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Apparently, atheism has been disproven

At least, that’s what a guy with some children’s toys thinks.

I take flour, butter, sugar, eggs, and milk and mix them up even more thoroughly than our smug Islamist fool does his Legos; then to be really, really sure, I put it in a 350° oven for 40 minutes and totally destroy the original ingredients. And out comes…CAKE (no lie!).

Thus, I have disproven god.

Look, their argument is invalid. You can’t talk about a chance-driven process shaped by selection over billions of years and so blithely compare it to a few seconds of shaking, with no selection, of building blocks. You also cannot compare one specific possible combinatorial outcome out of an uncountably vast number of possibilities and say, presto, that you didn’t get this one result implies that the process doesn’t work. Every poker hand, with its improbable individual likelihood, does not in any way imply that dealing cards is impossible.

Comments

  1. evodevo says

    Argued with this type in my bio classes many times ….I just point them to that (very old – 1980’s) EVOLUTION program in Dawkins’ Blind Watchmaker to start the discussion. These people do NOT want to understand the process, but anything computer-related/game-related they have trouble denying. It’s amazing how much they can deny logic while using computer logic everyday ……. I just point that out to them. Some, of course, remain willfully blind, but some come around.

  2. brucegee1962 says

    Put an idiot into a room with a bunch of miscellaneous machine parts. His job all day is to put configurations of parts together, then hand them over to another idiot in a testing room. The testing idiot then checks to see if the parts do anything useful. If they do, the first idiot uses them for future tinkering; if they don’t they get broken apart and used for something different.

    Do that for a few millennia, and tell me that you won’t have a mousetrap — or any other device you care to name.

  3. Rob Grigjanis says

    Do that for a few millennia, and tell me that you won’t have a mousetrap — or any other device you care to name.

    Quite so. And then some other idiot will come along and say “Ooh, a mousetrap! Entropy has decreased!”, ignoring the increase in entropy caused by millenia of idiot tinkering.

  4. Usernames are smart says

    His job all day is to put configurations of parts together, then hand them over to another idiot in a testing room.
    — brucegee1962 (#3)

    <sarcasm>
    So…you mean the parts actually fit together in a certain way, and stay together because…stuff.

    Maybe like because two hydrogen atoms (each with a single electron) fit with an oxygen (with eight electrons – 2 in the first shell and 6 in the second shell), so the hydrogens’ electrons completely max out that second shell (8), thereby making a stable molecule?

    You mean that WATER isn’t just “thrown” together, but actually makes sense why it would exist instead of, say, Hydrogen + Boron?

    Oh, and I can’t just put hydrogen and oxygen in a bag and shake it; I have to apply more energy than that to make those elements share electrons? What sorcery is that?!</sarcasm>

    Sigh. If only it would work to pull a “Clockwork Orange” with these folks and force them to learn Chemistry, Geology, Biology and…Philosophy (the latter so they can actually learn introspection and some logic).

  5. garnetstar says

    Thank you, usernames @7, for articulating one of the points here.

    I’ve been trying to communicate this to these people for years (useless): chemical reactions *are not random*. They do not happen by chance.

  6. dutchdelight says

    It’s sortof cute. Rehashing 60’s era arguments about boeings assembling from junkyards by way of tornados rushing through. Hardly the spectaculair new creationist/spritual/religious insight we were waiting for.

    I suppose that if you shelter yourself from reality like islamists do, this actually passes for deep insightful argument.

  7. says

    My mom tried to use this argument. Rather than argue the science, I started arguing the engineering. After about twenty minutes of me listing the design flaws in the human body, I asked her if she was still going to try to convince me this ‘designer’ was intelligent.

    She got all pissy and said ‘there is no use trying to have these conversations with you’.

  8. Menyambal --- making sambal a food group. says

    There were a couple of guys who built a helicopter that they designed mostly by evolution. Well, they’d try something, and if it worked better they’d keep it and try something else with it. They had no qualifications in design at all, just mechanical skill.

    A well-qualified person heard about them and the type of helicopter they were working on, and went over to explain why their design would never get off the ground. The one fellow listened to him, and said, “Well, you’ve convinced me. Could you explain it to Bob?” “Sure thing. Erm, where is Bob?” “He’s out flying the helicopter.”

    True story. The well-qualified guy wound up being their business manager … dunno if that’s why the business failed.

  9. David Marjanović says

    You mean that WATER isn’t just “thrown” together, but actually makes sense why it would exist instead of, say, Hydrogen + Boron?

    um.

    But then, it’s no accident that oxygen is so much more common than boron, or that “[m]any of the boranes readily oxidise on contact with air, some violently.”

  10. Rich Woods says

    I find this video truly inspirational. I’m going to dig out my old Lego Technics box and build myself a helicopter. Sadly the box doesn’t contain a magic bag, but that would have taken all the fun out of it.

  11. Gregory Greenwood says

    It really is sad that creationists still think that “you can’t create *insert complex mechanical system* by randomly mixing up components for a few seconds/minutes, therefore random genetic mutations acted upon by selection pressures over a time frame of millions of years can’t acheive evolutionary change” somehow constitutes a persuasive argument.

    They really don’t grasp either the importance of selection pressures or what an impact deep time and a huge number of iterations can have on this type of process. They just recycle the same tired non-arguments no matter how often or comprehensively they are debunked.

    It is a bit like watching someone repeatedly beat their head against a rock face in the expectation that, by virtue of sheer persistance and a refusal to deal with reality, they will ultimately reduce the whole mountain range to gravel.

  12. dutchdelight says

    @12

    Last I checked, Christians are as good as Muslims at sheltering themselves. Especially in the less enlightened parts of the world, like the Bible Belt.

    Ok bro. Non sequitur much?

