Tuesday, June 17, 2008

A little something for the skeptical part of your brain to gnaw on...

PZ Myers got a fun email from some dork who lists 50 proofs for the existence of the christian deity. Obviously if they are 50 snippets at least all of them are guaranteed to suck balls. Regardless of what you believe, at least argue for it well. My refutations are in bold.

Destruction follows:

It is easy to prove to yourself that God is real. .the evidence is all around you. Here are 50 simple proofs:

  1. Whilst agreeing that random patterns occur naturally by chance, DNA however, consists of code, which requires a designer. DNA comes from living creatures passing on their genes to the next generation. There is not a single instance where DNA has been shown to be designed, only modified.

  2. How do you explain the paranormal, such as people witnessing positive or negative sightings, like ghosts or angels? I saw a ghost with a friend of mine - I am not a liar, an attention seeker. Neither was I overtired when this happened. Anecdotal evidence is inadmissible, no matter how much rest you got.

  3. Try praying. What good is it when a mind is set to coincidence & disbelief regarding the positive outcome? Try composing intelligible sentences. Also, prayer doesn't work or you'd be dead right now.

  4. The law of cause & effect - in order to have an effect, there has to be a cause. Everything is caused by something. Read a book on Quantum Mechanics.

  5. Mindless nothing cannot be responsible for complex something. And yet a human without a functioning brain composed this list. Curious. Also, you seem to be unaware of emergent phenomena, evolution and fractal geometry.

  6. Science can only be the detector of certain things. You cannot scientifically detect emotion, memory, thoughts etc., though scientifically we must.. These things which do not consist of matter are beyond the detection of science. Ridiculous, you're basically saying that because we can't interpret software by studying the outside of a CPU that it must be supernatural. Also, and more obviously, emotions, memory and thoughts ARE detectable by natural means via brain chemistry, PET scans etc.

  7. Evolution has never been proved, which is why we call it the 'theory of evolution'. It's a fairy tale for grown ups! Anyone so courageously ignorant to publish this particular brand of idiocy is obviously to stupid to google 'scientific theory.' Semantic comparisons to popular understanding of science do not diminish the strength of evolutionary theory nor do they alleviate the crushing weight of evidence that is and always has occurred since life began.

  8. Atheism is a faith in that which has not been proved. The disbelievers have not witnessed anything to not believe in, whereas the believers believe because they have witnessed. There is no 'good news' to preach in atheism. The good news is that atheists don't have to suffer the leadership of people who are willing to dry swallow dusty old scripture despite 20 centuries of evidence to the contrary. Cognitive dissonance is a bitch, though clearly you are immune due to lack of cognition.

  9. How much of the atheist's faith relies on anger with God as opposed to genuine disbelief in God? Atheists do not have faith, therefore none. Also we don't capitalize god on purpose. See unless we begin a sentence with god there's no reason because it doesn't qualify as a Proper Noun. I do capitalize the Flying Spaghetti Monster because at least we can all agree to worship our dish most holy.

  10. Why do many atheists shake their fists & spend so much time ranting & raving about something they don't believe in? If they are no more than a fizzled out battery at the end of the day, then why don't they spend their lives partying, or getting a hobby?! Why don't they leave this 'God nonsense' alone? Because our children will grow up along side yours, and left to your own devices you would smother the human race in ritual, authority and mindless obedience for the sole purpose of power. Oh but you'll call it salvation and that sounds much better.

  11. What created God? What came first, the chicken or the egg? I am not going to deny the existence of the chicken or the egg, merely because I don't understand or know what came first. I don't care - they both exist! This is a proof? Wow usually taking a logical paradox comes with some backing argument or semblence of...anything really. I'd love to see how you would answer this but oh wait, you don't care because they both exist. And yet you presume to know better than the entire scientific community?

  12. Improbability is not the same as impossibility. You only have to look at life itself for that backup of proof. Statement one is true, congratulations on word distinction. Statement two is ironic because the people who study life and really bring scrutiny to bear on how it works, you know, in the real world, have utterly different beliefs than you.

