Quantcast

«

»

Feb 23 2014

Creationists are cowards

I don’t subscribe to HBO, so I missed the new documentary on creationism, Questioning Darwin. I did manage to catch a few clips, like this one from Gawker. Hear creationists say what they really think!

Amanda Marcotte has a sound take on their position. It’s not stupidity driving these weird excuses, it’s fear.

By going back and forth between creationists and Darwin’s life story, the documentary crafts a compelling image of the conflict between two world views: That of curiosity and that of incuriosity/fear. I agree with the New York Times reviewer that the creationists are presented non-judgementally, but as these clips amassed by Gawker make clear, the creationists do all the work for you anyway. There’s a pastor explaining he would have to accept it if the Bible said “2+2=5″ and people talking, over and over again, about the strategies they have to employ to shut down their minds in the event that they’re presented with an opportunity to think more broadly.  The major emotion that comes off them in waves is that of fear: Fear of asking questions, fear of the “world” (which is always talked about negatively), fear of difference, fear that thinking might lead them into dark places, fear that they really aren’t special that manifests in making up a God who loves you so you never have to go a moment without that feeling, fear that they will fall into the abyss without blind obedience to authority, and, of course, fear of death.

Exactly. These people are not incapable of understanding evolution; they are instead practicing motivated reasoning, and are being entirely rational in fleeing into irrationality, because they don’t know how to cope without their beloved myths and fantasy stories.

76 comments

Skip to comment form

  1. 1
    Marcus Ranum

    Pastor Bonner has earned a B.A. in Biblical Studies; M.A in the Bible; Master of Divinity; Dr. of Christian Ministries and a ThD.

    So, he’s really got a handle on the science of imaginary gods. But, why would I imagine he knows anything about cosmology or planetary science?

  2. 2
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    They honestly believe that believing the wrong belief about anything, or believing the right belief about the wrong belief, will get them kicked out of the heavenly choir. So, yeah, it is fear.

    Which is pretty much what keeps right wing authoritarianism going — politics, news, religion, everything.

  3. 3
    timgueguen

    But it`s the Bible, Marcus. The Word of God. That trumps everything!

    Except of course all those parts of it you don`t like, or are too wacky even for you to believe. Then it`s all metaphor, or Jesus said that stuff doesn`t apply anymore.

  4. 4
    thomasvos

  5. 5
    David Marjanović

    Slight correction for Ham: I’m not aware of “dinosaur bones with brain tumors”; dinosaur bones with bone tumors, however, are known.

  6. 6
    dhall

    “Are you then saying that God is nothing more than an animal?” No, not even that. Just imaginary. To argue that we cannot be in the same biological category as other animals because god created us in his own image is seriously missing the point. Evolution does not require a god, not for anything, much less as a model for a seriously fallible if big-brained animal.

  7. 7
    sigurd jorsalfar

    I had to laugh at the feeble grin that appeared on ‘Dr’ Charles Bonner’s face when he concluded ‘so what are they saying? that god is just an animal?’ Such a brilliant argument! No wonder he’s a ‘Dr’.

  8. 8
    ludicrous

    I’ve been trying since Friday to find a video of the debate between Sean Carroll and some preacher. The youtube search is fcked up, shows only old vids and many of those give the same clip no matter which title you click on. Help! I suspect foul play, those preachers wouldn’t cheat would they?

  9. 9
    Menyambal

    Fear of death, indeed. Those Christians have come up with a way to deny their mortality, the cowards. So now every time I see a church or a cross, I am reminded of my own mortality. Thanks a fucking lot.

    I sometimes think that Christians have sacrificed their own intelligence to their god. They seem be in a contest to believe crazy shit.

  10. 10
    BMcHell

    ludicrous @8,

    From http://www.preposterousuniverse.com/blog/2014/02/20/god-and-cosmology-debate-with-w-l-craig/

    “[Update: After the live stream is over the videos go "private," but the whole thing will be put up on YouTube before too long.]“

  11. 11
    tiko

    I’ve often thought that rather than religion telling people what to think it teaches them how not to think. They are taught to build a mental brick wall,it’s like seeing something out of the corner of their eye but rather than turning to look at it to get a better understanding of what it is they ignore it.They know its there but it can only get so far before it bounces off the wall.
    I’m not explaining it very well* but I also think that at some subconscious level they are reaching out to understand (which is only natural but the wall works both ways).Maybe that’s where the fear comes from or the panic that can be seen in their eyes sometimes ,almost getting hold of something before their programming kicks in and they spurt out the usual AIG crap while the truth bounces back to where it came from.

