Open post to Bob, aka @piltdownsupermn on the success of his failure on Darwin Day

This was supposed to be recorded as a podcast but I’m neurotic about my voice and it never sounded right, so I’m posting it as a blog post instead.

Dear Bob,

Before I start, let’s deal with your view of Fundanmentally Flawed first. I’m neither at a kitchen table nor drunk. Well, I don’t drink so sorry to burst that little presumption of yours. And it probably won’t be the last either.

Anyhoo. I’m an atheist. You know, one of those people you think you have some sort of special insight into. And not an angry one that you so often portray. I call it frustration at reading the endless stream of crap you and other “cdesign proponentsists”, creationists, whatever, produce, And hateful? Nope, hate is a strong word and I hope I don’t hate anyone.

Just when I think you can’t sink any lower into the gutter, you always manage to pull something out of your arse to amaze me.

You seem to have missed the irony of your latest venture on the Question Evolution Day Facebook page.

While it is admirable to proclaim you want an open debate about evolution, it’s not so clever to then turn around and block any anyone who asks for those very questions, answers the questions you pose, or even dares to question your own “theory”.

I mean seriously Bob, what were you thinking. I almost had to change my underwear, I was that close to pissing myself laughing.

Let’s start the ball rolling with the front page, this paragraph tickled me in particular:

NOTE: This is not “religious” in nature, this is all about scientific evidence and its interpretation. The appeal is not to Biblical creationists per se, but to anyone who cares about intellectual honesty and freedom.

I can sense it. I can *SNIFF* sniff it. I call bullshit. Oh please, like you’d fucking clue what intellectual honesty is. For your information this means:

  • One’s personal beliefs do not interfere with the pursuit of truth;
  • Relevant facts and information are not purposefully omitted even when such things may contradict one’s hypothesis;
  • Facts are presented in an unbiased manner, and not twisted to give misleading impressions or to support one view over another;
  • References are acknowledged where possible, and plagiarism is avoided

You fail on four out of four, and we’ll see. Well done Bob. A+. Big fucking gold star.

Still, let’s see carry on, maybe that was just a blip. Under “other resources” we find:

http://creation.com/question-evolution
http://www.answersingenesis.org/
http://www.icr.org/
http://www.academicfreedomday.com/
http://www.intelligentdesign.org/
http://www.intelligentdesignnetwork.org/

Oh dear. And under “Llikes”

The Atheist Antidote, Creation Studies Institute, The Creation Page, Biblical Creation & Apologetics Ministries, CARM.org, Creation Research Society, Expelled, Institute for Creation Research (ICR), Creation Science Evangelism, Discovery Institute, Creation Ministries International, ApologetiX, Answers in Genesis, Ken Ham, We CAN and we WILL find 1,000,000 Creationists (1Mill Creation Ministries)

Yep. Not “religious” in anyway at all. Good point Bob, really badly made.Are you sure you want to keep banging on about intellectual honesty?

So from your opening statement on questioning evolution, you’re already a liar.

This “Question Evolution” campaign was started in 2011 by Creation Ministries, and it’s aims are best summed up by Jimmy Stephens, who’s spammed the crap out of forums by posting information about the campaign. He says, and I quote.

It [Question Evolution] is a bold campaign seeking to rid our schools, media, and politics of evolutionist indoctrination and spread the 15 questions which evolutionists can not adequately answer. Hopefully, you too will join CMI’s campaign to refute the falsehoods of evolution. Please found out more at creation.com/question-evolution and discover the promising efforts against the pseudoscience of evolution

Good to start off with an open mind! Doesn’t quite sound like something that’s going to lead to anything remotely like an honest debate to me.

The “falsehoods” and “pseudoscience” have been summed up in their pamphlet called 15 Unanswered Questions for Evolutionists, or “that evolutionists cannot adequately answer,” Like ANY answer would be adequate in their eyes. What is their criteria for being “adequate”?

Strange as on the first page of a Google search shows it’s been answered here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here, among others.

