Open thread for episode 22.30: Matt and Clare


Clare talks more about the 8 “difficulties” people have with evolution.

Comments

  1. bluestar says

    Not good. Hey every show can’t hit it out of the park. I see the “audience” waiting for debate with theist callers. When that doesn’t happen, a level of disappointment prevails. IDK jack about producing a media product. I think based on what I have observed over the last 8 months, is that the format needs refinement. Get to theist/Deist calls right away, blow off the obstinate, and engage in some meaningful debate. That is what I believe the folks who tune in to the AXP live expect. If you guys decide to go in a different direction, fine. But that should be explained.

  2. mike2018 says

    Clare presentation is just terrible. I can barely understand it and i’m an Athiest that finished college. How can we expect the typical Thiest who have little to no real education and rejected evolution/a bio-genesis to understand it. Next time, please rehearse, rehearse and more rehearse.

  3. gnj1958 says

    I don’t quite understand why the subject of abortion comes up so much in atheist debates.

    I’m a layman and I had no job understanding Clare’s presentation.

  4. Marianne Sturgis says

    I feel Clare actually confused more people than educated them. She said “dna gets into protein”, an odd quote and who would ever understand that? I get she needs to “dumb” it down for the lay man but c’mon, what she said was so confusing. DNA resides in the nucleus and proteins are made in the cytoplasm. Oh sure, one could go on and on about DNA-RNA-Protein so I get the dumbing it down, but this was a bit cringe worthy, confusing and I can’t see how it would ever educate anyone.
    Sure, living things are made of protein but that’s so vague. Proteins are molecules made of amino acids, living things also contain hydrogen, oxygen, etc. She did try to cover the facts but it just seemed she, chronologically (RNA, DNA, mutations etc), was all over the place. Then to make it even more confusing, uses music and cars as an analogy. So strange and as a biologist, I hope she doesn’t teach. Sorry TAE, I normally give positive comments but just couldn’t with this one. The rest of the show with the callers was fantastic!

  5. Marianne Sturgis says

    So glad I live in a secular country where abortion is only discussed between a woman and her doctor, period. Her choice, her business. A “pro-life” person could give a crap about some woman in Finland, Canada, Switzerland, Australia going into a hospital to terminate her pregnancy. They couldn’t care less and it’s so effing ridiculous how some guy in the US thinks he has a right to tell all women, over the entire planet mind you, what they should do with their bodies. Bizarre to me.

  6. paxoll says

    @Bluestar, I think you are confused on why they produce the show. Primarily it is to teach regular religious folk who have very bad and warped ideas of what atheists are, what we really are. They do this by creating a understanding of what belief is and expounding on how we come to have beliefs and how those beliefs impact how we behave in our shared reality. The purpose of the show is not to debunk apologetics, it’s not to have deep philosophical debates, it is not to cater to the primarily atheist audience with their favorite smackdowns. It is to spread understanding of atheism to people who don’t know. If you find that boring and not your cup of tea, then don’t watch.

  7. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    (54:20):

    Clare: The cadences in music that move people, it’s universal. There is something about certain combinations of notes that move people. […] The way music is written […] has an impact on the way you feel. If there’s a song that you really really love, and you’re like, “Oh, it’s the lyrics!” it’s never the lyrics. It’s always the music.
     
    Matt: […] There’s a reason that Bob Dylan got a Nobel Prize, and it’s not the music. It’s the lyrics.
     
    Clare: […] I don’t know any Bob Dylan music, and I read the lyrics, and I’m like, “Meh!”
    […]
    Matt: It’s poetry. Some of it, you’ll like, and some of it, you won’t.

     
    Lyrics don’t matter, eh? Weird Al made a parody. Fight!
     
    Song: Bob Dylan – Subterranean Homesick Blues (2:18)
     
    Song: Weird Al – Bob (2:25)
     
     
    *clickety-click*  Oh.
    Something was lost in the way Clare represented the article, which Matt seized upon.
     
     
    Article: Unweaving the Score – Song Breaking Your Heart? It’s (Mostly) Not the Words

    I’d ask what was going on in the music, what was making the emotion happen.
    […]
    It’s the words, they’d say. The lyrics make it sad or angry or happy. It’s those words.
     
    Yeah, it’s not the words. Mostly not, anyway.
     
    I adore great lyrics. I can rattle off a dozen songs with lyrics that move me deeply – but they’re rarely the primary engine driving the emotion. Take the most heartbreaking song you know. Keep the lyrics the same, put polka music under them, and watch what happens to the emotion.

     
    There’s more to music appreciation than the mood, even if melody dominates that aspect.
     
     

    Clare: The Beatles were frickin’ brilliant! […] You have to look at the spectrum of what they did the context in which they did it. It was pretty amazing.

  8. Argy says

    History and science are two different fields, and present their findings in different ways.

    Science starts with a hypothesis, and seeks to credit or discredit it.

    History starts by examining sources to uncover what happened in the past.

    It then develops questions that may be answered in various ways.

  9. suedoenimm3 says

    homicide – one human killing another human/person.

    murder – unjustifiable homicide

    When does a fetus become a human person? At birth? At twenty weeks? At viability?

    At 1:36:57 Matt refers to a fetus as a “foreign invader”. You might want to step back from that kind of terminology. A pregnancy/fetus is a reasonably expected result of (typically voluntary) sexual intercourse. Pregnancy is the natural and essential way that we all came to be. To say that you, me, and everybody came to be as foreign invaders in somewhat on the bizarre side.

    Minor children do have special rights. You can’t legally just decide one day that feeding them is too risky a burden for you to continue. You have legal obligations to your children.

    My thoughts keep coming back to the question as to when a fetus becomes a human/person/child. (I don’t have a hard answer to that.)

  10. nmkloster says

    @Marianne Sturgis
    I studied uni level biology so I did skip a bit of the intro but I didn’t hear her say “dna gets into protein” but “the letters get read and turned into protein” and “how DNA gets turned into a living organism”. I didn’t get a “cringe worthy” feeling at all.

  11. indianajones says

    Wrong question @suedoenimm3. You should be asking At what point does the fetus acquire hegemony over the mother’s body?’ and the answer is ‘never’.

  12. bluestar says

    @Paxoll – Well if the chat forum during the show is any barometer of what the audience expects, then I’m not the only one confused. Thanks for clearing that up for the rest of us.

  13. says

    It’s pretty easy… As soon as it has a beating heart, it’s alive… So you have around 11 weeks to decide if you want to terminate it, and that should be plenty of time. As far as I’m concerned, when it’s heart is beating it should continue to do so until a natural condition or interaction causes it to stop. To stop that heartbeat by any unnatural interference should be considered “killing” it…

  14. russiancoma says

    I am extremely disappointed and my expectations of this show are truly shattered. I am a new atheist and never seen a live show before and waited all week for sundays event. I log in for the first time ever to the live chat, after waiting for the countdown, only to find a biology talk going on in which I was lost/bored after 5 minutes. I mentioned this in my very first comment ever, and then I get put in “time out” by someone named Ranet Reyes, I thought this was a free talk event, and anyone checking this is free to look at the thread and read the comments of Stevie B, and see if I was rude which I was not. I didn’t know there was a thing called “time out” because I’m an adult, and i asked why I was in time out (because i read and obeyed the rules for comment) and the the intolerant Janet Reyes says that I I ask again that I will be put back in time out. ( please look at my comments and see)
    Is this what matt dillihunty stands for? Is this the format and treatment of the same people you ask for patreon support for? She is allowed to punish people? I was treated better by the catholic church I’m trying to escape from. I got no answers, but i got a ruined Sunday afternoon, that i paused my construction job to participate in this discussion for.
    If you have experienced this from Janet Reyes, I would like to hear it and I believe the caretakers of this site should reevaluate the protocol for new members if this group. I would have never treated you in that manner Janet Reyes, nor any other member. I have never seen matt disrespect and shut out a person who did not present disrespect first. I challenge anyone to look and see if I said anything disrespectful, this blog is about the ability to speak out, and to encourage unbelievers.
    I set aside time for AE, and was mistreated by a member of staff on watching my first ever live show, and trying to comment on my first ever live chat.
    Matt said yesterday, “dont have heroes, because they will always disappoint you…” how prophetic, this show was my hero until yesterday and my encounter with janet reyes.

  15. Theisntist says

    Claire’s presentation was fine apart from some technical difficulties. Her chance to shine never came up though, since no callers wanted to debate evolution.

    It was a bit cringeworthy when Matt was getting into it with a caller about abortion and she complained that she, the woman couldn’t get a word in, and then Matt jumped in again. I agree with Matt that he didn’t dominate the conversation because he’s a man, that’s just what he does, which is generally fine, but perhaps that would have been a good time to let the female cohost take the lead.

    I suspect we’ll see Claire back, but next time with a male host.

  16. russiancoma says

    I see from the comments I was not alone in my confusion/frustration with sundays subject matter. It even seemed Matt had some issues with the guest. A moderator unjustly put me in time out without an explanation. (Yes I’m butthurt so what?)
    We got confusing car analogies, music and really weird stance on some abortion topics. Finally a whopping 4 minutes with a very interesting but odd guest caller, and my first ever watching and attempted comment on TAE was over. Disappointing.
    Over and over, matt points out the show is about atheism and callers. Yesterday was about some weird biology. Matt would have never ever let a caller ramble on like that. I’ve watched every past episode I could find, but never live until yesterday’s underwhelming performance.

