Comments

  1. sayamything says

    What’s with the vacuum cleaner? I’m glad the audio got better, but seriously, what was that?

    I just have to say I really, really hate the current intro song. When it first started up, I thought it was some sort of joke. You know, an atheist parody of the crappy Christian Rock “genre” of music or something. I always questioned whether or not the song “Listen to Reason” was appropriate for a show that admitted you didn’t need to be reasonable to be an atheist, but at least it was a good song. Sorry, but it came to mind when Matt brought up giving her listens on YouTube.

    I wish it was as easy to tell an old cookie by counting the M&Ms. Linnea’s call is something I imagine will be super handy in the future, especially when dealing with people who argue the age of the Earth is determined by cookies. Sorry, now I just have M&M cookies on the brain. Too bad the supermarket closes in like 12 minutes.

    I am serious that it comes off as useful, though. Matt’s idea to make a video on the topic is probably useful.

  2. RationalismRules says

    @sayamything
    Ah, the subjectiveness of musical taste! I am the opposite of you: I always detested “Listen to Reason”, and was very happy when they changed to the current song, even though it’s not necessarily music that I would listen away from the show.

  3. t90bb says

    Victor called Talk Heathen earlier today…..claims he is VERY well read lolololol…..He denied the theory of relativity/gravity….and said germ theory was ridiculous because its a fact “that germs exist”!!!. Victor had to be reminded that its germ theory of disease. Its been a long time since I heard anyone so confidently spew absolute ignorance! He has no concept of the goals of science or the scientific method. He tried to lecture the fellas today how gravity was untested and unproven and had no evidence,…but also claims he can provide concrete evidence the earth is flat…moon landing was ………………………………gotta love it!
    MOST DEFINITELY A TRUMP SUPPORTED!!!!! hehe

  4. says

    poor theodore seems to be in somewhat worse shape than he’d let on last week, which seems to confirm my initial armchair diagnosis. so he’s a self-described agnostic who’s not just inexplicably burdened with a fear of hell, but, we learn tonight, who’s also perversely feeding his fear by chasing real live apologists. while he admitted last week that he doesn’t find any one argument particularly compelling, he nonetheless seems committed to rooting out any argument for hell that atheists may be spuriously dismissing. so he’s reversed the burden of proof and given himself a white whale to hunt …

    but, as they say, that not acquired by rational means cannot be dismissed by rational means. last week was a start, but this week’s failure to get past the apologetics to the psychological roots of of his anxieties seems a missed opportunity for progress.

  5. Mobius says

    Yeah, when Victor started off with “Pictures are fake. NASA admits it.”, that was a serious headdesk moment.

  6. says

    trying my hand at some apologetics of my own:

    regarding souls and twins … since god knows everything, wouldn’t he already at conception have “preloaded” the proper number of souls into each embryo before it splits into whatever number of fetuses god knew would emerge? a split-brain patient could be simply the victim of a possession and why wouldn’t the wounded soul of a split-brain patient be healed after death … as long as we’re allowed to just make up whatever we want to?

  7. Skeptic7 says

    I do not agree with Matt about the human condition improving in the middle east. Globally there might be more peace, however the Middle East has seen stable dictatorships descent into chaos over and over again. Look at Libya and Iraq. The illegal war that the US is waging in Syria… Apparently international law does not apply to the US. All of this done with the pretext of spreading democracy.

  8. sayamything says

    @Mobius: “Yeah, when Victor started off with “Pictures are fake. NASA admits it.”, that was a serious headdesk moment.”

    Is it sad that the minute he said that I knew where he was going? Because I’ve heard this junk so many times before that I can practically recite it by heart.

  9. Theisntist says

    To Stephen from Tokyo who asked Matt “why do you do this?”, I present Teddy as exhibit A. I’m glad Teddy had a chance to speak with Matt, who is the AE’s most relentless debunker of bad reasoning. Hopefully it will help Teddy let go of his irrational fear of hell, which is obviously causing him to experience hell on Earth. Sometimes Matt’s methods are needlessly harsh, but if there was ever a caller that needed the “Full Dillahunty” it was Teddy.

