Judgement Day

Judgment Day: Intelligent Design on Trial.

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Verdict: what all unbiased, rational people already knew: so-called intelligent design is just creationism in a not-so cunning disguise.

I could kiss Barbra Forrest for uncovering the cdesign proponentsists gaffe.

Biblical Errancy

Only Biblical literalists falsely claim that the Bible is the inerrant word of God. They do this despite all the evidence that contradicts this claim — evidence that is in the Bible itself.

Moderate Christians accept the reality of inconsistencies. The fascinating part of this phenomenon lies in how the mistakes came to pass.

This is a lecture by Bart Ehrman, biblical historian and author, at Stanford University in 2007.

Individual parts:
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10.


An Honest Search for the Truth

Playlist: A very good analysis of atrocities and inconsistencies in the Bible is here. The series was created by a couple who deconverted from fundamentalist Christianity. Unfortunately, the playlist is not embeddable.


Why I Dislike Some Christians

More specifically, I dislike their illogic and irrationality. I have known creationists whom I have personally liked, but I actively dislike creationist lies, illogic, and regurgitated misinformation.

Not only do creationists not understand science, they completely misunderstand the empiricist, rational basis for atheism. Creationist actually further delude themselves into thinking that lies will convince atheists to abandon rationality and embrace ridiculous beliefs. They have obviously heard that atheists value empirical evidence and logic, but they have no actual comprehension or experience of these qualities. It's not just that they don't get it, very often it seems that they can't get it.

They love nothing more than to invent "facts" or to repeat the lies of other, equally stupid, creationists.

This is why creationists disable ratings on their YouTube videos. This is why creationists moderate and remove comments.

Actually, I do the same thing, but simply because I do not have the time on a very small channel to read, yet again, regurgitated creationist falsehoods and fallacies of logic. I am quite willing, however, to debate creationists on the more open forums of atheist videos on big channels.

This comment will probably not be posted, so I'm putting it below. I wrote it in response to yet another lie-packed brag about converting atheists. (On a video uploaded by P4cmDebateSeries)

If I sound grumpy, it is because I am grumpy. The woman giving the speech is wearing a t-shirt that proclaims EX-atheist. Another lie — once one is rational, nothing short of Alzheimers will render one irrational. Most, if not all, who claim that they were once atheists who have converted back to belief are lying through their teeth.

What's more, their prior position or the position of others is irrelevant to the question of the truth value of their beliefs. The fact that the truth of a belief is not determined by who believes it is amongst the many things that creationists fail to understand. Ugh!

The video is not worth watching. It contains the usual creationist denial of palaeontological evidence by someone who cannot even pronounce palaeontology (with or without the dipthong). Creationists do this, despite the fact that there are many transitional fossils, because molecular genetic evidence is not only more damning, but also utterly incomprehensible to those can only understand simplistic mechanisms (godidit).

Here's the creationist comment to which I responded:

"There are many top scientists who have to admit that there is God. They don't talk about it because in the scientific community, what they're doing now is getting rid of you if you say anything about "Intelligent Design" or "God." (This is true) But many of them still hold the belief that evolution is not true, more than you might think.I'm glad that a bio class didn't shake your faith!"
Here, for what it's worth is my grumpy comment:

"Pure mendacity [the video], including the "ex-atheist" lie.

93% of top scientists are atheists. The numbers are even higher for biologists. What does that tell you?

Most of those who signed the stupid anti-Darwinism statement were not biologists, they were creationists.

Get your facts straight. Lies are not convincing to rational people, even though they have clearly fooled you and Miss EX-atheist.

Even judges know that ID is creationism in disguise.

Pity that school didn't teach you anything. Ah yes, you are in America."

I make no apologies for having a low opinion of educational standards in America — my opinion is justified by a number of facts.


stooooopid arguments

I cannot be bothered with YouTubes ridiculous 500 character limit here on GREAT ATHEISTIC QUOTES [their caps, not mine].

