Tag Archives: Atheism

Dawkins Debunked? Guess Again!

Professor Richard Dawkins is highly respected worldwide as a scientist, an outspoken atheist, and author of The Selfish Gene, The God Delusion, and a dozen or so other best-selling books about biology, biography, and atheism. On February 13, 2009, he was part of a team of scientists invited to take part in the dissection of a giraffe’s neck to study its recurrent laryngeal nerve. Such a dissection had been done on a giraffe only once before that we have record of, in 1838. So it was good to be able to do it again on a giraffe that had died in a  zoo.

As expected, this nerve — two nerves actually; one on each side — was found to go from the animal’s brain all the way down its long neck to the area of its its heart, just missing the larynx by about an inch. Then it wrapped around a major artery (a different on one each side), and ran back up to control the larynx at the top of the neck. Altogether, the nerve is about 15 feet longer than necessary, which exposes it to a variety of unnecessary dangers.

Dawkins says we expect imperfections from evolution.

Dawkins points out that this is exactly the kind of thing we expect from evolution, and he explains why. The giraffe inherited its incredibly long nerves from its fish ancestors, where the arrangement was practical because fish have no necks.  As fish morphed into amphibians, then reptiles, and finally birds and mammals, the arrangement became less and less practical. But evolution can’t change something like that just because it’s no longer the best arrangement; evolution has to work with what it has. When a problem is serious enough, it can lead to the extinction of a species. This is one reason why an estimated 99% (at least) of all species that ever lived live no more.

Dawkins points out several reasons why no intelligent designer would have created the giraffe that way. It’s the kind of thing one would only expect to find if evolution were true, as it is.

In the video below, Rick Gerhardt, who is both a conservation biologist and a Christian apologist, discusses Dawkins’ video and tries pitifully to debunk it. He specializes in avian ecology and has special interests also in beetles and snakes. The kinds of of arguments he makes here don’t sound like a scientist of any kind, but they sound exactly like the kinds of arguments I read from ignorant creationists all the time.

You be the judge. I say, “Shame on Rick Gerhardt for trying to debunk good science.”

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Sources:

Idiotic Creationist Preacher Thinks He Understands Science Better than Scientists Do

He’s not just ignorant; he’s proud of it. You can tell by listening.

Yup, he really is.

He says “Somewhere in Oklahoma a tornado rolls through a junkyard … (and) magically produces a perfectly red shiny working Lamborghini. You would tell me I was nuts!” Yup. I would.

But he’s trying to say that’s the way evolution works. It isn’t. Not only that, but he’s using an old argument that’s been debunked a thousand times or more, and pretending it’s his own argument.

He knows nothing about either evolution or atheism, yet he thinks he can debunk atheism by talking about evolution. That’s worse than just ignorant or stupid. It’s both.

I don’t think he’s stupid because he believes in God. That just means he’s deluded. He’s both ignorant and stupid because he’s trying to disprove two unrelated things that he doesn’t even understand in three minutes.

Why do so many preachers do that? I honestly don’t know. If you think you want to disprove something, it just makes good sense to be sure you understand it first. You know, to maybe keep from making a fool of yourself like this guy did. And … well, you might even change your mind about disproving it if you really understood it.

I was talking to a preacher friend a few years ago, and the subject of evolution came up. He said (as near as I can remember his words), “I’ve heard a little about evolution from my church members. I probably understand it well enough.” Yeah, right! If I said I’d heard a little bit about Jesus from my fellow atheists, so I probably know all I need to know about him … do you think my preacher friend would buy that? No, I don’t either.

Well, this is one more guy who thinks atheism and evolution are the same thing and tries to disprove one indirectly by trying to disprove the other directly when he understands neither.

Not long ago I posted another video by a self-identified Muslim creationist whom I described with the words “willful, arrogant ignorance.” I’m guessing this guy’s a Christian, though he didn’t identify himself as such in the video. But it doesn’t really matter, because he’s no better. It’s very clear that he is also “willfully ignorant and arrogant.”

