Model (most accurate theory ever devised) would be contradicted.

      Then the M theorists, string jockeys and brane-foam apologists will come clamouring for grants to support their religoin - the unchartered world of maths pretending to be physics where a 40 year sinecure in untestable speculation funds many an old prof's Porsche.

      My faith? Higgs will show up with measurable properties and we move on.

  61. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    God is alive !

    And Lives in Twickenham

  62. heyrick Silver badge

    Benedict also pointed out that for all Man's resourcefulness...

    "Benedict also pointed out that for all Man's resourcefulness, recent natural disasters have highlighted that Man is not all-powerful."

    And I might point out that for all Benedict's faith, recent natural disasters have highlighted one of two possible truths:

    1. God does NOT exist.

    2. God does exist, but he doesn't give a damn about us.

    1. Stephane Mabille
      Gates Horns

      Or we are an ant farm

      or God is sadistic and is drawing us / shaking us like an ASBOed pre-teen trembling on an ant farm and pouring what's left of his soda on it to see the ants running around in pain....

  63. Anonymous Coward
    IT Angle

    Business as usual...

    "Man should abandon hopes of being like God, if he wants to have a relationship with God."

    And for those of us who have absolutely no interest in a relationship with a character from fiction, we'll just stick to plan A - keep trying to understand the universe a little better, and have some fun along the way.

  64. Colin Tree

    you are Gods

    live with understanding of who you really are

    don't let those misguided Christians rob you of your destiny

    Wake up and smell the roses, we are in heaven, I know I am.

    << Psalm 82 >>

    New American Standard Bible

    5They do not know nor do they understand;

    They walk about in darkness;

    All the foundations of the earth are shaken.

    6I said, “You are gods,

    And all of you are sons of the Most High.

    7“Nevertheless you will die like men

    And fall like any one of the princes.”

    << John 10 >>

    New American Standard Bible

    33The Jews answered Him, “For a good work we do not stone You, but for blasphemy; and because You, being a man, make Yourself out to be God.” 34Jesus answered them, “Has it not been written in your Law, ‘I SAID, YOU ARE GODS’? 35“If he called them gods, to whom the word of God came (and the Scripture cannot be broken), 36do you say of Him, whom the Father sanctified and sent into the world, ‘You are blaspheming,’ because I said, ‘I am the Son of God’?

  65. Rattus Rattus

    Aw, bless 'im...

    Still thinking he's relevant.

  66. J 3

    Oh, that again

    "And yet the force of gravity which draws us down is powerful"

    So, the Pope, of all people, is a crappy theologian too? Great. Well, not unexpected, considering that being a specialist in something completely nonexistent must make you say silly things every once in a while.

    So, if there ever is an anti-gravity device, will his Popeness become an atheist, then? Didn't think so. He'll obviously just make up another mystery to hide his ever-smaller god in. I thought that the Catholic church had already learned that fighting science can only lead to them (Catholics) losing, but apparently they are still a bit stupid. Must be influence of the fundamentalist evangelicals.

  67. This post has been deleted by its author

  68. Winkypop Silver badge


    I'm sick of religion, all of them!

  69. This post has been deleted by its author

  70. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    not that it matters...

    but a sure shot way of increasing your up-votes:

    1) wait for the reg to write an article on the catholic church

    2) post half funny, half witty article making fun of the church

    3) let the sheep do the rest

  71. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The man's an idiot

    I see nothing in what the pontiff says that in any way demonstrates the existence of a god. If he thinks that any of what he has said proves there is a god then he's a bigger idiot than I first took him for.

  72. Anonymous Coward

    Scientific Process

    @Charles9 and Alex67 and many others...

    A scientific investigation should always begin with a 'null hypothesis', such that we presume the reverse of our theory to be true and must then devise a way to successfully demonstrate to every one of our pedantic peers that this presumption simply cannot be the case (the basic premise is very Spock-ist - once we remove all the impossible explanations... etc)

    For example: To investigate the possible existence of God (in whatever form, race, sex, species you wish) one must begin by presuming that there simply is not, cannot be and never was a God.

