Open thread for episode #930: Matt and John


Matt and John take viewer calls from the ACA library studio.

Comments

  1. Rob says

    Hope this has been noticed by the crew, but there was a hiccup with the audio when the camera changed. Hope its an easy fix as I enjoy the library studio.

  2. Damian says

    Audio changed sometimes when there was a close-up. When it was a wide shot of the two hosts, there was a slight echo from the room, but particularly during the caller who talked about the tower of Babel, whenever it would close up to Matt, the audio would change, there would be no slight echo from the room.
    Not sure if this can actually be called a complaint or not, just thought I’d make a note of it.

  3. Joe E Dangerously says

    Since the “Christian nation” thing kinda came up today I thought it would be good to provide what I think is the best response to that claim. I think we should stop arguing about whether or not the US is a “Christian nation.” Because you can legitimately make that argument. Yes, I know. “That’s like saying we’re a white nation.” Yes, it is. And you can make that argument just as effectively. This country is over 70% white and over 70% Christian. So that’s a pretty large majority. Also, nation does not simply mean “country.” It also means population, community, or society. And we most definitely have Christianity running through nearly every aspect of our society. “Under God”/”In God we trust,” our Medieval ideas about sex, much of our literature, and many other things come out of Christianity in one way or another. Yes, I know Easter, Christmas, etc. were born of Pagan celebrations. That’s beside the point. They were adopted as our societal standard because they became such major aspects of Christianity. The people who made that happen were Christian. If we acknowledge those things right off the bat they won’t think they have them in their back pockets. In fact, I’d even say our society was founded at least partially on Christian principles. Genocide? Check. Racism? Yep. Slavery? Oh yeah. All things sanctioned, ordered, or even straight up perpetrated by the Christian God. So okay. Fine. Let’s disarm them there too. (And make sure to specify what you mean for good measure.)
    .
    So now that we’ve emptied their quivers let’s go one step farther and explain that nothing we’ve just said means what they seem to think it means. Because we’ve now moved the argument away from “Is this a Christian nation?” and onto “So what if it is?” And that is why it’s important to acknowledge that the specific terminology they want to use is valid. Because they always have that 70% figure and the many examples of Christianity run amok like the Ten Commandments monuments, Nativity scenes, etc, So they always have a path to validation for their terminology. But the real question is what that means and what it does not. And since we’ve just acknowledged what it does mean let’s move on to what it does not. It does not mean our government is meant to favor Christians over non-Christians or that our laws are enforced differently between the two or that we have a de facto state religion. Going back to the “white nation” comparison that everyone likes to make, the point is not that America is majority white. The point is the white majority does not get to impose their will regardless of how it affects everyone else. Non-white people are are supposed to be treated with the same dignity and human rights as white people are. So go ahead and give them their “Christian nation.” That’s a meaningless phrase and it distracts from the real point. When someone raises the “Christian nation” point the implication is that the majority’s will is more valid than the minority’s and that is not necessarily the case. It doesn’t follow. And that’s the part that really needs to be understood.
    .
    By the way, on an unrelated note I think it would be nice if we tweeted Jen our support regarding the illness in her family. I think it helps to know you’re in people’s thoughts and have moral support. I hope you’ll join me in letting her know we care and we support her. I don’t know anything about how that situation is going but I think it would be good for our community to support one another in situations like this.

  4. Baji~Naji says

    It’s not a meaningless or harmless phrase since it’s often used in conjunction with a historical claim of being founded as a Christian nation in the sense of the founders, not the actions. That authoritative appeal has ties to interpretation of founding documents, is used to hold onto and expand the enormous privilege of being part of that group, often male centric, that is then leveraged against those seen as out of it. While it’s nice to think of what should be or not in terms of consequence, looking at the something like the Republican debates shows just how much of a force people think they should try and harness in terms of ‘Christian ideals’ that relates to law making.

  5. favog says

    The Tower of Babel discussion was pretty much on, to the point that what I’m about to mention is really just a side note, but I’ve seen so many lists of biblical contradictions and none of them include this one, I just have to throw it out there. As noted, it’s chapter 11 of Genesis that has this story. Immediately preceding that, in Chapter 10, we’re told that Noah’s kids all took off and tried to get as far away from him and each other as they could. And when they did that, they even went so far as to have their own languages, so I guess they must have wanted to not be able to talk to each other if they did see each other accidentally. Yet, you turn a page, and everybody speaks the same language again.