I can only presume that the creationists are still too busy slapping themselves on the backs on coming up with this questions since not one of you has bothered to answer back. It’s almost like you’re not interested in the answers but just trying to fool the flock into thinking there are issues with evolution where there isn’t. Oh, and to get those dollars rolling in with the super tacky merchandise available.

But let’s look on the positive side for just this once.

I am untied, sorry united, with you in your venture to question evolution. You’ve caught up with the rest of us who love science, and the scientists who do it every single day using the scientific method of experimentation, observation, repetition, recording of data and then publishing that data along with the methodology used for others to verify or falsify.

I know you throw phrases like no evidence for evolution, it’s a lie, it’s a fraud, etc but this method of working has lead evolution to be a solid theory. It’s been 152 years since Charles Darwin first published On the Origin of Species and in all that time, it has not been falsified. In fact, and you’re not going to like this, it’s got even stronger. Genetics, genotyping, phylogenetics, etc etc have proved Darwin was right, beyond a shadow of doubt.

I’m sure in your mind’s eye you picture creationism huffing and puffing and blowing the house of evolution down, but you’ve not even scratched the paintwork of the house. Creationists have not come up with one thing that challenges the accumulated evidence, rather they just repeat the same lies and misrepresentations that have been explained a 1000 time already,

If you don’t know what evolution, and reading your blog I doubt that you do, then asking the question “what is evolution?” if not shaming, or embarrassing but for your information evolution is… *drum roll please* … “changes in allele frequency in a population” or “descent with modification” if you wish, it’s the same thing. Now does that lead to other questions like

“What are alleles?”
“Where does natural selection come into it?”
Mutations?”
Genetic drift?”
Gene flow?”

A little knowledge goes a long way and at your finger tips is the greatest resource for seeking knowledge – the internet, and as the saying goes, “Google is your friend.”

I know you won’t look any of this up. If you’re still banging on about Piltdown Man after 80 years, I’m thinking it’ll be a long, long time before you catch up with modern science. If ever.

You, like every creationist on the planet, do NO research of your own. You just sit on the sidelines belittling the hard work being done by scientists thinking that you KNOW better than people infinitely more qualified to talk about such things, given that they’ve worked on it for decades while you sit on your arses doing ab-sol-lute-ley FUCK. ALL. but pollute the internet with reblogged bollocks from ICR, AIG, CMI, but with that personal touch of one or two paragraphs of introduction, which is usually as fucked up as the post you’re talking about.

Another quick example is your Sediment and Stratigraphy post where you state evolutionists logic in dating fossils:

How old is the fossil? You can tell because of the rock layers that contained it. How can you tell how old the rock layers are? Because of the fossils in them.

You’ve got some nerve having truth in the title of your blog, and that’s just one example from hundreds on your web site. Why do you make this shit up? Why not actually write and explain to your readers that they date fossils by dating volcanic layers above and below the fossil which gives us an age range for when the animal died. Intellectual honesty much Bob?

Now I’m not saying as an atheist or someone who things evolution is a proven fact that I’m more intelligent or a better person than anyone else, including yourself.

I have no education whatsoever. I left school at 16 with no qualifications, but I had two things going for me. 1. I was a good programmer and graphic artist at that age so I had a career anyway, and 2. I love to read, and that is where I learnt about science, not in the physics classroom where we learnt about vacuums, properties of light and boiling water in a fucking bucket.

I know you won’t agree, but I’m open minded and I’m utterly convinced that to argue against something, you have to understand both sides of the argument and I’ve read the books which put the side of creationism and intelligent design but like I’ve read books on evolution, genetics, geology, archeology.

If only you questioned your belief in the Bible and God with the same vigour.

So where are these questions, apart from the 15 from CMI that have been ripped to shreds already?

*chirping crickets sound*

Just as I thought. There isn’t any.

And what is with this capice and buono sera. I’m sure you think it makes you sound cool and intelligent, but just as the content on your blogs, using Italian to start and end a blog post when you think you’ve falsified evolution just makes you sound like a cock.

So to conclude, let’s pop the a final bubble. You have this idea that atheism wants to silence creationism or fundamentalism. The truth couldn’t be further from the truth. You see, the more you open your mouth, post blogs and tweet, the less work any atheist has to do in making the case against any form of organised religion and their resulting utter stupidity.