    *this all sounds much better in my head but a bit er wordy in words.

  12. 12
    Marcus Ranum

    I wrote:
    Pastor Bonner has earned a B.A. in Biblical Studies; M.A in the Bible

    BTW – there’s no way someone could actually study the bible and its origins, or anything about textual criticism, and still believe it’s the inspired word of a supreme being. That conman is just protecting his meal-ticket.

  13. 13
    Jackie, all dressed in black

    That fear is carefully trained into them.

  14. 14
    colnago80

    Re ludicrous @ #8

    Actually, the Carroll debate was with William Lane Craig who purports to be a philosopher.

  15. 15
    plainenglish

    Well, to reduce it all to fear is more than plausible. But perhaps a bit hard-hearted….Would you say that a brainwashed child is fearful? Yes, afraid of more than death, afraid of annihilation, skin bubbling in fire forever and so forth. And for that matter afraid to live too. I can see George Carlin pacing the stage and laying out this scenario where a kid is harangued with what is going to happen to him if he isn’t in Jesus’ club, how is going to burn forever and his bones broken and chewed, maggots all over and screaming and so you know what the little fucker does? He agrees that 2+2=5! What a fucking little asshole!
    The child is a coward I suppose but we cut the little guy some slack and calling somebody/anybody a coward is not a good way forward in my experience. I am a coward and it is not a crime to be afraid but it clearly does some pretty magical things to basic addition: The Man says 5 comes from 2+2 and by Jesus it will be 5. We are baiting the fishers of men with the use of the word coward. And the fishers are happily declaring their allegiance to the flag, so to speak. The beaten spouse is heading back for more abuse because she calls herself unworthy, a coward. Are these fair parallels? The cowardice of shallow patriotism, the cowardice of those in abusive relationships? Doesn’t really work for me so well. I have hatred in me for what cowardly believers do to children especially. I’ll join in a chorus of scorn but the teasing about cowardice doesn’t improve my afternoon. I agree wholeheartedly with PZ’s final statement, the (perhaps) entirely rational flee into irrationality… I fled to be able to love my parents and to believe in their love, a fear of losing all. I fled because I wanted to live and the number 4 was only one little fucking number.

  16. 16
    neuralobserver

    (yawning….) Another cycle in the never ending rehash of creationist naivete, ignorance and simple-minded bullshit.

  17. 17
    Larry

    I almost feel sorry for them. To actively ignore and dismiss the wonders of the world in which they live, the intense sense of, I don’t know, elation when, using only your senses and intellect, discover something about yourself or the world that is brand new to you. All because they’re skeered of a mythical creature they’ve read about in some dusty, ancient text. And even then, deep down, they know this is BS but they’ve been so indoctrinated, they have to force it back down and hide it again lest it piss off their sky fairy.

  18. 18
    Irène Delse, on dry land among seabirds

    fear of the “world” (which is always talked about negatively)

    Oh, yes. In classic Christian worldview, “the world” is by definition a vale of tears. This was the exile to which Adam and Eve were condemned for defying God, after all. It’s fallen and flawed, and we can only hope to escape it in the next life (the only one that counts). Sinners delight in the earthly pleasures, when they should turn instead, with all their mind and all their heart, to the eternal promise of Jesus. Etc, etc. With Christianist rhetoric, it’s easy to turn light to dark and life to death, as handily as in an Orwell novel.

  19. 19
    nich

    Science says we’re no different from dogs? Sweet! Let’s see here…OUCH! That hurts! I think I just injured my spine trying to lick my own balls! Thanks, science!

  20. 20
    Al Dente

    I think I just injured my spine trying to lick my own balls!

    If you’d been doing that since puppyhood you could still do it without injury. :^b

  21. 21
    borax

    Um, I don’t that that one woman knew that Darwin was dead.

  22. 22
    jacobfromlost

    I watched this clip elsewhere, and THOUGHT that dude looked familiar–the heavy guy in the blue shirt; the “Are you saying god is nothing more than an animal” guy. I just didn’t pay attention closely enough.

