Thursday, February 7, 2013

The Air Argument

A gentleman by the name of Karl gave me another theological puzzle and asked for my response.  I love to do this kind of stuff, so I gladly obliged.  Here is it!

"A debate over biblical creation is a lot like a debate over the existence of air. Can you imagine two people debating whether or not air exists? What would the critic of air say?

Whatever his arguments, he would have to use air in order to make them. Not only is air crucial to the survival of the critic, but air would have to exist in order for his arguments to be heard and understood . . . . In order for the critic of air to be able to make an argument, it would have to be wrong.

Likewise, the evolutionist must use biblical creation principles in order to argue against biblical creation. In order for his argument to make sense, it would have to be wrong. Ironically, the fact that evolutionists are able to argue against creation proves that creation is true!"

Karl, thanks for another fun puzzle!  I read and thought about this just this evening as I was making my way to the Student Organization Leadership Meeting for club funding. 

Obviously I whole heartedly disagree with the premise, heh.  And actually, yes, I can imagine two people debating about the existence of air.  Are we really required to use air to debate about air?  No.  First of all, why is air considered to be used to be heard?  Speech doesn’t magically appear from our person for others to hear, so there must be something more specific happening.  Our vocal cords vibrate, and those vibrations generate sound waves that are carried up our throats, over our tongues, past our lips and out of our mouths.  The vibrations, in sequence throughout that entire process, form the specific sound waves that are associated with different kinds of sounds (augmented by our vocal cords, throat, tongue posture, and lip position) our ears are able to detect.  These particular waves require a specific kind of conductive medium in order to propagate outwards from the focal point of our mouths.
Now, when it comes to “air” in this case, it is the gaseous form of oxygen, which implies a certain temperature and pressure range, and may or may not include trace elements.  Sure, an environment permeated in gaseous oxygen of this kind is well suited for propagating the sound waves that we as land mammals use to communicate.  But what if this environment was rich in other gaseous elements, like helium, for instance, or nitrogen?  Those would influence our speech patterns, as easily demonstrated with inhaling a balloon full of helium and then attempting to speak.  We are organisms that have evolved to deal with the specific environment that we have.  If we had a planet with an atmosphere a little bit richer in other elements, like nitrogen, our “blue” planet would be a different color altogether.  This, however, is only partially related to the point.

Do all carbon based oxygen dependant creatures on this planet communicate by using vibrations carried through a gaseous form of oxygen rich “air”?  No.  Without getting too crazy on all the amazing living things on this planet, let’s talk about dolphins.  Or rather, fish in general even.  They have nothing to do with “air”, yet they too depend on the element we have named oxygen for life; siphoned from the liquid state of "water" which is really oxygen bonded with two hydrogen atoms, it is processed and then treated much like our bodies treat oxygen.  Dolphins do, in fact, make vocalizations as well.  However, there is no “air” to propagate those vibration waves.  So what is going on here?  Creatures who are, for all intents and purposes, the same kind of living creature using the same kind of vocal communication systems as we do… but through a completely different environment.  Interesting to consider!  (Yes, this is bending the frame of the context in the initial argument, sure, but it is required to make a point and expand certain thoughts)

Alright, so we have established that vocal communication doesn’t require “air” to carry vibrations, but it does require oxygen molecules.  Or does it?  Yes, oxygen is required by our bodies at a constant rate in order to spread that particular element through the rest of our body which is then consumed as one kind of fuel.  As a side note, this "air" is partially toxic to us... which is why we exhale the waste product our body produces while consuming the gases from our environment that we need (just as are bodies remove waste from all three types of fuel consumption from this particular environment: liquid, solid, gas).  But it is not required to carry sound for communication.  How so?  Sound travels in "air" and water, sure, but will not travel in outer space as space clearly lacks "air" or water.  Well sure… but sound isn’t speech, it is vibration.  Vibrations come in a large variety of forms… like earthquakes, explosions, glass shattering, wind, and anything on this planet that has a possibility of generating vibrations.  The fact that we use “air” to communicate our particular kind of vibrations created by our bodies is mere happenstance.  Vibrations can be transmitted through various solids, liquids, and gases, and have several degree programs at universities across the world devoted to expanding on vibration waves and their quirks.

This, however, is still assuming that the author meant to include only vocal communication.  What if the two people arguing about “air” were deaf?  They certainly wouldn’t be using vocal communication; they would be using hand signs.  Yes, they still need “air” to breath and keep functioning for longer than thirty seconds or so before their brain sends the system into a shutdown mode (blackout) and leaving it on automatic, at which point it will draw in anything near the lung access points in a last ditch attempt to keep itself alive.  Human to human communication methods have improved in complexity and variety over the years, too.  We do not even need to be in the same room in order to communicate with each other.  We can use photons, light signals you might see on boats during a storm flickering on and off in a predetermined series (no, that doesn’t require vocalization either-they could sign that all out as well hehe).  We can use electricity in a number of ways now too: music CDs, computers, any digital medium, etc.  And there are more examples, but I'll stop there.

All of that is the glorious cake of details regarding this “air” thing, so now… for the icing.  When the author talks about “air” in the context of being the foundation of communication for humans and a life giver, the thing that he or she neglects to realize is this; it isn’t “air”, and it isn’t even this particular gaseous form that we need, it is atomic element number 8, weighing in with an atomic weight of 15.9994.  I say that a gaseous form of breathing isn’t even required because we have developed liquid breathing ventilation systems for deep sea diving.  Bringing this all in to the final point that aligns with all the other points on Creationism vs anything else: every time the theist tries to frame the argument in their favor, they fail to consider the foundation upon which they are resting that argument.

This argument can be taken much further than a simple deconstruction of the proposed argument and premise itself, too.  When the author mentions “biblical creation”, they are invoking a specific set of beliefs from a very specific interpretation: literalistic Christian bible verses found in Genesis.  Asserting that this one particular flavor of human religion is the one and only answer for the formation of the universe, and everything it contains, is fallacious at best.  This is the problem I have with Creationists asserting their religion.  I've even heard Christian apologists like Greg Bahnsen* in an old debate actually say that he calls all other religions "internally incoherent" and not "philosophically defensible", and I have since heard most Christians simply automatically assume their religion is the only one worth talking about and it is to be assumed to exist as a foundation of and where all arguments could possibly arise.  This is why a lot of debate with Christians fails to even begin well, because as non-Christians, we require a neutral field that is by definition at odds with any religious viewpoint.

So, rounding this all up into a point.  Here is the "moral" of my entire position:
Theistic apologists will almost always initiate their points from a specific location and assume that position is the irrefutable foundation for their premise.  In reality, just like the argument with "air", this fake foundation is mired in a lack of understanding and over generalizations that cripple its intellectual stability, thereby offering innumerable weaknesses any astute observer can use to cripple it.

Anyone arguing the point that "evolutionists" or "darwinians" (as laughably childish and telling for how ignorant a title they are) require a specific sect of a religion's creation story in order to even begin to talk about the question of origins will simply be met with amused pity, rolling eyes, and gentle pats on the head.  Why is this?  It is because we know that the theists view the world through the perception that it all started with their religion.  We, however, know that their religion consisted of just a few people in the distant past which eventually grew into a cultural tradition which has drawn upon older cultural traditions that made the exact same boasts of being the "true" beginning.  Just as the Mormon and Scientologist cults have grown into "religions", they, just as every single religion in human history, began with an individual, all of them influenced by the cultures and religions that preceded them.

This isn't about saying "nuh uh" to a theist's assertions that their religion is the core foundation to everything, its about realizing that every single one of the religious sects in the world, through all the monotheistic and polytheistic, currently practiced or not, all make the very same claims.  We, as non-theists, are forced to treat all of the tens of thousands of assertions of the "one true version of origins" as equals especially when they have nothing but their assertions to validate themselves: a good story.

I could go on, but I think thats good heh.  I hope this continues to help frame my perception of religious arguments, Karl!  Thanks again!

*side note... wow!  I hadn't thought about Bahnsen's embarrassing debate performance for over five years, but was very glad I could find it for use here!  Yes, I stopped listening to the guy after identifying a great number of fallacious arguments. 
You can listen to it here:

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Creation vs Evolution - Irrefutable proof by Lisle

Response to "Creation vs. Evolution: Irrefutable Proof" 
booklet by Dr. Jason Lisle
ISBN 978-1-60092-315-9
2010 Answers In Genesis publication

Karl, thanks for the interest in getting my opinion and feedback from this piece.  You probably know my position on the validity of the Christian creation story, but I am always willing to listen!  One thing I really wish others on all sides of any argument/debate/discussion would do is listen and seriously consider what the others say, especially if they do not agree with it.  Everyone has their own personal perspectives on everything that happens to them in life, that is just how it is and why we have such a diverse pool of personalities and ideas.  It is no different for this kind of subject; one only needs to listen and appreciate the particular perspective from which the argument/opinion comes.  Until one can understand even a little bit of that other perspective, there probably won't be any progress. 

And so, here is my response to this book.  I believe I will go section by section, quoting specifics as needed, rather than a general response at the end.  Might be more specific that way.

