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Feb 05 2014

Creationists say the cutest things

Guy P. Harrison sent me this:

22 Messages From Creationists To People Who Believe In Evolution

Here are my answers.

  1. Of course.
  2. No.
  3. Almost completely.
  4. No.
  5. Rotation of the earth.
  6. They don’t.
  7. What about them?
  8. Deriving meaning is up to the individual.
  9. No: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abiogenesis
  10. That’s pithy and dumb.
  11. Who embraces it?
  12. Wrong.
  13. Sure, but tangentially.
  14. Because it’s been observed.
  15. I don’t think that word means what you think it means.
  16. Genetic variability.
  17. See #8.
  18. Fossilization is rare.
  19. Yes.
  20. Easily.
  21. It wasn’t a star, but don’t have enough data.
  22. If Americans come from Europeans, why are there still Europeans?

You’re welcome, creationists!

145 comments

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  1. 1
    Monocle Smile

    It never ceases to amaze me just how scripted these same apologetics seem to be. It’s literally an identical set of “questions” and false statements every time these topics come up. New arguments from creationists are exceptionally rare, if not already extinct.

    1. 1.1
      Matt Gerrans

      I think you mean virtually, not literally.

      1. Monocle Smile

        Nope, I mean literally. In almost all cases, these things are spouted verbatim. It’s sad and pathetic.

        1. Matt Gerrans

          Sorry to be pedantic, but I think it is nearly impossible for the statement “It’s literally an identical set of “questions” and false statements every time these topics come up” to be true. Unless of course, by “literally” you really mean “virtually.” If I’m wrong, I will literally eat my hat.

          1. brianogrady

            Take it outside guys…

          2. AhmNee

            Ah, pedantics. You never cease to fail to amuse.

          3. DataCable

            I think you mean “pedants.” ;p

          4. AhmNee

            It’s the anthropomorphication of an idea to illustrate … OOOH! I see what you did there.

      2. Paula

        Ooh, another one who can’t stand the incorrect use of literally! Thank you!
        It would only be “literally an identical set of questions” if the PAD OF PAPER ITSELF were passed around all these years for different creationists to argue with. Literal is something you can touch. A question is NEVER A LITERAL QUESTION. You can’t chew on it.

        1. Narf

          It wouldn’t have to be a physical entity. It would just have to be the case that every single creationist used the exact same wording, every time any creationist used the arguments. The easiest way to do this (if they somehow desired to do so) would probably be to photocopy a sheet of the arguments and read off of those, but it technically isn’t necessary.

    2. 1.2
      corwyn

      The question on Noetics was new to me. After looking it up, I’m with Russel, “what about it?”

      [I am glad to see my spellchecker has never heard of it either.]

      1. Leo Buzalsky

        Yep. I just looked it up myself. I suppose she’s going down this path of “You can’t weigh thoughts, therefore thoughts are immaterial. Therefore we don’t live in a materialistic universe. Therefore God exists!”

        1. Monocle Smile

          Thoughts are patterns of electrical impulses, which have energy values and perhaps the masses of electrons, so technically they’re still material.

          Creationist arguments are extra-fun when they’re not only incorrect, but wouldn’t support the suggested conclusion even if they were right.

          1. corwyn

            Right. A bit represents (at least) 0.0178 eV of energy. Divide by the speed of light squared and you get the mass. So we *can* weight a thought.

            See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Landauer%27s_principle

          2. AhmNee

            So, what you’re saying is that instead of giving a penny for one’s thoughts, we should buy in bulk?

          3. corwyn

            :-) Yes, please.

    3. 1.3
      billhelm

      if they are like i was, they’re getting them from other christians and repeating them without putting any or much thought into them. then a new batch of believers come in and hear them for the first time and repeat. brainwash. rinse. repeat.

      1. AhmNee

        I agree. I know when I was a believer, that’s how I got my information.

        “I heard a person say X. I don’t know that X is true but I will act as if it’s fact until I hear someone else say otherwise. And then I’ll decide between the two pieces of information based largely on what appeals to my biases.”

    4. 1.4
      Sir Real

      I would agree whether it’s literal or not that their intentions are not to ask a valid question but just to obfuscate the issue(s) at hand with false statements, ridiculous questions that have already been answered or questions in which the answer is self evident like earth’s rotation.

  2. 2
    corwyn

    On 16.

    The second law of thermodynamics says it has to. Information can never decrease. This is how the paradox of Maxwell’s demon is resolved.

    1. 2.1
      robinirwin

      what part of the thermodynamics is about information?

        1. robinirwin

          meh from what i understand that is a total different level. practically information can be lost. just burn a a personal diary and what was on it will be unknown to others for ever.

          1. corwyn

            just burn a a personal diary and what was on it will be unknown to others for ever.

            Burning things increases the entropy of the universe. In essence, increasing the information in the universe.

          2. robinirwin

            but do you then know the information that was held in the diary?

          3. BecomingJulie

            It takes more space to describe accurately where every atom that used to have been part of the diary is now after you burned it, than it did before.

          4. corwyn

            You may note that I said, information can never decrease, not that all information is eternal in its present form.

          5. robinirwin

            well isn’t that just a what a bleep do we know arguement…

            the way you use the word information is not the same as i Use it. since information can be lost. unless you have a magical device you can actually read a private diary after it was burned down. That would have been really handy during cold war and any kind of intelligence gathering agencies.

            In that sense information is lost.

            And the same goes what the question. If a species gets extinct. there is no way to get it back the “information” back to make clones. otherwise we would have Jurrasic park by now.

          6. corwyn

            You asked: “what part of the thermodynamics is about information?”

            Have I adequately answered that question for you?

          7. AhmNee

            Not really. Your video actually seems to refute your assertion that information cannot decrease. It actually states the energy expenditure to delete information and that deletion increases entropy.

            I think you’re using a fairly narrow definition of information. Meaning, essentially, the potential record of the state of all matter (and possibly energy) in the universe. And while you may be correct that that particular information can never decrease, it’s also finite and can never increase, either.

          8. corwyn

            deletion increases entropy.

            Yes, and increase in entropy is an increase in total information.

            Meaning, essentially, the potential record of the state of all matter (and possibly energy) in the universe. And while you may be correct that that particular information can never decrease, it’s also finite and can never increase, either.

            No, the universe is expanding, therefore the amount of information needed to represent the location of every particle must also be increasing. But that isn’t the only source. Imagine a diamond. It can be completely described by giving the location of all the the surface atoms (for that parameter). The internal atoms have no degrees of freedom in where they can be. If you burn the diamond, all those carbon atoms are now flying around in the atmosphere, which is vastly more information (and hence an increase in entropy).

            When the universe was very young, all space was very small, all matter was in a few forms, there was only one force, the amount of information was very small, hence entropy was very small. This is what allows us to be here at all. We are using that original low entropy to power our lives, and leaving information in our wake. Eventually, there will be lots of information, lots of entropy, and no life. It is probably possible to describe the original state of the universe in a couple of paragraphs (with equations). I can’t describe the *room* I am in, in a couple of paragraphs.

            This is where so many theists get confused about the second law of thermodynamics as it relates to the big bang. They assume that an ‘explosion’ is chaotic, and that everything is moving from that chaotic state to a more order one (what we see now). Which they correctly interpret as nonsense. Actually the start of the universe was very ordered, and we are seeing that order slide more towards chaos.