    Then I noticed “Bible Baptist Church” just now, and thought, wow, what a coincidence. That’s the same name as that wacky church my great-grandfather went to, and his daughter (my grandmother). My great-grandfather used to try to get me to go to that church on Sunday mornings back in the early ’80s when I had to spend the night at my great-grandparents’ house Saturday nights (my parents both worked nights for a while). But there must be millions of “Bible Baptist Churches” in the US, right?

    And then I saw…Selah, WA. (We pronounce it SEE-luh, not say-LAH, which would be the correct biblical pronunciation–meaning, “to pause and reflect”.)

    Oh my freakin’ god! It’s the same church! Not a 15 minute walk in the country from where I’m typing this right now! (And it IS a pretty weird coincidence given that this town is tiny, and has dozens of churches. Even picking one of them randomly ONLY IN THIS TINY TOWN wouldn’t likely fall to that one. It’s not even that big.)

    I don’t want to tell tales out of church, but that place had the most corrosive, chaotic effect on my dad’s side of the family for years and years (I would argue “to this very day”, as dad is still alive, while everyone else has passed away). Grandma simply replaced her alcoholism with religion and tried to beat everyone over the head with it, apparently trying to make herself feel better for decades of failures in her own life. Great-grandpa (her father) had a 6th grade education, and repeated every bit of nonsense he ever heard at that church (and the “are you saying god is an animal” thing is tame in comparison).

    Luckily great-grandma refused to go to that church. She thought they were all high-and-mighty gossips, which they were, but listening to great-grandpa call us all “sons of bitches” and to “get out of his house” in the minutes after great-grandma’s funeral, and then listening to him wonder aloud if his wife was burning in hell for eternity…that has stuck with me even these 22 years later. (They were married for around 60 years, and the church soiled that too.)

    Ten years after that, great-grandpa died, and Bonner showed up at the funeral home demanding to speak because he was told how the entire family was filled with atheists who were going to block him from speaking at the funeral–and me notwithstanding, that wasn’t remotely true (although I can well imagine great-grandpa saying something like that). My mom and her side were Catholics, but that was close enough for them I guess. And no one CARED if he spoke or not. We all assumed he would because grandpa went to that church for decades. Luckily the message and feelings of hatred for us still lingered even after grandpa was dead.

    So glad I was smart enough at 7 years old to steer clear of that place. Even at 7 and knew I didn’t want to end up like those people.

    Selah…pause, and reflect.

    P.S. My parents got married nearly 41 years ago, in their tiny apartment. My grandma–dad’s mom–and his brother took him aside…on the wedding day…in the tiny apartment to tell him not to marry my mother because she was Catholic. They told him he would end up taking care of all of her siblings, yada yada yada, and I do believe that was the only time in his life he just defied them. I could write an entire book about all the dysfunction that came from dad’s side of the family and all the dysfunction–and how the religious stuff just fueled the fire. It really makes me sick to think about it, and listening to Bonner’s idiocy here is just the tip of the iceberg. Can you imagine applying this kind of thinking to complex, interpersonal relationships fraught with dysfunction over years? Still pisses me off. And my parents, now in their later years, still argue over stuff that stems directly from all of this garbage.

  23. 23
    CSB

    I just finished watching the documentary. It’s not exactly news, but it’s amazing how little creationists actually seem to understand what they’re arguing against.

    I mean, there was literally a video clip from the Creation Museum where they talked about DNA and how it allowed various kinds of animals to diverge into the species we see today, only to conclude with “but this is not evolution”. I mean, yeah, it’s technically true in that their spiel was basically “God did this”, but if they actually knew what they were arguing against you’d expect them to avoid all but spelling out speciation.

  24. 24
    mikeyb

    From personal experience I’ve come to the conclusion that many people are incapable of understanding evolution. I once had a long argument with a creationist about the notion that evolution can’t happen because it is too improbable to happen. The creationist echoed the classic Boeing 747 design argument, that it is practically impossible for chance to produce even an hemoglobin molecule given random shuffling of DNA base pairs. Though I explained ad nauseum that evolution by natural selection is a cumulative process and the very inverse of a chance process, so the whole Boeing 747 objection is absurd, it just went in one ear and out the other, and he parroted out his same objections at the end of the conversation, seeming incapable of understanding a thing of what I was saying. This is just one of many examples of creationist canards I have encountered and dismissed with blissfully none of the arguments penetrating the thick skulls of creationists. I’ve come to conclusion these are ideologies, which for many people seem to render them incapable of even understanding any arguments which contradict their point of views. Other than ideology, how do you explain how a person like William Lane Craig can hear just about every argument refuting the existence of god from scientists and philosophers, hear over and over again how he simply doesn’t understand what he’s talking about, yet time and time again he repeats the same arguments as if he had never heard any objections, with a profound inability to recognize that his understanding of so many topics are total bullshit, only true in the mind and interpretation of WLC, but not actual scientists and philosophers.

