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Ken..oh ken.  You need to sit down and take a deep breath.  Maybe some extra O2 will help…

I am going to use the discussion points found on RichardDawkins.net as the basis of this feature.

Calilasseia is the author of the post and deserves many rich accolades for assembling so much useful information in one spot. This constitutes an open thread of sorts, please leave your opinions and observations in the comment section.

Enjoy!

The asinine “were you there?” canard.

This canard is particularly loathed here, not only because it is about as palsied and cretinous a canard as it’s possible to erect, but because it is also manifestly dishonest. Dishonest because of the inherent double standard that supernaturalists in general, and creationists in particular, adopt when deploying this canard. Namely, that they think it is perfectly legitimate to hand-wave away massive amounts of hard evidence from observational reality using this duplicitous rhetorical device, yet expect the critical thinkers to accept without question the unsupported blind assertions of their mythology, which makes fantastic claims about the past history of the universe that by definition were not only unobserved, but impossible to verify empirically because those claims involve magic. If you think that this double standard is legitimate, be prepared to have your discoursive dishonesty subject to withering critical scrutiny.

Now, having dealt with the dishonesty at the heart of this canard, I’ll deal with why it is asinine. This canard is beneath deserving of a point of view for one simple reason. Physical processes leave behind them physical evidence of their having taken place. This is a basic scientific fact, one that science has relied upon for 300 years in order to make sense of the real world, and denial of this basic fact once again merely demonstrates that you are more interested in propping up a doctrine than learning about the real world. Furthermore, physical evidence of the occurrence of particular processes is frequently persistent, which means that said evidence remains in place for a long period of time, including periods of time that are orders of magnitude greater than that asserted to have existed by your ideology. Once again, scientists, and those here who accept the results of the diligent labours of those scientists, aren’t interested in doctrinal assertions, they are interested in reality, and if reality sticks the middle finger to doctrinal assertions, tough.

That physical processes leave behind them evidence of their having taken place, and that said evidence is persistent enough to await our attention, are basic principles that are relied upon by branches of science as diverse as geology and forensics, and if you want to assert that those principles are false, good luck with this, given the massive amount of evidence supporting those basic principles. As a corollary of this, if you erect the “were you there” nonsense in a thread, you will be in no position to complain when the critical thinkers subject the combination of scientific ignorance and discoursive mendacity inherent in this canard to withering attention.

Indeed, in order to deal with a particularly retarded variant of this argument, I’ll state another elementary principle applicable to the refutation of this cretinous piece of creationist apologetic fabrication. Namely that physical phenomena exist independently of our observing or measuring them. And, since those independently existing physical phenomena leave behind them physical evidence of their having taken place, which we can alight upon at any time provided the evidence is persistent enough, this palsied, encephalitic canard should now be well and truly dead with a stake through its heart.

I am going to use the discussion points found on RichardDawkins.net as the basis of this feature.

Calilasseia is the author of the post and deserves many rich accolades for assembling so much useful information in one spot. This constitutes an open thread of sorts, please leave your opinions and observations in the comment section.

Enjoy!

 

[21] “The universe is meaningless without my magic man”

To which the short answer is “so [frakking] what?”

Leaving aside for the moment the total failure of supernaturalists to support the assertion that their particular pet species of magic man actually exists, which also impinges upon [20] above, the idea that the universe needs this entity to impose meaning upon it is a piece of intellectual constipation that I, for one, find mind-numbingly boring, tedious and unimaginative. Douglas Adams said it best – “Isn’t it enough to realise that the garden is beautiful as it is, without having to imagine fairies at the bottom of it?”

Likewise, why should the universe be required to genuflect before supernaturalist anthropocentric conceit, and be required to be meaningful only because an invisible magic man that we have invented decrees thus?

We are beings that are capable of eliciting meaning for our own lives, and the world around us, without outside interference. Erecting an imaginary source of outside interference is nothing more than a gargantuan Little Orphan Annie complex, a wish to remain a child with a nice Daddy figure to run the world around us so that we don’t have to get off our arses and expend the effort. This is such an utterly lame stance to adopt. It’s indolent, naive, simplistic and dumb. Surely there is far more majesty in knowing that the universe, quixotic and capricious though it may seem to be at first sight, is comprehensible by diligent intellectual human effort, and that exercising that effort not only leads to a breathtaking vista of understanding that adds to the majesty, but gives us the power to work toward a better destiny for us all in a manner that produces real, substantive results? Once again, the evidence we have is that fabricated magic men are superfluous to requirements and irrelevant in this vein, and indeed, are increasingly a hindrance. “Magic man did it”, once again, is little more than a synonym for “don’t bother asking questions, don’t bother being curious, don’t bother trying to learn”. What gives meaning to the world around us is the effort we exert to understand the world and put that knowledge to constructive use.

