In America, atheists are still in the...

In America, atheists are still in the closet

There are 51437 comments on the Spiked story from Apr 11, 2012, titled In America, atheists are still in the closet. In it, Spiked reports that:

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“Think&Care”

Since: Oct 07

Location hidden

#36605 Aug 21, 2012
True Truth wrote:
<quoted text>
So you are telling me, that looking for evidence of a god, entails finding a pattern that can only be explained by "positing an intelligent, deliberative, and potent designer.". <snip>

As an atheist, you should know how ridiculous it is when theists cannot explain things and conclude "God done it!", and yet that is the same criterion you are using when discussing a god.
Wrong. The 'god of the gaps' argument boils down to 'there is no current explanation, so godditit'. What we want is a definite prediction of a future observation that is not explained by the current physical theory and *is* explained by the existence of a creator. That is how we would show the existence of anything else in science, from the Higg's boson, to supersymmetric matter, to a black hole.
"I am an atheist, and I very rarely weigh the odds against the vastness of the universe. Furthermore, I don't know anybody who does." - Well this is a first for me. So tell me, how do you approach abiogenesis?
I frst look at what life is: a collection of intertwined chemical reactions. I then look at what the basic bulding blocks for those reactions are. Then I consider whether those building blocks are available in the universe. Then I see if there are plausible mechanisms for going from the chemicals and reactions we know occur to the chemicals and reactions required for life.
All atheists that I know, argue the odds. They argue that the chances of life arising from non life in any particular place are slim, but considering the vastness of the universe, the billions of stars and solar systems, it is hence theoretically possible that at least at some location, life would arise in this way. That is the common atheist argument.
I would argue slightly differently. The basic building blocks for life are fairly common in the universe: amino acids, sugars, etc. The main question is what the exact environment is that leads to the development of life. At this stage we do not know that piece of the puzzle. But we do know that life developeed very early on this planet.
Atheists don't believe that every single event occurs through chance, but they do believe that life arouse on this particular planet as a result of chance.
No, I believe it arose through the workings of the laws of physics and chemistry. That the appropriate precursors were her eis a matter of chance, but not the development from those precursors.
Even though the laws of physics exist throughout this universe, it is at this particular solar system that the laws resulted in creating a planet suitable for life (as far as we know at this point). And even when the chances of life arising from a particular pool are slim, there were many pools, hence increasing the odds in life's favour. Is that not the general atheist argument? Is that not the general atheist belief?
We do not know what the conditions are for the development of life, so it is impossible to determine the probabilities involved. At this point, the evidence is that it is actually fairly easy to produce life (given how fast it happened on earth), so I would actually *guess* that it is common for bacterial life to exist in other locations.
Renowned atheist, Carl Sagan believed that somehow out of the various lifeless complex molecules, at least one molecule would've begun the process of replication, and thereafter evolved from then on. Is that not basically what you believe? You may state abiogenesis as the cause and technically that would be correct, but its evolution right from then on.
Right, once we have life, we have evolution. it isn't evolution until we have life. Evolution is supported by the evidence even if life got started by divine intervention.

Again, a single molecule will not be alive; it is a system of interacting molecules that maintains homeostasis and can replicate in some environment that is alive.

“Waytogo”

Since: Oct 09

Location hidden

#36606 Aug 21, 2012
Atheist e there belief because christains are so nasty mena evil and vilenet and atheist dont want to be attacked by foaming mouth chisrtiantalibans...
1 post removed

“Life may be sweeter for this”

Since: Nov 08

Fennario

#36608 Aug 21, 2012
http://www.topix.com/forum/religion/atheism/T...
Buck Crick wrote:
That doesn't constitute a "leak". That constitutes taking someone else's mail and posting it on the internet.
If the document says "TOP SECRET and "NOT FOR DISTRIBUTION" on it, and somebody distributes it without permission, that's a leak. Here is the material Aerobatty posted from http://www.seattleweekly.com/2006-02-01/news/...

