Richard Dawkins: The Greatest Show on Earth

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Richard Dawkins: The Greatest Show on EarthWhen he has that fire in his belly, Richard Dawkins is arguably the greatest living popularizer of evolution.

His foundational work, The Selfish Gene, inspired a generation of evolutionary biology students, while The God Delusion was a powerfully effective self-esteem booster for atheists in the closet.

With his new book, splendidly titled The Greatest Show on Earth, Dawkins joins other popularizers in what has become almost a rite of passage - to make the case for evolution to the general public.

It's like the ring the bell game at the county fair where every able young male feels obliged to step up and swing the giant mallet.

Watch the full documentary now

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Ratings: 8.62/10 from 52 users.
  • http://www.facebook.com/raodhammer Road Hammer

    I wander after all this scientific prove about existence if God he still talking like this. just one little move about quantum conciseness must make him to see there is something, now what ever you call it. just one little look to bacteria's tail must change his mind, but why it dose not. the God that he not believing knows.

  • Bohrfanboy

    my eyes are bleeding

  • Irishkev

    Yeah man, I have a science background and when I got to looking at things closely it convinced me that there has to be a higher power.

  • Humble_Pie

    Mr Dawkins is a proponent of one side of the false dichotomy between scientific dogma and religous dogma. That is, you are meant to believe that either the universe and everything in it was created in less than a week by some guy with a beard sitting on a cloud or else it all self-generated by some series of startling accidental coincidences. His arguments are based on a scientific method (i.e. if it can't be measured in a lab then it doesn't exist). There is, of course, a great number of alternative theories. Anyone who can think for themselves knows that there is certainly a spiritual element to our lives as human beings (if not all sentient beings). To deny this is similar to denying that organisms adapt to their environment. This type of evolution is an undeniable fact. However a summary peek at the complexity of even the simplest cell, gives lie to the 'theory' that these came about due to some accidental banging together of some molecules in a primordial soup.

  • 0zyxcba1

    There is no such thing as "scientific dogma!"

  • Humble_Pie

    Oh yes there is. Take man-made global warming for example, or the Big Bang for that matter

  • 0zyxcba1

    Oh no there isn't!

    Catholic dogma states that after Jesus' birth there was no 'after birth' and that Mary's hymen was still in tact. That is dogma. It is proclaimed immutable truth and, therefore, by definition, not subject to change, true from everlasting to everlasting.

    That is dogma!

    All scientific knowledge is falsifiable. After 300 years Einstein proved(repeat PROVED) Newton wrong. The experiment was carried out by Sir Arthur Eddington.

    That does not sound like "dogma" to me!

    0z

  • Humble_Pie

    Proving Newton wrong is not proving Einstein right.
    Man-made global warming is "proclaimed immutable truth, not subject to change' by the scientific and political community. It is taught in our schools as fact without definitive proof. That too is dogma.

  • 0zyxcba1

    @ Humble_Pie
    "...global warming for example, or the Big Bang..."

    The 'Big Bang' is being seriously questioned by cosmologists RIGHT NOW! Many alternate theories are being put forth that there was a 'BEFORE' the so-called 'Big Bang'. Whether any one of these alternate theories will prove to be correct depends upon falsifiable evidence and independently repeatable experiments.

    As far as global warming goes, you are seriously confused as to the difference between science and politics.

    My sense is that you do not know what the scientific method even IS.

    0z

  • 0zyxcba1

    @ Humble_Pie
    "Proving Newton wrong is not proving Einstein right."

    That depends on who and how Newton it is proved wrong. In this case it was Einstein who PROVED Newton to be wrong. And how that proof was verified was via measuring the angle of curvature of the light from a star during a full eclipse measured by Eddington on the island of Príncipe near Africa during that full solar eclipse of 29 May 1919.

    0z

  • Humble_Pie

    The virgin birth is also being seriously questioned by many people right now. Unfortunately it is a little late to go back and check on the status of said hymen. Otherwise this too could be falsifiable.
    I am not confused about the difference between science and politics, however many proponents of the MMGW theory seem to be (see Climate Research Unit, East Anglia).
    Your senses regarding my understanding of THE scientific method are just plain wrong.

  • TheKlingonFarmer

    11 comments? Vent, Jesus people, vent! Come on, you know you've got something to add! Plus I want to read your comments and laugh.

  • http://topdocumentaryfilms.com/about/ Vlatko

    @Humble_Pie,

    As @0zyxcba1 already explained to you: Dogma is proclaimed immutable truth and, therefore, by definition, not subject to change, true from everlasting to everlasting.

    Therefore it doesn't matter if the virgin birth is also being seriously questioned by many people right now, because the church won't let that supposed fact to change. Their religion will fall apart if they do.

    On the other hand as @0zyxcba1 said all scientific knowledge is falsifiable. If the Big Bang doesn't withstand the burden of counter evidence (I highly doubt it) it will be eradicated as the stupidest idea ever proclaimed.

    Also the Global Warming "facts" are challenged and questioned on a daily basis (there are docs on that matter here) and if proven wrong the GW will have to die.

    That also stands for every single theory ever proposed by science. In fact every theory has to satisfy two requirements: It must accurately describe a large class of observations on the basis of a model that contains only a few arbitrary elements, and it must make definite predictions about the results of future observations.

    The falsifiable nature of theories is a necessary consequence of using inductive logic.

    Does this sound like a dogma to you?

  • 0zyxcba1

    @ Humble_Pie
    global warming -- "proclaimed immutable truth" (lol)

    Climatology is an exceedingly complex interdisciplinary field of study. That global warming is occurring is a measurable fact, just like the temperature on the Fourth of July is measurable. That is not DOGMA, that is a thermometer, you nincompoop!

    There are many causes. Firstly, climate change is natural and goes on with, or without, people.

    The hot potato is to what extent human burning of fossil fuels is affecting global warming. There is proper scientific debate on the subject.

    Keep in mind that those who really run your schools and own your so-called 'free press' are the same people who own oil companies. Do you honestly believe that they are above lying. Do you honestly believe everything corporations tell you. They put out this propaganda, not scientists. Scientists hardly ever get more than a sound byte, if that.

    There are no 'immutable truths' in science! (lol)

    Everything is always subject to falsification. No scientific investigation has, to date, been able to show that global warming is not taking place. That is not dogma any more than the weather channel telling you that is hit 90 on the Fourth of July. Reading a thermometer is not DOGMA.

    Why and how climate change is occurring is open to question and is indeed questioned, and there are many theories, all of which must withstand testing before any one of them can be said to be true.

    0z

  • 0zyxcba1

    @ Humble_Pie
    The virgin birth is also being seriously questioned by many people right now.

    Among those "many people" you will not find one single Catholic bishop!

    This is Catholic dogma we're talking about, not human dogma. (lol)

    I, for example, do not only question Catholic dogma, I laugh at it. But that doesn't make it go away.

    Think.

    That's why you have a brain!

    0z

    P.S.:
    "Catholic dogma states that after Jesus' birth there was no 'after birth' and that Mary's hymen was still in tact." Is what I said, not just 'virgin birth'.

    You're slipping and sliding all over the ice!

  • 0zyxcba1

    @ Humble_Pie
    "Your senses regarding my understanding of THE scientific method are just plain wrong."

    Oh, yeah?

    And just what are my "senses?"

    More importantly, what are yours?

    0z

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Rodrigo-Pereira/1066815623 Rodrigo Pereira

    This guy is a dangerous fundamentalist, motivated to destroy what's left of being human in all of us, humanity is not measured in a lab, human existence is beyond explanation, it's misterious and unpredictable, religion is in essence trying that humans think beyond a human level.
    Short sighted and traumatized individuals like Mr. Dawkins belong to those near Hitler or Estaline, they think they are helping humanity, but they are just trying to get a revenge for their egocentric childhood traumas.

  • Guest

    Who let the dogmas out?

  • Mendel Gregor

    Is there something more egocentric then insisting that you are the one thing that is beyond measure? That you are the one thing in the universe that is so splendid as to be beyond explanation?

    You go on, you bright shining marvel you, knowing that you are the most wondrous thing to ever exist and that the entire expanse of the universe was just a back drop for your ineffable visage.

    And be secure in the knowledge that anyone who so much as suggests that you might not be so magnificent as to be beyond our comprehension, must just be too damaged to see you for the miniature god you are.

  • Guest
  • Guest

    Rock out, Mendel! That. Was. AWESOME! ( I wish I could have said it so well. )

  • Achems_Razor

    Wondered where everybody went?

  • jonathan jackward

    yeah, and if someone used a tape measure to build a house their a satanist too right ........must me.........

  • jonathan jackward

    2 words UNIFIED FIELD google it everybody

  • Humble_Pie

    @ Vlatko.
    I have visited your excellent site many times in the last year. I have watched many excellent, some good and some not so good docs and I thank you for that. This is the first time I have seen fit to make a personal comment and admit that I was surprised by the response. Especially when (I presume) grown adults start resorting to silly name-calling. My point was merely to highlight what I see as a false dichotomy i.e. that either the fundamentalist evolutionaries like Dawkins are right or that fundamentalist religions are right. I tend to think that both are most likely wrong. Attacking my use of the word DOGMA (one definition of which is: a belief, principle or doctrine) in relation to science is pure semantics. If it looks like dogma and smells like dogma.....

  • robertallen1

    Don't you wish that you knew what you're talking about?

  • PavolvsBitch

    It cannot be refuted, it is undeniable fact that there has been an agenda to debase mankind's self perception and dim his/her perspective to the evidence providing unequivacle proof that evolution just doesn't fit, it doesn't work, it cannot be substantiated. The propagandists of the theory of evolution do not believe for one moment that they descended from apes; they have or know of the archaological facts which cannot contrive to make man out of ape. Evidently, not too strenuous to make monkeys of men judging from your type of comments. Evolution is a religion which spawns the false justification for radical depopulation measures; it is a murderous deceit foistered upon the hard of thinking who gag at the latest 'genius' to be paraded before their dim-witted vision. Evolution is a cult and it's premise remains nothing more than a novel theory.

  • 0zyxcba1

    @ Humble_Pie
    "...grown adults start resorting to silly name-calling."

    With all due respect, in @Vlatko's post(clearly seen above) there is no "name-calling," silly, or otherwise. Anybody who doubts the truth of this assertion need only read @Vlatko's comment, now.

    I called you a "nincompoop!"

    Unlike myself(anything but 'gentle') @Vlatko is a gentleman!

    I urge you to reread @Vlatko's comment and then to reread yours, you nincompoop!

    0z

  • over the edge

    @DaftAida
    please show me where evolution states "make man out of ape" . and to say "Evolution is a religion" really ? Ok what is evolutions dogma, holy book, where do evolutionists meet and most importantly who is the supernatural deity that is worshiped? where in the theory of evolution does it support "justification for radical depopulation measures"? and last but not least where is this "unequivacle proof that evolution just doesn't fit,"? you can make all the statements you want but can you back them up?

  • Mendel Gregor

    @ Daft

    First off, evolution is the one of the most solidly supported “theories”. The fossil and DNA evidence for evolution are overwhelming. If you want to question the validity of a theory, you’d better start with gravity because it’s a lot softer target then evolution.

    Second, we didn’t evolve from apes, or monkeys. We are apes, and the other apes our are closest living relatives. They’re our cousins, not our grandparents.

    Third, evolutionary biology has no political agenda. It’s documenting the billion years epic of life on earth struggling to survive. Evolution is merely the byproduct of things that are unequivocally true in our universe. How does the knowledge that “life on earth” is singular, and that that life has taking on many shapes in it’s attempt to perpetuate itself through time, possibly lead you to the believe that you should commit genocide?

    Finally, science is not a religion. It has no dogma, it has no agenda. It just states whatever all the evidence points to. If the evidence was different it would say something else. It has no attachment to any particular position, other then in regards to whither or not it’s true. And yes, scientist really believe we are apes, because that’s what all the evidence says. Trust me, I just went down the hall and asked them.

  • Guest

    They ran to see a Doc that is not made of Lies and Fables LOL Of Coarse I knew you would be right on time to watch this/ LOL Thats why I looked and there you are first in row LOL

  • Guest

    LMAO Vlatko

  • Guest

    Hey I like this feature, I went to look up Godwins Law and all I had to do was hit the link. Kool !

  • Guest

    Don't bother Achems giving me a speech I am going to watch Banned from the bible for the 100th time till the next Doc. comes out. Yeah , yeah, I know. My ears are plugged what did you say LOL

  • Humble_Pie

    @Ozyxcba
    I wasn't talking to you ! I was replying to Vlatko ABOUT you as I had decided not to respond to you and your childish name-calling. Whilst I disagree with some of Vlatkos assertions, I certainly didn't accuse him personally of any such nonsense. Please take the time to think before you write.

  • 0zyxcba1

    @ Humble_Pie
    "Attacking my use of the word DOGMA..." is in direct reference
    to @Vlatko's posting to you. Pointing out to you the distinction between dogma and scientific inquiry when that distinction is the subject at hand can hardly be justly characterized as "Attacking [your] use of the word DOGMA."

    Your use of the word 'dogma' was misplace. Pointing this out is not "attacking" you.

    What should one talk about? Wallpaper?

    0z

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Rodrigo-Pereira/1066815623 Rodrigo Pereira

    I will explain it briefly. Atheism is simply not believing in God, Dawkins as a will to endoctrinate the world as if atheism was a religion every one should follow because he feels that all religious belief should be abandoned and that it would bring a better world.

    People belief that religion are responsible for wars and that religious people are just pretty stupid primitive people, in a few years they go from stupid people to inferior people more two or three books from Dawkins maybe they become prosecuted.

    How stupid and primitive and blind is the thought that religion causes wars.
    Religion can be used for deception, it's nice for everyone to think that muslims are the problem when the real problem is oil, or that catholicism is the problem when the real issue is conquest and colonialism and to robbery of resources and illegal ocupations that were possible by faking evicence through use of technology.

    If you saw your family die, or went to a concentration camp, i would no give you a second for start praying your eyes off.

    Science is becoming a religion it guesses the future, it says how and with what we are going to live in the next decades, the wars we fight, the gadjets we use to keep us distracted from the every day mass murder that has to happen in order that you and everyone else has their iphone.

    GOD is above, is not knowing, is misterious and helps people live in affliction, knowing that love is sacred and worth fighting for, that things we go through in life aren't explained or resolved in any way by cold dead science.

    A world without religion, is a sick world without any restrains for destruction.

    Here are some personalities I think have more to say that Dawkins, and are clearly more gifted intelectually, culturally and humanly.

    - Alexander Soljenítsin
    - wittgenstein
    - Edith Stein
    - Simone Weill
    - Roger Scruton
    - Emmanuel Kant

    Please check out these persons who lived a life of struggle, and of moral depth, opposed to the cowardness and primitivism of Dawkins radically simplified scientific ideals.

    Sorry my English I'm Portuguese

  • Guest

    Hmmm. DaftAida. Wonder how you got that name.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Rodrigo-Pereira/1066815623 Rodrigo Pereira

    Your thought devaluates human life, keep going in that direction and maybe your grandsons life wont be worth a dime

  • 0zyxcba1

    @ Humble_Pie
    ...either the fundamentalist evolutionaries like Dawkins are right or that fundamentalist religions are right...

    There are no such things as "fundamentalist evolutionaries."

    Evolutionary theory is not a religion. Evolutionary theory is not a doctrine. Thus, there can be no "fundamentalist evolutionaries." Evolutionary theory is a scientific theory developed and explored by evolutionary biologists and others in related fields of research.

    0z

  • 0zyxcba1

    @ Humble_Pie

    Richard Dawkins rubs many people the wong way. A friend I've known since my schooldays is a physicist who teaches high school and, though not an evolutionary biologist, is interested in the field as a layperson.

    He cannot stand Richard Dawkins!

    My point is that you ought perhaps to pause and assess whether
    it is the science of evolutionary theory to which you object, or to the retired evolutionary biologist, Richard Dawkins. Evolutionary theory and Richard Dawkins are separate entities. One is a scientific discipline, the other a person.

    Go ahead. Hate Dawkins. Many do, and at times you may find yourself in good company. But to allow your dislike of a man to distort your view of an entire branch of science is, I think you
    will agree, ill-advised.

    Finally, I hope you can find it in your heart to forgive me for what was, at best, an insensitive approach to disagreeing with you.

    0z

  • Dai76

    I see the idiots are out in force for this one , i do however understand your need to believe , to believe that all your loved ones that have passed away are nothing more than dust is hard swallow , as is the thought that one day you too will die into nothing, and the need to believe you are special and chosen and have some sort of afterlife is comforting but...

    You really need to look at the evidence , just because a garden is beautiful it doesn't mean there are fairies at the bottom of it.

    I hope that one day common sense might prevail , but judging by some of the comments i doubt it

  • robertallen1

    At least Dr. Dawkins confines himself to what he knows, which is more than can be said for you.

    Dr. Dawkins might describe human existence (or for that matter all life) as a marvel, and in fact has done so, but he is too intelligent to describe it as a mystery beyond explanation.

    At least Dr. Dawkins can express himself clearly and accurately, which is more than can be said for you. The inanity that religion is good because it causes humans to think "beyond a human level" (whatever that is) would never come from his lips, except in jest.

    Concluding that science destroys being human says everything about you and your desire to keep the world at large as ignorant as you.

  • robertallen1

    @HumblePie, Draft Aida, Robert Elliot

    Your brains must be out pounding the unemployment line for you've obviously read nothing about evolution--or perhaps you just enjoy making misstatements and out-and-out lying.

    Gregor Mendel says it all.

  • http://www.topdocumentaryfilms.com Epicurus

    what are you talking about? there is no scientific evidence for a god.

  • robertallen1

    @Rodrigro Pereira

    Your entire post supports Dawkin's argument that without religion this would be a better world--and yes, religious people are pretty stupid and intellectually inferior, as you've demonstrated--and yes, there has been all too much bloodshed caused by religion--not by something else. Are you familiar with the Crusades or the Inquisition which I believe extended to your country?

    So what if science conjectures--it's called drawing a conclusion from the facts--what's wrong with that. At least it's based on something, not some numbo jumbo in a book over 2,000 years old.

    Your claimed acquaintance with god makes you a lot sicker and more degenerate than a world without religion.

    I'll forgive your English, but I can't forgive you or people like you who try to spread the miasma of your ignorance through, among other things, a pedestrian rollcall of the immortals.

  • over the edge

    by "just one little look to bacteria's tail must change his mind" please tell me you are not talking about irreducible complexity and the flagellum?

  • Achems_Razor

    You don't use your head to hammer the road do you?

  • Achems_Razor

    Right, no speech forthcoming, my lips are sealed.

  • http://www.facebook.com/ssbuyco Solomon S. Buyco

    It is not about God delusion, it is about God delusion-ist. Just like illusionists.... lol
    If community has Communist, there is this common-ist in it.

  • spearman

    Dawkins seems to be unaware of the pantheism of Benedict Spinoza.

  • apollodoom

    I don't know why I continue to enjoy reading all these theist v. naturalist arguments over and over again...but I do.

    Its thoroughly amazing to me that some people have such a poor education that they believe that evolution is a "religion" that is seeking "radical depopulation" or something equally absurd.

    Oz, loved your devastating debate(-ish) with Humble_Pie.

  • spearman

    Mark Sharlow in his anti Dawkins essay says, "Dawkins' handling of Spinoza is especially revealing. Spinoza probably is the best known of Western pantheists. His philosophy, born in the early days of modern science, stressed the unity of nature and the immutability of natural law. Dawkins mentions Spinoza and notes that Einstein approved of Spinoza's idea of God (p. 18). However, this mention of Spinoza seems ironic, because Spinoza's pantheistic philosophy simply does not fit Dawkins' narrow definition of "pantheism." Spinoza identified God with nature, but he also held that nature has mental as well as physical properties [1]. According to Spinoza, the natural universe itself is not merely a physical system, but also is intrinsically spiritual. Spinoza's God is impersonal, but has mental and spiritual features, making it a bit more like a "someone" than a mere "something." After reading Spinoza's Ethics, it would be silly to equate Spinoza's pantheism to "sexed-up atheism" — which is Dawkins' characterization of pantheism (p. 18). Indeed, Spinoza himself denied that he would equate God to nature if nature were thought of as strictly material [2]. Spinoza's God is impersonal and natural, but is a real supreme being, not merely a sexed-up collection of lumps of matter. Despite the sharp differences between Spinoza's view of God and the standard Christian views, the Christian writer Novalis had good reason to label Spinoza "the god-intoxicated man" [3].

  • Mowgli33

    Interesting documentary. "Teach children about religion not just teach them religion." Great point , your faith ought to be strong enough to look at the other religions with an open mind and if ye be atheist then you have nothing to lose.

  • http://twitter.com/salo99 Robert Elliot

    The theory of evolution as it pertains to all that has happened since the alleged "big bang" has already been falsified. The double slit experiment and it's many variations have demonstrated conclusively that *consciousness* is *intrinsic* to the nature of reality at the subatomic level. Yet, according to evolutionary theory, subatomic particles must have existed *before* consciousness since they must surely have existed before biological life - the vessel of consciousness. Therefore, evolutionary theory as it pertains to the alleged evolution of universe as whole has already been falsified and is therefore false.

  • robertallen1

    The one common thread running through those like you is that they cannot write a coherent sentence, much less express a coherent thought. Do you even know what you're talking about?

    In view of this latter query, I suggest you read the answer of "Over the Edge" if you have not already do so and if you have, read it again.