  25. 25
    peterh

    “Pastor Bonner has earned a B.A. in Biblical Studies; M.A in the Bible; Master of Divinity; Dr. of Christian Ministries and a ThD.”

    The only thing that’s absolutely certain if one has a sheepskin to wave about is that somewhere there’s a dead sheep.

  26. 26
    spamamander, internet amphibian

    I saw Pastor Bonner’s clip as part of Cult of Dusty’s rant about the series. I just want to weep that I live in the same area…

  27. 27
    twas brillig (stevem)

    I guess these creoturds never heard the saying, “Better to remain silent and have everyone _think_ you’re a fool, than to speak and remove all doubt.” Or they think it only applies to everybody *else*.

    >>Dunning-Kruger :: These creots think they know Everything simply because they got an A in Theology. That Education makes Scientists idiots. I too suffer from DKS (Dunning Kruger Syndrome): I am not a psychologist but I think I can diagnose these people’s psychology instantly.

  28. 28
    dhall

    Borax – Not only does she seem unaware that Darwin has been dead for awhile, she doesn’t know anything else about him either. For instance, that he initially studied to become an Anglican priest, and probably knew a heck of a lot more about biblical studies than she ever will . . .

  29. 29
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    There is one word in evolutionary theory that strikes the fear into the heart of the godbots. That word is random. As in random mutation. If the universe is random, they are special. A second problem they have is with natural selection. By their logic, if a selection is made, there must be a selector. They just won’t grasp that genes/environment make the selection.

  30. 30
    Menyambal

    That 747 argument would be a lot better if the Wright brothers had invented the 747. The development of aircraft is very much evolutionary.

    I like how the “God is an animal?” guy puts together his strawman idea of what evolution implies, and a little gibberish bit of his own theology, to come up with his imaginary claim/insult. I hope he didn’t bruise his brain with the whiplash, there. (But yes, the ones who shaped my being were indeed animals. Tough, survivor animals, thanks.)

  31. 31
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    Dang, meant to say #28 in sentence four, “If the universe is random, they aren’t special”

  32. 32
    Ibis3, Let's burn some bridges

    That Cult of Dusty vid (@ #4) should come with a warning. It’s full of sexist slurs, slut shaming, fat shaming, and even bald shaming. In fact that pretty much constitutes the entirety of Dusty’s commentary. Thus pretty much unfunny.

  33. 33
    tacitus

    OT: You made The Observer newspaper today, PZ:

    Although possibly this is what Kurzweil’s critics, such as the biologist PZ Myers, mean when they say that the problem with Kurzweil’s theories is that “it’s a very bizarre mixture of ideas that are solid and good with ideas that are crazy. It’s as if you took a lot of very good food and some dog excrement and blended it all up so that you can’t possibly figure out what’s good or bad.”

  34. 34
    fabianocaccin

    Fear is the mind killer

  35. 35
    anteprepro

    That Cult of Dusty vid (@ #4) should come with a warning. It’s full of sexist slurs, slut shaming, fat shaming, and even bald shaming. In fact that pretty much constitutes the entirety of Dusty’s commentary. Thus pretty much unfunny.

    And to think that I didn’t watch just because of the ableism in the title of the vid! Oh, what I missed! *gag*

  36. 36
    Alex the Pretty Good

    Kent Hovind: Fear will keep the believers in line. Fear of Hell.

    Ray Comfort: What of Darwinism? If the Darwinists have obtained a complete reading of the Bible, it is possible, however unlikely, they might find a weakness and exploit it.

    George W. Bush: The books you refer to will soon be back in our hands.

    Ken Ham: Any attack made by the Darwinists against the “Creationist Museum” would be a useless gesture, no matter what books they have obtained. This museum is now the ultimate source of ignorance in the universe! I suggest we use it!

