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Saturday, November 21, 2015

The book is sophomoric. The author is inept.

The sad thing is, Richard Dawkins doesn't know it because he resolutely runs from all substantive criticism in favor of hiding in his hug box:
Richard Dawkins @RichardDawkins
The God Delusion accused of being a "sophomoric" book. Well, is there any evidence for God that an intelligent sophomore couldn't refute?

Vox Day @voxday
Considerable. Your arguments are so inept, some don't even qualify as arguments.You don't even know what "evidence" is.

Vox Day @voxday
I blew away your "religion causes war" argument once and for all because you simply don't know history. 6.98%, not 100%.

Vox Day ‏@voxday
Your worst "argument" was the appeal to Alfred Hitchcock. That's a logical fallacy that doesn't even have a name.

Vox Day @voxday
Look, atheists, you're going to need much better champions than inept rhetoricians in over their heads like @RichardDawkins and @SamHarris.

Labels:

158 Comments:

Anonymous Necron November 21, 2015 3:38 PM  

Awww, trying to find you footing agin? If say you'll be ok, but you probably won't.

Blogger Krul November 21, 2015 3:45 PM  

"intelligent sophomore" is an apt description for the mindset of this type of atheist. The neckbeard brigade is mostly composed of former "intelligent sophomores" who would rather cling to the smugness of their precocious adolescence than grow up.

Blogger Mr.MantraMan November 21, 2015 3:46 PM  

Atheism biggest waste of time ever, so you expect it to attract top flight talent?

Anonymous NorthernHamlet November 21, 2015 3:51 PM  

Alfred Hitchcock

What was the fallacy again?

Blogger VD November 21, 2015 3:56 PM  

Attempting to prove that a Catholic upbringing is more psychologically damaging than sexual abuse by citing, among other things, an apocryphal story about Alfred Hitchcock driving through Switzerland.

Yes, it really makes that little sense. That's the point. It's literally not an argument.

Anonymous Dick Dawkins November 21, 2015 3:59 PM  

If God was real, I'd have to feel bad about sucking my professor's cock as a young man at university. Ergo, God is not real.

Blogger Mr.MantraMan November 21, 2015 4:00 PM  

You think these kids would deny the existence of Allah?

Blogger Rantor November 21, 2015 4:11 PM  

some tweets that must be retweeted!

Blogger Geir Balderson November 21, 2015 4:13 PM  

I am afraid i don't believe in Richard Dawkins. I have never seen or heard him speak, therefore he is a nonentity to me.

Blogger Crude November 21, 2015 4:27 PM  

Dawkins talking about 'evidence for God' when he admits he can't even think of evidence that would change his mind is a laugh.

Anonymous NorthernHamlet November 21, 2015 4:34 PM  

Attempting to prove that a Catholic upbringing is more psychologically damaging than... [words, many words]

yeah, I don't get it.

Blogger Unknown the Elder November 21, 2015 4:43 PM  

@6 DIck, you whacked the nail squarely on the head with that one (metaphor intended). Atheists don't believe in God because they don't want God to exist and all that follows. Good one!

Anonymous Jim November 21, 2015 4:45 PM  

As an atheist, I've always hated having Dawkins as a spokesperson. Sophomoric is a perfect word to describe his writing.

Anonymous Bill Ding November 21, 2015 4:48 PM  

People who think TIA is important or influential also believe the earth is only 6,000 years old, and that Jesus rode dinosaurs.

Blogger Steve, the Dark Ninja of Mockery November 21, 2015 4:55 PM  

Atheism: the religion of choice for goony beard-men and cactus-crotched legbeards.

Blogger kh123 November 21, 2015 5:03 PM  

@13 "Sophomoric is a perfect word to describe his writing."

Is likely one reason for whatever success he's enjoyed, to take a page from Hitler's public relations formula.

Blogger automatthew November 21, 2015 5:03 PM  

Your worst "argument" was the appeal to Alfred Hitchcock. That's a logical fallacy that doesn't even have a name.

Touch of Evil

Blogger Sean November 21, 2015 5:07 PM  

What the hell is it about England that breeds such angry, bitter and virulent Anti-theists?

Blogger kh123 November 21, 2015 5:07 PM  

"...citing, among other things, an apocryphal story about Alfred Hitchcock driving through Switzerland."

But several contemporary accounts - one by a doctor - of an historical figure aren't nearly enough for the man.

Characters like Dawkins. You can't make this stuff up.

Anonymous Bill Ding November 21, 2015 5:12 PM  

What contemporary accounts?

Anonymous NorthernHamlet November 21, 2015 5:13 PM  

People who think TIA is important or influential also believe the earth is only 6,000 years old, and that Jesus rode dinosaurs.

It's funny you bring this up. My Christian friend and I were just talking yesterday about whether Jesus liked his T Rex ribs brined or not.

Being a raptor, he obviously liked not.

Blogger Steve, the Dark Ninja of Mockery November 21, 2015 5:14 PM  

What the hell is it about England that breeds such angry, bitter and virulent Anti-theists?

Blogger automatthew November 21, 2015 5:14 PM  

People who think TIA is important or influential also believe the earth is only 6,000 years old, and that Jesus rode dinosaurs.


Your style of ankle biting seems familiar to me.

Under what names have you commented here before? Please be thorough.

Blogger Derrick Bonsell November 21, 2015 5:17 PM  

The Selfish Gene is one of the most popular introductions to genetics in a pop science kind of setting, but I have so little concern for Dawkins that I haven't read it. I must admit that his tweets where he gets a little too close to Islam do amuse me though.

Blogger Derrick Bonsell November 21, 2015 5:17 PM  

The Selfish Gene is one of the most popular introductions to genetics in a pop science kind of setting, but I have so little concern for Dawkins that I haven't read it. I must admit that his tweets where he gets a little too close to Islam do amuse me though.

Blogger Desiderius November 21, 2015 5:21 PM  

The Selfish Gene at least has some explanatory power. Harris is an embarrassment to anyone who has ever cracked the cover of a decent book.

Anonymous Bill Ding November 21, 2015 5:24 PM  

Previous aliases include Anita Friend, Mike Crotch, and James McNamara. That's all of them Matthew.

Anonymous Susan November 21, 2015 5:26 PM  

I believe that it is totally possible for the actual planet to be millions of years old, while at the same time the newly created creation, starting at the Garden of Eden, to be only about 6,000 years old. I see no disconnect there when Genesis tells us about the "dark void". To me that just means there was a lifeless planet there from the time of Satan's rebellion and war.

As to Dawkins, he will always be just fine. After all he is married to a former Dr. Who girl so he can always dine out on that.

@22,
Steve, if you grew up in the shadow of Henry's creation the Church of England, you would be against religion too. I came to that opinion by listening to some interviews by the Monty Python guys. That church really screws people up bad. You live in England IIRC right?

Blogger Lukas Brunnor November 21, 2015 5:27 PM  

Bill Ding is one of those trolls so inept at the job of trolling that it provokes me to speak about it as if it wasn't going to read this. So...bets on whether it is a goony beard-man or a cactus-crotched legbeard? Possibility of a trans-goony-crotched-beard-sheman should also not be overlooked. I'm going with the goony beard-man simply because it didn't lead with threats to not have sex with us.

Anonymous Alglin November 21, 2015 5:27 PM  

OT:

New video from /pol Them Days Are Gone: Funeral Pyre

Key exchange from the intro:

Reporter: Don't you feel any sympathy for them?

Truck driver: No, none. Them days are gone.

Blogger MendoScot November 21, 2015 5:34 PM  

@13. Jim
As an atheist, I've always hated having Dawkins as a spokesperson.

So boot him or acknowledge that atheism either does not need or cannot have a spokesman.

Sophomoric is a perfect word to describe his writing.

His writing in his field was, I understand, exemplary. His problem was that he thought he could bring the same dialectical arguments to a wider audience and convince them without facts.

So he made up the facts.

Anonymous Bill Ding November 21, 2015 5:36 PM  

You can always tell an intellecual lightweight when he brays troll at anyone who disagrees with him.

Anonymous Bill Ding November 21, 2015 5:39 PM  

Alright everyone have fun in your circle jerk, I'm out.

Anonymous Wyrd November 21, 2015 5:42 PM  

People who think TIA is important or influential also believe the earth is only 6,000 years old, and that Jesus rode dinosaurs.

Not only did Jesus ride a dinosaur, but he was armed with two six-shooters and chewed a cherry cigar, bitch!

Anonymous Anonymous November 21, 2015 5:43 PM  

OT, you should really check out and maybe even link to the new post from "The Rev 3.0". I think he is slowly moving toward the Dark Side.

http://therev3.blogspot.com/2015/11/an-open-letter-to-dearly-beloved.html

Blogger Lukas Brunnor November 21, 2015 5:45 PM  

I "bray" troll because that is what you are. Your arguments have been thoroughly debunked, and your protests hold no weight as you are the umpteen person to attempt to present such arguments, only to be destroyed. If you had any reading comprehension and had actually read TIA to begin with, you wouldn't come in here saying what you did to kick off an argument. Your IQ is room temperature, your ideas are invalid, and your reasoning ability, isn't.

Anonymous Anonymous November 21, 2015 5:49 PM  

Sorry, I just started writing and hit Publish before I saw that you have something posted not to post as "Anonymous". I am just a sometimes lurker here and today I saw a post from The Rev I thought you may like and thought I would let you know. I don't have a google account or anything like that, so I just posted as Anon. I didn't mean to break the rules. I will restrain myself from doing so in the future, you know, after this post....

Anonymous Building November 21, 2015 5:52 PM  

Ok I lied I'm baaaaaaack. There weren't any six-shooters when the dinosaurs existed that's so stupid.

Anonymous Wyrd November 21, 2015 5:56 PM  

Ok I lied I'm baaaaaaack. There weren't any six-shooters when the dinosaurs existed that's so stupid.

Heathen.

Anonymous Bill Ding November 21, 2015 5:58 PM  

I am coming back because I need a good laugh. What arguments of mine have already been "destroyed" Lukas?

And to warn you all about my evil twin brother Building. He often tries to pass himself off as me, don't falk for his tricks.

Blogger Steve, the Dark Ninja of Mockery November 21, 2015 5:58 PM  

Susan - You live in England IIRC right?

Yes.

if you grew up in the shadow of Henry's creation the Church of England, you would be against religion too. I came to that opinion by listening to some interviews by the Monty Python guys.

I dunno. I'm not Anglican, though I've been to a couple of their services and they seem to be nice folk.

But it sticks in my mind that the Monty Python boys are privileged laddies from that blessed generation, known as the Baby Boomers.

The Boomers thought they were cleverer than their fathers in every respect, and - basking in the warm glow of their own enlightened superiority - set about turning traditional wisdom on its head. On every subject, from sex to race to criminal justice to God.

Well, it hasn't worked out like they promised it would. Maybe the CofE needs to stop being a poncy glee club for cardigan-wearing progressive pansies and start serving up some of that old time religion again.

In the days when vicars railed against sin and threatened damnation, their pews were full. Now that they preach global warming and multicult and aren't quite sure if this "God" character is real or just a metaphor, they're literally dying out. Half their remaining congregation is only there because their hearing aids aren't turned up enough to let them make out what dribbly shite is being expounded from the pulpit.

I'm a simple man and will never be mistaken for any kind of a theologian. But I do recall that Jesus didn't have a good word to say about those who are lukewarm.

Anonymous Wyrd November 21, 2015 6:06 PM  

But I do recall that Jesus didn't have a good word to say about those who are lukewarm.

But He was a fan of Bill Bruford-era Yes, especially Close To The Edge.

Anonymous Building November 21, 2015 6:12 PM  

Don't be fooled by the facade and false front with many addresses. Building is the real deal with an actual address verifiable by the USPS. And my foundation is strong I'm not blown about by the slightest breeze.

Blogger Steve, the Dark Ninja of Mockery November 21, 2015 6:19 PM  

Wyrd - Jesus Quintana, OTOH, likes The Eagles.

Anonymous Wyrd November 21, 2015 6:22 PM  

u sux.

Blogger Steve, the Dark Ninja of Mockery November 21, 2015 6:25 PM  

Wyrd - GET OUT OF MY CAB, YOU SERBIAN BASTARD!

Blogger SciVo November 21, 2015 6:25 PM  

OT: Apparently the states refusing Syrian refugees have 315 electoral votes (out of 535). This won't actually make any difference in the candidates' positions, since the pro-immigration crowd is fundamentally irrational, but it's indicative of who will likely win.

Anonymous NorthernHamlet November 21, 2015 6:28 PM  

What "arguments" of mine have already been destroyed Lukas?

FTFY

Anonymous NorthernHamlet November 21, 2015 6:29 PM  

What "arguments" of mine have already been destroyed Lukas?

FTFY

Blogger Giuseppe The Kurgan November 21, 2015 6:30 PM  

Steve the Dark Ninja of Mockery,
I see you are up to a more refined, more culturally profound, more up-to-the-second version of yourself with your latest Atheist images. And yet, despite, the undoubtedly more textured nuance, your images still induce projectile vomiting and a wish to boil one's eyes in salt water to disinfect them. Bravo sir, bravo.

Anonymous Wyrd November 21, 2015 6:30 PM  

Wyrd - GET OUT OF MY CAB, YOU SERBIAN BASTARD!

You're a girl drink drunk, aren't you?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1_H_sVNgvf4

Anonymous Mr. Rational November 21, 2015 6:32 PM  

@18 What the hell is it about England that breeds such angry, bitter and virulent Anti-theists?

An official state religion?  Be careful what you wish for.  (I see @28 expresses the same opinion.)

Anonymous That Would Be Telling November 21, 2015 6:33 PM  

The Selfish Gene is one of the most popular introductions to genetics in a pop science kind of setting, but I have so little concern for Dawkins that I haven't read it.

Or a scientist in training setting, when I was learning college level biology. I found it to have tremendous explanatory value, a lot of it is self-evidently true, and it also launched the meme of the meme. I highly recommend it.

Pity he's reported to have gone off the deep end since then (1976), I find it difficult to reconcile the author of this book with that.

Blogger Giuseppe The Kurgan November 21, 2015 6:43 PM  

and it also launched the meme of the meme. I highly recommend it.
No it did not. Dick Dawkings STOLE that "meme" from a German who wrote about The Mneme in 1905. And that book IS actually brilliant despite being over 100 years old.
There is a pretty clear link from the original author to Dawkins via his professor.

Blogger Nate November 21, 2015 6:49 PM  

Ahem...

go sparty.

Anonymous BigGaySteve November 21, 2015 6:49 PM  

Atheists are probably behind this common core approved DIMINICUCKING
http://www.mediaite.com/tv/california-middle-school-makes-kids-sing-about-spreading-islam/
http://www.kulr8.com/story/30571937/utah-school-apologizes-for-isis-themed-homework-assignment
http://www.wnd.com/wnd_video/hillary-hits-back-muslims-nothing-to-do-with-terrorism/

Anonymous BigGaySteve November 21, 2015 7:06 PM  

What the hell is it about England that breeds such angry, bitter and virulent Anti-theists?

They forgot to expel jews after Soros destroyed the British pound.

Anonymous That Would Be Telling November 21, 2015 7:10 PM  

and it also launched the meme of the meme.

No it did not. Dick Dawkings STOLE that "meme" from a German who wrote about The Mneme in 1905.


Who came up with it first, whether Dawkins "stole" it, or the seed of it, does not matter for the purposes of launching it.

