Richard Dawkins defined himself and his fans with the following words:
even if there was this booming voice in the Second Coming with clouds of glory, the probable explanation is that it is a hallucination or a conjuring trick by David Copperfield……a supernatural explanation for anything is incoherent. It doesn’t add up to an explanation for anything. A non-supernatural Second Coming could be aliens from outer space.
This, of course, is powerful evidence of Dawkins’ closed mind. Yet there is something far more interesting to this exchange that a demonstration of Richard’s closed mind. Dawkins is telling us that “even if there was this booming voice in the Second Coming with clouds of glory,” reason and logic would compel us to deny this as evidence for God and instead look to some other naturalistic explanation. As one of Dawkins’s fans said in the comment section of my previous blog entry, “Wouldn’t it be more logical to assume any contact with earth would be ET life?”
Now, rather than argue whether or not it would be more reasonable and logical to attribute the Second Coming of Christ to God or space aliens, let’s assume Dawkins is correct. That is, reason and logic would indeed compel us to attribute such miraculous displays to a naturalistic cause.
I just checked Jerry Coyne’s blog and, well, have a look at some of the LOLz on his blog.
Sure enough, Coyne, who has this issue with spelling “twitter,” was indeed easily duped by the Kim Davis troll/Poe:
Speaking of odious folks on Twi**er, apparently jailed Kentucky clerk Kim Davis, who is still sitting in jail for refusing an order to issue marriage licenses to gays, is tw**ting, but via her husband Joe, who’s using her account. Go have a look at some of the LOLz on her Twi**er feed. Here are a few examples:
This is hilarious. The man who postures as someone committed to reason, science, and evidence, is the same man who is so easily played by a troll. The troll throws out the bait and Coyne, the hungry little guppy, swallows it hook, line, and sinker. That Coyne is so easily hoodwinked by such an obvious troll tells us he is only committed to evidence and the skeptical approach….when he feels like it. ;)
New Atheists claim they are led by evidence and reason, yet they are so enslaved to their stereotypes that is is obvious reason and evidence serve only their confirmation bias. This explains why they are so easily Poe’d. Case in point – New Atheist JT Eberhard was taken in by a troll that was impersonating Kim Davis:
Kim Davis, along with her handlers, is trying to prop herself up as a modern day civil rights hero. Starting by denying a minority their civil rights was a pretty silly way to go about it, but I digress. Twenty minutes ago Davis’ husband tweeted her “letter from a Carter County jail.”….. I showed this to a high school teacher friend of mine. His response was “I have a Masters degree and I’m a high school teacher and this woman makes three times as much as I.” Look, I try really hard to focus on the arguments, but sometimes there’s just nothing else to say: Kim Davis is an abject idiot who harbors delusions of both morality and grandeur. That’s really all there is to say.
When one of Eberhard’s readers noted it looked like a Poe, Eberhard assured him:
It’s not. It’s her actual twitter she made. Her husband has been running it. I’ve been monitoring it. It’s legit.
Of course, the Twitter account was a troll (that also fooled a NYT reporter and Mother Jones).
As you probably know, Richard Dawkins’s life has been so important that it needed two whole volumes to spell out his autobiography. Recently, a puff piece appeared that talked about the upcoming second volume. It sounds a little different this time:
The first instalment of Dawkins’s memoirs had the usual chronological structure for this sort of thing: childhood, education, dawning vocation, first jobs, finishing up with the book, The Selfish Gene, that made his reputation both as a significant evolutionary theorist and as a major contributor to the public understanding of science. Brief Candle takes up the story from around the time that An Appetite for Wonder left off, but it doesn’t aim to have a storyline.
LOL. That’s because there isn’t much a story to tell. Y’see, most scientific biographies cover the various scientific discoveries the scientist has made. But with Dawkins, he has none. He got famous for writing Selfish Gene, so what storyline could he possibly tell afterward? Write about writing The Extended Phenotype? Then write about writing Climbing Mt. Improbable? Write about writing various letters to the editor? Write about producing a TV show?
Since there is no story to tell, what did Dawkins write about?
It’s a loose and multiply digressive collection of reminiscences, anecdotes, addenda, quotes from admirers, and extended quotes from himself.
I’m shocked!! Dawkins would write a book that contains quotes from admirers and extended quotes from himself?
We have seen that the central claim of New Atheism – “There is no evidence for God” – is equivalent to saying “There are no Gaps.” That is, the evidence that the atheist demands is a Gap – something that cannot be explained by natural laws. Yet the same atheist will insist that the God of the Gaps approach is not a valid way of determining whether God exists. Heads I win, tails you lose.
Of course, don’t make the mistake of thinking that if only you could find a big enough Gap, the New Atheist would have to embrace that as evidence for God. After all, that’s not how it would work with Richard Dawkins, the most famous atheist alive. Dawkins made this clear some time ago in an interview with atheist Peter Boghossian. You can see the demonstration for yourself in the video below. It starts at 12:30 and goes to 15:30. I’ll post a transcript below the fold.