  37. 37
    David Marjanović

    They just won’t grasp that genes/environment make the selection.

    The environment. Not genes.

  38. 38
    BMcHell

    Has anyone else ever encountered a creationist that actually came close to truly understanding evolution, at least at a basic or fundamental level? Someone who would be equipped to argue his opponent’s point of view, so to speak? Someone who could pass an intro-level quiz on the basics of evolution? I feel there are a great many atheists who could easily argue the creationist side far better than most of them can do it, and surveys have shown that atheists tend to know their holy book better than they do. Is this just my confirmation bias as work, or is there actually no such thing as a creationist who understands evolution?

    In my limited experience I have never seen even one who came close, and the vast majority are so far away from understanding that they honestly believe the timeless classic “if man came from monkeys why are there still monkeys” is a compelling argument.

    If we could convince Ken Ham to sit through personal tutoring on science and evolution from a thoughtful instructor, would it even be theoretically possible to make him understand? Granted I would still expect him to stick to his creationist guns, given how vested he is at this point – but maybe he would at least understand the basics of the science hie is rejecting.

  39. 39
    atheistblog

    Jeez, it took this long for you PZ to realize that its more about culture than reasoning, it doesn’t matter what bible says or not, its their culture which most people are afraid to change and give up. But people do change, its a very slow process.
    For eg, people fanatically opposing abortion is not an abstract confined to religious belief, but rather its a more to christian culture, a culture in which people one day in a week sit down and listen to cultural reinforcement. Not all religion opposes abortion but it depends upon culture.
    Religions are irrelevant for eternal fact, but it is relevant for community. Religion is part of culture, like language, there are good in culture and there are bad in cultures, cultures has to be reformed over time as human ethics progress.
    But you are thinking of disparaging religion and faith, but religious folks see it as attack on their culture.
    This is why without realizing these, sometimes Sam Harris and Dawkins are so dumb when they talk, but not upto their level you sometime PZ, are ignorant about anthropology as well.
    I want atheist and humanist to have high moral ground, and high ethics, an atheist should also say that bin laden should have been brought to due process should have been killed point blank when unarmed, but only heard that voice from priests and bishops.
    When you talk about that atheism should but something about good, then learn this, have a high moral ground and disparaging should not be one of the aspects of atheism. Well, I know you can’t PZ. That’s why Dan Dennet is a good atheist than PZ, who disparages and from that disparages make money from ads.

  40. 40
    The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge

    tacitus @ 33:

    Although possibly this is what Kurzweil’s critics, such as the biologist PZ Myers, mean when they say that the problem with Kurzweil’s theories is that “it’s a very bizarre mixture of ideas that are solid and good with ideas that are crazy. It’s as if you took a lot of very good food and some dog excrement and blended it all up so that you can’t possibly figure out what’s good or bad.”

    See this is the difference between a nut like Kurzweil and a nut like Roger Penrose, for example. Penrose, doG love him, is as big a nut as Kurzweil really, but you can learn a tremendous amount even from his nuttiest explanations. Kurzweil not so much.

  41. 41
    Akira MacKenzie

    Alex @ 36

    I find their abundance of faith disturbing.

  42. 42
    chigau (違う)

    atheistblog
    We’ve got lumps of it round the back.

  43. 43
    mikeyb

    Check out this other documentary gem illustrating how creationists are immune from arguments.

  44. 44
    hillaryrettig

    The commenters who are pointing out the illogic of the creationists’ positions are missing the point entirely. It’s about fear, not logic.

  45. 45
    Eamon Knight

    Just saw The Revisionaries today, about McLeroy and Dunbar’s antics on the Texas State Board of Ed a few years back. It’s subtler, but you can see the same sort of thing coming through, especially from the former, in unguarded moments. Like when McLeroy says — apparently oblivious to the irony — that all he wants is to get good science standards in the curriculum, but he has to ignore all these scientists to do it. It really is all about propping up his faith, and that America will fall apart, and so on.

  46. 46
    feralboy12

    Religion is part of culture, like language, there are good in culture and there are bad in cultures, cultures has to be reformed over time as human ethics progress.

