Critique of the book "Why there is no God" by Armin Navabi
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Oh no, not the "Evolution is only a theory" bullshit ... this tiresome piece of creationist crap has been fed into the shredder so often, it's now reduced to its constituent quarks ...
That's the advantage of a "street" Roman Catholic education like Fergie's.
He recognises the word "theory" but has no inkling of the difference between the common usage of "theory" and a Scientific Theory.
He is also way too fucking ignorant and way to smug to actually look it up.
@ old man shouts...
Ain't that the truth, though what I always find telling is when you encounter creationists like Breezy who know the difference they are content to let other creationists embarrass themselves using this moronic creationist canard. What does that say about them having any integrity or objectivity.
Fergie seems like the type of person to stupid and lazy to educate themselves, so they sneer at other. Pathetic.
Of course, one of the delicious ironies applicable here, is that the Roman Catholic Church has issued a public statement to the effect that it accepts the scientific findings of evolutionary biologists. It has no problem with the theory of evolution. For example, we have the address by Pope John Paul II to the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, dated 22nd October 1996:
The original address, presented in the French language, can be read here, courtesy of the Vatican website.
As a corollary, Ferguson's peddling of creationist canards, purportedly as a result of his asserted adherence to Catholic doctrine, actually makes him a heretic, and as a corollary, he is a candidate for excommunication. The 1983 Code of Canon Law specifically states that excommunication is automatically applied in the case of apostates, heretics and schismatics. From the English translation of the original Latin document we have:
The original Latin text reads as follows:
 Code of Canon Law, Book VI, Latin Original, hosted by the Vatican website (www.vatican.va)
 Code of Canon Law, Book VI, English translation, also hosted by the Vatican website
I suspect many here will enjoy this ...
Oh, and while there is much upon which I may have disagreed with Pope John Paul II, it's a credit to him to see him, in that address, acknowledge the concept of consilience, and how that concept strengthens the case for valid scientific theories.
@Ferguson: Evolution by natural selection is one more such theory. It is only a theory.
Only a theory? So are the theory of gravity and the germ theory. The word "theory" indicates that they have been demonstrated countless times to be valid and useful.
On the other hand, I've never heard of the "god theory of creation" or the "god theory of the afterlife". The word "myth" is more appropriate for these strange ideas.
Of course, those of us who have read actual scientific papers on the subject, are aware of such developments as Motoo Kimura's neutral theory, within which he devised a molecular test to determine if positive selection, purifying selection or neutral drift had been the primary driver of a gene's evolution. So much for Ferguson's mendacious attempt to dismiss evolution as some sort of made up guess, in the same tiresome manner we've seen in the past from various duplicitous ideological stormtroopers for creationist lies.
And, if required to do so, I can present the relevant papers.
Chapter 2: Proof of God
This chapter is too stupid, but I shall humble myself to comment.
True, «Just because something is written in a book does not mean that is true» says Armin.
The same thing holds true for your university books. The fact that a book says that John Conway created the game of life means nothing to me.
You might argue that the game of life was actually carried out in a laboratory, but not by you and yet you BELIEVE it.
You have no first-hand evidence about the game of life yet you believe it.
You don't get it.
Some people have had the near-death experience. Only some, not all. It doesn't happen to everybody and those who had it cannot provide evidence supporting their claims.
What you miss is that those people could not care less what science has to say about it.
They experienced near-death and they are sure about it and that is all that matters, whether phoney science agrees or not.
Scholars, as usual, do not agree whether evangelists really met Jesus but, with their usual bad faith, atheists take for granted what is convenient to them.
In addition: God does not exist, evangelists made up their stories but, lo and behold, the Gospel works. I can testify. And I could not care one bit what science has to say.
Who is science? Who can say that science is the ultimate referee of everything that happens in the world? It simply is the most absurd claim I have ever heard in my life.
Armin continues like this: «when the scripture can't even come to a consensus about a simple fact like the date of Jesus's crucifixion, it's difficult to accept the accounts as being historically accurate, much less divinely inspired». Hahaha, as if science had always come to a consensus on everything. You people are simply ridiculous. First look at yourselves!!
You atheists are also of various beliefs. WHO ARE YOU TO JUDGE? First tidy up your house and then come and criticize us believers.
