“The Solipsism of Science” – A Reply

November 9, 2012 in Religion, Science

DISCLAIMER: This post might contain foul language and will most definitely contain anti-religious sentiments. Reader discretion is advised. You have been warned. You know where the “Back” button is… If not, read on, and enjoy… if you must.

Tyronehster has made quite a few contributions to the MyNews24 platform, the vast majority of which advocates a pro-religious/anti-science view. The man is certainly no fool, though sometimes I have to wonder which parts are really his, and which not… I once pointed out to him that a post he submitted was mainly a word-for-word copy of an email that had been doing the rounds a year or two earlier. To this he replied that he never claimed that the writing was his. Yet, nowhere in the article did he give any reference or credit to the original author, nor did he use quotation marks anywhere other than where the original author used them. He also inserted some of his own comments in such a fashion as to make them indistinguishable from the original author’s, and omitted several quotations from the original. Though it is true that Tyronester never claimed to be the author, it is quite clear that he had no problem with the fact that the vast majority of those that read the piece would be left with exactly that impression. And the fact that he seems to think it is perfectly fine to do things this way makes me question both his integrity, and his reasoning. That being said, his latest contribution was quite an interesting, if somewhat boring read. I have my doubts about the authorship, but until evidence to the contrary turns up I will give Tyronester the benefit of the doubt, and assume him to be its sole author.

Tyronester’s post is interesting because it contains several strange assertions and inferences that, on the face of it, might seem valid. But once we delve into the specifics many of them are revealed to be little more than baseless assumptions, ridiculous comparisons, and questionable conclusions. I will not reproduce the entire piece here, because it is simply too long, but I will quote the relevant part where it is practical to do so.

Tyronester states that “Like so many so-called sciences, Eugenics was widely accepted for many years.” Though the fact that it was widely accepted is true, there is a bit of an issue with calling it a “so-called science”. For one, Eugenics as a scientific theory is completely valid. We’ve been doing the same with animals for millennia. This is why we have cows, race-horses, sheep, and just about every domesticated animal on the planet. But the Eugenics Tyronester is focusing on here is not the science, it’s the Social Movement.

A little further on Tyronester states exactly that: “…ensuring ‘survival of the fittest’” (emphasis mine). But again, he confuses “theory” with practice: “We now know the theory to be fatally flawed, and I say fatally for a reason, as it was not only criminally wrong, but ultimately led to the death of millions.“.

Clearly, theoretically, it is possible to guide the evolutionary path of homo sapiens, but that does not imply that doing so, by means of policy and/or violence, is in any way morally defensible, or even practical. Tyronester was clearly trying to make use of the age-old creationist tactic of trying to shift the blame for the abuse of the findings of science on to the shoulders of scientists and science itself instead of the sociopolitical, socioeconomic and religious driving forces that led to its implementation and abuse. He completely ignores the fact that Eugenics was most popular in the US, which still is one of the most religious countries in the west. He states towards the end of the piece that “It was said that, if Jesus were alive, He would have supported this effort. Anyone who objected, was shouted down and called reactionary and blind to reality.“. Yet gives it little weight in his conclusions. He cites abuses of minorities, the poor, and the weak and infirm, quoting statistics left right and center, but never, NOT EVEN ONCE, admits that religion based bigotry in the forms of racism, xenophobia, religious intolerance, and socioeconomical bigotry in the form of classism, were the major driving forces behind the sickening business that followed  No, Tyronester prefers to lob all the blame on Charles Darwin for merely making observations of nature and then positing a theory as to the processes involved in affecting the rather obvious change that takes place within it. This is, and will always be Creationism’s first line of attack: Nazis? – Blame Darwin. Communism? – Blame Darwin. Eugenics? – Blame Darwin. God is a myth? – Blame Darwin… As if Darwin himself “created” all of these problems on purpose and all by himself.

Well here’s a little lesson in logic for all the silly little Creator-Loving fuck-witts out there: Portraying Darwin as a bad person DOES NOT render his findings invalid. Sir Isaac Newton was equally known for the fact that he was an egocentric asshole of the highest order, but that does not render Newtonian Physics or Calculus useless. And I can’t help but be tired of hearing the old “Science created ‘insert atrocity here’ ” argument. Science doesn’t create, it investigates. People who want ‘insert atrocity here’ and want to use ‘insert atrocity here’, created  ‘insert atrocity here’. And more often than not, they do so because of religious or political ideals, not because Darwin or any other scientist told them to, and generally against the advice of scientists who understand the potential uses of the things made possible by science. You can’t blame scientists for discovering something that has been true for all eternity for the actions of unscrupulous people who then go and abuse that knowledge. It’s silly and stupid. The kind of logic only a child would use.

Pretty well hidden in the piece was also this snide little gem:”Whenever people on this forum say that ID is not science, and was proven as such by the US Supreme Court, I laugh, because they have passed so many absurd laws that they are often laughable. This case, however, was anything but.” Talk about comparing apples and pears. Anyway, if Tyronester wants a comparison, we might as well give him one.

First off, Tyronester attempts to discredit all fields of science by lambasting only one of them, and that only on its practical applications,  because the theory behind it is as sound as you can get. No, he tries to take the “moral high-road”, and blames the discoverers of truth for the actions of the bigots who apply that knowledge to their own selfish ends. What makes it worse is that when Eugenics as a theoretical science, and ID, as a theoretical science, are compared, ID fails miserably in both evidence and method. Here’s how:

Method: Eugenics – Based on observations made in the fields of Genetics, Animal Husbandry, Paleontology, Archaeology  and Evolutionary Biology. Intelligent Design – Based on the unverifiable, impossible to prove, and normally religiously based  assumption that everything must have been “designed” because it looks “designed” (…And the Bible says it was, so it must be true.)

Evidence: Eugenics – Experimentally tested based on theoretical predictions made in the fields of Genetics and Evolutionary Biology. Confirmed by studies in the fields of Sociology, Industrial Psychology, Neurology and Archaeology. Intelligent  Design – makes no predictions because it is based on a premise that is impossible to prove, and can therefore not be tested. The only usable evidence ever proffered is inconsistencies or errors in opposing theories (Using the moronic logic of “You must be wrong, therefore I must be right.”)… And, of course, scripture… ‘Nuf said…

So go ahead Tyronester. Have a chuckle. As long as you remind yourself that a Christian Judge, who believes ID, could not in good conscience allow ID to be taught as a science because it simply fails at the most basic requirements for being labeled a science. Homeopathy has more “Science” in it than ID will ever have… Clearly ID belongs in a category that is beyond just pathetic. But hey, If you want to cal lit “science”, go ahead. I can’t stop you from choosing to be ignorant. I can only point out that you are

But of course, the gist of what Tyronester really wanted to say only appears right at the end of the post: “Now call me close-minded if you will, but another pseudo-science is currently enjoying the support of the majority of scientists, with naysayers almost guaranteed zero employability, regardless of their qualifications.

Can guess which one it is?

There are two supposed “pseudo-sciences” that spring immediately to mind: The Big Bang Theory, and Evolutionary Theory. Clearly Tyronester is heavily opposed to both, and his reasons for being opposed to them seems to have very little to do with the veracity of the observations that support the findings of these two fields of study. No, Tyronester doesn’t like them because they somehow fly in the face of what he wants to be true. And what he wants to be true is the world view portrayed in his holy book. Not anyone else’s mind you… only the one he decided to follow, and this is where our world-views diverge dramatically.

Science, as a tool, is constantly evolving. Disproved hypotheses are discarded, newer, better techniques adopted, new technologies developed, and the pool of scientists working in the various fields constantly added to. It is a tool that self regulates through a peer review system, openly shares its information, and welcomes investigation and debate. It is not afraid to admit it is wrong, and learns from its mistakes. And most importantly of all, it encourages skepticism.

Religion, on the other hand, hasn’t changed much in the last couple of centuries… and the work it’s based on hasn’t changed in at least the last millennium… It doesn’t discard scripture that proves to be inaccurate. Instead it “reads between the lines” and finds various “interpretations” to explain away the disparity. All while claiming that it is “perfect” and “truth”, amid a flood of poor translations and interpretations so vague they can be used as justification for just about anything. (You’d think that something that’s supposedly “perfect” would at least be “perfectly understandable”) Not to mention that it openly admonishes its adherents NOT to question faith.

That is the major difference between our two world views. If a god shows up, I can change my position, same as I do every time new evidence emerges that changes my view on something I previously held to be true. Tyronester’s not that lucky though. If a god does show  up, and it happens to be Vishnu, and not Yahweh,  Tyrone still can’t/won’t change his mind. This is because I investigate life by assuming nothing is true until proven, and then forming my opinions around the information and evidence I can gather. Tyronester starts with “First there is God” and then has no choice but to make his observations of the world fit in with that premise or face severe cognitive dissonance. This is why some facts and questions just get flat-out ignored by the likes of Dumbwin, Sharkster, Bohmer and Tyronester. It’s not that they simply don’t know the answer (which is easy enough to say). It’s because merely contemplating it would require them to disregard the premise of God, even if just for a second, and they find this uncomfortable to the point of being completely incapable of doing so.

But hey, That’s just my opinion…

Now go away and do something useful.

LJ

Myth-Busting: Secular Laws vs. the Ten Commandments

October 25, 2012 in Religion

DISCLAIMER: This is an anti-theistic post… There. You’ve been warned. Read on, and enjoy, if you must.

Every so often I’m involved in a discussion (Or listening in on one. Naughty, I know, but I cant help it if people are loud.) where someone states, quite confidently, that Secular Laws are based on scripture, or worse, The Ten Commandments. That statement has never really rung true to my ears, so after hearing it again this morning, I decided to investigate the claim. And believe me, I was not quite prepared for what I found. So are secular laws based on scripture/the ten commandments? You won’t believe me if I just told you, so I’ll have to prove it to you… Here goes.

Are Secular Laws based on The Ten Commandments?

For this post I’ll focus on the ten commandments only. Next time I’ll try to cover other biblical laws. And I’m not going to bore you by quoting scripture, so I’m going to use the condensed version here, but you are more than welcome to check up on my work and point out any mistakes I may have made. Also bear in mind that there are multiple interpretations as to how many commandments there actually are. I’m basing this one on the Augustinian interpretation, which combines the first and second commandments (because that’s how they were taught to me). Other interpretations separate the first commandment into two separate commandments. That, however, will not influence the outcome of our little experiment.

1&2. You may not worship any gods other than God. Nor may you make idols, or worship them, because God is a jealous god, and will punish your kids and grand-kids for it.

Being of the “wrong” faith and/or idolatry have only ever been illegal in countries run by one of the Abrahamic religions or in despotic communist nations. In fact, this commandment flies in the face of one of the most basic rights in any democracy: Freedom of religion. (That should be changed to “Freedom of and FROM religion, in my opinion, but that’s beside the point.)

I cant help but shake my head in disbelief at the irony of hearing someone who subscribes to one of the Abrahamic religions loudly proclaim that they are entitled to believe what they want while being completely oblivious to the fact that if they had it their way, nobody else would have that luxury. As for idolatry, well… The RCC seems to be making quite a bit of money peddling statuettes and medallions of Mary and the multitude of saints. And the fact that even just damaging a Koran can get you killed makes one wonder which is more important: The message, or the paper it’s printed on. Either way, it gives new meaning to the word “hypocrisy”.

And what’s the deal with threatening my grand-kids anyway? Doesn’t anyone else find the idea of punishing people for the mistakes of their forefathers a little petulant, not to mention sadistic?

3. You may not use the name of God in vain.

This commandment is applicable in two ways, apparently. The first is “blasphemy”. Again, only illegal in countries run by a religion. And like the one before it, is exactly the opposite of the idea of freedom of religion. Oh the irony… No, really…

The second application of this commandment has to do with making oaths. Next time you’re asked to put your hand on a bible and swear to tell the truth, think carefully. The price for even thinking about lying after taking that oath will land you in a much hotter place than jail. IF the rest of the bible is to be believed that is. It is, however, only illegal to swear an oath on God’s name and then break your oath when you are testifying in a court of law. And even then, the charge brought against you is that of perjury, not taking the Lord’s name in vain. Also, even if the illegality of perjury is based on one of the commandments, it’s more likely to be based on the 9th

4. You may not work on the Sabbath. Nor may your children, or your livestock, or your slaves (whut?!), or your guests. Keep the Sabbath holy.

I’m assuming pets are included in the “livestock” section. Though how pets are supposed to “not work” when all they ever do is “not work”  is totally beyond me… And why doesn’t it mention spouses? (Or do husbands/wives fall under “slaves”? Or perhaps “livestock”?)

This, however, has never been “illegal” in any formal sense. Sure, in some places, like the Bible Belt perhaps, your neighbors might stone you to death if you did, but I’m pretty sure those same people would have no problem with a fireman or policeman doing their job on the Sabbath. And apparently Muslims do not have this problem, as Islam has no “Sabbath” because Allah does not need “rest”… Go figure…

And of course, apparently no commandment would be complete without a bit of irony and/or hypocrisy now would it? When is the Sabbath again? The seventh day you say? That’s Saturday, right? When is the next church service? I thought so…

5. Be nice to your parents. You’ll live longer.

As a child, I was taught that this commandment is to be extended to anyone with authority (deserved or not). So for me it’s always been the same as “Respect your elders.” – the age old parental code for “Shut up and do as you’re told!”.

But yeah…. You guessed it: It has no secular equivalent. Dissing your parents/elders/government has never been “illegal”. (Unless you live in a country ruled by a communist dictator of course) Sure, it’s not very nice, but it sure as hell won’t get you locked up… I’m not exactly sure how this would allow you to live longer though. Unless your parents own firearms, and they really, REALLY, don’t like you…

6. Don’t kill each other.

Well duh!.. Obviously… Yes. Murder is illegal. But you have to ask yourself: Was it okay to go around slaughtering people before Moses came down the mountain?

Somehow I don’t think so. In fact, I’m willing to bet that going around murdering people would have gotten you either killed, or at the very least banished from society, even in the most primitive ancient cultures. So if anything, this commandment simply borrowed a concept that must already have been pretty fucking obvious. Even on an evolutionary level, the idea of going around killing each other for the heck of it would be ridiculous, because pretty soon there would be no-one left to kill… (This also explains why animals don’t go around killing everything in sight either. They’re not obeying biblical laws, they’re following a biological imperative.)

7. Don’t cheat on your spouse.

Adultery is obviously a serious matter, but unless you live in one of those places where they stone young girls to death for getting raped, or force them to marry their rapist, you’re unlikely to get more than an exorbitant lawyer’s bill for doing it. So no, you’re not going to get arrested for cheating on your wife. Though she might get arrested if she decides to retaliate by cutting off your dick and putting it in a blender (But, let’s face it. You probably deserve it.)

