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Feedback requested on a new hypothesis on the origin of atheism
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10-09-2016, 08:48 AM (This post was last modified: 10-09-2016 09:31 AM by Gloucester.)
RE: Feedback requested on a new hypothesis on the origin of atheism
Randy Ruggles Wrote:
Quote:Except that it is a well-established fact that science arose and prospered in the West because nearly all the major branches of science were founded by Christian theists.

I have to agree with FBH on his reply to this. Science and technology, in one form or another, were alive and flourishing in India and Greece long before the legend of JC ever started. 5000BCE in the first case and 700BCE in the second.

Even Stonehenge, around 3000BCE, and other sites of a similar type and age, might be considered scientific instruments if they were developed and used to predict solar and lunar events.

The copper, bronze and iron ages started in the Middle East, requiring experimentation, observation, methodology and other broadly scientific skills.

The Chinese had their main scientific age ftom about 600CE. The Muslims picked it up (from about 800CE) and developed it whilst the Europeans were, basically, still banging each other around their pagan, heathen and Christian ironclad heads.

Added: looks like it was the 11thC before higher education started in Europe. Betcha the first tutors were either Muslims or trained hy Muslims! Then the Christian Crusades started...

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10-09-2016, 09:07 AM
RE: Feedback requested on a new hypothesis on the origin of atheism
(10-09-2016 08:48 AM)Gloucester Wrote:  Randy Ruggles Wrote:
Quote:Except that it is a well-established fact that science arose and prospered in the West because nearly all the major branches of science were founded by Christian theists.

I have to agree with FBH on his reply to this. Science and technology, in one form or another, were alive and flourishing in India and Greece long before the legend of JC ever started. 5000BCE in the first case and 700BCE in the second.

Even Stonehenge, around 3000BCE, and other sites of a similar type and age, might be considered scientific instruments if they were developed and used to predict solar and lunar events.

The copper, bronze and iron ages started in the Middle East, requiring experimentation, observation, methodology and other broadly scientific skills.

The Chinese had their main scientific age ftom about 600CE. The Muslims picked it up (from about 800CE) and developed it whilst the Europeans were, basically, still banging each other around their Christian ironclad heads.
Right, these things traveled to Europe in time to be grown into more.

And not entirely, but the growth and conquest by the Mongols mucked a lot of that up. Especially with regards to what the Muslim regions had scientifically and instead in their wake became more unified through the religious idea again...

Well the whole crusades on the other front soon after also doubled down on that. But then that old knowledge slowly trickled back west so folks like the Bacons could make inquiries of science begin to really flourish.

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10-09-2016, 09:18 AM
RE: Feedback requested on a new hypothesis on the origin of atheism
(10-09-2016 08:48 AM)Paleophyte Wrote:  
(09-09-2016 10:55 PM)Randy Ruggles Wrote:  Thank you, Paleophyte. Some helpful advice there. And yes I know what a hypothesis is. I also know that a scientific theory is not merely a hunch or conjecture but is a well-established explanation of the data. I have been working on a cover for the book - if I ever actually write it - and I plan to put "theory" in the subtitle for its accessibility to the lay reader and explain in the Introduction that it's really at the hypothesis stage and not a theory. It will also serve to catch those critics on Amazon who have not really read the book but only the cover. (See the cover below.) Wink

Then the term "Theory" would be misleading and entirely dishonest.

A hypothesis is tested against the evidence. If it can explain the evidence then it may be considered a theory. If it fails to explain the evidene then it is either revised or discarded.

Your hypothesis fails to explain the non-random geographical or temporal distribution of atheists. It fails to explain conversions in adults. Since it cannot explain the evidence, it is a failed hypothesis. Calling a failed hypothesis a theory is a lie.

Your cover design shows that you are this Randy Ruggles:

[Image: 51uagaxafOL.jpg]

By what standard do you discard the theory of evolution while simultaneously calling your failed hypothesis a theory? The standard of a mendacious hypocrite by the sounds of it. Pardon me while I amuse myself at your inability to follow the most basic of your God's Commandments. You're a beautiful example of moral relativity but little else.

But, but but, Paleophyte, how can you claim he is denying evolution when he said this here earlier in this thread? Wink

Randy Ruggles Wrote:My book will not conclude that we are born with a belief in God because God put it there but because evolution did
(08-09-2016 09:07 PM)Randy Ruggles Wrote:  It appears we are born and come pre-programmed with certain beliefs. Theists will say God put them there. Atheists will say evolution did it. But I'm not sure we can deny their reality any longer.

