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Thread: The Root of all Evil - Channel 4

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    The Root of all Evil - Channel 4

    Anyone watch this last night i thought it was very good, a oxford proffesser going around meeting religous teachers, rabbi's , preachers etc ...

    He really had a go at them his main point this week was about the "abuse of kids" as he calls it by teaching them about hell to scare them into beliving. Something i think all of us can relate to from our school days. Also in our country baptism first communion, confirmation all forced onto us before we understand what it is about and also the teaching of blatent lies to the kids eg earth was created 5,000 years ago !!

    He also met a guy who's friend killed an abortion doctor and this guy was trying to convince the prof. that it was a right and just act ... nutters absolute nutters its actually quite scary when you think about it. A line from the show " good men do good things, evil men do evil things but it takes religion to make good men do evil things " very very true
    Last edited by A face; 17/01/2006 at 5:53 PM.

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    steve staunton said something similar yesterday too

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    Some people try to justify rabid atheism by insisting that the world would be so much better without religion and that it has caused many wars etc. It's simply not the case that the world would become peaceful without it by some miracle. We humans can come up with more than each things to fight each other over and religion has in fact often served as a pretext to cover more insidious motives. Modern day religious teaching in Ireland from my experience anyway does not operate from the perspective of frightening kids with tales of hell. Communion and confiration I do feel do come too early and are not really a conscious choice as they should be (particularly confirmation as it is supposed to be your personal confirmation of your baptism). However the fact they do come early doesn't actually give the church some advantage as people will drop off if they are that way inclined.

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    saw a good bit of it and was quite impressed by much of it ...particularly the way he slaughtered the core tenet of christianity.

    "God became to man to be butchered as atonement for all sins. Why didn't God just forgive all sin? Who's he trying to impress?"

    I found the Anglican/Protestant/CofE guy most grounded of those religious that he spoke with. Pointed out that the world God supposedly made for us and then made us to live in simply couldn't function if miracles actually happened. It'd be anarchic. though he could've just been getting his dig in at the RC church too which to this day is obsessed with hocuc pocus.
    " I wish to God that someone would be able to block out the voices in my head for five minutes, the voices that scream, over and over again: "Why do they come to me to die?"

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    [QUOTE=Poor Student] Modern day religious teaching in Ireland from my experience anyway does not operate from the perspective of frightening kids with tales of hell. QUOTE]


    well im only 27 and i can remember the scaremongoring about hell and that id be burnning in hell for all eternity if i sinned , thats not that long ago , and its still thought in mass today .

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    Quote Originally Posted by anto1208
    well im only 27 and i can remember the scaremongoring about hell and that id be burnning in hell for all eternity if i sinned
    Things have changed a lot recently in Ireland or maybe it's just the schools we went to?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Poor Student
    Things have changed a lot recently in Ireland or maybe it's just the schools we went to?
    things have thank god !!

    there was a time not so long ago that the church was more powerfull than the cops or the gov .

    but this program was filmed in schools this year( in america which explains alot of it ) some of which thought noah's ark as scientific fact !!!

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    The Root of all evil

    [Merged. --adam]


    Did any of you watch this show on channel 4 over the past two weeks?

    Professor Richard Dawkins makes some valid points about the rise in fundamentalist religious teachings.

    See link
    http://www.channel4.com/culture/micr...ootofevil.html
    Last edited by dahamsta; 18/01/2006 at 12:57 AM.
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    It's too easy to blame religion. As the cliche goes - if God didn't exist, mankind would just create him...

    The vast majority of religious people are tolerant, positive, loving people. Yet because of the actions of a small but vitiolic minority, it's easy to rubbish the whole lot. It would be like slating all of football because a tiny number of its supporters ingage in violence - sometimes involving murder. Neither is right to do.

    Religion just provides an excuse for sides of the human psyche that would find another excuise if relgiion didn't exist. Ordered human socities require the creation and wiedling of power and influence. They also require means to suppress mankind's inner animal/wild instincts. For example, fear of Hell is just a tool for social control, and the desire for social control has been endemic to all societies throughout time. If it waqsn't hell, it'd be dead ancestors, ghosts, bogeymen, fear of the sun not rising in the morning etc.

