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Comment Re:No... (Score 1) 18

See, this is where the reasonable Christians and we go apart. You are 100% right that God cannot be disproven or proven, BUT we have probability and that really speaks against God.

I see this claimed all the time, but it's an argument by assertion if there ever was one. There is no possible way to come up with such a probability in any objective manner.

The laws of physics are properties of this Universe. Logic itself is also a property of the Universe. It is therefore by definition impossible to apply the laws of physics or logic to anything that is by definition outside this Universe. Any attempt to claim "proof" or even "probability" of such is doomed to failure.



Comment Re:Genetics and evolution - the god gene (Score 1) 84

More children is not necessarily an evolutionary advantage. Again, you fail to understand evolutions' implications. To imply that more children is an evolutionary advantage would mean that we're at a disadvantage to animals such as salmon and frogs and catfish and flies and mosquitos, that have huge numbers of offspring, most of which don't make it.

Except that the overwhelming number of people in the world continue to identify themselves as religious, thus providing further evidence that it provides an evolutionary advantage (or at the very least did so for some 5,000 years).

You also apparently didn't read the linked article in my last post. Which, considering that it costs money for non-subscribers to do so, I take as evidence you never bothered to Google for the original Nature article we discussed earlier, either. (That's what the $32 was all about.) Oh well. :-p

On top of that, I might add that you 1) vastly overstated the case for the "God gene", as the researchers themselves don't claim it has that much to do with religious belief, and 2) even if that were so, who is to say which is the "mutation"? It is equally possible that atheists are the mutants. Given that atheism as a mass phenomenon is quite recent, that even sounds downright likely.

I'm sure you'll report for gene therapy to fix that deficiency of yours when the time comes.

What you utterly fail to understand, both in the case of genetics and anthropology, is that just because there is a possible alternate explanation (like for the burials), doesn't mean it is the most likely one. William of Ockham has a lot to say about that.

You also completely failed to understand what the search for the Higgs boson is about.

As a matter of fact, I do know what the search of the Higgs boson is all about (I have a shelf full of physics books and am friends with a couple of physics researchers here at the University of Hannover), but I wonder what on Earth gives you the idea that we were even remotely talking about it. I certainly didn't bring it up. Methinks you're losing it. Hard.

When in doubt, desperately try to change the subject, huh?

Also, any anthropologist who is not an avowed atheist HAS a bias towards accepting religion, same as anyone who is not an avowed vegan HAS a bias towards accepting the practice of eating meat. Kind of obvious, no?

You really are losing it. Contradicting yourself to boot.

If someone is agnostic, they are by definition non-religious, with no particular feelings for or against. You said it yourself up yonder. That means that they are, by definition, not biased for or against religion and hence are much less likely to prejudice their research either way. Meanwhile, an atheist by definition rejects religion and therefore has a bias against it. Obvious, no? :-p

Even if that were not so, your attempt to portray it otherwise boils down to "my team is not biased, but yours is", which is utterly laughable. FAIL^3.

Reminds me a bit of those atheists bragging about a survey a couple years back claiming that atheists are on average more intelligent than agnostics. They did, however, fail to note that both were outranked by Anglicans. Not to worry, we won't take it out on you.



Comment Re:Genetics and evolution - the god gene (Score 1) 84

Um, no - a mutation can be detrimental, but as long as it doesn't kill off the host before they've reproduced, it still gets passed on. Otherwise, all genetic diseases would disappear.

Except that geneticists have indeed posited that religious belief carries with it an evolutionary advantage. You said it yourself: Religious people tend to have more children. QED.

Also, agnostics are definitely NOT atheists.

I didn't say that they were. Nice try. I did point out that the thesis I mentioned was proposed by agnostic, non-religious anthropologists, removing the possibility of the charge of bias that you tried to hang on them. FAIL.

Also, dragging anthropologists in in the first place is "argument from authority", a logical fallacy.

