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@PaulLeimer @Gargamel Garbo@RobertMichaelSimon
I really like how you show that blind faith is a bad thing!
The irony of your statement, "Please do not speak in ignorance" is delicious. I'm going to take a guess here, and state that I don't know you've ever read Dr. Coyne's book "Why Evolution is True." I'm also willing to bet that you can't even define evolution, so you quite literally don't know what you are talking about, and are (at best) setting up a straw man. As Strode & Young wrote at the end of their book, "Why Evolution Works (and Why Creationism Fails)": "We heartily recommend that anyone who criticizes evolutionary biology first learn about it."
Now, please answer one question: Why do all the naturally existing isotopes have half-lives in excess of 700,000,000 years, and no isotope with a shorter half life exists, except those (like Carbon-14) which are continually produced by a know nuclear reaction?
1 week, 5 days ago on Conversation @ http://www.newrepublic.com/article/116478/bill-nye-ken-ham-debate-creationism-and-evolution-science-wins
It's funny, in a stomach-turning sort of way, that a religious know-nothing would say "Don’t trust in your blind faith." All of your points (all parroted; it's obvious you don't even understand them) have long been refuted (in fact, they are so sclerotic that I half-suspect that you are an anti-creationist, lampooning their silliness).
And, speaking of zircons, the oldest one ever discovered, about 4.37 billion years old, was just discovered. Read about it here (with links to the actual paper): https://whyevolutionistrue.wordpress.com/2014/02/25/the-oldest-known-bit-of-earth/
If "creationism (which one? Jewish? Tibetan? Hopi? Japanese? There are hundreds of legendary stories of how the earth was made by the gods) is highly accurate" then why don't any sciences, universities, research outfits, or profit-oriented corporations use it? Aren't they just missing out on a way to make important discoveries and lots of money? Could it be, instead, that creationism is about as accurate (and as well-founded, scientifically) as astrology?
The only liar on stage that evening was a Mr. Ken Ham.
I read the book; it's great
1 week, 6 days ago on Climate Change Debate is Now Officially Over
I just don't think that the problem in today's world is too much rationality. See the current roster of the US Congress for details.
2 weeks ago on Conversation @ http://www.newrepublic.com/article/116689/shroud-turin-formed-earthquake-thats-just-pseudoscience
1) I will appreciate it greatly if you will stop calling my friends (I number Ant, Ben, Dr. Coyne as friends, albeit internet ones; we hold regular discussions on topics of mutual scientific and philosophical interest) names.
2) New Atheist, ex-religious, and proud of it. Among the ways I go about leaching the color out of society are: supporting both local public radio stations (classical and jazz); supporting three different art museums; having raised two children (one a violinist, one an artist), etc. The other new atheists I know are musicians, scientists, family people, etc., and I don't know any more light-hearted and funny people, especially not among my former co-religionists. But, feel free to continue attacking that straw man; I'm sure it makes him feel useful. Hey, that reminds me of another bigot for you to add to your list (I apologize for being able to quote poetry; I realize that that does not fit into your, completely unbigoted, I'm sure, stereotype of me), Algernon Charles Swinburne:
Thou hast conquered, O pale Galilean; the world has grown grey from thy breath; We have drunken of things Lethean, and fed on the fullness of death.
Thou hast conquered, O pale Galilean; the world has grown grey from thy breath; We have drunken of things Lethean, and fed on the fullness of death.
3) I would very much love for people to give up their religion; it would make for more resources available for other, better things. But, I do what I can by way of rational argument and, where necessary, ridicule (like that bigoted communist, Thomas Jefferson). On the other hand, if the christians in this country ever regain the power they had in the 1600s, I will be burnt at the stake (along with the other contributors to this thread, including very possibly yourself). I'm having trouble convincing myself that you really don't understand the difference in outlook between the groups. Furthermore, though Bach and Handel gave us imperishable music, and the medieval muslims gorgeous calligraphy and some impressive mathematics, what are the religious supplying nowadays? Thomas Kinkade, a constant rearguard action against new art and music--and flying planes into buildings.
4) Imagine there's no heaven; it's easy if you try; no hell below us; above us only sky.