  17. John David Balla says

    @Theisntist. I chalk it up to two strong personalities. Claire’s complaint was a bit “chip on the shoulder-ish”. Matt pointed that out…correctly…without using those words. The conflict resolved itself in a matter of seconds. Moreover, Matt put the caller on hold and gave Clair the floor. In a way, this conflict — extremely rare between AXP hosts — was a bit refreshing except for the subject matter of the complaint (although the two men arguing over abortion is its own irony which informed Claire’s objection). For better or worse, most co-hosts take on a subordinate role.

  18. Monocle Smile says

    @William Mills
    A brain-dead corpse on a ventilator has a heartbeat. Brain-dead is dead. It’s the brain that matters, not the heart, and the same threshold during gestation is around 22-26 weeks.

    @bluestar
    Looking at the chat for a barometer of the AXP audience is like using 4chan as an accurate reading of humanity.

  19. anti religion says

    @uglygeek There was no problem between the hosts, they got along just fine, so, there were no sparks between them.

  20. Johnny Boon says

    Claire’s presentation was very confusing. I think she was trying to cram too much technical information into an extremely short period. I applaud her effort and her information was accurate, it just wasnt presented in a way for lay people to grasp.

  21. Logic beats Speculation says

    the tension between the hosts was rather obvious. This was not a good episode IMO, the DNA presentation was too long and very disjointed and rather hard to follow as it jumped around points constantly, and the discussion about abortion got really cringy after Matt and the caller were accused of mansplaining by the co-host.

  22. gnj1958 says

    The only real disagreement was with Bob Dylan. You can expect two atheists to agree wholeheartedly on topics concerning the belief in God and evolution but switch the topic to music and there is no reason for them to agree on anything.

    Hey wait! Eric Clapton is God. Does that mean we can’t believe in Eric Clapton?

  23. anti religion says

    @Logic beats Speculation says

    There was no tension between the hosts from what i saw

  24. Gail Herr says

    I was disappointed to see that Clare Wuellner was invited back. The last time she co-hosted the show was a disaster, and the comments reflected that. She is inarticulate and boring, and even gives questionable explanations about biological processes. I’m not sure she really understands it herself. I guess she’s a friend of AxP or the ACA, but she doesn’t bring any value to the show. It was a waste of Matt’s time and ours as well. I hope she is never invited back on the show. Call me old-fashioned, but it’s hard for me to take seriously a middle-aged woman with blue hair. Just sayin’.

  25. gabebodeen says

    Did Clare’s talk get cut from the audio-only version? I was disappointed to miss it & will have to check the video later.

  26. Monocle Smile says

    @russiancoma
    I wasn’t the biggest fan of this week’s show either, but most of your whining centers around “you” problems.

    Believe it or not, it is possible to go though life without being petty and butthurt over things that don’t really matter. It’s rather refreshing.

  27. paxoll says

    @Monocle Smile, seems like he has reasonable complaint. He spent the effort to participate in the show and was treated poorly. Pretty much all the chat comments that were criticizing Clare were deleted. Sorry, but criticism is part of the hallmark of skepticism and the primary way discussion begins in the online forum. Yea delete misogynistic comments about Clare but if someone is griping that her presentation is not helpful, then argue that it is, do not delete the comment and suspend the person.

  28. Lamont Cranston says

    This will include comments on several items.

    Co-Host Clare: I am pretty sure Clare is a very nice person, is very well educated with regard to evolution and genetics, and could do well at explaining complex things under the right circumstances. It also appears that she needs some help in learning how to do this in what is essentially a TV show environment. There were simply things that did not go well on Sunday’s show. Information that she wanted to present was missing, analogies did not always serve to really explain what she was trying to explain, and some brief irrelevant statements tended to distract from her intended explanations.

    It should also be noted that some parts of the presentation did go well and succeeded in presenting useful information. It’s like the presentation just needed some editing to address the issues that detracted from what was fundamentally good information.

    With regard to her contributions during the discussion about abortion, she got so focused on not being part of the discussion that, when she had the opportunities to say something, she tended to become speechless. Dead air time on a show doesn’t work well and you really have to be ready to say something and get it said when the opportunity arises.

    All of this can be improved with a combination of a little coaching and some more experience. The hosts who have had a lot of experience doing this (Matt, Traci, Jen) also have improved over time because none of this “just comes naturally.” You learn to get things said without irrelevant additions, and without distracting from the point you are trying to make. You also learn what analogies work and which ones really do not. You also learn to address your audience at THEIR level. It just takes practice and a little constructive feedback.

    Matt’s tolerance/intolerance: I know that people reflect on Matt’s perceived rudeness with callers, but that’s not what I see. Yes he has gotten angry, frustrated, told callers off, and has hung up on quite a few, but that does not mean he is intolerant or rude. What I see time after time is Matt patiently answering questions clearly, and accurately and being very careful with his choice of words to convey exactly what he means only to have a caller completely misrepresent what he as said. This happens not just once, or twice, but often 3, 4 or more times before Matt gets irritated.

    I tend to be like Matt with regard to being very careful with my choice of words to accurately convey what I mean to say. So when someone misrepresents my position after several attempts to correct them I am led to conclude the misrepresentation is purposeful. To me purposeful misrepresentation is indicative of intentionally deceptive behavior which I don’t tolerate well at all (nor it would seem does Matt).

    When Matt is in a discussion with a Theist who is both repectful and intellectually honest with his questions and answers I find him to be both patient and very repectful in return. However, when presented with both disrespect and dishonesty he tries to give them the benefit of the doubt until no doubt remains and then he pulls the plug (rightfully so in my opinion).

    Lamont Cranston

  29. bluestar says

    @ Russiancoma – Welcome to AXP. Don’t worry I and others believe your beef was legit. Fret not about Monocole Smiles….nary an episode goes by without him/her using the word “butthurt” to describe someone’s criticism. A perpetually angry atheist that one is. Like I mentioned these guys do weekly call ins every one can’t be a gem. Stick around you will hear some good stuff I assure you. The chat kind of sucks anyway, more attempts at humor than anything constructive. The mods sometimes get carried away they’re only human.

  30. gnj1958 says

    Perhaps it would have been better to have Clare make a series of 30 minute videos explaining 8 difficulties people have with evolution and post them on the blog so people that are interested can watch at their own convenience. Then they can be edited and she wouldn’t have to worry about technical difficulties that can arise in a live presentation.

  31. Maegan says

    I feel like I saw this episode a while back. Like, a few months or longer. I recognized a lot of the visuals and elements of Clare’s intro talk on evolution, but I chalked that up to maybe her being a returning guest and rehashing something she had gone over before because it’s been a while. But here’s what really threw me for a loop: The second caller was a musician who called his inner monologues and introspection talks with God. That’s an oddly specific type of call that I swear I’ve heard before.
    I’ve seen a few episodes live, but I don’t remember which ones. I mostly watch them after the fact. Here are the only explanations I can think of right now:
    1) I did see this episode live and it was mislabeled and not posted for months. The are a couple issues with this though. No one else has pointed it out (that I can see) and there are comments from people who were in the live chat just yesterday.
    2) I was right in my first assumption that Clare was a reapeat guest talking about the same subject, and the musician was just very VERY coincidentally talking about the same stuff as a caller from a long time ago.
    3) I’m insane.
    Idk though. Does anyone else have ideas as to what’s going on?

  32. Griffin says

    Clare’s segment was not satisfactory. I’ve been to presentations on evolution with 10th graders that went much, much better. Better writing and more practice perhaps.

  33. gp says

    Bob sounds….rather autistic. pedantic, ranty, difficulties with conversation flow like rambling and interruptions, he completely missed that he told he was put on hold, started berating the host when he wasnt allowed to monopolize the show……

  34. davecampbell says

    Clare’s presentation wasn’t on the podcast. We went from show intro right into calls. What Gives?

  35. RationalismRules says

    @Gail Herr

    Call me old-fashioned, but it’s hard for me to take seriously a middle-aged woman with blue hair. Just sayin’.

    As Matt says ad infinitum on the show, the more interesting question is not “what do you believe?” it’s “why do you believe what you believe?”
     
    – Why is ‘middle-aged’ important? Is it acceptable for youths and elderly people to express themselves through their personal appearance, but not in middle-age? Does that make any sense?

    – Why is ‘blue hair’ important? Is there something more inherently significant to dying one’s hair than, for example, choosing to wear a colorful scarf around the neck? Is someone who wears colorful clothes inherently more credible on unrelated subjects than someone who wears colorful hair? Does that make any sense?

    – Why is ‘woman’ important? Is a middle-aged man with colorfully dyed hair more credible than a middle-aged woman with colorfully dyed hair? Does that make any sense?

    – Most fundamentally, what does anyone’s choices about their personal appearance have to do with whether or not they have credibility on a subject like, for example, biology?
     
    “Call me old-fashioned” is a lot like “I just take it on faith”. It’s an excuse for not examining your beliefs.

  36. says

    gail @ 25:

    … it’s hard for me to take seriously a middle-aged woman with blue hair. just sayin’.

    perhaps you’d prefer a middle-aged redhead garnished with a sunflower … ?

    matt/hilda: the merits of an argument are entirely dependent on the argument itself. who says it, what their credentials are, what they’re wearing, what their sex life is, whether or not you like the way they look, whether or not it’s weird, doesn’t matter. arguments stand and fall on their own merits, and it doesn’t matter whether it’s coming from somebody in drag, somebody on a podium, or a pulpit — have to evaluate the arguments strictly on their own merits and set everything else aside, and that’s not always easy.

    we are a prejudicial, bigoted bunch. we extend our fears across the board. some things are very discomforting to people. watching same sex couples kiss is discomforting to some people. seeing a man in drag is discomforting for other people. but becoming aware of that, and seeing it more often, and realizing that these are people, and that’s the critical aspect: that we are all people. it’s a good way to broaden your horizons, raise your consciousnesses, as dawkins has been promoting, and maybe — maybe — we can get to the point where we stop trying to put people in little boxes and stop worrying about things that don’t matter. because what i’m wearing has absolutely no bearing on what i’m going to say for the rest of the show. and that’s all i have to say about that.