I am going to use the discussion points found on RichardDawkins.net as the basis of this feature.

Calilasseia is the author of the post and deserves many rich accolades for assembling so much useful information in one spot. This constitutes an open thread of sorts, please leave your opinions and observations in the comment section.

Enjoy!

[21] “The universe is meaningless without my magic man”

To which the short answer is “so fucking what?”

Leaving aside for the moment the total failure of supernaturalists to support the assertion that their particular pet species of magic man actually exists, which also impinges upon [20] above, the idea that the universe needs this entity to impose meaning upon it is a piece of intellectual constipation that I, for one, find mind-numbingly boring, tedious and unimaginative. Douglas Adams said it best – “Isn’t it enough to realise that the garden is beautiful as it is, without having to imagine fairies at the bottom of it?”

Likewise, why should the universe be required to genuflect before supernaturalist anthropocentric conceit, and be required to be meaningful only because an invisible magic man that we have invented decrees thus?

We are beings that are capable of eliciting meaning for our own lives, and the world around us, without outside interference. Erecting an imaginary source of outside interference is nothing more than a gargantuan Little Orphan Annie complex, a wish to remain a child with a nice Daddy figure to run the world around us so that we don’t have to get off our arses and expend the effort. This is such an utterly lame stance to adopt. It’s indolent, naive, simplistic and dumb. Surely there is far more majesty in knowing that the universe, quixotic and capricious though it may seem to be at first sight, is comprehensible by diligent intellectual human effort, and that exercising that effort not only leads to a breathtaking vista of understanding that adds to the majesty, but gives us the power to work toward a better destiny for us all in a manner that produces real, substantive results? Once again, the evidence we have is that fabricated magic men are superfluous to requirements and irrelevant in this vein, and indeed, are increasingly a hindrance. “Magic man did it”, once again, is little more than a synonym for “don’t bother asking questions, don’t bother being curious, don’t bother trying to learn”. What gives meaning to the world around us is the effort we exert to understand the world and put that knowledge to constructive use.

I am going to use the discussion points found on RichardDawkins.net as the basis of this feature.

Calilasseia is the author of the post and deserves many rich accolades for assembling so much useful information in one spot. This constitutes an open thread of sorts, please leave your opinions and observations in the comment section.

Enjoy!

[18] The argument via link to crap websites/copy-paste screed/crap YouTube video.

By now, those who have been paying attention know what’s coming next. So, if you haven’t been paying attention, you’re in for a shock.

Time and time again, we see creationists turning up, posting a one-line post consisting of a link to some worthless apologetics website, thinking that they’re going to “stick it to the stoopid atheists”. Aside from the fact that this is terminally lazy, and merely demonstrates that the poster couldn’t be bothered to present the “arguments” contained in said link using original prose of his or her own devising (which requires one to have actually bothered to read the apologetics in question, which a surprisingly large number of link spammers never do), the fatuousness of this approach should become evident very quickly upon asking the following question. If you are told that you have been diagnosed with a brain tumour, who are you going to ask to remove it? Are you going to ask a professional neurosurgeon, who has trained for years specifically to perform this operation, or are you going to ask a football coach?

If that question seems inane to you, then it is MEANT to seem inane. Specifically for the purpose of bringing into sharp relief the inanity involved in pointing to an apologetics website as a purported source of “scientific” knowledge, as opposed to pointing to the website of, say, an actual university evolutionary biology department, or the website of an actual evolutionary biologist, or the website of a scientific journal that publishes papers in this field. If you think some wank-break televangelist in a $5,000 suit paid for by gullible rubes is somehow an “expert” in the field, then once again, you really are in need of an education. Which of course brings us back to [2] above.