Many also draw a correlation between this commandment and premarital sex. But that isn’t illegal either. In my opinion, this would be a much better commandment if it said “Thou shalt not rape. And thou shall keep your filthy disease-ridden cock out of girls who are under-age or incapable of making their own decisions.

But hey, what do I know? I’m just an immoral atheist. According to some believers I’m not even supposed to be able to tell wrong from right…

8. Don’t steal.

Again, Duh! Yes it is illegal. But again, I’m quite confident that people didn’t like you taking their shit well before Moses parted the waters. And I’m willing to bet good money that in any society that had a form of government at that time would have cut off your hand or killed you, or something equally nasty, if you did get caught stealing.

So, sorry for the bible-thumpers out there, but this seems to be another case of the bible “borrowing” a concept that was already pretty fucking obvious.

9. Don’t lie.

Unless you’re under oath in a court of law, or being questioned by a police officer, fibbing isn’t going to get you into much trouble with the law. And even then the charge sheet would state your offence as perjury, or obstructing justice, not breaking the 9th commandment. So generally, while lying is frowned upon, it is not exactly illegal (excepting certain specific situations of course).

10. Don’t covet your neighbor’s shit.

This one is just ridiculous. If there was such a thing as the thought-police, and they stringently enforced this one, the entire earth would be a penal-colony. Wanting stuff other people have is as much part of human nature as falling in love is. Pretty much everyone feels it at some point. And be that as it may, it’s not illegal in any society I’ve ever heard of. If you covet something so much that you end up stealing it, THEN you’ve done something illegal. And if it’s a dude’s wife you end up stealing, then the worst you’d get might be a sound thumping by a hurt husband. But that’s not exactly the same thing, now is it?

So what is the tally?

Yup, you guessed it. The total amount of secular laws actually based on the ten commandments is: ZERO.

Yes, you read right. Zero. As in nada, Nothing. Zip. Fokol my china…

The closest correlation between the ten commandments and secular laws is when it comes to stealing and committing murder. And even then the ten commandments seems to have only reaffirmed laws that were already in place. (And fucking obvious)

So next time you hear someone say that the ten commandments inspired secular law, direct them to this post in as patronizing a way as you can manage. The sheer arrogance and ignorance of such a statement warrants nothing less. And if they stick to their guns (and you’d be surprised, some undoubtedly will) even in the face of all the evidence, then just walk away and hope that they never manage to breed…

Next time I’ll take a look at the rest of the “biblical laws”. Who knows, perhaps the rest of the good book will fare better in the second round.

Now go away and do something useful.

-LJ

Delusions and Dawkins: The Sequel.

September 21, 2012 in Religion

DISCLAIMER: This post is likely to contain anti-religious material… Bla bla bla bla… You know the rest. Read on, and enjoy, if you must.

Right, so bobby finally came round to writing the second part of his little analysis of Dawkins’  The God Delusion. Based on “Part 1″ I’m not really putting much hope into finding a solid argument in his writing, but let’s give it a bash anyway, shall we? (You can read the original here: http://www.news24.com/MyNews24/Testing-the-Delusions-of-Dawkins-Part-2-20120921  I have once again numbered my points of interest in red so you can jump back and forth between the original and my replies if you like.)

Testing the Delusions of Dawkins Part 2

by bobby

Dawkins states that the central argument in his book “The God Delusion” is

1. One of the greatest challenges to the human intellect has been to explain how the complex, improbable appearance of design in the universe arises.

2. The natural temptation is to attribute the appearance of design to actual design itself.

3. The temptation is a false one because the designer hypothesis immediately raises the larger problem of who designed the designer.

4. The most ingenious and powerful explanation is Darwinian evolution by natural selection.

5. We don’t have an equivalent explanation for physics.

6. We should not give up the hope of a better explanation arising in physics, something as powerful as Darwinism is for biology.

Therefore, God almost certainly does not exist.

This summary can be found on pages 157-8.

Now if this argument can be shown to be illogical, what would it mean for the rest of his book? Just to re-iterate that this summary forms the central argument of his book.(1)

Now let’s look at this powerful argument that resulted in a bestseller. Dawkins premises are now emphasized in bold to distinguish his words from my explanations

1. One of the greatest challenges to the human intellect has been to explain how the complex, improbable appearance of design in the universe arises.

The above statement acknowledges that the appearance of design in the universe is not only complex but also improbable. All I did is to highlight the word improbable and clicked on the Thesaurus. The following synonyms were offered: unlikely; doubtful: implausible etc. Why is this improbable? I don’t know but Dawkins said it. Is it because that all the scientific rules, laws and evidence we have coupled with suggested explanations (postulations), there are still no convincing explanation that would suggest an observable design that oozes with so much sophistication?(2)

 2. The natural temptation is to attribute the appearance of design to actual design itself.

A comment on whether temptation is natural or not will not be made. What does Dawkins mean by this statement? Okay let’s try to answer this question. Dawkins is implying that we cannot link the appearance of design to the existence of GOD. Does a creationist have to do this to provide the best explanation for GOD’s existence? Well, what about the cosmological argument for GOD’s existence? What about the ontological argument? What about the objective moral argument? What about the historical evidence for the crucification and resurrection of JESUS? These are arguments that are always made by William Lane Craig in basically all of his debates on the topic “Does GOD exist?” I always asked myself the question why Dr. Craig always uses this argument when his opponents already knows that he will use this argument. Then after listening to the debates, I realised that Craig’s challenge to all his opponents has still not been met. No one as yet could tear down these arguments and erect a new one in its place.(3)

3. The temptation is a false one because the designer hypothesis immediately raises the larger problem of who designed the designer.

I am sure by now you see the problem in this statement. Questioning how the designer came to be has no relevance to the point of designer designing the design. Just to give you an example. If someone who does not know who his parents are and no-one has any explanation on where he is born and this someone made a little piece of art with just soda cans, is it rational to say that because we know nothing of the designer implies that we cannot link the design to him?(4)

4. The most ingenious and powerful explanation is Darwinian evolution by natural selection.

A concession that it may be the most popular explanation does not make it the most powerful explanation. If this was so, then the cosmological, ontological and the historical arguments would have been defeated already. Is this statement a subjective one or is it factual amongst those who hold this argument to be ingenious and powerful?(5)

5. We don’t have an equivalent explanation for physics.

I’m not sure what Dawkins is implying or stating here. I’ll leave this one for the reader to advise.(6)

6. We should not give up the hope of a better explanation arising in physics, something as powerful as Darwinism is for biology.

I conditionally agree to the first part of this statement. The condition I attach to this is there may be an explanation existing outside physics.  I think the brave thing to do is to look outside science for explanations if an explanation cannot be found within science. If science cannot answer the “Why” question, will we be justified as labeling it as a silly question?(7)

Therefore, God almost certainly does not exist.

Now I want the rational and the brave to answer this question: Based on points 1 to 6, can we logically conclude that GOD almost certainly does not exist? If this be the central argument in the book, what impact will it have on the book itself?

I will leave you, the reader to draw your own conclusions. I will leave your conscience to decide whether your conclusions were arrived at by logic and rationality.(8)

My response:

1) A fairly good start bobby, though I have to point out that you have quite conveniently ignored the phrase “… thus far…” The points you state at the beginning of your piece are a summation of Dawkins’ arguments up to that point, not of the entire book. It would certainly make no sense for him to summarize all of his arguments on page 157 of a book that has well over 400 pages, now would it? Though I applaud you for this time seeking to attack the logic behind Dawkins’ arguments instead of the man himself, as in your previous piece.

2) Your argument here is so vague as to be almost impossible to understand. I think what you’re doing is confusing “improbable” with “impossible”. Given that there is no evidence that the universe has any intelligent guiding force behind its workings, one would surmise that life, if left in such an “unguided” state, would then be much more random in appearance. Such a view, however, is only possible if you completely ignore non-intelligent guiding factors such as gravity, the weak an strong nuclear forces, the electromagnetic force, the dual nature of sub-atomic particles, etc.

The idea that something “chaotic” can appear “organised” is not as far fetched as you would think. In fact, the very nature of physics would make completely chaotic events seem very surprising indeed. Randomly scattered matter in a vacuum will always congregate in a sphere simply because gravity works in all directions with equal strength. Thus cubes and pyramids are not shapes you’d expect, but spheres still create the illusion of organisation. Add spin to the equation and more complex shapes like spirals, cones, and discs become possible. Add multiple bodies into a system and geometric oddities like elliptical/circular orbits start popping up. These shapes, though they may appear to be “designed”, are in truth merely guided by universal constants. And constants like gravity are not things you can haggle with. At worst Dawkins merely failed to bring his point across understandably, or fell into the same trap of not giving credit to the laws of physics. Either way, stating that he is wrong does not by association imply that your point of view must therefore be correct.

3) A snide remark, if I ever saw one, and completely beside the point. If you really think temptation is not natural, you should state your case so we may assess its validity. If not, rather just keep your musings to yourself. As for the rest of your argument, your dependence on Lane Craig’s arguments belie your lack of knowledge on the subject. From what I’ve seen, Lane Craig does not continue using the same old arguments because no one has ever successfully challenged them, he keeps using them because he has no other line of attack, and stoutly refuses to concede a point, even when soundly defeated. Ignoring your opponent’s views does not lend credibility to your own. And there is absolutely no need to replace a defeated argument like the ones you stated with anything of equal standing. Proving them wrong is enough, and “We don’t know” is a valid answer. But for the sake of clarity, let me point out the flaws in Lane Craig’s arguments so you can decide for yourself whether they really are as strong as you think they are.

- The Cosmological Argument: This generally goes something along the lines of “Something must have caused the universe, and this cause must be God.” The first problem with this is that it is assumed that the universe does in fact have a cause in the sense that it has a beginning, and therefore no “before” before a certain point in time. This may be true in the sense of “time”, but need not be in the sense of “space”. For all we know, the energy contained within the universe might be eternal, and have no “origin” of its own.

The second, and much more important problem, is that it is again assumed that this “First Cause” or “Prime Mover” has to be God. Even if the universe does have a “cause”, that in no way implies that this “cause” is in any way willful or intelligent, and there is most definitely no reason to assume that it is the Abrahamic God in particular.

So the cosmological argument fails in that it is based on two totally unproven assumptions. Yet Lane Craig refuses to acknowledge as much.

- The Ontological Argument: This line of attack is little more than a game of semantics aimed at confusing people with vague logic and half-arsed descriptions of what/who God is supposed to be. The idea that something can be “perfect”, the odious notion that something that can be conceived must necessarily be possible, etc. etc. etc… All notions so vague and entirely dependent on interpretation that it can hardly be thought of as conclusive proof for anything other than that people have very creative imaginations. The best rebuttal I have ever heard for this argument was posed by a friend of mine, and it basically merely asks whoever uses the Ontological Argument to first clearly define God, and clearly define the definitions themselves. Invariably any description usually includes the terms “Perfect”, “Omnipotent”, “Omniscient”, and every so often “Omnipresent”. From there silly little brain benders like “Can God create a rock so heavy that he cannot lift it?” quickly introduces contradictions that strip this version of God of at leas two of the aforementioned descriptions, which means that the God described is thus imperfect, and cannot be described as God.

Basically the Ontological argument is based on philosophizing obscurities in headache inducing complexity merely to assert that a god might exist, and then claiming it as a victory for the point  of view that one does exist.

- The Objective Moral Argument: I’ve never hear of this argument, but if it’s in any way related to the Argument from Morality or Objective Morality you, and Lane Craig, are seriously scraping the bottom of the barrel, as they are dependent on the unproven premises that morality cannot exist without God – for the former, and that knowledge cannot exist without God – for the latter.

- The Historical evidence for the Crucifiction and Resurrection of Jesus: This is as disingenuous an argument as there ever was…

First unproven assumption: The Jesus described in the Bible did exist, and did all the things described in the Bible. It can be conceded that there was at least one man that had the name Jesus (Or Issa, at a time, and in a place where it was a common name to have) and that this man was said to have been a performer of miracles. Other than that, there is no concrete evidence anywhere of Jesus’ existence other than the Bible. And seeing as the Bible already contains historical inaccuracies and is written from a biased point of view, it can not be counted on as trustworthy evidence.

Second unproven assumption: The Bible is factually and historically accurate… See above.

Third unproven assumption: Jesus actually died on the cross. (Some counter arguments state that most of those who were crucified died in a matter of days, not hours, as Jesus did. And that Jesus’ followers took him from the cross while he was still alive, and merely lied about his death.) Only real proof for it, is the Bible. Again, see above.

Fourth unproven assumption: Jesus actually came back from the dead. Again, the only “evidence” is the Bible itself (see above). The only people who claimed to have seen him were his own followers. (Biased and anecdotal) Paul, who used to be Saul, of whom almost nothing is known before his appearance among the Christians, also claimed to have “seen” Jesus. (Again, biased and anecdotal)

This isn’t as much an argument for the existence of God as is it an attempt to assert the veracity of the Bible by disguising it as a proven premise fro the existence of God.

4) Your claim here is preposterous, and quite arrogant. In essence you assert that everything had to have a “creator” and then quite conveniently excuse your “creator” himself from this requirement. That is exactly what Dawkins was aiming at. If you assume that everything has to have been designed then why does your designer get a free pass? And why does everything have to have been designed in the first place? Just because you think it looks like it was? To use your example of the soda can sculpture, you conveniently assume the sculpture was intentionally made by someone as a piece of art without acknowledging the equally likely possibility that someone could have just picked up the result of an industrial accident on a scrap heap and decided to call it art. 

5) Sigh… First, see point 3 above. Then, wrap your head around this: Darwinian evolution can be observed and tested, and has mounds of supporting evidence from the fields of Micro-Biology, Genetics, and Animal Husbandry. It might not be the only force at play, but it cannot be denied that it does play a role. And given enough time it can conclusively be proven to occur naturally in nature (if only the creationists would be kind enough to shut up for that long.)

As for your arguments: The only evidence for the Cosmological Argument, is a thought experiment based on unproven assumtions. The only evidence for the Ontological Argument, is a thought experiment based on unclear concepts and descriptions. And the only evidence for the historic veracity for the death of Jesus as described in the Bible, is the Bible itself. Need I say more?

6) Smart move bobby. Here’s hoping M-theory or something similar will one day provide an answer.