  • Guest

    @ Rodrigo

    I really don't see that you've answered any of my very specific questions... But I expected, in fact, to get exactly the sort of response I got, one not addressing at all the trauma-caused moral and mental decrepitude of Dawkins, and why he is therefore not to be trusted. If you're going to label THIS PARTICULAR MAN as sick and dangerous I'd really like to hear the proofs you must have for it, other than that he has a point of view regarding religious belief different than your own. You throw him onto the bonfire you've built for all the other heretics with no justification that I can see, as of yet. But...let's just skip all of this and get down to the real issue for you here, what do you say? Prove to me, sick as he is, that he's wrong about what he has to say, and I'll be the first to call him a fool.

    As for wars and their causes, you can ask Oz what I feel about THAT. I am not so naive as to think they are always, or even usually, started from the basis of a religious belief, though you may occasionally see one being waged on one side more or less for that reason, and on the other for something else entirely. No, in general, considered strictly as a matter of NUMBERS, the wars that have been fought by believers have been a lot more subtle than that: Quiet little battles, begun in childhood, mostly, fought worldwide and throughout most of history, for the absolute control of hearts and minds, for nearly every motivation you can think of, but ultimately out of a cold dread over the possibility of our final annihilation.

    You suggest, as well, that atheists are, at best, less capable of love, and more likely entirely without it, or without it according to your definition of it. But I think exactly the opposite is usually the case, according to my definition of it: Atheists tend to let others be themselves, and to grow and develop according to their inclinations and abilities, within the law, and to have whatever their views may be, as long as they aren't trying to force an unsubstantiated belief on them. They also tend to have more of a concern for the world, and its safeguarding on every front, because they don't hold out the hope of a better one to come, and so may be justified in feeling little affection for this one. That goes for life, too: If this is the only one you have, it therefore becomes more valuable, not less... Love, real love, the willingness to accept people and all their differences (but not a willingness to just ROLL OVER to illogic, or to think, for example, that it's acceptable that impressionable children are being threatened with eternal punishment, if they don't conform), is just as sacred and worth fighting for to any atheist I've ever been acquainted with...

    [ note to some of you - I may be without internet for a few days... Money's kind of tight right now with the job change. If you don't see me on for a few days, that'll be the reason.]

  • Guest

    Well said, Robert. And yet these folks are perfectly ready to use the benefits science has provided in attempting to spread that ignorance as far and wide as possible... apparently without awareness of any conflict in that.

  • http://twitter.com/salo99 Robert Elliot

    Consciousness had to exist at the very beginning of the universe since consciousness is inexorably intertwined with the nature of subatomic particles. The double slit experiment showed that subatomic particles behave like particles only when their path can be determined (by conscious entities)- otherwise they exist as waves (potential particles). There can be no particles without consciousness (All this points to Bostrum's simulationist argument that the Hindus were onto 4 thousand years ago - reality is an illusion). You can be smug and insult me all you like. All I hear is the desperate gasping of a scientific priesthood whose egos are exposed as being invested a lot of nonsense. Everything didn't arise from nothing and the double slit experiment also proves that. I don't care how many of you scientific egomaniacs vote me down or how many blackboards you can fill with equations. You have no love of truth. Don't you realize that all scientific research is steered by foundations that serve only the interests at the top of the pyramid of wealth and power? As Churchill said, "the truth is so precious that she should always be attended by a bodyguard of lies". You know exactly what I'm talking about. You can only keep your ego inflated by pretending that you don't.

  • Demoorelizer

    The theory of evolution is not falsified just because we have limited knowledge in quantum mechanics (along with many other fields of science, which will never be fully explained as we cannot know everything) because we cannot accurately explain how or what causes the double slit observer variable. It may not fully describe it due to our limited knowledge, but it is not falsified by any means. Saying something is false, while it best describes the natural world as we know it currently, because of a lack of knowledge is simply egregious. Something cannot be proven, such as existence of God, or an "ultimate consciousness", because we cannot currently fully describe an obscure phenomenon.

  • Guest

    Who ever told you that Christians believed that they or their dead relatives have physical bodies and were more then dust?

    before you can preach sense you need to make sense

  • Guest

    Maybe you have the mathematics to back up your contention that consciousness had to exist at the beginning of the universe? Maybe you also have an experimentally verifiable theory to explain HOW consciousness is inexorably intertwined with the nature of subatomic particles? Or maybe someone else does? How DOES the double-slit experiment prove that everything had to come from something, instead of nothing? It doesn't surprise me at all that you don't care how many blackboards can be filled with equations! But until you can offer up real evidence, which, by your own admission, you don't care about, these ideas must be viewed as just more New-Age style bullsh^t, however cleverly and clearly presented. And when it comes to things with such colossal implications, I'd much prefer not to assume any facts in the pursuit of "truth".

  • Guest

    @ Oz

    The "Wong Way"- A new Zen-style sect of the global Pastafarian movement, presided over by one Elmer Fudd.

    (Sorry I'm such a grammar-nazi, dude! I'm just trying to make you laugh.)

  • 0zyxcba1

    @Pysmythe

    Please do take note of my correct spelling of "assess," thank you very much! (lol)

    "My point is that you ought perhaps to pause and assess whether..."

    0z

  • over the edge

    @Robert Elliot
    "The theory of evolution as it pertains to all that has happened since the alleged "big bang" " the theory of evolution does not try to explain the big gang or the beginning or development of the universe. it only explains how life evolved . what happened before consciousness or how it came to be have nothing to do with evolution. have you ever studied the theory of evolution ? absolutely nothing in your post has anything to do with the theory of evolution.

  • 0zyxcba1

    @ Robert Elliot
    "...reality is an illusion"

    If "reality is an illusion," nothing changes:

    We illusorily discover that illusory Nature is illusorily governed by illusory rules and that these illusory rules, when illusorily consistent over illusorily long illusory periods of illusory time, might illusorily even be illusorily characterized as 'illusory laws'. To illusorily prove that an illusory hypothesis is illusorily, in fact, the illusory case, Illusoriness must illusorily provide illusorily falsifiable illusory evidence and the illusory hypothesis must illusorily make illusory predictions that can illusorily be illusorily tested illusorily experimentally, that is to illusorily say, such that the illusory experiment is illusorily repeatable illusorily independent of the Illusoriness illusorily putting forth the illusory proposal illusorily in question.

    That illusorily is illusorily exactly what is illusorily going on at illusory CERN's illusory LHC right illusorily now.
    ____________________________
    Wittgenstein once asked a students his at Cambridge why people once believed that the sun circled the earth. The student answered, Because it looks that way, to which Wittgenstein rejoined, And what would it have looked like as the earth circles the sun?

    Science is more than assessing how things 'look' or 'what if'.

    0z

    P.S.:
    You forgot to throw in the paradoxical 'Schrödinger's cat' thought experiment. (lol)

  • http://profiles.google.com/alandeemusic Alan Dee

    Robert, it would help your case if you explained yourself better. Consciousness is not defined. Do you mean sensory perception, sentience, will, emotions, ability to think outside the present tense? Are you extending consciousness all the way down the biological tree? Is there a line between us and amoeba? I agree that reality is an illusion, so therefore any truth you perceive is also an illusion.

    As for how this all relates to evolution, if you have a source for the double-slit experiment debunking evolution, you should include this, since your argument revolves around this experiment.

    I won't accuse you of misunderstanding quantum theory, because no one understands quantum theory.

    As for the pyramids of power using scientific research to further their plans, the double slit experiment is part of scientific research - have you considered that perhaps those in power are manipulating you? Perhaps all you have read has been planted to distract truthseekers like yourself.

  • Guest

    Ozy - Jeez, you don't have to start throwing cats.

  • Guest

    @ lakhotason

    A "half-dead" cat can still do a little damage, though, right?

  • 0zyxcba1

    @ lakhotason
    "...you don't have to start throwing cats."

    Did you read the 'Wittgenstein' bit? :-)

    0z

    P.S.
    @ Pysmythe. @ lakhotason
    Anyhow, they're Schrödinger cats! (lol)

  • 0zyxcba1

    @ Road Hammer
    "...the God that he [does] not believing[sic] knows."

    And which 'God' might that be?

    And what of the leprechauns in which Dawkins does not believe,
    what might they have to say about all this?

    0z

  • 0zyxcba1

    @ Irishkev
    "Yeah man, I have a science background..."

    Surely you jest! :-))

    0z

  • Guest

    We are all ignorant. Unimaginably ignorant. My ignorance is the Pacific Ocean of ignorance and I am drifting about in this expanse in a leaky boat cobbled from what scraps of knowledge I could tack together.It is all I can do to bail water fast enough to stay afloat.

    I'm not about to stop bailing just to smugly tell another poor soul that I'm in shallower water than he.

  • robertallen1

    @lakhotason

    Perhaps I should say uneducated, untutored, unlettered,but it all amounts to the same thing, professing knowledge of something of which the professor is woefully ignorant, unlike Dr. Dawkins who fesses up to his ignorance of fields outside his ken. However, with all his learning, insight and admitted ignorance, he can come up with something at least rudimentarily intelligent, which is more than I can say about three, now four, of the bloggers.

    So I don't mind apprising some poor ignorant soul with only a brainless keyboard that I'm in shallower water than he.

  • Guest

    Yes, I imagine you would do that.

  • DiegoJones

    To really debate anything you must define your terms. To define anything is to limit it. To put limits on God negates what God is. If God is not definable how can you argue about existence? What are we asking the existence or non existence of? only a word.

  • Dusan Pavlicek

    The line of reasoning you provided is incorrect. Clear definitions of terms are absolutely necessary and they are not the same as "putting limits on something". If it were true that God couldn't be defined in any way, then the word God would mean everything and anything, all at the same time, which is clearly an absolutely useless concept. Without proper definitions it's pointless to discuss anything because unless both sides of the discussion make sure they use the same definitions, they can never truly understand one another and therefore lead a meaningful conversation.

  • http://twitter.com/salo99 Robert Elliot

    @Pysmythe "How DOES the double-slit experiment prove that everything had to come from something, instead of nothing?"

    According to evolutionary theory, the phenomenon of consciousness could only have come into existence concomitant with the evolution of mammals with higher brain function - a tiny sliver of time relative to the supposed age of the universe. If, however, consciousness is intertwined with the nature and function of the tiniest building blocks of reality - subatomic particles - then it must have been present in some form since the genesis of the universe. If the very fabric of reality is designed to interact with consciousness, then it must have been created by consciousness and could not have arisen from nothing.

  • wald0

    I found this absolutely positively boring, which is unusual for something with Dawkins in it. He is one of my favorite scientists to watch, even if you disagree with him, which personally I don't, you have to admit his stuff is never dull. But this is just an interview with him and is very dry and boring if you ask me. I got somewhat interested when he was talking about E.O. Wilson trying to bring back group selection under a different name, which is inclusive fitness theory by the way. I agree with him completely, ken selection disproved group selection and now they want to basically rename ken selection inclusive fitness theory and relate it to group selection, it makes no sense. Ken selection and reciprocal altruism explain the behaviors in question, why do we need to muck it up by adding another theory that says the same thing? Anyway, they only spent about five minutes on that and then back to more of the same. The guy that did the interview mumbles a lot and comes off about as exciting as a tax return, Dawkins seems tired and somewhat distant even- like he doesn't want to be there. He did manage a little passion about the issue I mentioned above, but nothing earth shattering that's for sure. I really don't see what every one arguing below is feeding on, I suppose other comments because the interview is devoid of hardly any passion or controversy at all IMHO.

  • Guest

    This is specious. They are debating existence. It really doesn't matter who or what God is or is not.

  • http://www.youtube.com/user/alronvitis norlavine

    Dawkins has an axe to grind regarding the intelligent creative force that started it all. Perhaps life itself is the culprit! He tends to expound that the common, uneducated and stupid masses have been brainwashed. Religion is not the same as believing in an entity/force/creator that decided to begin our 'everything' as we know it. He relentlessly associates the dogma of religion with intelligent design - which is absolute rubbish. He is quite toxic about even non religiously generated beliefs in the origins of creation.He is a true academic in every sense of the word. Unfortunately for him a true genius is someone who no teacher can harm....saying that, publicly and constantly peddling what everything is NOT hides the fact that he still hasn't a clue what everything IS.

  • over the edge

    @norlavine
    "He relentlessly associates the dogma of religion with intelligent design" because the large intelligent design groups are also religious. all intelligent design is only a repackaging of creationism (of panda's and people) same books with designer replacing creator. Dawkins goes where the evidence leads him instead of leading the evidence where you want to go. do you believe in god (your comment history says you do)? because if you do you have to believe that an intelligent designer and god are the same. in this very doc he states that he is not comfortable talking about areas of science he is not qualified in. how is that equal to "he still hasn't a clue what everything IS" he never claimed to know everything. the weight of evidence points to evolution as a fact. if you have more proof for an alternative please pick up your Nobel prize on your way out

  • robertallen1

    Any doctrine which posits a supernatural creator is a religion. This not only makes philosophic sense, but has been held to make legal sense as well.

    Dr. Dawkins has an axe to grind against the forces of ignorance, superstition and stupidity and he grinds it far more elegantly and profoundly than any theist I have heard.

    Had you read any of Dr. Dawkins' works or looked at any of his videos, you would see for yourself the pathetic inaccuracy and ignorance of your last statement,for Dr. Dawkins has actually spent most of his professional life peddling what is.

    "[Dr. Dawkins] is a true academic in every sense of the word." That says it all.

  • 0zyxcba1

    @ norlavine

    I am not sure what it is you say, so please indulge me as I veer from topic(whatever 'topic' is).

    Question:

    Could Neanderthals sin?

    0z

  • Guest

    Yes but not too well.

  • Achems_Razor

    There is no creative intelligent force that started it all, it all came about from trial and error, if it was intelligent than sure did a p1$$ poor job about it, everything should of been made pristine right from the start!

    And yes, the masses have and are being brainwashed even as we speak.

    Religion, creationism, ID, is one and the same. If you believe in ID than that is akin to religion or belief in a god or some higher power which means the same thing.

    He is not supposed to have a clue what everything is, does anyone? But he at least knows what it isn't!

  • 0zyxcba1

    sources? (lol)

  • http://www.youtube.com/user/alronvitis norlavine

    ..saying that - he is a great 'unwilling' entertainer/politician albeit left wing, and certainly has the talent to make his theory stick - without the glue of actually revealing the scientific data/proof behind this trendy/atheistic theory of inexplicable and accidental occurrence of matter and life.Religions may have well evolved as a form of crowd control and source of hope to keep the masses sedated - they all have their own dogmas on laws and creation - some of them obviously biased to suit some.Not all believers in intelligent creation are hokey hyped up rednecks waving a flag waiting for 'the rapture'. God has been given many faces, who will win the competition to describe correctly!? Putting all aside, there is something in the air, perhaps our creator is going to.....be continued

  • Achems_Razor

    There is something in the air, you say? there is always something in the air with the religee's, that is all they have, everything else is static, circular logic.

    God has been given many faces? yes, about 28,000,000 of them in recorded history. Wouldn't want to go into that lottery pool. Pascals wager wouldn't quite work. Wonder if there is a pascals wager for Panspermia? no I guess not.

    There is already a lot of substantial evidence for evolution. And much more coming.

    To be continued...carry one.

  • robertallen1

    Once again, it is obvious that you have not read any of Dr. Dawkins' books or seen his videos which are filled with scientific data, proof and intelligent discussion. In addition, you reveal your mental puerility by attempting to pidgeon-hole everything into a cause-and-effect relationship, one of the favorite tools of creationists.

    In addition, modern-day atheism as expressed by Dr. Dawkins and others of his rank goes far beyond the intelligence of the general public and thus transcends the trendy.

    Despite what you think, those who believe in intelligent creation are intellectually no better than the hyped-up rednecks which you decry.

    It would be nice if you and people like you would read up before placing the pen, mouth or keyboard in gear, but I guess you're not up to it.

  • Guest

    Oh just some of the postings. It's certainly a sin what is being said and it's being said badly.

    I'm not making reference to you.

  • Humble_Pie

    @ robertallen1
    "modern-day atheism as expressed by Dr. Dawkins and others of his rank goes far beyond the intelligence of the general public"
    I take it, then, that you are NOT one of the 'general public' of which you speak.
    Try to have an intellectual discussion without resorting to 'ad hominem'. You might learn something.

  • Guest

    norlavine - you certainly have brought up some reasonable points but you have contradicted yourself quite badly on one point.

    First you hold that religion "is not the same as believing in an entity/force/creator", then later state when speaking of religions......."all have their own dogmas on laws and creation".

    If the second statement is correct then religion is by default the same as believing in a entity/force/creator.

    The converse would be true for the first statement.

  • robertallen1

    When it comes to certain topics, I do not consider myself a member of the general public--and modern-day atheism is one of them.

    From your previous posts and those of Norlavine, it's obvious that both of you have not even started to learn anything and, unlike Dr. Dawkins, you speak on matters you know nothing about.

  • 0zyxcba1

    You know, all kidding aside, it really is depressing and frustrating, not to mention time consuming, to be wrestling, day in, and day out, with the 'arguments' from people who have not the first clue as to what logic even is and who are so scientifically illiterate that they do not even know how far removed they are from any viable concept as to what the scientific method actually is.

    At times it amuses me to argue; but at times it's just plain hard work which I do not mind if I have some reason to suppose it's doing any good.

    It might be different to argue with somebody who at least understands what one is saying and who understands what an argument is.

    Dr. Dawkins himself said that one of the most interesting conversations he ever had on ID was with a physicist at CERN who pointed out that confirmation of the Higgs boson, while accounting for masses/energies, would not render a satisfying insight as to the 'fine-tuning' paradox.

    Now that is the kind of conversation I can deal with. At least both parties know what an argument is and approach each other with a modicum of respect earned, if by nothing else, than by the intellectual honesty of the other.

    Contrast that with what passes for debate here. It's not debate. It's women's mud wresting with Rush Limbaugh as referee.

    It is not that religee-sheeple are, all of them, unintelligent. I do not believe they all are. It is their fundamental ignorance concerning fundamentals and their religion which, when all is said and done, is really all about remaining ignorant. 'Ignorance' in certain areas has been awarded the status of 'virtue'.

    I have no doubt whatever but that this phenomenon is being deliberately and actively fostered by elements of the extreme far right and their surrogates.
    What better way to mobilize large movements of the citizenry, all passionately promoting the interests of their oppressors.

    1984.

    0z

  • tomregit

    @robertallen1
    I understand and agree with what most of what you say, but Humble_Pie has a point. The comment he refers to does sound elitist, not in a good way, and is just a small step from name calling. This is where Dawkins excels; making his point, but not stooping to that level.

    It benefits no one when we atheists appear to look down our noses at all believers.

  • SONNYCORBI

    Oz i like that about the Neanderthals i was thinking along those lines just yesterday and today! I saw on google news where we mated with them and that was probably why they vanished, they became us i guess or we became them? too funny. Who where they anyway, if were human what were they? If they were not us to begin with how is it we were, according to the latest findings, able to reproduce offspring with them. We can't have offspring's with apes. The article even goes on to say that the only people that didn't bread with them were the people from Africa or words to that effect, I don't even want to go there.

  • SONNYCORBI

    Amen, (no pun intended), to all of the above.

  • robertallen1

    @tomregit

    I agree with H. L. Mencken who in essence stated that no one has ever over-estimated the intelligence of the American public. I guess that makes me an elitist--and a proud one at that.

    While I resent the implication of "we atheists" as much as you resent my elitism, I agree with you,"we atheists" should not appear to look down on all believers, rather we should indeed look down on all believers--with all that's been discovered, there is just no excuse for such deliberate mental retardation.

  • over the edge

    @oz
    you had my attention at woman's mud wrestling, but lost it at Rush Limbaugh. i agree it is frustrating. if it helps at all i always look at the arguments as a way of not allowing the foolishness to infect others. by that i mean i think of those who never or rarely comment but read all of them (i visited this site for over a year before first comment). I learned a lot more from the comments than i did from the doc on many occasions. i still do on many subjects of interest i feel i haven't yet collected the knowledge to comment . so you may never or rarely change the mind of the person the debate is with but there are many watching the debate that might enjoy the exchange of knowledge

  • Guest

    I don't know about that robertallen 1. Pretty hard for me to agree that you have anything to be elitist about when the very justification you give for being elite is to quote Mr. Mencken not just wrong but bass-ackwards.

    I do believe the man said underestimating.

    So much for that pride.

  • tomregit

    @robertallen1
    I'm not sure why you would resent my "implication" of "we atheists". It is meant only to say that I share the same basic beliefs (or lack thereof) with other non-believers. I made what I thought to be the valid assumption; that you fell into that group. As we share a belief that science will lead us closer to wisdom and ultimate truth I have no reason or desire to argue with you. My sole objective was to bring an element of civility to a discussion where logic and reason are on our side.
    I do not resent elitism. I just don't believe that the arguments made by Dawkins, or you, or me are beyond the intelligence of the general public. They just don't agree.

  • djc200

    I definitely agree with this.

    @over the edge, I fear that people like you who rely more on the commentary than to watch it in its entirety and opine on your own, perpetuate the argument. It's time to move on from this whole argument like how we learned that the planet isn't flat or how we rightfully graduated to a helio-centric model of our own solar system.

    Zeitgeist 2011: Moving Forward provides some more clues as to understand the human species and our current, extremely inefficient socio-economic structures that govern modern society.

