This site is not maintained. Click here for the new website of Richard Dawkins.

Comments by pinball

Go to: Classroom Clashes: Teaching evolution

pinball's Avatar Jump to comment 76 by pinball

75 from Inyourface NY

That's not the point. We're talking about a kid here. How would Richard feel if someone said something like that about his daughter when she was a kid?

RD said he was angry at her parents (student) for putting her in that position. Kids are coming into schools with their heads so full of shit that a glimpse of the truth sends them into a hysterical panic.

Do schools have to send warning letters to parents informing them that their child will be taught factual knowledge?

Mon, 18 Jun 2012 12:43:26 UTC | #947776

Go to: Unbelieving preachers get help to 'come out' as open atheists

pinball's Avatar Jump to comment 11 by pinball

This is good to see

American Christians probably view people like RD as cold, unemotional scientists.

What would he know about god and spirituality?

An Ex preacher though? Even the most hardened, narrow minded Christian may at least listen to what he is saying.

We could do with a few Ex Islamist clerics doing the same – I bet they are a rare breed though.

Fri, 15 Jun 2012 12:17:35 UTC | #947554

Go to: Classroom Clashes: Teaching evolution

pinball's Avatar Jump to comment 28 by pinball

Comment 1 by Alan4discussion “I remember doubting myself and it really rocked me to my core,” she says, remembering times when she would teach curriculum content and face a 14-year-old saying ‘you can’t teach me that.’ OK - so you will refuse to learn and fail that part of the course!

I completely agree They should do this in the UK with medical and other life science students who walk out of classes on evolution because it offends their faith. Better still make it clear they attend and pass that part of the course or they fail the year.

Thu, 07 Jun 2012 12:14:20 UTC | #946113

Go to: UPDATED: Why I want all our children to read the King James Bible

pinball's Avatar Jump to comment 138 by pinball

Nice summary of his arguments (and others) on the why the Bible is neither a moral compass or in anyway logical.

Its not RD and its not the observer but check out microcosom in the free metro today (UK)” Why existance is miricle enough,” enough by Ben Gilliland

Normally he is impartial and factual, this is sticking his neck out a bit.

Hats off to him – Iam sure there will be a few letters in tomorrows version.

We need our Hitchens and RDs but we also need the little men sewing the seeds

Mon, 21 May 2012 12:45:42 UTC | #942603

Go to: How Critical Thinkers Lose Their Faith in God

pinball's Avatar Jump to comment 18 by pinball

comment one by QCAT Again. Could someone please define INTUITION? Really, what exactly is it? By not defining "intuition" it gets away with being a legitimate state of woo

I think this is just what we think we know about a person or situation without direct evidence. An emotional response rather than data response

Can one completely separate critical thinking from emotional intuitive thinking?

Imagine you are reviewing two articles one written by a famous scientist and one by someone you have never heard of.

You may have good reason to be primed to be impressed before you open the paper on the famous scientist, previous papers you have read or interviews you have seen them in but your feelings before you look at the detail should not come into it.

I read an article by RD on juries , I disagreed on some of the points but felt strange about it – my intuitive response was “You are going to agree with this article because RD wrote it.”

I think you have really train yourself to divorce the two mindsets/ thinking sets

Thu, 03 May 2012 13:15:15 UTC | #939339

Go to: Highly Religious People Are Less Motivated by Compassion Than Are Non-Believers

pinball's Avatar Jump to comment 50 by pinball

Speaking as an ex-catholic I can honestly say my religious motivation for helping people was always high.

Even if I thought the cause was very good anyway I always thought it would score me points with Jesus for my ticket into heaven.

Cowardly? Yes – but when you are indoctrinated with eternal damnation from an early age it is not that surprising one would want to avoid it .

It is impossible for a theist to demonstrate they do good for humanity only and not for personal salvation.

Only an atheist can do that.

Wed, 02 May 2012 12:19:59 UTC | #938993

Go to: Cardinal Pell-"Jews intellectually and morally inferior"

pinball's Avatar Jump to comment 61 by pinball

I was expecting something a little deeper from a cardinal.

Pell made a lot of non statements about “why” and “purpose” of the universe the same old crap you get from theists.

Also a lot of garbage regarding the soul, “life force” whatever the hell that is and wine and communion turning in to blood and guts or not (he was never clear) at mass.

No actual evidence for any of it was put forward at any point– theists do not seem to think supporting data / evidence matters.

Mon, 16 Apr 2012 16:36:05 UTC | #935081

Go to: Are You a Believer? Take The Dawkins Test.

pinball's Avatar Jump to comment 92 by pinball

comment 91 by prolibertas But in any case I disagree with the scale, since I don't think agnosticism and atheism belong on the same scale at all. One is about knowledge, the other about belief

A Belief/stance is based on knowledge surely?

My lack of a belief in a god is based on my knowledge. Science, the bible, other world religions, ancient tribalism, superstitions and ritual.

Fri, 13 Apr 2012 07:54:11 UTC | #934347

Go to: Are You a Believer? Take The Dawkins Test.

pinball's Avatar Jump to comment 86 by pinball

Paul Dirac could not understand why we even still discuss religion and god. I think he commented that primitive man may have had reason based on ignorance but we don’t have that excuse.

I would put him at a high 6

Pitch that against Sarah Palin who is a one and could not name one single news paper that she read when questioned.

Or Christine O’Donnell who asked “Why aren’t monkeys still evolving into humans?”

I think Francis Collins of the HGP is the only disappointing one I have come across.

Wed, 11 Apr 2012 12:40:29 UTC | #933870

Go to: The ‘God wars’ and the Global Atheist Convention

pinball's Avatar Jump to comment 59 by pinball

Has anyone ever met one of these “sad” atheists?

I put myself in the “mad” category.

It’s all very well patting each other on the back on forums like this as the vast majority of people on here are like minded (and atheists)

It is the letters/petitions to our MPs, schools TV shows/debates and phone- ins, regarding religion and its negative effect on society that make the difference.

If these guys feel the need to write this sort of stuff about atheists then we must be doing something right and ruffling a few feathers.

Wed, 04 Apr 2012 12:58:45 UTC | #932336

Go to: More See "Too Much" Religious Talk by Politicians - Santorum Voters Disagree

pinball's Avatar Jump to comment 17 by pinball

not check all dates but..

1996- majority in favour of religion playing a part

1997-Tony Blair PM. Prayer played its part in the “war on Terror” and probably some other policies.

2000- Bush President. As above.

2006- God Delusion released.

2007 – Bush / Blair gone.

2006-present Religion majority not in favour

The tide may have been flowing this anyway but it’s nice to know the God Delusion was in tune and coincided nicely.

Perhaps even had a hand in the shift?

Thu, 22 Mar 2012 13:59:21 UTC | #929607

Go to: Yet another flea - Richard Dawkins' God Delusion [NOOK Book]

pinball's Avatar Jump to comment 3 by pinball

“Is evolving Nature all there is.” - Yes plenty of evidence for this regarding life on earth the earth its self and our expanding universe.

“Are human beings, as the peak of nature, sovereign owners and masters of their lives and their world?” – A bit dramatic but yes.

“Or is evolving reality derived from, dependent on and empowered by God, the transcendent Source and Destiny of reality?” – Zero evidence for this.

“Does this God reach out to humans as a person because humans are persons?” – Demonstrate god exists first and then we can discuss

Wed, 21 Mar 2012 13:25:45 UTC | #929262

Go to: Melvyn Bragg attacks Richard Dawkins' 'atheist fundamentalism'

pinball's Avatar Jump to comment 155 by pinball

Comment 103 by chimpious Comment 99 by pinball : Warsi, Bragg and Delia fighting the good fight – what a team. An unelected politician, a nasally challenged broadcaster and a celebrity cook versus Professor Dawkins MA DPhil DSc Oxf, FRS, FRSL. Anyone taking bets? I know who my money is on.

Daniela Westbrook is also in the, “more sophisticated than that (atheist),” camp.

She said recently, “God has saved my life and I want to bring the message back to England and open a church there.”

Also, “The whole point about this church is that it is fun. There is no reason why religion has to be boring. I believe there is a gap in the UK and we can fill that gap.'

I would rather see Richard Attenborough one of my all time heroes in the RD camp.

I don’t care that much about Melvyn he can stay where he is.

