Your authority…what I really think

#atheist #atheism -

One thing I’ve discovered talking to believers, is they’re often quickly discomforted by the fact I don’t take them at their word.  To me, this seems to be a given. It seems to be a hard thing for them to accept. 

I think I understand why.  A believer is coming from a community where they do have authority.  In that community, their knowledge and claims are treated with respect- because in that community, the believer has obtained a degree of authority. And it’s hard to let go of that.  The result is that many Christians or Mulsims I’ve debated, just start by assuming I will concede they have a similar degree of authority.

Well, let me burst your bubble. Outside your community- in the bright light of the internet- your authority counts for squat- nada- nothing- zero.  I’m not going take you at your word for anything.  If you want me to treat you as an authority on these issues, you have to start from scratch.  You have to establish the veracity of your claims with solid evidence. Your word is not going to suffice.

Stepwise formation of the bacterial flagellar system

#evolution
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Every so often, some creationist will come out with the claim that flagellum of the bacteria is an irreducibly complex system.  This points to a dead-Jew on a stick designing it- I mean, an unspecified intelligent creator (wink, wink)- designing it. 

The only problem is that we know that the flagellum is not irreducibly complex. It can be shown to form in a stepwise fashion as per the article attached.

Of course, it does seem that it would be easier to find another way to leave a biological clue for design than the flagellum of a bacterium.  That creator is such a tease…

I am not an evolutionist

#evolution #atheist #atheism -

Until I got on to the web and started interacting with creationists again, I’d never heard this term before.  Lets be clear- I reject it, utterly and totally. 

I am a biologist, not an evolutionist.  That means I’ve spent years at University getting an advanced education.  That means a lot of practical work in the field and in the lab.  It means that I know the difference between a monkey and an ape. I have traveled to, and worked on 4 different continents with a variety of wildlife.  In the course of this work, I have discovered and published things.  I have been exposed to various hazards along the way. I have lost colleagues to fatal diseases and accidents.

At no point in time, have I taken a course in evolutionism.  There are no journals on evolutionism.  There are no academic or government positions that have evolutionist as the title.  The term only exists as a pejorative attempt by creationists to create the fiction that an entire scientific discipline is a mere dogma.

If your claims are built entirely on what you have read on creationist websites and sources, then your beliefs are dogmatic.  There is no symmetry between creationism and biology. Until you get off your arses, stop trying to appropriate other people’s research, and start doing your own, not one iota of credit can be given to the creationist view.

#atheist #atheism
unfriendlyatheist:

excellent response

Sigh, it’s sad that I read that theist claim about atheism far too often. I mean, when you’re actually proclaiming the universe was made out of nothing with magic, you’re really not in the position to start ridiculing cosmology or biology.  Love the response though :)

#atheist #atheism

unfriendlyatheist:

excellent response

Sigh, it’s sad that I read that theist claim about atheism far too often. I mean, when you’re actually proclaiming the universe was made out of nothing with magic, you’re really not in the position to start ridiculing cosmology or biology.  Love the response though :)

So your god created the universe?

- #atheist #atheism -

The cosmological argument for god seems to be quite popular amongst theists. I guess if you’re going to conjure a proof for god, it’s hard to beat finding one that occurred about 14 bn years in the past. Because all that evidence is so clear cut now right…

Okay, so clearly you’re an expert on cosmology and have a solid grasp of the nature of space-time, quantum-mechanics and general relativity.  I’m going to give you the benefit of the doubt and assume you haven’t learned all your physics of some creationist website.  You’re not going to make elementary errors like assuming that time is an absolute metric. Or tell me that the big-bang is an explosion. Because that just means I can dismiss your claim based on your transparent ignorance.

So, here’s what I need you to do to make your claim the universe was created by your god credible:

Question 1: How many dimensions are there to the universe?


Ok, this should be easy.  The creator god exists in some dimension outside space-time of this universe.  Clearly you have information on the nature of the universe that has baffled physicists for decades.  So, tell me how many dimensions there are, which one your god is located in, and the scientific proof you have for this number. 

Question 2: When was the universe created?


Again, this should be simple.  Clearly you have been able to solve the Hawking-Hartle no-boundary condition and can identify the exact moment the universe was created.  Please tell me when that was and the scientific proof you have used.

Question 3: Elimination of natural causes

A quantum-fluctuation (a pertubation to the quark/antiquark balance in a singularity) is recognised as a feasible and natural mechanism by which a universe could start a big-bang expansion. Please supply your proof of why this is actually impossible.

Question 4: Elimination of alternatives

Expansion of a big-bang singularity is not the only explanation we have for the universe.  There are also ekpyrotic models which describe endless cycles.  As physics has not been able to eliminate these alternative models, please supply the scientific proof that has so far eluded all of these cosmologists.