  10. The Sparrow says

    Theodore whom is scared of hell has an anxiety disorder. I am not saying this to be patronizing. He has admitted that rationally he gets that there is no hell but he is so frightened of it he can’t get it to sink in. He also commented several times that it is consuming his life. I’ve seen this before. Its anxiety. Severe anxiety. He needs to seek treatment for that. Rational arguments will not help.

    Theodore, if you are reading this, really, approach your problem as a medical condition and seek appropriate help.

  11. gshelley says

    I don’t know that Don was entirely wrong about the “one a week” claim. There have only been seven weeks this year. Looking at Snopes “7”, even those probably don’t all really count. Three are absolutely unambiguous, and there are three or four more that some of the details of who shot are unclear, or you might have an arugment for not counting it as a school shooting – such as it happened in the parking lot outside, but you don’t have to stretch things to get to 6 or 7

  12. gravityisajoke says

    This is Victor, the caller from this show. I love how all you pseudo skeptics leave me in the last two minutes of the show because you know damn well you don’t want to touch the flat earth topic with a 10 foot pole. Also amusing how Matt hangs up on me after claiming “I haven’t made a good argument” well of course how am I supposed to make a good argument in only two minutes that’s not really possible and I prefaced it saying there’s no way this topic can be fully fleshed out in this short period of time. Matt’s ego is bigger than his ability to reason. He’s like the Trump of atheism, “You’re Fired!!” then hangs up on people and laughs acts like he won the discussion when he didn’t even give me a chance.

    I’m more than willing to debate any single person on this topic, apparently Matt is not just as he’s not willing to debate veganism because he knows he will lose. I have requested to debate I would say 7-8 different atheist channels and they have ALL declined, I find that interesting. If it is so easy to refute flat earth and if its so easy to prove gravity then why not debate me and disprove everything I say? Easy ego boost to make a flat earther look stupid isn’t it? You’re all pseudo skeptics, “Question Everything” the motto of science. Reply if you want to setup a debate, I will not debate over text, only video.

  13. Robin says

    why do I have the feeling that callers with non-atheist topics are calling in so that they can have their 15 minute of fame on youtube by debating Matt?

    Why would you call an atheist show about Flat Earth or Veganism? Of course there might be a troll factor playing up.

  14. Savvy says

    Poor Teddy. I feel sorry for him. It seems like he can’t trust his own mind. That’s a scary place to be. And one religion will put you in.

  15. jeffh123 says

    In my opinion, and I agree with Don here, if you are pro-life, then you MUST be for universal free pre and post natal health care, child food programs, housing for economically challenged families, etc.

  16. adi98 says

    That girl explained a lot of things we all learned at high school but Matt’s comedy in the end with that christian was awesome. He clearly showed that we can’t teach believers no matter what. Its like they never went to school.

  17. jeffh123 says

    Holy s….. Yes! Matt, you hit the nail on the head about the BS school shooting stats. The very first “shooting” the Everytown organization touted was a Michigan man committing suicide outside of a school that’s been closed for 7 months. No. Students. Were. Present. You lie and you lose credibility. And, yes, one is one too many.

  18. Amateur_Hour says

    You guys have to do something about the Talk Heathen guys. They are wrecking your brand. Seriously, have a look at that show guys.

  19. Ed says

    I’m gonna have to listen again to the M&M thing. One of the most frequent “debunks” I see of RC dating is that we DON’T KNOW the original amount of C12/C14 and we can’t assume the ratio. I didn’t hear that “point” addressed.

  20. jeffh123 says

    The bloody vultures who pray on new college students piss me off. I saw a lot of that at Berkeley in the ’70s.

