Tag Archives: science

Evolution, probability, and the first cell…

Evolution is a miraculous and wonderful thing.  It literally describes how everything from the first cell division to a highly evolved erect ape came to be.  Every adaptation, every change, every little small piece of growth from single celled organism to problem solving primates.

The problem is what is on either side of that string of beauty.  Evolution cannot begin to describe the jump from highly evolved chimp to self aware human.  No other animal other than humans has ever been shown to ask questions or contemplate abstract ideas (and we’ve tried to get chimps and gorillas taught to use sign language to do just that).  The jump from animal to sentient human is an infinite jump that evolution doesn’t quite explain.  But more than that evolution has a problem explaining the beginning of the chain.  A big problem.

Now the usual argument is that random amino acids just luckily formed together to form a DNA strand that not only included the information to create a cell, but also all the cell structures necessary to have read that and replicate that information at the same time (Like having a biological CD with the information to build the first biological CDR and luckily also having a biological CDR to read it, which is lucky since the information to build that first CDR had never been read before then).  And let’s ignore the improbability of that situation or the pure luck that the first cell also had the needed building blocks around to form more cells.  That first cell just hit the cosmic lottery.

DNA

Because in universe where the laws of physics dictate that things get more chaotic not more orderly as time goes by, stuff this complex just forms by chance.

Let’s just look at that DNA strand.  Now one of the smallest DNA strands known for a basic prokaryotic (it has no nucleolus) cell is about 490,000 base pairs in length.  But you know that’s pretty long as it is.  And that’s the shortest one we’ve found after billions of years of evolution, the first cell must have had a much shorter DNA strand (let’s ignore that at 490,000 base pairs the cell doesn’t have all the processes to sustain life and such a cell needs to live off other cells to provide it certain necessities in life).

Now the most basic cell we can find performs well over two hundred processes (unzipping DNA, processing chemicals, building cell walls, letting certain amino acids in, copying DNA and RNA, etc., etc.).  Yes, yes the high school version of the cell seemed so neat and clean…but so did the high school formula to figure out the velocity of a falling object, but we all know the equations necessary to figure out air friction and the influence of various forces on a falling object would drive us insane with the advanced Calculus needed, so we’re just happy with 32 feet per second per second.   So it is with the cell. Even the most basic cell is like a Cray Supercomputer in its complexity, and certainly much more complex than the simple diagram you learned in high school.  But for sake of argument let’s say that the least number of processes needed to sustain life and reproduce a new cell is 150.

And let’s say that each of those functions only require one amino acid chain (which is what DNA actually creates) of only three amino acids in length.  Now to create an amino acid chain DNA must have a start and stop code in the DNA as well.  So any amino acid chain needs 3 lines of DNA to start the process, 3 for each amino acid (so 9 in our example) and 3 to stop the process or 15 base pairs in length. So you need 15 bases pairs for each amino acid chain, multiplied by 150 processes.  Giving you a needed 2250 bases pairs needed.   This number is preposterously low, but go with me on this.

Now each of those 2250 base pairs needs to be the right amino acids to get the function correct.  Now there are only 4 possible base pairs (represented by the letters G,A,T, and C). And they need to be in the right order so that each line in the base pair has a one in four chance of being the right one.  And you have to do this 2250 times over.  (Now I’ll admit that there are base pairs that produce the same chemical in the amino acid chain, TAT and TAC, but given how ridiculously low my number of base pairs is, let’s just say it balances out…you could also argue for filler code as all life now has…but keep in mind that such code is also given to harmful mutations…let’s just go with the hideously low number as it is).  So we have a one in four odds, 2250 times over…or 1 in 4 to 2250 power.

1:42250

That’s the odds of the most basic DNA strand forming.  But let’s say I’m still over shooting the odds even with my hideously short DNA strand.  Let’s say it’s just 1:42000 is equivalent to 101204  (there’s a decimal in that power, but let’s just round it out…in fact let’s round it to an even 1200).

1:101200

 

Basic Cell

It’s more likely that a land slide would produce a BMW than this thing would just randomly form.

So how likely is that?

Well I could tell you that it’s close to 1:108 when it comes to odds of winning the lottery. But I don’t think you fully understand the difference between 108 and 101200 and I can’t blame you.  A 1 with 1200 zeroes after it is something you don’t often consider.

But let me give you some general figures to give you an idea of the size of this number.

The US National Debt: 1013

The number of seconds between the Big Bang and the present: 1016

The number of protons and neutrons in all atoms in the visible universe 1080

 

Okay maybe I can’t give you a way to conceive that number.

Let’s be honest if the number of protons and neutrons in the visible universe is only to the 80th power (and if the whole universe was a trillion times as big as the visible universe then it would still only be to the 92nd power) then I can safely say that the number of times you’ll have to conceive of anything to the 1200th power is probably pretty low. You have better odds of winning the lottery twice a week every week of your life.

I’m sorry if you can sit there and tell me something that is so improbable that isn’t just effectively zero, it is zero, happened by chance, you’re insane.

Now those who believe that there was no hand of the divine in the creation may say I just don’t understand science…and it may be true I don’t have the firmest grasp on all aspects of science…but I can safely say that anyone who thinks the first cell just happened by chance clearly doesn’t have the foggiest concept of math or probability.

