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[challenge entry] Heavily biased, badly argued, unscientific claptrap.

G'ning all!

From the Bad Books for Kids challenge. See all 457 entries (closed)

(, Thu 19 Jul 2007, 9:46, archived)
# Pffft
Very woo.
(, Thu 19 Jul 2007, 9:47, archived)
# That's really nice
I love it.

(, Thu 19 Jul 2007, 9:47, archived)
# Now THIS is good
(, Thu 19 Jul 2007, 9:47, archived)
# Thanks
What the crivvens is Pelutho?
(, Thu 19 Jul 2007, 9:53, archived)
I'm having a Meaning of Liff time
(, Thu 19 Jul 2007, 9:55, archived)
# Aaaaah.
I lost my copy of that a long time ago. My favourite was Abilene.
(, Thu 19 Jul 2007, 9:56, archived)
# hmm
i think i've lost mine too :(
(, Thu 19 Jul 2007, 9:58, archived)
# I like 'kettering'
And the process of getting it :-)
(, Thu 19 Jul 2007, 10:02, archived)
# That's more like it
(, Thu 19 Jul 2007, 9:47, archived)
# hahaha
(, Thu 19 Jul 2007, 9:59, archived)
# Pfft!
It's funny because it's true.

*click* (late, but who cares.)
(, Thu 19 Jul 2007, 11:22, archived)
# I used to like Dawkins
but now I'm not so sure. Burn the witch, I say
(, Thu 19 Jul 2007, 11:57, archived)
# He wouldn't bother me so much
if he didn't still claim to be a scientist.
(, Thu 19 Jul 2007, 14:04, archived)
# Why shouldn't he?
Science doesn't say that Father Christmas doesn't exists, just that it's very unlikely.
All Dawkins does is add that he thinks it's delusional to continue to believe in the old git.
This does not preclude him from being a scientist.
(, Thu 19 Jul 2007, 18:43, archived)
# This
(, Fri 20 Jul 2007, 0:30, archived)
# It doesn't preclude him
but using it to add an appearance of rigour to what is basically a load of rubbish doesn't really follow scientific principles.
(, Fri 20 Jul 2007, 9:24, archived)
# But....
How do you apply rigour to the idea that there is an invisible magic man watching what you do, who has existed forever and done everything?

Short version, there is no evidence for 'God' or any of the other supernatural beings, deities, phenomena etc. etc. Scientifically there is no evidence, nor can there ever be by definition.

The idea that faith / belief is there *because* there is no evidence is fine in my book (if that's what you want to believe), but I think Dawkins is right when he says that if you want something *more* than blind faith, you will come up short and that should make you think again.
(, Fri 20 Jul 2007, 9:47, archived)
# You can't apply rigour to that idea. Neither can you apply rigour to the idea that He doesn't exist.
There is absolutely no evidence either way. Nor will there ever be.

Pretending that his belief is a better one just because he is a scientist IS blind faith.
(, Fri 20 Jul 2007, 13:03, archived)
# Oh dear
Your use of the capitalisation of "he" betrays you. You sound suspiciously like one of the "intelligent design" mob, possibly some of the least intelligent creatures ever to inhabit the earth.

Dawkins doesn't say that science disproves god. He says that it shows a distinct lack of evidence. Belief isn't evidence. Perhaps you should read the book?

(, Fri 20 Jul 2007, 13:52, archived)
# He does heavily imply that
science makes a belief in God 'delusional' (did you notice the title of the book). Saying there's no evidence either way makes me sound like one of the Intelligent Design mob? That's supposed to make sense? Oh, and I have read the book by the way which is how I know it's just as bad as the ID idiots.

*ignores back*
(, Fri 20 Jul 2007, 14:09, archived)
# Science
The point is that a few hundred or thousand years ago you might have needed god to expalin the universe. Now we know about the origins of life, how the universe formed, what drives evolutionary change, planetry rotation, atoms, gravitation, etc. etc. etc. You don't need a supernatural explanation anymore becuase we can answer (or attempt to answer) those questions.