I wish you a good morrow, and bow out of this conversation; I need to go read Octavia Butler.
Great job, Ant; superb last sentence.
I still don't understand why videoprojman insists on using the word "bigotry" for what is (at worst) intolerance (your word), but which I see as simple, albeit vigorous, criticism.
Let me try an argument using reductio ad absurdum:
"Ridicule is the only weapon which can be used
against unintelligible propositions. Ideas must be distinct before
reason can act upon them; and no man ever had a distinct idea of the
trinity. It is the mere Abracadabra of the mountebanks calling
themselves the priests of Jesus.” (Thomas Jefferson)
"Whenever we read the obscene stories the voluptuous debaucheries, the
cruel and torturous executions, the unrelenting vindictiveness with
which more than half the bible is filled, it would be more consistent
that we call it the word of a demon rather than the word of God. It is a
history of wickedness that has served to corrupt and brutalize mankind;
and, for my part, I sincerely detest it as I detest everything that is
cruel." (Thomas Paine)
Now, I submit that the Trinity and the accurate historicity of the bible are precious doctrines to many, that they are irrational, and that they are being criticized here by people desiring to use reason. All of which occurred earlier in Dr. Coyne's demolition of the Shroud, or in Ben Goren's demonstration that Jesus very probably never existed at all.
Since Ben and Jerry (ha ha!) were both labeled "bigots," may I presume that Messers Jefferson and Paine will be the next to be added to that list? (As it grows, I find myself more and more cheered to have a spot on it!).
Superb comment, Ant. But, I suspect that you are about to be added to the list of "bigots"!
In passing, we should all be grateful that the morality of contemporary christians does, in fact, "owe more to Greek philosophy and the Enlightenment than it does to purely Abrahamic traditions." That at least keeps the body count down.
Quote from Richard Feynman:
“I have a friend who's an artist and has sometimes
taken a view which I don't agree with very well. He'll hold up a flower
and say "look how beautiful it is," and I'll agree. Then he says "I as
an artist can see how beautiful this is but you as a scientist take this
all apart and it becomes a dull thing," and I think that he's kind of
nutty. First of all, the beauty that he sees is available to other
people and to me too, I believe. Although I may not be quite as refined
aesthetically as he is ... I can appreciate the beauty of a flower. At
the same time, I see much more about the flower than he sees. I could
imagine the cells in there, the complicated actions inside, which also
have a beauty. I mean it's not just beauty at this dimension, at one
centimeter; there's also beauty at smaller dimensions, the inner
structure, also the processes. The fact that the colors in the flower
evolved in order to attract insects to pollinate it is interesting; it
means that insects can see the color. It adds a question: does this
aesthetic sense also exist in the lower forms? Why is it aesthetic? All
kinds of interesting questions which the science knowledge only adds to
the excitement, the mystery and the awe of a flower. It only adds. I
don't understand how it subtracts.”
Is Feynman a bigot? Are you going to call him out on his "desire to impose a rational framework on an area that is not subject to it"? Are you going to accuse him of having "little understanding of religion and likely other irrational areas of human experience such as the arts"?
2 weeks, 1 day ago on Conversation @ http://www.newrepublic.com/article/116689/shroud-turin-formed-earthquake-thats-just-pseudoscience
I didn't realize that you weren't religious. So, now every christian and every muslim reading this thinks you are going to burn in (a different) hell forever, and furthermore, that you deserve this for having rejected their (different revelations of God's final) truth.
I, on the other hand, stated (concerning religious beliefs), "Some (are) less culturally nutty (like prayer), some more (Xenu); but all equally devoid of any confirmatory evidence." Perhaps not as gentle as it could have been, but certainly a defensible and not-uncommon point of view. I'm going to wish you a nice day, and don't think you're going to encounter any fire more severe than a big backyard BBQ.
So, who are the bigots? I'm really beginning to think that you do not understand the definition of the word.