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Overpopulation, another liberal bout of baseless hysteria…

So a friend shared with me this gruesomely titled article, “Top Democrat Pushing For “One Child” Population Control In America.”   Now, the Democrat in question is Michael E. Arth, a failed Democratic candidate for the governor’s mansion in Florida.  So I’m not sure if I would say “Top Democrat” is completely accurate…but he’s certainly up there…but his statements are actually rather typical for liberals and their insane fear of overpopulation.

 

Here are some fun highlights:

 

Now, thanks to the one-child policy – to which there are many exceptions, by the way – China’s ageing population will probably not grow much more from now on, as long as they don’t remove the restrictions.

 

China, and the rest of the world, would be better served by a choice-based marketable birth license plan, or “birth credits,” that could stop or reverse population growth on a dime. Birth credits allow people to have as many children as they desire and can manage and reward people who are willing to give up that right.

 

The limit to individual freedom is where the exercise of an individual right begins to infringe on the rights we hold in common.

 

 

 

If you feel like vomiting, I can’t blame you.

 

Liberals seem to think that the world is heading to an apocalyptic scenario where every part of the world is crammed with people stacked on top of each other while simultaneously the Malthusian nightmare of perpetual famine, war, pollution and death.  And of course the only way to solve this problem is the same answer liberals have for every single problem in the history of human existence*: more government regulation.  To a liberal we of course need the government to limit how many children we can have, license who can have children, punish those whom we don’t like having children, and provide free ways to dispose of those nasty little bastards when you don’t want to have them.**  I think we’ve all joked, upon seeing the inept wretches out there that have children, that there should be licensing to have children…but we also all agree that the idiots who run the DMV with such efficiency, the NSA with such high moral standards, and Treasury with such common sense and restraint, are quite literally the most unqualified people to issue such license, and are in fact the people whose births we hoped would have been prevented by such regulation.  I think we can all agree Joe Biden’s mother made a terrible, terrible mistake in deciding to keep him.  Now you may think I’m exaggerating, that it’s only a few kooks…but no.  A search of the terms Overpopulation, Sustainability, Carrying Capacity yield articles from CNN, MSNBC, Salon, and of course this one from the UN itself on the horrific terror that overpopulation brings.  And there is a plethora of even less reputable sources.  Granted I may not always view these as the most accurate of sources, but it does show a mentality that thinks that overpopulation is a problem…and for them it is a problem related to all their whiny fake environmentalist hysteria, and just general hatred of the individual who makes their own choices.

 

You can see this hatred is for the individual in Arth’s words:

 

The limit to individual freedom is where the exercise of an individual right begins to infringe on the rights we hold in common.

 

There is no such thing as “rights held in common.”  Only individuals have rights.  ONLY INDIVIDUALS.  Groups do not hold rights.  We can talk about balancing the needs of the whole versus the rights of one person, we can talk about practicality, but never make the mistake that the call for pragmatism in policy has anything to do with the rights of groups.  Only individuals hold rights, because only individuals can make the choices to exercise those rights.  When people talk about group rights held in common, they are only saying that a government task master will be the one exercising control and choice over the sheep they control.  And what greater control could there be than to say who can and cannot have a child and when they can or can’t.  This coming from the party that says government has no right to say what you do in the bedroom or with whom.

 

 

World Birth Rate

See all the blue…that is areas that is going to experience a very large population drop within a generation…the green will be lucky to stay at current levels.

There is of course one tiny little problem.  US population is dropping, European population is dropping,   Hell, world population may be dropping.  If it wasn’t for immigration it would be even more evident.  And even if it isn’t dropping, you could actually fit all 6.9 billion people in Texas if you packed them in at the population density of New York City…doesn’t exactly sound like there is no room for anyone else. Now for liberals who statistically live in crowded cities, it may seem like there is no room left, in reality there is A LOT of land left.

 

Part of the problem is they hold Malthus’s ideas as gospel.  For those not familiar with them, here is the short, short version.  Malthus believes that technology increased food production arithmetically (10, 12, 14, 16, 18…all plus 2) while population grew geometrically (2, 4, 8, 16, 32…all times 2) over a certain period of time.  So when you start and there is food for 10,000 people and you only have 2,000, you’re all good…but after a while you have food for 16,000 and a population of 16,000…still good until the next generation when you don’t have enough food to feed 14,000.  This leads to wars over food, famine from lack, disease from malnutrition (modern liberals would add pollution from over farming habits) and just suffering in general.  The problem here is that Malthus understood nothing about the coming effects of science, technology, innovation, mass production, the industrial revolution, and of course capitalism.  ***

 

Overpopulation is a lie.  It is not a global problem.  Like so many things it is merely a tool of fear, an excuse to expand the power of those in control over the rest of us.

