Comments

  1. says

    A: *insert stupid argument*B: No.A: Well…CHRIS LANGAN!!!I guess we can rule out Dennis Markuze from being Scott from Stone Church in London. I really wish the actual Chris Langan would call in so he could make an ass out of himself.

  2. says

    I was almost surprised when Chris Langan came up. Then I remembered that theists have a huge hardon for "smart" people that might agree with them.

  3. says

    For any newcomers, here's the old thread where Chris Langan was discussed. I use the term loosely because Mike (the proponent of CL) was unwilling to clearly state his argument or offer clarification, but instead preferred to simply copy-paste the incomprehensible ravings of Langan himself.

  4. says

    I loved Matt's point about it being odd that the punishment for blasphemy – a quite serious offense – is carried out on humans *by* humans and not God. Yet again, God does not get involved. God [does or doesn't, depending on who you ask] sends the hurricane what blows the shingles off His church (that humans built), and HUMANS climb the ladders and replace said shingles (and any drywall that was subsequently damaged by the leaks God caused in His own roof).If all this dude did was give us life, He's no better than an absentee, deadbeat dad who promised "the child support check is in the mail" last time mom spoke to him… 4000 some-odd years ago.Humanity is its own "single mom", and I think she's done alright, considering.

  5. says

    When Matt said a while back that well, he can't know what's in maybe-Mark's mind when he calls, but that it's fine if a call gives an opportunity to clearly present an idea, it suddenly stuck me that may be maybe-Mark's actual objective. Like he's this atheist trying to social engineer the show into making points about things he cares about. He's never presented a single thing that he was able to defend much further than the premise – the worst example of this (and by my theory, his most successful) being the line of reasoning that led to his supposed deconversion as Mark of Stone Church. Anyway, I'm starting to have the feeling he's trying to goad someone on the show into refuting Langan because he personally wants to see it debunked in front of the audience.

  6. says

    There's something fundamentally dishonest and a bit creepy about people who use multiple fake names and make up bogus reasons to engage with other people. This guy who keeps calling is a creepy guy if you think about the sort of months-long deception he's engaged in. Plus the argument was just bad: a later chapter of a book does a call-back to an earlier chapter of a book, therefore Jeebus. That's not prophesy, that's basic narrative construction.

  7. S says

    @Improbable Joe: Yeah, it is creepy and it says something about the state of "Mark's" belief that he feels he must deceive the show hosts (as well as Christian listeners) in order to demonstrate what he feels is the truth about Christianity. You would think he could just explain the truth without the lies. I enjoyed the polite caller from Tennessee.

  8. says

    Mike from the last show got mentioned a few times. Listening to the Hosts and Guests discuss the justifications for forcing a victim to marry her rapist just makes me sick. I can't believe that any theist can try to justify that. They are trying to make it look like God is doing that woman a favor, when in fact God is instituting a "You break it, you buy it" policy

  9. says

    How does the POE keep getting through? As a listener, I can tell this is the same guy trying to disguise his voice. It's obnoxious letting this guy get air time. Trolls be trollin.

  10. says

    I wrote to Matt about this, but I think the dismissal of the Jungian concept of a "Collective Unconscious" (CU) was too quick. There's nothing necessarily magical about CU. It's just a recognition that we're all working with the same basic hardware (brain) and that means we probably have similar patterns to our thinking and mental "organs". The "Collective" part about CU means that it's the part of the brain/mind which is universal to all humans, given how we're built. I don't see how that necessarily contradicts atheism, or should be too much of a problem for skepticism.David Eagleman's book "Incognito" discusses a lot of this from a neurology viewpoint – subroutines in the unconscious – some of which we're born with, and some of which we create through learning and experiences.

  11. says

    @TeddI don't see how that necessarily contradicts atheism, or should be too much of a problem for skepticism.In a sense, the way you define it is superfluous. It sort of resembles the argument – "God is this coffee cup. Therefore, if you believe the mug exists you DO believe in a god and aren't an atheist."The word/definition has been warped into irrelevance. By that definition it could be said that all iPods share a collective unconscious because they all have the same programming.While it may be true under that definition, no one cares.It's not really a violation of skepticism or atheism. It's just too mundane.

  12. says

    @TeddAs I read your description, CU is an acknowledgement that brains operate in similar ways as far as thinking goes.This seems to be kind of a trivial observation. All humans organs operate in similar ways to the same organs of other people. Is there nothing else to it?

  13. says

    The discussion with "Mark" actually kicked ass.Incidentally, the NRSV has "My hands and feet have shriveled" in Psalm 22:16, with a note that the meaning of the Masoretic text is uncertain.Not that this matters much – It's all quite simple: the authors of the NT were familiar with the OT. They could have lied, they could have just honestly thought that Psalm was messianic prophecy and therefore Jesus must have fulfilled it, or it could have actually happened and could then be a not-so-impressive coincidence (you have to do something with his clothes, why not cast lots for them?). All of these explanations are, by the definition of a miracle, far more probable than a miracle, and therefore should have explanatory priority.