  • robertallen1

    @lakhostan

    The quotation is "No one ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public." My version was a mere paraphrase--and I do not use it to justify my elitisim, merely my contempt.

  • robertallen1

    @tomregit

    If a good many of the blogs I have read are indicative of the American public in general (which my experience leads me to believe they are), then yes, what Dawkins et al. have to say is clearly beyond it.

  • Guest

    No robertallen you did not paraphrase, You misquoted Mencken to the extent that it didn't even make sense.

    You most certainly did say that by agreeing to something Mencken did not say that "I guess that makes me an elitist..", and a proud one at that.

    Somewhere I read that a certain person wished people would read up before placing keyboard in gear. I couldn't agree more.

  • Guest

    @ Robert Elliot

    I see what you're saying, and it's tempting...VERY tempting. There doesn't seem to be any other explanation but that the observer is affecting the results ( Heisenberg...) of the experiment. But, at this point, to go as far as to say it means consciousness is inexorably intertwined with particles might be "jumping the gun" (lol) somewhat. I mean, there MAY be alternate explanations for the double-slit results, one of which I've heard ( Everett's, I think ) is that it could be indicative of a parallel universe. From what very little I understand about that, it doesn't appear that consciousness would then play the same role you've laid out here. In such a case it seems that, whatever happened "here" would simply have a result in, or be a result of, what happened "there," without consciousness playing the central part; but paradoxically, it would still end up looking like something foreordained, for want of a better way to put it.

    As far as evolution goes, though, there's just too much evidence to support it for it to be thrown aside anytime soon... Therefore, at this point I think it would be safer to say that the POTENTIAL for consciousness existed since the beginning of the universe. And even if it is intertwined with the most fundamental parts of nature, that doesn't necessarily mean that consciousness had to have been what created it. We don't yet even know enough about exactly what consciousness IS, do we?

  • http://www.youtube.com/user/alronvitis norlavine

    OK -Let's be pedantic! What I literally meant was this: folk who believe in intelligent creation are not necessary religious folk. 'Religions all have their own dogmas and laws on creation' - which is not an argument FOR religion. The argument is that science has not proven to the ninth degree absence of an intelligent source of creation. Science just keeps on popping yet another Russian doll. For Dawkins - and many others science/atheism has become a religion.Genetic selection - great - science today is mind blowing, beautiful.
    I AM NOT TALKING ABOUT RELIGION VS DAWKINS !

  • DiegoJones

    I´m sure you will agree that to define is to both say what something is and what something is not. To limit God to "some thing," is definitely a limitation also to say what God "is not...." is also limiting. To make sure we agree on what it means to define here you go.

    1. to state precisely the meaning of (words, terms, etc.)
    2. to describe the nature, properties, or essential qualities of
    3. to determine the boundary or extent of
    4. (often passive) to delineate the form or outline of the shape of the tree was clearly defined by the light behind it
    5. to fix with precision; specify

    Once you define the infinite, it ceases to be so. Call it the sin of language. Most conversations about God are not at all meaningful, because God is caricatured into some old white man sitting on a chair in the sky, with a long white beard. This is not the God that I have experienced in the least.

  • http://www.youtube.com/user/alronvitis norlavine

    So, give me now the proof of no intelligent creation.I have been reading/listening to Dr Dawkins for many years, and he is a truly learned biologist/anthropologist/geneticist. Behind that quietly spoken, almost humble facade is someone simply wanting the attention bestowed upon a guru. ..Scientific evidence proves we evolved from the most primitive forms of life here on earth, who is arguing with that?
    Gullibility is not limited to those who believe the big bang was no accident. Gullibility can happen when the mind is closed and fixed.
    Who cares how intelligent Dr Dawkins is anyway? He used to be a bit of a looker many years ago, he still carries himself well..x

  • wald0

    I completely understand your frustration, and I am not belittling your comment, but the very nature of religion dictates that it will be something that people cling to, something that sparks passion and emotion, something they will take personal no matter how polite or respectful you try to be. After all if they are true believers, I mean really sincere, then nothing means more to them- nothing has consumed more of there time and thought, nothing has touched them on any deeper level in there whole life. I can imagine it must be gut wrenching, almost crippling, to lose your faith after a lifetime of belief. If I were religious and had invested my life effort in some dogma or God, if I believed with all my heart that I could burn for eternity for not believing- I would fight like a mad man to retain my faith.

    Besides, if they believe in a God and all the other trimmings that come with religion is it really logical for us to expect them to pay heed to logic? Obviously they are a person that is comfortable with spiritual beliefs, the concept of faith, etc. or they would not be religious in the first place. I am not saying we should just give up, only that we should not expect this debate to progress as if we were debating the economy or some scientific theory. This one is going to get ugly by its very nature, even if we win. Think about it, you won- now the other person is devastated. Everything they thought they knew is gone, they are in the middle of a huge life crisis. This is real stuff man, real stuff with real consequences. Does that mean we should just say o.k. let them believe what they need to, NO!! Of course not, but we do have to take under consideration the full impact of our actions. We do need to realize what we are asking of them and how difficult it must be from their point of view.

  • http://www.youtube.com/user/alronvitis norlavine

    Naaa Neanderthals prob had an inkling of cause and effect but they were too busy trying to make stone tools & wondering why they weren't into bananas like their 2nd cousins in the ape suits were.....also: that question was a cheap shot but it got my attention xx

  • robertallen1

    @norlavine

    You have things backwards. He who asserts the existence of an intelligent creator must prove it--not he who denies.

    Also Dr. Dawkins already has the attention bestowed on a guru.

    Your last pargraph is as topsy turvy as your first. Looks are irrelevant; intelligence is everything.

  • robertallen1

    @Lakhotason

    1. My original verbiage was "who in essence stated," which implies paraphrase.

    2. In answer to your blog, I furnished the original quote.

    3. I admit that I should have provided the original quote in the first place, but this error is venial and does not militate against my original point: Dawkins et al. are beyond the intelligence of the American public and I'll add further, the fault is with the American public.

    Criticize, but don't mischaracterize.

  • Guest

    Norlavine - I appreciate your response. I don't think it is being pedantic however to simply point out that your are holding forth two views which contradict. Yet considering you were treated unfairly and rather rudely when you posted, it is certainly reasonable for you to assume I was doing the same thing and I take no offense.

    Dr. Dawkins does rub many people the wrong way. If you go to 33:10 of the doc the interviewer questions him about this. Dr. Dawkins' answer was quite interesting. It is enough to let Dr. Dawkins to speak for himself on this matter so I won't comment.

    It is not for science to disprove ID but rather for those who make the assertion of ID to prove that assertion. They must show evidence that ID is valid. We can't just take their word for it.

    As for science being a Russian doll, well yes. This is how science works. That is precisely why the claim that science is a dogma or religion is incorrect. New information comes in and if it contradicts what you hold then you must reconcile that contradiction. This precludes dogma.

  • Guest

    robertallen - Do you understand the difference between a paraphrase and a misquote? You did not paraphrase - you misquoted. No ifs , ands, or buts about it.

    You did not correct the quote, I did. And as for the error being venial, you have got to be kidding. The quote was the whole basis for your proud assertion of your puffed-up view of yourself. I invite, no I insist, that you show me exactly where I have twisted your words.

  • starann

    As a lay person, perhaps I am not qualified to speak my opinion. I have no "facts" to share, only viewpoint. First of all, one person may think they are absolute in fact, yet due to different perspective, another person may view opposite, or somewhere in between. This is the beauty of creation and individuation. We are not all alike in our individual thinking processes, and for one to proclaim they are authoratative on a subject without consideration of lack of knowledge of the counterpoint, is ignorant. To be a scholar, by its very definition, is to be a learned academic. Perhaps this is the manifestation of the selfish gene. Survival of the fittest is a natural fact. It says nothing to the implication that the creative force responsible for the situation is non existent. Due to the politics of many university, secular, and not, social condition may influence the outcome of any sponsored lab research. The condition of humanity today, is reflective of the ethics of today's modern thinking. Unfortunately, we are still in the survival of the fittest mode, and any threat can be percieved as the necessity to override humanitarian ethics and become self serving. Naturalist verses zoo biologist(and we all know how well mother earth is because of the wisdom of zoo biologists) verses humanity, perhaps rather than listen to learned academics, we need to develop a new way of thinking. After all, how empathetic can you be if you are in survival mode. Humanity expresses the consensus of those inclusive in humanity. This is not subversive to the science of biology. It should be inclusive. The "science" of truth is expressive to environmental and species differentiation in the presence of soul. The world of secular humanity, whether theology or biological learned, does not override the current condition of humanity. To discuss theology as a non subject, gives way to the transparency of the self gene. The world operates within vibrational frequencies which at any given tone can produce a harmonic response with melodic repose, or dissonance. Jesus, regardless of ties to religious theology or dogma, is truly a great brother of humanity. And we all know the story of how humanity responded to directives to be honest, kind, compassionate and loving. A children's book, really? Perhaps after some scientific study on the soul. Question your question, evidence--known and unkown, is, was and will be...on child of the deathless morn, you were not ever born, nor will you ever die; time is mind's ancient lie...through faded memories past, time is but a looking glass, nothing more. In my opinion...

  • starann

    So, in describing opposing views as coming from ignorant, religee-sheeple...you must know it all, so why debate? You are set in your thinking, and are non-debatable...oh, and I used logic to conclude this...thanks for your opinion.

  • robertallen1

    @Lakhotason

    It would have been patently obvious to almost anyone reading my post (you excepted) that I was not directly quoting Mencken, but paraphrasing, but let the facts speak for themselves. I was the one who provided the direct quote, not you. I was the one who admitted that it would have been better had I employed the direct quote in the first place--no and's, if's or but's.

    When it comes to science, I do not place myself in a class with Dr. Dawkins et al., but I have certainly read and listened enough to consider myself informed, at least on a lay level which is more than I can say for the American public in general, as demonstrated by all too many of the blogs.

    By the way, did you know that biblical fundamentalism began here in America (the south to be more precise) and this having carried through to this day says a lot about the American public in general.

  • robertallen1

    Academically and hence scientifically, theology (not biblical scholarship) and "humanity" are non-subjects.

    Also on what do you base your assertions as to the way the world operates--as far as I can see, it is based solely on speculation from nothing. I ask the same question as to your conclusions regarding Jesus? Obviously, you know nothing about biblical history?

    And, for that matter, how can the soul be studied scientifically when even the most rabid fundamentalist agrees that it is non-scientific?

    What makes you trail off into gibberish?

  • Guest

    Robertallen - You just don't get it do you. I'm not running these posts to prove this or that. I'm doing it because you need to take a long look at how you treat people.

    Whether or not you believe you have the right and duty to look down on others is immaterial to me. You are just plain
    wrong to do it. It appears that you just do not possess the faculty to understand this.

    You are not elite but rather boorish and tedious. You certainly have the potential to be an elite but you won't find it on the path you've taken.

    Keep in mind that while you may feel you are looking down on others it could be because they are rolling on the floor in laughter looking up at you.

    Enough said. Let us drop the matter.

  • Dusan Pavlicek

    (This is a reply to your post below - for some reason it's not possible to reply to it directly...)

    Are you implying that infinite concepts cannot be defined? This is clearly not true, there are many counterexamples.
    Ultimately, if something cannot be defined (at all) then it's simply meaningless and there's absolutely nothing to say about it. But the word "God" is NOT like that, whatever its meaning in any particular context.
    The problem with the word "God" is that different people use the same word to describe very different concepts and that causes confusion.
    There are many elementary questions about the concept of God(s) which CAN be answered and therefore can be used to narrow down the meaning of the word "God" in a given discussion.
    For example, does the word "God" describe a sentient entity capable of reasoning? The God of all Abrahamic religions clearly must be such an entity because otherwise he/she/it wouldn't be able to intentionally create the universe, define moral standards, judge actions of humans, answer prayers etc.
    There certainly are religions which don't use the word "God" in this Abrahamic sense. Anyway, in any given context such additional clarifications of the concept of God CAN be provided. Therefore the word "God" is far from being "undefinable" (i.e. meaningless).

  • robertallen1

    @Lahotason

    Whether I agree with it or not, as long as there is something of any substance behind an opinion, I will treat it and its propounder respectfully. Otherwise, it's the opposite and it's immaterial if I offend. If this makes me boorish and tedious in your eyes, so be it.

    Now, this is the last word!

  • Guest

    Exceptional lecture my man. This is what we need to be discussing. Thank you very much for the heads-up.

  • Guest

    Go down to Earthwinger and click on the lecture. Yeah this means you.

  • robertallen1

    I have read a lot about this seminal case, seen the documentary and read the judge's decision. You are certainly up on it. However, one thing I would like to add: the judge who decided the matter was a Bush appointee and a member of a church and his decision made him a judge in every sense of the word.

  • robertallen1

    Unless I misunderstand you, your thesis is that we define god into existence. If so, I have been saying the same thing for years.

    Perhaps another way to define the deity is as the supreme cause and the supreme effect (assuming cause and effect), intelligent or not. I don't really know and I don't really care.

    The problem is the more we define, the more we try to characterize and the more tangled the imbroglios.

    Quite frankly, from where I stand, only the secular is meaningful. Anything else is unprovable, hence valueless.

  • Yavanna

    I tremble with delight. I cannot wait until you engage your erudite debating skills and incredible intellectual reasoning against that of Professor Dawkins in a full on live debate. Failing that a rotting muppet debating with you would be equally entertaining.

  • over the edge

    @ David Choi
    "I fear that people like you who rely more on the commentary than to watch it in its entirety and opine on your own" i have never commented in a doc that i haven't watched in full.all i meant was that the docs on subjects that i am fluent in tend to give info i already know. but this site has many visitors with very deep understanding of the subjects discussed and put forth info deeper than the docs themselves. most docs are geared towards a general audience so on the ones i comment on the discussion tends to go deeper than the doc. also i have commented on my issues with Zeitgeist moving forward but the series as a whole is good. but if you wish to discuss the latest doc then i am more than happy to but on the Zeitgeist thread

  • robertallen1

    Like Ozyxcaba1, I too am set in my thinking when it comes to the ignorant passing themselves off as knowledgeable. The egalitarian view that one opinion is as good as another is merely a vapid justification for laziness coupled with a balefule disinclination to evaluate. Most imoprtant, however, it ignores what's behind an opinion.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Samuel-Morrissey/627791008 Samuel Morrissey

    If you have trouble with the concept of evolution, read Dawkins book 'The Ancestor's Tale' It is as close to proof as any intelligent being shoud need. I challenge anyone to cross examine any part of it and find it wanting. The evidence is irrefutable. Wether or not you believe in supernatural stories from yester-millenia, is irrelevant. God or a god or many gods did not create human beings or any other living thing in its current form.

  • robertallen1

    Well put, Mr. Morrissey--only, as I have indicated before, the American public is not ready for it and considering its collective intelligence, probably never will be.

  • http://www.youtube.com/user/alronvitis norlavine

    Hey,Dawkins expounds his atheism as enthusiastically as any other by name religious zealot. Perhaps Dawkins genuinely believes everything started from NOTHING. If it did, then NOTHING is the intelligent designer.Perhaps he can't grasp the concept that; 0-0=0. Get where I am coming from now? You can keep my Nobel prize document but I'll keep the money xx
    PS: Home from work sick,go look at alronvitis on youtube (anagram of norlavine) and see what I do when I am not doing this, will give a clue as to why I love watching docs. xx

  • over the edge

    @norlavine
    where/when does Dawkins or evolution state "everything started from NOTHING" also how life began or how the universe came to be is not evolution. and you haven't answered my question is the designer god?if you believe in god he has to be the designer? and if so then it is not science

  • robertallen1

    @noralevine

    You could do with an education. How it all started (abiogenesis) is not part of Dr. Dawkins' specialty, evolutionary biology, nor does he claim it to be. Why do you keep harping on this? Over the Edge told you the same thing.

  • Dusan Pavlicek

    @robertallen1
    I intentionally tried to avoid the question which of the definitions is correct or whether God exists at all.
    I was merely disputing the statement that God intrinsically cannot be defined in any meaningful way :-).
    (But if you want to know my position, then yes, all those concepts of God(s) are completely man-made, supported by no evidence whatsoever.)

  • Guest

    I agree, it was very good. Thanks from me, as well.

  • 0zyxcba1

    @ starann
    "As a lay person, perhaps I am not qualified to speak my opinion."

    Perhaps not.

    It depends on the subject and how much one knows about it. For example, I believe almost everyone qualifies, to one degree, or to another, as a lay cook. But then there's the professional. Personally,
    I would be more than just a little reticent telling the head chef of a
    fine Paris restaurant the best way to prepare soufflé au chocolat.

    As a second example, take your own profession. Surely you can
    sense at the drop of a hat whether another has even the first clue
    when expressing views about that which you, day-in and day-out,
    do for a living.

    On occasion, you well might chance upon the gifted amateur who
    has a pointer worth considering. But, by the same token, you're a
    busy professional and have no time for babble. This is not arrogance.
    This is just the way it is.

    You worked long and hard to get where you are and, while one never
    stops learning, one nevertheless has earned the right(and some, at
    times, have even the duty) to say, Shut up! I'm busy! ? busy in an
    operating room, in an attempt to save the life of @starann.

    "I have no 'facts' to share, only viewpoint."

    That's fine if your viewpoint concerns an area where there are no facts. But if there are no facts, then what is there to discuss? Naturally, when it comes to gods, all are equal in their knowledge. No one has any! There is only faith. And with 'faith', one is powerless to negotiate. So if powerless, why then bother?

    Here's why.

    To show that there is a difference, a fundamental, and an important difference, between faith, and knowledge. The knee-jerk reaction, even among some non-theists, is that such a distinction need not be spelled out; that such is a distinction, self-evident, and obvious.

    False!

    So many believers think that, through faith, one can come to know.

    But the nature of 'faith' is subjective.
    The nature of 'knowledge' is not.

    Were we humans, all of us, able to grasp this distinction and accept it
    as an objective truth, then perhaps, now, in the 21st Century, not one
    of us would be forced to witness adulteresses in the Islamic Republic
    of Iran being stoned until they are dead.

    I'll leave it here, for you to fill in the blanks.

    Thank you, @staranns, for reading this.

    0z

  • http://www.youtube.com/user/alronvitis norlavine

    Why were my comments jumped onto, with protests from many against religion Vs science when I never even mentioned it? Believing in intelligent creation etc etc has nothing to do with any religion whatsoever. Did I say Adam and Eve bla bla? Did I say 'It is written bla bla' - NO I didn't so please stop preaching to me. My OWN theories are based on my OWN observations and evaluations.Stop ridiculing people who haven't joined your church of Dawson just yet. You are all putting out there that I am some kind of half witt who still believes in Santa Clause.To question some academic authority means one's mind will gain knowledge in the process, hopefully.These guys believe they are the only intelligence in town, get over it xx

  • robertallen1

    I don't know how things are in Australia, but in the United States, courts have ruled that intelligent design is religious in nature and academically this makes sense.

    As you have not shared your observations and evaluations with us, the only conclusion is that they are vapid conjectures based on nothing, least of all anything scientific. You deserve the ridicule and as for being half-witted, one has only to scrutinize the inconsistent, meandering thread of your postings and observe some of your spellings--by the way, the name of your archenemy is Dawkins and last I heard, Santa Claus delivers presents, not bits of sentences.

    Until a scientific replacement has been found, evolution remains the only game in town, whether you like it or not!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000631933465 Fecioru Florin

    Reductio ad Hitlerum LOL

  • Guest

    The day people of the earth say: GOD as described since the beginning of religions doesn't exist, plain and so simple.
    Together united in making this conclusion could actually give birth to "a" GOD.
    GOD could be 6 billion people (or more by the time we wake up) who say ENOUGH of this emprisonment between hell and heaven.
    GOD may mean UNION of people particles.
    Imagine how powerfull we could be if we stopped fearing a non existant GOD but instead realised that each and everyone of us has the potential to be GODLIKE.
    The cosmos could really become a kid's playground.
    Let's unleash!
    az

  • Guest

    GOD as we have heard of "him,her,it" is there to minimize us to think we are mere humans.
    As Oz suggested once:
    "As has been suggested many times, all that is may simply be All-That-Is experiencing itself."
    Let's unleash the DOG and see how far we can run towards freedom.
    az

  • DinosaurSins

    A few caveats: It is important to consider the meaning of the word "theory" when speaking in a scientific context. Intelligent design is not a theory in said context so much as it is at best a hypothesis and at worst a grievous assumption. It's all very well and good to base some beliefs on anecdotal evidence, but that can never lead to objective truth; it can only ever coincide with it. In other words, if you are buying into a concept based on your life experiences, you are a biased observer and the observations you make will be similarly biased.

    The reason why science is so widely regarded as a credible field is because scientists, the good ones at least, work diligently to limit the effects of bias on research. There are many safeguards in place to insure that scientists will not bias the outcome and the myriad fields are more about discovery than being right. When it comes to concepts of origin, evolution pretty much has it in the bag for the time being. I've yet to see a single detractor's criticisms of evolution go unexplained in a wholly satisfactory way.

    So therein lies the rub. When a legitimate scientific theory butts heads with a layman guess, people who tend to follow the discussion will react in a rather dismissive/aggressive way. It gets to be very tiresome to go through the same conversation over and over, explaining why evolution is the best explanation we have at hand. It really is, and with a little research into all of the evidence in support of the theory, an unbiased party would surely come to the same conclusion. Sadly, many people are not comfortable with the notion that we're the product of chemical chance. Rather than accepting the evidence as it is, they scramble to find an explanation that meshes more pleasantly with their sentiments.

