Monday, December 14, 2009

Atheism is Irrational and It's Bad for You


[just like any addictive drug]

“I once asked the eloquent and personable paleontologist Niles Eldredge whether he knew of any case in which the formation of a new species had ever been documented. I told him I’d be satisfied if his example were drawn from the laboratory, from the field, or from observations from the fossil record. He could muster only one good example: Theodosius Dobzhansky’s experiments with Drosophila, the fruit fly.”

Symbiotic Planet” by Lynn Margulis page 7

According to evolutionists, billions of new species have evolved on earth yet only one case has ever been documented; a minor variant of the fruit fly produced artificially in a laboratory. All other speciation events have successfully succeeding in concealing themselves from human eyes.



“People who believe in God are happier than those who don’t. A study shows that the faithful are less likely to abuse drugs, commit crimes or kill themselves.”

Some Dark Thought on Happiness” by Jennifer Senior (who is an atheist) in New York magazine 7/17/2006 page 30

According to atheists, the human mind has apparently evolved in such a way that we can only be happy if we believe in a fantasy. Is that reasonable?

91 comments:

Anon1 said...

You paraphrase comments from 2 scientists who clearly accept evolutionary theory--in terms of natural and sexual selection--but they argue on some of the details of the process. Interesting example of whow you quote out of context to "prove" that evolution is false.

The appearance of new species (speciation) in the fossil record is undeniable, unless you dismiss all current laboratory and archeological methods of dating. Did trilobites, dinosaurs, modern man and Neanderthals all roam the earth together?

BTW, how did all of your "billions" of species squeeze into Noah's ark?

jewish philosopher said...

"You paraphrase comments from 2 scientists who clearly accept evolutionary theory"

That's exactly the point. Even believers admit that there is no direct evidence.

"The appearance of new species (speciation) in the fossil record is undeniable"

Of course they appeared, as described in Genesis 1. But nothing evolved.

Please see this post for more detail
http://jewishphilosopher.blogspot.com/2008/09/how-i-understand-genesis.html

"how did all of your "billions" of species squeeze into Noah's ark"

Please see this post
http://jewishphilosopher.blogspot.com/2008/10/biblical-deluge.html

Larry Tanner said...

"According to evolutionists, billions of new species have evolved on earth yet only one case has ever been documented; a minor variant of the fruit fly produced artificially in a laboratory. All other speciation events have successfully succeeding in concealing themselves from human eyes."

Absolutely true...unless you research and then you find that evolution accounts very well for all the data and empirical evidence that we do have.

You write a silly, self-righteous post built out of condescending ignorance and quote-mining, and you can't even be troubled to check facts. You claim there is no evidence for evolution, when you haven't even looked.

The science points ineluctably to evolution as a fact, as the mechanism for biological change over time. The only people who argue otherwise are ideologues who have had their brains addled by non-scientific presuppositions, and who have decided that their fallacious traditional myths must supersede observation and evidence.

And what, pray tell, does religion add to knowledge? Nothing.

The Bible is not a reliable source of factual information. It is fiction: http://larrytanner.blogspot.com/2009/12/religionist-made-following-insane.html

The Bible is false because it tells lies: http://larrytanner.blogspot.com/2009/11/why-bible-is-false.html

God is a personal projection of your own beliefs: http://larrytanner.blogspot.com/2009/12/god-and-i.html

There is universal human morality, not god-given morality: http://larrytanner.blogspot.com/2009/12/universal-human-morality.html

Face it, JP, you are losing badly because my side is all about evidence. Your side is all about close-mindedness and fear. All your side can do is deny, deny, deny. If you have children or grandchildren, they will be the atheists that you really should have been.

sam said...

Hey Jp, what do you think of this latest scandal involving Rav Leib Tropper?

jewish philosopher said...

Larry, of course the evidence for evolution is irrefutable - if you wish to believe in it.

So is the evidence for Christianity
http://www.allaboutjesuschrist.org/jesus-is-god.htm

And for Islam
http://prophetofislam.com/what_do_muslims_say.php

Or for that matter Communism
http://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1847/06/09.htm

And Nazism
http://www.hitler.org/writings/programme/

They all make equal sense once you've decided to believe them.

Regarding Orthodox Judaism and atheism, the facts are obvious.

Judaism makes more sense.
http://jewishphilosopher.blogspot.com/2006/12/truth-of-judaism.html

Jews are kinder than atheists.
http://jewishphilosopher.blogspot.com/2008/01/genius-of-judaism-kindness.html

Happier than atheists.
http://jewishphilosopher.blogspot.com/2009/08/religion-and-happiness-recent-study.html

More peaceful and more sober than atheists.
http://jewishphilosopher.blogspot.com/2008/09/orthodox-jewish-crime.html

The purpose of this blog is to promote truth and real happiness; fight lies and harmful addictions. I totally disagree with Marxist-Leninist anti-religious dogma you have convinced yourself of. I'm sure you need it to rationalize a lot of things in your life, but it's getting a little threadbare.

Anon1 said...

"That's exactly the point. Even believers admit that there is no direct evidence."

They make no such admission. Fossils and dating are direct evidence.

"Of course they appeared, as described in Genesis 1. But nothing evolved."

As I said, then you summarily dismiss the laboratory science of carbon dating, paleontology and geology. So we have millions of fossils of creatures that no longer exist, and on the other hand, millions of existing species for which there is no fossil record.

Your post about the flood does not answer my question-- it simply begs it-- "God did it". Fine.

But you set yourself squarely on the opposite side or reason and science.

Just to set the record clear, we have you, JP, a few other crazy Jews, and the bible on one side, and loads of observation and scientific reasoning on the other.

Let the readers take their pick.

Larry Tanner said...

But you skip over the one place where all of your arguments fall apart: evidence.

Evolution is supported by evidence. Mountains of evidence. The evidence leads us to hypothesize and conclude as to what happened in the past and how.

