Posts Tagged ‘richard dawkins’

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.

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Ban Bossy-Why ‘Feminism’ poisons EVERYTHING (Part 2):- transcript

July 12, 2014

Many thanks to Linda for creating this Transcript!

[0:00] Thunderf00tThis is your brain. This is your brain on a new wave of feminism:

 

[0:05] clip: “Bossy, bossy, bossy”

“When I was growing up, I was called ‘bossy’”

“I think the word ‘bossy’, is just, a squasher”

“Being labelled something matters”

“By middle school, girls are less interested in leadership than boys. And that’s because they worry about being called ‘bossy’”

 

[0:21] Thunderf00t: Yeah. That’s right, what else could possibly explain the lack of women in leadership roles but the word:

 

[0:27] clip: “bossy”

 

[0:28] Thunderf00t: And what better way to correct that than by banning a word?

 

[0:32] clip: “We need to help them lean in”

“Words matter”

“Let’s just ban the word ‘bossy’”

 

[0:38] Thunderf00t: Yes, apparently this is the latest in the string of feminist explanations to explain why there aren’t more women in certain fields. I mean, it’s got nothing to do with sexual dimorphism in humans. You know, that OUTRAGEOUSLY SEXIST reason why we split up the Olympics by sex.

 

[0:54] clip: “The belief that women are somehow a naturally weaker gender is a deeply ingrained, socially constructed myth. Which, of course is completely false”

 

[1:03] Thunderf00t: Or the fact that the physical dimorphism is accompanied by behavioral dimorphism as well. You know, it’s a consequence of having that neural net we call a ‘brain’, marinaded in mostly one hormone or another—nah, it’s got nothing to do with sexual dimorphism in the behavior of humans. It’s all bound to the word ‘bossy’.

 

[1:23] clip: “When I was growing up, I was called ‘bossy’”

“I think the word ‘bossy’, is just, a squasher”

“Being labelled something matters”

“By middle school, girls are less interested in leadership than boys. And that’s because they worry about being called ‘bossy’”

 

[1:37] Thunderf00t: First we have those feminists, like Rebecca Watson:

 

[1:40] clip: “That’s right, you liberal, intellectual guy, who has a healthy interest in science and skepticism, but who finds feminism distasteful and would rather not hear about it. You are worse than rape threats”

 

[1:54] Thunderf00t: -who told us that sexism in Atheism was so bad, that a woman could get ASKED FOR COFFEE in an elevator. And THAT’S why there aren’t so many women in atheism. While she simultaneously thinks that starting a charity fund raiser by spitefully insulting every, single, male atheist in the audience, is just funnnny.

 

[2:17] clip: “I opened with a joke, referencing the fact that”

“Hello, YouTube. It’s been a while. I’ve missed you. And, I’m guessing that you’ve missed me too. Because I’ve heard that if a male atheist on YouTube goes too long without calling a woman a cunt, his balls will actually shrivel up, and then tuck up inside of him, forming what some call a ‘mangina’”

“Most people, got the joke”

Most people, got the joke

“Rule number one: don’t try to be funny, even though you are obviously not funny”

 

[2:50] Thunderf00t: Seriously, you start your video by spitting in people’s faces, and then blame the people whose faces that you’ve just spat in, for not finding it funny.

 

[3:01] clip: “You think that my sarcasm and feminism causes misogyny. In the same way that birds flying south for the winter causes the snow to come”

 

[3:11] Thunderf00t: No, Rebecca. I think that people are pissed at you, was CAUSED by you SPITTING IN THEIR FACES for exactly the same reason that I think smoking causes cancer. And then you portray the fact that they’re pissed off that you spat in their faces, as a reason why you’re persecuted, and people need to give you money. Or maybe that’s the whole point.

 

[3:33] clip: “I’m gonna continue speaking out about feminism and harassment of women online. Why? Because it pisses you off.