Anonymous Anonymous November 21, 2015 7:20 PM  

Something to consider in this debate. If it was just atheists and what they believe, and religious folks and what they believe, it would be a matter of an academic discussion unlikely to change the minds of adherents. Possibly changing the minds of those questioning.
that last part not an insignificant endeavor.
But it is not about that. Atheists are not attacking religion to make believers abandon belief, or even to recruit atheists for the sake of "saving" people from "delusions."
The entire project is social, political. it is about removing religion from society and law. Even more than that, it about removing the entire complex of faith, culture, belief, and way of understanding life and the world from an entire society. So that an alien worldview can become the substitute, and hence the policy and programs desired by its adherents.
Dawkins et al are not out to change minds, they are out to remake society in their image, of which atheism is only a part, and only then because it is useful to the rest.

Blogger Mr.MantraMan November 21, 2015 7:29 PM  

#59 spot on, atheism is just junk political rhetoric spewed by junk people.

Blogger praetorian November 21, 2015 7:35 PM  

What the hell is it about England that breeds such angry, bitter and virulent Anti-theists?

Autism.

Blogger hightecrebel November 21, 2015 7:42 PM  

@47

Sadly, two of those EC votes are from a state (Maine) that, in Presidential elections, is reliably Democrat.

Blogger Harsh November 21, 2015 7:48 PM  

You can always tell an intellecual lightweight when he brays troll at anyone who disagrees with him.

No, you can always tell an intellectual lightweight because he uses snarky disqualifications instead of arguments.

Blogger Unknown the Elder November 21, 2015 7:50 PM  

As a thoughtful man once wrote: "...the following pair of definitions have proven to be useful in distinguishing between the High Church atheist and the agnostic,

AGNOSTIC: I don't believe there is a God. Because I haven't seen the evidence.

ATHEIST: There is no God. Because I'm an asshole."

Blogger Jew613 November 21, 2015 7:58 PM  

Building reminds me of Tad

Anonymous Bill Ding November 21, 2015 8:00 PM  

Harsh, wasn't your response just a snarky disqualification?

Blogger Harsh November 21, 2015 8:02 PM  

Nope, it was not.

Blogger Harsh November 21, 2015 8:02 PM  

Building reminds me of Tad

More of a scoobius.

Blogger Joshua Sinistar November 21, 2015 8:06 PM  

These atheists are obviously just Satanists in disguise. Why would anyone spend so much time money and effort to disprove something they don't believe in? Would you actually file a lawsuit against a school to stop a prayer just because you're not a believer? Think of the cost that hiring a lawyer and fighting a long court case would involve. And just because you don't want someone to pray? They even object to a moment of silence where people can pray silently. How exactly does a silent prayer bother or offend you. Its Satan they serve, their science is stupid.
The Big Bang Theory is so dumb even a retard should find it hard to believe. These muddleheaded morons want me to believe something blew up and created the entire universe. Yeah sure, dummy. Try to set a shaped charge or explosive and set it off and actually create something. I would love to see you do that. If a singularity of dense matter in empty space exploded, the particles would simply accelerate to a certain velocity and then travel out forever due to inertia. It would never coalesce. These people are stupid.

Anonymous Daniel November 21, 2015 8:08 PM  

Philosophers of Religion, both theist and atheist, have been trying to convince Dawkins to actually try to gain an even nominal understanding of what he criticizes for literally decades. It's got to the point where the only interesting thing is speculating on what dark peculiarity of personal pride or arbitrary maladaptive mutation lead to this sheer incapacity on his part. I mean Jeffrey Lowder at Internet Infidels literally had to rip into the New Atheists for fear they would damage the reputation of atheist philosophers by association.

Alternative Twitter response: So in what possible world did you debate William Lane Craig?

Blogger Harsh November 21, 2015 8:08 PM  

The Big Bang Theory is so dumb even a retard should find it hard to believe.

Yeah, but Penny is hot. Oh, wait...

Blogger Feather Blade November 21, 2015 8:10 PM  

@15 Do you suppose the goony beard-man realizes that it's not religion that's preventing him from getting laid...?

Anonymous Daniel November 21, 2015 8:16 PM  

the goony beard-man...

Anyone else get a mental slide-show featuring Dennett and Martin from this?

Anonymous Epimandes November 21, 2015 8:26 PM  

If God was real, I'd have to feel bad about sucking my professor's cock as a young man at university. Ergo, God is not real.

Did this actually happen? Because it would explain a lot.

Anonymous Bill Ding November 21, 2015 8:28 PM  

Harsh, yep it was. Maybe next time stick to using words you understand the meaning of.

Anonymous Building November 21, 2015 8:29 PM  

Tad can only wish he had as many floors and rooms as me. I am the one real edifice on this block and all others are facades who have created edifices in their minds.

Anonymous Bill Ding November 21, 2015 8:34 PM  

My buttresses are flying bro.

Blogger John Wright November 21, 2015 8:39 PM  

"What the hell is it about England that breeds such angry, bitter and virulent Anti-theists?"

It is the lingering spiritual wounds left over from the day when Henry VIII in order to break the Christian law against divorce, broke with the traditions of England back to time of Roman Britain, and descended on the monasteries and chapels and cut them up for money. Then he enacted a reign of terror, complete with spies and informers, along the lines we in the 20th century are used to in Soviet nations, or as occurred in France during the Terror.

England was small and weak in those days and hated by Catholic France and Catholic Spain, and warred with them off and on for years. The Lutherans were not the friends of the Anglicans, and the Puritans under Cromwell rose up in a successful Civil War to enact a true theocracy, which was another lasting nightmare.

The various dissenter and nonjurors who started their own denominations flourished in England, because the Anglican Church was still Catholic in all rites and doctrines, merely taking whoever wore the crown of England as ersatz Pope.

In order to justify the treason of Henry VIII and his nobles, who profited considerably from the stripping of the altars, history had to be rewritten, and all pre-Reformation history had to be shown to be ages of superstition and tyranny, a Dark Age. Catholics had to be revised to be mere pagans in Christian garb rather than as the wonderous force that converted all the pagans of the Roman Empire without the use of force.

Since European history from the Second Century onward IS Catholic history, and since the conflicts of Catholic history are all theological, all theology had to be libeled by historians, starting with Gibbon, as mere stuff and nonsense, dangerous alike to the sanity as to the civil peace.

And English history would seem to confirm this condemnation:

England had been at war with Ireland since before 1192, or trampling and exploiting them as a despised conquered people, but mutual religious detestation entered the toxic mixture after the reformation.

The cynicism and distaste for religion is bred into the English character by her history.

Nothing has caused more turmoil, for less gain, than religion in England.

Anonymous Red Comet November 21, 2015 8:42 PM  

Dawkins needs to get busy policing his own nutters.

Someone should ask him why it is that Islam gets a pass despite being objectively worse than Christianity by every metric they use to justify their hate of Christianity.

This question is, of course, semi-rhetorical. I already know the real answer, but this is the kind of question you ask a shitlib when you're in the mood to watch mental gymnastics.

Blogger rumpole5 November 21, 2015 8:43 PM  

Wasn't the big bang theory postulated by a Catholic priest? I don't think that it conflicts with scripture because scripture also presents a beginning point. Let there be light! As to the time arguments, if time flow is relative to mass and speed, how do we even know what the flow rate of time was in the distant past? If the mass of the universe is flying apart now, wouldn't the effects of speed and mass on time have been greater in the distant past when the mass of the universe was closer together? Wouldn't it be flying apart faster then, closer to whatever force caused the bang? I don't see how we can know for sure what things were like a million year ago. Settled Science changes so much that little, if anything, survives fifty years, let alone six million.

Blogger John Wright November 21, 2015 8:45 PM  

"I am coming back because I need a good laugh."

And because trolls who flounce away in a huff like a schoolgirl has to come back and peer over her shoulder to see how destroyed you must be by her flouncing. And then she will FLOUNCE AGAIN!!

Of course, schoolgirls are cute, especially wearing Catholic schoolgirl uniforms, and it is unhappy when they flounce away.

Anonymous Daniel November 21, 2015 8:50 PM  

@Rumpole5,

Yes, that would be Georges Lemaitre - he first postulated what was then termed the 'primordial atom' hypothesis according to which the universe is in the process of expansion from an initial ultra-dense point.