So far from wanting to deny you your right to free speech, in contrast to you’re own muzzling of opponents, I want to encourage you more into the pit of stupidity.

@joecienkowski speaks with ill-founded confidence on dinosaurs

[blackbirdpie url=”http://twitter.com/#!/JoeCienkowski/status/127021582186053632″]

Oh really?

Are you sure about that Peachy?

Well perhaps you could explain what the NUMEROUS examples of what we would call “feathers” are around the dozens of fossils are. No rush, I know you’re incompetent researcher.

I know you prefer Yahoo Answers as a reliable source, but I prefer Wikipedia who has a good article on feathered dinos.

Evolution? Yes, children can Adam and Eve it

An article by Richard Dawkins from Eureka magazine.

“Please tell me something I can tell Daddy, which he doesn’t already know.” The heartfelt plea of this child from Northern Ireland is the more poignant because his father happened to be a devout Christian – as is common in that unfortunate province. What nonsense might the boy have been fed, from the cradle on? And what true knowledge could we offer in response?

Perhaps this little boy, when he asked the perennial question: “Where did I come from?” was told: “God made you.” Or “You came out of your mother, and she came from her mother and so on back to your great-great-great-great-grandmother who came from Eve. And Eve, along with her husband Adam, was made by God.”

No educated person believes the Adam and Eve myth nowadays, but it is surprising how many parents think that it is somehow fun to pass on this falsehood (and others in the same vein) to their children. Or they expect their child’s school to do so. Perhaps they think it harmless, like Father Christmas. Or maybe they think the truth is less poetic, less “fun” or harder to understand than the myth.

But I would want to argue that the truth of evolution is more interesting and more poetic – even more fun – than this myth, or any of the hundreds of creation myths from around the world. And – perhaps surprisingly- evolution could be taught in such a way as to make it easier to understand than a myth. This is because myths leave the child’s questions unanswered, or they raise more questions than they appear to answer. Evolution is a truly satisfying and complete explanation of existence, and I suspect that this is something a child can appreciate from an early age.

Nevertheless, many adults find evolution hard. It is a striking fact that nobody understood it until Charles Darwin and Alfred Russel Wallace in the 19th century, two centuries later than Issac Newton’s (on the face of it more difficult) comprehension of the laws of motion, force, acceleration and universal gravity.

Could there be aspects of science that children find easier than adults because adults are weighed down by misleading familiarity? Maybe weight itself is literally misleading? I was fortunate this year to attend a conference of scientists with astronauts – American, Russian and European – and I talked to some of them about what it is like to be weightless, but not massless. I quoted Douglas Adams to them:

“The fact that we live at the bottom of a deep gravity well, on the surface of a gas-covered planet going around a nuclear fireball 90 million miles away and think this to be normal is obviously some indication of how skewed our perspective tends to be, but we have done various things over intellectual history to slowly correct some of our misapprehensions.”

I suggested to the astronauts that, if children were ever to be born and brought up in a space station where they never experience weight, they will find Newton easy to understand. They will intuitively grasp the idea – so foreign to us troglodytes at the bottom of the gravity well – that the default condition for a moving body is to continue forever in the same direction. They will effortlessly comprehend the difference between weight and mass, and will understand that, although a cannon ball and a ping pong ball can have equal weight, they very much do not have equal mass. Try to throw a cannon ball across the space station and you are likely to shoot off in the opposite direction. Jump towards what you think of as the “ceiling”, and you will be shocked to find that the “ceiling” turns into the “floor” as you “fall” “heavily” “down” on it. Veightless children might even be primed to understand the Einsteinian equivalence between gravity and acceleration.

Computer games typically are programmed with a virtual physics which mimics, on the screen, the familiar physics of the outside world. Simulated objects don’t pass through each other, simulated balls bounce off walls and off each other, they follow ballistically calculated parabolic trajectories, and so on. What if a computer game were programmed with an alternative physics, perhaps even a virtual rendering of counter-intuitive quantum physics? Or of something resembling Einsteinian physics at close to a maximum permitted velocity? Might children brought up on such games have a head start when they come to study physics at school or university?