Speaking of evidence, "The Least Religious Nations Are The Happiest, Study Finds" http://www.epjournal.net/filestore/EP07398441_c.pdf

Physical evidence for your god? None.

Historical and archaeological evidence for anything in the Bible before the Davidic kingdom? None.

What do serious, dispassionate, unbiased scholars say about the Bible? Here's one: "None of the books of Moses come from Moses; none of David’s psalms from David; none of Solomon’s sayings from Solomon; none of Daniel’s visions from Daniel. Only a very few words of the Prophets stem from prophets whose names grace those books. There was no Exodus out of Egypt, no revelation in the Sinai, and no handing down of the Ten Commandments. Abraham, Isaac, Moses and Joshua are mere names; Jericho was never captured. These statements cannot be repeated often enough, for they are necessary correctives to a fallacious sacred story that allowed church functionaries and collaborating politicians to maintain power for almost 2000 years."

jewish philosopher said...

"Fossils and dating are direct evidence."

This is a simple factual error. Niles Eldredge does not know of any case in which the formation of a new species has ever been documented in the fossils. Have you found any he missed?

"Your post about the flood does not answer my question"

Sure it does, but you don't like that answer. This is called "wishful thinking".

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wishful_thinking

"Let the readers take their pick."

Once again, the good old Argument from Authority.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Appeal_to_authority#Examples_of_appeals_to_authority


Obviously, no one really believes in evolution.

http://jewishphilosopher.blogspot.com/2009/03/climate-change-and-evolution.html

Larry Tanner said...

Hmm. JP appeals to Niles Eldredge in an argument from auhtority, and then seems to dismiss "let the readers take their pick" - which is not an argument as all - as an argument from authority.

jewish philosopher said...

"Evolution is supported by evidence."

That's not true, any more than Christianity or Islam are.

http://jewishphilosopher.blogspot.com/2008/03/evolution-science-hijacked-by-atheism.html

"Physical evidence for your god? None."

Infinite. Every organelle in every cell of every living thing is proof of a divine intelligent designer.

http://www.simpletoremember.com/articles/a/did-life-form-by-accident/

"Historical and archaeological evidence for anything in the Bible before the Davidic kingdom? None."

Just as much as there is for most other ancient events.

http://jewishphilosopher.blogspot.com/2009/07/is-history-bunk.html

"What do serious, dispassionate, unbiased scholars say about the Bible?"

What do serious, dispassionate, unbiased scholars say about the Holocaust?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nSNkA0kjmS0

"The Least Religious Nations Are The Happiest, Study Finds" http://www.epjournal.net/filestore/EP07398441_c.pdf

The study is very flawed, because for one thing it fails to consider the immense social problems which the United States faces due to the black and Hispanic communities.

Yes, if you compare a black neighborhood in the Bronx to a white neighborhood in Copenhagen you may find that the blacks are, on the average, more devout and more unhappy than the Danes, an interesting tidbit which has no relevance to this blog.

I would rather compare let's say militantly atheist China or Vietnam to ultra-Orthodox Bnei Brak, Israel or Monsey, NY.

jewish philosopher said...

"what do you think of this latest scandal involving Rav Leib Tropper"

If true, it would arguably be the first ever sex scandal involving an ultra-Orthodox rabbi; meaning a leader of an ultra-Orthodox congregation, since he is the leader of Kol Yaakov Torah Center in Monsey with an enrollment of about 20 men who are more or less newly religious.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kol_Yaakov_Torah_Center

jewish philosopher said...

"JP appeals to Niles Eldredge"

Which fossils have you seen that he hasn't?

Larry Tanner said...

"The study is very flawed. . ."

Because the evidence points in a direction that you dislike.

By the way, that's great how you see the social problems of the U.S. as stemming from "the black and Hispanic communities." You sure paint with one big brush, maybe that's why you just made the assertion and didn't bother to support it with any evidence.

It's also great how you equate questioning the accuracy and authority of the Bible to Holocaust denial. Tell me, do you think it's wrong to question the Bible? Is no one allowed to ask the question, "Is all of this all true? How do we know?" Is no one allowed to conclude that much of the Bible is false and holds no authority over people's behavior?

jewish philosopher said...

"Because the evidence points in a direction that you dislike."

Did the study consider that many parts of the US are ethnically very siimilar to Africa and South America, and perhaps that's why the US experiences social problems similar to those regions? Of course not, because that would spoil the desired conclusion.

How would let's say Utah compare to Sweden? Check it out.

"Is no one allowed to conclude that much of the Bible is false and holds no authority over people's behavior?"

Is no one allowed to conclude that the law of gravity is false and holds no authority over people's behavior?

Anon1 said...

"Which fossils have you seen that he hasn't?"

I can't say what he hasn't seen, but obviously your quote is out of context.

a partial list:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_transitional_fossils#Human_evolution

Creationists' lack of understanding of evolution, along with outright lies ("there are no transitional fossils" for example) demonstrates that NO amount of evidence could convince them.

This is "confirmation bias"

BTW not accepting a silly answer is not "wishful thinking"-- I just wish you would give a real answer to the question. How did god get the billions of species in an ark? and wouldn't it take thousands of years to do so? To answer "god did it" is like saying "it was magic"

You seem to have so much trouble seeing how evolution "could turn worms into people" but (which is an ignorant oversimplification) but have no problem seeing how billions of animals get into an ark.

Let the readers decide who looks credible and who looks silly.

Larry Tanner said...

"Is no one allowed to conclude that the law of gravity is false and holds no authority over people's behavior?"

Yes. People are allowed to conclude this.

Now, please be polite and answer the questions I asked. I asked them because I suspect that you actually don't think it's permissible to ask questions about the historicity, accuracy or authority of the Bible. I suspect that you don't think it's permissible to conclude that much of the Bible is false or holds no authority over people's behavior.

