The official RRS defeats Way of the Master thread

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The official RRS defeats Way of the Master thread

 

This is it. This is the official thread that Kelly and Sapient will try to interact with as many visitors as they can. If you are new here, welcome aboard. If viewing this from the homepage you can click the title of the thread, create an account, and post your comments. Kelly and Sapient will not have time to address all the email and would like to keep all of their exchanges public for the benefit of the readers who are curious. Soon we will have a downloadable document available right from this post that will expose as many arguments as we can expose from the ABC Nightline Face Off with Ray Comfort and Kirk Cameron. Here are the highlights of the face off from our eyes...

 

Did we make mistakes in the full debate? Yes. We stumbled on a few words, made an inaccurate point or two, and made a weak point at a moment or two. Ironically our worst points still seemed to be too much for them. So while we welcome criticism, especially constructive, please keep in mind that we feel we have a good handle on what we did wrong. We'll grow, learn, and get better. What we're really hoping for in this thread is for the actual content and discussion about gods existence to be brought into question. Challenge us to continue, and we will continue to respond to your claims. If you are a theist, please feel free to post your scientific evidence for God, leaving out the miserable arguments that Ray Comfort has already been beaten on of course. If you are having trouble finding the video on ABCs website, you can find most/all of the videos here. DIGG it.

A thread on our message board that has links to the entire unedited debate.

Other threads of interest:

Nightline Editing Bias - The Supporting Data

Gregfl starts a thread about Bashirs big blunder and the Nightline portrayal.

Some of the Christian mail coming in [YOU RESPOND] about the debate.

Pertaining to Jesus Mythicism A thorough examination of the evidence for Jesus by Rook Hawkins

A Silence That Screams - (No contemporary historical accounts for "jesus) by Todangst

Video from Rook outlining the basics of Jesus Mythicism

 

UPDATE Sapient spoke with ABC and voiced concerns leveled by many atheists in the community that the editing job for the Nightline piece gave Ray and Kirk a free pass. The most commonly voiced criticism of ABC was that it managed to show the debate as somewhat even and that there was no clear victor. This discussion was accepted only under the understanding that Ray and Kirk would prove God exists without invoking faith or the Bible. Anyone that understood the format saw that Ray and Kirk failed at their premise as soon as the proof of God became the Ten Commandments. ABC was made aware that commentary like "It was difficult to know if either side could claim victory" gave the impression that they were pandering to their largely Christian audience. While Sapient understood that this may be a wise business move, it was noted that it wasn't an accurate representation of the discussion. The Rational Response Squad brought it's "B" game and still destroyed every claim Kirk and Ray threw at them. In more positive news, we were made aware that the ABC unedited video of the debate was viewed over 160,000 times in the first 12 hours. Hopefully a few people have found the strength to overcome their god delusion.

AND THE PWNAGE CONTINUES:


THE FULL DEBATE!

 


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Answer to your question

HonestQuestioner wrote:
I have found this debate very interesting, and I have enjoyed reading all of the comments on this board. It has been very thought provoking. My question comes from more of a biological background. I am a physician and I must confess that my understanding of complex physics is not what it once was. That being said, I do have a decent understanding of biological systems. My question for the atheist crowd is, where did the information come from? Let me explain. When I look at, say, cascade reactions that take place in the human body, there are interactions between molecules. One molecule comes into contact with another molecule in a cascade reaction, and then, after the contact, the second molecule goes on to have contact with another molecule, and so on. And eventually, the desired endpoint is reached. Now, when the molecules interact, something is passed between them. What is passed is information. The molecules themselves are not information. The intangible message is something else. And it can only be 'understood' in the context of a code. We all know very well that there is a complex code within each of our cells. Now, codes do not, in any experience that I am aware of, come into being without the input of intelligent information. So my question is, where did the information come from? I think this question goes beyond the physics arguments, because it necessarily requires intelligent input. We have a code that allows passage of information that is not material. And codes require information to exist. So, where did the information come from? Evolutionary theories do attempt to explain how inorganic molecules came together to form biological structures, and I think that in itself is a huge leap, but that still doesn't explain how these 'structures' pass an intangible message, and why would they do that? I have asked this question of atheists before, and I have never recieved a good answer. I anxiously await your thoughts. Thank you for allowing me to be a part of this discussion.

My answer to your question is this. Religious people seem to think that if science is real that it must be able to explain every aspect of science. If you were asking this type of question 500 years ago you might have asked, "Why can't science prove that the world is round and not flat"? The answer would be that at the time science could not prove this because they did not have the proper technology to answer your question. Does this mean that the world is flat? No of course not, even though the Pope threatened to behead his own college roomate for suggesting it.

Science has never made the claim that it can answer all questions. Only religious people do that. Even if in the near future science is able to prove how information is transfered between molecules there will always be a new question that science cannot currently prove one way or another. I don't believe we will ever get to a point when we know everything about science and the universe. But science doesn't claim to have all the answers like religion does.

Religion has been proven wrong so many times by science and yet even when they are forced to admit they are wrong they claim to have the answers to all the questions that science currently does not have. For instance religions worldwide believed for 2000 years that there was no life on other planets. But just a few years ago Pope John Paul was forced to admit the existance of life on other planets when microbial life was found inside a meteor believed to be from the planet Mars.

You obviously believe in religion of some sort. Religions have made claims for thousands of years that have been proven wrong and yet rather than question your religion for obviously lying about having the answers to these questions you continue to question science.

Scientific theory is only formed after much gathering and studying of scientific evidence. A theory is formed based on the study of this evidence. If the theory can be 100% proven then it becomes scientific fact. If it cannot be proven without a doubt then it stays a theory until the time that it is disproven or proven.

The theory of Evolution is a scientific theory, that's true. However it is based on millions of pieces of scientific evidence. What is not a theory however is that Dinosaur's lived 65 million years ago. That is a scientific fact and can be proven. It is a scientific fact that the universe was created billions of years ago. There is no question or debate about it.

There is absolutely not one single piece of evidence indicating that there is a god. The bible only proves that there were people who lived 2000 years ago who believed in the christian religion. Trust me in 2000 years they will insist that L. Ron Hubbard is a God simply because people have believed it for so long.

This answers your question.. Your quest is finally over.


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Better explanation.

Cory T wrote:

Well, I said on my blog that Kelly and Brian winning this debate was a foregone conclusion before the debate ever even started.  I maintain that you guys won before you even started because of the terms of the debate.

Comfort states that a painting is proof positive of a painter, and the RRS adds the sarcastic caption that it only proof of a painting.  I disagree.  A painting as intricate as the Mona Lisa implies a painter, because no  amount of accidental bombardment of a canvass with paint will produce a picture like that.  With that in mind, I propose that a planet as intricately designed and as thoughtfully placed as Earth requires a Creator.  A universe as finely tuned as our requires a Creator.

I have only proved deism.  I'm a far cry away from proving the Christian God exists.  For that, I will need to turn to the pages of the Bible, which is, of course, against the terms of the debate.

This makes the entire debate an absurd waste of time for everyone involved.

That doesn't change the fact that, as far as I could see, Cameron and Comfort repeatedly ignored the rules of the debate and invoked the Bible.  They argued from emotion rather than trying to focus on the science involved.  They used the typical witness tools of speaking to the conscience.  Their motive was to evangelize and reach the lost, not win a debate.

I can't say that they did a bad thing, nor will I go against the notion that God led them to handle things in this fashion, I will say that based on the rules of the debate, they lost the first time Ray mentioned the 10 Commandments.

If Cameron and Comfort represent the best of Christian apologetics, our side is in trouble. 

Yeah I did not agree with what Brian said. The painting does prove the existance of the artist. But that only proves that Leonardo DaVinci existed. Just as the book of Mark proves there was a person named Mark who wrote the book, and the books of John, Luke, and Matthew were written by men with those names.

But to say that by putting those books together and saying that the Bible was written by god and that the existance of the book is proof there is a god is like saying that they Mona Lisa proves there was a model named Mona Lisa who looks just like the woman in the painting ever existed. In fact no one knows if Leonardo used a model for that painting or not. Even if it did however that would simply mean that a real live human being existed. Not a god.

The Bible only proves that in the days of the writters of the books of the bible that there were people who believed in the christian religion.

