Posts Tagged ‘dawkins’

Transcript: Why do people laugh at creationists? (Part 32)

December 14, 2014

Many thanks to Linda for supplying this transcript!

[0:00] Eric Hovind: “Now understand, evolution is NOT a science. It is a world view, just like Christianity is a world view. So how is somebody that looks at the world through the lens of evolution going to view life? How are they gonna answer the basic questions of life?”

“Who am I?”

Hovind: “Evolution tells us we’re just an accident, the result of random chance.”

[0:25] Thunderf00t: (Haha) The product of random chance, you say? Heh, yeah, sure the same way it’s random chance that day follows night.

[0:34] Well, for certain, both I and you are unique. But what is it that makes you unique? Is it your property, your technology, your spouse, or your siblings, your children? Or is it something more intrinsic like your DNA?

[0:50] Well it turns out your genome will fit, uncompressed, on about a gigabyte. But that’s not the part of the genome that’s unique to you. Virtually all of this is identical to that of your neighbors. The bit of the genome that’s unique to you is only about 10 megabytes. That means that your typical iPod with maybe 30GB of memory can store the genetic uniqueness of about 3,000 people on something that will fit in the palm of your hand.

[1:17] Now let’s follow that thought for a moment and say that the potency of a system is related, in a loose way, to the information within that system. Well, to be honest, the genome is basically only the instructions, if you like, for the ‘make-human’ process. And part of that make-human process includes the brain.

[1:36] Now, it’s kind of fuzzy to work out how much memory the brain has. But it’s typically estimated on the order of terabytes. Now the design of an informational storage device that can hold more information than that design itself is, not exactly an earth-shattering concept.

[1:51] For instance, the blueprints and design specs for the make-hard drive function are probably only on the order of a few gigabytes or so, and that’s massively smaller than the storage that these devices have.

[2:04] So is it your brain that makes you special? Well, it’s certainly a big part of it. But as individuals, humans are unimpressive creatures. They really only come into their own when they start to work in groups.

[2:18] For instance, one man versus a tiger is: one well-fed tiger, 100% probability. 10 coordinated people versus one tiger, is one nice tiger skin rug, 100% probability.

[2:33] This change in group behavior is doubtless due to tiny changes in the genome that promotes communal behavior. But this has a very large effect on the survivability of the individuals.

[2:44] For instance, 10 specialists, you know—the farmer, the farrier, the blacksmiths—that sort of thing, will carry significantly more knowledge than 10 individuals who do not work as a coordinated group. That is, they have better informational potential as 10 people all trying to remember specialized information than 10 people all trying to learn 10 times as much as will fit into their soft, squidgy human brains. You know, it’s that you do better with 10 specialists than you do with 10 jack of all trades, master of none types.

[3:19] But there’s more to it than working in teams. People die. And when they do, their knowledge is lost, via what’s taught to the next generation. However, when one of those individual’s immense stored media—you know: writing, disk drives, the internet, that sort of thing—everything changes. Knowledge from that point on is essentially accumulative AND exponential in nature. Knowledge enables large groups to coordinate and work together, and it enables machines that can do the work of thousands of men. It enables health care, clean water, understanding disease, and so on. So you see from these miniscule tweaks in the DNA, massive effects can ensue.

[4:02] Those relatively modest changes that promote group formation can greatly increase the potency of a community. After this genetic selection plays a diminished role, its selection criteria that determines who dies and who doesn’t is essentially down to the stored knowledge of societies. Communities that can treat small pox will survive better than those that cannot. Communities that can treat water survive better than those that cannot. Societies with WWII era weaponry simply cannot challenge modern military equipment on the battle field.

[4:35] But it’s the pace that this knowledge can be gathered at that’s the real knee-weakening factor. I mean, merely over the last few decades I’ve seen vast changes in our civilization. When I was young, there was no such thing as a personal computer. And now, just over one generation further on, it’s difficult to find ANY aspect of our lives that does not benefit from this technology.

[4:59] Our genetics are now essentially in a state of stasis when one considers the growth of the knowledge of mankind. Looked at in such terms, the potency of mankind is a product of several factors which contain elements that could be described both as genetic and group survival terms.

[5:17] However, one thing is overwhelmingly clear. And that’s for mankind, knowledge is the principle factor. Knowledge is the enabler of both society’s and the species. Knowledge is now the prime factor in deciding the survivability of individuals. Knowledge is the future, and intentionally, intellectually corrosive muppets like this:

[5:40] Kent Hovind: “I believe the Bible is the infallible, inspired, inerrant word of the living God. I believe it from cover to cover. Amen. And I believe the evolution theory that’s being taught in our schools is one of the dumbest and most dangerous religions in the history of humanity.”

[6:00] Thunderf00t: -just cannot be ignored.

[6:03] Presented with such arguments, it’s baffling that so many politicians do not have education; that’s the propagation of knowledge. And research, that’s the acquisition of new knowledge. And countering the disinformation sewn by pseudoscientists, that’s the top items on their agenda.

[6:22] Now let’s compare this previously presented perspective to that of a creationist:

[6:27] clip: “Who am I?”

Hovind: “Evolution tells us we’re just an accident, the result of random chance. But the Bible says we’re fearfully and wonderfully made in the image of our Creator.”

[6:40] Thunderf00t: (chuckles) Well, fundamentally, no. We are a hierarchical, social, species. Something an individual god can never be. It’s tautological that a single individual cannot form a hierarchical social structure.

[6:56] clip: “Why am I here?”

Hovind: “Evolution leaves us without an answer. There IS NO purpose to life.”

[7:03] Thunderf00t: Well, again—no. You HAVE a purpose AND a vested interest; and the benefit of the society that raised your living standards and life expectancy beyond any ramblings from any Bronze Age myth book.

[7:18] I mean, really it’s a direct challenge. Present anything in the Bible or similar that conveys what we are and how our species functions better than I have shown in this video. But again, it shows this harsh contrast.