    True, I suppose, but that adds nothing to the truth value of religion’s claims and seriously interferes with the education of many, many children–and continues to propagate down the generations. And giving that free pass to bad ideas, as you seem to want to do, changes nothing. Religious ideas and yes, cultural practices should be subject to analysis and criticism just like any other ideas. Some will feel they are being attacked, but shutting up for fear of hurting somebody’s feelings gives those ideas a protection not earned.
    Sigh…whack-a-mole is so boring when the mole just pops up in the same place every time.

  47. 47
    Akira MacKenzie

    If you pressed hard enough, I think you’ll find that their fear is not such that they will not continue on after death, but that without a god to act as cosmic hanging judge, there is no ultimate justice. For them, Earthly justice is too error-prone; the “wrong” verdict is reached, the bad guy gets away or is never caught at all, and good people needlessly suffer despite the best efforts of mere mortals. Even when everything works out, it’s never enough. The wrong must receive more punishment.

    However, after death, we’re supposed to receive what’s coming to us from a perfect, unerring arbiter. The good (which the believer is usually sure they are among) will receive reward for their faith and obedience while the evil-doers (which are usually all the people the believer hates) are tormented forever. Finally all is right with the universe.

    Take out their judgmental deity and the corresponding afterlives, and you tear down the believer’s entire concept of morality. They become adrift in an imperfect universe with the high potential for ultimate inequity and pointless suffering. Serial killers can murder and potentially get away with it. The child with terminal cancer dies with succor in the next life. All of the sinners, blasphemers, and infidels become no better or worse than the pious.

    They really don’t like that idea.

  48. 48
    Akira MacKenzie

    Error: …without succor…

  49. 49
    anteprepro

    But you are thinking of disparaging religion and faith, but religious folks see it as attack on their culture.
    This is why without realizing these, sometimes Sam Harris and Dawkins are so dumb when they talk, but not upto their level you sometime PZ, are ignorant about anthropology as well.
    I want atheist and humanist to have high moral ground, and high ethics, an atheist should also say that bin laden should have been brought to due process should have been killed point blank when unarmed, but only heard that voice from priests and bishops.
    When you talk about that atheism should but something about good, then learn this, have a high moral ground and disparaging should not be one of the aspects of atheism. Well, I know you can’t PZ. That’s why Dan Dennet is a good atheist than PZ, who disparages and from that disparages make money from ads.

    Oh noes, not “disparaging”! How ever will we have “high moral ground” if we are “disparaging”! Somebody, please, think of the children!!!

  50. 50
    PZ Myers

    it took this long for you PZ to realize that its more about culture than reasoning

    Jeez. Have you read anything I’ve written or listened to anything I’ve said over the last several years?

    Nothing about the fact that it is “culture” exempts it from disparagement, so the rest of your illiterate rant is irrelevant.

  51. 51
    Akira MacKenzie

    atheiestblog @ 39

    Who cares if the religious come to their beliefs from culture rather than reasoning? They’re still wrong, and their beliefs are still toxic, destructive, and speak to the character of the believer.

    We not only have the right to “disparage” religion and the religious by holding them up to ridicule, we have a duty.

    P.S. Get a thesaurus.

  52. 52
    Al Dente

    atheistblog @39

    But you are thinking of disparaging religion and faith, but religious folks see it as attack on their culture.

    We’ve been disparaging? Oh no! How can we show our faces in public? It’s always good when an accommodationist comes here to explain the error of our ways to gnu atheists. If we weren’t informed that the religious don’t like to be disparaged then we might continue to be disparaging. After all, disparagement is the gateway to being depreciatory and even snide.

    I want atheist and humanist to have high moral ground, and high ethics [incoherent comment about bin Laden not given].

    You can be as high minded as you like. Obviously you need a ladder to get on your horse. The rest of us will do whatever we feel is appropriate. But thank you for your concern about how us plebian atheists should be talking and acting. We’ll take your denigrating belittlement of us under advisement.

  53. 53
    Akira MacKenzie

    Al Dente @ 52

    We’ll take your denigrating belittlement of us under advisement.

    Or, to put it another way…

    “Your concern is noted, and ignored.”

  54. 54
    Snoof

    Akira MacKenzie @ 47

    They become adrift in an imperfect universe with the high potential for ultimate inequity and pointless suffering. Serial killers can murder and potentially get away with it. The child with terminal cancer dies without succor in the next life. …

    They really don’t like that idea.

