Why not just shoot the Taniwha?

June 9th, 2011 at 1:44 pm by David Farrar

Wayne Thompson at the Herald reports:

Plans for an Auckland city rail link tunnel could be spiked by a – a spiritual creature that Maori say is in the way of the project.

The Auckland Council’s Maori Statutory Board has warned transport planners of the taniwha, who lived in an ancient creek running past the Town Hall and down Queen St.

Board member Glen Wilcox has asked Auckland’s transport committee to give consideration to the taniwha – which the Ngati Whatua iwi call Horotiu – as it plans the $2.6 billion tunnel project.

“What’s being done about the taniwha Horotiu who lives just outside here, and that tunnel will be going through his rohe [area]?” asked Mr Wilcox.

Poor Horotiu. I imagine that the only thing which could make him feel better is a huge amount of koha. Maybe once the tunnel is built, they could do a side tunnel for him, so he can play safely away from the trains.

This does remind me of the last time a Taniwha held up a project. Someone wrote a letter to the editor saying they had solved the problem, as they shot the Taniwha at the weekend!

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186 Responses to “Why not just shoot the Taniwha?”

  1. Courage Wolf (557 comments) says:

    For fucks sake. The superstition of the Maori Statutory Board is as ridiculous as retarded Christians that believe in God.

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  2. PaulL (6,048 comments) says:

    Couple paintings on the wall (commissioned from appropriate cultural artists), a few tapu lifting ceremonies (all paid for), we’re all good. Waste of money, but what’s new.

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  3. Manolo (14,082 comments) says:

    Stone Age beliefs easily traded off by the right amount of money.
    No surprise why Maoridom is doomed when its “leaders” utter such nonsense.

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  4. gravedodger (1,573 comments) says:

    I have a Taniwha making things difficult for visitors to my castle.

    A BLOODY STEEP SHINGLE DRIVE works a treat. For the North Islanders read metal for shingle HaHa

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  5. V (750 comments) says:

    Maybe the answer is to build a Taniwha bridge, so they can cross the road just like bear overpasses in Canada.

    http://www.alicehenderson.com/uploaded_images/Overpass-796865.jpg

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  6. Lucia Maria (2,609 comments) says:

    As belief in God retreats, superstitions such as the above increase. Resistance is futile.

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  7. Rick Rowling (815 comments) says:

    Bring him string and sealing wax, and other fancy stuff

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  8. AlphaKiwi (683 comments) says:

    While we already have way too many laws, I think the government needs to seriously bring in a Superstition/Religion law saying that one’s superstitions and religions are personal. They cannot interfere with the development of the country.

    @Lucia Maria

    That’s pretty arrogant to say Maori beliefs are superstitious, while yours aren’t. Like it or not, your religious beliefs are also a superstition.

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  9. Longknives (4,889 comments) says:

    “the taniwha, who lived in an ancient creek running past the Town Hall and down Queen St.”

    The only creeks I see running down Queen Street are the streams of urine from the drunken homeless Maori sleeping in the doorways- Such a dignified, spiritual people….

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  10. PaulL (6,048 comments) says:

    If he lives in the creek, why does he mind a tunnel. Unless the tunnel will drain the creek?

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  11. jmhl (2 comments) says:

    I totally sympathize with the Maori Statutory Board, who had to warn the Council about the taniwha. Coincidentally I have recently had a taniwha take up residence in my wallet, and consequently I shan’t be able to pay any tax this year. I do hope the IRD aren’t going to be culturally insensitive about this.

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  12. snowy (108 comments) says:

    Because the season for them closed three weeks ago.

    BTW – Leprechaun opening morning is this Saturday.

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  13. Raging Glory (45 comments) says:

    I believe in Christ crucified, died and raised from the dead.
    If that makes me superstitious in the eyes of
    an atheist so be it. Frankly, the theory of evolution is
    just as much a superstition.

    But to the subject at hand, the difference is that Christians
    aren’t demanding a bribe (call it what you like) because
    somebody says that an apparition of the virgin mary
    was seen where somebody wanted to build a road.

    And if they did they would be laughed out of town. But
    because of the ‘special status’ of maori and the impotence
    of white liberals these guys will get their bribe
    from the taxpayer.

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  14. dime (10,134 comments) says:

    “The only creeks I see running down Queen Street are the streams of urine from the drunken homeless Maori sleeping in the doorways- Such a dignified, spiritual people….”

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

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  15. Ryan Sproull (7,288 comments) says:

    As belief in God retreats, superstitions such as the above increase. Resistance is futile.

    Yep. One superstition’s loss is another superstition’s gain.

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  16. Ryan Sproull (7,288 comments) says:

    I believe in Christ crucified, died and raised from the dead.
    If that makes me superstitious in the eyes of
    an atheist so be it. Frankly, the theory of evolution is
    just as much a superstition.

    Well, no, no, it’s not.

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  17. slightlyrighty (2,475 comments) says:

    That Statuatory Board is money well spent then isn’t it?

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  18. mikenmild (11,777 comments) says:

    I think this is just a reminder from the statutory board that the tangata whenua need to be consulted about major projects.

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  19. PaulL (6,048 comments) says:

    Frankly, the theory of evolution is just as much a superstition.

    Hmm. The giveaway to me was the word “theory.” That suggests to me that evolution is perhaps…..a theory. Which is part of science. Whereas religion…..I dunno – is that in the thesaurus as a synonym for superstition?

    I don’t mind if you say you don’t agree with the theory of evolution. But playing with the meaning of words I’m not so OK with.

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  20. Zapper (1,033 comments) says:

    “Well, no, no, it’s not.”

    Yes it is Ryan, so is meteorology. The bible says God controls the rain. End of story.

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  21. Ryan Sproull (7,288 comments) says:

    I don’t mind if you say you don’t agree with the theory of evolution. But playing with the meaning of words I’m not so OK with.

    Plus there’s that tendency to act like “theory” means “random shot in the dark”. Like the “theory of gravity”. Or not.

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  22. AlphaKiwi (683 comments) says:

    @ Raging Glory

    Even Christians now are having to admit that there is evidence of evolution. It can be seen in fish species within a few years. They just refer to it as micro-evolution.

    I have know idea about macro-evolution. I wasn’t there.

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  23. Diziet Sma (96 comments) says:

    Just in ‘BISHOP DISCOVERS TANIWHA IN DESTINY CHURCH!!’

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  24. kowtow (8,784 comments) says:

    Anyone who supports the Treaty of W and it’s undefined principles also by extension supports this bullshit.

    New Zealanders need to get real,this is not funny.

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  25. backster (2,185 comments) says:

    If you shoot Horotiu, Ranginui and Papatuanuku would be most upset.

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  26. trout (945 comments) says:

    Beca have consulted local Maori (Ngati Whatua) but as is becoming more common other tribes want to be ‘consulted’ (read ‘paid’). Len’s underground train has just become another gravy train. We have a real problem in Auckland in that way back then no tribe actually occupied the isthmus for any length of time, probably because it was difficult to defend and occupiers were repeatedly driven off by warring tribes. So now we have a multitude of tribes that at one time lived on the isthmus and now lay claim. The chairman of the Maori Stat. Board is a Hauraki Maori; he lives somewhere near Thames. His tribe claims rights over all land between Matakana in the South to Matakana in the North.

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  27. Sonny Blount (1,794 comments) says:

    AlphaKiwi (311) Says:
    June 9th, 2011 at 2:40 pm
    @ Raging Glory

    Even Christians now are having to admit that there is evidence of evolution. It can be seen in fish species within a few years. They just refer to it as micro-evolution.

    I have know idea about macro-evolution. I wasn’t there.

    Interesting interview re rapid evolution:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wqM37zbxd7Q

    Many of the climate change scares stories are not going to occur as they expected.

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  28. Lindsay Addie (1,595 comments) says:

    C’mon guys go easy on that poor old Taniwha, it had a very deprived and difficult childhood leading to feelings of inferiority and dependency which it has never been able to shake off.

    Has someone in the Govt appointed a social worker to help it over these problems all of which society are the cause of?

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  29. Grendel (1,005 comments) says:

    its simple, tell them they have a week to do any chanting, signing, dancing or other ‘spiritual’ nonsense they want to move or appease or whatever they need to do to get rid of the ‘taniwha’.

    but, no council, or govt, or the contractors money will be used whatsoever.

    see how long the taniwha is a big issue then.

    once the gravy train is cut, clinging to the supersticious nonsense won;t be worth the hassle.

    oh yea, Lucia Maria, Maori Mythology has just as much relevance, and importance and is as real as christian mythology, norse mythology, greek mythology and the rest, that is to say, none. the only difference is the christians have more members.

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  30. nasska (11,822 comments) says:

    Just leave it to Len. You’ve got a good Labour man there & he’ll know the intricacies of koha & Taniwha appeasement inside out.

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  31. Lucia Maria (2,609 comments) says:

    oh yea, Lucia Maria, Maori Mythology has just as much relevance, and importance and is as real as christian mythology, norse mythology, greek mythology and the rest, that is to say, none. the only difference is the christians have more members.

    And our civilisation is built on Christianity. But apart from that …

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  32. AlphaKiwi (683 comments) says:

    @ Sonny Blount

    Thanks for the link. Just watched it. He spoke very well and very simply. I have always thought that some species are going to do do better as the climate changes. e.g. jellyfish are going to thrive in the increasingly acidic sea waters.

    Personally, I think mammals, including humans are going to struggle more. Not because we aren’t intelligent enough to adapt, but because we don’t have the will. Increasing population, increasing demand for all resources, war, etc will hinder us. We don’t seem to be against these as a whole.

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  33. AlphaKiwi (683 comments) says:

    @ Lucia Maria

    Our civilisation started well before Christianity. The foundations go much farther back.

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  34. Raging Glory (45 comments) says:

    Evolution just requires too much faith for me, sorry.

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  35. Ryan Sproull (7,288 comments) says:

    And our civilisation is built on Christianity. But apart from that …

    Christianity is a significant part of Western cultural history. So is slavery, monarchy and the exclusion of women from political and economic power. Just because we drove drunk as adolescents, doesn’t make it something to sing and dance about as adults.

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  36. AlphaKiwi (683 comments) says:

    @ Raging Glory

    It doesn’t require quite as much as believing in God, but hey!

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  37. noskire (842 comments) says:

    Poor taniwha, it’s a shame they only seem to reside in areas where expensive projects are planned.

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  38. Chris R (70 comments) says:

    Taniwhas and Man Made Global Warming, both excellent reasons to tax the crap out of us all. Yeah right!

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  39. Yvette (2,852 comments) says:

    Mr Wilcox [a Maori Statutory Board member] said Horotiu’s realm ran from Myer’s Park to the sea, under the Town Hall and Queen Street.
    Ngati Whatua acknowledged him by naming the creek that once existed there, Waihorotiu. With Pakeha settlement it became a sewer known as Ligar Canal.
    “There are always ways to placate taniwha,” Wilcox said.
    “The Maori world has its own yin and yang, and taniwha had their own yin and yang.
    “As kaitiaki or guardians they protect people, but they also get up and bite you if they do not like what you are doing.”
    Wilcox agreed that raising the taniwha issue was something of a shot across the bows of the super council and reminding them that the Maori Statutory Board existed and had issues.