[7:34] I could concisely and comprehensively convey complex concepts, clear of the confusion of convolutional clouding. But the Bible bombastically and bitterly bombs, as belied by its bleakly bad bungling. [Extra points for alliteration!]

[7:50] clip: “Where am I going when I die?”

Hovind: “Well, if evolution is true, don’t worry about it. You got nothing to lose. But if creation is true, you have everything to lose by not considering this fundamental question of life.”

[8:03] Thunderf00t: Well all this seems a pretty shallow and manipulative play on the sense of self-preservation that we must necessarily have. Well, at least why it’s those who don’t have one are unlikely to have lived long enough to watch this video.

[8:16] However, everyone watching this video does have a brain, and now that brain has been introduced to an overview of mankind and your position in it.

[8:26] Immortality is an elusive concept for volatile genes, organisms, organs, and ideas. Self-preservation is merely the introspective fear of the termination of an organ. But for those who perceive they’re part of an individual in the grand scheme of things, they gain an enhanced potential to shape the thoughts and behaviors of things long after their brain ceases to function.

[8:51] In this sense, for the lesser, as for the greater, the footprints of the individual in the sands of time will echo into the future. But ultimately, for reasons that should be explicitly clear in this video, Bronze Age religion is an inhibiting influence on the progression of mankind.

[9:08] Thankfully, in the open and free global forum of ideas this intellectually erosive concept is progressively more unviable, and I believe we serve the coming man, society and ourselves, in challenging it by decree of open contest.

Why do people laugh at creationists? (part 11). – Transcript

August 16, 2014

Many thanks to Linda for supplying this transcript!

[0:03] clip from VenomFangX: “Jesus spoke about a second death. There are two types of death: mortal death, which is when our soul is separated from our body; and spiritual death, which is when our soul is separated from God. Adam and Eve had their souls separated from God the day they ate from the forbidden fruit. That’s why God kicked them out of the Garden. Now, that is also why we are born spiritually dead in our sins. You are dead in your sins, and that’s why Jesus said you have to be born again right now by repenting of sin and putting your faith in Jesus Christ. You will then be born again of the spirit of God and be able to remain with God forever. If you don’t do that now, during this life, you will remain separated from God forever.

[0:41] clip from The Terminator

[0:52] clip from VenomFangX: “I’m gonna make a challenge for ya. Do you wanna debate with me? Live? We’ll record it, post it on YouTube, make it a big event. We could even have one of those Mortal Combat screens, you know, me on one side you on the other. It’ll be crazy right? Let’s do it. It’ll be fun.”

[1:05] Thunderf00t: Well, it’ll be fun for me. But then again that’s because I’m not so stupid as to say that the Grand Canyon was formed at about five times the speed of sound.

[1:14] clip from VenomFangX: “If the planet flooded like the Bible says, the Grand Canyon could have been formed in about five minutes. The Grand Canyon could have been formed in about five minutes.”

[1:28] Thunderf00t: However the reason I have little interest in humoring you with a debate is exemplified by these videos. Put simply, someone who has repeatedly demonstrated such a crass lack of scientific understanding as yourself, is not in need of a debate, but an education.

[1:45] However you shouldn’t feel bad about this attribute as it’s so much pervasively true of all young earth creationists. Let’s see what gems you have for us this time:

[1:56] clip from VenomFangX: “The Bible says Noah only had to bring things that breathe with their nostrils. Fish don’t breathe with their nostrils, and I bet you even know that.”

[2:03] Thunderf00t: Aaaah, Noah’s Ark. It’s almost shameless that anyone could try and defend this. But let’s look at the facile point that Noah took nothing onto the ark that didn’t have nostrils. Well, sure that would’ve meant that Noah wouldn’t have to take any bugs on the ark. But then again it would’ve also meant the extinction of almost all insects and plant life on earth, and of course the humble earthworm and thereby ensuring that Noah and everything else on the ark would’ve starved to death on a dead planet.

[2:33] But then again, what about the whales? They breathe through their nostrils. Shown are the nostrils of the largest creature ever to live on the earth, the blue whale. I really would’ve loved to see how Noah got all the animals that

[2:45] clip from VenomFangX: “breathe with their nostrils”

[2:46] Thunderf00t: on the ark.

[2:47] clip from VenomFangX: “The Bible says Noah only had to bring things that breathe with their nostrils. Fish don’t breathe with their nostrils, and I bet you even know that. So insects breathe, not through their nostrils but through their skin, so no insects either. Now, the seas get saltier at an increasing rate every year. And if you take the rate in which they’re getting saltier in reverse time, about 4,400 years ago the seas would be totally freshwater.”

[3:08] Thunderf00t: Aaah, so the water was totally fresh 4,000 years ago, eh? Well, where did these come from? These are chalk cliffs. They’re known to be composed of microscopic shells of a form of creature similar to the modern phytoplankton called coccolithophores. These phytoplankton require two materials to make their calcium carbonate shells: firstly, calcium, which is dissolved in the sea water. Secondly, carbonate, which is usually obtained from carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

[3:41] The geological period of time in which these deposits were laid down is named after these chalk deposits; the Latin name for chalk being ‘creta’. In the Cretaceous period these areas were covered with oceans and the chalk deposits were laid down between 150 and 70 million years ago.

[3:59] Now comes the amusing bit. The raw materials required for coccolithophores to make chalk, or calcium carbonate, are a salt solution of the iron calcium and carbon dioxide. Now if the oceans were purely fresh water, as the creationist states, then where did these calcium carbonate deposits of coccolithophores come from?

[4:20] clip from The Matrix

[4:23] clip from VenomFangX: “Jesus spoke about a second death. There are two types of death: mortal death, which is when our soul is separated from our body.”

[4:31] Thunderf00t: I can only assume that by ‘death’ he means ‘brain death’. We’ve known for decades now that the only thing that causes irreversible death is the death of the brain. Once the neurochemistry goes south, it doesn’t come back.