    There's one last thing I suggest: Why not ask yourself why you have trouble accepting evolution as the likeliest explanation? Is it because you perceive a lack of evidence or because the notion makes you uncomfortable? If it's that you don't think there is enough evidence, take a few minutes out of your day, look up the nearest university with a biology department and ask them if you could have the chance to speak to a professor. Failing that, I'm aware of more than a few academics who happily answer questions that inquire minds wish to ask.

    Best of luck to you in your efforts to learn.

  • 0zyxcba1

    @ norlavine
    "Why were my comments jumped onto,..."

    I think it good to brave asking such a question.

    It's hard knowing where to begin.

    For a change, let's start at the end.

    "To question some academic authority means one's mind will gain knowledge in the process, hopefully."

    "To question some academic authority," in the sense of posing a question, can be a good thing. Should the "academic authority" choose to provide an answer then, all going well, "one's mind will gain knowledge in the process, hopefully."

    "To question some academic authority," in the sense of mounting a challenge to his authority, can also be a good thing if, on the subject under examination, one is also an authority. Such challenges are common in all academia, indeed indispensable to the academic process. All going well, both academic authorities "will gain knowledge in the process, hopefully."

    But for one who comprehends so little about a subject as to be unable to so much as formulate such a challenge, one would need first to engage in several years of intense study in the field of interest, most likely to the post doctorate level, at minimum.

    In our culture, we are urged to 'question authority'.

    And so one should ? to gain knowledge. To challenge authority, if one is able, is not only good, but imperative for the advancement of knowledge. Though please remember, the ability to mount a meaningful challenge to authority requires that one also be an authority in the area under examination.

    I think I'll leave it there.

    0z

  • robertallen1

    You've done well in explaining why those like Norlavene are looked down upon by anyone with any intelligence, sophistication and education.

    However, I disagree, at least partially, with one point. Your expertise in a subject need not be at a post-graduate level to raise meaningful (even if invalid) questions, but a basic understanding is vital. This unfortunately Norlevene lacks and from what I can glean refuses to obtain. Thus she blows like the north wind.

  • Guest

    What's keeping you from being free? If you want to be free then simply be free.

  • Guest

    norlavine - Try not to be to upset when people are unfairly (and I do mean unfairly) berating you. You play right into their hands this way.

    When they do all this talking about science this and science that and they get in your face telling you that science has put ID in the trash, they are the ones who are quite wrong. Science has done no such thing. Science has merely said it has found no evidence for ID. That's it. Nothing else.

    That is all a person who claims to have science on his side can and should answer. If he doesn't he is not correct and nor does he have science on his side.

  • Guest

    @ norvaline

    I checked your vids out. You have a very sexy voice, if you don't mind my saying it. Very feminine. :) Great PITCH, too, for that matter. Keep it up!

  • robertallen1

    If science has found no evidence for ID, forget it--it's garbage.

  • Guest

    norlavine - That didn't take long did it. See what I mean.

  • Guest

    robertallen If that is your assertion show me your evidence.

  • robertallen1

    @norlavine

    I too checked out one of your videos, as much of it as I could stand, which was about 30 seconds.

    Obviously, you're as ignorant of music in general as you are of evolution--and it's an ignorance which extends to your so-called performance (for want of a better word).

    To call you an amateur is an overstatement. In other words, you blend in perfectly well with today's simplistic, unintelligent popular music.

  • robertallen1

    @norlevene

    I too checked out one of your videos, as much of it as I could stand, which was about 30 seconds.

    Obviously, you're as ignorant of music in general as you are of evolution--and it's an ignorance which extends to your so-called performance (for want of a better word).

    To call you an amateur is an overstatement. In other words, you blend in perfectly well with today's simplistic, unintelligent popular music.

  • robertallen1

    @norlevene

    I too checked out one of your videos, as much of it as I could stand which was about 30 seconds.

    Your ignorance extends to music as well as science, both in terms of composition and performance (for want of a better word.

    To call you an amateur is overstating the case. In other words, you blend in perfectly with today's simplistic, unintelligent popular music.

  • StillRV

    I agree Az. The popular idea that comes out of most religions is one of subservient and somehow unworthy self image. I personally don't see it tho in the actual texts. For example to go from the most common religious text discussed on this site, the Christian bible;
    Jesus = god as being the son of god makes one divine themselves.
    Jesus refers to all people as his brothers and sisters thus they are also the children of god / god themselves. Ultimate message of the text All men are gods. I see similar ways of finding the ultimate divinity of man within many other religions as well. Granted the ultimate level of self worth and respect for others can be found by means outside of religion by all means. I just think that, at their source, the words within most religious texts seem to point toward this state of being. However as institutions run and corrupted by men with ulterior motives and self interests that message is buried deep by organized faiths. I hope you find your freedom AZ we all should. I see mine from time to time most often out among nature and sometimes when all this modern world seems dirty and alien. But I also believe that that freedom is variable from one man to the next and with our societies and our crowded ways of life it may be ever beyond our grasp on a global scale.

  • Guest

    @ robertallen

    Actually, Robert, I've been involved in music for 35 years, and am, in fact, a trained composer (the proper, "classical" kind, which you probably pride yourself in knowing all about...), which I can prove to you unequivocally, if you'd really like. You may know a great deal about a great many subjects, but I believe I can firmly gaurantee that this is one area in which your expertise is EXTREMELY unlikely to come anywhere near my own. When I give out a compliment to another musician, therefore, I know exactly WHY, and what I'm talking about. And you should know, the songs Norvaline did were COVERS, not original compositions... And her voice, while not shown as powerful in THESE pieces, has a warmth and intimacy to it that is very effective, and her pitch never wavers...

    Seriously, you need to lighten up a little bit on the anger and insults, man. I don't know you, but I'm beginning to think you may have a real problem. You're taking some of this way too much to heart, I think...Don't do that to yourself.

  • StillRV

    Ignore it Norlavine. It is not worth the time to argue. Keep looking for the answers that fulfill your questions wherever you find them. Be it in faith or science or both. A fulfilled and quieted mind is a great thing and can only be achieved for ones self. There is quite a bit of venom in these comment forums. It is a damn shame too. Lots of intelligent people all seeking to learn and expand and yet they would devour any who disagree with their findings. Even when we are all drawn here by the same needs and thirst for thought provoking content and are, at our cores, probably quite similar. Sorry for your being made upset in any way, but please do not let them frighten you away from the site.

  • Guest

    Amen

  • StillRV

    Also Norlavine, I checked out your youtube postings as you suggested. Very nice. You have a creative mind. All the more reason for you to seek your own truth regardless of the assertions of either the religious zealots or the scientific.

  • robertallen1

    I have studied music all my life and performed, so please don't try to snow me. Your comments impugn your assertion that you were classically trained. If indeed you were, you obviously learned nothing or discarded what you had learned, otherwise you would see immediately how cheap and untrained her voice is, especially when compared to good popular singers such as Peggy Lee, Margaret Whiting, Ivy Anderson, Helen O'Connell, Ethel Waters, Fran Warren.

    Also, if you have had the training you claim, you would know that being on pitch is as basic to singing as having a technique is to playing an instrument. In other words, techniques and abilities to be on pitch are a dime a dozen and are basic expectations of a performer. With regard to warmth and intimacy, she does what all amateurs when they feel the need for emotion, however ersatz, turn the vibrato on full, both vocally and bodily, assisted by the electrical current. Pull the plug and she disappears.

    Frankly, you're the one with the problem. This lady's video has no relevance to this comment section--and by the same token, I have no business responding to you--which is why I have.

  • StillRV

    Robertallen1. Science has not yet found irrefutable evidence of half of what it searches for. Subatomic particles, extra dimensions, The full human genome code. guess we need a bigger trash can.

  • Guest

    StillRV - It's my understanding we have the full human genome coded.

  • StillRV

    Not positive lakhotason. perhaps we do but we still don't know what it all does. yet my point remains the same.

  • Guest

    Like I SAID...If you've got THE GUTS to go for the PROOF, I can GIVE it to you, buddy. And if you have any INTEGRITY, which I seriously doubt, it'll shut you up but GOOD about the subject. Otherwise, you're just the BLOWHARD everyone on this site already knows you are.

  • Guest

    There is no evidence for ID. That I do not dispute. Nor do I put forth for ID simply for the reason there is no evidence to do so.

    For the same reason I cannot call ID garbage. Simply no evidence for that either. Let me explain why that should be the only position you should take.

    Malaria has been our scourge for 50,000 years and for 50,000 the best we could come up with was "bad air". Then a fellow discovered the malaria protozoan. Nobel Prize. Then another fellow discovered the mosquito connection. Nobel Prize #2.

    So what you ask. Well bad air was true, but it was a sort of backwards or maybe sideways truth. You would tend to catch malaria in bad air. Marshes swamps, low-lying areas and such ilk certainly do have "bad air", but they tended to have one other thing too. It took 50000 years for some one to spot that. It took that long . And the answer was quite literally buzzing around their head. In the air.

    The same goes for ID. Who is to say that there isn't a backwards truth lurking in ID. Or better yet, right in front of our face. I for one do not
    believe there is but I would be worse than a fool if I asserted there was not.

  • Achems_Razor

    Hardly anybody is out to devour the religee's. No one is trying to scare Norlavine away, and just because she is a woman playing with the big boys, no need to console and protect her by default, she should learn to grin and bear it.

    The burden of proof is on the believer to prove their God's existence, not on the nonbeliever to disprove god's existence. Although we cannot prove a negative, I can just as easily argue that I cannot prove that there is no Isis, Zeus, Apollo, Brahma, Ganesha, Mithra, Allah, Yahweh, or even Ehwa.

    There is evidence that the god's and religions are human and social constructions based on research from psychology, anthropology, history, comparative mythology, and sociology.

  • robertallen1

    No evidence = garbage.

  • robertallen1

    @ Pysmythe

    You've got the proof of what?

    How do you know what everyone on this site knows--or are you just a blowhard.

  • Guest

    Yeah, that's what I THOUGHT...

  • Guest

    @ lakhotason

    I'm sure you've heard it before, but:

    "Doubt is an uncomfortable position, but certainty is an absurd one."

    Wise words, worth bearing in mind... ;)

  • Guest

    Show me the evidence.

  • StillRV

    Malaria is a great example. As could be many of the old ways and thoughts. Many religions eschew the consumption of shell fish and pork, of course in those days they had no knowledge of trichinosis, salmonella, or Iodine allergies. They just observed that people who ate certain things sometimes became ill and died which led to the then logical conclusion that those foods were forbidden.

  • Guest

    You've explained yourself in a way such that even a kindergartener could understand. Yet you were not boring, not at all. Despite the seriousness of the topic, the story was fun to follow(and interesting!). I think your target audience DOES 'get it' but, as thunderfoot('Why People Laugh at Creationists') put it, They just don't care. Any attempt to reason with 'Ideological faith' must fail. The people you are trying to reach will NEVER stop. But they can BE stopped!

    You have demonstrated to reasonable people that we are not alone and have helped us to learn one more way to struggle with this important social phenomenon -- HEAD ON.

    Thanks!

  • Guest

    @Dusan Pavlicek,
    "...it's not possible to reply to it directly..."
    all u gotta do is what i jut did, put the name of the person preceded by a "@" at the top of the post before you start.hope this helps.

  • Guest

    "[when] debating existence. It really doesn't matter who or what God is..."

    If you think about it, 'existence' and pinning down just what is meant by 'God' go hand in hand because you can't even hope to prove the existence of something not understood.

    Try proving the existence of a 'phubbley'.

  • starann

    Soul stranded between skin and bones, always looking for answers. Thank you for the chance to learn.

  • StillRV

    In all honesty Achems Gender means nothing at all on the internet. Norla could be a middle-aged male cabbie from Trenton NJ for all we really know. So no I was not out for a stroll in my freshly burnished mail. There have been quite a few casualties over time on here and each curious mind sent packing by the negativity is a terrible loss. That is all I cared to prevent, if a voice of encouragement could do that.
    Yes there is proof as you say that gods are a social construct. What of it? My stance is that many things constructed by man have value, perhaps not to all but to some. Therefore it is not my place to deconstruct what others long ago constructed.

  • Guest

    Starann - To the contrary, you are the only one qualified to speak your opinion.

  • robertallen1

    "It is not my place to deconstruct what others have constructed." Tell that to Einstein, Galileo, Goedel, Cantor, etc.

    Many things constructed by man indeed have value--but religion isn't one of them.

  • Guest

    StillRV - Sometimes closing one's mouth and opening the eyes has unexpected results. Even the most outrageous lies can be gleaned of knowledge if we were to merely listen.

  • 0zyxcba1

    @ StillRV
    "My stance is that many things constructed by man have value, perhaps not to all but to some."

    I agree. Here are just a few I got from a simple Google search:

    1. Declaration of Human Rights. - The idea of equality, liberty, and justice

    2. Understanding Nature of Human existence - From Aristotle, to Newton and Einstein. The greatest minds have helped better understand the place of human beings in the greater cosmos through the laws of gravity and other scientific discoveries.

    3. Climbing Mount Everest - Symbolizing the adventurous spirit of man

    4. Development of Modern Medicine and Vaccinations

    5. Moon Landing

    6. Ave Maria Bach / Schubert

    7. Leonardo Da Vinci's Mona Lisa

    8. Building the Great Pyramids

    9. The Works of William Shakespeare

    10. The First Flight by the Wright brothers 1901

    Of course one could go on and on, but I do not believe you would find a list including the creation of religion by Man among any list. Maybe a religion could be found among great achievements had any of them been created by women(apart from Christian Science created single-handedly by Mary Baker Eddy who most likely suffered from temporal-lobe-epilepsy-like symptoms due to a severe childhood accident causing brain damage).

    "Twould be much better for the world to be governed by the women in it." ~ James Joyce

    I wonder which list is longer. The great achievements of Man, or the great horrors created by men, as opposed having been created by women?

    As things stand now, I cannot think of any reason whatsoever
    to include one single religion in a list of any beneficial achievements.

    Can you?

    0z

  • Guest

    I must insist the frisbee be included in the top ten.

  • Guest

    Ozy - maybe you will appreciate Sally Field's interpretation of James Joyce -

    "If the world was run by mothers wouldn't be no godd#%@ed war."

  • Guest

    What of the value of a bad example?

  • 0zyxcba1

    @ lakhotason, you just watch! Some smart ass is going to pull out of the hat Bloody Mary, Elizabeth I, and Margate Thatcher.

    Well, I have to admit, that is three out of about a billion! (LOL)

    0z

  • 0zyxcba1

    @ lakhotason, a little off topic, nontheless I offer for delectaton:

    "I try to be cynical but I can't keep up."
    ~ Lily Tomlin

    0z

  • 0zyxcba1

    @ lakhotason

    "bad example" would serve, if only men would learn from it :-))

    0z

  • Guest

    Ozy - I can't speak of Liz and Maggie but a Bloody Mary would go down fine about right now.

  • 0zyxcba1

    ROTFLMFAO

  • Guest

    It is not the fault of the example if men choose to learn nothing from it.

  • 0zyxcba1

    Indeed, tis the fault of the examples' craftsmen!

  • Guest

    ozy- is it not enough that I proclaim my own ignorance? Must I also be required to furnish an example?

    Okay, I give up. What does ROTFLMFAO mean?

  • Guest

    Ozy - Oh no. Religion is the master craftsman of bad example.

  • 0zyxcba1

    I fear they are the initials of a good many red-letter words!
    Google 'Urban Dictionary' and key it in:

    Google: ROTFLMFAO "Urban Dictionary"

    My, my, you are innocent. (lol)

  • Guest

    How odd I did not know there was a name for my affliction but it is comforting that I need not suffer alone.

  • 0zyxcba1

    @ lakhotason
    "Religion is the master craftsman of bad example."

    Religion does not craft bad examples. Religion IS a bad example crafted by...?

    0z

    P.S.: "...I did not know there was a name for my affliction..."
    Surely, you suffer from more than just one! (lol)

  • 0zyxcba1

    I'm going out for some breakfast. Catch ya later! :-)

  • Guest

    Concerning this "I am right and you therefore are wrong" approach to reasoning. Some men are driven to write books extolling their self-esteem. I prefer to keep my self-esteem plausibly deniable in the event I should be called to account for it.

    Perhaps Ambrose Bierce defines it best.

    Self-esteem: an erroneous appraisement.

  • Norm

    Mr.robertallen1
    I can't for the life of me understand why a person of your status, your position in life and with your infinite knowledge and wisdom, would waste time on a site with less than 50,000 subscribers! I'm certain your schedule of speaking engagements, book signings and concert tours would prohibit such a waste of valuable time!

    Of course you could consider this your contribution to the "little people" and all those (aka everyone) who either cannot afford to purchase your volumes of written wisdom or cannot take the time to attend one of your performances during the sold out world wide tour.

    Go back to where it is you slithered from, if they'll have you, and take your vile persona with you.

    Thank you

  • robertallen1

    @Norm

    You''ve refuted absolutely nothing of what I have written--in short, you've said nothing.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_ZMK6YNWJACHQ5CRCJW5TNYFURI KsDevil

    What keeps people from being free is fear genarated from the self which is inspired by others. Oddly enough, freedom can also be generated from the self and inspired by others. So, perhaps, it is choice of knowledge. Knowledge of others and knowledge of self.

  • Guest

    Why bring Jesus into this? He never espoused religion.

  • robertallen1

    @lakhotason

    I was merely responding to Starann.

    As for Jesus espousing religion, who knows? We have only at best 5th-hand conflicting accounts, the earliest written at least 100 years after his death.

    However, if we take John 8:12 at face value (which I don't), "I am the way, the truth and the light" comes awfully close.

  • Guest

    Yes, I agree with you. But what has come down to us from Christ (or not) are basically four things:

    Play nice
    Share
    Do unto others
    Forgiveness

    Pretty darn close to the way, the truth, and the light wouldn't you agree?

  • Guest

    And I was set on using phubbley to refute you. What rotten luck

  • Guest

    Pysmythe - Now that's a righteous talking to.

  • robertallen1

    @Iakhotason

    None of these four items was original to the individual ordinarily referred to as Jesus Christ (which any biblical scholar knows was not his name) and all are found in some form the Old Testament and earlier works dating back to the Babylonian civilization.

    1. Play nice--I have no idea what that means. If it means deal honestly, I have no argument. If it goes beyond that, forget it.

    2. Share. Naturally a person is required to provide for his offspring as they grow up and pay taxes; but beyond that, it's optional; but refusing to share exception as aforementioned, does not make one a bad person.

    3. The Golden Rule. This is the one precept worth living up to despite the frustration it might cause to its practitioner. However, this principle was around long before Christ.

    4. Forgiveness--perhaps in minor things, but certain things are unforgiveable: lying (in the larger sense of the word), cheating, thievery (again in in the larger sense of the world), not living up to one's word. Too many people count on forgiveness to get away with whatever they can.

    And no, these are not pretty darn close to "the way, the truth and the light," for according to John, Jesus was demanding that, in addition to these precepts, people believe in him.

    My original point still stands: anyone who demands that people believe in him unconditionally is preaching a religion, whether it be Ken Lay, Jim Johnson, Oral Roberts, Barack Obama or Jesus himself.

  • Guest

    Glad you pointed that out to me otherwise I might have said something stupid along the lines of:

    Norm leaves nothing remaining to be said.

    At least I got the nothing part right.

  • Guest

    Your insight is invaluable. In either case freedom of fear IS freedom.

  • Guest

    Thanks for your reply. All honest appraisals. Yet these teachings are not followed for other' s benefit. They are a gift to those who wish to live freely.

  • 0zyxcba1

    @Iakhotason
    "...what has come down to us from Christ...are basically four things...
    "Play nice;
    "Share;
    "Do unto others;
    "Forgiveness."

    You left out the most important 'gift':

    Believe in me or you fry!

    0z

  • Guest

    Pysmythe - Getting the expected answer is a pretty good indication that we've asked the wrong question.

  • Guest

    Damn. I admire a man who can spell kindergartner.

  • Guest

    Breakfast does not relieve you of the responsibility of correcting your top ten list.

  • Guest

    Ain't it the truth.

    Thanks for the advice.

  • Guest

    Oh. What has this to do with the top ten list?

  • Guest

    I've never heard a more reasoned thought. Thank you very much.

  • StillRV

    Couldn't agree more Lakhotason.

  • StillRV

    Those are all fine achievements you listed Oz. But strangely enough one of them at least would never have existed were it not for the inspiration of a faith, The pyramids were religious structures as is stone henge and most of the 7 wonders of the world. I have no Idea how to operate a 50 ton earth mover but it serves some people a great deal to have one. To me it is useless to them it is a miracle.

  • 0zyxcba1

    @ Iakhotason
    "...top ten list?"

    "Believe in me or you fry!"
    belongs at the bottom of any, and every, list.

    "They are a gift to those who wish to live freely."

    Doesn't smell smug at all.

    "Gift?"

    From whom?

    And, then, too, there is the inverse to consider: without this so-called "gift," one could never hope to live freely. Take it or leave it. Oh! Oh, how so very 'spiritual' ? Gee whiz! Almost as good as religion!

    The 'gift set' you refer to can be read off of fortune cookies after any good Chinese meal ? and the 'gift' will not have originated from the anointed dude, 'at one' with his monster father.

    0z

  • Guest

    Well. StillRV, Yours is a view that is at its worst, well thought. I believe at its best, it is simple, well-thought,and true.