He says, “Evolution is not a science, never has and never will be. Why? Because it cannot fit between the parameters of parentheses of science.” If I didn’t know better than to use the words “parameters” and “parentheses” together like that, as if they meant something similar to each other, I’d quit trying to write.

More to the point, scientists themselves think evolution is science. I wonder why they’d think that if it doesn’t meet the criteria of science? And how would this ignoramus know better than they do? Don’t scientists themselves decide what the criteria of science are?

Well, why is evolution not science, according to him? Which “parameters and parentheses of science” does it not fit between? “For one simple reason,” he says. “Because it was never observed. That’s why it’s not science. That’s why it’s called the THEORY of evolution.” You can hear the capital letters in his voice.

Soooooo. Evolution has never been observed, and that’s why it’s not science. Sounds almost convincing, doesn’t it? But is it true?

Of course it’s not true!

All anybody has to do is read On the Origin of Species by Charles Darwin or Why Evolution Is True by Biology Professor Jerry Coyne or The Greatest Story Ever Told by Professor Emeritus Richard Dawkins. (They’re all available in our bookstore. See the menu at the top of every page.) If you’re really interested, read all three, as I have. You’ll learn that evolution is all around us and easy to observe.

He continues with his rant, “That’s why it’s called the THEORY of evolution. One man’s theory.” No, that’s not why. He doesn’t even understand what a scientific theory is. (We’ll discuss that soon.) Besides, “one man’s theory?” Recent surveys indicate that more than 99 percent of biologists believe the evidence supports it. It’s hardly “one man’s theory.” It’s one of the best supported theories in science, right up there with the theory of gravity and the germ theory of disease. (Does he think they haven’t been observed either? After all, we call them theories.)

Yes, evolution is science, just as much as physics, chemistry, and geology are science. But it has nothing to do with atheism. Atheism just means one doesn’t believe in God. Or any god. That’s all. It has absolutely nothing to do with what a person might or might not think about natural origins.

Yes, Mr. uh, uh … Well, I can’t understand your name. Sorry. But it doesn’t really matter, anyway. Whatever your name is, you’re both ignorant and stupid. Ignorance can be overcome, but stupid is doubtful.

If you want to argue with intelligent people, you should be sure you understand what you’re arguing about first. And maybe even get a little help from somebody whose IQ is higher than his or her age. Just a friendly tip.

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Source:

Eric Hovind Justifies Josh Duggar

Josh Duggar
Josh Duggar

I must have been the last person in the world to hear about it. I’m usually not a fan of families with 19 kids. Now we all learn that Josh Duggar, one of the 19 and now 26 years old, did something that wasn’t OK almost half his lifetime ago when he was 14 years old.

Josh is quoted as making the following statement:

Twelve years ago, as a young teenager, I acted inexcusably for which I am extremely sorry and deeply regret. I hurt others, including my family and close friends, I confessed this to my parents who took several steps to help me address the situation. We spoke with the authorities where I confessed my wrongdoing, and my parents arranged for me and those affected by my actions to receive counseling. I understood that if I continued down this wrong road that I would end up ruining my life.”

It is reported that he fondled several of his younger sisters and another girl. What prompted his confession to his parents? I don’t know. Had his sisters already reported him? I have no idea. He said he understands that continuing that path would have ruined his life. Does he also understand that he may have damaged some of their lives as well? Again, I don’t know.

I haven’t read a lot about it. I don’t know the details, and I’m not likely to ever know them. As I already said, I’m not a fan. I don’t know whether the situation was handled well or not. I do know that I’m glad I don’t have to answer for everything I did when I was 14. (No, I didn’t do what Josh Duggar did. Furthermore, I’m not going to tell you what I did do. So there!)

I’m definitely not taking up for the man, but I don’t think what he did when he was 14 years old means he’s a pedophile or that he’s likely to be a rapist. I think it means he was a teenage boy with raging hormones and needs he didn’t know how to provide for. It’s a shame he didn’t have help. No I’m not blaming his parents. Their biggest mistake was having 19 kids! And counting!