  14. says

    All of these explanations are, by the definition of a miracle, far more probable than a miracle, and therefore should have explanatory priority.But remember the first rule of theism: Ockham's Razor is heresy!For the curious, the second rule of theism: Anyone who disagrees with me is of the devil.And for a sense of completion, the third rule of theism: Bitches ain't shit.

  15. says

    @John KMight more straight forward than I put it.It seems to fall into a particular scenario where people are trying to desperately implement a word. The meaning behind it isn't important.. just that the word or phrase be somehow relevant… so they'll boil it down to the most irrelevant definition so it finally fit something real.It's done to a lot of paranormal concepts, like souls, spirituality, psychics, or whatever.. that somehow if the word can be used, the original meaning can survive vicariously through it's new mundane usage? I dunno.

  16. says

    Chris Langan proved God. Note that he's the ONE person the show refuses to discuss. With good reason. Langan has the real proof of God, which the show would rather ignore, in favor of cowardly attacks on weaker opponents, like Ray Comfort.

  17. says

    Chris Langan proved God. Note that he's the ONE person the show refuses to discuss. With good reason. Langan has the real proof of God, which the show would rather ignore, in favor of cowardly attacks on weaker opponents, like Ray Comfort.

  18. says

    Search "Langan" on Youtube. You'll discover his Youtube interview, in which he explains his theory of God, which uses binary logic to prove God. (See also his Wikipedia article.)It's noteworthy that the one theory that was written by someone with a confirmed IQ of 210 (smarter than Einstein) happens to be the one theory that lacks an entry on Iron Chariots. However, I'm sure Ray Comfort's "Banana Theory" has an entry. I guess the Atheist Experience has to pick the battles it can win, namely the ones in the sandbox with Ray Comfort.

  19. says

    The reason that Matt and Jenn are scared is obvious: if they talk about the CTMU, then Langan himself might take notice, and call in to the show to talk to them. (He's responded to other critiques of his theory online.) That would be the end of the show, and the show would quickly have to change its name to the Theist Experience.They must therefore restrict themselves to Ray Comfort and the like. Sincerely,ChrisLanganFan

  20. says

    I quote Chris Langan, a genius of 210 IQ (only six people on Earth have that level of intelligence): God is indeed real, for a coherent entity identified with a self-perceptual universe is self-perceptual in nature, and this endows it with various levels of self-awareness and sentience, or constructive, creative intelligence.Chris Langan defends his theory against mathematicians here: http://scientopia.org/blogs/goodmath/2011/02/11/another-crank-comes-to-visit-the-cognitive-theoretic-model-of-the-universe/.

  21. says

    It's funny that Matt and company seem to have conveniently avoided Langan's theory. Especially funny since it's the very first hit for "Langan" on Wikipedia and Youtube, not exactly an obscure source.

  22. Martin says

    Speaking as one of "those Atheist Experience guys," I can tell you quite plainly: I have seen his video, and we don't bother discussing Langan much because he's a self-aggrandizing crank. Maybe if his CV's were more impressive than boasting that he got a high score on an IQ test printed in Omni magazine…

  23. says

    He has social problems, yes, but he's the real deal. Gladwell writes that although Langan "read deeply in philosophy, mathematics, and physics" as he worked on the CTMU, "without academic credentials, he despairs of ever getting published in a scholarly journal".[27] Gladwell's profile on Langan mainly portrayed him as an example of an individual who failed to realize his potential in part because of poor social skills resulting from, in Gladwell's speculation, being raised in poverty.[28]

  24. says

    He's not a "crank." He's a genius. And he proved God. the CTMU shows that reality possesses a complex property akin to self-awareness. That is, just as the mind is real, reality is in some respects like a mind. But when we attempt to answer the obvious question "whose mind?", the answer turns out to be a mathematical and scientific definition of God. This implies that we all exist in what can be called "the Mind of God", and that our individual minds are parts of God's Mind. They are not as powerful as God's Mind, for they are only parts thereof; yet, they are directly connected to the greatest source of knowledge and power that exists.

  25. says

    I will "dumb it down for you," JT, after you read it yourself.As honest atheists, you should at least make the effort. Though if you did, you wouldn't be atheists, so I contradict myself.

  26. says

    Langan began talking at six months, taught himself to read before he was four, and was repeatedly skipped ahead in school. Langan says he spent the last years of high school mostly in independent study, teaching himself "advanced math, physics, philosophy, Latin and Greek, all that".[8] After earning a perfect score on the SAT[6] Langan attended Reed College and later Montana State University, but faced with financial and transportation problems, and believing that he could teach his professors more than they could teach him, dropped out.[8]

  27. Martin says

    I must admit, your persistence is fun.So, reading over your descriptions of Langan, I see you recapitulate my point: self-aggrandizing crank. And your inability to explain his "theory" yourself is unsurprising, but still funny.If you're a Poe, you're a good one.

  28. says

    Shit we got a new Mabus"Langan's mathematical proof of God with binary logic may "Refutation: Garbage in Garbage out.reminds me of the math jokes of how Woman=Money+time or the mathematical physics proof that Hell is Endothermic.

  29. says

    "Langan proved God.The Atheist Experience has been silent. And the silence is deafening.Now we will break the silence. "Careful or The Doctor will get you.