  13. How could the complexity of human life possibly evolve on its own accord out of mindless cells? Clearly you don't understand abiogenesis or biological evolution. I feel compelled to mention that I have already answered this question and we're only 13 'proofs' down the list. I wonder if insiped repetition is bound to follow?

  14. How could the complexity of the human mind possibly evolve on its own accord out of mindless cells? Where does our consciousness come from? Why do humans have the largest cerebrums out of all the mammals? How is that only humans are conscious beings? How can you honestly pass this tripe off as proof?

  15. What/who knew that our hunger & thirst had to be catered for by the food & drink which we're supplied with? Ha! Every living creature needs chemical energy in the form of food and water. Hunger and thirst are motivators to ensure that living creatures will go to great lengths to eat and drink so they can live and mate and where do you suppose those genes end up? Baby lions and baby antelope, and what do they do when they get hungry and thirsty?

  16. Most of us are born with the five senses to detect our surroundings, which we're provided with. And some don't. Are you saying people who are born blind or deaf are not as worthy as those with all 'five' senses? If so you should really pray because you were apparently born without a fucking conscience.

  17. What/who knew that had Earth been set nearer to the sun, we would burn up? Anthropic Principle. And yes, that got put in the clipboard for I can read the next two questions.

  18. What/who knew that had Earth been set any further from the sun, we would freeze up? Anthropic Principle.

  19. What/who knew that had Earth been built larger or smaller, its atmosphere would be one where it would not be possible for us to breathe? Anthropic Principle.

  20. What/who knew that we require the oxygen of plants, just as plants require the carbon dioxide of us? Anthropic Principle.

  21. The concept that life came about through sheer chance is as absurd & improbable as a tornado blowing through a junk yard, consequently assembling a Boeing 747! Anthropic Principle. No wait, sorry, I got carried away. That argument is as stupid as saying that heavier books must carry more knowledge and insight because they need more ink. Also its not at all absurd because here we are.

  22. We are willing to believe in physically unseen waves that exist through the air, operating physical forces & appliances to work, yet not supernatural God forces being responsible for the same. Radio: Well understood form of electromagnetic radiation that is easily detectable by myriad forms of antennae. Supposed god waves: never witnessed or presumed to be witnessed only to turn out as neutrinos or wavicles or something that is later added to scientific understanding.

  23. Matter cannot organise itself. An uneaten tomato will not progress on its own accord to form a perfect pineapple. It will transform into mould, into disorganisation. The laws of evolution fall flat. Wow, this is a weird corruption of the second law of thermodynamics kludged together with a bit of nonsense. Of course tomatoes don't become pineapples. What about pineapple seeds? Do they not organize themselves into full grown plants? Do embryoes not organize themselves into larger multicellular organisms? Do you know how to spell organize?

  24. Our 'inventor' of evolution, Mr. Charles Darwin had this to say to Lady Hope when he was almost bedridden for 3 months before he died; "I was a young man with unfathomed ideas. I threw out queries, suggestions. wondering all the time over everything, and to my astonishment the ideas took like wildfire - people made a religion of them." Darwin then asked Lady Hope to speak to neighbours the next day. "What shall I speak about?" She asked. He replied; "Christ Jesus and his salvation. Is that not the best theme?" Darwin did not recant. Even if he did his theory has born up to the bewildered cudgels of dim wits and bright-minded people for over 150 years. Also you seem to be suggesting that brilliant people only turn to religion when faced with sickness and death.

  25. Where do our moral values held within our conscience come from? If the atheist is right, why then would we care about what we did?! If there is no God, then we've no-one to be accountable to. I agree, we as civilized humans, are not accountable after death. Society still needs to function and if people go around doing anti-social things there are things like laws and customs to keep them from hurting others. Do you really need a reason not to go out and kill people willy nilly? Isn't their a shred of human dignity you want to leave alone?

  26. If man has evolved from an animal, why doesn't he behave like an animal? Yet man is civilised. Ok...Animals are born, they eat food to grow, they learn how to live as whatever type of animal they are, they mate or spawn and then they die. Humans are born, they eat food and grow, they learn to live as a human, they mate and then they die. The fact that culture has evolved to make it possible for humans to cooperate and help each other does not alter our biological origins nor does civilization diminish the leftover instincts and impulses that we carry from our ancestors. Oh sorry, were you using your appendix for something?