  • Guest

    Why is it you must point out to everybody that I am guilty of all the above (below?). It is of course an obvious, no blatant!, use of pretzel logic to obfuscate the readily apparent, at least to those of us who posses the very rudiments of reason, that your top ten is deeply flawed.

  • Guest

    fry baby fry.

  • 0zyxcba1

    @ lakhotason
    fry baby fry."

    Now you're showing your true colors!

    Christian!

    0z

  • StillRV

    Thank you. I just feel that any philosophy just as any object created by the minds of man has potential for both great good and great harm. Sadly both types of creation have been used for harm, but not in my hands. So I hope for sound judgment in others and for the better choices to be made.

  • Guest

    Ozy - am I looked upon by others as a christian?
    I

  • Guest

    I feel a little bad about it now, but, I mean, you can't even give someone else a simple COMPLIMENT without setting this guy off? THAT'S a problem, in my book...

  • Guest

    Freedom from Dogma, not 1 person is really free from that, it surrounds all of us for as long as we can remember.
    az

  • http://www.youtube.com/user/alronvitis norlavine

    Thank you StillRV, perhaps we just keep looking for that next true paradigm shift that will be one of enlightenment and hope for this currently miserable and war torn plane of existence we call home. xx

  • Guest

    Well, we do prove the existence of gravity

  • tomregit

    Your first comment on TDF is well reasoned and succinctly put. I look forward to hearing more from you.

  • http://www.facebook.com/ElmoPutz David Foster

    "The people you are trying to reach will NEVER stop. But they can BE stopped.."

    ..and that's why the uniforms all look the same to me!

  • wald0

    I couldn't agree with you more. The same people that are so adamant about belittling anyone that disagrees with them define themselves as defenders of science, give me a break. They run around spouting interpretation and speculation like it is cold hard fact, they misunderstand theories and so forth and will fight to the death about being right even after you show them peer reviewed science that says otherwise- which they claim to hold as the ultimate authority. I mean yes these interpretations are at least suggested by some real scientific data, not quite the same as say the existence of God, but they are not proven to be true. Besides that, any real scientists or academic knows that attacking someone personally, belittling them and squashing their desire for knowledge, makes you look like a tacky wanna be and does nothing to progress the conversation toward a consensus or inspire people to adhere to science.

    I would hardly call the TDF forum "playing with the big boys" that's just laughable. The "big boys" don't bother with online forums or arguments, they spend their time doing real science, making real discoveries, writing the books that the so called "big boys" get all their information from. The "big boys" don't revert to name calling and cursing because they disagree with someones theory or belief, they don't attack people only their theories. Everyone is guilty of occasionally losing their cool or getting frustrated, me included, but if you consistently attack and belittle people, consistently talk of interpretation as fact, consistently consider yourself some kind of authority though you have no formal education, no career in science, and have never even done a real experiment that you didn't get out of some book- you are not a "big boy" you are an amateur with a strong interest. Nothing wrong with that, as long as you don't fool yourself into thinking your basic understanding of few scientific principles makes you a science god, or excuses counter productive childish behavior.

  • robertallen1

    @wald0

    It is not about disagreement, but about intelligent disagreement. When a statement exhibits an appalling ignorance of the basics of the subject it ostensibly deals with, its propounder merits the scorn, belittlement and ridicule with which he is met by both professional and enlightened amateur alike. Most of the people who make the boeotian statements encountered on this site would rather spout off than be enlightened. So it has nothing to do squelching someone's quest for knowledge.

    To prove what I imagine is one your points, you resort to meaningless generalties. Which theories are misunderstood? Which peer-reviewed science are you referring to? Which interpretations are actually taken as fact? Just a few examples will do.

    Finally, what makes you regard yourself as an expert on the conduct of "the big boys?" Perhaps you should read up on the debates between the evolutionists and the theists (for want of a better term) back in Darwin's day--it was a circus of name-calling and disparagement by "the big boys" of their time. This is, of course, one example, but I can list others.

  • Achems_Razor

    @waldO:

    I see you are still crying the blues, as the @Hate Machine: would say, "wash the sand out of your vag," and get on with life.

    Picking up a few words, "like big boys" which were mine and expounding them to death, that is why I am replying to you and your whinny attitude. You did not mention my name but it is obvious to whom you were referring to. "Cowardly"

    You have no idea what I do, and what I know and what I have accomplished, so you have no business in portraying your ad hoc fallacy about me, for someone going to college like you say you are you seem to spend a lot of time on TDF forums. Eh?

  • dave.eggermont

    On the other hand you could ask: what's the value of truth coming out of the mouth of a madman? Would it not still be as true as it would be coming from a sane person?

    Nuances people.. I teach you nuances. Divide the what from the who.

  • StillRV

    Freedom from dogma has to be an individual achievement. Once an individual opens their mind more to independent thought. Some never reach that and stick with one societal norm to the next. For many their religious and spiritual introspection is buried under a mountain of predestined education followed by consumerist survival. To them the Sunday trip to the church or what have you is just a programed norm.
    I will admit in our current society religion has past its prime, Yet looking backward I can see where, after 12 hours down a coal shaft could make one benefit from a faith. Let alone praying for rain on a homestead to keep your family alive through winter. The further disengaged from the struggle to live is the key to the exodus from faiths. Regardless of the sins and injustices of the centralized churches I feel for the common man faith was a needed solace in a bitter life. Do any of us know the pain of seeing 5 out of 8 children die in our homes? And even worse the further back you go.
    That is why in the third world nations Faith is still such a deep presence. As for the US hard faith Christians; Some are fighting a new age that frightens them and others suffer under the new life threatening dangers of our own creation. Staying employed navigating an ever busier world the everyday struggle to survive where a plasma screen is an required item of survival.
    I just try to remember the hardships of my predecessors and just how much a man would need a faith in something to accomplish all that we have as man and individual for so long and against such odds.
    The future needs no gods yet the gods fueled the past.

  • Guest

    "...yet the gods fueled the past."

    I'm afraid some are always going to need this type of faith, at least for a long time to come...or until we've all been made "immortal" and have all the wealth we will ever need, lol. And concerning religion being past its prime: With the folks you see who are most strident about their beliefs, isn't it easy to get the sense that they feel they're on a sinking ship, and that the reason they're so p^ssed is because they see more and more leaving them behind to go down with it? But some sweet day all this turmoil will be over, all the yelling and screaming finished, and there will be nothing seen on the surface of the water but abiding peace, with smooth sailing for those left to whatever exotic ports we were meant to see, to whatever far, impossible places our courage and intelligence can take us. I believe that has always been our real destiny, and the reason, it could be said, the universe created us. What's so hard about it now is that we are caught in the middle of of a death and a birth...We have to say goodbye to the old men who have meant so much to us, and turn ourselves to fostering the growth of this beautiful, magnificent child we've created, hoping and planning for the best, and having faith that it won't turn on us when it comes of age. No wonder a lot of us are terrified! Like with any child, this is the first child, and nothing to our eyes has ever been more lovely, or more fraught with peril.

  • StillRV

    Well Said! An excellent elaboration on what I meant by "those fighting a new age that frightens them" as well as a strong understanding of my meaning. It can be hard for us to appreciate sometimes the headlong rush that society has taken over the last century. From our grand parents to ourselves has occurred the fastest and most dynamic paradigm shift in culture ever. From picking a chicken from the coup for supper to picking the most convenient take out on the way home from the office. From shoeing your horse to sweat shop air jordans. Historically even in the context of the religions themselves it is as if an infant became man and king within it's first month.
    The industrial age followed by the even more fast and furious rise of technology...It may seem forever in our fast paced minds but 50 years even 100 is a drop in a bucket. It is as some would call it a brave new world. Some are not ready for it.
    As you said, many still need that old faith to give them solace. That is why, even as a agnostic, I don't feel it is right to vehemently strip so many of their source of solace. Who am I or any man to do so. Yes when misguided faithful seek to derail progress and to claw us backward in time we must deny them. But those are a precious few among the religious individuals in the world.

  • Guest

    I don't have a problem per se letting the faithful believe what they wish, as long as they aren't trying in any way to heap their doctrines onto the backs of everyone else, and as long as it's adults we're talking about... I do have A VERY SERIOUS ISSUE with innocent children being intellectually stifled, and threatened with everlasting hellfire. Those kinds of abuses make me want to suit-up and start lobbing off heads without mercy. Keep religious instruction For Adults Only, and leave kids safely out of it. But for obvious reasons, you'll never see any faith willing to consent to such an idea.

    Despite my preference to live and let live, with what we are seeing more and more of here in America since 1980, it gets harder and harder to do that with a clear conscience, and in fact I don't do it anymore. People have been lobbying political power in an attempt to force others to acquiesce to what their religious views are, in preference to any other, though you will rarely hear them admit of that motive. And as for the fear in them, they are really convinced that things are falling apart in just about every way, and that only they know the reasons why, and only they have the cure for it. At the same time, the hard-core among them love all of this, of course, since it's such a clear sign that THE END IS NEAR... But in my view, none of these people actually love others, the planet, or have anything more than a selfish regard for their own interests, everyone else be d^mned. As I've said before, in reality they are social-darwinists, trying their best to stamp out the opposition, so that the America that results (however brief it would be, according to them) is an America wholly on their terms. They CANNOT be satisfied only with being free to have their views: Everyone else must have them, too, because that is their mandate... Therefore, in the interests of actual freedom, I personally try to thwart them at every turn, with votes and with words, the torpedos of the humane, while wasting as little time as possible being disheartened about them or the doomed ship they've booked passage on. It may seem too hard to be like this, I know, but these fanatics are ruthless in their intentions, and so we should be, too, since they're always pushing us to it... They would have everyone instructed in the ridiculous, and sleep in their staterooms like babes in arms! But the fires of science and reason have already long lit the fuses, and the wakes are churning... It's only a matter of time, and in their hearts they know it.

  • 0zyxcba1

    @ robertallen
    "However, I disagree, at least partially, with one point. Your expertise in a subject need not be at a post-graduate level..."

    Point taken.

    I was referring more to a type of 'challenge' which, in order to be viable, might require peer review, etc.

    I did not make myself clear and, even had I, addressing a notion of 'challenge' at such caliber is inappropriate within the context at hand.

    Thanks for highlighting the error.

    0z

  • http://www.youtube.com/user/alronvitis norlavine

    @robertallen1
    Hi , just noticed your comment about the sophisticated, informed - and oh so post graduated! Do you honestly believe everything science has discovered up til this point is the end statement? Einstein used the tools of standard rote tertiary education to hone his theories only, and called upon his diligent student friends with mathematical skills to transpose his own style of equations into a standardized universal form. He probably didn't bother little else from 'his superiors' at university, which is maybe the reason the old saying 'a genius is one whom no teacher can harm'.Thank you for inferring I am unsophisticated and uneducated, it makes it easier for me to say this: 'it would make far more sense to believe existence on all levels began, just because it did?' xx

  • robertallen1

    The beauty of science is its endless discovery, as opposed to religion, which being based on nothing, goes nowhere. I did not imply that you are unsophisticated and uneducated; I stated it. Your last sentence bears witness.

  • 0zyxcba1

    @ lakhotason
    "Show me the evidence."

    By definition, faith is belief without evidence.

    While not all faith is founded in religion, the same cannot be said for the converse. Religions are based upon faith; religions, by definition, are founded upon core beliefs supported by nothing?supported by 'faith'.

    Some evidence that beliefs with "No evidence = garbage" are seen below:

    4000 gay people executed in the theocracy of Iran
    since the 1979 revolution - Islam
    Salem witch burnings - Christian
    Waco Texas - Christian
    Timothy McVeigh - Christian
    Jones Town - Christian
    KKK - Christian
    Nazism - Christians
    Adolph Hitler - Catholic
    Serbians - Christian
    IRA(Irish Republican Army) - Christian
    Iron Guard - Christian
    Irish Republican Army - Christian

    I maintain that all of the massacres alluded to above, committed by all the factions mentioned above, qualify as "garbage."

    I should hope you, being a 'decent?' human being, agree.

    This evidence was located within a 5-min Google search.
    I am sure that if you wish even more evidence(you did request evidence!), you can find it, yourself.

    I just know you can, if you really try.

    0z

    P.S.: I await with great expectations your nitpick.

  • His Forever

    Oz: I wouldn't call any of those people "Christian". Jesus Himself said that many will be cast into Hell will say on that day "Lord, didn't we do this and that and the such and such in your name?" (paraphrased). But God will tell them "Depart from me you workers of iniquity [sin and evil], FOR I NEVER KNEW YOU!" Only those that do the will of of God are Christians, Oz. Not those that do evil.

    Even in Jesus day, the Saducees and the Pharisees were considered the most elite of the "religious" of the time. Yet, Jesus called them "sons of the Devil," "A broad of vipers" and told them directionly that they were not entering the Kingdom of God, and were actually hindering those that were!"

    God is not so concerned with the name you call yourself (i.e. "Christian" or whatever), but with the intentions of your heart and the works of your hands.

    Your attempt to besmirch the true Chruch of Christ with examples that do not fit the bill is sad in the least, and very telling of the state of your own heart at most.

    If you studied to be a priest at one time, then you would know what the Bible says about the reward of the "hypocrite" and the one that lives a double life or uses God's name for their own evil agenda.

    Don't you ever get tired of "twisting" God and all that is good and holy all the time?

    Nonetheless, with fullest sincerety of heart,

    Peace to you.

    Charles B.

  • His Forever

    Oz: I left you a message on your list of "Christians" above, but it wan't under your post as it was too far embedded to do so. If you want to read it, you might have to just get it from my profile. That's how I find some of yours, though I wonder why I even put in the effort sometimes.

  • robertallen1

    @C_and_N

    How do you know so much about god or for that matter "the true "Church of Christ" when you can't even spell besmirch?

    What makes you think the bible is true when obviously you know nothing of its history?

    In other words, you have no business mandating to others based on your ignorance of even the basics.

  • starann

    ahhhh...

  • Guest

    @CnN
    I am starting to think you LIKE a good fight. Did you watch the Ted Talk? That guy makes so much sense, you would have a real hard time to disagree with what he says.
    But i am interested in knowing how you can argue him(which i totally expect).
    az

  • 0zyxcba1

    @ C_and_N
    "I wouldn't call any of those people 'Christian'"

    Don't be telling me what 'Jesus' said. You weren't even there.
    And I could give not a rat's ass about Sadducees and Pharisees.
    I addressed my comments to @lakhotason in order to indicate to him that:

    "No evidence = garbage."

    You wouldn't understand. Stick to what you know: Nothing!

    0z

  • robertallen1

    Ozyxcba1

    It's a shame that this system does not easily allow one to discern who's responding to whom. I have brought this to Vlad's attention.

    One way or the other, I like your closing.

  • Guest

    If you read the comment by the oldest first (go down down down towards the end to the newest), the flow will make a lot more sense.
    az

  • robertallen1

    @Azilda

    I know this, but it's still awkward. That's why I have written to Vlad about it.

  • Guest

    @robertallen1
    did you write a suggestion on how to change it? Like this one comment you just wrote was not replied at the right place...helps to confuse things.
    az

  • robertallen1

    @Azilda

    Yes I did. I suggested that all blogs have the option to reply.

  • Guest

    Ozy - What we were discussing was ID. Somewhere in this vast sea of posts I replied not in defense of it but gave what I thought was a reason not to dismiss it as garbage. If you could read that, I think maybe you will have a clearer picture of my reasoning - or lack of it.

    Okay, now for the nit-picking. I don't debate your list of atrocities. I will however point out that I can match you atrocity for atrocity, none of which had anything to do with religion.

    So then should I assume: Secularism = Garbage ?

    PS The post I reference begins "There is no evidence for ID".

  • Guest

    Although I agree with your comment I not too sure how it replies to mine.

  • robertallen1

    @Iakhotason

    I realize that the way the system is designed, it is difficult to follow the thread of the posts. I have written to Vlad about this, suggesting that each post be given its separate reply option.

    Therefore, I can understand your confusion. I was not the one who posted the list of atrocities. However, while some of them, such as Ghengis Khan, the uprising in Rhowanda, Idi Amin and the current decimation in Norway, have not been of religious in nature, all to many have been. I'm surprised the Spanish Inquisition wasn't listed.

    In answer to your final question, because it is a philosophical doctrine masquerading as science, it is garbage.

  • http://topdocumentaryfilms.com/about/ Vlatko

    Hey folks. The comments can go two levels deep only. When you can't see a "replay" button" please post a new comment on top of the thread by mentioning the name of the person to whom you're responding.

  • 0zyxcba1

    @ lakhotason
    "...your top ten is deeply flawed."

    You've referred to my "top ten" a few times. I have no idea want you mean.

    @StillRV said:
    "My stance is that many things constructed by man have value, perhaps not to all
    but to some."

    To which I replied:
    "I agree. Here are just a few I got from a simple Google search:"

    What I then post is neither mine, nor is it a "top ten" anything?simply a random
    selection of ten accomplishments/events.

    Maybe you should read what you refer to before you refer.

    This is MY top ten:

    0. FIRE/ AGRICULTURE/ ASTROLOGY?ASTRONOMY/ WHEEL

    1. WRITING

    2. In geometry: PROVE IT!

    3. ZERO?'nothing' as 'something'?concept of NUMBER

    2-&-3, FORM-&-NUMBER? 'The Absolute Beauty'
    thence onwards, and forever, Pure Mathematics,
    a defining feature of what it is to be human.

    4. LAW, codified and written in stone, for all to see

    5. The Library at Alexandria
    6. The Library at Alexandria?not buildings?the idea!
    7. The Library at Alexandria?Knowledge more valued than gold
    8. The Library at Alexandria?KNOWLEDGE is 'gold'!

    9. The PILL
    Women to seize what has always been theirs, absolute control
    over their fecundity, from men to whom it has never belonged,
    providing for the hope of a female dominated world, peaceful
    and whole, out of synch with, and at odds against, the deadly
    masculine Mosaic-Christian-Islamic paradigm.
    The death of the Christ.
    The birth of Civilization.

    Equal time:
    500,000 years men running everything
    500,000 yrs women running everything

    Fair is fair!

    10. Frisbee

    0z

    P.S.:
    What, pray tell, do you imply by "pretzel logic" ?

  • Guest

    Ozy - All was said tongue in cheek. Just trying to lighten up the conversation.

  • Guest

    I know the post I'm answering was from Ozy, but the post is in your string. I believe I did reference him.

    As for my "philosophical doctrine" it is neither mine nor is it philosophical.

    If you read the post I merely used an extension of his logic to come to the same flawed conclusion.

  • Guest

    Also, I have answered your previous comment in the Robertallen post of no evidence = garbage. It is the same string you commented in.

  • 0zyxcba1

    @ lakhotason
    "So then should I assume: Secularism = Garbage ?"

    I can see no reason why you should.

    The proposition is: "No evidence = garbage."

    If you wish to show that: "No evidence ? garbage"

    then go right ahead.

    It will be fun watching you founder.

    0z

  • Guest

    Did you read the post I referenced?

  • Guest

    If you can cite christian atrocities as being evidence of "no evidence=garbage" then should I not be free to site non-christian atrocities as being Secularism=garbage. I wasn't stating my belief but using your line of reasoning.

  • AlfBeta

    Pity appreciation of beauty of science is so often accompanied with unscientific inanities about religion, e.g. "based on nothing" Objective glance would indicate prima facie dubiousness of this and several other popular inanities on same subject, and provoke deeper examination. No denial here implied of the absurdities and evil results of religion's or science's tenets or practices.

  • 0zyxcba1

    @ lakhotason
    "Just trying to lighten up the conversation."

    Nice of you.

    oz

  • 0zyxcba1

    @ lakhotason
    "Secularism=garbage"

    Needles to say, you may cite anything you like; however,
    I remind you, yet again, the proposition has zip to do with secularism.

    I repeat that the proposition is: "No evidence = garbage."

    If you wish to show that: "No evidence ? garbage"

    then go right ahead. It will be fun watching you founder.

    0z

  • robertallen1

    @AlfBeta

    "Objective glance would indicate prima facie dubiousness of this and several other popular inanities . . . "

    Pity you can't refute me no matter how hard you try. So you resort to boeotian generalizations such as the above. What are these inanities and why are they inane.

    Don't try to be intellectual. You're not good at it.

  • Guest

    As to no evidence=garbage. I will again state my opposition to that premise. As before, I will use ID as a tool of example.

    Science (and that's what we're talking here) never takes the position that no evidence=garbage. That equation above all things is the very antithesis of science.

    All science can do, should do, and will do is state there is no evidence for ID. This is certainly not saying that ID=garbage. Science simply states there is no evidence for ID. Any statement beyond that is not science.

    Now if you believe that science does disprove ID then you will find yourself contradicting the assertion that it is not up to science to disprove ID. You will open a can of worms, because a creationist could counter any
    argument with "You disproved ID then you must also disprove creation".

    Let me cite an example in a case where science did say no evidence=garbage. Back in 1912 a weatherman fellow proposed the continental drift hypothesis. He did this by among other things noticing what every third-grader has seen from just looking at a map of the world - all the land masses appear to fit together as a jigsaw puzzle would. As you would imagine Wegener(the weatherman) was soundly ridiculed by every geologist alive. A symposium was duly called among these geologists expressly for the
    purpose of ridiculing Wegener. Their conclusion was he had no evidence therefore his proposition was garbage. We all know how this turned out.