  37. Cris says

    I was pretty disappointed by Clare’s interjection during the abortion call. To essentially demand the floor on the basis of her being female is, in my opinion, beneath this show. Then, to top it off, when the floor was ceded to her, she just asserted that the bodily autonomy argument is all that matters. She just dismissed the caller (who was being difficult, admittedly) without really engaging with his argument. Maybe it is, maybe it isn’t, but simply asserting that isn’t going to convince anyone. Matt was handling the caller well. He was allowing the caller to make his case and pointing out the flaws piece by piece.

    I’ll grant that abortion does affect women more so than men. That doesn’t mean that they are the only ones who have a right to weigh in on the debate. Any attempt to shut people out of the conversation is going to lead to more problems than it solves. Convincing arguments will win out the day, and sorry to say, Clare’s attempt fell flat on its face.

  38. Cynthia says

    You ask: Is abortion wrong (unethical)?

    I say you are asking the wrong question.

    You should be asking :

    Why would anyone but the pregnant woman herself have any authority to decide if her own body remains pregnant or not?
    If she is incapable of making the decision (IE: in a coma, etc), another would have authority. If she wants another to make the decision for her, another would have authority. Otherwise, why wouldn’t she have sole authority to decide if her own body remains pregnant or not?

  39. speedofsound says

    Damn guys. Harsh on Clare. Loved the blue hair. I’m going to get mine done just like that. She was nervous. This kind of presentation is very important for it is the lack of knowledge that leads to the lack of imagination that leads to the aghast denial of abiogenesis and evolution. This lends itself to the discussion about not knowing something and god of the gaps.
    Richard from LA made a few comments that I can agree with. For one thing I am an atheist who prays. I get ‘answers’ to my prayers in the same way Richard does, IFF the prayers are done properly. Belief in some intangible marker outside of oneself and the act of praying have a significant psychological effect on us. You can use a talisman, an idea about the universe, or an idea of a god, as the outside focal point. Essentially, you pray but you don not ‘pray to’.
    In my few months of watching the ACA channels I see the hosts missing opportunities over and over again to bridge the gap between the believers and the skeptics. These people that talk about a relationship with god, hearing from god, and the power of belief and prayer in their lives are speaking to something powerful and real which cannot be dismissed. A collective of subjective experiences throughout history, concerning religious experience, should not and cannot be dismissed by handwaving.
    A couple of interesting arguments can be had here.
    -The value of subjective evidence.
    -Prayer and religious experience.
    -The repurposing of words like spirituality and god.

  40. Monocle Smile says

    @speedofsound
    The hosts aren’t interested in woo. What you call “bridging the gap” is actually “compromising one’s integrity as a skeptic.”
    Meditation works, but there are perfectly reasonable scientific explanations behind it.

  41. speedofsound says

    @Monocle Smile In what way is bridging the gap, ie. explaining why they are having these subjective experiences, compromising one’s integrity as a skeptic?

    I have the same SE as Richard when I pray. Richard and I attribute the cause to different things. He attributes to a large blob of ‘i don’t know’. I attribute it to priming and pattern recognition. The idea I am pushing back against is that Richard does not really have these significant experiences. Something of which there is evidence that only Richard is privy to.

    Granted, this was mentioned by Clare but both Matt and Clare seemed to discount Richard’s finding for significance in his life. Now if Richard had sounded like a toddler I could excuse this. But he sounded kind of like a grown-up. Rather than help this very thoughtful man on his journey, they just blew him off.

    I have these experiences very often. I have trained myself, as do most people who use Richard’s variety of prayer, to apply the method with skill to various problems. I’m jumping up down with my hand raised trying to draw some attention to the significance of religious experience in believerism.

  42. says

    This line is a bit of a stretch: “I get ‘answers’ to my prayers in the same way Richard does, IFF the prayers are done properly.”

    Assuming you said IFF to mean “if and only if,” then this doesn’t sound very skeptical to me.

  43. russiancoma says

    @bluestar
    Thank you for your feedback. What @monoclesmile missed was yes, it was a petty complaint, but it was honest feedback from a first time live viewer and new atheist.
    I never expected to be marginalized by this group.
    AE responded to me and I give them credit for caring about a negative response by a supporter.
    We can only grow if we know where we fell short.
    Thank you.

  44. John David Balla says

    @RationalismRules. Well said.

    As for Clare’s presentation overall, as an organization that places a premium on reason, trying new or different formats is both healthy and necessary in order to learn and improve. To say that “this is what we’ve always done” or “if it’s not broken, don’t fix it” or “we have 20+ years of success doing it this way” presupposes a format that in the realm of perfection, which is not what I believe the advocates to these positions are intending.

    BTW. I polled the AXP Facebook discussion group as follows. (The results were 18 in favor. 18 against).

    [Facebook post/poll]
    What’s your position?
    TAE would benefit from implementing the following hypothesis for at least one full episode… no exceptions. The theist caller is to: 1) state what they believe and, 2) why they believe it.

    The hypothesis would be that doing so would provide greater “on-topic” substance and would greatly reduce time-wasters. I see no downside to testing this hypothesis.

  45. Monocle Smile says

    @speedofsound

    I have the same SE as Richard when I pray. Richard and I attribute the cause to different things

    Eh, you can’t truly know this.

    The idea I am pushing back against is that Richard does not really have these significant experiences. Something of which there is evidence that only Richard is privy to.

    Nobody said he’s not having an experience of some kind.

    both Matt and Clare seemed to discount Richard’s finding for significance in his life. Now if Richard had sounded like a toddler I could excuse this. But he sounded kind of like a grown-up. Rather than help this very thoughtful man on his journey, they just blew him off.

    I found Richard to be far more childish in his mind than you. Calling someone “very thoughtful” merely because they seem to have the same experience as you makes you sound egotistic.

    I’m jumping up down with my hand raised trying to draw some attention to the significance of religious experience in believerism.

    Some believers have “experiences,” some don’t. Why does it matter? Applying skepticism tells us that these experiences are nothing magical. We can find significance in literally any experience.

  46. speedofsound says

    If an only if doesn’t sound skeptical enough? I’m not following.

    Say I have an issue that is causing some depression and anxiety. I say a prayer that carefully asks only for things that can be provided by my own experience. Say guidance like Richard mentioned. Now I let go of the issue and get back to Netflix. Some time within the next 24 hours I get an answer. Some thing in my life locked into the pattern of the issue from the day before. I get an insight. I get outside the box of the previous day’s thinking. Quite often it involves an emotional landscape change. Letting go of a resentment or anger. I can remember both doing the ritual and the resolution of the problem. If over a period of some years I notice a better than average success with this method then I have some subjective evidence. Say I log this stuff in a journal and do some actual number crunching. It works out at better than 80%. The letting go part works out at around 100%.

    Now you can say, and you did in so many words, that this is ‘only meditation’. But that tells us fuck-all about what is actually at play here. It’s a blow-me-off answer. Kind of like goddidit. If the answer you come up with discounts or easy-splains away my lived experience I would not be convinced. But I am not at issue here. The believer is at issue.

    I have studied this stuff and worked on ideas about it for most of my life. There are very obvious things, with a little digging around in neuroscience, that cause this answered prayer syndrome. It is not a special module for religion that evolved. Far simpler. Nevertheless it’s a significantly powerful bit of brain trickery. I recognized it in Richard’s words and a little work with the man would have pushed him over the edge on his beliefs.

    (Note that I have used this same method to eliminate ‘suffering’ from clinical depression.)

  47. Monocle Smile says

    @speedofsound

    Now you can say, and you did in so many words, that this is ‘only meditation’. But that tells us fuck-all about what is actually at play here. It’s a blow-me-off answer. Kind of like goddidit

    AXP hosts are not psychologists nor neuroscientists. You seem to be complaining that they don’t provide a full detailed explanation of the precise mechanisms behind meditation. That’s not their job nor is it anything required of a skeptic.
    It appears to me that the real reason you’re upset is because your pet issue wasn’t given special attention. Too bad.

  48. speedofsound says

    @Monacle Smile

    Some believers have “experiences,” some don’t. Why does it matter? Applying skepticism tells us that these experiences are nothing magical. We can find significance in literally any experience.

    First I can be pretty damned sure form listening to all of his words that he is having the very same kind of experience. That’s both a wonderful and confusing thing about subjective experience.

    It matters because these believers are not going to give it up until they are shown a path to comprehending the naturalistic explanations for what is happening in their lives. I see religion as the single most devastating problem on the planet. Drug abuse is a close second. I think nearly all believers have had some significant emotional and positive result of belief. It’s surely not reason that keeps them coming back.

  49. speedofsound says

    @Monocle Smile

    It appears to me that the real reason you’re upset is because your pet issue wasn’t given special attention. Too bad.

    🙂 Bingo!