Apart from the fact that the Bible is not a science book, not a history book, only a spiritual book that does not in any way need to be accurate in names and dates. No one seems to be able to get this into your dumb heads. First find a cure for cancer then and only then come triumphantly and argue about religious achievements.
The other evidence atheists are too stupid to understand is that science and religion are two completely different things. Science deals wiuth natural phenomena and religion deals mainly with the inner life. There is absolutely no sense at all in the idea that science should judge religion. Religion comes from the Latin word «reliare» which basically means relationship with God. Now tell me what science has to do with that.
You have your own skeletons in the cupboard. In the old days doctors tried to cure everything with purges and leeches. Why! if even today medicine cannot cure a simple cold. Can science cure malaria? Yet malaria has been around for donkeys years.
Science or no science society's aims are sex, money, success and power. True religion has nothing to do with that: Jesus did not start a political party, did not want to be crowned king of the Jews, went against the establishment and died young and in poverty on the cross.
As Albert Camus said, and I agree, against society the only right attitude is that of the rebel.
I doubt very much that, if Jesus had not existed and the Gospels were made up by ignorant fishermen, Christianity wuld have managed to attract such a big chunk of the world. It makes no sense. Even today, after all the mistakes and crimes of the Church, 2 billion people respect the Christian religion (although they do not practice).
In addition, the language of science cannot be grasped by the common human being. The language of religion can.
The language of science attracts only a small minority, since it talks about things that the ordinary man has no use for (how many people read The Lancet?). The language of religion talks about things that happen to humans every day, their anguish, their problems, their hopes, their wish to give meaning to life. All this cannot even slightly brush your minds, so cluttered with all that can help destroy religion.
A crime is committed, there are only two witnesses. The judge will, accept the witnesses accounts after careful consideration and the criminal will go to jail. It is as simple as that. We don't need science to come and complicate things enormously with all its absurd hair-splitting.
Another disjointed rant, without a single word of text offered or rebutted, and of course replete with all the worst canards in the apologists arsenal. It seems ferguson doesn't know that eye witness testimony is notoriously unreliable, and has condemned countless innocent people, one more thing to add to the long long list of things he is ignorant of.
Science deals in objective facts fergie, and religion deals in risible unevidenced superstitious fantasies and myths, told for the weak, the ignorant, the brainwashed and the gullible, and you can rant all you like this won't change the truth to validate your archaic superstition.
Now one more time since you're evading it, what objective evidence can you demonstrate for any deity?
"Just because something is written in a book does not mean that is true"
This is a quote you should have tattooed into the insides of your eyelids so you never forget that fundamental truth.
For the same reason I do not easily accept a Spiderman comic, a Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings book, I do not accept the bible on face value.
For christians, everything is built on just one unevidenced and unproven book, the bible. It cannot be challenged, it can not be changed no matter what the external evidence demonstrates.
Fortunately for science, everything must be supported by peer review and links to other scientific disciplines. And if new evidence indicates something is incorrect, it will be altered (for example, the discovery this universe is accelerating in it's expansion).
"Just because something is written in a book does not mean that is true".
Fuck yes fergie, that is the only thing you have stated that makes sense and I also support.
@Ferguson1951: This chapter is too stupid
But it's your chapter. It was started by you, and it's all about you.
The judge will, accept the witnesses accounts after careful consideration and the criminal will go to jail. It is as simple as that.
If you're ever accused of a crime, you'd better hope it's not "as simple as that". You'd better hope that the judge and jury listen to expert testimony about fingerprints, DNA, CTV recordings, etc. If you decide, as you might, to plead insanity, you'll need expert testimony from another set of graduates. As for witnesses, human perceptions and memory are notoriously fallible. But I suppose as long as they've sworn on the Bible you'll be happy to accept everything they say.
"You might argue that the game of life was actually carried out in a laboratory, but not by you and yet you BELIEVE it.
You have no first-hand evidence about the game of life yet you believe it.
You don't get it."
In your haste you dismiss the "Game of Life", you did not learn anything about this process. A ten year old child with piece of paper and pencil can "play" this cellular automaton in exactly the same manner two children could play "Battleship". A twelve year old could write a computer program for Game of Life.
Fergie, your level of ignorance is self-imposed, and you are embarrassing yourself. It appears that almost everyone else in this world can grasp this "game' and enjoy and learn from it.