7) Here I agree with Dawkins again. You expect Physics to give you answers on Philosophy. You’re arguing that not knowing something necessarily means the the answer must lie in the supernatural. You’re asking a field that studies the interactions of the physical to describe its emotional content as it interacts. Basically, you’re just being evasive and silly. Looking to the supernatural for answers to the physical isn’t brave, it’s intellectually dishonest and unnecessary.

Conclusion: I concede, as Dawkins does, that there is a chance, extremely slight, but still a chance, that he might be wrong. Does that mean your hypotheses are correct? No. You have proven absolutely nothing that Dawkins has said as patently untrue or illogical. In fact, Dawkins’ logic is far more sound than the logic of any of the arguments you have put forth. The only flaw I could find in Dawkins’ reasoning is that the appearance of design should be surprising. And even then I’m not even sure that he meant it in that context.

In any case, I still find Dawkins’ reasoning much more compelling than your own. But good luck with the other 250 or so pages you have not gotten round to bobby. I look forward to the next installment.

Now go away and do something useful

LJ

Hindsight Prophesy

September 11, 2012 in Religion

DISCLAIMER: This post is in reply to a user letter posted on MyNews24. It is bound to be offensive to biblical literalists and religious extremists. That said, if you feel you have the stomach to read on then be my guest. You have, after all, been warned. Rational debate and open-minded discussion is, as always encouraged. Verbal abuse and negative comments will be dealt with in kind, or not at all, depending on the mood of the author. In order to keep this post as short as possible the original has not been reproduced here, but can be read here: http://www.news24.com/MyNews24/Christian-Numbers-Dwindling-Oh-No-20120822

Read on. And enjoy, if you must…

 It is hardly surprising that many atheists are indeed quite satisfied that religion, in all its forms, might be experiencing negative growth. Though FailthFilled doesn’t seem to understand the actual reasons behind the “celebration” of this fact. The efforts of most outspoken atheists are not specifically aimed at “eradicating” religion. (Surely then they would be called anti-theists, not atheists? – There is a marked difference between being against a religion and simply being without one.) Quite the contrary in fact. I for one couldn’t give two hoots whether Christianity, or any other religion, survives the process. The idea is to educate people. The idea is to show people that you can get answers to many questions by investigating interesting/puzzling phenomena using the tools made available to us by science and scientific thought. The idea is to get it through to people that just because you are superstitious or believe certain un-provable things, does not give you the right to force others to feel, act, or think the same way. The fact that many (not all) religious beliefs contradict observable fact, and the progress of human rights, is, in the end, religion’s problem, not ours. It is in trying to force those beliefs on others that we are bound to bump heads.

I’m a little saddened (and sickened) that FaithFilled only finds it ironic that specifically atheists are rejoicing at the fulfillment of a “prophecy” that will see them, and pretty much everyone else in the world, burn in hell for eternity. (Personally I wouldn’t wish that upon anyone, ever… But hey, I’m just another immoral, satanic, “intellectite”, atheist idiot, right?) But that’s not the purpose of this reply. No, what I’m really taking aim at is the “LONG FORETOLD” fallacy that’s been popping up with increased regularity lately.

Over the years I have seen many fine examples of the sometimes odd reasoning used in what I prefer to call “hindsight prophesying”. These kinds of “prophecies” can range from convoluted circular references to simple restatements of old observations, but they all carry the same identifying characteristics: They rephrase something already known in the form of a prediction. And they are purposely phrased in such a way as to create a negative impression of those who do not subscribe to the author’s preferred doctrine. Let’s use FaithFilled’s quotations as an example:

 ”1Ti 4:1  Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons,

 1Ti 4:2  speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron”

- Written as if this was never the case before, during, or even shortly after the time of Christ. A demonstrably erroneous assumption. As true today as it was two thousand years ago. Even older if applied to Judaism. And, like any other religion, referring to any opinion other than their own as “lies” or “hypocrisy” without any specifics. Basically all this says is “Some will not keep believing”, which is rather obvious, and “Not us = Bad people”, which is just plain bigotry. Hardly what I’d call true prophecy.

 ”2Ti 4:3  For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers;

 2Ti 4:4  and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables.”

- Probably the most disturbing of the verses quoted. It relegates any knowledge other than that proffered by Paul’s chosen religion to “unsound doctrine”, and paints anyone who seeks such knowledge in a very negative light for purposely ignoring “truth” for “fables”, and greedily hoarding “teachers” because their ears supposedly itch… And again infers that this never happened before it was written. – An assertion easily disproved by looking at how many different cults already existed during the bronze age and after.

 ”Mat 24:12  And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold.”

- As if in the time of Mathew, lawlessness, and apostasy, was something unheard of… really…

Scripture is littered with little gems like those above. And they’re usually reinforced with negative attitudes towards anything that even slightly resembles opposition. See for yourself:

 ”2Ti 3:13  But evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived.

 2Ti 3:14  But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them,

 2Ti 3:15  and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.

 2Ti 3:16  All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness,

 2Ti 3:17  that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.”

Yet more “Us = Good, Them = Bad”. For a supposedly compassionate religion, the Christians who penned those passages didn’t seem to have much esteem for the fact that the people they are so vehemently condemning are actual human-beings. People, who have feelings, families, hopes and dreams… But of course, believing in anything other than what they prescribe must surely mean that the rest of us are “evil” and “impostors”. That we are “unwise”, “hypocrites” and “liars”. (Pot – Kettle anyone?) And all we need to do to be labeled all these things is not be Christian (Or just not the “right kind” of Christian). And of course there’s the absolute wonderment when it is asserted that things that were written so long ago, somehow so accurately describes people like me, who live in the distant future, conveniently ignoring the fact that people like me have been around for pretty much all of recorded history. But of course, this Biblical prophecy could only be referring to me, and those like me, and not any of the droves of learned people, philosophers and Average Joe’s who asked the same questions even in the centuries before the birth of Christ.

It is the very same hypocritical, egotistical, and denigrating spinning of fairytales by the supposed leaders of a fledgling Christianity that also forms the basis of  blatant fallacies such as: “Anyone who leaves the faith was never a true believer”  – Always trotted out as a “prophecy” AFTER THE FACT, all the while giving absolutely no recognition to the apostate’s own feelings on the matter, even before renouncing the religion.

And “Marriage is a union between a man and a woman, as ordained by God.” - As if people weren’t getting married before Christianity somehow “invented” it, and of course completely ignoring the vast majority of marriages in biblical history, which was generally between a man and multiple women, who (barring a small number of prominent figures) were generally seen as little more than chattel.

Over and over, sometimes blatantly obvious observations are rephrased to sound like prophecy, and then used as evidence of the veracity of other claims made by this “prophet”. All that is needed is a sufficiently vague claim connected to something predictable enough, and Hey Presto!: You are now an instant prophet. (Your Certificate and Crystal-Ball keychain are in the mail…)

I can, for instance, prophesy (in a deep, booming voice) that: “In the days to come, our young will cease to respect their elders. They will fall prey to the wicked ways of the world, and give them selves over to lifestyles of debauchery and immorality…”

Sounds vaguely familiar, doesn’t it?

Now compare that to the following:

“When I was young, we were taught to be discreet and respectful of elders, but the present youth are exceedingly disrespectful and impatient of restraint”.
Hesiod, 8th century BC

 and:

“What is happening to our young people? They disrespect their elders, they disobey their parents. They ignore the law. They riot in the streets inflamed with wild notions. Their morals are decaying. What is to become of them?”
Plato, 4th Century BC

 So of course my little prophecy is going to be fulfilled. It has been repeatedly fulfilled for at least the last 3000 odd years.

It’s so easy to manufacture a plausible “prophecy” on par with any of those put forth in scripture that it is a wonder that we do not have more “prophets” around today. In fact, most of these prophesies are so thin that anyone who believes them must certainly at some point make a conscious decision to ignore the obvious in favor of protecting the shiny veneer of their faith.

Let’s try another one, this time with a little more Revelations-esque flair (and even deeper booming voice…): “And the king with two crowns rose from the ashes of the old, and spread fear and dismay among the people of the land. And from him he sent out riders, bearing shields emblazoned with praise for the king, to sow dissent among the believing and recruit the fallen to his armies so that he may one day rule over the lands of the righteous…”

That little warble could describe just about half the leaders in the world if viewed through the eyes of their detractors. The idea of “Two crowns” can be construed as anything from having dual citizenship (Obama – American/British(Kenyan), Hitler – Austrian/German), two titles (Napoleon – General/Emperor. Zuma – President of both South Africa and the ANC…) or descended from two different royal lines (which would be pretty much everyone of royal blood). Hell, anything short of the obvious, like two eyes, or a set of testicles, could fit the bill of Two Crowns.

 “Rising from the ashes” could similarly mean just about anything, from coming out of a recent revolution/war to merely taking over from a less popular leader, or even just rising from relative obscurity. And as long as this new leader is disliked by any significant portion of his opponents, “fear and dismay” will always be perceived to be present by those who would like it to be so.

Finding a situation to fit a loosely conceptualized acid-trip like the one I just wrote (really, I thumb-sucked that as I was sitting here typing) is as easy as watching Prime-Time News. Somewhere along the line someone is bound to fit the bill. Even a teenager could do it. In fact, here’s a fun little experiment: How about you tell me how many situations – past or present – you think could match my little doom- prophecy? (Don’t hold back on the details.)

In essence, FaithFilled’s assertion that Biblical prophecy is coming true is about as hollow as the drum he keeps beating. “Prophets” and preachers have been bleating on about the same old crap for more than two millennia, and nothing of the sort has come to pass. FaithFilled’s thinking that his view is any more valid than of the previous million or so Armageddon Prophets is arrogant and foolish to the point of being annoying.

Obviously, if a world wide catastrophe does strike – a probability that certainly comes with nuclear technology and hurtling through space at an average speed of 108’000 km/h (in relation to the sun.) – then some of the doom prophets like FaithFilled will obviously end up looking like they were right. But that would hardly be as a result of any kind of insight the rest of us lack. It would simply be blind luck.

If you keep predicting that someone will roll a double-six, then eventually someone will. And if you keep predicting that things that happened in the past will happen again, then eventually you’ll happen to be right. But that’s not really prophesy, and you don’t need a prophet to tell you that.

Now go away and do something useful.

 LJ

Delusions and Dawkins

September 6, 2012 in Religion

DISCLAIMER: This is a response to a user letter on MyNews24. The content of both the original letter and my replies are bound to be offensive to some. If you are easily offended, please click the back button now. If not, read on, and enjoy… if you must.

I’ve been having a hard time finding interesting posts to respond to on MyNews24 lately. Sometimes I start a new piece and then simply run out of steam about half way through. I suppose I’m just getting tired of repeating the same tired old things to people who clearly don’t care about being honest as much as they care about winning the argument. Although it could also be that the quality of the arguments has become so poor that they actually bore me. Even some of the atheist responses are starting to annoy me. I think I’ll post a reply to one of those soon. (Just because we are on the same side of the fence doesn’t mean I’ll tolerate dishonesty and stupidity from either camp.) Either way, finding this one was quite interesting. A fresh angle to an old argument. Unsurprisingly, sticking to his own request of keeping it “rational” seems to have eluded bobby, but we won’t tear into him for that just yet. Read the letter (You can find the original here:  http://www.news24.com/MyNews24/Testing-The-Delusions-of-Dawkins-20120905 ) and see what you think. Then we’ll get to my response.

Testing The Delusions of Dawkins

by bobby

Testing the “GOD Delusion” for Delusions Part One

Dawkins, the author of a very popular book called the GOD Delusion has made some very serious statements that require a response. It must be tested for its facts and must be checked for flaws, assumptions and prejudice. 

Before a summary of the review is written, it must be stated that Michael Ruse (an atheist) accuses Dawkins of being arrogant and ignorant. He states that his book makes him to be ashamed of being an atheist. You can confirm this here.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/belief/2009/nov/02/atheism-dawkins-ruse (1)

Dawkins favourite quote “Science can explain everything” and then goes on to say that even if we do not have the answers now, we will find it. He then goes on to say that science proves that GOD is not required and not needed. This article will focus on this point only. Part Two will pick up on other points.

McGrath states that saying science has it’s limitations is not intended to be defamatory unlike the Dawkin’s portrayal that anyone who suggest that anyone who challenges the statement that science can explain everything is a science hater. (2)

 

Now we know, thanks to atheists, that everything must be falsifiable. Let’s use this standard to test Dawkin’s stand point. In his book the selfish gene dawkins states the following and I quote:

[Genes] swarm in huge colonies, safe inside gigantic lumbering robots, sealed off from the outside world, communicating with it by tortuous indirect routes, manipulating it by remote control. They are in you and me; they created us, body and mind; and their preservation is the ultimate rationale for our existence.

McGrath acknowledges this as a powerful and influential scientific concept but he questions the science therein. He compares this statement with Denis Noble’s statement. Denis Noble is an Oxford Physiologist and a systems biologist. Now read Noble’s statement carefully with Dawkin’s statement.

[Genes] are trapped in huge colonies, locked inside highly Intelligent beings, moulded by the outside world, communicating

with it by complex processes, through which, blindly as if by magic, function emerges. They are in you and me; we are the system that allows their code to be read; and their preservation is totally dependent on the joy that we experience in reproducing ourselves. We are the ultimate rationale for their existence.

It is uncanny how similar these two statements look. However, when we read deeper, they tend to mean two different things. We see that the empirical facts are retained but the interpretative components of the statements differ. Now one must be right and the other wrong.(3)

 

At this point let’s introduce two people. Professor Max Bennet and Dr. Peter Hacker. What do they say about this?

They say that scientific theory cannot be seen to explain everything; it can only explain the phenomena observed in the world. Here are some disciplines that science cannot explain:

1.       The purpose of the world

2.      Law

3.      Economics

4.      Sociology

These disciplines are not in any way inferior or dependant on natural science.  When a question like is there any purpose within science, Dawkin’s responds by saying that this is a non-question.  How can this be a nonquestion? Is there such a thing as a nonquestion in science? Were we not supposed to question everything? How did Dawkins himself become a scientist? It’s about questioning and challenging.

Bennet and Hacker states that asking the question about the purpose within nature is outside the scope of science because natural science cannot comment on this. Dismissing this question as nonsensical because natural science cannot answer it is in itself saying that natural science is limited. (4)

Therefore we are forced to look outside for the answer. Dawkins say that religious people are lazy because they are content with GOD did it and will therefore not look for the answers. Now ask yourself the question, is Dawkins not lazy by saying that asking the question that natural science cannot explain is a nonquestion. Will he just not go out of his comfort zone and look at other possible places to get the answer?