  27. 'Chance' isn't the cause of something. It just describes what we can't find a reason for. 'Chance' is a dumbasses substitution for 'probability.' Life, indeed even non-life does not operate solely by chance nor does it profit solely by choice. If it were purely up to chance then life would not have evolved, anywhere ever. Obviously the universe, physics and chemistry allow for natural processes to account for life's origin, its continued development and its constant adaptation over billions of years.

  28. Science & logic do not hold all the answers - many people are aware of forces at work which we have no understanding of & no control over. Who are they? Why haven't they proved these forces exist and made millions of dollars banishing any doubt that these 'forces' exist. Psychics don't win the lottery, think about that.

  29. Look at the date/year on our calender - 2000 years ago since what? Our historical records (other than the Bible) record evidence of Jesus' existence. He very well may have existed. How does a convention prove anything other than he was a man?

  30. Many people have died for their faith. Would they be prepared to do this for a lie?! If they believed it to be true then yes, they wouldn't see it as a lie. You probably believe that you're qualified to write a book and that's just not bearing out.

  31. Much of the Bible deals with eyewitness accounts, written only 40 years after Jesus died. When the books in the New Testament were first around, there would have been confusion & anger if the books were not true. Why the fuck did it take 40 years? Why weren't people shouting this crap from the rooftops at all hours of the day? Why not 4 years or even 4 days. The human lifespan during the first century wasn't even 40 years. Also these people had no access to television or radio or even literature. Obscure events that happened in 1968 could easily be fabricated or exagerrated and with no way to fact check people would probably believe it.

  32. From as early as 2000 BC, there is archaological evidence to confirm many details we're provided with in the Bible. Like the flood? Like miracles with no empirical evidence to show for them? Like the world being created before the sun, like liquid water being on the surface of the planet without a sun to maintain its temperature? What am I missing?

  33. Not one single Biblical prediction can be shown as false, and the Bible contains hundreds. The bible also contains about 400 contradictions and the historicity of the bible is questionable at best. Proof:

  34. The evidence from liturature & historical studies claim that Biblical statements are reliable details of genuine events. So if literature and historical studies didn't turn up a single scrap of archeological or corroborative evidence that the jews wandered the desert for 40 years you'd recant on that right? No of course not because there is none and you still believe in the bible. Also, anecdotal evidence polluted by thousands of years of history and discovery does not mean that miracles ever used to happen or ever will happen.

  35. From the birth of science through to today, there is no evidence to claim that Christianity & science are in opposition. Many first scientists were Christians; Francis Bacon, Issaac Newton, Robert Boyle, to name a few, along with the many who stand by their work & faith today. There have been a lot of christian scientists throughout the ages. There have also been a lot of assholes who charge people like galileo with heresy because he looked at the moon and saw craters instead of divine perfection. That's the sort of problem we run into when dogma meets empirical contradiction.

  36. Science can explain 'how' something works, but not 'why' something works. Unless there's evidence for it...

  37. Science is constantly recorrecting its findings. Past theories contradict certain beliefs which are held today. Our present 'discoveries' may change again in the future to rediscover how we originally came into existence. That's how science works and its a virtue, not a vice.

  38. Evolution describes the way life possibly started, yet doesn't explain what made life start & why. Scientific questions fail to do that. Even if evolution were proved, it would still not disprove God. Abiogenesis describes how life probably started, evolution fills in the 4 billion year timetable and again, emergence/Anthropic Principle. Also, why are you backpedaling on science all of a sudden. Early on you couldn't give it the time of day now you are hedging...curious.

  39. The two people who discovered Jesus' empty tomb were women. Women were so low on the social scale in first century Palestine, so in order to make the story fit, it would have made far more sense to claim that it were male disciples who had entered the tomb. But it wasn't - we're left with the historical & Biblical truth. Let me quote you "Improbability is not the same as impossibility" See, shot yourself in the foot there.

