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Apr 12 2012

Melbourne Day Two

The day is off to an awful start. Internet access in the hotel is only intermittent, and it’s only occasionally that I can get on; and then this morning my laptop plays prima donna and dies, repeatedly, with ugly lock-ups and horribly slow performance. I may be restricted to blogging by iPad all weekend, which is slower and clumsier.

The day will get better. Mary has plans for us. We’re going out to see the sights this morning and afternoon, so she’s totally in charge. She keeps talking about flowers and trees and birds, though, and not a word about Cephalopoda or Insecta, so it might be a little weird. I’ll try to cope.

Then, 4:00 to 6ish, any pharyngula people in the vicinity ought to converge on the South Wharf Hilton Bah for some ‘Strine beeah. The Global Atheist Convention commences at 6:15 with a cocktail party, and then…chaos reigns!

133 comments

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  1. 1
    A. R

    There are some great cephalopods in Australia PZ take advantage!

  2. 2
    Doug Little

    There are some great cephalopods in Australia PZ take advantage!

    Don’t get too close to the one with the blue rings.

  3. 3
    Kylie Sturgess

    Try the business centre, I’m blogging from there right now. See you about tonight!
    http://freethoughtblogs.com/tokenskeptic/2012/04/13/quick-unconventional-atheistcon-update-for-today/

  4. 4
    Inaji

    PZ:

    She keeps talking about flowers and trees and birds, though, and not a word about Cephalopoda or Insecta, so it might be a little weird. I’ll try to cope.

    Now, now, it’s good to share your partner’s interests. Besides, there’s much sexiness in the flowers and birds and trees.

  5. 5
    sc_42032cef73176c9867e45905c22e998c

    You aren’t far from the Botanic Gardens where you are (other end of the Southbank, across St Kilda Road). Alternatively, the Zoo, which has many Orstrayan animals is a tram ride up Elizabeth Street from across the river and right. There’s a pedestrian bridge across the river from Southbank which takes you to it.

    Or you can ferry injured Melburnians around all day…

  6. 6
    Naked Bunny with a Whip

    flowers and trees and birds

    Given what I’ve heard about Australia, the flower, trees, and birds will be trying to kill you, so it should be interesting.

  7. 7
    madscientist

    Does the Melbourne Aquaruim still serve seafood? When I was last there, there were cuttlefish showing off and a gorgeous Leafy Seadragon floating about. Mmmmm risotto con seppia ….

    If you have time, drive off to the Healesville Sanctuary – or for some place closer to Melbourne, there are (all in one area) the Werribbee Zoo, State Rose Garden, and the Werribee Mansion. Depending on the time of year there are plenty flowers n’stuff at the garden/mansion.

  8. 8
    joed

    the U S military and CIA etc. are in that part of the world too. If these nefarious entities want to they can cause your computer to do exactly as you describe. There isn’t much that would surprise me when it comes to these people.
    And, they don’t like atheists. Atheists are the lowest of the low on their score card…

  9. 9
    billforsternz

    Forget the internet while you’re in Melbourne. It’s a fabulous, cosmopolitan, old fashioned melting pot metropolis with a host of superb meatspace attractions parked in and around a terrific, large, old fashioned central-business-district of the kind that’s just about dead in the USA. At least outside Manhattan and maybe San Francisco. My particular favourite attraction is one of the finest collections of chess books in the world in the State Library on Swanson Street. The point being it’s a big enough city to cater to some seriously specialised niches. The State Library is terrific even if for some reason you are so uncivilised as to not be a chess addict.

    Having said all that when my wife and I are in Melbourne, the thing that we really get off on are the innumerable fabulous cafes and patisseries. Melbourne is hazardous to your BMI.

  10. 10
    Doc Bill

    Mary has plans for us.

    What??? Trophy Wife is down under?

  11. 11
    Hungry Heathen

    She be right, mate.

  12. 12
    AmandaS

    Hopefully the Hilton will have Mountain Goat Steam Ale. That’s a mighty fine Strine beer. See you there :)

  13. 13
    Alethea Kuiper-Belt

    Haig’s chocolates are essential.

    And St Kilda for the Jewish patisseries.

  14. 14
    Markita Lynda—threadrupt

    Besides using the business centre, you can also ask if they have data cables for direct connection to their network. It’s often more reliable although not as mobile.

  15. 15
    Markita Lynda—threadrupt

    I agree with Bill Foster NZ — get out and enjoy yourselves; blog later.

  16. 16
    rorschach

    Internet access in the hotel is only intermittent

    On the bright side, it is currently free, and it’s not meant to be.

  17. 17
    phasic

    Welcome to Melbourne!

    And I’ll see the other Pharyngulites (Pharyngulim?) at the bar tonight. Going to be a big weekend!

  18. 18
    kazzaqld

    You’re welcome to use my mobile broadband if that helps? I’ll bring it with me to the Bar @4 if you’d like to borrow it then?

  19. 19
    echidna

    People might remember from the last GAC two years ago how hostile the media was.
    http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2010/03/bad_bad_media.php
    I don’t detect the same level of hostility this time; I think (hope) the idea that churches are not necessarily a public good is beginning to slowly seep into the collective consciousness, to the extent that people like Pell do not command automatic deference any more.
    http://www.theage.com.au/entertainment/tv-and-radio/cardinal-apologises-for-describing-jews-as-intellectually-inferior-20120412-1wwng.html

  20. 20
    Ring Tailed Lemurian

    Mmmmm risotto con seppia …

    *shudder*

    Cephalopods are stunningly beautiful, highly intelligent creatures with extremely complex nervous systems, and in order to eat them you either have to brutally beat them to a pulp or leave them to die slowly gasping for oxygen.

    Stick to babies, please.

  21. 21
    smalljude

    We really want to come and meet you. I’m a big chicken about that sort of thing.. gulp. Let’s hope there are not 5 different bars at the Hilton.. ha!

  22. 22
    matthewdempsey

    Hi.
    A quick note on Internet.
    If you’re on wireless broadband, you will have massive issues. It has become a big issue for many connected people.
    Pretty much all the carriers serving Melb are unable to handle the massive load from the huge increase in device usage. You will get great signal and a connection but bugger-all data.

    Use a wired- in connection as much as possible, OR, there is a new network with few users that services the CBD of Melb and Syd. Telstra’s 4G network Is nowhere near capacity. And Optus might also have activated some of their new network.
    But if you go out of the CBD, you’re back to the congested networks.
    You would need a new wireless device to use it.

    Good luck.

  23. 23
    jasonmurray

    +2 for drinks.

  24. 24
    Catnip, Misogynist Troglodyte called Bruce

    Actually, you are just across the river from the Aquarium. If you like laneways, then there are lots of interesting ones in Melbourne. I remember some around the Elizabeth st/Collins street intersection.

  25. 25
    Alethea Kuiper-Belt

    I’ll be there for drinks, but have decided against bringing Thelma the Squid.

  26. 26
    Charlie Foxtrot

    Yay! Alright! GAC, here we go!

    Definitely recommend taking a moment to sit down at a cafe in one of the laneways that run between Bourke St, Little Collins and Collins St and enjoy some fine Melbourne coffee. A flat white or latte from anywhere there is going to be good. Then just people watch for a while.