Nor do we have a feudal system trying to control the population with the threat of hell if they disobey etc. At the risk of starting a board war, do you believe in Zeus, or Buddah? There is no evidence for them either, and lots of books and historical scholars who have written about them and their miracles...... Why make a distinction?
(, Fri 20 Jul 2007, 15:17, archived)
# I don't make a distinction. Theism and atheism are both just statements of faith with absolutely no evidence to back either one up.

No, we don't know the origins of life at all. And the theory of evolution is still changing (evolving in fact) and is probably, at best, currently just a reasonable rule of thumb in the same way the early atomic theories were. There is widespread disagreement between evolutionary biologists etc. on exactly what the drivers are.

We don't know how the Universe formed, hence there not yet being a Unified Field Theory, several different string theories, no total agreement on whether the Universe will keep expanding, end up collapsing, what all the dark matter and dark energy are etc.

Planetary rotation hardly disproves the existence of God! Neither does the existence of atoms. And if you can explain gravitation, then you had better phone CERN because they are spending billions on a particle accelerator to try to find evidence for one of the theories of gravitation. There are others.

Who said we needed a supernatural explanation? I certainly didn't but if you think science explains God away then you obviously don't know very much science. Or you are expressing a belief based on nothing more than faith (as there certainly aren't any experiments to disprove any supernatural beings).

If you want to believe in something, believe in it, I don't care but don't try to pretend you have evidence either way, because then you are just talking bollocks.
(, Fri 20 Jul 2007, 16:11, archived)
# But....
the point is, is that IF you are looking for an explanation, you don't need a supernatural one. Science provides most of the answers, and can confidently be expected to produce more in the future.
(, Fri 20 Jul 2007, 16:36, archived)
# No....
Science explains how the Universe works, not how or why it is here.

If you are looking for an explanation, you never needed a supernatural one. The belief that the whole thing is just a massively unlikely (almost statistically impossible) sequence of bizarre coincidences* without any spritual reason is just as old as any theistic beliefs. But there's still no evidence for it.

* Which it may well be but also the only possibility that leads to us being here to observe that particular fact - Google the Strong Anthropic Principle.
(, Fri 20 Jul 2007, 16:48, archived)
# who needs a why?
the universe happened, deal with it. The rest is just chance. It may be unlikley to get intelligent life on Earth but the place is big enough....

And incidentally the anthropic principle is based on a load of poor assumptions and dubious maths.
(, Fri 20 Jul 2007, 19:25, archived)
# I suspect Afinkawan...
...has in fact NOT read the book, as the 'it's unfeasibly unlikely' argument is dealt with completely in The God Delusion (and of course by Douglas Adams, with the rather elegantly phrased cereal box about just how big Space is...). The purpose of The God Delusion is not to prove 100% that God does not exist, it is to explain the reasons why a belief in God is so strong and enduring in society, and to put across the scientifically rigorous point of view that it's pretty unlikely that there is a God, and that the common arguments in favour of God are bunk. Dawkins says copiously that there is no proof that God does not exist, but nor could there be such proof. The statement 'X exists' where X is an independent entity is possible to prove but never to disprove (see also abominable snowmen, Harry Potter, planets shaped like Felicity Kendal's bottom, etc...).

Dawkins' point is that a belief in God is arbitrary and baseless, and that we might as well believe that we are remote controlled by giant, undetectable space rabbits. After all, you can't prove we're not...
(, Tue 24 Jul 2007, 13:56, archived)
# There may be no evidence that god doesn't exist
But there's plenty of evidence that the god of the bible/torah/koran doesn't exist. Mountains of it. All three books are scientifically and historically innacurate.

So the only "god" we have left to believe in if we disregard these three books is one we don't know anything about, since by lying outside of the realm of physical evidence, there is nothing upon which to base our idea of him.

