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← Why is Charlotte Allen so mad at atheists?

Why is Charlotte Allen so mad at atheists? - Comments

mikey nails!'s Avatar Comment 1 by mikey nails!

*Applauds* Thank you, PZ!

Fri, 22 May 2009 07:41:00 UTC | #362976

Deevolved's Avatar Comment 2 by Deevolved

Awesome! The only thing I would add is that if atheists are boring, what does that make church goers?

Fri, 22 May 2009 07:45:00 UTC | #362979

Sally Luxmoore's Avatar Comment 3 by Sally Luxmoore

Good article, PZ.
It's right that the sort of article that Charlotte Allen wrote should be rebuffed rapidly, intelligently and to the same audience.

Fri, 22 May 2009 07:47:00 UTC | #362980

Steve Zara's Avatar Comment 4 by Steve Zara

Very nice. Pitched just right.

Fri, 22 May 2009 07:52:00 UTC | #362981

splink's Avatar Comment 5 by splink

I thought that claiming we're accidents tuned by natural selection was a no-no. But his very next sentence made me laugh out loud (or lol to all you computer lingo purists) so I think all can be forgiven.

Fri, 22 May 2009 07:56:00 UTC | #362982

Count von Count's Avatar Comment 6 by Count von Count

avatarBravo PZ!

It's always nice to see a calm, reasoned response to craziness--with a touch of humor no less. This article could have been full of ridicule, anger, or contempt, but instead it had a classy wisdom about it. It had the tone of a teacher rather than that of a pundit. The more we can show that we are the level-headed ones, the more we will stand in contrast to the loud, unintelligible screaming of the religious. This article made my morning.

Fri, 22 May 2009 08:08:00 UTC | #362986

Zarlan's Avatar Comment 7 by Zarlan

A good article.


Calling us boring is a fair cop.

Not believing on god, makes you boring?
That is utter nonsense.

Fri, 22 May 2009 08:11:00 UTC | #362987

InfuriatedSciTeacher's Avatar Comment 8 by InfuriatedSciTeacher

Nicely done... as usual for PZ. The comments section is a nice sampling of the nonsense we see here every day: "You don't understand my nuanced version of zombie worship.", "You're oppressing us, you should leave all of us alone>". etc. Some decent rebuttals though.

Fri, 22 May 2009 08:19:00 UTC | #362989

halogenic's Avatar Comment 9 by halogenic

I'm wonderring why her article didn't have a comments section?

Fri, 22 May 2009 08:27:00 UTC | #362996

severalspeciesof's Avatar Comment 11 by severalspeciesof

This is from the article written by Charlotte Allen:

Maybe atheists wouldn't be so unpopular if they stopped beating the drum until the hide splits on their second-favorite topic: How stupid people are who believe in God. This is a favorite Dawkins theme. In a recent interview with Trina Hoaks, the atheist blogger for the website, Dawkins described religious believers as follows: "They feel uneducated, which they are; often rather stupid, which they are; inferior, which they are; and paranoid about pointy-headed intellectuals from the East Coast looking down on them, which, with some justification, they do." Thanks, Richard!
[Emphasis mine]
and this is the actual full context of the quote:
Me: There is so much controversy about evolution, as I am sure you are well aware. What are your thoughts on why certain religious people tend to focus more on evolution than, say, paleontology or archeology, which can certainly be just as damaging to their religious texts as is the theory of evolution?

Richard: Well, paleontology, of course, is one of the main evidences for evolution, so that goes there. I suppose it’s become a kind of red-rag issue. It’s become like their piece of tokenism in a way. They feel uneducated, which they are, often rather stupid, which they are, inferior, which they are, and paranoid about pointy headed intellectuals from the east coast looking down on them, which, with some justification, they do. They tend to be the sort of people who vote for Sara Palin instead of voting for someone who’s qualified to lead the country. They think “I’d rather vote for someone who’s just like me” under this weird idea that they want to be governed by people who are just like them. Similarly, I think there is a sort of inferiority complex and that could be part of it. I suppose it’s also true that much of science doesn’t directly contradict what’s in the Bible whereas evolution does. But mainly, it’s become a sort of red-rag issue by historical tradition.
Notice how Allen claims it's 'religious believers' (with no qualifiers [Edit]) that Richard is talking about, rather than creationists...

And Allen has the gaul to wonder why we get upset?...

Fri, 22 May 2009 08:28:00 UTC | #362998

bamafreethinker's Avatar Comment 10 by bamafreethinker

I'm no big fan of PZ's style... usually. This is cool though.

Fri, 22 May 2009 08:28:00 UTC | #362997

Wosret's Avatar Comment 12 by Wosret

Speak for yourself PZ, I happen live the James Bond lifestyle.

I'm writing this post while skydiving with a Burmese informant strapped to my front side.

She wishes to add that my abs are Olympian.

I have to go, I'm being attacked by Chinese-Nazi-Terrorist-Russians.

Fri, 22 May 2009 08:35:00 UTC | #363001

Cwazy Cat Lady's Avatar Comment 13 by Cwazy Cat Lady

^ LOL to the above!

Oh, and great rebuttal, PZ!!! Charlotte Allen really rolled the red carpet for a serious response. Did she intend to give atheists a microphone and a huge audience with her "article?"

Fri, 22 May 2009 08:43:00 UTC | #363007

sofia's Avatar Comment 14 by sofia

well...... it not a crime to be boring....then there is no need to believe in God.

Fri, 22 May 2009 08:46:00 UTC | #363009

Gary.Hicks's Avatar Comment 15 by Gary.Hicks

Speaking for myself (for whom else could I speak?), I don't need an ancient sky-god to justify my existence, intelligence, morals, tolerance or any number of other character elements that the christian belief structure insists are godly given.