  50. paxoll says

    @Speedofsound
    Sigh, Matt has touched on this topic ad nauseam. He has had plenty of subjective experiences as have most people. Everyone will admit that subjective experience can lead to belief, it can lead to positive effects, it can be reproducible. But when it comes to belief, what we care about is whether that belief is rational or not, and it may be rational for you with a subjective experience, but that does not make it rational for anyone else to believe based on your “testimony”. When something is reproducible we can test it and come up with a scientific answer, and psychologists have done that. Go look at the research behind meditation or mindfulness. When this information is known than everyone can benefit from it, and we can strip away the irrational trappings of religious and spiritual belief that is tied to the process. Prayer has been studied and based on all the information I know I don’t believe your ” It works out at better than 80%.”, I would bet that you like everyone else who has been studied are showing significant confirmation bias. Regardless, this information is insignificant to a caller like Richard because people don’t throw away their beliefs because a different explanation is given, they have to believe in the rationality that the new explanation is correct and the old is wrong. People hop from one religion to another because someone convinces them that a scripture is interpreted wrong in their old religion and correct in the new one. “Bridging” accomplishes nothing except convincing a person their beliefs are just as valid as someone else.

  51. Vern Graner says

    In reply to #33 davecampbell
    After discussion with the show producer, we felt that without the visual component of Clare’s presentation, it owuld be too difficult to follow in the audio-only format so it was removed. The presentation can be seen on the YouTube page as a special clip here:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UA2S0XhsObM
    Hope this helps 🙂

    Vern Graner
    Sound Engineer for
    Talk Heathen, The Atheist Experience
    Godless Bitches, The Non Prophets
    Proud member of the Atheist Community of Austin

  52. speedofsound says

    That caller, Richard was as ripe and ready to throw away his spook belief as any caller I have listened to on these types of shows.

    Sorry guys but it is my opinion, and I have listened to this three times, that the host was more interested in making his own pet points than to engage with a guy who was obviously searching for a way out of his religion, and help him across the threshold.

    This shit isn’t just about entertaining us. It’s fucking serious.

    @paxoll

    When something is reproducible we can test it and come up with a scientific answer, and psychologists have done that.

    You are correct. They have tested it and they have found that it works just like I described. I’m reading a book that is 25 years old about AA and alcohol where they talk about the true testable version of a ‘religious experience’. The problem I think you have here is in analyzing the source evidence that starts us on the journey in the first place. That source is always subjective and I call it ‘subjective evidence’. Not an ‘anecdote’ or ‘testimony’. That’s what you call it when you want to discount an idea. When you go see your doc and say it hurts right hear in my lower left quadrant your doctor doesn’t start chiding you about anecdotes and testimony. He fucking looks for what’s actually happening to you.

    Now this is my pet project and I do like to discuss it. Does it offend people to talk about what we know and are interested in? My primary reason for tuning into the shows is to hear believers express this subjectives story about belief. Huxley, James, Jung, Watts, and Newburg among others are also quite dazzled by this phenomenon.

    “Bridging” accomplishes nothing except convincing a person their beliefs are just as valid as someone else.

    I’m really amazed by this statement. Inter-theory bridging and reduction is about explication. It is not about making the spook valid. It explains the effect naturally and makes the spook unnecessary.

  53. says

    “If an only if doesn’t sound skeptical enough? I’m not following.”

    “If and only if” would entail two things.
    1. You get these answers/intuitions every single time you engage in a “prayer.”
    2. The only way you ever get these answers/intuitions is when you engage in a “prayer,” and never under any other circumstances.

    I find this very difficult to believe.

  54. Joe says

    I really took issue with her saying that she would have been given an opportunity to speak if Matt and the caller were women. Being men had nothing to do with it. It was Matt being Matt and the caller being an ass that caused it.

    Same goes for her saying that she took issue with the discussion about abortion being between 2 men. 2 men are just as capable of having this discussion as 2 women.

    Seemed really sexist to me.

  55. RationalismRules says

    @speedofsound
    To add to Secular Strategy’s point, saying “prayer gives results IFF you do it correctly” has built-in confirmation bias. It only works if you do it correctly, so if it doesn’t work you weren’t doing it right. You just flushed your skepticism down the toilet.
     
    In general I think you are glomming a bunch of woo onto a common phenomenon that has nothing to do with prayer or other magical incantations. It’s a common experience to go to sleep wrestling with a problem, and wake up with a solution. Hence: “sleep on it”.

    You’re basically describing two steps:
    1. clarifying your issue in your own mind through expressing it in language
    2. ‘stepping away’ from the problem and letting your brain process it at the subconscious level

    Neither of these requires woo of any sort. Neither requires “Belief in some intangible marker outside of oneself” (whatever that means).

  56. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    To Argy
    Mostly wrong. History is a science. So too is geology and cosmology and big bang theory. Jurors in a murder trial also use scientific reasoning to come to their verdict.

  57. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    To Crip Dyke
    Wait, Matt said that? I usually don’t watch the shows anymore. Even imagining him saying that made me cringe.

    Didn’t realize you followed the show. Is that a new thing? Or have I just not been paying enough attention to the comments here at AXP? Lol.

  58. Israel Onibokun says

    Hi I’m an 18 year old African and I’m currently a skeptic. I’m currently skeptical about the African voodoo it’s a very dominant thing here and I’ve watched one of your debates with another African like me on this same topic I’d say that debate didn’t go well because my dad who is a very strong Christian said his father took him to a voodoo priest when he was young for healing of a particular disease my father hasn’t told how the healing went but I’m just curious about this thing called voodoo and can u guys pls come over to Africa to investigate it because Im still young and where I live here in Africa is far from the voodoo priests shrines thank you

  59. speedofsound says

    In general I think you are glomming a bunch of woo onto a common phenomenon that has nothing to do with prayer or other magical incantations. It’s a common experience to go to sleep wrestling with a problem, and wake up with a solution. Hence: “sleep on it”.

    You’re basically describing two steps:
    1. clarifying your issue in your own mind through expressing it in language
    2. ‘stepping away’ from the problem and letting your brain process it at the subconscious level

    Neither of these requires woo of any sort. Neither requires “Belief in some intangible marker outside of oneself” (whatever that means).

    Wow. Read it all again and see where exactly what I am saying is your two steps above. Well. One slight modification. You threaten to cross into the woo with the bit about unconscious brain processing. Not sure if you are referring to the popular misconception that your brain thinks while you are away but you are damn close.

    I formulate a problem. I spend some 30 or more seconds insuring a little LTP. I distract myself long enough to settle out any local minima. Life allows me to take the issue out of working memory. I go about my life until some pattern in the world triggers that LTP. I ‘think’ a bit and get some new angle on the original problem. Most significant is that I can usually take my emotionally bound self out of my thinking and gain perspective.

    What the fuck did you think I was saying?
    Fuck. Listen! Xtians are having emotionally charged experiences around rituals, one of which is prayer. These experiences bind them to whatever dogma they are brought up in, powerfully. Powerfully!! Said it twice. It isn’t that their reasoning is defective. It’s that they have no raw material to reason with. They cannot imagine how a godless universe can account for their subjective experience.

    Consider evolution. What Clare did on this show is give people some raw material so that they can reason a little and imagine a lot about the origin and proliferation of woo-free life. No belief will change until one has this ability to imagine a new process.

    Xtians are having these significant emotional experiences. They do not have the raw material to imagine a process that can account for what happens to them. Religious dogma provides a cartoon sketch for that process and a sketch is all that we need to believe something.

    My point is that the religulous need to be given:
    one, affirmation that we do indeed hear them when they describe these experiences,
    and two, sufficient knowledge about the brain so that they can imagine a woo free process that explains what is happening,
    and three, a glimpse of possibility that they can reap the same benefit without the belief.

    Until such things become a matter of common education, just like with the science behind evolution, the masses will find their cartoon dogma to be the better explanation.

    Where is the woo in that opinion?

  60. Mauricio Ahumada says

    What’s up with the lady with the cyan hair? Why it’s important that a way of thinking is “offensive”? We care for the truth. Also, if her grandmother said to her that something would happen to her children and she thought she could answer with “then why you and my grandfather are so sick all the time?”, then she also have problems understanding one of the most basic informal fallacies used by people.

    What’s happening to the show?

  61. RationalismRules says

    @speedofsound
    I’m not concerned with your opinions on what ‘we need to give to theists’, and I didn’t address any of that. What I addressed was your claim that you yourself get results from ‘prayer’. That’s the woo that you are addicted to. Read your own posts about your own experience. Woo abounds.
     

    Not sure if you are referring to the popular misconception that your brain thinks while you are away but you are damn close.

    Misconception? You don’t accept that the brain is able to process thoughts without your conscious awareness of that process happening? So where is your ‘new insight’ coming from then? This god that you don’t believe in? Or does the ‘intangible marker outside of yourself’ do the thinking for you, and send you the results telepathically?

  62. paxoll says

    @Crip
    Matts responses are the same regardless of the sex of the cohost
    Matts responses are the same regardless of the sex of the caller
    Look at when Tracie and Don run the show, is Don not able to get a word in because Tracie is a man?
    No, she couldn’t get a word in edgewise because the caller was an ass who wouldn’t let anyone speak regardless of their sex, and Matt was his typical self willing to be rude and interrupt anyone to cut to the chase and not waste time.

    It had nothing to do with them being men.

  63. speedofsound says

    @RationalismRules

    Sorry you can’t read and comprehend what I wrote. I did try restating several times.

    I’m not concerned with your opinions on

    WTF? Are you not engaging me?

    Misconception? You don’t accept that the brain is able to process thoughts without your conscious awareness of that process happening? So where is your ‘new insight’ coming from then?

    I do not accept the popular misconception about an active thinking agent in the brain that is unconscious. There is no evidence for such a thing. On a somewhat quirky note about the philosophy of mind I do not even accept the conscious/unconscious dichotomy. Nor the BS about being conscious while dreaming. Please go read about all this somewhere else. To engage with definitions of the terms we are using will take hundreds of posts. Maybe sign up for RatSkep and take me on over there in the philosophy section. Start a thread and I will engage. We will both learn from it. Maybe brush up on the neuroscience behind ‘process thoughts’ first though.

