Conversations with Atheists 3

Paraphrased for brevity and clarity:

—–

Him: You can’t possibly be so stupid and uneducated as to dismiss the theory of evolution.

Me: Intelligent Design is a theory of evolution.  There are several.

Him: No, there aren’t!

Me: Certainly there are.  Darwinism, Neo-Darwinism, Catastrophism, and Intelligent Design off the top of my head.  I believe that there are at least two more.

Him: I’ve never heard of any of those.  “Intelligent design” is just another word for Christian creationism.

Me: Why would you say that?

Him: Because it’s true!

Me: They are only tangentially related; Intelligent Design theory does not specify a designer.

Him: Please!  Don’t even start with that nonsense.  It’s just Christian creationism.  Look, here’s a book.

Me: Well, that’s not really the cutting edge of Intelligent Design research…  But let’s assume for argument’s sake that you are correct, and Intelligent Design is just another term for Creationism.  Allow me to propose a new field of study, in which cosmology and biology are examined using information theory to see whether evidence can be found for deliberate design in their construction.  Certainly you can agree that that is a legitimate scientific inquiry?

*crickets*

—–

Her:  This is a victory for Separation of Church and State!

Me:  But ‘Separation of Church and State’ refers to the First Amendment keeping the Federal government from dictating the terms of religious practice.  This is actively preventing American citizens from even expressing their religious beliefs, simply because they hold office.  Or serve in the military.  It is the opposite of Separation of Church and State.

Her:  Whatever.  Politicians shouldn’t be able to force their religion on me.

Me:  Well, I certainly agree with that.  But this isn’t a religious issue, it is a legal and epistemological one.  But if we can agree that no one can force their religion upon you, why should you be able to force your atheism on other people?

Her:  Because of Separation of Church and State!

—–

Me: I believe it likely that the Exodus is a mythologization of an historical event.

Him: How many Israelites left Egypt at what time?

Me: This story was written before the invention of science or history, by a culture which valued emotional impact over accuracy in its writings.

Him: How many Israelites left Egypt at what time?

Me:  The information you are asking for is not available.  It’s like the Feeding of the Multitude; the reader is not to expect that someone actually took a census and counted 5,000 men plus women and children.  A first-century Aramaic author would use a number he felt conveyed the appropriate emotional impact of what he saw.

Him:  So, how many Israelites left Egypt at what time?

Me: More than one, at some time between 2,000 and 10,000 years ago.

Him:  That’s a ridiculous answer!

Me: You are asking a ridiculous question.  The conversation cannot move forward as long as you insist on ignoring the cultural and linguistic nature of the work in question.

Him:  I’m not here to have a conversation with you.  I’m here to show you how stupid you are!

—–

UPDATE: Lamarkianism is another theory of evolution.  It was largely considered debunked for a long time, but has minor support from the emerging science of epigenetics.

My Thoughts on Proposition 8

My thoughts on the topic of same-sex marriage seven years ago. Once again: called it.

Home of the Little-Known Blogger

A certain segment of society would have you believe that Proposition 8 discriminates against homosexuals by denying them the right of marriage, and that it was created and forced onto the public by gay-hating Christians. I have some thoughts on this matter:

1. Proposition 8 does not prevent homosexual people from getting married. It bans same-sex couples from getting married. Anyone who truly wants to get married is free to find a partner of the opposite gender and do so. Personally, I’m interested in becoming a member of the Roman Catholic communion. I can’t, since they don’t allow Freemasons. If I wanted it badly enough, I’d give up being a Freemason to become a Catholic–but I don’t want it that badly.

2. Of course, I could just say that I’m not a Freemason–but anyone who respects the Church enough to really want to join would know that that lie would…

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No War on Christianity..?

Well, I’m back folks.  I was in Germany for three weeks, and recovering from jet lag for another…  I can’t really say that I’m happy about what has been going on in the U. S. while I was away (see below for a brief summary of my opinion on the SCOTUS “marriage” ruling).  Since returning, I have seen several blogs posting about how ridiculous it is that anyone would claim that there were a war on Christianity.  So, according to these sites:

– The Democratic National Convention has never boo’ed GOD on national television

Canada did not rule that Christians quoting the Bible constituted an act of “hate speech”

There have not already been suits brought against Churches in England for not performing same-sex “marriages”

Homosexual groups have not thrown huge public events for the sole purpose blaspheming Christianity.  (Not religion in general; Christianity.)

