Grump tank for disgruntled atheists.

Omnia In Ventor

Life is full of interesting discoveries, so this blog will be a repository for sundry tidbits.

Life is also replete with irritants, so this blog will be a release valve, which could evolve (hint, hint) to be deliberately noisome to creationists and religious dogmatists, not to mention Regressive Conservatives and Republicans.

Latest Quiz – the image at left has been color-altered – what does it depict?

So, with tongue planted firmly in cheek . . .
ɷ The Etymology of Mimble Wimble
ɷ Dastardly Stubborn Mean IV Revised
ɷ Do Canadians hate Americans?
ɷ Do Americans hate Canadians?
ɷ The Bathing Suit

With interest . . .
ɷ Topical Oinkment
ɷ Karyoti
ɷ Through the Microscope Brightly
ɷ Explore Virtual Caves
ɷ Galleria
ɷ In God, Distrust
ɷ Aboriginal Rock Art
ɷ We, the Products of Blind Evolution

It is with great irritation that we bring to you . . .
ɷ Creationism only flourishes amidst Ignorance
ɷ Myths Revered and Myths Exposed
ɷ un-designed intelligences = intelligent [sick] design
ɷ All Concepts are NOT created Equal
ɷ Black Sheep are Sheep Too
ɷ Silly Ideas
ɷ Free Speech or Propaganda of Hate?
ɷ hate tanks
ɷ Should One Call One's Ex a Dog?
ɷ The Wedge Document

With relief . . .
ɷ Judge Jones Rules

Roll-over images for a snap preview of link destination (snap is a cool widget/web search tool that I stumbled across on someone's website.)

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Topical Oinkment

Click on the images!


I have played with posting 'dates' so as to set up this blog in subject areas – links to the latest mimble or wimble are next – the latest (a quiz) is HERE.


Fistians and Fuzzy Illogic

Fundamentalist Christians have taken to calling themselves evangelical Christians because "fundamentalism" excites deservedly negative sentiments. The name may have changed, but the problems remain the same.

I have decided to refer to rigid, right-wing, bigoted, Biblical literalist creationists as Fistians. These are the Christians who give Christianity a bad name because of their unJesusian lack of compassion and their obstinate ignorance in opposition to knowledge. (I considered coining the term Fustians, but opted to rhyme with Christians. I reserve 'fundamentalists' for anti-modernist movements in various religions. Besottism refers to a subset of zealots.)

Fistians and pseudointellectual advocates of intelligent design creationism share the religiosity-motivated credulity that typifies LAME thinking in the Misinformation Explosion Age.

David Colquhoun addresses this problem of intellectual dishonesty and fuzzy illogic in a Guardian Unlimited article entitled the age of endarkenment.

The past 30 years or so have been an age of endarkenment. It has been a period in which truth ceased to matter very much, and dogma and irrationality became once more respectable.
Colquhoun is author of the Improbable Science blog in which he expands upon his exposition of the reasons that we should be concerned about the "New Credulity.":

This matters when people delude themselves into believing that we could be endangered at 45 minutes' notice by non-existent weapons of mass destruction.

It matters when reputable accountants delude themselves into thinking that Enron-style accounting is acceptable. It matters when people are deluded into thinking that they will be rewarded in paradise for killing themselves and others. It matters when bishops attribute floods to a deity whose evident vengefulness and malevolence leave one reeling. And it matters when science teachers start to believe that the Earth was created 6,000 years ago.

In my opinion, the root causes of this problem of fashionable ignorance lies in a number of failures:
● the failure of educational systems to teach critical thinking skills and to instil a love of learning and truth-seeking.
● the failure of the media to make it clear which competing position is valid, rather than boosting ratings by pumping up the volume on issues that supposedly have no clear right side and wrong side.
● the failure of experts to insist that expert knowledge should not be discarded simply because it is opposed by a vociferous, jeering, ignorant rabble of the religiously motivated.
● the failure of those in power – such as Giorgio Dubaya Bush – to eschew endorsement of religiously motivated ignorance.
● the failure of polite liberals to point out the deluded and deceptive content of creationist pseudoscience and unfounded attacks on scientific knowledge.
● the failure of the lay public to doubt popular bandwagons and to realize that they must be cautious about what or whom to believe in this Misinformation Explosion Age.

And, very difficult or impossible to remedy:
● the failure of religious organizations to ensure that their ministers are well educated and not highly prejudiced.
● the failure of political organizations to ensure that those ministries that are tax exempt are not the religions that preach hatred, lies, and intolerance.
● the failure of search engines, websites providers, and publishers to assess the value of content (for example, search engines can determine whether a site is contaminated by spam and phishing, yet do not provide warning that content is false or unreliable.

Because peer pressure is not confined to teenagers, the public, as Madison Avenue well knows, will respond to that side of an argument that is presented flashily, passionately, repeatedly, and with the appearance of certainty.

The public, particularly that in America, has been deluged with messages from religion, which is treated with dare-not-criticize protection. As a result, America ranks alongside Iraq in its level of religiosity despite its position as the standard population (IQ=100) against which IQ scores are standardized.

However, the price paid for holding religious belief sacrosanct (if you will excuse the pun) includes the confusion of students, the deterioration of educational standards, and the near demise of critical thinking, knowledge, and rationality.

Most people reduce their efforts to the minimum necessary to meet expectations. So, if we permit continued dumbing down of standards and lowering of educational expectations so as to protect self-esteem, intellectual standards will fall still further. So long as we present the implicit and explicit message that truth does not matter and that every opinion counts, we will maintain the ever decreasing standards.

In nations that value education and intellectuals, politicians who live down to the "average guy" image are not elected to the most powerful executive positions. As the world has recognized with disdain, Giorgio, purchased Ivy League degree or not, would not have appealed to voters. More particularly, he would not have appealed a second time to voters were they able to detect executive deceptions.

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The Rationality of A-Deism

A-Deism: the certainty that supernatural beings or forces neither exist nor could interfere with the physical realm without becoming part of the physical. Although concepts of supernatural beings or forces exist, neither these conceptualizations themselves nor personal belief in the conceptualizations constitutes evidence for ascribed existence of a supernatural agency. (This definition is mine, 8/16/07).