 

[3:40] Thunderf00t: And then we have the “pop culture critic” who doesn’t even like playing computer games, ‘cause it’s “gross”

 

[3:47] clip: “And also, videogames—like, I would love to play videogames. But I don’t want to go around shooting people, and ripping off their heads. And it’s just, gross. So-”

 

[3:54] Thunderf00t: -telling people that the reason that she doesn’t like computer games is because it’s “gross”. Oh, no. That won’t do at all. That doesn’t involve accusing people of sexism or blaming men. Yes, the reason she doesn’t like playing computer games is because of the “sexist depiction of women in computer games”. Especially the ones that involve:

 

[4:14] clip: “shooting people, and ripping off their heads. And it’s just, gross. So-”

 

[4:17] Thunderf00t: -an argument that is just so mind-blowingly stupid. It’s like calling Victoria’s Secret ‘sexist’ because they only make lingerie in women’s sizes, and that they don’t use an equal number of men to model their lingerie. Yes, the first-person shooter industry demographic is mostly men. Because most girls, like Anita here find that sort of thing “gross”.

 

[4:42] clip from “boom headshot” (HahahaDamn)

 

[4:48] clip: “shooting people, and ripping off their heads. And it’s just, gross. So-”

 

[4:51] Thunderf00t: Look, Anita. Just because you CHOOSE not to play a game that doesn’t appeal to you—that doesn’t make it sexist. You choosing not to play that game DOES NOT mean that you are being discriminated against by an unquestioning boys club.

 

[5:05] clip: “-is that they’re actually trying to maintain the status quo of videogames as a male-dominated space . . . And all of the privileges and entitlements that come with an unquestioned boys club”

“I would love to play videogames. But I don’t want to go around shooting people, and ripping off their heads. And it’s just, gross. So-”

 

[5:24] Thunderf00t: Just like when I choose not to go shopping for lingerie because it doesn’t appeal to me—that’s not sexism, I am not being discriminated against by an unquestioning girls club.

 

[5:35] Now, if that what I was after, there are FAR easier ways to get discriminated against by an unquestioning girls club. Like the one that gave you $160,000 to make some videos.

 

[5:46] clip: “I actually raised twenty-five times what I initially asked for . . . Nearly seven-thousand individuals contributed to make my “Tropes vs Women in Videogames” project bigger, and better, and more expansive than I could ever have imagined”

 

[6:03] Thunderf00t: Of which you’ve made four. In two years$160,000. Or maybe that’s the whole point. Oh yeah, good business is where you find it. And selling victimhood to feminism is just as easy as selling a persecution complex to the religious.

 

[6:25] clip: “Listen, we have an outstanding broadcast here today. I took the time to do a compilation concerning Christian persecution in America. Check this out:

 

[6:35] Thunderf00t: And almost as profitable.

 

[6:37] clip: “There is coming a time very quickly here in America that we will not be able to bring this gospel message the way we currently are. That’s why we are urging you to donate today to continue and expand the work of this broadcast ministry before the lights go out. God bless you.

 

[6:55] Thunderf00t: And now you get this outrageous spinoff that the reason that there aren’t as many women managers is because they don’t like being called ‘bossy’. Because apparently the patriarchy has imbued men with this unholy power not to be discouraged by being called bossy. While these feminists think that women need special treatment, because ‘they’re emotionally fragile creatures than men’. Of course, if I were to say that women are more emotionally fragile creatures and need special protection from being called ‘bossy’ they would instantly label me as outrageously sexist and misogynistic.

 

[7:28] clip: “-horrible bigots, like Thunderf00t”

 

[7:31]: But these feminists think they are showing just how well women can compete on a level playing-field by saying that women are too emotionally fragile to handle being called ‘bossy’.

 

[7:44] clip: “When I was growing up, I was called ‘bossy’”

“I think the word ‘bossy’, is just, a squasher”

“Being labelled something matters”

“By middle school, girls are less interested in leadership than boys. And that’s because they worry about being called ‘bossy’”

 

[7:58] Thunderf00t: Ah, the face palm fails me. Look, let me say it once. Let me say it loud and let me say it clear: humans are a sexually dimorphic species. MEN and WOMEN are BIOLOGICALLY different. Which MAY or MAY NOT mean, that women are more biologically, emotionally fragile.