    Why has Horotiu not reacted to a town hall and Auckland’s main commercial street being built over his domain?
    Why no reaction to the utmost insult of his domain earlier being a sewer known as Ligar Canal?
    Wilcox said “There are always ways to placate taniwha”, So what are the details of that procedure?
    Taniwha bite you if they do not like what you are doing, Wilcox says – how do you determine if you are offending a taniwha? – seems Wilcox was not asked.
    Wilcox agrees this issue is to assert Maori Statutory Board consultation. What evidence does Wilcox have that the taniwha is involved?

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  40. annie (539 comments) says:

    Evolution just requires too much faith for me, sorry.

    You’ve sort of missed the point. Even if the statment is meant to be ironic.

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  41. Roflcopter (466 comments) says:

    Just give Horotiu a free monthly pass on the train, so he can go downtown and scare the locals.

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  42. Cobolt (94 comments) says:

    Why on earth don’t they just demand empirical evidence before handing over great wads of cash?

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  43. Psycho Milt (2,419 comments) says:

    I guess none of the intellectual giants ranting about Maori superstition on this thread troubled themselves to read as far as

    Wilcox agreed that raising the taniwha issue was something of a shot across the bows of the super council and reminding them that the Maori Statutory Board existed and had issues.

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  44. PaulL (6,048 comments) says:

    And our civilisation is built on Christianity. But apart from that

    Arguably our civilisation owes a lot to the Romans and the Greeks. Given a choice between the contribution they made and the contribution Christians made…..I’m not sure which would be seen as more important.

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  45. Diziet Sma (96 comments) says:

    Who can save us?
    Will Christian Crusader Capill free himself in time? Will anyone summon The King of Huntly?
    … Stay tuned for the next episode folks!

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  46. nasska (11,822 comments) says:

    Psycho Milt

    Fail. Careful reading of the comments on this thread would indicate that the commenters were very well acquainted with the desires of the Tangata Whenua. Most of us have also indicated that our understanding of the rules of political correctness is impeccable & that we realise that great dollops of money in the form of koha are the only way to placate the Taniwha.

    It’s just that we simultaneously forgot that it was only the rest of the world that moved into the 21st century & that we remain in a parallel universe where superstition & mythology reign supreme.

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  47. BlairM (2,365 comments) says:

    Lucia believes circular reconstituted wheat products are actually Jesus and must be protected from confused Asian women, so she’s on thin ground talking about taniwhas.

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  48. Kimble (4,443 comments) says:

    “And our civilisation is built on Christianity…”

    No it isnt. Our civilisation existed at the same time as christianity, correlation is not causation.

    If you want to get picky, our civilisation is built on Islam, because it was islamic scholars that gave us our numerical system. If they disappeared (if we were left with roman numerals) our civilisation could not function. Praise Allah the Numerate!

    There is little in our civilisation that requires christianity, if christianity disappeared tomorrow, our civilisation would continue pretty much as normal.

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  49. KiwiGreg (3,260 comments) says:

    The Christians demand our shops be closed on days which they stole off earlier pagan rituals. What is the cost of that?

    Also I think the piece should read “a” maori or “some” maori believe….

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  50. Hazzapinyon (1 comment) says:

    I would happily rehouse the Taniwha – we have a small creek at the bottom of our section and my son would have the coolest pet for pet day at scool.

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  51. Helen Clark (11 comments) says:

    I take great exception to people saying that I am just a superstition!!!!

    Courage Wolf at 1.50 – You can believe in me – I exist……….

    Lucia Maria at 2.04 – I am not retreating!!! I am here….

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  52. tknorriss (327 comments) says:

    Money will make it go away. :smile:

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  53. starboard (2,552 comments) says:

    I’ve been most alarmed at the slant this story is taking. The intolerance which is beginning to show through from most of you makes me worry about the direction our country is going. Where is the tolerance and understanding. Stand back each and everyone of you and reflect on these disturbing statements. It is a fact, the Maori were here first, every other ethnic mix in this vibrant nation came after the fact. The taniwha is not a statement about a large eel or a many toothed lizard, it is in fact a metaphor. Now what type of metaphor I hear you say?

    Well surely it’s obvious! Evolution has kicked in and over time the many toothed lizard and the large slimy eel has transformed (miraculously) to appease the Christians amongst you, into Hone from up north. His Mana Party is the many toothed lizard and Hone is the large slimy eel. Mark my words, one day we will see Hone the Taniwha sitting on the seat he was rightly adjudged to occupy. Prime Minister Hone, we welcome you.

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  54. Mick Mac (1,091 comments) says:

    kowtow (1,055) Says:
    June 9th, 2011 at 2:48 pm

    You are on to it.

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  55. Ryan Sproull (7,288 comments) says:

    If you want to get picky, our civilisation is built on Islam, because it was islamic scholars that gave us our numerical system. If they disappeared (if we were left with roman numerals) our civilisation could not function. Praise Allah the Numerate!

    Interesting that part of the reason we got so much mathematics from Islamic civilisation was because they were religiously constrained from depicting God, so they pursued disciplines that they saw as embodying God’s perfection, like maths. Same reason they’ve got such awesome calligraphy and geometric mosaics.

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  56. dog_eat_dog (790 comments) says:

    Well if the Iwi had read the COUNCIL report and not the anti-Taniwha MOT report, they’d know that the Taniwha’s power would be increased by a ratio of 3:1. The MOT, however, claim it is much lower. They’re clearly basing their figures off the much-disputed “Came a Hot Friday” data set from the 1980s.

    ALL THIS GOVERNMENT DOES IS LOOK IN THE PAST!

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  57. barry (1,317 comments) says:

    Oh -Starboard – dont talk shit.
    What we need is LESS tolerance. All this talk about tolerance is just another way of saying “lets lower our standards and lets start accepting behaviour that we previously wouldnt”

    Tolerance for belief in a ghost is just some way of getting someone to part with money -MY money (as a taxpayer).

    And Maoir were NOT here first – moriori were – and the maori Cannibalised them (so they would consume their spirit….) or chased them off to the Chathams.

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  58. OTGO (565 comments) says:

    Maybe it’s high time we asked the maori tribes of Aotearoa to publish a Taniwha register. Then everyone will know where they are so we can take into account their presence whenever we want to build something. Or even if I wanted to go fishing in a river and wanted to avoid upsetting one. After all it’s the unknown that is frightening.

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  59. Sam (502 comments) says:

    Ryan Sproull at 4:25 pm Says: “…Same reason they’ve got such awesome calligraphy and geometric mosaics.”

    Yeah, and all we got was lousy psalms and hymns – eck…

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  60. Ryan Sproull (7,288 comments) says:

    And Maoir were NOT here first – moriori were – and the maori Cannibalised them (so they would consume their spirit….) or chased them off to the Chathams.

    Incredibly persistent myth, that one.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moriori_people#The_Moriori_in_New_Zealand

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  61. Longknives (4,889 comments) says:

    Starboard-

    To quote Kent Brockman “And I, for one, welcome our new eel-like overlord……”

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  62. starboard (2,552 comments) says:

    Barry, Barry…tsk. Use your spell check. M.A.O.R.I. Please we’re easily offended remember. Now back to my point.

    Hone as PM. Consider it! His Mum Titiwhai would be his principle advisor, his gay friends from the Green Party (Sue Bradford) and his commie sandle wearing mates from the left (Sue Bradford) would assist with kind words and gentle focus.

    There is a need to ensure that carpet munchers and faggot commie lesbians are considered within the all inclusive embrace of the Taniwhas (read Hone) arms. And lets not forgot Keith (leave your arms at the door please ) Locke.

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  63. mikenmild (11,777 comments) says:

    Ryan

    Amazing how many people still suck up that convenient Moriori myth.

    It seems clear that this row is all about asserting a right to consultation. Nothing wrong with that surely?

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  64. RRM (10,034 comments) says:

    It must be a real dilemma for Kiwibloggers, when Maori mysticism gets in the way of a nanny state public transport construction project.

    When it’s Socialists vs Maoris, who do I dislike the least? Hmmm… decisions, decisions! :-)

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  65. gravedodger (1,573 comments) says:

    @ sam 4 41, and all we got was palms and hims

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  66. starboard (2,552 comments) says:

    Hey RRM hows the freckle work going mate????

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  67. Jman (84 comments) says:

    This story has the potential to be a great one about the collision of primitive superstition, the greed and opportunism of the permanently aggrieved class, and the pandering of the guilt-ridden leftists in a perfect storm of complete and utter uselessness. I have my popcorn ready.

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  68. RRM (10,034 comments) says:

    Still good and tight starboard. ;-)

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  69. James Stephenson (2,233 comments) says:

    Yeah, and all we got was lousy psalms and hymns – eck…

    I’ll take Celtic art over that muslim geometric stuff any day…hey, we must have some scandinavian heritaged Kiwi that can get Thor to give this Taniwha a belt with his hammer – job done.

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  70. starboard (2,552 comments) says:

    on ma way RRM.

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  71. tristanb (1,127 comments) says:

    Evolution just requires too much faith for me, sorry.

    Creationists – you give Christians a bad name – and it was already pretty bad. Unfortunately the only nice Christians are the people who don’t tell you they are Christian.

    But what part of evolution do you not believe in?

    1. DNA coding for phenotype – does DNA code for the proteins that are made by an organism?
    2. DNA mutation – is there sometimes error when the code is copied during cell division?
    3. Reproduction – that cells come from previous cells?
    4. Selection – are some things are better at reproduction than others?

    Because, evolution is inevitable with just these four conditions.

    Any time you have something that can reproduce and mutate, some things are going to be better at it than others – so you have more of them.

    Do you think that antibiotic resistant bacteria are created from soil by God?

    I just can’t see how evolution does not become the only possible solution!

    Exactly which step requires any faith?

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  72. jaba (2,146 comments) says:

    Glen Wilcox is pulling the boards wizzer .. I know for a FACT that there is only one Taniwha and it comes out at every Northland game so I suggest it actually lives up north somewhere.
    If I am wrong, god forbid, try 1080

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  73. Steve (4,592 comments) says:

    These Taniwha seem to be breeding. Stop it, just sterilise them, otherwise they will be on the benifit forever.
    What’s that? already on a benifit and want more? There is no more, Auckland City is broke, the RATEPAYERS have no more KOHA for the fucking Taniwha or any other bullshit from the freeloaders.
    The ‘Guardians’ of the Taniwha need to get a job real quick because there is no more MONEY

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  74. dime (10,134 comments) says:

    any chance we could plot where the taniwhas are on google maps? im curious to know.

    just how many are there?

    just how many are discovered once resource consent is given? i shudder to think!

    maybe thats a way of tricking the taniwha into coming out of hiding.. announce in the papers we are gonna build something.

    how do these people say this shit with a straight face?

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  75. jaba (2,146 comments) says:

    The Auckland Council’s Maori Statutory Board seems to be getting some Utu for their funding being reduced

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  76. side show bob (3,660 comments) says:

    Slippery slope stuff. Watch a few crime shows on TV and the FBI agents say you should never pay off the kidnappers, the blackmailers , the extortionists and never give in to terrorists demands, apparently it just encourages them. Where’s the FBI when we need them.

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  77. starboard (2,552 comments) says:

    FBI Side Show? Funding Black Idols! Surely that’s not what you mean?

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  78. Sadu (129 comments) says:

    A friend of mine works for a large construction company, who regularly have to do Maori consultations for their projects. He said part of the process is getting a kamatua to come and “bless” the construction site, which of course requires Koha.