  30. says

    Dear Martin,I already condeded that Langan has social problems. Many geniuses have. It's irrelevant to his theory, which proved God, and can be viewed at ctmu.org. If you wish to continue ad hominem attacks, you have every right to, but you only reveal your own ignorance. Sincerely,ChrisLanganFan

  31. says

    Perhaps a future Atheist Experience show could be on debunking Chris Langan? Shouldn't be too hard since it has already been done many times.

  32. says

    Hey ChrisLanganFan.My IQ is between 196 and 211 and I can prove chemically that God isn't real. Why haven't you talked about me yet? Are you afraid of something?

  33. says

    I've never tried to call in to the show because I thought it would be too hard to get on. But after seeing this guy get on week after week, maybe I'll give it a try.

  34. says

    Felipe: you don't have a Wikipedia article with sources on a Youtube interview that demonstrates your intelligence. But it's not the intelligence that matters, it's the THEORY.Go to ctmu.org. If you dare.

  35. says

    Yes, Martin, you made an ad hominem attack that since he is "self-aggrandizing" (because he was raised in horrible conditions and also has a high IQ which often comes with a low social IQ) therefore that's somehow relevant to his having proved God.

  36. says

    I don't know about "Poe" or "The Doctor" or "Mabus." But I know the CTMU. I know it proves you all to be wrong about the nature of the universe we live in. How's that?

  37. says

    Martin's shameful ad hominem attack on Chris Langan, and the other atheists' nonsensical remarks about "Mabus" and unfounded claims about having an "IQ between 196 and 211" make it very clear that you guys are all bark and no bite when it comes to logic and reality.

  38. says

    Dear Ing,Please watch the video. In it, Langan says: "I like to maintain a little modesty because it's healthy to do that. It's not healthy to get a big head." Sincerely,ChrisLanganFan

  39. says

    Well ChrisLanganFan, if you want us to discuss the Cognitive-Theoretic Model of the Universe, why don't you explain it to us? You keep posting about how great it is, but do little to defend it's accuracy short of promoting its website.

  40. says

    But you said you were going to explain it to us in a dumbed down version so that us people with a low iq could possibly have a hope at understanding such genius.Apparently you don't understand it yourself.

  41. says

    Dear Blake,It's unfortunate that I have to spoonfeed the CTMU to you, as a mother would a child, but I will, since you seem incapable. God is indeed real, for a coherent entity identified with a self-perceptual universe is self-perceptual in nature, and this endows it with various levels of self-awareness and sentience, or constructive, creative intelligence.Universe=Mind=God's Mind.Maternally,ChrisLanganFan

  42. says

    Dear atheists,As Chris Langan states in his interview, found at the obscure website Youtube by searching the mysterious title "Langan," the theory is as irrefutable as 2+2=4. Surely your minds understand math, I should hope. Sincerely,ChrisLanganFan

  43. says

    Langan explains on his website that he believes "since Biblical accounts of the genesis of our world and species are true but metaphorical, our task is to correctly decipher the metaphor in light of scientific evidence also given to us by God". He explainsIn explaining this relationship, the CTMU shows that reality possesses a complex property akin to self-awareness. That is, just as the mind is real, reality is in some respects like a mind. But when we attempt to answer the obvious question "whose mind?", the answer turns out to be a mathematical and scientific definition of God. This implies that we all exist in what can be called "the Mind of God", and that our individual minds are parts of God's Mind. They are not as powerful as God's Mind, for they are only parts thereof; yet, they are directly connected to the greatest source of knowledge and power that exists. This connection of our minds to the Mind of God, which is like the connection of parts to a whole, is what we sometimes call the soul or spirit, and it is the most crucial and essential part of being human.

  44. says

    Listen, Chris/Scott/AndOirew/Mark/Tom/etc,First of all, quit spamming please.Repeating yourself MORE LOUDLY does not make your argument stronger. You've personally had several hours of cumulative face time on our show to make a case of your own. In all that time, you've  thoroughly failed to make any effective point on your own — so much so that you have to hide your identity to avoid associating yourself with your own past performances. You're doing it again in this very threadousting under multiple names. And you have the chutzpah to accuse other people of cowardice.There was already a fair amount of discussion about CTMU in a previous thread, I think it's safe to say that several of us have home over the basics of what Chris said. As yet nobody was impressed, but you once again are getting the opportunity to support your case yourself… and you're not even trying.Chris isn't in this discussion getting your back. If anyone is going to support your claims it will have to be you. If you're not up to the job, then you get in touch with Chris can convince him to call us. But until that happens, I expect you to quit the sock puppet games and make a point on your own.

  45. says

    I read it. I was not impressed. He seems to take abstract mathematical concepts and terms, apply them to physical reality in a hamfisted, flowery worded manner and therefore God. Basically the entire theory boils down to a mis-application of set theory.

  46. says

    I will interpret your silence the same way I interpreted Matt's when challenged to simply ADDRESS the CTMU: as cowardice. I would be scared too. Langan is a smart guy, no doubt about it, and his theory is thorough and sound.