As I stated in my previous post. In 2000 years L. Ron Hubbard will probably be worshipped as a god by Scientologists and they too will say that he must be a God simply because people have believed it for so long.

That would be just as absurd as saying the bible is fact because it's a really old book.


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HonestQuestioner wrote:

HonestQuestioner wrote:
The molecules themselves are not information. The intangible message is something else. And it can only be 'understood' in the context of a code. We all know very well that there is a complex code within each of our cells. Now, codes do not, in any experience that I am aware of, come into being without the input of intelligent information. So my question is, where did the information come from? I think this question goes beyond the physics arguments, because it necessarily requires intelligent input. We have a code that allows passage of information that is not material. And codes require information to exist. So, where did the information come from? Evolutionary theories do attempt to explain how inorganic molecules came together to form biological structures, and I think that in itself is a huge leap, but that still doesn't explain how these 'structures' pass an intangible message, and why would they do that? I have asked this question of atheists before, and I have never recieved a good answer. I anxiously await your thoughts. Thank you for allowing me to be a part of this discussion.

You assert it is intangible, but have you any evidence to suppose intangible things?  What intangle things do you have evidence for?  Describe its mass and consistancy?  If it doens't have these qualities why would it need physical matter to transfer it in a "cascade reaction"? 

Sounds made up...
Agnostic Atheist
No, I am not angry at your imaginary friends or enemies.


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Long time reader, first

Long time reader, first time poster....

I was going to write a long reply, but then I read nncarroll's post above and it pretty much covered everything I was planning on writing. So, I will just say that, based on what I watched this afternoon on the ABC website, you guys did a great job with the debate. I was really looking forward to getting a little more on Nightline, but with their hack-job of a cut, I was very disappointed. However, the highlight of the Nightline show for me was the look on Sapient's face when Kirk pulled out his evolution pictures....

Cheers,
Me


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There is no contradiction

There is no contradiction between the universe having always existed and being only 13.5 billion years old. It may be that there simply isn't any time earlier than 13.5 billion years ago. This is somewhat analogous to there being no point on the earth north of the north pole. ("Always existed" doesn't mean existed for infinitely many years. It just means there is no time that it hasn't.)

If that is difficult to comprehend, you may need to revise some basic assumptions about what time is and how it relates to space and matter. Einstein demonstrated something truly ground breaking. In essence, he pointed out that we don't really exist in three spatial dimensions and one fixed time dimension, as Newton assumed. Rather what we have is four spacetime dimensions (or more, if string theory is right).  The distinction between which are space dimensions and which is time is fundamentally blurred. In effect which direction is timelike through a certain point depends on each observer's motion; one observer will observe forward in time to be in a slightly different direction than another. This shows up as length contraction and time dilation, which together can be considered as a simple rotation of reference frames in 4D spacetime - in effect, time pointing a different way. And gravity causes spacetime to curve. One leading theory is that at the point of singularity 13.5B years ago, spacetime was so extremely curved that all directions from there are futureward - no direction at that point was pastward; even more bizarre, no direction was even upward or downward or left or right either. Like at the north pole, many directions are all south, and there isn't any meaning to east or west. Step away from the north pole and things are more normal.  Away from the singularity, things are more normal.

There are also philosophical considerations that make many people think that the universe necessarily exists. There is nothing god could do about it. Even if a god could exist, it would have no more power to prevent the universe from existing than to prevent the number five from being prime.

 


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I haven't seen Nightline

I haven't seen Nightline but I'm disheartened to hear that the editing has been biased towards Ray and Cameron.  But it does show they're scared if they feel they have to present the Christian side in a good light.

Re. the painting argument (or watch or car etc).  Is it logical to compare the creation of a manmade object to something that occurs in nature?

 


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Proud Of You Both

Good job, guys! I am proud of you.


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I'd first like to say I

I'd first like to say I love the intro you got there, but you're scaring the republican and democrats. You know the ones I mean <_<

I just watched the nightline show and because the theists where, to me, having such a hard time I thought I'd help them.

 

I also hope to get my hands on the full debate, but what I've seen so far seems like it went well in person.


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I'd first like to say I

I'd first like to say I love the intro you got there, but you're scaring the republican and democrats. You know the ones I mean <_<

I just watched the nightline show and because the theists where, to me, having such a hard time I thought I'd help them.

I also hope to get my hands on the full debate, but what I've seen so far seems like it went well in person.


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I watched up to the point

I watched up to the point when Kirk decided he didn't want to respond, that "I think people will figure it out". Followed by a bunch of not knowing where to go afterwards. A concession of defeat less than 20 minutes in.

Good job Brian and Kelly. Small weaknesses you may have shown, but even the weakened fort bounced the formerly confident theists without trembling. They just couldn't handle it.

Proud Canadian, Enlightened Atheist, Gaming God.


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Cory T wrote: Comfort

Cory T wrote:

Comfort states that a painting is proof positive of a painter, and the RRS adds the sarcastic caption that it only proof of a painting. I disagree. A painting as intricate as the Mona Lisa implies a painter, because no amount of accidental bombardment of a canvass with paint will produce a picture like that. With that in mind, I propose that a planet as intricately designed and as thoughtfully placed as Earth requires a Creator. A universe as finely tuned as our requires a Creator.

 

A being as intricate and complex as a human being implies a creator because no amount of accidental bombardment of matter will produce a being like that.  With that in mind, I propose that a creator as intricately designed and as god requires a creator.


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Quote: Well, that's one

Quote:
Well, that's one theory. But another equally plausible theory is that a Higher Being exists and humans know this innately.

Sorry this is not in any way “equally plausible” because you are the one asserting that 1) a god exists outside of the universe and its laws; 2) this god has the ability to speak to us on this speck of a planet (innately or otherwise); and 3) we have the capacity to interpret this omni message and understand it. Mind you, the message itself and the conduit of communication have to cross a celestial boundary we don’t even know exists. Rather presumptuous of you on quite a few levels.

It is far more likely that the only gods that “exist” are those born of human intellect and not of some innate transistor receiving process that gives us “the truth from somewhere out there.” As others have alluded to, gods are probably the product of our desire not to die, which has whipped itself up into dogmas that allow people to reconfigure dreams, NDE’s, weather patterns and abstract shapes on tortillas into “innate” messages from gods. Throw in some drugs smoked at the campfire, a rudimentary spoken-written language, and later political interests, and you can make god be whatever you want. Sound familiar?

What would provide evidence to this earthly explanation of how gods could be? Well, it would help a lot if humanity created a bunch of gods over time that reflect the needs, worries, and desires of cultural specific places on the planet. This would establish a cognitive process inherent to humans regardless of where they are as well as a traceable desire of humanity to feel better about their unknown station on the planet, not to mention the universe. Put a check in the box for that one too. We’ve got loads of evidence for this very process.

It would also help if oral traditions and historical texts used to propagate religions were traceable to plagiarisms, interpolations, changing godly attributes and then of course the encompassing of traditions (Halloween, snake charming). Also, we would need to see the removal of undesirable traditions or texts from specific canons based on human agendas over time which would come about by wars and power shifts. Yep, that’s there too, another tick in the box.

It would even help more if the “popular” gods we have today were in fact so diluted as entities by the process of secularization that believers in them with a more sophisticated arsenal of propaganda could squeeze the shrinking gods into any gap left by logic, reason, and science. Then like little chipmunks the believers could pull out these nuts of “evidence” and claim that they measure up to actual science. Hmm, that seems to be the case also.

Or we could not interject any of this BS at all and leave it at that. This latter possibility would allow us to use actual evidence right here on earth and within the universe. Books have been written on the process of human knowledge and the conclusions we’ve achieved despite religious influence, testable in all their glory for anyone to read and confirm on their own. I suspect Sam Harris is going to be huge in this area given time.

History bears this process out over and over and over again in many fields of study. This holds for scholarly work in religious ideology as well for those willing enough to see it for what it is.