  6. Mateus F. Loreto says

    Hi, im from Brazil. I like your show very much, have been watching it for many years. I only get it through the internet, though, considering the time and access (cant watch Texas TV). So, this new location you are producing it from, the inside of a building, not a studio, makes the sound rather worse. Its even dificult to understand sometimes. It has a lower recorded volume and get to much of the enviroment, since its probably not acoustically isolated. Suggestion: a studio inside the building. Thank you for the atention, and keep up the great job.

  7. Andrew S. says

    Great show. Matt, you do a great job as host. Suggestion: when you ask your co-host for a reaction to your points to keep them involved, do it by name to avoid confusing the caller, and if it’s the first occasion the co-host has a chance to address this caller, be sure to do it before you hang-up with the caller to permit the co-host to ask questions of the guest, if desired.
    Technical comment: the wide shot and John’s shot were linked to an area-mic whose acoustics were just terrible, while Matt’s single shot was tied to his lavalier. I’m sure this doesn’t really need saying, but stick to the lavaliers on the hot mix full time, regardless of camera take, unless a fault causes you to need to access the area mic or be stuck with no audio.

  8. Narf says

    @7 – Mateus F. Loreto
    I’m sure it was mostly just technical fuck-ups, since they’re using this setup for the first couple of times, and it’s a bit different than doing the Non Prophets Radio show, since that one is audio-only.  Give them a few more weeks to get used to the equipment, if they’re going to keep doing it here for a while.

  9. marc soucie says

    The audio comes from camera mic during wide shots and come from lapel during close up ”one shots”. Great show anyway.

  10. David Parker says

    I was surprised by the audio for this episode, in that the audio for the preceding one was so good. As I perceived it, a different mic was associated with each type of shot, as if the audio were taken from the individual cameras. This would account for the echo-y sound from the medium shot camera, for our two hosts at the desk, and the less echo-y–slbeit a little muddy–quality of the audio in head shots of Matt. If there was a separate mic for the close shots of John, it displayed its own problems. (Oops, just read marc soucie’s comment.) The levels for callers varied a bit, too.

    I suspect this is an equipment problem due to financial constraints? It seems the show does not have a proper mixing board/controls to reconcile levels and tones for all the lines, whether audio or video. Acoustical treatment of the space used for recording might also help–maybe some fabric or egg crate foam on roll-around frames, and a rug or two…

  11. says

    Lovin’ the format. You need to read my blog more, so you can keep up on people like Al-Ghazali :). I think the two of you had the history correct, (I had that same feeling w/Cosmos, I think Neil has a talk Al-Ghazali destroying reason somewhere) not sure why the caller felt it so important to invoke the entire influence of the movement away from reason, but I suppose I’ve been accused of that at some point.

    On the question of it being easier to convince a Christian who has claimed to use reason to arrive at faith, I would say yes. In some ways they are equal, you use facts to put cracks in their faith, let them absorb that, and eventually they get there. But a reasonable person already has the tools. They (which includes I) can compare the reasoning they are using to justify their faith with what they use for everything else. It was when somebody presented me with the movie Zeitgeist as a challenge to religion, I realized they were wrong, but I didn’t have a solid basis in logic to explain it to them. As I further developed the reasoning skills, I realized we were both wrong, and I went on to debunk myself on GMOs and a few other topics as well.

  12. Joseph McDiarmid says

    Hi. Love the new studio. The audio should be separated from the cameras though. The audio quality seemed best when on a close-up of Matt.

  13. Zachary says

    Perhaps consider longer shows? Maybe going back to an hour and a half like it used to be now that you have control over the timing of the program?

  14. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    Concerning the call about the doctor who is partially anti-science, let me offer my suspicion. I suspect that some amount of doctor’s confusion is coming from confusing science with materialism aka naturalism. It’s my standard pet peeve, this incredibly wrong-headed idea that is in the culture known as “methodological naturalism”. Here’s another example where IMHO it’s likely caused very wrong-headed thinking.

    PS: Or maybe I’m doing a kind of projection where I’m seeing faults in other people which are my pet peeves. Meh. I’m just taking a guess here.

  15. Monocle Smile says

    @EL
    That’s probably it. Contrary to what you seem to believe, this “culture of methodological naturalism” doesn’t appear to exist. I was a physics minor in college and I’m an engineer and I had never heard the term before AXP. I also don’t hear it on forums like rationalskepticism or the League of Reason.

    People don’t confuse science with naturalism because of people like Matt Dillahunty. They commit that error due to preachers, woo salesmen, and politicians screaming incoherently in front of a camera. It’s the same with terms like “scientism.” This is what happens when science comes to conclusions that are inconvenient for certain people.

  16. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    I’ve heard tales of creationist doctors making it to clinical practice having avoided/ignored evolution in their training.
     