And how can you call him a theist when in fact he must be an atheist by his own definition.
"Atheists will say evolution did it" -> "His book will conclude evolution did it" -> Ergo: He is writing as an atheist.

The only other explanation that comes to my mind would be that he is a liar. Big Grin

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10-09-2016, 09:39 AM
RE: Feedback requested on a new hypothesis on the origin of atheism
Four words for you Deese: Lying Sack of Shit.

I also enjoyed:

(07-09-2016 10:12 PM)Randy Ruggles Wrote:  However, most of my friends are atheists and I enjoy discussing logic and reason with them and even engaging in some friendly debates from time to time with mutual respect.

And

(10-09-2016 12:47 AM)Randy Ruggles Wrote:  I personally don't care whether my hypothesis is falsified. I care about truth. I want to know what is true. I am able to keep my emotions out of my quest for truth.

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10-09-2016, 10:11 AM (This post was last modified: 10-09-2016 10:24 AM by Gloucester.)
RE: Feedback requested on a new hypothesis on the origin of atheism
[Image: 258mftl.jpg]

Worth looking into this book using Amazon's preview system.

Found some of the quotations from the "reputable scientists". Some seem to be from strongly theist people, so almost certainly not unbiased.

Others could well be out of context quotations, a popular tool in the creationist fantasy bag:

Quote:“Often a cold shudder has run through me, and I have asked myself whether I may have not devoted myself to a fantasy.”
- Charles Darwin, “The Life and Letters of Charles Darwin,” 1887, Vol. 2, p. 229.

But...

Quote:"I rejoice profoundly that you intend admitting the doctrine of modification in your new edition; nothing, I am convinced, could be more important for its success. I honour you most sincerely. To have maintained in the position of a master, one side of a question for thirty years, and then deliberately give it up, is a fact to which I much doubt whether the records of science offer a parallel. For myself, also, I rejoice profoundly; for, thinking of so many cases of men pursuing an illusion for years and often a cold shudder has run through me, and I have asked myself whether I may not have devoted my life to a phantasy. Now I look at it as morally impossible that investigators of truth, like you and Hooker, can be wholly wrong, and therefore I rest in peace. Thank you for criticisms, which, if there be a second edition, I will attend to."

He is merely expressing the kind of self-questioning any great scientist must do, but the creationists have ripped it from its context to make it seem as though Darwin really didn’t believe his own ideas. It’s quite absurd. Interestingly, the very next sentence goes like this:

"I have been thinking that if I am much execrated as an atheist, etc., whether the admission of the doctrine of natural selection could injure your works; but I hope and think not, for as far as I can remember, the virulence of bigotry is expended on the first offender, and those who adopt his views are only pitied as deluded, by the wise and cheerful bigots."

[My bold]
A fine example of a partial quotation well out if context. Wonder how many more?

That one instance would discredit the hook in my eyes, not even fit for the charity shop, some silly sod might believe it. Bin job!

All your own work, Randy? Or was this a different, lying by omission, Randy Ruggels altogether?

I would happily wager there are more like this, been here so often . . .

[Damn, snips at the crucial point!]

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10-09-2016, 10:51 AM
RE: Feedback requested on a new hypothesis on the origin of atheism
Another quote-miner.

Called it!

These people have no shame.

"Theology made no provision for evolution. The biblical authors had missed the most important revelation of all! Could it be that they were not really privy to the thoughts of God?" - E. O. Wilson
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10-09-2016, 10:53 AM
RE: Feedback requested on a new hypothesis on the origin of atheism
We are fond of stating that a hypothesis stands or falls regardless of it's author. The theory of evolution would stand if Darwin had stated that every last word was poppycock. Einstein's theories of relativity would be no less valid had they been written in an asylum. Consequently, Randy's mutation-induced atheopathy stands or falls regardless of whether he is a dishonest creationist trying to peddle his latest book.

As much fun as I'm sure it will be insulting Randy for his numerous and deliberate falsehoods, let us pause for a moment and examine his hypothesis rather than its author.

(07-09-2016 10:12 PM)Randy Ruggles Wrote:  Here is my hypothesis:

1. Our starting assumption is not that a god exists or doesn't exist but that its existence is outside of the purview of science. We will not consider supernatural or non-natural explanations.

While this statement is considered axiomatic in most scientific works it is probably advisable given the nature of the material. It would be more effective if it clearly stated that the topic of discussion is the capacity for belief in a deity, not the existence of that deity.

(07-09-2016 10:12 PM)Randy Ruggles Wrote:  2. Theism is the default position. We are all born believers. Evolution has caused us to be this way due to its survival advantage.