          9. AhmNee

            I don’t claim any expertise at all so I accept that I could be totally wrong. But from your description, I don’t see that the increase in information claim makes any sense. I don’t see how the expansion of the universe is creating more information any more than your description of burning a diamond is creating more information. It’s changing the density, but the volume is staying the same. There’s no new matter and the matter that there was now has just changed it’s location and velocity values, it didn’t create new values. There’s no actual new information. The XYZ values of two objects next to each other and the XYZ of two objects far apart is still just 2 sets of values.

            Unless there’s something about the definition of information that you’re using that I’m misunderstanding. I still can’t see how information is not finite within the universe, seemingly tied to the same laws of conservation that govern matter and energy.

          10. corwyn

            There’s no new matter and the matter that there was now has just changed it’s location and velocity values

            Let’s say you have a 1x1x1 box with items in it. You can describe the position of each thing using 3 numbers between 0 and 1. Dump them in a 10x10x10 box. Now you need 3 numbers between 0 and 10. Thus more information is needed describe the position of those things.

            I still can’t see how information is not finite within the universe, seemingly tied to the same laws of conservation that govern matter and energy.

            Information IS finite in the universe (assuming the universe turns out to be finite). And information IS tied to the same laws of conservation. Namely the second law of thermodynamics, which says that information can never decrease. You wouldn’t say that entropy is conserved would you?

          11. EnlightenmentLiberal

            I’m no expert either, but there is some mathematical relation between entropy, information theory, and what we call “ability to do useful work”. Every closed system is “running down”. This is a direct consequence of the second law of thermodynamics. The amount of “useful energy” which can do work in the system is constantly decreasing. The mathematics which model this is called entropy. The fun thing is that the mathematics describing entropy also happen to be the same mathematics governing information theory in communications.

            Obviously burning a book makes the contents of the book irretrievable in practice. In that sense information can be lost in practice. However, there was a big discussion as to whether the information is “really lost” in an analogous situation – black holes, and IIRC the consensus of physicists today is that information is not lost.

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_hole_information_paradox

            Honesty? I don’t understand it well enough to comment further, and I fear most of the other commenters do not understand it well enough either.

          12. corwyn

            The fun thing is that the mathematics describing entropy also happen to be the same mathematics governing information theory in communications.

            There is a reason the math is the same, because it is describing the same thing. The solution to the *entropy* problem of Maxwell’s Demon, comes from *information theory*. If only the math was the same the solution to the latter wouldn’t solve the former problem.

            In that sense information can be lost in practice.

            But the *quantity* of information in the closed system is NOT reduced.

          13. EnlightenmentLiberal

            There is a reason the math is the same, because it [entropy and information theory] is describing the same thing.

            I don’t know what that means. What do you mean it’s the same thing? Yes the math is quite similar, almost identical. The math that we use to model the amount of “useful” energy of a system over time is almost identical – if not completely identical – to the math modeling sending information over a wire. Do you mean something else? What do you mean? I don’t understand.

            The solution to the *entropy* problem of Maxwell’s Demon, comes from *information theory*.

            What solution are you talking about?
            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maxwell%27s_demon
            I follow most of the wiki page, but I admit not completely. The straightforward solution seems to be that any real process that can measure and selectively let molecules pass through necessarily expends more useful work than it can recover by sorting gas molecules. If it were otherwise, then we would have perpetual motion machines.

            In that sense, the pithy solution is that the second law is not violated.

            It’s what is commonly called “a paradox”. In this case, like many “paradoxes”, a better understanding of the problem teaches one how it’s not actually contradictory and that there is a solution. In this case, a naive understanding is that there is a demon which can sort gas molecules (decrease entropy) without expending significant amounts of energy, thereby breaking thermodynamics. You resolve the apparent paradox by noticing that any real machine in place of the demon necessarily will have to expend energy to do the sorting, and thus the second law is not violated.

            It is important to note that this is not a proof of the second law, and it is not a proof that there is no such demon. Instead, it’s an explanation in the framework of the second law of how your intuition is wrong and that there can be no such demon.

            This is all according to my relatively novice understanding of these issues (an undergrad level).

          14. corwyn

            The straightforward solution seems to be that any real process that can measure and selectively let molecules pass through necessarily expends more useful work than it can recover by sorting gas molecules. If it were otherwise, then we would have perpetual motion machines.

            No, this is the resolution of the ‘current real world’ problem. Maxwell knew as much. Saying that we would otherwise have perpetual motion machines is entirely begging the question. The real problem has always been the theoretical question of ‘can such a demon* exist?’

            The information theory says that no such demon can exist, because in order to accomplish the task, it must have information (about the motion of particles), and in order to continue indefinitely it must at some point erase that information. With the required energy expenditure ( >0.0178 eV per bit), and required increase in entropy.

            * – It should be noted that the ‘demon’ in question is a physics 101 warehouse demon, and is not therefore supernatural (otherwise it could just magic the molecules across the barrier), but rather must follow the rules of physics in all ways pertinent to the problem at hand.

          15. salamander

            The diamond analogy doesn’t hold up because although the positions of the atoms is constrained, the position of their constituent parts is not.

            As for the 1x1x1 grid, we would potentially need an infinite number of decimal places to describe positions so the overall size of the box doesn’t matter. The unit of measure is arbitrary.

          16. LykeX

            What if the unit is a Planck length?

          17. corwyn

            The diamond analogy doesn’t hold up because although the positions of the atoms is constrained, the position of their constituent parts is not.

            How is that a refutation? The positions of the constituent parts is ALSO required when the carbon is in gaseous form. Therefore the information need to describe the system is greater in the gaseous situation than in the diamond situation, as stated.

            LyleX answered your other objection.

          18. AhmNee

            Let’s say you have a 1x1x1 box with items in it. You can describe the position of each thing using 3 numbers between 0 and 1. Dump them in a 10x10x10 box. Now you need 3 numbers between 0 and 10. Thus more information is needed describe the position of those things.

            I think we’ve managed to highlight either where I believe you’re mistaken or I’m totally misunderstanding.

            To my understanding of math and information. The 3 values being used to describe the items position is a single piece of information. It doesn’t matter if the values are 1 or 1 million. It’s still the same bit of information. The values going up or down does not increase or decrease the information, it’s still the same piece of information that gives it’s location.

            So, if molecule X starts at 1,3,2 and moves to 105,258,121 the information we have has not increased. The values have. We don’t have more sets of XYZ coordinates, just a larger set of XYZ values.

          19. AhmNee

            Therefore the information need to describe the system is greater in the gaseous situation than in the diamond situation, as stated.

            Again, you’re confusing information with values. With a finite amount of matter, the same amount of information exists in a gaseous state or a solid state. Let me give an example.

            Here are 3 numbers.

            10
            15
            28

            We’ll call this group set A.

            Here are 3 more numbers.

            50
            128
            231

            We’ll call this group set B.

            Which set has more numbers? Answer: Neither. They both have 3. The size of the numbers don’t matter because they’re not the information we’re looking at.

            Lets do another set.

            1,523,429
            5,899,431,228

            We’ll call this set C. Which set has the least amount of data? Answer : C. The numbers are larger, sure. But there are only two of them. Therefor, there is less data, or information in the set.

