Darwin Day Lecture 2016

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Re: Darwin Day Lecture 2016

#61

Post by BillyBob66 » Tue Mar 22, 2016 11:44 pm

GregD wrote:
BillyBob66 wrote: There are many, many more laws that stand up to modern medical theory, including washing with what turns out to be germicidal solution. But I know you don't want me to quote the entire Bible right here. And these are not even the prophecies. But still amazing to me. How is it all of these laws just happen to line up with modern germ and medical theory? I guess Moses was just a real lucky guesser. ( the prophets weren't too shabby at guessing either! )
Not surprising at all. Aggressive selective reading and biased interpretation. You are looking for a story that you want to hear and surprise! you find it.

Human thinking patterns are naturally biased and illogical. I catch myself doing it all the time. But you are not even trying to get things right. Quite the opposite, you are eager to create an entertaining fiction for yourself. Your evaluation of evolution is the same process. You know now everything you will ever know; new information has no hope of getting through. That seems to have been the case for quite some time already. Have fun, but that is not for me.
Oh, man! There it goes, you had to go negative! Oh well, that's always how it goes when they run out of answers! So you are saying that all of the examples I provided do NOT line up with with modern medical science? Can you back that up? Are you sure you are not looking for a story you want to hear with illogical evolution?

Anyway, I'll leave you to your fantasies. Please get back to me once you manage to actually get a new species from another species in a lab, or if you ever can do in a lab what nature supposedly did with such ease and by accident billions of years ago, get life from dead material. You know, some real science, hard science that is observable, testable and repeatable.


Rom8:21the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption23..but..we ourselves, having the first fruits of the Spirit.. groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our body

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Re: Darwin Day Lecture 2016

#62

Post by GregD » Wed Mar 23, 2016 8:12 am

BillyBob66 wrote: Oh, man! There it goes, you had to go negative! Oh well, that's always how it goes when they run out of answers! So you are saying that all of the examples I provided do NOT line up with with modern medical science? Can you back that up? Are you sure you are not looking for a story you want to hear with illogical evolution?

Anyway, I'll leave you to your fantasies. Please get back to me once you manage to actually get a new species from another species in a lab, or if you ever can do in a lab what nature supposedly did with such ease and by accident billions of years ago, get life from dead material. You know, some real science, hard science that is observable, testable and repeatable.
I don't see the negativity. Selectivity and bias are not only natural human traits, they help us get through our day; evolutionary advantages if you believe that sort of thing. Creating uplifting stories can also be a positive activity. However they do interfere with some activities unless one works very hard to mitigate their influence.

I was summarizing your process. You happily point out these examples which, when interpreted a very specific way, seem not inconsistent with modern medical science whereas there is no way to reconcile your reading of Genesis with all of the evidence and analyses underlying modern geology, astronomy, and cosmology, as well as biology. First, I strongly suspect if we were to identify every possible reasonable interpretation for each of your examples we would find some that are quite troubling. For example, "unclean" is used to describe both menstruation and possible contagion; what's up with that? Second, your 2 arguments against evolution are that it doesn't explain the origin of life and no-one was there to observe it; at most these imply that it is uncertain. By contrast, not only is there nothing to support your reading of Genesis, there are literally tons of data refuting it - those rocks and fossils are heavy. In spite of the literal mountains of evidence (mountain ranges take more than 6000 years to develop, by the way, although no I can't do the experiment) the data collected over the past one or two hundred years has been unable to enlighten your thinking. I think my summary was accurate; selective and biased interpretation resulting in an inability to incorporate new information.

The problems with Genesis do not imply that the rest of the Bible is necessarily wrong. My point with Genesis is only that we must be careful if we want to get an accurate interpretation of it. Many people, including Sarge apparently, have a different method of Bible interpretation which seems to avoid the problems with Genesis.

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Re: Darwin Day Lecture 2016

#63

Post by sarge » Wed Mar 23, 2016 8:30 am

The tone has gone slightly negative.

