The Importance of Reasoned Skepticism

Isn’t it weird that so many self-proclaimed “skeptics” and “freethinkers” seem so self-assured of everything they believe in, just like the “ignorant Christians” they spend so much time attacking? “Question authority,” they proclaim out one side of their mouth, while vomiting rigid and sometimes archaic scientific formulae out the other. “Think freely” they bark, only to chastise those who don’t live up to their (often contradictory) standards. In practical experience, very few atheists actually seem willing to question or think freely, when it really gets down to it. Just like true believers, atheists hold to plot points on a narrative–only their’s is backed up by evidence and reality (at least in their own minds). We’ve heard it all before, right?

Rather than rehash the obvious, let’s take a different approach.

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Is Neil deGrasse Tyson Confused About Objective Truths?

From Twitter:

You don’t need to be a scientist to know Earth’s age or that life evolved. You just need be one who embraces objective truths.

When I read stuff like this, my heart sinks, especially when it comes from a scientist. Isn’t it sad? Despite the fact that the official age of the Earth and practically every scientific “fact” has bowed to new discoveries, here we have a scientist implying that *NOW* we can be sure. The problem is, Neil’s comment suggests he is unaware of the most elementary observation a scientific-minded critical thinker can make: How many “objective” truths of the past are in the scientific dustbin of the present?

I’m with Neil, in a sense: I embrace objective truths. I just think it’s unscientific and irresponsible to imply that today’s “age of the Earth” is among them. Haven’t we learned from the past?

Think critically, people. Question all self-proclaimed experts.

Pareidolia & The Darwinian Narrative

One source defines pareidolia as, “the imagined perception of a pattern or meaning where it does not actually exist.” Of course, the atheist / materialist crowd loves to cite pareidolia as an explanation for belief in things “supernatural,” but I find that ironic. After all, we’ve got no shortage of confirmed pareidolia in the “science” of the Darwinian narrative. Quite literally, some of these “scientists” see grandiose patterns from nothing more than a few teeth or part of a skull.

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Science: It Works!

…for completely robbing Earth of her natural resources, that is.

Atheists and skeptics—the faithful congregation of the First Church of Scientism—can often be found singing praises to their god, but we rarely hear them tell the whole story. The faithful are quick to chant, “science the best method we have of finding the truth,” but why don’t they also chant, “science is the leading cause of our destruction?” Why might that be? Is there a corollary between the religionist and the proponent of scientism in this regard?

Anyways. I’m back from vacation, hope you’re all well. Any suggestions for new posts?

The Contradictory Failures Of Peter Hurford

This post is in direct response to Peter Hurford’s misleading essay, The Contradictory Failure of Prayer. My official position on prayer studies is that atheists who champion them as evidence for atheism are just as irrational as believers who champion them as evidence for theism.

As is typical of internet atheists, Mr. Hurford misleads his readers to believe that science is purely on his side, stating (bold mine) that “every time we look at the results, we notice that atheists recover from illness just as frequently as believers who pray.” I don’t know about you, but it really bothers me when people use “we” when they should use “I” instead [cf. Alonzo Fyfe and his litany of unsubstantiated “we” claims]. Peter’s use of “we” implies that his readers have reason to share his conclusions, but that couldn’t be farther from the truth. When I look at the results, I notice a state of affairs quite different from the one Peter wants his readers to accept as reality.

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Where Vox, Spacebunny, et al. Were Right

I’ve realized something in this latest fiasco with the judges in DBT01. I now understand why Vox, Spacebunny, et al. accused me of “entering into” the PZ Myers Memorial Debate. Technically, I did interact with the arguments more than simple judging required. Although there was no conscious intent to do so, that doesn’t change the fact. This became apparent when Matt DeStefano did the same thing in his writeup of my opening statement. He interacted with my arguments from Leviticus:

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The PZ Myers Memorial Debate, Round One: And The Winner Is…

You can download the four letters that comprise Round One as a single PDF file, here [131KB]. If you don’t want to download it, simply copy the URL and paste it into your address bar. Or go check it out at VoxWorld. Be forewarned: Dominic’s piece is a bit sloppy grammatically, making comprehension a challenging at times. Vox, on the other hand, is at least articulate enough that intelligibility is not an issue.

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A Message To The Uber-Rationalist

I’ve noticed this thing where uber-rational people judge others as “irrational” based exclusively on whether or not the belief in question has **unassailable scientific evidence. When the uber-rationalist makes that move, they misapply a legitimate but isolated truth-criterion without consideration for the full context in which the “irrational” person holds their belief. I say “misapply” because I generally disfavor a myopic approach to reality and I believe truth is best demonstrated through multiple criteria.

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Isn’t This Thoughtful Or Detailed Enough?

So I’ve been cleaning out my notes, and I came across the following accusation from somebody calling themselves Hermes:

Why spend time on a detailed and thoughtful response when the other person is unwilling and also unable to comprehend or even attempt to engage what you have said?

Of course, the implication is that I am unwilling and unable to engage Hermes’ points, but you can find evidence to the contrary, here. As JS Allen also points out, Hermes was directing all sorts of believers to this thread and challenging them to respond to the points, yet, Hermes seems to have disappeared, and it’s been over a year now. So who is unwilling and unable to engage what’s been said?

Materialism Is A Misnomer

Pardon me for asking a silly question, but here I go anyways: If you made salad dressing that was one part vinegar and 10,000,000,000,000 parts olive oil, would it be accurate in any sense of that word to label your dressing as vinegar-based? I’m going to bet that any reasonable person would say no.

Yet, physicists estimate that the atomic material/non-material ratio is akin to a single grain of sand in St. Peter’s Basilica [approximately 163,000 square feet]. So then, why do so many “materialists” assert that “material” explanations can account for all known phenomena when what they call “matter” is actually something like 99.9999999999999% immaterial?

Am I missing something?