1. says

    After I read the article in the Journal of Proteome Research in regards to the “blood” in the marrow margin of the bone has caused deeper investigation into the soil moisture level surrounding the finding. The moisture level was determined to be higher and, therefore, more hospitable to the preservation of blood products. I cannot wait for their determination. The caller is thinking of ‘blood’ as according to his understanding. Possibly red and flowing.

    My grandfather was a chiropractor of questionable qualifications and showed me how easily people can be duped regarding leg length, and it is still confounding the gullible to this day.

  2. says

    Chris in NC, when my sister called with her suspicions, I admitted to what she already knew. (basically she caught me off guard and SET ME UP)

    Now? I wish I had lied, but my first inclination is to always tell the truth. She told me I was going to hell and my family now shuns me. It still tears me wide open,especially since she was my hero.

    But, after being confronted, IF I had managed to lie, I would be torn wide open regarding my own honor. There is always the chance of losing your parents, hurting them in the process, and having to live with the results. Consider the long range results from a 3 second answer.

    dana wyz

  3. StonedRanger says

    When the call with Michael from Orlando started he said hullo? Ive heard that same hello on older calls from someone named Robert or bobby. So tiring to hear the same people lie about their names or locations on these calls.

  4. Justmenotanimposter says

    Matt is starting to annoy me in the manner he speaks to the theist callers. The guy who called in to discuss the Kalam could not finish two sentences, Matt constantly interrupted hin. Then Matt went on to talk for multiple sentences and when the caller tried to respond Matt toll him in a very aggressive way to letzten him finish, then interrupting him again as soon as he was able to unter half a sentence. This is in my view VERY unproductive and annoying. Thoughts?

  5. Murat says

    Even the fact that there was some kind of hesitation with the hosts to directly comment about Trump’s segregation policy (due to the classification of the ACA and the restrictions that come with it) show that the emerging ideology has begun affecting everyone. Jurisdiction hitting the brakes can only provide a bit more time for the democratic liberal powers to come up with an efficient resistance. Tough days ahead.

  6. says

    To the last caller, who wants to teach philosophy – Matt suggested he gets some pro tips from college professors. My suggestion would be to reach out to the creators of the now defunct podcast “Reasonable Doubts”, as 1 or 2 of them do that. They touch on that topic occasionally.

    I miss that podcast.

  7. says

    One thing that gets me about theist arguing the Kalam cosmological argument is that they’re arguing from the consistency of causality as we know it – a chain of cause and effect.

    They argue that this is why the nontheistic position is illogical, and they’re just taking standard observation to its logical conclusion.

    … but they toss out causality immediately. The Big Bang is such an extreme event that they’re plugging in an invisible all-powerful magician to explain it. So they’re not following the standard causal rules either… the thing they’re accusing us of.

    I’m glad Matt said “arguments aren’t evidence”. That drives me nuts. This is a great example… the argument can only get you to a “probably” scenario, until it can be reasonably confirmed.

  8. Monocle Smile says

    Here’s a link to a comment on RationalSkepticism by a user named Paul Almond who goes on an excellent rant about this. I get aggravated by arguments posed as evidence, too, and it’s why I don’t engage Thomists or any apologists who are self-labeled “philosophers” or “logicians.” It’s all castles in the air.

  9. Monocle Smile says

    The “dino blood” bullshit is still kicking around? I shouldn’t be surprised; religious apologists were in the fake news business long before it was cool. It never ceases to make me facedesk when people who don’t know anything about X baldly claim that because of Y, X is not possible. As if they’d know.

  10. Marcel says

    I just wanted to make a quick comment about metallic hydrogen. I first have to acknowledge that I haven’t read any of the recent articles on the topic (I assume we’ve figured out how to handle the stuff or something). We’ve known about metallic hydrogen for quite some time. Even when I was a child, they were describing that the core of Jupiter contained metallic hydrogen. As for the periodic table, it is already on the ‘metallic’ side of the table at the top left.

  11. Souperman says

    I don’t know if anyone has noticed it but the lighting on Matt makes the video on his side look crisp and clear while the video on Jen is flat. You might want to add some extra lighting.