  47. says

    So basically Chris Langan's Theory is a modified form of Solipsism in which the only real mind is God's, and everyone is just part of his dream?How is that an actual theory of the universe? That's just a philosophical debate, not an actual scientific model of any sort. Put as much math as you want to it, and it's still a philosophical statement… to which I say that Newton's Flaming Laser Sword is the best response: "what cannot be settled by experiment is not worth debating".

  48. says

    Dear Kazim,What is it at ctmu.org that the Atheist Experience hosts are so afraid of? Go there. Find out. Yours,ChrisLanganFanwithout a guiding Entity whose Self-awareness equates to the coherence of self-perceptual spacetime, a self-perceptual universe could not coherently self-configure. Holopantheism is the logical, metatheological umbrella beneath which the great religions of mankind are unknowingly situated.

  49. says

    Dear Decivre,Your comment about experiments is just flatly wrong. Scientists often can't do experiments to confirm their theories. They do thought experiments. Galileo didn't drop anything off the Tower of Pisa. Einstein didn't fly next to a light beam. Yours,ChrisLanganFan

  50. says

    Dear Felipe,Focusing on the politeness of my letters or the impoliteness of Langan's "self-aggrandizing" character is detracting (intentionally I think) from the fact that Langan proved God. Retract your attacks, and focus on the substance. Yours,ChrisLanganFan

  51. says

    Ed Finklestein just proved unicorns exist by using a dangling participle and some ferrous sulfate! And he didn't miss a single question on his driving test! I bet you cowards won't even talk about it. Chickens…nananbooboo!

  52. says

    The universe is, as the CTMU (CTMU.org) shows, like a mind. Whose mind? The answer is God's.Which part do you find objectionable? All that buildup and that's your best summary of CTMU? The universe is LIKE a mind, therefore it IS a mind? An argument from analogy?By that logic, if I say "Shall I compare thee to a summer's day" then I am arguing that my lover is 105 degrees and sprouts flowers.Also, I'm seriously about to start deleting your posts which simply call people names or repeat something that you've already said in the last five minutes. Please make a note of this and save the content of your posts, because I'd hate for something important to be lost just because you couldn't stop yourself from calling somebody a coward.

  53. says

    My comment on Dowsing being used by Utility Linemen for use on the job didn't require you to block me off The Atheist Experience Channel on youtube. Dowsing used by utility Linemen Involves the use of two Electrically conductive wires and two smooth hollow tubes. When Two copper wires are held in parralel they will attract each other when they pass over an electrically conductive medium such as an Electric Wire or a Underground water main. This is based on simple electrical principles. There was nothing on my comment that deserved me being blocked and I request that you unblock me now please.

  54. says

    n the last decade, you’ve been actively developing what you call a “Cognitive-Theoretic Model of the Universe.”Actually, I’ve had the essence of the CTMU (Cognitive-Theoretic Model of the Universe) for well over two decades, and began to publish essays on it in 1989.Since then, I’ve been periodically amused to watch academia and/or the media get excited and wax philosophical over the rediscovery of what seem to isolated, vaguely-formulated scraps of it by “approved” sources.While I certainly don’t want to downplay the insights of others, I’ve come to suspect that in the dog-eat-dog, publish-or-perish world of academia, few if any are really up to making a forest of the trees.

  55. says

    Can you sketch the CTMU — in plain English — for our readers?The name literally says it all. The phrase “Cognitive-Theoretic Model of the Universe” contains three main ingredients: cognitive theory, model, and universe. Cognitive theory refers to a general language of cognition (the structural and transitional rules of cognition); universe refers to the content of that language, or that to which the language refers; and model refers to the mapping which carries the content into the language, thus creating information. The way in which the title brings these three ingredients together, or “contracts” their relationship to the point of merging, reflects their perfect coincidence in that to which the title implicitly refers, i.e., reality (the physical universe plus all that is required to support its perception and existence). Thus, the CTMU is a theory which says that reality is a self-modeling universal language, or if one prefers, that the universe is a self-modeling language.

  56. says

    The operation of combining language, universe, and model to create a perfectly self-contained metalanguage results in SCSPL, short for Self-Configuring Self-Processing Language. This language is “self-similar” in the sense that it is generated within a formal identity to which every part of it is mapped as content; its initial form, or grammatical “start symbol”, everywhere describes it on all scales. My use of grammatical terminology is intentional; in the CTMU, the conventional notion of physical causality is superseded by “telic causation”, which resembles generative grammar and approaches teleology as a natural limit. In telic causation, ordinary events are predicated on the generation of closed causal loops distributing over time and space. This loop-structure reflects the fact that time, and the spatial expansion of the cosmos as a function of time, flow in both directions – forward and backward, outward and inward – in a dual formulation of causality characterizing a new conceptualization of nature embodied in a new kind of medium or “manifold”.

  57. says

    That’s as simple as I can make it without getting more technical. Everything was transparently explained in the 56-page 2002 paper I published on the CTMU, which has been downloaded hundreds of thousands of times. But just in case this still doesn’t qualify as “plain English”, there’s an even easier way to understand it that is available to any reader familiar with the Bible, one of the most widely read and best-understood books ever written.