Newton and Galileo had to wrest themselves free of false intuitions born of their upbringing in the gravity well. Is there a similar barrier to understanding evolution? Is there a parallel respect in which naive children might actually find evolution easier to understand than adults?

According to the great German-American zoologist Ernst Mayr, the chief historical barrier to understanding evolution has been the philosophy of essentialism, for which he blames Plato and Aristotle. in geometry, the Greeks thought of triangles in the real world as imperfect approximations to an abstract ideal of triangliness. In the same way that individual rabbits, rhinos and cormorants – variable, flesh-and-bone individuals – were flawed approximations to the ideal rabbit, the perfect rhino, the essence of cormorant. Mayr argued that such essentialist thinking delayed, by centuries, humanity’s understanding of evolution. The idea that one species could turn into another – the idea that, given a sufficient number of generations, species of fish could gradually change so far that their descendants could be aardvarks or philosophers – is, according to Mayr, deeply antithetical to all our intuitions, and this is because we are dyed-in-the-wool essentialists. But maybe children are not.

Children’s fairytales are replete with anti-essentialist propaganda. Mice turn into white horses, and pumpkins into gleaming coaches at the touch of a fairy’s wand. It takes only a kiss for a frog to morph into a handsome prince. Such radical changes undermine Mayr’s essentialist bogeyman. Indeed, they go too far in the other direction. Magical transformations are not just anti-essentialist, they are anti-evolution, too. And anti-science. Complex things, such as horses, coaches and princes, cannot spring spontaneously into existence from nothing; nor can they be spawned in a puff of smoke from other complex things, such as mice, pumpkins and frogs.

To be sure, a tadpole can turn into a frog, and a caterpillar into a butterfly, but those are revealing special cases. A caterpillar’s DNA is dual purpose: full instructions for how to build a caterpillar from an egg, and then a second tier of instructions for how to build a butterfly from deconstructed caterpillar flesh. You can’t make a caterpillar or a butterfly or a frog or a prince by magic, from nothing. The DNA has to be already in place, and the only way we know for that to happen – at least until human technology catches up – is the slow, gradual, generation-by-generation filtering process of natural selection.

But at least fairytales give the lie to – or perhaps positively undermine – essentialism. Humans can’t turn into werewolves by moonlight. No species can turn into a radically different species. But any species can turn into a slightly different species. And given enough millions of years, slight difference adds to slight difference and then accumulates slight difference again…until eventually the descendant of a fish turns out to be a fishmonger.

“I’ll believe in evolution the day a monkey gives birth to a human.” So speaks the ignorant creationist, flat-footedly misunderstanding the gradualness of evolution. No animal ever born was a member of a different species from its parents. The trick is to understand how that truth is fully compatible with another truth: every one of us is descended from an animal which, were we to meet it today, we would classify (and very probably eat) as a fish. Before that, every one of us was descended from an ancestor that we would need a microscope to see, and that we would probably classify as a bacterium. All that is literally true, at the same time as it is true that every intermediate link in the chain would have been classified as the same species as its parents and its children.

It isn’t really all that paradoxical. Every child is familiar with gradual change, too slow to notice. The hour hand of your watch seems motionless. But look away for an hour and it has moved. You were once a baby, then you became a toddler, then you became a child. Yet there never was a day when you woke up and said, “Yesterday I was a toddler; today I seem to have become a child.”

In the same way, there never was a first Homo sapiens baby born to Homo erectus parents. When anthropologists heatedly argue whether a particular jawbone belongs to Homo or Australopithecus, they may turn out to be engaging in essentialist foolery. There never was a moment when Australopithecus parents gazed fondly down at the firstborn Homo baby. Every baby ever born belonged to the same species as its parents. Yet, if you sample an ancestor’s descendants at a sufficiently long interval (like sampling the position of the hour hand on a watch), you’ll find descendants that belong not just in different species but different orders, classes and phyla. It is a certain fact that there once was an animal that is the common ancestor of you and a snail.