    Even though Koha is a gift, the request for koha comes on a piece of paper – which looks just like an official tax invoice (although IIRC koha is tax-exempt) with the right amount printed on it, and a remittance advice and payment terms etc. you’d swear you were paying an invoice rather than willingly making a donation to a friendly community organisation. Apparently the going rate for an hour of kamatua time to bless a project is about 2 grand.

    Now everyone knows that this is simply blackmail. I can understand the construction company paying it, as they can simply pass the cost on to the client (taxpayer) which is easier than dealing with project delays. I can understand the kamatua continuing to rort the system, because it’s legal and the white man will unquestioningly bow to the demands. What I don’t understand is why the government insists on Maori consultation on projects, when the consultation amounts to bullshit like taniwhas and $2000 blessings.

    If Mr Wilcox’s goal was to remind the public what a useless pack of fucking bludgers the Maori statutory board is, then well done sir, goal achieved. One step closer to equality for all New Zealanders when we cut the strings on this racist special status that some Maori feel entitled to.

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  79. Kimble (4,443 comments) says:

    “Exactly which step requires any faith?”

    Faith is what is required to believe in something when you have no other evidence. Creationists refuse to acknowledge any evidence for evolution, and so for them to believe in evolution would require faith.

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  80. starboard (2,552 comments) says:

    Did you know that Nga Tahu Corporation is a massive company which owns fishing interests, land holdings and famous tourism comapnies (Shotover Jet etc). They are a huge and I mean fucking huge organisation. They are a charitable group which means no TAX and they also invoice for Taniwha consulatation etc. They also add to the story of how the country developed and was named. And if they don’t know the reality of it all…shock horror…they make it up. I sat around meetings listening to this straight from the Tanwha’s mouth.

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  81. Steve (4,592 comments) says:

    A Taniwha is some thing that rubs your back, gives you a nice massage, so I thought.
    Now I find that a Taniwha is something that grabs your back and thiefs off with your wallet bro!

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  82. orewa1 (410 comments) says:

    Len’s Lament:

    Taniwha, our gravy train will go forever
    sweet Taniwha, my song is for you

    The shadows they fade into yesterday
    my spirit I see smiling there
    I turn back the years since the trams trundled round
    the days we had gravy to spare

    Taniwha, our gravy train will go forever
    paid by the ratepayers true
    Taniwha, our spirits make money together
    sweet Taniwha, my song is for you

    We stand hand in hand in the tunnel
    tomorrow my train drives away
    It flies so full of hope, so wild and free
    But at Taniwha station, it stays

    Taniwha, our gravy train will go forever
    just like a Treaty rort so true
    Tania, our hearts make money together
    sweet Taniwha my song is for you

    Tania our song will go on forever
    sweet Taniwha my song is for you

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  83. Shunda barunda (2,985 comments) says:

    You don’t have to be religious to be irrational, though evidently, Christianity returned more on the positive side of the ledger for our society so perhaps you have to be religious to be rational! :)

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  84. Johnboy (17,018 comments) says:

    The most amazing thing about the whole story is that the Taniwha in question has been represented by an obviously stone age man from the Ngati Wilcox whanau.

    I can’t understand why his Whakapapa hasn’t been mentioned.

    Surely it should say “Glen Wilcox (of Ngati Pulyercox, Ngati Wankermana and Te Ati Always Ati the Ripyeroff descendancy)” has asked Auckland’s transport committee…………..? :)

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  85. Johnboy (17,018 comments) says:

    Beautiful Orewa. Just beautiful! :)

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  86. Manolo (14,082 comments) says:

    When it’s Socialists vs Maoris, who do I dislike the least?

    That should be easy, shouldn’t it?

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  87. side show bob (3,660 comments) says:

    Starboard :-)

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  88. Put it away (2,880 comments) says:

    I actually wouldn’t mind my taxes paying for this horseshit if we could get the Ghostbusters to do it.

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  89. jaba (2,146 comments) says:

    Sadu .. not many contributions so far but you have really hit the roads running

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  90. Shunda barunda (2,985 comments) says:

    Apparently the going rate for an hour of kamatua time to bless a project is about 2 grand.

    Hell!!! for 2 grand, no, make it $1995.00 I will come an cast the damn thing out!

    I knew that Pentecostal training would pay off someday :)

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  91. nasska (11,822 comments) says:

    Shunda

    Watch that undercutting. The overheads in the Taniwha blessing racket are horrendous.

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  92. Aredhel777 (290 comments) says:

    “I totally sympathize with the Maori Statutory Board, who had to warn the Council about the taniwha. Coincidentally I have recently had a taniwha take up residence in my wallet, and consequently I shan’t be able to pay any tax this year. I do hope the IRD aren’t going to be culturally insensitive about this.”

    LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL

    I actually cried reading this~

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  93. mikenmild (11,777 comments) says:

    There seems to be an assumption in this thread that this is about money.

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  94. gravedodger (1,573 comments) says:

    Off topic but out of the same bullshit bin.
    Police 10/7 on Two had a native in a car with no WOF, a rego that had been altered with a felt pen, both years out of date and plates that didn’t match.
    The defence
    well well well, the warrior driving didn’t have any lawful reason to comply as when the whenua take over the car will comply and the cop impressed him so much he offered him a job under the new regime.
    The freekin law doesn’t apply to his “rust bucket”

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  95. Sofia (869 comments) says:

    Mr Paterson said non-Maori people often misunderstood taniwha to mean a monster such as a dragon or giant eel.
    s”Taniwha is a term used in a variety of ways. It can be a physical being but it can represent the mauri, or the life force, the essence of a place; perhaps Pakeha might think more in terms of ecological health and things of that nature.
    “People can be taniwha. Taniwha can be used to mean ‘what’s the issue, what’s the potential problem, what’s the elephant in the room’.”

    Auckland Transport today released information saying its consultants tried to contact Ngati Whatua o Orakei during preparatory studies into the preferred route in 2009, prior to the existence of the current Auckland Council.
    Further efforts were made in late 2010 and earlier this year. The documents didn’t make it clear how much feedback was received from Ngati Whatua o Orakei.
    Mr Paterson said he thought consultation was still at an early phase given that local and central Government hadn’t agreed on when the project would go ahead.
    “My understanding is that as far as Glenn was aware from the papers that he’d been given, he couldn’t see much evidence of consultation having been undertaken, so I think he was doing his job as a member of that statutory board in saying in his way ‘remember to talk to mana whenua’
    “Our anticipation would be as it moves forward that we are fully engaged in the development of this project and vetting its merits and the consideration of elements like the local ecology and the recognition of heritage.”

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/5124422/Taniwha-raises-need-for-consultation-advisor

    The council set up the Maori Advisory Board as a sop because they weren’t given actual Council seats.
    But now you have them, you have to bloody consult them – on something – anything, for God’s sake, or they will make stuff up.

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  96. mikenmild (11,777 comments) says:

    Yes, Sofia, it seems that the consultation process could work a bit better. I think that’s what it is all about. Meanwhile this thread seems to have become home to barely concealed racism, just ‘jokes’ of course.

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  97. Sadu (129 comments) says:

    Yes, the consultation process could work a bit better.

    Maybe, and I’m going out on a limb here – maybe if the local iwi charged a reasonable fee and discussion was constructive and based around genuine issues instead of mythical creatures and concepts – maybe then we could say that the consultation was worthwhile. At the moment, I think most would agree that it’s a cleverly engineered rort and is simply a small group of people blackmailing the taxpayer/ratepayer.

    Under normal circumstances, if someone said “has anyone considered horotiu the taniwha” it would be written off as the ravings of a deranged loon. Yet somehow in this context, this is taken seriously.

    And they wonder why everyone is less than enthusiastic about Maori consultation?

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  98. Aredhel777 (290 comments) says:

    “Yes, Sofia, it seems that the consultation process could work a bit better. I think that’s what it is all about. Meanwhile this thread seems to have become home to barely concealed racism, just ‘jokes’ of course.”

    Oh come on, some of the jokes in this thread are really funny. Although I concede that there has been a little bit of unpleasantness towards Maori.

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  99. Kimble (4,443 comments) says:

    hahahaaaaa christians be crazy

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  100. Viking2 (11,575 comments) says:

    The taniwha is smiling today.
    He has just been handed more compulsory recruits courtesy of the racists and the National Party. Compulsion in its worst from.

    Te reo compulsory for teachers
    KATE CHAPMAN
    Last updated 05:00 10/06/2011

    Teachers will be required to learn the Maori language and culture under new rules to be introduced next month, but the Secondary Principals’ Association says making it compulsory will cause resentment.

    Maori Affairs Minister Pita Sharples said the Cultural Competency programme would begin to be introduced later this year and would be in every school by the end of 2012.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/education/5124638/Te-reo-compulsory-for-teachers

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  101. Mr Nobody NZ (391 comments) says:

    It seems that Emerson has appropriately summed up the entire Taniwha debate.

    http://media.nzherald.co.nz/webcontent/image/gif/201124/CartoonR.gif

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  102. Murray (8,847 comments) says:

    I say we take off and nuke the site from orbit… it’s the only way to be sure.

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  103. ben (2,384 comments) says:

    As belief in God retreats, superstitions such as the above increase

    This is the exact opposite of a tautology. How anybody can utter that sentence with a straight face (and I think Lucia Maria is being serious here) is beyond me.

    This is a part of why religion is a joke. It would be a lot funnier if the indoctrination didn’t start at pre-school.

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  104. ben (2,384 comments) says:

    Actually, I heard that the taniwha moved out years ago and was last seen under a bridge in South Auckland sniffing glue.

    True story.

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  105. Scott (1,821 comments) says:

    Tristanb at 5:09 p.m.
    ” But what part of evolution do you not believe in?

    1. DNA coding for phenotype – does DNA code for the proteins that are made by an organism?
    2. DNA mutation – is there sometimes error when the code is copied during cell division?
    3. Reproduction – that cells come from previous cells?
    4. Selection – are some things are better at reproduction than others?
    Because, evolution is inevitable with just these four conditions.
    Any time you have something that can reproduce and mutate, some things are going to be better at it than others – so you have more of them.
    Do you think that antibiotic resistant bacteria are created from soil by God?
    I just can’t see how evolution does not become the only possible solution!
    Exactly which step requires any faith?”

    There are quite a few faith steps involved in your discussion Tristan. First of all that errors can create something more complex. Most of the mutations we see are harmful. That they can be a creative force is unproven and a step of faith.

    That natural selection/survival of the fittest is an adequate mechanism to explain along with mutations the origin of all life. That is a massive step of faith.

    Other steps of faith include — how did everything start? Did nothing really explode and become everything?
    — how did life evolve from nonlife?
    — can random chance really account for the life we see, the universe and everything?

    That’s quite a few questions to begin with. The theory of evolution is unproven scientifically and conceptually. I believe that the reason you and many others defend it so vociferously — is because the alternative — special creation — is spiritually and philosophically unacceptable to you.

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  106. Ryan Sproull (7,288 comments) says:

    There are quite a few faith steps involved in your discussion Tristan. First of all that errors can create something more complex. Most of the mutations we see are harmful. That they can be a creative force is unproven and a step of faith.

    No, it’s a statistical inevitability.

    That natural selection/survival of the fittest is an adequate mechanism to explain along with mutations the origin of all life. That is a massive step of faith.

    Biological evolution doesn’t purport to explain the origin of all life.

    Other steps of faith include — how did everything start? Did nothing really explode and become everything?