Re: "Chapter Two" by Fergie
Amazing how one can read a chapter, not quote anything understandable yet dismiss it as nonsense.
This is hardly a review of a book, or even a page of it. Rather it is an hysterical and attempted justification of a rabid theists cognitive dissonance.
Puerile fucking nonsense demonstrating a complete ignorance of history, the historical method, and scholarly opinion. If the writer had put one hour of effort into researching the 'history' of the gospels and the complete absence of evidence for an historical jesus figure and the events allegedly surrounding his very brief presence, then his opinion should be different.
That his 'opinion' is merely a parroted prejudiced defence of a criminal organisations view of christianity and its very much edited and revised history is evident. It is writ large in every post.
OP's post probably belongs in the Book Review section.
"OP's post probably belongs in the Book Review section."
I respectfully disagree Cog. That would seriously tarnish anyone who contributed to that section. We need to petition the mods to create a new section "Insane rants by very stupid people" where this babble deserves to be located.
And, we see yet again, the dumping of soiled intellectual nappies on the forum, courtesy of our supposed exiting supernaturalist who couldn't resist the temptation to come back and spread his cortical darrhoea all over the place.
First of all, the assertion that there actually exist such entities as "supernatural" entities, is the very assertion the rest of us have been waiting for 5,000 years to see supported with genuine evidence by supernaturalists. But instead, we are treated to yet more blind assertions, fatuous apologetic fabrications, and appeals to the intellectual evasion that is "faith".
This mendacious troll, sneers at science, a discipline that has provided evidence for its postulates by the supertanker load, whilst engaging in propagandising for mythology-based drivel that is not only totally bereft of proper evidential support, but frequently presents assertions that are known not merely to be wrong, but fatuous and absurd. Assertions such as that festering pile of donkey faeces in Genesis 30:37-39, which was utterly destroyed in the 19th century by an Austrian monk.
Plus, the anti-consensus objection is entirely valid, because, contrary to our troll's blatant lies on the subject, science has arrived at a consensus on a vast array of topics, though of course he's never bothered either to read the relevant scientific papers, or even pick up elementary textbooks on the subject. The mere fact that he regurgitated in past posts, such suppuratingly encephalitic rectal scrapings as "The Big Bang was an explosion", or "evolution is only a theory", provides the observational data pointing inexorably to this conclusion.
Apparently, our verminous little troll is incapable of understanding key elementary concepts, such as this one:
In science, a theory is an integrated explanation for a class of entities and interactions of interest, that has been tested experimentally to determine its accord with observational data, and found via such testing to be thus in accord.
As a corollary, a theory in science is about as far removed from "guesswork" as it's possible to be. Consequently, only idiots, the duplicitous, or those who are both, peddle the "only a theory" bullshit before a properly educated audience. Let's see if this lesson will be learned, shall we?
Furthermore, the idea that a body of text presented as purportedly constituting some fantastic brand of "privileged" knowledge, does not have to pay diligent attention to historical or scientific accuracy, is a diseased notion that only a supernaturalist terminally addled by mythology addiction could possibly espouse. The WHOLE FUCKING POINT HERE is that errors of this sort automatically place the asserted provenance of the requisite text in serious doubt. Yet, with breathtaking hypocrisy, he points to the fact that some problems addressed by science are hard problems, requiring decades of diligent research to solve, as purportedly constituting a valid reason for summary dismissal of the entire enterprise. The combination of mendacity and chutzpah endemic to this blatant double standard is wrought upon a truly cosmic scale. Likewise, the blatant hypocrisy involved in quoting failed early attempts at medicine, when science was still in its infancy, as a purported reason for summary dismissal of the entire enterprise, whilst ignoring the later manifest and stupendous successes once knowledge had advanced sufficiently, again constitutes a level of duplicity that only a supernaturalist could display while keeping a straight face.
As for the contents of The Lancet not being of interest to the rest of us, I assure you they are of interest to those who seek to have their illnesses cured.