    ‘Til tonight!

  27. 27
    Majst0r

    Word of caution about the laptop issue.
    It sounds as it could be overheating.
    Check all the intuitive stuff: can you hear the fan running? are the vents clogged with dust?
    It’s not sitting on a blanket or anything like that?

  28. 28
    A. R

    PZ: If it were a Dell, I’d have advice, but you happen to be a Mac adherent, so no advice for you! {To be read in Soup Nazi voice}

  29. 29
    bassmanpete

    Given what I’ve heard about Australia, the flower, trees, and birds will be trying to kill you, so it should be interesting.

    That’s what we tell gullible tourists to keep them on their toes. Anyway it’s the snakes, jellyfish, spiders and, Cthulhu forbid, cephalapods that you really need to beware of.

  30. 30
    DLC

    It’s a hard life. travelling the globe, seeing the sights, going to the Global Atheist Convention. . . but seriously — go tourtist while you may, blog later.

  31. 31
    bassmanpete

    Agggh, cephalopods

  32. 32
    thewhollynone

    Those of us for whom you are traveling vicariously will expect NatGeog quality photos of cephalopods from down under, so solve your tech problems pronto, or else. Otherwise, have fun.

  33. 33
    3zebras

    Do go hipster-spotting in Flinders Lane if you have the time. Far more entertaining than the flowers, and only about half as deadly.

  34. 34
    thecalmone

    You should seriously consider going to an Australian Rules football game if you have time. You are within walking distance of one of the world’s great sporting stadiums (the MCG – the Melbourne Cricket Ground) and there are games there tonight, Saturday and Sunday.

    Also live music – many many venues in Melbourne. A short tram ride to Brunswick will give you the chance to experience authentic sticky carpet grungy pub rock (or blues, or jazz, or metal or pretty much anything else).

  35. 35
    PZ Myers

    I tried the hotel business center. It asked me for $26 for 2 hours use. Nop, no thanks.

    It was supposed to be free for me in my hotel room, courtesy of the GAC — but now it either doesn’t work at all, or duns me for $9.95 for 2 hours.

    It’s a nice hotel, but it fits with my experience — the nicer the hotel, the worse the Internet availability. I go to a cheap Motel 6, I get free Internet with the room, and it almost always works flawlessly.

  36. 36
    Charlie Foxtrot

    Interesting how having tourists around can make you take a step back and look again at things.

    I was going to make some dry remark about the brown snakes we get in the dry grasslands around here, the ‘common eastern brown’. So looked it up.

    “Oh, lookit that…” – 2nd most venomous land snake in the world. Oh yeah – I had heard that before somewhere.

    Then the new thought:
    ‘Common’ – we call that bastard ‘common’.

  37. 37
    A. R

    Charlie: And that’s one of the reasons I’m wary about Australia: Everything can fucking kill you there! :)

  38. 38
    Ariaflame, BSc, BF, PhD

    I seem to remember from a previous visit to Melbourne that they have such things as apple service providers. I think there is one somewhere along the other side of the river from you down towards the railway station.

    Have you been to a Haigh’s shop yet?

  39. 39
    matthewdempsey

    Free WiFi is Excellent at Australia On Collins food court.
    It’s at 270 Collins St.
    Strong signal, good speed, food but no grog.
    Also, Bull And Bear pub on Flinders Lane has free wireless.
    Just ask at the bar for a pwd.

  40. 40
    dexitroboper

    I don’t know of any hotel in Australia that provides free internet. Definitely not in the CBD. Maybe after the NBN is finished it will be common.

  41. 41
    Catnip, Misogynist Troglodyte called Bruce

    My cousin saw one of those “common” eastern browns the other week, in a suburban park (in Moorabbin) 6 months after arriving in the country. I’ve lived here >40 years & still haven’t seen one. She also saw a kangaroo hopping down her street & had a koala sitting in the tree outside her place of work.

    I reckon the wildlife only comes out for immigrants & visitors.

  42. 42
    Philip L

    Speaking of “the wildlife only comes out for immigrants & visitors”, I’m heading for the Williamstown train to head to the South Wharf Hilton right now. See you there soon.

  43. 43
    A. R

    Catnip: But the point is that you don’t want to see any of it, considering that it all wants to kill you.

  44. 44
    DanDare

    Thinking enviously of everyone at the GAC. I made the first one but just couldn’t arrange to get to this one :(

    Lots of reports please!

  45. 45
    Amblebury

    I’m doing the cheaper motel thing -$2.00 for 20 minutes, not too bad.

    Met some horde members – all terrific, it goes without saying.

    Met PZ, and Mary. Gushed a little I fear, a nervous habit.

    Compensated for this by photobombing Richard Dawkins.

    Melbourne is lovely, and it’s a swell party so far.

  46. 46
    llyris

    The flappy, paper copy of The Age had an article about suicides following abuse by Catholic priests on the front page today. Nice timing!

  47. 47
    rickschauer

    Enjoy yourselves you wonderful heathens!

  48. 48
    smalljude

    Well although the net isn’t treating you well, it looks like the beer is! http://www.flickr.com/photos/judemasti/7073504661/in/photostream

  49. 49
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    Enjoy Ozlandia, PZ.

    While you are down there scarfing down vegemite and hanging corks from your hat, maybe you can find the answer to the eternal question: “Why is the platypus?”

  50. 50
    yec123

    The Global Atheist Convention commences at 6:15 with a cocktail party, and then…chaos reigns!

    This is what I mean about atheism being more than just a profession of non-belief. If atheism is not a religion, or a political movement, why do atheist need to hold global conventions where they presumably plot to seize power?

  51. 51
    Rey Fox

    Hey everybody, let’s take turns sneaking up behind yec123 and shouting “BOO!”

  52. 52
    Matt Penfold

    This is what I mean about atheism being more than just a profession of non-belief. If atheism is not a religion, or a political movement, why do atheist need to hold global conventions where they presumably plot to seize power?

    Well what did you find when you checked out the conference website ? You did do that right, and you are not simply a lazy arsehole ?

  53. 53
    Markita Lynda—threadrupt

    Don’t pick on the blue-ringed octopus, mates! It’s a peace-loving creature. Do you remember how we found out it’s venomous? Someone laughingly THREW ONE at a friend and struck him in the chest with it. Understandably startled, it bit the friend, who was dead in an hour. Until that memorable occasion, people thought of them as just another tidal organism to play with.

  54. 54
    tim rowledge, Ersatz Haderach

    my laptop plays prima donna and dies, repeatedly, with ugly lock-ups and horribly slow performance.

    Ah, you *did* remember to reverse your disc rotation and flip all your bits, didn’t you?

  55. 55
    Matt Penfold

    I am not that worried about snakes and octopuses. What I want to know about is the venomous kittehs!.

  56. 56
    Markita Lynda—threadrupt

    The reasons for the Global Atheist Convention are the same as for any convention: company, shop talk, food, drink, shared vocabulary, common worldview, interlocking fields of interest, meet-ups, exchange of information, meeting notable personalities, and change of scene.

  57. 57
    'Tis Himself

    If atheism is not a religion, or a political movement, why do atheist need to hold global conventions where they presumably plot to seize power?

