Thursday, October 06, 2011

Alex Botten and feeling the love

If you're driving a long distance and need help staying awake, I recommend you take with you the mp3 of this recent podcast debate between EricHovind and Sye TenBruggencate on the one side and the Fundamentally Flawed podcasters (including Alex Botten) on the other.
The boorish, mocking behavior of the atheists combined with their stubborn refusal to answer even basic questions and their numerous pathetic tu quoques really served to raise my blood pressure by several percentage points while listening to it, so it's great road fuel.

I decided to let Alex Botten know about that.
@theealex Just wanted you to hear from a listener. @erichovind and SyeTenB wrecked your position. #podcast #fundamentallyflawed
@theealex Oh, and you and your friends were among the rudest and most closed-minded atheists I've encountered. Cheers! @erichovind

Then, from Alex:
@Rhology really? You think that? Well, thanks for taking the time out of your busy day to tell me! Sye and Eric don't have an argument tbh

From me:
@theealex It's so funny you mention that, b/c while I heard a lot of "we sense what we sense" from you, I heard quite a bit of argumentation
@theealex ...from Sye and @erichovind.

From Alex:
@Rhology ahahaha! Just looked at your blog! You're a YEC??? Come on! You may as well tattoo 'idiot' on your forehead

From me:
@theealex tattoo 'idiot' on your forehead>>Oooh, someone's ignorant of scientific antirealism! Maybe you think insult=argument, though.

From Alex:
@Rhology No, I think that was an insult. Here's another, you believe nonsense and are a credulous moron. And now you're blocked.

From me:
@theealex you're blocked>>LOL! From your own blog: "Feel free to write what you want, I don't moderate, delete, or ban...often". Guess not.


In between somewhere, I left the following comment on his blog:

Since you had the courtesy to visit my blog and then fling a cheap insult my way, I thought I'd go ahead and return the former favor (but forego the latter).
I'd like to ask you about this statement, which you repeated quite a bit when you were on with SyeTenB and @erichovind; that is, you expressed moral outrage several times.


It is insulting in the extreme to have someone else claim to know what you think

So what? Is it a morally bad thing to insult someone?
I'd like to know how you know that.



Also, you said something that's unintentionally funny:
In fact, the ONLY way you could possible know what I'm thinking and what I do and do not believe would be if you were omniscient.

Pair that up with:
I do not believe in ANY of the 4000+ gods mankind has invented during his time

...and we have the makings of a serious irony vortex.
For one thing, it is unbelievably bizarre to me how Sye could tell you at least twice on the show that we're not claiming all knowledge but rather to know someone who does have all knowledge, and you still don't want to take that into account. That says something about your willingness to be honest.
Hmmm, what do we call someone who's not honest? Oh yes, you helpfully provided some colorful verbiage: hollow, lying, charlatan.

Also, you claim to know that mankind invented these gods. To repeat (again) what Eric said to you, how do you know mankind invented them? Wouldn't that require omniscience on your part?
And don't retreat, I beg you, to the tired move-the-goalposts-quick canard of "what I mean is I haven't seen any evidence of any of those gods". That also requires omniscience, for there are many things that evidence things you (and the rest of mankind) don't yet understand. To claim knowledge that none of those things are evidence for a god (since that would mean you'd know all the things for which the things you observe are evidence) would thus require omniscience.

You also haven't seen any evidence that evidence is a good way to discover truth (EGW). So, since you believe EGW without evidence for that assertion, isn't that blind faith?
And if you believe in EGW and think you know it to be true, why do you violate EGW in that most fundamentally important of cases?

So, you'll have to come up with something else. I'd very much like to see you back up your harsh polemic with something other than mocking laughter. You sounded like a fool on the radio. Perhaps you're better in writing.

Peace,
Rhology

Alex responded to the comment with a new post:


Really? That's a novel take on the chronology of what actually happened, isn't it?

Oh, not really.
Maybe Alex means that he FIRST flung the insult and THEN visited my blog. I'm not sure how that fits in with his knowing I'm YEC, though...


Not going to mention the fact that you popped up, uninvited, in my Twitter feed?

Oh no35!!!!!!1
Does Alex not realise that public Twitter feeds are just that - public? Is he aware that Twitter has an option to make Twitter feeds private?
If so, why is he complaining? He's the one who followed SyeTenB around and showed up -uninvited- where Sye had been.



I'd asked: Is it a morally bad thing to insult someone?


I think the best thing to do at this point is refer you to your own Bible

Alex still doesn't get TAG.
Alex doesn't believe the Bible is true, so I'm asking based on his own grounds why it would be morally bad to insult someone. Hopefully he'll realise his error and actually answer the question.



Seems that your own god has a bit of a problem with insulting people

1) Same question - he still needs to prove it's a morally bad thing to insult people.
2) Alex is also trying to delve into Christian theology, and if he's anything like 99% of atheists I've encountered, he has no idea what he's doing.
This instance is no different. Perhaps Alex can tell us why, given Christian presuppositions, God "insulting" someone is a bad thing. And what it means when God gives His thoughts about someone, given that He is the omniscient creator and they are a rebellious creature.