[4:45] However, this is the thing: animals have brains that function on a very similar fashion to our own. Yet I somehow doubt that the creationist would argue that it’s impossible for animals to die, because they have no souls to separate from their bodies. Next of course comes the obvious question: we know our brains make our decisions, so what’s the purpose of the soul that the creationist speaks of? Why do those who claim that they have been ‘born again’ with souls have behavioral characteristics that are indistinguishable—or worse—than those who haven’t been born again with a soul? For instance, divorce rates and the such like.

[5:20] clip from VenomFangX: “-and spiritual death, which is when our soul is separated from God.”

[5:24] Thunderf00t: Okay, so the creationist is now saying we have a soul, and that there is a god. And that having your soul separated from god counts as death. Umm, okay. Well, I’m still struggling to see how if god is omnipresent and omnipotent, how you can ever be separated from him.

[5:40] clip from VenomFangX: “Adam and Eve had their souls separated from God the day they ate from the forbidden fruit. That’s why God kicked them out of the Garden.”

[5:47] Thunderf00t: Okay, so Adam was born with his soul alive, and killed it by eating forbidden fruit. So what did we learn? Well, in creationism it’s possible to kill your soul by eating.

[6:00] clip from VenomFangX: “Now, that is also why we are born spiritually dead in our sins.”

[6:04] Thunderf00t: Okay, so in creationism it’s not only possible to kill your own soul by eating, but it can also cause ALL the children you have to be born with dead souls.

[6:15] clip from VenomFangX: “You are dead in your sins, and that’s why Jesus said you have to be born again right now by repenting of sin and putting your faith in Jesus Christ.”

[6:23] Thunderf00t: Okay, so when you’re born, your soul is automatically tied to your body, but it’s dead. Then when you choose for your soul to come alive, uuh, how? What makes the choice? The dead soul, bad chemistry of life? Well let’s leave that for a minute and see where this goes.

[6:40] clip from VenomFangX: “You will then be born again of the spirit of God and be able to remain with God forever.”

[6:45] Thunderf00t: So your soul is born into a piece of bad chemical machinery, thanks to your ancestors not being picky enough about their diet. And now, if you manage to get your soul to come alive by some undescribed process, then you get to become a part of god.

[7:00] clip from VenomFangX: “If you don’t do that now, during this life, you will remain separated from God forever.”

[7:05] Thunderf00t: And if you don’t obey the creationist’s fantasy, then his fantasy will punish you for your disobedience. But of course the funny thing is the creationist’s fantasy would automatically kill the souls of all the babies who haven’t chose to have their souls born yet. That’s a pretty unpleasant fantasy.

[7:22] But now let’s compare what we know, and can PROVE with the physical evidence, to the creationist’s fantasy.

[7:30] clip from VenomFangX: “If you don’t do that now, during this life, you will remain separated from God forever.”

[7:35] clip from The Terminator

[7:49] clip from VenomFangX: “The Bible says Noah only had to bring things that breathe with their nostrils . . . 4,400 years ago the seas would be totally freshwater.”

Why do people laugh at creationists? (part 10)- Transcript

August 16, 2014

Many thanks to Linda for supplying this transcript!

[0:03] clip from “LEE STROBEL The Case for a Creator Full documentary”: “If the universe looks like it’s fine-tuned for complex life, maybe there’s a fine-tuner. Maybe it was fine-tuned for life.”
“If we didn’t have the electromagnetic force you would have no bonding between chemicals. You would have no light and the list goes on. So you need all these sorts of fundamental principles have to be in place in order for life to occur. Wipe out one of those principles, wipe out one of those laws—no life.”

[0:28] Thunderf00t: Okay, so he’s saying that there’s only one unique way for life to exist. This of course is purely speculative creationist tosh. To demonstrate this point I’m going to go to the microscopic level of molecular dynamics. Shown is a molecular dynamic simulation of the bee sting protein called melatin. These simulations that are routinely used are very useful for the interpretation of experimental results and the predictions of microscopic behaviors of such systems. It’s a well-established and mature field of chemistry. There’s just one thing: there is no gravity whatsoever in these calculations. Nor is there any gravity whatsoever in the more detailed quantum mechanical calculations.

[1:12] Gravity is about 1000 billion billion billion billion times weaker than the electromagnetic force. It’s an irrelevant factor in the molecular forces which determine molecular dynamics. Which is why you can leave it out of the equation altogether.

[1:28] It’s also notable that life is remarkably robust to the absence of gravitational fields, functioning almost as well on the earth as it does in microgravity. Put simply, there is no reason whatsoever why you couldn’t get life functioning perfectly happily in a universe with no gravity.

[1:48] There are just four forces that we are aware of. That’s gravity, the strong, the weak, and the electromagnetic force. Now I’ve just shown that gravity is not necessary for the functioning of life. Further, a recent paper has suggested that a universe without the weak force would look largely indistinguishable from our current universe (Harnik, Kribs, Perez, A Universe Without Weak Interactions).

[2:09] So half of the forces that we know about are not essential for the functioning of life. So much for the creationist statement that everything needs to be perfect for life to function.

[2:22] But now let’s move on to the simple deceit of creationists:

[2:26] clip from “LEE STROBEL The Case for a Creator Full documentary”: “One example of this fine-tuning is the force of gravity.”
“Imagine a ruler divided up into one inch increments, and then stretched across the entire universe, a distance of some 14 billion light years. For the purposes of illustration, the ruler represents the possible range for gravity.”

[2:51] Thunderf00t: Yep, you always need dramatic music if you’re gonna play god and choose a new gravitational force constant to the universe. However if you want to play god, as the creationist seems intent on doing, then the limits for the gravitational constant is zero and infinity.

[3:06] However you cannot put an infinite number of finite-sized inch strips together on a finite distance—it’s impossible by definition. Like say, for instance a square with five sides. What the guy’s describing is simply mathematically impossible.