  64. speedofsound says

    To be clear. Again! I never said that I believed in some prayer answered agent outside in the vapors was ‘answering’ my prayers. Being an atheist that prays should be a big enough clue to those that read what they thought I said and came up with the woo.

    The act of focusing your conscious thought on and issue and then ritualistically letting go of the issue, I use bodily gestures to let go, obviously makes a change to your brain. Granted breathing makes a change to your brain as well but this ritual act makes a change of LTP of this particular issue. Your brain becomes ready to spring at the slightest pattern match. So to speak.

    Because of the time taken to lay down the memory it will be easily recalled in the next few days. We all experience this when we set a meeting time with a friend. There is no magic spirit mind here. Changes are made to synapses in your temporal lobe allo-cortex. If you sleep in between changes will be made to synapses in your neo-cortex.

    I first used this technique to break the habit of putting the sugar spoon back in the sugar bowl after stirring my coffee. Ritualized priming, combined with repetition until the habit was broken forever. i.e. neo-cortical change. Priming and some tricks with the real object world allowed the repetition.

    I went on to develop other techniques, call them meditative or ritual as you please, to deal with social and depression issues. What I meant by ‘praying right’ is that this will only work for guidance and acceptance or other changes that occur within your brain. No Fucking Woo Allowed!

    Now my point is and has been that every time some xtian talks about his prayers being answered in the narrow way that Richard of LA did, we are obligated to explore the naturalistic explanation for what he is experiencing in a way that the xtian can understand. Without minimizing the power of his experiences.

  65. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    @EnlightenmentLiberal #55

    Wait, Matt said that? I usually don’t watch the shows anymore. Even imagining him saying that made me cringe.

     
    (1:29:59):

    Clare: This is really frustrating because there are two men debating this. I’m sorry, this is- [Interrupted]
     
    Bob: No, I wanna hear from you Clare. Lemme hear from you.
     
    Clare: I’m getting applause because, I… Matt- [Interrupted]
     
    Matt: Actually I completely disagree {Clare: You have a viabl-} having debated this before, {Clare: I’m sure.} it’s an everybody issue.
     
    Clare: I’m sure. I get that.
     
    Bob: I agree, but she’s a woman, and you and I both got penises. There you go.
     
    Clare: [to the caller] It doesn’t disqualify you. I’m just not getting in a word edgewise.
     
    Matt: (looking at the camera) Well… *pause* {Clare: Yeah.} Which has nothing to do with the fact that we’re men. But go ahead.
     
    Clare: (to Matt) Oh, yeah. Yeah. *chuckle*
     
    Bob: My question is […]

     
    @paxoll #58:

    Matt was his typical self willing to be rude and interrupt anyone to cut to the chase and not waste time.

    Situational awareness. Matt could have dialed back his ‘typical self’ given the subject and company. Would you make the same excuse if he’d dominated an evolution call? He’s sitting next to a woman, who is a biologist.

  66. paxoll says

    @Skycaptain
    Yea, Matt could have done things differently, Clare could have done things differently, you can pick apart any situation and come up with a “better” way that would have led to a better outcome. Great. To blame the outcome that DID happen with the sex of the people involved is wrong. Maybe that is a valid criticism for a different conversation with different people but that is not a valid criticism with the evidence we have from THIS conversation. The argument being presented was not valid contingent on the sex of the person giving it, and Clares declaration that it was frustrating BECAUSE there are two men debating it is insulting, sexist, and is a distracting tangent to the topic. Which makes Matts interjection that “Which has nothing to do with the fact that we’re men.” valid and reasonable.

  67. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    @paxoll #62:

    The argument being presented was not valid contingent on the sex of the person giving it

    She literally said that wasn’t disqualifying.
     

    evidence we have from THIS conversation

    You are artificially restricting the context, But even within it, the guest was of a demographic more directly affected by the issue and a biologist. Part of respect is deferring to expertise and mindfully adjusting behavior to the backgrounds of those involved (like making an effort not play into harmful tropes).
     

    Clares declaration that it was frustrating BECAUSE there are two men debating it is insulting, sexist, and is a distracting tangent to the topic.

    Put down the shovel.

  68. paxoll says

    @63

    the guest was of a demographic more directly affected by the issue and a biologist.

    Because she is more directly affected (assumption) she is therefore going to present a better argument? The position they were taking was based on autonomy, does being a biologist somehow make her more of an expert on autonomy? You seem to think so

    Part of respect is deferring to expertise

    .

    Put down the shovel.

    Fuck your dismissal, I didn’t bring up the topic and if you disagree why don’t you explain why her statement isn’t insulting, sexist, or distracting tangent. If it wasn’t insulting and sexist then Matt wouldn’t have replied in kind.

  69. Theisntist says

    If it’s a black issue and the cohost is black, it’s a good idea to defer to the cohost. Likewise, if it’s a woman’s issue (and the reality is that abortion is a woman’s issue), and the cohost is a woman, it is a good idea to defer to the woman. Otherwise you will righly be accused of whitesplaining and mansplaining.

    There are worse things in this world than mansplaining, but that doesn’t mean it’s a good idea to do it if you can avoid it.

  70. Honey Tone says

    When I heard Matt’s “men” statement, it seemed to me to a self-deprecating joke acknowledging that he and the caller had engaged in a little bit of patriarchy. Nothing more. I assumed Clare took it that way,too, but that’s for her to say.

    As for the “better” argument that might be made by a woman regarding abortion, I suppose it depends on what is meant by the term, but it reminds me of the old joke illustrating motivational differences: when it comes to eggs vs bacon, the chicken is involved but the pig is committed.

    There are quite likely to be aspects of bodily autonomy and fetal personhood that are much more significant to females than to males just because they are in fact the only humans that might actually become and/or actually have been pregnant. Sexist? Maybe. But, it’s reality.

  71. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    @Honey Tone #66:

    it seemed to me to a self-deprecating joke acknowledging that he and the caller had engaged in a little bit of patriarchy.

    Wrapping a mea culpa in sarcasm is risky though. Either interpretation works. To be fair, after the exclusion/interruptions were pointed out, he did mute and make some room for her to talk.
     
    And he has explicitly corrected a problematic statement in the past after women explained the context, obvious to them, which he’d overlooked because it was outside his own experience. Better to promote growth than perfection.

  72. says

    @Theisntist
    Matt was making the point that this is not a women’s issue but instead an everybody issue, so he would disagree with you declaring that the reality of this is a women’s issue.

    I’m not even upset with him interrupting her to make this point, because what she said was directly insulting to him and his ability to have an argument. He interrupts anyone if they cross that line.

  73. says

    Kinda, sorta off-topic but yesterday the Pope declared the death penalty “against Christian teachings” ?!

    But, but Christianity is based on the bible which features the murder of thousands of people, and dozens of “laws” that demand the death penalty (picking up sticks on the Sabbath anyone?). The way that theists can change basic parts of their core teachings to fit in the current culture always amazes me, but I guess that is how the Catholics have survived over the centuries.

    https://www.thedailybeast.com/pope-rules-death-penalty-is-now-against-church-teachin

  74. Lamont Cranston says

    Speedofsound said:

    Now my point is and has been that every time some xtian talks about his prayers being answered in the narrow way that Richard of LA did, we are obligated to explore the naturalistic explanation for what he is experiencing in a way that the xtian can understand. Without minimizing the power of his experiences.


    I agree with you and virtually all that you have said. I also don’t understand why people are talking about this being “woo.” The reality is that this effect has been studied and exists in the scientific literature. Although people may attribute something to being woo in the same way other people attribute something to God if they are not aware of actual evidence. To my way of thinking the woo label has the same thought stopping potential as the god label.

    In the scientific literature one speculation is that, “with a certain amount of priming the pump,” (my own way of putting it), the subconscious mind can be prompted to address a problem or issue that the conscious mind has be wrestling with without success. There are discussions about extrinsic versus intrinsic thought processes that are involved. The conscious mind seems to deal predominantly with extrinsic thought processes that involve neurons that are relatively close. The subconscious mind seems to deal more with intrinsic thought processes that involve neurons that are further separated. So, in a sense, the subconscious mind can “think outside of the box.” This sometimes results in the subconscious mind coming up with a solution that is beyond the grasp of the conscious mind which then gets relayed in some way to the conscious mind.

    An example of this is the development of the sewing machine. Howe was struggling with his design for a sewing machine. He was at an impasse until he had a dream about natives trying to kill him with spears that had an odd hole near the “pointy” end. Recalling the dream, he suddenly realized the solution to his problem. He needed to have the hole near the pointy end of the needle and the sewing machine was born.

    It is this well recognized phenomena that causes many very rational scientifically minded people to keep a notepad and pen/pencil beside their beds for writing down ideas that come to them in this way and in turn recommend this approach rather widely.

    In a related way, almost everyone has had a problem trying to recall someone’s name. Then after giving up, the name just seems to pop into our mind many hours or even days later. The conscious mind has not been dealing with the problem, but it appears that the subconscious has kept looking through the “files” until is succeeds and then dumps the answer into the lap of the conscious mind.

    People pray, meditate, or do what you describe because it works. No it is not 100% and it will not solve every problem, but it works often enough to encourage people to continue doing it. It doesn’t mean there is a magic man answering their prayers and it does not mean there is not a magic man answering their prayers. It also does not mean the psychologists really understand exactly how or why it works either, but rather that they are investigating the phenomena and trying to understand something that does appear to occur.

    Lamont Cranston

  75. speedofsound says

    @Lamont Cranston
    Thanks you give me some hope here. I’m guilty myself of weaponizing the woo word.