 

[8:21]: However, what we call ‘fair’ in society is equality of opportunity. Which in a sexually dimorphic species DOES NOT guarantee equality of outcome. In simple, simple terms the reason that it’s men who invariably end up shifting a couch up the stairs, is NOT because of sexism. Men are not conspiring to keep the couch-moving trade the “boys only” club with all the privileges and entitlements that come with it. It’s simply that they’re physiologically better-suited for it. You know, the same reason we divide the Olympics up by sex without everyone losing their shit and calling it sexism. If you wanna call it ‘sexism’, it’s simple. You have to show that there was not equality of opportunity. ‘Cause in a sexually dimorphic species, showing inequality of outcome, just doesn’t cut it.

 

[9:20]: But setting aside the 1984-style aspirations of being able to control words

 

[9:26] clip: “This is “Ban Bossy” take one”

 

[9:28] Thunderf00t: Well, I wouldn’t mind so much, but one of the women they have on board was Condoleezza Rice.

 

[9:35] clip: “There is a tie between Iraq and what happened on 9/11”

 

[9:39] Thunderf00t: Here’s a radical notion: maybe we should BAN POLITICIANS from telling bold-faced lies to the public to take them into an unjustified war.

 

[9:47] clip: “There is a tie between Iraq and what happened on 9/11”

 

[9:51] Thunderf00t: You know, one that’ll kill tens of thousands of people.

 

[9:55] clip: “There are no limits”

 

[9:57] Thunderf00t: -BEFORE we worry about banning the word ‘bossy’. Just sayin’.

 

[10:02] clip: “BAN ‘bossy’ . . . Join us to ban ‘bossy’”

 

[10:10] Thunderf00t: Oh, you’ve got to be kidding me. The U.S. Secretary of education saw this, and thought, ‘Oh, ban ‘bossy’. That’s a really good idea. I really want to be a part of that!’

Why are there so few high quality science communicators?

May 22, 2014

 

If civilization was a person, the scientific method, and the knowledge gained from it would not only constitute the brain and heart, but also all the major organs necessary to support life.  Or to put it another way, without the scientific method and the knowledge gained by it, civilization as we know it would cease to be, and we would be back to living in a very VERY bleak world.

Sadly societies in general seem to be happily, maybe even wilfully ignorant of just how much our civilization and quality of life depends on this method, and the knowledge gain by it. So why is this? Who, if anyone is to blame?

Well scientists have to take their share of the blame for this, in that if anyone can promote science, it’s them.  However speaking as a research scientist I KNOW why communicating science/ debunking pseudoscience (in science circles) is generally seen as a gamma rate objective, typically only pursued by betas.

The metrics by which scientists typically measure their success is by how much research money they bring in, and how much stuff they publish.  Nowhere in this equation is communicating science valued or rewarded.

-Communicating science takes time, which practically means the more time you spend communicating science, the less time there is to ‘succeed’ in the metrics used to determine success.

 

In many ways science has been corrupted by the access to data.  20 years ago, there were no easily accessible ‘metrics of success’ like the h-index and citations.  People didn’t/ couldn’t waste as much time worrying about it.  Now things like the h-index can be easily obtained with a few mouse clicks and are widely accepted and used for determining the success of an academic.  The game has slowly changed from ‘who can do the best research’ to ‘who can get the better h-factor’.  Now this is not to say the h-index has no value, in that it is correlated to the achievements of an academic but the correlations is not great and more importantly the index is relatively easy to game for personal advantage.

 

That’s really it in a nutshell.  Once you have defined a metric for success, it is expected that people will try to optimize how they score on that metric….. they will start to game the system.  This is the research equivalent of that often heard student question ‘will this be on the test’.  That’s the tipping point between where the student has gone from being there to actually learn, to being there to simply get the highest mark they can on the test.

 

Simply put, if ‘success as defined by h-index’ is what you are after, gaming the system is now the name of the game. Or put another way, if you are honestly doing the best science you can, you will not be able to compete in ‘success metrics’ with an equally talented scientist who’s playing the game of ‘winning in success metrics’.

 

If the system is set up such that scientists have no incentives for communicating science, then it is small wonder that there are so few high quality science communicators out there?