Fri, 16 Mar 2012 13:55:36 UTC | #927802

Go to: Melvyn Bragg attacks Richard Dawkins' 'atheist fundamentalism'

pinball's Avatar Jump to comment 99 by pinball

Delia Smith has got in on the act

She is concerned with “militant neo-atheism.”

Warsi is mentioned again and she as we know is concerned with” militant secularism”

Not forgetting Bragg is also saying something that makes no sense and almost sent me to sleep.

Warsi, Bragg and Delia fighting the good fight – what a team.

Wed, 14 Mar 2012 19:33:02 UTC | #927075

Go to: Publication of the gorilla genome opens window onto human evolution

pinball's Avatar Jump to comment 11 by pinball

Apologies the quote was from Comment 5 by Chris Boccia

Wed, 14 Mar 2012 13:47:26 UTC | #926922

Go to: Publication of the gorilla genome opens window onto human evolution

pinball's Avatar Jump to comment 10 by pinball

Now, we actually have about 25000 genes, and that's about 3 billion nucleotide bases (letters). So, if we differ by 2%, that's a difference of 60 million nucleotides. So, yes, we're very closely related, but we still have over 60 million letters 'wrong.'

I am glad someone has expanded on this as I am completely in dark on what these figures mean.

Everytime a base is different this is knocked off our 100%? What human is used as the 100%?

What would the difference be between the genome of say two brothers be (not twins)?

Are we talking tenth/hundredths of one percent? What about between an albino “white” European and a dark skinned south American Indian? Still just tenths/100ths?

If its 2% between a chimp and a human are these the genes coding for proteins we just do not have? Or a combination of those genes and variations on the ones we share on say skull size shape body hair muscle density etc?

What is the difference between a human man and woman? I am not saying I have more in common with a male chimp than a human woman but there a lot of obvious differences to me that must have a plethora of genes that construct them.

Wed, 14 Mar 2012 13:45:19 UTC | #926919

Go to: The 'Witch Children' Condemned by Christians

pinball's Avatar Jump to comment 89 by pinball

Comment87 by xmas Eveeve

What I mean by that is, whereas the word 'Muslim' would have been in every headline, you would never even know that these children were murdered by devout Christians,

Posters seem to be staying away from this point on the whole.

The media is biased against Islam. Why? It sells papers and keeps everyone happy in the knowledge we in the UK are not medieval tribal savages like muslims.

Does Islam deserve to be singled out in the UK press? In my opinion yes but there is a down side.

There are cultural muslims in the UK who can be reached and this sort of disparity in reporting does not help. It is difficult to take the moral high ground as a Christian nation when we are still burning witches.

Wed, 14 Mar 2012 10:46:35 UTC | #926881

Go to: Small DNA circles found outside the chromosomes in mammalian cells and tissues, including human cells

pinball's Avatar Jump to comment 6 by pinball

Comment 5 by David Mac C It has long been known that mitochondrial DNA is in the form of rings:

Some microbial DNA, plasmids have this structure also – offering anti biotic resistance among other things.

Have we got the wrong end of the stick?

Any molecular biologists about that can point out the difference?

I will wiki it in the meantime

Wed, 14 Mar 2012 10:24:49 UTC | #926877

Go to: The 'Witch Children' Condemned by Christians

pinball's Avatar Jump to comment 78 by pinball

Comment 20 from Hitchens jnr

(Sorry this is a little behind and out of thread I really wanted to post to Hitchens on this )

From what I know of real-life witches (Wiccans), they're very muddle-headed but essentially benign.

Yes like druids dressing up and going to Stonehenge for the solstice, nothing like this case.

Witchcraft is big business when you have a gullible and superstitious congregation.

One Witch hunter (mentioned already on this thread early on Helen Ukabio) has filed a 13 Million dollar lawsuit in the US that would give her church to have the right to “ practice their religion and the Christian religious belief in the existence of God, Jesus Christ, Satan, sin, witchcraft, heaven and hellfire.” – from the NYT

Has Ukabio been to the UK? If not get her over here and stick her on TV. It is always being pointed out that UK is a Christian country, let us see Jesus working through this woman. She could illustrate the need to keep our Christian heritage going.

