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Science vs religion - Comments

Randy Ping's Avatar Comment 1 by Randy Ping

The part about home schooling really drives home the point. We have to stop this insanity.

Tue, 14 Nov 2006 21:26:00 UTC | #7784

goddogit's Avatar Comment 2 by goddogit

Since when has standard journalism NOT been about running with the most hackneyed stereotype as long as the public is willing to put up with it?

Never.

Wed, 15 Nov 2006 01:51:00 UTC | #7791

RichYork's Avatar Comment 3 by RichYork

I think that the tone of some leading atheists is becoming more strident. This is not unexpected for a minority group but they would do well to debate in a factual a manner where they can and with more humility where they are out on a limb. Otherwise they will expose themselves to ridicule.

Wed, 15 Nov 2006 03:57:00 UTC | #7800

Steve's Avatar Comment 4 by Steve

Charlene,

This is all fine and dandy, but why should I believe that the Bible IS the word of God?

It is only some fallible humans that are telling me this. If the same thing that made the Universe also wrote this book we might expect the two things to be consistent in style and content. Why aren't they?

Wed, 15 Nov 2006 04:25:00 UTC | #7802

Steve's Avatar Comment 5 by Steve

The first line, in the Hebrew, reads

"In the beginning Gods (Elohim, pl.) created the heavens and the Earth"

It is only translated ""God", sing., because otherwise the Bible would not support one God, i.e monotheism.

Hence the "convention" that this particular grammatical plural actually is a singular.

... and we are supposed to take this book seriously?

Wed, 15 Nov 2006 05:48:00 UTC | #7812

Roger Stanyard's Avatar Comment 6 by Roger Stanyard

Re Charlene's Preaching

Sometimes I wonder what planet religious fundamentalists live on.

Charelene posts religious fundamentalist extremism in a forum that is hostile to religion and, no doubt, utterly fails to see the irony and stupidity in doing so.

Let's put it simply. Books like The God Delusion and Sam Harris's Letter to a Christian Nation are selling like hot cakes because of the crackpottery being pushed by the clowns at the Institute for Creation Research, Answers in Genesis and Creation Ministries International.

There's a big backlash again religion because of the antics of creationists (notice how Charlene makes no mention of Ted Haggard or "Bent" Kent Hovind.)

Jeez, the AiG clowns in the UK have been pushing UFOs and the hocus pocus that dinosaurs roamed the British countryside in Tudor times.

Charlene is the very reason why more and more people are turning hostile to religion. Preaching extreme creationism in this forum is about as daft as sending invites to a Ku Klux Klan meeting to black people.

Charlene is the classic example of a creationist pathlogically incapable of not shooting themselves in the foot.

Thank you for showing us all how stupid creationists are.

Roger Stanyard, British Centre for Science Education

Wed, 15 Nov 2006 06:28:00 UTC | #7813

Skeptic Jim's Avatar Comment 7 by Skeptic Jim

Yes AIG is a joke. Full of lies and deception designed to trick the uneducated.

The best site debunking AIG is this one...

No Answers In Genesis...
http://home.austarnet.com.au/stear/default.htm

Wed, 15 Nov 2006 06:40:00 UTC | #7815

JackR's Avatar Comment 8 by JackR

I am convinced that most of you have come to the conclusions that you have because you are trying to be cool and cosmopolitan in this so called "post modern age.

You say that like you think being cool and cosmopolitan is a bad thing!

Wed, 15 Nov 2006 06:41:00 UTC | #7816

Yorker's Avatar Comment 9 by Yorker

Religion was invented to keep us in order, its controllers are well aware that the power of science and its ability to help humankind, is increasingly threatening the grip they have on the largely uneducated mass of believers. Home schooling is therefore an obvious way to undermine the advance of science and breed more easily manipulated sheep whose ability to think critically and independently, has been stifled as much as possible. Indeed, to achieve complete success, their goal must be complete eradication of independent thought.