    I’ve decided that yec123 isn’t a poe. Instead, xe’s just very stupid.

  58. 58
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    yec123:

    If accounting is not a religion, or a political movement, why do atheist need to hold global conventions where they presumably plot to seize power?

    If medicine is not a religion, or a political movement, why do atheist need to hold global conventions where they presumably plot to seize power?

    If sales is not a religion, or a political movement, why do atheist need to hold global conventions where they presumably plot to seize power?

    If creationism is not a religion, or a political movement, why do atheist need to hold global conventions where they presumably plot to seize power?

  59. 59
    Rey Fox

    And anyway, what if atheists were plotting to seize power? Aren’t you the one who was boasting that the Christian majority would beat any such attempt back with their righteousness and their many many guns?

  60. 60
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    I’ve decided that yec123 isn’t a poe. Instead, xe’s just very stupid.

    That is my take. If it was a real Poe, it would have realized its schtick is overly stale by now, and quit. Stupidity doesn’t know when it is outclassed.

  61. 61
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    Crap. Ignore my #58. Lemme try that again:

    yec123:

    If accounting is not a religion, or a political movement, why do accountants need to hold global conventions where they presumably plot to seize power?

    If medicine is not a religion, or a political movement, why do doctors need to hold global conventions where they presumably plot to seize power?

    If sales is not a religion, or a political movement, why do salespersons need to hold global conventions where they presumably plot to seize power?

    If creationism is not a religion, or a political movement, why do creationists need to hold global conventions where they presumably plot to seize power?

    (makes more sense this way. ignore my #58)

  62. 62
    Matt Penfold

    I’ve decided that yec123 isn’t a poe. Instead, xe’s just very stupid.

    I was way ahead of you there!

  63. 63
    yec123

    I have never heard of a convention being held consisting of people who don’t support, don’t practice and who don’t believe in something.

    Can you imagine a convention of non-doctors? Isn’t it absurd then that there should be a convention of non-believers, who all profess that they don’t believe in something?

  64. 64
    tim rowledge, Ersatz Haderach

    I have never heard of a convention being held consisting of people who don’t support, don’t practice and who don’t believe in something.

    So you’ve never heard of an anti-racist convention for example. Or anti-slavery campaigners? You really are working so hard at looking utterly stupid. Perhaps it’s time for a rest?

  65. 65
    Anri

    I have never heard of a convention being held consisting of people who don’t support, don’t practice and who don’t believe in something.

    Can you imagine a convention of non-doctors? Isn’t it absurd then that there should be a convention of non-believers, who all profess that they don’t believe in something?

    Good point!

    Such a thing would be as silly as a convention dedicated to political issues involving (for instance) non-whites!
    I mean, a whole convention, based around not being something! As if not being something could actually effect how you view the world, and how people view you, and how you are treated by society!

    The very idea!

    (Also, ProTip: when there’s a link in the comment section that specifically and directly answers your objection by dealing with someone making a near identical brain-dead comment, it just shows once more that you haven’t bothered reading.)

  66. 66
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    I have never heard of a convention being held consisting of people who don’t support, don’t practice and who don’t believe in something.

    So being pro-reason, pro-evidence, pro-naturalism, pro-reality and pro-empiricism is all anti something?

    And belief is the ability to think something true despite no, or even contradicting, evidence. So you are correct that, by and large, atheists are people who do not believe. We accept scientific explanations for the reality observed; we do not believe in supernatural skydaddys for whom there is not only no evidence, but evidence from reality itself contradicts their existence.

  67. 67
    yec123

    So you’ve never heard of an anti-racist convention for example. Or anti-slavery campaigners? You really are working so hard at looking utterly stupid. Perhaps it’s time for a rest?

    But this is an assembly of non-theists, not anti-theists. You amazingly fail to see the distinction between the two. Being an atheist just means you don’t believe in the divine, not that somehow you are against religion as a consequence of your non-belief.

    So being pro-reason, pro-evidence, pro-naturalism, pro-reality and pro-empiricism is all anti something?

    Atheism is not based on reason, or evidence, or reality. It is, however, based on a naturalistic assumption and ideology. Atheists are only interested in anything which supports this a priori position of theirs.

  68. 68
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    You amazingly fail to see the distinction between the two.

    What distinction? You are the proven paranoid liar and bullshitter here, so why should we take your lying and bullshitting word for anything other than your paranoia overriding your cognative abilities? I don’t. It would help if you stop lying to yourself. Then you cant stop lying to us.

  69. 69
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    Atheists are only interested in anything which supports this a priori position of theirs.

    Citation needed on that one. Back it up with evidence.

  70. 70
    Ing

    Atheism is not based on reason, or evidence, or reality. It is, however, based on a naturalistic assumption

    The distinction between natural and supernatural is meaningless.

  71. 71
    Ing

    That is my take. If it was a real Poe, it would have realized its schtick is overly stale by now, and quit. Stupidity doesn’t know when it is outclassed.

    If people were worried about stale shtick they wouldn’t do Poe nonsense.

    As long as people respond he gets the chuckles since he can derail. Look at all his comments, it’s not just “i disagree” it’s always something that is perfectly designed to be offensive or dissonant to everyone else. It’s basic trolling.

  72. 72
    Rev. BigDumbChimp

    Atheists are only interested in anything which supports this a priori position of theirs.

    If you can provide some evidence to the contrary position, please do provide it.

  73. 73
    'Tis Himself

    Atheism is not based on reason, or evidence, or reality.

    This is incorrect. Atheism is based on reason, evidence and reality.

    There is no evidence for gods, therefore there is no reason to believe in gods. If gods exist, then they’d manifest themselves in reality. Since there’s no manifestation, reality says there’s no gods.

  74. 74
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    The projection is strong with this one. He is channeling The Farce!

  75. 75
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    Funny how a fool who uses fiction to prove a fiction dares lectures others about reality.

    Poe or real, this is not a funny act.

  76. 76
    yec123

    There is no evidence for gods, therefore there is no reason to believe in gods. If gods exist, then they’d manifest themselves in reality. Since there’s no manifestation, reality says there’s no gods.

    1. There is no evidence that there is no God – the key premise of atheism. As such, it is completely irrational to assert there is no God.

    2. There are reasons for believing in the existence of a God. Atheists just either deny or ignore them because they are unreasonable people.

    3. Claiming that God himself should be a material and contingent being is effectively saying He is no different from anything else. That defeats the whole idea of the belief in a divine and transcendent being.

    4. God may be un-manifest, but his works are clearly manifest:

    “For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made.” Romans 1:20

    Science is therefore an investigation of the signs of God’s power and wisdom in nature. Hence, a good scientist is one who is a theist, and not an atheist.

  77. 77
    Jem

    I reckon the wildlife only comes out for immigrants & visitors.

    I agree with this. I’ve visited 15+ times and I always have a number of spiders welcoming me to their country. Last time it was a tarantula in the caravan on the first night, and new little ‘friends’ popping up in the shower every day.

  78. 78
    Jem

    1. There is no evidence that there is no God – the key premise of atheism. As such, it is completely irrational to assert there is no God.

