Chronicling the follies of religion and superstition, the virtues of skepticism, and the wonders of the real (natural) universe as revealed by science. Plus other interesting and educational stuff.

"Tell people there’s an invisible man in the sky who created the universe, and the vast majority believe you. Tell them the paint is wet, and they have to touch it to be sure."

-George Carlin

“If people are good only because they fear punishment, and hope for reward, then we are a sorry lot indeed”.

-Albert Einstein

“Skeptical scrutiny is the means, in both science and religion, by which deep thoughts can be winnowed from deep nonsense.”

-Carl Sagan

The person who is certain, and who claims divine warrant for his certainty, belongs now to the infancy of our species. It may be a long farewell, but it has begun and, like all farewells, should not be protracted.

-Christopher Hitchens

 

Five Stupid Things - About Ken Ham (and young earth creationism in general)

Bill Nye’s Take on the Nye-Ham Debate

…I am by no means an expert on most of this. Unlike my beloved uncle, I am not a geologist. Unlike my academic colleague and acquaintance Richard Dawkins, I am not an evolutionary biologist. Unlike my old professor Carl Sagan or my fellow Planetary Society Board member and dear friend Neil deGrasse Tyson, I am not an expert on astrophysics. I am, however, a science educator. In this situation, our skeptical arguments are not the stuff of PhDs. It’s elementary science and common sense. That’s what I planned to rely on. That’s what gave me confidence…

…After the debate, my agent and I were driven back to our hotel. We were, by agreement, accompanied by two of Ham’s security people. They were absolutely grim. I admit it made me feel good. They had the countenance of a team that had been beaten—beaten badly in their own stadium. Incidentally, if the situation were reversed, I am pretty sure they are trained to feel bad about feeling good. They would manage to feel bad either way, which is consistent with Mr. Ham’s insistence on The Fall, when humankind took its first turn for the worse. And by his reckoning, we’ve been plummeting ever since….

The Real Darwin Fish

Why creationists hate Tiktaalik.

…If evolution is true, and if life on Earth originated in water, then there must have once been fish species possessing primitive limbs, which enabled them to spend some part of their lives on land. And these species, in turn, must be the ancestors of four-limbed, land-living vertebrates like us.

Sure enough, in 2004, scientists found one of those transitional species: Tiktaalik roseae, a 375-million-year-old Devonian period specimen discovered in the Canadian Arctic by paleontologist Neil Shubin and his colleagues. Tiktaalik, explains Shubin on the latest episode of the Inquiring Minds podcast, is an “anatomical mix between fish and a land-living animal.”

"It has a neck," says Shubin, a professor at the University of Chicago. "No fish has a neck. And you know what? When you look inside the fin, and you take off those fin rays, you find an upper arm bone, a forearm, and a wrist." Tiktaalik, Shubin has observed, was a fish capable of doing a push-up. It had both lungs and gills. In sum, it’s quite the transitional form…

jtotheizzoe:

This artist’s rendition* shows the scene inside the South Carolina state legislature, where creationist lawmakers recently blocked a bill put forward by an 8-year-old girl to make the wooly mammoth the official state fossil. 
I bet you can’t guess why!





Check out the full story at The Daily Beast.
(it’s actually Charles R. Knight’s “Font du Gaume" but I want to bang my head against that cave wall after reading this story)

jtotheizzoe:

This artist’s rendition* shows the scene inside the South Carolina state legislature, where creationist lawmakers recently blocked a bill put forward by an 8-year-old girl to make the wooly mammoth the official state fossil. 

I bet you can’t guess why!

Check out the full story at The Daily Beast.

(it’s actually Charles R. Knight’s “Font du Gaume" but I want to bang my head against that cave wall after reading this story)

When scientifically investing the natural world, the only thing worse than a blind believer is a seeing denier.

Neil deGrasse Tyson

(via blackatheists)

Well, obviously that wasn’t the magical rain of God’s vengeful wrath. 