Everybody take a breather.
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Re: Darwin Day Lecture 2016

#64

Post by BillyBob66 » Wed Mar 23, 2016 11:17 am

GregD wrote:

I don't see the negativity. Selectivity and bias are not only natural human traits, they help us get through our day; evolutionary advantages if you believe that sort of thing. Creating uplifting stories can also be a positive activity. However they do interfere with some activities unless one works very hard to mitigate their influence.

I was summarizing your process. .....................
Well maybe I was in error in my judgement of your tone. That sort of thing can be hard to get right on the internet. If I did read you wrong, so, my apologies. I'll reply to your comments more later.
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Rom8:21the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption23..but..we ourselves, having the first fruits of the Spirit.. groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our body

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Re: Darwin Day Lecture 2016

#65

Post by GregD » Wed Mar 23, 2016 12:06 pm

BillyBob66 wrote: Well maybe I was in error in my judgement of your tone. That sort of thing can be hard to get right on the internet.
Bill
It isn't just the Internet. Other than possibly Mathematics, human language is inherently ambiguous, IMHO.

There is a completely straightforward interpretation of my previous post which conveys no tone whatsoever, and so there is a perfectly valid argument that there was no tone.

But not all valid arguments are, in fact, accurate. There was tone. It was frustration.

Like cherry picking (selectivity) and bias, emotion is helpful in many contexts, but it is counter productive in some activities.

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Re: Darwin Day Lecture 2016

#66

Post by Scuba » Wed Mar 23, 2016 1:31 pm

About 2005 or so I was struggling spiritually. My military career had come to an end and I wasn't sure what I was going to do with myself going forward. I was clinically depressed and dealing with PTSD and wouldn't even go to church with my family anymore because it wasn't worth it to me. My wife dragged me to a Bible study and it was basically about the science of the Bible. I was THE Devil's Advocate, Doubting Thomas, and plain asshole all rolled up in one pissed off, depressed package. I had a hard time getting the Bible and Science to agree and therefor Science must be right. After about 3 nights of putting up with my crap, the class leader gave me a book to read. He gave me The Case for a Creator by Lee Strobel. It made me rethink my doubts and want to read more about Science vs Religion AND about Science&Religion.

I'll close with the question I ask all atheists re: the Big Bang Theory (note the word theory). So before the Universe formed there was nothing, right? Then bang something collided with something else and the Universe was born, expanding exponentially, right? How did this theoretical something come from nothing?
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Re: Darwin Day Lecture 2016

#67

Post by GregD » Wed Mar 23, 2016 2:57 pm

Scuba wrote:I'll close with the question I ask all atheists re: the Big Bang Theory (note the word theory). So before the Universe formed there was nothing, right? Then bang something collided with something else and the Universe was born, expanding exponentially, right? How did this theoretical something come from nothing?
Do you think you are capable of appreciating the answer if it was presented to you?

I have a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering, and with a minor in Physics because I wanted to take quantum mechanics. Since then, for 25 years or so, I have routinely use algebra, calculus and differential equations professionally. I don't think I have all of the prerequisites required to actually understand the data and analysis that the Big Bang Theory attempts to explain. I suspect it would take me a lot of time and effort for me to get an understanding that is deeper than a cartoon-level version. I'm still working on relativity.

Why do you think this is a useful question to ask atheists? I don't know any atheist that claims to know everything. Its pretty freakin' cool that we know the Universe is expanding, no? Science claims to "know" only those things that have been determined from evidence, and even then there is room for uncertainty where that is warranted.

Coyne presented data to the effect that the incidence of atheism among scientists is much higher than the general population, and is very high among members of the National Academies. It is not the case for me, and possibly other atheists, that the absence of a belief in god is the result in an acceptance of evolution or the Big Bang. These theories refute many of the arguments for a belief in a god, but they are not proof that there is not one. Sorry, that's wrong, the data and analyses upon which the theories are constructed refute many of the arguments for a belief in a god even if the theories themselves are inaccurate. For me, the scientific habit of accepting only those assertions that can be supported by data and analysis drives the disbelief; there is no evidence that stands up to scrutiny to support the God proposition. I haven't read the book you mentioned but I suspect I would find its arguments faulty. The attempts that I have seen to provide scientific support for the God proposition are scientifically incompetent. Even giving them very favorable consideration they still leave the God proposition very much more uncertain than any of the standard models (evolution, Big Bang, etc.) The other consideration was that the scientific process has a very good track record of eventually getting things right. The result is that I became agnostic. Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence, so atheism required another step.