While we are at it, let’s challenge ourselves to see if science can explain the following questions:

1.       How did everything begin?

2.       What are we all here for?

3.       What is the point of living?

Will we just brush this off as non questions or will we be challenged by looking for answers? We cannot be lazy about these questions now. (5)

 

Note: For the purposes of being rational (I am guessing that most atheists are based on their claims), let’s comment purely on the contents of this article. Challenge the credibility of the article and disagree with the contents but let’s stay within the contents of this article.

I must acknowledge the following people.

1.       Dawkins – for without him, this article will not be possible.

2.       Allister McGrath – The Oxford student – atheist turned Christian who responded to the GOD Delusion.

3.       Michael Ruse – another atheist.

 

My Response

1) I fail to see the relevance of the opening to your piece bobby. If you’re trying to portray Dawkins as an asshole, you might very well succeed. But that in no way detracts from his arguments. Being mean doesn’t make you wrong, it just makes you mean. As for Mr. Ruse, well, let’s just say that if he’s so sensitive as to feel ashamed of being what he is because of  someone else’s opinion then I suppose he must be much more ashamed of being human, because humans are guilty of far worse things than just being douches.

That being said, atheists are bound to disagree on a wide variety of things. I disagree with both Dawkins and Ruse on many things. That does however not make me ashamed to be atheist, nor does it diminish my respect for either of them in their respective fields. And your attempt at character assassination in order to strengthen your point of view is underhanded and
juvenile. If anything, that makes you just as much of an asshole as you are making Dawkins out to be. So, you might be right, but you’re still an asshole.

2) I agree with McGrath here. Science does indeed have its limitations. And saying so most certainly doesn’t make you a “science hater”. Saying so because you believe a god/gods are keeping the answers from us on purpose, and that therefore all science is pointless and incorrect, on the other hand does make you a science hater. And an ignorant one at that.

I do not remember reading those specific phrases in The God Delusion, but I must admit that does not sound like direct quotes from the book. (I could not find any reference to anything resembling the phrase “science proves God isn’t needed” in the digital copy I have.) Certainly, science in no way “proves” that God is not required. But don’t mistake silence for agreement. It is an undeniable fact that no modern scientific theory calls for the interference or even just the existence of God (or Thor, or Vishnu, or the Flying Spaghetti Monster…) Science simply has nothing to say about God, and unless God is an observable, quantifiable being, bound by the same physical laws as everything else in the universe, it never will. Science seeks physical truth, nothing more, therefore God simply falls outside of the scope of its function.

The actions of God as portrayed in the Bible on the other hand, can be scientifically investigated. And based on the evidence found in the very nature of the universe compared to the actions attributed to God, it is perfectly logical to deduce that God, as described in many parts of the Bible, most certainly does not exist. Or at the very least, is not responsible for the acts attributed to him.

3) Here I have to disagree. On what grounds does McGrath question the science behind Dawkins’ quote? Does he have

evidence to the contrary? If he does, what and where is it? Simply disagreeing with something, especially on the grounds of feeling offended on religious grounds, most certainly doesn’t affect its veracity. Dawkins’ reasoning there is sound. The current evidence points in the same direction.

And of course the quote rings eerily similar to that of Denis Noble. That was exactly Noble’s intent. As you say, the empirical facts remain the same. And I understand what Noble is trying to say. He feels the current methodology is lacking. That doesn’t make Dawkins wrong in any sense other than possibly a philosophical one. But then again, Biology has never really been about philosophy, now has it? Also bear in mind that Noble might also be wrong in his observation. It might very well turn out that Dawkins was closer to the mark than Noble believes. So saying that one must be wrong and the other right is not necessarily true. In an empirical sense both appear to be correct. In a metaphorical sense, both could very well

be wrong. Clearly it is not as black and white as you would like to have us believe.

4)Here both Bennet and Hacket are playing quite an interesting game.

- 1 The purpose of the world.

This is an argument from an unproven premise. Does the world even have a purpose? What makes us believe it does? Why would it need one? If it does, who decided what it should be? Why should it have only one? In essence, it’s the same argument that rages on about God. One side can never prove the world has a purpose through any means other than theosophy and claims of divine revelation, and the other can’t prove that it doesn’t because proving a negative is like hunting

Tinkerbell with a tank: Totally and utterly pointless.

- 2 Law.

This might not be as true as it looks. Law is obviously a sociological phenomenon. But some laws will, and do, have a biological origin. Unlike what many would have you believe, murder is not illegal because God or some random law-maker decided it should be, but because we, as a species, have a biological drive to protect ourselves, our families, and our species in general. So though Law, as a system, cannot be explained by the physical sciences, the driving forces that shape its most basic tenets might very well be well within the scope of sciences like neurology and evolutionary biology.

- 3 Economics

Yet another sociological phenomenon that, though complex, could very well have its roots in biological drives. Money = Power/food/security = Survival.

- 4 Sociology

This is rather disingenuous. They list two topics of study for a science, and then use the science itself as an example. Yes, sociology is a science. It studies observable phenomena, in this case, human behavior on a large scale. It’s the same as accusing particle physics of being unable to explain the existence of the field of particle physics. A totally pointless nonsensical argument.

And again with the personal attacks on Dawkins. Dawkins became a scientist because he had an interest in a specific
field and worked hard at it. Enough so that he excelled at it enough to gain widespread attention for his work. And I agree with Dawkins to an extent. Asking something as obsequious as whether there’s a purpose to science isn’t
really a question, it’s an attempt at making science look useless. If you gather a hundred scientists together and asked them all that same question you are likely to get a very wide range of answers, most of which would be just as vague and intangible as the question itself. And that is of course based on the rather spurious assumption that science does indeed have or even need a purpose. True, science is mostly about answering questions, but only relating to observable, measurable, and quantifiable phenomena. Science doesn’t have any more to say about individual states of mind than sociology has to say about chemical bonds. You might as well ask a physicist why Bluebirds are pretty. You simply won’t get a scientific answer because scientifically useful one simply doesn’t exist.

5) So here we get to the gist of your argument, which pretty much translates to “Why can’t science answer philosophical questions?”

Dawkins, when referring to religious folk being lazy, is referring specifically to physical phenomena that can be studied and understood. (*This is easy to see if the passage is read in context) What he’s complaining about is people taking “God did it” as an answer to questions about things like physics, astronomy and biology. What angers him is telling your child that “Jesus made it that way” when they ask you why the sky is blue, or why their hair is blonde and yours isn’t. What angers almost all scientists is when a religious person gives God credit for things that have been observably proven over and over again to be the result of natural, understandable phenomena.

So in answer to your questions:

“How did everything begin.” is not a scientific question. It is vague and ambiguous. What do you mean by “everything”? Matter? Well there’s no proof that matter has a “beginning”. It could be eternal. The universe? Well that’s a different question. The leading hypothesis is that our universe had an origin about 13.7 billion years ago. The exact nature of this

beginning is poorly understood, and though there are competing theories, the Big Bang model with Inflationary theory is so far the one that seems to match what can be observed the best. This might not be a completely satisfactory answer, but it’s still better that simply saying “God did it”, which has as its only physical proof a loose collection of Bronze-age manuscripts
written by about forty different people, some of whom used the same name, and of which none of the actual original manuscripts have survived. And that dedicates less than a dozen pages to the subject, and does so in a vague, interpretive fashion. No matter what the question. If you don’t know, then ”I don’t know” should be your answer. Anything else would simply be an assumption.

“What are we all here for?” is equally nonsensical to science. You assume there is a reason. There simply is no evidence for that, other than more religious manuscripts and hearsay from people who already made the same assumption and want you to believe what they are saying.

“What is the point of living?” is exactly the same question as above, just phrased differently. And in this form that answer will be different for every single person on the planet able to articulate an answer. If worshiping God is the only answer you

can come up with, then I am truly sorry that your life has so little value in your own eyes. Personally I like living, and would dearly like to continue doing so. I only have this one life, so it makes sense to me to try and make the most of it and to enjoy as much of it as I can.

* “Such work would never be done if scientists were satisfied with a lazy default such as ‘intelligent design theory’ would encourage. Here is the message that an imaginary ‘intelligent design theorist’ might broadcast to scientists: ‘If you don’t understand how something works, never mind: just give up and say God did it… “

There you go. Now go away and do something useful…

LJ

Is it possible to be a non-ex-Christian?

August 8, 2012 in Uncategorized

DISCLAIMER: This post is a response
to a religious bigot. It will contain profanity, insults, and anti-religious
sentiment. If you are highly religious, overly sensitive, or just stupid, DO
NOT CONTINUE READING.
If however, you think yourself strong enough to wade through the mess, then go
right ahead… and enjoy, if you must.

 

The following piece was posted on
News24 yesterday. I got about a third of the way into it when I started getting
annoyed. Yet another religious bigot claiming that “ex-Christians” do
not actually know what it feels like to be Christian, but he and his Christian
buddies know exactly what it feels like not to be Christian. The level of
arrogance alone warranted a response, so I obliged…

 

You can read the original here:

http://www.news24.com/MyNews24/Is-it-possible-to-be-an-EX-christian-20120807

 

Prime did not indicate his/her gender,
so to avoid constant use of he/she/it whenever referring to Prime, I assumed
Prime to be male. My sincerest apologies if this causes any offence. The
original is posted below in
black, and my response follows after wards in blue.

 

Is it possible to be an EX christian?

(by Prime)

 

Can a once Christian become unchristian? Can a convert to
Christianity gain enlightenment and unconvert? Is faith conditional, salvation
temporal, conversion reversible? This is the scope of this article.

 

No Atheist has ever been a Christian, atheists can’t speak
of Christianity, when they do, by definition they are demonstrating remarkable
faith, because they have never been there. Likewise, No Christian has not been
an atheist, or can claim to have always been a Christian.

 

I cannot for the life of me understand why some atheists
love claiming or suggesting that they were once upon a time Christian.
Bulldust! Nobody since God sneezed the universe into being has been able to
“unconvert” from being born of the Spirit a new creature in Christ. You cannot
lose your salvation. You cannot exchange it, you cannot give it back, it does
not come with a “14 year life back guarantee” lol

 

This is what the scripture says about people who thought or
were under the impression that they were Christian and later rejected it.

 

“They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they
had been with us, they would have continued with us. But  they went out, that it might become plain
that they all are not of us” Jn2:19

 

“For we have come to share in Christ If indeed we hold firm
our original confidence firm to the end.” Heb3:14

 

This is why you cannot unconvert: Lets just dance with a few
scriptures, there are hundreds.

 

Our names are written in the book of life from eternity
past.

 

“God chose us in him before the foundation of the world to
be holy and blameless in his sight. In love, he predestined us for adoption as
sons through Jesus Christ.” Eph 1:3ff

 

 “He has perfected for
all time those who are being perfected” Heb 10:14… beautiful!

 

“No one can come to me unless the father draws him, and i
will raise him up on the last day”. Jn6:44

 

Here is one more reason, a logical one. The doctrine of
salvation! The work of Christ comes to question when we suggest that you can
lose your salvation, that is just bad language, you cannot lose your salvation,
but you can realise that you never were saved in the first place. This
unfortunately happens all too common especially in a country that boasts such
high Christian stats while real Christians know that these people who tick the
Christian box are actually “default Christians”

 

I can’t be any more clear. There is no such thing as an EX
Christian. James Cameron’s Avatar’s and Marvel Incredible Hulk will move into
the northern suburbs of Joburg millenniums before any single individual
Christians becomes an ex Christians. An Ex Christian is not an oxymoron, It is
a confused mistaken identity. Salvation is a gift, a consequence of the grace
of God, undeserved, unearned, unrequested. And a Christian receives The Holy
spirit as a deposit. We all understand the implication of the language “deposit”.
God is the one who gives the Deposit. This is why scripture teaches “Christ in
you, the hope of glory”Col 3:27. and “In Him you also, when you heard the word
of truth, the gospel of your salvation and believed in Him, were sealed with
the promised Holy spirit who is the guarantee(greek – “down payment”) of our
inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his
glory”eph.1:13ff.  How do you lose that?
How do you give that back? A Christian cannot separate himself or herself from
the love that is in Christ. Nothing can, no angel, no demon, no life situation
good or bad, no lack of evidence, no surplus of counter evidence,  no nothing can divorce the Spirit of God from
God! Not even our sin. For those of you atheists who are interested in the
authority of these claims, Check out Romans 8, especially the end, But be very
careful now, you might just see the light. I suggest reading it with ray
ban’s. 

 

How many people in the world have had a race change? Answer
0! How many people in the world have unconverted from Christ having tasted and
seen that the Lord is good? Answer 0!

 

How ironic that someone who is not and never was or has been
Christian speaks of what it was like to be Christian, comments on Christianity
without  having known the radiance of his
Glory and the perfections of his person. No wonder they hate Christianity, what
they had known to be Christianity was despicable, and I only concur. AMEN
ATHEISTS! AMEN! It all makes sense now, why they hate God so much, it is not
that they Hate God, they love him, they hate what they perceive to be God, or
what they perceive to be the illusion Christians create and call God, and
judging by some of the comments on news24, I also hate the Christian God of the
atheists, and so does Jesus, That God is so small, He sucks, he needs to prove
he exists to gain followers, what a lame god. Worse still, what lame
worshippers.   The thing they thought was
Christianity, that thing they were exposed to and brought up with along with
all it’s traditions and rules and regulations, I also hate it, but I don’t hate
it nearly as much as what Jesus hates it and I apologise for that. They call it
religion. God hates Religion and fake Christians and fake Christianity and it
is everywhere, it masquerades in expensive suites, it is on posters, bookshops,
masked behind wolves dressed as priests and pastors.! He is intolerant towards
it, It angers Him and He has promised to dish out a can of Holy omnipotent
vengeance on those who have created and preserved a lie in the name of The
God-Man Jesus aka Christ! Atheists love claiming the “Been there, done that,
got the  t shirt.” Line,  RUBBISH! And for those of you who don’t, Well
done! Don’t ever!

 

I am actually sick and tired of unbelievers saying something
that is spiritually impossible, biblically laughable and theologically
heretical. Perhaps they say it hoping to gain leverage for why they disqualify
the claims of the faith. I will rather believe that there was a poetic snake
with a smooth tongue and a military donkey with attitude well before I believe
that a human being turned his/her back on God having once come to know:
personally, individually, corporately, sacrificially, intimately and
affectionately, existentially, objectively and subjectively, conceptually and
emotionally  the Glory of the God who
hung on a tree like a dog between two criminals in our place for our sin. No,
No, No, Shut Up! That is a lie. The claim is as outrageous as a white man
saying that he was actually coloured during high school, then tried out Indian
for the first year of University but landed on being black due to the lack of
evidence white people pose for a better future south Africa and the leverage of
the equity act regarding potential promotions in the workplace. Really?