There are several problems with this statement:

- The statement is based upon a hypothesis by Michael Shermer regarding the possible origins of religion in a hypersensitive flight reflexing our species' evolutionary ancestors. Basing one hypothesis upon another is permissable but ill-advised. If Shermer's hypothesis falls so must yours.

- Flight reflexes are typically well-calibrated by evolution. Too flighty and your bunny never gets to do what bunnies do best. Not flighty enough and the wolf gets to do what it does best. Either way the bunny's flight reflex genes never get passed on.

- Shermer's hypothesis gets you as far as supersition and a predisposition for religious belief. This is a very long way from being born a theist. This is much like saying that a predisposition for coronary disease means you will be still-born. Predisposition gets you nowhere, though I am certain that the field of child psychology will be stunned to learn that children have a propensity for believing fairytales.

Since this is the linchpin of the hypothesis it fails here.

(07-09-2016 10:12 PM)Randy Ruggles Wrote:  3. Atheopaths lack a belief in God. They are "born that way." Their "agency detector" is broken. Studies have, in fact, demonstrated that theists see patterns that don't exist and atheists miss patterns that do exist. Their "pattern recognition software," so to speak, has been corrupted.

Many atheists convert later in life, an observation that is completely at odds with this point. Randy will probably carry on about how he isn't talking about all atheists, but please see the title of his book "Why Atheists Exist" for a bit of unintended honesty.

(07-09-2016 10:12 PM)Randy Ruggles Wrote:  4. One mechanism that we know of which tends to break things and corrupt information is genetic mutation.

5. So, my testable, falsifiable prediction is that one or more genetic mutations are responsible for atheopathy.

A genetic mutation or mutations should be slow spreading, changing in frequency slightly with each subsequent generation. It should be inheritable, passed from one generation to the next. It might cluster within certain ethnic group by should not respect geopolitical boundaries or socio-economic factors.

By contrast, we observe a sharp, sudden increase in atheism over the last hundred years or so. This cannot be explained by hereditable genetic mutations as the gene(s) would have had to lie virtually dormant for the preceding two millenia only to explode into the population now. An appeal to de novo mutation is even more improbable, requiring either a mutation rate that would leave us all quivering masses of tumors and failed homeoesis or a mutagen so selective and precise that it belongs in the annals of science fiction alongside the X-Men.

Similarly, we observe a strong correlation between religiosity and education, poverty and similar socio-economic condition. This contradicts a genetic origin while supporting an environmental cause.

Religiosity also shows geographical patterns: less religous in Scandanavia, more religious toward Rome, more secular in Canada compared to a more religious USA. Within the US, religiosity shows strong patterns, being highly concentrated in the well-documented "bible belt" compared to the much less religious northeast and west coasts.

A genetic cause for atheism fails to explain any of these patterns.

In summary, Randy's hypothesis is based on a another hypothesis, manages to come unstrung from that and then fails to explain simple observations about atheism. His testable hypothesis has been teted.

[Image: Top-10-Reasons-Why-LMS-Implementation-Fail.png]

And now we can get back to pointing and laughing at Randy for honesty on par with a 2016 US Election candidate.

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10-09-2016, 11:01 AM
RE: Feedback requested on a new hypothesis on the origin of atheism
From the Product Description on Amazon:

Quote:Like most of us, you were likely taught in school that evolution is a fact beyond reproach. But as you'll see in this book, hundreds of reputable scientists have serious doubts about Darwin's theory.

Nearly all of the so-called "evidences" for evolution taught in high-school and college textbooks have long been discredited, in some cases, over one hundred years ago - yet they are still presented as fact.

Now, many scientists claim that new discoveries in biology, astronomy and paleontology have rendered evolution dead and that the truly scientific evidence points clearly and unequivocally toward the existence of an Intelligent Designer.

Here, for the first time in a handy and easy-to-read format, dozens of quotes
from the top minds in science give you the other side of the Creation/ Evolution debate - evidence that science textbooks ignore and the main-stream media suppress.

Discover the surprising admissions some of today's leading scientists make to each other behind closed doors - when they think no one else is listening.

If you've always suspected evolution was a lie but weren't sure why, or if you're convinced it's true but remain open to hearing the evidence against the theory, then this book is for you.

Evolution: Fact or Fiction? is a shocking, controversial and surprisingly entertaining read. But watch out. If you're not careful, it just might challenge your thinking about science and evolution.