            So in your examples, because the number values increase is irrelevant to the amount of data or information there is. There is a finite number of coordinates. Solid or gaseous, the number of coordinates for the matter doesn’t change. Their values do but that has nothing to do with the amount of information.

          20. LykeX

            *Note: I know nothing about actual information theory and may be completely off the mark.*

            @AhmNee
            I think you’re missing a key distinctions. It’s not that the values are bigger, it’s that they can be bigger; the potential range is increased. Information, as I understand it, relates to specifying one thing, as opposed to another; of specifying the signal, as opposed to noise.

            A value of 1 when the options are 0 or 1 holds less information than the identical value of 1 if the options are 0 through 9. In the latter case, random guessing will get you a 10% success rate, whereas the former, you have 50%. So, the latter holds more useful information.

            If we compare a three-digit binary number (eight possible variations), a three amino acid codon (64 possible combinations) and a three-letter word (past a thousand real-life words and many more if we include all possible combinations), we see that each of them involved three variables. However, the amount of information carried is obviously different, since the eight binary variations couldn’t possibly be used to encode all the codons, never mind the words.

            The more possible variations there are, the more the “correct” signal differs from random noise and the more information it holds.

          21. corwyn

            So in your examples, because the number values increase is irrelevant to the amount of data or information there is.

            Concatenate all the information into a single number. The longer that number is, the more information you have.

            Your examples then become:

            1) 101528 (17 bits)
            2) 50128231 (27 bits)
            3) 15234295899431228 (54 bits)

            Which has more information? 3. With twice as many bits.

            CDs and DVDs can both be considered to contain one long number, which one has more information?

          22. AhmNee

            Ah! See, I knew I was correct to hold out that I may totally be misunderstanding. I believe I now understand how we were talking past each other. I’m glad I asked though as I don’t think I was the only one who wasn’t understanding.

            So, because the known universe is expanding, the potential dataset is gettting bigger. Thus information does increase with the values because recording those values requires a larger dataset.

            I still think the analogy Corwyn was using was a bit confusing because it appeared to be talking about the relative position an atom can be in instead of expanding the potential dataset. Though I understand what he was getting at now. Adding the excitation of the atoms was an unnecessary complication. I think a volume of compressed gas in a small container vs a large container would have been sufficient. Though I still wouldn’t have gotten the point completely without Luke and Corwyn’s explanations here. Thank you for taking the time, BTW.

            On a side note. This is only true because all evidence points to an expanding universe. In a finite space. The potential dataset would have a finite range, correct? No new information could be introduced.

          23. corwyn

            This is only true because all evidence points to an expanding universe. In a finite space.

            1) No, the second law of thermodynamics holds even in a static universe (the law in fact pre-dates the idea of an expanding universe).

            2) The universe is not expanding into a finite space, if that is what you are saying. Space itself is expanding and taking the stuff in it with it.

            I still think the analogy Corwyn was using was a bit confusing because it appeared to be talking about the relative position an atom can be in instead of expanding the potential dataset.

            The feeling is mutual. :-) I have no idea what you mean by ‘expanding the potential dataset’.

            I am happy we could come to an understanding.

  3. 3
    Mauricio Duque

    8 – “So you are saying that you see no actual value in your life, unless someone gives you one?

    Don’t assume that other people are like you”.

    Yes, i know this doesn’t answer the question, but i always find interesting make this question to religious people: “If your religion teach that the life of people have no value, why the f*** would i make part of it”?

  4. 4
    Matt Gerrans

    Regarding #8, isn’t “objective meaning” an oxymoron?

    More generally, I think a lot of apologists use the word “objective” and “ultimate/ultimately” in a special non-standard way, saying nonsensical things like “torturing babies to death for fun is ultimately objectively wrong.” (which implies that torturing them to death for other reasons is okay). When you delve into their use of these words, it often turns out that what they mean is “universal” or something else (eg. they’ll use the baby quote and say everyone agrees, so it is “objective” and “ultimate.” Of course if you point out that there are some sociopathic nutters like Charles Manson who might not agree, they’ll say that doesn’t count, because he’s a nut).

    1. 4.1
      Thomas

      I think they confuse objective and authoritarian… There is nothing more subjective than an opinion dictated to you by the voice in your head. But the god they believe in would be authoritarian.

    2. 4.2
      EnlightenmentLiberal

      IMHO, they mean a kind of moral realism, like Platonic forms and ideals. Just like matter is a “substance” in our shared reality, “it is wrong to kill babies” is a “substance” of our shared reality. Of course, right here I like to ask them “Could you describe to me what the universe would look like if it wasn’t wrong to kill babies? I can’t think of what would be different. You would still be here saying the same things because the reasons for you saying these things is based on something else.”

      1. Matt Gerrans

        They should also answer this: If an omniscient god exists and babies (and children and adults) are virtually tortured to death by various accidents, natural disasters and drones on pretty much a daily basis, then what is your source of “ultimately objective” morality? That very same god? Oh. Hmm…

  5. 5
    Robert, not Bob

    Same old conflation of the different meanings of “theory”, same old gross misunderstanding of evolution, same old assertions of evidence-free speculation, arguments from ignorance, “meaning of life”… ugh. When it comes to this subject, there [NOT "their", dammit] really is nothing new under the sun. It’s hard to hope that progress has been made when these keep coming up. Of course, some people keep repeating them after they’ve been answered, as if they didn’t hear…

  6. 6
    Matt Gerrans

    Regarding #9, Russell, shouldn’t that be “Yes: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abiogenesis

    Lots of things that occur in the universe (like orderly (for a time) orbits, suns, black holes and every other grouping of particles, including chemical configurations that could lead to life in the right conditions) are all “chance.” Fortunately, the universe is pretty large and there is a lot of material and energy and stuff going on so there are lots of “chances” for things to occur. That means very low probability events (like life, apparently) can and do occur.

    1. 6.1
      Russell Glasser

      No, because when a creationist says “random” they generally mean “completely random”, rather than subject to established behavior of nondirected processes. Probabilistic behaviors don’t match their use of “random.” If I roll a 12 sided die 100 times and get two twelves, they would say “How did those twelves appear? Am I supposed to believe it happened randomly?” To say it was “random” would ignore the fact that the number of twelves is well within the expected range of results.

      1. Matt Gerrans

        Ah, yes, there is definitely randomness mixed with non-randomness (laws of physics); I guess you didn’t want to risk too much nuance. Given the audience (YECs), if you allow for any randomness, they’ll happily jump on the old god-or-random-chance* false dichotomy. Nevertheless, I don’t think there’s any harm in acknowledging that there was a combination of random conditions and events, plus the laws of physics that would lead to the circumstances congenial to abiogenesis.

        * I think they like to use the redundant term “random chance.” To distinguish from non-random chance, or random determinism, I guess. The other funny thing is that they often say in a way that implies that we should be so emotionally distraught by the thought that we should immediately accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior.

    2. 6.2
      LykeX

      This is a very common thing. Theists very often use words in non-standard or variable definitions. Logic, evidence, proof, theory, god, religion, science, good, evil… I’m sure you can come up with many more.

      I’m drifting towards the idea that muddled language in itself is part of the problem. Muddled language leads to muddled thinking because people end up equivocating without even realizing that they’re doing it. A lot of people have, quite simply, not learned how to think a clear thought.

  7. 7
    Frank G. Sterle Jr.