    Subconscious processes are hard to find evidence for. Thought is basically a sequential motor action without attaching to the motor cortex. That is the theory I like anyway. That’s all conscious and semi-conscious. When you are awake (the real meaning of consciousness) and attending to other things this problem that you have seeded does not just get popped out and processed. If you get the ‘answer’ to your problem it will be because some real world trigger brought it back into working memory to some degree and your cortical activity just happened to be in an area that pattern matched a solution. Intuition.

    Dreaming however is the exception here. There seems to be an almost mechanical reading back of the hippocampus (HC) during dream sleep in which you are disconnected (by thalamus) from your senses, and strongly connected to various patterns in the cortex. This is where occurrent events in your life and skills become consolidated in lifelong cortical patterns.

    So the map of your current activities, temporally and spatially are encoded in the HC, read back in dreams, and allowed to modify synaptic strength and even new synapse growth in your cortex. On booting back up in the morning what ever was salient and emotional charged from the day before seems to come into review, probably because stronger traces remain in the HC, and the problem becomes conscious enough to pattern match with the dream landscape and the we get Voila! So this could be called an unconscious process if you are like me and call dream processes unconscious.

    I am pushing back on the popular idea that there are unconscious ‘thinking processes’ during waking. I can’t seem to find any evidence of a thought like process in scans. Of course all of these are theories that I like.

  76. Lamont Cranston says

    Speedofsound said:

    I am pushing back on the popular idea that there are unconscious ‘thinking processes’ during waking. I can’t seem to find any evidence of a thought like process in scans.

    I am not sure with regard to “unconscious” thinking processes, but there do seem to be subconscious thought processes (my opinion on this is not based on scans).

    An example of what I am referring to is something I think almost everyone has experienced. It is driving down the road while you are consciously thinking of something else. Then all of a sudden you realize you don’t remember anything about the process of driving the car for the last few miles. You have stayed in your lane, you have maintained proper speed, stopped at stoplights and even made turns as needed for the destination you are trying to reach while your conscious thinking processes seemingly were fully engaged in dealing with something else to the point where you remember none of it.

    Whether this is some form of compartmentalized conscious, unconscious, or subconscious thought processes I have no idea, but it certainly does not appear to be completely normal conscious thought processes in operation. I also realize there would be an evolutionary advantage to this kind of thing that would tend to be beneficial to our survival (for example, we can engage in one activity on autopilot while consciously being on the lookout for dangers).

    I believe you are on track with regard to “pattern matching.” As Matt has often said, the human mind is very strong in this area which is why we tend to see patterns even where their are no intentional patterns (for example seeing animal shapes in clouds).

    I’m not a psychologist, nor do I play one on TV. I also do not believe God is driving for me when I am on autopilot. 🙂

    Lamont Cranston

  77. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    @Lamont Cranston #70:

    the development of the sewing machine

     
    Article: Cracked – 5 Famous Things You Won’t Believe Were Invented in Dreams

    Well, according to members of his family, it finally all came to him in the course of a ludicrously violent and somewhat racist nightmare. In the dream, he had been captured by cannibals. As is typical of bloodthirsty natives, Howe’s captors presented him with an ultimatum — come up with a design for a working sewing machine, or face death.
    […]
    Now, it’s entirely possible that this whole dream thing was a story made up by his descendants years later, but honestly, if they were going to invent an origin story, why would they come up with “Oh, it was all based on a racist stab dream. You know how he was”?

     
    #70:

    almost everyone has had a problem trying to recall someone’s name. Then after giving up, the name just seems to pop into our mind many hours or even days later.

     
    Article: Wikipedia – Recall (memory), Tip of the Tongue

    An incubation effect can be observed in TOT states, where the passage of time alone can influence the resolution of the state and result in successful recall. Also, the presence of a TOT state is a good predictor that the problem can be resolved correctly […] It demonstrates the devotion of resources to searching memory, a source of cumulative information, for the desired correct information, and it also shows that we are aware of what information we know or do not know.

     
    #70:

    There are discussions about extrinsic versus intrinsic thought processes that are involved. The conscious mind seems to deal predominantly with extrinsic thought processes that involve neurons that are relatively close. The subconscious mind seems to deal more with intrinsic thought processes that involve neurons that are further separated.

    [Citation needed]
     
    I only found one relevant result, an artist’s blog, searching for: “intrinsic thought” “extrinsic thought” neurons
     
    Article: Joseph Rastovich – Why We Get Creative Insight Right Before Sleeping

    there is extrinsic and intrinsic thought. Extrinsic thought is all about reason and logic where neurons fire with other neurons that are close by. However intrinsic thought is all about feelings and intuition where neurons fire with distant neurons in the nether regions of the brain. Intrinsic thought is achieved during sleep and the twilight zone between awakeness and sleep.

    From his embedded video:

    what’s magical about the hypnogogic state is that disparate parts of the brain begin to talk with each other. So whereas our normal wakeful consciousness… the left brain kinda talks with the left brain, and the right brain talks with the right brain, and the front talks with the front, and the rear talks with the rear. But in a hypnogogic state, things start talking to each other. Our normal paradigms, our normal way of understanding starts to go down, which is why we can have such wild dreams

    He didn’t cite sources.

  78. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    @Lamont Cranston #72:

    driving down the road while you are consciously thinking of something else. Then all of a sudden you realize you don’t remember anything about the process of driving the car for the last few miles.

     
    Article: Wikipedia – Dissociation (psychology)

    a wide array of experiences from mild detachment from immediate surroundings to more severe detachment from physical and emotional experiences.

  79. Devil Travels says

    *sigh* Clair may be a good teacher, but she is not a good lecturer. A little rehearsal, a bit of practice might have made her segment flow smoother. Maybe joining Toastmasters might help.

  80. Lamont Cranston says

    CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says:

    [Citation needed]

    Sorry, Wikipedia I am not so I can’t help you there. I have read a lot of things from a lot of sources over a lot of decades. I don’t specifically remember where I picked that one up nor several others along the same or similar lines of thought. It was not my intent to submit a research paper.

    I do find both normal and abnormal psychology an interesting subject.

    In the process of reading about these things over an extended period of time it seems that people tend to call what is essentially the same phenomena by a variety of different terms over time. I find the terms to be a convenience, but they sometimes provide a label that doesn’t do all that well at explaining how or why something is happening. The situations I find the most interesting is where a particular physical damage to the brain causes a particular type of issue that has a very plausible explanation.

    Lamont Cranston

  81. King Lam says

    This was my third time calling in and my second time getting a question in.
    I thought they both answered my question satisfactorily. I thought Claire’s presentation was good. She did the best she could in the short period of time she had. She was trying to present a large amount of information in a very short span of time. I can see how that can be overwhelming to someone who doesn’t have any scientific background. Someone who is truly interested would investigate further or take a biology class. Someone who refuses to accept the facts of evolution wouldn’t care anyway.

    My only complaint is that they spelled Juneau wrong again. 🙁
    It’s spelled “J-U-N-E-A-U” not “JUNO!” 😀

    PS – They also titled the Youtube video of my segment of the program incorrectly. It should be “Science Cannot Prove Anything in History.”

  82. paganbaby says

    So unless “Juno”, Alaska is an obscure town named after the Roman version of the Greek goddess, Hera, and not the capital, I have to reiterate: our education system is failing. I learned to spell that term in the third grade.

    Jesus wept.

    Allegedly.

  83. RationalismRules says

    @Lamont Cranston

    I also don’t understand why people are talking about this being “woo.”

    The ‘prayer’ is where the woo comes in. As per my first post, praying about a problem effectively involves two naturalistic steps which are known to assist with problem-solving – expressing the issue through language, and stepping away from conscious attempts to solve the issue. There is no evidence that entreaty to a magical being provides any additional effect.

    If I go for a jog every day in a pair of Nike Airs and at my six monthly physical my cholesterol level has dropped, to say “my Nike Airs lowered my cholesterol” is woo. Likewise “prayer works”.

  84. speedofsound says

    @Lamont Cranston
    Tip-of-the-tongue and that business about driving while unconscious are things I am spending actual years on. The car experience, dreams and a few other stories are where I mount an argument against the idea of the unconscious mind. I am working to make these arguments formal but I take years in doing this work. May drop dead tomorrow and never get her done.

    A lot of my ideas about prayer and belief and dreams etc come from a guy named O’Reilly and his work. I haven’t plunged into his papers for about four years now. http://psych.colorado.edu/~oreilly/pubs-online.html#cogarch.

    I am just leaving a four year period I call my ‘mathebatical’ and returning to neuroscience and philosophy of mind for a planned ten year run. (have a side of evolutionary biology planned in there as well). Anyway. ‘it’s complicated’. 🙂 I do a little posting on RationalSkepticism as SpeedofSound and that is a better place to dig into things. I had a thread there where I babbled a bit on my argument against unconscious processing and the unconscious in general. It amounts to trying to give evidence for the proposition that I just now arrived at work and I was unconscious of driving while driving here. If you really drill down you quickly find that evidence for what you were and were not conscious of will not hold up in court.

    From there I attack the semantics of what consciousness is in the first place. None of it is brilliant and none of it is complete. Mostly amounts to ‘oh you think THAT?, let’s think about it’.

  85. speedofsound says

    @RationalismRules

    The ‘prayer’ is where the woo comes in. As per my first post, praying about a problem effectively involves two naturalistic steps which are known to assist with problem-solving – expressing the issue through language, and stepping away from conscious attempts to solve the issue. There is no evidence that entreaty to a magical being provides any additional effect.

