Get them before they think and they’ll be here for life.

Child indoctrination, the triumphant strategy to spread a religion

After a brief discussion on gay rights I said to a Catholic acquaintance of mine that if that form of bigotry in which they deny the same rights to a certain group of people is their humanist approach, then I was happy not to be part of said church anymore, to which she responded: “You are a member of the Church from the moment you are baptized, whether you like it or not.”

Her answer made me think about what that meant for their belief system, as it needs to be implanted before the person is capable of rational thinking, they have to get us before we have the faculty of critically analyzing their claims.

They unconsciously knew how hard they’d failed the moment they invented Limbo for unbaptized children, making their parents worried of the kids’ afterlives back when infant mortality rates were sky high, forcing them to get their offspring baptized, adding another number to their annals of saved souls/herd.

But don’t you worry, Limbo has been repealed by the previous Pope, just like that.

If you take a 12 year old kid that has never heard about the Easter Bunny and tell him or her that a rabbit comes a certain day of the Jewish calendar to spread decorated hen eggs or chocolate eggs, he would be skeptical of said claim, but if you tell this to a 4 year old child he or she may believe it for the next 8 or so years; so you better take them while they are young and indoctrinate with something that even adults believe, no matter how impossible it is to be true, before they develop a critical mind.

You can leave the Roman Catholic Church, you only need to fulfill the requirements in the ACTUS FORMALIS DEFECTIONIS
AB ECCLESIA CATHOLICA
which constitutes an act of apostasy, heresy, and schism, but is completely unnecessary unless you’re planning to move to Germany.

How do you know when an ideology is self-defeating?

  • If an ideology needs to be implanted in a mind that cannot comprehend its meaning, the ideology is self-defeating.
  • If an ideology needs to be imposed through the use of violence instead of rationality, the ideology is self-defeating.
  • If leaving the it is considered a crime by the same ideology, it is self-defeating.
  • If an ideology needs to be sustained through faith alone, without a basis on reality or feasible evidence, the ideology is self-defeating.
  • If indoctrination is the main way to convert people to it, denying critical thinking and punishing questioning, the ideology is self-defeating.
  • If apology needs to be taught in order for the people to defend it and rationalize it, the ideology is self-defeating.

The David Wolfe Formula to social media success

You probably have a contact among your Facebook friends that has shared some of Wolfe’s content, as some of it is quite interesting for people who don’t follow fan pages specialized in science and technology, it could be a post about a weather-proof bag, camping equipment made with top-notch technology, a quote, a motivational unfunded phrase with a false analogy as its premise or a way-too-good-to-be-true bag that makes marshmallows out of thin air.
These kind of posts are what make most of his social media posts, and this is not a simple coincidence, by making a seemingly trustworthy page people who don’t usually fact-check what they share get engaged with him and his content, which sooner or later will include some of his pseudoscientific nonsense that made him famous in skeptic circles a few years ago (which we will be referring to as core content), but, as most of his regular content seems to be true and interesting, people that discovered his page through the “other content” will end up accepting the core content without much questioning.
People tend to trust well composed videos and rich multimedia content that is both visually pleasing and easy to understand, that’s why many sites try to sum up studies in 1 minute videos with stock footage of semi-related things to the topic, that’s why David Wolfe keeps taking content from other creators while just adding his watermark.
Yet, convincing people that his content is worth sharing is not his only reason to keep publishing so many unrelated things, Facebook’s algorithm has been changed many times in the last few years, orienting it into a more profit-centered platform, showing a fanpage’s newest post to a fraction of its followers, asking the administrators of said page pay to get the whole exposure, reason enough to get as many people engaged as possible, because the more a person shares or interacts with a page, the more the algorithm will keep feed him/her with the page’s content.

Now it’s activity time, let’s check how well you’ve learned so far by doing the following activity to create your very own pseudoscientific Facebook fanpage, this is all you need:

  1. Videos taken from pages like Futurism with your watermark covering the original and credits removed.
  2. Quotes from famous and successful people.
  3. Poorly interpreted scientific studies that validate what you promote.
  4. Outrageous click-bait articles written by yourself about something that is trending. “How this crystal helps you to get more Pokémon per walked kilometer, the developers cannot believe how efficient this method is, hurry up before they patch it”.
  5. And finally, the post that gets you gullible people’s money, “Did you know that churros are shaped like a 1/11378 of the Earth’s silhouette? You can buy freshly baked non GMO organic churros in here”.

Whooping In Washington

KitsapPeninsulaAreaMap02
In Washington state, here in the United States, pertussis (whooping cough) caused nearly 200 campers to be sent home early after whooping cough prompted the YMCA of Greater Seattle to close the overnight camp on the Kitsap Peninsula. This is yet another dangerous example of the rejection of vaccine uptake. The rise of misinformation and alternative medicine has been increasing and the rejection of science-based modern medicine has been gaining momentum. As we know, vaccines work by stimulating our immune system to produce antibodies (substances produced by the body to fight disease) without actually infecting us with the disease. They trigger the immune system to produce its own antibodies, as though the body has been infected with a disease. There have been many factors leading to this decline: a lot of this has to do with celebrities endorsing fallacious claims; Oprah Winfrey, Dr. Oz, Jim Carrey, Jenny McCarthy, for example. All this was due to a former British Gastroenterologist named Andrew Wakfield and his fraudulent study published in the Lancet articles.

The best way to prevent pertussis (whooping cough) is to get vaccinated. There are vaccines for babies, children, preteens, teens, and adults. The childhood vaccine is called DTaP, and the pertussis booster vaccine for preteens, teens, and adults is called Tdap. Pertussis is a highly contagious bacterial disease. Initial symptoms are usually similar to those of the common cold with a runny nose, fever, and mild cough, followed by weeks of severe coughing fits. After a fit of coughing, a high-pitched whoop sound or gasp may occur as the person breathes in, and may last for 10 or more weeks, hence the phrase “100-day cough”. A person may cough so hard that they vomit, break ribs, or become very tired from the effort. Children less than one year old may have little or no cough and instead have periods where they do not breathe. Infection in newborns is particularly severe.

Pertussis is fatal in an estimated 1.6% of hospitalized US infants under one year of age. First-year infants are also more likely to develop complications, such as: pneumonia (20%), encephalopathy (0.3%), seizures (1%), failure to thrive, and death (1%) perhaps due to the ability of the bacterium to suppress the immune system. Pertussis can cause severe paroxysm-induced cerebral hypoxia, and 50% of infants admitted to hospital suffer apneas. Reported fatalities from pertussis in infants increased substantially from 1990 to 2010. There is no excuse for these kind of vaccine preventable diseases.

Sources:

http://www.thenewstribune.com/news/state/washington/article93698202.html

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pertussis

https://www.cdc.gov/pertussis/

Trust: Authority and Abuse of Power

Originally published on www.answers-in-reason.com Jan 2016

Trusting people is embedded in us from birth. We trust our parents to do everything for us. They are the definitive authority on EVERYTHING.

As we grow older we are taught to respect our elders and to listen to our teachers. Everyone seems to be in a category of “bigger & older = knows better” – and you accept it. Why wouldn’t you? These people have taught you everything you know; to speak, to read, to write, to eat… everything. You trust these people without question, or at least are quickly put down if you do question.

We make choices and follow people, from our parents to religious leaders, based on trust. This is actually quite an issue as to an extent as, at young age, everyone is gullible.

Gullible

“easily persuaded to believe something; credulous.”

We often trust those closest to us enough that we accept without question. As we get older we might start to question things, or learn “Truths” we have been told are not true.