Section 1 - Intro.

Heh, a quite note on the third sentence: most of us who are honest about human knowledge in this "materialistic" world view will acknowledge that we have no right to claim much understanding of events like the Big Bang.  We have some "educated guesses" backed up by math, science, etc, but that is a very far cry from complete understanding.  The influence of human kind has only just begun to understand ourselves and a few of the environments we have been living on for the last few thousand years.  Much of ourselves, and our planet, are a mystery.  More so is the moon, which currently marks the edge of our physical reach.  We've sent some expensive toys out a little further to take a look at the rest of the solar system and stars around us, and its only been recently that we've gotten some rather amazing and clear images of it all.  Claiming knowledge of anything beyond those spheres of our influence is met with the understanding of just how new at this we are.  Just want to make that clear!

Immediately, from the perspective of a non-theist talking to a theist about trying to examine the logic and science behind a specific religions creation story, you will find that most non-theists quickly lose interest and will already be willing to leave the discussion.  One of those reasons is because of the nature of these world views in the classic stereotype of logic vs emotion, science vs faith.  Those are very general, though, a very big brush to paint with that ignores a great many things.  The one thing to see, though, is that "materialists" view this world view of theirs as objective, emotionless and pure science, and a faith view as pure emotionally supported with little to no science.  I've seen a number of Young Earth Creationists who think they have valid science supporting their views, such as presented by Creation Museums all over the place; science, however, does not allow for very much interpretation. 

So right from the start, any non-theist "materialist" will be put off or even amused at the mere mention of trying to use science and logic to validate a religious creation story.  And from the third paragraph about claiming an emotional attachment to the "belief in evolution that they will be unwilling to even consider an argument to the contrary" will start to annoy some, heh.  Personally, I find it a sign of a shallow thinker to stop there and ignore the rest, but some will just stop there because they have heard this claim many times before.  While I am sure there are some people who have tried to hold on to science with an emotional attachment, they are only hurting themselves.  The truth behind the science to evolution is that it does not require belief of any kind.  Evolution, which is change over time, is, even when it applies to human evolution, the culmination of at least a dozen completely different fiends of science all converging on the same answers and conclusions to establish a true Scientific Theory.  So I put it to the author that the immediate and almost rude rejection of his argument is not due in any way to an emotional response to the contrary, negating the claim of the third paragraph, but because the argument has already been settled in various ways for a long time.

I will reserve judgment on the last paragraph about "intellectual debris" of "bad arguments" used in the debate until we get to them, but that made me smile.  I am very well aware of a great number of really horrible argument, silly arguments, just plain wrong arguments, and more, used mostly by one side but in actuality used by all sides.  We will see what the author has to say about that!

Section 2: A Few Common Evolution Arguments

Equivocation claim.  The authors accusation of equivocation fallacy is rejected, due to the authors apparent misunderstanding of the word evolution.  By definition, the word evolution is, as defined by wikipedia, "...the change in the inherited characteristics of biological populations over successive generations. Evolutionary processes give rise to diversity at every level of biological organisation, including species, individual organisms and molecules such as DNA and proteins."  As I mentioned earlier, evolution simply means change over time, be it human, elephant, or any other kind of living organism on this planet, yes, even including plants.  Bacteria developing a resistance to harmful substances to its own well being is a prime example of evolution.  This can be demonstrated in all organisms from bacteria to the largest creatures on the planet.

The second paragraph makes some good points though.  Anyone using Ad Hominum attacks (attacking the person rather than the argument) does not deserve to be in the debate.  However, the accusation of question-begging-epithet is suspect.  It is very rare that anyone in any religious debate will stick around long enough to get the full breakdown of what makes up their argument, on any side.  Most non-theists who engage theists in a debate about their religion do not have a library or their life's experiences and perceptions on the topic readily available for examination and reference right then and there, so this claim's validity is rather dubious depending on the circumstances of the debate.  It works both ways, too, however; theists have merely to say "its a matter of faith" and that will suddenly end all discussion and debate avenues as "faith" is something personal, which cannot be shaken or challenged easily due to the intensely personal and individual nature of it.

"Inappropriate appeal to authority" claim, Ad Populum (appeal to population) claim.  Both of these are rejected.  First, scientists are the authority in their field on the specific topic of evolution they are addressing or being cited for, so not only did the author fail to apply this fallacy correctly, but he demonstrates a lack of understanding as to what the fallacy is and what an "authority" is on any subject.  This fallacy is use when the "authority" on the subject in question has no actual authority to be making claims on it, such as a football coach with no study time, education, or degrees beyond football tries to act as, or is cited as, an authority on something completely unrelated, like particle physics of nuclear fission through ceramic materials (I actually heard something like that being mentioned as a PhD focus from someone at my friends graduation from a university before).  Second, the appeal to population claim is slightly dishonest.  
A) A scientific consensus of a Scientific Theory is reached only upon exhaustive research and peer review over a long period of time, and is done so by the entire world.  It isn't agreed upon by the worlds scientists because they simply say so, it is done so because of the science proving it to be the case.  
B) Invoking this fallacy is a misguided attempt, or a demonstration of actual ignorance, on the system leading up to what earns a scientific consensus.  Additionally, ending with the second to last sentence about how the scientists of the world have been "dead wrong" before, is yet another well known and very dishonest tactic used by certain people to slander science.  Given the chance, I doubt the author could actually provide clear examples of this, but that is just a petty retort, honestly, heh.  In all honesty, I believe the author's bias is not allowing him to mention that science is self correcting and will eventually find the "truth" to the matter as long as we keep asking questions and developing new ways in which to test those questions out.  The argument of "scientists being wrong before" is exactly what has given rise to everything we take for granted today, in every moment of our lives in these big cities.  So it is with a smile on my face, after a particularly heavy eye rolling, that I submit that these claims as well are not valid.

Begging the question claim.  The point is brought up that "creation cannot be true because it involves the supernatural.  Science must be limited to natural explanations."  Good point, and it would possibly be considered for an actual use of fallacious logic ... except for a few considerations.  
1) The word "creation" used at the beginning of this quote is not limited to the authors particular version of an Abrahamic monotheism: it can refer to any creation myth from any religion or culture in the world that has ever or may ever exist.  Many of them are quite different, and all of them are believed by their believers with equal conviction that they are all individually the "real" story.  This is one of many reasons why science limits itself to what it can prove while excluding such things.  This, to me, is very fair.  Also, it has been my experience that theists are unwilling to accept the possibility of other creation myths when they are talking about this topic within this discussion, and I find that rather telling, personally.  
2) Even if someone humors another of the Christian faiths to allow their creation story in an attempt to see where it goes, right from the start we have a problem with the first few pages of any bible used; when the literal reading is questioned for validity, the theist will almost always return with "its not to be taken literal, it is to be metaphorical".  So then the point becomes meaningless as to why the theist complained in the first place.  
3) The one thing that destroys this argument from theists is the simple point: Evolution has nothing to say about anything before the origins of life, because it requires the presence of life before it has any meaning.  That is the one thing many theists seem to completely misunderstand, including the author, apparently.  The formation of planets, "creation" of the universe... none of these have anything to do with Evolution.  That tells me, and most other non-theists, exactly what we need to know about the credibility of the author and what we can expect from the rest of the booklet right there.  So no, this claim is also rejected.  Science depends on testing, and on matters of faith there can be no tests made in a laboratory.
As for the point about refuting radiometric dating methods... no, now the author is outright lying.  If he is referring to Carbon Dating methods, there is a specific range of dates where this method works and where it doesn't, as well as a number of reasons contaminants will throw the date way off.  These are known issues, which is why multiple elemental dating methods are used.  This is scientifically unforgivable, and adds a new level of disappointment to the credibility of this piece.

Affirming the consequent claim.  This is dishonest.  The author is making these arguments from the untenable position where there is nothing validating the claims he is attacking, making it seem like people are randomly asserting the things he is mentioning.  This is not true in the slightest.  I have yet to see any scientist say that "because we thought we'd get this result and this, Evolution MUST be true!"... and I doubt I ever will.  This is called a Strawman Fallacy.  The author should attack claims like that, because people like me would be quick to point out its failures as well.  Once again, claim rejected due to committing a fallacy of his own.

Reification claim.  ....this is just stupid and childish, given what the author attempted to argue.  I can tell the author is really grasping at straws here.  No scientist, no non-theist, and probably many theists, would acknowledge any validity in this last paragraph.  Needless to say, rejected and embarrassing to see such a thing written.

Section 3: Scientific Evidence.

Oh dear... right from the start I find myself rolling my eyes.  "As far as we know, creative information can only originate in a mind."  There are a number fallacies associated with this particular argument, the first one of which is a silly response that goes something like, "Well then, all hail Lord Cathulu!".  There are other fallacies associated with this, but it boils down to a baseless assertion, especially as it includes the Special Pleading fallacy that asserts validity of one god over another god when the argument can apply to any god or system of gods.  It's a silly argument to attempt.  Additionally, the author has no justification to state, especially as yet another baseless assertion, at the end of the paragraph that "It cannot be the result of chance mutations and natural selection".  The author has demonstrated ignorance of the evolutionary process, what mutations are, and so on. 