Oh, and the notorious unreliability of "witness testimony" is one reason why courts of law in modern jurisdictions prefer evidence that is reliable, such as forensic evidence. For example, an individual accused of rape in a modern court of law, can easily counter purported "witness testimony" that he was responsible, by  presenting in court CCTV footage placing him several miles away from the crime scene at the time the crime was committed, and  DNA evidence that the sperm swabbed from the victim with a rape kit contained someone else's DNA. The moment he does this, a "not guilty" verdict immediately follows if the court is competent.
Returning to the "no consensus" objection, it's actually even worse for supernaturalism than this. Because supernaturalists have been unable to agree with each other on a global scale, which of the numerous mythologies they've invented is purportedly the "right" mythology, and adherents of a given mythology cannot agree with each other what that mythology is purportedly telling us. The anti-consilience in supernaturalism is rampant, and should be seen by everyone who paid attention in class, as merely one of many sound reasons to dismiss the entire supernaturalist circus. The presence of fatuous and absurd assertions in mythologies is another.
I'll also address here the hypocrisy endemic to the "science cannot address this matter" assertion, by noting how supernaturalists assert that their imaginary magic men are observable when it's apologetically convenient (e.g., peddling assertions about purported "miracles"), but when the rest of us ask why this entity ceases to be reliably and repeatably observable outside of apologetic convenience, the "science cannot answer this" and "category error" supernaturalist evasions are brought out on castors. In short, the supernaturalist position consists of "My magic man is observable, but only when I want him to be".
As for the assertion that the sad, pathetic mythologies of the Middle East achieved social and political hegemony as a result of the merits of their contents, this assertion is risible in the extreme to anyone who paid attention in history class. What these mythologies and their adherents manifestly and observably brought to the table, was ruthless enforcement of conformity to doctrine. The Old Testament is littered with gleeful descriptions of bloody Lebensraum wars pursued in the past by the raving, psychotic followers thereof, along with sick, twisted revelling in the taking of underage girls as sex slaves after butchering their parents in those same wars. Later, history provides us with a mass of observational evidence, to the effect that the Catholic Church pursued hegemony for its doctrine through repression and military conquest. The sordid history of this organisation includes the Crusades and the Inquisition, during which any deviance from conformity to doctrine was ruthlessly extirpated. The history of Christianity isn't alone in this matter, of course: Islam has its fair share of bloody wars and enforced conformity to doctrine, of which the activities of the Ottoman Empire was merely one example - the conquest of the Balkans and the sacking of Constantinople being merely two of the more significant events arising therefrom.
Given the vast body of data available in this matter, the idea that the requisite religions enjoyed their successes on any proper discoursive basis, is roundly refuted. Indeed, the persistence thereof is merely a testimony to the success of the brutal methods employed in the past over the span of a millennium, and has nothing to do with the intrinsic worth of the contents of the requisite mythologies. Undoing the damage wrought by said repression and resort to military might, will probably take a similar time span, and as a corollary, any development accelerating the return to the trajectory of progress that was snuffed out by the theocratic Dark Age, can only be welcomed by people with functioning neurons.
Indeed, we also have, through that body of evidence, evidence in turn that theocracy is irredeemably and virulently malign, which is one of the reasons that the period of European theocracy is referred to as the Dark Ages, and the ending thereof as the Enlightenment. Your twisted propagandising for a doctrine that brought in its wake religious cleansing and its horrors, is duly noted, and merely provides more reason to regard you and your ilk as a threat to any properly constituted, decent, humane civil society.
Finally, the idea that religion is purportedly "superior" to science, because it takes little effort and little intellect to swallow its assertions, is again farcical in the extreme. Only a terminally addled supernaturalist could possibly entertain the notion, that a facile mythology-based doctrine is "superior" to a diligent enterprise that has reliably produced genuine substantive knowledge by the supertanker load. Indeed, that's one of the concepts our troll manifestly doesn't understand - namely, that the definition of "simple" in the world of science is as far removed from facile as it's possible to be. In the world of science, simple theories are those theories involving the smallest number of free parameters and a priori assumptions. The aim being to have zero free parameters and a priori assumptions in the final product. However, achieving this aim requires diligent effort, something completely alien to our resident troll.
Having addressed the requisite drivel, even though it is too stupid, and required me to humble myself to address, I'll now part with a warning to our troll.