The dilemma you have is the same one that every theist has, and it can be represented in an algebraic analogy. The wiggle room granted to you to point to the “possibility that a god exists” (we can’t disprove it after all) validates a faceless, nameless, shapeless nothing neither inside nor outside of the universe we know, one that rests on a point along a Y axis stretching into oblivion. As soon as you give this god a face, a disposition, and omni anything (namely the ability to be known “innately” for whatever it is), the merit in that wiggle room wanes proportionately as if slipping along an imaginary X axis toward another oblivion. With each assertion that a god exists, a dot pops up on the Y axis. As the human creators of this god flavor it with characteristics, the god becomes smaller along the X axis, right along with every other possibility for all the god’s humanity can dream up and name. Either the god sits inanimately on the Y axis basking in “it’s possible” stew or it becomes more complex and simultaneously more ridiculous at one and the same time with each and every asserted characteristic.

Logically speaking, any god asserted must by its known nature have, practically speaking, no actual nature. Giving it the qualities you do, what all theists do with their pet gods, shows why your premise does not hold up in the same way the scientific laws and the theories born of them do. It sucks to be a theist, what can I say? The alternative, of course, is to say we do not know what we do not know. Then we can get to trying to find out what we can by postulating theories (not asserting them) such as multi-verses and then hope to test them when the time and technology allow. This is a fundamental difference that you seem to miss in your asserted propriety.

Cheers!


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They say Ray Comfort won

They say Ray Comfort won the debate LOL 

http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2007/05/ray_comfort_won_the_debate.php


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Yeah, great job with the

Yeah, great job with the argument. I saw this Nightline episode by chance, I had left my TV on after watching Lost (yes...I know, I'm pathetic) and I was on my computer talking with a friend and I perked up when I heard they were going to go through a debate between Atheists and Christians. I expected it to be the stupid generic metaphors from both sides (which unsurprisingly, the Christians resorted to pretty much). I decided I had to look into this further and I am happy I found this site. Do you guys have a Canadian chapter or plan on it?

"And there's no God in heaven so get off your knees."
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I still can't believe Kirk

I still can't believe Kirk pulled out those photoshop pictures, that was just embarassing. I like how Nightline captured "numbnut" (what it sounded like).

Krik was on The O'Reilly Factor and he even said that he asked himself "what did I get myself into." Didn't mean he accepted defeat, just was "surprised at how angry the atheists were." (rolls eyes) Still looked like he was getting over his "I was schooled" shock. Good stuff.

Overall, Kelly and Sapient did great. For them to take the posistion of merging various science fields with philosophical topics is not an easy task. Especially since it was in a debate format when normally creationists like to spew nonsense and anything they can think about. Voices can be shaky in any argument but as long as the reponses are clear, which they wonderfully were, then it's all you need. On the other hand you had Kirk with his Kinko's pictures and Comfort with his Coke can...I still can't belive there are people who think RRS & Ray/Kirk are even or RRS lost.

Good debate and this should get the ball rolling faster than hoped.

 

"I have never let my schooling interfere with my education. "
- Mark Twain (1835-1910)

Theory guides, Experiment decides...bitch.


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I'll take a shot at

I'll take a shot at this. 

Sara wrote:

Quote:
Why do you draw this arbitrary line between the universe with all of its contents and God? (. . .) A multiverse can simply "be" with no anthropomorphic qualities or consciousness whatsoever.

The reason why I draw the line between the universe and all of its contents and God is because it would be illogical for anything to create itself. If God were somehow contained within the material, then He would have to have created Himself (which is impossible). Nor could the universe have formed itself.

 It still comes back to the horrible loop of 'where did this complicated being come from that created everything?' On the other hand, it seems more likely that all the energy we know of has always been around somewhere if not in this universe then in another. Multiverse begets multiverse, and since all things are is insubstantial information configured in various ways it also fits into probability. 

 

One way to see how this works is through the infinite hotel thought experiment. In an infinite hotel with infinite guests, you can never run out of rooms even though the rooms are full. If you want to add an infinite number of guests to the infinite hotel, you simply have every guest move into the room number equal to double their current room number. Nevermind that there are so many impossibilities in this (time, space, etc.), probabalistically there is always room in infinity for jello.

 On an infinite time scale (being that in the "beginning" there is no time), the probability of something happening is 1. Since time is simply the sequence of events it is just another informational value created by the illusion that things are happening in order when in fact things happening here occur at a different rate than elsewhere.

Sara wrote:

Multiverses are just as ad hoc as you claim God is. I know that you like that explanation better because you feel it is simpler from a materialist's view. But I think that God is a simpler and more thorough explanation for the formation of the universe.

God - Omnipotent, omnibenevolent, omnipresent.

Multiverse - Hypothetical explanation for some of the phenomena related to wave-function collapse.

God - Untestable.

Multiverse - Testable via very complicated experiments, one of which is starting up in November.

 God is pretty complicated. Complication usually refers to the difficulty in trying to figure out how something works. Since "God works in mysterious (and blindingly inefficient) ways," I would say that God is more complicated than even the most convoluded quantum physics paper.

Sara wrote:
 

For example, pure materialism cannot explain how the universe arose from nothing by itself and formed personal beings. That makes less sense to me than believing that a Personal God made humans in His image.

The universe, to me, likely arose from another universe. As a whole, the multiverse did not arise any more going north of the north pole takes you further north. Another way to look at it would be like this: there always has been "something," even counting nothing since nothing is still a quantifiable "thing." So if you have less than nothing, you still have something.

You mention the existance of personal beings as evidence. By the very same logic, there must be a prime decider who moves cards around in a deck so that you choose precisely the right one since the chances of you drawing any particular hand are so small that you will never in your lifetime draw the same order of cards twice.

 

Sara wrote:
 

Quote:
The scientist need not assert anything. (. . .) I see no reason for anyone to buy this, however, since it is a completely unnecessary and unhelpful idea.

Well, if you were trying to explain the origin of snot, your explanation makes more sense than saying snot came from nothing by its own power and is eternal (which is analogous to the materialists' explanation for the origin of the universe).

 It's an oversimplification, but you're more or less right. In essence, everything is made of information. There can never be an absence of information, since that would still be a form of information. Anything you can express is information. Further refined, all things exist including those things which you cannot imagine. That infinitely more things exist which cannot be represented in  material is still not evidence of god, only more information. If there were a god, things would be much simpler.

Sara wrote:

Quote:
I'm afraid I cannot see that as equally plausible. My theory is a predictable outcome of evolution. (. . .) But even then we would have to look at our natural desire to persist after death and see if that impulse would logically lead to the commonality of belief.

Yes, it is the predicable outcome of evolution. But you again, must begin with the premise that materialism is true from the onset and then go on to make theories based on that premise. Evolution is the best theory that fits within this paradigm.

I, obviously, don't see materialism as the sole plausible theory for the origin of the universe, so pardon me if I reject some of those theories that heavily rely on it.

 What would you propose in opposition to the idea that everything is made of something (materialism)?

Sara wrote:

Quote:
My arguments are based on what we can know. (. . .) So the burden is on you to prove that the universe cannot make sense without adding this additional complication.

That's a very convenient position for the materialist. However, it may be entirely inaccurate to assume that the universe is all there is, ever was or will be.

We're not assuming that, you are. You're saying that this universe begins and ends, and that's all there is as far as we can know from realistic observation. 

Sara wrote:

As I already stated, it seems illogical to maintain that the impersonal universe produced personal beings. Materialism cannot begin to explain why we seek to relate to eachother without reducing our relationships to meaningless interactions. I doubt you tell your loved ones that your interactions with them are nothing more than biological impulses that are necessary for your survival. Most people want to think that there is more meaning to life than materialism provides.

 Personal and impersonal are labels we created. We seek to interrelate based on what our genes have learned, which is survival and replication. Comeradery makes a more fit beast than lone survival. However, what we have become because of the machine that produced us is more than the machine itself. Individually we can imagine whole worlds of fantasy, something which only a few other species we know of can do and not nearly as well as we. Cats cannot imagine flight, even though they know of the concept. The meaning of life is a personal thing, something to be decided by the individual and not some sadistic father figure.

 

Sara wrote:

Again, thank you for the interesting points. It's been nice chatting with you. I'm done for now, but will be back tomorrow.

 Looking forward to it.


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If the following seems a

If the following seems a bit non-sequitur, it's because I'm cross posting this from the JREF. 