 

However, I would like to say that this does not mean that the opposite is completely true as some foolish conservatives seems to claim.  Overpopulation isn’t a global problem…but it is a problem in certain areas.  The third world has a major problem with over population.  Yes capitalism and all the benefits it brings make Malthus’ predictions pointless…but without capitalism everything Malthus feared goes on in the third world with deadly accuracy.  And overpopulation makes it worse because it actually works against creating capitalism.  The most egregious example is of course parts of Sub-Saharan Africa.  There you see overpopulation continue in a way that actually prevents capitalism from taking root.  It keeps the population just malnourished enough to prevent them from really having the energy to find the entrepreneurial spirit.  It keeps any attempt to build the infrastructure necessary for the modern economy just out of reach because once you plan, invest, and create infrastructure for one level of population the population has grown just enough to make that level of infrastructure inadequate.  It prevents the growth of a middle class and hampers mass education since so much time must be spent looking for what resources there are that must be spread out among the whole.  Malthus wasn’t wrong about what happens, he just didn’t know you had to add the caveat “unless you have capitalism.”

 

onechild

All I can say is that I think we should all feel very lucky that the government isn’t in control of every aspect of our medical care…oh wait…well crap…

And there is no easy answer here.  Because the government controls vile idiots like Arth propose would only make it worse.  Don’t believe me, look at what wonders they did in Detroit…do you really want to let liberals have control over a place that’s already doing badly.   Of course helping promote capitalism in these area might not stop the suffering immediately but it will promote the long term prosperity.

 

But despite the fact that overpopulation may be a problem in certain areas due more to lack of economic infrastructure than actual population, overpopulation, is not, has never been and will never be a global problem.

 

 

 

*Unless it involves narcotics or regulation the health standards of abortion clinics.  The liberals are quite dead set against government even acknowledging such things exist beyond your absolute right to use such things.

**I’m prochoice, but the way the left defend the absolute right of any woman to abort a fetus the day before her due date is just a tad disturbing.  Like most rational prochoice people I find little problem with abortion in the first trimester, but anything after that starts getting ethically iffy…although, conversely, if you’re so unspeakably stupid that you haven’t made up your mind by 20 weeks, you may not be qualified to have children.

***I’ll attack the idea, but honestly, I have a hard time really blaming Malthus who wrote around 1800. He wasn’t that far off for his time.  Yes there had been many technological advances over the 2,000 years before him…like crop rotation, and how to make really bad steel, and gun powder.  But in the grand scheme of things the 2,000 years before Malthus saw almost no advances when compared to the 200 years that followed him.  Yeah we can look to the Renaissance and see where the groundwork was laid for modern science and technology, but almost none of it had materialized into anything practical when Malthus wrote.  They were still using chamber pots.  Bleeding was still a popular medical technique, and in terms of practicality quantum mechanics has more meaning to your life than electricity had for Malthus.  So I really can’t blame him for not seeing how much technology driven by capitalism (also a new idea in Malthus’s time) could radically change the way people lived.  He had no way to foresee the massive upheaval of technology that would follow him

 

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Filed under Capitalism, Civil Liberties, Evils of Liberalism, Fear, Government is corrupt, Natural Rights, politics, Tyranny

Global Warming Facts…

And by facts I mean scientific studies that show, maybe the hype about global warming and climate change is a bit over done.  The end is not near, mankind is not killing the planet, the world will keep turning and climate will keep changing as it always has with or without humans.

P. Chylek, et al. 2004″Global warming and the Greenland ice sheet,” Climate Change 63, 201-21. “Since 1940… data have undergone predominantly a cooling trend…. The Greenland ice sheet and coastal regions are not following the current global warming trend.”

Doran, P. T., Priscu, J. C., Lyons, W. B., Walsh, … and Parsons, A. N., 2002, “Antarctic climate cooling and terrestrial ecosystem response,” Nature 415: 517-20.
From 1986 to 2000 central Antarctic valleys cooled .7 degrees Celsius per decade with serious ecosystem damage from cold.

Comiso, J. C., 2000, “Variability and trends in Antarctic surface temperatures from in situ and satellite infrared measurements,”Journal of Climate 13: 1674-96.
Both satellite data and ground stations show slight cooling over the last 20 years.

Joughin, I., and Tulaczyk, S., 2002, “Positive mass balance of the Ross Ice Streams, West Antarctica,” Science 295: 476-80.
Side-looking radar measurements show West Antarctic ice is increasing at 26.8 gigatons/yr. Reversing the melting trend of the last 6,000 years.

Thompson, D. W. J., and Solomon, S., 2002, “Interpretation of recent Southern Hemisphere climate change,” Science 296: 895-99.
Antarctic peninsula has warmed several degrees while interior has cooled somewhat. Ice shelves have retreated but sea ice has increased.

Petit, J. R., Jouzel, J., Raynaud, D., Barkov, N. L., … and Stievenard, M., 1999, “Climate and atmospheric history of the past 420,000 years from the Vostok ice core, Antarctica,”Nature 399: 429-36.
During the last four interglacials, going back 420,000 years, the Earth was warmer that it is today.

Anderson, J. B., and Andrews, J. T., 1999, “Radiocarbon constraints on ice sheet advance and retreat in the Weddell Sea, Antarctica,” Geology 27: 179-82.
Less Antarctic ice has melted today than occurred during the last interglacial.

Liu, J., Curry, J. A., and Martinson, D. G., 2004, “Interpretation of recent Antarctic sea ice variability,” Geophysical Research Letters 31: 10.1029/2003 GLO18732.
Antarctic sea ice has increased since 1979.