    The Big Bang theory is also not a part of the theory of evolution.

    – how did life evolve from nonlife?

    There is no way to know for certain, but there are many hypotheses.

    – can random chance really account for the life we see, the universe and everything?

    No, but then science is hardly about random chance. It’s about unrandom cause and effect.

    That’s quite a few questions to begin with. The theory of evolution is unproven scientifically and conceptually. I believe that the reason you and many others defend it so vociferously — is because the alternative — special creation — is spiritually and philosophically unacceptable to you.

    Of course you do. His alternative is that the world was created by a loving God and that we have a chance to exist forever. Your alternative is that the world is just as aimlessly brutal as it seems and that you will no longer exist forever. Whose alternative do you think is more offputting?

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  107. graham (2,346 comments) says:

    [quote]Biological evolution doesn’t purport to explain the origin of all life – The Big Bang theory is also not a part of the theory of evolution.[/quote]

    Agreed. I think there is a general tendency to lump “evolution” and “the Big Bang” theory all in together, and say either they’re both completely 100% correct, or both completely 100% incorrect depending on where you stand.

    Personally, as a Christian, I have no problem believing in some degree of evolution, AND believing that Man was originally created by God. I do not think the two are mutually exclusive. The question for me would be what was the starting point? What did God create, and how much has evolution changed the original creation over time?

    The Big Bang theory is the one that I personally have issues with :) Believing in THAT would require a huuuuuge leap of faith for me!

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  108. graham (2,346 comments) says:

    Bugger. How do you do quotes?

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  109. Manolo (14,082 comments) says:

    Graham, use blockquote and /blockquote.

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  110. Ryan Sproull (7,288 comments) says:

    Personally, as a Christian, I have no problem believing in some degree of evolution, AND believing that Man was originally created by God. I do not think the two are mutually exclusive. The question for me would be what was the starting point? What did God create, and how much has evolution changed the original creation over time?

    Well, yeah. It’s not like Christians see weather patterns and say “okay, I agree with meteorology for the most part, but God popped in and sneezed the first gust”. There’s nothing contradictory about believing in what we’d call abiogenesis – the first formation of self-replicating patterns of matter from previously un-self-replicating patterns of matter (or “life from non-life”) AND believing that God set things in motion right at the Big Bang to make that first life inevitable billions of years later.

    The Big Bang theory is the one that I personally have issues with Believing in THAT would require a huuuuuge leap of faith for me!

    It’s certainly a more difficult notion to fathom. Life via abiogenesis seems to me inevitable in a universe this big and old. But trying to imagine a first moment without one before it goes against everything we’ve ever experienced of time, which makes it feel counterintuitive.

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  111. Ryan Sproull (7,288 comments) says:

    Graham, use blockquote and /blockquote inside greater-than and less-than signs, not these [ ].

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  112. Kimble (4,443 comments) says:

    The theory of evolution is unproven scientifically and conceptually.

    This is not true. Anyone who told you this is lying. Dont give them money. Dont believe them when they say the earth is only 6000 years old.

    The theory of evolution is one of the most well supported that has ever existed! There is an absolutely massive amount of evidence that you dont even know about. And the evidence is piling up day after day after day. And no evidence is being found that refutes the theory.

    Evolution as a theory explains the diversity of life, not its origins. You got this simple part wrong, so you must accept that you dont really understand what it is, and must also accept that your objections are invalid.

    Evolution is also an observable fact.

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  113. Scott (1,821 comments) says:

    Been through this discussion many times. At least Ryan knows that we have been here before. People like Tristan just seem to be constantly surprised that anyone could not believe in evolution.

    “Evolution is also an observable fact”.

    Really? Okay — name me one good example of evolution in action? Now not something that was discovered last week. But one good example, well-documented, of evolution in action. Also I don’t mean grass developing variations into another sort of grass. I mean real change. Remember according to your theory, foolish that it is, grass evolved into giraffes.

    So — let’s hear it. A good observable fact where something has become something different. Don’t send me to any websites or any links. Just write it down.

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  114. Courage Wolf (557 comments) says:

    Been through this discussion many times. At least Scott knows that we have been here before. People like Lucia just seem to be constantly surprised that anyone could not believe in God.

    “God is also an observable fact”.

    Really? Okay — name me one good example of God in action? Now not something that was discovered last week. But one good example, well-documented, of God in action. Also I don’t mean Jesus healing some blind guy. I mean real change. Remember according to your theory, foolish that it is, Jesus was some sort of superman.

    So — let’s hear it. A good observable fact where something has become something different. Don’t send me to any Christian websites or any Bible links. Just write it down.

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  115. Kimble (4,443 comments) says:

    A good observable fact where something has become something different.

    Umm, evolution by natural selection doesnt involve one thing becoming another. You do know that, right? It involves change over generations.

    Grass “becoming” another sort of grass is evolution.

    While studying the genetics of the evening primrose, Oenothera lamarckiana, de Vries (1905) found an unusual variant among his plants. O. lamarckiana has a chromosome number of 2N = 14. The variant had a chromosome number of 2N = 28. He found that he was unable to breed this variant with O. lamarckiana. He named this new species O. gigas.

    Rapid speciation of the Faeroe Island house mouse, which occurred in less than 250 years after man brought the creature to the island.

    Three species of wildflowers called goatsbeards were introduced to the United States from Europe shortly after the turn of the century. Within a few decades their populations expanded and began to encounter one another in the American West. Whenever mixed populations occurred, the specied interbred (hybridizing) producing sterile hybrid offspring. Suddenly, in the late forties two new species of goatsbeard appeared near Pullman, Washington. Although the new species were similar in appearance to the hybrids, they produced fertile offspring. The evolutionary process had created a separate species that could reproduce but not mate with the goatsbeard plants from which it had evolved.

    There are many more, these are in no way the only cases. I just didnt want to spam the comments with pages and pages of them.

    I dont expect these examples to convince you. I reckon anyone who doesnt believe in evolution, and obviously has never bothered to find out what it actually is, has shown that they dont WANT to believe it.

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  116. Ryan Sproull (7,288 comments) says:

    Remember according to your theory, foolish that it is, grass evolved into giraffes.

    Citation needed.

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  117. Danyl Mclauchlan (1,071 comments) says:

    Okay — name me one good example of evolution in action? Now not something that was discovered last week.

    How about the new multidrug resistant strain of E.Coli that was, actually, discovered last week?

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  118. Kimble (4,443 comments) says:

    Uh oh. I think I may have lost on a technicality. He only wanted one example, not several.

    DiM, could that strain have existed, but only have been discovered last week?

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  119. Ryan Sproull (7,288 comments) says:

    How about the new multidrug resistant strain of E.Coli that was, actually, discovered last week?

    DID IT EVOLVE INTO A LEMUR, DANYL? COME BACK WHEN YOU’VE GOT A REAL EXAMPLE OF EVOLUTION.

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  120. Scott (1,821 comments) says:

    People — I mean something becoming something else. I appreciate there is God-given variation. So for example the varieties of dogs we have today probably all came from one kind of dog. From a creationist point of view we accept that variety can arise whether it is mice or bacteria

    So I am not meaning bacteria still being bacteria or mice still being mice. I mean mice actually becoming something else. Come on people. You tell me evolution is a fact like gravity. Give me one fact? One factual well documented example of something crossing the species barrier.

    Ryan — all life came from one cell according to the theory of evolution. Everything is related to everything else. So grass through a variety of mutations somehow became animals which somehow became giraffes.

    Courage wolf — stick with the question.

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  121. Falafulu Fisi (2,179 comments) says:

    I’m keen to offer the Maori Statutory Board to spit roast Horotiu for a good lunch. I’m sure it will be tasty.

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  122. Ryan Sproull (7,288 comments) says:

    You tell me evolution is a fact like gravity.

    It’s a theory like gravity. Well supported, and fits the facts.

    Ryan — all life came from one cell according to the theory of evolution. Everything is related to everything else. So grass through a variety of mutations somehow became animals which somehow became giraffes.

    Grass is certainly related to giraffes. But they’re both down different evolutionary paths, not different stages of the same path.

    You seem to be demanding an example of a huge change from one generation to another that has been recorded happening. That’s a bit like asking someone to give an example of a range of mountains popping up, and claiming that geological activity is bogus because they can’t. Both theories are based on evidence of changes happening gradually over too long a period to be observed overnight on that scale. Existing mountains rise a few centimetres in a year, and fast-reproducing species develop new traits while we watch, but no one is claiming that mountain ranges pop up overnight or that mice give birth to ferrets.

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  123. david winter (10 comments) says:

    Scott,

    You’re making a few common mistakes here.

    The first is the idea that modern species are meant to be able to evolve into other modern species. In fact, evolutionary biology predicts that grasses and giraffes shared a common ancestor. That ancestral species into two populations and, since populations that aren’t sharing genes can’t effect each other’s evolutionary trajectory – they evolved in radically different directions (though, it should be pointed out that common ancestor was a single celled eukaryote, and the vast majority of its descendants will still be single celled eukaryotes). We can infer the shared ancestry of plants and animals because we share many genes, but the sequence of these genes are different (including sequence positions that have no biological effect, before you decide this is the result of “shared design” rather than common ancestory).

    You also confuse that fact of evolution with the theory of evolution. Life evolved, that much is clear. The fossil record shows, the morophology and location of organisms shows it. Most wonderfully, DNA shows it. Evolution and the growth of molecular biology must represent one of the greatest tests of any scientific idea – biologists had worked out ‘family trees’ for most of life on earth and a new and massive source of data came along that but those ideas to the test. They passed. There are million of examples of the strength of this conclusion, but one of my favoruites is Vitamin C. You and I can’t make VitC so we have to eat oranges or pay those snake oil salemend. But we have a vit C gene, it’s just broken. Broken in exactly the same way as it is in chimps, and gorillas, and gibbons and all the old world monkeys and all the new world monkeys and tarsiers. Those animals form a group that were already thought to share a common ancestor. So, is it more likely we all inherited out broken VitC gene from that ancestor – or that we were all created with a gene that doesn’t work in exactly the same way?

    So, even if there was no plausable mechanism that could explain the evolution of a single celled eukaryote into both a girraffe and a grass (and a peony and marmot and a fish and several thousand species of single celled eukaryote) you’d still be left with evolution as a fact, needing a theory to explain it. You want someone to record a leap from one type of creature to distinctly different, but I’m afraid that’s a very un Darwinian theory of evolution (it’s actually similar to the theory de Vries came up with after studying his grass in Kimble’s quote, which was name after Lamark who is now, sadly, famous for coming with an entirely wrong theory of evolution – it’s a funny old world). Darwins theory, and modern evolutionary biology which has built on it, invokes a much more gradual sort of a change. I said before that once populations stop sharing genes with each other, they are free to evolve in different directions. Once that’s happened, each lineage is free to explore the space of possible (or tollerated, since most selection is against bad mutations) forms, that’s a process that is guaranteed to create gaps – two lineages evolving for millions (billions for the grass and the giraffe) of years. You don’t look at the tips a tree and say it can’t possibly have grown, because all the recent growth has been so small and I haven’t a new trunk form in the last week. That’s the mistake you make when you look at life and ask for a giraffe to transform in a grass.

    It’s fine to not know very much about evolution biology, but you it’s probably a good to learn about a theory if you want to oppose it.

