“A Greater Fool Than The Atheist”


There’s fools and then, there’s greater fools
Like those who went to fancy schools
For silly stuff like Kepler’s rules
And other science stuff

The planetary hows and whys
Show God at work—that’s no surprise.
You need to back your case with lies?
The bible is enough

So my aggregator threw a site at me I had not seen before. It put me in mind of arguments I have not heard since grade school (about which, more below). It began by slapping two groups with the same bible verse (how economical!):

In the Bible, Psalm 53:1 says “The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. Corrupt are they, and have done abominable iniquity: there is none that doeth good”. We last spoke of the willful blindness of the atheist, who refuses to acknowledge his Creator. They believe in the ridiculous concept of evolution, which has no explanation for the beginning of life, and how fruits, nuts, vegetables, vitamins, minerals, and herbs for our health were provided. As foolish as the atheist may be, there is a group that’s even more foolish: they are the Muslims.

So, yeah, we’re fools. This guy is gonna teach us.

Let’s start with the Moon, for it is what the Muslims worship. It is the largest relative satellite in the solar system. From when the renewed Moon (lower crescent) is sighted in Jerusalem, to the next sighting of the renewed Moon, is about 29.53+ days. During the months of October to March, the Moon is closer to the Earth, and has a shorter (smaller) orbit around the Earth.
During April to October, the Moon is farther away from the Earth, and has a longer (larger) orbit around the Earth, and increases its velocity. It does this in order to remain in sync with the Earth’s distance from the Sun,maintaining its apparent equal size with the Sun, as viewed from Earth. The Atheist thinks that happened by random chance. [italics mine]

No, the atheist thinks what you just said is not true. It reminds me a bit of a bit of God-evidence I heard as a small child. We could trust the Genesis account of Eden, you know, because of biology; it is a medical fact that men have one fewer ribs than do women.

Now, this was easily checkable, thought not so much for a pre-internet kid. Encyclopedias did not actually outright say that men and women had the same number of ribs (because their writers evidently never considered the possibility that someone might actually need that bit of information spelled out for them!), and the claim was verified by at least one teacher (who, in hindsight, I can see was more religious than scientific in background)

And Mr. Cummings’s claim about the moon’s orbit is likewise wrong. Not only is it wrong, it actually contradicts observations that had been made since well before Christianity began. The moon and stars were important; they were carefully observed. The moon was larger and smaller, the planets moved, sometimes apparently slowing down and speeding up, even moving backward (as observed by us, anyway–thus “mars in retrograde”–a claim that the moon goes faster the further it is from earth would not be made based on the observed moon. Rather, the attempt to have the moon prove God’s existence has actually forced us (well, Mr. Cummings, anyway) to actively ignore evidence and make shit up.

My comment there, just in case…

Mr Cummings, you might want to check your science.

Any satellite (including the moon) in its elliptical orbit does not move faster when it is at its apogee (furthest distance); its fastest speed is actually at its perigee (closest distance). This is, you will note, the exact opposite of what you claim here. So… which is wrong? Science, or you?

You might also want to take a look at the beautiful phenomenon of the annular eclipse, in comparison to the total eclipse. The sun and moon do not, as you claim, maintain an apparent equal size, but vary enough for a spectacular variation in eclipses, depending on whether the sun or the moon appears larger (for annular and total eclipses, respectively). Again, you will note, this is the exact opposite of what you have written here. Will you change your claim? Or will you deny the evidence of the very sun and moon themselves?

If I cannot trust you to speak the truth about these simple, obvious things, why on earth should I trust you on anything else? For instance, it is easy to check your “I have been told” story about Obama (http://www.snopes.com/politics/obama/weddingring.asp). If you are so gullible when the evidence is easy to see, is there something about 2,000-year-old information that somehow makes it *more* reliable?

If I sound harsh or impolite here, please understand, I am responding to a post that A) calls me a fool, and B) does so based on clearly false information, which C) is very easily checkable.

The title of the post is The Truth of Genesis: The Muslim Is A Greater Fool Than The Atheist – Part 1B No, really.

Two days late to be an April Fools Day joke.

Comments

  1. James Guillory says

    I posted the following to that blog (I’m putting the full text here just in case Mr. Cummings deletes the comments):
    “You need to check your source of information on the Moon. The mistakes you make in describing it weaken your whole argument. The moon travels fastest when it is closer to the Earth, and slower when farther away. This speed change is described by Kepler’s Laws of planetary motion, and has been repeatedly verified by observation. While Kepler was a religious man, his scientific laws are not; they are very basic scientific laws accepted by all astronomers regardless of religious affiliation.

    Also, you are incorrect about the relative size of the moon to sun always being the same. The relative size changes as the moon moves closer or farther from the Earth. This is just simple geometry, and is also easily verified by observation of solar eclipses.