 

So, what is the point of the story? Christians reject what
they know very well, what they have experienced, what they have evidence of,
what they can speak of and today are ashamed of. Atheists however, reject what
they have never known or spent a day experiencing. Thus the atheist makes a
risky call to deny a reality he has never earned the warrant of denial too. How
silly.

 

Glove up fellas… Lets go a few rounds!

 

 

My response:

 

So let me get this straight: Prime,
who purports to be a Christian, claims that all Christian apostates, both past
and future, (and by extension, all Christians not of the same denomination as
himself – An alternate interpretation to Prime’s would clearly disqualify other
Christians from receiving the “true” tag.) are not “true”
Christians. Prime also asserts that the lot of all apostates, and “true
Christians”, has already been decided, and that the future is set.  Yet the very same collection of supposedly
“holy” writings Prime quotes from appears to indicate that we still
have free will, and can somehow “choose” to change what the almighty
God has already foreseen…

 

Am I the only one that thinks
this view that Prime promotes absolutely reeks of egotistical hypocrisy?

 

In fact, the entire piece is
riddled with inconsistencies and contradictions. Prime compares choosing what
you do and do not believe with trying to change your race, which is so
ridiculous it’s almost laughable.

 

Prime also claims that “
Our names are written in the book of life from eternity past.

 

Basically, what Prime seems to
be trying to say is that we are either born to be “true Christians”
or we’re not. As simple as that. You’re either born saved, or you’re not. And
nothing will change that. So much for free will then, I suppose.

 

So let’s look a little more
closely at the evidence that Prime has provided for this rather disingenuous
argument.

 

Prime starts off by arguing that
leaving the faith indicates that you never had any to begin with:
“They
went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been with us, they
would have continued with us. But  they
went out, that it might become plain that they all are not of us” Jn2:19

Which pretty much states that
anyone that was “with them”, but later “left them”, must
clearly not have been part of “them” to begin with, despite how the
apostate themselves might have felt before the fact. A rather ignoble
statement, to say the least. But I suppose hindsight is always 20/20.

 

He then backs that up with: “For
we have come to share in Christ If indeed we hold firm our original confidence
firm to the end.” Heb3:14.

Which seems, in the context of
the previous quote – and rather dismissively, to indicate that wavering in your
faith means you never deserved salvation in the first place anyway.

 

The next part of his argument
seems centered around the idea that such things are pre-ordained, by God
himself, and by definition impossible to change:
“God chose us in him
before the foundation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In
love, he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ.” Eph 1:3ff

 

 “He has perfected for
all time those who are being perfected” Heb 10:14… beautiful!

 

“No one can come to me unless the father draws him, and i
will raise him up on the last day”. Jn6:44 “.

 

He then goes into some diatribe
about you only being able to “
realise that you never were saved in
the first place.” and then something about
Jo’Burg and the Hulk, followed by some more quoting and warbling about
“hope” and “salvation” and “deposits”… Followed
by some rather onerous plaudits for certain atheists who supposedly
“hate” Christ, bla-di-bla-di-bla…

 

The whole thing is written in
such a tight, accusatory tone that re-reading it actually makes me feel a
little nauseous. And then he comes to the absolute gem of the piece: “

The claim is as outrageous as a white man saying that he was actually coloured
during high school, then tried out Indian for the first year of University but
landed on being black due to the lack of evidence white people pose for a
better future south Africa and the leverage of the equity act regarding
potential promotions in the workplace. Really?

 

Really?

 

REALLY?!

 

And this from an educated
person… Shame on you Prime.

 

First off, Prime contradicts his
very own statements by first stating that you are pre-destined to be saved, and
then quoting something that indicates that Christ somehow offers salvation. How
can Christ save someone who’s already destined not to be saved? How does
“free will” factor into a future already ordained by the very being
who supposedly offers salvation from the punishment he himself intends to inflict
on those who he himself chose not to save? And how can something which can
absolutely not be changed, like race, be compared to something that by its very
definition requires a conscious decision? Believing is a decision is it not?
You are most definitely not born believing in Christ, are you?

 

The whole thing stinks of self
righteous bigotry of the worst kind. A snub to all the “un-saved”.
The equivalent of a child sticking out their tongue and saying
“Naa-naaa-na-naaa, I aaam saaaved, you were nooot…”

 

But Prime clearly didn’t think
this through too well. There are consequences to such claims. And they are most
certainly not on his favor.

 

First off, if it was
pre-ordained by God who would and would not be saved, then any claims that
Christ offers salvation would be an outright falsehood. Because clearly Christ
cannot claim to offer salvation to someone who was not chosen. Basically what
it boils down to is that no amount of religiosity on your part, no amount of
praying, obeying, and repentance, none of it, will make one iota of difference
to your fate. You were not chosen. You’re fucked… plain and simple.

 

This is also worrying if you
consider the implications it has on the image of God. If Christ claims that all
can be saved, but God’s doctrine indicates otherwise, then clearly one of the
two (who are apparently one) must be lying, which means either God, or Christ,
is clearly fallible, and is therefore not truly omnipotent or omniscient.

 

Also, if the saved are already
chosen, why bother ordering your followers to spread your word in the first
place? Especially if you know that the vast majority of the people who will
hear it have no chance at “salvation” anyway, no matter how righteous
and obedient they become. Isn’t that the equivalent of rubbing people’s noses
in it?

 

The whole argument is also very
convenient. “I can’t say whether you were chosen now, but once you go to
heaven, I can say with certainty that you were indeed chosen. But dedicate your
entire life to the cause of being saved anyway, just in case…” Very
convenient indeed. Phrasing an ambiguity like it’s a prophecy isn’t prophetic,
it’s preemptive hindsight. It’s the same as telling someone they can force the
outcome of throwing dice by praying. If you throw the number you wanted, then
you prayed hard enough. If you don’t, then “obviously” you didn’t
pray hard enough. It’s all a phenomenally poor attempt at hedging bets in favor
of Pascal’s wager. It’s nothing more than a gamble.

 

Also, Prime attempts to use
anecdotal evidence as proof of his assertions. You’re supposed to
“feel” the Holy Spirit. You’re supposed to somehow “intuit”
that you made the right choice, along with a whole truckload of similar
bullshit. The problem with such arguments is that they have the same level of
validity that any other similar claim by any other proponent from any other
religion, cult, or belief-system. Many Muslims claim to experience exactly the
same things. So too many Catholics. In fact, those are exactly the same
experiences claimed by the followers of David Koresh, Jim Jones, Charles
Manson, and Deepak Chopra…

 

They mean nothing to anyone
except the person experiencing them.

 

In short, Prime’s argument is a
load of crap. It appears to be little more than a lazy attempt at asserting
that apostates cannot claim to have been Christians, based on the shaky logic
that you have to be chosen to be a Christian in the first place, and any
experiences you might have had during that time that indicates otherwise must
clearly have been delusions. Prime arrogantly dismisses the feelings,
experiences, and states of mind of others as delusion, proclaiming his own as
the only true experience, all the while presuming that he, who has absolutely
no idea what being non-religious is like, knows exactly what goes on in the
hearts and minds of others.

 

His hypocrisy is sickening, and
his arrogance repugnant. But that’s just my opinion…

 

Now go away and do something
useful.

 

LJ

The wwjdrevolution (updated re-post)

July 17, 2012 in Uncategorized

DISCLAIMER: This post is a response
to a user letter on MyNews24, and is not recommended for immature readers. It
is not intended to be derogatory, but considering the level of ignorance,
arrogance, dishonesty and  pure stupidity
the letter contains, colorful language and insults on my part are pretty much
an inevitability. (I’m mean, I know. But I honestly can’t help it.) As always,
honest debate is  welcome. Abuse will be
bla-di-bla-di-bla… You know the drill. Enjoy… If you must.

 

There are few traits humans
possess that can be as repugnant as willful ignorance. Even more perplexing is
the ease with which a bold faced lie can be told by someone who claims to have
moral superiority. But it is something I have come to expect from Creationists
and Politicians. Intellectual honesty is simply not something they seem capable
of.

 

The following letter is one of the
most amazing examples of the Dunning-Kruger Effect I have ever seen. What
bothers me most though is that there is absolutely no way on earth that a sane person can say what Christo says
below without knowing that he is
lying. I seriously doubt Christo will ever read this, and chances are that even
if he does it will make no difference to him. (He admits as much in his
letter.) But by repeating the lies below he has proven, undeniably, that
“truth”, to him, is a subjective matter based on preference rather
than observable fact, and has little to do with reality. I honestly pity him,
but I have no choice but to accept that he is simply beyond help. But there are
others who might be able to learn from Christo’s mistakes, and I’m hoping one
of them might stumble across this post and at the very least learn something
new about the world, if not themselves. (The original letter in
black, references to
the sections of my reply in
red, and my responses
themselves in
blue.)

 

(You can read the original here: http://www.news24.com/MyNews24/Creation-vs-Evolution-20120710
)

 

 

Creation vs Evolution

10 July 2012, 15:46

by wwjdrevolution

 

 

 

Truth and lies are forces that can unarguably be witnessed
during the Evolution / Creation debate. Somebody is wrong!  In this case truth needs to be established in
order to discern fact from propaganda, which is driven by lies. The Evolution /
Creation issue is most probably one of the most important studies and has no
place for deceitful statements, peoples worldview is at stake. Somebody is
wrong and I enjoy pointing out who! (1)

 

First of all before I get started I wish to just say that I
appreciated every single comment that has been aimed towards me and do not take
even one personally.  I know sometimes
things tend to get a little out of hand here in the “News24 Bull ring” but it
just shows you how seriously people can get about their Religion. I have
learned through trial and error that one can’t always refute all statements
made; you have to eat the meat and spit out the bones.  That’s the only productive way truth can be
established. Scientists would surely agree on this, not all tests and
experiments performed in the Lab are performed with a 100% success rate, yet
still in every instance observations can be made and a report compiled. (2)

 

When we discuss the topic of Evolution and Creation there is
no space for presumptions or personal opinions. People’s worldview is at stake
and ones worldview determines the way you make choices and how you treat
people. Let’s be realistic, if you think you came from an ape…you are most
probably going to act like one, without rules, moral standards or any values. (3)

 

So let’s begin

 

When we look at the Debate concerning Evolution vs Creation
we need to define Science first.

 

Science (from Latin scientia, meaning “knowledge”)
is a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge in the form of
testable explanations and predictions about the universe.[ (4)

 

There are a couple different meanings or subdivisions to the
term Evolution.

 

Cosmic, Chemical, Stellar and Planetary, Organic, Macro
Evolution and Micro (variations).

 

This will then be the basis from which we will then base our
investigation upon.

 

Cosmic evolution: The origins of time, space and matter (Big
Bang). The Big Bang surely can’t be the origin of time space and matter.
Apparently Something exploded – Where did that something come from? Did nothing
explode? because that’s impossible. Where did the energy come from that caused
the Explosion? The Big Bang does not explain where matter came from and I can’t
understand how Evolution Scientists can even regard the Big Bang as an
Explanation of time, space and matter. It just cannot be called Scientific.
It’s only realistic in the imagination. (5)

 

Chemical evolution: The evolution of higher elements past
Hydrogen. The periodic table does not allow for this! Cannot be called
Scientific. (6)

 

Stellar and Planetary: Origin of stars and planets. All that
Scientists see is stars getting brighter and they presume it’s a star being
born. Couldn’t it be dust clearing up? It cannot be called Scientific (7)

 

Organic evolution: Origin of life. Nobody has made life,
maybe cloned or copied but not made a living cell in a lab. Yet organic
evolution is excepted by all Evolutionists. Another Imaginary case. (8)

 

Macro evolution: Changing from one kind into another. Now
this is the one that Evolutionists put the time factor on, “millions and billions
of years ago”. Nobody has observed this. The only proof they have is different
fossils and bones being digged up which I’m also not sure how the link works
because the only thing you know of a fossil or skelleton is that it has died…
You surely can’t prove it had offspring it may have been the last of its
species and now extinct but yet they pursue them all being tied together. I
don’t get that! It SURELY cannot be Scientific. Case of Imaganation. (9)

 

Micro Evolution: Variations within kinds. The only one that
has been observed. Example, Different variations of dogs. A Great Dane and fox
terrier are still the same kind… a Dog. Variations within a kind is limited,
you don’t see dogs giving birth to horses. (10)

 

The point I’m trying to make, is how Evolutionists can call
Evolution Science yet it’s not Science in the True definition. If Evolution
isn’t Science, it’s a Religion then. (11)

 

Science in the true Sense suggests more a Creation account
than anything else. The complexity of cells and DNA is proof of a Designer and
creator. Evolution is a pointless and a dangerous religion with its only
purpose being to discredit God. There are only 2 worldviews, the one being
“pure accident” Evolution and the other Creation. The theory of Evolution
suggests that death of man brought life.. Evolving and evolving till you have
the elite breed. I’m very much convinced that Evolution also promotes Racism
and many other forms of Communism. It’s Obvious that the Propaganda of
Evolution is merely an attack on the people of the God of Abraham, Isaac and
Jacob as it is pointless and does not contribute a thing to Science. Yet the
followers of this so called “Theory” get extremely upset and aggressive in
defending this Religion. They go so far as to ignore some common laws of physics
like, “The 2nd law of thermodynamics”, which suggests deterioration instead of
bigger, better, stronger and more intelligent growth which Evolution suggests.
Also Digging deeper into History, major events like the holocaust which was
driven by an Evolutionist Hitler clearly underlines what the Communist theory
of Evolution’s motive was and still is today. Hitler said, “if you control the
Textbooks you control the youth.” I presume that’s why the only place you find
the Geological column are in the textbooks whereas in reality you find
petrified trees in the upright position penetrating the so called multiple
layers and making the illustrations in the textbooks even look more like a
figure of someone’s imagination

 

I have nothing against Science, I love Science. It’s
beneficial to the world community but don’t call Evolution Science. Evolution
is a religion which only purpose is to discredit God. Its useless and
Dangerous. (12)

 

As I said in the beginning there are only two possible
worldviews (Pure Chance) Evolution/(Intelligent Designer)Creation. (13)

 

After looking at the Primary Evidence for the religion of
Evolution I came to the conclusion that In the Beginning God created the
Heavens and the Earth. That’s my religion which as a bonus comes with some
moral values and in addition Everlasting LIFE ! 
The biggest Question evolutionists have to ask themselves is … How do
you Distinguish right from wrong being a Evolutionist? It is so clear, just by
looking at their comments on News 24 that they don’t possess this Gift! (14)

 

Last Question and closing statement that I would like to
pose at them is: Is it pure Accident that the Bible describes people Scoffing
at the word of God? (15)

 

2 Peter 3:3-7

 

King James Version (KJV)

 

3 Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days
scoffers, walking after their own lusts,

 

4 And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since
the fathers fell asleep(Flood), all things continue as they were from the
beginning of the creation.