 

One thing that bothered me is the Occam's Razor remark. Nobody seems to be able to get this one right, so if the RRS is looking, here's two versions, a short one, and a longer, fuller explanation:

Short:

"All things being equal, the simplest explanation tends to be the right one."

Long:

When trying to describe the physics, or elements involved in a phenomenon, it only makes sense to include all that qualifies and aids in the explanation. Take a cup of coffee -- if we can describe all of the chemical reactions taking place inside of the cup, there is no further need to include more ideas on top of them. If we can explain the coffee in a logically-consistent and natural way, then bringing the idea of god on top of it and vaugely claiming, "and lastly, god is in control" holds absolutely no circumstantial bearing on observation and explanation. These things are called unecessary multipliers. Occam's Razor says "no extra multipliers, please."

In refercnce to religion, Occam's Razor is a shroud-removal tool -- as we explain nature, we justify removing a god from it. On the flip side, Occam's Razor gives any god a good criteria to be scientifically speculated from -- all that has to happen is for us to observe a situation that we need to include the idea of god in to explain, and proof.

Poof indeed. From the very big to the very small, we've yet to require invoking any sort of manipulating intelligence to help nature along.


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Great tv spot plus 1

It's about time atheism receive media attention beyond the name calling and one-sided presentations we typically see. To call any of it "journalism" is to disparage the word.

Congrats to te RRS team for having the wherewithall to go onto an internationally broadcast show and dish out a few well placed blows to the fundamentalist structure. Granted the opposition wasn't much, but it's an opportunity to get your feet wet for bigger and better contests in the future.

While all this was going on down in the States, we up here in Canada were enjoying our own atheistic presentation with Richard Dawkins on "The Hour", a CBC televisions show geared towards a younger, hipper, more urban demographic. There are two clips in the blog Cosmic Afterthoughts that you must see. It's a great interview with Dawkins by George Strombolopoulos. http://cosmicafterthoughts.blogspot.com/2007/05/richard-dawkins-on-hour.html

There are two seasons in Canada, Hockey season and not-Hockey season.

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mintcheerios    First of,

mintcheerios 

 

First of, you are wrong when went on a limp and said I'm a moderate theist. I'm an agnostic.

 

Second, you're not doing any good by engaging these people in a 'debate'. You people are constantly saying that theism is illogical and irrational. Then how the hell are you going to change people's with 'rational' arguments? You go out calling theism a 'mind disorder'. It doesnt exactly take a Ph. D. in Clinical Psychology to see that this is no more than a petty insult. And with that attitude, you're never going to reach anyone who doesn't already agree with you.

 

You're wrong in thinking I'm trying to present arguments for why there would be higher powers. My point is that right now there is not a single argument that can convince either way. 'God' is an unfalsifiable concept that cannot be (dis)proven with rational arguments or empirical evidence. Telling people they are delusional for believing in god isn't going to make them reconsider or change their minds, it only give you an oppertunity to blow of some steam.

I'm not educated enough in evolutionary biology to give any better skepticism on evolution, nor am I skilled enough in Theolgy or Philosophy to give solid arguments either way. But the point is that even when I can give all kinds of psychological explanations for religious experiences, I'm still no step closer to disproving theism than I ever was. All we can do is show that there is no reason to assume a higher power exist, but beyond that it's just an appeal to emotion and pragmatism.

 


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First off well done on a

First off well done on a great job.  There was some very uncomfortable silences from the WOTM camp, which showed an interesting point.

I notice a few comment about how Kirk & crew were more polished, but i have to disagree, they were very good at preaching uninterrupted, but fell apart when having to answer anything outside of their 'comfort' zone. Whereas you guys took each questions without hesitate or embarrassing stares at each other like Kirk and ray did.

They failed on the challenged about providing scientific evidence for God's existence( what a surprise), its funny, i actually watched it hoping that there was going to be some new line or argument from the theists, something new to answer, but alas the same old same old.

So for all the criticism, you guys did a great job of dismantling and making Kirk and Ray look very foolish.

Well done to the both of you. Now lets get some more debates on TV.


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Maruta, You wrote: "First

Maruta,

You wrote:

"First of, you are wrong when went on a limp and said I'm a moderate theist. I'm an agnostic."

You're an agnostic what? Agnostic is a modifier for theist or atheist, not a middle ground between them.

"I do this real moron thing, and it's called thinking. And apparently I'm not a very good American because I like to form my own opinions."
— George Carlin


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Interested in other thoughts

Satansbitch wrote:
My answer to your question is this. Religious people seem to think that if science is real that it must be able to explain every aspect of science. If you were asking this type of question 500 years ago you might have asked, "Why can't science prove that the world is round and not flat"? The answer would be that at the time science could not prove this because they did not have the proper technology to answer your question. Does this mean that the world is flat? No of course not, even though the Pope threatened to behead his own college roomate for suggesting it.

Science has never made the claim that it can answer all questions. Only religious people do that. Even if in the near future science is able to prove how information is transfered between molecules there will always be a new question that science cannot currently prove one way or another. I don't believe we will ever get to a point when we know everything about science and the universe. But science doesn't claim to have all the answers like religion does.

Religion has been proven wrong so many times by science and yet even when they are forced to admit they are wrong they claim to have the answers to all the questions that science currently does not have. For instance religions worldwide believed for 2000 years that there was no life on other planets. But just a few years ago Pope John Paul was forced to admit the existance of life on other planets when microbial life was found inside a meteor believed to be from the planet Mars.

You obviously believe in religion of some sort. Religions have made claims for thousands of years that have been proven wrong and yet rather than question your religion for obviously lying about having the answers to these questions you continue to question science.

Scientific theory is only formed after much gathering and studying of scientific evidence. A theory is formed based on the study of this evidence. If the theory can be 100% proven then it becomes scientific fact. If it cannot be proven without a doubt then it stays a theory until the time that it is disproven or proven.

The theory of Evolution is a scientific theory, that's true. However it is based on millions of pieces of scientific evidence. What is not a theory however is that Dinosaur's lived 65 million years ago. That is a scientific fact and can be proven. It is a scientific fact that the universe was created billions of years ago. There is no question or debate about it.

There is absolutely not one single piece of evidence indicating that there is a god. The bible only proves that there were people who lived 2000 years ago who believed in the christian religion. Trust me in 2000 years they will insist that L. Ron Hubbard is a God simply because people have believed it for so long.

This answers your question.. Your quest is finally over.

I'm sorry, but that's the very definition of beating around the bush. It was a very emotional answer, and I appreciate your honesty, but your answer amounts to this: 'I don't know'. And that's fine, but it would be better if you just said that. My point is exactly that I believe information itself, its existence, is a fairly strong argument for the existence of a source of original information. Finding Egyptian hieroglypics and being able to understand them as a language indicates to me an intelligent source behind them. It may not to you, and you can say that in rebuttal, but I would say most scientists would agree here that there was a source of information, namely, a human being who wrote these things.There is information to be transferred by them, and thus there was a 'sender' who input this information using a code. And the kind of information contained in living systems, in my thinking, would not likely have come from any act of the systems themselves, and thus must have come from outside of themselves. Therefore, I am suggesting an intelligent source outside of the living systems that we see today. I'm interested to hear the thoughts of others.


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I agree, does sound 'made' up

Magus wrote:

HonestQuestioner wrote:
The molecules themselves are not information. The intangible message is something else. And it can only be 'understood' in the context of a code. We all know very well that there is a complex code within each of our cells. Now, codes do not, in any experience that I am aware of, come into being without the input of intelligent information. So my question is, where did the information come from? I think this question goes beyond the physics arguments, because it necessarily requires intelligent input. We have a code that allows passage of information that is not material. And codes require information to exist. So, where did the information come from? Evolutionary theories do attempt to explain how inorganic molecules came together to form biological structures, and I think that in itself is a huge leap, but that still doesn't explain how these 'structures' pass an intangible message, and why would they do that? I have asked this question of atheists before, and I have never recieved a good answer. I anxiously await your thoughts. Thank you for allowing me to be a part of this discussion.

You assert it is intangible, but have you any evidence to suppose intangible things?  What intangle things do you have evidence for?  Describe its mass and consistancy?  If it doens't have these qualities why would it need physical matter to transfer it in a "cascade reaction"? 