Let me repost a previous blog entry that many new readers might find interesting. I take a rather detailed look at the central New Atheist argument – science shows God does not exist – that was advocated by New Atheist activist/philosopher Maarten Boudry.
Maarten Boudry, Stefaan Blancke, and Johan Braeckman recently published an on-line article entitled, Grist to the mill of ID creationism: the failed strategy of ruling the supernatural out of science by philosophical fiat. The article comes across as a glorified blog posting designed to help the Gnu atheist movement in their ongoing death struggle with the “accomodationists.”
The basic argument of the article seems to be that because the “Intelligent Design Creationists” (IDCs) are correct in arguing that methodological naturalism biases science against supernatural causes, those who advocate methodological naturalism are helping the IDC by supplying “grist to their mills.”
The abstract reads:
According to a widespread philosophical opinion, the methodology of science is intrinsically naturalistic. It is simply not equipped to deal with supernatural claims, so it has no authority on questions of metaphysics. This (self-imposed) limitation of the epistemic reach of science is often used as a way to reconcile science and religion. We argue that ruling the supernatural out of science for intrinsic reasons is not only philosophically untenable, but has actually been grist to the mill of Intelligent Design Creationism (IDC),
The authors clearly think the whole “grist for the mill” saying is important, as not only is it in their title and abstract, but they repeat this saying several times in their paper:
- IMN is actually grist to the IDC mill on several accounts,
- In fact, Johnson’s remarks show that IMN, which is clearly his focus of attack here, is actually grist to the IDC mill.
- their writings show that IMN is actually grist to their mill.
According to the dictionary, the saying is supposed to mean “something that you can use in order to help you to succeed.” As such, I find this whole “grist for the mill” complaint to be strikingly irrational for two reasons.
Gnu activist Jerry Coyne gives a motivational speech to the troops:
So yes, the debate can be “won”, not when religionists admit that their beliefs are unsupported and untestable, but when religion passes away from the world, as it is doing now. The fight will be long, and we won’t be alive to see the victory of secularism—make no mistake, a reliance on reason and observation will ultimately defeat superstition—but win we will.
This is hilarious. The unsupported and untestable claim is this blind belief that one day religion will cease to exist in the world. In fact, notice how Coyne courageously predicts victory long after he is dead and long after everyone reading his words is dead. By placing his bold prediction so far into the future, Coyne shields his prediction from testing. That is, his belief in a world where there is “victory for secularism” is unfalsifiable, as the secularist will always be able to promise it’s coming long after we all are dead.
What Coyne is unintentionally recognizing here is the motivational value of faith. Without faith in their godless future, the New Atheists would throw in the towel. If they had to rely purely on reason and observation, there would be no room for such bold optimism.
One more thing. Notice the warfare imagery that is inherent in Coyne’s thinking. It is inconsistent with objectivity and intellectual honesty.
Check this out:
A couple of decades ago, Sweden had a strong military. Its air force was one of the capable in the world, its navy had dozens of ships and submarines, and artillery guarded the coastlines from a multitude of secret mountain hideaways.
Now, after a number of fatal decisions, based on the belief that wars in Europe were a thing of the past, most of its military is gone and Sweden has virtually no means of protecting itself.
According to Sweden’s Supreme Commander Sverker Göransson, we can, at best and in five years, defend ourselves in one place for one week.
So how do Swedish politicians imagine defending the country if the Russians get it into their heads to, say, invade Gotland?
The island in the Baltic Sea is a strategically important outpost, close to the Baltic countries, which are all members of NATO. Joining NATO never appealed to Swedish politicians, but in 2009, the Swedish Parliament suddenly announced a “declaration of solidarity” with the EU. It reads:
“Sweden will not remain passive if a disaster or attack should hit another member state, or Nordic country. We expect other countries to act the same way if Sweden is hit. Our country will thus give and receive support, civilian as well as military.”
Given that NATO is essentially the USA, it is interesting to note how the secular Gnutopia we often hear about depends on the American military to survive.
Posted in Gnutopia
Okay, maybe it’s my own twisted sense of humor, but I find it amusing that Richard Dawkins is sad about a painting of Richard Dawkins being lost. Has there ever been a person more in love with himself?
The painting looks like one of the pictures where Dawkins is posing as a t-shirt model for his web page.
BTW, the painting has been found.
Rev. Gretta Vosper is an ordained United Church of Canada minister. She is also an hardcore atheist. This article tells us “she is prepared to fight an unprecedented attempt to boot her from the pulpit for her beliefs.” Poor Vosper. The narrative sets her up like she is a victim, right?
According to the article:
In an interview at her West Hill church, Rev. Gretta Vosper said congregants support her view that how you live is more important than what you believe in.
“I don’t believe in…the god called God,” Vosper said. “Using the word gets in the way of sharing what I want to share.”
How does Vosper live? Well, it’s all about Vosper. “I don’t believe.” “I want to share.” Apparently, Vosper’s notion of how to live is to place Self on the Throne. So Vosper decided to stir up some trouble by imposing her atheism on the congregation: