Aug 23 2010

Atheist Meme of the Day: Hypothetically Possible /= Plausible

Scarlet letter Today’s Atheist Meme of the Day. Pass this on; or don’t; or edit it as you see fit; or make up your own. Enjoy!

An idea can be hypothetically possible and still be wildly implausible. Including religious ideas. “You can’t disprove it with 100% certainty” is a terrible argument for God: without good evidence to support it, the God hypothesis is no more plausible than the hypothesis of unicorns, fairies, or Zeus. Pass it on: if we say it enough times to enough people, it may get across.


  1. 1

    I don’t usually respond, because I don’t have anything to add, but thanks for your memes of the day. They’re worthwhile.
    Just a little note: You can get the ≠ symbol with “≠”.

  2. 2

    Eclectic, unfortunately that doesn’t work on some of the more poorly designed browsers or operating systems. For example, on the system I’m browsing from right now, your sentence looks like:
    You can get the <cat barfed up a lego> symbol with “&ne;”.

  3. 3

    Arrgh, actually, that’s typepad’s fault. It has nothing whatsoever to do with your browser. It’s expanding my HTML into UTF-8 input, and converting Latin-1 to UTF-8. The not-equal symbol is U+2260 (let’s try: ≠ or decimal ≠), which is binary 10001001100000, which is broken into 6-bit parts for UTF-8 encoding as 10 001001 100000, and UTF-8 encoded as 11100010 10001001 10100000, or e2 89 a0.
    The web server could have just left my $#%#@$ entity alone, or converted it to Unicode, but it did the latter and then did some more!
    Typepad is then UTF-8 encoding those bytes as if they were latin-1, turning e2 into 11000011 10100010 (c3 a2), 89 into 11000010 10001001 (c2 89), and a0 into “&nbsp;”. Which, if you look at a hex dump of the raw HTML, is exactly what you get.

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