Vyas, N. K., Dash, M. K., Bhandari, S. M., Khare, N., Mitra, A., and Pandey, P. C., 2003, “On the secular trends in sea ice extent over the antarctic region based on OCEANSAT-1 MSMR observations,” International Journal of Remote Sensing, 24: 2277-87.
Trend toward more sea ice may be accelerating.

Parkinson, C. L., 2002, “Trends in the length of the souther Ocean sea-ice season, 1979-99,” Annals of Glaciology 34: 435-40.
The greater part of Antarctica experiences a longer sea-ice season, lasting 21 days longer than it did in 1979.

Climate Change 2001: The Scientific Basis. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2001, p. 774: “In climate research and modeling, we should recognize that we are dealing with a coupled non-linear chaotic system, and therefore that the long-term prediction of future climate states is not possible.”

Same as above. Climate Change 1995: The Science of Climate Change, p. 330. “Natural climate variability on long time-scales will continue to be problematic for CO2 climate change analysis and detection.”

C. Landsea, et al., 2000, “How much skill was there in forecasting the very strong 1997-1998 El Nino?” Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society 81: 2107-19. “… one could have even less confidence in anthropogenic global warming studies because of the lack of skill in predicting El Nino… the successes of ENSO forecasting have been overstated (sometimes drastically) and misapplied it in other arenas.”

Fred Pearce, “Africans go back to the land as plants reclaim the desert,” New Scientist 175, 21 September 20021 pp. 4-5. “Africa’s deserts are in retreat… Analysis of satellite images… reveals that dunes are retreating right across the Sahel region… Vegetation is ousting sand across a swathe of land stretching… 6,000 kilometers… Analysts say the gradual greening has been happening since the mid 1980’s, though has gone largely unnoticed.”

Paul Reiter, et al, “Global warming and malaria: a call for accuracy,” Lancet, 4, no. 1 (June 2004).”Many of these much-publicized predictions are ill informed and misleading.”

Roger J. Braithwaite, “Glacier mass balance, the first 50 years of international monitoring,” Progress in Physical Geography 26 no. 1 (2002): 76-95. “There is no obvious common global trend of increasing glacier melt in recent years.”

The fallowing quotations is from the IPCC.
According to the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, “Examination of meteorological data fails to support the perception [of increased frequency and severity of extreme climate events] in the context of long term climate change.”
“Overall, there is no evidence that extreme weather events, or climate variability, has increased, in a global sense, throughout the twentieth century…”
“No long term trend events” for tropical and extratropical storms, and no systematic changes in the “frequency of tornadoes, thunder days, or hail.”

Nature 22 (October 2003):395-741, stated that, with Russia signed on, temperature affected by Kyoto would be -.02 degrees Celsius by 2050.
IPCC models estimate more but none exceed .15 degrees Celsius.

Thank you Dr. M. Crichton for compiling this list.

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What Obama calls the Flat Earth Society I call facts

I could go on and on personally, but why listen to me…here are some facts about “Global Warming”

Global Warming Alarmists Caught Doctoring ’97-Percent Consensus’ Claims–Forbes.  apparently there isn’t as much consensus as Obama would like you to believe.  (This one is fun because it has a who’s who of scientists who think this Global Warming hysteria is ridiculous).
A cooling consensus–The Economist. What warming there was, which really wasn’t a lot, has been slowly in defiance of the fanatics.
A Cure Worse Than the Disease: Global Economic Impact of Global Warming Policy–Heritage.  Though the title speaks for itself it needs to be reiterated that destroying capitalism would be worse than even the most dire predictions of these chicken littles.
Global Warming and Global Food Security–Cato.  On what whiny chiken littles these Global Warming prophets of doom are.
Hurricane Sandy: Not the Global Warming Bombshell It’s Cracked Up to Be–Heritage.  The weather disasters blamed on Global Warming really have little if anything to do with it.

In Defense of Carbon Dioxide–WSJ Even more scientists attacking this hysteria.

Tree ring studies confirm global COOLING–a summary of an much longer study here.

Global_Cooling_11

Al Gore’s ‘nine Inconvenient Untruths’–Telegraph. The holy grail of Global Warming is apparently based on a bunch of lies..and the lies were the best they could do.
To The Horror Of Global Warming Alarmists, Global Cooling Is Here–Forbes.  Going over the fact that climate change is kind of a basic fact of the globe historically.  It happened a lot before humans were burning fossil fuels, it will continue to happen at odd and unpredictable times…humans have little to do with it.
Mars Melt Hints at Solar, Not Human, Cause for Warming, Scientist Says–National Geographic. Gee, there are climate changes on Mars that mirror the changes on the Earth.  Hmm…I guess fossil fuels are so bad that they’re effecting other planets!  Oh, wait, maybe it’s the sun.

A few thoughts on Global Warming...

Look climate is never stable.  Never has been, never will be.  Has temperature gone up in the last century.  Yeah.  But no factual link between humans has been found.  Are humans to blame for some of it…certainly on a limited scale, because we’re covering the areas we live in heat conducting asphalt, amazing then that these areas of high population density are warmer than they were previously.

Let me just ask you this…the hysteria wing has been promising that the Earth will burn and the sea will rise for over 30 years…and honestly, everything pretty much looks the same as it did 30 years ago.  So where is the proof?

