Poll: I accept the premise that we are born believers because of evolution.
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Feedback requested on a new hypothesis on the origin of atheism
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18-09-2016, 01:26 AM (This post was last modified: 18-09-2016 01:41 AM by Gloucester.)
RE: Feedback requested on a new hypothesis on the origin of atheism
Quote:4. Anything about my previous book on evolution: It is irrelevant to the thesis of this book.
Randy, your previous book is part of uour "CV", your "resumė". Unless you have suffered a major faith change since writing it or are such a strong, objective personality you can keep your beliefs 100% seperate from your current project, the contents and veracity, or lack thereof, of that book are indicators of your motives for this one.

Thus it is entirely relevant in how you will and your ideas will be viewed here. Not with prejudice but with previous evidence of your beliefs and motives.

Never mind, I think we are mostly "enjoying" your efforts as a fine example of almost everything we find repugnant in creationism..

Tomorrow is precious, don't ruin it by fouling up today.
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18-09-2016, 01:28 AM
RE: Feedback requested on a new hypothesis on the origin of atheism
Yeah I think his brain has reverted to the online-posting equivalent of glossolalia at this point, as well.

I'm going back to bed. See you guys in the morning. Maybe this crap will be less painful to see, then.

"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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18-09-2016, 01:42 AM
RE: Feedback requested on a new hypothesis on the origin of atheism
Randy's Laundry List

OK Randy, since it looks like you've finally started researching things here's a list of things that you need to do:

(1) Demonstrate that a single atheopath has ever existed. This individual need be incapable of belief on a physiological level. Brain hardwired to be god-proof.

(2) Demonstrate that the atheopathy can be genetic. I'm not asking you to do DNA sequencing here, just show that atheopathy runs in the family. Or is correlated with other inheritable traits. Meoitic recombination being what it is, we should expect to see adjacent genes tagging along with the atheopath gene.

(3) Demonstrate that we are born theists. Not simply with a predisposition for superstition. We all played make-believe and saw monsters hiding in the closet as kids so superstition comes as no surprise and gets you nowhere. There's a huge gap between that and belief in god. Given that infants don't believe in their own pacifier when they can't see it you've got your work cut out for you.

(4) Get a better term than "atheopath" or demonstrate pathology. Good luck with that too given how detrimental superstition is to modern humans. Spooking from noises in the bushes is fine for paleolithic hunter-gatherers. Killing cats to cure the plague was somewhat less advantageous.

(5) Work on the cover. Try to put a little honesty into it. Otherwise we're just going to hold you up as a shining example of moral relativity. A theist who sold out the truth for a quick buck in the publishing business.

Flesh and blood of a dead star, slain in the apocalypse of supernova, resurrected by four billion years of continuous autocatalytic reaction and crowned with the emergent property of sentience in the dream that the universe might one day understand itself.
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18-09-2016, 01:49 AM
RE: Feedback requested on a new hypothesis on the origin of atheism
Been watching the NOVA documentary on the Kitzmiller v. Dover trial again, when I noticed that Randy reminds me of the former Dover School Board member Bill Buckingham. Just big old piles of blathering incredulity.

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18-09-2016, 02:40 AM
RE: Feedback requested on a new hypothesis on the origin of atheism
(18-09-2016 01:17 AM)Randy Ruggles Wrote:  And another complete book making similar claims:

Religion Explained: The Evolutionary Origins of Religious Thought

"Many of our questions about religion, says renowned anthropologist Pascal Boyer, are no longer mysteries. We are beginning to know how to answer questions such as "Why do people have religion?" Using findings from anthropology, cognitive science, linguistics, and evolutionary biology, Religion Explained shows how this aspect of human consciousness is increasingly admissible to coherent, naturalistic explanation. This brilliant and controversial book gives readers the first scientific explanation for what religious feeling is really about, what it consists of, and where it comes from."

Did the publishers write the above blurb? If so they are hardly going to say, "Like any work on this type of subject this hook is based on a mixture of current observable fact and theoretical conjecture regarding evidence from the past that may be ambiguous. It must be read with an open but sceptical mind."

We have discussed before that religion may have an evolutionary origin, establishing a set of behaviours that helped to alleviate the dangers from natural origins that were entirely beyond the knowledge of primitive humans. Those who stuck to the rules survived longer. This was also true of the age when religion wielded great power.

So, it is an evolutionary process, nothing to actually do with "real" supernatural entities. If the child is born with rudimentary survival instincts, the reflexes all children exhibit, that is due to evolution. The child that does not know how to feed is, in a very primitive society, a dead child and will not pass on any possible faulty genes.

Can the child understand the difference between natural and manufactured or "designed" objects? Is it not more likely to be binary to start with - "It offers me what I desire (food, comfort) therefore it is good. That which does not offer these things is of no interest"? The origin of those needed things, at the very first, is not of interest to the newly born child. Recognising mum can take up to two weeks it seems, but that is face recognition, to the unfocused neonate could smells and sounds association with the satification of need not be more important?