  12. Monocle Smile says

    Listened to the whole show. I’m also sure Brian has called in before under different names (and I’m glad Matt called him out for being a prank); I recognize his grating intonation and speaking style. I’m not at all surprised that we get subjected to the University of YouTube. Thanks for the link, Rhett…I had looked this up before, and that confirms my recalling of the Schweitzer thing.

    Michael in Orlando sounds like old time caller Cesar, and given that he’s disingenuously quoting shows in the 400s, he’s probably the same guy. It’s super sad that he’s the same shithead a decade later.

  13. Monocle Smile says

    Holy shit, Nick was obnoxious. This might not be a popular opinion, but I’ve very glad Matt hung up on him. Matt was absolutely right in his post-call talk about this line of argumentation; the Kalamity Kraig bullshit is all about exploiting intuitions and then intentionally committing equivocation fallacies in order to define a god into existence.

  14. says

    @ jasper and @ monocle:

    agreed. this is a point i find myself having to make often. logic alone, no matter how sound, gets you only to “plausible”. you need evidence (data and facts) to get you to “likely” or “true”, which explains in a nutshell what this whole “science” thing is all about. in a closed room you can argue all day about the color of the sky, but you need to actually step outside to determine whether your claim is true.

  15. Monocle Smile says

    Pray tell…how would that call have gone in a productive direction? We’ve heard the same wibbling on the show countless times. Nick was dishonest from the start by bootstrapping a bunch of nonsense to the Kalam conclusion and then Matt outlined why he’s not interested in that line of argumentation anyway. Taking a half-hour snoozefest of a journey through a philosowibble call is not productive.

  16. Kim S. says

    To Chris in South Carolina,

    I wanted to give you my perspective on coming out and I hope it may give you some insight and possibly some hope.

    I grew up Southern Baptist and only started to question my beliefs when I started dating my husband who was an atheist from childhood. I officially became an atheist within our first year of being married which was about 9 years ago. Since moving out of my parents’ home, I became much closer with my mother and we have a very strong bond. It became increasingly tougher on me to keep my atheism from my mother but I did not have the courage to confront her face to face as I did not want to have an emotional and possibly very hurtful argument over it. Instead, I decided to write my mother a letter explaining when I became an atheist and all of the reasons why. I also explained that I was still the same daughter to her that she loved and that we would only discuss the matter in person if she wanted to. I hand delivered it to her and asked her to read it privately on her own time. She sent me a message later that day that she loved me and would still continue to pray for me and my husband but that nothing had changed between us. We haven’t discussed it since and I won’t unless she brings it up. She was right though, it did not affect our relationship.

    I hope my story may bring you some clarity. If you need someone to talk to, I would be happy to help.

  17. favog says

    I very could be wrong about this, but I grew up with the understanding that when you ask someone to become a godparent, or accept the request to become a godparent, the specific duty that’s being discussed is to make sure that whom ever is feeding and sheltering the kid, the godparent will ensure that said child is raised … in the faith. So I’m a little confused about Matt being a godparent. As Jen pointed out, if legal guardianship is what’s being discussed, that’s actually handled through legal channels. Is it that Matt has agreed and done the legal guardianship work, and in an example of words have usages rather than definitions he and the other parties involved are referring to those arrangements as godfatherhood?

  18. Monocle Smile says

    That’s a very traditional reading of “godparent.” It has a much broader colloquial meaning and has for a long time.
    Jen’s sole point was that a verbal agreement to be a godparent doesn’t mean shit to the legal system.

  19. says

    @favog 20

    the godparent will ensure that said child is raised … in the faith

    That’s actually the first time I’ve heard that definition, actually. My parents are religious, but I always understood “godparents” to just be “those people who’ll become my replacement parents if my original parents die”.

    @18 aarrgghh

    Sometimes for fun, I’ll try to make apologetic arguments for science. For instance (this is a work in progress):

    Every species that began to exist came from an earlier species. But since we can’t have infinite regresses, evolution needs a “first mover”. Abiogenesis is not a species that began to exist, so therefore it doesn’t come from an earlier species. Therefore, abiogenesis is proved.

    I know for a fact that Evolution is true because I had an evolutionary experience that revealed it to me. I won’t go into the details, but I also found out that those who don’t accept it just evolved to be rebellious, is all.

  20. ScottD says

    For the science teacher, from the 1/29 show, who was looking for some ideas for a philosophy class, I would recommend checking out the Center for Applied Reasoning. It was founded by Julia Galen, from the Rationally Speaking podcast. They have lots of resources, including training workshops, that would be useful for a high school level class.

  21. Murat says

    @Oz #25

    But that’s a one-time thing, you can’t expect the guy to convert and deconvert again and again.

  22. Simon & Mrs Wendy Hosking says

    Regarding godparents –

    I became the godfather of my niece many decades ago (when I was still a believer) in the Australian Anglican Church (sort of the Church of England or Episcopalian).

    As my niece grew she converted to Baptist and was baptised again as a teenager (the Baptist church doesn’t recognise child baptism). I have also moved on and I’m now a Atheist.

    Does that make me an ex-godfather?

    – Simon

  23. Murat says

    @MS #29

    Because they’re doing a good thing by building empathy and getting closer, on the other hand it’s still the concept of religion -which, in the first place, is quite divisive by nature- that they channel the goodness into.

  24. Monocle Smile says

    That’s extremely narrow-minded, one-dimensional thinking.
    That story doesn’t seem to be about religion, per se. It’s about people not being shitty to each other. If all or most religious people acted in that way (i.e. better than their religion), my vitriol would shrink at least an order of magnitude. The fact that it involves Jews and Muslims being cooperative means that it is indeed possible for people to be people first and religious followers second (or later). While I’d like to wipe out religion, it’s a much more achievable goal to get people to be human first.

  25. Murat says

    @MS #32

    I agree. But when I saw this, I thought most people on this platform would lean more on having mixed feelings about it for the reason I later explained. That was why I brought it up in kinda question form.

  26. StonedRanger says

    @Murat 29
    Im not sure I understand the whole mixed feelings thing either. Its all about people helping other people and setting an example that more people should follow. Nothing mixed here, I fully support what they did. The fact that they have disparate religions is all the more reason to support what they did.

  27. ironchops says

    @Murat, StonedRanger & MS –No mixed feelings here at all. It is a beautiful thing to see compassion for others trump any doctrinal type dogma or political view. This is people doing what people should for no better reason than love. What we see here is hope. The more this happens the higher the possibly religion will be dropped nearly entirely and replaced with humanist ideals. Especially as long as (the most likely non-existent) G_d doesn’t come down and reprimand them in some tragic or cataclysmic way.

  28. Fabio says

    I have been watching/listening to the show for a couple of years, but I am starting to be sad to see what is happening. The atheistic thought in the show is not evolving, and Matt is treating every call as a debate, instead of having a productive conversation from an educational perspective, and he is using rhetorical and logical techniques just to make the point and “win” against the less skilled person from this communication perspective, that cannot articulate the ideas using the same form.
    The main point regarding the call from Brian was the question: “Are the scientists biased?”, which is a great question and should be an interesting topic to discuss as the atheistic community usually takes science as a reliable source to understand how reality works. Matt and Jen confuse science with the scientist, and one is the method and the other are the people and humans involved on this, and off course humans are biased, and it is already proved by science itself :)! But Matt missed the point, and treated (as it is becoming more and more usual) the caller disrespectfully.
    The majority of the arguments runs well with less sophisticated topics, treating the idea of God as a demiurge or designer. When a caller comes with a “mystical experience” or is talking about a tradition that is not the protestant Christianity (like the caller in a show who was comparing the ideas in Vedanta that seems to be aligned with some recent thoughts in particle physics, Matt says that some guru was vague, not even knowing what was the tradition that the caller was referencing to), or when the idea of God is more similar to the “God” of David Bentley Hart or even to the “God” of Spinoza, the atheistic arguments get poor and the dialogue is not productive.
    The same is happening when callers are calling to deal with a life without religion, where there is no good advice.
    This reflects the current situation of the atheistic thought/philosophy. The debate should evolve from discussing with superstitious fundamentalist American christians, to discuss important topics and more transcendental subjects (such as the consequences of a world without religion, moral in a secular society, existence and consciousness, assumptions of a naturalistic world view and the arguments, nature of self, etc)

  29. Mobius says


    The other day I was listening to a Trump supporter talking about how America was going to be great again (sigh). And he said that America needed to get right with God. Then he got off on morality…

    “There is good and evil.”

    “And to be good you have to believe in God.”

    At which point I kinda lost it, since he had just said I was evil, though I don’t think he had followed his statements to their conclusion. “That is utter BS.”