    It's far too easy to hold religion up and, focusing on its darker sides, say - "Hah ! The world would be a better place without you !". but it is naive in the extreme to thing that religion itself is an inherently evil concept, and that it isn't just a conduit for and a reflection of the baser side of human instinct.

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    Quote Originally Posted by anto1208
    Anyone watch this last night i thought it was very good, a oxford proffesser going around meeting religous teachers, rabbi's , preachers etc ...

    He really had a go at them his main point this week was about the "abuse of kids" as he calls it by teaching them about hell to scare them into beliving. Something i think all of us can relate to from our school days. Also in our country baptism first communion, confirmation all forced onto us before we understand what it is about and also the teaching of blatent lies to the kids eg earth was created 5,000 years ago !!

    He also met a guy who's friend killed an abortion doctor and this guy was trying to convince the prof. that it was a right and just act ... nutters absolute nutters its actually quite scary when you think about it. A line from the show " good men do good things, evil men do evil things but it takes religion to make good men do evil things " very very true
    I'm a religious bloke and I tuned into this show hoping to see some strong argument against religion so I can argue more effectivly my case-knowing the other side. I was howver, extremly dissapointed by Dawkins; none of the arguments he came up with were things I hadn't debated with guys in school/college before-I was hoping to see some genuine, well founded academic arguments but the vast majority of Dawkins "case" was petty vindictivness and point scoring "you don't really blieve this do you?" etc.
    So much for acedimia!
    Also-building on what Steve said, Dawkins had some fundemental flaws in his argument. Dwakins argued that religion was corrupting politics and human nature-i'd say it was the other way around. He used Northern IReland as an example-now i'd personally say that in Northern Ireland Cahtolic's and Protestants would be able to live in peace together (and in manyy other countries/regions) if it wasn't for the politics. Revisionist history will tell you that it's not about the religion (although post-revisionist history claiming that this is the fundemental backdrop is starting to kick in), the religious ideas of tolerance, respect and "love thy neighbour" are being polluted by 800 years of politics and land grabbing. Israel and Palestine is another example-it's not the tehology of either side that causes problems-if you followed the Jewish tehology to the letter you would never kill a Muslim and if you followed the Muslim theology to the letter (in a way most Muslims interprate it) you would never kill a Jew. It's all over land that has led fundementalist youtyhs to hide behind religion.
    This brings me to another point that Dawkins illustrated his 'case' with fundemntalists. Talking to a Palestinian Militant, Hegard, and Pall Hills friend does not illusatrate religion. In fact these people (With the possible exception of Hegard) are going against the fundemental beliefs of religion.
    Dawkins asked how can such devout people live in tolerance. The people he interviewed were not the devout ones. The devout ones would follow the fundemntals such a "Love thy neighbour" and "Thou shalt not kill" which are presnet in all religions if in different words, and thus society would be free of conflict, child abuse, murder, rape etc.
    Just on a last point-Confirmation and first communion before you understnad whats going on?? Before my First Communion I had over a year of lessons to teach me what it's all about. I made my confirmation at 14 whilst attending a secular school having spent 3 years before that at a Church of England school. We had in depth discussion (mainly with each other rather than the priests), some descided to drop out and others carried on. i think at 14/15 you are old enough to know whats going on! As I said I had grown up with Cahtolic, Church of England and Secular education and i still chose confirmation on balance.
    Finally with regards to the reation of the earth you are basing your views on one scientific blief. As someone said on the show-he was taught the moonc ame dout of the ocean! Some scientists would agree 500 eyars wqs a "blatant lie" others wouldn't. Science and fundemental atheism is just one more belief system-maybe its "child abuse" to indoctrinate kidds with ideas of evolution?
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    Quote Originally Posted by liam88
    Just on a last point-Confirmation and first communion before you understnad whats going on?? Before my First Communion I had over a year of lessons to teach me what it's all about.
    Thats a well worded argument Liam but I'd have to disagree with you on the point above. At 7 I could have been taught that the earth is flat and God is a giant Monkey living on Pluto and I would have believed it. At that age you can't contemplate and think logically for yourself.
    Its an opinion that is forced upon you before you have time to work it all out for yourself. I've been Christened, Communionised (is that a word) and Confirmed but if I could go back I'd undo all 3 now because I've changed my beliefs as an adult.