A-Deism is based on logical analysis of relevant physical and psychological evidence and does not itself constitute a religion. Critical A-Deistic analysis holds that it is neither necessary nor rational to evoke supernatural pseudo-explanations for the origin of the universe (cosmology), the origin of life on Earth (abiogenesis), or biological complexity (evolution). Further, death marks the end of conscious life, so adeists have neither the expectation of eternal life nor any fear of eternal damnation.

Obviously, this definition is very much like that for atheism:

Atheism is the state either of being without theistic beliefs, or of actively disbelieving in the existence of deities. In antiquity, Epicureanism incorporated aspects of atheism, but it disappeared from the philosophy of the Greek and Roman traditions as Christianity gained influence. (

Adeism excludes agnosticism, deism, and theism.

Agnosticism: the belief that the existence of God is not knowable. The word is derived from the negative ‘a’ combined with the Greek word ‘gnosis’ which means ‘knowledge.’ Hence, agnosticism is the belief that God cannot be known. (google agnosticism definitions)

Existence: despite religionist assertions to the contrary, the only existence of which humans can be certain is that which we each experience during this life on Earth combined with the physical entities and forces that can be empirically detected or deduced through the detectable.

Deism: The belief that God exists but is not involved in the world. It maintains that God created all things and set the universe in motion and is no longer involved in its operation. (

Deity, divinity, god, immortal: any supernatural being worshipped as controlling some part of the world or some aspect of life or who is the personification of a force. (

Theism: the doctrine or belief in the existence of a God or gods.

Religion—sometimes used interchangeably with faith or belief system—is commonly defined as belief concerning the supernatural, sacred, or divine, and the moral codes, practices and institutions associated with such belief. In its broadest sense some have defined it as the sum total of answers given to explain humankind's relationship with the universe. In the course of the development of religion, it has taken a huge number of forms in various cultures and individuals. (

Superstition is a set of behaviors that are related to magical thinking, whereby the practitioner believes that the future, or the outcome of certain events, can be influenced by certain specified behaviors. The idea of "good luck" and "bad luck" gives rise to many superstitions, such as the belief that it is bad luck to wear gold and silver together. (

Magic or sorcery are terms referring to the influence of events and physical phenomenon through supernatural, mystical, or paranormal means. The term magic in its various translations has been used in a number of ways. From the point of view of an established religion, it has often been used as a pejorative term for the pagan rituals of competing ethnic groups, as belonging to an inferior (hence blasphemous or idolatrous) culture. The magic and religion article deals largely with this aspect. (

Miracle: according to many religions, a miracle is an intervention by God in the universe. (

A Biblical definition of miracle is, "an event in the external world brought about by the immediate agency or the simple volition of God, operating without the use of means capable of being discerned by the senses, and designed to authenticate the divine commission of a religious teacher and the truth of his message (John 2:18; Matt. 12:38)".(

This blog will employ the definition used by Leibniz, "something that goes against the natural and predictable order of things.” (

Sites Elsewhere : Why Complete Materialist? :

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Bible Bumping

Bible Thumping combined with Bible Bashing ... get it? Corny, corny, corny.

The Bible is filled with internal consistencies that are critiqued on other sites. It is the position of the authors that the Bible is an allegory with minimal historical accuracy. It cannot be the word of God, since it is the only "evidence" for the existence of a God for which their is no incontrovertible evidence.

All opinions expressed here are those of the authors – all Devout Atheists.

ɷ In God, Distrust
ɷ Agnostic vs Atheist
ɷ Agnosticism is NOT more rational than Atheism
ɷ Apologists make Apologies for God
ɷ Besottism
ɷ Canadians Can be Stupid Too
ɷ Dei Non Existent
ɷ Dawkins refutes Behe
ɷ Furor over Stupidity
ɷ Inverse Correlations
ɷ Moral Absolutism
ɷ One Evolution, Many Creationisms
ɷ Spirituality, Religiosity, and Madness
ɷ Statistics on Stupidity
ɷ un-designed intelligences = intelligent [sick] design
ɷ YEC yack

Silly religiously-motivated ideas:
ɷ Creationism only flourishes amidst Ignorance
ɷ Myths Revered and Myths Exposed
ɷ Judge Jones Rules
ɷ The Wedge Document

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In God, Distrust

In the darkness, man created God in his own image.The New York Times has run an interesting book review entitled, 'In God, Distrust'. The reviewer takes a mostly positive position on Christopher Hitchens, author of 'God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything' (307 pp. Twelve/Warner Books.) I think that the book's title is a little over the top.

Certainly religion has been associated with some terrible atrocities, but these outrageous acts were committed by men [sic] in the name of man-invented-religion. That is, man [sic] invented creation myths, deities, bigotry, and xenophobia. The problem, as I see it, has always been human nature, and that, in its turn, results, if anything, from the rationality-blind failure of human biological evolution.

The NYT provides an excerpt of Hitchens' first chapter, which includes the following statements with which I wholeheartedly agree:

“We atheists do not require any priests, or any hierarchy above them, to police our doctrine.”

“Our belief is not a belief. Our principles are not a faith. We do not rely solely upon science and reason, because these are necessary rather than sufficient factors, but we distrust anything that contradicts science or outrages reason. We may differ on many things, but what we respect is free inquiry, openmindedness, and the pursuit of ideas for their own sake.”

"Religion is a bandage that man has invented to protect a soul made bloody by circumstance." ~ Theodore Herman Albert Dreiser

Sites Elsewhere : God Bless Me, It's a Best-Seller! : The Christopher Hitchens Web :

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Agnostic vs Atheist

Hominid cousins who share more than 98% of their DNA."It is wrong always, everywhere, and for anyone to believe anything upon insufficient evidence”
~ W. K. Clifford (1879)

Those of religious bent and the fantasy prone choose to believe what they choose to believe. Such individuals seem to select whatever opinion provides most emotional appeal without regard to logic or empirical evidence.