Also if environmentalists are so concerned, why are they not pushing for more nuclear energy? It’s cleaner, cheaper and more efficient.  If we replaced all production with nuclear energy you would not only radically reduce the amount of CO2 released but lower the cost of energy and free up massive amounts of money that could go into research for more efficient solar cells and batteries for electric cars…but strangely they don’t want that.  Why?

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Books for New Agers: Life Before Life—Children’s Memories of Previous Lives

Reincarnation

So I just finished reading Life Before Life—Children’s Memories of Previous Lives by Jim B. Tucker, M.D.  Yes it’s a book about reincarnation.  But unlike a lot of books about reincarnation that will look at one case of past life regression…or another case of someone having spontaneous memories and working through each case this is a summary of a collection of cases. 2,500 cases covering decades worth of research.  All of them involving children under the age of six, you know before you could theoretically prompt a child to say things.   These cases are being reviewed by the University of Virginia, Division of Personality studies.*

Let’s review some of the main points.

All the children are under the age of six.

All children recall having been someone in a previous life.

About two-thirds of the cases have been “solved”, that is they have identified a specific individual that the child has memories of being.

About a fifth of cases the child has a birth mark or structural defect where the person they claim to have been received a major wound (e.g., a child is born with a birth mark where a shunt had been in their previous life or a child who had memories of being a cop who had died when a bullet destroyed his aorta, being born with a bad aorta that had to replaced).  225 of these solved cases that involve birthmarks and other physical markers are covered apparently in great detail in a 2,000+ page, 2 volume study entitled  “Reincarnation and Biology: A Contribution to the Etiology of Birthmarks and Birth Defects”.

There’s a lot of specific evidence I’m not going over because I actually think you should read the book.  But trust me there is evidence.lifeafterlife

Particular cases are reviewed, their flaws and strengths are laid out and the author goes through other possibilities of explanation which are reviewed.  Tucker spends a great deal of time on the only other remotely possible answer for these children knowing what they could not, that being fraud on the part of the parents.  But given that numerous cases for the U.S. where subjects don’t believe in reincarnation, it seems odd that they would try to fake a case of reincarnation.  Further even fraud leaves too many unanswered questions…reincarnation does not.
The book is an excellent summary of the scientific findings of this group at the University of Virginia** and so while much of the scientific and statistical evidence isn’t presented, it does lay out a sound scientific case for reincarnation.  It deals with the challenges skeptics would bring up and addresses them, then tears them down.

I would highly recommend anyone interested in reincarnation, or looking for scientific proof to back up their faith, read this book.

Some of the more interesting highlights from the book include:

Apparently you are more likely to remember a past life if that life ended only a year or two before your rebirth, there are relatively few memories of distant past lives among these children.

Gender Identify Disorder may, at least in many cases, be related to a soul switching from one gender to another between the two lives and the confusion from change.

The after life, at times, may be as chaotic as this life.

Not everyone remembers heaven, but some do, and you are less likely to remember it if your death in your previous life was particularly violent or sudden.

If you meditate you are more likely to remember heaven in your next incarnation.

There are cases of children remembering their last incarnation being a fetus that was aborted or miscarried.

All that said this book raises some questions that I have and if anyone has any information on this I would love to know.  After reading this book it appears that cases where children are remembering their past lives are becoming more common, or at least it appears that way to me.  I’ll admit that it may simply be that this is only being studied recently, whereas in the past it was not.  However there are cases in the past of people remembering their past lives, Gen. George S. Patton for instance, but these seem to be very rare in the past, where the 2,500 cases collected by the University of Virginia (and you know if they can find 2,500 there have to be ten times that many they didn’t find) don’t make it common, but it certainly does not seem to be uncommon. This makes me wonder if the memories are becoming more and more common.  Since, quite frankly, none of the children in this book  come off as enlightened beings (nor any of their previous incarnations) these memories do not seem to be caused by the individual soul’s level of spiritual enlightenment, my question is does this maybe indicate a greater awakening in the collective soul of humanity?  Certainly this is not going to be answered anytime soon, but it’s something to think about.

Also, the birthmark and other biological signs described in the book are suggested to be related not to karma but more to the mind’s ability to affect the body (the book references the ability to make a hypnotized person believe they are being burned to the point that their skin blisters or the fact that signs of the stigmata are now believed to be caused by psychological not miraculous factors).  Now if the mind, and specifically it’s attachment to certain memorable events (usually what killed you would have a more powerful impact on you, or at least you would think), and we also take into account the issue of some souls not being able to fully adjust to their new gender in the form of Gender Identity Disorder…I have to ask in lesser cases could a soul attached to their previous gender affect the DNA of their new body, thus being the spiritual cause of the genetic factor in homosexuality?  And I bring this up because I have also seen this suggested in the book The Messengers and the issues of Gender Identity Disorder reminded me of it.

*The book was published in 2005.  And deals primarily with 1,100 cases that had been entered into a computer system for statistical analysis.  I can only assume that both the computer database and the total number of cases has increased since the book was published.

** For my conservative readers, it is funded by private endowment, not by tax-payers (although I assume the same researchers are paid by tax payer funds for any teaching they do at the University) so don’t even begin to question if money should be paid for this.