    So don't make the same mistake as these "world renowned authorities". Better to be the third-grader than Doctor of Geology.

    PS Wasn't until the 1960's that these learned men took a close look and realized that no evidence does not necessarily equal garbage.

  • Guest

    And neither does your christian atrocities have zip to do with no evidence=garbage. I used your (repeat your) reasoning to reach my conclusion.

  • 0zyxcba1

    @ lakhotason
    Show me the evidence"

    As mentioned, I am confident you yourself can find evidence in support of the "No evidence = garbage" proposition, in addition
    to the 'shooting-fish-in-a barrel' evidence which I have provided ? if you genuinely want evidence, that is.

    But something tells me, @lakhotason, you are shy of finding evidence in support of the proposition "No evidence = garbage."

    Of course, the proposition that "...you are shy of finding evidence in support of the proposition, 'No evidence = garbage', is itself a proposition, a proposition in favor of which I can, as yet, provide no evidence". :-)

    oz

    P.S.:
    Again, I ask you:
    What, pray tell, do you imply by "pretzel logic" ?

  • Guest

    The above is my case for my position. Please direct any evidence that you may that no evidence=garbage to this comment.

  • robertallen1

    As for continental drift, physical evidence existed in the land masses themselves. Early medicine suffered in the same way--the most learned physicians of several hundred years ago ridiculed the idea of microscopic creatures causing disease and abortively tried to treat the symptoms. In the end, the physical evidence proved them wrong.

    The emphasis is on physical (gravity and electricity included). On the other hand, there is no physical evidence to prove or disapprove ID because it is simply a theological expostulation which its proponents attempt to pass off as science.

    So if you want, I'll refine it a bit: ID=no physical evidence-garbage.

  • Guest

    ID=no physical evidence - science

    ID=no physical evidence=garbage has nothing to do with science.

    Science did not prove them wrong (remember about "proving wrong"). Science provided the evidence to show "germs" were causing disease. Hence the Germ Theory of disease, not the Theory of Proving the Other Theory Wrong.

    If you insist on saying science disproves (or proves wrong) then I must insist that you stay consistent in that statement and have science disprove unicorns.

  • Guest

    That evidence existed for continental drift is not the point. What I'm attempting to show you is that scientists made the rather embarrassing mistake of taking the position that
    no evidence=garbage, which is quite literally what they said.

    Now by taking that position they closed their collective eyes to what should have been and by hindsight is evidence all about them.

  • 0zyxcba1

    @ lakhotason

    There is no evidence for an intelligence governing the 'fine tuning' of fundamental constants. That I do not dispute. Nor do I put forth for an intelligence governing the 'fine tuning' of fundamental constants simply for the reason that there is no evidence upon which to do so.

    For the same reason I cannot call the idea that an intelligence does govern the 'fine tuning' of fundamental constants garbage. Simply no evidence for that either.

    Stop right there!

    Absence of evidence in support of a negative, the positive of which is likewise absent supporting evidence, in no way renders anyone 'unable' to label such a positive as garbage. Simply because there is no evidence in support of the proposition that leprechauns govern the 'fine tuning' of fundamental constants does not render you 'unable' to label such a proposition garbage, even should you choose not to.

    You now continue:

    Let me explain why that should be the only position you should take(the 'only' position one should take! (LOL))

    Malaria has been our scourge for 50,000 years and for 50,000 the best we could come up with was 'spirits'. Then a fellow discovered the malaria protozoan. Nobel Prize. Then another fellow discovered the mosquito connection. Nobel Prize #2.

    So what? you ask. Well, spirits were real(?)['real' ? excuse me!], but this was a sort of backwards or maybe sideways truth(?)['truth' ? excuse me!]. You would tend to catch malaria should the an incubus caste a spell upon you in your sleep, rendering you vulnerable to the power of the sick-making spirits(the incubus usually 'touching' you when sleeping with a woman in league with the devil).

    Women in league with the devil, especially when an incubus be conjured, such as be the case absent sufficient dunking in water of 'devil-woman' forcing these 'devil-women' to confess they conjured up incubi, do certainly give rise to the likelihood of being overwhelmed by sick-making spirits.

    But there tended to be another element in the mix, too. It took 50000 years for some one to spot that. It took that long . And the answer was quite literally buzzing around their head. In the air.

    The same goes for ID(?)['ID' ? excuse me!]. Who is to say that there isn't a backwards 'truth'(analogous to sick-making spirits ? I AM TO SAY, that's who! among many, many others) lurking in ID(or perhaps something even more weird, lurking!). Or better yet 'lurking', right in front of our face! I for one do not believe there is but I would be worse than a fool if I asserted there was not(the possibility of something like leprechauns running the show, for instance). ROTFLMFAO

    Sorry. That really is garbage!

    Here's why:

    You pre-selected the case I satirized where the plausible turned out to actually be an element of the truth. You cherry-picked that example. Thousands of similar scenarios could just as easily have been cited where the supposition would turn out to have had not the slightest, even indirect, relation to anything even remotely approaching the actual state of affairs.

    Your are indulging in 'Islamic Science' where(in hind-sight) one cites the discovery of a star as having been predicted because, among the thousands upon thousands of verses, there was one found that looked like it 'might' have meant what 'modern science' confirmed about The Truth that is The Qur’?n. The same is done when attempting to validate Biblical prophesy ? it is always in hindsight.

    Sorry. Won't fly.

    I will concede, one need not call garbage 'garbage', but not calling garbage 'garbage' does not make garbage smell any sweeter.

    0z

  • robertallen1

    @Iakhotason

    No evidence = garbage had nothing to do with the past disbelief in continental drift and the microbiological origins of disease. The physical evidence was there, only it was ignored or dismissed, probably because of earlier theories still in vogue, however incorrect, and at times due to politics. NEVERTHELESS, THE PHYSICAL EVIDENCE WAS THERE.

    Wrong as they were in many instances, the scientists of yesteryear were for the most part true scientists and the beauty of science is its ability to correct itself as new evidence comes in. All that matters is that the germ theory of disease and the concept of contential drift proved all previous theories wrong BY THE PHYSICAL EVIDENCE.

    As a demonstration of the scientific worth of ID, one of its supporters, Michael Behe, I believe a biologist, lied about the irreducible complexity of the flagellum (see Kitzmiller v. Dover School Board. In this same light, have you seen the documentary "No Intelligence Allowed" which is on this site? It's lies, distortions and casuistry from one end of its 90 minutes to the other. If ID is even feasible, why do its proponents feel the need to lie and distort in its support?

    In your distorted way, you're attempting to argue for open-mindedness just as "No Ingelligence Allowed" attempts to argue for intellectual freedom--only these are not the issues. It's proof versus no proof. Evidence versus no evidence. In short, science versus non-science.

  • robertallen1

    Excellent exposition. I liked your exposé of hindsight. Just about the entire New Testament, especially the four gospels, is hindsight and it's enlightening to study how the after-Jesus generation (ca 2nd century A.D.) tailored their narrations to follow the prophecies of the Old Testament which itself is hindsight.

  • Guest

    First, I cannot follow what you're saying has anything to do with my premise which is science does not say nor ever will say "no evidence= garbage". All science says concerning ID is that there is no evidence.

    Now as to the malaria analogy. I used the term "backwards truth" in this context. Malaria quite literally means bad air. The backwards truth is although malaria is not caused by bad air it is certainly caused by something bad in the air. See?

    Now I used ID as an example only just to show what science says about a contentious subject.

    As for cherry-picking, well, one should cite an example that amplifies his position, now shouldn't he? Don't understand your problem with it.

  • Guest

    None of what you two are saying has anything to do with my contention. Where are you getting this hindsight stuff. That has nothing to do with what I'm saying.

  • Guest

    robertallen - Forget the ID thing. I used it only for a tool of example. Did you not read that?

    Still you have not addressed the question. I am saying that one using science as his pole star cannot say that no evidence=garbage and I cited an example why you should not. I am not pro ID and I stated that in no uncertain terms.

    What I asked for is your evidence that no evidence=garbage and I am still awaiting that evidence.

    And yes, those scientists who ridiculed continental did so under the aegis of no evidence=garbage. Have you read the story of Wegener and the response(of which I did my best to convey to you) of the scientists. Did I not say they called a symposium specifically to debunk continental drift on the grounds of no evidence=garbage? Seriously, I cannot understand why you go off on some tangent that has nothing to do with what I premise.

    All I asked was that you show me the evidence of no evidence=garbage. I certainly showed you that the premise cannot necessarily be true.

  • robertallen1

    @IKAHOTASON

    So Ozyxcba1's latest post to you.

  • robertallen1

    I'll try to make it as simple as possible.

    In a court of law, when you make an assertion (not so much an opinion although in many cases the principle applies), for it to be valid, there must be supporting evidence. If there is none, it is garbage. The same with science. You had better be able to support what you assert.

    This should be self-evident.

    Now once again, for an assertion to be valid, there must be evidence (proof). If there is none, it is garbage.

    I'm sorry, but I can't make it any clearer.

  • Guest

    Robertallen - My point exactly. You assert no evidence=garbage. I ask for your proof. I by example showed that no evidence does not necessarily mean garbage.

    You made the assertion (not I) that no evidence=garbage. I refuted it and you still haven't "support what you assert" (your words).

    I cannot make this any clearer.

  • Guest

    I answered it below his comment.

  • robertallen1

    @IAHKOTASON

    Again you distort. You haven't refuted anything.

  • Guest

    What? I cited to you an example where science itself made the same contention as you and that contention was shown to be incorrect. What else do you need. But once again you made the assertion and I'm still waiting.

  • Guest

    And while you,re at it please provide evidence that I distort. Specifically address precisely where I have distorted.

  • Guest

    Robertallen - I appreciate all your responses. I have to get to bed. I begin a 2 week backpacking trip tomorrow. We can take this up again when I get back if that's your wish. Take care.

  • robertallen1

    I'll try to differentiate for you.

    In the two examples, the EVIDENCE was either misinterpreted or ignored, BUT THERE WAS EVIDENCE and thus the earlier theories, although later proved wrong, were still respectable, as they were based on PHYSICAL EVIDENCE. Perhaps you should read up on Lamarckian evolution which was later discredited as more evidence came in--though wrong, it was still scientific. Scientific not=garbage.

    On the other hand, ID is based on nothing, yet purports to be scientific. Thus ID=no evidence=not scientific=garbage.

    Maybe this will explain it to you.

  • robertallen1

    Your backward account of scientific history. Perhaps Iakhotason has explained it better than I can.

  • 0zyxcba1

    @ lakhotason
    "Again you distort. You haven't refuted anything."

    It's real simple.

    Your objection to my exposition might carry some weight were ID, at least in principle, falsifiable. But it isn't.

    As you well know, a lengthy(and costly) 2nd 'Monkey Trial' explored all ramifications of ID as a possibly plausible scientific hypothesis and found, after hearing ALL sides, that ID is religion.

    It is garbage. All religion is garbage. Religious dogma is faith-based and not subject to falsifiable analysis. Religion has had thousands of years to make its case, and we are still waiting. Theories as to the root cause(s) of malaria ARE subject to falsifiable, rigorous, independently repeatable experimentation. Religious contentions are not.

    Therefore, scientifically speaking(and you ARE talking 'science'), ID lacks all scientific merit and, by its very religious nature, cannot even hope to ever provide falsifiable supporting evidence any more than can evidence be presented in support of the so-called 'Blessed Trinity'.

    In fact, that is an excellent analogy! You are asking science to consider something on par with the Trinity as a real, scientifically viable hypothesis(at least in principle). Such expectations, absent falsifiable supporting evidence, are expectations that amount to, delicately put: GARBAGE.

    If you honestly, and truly, cannot grasp this simple distinction between religion and science, then you ought to give serious consideration to remedial education in the principles of the scientific method.

    What you are doing is as silly as if I were to demand of you a theorem proving the validity of Beethoven's Ninth!

    oz

  • robertallen1

    Vlad suggests writing a new post rather than trying to place your response near the post you are answering and of course using the @ as reference.

    Once again your exposition is excellent, but the closing paragraph reminds me of the mathematician who after reading "Paradise Lost" asked "What does it prove?"

  • Guest

    That was very nice, Sean. Calm and to the point. I especially like the emphasis you place on confronting (or avoiding) a potential personal bias. That hasn't been said like that enough in these comments, if it has really been said at all.

  • 0zyxcba1

    @ David Foster
    "..and that's why the uniforms all look the same to me!"

    You've got it ass-backwards(as usual)!

    It is those in the uniforms(mostly clerical uniforms) that we put
    a stop to!

    Regular folks, like me, put a stop to the uniformed murderers.
    We did it once, and we can, and WILL do it again. Starting with
    uniformed people like ayatollahs and popes!

    Got it?

    If not, get it!

    0z

  • http://www.youtube.com/user/alronvitis norlavine

    You keep mentioning religion. How many times do you have to mention religion when I keep repeating that religion is out of my equation. Are you one of those annoying people who can only hear what's going on in their own head?! You have proven that you didn't get the gist of what I wrote anyway - therefore your opinion is uninformed and worthless to me, sorry xx

  • robertallen1

    @Norlavene

    No,what it means is that you cannot express yourself clearly. What is your point?

  • http://www.youtube.com/user/alronvitis norlavine

    Darwin turned the stories from ancient scriptures upside down regarding procession and chronology - beautifully and scientifically. All scriptures were written by men with an axe to grind and a target audience. The beauty and purpose of nature and matter, and all life force, came from something else. It's obviously beyond any of us to comprehend. We aren't privy to this knowledge, and why should we be. We seem to be flawed enough to corrupt most good things thrown our way, eventually.Science is easy, it's the concepts outside of the equation that elude us..xx

  • http://www.youtube.com/user/alronvitis norlavine

    @robertallen1
    What it means is you sound rather mean spirited and narrow minded, and most likely cannot create much out of thin air. I understand exactly what YOU say, that's the difference. I write in between playing bubble soccer so go analyze that. That's the level of gravity I bestow you, so there, happy now?

  • Guest

    Again, I am not making a distinction between anything. My statement is that science only says there is no evidence for ID. That is all it can say and will say. That is the only thing I am saying. I for the life of me cannot fathom why you and robertallen go off on these tangents which have nothing to do with the discussion. Science only provides evidence. It makes no distinction or comment about the evidence. People do that.

  • DinosaurSins

    The trouble with intelligent design is that its belief is, in principle, similar to a religious one; it is non-falsifiable and hinges on metaphysics and sheer conviction. I personally find it difficult to understand how someone could believe in intelligent design and dismiss evolution in the face of the sheer body of evidence in support of the latter and the absolute lack of evidence in support of the former.

    The only circumstances under which I feel it is understandable to buy into intelligent design is if one assumes that the building blocks for life itself were set down by a creative force exploiting the process of natural selection. Intelligent design absent an evolutionary explanation is lacking evidence of a non-anecdotal nature. I really would suggest that you familiarize yourself with the body of evidence that exists in support of evolution, though. The genetic evidence alone is too compelling to ignore, and all of the evidence is pretty widely available if you put yourself to the task.

    At any rate, I doubt that anything I say will have any meaningful impact on how you approach this subject matter, but if you take nothing else away, I hope it's that not every proponent of evolutionary theory will browbeat you for holding your beliefs. At the very least, I was trying not to; whether or not you'll say I succeeded will inevitably be up to you.

  • robertallen1

    What it means is that because you cannot write clearly, your thoughts, as they are, come out as vapid drivel. If bringing this to your attention makes me mean-spirited and narrow-minded, so be it.

    As you don't know me, your analysis of my character and creativity comes off as mere pretension. I don't claim to know you and from the lack of intelligence evinced in your posts (between buble soccer and what), don't want to.

  • robertallen1

    @Iakhotason

    Again you distort. Scientists discover evidence, analyze it and then draw conclusions. In other words evidence by itself is vacuous; it's what's done with it. Thus "Science makes no distinction about or comment about the evidence" is downright erroneous.

  • His Forever

    Robertallen1: Thank you, I corrected my misspelled word. I was in special education classes until I was in highschool for learning difficulties. I may not always spell things correctly, but I know about the things of God; the two are not related, thankfully!

    Good night, and peace to you.

    Charles B.

  • robertallen1

    @C_and_N

    How do you about the "things of God?"

  • Guest

    A lot of people misspell words, me included. I have seen some of the most educated participants make them too. CnN writes a LOT of things i disagree with but no one needs an english teacher with a ruler unless the comment is incomprehensible wordwise and even then, specially if the person is of an other culture/language.
    As a French person, the word besmirch is new to me.
    az

  • Guest

    There was a reply to my comment in Recent Comments but it is gone and i never got to read it in it's entirety although i caught that you were writing something about the fact that i wrote specially....especially!
    Was there a little swear word in there that made it to be pulled?
    So what were you saying?
    You disagree with me?
    Prof Robert
    az

  • Guest

    @robertallen1
    now that's "about" right! Proper English missing a verb?
    az
    just teasing you!

  • AlfBeta

    "Malaria has been our scourge for 50,000 years and for 50,000 the best we could come up with was 'spirits'. Then a fellow discovered the malaria protozoan."
    A glance at word 'malaria' ,with appropriate database in brain, gives output "Latin", "bad air" or "illness air"., suggesting your 50000 years of 'spirit' explanation is hyperbole for contrast purposes, which renders even your assertion of 50000 years of malaria suffering suspect.
    "bad air" and mosquitos have something in common - swamps,marshes,stagnant water. And if the disease was associated in former times with swamps etc., it was a scientific association, an observed correlation, despite, as with protozoa connection, incomplete. That no-one got a prize need not concern us.

  • AlfBeta

    ha! hadn't seen yr post on "bad air", but a little repetition is probably fair enough when the rusty old favourites are wheeled out without even a new paintjob.

  • AlfBeta

    well you out-intellectualled me with "boeotian". I'll look it up later.
    I didnt argue my case, doesnt mean I cant.
    Your "based on nothing" inanity you can work on by yourself, I'm not going to write a page (yet) proving what you could prove with 2 minutes thought.
    Nor is it worth listing more popular inanities if you can't even see THAT one.
    I understand why atheists are annoyed by sheep-like utterances of the religious, but they too are under a spell, so to speak, and totally as impenetrable. I mean no offence, believe it or not.

  • StillRV

    Sometimes an ax just needs grinding. And posting on here just makes you a whetstone.

  • AlfBeta

    Robertallen, your seriously illogical remark (in the format of logic) to C&N, namely
    "How do you know so much about god or for that matter "the true "Church of Christ" when you can't even spell besmirch?"
    doesn't inspire respect from anyone with a thinking habit, which is what is supposed by atheists to distinguish them from the "ignorant" .

  • over the edge

    just an observation. there are people on all sides of the discussion that i can respect. c and n (who i disagree with on subjects of religion) . az ( who i disagree less with lol) rv (who i usually agree with), oz and achems (who i almost always agree with) and others (too many to list). have one thing in common they are consistent across all docs weather i agree or not. their stance is honest and open in my opinion. which allows easy exchange of information for debate. but on the discussion of id ( creationism wearing fake mustache) those not willing to admit the designer is god (in their opinion) or outright deny the designer is god are hiding behind the designer front in order to avoid the discussion of a religious designer. that is dishonest and limits or removes the option of an honest debate. if you believe in god them you must believe the designer is god so say it
    not only am i an atheist, but i also hold evolution as the best description of the development of life that we have to date. those two truths that i hold are open for all to see. but when evolution is discussed the origins of life or the origins of the universe always come up. those three subjects are not the same and raising doubts or questions of one does not discredit the other. i have my opinions of the origins of life and the universe but my knowledge is sufficiently limited that i refrain from discussing them on this site. but where evolution is concerned i feel confident discussing the evidence. but only with those that are open and honest in their opposition.

  • http://www.youtube.com/user/alronvitis norlavine

    @robertallen1
    Don't you mean 'uninformed speculation', rather than 'mere pretension' ? - Congrats you only know intelligent people. I wish you all only the best xx

  • http://www.youtube.com/user/alronvitis norlavine

    @robertallen1
    Don't you mean 'uninformed speculation', rather than 'mere pretension' ? - Congrats you only know intelligent people. I wish you all only the best xx

  • StillRV

    Enjoy your trek. I admit I am envious.

  • StillRV

    I'm a stubborn Ba$%^#d all right. lol

  • Guest

    Have a good trip where ever your heart and feet take you.
    az

  • Guest

    I thought i'd repeat this:
    We humans shall either dispense with religion, or religion shall dispense with us!

    az over oz (in literary terms only...lol)

  • Guest

    I think you are a very brave woman to the point of almost being stubborn.
    Some of us woman have to be, even if it makes a fool of us.
    I did not get involved in this discussion (until now) but i do find it quite interesting.
    az

  • Guest

    You say: "i have my opinions of the origins of life and the universe but my knowledge is sufficiently limited that i refrain from discussing them on this site".
    WHY not feel confident to describe it?

    We often do not state what we think because our ego is afraid to be made fun of in "public".
    I think there is a great POSSILITY to learn when one state one's belief or opinion. People will turn the mirror at you and you will be able to bounce what you think according to what you read (or hear).
    If i take the exemple of Norvaline. After stating what she thinks honestly (even though in a confusing way according to others), she now has something to compare. May be a phrase will change her mind on a thing or two OR may be someone who replied to her will change his/her mind on a thing or two.