I suspect this, but I want to see you write it. I want you to declare yourself to be the zealot, fundamentalist, racist, misogynist, anti-democracy, anti-freedom, anti-intellectual, anti-human, anti-life, small-minded, delusional, fraudulent, mean-spirited, deceptive, egotistical, barbaric little troll that I think we all know you are.

jewish philosopher said...

"I can't say what he hasn't seen, but obviously your quote is out of context."

Obviously you haven't read the book.

"BTW not accepting a silly answer is not "wishful thinking"

Deciding anything you don't like is silly is wishful thinking.


"People are allowed to conclude this."

And what is the average life span of those who choose to ignore gravity?

jewish philosopher said...

"I suspect this, but I want to see you write it. I want you to declare yourself to be the zealot, fundamentalist, racist, misogynist, anti-democracy, anti-freedom, anti-intellectual, anti-human, anti-life, small-minded, delusional, fraudulent, mean-spirited, deceptive, egotistical, barbaric little troll that I think we all know you are."

I actually think I'm a remarkable sweety pie.

Anonymous said...

I understand that atheistic like North Korea have the highest suicide rate. I think that that is a pretty clear indicator that they are not very happy there. And Scandanavia is sited as a secualr paradise by secularists. But the suicide rate there is also very high. If people are so happy, why are they killing themselves? And how do you measure happiness, anyway?

Anonymous said...

Larry

There actually is evidence for stuff in the Bible before David. There's list of names on cunieform tablets that have names from the Torah. There's the Armarna letter's where the King of Jerusalem asks Pharoh for help dealin with an invasion of the Haburi, sounds like HaIvri, y'know, the Hebrews. There's the Ipuwar Papyrus. There's the El Arish Stone. Of course, the dating on that one is questionable. There's the Mycenae grave Stella. These look exactly like a child's drawing of Krias Yam Suf. Then they found all those cities that whee mentioned in Yehoshua that were conquered and burned. They found them, including Yericho. Of course, they explain them away by saying the dates are off. The Gemora says that the walls of Jericho sank intact. And that's what Kathleen Kenyon found. Now there is evidence, but they explain it away. I do the same thing with evolution all the time.

Anonymous said...

Adn getting back to archaeology. Arguements from negatve evidence are always risky. The archaeologists doubted that the Hittites existed because they didn't have evidence outside the Bible, then they dug up a whole Hittite Empire. The archaeologists sadi Nineva didn't exist, until they found it. So when it comes to archaeology versis the Bible, I wouldn't bet on archaeology.

Anonymous said...

And I did read Niles Eldridge's books in their entirety. Also Gould's book. They developed the theori of Punctuated equlibrium to explain the fact that evolution, that is, species to species change, is pretty much absent from the fossil record. Species show up suddenly, exist unchanged for a while, then disappear. They say that evolution happens too fast to be recorded. But studies indicate that the fossil record is an accurate record of what happened. That is, no evolution. And the cases of transitional species that are recorded on talkorigins are either cases of transitions between major groups, or trivial changes that may very well be within the normal range of variation in a species, for example an increase in the size of a monkey's molars.

Anonymous said...

And the status of many of the classic transitional species, e.g. the archaeopteryx, is very suspect.

Anonymous said...

Now, before anyone brings up scientific consensus:



http://www.plosone.org/article/info:doi/10.1371/journal.pone.0005738

Plenty of scientists admit to fraud.

Abe said...

"how did all of your "billions" of species squeeze into Noah's ark"

>>>Please see this post
http://jewishphilosopher.blogspot.com/2008/10/biblical-deluge.html

Oh wow! So that's how those myriad of organisms and animals survived the biblical deluge. It was god's miracle.
Why should we believe in god's miracles? Because the torah directs you to believe in god.
And why should you believe that the torah is truthful? Because god insists that you do!

I suppose the only way to posit god's authority is to ignore the fallacy of circular reasoning when it becomes a menace to your belief.
http://www.numeraire.com/download/WhatIsCircularReasoning.pdf

jewish philosopher said...

"Why should we believe in god's miracles?"

Because we experience them every moment. How does your liver work, or your eye?

Alex said...

"Speaking of evidence, "The Least Religious Nations Are The Happiest, Study Finds" http://www.epjournal.net/filestore/EP07398441_c.pdf"

Does it rate the happiness of the people /within/ each of these nations against each other /within/ each nation? If not, then the study would indeed flawed.

Anon1 said...

As far as happiness is concerned, people get used to anything. That is basic psychology, and is confirmed by the works of Seligman and others on happiness. Rich or poor, sick or healthy, religious or not, most people just get used to their lives, within a broad range of experiences (but not extremes). So all of the arguments about who is happier are stupid.

In any case of one were to study N Koreans I am sure that the reason for their unhappiness has nothing to do with their atheism but with a repressive dictatorship. Many other Asian countries are essentially atheist but free and people are mostly happy.

"But studies indicate that the fossil record is an accurate record of what happened. That is, no evolution"

Thats a very silly and ignorant misunderstanding of his ideas. It's obvious that you read it with an agenda to confirm your own ideas without really understanding it.
The punctated theory is still a theory of evolution and is not consistent with the biblical account of creation. These equilibria, according to the theory, happened at many different times in the remote past, not once 6000 years ago. It still gives a "natural" mechanism of origin of species using natural and sexual selection. So I don't see why the creationists should rejoice over this.

Joshua said...

JP, regarding http://www.epjournal.net/filestore/EP07398441_c.pdf

I have to wonder if you actually read the study in question. The data is quite robust even if you take out the US.

jewish philosopher said...

"Many other Asian countries are essentially atheist but free and people are mostly happy."

One thing which no one argues about is that belief in God is essential to addiction recovery.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Twelve-step_program#Twelve_Steps

This would seem to indicate that this belief is mentally therapeutic.

"It still gives a "natural" mechanism of origin of species using natural and sexual selection."

While admitting that we don't have direct evidence of it. I guess faith will have to be enough for the true believers.

