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Sunday, August 07, 2016

The intellectually fearsome atheist

For some reason, Google occasionally emails me comments that people are making about Stefan Molyneux's videos in which I've appeared. This one, by ismelljello, was particularly amusing.
Read the reviews of his book. It honestly compelled me to make a video series where i debunk his tired old arguments. If you're going to peddle other peoples ideas, at least make sure they haven't already been trounced.
He made a video series to debunk the tired old arguments of a book he hasn't read. That's... an interesting approach.

I have the distinct impression that he has absolutely no idea that The Irrational Atheist cannot possibly contain "tired old arguments" because they are new critiques of the arguments put forth by Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, Christopher Hitchens, Daniel Dennett, and Michel Onfray, among others.

It should certainly be interesting to discover how he proves that religion causes war and is worse than child molestation.

This is the danger of intellectual posturing. Sooner or later, you're going to strike a pose that will catch the attention of those who actually possess the information you're pretending to have. Never pretend to know what you don't.

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164 Comments:

Blogger EscapeVelocity August 07, 2016 5:59 PM  

Theodore Dalrymple has destroyed a number of those fellas youve listed.

I find it funny when Sargon of Akkad casually asserts that Christian Thinkers have been destroyed by "Atheist Rationalists." His most egregious blind spot, IMO, but I like the guy regardless.

Blogger EscapeVelocity August 07, 2016 6:01 PM  

Here is Dalrymple commenting on some of the New Atheist's books.

What the New Atheists Dont See - Theodore Dalrymple (The City Journal)

http://www.city-journal.org/html/what-new-atheists-don%E2%80%99t-see-13058.html

Blogger Dave August 07, 2016 6:08 PM  

"Read the reviews" lol

Call me crazy but I don't think VD needed Dalrymple's help then or now.

Blogger EscapeVelocity August 07, 2016 6:12 PM  

Just sharing an interesting article with people that likely would find it interesting and worth the time invested in reading it.

Blogger Cinco August 07, 2016 6:13 PM  

I seam to recall someone else doing a chapter by chapter refutation of The Irrational Atheist and then giving around chapter 5?

Blogger residentMoron August 07, 2016 6:20 PM  

But but but ...

... I know *everything*!

Anonymous Anonymous August 07, 2016 6:22 PM  

The Irrational Atheist was one of three books that brought me to faith. Christianity where Jesus is the Hero, not Joseph Smith et al.

Blogger Johann Pearce August 07, 2016 6:23 PM  

Cinco wrote:I seam to recall someone else doing a chapter by chapter refutation of The Irrational Atheist and then giving around chapter 5?

"""""refutation""""

Blogger Jim August 07, 2016 6:24 PM  

I recently read the book. When I picked it up I didn't expect much. I was shocked such a devastating case could be brought against the likes of Harris. Thanks. Great job.

BTW, if you watch Dave Wood's videos on Islam, you'll notice you book is on his shelf behind him.

Anonymous Kreator August 07, 2016 6:24 PM  

The only one who I remember was doing a complete review on TIA was that guy from the "Evangelical Realism" site.
At least he had the courage to go on until the end.

The downside of it of course was that he was even worse than a midwit, I mean I vaguely remember him trying to counter your statement about almost none of the Medieval Emperors of Christendom using the "in the name of religion" defence when waging wars by declaring that it was because they had no use for religion and they were "practically atheists".

I quit reading this fool soon afterwards. I mean even John Quincy Public mocked his ass and he was the most hardcore agnostic I can recall.

Blogger Horn of the Mark August 07, 2016 6:25 PM  

I'm a fan of Sargon too, but I was amused by the Twitter exchange between Vox and him where Sargon was distinctly not eager to have a friendly debate on the God issue.

Anonymous Faceless August 07, 2016 6:25 PM  

@5

Hopefully they have some job openings at the ranch in Nevada.

Blogger Jim August 07, 2016 6:27 PM  

@1 I find it funny when Sargon of Akkad casually asserts that Christian Thinkers have been destroyed by "Atheist Rationalists." His most egregious blind spot, IMO, but I like the guy regardless.

+1

Anonymous SaltHarvest August 07, 2016 6:29 PM  

"It should certainly be interesting to discover how he proves that religion causes war and is worse than child molestation."

Might be nice if not cutting him off at the knees too soon would lead to him making a connection between Islam and current events.

Blogger Aeoli Pera August 07, 2016 6:34 PM  

The My Little Pony writers made their Jewish stand-in character an impious atheist who scoffs at Christmas ("Hearthswarming's Eve"). It was 100% magic.

Blogger Dave August 07, 2016 6:37 PM  

That youtube vid has over 1400 comments. Google is emailing random comments or comments that specifically refer to you?

Blogger tz August 07, 2016 7:04 PM  

Ed Feser's "The Last Superstition: A Refutation of the New Atheism" is a more philosophical take on it and is a compliment to TIA.
Feser WAS an Atheist, but through pure logic - Aristotle to Aquinas - became a Catholic Christian. (Between him and Wright, I give Molyneux a few years before he follows, reluctantly, moreso than Lewis in Suprised by Joy, moreso than someone being led to a torture chamber, but he will get there - the Christians in his audience are praying for him).

Blogger LurkingPuppy August 07, 2016 7:06 PM  

Cinco wrote:I seam to recall someone else doing a chapter by chapter refutation of The Irrational Atheist and then giving [up] around chapter 5?
Oh, that's why Vox put two Chapter 5s in SJWAL.

Blogger DookerT August 07, 2016 7:07 PM  

I wouldn't say Sargon referring to Christian thinkers. Mostly it's creationists, at least on YouTube, who have utterly indefensible positions and get embarrassed by people like thunderfoot. On people like Sam Harris. I don't know how anyone can really debunk anything he says, you can just make your own subjective moral arguments of why you think he's wrong and you're right. As far as the final word goes, it's in the eye of the beholder. The Christian will generally see people like Vox as being correct and an atheist might generally agree with Harris . There simply are no certainties in this realm of debate, at least in my opinion.

Blogger DookerT August 07, 2016 7:11 PM  

Why Christianity? This is where I have a problem with the organized religions. A creed declaring that the majority of humanity is going to hell and that only they have the true answers. What kind of god would ever do such a thing to otherwise unbelieving innocents?

Anonymous Kreator August 07, 2016 7:13 PM  

Dooker, don't do that to yourself, please....

Blogger SirHamster August 07, 2016 7:16 PM  

DookerT wrote:What kind of god would ever do such a thing to otherwise unbelieving innocents?

Assumption - humans are innocent.

Notice what we do to each other, lately? Is it just some part of humanity that is evil, with the rest being pure and innocent victims?

Blogger Aeoli Pera August 07, 2016 7:17 PM  

Kreator wrote:Dooker, don't do that to yourself, please....

How will he learn? >:-)

Blogger pyrrhus August 07, 2016 7:23 PM  

Most atheists in the modern world are simply incapable of dealing with logic...

Blogger Unknown August 07, 2016 7:24 PM  

@19
Christianity does not offer answers, it offers forgiveness and love.

Blogger Aeoli Pera August 07, 2016 7:25 PM  

SirHamster, read his comment again. Is that the product of a clear-thinking mind? I mean, just read this part:

DookerT wrote:A creed declaring that the majority of humanity is going to hell and that only they have the true answers.

Have you ever seen such a mess of emotional associations in so few words? This set of beliefs is purely anime and ought to be treated as such. Neo-pagans are incapable of dialectic by definition, like Marxists.

Blogger Jim August 07, 2016 7:27 PM  

@24 Christianity does not offer answers, it offers forgiveness and love.

... and answers.

Anonymous JAG August 07, 2016 7:28 PM  

DookerT wrote:I wouldn't say Sargon referring to Christian thinkers. Mostly it's creationists, at least on YouTube, who have utterly indefensible positions and get embarrassed by people like thunderfoot. On people like Sam Harris. I don't know how anyone can really debunk anything he says, you can just make your own subjective moral arguments of why you think he's wrong and you're right. As far as the final word goes, it's in the eye of the beholder. The Christian will generally see people like Vox as being correct and an atheist might generally agree with Harris . There simply are no certainties in this realm of debate, at least in my opinion.

You do realize that the current model of cosmology is a creationist theory, do you not?

You have to specify the difference between creationist theories. They are not all the same.

Blogger Aeoli Pera August 07, 2016 7:28 PM  

Unknown wrote:@19

Christianity does not offer answers, it offers forgiveness and love.


I don't know why you act retarded when you're not, so I'll politely ask you to stop.

Blogger Jim August 07, 2016 7:33 PM  

@18 On people like Sam Harris. I don't know how anyone can really debunk anything he says, you can just make your own subjective moral arguments ...

Well this makes it obvious you haven't read the book.

Blogger residentMoron August 07, 2016 7:42 PM  

Perhaps if you read it rather than a straw man somebody sold you, it might make more sense.

In re your particular problem, you could start with Romans 2: 14

Anonymous 6184 August 07, 2016 8:01 PM  

You have that entirely backwards. All of humanity is accountable to the Creator for rebelling against his sovereign will. Not a minority, not a majority, All.

Christianity is alone among all the human religions in pointing out how the Creator willingly paid a terrible price to redeem all of humanity and extend that offer as a free gift. A free gift. What kind of God indeed?

Christians aren't the keepers of the "only true answers"...they are in reality beggars that are helping point other beggars to the free bread they found.

Blogger Dave August 07, 2016 8:04 PM  

OT The Hall of Fame game canceled due to field conditions. How could a just and loving God allow this to happen? All of those innocent fans sitting in the stands with nowhere to go. How will they ever believe in God again?

Blogger VD August 07, 2016 8:19 PM  

On people like Sam Harris. I don't know how anyone can really debunk anything he says, you can just make your own subjective moral arguments of why you think he's wrong and you're right.

That's because you're both stupid and ignorant. Sam Harris makes arguments that are based on factual statements that are incorrect. They are very easily disproved, and have, in fact, been repeatedly disproved.

Right here on this blog, as it happens.

Blogger The Kurgan August 07, 2016 8:34 PM  

Sam Harris is not even a midwit. I honestly think he is mildly retarded. His "positions" don't even stand up to basic logic, never mind facts.