    Do you sort of agree with this....lol
    You sound very honest too!
    az
    I

  • 0zyxcba1

    @Azilda, you are correct. I've changed it.
    0z

  • Guest

    I hadn't seen any mistakes, i was just re.stating the phrase.
    I like it!
    az

  • Irishkev

    Sorry man, I shouldn't post after that last couple o' beers while havin' a smoke.

  • avd420

    AZ, I think he doesn't discuss those things because he simply doesn't know. Therefore he would have nothing to add to the discussion other than personal speculation. Some people like to be at least half way sure of something before they make a statement. And one of the toughest things for a human to say is,"I don't know". Maybe you should try it sometime :P Although it doesn't really seem your style lol that's ok too though.

  • avd420

    Actually that's not how it's done. They come up with a theory and then try and disprove that theory as many ways as possible and if it cannot be done useing testable evidence than they hold that theory as truth (for now). And as technology and knowledge expands and becomes better, often new evidence is brought out to disprove the initial theory which is why views on what's right often change in science. That's the scientific method, what you described is psuedo-science and used to prove things like how aliens built the pyramids and how Jesus actually existed :P

  • avd420

    @robert

    Actually...no. The courts and the scientific method are not run the same way. This is a common layman assumption. As of right now, there is no proof of M-Theory other than mathematical equations. But there is still almost a consensus among scientists that it holds it's own weight. The theory explains what would be needed to prove it, but that has yet to have happened.

  • robertallen1

    I'll admit it can work both ways. Sometimes the evidence comes first and the theory later or the theory first and then the evidence later, but one way orthe other it's based on evidence, evidence, evidence.

  • robertallen1

    @ Avd

    You distort. I did not say that courts of law and science run the same way. I merely stated that both require evidence to back up assertions.

  • Davek47

    It seems to me that because of his prominence and learning, Dr. Dawkins seems to assume that he can make trite statements about opposing viewpoints to his own and expects to get away with it scotfree. To be a scientist of such critical acclaim, he makes some very dismissive remarks regarding faith and theology that I am led to suppose that he has either not really studied the subject of theology at all or has studied the christian viewpoint in such depth that it doesn't even warrant any further treatment. Let me suggest that his approach rather than being laudable needs to be redressed a bit and if he is really to go down in history as one of the great protagonists of a view of the universe without an intelligent creator, he should really increase the depths of his arguments and make a real effort to discern at least the basic premises and principles of theology. The statement in the interview , 'I don't think theology is a subject at all ', I think could have a lot of theologians queing up to challenge the inanity and dare I say arrogance of such a statement.
    It should be pointed out to many of the people who might be seduced by some of the superficial arguments presented by Dr. Dawkins , that the arguments presented in the theory of evolution, in this day and age can hardly even be cited as evidence against a God-centred view of the universe. What do I mean by this ? Well as a scientist and physicist I would suggest that before you can even begin to use the theory of evolution as 'supreme' evidence for the abscence of a 'prime mover' you need to go back to a consideration of the wonders of physical science - the atom, the molecule and the utter 'unlikliehood' of the laws of chemistry without which biology wouldn't exist ,let alone evolution. Time and brevity prevents me from surveying some of the breathtaking facts which have been discovered and still are being discovered as we speak. I recommend Martin Rees' masterpiece , 'Just Six Numbers', which gives a beautiful insight into the fundamental nature of reality. In this book Rees discusses the importance of some of the most important constants which govern the nature and behaviour of the universe, such as the forces of gravity and electricity . The precision required for some of these constants is quite astounding (in one case its 1 part in about 10 to the power 43 !) The tantalizing thought is that if you were to modify any one of these constants by even the minutest amount, you wouldn't end up with a 'modified' universe, but rather you would end up with nothing ! If you add up some of the numbers and work out the probabilities , I use the argument that you have trillions of times more likeliehood of winning a national lottery than betting that one of these constants is just right by chance .How many of those who bet the lottery go to bed every night believing that they are likely to be the one to win ? Don't they rather hope against hope ?
    Cosmologists and physicists survey the intangible mysteries of the universe with humility because although their ‘better nature’ might persuade them to adopt a non-creationist view of existence, the utterly staggering complexity and incomprehensible ‘fine-tuning’ of the laws of physics leads them to the only appropriate attitude , which is a sense of awe and wonder –This is quite unlike the dismissive sometimes flippant approach which Richard Dawkins takes to the issues. I fully agree with him that one should believe nothing – either in science or in religion – without evidence. However, I think he is a bit naive in his perception of what constitutes valid or invalid evidence in the quest for religious truth.
    I once read a profound and provocative statement by Richard Wurmbrand when quoting the famous statement uttered by Yuri Gagarin following his trip to space ,when he said “ I looked all round and saw no evidence of God anywhere. “ Wurmbrand said, “ That’s like an ant crawling on the sole of my shoe and saying , ‘I see no evidence of Richard Wurmbrand anywhere’.

  • robertallen1

    Faith is no more than Stupidity and Ignorance conspiring to create a false and phoney virtue--one way or the other, it has nothing to do with science and quite frankly, nothing to do with anything. Being a "scientist and physicist," you should know this.

    You should also know that theology (the study of god which is to say the study of nothing) is indeed the non-subject Dr. Dawkins describes it to be. However, you fail to inform the reader that Dr. Dawkins clearly exempts comparative religion and biblical scholarship. Is this the intellectually fair and balanced statement we come to expect from a "scientist and physicist," a strange and tautological juxtaposition, by the way. Can one man "know" god any more than the next, much less prove his existence scientifically? As a "scientist and physicist," this should be fundamental.

    As a "scientist and physicist," you have failed to indicate that on many occasions, Dr. Dawkins has stated and written that he cannot prove there is no god anymore than that pixies don't exist. Let me try to put this in laugage that you as a "scientist and physicist" can understand, Dr. Dawkins merely states that religious convictions are not scientific and can never be. For a "scientist and physicist," you are remarkably inaccurate, obtuse and careless with your presentation.

    As a "scientist and physicist," you should be ashamed of yourself for stating that evolution denies the existence of an "intelligent mover" when you, as a "scientist and physicist" know perfectly well that this concept has nothing to do with evolution which merely draws its conclusions from empirical evidence--and while we're on evidence, as a "scientist and physicist," you should realize that the oxymoron "religious truth" has nothing to do with science and thus there can be no evidence for it.

    You prefer to ramble endlessly and ignorantly about probability and "constants" which you fail to identify instead of using your time more profitably to present "breathtaking facts." Haven't you fallen down on your job as "scientist and physicist?"

    All in all, for a "scientist and physicist," you rely heavily on the non-scientific which makes you a pathetic phoney.

  • Killin

    Well, I am a social scientist, a clinical therapist,and I take exception to many of Dawkins' propositions.
    He suggests that parents do not have the right to 'indoctrinate' their children in religious education.
    *He says theology cannot be taken seriously because there is nothing there to study...
    *He is all for the 'death knell of religion'
    *Its like believing in fairies, its up to us to prove they and God exist.
    Does he forget that myth and religion are considered signs of higher level thinking in human evolution, abstract, conceptual thinking closely tied to the history of scientific thought in fact.
    (I don't understand why evolutionary science is so threatened by 'creationist fundamentalism', since they are a minority.
    Maybe they are more aggressive than I have witnessed.)
    *The selfish gene is full of inferences based on gender and culture bias rather than triangulating evidence( eg remarks on adoption).
    *He says he 'destroyed' 'debunked' the idea of group selection, whereas it is as level of gene. But there is a return to group selection among other scientists which he disqualifies entirely.
    *His only understanding of altruism is reciprocal altruism, in the service of the selfish gene. Others say there is a genetic balance serving both the individual and group, and by no means hard wired.
    *There is also neurodevelopmental research and genome research which raise questions about many of his propositions. For example the epigenome heavily mediates the function of genes based on information from the social and physical environment, the genes do not stand alone and have much less deterministic power than Dawkins' suggests
    *That science is the 'study of truth', is absurd. It is the attempt to describe truth perhaps, but it is never value neutral and certainly not always true.
    I have no idea what he is saying about subversion..something about the way out of self interest and suffering - or where it leads us in social policy, ethically and ideolologically. Actually, he should probably stay out of those debates from what I gather so far.
    (I have supplied references in my emails on the video The Genius of Darwin.)
    *Finally, he seems not to recognize his own offensive language.
    *He contracdicts himself. He says that faith and authority are not good enough reasons to believe anything. But...he expects non experts to believe him on faith whether or not they understand. He himself said he has to rely on faith in environmental scientists since he is no expert. He is not giving anyone the option to believe or not, he has the truth, the facts, and thats that.
    (Can't wait until we discover more evidence that refutes his work, but science protects their own and my prediction we will not see strong dissent from scientific community until his passing.)
    *He thinks Christianity is an invention by Paul of Tarsus.

    I think all scientists be obliged to read The Structure of Scientific Revolutions by Thomas Kuhn, all scientific 'truth' is embedded in the paradigm of the age, the zietgeist of a period. When we need it to rely on new information we search for it and accept the new information.

    Dawkins speaks of myths versus truth, but you know, it was a Norse myth (which no one believed) that led to the discovery of a Viking settlement in Newfoundand, exposing the real myth that Columbus discovered America!

    Dawkins is literal, a positivist, only empirical evidence satisfies him. *He forgets that there are rules of logic whether or not there is evidence, Einstein used thought experiments, without any evidence, to make predictions about the universe.
    So thats my critique and concern about Dawkins ideas.

  • Killin

    for what it is worth, there is historical evidence that Jesus lived, Joshua in Hebrew, legitimate documentary evidence of the type we rely on for much ancient history, although I don't think we have archeological relics belonging to him, only to some of the figures associated with that period and the biblical narrative.
    Like I say, evidence is not the only form of proof and empirical research is not the only legitimate form of research.

  • robertallen1

    @killin

    Mathematics excepted, what other proofs are there except evidence?

    Mathematics excepted, what research other than empiric is legitimate?

  • robertallen1

    @killin

    Before you may write an intelligent critique, you must know something about the subjects, in this case, one of the main ones being Dr. Dawkins. This you have obviously failed to do.

    Why do you aver that Dr. Dawkins expects people to believe everything he says unconditionally when, if anything, he preaches reasoning, questioning and research? Is it to belittle Dr. Dawkins by fair means or foul?

    What makes you categorize Dr. Dawkins' view of the existence of an intelligent supreme being as an out-and-out denial when in truth he has merely stated that such a concept is unprovable? Is it to demean the man through perverse mischaracterization?

    Why do you aver that Dr. Dawkins dismisses theology (the study of god and hence the study of nothing) as a non-subject, but fail to state that he exempts comparative religion and biblical scholarship? Is this your attempt at assertion through misrepresentation?

    So far three major misstatements. Why do you make them? Does it stem from a need to debase someone who is clearly your intellectual superior?

    You are accurate to write that Dr. Dawkins believes that the sooner the death knell of religion is sounded, the better. What's the matter with this? Such purgation might help cleanse the world of the ignorance which religion engenders and the abrogation of intelligence which it breeds--and while we're on the subject of intelligence, please don't insult mine by equating religion and myth with higher-level abstract thinking--all they share is abstraction.

    Do you have any idea what you mean by "science is not always true?" If it is that scientific concepts change with new evidence, you are right--anything else and you're as dead wrong as your fairytale "logical evidence." Evidence is evidence; only the source varies. Ask Einstein. For my own edification, what is a "thought experiment without evidence?" Perhaps it lies in your oblique justification for faith on the basis of the Vikings' discovery of the New World.

    In short, I find Dr. Dawkins' language far less offensive than the ignorance expressed in your post.

  • Killin

    1) My remarks pertain to the particular video and I closely paraphrased his own statements writing them while I watched it, no distortions, he makes himself very clear. He did not withold an opinion on whether or not God exists, he took an atheistic position. 2) I agree with the study of comparative religions, but not for the goal of dismantling religion, which is Dawkins' agenda.
    3)Theology is not the study of nothing...whether God is a social construction or a 'fact'. 4)Science does not always produce, discover or create 'truth'. This is intuitively obvious. Our measure, perception and interpretation of 'evidence' can be mistaken. "Whenever a theory appears to you as the only possible one, take this as a sign that you have neither understood the theory nor the problem which it was intended to solve." Karl Popper.I have mentioned that Thomas Kuhn is another good source on this point. 5) Abstract reasoning, pure thought, logical deduction based on a sound premise....these can produce 'truth' whether or not there is sufficient empirical evidence. There is also subjective truth, whether or not someone else shares that experience.

    Having visited his home page, I realize now that science is not Richard Dawkins' only agenda. He has an ideological mission as well, a kind of atheist in action with the tongue of a zealot.

    You asked about my agenda. I am researching theories and theodices of social suffering to inform my work, and advanced studies in clinical
    therapy. I have a masters degree, I am not a fundamentalist Christian. I 'm
    particularly interested in neurodevelopmental and genetic research which
    informs social policy and practice.

  • robertallen1

    @Killin

    I was right. All that you know of Dr. Dawkins is through this one video—so off you go, attacking your intellectual better with only a quarter-quiver of arrows and a rickety old church.
    Yes, Dr. Dawkins denies the existence of a supreme being not out of whim, but because the burden of proof lies on the asserter and proof is impossible . . . Well, so much for half of what you describe as theology, the other and more vital half being god as a social construct which is subsumed in comparative religion, a discipline of which both you and Dr. Dawkins approve. That leaves theology as you conceive it with nothing.
    You mention flaws in measure, perception and interpretation of evidence. The beauty of science is that, unlike religion it is errant and unlike religion, it changes and corrects and keeps changing and correcting as more evidence comes in.

    But “science does not always produce, discover or create truth. This is intuitively obvious.” No it isn’t. How about some concrete examples?
    Now that you mention it, how do you “create truth?” Is it through abstract thought which is nothing more than conclusions deduced from premises? While this is a “truth” of sorts (although outcome seems a better word), in no way is it tantamount to “truth” in the scientific sense. (quotes yours) So how does one go about creating truth--maybe you mean what you describe as “subjective truth.” If this is your oblique way of stating that what’s good for the goose might not be for the gander fine, but if you mean anything else, you are pathetically wrong.
    A word of caution. Please do not try to snow me with philosophic quotes. I can come up with more than you can and all they demonstrate is nothing. Besides, intellectually, it’s bad form.
    Yes, Dr. Dawkins is an ideological zealot whose mission is to stamp out the stupidity and ignorance caused by religion (theology) and people of your low intellectual caliber and replace it with knowledge and reason. If what he and others like him espouse is modern-day atheism, I’m all for it and wish him success in his impossible mission.

    P.S. Contrary to what you state, I never asked you about your agenda because you didn’t seem intellectually competent or interesting enough to merit the question, but as long as you have provided it, I find it supports my judgment of you.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_HRQ2WIZUSEQDZ4BVXP4BBPXRQY Cas

    Don't waste your time to breach science to those who believe in religion...In reality history has a clue...they will not vanish through discussion or convincing, like any other irrelevant theory, it will just fade off with each generation.

    Just as we do not have many today believing in the gods of Pharoahs or Greeks, they will slowly be pushed aside by a relatively more reasonable theory to life.

    The magic word is prerequisite; how atheist or non-religious you are is proportional to the prerequisite knowledge/reasoning/theory you have that convinces you that the previous prevailing thought is not relevant anymore.

    Ever heard of an atheist uneducated bush man? Likely never, because believing in a deity comes from the fact that we have a brain big enough to need an explanation to why we are here. So by default you seek a theory, and coincidentally the most abundant one available to poor people is religion :) So trying to argue with someone who believes in an older theory about life and try to persuade them in sentences is not practical, either they are curious enough and got some education and clever enough...or the right combination of all i....and sometimes they could be born in a wealthy country, with good education and through shear willful ignorance remain to peddle a theory/religion that cannot stand up to rigorous tests.

    So basically, religions are really just ancient theories built on incomplete observations about the universe. Galileo was jailed by the church, because he made observations that contradicted the existing theory about life.

    Richard Dawkings to me represents the pinnacle of understanding the machinery of biology and how it can spawn consciousness.....I am thrilled to be able to understand his big picture of us...and sad that many just don't get it. I watched him host a professor on Physics...to show how even the bigger picture of the universe is consistent with modern theory of life. YOU ARE NOT SPECIAL AS YOU THINK....AND THERE IS REALLY NO GOD. IT IS JUST WISHFUL THINKING....SAME AS BELIEVING THAT YOU ARE RACIALLY SUPERIOR TO ANOTHER GROUP OF PEOPLE.

    We are just a molecule that continuously refines itself through the forces of natural selection. That molecule builds protein structures around itself to engage with the environment for resources gathering and for the ultimate goal of reproducing. You are just a more complicated version of a simple virus. So no coincidence that your core molecule, DNA uses the same mechanism to replicate than a common cold virus, except one is many times more complex.

  • Davek47

    Thanks for some informative ‘morsels’ which shed light on some of the possible likely mechanisms of evolutionary theory . I think I need to correct one “misapprehension” which my contribution of 1 week ago may have generated. I did not attempt to debunk the Theory of Evolution, nor Dr. Dawkins’ considerable contributions in shedding light on it ! Had I done that I would wholeheartedly agree that I should really have no option but to take the advice to “be really ashamed of yourself”. Any reasonably intelligent person has to agree that the weight of evidence is very considerable. Currently , however it is still a “theory” (I know rather obvious) , and whether it ever becomes a “law” on a par with the Law of Gravity or suchlike , ‘the jury is still out’.

    I have acquainted myself with some more of the works and presentations of Dr. Dawkins and would like to add something. Your assertion about his particular “idealogical mission” is irrefutable – and yes you are perfectly correct in implying that by his own assertions he makes it patently clear he intends that his listeners be in no doubt about it. While he uses his knowledge of science and in particular his mastery of his own particular discipline as his main legitimacy in extending the debate, he still hopes to achieve the same atheistic worldview as his many like-minded predecessors . And no one can blame him for trying to do that if he believes that’s his main goal in life.

    You may noticed however ,that he departs from his predecessor’s viewpoint in one subtle way. Unlike Nietsche or Sartre, he vehemently seeks to avoid their Nihilistic interpretation of human existence and replace it with a kind of noble vision of human life based on some sort of ,refining, ennobling processes of natural selection. It seems to me however that he is his no more convinced of this endeavour than the audience he is trying to convince. Whether or not Dr. Dawkins may have consciously reflected on the distinctions I have made I do not know, but I for one would have to applaud him for making this effort.

    I would suggest that every human being – including the ones who wittingly or unwittingly subscribe to a nihistic veiwpoint , when pressed to the limit , would admit to the hope of finding a raison-d’etre. (Yes- no ? What are the options ?)

    The case can be strongly argued that the philosophies which Nietsche and others espoused when assimilated by the influential existentialists who followed, has directly led to many of the societal and moral ills which we observe today particularly in western societies. If Dr. Dawkins brand of atheism can be used by societies to lead to a higher view of man with all its attendant benefits then shouldn’t we all be for that ? Well – yes – but , in the final analysis even after Dr. Dawkin’s best efforts, - its still only ‘ashes to ashes …..’. I wonder if Dr. Dawkins has figured that one out yet . Fortunately there is a better WAY. (John 14:6)

    The reality is ( and I was going to use the word ‘ truth’, but that would only invite further futile time-wasting word games.) , long after Nietsche , Sartre and many others have made their best effort , God is still alive and well . And even long after Dr. Dawkins has played his best cards, I don’t think that ‘reality’ will change very much. I haven’t seen any evidence yet that he will be able to do so even if he is standing on the shoulders of some philosophical giants. He may be ‘the greatest living popularizer of evolution’ and in my opinion only a fool would attempt to strip him of such an accolade, but ,in my opinion he hasn’t yet demonstrated that he will be the one to usher in a great new age of atheistic enlightenment.
    Killin, keep your contributions coming ,- I for one appreciate them.

  • robertallen1

    @ Davek47
    I had hoped to compliment you on a more intelligent post than your last until you described evolution as only a theory. Like so many others, you are ignorant of the term in its scientific sense, i.e., a preponderance of the evidence, not a conjecture. Thus, by agreeing that the preponderance of the evidence supports evolution, ergo, you support evolution as a theory.
    Next comes ignorant assertion number 2: “the jury is still out.” No, the jury of mainstream scientists—and this is the only jury that matters--came in a long time ago with a unanimous verdict in favor of evolution. By fabricating a controversy where none exists, you put yourself on the level of Michele Bachmann who ejaculated a similar statement.
    If blind reliance (i.e., faith) on such a pathetically conceited asseveration as “I am the way, the truth and the light” is your solution to the problems of mankind, you have unwittingly justified Dr. Dawkins and everything he stands for, including atheism and anti-Christianity. This can be expected from someone so simple-minded as to believe “God is alive and well” and who distortedly misdiagnoses Dr. Dawkins as a man with a messianic complex.
    While complimenting Dr. Dawkins on his roseate view of natural selection, you blame what you consider the ills of the world (which you don’t enumerate, even in part) on the influence of philosophers such as Sartre and Nietsche. Well, I blame what I consider most of the ills of the world (and I’ll enumerate the two biggest culprits: ignorance and stupidity, i.e., “I am the way, the truth and the light.”) on religion and theology. It’s the difference between the conjectured and the provable or, if you prefer, the unsupported versus the supported.

  • Killin

    Correction...Breaking the spell is tangential, but Consciousness Explained is where I need the Coles notes. Still, he is certainly an adroit scholar.

  • http://twitter.com/djb3500 Dave

    I don't mean to be rude, but I think your point would be much more effective if you were not so insistent on unnecessarily complex language. Firstly, it impedes your communication. Secondly, your grammar is a little off.