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  124. Ryan Sproull (7,288 comments) says:

    Regarding this “species barrier” stuff, here’s a nice visual illustration: http://i.imgur.com/xWpvw.jpg

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  125. Scott (1,821 comments) says:

    Look Ryan- you left our Lord and saviour for this? Gosh you must be feeling like a right Charlie?

    Evolution is a fact- you told me so. One good example of evolution in action-something evolving into something else. Come on people.

    Also as discussed before happy to concede that the origin of the earth and the universe is not part of evolution. So lets turn to the Bible,Chapter 1,Page 1 and we will go with that as our explanation. In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. That seems like a good non-evolutionary example to me.

    Good?

    OK that’s settled then.

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  126. Ryan Sproull (7,288 comments) says:

    Look Ryan- you left our Lord and saviour for this? Gosh you must be feeling like a right Charlie?

    I didn’t have a problem with evolution when I was a Christian. Why would I?

    Evolution is a fact- you told me so. One good example of evolution in action-something evolving into something else. Come on people.

    Are you ignoring Danyl’s example on purpose? E. Coli that’s not multidrug resistant = one thing. E. Coli that is multidrug resistant = another thing. One thing has evolved into a different thing.

    Also as discussed before happy to concede that the origin of the earth and the universe is not part of evolution. So lets turn to the Bible,Chapter 1,Page 1 and we will go with that as our explanation. In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. That seems like a good non-evolutionary example to me.

    Good?

    OK that’s settled then.

    Not till you can show an example of God creating something out of nothing last week.

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  127. KiwiGreg (3,260 comments) says:

    Ryan do you argue with street mutterers? There is literally no reasoning with someone who would prefer to believe words written in a book cobbled together by 4th century theologians over, like, actual science or facts.

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  128. cha (4,084 comments) says:

    Roll up Roll up! One and all, tall and short, ladies gentlemen and children pick your creation myth.

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  129. Ryan Sproull (7,288 comments) says:

    Ryan do you argue with street mutterers? There is literally no reasoning with someone who would prefer to believe words written in a book cobbled together by 4th century theologians over, like, actual science or facts.

    There may be other viewers of the conversation who are under similar misapprehensions regarding evolution, so explanations are possibly for their benefit too.

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  130. alephnaught (18 comments) says:

    As is typical in these conversations, Scott is not arguing against the theory of evolution. This is clear from his comments about things like grass turning into giraffes, and his expectation of sudden leaps from one species to another. He is arguing against a strawman theory, an imaginary construct most likely forged from the ignorant ramblings of his fellow churchgoers. They’ll have spent plenty of time chortling among themselves about how silly their imaginary ‘theory of evolution’ is, and reinforcing their own sense of righteousness in the matter.

    Scott, I mean no offense, but I’m afraid your understanding of the theory of evolution is not sufficient to have a meaningful discussion about the matter. If you’d like to educate yourself further – and I highly recommend that you do, as the elegance of the evolution of life is, in my opinion, one of the greatest wonders of the universe and it is a travesty that so many are unable or unwilling to appreciate it – there are a number of good popular science books on the matter. I would particularly direct you to Jerry Coyne’s “Why Evolution is True”, which does a wonderful job of explaining the theory of evolution by natural selection in straightforward terms and lays out plainly the material evidence supporting it.

    Evolution is a fact. We have seen it happening. Consider the development of wolves into the various species of domestic dog. This has happened via ARTIFICIAL selection – that is, breeding by humans – over the course of just a few THOUSAND years. Given that, is it so hard to believe that the operation of NATURAL selection (environmental/predatorial pressures) over a few BILLION years could have accomplished somewhat more?

    Your refusal to contemplate evolution is clearly not motivated by a critical examination of the facts but by religious dogmatism. If your religious beliefs require you to deny reality then I would suggest it is time to re-examine your religious beliefs. You certainly cannot expect anyone who does not share those beliefs to take your position seriously.

    Besides anything else, a belief in the fact of evolution by natural selection is not incompatible with a belief in a creator god. If you find the thought comforting, perhaps consider that the observed laws of nature are merely the means by which God realizes his creation. Surely our increasing understanding of the intricate machinery of his work should enhance, rather than diminish, his glory in our eyes.

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  131. Danyl Mclauchlan (1,071 comments) says:

    So lets turn to the Bible,Chapter 1,Page 1 and we will go with that as our explanation. In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. That seems like a good non-evolutionary example to me.

    25% of all life forms on earth are beetles. Can the Bible explain why? Evolutionary theory can!

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  132. Kimble (4,443 comments) says:

    I think it is closer to a quarter of all life forms danyl, but I’ll let that go.

    The disbelief in evolution is often reinforced by the idea that the earth is not billions of years old. Many creationists believe that evolution cant be true, because they think there hasnt been enough time for it to happen.

    Is this the case with you scott? Are you a young earth creationist?

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  133. Scott (1,821 comments) says:

    OK- no good so far. Lets sum up the irresistible facts shall we?
    “the new multidrug resistant strain of E.Coli that was, actually, discovered last week?”

    Like is that your most impressive example? Bacteria that are still bacteria?

    Once again-something becoming something else? Remember evolution is supposed to explain microbes to man.

    Artificial selection of dogs is not an impressive example. The dogs are still dogs. The dog has to become something else-cross the species barrier.

    Evolution is not a fact. You have not seen it happen. Dogs breeding can be evidence of evolution or special creation. To evolve dogs have to become something else.

    So once again I do not have a good example-from all you people. I reckon evolution is false and has not occurred and is only evidence of the wickedness of fallen humanity.

    So-in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth and all life-including humanity. God is in charge and we will all have to answer to him on judgement day. So best you repent now. Time is short.

    -Scott out

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  134. Kimble (4,443 comments) says:

    Bacteria that are still bacteria?

    Thats evolution.

    You must explain what you mean by “something becoming something else”.

    The dog has to become something else-cross the species barrier.

    No. That is not what the theory of evolution says. That is something you are inventing. You are bearing false witness.

    When judgement day comes, you will have to explain why you have been so dishonest.

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  135. Courage Wolf (557 comments) says:

    Holy shit Scott that was by far the most convincing argument I’ve read in this entire thread, david winter and alephnaught above simply cannot compete! You’re right, I better God damn repent right now ‘cos the Earth is going to end in fiery judgment. Jesus Christ, you’ve got to wonder why not more Christians preach the way you do, everyone would totally be getting saved and no longer be wicked or fallen. Fuck yeah.

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  136. david winter (10 comments) says:

    Scott,

    My post was held up in moderation, so you might not have seen it. Here’s most important bit:

    Life is a branching tree, new lineages form when populations stop sharing genes. When that happens, each lineage explores the space of possible forms separately, that is, they evolve away from each other. The big changes you want to see in one generation actually accrue in millions of small steps. When you look at life today and say “who me a microbe becoming a man” you doing the same thing as someone looking at on tree and saying “show me a twig becoming a might bough”. Each branch started as a twig, it’s current size (and displacement from the other branches) is a result of its growth over many years.

    If you want to but a limit on what evolution can do then it’s up to you to explain what feature of biology couldn’t have arisen many small steps. Many people have tried this…

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  137. Courage Wolf (557 comments) says:

    Debating the particulars of the Bible becomes pointless very quickly when its history is considered. There was no Bible for the first couple of hundred years of Christianity. There was a large body of religious writings of all sorts floating around and being quoted in all sorts of spiritual debates. Church leaders agreed that a canon was needed so they sat down in Asia Minor and put together a collection of the writings they liked best and called it the Bible. The Eastern Orthodox Church includes some things in its canon that predate the Gospels, yet the Westernised Church rejects them.

    Given an omnipotent, all powerful Creator, who happens to kill babies of tribes that don’t believe in Him, He could easily have created the world; fossils, isotopic ratios of Carbon, and all. Thus, if you start from that premise, there really is no need to continue the debate. However, there is simply no way that a logical person can examine the world we live in from a neutral, empirical perspective and conclude that the Earth was created in seven days. Everything humankind has discovered in the last 150 years has to be disavowed in order to construct a reality that excludes evolution – our fundamental understanding of chemistry, physics, and biology all are intertwined. Except for a very retarded number of Christians such as yourself this simply isn’t a debate. In a fact-based analysis based on rationality, evolution happens.

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  138. KiwiGreg (3,260 comments) says:

    He’s either a troll or just pig ignorant. Either way you are wasting pixels.

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  139. david winter (10 comments) says:

    KG,

    I don’t scott’s mind is for changing. But there are people that float in the middle of these debates, and seem to think there is something to be said for both sides – I think it’s worthwhile having something up to show that this is not the case.

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  140. Ryan Sproull (7,288 comments) says:

    His refusal to even attempt to understand the matter is pretty impressive.

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  141. Courage Wolf (557 comments) says:

    Scott – every rational argument so far has floundered upon your minefield of ignorance. You don’t see the counter-arguments because you are indeed brainwashed. You present faith based alternatives to factual responses, such as GOD DID IT CASE CLOSED. The average person I would not expect to have knowledge on the subject matter, but a person that supposedly wishes to debunk something or argue against a concept should show some ability to understand the counter-arguments. To not understand this and write off a scientific-theory because you don’t have evidence in realtime footage is foolish. Asking for proof of grass turning into a giraffe is like asking for evidence of Jesus turning water into wine.

    Speciation, and the evolution of completely new species is a fact, based on as much evidence as can be mustered. We have fossils of the first steps animals took onto land. We have a good idea how and why it happened. It’s not guesswork. Genesis was composed while the Jews were in exile in Babylon after they were conquered yet again by their neighbours. The elders of the Jews probably felt that their racial heritage was becoming lost in the mix and press of daily life in a foreign country as they were becoming incorporated into a different nation, so they decided to write down their superstitions into a book which came to make up large parts of the Torah and eventually the Old Testament. The legend of Adam and Eve was written at this time. It was actually two different stories that the scribes who compiled it could not agree upon so they simply spliced two similar creation stories together and figured that was good enough. Now, with Adam and Eve. Their children were inbred sons of bitches. It is a verifiable fact that humans can not come from that small of a genetic pool. Additionally, incest is a sin.

    Furthermore you mention Judgment Day. The Bible was written for Jews and if you don’t follow Jewish legal tradition and if you don’t follow it to the letter you are a bad fundamentalist (Jesus did not come to break the law, but to fulfill it). You claim that unrepentant people like myself who may be practicing homosexuals will not go to Heaven, yet have you repented yet for eating pork? Your own belief system will not allow you into heaven since you don’t follow Jewish laws and traditions. The one and only reason you are Christian is because you are a product of Western Society. You have not studied the other religions of the world and come to the conclusion that Christianity is the one true way. You can not honestly tell me that if you were raised in the Middle East you would be a Christian and not a Muslim.

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  142. Kimble (4,443 comments) says:

    Christians.

    They invented hell, set rules to say who will go there, broke all those rules, then created a get-out clause to ensure their own eternal safety.

    Inherently dishonest.

    Seriously. How else would you describe a group of people who claim that the 10 commandments are the basis of civilisation, but then assert that the only way to get into heaven is through Jesus?

    You can follow all 10 god given laws, but if you dont believe in Jesus, you will go to hell.

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  143. Ryan Sproull (7,288 comments) says:

    You can follow all 10 god given laws, but if you dont believe in Jesus, you will go to hell.

    Part of Christian doctrine is that everyone has sinned, in thought or deed, and therefore falls short of the glory of God.