I find it offensive that you belittle me (and everyone else who doesn't agree with your transcendental bullshit) by claiming that we hold a view that I can assure you we do not

So?
Maybe it will be helpful if I explain it differently. In 200 years, a mere eyeblink, an infinitesimally small fraction of time given the age of the universe (according to Alex's thoughts), we will all be dead, and so will our children and grandchildren. Who will remember GreatGrandpa Rhology and GreatGrandpa Alex?
So what? We are collections of atoms banging around, and the chemical reactions in my brain caused me to think that Alex knows the God of the Bible exists but suppresses the truth in unrighteousness.  So, is there some moral quality here I'm missing? Atoms SHOULD act differently toward each other than they do? Based on what?


I'd asked: I'd like to know how you know that.


I'd like to know how YOU know that, without recourse to your viciously circular TAG....

Here we go again. Alex cannot answer questions. He's addicted to avoiding them. It's maddening to watch, really, but more pathetic than anything.



I'd said: For one thing, it is unbelievably bizarre to me how Sye could tell you at least twice on the show that we're not claiming all knowledge but rather to know someone who does have all knowledge, and you still don't want to take that into account. That says something about your willingness to be honest.


Are you sure? Because you're claiming to know an invisible super being who sacrificed himself to himself after knocking his own mother up so she could give birth to himself, who then decided that the only way to remove the 'sin' that he'd created (being the source of everything) was to 'die' for a mere three days as some kind of symbol....have I got anything wrong? You claim to know this individual, right? And you don't think this is wholly ridiculous?

Again, he gives no answer to his misrepresentation. No indication that he'll correct himself in the future. No apology for the strawman. He doesn't seem to care about rational dialogue.


I'd said:
Also, you claim to know that mankind invented these gods. To repeat (again) what Eric said to you, how do you know mankind invented them? Wouldn't that require omniscience on your part?
Do you believe that all those gods are real? If not, why not?

1) Alex could stand to read a bit more outside his own circle.
2) Also, this doesn't answer the question. Again.



I'd said:
To claim knowledge that none of those things are evidence for a god (since that would mean you'd know all the things for which the things you observe are evidence) would thus require omniscience.

And there's the rub. YOU want to claim to have access to knowledge that the rest of us don't have,

Actually, so is Alex! He's claiming to know that it's unreasonable that God exists, whereas I claim to know that it's reasonable that God exists. Alex again demonstrates his cluelessness.


I'd said:
And if you believe in EGW and think you know it to be true, why do you violate EGW in that most fundamentally important of cases?


Yawn, this is just the same, tired old bullshit, that Sye churns out.

Yet another unanswered question.



Here's an idea, why don't YOU come back with an argument that isn't dependent on circular reasoning and wish thinking?

Does he mean like the what I just reminded him about asking for evidence that evidence is a good way to discover truth?
Why doesn't he just answer the question? The most immediate conclusion that jumps to mind is that he can't.


I would be grateful if you don't bother returning.

Clearly Alex let his emotions get the better of him here. The inability to answer so many important questions will take a toll on anyone's good mood.

58 comments:

  1. Why do you hate anti-theists, Rho?

    :0)

    In Christ,
    CD

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  2. Are there any atheists who can express their ideas without the use of profanity? Seriously. Profanity displays a weak mind, IMHO.

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  3. No hate here, CD. I told you, I'm feeling the love.

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  4. These guys, and Alex especially, were an embarrassment to atheists. They did everything they could to avoid answering very straightforward, simple questions.

    And I think Alex's feewings got hut.

    - C.L. Bolt

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  5. "@theealex tattoo 'idiot' on your forehead>>Oooh, someone's ignorant of scientific antirealism! Maybe you think insult=argument, though."

    Is that how you respond when YEC issues come up? Making an allusion to a philosophical concept that has little tangent on the SCIENTIFIC issues pertaining to evolution/natural selection/age of the earth/ etc.? What a convenient bit of sophistry. A non-believer in vaccination could make the same argument:

    Scientist: X, Y, and Z are pieces of evidence suggesting the effectiveness of vaccines.
    Kook: I don't accept scientific realism.
    Scientist: wut.

    ---

    This "I'm a a scientific anti-realist" cop out is applied selectively. Would you say that it is rational to disbelieve in the equation E=mc^2 because you are an anti-realist? Of course not. You would accept the evidence for relativity on the one hand, and if you were philosophically inclined on the other hand, you might debate the merits of scientific realism on the other hand. These are separate exercises. If you are going to be a scientific anti-realist, you have to reject the totality of scientific ideas. You cannot apply it to a particular hypothesis you don't like. And you cannot use it in a scientific debate (and it is a scientific debate, YECism makes definite predictions about how the world should be), because in a debate about science you have already accepted the basic premises of the philosophy of science.

    I would also note that the idea of scientific anti-realism is a concept that has been debated and refined by secular philosophers. There is no intrinsic connection to your religious worldview.

    If you believe that scientific anti-realism has a connection to your worldview, then you can make that case. But it is ridiculous for you to assume that everyone recognizes that a SECULAR concept has that connection, and then beat someone over the head for not knowing what you are thinking.

    The vast majority of YECs do not use your line of presuppositionalist philosophical rationalizations. They wouldn't have a clue what it means.

    Philosophical anti-realism is a fairly obscure philosophical term to the average person.

    I would therefore conclude that you are just trying to scare people by using big-sounding words.

    I would love to debate presuppositional apologetics.

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  6. You know what's funny?

    Every Biblical Christian would affirm this very same statement:
    "I do not believe in ANY of the 4000+ gods mankind has invented during his time"

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  7. Yeah I have to agree with secularliberal here, I thought the comment from Alex where the "YEC issues come up" was a lot better reasoned than the appeal to anti-realism. Just look at how well Alex articulated the problem:

    "You're a YEC??? Come on! You may as well tattoo 'idiot' on your forehead"

    My faith is shattered.