Religious types come in various levels of dogmatism and subscribe to different human-invented creeds. Most are theists, whereas others believe in equally nutty nonsense like the so-called "Science of Mind" that has zip to do with science.

Creationists of various ilks deny our close relationship (more than 98% shared DNA) with the chimpanzee in order to protect their illusion of Special Creation.

Technically, an agnostic holds that the existence or nonexistence of a supernatural deity is unknowable. While this is philosophically rigorous, what is the point of copping out by leaving room for the indeterminable supernatural?

As soon as a supposed supernatural entity has interacted with the physical, then that purported supernatural agent has entered the realm of the physical and has abandoned supernatural status. Those religions that include creation myths necessarily make a claim that the formerly-supernatural has interfered with the physical. This creation-interaction must, by definition, reduce, or elevate, the supernatural to the physical. Goodbye special supernatural status.

Agnosticism can take the position that the possibility that whatever claimed teapot or deity actually exists is vanishingly small, but agnosticism allows some wiggle room for the vanishingly remote possibility that any particular candidate-claim has validity.

Whereas agnosticism carefully perches on the fence, atheism expresses more certainty than to say, "we just can't know". The small "a" atheist simply says, "I don't believe that God exists", wheras a capital "A" Atheist is certain that, "God does not exist." Philosophical purism aside, all the evidence indicates that the God of the Bible does not exist.

Christians, my prime targets in this expose-stupidity campaign, hold that their supposed Creator did indeed interfere in the physical up until 2,000 years ago, since which time God appears to have understandably grown bored with Christians. Of course, Christians keep this conditionally-loving God on hand for their supposed afterlife, aka death.

Bertrand Russell was a famous debunker of religious nonsense and said in Is There a God?, “If I were to suggest that between the Earth and Mars there is a china teapot revolving about the sun in an elliptical orbit, nobody would be able to disprove my assertion provided I were careful to add that the teapot is too small to be revealed even by our most powerful telescopes. But if I were to go on to say that, since my assertion cannot be disproved, it is an intolerable presumption on the part of human reason to doubt it, I should rightly be thought to be talking nonsense. If, however, the existence of such a teapot were affirmed in ancient books, taught as the sacred truth every Sunday, and instilled into the minds of children at school, hesitation to believe in its existence would become a mark of eccentricity and entitle the doubter to the attentions of the psychiatrist in an enlightened age or of the Inquisitor in an earlier time.”

Russell, as ever, makes a good point. Any fantasist can concoct any fanciful story, padded with a layer of non-falsifiable protection, and can insist that the story is accurate by virtue of the glitch that it cannot be disproven. Such a claim, of course, commits the logical error of argumentum ad ignorantiam. If the claim was first made in antiquity, it is imbued with an undeserved veneer of credibility.

The invention of supposed prophecies did not, of course, end with Jesus. Supposed prophets have been popping up with dismaying regularity since Jesus' preachings.

The problem for creationists, particularly for YECs, is that Genesis does make falsifiable physical claims that do stand disproven by science. Somewhere along the way, some creationist has comprehended enough science to realize this major problem and the era of Misleading Pseudoscience for Dummies was ushered in. The fact is, creationists promulgate ignorance and falsehoods in support of what they mistakenly call "Truth". YECs lie about the actual age of the Earth, while believers in pseudointellectual intelligent [sick] design theory accept the actual age of the Earth, but lie about the identity of the supposed-designer, and distort science ranging from cosmology to evolutionary biology.

Considering the ubiquity of invented religions, evolution clearly has not expanded our intellectual capacities to a sufficient degree for humans to justifiably designate our species as "sapiens" and certainly not as "sapiens sapiens".


"An atheist is a man who has no invisible means of support."

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Declaration of Independent Thinking

Fallacious ad hominem attacks directed at Richard Dawkins have proliferated on the internet.

Religionists are obviously upset at further confirmation that not everyone shares their views and that some of us are becoming more vocal about this.

Thankfully Christian religionists are no longer attacking those from different denominations as heretics or defaming those from different faiths as being infidels. Rather, Christians, particularly evangelical (fundamentalist) Christians and Biblical literalists continue their illogical and ill-informed attacks on those areas of scientific knowledge that disprove the Book of Genesis.

Not only are religionists worried that their attempts to promote creationism are meeting resistance from evolutionary biologists such as Dawkins, but they are scandalized that Dawkins is "promoting" atheism and some have been so ridiculous as to claim that Dawkins is heading up a cult, founding a religion, and converting those lacking powers of critical thinking to adopt an atheistic lifestyle in response to Dawkins' charismatic personality. If Dawkins were converting, by sheer force of personality, those incapable of critical thinking, then we should have seen mass conversions from creationism to atheism.

In point of fact, Dawkins is merely encouraging those who are already atheists to stand up and be counted.

Read Richard Dawkins' Introduction to The Out Campaign here: "Religious people still outnumber atheists, but not by the margin they hoped and we feared."

My atheism began in early childhood with an awareness that God was a human invention. On the basis of the illogic inherent in any belief in supernatural creation of life and humans, I reached personal disbelief before my teens, and reached certainty that no supernatural deity exists by early adulthood.

My logic-based convictions do not, of course, prove that there is no God any more than fervent claims of religious experiences can vote a God into existence. (This should not be a numbers game, though it is refreshing to see that there are so many of us.) Equally, a declaration of atheism does not prove that biological evolution is a fact or that current evolutionary theories provide a complete explanation for the observed phenomena. Demonstration of the fact is provided by the voluminous, multi-field evidence, and refinement of the theory grows with each empirical find.

As Dawkins suspects, I, like so many atheists, have previously made little fuss about my absolute certainty that there are no gods. I have long practiced religious tolerance, and I do not see atheism so much as a manifestation of religious intolerance as an insistence on truth. However, as one of scientific bent and education, I am as thoroughly fed up with anti-scientific, bigoted, illogical, ignorant, deceitful, self-advertizing, self-congratulating religionists as they are dismayed by the persistence of scientific refutation. The atheist backlash is late in coming and I am sufficiently ticked off to stand up and proclaim a conviction that I reached long ago by way of critical thinking. It is impossible to prove a negative, just as it is impossible to demonstrate the existence of something that does not exist.