    There is no evidence for god, that’s enough of a reason to say ‘there is no god(s)’. I’m sure you would be comfortable with the statement ‘there are no unicorns’, even though you haven’t disproved them.

    Also quoting the fucking Bible doesn’t do anything, you have to prove it’s true first.

  79. 79
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    There is no evidence that there is no God

    Actually, you are right, as there is no way to prove a negative with your purposely ill-defined imaginary deity, which makes it impossible to prove a negative. The gnu atheist get around this logical dilemma by making the null hypothesis non-existence for all deities, and requiring positive evidence for all your imaginary things, not just your imaginary deity. So you lose another round to reason and logic.

    There are [NO] reasons for believing in the existence of a God.

    Fixed that fuckwittery for you loser.

    Claiming that God himself should be a material and contingent being is effectively saying He is no different from anything else.

    Well, why should your imaginary deity, who does interact with “created” the universe, not be material? Hiding your deity as a a stupornatural only agent makes it impossible to interact with regular matter, and makes your deity immaterial–literally. It becomes irrelevant to the past, present and future, only a philosophical construct in your delusional mind.

    God may be un-manifest, but his works are clearly manifest:

    Yeah, right, your book of mythology fiction, which you can’t prove inerrant, is such a solid tale for a deity who shouldn’t be worshiped if you had ever bothered to read it cover to cover like many atheists have. Your deity has a problem with women’s periods and iron chariots, but has no problem with slavery, genocide, death penalties, rape, pillage, plunder, arbitrary and capricious rules, and just plain torturing people for giggles.

    Here’s the thing fuckwit. Show us solid and conclusive physical evidence for both your imaginary deity and babble. Evidence that will pass muster with scientists, magicians, and professional debunkers, as being of divine, and not natural (scientifically explained), origin. Or shut the fuck up about it as a person of honesty and integrity, like most atheists, would do….

  80. 80
    yec123

    There is no evidence for god, that’s enough of a reason to say ‘there is no god(s)’. I’m sure you would be comfortable with the statement ‘there are no unicorns’, even though you haven’t disproved them.

    1. There is evidence for God: but you have chosen to be blind to it.

    2. Unicorns might well exist on some other planet. Maybe a fossil will show up one day of one that previously existed on earth. I am an agnostic about the possible existence of unicorns.

    Well, why should your imaginary deity, who does interact with “created” the universe, not be material?…..Show us solid and conclusive physical evidence for both your imaginary deity and babble.

    Dark energy is not “material” in the sense that it not directly observable or measurable and yet it is responsible for the expansion and motion of the material universe. Think about that, atheist. Or, as another example, look at how radio waves (which can be seen as “immaterial” in that they have no mass) can exert an effect on particles. Or, as a final example, consider your own non-physical thoughts and how they affect your physical body.

  81. 81
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    There is evidence for God: but you have chosen to be blind to it.

    Until you present said evidence, you are nothing but a liar and bullshitter. Which all regulars knew anyway. Why are you afraid to present your alleged solid and conclusive physical evidence????

    Dark energy is not “material” in the sense that it not directly observable or measurable and yet it is responsible for the expansion and motion of the material universe.

    But it’s effects are seen and match calculations. Now, were is your calculations for your imaginary deity, and where is the evidence to back it up? Put up or shut the fuck up..

    which can be seen as “immaterial” in that they have no mass)

    They can be measured. Tell us how to measure your imaginary deity, or shut the fuck up…

  82. 82
    Jem

    2. Unicorns might well exist on some other planet. Maybe a fossil will show up one day of one that previously existed on earth. I am an agnostic about the possible existence of unicorns.

    Surely you’re an agnostic atheist about unicorns though, you don’t know for sure, but you don’t actually have a believe that they exist on other planets. It doesn’t have to be a positive assertion that they don’t exist, just a lack of belief that they do.

    I think most of us here would say we’re agnostic atheists about your god.

  83. 83
    Anri

    1. There is evidence for God: but you have chosen to be blind to it.

    And that evidence will not be supplied on the grounds that it might save souls, which is not yec’s intent.

    Or, um, something.
    But there’s a damn good reason I can’t show you the evidence!
    Good reason!
    Really good!

    2. Unicorns might well exist on some other planet. Maybe a fossil will show up one day of one that previously existed on earth. I am an agnostic about the possible existence of unicorns.

    And as soon as someone shows me a god fossil, or gods living on other planets, I might give them serious consideration as well. But until then…

    Dark energy is not “material” in the sense that it not directly observable or measurable and yet it is responsible for the expansion and motion of the material universe. Think about that, atheist.

    And you’ll give us evidence for god just like we have for dark matter/dark energy in 3… 2… never…

    Or, as another example, look at how radio waves (which can be seen as “immaterial” in that they have no mass) can exert an effect on particles.

    Um, radio waves are movements of subatomic particles.
    Completely material, with evidence to show them.
    Set up a god receiver, tune into HEVN FM, and we’ll talk.

    Or, as a final example, consider your own non-physical thoughts and how they affect your physical body.

    And what non-physical thoughts are those?
    Thoughts are formed by biochemical and electrical changes in the brain, both entirely physical, and traceable. We’ve got evidence for them.

    Surely, you have evidence for…

    … nah, never mind.

    You’re really not very good at this, are you?

  84. 84
    feralboy12

    There is evidence for God: but you have chosen to be blind to it

    You haven’t shown us anything to be blind to.
    We accept the existence of things like radio waves because they have observable, measurable effects on the material world, and those effects match predictions derived from theory.
    Now show us how your god affects the material world, and how those effects match predictions derived from theoretical models.
    Oh, that’s right–you don’t have anything like a coherent theory that actually makes specific, testable predictions. Just an all-purpose “explanation” so vague as to cover anything you don’t immediately understand.
    Which is a lot, evidently.
    The existence of radio waves was deduced from electromagnetic theory; the theory predicted their existence and told us how to generate and detect those waves. They were generated, and detected. The details matched the predictions. So well that we can manipulate those waves in such a manner as to send coherent, consistent information around the world and beyond.
    Can you do something like this with your god “theory?” It’s time to put up or shut up. Or fuck off.

  85. 85
    yec123

    Surely you’re an agnostic atheist about unicorns though, you don’t know for sure, but you don’t actually have a believe that they exist on other planets. It doesn’t have to be a positive assertion that they don’t exist, just a lack of belief that they do.

    No, I consider the existence of unicorns to be a distinct possibility. After all, why can’t there be a horse with a horn? Anyway, you atheists just need to calm down, take a deep breath and read some books on the arguments for the existence of God. I want you all to study these arguments:

    1. Ontological argument.
    2. Cosmological argument.
    3. Teleological argument.
    4. Psycho-Noetic argument.
    5. Pragmatic argument.
    6. Necessity argument.
    7. Transcendental argument.

    Unfortunately, the Creator of the Universe is not a being that lends himself to direct scientific observation and analysis. You can only dissect the nature of God with the powers of your intellect. To know God, however, requires the use of the intuition – and that is an entirely subjective experience.

  86. 86
    A. R

    #85 Consists of purified, thoroughly disproven bullshit. Feel free to ignore.

  87. 87
    Louis

    No, I consider the existence of unicorns to be a distinct possibility.

    To know God, however, requires the use of the intuition – and that is an entirely subjective experience.