Blogger guest August 07, 2016 8:37 PM  

"Mostly it's creationists, at least on YouTube, who have utterly indefensible positions and get embarrassed by people like thunderfoot."

Actually, no. thunderfoot doesn't know anything at all about biology or biochemistry, and he refuses to engage in the biochemical limits of creating new genes from mutations. He uses straw man arguments, and name-calling to Creationists that is all he's got.

As far as "The Irrational Atheist" that was one of the most refreshing, humorous books I have read in a very long time. I hesitated to use the arguments because I had always been taught that we have to turn the other cheek and answer with grace, sprinkled with salt.

But the arguments in "The Irrational Atheist" are very good. Most atheists have backed off since I began using them. They attempt to answer them at first, then they get snotty, then they begin name-calling, or quit replying. I don't feel bad about using these arguments. Internet Atheists are the worst of the worse. They deserve the pounding that the arguments in TIA give them, and a few of them, might even have the wisdom to reconsider their own smugly ignorant lives.

I don't find they are very bright. Talking to them about chemistry, a foundation of any field of science, and particularly biology is useless. They are wholly ignorant. The "I F------" Love Science crowd are the most ignorant of chemistry and mathematics in the bunch.

Every Life Sc 101 class comes full to the brim of some 100 students every September. Classes in biochemistry, molecular biology and Physical chemistry are almost bare, with only a dozen students or so, per semester. I have come to view the "I F------" Love Science crowd as the losers who flunked out somewhere in between.

Thunderhead is a dunce, who tend to only argue about pseudo-religious doctrines rather than chemistry. He's been refuted by more than one Creationist, and he absolutely will not engage. So I guess I should give him credit for at least that much wisdom.

Blogger Bill August 07, 2016 8:41 PM  

Christianity does not offer answers, it offers forgiveness and love.

While it's true that Christianity does not offer answers to important questions, such as; can a pregnant woman drive in the carpool lane, there are other, less pressing issues that many people have found in Christianity invaluable service in framing responses to questions such as: Why am I here? What purpose is there in life? Why is there so much suffering in the world? Is life fair, ultimately? And probably a few other questions that may pop up now and again, in philosophy class discussions, that sort of thing.

Anonymous Clay The Swamp Spartan August 07, 2016 8:43 PM  

I apologize for going, OT, VD.

But. What do think about the Vikes playing in their new indoor stadium?

Blogger guest August 07, 2016 8:46 PM  

Thunderfoot's mode of operation: Lies

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xy6esj0c5LM

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=515v6E0ILwg

Blogger Dave August 07, 2016 9:02 PM  

OT Vikings stadium is wild
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=MAt_ooyAEsQ

Anonymous Elipe August 07, 2016 9:04 PM  

DookerT wrote:A creed declaring that the majority of humanity is going to hell and that only they have the true answers. What kind of god would ever do such a thing to otherwise unbelieving innocents?

The same creed that doesn't want you there.

The same God that created you and has been trying to get your attention your entire life, only to be willfully ignored.

Blogger Phillip George August 07, 2016 9:25 PM  

While it's true that Christianity does not offer answers to important questions, such as; can a pregnant woman drive in the carpool lane

nor how many angels can dance on the head of a needle?

Acausal cause is called God. That is a complete answer, but like Douglas Adams, it's more like you don't know the question you are asking.
Perhaps I've read here a dozen times or more, rhetorically put, where did heterogeneous communities come from? The implied answer is they fought to be heterogeneous/ killed off contenders for their lands or deported them wholesale. If one people at Babel were divided into seventy ethnic groups - there's an answer. Apparently this matches root languages. Devolution in language.
But what was the mechanism for dispersal? How was division accomplished?

The question becomes something like how much detail in an answer? Quarks explained how much for example?

What is an "Answer" is a question of Epistemology? Like, how do you know the speed of light hasn't changed in the last 7 days? I'm trying to turn everyone into an English Gentleman, even the resident materialist.. Someone 'gets' that.

Blogger Joe Keenan August 07, 2016 9:26 PM  

@38 His, Solar Freaking Roadway's video was good though.

Anonymous Hezekiah Garrett August 07, 2016 9:41 PM  

Precisely. 'Christians' convinced that they guard secret knowledge are properly called Gnostics.

Anonymous Hezekiah Garrett August 07, 2016 9:49 PM  

Ah, Gnosis, how often do you rear your ugly head.

Anonymous Hezekiah Garrett August 07, 2016 9:54 PM  

I would do likewise. Christianity offers mysteries centered around love and forgiveness.

Gnostics have all the answers.

Blogger Whisker biscuit August 07, 2016 10:02 PM  

I think William Craig walloped him quite nicely in their debate at Notre Dame.

Thunder foot wouldn't debate Shock of God. Enough said.

Blogger Whisker biscuit August 07, 2016 10:11 PM  

The Irrational Atheist, The Devil's Delusion by David Berlinski, and my Greg Bahnsen lectures on DVD are the best tools I've come across.

Anonymous Scooter Downey August 07, 2016 10:28 PM  

If I've learned anything from Vox Day and the Dread Ilk, it's intellectual humility.

Blogger EscapeVelocity August 07, 2016 10:51 PM  

My biggest problem with Atheists is their support for Leftist Neo-Marxists and their assaults on the norms and dominion of Christendom...and especially their support for the suppression of Christian speech in government institutions.

Radical Secularism is tyranny. It's the same argument that SJWs use to rationalize their support for the suppression of White Male Heterosexual speech...to provide room for "equality."

Shakes my head. Athesists, wew lad.

Blogger residentMoron August 07, 2016 10:52 PM  

David Berlinski, an intellectually honest jew. Now there's a small set.

Then again, the total set of all intellectually honest people is so small that racial comparison is problematic...

Blogger David The Good August 07, 2016 11:02 PM  

"If I've learned anything from Vox Day and the Dread Ilk, it's intellectual humility."

Yeah, same here. I've made some stupid statements in the past, gotten smacked around, then been the better for it. Iron sharpens iron.

Anonymous Fed Up Aussie August 07, 2016 11:52 PM  

OT, Far right 'terrorist' arrested in Australia

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-08-08/no-conspiracy-around-patriot-movement-galea/7699674

I have not been to Melbourne for years but I lived there as a teenager. Back then it was the worst place in Aus for multiculti left wing bullshit. Entire suburbs belong to African immigrants and muslims. Melbourne is even worse than Sydney. I do not know whether this is the beginning of the push back or whether it is a set up by the police. IIRC the true blue crew has been involved in some fights with antifa at protests.

Anonymous Wyrd August 07, 2016 11:53 PM  

Praise God! Anti-anathema-Christ!

Blogger Robert Divinity August 08, 2016 12:17 AM  

I have not been to Melbourne for years but I lived there as a teenager. Back then it was the worst place in Aus for multiculti left wing bullshit.

I was there two years ago and it was my first trip since the Eighties. Even in St. Kilda you could see the beginning of a no-go zone near the central business district. My lady friend and I made the mistake of being in a kebab joint late after a bout of drinking. If I had shown fear or appeared weak no doubt I would have been beaten and she raped. The hostility from the Muslims was palpable. This was just off the beach, too, in what used to be a nice section. Additionally, the self-loathing of the Aussies was disturbing and the kids were at least as bad as the SJWs here.

Anonymous krymneth August 08, 2016 12:45 AM  

guest wrote:Internet Atheists are the worst of the worse. They deserve the pounding that the arguments in TIA give them, and a few of them, might even have the wisdom to reconsider their own smugly ignorant lives.

From a more personal perspective, I would also commend to you some of John Wright's testimony for passing to them. As the title of the post implies, there's a few iterations on the site, but this one seems to have all the points.

Blogger lowercaseb August 08, 2016 12:57 AM  

David The Good wrote:"If I've learned anything from Vox Day and the Dread Ilk, it's intellectual humility."

Yeah, same here. I've made some stupid statements in the past, gotten smacked around, then been the better for it. Iron sharpens iron.


Bingo! People have gone easy on my ignorance here, but I have also learned to keep my mouth shut and just listen before piping up...even if it is on subjects that I think I know. Lo' and behold...I end up learning something new.

Blogger Phillip George August 08, 2016 12:59 AM  

Which bit of the Resurrection don't you understand Fed-Up aka Robert? Why don't you become a Muslim?

Blogger Phillip George August 08, 2016 1:10 AM  

Think of it this way Robert the non Bruce, if there ever were some non political backlash and martial law had to be declared you'd be able to run a big gestapo type unit, with power and authority over thousands of undercover inquisitors with healthy belief in true God given de jure Authority. think of the super fund, the power , the office size, the secretary you could choose. Making the internet safe again. What a great legacy you will leave the world.

Blogger Phillip George August 08, 2016 1:24 AM  

Do you know what I plan to do Robert? Absolutely nothing. I mean that. That's my entire plan. Nil. Buy tickets to Mark Steyn if he's allowed back into the country. Hope a few souls wake up before the Rapture. Preach the Gospel to anyone with half an ear. Potter around the garden. Grow old - maybe.

You are meant to be employed under the terms of a contract which honours the pre amble to the Constitution which says "humbly relying on the blessing of Almighty God". And who are your forefathers? Who heritage are you trying to protect?

So what do I do. Buy a beach house and watch you fight the good fight? Point is you cannot fight bad ideas, with rocks, clubs, guns or bullets. And if politics is failing? Nothing is or ever was or ever will be more powerful than prayer.

So pray for me Robert. There I've told everything I know.

Blogger Phillip George August 08, 2016 1:33 AM  

“I believe in God the Father Almighty. And in Jesus Christ His only (begotten) Son our Lord, who was born of the Holy Ghost and the Virgin Mary; crucified under Pontius Pilate, and buried; the third day He rose from the dead; He ascended into heaven, and sitteth at the right hand of the Father, from thence He shall come to judge the quick and the dead. And in the Holy Ghost; the holy Church; the forgiveness of sins; the resurrection of the body; (the life everlasting).”

here Robert et al, the entire Western World, your world was built on those words. Intellectually, politically, scientifically, legally. Pull those words down, ignore them, and satan in some form fills the void. What form will he take this time? Are you it/ working for it, or allowing it to come down around you?