  58. says

    In the New Testament, John 1 begins as follows: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” (my italics). Much controversy has centered on this passage, as it seems to be saying that God is literally equivalent to logos, meaning “word”, “wisdom”, “reason”, or “truth”. Insofar as these meanings all refer to constructs or ingredients of language or to language itself, this amounts to the seemingly imponderable assertion that God, of Whom believers usually conceive as an all-powerful Entity or Being, somehow consists of language. The CTMU is precisely what it takes to validate this assertion while preserving the intuitive conception of God as the all-knowing Creator – or in non-theological terms, the “identity” or “generator” – of reality. Nothing but the CTMU can fully express this biblical “word-being duality” in a consistent logico-mathematical setting.

  59. says

    The CTMU is not just a theory; it is logical model theory applied to metaphysics, and as much a logical necessity as any branch of mathematics or philosophy. One can no more escape from it than from X=X or 1+1=2. But when it comes to something that packs this combination of scope and power, many people, including certified academics, committed atheists, and even some religious believers, are apparently afraid to stare X=X in the face.Little wonder. After all, once one has beheld the metaphysical structure of reality, there is no longer any such thing as plausible deniability or defense by ignorance; it’s the end of innocence, so to speak. Understandably, many people find that a little scary.

  60. says

    @ChrisLanganFanFirst off, Galileo wasn't the one who came up with the Heliocentric model. He was simply promoting Copernicus's theories. Secondly, Copernicus technically did experiments in that he observes the motions of the planetary bodies. His calculations were based on how the planets simply did not move as if they were orbiting the Earth. Also, it should be noted that it was Newton, not Copernicus, who proved the orbits of the planets. His theory was accurate because it fit the motion of the stars and planets, but was not perfectly accurate because it didn't take into account things he did not know at the time (dilation being the big one).And now here are the two obvious reasons why Chris Langan's Theory has no accuracy:1. The mathematics do nothing to prove that the principles of the universe are in fact mental in nature. Much of his argument appeals to emotion (the worst sort of argument) by asking the reader how it could be anything BUT god's mind, rather than proving that we are in god's mind.2. He has no real observations that he can equivocably reference as proof of this mental model. Newton and Copernicus had the retrograde motion of the planets to observe. What does Chris Langan reference? Simply that things "seem" like they are part of a mind. That's not scientific at all.Now, your response?

  61. says

    Some of these projects relate to a book I’ve been writing on mathematically proving the existence of God. Surprising as it may seem, this can certainly be done. In fact, save for a few crucial ingredients, it was nearly accomplished by (e.g.) Anselm of Canterbury in the 11th century AD. (Sadly, neither Anselm nor his various followers and modern analysts were able to pin down all of the logic and ontology required to fill out and support his essential argument.)Some people, reasoning from past failures, regard such a proof as impossible. But then again, many people had considered it impossible to solve the venerable chicken-or-egg problem, for which I presented a concise case-by-case solution around a decade ago. The chicken-or-egg problem and the existence of God both relate to the general issue of circular dependency, a connection to be explored in the book.I would hope that in time – if we still have the time – my work along these lines could revolutionize theology. Some will no doubt warm to this prospect; others will not, including committed atheists, uneducable agnostics, and theists who insist on ascribing illogical “divine properties” to God on dogmatic grounds ultimately having little to do with core scripture. But no matter what anyone may say, truth, logic, and God are equivalent concepts. To cheat one of them is to cheat all of them.I believe that we can afford to cheat none of them, and I’m quite sure that God would agree.

  62. says

    @Mike – How many times must you be told that we don't want cut and paste answers. All this spam, yet you can't spend a few minutes to write down your own thoughts? Just more obvious cut and paste. It's not asking a whole lot. Actually, that's all anyone has ever asked of you from the very first time you showed up. We just want to hear what you think, in your own words. But you refuse at every turn. Why do you steadfastly refuse to share your own thoughts on these things?@Noogleader – First of all, the YouTube channel has nothing to do with any of the people here, so it's pointless from the get go. Secondly, your request have (beep)-all to do with this discussion. Maybe this lack of attention to detail had something to do with your banning?

  63. says

    OK, rrpostal. Here are my thoughts.Langan is very smart and well-spoken as I showed you in the interviews I posted. He believes in God. He has a theory at CTMU.org.It's 56 pages long. It's got math and philosophy.Yet your show talks to Ray Comfort. Something's fishy.

  64. says

    Noogleader,I really doubt you got kicked for saying something about dowsing. I've just searched my chat log and can't find any posts by you last week. Were you on a different week, or did you use a different name?

  65. says

    If you got Chris Langan to call your show, he would explain.Again: You're the only one obsessing about Chris Langan. YOU get him to call. He'll be at the front of the line. I hope he'll do a better job than you have so far.

  66. says

    The CTMU is not just a theory; it is logical model theory applied to metaphysics, and as much a logical necessity as any branch of mathematics or philosophy. One can no more escape from it than from X=X or 1+1=2.So that about sums it up. It's not a proof, it's not a scientific test, it's an assertion couched in some philosophical terms.In a nutshell it's the same thing creationists have been doing for years: trying to pretend that you can create a god from nothing by using the right language. Studies, tests, observations of the real world — those are not attempted. Instead, Chris just wants to "math" a god into existence, and then browbeat people by insisting that they can't contradict him because he scored highly on a test.Have you got anything else to say?