    God is entirely made up, just like unicorns.

    I see we agree on that at least.

    Ah, good.

    Louis

  88. 88
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    I want you all to study these arguments:

    All those have been refuted previously, and all are presuppositional. Show otherwise with solid and conclusive physical evidence, or shut the fuck up.

    You need to present the equivalent of the eternally burning. Either point at said evidence, or shut the fuck up. Time to show us you aren’t totally fuckwitted and ignorant troll.

  89. 89
    Anri

    Unfortunately, the Creator of the Universe is not a being that lends himself to direct scientific observation and analysis.

    So, any account in which god was willing to give evidence of his nature is automatically suspect, right?
    Like burning bushes or stone tablets or moved stones or multiplied food or crucifixion wounds or…

    You can only dissect the nature of God with the powers of your intellect. To know God, however, requires the use of the intuition – and that is an entirely subjective experience.

    So, if two people make contradictory claims about god, they’re both right?

    If god commands someone to commit atrocities, you’re good with that, because that’s their subjective experience?

    Since learning about god is a strictly subjective experience, anyone attempting to quote an objective source – like a written text, for instance – can be automatically eliminated from knowing anything about the nature of god, right?
    Know anyone who’s done that?

    If knowledge of god is a wholly subjective experience, how can it be possible to teach someone about god? If teaching someone about god is impossible, how can anyone claiming to be able to describe the nature of god be trusted? If nothing anyone says about the nature of god can be trusted, why should we listen to you when you say knowing about god is an entirely subjective experience?

    This is just for starters.
    Like I said, you’re not really very good at this.

  90. 90
    feralboy12

    I want you all to study these arguments:

    We have, idiot. Here, I’ll get things started with 1)The ontological argument.
    Circular reasoning. It defines God as “something that must exist,” and pretends that that definition, arbitrarily arrived at, is anything like proof or evidence.
    It’s like defining a unicorn as “something that must be grazing in my back yard,” and using that to refute any and all observations of my back yard, none of which showed any unicorns out there.

    To know God, however, requires the use of the intuition

    Now please explain how intuition is the proper tool for understanding the great mysteries of the universe, when so many of the great advances of science (on which we’ve built our civilization) were completely counter-intuitive. What do you mean, the earth moves? Poppycock. Little creatures too small to see make you sick? Yeah, sure. Of course heavier objects fall faster.
    Intuition: wrong tool for the job. Like measuring the diameter of the moon by holding a ruler up to the sky. When your methods produce a plethora of contradictory answers, as they do with “knowing God,” what is it you think you know?

  91. 91
    Rey Fox

    Unfortunately, the Creator of the Universe is not a being that lends himself to direct scientific observation and analysis. You can only dissect the nature of God with the powers of your intellect. To know God, however, requires the use of the intuition – and that is an entirely subjective experience.

    You need a fossil to believe in unicorns, but you’re willing to let God off the hook with all these convenient excuses?

  92. 92
    Anri

    Ok, let’s take a look-see:

    1. Ontological argument.

    Cutesy word game. Easily formulated in reverse to show god is impossible. Also, you can’t philosophize something into existence. Describing something does not make it real.

    2. Cosmological argument.

    Not only is this one self-contradictory (uncaused cause), quantum physics has rendered it moot. There are uncaused effects, such as particle decay.

    3. Teleological argument.

    Arguments from design are also pretty silly. Trying to tell me that the universe is improbably well set up can’t be done from a single data point. The probability of the universe existing as it does is 100%.

    4. Psycho-Noetic argument.

    I wasn’t able to find anything useful on this – please expound or include a link to what you mean.

    5. Pragmatic argument.

    There are pragmatic arguments for and against the existence of god. The ultimate pragmatic argument is “show me the money evidence!”

    6. Necessity argument.

    If this is different from the uncaused cause business, I’m unable to detect how.

    7. Transcendental argument.

    This is sheer question-begging.

    Ok, 6 down, one unknown all for about 15 minutes of googling and half-remembered Intro to Religion from college decades ago…. what else ya got?

  93. 93
    A. R

    You need a fossil to believe in unicorns, but you’re willing to let God off the hook with all these convenient excuses?

    Think about this carefully before responding yec123.

  94. 94
    Charlie Foxtrot

    Eww, this threads got all yeccy.

    yec: Buy the DVD from the last GAC. Seek understanding.

  95. 95
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    1. There is evidence for God: but you have chosen to be blind to it.

    Please point to this evidence. Please. If you cannot present evidence then please stop your inane ramblings.

    Dark energy is not “material” in the sense that it not directly observable or measurable and yet it is responsible for the expansion and motion of the material universe.

    But the effects of dark energy, unlike the effects of your fictional genocidal gods, can actually be measured. And have been measured. Your gods’ effects have never been measured. Ever!

    I want you all to study these arguments:

    1. Ontological argument.
    2. Cosmological argument.
    3. Teleological argument.
    4. Psycho-Noetic argument.
    5. Pragmatic argument.
    6. Necessity argument.
    7. Transcendental argument.

    Why should I study these arguments. If you want to use these arguments (and you will not be the first), feel free. I ain’t gonna go down that road. All of these arguments start with the assumption that gods exist. A proposition for which there is no evidence.

    If you want to provide a link for the actual evidence that shows that your gods exist, go ahead.

  96. 96
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    “That which is alleged without evidence can be dismissed without evidence.” Chritopher Hitchens.

    So YEC123, your allegations of sophistinacated theology presented without evidence in #85 can be dismissed with a wave of the hand. Either supply the evidence for each argument you wish to pursue, or shut the fuck up about it. We have you number as a person without honor, integrity, or character. You do nothing but lie and bullshit for your imaginary deity. So, why can’t you go away?

  97. 97
    yec123

    Look, atheists, you have presented zero evidence for your assertion that there is no God or Supreme Being. Religious folks, however, believe in God because Reason tells them the basic truth that creation has a Creator. Reason tells them that that all efficient causes can and must be traced back to a first cause that itself is uncaused, or that all things that move in the universe must have been initially set in motion by an unmoved mover. Reason tells them that there must there must be a being whose existence is necessary for all possibly existing things to have their own existence.

    But Reason alone does not provide direct experience of God. It is only through intuition or through revelation that one can know God and come to believe in his existence. Atheists are a bit like a blind man asking a man with sight what evidence there is that there is anything other than darkness. You need to taste the apple to know that it is sweet or sour – you can’t just study books about apples and collect data about them to know this for yourself.

  98. 98
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    Religious folks, however, believe in God because Reason tells them the basic truth that creation has a Creator.

    Why is this any different? You claim that atheists have zero evidence for the nonexistence of gods. You are correct. It is impossible to prove a negative. However, you then claim that religious folk believe in gods because of reason — and there is still zero evidence for the existence of gods! Reason and intuition have absolutely nothing to do with the actual physical world. Reason without evidence is mental masturbation. Intuition is even worse.

    Nice double standard.

  99. 99
    yec123

    It is impossible to prove a negative.

    Then why make a claim you cannot prove? How is that rational?

    Reason and intuition have absolutely nothing to do with the actual physical world.