Thu, 08 Mar 2012 13:34:32 UTC | #925370

Go to: The 'Witch Children' Condemned by Christians

pinball's Avatar Jump to comment 29 by pinball

comment 26 by I Amos

Scruples? Christianity is a whore that will dive under the sheets with any religious Tom, Dick or Harry

Agreed and yet the Christian label still managed to evade most of the headlines..

Wed, 07 Mar 2012 08:55:40 UTC | #925078

Go to: The 'Witch Children' Condemned by Christians

pinball's Avatar Jump to comment 19 by pinball

Comment 14 by xmaseveeve If this murder had been carried out by a Muslim, the word Muslim would (quite rightly) have been in every headline. TV news reports would use the term 'so-called honour killing'. There would be a Muslim spokesperson in the studio. On the BBC and Sky News, not one mention was there of the fact that these muderers are Christians, who killed in the name of Christianity. Why?

Dismissing these murderers as either mindless savages or insane lunatics rather than Christian extremists more palatable to the UK press and public.

A lot of Christians in the press, commons and house of lords that would rather not see the Christian label branded too much in the headlines.

Not sure what that idiot Warsi’s view would be on this, she may want to bring witches “into the public sphere” to counter the recent “militant secularism” that has been stifling the UK.

Tue, 06 Mar 2012 13:57:13 UTC | #924843

Go to: The 'Witch Children' Condemned by Christians

pinball's Avatar Jump to comment 11 by pinball

Depressing and shocking.

Every time one of them or a group of them goes on the rampage they are either insane or not Christian.

Did the papers even mention the Christian part much?

Mon, 05 Mar 2012 13:40:25 UTC | #924583

Go to: No blood on the carpet. How disappointing. [Also in Polish]

pinball's Avatar Jump to comment 111 by pinball

comment 97 by Layla If Christians say at one moment that God exists outside of space and time and then in the next moment say God is detectable by humans then how do they think he is detectable? Presumably only by private revelation in the subjective minds of individual humans God chooses to appear to

Its a good point, RD is being scientifically honest and is leaving the door open for what cannot be proven and what is therefore (remotely) still a possibility

It would be interesting to ask the (theist) journalists and other anti RD brigade who think 6.9 is a revelation/point scored and ask what their scores would be in relation to the existence of Yahweh based on the evidence of following:

Global flood, geocentric universe, talking snakes, Adam and Eve spawning all of humanity, flat earth, lineage of Jesus, prophecies relating to Tyre Damascus and Egypt, the order of creation, The Creation, Jesus prediction that “this generation will not taste death” and the numerous other errors, inconsistencies and contradictions in the bible.

Scores out of 7 please, the “it’s metaphorical” card can only be played once and the “I feel it in my heart,” card is not allowed.

Mon, 27 Feb 2012 13:47:31 UTC | #922428

Go to: The problem in public life isn’t Islam, but religion itself

pinball's Avatar Jump to comment 26 by pinball

comment 24 from stangebrew but Islam wants sharia law introduced into Blighty...they are not likely to get full compliance under present arrangements but a more draconian gag on secularity would allow them to do what they want with who they want.

RD needs get Warsi and a few representatives of the muslim council of GB in a televised debate. Female circumcision, islamic view on homosexual relationships, rape within marriage, forced marriage, honour killings and some of the more abhorrent Islamic laws she would prefer to part of the “public Sphere,” should be discussed.

Wed, 22 Feb 2012 13:58:47 UTC | #920741

Go to: “It’s Part of their Culture” - Reading Nick Cohen in the light of the Jaipur affair [Also in Polish]

pinball's Avatar Jump to comment 81 by pinball

Comment 65 by Ignorant Amos.
The IRA were not engaged in a religious war, although membership and ideology fell along religious demarcation lines.

IRA activists are not activists because of their religion. Muslim activists are activists because of their religion.