    A few years ago, biologists pushed for “evolutionary medicine”/”Darwinian medicine” to counter that.
     
    Article: ScienceBasedMedicine – Do We Need Evolutionary Medicine?

  17. Mr. Dave says

    I used to come across a lot of claims of this being a “Christian nation” in the article comments sections of a newspaper local to me. The only point that I ever gave them claim to, was that only by demographics, was this a supported claim, not by governance, although that is what many of the Christian right-wing politicos wish for. The most typical arguments stem from the supposed beliefs of our country’s founding fathers and of course, the words “under god” in our pledge of allegiance and “In God We Trust” on our currency.

    Debunking this is pretty easy, both the allegiance and money motto can be shown to be a product of America’s McCarthyism period and the red scare, concerning how “godless” communism supposedly is. Even easier, is challenging the claimants of such bullshit to find any evidence giving any governance powers to any religion or religious book/document in either the Constitution or Declaration of Independence. Pointing out the secular nature of our government from its creation, despite whatever the founding fathers subscribed to, leaves them little to claim. It’s the hard results that matter.

    It took a couple of years, but I’ve pretty much quelled the ersatz claims of this being a “Christian nation” on those forums and whenever it does occur, it’s usually by a newbie poster. The regulars have learned better. I have no problem with gleefully disabusing them of that fantasy and its gets even more fun when they squeal and say I’m being intolerant of their views. There’s never been more than silence when I ask them to show me the evidence of their claims and when they mention any monument of religious nature on state property, I remind them that is a problem that bit by bit, is being corrected, although there is much to do. They don’t like to hear that, but, tough shit.

  18. marc soucie says

    One of my friends is a bible literalist (rather rare in my province of Quebec). He says that the blood of jesus has been found and that its analysis shows jesus could not have had a father, thus proving he is the son of god…
    Has anyone heard this urban legend ? Is there a counter apologetic for this ?

  19. Narf says

    @marc soucie
    A counter-apologetic for something like this, short of asking him for a reliable source?  Not really.  It’s pure bullshit, made up by random idiots who have no idea what they’re talking about.  It isn’t really even deserving of anything as complex as a counter-apologetic argument.

    Maybe try asking him what it would mean, for Jesus’s DNA to be demonstrated to have no father.  Ask him how we would demonstrate that, even if we could be sure it was the blood of Jesus.  I doubt he can even explain that.

    Ask him how we found it and verified that it was the blood of Jesus, since not even believers generally claim to have found the tomb of Jesus or the true cross, or wherever we could have possibly recovered some of his blood.  This claim is just so stupid, on so many levels.  About the best you can do is get him to think through this a little and try to track down an original source … who found the blood, who tested the blood and verified that there was no father.

    When the trail completely evaporates, because there was no such discovery, and there was no testing that verified anything that he claims, he might possibly realize how foolish he was to make a claim like this … although I doubt it.

  20. Last Embryo Standing says

    @ marc soucie #17

    “…the blood of jesus has been found and that its analysis shows jesus could not have had a father…”

    Wouldn’t that entail him not having a Y chromosome, and therefore he was possibly transgender? I’m sure your friend would love to hear that.

  21. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    @Monocle Smile

    That’s probably it. Contrary to what you seem to believe, this “culture of methodological naturalism” doesn’t appear to exist. I was a physics minor in college and I’m an engineer and I had never heard the term before AXP. I also don’t hear it on forums like rationalskepticism or the League of Reason.

    I don’t know how to explain that. I see it frequently.

    For example, Eugenie Scott is one of our biggest leaders in the fight against creationism-as-fact in schools. Her organization was involved in the important Kitzmiller v Dover decision, which was IMHO very wrongly decided. The end result is right, but it’s right by happenstance.

    http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/dover/kitzmiller_v_dover_decision.html

    They are: (1) ID violates the centuries-old ground rules of science by invoking and permitting supernatural causation; (2) the argument of irreducible complexity, central to ID, employs the same flawed and illogical contrived dualism that doomed creation science in the 1980’s; and (3) ID’s negative attacks on evolution have been refuted by the scientific community.

    The first two are flagrantly fallacious. On the bright side, at least #3 is correct. This is the controlling case law in the United States.

    Read the entire decision. It’s a combination of good work, documentation of the hilarious shenanigans of dishonest creationists, and flagrantly wrong philosophy of science mixed with correct philosophy of science.

    Or listen to any of Eugenie Scott’s talks. This is a frequent talking point.

    Or listen to the star witness on our side, Ken Miller.