    Reason can tell us lots of things where we don’t actually have the means to observe and investigate it for ourselves. How do you think Democritus came up with his theory of the atom? He reasoned that if you kept cutting things into smaller and smaller pieces you would eventually reach something that could not be divided any more. OK, it isn’t entirely true because atoms are composed of other particles, but the principle is correct.

  100. 100
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    Reason and intuition can help but, sans evidence, it is mental masturbation.

    Christianity has no, zero, credible evidence that gods exist now or at any time in the past. Therefore, Christianity is mental masturbation.

    And you, yec, are a master at this form of masturbation.

  101. 101
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    Hello world. Moderation problems.

  102. 102
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    I see YEC still fails to provide any solid and conclusive physical evidence for its claims for a deity. Then the deity bullshit can be dismissed with prejudice, as nothing but OPINION, not fact. Fact requires physical evidence.

  103. 103
    yec123

    I see YEC still fails to provide any solid and conclusive physical evidence for its claims for a deity. Then the deity bullshit can be dismissed with prejudice, as nothing but OPINION, not fact. Fact requires physical evidence.

    I keep trying to remind you that there isn’t go to be any direct physical evidence for a non-physical entity. That is basic logic. However, by observing the natural world, we can see the signs and works of the Creator everywhere – from the complexity of DNA to the cosmic order. You just ignore this as evidence because you believe only what you want to believe.

  104. 104
    yec123

    Reason and intuition can help but, sans evidence, it is mental masturbation.

    Lovely, so Reason is equated with mental masturbation! Please tell that to all philosophers and theorists. A frank admission, atheist.

  105. 105
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    Lovely, so Reason is equated with mental masturbation! Please tell that to all philosophers and theorists. A frank admission, atheist.

    Your cherry picking skills are quite impressive.

  106. 106
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    I keep trying to remind you that there isn’t go to be any direct physical evidence for a non-physical entity.

    What non-physical entity. You deity, if it interacts at all with universe, like creating it or answering prayers, much be physical. What part of basic logic are you missing? Otherwise, it is up to you to provide any mechanism of interaction if your fuckwitted presuppositions are to be believed.

    Lovely, so Reason is equated with mental masturbation! Please tell that to all philosophers and theorists. A frank admission, atheist.

    Yep, mental masturbation. Which is why science, that uses evidence, increases the knowledge of mankind. Pure philosophy, not so much. And theology is only mental masturbation, as there is nothing new to consider. Boy, you do have a problem with reason and logic. Must be your delusions get in the way.

  107. 107
    Owlmirror

    I keep trying to remind you that there isn’t go to be any direct physical evidence for a non-physical entity.

    What’s a non-physical entity?

    However, by observing the natural world, we can see the signs and works of the Creator everywhere – from the complexity of DNA to the cosmic order.

    You’re mistaking your own mind for the mind of God.

    You just ignore this as evidence

    Since it isn’t evidence, it must be ignored as evidence.

    because you believe only what you want to believe.

    And you believe that it is evidence because you don’t care that you’re fooling yourself.

  108. 108
    Ariaflame, BSc, BF, PhD

    yec also probably capitalises Truth as well as Reason, as if that makes the words More Important.

    Listen twit. It is impossible to prove a negative. Most atheists don’t actually say 100% that there is no such thing as a god. What they do say is that so far there is no evidence for one, no need for one (and no, the universe being created does not need one) so the odds are very heavily on the side of any god, never mind the christian god not existing.

    Reason and logic are useful tools. But the answers you get using them are only as good as the assumptions you have going into them, and your assumptions suck.

  109. 109
    Anri

    Look, atheists, you have presented zero evidence for your assertion that there is no God or Supreme Being.

    My assertion as an atheist is that there is no evidence for god, and therefore the sensible thing is to not believe in a god.
    Please address this rather than the asinine strawman you keep erecting. The fact that there is no evidence for god is the reason we don’t accept the existence of god.

    Religious folks, however, believe in God because Reason tells them the basic truth that creation has a Creator. Reason tells them that that all efficient causes can and must be traced back to a first cause that itself is uncaused, or that all things that move in the universe must have been initially set in motion by an unmoved mover. Reason tells them that there must there must be a being whose existence is necessary for all possibly existing things to have their own existence.

    Reason also told people that the earth was the center of the universe, did not move, and was flat.
    This is wrong.

    There are things that happen without cause.
    More to the point, if you are willing assert that causes are required for everything, you cannot then claim that they’re not required for your favorite thing. If everything requires a creator, you cannot then argue that there are things that do not require a creator. If all things that exist are dependent on something else that exists, you cannot then argue that there is something the exists independently of other things.
    If you wish to prove the existence of god through a logical set of steps, one of your steps cannot involve contradicting your earlier steps – not if you anyone to take you seriously, anyway.

    But Reason alone does not provide direct experience of God. It is only through intuition or through revelation that one can know God and come to believe in his existence. Atheists are a bit like a blind man asking a man with sight what evidence there is that there is anything other than darkness. You need to taste the apple to know that it is sweet or sour – you can’t just study books about apples and collect data about them to know this for yourself.

    So, all revelations about god are correct?
    All religions are right?
    Or are there some revelations about god that are more correct than others?
    Some which are, in fact, false?
    Is the voice you’re hearing in your head, which contradicts the voices the 9/11 hijackers heard in their heads, the correct one, or is someone deceiving you? Are you clever enough to know where what you want ends and where what god wants begins?

    What topics do you disagree with god on?

  110. 110
    Owlmirror

    Lovely, so Reason is equated with mental masturbation!

    No; rather, your unReasonable and fallacious unreason is.

    You don’t actually care about reason.

  111. 111
    Anri

    I keep trying to remind you that there isn’t go to be any direct physical evidence for a non-physical entity.

    So, all those people rising from the dead, or the manna from heaven, or the stone being rolled away, or Jesus appearing after his death, or Moses’s burning bush, or… or… or…

    You’re saying that none of these manifestations occurred?
    You’re saying that all of the miracles attributed to god are delusions?
    Because, if they happened, that’s evidence.

    Or are you just saying that god’s gotten shyer in direct proportion to how good our understanding of the world has gotten? ‘Cause that would be a heck of a coincidence if so, wouldn’t you say?
    That god’s gotten smaller just as the gaps he has to hide in get smaller?

    That is basic logic. However, by observing the natural world, we can see the signs and works of the Creator everywhere – from the complexity of DNA to the cosmic order. You just ignore this as evidence because you believe only what you want to believe.

    The complexity of DNA…
    Ok, what’s the maximum level of complexity that could have arisen naturally – that is to say, without god’s influence?
    If you don’t know the answer to this question, than how can you possibly say that DNA’s structure is too complex to have arisen naturally?

    Same thing about the order of the universe – based on the total number of observed universes, what are the chances of a universe having the exact same initial conditions as this one?
    I’ll give you a hint – the math on this one is seriously easy. it’s only the concepts that might be hard.

    This is an argument from personal incredulity – “Wow, this looks really hard to figure out, so it must be god!”
    Nothing more and nothing less.

  112. 112
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.
    Lovely, so Reason is equated with mental masturbation!

    No; rather, your unReasonable and fallacious unreason is.

    My original comment, prior to cherry picking, was that reason without evidence is mental masturbation.