    Now search for any single proven event that absolutely could not have happened but for the intervention of an omnipotent being (anything that made it into King James' redaction of holy scripts in the early 1600s are gossip and conjecture at best and are therefore inadmissable).

    Ah, there aren't any.

    Not one?

    Oh bugger. No God then.

    1. Charles 9

      Trouble with that is that...

      ...your proof by contradiction is incomplete. You also have to prove that there can be NO POSSIBLE provably supernatural event by showing that any that could would inherently contradict. As it stands, that hasn't happened.

      Which means that there may well have been some provably supernatural events. However, they may not be documented well enough to survive the test of skepticism.

  73. Stu who?

    Sorry Pope - the debate is over

    The brightest theologians and philiosophical consensus all came to the same conclusion back in the thirties. You cannot prove God nor that there is none. All sources of evidence for a deity whether authority, revelation, scripture or hearsay may be simply rejected by the sceptic. Proof being not possible, the only justification of faith is a conscious decision to believe in the impossible, which is the choice of the religious; or to decline to do that, which is the choice of the sceptic. The absence of faith is not itself a faith - this accusation often leveled against science or atheism is based on a false argument. Science is perennially contingent and in the face of evidence evolves, changes, sometimes reflects often contradicts for a while. Then it moves on. This is why science supplants religions but has nothing, that is not provisional, to say about the impossible until a testable hypothesis is framed . Above all you can personally test any of its hypotheses if you have the smarts, the cash and favourable peer reviews. No revelation required. The success of this approach must stick in your pontificate craw as so much of what was claimed by your predecessors as theirs to proclaim (origins of man, place of earth in the universe, age of the planet etc) has been shown to be just wrong.

    So, Pope, your usurpation of the scientific terminology of proof, to debunk a claim never made for technology, that it seeks to supplant your God, reveals not just your ignorance of science (for gravity is the weakest of the forces we know), but also reveals your true fear. Religions - yours as all the others - may just become irrelevant. The opposite of God is not Satan, far less Science, but "Who cares?"

    Nous n'avons besoin de cette hypothese.........

    If you want to see scientists behaving with faith look at the boundaries where we don't know. Some have faith in Supersymmetry, others in standard model and Higgs. More believe in branes or foams or multiverses. They all know that their "faith" will be tested in a hadron collider or supernova somewhen and many will be proved wrong. Science will embrace the new and move on. A good scientist (though many are human too) will joyously toss his prior certainty aside and embrace any new proof of a theorm for the real achievement it represents.

    Popes on the other hand? Wibble.

  74. Gusty O'Windflap

    we are god

    we just do not know it yet

  75. cnapan

    ...the elephant in the room

    is that religious people overwhelmingly believe the religion of the society into which they were born...

    What a funny coincidence, that...

    So to all the people trying desperately to reconcile a dark-ages belief in supernatural beings which have no measurable effect on anything I say this:

    Were you born in a different town or a different part in history, you'd still be sure you're right, only you'd be wriggling out of confronting a different set of inconsistencies which flow naturally from *every* made up belief system.

    Yahweh, the God of the Bible and the Koran, is such a slippery notion. It's hard enough getting believers in the same religion to agree on what he actually is.

    In the end, what he is is:

    a) A part of self identity

    b) A means to connect with one community and (as a consequence) reject others from another

    c) A convenient excuse to dress up unappealing views about other humans (be they the wrong religion, gender, nationality or sexuality) as some sort of divine law.

    Other than that, he intervenes and doesn't intervene.

    he breaks the laws of nature and doesn't break the laws of nature.

    He has an absurd demand to be told how good he is, usually via the medium of badly written songs or unusual body poses.

    I think a pint of beer is in order. Fetch me to hell!

  76. Ooo-wait-BUT!

    @Charles re "proof by contradiction"

    Thank you sir, you are absolutely correct.

  77. Anonymous Coward
    Dead Vulture

    The Pope is an Embarrassment to God

    The Pope does more damage to God’s rep than any atheist.

    All that crying and crock-tears in front of the cross - bahhh!

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