Not So Polite Dinner Conversation – How silly the Qu’ran is and a bonus photo of my cat

It seems like Mr. Rogers isn’t coming back, though I do hope that isn’t the case.  This is unsuprising.  The usual scenario is that the TrueChristiantm will convince himself that I didn’t “really” want to discuss Christianity and he’ll tell himself that I wasn’t honest.  That’s a real two-fer in lying.    

Mordred, my scrawny little black cat
Mordred, my scrawny little black cat

First a cute picture of my one cat, Mordred.  You’d never be able to force him to sit so pretty in my beer photography box but here he is, sitting there on his own.

Mohammed supposedly liked cats. A legend speaks about his cat Muezza.  I will have to say, I always have an irrational soft spot for anyone who likes cats.  Vladimir Putin likes snow leopards.  🙂 

I thought I’d address just how another religion could make an interesting mini-series with the nonsense found with in its holy book.  Islam has some similarities to Christianity and Judaism, claiming to be worshipping the same god, accepting some of what the other two claim but it does differ.  Here’s a link to translations of the qu’ran.

All postulate a rather bizarre opponent for their god.  In Islam, we have the devil/Satan in the guise of Iblis/Shaitan.  Now, for enitites that supposedly know that this god is omnieverything, they certainly make some rather ridiculous decisions.  Yep, let’s go against something we know we can’t beat.  A human emotion to be sure, since us humans are stubborn creatures, sure that our luck will get us through.  We all have doubts about how powerful something really is, but these angels supposedly knew better.  It sounds rather like the Israelites in the exodus,who supposedly saw this god do all sorts of magical things but still bitched about the quail and manna.  As usual, this god is a snotty thing and just says “I know better than you” when it comes to answering the valid question of the angels e.g. why the heck are you placing a flawed being in charge of earth when you got all of us?  Of course, just like in the bible creation story, we see that this god screws up.

Noah has arguments with the folks that live on the earth with him prior to the flood. He claims to be warning them but it’s rather hard for anyone to believe someone who can’t show that a god exists, much less that he can talk to it.  Even Noah’s son disbelieved Noah.  It does have Noah saying that if this god wants to kill you and not bother with showing he exists, that’s okay.   

 We also have the same Sodom and Gomorrah.  That’s another great one to have, showing how a father has no problem in offering his children to a rapacious crowd to protect two supposed angels.  He’s not told he shouldn’t do that, and to add insult to injury, the angels say “leave your wife here to die.”  Lot’s wife isn’t turned to salt in this one. I will have to say, at least the bible is easier to read than the qu’ran. No wonder it needs the hadith so badly. 

The Islamic Abraham is at least more honest than the bible one.  IA is “hey kid, you’re going to be sacrificed” (assumed it is Ishmael, but no name given) whilst BA is “let’s go for a walk.” (Issac in this)  Both should be great to see on screen, a father willing to do *anything* he’s told, including murder his child.  And a omnipotent god needing to test anyone?  Not so omniscient is he?  

Isn't this an awesome bird?  it's latin name is Upupa Epops!
Isn’t this an awesome bird? it’s latin name is Upupa Epops!

Solomon chats with ants and birds and it’s acknowledged that there is magic that can be confused with a god’s actions. (Sura 27). Solomon also gets upset with a hoopoe for being absent.  The hoopoe was out spying on the Queen of Sheba.   

Unsuprisingly, the qu’ran is just as rife with contradictions as the bible.  And often has the same problems.  There are a few sites out there (answering islam, being one of them) who are Christians who are so smug about how they’ve found so much wrong with the qu’ran; nothing like watching the pot call the kettle black.

Not So Polite Dinner Conversation – The illegible post, part 1

Church-Lightning-RodSo here we are with the first installment of the review of a Christian’s blog post. The numbers in his post seem to be meaningless since I have used no such numbering in mine. It is anyone’s guess what he might be referring to when, for instance, he claims we agree on something. I believe he thinks that numbering sentences makes them footnotes since he mentioned using such things in a personal email to me, though I could be wrong. Those of us who have written academic papers know this is not the case. 