    And it went downhill from there.

  113. 113
    Owlmirror

    Religious folks, however, believe in God because Reason tells them the basic truth that creation has a Creator.

    Assuming your conclusion is a logical fallacy, and is therefore not Reason.

    Reason tells them that that all efficient causes can and must be traced back to a first cause that itself is uncaused, or that all things that move in the universe must have been initially set in motion by an unmoved mover.

    False generalizations are logical fallacies, and are therefore not Reason.

    Reason tells them that there must there must be a being whose existence is necessary for all possibly existing things to have their own existence.

    Asserting that existingness is a person rather than a brute fact is a ludicrous non-sequitur, and is therefore not Reason.

    Thomas Aquinas was not reasonable; “religious folks” are not reasonable, and you are not reasonable.

  114. 114
    yec123

    Atheists, I have something disturbing to tell you: Naturalism has failed.

    Now, that doesn’t mean that nothing can be explained by natural causes – far from it – but that there are many things about reality that cannot be explained in terms of blind causation and/or accidence. That is why we have no real explanation for either the origin of life or the universe.

    You see, science is based on observation and observation is based on our own perception. But what if our perception is so limited that the world we see around us is only the tip of a very large iceberg. Are we to deny the existence of a deeper reality just because we are so constrained? Or should we instead look for answers beyond our ordinary sensory faculties?

    The truth is out there, but where? I think I know.

  115. 115
    yec123

    You’re saying that none of these manifestations occurred? You’re saying that all of the miracles attributed to god are delusions? Because, if they happened, that’s evidence.

    On the contrary, miracles happen all the time – we just take them for granted. Each and every one of us was formed in our mother’s wombs, starting off as a fertilized egg. The gestation process is, without doubt, more of a manifestation of divine power and intelligence than any burning bush.

  116. 116
    Amphiox

    Naturalism has failed.

    No.

    But what if our perception is so limited that the world we see around us is only the tip of a very large iceberg

    Science continuously works at EXTENDING OUR PERCEPTION.

    Are we to deny the existence of a deeper reality just because we are so constrained? Or should we instead look for answers beyond our ordinary sensory faculties?

    How can we look for something beyond our sensory faculties? By definition, no matter how hard we look, we won’t be able to see. It’s useless. A waste of time. A waste of resources. Which are limited.

    Instead, we should work at increasing our sensory faculties.

    And then, and ONLY THEN, when are sensory faculties have been increased, is it worthwhile to try to look further, with those increased faculties.

    The truth is out there, but where? I think I know.

    No, you don’t.

    By your OWN ARGUMENT, you CAN’T.

  117. 117
    Amphiox

    The gestation process is, without doubt, more of a manifestation of divine power and intelligence than any burning bush.

    No.

    But it IS an EXCELLENT demonstration of the validity of evolutionary theory.

  118. 118
    Amphiox

    Reason tells them that that all efficient causes can and must be traced back to a first cause that itself is uncaused,

    No.

    or that all things that move in the universe must have been initially set in motion by an unmoved mover.

    No.

  119. 119
    Amphiox

    However, by observing the natural world, we can see the signs and works of the Creator everywhere

    No.

    But we DO see signs everywhere that there is NO creator.

  120. 120
    kemist, Dark Lord of the Sith

    Atheists, I have something disturbing to tell you: Naturalism has failed.

    Says who ? You ?

    May I remind you of your attempt at proof-of-god-by-Star-Trek ?

    Please excuse me if I wait for someone a bit more competent.

    Now, that doesn’t mean that nothing can be explained by natural causes – far from it – but that there are many things about reality that cannot be explained in terms of blind causation and/or accidence. That is why we have no real explanation for either the origin of life or the universe.

    Because of course, 2012 is the year all research ceased because We Now Know Everything. Nothing more will become known in the years to come. Therefore god.

    I find your lack of logic disturbing.

    You see, science is based on observation and observation is based on our own perception. But what if our perception is so limited that the world we see around us is only the tip of a very large iceberg. Are we to deny the existence of a deeper reality just because we are so constrained? Or should we instead look for answers beyond our ordinary sensory faculties?

    But we’re already doing that.

    We already know we see a very small part of the world with our ordinary senses. That’s why we’ve invented tools that allow us to see more of it. Radio receptors, microscopes, telescopes, spectrometers, computers, electric/magnetic field detectors, ect. What do you think these things are for ?

    The truth is out there, but where? I think I know.

    Bwahahahahah…

    If you think you know, that’s because you’re a deluded ignoramus.

  121. 121
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    But we DO see signs everywhere that there is NO creator.

    And for some good evidence that there is no creator, that things evolved, take my knee. Please.

  122. 122
    mikee

    @yec123

    “but what if our perception is so limited…?”

    What if it isn’t limited? You demonstrate the classic difference between atheists and theists. You are assuming that there must be something (god?) that we cannot see. You might as well be suggesting there is an invisible dragon in my wardrobe.

    Lack of evidence does not justify the existence of god, pink unicorns, invisible dragons or the flying spaghetti monster.

  123. 123
    kemist, Dark Lord of the Sith

    Each and every one of us was formed in our mother’s wombs, starting off as a fertilized egg. The gestation process is, without doubt, more of a manifestation of divine power and intelligence than any burning bush.

    Miracle, you say ?

  124. 124
    feralboy12

    That is why we have no real explanation for either the origin of life or the universe.

    We have plenty of explanations. We just don’t know how to test them at this point in time; your “goddidit” explanation, on the other hand, is not testable even in principle. No test can be valid if you allow for supernatural intercession, because an all-powerful being doing magic always gives you an out.

    But what if our perception is so limited that the world we see around us is only the tip of a very large iceberg

    It is, and we knew that centuries ago. For instance, theoretical work predicted the existence of radio waves, and told us how, if the theories were correct, to generate and detect them. And it worked.
    Religious belief, on the other hand, can only make predictions based on internal revelation, which is notoriously unreliable. Which is why it keeps predicting the end of the world over and over and over again. Unfortunately, the world stubbornly insists on continuing its existence.

    Or should we instead look for answers beyond our ordinary sensory faculties?

    Okay. How about I search the ethereal plane, while you check out the World of the Invisible Scary Skeletons?

    The gestation process is, without doubt, more of a manifestation of divine power and intelligence than any burning bush.

    That’s a pretty low standard for miracles you have there. Birth? Taking all living creatures together, it happens billions of times every day. It also goes horribly wrong, like, a lot. And can you explain how it violates the laws of physics? Or is that no longer a requirement for the designation of “miracle?”

  125. 125
    Anri

    On the contrary, miracles happen all the time – we just take them for granted. Each and every one of us was formed in our mother’s wombs, starting off as a fertilized egg. The gestation process is, without doubt, more of a manifestation of divine power and intelligence than any burning bush.

    So, every spontaneous abortion, every fatal birth defect, every stillborn child, every woman dying in pain and fear during childbirth – these all must be failed miracles, right?
    Stuff god tried to get right but just, you know, flubbed?

    More fertilized eggs are flushed out of the body than ever attach and grow, yec (you do know that, right? or is that some else you’re ignorant of?). God screws up more miracles than he makes happen, by your reckoning of a miracle.