The next paragraph talks about the fossil record, which is apparently "exactly what creationists would expect to find, since the Bible records a global Flood...".  No.  Just, no.  1) There is absolutely no evidence for a global flood.  2) Even if there was a global flood, it would not leave bones in an organized system as we find it today. 3) Any attempt to validate a literal "global flood" event in history will fail right from the start.  The arguments have been made, refuted, and compounded by overwhelming evidence to the contrary.  I have personally identified 47 or so specific reasons why the global flood is an impossibility, which can be viewed in a two part video series I have on :                                  .

Part 1: cheeky reading of the biblical event, list of literary facts as told from the story, speculation from supporters
Part 2: rebuttal with 47 of my own points:

...or, for easier reading, I've put the entire script (including links to the videos) in a blog of mine, as requested by others a while ago:

And on the last paragraph for this section, yes, the fossil record, geologic column, and genetics all support the Scientific Theory of Evolution, without issue.  For the genetics, I'd like to point out human Chromosome number two, which is the clear bridge point discovered in genetics and predicted by people going back, if not farther into history, as Darwin himself who suggested a link between primates and humans.  Specifically, the evidence of human chromosome number two was displayed in detail during the Dover Trail over Intelligent Design, noting how the chromosome was a fusion of two other chromosomes and how the truth shines a light on the interesting difference between humans and primate chromosomes.  The author is clearly under prepared for this debate.

Section 4: Evidence and Worldviews

I whole heartedly agree with the author about "both" parties, creationists and "evolutionists", using the same evidence.  Well, sort of: most creationists just don't bother using the scientific evidence to support their claim; they utilize their limited understandings, misinformation, and outright lies by the theist community as support for their arguments.  This is the frustrating part of the entire argument.  Yes, we all have access to the same things, yet many are coming to completely different conclusions while refusing to do a lot of work to actually validate those conclusions.  By and large, no creationist can actually substantiate their world view with science these days.  Creation Museums are a national embarrassment of the United States of America on the global stage, and we are constantly mocked for it.  The Intelligent Design movement had a shot at the Dover Trial of 2005 to validate the strength of its case, and as the Discovery Institute ran away in shame from the trial, there was nothing the actual, if not dishonest and confused, scientist Dr Behe could do to make a good case.  We are a first world country with a third world devotion to an ancient religion.

And as a side note, using the term "evolutionist" makes many of us "materialists" laugh and think "awe, how cute!", honestly.  For a number of reasons, we see this telling use of words to be quite amusing.

Another note on something in this section: the history of the Bible is now, more so than past decades, known to be quite suspect.  The Fairbanks Freethinkers show a NOVA documentary on this specific subject called the Bibles Buried Secrets, which goes into detail about the actual written history, cultural history, and origins of this version of the Abrahamic tradition.  So... yes, actually, the history alone can settle the debate itself.  I know that is hardly satisfactory for any believer, but from my perspective it really is quite an influential bit of evidence piling on top of the already massive pile.

The authors attempt to talk about Carbon-14 is comical, barely worth noting, but he gets it right where he says " evolutionist will not necessarily be persuaded by such evidence."  Very true, because that misunderstanding of Carbon-14 is not actual evidence for anything except an ignorance of the topic.

Section 5: How to Resolve a Worldview Issue:

Oh yes, two problems with the first few lines.  1) The literal interpretation of Genesis is already invalidated, and 2) he just invoked the God of the Gaps and Special Pleading, False Dichotomy fallacies.  Not only did he just use the old argument of "if you can't explain it, it must be my god", but he stated a case where the only alternative was his god and his gone alone.  Triple failure, and there may be additional ones on top of that.

I find it ironic that, in the first paragraph of page 14, the author makes a case that saying something is wrong because it goes against his world views, if he had to play devil's advocate (heh), ...but isn't that exactly what he is doing by neglecting to even consider other cultural creation stories as a possible answer and only attacking Evolution, which, as stated before, only covers life on this planet once it was already here?

I also cannot withhold a big smile as the author states:
"If a worldview is defective in any of these areas, then it is not rational to hold.  We will see that evolution fails all three of these tests, but creation passes spectacularly:"
-page 15
This just makes my inner nerd giggle a little bit.  With the three given categories being tested are how arbitrary, inconsistent, and full of preconditions it is, I know the authors statement is actually completely reversed in reality.

The reasoning the author gives for his point on Arbitrariness is ironic and fallacious.  He used the argument of testimonials from "evolutionists" to invalidate the entire Scientific Theory of Evolution.  Very foolish.  Very poor form.  Very dishonest.  I am not impressed, and continue to be disappointed.  Arguments founded on testimonials, or commonly known as "person on the street" statements, fail for many reasons, the first one being that people are stupid.  Yes, yes, it's true.  I am reminded of a line from Mel Brooks movie Blazing Saddles, "You've got to remember that these are just simple farmers. These are people of the land. The common clay of the new West. You know... morons."  I really don't care for the people who argue that "Oh look, this guy on the street couldn't answer my question, therefore my view is right!" ....silly, very silly.  There is no excuse for that kind of thing in this day and age, not with things like telephones, the internet, and even such things as call-in shows like The Atheist Experience which has been on for 15 years taking calls from anyone and everyone while being willing to discuss and debate anything.  And seriously, if this one point about the random person not knowing the answers is all he has for the "arbitrariness" of the Scientific Theory of Evolution, is it any wonder no one is convinced by this booklet?

As a side note on the second section about Inconsistency, I have a poster that outlines several hundred contradictions within the Bible itself in a visual representation, it is called The Reason Project.

In this section, the author tries to use Relativism as an example of an inconsistent and self-refuting "world view".  Again, this demonstrates the authors poor and apparent superficial understanding of the things he is trying to use in this booklet.  I will again quote a definition:
"Relativism is the concept that points of view have no absolute truth or validity, having only relative, subjective value according to differences in perception and consideration.[1] The term is often used to refer to the context of moral principle, where in a relativistic mode of thought, principles and ethics are regarded as applicable in only limited context. There are many forms of relativism which vary in their degree of controversy.[2] The term often refers to truth relativism, which is the doctrine that there are no absolute truths, i.e., that truth is always relative to some particular frame of reference, such as a language or a culture (cf. cultural relativism). Another widespread and contentious form is moral relativism."
-wikipedia (yes, wikipedia.  If someone has a problem with using wikipedia definitions specifically, they can find another definition somewhere that comes from a higher authority and refutes the definition here, or be forced to concede that this is a workable definition.  Note that wikipedia often cites its pages with various other works outside of its own site)
First example demonstrates the authors failure to know what he is talking about.  His second example is "strict empiricism", being the belief that "...all truth claims should be evaluated empirically: by observation or experimentation".  Yes, it means you shouldn't make stuff up and expect anyone to take you at your word, that we require a demonstration of those truth claims in order to take it seriously.  I, for one, do not have blind faith in something just because someone says so... I require a foundation upon which to set trust, some justification such as credentials or evidence.  Why would anyone do it otherwise?  The author expands on this example of "strict empiricism" by articulating it in another way: "If a claim cannot be proved by observation or experimentation, then it is to be rejected."  That is quite fair, I think.  However, the author claims this is self-refuting... because it itself "cannot be proved by observation or experimentation", which is quite false.  Trying to assert that the definition of "strict empiricism" is self-refuting only betrays an astoundingly shallow thought process.

It is no surprise, after those two issues, that I would have difficulties accepting the leap from that to how an "evolution worldview" is inconsistent, especially when the author conflates Evolution with anything to do with the universe with "...evolution implies that the universe is..." No.  No it doesn't.  As stated previously, Evolution has nothing to do with anything beyond how life on this planet changes over time.  Time and time again, I find myself having to repeat that to certain people. 

Ignoring this point for the next paragraph, I have another problem with "...people are simply chemical accidents: the meaningless products of mindless interactions of nature."  Here I draw a number of conclusions about the authors frame of mind and intentions with those few simple words.  First, the biochemical reactions of our bodies are far from simple, but that is beside the point.  The word "accidents" combined with the twice iterated point of a lack of intelligent causation ("meaningless" and "mindless") shows me that the real issue the author has with evolution is the lack of a personal connection, which will boil down to a lack of an afterlife or a "purpose" in things.  This, as I have seen over and over, is the core problem theists have with a non-eternal system of existence.  Setting that aside for now, the author conflates the word "meaningless" within the context of a lack of intelligent intervention and randomness to the context of "meaningless" as he applies it to a personal and emotional interaction between a male human returning from a day of work and embracing and kissing a female human.  Okay... seriously, does the author actually intend to call Evolution inconsistent because of his interpretation of Evolution by natural selection as "meaningless" chemical reactions being somehow required to not retain an emotional connection between multiple very complex entities in a complex social hierarchy between mates of the same species, supported by biochemical reactions intended to promote procreation and the survival of offspring?  ...the author is clearly suffering from a vast deficiency of knowledge and understanding relating to so many topics within this very small context he is attempting to reference for his point.  This is not an example of an inconsistency, but yet another example of the authors profound ignorance of the details.