I predict that the next stage in the creationist campaign will probably involve a proliferation of purple Rs, Cs, Gs, or even JCs on blogs and internet websites. Ken Ham could come out with an "AiG" emblazoned t-shirt showing him posing with a dino, Behe could market the image of a bacterial flagellum, or Dembski could profit from a "filter" logo. If they do, I want a commission for thinking of it first. Or did I?

Sites Elsewhere: Come out! : blog reaction to The OUT Campaign : 5 blog reactions

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Typically, besotted individuals have a dreamy, glazed appearance.

(No prize for guessing whose are the adoring eyes in the image at left.)

Sad is the person whose existence feels empty without belief in some invented Authoritarian Parent in the Sky.

It is amazing how many people are in love with God, Jesus, the Catholic Church, Allah, Jehovah, or whatever cult figure. I am not merely talking of "loving" but instead of that besotted, chemistry-driven, starry-eyed, obsessive, worshipful state that we equate with "being in love". The religiously besotted are convinced that their adoration does not go unrequited, and that they will be rewarded for their diligent obsession by spending eternity basking in the love of their chosen One.

In this admittedly demented state, those who are obsessed with their object-of-choice are immune to logic. The besotted close their minds to any dissonant information about their object-of-obsession. Thus, fundamentalist creationists refuse to acknowledge the fact of biological evolution, preferring the ignorance of misleading pseudoscience for dummies.

Rather than using the term religious zealot, I am dubbing these menaces, "Religious Besotts". Historically, rulers took advantage of Besottism, claiming that they ruled by Divine Right, and demanding obediance, even martyrdom, from the besotted in the realm.

Religious Besotts are dangerous people because nothing and nobody matters more to them than do their enamored delusions. While they adore their obsession-of-choice, they hate with equal passion all that they perceive as threatening to their obsession. Because their besottism usually follows politically accepted religions, they feel vindicated in their adoration and justify their moralistic and political hatreds as obedience to their deity's instructions. The religious right believe that they adopt the high moral ground when they churn out ill-conceived arguments against the-right-to-choose or the right to act according to the gay nature with which some are born.

Sadly, not only are religions permitted by states, but religions are protected and tax-exempted.

Most religious individuals are not dangerous, but collective religious besottism is a dangerous force. Throughout history, religious besotts have felt justified in murdering others who do not share their besotted view, labelling the others as infidels, or heretics, or undesirables. Religious besotts do not consider that others have the right to live their lives according to individual preferences and conscience, but instead believe their obsession-of-choice confers upon them the right to dictate to others.

Besotts build their arguments for Deity-given-morality on quicksand because there is no good evidence that any deity-of-choice actually exists. Claims that Besotter attacks on the behaviors of others are justified by whatever Book-of-Besottism are circular and equally ill-founded. After all, these Books are just the ramblings of Ancient Besotts.

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YEC yack

God of the Gaps pens Misleading Pseudoscience for Dummies, an allegorical text that scores Z- in science.Rather than merely editorialize the fact that creationists hold unfounded opinions and make illogical arguments, here are comments on some snippets of their views:

C1: "I would like to meet the "scientist" that can PROVE that evolution is true and not a theory."

Of course this writer would not really like to meet any such scientist because creationists display absolutely no desire to understand reality.

Symptomatic of their black-and-white thinking, creationists love to make challenges demanding proof. Biological evolution is a demonstrable fact upon which theories of evolution are based. The evidence for biological evolution has been pronounced as "overwhelming" by credible experts in the field. Facts can be empirically demonstrated, but no scientific theory, or any other inference based on induction can be proven, though hypotheses and theories and claimed-to-be-facts can be disproven. The writer goes on:

C1: "That of course is impossible since no one was living millions and billions of years ago, and I mean NO ONE and NOTHING."

This is patently untrue! There is abundant evidence that life existed on this planet several billion years ago.

C1: "There are plenty of Creation Scientists that can show proof as to why the earth can only be 6000 years old(give or take a couple of hundred years)."

There are NO creation scientists because creationisms is religion and not science, so "creation scientist" is an oxymoron. The statement is completely untrue. Falsifying details and publishing unfounded attacks on scientific facts does not constitute science. No matter what an individual's educational background, fallacious argumentum ad verecundiam pronouncements that run counter to the facts and to the knowledge of credible experts in a field are without any value as science.

The mythical YEC figure of 6,000 years is based on Bishop Usher's Bible-based estimate. Science has categorically demonstrated that the Bible is incorrect in its depiction of dates–in effect, disproven.

C1: "Carbon dating and other dating methods that the scientific community has relied on for so long now are proving to be very inacurate and more and more evidence keeps popping up to prove thousands of years instead of millions or even billions of years."

No scientist claims that carbon dating can be applied to dates earlier than 70,000 years ago. Other radioactive isotopes with longer half-lives are employed in obtaining the older estimates, which are always reported with the range of error indicated. Creationists are typically woefully ignorant of actual science, preferring as they do to parrot the pseudoscientific falsifications on junk tanks such as AiG. The planet is approximately 4.7 billion years old, no matter how many times ill-informed and biased YECs claim that Usher's date is accurate.

C1: "When is the "scientific" community going to take its head out of their "evolutionary ooz" and realize that CREATION IS SCIENCE!"

Shouting does not help this writer's ridiculous argument. Science is based on application of empirical scientific methodology, creationism is religion based on an ill-founded assumption of Biblical literacy. Creationists have attempted to hijack science in order to strengthen their received, preconceived notions of Biblical inerrancy. They will never succeed in convincing any but the already-deluded because scientific methods have disproven the Biblical statements that relate to scientific areas. The Bible is an allegorical creation myth followed by pseudohistorical moral fable.

C1: "God was the originator of science and created everything we see, and plenty of things that we don't even know exist yet."

Creationists seem to believe that whatever nonsense they make up about their supposed God will hold true simply because they say so. Such thinking is totally in keeping with the emotionality, obstinate ignorance, and illogic of their arguments. If God originated science, then the Bible is the received Misleading Pseudoscience for Dummies text, and God scores a Z- in science.