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  144. Kimble (4,443 comments) says:

    I reckon original sin was invented simply to justify the damnation of good non-believers.

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  145. Chthoniid (2,047 comments) says:

    The first thing to point out is that there is only one definition of evolution. That is the scientific definition. That is that evolution is changes in gene frequency through time as a result of drift and selection operating on mutations. This is readily observable now down to the gene level. Hence evolution is a scientific fact.

    I appreciate that creationists like to make up their own definitions, but that’s irrelevant. It just demonstrates their lack of honesty and integrity. I’ve never met a creationist prepared to tell the truth about evolution in 25 years & I don’t expect I ever will.

    The second is that biology isn’t a salad bar. You don’t get to choose those bits of evolution you like and throw away the bits you don’t. If you accept that evolution occurs in short scales then there’s no reason to reject it on large scales. For that to hold you would need a biological mechanism to prevent populations speciating. No such mechanism has ever been found or tested. Allopatric populations of species show molecular divergence rather than a slowing down or convergence back to the parent species. There is no evidence of the mythic ‘species barrier’ creationists need to rule out speciation events.

    Third, evolution leaves a road map in our molecules. Species don’t start with a clean sheet. They contain many relics of their evolutionary past. We have an old gene that’s switched off that means we no longer grow a tail. We know it’s there because it does get switched on by mistake- infants get born with a tail.

    Molecular phylogenies are being generated at now at enormous rate that validate evolution. For example, the ACYL3 gene is one of these ancient relics that persists in fungi, bacteria, archaea and vertebrates. In mammals this gene exists only as a single copy. Now, of all of the known animal species (in the tens-of-millions) only two species have this gene broken. These two species have it broken in exactly the same place – a TGG codon has become a TGA nonsense mutation in exactly the same location on a transmembrane helix. Both species have about 3bn base pairs. These two species are the chimp and man. Common ancestry- a speciation event some 5-7mya- is the only feasible explanation for this. The odds that this pseudogene (and many others we share with chimps, like the GULO pesudogene that makes it impossible for us to synthesise Vitamin C but does make it possible for us to die of scurvy) could occur randomly in both species independently of common ancestry is fantastically insignificant.

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  146. KiwiGreg (3,260 comments) says:

    I admire you guys for trying. And I’ve learnt something so it wasn’t all in vain!

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  147. Ryan Sproull (7,288 comments) says:

    The odds that this pseudogene (and many others we share with chimps, like the GULO pesudogene that makes it impossible for us to synthesise Vitamin C but does make it possible for us to die of scurvy) could occur randomly in both species independently of common ancestry is fantastically insignificant.

    Unless God put it there to screw with you.

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  148. alephnaught (18 comments) says:

    I think the patience and generosity people have shown here with Scott is incredible, and it’s a shame that our efforts to help him to wisdom have gone in vain. It astounds, and saddens me, the extent to which people can close their minds to ideas which they perceive as threatening to their worldview. To the open-minded, taking in a new idea, a new perspective which forces the revision of one’s worldview is a moment to celebrate. Unfortunately there are a lot of deeply intellectually insecure folks out there – organized religion seems to encourage it – to whom the notion that they might, just possibly, be mistaken about something is a soul-destroying horror that must be fought tooth and nail to their dying breath.

    I can only hope Scott that one day you will find the courage to reach out and truly appreciate the beautiful complexity and divine symmetry of nature. Until then, we must leave you languishing in your safe little box. Adieu.

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  149. RightNow (7,013 comments) says:

    Scott – the rapture has been and gone. You now need to figure out why you’re still here.

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  150. Scott (1,821 comments) says:

    Okay I am back.
    Courage wolf — I generally don’t read your posts. Your hatred of God and Christianity is noted.

    Look people — I understand that evolution happens in small steps over millions of years. That’s the theory. But over millions of years microbes have to become men. A simple organism over millions of years and lots of steps has become humanity. With me so far?

    Therefore there should be, in the fossil record, and in the world today, examples of animals evolving into other animals. But there are not. That’s the problem.

    Everyone is happy that dogs can be bred into very large dogs to do mountain rescues and very small dogs to fit into Paris Hilton’s handbag. But that does not explain how dogs arose in the first place. Once there must have been something else, that was not a dog, that evolved into a dog.

    The variation amongst dogs can easily be accounted for as the genetic variation that God put into the species in the first place.

    The leap of faith of evolutionary theory is that dogs will evolve into something else. And that evolution can account for the existence of dogs in the first place. This is the part that we do not agree on. We all have seen variation among dogs. But a dog has to become something else and have evolved from something else for evolution to be true.

    I can’t put it any simpler to you. Therefore, since none of you can provide me with a well-documented, well understood example of evolution in action — something becoming something else — then maybe the whole scientific theory of evolution is false? That happens in science. Theories are found to be false.

    Since the only alternative to evolution is a pre-existing creative mind that created the plants and animals that we see now, then that alternative should be taken seriously. There are various schools of thought — young Earth creationist — old Earth creationist — intelligent design — which provide reasonable alternatives.

    They need to be considered people.

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  151. Raging Glory (45 comments) says:

    When I said that the theory of evolution required more faith than that required to believe in God I wasn’t been ironic. Its never been observed happening – I mean one species turning into another. They have never found a missing link between apes and humans. Its just not common sense. One day it will be abandoned and science will be better for it. Evolution is not science, its more like a religion and the scientists who believe in it are more like a priesthood, its not like they went out and found the evidence and then became evolutionists, they had been indoctrinated already and then they fit the evidence to their biases. The fact of irreducible complexity is the best argument against evolution. People dont believe in evolution for scientific reasons, but rather philosophical reasons.

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  152. Chthoniid (2,047 comments) says:

    @Scot

    Creationism was rejected over 150 years ago because it doesn’t fit the wealth of data we have on biology.

    Molecular phylogenies provide exactly the kind of data you claim doesn’t exist. A molecular trail that maps the progress of species from one into another.

    The theory of evolution doesn’t predict that you must find fossils depicting transitions. It is a fact of paleontology that fossils rarely occur. Nonetheless, we have discovered millions of them and we do have some very good transitions found.

    An excellent example is the transition of theropod-aves evolution and this blog post of mine (How to Turn a Dinosaur Into a Bird) details the fossil evidence of this. This is a process that took 170my and has thousands of fossils mapping the matrix of traits that mark this evolution:
    -> http://anotheratheist.tumblr.com/post/2913775820

    This link is a partial list of some 22 fossil transitions that are marked by continuous and gradual changes in a range of organisms. Most are marine organisms as these provide the majority of our fossils.
    -> http://anotheratheist.tumblr.com/post/3488878071

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  153. Chthoniid (2,047 comments) says:

    @Raging Glory

    When I said that the theory of evolution required more faith than that required to believe in God I wasn’t been ironic. Its never been observed happening – I mean one species turning into another.

    Nonsense. First you are employing a non-scientific definition of evolution. Such deceit isn’t a compelling premise.
    Second, not only do we have a very good understanding of the mechanisms of evolution, there is sufficient fossil and molecular evidence to validate evolution occurring on large scales.

    Third, missing link isn’t a scientific term. It’s a shibboleth employed by creationists and bad B-movie writers from the 1950s. The Australopithecenes have provided more than enough fossil evidence of a transition between our common ape ancestor and modern humans. And this has been reinforced by the molecular studies on proteins, mDNA, pseudogenes and ERVs.

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  154. david winter (10 comments) says:

    Therefore there should be, in the fossil record, and in the world today, examples of animals evolving into other animals. But there are not. That’s the problem

    Not really. Evolution isn’t goal-directed, types of organisms don’t have an essences and modern organisms don’t evolve into other modern organisms. There are certainly creatures taking the first steps toward evolving into other creatures today – we just can’t see it because you can only know that once it’s happened and you can look back a the gaps evolution has created between the tips of its tree.

    As it happens, we can look back at the fossil record and see some amazingly well documented transitions. Whales come to mind, and birds. But I can’t imagine how, knowing what happened after it lived, you could see Tiiktaalik as anything other than a transitional form – it’s a fish with wrists!

    You might want to forget about dogs too The difference between dogs breed, and between dogs and wolves have been shown to have arisen by the new mutations being fixed. Interesting, this is one case in which a relaxation of natural selection (which usually weeds out ‘bad’ mutations) allowed genetic variation to accrue in populations before breeders twisted that variation into so many different forms. New information from mutation, followed by (artificial) selection for particular biological features… sounds like a theory I know.

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  155. Ryan Sproull (7,288 comments) says:

    Therefore there should be, in the fossil record, and in the world today, examples of animals evolving into other animals. But there are not. That’s the problem.

    Scott,

    Every animal is evolving into other animals.

    Every fossil is of an animal evolving into other animals.

    What do you imagine a fossil of an animal evolving into another animal would look like, other than exactly what that stage of evolution happens to look like?

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  156. Scott (1,821 comments) says:

    Gosh Ryan — you do talk some rubbish. “Every animal is evolving into other animals”.

    Well no actually. Despite centuries of artificial breeding dogs are still dogs. We have no problem identifying a dog.

    It may be that there are God-given limits on how big a dog can be — it can’t be as big as an elephant or how small — it can’t be the size of a grasshopper.

    But the genetic machinery of a dog is 100% going to breed another dog. The theory of evolution says that the idea of a dog is in transition. It is becoming something else. Indeed evolution postulates that species are just snapshots in time. Actually everything is evolving according to the theory of evolution. But again despite centuries of artificial breeding, surely equivalent to millions of years of evolution, dogs stubbornly remain dogs.

    Similarly in human beings. Expectant mothers may wonder — is it going to be a boy or a girl? They don’t have to worry — is it going to be a human being?

    Chthoniid — thank you for trying to answer my question. I shall come back to you once I have investigated — “An excellent example is the transition of theropod-aves evolution”.

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  157. Chthoniid (2,047 comments) says:

    @Scott

    That’s an unfair assessment of Ryan’s point. Evolution is something that occurs at the molecular level. Every species accumulates these changes. If we look at humans, then each generation will yield some 100-200 mutations. Some of these are quite critical. Nothing in the theory of evolution says that mutations alone are sufficient to produce a new species. That requires separating mechanisms (such as geographic barriers). Omitting that point misrepresents Ryan’s point.

    The real biological question is what prevents small evolutionary changes accumulating into large ones. Unless you have a mechanism for this, it’s moot asserting you have an alternative to the theory of evolution.

    Indeed, the puzzle would be why then, chimps and humans are different species at all. Both species began with a common ancestor some 5-7 mya. Accumulating changes at 100-200 per generation would make us about 98% similar now. Take away some of the more harmful mutations and we creep up to around 98.6%. Why after this period of time, wouldn’t humans and chimps be different species?

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  158. Rufus (677 comments) says:

    Scott – admire your persistence.

    Understand where you’re coming from.

    Suggest your efforts are a waste of time with this lot :).

    Gotta know which battles are worth fighting.

    Peace.

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  159. Scott (1,821 comments) says:

    Archaeopteryx — okay got it now. This is probably the crown jewel of evolutionary theory. This is the single example — a kind of winged dinosaur that is supposed to be proof of evolution and proof of transitions.

    The difficulties I understand to be many. First of all it appears too late in the fossil record to be the ancestor of birds. Second it may be a forgery.

    However good on you for providing one possible example. But here is the problem. If evolution is true there should be lots of examples of things becoming something else. We should have no difficulty in finding good transitional examples all around us?