We don't even know if he's intelligent or not, or simply a dumb microorganism consisting entirely of fecal matter. There's certainly not intelligent god which interferes with our universe - if there was one, there would be evidence of him interfering.
(, Fri 20 Jul 2007, 15:23, archived)
# Meh
so some books written, edited etc. by the organised religions are inaccurate.

Doesn't prove anything either way. The being could exist but the write up is wrong. Hardly unusual in journalism.

I know we don't know either way. That's what I've been saying.
(, Fri 20 Jul 2007, 16:23, archived)
# You missed the point of the book
Which is that we don't know either way, but it's highly unlikely for there to be an intelligent being involved, since evidence is to the contrary. The only thing the creator needed to do to create the early universe is provide an enormous amount of energy and nothing else. Anything could've done that.

The idea that such a creator is in the image of man is a bit of a bold and presumptive claim on the part of man. Downright chauvanism, in fact.
(, Sun 22 Jul 2007, 13:14, archived)
# Oh for fuck's sake, it's not like he's Gillian McKeith

He's a tenured professor of evolutionary biology at Oxford,

the man's a scientist, the fact that he wrote a book concerned with philosophy does not detract from this.

Nice stream of clever-sounding adjectives by the way, someone swallowed a thesaurus ;)
(, Fri 20 Jul 2007, 12:04, archived)
(, Fri 20 Jul 2007, 12:05, archived)
# It's his pretence
that science presents evidence that God is a delusion that is bollocks. It doesn't.

Yes, he's a trained scientist but scientific training or the lack of it has absolutely fuck all to do with belief in the existence or non-existence of God. Either belief is a statement of faith and nothing more.

Dawkins used to be quite good but he seems to have turned just as bad as the Intelligent Design idiots.
(, Fri 20 Jul 2007, 13:07, archived)
# I disagree
I think the book presents some pretty decent arguments, bearing in mind it's written for the novice or layman.

I don't think he really Does say outright that science presents evidence that proves God is a delusion, I mean, he does say that there is overwhelming evidence against young-earth Creationism, which is a fair point, but his arguments against organized religion are mostly sociological, and his arguments against the existence of God are mostly philosophical.

He does, however say that the emphirical method is the best way of gaining a better understanding of the universe, and that Theism can be an impediment, which I agree with.
(, Fri 20 Jul 2007, 14:39, archived)
# Fair points
and some of the book I agreed with. Young Earth creationism is blatant bollocks.

I just find his ranty anti-religion to be as annoying and meaningless as the ranty (admittedly mostly right-wing American) pro-religion nutters.

Clearly, I agree that emprical method is the best way of gaining an understanding. I disagree that theism hampers scientific progress though. It's a total fallacy that belief in a god and belief in science are mutually exclusive. Only idiots really think that. If God did create the Universe then it was created to run on the things we can observe through science and the study of the Universe can (if you believe in God) easily be seen as a study of that creation. Isaac Newton anybody?
(, Fri 20 Jul 2007, 16:19, archived)
# both theories are bollocks
everyone knows the universe was created by The Flying Spaghetti Monster. www.venganza.org
(, Sat 21 Jul 2007, 9:53, archived)
# you tell 'em, richard
damn santaists
(, Thu 19 Jul 2007, 12:36, archived)
# Heh heh.
(, Thu 19 Jul 2007, 13:07, archived)
# Arf.
Not seen that before.
(, Thu 19 Jul 2007, 13:53, archived)
# Roffles.
Superb :) Wish i'd thunk of that.
(, Thu 19 Jul 2007, 14:51, archived)
# awesome!
(, Thu 19 Jul 2007, 19:08, archived)
# I don't get why this is FP'd.
Why is it funny?

EDIT: Oh, I just noticed the compo theme. Duuuuuuh!
(, Fri 20 Jul 2007, 12:53, archived)
# great stuff, fella, nice FP as well :)
(, Fri 20 Jul 2007, 16:08, archived)
# bit late but woo
(, Fri 20 Jul 2007, 20:55, archived)