There is not an ongoing campaign to remove Christians’ free expression of religion during one of our most-holy days

Colleges are not defending professors who fail students for not condemning their own Christian beliefs

A privately-owned bakery was not fined $135,000 dollars and slapped with a gag order for practicing their freedom of religion and association

Christians are not being forced to fund the slaughter of children in their mother’s womb

The Oklahoma Supreme Court did not order the removal of a privately-funded monument to the origins of Western law, simply because those early laws are associated with Christianity

The U. S. State Department did not recently honor a homosexual advocate calling for the destruction of the institution of marriage, and admitting that that was the whole point of the fight over same-sex “marriage”

SCOTUS did not recently make an incredible over-reach of judicial authority by

1. misinterpreting the concept of “Separation of Church and State

2. in order to use a power that they do not actually have (judicial review)

3. in order to overturn the will of a majority of States,

4. in a way which will not only open any Church following Christian doctrine up to lawsuits–but actually destroys the First Amendment (by dictating the nature of religious practices)

POTUS did not make an official statement that the American people need to abandon their religious convictions, nor does he have a long history of condemning Christianity

There is ABSOLUTELY not a new Exodus of Christians fleeing mass-murder in the Middle East, with the slaughter of nearly 200,000 Christians leaving some areas without a Christian presence since nearly the founding of Christianity.

Well, I certainly feel safer.  Of course, now that the RCC is headed by a Marxist and the Episcopal Church has voted officially to move from solemnizing same-sex relationships to endorsing the blaspheming of the Sacrament of Marriage, it appears that there are a lot fewer Christians than the census shows.  And that the war upon Christianity is not being waged solely by external threats.

Pope recruits Naomi Klein to fight Climate Change and Capitalism

The Red Pope.

Watts Up With That?

pope-francis-environment-encyclical[1]

Naomi Klein has been invited to attend a top level conference at the Vatican, to advise leaders how to fight climate change and dismantle capitalism.

According to The Guardian;

Naomi Klein and Cardinal Peter Turkson are to lead a high-level conference on the environment, bringing together churchmen, scientists and activists to debate climate change action. Klein, who campaigns for an overhaul of the global financial system to tackle climate change, told the Observer she was surprised but delighted to receive the invitation from Turkson’s office.

“The fact that they invited me indicates they’re not backing down from the fight. A lot of people have patted the pope on the head, but said he’s wrong on the economics. I think he’s right on the economics,” she said, referring to Pope Francis’s recent publication of an encyclical on the environment.

Release of the document earlier this month thrust the pontiff to…

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TAK3N

You know, say what you will about Liam Neeson being a fascist, gun-grabbing lunatic. Or a totally hypocritical jackass in his uber-violent criminal movies. But at least he’s trying to make physics popular!

I’m not sure what constant temperature (T) x The Glaisher-Kinkelin constant (A) x the equilibrium constant (K) x (3N) has to do with a sequel to the two “Taken” movies, but I’m sure it will all become clear when I start entering values into the formula.  
Odd that that they didn’t use “Taken 3” as the title.  Must mean something important! 

Why It’s So Hard to Convince Warmists

This is precisely correct, and along the lines of my conversation on this topic many times. “You cannot claim victory in an argument by virtue of ignorance.”

Watts Up With That?

Social science provides a lot of useful insight as to why logic and data rarely convince warmists.

lalalala - I can't hear you! lalalala – I can’t hear you!

Guest essay by Matt Manos

Many of the posters and readers at WUWT have expressed frustration at convincing warmists. Using facts and logic seem to fall on deaf ears. There are some interesting social sciences theories on why warmist are unresponsive. I know the social sciences aren’t a favored science with this group but if you’ll bear with me, you’ll hopefully see how social science can be useful in describing why warmists are unreachable. And possibly, what to do about it.

In their latest speeches on global warming, Obama and the Pope weren’t trying to convince skeptics that CAGW is real. Instead, they were sending signals to their supporters on what “all right thinking people” should be saying. This is classic in-group/out-group communication. Obama and the Pope…

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An Open Letter to Microsoft

I have just found out that Windows 10 is already planned to be replaced by Windows as a subscription service.  I have been a loyal Microsoft customer since the very first edition of Windows, and as much as I HATE Windows 8 (if I wanted to run a MAC OS, I’d buy a MAC), i am still a Microsoft customer.
If Windows becomes a subscription service, I will switch to MAC in a heartbeat.  I will LINUX, rather than be forced to continue to pay for the “privilege” of using a computer for which I HAVE ALREADY PAID.