    To be fair, I’m not a huge fan of it either.

    On the other hand (on a good day) I take it as a call to action.

    Bad days are harder.

  55. 55
    Holms

    “If that’s the way the world works, if it is just this mechanical thing that god set spinning in place, then you believe in a god that doesn’t intervene in nature, that takes away any possibility of miracles, any possibility of answer of prayer, any possibility of the resurrection, and in reality you take away the possibility of hristianity to be true at all.”

    Yeah dude, pretty much. You employed some thought and logic to crack the religion thing wide open, but refused to acknowledge it; true intellectual cowardice.

  56. 56
    Brian Panama

    Don’t forget NIH deadlines: http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/submissionschedule.htm

    I know you are working on that R01.

  57. 57
    Scr... Archivist

    Would it have been too much to ask of the makers of this documentary that they spell “atheist” correctly? (57:16)

    I’m not the athiest atheist there ever was, but sheesh.

  58. 58
    Athywren

    So I was about to comment, but the video is still playing… “I would love to encourage Mr Darwin, and others like him, to try god.”

    …they know that Mr Darwin is dead, right? Besides, many of us have tried god, but found him too chewy, with a texture of rubber and the flavour of chalk. I prefer tic-tacs these days.

    “I should never surprise us that we’re mocked or hated…”
    Well sure you’re mocked. You believe ridiculous things and use those ridiculous beliefs to push laws that impose your beliefs on others, stripping your fellow humans of their rights and dignity, and, in far too many cases, causing the death and suffering in people whose only ‘crime’ was to have needs, wishes or appearances that were contrary to your ideas of what is right. You’re lucky you’re not hated even half as much as you imagine, because you’ve more than earned it over the years.
    But, of course, this simply proves Jesus’ point, and his divinity! For who could know that a few hundred years of treating people like shit would earn disrespect, but a god?

  59. 59
    Nick Gotts

    Hmm, y’know, I think atheistblog@39 was being rather disparaging.

  60. 60
    Athywren

    @ atheistblog, 39

    I want atheist and humanist to have high moral ground, and high ethics, an atheist should also say that bin laden should have been brought to due process should have been killed point blank when unarmed, but only heard that voice from priests and bishops.

    Listen harder next time. There were plenty of us saying that due process and fair legal is more important – as well as a greater message – than revenge. That you didn’t hear them says more about your ability or willingness to listen than our failure to speak.
    What is that fallacy? Is it just an argument from ignorance, or is it something else? Argumentum ad ‘lalala, I didn’t hear you’?

    When you talk about that atheism should but something about good, then learn this, have a high moral ground and disparaging should not be one of the aspects of atheism. Well, I know you can’t PZ. That’s why Dan Dennet is a good atheist than PZ, who disparages and from that disparages make money from ads.

    Bullshit. For one thing, it’s generally views that bring in money from adverts, and very rarely disparaging comments. More importantly, though, fuck that noise. Different people have different approaches, and different audiences receive different messages differently. For instance, I find William Lane Craig to be one of the most tedious human beings to have ever lived. The way he speaks, from the plodding and deliberate slowness, through the way he pronounces aaaaaaaaaaaahhhtheist, to the utter vapidity of his arguments melts my brain with frustration and boredom. Yet there are plenty of people who consider him to be a master communicator and intellectual giant. Are they wrong? Well…. yes, I seriously doubt his intellectual stature is greater than 5’9″, he’s certainly no giant, but in finding him to be a gifted communicator, I can only assume that they believe this because he manages to communicate with them in such a way that the message finds its target. So are they wrong in considering him a master communicator, simply because I find him to be tedious and soporific? Not at all, we’re simply different audiences who need a different presenter.

  61. 61
    Athywren

    @ me, 60

    There were plenty of us saying that due process and fair legal treatment is more important

    Jeez, learn to full sentences, me!

  62. 62
  63. 63
    Strewth

    Akira, I have to disagree with you on your speculation that the zealous are afraid of a world without perfect posthumous justice. A person who believes that a serial rapist and murderer who says the right magic words the instant before his death will receive eternal joy, while a life time philanthropist who happens to believe a slightly different interpretation of the holy book will burn in agony for all eternity, has no expectation of _justice_.