Or maybe, some of the authors of the bible just had a fondness for the number 40.

Well, obviously that wasn’t the magical rain of God’s vengeful wrath.

Or maybe, some of the authors of the bible just had a fondness for the number 40.

goodreasonnews:

katetheatheist:

panteradraco:

katetheatheist:

Your move Christians

lol, we humans count days by the sun, but does God have to do things by our standards?

How else would you count days? How long did time really pass then?

Actually, in a book designed for humans, yeah, a god would have to do things (or at least describe things) by our standards or at least explain this different set of standards.

goodreasonnews:

katetheatheist:

panteradraco:

katetheatheist:

Your move Christians

lol, we humans count days by the sun, but does God have to do things by our standards?

How else would you count days? How long did time really pass then?

Actually, in a book designed for humans, yeah, a god would have to do things (or at least describe things) by our standards or at least explain this different set of standards.

But if the universe were only 6,500 years old, how could we see the light of anything more distant than the Crab Nebula? We couldn’t. There wouldn’t have been enough time for the light to get to Earth from anywhere farther away than 6,500 light years in any direction. That’s just enough time for light to travel a tiny portion of our Milky Way Galaxy… To believe in a universe as young as 6 or 7 thousand years old, is to extinguish the light of most of the galaxy.

Cosmos w/ Neil deGrasse Tyson

More from Stupid Design on the atheism tag at Tumblr.com

yukithemeddler:

immaculate-insanity:

I also made some good points against today’s plenary lecturer, whose whole shpeel was how evolution is a fact cause it’s the best theory blah blah blah..

I cannot imagine any scientifically literate lecturer referring to evolution as “the best theory” because someone who is scientifically literate knows the difference between the common usage of the word and the correct meaning of the term “scientific theory”. Creationist and Intelligent design proponents often like to describe the theory of evolution as just a theory. This relies on equivocating the common usage of the term theory (meaning “idea” or “guess”) with the scientific meaning.

Beginning your post by saying you got some “good points in” against someone followed by the looniest and absolute lamest attempt to poison the well by indicating a profound misunderstanding of the terminology is breathtakingly ignorant.

Evolution is a fact, by the way. It is happening, right now, all over the planet.

Also, it is spelled “spiel”, it is German, and it means “a usually high-flown talk or speech, especially for the purpose of luring people to a movie, a sale, etc.; pitch.”. That is not what a scientific lecture is, and if you are going to use my grandmother’s native language, get it right or don’t use it at all. Understand me?

He argued that the existence of God can actually be tested like a real hypothesis.

As soon as anything can be said to affect the natural world, we can attempt to formulate a testable hypothesis. Absolutely.


Anyone familiar with science knows that a hypothesis has to be falsifiable in order to be testable.

Falsifiability is the ability of a theory—a working framework for explaining and predicting natural phenomena—to be disproved by an experiment or observation. You’d actually have to understand what a scientific theory was before understanding what that means.

  • A conjecture or hypothesis is an idea that a researcher believes may be true. The researcher can test this idea using the scientific method.
  • A theory is a well substantiated explanation for some aspect of nature; it is different from a hypothesis.
  • Scientists constantly investigate even highly supported theories.
  • If evidence is found that contradicts a theory, the theory must be discarded or revised.

Well, he claimed that it is falsifiable.

I doubt that very much, because there is no “theory of god” according to science. A simple procedure can be used to determine whether or not a hypothesis or conjecture is scientific and falsifiable. What would be an example of something that, if observed, would contradict the hypothesis? If this question cannot be answered, then the conjecture is not scientific. In addition, a good test of a theory is that it is able to make predictions about some future event. The ability to be tested, and the potential for the theory to be invalided by the experiment, is the essence of falsifiability.

He then said that because Creationists believe in an all-good, omnipotent God, then the proof of evil in the world demonstrates that there is no God. Dude dedicated an entire slide to this.

