Let’s address some comments

Would you believe I’ve got Christians already making stupid comments on my last video? Of course you would. That’s what they do. I’ll discuss those this afternoon — you can also jump in and ask questions/make comments/yell at me (basically, ask me anything). It’ll be fun!


  1. StevoR says

    Not going to be awake when this happens but question – what are the best and worst Christian / Muslim / Religious arguments you’ve encountered, PZ?

  2. birgerjohansson says

    It would be fun if some xians went flat-Earther, quoting Jesus going up on a tall mountain where Satan showed him the whole world…

  3. Reginald Selkirk says

    @1: StevoR

    Second worst Christian argument: Pascal’s wager.
    Worst Christian argument: Why are there still monkeys?

    @3: birgerjohansson
    Not Flat-Earther, but geocentric:
    Guy with degrees in astronomy and astrophysics supports geocentrism, because Jesus.

  4. Pierce R. Butler says

    birgerjohansson @ # 3: … Jesus going up on a tall mountain where Satan showed him the whole world…

    From which it follows that we ought to be able to see that mountain from anywhere in the world.

    Pardon me if I don’t go outside right now to look for it again.

  5. says

    Reginald @4

    Second worst Christian argument: Pascal’s wager.

    Pascal invested in
    Golden ticket to the moon!
    But there’s no rocket.

    Worst Christian argument: Why are there still monkeys?

    Cousins far removed:
    Our one big family tree
    Has many branches.

  6. John Morales says

    Heh. Took a quick peek.

    Quite the expert, the author.

    Stephen C. Compton is unusual among contemporary scholars – a man at home in both the ancient Old World and the New. He spent a great deal of time as a young person with family members in Peru and Guatemala, which gives him an instinctual feel for things Olmec, Mayan, Teotihuacano and Aztec. He holds graduate degrees from the University of Chicago and Northwestern, which equip him to handle sources from ancient Egypt, the Levant and Mesopotamia with facility. After a 14 year research odyssey wandering around the Near East and Mesoamerica, he has published a well written, extensively documented, abundantly illustrated 344 page volume that changes the paradigm for Olmec origins. Looking at both cultures from a variety of sub-disciplines, Compton concludes that the enigmatic Olmec in ancient Mexico derive from the equally enigmatic Hyksos in ancient Egypt. Scholars will have difficulty faulting either his sources or his research methodology. Lay readers will enjoy his fast pace and provocative style. Serious students of The Book of Mormon will likely re-consider some previously held notions such as the date of the Flood (which impacts the date of the Tower of Babel), the broad equals sign we have tended to posit between the Jaredite and Olmec civilizations, and the origin of the Quetzalcoatl feathered serpent motif. Compton is at his best dealing with ancient languages, glyphic systems and alphabets, a topic that should interest many students of the Nephite text.


  7. birgerjohansson says

    I watched the thing.
    The first comment P Z brought up reminds me of God Awful Movies GAM402 Nibiru, and GAM 196 Alien Intrusion.
    You should just outsorce “reading the comment thread” to Heath, Eli and Noah as they are used to mega-crazy.
    [My favourite was the documentary thst claimed water gets sad if you yell at it]
    You know, the ones who write those comments should write film scripts for the Korean ‘Happy Science’ cult.

  8. robro says

    CBS ran this story this morning: “Newly deciphered manuscript is oldest written record of Jesus Christ’s childhood, experts say”. I’m sure that the evangelicals are crying hallelujah at more proof of the historical Jesus.

    However, before you get too excited here’s the story they are covering: Earliest manuscript of Gospel about Jesus’s childhood discovered. It’s a fragment 11 x 5 cm from the Gospel of Thomas containing 13 lines of about 10 characters…130 characters or so. It’s probably from the 4th or 5th century. Due to the poor handwriting it’s thought to be the product of a writing exercise. It contains fragments of the story of Jesus as a boy turning clay pigeons he has made on the Sabbath into actual birds. The second miracle in the purported “Childhood Gospel”. The Gospel of Thomas isn’t in the New Testament canon.

  9. cheerfulcharlie says

    Oh yes, everything was designed. Sho’ nuff!
    There is a lovely (Well not so lovely actually) site called “Parasite Of The Day” Lots of fiendishly designed parasites. The Intelligent Designer loves him some parasites! This does not fit the narrative of a kindly and loving creator God.

    Look! Kittens! Puppies! Cute baby rabbits! Uhmmmm. Guinea worms. Brain eating Amoebas. Malaria! Parasitic barnacles. Liver flukes! And worse. Some of these parasites are true horrors.