C1: "I can't imagine holding onto the idea that we evolved from some "ooz" of some of some sort and that's all we are, an accident, and there is no purpose to our lives. I think that's very sad."

That says it all. The writer, for highly emotional reasons of his or her own cannot imagine how life could have arisen from chemicals and then evolved. This is a failure of comprehension, a failure of logic, and deliberate ignorance of established facts. A sense of purpose is a psychological phenomenon. If the writer cannot sense some purpose to his or her life without being the product of Special Creation, then that, in addition to manifest and obstinate ignorance about reality, is very sad indeed.

Here's another creationist stating YEC beliefs:
C2: "YEC does not say that God created all animal life, for example, in the state it is in today. YEC does not deny that some biological evolution occurs. YEC believes that change does occur (what they believe actually requires it) but YEC believes that change can only happen within a created kind."

Because there is so much evidence for continuing biological evolution (covered by the creationist buzzword microevolution) creationists see nothing to be gained in denying that, for example, bacteria can acquire antibiotic resistance. Creationists do not perceive currently occurring genetic change as a threat because they are obsessed with denying the distant past (biopoiesis and macroevolution) in order create that gap into which they insert the man-invented notion of Special Creation.

The reference to design pays homage to intelligent [sick] design theory, which is merely creationism in disguise.

C2: "Naturalistic secular science begins and ends with the unfounded assumption that the material is all that exists, that God does not exist, etc., etc."

Of course science studies the natural world – scientific method can only be applied to the physical, observable, tangible, and measurable. However, that is the only thing in which C2 is correct. It is not necessarily an unfounded assumption to believe that the material is all that exists, even though scientists concede the physical may not inhere all of existence. Only the material is accessible to the scientific method. The question of existence beyond the physical belongs to speculative philosophy and theology. Science is religion-neutral and does not assume that God does not exist. Scientists may privately believe that there is no deity, particularly in view of the fact that science provides far better explanations than "God brought it about by a miracle." However, scientific method can only be religion neutral. C2 is merely using the creationist buzzword "secular" to attempt to place all scientists in the infidel camp in an association fallacy.

C2: "(Creationism) is not about religion; it is about the Truth."

This is an utter falsehood. Of course creationism is about religion. Creationists and others of religious persuasion make a claim of "Truth" for their beliefs, but they have no good evidential, logical foundation for doing so. This is the reason that the terms "faith" and "belief" are more accurately applied to religious beliefs.

C2: ". . . God, who Jesus is, life after death, but those are all tied to this issue."

If creationism is about God and Jesus, then C2 has just revealed him or herself to have lied when saying that creationism is not religion.

C2: "True, one can be a Christian and not believe in a six day creation, but such a person is not really being consistent in their beliefs. If Genesis is open to such liberal interpretation as some give it, then why not do the same to the resurrection account of Jesus? If there was no literal Adam and Eve that literally disobeyed God (sinned), then there is no need for a Savior."

Yup. This is the underlying reason for dogmatic insistence on Biblical literalism, these black-and-white thinkers are aware that their rigid beliefs will not allow for any latitude. It's no accident that Genesis depicts knowledge as the enemy. Knowledge does not make us sinners, but religious beliefs cannot survive full critical scrutiny.

"Genesis is foundational to the Christian faith, and it is true."

Genesis is an allegorical creation myth that is clung to by particularly reality-ignorant Christians. Genesis is disproven.

"The Bible says that those that do not want to see the Truth will be blinded to it."

Since the Bible was written by men this statement remains accurate concerning the human foible of denial. The fact is that the actual truth is not what creationists credulously take to be "the Truth".

C2: "Those that want to cling to the religion of evolution will always find a way to make it seem right in their eyes."

Poor, fuddled C2 is totally muddled as to what is science and what is religion. Biological evolution is a fact, the modern synthesis of evolution represents the best current scientific explanation of the observable facts. Evolution is not religion in C2's earlier definition, where it is labelled as secular science.

Creationists are typically so illogical that they do not even realize that they are making self-contradictory statements in an attempt to justify emotional beliefs. I suspect that because these individuals desperately want and need to believe that they are the salvation-selected products of Special Creation they become easy prey for any falsehood or illogical argument that appears to support their indoctrinated beliefs. (Let's be honest and call a stupid argument a stupid argument.) The stupid arguments work to support creationists' emotional beliefs, so creationists ignorantly fail to detect the illogic.

The sentence would have been accurate if it had been written as, "Those that want to cling to the religion of creationism will always find a way to make it seem right in their eyes."

No matter how passionately an illogical ignorant argument is made, that argument remains utterly without validity. YEC vehemence is really tantamount to bragging about exhibiting stupidity. It is not surprising that many Christians hold YECs in contempt.

I believe that YEC and ID appeal to those who have a cognitive disorder in that they have not attained an internal desire for logic. Further, most creationists of my acquaintance also appear to lack mastery of many operations of logic.

Piaget's "genetic epistemological" research into the developmental acquisition of cognitive schemas did not proceed beyond the achievement of formal operations by about age eleven. However, beyond the logical schema acquired in childhood, not all individuals attain the full repetoir of logical operations necessary for critical thinking. The worldviews of many adults exhibit considerable philosophical tension, and many adults display internally inconsistent, illogical, emotional reasoning fraught with many of the errors found in fallacious arguments. Religious beliefs, in general, force illogical inconsistencies into the thinking process.

Creationists' arguments on religion are highly emotional, their arguments concerning science are falsehoods, their arguments about morality are rigid and bigoted, their views on politics are usually greed-motivated, hubris-filled, and doggedly unperceptive.

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Dei Non Existent

Considering that atheism is the most logical position based on empirical evidence, the fact that so many are so deluded as to insist on the existence of nonexistent deities indicates the psychological and social urges that impel the deluded to believe the unbelievable.

While it is impossible to disprove the existence of purportedly supernatural deities, there are many good reasons to be certain that no such deities exist.