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Fairies, Teapots, Turtles and other such Atheistic nonsense

For some reason atheists piss me off more than any other religion. Maybe it’s because, as a group, they are the most arrogant bunch of idiots who scream that their idiotic beliefs are the only true way to view things without even the dignity to admit that what they’re screaming is unsubstantiated faith.
Or maybe it’s because it’s because they give such terrible arguments. Really terrible arguments. They’re like most liberals–they can give 5 or 6 memorized talking points and they never deviate.

In a recent article I published on the utter stupidity of atheism I got several stock point arguments in response on several forums, so rather than waste my time and respond to them individually, I thought best to deal with them all at once.

So I’m going to respond to their repetitive talking points, and not only am I going to use quotes, and jokes, and parables, but unlike atheists I’m going to back my quips and stories up with real argument.

(Also let me point out, if you’re just an atheist, because that works for you, I don’t really care about you or your beliefs, you are free to have them and I’m not attacking you. I’m attacking the rabid section of Atheism that feels that their belief is so superior to everyone else’s that they must attack everyone else’s beliefs. It is their arguments I’m hitting, if you just have your beliefs and aren’t proselytizing, I’m not out to attack you.).

Stock Atheist Argument 1: We may not be able to prove our point but you can’t prove yours.
Dumb Dawkins
I’d like to begin this section with a classic joke whose usefulness will be relevant by the end of this piece.

A well-known scientist once gave a public lecture on astronomy and the Big Bang. He described how the earth orbits around the sun and how the sun, in turn, orbits around the center of a vast collection of stars called our galaxy which in turn all came out of the initial explosion. At the end of the lecture, a little old lady at the back of the room got up and said: “What you have told us is rubbish. The world is really a flat plate supported on the back of a giant tortoise.” The scientist gave a superior smile before replying, “What is the tortoise standing on?” “You’re very clever, young man, very clever,” said the old lady. “But it’s turtles all the way down!”

Now in this joke we’re supposed to see that the scientist is intelligent and the old woman is really an idiot for such a silly idea as turtles all the way down. I’ve even seen an atheist use this joke to make fun of religious people and how ignorant they are in not accepting science. That spiritual people are stupid to not understand that we can trace the origins of everything to physics and the Big Bang.

Let me clarify what I mean by this. The most perfect argument for the existence of God.

There’s just one problem with that whole model. What caused the Big Bang? And atheists have to answer to that. The first is “Well, it’s just a series of Big Bangs and Big Crunches over and over again” which is called an infinite series. Or you can go even more complex with some description of a quantum mechanics/holographic universe within a universe. But that too leads to an infinite series. Because of the fact that everything has to be caused by something else otherwise it would just sit there and never. do anything (see the 1st Law of Newtonian Physics), everything in physics is subject to this need for cause, no matter how complex that makes the universe everything is still subject to causation. Which leads you to only one of two possibilities. Either you have an infinite series of causes going back for an infinite period of time…or you have something that doesn’t need a cause, an uncaused cause, an unmoved mover (as Aristotle would say). This first cause that needs no other thing to cause it we call God.

But why can’t we have an infinite series? Because that also violates the rules of physics and logic. Because even if you go back all the way an infinite way, there has to be something that causes that movement. But rather than believe that there must be some cause that needs nothing to cause it, Atheists are arguing we should believe in the infinite series of causes, that we should be believe, “It’s turtles all the way down.” That’s what arguing for not having a God is arguing for, the stupidity of turtles all the way down.

Logic dictates that there has to be some cause outside of the rules of causation, because an infinite regression is just idiotic. That’s a logical fact. That God exists is a fact dictated by logic. Now, intelligent philosophers will admit that a lot of the qualities that we often apply to God (intelligence, goodness, motive) we do not have as strong a case for, and thus faith is required in part to a have a fuller sense of what God is. We only have arguments that only suggest but do not completely prove these qualities beyond the shadow of a doubt. But the existence of a first cause is a logical necessity, and this we call God.

You may have issues with the qualities we attribute to God and you may attack them, but just because you attack the arguments for those qualities does not negate the fact that for existence to be, you logically must have God, the first cause.

“But, but,” I can hear atheists sputtering, “Hume and Kant and Dawkins disproved the argument by cause.” No they didn’t. Let me explain what are all the arguments made by Hume and Kant and such against the argument by cause. Every version goes something like this…lots of words that intentionally get you lost in the argument, complain about all the traits added after existence, complain all you did was look for proof in what you already believe* thus you really didn’t prove anything, and thus the argument by cause is wrong. QED. If that sounds kind of dumb, it is. Some might complain that I’ve just put up a straw man version of the argument against the argument by cause. I haven’t. Every long winded version boils down to, uh, I don’t want to buy your proof, so I don’t have to actually disprove your points I just have to say your logic is bad (not that I’m going to show where) and so there, I win. It’s actually a lot like most atheist arguments arrogance and idiocy working hand in hand. But don’t believe me go read Kant and Hume and whoever, try and follow their points…and don’t get upset if you feel you can’t follow them, they’re designed to be impossible to follow the logic of making you think if you can’t understand it and thus making you feel inferior and thus it must be right. But it’s not you that isn’t understanding the argument. There isn’t a well reasoned argument to understand.