Well, right now you are reading these words. The words on the computer screen are not information. They are pixels (i suppose) of light in a pattern. Just like, if I spoke to you, the sound waves coming from my mouth are not information, they are a medium for it. And yet, there is something transferred from me to you when I speak. If you have my code, the English language, then you understand what I have said. Now, I'd like to hear your assertion of what that information consists of. I am arguing that it is intangible. It is carried via different mediums (sound, ink blots on a page, light pixels on a computer screen in a pattern). Just as I asserted earlier, the molecules in cascade reactions, and molecules like DNA, as they interact with others, transfer information, but are not the information themselves. Now, your question as to 'why' this information 'needs' physical matter to be transferred, I don't know. But I don't think that really matters in this discussion. Why does FM=A? Its a law of nature. Its the way things are. Information IS transferred via physical matter. The question is, where does it come from originally. So, I ask you, does information exist, and if so, what does it consist of. I argue that yes, information itself is evidence of 'intangible things' (not able to be seen or touched). You, of course, may say that it does not exist, but that would make everything we are doing in this discussion meaningless.


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todangst wrote: pby

todangst wrote:
pby wrote:
todangst wrote:

The people from ABC told us that we could clap and that we'd be expected to clap. Theists clapped just as loudly as the atheists.

Did you clap at Kelly's "wardrobe malfunction"?


No.

Quote:

And at Sapient's claim that we are all transitional forms?

Probably. It helps deal with the creationist strawman of what a transitional actually is... evolution is not teleology, it has no goal, ergo the very concept of a 'transitional' as 'midpoint' between two entirely different species (such as a duck and an alligator) is itself irrational. The examples of 'transitionals' presented by Kirk only demonstrate how little he knows about biology - or how little respect he has for his audience.

Anyway, do you think that Comfort would have complained if the audience only cheered for his side?

 C'mon...It didn't deal with anything in any productive manner.

Do you really think that Cameron was attempting to provide an accurate portrayal of transitional forms...or was it just sarcasm based on the gross lack of transitional forms as evidence?  (answer is most intuitively obvious to the most casual of observers)

 The Nightline edit was not good for RSS. It highlighted the unprofessional aspects of the RSS presenters ("numbnuts", the Al Gore like huffing, and so forth). Kelly was extremely screechy.

Sapient really missed on the painter analogy. It is obvious, just by looking at it, without doing any further research, that a painter painted the painting...phone calls to the painter and paint shops are not necessary. It is obvious from the painting that a painter exists.

And Kelly was flat out wrong about Josephus and there being no historical evidence for the existence of Jesus (Tacitus, the Gospels themselves, etc.).

RSS's claims about the pre-edit debate were inflated and the post edit debate just makes them look silly. 


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Cory T wrote: Comfort

Cory T wrote:

Comfort states that a painting is proof positive of a painter, and the RRS adds the sarcastic caption that it only proof of a painting.  I disagree.  A painting as intricate as the Mona Lisa implies a painter, because no  amount of accidental bombardment of a canvass with paint will produce a picture like that.  With that in mind, I propose that a planet as intricately designed and as thoughtfully placed as Earth requires a Creator.  A universe as finely tuned as our requires a Creator.

I have never understood how anyone can find what they label our 'finely tuned' universe or our 'thoughtfully placed' planet to be evidence of a creator god. What exactly are they supposed to be 'finely tuned' or 'thoughtfully placed' for? The carbon based lifeforms that presently live on this planet in this universe? But wait, wasn't this creator god supposed to have created them as well?

Let's do this, here we are as a creator god in our great big exspanse of nothing thinking, "I need to spice this place up. I could either plant some petunias or create a universe." Let's say we go with creating the universe as petunias are notoriously hard to grow in nothing.

Now, we sart to get our creation thang on and then suddenly (or eternaly, who can tell in this absence of time) we stop and think, "Wait I want to add some little critters, like bunnies, and sasquatches, and platu...pi? (-pusses, -pussies, -peese?) and a special little guy that I will make in my non-material image, only out of material, of course. This is going to be cool."

At this point do we fine tune the universe to supoort a life form or do we fine tune a life form to live in our universe? You see, to a creator god who will be responsible for every parameter of existence of both the environment and the life form, the values of these supposedly fine tuned properties can not be fine tuned but must be arbitrary.

We can only see the values as fine tuned for our existence by a creator god if there are parameters it must work within when creating. 

“Philosophers have argued for centuries about how many angels can dance on the head of a pin, but materialists have always known it depends on whether they are jitterbugging or dancing cheek to cheek" -- Tom Robbins


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While I do support your

While I do support your efforts, I wish you would take a rather more refined tack when debating in such a public arena. For example, you just had to insert "The popes, who have the blood of millions on their hands", and a diatribe about how fear-driven christianity is. You could have more easily stuck firmly to the premise: scientific demonstration of a creator. Inserting little jabs at christianity, or mocking religion in general, really detracts from your message. As fun as it may be, it makes you look like a bitter wanna-be revolutionary and gives opponents the opportunity to dissmiss you as the much-maligned 'angry athiest'. Aslo, rather than engage Comfort in a huge non sequiter by debating the content of the bible, you'd have been much better off simply calling him on his non sequiter and his attempt at entering 'faith' and the bible.

 

Additionally, it would help if you would bone up on your cosmology and other topics to be debated.

 

Kelly looked bretty damn good though. 


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I was in the audience during

I was in the audience during the taping. I have no idea what Comfort is talking about with his claim of "angry atheist audience members." He's just pissed we clapped whenever Brian or Kelly made a good point. The only time we yelled was when Cameron started listing scientists who believed in God (specifically implying YAHWEH), and started with Einstein. Many of us shouted NO! By that point we were tired of all the lies Cameron and Comfort were making.

I was extremely frustrating to hear the list of straw men they trotted out regarding evolution. They are breaking their own commandment by bearing false witness! I am fed up with these hypocrites. Brian and Kelly might not have made a perfect presentation but at least they didn't LIE!


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Cory T wrote: Comfort

Cory T wrote:

Comfort states that a painting is proof positive of a painter, and the RRS adds the sarcastic caption that it only proof of a painting. I disagree. A painting as intricate as the Mona Lisa implies a painter, because no amount of accidental bombardment of a canvass with paint will produce a picture like that.

Cory, you realize Comforts painting didn't have a painter?  In fact it was made by a machine.

 

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Frakkum wrote: I'd never

Frakkum wrote:
I'd never heard of Rational Responders until I happened to be flipping through the stations tonight and saw the debate. I have to say, though, this debate was rather like being told that you were going to face the most ferocious fastball pitcher of all time, and then you stepped up to the plate and found the guy threw the ball 40 MPH. Sure, you missed once or twice, but that's because you were expecting something like 110 MPH. I mean "The fact that there's a creation means there's a creator?" Come on. I bet Pope Benedict groaned when he heard that moldy oldy. Anyway, I'm a writer who currently lives in Alabama (not many atheists down here, as you might expect) and I enjoy your Web site (although I'm too poor to contribute any money).

 Welcome aboard, Frakkum.  And welcome aboard to anyone else that's new as well.

 

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Vessel wrote: Cory T

Vessel wrote:
Cory T wrote:

Comfort states that a painting is proof positive of a painter, and the RRS adds the sarcastic caption that it only proof of a painting.  I disagree.  A painting as intricate as the Mona Lisa implies a painter, because no  amount of accidental bombardment of a canvass with paint will produce a picture like that.  With that in mind, I propose that a planet as intricately designed and as thoughtfully placed as Earth requires a Creator.  A universe as finely tuned as our requires a Creator.

I have never understood how anyone can find what they label our 'finely tuned' universe or our 'thoughtfully placed' planet to be evidence of a creator god. What exactly are they supposed to be 'finely tuned' or 'thoughtfully placed' for? The carbon based lifeforms that presently live on this planet in this universe? But wait, wasn't this creator god supposed to have created them as well?

Let's do this, here we are as a creator god in our great big exspanse of nothing thinking, "I need to spice this place up. I could either plant some petunias or create a universe." Let's say we go with creating the universe as petunias are notoriously hard to grow in nothing.

