Apollo 8's famous Earthrise picture.  Would you like to have this view? Credit: NASA

40th Anniversary of the Great Gamble: Apollo 8

Article Updated: 24 Dec , 2015
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The Apollo 8 mission was a seminal moment not in only the history of spaceflight, but in human history as well. The mission came during a time when the US and the world were divided by war and racial issues. It’s been said that Apollo 8 “saved” 1968 from being an otherwise divisive and disheartening year, and because of the success of the mission – in terms of both technical and philosophical matters — the Apollo 8 crew of Frank Borman, Jim Lovell and Bill Anders were named “Men of the Year” by Time Magazine. Apollo 8 was the first human mission to orbit the moon, but it wasn’t supposed to be. And the mission was responsible for one of the most iconic images of our time.

Read more about Apollo 8 and watch an excellent video NASA put together to commemorate the mission on its 40th anniversary


Originally the mission was slated to test the lunar lander hardware in Earth orbit. But the lunar lander wasn’t ready and then other political issues came into play. NASA was told, incorrectly it turned out, by the CIA that the Soviet Union was preparing its own manned lunar mission and was ready to launch. As NASA wanted to be first to the moon and also fulfill President John Kennedy’s call for a US manned lunar landing by the end of the decade, they took a gamble and designated Apollo 8 to go and orbit the moon.

The decision was controversial. NASA’s giant Saturn V rocket, the only rocket capable of taking humans to the Moon, had been fraught with problems and instrument failures on its two test flights. Also, fresh in everyone’s minds was the fire in 1967 in which killed three astronauts – Gus Grissom, Ed White and Roger Chaffee – during a ground test of an Apollo capsule.

Apollo 8 launch.  Credit: NASA

Apollo 8 launch. Credit: NASA


Yes, it was a gamble, but it paid off. The crew launched on December 21, and it was the first manned launch of the Saturn V rocket. It went well, although Anders tells the story how he felt severe vibrations during the first moments of launch, and feeling almost like a bug on top of a car antenna, vibrating back and forth. But the giant rocket, 363 feet tall and weighing 6.25 million pounds performed well and following a rocket burn for trans-lunar injection, the astronauts were on their way to the moon.

Early on Christmas Eve, Apollo 8 reached its destination. The astronauts fired the propulsion system to slow the rocket, putting them into lunar orbit. For its first three obits, the astronauts kept its windows pointing down towards the Moon and frantically filmed the craters and mountains below. One of their main tasks was to do reconnaissance for the future Apollo landings.

It was not until Apollo 8 was on its fourth orbit that Borman decided to roll the craft away from the Moon and to point its windows towards the horizon in order to get a navigational fix. A few minutes later, he spotted a blue-and-white object coming over the horizon. Transcripts of the Apollo 8 mission reveal the astronauts’ wonder and amazement at what they were seeing: Earth, from a quarter of million miles away, rising from behind the Moon. “Oh my God! Look at the picture over there. Here’s the Earth coming up,” Borman shouted. This was followed by a flurry of exclamations by Anders and Lovell and a scramble to find a camera. Anders found one first and the first image he took was black-and-white, showing Earth just peeping over the horizon. Then Anders found a roll of 70mm color film for the Hasselblad camera, and he took the photograph of Earthrise that became an icon of 20th-century, portraying technological advances and heightening ecological awareness.

Apollo 8 crew.  Credit: NASA

Apollo 8 crew. Credit: NASA


This was the way humans first recorded their home planet from another world. “It was the most beautiful, heart-catching sight of my life,” Borman said later, “one that sent a torrent of nostalgia, of sheer homesickness, surging through me. It was the only thing in space that had any color to it. Everything else was either black or white. But not the Earth.”

Jim Lovell said that Earth was “a grand oasis in the vast loneliness of space.”

The three astronauts agree the most important thing they brought back from the mission was the photography, not only of the moon, but of Earth.

To commemorate the 40th anniversary of Apollo 8, the crew of the International Space Station’s Expedition 18, Commander Mike Fincke and Flight Engineers Sandy Magnus and Yury Lonchakov will send a message to be aired on a message that will air on NASA Television as part of the daily Video File, beginning at 11 a.m. CST, Friday, Dec. 19. The video also will be broadcast in high definition on the NASA TV HD channel at 10
a.m., noon and 3 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 19, and Tuesday, Dec. 23.