I haven't seen your comment on its claims that the memo was leaked other than you saying it wasn't. What do you say about the claim that Duss and Rhodes leaked a top secret internal document which contained material that the DI had not previously released, and was not aware was being published publicly?
Buck Crick wrote:
"In 1999 someone posted on the internet an early fundraising proposal for Discovery Institute’s Center for the Renewal of Science and Culture. Dubbed the “Wedge Document,”

"To raise financial support for the Center, Discovery Institute prepared a fundraising proposal that explained the overall rationale for the Center and why a think tank like Discovery would want to start such an entity in the first place. Like most fundraising proposals, this one included a multi-year budget and a list of goals to be achieved."
Can you show us a copy of this fundraising letter? It doesn't seem to exist, according my Google searches, unless somebody is claiming that the Wedge Document itself was a fundraising letter. Clearly, it is not. Those usually begin with a salutation like "Dear yadda," not the word "INTRODUCTION": http://www.churchofvirus.org/virus.1Q99/0510....

“Life may be sweeter for this”

Since: Nov 08

Fennario

#36609 Aug 21, 2012
Buck Crick wrote:
What the Document Actually Says

"First and foremost, and contrary to the hysterical claims of some Darwinists, this document does not attack “science” or the “scientific method.” In fact, it is pro-science.
What the document critiques is “scientific materialism,” which is the abuse of genuine science by those who claim that science supports the unscientific philosophy of materialism."
This description of the Wedge Document above is pure fantasy. The letter announces a frontal assault on science and the scientific method with its stated goal,

"To defeat scientific materialism and its destructive moral, cultural, and political legacies" and "To replace materialistic explanations with the theistic understanding that nature and human beings are created by God"

Buck - these people have zero credibility with skeptics who are aware of all of this. And you tarnish your own credibility arguing for them. It's really a mystery to me why you would fight this battle here any longer.

“ecrasez l'infame”

Since: May 08

Atlanta, Georgia

#36610 Aug 21, 2012
It aint necessarily so wrote:
<quoted text>
... It's really a mystery to me why you would fight this battle here any longer.
Same reason he argued against the Earth being round.

“I see quantum effects”

Since: Jan 11

In the macro world.

#36611 Aug 21, 2012
Buck Crick wrote:
<quoted text>For something that doesn't exist, you have a lot of opinions about it.
Good ones, too.

“I see quantum effects”

Since: Jan 11

In the macro world.

#36612 Aug 21, 2012
Buck Crick wrote:
<quoted text>By showing it was neither "private" nor "leaked".
It sure as hell didn't show up in my mailbox.

“I Am No One Else”

Since: Apr 12

Seattle

#36613 Aug 21, 2012
It aint necessarily so wrote:
<quoted text>
I see order in chemistry. That's why there is a periodic table, and why there is a mathematical treatment of chemistry possible, as with enzyme kinetics: V = Vmax[S]/Km +[S] and stoichiometry: O2 + 2H2 &#8594; 2H2O
What isn't apparent is purpose or intent.
As I pointed out, predictability is not the type of order which demonstrates an intelligent purpose behind it. The type of order which religious people attempt to posit is purpose and design, specifically, like how a building is ordered or how a circuit board is ordered. The form of order that does exist is one of consequence, or as I call it, predictability of how things operate. That is why I say there is no order, I am speaking on what they are defining order as not on the scientific perception of order.

“I Am No One Else”

Since: Apr 12

Seattle

#36614 Aug 21, 2012
True Truth wrote:
<quoted text>
It is not about anthropomorphic arguments for me. I'm not an animist. Your statements about the growing number of unbelievers, as well as religious rituals and laws are of no relevance to what we are discussing. We are discussing the bottom line: Is there something which has caused and propagates life, or has life happened by a freakish event of the convergence of the laws of the universe suitable for life to form? Were these laws created by some kind of creator, or did they conveniently always exist?
That is the bottom line.
You posit a question which you have no evidence to suggest anything either way then assume that you have the answer without that evidence. Science simply does not work like that.

As for the laws of the universe being suitable, that is completely wrong. First, we don't know the possible sets of laws which would allow life, we know the sets of laws in our universe allows for life because here we are. The universe exists as it does because of the laws, the same way clay can be pushed into a mold to take on that mold's shape. Life likely exists in this universe on the same principle, not because of the laws but instead it exists around the laws. Your backward mode of thinking reverses the entire concept of the universe and how nature works. The laws came first, even in your fairy tale that has to happen, then everything else followed. Which means we exist around the laws, the laws were not required for us to exist.