The Big Bang Theory, whilst metaphysically irrelevant, puts the atheist in the nasty spot of having to claim that the universe just came to be for no reason at all ('classical atheism', as evinced in Russell's famous radio debate with Coplestone, goes for the more recondite 'the universe has always existed for no reason at all'). It's often tied in with providing empirical support for the famous Kalam Cosmological Argument.

Blogger rumpole5 November 21, 2015 8:53 PM  

At the risk of being a bore, I also point out that we have no idea what the electromagnetic forces were in the distant past because we don't know what "solar wind" forces were bathing the earth, and how much our magnetic field was affecting that background radiation. The fact that Mars once had an ocean suggests that conditions here might have been utterly different.

Blogger John Wright November 21, 2015 8:55 PM  

"Wasn't the big bang theory postulated by a Catholic priest? "

Georges Henri Joseph Édouard Lemaître.

Anonymous Building November 21, 2015 8:59 PM  

To read magnificent descriptions of truly grand edifices, yes some with flying buttresses; read Somewhither by John C. Wright.

Anonymous Wyrd November 21, 2015 9:02 PM  

Of course, schoolgirls are cute, especially wearing Catholic schoolgirl uniforms...

I'll take the zero.

Blogger Joshua Sinistar November 21, 2015 9:03 PM  

Look real science is supposed to be based on evidence and observation and be falsifiable. No one has ever seen a creature give birth to an offspring that was significantly different than itself. A caterpillar becomes a butterfly after a pupa stage, but its the same creature and although the phenotype of a multilegged worm is significantly different from a winged insect the genotype and DNA structure does not change at all. They have played around with genes in the lab with fruit flies due to their short lifespans, but were only able to get fruitflies that were deformed or had extra limbs eyes or wings. It never changed into another creature. They've been looking for a missing link between man and apes for decades, but its a moot point now because DNA evidence has ruled out all the apes known to exist as direct ancestors of man. This is not a theory.

Anonymous Bill Ding November 21, 2015 9:07 PM  

John Wright, quit hitting on me bro. Perverted old men always dreaming about underage girls. You need some help.

Anonymous Bill Ding November 21, 2015 9:14 PM  

Joshua your education is suspect bro. There is no missing link. Try looking up Homo Habilis, Homo Erectus, and Neanderthals to name a few.

Anonymous Quartermaster November 21, 2015 9:22 PM  

@78
Nice attempt, but it needs some serious work. To wit:

"Since European history from the Second Century onward IS Catholic history, and since the conflicts of Catholic history are all theological, all theology had to be libeled by historians, starting with Gibbon, as mere stuff and nonsense, dangerous alike to the sanity as to the civil peace."

The weakness here is that the Old Catholic Church did not come into existence until Constantine called the Council of Nicaea in an attempt to settle the Arian controversy. The Roman catholic Church was not fully established until the council of Trent, where the canons anathematized the central concept of the Book of Romans as stated by the Lutherans.

The biggest problem with people like Gibbon was the enlightenment and not the CoE. By Gibbon's time it was required that a leading intellectual look down his nose at Christianity. The problem was especially acute in France. That led to the revolution in France, but, ironically, England was saved from a similar upheaval by the Wesleyan revival, which also had a very large influence on the CoE.

Many still think that Wesley had either quit the CoE or been defrocked. He had no desire to found a new denomination and he died a CoE priest.

Anonymous Building November 21, 2015 9:22 PM  

In some buildings the elevator doesn't go all the way to the top floor but my elevators work flawlessly, are meticulously maintained and very quick.

Blogger CM November 21, 2015 9:22 PM  

People who think TIA is important or influential also believe the earth is only 6,000 years old, and that Jesus rode dinosaurs.

Lets help you out a bit (though you clearly are undeserving). This quote is not an argument, but a disqualification by way of a strawman. It also shows you did not read it.

So every subsequent comment calling you ignorant, troll, and making fun of your sandy shores is just us having fun at your unqualified expense.

Blogger Krul November 21, 2015 9:34 PM  

@89 - "Try looking up Homo Habilis, Homo Erectus, and Neanderthals to name a few."

You're a Homo Erectus

Anonymous Bill Ding November 21, 2015 9:35 PM  

CM,

That was my brother Building. The one with the classy elevators that go all the way to the top floor. He likes to prank me by posting under my account.

Anonymous Wyrd November 21, 2015 9:39 PM  

*Sigh* Looks VD will have to put up the sign-in posting again. Tards abound.

Blogger Harsh November 21, 2015 9:42 PM  

You're way too short for this ride, Bill Ding. Go away now before we make you cry.

Blogger Harsh November 21, 2015 9:43 PM  

*Sigh* Looks VD will have to put up the sign-in posting again. Tards abound.

Yep, another gamma loser who has delusions of grandeur. I think this one is a repeat offender, too.

Blogger John Wright November 21, 2015 9:44 PM  

"John Wright, quit hitting on me bro. Perverted old men always dreaming about underage girls. You need some help."

Catholic girls are cuter than scrawny English girls. Compare Sophia Lauren with Twiggy.

Help? Damnification and Dhimmitude, boyo, I don't need just help, I need a savior!

Anonymous Bill Ding November 21, 2015 9:52 PM  

You're alright in my book Mr. Wright. Wonderful response.

Anonymous Wyrd November 21, 2015 9:53 PM  

Compare Sophia Lauren with Twiggy.

I'll take another zero.

Blogger Joshua Sinistar November 21, 2015 9:59 PM  

Hey Dingy you must have sprung a leak. Those homonids are not direct ancestors of man. Neandertal actually procreated with homo sapiens which makes it impossible to be an ancestor.

Anonymous Building November 21, 2015 10:03 PM  

Let me be clear there is only one building on this block and no other structures are in any way connected or tied into this building. All claims to the contrary are a facade.

Anonymous Bill Ding November 21, 2015 10:08 PM  

Harsh,

I can't be the gamma male of your dreams. You'll have to find someone else's dick to suck.

Joshua,

I'll have to check in with my building supervisor about that leak.

Blogger ray November 21, 2015 10:15 PM  

'Not only did Jesus ride a dinosaur, but he was armed with two six-shooters and chewed a cherry cigar, bitch!'



Auto-loading six shooters. Continuous ammo feed.

Jesus rode the biggest dinosaur on Earth. Made the beast take its mask off too. So everybody could see.

Blogger Rabbi B November 21, 2015 10:22 PM  

@102 Bill Ding

You can always tell an intellecual lightweight when he brays troll at anyone who disagrees with him.

Serious question: Any real arguments to offer, or just a snark fest? For all I know you might be a troll, but my experience around here is that disagreement does not qualify anyone as a troll, but bad manners and ad hominem et ad nauseum attacks and general shit-flinging generally do.

Are you capable of dialing it back a bit and offering some substantive arguments and dialogue? Again, serious question.

Blogger Duke of Earl November 21, 2015 10:25 PM  

Neanderthals are recognized as a cousin in the family tree, not an ancestor. Even those who believe Habilis actually existed, rather than just being a waste-basket for bones that wouldn't fit elsewhere, believe he was another side branch, coexisting with Erectus one-and-a-half million years ago. Erectus, based on what evidence is available, was not an "ape-man" but just another human variant. Brain capacity, although small, was within normal human range, the skeleton also fitting into normal human range.

Actually, looking at skeletons, every one of the "transitional humans" could fit somewhere in our rather diverse species without having to invoke any evolution at all. Their behaviours and tool use, as far as we can tell, were human, not apelike in any way.

Anonymous Wyrd November 21, 2015 10:25 PM  

Twenty-first century schizoid man:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SO-Mk-Ysqbs

Blogger ray November 21, 2015 10:34 PM  

"I believe that it is totally possible for the actual planet to be millions of years old, while at the same time the newly created creation, starting at the Garden of Eden, to be only about 6,000 years old."


Certainly possible. God is a little bigger than our sciences and imaginations. He reconciles things we think are irreconcilable. The Creation account in Genesis is true but condensed, and many things are yet to be revealed.