"The data is quite robust even if you take out the US."

The basic thrust of the study is "the United States should emulate Western Europe". Wasn't Western Europe the place where Fascism and Nazism originated a few decades ago and only thanks to immense US intervention those countries are not today living under dictatorship?

bankman said...

"...first ever sex scandal involving an ultra-Orthodox rabbi..."

LOL!!

you one-up yourself every week! So funny....

Abe said...

>>>One thing which no one argues about is that belief in God is essential to addiction recovery.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Twelve-step_program#Twelve_Steps


A meaningless anecdotal attribution. Its nothing more than a placebo affect and another example of specious inference. Typical of the non-sequitur rationalizations of believers.
Because belief in god is palliative to addiction recovery, is no proof of god's existence.

Abe said...

"Why should we believe in god's miracles?"

>>>Because we experience them every moment. How does your liver work, or your eye?

No big mystery and no reason to credit a god. See here.
http://health.howstuffworks.com/eye-channel.htm
Ascribing eye function as a miraculous process is the kind of closed loop apologetic welcomed by true believers, a doctrinaire impulse that can hardly be contained except by screaming God Did It. It has become one of the vintage statements of religious dogmatists who subvert scientific explainations to propagandize miraculous contrivances.

jewish philosopher said...

Bankman, if atheists could ever say one thing that makes any sense that would really be funny. Lol

Abe, which seems more likely:
That the sole cure for a common terminal illness involves accepting as true a myth fabricated by a tribe of bronze age desert nomads, or that God created us and denying that fact often leads to mental illness?

Also, since you happen to understand how the liver works, why don't you cook one up in a lab? Remember to email me an invite to the Nobel ceremony.

Abe said...

>>>Also, since you happen to understand how the liver works, why don't you cook one up in a lab? Remember to email me an invite to the Nobel ceremony.

No mystery here. See:
http://www.ehow.com/how-does_4687021_the-liver-work.html

And just because I can't create one in the lab is no evidence that a god did it. Believing that however is evidence of septic correlations where no proof of cause and effect exists.

Larry Tanner said...

Odd how JP quote-mines Margulis to try and suggest that speciation did not occur. Also odd how JP apparently thinks that the Margulis quote lends any support whatsoever to the idea that a god or gods magically poofed the earth and life into existence.

Margulis is of course arguing that evolution did happen, which is indisputable, and that earth's species did indeed evolve.

Margulis wants to make people aware of the central importance that symbiosis has in the evolution of organisms such as fungi, plants, and animals. As she says on page 6: "the full impact of the symbiotic view of evolution has yet to be felt." For Margulis, symbiosis - not God - as the source of evolutionary novelty helps explain the fossil record.

And finally, you give your quote-mine on evolution under a post that is deceptively titled "Atheism Is Irrational and It's Bad for You." Tell me, where does Margulis mention atheism? Do you have anything besides your own self-interested views to use as support for the supposed irrationality of atheism?

You're the one who davens obsessively three times a day like a junkie needing a fix.

You're the one who pleads and implores your god to kill and destroy your enemies, like a rage-filled child.

You're the one who gloats every morning that you're glads not to be a woman or a gentile, like anyone with a self-esteem problem.

And of curse you are the liar, deceiving with the title of your post, deceiving with the inappropriate use of quotes to suit your personal agenda and biases, and deceiving with the omission of any evidence that gods exist or any evidence that gods help explain the evidence we continue to gather about life on earth.

Your addiction has rotted your intellect and your morality.

Abe said...

>>>That the sole cure for a common terminal illness involves accepting as true a myth fabricated by a tribe of bronze age desert nomads, or that God created us and denying that fact often leads to mental illness?

What terminal illness are all those god deniers dying of? You must be confused with with the chareidim who practice metzitzah b'peh.
"...Doctors have long been concerned that the procedure — called "metzitzah b'peh" in Hebrew — could spread disease. But their argument became urgent last year when New York City health officials said the practice had given a baby a fatal infection..."
http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2006/02/02/health/main1274595.shtml

jewish philosopher said...

"Margulis is of course arguing that evolution did happen"

That's the point. And even she admits that the evidence is missing. Do you need any stronger proof that atheism is based on pure blind faith?

"Your addiction has rotted your intellect and your morality."

Aren't you the one with food addiction which will probably cause your early death?

http://larrytanner.blogspot.com/2009/07/take-load-off-fanny.html

"What terminal illness are all those god deniers dying of?"

Alcohol, meth, heroin, cocaine, AIDS, suicide. Millions world wide each year. But that doesn't bother you, since we are all just minute soulless bags of chemicals clinging to a tiny particle we call Earth. So what's the big deal, a few more little bags or a few less?

Anon1 said...

JP, can you define "direct evidence"?

jewish philosopher said...

Sure.

Direct evidence supports the truth of an assertion (in criminal law, an assertion of guilt or of innocence) directly, i.e., without an intervening inference. Circumstantial evidence, by contrast, directly supports the truth of evidence, from which the truth of the assertion may be inferred.
For example: a witness who testifies that he saw the defendant shoot the victim gives direct evidence. A forensics expert who says that ballistics proves that the defendant’s gun shot the bullet that killed the victim gives circumstantial evidence, from which B’s guilt may be inferred.
In direct evidence a witness relates what he or she directly experienced. (Usually the experience is by sight or hearing, though it may come though any sense, including touch or pain. State v Famber, 358 Mo 288, 214 SW2d 40.)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Direct_evidence

Atheists believe that evolution, not God, created us, a belief which originated with "Origin of Species" in 1859.

Darwinian evolution describes an incredibly unlikely chain of events and tries to prove they happened using very weak circumstantial evidence.

Furthermore, even that evidence continues to collapse under further study.

http://jewishphilosopher.blogspot.com/2007/12/evolution-another-nail-in-coffin.html

But again, for true believers, faith is enough. Whatever we find in the world we just say "evolution did it". You may as well say "magic did it".

bankman said...