“Wrath”

Since: Dec 10

Is revenant

#36615 Aug 21, 2012
Buck Crick wrote:
<quoted text>
That doesn't constitute a “conspiracy.”
Nixon tried to explain why he was completely innocent too , standing there with his pants around his ankles with a boner.
But we aint falling for a banana in the tail pipe this time knucklehead.

“I see quantum effects”

Since: Jan 11

In the macro world.

#36616 Aug 21, 2012
It aint necessarily so wrote:
<quoted text> http://www.topix.com/forum/religion/atheism/T...

If the document says "TOP SECRET and "NOT FOR DISTRIBUTION" on it, and somebody distributes it without permission, that's a leak. Here is the material Aerobatty posted from http://www.seattleweekly.com/2006-02-01/news/...

I haven't seen your comment on its claims that the memo was leaked other than you saying it wasn't. What do you say about the claim that Duss and Rhodes leaked a top secret internal document which contained material that the DI had not previously released, and was not aware was being published publicly?

Buck Crick wrote, ""In 1999 someone posted on the internet an early fundraising proposal for Discovery Institute’s Center for the Renewal of Science and Culture. Dubbed the “Wedge Document,”

"To raise financial support for the Center, Discovery Institute prepared a fundraising proposal that explained the overall rationale for the Center and why a think tank like Discovery would want to start such an entity in the first place. Like most fundraising proposals, this one included a multi-year budget and a list of goals to be achieved.""

Can you show us a copy of this fundraising letter? It doesn't seem to exist, according my Google searches, unless somebody is claiming that the Wedge Document itself was a fundraising letter. Clearly, it is not. Those usually begin with a salutation like "Dear yadda," not the word "INTRODUCTION": http://www.churchofvirus.org/virus.1Q99/0510....
I get a kick out of this:

"Finally, materialism spawned a virulent strain of utopianism. Thinking they could engineer the perfect society through the application of scientific knowledge, materialist reformers advocated coercive government programs that falsely promised to create heaven on earth."

While Christianity promises that if you wait around long enough, profess faith in Jesus, and somehow abide by obscure and ambiguous ancient goatherder rules, heaven on Earth will just magically happen.

Only on America.
1 post removed

“The eye has it...”

Since: Jan 12

Russell's teapot.

#36618 Aug 21, 2012
Aerobatty wrote:
<quoted text>
I get a kick out of this:
"Finally, materialism spawned a virulent strain of utopianism. Thinking they could engineer the perfect society through the application of scientific knowledge, materialist reformers advocated coercive government programs that falsely promised to create heaven on earth."
While Christianity promises that if you wait around long enough, profess faith in Jesus, and somehow abide by obscure and ambiguous ancient goatherder rules, heaven on Earth will just magically happen.
Only on America.
Whatever random thought that flitters through the grey matter in Buck's head IS America.

But only in Buck's head. That's good.
wolverine

Greeley, CO

#36619 Aug 21, 2012
Move Over Big Bang, Now Some Scientists Suggest a ‘Big Chill’ Created Universe
Posted on August 21, 2012 at 12:41pm by Liz Klimas


Australian scientists are challenging one of the most well-known and widely held theories among physicists about how the universe as we know it formed, saying the Big Bang may have been more like a “Big Chill.”

Theoretical physicists at the University of Melbourne and RMIT University are studying cracks in crystals and ice to support this new theory. ABC News out of Australia explains that the researchers believe that the universe could have arisen from the interaction of tiny particles that cannot be directly observed, but they think there is an indirect way to identify them using the theory of Quantum Graphity.

Here’s more from lead researcher Jason Quach according to the study press release (via Science Daily):


“Ancient Greek philosophers wondered what matter was made of: was it made of a continuous substance or was it made of individual atoms?” he said.“With very powerful microscopes, we now know that matter is made of atoms.”

“Thousands of years later, Albert Einstein assumed that space and time were continuous and flowed smoothly, but we now believe that this assumption may not be valid at very small scales.