---
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10-09-2016, 11:03 AM
RE: Feedback requested on a new hypothesis on the origin of atheism
(10-09-2016 10:51 AM)RocketSurgeon76 Wrote:  Another quote-miner.

Called it!

These people have no shame.
Yes, every one a fine example of (un)Christian morals and ethics.

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10-09-2016, 11:29 AM
RE: Feedback requested on a new hypothesis on the origin of atheism
(10-09-2016 11:01 AM)Paleophyte Wrote:  From the Product Description on Amazon:

Quote:Like most of us, you were likely taught in school that evolution is a fact beyond reproach. But as you'll see in this book, hundreds of reputable scientists have serious doubts about Darwin's theory.

Nearly all of the so-called "evidences" for evolution taught in high-school and college textbooks have long been discredited, in some cases, over one hundred years ago - yet they are still presented as fact.

Now, many scientists claim that new discoveries in biology, astronomy and paleontology have rendered evolution dead and that the truly scientific evidence points clearly and unequivocally toward the existence of an Intelligent Designer.

Here, for the first time in a handy and easy-to-read format, dozens of quotes
from the top minds in science give you the other side of the Creation/ Evolution debate - evidence that science textbooks ignore and the main-stream media suppress.

Discover the surprising admissions some of today's leading scientists make to each other behind closed doors - when they think no one else is listening.

If you've always suspected evolution was a lie but weren't sure why, or if you're convinced it's true but remain open to hearing the evidence against the theory, then this book is for you.

Evolution: Fact or Fiction? is a shocking, controversial and surprisingly entertaining read. But watch out. If you're not careful, it just might challenge your thinking about science and evolution.

Dafuq did I just read? Shocking

Laugh out load lol Laugh out load

No. No

Practically everything in that description is as warped as the mind of a fundamentalist.

I can only think of one thing in the textbooks that's something the Creationists could legitimately call "discredited", and that's the (in)famous drawings of Haeckel's embryos, which are still being used in many books... along with a full explanation of their history and what we've learned since then, and why they are still displayed.

All this guy had to do was Wiki the damned subject to find out if he was right:

The exactness of Ernst Haeckel's drawings of embryos has caused much controversy among Intelligent Design proponents recently and Haeckel's intellectual opponents in the past. Although the early embryos of different species exhibit similarities, Haeckel apparently exaggerated these similarities in support of his Recapitulation theory, sometimes known as the Biogenetic Law or "Ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny". Furthermore, Haeckel even proposed theoretical life-forms to accommodate certain stages in embryogenesis. A recent review concluded that the "biogenetic law is supported by several recent studies - if applied to single characters only".

Critics in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Karl von Baer and Wilhelm His, did not believe that living embryos reproduce the evolutionary process and produced embryo drawings of their own which emphasized the differences in early embryological development. Late 20th and early 21st century critics Jonathan Wells and Stephen Jay Gould have objected to the continued use of Haeckel’s embryo drawings in textbooks.

On the other hand, Michael K. Richardson, Professor of Evolutionary Developmental Zoology, Leiden University, while recognizing that some criticisms of the drawings are legitimate (indeed, it was he and his co-workers who began the modern criticisms in 1998), has supported the drawings as teaching aids, and has said that "on a fundamental level, Haeckel was correct".


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Embryo_drawing

In other words, Haeckel's drawings were poor, shaped by his desire to push his embryonic hypothesis, which wasn't completely correct (that "higher-evolved" animals went through something like a pictorial history of their evolutionary past while developing), and was objected to by scientists and then amended-- the scientific method of self-correction in action.

However, the books almost never use Haeckel's actual drawings, but later versions which were more accurate, and they explain why the related species have a similar stage in their evolutionary development. (For the layperson reading this: it's because DNA doesn't make you "intact", but is rather a set of "unfolding instructions" as new cells split and differentiate into various tissues, sort of like a multicellular origami... to make any Vertebrate, you're going to have similar instructions up until Step 128, at which point the folds will start going in different directions to make the different body-layout.) My biology 101 textbook actually had a picture of Haeckel's drawings right next to a more-modern version, and had a paragraph explaining why we rejected Haeckel's ideas but kept the images, with improvements to remove the bias, and why they're still used as teaching tools to this day.

There is no way an honest person can read these science textbooks and misunderstand that-- they say it directly!

Thus I can only conclude that it takes an incredibly dishonest, total scumbag to try to portray science (and evolutionary biologists) in the light that they are casting.

"Theology made no provision for evolution. The biblical authors had missed the most important revelation of all! Could it be that they were not really privy to the thoughts of God?" - E. O. Wilson
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