Open thread on AETV #762

Oh yeah, here’s that thread about that show.  Looks like the blip video’s not up yet, but you can go to the Ustream channel for now.


  1. says

    Oh the irony of the last caller and the show topic.

    So what “strengthened” is belief in a god was a string of arguments from ignorance.

    Logical fallacies strengthen my belief in Zeus. It’s like instead of Tinkerbell and clapping, the more logical fallacies I hear, the brighter my belief.

  2. noodlyappendage says

    Hey Russell — Something a little OT. I understand you have every non-prophets ever recorded (or something close to it) on your hard drive. Is this correct? If so, would you be able to make a torrent of that, or burn a DVD? I (we?) would love to listen to the older recordings, and as you know the nonprophets web archive only goes back to 4.13…

    Let me know if you can do that, or if I can help. Thanks! 🙂

  3. Kazim says

    I have the first four seasons recorded only, but that’s apparently what you want. I’ll think about going the torrent route.

  4. MichaelD says

    Also sort of off topic. Did anything ever happen with the nonprophets on google thingy?

  5. AJ says

    Is Ustream one of those places like Hulu that doesn’t like you getting at their content if the ads they have aren’t relevant to your location? Because each week I try to watch the recorded show on my ipad and it constantly tells me it is not online.

  6. MichaelD says

    Course with mr Megolithic world is too complicated guy…

    Its worth pointing out that mainstream historians and geologists don’t agree with the water weathering dating of the sphinx for a number of reasons. There’s even a wiki page on the debate.

    There is also a guy in Michigan that figured out how to move large stones with remarkably simple devices. Whether or not this is how people actually did it doesn’t really matter it shows that it can be surprisingly simple if you put your mind to it.

    Just watch that video and try to argue that you need advanced machines to move large stones.

  7. John Kruger says

    The pyramid guy belonged on last week’s show. Talk about wallowing in the argument from ignorance. The pyramids are impossible to build, thus MAGIC!

    As for cults, I always think the biggest factor is how much the members are separated from outside influence. There are many ways to isolate people from other ideas, so there are many ways an organization can be like a cult. I have heard of physically isolating people, forcing them to do things that make them think their old relationships are impossible to continue, demonizing unapproved literature, demonizing or degrading the status of people not in the group, and many more techniques.

    There are some religious institutions that do not specifically bar outside ideas and do not kick up any fuss at all if you decide to leave. I could not qualify those as a cult in any way.

  8. Kazim says

    No, we didn’t get the recording to work. It’s a lot more complicated than it seems like it should be.

  9. DrPinch says

    I’m curious, if you asked a creationist HOW did god create the universe, what would he say? I mean, they always say “Oh, look at the universe, look at DNA, bla bla bla… it MUST have been created by god!”
    Well, okay, then HOW was it created? They must have some sort of explanation beyond “he willed it into existence”, especially if they want creationism to be taught in schools.

  10. says

    That’s something I’ve always tried to get a creo to answer. What precise mechanisms were put in motion when God said “Let there be light”? And how did his edict start those mechanisms going? And how do we detect those mechanisms to confirm their existence, and to distinguish them from natural processes? Of course, they never have an answer, unless it’s to say God’s ways are beyond human ken. Which is just another way of saying, “Hell, I don’t know, it’s magic, just believe it!” Beyond being an argument from ignorance, it’s simple intellectual laziness, and worst of all, it cheapens the true majesty of our natural universe with the banality of its ideas. Reality is so much more awe-inspiring and wondrous than the feeble, childish fantasies of supernaturalism that creationists want to attach to it. It’s sad how little believers want to allow themselves to know, satisfying themselves with third-rate make believe that they’ve mistaken for the greatest possible beauty.

  11. says

    The performance of ‘Mr Pyramid Architecture’ on last weekend’s show (20 May 2012) might call for the extension of the concept ‘Fractal Wrongness’. This has been well defined and eloquently used in discussions by Matt and other members of the AETV team. If anyone is still unfamiliar with the concept, just google “Fractal Wrongness definition”.

    In the case of our amusing participant – ‘Mr Pyramid Architecture’ – anyone with even a faint familiarity with the concept of fractal wrongness can see clearly how he was fractally wrong on every topic that arose from his phone call. However, one can also the say that he does suffer from a terminal case of: —

    “Fractal Ignorance”.

    In each every one of the topics that spun off from his original gripe about the supposed ‘design’ of DNA to the technical capabilities of the pyramid builders, he exhibited mind numbing lack of knowledge, and also some magnificent non-sequiturial jumps. One of the slightly more arcane examples of such a jump was when he conflated the sciences focussing on DNA structure and function with the views of pre-eminent physicists.
    In short – as the discussion jumped and diverted from one topic to another, at each and every level, his ignorance reigned supreme.

    It may a dubious honor, but ‘Mr Pyramid Architecture’ could be considered the one individual who necessitated the concept of “Fractal Ignorance” as a linguistic shorthand for expressing the hosts’ exasperation and admirable patience.

  12. DrPinch says

    So what exactly is their creationist/intelligent design “theory” that they want to teach in schools? And do they actually teach that anywhere?