Anonymous Mr. Rational August 08, 2016 1:39 AM  

JAG wrote:You do realize that the current model of cosmology is a creationist theory, do you not?
That statement utterly discredits you.  Creationists may have tried to claim Big Bang/Inflation theory as their own, but it is utterly without theistic implications.  If you are listening to people who claim it does, you are listening to liars.  The left has its own liars telling lies which support its dogmas; if you commit the same errors you are no better than the left.

I am moderately familiar with the theory of inflation (far more than most readers here, I'm certain).  The fluctuations in the temperature of the Cosmic Background Radiation associated with quantum density variations frozen in the cosmic fireball as space expanded too fast for them to reach equilibrium again is predicted by WHAT holy book in WHAT passage, precisely?  If it is fair for Vox to demand a specific list of mutations to turn organism X into organism Y, it is eminently fair for me to demand this specificity in theological claims and pronounce the theology worthless if it fails.

Elipe wrote:The same God that created you and has been trying to get your attention your entire life, only to be willfully ignored.
So many creeds insist that their god created me and wants my attention.  What it really means is that their leaders want me under their control.  In the 80's, Rama/Vishnu/Krishna allegedly wanted me.  Today, Allah allegedly wants me.  Every last human involved with them can FOAD AFAIAC.

Phillip George wrote:The question becomes something like how much detail in an answer? Quarks explained how much for example?
More than partons.  Not that I have any knowledge at all of parton theory, except that it lost out to quark theory by making wrong predictions.  It is a long way from my field of study.

Blogger Abyssus Invocat August 08, 2016 1:59 AM  

Atheists are pathetically easy to demolish both dialectically and rhetorically because they have only negative arguments and are intellectually lazy. They're mostly too lazy to actually read any early Christian writings and so have no hope of arguing against the fundamental theology. Modern apologists from Chesterton to Lewis to Muggeridge crushed atheist arguments without breaking a sweat.

Blogger Karnacle Blackburn August 08, 2016 2:05 AM  

Should you read this comment I hope you are having a good time of day.

I'm a writer and have been looking for someone to publish my book but I didn't want to go through a pozzed channel.

One of my friends on a forum I frequent mentioned your name.

I was wondering if you would be willing to take some time out of your day to flip through the first few chapters and my overview for the story and tell me if you are interested.

You can contact me at

Lucemnocturis@gmail.com

Blogger Snidely Whiplash August 08, 2016 2:07 AM  

Do not reply to Atheist spergelord. Do not reply to Atheist spergelord. Do not reply to Atheist spergelord.....
Phillip George wrote:Point is you cannot fight bad ideas, with rocks, clubs, guns or bullets.
I would contend that at a practical level, they have never been effectively fought with anything else. MPAI, Dialectic only works with a small minority of a small minority.

And if politics is failing? Nothing is or ever was or ever will be more powerful than prayer.
Also true, but retreating to only prayer is has never won a war. Lepanto was won by the power of God, through the intercession of the Mother of Christ, but also by very vigorous and violent efforts of Don Juan of Austria and several thousand Christian troops.

Blogger Phillip George August 08, 2016 2:22 AM  

Atheists are pathetically easy to demolish

trouble is Abysuss you can demolish their arguments but that will do nothing at all to their thinking. See mr Rational above as living proof of point.

He honestly think Amino Acids + time and chance = abiogenesis creation of cellular life.

Some people are utterly determined to fail

Anonymous Eric the Red August 08, 2016 2:27 AM  

re DookerT...
God never says "I am sending you to hell for you sins." Instead, He essentially makes a prediction by stating that people might go to hell. If they don't accept Him and Christ's forgiveness, they will end up in a hell amounting to separation from Him of their own volition.

Hell, why even respond to sophomoric midwits who can't tell the difference between religious sects (RELIGION !!!) versus the essential philisophical foundations of Christianity.

Blogger SirHamster August 08, 2016 2:39 AM  

Snidely Whiplash wrote:Also true, but retreating to only prayer is has never won a war.

I'm going quibble that "never" with Hezekiah's prayer, but the general rule of thumb is we do have to sweat and bleed for the victory.

Anonymous Fed Up Aussie August 08, 2016 2:41 AM  

@57 Are you off your meds mate? What does some bogan being arrested for right wing terrorism in Melb have to do with the resurrection?

Blogger Phillip George August 08, 2016 2:42 AM  

Perhaps Snidely, there might exist some future space for a militant Christianity like Yugoslavia or Lebanon. Something like a nationalism that matters. France and Germany might even right now be on the road to it. Not here. We are no where near it.

People still think transgender toilets are going to make their buildings safe. One has to pinch oneself. At the moments it's still "all lemmings people report to the cliff for forward march drill"

One generation is simultaneously importing people who would throw gays off building while telling everyone that there toilets discriminate and gender is a choice that you are somehow born with but can choose but then can't choose because that's just the way you were born. NO could make up the sort of incoherence that is actually passing for left wing politics.

Blogger Reno Chris August 08, 2016 2:47 AM  

"Creationists may have tried to claim Big Bang/Inflation theory as their own, but it is utterly without theistic implications."

Tell that to hundreds of physicists like Hawking who have issues with the Big Bang theory because it forces the universe to have an origin point where t=0. The very concept of a universe which pops out of nothing implies strong echoes of creation and a creator.
The same theistic implications belong also with the Cambrian Explosion and many other sudden major life radiations recorded in the fossil record which appear exactly as one might expect a series of creation events to appear.
The origin of life on this planet also presents issues of impossible and irreducible complexity that no biochemist can resolve even with decades of “just – so” stories that contradict known science.
The study of quantum mechanics and developing quantum reality theories are tearing apart the very theories of materialistic reality upon which all atheism is based.
These and many more “issues” in science all of which have theistic implications just won’t go away. You can’t just wave your hand and dismiss them with the assumption that science supports atheism. The psudo-scientific construct upon which atheism is built is badly damaged. As a result science more and more becomes a “whack a mole” effort by materialistic atheists to turn back mounting piles of evidence with theistic implications that are going against them. The tide of science is turning…..
Instead from our learned atheists we get goofy things like multiverse theories which are 100% atheist philosophy and 0% science. They serve no purpose other than as the basis for some decent star trek episodes.

Blogger Phillip George August 08, 2016 2:48 AM  

Sorry Fed Up - bougainville or boganville? One's a copper mine on a volcano. If bogans have wings perhaps they fly around up there. Suggest a expeditionary force take samples for the Museum of Natural History.

Anonymous Balaam's Donkey August 08, 2016 3:01 AM  

residentMoron wrote:David Berlinski, an intellectually honest jew. Now there's a small set.

Then again, the total set of all intellectually honest people is so small that racial comparison is problematic...


Then why make it? I suggest you consider the intellectually honest gentiles who consider the "religion" observed by Solomon and David to be binding. What part of "everlasting covenant" "for all generations" with "eternal statutes" don't Christians get?

Blogger Mastermind August 08, 2016 3:14 AM  

"Then why make it? I suggest you consider the intellectually honest gentiles who consider the "religion" observed by Solomon and David to be binding. What part of "everlasting covenant" "for all generations" with "eternal statutes" don't Christians get?"

We get it just fine. It's just that the covenant is now with us, not you, on account of your repeated and shameless breaching of your own side of the deal. Which is why Jews in general are so butthurt about Christians. Many other religions (including atheism) say you're wrong but only one shivs you to the core of your being like having others claim to be the new Chosen People and you the disgraced former inheritors.

Blogger Markku August 08, 2016 3:21 AM  

What part of "everlasting covenant" "for all generations" with "eternal statutes" don't Christians get?

So, when was your last sin offering?

Blogger Mastermind August 08, 2016 3:22 AM  

"Tell that to hundreds of physicists like Hawking who have issues with the Big Bang theory because it forces the universe to have an origin point where t=0. The very concept of a universe which pops out of nothing implies strong echoes of creation and a creator. "

Hawkins is a butthurt atheistard, his lack of imagination doesn't create the implications you claim it does. An universe where time goes backawards for infinitely is not just false but literally impossible. T=0 for theists and atheists alike.

The bigger problem for atheists is what happens when there is zero time: all events are simultaneous. Presumably even in a normal finite universe atheists can imagine humans evolving to godlike status. Now imagine the same thing happening in an universe that does not have the burden of sequential time. That universe would almost certainly be either eternally overrun by a race of godlike beings or eternally ruled by a single composite being. The more time runs the worse things get for atheists, and they're at their worst when there's no time at all.

"The same theistic implications belong also with the Cambrian Explosion and many other sudden major life radiations recorded in the fossil record which appear exactly as one might expect a series of creation events to appear. "

There's no theistic implications in dinosaurs ruling the planet then being replaced by mammals after suffering an extinction event (at least nothing a Christian would like) millions of years before we came about to care. That's because odds are that there is no theistic implication at all. God seeded the universe then made a personal appearance when He saw something He liked (like the first hominids).

Anonymous Fed Up Aussie August 08, 2016 3:23 AM  

@71 Sorry Fed Up - bougainville or boganville?

Are you being facetious or are you really off your meds?

Anonymous Michael ph August 08, 2016 3:28 AM  

VD writes about things that barely affect people where I'm from (nobody knows what SJW means here, for instance) but it was TIA that got me to this blog a long time ago and I've been hooked ever since.

It is the best takedown of new atheism to date.

Anonymous SaltHarvest August 08, 2016 3:30 AM  

"Assumption - humans are innocent.

Notice what we do to each other, lately? Is it just some part of humanity that is evil, with the rest being pure and innocent victims?"

No, but there are wheat and tares, to start with

Blogger Phillip George August 08, 2016 3:34 AM  

no, not facetious. There's more evidence for the resurrection than the existence of bogans. And seeing the thread is about atheism I suggest the most powerful evidence for Moses is Jesus' lives, plural, before and after.

Jesus, you see, happened to say. If you believed Moses you'd believe Me. Point being a lot of people claim to be Jewish, but do they actually believe Moses? If they don't then are they Jewish? If they do, they believe Jesus as well; or will. Moses spoke about Jesus. Can't have one without the other. And the very best evidence of Creation is actually the very works of Re-Creation performed by the only begotten Son of God. The thread is about atheism. I don't believe in the existence of bogans, so who, or why someone got arrested the topic.