In spite-bite after spite-bite, a Christian pseudo-apologist regurgiquoter deludes herself into thinking that she is refuting atheism.

First, let us be clear. Atheism is simply lack of belief in gods. Incredulity comes in slightly different official degrees, but one either believes (despite lack of evidence) or one disbelieves (because of lack of evidence).

We all fail to believe in a great many things – such as purple people eaters – but atheism specifically rejects all the claims about a variety of supernatural deities.

If people would desist from believing in supernatural deities – and particularly from making claims about the existence of such imaginary entities, and especially from attacking the lives or rights of others on the basis of ancient scriptural dogma – then atheism would evaporate as a movement. Lack of belief in supernatural deities would, of course, persist because that is the only rational position in light of the utter lack of evidence or evidence that cannot be better explained otherwise.

AnnaAgainstAtheists – how imaginative! – has poured out fallacy after fallacy in a vain attempt to make her case. Mostly, she resorts to fallacious ad hominems that appear to originate in her unwarranted and obvious arrogance. I won't bore you with all her regurgiquoted fallacies. Suffice to say that there is not a single cogent argument amongst all her verbose outpourings.

I thought that I knew where her quoting an American court decision** was going, but I asked for clarification just in case I was doing her intellect an injustice.

I was not.

Anna was probably relying on the possibility that tuber have not done their homework. She was going after one of the currently too-popular tu quoque equivocations. Anna also loves the typical religionist ploy of assuming that uppercase will make her nonsense TRUE.

"That LACKBELIEFS claims by atheists are nonsensical because Atheism has been legally recognised as an alternative (Godless) religion, and that atheists who fail to recognise this are worryingly incoherent and insincere with themselves and have lost the place in life and need to pray to God to find their way again, and tthat's my point."

The case? In essence, federal inmate "Kaufman's argument that the prison officials violated his constitutional rights when they refused to give him permission to start a study group for atheist inmates at the prison."

It transpired that the court decided that Kaufman's First Amendment Rights had indeed been violated.

So what?

Legal definitions have zero to do with the truth value of any of the beliefs in question. Period.

Neither do dictionary definitions of religion inform about the truth value of religions. In the court case, the broadest definition of religion was employed, rendering the question of atheism's being a "religion" virtually meaningless.

This still has zero to do with questions concerning the truth value of atheism or of theisms.

In short, it's yet another stooooopid, theistic tu quoque ploy.

It has also been my repeated observation that theists care nothing about truth, and little, if anything about morality. Moralistics, yes. Morality, no.

Anna has clearly lost her way in a rational sense. Whatever her education, she flunks Logic 101.

Despite all her rantings against atheism, she seems oblivious to the fact that preaching that atheists ought to pray to an Imaginary SkyPoppa are both pointless and circular. She seems unaware that most atheists are better educated than she. Anna is also unaware that her ridiculous arguments have been repeatedly refuted in the comments section.

However, the first essential of being a true believer is to eschew all sense of reality.

Go back to Chapel, or wherever, Anna! You are wasting your time and ours.

Except, of course, for the fact that I enjoy refuting religionist illogic.