In the next paragraph in this section which examines the creationist worldview, it pains me to have to point this out, but here it is: "He expects laws of nature to be congenial to human understanding since God made the human mind able to understand (at least aspects of) the universe."  I will roll my eyes, chuckle, and only mention the time it has taken to reach our level of understanding in "the universe", and how very, very far we have yet to go to even begin a remedial understanding of the most basic functions and reality that is our universe.

Third part of three, Preconditions for Knowledge.  The phrasing of the first sentence is rather odd, honestly, and while I know where he is going with this just from the title, its more obvious with this, "If a worldview does not make knowledge and science possible, then the worldview is wrong-because knowledge and science are indeed possible!"  This, to anyone thinking about it, should sounds vaguely circular at the very least, yet blatantly fallacious.  Knowledge is not exactly tangible.  It is not something we can turn on or off, in any organism.  Science, likewise, is not a thing that can be influenced directly.  The irony of this is that the author has already made this link in his mind pages previously, yet seems to ignore that and attack it as some kind of point now.  Additionally, the author makes another intellectual blunder with this: "in order for us to use laws of logic in our reasoning, such laws must already exist".  This line of argumentation leads down an intellectually crippling slope of baseless assertions and fallacious logic to reach a forced conclusion with no rational foundation; intellectual laws require a law giver, which is then asserted to be a specific version of an Abrahamic monotheism.

These laws do not "exist" in a material sense.  These kinds of laws are thoughts.  In particular, a race of creatures called humans on this specific planet have, in the last few hundred years or so, reached a general conclusion that a certain line of reasoning is so intellectual strong that it is currently considered to be above reproach.  This does not mean that any particular "law of logic" we hold on a intellectual pedestal is some kind of material item in the universe that has existed somewhere in time and space for us to stumble upon and then claim as our "law", nor was it ever "given" to us by anything.  Arguments like these are a slap in the face to all intelligent human beings because it says that we are too stupid to have done it ourselves through thousands of years of rational and philosophical examination and could never have enough intellectual power to reach it without assistance.  This, in my experience, is an extension of the Christian self-loathing that seems to act as a filter hindering any sense of achievement.

How readily do humans forget the shoulders upon which they stand and judge others.  How soon do humans ignore the trials, pain, suffering, and effort by their previous generations to deliver them into the here and now.  Romans 12:3 kind of applies here as well, sort of.  Too often do we forget the past and imagine ourselves so strong and quick to slander and spit in the faces of our dead ancestors who worked to build us to our height.  This bothers me, a great deal, as if people are arrogant enough to say that we are good enough that we wouldn't have needed any help, like a spoiled brat unwilling to acknowledge a caring parent.

If the author believes the Laws of Logic to be the same as the effects we observe in the natural world, such as the particular way in which chemicals bond, gravitation, or other such things, he is guilty of conflating the word "law" here.  They are similar in the way they required initial discovery, exhaustive exploration, scrutiny, testing, and then refinement in order to reach global recognition, but comparing these things will not extend beyond these accidental similarities.  The scientific laws described by any Scientific Theory are, even today, simply the best we can explain natural forces within the terms of our current and "modern" perspectives.  Laws of Logic are intellectual conventions which have no material structure what so ever.  Social laws and governances are just as abstract as Laws of Logic, which also have no material form in the slightest, yet are only "laws" because a group of us got together and established them to be.  No Scientific Theory, no Law of Logic, and no Judicial Law of social behaviors have ever been "given" to us; we have either discovered them, worked them out intellectually for ourselves, or reached such a conclusion by agreement of those in power at the time.  Needless to say, there are a great many issues with trying to argue the "laws require a lawgiver" argument.

"But evolution cannot make sense of laws of logic."  The context of this entire paragraph is based on the assertion that because we say these four fundamental Laws of Logic:
1) Law of Identity: Everything is what it is. A is A or A is identical with A
2) Law of Contradiction: A cannot be A and not A at the same time
3) Law of Excluded Middle: A is either A or not A
4) Law of Sufficient Reason: there should be sufficient reason to all happenings
...that somehow the process of evolution cannot "make sense" of this?  First of all, on a technical level where we split hairs to mock someone, and as I previously mentioned, he is right!  Evolution has nothing to do with anything other than the biological change of living organisms over time.  Once again, the author fails to understand what he is talking about.  Now, what he meant to say is that "a godless materialistic worldview cannot account for the Laws of Logic", in which case he would still be mistaken.  These Laws of Logic are a verbal or written representation of an intellectual and logical framework on how we see the world.  If I hold a banana in my hand, that particular banana... is that particular banana.  It cannot, nor has it or anything like it, simultaneously existed both in my hand as well as some other location.  That banana cannot be anything other than what it is at that specific time and place.  Yes, I very well can be expected to almost always reach a sufficient level of understanding and reasoning as to how that banana arrived to be in the palm of my hand at that moment.  While invoking the phrase "Laws of Logic" may sound impressive and intellectually structured, it is no more impressive a feat of mental gymnastics than it would be to tie your shoe.  In fact, I think it requires more structured problem solving thought to tie ones shoe than it does to realize the absurdly simplistic standards of thinking that are the four fundamental Laws of Logic.  To assert that these are most sacred and priceless gems of intellectual treasure bestowed upon the human race by a vastly superior entity is absurd, disgraceful, and expectedly self-loathing as befitting a severe masochist.

As expected, the intellectual foundation of that particular argument completely shatters with the final statement of that paragraph: "In fact, laws of logic cannot exist in a materialistic worldview (the philosophy that everything is material or made up of material), because laws of logic are non-material."  ...seriously, the consistency of the authors patterns of logic are erratic at best here, clearly demonstrating a breakdown in comprehension and structure.  I would seriously hope that this was the authors attempt at a joke, but as I've seen through various parts of the Christian (and various sub-groups of) sects, this is not too farfetched so I have no choice but to read and accept this as a serious attempt to critique his perception of that worldview.  The next point about questioning "evolutionists" on their ability to use logic rather confirms my suspicions that what I had previously hoped was a bad joke is in fact a very serious point.  The author asserts that because the Laws of Logic come from the Christian god, and that since he asserts that Genesis 1:27 and Romans 1:18-20 implies that all humans (regardless of belief status) both have the tools of logic and know god, that we are "unwittingly relying upon the biblical worldview while simultaneously denying it", therefore being inconsistent and finally validating the authors claim that Evolution violates the third rule about preconditions, ultimately "proving" that Evolution fails and Creationism wins.  Seriously, go back and read that last sentence, slowly.  ...yeah.

The author continues to try and justify his position on the entire world of science (which is now italicized in the booklet) being founded on the "biblical worldview in order to make sense".  So now the author has gone from an examination of both "sides" to proclaiming that the opponent actually requires his "side" in order to exist in the first place.  That is a rather interesting position to take.  It is further emphasized by the amazing statement that "In order for science to be possible, the universe would have to operate in an orderly fashion that can be progressively understood by the human mind."  It is in these moments of profound amazement that I find myself recalling ancient arguments of long dead Inquisitors and religious leaders condemning knowledge and science as an evil art of the devil, or some other abomination that threaten their very existence and could call down plague and death if it were to upset the gods.  Amidst the centuries of intellectual growth we have finally begun to overcome our aversion to dangerous ideas... and I have seen a change in attitudes following an old yet pointed phrase: "If you can't beat them, join them."  Smiling quietly and pretending like it was your idea all the while is a very strong tactic to use when trying to con someone.  It is as transparent and telling as any parent watching a child do something silly and then exclaim that they had meant to do it the entire time.  Special moments like this have been an amazing time for me: frustrated astonishment at pure arrogance rising until, at a certain point, something clicks and it all evaporates instantly into calm pity.  That "something" that clicks is a realization of a psychological state so entrenched and wound up in its own knots as to have to struggle to make what should be one of the easiest gestures of all. 

Section 6: Conclusions and Application

As I read the first few lines of this final section of the booklet, I find myself smiling and nodding.  As I have anticipated from past experiences, the compelling words of those from Young Earth Creationists that work for Answers In Genesis and those Creation Museums, such as the author of this booklet Dr. Jason Lisle, have not exceeded the level of expectations I've learned to set for these kinds of people talking about this issue.  Oh yes, I am  quite aware of how incredibly arrogant and self-righteous that sounds, trust me.  I wouldn't make such a statement without a great deal of justification and a long period of exposure... which is exactly why I am completely comfortable making it.  There has been a long and sad tradition of misrepresentation bordering on intellectual dishonesty that plagues certain groups in particular, and the author is a part of two of the leading examples of these intellectual embarrassments.  Not only are these certain groups an embarrassment for the United States of America on the global stage of science where every other first world country on the planet laughs and mocks us constantly, but these fundamentalist groups represent the last stronghold of ancient religion fanatics who are hell bent (heh) on preserving an absurd literalistic view of obviously wrong views.  They are bastions of the academically debunked, stubbornly refusing to do anything but commit intellectual suicide while trying to teach others that it is the best thing to do.