I don't steal, don't murder or maim, I try to treat people with respect (no matter what loony-tune stuff they profess to believe in).

I do think, however, that the bulk of religious belief isn't belief at all, but is more a form laziness. Essentially that because parents and peers belongs to such and such church, the "believer" goes for the course of least resistence and doesn't break with that tradition. So they remain, paying lip service to the beliefs (or apparent beliefs) of the majority in their community.

Fri, 22 May 2009 08:57:00 UTC | #363013

zecat's Avatar Comment 16 by zecat

Bravo and thank you Mr. Myers! Once again straight to the point!

Fri, 22 May 2009 09:32:00 UTC | #363016

Driver's Avatar Comment 17 by Driver

I guess Charlotte Allen would rather see atheists suddenly begin to speak in tongues and convulse on the floor when we bring up our arguments.

Fri, 22 May 2009 09:43:00 UTC | #363021

kaiser's Avatar Comment 18 by kaiser

Don`t know why, but I had the feeling Sam Harris would be the first to post something against the Allen article.

But I nevertheless like PZ`s response

Fri, 22 May 2009 09:57:00 UTC | #363029

Frankus1122's Avatar Comment 19 by Frankus1122

Good one.

It does get boring pointing out the obvious over and over again. And one does tend to think, "Why don't they get it?" You do start to question the intellectual abilities of someone who cannot see what is glaringly obvious to you. They may be super smart in other areas of their life but why so deficient with regard to this particular aspect ?
At least that's what my brain thinks.

Fri, 22 May 2009 10:04:00 UTC | #363035

mlgatheist's Avatar Comment 20 by mlgatheist

"We're boring. I can't actually argue with that. It's true."

I must take umbrage at this. I know that we are all aware of comedians and actors that are Atheists.

I have been told, by many of my religious and nonreligious friends that I can be quite entertaining. Just by telling stories of my childhood or things that have happened to some of my relatives.

Just about everytime I see Professor Dawkins, on stage, or in a video I am both enlightened and entertained.

Just because this woman is biased against Atheists does not mean that Atheists are boring.

Fri, 22 May 2009 10:45:00 UTC | #363044

Peacebeuponme's Avatar Comment 21 by Peacebeuponme


"We're boring. I can't actually argue with that. It's true."

I must take umbrage at this.
I think taking 'umbrage' at Myers' amusing way of responding to the orignal article does not help your case here.

Fri, 22 May 2009 10:53:00 UTC | #363047

Sciros's Avatar Comment 22 by Sciros

Well, to be fair, if sexually abusing children, pushing for backward nonsense to be taught to children in public schools, spreading ridiculous misinformation about fundamental scientific knowledge upon which we rely every day, etc. counts as being entertaining, then I admit that atheists are boring as fuck.

Fri, 22 May 2009 11:06:00 UTC | #363052

mikkala's Avatar Comment 23 by mikkala

As detailingly and intricately articulated as we all know PZ can be, it's a pleasure to read this format of article as written by him. It's calculated simplicity is devastating. It's PZ concentrate, you only need a small cap full...Gets out even the toughest stains.

Are sanstheists really that boring though? I find characters of countless colors and hues on the "sans theism" threads. It's always the regurgitated, pre-packed, processed, heavily salted, microwavable type ideas you hear time and time again from the God lovers.

Who's really boring here? Why don't we just use that kind of critique of religion? It's boring, ergo, bollocks to it! Are we not allowed to address it as such?

I mean, this logic is permissable, apparently, no?...Anybody?

Fri, 22 May 2009 12:01:00 UTC | #363077

mikkala's Avatar Comment 24 by mikkala

"I guess Charlotte Allen would rather see atheists suddenly begin to speak in tongues and convulse on the floor when we bring up our arguments."

Now that would be awesome!! Then they'd have to take us seriously too!!

That's funny shit Driver...

Fri, 22 May 2009 12:05:00 UTC | #363080

notsobad's Avatar Comment 25 by notsobad

Cards are games of chance?
Someone failed statistics :)

Fri, 22 May 2009 12:56:00 UTC | #363089

chewedbarber's Avatar Comment 26 by chewedbarber

Cards are games of chance?
Someone failed statistics :)

Card games are games of chance. The lack of complete information and the random deal make them games of chance.

Fri, 22 May 2009 13:10:00 UTC | #363093

notsobad's Avatar Comment 27 by notsobad

Card games are games of chance. The lack of complete information and the random deal make them games of chance.


Fri, 22 May 2009 13:20:00 UTC | #363097

Sciros's Avatar Comment 28 by Sciros

By definition, card games that have a random element to them are called games of chance. Though most often the term "game of chance" is used to refer to something that also involves gambling.

Some card games are not games of chance.

Fri, 22 May 2009 13:25:00 UTC | #363099

Geraint's Avatar Comment 29 by Geraint

If I recall correctly, there have been cases in the courts in which it had to be determined whether bridge was a game of chance (and so whether it came under gambling regulations). I know the result was that it was found not to be a game of chance, but I don't remember the details.

Fri, 22 May 2009 13:33:00 UTC | #363101

chewedbarber's Avatar Comment 30 by chewedbarber

There are ongoing efforts to demonstrate that skill is sufficient enough a factor in card games to swing the pendulum away from chance.

However, I'm unaware of any success. But I haven't been serious about cards in a long time.

The point I was trying to make was said better by Sciros, by definition the random element brings chance into play. The argument usually surrounds how much chance is at play. On one extreme some will argue that chance is a part of all forms sports play--fatigue, rough spot on the court etc.--and on the other extreme are the people who view all card skills as either a myth or so esoteric as to be negligible.

Fri, 22 May 2009 13:42:00 UTC | #363105