    Christian, Muslim, atheist, Buddhist, Jewish (and every other flavor of astronomer) accept these laws because the laws of nature do not depend on religious faith. They depend on observing nature.”

    Was I polite enough? Or too polite?

    Jim

  2. says

    Let’s start with the Moon, for it is what the Muslims worship.

    That’s right! That’s why Muslims are not allowed any sort of depiction of the Moon and issue fatwas when some cartoonists do so . . . oh, wait.

  3. justsomeguy says

    “The fool hath said in his heart, there is no god”

    The biblical literalist in me is very curious as to how one’s heart can be used to speak. I was under the impression that hearts were just pumps for blood.

  4. david says

    Any satellite (including the moon) in its elliptical orbit does not move faster when it is at its apogee (furthest distance); its fastest speed is actually at its perigee (closest distance). This is, you will note, the exact opposite of what you claim here.

    Actually, not the exact opposite. If he had said the moon moves fastest at apogee he would have been wrong, but at least the structure of his thought would have been reasonable. What he actually wrote is not just wrong, but ridiculous. Here’s what he actually wrote:

    During April to October, the Moon is farther away from the Earth, and has a longer (larger) orbit around the Earth, and increases its velocity.

    See, he thinks the moon’s orbit increases its size for half the year, and then I suppose magically shrinks its orbit back down again. That’s a pretty silly claim; as the philosopher says “not even wrong.”

  5. John Horstman says

    They believe in the ridiculous concept of evolution, which has no explanation for the beginning of life, and how fruits, nuts, vegetables, vitamins, minerals, and herbs for our health were provided.

    I’d also like to point out that evolution very much *DOES* explain this, by way of what is functionally a more general formulation of the anthropic principle: any living thing that exists must necessarily have evolved in such a way that it can make use of the resources available for its survival, else it would have evolved differently or died off. This is, in fact, what the very concept of natural selection is all about. Evolution itself does not, technically, explain the origins of life, but the same principles driving evolution do suggest why, on a long enough time frame across a sufficient number of planets, the emergence of self-replicating molecules (and thus life) is nearly inevitable. Matter invariably favors low-energy configurations, and in an environment with a net input of energy (like a planet orbiting a star), this inevitably leads to localized energy gradients. Google “abiogenesis proton gradient” for the rest of the story on how life probably began.

  6. Cuttlefish says

    David @#6– if words have actual meanings, you are right. :-D

    I took that as a way of trying to describe the orbit as an ellipse rather than a circle. I sincerely hope that is what he actually *meant*.

  7. Cuttlefish says

    John @#8–

    my heart keeps saying “A, A, A, A, A, A, A, A,….”*

    Clearly the Atheist “A”, so the bible actually predicted Morse code!

    *dot dash, dot dash, dot dash….

  8. Al Dente says

    But I tell you that anyone who is angry with a brother or sister will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to a brother or sister, ‘Raca,’ is answerable to the court. And anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell. Matt 5:22 NIV

  9. Ed says

    I think it’s kind funny (as well as infuriating) when people quote that “fool has said there is no god” quote. The text offers no evidence or logical arguement for this position. At least the flawed anti-atheism arguments from Plato, Voltaire, Paley, Pascal, Chesterton, Lewis, etc were attempts at reasonable discourse by intelligent if misguided people.

    Nor is the quote from the Psalms particularly catchy, witty or clever. If it was some kind of snappy putdown worthy of Oscar Wilde or Winston Churchill, I’d understand theists` fondness for it and their sense that it gives their case some kind of strength. But dispite the soaring rhetorical power of many parts is the Psalms, this line is banal and empty.

    So we have no explanation as to why we are to be considered fools, nor is our supposed foolishness mocked in any interesting or original manner.

    And Muslims don’t worship the moon any more than Christians worship crosses or lambs. The fool has said in his heart and unfortunately out loud as well that because the moon is a symbol of Islam, then Allah must actually BE the moon.

  10. Randomfactor says

    When folks quote that “fool hath said in his heart” line at me, I generally respond “the wise man sayeth it in the public square.”

  11. gardengnome says

    Methinks it is pointless to talk to this idiot about elliptic orbits, perigees and apogees. He actually seems to believe the Moon changes its orbit – just to maintain an apparent equal size with the Sun. I love it!

  12. Blanche Quizno says

    There is a bible from 1763 called the “Fools Bible” – in which that passage reads, “The fool hath said in his heart there IS a God”! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bible_errata

    @ 8 John – great information.

    @ 11 Al – and thus we read that the supposed Jesus is destined for hell fire. Or at the very least caught red-handed in “Do as I say, not as I do.”

  13. Cuttlefish says

    All copies ordered destroyed… I wonder what one would fetch today. I don’t know that I would sell it if I had it, though. Bit of a pack rat, i am…

  14. says

    Someone quotes, “The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God.”

    At that point I pipe up and say, “The wise man says it out loud.”

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