A+ (atheism plus), For A Third Glorious Age of Total Agreement

August 26, 2012

New Atheism” was built on the backs of heavyweights who had all written hard hitting best sellers. The social fabric was shaken by the approach of Harris, Hitchens, Dawkins and Dennet, appropriately dubbed no less than ‘the four horsemen’.

Now a series of bloggers, with conspicuously few achievements between all of them have decided that the community needs to be cleansed of subversive thought by expelling everyone who disagrees with them, and they are the ones to do it with a new movement called ‘Atheism Plus‘. The properties they most associate with folk like the horsemen are ‘old’ ‘white’ ‘male’ and ‘privileged’ (see below). Indeed a New Statesman article frequently quoted by the Freethoughtbloggers who started this, states quite clearly that:

“Atheism+ is a reaction against the “New Atheism” of Richard Dawkins”.

However they somehow manage to completely overlook the fact that the horsemen achieved their level of notoriety and recognition through ability and hard work, culminating in a series of best selling, ground shifting books: The God Delusion, God is NOT Great, Letter to a Christian Nation and Darwins Dangerous Idea to name but a FEW. The results of this can be seen when looking through the adword statistics where it actually turns out that Richard Dawkins alone is bigger than Atheism!

The Beatles may have been more popular than Jesus, but looks like Dawkins is now more popular than Atheism!

Dawkins, just so we are clear, has the prestigious academic title of Fellow of the Royal Society. That might not mean much to many, but it’s one of the higher awards given out by the Royal Society to people who made ‘ a substantial contribution to the improvement of natural knowledge, including mathematics, engineering science and medical science”.
Seriously is there anything in the entirety of the ‘Atheism Plus’ movement that can even approach this level of accomplishment?

So the founders of ‘Atheism plus’ have decided that, despite their lack of any real achievement, that the real thing atheism needs right now is to throw the likes of the horsemen under the bus and to form a splinter movement (click, its sooo appropriate).  That’s right the ‘Atheism plus’ will be gloriously free of older white men, irrespective of their actual contributions or achievements.

Jennifer McCreight, the founder of ‘Atheism Plus’ says what she thinks about old white men. Oddly enough ability and achievement don’t seem to factor into this equation at all!

So what are the founding principals of ‘Atheism plus’?

We are…
Atheists plus we care about social justice,
Atheists plus we support women’s rights,
Atheists plus we protest racism,
Atheists plus we fight homophobia and transphobia,
Atheists plus we use critical thinking and skepticism.

So ‘Atheism Plus’ gets off to this incredibly bad start where of their guiding principals, 2-4 are subsets of 1. Why that is becomes obvious when you see what’s bottom of the list of the ‘Atheism Plus’ manifesto. Bottom of the heap, no. 5 of 5 is ‘the use of critical thinking’. Yup critical thinking is bottom of the pile for ‘Atheism Plus’. I find it even more amusing as I am an atheist because of critical thinking (1. methodology, then 2. conclusion, y’know the logical way of doing it), whereas they start with the assertion that they are ‘Atheists Plus’, then later decide that critical thinking is a good thing. Conclusion before the methodology? very ass backwards!

Now enter the fray another Freethoughtblogger, held to be one of the more sane and rational FTBers (apparently), one ‘Richard Carrier’. Richard sets the standards high by asserting:

” And Greta Christina and others have taken up the banner: Atheism Plus: The New Wave of Atheism. I am fully on board. I will provide any intellectual artillery they need to expand this cause and make it successful.”

..and that would be all very fine and well if the rest of Carriers blog wasn’t so ridden with wildly over the top polarizing rhetoric of eradicating and purging dark evil impurities that threaten our purity of essence (as someone has noted, it sounds more like Mccarthyism and Ayn Rands hate child). Indeed, I can say without a hint of hyperbole or exaggeration that is more Third Reich like than ‘Third Wave of atheism’ like. Whats that? Godwins law I hear you say? Well judge for yourself! You really have see it to believe it…..here’s some highlights!