Sources: NASA, The Guardian


41 Responses

  1. Yael Dragwyla says:

    Nancy — What a wonderful Christmas present! 🙂 Apollo VIII was the first giant step toward the stars, away from the safety of our world, and a magnificent achievement. Thank you — and may your Christmas be full of warmth, cheer, abundance, and joy, and the coming new year be the best ever.

  2. Bo Babbyo says:

    I think it was Gulf service stations that had “Great Moments in American History” trading cards. One of them was “Apollo 8 returns to earth.” There was a great drawing of a huge moon and a tiny earth, with the spacecraft firing the service module engine.

    I always think about the horror that would have befallen the American space program if the accident that damaged Apollo 13’s O2 tank had occurred to the one that flew on Apollo 8.

  3. David S. F. Portree says:

    Apollo 8 could be bold because space was a battlefront in the Cold War. If the USSR had launched a man around the moon, as seemed possible, then it would allow them to declare that they had reached the moon first. The U.S. had invested too much in its moon program to let that happen. So, Apollo 8 went to the moon. It’s a typical example of the way ideology and politics have dictated the shape of our piloted program since the beginning. More here – http://altairvi.blogspot.com/2008/12/forty-years-since-apollo-8.html

  4. alphonso says:

    Despite the politcal climate & manouvering of the time, it’s still an incredible legacy.
    Amazing

  5. Kevin F. says:

    That picture was on my wall for years – until I lost when I moved out to get married.

  6. Dave says:

    True heroism for the sake of knowledge and perspective. But I have to say the reading of Genesis makes me cringe. Here we are, orbiting the Moon thanks to calculations sculpted largely by Isaac Newton, and the words spoken belong to superstitious myth, rather than the great scientific minds who put us there.

  7. The Occupant says:

    It was a culture that believed in those myths that sent man to the moon. Besides, even science thinks that the first thing that was. . .was light.
    I wasn’t there to see Apollo 8, I was but an egg, and that was only half of me, but going to the moon for the first time, that was something. I am almost in tears.

    We should do it again some time.

  8. I remember this so well. Mom’s cousins had invited us for Christmas dinner. As was noted at the time, it came during dinner hour on the west coast and many people did not see it.
    There was no way that I was going to miss this so I sat on the floor with a plate of food in front of the cousin’s big color TV.
    Later, we watched the actual moon landing on our little B/W TV with the moon shining in the big window.
    That was nice but it was an anticlimax.

  9. Bill Davis says:

    The ability and will to do daring things like this is indicative of a greatness lost, and a hope that it will be reborn. Are you listening, Mr. President-Elect?

  10. Conic says:

    Strange to think that something done for the first time 14 years before my birth, wont happen again until I am almost 40.

  11. Collin S says:

    @Dave:

    Now I’m not a religious man but…just because we developed the science and technology to go into space and orbit the moon, that proves that God is a supersticious myth?

    It is called ignorance when someone blindly follows a faith and completely dismisses the possibility that there could be other explanations, scientific ones, for the existence of the Universe. So I say to dismiss the possibilty of there being a God is equally as ignorant. We just don’t know.

    Anyhow, I hope we can replicate the feat of landing on the moon in the very near future. As an engineer, I am excited at the possibility of working on some of this stuff…here’s to hoping it happens before I get too old!

  12. A physicist says:

    My finest memory of the trip was the reading from Genesis. Religion aside, that reading from Apollo represented a wonderful marriage of the whole of human experience; the humanities and the sciences; the poetic and the technological; the transcendent and the practical.

    For those, like Dave, who consider it inconsistent with science, I remind them that Isaac Newton also wrote books on theology and exegesis on the Jewish and Christian Bibles.

  13. Spoodle58 says:

    “Apollo 8 was the first human mission to orbit the moon, but it wasn’t supposed to be.”

    There in that statement is what never happens these days, a bold move. Bold moves should be made these days.