Rather than address the usual claims of martyrdom that are evident, I shall show how the claims presented as facts are wrong.  The Christian in question, Joseph Armstrong, is quite amusing with attempts to shill a book supposedly full of the “truth”.  Rather than pay $5, you can get it free here, misspellings, tired old lies and all.  I did a little Googling about this book and it’s always good to see creationists attack each other over what they think is the “truth”.  We have young earth creationists (those who think that Bishop Ussher’s calculation of around 6000 years is accurate) insisting that old earth creationists (who accept various ages up to and including the current estimate of  13.77 billion years) are utterly wrong and damned.  And this doesn’t even start on how folks who believe in theistic evolution fit into the mix.  When you have no evidence for your claims, like these folks, then it becomes a free for all, each insisting that they are the only TrueChristianstm. Indeed, this post starts with the Christian’s claim that his version of the religion and his faith are the only right ones, and that anything else is a coward’s faith, which then evidently doesn’t exist since this Christian claims he hasn’t seen such faith other than his own.  He hasn’t looked very far.

Also, be aware that this Christian writes out his “evidence” on poster paper using lots of colors and drawings and takes pictures of them; those are the jpg files he refers to in his post.  It is my opinion that  it ’s a rather transparent tactic to avoid having his words directly quoted by a cut and paste and a vastly silly attempt to impress someone with what looks like it should be in third grade show n’ tell.   They are a bit more legible than yellow text on red. 

For those who have shown concern that I am beating my head against a wall in futility or that I have a tarbaby by the hand, I am quite aware that no matter how much I might write, there will be people who will not accept it but as the poster image above states, the argument is much a moot point.  To ignore reality in favor of their fantasies is their choice.  However, their willful ignorance doesn’t change reality no matter how hard they may pray. They will still be wrong and their numbers continue to dwindle.  This also helps folks who haven’t spent as much time as I have on research to see a lot of info in one place.

Christians have claimed that their god exists and affects the physical world.  The claims range from the supposed events in the bible to claims that miracles happen in the world today.  Various Christians have claimed that they do have evidence to support the existence of the Christian god (God) and the events essential to their religion. This supposed evidence falls into some broadly defined groups  

  • stories that are not supported by original contemporary sources e.g. books considered to be divinely inspired and thus “true’
  • anecdotes that are not supported by other evidence
  • physical evidence that is presented out of archaeological context and thus useless (ivory pomegranate, ossuaries, etc)
  • physical evidence that is refused access to (religious relics)
  • physical evidence that is unaccessible (on a mountain, under a sea, missing)
  • physical evidence presented with a false dichotomy
  • claims that their god is better/different than any others but lacking evidence to support this other than personal belief
  • claims that their god and only their god created the universe
  • claims that miracles occur, those that break physical laws and those that considered from God but are indistinguishable from coincidence or hard work by humans
  • claims that “many scientists” are or have become theists
  • claims to have “scientific evidence” but the evidence is not presented
  • claims that certain ideas have been disproven and failing to admit that it was not theists who disproved them
  • Outright lies

 There will be a lot of these that will come up.  I really should have made a scorecard.  Get a whole set and Bingo!

Now, let’s start into the meat of this.

In #4, we have a claim that there is evidence for a world-wide flood. It is claimed that there is “22 verified such evidences”.  These are not presented unsurprisingly.  In the case of this Christian, he is a Bible literalist, sure that most, if not all, the events of the bible did in fact occur in the past just as written.  He is also a young Earth Creationist, who believes that the earth was created the night before October 23, 4004 BC of the Julian calendar (Ussher again, assuming that God uses the Julian calendar).  This rather sounds like the scene in Monty Python’s Life of Brian as the movie opens (after the nativity scene and the credits, around 6:36 on the video) and  at the Sermon on the Mount, which is claimed to be “Judea, AD 33, Saturday afternoon . . . about tea time”.  In this Christian’s proposed timeline, the biblical flood must occur between now and 6017 years ago.  Continue reading “Not So Polite Dinner Conversation – The illegible post, part 1”

Not So Polite Dinner Conversation – Prepare yourselves folks

Our current guest Christian, Woody, has decided to post his rebuttal to my flood post on his website.  It’s not up yet but should be soon and he’s even promised a video!  He has given me a preview which I am sharing here.   He has declared that anyone who tries to comment on this on his website will not likely be allowed since he feels that the posts would be obscene and “vicious” aka show him how wrong he is.  This is unsurprising. I wouldn’t suggest spending too much time on something made to be nonsense slung at a wall and left to see what sticks, in yellow lettering on red of course. 