    PREY for the UNANSWERED PRAYER …

    [TEXT REMOVED]

    [Frank, you are welcome to interact with people here, but long copy and paste jobs are not welcome. -Sincerely, the moderator]

    1. 7.1
      SkeptiKarl

      Preying on prayers sounds like natural selection to me.

    2. 7.2
      Monocle Smile

      I’m curious about this one. Typical copypasta full of the usual creationist red herrings and scare tactics? Or something we don’t usually see?

    3. 7.3
      Monocle Smile

      Never mind. Just Google that first line.

      tl;dr version: a long-winded rambling about nothing in particular, ranging from blatant falsehoods (science proves that prayer works) to straight-up crazy talk (demons exist and interfere with our lives daily).

      1. Matt Gerrans

        I read several lines before I couldn’t focus any more. I don’t know why people post long expositions on what they believe with no justification for those beliefs. Why do I care that you believe in some quasi-Christian god, especially when you have even less justification for your belief than a Christian does? At least they have a book written by some bronze age desert dwellers, while yours is just what you believe, just because. Who cares what some internet denizen believes?

        If you have some compelling reasons for that belief, come back and let us know and maybe we’ll join your cult. Otherwise why do you think strangers on the internet care about your particular hodge-podge of superstitious mystical notions?

        1. Monocle Smile

          It’s navel-gazing, typically. This is what happens when a self-important person discovers that no one in real life takes them seriously. They decide that the audience is the problem and just changes audiences without any introspection.

    4. 7.4
      changerofbits

      I’m going to pray that all creationists become rational thinkers. It’s too damn bad prayer doesn’t work.

    5. 7.5
      LykeX

      He posted the same line at Singham’s blog a few days ago. Apparently, it’s an essay that he’s been working on for years.

      Frank, maybe it’s time to give up on the writing career. At the very least, get yourself an editor. You desperately need the help.

  8. 8
    Erwin M.

    2. Yes, if the creator is the god of the bible. And I think everyone should be scared of him.
    3. Yes, it contradicts every experience we have. Every living thing matures and dies. Everything is made up of smaller parts. So a tree and a human should be born, mature and die. And planets and stars should be made of smaller parts that accumulated over time. If you believe that anything was just popped out of nothing, fully mature, then you just believe in magic.
    4. No, because we get plenty of energy from the sun.
    5. Really? Copernicus explained that about 500 years ego.
    6. Because the laws of thermodynamics are not violated by the big bang theory. Do they really think that hundreds of physic scientists do not know the very basic law of thermodynamics?
    11. Because there is zero evidence of a god creator and zero evidence of an alien race.
    14. creationism and the bible are not scientific theories and thus do not belong in the science class.
    15. A scientific theory is testable, observable, and repeatable. Like Newton’s theory of universal attraction (gravitation) is testable, observable, and repeatable so is Darwin’s theory of the origin of species (evolution). Creationism or I.D. is not testable, not observable, and not repeatable, and thus no scientific theory.
    16. Define “new information”. If you mean genes, chromosomes and alleles, then we can observe gene and whole chromosome duplications, and mutations. New kind of smells can evolve by gene duplication and mutation. If a new kind of smell is not “new information” then I don’t know what “new information” is. Also where did lungs came from? Or limbs? Or spines? Or feathers? Because in the fossil record we can see animals without for example lungs, and then later animals with lungs. So clearly new stuff can evolve.
    17. The question is wrong. The question should be:
    “What purpose do you think you are here for if you believe in salvation?”
    Because if there is a “salvation” then this short life on earth serves no purpose. This woman should just wait to die and hope to die early before she could sin and go to hell.
    19. The big bang is a scientific theory. As such it is supported by evidence. No faith is needed.
    20. Because we know the natural laws that govern this world and can create something amazing without a creator.
    21. The big bang was not an explosion of anything.
    22. Trolling.

    1. 8.1
      Marcelo

      Yes, very clever, Erwin, but you couldn’t answer question #1.
      Check mate!

      1. Raymond

        I always laugh when that happens, right before I rip out all my hair in frustration, of course. You lay down all the evidence, explain the model, explain the intricacies of the model, and carefully explain the difference between the model and the observation. Then if you can’t explain why some random event that has nothing to do with the observations, model, or event happens, they cry “checkmate.” Or better yet, if you misspelled a word somewhere, they invalidate the entire argument. Maddening!

  9. 9
    Marcelo

    Just notice the title: “messages to people who BELIEVE in evolution”.

    1. 9.1
      Mauricio Duque

      What’s wrong with the title?

      1. David Hart

        It’s a subtle thing, but what’s wrong with it is that it allows people who espouse creationism to equate their side with ours – they believe in creationism, we believe in evolution – and imply that their reasons are as good as ours.

        In reality, we accept the evidence in favour of the idea that lineages of living things have evolved over time, and we accept that natural selection is the best available explanatory framework for what drives those changes, but this is not a belief in anything like the same sense that creationists believe (i.e. have religious faith) simply because they have an ancient book that says so.

        1. Mauricio Duque

          Serious?

          If you believe something, you accept that as true, it says nothing about the reasons you have to believe it. There’s nothing wrong with the title.

          Come on guys, you two are just nitpicking.

          1. Matt Gerrans

            I think it is more a case of carping or quibbling than nit-picking per se. Just sayin’.

          2. Jasper of Maine

            I think it mostly depends on whether one is fine digressing into a basic epistemic discussion, or would rather just avoid those digressions and keep the topic from derailing because the theist doesn’t know what words mean.

          3. corwyn

            I avoid the word ‘belief’ altogether. We have enough problems with people projecting their own thought patterns onto others. When we mean something different from our disputants by a word, (take ‘theory’ for example) it behooves us to either make that clear or not use the word at all.

        2. Matt Gerrans

          What?! So you don’t recite The Evolutionist’s Creed every morning first thing and every night before bed? Darwin have mercy on your genetic material!

        3. houndentenor

          Exactly. I avoid the word “believe” when answering such a question. I don’t believe in evolution in the same way a Christianist believes the earth is 6,000 years old. Evolution is a process that exists in nature. There is abundant evidence and people who have studied this who should explain it and not me. But I don’t accept any of it on faith. neither does anyone else. Biologists are expected to prove whatever they present to the public from their studies in their field. There is no evidence for what Christianists believe. To equate the two is to pretend that science is the same as religion and that we just choose to believe things for which there is no solid evidence or reason. it’s a false equivalency. It’s also why you’ll see Christianists refer to evolutionary biology as Darwinism as if it were a religious belief and not established science.

  10. 10
    Aaroninmelbourne

    It’s amazing that they don’t realize how much their “questions” are really just dogma in disguise. To tackle a select few:

    2. No I’m not. If such a thing existed, what does “divine” mean, and a “creator” would more likely be a scientist of some kind rather than a magician. Why would that be scary? The Bible’s storybook paints a scary character in this role but it’s got all the hallmarks of fiction so is irrelevant to your “question”.

    5. Busy going through a massive lecture series in astronomy at the moment and this question was answered in-depth. Lots of stuff about photons bouncing off particles, light bending at different angles according to wavelength, the apparent convergence of light through clouds actually being parallel etc. Absolutely fascinating. And yet, no gods turning on red light bulbs.

    7. Noetics is a branch of philosophy? Does this mean your “question” is really an appeal to authority? The science of Psychology makes testable predictions and is thus useful. Sorry, no sale.