    WHAT? Where did I say anything about a magical being sprinkling in it’s spooky spicy sugar? Reading and comprehension.

  86. cerex94 says

    I thought the conversations in this episode were good. The one issue I usually take with the hosts discussions on abortion are that they always cede the point that a fetus may be a person. I understand that the hosts, in general, seem to prefer bodily autonomy arguments as they are more straightforward than having discussions on when we can reasonably grant person-hood to a developing fetus, but I often find that the concept of person-hood is the crux of theist objections to abortion. The caller in this episode was no exception. I felt a lot of issues arose in the conversation because the hosts were trying to move the conversation to bodily autonomy rather than meeting the caller where he was. (i.e the personhood issue)

    I personally think that just about all person-hood claims by theists fall flat and would be much more interested in that conversation. For obvious reasons, using genes, the hypothetical soul, or whatever else is not sufficient to grant personhood. The only concept I think is relevant to the conversation would be cognitive capacity. That would be a much more fruitful conversation in my opinion

  87. RationalismRules says

    @speedofsound
    I wasn’t actually talking about your personal specific whatever-you-want-to-call-it. I was addressing the more general claim that ‘prayer works’.

    However, I will readily admit to having difficulty comprehending your posts.

  88. Lamont Cranston says

    RationalismRules says:

    @Lamont Cranston
    I also don’t understand why people are talking about this being “woo.”

    The ‘prayer’ is where the woo comes in.

    I think we are actually in agreement about the point you are making. I agree that the belief in a supernatural being is not required for the beneficial effect. Unfortunately the “woo” pejorative can imply that someone should just abandon something they found useful rather than showing them how what they are doing may be useful but does not require a god to have its beneficial effect.

    I am afraid “woo” too often gets used in a thought stopping manipulative way (kind of as a “don’t go there” or a “stop thinking about things like that”). To me it too often feels like religion labeling something as sin.

    My preference is to show someone how they might have the same beneficial effect without some of the baggage that comes along with a belief that is unwarranted and not required.

    An example would be showing someone that they can meet the beneficial social needs of religion and church attendance in other ways. In this case it could be pointed out how secular assemblies or even meetup groups can provide the social and cultural benefits associated with getting people together without the need for believing in a particular god. They don’t have to cut off the social interaction that they find beneficial.

    Also, you don’t have to stop running to abandon believing your Nikes are required for lowering your Cholesterol. In a case like that someone could be encouraged to try some different shoes to see that Nikes are not required. At the same time they might discover that the type of shoe can have a decided effect on the health of their feet. 😉

    Lamont Cranston

  89. Lamont Cranston says

    Speedofsound says:

    From there I attack the semantics of what consciousness is in the first place.

    Consciousness is indeed a tough thing to comprehend. It’s like trying to comprehend infinity or the prospect that reality may require 8, 10, 11, 13 or even 26 dimensions while we seem stuck with being able to only experience 4 (X, Y, Z and Time).

    I wish you luck.

    Lamont Cranston

  90. Honey Tone says

    speedofsound says
    August 3, 2018 at 6:50 am
    #80
    WHAT? Where did I say anything about a magical being sprinkling in it’s spooky spicy sugar? Reading and comprehension.

    +++++++++++++++++

    I don’t think it’s reasonable to come to an atheist site and express anger and dismay that people aren’t understanding your special definitions of “prayer” and “answered”. If you’re not directing an entreaty at a god or higher power or some other thing outside yourself, call it something else but stop using words loaded with religious connotations.

    I probably do the same thing you do, but it ain’t praying. It’s just talking to myself.

  91. speedofsound says

    @Honey Tone

    I don’t think it’s reasonable to come to an atheist site and express anger and dismay that people aren’t understanding your special definitions of “prayer” and “answered”. If you’re not directing an entreaty at a god or higher power or some other thing outside yourself, call it something else but stop using words loaded with religious connotations.

    I probably do the same thing you do, but it ain’t praying. It’s just talking to myself.

    Of course. I use the loaded words amongst the secular to get a reaction and start the conversation. I use the same in AA meetings and gatherings of the religious to suggest a bridge.

    The justification for calling it prayer or calling the universe god is that we need some word that suggests the content more specifically and with greater contrast. Taking to yourself doesn’t quite describe what is going on. Meditation is itself too loaded with other ills.

    I am well aware of the show’s disdain for these words in referring to the natural. Yet I see a lot of ‘handwaving away’ much like LC mentions in post 82. The idea is that there is some phenomenon that has been well documented and this phenomenon is behind much of the belief in spooks, near-death, god-talks-to-me and other such. Simply washing it away with other messy words and ignoring the experiences of the believer is not helpful in my view.

    People do not believe in these spooks by reason. They believe by experience. The experience is something we need to talk about. Feelings of peace and connectedness trump reason with most people.

  92. speedofsound says

    @ RationalismRules

    However, I will readily admit to having difficulty comprehending your posts.

    That’s fair. I get that a lot. These are very complex concepts and one can only show the tips of a few of them in forums. All I can hope to do is get us thinking.

  93. Monocle Smile says

    @speedofsound
    I agree with about 25% of your posts. It’s the rest I will pick on.

    Of course. I use the loaded words amongst the secular to get a reaction and start the conversation. I use the same in AA meetings and gatherings of the religious to suggest a bridge.

    This could be constituted as trolling.

    The justification for calling it prayer or calling the universe god is that we need some word that suggests the content more specifically and with greater contrast. Taking to yourself doesn’t quite describe what is going on. Meditation is itself too loaded with other ills.

    Word salad with woo dressing. This is nonsense.

    Simply washing it away with other messy words and ignoring the experiences of the believer is not helpful in my view.

    You’re not paying attention at all. Nobody is “ignoring” the experiences. Matt in particular acknowledges the experience and questions why the experience leads the person to jump to conclusion X.
    See, it’s great that we do have explanations for some of these experiences and perhaps it’s better to pull them out when appropriate, but it is dishonest to pretend (as you do) that we can quite easily explain every last experience of every last believer. And when it’s clear that your explanation misfires, it doesn’t matter if a different natural explanation works…you’ve already blown your shot and probably pushed the other person deeper into woo. This reminds me of Jimmy/Kafei’s “perennial philosophy” bullshit where he pretends he knows the absolute explanation for the roots of every religion in history (the “mystical experiences” you’re talking about).

    People do not believe in these spooks by reason. They believe by experience. The experience is something we need to talk about. Feelings of peace and connectedness trump reason with most people.

    This is a habit we need to break,, not indulge. This is the point with which I have the strongest disagreement.

  94. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    Taking to yourself doesn’t quite describe what is going on.

    That sounds exactly like what’s going on. Alternatively, maybe you could describe it as “giving oneself a pep talk”.

  95. speedofsound says

    @Monocle Smile

    This could be constituted as trolling.

    A troll states something false and then refuses to be pinned down, all the while shifting the position.
    I am an atheist who prays, who has had a major mystical experience. So It’s true. I am also perfectly willing to drill down as deep as we can here. I am engaging all who respond and doing so honestly. So not-a-troll. Let’s not go all ad-hom here.

    Stating that I am an atheist who prays in AA meetings attracts people who are having trouble digesting the part of AA that the xtians injected. All AA meetings follow a program that is the sum of the people attending the meeting. We change the character of meetings from within. It’s not trolling, it’s giving a damn.

    But thanks for the caution and the nudge to self-reflect a little about my motive.

    Word salad with woo dressing. This is nonsense.

    Come on! That is not a response to all I have tried to convey here. I like the quote “science is either physics or stamp-collecting”
    The stamp collecting phase in neuroscience and psychology is stuck with subjective reports. A lot of stamps have been collected on mystical experiences starting mostly with James. It is undeniable that we have a phenomenon here. Oddly only a few researchers are looking into it. Andrew B. Newberg is one and he is using the same terms I do to describe it. He is not researching ‘talking to yourself’ or ‘giving yourself a pep talk’. He sticks people in scanners and watches them pray and meditate.

    Having had one of these experiences at age 15 I have spent my life stamp-collecting (lots of acid n ‘shroom trips too, about 100 or more). I have a few ideas about the relationship of SE’s to temporal lobe epilepsy and near-death TPJ meltdown. 1200 micrograms of LSD is a way that you too can experience TPJ meltdown in case you want to try this at home.

    Anyway. We all know god damn well that something powerful happens to these people, across history and culture. Don’t you want to know more about it? Kick some ideas around? 4-5 billion believers and we are going to keep our fingers in our ears or call them stupid?

    You’re not paying attention at all. Nobody is “ignoring” the experiences. Matt in particular acknowledges the experience and questions why the experience leads the person to jump to conclusion X.

    I have only watched a few dozen shows so I may not have a good sample. I may be dead wrong. But what I see is the hosts rushing to try and reason with these people. Then the believer starts to believe he came to his position by reason. The opportunity to hear them out and steer them to looking at the emotional cause is now lost. That is my opinion.

    This is a habit we need to break,, not indulge. This is the point with which I have the strongest disagreement

    This is the point where I do very strongly disagree with you. I lead a life where mysticism and spirituality has a strong part and from those believers I have come to know well, this is what they get from their belief. I want to target the belief not the benefits. I was an atheist before I had the mystical experience, during, and forever after. The closest I have come to belief is when I was 6-8 years old my mom dragged me to church. I told it didn’t seem plausible at 8 and she let me be. All of the benefits of religion are available and perfectly sensible for one that takes the physicalist world view to it’s extension. I am not indulging them, I am showing them that the dogma is unnecessary. In fact the dogma screws spirituality up for the most part.

    Do you deny that religious faith has emotional and personal benefits for these people?