    He was quite taken aback, and seemed truly confused that anyone could disagree with his second statement.

  30. Mobius says

    Second aside…

    My neighbor was saying he was happy with Trump’s ban on Muslims, that we should keep Muslims out of the US…not that he has anything against Muslims.

  31. Chancellor of the Exchequer says

    I too was “huh?(‘d)” by Colbert’s religiosity at one point.

    I watched said clip on puhtewietube and against my better judgement ventured pass the recommended vids and onto the comment section. There I witnessed the terrible arguments from the religious, the nausea inducing grandstanding of agnostic(totally not an atheist) proclamations of superior intellect to the stupid atheists and theists together with the standard bashing of varying religions(and how they’re all for “dumb-dumbs”) and shouts of Islam being thrash in particular.

  32. Murat says

    @Mobius #41

    There are various things yet unseen about this fresh “Muslim ban”. Both those in favor and in opposition are likely to understand in time that, it will effect individuals (and then groups, and then business) in unprecedented / unpresidented ways. Just to provide an example to one (yet uncovered) aspect:

    I had read on a forum an anecdote by a guy who studied in NYC. He happens to be in Washington D.C. on the 4th of July in the very early 2000s, wants to see around, notices that most roads are blocked etc. While walking in to an alley, a police officer notices him and shouts “Wait, hooo!” as he rushes to him. Suddenly, there are three cops around the student. The very first (an Afro-American) in an excited manner, yet gently, asks him what he’s doing there. He says he was visiting a friend etc, and the accent is noticed. As further questioned, the college guy is asked to show what is inside his backpack (which, he at the time understands, was the cause for the attention) and tells the officers he is Turkish, a student in NYC, visiting a friend for a couple of days in the capital, etc. The officers seem extra careful not to be discriminative, one says “I’m a Muslim, too. You know it’s the 4th of July…” and goes on saying this and that, therefore extra measures, some passages blocked for security etc.

    He wasn’t offended, but just taken aback and afraid for the first moments of this as a naive freshman in the USA. Still, he is assured a few times about this rush not being about religious discrimination as the cops seem to be extra careful in approaching him in a politically correct way. So, in the end, he is let to walk away in the allowed direction.

    The guy finishes the anecdote notes that, looking back at this, not too long after 9/11, a guy with a backpack and an accent may cause understandable attention for law enforecement. But the punchline is, he says, “Yes, one of the cops said (maybe just to ease me) that he was ‘a Muslim, too’, but, during this whole thing, no one, not even once, asked me if I was one.”

    There has always been a space in the back of Turkish I.D.s that stated “religion”, was argued unconstitutional to have it there, so people are now free to prefer having it kept blank. (Still, a problem and an anti-secular for obvious reasons.) But in the passports, I don’t think it ever existed. So, the cops were reacting on “assumption”, just like Trump’s USA will be for the turbulent years ahead.

    The thread where I read this was about free thinkers, the guy who narrated the anecdote was an agnostic at the time an now an atheist.

    Something like a “Muslim registry” coming up from the USA for immigrants will, eventually, trigger many countries to actually register their people in terms of something which can not really be registered. It’s a belief. It can be existent or non-existent in one regardless of the dominant religion in their country. It can come and go.

    For some anti-theists, atheists, and even agnostics, it may be very difficult next year to explain in his homeland how he was let into the USA. Some of the currently listed countries are already known to be very much in line with religious oppression, and “the other end” of this ban will give some groups (or even some governments) to act heavily on the “allowed”. Not too long into the future, an entry into the USA may well tag an Arab as “traitor” in his/her homeland. The public opposition in the USA has yet to arrive to those “side effects” but yes, it’s inevitable as causality never sleeps.

    So, even if one actually believes that a “Muslim ban” would, in one way or partially, make the USA more safe, it’s not applicable to reality. It can only change the profile of potential terrorists. ISIS and other organizations of terror can easily draw their attention to people who were born as non-Muslims (they are known to have many hundreds of whitest-of-the white, of European origin, blue-eyes blonde-hair kinda “converted” militants in Mosul) and that would mean the closing of one door and the opening of another in the long term with regards to terrorism.