[3:23] clip from “LEE STROBEL The Case for a Creator Full documentary”: “In other words, the setting for the strength of gravity could’ve been anywhere along the ruler, but it just happens to be situated in exactly the right place so that life is possible. Now if you were to change the force of gravity by moving the setting just one inch compared to the entire width of the universe, the effect on life would be catastrophic.”

[3:45] Thunderf00t: Weell, in fairness, the animation was neat and the music was fine. However it’s still pointlessly speculative mathematical nonsense. The creationist demonstrating that he doesn’t understand mathematics is Lee Strobel, author of such books as The Case for Christ, The Case for Faith, and The Case for a Creator. The title of these books and his gesturing are unsurprising given that Strobel’s highest degree was not in physics, chemistry, biology, mathematics—or any other scientific discipline for that matter—but law.

[4:16] Yep, that’s right. The creationist fielding the case for creation is a lawyer. Now at this point an inquiring mind will be asking ‘what is a lawyer doing making predictions about diddling with the fundamental force constant to the universe when he has no real scientific understanding of the one he currently lives in?’ In this sense, Strobel’s mathematically impossible speculation on the gravitational constant has about as much academic credibility as a burger-flipper lecturing a brain surgeon on cerebral aneurysms.

[4:47] The principle difference between lawyers and scientists is that scientists gain their reputation on track record based on what they can establish from the physical evidence and logical deduction. However for lawyers, truth is an irrelevance as the criterion that determines a successful lawyer is their ability to present a successful case, not their ability to establish truth; although obviously it helps for those who harbor a conscience if the two coincide once in a while.

[5:17] clip from A Few Good Men

[5:26] Thunderf00t: But let’s take another look at this case for a fine-tuned universe. There’s about 75 cubic kilometers of life on earth, while the volume of the earth is approximately one trillion cubic kilometers. That means that by volume the earth is approximately one billionth of a percent life.

[5:48] For me, this device is an example of fine-tuning. For this object, each of the thousand billion billion billion billion atoms are arranged—sorry, fine-tuned—for the purpose of human transport. Now if you found a rock of comparable size and found a fleck of iron in it the size of a pinhead that’s approximately the equivalent volume fraction of life on earth, would you conclude that the rock was fine-tuned for the purpose of being a car? So why would you conclude that the earth is fine-tuned for the purpose of life?

[6:23] However, it’s better than that, as the creationists in this video go on to argue that we are the only life in the Milky Way. Fantastic. The volume between us and the nearest galaxy is about five times [Equation]cubic kilometers. That means that the creationists are happy to argue that something where you find one part in [Equation] that works, means that that object is fine-tuned for that purpose.

[6:51] Now for the creationist to call this a fine-tuned universe for the purpose of life is like taking a billion earths and finding a single iron atom on one of those earths and then concluding that these billion earths are fine-tuned for a purpose.

[7:08] In summary, it is deeply unconvincing to try and argue that a universe which has essentially no life in it is fine-tuned for the purpose of life.

[7:24] clip from “LEE STROBEL The Case for a Creator Full documentary”: “Wipe out one of those laws—no life.”
“Maybe there’s a fine-tuner. Maybe it was fine-tuned for life.”

Why do people laugh at creationists? (part 9)

August 16, 2014

Many thanks to Linda for supplying this transcript!

[0:03] clip from “RRS vs. Kirk Cameron / Ray Comfort Nightline FULL”: “Listen to what two of the greatest scientific minds in history said about the design in creation: Sir Isaac Newton: “the most beautiful system of the sun, the planets, and comets, could only proceed from the council and dominion of an intelligent and powerful Being.” Albert Einstein—he said, “in view of such harmony in the cosmos which I, with my limited human mind, am able to recognize, there are yet people who say there is no god.”

[0:33] Thunderf00t: Aaaah, quote mining; another favorite ploy of the creationist, using partial or misleading quotes from real scientists in the hope that some of their academic credibility will rub off on them. It’s trivial to do. For instance, these are the words of the devoted creationist Kirk Cameron and his partner Ray Comfort:

[0:52] clips from “RRS vs. Kirk Cameron / Ray Comfort Nightline FULL”: “You guys who believe in god are idiots. You’re small-minded people who are unintelligent. You don’t think.”
“There’s no god.”
“I’d rather go to hell than to believe in a megalomaniac like god.”

[1:08] Thunderf00t: This is the worst kind of deceit; worse in many ways than actually lying in that it is specifically designed to intentionally mislead people by either misquoting people or misrepresenting academic discourse (which is essential to the progression of science) as a weakness of a theory.

[1:25] It is also very noticeable these creationists plead with you to accept their views. In academic circles this would be instantly interpreted as a man with no case to present, which is why he resorts to such snake oil-salesman-style techniques.

[1:40] In academic lectures on research science, it’s taken that any argument presented stands on its merits. The lecturer is expected to present his case clearly, but any attempt to suggest that his arguments should be accepted based on the pleading or scoffing of the lecturer would be instantly greeted with academic skepticism.

[2:00] This sort of thing might fly in the pulpit and in political forums, but it has no place in the academic arena.

[2:11] clip from “RRS vs. Kirk Cameron / Ray Comfort Nightline FULL”: “You know if a Coca-Cola can was MADE, there must be a maker. When I look at a painting, how can I know there was a painter? Well the painting is absolute, 100 percent scientific proof there was a painter. Well a building is absolute, 100 percent scientific proof there was a builder.”

[2:32] Thunderf00t: Yeaaah, tell it brother! Just like rocks are 100 percent absolute proof of a rock-making god. Just like sunsets is 100 percent absolute scientific proof of a sunset-making factory. Yeah, just like a nearly perfectly spherical Mars is 100 percent absolute proof that there is a Mars-maker. Oh yeah, that’s right. I remember now. The reason we don’t think that sunsets are made by a sunset-making god is because we understand the origin of sunsets. We can still say that god did it. It’s just that that doesn’t advance our understanding of the world any. And it’s a path that leads to an intellectual dead-end.