  14. Dave says:

    Thank you for the responses to my previous comment. With regard to Genesis making “predictions” or “observations” about the universe, it’s mere poetic coincidence, at best. There are more misses than hits, especially when the stories were based on imaginations that filtered reality through a deistic lens.

    Second, Genesis is wrong right out of the gate. It says that God created the heavens and the earth, and then He said let there be light. Really? Stars were made before planets, with every star releasing heat and light.

    And the first observational light occurred 380,000 years after the Big Bang, now in the form of microwave radiation, as I’m sure many of you already know.

    Science doesn’t disprove God, but it does, through evidence, suggest naturalistic explanations: not supernatural ones.

    It’s absolutely possible that God exists, but to believe it based on nothing but hope and fear is truly ignorant. Show me evidence, and I’ll believe it. Without evidence, it’s equal to all other myths or unsupported statements.

    Isaac Newton also couldn’t explain why the planets aligned in a perfect plane, and then attributed it as evidence of God. A century later, the explanation was provided, again removing the need to use God as a gap-filler. Newton also believed in alchemy, but that doesn’t mean alchemy is a worthwhile pursuit (especially with the success of its replacement, chemistry).

    I appreciate the comments, and I wish you all season’s greetings.

  15. Mike Jackson says:

    “It’s absolutely possible that God exists, but to believe it based on nothing but hope and fear is truly ignorant.”

    And of course your open minded description of people of faith as basing their beliefs on “hope and fear” is not ignorant, eh?

    I’m not going to bother trying to convince you that your description is wrong. You don’t seem the type to be open to hearing anything that hints at tolerance for religious belief.

  16. bob cain says:

    This was an incredible astounding voyage. The historical description is right on. We were glued to our radios and black and white tvs.
    All we got really were the radio transmissions from the astronauts but it kept us enthralled.
    The reasons for the change in the mission are exactly what we were described. We knew why Appolo 8 was flying to the moon. NASA had this strange idea that the details of these missions should be available to everyone. Probably some kind of reaction to Russian secrecy. Cold war ploy? absolutely.
    We benefited from this ‘disclosure’ .
    Other writers have documented this exuberance, Believe me, it was real.
    I hope that the current tentative jabs at human exploration of the solar system inspire the same euphoria.

  17. Matthias says:

    I’m not religious at all, and still the Apollo 8 reading from the Genesis is one of the most impressive to me, just because of it’s setting. They might have read Shakespeare or Nietzsche, they read the Bible. So what?

  18. KevinM says:

    Belief in God is not “superstition”, it is perception of transcendent and eternal realities which surpass the limited and shallow realm of physics. To put it another way, science must remain open to the fact that time and matter are ultimately plastic, and not really limited to any rigid boundaries of arbitrary number. Matter itself is a subset of real phenomena, and not the whole.

    Faith is neither merely “hope” nor “fear”, but the real and certain intuitive knowledge or awareness that life is ultimately one thing only, and not the million separate things it appears to be on the surface. Almost every moment of our waking life is an act of blind faith in the future, not science. Life in inductive, not deductive. We never know what is coming in the next moment, we presume almost everything. The superficial patterns in matter we call “science” can never reflect the whole of reality, but only its least significant surface. The choice to believe only in matter is a choice, an ideology, and certainly not a reflection of the majority of the evidence before our eyes. Religion and science are not only compatible, they are inseparable.

    Therefore, motives and intent become the most important criteria of our actions. If God is not on your side, or you are not on His/Hers, then your supposed “science” will ultimately fail you. America, being for the moment both affluent and free, chooses a beneficent attitude toward the world, hence our programs, if carried out with goodwill toward humanity, are successful. The Challenger disaster (I believe) was due to our cynical and desperate invasion of Iraq, a reckless act with enormous global effects. The invasion was perhaps inevitable, but we paid a heavy price in space.

    In the realm of material endeavor, good technique only takes you so far. All of life, and science, is surrounded by a wide, murky fringe of “chance”. If your heart is in the right place, the “chances” work in your favor. If it is not, then they don’t. The riskier the endeavor, the greater the need for rectitude of heart. Ultimately, vulnerability is the greatest power in nature.