Now, we sart to get our creation thang on and then suddenly (or eternaly, who can tell in this absence of time) we stop and think, "Wait I want to add some little critters, like bunnies, and sasquatches, and platu...pi? (-pusses, -pussies, -peese?) and a special little guy that I will make in my non-material image, only out of material, of course. This is going to be cool."

At this point do we fine tune the universe to supoort a life form or do we fine tune a life form to live in our universe? You see, to a creator god who will be responsible for every parameter of existence of both the environment and the life form, the values of these supposedly fine tuned properties can not be fine tuned but must be arbitrary.

We can only see the values as fine tuned for our existence by a creator god if there are parameters it must work within when creating. 

 Another problem with this argument in my opinion is that when you look at the entire universe, it's not really optimized just for us. The amount of space we take up approaches zero in comparision to the total space in the universe.

 It's almost like a single bacterial cell declaring that the city it lives in was created just for it.

Also, if anything the universe seems finely tuned for creating black holes.

 

"A proof is a proof. What kind of a proof? It's a proof. A proof is a proof. And when you have a good proof, it's because it's proven." -- former Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien


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Satansbitch wrote:

Satansbitch wrote:
Cory T wrote:

Comfort states that a painting is proof positive of a painter, and the RRS adds the sarcastic caption that it only proof of a painting. I disagree. A painting as intricate as the Mona Lisa implies a painter, because no amount of accidental bombardment of a canvass with paint will produce a picture like that. With that in mind, I propose that a planet as intricately designed and as thoughtfully placed as Earth requires a Creator. A universe as finely tuned as our requires a Creator.

Yeah I did not agree with what Brian said. The painting does prove the existance of the artist. But that only proves that Leonardo DaVinci existed. Just as the book of Mark proves there was a person named Mark who wrote the book, and the books of John, Luke, and Matthew were written by men with those names.

Actually the books of John, Luke, and Matthew were just as likely written by men that didn't have those names. The fact is we don't know for sure the real names of who wrote those gospels. And I'm not speaking scientifically, I'm talking about the actual history here.

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Sapient wrote: Cory T

Sapient wrote:
Cory T wrote:

Comfort states that a painting is proof positive of a painter, and the RRS adds the sarcastic caption that it only proof of a painting. I disagree. A painting as intricate as the Mona Lisa implies a painter, because no amount of accidental bombardment of a canvass with paint will produce a picture like that.

Cory, you realize Comforts painting didn't have a painter?  In fact it was made by a machine.

 

And that art historians can't agree whether the woman portrayed in the original painting was an actual person, compilation or a modified self portrait.

He should have picked a better print. Maybe a portrait of Jesus.

"A proof is a proof. What kind of a proof? It's a proof. A proof is a proof. And when you have a good proof, it's because it's proven." -- former Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien


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Quote:

Quote:
C'mon...It didn't deal with anything in any productive manner.

Do you really think that Cameron was attempting to provide an accurate portrayal of transitional forms...or was it just sarcasm based on the gross lack of transitional forms as evidence? (answer is most intuitively obvious to the most casual of observers)

The Nightline edit was not good for RSS. It highlighted the unprofessional aspects of the RSS presenters ("numbnuts", the Al Gore like huffing, and so forth). Kelly was extremely screechy.

Sapient really missed on the painter analogy. It is obvious, just by looking at it, without doing any further research, that a painter painted the painting...phone calls to the painter and paint shops are not necessary. It is obvious from the painting that a painter exists.

And Kelly was flat out wrong about Josephus and there being no historical evidence for the existence of Jesus (Tacitus, the Gospels themselves, etc.).

RSS's claims about the pre-edit debate were inflated and the post edit debate just makes them look silly.

 

Alright - we're gonna go point by point here. There is no penury of transitional fossils. Just like we stated in the "debate", every fossil is a transitional one in the sense that all beings have evolved over time. If you can't grasp that, I'd suggest starting at talk.origins for some more info. The fact that Kirk was trying to use argumentum ad absurdum didn't escape us.

The only reason that it is "obvious" that a painter painted the painting is because you are already familiar with the process by which paintings are created. If the example given was something with which you had no familiarity, then you would not be able to make that inference. Your inability to understand the argument doesn't invalidate it.

If I am wrong about the Jesus issue, then please provide me with 1 extra-biblical contemporaneous or eyewitness account that isn't a known forgery or interpolation.

Thanks,

Kelly

 


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Romsca wrote: Do you guys

Romsca wrote:
Do you guys have a Canadian chapter or plan on it?

Zombie210 just formed RRS Ontario.  I'll ask him to visit this thread. 

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Sapient wrote: Cory T

Sapient wrote:
Cory T wrote:

Comfort states that a painting is proof positive of a painter, and the RRS adds the sarcastic caption that it only proof of a painting. I disagree. A painting as intricate as the Mona Lisa implies a painter, because no amount of accidental bombardment of a canvass with paint will produce a picture like that.

Cory, you realize Comforts painting didn't have a painter?  In fact it was made by a machine.

 

Literal to the point of absurdity.


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Quote: While I do support

Quote:

While I do support your efforts, I wish you would take a rather more refined tack when debating in such a public arena. For example, you just had to insert "The popes, who have the blood of millions on their hands", and a diatribe about how fear-driven christianity is. You could have more easily stuck firmly to the premise: scientific demonstration of a creator. Inserting little jabs at christianity, or mocking religion in general, really detracts from your message. As fun as it may be, it makes you look like a bitter wanna-be revolutionary and gives opponents the opportunity to dissmiss you as the much-maligned 'angry athiest'. Aslo, rather than engage Comfort in a huge non sequiter by debating the content of the bible, you'd have been much better off simply calling him on his non sequiter and his attempt at entering 'faith' and the bible.

 

Additionally, it would help if you would bone up on your cosmology and other topics to be debated.

 

Kelly looked bretty damn good though.

Our purpose there was to rebut their claims -- if they had stuck to science (or had any to begin with), then we would have countered in that fashion. We did point that out at the beginning and Brian specifically stated that Ray's use of the bible as proof was a violation of the rules of the debate. Considering how much of their argumentation was based on fear and just the public perception of religion in general are good enough reasons to put that concept out there into the public sphere.

As far as the cosmology goes, we both wish that we had more specific knowledge in that area, but it was an angle that we weren't prepared for in which neither of us specialize. We will be studying up on that before the next debate, though.

Thanks,

Kelly 


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Sapient and Kelly

Sapient and Kelly,
Thanks again for letting me post my thoughts here. I would like to know both of your thoughts on the questions that I've raised regarding information.


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kellym78

kellym78 wrote:
Quote:
C'mon...It didn't deal with anything in any productive manner.

Do you really think that Cameron was attempting to provide an accurate portrayal of transitional forms...or was it just sarcasm based on the gross lack of transitional forms as evidence? (answer is most intuitively obvious to the most casual of observers)

The Nightline edit was not good for RSS. It highlighted the unprofessional aspects of the RSS presenters ("numbnuts", the Al Gore like huffing, and so forth). Kelly was extremely screechy.

Sapient really missed on the painter analogy. It is obvious, just by looking at it, without doing any further research, that a painter painted the painting...phone calls to the painter and paint shops are not necessary. It is obvious from the painting that a painter exists.

And Kelly was flat out wrong about Josephus and there being no historical evidence for the existence of Jesus (Tacitus, the Gospels themselves, etc.).

RSS's claims about the pre-edit debate were inflated and the post edit debate just makes them look silly.

 

Alright - we're gonna go point by point here. There is no penury of transitional fossils. Just like we stated in the "debate", every fossil is a transitional one in the sense that all beings have evolved over time. If you can't grasp that, I'd suggest starting at talk.origins for some more info. The fact that Kirk was trying to use argumentum ad absurdum didn't escape us.

The only reason that it is "obvious" that a painter painted the painting is because you are already familiar with the process by which paintings are created. If the example given was something with which you had no familiarity, then you would not be able to make that inference. Your inability to understand the argument doesn't invalidate it.

If I am wrong about the Jesus issue, then please provide me with 1 extra-biblical contemporaneous or eyewitness account that isn't a known forgery or interpolation.

Thanks,

Kelly

 

 Josephus (the Arabic version, according to the experts, probably contains what Josepus actually wrote about the historical Jesus).

Every fossil is not a known "transitional" in the sense that a "transitional" is direct evidence of a species to new species transformation. These don't exist (but they are assumed).

The painter is obvious without knowing the process. If not, how did the painting come about...chance? What are the alternative explanations for the painting besides the painter? 


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Fantastic job with thte

Fantastic job with thte debate.  I watched the first half yesterday and caught most of the Nightline segment last night.  I was a bit disappointed with the edit job, but even then you clearly won the debate. 

"When you hit your thumb with a hammer it's nice to be able to blaspheme. It takes a special kind of atheist to jump up and down shout, 'Oh, random fluctuations-in-the-space-time-continuum!'"-Terry Pratchett


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You guys both did a

You guys both did a fantastic job.  Thank you so much for the effort and preparation - thank you for taking this seriously.  I don't know whether Ray and Kirk didn't take the "rules" seriously (to not invoke the Bible or faith) or whether they truly believe that they followed the rules - but either way, they FAILED.  I actually found myself squirming for them, they did so poorly.  And I really was hoping that they'd bring some new "evidence" to the table that we haven't already seen from theists.

 

I watched the first 45 minutes of the debate on ABCnews.com and loved it.  I was so eager to see the Nightline recap.  I was quite disappointed that they edited it down so severely when it's obviously been so popular a subject on their web site for days.  But it is the first FACEOFF ever, so hopefully they'll be able to secure longer spots for future debates.  I hope that they revisit "Does God exist?" but this time with competent defenders on God's side.  Well...as competent as one can be when arguing in support of an imaginary friend.

 

Brian, your speaking was inspiring.  Your comments about terrorism were gorgeous.  I hope that opened a few eyes in the auditorium.  You were composed and for the most part (from what I've seen so far) as polite and respectful as one could expect a person to be who's arguing with Mike Seevers over whether some dude in the sky is waiting to set you on fire for not believing in him.

 

Kelly, your biting sarcasm (which I can only assume is natural) was so appropriate to the ridiculous claims Kirk and Ray were trying to pawn off as "scientific proof."  You spoke with authority and confidence when you talked about science, and your straightforward approach was so refreshing.

That one moment where Kirk and Ray squeaked out that they didn't want to respond...oof.  I could almost believe I saw a little bit of doubt cross their faces.  That must have been when you noted that you thought they needed a hug.  I think they needed a hug, too.  Martin Bashere was right in the recap - they did appear "visibly shaken by the experience."  It's probably too much to hope that you've planted the seeds of reason in their brains, but you never know what can happen.

Thanks again - you guys are amazing.  You are my heroes today.  Also, Kelly, you are gorgeous and I marvel that you can keep your boobies up in that dress.  Eye-wink


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kellym78

kellym78 wrote:
Quote:
C'mon...It didn't deal with anything in any productive manner.

Do you really think that Cameron was attempting to provide an accurate portrayal of transitional forms...or was it just sarcasm based on the gross lack of transitional forms as evidence? (answer is most intuitively obvious to the most casual of observers)

The Nightline edit was not good for RSS. It highlighted the unprofessional aspects of the RSS presenters ("numbnuts", the Al Gore like huffing, and so forth). Kelly was extremely screechy.

Sapient really missed on the painter analogy. It is obvious, just by looking at it, without doing any further research, that a painter painted the painting...phone calls to the painter and paint shops are not necessary. It is obvious from the painting that a painter exists.

And Kelly was flat out wrong about Josephus and there being no historical evidence for the existence of Jesus (Tacitus, the Gospels themselves, etc.).

RSS's claims about the pre-edit debate were inflated and the post edit debate just makes them look silly.

Alright - we're gonna go point by point here. There is no penury of transitional fossils. Just like we stated in the "debate", every fossil is a transitional one in the sense that all beings have evolved over time. If you can't grasp that, I'd suggest starting at talk.origins for some more info. The fact that Kirk was trying to use argumentum ad absurdum didn't escape us.

The only reason that it is "obvious" that a painter painted the painting is because you are already familiar with the process by which paintings are created. If the example given was something with which you had no familiarity, then you would not be able to make that inference. Your inability to understand the argument doesn't invalidate it.

If I am wrong about the Jesus issue, then please provide me with 1 extra-biblical contemporaneous or eyewitness account that isn't a known forgery or interpolation.

Thanks,

Kelly

And Luke, author of the books Acts, considered to be a first rate historian by Ramsay, was an eyewitness. Why do you discount his historical evidence?

And while Cameron's sarcasm relative to the transitionals was not lost on you...apparently, by his post, it was lost on the poster that I posted to. 


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Maruta wrote: Second,

Maruta wrote:

Second, you're not doing any good by engaging these people in a 'debate'. You people are constantly saying that theism is illogical and irrational. Then how the hell are you going to change people's with 'rational' arguments? You go out calling theism a 'mind disorder'. It doesnt exactly take a Ph. D. in Clinical Psychology to see that this is no more than a petty insult. And with that attitude, you're never going to reach anyone who doesn't already agree with you.

What keeps these religious people in power is the respect people like you give to their irrational beliefs. You would not give this same glow of respect towards outrageous claims outside of religion. If a doctor getting a medical degree claims in all seriousness that voodoo magic is a good substitute for chemotherapy, not only is he not getting a degree, he is going to be laughed out of the room. People's lives depend on this happening. Yet with religion, you can claim to hear voices in your head and still be president. It's your respect towards irrationality that protects religion from receiving the criticism it needs to end once and for all. It IS a mind disorder and people like you make it taboo to call a spade a spade.

Maruta wrote:
You're wrong in thinking I'm trying to present arguments for why there would be higher powers. My point is that right now there is not a single argument that can convince either way. 'God' is an unfalsifiable concept that cannot be (dis)proven with rational arguments or empirical evidence. Telling people they are delusional for believing in god isn't going to make them reconsider or change their minds, it only give you an oppertunity to blow of some steam.

The skeptic doesn't bear the burden of proof. The concept of an invisible meteor about to hit the earth is unfalsifiable, but we don't lend it any credence until there is good evidence. Just imagine the consequences of believing in this anyways. People would spend millions on bomb shelters and elect politicians who want to spend even more money on anti-meteorite weapons. Being an environmentalist would be a joke (as it is to rapture believers). These believers in the meteorite will organize and proselytize to others warning them of imminent death. Then there would be rational people telling these meteorite believers that threre is no meteorite. Then people like you will butt in and say "you're not doing any good engaging these people in a debate. How dare you call them illogical! You can't disprove the meteorite!" There will also be people saying "I don't believe that there's a meteorite coming, but we shouldn't tell believers what we think. We would just be a mirror image of the proselytizing meteorite believers!". And then in order to respect the meteorite believers, it will become taboo to criticize their beliefs. They will grow in number and soon control the government. These people in power will make legislation based on belief in meteorite. A great debate will take place if we should allow meteorite education in schools and so on.

Maruta wrote:
I'm not educated enough in evolutionary biology to give any better skepticism on evolution, nor am I skilled enough in Theolgy or Philosophy to give solid arguments either way.

Specific knowledge in a specific field is not required to believe that it is true or not true. Theology is not required to realize that the bible is full of shit in the same way fairyology is not required to realize that fairies are fake. I don't need a degree in physics to know that the theory of gravity isn't a hoax.

Maruta wrote:
But the point is that even when I can give all kinds of psychological explanations for religious experiences, I'm still no step closer to disproving theism than I ever was.

The goal is not to disprove theism. It is impossible to disprove an infinite number of things. The goal is to prove that there is no good reason to believe in such a thing. This is why sites like this exist.

Maruta wrote:
All we can do is show that there is no reason to assume a higher power exist, but beyond that it's just an appeal to emotion and pragmatism.

Wait a minute, isn't "showing that there is no reason to assume a higher power exists" exactly what the rational responders are doing? Doesn't that go against what you've said earlier? Or did you mean "keep to ourselves" instead of "show"?


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pby wrote: kellym78

pby wrote:
kellym78 wrote:
Quote:
C'mon...It didn't deal with anything in any productive manner.

Do you really think that Cameron was attempting to provide an accurate portrayal of transitional forms...or was it just sarcasm based on the gross lack of transitional forms as evidence? (answer is most intuitively obvious to the most casual of observers)

The Nightline edit was not good for RSS. It highlighted the unprofessional aspects of the RSS presenters ("numbnuts", the Al Gore like huffing, and so forth). Kelly was extremely screechy.