  21. brett gross says

    I wish Pinker’s critics, in the scientific community, and there are many, got a bit more “air time.” We’re living in a time when guys like Pinker and Jordan Peterson, evo-psych types generally, are using scientific claims to advance a political agenda. It needs a critique. Critiques of their claims need a bit more airing.

  22. Diademata says

    The caller with the sudden, intense fear of hell needs to go get checked out by a doctor, please let him know if possible. Schizophrenia, for example, is most common in males and has onset in early adulthood. The fact that he is suggestibly switching between different hells is not a good sign. If this was normal fear you would expect him to fear one hell in particular. A lot of the language he used sounded like he was terrified on a daily basis and looking for you guys to fix his fear (‘knocking on my head’ etc.) and he acknowledged rational input without it helping his fear at all.

  23. paxoll says

    @Ed,

    One of the most frequent “debunks” I see of RC dating is that we DON’T KNOW the original amount of C12/C14 and we can’t assume the ratio. I didn’t hear that “point” addressed.

    The thing is ages done by this method are bounded by probability statistics. We also have many other ways of dating that we cross with. For instance we have recorded human history and we can literally date things by their dates. We have trees that are old enough for an full C14 half life, We can simply test every ring of the tree and watch the carbon levels. Through alternative dating techniques we know that there has been fluctuation in the C14 levels, but a large natural fluctuation is 20%, that is not even a full half life, meaning less then 5k years variation. So over human history we have a very detailed knowledge of the original amount, and beyond human history, we always have multiple dating techniques so that the natural variations can be corrected for to give a fairly tight probabilistic time interval.

  24. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    @jeffcia #18:

    Does anybody have a link to the Stephen Pinker article Matt mentioned?

    To promote the book, he’s also given lectures in various locations.
     
    Video: Steven Pinker – The Better Angels of Our Nature (54:17)

  25. skottie says

    I guess Victor missed the Elon Musk car in orbit thing. Oh wait the stars were missing so it must be fake Hollywood stuff.

  26. RationalismRules says

    @gravityisajoke

    I have requested to debate I would say 7-8 different atheist channels and they have ALL declined, I find that interesting.

    What does the shape of the earth have to do with whether or not a god exists?
     

    I will not debate over text, only video.

    Why? If you have a strong argument for your position, why are you unable to make it in written form?

  27. indianajones says

    @RR I’ll take a swing. But before I do, I will say I DO admire your approach of giving your opponent rope to hang themselves with by strictly taking their word for it and asking clarifying questions. Even though I think you take it way too far sometimes when it seems to me that the actual answers are blindingly obvious but devastating to your opponent’s argument. Therefore they will waffle about something else for a while. You employ an almost super human tolerance at times with so much latitude.

    In that vein:

    The shape of the earth has something to do with god because of some obscure apologetic, easily debunked, but which Vic will never concede as debunked but will tap dance instead.

    It is not that he is unable to make them in anything but video form, it is that anything but video form is unsuitable for youtube hits. And it is also unsuited for being able to cite sources that are check-able as the argument is developed. It may also be (and perhaps he might be right about this) that Vic thinks he will be able to talk fast enough so that whoever he debates with will miss something devastating. Which is, after all, MUCH easier to achieve in an on the fly format like video.

  28. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    Don’t eat the blue M&Ms. They’re radioactive!

    So are the non-blue ones.

    I love how all you pseudo skeptics leave me in the last two minutes of the show because you know damn well you don’t want to touch the flat earth topic with a 10 foot pole.

    I’m not very interested in this sort of discussion with a troll. My fig leaf: We know that the flat earth hypothesis is false because of everyday air travel times and boat travel times. Otherwise, every civilian air pilot, and every boat captain, etc., would have to be in on a worldwide conspiracy, and that’s just ridiculous. Now, go away, obvious troll.