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  8. Is that how you respond when YEC issues come up? Making an allusion to a philosophical concept that has little tangent on the SCIENTIFIC issues pertaining to evolution/natural selection/age of the earth/ etc.?

    Sure it effects the "SCIENTIFIC" issues pertaining to evolution. If you don't believe scientific theories model reality. Isn't that obvious?

    This "I'm a a scientific anti-realist" cop out is applied selectively. Would you say that it is rational to disbelieve in the equation E=mc^2 because you are an anti-realist? Of course not.

    Well that's strange... how do you know he is applying it selectively? Because you just assume he is?

    If you are going to be a scientific anti-realist, you have to reject the totality of scientific ideas.

    No, you just have to reject that they model reality, even though they may be useful for such and such. furthermore, you can be an anti-realist about particular things which "science" utilizes or touches upon, like time.

    And you cannot use it in a scientific debate (and it is a scientific debate, YECism makes definite predictions about how the world should be), because in a debate about science you have already accepted the basic premises of the philosophy of science.

    This doesn't make any sense. If someone says to me "Science says so and so" I'm under no obligation to make whatever assumptions about the philosophy of science that that person is making.

    If you believe that scientific anti-realism has a connection to your worldview, then you can make that case. But it is ridiculous for you to assume that everyone recognizes that a SECULAR concept has that connection, and then beat someone over the head for not knowing what you are thinking.

    All he would have to do is show that anti-realism is consistent with Christianity... or your could provide some argument that it's not, since it's not obvious why we should presume it is inconsistent. I'm not sure why you are using CAPS LOCK on the word "secular" there since, as you noted earlier that there is nothing intrinsically Christian about anti-realism, so there is nothing intrinsically "SECULAR" about it either.

    Does secularism entail anti-realism? Surely you don't think so. Do you think only secularism can support anti-realism? I don't think so... so basically it's a "SECULAR concept" only in that the persons who have done the most thinking about it (probably) weren't doing theology while they thought about it.

    The vast majority of YECs do not use your line of presuppositionalist philosophical rationalizations. They wouldn't have a clue what it means.

    So what? The vast majority of YECs and Christians wouldn't know what a word like hypostatic union means either. Not sure why that is significant.

    I would therefore conclude that you are just trying to scare people by using big-sounding words.

    So the only reasoning that you've given looks like this: People who use a term or appeal to a concept that most people aren't familiar with are just trying to scare people by big-sounding words.

    Guess all scientists, theologians, economists, etc. etc. (anyone who has any jargon) are just trying to scare everyone?

    I would love to debate presuppositional apologetics.

    Based on what you think passes for a rational critique of anti-realism and big-sounding words, it doesn't look a like a debate would be worth it to anyone.

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  9. Jacob,

    Yes, Christians are monotheists. Did you just come to that realization?

    Thanks for sharing your eureka moment with the rest of though.

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  10. Yeah I have to agree with secularliberal here, I thought the comment from Alex where the "YEC issues come up" was a lot better reasoned than the appeal to anti-realism. Just look at how well Alex articulated the problem:

    "You're a YEC??? Come on! You may as well tattoo 'idiot' on your forehead"

    My faith is shattered.


    I agree with your agreement. At first I thought the only rejoinder strong enough to defeat that gem of atheist rationality is "That's your response???? Come on! You may as well tattoo 'idiot' on your forehead!"

    But then I thought SecularLiberal would complain that I'm just using Alex's "SECULAR concept."

    The atheists really have us pinned here with their superior non-supernatural logics. Time to raise the white flag.

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  11. ...and Jonathan the newcomer takes care of tattooing "idiot" on the atheists' foreheads. Well done, sir.

    A few things to say in response to Secular Liberal:
    Is that how you respond when YEC issues come up?

    Not all the time, no, but it is sometimes how I respond.


    Making an allusion to a philosophical concept that has little tangent on the SCIENTIFIC issues

    Hmm, so philosophy of science has little "tangent" (I presume you mean "little bearing") on scientific issues? Interesting.


    Scientist: X, Y, and Z are pieces of evidence suggesting the effectiveness of vaccines.
    Kook: I don't accept scientific realism.


    Instead of "I don't accept scientific realism", I'd probably say something more like "way to commit the logical fallacy of affirming the consequent!"


    You would accept the evidence for relativity on the one hand, and if you were philosophically inclined on the other hand, you might debate the merits of scientific realism on the other hand. These are separate exercises.

    Right, b/c it's always better to be strictly black-and-white rather than to accept nuance when the situation calls for it.
    The reason I said that to Alex Botten was to call attention to his naive acceptance of scientific realism on the one hand as well as to trap people like Secular Liberal here into making unfounded objections, thus showing their foolishness. You have no idea, even if you assume realism, whether the processes you think give you the proper dating for the age of the Earth, actually give you the age of the Earth. You have to assume tons of things, which I don't grant. I'm going to ask you to PROVE such things as how much of the given element was present at the beginning before you try to show me how much of it has decayed.
    I'm going to ask you to PROVE that the rate of decay has always been the same instead of your assuming it, and I'm going to mock you for your whiny argument from unsavory consequences when you reply with "Well, but that's all we've got! Otherwise we don't know the age of the Earth! Waaahhhh!" Especially b/c that's NOT "all we've got". We have the word of the omniscient Creator who was there when it all happened. You need a time machine, but you don't have one, to my knowledge.