Larry, you should try to bang your head against a wall. Its less painful, and you will no doubt extract more intelligent comments out from the plaster....don’t waste your time with JP. He has proven himself over and over again,,,,

jewish philosopher said...

Bank, that's the smartest thing you've ever said.

For an atheist to debate me is like Woody Allen fighting Hulk Hogan. Total smackdown.

bankman said...

> is like Woody Allen fighting Hulk Hogan.

with Larry being th hulk hogan in your example, of course.

just thought i would clarify for all those listening.

jewish philosopher said...

No you idiot, I said atheist vs me is like Woody vs Hulk.

This what I mean. Total smackdown.

Larry Tanner said...

Bankman,

I rather enjoy schooling JP on logic and evidence. My favorite is when he avoids direct questions about his ideology and then tries to say mean-mean things about atheists

I also enjoy his utter inanity, as when he accuses Margulis of "blind faith." JP chooses to focus on a single sentence on page 6 or 7 rather than to read the hundreds of pages in her book instead. He gets a little bit of information and then has the arrogance to take that information and make it a general statement.

JP likes to think evolution and atheism started with Darwin (JP also thinks evolution and atheism are the same thing). His ideas are clearly false and stupid, but he doesn't care, and that's just plain funny.

Yet, with all his nail-in-the-coffin rhetoric for evolution, JP only shows how fascinated he actually is with evolution. God clearly holds no interest for him. In today's world, there's no reason for God to be of any interest. That character in the Torah is a psychopath tyrant, easily more so than Stalin and Mao. The mythological Jesus is no better, a snarky misogynist prick who would fit right in with the OJ community. Mohammad would be a bad joke if is quackery weren't so revered. No doubt he'd be in prison if he were alive today.

The only real question is when will JP accept evolution as the fact it is, and when will he abandon his silly version of a made-up religion?

jewish philosopher said...

Larry, God is central to my life and in fact I would gladly give my life for my love of Him. I think you'd be hard pressed to find a post on this blog where the word "God" or similar word ("creator" or "Almighty") does not appear.

For me God is what fattening food is for you. I can't be any more emphatic than that.

Now if you knew a little history, you would realize that all scientists prior to Darwin were what would now be called creationists or intelligent design advocates.

Check out the New York Times review of Origin, published 3/28/1860.

http://query.nytimes.com/mem/archive-free/pdf?_r=1&res=9E01E0DC133DE73ABC4051DFB566838B679FDE

Obviously atheists are generally either debauched libertines or murders or both. Why else would someone convince himself of such nonsense which flies in the face of all evidence?

What do atheists have? Appeals to authority, wishful thinking, ad homenim arguments, question begging, appeals to ridicule, appeals to the people and sometimes just outright deception, like massaging the data to somehow make Western Europe appear to be more successful than the United States (in which direction is there more immigration, I wonder).

http://jewishphilosopher.blogspot.com/2009/06/post-about-comments.html

Here's my challenge: Say something that makes sense. Just something.

Larry Tanner said...

JP,

No, you may admire the (ahem) noble concepts of Talmud or the poetry of some books Tanakh, but you rarely talk directly about God and his supposed Godness.

You like the idea of Jewishness and a vague sense of grandeur that you associate with Israel, but you infrequently talk about God acting in history.

You think the eye is cool and that sunrises are pretty, but you never reflect on God and the specifics of how he works, as in how many acts of creation has he made and how do you know?

So, no, there's no God really in your thinking. You're more about trying to debunk evolution and to assert a superiority complex over atheism. Everything you say about God sounds and looks like the projection of your wishful thinking, as has been shown: http://larrytanner.blogspot.com/2009/12/god-and-i.html.

This is all my opinion, of course, and virtually worthless. I just happen to see you as a blogger driven my fear and anger at what evolution and atheism (remember, they are different) may or may not mean to your sense of self.

On my weight. Not very sporting of you to characterize it as a food addiction. Simply put, I just stopped running when my wife was pregnant with our third child and I let my diet lapse - I happen to love ice cream and chocolate. Anyway, since July I've shed quite a lot of weight and I am fit enough these days. My son is almost 2 and loves to run around, so I have a vested interest in being in shape to keep up with him! :>)

What's your point about scientists before Darwin and why does it matter? I only stated that evolution pre-dates Darwin and Wallace. That's a fact and you can research it for yourself. Atheism also pre-dates Darwin and I am sure you are equally capable of researching this, too.

I love your challenges. I do hope I make sense and I always try to do so. Do you mean you want me to say something that you agree with?

Fine. I can do that. Surely there is something about which we can both agree. Any thoughts?

jewish philosopher said...

"you never reflect on God and the specifics of how he works"

I think you're referring to kabbalah.

http://www.jewfaq.org/kabbalah.htm

That's not this blog's topic.

"Atheism also pre-dates Darwin"

Prior to Darwin, atheism and evolution were a crackpot fringe ideas at best. Origin of Species changed all that. It is basically the atheist bible. What atheist doesn't go weak at the knees when Darwin is mentioned.

Incidentally, Orthodox Judaism could be a big help with your addictions.

http://jewishphilosopher.blogspot.com/2009/01/judaism-and-discipline.html

Give it a shot.

Anonymous said...

Anon1:

I guess I wasn't clear. The fossil record does not show species to species change, that is, evolution. Punctuated equilbrium is an attempt to explain why the fossil record does not show what happened, which the scientists say, is evolution. Punctuated equilibrium says that this is because evolution happens too fast to be caught. But studies show that the fossil record realluy did record what happened. Which means that no species to species change, that is evolution, happened.

Anonymous said...

And which Asian countries are atheistic? Would that be Communist China? What a paradise that is. Or North Korea? Plenty of happiness there. And the fastest growing christian community in the world is in Communist China.

Larry Tanner said...