I find it difficult to imagine anything having a more evil and deleterious societal effect than this doctrine would have. The long-term effects for the USA (or any country adopting it) would be catastrophic; medical, and all forms of scientific research would come to a standstill; sane people would be forced to seek asylum in countries where reason still prevailed. The rest of the world would look upon the USA as the world backwoods, populated by supreme hypocrites living in a dream.

The hypocritical nay-sayers of scientific evidence will still use and retain all that science has given them so far however, especially weaponry; with a religious fanatic in charge, they would endanger the existence of humankind. It's not all gloomy of course; the many good American scientists in their new host countries would be able to carry out unhindered research and we sane people would benefit as a result. Eventually we would have to solve the problem the USA would pose, after the failure of Jesus to show up, there would be a load of "rapture" believers pissed off at their continued earthly existence, trying to get their president to press the nuclear trigger in order to "assist" the Lord with Armageddon.

Could the unthinkable happen? Will the day come when the people of the secular world must unite and in the name of humanity, not God, eradicate by force the deluded ones?

I certainly hope not, but current trends bring the possibility closer.

Much has been recently made of the perceived need to replace religion with something else even if we got rid of it. I see no such need. I have lived my entire life without it and so have many others, children are born without it; clearly, nature has decreed it superfluous to human requirements. Certainly, a void would be left if we ditched it tomorrow, but it won't happen that way. We need to stop it spreading, just like we would stop the spread of any other contagious disease, only the vaccination of true education for children would be required, given that, religion would die by itself.

I cling to the optimistic hope that about 120 years from now it will all be over. In that cosmically-short span of time the billions of present-day god-crazed humans will no longer exist; their lives will have been for naught, a total waste, a hindrance not a help, to their species.

In the USA, wise citizens must unite and speak out against this home-schooling nonsense. Here in the UK, we must be much more vociferous in our condemnation of the rise in privately-backed faith schools. Dawkins has said that getting atheists to unite is like herding cats, but we are humans and know that strength lies in numbers. So just for this noble and crucial endeavour, let us unite like intelligent sheep against this oppression, once the battle is won, we can go back to being cats again.

Wed, 15 Nov 2006 07:14:00 UTC | #7818

Roy's Avatar Comment 10 by Roy

I have a lovely answer for those evangelicals that believe that every word of the bible is true.
The story of Noah's ark? did you know there are 250,000 species of beetle?

Wed, 15 Nov 2006 07:17:00 UTC | #7819

Steve's Avatar Comment 11 by Steve

Billy Sands,

Yes, noted. There really isn't time to pull the whole thing to pieces in a forum like this one but it really can be done, as I'm sure must of us are aware.

I've just finished reading this one
http://www.cambridge.org/catalogue/catalogue.asp?isbn=052161824X
which is very sound.


It is interesting that the book itself is twisted and re-interpreted to give the required meaning. The Bible is just as badly treated as science in this respect.

Wed, 15 Nov 2006 07:20:00 UTC | #7820

Randy Ping's Avatar Comment 12 by Randy Ping

Whoo! Three Cheers for Roger!
Couldn't have said it better.

Wed, 15 Nov 2006 07:49:00 UTC | #7822

Roy's Avatar Comment 13 by Roy

I notice Charlene's comment on Noah's ark:-
Genesis 6:14 - 15
"Make thee an ark of gopher wood; rooms shalt thou make in the ark, and shalt pitch it within and without with pitch. And this is the fashion which thou shalt make it of: The length of the ark shall be three hundred cubits, the breadth of it fifty cubits, and the height of it thirty cubits. "
Noah's ark is 450 feet long. The largest wooden ships ever built were just over 300 feet, and they required diagonal iron strapping for support. Even so, they leaked so badly that they had to be pumped constantly. Are we to believe that Noah, with no shipbuilding knowledge, was able to construct a wooden ship longer than any that has been built since? but not only was the ark too big to be seaworthy, it was far too small to be able to contain the earth's millions of plant and animal species.

Wed, 15 Nov 2006 08:56:00 UTC | #7827

Cineaste's Avatar Comment 14 by Cineaste

Charlene,

Creationists have also concluded that the moon is made of cheese.