I have sometimes wortied about the educational effects of fairytales. Could they be pernicious, leading children down pathways of gullibility towards anti-scientific superstition and religion? Maybe. But could they also be beneficial, in leading children away from static essentialism? and towards a state of mind that is receptive to the dynamics of evolution?

I don’t know. And, as so often when I don’t know the answer to a question, I’d like to find out.

Science in rhyme

I heard the creationist preacher; he said:
“Evolution is constantly forging ahead
and we learn more and more every day;
from Darwin’s first thoughts, it’s developed at length
to a theory possessed of great scope and great strength —-
which is why we should throw it away.”
“By dint of research that is terribly clever
the theory is finer and better than ever
and should be dismantled for scrap;
Since Darwin first published, it’s grown more profound,
and more accurate, evidenced, detailed and sound,
which proves that it’s totally crap.”

“It’s a truth that is known to the fundie elect
that every step forward is twenty steps back:
if someone grows wiser in every respect
then this proves that he doesn’t know jack.”

And I marveled to hear as he prated at length
of how progress must indicate weakness, not strength
‘til I felt I had something to add.
“If it’s true what you say”, I exclaimed with delight,
“that in getting much righter, we cease to be right
then all modern science is bad.”

“How foolish I feel to have spent my time cheering
advances in science, design, engineering,
that ought to have caused me to curse
if only I’d heeded creationist sages —-
since things have improved since the late Middle Ages
it’s clear that they must have got worse.”

“For nothing was ever improved by improvement;
no theory that’s strengthened will last very long;
to go forging ahead is a retrograde movement;
and things we’ve corrected are bound to be wrong.”

“The chemists have grown more precise and exact,
thus proving that nothing they say is a fact:
(it was better by far to be vague);
and every improvement in medicine teaches
we ought to go back to blood-letting and leeches
and die of the bubonic plague.”

“In math we’ve been having unbroken success
which informs us we’re doing it wrong, I would guess
and proves, as one has to suppose
that it isn’t as good as in ages of yore —-
let’s return to the way that we did it before
and count on our fingers and toes.”

“For every improvement’s a form of decline
and every advance is a shameful retreat;
when you’re making no progress, you’re doing just fine,
but a victory counts as defeat.”

“In physics, we’ve come very far, very fast,
which proves it was better in ages gone past
before Einstein and Pauli and Bohr.
You can keep modern physics —- I hope the whole lot’ll
be scrapped, and we’ll just resurrect Aristotle
and not use our brains any more.”

“And so” (I went on) “in biology too,
since it keeps on improving, what else should we do
but hearken and heed to your call
to set aside science, and blindly subscribe
to the primitive myths of an ignorant tribe
which never get better at all.”

“Increasing in wisdom’s the mark of a fool
and every advance is a form of regress.
In science, let’s follow this excellent rule:
there’s nothing that fails like success.”

By Dr Adequate on EvC

“Evolution isn’t hard to understand” says Joe Cienkowski. Oh really?

No Peachy, you don’t understand it. Despite the many years of people patiently trying to explain it to you, you STILL haven’t got a fucking clue. There is no excuse for your level of stupidity. I know you don’t like being called stupid, but I use that word not as an insult but because, unlike you, I can backup my statements with facts. And I’ll do it using your own words.

Grand Reality, page 1

“common ancestry, and abiogenesis are all part of the theory of evolution” No they’re not.

Page 5,

“But, instead of giving God the glory, it is given to ‘time and chance’ or nature.” Time and chance are nothing to do with evolution. Show where it says that.

Page 6,

“this will also prove clearly, convincingly and compellingly that humans and apes have no common ancestors” Nope. Read up on DNA some time.

Page 7,

“Since you believe something we never see, evolution, you must also believe in abiogenesis, something we never see” Nope, http://scholar.google.co.uk/scholar?q=observations+of+evolution&hl=en&as_sdt=0&as_vis=1&oi=scholart and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evidence_of_common_descent and http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/faq-speciation.html and http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/speciation.html just for starters.