If I claimed it as proof, you would be right. Except...I didn't. I pointed out that the anthropologists mentioned can't be accused of bias in favor of religion (which you did). Again, FAIL.



Comment Re:What business is it of yours how many kids (Score 1) 84

The hilarious part about that is that atheists pushing that theory are sawing on their own proverbial tree branch. If religion provided an evolutionary advantage, they are effectively arguing for removing something that gave us that advantage. How's that for stupid. What next, decree that nearsightedness is the gold standard?

Not to mention, whether they mean to or not, they entrench a form of bigotry. By implicitly calling one sort of person "inferior" because of their genetics, it opens Pandora's box: Where does it stop? Dark skin? Blue eyes? Male (or female) gender?

For that matter, it could even blow back on y'all nonbelievers. "Normal" generally gets defined by the majority, whether you like it or not. (And as already established, the religious tend to have more children than the nonreligious, nicely perpetuating the majority.) What's to stop the majority with that God gene from deciding you nonbelievers ought to be "treated" for your deficiency?

In other words, you (and the researchers) don't appear to have thought this through at all. :-p

This still leaves the possibility of a mutation, a "religion gene", that renders SOME people more receptive to the idea of religion and/or god, but again, that makes faith worthless, and it still leaves us at "man didn't start out religious".

Sigh. You really haven't thought this through. If faith is supposedly worthless, then why did it provide an evolutionary advantage? Seems to me that proves its 'worth' right there.

Those who propose that mankind was always religious are invariably influenced by religion themselves.

Actually, having known a few anthropologists (and read many more), they invariably tend to be agnostic or otherwise nonreligious. I don't think I've even heard of a leading anthropologist who describes himself or herself as being avowedly Christian.

But nice try, though. Pretty cute implying "my team is impartial, yours isn't".



Comment Re: this coming from a tranny? (Score 1) 84

... and my point all along is that 19 kids IS an excessive burden for one couple to impose on our already overburdened ecology.

Only if everyone does it (or many people do it). I don't think that that is terribly likely.

Some people have no kids; some have lots. It tends to average itself out anyway, most especially in industrialized societies (for which which Arkansas amazingly manages to qualify). So no, I'm not terribly concerned.

Do they deserve praise? I didn't claim that they did. But do they deserve criticism? Not that I can tell. They're paying their own way, thus they aren't even on the "commons". What they do with their own time and property is their business, so long as they pay for it. *shrug*

Much ado about nothing.



Comment Re:What business is it of yours how many kids (Score 1) 84

The burial of human remains, along with tools and weapons, is fully explained without needing to resort to religion.

And there is the source of your error. While it could in theory be explained without resorting to a religious explanation if taken in a vacuum, we have the later history of what developed as an indication that there was at the very least a ritual element, and we have the simple common-sense parallels visible with today's practice as well as with practice throughout civilized history. If it is done in ancient Egypt, in Mesoamerica, in ancient Greece, in ancient China and also today for a particular reason by Homo sapiens, chances are it was done back then for the same (or at least similar) reasons. One only has to look at how the bodies were positioned in those early graves -- very caringly and lovingly, not just cast into a pit, and usually also decorated in some form. No other animal does anything like it. One also only has to look at primitive cultures around the world today, such as in the Amazon basin, who do the same thing -- always with some spiritual or religious aspect. It's a touchstone of the human experience.

There simply is no evidence that primitive humanity was in some sense atheist and then turned religious. Those who propose such an idea are invariably atheists themselves. You'll pardon me if I take what they say with a boulder of salt.



Comment Re:What business is it of yours how many kids (Score 1) 84

Though my Bullshit antennae are always rather sensitive.

Probably because you wandered into Tom's journal of all places. (You're neck deep in it.)

Needless to say, Tom and I go a ways back (well, in online years anyway). Though I must correct her: "TOM" doesn't stand for "the online me". It stands for "trolling's only mutual".



"You show me an American who can keep his mouth shut and I'll eat him." -- Newspaperman from Frank Capra's _Meet_John_Doe_