  13. Menyambal --- making sambal a food group. says

    I walked over to the coin-operated laundry one day, opened up the container into which I had dropped my handfuls of quarters, and saw they were stacked neatly in columns of identical height, compactly arranged. It scared the bejesus out of me.

    I figured it out, of course. The container was a flat Altoids tin, and I had been carrying it on edge, shaking it as I walked along. The coins had simply slid into the lowest possible position, with many repetitions back and forth around each state until the very lowest.

    The coins were random as to heads and tails, and by dates, of course. It was chance that I had carried the container that way (well, that was constrained by my pocket) and had opened it without disturbing the stacks.

  14. Rey Fox says

    You can’t talk about a chance-driven process shaped by selection over billions of years and so blithely compare it to a few seconds of shaking, with no selection, of building blocks.

    Buhhhhhhhh how come?

  15. nich says

    Takfir! Takfir! Woe be to he who would translate the holy book. Who is this kafir to claim to know what only Allah could know? Had Allah chosen to reveal Allah’s holy word to Mohammad, PBUM, in any language other than Arabic, the tongue of most holy Mecca and Medina, Allah would have done so! This foolish attempt by men to translate the untranslatable is the height of arrogance. Takfir!

  16. ck says

    @David,

    I think the part on that page where “These compounds do not occur in nature.” was important to Usernames’s original point. The fact that a compound of boron and hydrogen can be synthesized is fine, but it would not occur naturally since it is too reactive with other (more plentiful) elements. So, it’s not design that makes H₂O so plentiful, and boranes non-existent in nature.

  17. woozy says

    Since when has there been an “s” on the end of the word “Lego” ?

    What about a box of Band-aid(s)? The box says Band-aid, no “s”, but it’s full of individual band-aids. Well, they aren’t actually “band-aids”; they are bandages and “Band-aid” is simply the brand name. Same thing with “Hand me a kleenex. Aw, man, my nose is really really runny. Hand me a couple of kleenexes.”

    Technically the individual blocks might be called “Lego building blocks” and the word “Lego” collectively refers to the toy system and not the individual blocks. But every single person I know colloquially refers to an individual block as a lego with the plural being legos.

    For what it’s worth though, I’ve always visualized legos as the specific blocks in lower case but that might just be me.

    So since when, well for me since 1971 at least. Probably longer for others.

  18. jnorris says

    If evolution theory were evidence for atheism, then disproving evolution theory would have some effect on atheism.

  19. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    The easiest way to disprove atheism, show us your deity. Not words you claim are from the deity, not what you think shows indirect evidence for the deity, by rather the deity….Funny how that is missing in action.

  20. consciousness razor says

    If evolution theory were evidence for atheism, then disproving evolution theory would have some effect on atheism.

    Well, evolution is evidence against a creator god with a life fetish. Life itself is of course (very scant) evidence for a god with a life fetish, since such gods aren’t going to create lifeless universes. But not all gods are supposed to be like that, so since atheism is a stronger claim, it needs more than that. There’s no god Jupiter, no Loki, no Quetzalcoatl, no Cthulhu — none of them.

    But evolution isn’t the only naturalistic possibility for explaining the diversity of life either (it doesn’t cover the origins anyway, which is what abiogenesis is about), so even if it were shown to be wrong somehow, no, it wouldn’t necessarily have an effect. What you would need to do is show some evidence that a god is responsible — for that in particular or for anything whatsoever. That is what atheism is about, so you must directly address that or else you fail. This is why theists fail.

  21. woozy says

    If evolution theory were evidence for atheism, then disproving evolution theory would have some effect on atheism.

    Would it? Subways are evidence of a city but lack of subways aren’t evidence of a lack of cities.

  22. ck says

    Make sure you either use self-rising flour or beat the crap out of the eggs if you try to make a cake with PZ’s cake recipe, or you might just bake a brick.

  23. says

    Make sure you either use self-rising flour or beat the crap out of the eggs if you try to make a cake with PZ’s cake recipe, or you might just bake a brick.

    I’m still too afraid of the new life forms being generated in my jar of peanut butter to go anywhere near the kitchen. And the bananas are so perfect they mock my atheistic beliefs.
    Really, I see evolution as an algorithm. Creationists are arguing with math. It didn’t work so well last election day, and it’s not working well now.

  24. anteprepro says

    WithinThisMind:

    She got all pissy and said ‘there is no use trying to have these conversations with you’.

    That’s virtually every argument about religion in a nutshell. Defensiveness and dismissiveness are the keys. The appearance of using something resembling logic is only a comforting distraction, an exercise in self-affirmation, a means to emotionally regulate oneself. And it is perpetually disturbed by people using logic as a tool rather than a play thing or ornament.

  25. pigdowndog says

    ” But every single person I know colloquially refers to an individual block as a lego with the plural being legos.”

    No-one here in the UK calls them “Legos”, they say “Lego” as a collective or singular or alternatively “Lego bricks”.

  26. Geral says

    He’s right. Why didn’t we think of Lego helicopters? Looks like the party is over. Time to go home…

  27. anbheal says

    I give you Boris Spassky v. Robert J. Fischer, Game 12, Reykjavik, 1972. The rules are really quite simple. And yet……

    I think people must really not understand Powers of 10, and how long a billion years is.

  28. atcggcta says

    Maybe they should take a biology class, where you dump Legos (nucleotides) into a bag (test tube) and change the temperature a few times and make billions of copies of a gene.

  29. says

    It’s sad, how ignorant these people are.

    But the saddest part of it all is that they don’t want to expand their knowledge. They look at something and declare it impossible and therefore God, rather than asking the important question. How could life just arise by chance?

    Open a frickin’ biology textbook, expand your knowledge, and learn.