  10. robro says

    cheerfulcharlie @ #13 — What “kindly and loving creator god” you talkin’ about? Do you not know what today is? It is Eid al-Adha when the pilgrims are ending the Hajj, stone the devil on Mount Arafat, and celebrate that Abraham obeyed the who demanded he sacrifice Isaac. While the story we have says that god provided a sheep as substitute for Isaac, one Biblical scholar I read many years ago said using textual analysis they can extrapolate the interpolations into the story and the resulting story says Abraham descends the mountain alone.

  11. cheerfulcharlie says

    Somehow, the IDists segue from the God of the Bible to the Intelligent Designer then back to the Bible God with that God’s murders, genocides and evil acts. Wheeeee! Of course the IDists ignore the parasites and predation.

  12. John Morales says

    cheerfulcharlie, why belie your ‘nym?

    Some of these parasites are true horrors.

    They’re just collections of cells, like we are. Pretty alike, really.

    The Intelligent Designer loves him some parasites! This does not fit the narrative of a kindly and loving creator God.

    Pangloss explains all that, and how we do live in the best of all possible worlds.

  13. John Morales says


    Some of these parasites are true horrors.

    Then, there are the realities of industrial-scale farming. Industrial meat production.

    (Gaea sighs at this talk of ‘parasites’ by the worst of them all)

  14. unclefrogy says

    how all the horrors of life and existence were explained to me. sickness suffering and death, the pain of childbirth and all the difficulties and frailties we are vulnerable to are all the result of “The Fall” none of that was true in the garden
    clearly the only explanation that works and is it seems to be the most disturbing to the believers is “god’s magic”. They have trouble with that because they know deep inside the magic is a pure bullshit argument and at no time has been seen to exist and is seen that way by many

  15. John Morales says

    StevoR, that was Monty Python, and the composer was William Henry Monk.

    (Not the lyricism, obs)

  16. cheerfulcharlie says

    Nowhere in the Bible or Quran that I know of do these ‘holy’ books mention being kind to animals.

    Isaiah 65
    24 And it shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear.
    25 The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, and the lion shall eat straw like the bullock: and dust shall be the serpent’s meat. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain, saith the Lord.

    What is God waiting for?

  17. John Morales says

    [very meta]

    The tale of the Shepherd Boy, originally written by Ludwig Aurbacher (1784-1847):

    There was once on a time a shepherd boy whose fame spread far and wide because of the wise answers which he gave to every question. The King of the country heard of it likewise, but did not believe it, and sent for the boy. Then he said to him: “If thou canst give me an answer to three questions which I will ask thee, I will look on thee as my own child, and thou shall dwell with me in my royal palace.” The boy said: “What are the three questions?” The King said: “The first is, how many drops of water are there in the ocean?” The shepherd boy answered: “Lord King, if you will have all the rivers on earth dammed up so that not a single drop runs from them into the sea until I have counted it, I will tell you how many drops there are in the sea.” The King said: “The next question is, how many stars are there in the sky?” The shepherd boy said: “Give me a great sheet of white paper,” and then he made so many fine points on it with a pen that they could scarcely be seen, and it was all but impossible to count them; any one who looked at them would have lost his sight. Then he said: “There are as many stars in the sky as there are points on the paper; just count them.” But no one was able to do it. The King said: “The third question is, how many seconds of time are there in eternity.” Then said the shepherd boy: “In Lower Pomerania is the Diamond Mountain, which is two miles and a half high, two miles and a half wide, and two miles and a half in depth; every hundred years a little bird comes and sharpens its beak on it, and when the whole mountain is worn away by this, then the first second of eternity will be over.” The King said: “Thou hast answered the three questions like a wise man, and shalt henceforth dwell with me in my royal palace, and I will regard thee as my own child.”

    Well, like that, but in reverse.

    It’s actually bird droppings, and the poop they drop becomes the wholly smelly mountain, but then guano was found to be nice and the ecosystem was wrecked and all the money gone and now no crops and immiseration.

    (Alas, Nauru! It is to weep, for the ignorance and the greed)

  18. birgerjohansson says

    Cheerfulcharlie @ 21
    The obligate carnivores will need new teeth, a complete redesign of the gastrointestinal tract plus a completely different set of commensal organisms.

  19. larpar says

    Just reread the original comment thread. There’s a christian arguing with another christian. They can’t both be right but they can both be wrong.

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