    This is just a guess, but maybe the reason you don’t see it is because it’s taken as an automatic, and no one fusses over it. Methodological naturalism is highly related to the special epistemological privilege that we socially grant religious beliefs. Scott Clifton made this point rather clearly in his Skepticon 7 video. We should be demanding proper scientific justifications from religious people, and often – not always, just often – the religious answer is that science is an inappropriate tool to use for religion.

    Hell, just now, in the debate I’m doing with Mike on debate.org, Mike is adopting exactly that tactic, extensively arguing that science is not appropriate for the study of god, or something. He specifically asserted that science is not an appropriate tool to analyze divine revelation.

    Or look at the official position of the National Academy of Sciences, also quoted by Scott Clifton.

    I’m sorry that I’m a broken record on this topic, but that’s no excuse for you MS to make such a IMO ridiculous assertion. “Doesn’t appear to exist”. ~sigh~

  22. Monocle Smile says

    @EL
    Ridiculous? I won’t apologize for listening to the actual scientific community rather than people who fight the battle with religion. You talk about “bad epistemology,” but I’d like to see actual consequences of said “bad epistemology” or real effects among scientists who aren’t explicitly involved in the conflict with religion. Don’t take this as a disagreement, per se. I just don’t find this as big of a deal as you do.

    Having said that, perhaps I stand corrected, at least in part. I’m out of the loop with regard to people like Eugenie Scott, which is a flaw on my part, but despite lacking the accolades, I feel AronRa is a much better orator when it comes to science and religion.

    Her organization was involved in the important Kitzmiller v Dover decision, which was IMHO very wrongly decided. The end result is right, but it’s right by happenstance

    I don’t buy that. Notice that right before that quote, the court noted that ANY of those reasons would be sufficient to preclude that ID is science. So I’m not sure it matters that those first two reasons are fallacious.

    Hell, just now, in the debate I’m doing with Mike on debate.org, Mike is adopting exactly that tactic, extensively arguing that science is not appropriate for the study of god, or something. He specifically asserted that science is not an appropriate tool to analyze divine revelation

    So what? He’s a nobody who’s lying his ass off. Okay, yes, I get that religious dickheads like to whip out NOMA and there are some scientists who wrongly go along with that. But you missed the point…I don’t count religious lobbyists or people like MikeManea as part of the “culture” because these people have reasons to be as dishonest as possible. You sounded like you were directing the “culture of methodological naturalism” specifically at scientists, which is what motivated my reply. Yes, there are accommodationists out there. I think they’re wrong to be such. But still, I think the part of NOMA that you bring up again and again and again is the less-awful half, and I’d like to see some evidence that this “culture” is negatively affecting the scientific community in some way.

    Or look at the official position of the National Academy of Sciences, also quoted by Scott Clifton

    That is purely political. C’mon, the religious get what they want more often than not in this country, even today. Do you really think that the scientists themselves, if you got them alone with no recording device, would share that position? It would be nice to investigate this.

    Now, here’s some food for thought: if “divine revelation” is unfalsifiable, doesn’t that make science an inappropriate tool to investigate…if only because it can’t be investigated? Unfalsifiable claims seem to be the only things science can’t investigate, though this is of course a moot point. And after that quote on the talkorigins link, the court cites NAS and I can’t disagree with this statement:

    NAS is in agreement that science is limited to empirical, observable and ultimately testable data: “Science is a particular way of knowing about the world. In science, explanations are restricted to those that can be inferred from the confirmable data – the results obtained through observations and experiments that can be substantiated by other scientists. Anything that can be observed or measured is amenable to scientific investigation. Explanations that cannot be based upon empirical evidence are not part of science.”

  23. Narf says

    @Last Embryo Standing

    Wouldn’t that entail him not having a Y chromosome, and therefore he was possibly transgender? I’m sure your friend would love to hear that.

    I don’t know, maybe he only had 23 chromosomes, instead of the usual 46?  We can only guess at what this gimp thought would indicate that someone didn’t have a father.

    Of course, the implication of that suggestion is that Jesus only got genes from Mary, thus meaning no Y-chromosome, as you said.  Were the other half of Jesus’s 46 chromosomes ‘spiritual ’ chromosomes?

  24. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    That is purely political.

    That’s a non-sequitir. The national academy of sciences still promotes naturalism-only as the domain of science. That still demonstrates that this is a cultural phenomenon that is endorsed by the most respected scientific body in America – albeit endorsed with dishonesty according to you.