    8. Where do you? Seriously, if your deity exists, then “objective” cannot, because absolutely everything would be the subjective opinion of your deity turned into a mirage, including your desire for there to be meaning, and for that meaning to be objective. Scary, isn’t it?

    12. Never heard of an “official proof” before, and I read academic journals as part of my work.

    20. Yes it is amazing. However, “Godidit” takes that amazingness and relegates it to an artificial construct. There’s no qualitative difference between your ideal life (i.e. acting to fulfill a deity’s wishes for their entertainment) and the ‘life’ of a holodeck character on Star Trek or acting as a battery for the machines in The Matrix.

    I’ll stick with life being amazing on its own, without sticking a Bible in places that should be reserved for actual knowledge.

    1. 10.1
      changerofbits

      Yea, if they were actual questions that they honestly have, they could study the explanations that science has. They’re just parroting crap that the creationist “thinkers” have given them as being unanswerable without god.

  11. 11
    gshelley

    The “monkeys” question always intrigues me, possibly it should be apes, but I don’t know enough about classification to now if humans are considered monkeys (ie are apes a subgroup of monkeys). So perhaps it should be “of humans evolved from apes, why are there other ape species)
    I’m still not sure why they think this question makes sense or is a challenge to evolution. It seems that they are either just parroting something they heard elsewhere, without giving it any thought at all, or they have some very odd views about evolution, either
    1) When a species evolves into another species, every member of that species evolves into the new species. There are no subpopulations.
    2) When a species evolves into a new species, any member of that species that hasn’t evolved, dies
    I can’t think of any other way they could think that the question makes any sort of sense, but these possibiities are so ludicrous, so far from what anyone would actually think, that I think it far more likely they have never given the matter any thought at all

    1. 11.1
      Monocle Smile

      Depends on what you mean by “monkey.” Most people have no clue what makes a monkey or an ape. If you consider Haplorhines monkeys, then we’re still technically monkeys.

      1. ChaosS

        I had to look up Haplorhines – they are a larger category (Suborder) than the Simiiformes I mention below that also include Tarsiers. Tarsiers are not considered Simians, but are their own sort of little weird Smegal-looking guys. Wikipedia is a great resource for this sort of thing you can click up and down the branches, I encourage people to look up some of these words.

    2. 11.2
      ChaosS

      You have to go back a few branches to get humans and all the monkeys into the same category, which would be the Infraorder, Simiiformes. Simians include Old World Monkeys, Apes (catarrhines) and New World Monkeys (platyrrhines). Humans are of course Apes (Hominoidea), more specifically, Great Apes (Hominidae).

    3. 11.3
      davidmcnerney

      We’ve all heard the “so how come there are still monkeys” response – and for a long time I thought that it just made no sense as a question (see any of the responses to it – especially than European/American one).

      However, the more I think about it, the problem is not that it doesn’t make sense – but the creationist clearly has some bizarre notion of what evolution it (surprise, surprise). The only rational explanation I can come up with is that the creationist believes that evolution means that an actual individual, minding their own business, suddenly falls to the ground a bit like “An American Werewolf in London” turns into a new species. And that this is caused by some kind of virus or something and it happens to the entire population.

      It’s a bit like saying: “if the there is a virus that turns you into a zombie, how come there are still humans?”

      (Of course, this being the case doesn’t make them any less stupid).

      1. corwyn

        The irony is, of course, that that is precisely the question that evolution was developed to answer. Why is there two species where there could be only one, or why is there such a great diversity of life. An answer to which creationists don’t have, even in their vaunted book of answers. Darwin would likely never have bothered, if any explanation had been present in the bible.

  12. 12
    RandyW

    Speaking of creationists…anybody notice Ken Ham said that the laws of the universe have never changed, that they may have changed, and that they actually have changed at various points in his tussle with Bill Nye? I would have loved for Bill to pin him to the wall with that. /threadhijack

    1. 12.1
      Monocle Smile

      Nye did manage to pin Ham to the wall on several occasions. I was quite taken aback by Nye’s performance.

  13. 13
    RandyW

    The correct responses are as follows:

    You’re a moron. x22

  14. 14
    changerofbits

    Instead of answer the questions, I just tried to translate what they really meant over on PZ’s thread for the same:

    http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2014/02/05/ignorance-proud-and-happy/comment-page-1/#comment-748442

  15. 15
    Kao Valin

    Maybe the take away from this video is that atheism is off putting, elitist, and condescending. Maybe the goal of secularism should be how to bring more to the table rather than how to alienate those who arent already in attendance. Anyone could point out how stupid someone appears among one’s own peers. The real burn would be to reach out to these people and “convert” them. The adversary isnt really the people, it’s the irrational belief system.

    1. 15.1
      Monocle Smile

      Concern troll = you

    2. 15.2
      xxxxxx

      The adversary isnt really the people, it’s the irrational belief system.

      You are just repackaging the trite/superficial Christian ideal of “hate the sin not the sinner.” You seem to think one can somehow divide a person from the very belief system upon which they define themselves, their sense of reality, and the interplay between the two. We aren’t talking about a superficial idea one may hold — like thinking paisley is a hip pattern choice to have in a three-piece suit. You are being entirely naive to suggest that one can criticize a person’s belief system without simultaneously criticizing the person who holds that view. Its a bit like calling a person evil to the core, but then justifying your comment by saying “I am not critisizing you, I am just critisizing the way you behave.” People and their belief systems, irrational or not, come as a package deal. You cannot oppose a persons belief system without actually opposing the person. To change one will necessitate significant changes in the other, by definition of what it means to be “a person” or “a belief system.”

  16. 16
    corwyn

    I have some questions in return:

    1. Which version of the bible is the inerrant one?

    2. What have you got against monkeys? Evolution says we come from apes more recently, and something like a shrew, reptiles, fish, less recently, all the way back to single celled creatures. Why not ask about them instead? Why is it always monkeys?

    3. Why do you seem to want someone else to determine what your ‘purpose’ is? Why not decide for yourself?

    4. Why do you want to think that a ‘creator’ created things with built-in lies, just to confuse us?

    1. 16.1
      corwyn

      Thought of another one:

      5. Is or is not slavery part of the objective morality that you get from the bible?

      1. Deesse23

        Well, yesterday i watched (on youtube) a debat of Matt D. with a apologist. Mattasked him “does or does not the bible ENDORSE slavery?”

        The answer: “the bible REGULATES slavery…..”

        Matt rolled his eyes, audience laughed…..but the guy was 100% honest about his quote, and to be honest i found that quite disturbing (and disgusting). Because the SAME guy seemed to be disgusted by Matt confirming that humans have (humanist view) no inherent value (= given by celestial dictator) but we give human (life) a value ourselves. Christian morality my a$$.

        So if i was you i wouldnt put much hope in your question, any *true christian* will be able to easily dance around that topic, without suffering the slightest cognitive dissonance..

        1. corwyn

          My question wasn’t directed at slavery, but rather at objective morality.

          If I can get them to actually hear the question, they will have to think about which is the ‘correct’ response. Not that I have much hope of more than 1 in a 1000, actually hearing the question. My life is full of such slim hopes for minor improvements.

          1. John Nugent

            My favorite that I have gotten, related of course, is that the Bible actually doesn’t condone slavery, but since the people had slaves anyway, then Moses (suddenly, the Bible wasn’t completely the Word of God – but just temporarily, of course, on the confines of the debate) had to regulate it, himself.