I can certainly appreciate an attempt to bolster an old and cherished cultural heritage, but to all things there is a time and place.  While I can forgive anyone for stating an opinion, I have less forgiveness for those who try to forcefully wedge their way into any system and strong arm their views.  And to that end, I view the Creation Museums as the best example of one of the most intellectually dangerous minefields for any developing country.  There is no other worldview mindset that intentionally and so blatantly lies in order to maintain its powerbase.  Thankfully, the only thing anyone needs to do to intellectually fight such a cancerous threat is to read many books and ask many questions.  Fundamentalism has been in an ever accelerating decline throughout the global population for a long while, and there are bound to be holdouts.  Sadly, one of those holdouts is one of the most powerful nations: the United States of America.  The freedom to ask questions is a freedom all are born with and all should be allowed to practice.  Thankfully, the internet is making that so very easy to do... and its access is cheap and easy.

Friday, March 30, 2012

A Note On Death

Pondering our common eventuality and sharing a different perspective:

My death will give meaning to my strength, wisdom, and all the efforts I've contributed to our society and to all the lives I have influenced, just as the lives and deaths of all those around me have before me.

The atoms that make up my body were born out of the explosion of stars, many years ago. The elements that make up what I call "myself" have been part of this planet for billions of years, and I have had the great privilege to have been a creature with the facilities to understand and appreciate this great process.

My death will return the atoms of "myself" to this planet where they will continue to contribute to the life for a very, very long time. While none of us living entities play a critical role in this dance we call "life", we do enrich it.

Trying to wrap my head around the possible history of the atoms in "myself" thrills me to no end. How many of those atoms rode on meteorites smashing into this planet in the distant past? How many have been fused paste on a tree? How many have been stuck on the wing of a fly, or nestled near the core of this planet?

And one day.... in the distant future... our sun will go supernova and send our atoms out into the cosmos... just as they had done since before this specific galaxy even formed.

Watch, and realize:

Selfish Tears for the Dead

Selfish Tears for the Dead

The only thing we are guaranteed in life is the end of it; death. This has been something we have all acknowledged and have come to expect. There is nothing we can do to prevent it. Billions of have died over the short span of human history and billions more will die in the future. Some of us will die comfortably and surrounded by friends. Others of us will die painful and violent deaths. Yet we will all die, eventually.

We mark these deaths by the sorrow and emotional pain felt by survivors at the loss of individuals. We mourn their loss, give cares to their remains and hold rituals to show last respects. The families and friends of the honored dead are obligated to carry out these rituals and perform other duties needed to tend to accounts, estates, and other things left behind. Kind words of reverence are expected by the matriarch or patriarch of the family, and those seen as best friends and favored family members. This is also a time of bonding between the family of those left behind. Tears and sorrow are shared, comforts and condolences are exchanged.

Through these events, the religious among us find comfort in the phrase "They are in a better place now."

This has always seemed to be a bit of a contradiction to me, and though I believe I understand it-I can't help but wonder just how many others see it as well.

Tears are a sign of a greatly excited emotional state, though more commonly for very sad or painful states rather than not. It is quite understandable, then, to see people at funerals and other post-death rituals in a state of sorrow and despair, expressing those pains with tears and quiet comfort to their friends and families. The subconscious reaction to the death of those we care for is expressed in this way, and has been since before human history no matter which culture we happen to be from. The conscious reaction to the death of those we care about is to rationalize the event with a purpose, meaning, or of simple consequence.

When a Christian faces the death of a loved one, their religious beliefs compel them to rationalize the death as a release or transition from the physical form to a spiritual form where the person begins a new existence that will span eternity. The destination or location of that new life depends on the deeds and beliefs of that person who died, according to the Christian religion. When a Christian person is confronted with the death of another close "good Christian", their reaction is just the same as it would be in any other culture at any other time: sorrow and pain. Sure, the rituals change from culture to culture, but on a personal level, the reaction is the same.

When someone is sobbing over the open casket of their lover of three decades, do they really believe that the person they knew and loved is "in a better place"? When a friend holds another friend in their arms, the injured friend bleeding out from a bullet wound sustained during a robbery at a gas station, does the surviving friend look into their eyes with pain-free reassurance that their death will only set their "soul" into an eternal paradise? In any number of ugly, heart wrenching, and sad situations like these, can anyone really admit that their emotions will actually reflect what they "know" is the truth about reality?

This is the contradiction I find so blatant, which is emphasized by the pointed question: "Why do Christians cry at funerals?"

The question is about understanding human behavior and how it relates to their intelligence working on the situation. I believe this question validates the obvious conclusion that humans are adept at lying to themselves and compartmentalizing emotional pain in such a way that they can continue their daily lives without self-destructing. In short, we find ways to lie to ourselves to avoid crippling depression.


One possibility I see is that humans are so overwhelmingly emotional that there is no helping the vast amount of sorrowful and sad feelings that flood into their system during and after such events. This means that these emotional responses would be completely unrelated to reality as it actually works, which only brings up another question: "why is it that way?" If humans were specially created by a divine entity, why would these emotions, or at least this level of emotional response, endure when it is so unnecessary?

Another is that humans are incredibly selfish. Despite the "knowledge" that the spiritual essence of the person who just died will live on for eternity in a paradise before the creator of the universe, the tears, sorrow, and sadness would seem to reflect nothing but the survivors own selfish desire not to be left "alone". And even then, is every single Christian crying at funerals so ungrateful for the marvelous gift of being admitted into paradise that the reason for their sorrow is because of some kind of jealousy? Why wouldn't the Christian be happy or even ecstatic for their departed loved one? Wouldn't the Christian also remember that they too will eventually join their dead friends and family in "Heaven" for the rest of eternity as well? So... why cry at all unless it isn't for completely selfish reasons?

What if Christians cry at funerals because they are human-and that they know, "deep down", we do not survive death? What if their religion is nothing more than a defensive mechanism erected to help protect themselves against a harsh world, but actually fails when it comes to the death of close friends and family? We develop many emotional coping mechanisms to deal with our various issues. The more people think about and analyze these mechanisms, however, the more we realize just how fragile we are.


To me, there are not many more blatant or obvious signs of pure contradiction and intellectual hypocrisy than what I have seen here. We are emotionally fragile. We have always relied on our subconscious coping mechanisms to deal with the various situations we find ourselves in, but they do not always work. Many times, they provoke unintentional responses, or even completely fail to work at all and leave us in desperately vulnerable states of mind. We are not alone in the world when it comes to depression and emotional issues as a result of death. Evidence of the failure in emotional coping mechanisms can be found in many, many more species of higher animal on this planet.

My question to others out there:
If you believe in some form of existence after the death of our physical form, can you understand why your sadness seems to be a contradiction to those of us who do not share your beliefs?

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Debate Analysis 1

I was recently invited to take a stab at debate on a pro-Fox News/Glenn Beck facebook channel. Yes, I know... probably a poor idea, especially given the response from one of their locals when faced with being called out on logical fallacies and childish behavior. This really is just as bad as all the childish BS that you would expect to find on YouTube. The issue I had, though, was with someone, Maggie, misinterpreting what I said and continued to demonstrate a serious lack of understanding on the definition of the word "sexist". Also, looking at other comments, it seems like many of these people use scare tactic words that dont actually apply, are used incorrectly, or the generalizations are so profoundly ridiculous its hard to imagine a grown adult making them.

I have gone through and dissected the entire discussion, and I think it is pretty self-explanatory. What I would like to know is what the rest of you think: was that a sexist remark? Did Maggie avoid making logical fallacies? Was I too mean? Was I too soft? Was she justified in playing her Victim Card the way she did? Etc, etc.

Thanks in advance!

(last names have been omitted)

(this was taken from the comment section of one of Voiceof America's pictures. No, this is not the official "Voice Of America" media page, nor does it have any affiliation with it.)

(Origional comments are in white, my additional deconstruction is in red. Superscript notation added to help with specific association to points addressed.)


Voiceof America and here is one for all the Obama supporters lol


Maggie You've found something Obama does well next to taking great vacations none of his every day supporters can afford.

Friday at 8:41am ·


Justin And just think how much worse off we would be with the McPalin team.

18 hours ago ·



There isn't any American Pres/VP duo who could possibly be worse than Obama/Biden's destruction and demise with the help of a Democrat-controlled Congress for two years and Dem-controlled Senate now. McCain's platform was nearly identical to that of JFK, which didn't make him the greatest GOP candidate, but he couldn't have done a worse job than Obama us doing and he wouldn't have had an agenda as destructive as Obama's get rich plan for his cronies.

16 hours ago ·



Yes, actually, the McPalin team1 would have ended with open revolts against the government for their failure2. Palin wouldn't have a clue how to do anything3, and that is a very bad thing to have for a VP. McCain chose her because of her sex and religious affiliation to fill the gap when Clinton lost, thats the *only* reason anyone outside of Alaska knows about her4. Its friggin sad.