    Now, here’s some food for thought: if “divine revelation” is unfalsifiable, doesn’t that make science an inappropriate tool to investigate…if only because it can’t be investigated? Unfalsifiable claims seem to be the only things science can’t investigate,

    This right here is one of the things I’m taking issue with. Who said that supernatural claims are all unfalsifiable? There are plenty of falsifiable “supernatural” claims, like the Christian religion as described in the Christian bible, or Young Earth Creationism, and a very long list of alternative popular religious notions.

    I don’t know what you mean by “divine revelation isn’t falsifiable”. There’s many ways I can understand that. The claim that the bible is the inerrant word of a god – testable, and falsified. The claim that the Earth is 6000 years old – testable, and falsified. The claim that humans are a special creation directly out of dust, blood, or any other process that is not unguided evolution – testable, and falsified. The claim the voices that someone hears in their head come from a god – testable, and very frequently falsified. What else might you mean by the phrase “divine revelation”?

    And after that quote on the talkorigins link, the court cites NAS and I can’t disagree with this statement:

    That’s also some pretty good cherry picking IMHO. Yes, Eugenie Scott and her organization sometimes don’t say objectionable things. They often do say objectionable and false things. Finding one unobjectionable thing does not excuse the regular presence of objectionable things.

    As an example, the first thing I get when I search for:
    Eugenie Scott scientific theory
    on youtube.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-M1hxGj5bMg
    For the first few minutes, she mentions “natural” in almost every sentence!

    Again MS, it is totally a thing, and I think that the reason you don’t often see it is that it’s so well accepted and so rarely contested that it’s taken for a given and thus there’s no reason to bring it up. Why should you expect it to be brought up in physics courses? Physics courses are not about philosophy of science. They’re not about religion. Did your physics courses say that science cannot work on the supernatural? Probably only rarely or never. Did your physics courses say that science can work on the supernatural? Probably just as rarely, or more rarely. This evidence is very bad evidence for your claim that “methodological naturalism” is not a cultural phenomenon, and it’s just a thing in my head.

    Hell, for several months in a row a few months back, it felt like Matt Dillahunty endorsed this flagrantly wrong concept like every other show.

    This is a problem. It’s a very serious problem. As Scott Clifton said, it’s the Berlin Wall of separation between religion and science. It forms a large part of the basis of the partitioned thinking of religious people. It forms a large part of the basis of how religious people don’t question their beliefs. They’re taught that science and critical thinking just don’t apply to religion. That’s wrong. And here you are, supporting this false notion (at least in part, such as where you implied that divine revelation is not testable).

  25. Monocle Smile says

    @EL
    I’m not saying divine revelation is unfalsifiable. That was a “what if” scenario that I utterly failed to clarify. IF a supernatural claim is unfalsifiable, then science can’t work on it. But the fact that someone says it’s “supernatural” is irrelevant; it’s the falsifiability that’s the issue. In the Kitzmiller decision at the talkorigins link, it appeared to me that the court was using “supernatural” and “untestable” interchangeably.

    This is a problem. It’s a very serious problem. As Scott Clifton said, it’s the Berlin Wall of separation between religion and science. It forms a large part of the basis of the partitioned thinking of religious people. It forms a large part of the basis of how religious people don’t question their beliefs. They’re taught that science and critical thinking just don’t apply to religion

    Taught by religious people, not by secularists (and if you correct me on this with examples of prominent secularists teaching NOMA, I’ll be rightfully embarrassed and do a 180 on this issue). Do you give THEM shit about this? See, my issue is about whether or not atheists think that science can’t work on religious claims. Because I already know that religious people delude themselves into holding this position. It plays into their fantasy. People have to dig themselves out of this trap, and while I agree with you that “methodological naturalism” is unsound epistemology…unless we have atheists who are convinced that science can’t investigate [testable] supernatural claims (AND that religion CAN investigate these claims, which is the worse half of NOMA), this issue isn’t near the top of my list.

    I’m kind of done talking about this, but right now, I’m extremely frustrated. EL, you’re often quick to jump on the regulars here and other atheists for every little tiny detail, but then you’re unbelievably patient, generous, and lax towards dishonest idiots like MikeManea. It grinds my gears to no end. I understand that this is probably because your expectations are immensely uneven, but that doesn’t really change the annoyance. I mean, if you’re not going to even TRY to see if people like Matt Dillahunty change their positions (which is a dead horse I’ve been flogging for a bit), you’re not going to win a ton of sympathy from me. Also, what’s your beef with the term “natural?” You have a pet peeve with “supernatural,” but news flash…not everyone uses “natural” like you imagine they do. Eugenie Scott in that video said things like “studying the natural world,” which is a colloquialism. I see no reason to take issue with that except for your apparent trigger.