Yes I was using this as an example of the press not really pushing the issue on Christianity. I suppose what I was getting at was that it is more palatable for the UK press and its readers to see Islam pushed as a barbaric religion but neglects infamous Christian psychopaths terrorists and criminals when they have cropped up. Even if the press mentioned christian witch burning, stoning, execution, torture, slavery and abuse of women carried out by Christians previously (and today in some countries) UK Muslims see this disparity even if they are not particularly religious themselves. These muslims are the ones we need to engage, to turn a critical eye on their religion. Just to clarify by “these muslims” I mean 2nd /3rd generation UK Asians with muslim parents who are looking at Guantanamo Israel/Palestine Iraq Afghanistan and our dark religious past with a critical eye and then asking us why they think we think they are barbaric terrorists.
There is another article on here featuring a video regarding violence towards women within the global muslim community. I can only the describe the atrocities featured on this as sub human savagery. You posted on it. This is part of the same problem – if you can find one horrific act on there that has not featured in our own history I would be surprised. This needs raising – we (royal we) made these same mistakes in the dark ages and these acts are thankfully now very very rare. We do not want a repeat of our own superstitious theocratic barbarous past.

Tue, 07 Feb 2012 13:00:21 UTC | #915260

Go to: “It’s Part of their Culture” - Reading Nick Cohen in the light of the Jaipur affair [Also in Polish]

pinball's Avatar Jump to comment 63 by pinball

Its worth mentioning that a muslim working paying taxes abiding by the law has the same rights as anyone else including the right not to be marginalised by the press, abused in public and labelled a terrorist. I think Islam is tribal non sense just like all the other religions but we cannot ignore why this idiotic religion has gained strength in the UK and Europe. Asians in this country have seen the US and UK waging war on the middle east killing hundreds of 1000’s of people whilst dealing with racist ignorance of the press and indigenous population at the same time. This has to be addressed if we are going to get anywhere with tackling religion issues and extremism. You can challenge me on this but Breivik was a Christian and this was mentioned in the press however I do not recall there being much of a fuss of the fact he was. More of a focus on his far right views not really much focus on his religion you can guarantee the press would have had a field day had he been muslim. Islamic would have been on most papers front page. Same thing with the IRA – yeah we knew they were probably catholics but not so much of a focus on it. Catholic terrorists Christian terrorists? Does not have the same ring does it.

Fri, 03 Feb 2012 13:36:36 UTC | #914190

Go to: Molecular quagmire - cancer just got more complicated

pinball's Avatar Jump to comment 15 by pinball

“99% of functional genes in the body are microbial.”

Put like that it is almost like we are giant parasites infecting huge populations of different species of bacteria.

Thu, 02 Feb 2012 13:53:03 UTC | #913819

Go to: Richard Dawkins celebrates a victory over creationists

pinball's Avatar Jump to comment 87 by pinball

Comment 86 by Joxter

Out of curiosity, since by living in Europe I don't know much(or anything at all) about ID, what is it about? I mean, suppose it is taught in schools, is there actual material and exercises the students must complete?

I have asked the same question on other posts.

I know they have “irreducible complexity” as a theme/proof

Since biological systems (like a biochemical pathway say) was designed not evolved that system cannot be “reduced” by removing any one step (say an enzyme) the whole system fails. – Great logic apart from the fact evolution simply does not “add” and half systems can work anyway. Even the example the ID camp presented was destroyed in court (from memory this involved the flagellum on a bacterium but the ID lot had wider arguments also)

There is the “fine tuning” theme as well – I think this is more of a physics position.

All crap.

Tue, 31 Jan 2012 13:52:43 UTC | #913054

Go to: News flash: American Protestant ministers overwhelmingly reject evolution, are split on Earth’s age

pinball's Avatar Jump to comment 42 by pinball

Comment 40 Alan4discussion I like a bit of comedy from nutters taking themselves seriously, during my lunch break walk to the market! They sometimes give out comical leaflets too!

It would be funny if they did not have access to our children or politics.

One ranting anti evolutionist pastor may scare a few of his congregation unfortunately cretins like Christine O'Donnell get wider access.

...and lots like her

Mon, 30 Jan 2012 12:55:41 UTC | #912659

Go to: News flash: American Protestant ministers overwhelmingly reject evolution, are split on Earth’s age

pinball's Avatar Jump to comment 39 by pinball

Comment 36 by Alandiscussion

Blockquote

I agree although I am sure the pastors would state you are wrong and point out homocentricism is very much frowned upon in the old testament.

Tue, 24 Jan 2012 13:51:20 UTC | #911088