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Ancient One 

Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 7,925
In Reply To

Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 5,233
Subj: Re: Atheist turned believer
Posted: Fri May 25, 2018 at 05:15:27 pm CDT (Viewed 513 times)
Reply Subj: Re: Atheist turned believer
Posted: Fri May 25, 2018 at 08:34:26 am CDT (Viewed 561 times)

    We may agree on more things than you may suspect. I fully respect an honest atheist's perspective and don't condemn it. But I fully disrespect idiots like Jerry Coyne, a mere biologist, who writes a book that "berates not only religious believers but even “accomodationists,” non-believers who think science and faith can find common ground."

I have to say, I come down on Coyne's side here. I don't think science and religion are compatible. Here's why...

Many people believe the bible to be the exact, literal, inerrant truth. The word of god. So, starting on page one of the bible, we already have a problem. The bible tells us that some 10,000 - 6,000 years ago, god created the universe and our world in seven days, and created people and animals basically as they are now.

Science tells us that none of that is true. Our universe is around 13.8 billion years old. Our sun is about 4.5 billion years old, the Earth around 4 billion years old, and all life on it evolved from simpler forms. These are facts.

So there's a conflict there between science and religion. One of them has to be wrong. And not just wrong, but phenomenally wrong. Fortunately, for one there's evidence, and for the other there isn't. If you want to be a believer, you have to deny science.

And you find these conflicts right throughout the bible. The flood, miracles, the exodus and so on. We know from ancient writings that Yaweh was a Canaanite god, one of a pantheon (He was their war god), with a consort/wife. If you want to believe that Yaweh is the one and only god, you have to deny history.

And there's no real way to reconcile the two. Okay, I know that some believers choose to believe that parts of the bible are metaphor, but I've never seen the sense in that. How do you tell which is which? What criteria do you use? And what's the point? If you're going to start down that road, then why not view the entire book as metaphor?


I think there's a lot wrong with that article. Alas, I don't have the time right now to go through it point by point (Although I'd be happy to in a day or two if you want), but I come down closer to Coyne's position than Horgan's. One comment I will make quickly though, is Horgan used the word 'extremist' in relation to Coyne's writings. That was worrying. I think extremism - wherever it originates - is a negative and destructive thing. But I haven't read the book personally, so Horgan may have been using hyperbole. I'll have to buy it and see.

    I think Jerry's contributions to biology and his arguments are reasonable and hard to deny, but he takes it a step further by essentially (although not directly) berating fellow atheist/agnostic scientists such as Eugenie Scott or Kip Thorne, the latter who stated: "There are large numbers of my finest colleagues who are quite devout and believe in God [...] There is no fundamental incompatibility between science and religion." And as for Eugenie, her last 30 seconds of the below video nails it.

Thorne and Scott - two more of my heroes!


I don't think the last 30 seconds nails it. I think she misses the point completely.

If god is a being that created the universe, then just sits back and watches it unfold, never interfering with it's workings, then I agree that kind of god would be impossible to detect. But the 'big 3' religions all claim an interventionist god. One who interacts with us mere mortals. He answers prayers, he heals the sick, he performs miracles. Science can actually say quite a lot about that kind of god. Like dark matter, while we can't see the cause, we can sure as heck measure the effects. So we set up experiments to measure them, and what we end up with is no evidence that a god exists.

So where does that leave us? People claim an interventionist god, science has proven there's no evidence of divine intervention. Should the scientist - or just the rational thinker - now still give deference to all religious claims, all religious people, just because believers refuse to accept the outcome of the experiments? Where does that end? Should we leave every ring of mushrooms in place just in case we offend the fairies who purportedly built these fairy rings? Should we avoid caves on the off chance that dragons were real, and one or two may still exist?

No, I think she's wrong. The god of the bible, if he existed, wouldn't be outside the scope of science at all.

And of course, a claim that is made without evidence, can be dismissed without evidence. You don't have to give it the time of day.

    Of course, a smug asshole like Jerry Coyne berates her and argues that science and atheism is the only way to go.

For me, and many others, science and atheism ARE the only way to go. Although I'm uncomfortable with berating anyone for their beliefs. I don't like 'berating'.


    "Atheism is not by definition a part of science, so in that sense doesn’t compel atheism, but it should. For least if you demand evidence for your conclusions, then there is an intimate connection between science and atheism, the refusal to accept gods on the grounds of no evidence."

I can't really argue with that.

    Here's a picture of Jerry Coyne.

    Look at that dumb face.

I can't really argue with that, either \:\)

Nice shirt, though! \:\)

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