    There is no intrinsic connection to your religious worldview.

    That might be a great point if you were talking to someone who thought it did have some intrinsic connection.

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  12. I'm really sorry Rhology, do you want a wahhh-mburger with those cries?

    Seriously though, you're a creationist, that makes you an idiot, because you believe something that is demonstrably untrue, and you believe it despite overwhelming evidence contradicting your view. That you then try to shore up your position with this risible circular presup bullshit simply makes you doubly idiotic.

    Mind you, I'm not surprised your lot cling so desperately to anything you think supports your delusion, as you don't want to admit to yourself that your belief is completely irrational and based on faith alone.

    You have my sympathy though, being so far up Sye's arse that you can see out of his eyes can't be comfortable.

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  13. "I'm going to ask you to PROVE that the rate of decay has always been the same instead of your assuming it, and I'm going to mock you for your whiny argument from unsavory consequences when you reply with "Well, but that's all we've got! Otherwise we don't know the age of the Earth! "

    It's not all we've got, even if we had no way of using radiometric carbon dating we have plenty of other sources that date the Earth, take these for instance (thanks to Paul Smith)

    * Bristlecone Pines: The minimum age of the earth is 8,000 years by annual tree rings in California.
    * European Oaks: The minimum age of the earth is 10,434 years by annual tree rings in Europe (different environment, different genus, not just different species and from two different locations).
    * German Pine: The minimum age of the earth is 12,405 years by adding more annual tree rings in Europe (different environment and species), confirmed by carbon-14 levels in the samples (different information from the same sources).
    * Lake Suigetsu: The minimum age of the earth is 35,987 years by annual varve layers of diatoms in Japan (different process, biology and location).
    * Dunde Ice Core: The minimum age of the earth is 40,000 years by annual layers of ice in China (different process altogether).
    * Greenland Ice Cores: The minimum age of the earth is 37,957 years by visually counting layers, 60,000 years by counting dust layers, 110,000 years by measuring electrical conductivity of layers, and up to 250,000 years by counting of layers below a discontinuity, all counting annual layers of ice in Greenland (different location).
    * Antarctica Ice Cores: The minimum age of the earth is 422,776 years by annual layers of ice in the Vostok Ice Core, extended to 740,000 years with the EPICA Ice Core with an estimated final depth age of 900,000 years. (different location again).
    * Devil’s Hole: The radiometric age of the earth is validated to 567,700 years by annual deposition of calcite in Nevada and correlation to the annual ice core climate data.
    * Coral Heads: The minimum radiometric age of the earth is of coral is >400,000,000 years by radiometric age correlated with the astrono-physics predicted length of the day correlated with the daily growth rings in ancient coral heads. (different location, different environment, different methods).
    * Radiometric Correlations: the radiometric dates for a number of specific events show a consistent accuracy to the methods used, and an age for the earth of ~4,500,000,000 years old.
    * Final Summary: the bottom line is that the valid scientific age for the earth is ~4,500,000,000 years old.

    You can believe what you like, but it doesn't alter the FACT that, if you're a literal 6 day/6000 years ago Creationist YOU ARE WRONG.

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  14. Man, FINALLY, after some more bloviating, Alex B gives us at least one answer.
    There are a lot more questions, and Alex B hasn't answered any of the original ones, but I guess we can examine this one late-coming answer.

    you believe it despite overwhelming evidence contradicting your view.

    Such as?


    your belief is completely irrational and based on faith alone.

    Been over this. See above; try answering the question this time.


    Bristlecone Pines: The minimum age of the earth is 8,000 years by annual tree rings in California.

    1) You do realise that 8000 years falls right in the wheelhouse of YEC, don't you? Why would this bother me?
    2) Please prove their ringing has always been done at the same rate.


    Other trees

    1) Please prove their ringing has always been done at the same rate.
    2) Please prove that they did not begin with some rings.



    Lake Suigetsu, ice cores, Devil's Hole

    1) Please prove that the rate of deposit has always been the same.
    2) Please prove that there were no layers to begin with.



    Radiometric Correlations: the radiometric dates for a number of specific events

    1) Which specific events?
    2) Please answer the questions related to radiometric dating I posed above.

    Bummer. I thought you were going to answer. Turns out you barely even read through the challenging material. You're very faith-full. I prefer thought-through answers to talking points, however.

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  15. I'm really sorry Rhology, do you want a wahhh-mburger with those cries?

    Seriously though, you're a creationist, that makes you an idiot, because you believe something that is demonstrably untrue, and you believe it despite overwhelming evidence contradicting your view. That you then try to shore up your position with this risible circular presup bullshit simply makes you doubly idiotic.

    Mind you, I'm not surprised your lot cling so desperately to anything you think supports your delusion, as you don't want to admit to yourself that your belief is completely irrational and based on faith alone.

    You have my sympathy though, being so far up Sye's arse that you can see out of his eyes can't be comfortable.


    Now that I've converted to atheism, allow me CliffNote my friends superior logics:

    Yeah, you're an idiot because you you're wrong! I feel sorry for you.

    Don't worry, I'm sure you pitiful Christians can grasp those simple facts since they don't have any attending arguments.

    ~Atheists, conquering the world one baseless assertion at a time. All that's required is you act like an complete ass.~

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  16. "Atheists, conquering the world one baseless assertion at a time."

    Says someone who subscribes to the TAG....

    I'm not trying to conquer anything, and I don't believe to any larger 'Atheists Inc.' group. I'm just pointing out idiocy where I see it.

    So, Jonathan, do you claim you DON'T believe that an invisible super being impregnated his own mother so that he could then sacrifice himself to himself to fulfil a need he himself came up with to atone for 'sins' that he himself was the author of (being the source of all things), and then came back to life after three days so he could sit on his own right hand in glory?

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  17. do you claim you DON'T believe that an invisible super being impregnated his own mother so that he could then sacrifice himself to himself to fulfil a need he himself came up with to atone for 'sins' that he himself was the author of (being the source of all things), and then came back to life after three days so he could sit on his own right hand in glory?

    I don't know about Jonathan, but that bears virtually no resemblance to what I believe.
    Something tells me Alex is trying to bamboozle us again instead of answering questions put to him...

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  18. "2) Please prove that there were no layers to begin with."

    So are you suggesting that your god lied to us by making things appear other than they are? Careful now, you're perilously close to calling your god a liar....

    It's not down to me to prove a negative, it's down to the person making the positive claim - you claim those layers/rings/etc were already there - prove it (and please do this without recourse to special pleading or supernatural bullshittery)

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  19. Nope! That's not the way it works.
    I've answered quite a lot of questions. Your turn.

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  20. IOW, you claim those layers/rings/etc proceeded from zero at the same rate - prove it (and please do this without recourse to special pleading or arguing from the present to the past)

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  21. "Something tells me Alex is trying to bamboozle us again instead of answering questions put to him..."

    Er, have I, AT ANY POINT, said 'Hey I'm Alex, your 20 questions answering machine! Fire away with nonsensical crap and I'll jump through every hoop for your amusement!'. I'll save you the time you'll need to check through this entirely tedious thread and say 'No, no I have not said that'

    I have nothing to prove to you, the burden of proof lies entirely with you and your fellow magic adherents.

    Seriously, are you sure you're not all Poes?

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  22. I have nothing to prove to you, the burden of proof lies entirely with you and your fellow blind faith adherents to EGW.

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  23. Did your god lie to us by making things appear old then they really are?

    Yes or No.

    I'm not proceeding any further until you answer that question.

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  24. Well, darn, I guess we're done here b/c you won't answer questions.

    Nice talking to you.

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  25. There we have it, caught in your own argument - answer 'yes' and you're calling your god a liar, answer 'no' and the burden of proof to supply evidence for your claim drops into your lap.

    Thanks for playing.

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  26. Or a third option, which is what I really believe and have written on before.
    But until you show some willingness to defend your own position, no reason to go any further.

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  27. Alex writes,
    Did your god lie to us by making things appear old then they really are?

    Why do you think it is lying if things appear older than they really are? I don't understand why that is a problem. I would expect as much in a world created to be fully functional.

    the argument also assumes a few presuppositions, the most notable being an unbroken uninformatarianism from a point of absolute beginning, which also is founded on many presuppositions.

    Additionally, many of the items you raise, pine trees, sediment rates, ice cores, etc., have nothing to do with "appearance of age." Again, they assume an unbroken uniformitarianism. These items also demonstrate that you are blissfully unaware or superficially aware, of creationist literature on the subject.

    Please try to respond without the use of profanity.

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  28. I see you've met one of my main trolls. And I see that you are finding his "reasoning" to be unchallenging, as I have (I wonder why so many atheists think that doing copy-n-paste from other atheists counts as actual thought). And I see that you have encountered a milder form of "profanity as an argument".

    There are many of us that have felt the "love" of this particular troll.

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  29. @Jonathan:
    Jacob,

    Yes, Christians are monotheists. Did you just come to that realization?

    Thanks for sharing your eureka moment with the rest of though.


    I guess the atheist's point when over your head or you missed his use of the word "ANY". The implication is that the God of the Bible is one of the 4,000+ man-made gods, and yet He is not, and thus the irony that the statement made by the atheist to differentiate himself from Christians is actually something that Christians would readily affirm as well: We don't believe in any man-made gods.

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  30. Alex B. said:

    "It's not down to me to prove a negative, it's down to the person making the positive claim...I have nothing to prove to you, the burden of proof lies entirely with you and your fellow magic adherents."

    1. If taken to mean the negative is the presumed the default position until the positive is proven, then this is a dumb statement.

    This may be typically seen in the village atheism to which Alex B. apparently subscribes, but intelligent and sophisticated atheists, theists, and other thinkers know better.

    2. Alex B.'s premise is the burden of proof lies on the person making the positive claim, while the negative is the default position. If so, what do we do with the person who asserts "we have bodies" in light of the possibility that we're mere brains in a vat? In light of the possibility what we sense via our sensory organs and what we experience is not veridical? Or to look at it another way, while this possibility sounds absurd, is there a knock-down argument against it? An argument which allows one to definitively assert we are not in fact brains in a vat?

    There are arguably good reasons to think we are not brains in a vat, but nothing which totally removes the possibility. Hence we must agree it's possible (if improbable) we're brains in a vat.

    Since we cannot decisively prove beyond a shadow of a doubt the positive statement that we have bodies is veridical given it's possible we could be brains in a vat, then, according to Alex B.'s argument, we should go with the default negative position that we do not have bodies.

    Although this sounds absurd like I said above, that's what Alex B.'s statement entails.

    3. BTW, what Alex B. is arguing here is different from, say, the argument that atheism is more probable than theism and thus requires a lower burden of proof. That's another argument for another day. If Alex B. claims otherwise, he's moving the goal posts.

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  31. I guess the atheist's point when over your head or you missed his use of the word "ANY". The implication is that the God of the Bible is one of the 4,000+ man-made gods, and yet He is not, and thus the irony that the statement made by the atheist to differentiate himself from Christians is actually something that Christians would readily affirm as well: We don't believe in any man-made gods.

    ~Atheists, conquering the world one baseless assertion at a time.~

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  32. Alex,

    Says someone who subscribes to the TAG....

    Who says I subscribe to "TAG"? Some transcendental arguments are good, some aren't. I haven't seen you give any argument that transcendental arguments are invalid or flawed in some way. So is this just more of the usual village atheist modus operandi of scoffing as a substitute for reasoned argument?

    I'm not trying to conquer anything, and I don't believe to any larger 'Atheists Inc.' group. I'm just pointing out idiocy where I see it.

    And I don't "believe to" any larger Christians Inc. group. I'm just pointing out atheist idiocy where I see it.


    So, Jonathan, do you claim you DON'T believe that an invisible super being impregnated his own mother so that he could then sacrifice himself to himself to fulfil a need he himself came up with to atone for 'sins' that he himself was the author of (being the source of all things), and then came back to life after three days so he could sit on his own right hand in glory?

    No I don't believe that. But nice job on continuing to make yourself look like ass.

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  33. I'm sure Alex's mother is very proud of him, and I'm sure she'll be really glad when he moves out.

    In Christ,
    CD

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  34. Alex B. said:

    "My name is Alex, and I have a problem. It's something that has stalked me for years, something that has robbed me of happiness many many times, something that has poisoned the lives of those around me. What is it? It's a crippling, irrational, and downright annoying lack of self confidence."

    I find this rather ironic considering how Alex B. verbally abuses and bullies others such as we see in this combox as well as on his multiple weblogs.

    But perhaps he bullies others in order to feel better about himself?

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  35. Perhaps. He needs Jesus, that's for sure.

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  36. 2) Please prove their ringing has always been done at the same rate.

    1) Please prove their ringing has always been done at the same rate.
    2) Please prove that they did not begin with some rings.

    1) Please prove that the rate of deposit has always been the same.
    2) Please prove that there were no layers to begin with.


    This seems very silly to me. No matter what, some assumptions must be made, but in this case, the assumption that x rate has remained stable because we've not observed it to consistently vary is reasonable.

    But to start with belief, and then to presuppose an unobserved change of rate to justify the starting belief seems to be the wrong way to go about finding truth.

    ReplyDelete
  37. If you are going to be a scientific anti-realist, you have to reject the totality of scientific ideas.

    Why?

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  38. This seems very silly to me.

    So? Arguing that tree rings are supposed to overturn the eyewitness testimony of the God Who was actually there seems quite silly to me.
    Amazingly, during the podcast recording that just concluded, Alex B seemed to think that this was a powerful argument, and I'm just dumbfounded by that.
    Fact: Treerings exist. Some seem to indicate that they've been around longer than 10K years.
    Atheist explanation: Assume uniformitarianism w/o strong evidence and based on that religious faith position, conclude old earth.
    Christian explanation: (Either) The rate of ringing changed and/or God made the trees with some rings.

    Both explain the fact. Which one's base assumption is justifiable? that's the question, but the tree rings themselves don't inform the answer.


    No matter what, some assumptions must be made

    So don't you think that asking for a Christian to provide evidence that God exists is a bit unfair?


    the assumption that x rate has remained stable because we've not observed it to consistently vary is reasonable.

    Anyone can make naked assertions.
    The assumption that x rate has did not remain stable because we've only observed an infinitessimally tiny fraction of all instances is reasonable.


    But to start with belief,

    Like naturalism? Yep.

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  39. Creation scientists have answers to these supposed old earth "evidences":

    • Bristlecone Pines: http://creation.com/evidence-for-multiple-ring-growth-per-year-in-bristlecone-pines

    • Dendrochronology overview: http://creation.com/tree-ring-dating-dendrochronology

    • Lake Suigetsu: “Let us consider attempts to check carbon-14 dates with other supposed indicators of time. It was recently claimed that a count of presumably annual varves at Lake Suigetsu, Japan, agreed with 14C dates to at least 38,000 years before the present. Conventional uniformitarian thinking would maintain that this agreement is powerful evidence for the accuracy of the dates: After all, we have agreement between two completely independent dating systems. Furthermore, one of the dating methods does not even require radioactive decay. Well, not so fast, as it recently has turned out. As dates from other ‘time indicators’ became available, the majority of them strongly disagreed with 14C. These new dates typically gave values as much as 10,000 years older than carbon-14 (within the 14C range of dates spanning 30,000 to 40,000 years before the present). Note that these dates are published, and so are presumably the ‘good’ dates. So what is to be done with the data from Lake Suigetsu? As always, whenever an age determination falls out of favor, a rationalization must be invoked to justify its rejection. As documented in my earlier-cited works, there exists an elaborate Orwellian language for routinely dealing with unwanted dates. In the case of Lake Suigetsu, a set of ‘missing varves’ was invoked. But what if the Lake Suigetsu data remains favored, for one reason or another? Never fear. Other rationalizations are available, just in case, for the data that disagrees with the Lake Suigetsu 14C chronology. These include incorrect initial 230Th correction for the 230Th dates, unsupported gain or loss of uranium or thorium, a variety of possible errors in the correlation of deep-sea cores, etc.” [http://creation.com/national-geographic-plays-the-dating-game]