One of the first experiences most in the western world have is learning that Santa Clause is not real. You might have started to not believe it on your own, had your parents tell you, or overheard other people speaking about it. This revelation that Santa Clause is not real can feel like your whole world has dropped away from you. You might start to question other things you know, but more often than not; people accept that it was just a bit of fun whilst they were young and everything else they have been told is still “True”.

Even if you are a cynic you can still be easily persuaded to believe something in the right circumstances.

For example:

Almost a decade ago my first son was born to me. It is amazing how it changes the world for you, and how you will change for your child too. It’s no lie that you will be more emotional, at least where your child is concerned. Unfortunately the way you feel can interfere with the way you think, even to the extent of you losing all rational thought.

We got my boy his vaccinations, but he had a bad reaction to one of them. It was only fever and vomiting for a couple of days but it scared the crap out of us.

His grandmother, from his mother side, used this opportunity to install fear of vaccinations in me. As a leading hypnotherapist and NLP practitioner there is no doubt she could have been manipulating me with persuasion techniques, but the key thing she did was play on my emotions.

Knowing that I quite like science, she spoke about a scientist who had been studying how they can affect the brain. Knowing I been told I had ADHD when I lived in america, she spoke of how a scientist hand linked Vaccination with ADHD. This was just a correlation but at the time I though “I’ve been vaccinated, I’ve got it..” not considering the millions who do not have ADHD but had their shots. She played the conspiracy card, I’d already bought in at this point but this just added fuel to the fire.  She gave me a few names which I researched and looked around at other articles and I found a wealth of information. The thing I forgot in this instance was to research the other side, in fact.. why would I? It would all be lies right?

By this point I had flaming hot belief. I couldn’t be reasoned with. My child was not getting any more poison in his veins!

Looking back I feel so guilty about how I essentially risked his life over an unfounded belief. I’ve forgiven myself, but not forgotten. Every time someone says something this pops up in my mind as a reminder to verify facts before thinking a certain way. The less I know about a topic, the more I should research!

Eventually I started noticing holes in her story. Suddenly it wasn’t ADHD, it was autism. I considered the stance on mercury, and found that there is more mercury in one tin of tuna than most people get in a life time of vaccinations. I consider that we all have small quantities of substances in our body that in large quantities would kill us but in the amount we have they are perfectly benine. Some even are beneficial. I consider that if we drink enough water it can kill us, but we need that for our every day survival. I wonder how a few foreign cells in our body can cause something as significant in our brain as autism.

I start researching. I brush up on vaccines. I find out that the whole autism thing had been debunked and the Doc in question had been banned from practicing medicine. I found that scientist thought it nearly impossible and there was a complete lack of evidence to support vaccines can change us in any way other than enabling us to build the antibody.

I learned about herd immunity. I discovered that not all immunisations were 100% effective, and considered; a condom isn’t 100% effective at preventing disease or seminal transmission but I would take 98% over 0% any day. I learned that some people were too weak to get vaccinations and require the help of those around them, because if they got ill they could die.

It took a while to convince his mother, largely as she was still concerned about his reaction last time, but we got those vaccinations. Better late than never. He was a bit older and we explained why. He was so brave, and gave the lady a cuddle after. She’d never had a child do that to her before. He genuinely got that she was doing what was best for him. That’s that childish trust again. In this instance it was in the right place but critical thinking also needs to be installed!

So yeah, I was very gullible. I put my trust in someone I respected and saw as an athoratitive figure. Someone I actually loved and saw as my second mother. someone who seemed so knowledgeable.

Persuasion

“The action or process of persuading someone or of being persuaded to do or believe something.”

You may think I am a total fool for what I describe above. I will admit to being foolish, but I learned from the experience. You are only a fool if you keep falling in to the same traps.

How was I persuaded? Let’s recap.

  • Trust: I respected her and took what she said to be true without thinking she may be wrong.
  • Fear: Played on emotions. “Damage to your baby” –  Wasn’t thinking straight.
  • Correlation: Related it to something that connected it to me: ADHD
  • Mistrust: conspiracy theory.
  • Confirmation Bias: Only looking at the point that 100% backed up my belief without considering anything else.

Pride

“consciousness of one’s own dignity.”

The hardest thing most people find to do is admitting when they are wrong. This is often due to their sense of pride or fear. How will friends picture them if they were wrong. It is hard enough admitting that you were the one that forgot to take the dog out which is why he messed on the floor, let alone admit that one of your beliefs you have been fighting for and has been molded in to part of you personality was erroneous.

This can keep people peddling the same belief, in fact with a renewed fire. On some level they must perceive that getting other people to believe in it will somehow strengthen their own.

Again, these people abuse their trust.

Correlation

“the process of establishing a relationship or connection between two or more things.”

I briefly touched on correlation in the gullible section. Correlation is a powerful tool that people use to build trust in what they are saying. But what does it really mean?

All it means is you link two things together. Whilst you could link drinking alcohol to having a hangover you also have the evidence of this. Some things that do correlate can lead you to the root cause. They are a great place to start an investigation but you can never take the correlation to be the cause without evidence to actually back it up. Correlation is not causation. Here is a funny little site that puts some great examples of correlation: http://www.tylervigen.com/spurious-correlations

Possibly one of the best linked is this one with a 99.7% correlation rate.

landing on space vs hanging

One of my favorites is this one linking the number of films Nicolas Cage has been in vs Number of people drowned in a pool. This only has a 66% correlation but it does make me giggle.

correlation trust nicolas cage

Neither of the above are actually linked, yet set on a graph in that way it looks like they could be. Graphs seem to make everything seem factual and logical, even in the face of a lack of both.

This is the same as the whole vaccinations causing autism or homosexuals being given rights to marry causing storms. Correlation is not causation.

Not wanting to know

Some people operate purely on a “My friend said” “My friend knows” level. Their trust is totally in someone else and they relay the bite size information they can remember/understand to peak other people’s interest.

People are so desperate to have everything they want handed to them. How many people have you worked with that wanted the promotion but wouldn’t put in any additional work themselves? Or those that won’t learn a new skill by researching and practicing.. no.. they want the company to send them on a course. Why learn for yourself when you can be spoonfed by someone else?

The same can be said for religion, anti-vaxxers, or any similar topic. They barely even want to know or understand the detail of the belief they are fighting for, let alone consider a different opinion. More than once I’ve heard, “I should let my friend explain it to you, she understands the science” or similar.

How can any rational person peddle something they don’t even understand?

Never Know?

Can we ever truly know the truth? Speaking generally, of course not. What we can rely on is evidence and rigorus investigation. You can either choose to get a degree and become a scientist in the field you are interested in, or you can trust things that 99%+ of scientists agree on. Most findings have plenty of articles you can read, all peer-reviewed and mostly objective. You should also make yourself aware of opposing articles. And research as best you can add validity to any claim.

The thing is with science, if anything is ever found to be wrong, they correct their findings. As technology improves so does our knowledge and understanding of ourselves improves. Could we one day find a better alternative to vaccinations? Maybe. At the moment they are the best we’ve got.

Is Faith Just Trust?

An interesting question I asked my self. “Self,” I said, “Is faith just trust?”
I pondered the question. Just, as in fair? Is it fair to have trust in something completely unknown and inconceivably bigger than you? I suppose if it makes you happy… but is it fair to impose that on other people?

Of course, that is not what I was asking myself at all. After blithering on to myself for about 20 minutes I returned to the original question and its true meaning. Is faith just (as in only) trust?