    So long as we’re on this tack, are chimpanzee pregnancies also miracles? How about lemurs? Cats?
    Are frog eggs miracles?
    Botflies?

    What’s a miracle and what’s not?

    And, I’m sorry, but didn’t you just get through saying there was no physical evidence for god? If our births are impossible without god, then our births are physical evidence of god, yes?
    So… which is it?

  126. 126
    Anri

    Atheists, I have something disturbing to tell you: Naturalism has failed.

    Now, that doesn’t mean that nothing can be explained by natural causes – far from it – but that there are many things about reality that cannot be explained in terms of blind causation and/or accidence. That is why we have no real explanation for either the origin of life or the universe.

    Let me correct that for you: we have no complete explanation for those things… yet.
    Just as in the 13th century, we had no explanation for infectious disease. The bible’s description of where sickness comes from hasn’t changed in all that time – it’s just as useless now as it was then – but a lot more people are a lot better off due to our (according to you, stupid) refusal to accept it and to seek our naturalistic explanations.
    If you want to give up and say ‘Magic Man Done It’, that’s fine, but don’t expect smart people to listen to you.

    You see, science is based on observation and observation is based on our own perception. But what if our perception is so limited that the world we see around us is only the tip of a very large iceberg. Are we to deny the existence of a deeper reality just because we are so constrained? Or should we instead look for answers beyond our ordinary sensory faculties?

    If you don’t think that modern naturalistic science has extended our perceptive faculties, you are quite frankly an idiot.

    The truth is out there, but where? I think I know.

    Ok, do tell.
    And make sure to back it up, please.
    Explain why your concept of god is right and all other competing concepts of god are wrong.

  127. 127
    Owlmirror

    Atheists, I have something disturbing to tell you:

    Wow! What could it possibly be? Some evidence? Sound reason?

    Naturalism has failed.

    And Lo! There was palming of faces and desking of heads.

    What’s the replacement for naturalism? Make-believe? Is there a coherent theory of unnaturalism?

    Now, that doesn’t mean that nothing can be explained by natural causes – far from it – but that there are many things about reality that cannot be explained in terms of blind causation and/or accidence.

    Arguing from ignorance is a logical fallacy, and is therefore not Reason.

    That is why we have no real explanation for either the origin of life or the universe.

    So you agree that an evidence-based theory of abiogenesis and evidence-based cosmology would prove that naturalism had succeeded?

    But what if our perception is so limited that the world we see around us is only the tip of a very large iceberg.

    (emph mine)

    So now you’re offering the hypothetical conjecture that naturalism has failed?

    Are we to deny the existence of a deeper reality just because we are so constrained?

    Evidence, please, of this “deeper reality”.

    Or should we instead look for answers beyond our ordinary sensory faculties?

    We already do. We can detect the signature of distant stars exploding and of particles so lacking in mass or electrical charge that they barely react with ordinary matter at all.

    The truth is out there, but where? I think I know.

    Is it up your ass? Because that’s my first guess.

    On the contrary, miracles happen all the time – we just take them for granted.

    What does “miracle” even mean if it happens frequently enough to be “taken for granted”?

    Each and every one of us was formed in our mother’s wombs, starting off as a fertilized egg.

    So the truth is in your gonads, rather than up your ass?

    The gestation process is, without doubt, more of a manifestation of divine power and intelligence than any burning bush.

    Except that it’s completely natural. That’s why embryology and developmental biology are part of science, not theology.

  128. 128
    Amphiox

    Suppose hypothetically, that after much research into abiogenesis, we actually do discover that life on earth really did require some intelligent creator.

    Does that actually answer the question of how life and intelligence arose?

    No!

    It just pushes the mystery one step back. A creator producing life on earth is simply life creating life, and nothing any more profound than reproduction in general.

    If life actually has an origin, and the question of the cause of life even meaninful to ask, somewhere, sometime, life MUST have arisen from non-life. And abiogenesis research will continue, off this planet.

    Abiogenesis is not actually a theory, it is a TRUISM.

    The theories are the details of HOW it happened.

    Positing a creator as a first cause NEVER answers ANYTHING.

  129. 129
    yec123

    Except that it’s completely natural. That’s why embryology and developmental biology are part of science, not theology.

    It is only “natural” in that it is repeatable. Unfortunately, the breathtakingly complex process involved is beyond the ken of all developmental biologists (including PZ Myers) who just focus on certain aspects of it.

    Positing a creator as a first cause NEVER answers ANYTHING.

    We can argue about HOW the Creator created life. That is a valid question. But, as with my comment above, the fact is that new life is created all the time and yet we have no answers to explain it.

  130. 130
    Owlmirror

    It is only “natural” in that it is repeatable.

    Right, it’s natural.

    Unfortunately, the breathtakingly complex process involved is beyond the ken of all developmental biologists (including PZ Myers) who just focus on certain aspects of it.

    So — what you’re ignorant of about embryology and developmental biology is unnatural? You worship your own ignorance?

    We can argue about HOW the Creator created life.

    Don’t we need evidence for this putative Creator first?

    But, as with my comment above, the fact is that new life is created all the time and yet we have no answers to explain it.

    Sure we do. Meiosis and mitosis; gene expression and development.

    What’s unnatural about that?

  131. 131
    Amphiox

    the breathtakingly complex process involved is beyond the ken of all developmental biologists

    God of the gaps is not and never will be a valid argument for anything.

    We can argue about HOW the Creator created life.

    No we can’t, because there’s no evidence to even suggest that life on earth, however it might have arisen, was created.

    That is a valid question.

    No. It’s not. Not without first having reasonably evidence that life actually had a creator.

    But again, even if there were a creator, “creator did it” is NOT the answer to the origin of life, and never will be. It just moves the question back to “where did the creator come from”?

    “Creator did it” is just another, less honest, way of saying “I don’t know”.

  132. 132
    kemist, Dark Lord of the Sith

    It is only “natural” in that it is repeatable. Unfortunately, the breathtakingly complex process involved is beyond the ken of all developmental biologists (including PZ Myers) who just focus on certain aspects of it.

    While you understand none.

    On what basis do you declare, from all the height of your non-existent knowledge of biology, chemistry and physics, that life is unnatural, pray tell ?

    We can argue about HOW the Creator created life. That is a valid question. But, as with my comment above, the fact is that new life is created all the time and yet we have no answers to explain it.

    That’s like arguing Star Trek tivia. Fun, but completely useless.

    Not a shred a workable knowledge has been extracted from religious books and ideas, ever, in thousands of years of trying.

    Because they’re only filled with made-up shit, written by ignorant, provincial, and not particularly bright humans.

    The pompous idiots behind ID know this. That’s why their main strategy has been to teach nonsense to children and create pseudo-scientific journals rather than getting their fucking money out to fund real research.

    Contrast this with “naturalistic” science, which finds new things out everyday.

  133. 133
    Anri

    We can argue about HOW the Creator created life. That is a valid question. But, as with my comment above, the fact is that new life is created all the time and yet we have no answers to explain it.

    But – and I want to make sure I’m not misrepresenting something you said upthread – this most definitely isn’t physical evidence for god, right?

    ‘Cause a little while ago, you said there was no such thing.

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