1. I am friends with him. I have interacted with him. I know how he takes things and I know that he likes to debate.
2. You can't be in a room with D. more than 3 minutes without him taking shots at evolution (which he calls "evilution") or dominating the discussion with his views.
3. D. thinks that the Earth does not rotate or move (because the Bible tells him so), so I regard his beliefs as a bit irrational. He also believes in conspiracy theories. So I don't mind if I push his buttons a little bit. He certainly tries to push mine. I pointed out to D. that some people think that the Earth is flat because they think that the Bible tells them so: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flat_Earth_Society
Since this is a sensitive topic that people get emotional about (and I understand your reason for writing a lengthy email), I want to broach this topic by making the point that I don't want to offend you in any way. I still value your friendship. I feel that I should respond to your email nevertheless.
I read "Evidence That Demands a Verdict" quite some time ago. I thought that it was weak.
I see repeatedly a notion that "intellectuals" or "smart people" are non believers in Christianity only because the property of being smart has made them too smart for their own good. In reality, someone like myself (who claims to be an intellectual of sorts) has studied all the facts and come to a rather obvious conclusion.
I have no problem in believing in a God that cares about us. I don't know if it is true, but I have no problem with believing in the concept. Nevertheless, I am certain that the God of the Bible is not that God. (I am somewhere between Agnostic and Pantheist. I am comfortable with not knowing for sure, because I don't think that the answers are handed to us on a silver platter.)
Here is the point: Do you think that the children that biblical-God supposedly murdered or had murdered at his behest deserved to die?
I sent D. some links that you did not see. I am sure that he did not watch the videos, because he refuses to watch anything counter to his view. These videos accurately reflect things that I have thought about for decades...
If you watch these videos, then I assume that you will have some doubts about your beliefs. I find it absurd that anyone would try to provide "evidence" to support this version of a God.
How do you reconcile evolution with one of the only 2 laws of physics that have NO KNOWN EXCEPTIONS:
Entropy. (Gravity being the other one).
If things are evolving they should be evolving toward simpler organisms, according to evolution. Believing otherwise is like believing anvils occasionally fly up of their own accord and smash into the sun.
I get asked the entropy question quite a bit.
Entropy is the tendency of a closed system to move toward disorder. The Earth is not a closed system because it gets energy from the sun. You also would move toward disorder if you could not get energy from food. If what you claimed were true, you would not be able to go from child to adult.