Blogger rumpole5 November 21, 2015 10:40 PM  

@Daniel. Thanks for the erudite supply of the relevant details re: big bang/priest. Being a mere "bright", much of your comment was at my comprehension horizon, but I certainly appreciate the endorsement!

Blogger natschuster November 21, 2015 10:47 PM  

Some of my learning disabled sophomore students did refute the Theory of Evolution. It just doesn't make sense that a random process could make something complex like life. "The Blind Watchmaker" has been refuted. Knew discoveries have refuted "The Selfish Gene," The basic premise of the book was an evolutionary attempt to explain junk DNA> But hen they found that there is really no such thing as junk DNA. Lots of people have refuted his infinite regression of complexity argument lots of different ways, Good for him, too, since it refutes the Theory of Evolution.

Anonymous Bill Ding November 21, 2015 10:57 PM  

Rabbi B,

Yes.

Example. The point of introducing other homonid species into the discussion was not to claim that they are direct ancestors of common man. Instead it was to show how the genus has evolved over the ages to our curent homo sapiens. No one who holds to evolutionary theory believes some random offspring suddenly started a new species, but rather time and the world around us did. Show people how a bird like the sparrow evolved differently in northern and southern climates and they have no problem accepting it as fact. Do the same for humans and someone people think it's impossible. For some reason people are quick to accept microevolution but not macro. It seems to me though that the evidence of microevolution strongly a supports the idea of macroevolution.

Blogger Harsh November 21, 2015 11:05 PM  

I can't be the gamma male of your dreams. You'll have to find someone else's dick to suck.

You're projecting, son. You're also showing that you have nothing to add here. You've been called out for being a gamma and then resort to crude insults. It's pretty amusing to watch. You're following the gamma playbook to the letter.

I feel sorry for you.

Blogger Harsh November 21, 2015 11:06 PM  

Serious question: Any real arguments to offer, or just a snark fest?

No, he's just here to do a bit of drive-by trolling. I wouldn't be surprised if he turns out to be one of our mentally ill regulars. Sad.

Blogger Bard November 21, 2015 11:12 PM  

Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a T Rex and not a donkey? Thats cool. When he returns it will be on a pteradactyl and not a white horse.

Anonymous Stickwick November 21, 2015 11:23 PM  

It's literally not an argument.

One of the chapters in The God Delusion was called "Why God Almost Certainly Doesn't Exist" or something like that. His argument? Christians are jerks. Like you said, not even an argument.

Anonymous Bill Ding November 21, 2015 11:45 PM  

Harsh how could I be doing drive-by trolling if I've already taken up residence in your mind?

Blogger SciVo November 21, 2015 11:51 PM  

@ hightecrebel:

The point is that if they care about issues -- at least enough to vote the same at the national level as for their governers -- then that can change.

Blogger SciVo November 21, 2015 11:55 PM  

@ BD: You're a bitchy interlocutor. Don't mistake your mouthiness for significance.

Blogger ajw308 (#98) November 22, 2015 12:20 AM  

I am coming back because I need a good laugh,
The usual response to a troll announcing their abandonment of the thread is "Back in 3, 2, 1" It's that predictable.

Blogger Geir Balderson November 22, 2015 12:30 AM  

"In some buildings the elevator doesn't go all the way to the top floor but my elevators work flawlessly, are meticulously maintained and very quick."

Building, I believe you have shown us all that your elevators go no where near the top. Also, isn't it true that since all of your buttons are pushed, your cars stop at all floors thereby impeding travel, growth and intelligence.

Lucky for you the Train is running on time!

Anonymous Scintan November 22, 2015 12:59 AM  

People,

Don't feed the trolls. Thank you.

Blogger SciVo November 22, 2015 1:06 AM  

@ Scintan: But, then how will the trolls survive?!?

Oh. Right.

Blogger SciVo November 22, 2015 1:08 AM  

This comment has been removed by the author.

Blogger guest November 22, 2015 1:50 AM  

Rabbi B

" Show people how a bird like the sparrow evolved differently in northern and southern climates and they have no problem accepting it as fact. Do the same for humans and someone people think it's impossible.

Actually, you haven't demonstrated any characteristic of macroevolution. Which is the theory that all diversity of life on earth descended from one single-celled common ancestor. Actually, P Z Myers changed that to "a few." It doesn't matter. You have not even provided that evidence from a change in bird alleles.

And in so far as humans--well Ken Ham and evolutionists both agree that there is only one species of mankind. H sapiens sapiens. That is from one end of the globe to another. So using humans as an example of either microevolution or macroevolution is a losing play

Blogger guest November 22, 2015 1:51 AM  

Rabbi B

" Show people how a bird like the sparrow evolved differently in northern and southern climates and they have no problem accepting it as fact. Do the same for humans and someone people think it's impossible.

Actually, you haven't demonstrated any characteristic of macroevolution. Which is the theory that all diversity of life on earth descended from one single-celled common ancestor. Actually, P Z Myers changed that to "a few." It doesn't matter. You have not even provided that evidence from a change in bird alleles.

And in so far as humans--well Ken Ham and evolutionists both agree that there is only one species of mankind. H sapiens sapiens. That is from one end of the globe to another. So using humans as an example of either microevolution or macroevolution is a losing play

Anonymous Franknorman November 22, 2015 2:17 AM  

@78 - If Henry had been an African monarch, he could have had all the extra wives he wanted, without needing to get any divorces.

Though I think John Wright does the early Protestants a disservice. The conception of the Middle Ages as an era of ignorance and superstition was not their invention. It came from the Renaissance people, who were in love with all things classical.
And the people who really dialed up the "Evil Rome oppressing people with evil religion, because evil" rhetoric were the French philosophers of the 18th-century Enlightenment.

I've seen it argued that the main reason the French Revolution never crossed the channel to England, was the life and work of John Wesley. The Methodists when they began were an "old time religion", "turn or burn!" creed, that grabbed the English-speaking world by the shirt and slapped it out of the spiritual stupor the Anglicans and Puritans had together put it into.

The French didn't have that. The Roman Catholic clerics there took their position for granted - and were more interested in suppressing any rival groups of Christians, than in paying any attention to the growing numbers of non-Christians.
And you know how that worked out for them.

Blogger Student in Blue November 22, 2015 2:21 AM  

It seems to me though that the evidence of microevolution strongly a supports the idea of macroevolution.

I never understand why people think this must be so. Just because your clunky V4 car can go from 0 to 80 mph, eventually, on a good day, is not strong evidence that the same car can go from 0 to 800 mph, eventually, on a good day.

Anonymous Erik November 22, 2015 3:16 AM  

Student @126, the position is more like saying that because your car can eventually travel 80 miles, it can travel 800 miles given enough time.

Anonymous TS November 22, 2015 3:43 AM  

"#59 spot on, atheism is just junk political rhetoric spewed by junk people."

Because the buffoons worship the pathological state.

Anonymous Mr. Rational November 22, 2015 3:53 AM  

@59 But it is not about that. Atheists are not attacking religion to make believers abandon belief, or even to recruit atheists for the sake of "saving" people from "delusions."

Most "attacks" on religion, such as keeping creationism out of science classes, are anti-entryism.  It is keeping agenda-driven busybodies out of things they'd simply destroy.  As evidence has proven, the creatonuts do not recognize limits any more than SJWs do.  Geology proves flood geology wrong?  Remove science from geology.  Physics backs up the radioisotope dating of geology?  Add "disclaimers" to physics.  Once such clowns are done fencing off all the religiously-incorrect parts of science there would be nothing left.

The entire project is social, political. it is about removing religion from society and law.

Much of it is about keeping religion out of fields where it provably has nothing to offer, but wants control anyway:  the Dunning-Kruger effect writ large.

it about removing the entire complex of faith, culture, belief, and way of understanding life and the world from an entire society.

If a faith, culture and belief is based on e.g. platygeanism, it deserves no respect.  If you have the facts of the world verifiably wrong, it means that you have God's creation wrong.  YOU are wrong.  Either deal, or people who exploit your errors will defeat and eliminate you.