The step from agnosticism to atheism for me is that for practical purposes the God proposition requires 2 things: 1. God exists. 2. Humans have knowledge of the existence of God. Science is of no help at all on requirement 1. However science and history have a lot to say about requirement 2, and that is, "not very likely; not at all". Believers provide further evidence; there is an enormous diversity of belief that has persisted for a long time; it isn't converging to a self-consistent story, so which of the various choices is the most accurate one? This evidence is by no means conclusive, only suggestive. But I find it very highly suggestive.
Last edited by GregD on Wed Mar 23, 2016 3:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Darwin Day Lecture 2016

#68

Post by sarge » Wed Mar 23, 2016 3:04 pm

So--

What caused the Big Bang?
You can resolve to live your life with integrity. Let your credo be this: Let the lie come into the world, let it even triumph. But not through me. ― Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
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Re: Darwin Day Lecture 2016

#69

Post by sarge » Wed Mar 23, 2016 3:07 pm

Seriously, dude.

You're using the exact same arguments for Science that you criticize those arguing Belief do.

Here you have a huge mystery the answer to which only a chosen few with special qualities will be able to understand.

This is why, after observing both sides and the rhetoric and forensic tactics used, I see Science and Religion are on equal footing.
You can resolve to live your life with integrity. Let your credo be this: Let the lie come into the world, let it even triumph. But not through me. ― Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
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Re: Darwin Day Lecture 2016

#70

Post by GregD » Wed Mar 23, 2016 3:10 pm

sarge wrote:So--

What caused the Big Bang?
I don't know; ask an expert. Maybe Neil deGrasse Tyson or Stephen Hawking.

How is this question significant?

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Re: Darwin Day Lecture 2016

#71

Post by BillyBob66 » Wed Mar 23, 2016 3:10 pm

GregD wrote:
BillyBob66 wrote: There are many, many more laws that stand up to modern medical theory, including washing with what turns out to be germicidal solution. But I know you don't want me to quote the entire Bible right here. And these are not even the prophecies. But still amazing to me. How is it all of these laws just happen to line up with modern germ and medical theory? I guess Moses was just a real lucky guesser. ( the prophets weren't too shabby at guessing either! )
Not surprising at all. Aggressive selective reading and biased interpretation. You are looking for a story that you want to hear and surprise! you find it.

Human thinking patterns are naturally biased and illogical. I catch myself doing it all the time. But you are not even trying to get things right. Quite the opposite, you are eager to create an entertaining fiction for yourself. Your evaluation of evolution is the same process. You know now everything you will ever know; new information has no hope of getting through. That seems to have been the case for quite some time already. Have fun, but that is not for me.

Yes, there was indeed some tone in this, you say in a following post simply frustration. I certainly know the feeling. I could say you seem to know everything you need to know about what you think happened billions of years ago.

Now back to the topic a hand, which you call “Aggressive selective reading and biased interpretation.”, and you also refer to my interpretation in a following post. Just how do you justify that term “Aggressive selective reading”? By that do you mean I actually read the book or books under discussion? That is true, I read them (unlike so often with the book's critics) and there it was, in black and white. Passage after passage(many that I did not quote, (such as - "(paraphrase....if the material that has contacted something unclean will survive it, to burn it in the fire", which of course would sterilize it) commands which- unlike any other ancient literature I have read so far- if obeyed would match up perfectly with the recommendations of modern medicine.

You seem to be saying that, because there are other passages that do not jive with what you think you know about the creation- or big bang if you prefer- that it is unfair for me to select out the passages that are unassailable . That apparently is being ““Aggressive selective”. Is this kind of like when you said you would consider to listening to my claims about the prophets but only if I cleared up the discrepancies re: the Genesis creation and flood accounts vs what you think science knows first? If science switches to a new theory(and details change all of the time) then does that mean what you thought you knew was wrong?

