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Feedback requested on a new hypothesis on the origin of atheism
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12-09-2016, 11:57 PM
RE: Feedback requested on a new hypothesis on the origin of atheism
(12-09-2016 11:39 PM)morondog Wrote:  You most certainly are not a person of the calibre of Charles Darwin, although I'll give you points for arrogance comparing yourself to him. Your hypothesis so far seems totally ill defined. Modern science progresses usually by writing papers which can be peer reviewed, and at some point the field grows enough that a book is needed as a summarised introduction to it. The fact that you don't understand how this works shows that for a person propounding a "scientific" hypothesis you are woefully lacking.

Unsurprisingly, arrogance and ignorance are often closely related—as this Ruggles character so aptly illustrates. He seems to think that cobbling together a random clutch of absurd notions constitutes a worthy scientific [sic] work.

He then gets some el-cheapo online "publisher" to sell a few CDs for a couple of bucks each, and then claims to be some sort of well-founded, accredited author. I'm still laughing.

I'm a creationist... I believe that man created God.
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13-09-2016, 12:02 AM (This post was last modified: 13-09-2016 12:07 AM by GirlyMan.)
RE: Feedback requested on a new hypothesis on the origin of atheism
(07-09-2016 10:12 PM)Randy Ruggles Wrote:  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.

2. Theism is the default position. We are all born believers. Evolution has caused us to be this way due to its survival advantage.

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.

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.

Feedback: This reads like the ramblings of an adolescent on LSD. There's my feedback. Hope you find it constructive. And how exactly to you plan to test this "testable, falsifiable prediction"?

#sigh
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13-09-2016, 12:05 AM
RE: Feedback requested on a new hypothesis on the origin of atheism
(10-09-2016 07:46 AM)Fatbaldhobbit Wrote:  
(09-09-2016 11:04 PM)Randy Ruggles Wrote:  Also, why do you say I "likely can't properly understand" atheism?

Because of the nonsense spewing from your keyboard.

(09-09-2016 11:04 PM)Randy Ruggles Wrote:  "Before I am accused of attacking a straw man, allow me to establish my understanding of the atheist's position. I don't equate atheism with Satanism, communism, Naziism, anarchism, Darwinism, liberalism, humanism or any other -ism you care to name.

So far, you have equated atheists to broken, corrupt, mutants, compared atheism to mental illness, and misconstrued the link between atheism and autism.

(09-09-2016 11:04 PM)Randy Ruggles Wrote:  I am well aware that atheists like to define atheism, not as a belief, but as a lack of belief in any gods, deities or supernatural forces.

It's not what atheists "like". Unlike yourself, atheists do not tend to redefine words to suit their own needs.

(09-09-2016 11:04 PM)Randy Ruggles Wrote:  I have no illusions that atheism is a religion or a belief system. As atheists are fond of asserting, if atheism is a religion, then not collecting stamps is a hobby. (I will, however, challenge this definition of atheism later.)"

Oh goody. Drinking Beverage

You said:

". . . atheists do not tend to redefine words to suit their own needs."

Actually they do. I've seen it done with with the words evolution, faith, religion, vestigial, species, atheism, belief, and nothing to name just a few. Matt Dillahunty even made up his own definition for "knowledge" which, since Aristotle, has been justified true belief.
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13-09-2016, 12:11 AM
RE: Feedback requested on a new hypothesis on the origin of atheism
(10-09-2016 07:55 AM)Fatbaldhobbit Wrote:  
(10-09-2016 12:42 AM)Randy Ruggles Wrote:  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.

Since so much of what you post is wrong, cite that statement.

I'll give you a hint: the religious scientists who are reliable and reputable are the ones who separate their religion from their science.

(10-09-2016 12:42 AM)Randy Ruggles Wrote:  No one is jumping on the science bandwagon. It appears that you have bought into the false notion that there is some conflict between science and Christianity.

That whole Galileo thing, the Ark-idiots in Kentucky and Europe, Ken Hamm, Ray Comfort, Young Earth Creationists, Anti-evolutionists...

Seriously, ARE YOU REALLY THIS STUPID???

(10-09-2016 12:42 AM)Randy Ruggles Wrote:  Sadly, your comments are full of incorrect assertions.

You would be an expert on that wouldn't you?

You really should inform yourself about the Galileo affair. Contrary to popular belief, Galileo was convicted and placed under house arrest more because he insulted the Pope that for his science. It was a clash of egos and it was wrong. But it wasn't really about science as historians acknowledge. And unfortunately the Catholic Church had bought into the cosmology of Aristotle. Galileo was a devout Christian.
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13-09-2016, 12:13 AM
RE: Feedback requested on a new hypothesis on the origin of atheism
(10-09-2016 08:36 AM)cactus Wrote:  
(10-09-2016 12:42 AM)Randy Ruggles Wrote:  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.

and Algebra was invented by the grace of the prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him.

Care to elaborate on how you've established this causation that you've just asserted?


(10-09-2016 12:25 AM)Randy Ruggles Wrote:  ....Then, after a year-long study of the Bible in Hebrew and Greek, I came to the conclusion that it does not teach that we have an immortal soul which survives death and that so-called hell is only a temporary form of punishment.....