Creationism is not falsifiable as its proponents base the theory on a human text (the Bible) which provides accounts of creation and other events that cannot be tested by observation or experiment but are instead accepted as infallible truth. This is one of the primary characteristics of pseudoscience. No matter what evidence is presented, there is no way that creationism can be contradicted. Even when evolution in action is observed, creationism always allows for an after-the-fact justification of the inconsistent observation with an argument to authority. Put differently, for any possible observation you can imagine creationism can explain away both that observation and its opposite. Only an observation proving that the god does not exist would undermine the theory, and obviously that is impossible. Since no observation is allowed to contradict creationism and it has no predictive value, it is not science.

I laughingly told him that his theory about monotheism is flawed because the major Abrahamic monotheists (aka 60 percent of the world) don’t believe in God’s goodness transferring to people (two words: free will). I wasn’t trying to argue God’s existence with him. I was just trying to prove that that particular approach that he was using was invalid. Which I did.

No, you didn’t. You did a fabulous job of demonstrating you couldn’t follow a chain of logic, however. People are not the “creator” in creationism. An omnipotent being is and the notion of an omnipotent being is not scientific, as explained above.

He then said that even with free will, the theory is probably testable, but he doesn’t know how to test it yet, although he said there are “probably people who have falsified it.” :p Lol. LAWL. Atheists… *sigh*

Evidence, in the form of a transcript of this lecture, including proof that you, personally, attended or you can leave amidst derisive laughter after being declared a pathetic liar. Which will it be? The concept of the existence of gods is not at this time a theory according to science. Various hypotheses have been presented, and all have been dismissed, and until you religious folk have something new to present - which you do not - your gods are not theories. End of story.

Creationists to Neil deGrasse Tyson: Evolution isn’t scientific, but the Book of Genesis is

Creationist Ray Comfort complained that Neil deGrasse Tyson had misrepresented the Bible.

The astrophysicist and host of Fox’s “Cosmos” said recently that using the Bible as a scientific source was problematic, because no one had ever scientifically proven a theory based on scripture.

Comfort said last week on his online “Comfort Zone” program that Tyson wasn’t qualified to make that determination because he’s not a theologian.

“You know, the word ‘science,’ it’s kind of a magical word,” Comfort said. “‘I believe in science.’ It just means knowledge, that’s all it means. There’s different areas of science, different areas of knowledge. When you say the Bible is not a science book, you’re saying it’s not a knowledge book? It tells us how God created the Earth!”

Knowledge, of course, is not quite all that defines science, which is characterized by systematic methods of observation in pursuit of new understanding.

But Comfort insisted the Bible was a science book because it described the origins of the universe.

“It gives us the basis for all creation, and it passes the scientific method,” he said. “It’s observable – Genesis – and testable. Evolution is not. You can’t observe something 60 million years old, but you can observe what Genesis says.”

For example, Comfort argued, the Book of Genesis mentions that animals reproduce other animals like themselves, and that can be observed on the fossil record.

“The Bible isn’t written as a science book, but it has scientific facts in it that can be relied upon, unchanging scientific facts,” he said. “It’s God’s word.”

Comfort’s guest, creationist fundraiser Alan Pearson, said Tyson’s comments revealed a flaw in scientific thinking.

“This is a reboot of the PBS series in the ‘70s with Carl Sagan, who said the cosmos is all that ever was and all that ever will be, which is ironic, because that is not a statement that can be proven in fact,” said Pearson, who directs fundraising for Comfort’s ministry. “That is a faith-based statement, if you will. So it’s kind of ironic, this whole thing being rebooted as it is.”

Comfort agreed that Tyson, like Sagan, seems like a nice fellow.

“Horrible statements come from nice guys,” Comfort said. “I mean, he’s just downgraded the word of God as just, you can’t trust it, [but] you can throw yourself blindfolded without reserve into the promises of God. You can trust the Bible. It’s God’s word.”


Fuckin Ray Comfort…

(Source: rawstory.com)