            It’s either that or “That’s not in MY Bible.” Show them the passage, and then “I don’t know where you’re getting your Theology from.” Show them the passage again… “You must be taking it out of context…” Show them the entire passage in context. “That’s not in MY Bible.”

    2. 16.2
      changerofbits

      My favorite:

      Where did god come from?

      Some others:

      Who created the devil?

      Why do children unnecessarily suffer?

      If Adam and Eve are god’s perfect creation, why did they do something imperfect?

      Why did god need to kill himself to save us?

      Why did god create Hitler?

  17. 17
    sonwinks

    Wow… The level of ignorance is truly mind boggling!!…
    Sun rising…. I mean ….really???
    Wow!

  18. 18
    M.Atti

    “Why have we found only 1 “Lucy”, when we have found more than 1 of everything else?”

    I do understand that he’s probably talking about Australopithecus afarensises (very likely not the correct plural form), but I can’t shake away the feeling that he’s actually talking about that one fossil, as “why don’t we have more fossils named Lucy?” On that the answer would be “Because scientests usually don’t use the same name on multiple individuals, for clear reasons, and that one fossil was already name Lucy.”

    P.S. And yes, of course we have more than Australopithecus afarensis fossils from one individual.

  19. 19
    hoary puccoon

    About the monkeys–

    There is no internal drive in creatures to evolve. As we should know from our own experience as animals, we only have an instinct to survive and a drive to reproduce. If the selection pressures on our offspring aren’t much different from those on us and our ancestors, our line will stay pretty much the same. If our descendants are put under radically different selection pressures, though, they will either change a lot or go extinct.

    Modern monkeys probably look pretty much like our common ancestor because they stayed in the treetops, for which they are beautifully adapted. So there was no pressure to change radically. Our line, however, got forced down from the trees– probably by climate change– and managed to evolve adaptions to the new environment fast enough to avoid going extinct. So we look less like our common ancestor with monkeys than modern monkeys do.

    We are related to a lot of animals that probably look similar to our common ancestors. Our common ancestor with fish probably looked like a fish; our common ancestor with worms probably looked like a worm; and our common ancestor with shrews probably looked like a shrew.

    On the other hand, our common ancestor with whales also probably looked like a shrew. It’s just that the ancestors of us and the whales ended up in new environments where unusual mutations got selected for instead of selected out, while the shrews went on scurrying around in the undergrowth just as their ancestors had.

    Creationists keep expecting evolution to have a plan and a system that it just doesn’t have. Some lineages change very little, some change a lot, and some go extinct. There’s no one rule for every line.

  20. 20
    soul_biscuit

    Not all Americans are descended from Europeans. Every time I see this example used, it seems to rest on the unconscious assumption that we’re all Caucasian. It would work just as well if phrased like this: “If Americans come from Asians, why are there still Asians?”

    1. 20.1
      Matt Gerrans

      It is also incorrect, because humans didn’t come from monkeys; they both came from the same ancestor. So we need a better analogy. How about this: “if humans and monkeys evolved from the same ancestor, how come that chimpanzee–human last common ancestor is still here?” Answer: it isn’t. QED.

      1. Matt Gerrans

        Oops, I screwed up and didn’t give an analogy, just a more correct formulation of the original question.

        How about this: if me and my sister both came from the same set of great grandparents, why aren’t they here any more? Hmm… not quite close enough.

        I think the problem is that it is a stupid question whether or not the original ancestor still survives or not. In fact, the whole idea of species is kind of vague and is really a snapshot of the general characteristics of a set of animals in a particular time frame (and often locale). We make up somewhat arbitrary, but useful rules about defines a species so that we can categorizes things. This makes it easier for us to discuss and think about these things, but really in nature, there is no well-defined animal which is what we have named it. All creatures are slightly different than one another and their parents and that variation is non-stop, continuing across time and geography. Even with animals like crocodiles and dragonflies that haven’t changed much in millions of years, if you picked a sample animal today and compared it to one from a few million years ago, or one on another continent, they are not exactly the same.

        Really, whether the common ancestor (or a closer variation of it) still exists is irrelevant. With dog breeding, you could start out with one particular breed and separate it into three sets, one where you do nothing one where you breed for long ears, the other for short legs. After several generations, you’d have the original plus the other two variants. Alternatively, you could have not kept the first group going, but bred for the long ears and short legs, in which case you’d have none that looked like the original. Likewise, whether something like the original is just a matter of circumstances (in nature, it would be some sort of geographical separation into different niches, in breeding, it is just the breeders choices).

        1. julial

          I find it painfully obvious that creationist understanding of the modern synthesis is simplistic and false. That they may be benignly so misinformed I find highly implausible. First is accident, second may be coincidence but the third is enemy action.
          In light of your comment describing the subtlety of understanding of common ancestry, speciation and cladistics, I answer the common creationist assertion that, “there is a universal lack of transitional forms,” as follows:
          I am not identical to my parents. Nor am I identical to my offspring. I am one of several billions of transitional forms currently living.
          Checkmate theist.

      2. soul_biscuit

        I think that if I were to encounter the most recent ancestor we share with, say, the Old World monkeys, I would have a difficult time thinking of anything to call it aside from a monkey. The statement “humans evolved from monkeys,” while imprecise, is not obviously incorrect to me.

        Of course, when creationists ask the question, they probably mean “if humans evolved from modern monkeys . . . .” Such is the depth of their understanding of evolution.

        1. Matzo Ball Soup

          Aron Ra gave a talk at some point (I saw it on Youtube recently) arguing that since the only taxa that it makes any biological sense to talk about are monophyletic, it’s correct to say that we do have ancestors that were monkeys (and that we still are monkeys).

      3. Jasper of Maine

        It is also incorrect, because humans didn’t come from monkeys; they both came from the same ancestor.

        It doesn’t help that they used a broad, loosely-defined term “monkey”.

        If I were to ask, “If we came from mammals, why are there still mammals”, that would be absurd too… specially when you consider that we’re still mammals and primates.

      4. AhmNee

        Don’t forget the bonobos. Everyone always forgets the bonobos.

    2. 20.2
      julial

      I am occasionally faced with a multiple choice question on official forms regarding ‘race.’
      Although my skin tone is chiefly pinkish beige and my most recent ancestors hail from northern Europe, the British Isles and Scandinavia, I find it amusing to answer African-American.
      After all, if you go back far enough, aren’t we all? At least all us Americans.
      If my government chooses to base its actions on such a superficial definition of worthiness as skin color, they deserve to receive unexpected answers.

      1. soul_biscuit

        ” . . . I find it amusing to answer African-American. After all, if you go back far enough, aren’t we all?

        No, actually, we are not. “African American” has a specific meaning. It refers to citizens (or permanent residents?) of the United States who trace their immediate ancestry to Africa. By contrast, “Caucasian” refers (generally) to someone who traces her immediate ancestry to Northern Europe. Hence, not African American. Your casual willingness to conflate the two based on the fact that all humans can trace their distant biological origin to Africa suggests to me a failure to recognize very real inequities in the present. (And inequities which other people of color face as well.)