  64. 64
    anteprepro

    A person who believes that a serial rapist and murderer who says the right magic words the instant before his death will receive eternal joy, while a life time philanthropist who happens to believe a slightly different interpretation of the holy book will burn in agony for all eternity, has no expectation of _justice_.

    I agree and have argued similarly in regards to “Christian morality”. But the truth is that they do believe that their religion gives them morals and that the scenario described their religion results in justice. It is because Noah’s Flood ain’t got nuthin’ on the deluge of doublethink that pours down every time these folks go to church or crack open a Bible.

  65. 65
    Akira MacKenzie

    A person who believes that a serial rapist and murderer who says the right magic words the instant before his death will receive eternal joy, while a life time philanthropist who happens to believe a slightly different interpretation of the holy book will burn in agony for all eternity, has no expectation of _justice_.

    “Justice” is a subjective concept.

  66. 66
    tiredofusernamerules

    This just made me sad. I know people like this. I work with them. I went to school with them. I’ve dined with and socialized with them. Often, you wouldn’t know that they believed this nonsense unless it happened to come up in conversation. But seeing it laid out like this, in an excellent montage, just depresses and bewilders me. I have yet to understand how ordinarily intelligent and reasonably well-educated people believe in any religion, let alone the fundy variety. I have a feeling I never will.

  67. 67
    Crimson Clupeidae

    I have HBO, and I’m pretty sure I can watch this on demand. Should I? Or is it just going to make me rage?

    FWIW, I spent 7 years in the hellhole of KS battling the fundies trying to get into the schoolboard and change the science standards. I’m not sure I can handle much more.

  68. 68
    busterggi

    to paraphrase, “Creationists are a superstitious cowardly lot…”

    If only…

  69. 69
    David Marjanović

    This is why without realizing these, sometimes Sam Harris and Dawkins are so dumb when they talk, but not upto their level you sometime PZ, are ignorant about anthropology as well.

    This sentence is jibberish. Please try again.

    Is this just my confirmation bias as work, or is there actually no such thing as a creationist who understands evolution?

    Maybe Kurt Wise, the guy who tries very hard not to believe his lying eyes.

    Check out this other documentary gem illustrating how creationists are immune from arguments.

    tl;dw

    “Your concern is noted, and ignored.”

    “We appreciate your concern, it is noted and stupid.”

    Would you like to see a religious freedom bill passed in Ohio?

    Would you like to see discrimination unconstitutionally legalized in Ohio?
    No 73.58% (362 votes)
    Yes 25% (123 votes)
    I’m not sure. 1.42% (7 votes)
    Total Votes: 492

  70. 70
    Dan

    Before “The Fall”, before there was death and all the animals were vegetarians, did plants die? Or did they keep on living, right through the digestive system of the vegetarian animals eating them?

  71. 71
    Dan

    “Man was created in God’s image.” Does God have a nose? I know that man has a nose, but it’s there to facilitate our need to breath air, to supply the oxygen we need to survive. Why would God need a nose?

    Does God have an anus??????

  72. 72
    Dhorvath, OM

    Does God have an anus?

    The bible had to come from somewhere.

  73. 73
    Menyambal

    Dan @ 70. Plants aren’t alive, in that they don’t have the breath of life in them. That’s why they didn’t have to go on the ark. At least that’s the way I read the old Genesis account.

    Ken Ham refines it further, to say that plants aren’t considered living because they don’t have hemoglobin, the blood of life. He also thinks that plants didn’t have to be on the ark because twigs and seeds survived. It’s all in his _Answers_ book, but that’s in the other room and my nausea is already high enough.

  74. 74
    A Hermit

    “In the end the Party would announce that two and two made five, and you would have to believe it. It was inevitable that they should make that claim sooner or later: the logic of their position demanded it. Not merely the validity of experience, but the very existence of external reality, was tacitly denied by their philosophy.”

    George Orwell, 1984

  75. 75
    Dena N.

    My nice let me watch the documentary through her account. I grew up with creationism so none of it’s new to me but it’s always a little jarring to see it laid out like that.

    @mikeyb, I have to disagree when you say these people are incapable of understanding evolution. They have put up walls in order to protect themselves against something that makes them feel uncomfortable but they are not incapable of understanding.

  76. 76
    Dena N.

    Of course I meant my “niece” but it was nice of her to let me watch it. Thankfully, she hasn’t bought into creationism.

Leave a Reply