  13. Jdog says

    I think the theists just swap the awe of how reality works for the awe that a divine being did these things for them.

  14. jacobfromlost says

    “ID Theory” is not a theory–in fact, there are many various claims and assertions that purport to be “ID Theory”. The most common claim is in “irreducible complexity”; the idea that some things are so complicated, we can’t explain how they got that complicated therefore god must have created them (they pretend to leave the “god” part as simply “some unknown creator” to feign as if it isn’t creationism).

    Irreducible complexity is just an appeal to ignorance fallacy. But worse than that, it doesn’t even work they way ID claimants claim it works–ie, the stuff they claim is so complex that it is inexplicable HAS ALREADY BEEN EXPLAINED, and it isn’t irreducibly complex at all.

    Here’s a nice clip from the show: watch?v=OP-ENz2Lr7M

  15. says

    That’s an excellent question, and one I’ve never heard IDers answer coherently either. I was very much involved, as were several of the rest of us, nine years ago when the Texas SBOE tried (with the full complicity of the Discovery Institute) to insert ID theory into science textbooks. It appeared all they really wanted to do, for all the supposed sophistication of ID compared to earlier builds of creationism, was the same “teach the controversy” bullshit that old school creationists had been attempting for years. Inform students that evolution is a “flawed” theory (by claiming bogus flaws), then let the students “decide for themselves.” ID was nothing more than repackaging old wine in a new bottle, in order to make the movement appear secular to avoid legal church/state issues. Didn’t work.

  16. Chris B says

    I think he’d read ‘Fingerprints of the Gods’ by Graham Hancock. I read it years ago while I was still a Christian and ironically it strongly contributed to my deconversion process. Years later once my critical thinking skills had improved I realised a lot of it is BS, but it makes an exciting and compelling case for all this ‘ancient wisdom and secret ninja skills’ type stuff.

  17. mond says

    I thought “ID theory” mostly consisted of

    Evolution is bunk. (Gaps in fossil record and other erroneous clap trap)
    Therefore an intelligent creator (god) did it.

    End of story.

  18. Zachariah says

    If John is impressed with the pyramids as an engineering or architectural feat, then he should really check out the Sears tower in his own town.

    Don’t see the “ancients” building stuff like that.

  19. says

    Yeah that really got me. The reason why we don’t build any Egypt-style pyramids is beause… why would we?

    Sure, they’re cool, but who’s going to put up the money to build a huge pile of stone blocks that doesn’t do anything?

    The things we ARE building blow the pyramids out of the water.

  20. Grandpa Boris says

    It was very frustrating to listen to Russel and Jen fumbling with the pyramid guy. There was a very simple way to stop his inanity. How did the ancient Egyptians manage to build those pyramids? Simple: through trial and error and slow evolution, from non-pyramids to the shapes we think of as the “pyramids” today.

    They started with the flat burial structure:

    Then one specific pharoh, Zoser, decided he wanted more grandeur. He and his successors then built a succession of pyramids, the earliest of which were clearly flawed in their designs, and with the later pyramid builders learning from their predecessors’ mistakes. The first pyramid, Zoser’s, didn’t even look like a proper pyramid, it was a “stepped” layered construction that simply made the existing burial structure, a mastaba, more grand:

    The next step was to make the sides smooth, but the architects made that pyramid’s walls too steep and the pyramid started to fail before it was even finished. So they made the upper walls slope less:

    Pyramids built after that had wider bases and the wall angles we associate with pyramids:

    There is a LOT known about the the people who built the pyramids and how they worked, how they lived, where they lived and why they were doing this. And there are plenty of resources on the web to learn about all this. For example, this Discovery channel program:

  21. Zachariah says

    The ancients were so advanced they are now extinct. I guess they were just too good for earth, so god must have “ascended” them all to heaven where he has them building large mounds of earth in a vain tribute to himself.

    If you believe in karma, you might bring it all full circle and argue that there are still people building large mounds of dirt that serve no apparent purpose.

    We just call those people “sub-contractors.” See the Boston Big Dig for a contemporary example.

  22. terrycollins says

    No comments about this episode in particular, but I just wanted to say thanks again for the show. It’s given me the power to help another atheist deal with coming out, and the difficulties her born-again members the family are giving her.

  23. Zengaze says

    I disagree,

    You forgot the module on wooooooo look at the trees, and the whole semester dedicated to how we stick to the ground instead of floating off into space as evidence that an intelligence intended us to stick to the ground. Saying its just about debunking the myth of evolution is to dismiss it without due appraisal.

  24. Zengaze says

    I’ve decided to venture out of the axp blog less often, I’m tellin ya it’s nuts out there in the ftb jungle. Everyone is trying to jump on top of everyone else in the mating ritual known as conference. Aliens known as the greta and jt are trying to speed up the evolutionary process but I’m thinking the natives enjoy the soup.

  25. Warp says

    Hey, computer engineering does count! Have a little pride. No need to be so humble… 🙂

  26. sprawn says

    John from Chicago needs to GET A NEW SMOKE DETECTOR BATTERY. Perhaps if someone tried to convince him that ancient aliens built his smoke detector he would do so.