    ReplyDelete
  40. • Ice Cores: http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/fit/ice-cores-thousands-years http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/tj/v15/n3/greenland

    • Devil’s Hole: http://creation.com/images/pdfs/tj/j13_1/j13_1_11-13.pdf

    • Coral Heads: “Coral reefs: no support for long ages - Despite the amazing design of corals, evolutionists from Darwin to the present day have hijacked them for their own purposes. In particular, they argued that it took longer than the biblical timescale for huge coral reefs to form. Dr Carter counters:

    “There are several things to consider before we concede the territory to the evolutionists. First, there is a difference between an individual coral animal and a coral reef created by thousands of corals over time. Not everything labeled a reef in the geologic record was an actual reef. Sometimes, a “reef” is declared from just a coral fragment, yet from Noah’s Flood, we would expect to find many broken and isolated fragments buried in the rocks, which we do. Second, even significant modern reefs, like Australia’s Great Barrier Reef (GBR), are recent for an evolutionist. During the peak of the Ice Age (creationists would not say “last” but “only” Ice Age), the basement rocks of the GBR were dry land. So the entire modern reef must have grown since the end of the ‘last’ Ice Age, which is less than 10,000 years ago in the evolutionary model. For us, the Flood was about 4,500 years ago with the maximum extent of ice buildup perhaps 500 years after that. Scientifically, there is little difference between 10,000 and 4,000 years, when the dates are based on the growth rates of corals in unknown or assumed conditions—rates which are likely underestimated several times. And third, there are no large, modern-type coral reefs deep inside the rock record. Every one of which I am aware is at or near the surface. There is nothing to indicate they have been growing on the earth for millions of years, irrespective of their evolutionary ‘age’. There are other reefs in the fossil record made from clams, algae, and extinct tabulate or rugose corals, but some of these do not have any modern analogues. I am currently developing ideas to explain these reefs in the context of the Flood, but there is still a lot of work to do!” [http://creation.com/robert-carter-interview-genetics-corals]

    Radiometric Correlations: http://creation.com/radiometric-dating-questions-and-answers

    http://creation.com/images/pdfs/other/5292wiens_dating.pdf

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  41. Dusman, can you provide any links to *respected* sources? Or do you only have pro-Creationist sites to prevent as evidence?

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  42. Alex B and his appeals to authority. He lets others do his thinking for him.

    Hey Alex, how about you go ahead and answer the questions I've posed above about these?

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  43. Email them to me and I'll email replies back.

    Listened back to the podcast, I think I was extremely polite to you throughout (and I believe Jim is emailing you to apologise for losing his cool) - rather than reverting to your previously belligerent online style I kind of hoped you'd be a bit more human after actually talking to me....

    Anyway, email the questions and I'll email answers back, you can then publish them however you like.

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  44. Why the request for email I wonder when the questions are already posted here?

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  45. Alex,

    "Dusman, can you provide any links to *respected* sources?"

    1. No True Scotsman fallacy.

    2. The scientist who wrote the article on dendrochronology, Don Batten, has a Ph.D. in plant physiology and has done research in this specific area. Most of the men who wrote the articles in the radiometric dating section have used these techniques for years and at least two of them are credentialed Ph.D. level geologists with a combined total of over 50 years professional experience. I privately interacted via e-mail with one of them about a particular experiment he did wherein he demonstrated that a particular radiometric dating technique was unreliable. The two guys who wrote the articles on ice cores are scientists that have worked in their respective fields and have professionally been involved with ice core work; one with an M.S. in atmospheric science and the other with a Ph.D. in geology.

    The scientist who wrote the blurb about corals has a Ph.D. focusing on bioluminescence and has also done coral research.

    3. These links weren't provided for you, they were provided for the Christians who can justify the concept of evidence in a non-fallacious way. The material is for their own personal edification and study. I don't expect you to receive this evidence because evidence isn't the issue, the interpretation of it is.

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  46. Alex B, et al.,

    I managed to track down the original paper that was the source of AiG's attempt to dismiss radiocarbon dating (the Lake Suigetsu paragraph posted by Dusman). AiG misuses a paper by Beck, et al., to suggest that C-14 dating is worthless. But this not at all what this paper is saying.

    The paper is entitled "Extremely Large Variations of
    Atmospheric 14C Concentration
    During the Last Glacial Period".


    http://ijolite.geology.uiuc.edu/02FallClass/geo433/papers/14C_production_to%2045ka.pdf

    Now, I'm not a geophysicists, so I'm not sure I understand everything that is said in this paper, but it hardly says that C-14dating doesn't work. In fact, it says that there is tight agreement with respect to dates derived by different methods and at different site up to about 30,000 years ago (see Fig 3 in the paper).

    Then between 30 K and 45 K years ago, to repeat the title, there are extremely large variations of
    atmospheric 14C concentration during the last glacial period. This results in bigger error bars on the C-14 dates, and the paper discusses the reasons for the varation in C-14 and attempt to provide a better calibration curve for those using the C-14 method. However, it most definitely does not invalidate or discredit the method itself. C-14 dating ain't perfect, but it works well enough to disprove YEC claims.

    I have learned that the trick with things such as AiG's attempt to discredit something is to find the original paper and read it yourself. It rarely says with AiG says it says.