 

5 For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word
of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in
the water:

 

6 Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with
water, perished:

 

7 But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same
word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and
perdition of ungodly men.

 

Because if it is not pure accident like your theory, your
future isn’t looking that promising and evolution stops with you.

 

God Bless

 

Christo (16)

 

1. This is where the alarm bells
should start going off. Not only do you “enjoy” accusing people who
differ in opinion of being deceitful (Oh the irony! And it says a lot about you
as a person. Does the word “petty” ring a bell?), but you treat
Creationism and Science as if they are on equal footing, which is something
that has even been shown to be false in a court of law, and that in the most
religious first-world country on earth no less. But lets give you the benefit
of the doubt for now, and see what the rest of your letter contains so we can
figure our who exactly is really guilty of deceit, and who is really trying to
spread lies as propaganda.

 

2. True, not all statements can
be refuted, but that does not make a statement more true, or more false, or
mean that we shouldn’t. What does render a statement false however, is
incontrovertible evidence to the contrary. And knowingly ignoring such evidence
is dishonest.

 

And you completely misunderstand
the purpose of experimentation. Experimentation is merely a controlled way of
observing behavior. There is no such thing as “success” in the
context you describe it. An experiment either produces “results”, or
it doesn’t. It is merely a controlled way of producing data. The same experiment
performed multiple times will always produce the same result. (Changing the
input parameters will change the result, but then it is a different
experiment…)

 

3. “Presumtions” – and
assumptions – aside, you are correct: “truth” is not subject to
opinion. But a person’s world view is, to a large extent, based on exactly that. Your taste in music,
preferred sports teams, how much sugar you take in your coffee… these are not
things based on fact, but your own preferences, and still they have an
effect on how you think and how you act in a given situation. Science however,
doesn’t care about opinion or preference. Nor does it care what you base your
world view on. It’s all about choice. And that choice includes accepting or
ignoring evidence.

 

Your statement: “…if
you think you came from an ape…you are most probably going to act like one,
without rules, moral standards or any values.
Is a prime example of you touting your opinion
as fact. And to make things worse, it can, and has been, repeatedly, shown to be false. So, not only are you not being
realistic, but I can see no way how you can make such a statement without knowing you’re lying. And where’s your
proof? None of the people in the office I’m sitting in, that I  happen to know accept evolutionary theory,
seem to be acting like apes. In fact, they are all upstanding and respectable
people. So the conclusion can only be that you are either lying, or that your
idea of how an ape acts is completely different to the way apes have been
observed to act. Either way, your statement is completely false.

 

And as far as people
“coming from an ape” goes. Again, you are either completely ignorant
of what evolutionary theory actually states, or you are purposely misrepresenting the truth (Judging by the falsehoods in
your letter thus far, I’m going to bet it is the latter.) No-one (except
dishonest creationists, and a few ignorant journo’s perhaps) has ever stated that we come from “an
ape”. The closest description thus far has been “ape-like”, and
the operative term should be “common descent”. The theory does not
state that we are descended from apes, it states that we and apes are descended
from a common ancestor. In layman’s
terms: Apes aren’t our ancestors, they’re our cousins. Is that really so hard
to remember? Even if you don’t think this is true, at least put some effort
into getting it right.

 

4. You can research the meaning
of a word everyone knows, but can’t be bothered to research the things you are
trying to debunk? Why am I not surprised?

 

5. First off, the word
“evolution” has a specific meaning, but simply adding a word to the
front of it does not make that subject part of “Evolutionary Theory”.
Cosmology is not part of Darwin‘s
theory. Neither is Chemistry. Or organic chemistry for that matter. These are
completely different fields of study, and your attempt at trying to blanket
them all under Biology is ridiculous. Clearly you are opposed to more than just
the idea of evolution. You are opposing almost every field of science that does
not strictly adhere to the Genesis account, which is pretty much all of it.

 

Second, your understanding of
the Big Bang theory appears to be just as warped as your understanding of
evolutionary theory. Have you ever even researched it? Do you understand the
concepts involved? Clearly not. You were simply told it is a lie by someone
else who had no idea what they were talking about, and now you try to spread
that false opinion because you feel it somehow opposes your god. And then you
have the audacity to say: “
It just cannot be called Scientific.
It’s only realistic in the imagination.

 

Ironically, the Big Bang Theory
is a lot more “Scientific” than you could imagine. Every part of the
event postulated has been proven to be physically possible. And here you state
that “something can’t come from nothing”, yet attribute exactly the
same feat to your god. If matter can’t come from nothing, then how did your god
do it? The advantage of the Big Bang theory is that it would have left
evidence, some of which we seem to have found. And even if the BB theory turns
out to be wrong, it doesn’t make your hypothesis true by default. God made it
all in a week? Prove it. (Someone else writing a book saying it is so isn’t
proof. If it were we’d have to accept comic books as evidence that superheroes
exist)

 

Your hypothesis consists merely
of a single assertion, with no evidence. “God did it. Just shut up and
believe.” is the best you’ve come up with, and yet you claim that your
argument is scientifically sound…

 

6. The Periodic table doesn’t
allow for it?! Are you high?! Do you even know what the periodic table is?
Really…

 

Anyway, the process you’re
talking about here is called nuclear fusion. And the proof of it is simply
irrefutable (and the reason the periodic table is laid out according to atomic
number, duh!). Not only can it be indirectly observed in stars, but it has been
achieved  experimentally on earth. In
fact, scientists have been working on harnessing controlled nuclear fusion for
electricity production for years. Again, you clearly have no idea what you’re
talking about. 

 

7. Your stupidity is truly
amazing. Again you clearly don’t have the vaguest idea of how stars are formed
or how such processes are observed. Stars getting brighter? Hardly. Gravity is
the main culprit. That same silly “theory” that keeps your cornflakes
in the bowl is what causes those clouds of gas to coalesce into giant balls of
gas that eventually get compressed to the point that they ignite (If you
compress gas, it heats up. You can prove that in a high school science class.)
Next time, do some research before making dumb-ass statements like that. “

It cannot be called Scientific “… really…
you don’t even know what science is!

 

8. Aside from the fact that
“Evolutionists” actually “accept” instead of
“except” evolution at a cellular level, it has little to do with
abiogenesis, which is the process which produced “life”. Evolution is
the change observed in already living organisms, and at a cellular level has
been repeatedly proven to be true.

 

This is another misrepresentation
you could easily have corrected had you done even the most basic research.
Clearly the only ting that is “imaginary” in your statements is the
delusion that you actually know what you’re talking about.

 

9. Aside from the fact that
you’d have to be a complete retard to think that something that takes millions
of years to occur can somehow be “observed” in a few human
generations, you again have very little actual knowledge of the fossil record
and what it represents. And you blatantly ignore the fact that the advances in
technology and science that make it possible to observe such change is itself
not millions of years old. But if that is really what it takes for you to
accept it, how about you shut up for a few million years while that evidence is
being compiled?

 

And then you moan that “
You surely can’t prove it had offspring it may have been the last of its
species “, but completely ignore the much more
likely scenario that said animal wasn’t the only one of its species. It is in
fact a lot safer to assume that there were many of them, some of whom went on
to reproduce and one of which ended up in the very rare situation of dying in
the right conditions to be fossilized. (This “assumption is supported by
the discovery of a fossil of the same animal in two different locations. That
way there had to be more than one, and both very likely had parents and
siblings who could reproduce.) But of course you don’t get it, because you’re
under the impression that finding a fossil somehow translates to evolution.
It’s the similarities between animals, present and past, on a physiological,
biological and genetic level that supports the idea of biological change via
natural selection. So just because you “don’t get it”, doesn’t mean
it’s not true. I, for one, “don’t get” how you can knowingly lie
about the evidence like this, but yet, here you are…

 

10. Again… You lie! You lie!
Variations within kinds can be observed almost everywhere. Variety in humans
(Asian, Arab, Caucasian, African – who can all inter-breed), variation in
equines (Horses, Ponies, Zebra, Kwagga – who can also inter-breed, but cannot
produce viable offspring – i.e. their kids are born sterile, and thus cannot
breed themselves ), Felines (Lions, Tigers, various kinds of wild cat,
domesticated cats – I know lions and tigers can cross-breed, but I’m not so
sure a lion and a Ginger can.) In fact, the idea of a Chihuahua and a Great Dane presents the same
conundrum. Is it even physiologically possible? If not, would that not be
enough of a distinction to consider the two dissimilar enough to constitute
separate species? And what about different kinds of snakes? And whales? Can
they even inter-breed at all? They’re obviously all of the same
“kind”, but speciation carries with it the simple requirement that
the animals must not be able to inter-breed. And DNA evidence shows that humans
were able to inter-breed with Neanderthals… Fact is, the more you look at
animals that share major traits and trace their ancestry, the more examples you
get of groups diverging to the point where they are no longer biologically
compatible. And if that trend is the norm then it is completely
“scientific” to state that there’s a high probability that such
seemingly minute variations can, over time, give rise to divergence so varied
that identifying traits once shared could no longer even be recognizable.

 

So of course dogs won’t give
birth to horses you fuckin’ chop. That is just another lie made up by
Creationists to fool people into thinking evolution is something other than it
is.

 

11. Clearly, based on all the
lies and deception your letter contains thus far, I don’t believe you are in
any way qualified to make such deductions. You clearly have absolutely no
insight or knowledge pertaining to the things you claim are untrue. You do not
even seem to grasp the most basic tenets of science, yet presume to sit in
judgment of evolutionary theory. And as evidence you produce nothing but
falsehoods and misrepresentations, many of which you most certainly must have
heard the correct versions of, but clearly chose to ignore. And then you add
insult to injury by proclaiming a scientifically proven hypothesis a
“religion” based on nothing else but your egocentric need to
discredit the sciences. And do you not find it ironic that you claim that
evolution cannot be true, because it is a religion, and then try to replace it
with your own religion? You, sir, are scum…

 

12. And here your true colors start
to show. All the lies and deceit of the previous paragraphs concocted as evidence
to claim that a scientific theory is somehow a cult, just like your religion.
All that avoidance of actual research just so you can claim a bunch of nonsense
about communism, Hitler, and the laws of thermodynamics… Unfortunately for
you I’m not that easily bullied into remaining silent, and I too enjoy pointing
out idiocy – the only difference being that I have actual evidence, and the
intelligence to understand it. So lets take this long winded buffoonery you
call writing apart and correct some of the errors.

 

- “ The complexity
of cells and DNA is proof of a Designer and creator. “:
FALSE. Complexity does not necessarily constitute proof of a designer. In fact,
what you claim is “complexity” is in actual fact only “storage
space”. When a cell divides it doesn’t split a strand of DNA in half, it
creates two stands the same length as the original. The amount of information
that is stored within the strand is thus preserved. If one of the strands has a
copy error, this amounts to variation, not a diminishing of the amount of
information it contains.

 

- “ Evolution is a
pointless and a dangerous religion with its only purpose being to discredit
God. “: FALSE. Evolution is merely a
hypothesis that has a lot of supporting evidence. You might as well call a tv-guide
a religion. It’s only purpose is to try and explain something about the life on
our planet. It honestly doesn’t give a fuck about your god, or whether or not
you believe it. And the only danger it seems to pose is to archaic beliefs such
as yours.

 

- “ There are only 2
worldviews, the one being “pure accident” Evolution and the other Creation. ” FALSE. Evolution occurs via multiple mechanisms:
Natural selection, genetic mutation and environmentally driven adaptation.
There is no mention of “pure accident”. Also, there is a third, and
much more widely accepted world view: Creation via evolution. In essence, that
God used evolution as a fulcrum for creating biodiversity. Accepting
evolutionary theory as true does not make you a non-believer any more than
believing in pink unicorns makes you an astronaut.

 

- “ The theory of
Evolution suggests that death of man brought life.. Evolving and evolving till
you have the elite breed. “: FALSE. Go study
up on what evolutionary theory actually says.

 

- “. I’m very much
convinced that Evolution also promotes Racism and many other forms of
Communism.“: FALSE. You have no proof of this.
And Racism is most certainly not a form of Communism. In fact, the vast
majority of racists use the Christian Bible as proof that their bigotry is
warranted. Evolution has never in human history been used as an excuse to
oppress anyone. And communism is a political philosophy that merely tries to
remove religiosity in order to suppress revolt. The same way some religion
tries to subvert science in order to suppress skepticism.

 

- “ It’s Obvious
that the Propaganda of Evolution is merely an attack on the people of the God
of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob as it is pointless and does not contribute a thing
to Science. “: FALSE. It is not propaganda. It
is merely a statement of observed facts. It doesn’t give a flying rat’s ass
about whether or not your god exists, no matter who’s god it is. This is
evidenced by the fat that it never
mentions God in any technically relevant way. And it does contribute much to
science. It is the reason why technologies behind antiretrovirals, antibiotics,
and flu vaccines even work. Studying the way viruses evolve gives us an edge in
protecting ourselves from them.

 

- “ Yet the
followers of this so called “Theory” get extremely upset and aggressive in
defending this Religion. They go so far as to ignore some common laws of
physics like, “The 2nd law of thermodynamics”, which suggests deterioration
instead of bigger, better, stronger and more intelligent growth which Evolution
suggests.“: FALSE. Many do get upset, but that
has more to do with you spreading lies about us and about the sciences than any
fear of being wrong. We know we’re right, you just don’t like hearing it, and
then decide to vilify us because we scare you. God’s chosen few cowering in the
presence of reality. Pathetic…

 

Also, you clearly have no idea
what repercussions there are to applying the second law of thermodynamics to
the universe. Doing so essentially disproves the existence of God. And on a
biological level you are misapplying the second law to the point of it being
laughable. In the first place, all the law states is that a closed system tends
towards entropy until it achieves equilibrium. (There’s a HUGE difference between entropy and
deterioration. I suggest you pull out that dictionary of yours again.) And it
does not define what form entropy will take.

- Bigger? Elephants are bigger than us. So are gorillas, whales,
sharks, alligators… Your point is moot. 

- Better? What is better? Sharper teeth? Ours are blunt. Better
sight? Ours is weak. Better hearing? Ours is weak. Better immune system? We get
sick from the most innocuous things… Your point is moot.

