There were a lot of angry and critical attempts to post this week; this is only a small selection. But my epidermis is thick, and sloughs them off.
Reader “William” comments on “The Jesus Delusion” (about Don McLeroy and his claim of 500 witnesses to the Resurrection).
The poor scoffers will never be able to explain away the empty tomb. It must be a real headache for them 😦
What empty tomb? Archaeologists have never found one, and I’ve never fretted about it for a second.
Reader “Neil” commented on “Confused science writer claims that atheists might not exist”
I’m confused why atheists would choose to bring a child into this life when they would only die in 70 or 80 years. At worse, a child could live a life of suffering with something like heart disease or depression. If there’s no purpose in life, what’s the purpose of reproducing? It seems just too cruel.
I’m confused about why religious people would choose to bring a child into this life given that it is likely to burn forever in the afterlife. As for “no purpose in life,” that’s the usual blatantly false claim that “purpose” can come only from God. We make our own purposes. In fact, as anyone knows, having children can be an immensely gratifying experience. Part of that gratification, of course, comes from evolution! All of our evolved morphology, physiology, and behavior was shaped to one end: leaving copies of our genes. That is why people strive to copulate so ardently (the orgasm is, of course, an evolved neurological device to promote reproduction, but we wily humans have short-circuited it), and why, to a large extent, they want children so badly and get such satisfaction by having them.
Reader “Jason J” commented on “Another creationist drops by to show that there’s no evidence for evolution“. In that post, I countered a reader’s creationist arguments by claiming that he (“Steve”) was “blinded by faith.” Jason’s response:
“He’s blinded by faith.”
Isn’t that the truth.
“For we live by believing and not by seeing. Yes, we are fully confident, and we would rather be away from these earthly bodies, for then we will be at home with the Lord. So whether we are here in this body or away from this body, our goal is to please him. For we must all stand before Christ to be judged. We will each receive whatever we deserve for the good or evil we have done in this earthly body.” (2 Corinthians 5:7-10 NLT)
I hope this message reaches someone looking for answers. Look around you. God’s people are at work each day, are we blind to how many millions of people are spreading God’s word just as he commanded? Are we blind to the millions of missionaries feeding, clothing and caring for the underprivileged? Are we blind to God’s beauty? Just look at the night sky or the way the sunset dances on the mountains. Most of all, how long will we stay blinded to his grace? He has already forgiven us, we need only repent. Isn’t that the hard part though? We’re human. We should know everything right? We should know how we came into existence, how our bodies formed with nature to provide us with a justification for our godlessness. After all, if heaven is real, then we have a lot to account for. My friends, admitting I’m wrong is the hardest thing for me to do, but it lifts a weight off my shoulders. Christ is the only way, and once you choose the path of righteousness in your heart, you will positively never be the same. If you prayed right now, “Jesus, come into my heart. Forgive me of my sins. Empty all of me and fill me back up.” what could it hurt? Jesus wants a relationship with you, if you would just for one second let go of your pride. Just stop and think of your eternity.
In Jesus’ name.
I’m not sure where Jason has admitted he’s wrong! The telling statement here is “if heaven is real. . .”. Well, what’s his evidence for that? I’ll believe in heaven if Jason can give me some real evidence for that paradise that isn’t based on wish-thinking, revelation, or dogma. What makes him think he’s right and that Jews, who don’t believe in Heaven, are wrong?
In Ingersoll’s name.
Reader “Max” commented on “Burger King introduces a “gay pride” burger, Christians worried that believers may consume one inadvertently”
SHAMESHAME on all of you QUEER basturds – You should be on your knees begging all mighty GOD for forgivness not crowing on this web site
This is all about a gay pride hamburger wrapper, for crying out loud! If haters and homophobes such as Max could just live their lives as a gay person for a week or so, perhaps they’d realize that it isn’t a “sinful choice,” but some form of internal imperative. Perhaps then they’d take a a different view. Or isn’t it pretty to think so?
Reader “Anon” commented on “David Berlinski makes an ass of himself defending intelligent design”
Psalms 10:7 “His mouth is full of curses and deceit and oppression; Under his tongue is mischief and wickedness.”
Jerry, it seems like you have built a group of emotional haters and scoffers with no foundation. I Pray for You good sir 🙂
As Dan Dennett said, I’d much prefer the sacrifice of a goat (followed by a nice goat curry) than ineffectual prayer. As for “emotional haters and scoffers,” well, yes, we despise and scoff at false, delusional, and malicious beliefs (see Max above). But there’s plenty of foundation, to wit: no good evidence for God or the truth claims of Christians.