  19. gudenboink says:

    That Earth Rise photo from Apollo VIII is one of the greatest pics of all time. Pale Blue Dot is another. Any shot from Space that lets us know just how small we really are.

  20. Todd says:

    As a man of faith and science, I’m n ot sure I have anything concrete to add to this discussion. As a boy of ten during this mission, I took for granted the public face of confidence and competence in this mission, among the many others. Apollo 13 was a grave shock to me.

    I fully expected to be in space and perhaps on the moon in my lifetime, but I think history has shown that a great evil–the Cold War–jump-started us into space much, much sooner than we would have gone otherwise. I’m not sure that even today we would be much beyond Earth orbit. Without the development of rocketry aimed to annihilate innocent civilians, we might well have missed the Grand Tour Voyager opportunities, Hubble, and other great developments.

    How does that fit with faith? Human beings have the freedom to make good and evil choices. When we choose the good, it can be very inspirational, as Bill Anders’ neck hairs tell us. And when we don’t, the consequences are entirely of our own making: the fruits of greed, violence, deception, laziness, and the like.

    Hundreds of billions wasted in Iraq and an economy in freefall: I tell you the truth–I really need a moon mission like this right now.

  21. Larry says:

    What a wonderful 40th anniversary video. I was home for Christmas during my second year at Parks College at the time. what a feeling we had around the school. Larry Zetterlind

  22. Dave says:

    God is just an idea. You can rationalize and twist yourself into a pretzel all you want to support the idea (in light of the fact that the only “proof” is found in ancient scribblings and personal interpretations). Like it or not, it’s just an idea, invented by uneducated, ignorant, intolerant men.

    And Mike Jackson: Great counterargument, nice job.

  23. Mike Jackson says:

    There is no counterargument to your bigotry and hatred, Dave. Many think it is genetic. I think it is instilled by parents, or often, the lack of functional parents. You’ll have to answer that question yourself.

    In the meantime, feel free to twist yourself into a cringing posture whenever you hear others speak of their religious beliefs. You can always comment here again about the experience. That is why science blogs exist.

  24. Dave says:

    Mike Jackson:

    The most obvious way to avoid an argument is to go after the person instead. Making a psychological assessment of an anonymous person in no way validates or reinforces your view that God exists. Criticizing “me” is not a response to the points I had made. So again, great job on the counterargument.

    Secondly: Bigotry? Hatred? How so?

    Pointing out the fact that people are deluded/ignorant is an observation, not a personal attack. People are free to believe whatever they want, and to indoctrinate their unfortunate children. It’s only a problem when those beliefs are imposed upon other people through public policy, especially in secular societies based on godless documents, like our Constitution (read the writings of Thomas Jefferson and James Madison).

    And bigotry and hatred are not genetic but are instead memetics (look it up if you don’t know), a notion invented by Dawkins. Ideas spread like viruses, and religious beliefs are the prime example. Hate is taught; it isn’t innate. Morality can be taught like good manners, there is no difference.

    But it takes religion to see the nonbeliever as evil and hell-bent. It takes religion to stone children and submit women. It takes religion to push for slavery and for ignorant perspectives of the natural world: earth-centered system, 6,000 years old, etc.

    Scripture is an instruction manual for behavior.

    Read the writings of Spinoza, of Einstein, of Thomas Paine, of Thomas Jefferson, and make a society according to their principles of Reason and rational discourse, and you’ll see a society devoid of bigotry and hatred.

    As far as there being “no counterargument,” allow me to spell it out for you in several ways:

    1. If you believe God exists, how do you know?
    2. If you cite scripture, how do you know the scripture is true?
    3. How do you know that your set of scripture is correct, and the thousands of other sets of scripture are incorrect?
    4. Explain how an infinitely complex being such as God existed before everything that we know to exist — because it only then begs the question, what created God?

    And Mike, Merry Paganmas.

  25. Mike Jackson says:

    “The most obvious way to avoid an argument is to go after the person instead.”

    And that is why you use “uneducated, ignorant, intolerant men” to describe those who believe in God. Puhleeze.

    Then, as witness to your level of self awareness, you defend those nice little group stereotypes by calling them “observations” (of people you have never and will never know) while criticizing my “observations” of you.