Bring ANY more canards, misrepresentations or outright duplicity here, and said output will be pounded to a bloody pulp. What's more, several of us here will enjoy using whatever discoursive ordnance happens to be at hand, in order to participate in this. Lie and dissemble here as you have done so far, and your output will be given the treatment it deserves. For several persons here, pounding supernaturalist bullshit is regarded as a blood sport to be pursued with vigour and enthusiasm, and thus far, all you've succeeded in doing with your bizarre, banal, and at times pestilential and bubotic ravings, is provide the requisite persons with a LOT of fresh meat. Several here will enjoy subjecting your miasmatic garbage to the same treatment, as your ideological ancestors subjected their victims to. Those of us who pay proper respect to the rules of discourse live by the maxim "bad ideas exist to be destroyed, before those ideas destroy good people".
Fundy theist and militant atheist
they will save us
4 ... they know the real truth
@ferguson1951: RE: THE FERGIE FALLACY.
A false comparrison; when comparing the writings of science texts whose theories are validated by eons of experimentation, predictive capabilities, and repetition to anything in the bible is just moronic.
Please demonstrate that a man can live for three days in a giant fish.
Please demonstrate that anyone can be healed through faith in a deity.
Please demonstrate the soul.
Please demonstrate anything beyond the material world.
Please demonstrate the efficacy of prayer.
Please demonstrate the existence then divinity of Jesus.
Please demonstrate the existence and then magical powers of your god thing.
Do any of this as clearly as a science text book and I will convert to theism tomorrow.
And on and on and on and on........
Prayer does have measurable effects when we break down what types of prayer vs results. intersession type prayer, when asked for like a child asked for a toy, doesn't work. But prayer that focuses on mindfulness type stuff does work.
Literal bible is meaningless but metaphorical lessons, like asop's fables, can teach us. a false hope in a deity can bring real strength. That doesn't mean the deity is there or not.
you do have a good point. claims that have a mechanism, explanation, and make repeatable predictions are more valid than those that don't. period the end. some militant atheist need to learn that as surely as any theist.
I am only aware of one peer reviewed study into the efficacy of intercessory prayer, and the results showed no discernible results for the group that were prayed for. In other words the evidence indicated it absolutely did not work. Could you link the research that supports your claim?
Ha ha ha ha ha ... he's now brought out the "militant atheist" bullshit, while oblivious to the irony of tossing this accusation into the ring, after returning here to propagandise for whatever passes for thought in his head, despite announcing that he was leaving for good in a previous post. Hypocrisy much?
Don't you just LOVE the way uppity supernaturalist trolls come here, arrogantly presuming that they're going to "stick it to the stupid atheists", then accuse US of "militancy" when we dismantle their canards and garbage?
Ferguson, no one who possesses functioning neurons treats your drivel as anything other than drivel. The only reasons we're even bothering to exert the effort to shred your excrement, are:
 Out of respect for the proper rules of discourse, which you manifestly either don't understand or choose to violate out of spite-driven mendacity, and;
 In order to demonstrate to the wider audience that all you're doing here, is adding to the already voluminous body of observational data with respect to the verminous aetiology of supernaturalism.
If supernaturalism leads to behaviour like yours, no self-respecting individual will want anything to do with it, and will regard the mythology you love as poison. As if such social diseases as kiddie fiddling Catholic priests, and duplicitous conservative theocrats trying to corrupt and pervert science education in the USA, weren't enough reasons on their own to regard your mythology, and adherence thereto, as a socio-political cancer.
Imagine if an atheist went into a theistic chat site and acted as hostile and stupid as fergie? Imagine how long one would last, but I suspect it would be measured in picoseconds.
While I honestly cannot understand his particular type of ignorant stupidity, I do have to admit I admire his total commitment to it.
Go to a seriously wingnut fundamentalist site such as Rapture Ready, and all you have to do is present a scientific paper containing the evidence for evolution in order to be hammer-banned. You don't have to misbehave in order for the serious ideological stormtroopers for doctrine to ban you from their sites.
You can also look up the fun and games involved when an actual obstetrician went to Conservapedia to address the lies being peddled about abortion there - Schlafly and his minions moved swiftly to ban that obstetrician and expunge the content. That site also peddles such wingnut drivel as the assertion that Einstein's theory of General Relativity is a "liberal conspiracy", climate change denial, the most efflorescently duplicitous manifestations of creationism, and several other pieces of diseased nonsense. Challenge Schlafly there with scientific fact, and the ban hammer is dropped at warp speed.