- Stronger? Can you beat a chimp at arm-wrestling? Clearly we’re not
as strong as you think. In fact, judging by the amount of people killed by
animals smaller than us, “stronger” is not a title we’re even in
contention for.

- Smarter? That’s about the only thing you can say about us… and
even then it’s tenuous, because even with this supposed massive intellect we
are still the only species that has trouble feeding itself, kills for pleasure,
destroys its surroundings, upsets the natural balance of its habitat… The
list goes on. Smarter? Arrogant is more like it…

 

- “Also Digging deeper
into History, major events like the holocaust which was driven by an
Evolutionist Hitler clearly underlines what the Communist theory of Evolution’s
motive was and still is today. Hitler said, “if you control the Textbooks you
control the youth.” I presume that’s why the only place you find the Geological
column are in the textbooks whereas in reality you find petrified trees in the
upright position penetrating the so called multiple layers and making the
illustrations in the textbooks even look more like a figure of someone’s
imagination“: FALSE. Hitler was a Catholic,
and believed he was exercising the will of God (Yes, the very same God you
worship.) Also, he was a Nationalist, not a Communist. In fact, Hitler
apparently despised and distrusted Communists. And contrary to what you claim,
scientific theories don’t have political opinions any more than rocks have
wings. You might as well accuse gravity of being Capitalist.

 

And you espouse only one of a
couple of theories as to how upright fossilized trees can occur. This is
clearly a case of your under-developed imagination being unable to grasp any
concepts beyond “God did it”. You mention the trees, but ridicule the
sedimentary layering around the trees (the very same layering you claim is
“imaginary”) that the pictures in the text-books you so despise
depict. Again you keep only parts of the facts that you like and pretend the
rest doesn’t exist or misrepresent it so you can pretend there’s something
wrong with it.

 

13. WRONG! See point 12 above.

 

14. Great, so you’re saying that
an alternate theory being (very poorly) proven wrong by extension magically
means yours is right. Great piece of logic that is… That’s the mental
equivalent of saying “pink unicorns are mean, therefore potatoes taste
yellow.” Your “theory”, and lets face it, that’s all it is, has
absolutely no evidence except a collection of old writings from a very small
part of the populated world. That’s it. Nothing else. Just that. Not a single
shred of concrete evidence.

 

And in answer to your question:
I can distinguish wrong from right in several ways, and not a single one of
them requires the existence of a god. And furthermore, my ability to
distinguish the difference has absolutely nothing to do with evolutionary
theory. Let me explain it to you in terms a 3 year old might understand: Being
poked is not nice. If it’s not nice for me, it’s probably not nice for others,
so poking people is wrong. And nowhere does that simple piece of logic depend
on where polony comes from. And you’re hardly one to judge are you? Not a
single point you made has been truthful, yet you sit there smugly accusing
others of not being able to distinguish right from wrong? Didn’t your god teach
you that lying is wrong?

 

15. Not at all. If only a
fraction of believers were anything like you, being ridiculed must have been an
accepted part of life throughout the hundreds of years it took to write your
precious little holy book. What better way to prepare followers for the
onslaught than to warn them after the fact by phrasing it as a prediction? Or
are you implying that St. Paul,
the hunter of Christians, lived in a time when no-one ridiculed Christians?

 

16. Ooh, now I’m scared… A
book who’s authenticity and veracity is already in doubt is saying that I will
be judged and tortured for eternity… really…

 

My future looks very bright from
this perspective. And barring the looming shadow of oppressive religious dogma
being forced on everyone, the future of mankind looks bright as well. Technology
is opening doors that even a generation ago people could not even have imagined.
We are even managing the first steps of preparation in becoming an
inter-planetary species. Every day that passes brings new discoveries about our
world and our universe, and with those discoveries come understanding and
appreciation. It is good to know how things work. It is good to know how to use
that knowledge to improve our short lives on this tiny planet, and it is
awesome to know that one day my descendants might walk on other worlds and see
things that I could not even imagine. If only the religious right would stop
hindering our progress.

 

 

 

Okay, that last part was a
little more starry-eyed than I intended, but that is the way I feel. And if
someone could be so kind as to maybe post a link to my blog on one of the next
anti-atheist pieces on MyNews24, so Dumbwin and co. might have a chance at
reading an actual reply, I would be very much obliged.

 

Now go away and do something
useful.

 

LJ

Stupid text editor

July 12, 2012 in Uncategorized

Okay, it seems in trying to edit my previous post I have inadvertantly deleted it… and now this stupid Letterdash text editor won’t allow me to re-post it… Very annoying…

Speaking of which, when is this whole blog migration thing supposed to happen? I’m hoping WordPress has better functionality than this cruddy thing…

Atheism? Easy? Yup. Paying attention? Not so much…

July 5, 2012 in Uncategorized

DISCLAIMER: This is a post in reply
to a MyNews24 article and is merely an opinion on an opinion (Did that make
sense?). It’s a relatively nice one though, so I’ll tone down my inherent
nastiness a bit. Comments, as always, are more than welcome. Trolls will…
well, we’ll see what mood I’m in at the time. Enjoy… if you must.

 

This was one of the better articles
on religion and evolution posted on MyNews24 in quite some time. It’s calm,
relatively rational, and attacks an argument instead of a person. There are one
or two things I feel PoliticallyIncorrect misunderstands though, so I’m going
to attempt to explain them in my own wayward fashion.

 

Original in black, my replies in blue, (tiny red numbers) represent points
where I would interject. Straightforward enough?

 

Here’s the original: http://www.news24.com/MyNews24/It-is-really-easy-to-be-an-atheist-20120705

 

Let’s roll…

 

It is really easy to be an atheist

05 July 2012, 09:36

by PoliticallyIncorrect

 

 

 

Atheism does not require you to think.  All that is required of an atheist is to let
others do the thinking and working out, and the atheist just need to believe
this.  Atheists do not apply logic.  Well not properly at least.
(1)

 

I am a computer consultant. 
In my tertiary education I was taught to apply logic.  Computer systems work on logic.  Programs work on logic: if you change
something in your program at point A, it is logical it will change something in
the program’s execution at another point.  
Everything you believe, should on some level make logical sense.

 

Here is the crunch: 
There was a big bang, an explosion of sorts, that caused LIFE, fauna,
flora and geographic features to develop into what we have today.  The matter (or dark matter) or Higgs Boson et
al always existed.  All the materials for
life to exist was either already there, or developed unassisted without any
design into what we have today, over many millenia.

 

Let scrutinize this. 
My wife has all the components needed to bake a cake in her
kitchen.  It has always been there since
the day it was bought.  No matter how
many times I try to blow it up, or throw everything together, I cannot get it
to turn into a cake.  Even if I throw all
the correct amounts of ingredients together, it cannot become a cake without
designed intervention.  Certain steps has
to be followed, and you cannot skip step A, and then remember to apply it after
step B.  You will have to start over.
(2)

 

 

So the big bang theory is full of holes.  In any event, where did the big bang come
from?  Atheists will say then where did
God come from.  Truth is neither of us
know, and we will never know. Higgs Boson or not. In fact, the CERN Scientists
themselves say it has nothing to do with whether or not there is a God. So it
is off to the fossil records…
(3)

 

Now consider this:  In
2000 years some alien race (hypothetically speaking) lands on the earth and do
some excavations.  They dig up the skull
of a housecat, and decides to call it Scientificus Cataclisimus.  A few years later they dig up a skull of a
leopard, and call it Scientificus Leopardius. 
They then pick up several bone fragments over many years, and yes, this
confirms that Scientificus Leopardius is a descendant of Scientificus
Cataclisimus.   Evolution.  Or Not…

 

National Geographic tells us about the wonder of the first
shaky steps the whale gave on land when land mammals descended from sea
animals.  Really?  This sea mammal starts swimming on to land
and evolve its fins into legs?  Really??
How did this happen, oh yes, over millions of years.  Except for this small flaw, Mr Whale only had
one lifetime.  Presumably Mrs Whale did
not have legs instead of fins.  So Mr
Whale had a good time with Mrs Whale, and their first offspring is born.  With fins, not legs.  What now? 
How many times over and over did this have to happen?  Sometimes human babies are born with what
resembles a tail.  Atheists believe this
is proof we descended from apes.  Yet,
when those babies grow up, they do not produce offsprings with tails. See, it
was an oddity, and rectified by the next offspring.  Mr Whale and Mrs Whale would have had the
same results. 

 

Eskimo’s have been living in snow for many, many years.  There is NO evidence that their feet or
evolving into something more suitable for walking in snow.  Have they stopped evolving?  I know lots of people making a living out of
swimming, or fishing, or diving.  Yet
none of them, on even the most microscopic level are developing an ability to
breath under water.  Even if they do,
this alien development will be phased out in the offspring.
(4)

 

Now, what about all the inbetween stages of
development?  Presumable the big bang did
not produce beings with a penis or a vagina. 
Now again it happened over millions of years.  It is always handy if you have millions of
years.  Now for offspring to happen, you
need sperm.  How did the creature
reproduce while developing a penis or vagina for a few million or thousand
years?  Did the being produce offspring
that were half born some other way and half born from a result of
copulation?  Really?  And all the while it was still developing
loads and loads and loads of other items needed to be able to live.  Like hearts. 
But what the hell did the heart do without the blood?  O gosh! 
No wait, the blood came first. How did the blood flow without the
heart?  Oops! Oh dear, the heart needed
oxygen.  How did the heart get oxygen
without the lungs?  Oh, the lungs were
there already.  Oh goodness, the lungs
need blood….  But not to worry all the
billions and trillions of interdependencies all happened by sheer coincidence
through processes started by the big bang. 
Without design.
(5)

 

Then, there is the animals with camouflage.  Oh yes, that grasshopper that looks exactly
like the leafs it feasts on, including the veins, happened by coincidence.  Really? 
Yes, it happened because one little baby grasshopper was born that
looked a little more like a leave than the rest of his siblings.  And he survived predation because he was a
little less visible than his peers.  So
he succeeded.  Natural selection.  Oh yes? So Mr. Odd Grasshopper had offspring
from his copulation with Mrs. Normal Grasshopper, and his genes got carried
over and were stronger.  Yet the gene
pool for the entire leaf grasshopper population had the majority of genes from
normal ones.  You do the sums.  And grasshoppers don’t live for many
years.  Nevermind millions of years.  So all this evolution had to happen rather
quickly.  And all the while looking out
that Mr. Odd Grasshopper is not trampled to death by Mr. Dinosaur, who used to
be Mr Whale.

 

I can go on for years with all of this.  Evolution minus Design equals
Impossible!  Use logic.  I know the kind of responses I am going to get
from atheists.  A lot of them will attack
my intelligence or my person.  Today’s
scientists do exactly what the Catholic Church did before Luther.  Provide just enough evidence to keep the
mystery going, but make all the in between processes seem so complicated that
atheists have to believe them.  There are
2 ways evidence can work:  You can make
your theory fit the evidence, or make the evidence fit your theory.  You be the judge, but please think logically!
(6)

 

 

1. The first sentence almost got
my hopes up, but then it degenerated into a badly worded insult. Not a very
good way to start things if you wish to be taken seriously. It’s just an
opinion though. I’ve heard far worse and far more insulting from people far
less honest and far less intelligent, so I’ll let it slide, for now. What you
almost had right though is that atheism does not require you to do anything. I
find it amusing that people tend to assume that not doing something somehow requires effort. Being atheist requires about as much effort as not licking
the underside of your boots, or not purposely pouring coffee in your lap.
Atheism is the lack of belief. And that is all. It doesn’t require you to be
smart, or be well versed in physics or biology or even tying your own
shoelaces. You can just as easily be an atheist street-sweeper or an atheist
housewife as an atheist rocket scientist. So making a blanket statements like
saying atheists don’t apply logic properly, or inferring all atheists are
somehow intellectually lazy is totally untrue and assigns values to the label
that shouldn’t be there. It’s the same thing as saying all Muslims are terrorists.
It’s not just untrue, it’s intolerant, insensitive and dishonest. Not very
attractive traits in any person, never mind a Christian….

 

2. Like you, I too work in a
technical field. What I deal with day to day isn’t “computer logic”
though, it’s more like “design logic”. Slightly more convoluted than
“if, then” statements. But I get what you’re trying to say, though I
think things are quite a bit more complicated than that. Simply stating that
something makes logical sense does not imply that it is actually true. I, for
instance, can believe that my wife loves me. She married me, and she often says
she loves me, so it makes logical sense that she must truly love me. That does
not mean it is true though. She might secretly despise me, and have only married
me because it was convenient because I’m rich, and not too demanding. It might
also be that she married me because of social/religious pressures, and remains
in the marriage because she fears being judged or being ostracized by family or
friends for social/religious reasons. Or in a mathematical sense I can say that
the sum of two numbers is 6, therefore logically the two numbers must be 3 and
3. But the same holds for 2 and 4, or 5 and 1. Or none of them if you are
allowed to use 0 as a number, or you can work in fractions. So even if multiple
options all make logical sense it is entirely possible for one, or even all of
them (if the premise is found to be false) to be untrue.

 

Also, you seem to misunderstand
some things regarding the Big-Bang theory. For one, no-one has ever claimed the
Big-Bang is in any way responsible for “creating” life or geography
or whatever. Basically you’re reading the first page and then skipping to the
last page and trying to somehow infer that the stuff in the middle must be
wrong because the story-line doesn’t make sense to you. True, all matter and energy in the universe must have
existed during and after the rapid expansion (Explosion is a bit of a misnomer.
It makes people think fireballs and loud noises when it was in fact a lot more
like an airbag deploying.) but saying it had to exist before would be illogical, because there couldn’t have been a
“before” if time didn’t exist. And as Einstein illustrated, space and
time are irrevocably entwined. No space, no time. Period. And then of course in
the process a lot of matter has been converted into energy in the form of heat
via annihilation, and then a lot of lighter elements have been turned into
heavier elements inside the nuclear furnaces of stars. And then a lot of stars
exploded, creating huge clouds of “dust” which in turn coalesced into
yet more stars, and eventually, planets… and on and on we can go…

 

Your cake analogy, though
interesting, is also somewhat flawed. First, you, as the baker, most certainly
didn’t make the ingredients themselves before baking the cake, did you? And
surely the yeast you used didn’t act the way it does purely because you wanted
it to, did it? And if it did, then why use yeast? Why not sand? Would it still
be a cake if you did? Obviously not. What you are doing is little more than
rearranging existing complexity and taking advantage of the pre-existing
attributes of each ingredient. That doesn’t quite equate with claiming to have
materialized the already baked cake out of thin air by thinking about a cake.
Or materializing the ingredients out of thin air in order to bake a cake.