Anonymous Mr. Rational November 22, 2015 3:56 AM  

@69 Would you actually file a lawsuit against a school to stop a prayer just because you're not a believer?

Because you don't want believers to use the school system to promote themselves at your expense.  Let them promote themselves privately.

The Big Bang Theory is so dumb even a retard should find it hard to believe. These muddleheaded morons want me to believe something blew up and created the entire universe. Yeah sure, dummy. Try to set a shaped charge or explosive and set it off and actually create something.

Your straw-man theory is indeed retarded, which raises the question why you bother putting it forward in all apparent seriousness.

If a singularity of dense matter in empty space exploded, the particles would simply accelerate to a certain velocity and then travel out forever due to inertia.

This is an example of the straw-man.  "Travel out", into what?  There was no point in space where the Big Bang occurred.  The Big Bang happened in ALL space.  It was SPACE that grew, and everything moved away from everything else.  Your straw man deliberately eliminates that point and makes nonsense of everything else.

One of the consequences of space expanding is that the existing energy becomes less dense; in other words, things cool.  The cosmic background radiation comes from the time when the universe cooled enough so that electrons could combine with ions to make neutral atoms, allowing light to travel freely for the first time.  The variations in the CBR stem from quantum density variations frozen as space blew them up to macroscopic size at much greater than the speed of light.  There are polarization variations in the CBR that mean something I'd have to look up.  All these things were predicted before they were found.  What successful predictions has creationism ever made?  Zero.

Anonymous Mr. Rational November 22, 2015 3:59 AM  

@78 It is the lingering spiritual wounds left over from the day when Henry VIII in order to break the Christian law against divorce, broke with the traditions of England back to time of Roman Britain, and descended on the monasteries and chapels and cut them up for money.

Thus giving unmerited credibility to the "turrible legacy ob da slabery" theory of Black dysfunction.

@82 The Big Bang Theory, whilst metaphysically irrelevant, puts the atheist in the nasty spot of having to claim that the universe just came to be for no reason at all

As opposed to having to claim that God exists for no reason at all.  The Big Bang is God minus the intent and the human-focused reward/punishment... IOW, shorn of everything not required to explain the observable evidence.

'the universe has always existed for no reason at all'

The universe has apparently existed for only 13.7 billion years.

Anonymous Mr. Rational November 22, 2015 4:01 AM  

@83 we have no idea what the electromagnetic forces were in the distant past because we don't know what "solar wind" forces were bathing the earth

If you think the solar wind has any effect on the nature and strength of the electroweak force, you're so deep into ignorance or even disinformation it is impossible to straighten you out in something like a blog discussion.  First you must recognize that you're hopelessly wrong, and even getting you to that point probably cannot be done.  You are ideologically/rhetorically attached to your position and dialectic can't get you out of it.

Blogger Steve, the Dark Ninja of Mockery November 22, 2015 5:13 AM  

Dear Kurgan - you do me too much honour. The palantir our Dark Host manifested for me consumes my life energies with its chilly ectoplasmic tendrils. And yet, I cannot look away.

OpenID anonymos-coward November 22, 2015 5:40 AM  

For some reason people are quick to accept microevolution but not macro.
Macroevolution violates the basic laws of math. Google 'law of large numbers' and 'central limit theorem'. No amount of accumulated random change can create something new.

It seems to me though that the evidence of microevolution strongly a supports the idea of macroevolution.
Only if you're mathematically illiterate.

Anonymous BrinW November 22, 2015 5:53 AM  

"Since European history from the Second Century onward IS Catholic history, and since the conflicts of Catholic history are all theological..."

Do you disagree, then, with VD's "6.98% of wars are caused by religion" calculation, then?

Right or wrong, his two decimal places of certainty cracks me up. :)

Anonymous That Would Be Telling November 22, 2015 6:23 AM  

Knew discoveries have refuted "The Selfish Gene," The basic premise of the book was an evolutionary attempt to explain junk DNA.

That's incorrect, the book doesn't even depend on the existence of or specifics of DNA, just that there is a mechanism of heredity. What was known of DNA back then (and I'll note that back then many, including myself, strongly suspected "junk DNA" had functions we hadn't yet elucidated), specifically mitotic crossing over, put a lower bound on what Dawkins referred to as a "gene", but it was big enough, several individual genes coding for several proteins, for what the book was talking about.

Specifically, conserved lengths of DNA that would perpetuate themselves to the extent they had survival value for the organism to get to the point of breeding and perpetuating those sections of DNA. Another way it is put, I think by him, is that from the point of our genes, our bodies are survival mechanisms.

Anonymous That Would Be Telling November 22, 2015 6:33 AM  

Wasn't the big bang theory postulated by a Catholic priest? I don't think that it conflicts with scripture because scripture also presents a beginning point. Let there be light!

Turns out the obvious religious interpretation of the Big Bang is the reason Fred Hoyle rejected it. If the Big Bang and, say, the bacterial flagellum don't give pause to an atheists, they're just as "superstitious" as believers. Which is congruent with the observation that they tend to be assholes.

Anonymous Bee November 22, 2015 8:02 AM  

@VD,

Good example. Thanks for teaching us.

Blogger Joshua Sinistar November 22, 2015 8:53 AM  

There are no direct ancestors of man in the Evolutionary Theory anymore. DNA has ruled them all out. If you look at their new "family tree" it goes straight from an 18" monkey without a tail they snarkily called "Eve" directly to modern humans without anything in between. That 18" monkey without a tail doesn't look human to me. The only reason its there is because it has no DNA and hasn't been ruled out, and I suppose they had to put SOMETHING for humans to go back to even if it is a 18" monkey without a tail. DESPERATION makes for bad science.

Blogger Cail Corishev November 22, 2015 8:56 AM  

Student @126, the position is more like saying that because your car can eventually travel 80 miles, it can travel 800 miles given enough time.

No, it's like saying that because your car can travel 80 miles down the highway in a certain amount of time, it can travel to the moon given enough additional time.

We just started the evolution chapter in our biology textbook last week. I'm writing about it on my own blog, so I won't go into it in detail here. Suffice it to say that there was a lot of tell and very little show. It simply did what you do here: we can observe/cause small changes within a species, and species have some common traits, therefore macro-evolution given too many years to easily grasp. That's not evidence; that's assertion, no matter how many times you use phrases like "huge amount of evidence."

Blogger natschuster November 22, 2015 9:40 AM  

@136: TWBT

"Specifically, conserved lengths of DNA that would perpetuate themselves to the extent they had survival value for the organism to get to the point of breeding and perpetuating those sections of DNA. Another way it is put, I think by him, is that from the point of our genes, our bodies are survival mechanisms."

I was under the impression that Dawkins wrote that DNA can reproduce inside the genome of an organism even if it has no fitness benefit for the organism, hence the name "The Selfish Gene." Darwinian mechanism operate athe level of the gene as well, not just the organism.He was trying to strengthen the evidence from junk DNA. Without this argument the evidence from junk DNA is entirely negative, i.e. a designer would never fill the genome with junk. He was attempting to give an evollutionary explanation. Bui it turns out that it isn't junk after all.