Numerous other instances of duplicity on the part of religious sites can be found documented in a range of places, though I notice that creationist sites tend to figure prominently in said documentation. The Panda's Thumb contains some particularly juicy examples of creationist and IDist mendacity to savour.
What's particularly amusing to watch, however, is when assorted religious wingnuts get involved in spats with each other. The furore that erupted over the status of Matthew 27:51-55 and its treatment as legend by Michael Licona was simply one of several such incidents that led to much schadenfreude enjoyment on the part of those of us who don't treat mythology as fact. This, and the time Dembski had to cover his arse over his own remarks with respect to certain creationist assertions, can be found discussed here.
Oh, by the way, I notice he asserted above that science hadn't found a cure for malaria.
HA HA HA HA HA ...
Apparently he's never heard of the various drugs that were developed to treat it, and which were, for a time, successful. Starting with quinine, then mepacrine, then chloroquine, proguanil, some fo the sulphonamides, mefloquine, and more recently, the various artemisinin derivatives.
The reason several of these have fallen by the wayside, of course, is because Plasmodium falciparum, the parasite responsible for malaria, evolved resistance to the drugs in question. Indeed, several scientific papers have tracked down the mutations in the P. falciparum genome that led to the acquisition of resistance to early generation antimalarials, which is why treatment now involves combination therapies aimed at reducing the likelihood of developing resistance, since the parasite will have to develop resistance simultaneously to all the drugs in the combination. If the drugs in question have different modes of action against the parasite, developing resistance simultaneously to all of them becomes that much harder.
Given the manner in which Plasmodium protozoans have been found to be singularly well-equipped to evade the immune system, alternative strategies are being pursued, such as engineering the Anopheles mosquitoes that carry the parasite, so that they can no longer sustain living populations within their bodies. Trials are now also beginning for the first prototype malaria vaccine, RTS,S.
In addition, he's apparently unaware of the fact that numerous parts of the world where malaria used to be a problem, are now malaria free. As late as 1960, it was possible to contract malaria in Denmark, for example. Now, Denmark is another malaria-free nation. Greece used to have endemic malaria, but is also now malaria-free. Mauritius was declared malaria-free by the WHO in 1973, Cyprus in 1967, Finland, Ireland, Malta and Monaco in 1963, Italy in 1970, the Netherlands in 1970, Spain in 1964, Cuba in 1973, Jamaica in 1966, but, notably, the USA had to wait until 1970 to be declared malaria-free. Malaria was eradicated from Australia in 1981, New Zealand and various Pacific islands in 1963, and Singapore in 1982. (Data: World Health Organisation).
Frequently, a correlation between malaria and low national GDP exists, along with its appearance in equatorial war zones, where relief efforts are hampered by internecine conflict. Since sub-Saharan Africa contains many countries with low GDP, they suffer in a particularly pernicious manner from endemic malaria, because the resources to combat the disease effectively would consume a significant proportion of their GDP, though it could be argued that successful investment of this sort would pay handsome dividends in the long term.
But if our troll thinks no progress has been made in the battle to combat malaria, then this once again testifies to the vacuity of his suppuratingly anti-intellectual stance here.
[plagiarized from this book; can be read here. Do not post the work of other people as your own - Nyarlathotep]
The best part is, the plagiarized part was written in the first person, making it totally obvious.
It seems that lying is reaching epidemic proportions on these threads.
Almost as if the theists were vying to see who could tell the biggest whoppers.
@ferguson1951: "The problem simply is that atheists discard miracles A PRIORI." Damn! It's like trying to trying to teach English to a Jellyfish.
How long have you been on this site? Have you not yet learned what skepticism is? How in the fk is that possible. No one needs to make the assertion that miracles are not real. There is no such A Priori. That would be fucking stupid and it would require the person making the claim to prove such a claim. We are all way too lazy for that. People do not need to run about in a tizzy debunking every inane claim that the insane people on the planet make. We have better things to do with our time. If you think miracles are real and you want other people to join you in your cause to have them accepted as real, YOU HAVE TO PROVIDE THE EVIDENCE. No one needs an a priori rejecting them when you have absolutely NO EVIDENCE to even cause a rational person to suspect there might be something real there.