Anonymous,

Based on the fossil record and referring to specific fossils and fossil groups, please explain what did happen, when, and how according to your hypothesis.

(And Nathan, why don't you get an account of some kind?)

Anonymous said...

Larry:

Since the entire fossil from the earliest bacteria through the Cambrain explosion all the way to the pleistocene basically shows species showing up fully formed, then suddenly becoming extinct, the explanation that fits the evidence best is a series of special creations as described in Midrash Rabba and other places in the Torah Canon.

Nathan

Anon1 said...

"Direct evidence supports the truth of an assertion (in criminal law, an assertion of guilt or of innocence) directly, i.e., without an intervening inference...In direct evidence a witness relates what he or she directly experienced."

This form of evidence is among the most unreliable for of proof there is. Ask any police department. They now give special training to obtain testimony, even eye witness accounts, which is known to be greatly distorted by memory effects and other biases.

"A forensics expert who says that ballistics proves that the defendant’s gun shot the bullet that killed the victim gives circumstantial evidence, from which B’s guilt may be inferred."

In many cases circumstantial evidence is more reliable than "direct" evidence. For example, DNA testing almost always overules eyewitness testimony.

So you are correct that evolutionary theory is based on "circumstantial" evidence. In science we call it inductive or inferential reasoning. Most scientific discovery is based on it.

In your very humble opinion you think that the "indirect" evidence (and thats all that is, since nobody was around to observe it) is weak. We, and most scientists, think that it is strong and irrefutable. Now we can try to define what is "weak" evidence, in your opinion. For example, a fossil is only circumstantial evidence that the creature existed. Do you consider that "weak"? Perhaps the fossil is just a geological coincidence, or was just put there by God?

The "chain of events" that you so deride is supported by an extremely large body of "indirect" evidence, and is inductively tied together with evolutionary biology theory. Its no different that quantum mechanics being used to explain what we see in subatomic particles.

On the other hand, the TMS "theory" is hearsay testimony, the weakest type of evidence there is. The book says the revelation happened and tradition says that god wrote it. Very indirect "direct" evidence.

I think you need to think about what criteria you use to discover truth, and you filter out things that are inconvenient.

Anon1 said...

"And which Asian countries are atheistic? Would that be Communist China? What a paradise that is."

Do you know that Chinese are unhappy? Just because you don't want to live there, it doesn't mean they're unhappy. Pakistan is a religious country, do you posit they are happy there?

Japan has religious traditions, but in practice most Japanese are areligious and god has no role in their lives. Ceremonies from different traditions remain for social reasons.

As I said, the "happy" thing as proof for religion is BS.

"Prior to Darwin, atheism and evolution were a crackpot fringe ideas at best. Origin of Species changed all that."

Until the 1800s people who believed in germs were considered crackpots.

"Punctuated equilbrium is an attempt to explain why the fossil record does not show what happened, which the scientists say, is evolution."

Totally wrong. Firstly, there are most definitely transitional forms for some species in the fossil record. Secondly, the theory attempts to explain the manner in which the new species appeared in the fossil record, for which transitional fossils have not been found. It does not "prove the evolution didn't occur". It simply posits that natural selection occured in spurts, rather than gradually. But natural selection and change is the essential feature of evolution which is undeniable. As Larry said, how does the "Nathan Theory" explain the fossil record?

jewish philosopher said...

The law draws no distinction between circumstantial evidence and direct evidence in terms of weight or importance.

http://www.criminal-law-lawyer-source.com/terms/direct-evidence.html

The Torah is based on clear and simple direct evidence

http://jewishphilosopher.blogspot.com/2009/12/look-at-world-with-innocent-eyes.html

and indirect evidence

http://jewishphilosopher.blogspot.com/2009/06/gods-wisdom.html

Evolution is based on weak circumstantial evidence, contradicted by direct evidence and common sense.

http://jewishphilosopher.blogspot.com/2008/03/evolution-science-hijacked-by-atheism.html

jewish philosopher said...

"As I said, the "happy" thing as proof for religion is BS."

I'd say it's pretty good circumstantial evidence.

"Until the 1800s people who believed in germs were considered crackpots."

Which is why we say that Pasteur established the germ theory, just like Darwin established atheism.

"there are most definitely transitional forms for some species in the fossil record"

Evolutionary lineages do not flow from the fossil evidence, rather Darwinian beliefs must be imposed on (selectively cited) fossil evidence, with many assumptions, to "see" a Darwinian transformation.

http://www.rae.org/FAQ01.html

Anon1 said...

"Evolutionary lineages do not flow from the fossil evidence, rather Darwinian beliefs must be imposed on (selectively cited) fossil evidence, with many assumptions, to "see" a Darwinian transformation"

All scientific inductive theories are "imposed" on the evidence, that's how inductive logic works.

You did not answer (and not in your blog entry on the subject) how to reconcile carbon dating and other dating techniques, which show man and other man like creatures existing for millions of years, along with the appearance of species in fossils at various points in history for the past several billion years. Saying the god repeatedly created and destroyed worlds (including human creatures) not only contradicts the bible, it begs the question and contributes nothing to our understanding of how life works.

On the other hand, natural selection and adaptation explains why we see sulfur eating bacteria at the bottom of the ocean or some weird species of rodent in an isolated island somewhere. The god theory explains non of that.

Not only that, the idea of genetic mutations and natural selection explains what we see happening now and and has many useful applications in modern science--http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evolution

Other than for moralizing, the god theory helps understand nothing about nature.

Larry Tanner said...

Nathan,

A very nice, grand narrative but if you belive you have the real story then you better come up with more specifics. Tell me about a certain species and a certain fossil group.

Please don't skimp on details. When and how did these individual species show up? Were they sent to earth in eggs, did they appear ex nihilo, did the ground rise up and coagulate into the animals?

Other questions that you can address, if you have time. How many of these first/original members were made? How did these first/orgiginal life forms differ from their offspring? How did the sudden appearance of new life forms on earth affect the then-existing ecological balances, and how do we know?

But let's please start by looking at a particular species as well as some fossils.

We can also look at your "Midrash Rabba," if you like. Just so we are clear, though, are we to take "Midrash Rabba" as presenting a scientific hypothesis that you believe is true (i.e., repeatedly supported by the evidence)? Is "Midrash Rabba" authoritiative on theological and halachic matters also?

I eagerly await your response.

Anonymous said...

Anon1:

Didn't I write above about how the various places in the Torah canon discuss a series of special creations and destructions? Species show up in the fossil record fully formed. They exist for a while, then suddenly go extinct. Now they are talking about mass extinction caused by meteors and stuff. This is exactly what I would expsect to see if there wasa series of special creations and destructions. Now , if species cahnged from one to another, then I would expect to see that in the fossil record. And, for the most part, we don't. See, its all about what fits the evidence best.

Nathan

jewish philosopher said...

Evolution makes no sense, has never actually happened in a lab or anywhere else and the fossils prove it didn't happen.

Incidentally, no medical treatment or new technology is based on evolution.

Now you can try asking all sorts of questions such as "If God created man why did He give males nipples?" and the answer is that we don't know all of God's motives, any more than fleas know all of our motives.

Larry Tanner said...

"Species show up in the fossil record fully formed."

Pray tell, which species are we talking about?

Anonymous said...

Larry:

I'm not sure what your point is. I guess G-d created trilobites at some point, then destroyed that world. He also created brachiopods at the same time, and decided to keep them. I don't know why G-d would do that. It seem from the posuk in Bereshis that some animals were made ex nihilo, some were made from preexisting materials. I don't know why G-d would do that. But I'll take a page from your book, and say that we hope to have an answer for you someday. And "why would G-d do it this way?" is a theological question, not a scientific one. Your rules are that theological explanations are not allowed. Only scientific ones. So theological questions should be against the rules as well.

And Midrash Rabba does not deal with halacha, so it has no relevence to halacha. It merely provides the explanation that best fits the evidence.

Nathan

Larry Tanner said...

"the fossils prove it [i.e., evolution] didn't happen."

Which fossils prove this?

jewish philosopher said...

All species appear fully formed. In fact so do complete ecosystem. All fossil indicate catastrophism, not evolution.)

Larry Tanner said...

Nathan,

I have not asked any why questions. I don't care why this or that happened. I am asking how.

You say: "It seem from the posuk in Bereshis that some animals were made ex nihilo, some were made from preexisting materials."

Specifically what in the fossil record suggests that this conclusion may be true. Is it anatomy, genetics, something else, all of it? How do you determine exactly which animals may have been created ex nihilo, which were made from pre-existing materials, and which were made from a regular reproductive process (such as sex)?

Larry Tanner said...

"All species appear fully formed. In fact so do complete ecosystem. All fossil indicate catastrophism, not evolution.)"

What specific evidence tells you the species appear fully formed? I'm trying to work with you, but you need to back up your assertions with.

For example, are you suggesting that something like the Cambrian slow-fuse backs up your hypothesis?

If so, please point me to an individual species or the name of a fossil that we can use as an exeplary case of your hypothesis.

This should be easy for you since every single fossil provides evidence of your hyothesis.

And what specifically is it "in" a single fossil that provides evidence of catastrophism? If it's not something "in" the fossil, where is it?

jewish philosopher said...

Check this out

http://jewishphilosopher.blogspot.com/2006/11/evolution-refuted-again.html

incidentally, I could also go post on atheist blogs stuff like "well who was Darwin? Why should I believe him? Why aren't we evolving right now?"

but would have the patience to answer things I could easily google myself? I'm not going to keep posting stuff like this.

Larry Tanner said...

Oh, I get it. An asteroid hits the earth 251 million years ago. It erases 95 percent of species in the oceans and most of the vertebrates on land. Following this we get an explosions of complexity in life - notably in marine life. This "explosion" is "sudden," meaning occurring over millions of years. You take the asteroid-recovery-'explosion' cycle to indicate "god did it."

Um, sure. Whatever floats your boat. Your god works an awful lot like evolution, though.

Psst. Life is still evolving.

Ask all the questions you want about Darwin, atheism, evidence. It's encouraged. Darwin would be astounded at how much has been learned since 1859.

jewish philosopher said...

So you are a catastrophist and an evolutionist - catasrophies somehow cause evolution, something Darwin never imagined.

You should be happy about global warming then.

http://jewishphilosopher.blogspot.com/2009/03/climate-change-and-evolution.html

Larry Tanner said...

Catastrophes don't cause evolution but they are part of the "selective" process of nature. A flood, earthquake, fire or some such thing occurs and many living things die. Evolution was happening before, during and afterward. But when the environment changes, some species flourish and some don't. And within those species, some traits flurish and some don't.

In any case, this is exactly what Darwin imagined.

Congratulations. You are and evolutionist.

jewish philosopher said...

If you read Darwin you would know this is the opposite of what he expected. And I wonder why evolutionists are not encouraging nuclear war - we could in effect create our own asteroid strike.

Larry Tanner said...

I'm suprised that you don't accuse evolutionists of actively seeking to annihilate the world.

Just because an asteroid strike happened as part of the natural workings of the universe doesn't mean I want it to happen again.

And you are wrong about Darwin. Natural selection is exactly the process by which living things become extinct and which induces variation. An asteroid hitting the earth is precisely the kind of cause that Darwin means in his very own definition of natural selection:

"Owing to this struggle for life, any variation, however slight and from whatever cause proceeding, if it be in any degree profitable to an individual of any species, in its infinitely complex relations to other organic beings and to external nature, will tend to the preservation of that individual, and will generally be inherited by its offspring. The offspring, also, will thus have a better chance of surviving, for, of the many individuals of any species which are periodically born, but a small number can survive. I have called this principle, by which each slight variation, if useful, is preserved, by the term of Natural Selection, in order to mark its relation to man's power of selection. We have seen that man by selection can certainly produce great results, and can adapt organic beings to his own uses, through the accumulation of slight but useful variations, given to him by the hand of Nature. But Natural Selection, as we shall hereafter see, is a power incessantly ready for action, and is as immeasurably superior to man's feeble efforts, as the works of Nature are to those of Art."

