I get comments

Somebody who calls himself Truth Matters, who has been telling me I’m chicken for refusing to debate criminal creep Kent Hovind, now is trying the pity approach.

dude I feel sorry for you, you are messing with the wrong God. A square inch on your skin is more complex than every building throughout all history and everything we have ever created including the internet combined. The Bible mentions hydrothermal vents thousands of years ago and you know that the didn’t have submarines back then. You still have some time left I suggest you pray to Jesus and ask Him to save you or else you are going to be judged (and nobody paid for your sins so guess who is going to pay for your)

Expressing my contempt for Kent Hovind is not messing with the wrong God. I might suggest that he stop worshipping a certain false god, though.

The complexity argument is not an argument for a deity — it’s an argument that supports my claim that biology is a product of a long trial-and-error process over millions of years, which would produce the details we observe. Claiming it was all made by divine fiat is an unconvincing copout.

Not in the Bible

The Bible does not mention hydrothermal vents. I think he’s referring to the fountains of the deep that spurted huge volumes of water to flood the Earth. Moses didn’t see those, and if they were the source of the flood waters, Noah would have been cooked and poisoned.

The concept that Christians can sin because a religious fanatic was murdered 2000 years ago is one of the most perniciously evil ideas Christianity ever invented. It’s the source of the arrogance this kind of person exhibits — and it’s ironic that his messiah preached humility.

Nope. I’m not going to debate that wretched cretin, Hovind.


  1. Akira MacKenzie says

    A square inch on your skin is more complex than every building throughout all history…

    And yet that same perfect, all-power god couldn’t create an epidermal coating that was successful that was susceptible to melenoma and other sometimes-fatal skin conditions?

  2. raven says

    You still have some time left I suggest you pray to Jesus and ask Him to save you or else you are going to be judged (and nobody paid for your sins so guess who is going to pay for your)

    Oh, a threat from a terrorist.

    His imaginary sky fairy friend is going to beat PZ Myers up after he is dead.

    This is just Pascal’s wager.
    Xian terrorist guy is in big trouble now.
    The real god, Brahma, hates Pascal’s wager.
    In his next reincarnation, he is coming back as a tape worm or nematode.

  3. StevoR says

    Someone who calls himself “Truth Matters” seems to have named himself ironically and inaccurately as well as arrogantly.

    If he wants to accuse others of cowardice, I’d suggest using his own name might be a good start..

    As for “messing with the wrong god” is that an implied admission of polytheism and multiple gods to mess with on his (yeah, I’m gunna assume gender here) part?

  4. Akira MacKenzie says

    The concept that Christians can sin because a religious fanatic was murdered 2000 years ago is one of the most perniciously evil ideas Christianity ever invented.

    I’m sure this clod would disagree, claiming that true Christians never sin after being “born again.” If some does they weren’t a true Christian to begin with. However, yes, the idea that we are “sinners” just for existing at all is a thoroughly malignant idea that religion has ever conceived next to that of a “god.”

  5. gijoel says

    Didn’t Hovind balk when you demand half of all revenue generated by sales of said debate?

    dude I feel sorry for you, you are messing with the wrong God.

    There are other gods?? Maybe I should pray to one of the tough ones. I don’t think Jesus would be much good in a god-fight. He is a pacifist after all.

  6. Doc Bill says

    I get a kick out of how the bible mentions X, whatever X is.

    Did you know the bible mentions pepperoni and mushroom thin crust pizza with extra cheese? Right there in Romans, “Render unto Papa Johns … “

  7. Larry says

    Is stating that you “feel sorry for”” someone supposed to be an incentive for that someone to exchange their beliefs for yours in order to be liked by you? If so, then you haven’t a clue about human relationships and belief systems. What a wanker.

  8. says

    That troll’s silence about Hovind’s complicity in the sexual abuse of children on his property, speaks far louder than his words on any subject.

    And no, PZ isn’t messing with any god; he’s messing with some people’s maliciously conceived imagining of god. Bit of a difference there…

  9. Akira MacKenzie says

    The real god, Brahma, hates Pascal’s wager.

    Azathoth is mindless mass of corruption and nuclear chaos at the center of the cosmos that twists mindlessly to the melody of daemon flutes. It does not judge. It does not care.

  10. call me mark says

    PZ: “The Bible does not mention hydrothermal vents.”

    Apropos of nothing, I seem to recall that the Bible also does not mention cats.

  11. StevoR says

    @ ^ call me mark : Dunno about cats but I’m certain it doesn’t mention monotremes or marsupials or Pluto or Nptune or exoplanets or atoms or plate tectonics or koals, kangeroos and thylacines or llamas, tapirs, tardigrades or lemurs among many many more things..