  67. says

    That was not the question. The question is… in your own words, what does he say in the 56 pages that you find so impressive? Take a few minutes and think about why this CTMU stuff impresses you so much. Because, honestly, you seem impressed about something for reasons you can't explain very well.

  68. says

    Alright then, I'll do a breakdown of the CTMU as I read the introduction on his webpage. I'll respond to each paragraph individually, and you can tell me how I'm doing….1. In the first paragraph, Langan does a wordplay. He says that reality is an object containing all other things, and that it can't be an object because an object must exist within something (as all other objects exist in reality). This is a farce, because reality is simply the word we use to reference all that is. It is not inherently an object simply because we have a label for it.2. He again delves into wordplay by saying that the physical universe is self-defined, and therefore a tautology. However, it is only by merit of his given definition that it is a tautology. Had he defined it a different way, it would not have been a tautology at all. "The physical universe is all things currently existing which are made up of either matter or energy". No tautology exists in this definition.3. Does another wordplay, this time with the term "real universe". I've already discussed this.4. This is the first point at which he makes the logical case that there should be something outside of reality. However, his proof is inaccurate. Not all mathematical values are framed by that which is greater and lesser than them. Infinity is defined as an endless number, and there is no way to frame a value larger than infinity (by definition, any framed value is less than infinity and greater than negative infinity).5. I'm skipping this for now because the statement is a bit kooky, and sums to claiming that the universe has its own language without proving it.6. His theory begins to break down a bit here. Just the first sentence alone makes no sense: "An act is a temporal process, and self-inclusion is a spatial relation". lolwut?! I can see how an act is a "temporal process", but how is self-inclusion a spatial relation? And how does this form the basis of spacetime (the conclusion of this paragraph)? I'll skip this one too….7. This one is full of mathematical jargon, so I'll just simplify it. Langan essentially claims that the universe is a mathematical tautology on its own, but does nothing to assert that his mathematical proofs properly define the universe other than to say it does.8. Now this becomes confusing. Langan creates a whole new word for the purposes of his arguments. Since he uses the term "holography" as an analog, let's just say that he basically posits that the universe is some sort of collection of super-advanced holograms (unless he is using the term holography to reference something entirely different, at which point I guess I'd be lost… and his theory becomes nonsensical).9. This references what I said about paragraph one, and once again asserts that reality is self-defining and self-inclusive. This is once more false, as reality is simply a label by which we reference everything that exists. This does not make it a self-referencing term simply because it is stated by people in reality.I'm going to stop there, because this is getting ridiculous. So far, nothing really posits anything about the universe being a mind, and that mind being a god. It's just a rant about the definitions of terms, which is itself rather nuts. It's Time Cube all over again.

  69. says

    If an atheist with a confirmed IQ of 225 told you that ctmu was utter gibberish would you then drop your support of ctmu? If your answer is no then it doesn't matter how smart you think the guy is because you don't believe his "theory" based on his intelligence. His idea should be able to stand on it's own merit without you having to tell us how smart the guy is over and over again. I have never heard a scientist list Darwin's or Dawkins' intelligence as reason to believe evolution. That is because the theory stands on it's on.

  70. says

    Father of lights makes a good point… constantly citing Langan's intelligence is pure argument from authority fallacy. Even assuming that there was such a thing as an objective "smartest person in the world" — which there isn't, as IQ is only one rather controversial measure — that person would certainly not be omnipotent, or immune from mistakes. It seems like you're just trying to turn Langan into a surrogate God.

  71. Checkmate says

    The reason the wiki is light on articles on Chris Langan and his "theories" is 'cause WHO THE F is Chris Langan? That's why. I never heard of the guy until his one-man fanclub started hawking his wares on this blog.

  72. says

    Did enjoy the opening of the show seems like there has been a real dry spell of 'theists' willing to make arguments and provide support. Is this because that the fear what will happen? I mean any attempt to support a claim for God from the bible or personal experience merely gets shut down. Does the show simply dead end itself in so far as there is nothing in the way of support for 'theists' to point at? Seems like many 'theists' simply cranks trying to wind up the hosts and not really genuinely interested in the arguments. That is why I think the quantum physics is being proffered on the show every now and then tangentially because there is nothing new to debate considering how old and antiquated the 'resources' are for the 'theist'. And I am more baffled why anyone with a sound grounding in philosophy would even debate the existence of a god. Craig Lane is held up as the best theists have to offer however when one takes a look at the Craig vs. Nielsen or Michael Martin's critique of Craig's arguments there seems little left in the bag of tricks for theists. Hopefully AE can continue pulling the threads on theism till it is left in taters. http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/michael_martin/holy_spirit.html

  73. says

    The most important aspect of being intelligent is not to establish authority, but rather in the ability to successfully explain something to others who don't understand it yet.If you can not or will not do this, then you aren't meeting the burden of proof. You're also not meeting the presentability requirement of science in that the knowledge is buried by obfuscation.Even after it is explained, does the "theory" have any testable hypotheses? Is there any established ways that it could be falsified? Without meeting these requirements and burdens, his "theory" is not science, and is disqualified.