Perhaps you think that the NYT article's terms "sudden" and "explosion" indicate a process that runs counter to Darwin's expectation of slow, gradual change. The sudden, explosive events happened over millions of years. That's quick in geological time but slow in ours.

But maybe you care to make your point more explicit.

Anon1 said...

There goes JP again confusing social Darwinism with evolutionary biology. JP you are really very confused.

Anonymous said...

Larry:

I really don't know how we can teel from the fossils how something was created, whether ex nihilo, or from preexisting materials.

What I meant by fully formed species is that every single species shows up in the fossil record without any connection to a previously existing species. There may be similarities, but the early species disappears, a new species shows up suddenly. there is no gradualistic change from the eariler species to the later one.

And wasn't Curvier the catastrophist? It wasn't Darwin.

jewish philosopher said...

"I'm suprised that you don't accuse evolutionists of actively seeking to annihilate the world."

I'm sure some are.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kim_Jong-il

"The sudden, explosive events happened over millions of years."

Asteroid strikes are pretty fast really.

"JP you are really very confused."

Then I'm in good company. Leonard, Darwin's son, was the Chairman of the British Eugenics Society between 1911-1928 (succeeding his half-cousin once removed Francis Galton), and became Honorary President from 1928 until his death.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leonard_Darwin

He was probably confused.

Anon1 said...

People can use any idea or ideology against people, including Judaism. So if there was some discredit individual who advocated social Darwinism, what does that have to do with biology?

jewish philosopher said...

With all due respect, anonymous blogger, I suspect that Darwin's son understood him better than you do.

Besides being just wrong, Darwin laid the foundation for Fascism.

Anon1 said...

Your opinion, of Darwin's son's opinion, of his fathers supposed opinions, are irrelevant to a discussion of the evidence for evolutionary biology.

On the other hand, the opinions of rabbis such as you who claim to know the nature of god and what he wants are quite relevant to a discussion of the fallacies of religion. Since we can only know about god through the likes of mortal men like you, the idea of an immortal god will forever remain an unsubstantiated fantasy. (until such time He proves Himself)

bankman said...

JP, do you address the watchmaker argument with God himself?

Who made God?....something cant come from nothing.....

jewish philosopher said...

"(until such time He proves Himself)"

He indeed has. See the post before this one.

"Who made God?"

Nobody. He's eternal.

Abe said...

"Who made God?"

>>>Nobody. He's eternal.

The same is true about my Timex watch. Like god, its still ticking and probably will last forever. I need no proof. I only have to say so.

bankman said...

> Nobody. He's eternal.

nobody made the universe. it's eternal.

see, that works

jewish philosopher said...

The big bang proves nothing physical is eternal. Bad news for atheist.

Larry Tanner said...

"The big bang proves nothing physical is eternal. Bad news for atheist."

Misconception and non-sequitur.

Speaking of non-sequitur: Archaeology shows Biblical Exodus probably didn't happen, http://larrytanner.blogspot.com/2009/12/historical-exodus-sorry-but-probably.html

jewish philosopher said...

"Misconception and non-sequitur."

Actually, it's the perfect rejoinder. Atheists could once have claimed "Why suggest that life had an eternal intelligent designer? It's simpler to say that life has existed eternally." Thanks to the Big Bang, we have now, much to the disappointment of atheists, realized that this is impossible.

I have dealt with the archeology issue.

http://jewishphilosopher.blogspot.com/2008/02/torah-and-archaeology.html

Larry Tanner said...

"Atheists could once have claimed 'Why suggest that life had an eternal intelligent designer? It's simpler to say that life has existed eternally.'"

Except we care about what can be verified, not about what's simpler. No one's answered the first question satisfactorily, "Why suggest that life had an eternal intelligent designer?"

Although you try an end-run, it seems like you agree that archaeology doesn't support the biblical account and offers evidence instead that it was made up.

Writing, but the way, actually begins earlier than you state, depending on your definition of writing. 30,000 years ago humans - yes, humans - were creating cave paintings and indicating narratives. About 9,000 years ago there are counting tokens for recording property hldings. We have symbolic inscriptions back to about 4,100 years ago.

jewish philosopher said...

"Why suggest that life had an eternal intelligent designer?"

A watch must have a watchmaker and if the first watchmaker were not eternal we would have to explain where he came from.

"archaeology doesn't support the biblical account"

It doesn't support a lot of things which we know happened, because the archaeological record preserves only a tiny fraction of artifacts.

Larry Tanner said...

"A watch must have a watchmaker and if the first watchmaker were not eternal we would have to explain where he came from."

But since he is eternal we don't have to explain. Oh.

And we know he's eternal because it says in a book (or at least that's an interpretation).

And we know the book is accurate even though, as you admit, archaeology (1) doesn't support the biblical account and (2) "doesn't support a lot of things...because the archaeological record preserves only a tiny fraction of artifacts."

How much of the blind-faith Kool-Aid do you have to drink before your logic begins to seem sensible?

Anonymous said...

Larry:

But paleatology doesn't support evolution so I guess it didn't happen.

jewish philosopher said...

"How much of the blind-faith Kool-Aid do you have to drink before your logic begins to seem sensible?"

Got a better idea to account for our existence?

The atheist idea that chemicals, plus radiation plus time equals people is clearly wrong. Maybe a tornado plus scrap metal would equal a space shuttle?

Anonymous said...

Larry:

Skeptics jhave told me numerous times that they have faith that science will someday answer the big questions of origins. After all, science gave us the cell phone. Now that's what I call blind faith.