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  #11  
Old 7th October 2013, 12:06 AM
Atheoi Atheoi is offline
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Logic please said View Post
One would hope that the requirements of a National Curriculum would mitigate against some of those excesses. Still no cause for complacency, I acknowledge.
It needs to be enforced. And I can imagine they would probably teach it in such a way as to not teach it properly. For example when

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describing mutations as changes in DNA or chromosomes and outlining the factors that contribute to causing mutations (source)
the teacher will add, "But remember, boys and girls, there's no such thing as a beneficial mutation and there has never been one instance of information being added to a genome."

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The theory of evolution by natural selection explains the diversity of living things and is supported by a range of scientific evidence (source)
"But it's only a theory and there are big holes in it and the majority of dating methods point to a young earth and those that don't are wrong."
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  #12  
Old 7th October 2013, 12:16 AM
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Atheoi said View Post
It needs to be enforced. And I can imagine they would probably teach it in such a way as to not teach it properly. For example when



the teacher will add, "But remember, boys and girls, there's no such thing as a beneficial mutation and there has never been one instance of information being added to a genome."



"But it's only a theory and there are big holes in it and the majority of dating methods point to a young earth and those that don't are wrong."
Indeed. It's something for the AFA and other secular organisations to keep working on and towards, I reckon.
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  #13  
Old 7th October 2013, 07:09 AM
EvilDRMike EvilDRMike is offline
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Damn that is a long and rather harrowing tale.

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  #14  
Old 9th October 2013, 10:01 AM
nsewell nsewell is offline
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Fantastic read Atheoi, it's a great account.

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I don't really blame my family for feeding me disinformation. I think they genuinely believed in God, creation science and all the urban legends and anecdotes that "prove" the Bible. My parents were probably afraid we'd be brainwashed if we watched TV and went to a public school.
You remember the one about the drill in Siberia? Many of the people that are astonished to find young people don't believe in god also are astonished to find that a quick google of their chain emails brings up snopes articles.

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I think most rank-and-file Christians genuinely believe the disinformation, and at one point I would have said the same for most of the pedlars of disinformation. But just take a look at Ray Comfort's Facebook page. Time and again he is corrected when he makes inaccurate or untrue statements, and time and again he recycles the same lies. Diddo for Ken Ham. I now have little sympathy for most of the guys at the top who perpetuate Christian pseudoscience.
There was a quote from Comfort on facebook that went something like "what would you do if tomorrow I could present you with evidence that scientifically disproves god" and Comfort replied "I'd pray to god for scientific evidence of his existence". That and that he thinks "bibliophile" is an insult.

Also, an interesting fact about epilepsy, most claimed alien abductees suffer from temporal lobe epilepsy:

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Philip Klass’ book on alien abductions:
According to Dr. Barry L. Beyerstein, a psychologist in the Brain Behavior Laboratory of Canada’s Simon Fraser University,
persons with temporal lobe epilepsy—referred to as TLEs—are characterized by “their humorlessness, excessive moral zeal, and
tendency to find profound meaning in mundane events.” Based on a controlled study of behavioral traits of TLEs conducted by
Dr. David Bear, cited by Beyerstein, I learned that TLEs have a “penchant for somber moralization, idiosyncratic cosmological
speculation and suspiciousness toward those who question their ideas
.”
Further, TLEs have a “preoccupation with religious and mystical matters” and have a history of multiple conversions from one
religion to another, according to Beyerstein. He cited other studies that show that TLEs are “particularly likely to have experienced
a variety of spontaneous events widely regarded as paranormal... Reports of ‘mystical-religious presence’ were especially prevalent,” he said.
This description doesn't just cover alien abduction experts, it would also cover people like Paul of Tarsus.
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  #15  
Old 9th October 2013, 01:10 PM
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Default Re: My De-conversion Story

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nsewell said View Post

There was a quote from Comfort on facebook that went something like "what would you do if tomorrow I could present you with evidence that scientifically disproves god" and Comfort replied "I'd pray to god for scientific evidence of his existence". That and that he thinks "bibliophile" is an insult.
I fucking love Ray Comfort. He just keeps getting funnier. He would pray to a deity (that was proven non-existent) for a sign of its existence.

That's possibly the best quote ever.
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  #16  
Old 9th October 2013, 07:37 PM
nsewell nsewell is offline
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rayne said View Post
I fucking love Ray Comfort. He just keeps getting funnier. He would pray to a deity (that was proven non-existent) for a sign of its existence.

That's possibly the best quote ever.
I think the original was in a facebook screenshot on reddit.

Talkorigins has this model for the extreme form of tribalism/cultural cognition:

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Maxwell suggested a famous demon which could violate the laws of thermodynamics. The demon, sitting between two rooms, controls a gate between the two rooms. When the demon sees a speedy molecule coming his way (from room A), he opens the gate and lets the speedy molecule leave the room and when he sees a slow molecule coming at the gate (from room A), he holds it closed. Oppositely, when he sees a speedy molecule coming at the gate from room B he closes the gate but when he sees a slow molecule from room B coming toward the gate he opens it. In this way, the demon segregates the fast moving molecules into one room from the slow ones in the other. Since temperature of a gas is related to the velocity of the molecules, the demon would increase the temperature of room B and cool room A without any expenditure of energy. And since a temperature difference can be used to create useful work, the demon would create a perpetual motion machine.

Maxwell's demon was shown to fail by Szilard who showed that the demon needed to use light (and expend energy) to determine a fast molecule from a slow one. This energy spent to collect information meant that the demon couldn't violate the 2nd law.

The reason I mention this is because I realized tonight that the YECs have a demon of their own. In a conversation with a YEC, I mentioned certain problems which he needed to address. Instead of addressing them, he claimed that he didn't have time to do the research... And with other YECs, they claim lack of expertise to evaluate the argument and thus won't make a judgment about the validity of the criticism. Still other YECs refuse to read things that might disagree with them.

Thus was born the realization that there is a dangerous demon on the loose. When I was a YEC, I had a demon that did similar things for me that Maxwell's demon did for thermodynamics. Morton's demon was a demon who sat at the gate of my sensory input apparatus and if and when he saw supportive evidence coming in, he opened the gate. But if he saw contradictory data coming in, he closed the gate. In this way, the demon allowed me to believe that I was right and to avoid any nasty contradictory data. Fortunately, I eventually realized that the demon was there and began to open the gate when he wasn't looking.

However, my conversations have made me aware that each YEC is a victim of my demon. Morton's demon makes it possible for a person to have his own set of private facts which others are not privy to, allowing the YEC to construct a theory which is perfectly supported by the facts which the demon lets through the gate. And since these are the only facts known to the victim, he feels in his heart that he has explained everything. Indeed, the demon makes people feel morally superior and more knowledgeable than others.

The demon makes its victim feel very comfortable as there is no contradictory data in view. The demon is better than a set of rose colored glasses. The demon's victim does not understand why everyone else doesn't fall down and accept the victim's views. After all, the world is thought to be as the victim sees it and the demon doesn't let through the gate the knowledge that others don't see the same thing. Because of this, the victim assumes that everyone else is biased, or holding those views so that they can keep their job, or, in an even more devious attack by my demon, they think that their opponents are actually demon possessed themselves or sons of Satan. This is a devious demon!

He can make people think that the geologic column doesn't exist even if one posts examples on the internet. He can make people believe that radioactive dating doesn't work even if you show them comparisons of tree rings compared to radiocarbon dating. He can make people ignore layer after layer of footprints and burrows in the geologic column and believe that burrowing can occur and animals can walk around unimpeded during a global flood. He can make people think that the sun is shrinking, that the stars are all within 6000 light years of the earth, or that God made pictures in that light of events which never happened. He can make people believe that fossils aren't the remains of animals and are 'petrifactions' placed there by the devil. He can make people ignore modern measurements of continental motion, stellar formation, or biological speciation. He can make people believe that 75,000 feet of sediment over an area 200 by 100 miles can be deposited in a few hundred years, and he can make people believe that Noah trained animals to poop into buckets on command. He can make people deny transitional forms which have traits clearly halfway between two groups. This is a dangerous demon.

But one thing that those unaffected by this demon don't understand is that the victim is not lying about the data. The demon only lets his victim see what the demon wants him to see and thus the victim, whose sensory input is horribly askew, feels that he is totally honest about the data. The victim doesn't know that he is the host to an evil parasite and indeed many of their opponents don't know that as well since the demon is smart enough to be too small to be seen.

But unlike Maxwell's demon, Morton's demon doesn't expend any energy--he gets his victim to expend it for him. He can get his victim to expend massive amounts of intellectual energy figuring out how to convince the world that they are wrong. The victim will spend hours reading supportive books or searching through scientific literature noting only those portions which support the YEC position. And the victim will spend lots of energy trying to convince others to come see things the way they do. Thus, the demon gets its victims to spend energy to help it spread the infection.

The demon drives his victim to go to YEC conventions so that the demon can rest. By making his victim be with those equally afflicted, the demon doesn't have to shut the door or even be watchful. This is because it allows the demon time to rest when all that is in the room is supportive data. For the victim, there is comfort in numbers even if they are few.

Those who try to help the poor victims escape the ravages of Morton's demon wear themselves out typing e-mails explaining data and facts which never get through the demon's gate. After years of weariness, the philanthropic individual dies of fatigue. This is oh so devilish a situation!
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  #17  
Old 9th October 2013, 10:29 PM
Atheoi Atheoi is offline
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Default Re: My De-conversion Story

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nsewell said View Post
You remember the one about the drill in Siberia?
My maths teacher told me the story of miners who drilled into hell in grade 8.

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Many of the people that are astonished to find young people don't believe in god also are astonished to find that a quick google of their chain emails brings up snopes articles.
Indeed. But do you remember the world before the internet? I found these videos interesting.



It shows the challenges scientists had debating creationists back in the 80's. Refuting creationist disinformation was really difficult. People couldn't just google the answer. In one of the videos, a professor recounts how he was stumped by the moon-dust argument and had to phone Carl Sagan for the solution. Imagine how difficult it was for those who didn't have the luxury of calling Carl Sagan. My father took me to my first creation science seminar in 1985, when I was 7, and bought me a copy of Jack Chick's Primal Man?, which incidentally features in one of the videos. I wish I had known about the National Center for Science Education back then.

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There was a quote from Comfort on facebook that went something like "what would you do if tomorrow I could present you with evidence that scientifically disproves god" and Comfort replied "I'd pray to god for scientific evidence of his existence". That and that he thinks "bibliophile" is an insult.
I follow Ray's FB page for shits and giggles, and I remember when he did that, threaten to ban a woman for calling someone a bibliophile.

Last edited by Atheoi; 9th October 2013 at 10:32 PM.
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  #18  
Old 2nd November 2013, 12:07 AM
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Great to see you come out of that home situation with your reasoning intact. The father being an heavy influence of most up bringings, but you didn't let it wash and you kept questioning it all.

Well done atheoi. That is truly amazing.
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  #19  
Old 11th July 2016, 10:58 PM
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Strato Strato is offline
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Default Re: My De-conversion Story

I think about this time of year 25 years ago I got unborn again.

So I'm celebrating my mental birthday. Cheers friends, scholars, comrades.



Atheoi's OP on this thread is some story.
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