Why any need for belief? Does it aid basic survival?

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18-09-2016, 03:15 AM
RE: Feedback requested on a new hypothesis on the origin of atheism
(18-09-2016 02:40 AM)Gloucester Wrote:  Why any need for belief? Does it aid basic survival?

Jared Diamond (Guns, germs and steel) says that (IIRC, I read it a long time ago and unfortunately lent my copy out which was never returned. I do regret that hellfire is not an option Evil_monster ) he says that religion is good for society in that you can use it at a society level to bind your crowd together in a common cause, namely "Spread the word of The Prophet! Kill those evil heathens over there who have a different prophet and entirely coincidentally happen to have a gold mine!". Societies with a strong state religion can do well over societies without, 'cos while our atheistic society is all "Oh come on, be reasonable, " their churchy crowd are all "Die Heathen! Yaaaar!".

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(06-02-2014 03:47 PM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  And I'm giving myself a conclusion again from all the facepalming.
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18-09-2016, 03:22 AM
RE: Feedback requested on a new hypothesis on the origin of atheism
Rug vendor, how many of your previous book did you manage to sell? I ask 'cos I suspect not a lot. Does your God want you to fail at life?

We'll love you just the way you are
If you're perfect -- Alanis Morissette
(06-02-2014 03:47 PM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  And I'm giving myself a conclusion again from all the facepalming.
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18-09-2016, 03:35 AM (This post was last modified: 18-09-2016 03:40 AM by Bucky Ball.)
RE: Feedback requested on a new hypothesis on the origin of atheism
(18-09-2016 12:30 AM)Randy Ruggles Wrote:  Evolution: Fact or Fiction? - Audio Book Introduction


You sir, in fact, are incompetent to even begin discussing the subject of evolution.
From Dr. Jerry Coyne, University of Chicago :

Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein It is objectively immoral to kill innocent babies. Please stick to the guilty babies.
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18-09-2016, 03:50 AM (This post was last modified: 18-09-2016 01:54 PM by EvolutionKills.)
RE: Feedback requested on a new hypothesis on the origin of atheism
[Image: 51uagaxafOL.jpg]

Your first offense is before your ‘book’ even properly starts, in the dedication. It’s great that you think so highly of your mother, but she’s wrong. Not only are you descended from apes, you are an ape. Look up the definition of an ‘ape’. Humans comply with every piece of that definition, because we are apes. You are an ape, bitching about it or denying it does not change that fact.


As for your Tom Bethell quote. Couldn’t you find anything from him that had passed professional rigor? The best you have is a quote out of a 1985 article in Harper’s Magazine? No scientific journals or other professionals to vette or otherwise verify his claims? Also, what is his qualification? Does he have a doctorate? If so, in which field? Is he employed professionally?

Also, your forward can fuck right off. It’s nothing more than a few sentences lambasting the scientific community at large for being both an petulant hydra with none of the heads being able to agree with one another (who can you trust, right?), and simultaneously a secretive cabal concerned with collectively hiding the true state of the evidence about evolution. How does your book plan to get around this? Exclusively with the use of quotes! The irony of berating readers for potentially buying into evolution uncritically, then lauding them to just taking the book’s quotes (not evidence mind you, just quotes) at face value, it breathtakingly stupid and hypocritical.

Also, nice touch having a Christian apologist write that bit, instead of anyone else who might actually have any expertise at all on the matter. But who need facts when you got Jesus, right?

Alright, even in your own Introduction, you cannot stop yourself from stretching the truth or lying.

Quote:According to Darwin, living organisms pass on countless traits to their offspring with small and random variations. Those offspring that live long enough to reproduce tend to have inherited traits that make them better able to compete for limited resources and better suited to the specific environment. In other words, only the fittest organisms survive.

You were doing okay, right up until that last bit. Two things here. Within the context of Darwin, “fittest” is a measurement of how well adapted an organism is to passing its traits onto the next generation. It is a measure of reproductive success. Being the biggest or fastest or strongest does not necessarily mean you are the most likely to survive long enough to successfully mate and pass on your genes. That being said, survival is not the purview exclusive of just the fittest. The fittest are those most likely to pass on their genetic material, but they’re by no means the only ones. It’s akin to claiming that only those who get straight A’s graduate high school, when it’s evident that they’re not the only ones who do well enough to pass.

Quote:From the start, the theory offended orthodox Christians who believed that God had created every single living thing and that, as the book of Genesis states, “they brought forth after their own kind”. Christians rejected the idea that man evolved from lower life forms. Most scientists wrote them off as fundamentalists and religious crackpots.