**An excerpt:

"The Supreme Court has recognized atheism as equivalent to a "religion" for purposes of the First Amendment on numerous occasions, most recently in McCreary County, Ky. v. American Civil Liberties Union of Ky., ___ U.S. ___, 125 S.Ct. 2722, ___ L.Ed.2d ___ (2005). The Establishment Clause itself says only that "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion," but the Court understands the reference to religion to include what it often calls "nonreligion." In McCreary County, it described the touchstone of Establishment Clause analysis as "the principle that the First Amendment mandates government neutrality between religion and religion, and between religion and nonreligion." Id. at *10 (internal quotations omitted). As the Court put it in Wallace v. Jaffree, 472 U.S. 38, 105 S.Ct. 2479, 86 L.Ed.2d 29 (1985):
At one time it was thought that this right [referring to the right to choose one's own creed] merely proscribed the preference of one Christian sect over another, but would not require equal respect for the conscience of the infidel, the atheist, or the adherent of a non-Christian faith such as Islam or Judaism. But when the underlying principle has been examined in the crucible of litigation, the Court has unambiguously concluded that the individual freedom of conscience protected by the First Amendment embraces the right to select any religious faith or none at all.
Id. at 52-53, 105 S.Ct. 2479. In keeping with this idea, the Court has adopted a broad definition of "religion" that includes non-theistic and atheistic beliefs, as well as theistic ones. Thus, in Torcaso v. Watkins, 367 U.S. 488, 81 S.Ct. 1680, 6 L.Ed.2d 982, it said that a state cannot "pass laws or impose requirements which aid all religions as against non-believers, and neither can [it] aid those religions based on a belief in the existence of God as against those religions founded on different beliefs." Id. at 495, 81 S.Ct. 1680. Indeed, Torcaso specifically included "Secular Humanism" as an example of a religion. Id. at 495 n. 11, 81 S.Ct. 1680.
It is also noteworthy that the administrative code governing Wisconsin prisons states that one factor the warden is prohibited from considering in deciding whether an inmate's request to form a new religious group should be granted is "the absence
from the beliefs of a concept of a supreme being." See Wis. Admin. Code § DOC 309.61(d)(3), cited in Kaufman v. McCaughtry, 2004 WL 257133, at *9. Atheism is, among other things, a school of thought that takes a position on religion, the existence and importance of a supreme being, and a code of ethics. As such, we are satisfied that it qualifies as Kaufman's religion for purposes of the First Amendment claims he is attempting to raise."


More Stupidity

I refer, of course, to creationists and to YouTube management.

Because creationist and religionist delusions are based on nothing but stubborn insistence on scriptural "inerrancy", religionists/creationists (usuallly the same thing) must rely on lies and cheating. Their latest, predictably pathetic, tricks include use of votebots to falsely deflate the ratings of their intelligent rivals.

Some fools are whining that this creationist tactic is not about religion. Presumably, these fools are religious. Atheists would not make such an error of judgement.

YouTube’s actions have been lamentable and ill-advised:

● Their police uphold the flagging of inoffensive material, yet they ignore complaints about hate speech (despite their stated guidelines).

● They provide a means to search for videos and provide means by which to rate popular videos, yet they ignore votebot distortions of video ratings.

● They ignore attempts to contact them via the regular channels, yet punish those who are forced to employ the back (profit-promoting) door.

● They supposedly support free speech, definitely protect hate speech, yet they remove videos that might cause them some difficulties.

Tubers have several options:
1. Contact YouTube through the suggested back-door route.
2. Download and upload videos such as those of ZOMGitsCriss in case it too is removed.
3. Resort to yet another boycott – profit-motivated corporations must pay attention to the balance sheet
4. Move videos and accounts from YouTube and transfer to a more responsive video support site
5. Engage in a Red Queen game and use votebots in the same way that creationist and religionist cheats are doing.
6. Any, or all, of the above.


Expelled from Expelled!

Two intelligent, articulate, mild-mannered men discuss the stupidity that is "Expelled" and the ridiculous circumstances surrounding PZ's expulsion from a showing of "Expelled".

This video has attracted a whining windbag who is resorting to typical "christian" well poisoning. He, perhaps she, has repeatedly failed to put his money where his big mouth is, and has failed to answer questions. That is, he clearly wishes to fling vague accusations without any back-up information.

Here's one of this blathering fool's accusations:

"PZ Myers called for people to steal hosts from churches and send them to him so that he could desecrate them. And people did as he requested."
"Hosts" refers, as I suspected, to communion wafers. To bland, boring, crackers. Far better, as a friend pointed out, to steal the communion wine.