@IanSlocum @catchme if you can
The Adam and Eve story fails at all levels; That, however, does not matter to the christians, who have to hang on to it, as it is crucial to their soteriology (in the new testament, Jesus is presented as the second Adam). It's sad when people won't accept the facts because of their religion, but a recent Gallup poll showed that 64% of Americans fall into that category. Remember what Ken Ham said--nothing could make him change his mind. In other words, it's not *really* about evidence, all protestations to the contrary notwithstanding.
2 weeks, 1 day ago on Conversation @ http://www.newrepublic.com/article/116478/bill-nye-ken-ham-debate-creationism-and-evolution-science-wins
You seem to be good at calling people bigots (so far, everyone else on this thread). I suspect psychological projection. Or, possibly, you don't know what the word means. Also, it's much too early to be playing the "I'm offended" card. You don't actually have the right not to be offended.
It all comes down to where the evidence lies. As you yourself quite cleverly said to normanvincent, "Would you agree that such "evidence" (which is really more theories) is just as likely to lead to Islam being as accurate as Christianity?"
Where the evidence lies is determinative, whether the question is christianity vs. islam (or neither); evolution vs. creationism, or any other question that is resolvable in this manner. It does not, of course, affect personal opinion; but then, people should not be trying to impose their personal opinions on the rest of society. Furthermore, one probably should think what it means to hold a personal opinion of which some significant portion is an idea which can be shown to be less probable in the light of the evidence.
We are clearly reading the article differently. To me, the first two paragraphs are about as concise an illustration of the difference between pseudo-science and science as can be presented.
I don't understand your claim that Dr. Coyne's "first paragraph alone is filled with a head-spinning array of random unsubstantiated claims and emotive language." Unless I'm really missing something obvious, he is simply listing things that actual people in actual religions believe. Some less culturally nutty (like prayer), some more (Xenu); but all equally devoid of any confirmatory evidence. In fact, most or all of these are adhered to in the teeth of sufficient disconfirmatory evidence. Hence pseudo-science, of which religion is a subset (at least, that's what I hold, and I'm reasonably confident that Dr. Coyne does as well).
2 weeks, 2 days ago on Conversation @ http://www.newrepublic.com/article/116689/shroud-turin-formed-earthquake-thats-just-pseudoscience
I have not seen the video, but I have read his book with the same title; it is one of the two main books currently available (the other being Richard Dawkins' "The Greatest Show on Earth) which summarizes for the educated layman the multiple convergent lines of evidence for evolution. If you liked the video, you'll love the book.
If you think that "Jerry Coyne obtained his understanding of religion from reading nothing more sophisticated than a handful of Chick comics," then you do not know that Dr. Coyne has spent a large part of the last few years studying and interacting with religion and theology, of all stripes from the Ken Ham-Jack Chick brand of stupidity that you rightly criticize, to the rarified realms of Alvin Plantinga, Karen Armstrong and other Sophisticated Theologians™, with the goal of writing a book on the subject.
He has chronicled much of what he has learned, and received the interactions of a large number of very intelligent people, on his blog at https://whyevolutionistrue.wordpress.com/
I'd recommend that you follow it; besides the religion, there is also a lot of very interesting science presented and interacted with.
@justinrjosey @marty b
Babbling. In the responses, refutations of your points are given; why do I think that you will not bother to read them?
2 weeks, 3 days ago on Conversation @ http://www.newrepublic.com/article/116478/bill-nye-ken-ham-debate-creationism-and-evolution-science-wins
@justinrjosey @John Cipparrone
More religious babbling. Refutation not needed, as no evidence was presented.
As John pointed out, very clever.
However, (1) truth is not decided by cleverness, but by evidence. Winning debates is not the same as discovering what is true. (2) Other positions can be clever too; for example, you have perhaps heard "The fool has said in his heart 'There is no god.' The wise man has said it out loud." If a muslim came up with some clever saying with respect to his religion, would you think it reasonable that he expect you to follow islam on that basis? I didn't think so.
You're making a fundamental mistake in opposing science to christianity; the real opposition is science to religion. For some reason--undoubtedly the fact that you, yourself are christian--you seem to think that that is the only alternative to science. But christianity is just one of thousands of mutually exclusive religions, and there is no good reason to give it a privileged place in the discussion. In fact, it would not even be possible in many other places, where islam, hinduism, buddhism or shintoism would, culturally, hold a privileged place in the discussion. In other words, your parochialism is showing.