  74. says

    RE: Chris LanganI saw a comment saying that he's "smarter than Einstein" by his big fan boy here.There are a lot of people who have a higher IQ than Einstein did. It doesn't mean anything whatsoever. Einstein isn't famous for his IQ. Einstein is famous because he revolutionized entire fields of science in one fell swoop and in just a few short years.Einstein is famous because he did something valuable for humanity with his brain; not because he simply had a big one.Langan, as far as I know, hasn't contributed anything like that to the Sum of Human Knowledge, so that argument is absolutely pointless to me.Also: You can't prove God with math. It's just a rhetorical exercise in spouting off assumed bullshit. To begin such an argument, you have to assume that there is a God – and there's no proof of one in any way whatsoever. So going on that assumption is a false beginning which, invariably, will render any further argument (no matter how long, intelligent, or entertaining) completely moot.

  75. says

    I believe Carol Vorderman has a higher I.Q than Einstein, does that make her a authority on any given subject over Einstein? What if I had an I.Q of 221 and I claimed I could disprove God mathematically? Would you accept me as an authority over Langan? No? Then its just based on your nonsensical, religious presupposition my friend.And by the way 'Mark', we are getting impatient with your presence here.

  76. says

    There are no real refutations of CTMU because there is nothing there to debate. I’ll break the theory down right now:1. Write a long and complicated paper that uses obscure and technical language, making it extremely difficult for anyone to actually understand.2. Proclaim that this paper proves the existence of god.3. When, inevitably, people point out that the paper is incomprehensible, deflect all criticisms on the basis that they are not smart enough to understand it or not academically qualified to criticize it.Set theory experts have looked at the CTMU and declared it word salad. There is nothing to discuss.I may not be able to completely understand relativity theory, but I sure as hell can observe the effects of nuclear energy that are based on it. If Mr. Langan wants to impress the natives he is going to have to break out the flashlight, not go on endlessly about electrical theory that they are unable to understand.

  77. says

    So I had my Android playing what I THINK is the Chris Langan video during my commute this morning:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-ak5Lr3qkW0Then I remembered that I attempted to get through it once before, and I made it less than halfway through the first of three segments. This time, through supreme effort of will, I made it through one and a half segments before giving up in disgust.Why? Because the video itself contains no content, at least not up to the point I heard. It's essentially Chris Langan's autobiography, and most of it is completely unwarranted (IMHO) bragging.Chris's own account of his high school years makes him sound like a world class asshole. He concluded early on that he could easily master the material, so he spent his last couple of years telling off his teachers, ditching class, and acting indignant that they didn't recommend him for college early. In college he had some cockamamie story about how he got unfairly grouped with a bad crowd, thought they were going to expel him, and preemptively dropped out.IMHO, natural intelligence only gets you so far. If you don't actually apply yourself to doing the work that you need to do, then you aren't automatically entitled to respect. That seems to be the story of his life.This guy may be a genius, but he sure doesn't come across in the video as anything other than a braggart. For instance, at one point he is asked how big his brain is, and he makes a smug joke about how he could measure it using the Archimedean method of submerging his head in water. That seemed to impress the interviewer; personally I heard the story of Archimedes as a little kid and was somewhat less than amazed. It's also just flat out wrong; that would measure the size of his HEAD. It would do nothing to isolate his brain unless he actually removed it.Please tell me if there is more valuable content past the point I stopped watching. All I've heard in 15 minutes are fawning questions about his self-evaluation, and Chris pretending to be modest while engaging in content-free narcissism.

  78. says

    Even the more complex parts of Einstein's theories can be cartoonized and put on the discovery channel so that people can understand it.

  79. says

    @John K."1. Write a long and complicated paper that uses obscure and technical language, making it extremely difficult for anyone to actually understand.2. Proclaim that this paper proves the existence of god.3. When, inevitably, people point out that the paper is incomprehensible, deflect all criticisms on the basis that they are not smart enough to understand it or not academically qualified to criticize it."That's a textbook proof by intimidation fallacy.

  80. says

    Just a quick one:- – – – – – – – – – – – – – -ChrisLanganFan said… That’s as simple as I can make it without getting more technical. Everything was transparently explained in the 56-page 2002 paper I published on the CTMU, which has been downloaded hundreds of thousands of times. But just in case this still doesn’t qualify as “plain English”, there’s an even easier way to understand it that is available to any reader familiar with the Bible, one of the most widely read and best-understood books ever written. 9/12/2011 10:55 PM- – – – – – – – – – – – – – -Emphasis mine. Seems like CLF is a sockpuppet…He's a bit too TimeCube for me.

  81. says

    Hairy Chris,No, that doesn't mean he's Chris Langan. CLF has been copying and pasting from an interview that Langan did in lieu of explaining CTMU himself. You can find the original here, with the passage you quoted reprinted verbatim.Also, CLF is Mark/Bob/Tom/etc, who sounds nothing like CL does in the videos.