I say, if a person actually wants to know the truth, that they should have an open mind. Why not just consider the passages in question on their own, instead of worrying about my selection process and interpretation? If the Bible is all fiction written by these ancient people who knew nothing of science- and much less what the future held- then I say virtually every thing they say should be dead wrong. They should never be right. It's not like Moses is running Scientific experiments out there in the desert 3400 years ago. Moses did not know about the existence of germs, and God did not bother to inform him, past just commanding "do this...don't do that". . And yet, with at the very least what was a rather spectacular stroke of luck, many of the commands that he gives them from the God he says will HEAL them turn out to be the very things that would minimize contact with germs, or sterilize materials exposed to germs, or wash at least some of the germs off of all the people and their clothes if they did contact something unclean. If he manages to get anything right, it's almost– dare I say it – a miracle. If not, then why did not many other people of his time and even hundreds or 1000+ years later get it right? Again when I say "get it right”, I mean say something that will agree would what medical science discovered in the late 1800s and afterwards. He claims the religious laws will keep them from the diseases of the Egyptians. He was right!

Now may I ask you: when Moses told them that these were the commands of the God who would heal them, and that if they obeyed them god would keep them from the diseases of the Egyptians, were those commands good Health advice, based on what we know today, or not? Yes, obviously they were and are. It is not even debatable. You apparently want to discard this as any kind of evidence in favor of the revealed knowledge in the Bible because there are other things that you know are wrong. But I think you were wrong about that. Certainly if you could give me some solid evidence that a a frog became a rat, even if I thought you were wrong about the origin of Life I would have to stop and consider that evidence. But so far I've seen nothing but theories. So even if by your theories you think there is much wrong in the Bible, IMO you should stop and study up on how Moses could have gotten this, and so much more, correct. Because it is unarguably(sp?) correct according to modern medical science.

When the Bible said the newborns must be circumcised on the 8th day, does that turn out to be exactly when modern science tells us the babies Vitamin K(needed for clotting) is up to full status, or not? I gave you a medical reference for that which says bleeding can be a big danger to newborns from day 1 through day 7. And I remember it was common practice to give newborns a vitamin K shot for this very reason. Is it too selectively aggressive of me to point that out? Don’t you agree that Moses, based on his own lack of knowledge was just as likely to have said say day 1 or 2 or 60? What day would you have picked if you were there and just making things up? How is it he nailed it on the day after an infant's Vitamin K reaches normal levels? Do you know of any one else that knew it was a good idea to make sure an infant is not caused to bleed before day 8, before the last 100 years or so?

Let me give you another one: in medieval times, and in many third world countries today, human waste is simply discarded in the streets or the gutters. When ancient armies(even just a couple hundred years ago) would march and/or besiege cities, camping in the field for months on end, often more would die of infectious disease than from combat. Either no or incorrect knowledge about latrines and/or correct placement thereof, correct garbage disposal, and no quarantine led to the death of many, many soldiers. For example, even as late as the 1860s, more soldiers in the US Civil War died of disease than from wounds:
http://www.civilwar.org/education/pdfs/ ... dicine.pdf