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    Lightbulb

    Something i've always wondfered is why very few people change religion...

    99% of people seem to stick with whatever they grew up with. I think if someone changes religion then they much have done a lot of thinking & picked whats right for them.
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    Quote Originally Posted by liam88
    Just on a last point-Confirmation and first communion before you understnad whats going on?? Before my First Communion I had over a year of lessons to teach me what it's all about. I made my confirmation at 14 whilst attending a secular school having spent 3 years before that at a Church of England school. We had in depth discussion (mainly with each other rather than the priests), some descided to drop out and others carried on. i think at 14/15 you are old enough to know whats going on! As I said I had grown up with Cahtolic, Church of England and Secular education and i still chose confirmation on balance.
    ...if I accept all that at face value ...namely that age is no obstacle to making a commitment to a faith -why not hold off till I dunno 16? 18? 21?
    ...I'll have a stab at why not -because if Kids aren't caught when their young enough to be indoctrinated they won't be suggestable enough when their "cop on" kicks in -which is well after 6,7 or 8 years old. The game would be well and truly up.
    You might have discussed your upcoming confirmation when you were 14 for years -but you'd already had your religious dispositon well established when you were much, much younger. The church had "stacked the deck" against the likelyhood of you saying no.

    Quote Originally Posted by liam88
    Finally with regards to the reation of the earth you are basing your views on one scientific blief. As someone said on the show-he was taught the moonc ame dout of the ocean! Some scientists would agree 500 eyars wqs a "blatant lie" others wouldn't. Science and fundemental atheism is just one more belief system-maybe its "child abuse" to indoctrinate kidds with ideas of evolution?
    Science has absolutley nothing to do with belief systems. Your equating it with religious faith (and dragging it down in the process I might add). Science, like mathematics, is about testable hypothesis. We know 1+1 = 2 because it a testable, demonstable hypothesis. We know the universe is approx 8.5 billion years old and this planet over 6 billion years old because it is testable and demonstrable.

    We DON'T know if there is a God -be he/she/it benevolent, malevolent of indifferent because the existence of such of an entity can't be tested. All we have is approximatley 33,000 different versions of who and what that God entity is -given to us by the many diverse cultures of the world throughout history -NONE of which have either
    a) stood the test of time or
    b) come up with a story for the origin of all around us that tallys with that which is testable and demonstrable

    -hence we have the fig leaf called 'faith'.
    Last edited by Lionel Ritchie; 18/01/2006 at 1:05 PM.
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    i think science and religion are pretty similar really , i had an arguement one night with a mate who doesnt belive in god ( i do ) he said to me prove he exists and its not just some ramblings written down in a book years ago ,what if they were taking the **** !.

    my reply was prove oxygen exists and isnt just made up by some scientist taking the **** and written down in a book years ago , we have belived that we need oxygen to live because we were told it from when we were born.

    you cant see it ,feel it , hear it , taste it ,smell it maybe there is no such thing as oxygen and its all just an elaborate hoax .


    the main reason i belive in a god is , why does life want to succeed everything on the planet fights so hard to live , if you belive in evolution then you belive that earth was a lump of lava cooling while spinning aroun dthe sun ,ice meteors hit it and the ice evoporated creating our atmosphere ,in another meteor amino acids which are the building blocks of life created baceria which started to produce oxygen ( i know its just a theory ) which gave rise to what we have today through millions of years of evolution.

    now what made those bacteria ? why did particles suddenly join together to create a living thing rater than just float about the place ? what gave them the desire to reproduce and succeed ?

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    Quote Originally Posted by anto1208
    my reply was prove oxygen exists and isnt just made up by some scientist taking the **** and written down in a book years ago , we have belived that we need oxygen to live because we were told it from when we were born.
    Of course your mate can't prove the existence of oxygen but go into a science lab and they can prove without doubt that oxygen exists. Not a single person can prove that without doubt God exists.