“A new theory, known as Quantum Graphity, suggests that space may be made up of indivisible building blocks, like tiny atoms. These indivisible blocks can be thought about as similar to pixels that make up an image on a screen. The challenge has been that these building blocks of space are very small, and so impossible to see directly.”

But Quach and his colleagues believe the particles can be detected indirectly. As the universe cooled, Quach said, structures would form from crystallization into the “three spatial and one time dimension that we see today.” If this is the case, cracks would form as well.


“…similar to the way cracks are formed when water freezes into ice,” Quach said.

RMIT University associate professor Andrew Greentree elaborated on this point saying if this were the case,“light and other particles [bending] or [reflecting] off such defects” would make them visible.

According to the release, the team is calculating some of these effects and, if seen in experiments,“the question as to whether space is smooth or constructed out of tiny indivisible parts will be solved once and for all.”

Paul Wallace in an op-ed for Digital Journal has some thoughts on the theory though. He notes a problem with the theory as to “cooling” given that heat would have had to come from somewhere for a “big chill” to occur. He also writes that this theory supporting that the universe “condensed” is a problem given research that shows it is “now accelerating away from itself at incredible speeds.” Here’s more:


There’s a certain lack of continuity in the article, which starts with Quantum Graphity and cracks in the universe, which form the basis of the condensation theory and its proof, respectively.

Assuming matter and space evolved from quantum or pre-quantum materials and their properties, light can be bent and reflected by other phenomena, to start with. Are there any criteria which specifically identify a crack?

There’s nothing wrong with the idea of cracks as such- even coherent organisms like trees have cracks created by stresses. The other obvious questions are why there should be cracks, and cracks in what form, specifically?
wolverine

Greeley, CO

#36620 Aug 21, 2012
Just Keeping You Scientologists Informed...LOL

Since: May 10

Location hidden

#36621 Aug 21, 2012
polymath257 wrote:
<quoted text>
OK, so we both agree there are physical laws. Why is the additional assumption of a creator required?
Because physical laws, or physical anything, do not appear by magic.

Since: May 10

Location hidden

#36622 Aug 21, 2012
It aint necessarily so wrote:
<quoted text>
<quoted text>
<quoted text>
You didn't do that. You claimed that the Discovery institute published its Wedge Strategy, but not that it hadn't been a "TOP SECRET" internal memo that had already been leaked by Matt Duss and Tim Rhodes around January 1999). What month and year(s) are you referring to here?
<quoted text>
[crickets chirping]
It is not "a top secret internal memo".

It is not an "internal memo" of any kind.

It was a fundraising letter.

It was sent in the mail to potential donors. It contained the same information put out in other forums, conferences, brochures, and books.

That is not a "leak". To characterize it as such is dishonest.

If it was a leak, it was widely distributed and intentional and public.

You ever done any fundraising?

When you send something to potential donors soliciting funds, you try to make them feel they are getting privileged information.

This is a ludicrous charge.

It's almost as good as the Behe supports astrology charge.

Since: May 10

Location hidden

#36623 Aug 21, 2012
polymath257 wrote:
<quoted text>
Wrong. The 'god of the gaps' argument boils down to 'there is no current explanation, so godditit'. What we want is a definite prediction of a future observation that is not explained by the current physical theory and *is* explained by the existence of a creator. That is how we would show the existence of anything else in science, from the Higg's boson, to supersymmetric matter, to a black hole.
<quoted text>
I frst look at what life is: a collection of intertwined chemical reactions. I then look at what the basic bulding blocks for those reactions are. Then I consider whether those building blocks are available in the universe. Then I see if there are plausible mechanisms for going from the chemicals and reactions we know occur to the chemicals and reactions required for life.
<quoted text>
I would argue slightly differently. The basic building blocks for life are fairly common in the universe: amino acids, sugars, etc. The main question is what the exact environment is that leads to the development of life. At this stage we do not know that piece of the puzzle. But we do know that life developeed very early on this planet.
<quoted text>
No, I believe it arose through the workings of the laws of physics and chemistry. That the appropriate precursors were her eis a matter of chance, but not the development from those precursors.
<quoted text>
We do not know what the conditions are for the development of life, so it is impossible to determine the probabilities involved. At this point, the evidence is that it is actually fairly easy to produce life (given how fast it happened on earth), so I would actually *guess* that it is common for bacterial life to exist in other locations.
<quoted text>
Right, once we have life, we have evolution. it isn't evolution until we have life. Evolution is supported by the evidence even if life got started by divine intervention.
Again, a single molecule will not be alive; it is a system of interacting molecules that maintains homeostasis and can replicate in some environment that is alive.
Your argument is abiogenesis occurred because it is easy to produce life because abiogenesis occurred.