  26. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    @MS
    I have emailed Matt and the show many times. I’ve messaged him on facebook. I’ve called in several times. I’ve done more than my due diligence on this matter. I plan to call in tomorrow if I remember and get up in time.

    I don’t know what to say about your perception that I have less charity when dealing with people on our side. I tend to think you give too much charity to people on our side. Several times in this thread you have cherry picked quotes from Eugenie Scott, the Kitzmiller decision, and her organization, in order to make the point that this problem isn’t real. You have stated that this problem doesn’t exist in the culture. I don’t think you’re being reasonable. I think you are being unreasonably charitable with Eugenie Scott, Matt Dillahunty, and others, on this issue.

  27. Monocle Smile says

    @EL

    I have emailed Matt and the show many times. I’ve messaged him on facebook. I’ve called in several times. I’ve done more than my due diligence on this matter

    As if he doesn’t get hundreds of email and FB messages every day. I’ve told you half a dozen times about a stretch of shows where his position changes, and you apparently refuse to watch them. C’mon, I’ve given you the easy path.

    Several times in this thread you have cherry picked quotes from Eugenie Scott, the Kitzmiller decision, and her organization, in order to make the point that this problem isn’t real

    Exactly once is not “several times,” and it was to make a very specific point about the Kitzmiller decision. Try reading again. Also, when did I say this problem isn’t real? I just don’t find it to be a big deal. Please stop putting words in my mouth.

    I think you are being unreasonably charitable with Eugenie Scott, Matt Dillahunty, and others, on this issue

    That’s probably fair. But I don’t generally consider them to be the problem. Nobody’s perfect…not even you. And for the record, it’s the sharp contrast that irks me (and I thought I was clear about this), not the absolute value of charity or lack thereof. If you treated theists the same way or were less charitable towards them, I wouldn’t feel this way.

  28. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    Sorry. I’ll try to be more generous in the future. I do recall certain times where I definitely cold have done better. My earlier post was meant to express my frustration too. I do not mean to be annoying or frustrating.

  29. marc soucie says

    I’m supposed to see my ”jesus blood” friend today and am going to ask him for the source of this urban legend.

  30. corwyn says

    @28 Narf:

    Jesus only got genes from Mary

    Meaning that he is not of the blood of (King) David, and thus can not be the messiah?

    And also, female.

  31. corwyn says

    @35:

    One notes that blood of Jesus contains nothing of any god. Otherwise, existent blood of Jesus could be used to reverse engineer god.

  32. Fair Witness says

    @ marc soucie # 34

    Where else would he get a story like that – from a kook who makes Youtube videos, that’s where.

  33. Narf says

    @marc soucie
    Cool, let us know what he has to say.  I’ve dealt with people who had much more credible claims … although still completely unbelievable.

    There was one claim about a relic of the body and blood of Christ, the Miracle of Lanciano.  I’ll let you read that, if you’re interested, but essentially, you have an 8th century monk claiming that he witnessed this miracle happen at a mass he was holding, and the most credible examination of the stuff was by some random scientist, in 1971, who could have been a religious nut, for all we know.

    Anyway, the only thing that the scientist verified was that it was human heart tissue and that the blood was human blood.  They had plenty of corpses to work with, back in the 8th century, and it could have easily been palmed by the priest … or the story about it happening at a mass could be made up entirely.  And call me suspicious, but given the number of Christian apologists today who were skeptics and atheists, who had decided to disprove Christianity once and for all, but became convinced of fundamentalist, young-earth Christianity, when they explored the ‘evidence’ … yeah, I don’t take this 8th century priest’s claims of doubting and having his god provide this miracle, any more than I believe Josh McDowell’s or Lee Stroble’s claims to have been atheists and skeptics.  I imagine the priest was the same sort of con artist, trying to win over pagans or something, as Christianity was still desperately trying to spread.

    The friend who brought it up is a Catholic, so I asked him about the woman in South Korea, Julia Kim (sadly, no Wikipedia page, but if you Google her name, you’ll come up with plenty of stuff), who has claimed all sorts of eucharistic miracles. She’s denounced by the Catholic church as a fraud. If she pulled off so much stuff for the credulous, why wouldn’t a priest be able to do the same, in a much more credulous time?

    The other major miracle that the guy presented was the Miracle at Fátima, which is also kind of pathetic, once you look into it.

    The common, modern claim is that tens of thousands of people had gathered at the event and had all witnessed the miracle, although if you look through Portuguese newspapers of the time, only a couple hundred or so people saw anything out of the ordinary … probably from … oh, I don’t know, maybe staring into the sun too long.  Sure, they interviewed all sorts of peasant people afterwards, who were not at all craving the attention of these important bishops and cardinals, and would by no means tell the important holy-men whatever they wanted to hear for a little more attention.