Anonymous Anonymous November 22, 2015 9:46 AM  

a year ago
In my experience the atheistic/agnostic mantra of “there is no evidence” is typically premised upon an arbitrary and subjective definition of evidence. Because evidence is a legal term, and this discipline has written the most about the concept, it would make sense to consider the legal definition of evidence before declaring that there is none.
“[E]vidence is defined as ‘all the means by which any alleged matter of fact, the truth of which is submitted to investigation, is established or disproved.’” Forshey v. Principi, 284 F.3d 1335, 1358 (Fed. Cir. 2002). “[E]vidence includes all the means by which any alleged matter of fact is established or disproved, and is further defined as any species of proof legally presented at trial through the medium of witnesses, records, documents, exhibits, concrete objects, etc., for the purpose of inducing belief in the minds of the court or jury.” People v. Victors, 353 Ill. App. 3d 801, 811-812; 819 N.E.2d 311 (2004).
Notice the use of the terms “any” and “all” in these definitions. A whole lot of things count as “evidence.” Testimony is included within the definition of evidence, although it is “not synonymous with evidence” because evidence “is a more comprehensive term.” People v. Victors, supra at 811-812. In other words, personal religious experiences, COUNT AS EVIDENCE as that term has been legally defined, something atheists find hard to accept. This also means that the Gospels, for example - as “records, documents” - fall within the definition of “evidence” as well. Atheists and skeptics may say that these are not reliable forms evidence, but to say there is NO evidence is simply false.
Also, the philosophical evidence for God’s existence (First cause, argument from contingency, argument from reason, moral argument, apparent fine tuning) might not strictly meet the definition of evidence, but the philosophical evidence does - coupled with the existence of the universe and consciousness itself - give rise to a “presumption.” A “presumption” comes about when the “finding of a basic fact gives rise to existence of presumed fact, until [the] presumption is rebutted.” Wilner v. United States, 24 F.3d 1397, 1411 (Fed. Cir. 1994). “Although not evidence, a presumption can be a substitute for evidence if it is not rebutted.” Id. Most atheists will freely admit that they have no evidence disproving God - they usually fall back on the fact that it is not their burden. However, if there is a presumption of God’s existence (and at least 4 1/2 billion people would say there is), then atheists do in fact carry the burden of rebuttal.
Most atheists/skeptics confuse “evidence” with “conclusive evidence,” sometimes termed “conclusive proof,” which is defined as “evidence so strong as to overbear any other evidence to the contrary.” Black’s Law Dictionary 636 (9th ed. 2009). It is also defined as “[e]vidence that so preponderates as to oblige a fact-finder to come to a certain conclusion.” Id. There may not be, in the atheists/skeptics view, evidence that “obliges” them to accept God’s existence. But this does not mean there is no evidence at all, only that he has not seen what he considers to be “conclusive evidence.” Also, note again the first part of Black’s definition - “evidence so strong as to overbear any other evidence to the contrary.” Atheists admittedly have no “evidence to the contrary,” so ANY EVIDENCE AT ALL(i.e., personal religious experience) becomes “conclusive proof” by courtroom standards.
So in summary: why do you reject the evidence? Because you consider the idea of God absurd. Why is the idea of God absurd? Because of the lack of evidence. Your entire atheistic world view flows from this circular reasoning, which itself flows from a fundamentally flawed concept of what “evidence” is.

Blogger natschuster November 22, 2015 10:10 AM  

The usual atheist fallback answer is "We hope to have an answer for you someday." They have so much faith tin science that somtimes I get jealous.

Anonymous That Would Be Telling November 22, 2015 10:57 AM  

I was under the impression that Dawkins wrote that DNA can reproduce inside the genome of an organism even if it has no fitness benefit for the organism, hence the name "The Selfish Gene." Darwinian mechanism operate athe level of the gene as well, not just the organism.

Both true. From the viewpoint of the anthropomorphized "selfish" gene, its contribution to the fitness of the organism only matters to the extent it propagates the gene. This is perhaps best illustrated in the book by behavior that benefits close kin that likely share the gene while harming the fitness of the organism. From the viewpoint of the selfish gene, such "altruistic" behavior by the organism mediated by the gene is entirely selfish; crudely put, it could be worth killing off the organism, even if might continue to breed, if that results in several others with the gene surviving and being more likely to propagate the gene.

He was trying to strengthen the evidence from junk DNA. Without this argument the evidence from junk DNA is entirely negative, i.e. a designer would never fill the genome with junk. He was attempting to give an evollutionary explanation. Bui it turns out that it isn't junk after all.

That's not my memory at all (unfortunately, my copy is mislaid or given away). There's a lot of the above sort of (anti-PC) sociobiology, with specific examples known back in the mid-70s, and I can't remember any mention of junk DNA. And very specifically, junk DNA would have been swept up by his broader definition of "gene" when he got specific, it explicitly wasn't just one bit of DNA that encodes one protein (the standard modern definition), but enough to regularly survive crossing over, which could be more than one protein encoding region and the "junk" in-between. Note that this molecular genetics level only supports his thesis, it is entirely unnecessary, all you need is a postulate is that there are independent units of heredity as shown by Mendel a century before the elucidation of the structure of DNA.

If he said anything about junk DNA, it was just the conventional wisdom at the time of many including myself that a lot of it probably wasn't junk, even if we didn't know what all it did, and therefore I wouldn't have remembered it specifically, unlike the new to me material which explained so many apparently counter-intuitive behaviors. They survive simply because they can, which I'll note is also the story of viruses.

Blogger natschuster November 22, 2015 11:08 AM  

@144:

I recall that Dawkins suggested that junk DNA is the result of certain genes propagating themselves within the genome. Some genes are better at it, in a Darwinian sense, than others. so they spread throughout an organisms genome. That's why the genome is filled with gene that don't do anything. But it turns out that they do stuff for the organism. They aren't really junk.

Blogger natschuster November 22, 2015 11:19 AM  

The following is from the Wikipedia article on "The Selfish Gene."

"Genes can reproduce at the expense of the organism[edit]
There are other times when the implicit interests of the vehicle and replicator are in conflict, such as the genes behind certain male spiders' instinctive mating behaviour, which increase the organism's inclusive fitness by allowing it to reproduce, but shorten its life by exposing it to the risk of being eaten by the cannibalistic female. Another good example is the existence of segregation distorter genes that are detrimental to their host but nonetheless propagate themselves at its expense.[12] Likewise, the persistence of junk DNA that provides no benefit to its host can be explained on the basis that it is not subject to selection. These unselected for but transmitted DNA variations connect the individual genetically to its parents, but confer no survival benefit.[13]"

Anonymous That Would Be Telling November 22, 2015 1:36 PM  

Likewise, the persistence of junk DNA that provides no benefit to its host can be explained on the basis that it is not subject to selection. These unselected for but transmitted DNA variations connect the individual genetically to its parents, but confer no survival benefit.

While I haven't studied this subject ... I was about to say "I'll bet we'll eventually find some DNA that truly is 'junk'", but given mitotic crossing over, even DNA that does nothing but fill a structural role will likely have an effect. For example, if that sometimes results in bad splices, the more "junk" DNA the less likely that will happen for splices in purely structural DNA.

Blogger B.J. November 23, 2015 1:28 PM  

@143. Anonymous

Actually, I reject flimsy religious evidence because of Occam's razor: there is always a more reasonable explanation which requires fewer assumptions.

Consider the examples you provide: personal revelation and first cause arguments, neither of which are specific to your god and can easily be applied to any religion. Why should I believe your revelation over a suicide bombers?

Also, the evidence provided by christians is laughable by biblical standards. All the mental gymnastics and word-fu engaged in by christians is not present in the bible, instead anyone who doubts God's existence or power is given immediate dramatic proof. In the Bible the existence of YHWH is self-evident, like gods in a D&D campaign. Yet strangely I've never seen the pope cast Blade Barrier or Flamestrike.

Blogger Doc Rampage November 24, 2015 12:35 AM  

@149 "there is always a more reasonable explanation which requires fewer assumptions."

Not true. There are many, many things about the world that have no explanation without God, but materialists just assume that there must be a material explanation that will be found some day. It is an act of faith on your part.

"Consider the examples you provide: personal revelation and first cause arguments, neither of which are specific to your god and can easily be applied to any religion."

Not true. No preceding religion has multiple contemporary written eyewitness accounts of miracles such as exist in the New Testament. Some of the religions that followed such as Islam and LDS tried to copy that, but did not do a very credible job.

"instead anyone who doubts God's existence or power is given immediate dramatic proof"

Not true. There are many cases where people are expected to believe without signs. And in many of the cases where signs were given, the signs did not convince the people receiving the sign or it convinced them but they ended up forgetting it later. The point being that the choice to believe or not believe is a moral choice, not an intellectual one. God's words are written on the heart, so that a humble man doesn't need miraculous signs and a proud man will not be convinced by any signs.