Page 7-8

“Do you know the unbelievable changes that would’ve had to have happened without guidance? The would’ve had to have evolved, as well as the heart, lungs, blood, bones, male and female distinctions, systems of the body, simultaneously.” Just… wow!

Page 8,

“Atheists like to say …abiogenesis and evolution are two different things. You can’t compare them”. I don’t believe this is the case since;” What you believe is irrelevant. Abiogenesis is how life started, evolutionary biology is how life evolved.

And now I’ve lost the will to live reading your book, but it’s just simple examples of why you don’t know what evolution is at the most basic level, and even worse, you have no idea what the scientific method is that has shown evolution to be a fact.

  1. You propose an explanation for an observed phenomenon (a hypothesis).
  2. You formulate a method to test said hypothesis.
  3. You run said tests.
  4. You publish the results and the method used to test so that the results can be verified.
  5. Such verification occurs. If it stands it gains credence in the scientific community. if it doesn’t, the hypothesis is rejected.

So again, I call you stupid not because I want to insult you, but because it’s a fact, as much as evolution is a fact.

Evolution isn’t hard to understand, so says Joe Cienkowski who should know better

Evolution isn't hard to understand... unless your Joe Cienkowski!

No Peachy, you don’t understand it. We’ve explained it to you for a year and you STILL haven’t got a clue. There is no excuse for your level of stupidity. I know you don’t like being called stupid, but I use that word not as an insult but because, unlike you, I can backup my statements with facts. And I’ll do it using your own words.

Grand Reality, page 1

“common ancestry, and abiogenesis are all part of the theory of evolution” No they’re not.

Page 5,

“But, instead of giving God the glory, it is given to ‘time and chance’ or nature.” Time and chance are nothing to do with evolution. Show where it says that.

Page 6,

“this will also prove clearly, convincingly and compellingly that humans and apes have no common ancestors” Nope. Read up on DNA some time.

Page 7,

“Since you believe something we never see, evolution, you must also believe in abiogenesis, something we never see” Nope, http://scholar.google.co.uk/scholar?q=observations+of+evolution&hl=en&as_sdt=0&as_vis=1&oi=scholart and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evidence_of_common_descent and http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/faq-speciation.html and http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/speciation.html just for starters.

Page 7-8

“Do you know the unbelievable changes that would’ve had to have happened without guidance? The would’ve had to have evolved, as well as the heart, lungs, blood, bones, male and female distinctions, systems of the body, simultaneously.” Just… wow!

Page 8,

“Atheists like to say “abiogenesis and evolution are two different things. You can’t compare them”. I don’t believe this is the case since;” What you believe is irrelevant. Abiogenesis is how life started, evolutionary biology is how life evolved.

And now I’ve lost the will to live reading your book, but it’s just simple examples of why you don’t know what evolution is at the most basic level, and even worse, you have no idea what the scientific method is that has shown evolution to be a fact.

  1. You propose an explanation for an observed phenomenon (a hypothesis).
  2. You formulate a method to test said hypothesis.
  3. You run said tests.
  4. You publish the results and the method used to test so that the results can be verified.
  5. Such verification occurs. If it stands it gains credence in the scientific community. if it doesn’t, the hypothesis is rejected.

So again, I call you stupid not because I want to insult you, but because it’s a fact, as much as evolution is a fact.

In case that’s not enough to prove your STUPIDITY, there’s a whole showcase here… http://xiantwits.com/JoeCienkowski

Me and my Atheism

I’ve been an atheist for about 30 years.

I can remember very clearly that eureka moment when I first thought that the Christianity I was being taught in school was, to me, rubbish.

I’ve been quite happy in that time. I’ve never really engaged my atheism with people, for two reasons.

  1. It’s a personal choice. Whatever happened that brought me to that decision is no one else’s business except mine, and no amount of damning me to the lake of fire, or screaming bible passages at me is going to change that. No, that’s not be being closed minded, that’s waiting for evidence to prove the contrary.
  2. I don’t know enough about Christianity, Islam, etc. to discuss it with any confidence with theists. I know the major stories, but that’s about it. I do read it, or rather in the 21st century way, on audiobook. Theology is not my strong point.