The reason Atheists really, really hate the argument by cause and will deny it to their last dying and lying breath is that is gets them out of their central point: “Rules of argument state you have to prove God exists.” This is kind of dumb on its face, when you’re in the minority and trying to prove to the majority that you’re right, even if you are right (which atheists aren’t) the burden of proof is on you. But since they bizarrely think that life should be governed by the same rules as a scientific lab without a shred of common sense. So they say the burden of proof is on believers and not them, so they have a vested interest in putting their hands over their ears and going “LALALALALALA” in the face of the fact that logic requires that there is a God.

*By the way this would mean that every criminal prosecution is wrong.

Stock Atheist Argument 2: If there is a God, why isn’t there evidence of God’s existence?

Someone asked [Bertrand] Russell at some meeting: ‘Lord Russell, what will you say when you die and are brought face to face with your Maker?’ He replied without hesitation: ‘God,’ I shall say, ‘God, why did you make the evidence for your existence so insufficient?’ – A. J. Ayer

Again let me start off with a classic joke:

A terrible flood hit a small town, sending the rescue units out.
It just so happened that a devoutly religious woman lived in this town when the flood hit, and she sat down to wait for God to save her.
When the first rescue boat came in the worker called for her to come out but she just shook her head and said “Thank you, but my God will save me. ” Shaking his head the rescue worker moved on.
The waters rose and she climbed to the second story of her home to wait for God.
A second boat came by and the worker called out “Listen lady we’ve got to get you out of here!” Once again she thanked him profusely and said “My God will save me.”
The waters rose a third time forcing her to her roof.
The water was just closing around her ankles when a third boat came by. ” Lady, I’m the last boat out if you don’t come now you’re going to die. ” She just smiled “My God will save me” she said quietly. Frustrated the worker moved on. The waters rose once again leaving her standing on her chimney. She heard a huge ruckus above her head and when she looked up she saw an emergency helicopter. ” This is it lady, you have to come now or we won’t be able to save you. ” Still she refused to go. The waters rose a final time dragging her under and she was drowned. When she got to heaven, the Lord asked her if she had any questions, and in a timid voice she replied. “You said if I followed you, you would always save me. Why didn’t you save me from that flood?” God looked at her in shocked disbelief and said: “My child I sent three boats and a helicopter for you… What else did you want?”

For Atheists who ask for proof of God you have to look at them like the woman who didn’t recognize the three boats and the helicopter for what they were.

Probability states there should have been a fairly equal amount of matter and antimatter created at the Big Bang. There wasn’t. It was actually incredibly disproportioned. But it was also just enough anti-matter to spread out the universe, but not enough to push everything too far from each other so that nothing forms. Boy, that was lucky.

And let’s just ignore how this planet is set up rather well for life and just assume life can develop in lots of situations, let’s look at the odds of life starting. Now most of what gets chalked up as Intelligent Design is kind of stupid, but not when it comes to the creation of life and the creation of sentience. The most basic cell requires over 200 processes, each controlled by several dozen protein chains, each controlled by several lines of code on a strand of DNA. Ignoring that there would have to be something to start the process, the odds of a DNA chain that can do all of that without error and in the proper order…I could give you a number but think of it this way, you have better odds of winning the Powerball every Wednesday and Saturday for a year (probably getting hit by lightning several times during that year). Yes, I’m sure that just happened by chance.

And then there was that time when evolved chimps suddenly became self aware. I can’t quite tell you the odds on that because there are no odds on that. It can’t happen just by itself. Sentience and free will defy everything we know about physics and biology. They’re not things that can just happen because certain chemicals line up in a certain way or because the brain becomes complex enough.

Then of course there are all those miracles that can’t be disproven. A bulk of evidence in the realm studies into near death experience, past life memories and the fields of parapsychology, no doubt some or most of which is not relevant, but which can’t be dismissed because it just doesn’t fit your argument.

There are piles and piles of evidence. Just because you don’t want to look at them as evidence doesn’t stop their existence.

Stock Atheist Argument 3: Fairies and the Teapots don’t exist so neither does God.

There may be fairies at the bottom of the garden. There is no evidence for it, but you can’t prove that there aren’t any, so shouldn’t we be agnostic with respect to fairies?—Richard Dawkins

Also see the pretentious and stupid “Russell’s Teapot” thought experiment which Atheists are so fond of quoting.

There is an old Buddhist parable used to justify Buddhism agnosticism about questions of God and the creation of the universe.

“If one day you were walking along the road and are shot with an arrow do you stop to ask, ‘From what village was the shooter from?’ ‘What kind of wood was used to make the arrow?’ ‘What bird are the feathers on this arrow from?’ ‘How long ago was the arrow made?’ ‘Did the shooter eat a full breakfast this morning?’ No you will pull out the arrow and treat the wound.”