Anonymous TS August 08, 2016 3:37 AM  

"Christians aren't the keepers of the "only true answers"...they are in reality beggars that are helping point other beggars to the free bread they found."

God's grace as bread. Nice metaphor.

Anonymous Balaam's Donkey August 08, 2016 3:50 AM  

Mastermind wrote:

We get it just fine. It's just that the covenant is now with us, not you, on account of your repeated and shameless breaching of your own side of the deal. Which is why Jews in general blah blah blah ...


You misunderstood. I'm a Noachide, a gentile who recognizes the truth of Judaism. Could you cite a verse or two from the Torah saying the baton will be passed to the "predestined elect" by a miracle worker?

Blogger Markku August 08, 2016 4:05 AM  

Protip: They don't do sin offerings either. Because there is no temple. Hence, they are not party to the old covenant. The old covenant can be broken, and currently is. Because sins are not being atoned for.

Jer 31:32 Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the LORD:

They will die in their sins, and so will you, because no propitiation is made for them. Luckily, there is also a new covenant available to you, and for THAT, the sin offering has been made. You can take it, or die in your sins. There is no other option. For anyone.

Jer 31:31 Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah:
Jer 31:33 But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.
Jer 31:34 And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.

The word "everlasting" is the word `owlam and it comes from `alam which means concealed. It means indefinite. And the old covenant indeed had no end date from God's side. But Israel broke it, as God Himself said. Now there is only the new covenant.

Anonymous Balaam's Donkey August 08, 2016 4:23 AM  

The "new covenant" is with Israel: "But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of ISRAEL; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people."

If it's written in their hearts there would be no need for me to dissuade you that you're mistaken about any verses in scripture. The fact that we disagree and that most Jews aren't Torah observant is knock-down evidence that the new covenant isn't here yet. And where does this verse say anything about gentiles? It's about the Messianic era.

"They shall all know me." This isn't currently true! You're on a thread about atheists.

Blogger Markku August 08, 2016 4:30 AM  

Yes - Israel's Messianic era. Which indeed is not here, not as a nation. However, you know two things from the Jeremiah passage: The old covenant mentioned in it is in the past from the writing of Jeremiah, and it has also been BROKEN in the past of Jeremiah. The new covenant is somewhere in the future of Jeremiah.

You can credibly argue that the new covenant has not come for anyone, yes. But you cannot gainsay the fact that no sin offerings at all are being made, and they are a crucial part of the old covenant. So, that option is out. You can say that you are living in a period of no effective covenants at all, or in a period where the new covenant is being offered and is currently taken by only a tiny minority of Israel. (I personally know one, so it's still existent.) We are waiting for Israel to enter the new covenant as a nation.

But the old covenant option cannot be true under any circumstances.

Why am I talking about this in a thread about atheism? I simply felt that it is important for you to know this, and it is more important than this thread. I will not engage it any further. I've done my job here.

Blogger Markku August 08, 2016 4:36 AM  

I probably didn't make my first argument clear enough. I mean that there is only one option for what the old covenant could be, due to the timing of Jeremiah, and that is the Mosaic Law. So, we know that the covenant of Mosaic Law is broken by Israel.

And there is currently only one possible contender for what the New Covenant could be, namely Christianity. No other contenders have emerged from Israel after the writing of Jeremiah.

Anonymous Balaam's Donkey August 08, 2016 4:50 AM  

Markku, Deut 13 is a warning about Christianity (or anyone who encourages worship of a god unknown to those at Sinai). Deut 30 is a description of the Messianic era. It's clearly not here yet. The only reference to the son of God in the Torah is Exodus 4:22.

Regarding repentance and the forgiveness of sin: “The Scriptures explicitly state that the forgiveness of sin is achieved through sincere repentance. This teaching is repeated many times throughout the Hebrew Scriptures in a clear and unambiguous manner (Deuteronomy 30:1‑10, Ezekiel 18:21‑23, 27, 28, 31, 32, 33:11, 14‑16, 19, Isaiah 1:16‑18, 55:7, Hosea 14:2‑10, Jonah 3:10, Micah 6:7, 8, Psalm 51:19). These passages directly address the issue of forgiveness from sin, yet they make no mention of a blood offering. Some of these passages actually preclude the requirement of a blood offering as a necessary component in the process of forgiveness from sin. Yet on the basis of the misinterpretation of one solitary verse (Leviticus 17:11) from a passage that does not directly address the issue of forgiveness from sin at all, Christianity teaches that repentance cannot achieve atonement without a blood offering!” Yisroel Chaim Blumenthal

Blogger Phillip George August 08, 2016 5:25 AM  

Balaam's,

the Torah, "also says" [gosh I like those words] unless you do all of the law you are under the curse of the law. 613 is an estimate I've never attempted to confirm.

Moses says, fairly expressly, one like unto himself, whose every word you must accept.

Fair go, it's all in black and white.

Anonymous Fed Up Aussie August 08, 2016 5:33 AM  

@79 Upon rereading this thread it seems possible you assumed Robert Divinity and I are the same poster. As it happens I thought you were Australian for some reason but since you do not know what a bogan is you are either probably not an Aussie just as I am not the same poster as Robert Divinity.

Anonymous FrankNorman August 08, 2016 6:07 AM  

In my experience, Internet Atheists don't even try to engage with Christian arguments - they just tell each other that said arguments have already been answered. Somewhere, somehow, by someone. And therefore they don't need to pay attention at all.

Anonymous FrankNorman August 08, 2016 6:16 AM  

Also, seems to me that rabbinical Jews pick and choose which parts of the OT to take seriously, since they literally cannot apply it all.
Debating whether blood offerings are necessary for forgiveness dodges the point that the making of those offerings was one of the requirements of the Mosaic Covenant.

Blogger VD August 08, 2016 6:27 AM  

That statement utterly discredits you. Creationists may have tried to claim Big Bang/Inflation theory as their own, but it is utterly without theistic implications.

No, you just totally discredited yourself, Mr. Rational. Either retract that statement or you'll be permanently banned. It's one thing to be annoying, it's another thing to blatantly lie like that.

We have professional astrophysicists here, and they can confirm that the Big Bang theory not only has theistic implications, (because "in the Beginning" requires an actual beginning) but was opposed by atheist astrophysicists on that basis.

Steady State was the idea championed by atheists like Hoyle. The Big Bang theory, or "Cosmic Egg", is the concept proposed by Georges Lemaître, a Belgian priest.

Your knowledge doesn't even rise to the level of Wikipedia.

I am moderately familiar with the theory of inflation (far more than most readers here, I'm certain).

Perhaps. But obviously not more than me, let alone Stickwick.

Anonymous Balaam's Donkey August 08, 2016 6:29 AM  

Phillip George wrote:Balaam's,

the Torah, "also says" [gosh I like those words] unless you do all of the law you are under the curse of the law. 613 is an estimate I've never attempted to confirm.

Moses says, fairly expressly, one like unto himself, whose every word you must accept.


Moses establishes the authority of Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Jonah, Hosea, etc. None of them had the authority to subtract from the Torah or redirect worship to a god "whom your forefathers did not know."

REALITY CHECK: You trust their determination that Jonah, Daniel, Ezekiel, Jeremiah, and Isaiah were the Real Deal, that Ecclesiastes should make the final cut despite no little controversy, but not to figure out whether the Messiah has arrived (or what repentance is, or what the absolute unity of God involves, or what the Torah says)? Such an extreme misunderstanding of their own religion, such catastrophic tragicomic bumbling should cast lethal doubt on any reliability of the “Old Testament.” It’s like trusting Marshall Applewhite about Heaven’s Gate despite his overestimating the significance of comet Hale-Bopp.

Blogger Nate Winchester August 08, 2016 7:48 AM  

Hezekiah Garrett! I had no idea you were hanging around these parts nowadays.

He made a video series to debunk the tired old arguments of a book he hasn't read.

Uh... unless you've looked at the video series, there's nothing in his statement declaring that he never read the book. I mean, if we're going to play odds, the smart money is that he's going to run the videos based on hearsay, it's still possible that there's a "I got the book and read it" step left out in his chain of events.

I seam to recall someone else doing a chapter by chapter refutation of The Irrational Atheist and then giving around chapter 5?

Say what you will about him (and oh, there's so much to say) but "Deacon Duncan" did get through the whole thing.

Blogger Phillip George August 08, 2016 9:04 AM  

Certainly I believe Prophets didn't understand their own words; why should they? If Ruach Ha Kodesh is speaking through them - how would they understand any more than Balaam's donkey undertood. Daniel was instructed to "seal up". Daniel also seems to have been the sole interpreter of Ezekiel.

And Moses in his own Song, laments how very great the fall was going to be.

See how much agree on. You have an interesting turn of phrase and i appreciate the post very much. Suffice to say, if your eyes open you'll be a much better apologist than I.

do return.

Anonymous 6184 August 08, 2016 9:32 AM  

Mr Rational, assumes that he knows more about the subject than he actually does, and one that more than a few people here know quite a bit about:

"Big Bang/Inflation theory as their own, but it is utterly without theistic implications."

This is completely wrong, and pretty clearly shows your puddle to be more shallow than even Wikipedia's.

Geoffrey Burbridge,British Astrophysicist, colleague of Hoyle and Steady State proponent was (in)famous in 1992 for deriding the Big Bang supporters as "rushing off to join the First Church of Christ of the Big Bang" because he and everyone else knew the theistic implications of the Big Bang.

He spent years trying to work around the Big Bang, developing his Quasi Steady State Oscillating Universe theory as a competing theory, effectively bolting on epicycles to an already weak theory. His strident to the Big Bang theory is rumored to have cost him a shot at the Nobel.

Physicists arent as dense as you make them out to be Mr. Rational, they all knew very early what the Big Bang implied, and many opposed it on that basis, and still don't like it for that reason.

Since you are so sure of your knowledge on the subject, you couldn't have failed to miss this: either you are lying, or you don't know as much about it as you thought.

Blogger Phillip George August 08, 2016 9:45 AM  

last I saw the Red Shift is quantized so everyone is wrong anyway.
let every man be called a liar, this is the great leveler. Infact. Jew or Gentile, free or slave, the world's only successful brotherhood remains:

Sinners saved by Grace. It has runs on the board.