Anonymous Mr. Rational November 24, 2015 2:29 PM  

@149 There are many, many things about the world that have no explanation without God

Such as?

As I recall, much of the birth of science came out of the grossly unsatisfactory nature of the "goddidit" non-explanation.  People started digging and got actual answers... and now it's the actual answers that god-bots are attacking because anything other than "goddidit" threatens their "safe space".

Anonymous Mr. Rational November 24, 2015 2:30 PM  

Sorry, that should have been @150.

Anonymous Anonymous age 73 November 24, 2015 5:48 PM  

Actually the debate between creationists and evolutionists isn't that complicated.

The creationists are ignorant and superstitious folk who believe that a divine creator made the universe and everything in it out of nothing. Pure bunkum.

However, the liberated evolutionists with true science believe that the universe made itself and everything in it out of nothing, all by itself. That is true science.

Anonymous Mr. Rational November 24, 2015 11:12 PM  

@134 No amount of accumulated random change can create something new.

Hogwash.  EVERY random change has a likelihood of creating something that never existed before.

Google 'law of large numbers' and 'central limit theorem'.

If you actually knew statistics you'd never say this.  The more things you have, even if their traits are normally distributed, the more you have out on the statistical tails.  With large enough numbers even highly improbable events will happen frequently.

Suppose you have one chance of a specific favorable mutation per billion cell divisions.  In a population of a trillion cells dividing on average once per day, the specific mutation would occur about 40 times per hour.

A trillion E. coli bacteria weigh approximately 400 micrograms.

Only if you're mathematically illiterate.

A little irony is good for the blood.

@137 Are you saying that the Big Bang looks anything like either of the Genesis creation stories (there are two)?  The lack of elephants or turtles debunks Hindu creation, though.  The bacterial flagellum is pretty much confirmed to have developed from the bacterial type III secretory system, with many proteins identifiably co-opted from other things; it is not sui generis.

they're just as "superstitious" as believers. Which is congruent with the observation that they tend to be assholes.

Presumably defined as "disagreeing with me even after I've explained my airtight theological theory."

@139 References, pls.

@140 it's like saying that because your car can travel 80 miles down the highway in a certain amount of time, it can travel to the moon given enough additional time.

So, what is the evolutionary equivalent of an atmosphere that prevents an organism from "travelling" beyond certain limits other than by creation events?

We just started the evolution chapter in our biology textbook last week.

In other words, the merest skimming overview of a field whose modern work spans almost a century... and you expect to have your contrary dogma specifically addressed in the first few pages.

we can observe/cause small changes within a species, and species have some common traits, therefore macro-evolution given too many years to easily grasp.

Did they fail to mention that the DNA for such functions maps very well onto the evolutionary tree created by study of morphology, or did you just leave that part out because it is uncomfortably close to proof that your dogma is wrong?

@143 This is only because the question is carefully tailored to be unanswerable with the evidence available today, or at all.  If you went back a century or even 30 years and looked at the questions being asked then vs. the answers available now, you'd see results.

Vox himself has played the "tailored question" game.  I've seen him demand lists of specific mutations required to evolve organism Y out of organism X.  This is un-answerable even in principle, because without being there to take samples there's no way to see what genomic changes happened in what order.

Blogger Doc Rampage November 25, 2015 4:10 AM  

@151 "Such as?"

Seriously? If you can't immediately bring to mind a half dozen problems of the scientific world view--problems that have no current solution and no promising directions for a solution, then you don't have the intellectual curiosity to be involved in a conversations like this.

"As I recall, much of the birth of science came out of the grossly unsatisfactory nature of the "goddidit" non-explanation."

That's not your "recollection", that's your completely uneducated guess. The scientific revolution was started by Christians and was based on a Christian world view. It was Christian teaching that tore down personification of nature and other superstitions. It was Christian teaching that led men to believe that nature was created by a rational God and therefore must be rationally accessible.

Science was later kidnapped by anti-Christians to replace Christian metaphysics with naturalist metaphysics. They created a mythology of a war between Christianity and science--a war that never existed. The huge majority of Christians have always supported science and technological advancement.

Even when Christians remain skeptical of accepted science (such as Darwinism) they express their reservations with arguments that tacitly acknowledging the validity of the scientific method. By contrast, other religions that oppose accepted scientific theories often do so from an epistemological position that is in opposition to the scientific method.

Anonymous Douglas November 25, 2015 6:19 PM  

Vox, you vs Richard Dawkins? How you delude yourself.

Only someone in a SoMed stupor could so radically misestimate his own capacity & significance.

Dawkins stoops to tweet. You cannot rise to challenge him. Your lack of self-awareness is run-of-the-mill, but remains embarrassing.

Anonymous Mr. Rational November 28, 2015 8:58 AM  

(Trying AGAIN to get this posted... 2 days and counting. Still no CAPTCHA on the preview.)

@155 Oh, right.  If I'm not up-to-date on all of the assertions of "scientific problems" found by "baraminologists" and such, it's because I don't have any intellectual curiosity—instead of having a low tolerance for BS and better things to do with my time than picking it apart.  FYI, I've got several other BS-debunking projects in my queue that I'm neglecting.

You've just evaded and demanded that I do your job.  Rules of the blog:  either supply information or admit you don't have a case, and no variations on the argument from ignorance.

The scientific revolution was started by Christians and was based on a Christian world view.

So?  The philosophy that the universe operates by laws which can be discovered by careful investigation doesn't itself imply a source for them.  You can claim a divine source, but the lack of resemblance between the equations of electroweak theory and the hand-waving of creation myths says that that's just wishful thinking.

Evolution makes testable predictions.  Paleontologists were looking for earlier ancestors of modern whales than Pakicetus.  Theory predicts that they'd have to be in sedimentary rocks formed in shallow seas, and when they looked in 56-million-year-old sediments in China they found Sinonyx.  What predictions does creationism make?  "Anywhere, anytime, God can produce anything He wants" doesn't describe what we see.  If you want to debunk evolution, just one rabbit fossil in Cambrian strata would do it.  Nobody's ever found one.

Science was later kidnapped by anti-Christians to replace Christian metaphysics with naturalist metaphysics.

Wrong.  Investigators quickly found "I have no need of that hypothesis" (LaPlace, to Napoleon); they didn't "kidnap" anything in finding that the metaphysics was irrelevant to the physics.  That was 2 centuries ago, long before Darwin.

Even when Christians remain skeptical of accepted science (such as Darwinism) they express their reservations with arguments that tacitly acknowledging the validity of the scientific method.

Excuse me?  Poseurs like the "Institute for Creation Research" and "baraminologists" are "acknowledging the validity of the scientific method" while violating it wholesale?  If Vox was honest about who's doing what, he'd have to acknowledge that they are the worst exemplars of what he calls "scientody"; they ape the forms in an attempt to steal its prestige, while eschewing the substance.  And they do this all in the name of faith.

other religions that oppose accepted scientific theories often do so from an epistemological position that is in opposition to the scientific method.

So they never could have given birth to the revolution created here in the West.  Acknowledged... but that doesn't make science a Christian thing, any more than your great-great-grandparents are due credit for your accomplishments.  These things must stand on their own.

Blogger FarSeeker8 November 29, 2015 6:53 PM  

@That Would Be Telling
"Or a scientist in training setting, when I was learning college level biology. I found it to have tremendous explanatory value, a lot of it is self-evidently true, and it also launched the meme of the meme. I highly recommend it.

Pity he's reported to have gone off the deep end since then (1976), I find it difficult to reconcile the author of this book with that."

http://commonsenseatheism.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/12/dawkins-quote.png

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-vhTW0r2QvoE/U_Zuhd0hA6I/AAAAAAAAJIk/Sff89M3TE3Q/s1600/140821f%2BRichard%2BDawkins.jpg

http://wmbriggs.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/shocked_richard_dawkins.jpg

Hope i haven't broken any rules there.

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