  29. StonedRanger says

    Victor, if you think gravity is not real or it is somehow unproven, I challenge you to go find a very tall building, preferably one over ten stories in height, and jump off it. It gravity is not real you will not fall but will simply float to the ground like a feather and you will have won your argument. If however, gravity is real, you will fall at terminal velocity and will die in a bloody heap at the bottom of said building and and gravity will be proven and I will win the argument. There is no need to debate this on video or anywhere else. Go ahead, I dare ya.

  30. StonedRanger says

    Oh, and victor, no one will debate you on the flat earth question. Because A) – Its not a valid question. B) – For the same reason you don’t debate people over things like Intelligent Design. For one thing, you give validation to a crackpot idea just by agreeing to debate something that is totally without merit. While you are entitled to your beliefs, no matter how far from the proven facts they may be, no one has to give you a platform to express your stupid ideas. Flat earth and veganism have exactly ZERO to do with atheism. You want to debate flat earth, go argue with some scientists, don’t call atheist programs and demand to be heard.

  31. Monocle Smile says

    @Ed
    Funny thing…in the context of creationism, it doesn’t matter, because carbon dating isn’t used for geological purposes. It’s used for archaeology. Of course, creationists lie about it anyway, because that’s what creationists do.

    When dating the earth, several methods, like U-Pb, have a built-in way of controlling that “initial amount.” For instance, zircon crystals trap uranium, but not lead when they form. Thus, lead found in zircon crystals is all from decayed uranium. Easy!

  32. t90bb says

    #20…Amateur Hour….

    I love Talk Heathen. Jamie and Eric are great. They are just starting out…and I think they are doing amazingly well. Are there some rough spots?? Absolutely. But I look forward to them every week just like TAE. If you dont like the show….dont watch!! Get a hobby! There is no “brand” to be ruined my little friend! Its skepticism and rational thought. Its not a BRAND…its a way of thinking.
    BTW…me thinks you are hating a bit much. Possibly a frustrated theist. That’s your problem.

  33. sayamything says

    Victor, what I find interesting is your interest in specifically debating atheists. You do understand that regardless of what Matt’s position is, the shape of the Earth is not something atheism addresses, right? You’re calling out people who don’t believe in God, rather than people with credentials…why? If your position is so strong, why don’t you offer to debate bona fide scientists?

    I suspect it’s because you can’t possibly hold your own and you know it, but I’m not a mind reader.

    If you do get people to debate you, though, for the love of “god” let me know because I want to see that. I have a thing about train wrecks….

  34. t90bb says

    VICTOR…..

    I have met idiots. I have met idiots that think they are smart. You may be king of them!!!

    I listened to you ramble and stumble through your 10 mins in Talk Heathen. You don’t know what a “theory” is in a scientific sense. You don’t know the difference between FACTS, LAWS, and THEORIES. You embarrassed yourself so badly regarding GERM THEORY I almost blushed for you. YOU stated Germ theory is not a theory…its a fact because GERMS EXIST!! LOL…You did not even know that germ theory refers to germ theory of disease. How is it possible to maintain such ignorance???

    You stated on Talk Heathen that you were once a very strong atheist and that you are VERY well read…LOL. Did you read nursery rhymes?, because its not possible to read that much and remain that stupid.

    For the record, generally:

    LAWS describe behavior or action (the law of gravity describes and predicts the action, like a pen falling when dropped)
    THEORIES attempt to explain why these actions occur.

    The goal of science is to establish useful models that offer predictable results. Nothing is off limits to be challenged in science, Now if you, Victor, have independent research that you believe contradicts the current models and theory pertaining to gravity….please write up your findings and submit them for peer review. I suspect you know as much about the theory of relativity as you did germ theory. You are an ignoramus who thinks he is smart. Your stupidity and foolishness is on such a grand scale that it leaves many speechless. Your ignorance is so profound that I am sure some think you are a troll.