Blogger residentMoron August 08, 2016 9:45 AM  

"from the fulness of the heart, the mouth speaks." and "out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies"

If you're not keeping the law, it is not written in your heart. Something else is.

Blogger Phillip George August 08, 2016 9:56 AM  

not that easy to find a priest/ Cohanim to certify leprosy sores etc.

I think it was a teaching point that was being made to point men to the redeemer. The law is sin and death, straight from God's mouth at Eden. The solution is straight from God' mouth at Calvary. This is the sum of His Word IMO = what we keep.

Anonymous FrankNorman August 08, 2016 10:11 AM  

Balaam's Donkey either lacks the intelligence to perceive the logical fallacies he is committing, or the intellectual honesty to care.

Oh well, he's more intellectually stimulating than the average point-and-call-names liberal.

Blogger residentMoron August 08, 2016 10:13 AM  

The prophets say explicitly that in places they were told to write exact things, at other times they were shown things and described them in their own words, at still other times they were told not to write certain things.

Daniel, who is in many ways very easy to understand, also said that when he was shown the future of God's people, it made him sick for weeks.

Blogger S1AL August 08, 2016 10:30 AM  

"The fluctuations in the temperature of the Cosmic Background Radiation associated with quantum density variations frozen in the cosmic fireball as space expanded too fast for them to reach equilibrium again is predicted by WHAT holy book in WHAT passage, precisely? "

Did you miss the dozen or so references in the Bible to God "stretching out the heavens like a tent"? Have you ever seen a tent put up?

"If it is fair for Vox to demand a specific list of mutations to turn organism X into organism Y, it is eminently fair for me to demand this specificity in theological claims and pronounce the theology worthless if it fails."

Do you really not grasp the difference between a claim regarding progenitor and a claim regarding methodology?

Blogger Phelps August 08, 2016 10:43 AM  

As soon as I read the guy's comments, I thought, "Dunning-Kruger Effect." He's so incompetent, he thinks he is an expert. He doesn't have the skills he needs to know how incompetent he is.

Anonymous Stickwick August 08, 2016 11:02 AM  

Mr. Rational: That statement utterly discredits you.  Creationists may have tried to claim Big Bang/Inflation theory as their own, but it is utterly without theistic implications.

I can’t decide if this is the stupidest thing ever said here or the funniest. Others have done a sufficient job explaining to you why this is wrong, but I’ll add one thing. A few years ago, I was present as a Nobel laureate and one of the greatest living physicists explained to a group of non-scientists that the multiverse hypothesis was developed at least in part because of the theistic implications of the big bang.

The fluctuations in the temperature of the Cosmic Background Radiation associated with quantum density variations frozen in the cosmic fireball as space expanded too fast for them to reach equilibrium again is predicted by WHAT holy book in WHAT passage, precisely?

You’re doing something very annoying, which is attempting to dazzle people with the details of science instead of addressing the heart of the matter. Unless you’re an expert, this is a bad idea, because not everyone is going to be bowled over by your ability to parrot this information. I’m certainly not, because you’ve failed to realize that inflation is not yet a theory with any predictive power. The recent BICEP2 results that supposedly confirmed it were disproven. Inflation is a nice idea, and one that I think is probably correct, but let’s be honest — so far there is no conclusive evidence supporting it.

In any case, it’s absurd to say that the theistic implications of a theory hinge on whether a holy book mentions one particular unproven detail of the theory. It’s like the idiot biologist I talked to who said Genesis was bogus, because out of the dozens of scientifically-testable statements made by Genesis 1, she could find no mention of bacteria. The theological implications of a theory do not hinge on whether it contains every possible detail of the theories of the natural development of the universe, but on whether it says anything that confirms or denies a central tenet of a religion.

As Vox already explained to you, the big bang confirms the first three words of the Bible. The Bible begins with Genesis 1, because, among other things, it establishes God as the sovereign creator of all things. Without this, the Abrahamic religions are meaningless. If the universe is eternal, that’s obviously a big problem for Christianity. Scientists in the 1950s and 1960s understood this very well, which is (partly) why there was so much initial resistance to the big bang and why physicists continue to try to find loopholes in the theory that imply the universe is de facto eternal.

Now, just for fun, I’ll point out that there are in fact passages in Genesis that are consistent with both inflation and the emergence of bacteria. Genesis is more remarkable than you can possibly imagine.

Blogger lowercaseb August 08, 2016 11:13 AM  

Snidely Whiplash wrote:Do not reply to Atheist spergelord.

Damn...that would make a great username.

Now if only I was an atheist, or had aspergers.

Blogger Reno Chris August 08, 2016 12:02 PM  

"There's no theistic implications in dinosaurs ruling the planet then being replaced by mammals after suffering an extinction event (at least nothing a Christian would like) millions of years before we came about to care. That's because odds are that there is no theistic implication at all. God seeded the universe then made a personal appearance when He saw something He liked (like the first hominids)."

Some of what you say is OK, but some is wildly ignorant. There are no important theistic implications in the fact that for a certain period dinosaurs were the dominant large animal species on this planet. However even the majority of dinosaurs appear suddenly on the planet (in geologic terms) in two separate radiations. The fact that there is a major dinosaur species die off at the K-Pg boundary has minimal theistic implications. However the fact that after the die off mammals go from a limited number of small rodent like creatures to pretty much everything we know of in the world of mammals including whales, cats, horses, primates, bats, etc. in a very short period not to exceed 10 million years and to easily include down to instantaneous - that has gigantic theistic implications. Nothing in any acknowledged version of TENS can possibly account for this sudden appearance of such a huge diversity of species. It would require mammals to suddenly increase their genetic mutation level by a factor of a million times or more, without including any negative result mutations, and that's falsifiable and preposterous. You seem to have no idea of what the fossil record actually shows. By TENS this could never have possibly happened, yet the record shows clearly it did.

Blogger residentMoron August 08, 2016 12:46 PM  

I'm a creation ex nihilo guy, and my response to those who insist they have a better theory, and typically that therefore I'm an ignorant nutter, is basically the same as you'd get calling Vox a racist.

"And?" ...

I'll note for this audience that shrieking and pointing is not argument. So why should anyone respond to that kind of idiocy?

I have some sympathy for the creationists who take things like "stretched out the heavens" and turn it into an expansionary event in which relativity "creates" a literal six day week at some privileged (non-Earth) point but allows billions of years to occur here, but I don't accept that explanation either.

It's plain to me that whoever inspired the scriptures was capable of describing these events if they had wanted to, and I conclude that they did not because that's not what happened, but that the intention of the author was to convey what he actually did, in what order, and why.

I appreciate the arguments against that position, from both the theological and scientific perspectives, but I disagree with them, holding both to be fundamentally flawed at the level of untestable assumptions (and some that have been tested and are either disproven or dubious.)

C'est la vie.

I'm not the kind of person who thinks people are ignorant and/or idiots because they disagree with me on any point. I am very well aware the world is replete with many people smarter and better informed than I, all of whom disagree with me in material ways.

Blogger S1AL August 08, 2016 12:55 PM  

Other than talking about yourself for several paragraphs, was there a point to that little speech? Given our host's various heterodox interpretations of Scripture, I don't see a need to expound on how people can politely disagree on minutiae.

Blogger residentMoron August 08, 2016 12:57 PM  

We're at 107 on a fast aging thread. Does there need to be a point?

Is that a thing now?

Blogger S1AL August 08, 2016 1:02 PM  

Mostly I'm just curious.

Blogger residentMoron August 08, 2016 1:04 PM  

Oh. No, I don't think so. Just putting it out there. I'm kinda contrary and I enjoy arguments. I really enjoy the quality of argument here.

"The wise man seeks correction" ... and so forth.

Anonymous Mr. Rational August 08, 2016 1:22 PM  

VD wrote:No, you just totally discredited yourself, Mr. Rational. Either retract that statement or you'll be permanently banned. It's one thing to be annoying, it's another thing to blatantly lie like that.
Fine.  I originally wrote this for RenoChris, but I'll address it to you instead.

The claim of "theistic implications" is trivially true.  EVERY fact has "theistic implications":  all theisms which assert something contrary are ipso facto false.  It does not mean that all or any theisms consistent with the fact are true.  I understand exactly why Hawking finds this irritating, because most theists use the Big Bang as a drunk uses a lamppost:  for support, not illumination.  (Hawking, AIUI, finds the mathematics much more troubling because singularities are a pain.  The people arguing the theistic implications of the Big Bang in public are not worried about math, or they'd be looking for the spiritual meaning of imaginary time.  They are not seeking illumination.  I find speculation that imaginary time might imply a cyclic universe, which might be why no Christian discussion of the issue has appeared on my radar.  I can't say more, this is not something I bother with unless it falls in my lap.)

The competing concept back in the day, steady-state theory, held that matter popped into existence to replace what was converted to energy or otherwise taken out of circulation... which had "theistic implications" also, for theisms like Hinduism (the idea of a bunch of insufferably smug Hindus crowing over their cosmological triumph is grinworthy).  It still has the origin problem.  Is there ANY possible universe we could be living in which does not leave us with the question "where did it all come from?"  True, observations have ruled a bunch of things out.  Trying to pull theistic conclusions from that is observably subject to the "god of the gaps" difficulty.

"Big Bang, therefore Christianity is true" is a faulty syllogism.  A implies B only requires that not-B implies not-A; B does not imply A.

The Big Bang theory, or "Cosmic Egg", is the concept proposed by Georges Lemaître, a Belgian priest.
And we remember the theory of the atom from Democritus, a pagan.  I don't see anyone arguing that this means that the Green pantheon is real.

I am moderately familiar with the theory of inflation (far more than most readers here, I'm certain).

Perhaps. But obviously not more than me

Really?  Rule 3.  This could get interesting, not that I think either of us has the time or patience to really hash it out.

S1AL wrote:Did you miss the dozen or so references in the Bible to God "stretching out the heavens like a tent"? Have you ever seen a tent put up?
Put up quite a few myself.  Notice that the dimensions of the fabric do not change significantly.  You're using that language like a tent uses poles.  Now, if someone had predicted inflation based on OT language, THAT would have gotten my attention.  It would especially make me sit up if there had been a string of such predictions that came out true.  But if it wasn't for my church's mish-mash of theology implying a bunch of things I learned to be false, I wouldn't have become an atheist in the first place.  At this point I'm just tired of it.