....I think those who aren't "saved" will ultimately cease to exist forever...
So you're saying that the immortal soul only exists after a person has become convinced by some version of the animal sacrifice narrative that's described in the gospels? Once a person opts in to this deal, can they opt back out once they get to heaven and gasp in horror as they realize that God actually fits his description from the Torah?

Do you view autism as an extra hurdle to be overcome on the path to salvation, or do they get handicap points from YHWH?

"So you're saying that the immortal soul only exists after . . ."

No, I'm saying the immortal soul doesn't exist at all.
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13-09-2016, 12:17 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 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...

Agree with him all you want and you'll still be wrong. I specifically said, "science arose and prospered in the West . . ." The WEST.
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13-09-2016, 12:17 AM (This post was last modified: 13-09-2016 12:22 AM by Bucky Ball.)
RE: Feedback requested on a new hypothesis on the origin of atheism
(12-09-2016 11:18 PM)Randy Ruggles Wrote:  
(09-09-2016 11:56 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  Actually it doesn't. And as uaual, you FAIL to provide any supporting evidence.

"No one shall come to me unless the Father draw him"
"For many are called, but few are chosen"
"To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit,"

As usual, we know more about the Bible than those who call themselves believers.

I didn't know you were a Calvinist, Bucky. (I am not.) But regardless, once again you conflate religion with pattern recognition. It's hard to take someone seriously who can't understand even the simplest concepts.

And I really do not want to engage in a theological discussion since this thread is about science. But since you asked, Romans 1:20 says:

"For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities--his eternal power and divine nature--have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse."

This verse indicates that we all know God exists and will be without excuse on judgment day. The passages you cite which support Calvinism would still make a distinction between knowing God exists and doing what he says. Those whom the Father does not draw are still responsible for their sin and will experience punishment for those sins.

The Bible "indicates" nothing. Humans cooked it up. The ancients took for granted that there was a god. It was a part of human culture. There was no "Calvinism" to support when they were written. Humans in 2016 do not take that for granted. Religion in 2016 is optional. It was not "optional" in the ancient world. It was assumed. You really should learn some history. Your ignorance is astounding.

Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein God has a plan for us. Please stop screwing it up with your prayers.
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13-09-2016, 12:20 AM (This post was last modified: 13-09-2016 12:56 AM by DLJ.)
RE: Feedback requested on a new hypothesis on the origin of atheism
(12-09-2016 09:13 PM)Fatbaldhobbit Wrote:  
(12-09-2016 09:06 PM)Randy Ruggles Wrote:  "You appear not to understand why infants are born atheists."

You appear not to understand that I reject this premise. So does current research. Wink

No the current research does not.

Link

From the link...
Quote:A crucial development occurs around 4 years of age when children realize that thoughts in the mind may not be true.
Quote:By the age of 4 or 5 years, children realize that people talk and act on the basis of the way they think the world is, even when their thoughts do not reflect the real situation,

Which would lead anyone (without an agenda) to conclude that continuing to uncritically accept authority is the '-opathy'.

Yet, theists don't continue believing in fairies, Santa, etc. but only the memetically transmitted god(s)-belief.

Does this imply that the developing 'deceit-detector' (don't bother Googling that, Tomasia, I made it up) is not picking up the signals regarding the god-fairy because the meme transmitter (peer, parent, priest etc.) is not displaying the deceit micro-signals i.e. they are genuinely deluded? Meaning that this particular meme engenders cognitive ease not cognitive dissonance.

Going back to the "sucker, cheater, grudger" idea (from Dawkins, Selfish Gene) the implication is that 'gruders' have a more sensitive deceit-detector (dissonance from the 'model' pattern) but for 'suckers' this is absent or underdeveloped.

So this explains e.g. the success of Joel Osteen. Big Grin

Or is 'grudging' a learnt behaviour i.e. once bitten, twice shy? i.e. a software update following a potentially harmful incident.

But, again, note that this occurs in only one facet of life. Someone who is sucker enough to buy one of Randy's books is not necessarily a sucker in other regards e.g. they would test a used car before purchasing.

So, the 'misinformation effect' and 'confirmation bias' must have something to with it, as opposed to purely being related to childhood development.

Consider

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13-09-2016, 12:27 AM
RE: Feedback requested on a new hypothesis on the origin of atheism
(10-09-2016 10:11 AM)Gloucester Wrote:  [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!]

The quote by Darwin, "Often a cold shudder has run through me, and I have asked myself whether I may have not devoted myself to a fantasy [which he spelled phantasy]" is not taken out of context. He was admitting he had doubts because he was an honest scientist. I wouldn't trust a scientist - or anyone for that matter - who didn't have doubts.

Darwin even said, "But then with me the horrid doubt always arises whether the convictions of man's mind, which has been developed from the mind of the lower animals, are of any value or at all trustworthy. Would any one trust in the convictions of a monkey's mind, if there are any convictions in such a mind?" This became known as Darwin's doubt. No one is suggesting, by this, that he repudiated his theory of evolution by natural selection or had a deathbed conversion or anything like that.
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13-09-2016, 12:28 AM
RE: Feedback requested on a new hypothesis on the origin of atheism
(10-09-2016 10:53 AM)Paleophyte Wrote:  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.

"As much fun as I'm sure it will be insulting Randy for his numerous and deliberate falsehoods . . ."

I have made none.
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