    So lets get this on the record……YOU dont understand Science…YOU dont understand the term theory in a scientific sense…You didnt even understand the CONCEPT of Germ theory……AND……………

    YOU expect us to take anything you say seriously when it comes to the shape of the earth???…..do you see how embarrassed I am for you?? AND then you start talking about Dark Matter….calling it ridiculous..lol. Calling something ridiculous is not an argument, Victor. Anything that you do not understand is ridiculous…which is why nearly everything is ridiculous to you.

    Part of me really hopes you just go away. The other part hopes you become a regular caller. Its one of my character defects. I love to look at a terrible car wreck. Its morbidly entertaining to listen to someone so terribly ignorant and confused project so confidently.

  35. says

    @Gravityisajoke

    Wow.. that’s a whole lotta stupid right there.

    People are not refusing to debate you because they are scared. They are refusing to debate you because you are an idiot.

    For the record:

    the Earth is a spheroid.

    It revolves around the sun

    gravity is a fact

    human physiology is not compatible with long term veganism

    there is no evidence for the god of the christian bible

  36. tjack360 says

    Linnea was my favorite of the show. She was awesome. Thank you for letting her give an elementary explanation of how radioactive carbon dating works. 6000 year old earth. Yikes! BTW, the flat earth caller was hilarious. Laughed my butt off when you guys hung up on him. What a maroon! LOL! Great show, guys!

  37. abhorrent says

    @t90bb
    If you’re going to cast aspersions about the level of intelligence of a person who supports President Trump then it would be in your interest to use proper grammar and sentence structure.

  38. says

    I just got a cosmic sign that God is calling on me to worship him. I was sitting at my computer and my daughter asked me what time is it. I looked and it was 3:16! Immediately John 3:16 came to mind which says; For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. If that’s not a sign from heaven I don’t know what is.
    I don’t really believe that but unfortunately that’s all it takes for some people to become believers. On a side note is it terrible that the first thought that came to my mind upon learning that Billy Graham is dead is “finally”?

  39. Marcel says

    @gravityisajoke

    On your call to TalkHeathen, you said you had issue with the Cavendish experiment. You implied that the Cavendish experiment was only done once, and has never been repeated since then.

    This is flat out 100% incorrect. The Cavendish experiment is done thousands of times every year. Any university student majoring in physics will do this experiment in their 3rd or 4th year in a lab course. I personally did the experiment in my 3rd lab course back in 1993/1994.

  40. sayamything says

    @t90bb I too enjoy Talk Heathen. I like that the show is different, and I don’t feel the “brand” of the ACA is hurt by having it around. In fact, I like the bit where they have been encouraging the “frequent flyers” to go over there where they can have a more long-form relationship and the same hosts (usually). It’s awkward when one of the regulars calls in and says to someone like Russell “Two weeks ago, Matt said.X,” because Matt’s the only one who can really defend what Matt said on a consistent basis.

    Then again, Hamish tried to pull this with Jaime and Eric when citing Russell, who has never actually been on the show to my recollection, so it doesn’t ALWAYS work.

    But it’s a neat idea, the hosts are nice and I’m glad they’re around. I mean, what else am I gonna do on Sunday?

  41. RationalismRules says

    @indianajones
    I suspect Victor’s desire to debate atheists is also related to YouTube views – more people are invested in the god debate than are interested in paying attention to flat-earthers. It would be interesting if one of his reasons for his flat-earth belief was because the holy book says so – I’ve never heard anyone actually argue that position.

    I take your point about the tediousness of lengthy questioning, especially with someone like Sam. Often, though, questions seem to me the most concise way to point out the flaws in an argument.

