If you’re not already a fan of www.houzz.com, I highly recommend it.  The pictures are often gorgeous, and the things people do with architecture and decor really are amazing.  (It can sometimes be approached as a challenge by the DIY types). Well, Houzz led me to this site by way of an article on kitchen upgrades, and so I took in what information could find.  I’m not keen on granite, so the idea that its favor is fading intrigues me.  (Nanotech countertops?!  The future is now). And good heavens, don’t forget the comments.  A debate broke out over the existence of God! Granted:  It takes a little over 30 comments to get to God, and up until then, the comments were largely relevant to the article.  I was enjoying the back and forth, as I know nothing about geology.  There are even some fun electron jokes thrown in for good measure. Now, it would seem “Faith Priest” said something worthy of being censored; though the content is lost, we get an idea from “guru dogg” that it was incendiary, possibly explosive. “When you see a warhead missile detonating above your city, how will your state of mind react to the state of burning flesh? When your eyes melt in your sockets, how loud will you call out to God?” Huh?  I, for one, really want to know what Faith Priest said.  No matter, there’s still some fine material ahead.  “Bubbawubba Gump” says, Holy bat sh*t crazy, Batman! @guru, you have spent way too much time in a dark room dreaming of what god will do to everyone and you should see a psychiatrist. If the bombs drop they will definitely be sent by some psycho who believes God wants him to destroy the world, not by someone who doesn’t believe in an afterlife.” So, Gump starts off in the land of humor and proportional response, then takes a sharp turn toward Dawkinsville, where any instance of evil is “definitely” the the fault of religion.  Because only religious people perpetrate evil. “Geri” tries to bring the conversation to the abstract: Without God, I am the sole authority and measure of my own good. There is no objective measure of good unless it is in comparison it to the infinite goodness, God Himself.” Geri is actually getting ahead of me in the series on objective morality, but you can guess I agree with his/her point.  Not that the combox following an article on countertop surfaces is the best place to plant one’s flag. Not one to let a reasonable point be made, “jfahle3” retorts: “See, caveperson, I don’t believe in an invisible sky giant. Fortunately for you, I don’t need an invisible sky giant to tell me not to steal from you, I just know it’s not right to steal from you.” Let’s see – presuming superiority by name-calling, grossly misrepresenting what is meant by God, and failing to comprehend the point he/she is criticizing.  Here is the New Atheist trifecta!* Something is missing, though.  “SwoodTN” goes for the knock-out with a left hook nobody saw coming… Interesting article about granite. You know what is really interesting about granite? It can be found on every continent on earth and has the distinction of being carbon dated as earth’s oldest rock. Scientists say it formed over millions of years as the earth’s surface cooled. But if you look at granite under a spectron microscope, you will see radio halos trapped inside.” Unless you’ve read Internet comboxes before, then you totally saw it coming.  Here is the “But how do you explain this?” angle, which takes a narrow set of facts and interprets them in an apparently straightforward way, with the conclusion that God did it.  Frankly, the jargon is beyond me, but the rhetoric is par for the course. “Prism” replies with the obligatory, jargon-for-jargon rebuttal: “(2) Granites that have been appropriately age-dated (using K-Ar, U-Pb, Rb-Sr isotope dating, e.g.) range from billions to less than a million years old. Felsic magma may be cooling deep in the earth (forming new granite) even as we speak (basic earth processes continue to operate as always), but younger intrusive rocks are not yet exposed at the surface for study.
And (3) re: radio halos in granite – not even close to true. See http://paleo.cc/ce/halos.htm” When you’re numbering your points 40 comments deep in an article about kitchen upgrades, you might be wasting your time.  It might be easier to say, “That’s interesting,” and point out that a mysterious occurrence in geology – if it is actually mysterious – does not tell us much about the existence of God, the ground of all reality. Only two more, because they are more down to earth (or, up to the surface?).  “Stevo” says: So called scientific TRUTHS are only theories that are constantly amended as more facts are discovered. Christianity is belief in proven facts about Jesus that only requires faith.” I think I get what Stevo is saying, but his intellectual opponents on dishwashers.reviewed.com are not even going to try.  Remember, Christian brothers and sisters – when in doubt, be modest in your claims.  If you have no doubt, be even more modest. We finish with “PlacidAir,” who replies, “There are no “proven facts” about Jesus — that’s why it’s called ‘faith’. I strain myself here to understand what PlacidAir is saying, though as a disposition, I do endorse modesty (see above).  Is PlacidAir saying that we have not proven that Jesus existed, for instance?  The simple existence of Jesus of Nazareth is as close to certain as it can be – doubting it gets you the label of “Myther,” which is about the same level as the “FlatEarther“. There probably is some grand take-away here, but I’ve relayed this combox debate simply because I found it amusing.  I hope it lightens your day.   *As always, the New Atheist is to be contrasted with the serious, non-militant atheist.  They may be distinguished by the following measure:  The latter can be reasoned with.