9 hours ago ·

1 - the phrase "McPalin team" is twofold: two specific individuals (McCain and Palin), and a team implies they are working together.

2 - Opinion - I dont think highly of McCain for many reasons, chief of which being his reasons for choosing Palin. That alone shows me he was more focused with getting into office than having a strong team to serve the people of this great country.

3 - Just about any interview or public event will betray her ignorance of the system in which she was supposed to be running. This was apparent shortly after McCain brought her to the public stage. Examples available on request, starting with these apt words from the Fox News Chief Political Correspondent, Nov 5, 2008:

4 - Anyone confused about this probably doesn't remember the sequence of events: Clinton lost, McCain chooses Palin to try and get the women voters. Further proof available/willing to research upon request, but will only do so after it is proven that the article was read and understood.



The ability to know the hearts, minds, thoughts and future actions of people one barely knows is truly an uncanny gift1. While it's nice to indulge in predictions without any knowledge base2, right now, we only have facts, which tell us Obama, with full benefit of a Democratic Congress for two years has given us an economy only Jimmy Carter likes, since Carter now knows he isn't the worst president ever. While Canada, once saddled with a flagging economy worse than the US' in 2008, is experiencing growth and signs of recovery, the US isn't seeing the same signs of recovery and sinks further into a worse economy, thanks to Obama and Congressional Democrats3. While I appreciate your desire to repeat yourself and state your opinion4, there is nothing to back your statement5. ------------------------------------------------- I wasn't a big fan of McCain with his policies that looked more like JFK's back in the day, but even Biden wouldn't have done as miserably as Obama has6. ----See More

8 hours ago ·

1 - Sarcasm, deflection.

2 - bad assertion - we do have a great deal of knowledge, especially now, of how well it would have gone.

3 - Utterly invalid point and fallacious statement. Comparing Canada to USA, these two situations are not reliant on each other in any way, shape or form.

4 - sarcasm mixed with deflection: childish. I was expanding on my post, and stated the reason why McCain chose Palin in the first place (the start of later BS) which resulted in the loss of his election.

5 - baseless assertion; dismissal without examination or even asking to validate my position. This is a great sign of willful ignorance.

6 - gratuitous and off topic. Additionally, interesting to note Maggie didn't think much of McCain in the first place.



Sorry, Maggie, comparing Canada and USA by saying the only difference is our president really emphasizes the level of fallacious logic, pure BS, and profound ignorance of that position. Its okay to be upset, but willful ignorance and misplaced anger doesn't actually solve anything.

-Obama didn't "give" us this economy. Thinking like that just shows how much you really understand the system. Sure, it sucks right now and his policies might fail to do what they were intended, but that is no reason to blatantly ignore everything about it just so you can blame it all on one person. That is criminally negligent.

"While I appreciate your desire to repeat yourself..."

Do you know what the word "clarifying" or "explaining" means?1

"...there is nothing to back your statement."

You are certainly free to believe that :)

8 hours ago ·

1 - sarcasm begets sarcasm, especially in the face of apparently completely missing the point



I'd also like to add that I think the Democratic and Republican parties have catastrophically screwed over this country as they no longer work for the country itself, but to promote their own ideals/agenda. They both need to be disbanded to prompt a complete, and modern overhaul of the system.

8 hours ago ·



Mr. H, your abilities continue to astound since you now have the talent of just uttering something to make it true1 and have determined acidity now equates to an enlightened response2. My comment was one made in response to your opinion of your fantastical future vision3, which doesn't leave you in a position to be complaining about quality4, let alone bandying definitions5. It's peachy you possess the ability to explicate your uneducated opinions about your visions of events that didn't happen. I do agree though that our political parties are not serving us at all, so we have a common ground in that. However, I would never go so far as to say any president in history (thus far) could possibly be a lot worse than Soros' puppet, Obama, but then I have a lot of history and facts to back that6. I would also never say any other candidate would have been worse, as that would be akin to pointing out any guy on the street and proclaiming he would be a lousy father just because I said so...and not based on any facts7.

7 hours ago ·

1 - gratuitous sarcasm, probably used in order to avoid actually defending a position

2 - Yes, finding ways to not only say "fuck you" but to do it in an intelligent way that actually addresses the specific issue, rather than just displaying pure emotion without context or possibility of conclusion (which is a great way to start a flame war)

3 - Opinion, which again ignores any request for clarification of the point being made

4 - Complete lack of debate experience on Maggie's behalf. Quality is what matters in debate. Ignoring quality allows it to devolve into a flame war. Order and structure is required.

5 - Further proof of debate inexperience, and a lack of perception/understanding about the human language. Unless everyone knows what you are talking about, discussions become one way and no one will get anything out of it. Therefore, definitions are key.

6 - Self contradiction. "I would never..., but ...". Starting with the premise of never doing something but then allowing for a means to do it not very logical.

7 - The last statement of "...and not based on any facts" is the key that invalidates the entire point: I do have facts, specifically the complete inexperience and lack of political familiarity that has made Palin the laughing stock she is today.



BTW, while throwing out definitions, it would be good to note only a sexist bigot would say a candidate was chosen solely for their gender and religious beliefs while ignoring all other factors.1

7 hours ago ·

1 - Inflammatory and spiteful via implication. First major sign of real childish behavior with emotional retaliation. The only other factors to consider support the conclusion: Clinton lost to Obama, McCain then chooses Palin after a mere week and only meeting her once. How much more blatant can one be?

Additionally, the fact that Maggie makes this statement is because I am a male. If a woman had made the same statement, would Maggie call her a sexist?



‎"...only a sexist bigot would say a candidate was chosen solely for their gender and religious beliefs while ignoring all other factors."

Sexist: is the application of the belief or attitude that there are characteristics implicit to one's gender that indirectly affect one's abilities in unrelated areas.

Bigot: a person obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices, especially one exhibiting intolerance, and animosity toward those of differing beliefs.

Neither of those apply to this conversation, my dear Maggie, since I am talking about one man's choice of candidate in a political race. I'm sorry, but you are getting far too emotional to deal with rationally. I already gave you the reasons for what I said about McCain's choice (Clinton losing, Palins religious affiliation).

You should be ashamed of yourself.

Clearly, you can not speak about this topic rationally. I've come to expect that from people like you.

7 hours ago ·



I think it is pretty funny how you chose to attack me personally rather than ask for more information or to prove something. Very telling indeed.

Your only tools here seem to be the use of shameful logical fallacies based in childish emotional retaliation. Good luck with that in the future.

7 hours ago ·



Mr. H- Again, just you saying something doesn't make it so1. You introduced the acidity2. It appears you can dish out an irrational opinion3, yet hate to be called on it. If you can't handle an intelligent response or females, in general, one might think you don't belong in the arena4. You've failed to notice your undeserved name-calling leaves you with three fingers pointing at yourself5. You'll also note my responses are directly to your statements, while yours are knee-jerk, angry, inane rhetoric for the sheer sake of it in petulant resistance to being caught in an uninformed rant, which continues6. Let me guess're a liberal and you've played World of Warcraft a little too long, which is my opinion, but now backed by enough of your printed word to justify it7. One would also note you've now justified my opinion you are sexist and likely also a bigot8, as your comments do equate to same....EOE 101. And, good luck to you with your world of video games and your momma's couch9.

7 hours ago ·

1 - Of course not-thats why its called opinion, and opinions are usually backed up with reasoning. Instead of being dismissive, one should inquire about the reasoning instead.

2 - Acidity which was born from Maggie's initial sarcasm and dismissive attitude

3 - Assertion with no validation.

4 - Gratuitous and spiteful. I am specifically fishing for intelligent responses, yet only get emotional attacks.

5 - Hypocritical.

6 - Textbook psychological projection.

7 - Ad Hominum logical fallacy, x2. Additionally, how the hell does anything said belie playing a specific video game? It doesn't. Spiteful response with the intent to reciprocate emotional pain.

8 - Lie, spiteful. These accusations of bigotry and sexism were already made as statements of fact, thus, as they were already implied, they were not mere opinions by this time: statement is a lie.

9 - Inflammatory, Ad Hominem logical fallacy. Parroting my exact statement in the previous comment with the "good luck" is childish. The Ad Hominem comes in with the "momma's couch", iced with a belittling tone via word choice. This Ad Hominem is apparently linked to Maggie's fantasy of WoW players being stuck at home in their parents' home (second order Ad Hom? heh).



‎"If you can't handle an intelligent response or females..."

Wow, seriously, do you even read what I type? Laughable.

"yet hate to be called on it"

If it was an intelligent deconstruction, I'd welcome the criticism. However, you do not inspire that kind of reaction from me, I'm sorry to say. Why not? Its simple: you are responding with fallacious and emotional retorts. Its very embarrassing.

"You've failed to notice your undeserved name-calling..."

It was all deserved, Maggie. To prove it, you didn't even know how to invoke the words "bigot" and "sexist" correctly, and in fact emulate both of those yourself instead. I'm sorry, Maggie, but you haven't been able to make a valid point yet.

"you're a liberal and you've played World of Warcraft a little too long"

Thank you! This really made me laugh! I will treasure this response for quite a while!