One definition of faith is exactly that: complete trust or confidence in someone or something. Another definition is: strong belief in the doctrines of a religion, based on spiritual conviction rather than proof. But that belief is based on trust. You are trusting that it is true.

One could argue that faith is trust minus evidence. If we think about trust vs faith in a religious sense the I would suggest just that. Faith is trust without any evidence. Trust is learned from experience.

Why do people have faith?

Trust. Do you ever wonder how christian parents seem to have christian babies? Or how Hindu parents have Hindu babies? Sure from time to time one leaves the flock but in general people are the religion they are born in to.

The parent’s belief becomes the child. They know no other side of the story. The threat of eternal punishment is often used to strike fear in the hearts of children. They mught not even question it because they fear that will land them in hell. Sometimes families reject children that reject their relgion. People attach emotions to their faith. Both fear and love. Communities are built round it. And they have their leaders who speak to God and act in his stead.

People in positions of trust persuade people in to their faith in very similar ways to the previous story.

  • Trust: Authoritative figures, parents/priest/vicar/etc
  • Emotions: Fear and Love. (in some instances hatred)
  • Confirmation Bias: The bible is true because it says its true in the bible. Only taking time to read/understand things that back up your belief.
  • Mistrust: Anyone telling you your faith is a lie is an agent of the devil! (Conspiricy!)
  • Pride: Can’t admit when wrong “On some level they must perceive that getting other people to believe in it will somehow strengthen their own”
  • Logic: Erroneous Abductive Logic

Never Know?

We’ll never know, at least until we are dead, in fact even then we might not know because the likely hood is; there is nothing.

Is it worth worrying about? If you live your life doing good things to be good, rather than just because you think it will get you into some paradise after you die, doesn’t that make you a better person? Doing good, “just ‘cos”.

Faith in the face of evidence leaves us with people that think the world is flat and only 6000 years old.

We may never know if there is a God or not, all we have got is evidence. Most people don’t get to choose their religion, they are thrust in to it. However for a critical thinker do you think atheism is a choice?

Who should you trust?

“…when all their words turn to dust” – S. Payne

When it comes to someone making a claim, in all honesty; no one. Not even yourself. You may think you know, but you don’t know you know till you verify it.  I would try to surround yourself with people who think critically. Anyone can be drawn off at any time, but with enough critical thinkers around you there should always be enough fresh thought to keep you going.

Whilst you may grow to trust in many people, always stay objective until you have fully researched something yourself. Make objective decisions based on evidence, logic, and reason.

 

David Ian Livingtone

A Beginner’s Guide to David Avocado Wolfe

https://www.facebook.com/SkridjetPersonal/videos/1347400945289579/

 

I put this video together because I don’t think enough people truly understand who and what David Avocado Wolfe is. He has somehow amassed over 7,000,000 Facebook followers, and I’m sure many of those followers aren’t aware that they’re essentially supporting dangerous ideas that border lunacy. Some may argue that he’s just a guy who has strange beliefs and we should leave him alone, but the ideas he pushes become hazardous and have real-world consequences when he starts giving ‘medical advice’ to people who are suffering from diseases that require real medical treatment.

Daniel Bennett of AAPN has also written a great article that completely dismantles David’s claims on salt.

#DontCryWolfe

——————————————————–

Here is a great explanation on the David Avocado Wolfe phenomenon.

Here is another great article on David Wolfe.

——————————————————–

Video clips taken from:

JonasSunshine

Chris Rathouz

——————————————————–

Music: CFCF – Oil

Enough With The 9/11 Conspiracy Theories!

 

Some facts and figures for conspiracy theorists

 

•1 Inertia is a bitch, a fully loaded jumbo jet slammed into a tower at high speed dead center and at an angle; so the structural stability of the building was already compromised.

hqdefault

•2 The steel doesn’t have to melt, although jet fuel doesn’t burn hot enough to melt steel, the higher the heat the higher the plasticity of the metal; thus increasing structural instability.

twin-towers

•3 There was plenty of structure above the point of impact that was still being supported, which equals a lot of weight above the point of impact.

maxresdefault

•4 Time, with all these factors at play, the longer the fire burned, the more the structure became unstable.

•5 The perfect storm: with everything that happened to the tower, the tower catastrophically failed and the weight of the structure being supported above the impact site came down. The collapsing building acted like a zipper which is why the buildings fell in the fashion they did.

WTC-041

•6 The reason windows were blowing out below the collapsing building was due to differential pressure from air compression.

weststreet.jet.b


So no, this is easily explained by science…

Any questions? If not, class is dismissed…

#infowars #truthers #AlexJones #ConspiracyTheories #ItsAConspiracy

Logic, And Why God Isn’t The Answer

Originally published by our friends at www.answers-in-reason.com Jan 10 2016

I have come across many different types of believers in my time. Those that believe because of Indoctrination, those that believe because of fear, those that believe because of personal experiences, and many more. But the one thing that I struggle with understanding more than any other are those that believe that God is the logical conclusion, otherwise intelligent people who genuinely believe that a belief in the supernatural god is logically sound.

I have to assume that this is because of a misunderstanding of logic itself. Just because you have intellectually justified something, does NOT mean that it was done so through logic.

To demonstrate this, I will guide you through the three different types of logic first, and then explain why God cannot be the conclusion for them.

Deductive:

Deductive Logic is the most accurate way of finding a definitive answer. It is looking at a complete set of information that unquestionably points to a specific answer.

For Example: I have left a chocolate cake alone in a room with my son. I have locked the door when I left, and there are no windows in the room. When I return, the cake is gone, the room is clean, my son has chocolate crumbs around his mouth, and a stomach ache from a sugar crash.

In this example there is enough evidence to point to only one answer. My son has definitely eaten the cake.

Inductive:

Inductive Logic is a good way of predicting results, but is not definitely right. It is looking at an incomplete set of information, but that is enough to indicate a pattern from which we can estimate other results.

For Example: I have repeated the example from the Deductive Logic section several times, and the result has always been the same. I repeat the actions again. I leave my son locked in a room with a chocolate cake. As I approach the door I can hear him moaning in pain on the other side.

In this example it is entirely reasonable for me to induce that my son has eaten the cake again. But the important difference is that I don’t actually know. He may have fallen over, or had a sudden onset of Appendicitis.

Abductive:

Abductive logic is another way of figuring out what is likely, but not necessarily true. It is making an observation, and working out the simplest answer to fit.

For Example: Similarly to the original example, I have left a cake in a room, but this time I have left the door unlocked. When I return i see my son hurrying away from the door, and find that the cake is gone.

In this example the simplest solution is that my son has eaten the cake, and hurried away so as to not get caught. But there is no way of proving this with the information that is available at the time.

And now why God cannot be the reasonable conclusion for any of these.

Deductive:

For God to be the conclusion for Deductive Logic, we would have to have an amount of evidence that CANNOT be attributed to anything else. The evidence would have to point to God as the ONLY possible solution.

Inductive:

For God to be the conclusion for Inductive Logic, we would have to have empirical evidence of the supernatural. For a supernatural entity to be the conclusion through Inductive Logic, there has to be proof of enough supernatural happenings or entities to indicate a pattern.

Abductive:

For God to be the conclusion for Abductive Logic, it would have to answer more questions than it raises. Where this may have been the case in the past, in times when science hadn’t answered so many of the fundamental questions that we have, it is certainly not the case anymore.