The only time it has come up is when my girlfriend, a Christian, decided to finally get married. My only condition was that it won’t be in a church with all that “gathered here before god” stuff. I’d be lying, so we got married in a registry office in Northern Ireland.

But anyway, I have two major interests in my life: science and history. It’s on those two matters that I have engaged with Christians in discussion since the very beginning of internet, and on the whole it’s been very enlightening for me personally, and I hope for the other participants as well.

These days however, thanks to this “new atheist” trash label that the likes of Richard Dawkins has given us, many atheists have turned the baiting of believers into a sport.

To go off at a tangent for a moment, let me explain my position here on Richard Dawkins and this “new atheist” tag that we all seem to be labelled as these days. Dawkins is a brilliant scientist, no doubt about it and I have alot of time for his books, lectures and interviews where science is the topic. Where I lose interest, and respect, is when he goes off on one about religion. The God Delusion is a good book, don’t get me wrong, but not one I’ll be picking up and reading again in a hurry, unlike the Greatest Show on Earth or the Selfish Gene.

A few weeks ago on Twitter, watching the #atheist and #atheism columns scroll up my desktop, I suddenly felt a profound sense of embarrassment and awkwardness that left me in a state of confusion about what I was and what I think. I usually get spells of self-doubt from other issues in my life that continually haunt me, but this was very different.

I see myself as an atheist and to me that means that I have a disbelief in ALL Gods because there is no evidence to show they have existed. And erm, that’s where it ends for me. Yet according to the Dawkins scale, I’m pretty hardcore at a six out of seven. But if I’m a six, what are the people I follow? Are they atheist or anti-theist? I don’t hate or wish harm on Christianity, Christians or the Bible or anything else you hold dear. I don’t want to see churches burnt to the ground. I don’t want them to be forced to give up their beliefs. And any number of misgivings theists have about us atheists.

Don’t get me wrong, I couldn’t care less about your religion, practices or anything else. If you wish to believe in a God of whatever flavour, then that’s your right to practise it freely, just as I am free to unbelief.

So given that is the state of my mind, I read what my fellow “atheists” say on Twitter and 90% of it is abuse against Christianity itself, or rather abuse for the sake of it. There’s no intellectual argument, in fact it’s turned into a “who can quote-mine the best” competition. Twitter, and the tweeters have brought this age old intellectual, philosophical and theological discussion to the level of a playground. I confidently predict that one day “naa-naaaah” will be used by atheist or theist one day.

@asonofselene said to me that:

Even though some one’s beliefs seem ‘stupid’ to you, calling them stupid will only alienate them and make you look stupid.

That quote has had a deep impact on me ever since.

I admire the rich history that Christianity has given us. The beautiful language of the Bible has enriched our language with sayings we all use today that we probably aren’t even aware of it. The wonderful architecture of the churches, cathedral and abbeys and interior decoration. I’ve seen first-hand the comfort Christianity can bring to people in times of stress.

I’ll be damned if I want Christianity to disappear, be silenced, persecuted or anything of the sort. If that day ever comes, I’ll be in the front of the queue for your human rights to be protected, even if you won’t give atheists, like me, the time of day.

So that’s my thoughts on Christianity overall. So why do I get overly animated about? Well, it’s the perverting of history and science that I am passionate about and to see fundamentalist try and twist every minor point to their advantage, aggravates me intensely.

I just want to leave you with this little incident that happened just today (as I write), which shows the point I’m trying to make here about the atheist mentality that I refuse to be a part of.

A sweet Christian girl from Alabama, who by her own admission has never spoken to an Atheist before asked a certain fundamentalist for help, but misjudged her request for help about intelligent design and blocked her.

So I rashly stepped in to try and help her, sending her links about intelligent design, Demski, Behe, Discovery Institute which she asked for originally. Then a couple of my followers saw the tweets and proceeded to bombard her with tweets about her beliefs. For what possible gain, would you harass this poor girl in such a way? She might hold beliefs you disagree with but what lasting impression are you leaving her of Atheists? It made uncomfortable viewing.

I am not an anti-theist. I never have and I never will join that extreme end of the spectrum.