Clearly, this chrisfool* will not be forthcoming with factual information, so I did a little research.

Apparently, one person mouthed a bit of Eucharist bread. The individual was apprehended, so the mouthed morsel does not star in the image below.

Here's PZ on the pictorial desecration of a cracker. It's not clear that this is a purploined pastry, because the "handful of inedible crackers in PZ's [sic] possession" could have been purchased at a grocery store. Regardless, this is not grand larceny. Here is PZ's account:

"I'm sorry to say that I only aspire to be a teeny-tiny bit evil, and my target is a handful of virtually inedible crackers in my possession. It's not much, and all I can say in my defense is…it's a start. A very small start. I'm going to need lots and lots of people to rise up and follow suit, subjecting old, dishonest institutions of hardened dogma to our chief weapon of ridicule and deris…our two weapons of ridicule, derision and laughter…no, three weapons of ridicule, derision, laughter, and skeptici…oh, never mind. You know what I mean. Get to work.

OK, time for the anticlimax. I know some of you have proposed intricate plans for how to do horrible things to these crackers, but I repeat…it's just a cracker. I wasn't going to make any major investment of time, money, or effort in treating these dabs of unpleasantness as they deserve, because all they deserve is casual disposal. However, inspired by an old woodcut of Jews stabbing the host, I thought of a simple, quick thing to do: I pierced it with a rusty nail (I hope Jesus's tetanus shots are up to date). And then I simply threw it in the trash, followed by the classic, decorative items of trash cans everywhere, old coffeegrounds and a banana peel. My apologies to those who hoped for more, but the worst I can do is show my unconcerned contempt."

No wonder chrisadnauseam does not wish to provide citations for his accusations!

PZ Myers writes very well; following an erudite exposition of the symbolism of crackers, PZ describes the mysterical response to his comments about crackers.

"All of the regular readers have seen it — thousands of mindless comments by Catholics, demanding that no harm come to a cracker. My email is melting down with swarms of insults, threats, pleas, and promises of prayers because I threatened to violate one of their holy crackers. In my years of loud and often inflammatory blogging, it is the most impressive demonstration of mass lunacy I have ever seen."

Amongst chris-twits many well-poisoning accusations is one in which he accuses Dawkins and Myers of "hate speech". Chris-twerp clearly wishes to reserve that prerogative for "christians".

Let's look at the realities: there is no evidence of a supernatural deity, and there is no evidence that a man called Jesus ever lived, let alone incited the Romans to crucify him. There should be evidence of an omnipotent being, and the Romans kept records of major events.

Since there is no deity, the purported Jesus could not be the son-of-god or god-in-a-cunning-disguise, or whichever myth the deluded ascribe to.

This means that had a preacher called Jesus died on cross (what an empty gesture!) for our Bible-defined sins, he was not in line for supernatural beneficence. A non-deity-assisted human could not have risen from the dead.

Any way that you look at the evidence, a cracker could not be the body of Christ. If, however, that cracker were the body of Christ, eating him seems a greater crime than palming a wafer.

* I have no intention of advertising this idiot's channel for him. In order to do justice to his intentions, it suffices to reproduce his own words:

"Though most Eucharistic desecration videos have been removed from you tube, these videos stand pretty much on their own as saintly examples of self-sacrificial love, and so I desire to keep these videos posted. I hope you enjoy these little videos about some very great saints!"

"Self-sacrificial love" presumably refers to the man who never was. The fictional Jesus who was never the son of a mortal, let alone of a non-existent deity; and, accordingly, who could never have died on a cross. This is particularly likely since the Roman authorities made no record of such an historical event. Even if he had lived, not being the Son of God, this preacher could not have risen from the dead.

Why do the credulous believe whatever impossible-myth-of-choice? Because their slavish devotion to a delusion carries the imagined guarantee of eternal life at the loving side of the man who never was.

It's enough to make me toss my cookies!

Want more PZ writings on wafers?