Why, when we are embedded in and impacted by the physical world, should we believe that supernatural deities exist? And even if some deities did exist beyond the physical of what interest could they be to us? As soon as any influence impacts the physical, then that influence is no longer supernatural but has entered the realm of the natural, physical world. This means that the supernatural is, excuse the pun, immaterial to us.

Of course, the supposed supernatural offers appeals to the many timorous, credulous creatures amongst. The most attractive of these supernatural myths comprises unfounded claims of eternal life after death. There is absolutely no good evidence for any existence-after-death since our very consciousness is inextricably tied to the operations of a live brain. Descartes tried to prove otherwise and he failed.

One of the more stupid taunts of believers are that there are "no atheists in foxholes". This is utter nonsense particularly because the atheist has less to fear from death than does the gullible fool who fears that his sins will be punished in hell.

This raises another of the favorite taunts of believers, namely that atheists will get their just punishment for disbelief when they are sent, with all the taunters enemies, to suffer eternal damnation. This wishful "you'll be sorry" thinking of believers ranks along with their other illogical, unfounded beliefs. Such an argument, although it may satisfy the malevolence of the believer, is no good reason to take Pascal's Wager.

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Dawkins refutes Behe

The following piece of biased ignorance was written by, you guessed it, by a self-proclaimed "Evangelical Presbyterian Church Planter":

"In the July 1 New York Times, evolutionist and atheist evangelist Richard Dawkins reviews Michael Behe’s new book, The Edge of Evolution. Behe is a professor of biological science at Lehigh University and the author of Darwin’s Black Box, one of the first and most influential works on intelligent design. Dawkins’ review is full of invective, ridicule, and ad hominem attack–in other words, the kind of stuff he’s good at, especially when he has nothing particularly substantive to say. Behe responds in a blog on that strikes me as pretty effective, as well as remarkably restrained considering the extraordinarily rude treatment he gets from the Oxford don. I don’t know enough biology to know who gets the better of the scientific argument (what little there is in Dawkin’s review, that is), but I still think it’s worth a read, as I’m sure Behe’s book is."

No surprise that the writer is an evangelical. No surprise that the writer admits to ignorance of science. (One wonders what a "planter" is. Someone who spreads seeds of creationism?)

Richard Dawkins can word things strongly, I admit. Dawkins, like most rational scientists, is clearly tired of the stupid pseudoscience that is invented in an attempt to attack the fact of biological evolution.

Actually, Dawkins does not resort to invectives in the New York Times review. To label Behe's ideas "moronic" would be to resort to invectives. Nor does Dawkins make any ad hominem attacks. To call Behe a "misguided idiot" would be to resort to a fallacious ad hominem, true or not.

The fact remains that Lehigh University has posted a disclaimer about Behe's views on its website. (One suspects that if Behe had not already achieved tenure, then he might well have been forced to knock on the doors of the so-called Discovery Institute for a job.) The fact remains that the intelligent design camp makes refuted pseudoscientific claims to promote religious views. The fact remains that Behe has been forced to retreat from his earlier "irreducible complexity" chicanery. The fact remains that Behe adds nothing to scientific understanding in this book and that he resorts to distortions.

Sensible Christians view science and religious belief as being compatible; only Biblical literalists invent pseudoscience to attack well established empirical facts. If you wish to decrease your ignorance of science, then Michael Behe will never be worth reading because his intention is to distort science to fit his religious convictions.

I find popular science, such as Dawkins writes, rather slow going because I am past requiring that level of explanation that is necessary for those without postsecondary education in biological sciences. However, anyone who wishes to understand reality would be well advised to read Dawkins. As a start, despite negative claims by the evangelical, there is a good scientific refutation of Behe's flimsy argument in Dawkin's review.

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Spirituality, Religiosity, and Madness

Spirituality has been defined as the experience of an inner sense of something greater than oneself, or as sensing a meaning to existence that transcends one's immediate circumstances.

Despite being a confirmed atheist, I am not immune to such experiences. Obviously I am cognitively aware that the world of nature is greater than myself. To believe otherwise would make me a megalomaniac! Besides, how could a part be greater than the whole?

However, the wonderful, euphoric feeling that nature is greater than I comes upon me less often. Sensing a transcendent meaning has come to me only in dreams or under the influence of certain psychoactive chemicals – both being altered states of consciousness. Shamans know all about this phenomenon when they use mood altering drugs to induce spiritual hallucinations during religious ceremonies. Even those who have never taken a hallucinogen have probably experienced dreams that convey a strong sense of having uncovered a deeper meaning to life – only to have the answer to the mystery dissipate rapidly upon awakening!

We have numerous different understandings of religion. Religion deals with the same subject matter as spirituality, yet it is not equivalent. On this blog, religion is taken to mean the system of dogmatic teachings that have arisen out of an assumption that the supernatural actually exists. That is, religious systems are built upon superstitious beliefs in magical powers.

Religious rites, like any rites, can induce a sense of peace or invoke passion. This emotional evocation speaks more of our communal attachment to symbols than it does to any valid existence of the supernatural. To understand what I mean, think of your reaction to hearing your national anthem played when one of your countrymen has won Olympic gold.

Reliogiosity is not equivalent to spirituality, though both can coexist in one individual. Atheists can have spiritual experience and religious individuals can lack spiritual experiences.

The psychology of religiosity is intriguing, as are the psychopathologies, such as schizophrenia that appear to be related to religiosity. Why do some individuals seems so prone to spiritual and/or religious convictions?

V.S. Ramachandran and his team studied the increased religiosity of sufferers of temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE). The results of the study showed a greater arousal in the temporal lobe epilepsy sufferers in response to religious words as compared to the non-religious. The non-religious were more aroused by sexual words, while religious control groups were aroused by religious and sexual words [w]. The medial temporal lobe sits very close to the amygdala, which is our primitive 'emotional' nucleus that mediates emotional reactions and modulates emotional memories. Ramachandran conducted the study because he had observed a strong correlation between TLE and obsessive religious convictions.