        You suggest that official forms asking for race among other demographic information demonstrate that the government bases policy on race as a “superficial definition of worthiness.” I suggest that you are only able to refer to race as “superficial” because you don’t experience negative differential treatment on account of your race. In reality, on average, people of different races experience a variety of inequities on that basis in the United States. The government might just have a legitimate interest in keeping track of the population’s racial makeup in order to measure those inequalities. By fudging the data, you’re frustrating that interest. Congratulations.

        By pretending that there are no meaningful differences between white people and people of color, you’re doing the same thing that Guy P. Harrison’s example does: erasing people of color.

        1. corwyn

          Please define ‘immediate ancestry’.

          For example is Charlize Theron an African American? Why or why not?

          1. AhmNee

            I see what you did there.

          2. soul_biscuit

            Racial categories depend more on social conventions than anything concrete. Richard Dawkins wrote an excellent chapter in The Ancestor’s Tale on the topic. “African American,” really, means an American who is a black person. Charlize Theron is not African American because she is a white person. These categories roughly correspond to ancestry in Europe and Africa, but not entirely, because how a society recognizes someone as “black” or “white” (or as belonging to another race) is culturally driven and changes over time.

            My definitions in #20 were clumsy, thanks for pointing that out.

          3. soul_biscuit

            And the definitions I’m referring to were in my reply to 20.2, not in 20. Need to preview.

          4. corwyn

            really, means an American who is a black person.

            And how do you define ‘black person’ Is this an ancestral thing as well, or is it solely dependent on actual skin color? If the former what is the dividing line? 1/16 as it used to be? 1/2? If the latter, what pigmentation level is the line at?

          5. Muz

            There’s a whole ‘caste’, I guess, of white people in West Virginia (I think) who are considered ‘black’ thanks to some mixed heritage from a couple of hundred years gone.
            I doubt the NAACP recognises them as such.

            This is a tangent really. It’s just fascinating though. I think we all realise we’re dealing with fuzzy arbitrary lines drawn where perhaps they should not. But history hasn’t quite caught up with the biological humanism we actually see.

          6. soul_biscuit

            I think we all realise we’re dealing with fuzzy arbitrary lines drawn where perhaps they should not.

            That is pretty much what I was getting at. Races are not “real” in that they have no biological significance, but they are very much “real” in that people of different races all too often experience the world in very different ways.

        2. Tawn

          “By pretending that there are no meaningful differences between white people and people of color, you’re doing the same thing that Guy P. Harrison’s example does: erasing people of color.”

          But shouldn’t this be the ultimate goal of racial equality? That the colour of someone’s skin is almost totally irrelevant, in much the same way as we treat people according to their hair or eye colour?

          Whilst Governments may have the best interests of minority groups at heart, I can’t help feeling that every time we remind people that they belong to a different ethnicity, we prevent true equality from ever being fully realised.

          Not to mention of course that grouping people according to ethnicity is a tricky affair when considering people of so called mixed descent.

          In any case what action can a Government take if their statistics show there is inequality? Positive discrimination is every bit as wrong (if not anywhere nearly so terrible) as discrimination. Shouldn’t they instead just promote equality for all and try to erase these divisive arbitrary boundaries?

          1. Jacob Schmidt

            But shouldn’t this be the ultimate goal of racial equality? That the colour of someone’s skin is almost totally irrelevant, in much the same way as we treat people according to their hair or eye colour?

            Whilst Governments may have the best interests of minority groups at heart, I can’t help feeling that every time we remind people that they belong to a different ethnicity, we prevent true equality from ever being fully realised.

            Ethnic minorities do face problems white people don’t, on the whole. Pretending that this isn’t the case doesn’t help anything, and just erases the problem from the public mindset. While it may be the ultimate goal to make race irrelevant, race is currently quite relevant, and often in destructive ways.

            Positive discrimination is every bit as wrong (if not anywhere nearly so terrible) as discrimination. Shouldn’t they instead just promote equality for all and try to erase these divisive arbitrary boundaries?

            How does one promote equality without working to dismantle existing inequality?

          2. Tawn

            Well, countering negative inequality with positive inequality is not the solution. Positive discrimination does not dismantle inequality. It just tries to swing the pendulum the other way and winds up giving the racists/sexists/homophobes/xenophobes/whatever a reason to be dissatisfied. In other words it creates or reinforces division.

            I do agree that minorities face problems others don’t and I am NOT advocating that we pretend this is not happening.

            I don’t see how collecting dubious statistics on ethnic distributions really helps. All you can do is punish / ban individual examples of discriminatory behaviour, enforce laws that treat all equally and promote equality in everyday life. There is no quick solution to the ingrained discriminatory attitudes people harbour.

            Of course as you can see from my spelling, I am in Europe, where the differences between blacks and whites are far less pronounced than in parts of America. So what do I know?

        3. corwyn

          but they are very much “real” in that people of different races all too often experience the world in very different ways.

          This makes it sound like you are defending racists policies, *because* people are discriminated against.

          The fact that some people are treated badly because of some *wrong* concept is NOT a reason to enshrine that very concept in government bureaucracy. It is a reason to get rid of it, perhaps by pointing out the absurdity of it.

          1. Tawn

            Well said corwyn. In other words, the fact that racism exists is not a good reason to try to categorise people and put them into largely arbitrary boxes (since the only meaningful difference between a black and white person is the way they are treated).
            The fact that thousands of forms and documents repeats this mistake, only serves to make a racists think they actually have valid reasons for treating them different. It reinforced the false idea that black and white people are genetically very different.
            This is a vicious cycle and the only way out is like you say, pointing out the absurdity of trying to categorise people in this way in the first place.

    3. 20.3
      Matzo Ball Soup

      “If French comes from Latin, why do people speak Spanish?” :D

  21. 21
    Simon Firth

    There’s a very definite possibility that you’re over-thinking this…. It’s a flippant answer to a stupid question.

    Not everything needs to be examined to the nth degree.

    Technically it’s not accurate, but it makes people think – the technically accurate answer loses the intended audience half-way through.

    1. 21.1
      soul_biscuit

      To what are you replying here, Simon Firth?

      1. Simon Firth

        hmm – 20.1 – sorry – tablet’s aren’t reliable ways to get your message across….

        1. Matt Gerrans

          Table’s what?

          1. Simon Firth

            Tablet’s. If your schtick is pedantry, at least try to be accurate.

            ….this is why we need more theists on here.

            Without an easy target we snipe at each other…

        2. bigwhale

          You don’t need an apostrophe to pluralize a word like “tablets”. You are implying a possesive, like “the tablet’s case”.

          1. Simon Firth

            I am entirely aware of the error. It serves to illustrate my point about the reliability of communicating via tablets quite well…

            A tablet, however, is not a table as queried by the original stickler…

            Aaanywhoo, those creationists, eh? ;)

  22. 22
    Matt Gerrans

    It is pretty funny that even religious nutters like Pat Robertson agree that Ken Ham is a clown.

    http://dailyglobe.com/50669/pat-robertson-slams-ken-ham-responds-facebook/

    Also funny how they both accuse the other of doing the wrong thing to promote the Truth of Christianity. Too bad neither one of them has access to any way to prove their point of view is the correct one. If only they could use things like evidence and the rational evaluation of it. Oh well, grab some popcorn and watch the show!