    One possible example of something that has dinosaur characteristics and birdlike characteristics does not prove the theory. We know it is not the ancestor of birds. So the crown jewel of evolutionary theory is possibly a fake and doesn’t appear conveniently in the fossil record to be an evolutionary link. If evolution is true there should be thousands of examples of transitional forms.

    For further reading on the net go to this link –http://www.creationscience.com/onlinebook/FAQ117.html

    Those that are interested might like to pick up “Evolution a Theory in Crisis” by Michael Denton. Denton lays out very well both the evidential and the conceptual problems of evolutionary theory.

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  160. Kimble (4,443 comments) says:

    It is probably time to bring up the ensatina salamanders from california.

    What happened there (I love this) is that a species of salamander existed at one end of a valley. It eventually populated the whole valley, speading down the length of both sides of the valley. The salamanders spreading down one side of the valley evolved along a different path to that of the salamanders spreading down the other end. Each new population of salamandar could interbreed with the population behind them. But when the two paths of salamanders met at the end of the valley, they could not interbreed.

    The population at the end of the eastern evolution path could mate with every other population of salamander except the one at the end of the western path. And vice versa.

    Each salamander population would give birth to something of the same species, and yet speciation still occured.

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  161. david winter (10 comments) says:

    You are the only person to have talked about Archaeopteryx and you’ve ignore the examples that have been put to you.

    Bye.

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  162. Kimble (4,443 comments) says:

    This is probably the crown jewel of evolutionary theory.

    There isnt really a jewel in the crown of evolutionary theory. Every piece of evidence ever uncovered has confirmed evolution. There are far too many jewels to say that one outshines all others.

    One possible example of something that has dinosaur characteristics and birdlike characteristics does not prove the theory.

    Good thing evolution doesnt hinge on this one example then. Good thing we have so much evidence proving evolution that the existence of even a hundred hoaxes and forgeries wouldnt mean a thing.

    You should understand that evolution doesnt hinge on one single example. On the other hand, if you could come up with one single example refuting evolution you could bring the whole thing down.

    If evolution is true there should be lots of examples of things becoming something else.

    If evolution is untrue, then you should have a wealth of fossil evidence which refutes it. But you dont have anything. Show us the bunnies in the pre-cambrian period. A single example could bring down evolution. One single example.

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  163. krazykiwi (9,186 comments) says:

    Kudos Scott. Well reasoned.

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  164. Kimble (4,443 comments) says:

    Kudos Scott. Well reasoned.

    Dont be mean krazykiwi.

    Scott has been observed spouting lies and untruths (no transitional forms, HA! good one!), and has been shown to be ignoring evidence and reason. He has failed to make a case against evolution that doesnt rely on strawman arguments and deliberate, wilfull, shameful ignorance of reality. He has shown that if you believe evolution hasnt been proven, then you can be led to believe anything.

    He is getting pwned hard enough in this thread without your sarcastic remarks.

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  165. krazykiwi (9,186 comments) says:

    Not being scarastic Kimble, and we’ve both been commenting here long enough for u to know that I suspect. I’m not getting into the debate tho as it’s kinda hard from an iPhone :)

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  166. alephnaught (18 comments) says:

    Scott, I appreciate the efforts you’re making to form a rational argument, it makes it much easier to have a meaningful discussion :) Unfortunately your argument is based on a misunderstanding of speciation.

    The concept of distinct ‘species’ is essentially an artificial notion imposed by humans to bring order to our understanding of biology. There is no point at which something instantaneously stops being grass and becomes a giraffe. This thing Ryan posted earlier illustrates this point well: http://i.imgur.com/xWpvw.jpg

    By very gradual genetic change over countless generations, a species will eventually deviate from its ancestors to the point that it can no longer breed with its genetic forebears. That’s where we say it’s a new species.

    I appreciate that it is in some ways counter-intuitive given the massive, obvious differences between various forms of life on Earth but when you consider the time frames involved and the amount of micro-evolution we see taking place every day it starts to seem a lot more plausible.

    As other posters have shown, there is plenty of evidence for transitions between species. Here’s a great visual example:
    http://chem.tufts.edu/science/evolution/HorseEvolution.htm

    It is true that we cannot provide a perfect fossil record for the evolution of every single species alive today (even a majority of them) because there simply aren’t that many fossils around. Evidence from molecular biology (which is beyond my expertise to explain but is accepted by ~100% of the world’s biologists) fills in alot of those gaps.

    The question that both the theory of evolution and ‘creation science’ attempt to answer is: What is the origin of species?

    The way to solve this question is to look at the evidence. We know that micro-evolution occurs because we have seen it happening. By looking at evidence from the past, we can also see that macro-evolution has occurred. Add a few billion years, and voila. This answers the question very nicely.

    What you suggest is that we should throw out that evidence, and instead posit the existence of an intelligent, supernatural creator who individually crafted every species that exists now, exactly as they are today. This against all evidence to the contrary, and in the absence of any material evidence supporting the theory whatsoever. It just doesn’t wash. The *only* reason I can see that one would take that theory over the evidence-supported one is that you’re coming into the issue with your conclusions already set and picking the theory that supports your existing preconceptions.

    The trouble with the Creation Science community, from which you’ve clearly gotten most of your information, is that a) it is not science-based at all, and b) it completely misrepresents the views of ‘Darwinists’ to make them easier to discredit; because Joe Public doesn’t understand the science well enough to see that it’s a misrepresentation and thus may be swayed by their arguments.

    You seem like an intelligent guy so I’m sure if you clear your mind and read some literature from the other side of the fence you’ll come round.

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  167. Ryan Sproull (7,288 comments) says:

    Gosh Ryan — you do talk some rubbish. “Every animal is evolving into other animals”.

    Of course it is. You asked, “If life evolved, why don’t we see transitional fossils?” And obviously, if life evolved, we never see anything but transitional fossils.

    Well no actually. Despite centuries of artificial breeding dogs are still dogs. We have no problem identifying a dog.

    It may be that there are God-given limits on how big a dog can be — it can’t be as big as an elephant or how small — it can’t be the size of a grasshopper.

    But the genetic machinery of a dog is 100% going to breed another dog. The theory of evolution says that the idea of a dog is in transition. It is becoming something else. Indeed evolution postulates that species are just snapshots in time. Actually everything is evolving according to the theory of evolution. But again despite centuries of artificial breeding, surely equivalent to millions of years of evolution, dogs stubbornly remain dogs.

    Firstly, we artificially breed dogs to be dogs. We haven’t had centuries of humans trying to intentionally breed dogs into what we’d apply the man-made label “new species” to. We breed dogs to be big dogs, small dogs, fast dogs. Secondly, there is very little doubt that dogs today are extremely different from dogs 500 years ago. The fact that we use the same word to refer to them doesn’t mean those changes haven’t occurred in reality.

    If we did continue to breed dogs long enough and intentionally away from being dogs enough to be talking about the accumulation of changes that would satisfy your man-made “new species” label – say for the next 20,000 years or something – we’d probably still be calling them “dogs”, if we still spoke English, because the changes, when they occur, would be so small as to hardly warrant us coming up with a new name for them.

    We could breed only the shortest-haired dogs, eventually reaching dogs that are bald. We could breed only the diggingest dogs, eventually reaching dogs that have overdeveloped front paws for digging and eyes that are almost permanently closed. We could end up with bald, blind, digging dogs that prefer to live underground and have lost the ability to bark. But every step along the way would be gradual, and while we today might say of the dog in the year 3027 “that’s not a dog”, there’s no point between now and then when someone would say, “You know what? This one’s front paws are just that fractionally bigger than the last one that I’m going to stop calling it a dog.”

    Similarly in human beings. Expectant mothers may wonder — is it going to be a boy or a girl? They don’t have to worry — is it going to be a human being?

    “Human being” is a human label. Expectant mothers can rest assured that their children will not be identical to their parents. There is no point in replacing the label “human being” with another when a child is born with slightly more webbed toes, with a natural immunity to HIV, with a 23% lower chance of developing a heart condition, with slightly larger pupils or slightly coarser hair.

    I think maybe the problem here is that you think that English words translate directly on to reality. You talk about there being no transitional fossils because every time we find a new fossil, we give it a name and call it a species. So, for you, all of them fit neatly within the definition of a species.

    Similarly, you say that dogs give birth to dogs and humans give birth to humans, and so no evolution occurs. They’re just words.

    It comes back to this. Can you confirm you’ve looked at it? http://i.imgur.com/xWpvw.jpg

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  168. tristanb (1,127 comments) says:

    Mmm… I wondered why this taniwha thing was at 166 comments!

    Scott,

    “First of all that errors can create something more complex. Most of the mutations we see are harmful.”

    Okay, you’ve just proven the point. Most mutations are harmful. If they’re harmful, they organisms with those mutations die off. But when they’re beneficial (such as a change in expression of a cell wall protein rendering antibiotics useless) the organism will be able to reproduce more!

    Congratulations, you’ve just worked out evolution!

    In terms of complexity, of course things can become more complex – if there’s selection pressure for them to do so. (Things can evolve to be more simple too!) If you look at one example of increase in complexity – take the move from a cell with one flagellum to two, all you’d need is a mutation in an expression regulating section of DNA. But DNA does all sorts of things, it is passed on between bacteria, big chunks get duplicated – all this affects proteins.

    You creation guys make proper Christians look like idiots! I used to be a Christian until I met a fundie and they had so many weird and incongruous beliefs, that I looked at myself and realised how stupid I had been. Hopefully you realise the error of your ways.

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  169. Chthoniid (2,047 comments) says:

    A few concluding points.

    No, my blog post wasn’t on Archaeopteryx. I had started listing transitional fossils from 10s of millions of years earlier.
    No, it’s not a hoax. Hoyle suggested that the London specimen was faked as this fossil conflicted with his theory of panspermia at the time. Geochemical analysis was done of this and reported in the literature. It wasn’t faked. Neither were the other specimens. Interestingly, the creationist Brown reported Hoyles accusations in a popular anti-evolution book but never reported the papers disproving the same accusation. But honesty isn’t a strong point with creationists.

    The point is also moot as while Hoyle focused on the feathers, the fossil (as described in my blog) has many other avian features.

    No, most mutations aren’t harmful. Most occur in the non-coding regions of DNA. Sequence duplications are a common mutation, increase code length and hence (Kolmogorov) information. Such extensions to DNA provide code for new functions.

    No, irreducible complexity isn’t a scientific concept. The example of the bacteria flagellum was shot down in the Dover trial in 2005. Irreducible complexity is in fact, anti-science. It replaces investigation and testing with the notion that if it’s complex, goddidit, so don’t look any further…’k.

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  170. Johnboy (17,018 comments) says:

    You are not much of a bloody wildlife photographer Chthoniid as you have never captured a Taniwha with your lens.

    Fuck the bastards are crawling all over Godzone.

    Get your bloody act together man! :)

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  171. Kimble (4,443 comments) says:

    You seem like an intelligent guy so I’m sure if you clear your mind and read some literature from the other side of the fence you’ll come round.

    No he doesnt, he seems like a mouth-breathing, religious moron; he never will, because he doesnt want to, he prefers his comfortable lie; he wont, instead he will read some stuff about the other side of the fence written by people firmly on his side of the fence and then he will feel eductaed enough to spectacularly embarrass himself when arguing with educated people; he never will.