Why is our country in such a mess?

I got on my bus last Friday evening after work, and I saw this leaflet on the empty chair in front of me. The first thing that caught my eye was the Union Jack.

To me, it looked like it was from the British National Party or the equally moronic English Defence League. So I picked it up and forgot about it until today when I thought I’d scan it in and share the wonderful news of “Why is our country in such a mess?” You know their serious because it’s big font, in yellow, at an angle, an outline and, for added drama, a shadow. In subliminal typesetting, this means we’re fucked.

And I’m guessing it can be expanded to the whole world.

Anyway, this leaflets asks the question: “Are the following statements TRUE or FALSE.” Ooo a quiz, I wonder if the answer to the 18 statements is all true. Let’s see shall we.

  1. Violence has rapidly increased on our streets over the last 10 years!
  2. There are more teenage pregnancies than ever before!
  3. The rate of abortion gets higher and higher year after year!
  4. There is constant rebellion against authority!
  5. On the whole, society has become more aggressive than ever!
  6. The Government has become more dishonest; ‘fleecing’ the people rather than protecting them!
  7. Alcohol and drugs are rampant in every city, town and village.
  8. People are being ‘conditioned;’ our freedom and choices are being taken away!
  9. Morals, standards and manners have declined to the degree of near non-existence!
  10. TV has made people anti-social!
  11. There is a widespread lack of discipline!
  12. People are less thankful these days.
  13. TV has encouraged and promoted sex before marriage, homosexuality, adultery, violence, pornography etc.
  14. TV is desensitizing people; making them less sensitive to cruelty and suffering.
  15. No one today has a FINAL AUTHORITY in which to turn to. Everyone has ‘heir own opinion, so how do we KNOW what is r!ght and wrong?
  16. Christianity is being marginalized!
  17. People will do almost anything for money these days!
  18. Lying has become the norm! Today we expect to be lied to, whether it’s buying a product or service. People lie to one another SO MUCH that oftentimes you cannot differentiate between what is truth and what is false!

Don’t you see how serious this is? Look at those exclaimation marks at the end of virtually every one. I didn’t realise we were so screwed.

But the time I got to three, I figured it was a Christian selling leaflet and not the racist junk the BNP or EDL put out. Also because there was only one spelling mistake at this point.

Anyway it’s the usual Christian bollocks of wanting the “good old days” and bashing progress like it’s a bad thing.

The only interest to me was this bit.


Schools have replaced the teaching of God’s creation with the ‘theory’ of evolution. They no longer teach the Bible to our children, therefore children no longer feel accountable for their sin … they don’t even know what SIN is!

Hmmmm. Click here and you can read this piece of shite leaflet for yourself.

Science according to creationists #3

For people who think they’re experts on evolution, creationists are pretty dumb.

Joey the porn peddler has mentioned that a giant camel found in Syria and the size of Neanderthal man compared to modern man is proof evolution is wrong.

I think that deserves a…

Now I’ve read On the Origin of Species dozens of times, and I must admit that I’m a little puzzled and I’m sure I’ve never seen that the size and strength is a major player in evolution.

Now creationists, a little homework for you. Why would a larger animal become extinct while the smaller modern camel would survive?

Answers on a postcard.

Science according to creationists #2

Evolution. What will it take for creationists to understand it?

The latest piece of shite from Joey the Peach is about the coelacanth disproving evolution.

The background is that there have been fossils found for this fish, about 390 million years old, and it was long believed to have been extinct. The discovery of the animal still alive and kicking in 1938 apparently is a big issue for evolution.

I’m not sure why since being Joe there’s no proof by him for this, but I’m guessing there’s confusion over an animal not changing very much, if at all, over large periods of time. This isn’t rocket science, but since when has creationists understood anything that isn’t mentioned in the bible.

These ancient animals, like the crocodile or shark or anything else, are adapted perfectly to their environment, and since those  environments haven’t changed, there’s been no  pressure on these populations to change. Evolution doesn’t change for the hell of it.

So where’s the problem? Apart from creationists not having a fucking clue what they’re on about.