    Quote Originally Posted by anto1208
    why does life want to succeed everything on the planet fights so hard to live
    Cause there is nothing else to do but survive, its a natural instinct. Sure, if there is an afterlife, which is actually supposed to be better than here, should we not all be in a rush to die and get there???


    Quote Originally Posted by anto1208
    now what made those bacteria ? why did particles suddenly join together to create a living thing rater than just float about the place ? what gave them the desire to reproduce and succeed ?
    Why did he just create bacteria - why not go ahead and create everything instead of letting evolution do all the work. Surely you're not suggesting laziness on God's part??

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    Quote Originally Posted by anto1208
    i think science and religion are pretty similar really , i had an arguement one night with a mate who doesnt belive in god ( i do ) he said to me prove he exists and its not just some ramblings written down in a book years ago ,what if they were taking the **** !.
    To be fair, science and religion are diametric opposites. Science is based on the fundamental premise of proving 'facts' through repeated experiments delivering the same result consistently over time. If something can't be proven through such repetition, then as far as science is concerned it isn't a 'fact'.

    Religion is based on the opposite of fact - 'faith'. Faith works in the absence of demonstrable facts. It is a philosophy that holds certain things to be true, even though they CAN'T be proven. Furthermore, it often works completely AGAINST demonstrable fact e.g. ressurrection, changing water to wine, walking on water etc, can all be proven to be scientifically impossible, yet people still believe in them even though it flies against the face of reason. That is what faith is all about.

    Quote Originally Posted by ANTO1208
    my reply was prove oxygen exists and isnt just made up by some scientist taking the **** and written down in a book years ago , we have belived that we need oxygen to live because we were told it from when we were born.

    you cant see it ,feel it , hear it , taste it ,smell it maybe there is no such thing as oxygen and its all just an elaborate hoax .
    As for Oxygen - yes it can be proven scientifically that there is a gas around us, invisible to the human eye, that has a certain mollecular structure and fulfills certain properties that have been scientifically attributed to the word/concept of 'oxygen'. Oxygen has a clearly defined set of properties, and clearly defined 'experiments' to prove its presence. This isn't the 14th Century - we're not all illiterate peasants dependent upon the word of a tiny controlling academic clique for our idea of what is and isn't the 'truth'. If you suspect that that which is defined as 'Oxygen' doesn't exist, then conduct one of the numerous tests designed to prove it does and see what happens. The lighting of a flame or the sustainance of mammilian life should be enough for you - as both have been consistently proven to depend upon the presence of oxygen.

    Quote Originally Posted by anto1208
    the main reason i belive in a god is , why does life want to succeed everything on the planet fights so hard to live, if you belive in evolution then you belive that earth was a lump of lava cooling while spinning aroun dthe sun ,ice meteors hit it and the ice evoporated creating our atmosphere ,in another meteor amino acids which are the building blocks of life created baceria which started to produce oxygen ( i know its just a theory ) which gave rise to what we have today through millions of years of evolution.

    now what made those bacteria ? why did particles suddenly join together to create a living thing rater than just float about the place ? what gave them the desire to reproduce and succeed ?
    Everything wants to succeed because life is genetically programmed to want to sustain itself for as long as possible - which is entiely sensible and understandable. If life wasn't built to ensure its own perpetuation, then chances are it would just die out ! Evolution has shown numerous examples of lifeforms that had this instinct but just weren't equipped biologically to survive, and thereby didn't (e.g. the dinosaurs). Therefore, there undoubtedly has been life forms that didn't even have the survival instinct in the first place- but they probably only lasted a couple of hours ! We understandably only get to see the lifeforms that have both the survival instinct, and the biological adaptability to combine with it. Which makes complete and utter sense.