[3:10] clip from “RRS vs. Kirk Cameron / Ray Comfort Nightline FULL”: “If it’s designed, there MUST be a designer.”

[3:14] Thunderf00t: This statement is of course tautological. But the question is how can you recognize design? For instance, crystals are among the most ordered objects in the universe. Yet we do not instantly reach for a crystal-making god to try and explain the existence of these highly ordered structures. Again, the reason we do not reach for a god to explain these structures is because we have a perfectly satisfactory naturalistic explanation of the origin of crystals.

[3:41] There is nothing wrong with a tautological statement that designed objects are designed. There’s nothing wrong with the statement that paintings, etc. are designed, simply as they have no plausible naturalistic explanation for their origin. However, there IS a naturalistic explanation for life. It’s called evolution. And before the creationists start coming out with their unfounded tosh about how ‘it’s never been observed’ and so on: it’s more than observed. The principle of evolution is used by the likes of engineers to design aerodynamic bodies—a sort of design without a designer.

[4:16] Indeed, even I myself have written such pieces of code. All you need is reproduction with variation, and environmental attrition and evolution intrinsically follows. This is not just some animation about the front end of an evolutionary algorithm, where the bugs are actually evolving to the environment.

[4:38] Well let’s just highlight the logical flaws of this typical creation argument that ‘designed objects such as paintings, buildings, etc. require a designer. Life looks designed, so it must have a designer’.

[4:51] Let me parody this creationist logic. Let me take a load of pebbles, and see if any of them perfectly fit a shot glass. The answer is no. Indeed I could keep on trying to get pebbles to fit the shot glass in perpetuity and never find one that fits it perfectly. Indeed, I could happily conclude that the only way for a pebble to fit the shot glass perfectly is if it were designed to fit the shot glass.

[5:17] Liquids however fit a shot glass perfectly every time. So, by the creationist’s logic, liquid must be designed to fit the glass. Now the reason this argument is bogus of course, is simply because the two objects being compared have different critical properties. In my case I am comparing deformable matter such as liquids to solids, and drawing the bogus conclusion that liquids must be designed to fit the glass.

[5:45] In the creationist’s case, they are comparing objects that are known to be manufactured, with objects that can evolve—that is, objects that suffer environmental attrition and reproduction with variation—and then drawing the bogus conclusion that life must be designed.

[6:08] clip from “RRS vs. Kirk Cameron / Ray Comfort Nightline FULL”: “When I look at this building, how do I know there was a builder? You can’t see him, hear him, touch him, taste him, or smell him. I mean, what evidence is there that there was a builder?

[6:18] clip from “Bob the Builder”

[6:27] Thunderf00t: Yeah, that’s right. You know there was a builder because you CAN see him, hear him, touch him, taste him, and smell him—although few builders would allow you to go that far. But even if you couldn’t see him, hear him, touch him, taste him, or smell him, you can watch builders building buildings all the time. And even if you couldn’t do that, you go down to the planning department and get the blueprints for the building and get the date the building was erected on and how it was made.

[6:53] clip from“RRS vs. Kirk Cameron / Ray Comfort Nightline FULL”: “When I look at this building, how do I know there was a builder? You can’t see him, hear him, touch him, taste him, or smell him. I mean, what evidence is there that there was a builder?

God Loves you enough to BURN YOU WITH FIRE!: Transcript

August 16, 2014

Many thanks to Linda for providing this transcript!

[0:00] Thunderf00t: You know, I can put up with A LOT of fiction in a good story. Like blue god-like quantum men, or hundred year old girls fighting werewolves in subways. Or, people in computer games who can stop bullets if they believe it, and so on. However what I can’t take, even in a fantasy, is internal inconsistency. Like say, for instance when these agents—they can punch through walls—and they wanna kill everyone in this car, and this is what happens when he jumps on the first car; he utterly destroys it. And of course, that’s what happens when he jumps on the car with everyone in it he’s trying to kill, right? Nah, he just nimbly lands on the hood, merely making a mess of the paintwork, and so on.

[0:42] Or the time where the car he wasn’t trying to kill the people in is a mangled, bullet time wreck. In films, these are just kind of annoying and they’re called plot holes—it’s an internal inconsistency, and it’s the hallmark of bullshit. And people who can hold these internal inconsistencies in their mind in the real world—and even justify them—are idiots.

[1:05] So, let me just give you an example like: ‘my boyfriend only beats me because he loves me so much.’ Actually, no that’s a bad example because that’s pretty emotionally driven. Let me give you another example, that ‘God loves me so much, that he will torture me for eternity if I don’t do what he says.

[1:24] Huh, now that’s exactly the same thing just for the fictional character. Now it’s just come to me. I’ve got a famous example of this. Like when John Paul II claimed that it was a miracle that saved him from dying when he was shot, and that it was the Lady of Fatima who diverted the bullet away from a critical artery. To which Richard Dawkins famously retorted in The God Delusion that:

[1:48] clip from “Richard Dawkins Reads The God Delusion”: “When he suffered an assassination attempt in Rome, and attributed his survival to intervention by Lady of Fatima, “her maternal hand guided the bullet”. One cannot help wondering why she didn’t guide it to miss him altogether. Others might think the team of surgeons who operated on him for six hours deserve at least a share of credit.”

[2:19] Thunderf00t: Hell, if he wanted a miracle thing, why didn’t he just make like Neo? I mean believe me, if the Pope could do this, there would be a hell of a lot more Catholics in the wide world. But the reason I bring all this up is ‘cos this YouTube video I saw the other day.

[2:35] The creationist Kent Hovind is currently in jail after being convicted on a host of federal offenses mostly related to not paying his taxes. In fact, he’s been in jail for the best part of the last ten years. So some of the religious folks were discussing this:

[2:50] clip from “New 911 EMERGENCY! Dr. Kent Hovind 07/10/2014 Truth Serum Talk Radio Show Club Creation”: “And if you’re not everyone, priest [?] please lift him up in prayer. God has kept his hand of protection on Kent. Kent has been with some of the most violent offenders in this nation, and he’s not been harmed.”
“Mmhmm. Yes, exactly. And that just shows you the power of the Holy Spirit and the power of God at work here.”