Wed, 15 Nov 2006 09:02:00 UTC | #7828

CF1's Avatar Comment 15 by CF1

Charlene Charlene Charlene. I request that you spend some time on the following two sites:

www.godisimaginary.com

www.whywontgodhealamputees.com

I used to parrot exactly like you - for a quarter of a century in fact. I woke up.

Wed, 15 Nov 2006 09:16:00 UTC | #7830

kelphis's Avatar Comment 16 by kelphis

29

what difference does it make if science doesnt have an answer? Does that mean that we should just make one up? Or should we have temporary answers that explain the unknown until science can present a possible solution?

Wed, 15 Nov 2006 09:18:00 UTC | #7831

Serge's Avatar Comment 17 by Serge

#26 re Curious:

Curious: you miss an important point:

Scientists/atheists do not claim to have all the answers (unlike creationists). We are quite happy to say that we don't yet have many of the explanations, but that the rational route to understand is to follow 'the scientific method': hypothesis, experimentation/testing, theory, fine tuning of theory, etc, until only a fool would refuse to accept them. ( Remember the flat earth belief? and the earth being the centre of the universe belief?).

Somehow, it seems better and more intelligent to try and understand than to throw up your arms in the air and say :'god did it: it must be true: it says so in my very old book!'

Wed, 15 Nov 2006 09:23:00 UTC | #7833

Roy's Avatar Comment 18 by Roy

CF1
I often go into those sites you mention
"I used to parrot exactly like you - for a quarter of a century in fact. I woke up"
I am at the moment reading Sam Harris's 'The End of Faith'.( Which I recommend wholeheartedly to anyone who has not read it yet) There is actually a comment on the front cover by Richard Dawkins:-
"Read Sam Harris and wake up"

Wed, 15 Nov 2006 09:42:00 UTC | #7836

Curious's Avatar Comment 19 by Curious

45

One the one hand you say atheists are open minded, on the other as an atheist you know there is no creator. This is an inconsistent position.

You know there is no God, a theist knows that there is. Both are dogmatic positions.

Wed, 15 Nov 2006 10:51:00 UTC | #7844

Curious's Avatar Comment 20 by Curious

47

The link that brought me to this site was located on KurzweilAI.net. Kurzweil shows that at the rate and acceleration of technological advancement we will enter a point he calls the "Singularity". One possible singularity event is the development of artificial intelligence, which could lead to intelligences several order of magnitude above human. To humans these would seem "godlike" in their abilities. In some ways this could be considered an existence proof...

Wed, 15 Nov 2006 11:17:00 UTC | #7846

Alan's Avatar Comment 21 by Alan

I, unfortunately, agree with Davin. I hold little hope that humanity will ever break from the emotional and psychological shackles of religious delusions.

The wonders of the universe and the unlimited variety and beauty of nature, and knowing that one is a fleeting, infinitesimal speck in its 14 billion year evolution, will only ever appeal and satisfy a small percentage of us. The rest simply lack the courage and emotional maturity to be both humbled and inspired by its awesome splendor. Instead, they cower behind transparent fairy-tales and self-justifying dogma.

Tragically, this level of religious ignorance, with its inherent and quite powerful survival mechanisms firmly entrenched, threatens us all. There is nothing more danger than a delusional mind wielding technologically powerful destructive tools, armored with the "divine" inspiration to kill.

Wed, 15 Nov 2006 11:30:00 UTC | #7847

Randy Ping's Avatar Comment 22 by Randy Ping

Science may never have every single tiny detail of evolution mapped and catalogued, true. But we now have enough information to know how it most certainly did NOT happen, it did not happen in 6 days, 6k years ago by a god breathing onto a lump of dirt or by some cosmic multifaceted godhead materbating into a void.

Wed, 15 Nov 2006 12:05:00 UTC | #7852

CF1's Avatar Comment 23 by CF1

Quote from Asdf: It seems to me that the majority of us humans are followers, something we in general are probably genetically predisposed to.