  12. mamba says

    “The concept that Christians can sin because a religious fanatic was murdered 2000 years ago is one of the most perniciously evil ideas Christianity ever invented. ”

    I have still never received an answer to the question “What specifically was it about Jesus’s death that made God so happy he forgave everyone? Why did God NEED suffering in general in order to like humans again?” I get answers like:

    -God can’t stand sin in heaven (that has nothing to do with the question)
    -It’s through his suffering that we saw our flaws (no we didn’t and again doesn’t answer the question from God’s POV)
    -“It was written in ancient times…” (so God decided on his own that Jesus had to suffer. So why did he want this?)
    -Sin is a tangible thing that has to be countered. (even IF true, God can’t do that on his own? I though he set these rules)

    Most of the rest are the same…just avoiding the root question time and time again. You don’t even have t debate their answers…just keep pointing out when they answer in an irrelevant manner. They’ll FEEL like you’re arguing but you can actually agree with their responses and still say “That might be true, but that doesn’t address the question”.

    Eventually they will come to literally the only logical conclusion and fight it tooth and nail: God loves suffering and needed it to feel better. As long as SOMETHING suffered he was content, even if innocent. ESPECIALLY if pure and innocent, that’s why Jesus was the perfect flail. He set the requirements and chose torture voluntarily and unnecessarily. This makes God immoral and evil and maybe not worth worshipping.

    If honest they’ll address that, but usually I found they stop using their brains, get angry and leave right before then…

  13. Walter Solomon says

    call me mark @11

    Apropos of nothing, I seem to recall that the Bible also does not mention cats.

    It does mention big cats multiple times. Examples include Samson eating honey from a lion carcass, David slaying a lion, and Daniel being put in a lion’s den.

  14. says

    Pascal’s Wager makes me groan for multiple reasons:
    1. It replaces “what is true” with “what’s in it for me?” If I were a deity, I’d be tempted to smite anyone who invoked it. It comes across as a cheap way to avoid that whole examined life thing. Like if they fool themselves hard enough, they think they can fool their god.
    2. It’s started to make me think of cryptobros, MLMs, and other financial cults: They make promises so big in an effort to dodge the question of if it’s plausible, and to downplay the predatory costs involved in joining.
    3. It calls back to this feeling I sometimes had when I was starting to question: A feeling that people were intentionally holding out on me. I expected better arguments to come as I grew up, but it’s always the same crap.
    4. With all the problems and people who’ve pointed them out over the centuries, I’ve come to see invoking the Wager as a mark of laziness at best. In the information age, it’s only getting harder not to see them as some jokester trolls who intentionally feign ignorance or irrationality for gits and shiggles. Not the sort of thing you do when someone’s eternity is supposed to be on the line. If they don’t take their own religion seriously, why should I?

  15. StevoR says

    @ Walter Solomon : Yeah but those are lions not Felis domesticus the house-cat / domestic moggy specifically so depends what we mean by cat i guess? Hep?*

    .* Thinking Jazz ** terms – saw somewhere online that “In the 1940’s black musicians started calling each other “man” because they were usually called “boy” by everybody else.” (unknown author, meme.)

    Haven’t seen independent verification of that but it is disturbingly likely a reason and I see no cause to doubt that. Anyone else know?

    .** Not sure if this particular clip counts as Jazz precisely but one of the most powerful, raw, musical political performances and gives a searing impression of the times. Listen to that voice. That emotion, The body language and think about the Times and context Nina was singing in…

  16. birgerjohansson says

    The bible does not mention felis catus or pizza.
    It does mention “behemoth” which is said to have a tail like a cedar. It is also supposed to have , I don’t recall exactly, a navel? Creationists have since argued behemoth was a dinosaur. Because they have umbilical cords… after hatching from eggs…
    (I am stealing this stuff from Noah, Heath and Eli at GAM, they have roasted this OT rubbish many times)

  17. outis says

    @13: I’d rather say that it’s not god that loves suffering, it’s they who do. They looove it very much, just grab a list of “saints and martyr’s lives” and holy shamoley, do they ever get off on all that torture stuff.
    A lot like Salvador Dali who reportedly had orgasms thinking about St.Sebastian, half nekkid and trussed up and shot through with arrows, mmmm…
    Really, a gold mine for therapists here.

  18. Pierce R. Butler says

    call me mark @ # 11: … the Bible also does not mention cats.

    I have a copy of the King James Version imported into a database, broken apart verse by verse, for just this sort of question.

    My first search for words beginning with “cat” produced 159 hits.

    Excluding “cattle” shrank that to 26 – those guys took their kine quite seriously.

    Excluding “catch” dropped the total to 9.

    And every one of those 9 involved … caterpillars.

    I feel very sorry for everyone who ever had to answer such queries without mechanical assistance.

  19. woozy says

    @21 you couldn’t do a standalone word search and search for “cat/cats”?

    Anyway, “the bible never mentions cats” is one of those trivia facts one knows. Sort of like “Michael J. Foxx is Canadian”.