Buddhists use this parable to justify their intentional agnosticism about metaphysical questions that religion often addresses. For a Buddhist the most important thing is to end the cycle of rebirth and suffering, the rest can wait until that is stopped, and wasting time on these questions is like asking what village the shooter was from when you still have an arrow and bleeding wound in you. Deal with the pressing problem at hand. **

The parable understands there is a difference between questions that are relevant and questions that are not. Dawkins and Russell may think that teapots and fairies are relevant, but they’re not…and to compare them to what must be the cause of all existence is clearly not understanding the nature of what you’re talking about. Fairies and teapots in space don’t have to exist, nor is there anything to necessarily suggest they do. God has to exist for there to be existence and oddly enough existence is the evidence. Feel free to be agonistic, hell even atheistic, about fairies and tea pots. But don’t dare suggest that your silly little quip is on the same lines as dismissing what logically has to be for there to be anything.

**Now I have some issues with this parable because I think you can’t fully know where you’re going and how to get there unless you actually know where you’re going and how to get there. I think if you’re shot with an arrow and one village in the area uses poison and one doesn’t then yes the question about which village a person is from becomes relevant. I think understanding God is like that question, in some cases it may be helpful, in other cases perhaps not.

Stock Atheist Argument 4: You don’t believe in other Gods either, so your God is wrong.

We are all atheists about most of the gods that societies have ever believed in. Some of us just go one god further.
– Richard Dawkins

Silly Hitchens

Really dumb atheist
I contend we are both atheists, I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours.–Stephen F. Roberts.

This one atheists love, as you can see from the ease at which I found a multitude of quotes. It’s more fun when you get into it with non-public figures because then they’ll start using names and specifics. “Well why don’t you believe in Zeus? Or Odin? Or Shiva?” And this tendency comes from the fact that most Atheists are actually just immature and rebelling against mommy and daddy’s beliefs which often in the West is Christianity.

And again I turn to a parable.

A number of blind men came to an elephant. Somebody told them that it was an elephant. The blind men asked, ‘What is the elephant like?’ and they began to touch its body. One of them said: ‘It is like a pillar.’ This blind man had only touched its leg. Another man said, ‘The elephant is like a husking basket.’ This person had only touched its ears. Similarly, he who touched its trunk or its belly talked of it differently. In the same way, he who has seen the Lord in a particular way limits the Lord to that alone and thinks that He is nothing else.– Ramakrishna Paramhamsa

If a culture misunderstands what God is but puts a name to their understanding (Zeus, Odin, Brahma, Dagda, El), does that mean the thing they’re trying to understand doesn’t exist. The blind men were wrong about their understanding of an elephant, does that mean elephants don’t exist? Newton was wrong about the nature of gravity; Einstein proved that, it doesn’t mean there is no such thing as gravity. People don’t understand what God fully is, thus all the masks we put on God to understand him are imperfect. But just because you can show flaws with each mask it does not dictate that what is behind the mask is wrong. You can disprove every religion, that doesn’t mean that God doesn’t exist. And just because some people don’t believe in the interpretations of others doesn’t make the other person wrong or that first person right. God exists independent of people’s perceptions about him.

I believe in God. Now what my understanding of him is may be imperfect, that does not mean the thing I’m trying to understand doesn’t exist. But that’s the game Atheists like to play. They attack an understanding of the thing and use it to say that the thing itself doesn’t exist. But there is a problem with this argument, an elephant in the room you might say is that elephants exist, and that is that there is a difference between the imperfect conceptions of God and the existence of God.

Stock Atheist Argument 5: Atheism isn’t a religion.

Calling Atheism a religion is like calling bald a hair color.” 
–Don Hirschberg
Until someone claims to see Christopher Hitchens’ face in a tree stump, idiots must stop claiming that atheism is a religion. There’s one little difference: Religion is defined as the belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power, and atheism is — precisely not that. Got it? Atheism is a religion like abstinence is a sex position.—Bill Maher

Those are such cute lines. It’s just that even the slightest amount of logic tears them apart. If you want a quote here I’ll respond with the popular “Contradictions do not exist if you think you’ve found a contradiction, recheck your premises. One of them is wrong.” Or if you prefer “2+2=4”
Let’s take a look at that quote again “Religion is defined as the belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power” and I’ve seen numerous Atheists in personal arguments respond in the same way.

I respond by doing this wacky thing like quoting the dictionary. From Webster’s: “Religion: 7. A cause, principle, system of tenets held with ardor, devotion, conscientiousness, and faith.” Now under my definition Atheism is a religion because they hold a belief (That there is no God) based on absolutely no evidence (a process otherwise known as faith, thus meeting the requirements of the definition).

So who’s right? Well let’s test out the Atheist’s definition whose key point is believing in a divine being. By this definition is Christianity a religion? Yes. Judaism? Yes. Hinduism? Yes. So far so good. Buddhism and Taosim? No. Most strains of Buddhism (as I pointed out above) and several strains of Taoism don’t believe in a supreme being. So by the definition Atheists are trying to use would say that Buddhism and Taoism aren’t religions. And that would be preposterous on its face. No you can either try to continue arguing this, or can admit that the definition used by Atheists while practical in most cases in the West, is not a solid definition.

The criteria of faith is a much more comprehensive definition. And by that definition Atheism is a religious belief.
It is based on faith and no evidence.

And all the negatives that come with religion are there as well. Like many religions, its followers proselytize, they are emotionally invested in protecting their beliefs, their zealots are violent to those who don’t follow their religion.

Of course Atheism has none of the positives that come with other religions, but hey that applies to several religions.

Atheists quips are clever, but without substance. And sadly that’s all they have.

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