What scientists, where, and when? Darwin’s work was controversial, and saw push-back from his own peers, as indeed they were obliged to do so. If Darwin didn’t have the evidence to back up his work, the only way to really find out is by challenging it. But the scientist of Darwin’s time were overwhelmingly religious and Christian. For the most part the debate was over the facts themselves and how to interpret them, but when specific theological objections were raised against a scientific hypothesis, a few did push back (like Thomas Henry Huxley) to keep the debate on topic. But it certainly wasn’t the case of a vast majority of belligerent atheists scholars bullying a small minority of Christian scientists that your statement portrays.

Quote:But in the later half of the twentieth century, more and more reputable experts began to come forward and express doubts about about Darwin’s theory. Various movements including Christian Science and Intelligent Design arose and continue to battle evolution to this day.

Darwin was challenged by the most prominent naturalists and zoologists of his own time, including Sir Richard Owen, arguably one of the most prominent naturalist of his day. Owens too eventually caved and agreed that evolution had occurred, but maintained his opposition to Darwin’s idea of natural selection as the driving force behind it. In a way he turned out to be correct, as natural selection is only one aspect at play in evolution (including, but not limited to, sexual selection, genetic drift, biased mutation, gene flow, etc).

Christian Science is not science. It’s a movement created by Mary Eddy Baker by her assertion that sickness was an illusions and could be cured by prayer alone. Intelligent Design is nothing more than Creationism in a lab coat, it too is not science.

Isn’t that sweet? They even prayed at the start of the presentation, which is perfectly fine in a private religious college. Especially when it’s followed by Dr. Kenneth Miller (a devout Catholic) making an absolute mockery out of Intelligent Design.

You follow this up with Discovery Institute tripe. Oh joy.

ProTip - Anyone who attempts to label their opposition as ‘Darwinist’ is intellectually vapid.

Yes, this includes you too Randy. The rest of this is me humoring your ignorance.

Darwin is not a saint or a figure head. He was a brilliant and insightful naturalist. His work was not perfect, but it changed the course of modern biology. While he turned out to be incorrect on some matters (which is no surprise and not a detriment to himself or his body of work), the core idea behinds his work has lived on and prevailed after more than 150 years of scientists doing their best to disprove it; leaving it arguably the most well attested theory in all of science. Additional pieces have been added and subtracted as we’ve accumulated more and better evidence; but the fact of evolution having occurred, and continuing to occur, remains.

He is not a saint or someone to be revered, just posthumously respected for his contributions to our understanding of the world around us. ‘Darwinism’ is a label used to strawman evolutionary biology as a religious faith, a strawman created and maintained by those who themselves have a religious agenda of their own to push. Darwin is not the head of a cult, and people that attempt to label him as such are projecting in the worst possible way. It’s a case of the pot calling the silverware black.

Oh, are we supposed to be impressed by a supposed list of “over 5000 scientists who have dissented from Darwinism”? How many of them are actually have doctorates, let alone in biology? I’d wager less than 25%. These list pop up often enough, and are frequently filled with dentists, civil engineers, and other fluff degrees; people with no professional expertise or even a tangential connection to the study of biology.

Have you heard of Project Steve? It’s from the National Center for Science Education.


NCSE's "Project Steve" is a tongue-in-cheek parody of a long-standing creationist tradition of amassing lists of "scientists who doubt evolution" or "scientists who dissent from Darwinism."

Creationists draw up these lists to try to convince the public that evolution is somehow being rejected by scientists, that it is a "theory in crisis." Not everyone realizes that this claim is unfounded. NCSE has been asked numerous times to compile a list of thousands of scientists affirming the validity of the theory of evolution. Although we easily could have done so, we have resisted. We did not wish to mislead the public into thinking that scientific issues are decided by who has the longer list of scientists!

Project Steve pokes fun at this practice and, because "Steves" are only about 1% of scientists, it also makes the point that tens of thousands of scientists support evolution. And it honors the late Stephen Jay Gould, evolutionary biologist, NCSE supporter, and friend.

We'd like to think that after Project Steve, we'll have seen the last of bogus "scientists doubting evolution" lists, but it's probably too much to ask. We hope that when such lists are proposed, reporters and other citizens will ask, "How many Steves are on your list!?"

Evolution is a vital, well-supported, unifying principle of the biological sciences, and the scientific evidence is overwhelmingly in favor of the idea that all living things share a common ancestry. Although there are legitimate debates about the patterns and processes of evolution, there is no serious scientific doubt that evolution occurred or that natural selection is a major mechanism in its occurrence. It is scientifically inappropriate and pedagogically irresponsible for creationist pseudoscience, including but not limited to "intelligent design," to be introduced into the science curricula of our nation's public schools.

As of September 14, 2016, 1398 Steves have signed the [above] statement.


Quote:I hope that you will take the time to consider the other side of the issue with an open heart and an open mind.