  96. Monocle Smile says

    @speedofsound

    Stating that I am an atheist who prays in AA meetings attracts people who are having trouble digesting the part of AA that the xtians injected. All AA meetings follow a program that is the sum of the people attending the meeting. We change the character of meetings from within. It’s not trolling, it’s giving a damn.

    AA does not demonstrably work, so what’s the point? It doesn’t sound like you know what “help” or “giving a damn” actually mean. You’re not doing these people favors.

    Having had one of these experiences at age 15 I have spent my life stamp-collecting (lots of acid n ‘shroom trips too, about 100 or more). I have a few ideas about the relationship of SE’s to temporal lobe epilepsy and near-death TPJ meltdown. 1200 micrograms of LSD is a way that you too can experience TPJ meltdown in case you want to try this at home.

    As someone who has not chosen to fuck his brain repeatedly, I can’t relate.

    A lot of stamps have been collected on mystical experiences starting mostly with James. It is undeniable that we have a phenomenon here. Oddly only a few researchers are looking into it

    Don’t caaaaaaaaare. You sound exactly like Jimmy/Kafei here
    It’s not “odd,” it’s because there’s actually not much “there” there. There’s nothing overly special; it’s just another part of our neuropsychology. This is a pet issue for you and you’re far too attached. You haven’t made any progress in getting folks to take you seriously here, but I’m beginning to see why you prefer the Philosophy forum of RatSkep rather than the science-based fora.

    Anyway. We all know god damn well that something powerful happens to these people, across history and culture. Don’t you want to know more about it? Kick some ideas around? 4-5 billion believers and we are going to keep our fingers in our ears or call them stupid?

    My brain would pop out of my skull and do cartwheels if I found out that even 0.01% of “believers” had the kind of experience you talk about. I simply do not accept that this phenomenon is anywhere near as widespread as you (disingenuously) pretend.

    I have only watched a few dozen shows so I may not have a good sample. I may be dead wrong. But what I see is the hosts rushing to try and reason with these people. Then the believer starts to believe he came to his position by reason. The opportunity to hear them out and steer them to looking at the emotional cause is now lost. That is my opinion.

    The show is not and has never been about convincing the callers of anything. Fuck the callers. Most of them are lost causes. But AXP continues to get emails in droves from former believers thanking them for holding discussions that influenced them into finding their way out of religion and into healthy skepticism. Does that mean nothing?

    Do you deny that religious faith has emotional and personal benefits for these people?

    No.
    So what?
    The root of the problem is not these supposed “experiences,” but thinking poorly. I don’t merely want people to lose their god beliefs. I want them to think better fundamentally. Otherwise, what’s the point?

  97. speedofsound says

    @Monocle Smile
    AA does not demonstrably work, so what’s the point? It doesn’t sound like you know what “help” or “giving a damn” actually mean. You’re not doing these people favors.

    That’s just funny to me know. You might want to separate what you hear on the internet from the actual statistics that actually work. See Treatment and Prevention of Alcohol Problems (1987) pp 157-177 for a primer and then maybe checkout https://www.ncadd.org/blogs/research-update/alcoholics-anonymous-call-for-better-science for a look at how shit gets translated into nonsense.

    Before you do though I would like to direct you to a reality. AA is not a treatment for alcoholism. Medical ‘professionals’ treat alcoholism. AA groups are groups of actual alcoholics who figure out how to treat themselves individually at a cost of about 0-52 dollars per year. Most non-alcoholics and many alcoholics have a hell of a time figuring this shit out. Watching how Hollywood depicts AA is going to get you all fucked up as well so don’t do that.

    Let’s deal in fact not hearsay from the internuts.

  98. speedofsound says

    @Monocle Smile

    On the rest. I tried. Thinking scientifically requires actually studying the science.

  99. speedofsound says

    Found out what a Jimmy is but don’t know what a kaffei is. Can someone point me to that critter? Jimmy was treated horribly and Matt missed the point. Of course Matt had his own point and it’s his show. So…

    http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2009/12/29/mystical-experiences/
    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/scienceonreligion/2012/02/religious-and-mystical-experiences-common-among-americans/
    https://www.researchgate.net/publication/284797624_Neural_correlates_of_Mystical_Experience PDF
    https://freethoughtblogs.com/axp/2018/06/03/open-thread-for-episode-22-22-matt-and-phil/ (Jimmy)

    I tried to verify the veracity of Pew Research and it looks okay. I am shocked at 22-33% on the poll. Looks like your brain will pop out of your skull and do cartwheels cuz that’s a lot bigger than 0.01% of “believers” ‘ 3300 times bigger.

  100. Monocle Smile says

    I give exactly 0 flying fucks about self-reported nonsense. fMRI results or GTFO.

  101. Monocle Smile says

    70% of evangelicals report the experience because they are told to fucking fake speaking in tongues in front of the congregation. I don’t

    Jimmy is a repeat caller and has the same bullshit script every time. Kafei is another game he has used to post on this blog. I’m not surprised you’re sympathetic to that entropy factory.

  102. Monocle Smile says

    Wow, that last post of mine is a mild disaster. Incomplete, typos… That probably deserves an apology on my part.

  103. speedofsound says

    Now for a different spin on prayer and religious experience.
    But before I do:

    This is a pet issue for you and you’re far too attached.

    My actual pet issue is the neuroscience and neurophilosophy of consciousness. I get a little tired of hearing how we don’t know what consciousness is when we actually do know a massive amount about it. Believers( and unfortunately many atheists) just don’t like the answers that we have. Hence the need for neurophilosophy. While spirituality and prayer are significant issues in my life, they are not my main focus in my studies.

    Now the other side. The study linked as a PDF above tries to find some evidence for two ideas about mystical experience. The current thinking is that ME is like a mini-psychotic break with reality. One where the subject actually feels real good during and after. Any insights gained in ME may be related to this business of many geniuses being a little or a lot, batshit crazy.

    So ritual and authority can result in a temporary psychosis. As do psychedelics and extreme stress. when I pray ritually I am opening myself up to a psychotic event. Whatever flows in afterward is likely to be viewed as strong synchronicity, truthy, powerful, and will be bound to much like the newly hatched gosling bonds to it’s mommy. I think there is a tradition in Eastern mysticism that warns of this.

    Executive control in the dlPFC is mentioned and the study notes that skeptics have a higher degree of involvement in that brain region. That is very good news for skeptics. Bad news for believers. You can willfully retain some control over the psychotic event and hence avoid the whole belief in spooks part. I think that is what happened to me at age 15, having always been a strong adherent to scientism. Same with my experiments with psychedelics. We had read about them from age 13 to age 19 where we actually got a hold of some. We did acid with executive guidance.

    The upshot for those who engage believers is reason is not going to work on their belief system. Things have happened to them, subjective experiences, that powerfully bind them to the dogma. Like a crack addict they are not going give that up by reason directly.

    They can however be educated about the dangers of belief under these conditions of authority and ritual. Another important part of that education will be the good news that there are positive results from prayer and ritual (even psychedelics!) if used with skepticism to ward off false beliefs.

    (My current working definition of spirituality is being in a state of mind without any belief at all. Following Alan Watts’ idea that belief is the very opposite of faith.)

  104. t90bb says

    speedo……

    0-52 dollars a year you cheap bastard??…..i know friends that go everyday and put a buck in the basket….I am afraid your estimate on this is about as accurate as the rest of the shit you vomit.

    on a side note I do not doubt you have many psychic breaks.

  105. t90bb says

    in fairness or unfairness to AA one must first determine what is an actual successful outcome. Is lifetime abstinence the only threshold that measures “success”?

    if a terrible drunk near death comes into AA at 40….gets healthy and sees his life quality improve dramatically….but drinks for a week every 5 years until his passing at 60……should we consider this a success or failure.??

    if the only measure is complete ongoing abstinence, the success rate in AA would appear quite low. There are some that do never drink again…but not many…..

    if we measure success by those that have an improved quality of life as a result if their experience, AA success rate is very respectable….

    This of course is based on my experience only.

  106. speedofsound says

    @t90bb

    I have spent about 30 years sober out of 43 since first AA. One last seven year run slanted that a bit. I consider any time sober a monumental fucking success given my tendencies. What drives me nuts about the ‘professionals’ is that they have not lived this shit and living it turns out a bit more complex than the textbooks would have it. I currently have 99,542 hours since last taking a psychotropic drug and I attribute that to my making no less than one meeting a week. It’s not AA that is doing it, it’s me going to AA that is doing it. Somewhere in the ‘going’ part is where recovery becomes a possibility.

    as the rest of the shit you vomit.

    Acute analysis. Good talk! I only come here for the in depth analytic thinking.

  107. Kefka says

    Hello AE Just wanted to give some constructive feedback of Atheist Experience 22.30. Or I thought I did.

    Now that I am here. I see anything I might have added is here. No need to pile on. This kind of stuff happens with guests new to a live video format (especially if you are use to working in the casual environment of a long form conversational type podcast).

    Also the chemistry between host has yet to be develop but that stuff improves with time and experience.

  108. t90bb says

    115…..im glad your sober! I will assume you walked back the 0-52 bucks a year claim. I think recovery is wayyy bigger than AA or going to a meeting a week. But thats my opinion only. Its a battle thats fought on many fronts and whats good for me, may not be good for you. I have spoke to some “professionals” that I have connected with….and many “meeting makers” that are complete loons! That said .. a support network is important for most of us!

    whatever works for you keep it up.

  109. Andrew Trout says

    Anybody know what episode they’re referring to with the M&M’s and the cookies used to explain carbon dating? I’d be really interested to see that episode.

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