It is not easy. Scientists have been unable to come close under controlled, highly managed conditions.

Further, it is not certain the necessary building blocks were present with the primordial earth.

Further still, evolution relies on abiogenesis. The two are inextricably linked. Without a particular conception of abiogenesis, the current Darwinian synthesis breaks down.

That is the reason for the fake bifurcation made between abiogenesis and evolution. It began with Darwin when the theory of spontaneous generation fell apart. He wrote letters expressing his dismay with the damage it did to his theory. So he decided to bifurcate the two publicly, though he knew, and expressed privately, that this was a huge problem.

Since: May 10

Location hidden

#36624 Aug 21, 2012
It aint necessarily so wrote:
<quoted text>
This description of the Wedge Document above is pure fantasy. The letter announces a frontal assault on science and the scientific method with its stated goal,
"To defeat scientific materialism and its destructive moral, cultural, and political legacies" and "To replace materialistic explanations with the theistic understanding that nature and human beings are created by God"
Buck - these people have zero credibility with skeptics who are aware of all of this. And you tarnish your own credibility arguing for them. It's really a mystery to me why you would fight this battle here any longer.
The statement was "to defeat scientific materialism".

Where did you see the assault on the scientific method?

They advocate using the scientific method to counter materialism.

Your paranoia is characteristic of what started the whole controversy.

It was a fundraising letter. That's how the two guys who posted it on the internet got hold of it - THEY SAID IT WAS A FUNDRAISING LETTER! That's how they got hold of it!

Good grief.

The DI also said if the idiot, Barbara Forest, had wanted to know anything more about it - all she had to do was ask them.

She didn't.

That would not have fit the sinister plot.

You people are pathetic.
1 post removed

Since: May 10

Location hidden

#36626 Aug 21, 2012
It aint necessarily so wrote:
http://www.topix.com/forum/rel igion/atheism/TEDTVO26B5QGP1RQ 8/post36598
<quoted text>

Can you show us a copy of this fundraising letter? It doesn't seem to exist, according my Google searches, unless somebody is claiming that the Wedge Document itself was a fundraising letter. Clearly, it is not. Those usually begin with a salutation like "Dear yadda," not the word "INTRODUCTION": http://www.churchofvirus.org/virus.1Q99/0510....
How about we take the word of the bitch who started the whole controversy, Barbara Forest?

Intelligent Design: Creationism’s Trojan Horse - A Conversation With Barbara Forrest

Forest:

"The movement’s 5-, 10- and 20-year goals are outlined in a document on the Internet entitled “The Wedge Strategy.” Informally known as the “Wedge Document,” it was **a fundraising tool** used by the Discovery Institute to raise money for its creationist subsidiary, the Center for the Renewal of Science and Culture (CRSC), which was established in 1996 and is now called the Center for Science and Culture."

Barbara Forest: "...it was a fundraising tool"

"fundraising tool"

Mailed in regular mail, that makes it...

A Fundraising Letter.

Game, set, and match.

Since: May 10

Location hidden

#36627 Aug 21, 2012
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wedge_strategy

According to Phillip E. Johnson, the wedge movement, if not the term, began in 1992:
"The movement we now call the wedge made its public debut at a conference of scientists and philosophers held at Southern Methodist University in March 1992, following the publication of my book Darwin on Trial. The conference brought together key wedge and intelligent design figures, particularly Michael Behe, Stephen Meyer, William Dembski, and myself."

How would a strategy discussed at a public conference in 1992 become a SECRET that was LEAKED in 1999?

1992 was before 1999.(by 7 years)

You people seem to have trouble with dates. Just like Thaxton's book on Intelligent Design in 1984 being an attempt to circumvent Edwards v. Aguillard in 1987.

You need to pay more attention to chronology.

It can be important.

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