Sapient really missed on the painter analogy. It is obvious, just by looking at it, without doing any further research, that a painter painted the painting...phone calls to the painter and paint shops are not necessary. It is obvious from the painting that a painter exists.

And Kelly was flat out wrong about Josephus and there being no historical evidence for the existence of Jesus (Tacitus, the Gospels themselves, etc.).

RSS's claims about the pre-edit debate were inflated and the post edit debate just makes them look silly.

Alright - we're gonna go point by point here. There is no penury of transitional fossils. Just like we stated in the "debate", every fossil is a transitional one in the sense that all beings have evolved over time. If you can't grasp that, I'd suggest starting at talk.origins for some more info. The fact that Kirk was trying to use argumentum ad absurdum didn't escape us.

The only reason that it is "obvious" that a painter painted the painting is because you are already familiar with the process by which paintings are created. If the example given was something with which you had no familiarity, then you would not be able to make that inference. Your inability to understand the argument doesn't invalidate it.

If I am wrong about the Jesus issue, then please provide me with 1 extra-biblical contemporaneous or eyewitness account that isn't a known forgery or interpolation.

Thanks,

Kelly

And Luke, author of the books Acts, considered to be a first rate historian by Ramsay, was an eyewitness. Why do you discount his historical evidence?

And while Cameron's sarcasm relative to the transitionals was not lost on you...apparently, by his post, it was lost on the poster that I posted to.

I'm not Kelly but I'll play.

Why discount Luke? Perhaps because you can't prove that the writer of the Gospel and Acts was Luke the apostle? 

"I do this real moron thing, and it's called thinking. And apparently I'm not a very good American because I like to form my own opinions."
— George Carlin


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pby wrote: Sapient really

pby wrote:

Sapient really missed on the painter analogy. It is obvious, just by looking at it, without doing any further research, that a painter painted the painting...phone calls to the painter and paint shops are not necessary. It is obvious from the painting that a painter exists.

This coming from someone who thinks it's obvious that god exists?  I rest on my previous post, the painting was made by a machine, not a painter.  Don't be so callous with your science. 

 

Quote:
And Kelly was flat out wrong about Josephus and there being no historical evidence for the existence of Jesus (Tacitus, the Gospels themselves, etc.).

See these threads

A thorough examination of the evidence for Jesus by Rook Hawkins 

Tacitus, Lucian, and Josephus by Todangst

Video from Rook outlining the basics of Jesus Mythicism 

 

 

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pby wrote: Josephus (the

pby wrote:

Josephus (the Arabic version, according to the experts, probably contains what Josepus actually wrote about the historical Jesus).

Every fossil is not a known "transitional" in the sense that a "transitional" is direct evidence of a species to new species transformation. These don't exist (but they are assumed).

The painter is obvious without knowing the process. If not, how did the painting come about...chance? What are the alternative explanations for the painting besides the painter?

1. Not all experts agree on Josephus. Nor do they agree about Luke in your latest post. In the end it all comes down to extraordinary claims requiring extraordinary evidence. I assume you don't accept the historical claims of Joseph Smith the founder of the Mormon Church. Why not? There are still no confirmed contemporaneous witnesses to Jesus.

2. Go to talk.origins and there are plenty of references to transitional fossils. However I suspect any fossil would never satisfy you since each would be it's own unique kind.  Why are there no rabbit fossils in the cambrian again?

3. The painting is a bad analogy. A painting can't reproduce itself. What about a rock? What created a rock? Or a snowflake, which looks designed. The only reason the origins of these things are obvious to us is because we know how they came about. Until we can compare designed to undesigned universes the argument is futile. But even if you could make a case for a "first cause" that doesn't mean Yahweh exists and the bible is his word.  


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Quote: Josephus (the Arabic

Quote:
Josephus (the Arabic version, according to the experts, probably contains what Josepus actually wrote about the historical Jesus).

Every fossil is not a known "transitional" in the sense that a "transitional" is direct evidence of a species to new species transformation. These don't exist (but they are assumed).

The painter is obvious without knowing the process. If not, how did the painting come about...chance? What are the alternative explanations for the painting besides the painter?

I suggest you re-read my post and do some research then come back and respond. It's clear that you did not bother to do at least one of those two things for the following reasons:

Even if Josephus' Testimonium was accurate and reliable, it still would not have been contemporaneous.

A transitional fossil by your definition will never be found because evolution doesn't promote the half-this/half-that type of trajectory that you are proposing it should. Small changes over large time spans. No crocoducks. Not to mention that species delineation is man-made for the ease of communication and classification. We have designated these groups to include what they include based on similar characteristics, mating patterns, etc. In reality, there are often not many visible and apparent breaking points and more of a smooth progression between a lot of species groups. (At least this is my understanding of it, but I'll be the first to admit that I am a biological dilettante.)

The painting is a metaphor. Get it? Like I said, substitute something with which you have no knowledge of the process by which it is created and see if your hypothesis that it is self-evident still works. We know nothing of universe creation; therefore, it is a false analogy to begin with. The use of god in hypothetical universe creation is an unnecessary complication as well. There are many other theories of how everything got here, some silly and some not, but none of them necessarily infer god's existence--and particularly not that of your particular god.


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pby wrote:

pby wrote:
Sapient wrote:
Cory T wrote:

Comfort states that a painting is proof positive of a painter, and the RRS adds the sarcastic caption that it only proof of a painting. I disagree. A painting as intricate as the Mona Lisa implies a painter, because no amount of accidental bombardment of a canvass with paint will produce a picture like that.

Cory, you realize Comforts painting didn't have a painter? In fact it was made by a machine.

 

Literal to the point of absurdity.

An absurd point deserves to be ridiculed to the point of absurdity. The point is, do all paintings prove a painter as Ray claimed? NO! Rays point was factually incorrect and unscientific, don't squirm away from that.

 

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Sapient wrote: pby

Sapient wrote:

pby wrote:

Sapient really missed on the painter analogy. It is obvious, just by looking at it, without doing any further research, that a painter painted the painting...phone calls to the painter and paint shops are not necessary. It is obvious from the painting that a painter exists.

This coming from someone who thinks it's obvious that god exists?  I rest on my previous post, the painting was made by a machine, not a painter.  Don't be so callous with your science. 

 

Quote:
And Kelly was flat out wrong about Josephus and there being no historical evidence for the existence of Jesus (Tacitus, the Gospels themselves, etc.).

See these threads

A thorough examination of the evidence for Jesus by Rook Hawkins 

Tacitus, Lucian, and Josephus by Todangst

Video from Rook outlining the basics of Jesus Mythicism 

 

 

 

That painting, used in the debate, literally came from a machine...okay you "win" (on some absurd level). The original painting was not shown but a mass produced likeness was. Maybe they can bring an original to the next debate.

But now...address the point actually being made by the analogy. Where did the original painting come from? What are possible explanations for the origin of the painting?

Josephus, according to the experts, wrote about a historical Jesus. The Arabic version is considered to be the accurate content related to Josephus's reference to Jesus. Why do you completely discount/ignore the experts on this matter? 

Why is Rook considered an expert in languages and so forth? What are his qualifications?. I watched the video on mythicism. He was blatantly inaccurate about the Apostle Paul. The Apostle Paul specifically writes about the "flesh and blood" Jesus Christ.


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Quote: And Luke, author of

Quote:
And Luke, author of the books Acts, considered to be a first rate historian by Ramsay, was an eyewitness. Why do you discount his historical evidence?

Extrabiblical was a prereq. Certainly somebody with that much noteriety would have had plenty of mentions in the annals of history.

Also, please provide proof of the existence of Luke, the fact that he is the actual author of Luke and/or Acts, and that he was a "first-rate historian" as you claim. Extrabiblical contemporaneous evidence only please. Just because "Luke" used accurate historical facts doesn't prove that the character of Jesus isn't completely fictional. Kind of like how Gone With the Wind contains historical accuracy but is about a fictional character. Does that make Margaret Mitchell an historian and Scarlett O'Hara real?

Thanks,

Kelly 


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Kelly, Sapien?

Any thoughts?