My dear, silly Maggie, you should not be trying to debate like this on the internet. You are an excellent example of an angry, active, yet clueless individual trying to stick up for concepts well beyond their own capacity1. You have just committed the final steps in your intellectual suicide, and it was very embarrassing to watch an adult behave like a child.2

Seriously, grow up.

7 hours ago ·

1 - This is based on the level of response to the points: nothing but emotional attacks after outright dismissing them.

2 - The abuse of Ad Hominum logical fallacies indicate a total breakdown of logical structure, which usually means it has reached the point to begin a flame war.



Additionally, Maggie, in case you forgot how Palin came into the public eye:

Read the comments to get a feel for just how well she was received, and how insulted the American public was. Be sure to read how even the McCain female supporters were outraged at his blatant move to steal their vote. Seems like people forget things, important things, very easily.

The truth hurts, and it has nothing to do with your malicious insults to my character.

Rather than being angry and responding the way you did, you should have asked "WHY", that, at least, I could have respected.

6 hours ago ·



To review: Mr. H comes to a conservative site and comments Palin was only chosen because of her gender, ignoring the other accomplishments of this woman1, then puffs he's not a sexist2. 20+ years in HR tells me, H is not only sexist,... but a delusional one3. Then, he bashes yet another woman4 for making statements5 to which his response has largely been name-calling6 and use of the dictionary7. ----- Then, a reference to his liberal leanings and penchant for World of Warcraft (WoW) is met with the uber-intelligent version of a raspberry8. ---- While WoW is on his list of activities9, as are a cadre of liberal zealots10. ----- Your retorts are only a few syllables shy of "na, na, na, na, na"11 and you have been exposed as a SEXIST12, just one who huffs and puffs in denial. If this is all you got, you shouldn't bother13.

6 hours ago ·

1 - Thats because her accomplishments were not a factor to McCain's choice. Even McCain supporters during the 2008 election could see this (see the link in the previous comment).

2 - Clearly, Maggie doesn't know what the word "sexist" means. It was McCain's bad choice, not Palin's, which is the whole point. There would still be a problem with McCain's choice EVEN IF Palin turned out to be a strong political candidate, OR if it was a male, but she wasn't, which further compounded McCain's error in judgement (which should have been to choose a strong person to help run the country, not to be a puppet to get more votes for getting into office without regard to how right she was for the job).

3 - Spiteful and baseless assertion.

4 - Playing the "Victim Card" logical fallacy. Just because I strongly disagree with her, and logically deconstruct everything, I'm suddenly "bashing" her and a "sexist"? Further evidence showing ignorance of the word.

5 - Maggie's "statements" have been emotionally spiteful and fallacious, not mere "statements".

6 - Blatant lie. Hypocrisy.

7 - Two words were defined, out of all of this... additionally, how the hell is the use of a dictionary a bad thing? I'm sure that will prompt jokes about Palin supporters and intelligence/education.

8 - Yes, .... abuse of logical fallacies, like the Ad Hominum and Red Herring (distraction tactic) are bad, and not acceptable in debates.

9 - Apparently the World of Warcraft makes me an evil person? (then so are the 12 million who play it, I guess... and what about all the other video game players? Are we all evil? Slippery Slope there)

10 - Spiteful name-calling. Carl Sagan is a liberal zealot? Dr Ken Miller, Catholic high school text book author? Eugenie Scott from the National Center for Science Education is a 'liberal zealot'?? Hitchens, Dawkins, Dennit, Harris, all zealots? More use of words (zealot) which Maggie doesn't actually use correctly.

11 - Childish lie, dismissive. Demonstrably false.

12 - Lie. Demonstrably false, and can actually prove Maggie doesn't know what the word means.

13 - Try actually reading what I type, next time.



H info -- lists WoW as H's activity and H' inspirations coming from a Who's Who list of anarchists, capitalism-bashers, atheists and "we don't live in the real world, but we went to college" liberals, anarchists and atheists1. We have our first troll2. Why can't liberals ever send an intelligent one?3 It appears there are only angry, indignant, name-calling liberal trolls and we're getting the bottom of the barrel4...Justin must've missed the bus to the OWS camp rally5.

6 hours ago ·

1 - Hypocritical, inflammatory, spiteful, Red Herring. Hypocritical with the initial complaint waged against me for pretending to know the minds and hearts of people. List of anarchists... what? Not believing in a god has nothing to do with this conversation, that is a Red Herring.

2 - Hypocritical, inflammatory, definition ignorance. Maggie herself qualifies as a forum troll more than I do, as this is my first day here. You can not be a forum troll after a few hours. Clearly does not know what the word "troll" means, and uses hypocrisy in application of either common definition (troll as in being mean/rude, or a forum troll being someone who stays with a particular forum for a long period of time).

3 - Conspiracy Theory nut. Yes, because the "liberals" are out to get you... on... a random facebook page welcoming anyone .... totally.

4 - Hypocritical, Psychological Projection, Parroting, spiteful. Hypocritical in that she has clearly done all the above. Projection as that is exactly what she has done yet appears to think otherwise, and by projecting it on to me and attacking those attributes it somehow makes her feel better. Parroting as thats what I've been continuing to say she has been doing-not very creative to repeat what I accuse her of doing.

5 - Red Herring, assertion. The OWS camp has nothing to do with this, typical distraction tactic to try and demonize me. Not only that, but I actually dont agree with the OWS guys. Fail. Thats what happens when you make assumptions: you make an ass out of yourself. This failure could have been avoided if Maggie remembered the comment I made on Voiceof America's photo of the demotivational poster Ignorance.



Yeah, Palin wasn't received well....well, not by your liberal crowd anyway.....that's fantasy world1. Otherwise, she's looking pretty successful on her own right2. Still doesn't erase that you ignored her accomplishments3 and said she was chosen for her matter how you rant and whine at me, your message was and is sexist4. Again, you're on a conservative site, so you need to bring something besides name-calling5. And, yeah, I get you don't respect my responses....I'm a woman and you're a sexist...wouldn't expect anything else from you6.

6 hours ago ·

1 - Dismissal, willful ignorance of additional material provided which invalidate the statement.

2 - Already demonstrated to show Palin has little understanding of the political system.

3 - Red Herring. Because they are irrelevant to the poor choice McCain made, which was specifically because of her gender. That has been established, years ago.

4 - Try using a dictionary.

5 - Hypocritical, blatant willful ignorance. Thats all Maggie has done, along with making logical fallacies, baseless assertions, etc etc, everything that would embarrass a Freshmen student on a debate team.

6 - Red Herring. It isn't the orientation of Maggie's genitals that I have been using as the basis for my arguments.



"To review: Mr. H comes to a conservative site and comments Palin was only chosen because of her gender"

Start with a lie and the rest of your statement is meaningless. Look at the comment history, I said "McPalin", remember? The "Mc" refers to McCain.

I'm sorry, but at least try to be honest and not lie when its blatantly obvious.

6 hours ago ·



‎@ JH-Deception from you, once again.... The H1 statement-direct quote: ".... PALIN wouldn't have a clue how to do anything, and that is a very bad thing to have for a VP. McCain chose HER because of her sex and religious affiliation..." (emphasis added)2 --- ---- --- Justin, I realize you're liberal and not accustomed to having your fantasy statements analyzed3, but the statement I just quoted is yours, you made the part about Palin quite clear, and your statement is SEXIST4. ----- Textbook sexist...the kind that would slap a lawsuit on you in the adult world of employment5.---- The whole "I said it, so it's real" only works in liberal land6...not in the land of adults contending with the real world7. And...Name-calling and insults blaming everyone for your difficulties here isn't a real response8. ----- Seriously, The Daily Kos would love'd be with your own kind. ----- Even your dear Eugenie would scowl at you for this hooey. (You can look up the word, hooey, too.)9

5 hours ago ·

1 - Childish renaming. I'm now "The H"? Clear sign of emotional mood undermining logical capabilities. This usually happens with people who dont know what they are talking about try to make a stand for their "team" regardless of how well they can do.

2 - Yes, McCain did the choosing, not Palin. McCain is a male. HE made the bad choice. Palin's political inexperience and failings only helped to underscore exactly how big of a mistake that was. As stated before, it wouldn't have mattered which gender Palin was, it was still a bad choice to choose a VP the way he did.

3 - Psychological Projection. Only a maverick would say that! ... lol.

4 - Cherry Picking, invalid use of terms. Yes, and as I stated in the first two comments, I'm pointing out McCAIN's choice. Completely missing the point. The word sexist does not apply here.

5 - Need a dictionary for Maggie to look up the definition of the word "sexist".

6 - Hypocrisy, Psychological Projection.

7 - Hypocrisy, Psychological Projection. Not only has Maggie been shown to abuse logical fallacies, but also constantly employs childish tactics to avoid discussing the point.

8 - Hypocrisy, Psychological Projection, blatant lie/fabrication/Straw Man logical fallacy. am I "blaming everyone"... at ANY point here? Which specific difficulties am I blaming "everyone" for?