[3:13] Thunderf00t: So did you get that? The fact that Kent has not been harmed in jail—just like tens of thousands of other prisoners who haven’t been harmed in jail—is actually the work of god. However, it would seem that even though god is powerful enough to keep Kent safe in prison, he’s not quite powerful enough to free him from prison.

[3:33] clip from “New 911 EMERGENCY! Dr. Kent Hovind 07/10/2014 Truth Serum Talk Radio Show Club Creation”: “But then again, you know, we do have an enemy and it’s not flesh and blood. Our adversary is the Devil and it’s his objective, um, to clearly to shut Dr. Hovind up and lock him away from the world so he can’t continue winning souls.”

[3:50] Thuderf00t: I mean, really, an all-powerful being who you think has personally intervened to keep you safe in jail, can’t get one man out of jail. I mean DAMN, the sheer self-centeredness of it all. If you’re gonna pray for something, DAMN pray for an end to childhood cancer! Not to get Kent Hovind out of jail. Or even better—get off your knees and actually DO something. ‘Cos as the old saying goes, a single pair of hands at work achieves more than a billion clasped in prayer.

Why do people laugh at creationists? (part 1) – Transcript

July 3, 2014

[0:05] clip from VenomFangX: “When I claim that there was a worldwide flood, I get laughed at³.”
“But, this planet is covered ¾ in water. If the planet flooded like the Bible says, the Grand Canyon could have been formed in about five minutes.”

[0:22] Thunderf00t: This is a geographical map of the United States. This is the Grand Canyon. The Grand Canyon is about 300 miles long. In order to travel from one end of the canyon to the other in five minutes, it is required that you would be travelling at about five to six times the speed of sound.”

[0:41] clip from VenomfangX: “the Grand Canyon could have been formed in about five minutes.”
“I get laughed at”
“in about five minutes”
“I get laughed at”
“Scientists have been desperately trying to find water on other planets. However, the search is futile.”

[0:59] Thunderf00t: Weeell, not really. There was the Mars Global Surveyor probe which had found evidence that water has been flowing on Mars within the last five years. Then of course, there’s the Mars Express probe which has taken pictures of water ice on Mars, and revealed massive deposits of water ice under the Martian poles. Then there’s the Cassini-Huygens probe that has taken pictures of water ice on Titan.

[1:22]: Three of the four large Jovian moons are composed mostly of water. It’s as likely that Europa has oceans under the frozen surface created by tidal heating from Jupiter. Similarly with Ganymede and Callisto, almost all the moons of Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune are ice balls too, as are most of the comets.

[1:43]: It’s difficult to contrive that anyone could make a more uneducated statement on the status of water in the solar system, than:

[1:51] clip from VenomFangX: “Scientists have been desperately trying to find water on other planets. However, the search is futile.”
“Yet, this planet—this, amazing planet—just so happens to have, you know, a hundred percent of the water in the whole solar system.”

[2:12]Thunderf00t: Well, let’s ignore for the moment the water on Mars, the gas giants. Let’s ignore the water on the moons of Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune. Let’s ignore all Kuiper belt objects such as Pluto, Sedna, of course all comets.

[2:26] clip from VenomFangX: “Here’s an interesting thing about water—uuh, where did it all come from? We can’t find like a speck of H₂O in outer space.”

[2:33] Thunderf00t: Is there still no water in the universe? BOLLOCKS. Water is the second most common molecule in the universe. The reason for this is simple. The elemental composition of the universe by atom percent is about 92% hydrogen, 8% helium, the third most common element in the universe is oxygen, and there’s less than 1 atom percent of it.

[2:56]: Helium of course doesn’t form any compounds, so the most common molecule in the universe is hydrogen, H₂. The second most common molecule in the universe is H₂O, water.

[3:11] clip from VenomFangX: “I get laughed at”
“There is a small zone around every star called the “habitable zone”, where liquid water is possible. Our Earth happens to be in a perfectly spherical orbit around our star.”
“perfectly spherical orbit around our star.”

[3:27] Thunderf00t: The Earth’s orbit is not a perfect sphere. It’s not a sphere, it’s not even a circle. The earth’s orbit around the sun, like all planetary orbits, is elliptical. And this has been known for about 400 years.

[3:44] clip from VenomFangX: “I get laughed at.”
“However, if Earth was a mere 5% closer to our sun, we would COOK, like Venus. Now, if our earth was a few percent away from our sun-“

[3:55] Thunderf00t: By a few percent, you fail to mention that this is 37%. This is about 50 BILLION meters, almost out as far as Mars.

[4:06] clip from VenomFangX: “I get laughed at.”

[4:11] clip from VenomFangX: “The Grand Canyon could’ve been formed in about five minutes.”

[4:14] clip from VenomFangX: “Yet, this planet—this, amazing planet—just so happens to have, you know, a hundred percent of the water in the whole solar system. We can’t find like a speck of H₂O in outer space.”

[4:24] clip from VenomFangX: “Our Earth happens to be in a perfectly spherical orbit around our star.”

Many thanks to Linda for supplying the transcript.

Why do people laugh at creationists? (part 2) -Transcript

July 3, 2014


[0:04] VenomFangX: “Let’s talk about chemical evolution. In laboratory science, it is proven that hydrogen cannot turn into another element. So, we already know that chemical evolution is impossible.”

[0:14] Thunderf00t: Actually, the sun is powered by hydrogen being converted into higher elements by a process called fusion. So the energy released from this fusion that heats and lights the earth. However, the creationist may well argue that no one has actually ever been to the sun.

[0:29] clip from Futurama

[0:37] Thunderf00t: So let’s discount the sun for the moment. Here on earth, there are numerous groups working on laser fusion where hydrogen is converted into higher elements. Then of course, there’s the international thermonuclear experimental reactor currently being built in France, which is designed to harness the energy released from the fusion of hydrogen into helium.