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  47. Bernd,

    You think the AiG article says the footnoted paper proves C14 doesn't work, but apparently you don't know how footnotes function.

    The AiG article does not cite the paper in question as proving that C14 dating doesn't work.

    Here is what the AiG says the article in question supports: "new dates typically gave values as much as 10,000 years older than carbon-14 (within the 14C range of dates spanning 30,000 to 40,000 years before the present)."

    The footnote (which references the paper) provides support for that sentence. That's how footnotes work, you see. They don't necessarily provide support for the entire thesis of the paper, but for the immediate claim to which they are attached.

    I have learned that the trick with things such as people's attempt to discredit AiG is to find the original paper and read it yourself. It rarely says what the AiG-detractor says it says.

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  48. "The AiG article does not cite the paper in question as proving that C14 dating doesn't work."

    Ok, very good, glad to hear it.

    But then what is the point of citing this paper? If the paper says that C-14 dating works, and AiG is citing this paper, then AiG is citing a paper that supports what AiG claims isn't so.

    Why on earth is AiG citing this paper?

    They obviously don't want people to actually read the paper, because paper provides strong support for the conclusion that C-14 dating works reasonably well. Surely they would only cite this if they thought is somehow discredits C-14 dating. But if they are citing the paper and then claiming that C-14 dating doesn't work, then they are misrepresenting the conclusions of the paper.

    I don't get it.

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  49. Ok, very good, glad to hear it.

    But then what is the point of citing this paper? If the paper says that C-14 dating works, and AiG is citing this paper, then AiG is citing a paper that supports what AiG claims isn't so.

    Why on earth is AiG citing this paper?

    They obviously don't want people to actually read the paper, because paper provides strong support for the conclusion that C-14 dating works reasonably well. Surely they would only cite this if they thought is somehow discredits C-14 dating. But if they are citing the paper and then claiming that C-14 dating doesn't work, then they are misrepresenting the conclusions of the paper.

    I don't get it.


    That you don't get it doesn't say much for your reading skills. The paper supports the particular point AiG was making where they cite the paper. If they didn't want anyone to read it they wouldn't have cited it.

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  50. Alex B,

    The questions I'm referring to, which you haven't interacted with yet, are found at the 10/07/2011 8:53 AM comment.

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  51. "The paper supports the particular point AiG was making where they cite the paper."

    Since my reading skills are poor, perhaps you can tell what the point was.

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  52. "If they didn't want anyone to read it they wouldn't have cited it."

    Those who read the paper will come to conclusions that AiG doesn't like. It still doesn't make any sense.

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  53. Since my reading skills are poor, perhaps you can tell what the point was.

    In all honesty, you'd have to either be retarded or playing dumb because of an extreme bias. In either case, I doub't you'll understand me any better for the same reason you can't understand the AiG sentence, which is plain enough: "new dates typically gave values as much as 10,000 years older than carbon-14 (within the 14C range of dates spanning 30,000 to 40,000 years before the present)."

    Those who read the paper will come to conclusions that AiG doesn't like. It still doesn't make any sense.

    I read the paper and I didn't come to any conclusions AiG doesn't like. So, again, it makes perfect sense for them to cite the paper since the paper supports the claim in which they cited the paper.

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  54. "New dates typically gave values as much as 10,000 years older than carbon-14 (within the 14C range of dates spanning 30,000 to 40,000 years before the present)."

    I think that you've taken my question a bit too literally. I'm asking about the purpose and use of this sentence.

    What is the goal of presenting the sentence? What is AiG trying to say with the sentence? What it the point to be made using this sentence? What is the argument that is allegedly supported by this sentence? I assume that it's has not been dropped at random in the AiG article.


    "I read the paper and I didn't come to any conclusions AiG doesn't like."

    Hmm. Perhaps I've misunderstood AiG. Let's see.

    I thought that AiG would say that C-14 doesn't work and/or can't be used to contradict such statements as a global flood occurred in 2500 BC (more or less). However, this paper offers a considerable amount of evidence that there was no global flood around 2500 BC. I would think that this paper creates a problem for the global flood view.

    Am I missing something?

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  55. Am I missing something?

    Yes, try reading the AiG (actually Creation Ministries) article again. Specifically the paragraph in question and the one following where they cite the paper again.

    I don't have time to entertain a game of playing dumb.

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  56. I did read the rest of the AiG article. I read it several days ago. As I said earlier, the ariticle is attempting to discredit C-14 dating with statements like:


    "There exists an elaborate Orwellian language for routinely dealing with unwanted dates."

    "But what if the Lake Suigetsu data remains favored, for one reason or another? Never fear. Other rationalizations are available, just in case."

    "It is all the more important for creationist scientists to expose the flawed claims of all the presumed methods of age determination."

    Clearly, the paragraphs in question are an attempt to undermine confidence in dating methods.


    As part of that effort, they cherry-pick a bit of information from the Beck paper. The article is citing the Beck paper as part of an attempt to show that C-14 dating doesn't work or can't be trusted (and we must tell the children immediately!). The paper is being used to support the attack on C-14 dating.

    However, the Beck paper provides strong support for C-14 dating. AiG wants to discredit C-14 dating, but the cited paper does the opposite.

    (The article also appear to be arguing against a straw man. Science doesn't deal in "gospel truths". Theories and methods a constantly modified in light of new data. No big deal, in fact, this is one of the strengths of the method. It's not Orwellian, it's just science.)

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