Conclusion:

You may be able to find a way, as a Theist, to intellectually justify your belief in God. But PLEASE stop saying it is logical. It isn’t. You are doing a disservice to logic, and you are doing harm to your own intelligence in the eyes of people who know how logic works.

Kriss Pyke

Trust: Authority and Abuse of Power

Originally published Jan 14 2016 on www.answers-in-reason.com

Trusting people is embedded in us from birth. We trust our parents to do everything for us. They are the definitive authority on EVERYTHING.

As we grow older we are taught to respect our elders and to listen to our teachers. Everyone seems to be in a category of “bigger & older = knows better” – and you accept it. Why wouldn’t you? These people have taught you everything you know; to speak, to read, to write, to eat… everything. You trust these people without question, or at least are quickly put down if you do question.

We make choices and follow people, from our parents to religious leaders, based on trust. This is actually quite an issue as to an extent as, at young age, everyone is gullible.

Gullible

“easily persuaded to believe something; credulous.”

We often trust those closest to us enough that we accept without question. As we get older we might start to question things, or learn “Truths” we have been told are not true.

One of the first experiences most in the western world have is learning that Santa Clause is not real. You might have started to not believe it on your own, had your parents tell you, or overheard other people speaking about it. This revelation that Santa Clause is not real can feel like your whole world has dropped away from you. You might start to question other things you know, but more often than not; people accept that it was just a bit of fun whilst they were young and everything else they have been told is still “True”.

Even if you are a cynic you can still be easily persuaded to believe something in the right circumstances.

For example:

Almost a decade ago my first son was born to me. It is amazing how it changes the world for you, and how you will change for your child too. It’s no lie that you will be more emotional, at least where your child is concerned. Unfortunately the way you feel can interfere with the way you think, even to the extent of you losing all rational thought.

We got my boy his vaccinations, but he had a bad reaction to one of them. It was only fever and vomiting for a couple of days but it scared the crap out of us.

His grandmother, from his mother side, used this opportunity to install fear of vaccinations in me. As a leading hypnotherapist and NLP practitioner there is no doubt she could have been manipulating me with persuasion techniques, but the key thing she did was play on my emotions.

Knowing that I quite like science, she spoke about a scientist who had been studying how they can affect the brain. Knowing I been told I had ADHD when I lived in america, she spoke of how a scientist hand linked Vaccination with ADHD. This was just a correlation but at the time I though “I’ve been vaccinated, I’ve got it..” not considering the millions who do not have ADHD but had their shots. She played the conspiracy card, I’d already bought in at this point but this just added fuel to the fire.  She gave me a few names which I researched and looked around at other articles and I found a wealth of information. The thing I forgot in this instance was to research the other side, in fact.. why would I? It would all be lies right?

By this point I had flaming hot belief. I couldn’t be reasoned with. My child was not getting any more poison in his veins!

Looking back I feel so guilty about how I essentially risked his life over an unfounded belief. I’ve forgiven myself, but not forgotten. Every time someone says something this pops up in my mind as a reminder to verify facts before thinking a certain way. The less I know about a topic, the more I should research!

Eventually I started noticing holes in her story. Suddenly it wasn’t ADHD, it was autism. I considered the stance on mercury, and found that there is more mercury in one tin of tuna than most people get in a life time of vaccinations. I consider that we all have small quantities of substances in our body that in large quantities would kill us but in the amount we have they are perfectly benine. Some even are beneficial. I consider that if we drink enough water it can kill us, but we need that for our every day survival. I wonder how a few foreign cells in our body can cause something as significant in our brain as autism.

I start researching. I brush up on vaccines. I find out that the whole autism thing had been debunked and the Doc in question had been banned from practicing medicine. I found that scientist thought it nearly impossible and there was a complete lack of evidence to support vaccines can change us in any way other than enabling us to build the antibody.

I learned about herd immunity. I discovered that not all immunisations were 100% effective, and considered; a condom isn’t 100% effective at preventing disease or seminal transmission but I would take 98% over 0% any day. I learned that some people were too weak to get vaccinations and require the help of those around them, because if they got ill they could die.

It took a while to convince his mother, largely as she was still concerned about his reaction last time, but we got those vaccinations. Better late than never. He was a bit older and we explained why. He was so brave, and gave the lady a cuddle after. She’d never had a child do that to her before. He genuinely got that she was doing what was best for him. That’s that childish trust again. In this instance it was in the right place but critical thinking also needs to be installed!

So yeah, I was very gullible. I put my trust in someone I respected and saw as an athoratitive figure. Someone I actually loved and saw as my second mother. someone who seemed so knowledgeable.

Persuasion

“The action or process of persuading someone or of being persuaded to do or believe something.”

You may think I am a total fool for what I describe above. I will admit to being foolish, but I learned from the experience. You are only a fool if you keep falling in to the same traps.

How was I persuaded? Let’s recap.

  • Trust: I respected her and took what she said to be true without thinking she may be wrong.
  • Fear: Played on emotions. “Damage to your baby” –  Wasn’t thinking straight.
  • Correlation: Related it to something that connected it to me: ADHD
  • Mistrust: conspiracy theory.
  • Confirmation Bias: Only looking at the point that 100% backed up my belief without considering anything else.

Pride

“consciousness of one’s own dignity.”

The hardest thing most people find to do is admitting when they are wrong. This is often due to their sense of pride or fear. How will friends picture them if they were wrong. It is hard enough admitting that you were the one that forgot to take the dog out which is why he messed on the floor, let alone admit that one of your beliefs you have been fighting for and has been molded in to part of you personality was erroneous.

This can keep people peddling the same belief, in fact with a renewed fire. On some level they must perceive that getting other people to believe in it will somehow strengthen their own.

Again, these people abuse their trust.

Correlation

“the process of establishing a relationship or connection between two or more things.”

I briefly touched on correlation in the gullible section. Correlation is a powerful tool that people use to build trust in what they are saying. But what does it really mean?

All it means is you link two things together. Whilst you could link drinking alcohol to having a hangover you also have the evidence of this. Some things that do correlate can lead you to the root cause. They are a great place to start an investigation but you can never take the correlation to be the cause without evidence to actually back it up. Correlation is not causation. Here is a funny little site that puts some great examples of correlation: http://www.tylervigen.com/spurious-correlations

Possibly one of the best linked is this one with a 99.7% correlation rate.

landing on space vs hanging

One of my favorites is this one linking the number of films Nicolas Cage has been in vs Number of people drowned in a pool. This only has a 66% correlation but it does make me giggle.

correlation trust nicolas cage

Neither of the above are actually linked, yet set on a graph in that way it looks like they could be. Graphs seem to make everything seem factual and logical, even in the face of a lack of both.

This is the same as the whole vaccinations causing autism or homosexuals being given rights to marry causing storms. Correlation is not causation.

Not wanting to know

Some people operate purely on a “My friend said” “My friend knows” level. Their trust is totally in someone else and they relay the bite size information they can remember/understand to peak other people’s interest.

People are so desperate to have everything they want handed to them. How many people have you worked with that wanted the promotion but wouldn’t put in any additional work themselves? Or those that won’t learn a new skill by researching and practicing.. no.. they want the company to send them on a course. Why learn for yourself when you can be spoonfed by someone else?

The same can be said for religion, anti-vaxxers, or any similar topic. They barely even want to know or understand the detail of the belief they are fighting for, let alone consider a different opinion. More than once I’ve heard, “I should let my friend explain it to you, she understands the science” or similar.

How can any rational person peddle something they don’t even understand?

Never Know?