 

3. I don’t really understand
what you are trying to say here. The Big Bang theory is essentially only
missing one part: the beginning. The rest of it does in fact stand up very well
under scrutiny. And no scientist ever claimed that the Higgs had anything to do
with God, or gods. That is a claim only ever made by religious folk, and based
on a very unfortunate (or stupid) mistake in naming the thing, nothing else.

 

4) Again you seem to completely
misunderstand the concept of descent with modification via natural selection.
First off, no-one (except, again, certain religious folk) ever claimed that one
whale, one day in the distant past, suddenly sprouted legs instead of fins.
Your analogy, if put into the correct context and adhering to the actual
principles of evolutionary theory, should run more like this: Mr. Whale was
born with bigger, stronger flippers. This enabled him to get further up the
beach to get food. This made Mr. Whale better at feeding himself, and thus more
likely to survive, than his weak-flippered counterparts. This made Mr. Whale a
better option as a mate. So when Mr. Whale and Mrs. Whale had little whales of
their own, some had strong flippers, and some had weaker flippers. Again, those
with stronger flippers could survive better, so they were more likely to
survive and find a mate, and produce offspring of their own, each successive
generation getting stronger and better adapted flippers until many, many
generations later, if you compared the original Mr. Whale to this latest
version, the flippers might not even have the same shape anymore. In fact, if
you let such an incremental change continue for enough generations, the latest
version of the flipper might not even look anything like a flipper anymore. And
then we’re not even looking at changes in muscle and bone structure to
accommodate this odd feeding habit.

 

Same with the “tail”
thing. If having such a tail gave you a better chance at finding a mate, then
obviously at some point two people with a “tail” would eventually
come together to have children who have tails. And those children, having an
advantage, would be more likely to have children than those without. Again,
keep playing the statistics that long, and eventually, finding a person without
a tail would be considered an oddity instead of the other way around.

 

And you are absolutely dead
wrong about such subtle changes being “rectified” by the offspring.
If that were true then no-one would ever become immune to the flu virus
(immunity is a biological change, is it not?) Also, if we are truly all
descended from Noah, then there shouldn’t be any people with blue eyes (Noah
and his family, we can assume, must have been Arab) because it is biologically
impossible for two people with brown eyes to have children with blue eyes. And
yet here I sit. I’m not dark skinned. And my eyes are most definitely blue.
Same with both my parents. So what gives?

 

Your Eskimo analogy (actually,
the correct term would be Inuit. All Eskimos are Inuit, but not all Inuit are
Eskimos… Get it?) also misses something important. True, their feet haven’t
noticeably adapted to snow. But then again, why would they? They wear boots and
make snow shoes for themselves. There’s simply no need to adapt in that way.
There is however another adaptation you’re overlooking: Height. The average
Inuit is quite a bit shorter than the average European. Why is that? Again, if
we are all descended from Noah (or Adam, take your pick), and each successive
generation loses the adaptations of its parents, then everyone in the world
should be around the same size… So why the big variety?

 

As for the breathing under water
thing… Now you’re just being preposterous for the sake of hammering home your
point. Why would they need to develop the ability to breathe under water? Does
their survival actually depend upon it? Do they actually live and conceive
children in the water? Somehow I doubt they do. And again you are basing your
example on the completely ridiculous notion that such a thing can
“evolve” in one single generation.

 

5) As I pointed out earlier, the
Big Bang can hardly be said to be responsible for any of the things you
mention. You should find whoever fed you that ridiculous story and give them a
good slap for being so dishonest. The development of male and female species is
a subject I have never really looked at in depth, but I’m sure with just a
little Googling you might actually find one or two actual Biologists who can explain
it to you. (Try to avoid religious sites. It’s not that their religious that’s
the problem, but that they tend to be severely biased and generally totally
unqualified to deal with the topic with any kind of honesty.)

 

And what’s so wrong with millions
of years anyway? Is it because you simply don’t like the idea? Or is it a
religious thing? Do you honestly believe that the light from galaxies millions
of years away only took a couple of thousand years to get here? Are you saying
that we have the speed of light wrong? Or are you trying to say it was
“created” that way on purpose to deceive us into thinking the
universe is older than it really is? Such assertions create more questions than
answers. And to add insult to injury you’re using an ancient text as proof that
we can’t measure things accurately in the 21st century… Either that or we’re
still being purposely and continuously deceived by your “creator”.

 

6) Alright, I think I’ve
established that you simply don’t understand evolutionary theory or the Big
Bang as well as you might think you do. So I’m not going to try and correct the
misconceptions in the last two paragraphs (again). What I will say though is
that I think you’re wrong. You analyzed the data based on a bunch of false
premises. Also, you make yourself guilty of the exact same thing you are trying
(and failing) to accuse science of: You’re assuming the Bible is correct and
expecting the evidence to fit with it. The mere fact that you are unwilling to
change your mind about your beliefs is evidence enough that you’re being a bit
of a hypocrite by accusing scientists of trying to doctor the evidence to fit
their theories. If you’re not prepared to change your point of view based on
new evidence then clearly you’re the one that has a problem with thinking
logically…

 

 

Right. So I’ve given you my opinion
on the matter. And who knows, maybe tomorrow will bring new evidence. If it
does I will gladly change my position accordingly. But until such a time I ask
you to at least pretend to tolerate my view that The Bible and its adherents
are simply not trustworthy enough to base my view of the universe on. It’s not
that I think religious folk are bad people. Quite the contrary. It’s just that
I prefer to at least be able to look at some evidence and if possible, test it
myself, before subscribing to it. My skeptical (some might say cynical) nature
simply doesn’t allow me to believe things “on faith” alone.
Especially not if there seems to be so little agreement among the various
proponents.

 

Now go away and do something
useful…

 

LJ

Dumwin Fail… Pt.3

June 27, 2012 in Uncategorized

DISCLAIMER: This is another anti-Dumbwin rant. Theists beware… (-Insert echo-ey evil laugh here.-)

Right. So Charles has decided to grace us with another of his, um… “opinion pieces”. (See the original as well as the comments here (if you have the stomach for such things): http://www.news24.com/MyNews24/Evolution-Schmution-20120626 ) And, as I have come to expect from Charles, obfuscation and hate-mongering seems to have taken precedence over the purportedly Christian values of honesty, humility and tolerance. But never mind the man’s rather acerbic personality. It’s the reasoning and truth in his arguments we are here to dissect. So let’s have at it then, shall we?

For this piece I have decided on a slightly different format. At any point where I feel interjection is necessary I have inserted a red bracketed number, like so: (x). Each point is then dealt with individually at the end of the post.

  

Evolution Schmution

26 June 2012, 13:27

by Charles Dumbwin

“How, the hell can we beli-i-i-ieve you? How, the hell can we beli-i-i-ieve you? How, the hell can we beli-i-i-ieve you? You lie, you lie, you lie.”

That song’s usually sung to torment the groom during his wedding speech, but it should rather be sung for the pseudo-intellectites who practice atheistic-science and spew their anti-God drivel. (1)

When the God-haters got together at their first annual atheist convention, they handed our ‘Let’s call it Science’ stickers to all the attendees. From then until now, any idea that the atheists believe adds weight to their no-God theory, they use a sticker and call it Science.

Unfortunately they must have got a bulk discount on the print order cause they don’t seem to have run out of stickers yet. (2)

When looking at our world and studying the biology of the various species, it’s simply not possible to deny the involvement of an Intelligent Designer: (3)

“John Dewey, an ardent 20th century proponent of Darwinism, explained why the intelligent design position – scientifically speaking – was reasonable:

The marvellous adaptation of organisms to their environment, of organs to the organism, of unlike parts of a complex organ (like the eye) to the organ itself; the foreshadowing by lower forms of the higher; the preparation in earlier stages of growth for organs that only later had their functioning – these things are increasingly recognized with the progress of botany, zoology, palaeontology, and embryology. Together, they added such prestige to the design argument that by the later eighteenth century it was, as approved by the sciences of organic life, the central point of theistic and idealistic philosophy.”

http://www.wallbuilders.com/libissuesarticles.asp?id=7846 (4)

Fossils prove that a certain species existed once upon a time; fossils don’t prove that they evolved into, or from, something else. There are thousands of species that have since gone extinct, but with all this ‘evolving’ going on, where are the new ones? (5)

Sharing common strands of DNA with other species doesn’t mean what desperate atheists want it to mean. That’s simply God choosing not to reinvent the wheel – an Intelligent Designer, you might say. (6)

** – Remember, please don’t make the silly mistake of confusing science with atheistic drivel – the two are worlds apart and never the twain shall meet. (7)

1: Ah, yes. That’s the spirit. When confronted by people you simply don’t like, don’t just stick your fingers in your ears and belt out the first Shania Twain song you can think of. Rather try to embarrass them by acting like a drunken lout. You’ll come off looking so much smarter… Anyway… Childish antics apart, what caught my eye here was the following three phrases: “pseudo-intellectites”, “atheistic science”, and “anti-God drivel”.

Let’s look more closely at each of those statements.

pseudo-intellectites: This seems to be Dumbwin’s favorite non-existent term. It’s his own little personal name for the imaginary army of “God-hating” heathens that are supposedly so hell-bent on turning earth into their own little version of hell. I’ve never met any of these beings, but judging by the spelling, they seem to be related somehow to “pseudo-intellectuals”, of which the only perfect example I can think of happens to be Mr Dumbwin himself. (Check out Dumbwin’s use of the Laws of Thermodynamics as pointed out in one of my previous posts: Dumbwin Fail… Pt.1. Rather conclusive proof I’d say.) Looks like Mr. Dumbwin is quite the Tribalist?

I wouldn’t hold my breath waiting for this term to catch on though. Somehow I don’t think many people would like to subscribe to such shrill hatemongering.

atheistic-science: Barring the fact that this term doesn’t really need to be hyphenated, Charles, for once, almost got it right. It should actually be “non-theistic science”. Science, as a process, is in fact non-theistic. It simply has nothing to say about gods. It never has (unless those gods are claimed to have done something that should have left evidence, like flooding the world with water that has now somehow disappeared without even leaving a single trace of its existence. And even then it only speaks of the existence of the water itself, not the god that supposedly brought it.) And unless gods somehow decide to start obeying the laws of physics (which they never do. EVER. According to their followers anyway) it probably never will.

The sciences, as a rule, do not turn to paranormal explanations for anything. Anything that is not known gets given the very clear answer of: “We don’t know.” It’s actually very elegant in its simplicity.

As for science being somehow hijacked, well, the vast majority of evidence points to religious extremists (a grouping that does actually exist, unlike the highly devout “Atheists” Dumbwin keeps whining about) being most guilty of such foolish behavior. Their favorite tricks being either to assert that any process we cannot fully explain, must by default be guided by the invisible hand of their chosen god(s). Or that any perceived inconsistency (real or imaginary) in any theory they feel somehow goes against their god, must necessarily be a total fabrication perpetrated by haters of their god. They also like to try and hide their dishonesty by claiming that others are guilty of the crimes they are most notorious for. Quite a sad lot actually. You kinda have no choice but to feel sorry for them.

2: Sarcasm is clearly not Dumbwin’s strong suit. Nor is comedy. Or honesty for that matter. I don’t remember seeing any of these stickers either. Are they at least colorful?

3: Oh really? Says who? Dumbwin? That doesn’t mean much more than when a non-believer says the opposite, does it? In this case Dumbwin is clearly trying to pass his opinion off as fact. But lets see what evidence he brings to the table to support his claim…

4: Okay, well the only assertion that this quote could possibly support is that Christian scientists at the time used the variety and complexity of life as support for their belief in God. And nowhere does Dewey himself express any acceptance that these beliefs are in any way true. Also note that Dr. Dewey, a Philosopher and Psychologist, (note the absence of “biologist” or “paleontologist” in that description) is here referring to “the late 18th century”, as in the late 1700′s. That’s more than two hundred years ago. Well before Darwin came along, and more than a little before the field of genetics made its appearance. So how exactly does the analysis (*published in 1910, mind you) of a Psychologist, examining the mindset of scientists in the latter half of the 18th century (more than a hundred years before his own time) have any impact on our view of the world today? Should we believe the same things they did simply because it supports specific religious beliefs? I think not. The personal beliefs of scientists working during the industrial revolution should have little impact on their modern counterparts, who now have access to technology that would look like nothing short of sorcery to someone from the 18th century.

*John Dewey, The Influence of Darwin on Philosophy, and Other Essays on Contemporary Thought (New York: Henry Holt and Company, 1910)

5: This is possibly the most inane comment I have ever read. By definition, if we still exist, then we, and every animal alive today, are the “new ones”. Dumbwin acts here as if speciation occurs overnight, and in doing so tries to propagate every untrue myth about evolutionary theory religionists have been able to come up with over the last 150 years. I’m not even going to try to explain all the misconceptions simply because they are so many and have been debunked so many times by so many people that it has become quite clear that Dumbwin and all those who subscribe to the same philosophies as him, are simply willfully ignorant, and will not change their minds under any circumstances, no matter what the evidence says. Yet more proof of Dumbwin’s dishonest nature.

6: Atheists’ supposed desperation aside, claiming, without a shred of real proof no less, that modern biology is wrong in no way makes the creationist alternative true. And the assertion that his god was just being efficient is little more than another of thousands, if not millions, of interpretations of the supposed works of his god. It’s an assertion using ridicule of another hypothesis as proof of its own validity. It’s the mental equivalent of saying “vanilla ice-cream tastes crap, so spaghetti must obviously be the best flavor”.

What was that term again? Pseudo-Intellectite? Hmmm…

7: Another inane comment riddled wit untruth and vitriol. The only person asserting that modern science is somehow related to atheism is Dumbwin himself. And the use of blanket terms like “atheist drivel” are little more than a pathetic attempt at vilifying people based on their lack of belief in gods. Contrary to what Dumbwin would have us believe, atheists do not necessarily even pay attention to the sciences. Each individual has their own reasons for believing (or not believing) what they do. And trying to lump all non-believers into one big group of supposedly God-hating pseudo-scientists is not just preposterous, but a testament to Dumbwin’s bigotry.

Concusion: Clearly this is nothing more than a propaganda piece intended to convince people of Dumbwin’s point of view by manufacturing a make-believe villain (atheists), claiming that these imaginary “villains” are somehow purposefully trying to hide the truth via some world-wide conspiracy (again with no concrete evidence), and then using the existence of this supposed evil “religion” as proof that his own claims, by virtue of some extraordinary leap of the imagination, must therefore be true.

What was that term again?..

 

Now go away and do something useful ;)

 

LJ