Anonymous Mr. Rational August 08, 2016 1:24 PM  

Stickwick wrote:inflation is not yet a theory with any predictive power. The recent BICEP2 results that supposedly confirmed it were disproven.
It successfully predicted the temperature variations in the CBR, no?  IIUC the BICEP2 measurements are confounded by other factors and so can't provide the confirmation people were hoping for.  If that's not the case, straighten me out here.  I have no professional dog in this fight so I haven't been following it closely.

Blogger Snidely Whiplash August 08, 2016 1:32 PM  

Do not engage Atheist spergelord. Do not engage Atheist spergelord. Do not engage Atheist spergelord...

Aw, fuck it.

Mr. Rational wrote:At this point I'm just tired of it.
Which is why you pop up in every single possible comment thread that might even remotely have anything to do with God or religion, and announce your Atheism, sneer at all the theists, while refusing to actually address their arguments? Cause you're just tired of it?

Blogger S1AL August 08, 2016 1:39 PM  

"Put up quite a few myself. Notice that the dimensions of the fabric do not change significantly. You're using that language like a tent uses poles. Now, if someone had predicted inflation based on OT language, THAT would have gotten my attention. It would especially make me sit up if there had been a string of such predictions that came out true. But if it wasn't for my church's mish-mash of theology implying a bunch of things I learned to be false, I wouldn't have become an atheist in the first place. At this point I'm just tired of it."

Frankly, blaming your atheism on someone else's bad theology is a copout.

That aside, it's remarkable that the Bible would, more than a dozen times, describe the heavens as being stretched out like a tent. There's absolutely no reason for the ancients to describe it that way. None at all. So why?

Trying to apply spergy literalism to a poetic passage is foolishness. It's metaphorical. And the dimensions of a tent do, in fact, change if you view it as a matter of volume. More importantly, the volume expands at an increasing rate.

You may not think that's enough. You may also not accept the prophetic power of the Old Testament with regards to the person of Christ. You may find it irrelevant that Christianity flowered in the face of extreme oppression, despite never resorting to force of arms.

But to declare that there is no evidence, or that the evidence is insufficient to convince a thinking person is either idiotic or dishonest.

Blogger VD August 08, 2016 1:39 PM  

The claim of "theistic implications" is trivially true. EVERY fact has "theistic implications": all theisms which assert something contrary are ipso facto false. It does not mean that all or any theisms consistent with the fact are true. I understand exactly why Hawking finds this irritating, because most theists use the Big Bang as a drunk uses a lamppost: for support, not illumination. (Hawking, AIUI, finds the mathematics much more troubling because singularities are a pain. The people arguing the theistic implications of the Big Bang in public are not worried about math, or they'd be looking for the spiritual meaning of imaginary time. They are not seeking illumination. I find speculation that imaginary time might imply a cyclic universe, which might be why no Christian discussion of the issue has appeared on my radar. I can't say more, this is not something I bother with unless it falls in my lap.)

You're completely missing the point. And it is not trivially true. To successfully disprove an attempt falsification is support; it is evidence, though not proof, that something is true.

To claim otherwise is to trivialize the scientific method, which I suspect is not your intention.

As I said on the newer post, the Big Bang theory is a necessary, though insufficient, piece of evidence for Creation.

Blogger Snidely Whiplash August 08, 2016 1:47 PM  

Maybe, despite his self-proclaimed genius status, Mr. "Rational" doesn't know what 'implication' means.

Blogger residentMoron August 08, 2016 1:52 PM  

Mr Rational

Not to pile on, but the point of the theistic implications of the Big Bang theory is not that it proves any particular brand of theism to be true, and in fact nobody made that claim.

Yes, the person who raised that point probably has claimed that Christianity is true, but they did not make the claim as a syllogism of the form: Big Bang, ergo Christianity true.

And I suspect you know that as well.

Or maybe you're just tired, and you imagined a syllogism that is not there.

In any case, welcome to the house of fun. Glad you found your way.

Blogger Mastermind August 08, 2016 1:55 PM  

"You misunderstood. I'm a Noachide, a gentile who recognizes the truth of Judaism. Could you cite a verse or two from the Torah saying the baton will be passed to the "predestined elect" by a miracle worker?"

Why would there be one? It's implied in the idea of a covenant that the covenant is nullified if one side doesn't hold its end of the bargain. The last straw was Christ's rejection, which did not occur in the Torah, so why would the Torah mention it? Your question is nonsensical.

Anonymous Mr. Rational August 08, 2016 2:21 PM  

Snidely Whiplash wrote:Which is why you pop up in every single possible comment thread that might even remotely have anything to do with God or religion....
Yeah, right.  99% of the time, when you guys go off into theological debates I just un-follow the thread.  You never notice this because I've either never commented, or only on other subjects up-thread.

But cdesignproponentsists are a special kind of stupid and deserve to be mocked, for trying to steal science's hard-earned mantle of authority for themselves.  (Not that science is doing itself any favors these days, but it HAS earned respect and the problems are due to observable failures stemming from human nature, not the proper practice.  Isn't it ironic that the difficulty of doing science correctly is not unlike what Christians say about the difficulty of doing Christianity correctly?)

Blogger tublecane August 08, 2016 2:21 PM  

@19-Forget hell. Why does God let earthquakes happen? Or flesh-eating bacteria? Christians have an answer. Do nonsectarian theists?

Blogger S1AL August 08, 2016 2:22 PM  

"Isn't it ironic that the difficulty of doing science correctly is not unlike what Christians say about the difficulty of doing Christianity correctly?"

You cannot possibly be that unaware of the connection between Christianity and science.

Blogger residentMoron August 08, 2016 2:30 PM  

@121

the necessary connection ...

Blogger tublecane August 08, 2016 2:31 PM  

This comment has been removed by the author.

Anonymous Stickwick August 08, 2016 2:31 PM  

Mr. Rational: It successfully predicted the temperature variations in the CBR, no?

Yes, it did, in the sense that, had the COBE experiment back in the ‘80s found a different pattern of variations for the CMB, it would have ruled inflation out. I’m going to walk back my statement that inflation does not yet have predictive power, because it did make one significant quantitative prediction that is consistent with observation. However, it is not yet at the point evidentially where it is established theory, especially since it suffered a major setback with the BICEP2 results two years ago. Its main power rests in its ability to post facto explain some major “problems” in big bang cosmology, but you have to remember that this is also how conspiracy theories work, and most conspiracy theories are junk. Personally, I like inflation and think some form of it is probably correct; however, it is not at the point scientifically where anyone should be using it to try to score points in a philosophical discussion.

IIUC the BICEP2 measurements are confounded by other factors and so can't provide the confirmation people were hoping for.  If that's not the case, straighten me out here.  I have no professional dog in this fight so I haven't been following it closely.

The problem with BICEP2 is that it took measurements at a single frequency, and the signal it detected could not be distinguished from the signal you’d get from dust in our own galaxy. Worse, a combined analysis of data from BICEP2, Keck Array, and Planck experiments seems to have ruled out 95% of simple inflation models. It hasn’t killed inflation dead — as Alan Guth points out, the general idea of inflation is still alive — but, this setback is sufficiently serious that, again, you should be very circumspect about using it in philosophical discussions.

Blogger Snidely Whiplash August 08, 2016 2:32 PM  

S1AL wrote:You cannot possibly be that unaware of the connection between Christianity and science.

Don't you be tellin' him what he can and cain't do! You ain't the boss of him!

Anonymous Mr. Rational August 08, 2016 3:14 PM  

S1AL wrote:That aside, it's remarkable that the Bible would, more than a dozen times, describe the heavens as being stretched out like a tent. There's absolutely no reason for the ancients to describe it that way. None at all. So why?
It does make you wonder, especially when the next verse of Psalm 104 continues "and lays the beams of his upper chambers on their waters."

Trying to apply spergy literalism to a poetic passage is foolishness. It's metaphorical.
So why were you using it to try to claim cosmological relevance for the OT?  Remember, you're the one who brought it up.

blaming your atheism on someone else's bad theology is a copout.
Know what my last straw was?  It was a pre-confirmation exercise in comparative theology, involving SEVERAL branches' bad theology.  I'd just had it with theology and theism; I had other things to do, so I did them.

VD wrote:And it is not trivially true. To successfully disprove an attempt falsification is support; it is evidence, though not proof, that something is true.
Except that the failed falsification is only evidence if the test was of a specific prediction, like GR's prediction about the gravitational bending of light.  So far as I know, neither the OT nor NT say anything about the baking of chocolate layer cakes.  No CLC test is even relevant to them.

To claim otherwise is to trivialize the scientific method, which I suspect is not your intention.
And the trivialization of "stretches out the heavens like a tent" in Psalm 104?  The people claiming a theological triumph because they can read a consistency with cosmic inflation into this are the offenders.



As I said on the newer post, the Big Bang theory is a necessary, though insufficient, piece of evidence for Creation.
No dispute whatsoever, but S1AL left the impression he was claiming sufficiency.

You're completely missing the point.
Eh... isn't the first time and won't be the last.  I'm reading here because I have two major pieces on which I've got writer's block.  I admit my attention is divided.

Anonymous Mr. Rational August 08, 2016 3:24 PM  

residentMoron wrote:@121

the necessary connection ...

Then why the overwhelming majority of disbelievers in the NAS?  It looks like a disconnection is the route to success there.

Stickwick:  I'll try to read up on the combination of BICEP2, Keck and Planck results.  It would go quicker if you can suggest some sources.  I don't get any print science magazines any more so there's a lot that slides by unnoticed.

Blogger S1AL August 08, 2016 3:28 PM  


"It does make you wonder, especially when the next verse of Psalm 104 continues "and lays the beams of his upper chambers on their waters.""

I prefer Job 26:7, myself, given the reference to "hanging the earth on nothing".

"So why were you using it to try to claim cosmological relevance for the OT? Remember, you're the one who brought it up."

Metaphorical does not mean "untrue". It also does not mean "irrelevant".