Of course, this is not to say that all who hold strong religious convictions are suffering temporal lobe epilepsy or taking hallucinogens. Ramachandran's research merely points to a possible mechanism for the observation that a higher percentage of those with TLE than of the population at large are hyper-religious. It is to say that humans both seek to comprehend patterns and are emotional beings. In the absence of knowledge to explain phenomena in the natural world, it is scarcely surprising that our various ancestors invented mythologies.

That humans have continued to cling to religious beliefs despite vast advances in understanding of natural phenomena merely underlines the emotionality that humans invest in magic-thinking. At least we have stopped blood sacrifices to make the sun continue to shine and no longer believe that horse-drawn chariots drag the sun across the sky!

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God's Mysterical Warriors

Christiane Amanpour's "God's Warriors" will be airing again on CNN this weekend (Sept. 25 and 28, 2007). The series claims to provide a balanced view of the religious fundamentalists who are fighting for the political supremacy of their religious viewpoint.

The Internet is flooded with emotional reactions to the program, including criticisms that Amanpour did not fully cover the religious history behind the fundamentalist nutbars* interviewed. The program did not claim to be a history of religion, so this criticism is irrelevant. . . continue . . .

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Apologists make Apologies for God

Strictly, apologetics is concerned with the systematic defense of a position, though the term is very often applied to Christian apologetics – systems of defense for claims of an existence for God.

Examining arguments concerning religion, one quickly notices the slippery nature of many informal Christian arguments.

"God works in mysterious ways," translates as, "Natural events provide no consistent, incontrovertible evidence of action by a deity."

The universal failure of theology and philosophy to provide an internally consistent system of religious explanation is explained away as, "We cannot presume to understand or explain God."

In my atheistic, empiricism-based opinion, we owe the existence of life on this planet to the operation of natural laws, which means that Nature is the Creator, and that scientists are the true theologians. Although, scientific deciphering of those natural laws that brought about biopoiesis and biological evolution has proved time consuming, science is able to provide a reproducible, internally consistent system of explanation. Where explanation is beyond the bounds of experimental possibility, scientists can more legitimately explain the limitations of scientific method than apologists can apologize away their philosophical tensions. In essence, truth, though often surprising, is internally consistent, whereas man-invented religious explanations are fraught with inconsistency.

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Sad is the person whose existence feels empty without belief in some invented Authoritarian Parent in the Sky.

Adeism, atheism, and agnosticism are not so much antireligious as rational.

Apologists, deists, theists, creationists, and intelligent [sick] design creationists think fuzzily from the inculcated-a-priori assumption that there must be a deity, so their thinking and arguments include fallacies of logic and, often, falsehoods.

Religionists** and Fistians, as distinct from the merely religious, misrepresent atheism as being merely another "religion" because religionists cannot think outside the dictated-opinions-box. Their beliefs and thoughts are so dominated by religious dogma that they view almost all cognitive systems as being part of a some religion or other. Of course, religious dogmatists believe that their religion is the only correct religion, conveniently ignoring the fact that their religion too could be false. Besots are too in love with religion to question their beliefs.

Creationists are blissfully unaware that in a rational world the argument concerning "creation versus evolution" is already lost to them. They cannot comprehend that the determination of knowledge about the physical world is not a matter of opinion and is not to be decided by popularity polls. Beliefs may be swayed by emotional rhetoric and illogical arguments, but belief is not necessarily equivalent to knowledge. Belief is equivalent to knowledge only when based on facts, on logical arguments based upon true premises and upon logical induction from empirical evidence. Knowledge certainly cannot be realistically claimed to result from misrepresentation and lies.

Despite the fact that deities are the product of fantasy, most creationists lack the imagination and education required to fully grasp the concepts that make the physical world comprehensible, so they miss part of the wonder of the natural world. They have been fooled into believing that science is fraught with uncertainty and inaccuracy simply because it is open to refinement. They believe that the pseudoscientific falsehoods that have been foisted onto them have equivalent truth value to scientific knowledge. Creationists have been taught to distrust experts and yet to believe religiously-biased sources without question. Intelligent design creationists have swallowed a pseudointellectual sweeping generalization and refuse to see that attacking science is not equivalent to doing science. YECs have been taught to believe blatant falsifications and to dismiss experimentally verified facts so as to maintain the delusion that a moral allegory authored by Homo religioso is the "Word of God".

In the mistaken assumption that non-acceptance of the unfounded concept of "Absolute Moral Truths", religionists misrepresent atheists as lacking moral values and mistakenly blame all of the ills of society on secular humanism. This ridiculous prejudice is based on the mistaken assumption that only those who obey weekly sermons can behave morally. In their rigid, intolerant attitudes Fistians routinely act counter to Jesus' compassionate teachings.

** Religionists are those who aggressively make a religion of adherence to rigid religious dogma rather than merely having deistic or theistic beliefs.

ɷ Fistians and Fuzzy Illogic ɷ The Rationality of A-Deism ɷɷ Bible Bumping ɷ Bible Bumping ɷ Agnostic vs Atheist ɷ Agnosticism is NOT more rational than Atheism ɷ Apologists make Apologies for God ɷ Besottism ɷ Canadians Can be Stupid Too ɷ Creationism only flourishes amidst Ignorance ɷɷ Department of Silly Ideas ɷɷ Design Debunked ɷ Dei Non Existent ɷ Dawkins refutes Behe ɷɷ Ex Ducare (Education) ɷ Furor over Stupidity ɷ In God, Distrust ɷ Inverse Correlations ɷ Moral Absolutism ɷ One Evolution, Many Creationisms ɷɷ Scientia ɷɷ Sitia non Grata ɷ Spirituality, Religiosity, and Madness ɷ Statistics on Stupidity ɷɷ Theocracy Aversion ɷ YEC yack

...section index...

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Agnosticism is NOT more rational than Atheism

"So your stance, if I understand it correctly, is that yes, indeed, the likelihoods of the existences of a Judeo-Islamo-Christian God, unicorns, and Flying Spaghetti Monsters are all approximately equal. Well, see, I do think this stance is frivolous. Do you really feel that this God that we’re talking about, this God that is the basis of three religions that have profoundly shaped western civilization for around 3,000 years, that this God can be dismissed in the same breath as an intellectual prop fabricated by some graduate student? Now, I’m not saying that 3,000 years of backstory means that you must, lemming-like, go along with 89% of the rest of the population of this country and *believe* in God. But, surely you must recognize the difference here between these two hypotheses?