  82. says

    @ CLF Went to the websites you said everyone is scared of and I understand it all and I'm still not impressed. I have a genuine IQ of 212 and instead of Binary Logic I use the vastly superior Hexadecimal Logic to come to the conclusion that no such god exists. 2+2=4 4+4=8 8+8=10 Case closed.Sincerely,ChrisLanganNonFan

  83. says

    Ah, apologies, my bad. He's a moron who doesn't understand (hah) the "source material" instead. Or is that "sauce material"?Anyone up for organising a Chris Langan/Gene Ray debate?

  84. says

    Oh yeah, "binary logic," that was the other thing. It's another term he keeps using in this slow, portentous voice that sounds like he expects people to gape in awe at how smart it makes him.Binary logic is covered in Computer Science 1a, and I've also successfully taught it to my nine year old. Whoopee.

  85. Kestra says

    This calls to mind a scene from James Thurber's wonderful "The Thirteen Clocks". The Golux and Princess Saralinda must attempt to start the thirteen clocks while the Prince duels the evil Duke. Princess Saralinda touches each clock, but they don't start. So the Golux exercises his mind thusly: "If you can touch the clocks and not start them, then you can start the clocks and not touch them. That's logic." Saralinda holds her hand a certain distance from each clock and lo! they start right up. Spell broken!Saying that one has used "binary logic" to "prove" something is all very well if one is discussing logical proofs. But if one is interested in real things that can actually be measured, observed, documented and analyzed, one needs proof based on evidentiary support, not clever word play. If the god "proven" by the CTMU exists, when, why, and how does he/she/it interact with the world? Where is the proof of that? If he/she/it *doesn't* interact with the world, why does it matter whether that god "exists" according to logic or not?

  86. says

    I'm willing to grant all premises for the sake of argument and say that, hypothetically, Chris Langan's argument conclusively proves that a god exists.Even if that were the case, you don't get any further than deism. There's nothing to demonstrate that the god in question isn't Vishnu, Satan, Dionysus, Azathoth, or some completely inscrutable entity as yet undreamed of by the minds of human beings.It certainly isn't a convincing argument for the existence of the death-obsessed, punishment-crazed, bloody thirsty deities of the Abrahamic religions.So tout Langan as much as you like. It doesn't make Christianity any less ludicrous than it already appears at face value.

  87. says

    @Kazim All I got was a message Saying "Bullshit" then I couldn't post again. I am actually a big fan of the Atheist Experience I watch it every week. But this is the first time where I am actually a little upset. I haven't been booted like this since VFX and his creationist babbling were gracing Youtube.

  88. says

    natural intelligence only gets you so far. If you don't actually apply yourself to doing the work that you need to do, then you aren't automatically entitled to respectI agree. He strikes me as someone who was pretty smart in high school, wasn't accommodated by the teachers and as a result gave up on institutionalized learning. He therefore started educating himself leading to a high degree of proficiency in some subjects and a total lack in others.Much of his attitude seem to be summarized in the following:Are you familiar with [totally incomprehensible term] mentioned in [completely obscure book] by [utterly unknown author]? You haven't? Then clearly, you are of inferior intellect and you may bow down and worship at my feet.What's really depressing is that if he had been properly coached by a teacher with the right capabilities, he could have seriously contributed to the improvement of mankind, rather than just mentally jerking off all over the internet.There's nothing to demonstrate that the god in question isn't Vishnu, Satan, Dionysus, Azathoth, or some completely inscrutable entity as yet undreamed of by the minds of human beings.Sure there is. 'Cos, you know, Chris says so, so there.Don't you feel foolish, now.…The Atheist Experience Channel on youtubeThe youtube AE channel is not run by the actual AE guys, but, rather, is a fan-run channel. As such, Russell can't do a damn thing about it. You need to contact the guy running the youtube channel itself.

  89. says

    Oh, the YouTube channel. I thought you were talking about the chat DURING the show.Lukas is correct, we do not run any YouTube channel. You'll have to take it up with the owner of the channel, not us.

  90. says

    so has CLF abandoned his fight on this thread until next week when he will will try to call again and attempt to disguise his voice? this dude needs help

  91. says

    I has a 9/11 conspiracy theory.Matt called the attacks an 'accident', then hastily corrected himself. But I think he KNOWS THE TRUTH and it slipped out.Yes! 9/11 was an atheist publicity stunt that went wrong. They hired some planes to write the words "God is a poopyhead" in the sky (CHEMTRAILS!), but PZ Myers was remote-controlling the planes got confused and…Don'tYouSeeItAllMakesSense!Obama the time-travelling muslim president of Kenya destroyed all the evidence because, erm, he's an atheist too. And a shape-shifting lizard.

  92. Wired For Sound says

    I don't think you guys emphasized enough to the caller at the end that the most logical explanation for the supposed "New Testament fulfillment of prophecy" was simply that the writers had a copy of the Septuagint in front of them, picked out some random bits that they misinterpreted as "prophetic," and grafted them onto the life of Jesus. That the vast majority of Jews at the time did not even think these passages were prophecies, much less that they that heralded the Nazarean carpenter, speaks volumes. The Christians were simply grasping at straws, trying to give their godhead some credibility.

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