  20. chrislawson says

    To quote Andy Prieboy’s “Tomorrow Wendy”:

    I told the priest, don’t plan on any second coming.
    God got his ass kicked first time he came down here slumming.
    He had the balls to come, the gall to die and then forgive us.
    No I don’t wonder why. I wonder what he thought that gave us.

  21. Kagehi says

    “The concept that Christians can sin because a religious fanatic was murdered 2000 years ago is one of the most perniciously evil ideas Christianity ever invented.”

    I think it is far worse than that, on some level. As I joked in the comment section of someone’s youtube video on the insanity of some of these people, “Its interesting that of all the Bible translations, in which words are substituted because we don’t have an exact translation for Greek, or an even older language, which it was originally written in, Evangelicals are obsessed over on that doesn’t say, ‘don’t be evil, or look upon evil, or anything like that’, but instead says merely, ‘avoid the APPEARANCE of being evil’. So, actually ‘being evil’ is, like.. maybe totally fine for them, especially since they also seem to think that merely believing in Jesus, and praying to be forgiven will absolve them of any evil they commit…”

    So, basically the same concept, except.. its kind of only in their translation of the stupid book. The rest of the versions kind of imply that you are supposed to at least try to avoid evil, or like.. not actively act evil, not just try really hard to look like like a nice person.

  22. Matt Cramp says

    To be honest, I can buy that the Bible might be referring to subthermal vents when it refers to ‘fountains of the deep’. Humans are clever, and in an oral tradition environment, I can envisage someone managing to work out how to get deep enough to maybe see a big one and then coming back to describe it. People built enormous clockwork models of the solar system, they worked out the Earth was round by looking down wells, surely someone, somewhere in history went: there’s gotta be a way to see what’s at the bottom of the sea.

  23. Kagehi says

    Eh.. Maybe. They also, given the time period, where far more likely to die in the successful attempt, without ever making it back to report anything, or could not replicate the feat (either due to not understanding how they managed it in the first place, or only doing it once, and their device/work didn’t get replicated, and was lost to the past). But, I suspect otherwise. Its far more likely that some of them ran across underground rivers, spewing from the rocks, or springs, etc., and leapt to the conclusion that it was possible for these to break like a damn, and spray a deluge upon the world. Springs.. they would know about, subthermal vents require a) water, b) enough of it that the vent doesn’t just turn a lake, etc. into acid, and c) enough depth for them to actually “be” vents. Its far more likely it was cave springs, or even above ground steam vents (which would also produce water as runoff). Finding something close enough to shore to see, and deep enough, and accessible with technology that, no matter how clever they where, would require metallurgy skills, materials, and time that no one at that time would plausibly spend on it, and then probably wouldn’t work – we are talking something almost as unbelievable as the creationist “Biblical” ark (i.e., not a raft, or big bowl shaped thing, or the actual BOX described in the story).

    But sure.. Maybe there really was a Lugh and he made what was basically a lightsaber in ancient Europe too… I mean, they had well… swamp gas, and bags to hold it, and err… something, something, mumble mumble…. ;) lol

  24. StevoR says

    @ ^ Kagehi & #26. Matt Cramp : Given the Southwest Asian location of the Bible stories esepcially around Iraq and Arabia plus the geologically active areas of the Rift valley including the Sinai (?) I wonder whether ancient oil fields (& geysers?) might’ve inspired those “fountains of the Deep” – although yes, springs esp hot ones and underground rivers also seem much more likely than ancient people finding Black Smokers which as far as I know are limited to extremely deep waters in the middle of the oceans.

  25. Pierce R. Butler says

    woozy @ # 23 – Yabbut I found it more amusing to do it piece by piece.

    Matt Cramp @ # 26: … I can buy that the Bible might be referring to subthermal vents when it refers to ‘fountains of the deep’.

    In a book of 19th-century Florida travelers’ stories, I found accounts of offshore springs in the Gulf of Mexico which (though nobody seems to have dived very deep to inspect them, at least among the white people writing said yarns) pumped out enough volume that the surface water above them was basically salt-free. (Of course, alas, modern day well-drilling has diminished the water table so that even on-shore springs have greatly reduced their flow; I doubt anything like that could be found today.) Perhaps sailors and fishermen in the Med/Red Sea/Persian Gulf had noticed some similar phenomena when the early versions of Genesis developed ~3 millennia ago?

  26. John Morales says

    FFS! It’s poetic language, no more than that.

    Genesis 7:11, ESV:
    “In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the second month, on the seventeenth day of the month, on that day all the fountains of the great deep burst forth, and the windows of the heavens were opened.”

  27. Kagehi says

    Its gibberish is what it is. Especially when you consider that the way math was recorded at the time as single tick mark either being there, or not, and which way they ticked it, could make his “age” 6, 60, or 600. Oh, and they actually did think that “rain” was due to god opening up windows in the dome of the sky, to let the water in (its in the bloody description of how the earth was supposed to have been made). Even the month is wrong, since they used lunar calendars. But, sure, lets call it “poetic”. lol