[0:59]: However, even if a creationist were to ignore all of these examples, by which hydrogen is converted into higher elements, there are more graphic examples of fusion:

[1:15] VenomFangX: “It is proven that hydrogen cannot turn into another element . . . hydrogen cannot turn into another element . . . which we’ve proven to be impossible . . . [1:33] Here’s a fun fact: because the moon can eclipse the sun so perfectly, we can measure the constituency of the sun, the materials and elements on its surface, by observing the pinkish arc of the chromosphere at the moment of totality.”

[1:47] Thunderf00t: Here’s a fun fact: the only reason we cannot observe the elements on the surface of the sun all the time, is because we live under an atmosphere. Without this you could make exactly the same observations you can during an eclipse simply by putting your finger over the body of the sun.

[2:03]: Here’s a fun fact: we can actually see in the H-alpha wavelength, we would be able to directly observe the dynamic behavior of the surface of the sun.

[2:12]: Here’s a fun fact: have you ever wondered why there isn’t an eclipse every time the moon orbits the earth? Well it’s simple. The angle between the plane in which the moon orbits the earth, to the plane in which the earth orbits the sun is about five degrees. Practically, this means that a total solar eclipse can only happen two times of the year.

[2:33]: In a different geometrical arrangement such as, say for instance the moons of Jupiter, an eclipse is observed every time the moon goes around the planet.

[2:42] VenomFangX: “The moon fits over the sun so perfectly that it makes it possible to observe the surface of the sun. Otherwise this would be impossible. If the moon was too big or too small, it would be impossible. Because of our vantage point from the earth, the moon fits perfectly over the sun, the chances in which are one in a trillion.”

[2:59] Thunderf00t: What a crock of shit. The distance between the earth and the moon varies by about ten percent, between about 360 and 410 million meters. This practically means that the angular size of the moon can vary by about ten percent. As a direct result of this, about sixty percent of non-partial eclipses, the moon is too small to completely cover the sun and an annular eclipse is observed. In the remaining forty percent, the moon is too large, and a total solar eclipse is observed. All that is required to observe the outer layers of the sun is for the moon to be angularly bigger than the sun. Further, it’s completely bogus to call this ‘perfect’ for the simple reason the moon does not have a smooth surface. This causes an effect known as Baily’s beads where the sun shines through the valleys of the surface of the moon.

[3:55] VenomFangX: “Well, I’m not gonna sit here and tell you that I know how the planet was formed—‘cause I don’t. The Bible says God made the heavens and the earth in six days.”

[4:03] Thunderf00t: Is that the same Bible that allows you to make the statement that:

[4:07] VenomFangX: “The moon fits perfectly over the sun, the chances in which are one in a trillion.”

[4:11] Thunderf00t: You see this is the thing I’m always curious about when creationists assess probabilities. In order to make a statement on the probability of the moon perfectly covering the sun—ignoring for the moment the fact that it doesn’t—you would need to have a solid understanding of the mechanisms of the dynamics of the formation of the solar system and the planets. And yet:

[4:32] VenomFangX: “I’m not gonna sit here and tell you that I know how the stars or the planet was formed, because I have no idea . . . Clearly, this is pure imagination, yet it’s in a science textbook. Ridiculous, right? So if there’s pure imagination sneaking into the textbook, how can you trust what it says? . . . Let’s keep going. The conservation of angular momentum—we’re gonna talk about it—shows that if some-“

[5:03] Thunderf00t: What, you mean the conservation of angular momentum that’s in all the textbooks which only moments ago you described as containing ‘complete imagination’, and as ‘ridiculous’?

[5:20] VenomFangX: “The moon fits over the sun so perfectly that it makes it possible to observe the surface of the sun . . . In laboratory science, it has proven that hydrogen cannot turn into another element. So, we already know that chemical evolution is impossible . . . and the chances of which are one in a trillion.”

Many thanks to Linda for supplying the transcript.

Friday 15th – Mon (The Amazing Meeting! Part 2)

July 20, 2011

Got a little lost trying to meet up with the gang for lunch, and while wandering I bumped into Richard Dawkins.  We exchanged pleasantries, but he was clearly going somewhere and I was lost and late for lunch.  Had lunch with DataJack, Ashley and ZOMGitscriss, although me and Crissy were so stuffed from breakfast that we could only hack coffee.  I then went out to the car to bring out the ‘big guns’:  MY catholic outfit and the communion wafers.  By the time I got back to the convention some talk had just finished and there was a giant table full of giant, and very sweet looking cookies.  So I did what any sensible person would have done under such circumstances, I opened up the communion wafers and added them as a plate on the end of the cookie table!

Rev Tfoot and his wafers!

As people filtered by I accosted them with the words ‘Blasphemy Maam?, blasphemy Sir?’,’Get your celestial zombie flesh here, freshest in town!’, ‘Remember Sir, blasphemy is a victim-less crime’ and so on.  Even went in to find PZ at one point and we muched on communion wafers blessed with the magic words from Army of Darkness ‘Klaatu barada nikto.’  Got through about 250 wafers in the end.  It was a  gloorrious blasphemy !  Spent most of the afternoon chatting with people of one sort or another, mostly from RDF and SSA.  Wearing a priest uniform is absolutely fantastic.  All I had done was put on a dress, and people started treating me with all sorts of underserved respect.  It’s baffling to me why wearing the uniform of irrationality should bring you social respectability but it does, and YES, definitely I was soooo tempted to abuse that underserved respect.  Y’see Chuck Norris was guest of honor at some dinner for a karate championship, sooo tempted to bluff my way in and ask him why he hated the flying spaghetti monster.  There was also a significant amount of debate about who would win in a show down between Norris and Dawkins.  It later transpired that Norris had a security detail to take care of him which really kinda burst the internet meme of the indestructible and unbeatable man.