    1. 22.1
      Simon Firth

      Ken Ham quote mined his opponent in his first presentation – holy (wholly) crap…

  23. 23
    Matt Gerrans

    Having thought about this a moment longer (and having had a couple glasses of wine), it occurs to me that what’s needed here is a bit more empathy. It is clear that this is what these people think will be the response to their brilliant “rhetorical” questions:

    1. OMG! I never thought of that! Now it is all so clear to me! As of this moment, I accept Jesus Christ as my Risen Lord and Savior! Thank you for saving my soul! Praise the Lord!
    2. OMG! I never thought of that! Now it is all so clear to me! As of this moment, I accept Jesus Christ as my Risen Lord and Savior! Thank you for saving my soul! Praise the Lord!
    3. OMG! I never thought of that! Now it is all so clear to me! As of this moment, I accept Jesus Christ as my Risen Lord and Savior! Thank you for saving my soul! Praise the Lord!
    4. OMG! I never thought of that! Now it is all so clear to me! As of this moment, I accept Jesus Christ as my Risen Lord and Savior! Thank you for saving my soul! Praise the Lord!
    5. OMG! I never thought of that! Now it is all so clear to me! As of this moment, I accept Jesus Christ as my Risen Lord and Savior! Thank you for saving my soul! Praise the Lord!
    6. OMG! I never thought of that! Now it is all so clear to me! As of this moment, I accept Jesus Christ as my Risen Lord and Savior! Thank you for saving my soul! Praise the Lord!
    7. OMG! I never thought of that! Now it is all so clear to me! As of this moment, I accept Jesus Christ as my Risen Lord and Savior! Thank you for saving my soul! Praise the Lord!
    8. OMG! I never thought of that! Now it is all so clear to me! As of this moment, I accept Jesus Christ as my Risen Lord and Savior! Thank you for saving my soul! Praise the Lord!
    9. OMG! I never thought of that! Now it is all so clear to me! As of this moment, I accept Jesus Christ as my Risen Lord and Savior! Thank you for saving my soul! Praise the Lord!
    10. OMG! I never thought of that! Now it is all so clear to me! As of this moment, I accept Jesus Christ as my Risen Lord and Savior! Thank you for saving my soul! Praise the Lord!
    11. OMG! I never thought of that! Now it is all so clear to me! As of this moment, I accept Jesus Christ as my Risen Lord and Savior! Thank you for saving my soul! Praise the Lord!
    12. OMG! I never thought of that! Now it is all so clear to me! As of this moment, I accept Jesus Christ as my Risen Lord and Savior! Thank you for saving my soul! Praise the Lord!
    13. OMG! I never thought of that! Now it is all so clear to me! As of this moment, I accept Jesus Christ as my Risen Lord and Savior! Thank you for saving my soul! Praise the Lord!
    14. OMG! I never thought of that! Now it is all so clear to me! As of this moment, I accept Jesus Christ as my Risen Lord and Savior! Thank you for saving my soul! Praise the Lord!
    15. OMG! I never thought of that! Now it is all so clear to me! As of this moment, I accept Jesus Christ as my Risen Lord and Savior! Thank you for saving my soul! Praise the Lord!
    16. OMG! I never thought of that! Now it is all so clear to me! As of this moment, I accept Jesus Christ as my Risen Lord and Savior! Thank you for saving my soul! Praise the Lord!
    17. OMG! I never thought of that! Now it is all so clear to me! As of this moment, I accept Jesus Christ as my Risen Lord and Savior! Thank you for saving my soul! Praise the Lord!
    18. OMG! I never thought of that! Now it is all so clear to me! As of this moment, I accept Jesus Christ as my Risen Lord and Savior! Thank you for saving my soul! Praise the Lord!
    19. OMG! I never thought of that! Now it is all so clear to me! As of this moment, I accept Jesus Christ as my Risen Lord and Savior! Thank you for saving my soul! Praise the Lord!
    20. OMG! I never thought of that! Now it is all so clear to me! As of this moment, I accept Jesus Christ as my Risen Lord and Savior! Thank you for saving my soul! Praise the Lord!
    21. OMG! I never thought of that! Now it is all so clear to me! As of this moment, I accept Jesus Christ as my Risen Lord and Savior! Thank you for saving my soul! Praise the Lord!
    22. OMG! I never thought of that! Now it is all so clear to me! As of this moment, I accept Jesus Christ as my Risen Lord and Savior! Thank you for saving my soul! Praise the Lord!

    I wonder what they would think if the “devout” atheist responded in this way. Would they detect the sarcasm or think that they’ve saved a soul? I suspect the former.

    1. 23.1
      AhmNee

      Your gratuitous use of copy/paste burns my eyes.

      Not that I disagree with the point being made.

      1. Matt Gerrans

        Didn’t take any copy/paste, just some Python, but point taken. It would probably sufficient to get the point across with:

        1. OMG! I never thought of that! Now it is all so clear to me! As of this moment, I accept Jesus Christ as my Risen Lord and Savior! Thank you for saving my soul! Praise the Lord!

        . . .

        22. OMG! I never thought of that! Now it is all so clear to me! As of this moment, I accept Jesus Christ as my Risen Lord and Savior! Thank you for saving my soul! Praise the Lord!

        The idea that theists have is that atheists have never really thought about the whole topic, whereas it is really the opposite case.

        1. oCaptainmyCaptain

          You can use Python in this forum??

        2. AhmNee

          Pythons? You’re too reasonable to be a snake handler, Matt. ;)

  24. 24
    Callinectes

    Lucy is a specimen of Australopithecus afarensis, and very far from being the only one we have.

    1. 24.1
      Athywren

      Sure, but she’s the only Lucy we have. None of the other Australopithecus afarensises are Lucy, are they? I think they’re wondering why we haven’t cloned her.

  25. 25
    Timmy

    #14

    The issue with this is that Evolution is fact. It’s only a theory in the same way that gravity is a theory. On in the same damn hand, Creationism isn’t a theory. A theory still needs evidence, and there is no evidence (not real evidence at least). It’s a story some guy wrote in a book a while ago that some people have oddly read as true.

    #15

    This one is very upsetting… Science is literally the opposite of EVERYTHING she thinks it is.

    Science contains theories, but is by no means a theory itself, that doesn’t even make sense, and it most definitely is testable, observable and repeatable. Those are three of the most important parts of what makes science what it is!

    #20

    Not just easily, the formation of the earth, and the origins of life are part of what make it so amazing!!! I can create/think of a drawing, does that make the drawing amazing? (you better damn well believe it won’t :P it’ll be terrible)

  26. 26
    Adam W

    For #22, I like to use this line:

    If Adam was made out of dust, then why is there still dust?

    :)

    1. 26.1
      Deesse23

      Somebody award this man a nobel price!

      1. Matt Gerrans

        Yeah, that’s great!

        I remember there used to be questions about why men don’t have a missing rib too (there probably still are on Christian web sites). I guess the morons positing that question were combining this nutty idea with Lamarckian evolution, so come up with even dumber ideas about how the world works.

  27. 27
    Adam W

    Someone took the time to photo-shop out the questions, rephrasing them to say what the creationists are actually saying: http://imgur.com/a/PbBTk
    (The imgur.com link is right-justifying, for some reason….)

  28. 28
    Athywren

    From now on, I’m just going to refer to the sun as “the dazzling entropy pump that lives above the clouds.”

  1. 29
    There are stupid questions | Canadian Atheist

    […] it happened!). Numerous atheists have answered them already, of course, and responses range from pithy to probably pointlessly […]

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