Reader “Cliff Claven” (you’ll remember that as the name of the postman on the t.v. show “Cheers”) commented on my post “Dead genes for tooth enamel“, which reported findings of nonfunctional, vestigial genes for tooth enamel in animals that either lacked teeth or lacked tooth enamel. That is, of course, evidence of evolution from animals with enameled teeth:
This is all a great proof of devolution. It turns Darwin’s tree of life upside down and puts the more complex and complete prototypical forms at the top, with many tendrils of decaying forms branching down to the modern era where life limps along with bullet-ridden DNA, full of scar tissue and missing many functional genes that blessed antecedent life forms. If the ancient forms are superior to the modern forms, that poses a greater challenge as to origins.
And on the topic of tooth enamel, the teeth of neanderthal skeletons exhibits superior enamel density and folding. Neanderthals were also larger in size with modern proportions and larger brain cases. The genetic and morphological evidence is that modern humans are devolved, inferior forms.
The university of California at Santa Cruz has done some interesting work documenting loss of many genes in primates and humans.
The Occam’s Razor solution to fitting the genomic and phylogenetic timeline puzzle together in the most straightforward fashion is to start with order and complexity (i.e., low entropy) and progress downward to data loss and corruption (i.e., high entropy). This argument is especially strong when one realizes that speciation arises from loss of genetic diversity, not gain. It is the loss of countervailing genes that unmasks and increases the expression of those that remain, an effect which is multiplied in reproduction, particularly in small breeding populations with already limited genetic diversity.
Here is a fellow who knows almost noting about evolution, for he ignores the increase in complexity over evolutionary time in many lineages. Yes, of course genes have been “lost”, but many, many genes have been gained, including those genes that arise and diverge via gene duplication and selection: genes for globins, genes for the immune system, and so on. Drosophila workers, who have a great genetic toolkit, are only beginning to find out the large number of genes that arise de novo: not simply via duplication, but via snipping and fusing different parts of the DNA. Further, why do those “lost” genes remain in the genome, for that certainly testifies to evolution! There is no other explanation for why humans have three inactivated genes for making egg-yolk protein, or why cetaceans have hundreds of inactive olfactory-receptor genes, which helped their land-living ancestors smell.
As for speciation resulting from the loss of genetic diversity, the man is simply, flatly, embarrassingly, dead wrong. Speciation via allo- or autopolyploidy arises when new genetic information is incorporated into a population through hybridization. As for “small breeding populations,” some species do arise beginning that way, including those colonizing distant islands and evolving subsequently; but we have no evidence at all that their loss of genetic diversity has anything to do with the reproductive isolation that characterizes speciation. Rather, that isolation comes from natural selection producing new traits: new male features and female preferences, adaptation to new ecologies, other forms of selection that cause genes to diverge in ways that make hybrids inviable or sterile, and so on. We now know of many genes involved in reproductive isolation, and I can’t think of any case in which loss of genetic information is involved in speciation.
Of course, this fellow is only parroting his religious party line: we can’t have the creation of genetic novelty, but we can have de-evolution, which, of course resulted from the Biblical Fall.
Reader “Winston Smith” (you’ll remember that that was the name of the main character is George Orwell’s 1984) had a short but sweet comment on my post about “Eben Alexander’s bogus trip to heaven”, about the neurologist’s “heaven” experience when unconscious from meningitis:
typical foul mouthed atheist
When you have no arguments, criticize your opponent’s tone.
And, just to show that atheists can be foul-mouthed too (something you should already know if you frequent certain websites), here’s one that didn’t make it through for using profanity and making no new points at all. Reader “Fuck You” commented on “Afghani mullah rapes ten-year-old girl; family wants to kill her“:
Fuck. These. People. I’m so sick and tired of these religious fucktards. That’s exactly what they are. They believe in this bullshit scripture telling them that they are apparently ‘God’s chosen ones’. Well, guess what? You’re not. There is no god, you stupid fucking cunts. Get your heads out of your arses and study science. There is no god and you are not important in the grand scheme of things. You do not get to dictate other people’s lives, you pretentious fucking dickwads.
I’m suggesting that this person go proffer his comments on Pharyngula, where he—I’m assuming it’s a male—can participate in the general scatalogical merriment and suggest rude actions with porcupines.
Reader “Milan” forever lost his/her posting privileges by telling me not to post about religion in a comment on “Ken Ham calls U.S. space program a waste, since the Bible tells us that alien life doesn’t exist (and would be damned anyway)”
Who gives a crap what bronze age goat herders and their lunatic advocates of today say about anything…stop giving them media attention.
Well, those lunatic advocates are causing harm, and if we ignore them, they’ll just get stronger. I suppose one could have said the same thing to Martin Luther King about the southern segregationists (not that I’m anything like Dr. King!). People don’t realize that shutting up about religion, particularly if you see it as inimical—as “Milan” apparently does—is just enabling its persistence.
But of course saying what I should or shouldn’t post about is generally a banning offense, so Milan sings with the choir invisible.