In early evening came the hot tubing!  Regrettably I didn’t have a swimming costume of any sort, so I did what any self respecting man wanting to show the absurdity of religion would do, and went hot tubing in my priest uniform (having stripped off my pants and shoes of course).  IT WAS FAAANTASTIC!  Not only did everyone love it, but the bubbles were going up my dress.  It was just like Marilyn Monroe in subway season.  The drinks had already started to flow, and I had managed to bring some of the 151 out to the hot tub, and by the time they turned the bubbles off I was already ‘a little bit tipsy’.  It then suddenly occurred to me as I was walking back into the hotel, that I was almost naked, bar my priests dress.  I had no wallet, my pants were in someone elses room, and I didn’t have a key, indeed the only thing I had left was the car key and whistle around my neck.  Other than that I was walking around Vegas, dressed as a priest, with only my underwear to protect my chastity.  Well I guess it’s something to cross off my ‘to do’ list.  Back at Delmars (the bar) the booze continued to flow, till many a drink later, I retired with Liz n Howard to pass out on their sofa.

The next morning (Sunday), this time, much the worse for wear I headed down for breakfast with a craving for pancakes.  Enroute bumped into bumped into Eugenie Scott of NCSE and we chatted for a bit about the possibility of doing an interview or something in LA.  Hooked up with Crissy, Liz and Howard for breakfast.  Service was fairly slow, and breakfast was late, so I had to excuse myself early to a podcast with the ‘Ardent Atheist’.  PZ was there, but damn was my brain ‘morning after the night before’ fried.  I did the trooper thing and did my best to hold it together, but, oooh, could I have done with another 4 hours sleep and some paracetamol!  The podcast was made all the more interesting by a girl who was a theist of some sort.  She was very sporting about it, but ultimately missed the fact what makes science, well science, is the models need some level of predictivity.   Somewhat recovered over the afternoon before helping the RDF guys pack up before heading off to dinner with them (a pleasant sushi house).  Back at Delmars that evening things went in a rather predictable fashion with the exception that people were visibly thinner on the ground.  We took a brief break from the bar as Crissys fans had given her some stuff to do while at TAM before heading back down to the bar.

Randi showed up briefly and everyone in the bar went absolutely ballistic.  Said a mournful goodbye to Ashley, who had been run ragged over the past few days (she had an early flight), but not before giving me instructions to keep Crissy safe and make sure she got back to her room safe (having some knowledge of how these conferences tend to play).  I hung around for a couple of hours but I too was a spent force, and by now in pigtails(!), and after explaining to Crissy my ‘duties’, she made it quite clear that the gesture was appreciated, but she was aware of what these conferences were like, and could handle it, and she looked like it too!  Said my goodbyes to Crissy too, gonna be while before I see her again. 😦

Went up to sleep in a vacated room of one of the folks from the RDF.

On the final day (actually the day after the conference ended, Monday), I was again feeling kinda groggy, but not that bad.  Took breakfast with friends from RDF (M, S and N), before helping them shift some of their stuff.  On walking out of the casino, I suddenly realized I had no plan for what to do next.  None.  Took a brief look at the map and decided that I should head towards California.

Friday 15th – Sun (The Amazing Meeting! Part 1)

July 19, 2011

Made it on the Road out of Telluride on the 15th at about 9ish with the prospect of the 11 hr drive to Las Vegas for the Amazing meeting, about 600 miles through Colorado, Utah, Arizona and Nevada.  The road from Telluride to Moab was fantastic though some of the most dramatic red canyonland I’ve seen.  Then came the long grind across Utah.   Turns out in my haste to get on the road I was again worrying short on supplies, most notably water.  The traffic going across I70 is really very light, and for good reason, it’s a road to nowhere across some of the most ‘god aweful’ country imaginable.  Not to say it’s not pretty though, indeed all the rest areas are ‘view points’.  Most of them have vendors selling indian jewelry right underneth the ‘no vending’ signs.  Didn’t see a cop for hundreds of miles, and it’s not surprising, frequently its 50+ miles between gas stations.  The sedimentary rock is very similar to that of the grand canyon half a state to the south.

Got to TAM late in the evening and met up with Crissy and Ashley at Delmars, the bar there.  Soon after I’d met  Mr Deity, Captain Disillusion and many others (W00T!).  Everyone was really friendly, but I was a spent force.  11 hrs of driving in 12 hrs can really take it out of you.

Thankfully there was plenty of booze around and it’s amazing how quickly you can forget about your fatigue.  Quite soon I was whisked off to Penns ‘donuts and ham party’ upstairs.  Great fun all round, and there was quite soon some very drunk and very discoordinated swaying to Lennons ‘Imagine’.  And yeah, this really does sum up the atmosphere at TAM, really friendly and really fun!  Small wonder its growing at 30 % a year 😀

Turns out the casino, while a monument to mankinds inability to do statistics, is a sort of rational oasis, with many an atheist performer.  Ashley knows EVERYBODY and soon my poor little brain, shaken off it’s foundations by a combination off countless hours of driving, worry about having no water in the desert, too much booze,  dancing, donuts, good company and a whirl of new faces n names was overloaded.  Eventually we headed up to Lisa n Howards place on the top floor.  By this time, verily the worse for wear, all I remember was the view was epic, and the main topic of conversation with a male stripper was, ‘was it possible for a man to take his socks off sexily’.

Woke up on Saturday still kinda buzzed, indeed I seemed to spend most of my time in Vegas either drunk or recovering.  In fact now that I think about it thats pretty much how everyone seemed to spend their time at Vegas, well of course apart from the big hitters.  Some real philanthropists at TAM too (thinking of you Mr-DataJack), folks who were ready to invest real amounts of money in the movement, and were more than happy to spring for breakfast.  Breakfast was HUGE and spent it with Crissy and Troy (comedy Jesus).

Well I’d love to say more, but the suns setting here in Barstow, and I’ve still got to find some food and somewhere quiet for the night!