Can we ever truly know the truth? Speaking generally, of course not. What we can rely on is evidence and rigorus investigation. You can either choose to get a degree and become a scientist in the field you are interested in, or you can trust things that 99%+ of scientists agree on. Most findings have plenty of articles you can read, all peer-reviewed and mostly objective. You should also make yourself aware of opposing articles. And research as best you can add validity to any claim.

The thing is with science, if anything is ever found to be wrong, they correct their findings. As technology improves so does our knowledge and understanding of ourselves improves. Could we one day find a better alternative to vaccinations? Maybe. At the moment they are the best we’ve got.

Is Faith Just Trust?

An interesting question I asked my self. “Self,” I said, “Is faith just trust?”
I pondered the question. Just, as in fair? Is it fair to have trust in something completely unknown and inconceivably bigger than you? I suppose if it makes you happy… but is it fair to impose that on other people?

Of course, that is not what I was asking myself at all. After blithering on to myself for about 20 minutes I returned to the original question and its true meaning. Is faith just (as in only) trust?

One definition of faith is exactly that: complete trust or confidence in someone or something. Another definition is: strong belief in the doctrines of a religion, based on spiritual conviction rather than proof. But that belief is based on trust. You are trusting that it is true.

One could argue that faith is trust minus evidence. If we think about trust vs faith in a religious sense the I would suggest just that. Faith is trust without any evidence. Trust is learned from experience.

Why do people have faith?

Trust. Do you ever wonder how christian parents seem to have christian babies? Or how Hindu parents have Hindu babies? Sure from time to time one leaves the flock but in general people are the religion they are born in to.

The parent’s belief becomes the child. They know no other side of the story. The threat of eternal punishment is often used to strike fear in the hearts of children. They mught not even question it because they fear that will land them in hell. Sometimes families reject children that reject their relgion. People attach emotions to their faith. Both fear and love. Communities are built round it. And they have their leaders who speak to God and act in his stead.

People in positions of trust persuade people in to their faith in very similar ways to the previous story.

  • Trust: Authoritative figures, parents/priest/vicar/etc
  • Emotions: Fear and Love. (in some instances hatred)
  • Confirmation Bias: The bible is true because it says its true in the bible. Only taking time to read/understand things that back up your belief.
  • Mistrust: Anyone telling you your faith is a lie is an agent of the devil! (Conspiricy!)
  • Pride: Can’t admit when wrong “On some level they must perceive that getting other people to believe in it will somehow strengthen their own”
  • Logic: Erroneous Abductive Logic

Never Know?

We’ll never know, at least until we are dead, in fact even then we might not know because the likely hood is; there is nothing.

Is it worth worrying about? If you live your life doing good things to be good, rather than just because you think it will get you into some paradise after you die, doesn’t that make you a better person? Doing good, “just ‘cos”.

Faith in the face of evidence leaves us with people that think the world is flat and only 6000 years old.

We may never know if there is a God or not, all we have got is evidence. Most people don’t get to choose their religion, they are thrust in to it. However for a critical thinker do you think atheism is a choice?

Who should you trust?

“…when all their words turn to dust” – S. Payne

When it comes to someone making a claim, in all honesty; no one. Not even yourself. You may think you know, but you don’t know you know till you verify it.  I would try to surround yourself with people who think critically. Anyone can be drawn off at any time, but with enough critical thinkers around you there should always be enough fresh thought to keep you going.

Whilst you may grow to trust in many people, always stay objective until you have fully researched something yourself. Make objective decisions based on evidence, logic, and reason.

David Ian Livingtone

Debunking Summary of Scientific Evidence for Creation (Part I & II) Duane Gish, Ph.D.

Debunking Gish
Prof Duane Gish

Originally published at www.answers-in-reason.com Jan 2016

I do dislike sharing links from such sites as www.icr.org and www.answersingenesis.org but for the purposes of this, and the debunking other articles, it is unfortunately unavoidable. The article I would like to address in this article is http://www.icr.org/article/summary-scientific-evidence-for-creation/

I guess firstly I should introduce you to Duane Tolbert Gish, Ph.D.

For a person with a Ph.D, I would expect better, but when a person will turn his back on the scientific method and make claims he cannot support while putting forward arguments in debate and citing it as scientific then we have a problem. He has a worldview which he promotes and will stoop to new levels to try to this worldview in with science. We have all heard of the Gish Gallop technique of bombarding your debating opponent with far too much information to debunk thereby swamping them with too many rebuttals to present, often the information are half truths, if they even make it to being a truth at all. The term was coined by Eugenie Scott of the National Center for Science Education, named after our friend Prof Gish. It seems Duane knew his comments would not stand up to scrutiny so he would make a comment and not dwell on it.

Gish is well known in debating circles for several huge gaffs:

  • Claiming there are no fossil precursors to the dinosaur Triceratops (despite obvious precursors such as Protoceratops being well-known since the 1920s). Gish made other similarly incorrect statements about the fossil record, including claims about transitional forms, the fossil record for birds and the status of Archaeopteryx.[5][6]
  • Claiming that Solly Zuckerman had access to modernknowledge of Australopithecus yet still stated they were not ancestors of Homo sapiens — Zuckerman’s original conclusions were based on evidence available before the Lucy fossil was discovered, revolutionising the field of physical anthropology.
  • Claiming that Neanderthals were modern humans, “fully human Homo sapiens just like you and me,” which is false given the morphological difference between modern humans and Neanderthals. (Well, the “homo sapiens” part is false; Neanderthals were fully human, just not the same species of human as us)
  • Claiming that evolution by natural selection is rendered impossible by the second law of thermodynamics.
  • Claiming that the dinosaur Parasaurolophus used its distinctive crest as a mixing chamber for breathing fire.

Source: http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Duane_Gish

Another one worth mentioning is his “Bullfrog Affair”.

The Bullfrog Affair itself starts with the KPBS production, “Creation vs Evolution:  Battle in the Classroom”, which aired 7 July 1982.  After Dr. Doolittle related his story of the chimpanzee blood proteins, Dr.Duane Gish responded:  “If we look at certain proteins, yes man then, it can be assumed that man is more closely related to a chimpanzee than other things.  But, on the other hand, if you look at certain proteins, you will find that man is more closely related to a bullfrog than he is to a chimpanzee.  If you focus your attention on other proteins, you’ll find that man is more closely related to a chicken than he is to a  chimpanzee.”  This was immediately followed by Dr. Doolittle’s response, “Oh bullfrog!I’ve heard that gibberish before, I have to tell you.” This was the first recorded use of “Bullfrog” that I am aware of.  Then Doolittle indicated abook full of amino acid sequences from thousands of proteins taken from many hundreds of species and offered Gish all his worldly belongings, a ’63VW and half a house, if Gish could find just one protein in chickens or bullfrogs that is more closely related to human proteins than chimpanzee proteins.     Robert Schadewald, then Minnesota Committee of Correspondence liaison andpresently editor of _NCSE Reports_ (formerly _Creation/Evolution Newsletter_)watched that show.  Since Gish’s claim sounded like nonsense, he checked it outwith a few biochemists, who had never heard of such proteins.  So Schadewald started a three-year-long quest for Gish’s source. Doolittle responded to Schadewald’s letter with extensive documentation for his statements about human and chimpanzee proteins.  Requests for Gish to dolikewise were met with evasion, obfuscation, and silence.

As far as I know Gish did not respond to requests before his death other than saying he will present relevant documentation to support his claim, but such documentation has never actually surfaced.

Source: http://cre-ev.dwise1.net/bullfrog.html

Poisoning the well, ad hominem I hear you cry but in all honesty merely alerting the good readers as to the lengths this guy will go to in order further the creationist cause.