  34. Narf says

    @Fair Witness
    What the fuck?  Heh heh heh.

    … has been found on the Mercy Seat of the Ark of the Covenant?  So, we have the Ark of the Covenant now?  This guy knows that Indiana Jones isn’t a documentary, right?

    Christ, I don’t think I can watch past 0:10, when it starts out that stupid.

    Oh, for fuck sake.  I knew I shouldn’t have watched past 0:10.  The Ark of the Covenant was in a cave under the crucifixion mount?  Seriously?  What’s wrong with these idiots?  Even a Christian apologist would tell them that they’re being ridiculous.

  35. Narf says

    @Lausten North, Joseph McDiarmid, and Zachary
    Yeah, I’m sure they know about all of the audio issues.  I run into the same sort of problem, when I’m recording live events.  If I fuck something up that I can’t fix on the fly, it usually just has to stay that way.  With the show streaming live, presented as a coherent whole — once the show is rolling, you’re stuck with whatever’s wrong.

    I’ve heard various hosts comment on how they wish that the show was an hour and a half again, since that doesn’t feel so rushed.  I don’t know if that’s still a potential plan.  It depends how long they’re going to be recording from their own studio, though.  It isn’t worth a format change if it’s only going to be for a month or so.

  36. Narf says

    Jesus only got genes from Mary

    Meaning that he is not of the blood of (King) David, and thus can not be the messiah?
    And also, female.

    I guess Jesus had a spiritual, holy dick?  You know, sort of like a Prince Albert.  (NSFW)

  37. Monocle Smile says

    @EL
    I feel like this was therapeutic. The fact that we can do this and still come out okay with each other on the other side is something I truly value about you. This quality is unfortunately rare.

  38. Monocle Smile says

    @Fair Witness
    Oh, that was a Ron Wyatt video? I understand now. I don’t know how that fraudster sleeps at night. This is the same guy who found the “chariot wheel” in the Red Sea and an iron rivet (from the ark) on a mountain in Turkey (that he subsequently “lost”).

    What’s even funnier is that despite Hovind calling him a fraud, he’s used several of Wyatt’s “discoveries” in his lectures, perhaps unwittingly.

  39. Narf says

    @Fair Witness
    Yeah, I cut it off, for the second and final time, after about 30 seconds.  Once I saw they were going to go into spoken testimony about this insanity, I didn’t see any point going all the way through it.  I already have a headache from caffeine withdrawal.

  40. Narf says

    @MS

    What’s even funnier is that despite Hovind calling him a fraud, he’s used several of Wyatt’s “discoveries” in his lectures, perhaps unwittingly.

    Heh, not surprising, given the quality of research that most creationists engage in.  They figure that if someone somewhere said it, and it supports their presuppositions, it must be true.

  41. Fair Witness says

    @ Narf

    Yeah, the funniest part to me is reading about theists doing their own version of “peer review”.

    @ MS

    I know how Ron sleeps now…. he died in 1999.

    @ marc soucie

    Thanks for mentioning this myth. Researching it has been entertaining. There are links to more info on Ron Wyatt on Wikipedia if you are interested.

  42. Narf says

    Yeah, the funniest part to me is reading about theists doing their own version of “peer review prayer and reflection upon God’s will”.

    I fixed that for you.

  43. Gabriel Texidor Serralta says

    I am a huge fan, and your show helped me finally make the step towards atheism, as it helped me realize that the question of faith was not one of dedication, but one of logic.

    In response to the ridiculous old “Matrix” view of the world, I have to say, that if we are indeed trapped in some sort of virtual reality, it must be a serious problem if some people have a suspicion of it, because eventually someone might escape it. Why wouldn’t whoever controls this virtual reality stifle the suspicion through means other than “naysayers” like, I dunno, myself, who are secretly in cahoots with the Machines and exist as some sort of extremely ineffective buffer by pointing out the lack of logic in the suspicion of the Matrix.

    Also, I think solipsism is ridiculously lazy and ignorant.

  44. Narf says

    Hmm? For?

    Heh, if you aren’t responding to the message immediately above yours, you should include a little bit of quoted material, between some <blockquote></blockquote> tags.  A lot of the time, I do anyway, even if I’m responding to the previous one.

    Random question, guys.  Anyone else having the Preview function throw an error a lot, lately?  I was just going to double-check myself on the HTML codes for the carrots, and I can’t do it the easy way, with a preview.