“Don’t assume that because someone else did that, that it’s covered and you can give it a miss. No, we need to show numbers. So speak out wherever you see these two sides at loggerheads, and voice your affiliation, so it’s clear how many of us there are, against them. And this very much is an us vs. them situation. The compassionate vs. the vile. You can’t sit on the fence on this one. In a free society, apathy is an endorsement of villainy.”

and

“Those who don’t, those who aren’t shamed by being exposed as liars or hypocrits, those who persist in being dishonest or inconsistent even when their dishonesty or inconsistency has been soundly proven, is not one of us, and is to be marginalized and kicked out, as not part of our movement, and not anyone we any longer wish to deal with.”

(yeah thats the way to win hearts and minds with your intellectual artillery!)

and

“I call everyone now to pick sides (not in comments here, but publicly, via Facebook or other social media): are you with us, or with them; are you now a part of the Atheism+ movement, or are you going to stick with Atheism Less? Then at least we’ll know who to work with. And who to avoid.”

and

Yes, it does. Atheism+ is our movement. We will not consider you a part of it, we will not work with you, we will not befriend you. We will heretofore denounce you as the irrational or immoral scum you are (if such you are). If you reject these values, then you are no longer one of us. And we will now say so, publicly and repeatedly. You are hereby disowned.

Yup, it’s real unashamedly divisive, brazenly polarizing totalitarian ‘you’re either with us or against us’ type stuff. But the really disturbing thing here is that if you do not entirely back ‘Atheism Plus’s dogmatically stated priorities, you are to be marginalized, excluded and attacked. To many of those who have escaped cults such as Scientology, Jehovah’s Witnesses and Mormonism this is the sort of viciously vindictive talk of retributional tactics that would likely give you flashbacks! It is this stated desire that people rather than ideas should be targeted that I find most disconcerting. OBEY OUR DOGMA OR BE DECRLARED A SUPRESSIVE PERSON! (you really should read this article, it is frighteningly similar to Carrier vision for ‘Atheism plus’).

But Carrier with his ‘intellectual artillery’ really doesn’t seemed to have thought this one through. So lets see, if American Atheists do not rename themselves ‘American Atheists Plus’, and identify themselves as ‘Atheists Plus’, Carrier will ‘know who to avoid’?
Well that’s an interesting proposition because it turns out that Richard Carrier and Greta Cristina are both scheduled to speak at the 2013 American Atheist convention in Houston.

Oh yes, it’s time for very red faces to take their list of world class achievements (/sarcasm) and ‘intellectual artillery’ and eat a very very VERY juicy slice of humble pie.

Given that American Atheists are NOT going to rename themselves as ‘American Atheist Plus’, or identify with this splinter group, this puts Richard Carrier and Greta Christian in a very difficult situation. Personally I think Carrier should write to David Silverman (a good guy!), the head of American Atheists in exactly the same terms he wrote to someone on his blog who said that they would remain, ‘just an atheist’

‘Atheism Plus’  should really stick with his guns here and tell these inferior ‘American Atheists’ what they think about them.

If they had any dignity or commitment to their ‘third glorious age’ of ‘Atheism Plus’, they would lead by example and write to David Silverman telling him that he, and his organization, is to be marginalized and excluded as there is no room for fence sitter in their new empire of pure ‘Atheism Plus’ and they will no longer be attending any conferences run by these mere inferior ‘atheists’. Indeed, personally I would encourage them to hold with their beliefs and splinter off with their pious, self-righteous, holier-than-thou ‘witch hunting’ sect.

But I’ll wager their commitment to ‘Atheism plus’, despite all their pompous rhetoric, is paper thin, and that we will not rid ourselves of these Mccarthyism type atheists so easily. I’ll wager the parasites will realize that without ‘New Atheism’, which let us not forget was born from the achievements of people with actual ability, y’know hard hitting heavyweights types, they cannot survive.  I expect that they will now start trying to weasel their way out of this by any and all means necessary as long as the conclusion is ‘no, it’s okay for ME to attend mere atheist conferences, its just everyone else who should shun and marginalize these mere inferior atheists’

I guess we will have our answer soon enough about Richard Carrier and Greta Christinas commitment to ‘Atheism Plus’ by whether they pull out of the American Atheist convention or not.