    Regarding public policy / secular society etc. issues, you, like other anti-religious fanatics, are constantly demanding that people of faith be silent on issues that they care very much about. That is to laugh.
    And the familiar smear job on faith is so boring now, Dave.
    Religion is responsible for slavery, even though the abolitionists were decidedly religious. And so on. Evil comes from believing that there is a God who loves us and expects us to love others, not from those who think we are our own gods. Yawn.

    You have a lot of hate inside you, Dave. Good luck with that.

    And Merry Paganmas to you too, Dave. Whatever it takes to calm you down.

  26. Peter says:

    I was 11 years old at the time of Apollo 8. It was one of the most memorable Christmas’ of my life. Growing up during the time of Apollo and being active in Astronomy as a teenager gave me a perspective on life and the Universe that has followed me into middle age. Apollo showed what the human race is capable of and it’s something without a price tag. We did it once and we can do it again. It’s part of being human. We need to know what is beyond the next hill top. All we have to do is just look up into the clear night sky and feel the Universe calling with it’s stars and galaxies to guide us on our way. We are made of ‘star stuff’. We are the Universe looking back on it’s self and the ‘call’ to go home is strong. Apollo 8 showed us that there are people wiling to put everything on the line for the search for knowledge and for the opportunity to experience the raw Universe face to face. We have all heard about the politics of those days but it was the human spirit of adventure that is the real message of the days of Apollo. It’s time to leave the parking lot of Earth orbit and push the button for TLI again. There will be a reason again to raise our eyes skyward above our everyday lives and feel again the future being created by all that is good in us as human beings.

  27. Dave says:

    Mike:

    I said that the narratives, the stories themselves, were *invented* by “uneducated, ignorant, and intolerant men.” You might want to read before you start writing a response.

    When people believe in myth and teach it as fact, it is delusional. Substitute “God” with something else, like Elves, and see if your logic holds up. “I believe in Elves because I have faith, and there is a single book with written accounts of Elf life. I teach this to my children, and we pray to the Elves once a week in a congregation.” What would you say to that? Those people aren’t delusional? You’d think they were a bit off; and you’d be making an observation.

    However, you haven’t made any observation with me. For the second time you’ve said I’m filled with hate. I find it an interesting retort considering I said nothing hateful. To repeat, again, people can believe whatever they want. I’m not saying people can’t believe what they want, nor do I hate anyone for their beliefs. But those beliefs are not immune to criticism. If you want to criticize me, go right ahead. However you need to support your argument, which you have yet to do. All you do is name-call, and it’s a pathetic attempt at a counterargument (it isn’t one).

    As a secularist, I will defend the right of all people to express whatever beliefs they have, except on public ground or through public policy. You don’t want the beliefs of other religions imposed upon you, right? Well I don’t want yours imposed upon me. Religious pluralism thrives in a secular society because all faiths are protected (because faith is a private matter); hence why the US is the most diverse nation.

    Criticizing a person’s beliefs is not the same as silencing someone, and your assumption is absurd and stupid.

    We are our own gods? Who said that? I certainly didn’t. Alone, sure. A father-figure in the sky? Doubtful.

    The funny (and most obvious) thing is, Mike, you have yet to actually provide an argument in favor of your position, and instead you have chosen to call me hateful. If labeling me as hateful calms you down, go right ahead, but your fallacious premise remains unsupported.

  28. Mike Jackson says:

    Poor Dave. You so much enjoy insulting and smearing entire communities of people, but you just can’t stomach the title that goes with it.

    “Atheism was invented by lazy, anti-social and criminal people. (Oh, they were ignorant and uneducated too, of course)” And so on.

    Not hateful, right, Dave?

    “Judaism was invented by greedy, selfish ignorant people.”

    Not anti-Semitic, right Dave?

    Here’s one you’ll love. “Afrocentricism was invented by…”

    Ah, sorry Dave. It’s the Christmas season and I just can’t do any more Dave-isms.