  45. Guy says

    To Ryan, Try not to discuss religion with your dad. Love him and support him. I had a dad who was a pastor. I finally got to the point that my relationship with him meant more to me than his deconversion. We decided to agree to disagree after years of fighting and arguing. (I blame youth and stupidity on my part.) Then we could enjoy what we had in common. Yes he got his digs in at times but I tried to take the high road and shrug it off or ignore the issue. Later in his dyeing days he and my mother leaned on me quite a bit for assistance. He appreciated that I was there to help out. I even tolerated his nut case pastor friend to come over and attempt to heal him of his cancer. This truly upset my mother. We both knew there was no cure or miracle coming. She being a nursing assistant she has seen a lot of this type of death. Although it would have been something he would have wanted. As it turns out my mother has almost deconverted since his death without my prodding.

    Learn to enjoy what you have in common. Time is limited for all of us make the best of it. Maybe he will come around when you show him how good you are rather trying to show him how wrong he is. If not at least you have stopped focusing on the argument and started focusing on your love for him.

  46. marc soucie says

    @ Narf
    ”you should include a little bit of quoted material, between some

    tags”.

    how do I use those tags ? I have never done it before…

  47. Narf says

    It’s basic HTML formatting.  You just stick one tag at the beginning of the text you want to format and one tag at the end of the text you want formatted.  The basic syntax is:

    <tag>formatted text</tag>

    The tag without  the / opens the formatting, and the one with  the / closes it. I used special codes to make the < and > and the rest of the tags show up, in my demonstration here, but usually, having anything between those two characters indicates to the website that it’s an HTML tag.

    The tags that we mostly use are:

    <i></i> – italics
    <em></em> – also italics
    <b></b> – bold
    <strike></strike> – strike
    <a href=”url”>link text</a> – creates a link to the url in the quotes
    <blockquote></blockquote> –

    sticks the enclosed text within this format

    Note: capitalization can matter, within HTML tags.  The <I> (capital i) is another tag entirely, for example.  It’s a legacy tag, and I don’t think it’s supported by modern browsers, but I always keep my tags all lowercase, just to be safe.

    There are a few other tags accepted by this site, but I never use them.

    Whenever you’re using HTML tags, always use the Preview  button down there next to the Post Comment  button, to make sure you didn’t fuck up one of your tags.  You’ll occasionally see something like that, where someone didn’t check their formatting properly, either forgetting a closing tag or having a typo in a tag, usually the </blockquote> one, and that will fuck up the formatting for the rest of the comment after that.

    Also, you can nest blockquote tags.

    Just put however many <blockquote> tags at the beginning

    and close them off with </blockquote> when you’re ready to step down a level,

    like this.

    Be extra certain to check yourself with a Preview, if you’re doing nonsense like that.

  48. Narf says

    Oh, yeah, that’s xHTML, or XML, which is picky about capitalization of tags.  Still a good idea to stick with one or the other, though, so you don’t confuse yourself, and lowercase is traditional.

  49. says

    Just found you guys via youtube. Great site. An idea about talking to kids about religion, I think letting them know exactly how frail the human mind is, that the mind can be taught to believe anything imaginable, but it doesnt mean its the truth. As well that if anything or anyone desires to be a GOD over another… that its nothing less than evil.

    With that said… its a strange world out there, I like to think that some of the kinder dieties like Pan or Brigitte are out there though, but it is more of a passionate interest than a religion. I like the way that when your discovering them strange things happen that leave your spine tingling. 🙂

    Am I still an atheist… I like to think so since my Faith in Belief is pretty much nonexistent.

  50. Narf says

    @59 – Wolf Heart
    There have been several discussions about that on the show, over the years.  Here’s an article about Raising Atheists on their old Blogspot blog: http://atheistexperience.blogspot.com/2011/08/raising-atheists-part-1.html.  Part 2 is here on FTB: http://freethoughtblogs.com/axp/2011/11/01/raising-atheists-part-2/.

    I’m not finding anything on YouTube in the clips that people pull from the show, with the handful of search strings I tried, but I know they’ve talked about it several times.  I don’t know.  Try some Google searches, yourself.

  51. says

    Matt, you asked a basic question. When believers have faith based on a personal acquaintance with Jesus the question ‘why do they believe’ is bewildering. You concluded that the answer was different for each believer. Annihilation afterlife is traumatic to children and many believers are fixated at this level of mentality maturity. So no afterlife gets my vote for a common fear avoided by the faithful by believing they’re immortal. That being said, I also find personal trauma, especially of a life threatening nature, to be behind the ‘why do they believe’ question, but only good therapeutic treatment will release them from that hell.