Let us now dive in to Gish’s Summary of Scientific Evidence for Creation(SOSEFC).

“The creation model is at least as scientific as the evolution model, and is at least as nonreligious as the evolution model.”  Duane Gish

The problem with this is they start with a premise that there is a creator deity. They then take known scientific facts such as the sudden expansion of our universe and try to work backwards using retrodictive techniques to align this with scripture. This is not science. This is the opposite of science and a technique I have seen employed by Islamic charlatans like Zakir Naik. A vile practice.

To compare that with an actual scientific theory, which has been worked on for 150 years and which has been added to and finally supported by the quite recent science of gene mapping. That is DNA evidence, the same type of evidence used to show familial ties in court rooms globally now shows familial ties between us and our fellow primates. The fossil record ties in nicely and supports predictions made by the modern model of evolution.

Gish goes on to say, “The scientific model of creation, in summary, includes the scientific evidence for a sudden creation of complex and diversified kinds of life, with systematic gaps persisting between different kinds and with genetic variation occurring within each kind since that time. “

Kinds? I fail to find anywhere in my biology textbooks the mentions of kinds. Phylogeny and taxonomy may still be debated topics in the real science world but to mention the biblical kinds makes a mockery of biology.

“The creation model questions vertical evolution, which is the emergence of complex from simple and change between kinds, but it does not challenge what is often called horizontal evolution or microevolution, which creationists call genetic variation or species or subspecies formation within created kinds.“

From this I see deflection from the creation “theory” and an attempt to discredit the theory of evolution. They are agreeing with parts of the theory they cannot argue against, admitting evolution happens but then try to employ the micro and macro argument. The problem is that macro evolution is supported by the fossil record. Creationists in my experience tend to gloss over the fossil record and completely ignore the various dating methods which work independently of each other and support each other

We can also explain vertical evolution and the adding of information in DNA, gene duplication explains this perfectly.

Back to the claims of Gish:

The Universe and the Solar System Were Suddenly Created.

The First Law of Thermodynamics states that the total quantity of matter and energy in the universe is constant. The Second Law of Thermodynamics states that matter and energy always tend to change from complex and ordered states to disordered states. Therefore the universe could not have created itself, but could not have existed forever, or it would have run down long ago. Thus the universe, including matter and energy, apparently must have been created. The “big-bang” theory of the origin of the universe contradicts much physical evidence and seemingly can only be accepted by faith.1 This was also the case with the past cosmogonies theories of evolutionists that have been discarded, such as Hoyle’s steady-state theory. The universe has “obvious manifestations of an ordered, structured plan or design.” Similarly, the electron is materially inconceivable and yet it is so perfectly known through its effects,” yet a “strange rationale makes some physicists accept the inconceivable electrons as real while refusing to accept the reality of a Designer.” “The inconceivability of some ultimate issue (which will always lie outside scientific resolution) should not be allowed to rule out any theory that explains the interrelationship of observed data and is useful for prediction,” in the words of Dr. Wernher von Braun, the renowned late physicist in the NASA space program.

Ahhhh, the beautiful Physics, much more my preferred flavour of science.  I am not sure when this was first presented by Gish but recently Prof. Mir Faisal of the University of Toronto showed using Inflation Theory and Double Special Relativity how the universe could have come from the spontaneous appearance of a single virtual particle. Mir Faisal is a creationist but an honest one.

Also the laws of physics only come in to play a Planck unit of time after the sudden expansion. The laws of thermodynamics cannot be quoted and meaningfully to pre-big bang to say it could not have happened. No rules means anything goes. We observe the spontaneous appearance of virtual particles in a vacuum with no apparent creator involved so Gish is very much falling foul of presupposition of a deity without reason to assume one. As far as we can tell one is simply not needed. At the time of writing this was also most likely an argument from personal ignorance.

As for the big bang being faith based, if it were not for the cosmic background radiation, our universe expanding from a single point in all directions and red shift then this may be true, however we do have those facts so it is silly to claim no physical evidence. I can only call it a lie, relying on the gullible to just accept his claim.

He goes on to mention the apparent order in the universe. We can look firstly to Douglas Adams Puddle analogy to refute this claim;

“This is rather as if you imagine a puddle waking up one morning and thinking, ‘This is an interesting world I find myself in — an interesting hole I find myself in — fits me rather neatly, doesn’t it? In fact it fits me staggeringly well, must have been made to have me in it!’ This is such a powerful idea that as the sun rises in the sky and the air heats up and as, gradually, the puddle gets smaller and smaller, frantically hanging on to the notion that everything’s going to be alright, because this world was meant to have him in it, was built to have him in it; so the moment he disappears catches him rather by surprise. I think this may be something we need to be on the watch out for.”

― Douglas AdamsThe Salmon of Doubt

And again Gish relies on presupposition of a creator without actually showing one to exist. Simply fallacious. Now you can quote fallacy fallacy however we can show no deity needed so in this instance pointing out the fallacious nature of his argument which he needs to do to support his worldview is perfectly justified.

He is correct however that the universe is at a pretty perfect level in every way for it to exist as it is…. Think about it for a second, if it was not at the balanced state it is what would there be, either no universe because it could not sustain itself or the universe would simply be different. But it is not different and it does exist, that just shows it is how it is and doesn’t collapse on itself. It does not mean it MUST have a designer.

Life Was Suddenly Created.

Life appears abruptly and in complex forms in the fossil record,2 and gaps appear systematically in the fossil record between various living kinds.3 These facts indicate that basic kinds of plants and animals were created. The Second Law of Thermodynamics states that things tend to go from order to disorder (entropy tends to increase) unless added energy is directed by a conversion mechanism (such as photosynthesis), whether a system is open or closed. Thus simple molecules and complex protein, DNA, and RNA molecules seemingly could not have evolved spontaneously and naturalistically into a living cell;4 such cells apparently were created. The laboratory experiments related to theories on the origin of life have not even remotely approached the synthesis of life from nonlife, and the extremely limited results have depended on laboratory conditions that are artificially imposed and extremely improbable.5 The extreme improbability of these conditions and the relatively insignificant results apparently show that life did not emerge by the process that evolutionists postulate.

How does fossilisation occur?

When animals, plants and other organisms die, they typically decay completely. But sometimes, when the conditions are just right, they’re preserved as fossils. Several different physical and chemical processes create fossils, according to the New York State Geological Survey.

Freezing, drying and encasement, such as in tar or resin, can create whole-body fossils that preserve bodily tissues. These fossils represent the organisms as they were when living, but these types of fossils are very rare.

Most organisms become fossils when they’re changed through various other means.

The heat and pressure from being buried in sediment can sometimes cause the tissues of organisms — including plant leaves and the soft body parts of fish, reptiles and marine invertebrates — to release hydrogen and oxygen, leaving behind a residue of carbon.

This process — which is called carbonization, or distillation — yields a detailed carbon impression of the dead organism in sedimentary rock.

The most common method of fossilization is called permineralization, or petrification. After an organism’s soft tissues decay in sediment, the hard parts — particularly the bones — are left behind.

Source: http://www.livescience.com/37781-how-do-fossils-form-rocks.html

Considering this we are lucky to have the thousands of fossils which we have now. It is not a simple process. What we do have are transitional fossils. Now I would argue that each new generation born is a transitional form from the last but it is very difficult to see the tiny changes. In  fig 1 below you can however see transitional skull fossils showing the transition of a forward breathing nostril to a mid skull breather to finally the recognisable nostril of the modern dolphin and whale.