A large jpg file that is rather....amazing.
A large jpg file that is rather….amazing.

As literal Christian posts go, it’s pretty typical.  You can see examples of posting long superseded information as if it were cutting edge and the attempts at attacking of that which we already know to be in error.  We see appeals to authority and none of them are current authorities.  Bible literalists do love those authorities that come from  before the contintentla drift theory was confirmed especially.  We have claims of dinosaur fossils in with human fossils and of course for those claims, not even a citation.  It’s very telling when someone who has little chance of proving their arguments suddenly ceases to support them but hopes everyone will think that those bits of nonsense are supported anyhow. It’s a dangerous tactic, to try to deceive your audience and we see it fail here quite dramatically.   

I should have plenty of time to pick this apart later in the week.  If your eyes can have a go at something so intentionally unreadable, have at it.





Not So Polite Dinner Conversation – Bad logic and even worse “science”

noahRecently, I’ve seen the usual flood myth claims on one more theist blog. This has been done to death but I do love the subject since I’m a geologist. 

The initial blog post was the usual claim by a theist that atheists don’t have enough proof for their position and at best they “really” should be agnostics. This is the usual tactic to cling to their god by implicitly claiming “But you can’t prove my god doesn’t exist, so I can still make believe he does.”  Alas for the theist who make this claim, they forget that their god has very defined characteristics and those characteristics can be analyzed and be tested by the evidence supporting or contradicting them.  The theist in question has insisted that he doesn’t need to define this god, and it’s simply “logic” that argues that agnosticism is the right position.  He invokes the argument from ignorance: 

1.There is no evidence against p.
2. Therefore, p.
3.There is no evidence for p.
4.Therefore, not-p. 

and has accused me of that, but again forgets that there is not this overwhelming ignorance he would hope for; we have plenty of positive evidence against the claims of his religion and his bible.  If there is no evidence for a magical flood, then there is no reason to think that there was one. If there is no evidence for a God, or Santa Clause, then there is no reason to think there is one.  Could there be a probability of something undefined hiding under a rock on Alpha Centauri and that be the Christian god?  No, not if the Christian god is as claimed by the bible and Christians. Logic is a powerful tool but it isn’t perfect. Unfortunately, many Christians find it’s their last hope in finding a gap for their god but don’t understand that. 

There is evidence for geology showing that this flood did not occur ever and could not have.  One has to invoke magic to somehow evaporate all of the evidence that this god did anything ever.  That’s worth a chuckle but that’s all.  One may as well invoke “Last Thursdayism” where we only *think* we remember our lives and some god made us up last Thursday.

(This Christian is also sure that Santa Claus doesn’t exist.  He claims he needs no “evidence” but has “good reasons” to be sure about this.  Of course, I have yet to see the “good reasons”.  It’s just more special pleading.)  

Another Christian has claimed that SCIENCE supports his religion and makes some very typical and very willfully ignorant claims.  He claims that genetics “proves” that there was a population bottleneck and his flood is the source.  First, it is always a treat to see a theist who wants to invoke science and the scientific method when they think that it supports their religious claims.  They demonstrate their hypocrisy when they decide that some science is just peachy but when a bit of that science shows their religion’s claims to be wrong, they will do their best to ignore it.  Quite a bit of trying to have their cake and eat it too goes on in creationist nonsense.  They depend on willful ignorance, outright lies, attacking strawmen created from superseded ideas, etc.  It’s really quite a shame.  AT this point, I cannot accept Hanlon’s Razor: Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.  In this age of information, it takes real effort to be this ignorant.  Continue reading “Not So Polite Dinner Conversation – Bad logic and even worse “science””