9 - Baseless assertion with a fallacious appeal, hypocrisy. Now Maggie knows the mind and heart of someone's future actions for which she has no possible means of knowing?



Dear Liberals, please send another troll1. The one you sent isn't even a challenge...just whining, blaming, false accusations, denial, deceit, feigned victimhood drama, and's like you sent Obama himself2. ........... And, geesh, he needs to use a dictionary just to respond3. ..................... Please send an intelligent liberal troll, one with information and facts...are there any4? ........................ The last time liberals got any information and facts or worked in the real world, they became conservative, so perhaps not5.

5 hours ago ·

1 - Invalid use of term. Needs to actually look up the definition of "forum troll".

2 - Conspiracy Nut, hypocritical, lying, Psychological Projection. My presence here in no way signifies a "liberal agenda" to specifically target this page, that is incredibly paranoid and quite pathetic. Every one of those accusations can be shown to be Maggie's own tools, if they can be shown to be done by either party in the first place.

3 - Lie, Red Herring. The lack of understanding of my word choice is not my fault, and if there is something one doesn't know the definition of, one should look it up (but, as Maggie has demonstrated-she seems to be willing to invent her own definition instead). Additionally, this is mere distraction and doesn't address any point, but more over signifies a particular disdain for intelligent and educated responses that actually form a common ground for a discussion. Making sure everyone knows what a word means before proceeding... thats somehow a bad thing? Also, citing a definition was done only twice, hours previous.

4 - Hypocrisy. Didn't Maggie accuse me of initially just repeating myself after my second comment?

5 - Gratuitous and childish lie.



My 1st comment: "And just think how much worse off we would be with the McPalin team."

My 2nd comment: "Yes, actually, the McPalin team would have ended with open revolts against the government for their failure. Palin wouldn't have a clue... how to do anything..."

Do you know what the word "team" means1? Did you even read the article that I posted, or are you too willfully ignorant to dare to challenge your own pre-conceived notions?

So, lets see... because I'm a male making comments "only" about Palin supposedly (what a friggin joke), I'm automatically a sexist bigot, despite validating what I said with additional material?

Now, lets run a little thought experiment here: if I had posted that same comment, word for word, with an account that looked like it was a woman, would you call "her" a sexist bigot or just a bigot?

You are such an angry person, aren't you, Maggie? You have shamefully abused many logical fallacies, blatantly ignored points that refute your statements, resort to childish and malicious insults and tactics (such as the whole "The H" thing), and on and on.

I really feel sorry for you, Maggie2. You must be such a miserable person. I really wish the best for you.

2 hours ago ·

1 - Team implied more than one person, and working together. Maggie continues to completely miss the point that I'm mocking McCain's reasons for his choice, and Palin's political competency.

2 - Honesty. I really do feel sorry for how angry and upset Maggie must have been, so blinded by her own stubborn bigotry and apparent sexism.



‎"Then, he bashes yet another woman..."

Awesome logical fallacy, Maggie. If we both made the exact same comments as we have here, yet we were both the same sex, does that suddenly negate your accusation of sexism?

Do you realize that this point alone makes YOU the sexist? The whole "HELP! A male doesn't agree with me, therefor he must be a sexist!" doesn't make you look very mature, and that is why I have a big issue with you now.

You are not thinking things through, you are just angry, spiteful, and reacting without reason. Your assumptions are unfounded, and your accusations are baseless.

I really hope you get over whatever it is that is infuriating you so that you are able to actually listen to what people have to say, ESPECIALLY when you dont agree with it.

2 hours ago ·



‎@ H- You know you very clearly said, "PALIN wouldn't have a clue how to do anything"1...YOUR WORDS...then, you said Cain only "chose HER because of her sex and religious affiliation"2.......again, YOUR exact words. ........ You can spin this all you want and huff and puff and pretend you're somehow a victim and all the females who dare call you on your own words are icky-poo people....then spin your psycho babble3. ...... But, in the end, there are still your words...posted for all to see and they say it all, plainly4. ............... The appropriate response from you WOULD have been: I apologize for making a baseless, sexist comment about Palin, which wasn't my intent...that is, IF you weren't sexist5. ......... While a sexist response would be all the blabber you've been giving us, your red-faced, endless rambling, finger-pointing and mumbling about your faux victimhood6 .......... This is called self-incrimination. (I already hear you scrambling for your dictionary7.) Thanks for the well wishes, which sounded so genuine. ........ And, I wish you luck in college and with the real world, when you get there8.

about an hour ago ·

1 - Cherry Picking. And out of context, yes, that would be very sexist. However, we are talking about politics, and Palin has clearly demonstrated a very high level of failure in competency over the years. If she had been in the White House after that election, she would have been a miserable failure because of her experience, not because of the orientation of her genitalia.

2 - Cherry Picking. Yes, McCain chose her. McCain is the focus here, not Palin. It was McCain's choice I was referencing here. Point completely missed, even after being directly quoted.

3 - Psychological Projection multiple times, blatant dismissal and fabrication. I'm clearly not the spin doctor. Who exactly brought up the accusation of sexism first? Oh right, that was Maggie. Not only was I accused of being a sexist first, but Maggie also played her own Victim Card an hour previous.

4 - Exactly, and they are still here IN CONTEXT and without Maggie Cherry Picking.

5 - Childish. It would have been, if what I said wasn't taken out of context, spun, and if Maggie actually knew what the word sexist meant in the first place.

6 - Childish fabrication, Psychological Projection, Hypocritical. No, actually, it wouldn't. A sexist response would be sexist in nature, but then again its clear Maggie doesn't know what the word means. All this "blabber" is actually the logical deconstruction and specific highlighting of specific logical fallacies. Yet again, psychological projection: projecting her own negative characteristics/actions on to me and then attacking them. My "faux victimhood", oh really?

7 - Childish and inflammatory insult.

8 - Childish. My well wishes are sincere. Every human lives in the real world regardless of which political camp they think they side with.



You are the one spinning. You are the one lying. You are the bigoted, sexist, hypocrite, and your comments prove it.

I'm not a victim, YOU are playing the victim card because I'm a male who doesn't agree with you. Grow up.

"I already hear you scrambling for your dictionary."

You are so damned childish. Why are you being like this? Did I really hurt you that badly, or do you behave like that to everyone who doesn't agree with you?

Again-sorry if my vocabulary is too far over your head. That doesn't give you the right to be vicious and spiteful-though I've come to expect that from people when they either dont understand something or feel like someone is deliberately trying to insult them by using big words.

I've spent years debating elsewhere, so that means I've had a lot of experience. I really wish you would slow down and think about this a little more

about an hour ago ·



‎@ H-If you felt your statements about Palin only being chosen for her sex was NOT sexist....and IF you aren't sexist, then just apologize for the sexist statement1. ............ But, if you are sexist, then ramble on for a few thousand words about how you're making a point by being condescending2. ......... I think we readily see the direction you chose. Me thinks thou dost protest too much, Sparky. ....... I'm not angry, I just don't believe trolls should get to make inane statements, pretend to be victims, think derogatory remarks are an actual point, make up rules and spins as they go and play junior psychologist in arenas they aren't equipped to understand3. ......... You've made your sexist statement about Palin4. You've owned it. You've tried to deny being sexist by acting as though you meant the McCain/Palin team was chosen for their sex, when your words do not state this5. ....... But, you've not denied being a liberal troll nor have you retracted your statement about Palin only being chosen for her sex and religious affiliation6. ......... You've been calling me names since I first caught you in your sexist statement7, directly and implied, and worked yourself in your own snit and verbal tirades. ...... I don't need you to agree with me. ...... You've made yourself the poster child for the liberal caught being sexist....and now you're mad because you can't get by with it8. ..... Get over yourself..... If you can't handle the consequences of your own words, refrain from blabber9. ......... Or, as the women like to say, "if you can't take the heat, get out of the kitchen."10

1 - Not going to apologize for something that was misunderstood. That's why I've been trying to explain it: thats what you do when someone doesn't understand the point.

2 - Logical inconsistency. Being condescending has nothing to do with being a sexist. I'm being condescending because I believe it is warranted based on the responses given.

3 - Textbook Psychological Projection, hypocrisy.

4 - Maggie still doesn't understand what my point was actually about, nor what the word sexist actually means.

5 - A correct statement! I didn't ever say the McCain/Palin team was chosen for their sex. That is absolutely correct. I said that McCain chose Palin because of her sex, and further validated it with additional material.

6 - Hypocritical, Argument From Silence logical fallacy. Because I ignore a fallacious point, it must then be my position? Thats childish, and rather pathetic.

7 - Lie, hypocritical. And still, the word sexist doesn't apply. Pointing out logical fallacies is not "name calling", its addressing the problems with a person's argument.

8 - Childish fabrication.

9 - Psychological projection. Could this get any more blatant?

10 - Hypocritical. And cup de grase: she uses a sexist remark to end on, after all of that.... wow.


And that is really all there is! If you have read all that, please leave your thoughts! The only comments I'll remove are the standard array of flamers and rabid fundamentals, but otherwise I'll let anyone have their say!