Debunking Gish

fig 1

I see another argument from ignorance with regards to RNA and DNA and complex proteins not being able to evolve, He is not wrong because that is not the claim of science. Prof Jack Szostak winner of the 2009 Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine and Professor of Genetics at Harvard Med, Prof of Chemistry and Chemical Biology at same, Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Alex. A. Rich Distinguished Investigator, and member of Department of Molecular Biology, Massachusetts General Hospital would show how life could begin.

Oh an appeal to authority booms from the voice boxes of the theist throng – Well yes it is and for good reason. He is just that. And my appealing to his authority does not refute nor debunk his work on abiogenesis. I would love for you to give over 9 minutes of your time to watch this simple video from the Origins collection, The Origin of Life.

Other Molecular biologists speak out here

And probably the biggest breakthrough to date, self replicating RNA forms in lab which is recreating old earth environment . I can only guess these experiments were not carried out by the time of Gish’s publishing this pamphlet.

Also he calls molecular biologists “Evolutionists”. How uncouth, pandering to an audience and trying to cast dispersions through a fabricated title.

All Present Living Kinds of Animals and Plants Have Remained Fixed Since Creation, Other than Extinctions, and Genetic Variation in Originally Created Kinds Has Only Occurred within Narrow Limits.

Systematic gaps occur between kinds in the fossil record. None of the intermediate fossils that would be expected on the basis of the evolution model have been found between single celled organisms and invertebrates, between invertebrates and vertebrates, between fish and amphibians, between amphibians and reptiles, between reptiles and birds or mammals, or between “lower” mammals and primates. While evolutionists might assume that these intermediate forms existed at one time, none of the hundreds of millions of fossils found so far provide the missing links. The few suggested links such as Archoeopteryx and the horse series have been rendered questionable by more detailed data. Fossils and living organisms are readily subjected to the same criteria of classification. Thus present kinds of animals and plants apparently were created, as shown by the systematic fossil gaps and by the similarity of fossil forms to living forms. A kind may be defined as a generally interfertile group of organisms that possesses variant genes for a common set of traits but that does not interbreed with other groups of organisms under normal circumstances. Any evolutionary change between kinds (necessary for the emergence of complex from simple organisms) would require addition of entirely new traits to the common set and enormous expansion of the gene pool over time, and could not occur from mere ecologically adaptive variations of a given trait set (which the creation model recognizes).

Nope!!

Speciation experiments have shown this is just not true in real time experiments.

Gaps in the fossil record are to be expected but to say there are no transitional fossils between the types mentioned is the biggest lie so far. Here is a list to peruse.

// The few suggested links such as Archoeopteryx and the horse series have been rendered questionable by more detailed data.// Citation needed please good professor!!

Stating gaps means a sudden creation is weak to say the least, there are gaps yes but this was explained earlier in this article. Because of the process involved we are lucky to have the evidence in the fossil record which we have.

In the Fruit fly speciation link I provided we can see new information was acquired and later generation of fruit fly grew 2 extra sets of wings

Mutation and Natural Selection Are Insufficient To Have Brought About Any Emergence of Present Living Kinds from a Simple Primordial Organism.

The mathematical probability that random mutation and natural selection ultimately produced complex living kinds from a simpler kind is infinitesimally small even after many billions of years. Thus mutation and natural selection apparently could not have brought about evolution of present living kinds from a simple first organism. Mutations are always harmful or at least nearly always harmful in an organism’s natural environment.9 Thus the mutation process apparently could not have provided the postulated millions of beneficial mutations required for progressive evolution in the supposed five billion years from the origin of the earth until now, and in fact would have produced an overwhelming genetic load over hundreds of millions of years that would have caused degeneration and extinction. Natural selection is a tautologous concept (circular reasoning), because it simply requires the fittest organisms to leave the most offspring and at the same time it identifies the fittest organisms as those that leave the most offspring. Thus natural selection seemingly does not provide a testable explanation of how mutations would produce more fit organisms.

Here we have a misrepresentation of probabilities. It may have been unlikely but not impossible.

As for survival of the fittest, another strawman. It need not be the fittest but the best adapted.

Man and Apes Have a Separate Ancestry.

Although highly imaginative “transitional forms” between man and ape-like creatures have been constructed by evolutionists based on very fragmentary evidence, the fossil record actually documents the separate origin of primates in general, monkeys, apes, and men. In fact, Lord Zuckerman (not a creationist) states that there are no “fossil traces” of a transformation from an ape-like creature to man. The fossils of Neanderthal Man were once considered to represent a primitive sub-human (Homo neanderthalensis), but these “primitive” features are now known to have resulted from nutritional deficiencies and pathological conditions; he is now classified as fully human.15 Ramapithecus was once considered to be partially man-like, but is now known to be fully ape-like.16 Australopithecus, in the view of some leading evolutionists, was not intermediate between ape and man and did not walk upright. The strong bias of many evolutionists in seeking a link between apes and man is shown by the near-universal acceptance of two “missing links” that were later proved to be a fraud in the case of Piltdown Man (Eoanthropus) and a pig’s tooth in the case of Nebraska Man (Hesperopithecus).

Yes there have been some hoaxes, but who was it that discovered the hoaxes, the very “evolutionists” Gish tries to discredit. Corrections were made and the truth shown. 1 or 2 hoaxes do not mean all human ancestry fossils are hoaxes. Dishonest to make out they are. Each one must be taken and assessed on its own merits. That is science Prof Gish

I would also point you back once again to the fused chromosome peer review I posted earlier which proves ape ancestry and familial ties between homo sapien  and other primates

The Earth’s Geologic Features Were Fashioned Largely by Rapid, Catastrophic Processes that Affected the Earth on a Global and Regional Scale (Catastrophism).

Catastrophic events have characterized the earth’s history. Huge floods, massive asteroid collisions, large volcanic eruptions, devastating landslides, and intense earthquakes have left their marks on the earth. Catastrophic events appear to explain the formation of mountain ranges, deposition of thick sequences of sedimentary rocks with fossils, initiation of the glacial age, and extinction of dinosaurs and other animals. Catastrophism (catastrophic changes), rather than uniformitarianism (gradual changes), appears to be the best interpretation of a major portion of the earth’s geology. Geologic data reflect catastrophic flooding. Evidences of rapid catastrophic water deposition include fossilized tree trunks that penetrate numerous sedimentary layers (such as at Joggins, Nova Scotia), widespread pebble and boulder layers (such as the Shinarump Conglomerate of the southwestern United States), fossilized logs in a single layer covering extensive areas (such as Petrified Forest National Park), and whole closed clams that were buried alive in mass graveyards in extensive sedimentary layers (such as at Glen Rose, Texas). Uniform processes such as normal river sedimentation, small volcanoes, slow erosion, and small earthquakes appear insufficient to explain large portions of the geologic record. Even the conventional uniformitarian geologists are beginning to yield to evidences of rapid and catastrophic processes.1

Again a misrepresentation. The palates of the earth shift which causes changes on the surface, hance why mountains grow a matter of inches in 1 year. For sure catastrophic events have an impact on physical features of the planet but Gish makes out that these are the only events which shape our planet. For sure in some areas such as Joggins, Nova Scotia there were floods but that does not prove a global flood. It just show that yes there were floods in Joggins.

The Inception of the Earth and of Living Kinds May Have Been Relatively Recent.