I guess what I’m saying is that, out of respect for the rather large majority of thinking, reasoning, good human beings who believe, I’m willing to go to greater lengths to keep my mind open about the existence of a personal God than that of the Flying Spaghetti Monster. I think the collective belief of millions adds up to evidence that I’m willing to consider despite the fact that it’s not empirical."[s]

Response: Courtesy is fine, but being courteous is not a good argument for agnosticism over atheism. Courtesy is not a particularly good argument for religion either, for the adoption of any one set of religious beliefs is to deny all other beliefs. Even pantheism is discourteous to monotheists.

The fact that the Judeo-Islamo-Christian God has prospered over unicorns and Flying Spaghetti Monsters speaks only to The Clerical Publicity Machine and is not an argument for the existence of the purported deity claimed by that machine. It’s a fallacious “argument to popularity” to hold that the fact that many have been taught to believe in this Judeo-Islamo-Christian conception signifies that the teachings are valid.

If the prevailing publicity structure had instead insisted upon the existence of the Great Unicorn in the Sky, on which we would all Ride to Heaven, then priests (presumably adorned with uni-horned hats) would be extolling the virtues of this Mythical, Supernatural, All-Loving Creator of Humans.

On the basis of logic alone, it could be argued that the agnostic view, which holds that it simply is not knowable whether or not whatever deity exists, is more philosophically rigorous than stating that there is no God.

However, certain *falsified* falsibiable claims are made about the Judeo-Islamo-Christian God, so the *falsification* of these claims renders Atheism the most rational conclusion.

I grow tired of being polite to people merely because they have been brainwashed into collective belief in a non-existent, demanding, invented deity.

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Moral Absolutism

America's prisons are full of convicted criminals. Correct? Convicted criminals have almost all committed acts that society has deemed illegal because those acts are undesirable. Correct?

Could any sensible person imagine that no incarcerated individual in America believes in God? Of course not. Are all atheists in America convicted of criminal activity? Of course not.

If those who commit crimes believe in God, can we assume that religious belief is a guarantee that the believer will not commit a crime? Of course not, because the evidence indicates otherwise.

Are all acts that society considers immoral punishable by incarceration? Of course not. When was an adulterer last jailed in the West purely for having sexual relations with another consenting adult? I don't have the date, but it would have been some time ago.

Are all atheists/agnostics/non-Christians in America responsible for all the immoral behaviour that occurs? Of course not.

If even a single fundamentalist Christian commits an acts that society, by current consensus, deems either immoral or criminal, then the contention of religious dogmatists that the Bible dictates absolute moral truths and that fundamentalist religious belief is the guarantee of moral behaviour, then religious dogmatists are grossly mistaken.

How then could religious dogmatists be correct in their oft-repeated fallacious slippery slope arguments that "moral relativism" will inevitably lead to moral chaos? Of course their arguments are ridiculous. Fundamentalist religious belief is no guarantee of "good" behaviour, while lack of religious dogmatism is no guarantee of moral decline.

Moral relativism is a bigot's buzzword for any moral view that differs from the rigid and narrow proscriptions of the ancient tribes of Israel. This phrase has become a hot favourite with the bigots who take the high moral ground and presume to dictate, as did the Calvinists and Puritans, on all behaviours of others.

Ironically, Christ was a liberal and preached tolerance. Too many Christians conveniently this fact. Jesus would be horrified by the bigotry and intolerance of many religious fundamentalists.

ɷ We, the Products of Blind Evolution

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One Evolution, Many Creationisms

Man [sic] created God in man's image, and plays with the shape and age of the Earth.Like so much else connected to invented religious belief, creationism comes in a variety of guises in which invented beliefs range from the sublimely ridiculous (flat earthers, geocentrists, and YEC), through the pretentious (intelligent [sick] design theory). The variety of religious and creationist beliefs is directly attributable to the contrived, invented nature of all religious beliefs, none of which comprises an internally consistent logical system based on evidence.

Typically, creationists are theists who cling to religious views with varying levels of dogmatism whilst ignorantly choosing to deny or distort most or part of scientific knowledge. Such ignorance is religiously motivated, substituting varying levels of Biblical literalism and insistence on Special Creation for scientific fact.

At the most realistic, scientific end of this spectrum comes philosophical materialism. The following list is from TalkOrigins:

Flat Earthers
Young Earth Creationists
... (Omphalos)
Old Earth Creationists
...(Gap Creationism)
...(Day-Age Creationism)
...(Progressive Creationism)
...(Intelligent Design Creationism)
Evolutionary Creationists
Theistic Evolutionists
Methodological Materialistic Evolutionists
Philosophical Materialistic Evolutionists

Evolutionary science is complex because it includes information from so many areas of science. However, the fact of biological evolution is acknowledged by the majority of scientists and denied only by religiously-biased individuals, most of who are not qualified in the relevant areas.

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Statistics on Stupidity

The following are snippets from the latest Gallup Poll on ignorant beliefs rampant in the US:

"The majority of Republicans in the United States do not believe the theory of evolution is true and do not believe that humans evolved over millions of years from less advanced forms of life."

"Those who attend church frequently are much less likely to believe in evolution than are those who seldom or never attend. That Republicans tend to be frequent churchgoers helps explain their doubts about evolution."

(I knew that there was a reason why I have disliked more Republicans than I have disliked Democrats!)

"The data indicate some seeming confusion on the part of Americans on this issue. About a quarter of Americans say they believe both in evolution's explanation that humans evolved over millions of years and in the creationist explanation that humans were created as is about 10,000 years ago."

No surprise that holders of silly ideas can't even get their ignorance straight!

This dismaying display of ignorance revealed to pollsters is demonstration that the majority of Americans can be wrong, and that the majority of regular Church attendees are indeed wrong.

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This blog has relocated to A-Deistic at
The name has changed, but the spirit remains the same.

. . . launched (sans champagne, alas) 10/22/06