Funny you should mention that. For a good number of years I have felt (and observed) that the vast majority of humans tend to want a LEADER of some sort. Throw a group of people together, and they invariably will quickly go to work on deciding who is going to be the leader. You can see this on TV. Watch any early episode of "Survivor" and there they go, choosing a leader figure for the tribe.

When you become aware of this habit of ours, it is actually entertaining to observe it play out.

It is difficult not to picture a church full of sheep - er....people, who sit there in a neat collection of rows, all looking forward to some dufus who is somehow going to "lead" them.

He, of course, is a junior leader under the big imaginary leader in the sky.

I wonder if it is the lack of this tendency in some of us (to seek a leader), that predisposes us to face the world "square and true" as RD puts it, and as a result, we don't get polluted with the silly warped & twisted stuff of religion.

Hmmmmm.

Wed, 15 Nov 2006 12:36:00 UTC | #7854

Curious's Avatar Comment 24 by Curious

From a statistical point of view a probability is the relative possibility that an event will occur as expressed by the ratio of the number of actual occurrences to the total number of possible occurrences. Or the relative frequency with which an event occurs or is likely not to occur.

Based on that how does one assign a probability to the possibility of the existence of God?

Wed, 15 Nov 2006 12:44:00 UTC | #7855

Manfred's Avatar Comment 25 by Manfred

Phlogiston
A friend of mine once told me that flu vaccines should be denied to those who don't believe in evolution. ;) He was kidding of course.

But you have pointed out a very important issue. Science education is not adequate. Not only in the US, but also in many many countries around the world (think Muslim countries). Children are not presented with all the facts, therefore they cannot be brought up to be free thinkers. Religious parents, teachers, clergies of all sorts, governments, etc. who themselves are the fruits of the same education system have the only say in children's learning. I think it all goes back to education.

"If your belief is based on faith, you will realize that argument is useless, and will therefore resort to [some] persecution or by stunting and distorting the minds of the young in what is called 'education.' This last is peculiarly dastardly since it takes advantage of the defencelessness of immature minds. Unfortunately it is practiced in a greater or less degree in the schools of every civilized country." [Bertrand Russell]

Wed, 15 Nov 2006 12:53:00 UTC | #7856

Jonathan Dore's Avatar Comment 26 by Jonathan Dore

69

"Based on that how does one assign a probability to the possibility of the existence of God?"

Funnily enough, Richard Dawkins has just written a book on the subject. It's called "The God Delusion". Why not read it and find out?

Wed, 15 Nov 2006 12:54:00 UTC | #7857

Manfred's Avatar Comment 27 by Manfred

Quite right Billy.
Existence and non-existence of God are NOT equi-probable.

Wed, 15 Nov 2006 13:04:00 UTC | #7859

Steve's Avatar Comment 28 by Steve

OK

Observed occurences of God events = 0.

Observed occurrence of some other events = not zero

Therefore

Probability = 0

Unless more data is forthcoming, of course.

Sorry to put it so bluntly.

Wed, 15 Nov 2006 13:17:00 UTC | #7860

godma's Avatar Comment 29 by godma

I hope you all are sending these (the best ones, anyway) also to Charlene's e-mail. It's entirely possible that she's not reading these comments.

Wed, 15 Nov 2006 13:44:00 UTC | #7864

Serge's Avatar Comment 30 by Serge

re curious' comments

Curious, I am an atheist, because I have not seen any sound evidence that either supernatural gods (or the green spagheti monster or Bertrand Russel's orbiting teapot)are likely to exist.

I feel that you may have a problem with the lack of certainty that atheism brings. It is not very easy if you need a comfort blanket in your life.
Many moons ago, I slowly but surely made the transition from believing the religious stories (catholic in my case) by "daring to think for myself" (viz Kant). When you start to question, it is not comfortable, until it feels you leave a delusion behind!! It takes some intellectual courage though.

Try it!!

Wed, 15 Nov 2006 14:18:00 UTC | #7867