    Just this: “I will defend the right of all people to express whatever beliefs they have, except on public ground or through public policy.”
    This is the big lie of the anti-religious.
    You don’t believe this for a second. You just want to impose it on certain groups of people. Or do you really hold that believers in social justice (especially the religious) should keep their beliefs private and out of the marketplace of ideas? How about Atheists? Keep it to yourself? In fact, how about God as Nature beliefs?

    You will at least claim to be down with the “thou shalt not kill (steal, etc.)” parts of religious belief. I’m guessing that you just want people of faith to shut up in public about issues that you disagree with them on, and march in the streets for those you agree with them on.

    It goes like this:

    We are all equal in God’s eye–“Speak up loudly, march in the streets!”. (Uh, including that seven month old fetus kicking and passing gas in it’s mother’s womb–“shut up, keep your silly superstitions to yourself”.)

    That about covers it.

  29. Dave says:

    Considering you ignore most of my points (and never answered my original arguments), I’ll dismiss most of your blabberings as well, except for the following:

    1. If you hold certain views of reality, like gravity exists, bees pollinate, or Jesus was born of a virgin, you need to provide evidence, or at least some sort of logical, rational argument, to support those claims. Without evidence, the statement is equal to all other statements that do not have evidence. You say God exists; the burden of proof is on you.

    2. Name-calling doesn’t solve anything. When I called the creators of God’s Word (invented by men, in case you missed it for the third time) “uneducated, ignorant, and intolerant,” they were. Why else would they have gotten so many things wrong? Why would they have endorsed slavery and stoning? There is evidence to support the name-calling; it isn’t mere name-calling. Unlike you, of course, who tries to undermine a person’s argument by saying he’s hateful. It’s cheap, Mike, and irrelevant.

    3. People are free to express their beliefs in public, absolutely. But our secular government that ensures equality across all religions and nonfaiths cannot promote any form or tenant of religion. Public grounds are paid for by TAXPAYER money, which derives from everyone. And public policy is imposed upon everyone as well. No religion should be allowed to impose its worldview on others, especially in a democratic society.

    As far as the marketplace of ideas, of course religious people can express themselves. I’m all for it, just as you and I are doing right now. The difference is that I welcome criticism. What I don’t welcome, though, is ignoring the argument, which is what you’re doing, Mike. You have yet to respond to any of my claims and criticisms of you and instead you continue to move the conversation into new areas.

    Criticize my positions as I am yours, and I won’t take it personally. You, on the other hand, are bent on making this personal because you have no substantive responses to many of the points I have made.

    Everyone is free to reveal their ideas and to share in that marketplace: but all points of view are open to criticism. God is no exception.

    4. We are all equal in Nature’s metaphorical eye, because Nature doesn’t care about us or anything. It’s a process of which we are a part. To think Man is special is arrogant (ie, made in God’s image), and then to think that we get another life after this one is even more arrogant. The religious think that it’s the next life that’s truly important, yet when pushed, the reasons for believing such things siphon down into name-calling. Right, Mike?

    Our ancestors didn’t know, understandably, about the natural world, so they invented the concept of supernatural intention. We made it up. We made the whole thing up.

  30. Andre says:

    I have tertiary syphilis.

  31. Gaby C says:

    DAVE
    Does this mean you don’t exchange Christmas presents, or take Christmas day off from work?

  32. Mike Johnson says:

    ” Name-calling doesn’t solve anything. When I called the creators of God’s Word “uneducated, ignorant, and intolerant,” they were.
    There is evidence to support the name-calling; it isn’t mere name-calling. ”

    Laugh out loud. What an intellect!

  33. Dave says:

    One can give gifts to demonstrate thoughtfulness and care; it doesn’t have to be tied to superstition.

    And I’d like to work on Christmas day: the office is always more pleasant with less people.

    * * *

    Mike: What a witty response!

  34. dollhopf says:

    On this parallel daylight is short round this time of the year. The sky is much too foggy and cheerless. If the sun comes out it is merely one hand above the horizon. Some might seek alleviation in making vacations in the south, some in alcohol, others in suicide here.

    And then, when the days have become shortest and the nights are coldest and longest, there is a feast. It’s Christmas eve! And it was designed to love and be loved. In the middle of darkest night there is hope and joy. And you give and do get gifts, caress and affection.