What I find absolutely asinine is Eric Hovind’s reaction to the revelation. Eric is the son of Kent Hovind, also known as Dr. Dino, who runs the Pensacola theme park and museum called Dinosaur Adventure Land when he’s not in federal prison for refusing to pay his taxes. I understand Eric runs it in his absence.

Eric Hovind’s Statement

Eric said this on his blog four days ago:

Eric Hovind
Eric Hovind

“If evolution is true, then there is no absolute right and wrong. If evolution is true, Josh should not have admitted his faults over a decade ago because what one evolved bag of molecules does to another bag of molecules just doesn’t really matter. If evolution is true, there is no ultimate Judge who will hold every man, woman, and child responsible for their actions. And if evolution is true, you will not give an account for every idle word you speak.”

Who cares whether right and wrong are absolute or not? Certain things are still right and wrong, because of the effects they have on people. Relative rights and wrongs work for me. We have laws that determine what’s OK and what’s not OK. If something’s against the law, it’s not OK. Such laws prohibit things that harm people. (Of course that’s oversimplified.)

The fact that each of us is an “evolved bag of molecules” makes absolutely no difference. What matters is that we have brains. So we can hurt. We can feel. What happens to us matters, both as individuals and as groups. The fact that we are evolved simply has nothing to do with it, and Eric Hovind should know that.

Hovind is trying to make points where no points exist. He cannot prove evolution is false, because it isn’t; so he tries to make it seem undesirable. It’s a con, and you should be able to see through it. Similar cons have been going on longer than I can remember, and they’re just as phony now as they were then.

As social animals, we grow up learning not only what’s good for ourselves, but also what’s good for each other, and for the whole group. As societies of social animals, we learn as we go along, and we try to pass that knowledge along to our youth. Sometimes we succeed better than other times.

Most of us probably have some basic morality built into our genes. These rudimentary principles must be trained by our family and school and society and restrained by laws. Some people probably have more innate moral tendencies than others. Certainly some get better training at  home and in school than others. But the fact is that humans are sentient animals. We not only think, but we feel. We suffer. Basically, whatever we can do to prevent suffering or death is good, and whatever we do that causes suffering or death is bad. (Yes, that’s oversimplified, too.)

Remember always that “what one evolved bag of molecules does to another bag of molecules” matters a lot, if the particular bag of molecules in question has a mind and can feel pain and joy. To think otherwise is just stupid.

Source: http://creationtoday.org/shocking-news-josh-duggar-is-a-sinner/

Terry Pratchett’s Testimony

Sir Terry Pratchett

Terry Pratchett left his testimony

Sir Terence David John Pratchett (April 28, 1948 – March 12, 2015), more commonly known as Terry, was an English author of fantasy novels, who sold his first story when he was fifteen. It earned him enough money to buy a second-hand typewriter.

His first novel, a humorous fantasy entitled The Carpet People, appeared in 1971. He worked for many years as a journalist, writing in his spare time and publishing a number of novels. His first Discworld novel, The Color of Magic, came out in 1983. In 1987 he turned to writing full-time, and never looked back. He published a total of 36 books in the Discworld series, of which four were written for children.

Terry Pratchett left his testimony for us that he had never found God and never expected to. Most of those who think they have will never know the difference, since they will die into nothing. No heaven. No hell. No nothingness to experience. Just nothing. There’s no convincing evidence of anything else.

It’s not a pleasant thought for most of us. I want to live forever in a place of perfect health and friendship and joy, with no pain or sorrow or death. It just isn’t realistic. Neither is God.

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terry_Pratchett

My response to a recent email

The email I was answering was from an Independent Baptist fundamentalist — the type who believes Baptists and no others are members of God’s true church, commissioned by Christ to do His work of preaching the gospel to the world. This is the religion I grew up in. I don’t have permission to post his email,  so I won’t; but this is my response to it.

I know of no atheist who wants to “keep God out of the public conversation.” Rather, you can find books and articles written by Atheists all over the place. What we want to do is keep religion out of government and government out of religion.