"Know what my last straw was? It was a pre-confirmation exercise in comparative theology, involving SEVERAL branches' bad theology. I'd just had it with theology and theism; I had other things to do, so I did them."

That sounds very little like "test all things, hold on to what is good", and quite a bit like giving up out of frustration. I presume you do not do the same with your scientific pursuits.

"No dispute whatsoever, but S1AL left the impression he was claiming sufficiency."

This is false. I did not even address the issue of the formation of the universe.

Blogger S1AL August 08, 2016 3:42 PM  

Correction, I didn't address the creation of the universe. Inflation is technically part of the formation.

Blogger residentMoron August 08, 2016 4:14 PM  

@127

Mr Rational, you've already pointed out the difficulties scientists trained in the materialist metaphysic are having doing actual science.

Why are you now arguing with yourself?

This is some newfangled definition of rationality, previously undiscovered, right?

Blogger LurkingPuppy August 08, 2016 4:16 PM  

Mr. Rational wrote:Then why the overwhelming majority of disbelievers in the NAS?  It looks like a disconnection is the route to success there.
The SJWs and other (((elites))) try to filter Christians out of all Leftist-controlled institutions.

Mr. Rational wrote:And the trivialization of "stretches out the heavens like a tent" in Psalm 104?  The people claiming a theological triumph because they can read a consistency with cosmic inflation into this are the offenders.
If the Bible was written (or dictated) by an honest god, then any statements in it about the early history of the universe must be rhetoric, meant to convey some portion of the truth to people with no words in their language for most of the physical concepts we have (e.g. force fields, atoms and quarks, gravity).

Mr. Rational wrote:I find speculation that imaginary time might imply a cyclic universe, which might be why no Christian discussion of the issue has appeared on my radar.
That piece is vacuous gibberish that doesn't rise to the level of a handwave. For starters, the metric is x^2 + y^2 + z^2 - (c*t)^2, not -(i*c*t)^2; the whole reason to insert i next to t in that term is to replace the subtraction with addition.

If you want to read about a cyclic universe, see Cycles of Time, by Roger Penrose. It makes some predictions which might be testable someday.

Anonymous Stickwick August 08, 2016 4:40 PM  

Mr. Rational, you can try these two articles to begin with:

New Scientist: Inflation is dead, long live inflation

Physics World: Galactic dust sounds death knell for BICEP2 gravitational wave claim

And I see now that I mistakenly claimed that the combined analysis of different experiments ruled out 95% of the simplest inflation models, when I should have said that it ruled out the simplest inflation models at the 95% confidence level.

Anonymous Mr. Rational August 08, 2016 6:17 PM  

S1AL wrote:That sounds very little like "test all things, hold on to what is good", and quite a bit like giving up out of frustration.
Ten lifetimes are too short to test all things, and who says I didn't hold on to what I found to be good?  Religion just wasn't any part of it.

residentMoron wrote:Mr Rational, you've already pointed out the difficulties scientists trained in the materialist metaphysic are having doing actual science.
If you look at the reproducibility problems, they are FAR worse in medicine and the "soft sciences" than physics, chemistry and engineering.  The crisis everyone was talking about was in psychology; the more "material" you get, the more reproducible your results appear to be.

This is some newfangled definition of rationality, previously undiscovered, right?
Pseudonym checks out.

@132 Already read that one.  I'm currently wading through http://arxiv.org/pdf/1510.09217.pdf and finding it quite a slog.

To summarize my understanding of the findings thus far:
1.  The lumpiness of the CBR is as predicted by inflation.  That much is 100% certain.
2.  The CBR's polarization signal expected to come from inflationary gravitational waves has NOT been detected.  This is currently not understood.

Am I right so far?

Blogger Phillip George August 08, 2016 6:34 PM  

Point 1: keep it laboratory and empirical. Again, a simple challenge:

what's the most complex chemical compound that exists naturally via non organic biochemical pathways?

take that/ those and make life. With all your preexisting intelligence protein folding and a simple life form should be a piece of cake.

[other stuff, Halton Arp, quantized red shift, william Tifft etc, changes to constants, it can wait]\\

your intellectual hurdle is point one. so blind to it you are like the experiment.

Anonymous Balaam's Donkey August 08, 2016 10:10 PM  

Mastermind wrote:"You misunderstood. I'm a Noachide, a gentile who recognizes the truth of Judaism. Could you cite a verse or two from the Torah saying the baton will be passed to the "predestined elect" by a miracle worker?"

Why would there be one? It's implied in the idea of a covenant that the covenant is nullified if one side doesn't hold its end of the bargain. The last straw was Christ's rejection, which did not occur in the Torah, so why would the Torah mention it? Your question is nonsensical.


You might disagree, but it's not "nonsensical." It's an "everlasting covenant" for "all generations" with "eternal statutes." Deut 26-30 describes the fine print. Your interpretation of its contingent nature is not tenable. READ THE CURSES IN DEUT 28. That's why Jews aren't big on New & Improved Stuff. It makes Blood Meridian seem like lesbian porn, but it never threatens to cut them off in favor of another group. Not once. It says they will be ZOTed and sent into exile but eventually gathered back at some idyllic endpoint.

The Messiah has to be anointed King and restore the Temple or it's not him. Shabbetai Zvi did miracles too. He still has followers. So what? There are 613 commandments. Not ONE says anything about worshipping any son or Messiah or different manifestation of God. Not one even mentions the Messiah. When he comes it will be so obvious that this conversation will be impossible. There are numerous commandments threatening horrors beyond description for deviating from the 613 commandments by one iota. Please cite passages in Deut that negate my interpretation. (For what it's worth, I don't like it either. I wish Buddhism or Taoism were the true religion. But you're stuck with the one that happens to be true. On the bright side, only six things are prohibited for gentiles.)

Blogger S1AL August 08, 2016 10:56 PM  

"Ten lifetimes are too short to test all things, and who says I didn't hold on to what I found to be good? Religion just wasn't any part of it."

That, right there, that truly autistic misinterpretation of plain statements - that's why most people can't take atheists seriously. Regardless of whether or not you're actually autistic, it's like arguing with someone claims that Jesus was woefully wrong because he said that the Pharisees were snakes, and snakes aren't even mammals! Do you actually not understand this, or are you being intentionally obtuse?

Anonymous Mr. Rational August 08, 2016 11:10 PM  

Phillip George wrote:Point 1: keep it laboratory and empirical. Again, a simple challenge:

what's the most complex chemical compound that exists naturally via non organic biochemical pathways?

Here's a page on the Miller-Urey experiment.  The very first iteration produced 13 out of 22 common amino acids.  Reactions involving ammonium cyanide produce organics including adenine, which is one of the 4 nucleic acids and the foundation of ATP, the energy molecule of life.

Something I discovered recently is that the reaction of ultramafic rocks with water produces serpentines and hydrogen.  Hydrothermal vents would have been everywhere on the young, hot earth and would have provided strong reducing environments for chemistry.  The Murchison meteorite contained 90+ different amino acids.

take that/ those and make life.
90+ amino acids plus nucleic acids plus adenine (a sugar) needs only lipids for membranes to provide all the building blocks of life.  I didn't see anything about lipids in the Miller-Urey products, but I wouldn't be surprised.

Blogger residentMoron August 08, 2016 11:56 PM  

Donkey,

God himself says the covenant is contingent. It's not interpretation but plain fact.

Blogger residentMoron August 09, 2016 12:02 AM  

Rational

I know you're smarter than that.

Whataboutery wont get science out of the hole dug by failing ethical standards in the culture from which scientists are drawn.

Anonymous Mr. Rational August 09, 2016 12:28 AM  

residentMoron wrote:I know you're smarter than that.

Whataboutery wont get science out of the hole dug by failing ethical standards in the culture from which scientists are drawn.

Yes, I am smarter than that.  I won't let you change the subject from hard facts to human fallibility.

Blogger EscapeVelocity August 09, 2016 12:46 AM  

Science has an SJW-political corruption problem.

Blogger Snidely Whiplash August 09, 2016 12:57 AM  

Mr. Rational wrote:Yes, I am smarter than that.  I won't let you change the subject from hard facts to human fallibility.

No, obviously, you're not smarter than that.
When the hard facts become impossible to determine because of human fallibility, you'd damn well better address your human fallibility problem.

Blogger LurkingPuppy August 09, 2016 1:42 AM  

S1AL wrote:he said that the Pharisees were snakes,
(gasp) So there are Lizard People! I knew it!

Mr. Rational wrote:Something I discovered recently is that the reaction of ultramafic rocks with water produces serpentines and hydrogen. 
Mr. Rational wrote:90+ amino acids plus nucleic acids plus adenine (a sugar) needs only lipids for membranes to provide all the building blocks of life. I didn't see anything about lipids in the Miller-Urey products, but I wouldn't be surprised.
(1) Actually, a self-replicating RNA molecule (a ribosome) is enough to constitute life in itself; the membrane is only needed to (a) increase reaction rate within the cell, and (b) allow entropy to be moved out of the lifeform. (2) Could the Fischer-Tropsch reaction produce an initial supply of lipids given rocky catalysts and excess molecular hydrogen?

Blogger FrankNorman August 09, 2016 2:59 AM  

135. Balaam's Donkey August 08, 2016 10:10 PM

It says they will be ZOTed and sent into exile but eventually gathered back at some idyllic endpoint.


They will be - when they come to faith in Jesus.

Blogger FrankNorman August 09, 2016 3:02 AM  

Amino acids are one of the components of life-as-we-know-it, but they are not themselves alive. It's no use just having a pile of amino molecules, they have to be put together in a precise combination.

DNA/RNA doesn't "self-replicate" - it gets replicated by the actions of the enzymes that control transcription.

Blogger Phillip George August 09, 2016 3:53 AM  

you upped the ante in 'whatiffery' and 'whataboutery' lurking.

like black holes are an appealing theory, just make one.

the miller-urey condensate is toxic. You can use it to kill anything but their theory.

Anonymous Mr. Rational August 09, 2016 7:19 AM  

Snidely Whiplash wrote:No, obviously, you're not smarter than that.

When the hard facts become impossible to determine because of human fallibility, you'd damn well better address your human fallibility problem.