    Those who question Darwinian evolution always rely on the premise that we should have all the answers NOW. Our view is wrong, because science hasn't answered everything NOW. It is clear from both human history and common sense that mankind is still continuously learning about the world, the universe and everything in it. Every single day someone somewhere finds out something new. It would therefore be absurd to presume that we should have the answer to life's biggest questions right NOW, when we don't even havn't even cracked simple issues such as the common cold. The Theory of Evolution is a massive jigsaw puzzle into which the pieces are slowly but surely being added. It is based on a well-argued and thoroughly debated fundamental premise that stands-up to scientific questioning. For example, it is scientifically proveable that all life on the planet has evolved from a small number of starting points. It may take millenia for us to get to filling-in the missing pieces before, after and around that - but with every year that passes mankind continually comes that little bit closer to understand everything. For example - we are on the verge now of having the scientific knowledge to tailor make life in whatever way we want - to 'play God' as the phrase ironically states. Only 25 years ago, this would have been considered absurd to people. Just like in 1945 the prospect of landing on the moon 25yrs later seemed absurd. If we are now at the stage where we can make life in whatever way we want, we are thereby much closer to understanding what events led to that process happening way back in the beginning of time. Darwinians have SOME of the answers to prove their case NOW - and are continually increasing their pool of such answers with time. Theologists have NONE of the answers to prove their theory - relying entirely on faith. It is therefore conveniently hypocritical for Theologians to reject scientific scrutiny of their own theory, whilst at the same time happily using science to question the views of Darwinians.

    And finally - if God made everything, then who made him...........?
    Last edited by dcfcsteve; 18/01/2006 at 12:01 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pete
    Something i've always wondfered is why very few people change religion...

    99% of people seem to stick with whatever they grew up with. I think if someone changes religion then they much have done a lot of thinking & picked whats right for them.

    Its the same with people not switching banks.....pl just cant be ars.d

    reminds me of the seinfeld when george converts to latvian orthdox to go out with someone

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    Quote Originally Posted by pete
    Something i've always wondfered is why very few people change religion...

    99% of people seem to stick with whatever they grew up with. I think if someone changes religion then they much have done a lot of thinking & picked whats right for them.
    It's a fair question.

    I guess it's probably because people who reject their religion usually tend to be rejecting the broader idea of organised religion itself. Therefore - if you reject Catholicism, it's probably due to a fundamental lack of belief in God/monotheism etc. Which would then mean also ruling yourself out of any other form of christianity, as well as Judaism, Islam and possibly other faiths.

    Those who keep their religion probably don't change to a different/alternate one because they have faith in what they believe already - otherwise they wouldn't believe it in the first place, and would be in the above group !

    It doesn't help that the 'Western' religions (Christianity, Judaism and Islam) are all quite similar - all using much of the same scriptures based upon the presence of a single God with a series of prophets (some shared) to declare his presence, and the promise of a future day of reckoning. Eastern religions (e.g. Buddhism, Hinduism) are structured very, very differently, but we get very little exposure to them in the West beyond 'pop' elements such as meditation and 'karma'. If we knew more about these very different faiths, would we be more likely to 'convert' to them ? In real numbers at least, the answer would have to be 'yes'.

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    [QUOTE=dcfcsteve]




    As for Oxygen - yes it can be proven scientifically that there is a gas around us, invisible to the human eye, that has a certain mollecular structure and fulfills certain properties that have been scientifically attributed to the word/concept of 'oxygen'. Oxygen has a clearly defined set of properties, and clearly defined 'experiments' to prove its presence. This isn't the 14th Century - we're not all illiterate peasants dependent upon the word of a tiny controlling academic clique for our idea of what is and isn't the 'truth'. If you suspect that that which is defined as 'Oxygen' doesn't exist, then conduct one of the numerous tests designed to prove it does and see what happens. The lighting of a flame or the sustainance of mammilian life should be enough for you - as both have been consistently proven to depend upon the presence of oxygen.



    If life wasn't built to ensure its own perpetuation, then chances are it would just die out !

    QUOTE]

    ye have kinda missed my point lighting a match does nt proove that there is oxygen , you belive this to be true because you have been told fire cant light with out oxygen so when you see fire you think there must be oxygen .
    why because you have been told this since a young age , in the same way adults firmly belive there is a god because they have been told it since an early age .

    what if years ago some one just came up with a theory that was just accepted


    on the if life was nt built bit : if it was nt built by who ??? who programed it to want to survive ?

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    Quote Originally Posted by anto1208
    what if years ago some one just came up with a theory that was just accepted
    There is no 'what if'. Scientists don't just 'accept' a theory. It has to be tested repeatedly and its predictions shown to be true.
    We're not arrogant, we're just better.

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