http://afids.org/publications/PDF/CRI/P ... istory.pdf
Before the 19th century, infectious diseases unrelated to trauma were responsible for a much greater proportion of the deaths during war than battle-related injuries. During the Mexican War (1845–1848) and the Spanish-American War (1898) disease-related deaths outnumbered battle-related deaths by seven to one.1 With the introduction of military hygiene and disease control at the beginning of the 20th century, there was a steady decline in the number of wartime deaths attributable to diseases classically known as “war pestilence”
But what about old Moses 3400 years ago? Did he somehow know the correct way to deal with waste as he camped in the wilderness? As he took the Children of Israel on a 40 years camping trip out in the desert? I have already mentioned the requirement to take the offal left over from the sacrifices OUTSIDE the camp to be burned. But did Moses get it right when it came to Latrines? Armies 2 or 3 thousand years later did not have any idea, but thousands of years ago Moses says God said:
Deuteronomy 23:12 Designate a place outside the camp where you can go to relieve yourself. 13 As part of your equipment have something to dig with, and when you relieve yourself, dig a hole and cover up your excrement.”.
Bullseye for health! Not only OUTSIDE the camp, but bury it! I can guarantee that any modern military medical officer would not tell the troops any different. This seems so obvious to us today that it goes without saying that you should not discard human waste and garbage inside your camp. Much less rub human/ insect/ animal waste into wounds as some other ancient societies did while hoping to cure. But until the discovery of germs and their relationship to disease in the late 1800s, most were oblivious to these healthy habits, even though they were written right in the Bible so many revered for centuries. Many copies of these books were found in the Dead Sea Scrolls and dated(by scientists) as much as hundreds of years before Christ.

You mention a problem with my interpretation compared to some. But I say usually no interpretation is needed, why not just- as much as possible- take the Bible simply as written? Certainly there were religious ritual reasons for many of these laws. Nevertheless, If you follow these ancient laws that Moses claims were given to them by "the God that heals you”, would you be better off or not? What ever interpretation you might want to add, do these laws as they are written in black-and-white agree with what medical science has discovered since about 1860 and are they correct, or not? If they are correct, how did Moses get this right? I think you should concentrate on that, was Moses somehow right way, way before we knew anything about germs, or was he as wrong as he should have been? That is far more important than my “ aggressive selective bias and interpretation”.

Lastly: When you say: “Not surprising at all. Aggressive selective reading and biased interpretation. You are looking for a story that you want to hear and surprise! you find it.” Then does that mean that if I was a Hindu or Buddhist or Muslim, and I searched for these things in their ancient holy writings, I could find it? Is that what you are claiming?

Thanks for your consideration of my post.

Bill
Last edited by BillyBob66 on Wed Mar 23, 2016 3:37 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Darwin Day Lecture 2016

#72

Post by GregD » Wed Mar 23, 2016 3:19 pm

sarge wrote:Seriously, dude.

You're using the exact same arguments for Science that you criticize those arguing Belief do.

Here you have a huge mystery the answer to which only a chosen few with special qualities will be able to understand.

This is why, after observing both sides and the rhetoric and forensic tactics used, I see Science and Religion are on equal footing.
Your assessment is inaccurate. Everything is there for you to do it yourself. Have at it. I am not asking you to take anyone's word for it. Also, if you can document a mistake, you will be famous. It is a bit of a hike though. I haven't taken that particular path.

I have provided the outline of my reasoning leading to my atheism. Even my motivation to highly regard science and not religion.

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Re: Darwin Day Lecture 2016

#73

Post by sarge » Wed Mar 23, 2016 3:22 pm

GregD wrote:
sarge wrote:So--

What caused the Big Bang?
I don't know; ask an expert. Maybe Neil deGrasse Tyson or Stephen Hawking.

How is this question significant?

Like I said;

The nature of the answers you're giving are the same as those you criticize the other side for. Its either OK for both sides to give that kind of answer, or its not. Choose one, but choose. Because its not a debate anymore if you can't, and this stops being a debate and edges into tribalism.
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Re: Darwin Day Lecture 2016

#74

Post by BillyBob66 » Wed Mar 23, 2016 3:35 pm

sarge wrote:
Here you have a huge mystery the answer to which only a chosen few with special qualities will be able to understand.

.
That sounds like some priesthoods. A chosen few and only they can understand.
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Re: Darwin Day Lecture 2016

#75

Post by Scuba » Wed Mar 23, 2016 4:20 pm

GregD wrote: Science claims to "know" only those things that have been determined from evidence, and even then there is room for uncertainty where that is warranted.
Is this the same science that in the 70s said we were entering a global ice age? Or the same science that gave us global warming? maybe it's the same science that now is giving us "climate change". Perhaps it is the same science that has been retroactively fudging numbers to try to show evidence supporting their "theories".

I guess it's the same science that posits "theories" rather than proofs.
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