If you were smart enough, you'd realize that the fallibility problem mostly affects those fail to practice the methodology developed to hold it in check.

Phillip George wrote:the miller-urey condensate is toxic.
Toxic to what?  Your ignorance is toxic to thought.

FrankNorman wrote:DNA/RNA doesn't "self-replicate" - it gets replicated by the actions of the enzymes that control transcription.
Self-replicating RNA chains not only exist, they were evolved rather than designed.

Anonymous 6184 August 09, 2016 9:01 AM  

@Mr Rational

"Hawking, AIUI, finds the mathematics much more troubling because singularities are a pain."

That is not true. Hawking spent years searching for a way around having a singularity at the Big Bang, even resorting to imaginary time in order to normalize away said singularity. He was unsuccessful and admitted that he was looking for a way around a beginning of spacetime in this universe. Not just because he was fascinated with the math.

On another note: it does no good to point at the Miller Urey results, and all such like them.

They depend on a reducing or at worst neutral atmosphere. We now know that the Hadean era atmosphere was oxidizing within a relatively short time after the Earth's crust solidified. Don't bother reading Wikipedia, as they are not up to date on studies published in Nature, it seems.

Blogger Phillip George August 09, 2016 9:58 AM  

you aren't a scientist Mr Rational

Blogger residentMoron August 09, 2016 4:42 PM  

That's not so, PG.

Every sane person is a scientist, trying to understand our world as best we can.

As Mr Rational pointed out already, some are better at it than others. Like all of us, he's struggling to apply this insight to himself.

Blogger Snidely Whiplash August 09, 2016 6:01 PM  

If everyone is a scientist, the word has literally no meaning.

Blogger S1AL August 09, 2016 7:42 PM  

Nah, then it means "person" ;)

Blogger S1AL August 09, 2016 7:42 PM  

This comment has been removed by the author.

Blogger Phillip George August 09, 2016 8:29 PM  

This comment has been removed by the author.

Blogger Phillip George August 09, 2016 8:30 PM  

every eye has it's blind spot physically built into it.

I don't remember where/ when I read it, who said it, but it might have been a Richard Feynman type who said, the great thinkers were people who had insight into what they didn't know.

This is why the abiogenesis question is cathartic. Right now there is no "reasonable" explanation for the existence of life on earth.

Occam's razor itself begets the unreasonable explanation.

Knowability is a bound set.

Anonymous Mr. Rational August 09, 2016 10:39 PM  

6184 wrote:On another note: it does no good to point at the Miller Urey results, and all such like them.

They depend on a reducing or at worst neutral atmosphere. We now know that the Hadean era atmosphere was oxidizing

There are other places and other ways to produce reducing environments.  Hydrogen, methane and H2S in hydrothermal waters produced by serpentinization is just one example, and they persist even in today's very oxidizing environment.  A young, hot planet would have had a lot more such environments than the relatively localized ones around ocean-floor spreading zones.

There's also the detail that the early Sun was a lot dimmer than today's, and a neutral atmosphere wouldn't have a great deal of methane and the like to compensate via greenhouse effect.  One of the consequences is that it's likely that the early Earth went through ice phases.  When water freezes, it squeezes impurities into concentrates at the crystal boundaries (which is where the ultra-cold saline streams which form "brinicles" come from) and that would include any organics in the mix.  This would put a lot of stuff together under conditions where cold preserves it from degradation and allows reactions to occur.

Blogger Phillip George August 10, 2016 2:12 AM  

MORE whatifery, just reproduce it in a lab.

Blogger Joe Keenan August 10, 2016 6:09 AM  

@157 Lab work is problematical. Science presupposes no divine intervention. No unseen hand. The scientist/researcher is little more than a stand in for God: an intentionality forcing an outcome.

Anonymous 6184 August 10, 2016 10:29 AM  

@ Mr. Rational

Narrowing the scope of the problem from a planet-wide primordial soup to just hydrothermal vents is not making the problem any easier. Appealing to frozen water boundaries with the Chemistry 101 problem of greatly reduced reaction rates and mobility is just ridiculous. There is a reason why abiogenesis scenarios involve warmth and moisture.

Yes the Sun had about 30% lower luminance then than it does today, however water vapor and (gasp) carbon dioxide are most certainly greenhouse gases. Not to mention that the Hadean era was when the Earth's crust was just solidifying down from magma. There is evidence suggesting the blue green algaes formed very very early on, 100 MY or so which strains abiogenesis beyond the breaking point.

Anonymous Mr. Rational August 10, 2016 11:30 AM  

6184 wrote:Narrowing the scope of the problem from a planet-wide primordial soup to just hydrothermal vents is not making the problem any easier. Appealing to frozen water boundaries with the Chemistry 101 problem of greatly reduced reaction rates and mobility is just ridiculous. There is a reason why abiogenesis scenarios involve warmth and moisture.
Chemogenesis works just fine in the cold; glycoaldehyde has been found in interstellar molecular clouds, which are at temperatures of a handful of degrees KelvinA bunch of purines and pyrimidines were spontaneously generated in a frozen ammonium cyanide solution in just a few decades.  (Pyrimidine is the basis of cytosine, thymine and uracil, and guanine and adenosine are purines.)

Yes the Sun had about 30% lower luminance then than it does today, however water vapor and (gasp) carbon dioxide are most certainly greenhouse gases.
Don't say that out loud, you'll get on the wrong side of the "climate change is bunkum" camp here.

Not to mention that the Hadean era was when the Earth's crust was just solidifying down from magma.
It's nice of you to repeat my point (lots and lots of heat to drive hydrothermal activity), but what point were YOU trying to make?

There is evidence suggesting the blue green algaes formed very very early on, 100 MY or so which strains abiogenesis beyond the breaking point.
So we have multiple examples of the production of the building blocks of life from abiotic precursors, under conditions from vacuum at less than 20 K to glass flasks energized by electric sparks or UV light to laboratory freezers.  All the lab examples produced results in much less than one human lifespan... and you're telling me that 100 MY isn't long enough for anything to happen?  With an entire planet of widely varied conditions?  When it only has to happen once?!

My credulity does not stretch that far.

Anonymous 6184 August 10, 2016 9:56 PM  

Your line of reasoning is akin to saying that because we found a handful of nuts and bolts a fully functioning automobile is a given.

Nearly Every single one of the experiments supposedly demonstrating generation of
Precursor chemicals shares the flaw of not accounting for the intelligent intervention of the experimenters to keep the process going, Miller-Urey first and foremost.

It also betrays a fundamental lack of understanding of the yawning gap between a random incomplete subset of the necessary building blocks and a functioning system.

The statistics are staggering, even if we ignore gross problems such as homochirality, which is why all serious contenders involve warmth, moisture and a large large area to work with. Statistics. I suspect that you are also one of those people who think Drake's Equation means there are 1000's of civilizations besides ours in the Orion Arm, rather than the high likelihood that Earth is quite possibly the only life bearing planet in the visible universe.

Going from a planet wide primordial soup to only hydrothermal vents is not making the sandbox any larger, Mr Rational.

Anonymous 6184 August 11, 2016 9:42 AM  

So which is it, frozen Earth or hot Earth then? Make up your vacillating mind. My point is that all of the prebiotic precursor experiments suffer the flaws of either unaccounted experimenter intervention or don't represent the conditions of Earth.

Precursors to building blocks are not the building blocks, which in turn are not the system. Being able to account for natural processes to make some of the pieces (in radically different environments) doesn't account for a necessary set all in one place at the same time. Your line of reasoning is akin to saying that because researchers found screws and fasteners (after first salting the experiment with a bag from a hardware store) that finding a fully functioning automobile is a given, If only we wait for a sufficient number of freeze thaw cycles to pass.

Wishful thinking. You are completely ignoring the yawning gap between said precursors and a functioning system. There is a reason that all abiogenesis scenarios assume large areas, volumes, numbers of reactions, and above all time: to overcome the huge statistical problem. (Given your dismissal of the statistical problems, You probably believe the Drake Equation means we have 1000's of civilizations in the galaxy instead of suggesting the Earth is unique, I'd wager)

Nevermind overcoming other relatively (ahem) minor problems such as homochirality.

Finally, anthropogenic climate change is bunk, as anybody with eyes to read the Vostok ice core data can see (not to mention we are overdue for an ice age anyways). The fact that the balance of bio and geo chemical processes on Earth have been able to keep apace of a 30% increase in solar radiance is itself an argument that an intelligence had a hand in the process.

Anonymous Mr. Rational August 11, 2016 1:04 PM  

6184 wrote:So which is it, frozen Earth or hot Earth then? Make up your vacillating mind.
Open up your simplistic mind.  It was BOTH at the same time, like volcanoes erupting under an Icelandic glacier.  It was boiling mudpots amidst snow and ice, and not just in one little Yellowstone.  It was hydrothermal vent fields beneath drifting floes and sheets, perhaps intense enough to create open water above.  It was the stuff cooking in the "broth" going through the freezer and back again.  It was the full gradient from freezing to boiling across short distances.

It wasn't just a little lab flask.  It was a whole PLANET of that stuff, with every condition you can imagine present somewhere (and lots you can't).

Your line of reasoning is akin to saying that because researchers found screws and fasteners (after first salting the experiment with a bag from a hardware store)
Wait just a fucking minute here.  "Salted"?

that finding a fully functioning automobile is a given, If only we wait for a sufficient number of freeze thaw cycles to pass.
Trying to re-invent the old, worn out "747 from tornado in junkyard" meme won't work.  Cars don't reproduce themselves.  Descending to that nonsense means you're out of ideas.

Even in tiny, lab-scale experiments, self-replicating RNA systems work and evolve.  Without any competitors, it would only take ONE such system to arise by chance to then take over the world.  And of course, since they don't replicate perfectly, some of the copies will work differently.  Just as soon as you have something that works faster, or uses substrates that the original can't, or is otherwise free of some constraint on its forebears... off it would go on its own.

You're telling me that, despite what's already been demonstrated in the lab, a whole planet doing all sorts of chemistry over tens of millions of years simply canNOT generate even one ultra-simple self-replicator... but you're willing to entertain the idea of an un-caused cause which can hold the entire universe, including that laboratory, in his mind.  That is a leap too far.

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