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  172. Scott (1,821 comments) says:

    Gosh Kimble- thanks for the warm thoughts. I appreciate in the atheist community everyone who does not believe in evolution is a moron. That’s what we expect from atheists-angry abuse.

    However for others more open minded ( Kimble close your eyes) There are many who are sceptical about the theory of evolution not just us religious folks.

    For my part I spent a year researching the issue and reading both sides- Dawkins et al and Duane Gish et al on the other side.

    I like 1 or 2 others here was quite happy to believe that evolution was the method God used to bring everything about. Yes I did start with God but when you know him personally you tend to do that.

    But I do not believe in evolution having read both sides of the issue. As many have pleaded here you can’t see it because it proceeds so slowly. Evolution is a phantasm in my opinion.

    But those interested in genuinely exploring the issue should start with the websites on creation science and intelligent design for the other side of the story. Lots of reading will flow from there.

    Scott- out
    Kimble-you can open your eyes now.

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  173. Courage Wolf (557 comments) says:

    “For my part I spent a year researching the issue and reading both sides- Dawkins et al and Duane Gish et al on the other side.”

    Either you only read Creationist apologetics or you are bullshitting. If you had read any of Dawkins’ books then you would have read the parts that addressed evolution and not used the ridiculous example of Archaeopteryx, of which he devotes a whole chapter to in his latest one.

    Remember that lying is a sin and God will judge you for it. I am willing to bet money that you only spent at the very most one Bible study session with your pastor on a Lee Strobel book and purchased a copy of The Divinity Code and read no further material, accepting Ian’s summaries of the citations in the footnotes as satisfactory.

    People like you seize any excuse to believe yet demand absolute evidence to disbelieve.

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  174. Courage Wolf (557 comments) says:

    A few considerations about a Creator who decides to create living beings and then kill them:

    Adam and Eve would have needed to have the knowledge of good and evil in the first place to know that eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil was wrong in the first place. Secondly, a newborn baby is considered inherently dirty with sin. This reflects archaic thinking where sons were responsible for the debts of their fathers. Such a concept makes a mockery of ‘good’ morality, which requires an understanding of right and wrong and an individual’s willful intention to do wrong. God’s system of justice reflects neither.

    Furthermore, consider that the God you worship requires blood spilled to appease Him, whether of animals in the Old Testament or His Son in the New. And note that it must be INNOCENT blood. So long as an innocent person dies for you – your crimes are forgiven! Great, why did Sophie Elliot’s parents not go to jail so that Clayton Weatherston could go free? They are obviously not ‘Christians’, then, are they? Don’t forget 1 John 3:16 – “This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters.”

    In summary:

    Christianity is the belief that a cosmic Jewish Zombie who was His own Father can make you live forever if you symbolically eat His flesh and telepathically tell Him you accept Him as your Master, so He can remove an evil force from your soul that is present in humanity because a rib-woman was convinced by a talking snake to eat from a magical tree. As it is proclaimed: “I am going to create man and woman with original sin. Then I’m going to impregnate a woman with Myself as her child, so that I can be born. Once alive, I will kill Myself as a sacrifice to Myself, to save you from the sin I originally condemned you to.”

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  175. Black with a Vengeance (1,866 comments) says:

    Christ is a consciousness we should strive to attain, for in so doing, we draw closer to a creative spirit that rewards us with a life more worthy of living.

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  176. Ryan Sproull (7,288 comments) says:

    Was that actually Scott, or did someone else come in after Scott left, used his name while ignoring everything that anyone said in explanation, and then left with another “out” line?

    Actual Scott, can you confirm that you’ve seen this? Third time I’ve posted it. It’s not that long and it gets its point across very well: http://i.imgur.com/xWpvw.jpg

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  177. Ryan Sproull (7,288 comments) says:

    Lee Strobel’s great.

    “John, you’re an expert plumber. In your expert opinion, could Jesus have been God?”

    “I’d go further than that, Lee. In my expert plumbing opinion, Jesus was God!”

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  178. Kimble (4,443 comments) says:

    As many have pleaded here you can’t see it because it proceeds so slowly.

    so I take it you also dont believe that pluto orbits the sun?

    I mean, we have only known about pluto for 80 years and it hasnt orbited the sun yet. It is ESTIMATED that pluto orbits the sun once every 248 years. Thats the THEORY. You know, the THEORY put out by those idiots Newton and Einstein.

    We cant possibly know that pluto orbits the sun, because we havent seen it.

    And for even more proof, it is hard to IMAGINE pluto orbiting the sun. My personal incredulity provides the best proof possible that it doesnt happen.

    Yes I did start with God but when you know him personally you tend to do that.

    Really? I know god personally, and he said you are a fucking moron. He said that he spent so much time creating evolution as a sophisticated mechanism for creating the creatures he wants (beetles, in case you want to know) and fucking stupid retards like you ignore all the evidence of his great work to believe the ramblings of stone age cretins.

    He told me hell didnt really exist until idiots like you started saying that evolution was rubbish. He created it so he could make you regret ignoring reality.

    And heaven does exist, he says, but only atheists get to go there.

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  179. Ryan Sproull (7,288 comments) says:

    There’s no real need to get angry, Kimble. People are just the way they are.

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  180. Lucia Maria (2,609 comments) says:

    Christianity is the belief that a cosmic Jewish Zombie

    Not a zombie, that implies an animated undead body. Jesus transformed His body into a resurrected body, one we will all get at the end of time.

    who was His own Father

    Jesus was not His own Father; God is three persons in one; Jesus and the Father are two separate persons in God.

    can make you live forever

    We are already immortal. It’s just a matter of where we spend eternity (Heaven or Hell).

    if you symbolically eat His flesh

    There is no symbolism going on if you are Catholic, you really do eat His flesh under the guise of bread.

    and telepathically tell Him you accept Him as your Master

    You’ve got to do quite a bit more than that. He said, if you love me, you will follow my commandments.

    so He can remove an evil force from your soul

    It’s not in your soul, it’s in your body. It’s transferred upon conception from your parents. Our bodies create a drag on our souls, however, so that our body is typically in control of our lives.

    that is present in humanity because a rib-woman was convinced by a talking snake to eat from a magical tree.

    No, it’s because Adam, as representative before God and head of the human family, ate from the tree, and then tried to hide what he did, and did not say sorry. Both Adam and Eve were very close to God, and knew exactly what they were doing when they ate from the tree.

    As it is proclaimed: “I am going to create man and woman with original sin.

    Humanity was created without original sin. The disobedience of Adam caused a rupture between God and man.

    Then I’m going to impregnate a woman with Myself as her child, so that I can be born.

    This statement is almost correct, except for the confusion about the three persons in God.

    Once alive, I will kill Myself as a sacrifice to Myself,

    Jesus did not commit suicide, He allowed humanity to kill Him.

    to save you from the sin I originally condemned you to.”

    He did not condemn us, our first parents did that. Jesus saves us from ourselves. If He were to condemn us, He never would have become man in the first place.

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  181. Kimble (4,443 comments) says:

    You’ve got to do quite a bit more than that. He said, if you love me, you will follow my commandments.

    He also said you must sell all you own. If you dont do that, you wont get into heaven.

    He also said you must follow him. But to follow him (be his disciple) you must hate your family. But still honor them. And sell everything.

    And then of course there is John 3:16, which says that anyone who believes in jesus will get eternal life. Belief is all that is needed. Turns out actions mean nothing. You dont have to be good. You dont have to follow the 10 commandments, nor the 600 laws in the old testament.

    If you pray to jesus, you must believe in him. If you believe, you go to heaven. If you pray, you go to heaven.

    Your religion is so full of contradictions, confusion, and counter-intuitiveness that it is little wonder you guys follow your training and reflexively baulk when presented with a concept that is both simple and internally consistent.

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  182. Lucia Maria (2,609 comments) says:

    Kimble,

    If you pull anything apart and look at each item in isolation, you can’t help but get contradiction, because what is missing is how all the pieces fit together. It’s the same with Christianity.

    He also said you must sell all you own. If you dont do that, you wont get into heaven…. And sell everything.

    He says that is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than a rich man to get to Heaven. For some people, who are tied to their possessions in a way that they would hold onto them even if they were drowning, those people may need to sell everything. The very wealthy most likely fall into this category. But He doesn’t tell all of us to sell all that we own. The rich young man to whom Jesus spoke about selling everything wanted to know what he must do to be perfect, and Jesus who could see what was holding him back told him to sell everything and follow Him. For those who want nothing to hold them back, selling everything makes a big difference, but it doesn’t mean that you wouldn’t get to Heaven if you didn’t sell everything.

    But to follow him (be his disciple) you must hate your family. But still honor them.

    In that case, Jesus is using hyperbole. Relative to how much you love Him, you must hate your family. But, in loving Him, so much love comes to you that the love you give your family and everyone else exceeds the miserable love you had for your family in the first place.

    And then of course there is John 3:16, which says that anyone who believes in jesus will get eternal life. Belief is all that is needed. Turns out actions mean nothing. You dont have to be good. You dont have to follow the 10 commandments, nor the 600 laws in the old testament.

    But it doesn’t say that, does it, it doesn’t say, ignore everything else that Jesus and the Apostles have said and just believe, that’s it! Belief is a prerequisite for everything else. It presupposes that if you believe in Jesus, you accept everything He said and everything He tells us to do. That you want to imitate Him on earth. Taking that verse in isolation is a fundamental error. For instance, Satan believes in God, but there’s no way he going to get eternal life in the way that John means it.

    Your religion is so full of contradictions, confusion, and counter-intuitiveness that it is little wonder you guys follow your training and reflexively baulk when presented with a concept that is both simple and internally consistent.

    No baulking going on here.

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  183. Kimble (4,443 comments) says:

    If you pull anything apart and look at each item in isolation, you can’t help but get contradiction

    Huh? If you look at each part in isolation, then there is nothing to provide the contradiction.

    But He doesn’t tell all of us to sell all that we own.

    Luke 18:18-22 Jesus said to someone who had lived a good life that he lacked one thing to live an eternal life, and that was to sell all his possessions and give them to the poor. Nothing about a camel or needle.

    Huh, notice also how he says there is a chance of not living an eternal life, so much for your claim that we are all already eternal.

    Relative to how much you love Him, you must hate your family.

    In Luke 14:26-33 Jesus says that two things are needed to be his disciple. You must hate your family and also give up everything you have.

    People who read into that that Jesus said anything other than hate your family are engaging in wishful thinking. There is NOTHING there to show that he was saying you must hate your family relative to how much you love him (needy much jesus?). The whole relativity thing is an invention by you.

    it doesn’t say, ignore everything else that Jesus and the Apostles have said and just believe, that’s it!

    Right it doesnt say to ignore what they said. It doesnt mention anything about what they said. It says explicitly that ANYONE who believes in Jesus will have eternal life. ALL who believe in jesus, will get eternal life. ALL. It says absolutely nothing about belief in jesus being just one prerequisite.

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  184. llew (1,533 comments) says:

    “And Maoir were NOT here first – moriori were – and the maori Cannibalised them (so they would consume their spirit….) or chased them off to the Chathams.”

    says who? Moriori colonised the Chathams, they’re still there. never on the mainland.

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  185. llew (1,533 comments) says:

    I believe they arrived some hundreds of years after maori on the mainland, look for a documentary called Feathers of Peace.

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  186. llew (1,533 comments) says:

    To evolve dogs have to become something else.”” Ha ha ha. Someone wasn’t paying attention in class.

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