Scientists, indeed, educated people everywhere, hold to the fact that in a right triangle, the square of the length of the hypotenuse is equal to the sum of the squares of the lengths of the other two sides. That the nucleus of a carbon atom contains 6 protons, and that a water molecule consists of two hydrogen atoms and one oxygen atom. That it is not possible to travel faster than the speed of light in a vacuum. That the earth formed about 4.5 billion years ago. Plus the millions and millions of other scientific facts that are demonstrable to the point where withholding assent is simply unreasonable. The history of life on earth, seen in the process of evolution, is another one of those facts, which is denied only by some people, and not on the basis of the evidence, which is conclusive (have you read Dr. Coyne's book?) but only because their own particular interpretation of their own understanding of their own sect of their own religion says it's not so. And you know what? Your rejection of the facts based on your religious understanding makes no more difference to us than the islamic teaching that Mohammed flew up to heaven on his horse makes to you.
Somehow, I don't think that justinrjosey is going to provide what he would consider to be a disproof of the bible. The "moving the goalposts" fallacy comes immediately to mind.
So, I'll do it for him. Here's Jerry Coyne, on what science is, and what the nature of pseudo-science is. He's talking about the the Shroud of the Turin in particular, but the argument applies more widely to disproven religious claims:
"A recent article by Carpinteri et al. demonstrates the two ways that
religion is a pseudoscience. The first is that it relies on empirical
claims to buttress its dogma. While Sophisticated Theologians™ may argue
that God is beyond all evidence, being some imperceptible and numinous
“thing” that can neither be defined nor seen as interacting with the
cosmos, that’s not what believers think. So, for example, claims that
Jesus was born of a virgin, died, was resurrected, or that Mohammad went
to heaven on a horse, or that Joseph Smith received the golden plates
in New York and translated them, or that 75 million years ago Xenu
loaded his alien minions onto planes resembling DC-8s, or that there is
an afterlife, and that good people go to Heaven, or that God hears and
answers prayers, and is benevolent and all-powerful, are claims about
the way the world is. And many of those claims are testable, though all
have been refuted. In the prescientific era, these claims constituted a
sort of science.
But as real science arose in the 15th and 16th centuries, and began
eroding religion’s claims, religion began turning into a pseudoscience.
That is, it still made empirical claims, but immunized itself against
refutation of those claims using a variety of devices—the same devices
used by other forms of pseudoscience like ESP, UFOlogy, homeopathy, and
astrology. These include arguing that the propositions themselves are
untestable, using poor standards of evidence (including reliance on
“revelation” as a “way of knowing”), reliance on a priori
personal biases that are not to be tested but merely confirmed, refusing
to consider alternative hypotheses, and engaging in special pleading
when religious tenets are disconfirmed. (at: http://whyevolutionistrue.wordpress.com/2014/02/20/the-shroud-of-turin-why-religion-is-a-pseudoscience/)
2 weeks, 4 days ago on Conversation @ http://www.newrepublic.com/article/116478/bill-nye-ken-ham-debate-creationism-and-evolution-science-wins
The Koran is clear. It is man who is not. You mistake the
failings of man for the failings of the Koran. The Koran is a history
book, philosophy book, and a prophecy book. It is God's revelation of
himself to mankind. Yet mankind rejects it or tries to modify it.
@active4ce @justinrjosey@marty b
Here's the ultimate "Darwin did not lead to Hitler" link:
Now, if you *really* want to see where Hitler's anti-semitism came from, you'd have to follow it all through European history (start with John Chrysostom, "Against the Jews" and Martin Luther, "On the Jews and Their Lies"); the texts are here, respectively:
Here are the first two sentences in Luther's book: "I had made up my mind to write
no more either about the Jews or against them. But since I learned that those
miserable and accursed people do not cease to lure to themselves even us, that
is, the Christians, I have published this little book, so that I might be found
among those who opposed such poisonous activities of the Jews and who warned
the Christians to be on their guard against them."