Open heart? Emotions are not needed to understand facts, and emotions do not change the facts. That’s an appeal to emotion, and it makes it blatantly clear what your real motivation is here; to pander to people’s emotional biases, and fool them into thinking they have any real intellectual backing.

Quote:This is not a book about science against religion. Christianity has no quarrel with science. Instead, I hope to demonstrate that the theory of evolution, itself, is in conflict with science and that truly scientific discoveries are entirely compatible with the Bible.

The creation story in Genesis contradicts the fields of modern cosmology, physics, history, anthropology, geology, and archeology, to name but just a few.

Good luck with that.


You know, because reading it is just too simple? Who the fuck am I kidding! You can’t truly ‘understand’ the Bible without it being ‘interpreted’ for you by a half dozen apologists and pastors or priests, so of course simply reading this damn book is too novel a concept for your intended audience…

Quote:This book is comprised primarily of quotes - quotes from reputable scientists and other experts knowledgeable about the subject of evolution. It is not intended to be read cover to cover, although you can certainly do so.

Are you shitting me? Are you fucking shitting me?

Quotes are not evidence. But why actually go through all of the trouble doing and showing your work, when you can just copy-paste bullshit instead? Just put a stick on the cover advertising “Now with 50% More Quote Mining!” while you’re at it.

Of course, this isn’t surprising, given your target audience. To those already ignorant and credulous enough to take the Bible, as explained and interpreted for them by a third party, as the absolute truth? Quotations are more than enough to confirm their biases. This book aims to pander to those who already do not value evidence.

People who think like you and your audience are why product testimonials still effectively scam people to this day.


[Image: jGo5RkX.jpg]

Quote:To make a complete case against the theory of evolution is beyond the scope of this book.

Yeah, because that would take a lot of actual work. Also, I’m fairly certain it’s beyond the scope of both your intellect and incredulity.

Quote:My intention writing this book was to do what a good defense lawyer does in a court of law - to create reasonable doubt. I firmly believe that if evolution were put on trial, it would lose strictly on the basis of scientific evidence.

It’s already been done. Multiple times. In cases adjudicated and argued over by people far more intelligent and educated than either of us.

Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District


Quote:So often, the evidence against evolution is not presented in the public schools or the media.

Do you know why? Because any potentially evidence would need to be vetted and confirmed by other professionals, those best qualified to examine the work and put it to the test, to attempt to replicate the findings. If the supposed ‘evidence’ against evolution cannot withstand the scrutiny of the larger community of professional biologist, then why should the media or any school care? We don’t alert to media every time someone fails to verify their claims, or else the news would be filled with incessant reports about all those prayers that go unanswered every second of every day.

Quote:The general public is left with the impression that evolution is a fact on par with the law of gravity.

Actually, evolutionary theory is a more well established and understood science than the study of gravity. Gravity is a fact, even if we don’t understand exactly what causes it or how it operates; but we're getting there thanks to the Large Hadron Collider. Evolution is a fact, organisms change over time; but unlike with gravity, we have a very strong understanding of the mechanism behind the evolution we observe in the wild, in the lab, and in the fossil record.


Oh goody, here I thought he’d forgotten about me.

Quote:Some critics of this compendium will say that the quotes are taken out of context and don’t accurately represent the writer's original intent. As well, it could be said that, in a few cases, the scientists speaking about issues that are beyond their particular field of expertise.

Indeed. It’s almost is if you're aware of just how much bullshit you’re selling, but you just don’t care. If you were being honest, you wouldn’t include any non-biologists.

Not that quotes alone, bereft of supporting evidence, are proof of anything.

Quote:Also, I’m sure it will be noted by a few of the more skeptical readers that several of these quotes are decades old.

Indeed, because science is not static. As science gains new evidence, things change. Conclusions can and are refined, widened, or entirely overturned. This surprises nobody that understands how and why science actually works. But I can understand how such a thing seems like a critical weakness, instead of science's greatest strength, to someone who treats a thousands year old book of fables and hearsay as absolute and unchanging truth.

That your biggest problem with science appears to be that it fucking works, is quite telling.

[Image: science.jpg]

Quote:While this is true, it serves a valuable purpose. It demonstrated just how long ago many evidences for evolution were discredited. I marvel that some of them are still taught as fact, in some instance, over a century later.

Your incredulity is noted, but ultimately irrelevant.

I literally cannot take any more of this right now. Just your fucking introduction is a tedious slog that does nothing but highlight your complete lack of understanding of the subject you're attempting to comment on. You are a shining example of the Dunning-Kruger effect at work.

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18-09-2016, 03:54 AM
RE: Feedback requested on a new hypothesis on the origin of atheism
Yeah, I tried to float Barrett's paper here before; it didn't end well. Although I only got three responses or so - nobody wants to argue with the crazy prophet. Tongue

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