  40. Think about Near Death Experiences. It's naive to believe that they all are induced by chemicals or drugs. How do we account for a blind person having this experience, coming back to describe what they had never before seen, a person telling the Doctor that there is a blue paperclip on top of the high cabinet, which they couldn't have otherwise known, an african man being dead in his coffin for 3 days, coming back to life to tell of much the same events which took place as those of many others? We never hear of the witnesses describing "a dream". We're not silly - we know the difference between even the most vivid of dreams to that of reality. Should have copied 'anecdotal evidence is not admissible' so I could just control+V this one.

  41. There are many skeptics who didn't believe in Jesus before his crucifixion, and who were opposed to Christianity, yet turned to the Christian faith after the death of Jesus. Just as the many who continue to do so today. And urban legends find new people to propagate them everyday as well, does that mean anything to you? It should because it follows a truism: Bullshit begets bullshit.

  42. Albert Einstein said; "A legitimate conflict between science & religion cannot exist. Science without religion is lame; religion without science is blind". Albert Einstein also said "A man's ethical behavior should be based effectually on sympathy, education, and social ties; no religious basis is necessary. Man would indeed be in a poor way if he had to be restrained by fear of punishment and hope of reward after death."

  43. A speaker in Hyde Park who was attacking belief in God, claimed that the world just happened. As he spoke, a soft tomato was thrown at him. "Who threw that?" He said angrily. A cockney from the back of the crowd replied; "No-one threw it - it threw itself!" The same argument can be made that if god created the universe and everything in it that includes your face and my bucket of feces. And if the bucket of feces winds up on your head it must be gods will otherwise it wouldn't have happened. Or 'god created the bucket for your head' will do nicely.

  44. It is easier to believe that God created something out of nothing than it is to believe that nothing created something out of nothing. It is easier to believe that miraculous claims, having no evidence other than circumstantial and anecdotal are probably false rather than true. It's also easier to believe that if god was complex enough to create the universe than a being of equal or greater complexity would have to create god. Otherwise you get 'nothing created god who created something out of nothing' and that's even dumber than Kent Hovind on Quaaludes.

  45. Stephen Hawkins has admitted; "Science may solve the problem of how the universe began, but it cannot answer the question: why does the universe bother to exist?" Anecdotal...ah fuck it. Stephen Hawkins is a man, not a prophet, he's not featured in the holy book or any prophecy about a man from the new babylon who rides around speaking like a robot. Why does his voice carry so much weight for you god and not allah or vishnu or any other made up deity?

  46. We cannot confuse God with man. With God in the equation, all things, including miracles are possible. If God is God, he is Creator of all, inclusive of scientific law. He is Creator of matter & spirit. Self-contradictory statement! If miracles are possible then science would be utterly futile because the rules could change at any time and trying to make sense of it would be impossible because a finely tuned experiment could go awry at any time. I trust the hubble telescope more than any holy text ever written by man.

  47. If we are the product of evolution - by sheer accident, chance, then we are still evolving. Does it just so happen that we exist here today with everything so finely tuned for our living. as we now have it? We are still evolving, you managed to sneak an actual observation only 47 items down the list. I'm not going to trot out the anthropic principle but I will reiterate that if conditions had not been right then we wouldn't exist to complain about not existing.

  48. Could it possibly be that the missing link does not exist?! There are thousands of transitional fossils, just because there aren't any weird animals that fit your disney land freakshow definitions doesn't mean evolution is suffering for it.

  49. God has proved himself to us in numerous ways, all around us. The atheist needs to put his glasses on. What more can God possibly do if man has shut his eyes to him? As a near-sighted individual one can pose the obvious counter question: Why is it so easy for redneck evangelicals to see this magic man than the most brilliant minds on the planet earth? If the idea of god made sense more people would believe in it. Your faith is based on gullibility, fear and peer pressure. If you want an honest answer on how god could reach more people then you better reach for the pliers and a blowtorch because it'll take torture to make people swallow your half-baked theology.

  50. Jesus Christ is either who he says he is, or he is the biggest con man history has ever known. Con man, or schizophrenic, or maybe he's just the fabrication of an archetypal brand of messiah that was running rampant at that time.


I have decided this: Just because some people buy your book doesn't mean you or any of them are worth the ink and paper its printed on. You will die expecting to go to heaven and you won't even be disappointed to find out that it was all a dream, because you'll be dead.

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