    “It was the most beautiful, heart-catching sight of my life, one that sent a torrent of nostalgia, of sheer homesickness, surging through me. It was the only thing in space that had any color to it. Everything else was either black or white. But not the Earth.”

    I guess that you have to life in the north in a culture inspired by Christianity to fully understand that.

  35. Dave says:

    Or one can bask in the exquisite knowledge that the aurora is a creature of the Sun’s charged particles interacting with our poles, spawning dazzling displays of color, which occurs on Jupiter and Saturn too. One can appreciate and consume the beauty of Nature without the need for ancient literature. Why place a theistic filter over reality when one can instead see it as it is, unmarred by humankind’s application of self-serving meaning.

  36. dollhopf says:

    “see it as it is”?

    Who told you, that what you think you see is as it is? That it is the truth? For the Enlightenment sake, I can’t reject these “ancient literature” on behalf of your perforated argumentation. The acceptance of these “ancient literature” offers more psychological, cultural, and sociological gain than its replacement by your deceptive acceptance of what you think that others believe to know.

  37. Dave says:

    *Science* allows us to see reality as it is, rather than through a biased, literary lens. So I see reality as a complex arrangement of natural processes, which is based on a foundation of scientific discoveries. Unlike believers, who look at reality through the filter of fables.

    Insofar as religious ideas are philosophical, I agree with you. But one can easily employ some of those ideas and lessons while unlinking himself or herself from the superstition.

    And as far as “offering…more gain” than its “replacement,” that’s only your opinion and offers zero in support your point of view. It’s nothing more than a generality.

  38. dollhopf says:

    “Science allows us to see reality as it is, rather than through a biased, literary lens.”

    But no!

    Nevertheless, I see no danger in this opinion of yours. Indeed, it is not state of the art, and it is sometimes annoying. Because to believe that science is a way to free knowledge from the “biased lens” is itself a religion.

    The problem with knowledge is a logical one. Because to have “knowledge”, one has to formulate it. There is no scientific knowledge without theories and the formulation of laws. But how to get from the perception to the formulation of an “incontrovertible” law of nature?

    From the logical point of view (which is the only one allowed in science because otherwise you could use religion also to find “truth”) we are able to get closer to absolute (a tautology) truth, but never will have it. Even if you would SEE some “reality as it is” – also known as TRUTH – you could not even know.

    That is the state of the art and you show with your comment that you are not. In the region where I live, Christians are no threat to anything or anybody since decades. We are civilized here, believe it or not. Christianity shows its usefulness where it can. That’s all. That’s how it should be. Believe me, we have more social/political/cultural influence of atheistic fruitcakes here than it is good for us, people who think that they need to rot and destroy things with ideological zealousness. Meanwhile, they replaced ancient Christianity with their madness.

  39. Dave says:

    First of all, science is self-correcting when its wrong, unlike religion which instead rationalizes and reinterprets itself in order to preserve the mythology.

    Second, science welcomes criticism because it promotes progress. Science is not a religion because if a theory is incomplete then it isn’t fully accepted; and every established theory is inherently open to change should any new evidence arise that counters the original claims. You need to read about the basics of science, dollhopf, because clearly your understanding is warped.

    I don’t doubt for a second that Christianity and all other religions are useful. But their usefulness in no way validates whether or not it’s *true.*

    And I love how you try to use logic to undermine logic. Makes a lot of sense.

  40. dollhopf says:

    Dear Mr. Dave,

    on my time zone meanwhile it is going to become Christmas Eve!

    So please, I would recommend you to read Mr Obviouos’ instructions for this site very quickly! If you cannot find them so here is an abstract:

    “you aren’t intelligent enough”
    “you have some rediculous agenda”
    “Who cares?”
    “don’t comment”
    “Go to another site”

    Contact him if you have any further questions. I will log off now for a while.

    Merry Christmas!

  41. Dave says:

    Let’s see here. I’m defending science while you slander it by redefining it as “religion,” and I need to read the rules? Your hypocrisy and ineptitude is overwhelming, dollhopf.

    Say hi to Jesus for me the next time you decide to talk to yourself.

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