Let’s get this straight once and for all. Websites devoted to religious apologetics are worthless as sources of genuine scientific information. If you want real scientific information, you go to a professional scientist, a professional scientific body, or a professional scientific journal. This is why science textbooks are written by actual scientists. Because, in case you hadn’t worked this out, these are the people who know, and who are paid to know. I don’t care how many people purportedly possessing Ph.Ds are cited by your favourite apologetics website, this is irrelevant, because the mere fact that those people are contributing to that website means that they are NOT practising real science, they are practising apologetics, which again brings us back to [2] above. Which means that the likes of AiG, ICR, the Discovery Institute and the various other organisations that act as ideological stormtroopers for mythology-based doctrine are worthless from the standpoint of disseminating genuine scientific information, because their primary interest is apologetics. Their primary interest is propagandising for mythology. As a consequence, these websites frequently misrepresent valid science (again, see [2] above). Indeed, several of them peddle outright lies about science (see [3] above, where I provide a handy link to the destruction of one instance of said lies). Consequently, if you come here linking to one of these organisations, the response from the critical thinkers here will be to go into petunias mode (again, see Douglas Adams for the reference).

Whilst we’re here, I might as well address the related argument by copy-paste screed canard, which fits in here too. Copying and pasting a large wall of text from an apologetics website, dumping it here in the same manner in which an incontinent baby dumps the contents of its nappies on the floor, then running off thinking that you have somehow “refuted” valid science, merely earns you our lasting scorn and derision. Even more so if there is a stark contrast between the literacy level of the copy-paste screed, and that of posts containing your own words. If you are unable to spell words of more than five letters correctly when writing your own posts, and unable to post more than, say, 15 words in such posts, then suddenly unleash a wall of text upon us, the critical thinkers will know what they’re dealing with, and the resulting savaging that your posts will receive will not be pretty to watch. Picture the spectacle that would result if you slashed a baby with a Stanley knife, then tossed it into a piranha infested river. That’s what will happen to your posts.

The same spectacle will result if you post a link to, or embed, a crap YouTube video. If we see John Pendelton, Kent Hovind or any of the other well-known charlatans appearing, or for that matter any of the well-known wannabees, popping up in the video clip, other than for the purpose of having their execrable ignorance, stupidity and wilful dishonesty eviscerated, then your post gets the piranha treatment.

I am going to use the discussion points found on RichardDawkins.net as the basis of this feature.

Calilasseia is the author of the post and deserves many rich accolades for assembling so much useful information in one spot.   This constitutes an open thread of sorts, please leave your opinions and observations in the comment section.

Enjoy!

[11] The tiresome conflation of evolutionary theory with abiogenesis (with Big Bang side salad).

A favourite one, this, among the creationists who come here. Which always results in the critical thinkers going into petunias mode (read Douglas Adams in order to understand that reference). Since so many creationists are woefully ill-educated in this area, I shall now correct that deficit in their learning.

Evolutionary theory is a theory arising from biology, and its remit consists of explaining the observed diversity of the biosphere once living organisms exist. The origin of life is a separate question, and one which is covered by the theory of naturalistic abiogenesis, which is a theory arising from a different scientific discipline, namely organic chemistry. Learn this distinction before posting, otherwise you will simply be regarded as ignorant and ill-educated.

While we’re at it, evolutionary theory does not consider questions about the origin of Planet Earth itself, nor does it consider questions about the origin of the universe. The first of these questions is covered by planetary accretion theory, the second by cosmology, both of which arise from physics. As a consequence of learning this, if you subsequently erect the tiresome conflation of evolutionary theory with the Big Bang or the origin of the Earth, be prepared to be laughed at.

I am going to use the discussion points found on RichardDawkins.net as the basis of this feature.

Calilasseia is the author of the post and deserves many rich accolades for assembling so much useful information in one spot.   This constitutes an open thread of sorts, please leave your opinions and observations in the comment section.

Enjoy!

[8] Real world observational phenomena, and the theories erected to explain them, are two different entities.

Again, the mere fact that I have to state this explicitly testifies to the scientific ignorance of many of the individuals who come here, purporting to be in a position to tell us that the world’s most educated scientists have all got it wrong, and that 3,000 year old mythology has somehow got it right (or 1,400 year old mythology, depending upon your particular religious ideological background).

With respect to evolution, populations of real living organisms have been observed evolving in real time. This is what is meant when the critical thinkers here state that evolution is an observed fact. Real populations of real living organisms have been observed changing over time, and have been documented doing so in the peer reviewed scientific literature. The theory of evolution consists of the postulates erected, and the testable mechanisms arising from those postulates, to explain those observed phenomena. Learn this distinction, or once again, prepare to face much contempt from the critical thinkers here.
As it is a short entry this week I have added a fine video from Thunderfoot about why people laugh at Creationists (part 32) to complete your Sunday Smack Down.

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