  • robertallen1

    Where is my grammar off?

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_4HRTAHZSOVJXTQ6P4UHAJU4WLQ Thomas Moore

    American Evangelical theologian William Lane Craig is ready to debate the rationality of faith during his U.K tour this fall, but it appears that some atheist philosophers are running shy of the challenge.

    Richard Dawkins will have nothing to do with him.

    But the pseudo-intellectuals scream ever louder - "Crucify Him" - I watch the Atheists talk about how the moon broke off from the earth into a million particles that have now joined together into a single round mass just the size of the sun (relative to the view of the earth). How did this water world stay in the exact place through the years? One degree closer and we evaporate while one degree farther we freeze? How did the water evolve at it's limited range of temperature?

    Why do Atheists hate so much? They don't hate Santa - who they claim not to believe in....maybe they hate him because St Nicolas loved Jesus - which is the reason that he gave to others.

    Soooo many questions for the Atheist but they don't debate - they state "motherisms" learned from "scientists" who knew much less than we know now. And when a question arises that they don't know, they say they are bored and walk away....back to Richard Dawkins...

  • Davek47

    @robertallen1
    1. Complements on re-affirming what I was trying to say, namely ,- I “support evolution as a theory” . But was it really necessary to expend a few valuable minutes trying to do so ?
    2. In accusing me of “unwittingly justified Dr. Dawkins and EVERTHING he stands for, including atheism and anti-Christianity” , and then the statement “distortedly misdiagnoses Dr. Dawkins as a man with a messianic complex.” , could you not perhaps be succumbing to an element of self-contradiction ? Does the part-statement “EVERTHING he stands for, including atheism and anti-Christianity” not at least in part imply the truth of the statement “Dr. Dawkins as a man with a messianic complex.” ? Or if you like , the two statements are not mutually exclusive. Dr. Dawkins might be very disappointed if he were to know that one of his ardent supporters were to downplay his enthusiastic endeavours. I have to agree with Madeleine Bunting who described Richard Dawkins as an “unashamed proselytiser” in her excellent critique in the Guardian in May 2007. But maybe you are correct, perhaps Dr. Dawkins has already reflected on the fact that he is no more likely to become an atheistic messiah than either Nietsche or Sartre unsuccessfully aspired to be.
    3. Are you sure you meant to imply faith = ‘blind reliance’ ?
    Well then, let me ask you this ? Do you believe the law of gravity will still operate one hour from now? (I cannot imagine for one minute your answer would be ‘no’) . If that is the case please PROVE IT !
    If by any chance you cannot prove it but believe it emphatically, I put it to you - THAT is FAITH ! So are you sure you don’t want to go back and revisit your statement “blind reliance (i.e. faith)” ? If faith is belief in the unprovable, which you and Richard Dawkins incessantly declare, then how do you manage to live your lives – you cannot possibly prove the next plane you fly in, or car you drive in isn’t going to crash due to catastrophic metal fatigue. Yet you probably continue to fly or drive . That is faith. I opine that you exercise faith in many ways i.e “total reliance on things you cannot prove”. The argument could be extended to countless other examples. Its all FAITH , FAITH , FAITH , my friend .
    But then I hear you say , that’s completely different from faith in an invisible , infinite God. Actually no, it’s not . If by ‘unprovable’ you mean impossible to prove through scientific methods then you are totally correct. If to somehow prove to anyone through rationalization alone then, yes, that might be unlikely. Let’s say for argument’s sake that God did exist (and do you think you would be able to turn off your extreme skepticism of such a possibility long enough to follow my argument ?). Then let’s say he was the creator and sustainer of all that is known and can be known. In that case would it be possible for him to ‘hide’ himself from the direct scrutiny of man by ‘sensible’ or empirical means ? In a nutshell, God is not a possible object of sensible experience, but transcends all such categories. The next obvious question would be , ‘WHY’ ?! Well the answer to that would require at least another posting, and considering your responses to my postings so far, you probably would not be interested . Perhaps others might be ; but I fear you may have scared everyone else off .
    4. Complements on making the effort to look up the reference John 14:6 – or perhaps even further complements if you happened to know it by heart. Oh, incidently , what I think you meant to say was ‘life’ instead of ‘light’. (A trivial error – so no need for me to waste valuable time highlighting it at length !) If you were to read more of the accounts of Jesus’ life and proclamations in John’s Gospel in an openly critical and impartial manner you might be able to comment on it more intelligently. However, you might still remain resolutely skeptical of Jesus Christ and Christianity, but perhaps you might be able to respond more cogently than merely betray no evidence of higher level thinking by employing phrases like “pathetically conceited asseveration “ . (Maybe a tactic which you acquired from Richard Dawkins ?)
    Incidentally, no need to complement me or even vilify me if you were to respond to this posting ; I suppose you probably realize by now it doesn’t bother me one way or the other !

  • robertallen1

    Confuse and confound! Confuse and confound! And when that fails, obfuscate for dear life!
    1. Your maiden effort to confuse and compound consists of the statement “I support evolution as a theory?” (emphasis added) How else can evolution be supported except as a theory (that is in the scientific sense of where the evidence points)? Perhaps I’m wrong, but I suspect that you are not using the term “theory” as scientists use it.
    2. Contrary to your unsupported assertion, espousing atheism and anti-Christianity do not point to a messianic complex. Dr. Dawkins insists that we not take his word for anything (unlike Jesus, Mohammad, Joseph Smith, Buddah, Jerry Falwell and you), but to research and use our brains. Is such an outlook indicative of someone with a messianic complex or of a proselytizer for rational thought and enlightenment? I must say, you seem to have difficulty making one thought flow from another. Perhaps that’s why you are so given to confusing and confounding, especially as in the paragraphs that follow.
    3. You confuse and confound blind reliance (faith) with intelligent reliance, that is reliance based on facts. Contrary to what you would have us believe, this is more than just an academic distinction. To justify the former, you burn up a large section of the screen with examples of the latter.
    4. To further confuse and confound, you ask us to hypothesize the existence of a supreme being, a “creator and sustainer of all that is known and can be known” and from that hypothesis, jump to the conclusion that such a being might be able to “’hide’ himself from the direct scrutiny of man by ‘sensible’ or empirical means.” This egregious quantum leap of yours bears a striking resemblance to that employed by creationists to justify their assertion that irreducible complexity (and there is no such thing) requires an intelligent being to create it. A hypothesis is only a given. If it is faulty, the whole structure collapses.
    5. For your ultimate effort to confuse and confound, you’ve chosen the Gospel of John and accuse me of not having read this gospel in “an openly critical and impartial manner.” Not only have I read it, but I also know the history behind it and the three gospels (more with the Apocrypha) which preceded it, each one portraying Christ in various ways, many of them contradictory. “I am the way, the truth and the life” is found only in John, not in the earlier gospels of Mark, Matthew and Luke or in the early aprocryphal gospels. Furthermore, the Gospel of John is completely unlike the Synoptics in tone, language and depiction (e.g., the Synoptics have Jesus speaking in parables; John does not—at least in the same sense.) So as even you can see, I have given the matter intelligent consideration. But I digress. One way or the other, the statement “I am the way, the truth and the life” is pathetically conceited and someone seriously making it deserves to the opprobrium with which is greeted, even Jesus Christ himself who probably never spoke these words or anything like them. Of course, my low-level thinking does not take into account the ignorant and the gullible.
    What I don’t understand is if what I write doesn’t bother you “one way or the other,” why you have bothered to respond at all.

  • Atheist13

    @Dave

    I don't mean to be rude, I disagree, I think robertallen1's language is first class and does not need any modification at all. As for your comment on grammar, it smacks of pedantry.

  • robertallen1

    @Atheist13

    Thanks for the support. However, I pride myself on my grammar and cannot figure out what Dave means by stating that mine is a little off, pedantry or no pedantry.

    I would appreciate whatever assistance you could provide.

  • Atheist13

    @robertallen1

    I understand what you mean; I have read it all and apart from 1 typo can find no grammatical errors anywhere. I would say its a fine article, easily readable and easily understood. As usual.

  • Guest

    Here comes an other Prof!
    Skip my comments, they are always full of "mistakes" and funny ideas!
    I would have written "unnecessary complex language".
    az

  • robertallen1

    @Atheist13

    Thank you for taking the time to look over the post again and respond. If ever in the future you find errors, factual, grammatical or otherwise, I would appreciate it if you would point them out to me.

    Once again, thank you.

    Robert1

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_LTFDOYI2B3N7ZP62KNRD2SOSEA Andrew

    I pray the evolutionists are right!!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Dodd-Rougeau/100002223828173 Dodd Rougeau

    Hahahaha ha! nice...!

  • http://www.facebook.com/geniuswithoutsanity Ian Griffiths

    evoloutionary scientists generally don't debate this with people of faith as it is like having a debate between a scientist in the field of human reproduction and somebody trying to support the stork theory. While i believe personal faith is very important, mainstream religion works heavily on blind faith which is a dangerous thing to enforce yet religion still pushes this. There never was or has been any archeological proof into the existence of jesus and the bible is generally self contradicting and flawed. Please tell me also what benefits religion has brought into this world for humanity to enjoy? Science on the other hand has an endless list, 1 of them being the computer you will be quite happily using to respond to this post.

    "But the pseudo-intellectuals scream ever louder - "Crucify Him" - I watch the Atheists talk about how the moon broke off from the earth into a million particles that have now joined together into a single round mass just the size of the sun (relative to the view of the earth). How did this water world stay in the exact place through the years? One degree closer and we evaporate while one degree farther we freeze? How did the water evolve at it's limited range of temperature?"

    Regarding this quote what has religion done to try and solve this riddle? science has built this theory by means of consistant tests, evidence, mathematics etc etc.

  • robertallen1

    Fine article, except for one point.

    "There never was or has been any archaeological proof into the existence of Jesus . . . " Question: How would we know it if we were to find it?

  • goodlistener

    I have read all the comments posted, and I continue to ask believers of ANY religion the same unanswered and avoided question I have asked for over 17 years. If you can prove God to me, how I can disprove God to you, then what choices would a rational person have; except to embrace belief?

  • waz_oz08

    God, can never be proven...Even as a muslim, its all about faith .Faith whether you do not or you do believe n god....The truth will always be subjective for most.

  • jonathan jackward

    great science from 152 years ago , might be slightly obsolete though

  • Davek47

    @goodlistener
    I like your posting and found it very refreshing for several reasons. First , it is succinct, second it it is challenging , third it cuts straight to the heart of the matter. I think there is an important lesson here for all of us ; namely , instead of assuming a too highly opinionated viewpoint , many of us simply need to listen to what others have to say (nice username !).

    I am sorry to hear you say that you continue to have “ the same unanswered and avoided question”. Possibly the reason is that we who claim to have ‘faith’, either do not articulate our beliefs clearly enough or rather fail to validate it more through the life example we present or fail to present to others.

    Let me briefly attempt to shed some light on your dilemma if I can. So then , is there any solution to the big questions which you ask yourself ? I want to suggest that the answer to that is emphatically ‘yes’ .

    Let me illustrate by suggesting to you that Christianity has its own built-in litmus tests for its authenticity. In the Gospel of John, Jesus made this remarkable statement , “If anyone is willing to do His will, he will know of the teaching, whether it is of God or whether I speak from Myself.” , John 7:17. So here you have the person who is the originator as well as the central figure of the Christian faith , boldly pinning his colours to the mast. He is saying in effect , “ if you want to know whether my claims are true or false , here is the key “. Do you see that the validity or otherwise of Christianity hinges ultimately on this ‘proof’. First, we are challenged to risk everything - “If anyone is willing to do His will” – i.e. God’s will . Consequently the claim “he will know of the teaching, whether it is of God”. The question then is , what ‘knowledge’ is Jesus speaking of ? Well to summarize, it is a personal awareness , experience if you will, that changes your entire worldview and opens up to the individual a cognitive reality of an unseen ‘world’ for which previously there was just no reference . One could debate and conjecture forever about the validity of such an experience , but ultimately it boils down to personal choice (will) and personal enlightenment. In a nutshell , Jesus says, “try it and see”. I believe that if anyone reads the New Testament with an open mind and the sincere intention of putting its claims to the test then they will never go unrewarded. If they read it with the mere intention of seeking ammunition to refute its validity then they may seem to be successful in that quest , but will gain nothing meaningful .

    There is much more we could discuss on this subject and many helpful references I could provide to you. If you wish to obtain my email I would be happy to provide more info.

    A Christian missionary by the name of Jim Elliot once said , “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose”. As the saying goes, “ The proof of the pudding ……”. Don't cease your quest !

  • http://www.facebook.com/airbor Robby Baker

    Dr. Dawkins you are one of my heroes. You shouldn't waste your time on religions that will never fully respect your genius.

  • robertallen1

    Once again you reveal your ignorance.

    How do you know that Jesus said these things? If you've read anything about the history of the New Testament, you'd know that John is a later Gospel and much different in structure, method and outlook than the other three. Who's to say which, if any, of the Gospels is the most accurate, especially as all of them were written anonymously after that fact?

    In other words, it's accurate to state that the Gospel of John says that Jesus said such and such, but misleading to aver that Jesus actually said it.

    Although he's an admitted atheist, at least Dr. Dawkins does not try to deceive and distort which makes him a better Christian than you and based on your posts, certainly a more intelligent and educated one.

  • jonathan jackward

    about gradual changes over time in genes that affect species?

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Paul-Currie/1312876116 Paul Currie

    testify!..... would be what i'd shout if i were a religious man..... but i'm not.

  • LouSipher

    You believers: do you see any of us atheists discussing what type of fishes Jesus multiplied? NO
    So stop filling up atheists documentaries comments with your fantasies.
    Please ... or I will really take it fill up your religious comments with dubious assertions on your beliefs.
    There is no middle way in this you either believe fantasies or you don't. Most who watch this type of documentaries DONT. However, If your a fantasist refrain from telling us we watch lies. Be respectful and never ever do anything for our good, we are not babies.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_ARCG3REIMTK4HOTFIVGAHNKEH4 Geoff B

    Excellent, excellent idea Dr. Dawkins! I wholeheartedly agree that classes/courses in comparative religion should be added to the curriculum in U.S. public schools. Children are more intelligent than most people give them credit for. Let them choose and decide for themselves. Furthermore, if a parent's religion is really 'the right way, the truth', then certainly the child/children would quickly realize it during the course without them being indoctrinated by their parents, no?

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_ARCG3REIMTK4HOTFIVGAHNKEH4 Geoff B

    Another great read for those like-minded is Jon Krakauer's "Under the banner of heaven".

  • maniacmike

    Well at least he can use some part of his brain at all - something you refrain from for some odd reason. I'm not gonna reply all of your post but correct only the gravest misunderstandings.

    'Most genuine human knowledge of creation come from religious texts' - that is if you use knowledge as an ill-considered euphemism for something you believe in that requires no evidence...oh wait, that's right, it's called faith in the real world.
    Most REAL human knowledge of our origin (prefer that over creation any day, since we have no reason to believe we were a science experiment) stem from serious scientific investigation of life on this planet (present/past), the geologic history of the planet and studying the cosmos and laws of nature (physics/chemistry).

    Cosmic vibrations?!? Seriously??? But you kindly refrain from presenting any evidence for this outragious phenomenon, but of course why should you, you call it a belief anyways. And beliefs you don't have to argue for. You just have to make them up.

    Evolution is a mathematic property of the DNA/RNA based life and a changing environment were different niches favor different genetic compositions with different survival chances. It does very well without any deities. And in fact people who are uninfluenced by religious or mythological texts probably understands it way better than you could ever hope to do.

    I don't get why you try to present yourself as a pantheist when indeed you are a closet theist (yep, your 3rd paragraph displays it neatly).

    I could spend time finding a millions links or books that support my position or/and undermine yours but instead I think I'll leave you with a Sagan quote: 'Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.'

  • http://www.facebook.com/daniel.covington Daniel Covington

    Wow, thanks for letting us know that nonsense. Guess your girlfriend didn't want to waste her time listening to it.

  • http://www.topdocumentaryfilms.com Epicurus

    what is your education background?

  • Guest

    Excerpt from your site:
    "Our ancestors had no trouble with any laws of gravity, their spirits could easily move anywhere they wanted, but because of the modern technological way of getting knowledge by spacecrafts and astronomical instruments, the modern human beings are physical and mentally stuck of gravitational difficulties, launching very heavy tin cans in Space and getting speculative information's by instruments in stead of launching their Spirits the Ancestral Way of gathering intuitive and immediate knowledge."

    I find this very interesting, it is my opinion that there has been a reemergence towards such possibility. The incorporeal is the gate we have reached (perhaps once again). If we can manage to free ourselves from religious and scientific constrictions we may enter a new dimension. Knowing that both of these domains have been the arteries that brought us to where we now stand, it would benefit our present civilization if instead of always acknowledging the disparity, we searched for the similarities and perhaps uniformity that exist in everything opposite such as spirituality and science.
    az

  • robertallen1

    While reading your post, all I kept hearing weird organ music in the background.

  • Achems_Razor

    I don't think anyone will hear from Ivar since he posted a month ago.
    But Azilda seems to have some viewpoints on the subject at hand, maybe we can coerce Az, into expounding on her suppositions. Organ music, you never know?

  • robertallen1

    I mean it sounded like a rejected script for "One Step Beyond."

  • Guest

    You know fishing for a fight rarely works with me, the reason is that i always stay open for a change of mind. I don't play organ but i have had a few negative years of experience playing piano with a nun teacher.
    az

  • Achems_Razor

    What? what gives you the idea I was fishing for a fight? lol

    Have we ever fought? well maybe, some eons ago.

    Was truly interested in your viewpoints on the supernatural stuff and incorporeal stuff and the dimensions and similarities in spirituality and science that you were referring to. Honest!

  • Guest

    I know better than allowing you and Robertallen1 play tennis with me as if i was a ball.
    Honest?...ok
    How about you first comment on the paragraph i wrote down below.
    az

  • Guest

    @Achems
    I will say 52/24/7, i have been (for quite some time) open to have this dimension crack open before my eyes (should say my mind), not knowing what, when, why and how but walking in the dark with my blind awareness feeling around.
    The other night after i fell through the hole, i got to replay in my mind the splitsecond when it engaged, the second while in the freefall and the concious slow motion travel of it. I have replayed it many times since then. I care a lot more about the impression it left me with than the sore butt, elbow, knee, back and neck.
    I am not sure what i am making of it but it has to do with realizing that cracking this dimension could happen the same way.
    more to come
    az

  • Achems_Razor

    Actually I completely understand, it is time that seemed to stand still, when you fell through the trap door it may have seemed like an eternity by the time you hit the floor. their is even a doc on TDF with Brian Cox. time something, forget what it was called. We can actually make time go faster or slow it down.

  • Guest

    I see, "Do You Know What Time It Is" with Brian Cox. I don't think i have seen this one yet.
    I would never say no to Brian Cox....lol
    It may stir me in a direction i have been looking for...will see!
    Thanks
    az

  • Achems_Razor

    Okay, you can reply to me on that doc tomorrow or whenever, the reply will come to me.

  • Guest

    Just still reading the comments on it, saw your exchange with epicurian_logic, this guy should be around more often!
    Will do.
    az

  • gamesbok

    Laplace wrote a book on the formation of the Solar System, and Napoleon ask why he hadn't mentioned God. 'Je n'avais pas besoin de cette hypothèse-là.' ("I had no need of that hypothesis.") Napoleon, greatly amused, told this reply to Lagrange, who exclaimed, 'Ah! c'est une belle hypothèse; ça explique beaucoup de choses.' ("Ah, it is a fine hypothesis; it explains many things.")

  • madscirat

    Even though I disagree that religion should be taken from people not yet logically intelligent enough to see through it, just as I don't think it's wise to rip the training wheels off a toddler's bike, I must respect Dawkins both for his breadth of knowledge, his passion for truth and his optimism with regards to the reasoning faculties of the average human being, an optimism I apparently lack.

    The documentary was entertaining though it goes without saying I wished it focused more on the details of evolutionary theories like kin selection and less on preaching reason to the irrational.

  • The_Outrigger

    "God, can never be proven"? So you're saying there will be no evidence for this God, ever? Which would mean he has NO EFFECT, because if there was an effect, we could say "see, there's the evidence".

    So why believe in a non-effective god? That is patently st*pid.

    OH, and for you f****** out there who say "Oh, God simply created everything but we can never know him". That is not the God of the New & Old Testimates who pals around with his son and friends. So if you do say that -you are NOT saying the Bible (or that other book) is true.

  • http://www.website.com/ Vexst Junglist

    i feel sorry for Dick, everyone goes mental at him, you tell em pal.

  • gwhosubex

    you're claiming truth. there is a methodology for truth. just fit it into it, and we'll have no problem. but keep avoiding it, and you'll get no respect from thinkers - only from emotionally vulnerable stupid people, which there are no shortage of, and which is why many people shake down money from them while claiming morality.

    It's really just about not accepting bull, which is one of the easiest and cheapest paths for exploitation.

  • Ivar Nielsen

    For some reasons or another I´ve just know recieved the first message of new posts on this matter.
    I really don´t know where to start replying - so I´ll just hold my horses for the time being.

  • Ivar Nielsen

    So how do you define "truth" regarding modern cosmology where lots of ideas and hypothesis are based on beliefs and pure assumptions which aren´t prooved?

    Shouldn´t you then also give the same credit to the possibility that ancient mythological tellings could hold some real truth?