    On the other hand, I saw on BBC the news about a Christian Lebanese family who were forced to return in tears shortly after their arrival. Parents had recently gotten creen cards, whole family’s savings were spent on the plane tickets. If you consider the economical measures for some people from other parts of the world, even in its first week, this ban has must have caused dozeds of families to go bankrupt due to this very unexpected change in plans for the worse. Not hard to imagine how this particular family approached the border officers in vain:

    “But we’re not even Muslims, see, this is my cross, a third of the Lebanese are Christians and…”

    “Ma’am, this is not about religion, there is no religious discrimination about this, it’s about your country of origin. I’m sorry.”

    Not even Trump can actually force an openly declared “Muslim ban”, hence, it will have to keep using a different cover which will further complicate things.

    Favoring Christians and Jews from war-torn lands will eventually further lessen the weak minorities there and create the kind of landscape ISIS wants: Very hardcore Muslims only! The ideal kind of population to harvest militants with whom to build a dark empire of no-holds-barred theocracy.

    One other point of distraction comes from comparing this ban to Hitler’s first acts agains Jews. Yes, in terms of how fascism rises, the comparison is perfect as they are ideologically the same thing. But in practice, there is this huge difference: The term “Jews” covers both a religion and a nation. Today, people of Jewish origin like Russell use labels like “secular Jew” to avoid the confusion. However, for some Jews (including extremist ones, I presume) it may still be one and the same thing. Whereas in the case of Islam, even before coming to sects, interpretations, levels of developments etc, you have “many nations” to start with.

    I’m cautious about claiming that Trump is clueless about what he is doing. His plan, though contradicting with the constitution and the values of the USA, may be coherent within itself and he may have mapped out something that will in the long run shift the waves in world politics.

    This ban is just a teaser. The trailer will shock us, and then the movie will attract audiences.

  33. Mobius says

    Trump says that this isn’t a Muslim ban, but of course it is. He is just playing 1984 style word games. And more importantly, it is perceived to be a Muslim ban by the rest of the world, particularly by Muslims. And it is doing great harm to the US, to its reputation and by putting Americans overseas in greater danger. It is radicalizing Muslims. Even our Muslim allies are taking a dim view of this and beginning to lose trust in us. Our soldiers in the Middle East are in greater danger.

    All of these things were apparent to some of Trump’s “advisors”, such as Mattis, but Trump isn’t listening to those advisors. In fact, they don’t even seem to have been consulted.

  34. Monocle Smile says

    Given Trump’s further statements about “prioritizing” Christian refugees, it’s pretty obvious that this is a Muslim ban. Why make those remarks if it wasn’t? Of course, it’s also a “brown person ban,” since there’s no real way to distinguish between any given christian and muslim, at least not in a way that keeps out true undesirables.

    Trump picked a stupid fight with Australia. Can you imagine him in the same room with leaders in the Middle East? Or the female leaders of certain European countries? It’s going to be one disaster after another.

  35. Mobius says

    Trump seems to love creating chaos among his opponents. He is going to be a terribly destabilizing influence on international relations, and that will be a horrible thing. International peace does not prosper in an environment of chaos. Sowing uncertainty may be an effective business strategy, but uncertainty does not play well on the international stage.

    Yes, Trump’s dissing of the Australian PM was unconscionable. They are a long time ally. Trump has lived in an environment where he didn’t need to treat others with respect. But that is different now. He will make himself a pariah and the US will suffer for it.

  36. Murat says

    People talk about impeachment but I have a hunch that it’s no more realistic an expectation than hoping the electors to act differently was. Still, assuming it happened: How better can Pence be? Less chaos, more conservatism? Evolution ban?

  37. Monocle Smile says

    I believe you’re wrong on all counts, especially the last one, because the show has always been good at talking to fresh deconverts and has talked at length countless times about the topics you listed at the end. Are you just not paying attention…at all?

    “Are scientists biased” is not a very interesting question for anyone who has even a cursory idea of how science works. The answer is “it doesn’t matter, because the process controls for that in robust fashion.” Brian was a fake caller, FYI, and conspiracy theories aren’t worth air time.

  38. Gunnar Liljas says

    Once again, Matt destroys a perfectly good show by being an asshole. If you’re going to shout and hang up, at least give the guy enough rope to hang himself properly first. You’re failing on both pedagogy and humility, which is really bad advertising for the atheist community.

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