Victor Stenger: The Fall of Foolish Faith

- #atheist #atheism -

Stenger, just being utterly awesome.

- #atheist #atheism -There seems to be a type of theist, who will bombard you with reasons why atheism is wrong as soon as you identify as an atheist. This is very tiresome as it usually doesn’t deal at all, with my objections to your claim that gods exist. Let me try to break it down.
Atheism only means I do not accept your claim that gods exist.  It is defined only by this claim. It starts and stops at this point.
Atheism doesn’t mean I believe the universe was created from nothing. Technically, that is the belief of the Abrahamic religions. As an atheist, I make no claims about the origin of the universe. (And a big-bang singularity isn’t nothing).
Atheism doesn’t mean I think my existence is all down to blind chance. Atheism makes no claims about the origin of the human species. Evolutionary biology does make claims, but doesn’t rely upon blind chance. There’s a reason the term ‘selection’ appears in ‘natural selection’. It’s because it’s selective, not random. See the obvious clue?
Atheism doesn’t mean my life has no meaning. I get plenty of satisfaction from my friends and family, and the work I do with wildlife. If being devoted to your family isn’t enough for you, then that’s not my problem is it?
Atheism doesn’t mean I’m a nihilist or a Marxist.  It just means one thing. I cannot accept your claim that gods exist on the basis of the supplied evidence.
 See, all very simple. The only thing you can deduce if I’m an atheist, is I haven’t accepted your claim that your god exists. There is nothing else about the nature of the world, the universe or the meaning of life you can infer from that label. Any arguments that presume my atheism goes beyond that rejection of your claim, is simply fallacious. So it’s actually very simple.  All you have to do to prove my atheism is erroneous, is prove your god exists.

- #atheist #atheism -

There seems to be a type of theist, who will bombard you with reasons why atheism is wrong as soon as you identify as an atheist. This is very tiresome as it usually doesn’t deal at all, with my objections to your claim that gods exist.

Let me try to break it down.

  • Atheism only means I do not accept your claim that gods exist.  It is defined only by this claim. It starts and stops at this point.
  • Atheism doesn’t mean I believe the universe was created from nothing. Technically, that is the belief of the Abrahamic religions. As an atheist, I make no claims about the origin of the universe. (And a big-bang singularity isn’t nothing).
  • Atheism doesn’t mean I think my existence is all down to blind chance. Atheism makes no claims about the origin of the human species. Evolutionary biology does make claims, but doesn’t rely upon blind chance. There’s a reason the term ‘selection’ appears in ‘natural selection’. It’s because it’s selective, not random. See the obvious clue?
  • Atheism doesn’t mean my life has no meaning. I get plenty of satisfaction from my friends and family, and the work I do with wildlife. If being devoted to your family isn’t enough for you, then that’s not my problem is it?
  • Atheism doesn’t mean I’m a nihilist or a Marxist.  It just means one thing. I cannot accept your claim that gods exist on the basis of the supplied evidence.

 See, all very simple. The only thing you can deduce if I’m an atheist, is I haven’t accepted your claim that your god exists. There is nothing else about the nature of the world, the universe or the meaning of life you can infer from that label.

Any arguments that presume my atheism goes beyond that rejection of your claim, is simply fallacious. So it’s actually very simple.  All you have to do to prove my atheism is erroneous, is prove your god exists.

- #atheist #atheism -
And today’s rule is to make it clear that dragging your neighbours off to be tortured and immolated for the fictional crime of witchcraft, really isn’t allowed.  I can’t see killing people for madeup reasons is the sort of thing a supreme entity would command.  It’d be a pretty dick-move if you did.

- #atheist #atheism -

And today’s rule is to make it clear that dragging your neighbours off to be tortured and immolated for the fictional crime of witchcraft, really isn’t allowed.  I can’t see killing people for madeup reasons is the sort of thing a supreme entity would command.  It’d be a pretty dick-move if you did.


- #atheist #atheism -

This is quite a simple rule really and gets through any confusion. The no-slavery rule applies to daughters, to foreigners, to blacks etc. Everyone, no exception, gets to live as a free person.

- #atheist #atheism -

This is quite a simple rule really and gets through any confusion. The no-slavery rule applies to daughters, to foreigners, to blacks etc. Everyone, no exception, gets to live as a free person.

- #atheist #atheism -
If you really wanted to improve the well being of a bunch of bronze-age people, this would be near the top of my list. Wash the bacteria off your hands, don’t ingest them, live longer and sick less often. Soap, it’s going to save lives.

- #atheist #atheism -

If you really wanted to improve the well being of a bunch of bronze-age people, this would be near the top of my list. Wash the bacteria off your hands, don’t ingest them, live longer and sick less often. Soap, it’s going to save lives.