  42. Nicholas Verheyden says

    Note, at just after an hour you said in Hemispherectomy patients and described split brain patients. These are seperate surgeries and outcomes:

    -Corpus Callosotomy- This is when the Corpus callosum connecting the 2 Hemispheres is cut to stop the spread of seizures. This is what results in Split-Brain patients. It is also possible for people to be born with no Corpus Callosum (Agenesis of the Corpus Callosum)

    Hemispherectomy- This is performed mainly in infants and young children with severe defective disorders of one Hemisphere which often result in dozens to hundreds of seizures per day (Common ones: Infant Stroke, Hemimegalencephaly (Defective unilateral brain overgrowth), Unilateral Encephalitis Syndromes, Malformed Brain tissues unilaterally). In this surgery the entire half of the brain is surgically removed or is completely disconnecting resulting in no activity in that half anymore. This often results in partial paralysis of the opposite side of the body (the younger the more function can be recovered) and Hemianopia (Unilateral loss of peripheral vision) and in older children with the left Hemisphere removed some high level speech impairment but with proper therapy: intellect, socialisation, memory and emotional functions are usually near-normal.

    Just felt this needed clearing up 🙂

  43. DanDare2050 says

    I’m trying to see this video and I am getting “this video is unavailable”. What gives?

  44. meskibob says

    @45 DanDare2050
    The video was re-uploaded but the link here hasn’t been updated.
    Updated link:
    https://youtu.be/lIue0TAucDM

  45. carlwinslo says

    Love that Matt made the point about the exaggerated school shooting statistics. A “by any means necessary” argument tactic is not constructive and it hurts the side you are arguing for. It gives your opponent ammo (no pun intended) that you are lying and therefor dont have a better argument.

  46. Marcel says

    Great episode. Just heard the harasment news regarding Kraus. Damn.

    I feel Matt should cancel the Kraus dates or face complacency problems.

  47. Mac Dude says

    Matt is wrong regarding the moon proving the Earth is round argument. In the flat earth model the moon would have to flip upside down as you got further away from it, not went around it. To use the light example, in the flat earth model the moon always looks the same as you walk around the room 10 feet away from the light, but would always look “upside down” as you walk around the room 30 feet away.
    .
    The moon doesn’t look upside down from Russia to Canada (the other side of the room), it looks upside down from Argentina to Canada (same side of the room but further away). This is the opposite to what the flat earth model says.

  48. Atheist Alliance Pakistan says

    Hello from Atheist Alliance Pakistan.

    Matt, you’re my favorite on the show, but you’re being unfair to anyone who made that video about the moon being upside down. I don’t know which specific video you’re talking about, but I know the argument. It is a valid argument against Flat Earth Model, and has been proposed by scientists. I remeber wathing it on BBC back in 2017, and luckily, I managed to find the clip. Here it is: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XHzzRbw0lgI
    Thank you.

  49. Nice Try says

    So I decided to take a look at this web page after seeing that the atheist experience YouTube channel blocked comments. This already made me skeptical, because how pathetic is it to discourage discussion in a convenient location. Then, I click the comments link on this page and it opens up tracked ads. Disgusting. Then, I read some of the content here. Yeah *facepalms*…safe to say y’all have successfully driven me away. Best wishes.

  50. StonedRanger says

    @ Nice Try Ad Blocker Plus will take care of the ads and in this day and age when every website you go to has ads of some sort or another its kind of silly to whine about it when there are so many things you can do to eliminate them. And Im going to guess that you have never ever read any you tubes comments or you would know that there is no discussion going on there. Lots of trolls, and off topic comments, and people just being dicks there. How hard was it to click the link that brought you to the blog? Pretty difficult, im sure. You seem to have made it here with little difficulty. Which content on the blog bothers you? Care to have a discussion about it? No? Then we didn’t drive you anywhere, you have driven yourself off. From your post Im going to guess that you haven’t a clue what skepticism is. Sorry to see that youre not interested in having a conversation or posting any specific complaints about the blog. Best wishes to you too.

  51. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    To Nice Try
    Wait… Youtube doesn’t do tracking and data aggregation which they could use for many purposes, including targeted ads? Google also doesn’t also pool that data into a large database with data from other online webapps? I didn’t realize. Hallelujah! Praise be! You are the internet’s true hero for letting everyone know.
    /s

    Oh wait – you’re just making shit up – making up an using an obvious hypocritical double standard? Nevermind.