Radiometric dating methods (such as the uranium-lead and potassium-argon methods) depend on three assumptions: (a) that no decay product (lead or argon) was present initially or that the initial quantities can be accurately estimated, (b) that the decay system was closed through the years (so that radioactive material or product did not move in or out of the rock), and (c) that the decay rate was constant over time.20Each of these assumptions may be questionable: (a) some nonradiogenic lead or argon was perhaps present initially;21 (b) the radioactive isotope (uranium or potassium isotopes) can perhaps migrate out of, and the decay product (lead or argon) can migrate into, many rocks over the years;22 and (c) the decay rate can perhaps change by neutrino bombardment and other causes.23 Numerous radiometric estimates have been hundreds of millions of years in excess of the true age. Thus ages estimated by the radiometric dating methods may very well be grossly in error. Alternate dating methods suggest much younger ages for the earth and life. Estimating by the rate of addition of helium to the atmosphere from radioactive decay, the age of the earth appears to be about 10,000 years, even allowing for moderate helium escape. Based on the present rate of the earth’s cooling, the time required for the earth to have reached its present thermal structure seems to be only several tens of millions of years, even assuming that the earth was initially molten.24 Extrapolating the observed rate of apparently exponential decay of the earth’s magnetic field, the age of the earth or life seemingly could not exceed 20,000 years.25 Thus the inception of the earth and the inception of life may have been relatively recent when all the evidence is considered.

There are so many dating techniques available to science now. Many work independently of the other and when they all come to the same conclusion it is fair to say we can supply accurate dates. None of which point to a young earth theory being even close to being correct.

Gish concludes: “There is scientific evidence for creation from cosmology, thermodynamics, paleontology, biology, mathematical probability, geology, and other sciences.”
“There are many scientists in each field who conclude that the scientific data best support the creation model, not the evolution model.”

My conclusion:

Prof Gish, at no point have you actually shown a creator or designer deity. You still assume one because of your incredulity of the universe. This is simply the cart before the horse. Fallacy follows fallacy. The appearance of design can be explained and does not mean a deity MUST exist. Not by a country mile. You appeal to population argument yet 98% of American scientists say evolution happen. Clearly you are guilty of cherry picking argumentum ad populum when suits your cause. I find this most dishonest

The evidence from cosmology and various other branches of the sciences do not prove a deity. In fact science removes the hand of a god with every new breakthrough. No longer do we assign demonic possession to a person that fits and suffers seizures. No longer do we sacrifice virgins to the angry volcano god. We understand the tides and need no longer hope Neptune will not send a wave to take a ship and we know that doing a rain dance will serve no purpose.

What established and respected scientific journal has ever passed a paper or article which shows a god exists? None…

You know why????

Alan the Atheist

The Hamza Tzortiz handbrake u-turn on scientific miracles in quran

The Hamza Tzortiz handbrake u-turn on scientific miracles in quran

Originally published on www.answers-in-reason.com March 2016

 

I was more than shocked having recently read Hamza Tzortiz’s essay stating:

Regrettably, the scientific miracles narrative has become an intellectual embarrassment for Muslim apologists, including myself.

Full paper can be read by clicking here

I take my hat off to his honesty. I respect the effort he actually put into his essay in putting forth the arguments against scientific miracles in quran:

There are an array of reasons of why the above expressions of the scientific miracles are problematic and incoherent. These include,

  1. The Fallacy of the Undistributed Middle

  2. Inaccurate History

  3. Teleology of the Qur’ānic Verses

  4. Scientism, the Problem of Induction and Empiricism

  5. “Unscientific” Verses

  6. Miracles, Simplicity and A Note on Qur’ānic Exegesis

I hope he has not received any negativity and especially the violent rhetoric afforded to people that speak out on such matters as this is a massive statement to make considering he was such a high profile advocate and apologist for the scientific miracles in quran since its publication in 2013.

A short bio on Tzortiz:

Hamza Andreas Tzortzis was born 21st September 1980. He is an international lecturer who has lectured in many universities including USA, Australia, Netherlands, Malaysia, Canada and Lebanon. The lecturer has authored many books and articles on his personal blog. As a debater he has debated many popular professors including Professor Lawrence Krauss, Professor Simon Blackburn, Professor Ken Gemes and Professor and Dan Barker. Hamza heads up a team called iERA,(Islamic Education and Research Academy).

As honest as Tzortiz has been, his group are still selling a publication called The Man in the Red Underpants. In this publication is stated:

Actually what is remarkable about the Quran is not only that it does not contain any contradictions , but in fact it seems to be making statements about history, theology, philosophy, law and the natural world that defies a normal human explanation..

The pamphlet goes on to talk about, inter alia, the Big Bang Theory, embryonic development and plate tectonics and concludes,

It is easy to understand how the Creator would know about the common origin of the universe, the details of embryonic development and that mountains have roots but it is not easy to explain how Muhammad managed to include the information in the Qur’an unless we accept his claim to be a Messenger. It would seem that accepting this would be the most sensible thing for a rational, sincere person to do.

In my opinion this publication needs to be revised to no longer include this. This has been for too long an argument used and still used by imam in the mosque or parent to child or proselytiser, and the bane of my life, the internet debater with no knowledge of the science they are attempting to talk about. Oh and lest we not forget Zakir “The Snake” Naik.

scientific miracles in quran

A New Approach

Ohhhh, things seemed to be going so well until Tzortiz mentions his new approach. That being:

How to articulate this in a simple way

For those concerned on how to articulate this in a simple way I suggest a simple step process:

1. When talking about Divine revelation speak about:

  • the fact that there are historical statements that are mentioned in the Qur’ān were not known at the time

  • the linguistic and literary miracle of the Qur’ān

  • the fact that Qur’ān is preserved

  • the meaning and message of the Qur’ān

  • the Qur’ān’s concept of God

  • other remarkable features of the Qur’ān

I believe the same logic applied by Tzortiz can be levelled at the historical statements which are claimed could not be known. Why stop there Hamza?

I don’t get the linguistic part. there is a part where Muhammed is asked to write a divinely inspired poem. It is rubbish. It keeps repeating the same line over and over again. This to me is the nature of the quran. Lots of filler statements regarding allah repeated over and over and over and over and over and over.

The meaning and message of quran is much like, in fact almost cargbon copy of the fire and brimstone god of the Old Testament.

His concept is straight out of OT also.

Remarkable features? Not sure what they could be. Islamic rhetoric!!

Effects of his essay

It speaks volumes that its greatest proponent will make such a statement however it seems very little positive effects because of this, apart from Tzortiz making things right publicly with the scientific community. The debates mention quran’s scientific miracles still flow. His book is still available to download with no revision. The imams still preach it from the mosques and the young minds are still fed it at home and in madrassa. The islamic world seems to either have not noticed their chief proponent has made this u-turn or choose to ignore it. Why on earth would they do that?

Is islam that weak that they can not embrace the fact that the quran contains no scientific miracles?

I wonder whether the punishment for apostasy would apply to someone that was duped into accepting islam on the back of these purported miracles and have lost faith because they are no longer to be considered miracles? Also I got no apology for those duped or misled.

All in all an effort was made but really a half assed attempt. We want an apology, we want a fatwah exempting anyone that leaves islam on the back of this revelation and we need the Red Underwear publication revised!! Until then my hat firmly replaced on my head and tipped gently to all readers….

You may wish to check out this article published on www.answers-in-reason.com a short while ago http://answers-in-reason.com/religion/islam/is-the-quran-perfect/ as well as the other great articles produced here at www.thescientificatheist.com

Wishing you all a godless and logic based March 2016

Alan The Atheist