If a bunch of football players want to get together on their own before a game and pray, that is their business. I don’t know of anybody who objects. But schools and teachers that are funded with public money are government agencies and employees. They have no business organizing or leading prayers or any other religious service. This tends to establish religion.

You said, “The Atheists should just ignore anything that is connected with God, since he doesn’t exist, shouldn’t they?” The answer is a definite NO! It is not god we fear. It is “God’s people.” As I mentioned in an email not too long ago, our founding fathers had personal experience with church and state getting mixed up together. That’s exactly why they forbade any establishment of religion in the United States. It’s why Thomas Jefferson spoke of a “great wall of separation” between church and state in this country.

All most atheists want is for government agencies and government employees doing their jobs to stop foisting religion on the rest of us. If they want to pray on the job, let them pray silently. If students want to pray, let them pray silently or in such a place that it doesn’t interfere with other people, and let them not be influenced by the government employees (teachers or principals or their representatives).

Do you honestly want government employees teaching your children to pray? You do understand, I assume, that some of these teachers and principals will be Catholics and members of other religions. Maybe even Muslims. Maybe even no religion at all. Maybe atheists. I have never understood why any fundamentalist Christian would want to submit his or her children to religious teaching by someone they disagree with so strongly.

Court rulings should be based on the Constitution and laws of the United States and each individual state, not the 10 Commandments, shariah law, or anything else. For this reason, Signs and other depictions of the 10 Commandments have no place in court rooms or on government property.

Again, since there is no established religion in this country, our coins  should not say “in God we trust.” Our Pledge of Allegiance should not say we are “one nation under God.” We have never been a nation under God; We are a nation under the Constitution of the United States.

These are my opinions. I cannot speak for other atheists. But if you actually read what atheists say, instead of just assuming that you know, you will find that most of them seem to agree pretty closely with what I’m saying.

Anything else?

Willful, Arrogant Ignorance

This is the kind of willful, arrogant ignorance that exists in much of the religious community. This particular guy is a Muslim, but it seems to be even more prevalent among Christians.  Remember the stupid story about the Boeing 747 a lot of Christians like to talk about that was supposed to have been created by a tornado in a  junkyard?

Fortunately, not all religious people are so arrogant about being ignorant. Some have educated themselves enough to understand that evolution is real, and that it is NOT RANDOM. Nevertheless, this kind of arrogant, willful ignorance is still far too common among “believers”.

Another mistake this ridiculous video makes is to equate atheism with evolution. It claims to be about atheism, but it is obviously a parody of evolution by somebody who completely misunderstands both atheism and evolution. If you’re going to make fun of something, you ought to be sure you understand that thing first. Otherwise, it just makes you look as stupid and asinine as this idiot.

More than 150 years since Darwin published his great book On the Origin of Species — and especially now that we have Jerry Coyne’s Why Evolution Is True and Richard Dawkins’ The Greatest Show on Earth —  there’s no excuse for any educated person in the free world to believe, claim, or imply that evolution is just based on chance. Natural selection, which mainly drives evolution, is not random in any sense. And there’s overwhelming evidence that it’s real.

Wisdom from the Mouth of a Child

When I was 5, my dad and I were driving past the Catholic church in the center of my small town. It was a Sunday, and many well dressed people were milling around in front. My dad has told me the story of what happened that day many times. Our conversation went like this:

“Daddy, what is that building?”

“That is a church.”

“What is a church?”

“A church is where people pray to God.”

“What is God?”

“Some people believe there is an all powerful being who created the universe and all living things. They pray to this being they call God to ask for good things to happen and for bad things not to happen.”

After several seconds of awkward silence, my tiny voice piped up from the back seat. “Daddy do you believe in God?” He said no, and with a huge sigh of relief, I replied, “Good, because that’s the dumbest thing I ever heard.”

By 18-year-old Delaney Gold-Diamond, in her winning first place, $3,000 scholarship essay for the FFRF in 2014. Excerpted from Freethought Today, September 2014

I totally agree.