Cellar Door Skeptics #75: Chris Hanna and Aaron Furlong Debate! Is Evolution a Dead Theory?

#75: DEBATE – “Is evolution a dead theory?”

Cellar Door Skeptics presents the debate between Aaron Furlong and Chris Hanna. The positive will be taken by Creationist Aaron Furlong and the negative will be taken by Chris Hanna. The topic is “Is Evolution a Dead Theory?”

https://www.spreaker.com/episode/11555650

#evolution #atheist #science #creationist #presuppositionalist

10 min opening statements each -whoever is making the positive claim goes second
5 min rebuttals each.
3 min Break
7 min Aaron Questions Time
7 min Chris Question Time
5 min Aaron Question Time
5 min Chris Question Time
3 min break
10 min Audience Questions
6 min closing arguments -whoever is making the positive claim goes first

Pascal’s Climate Change Wager.

I know the title is confusing so no, Pascal never made such a wager, but we all know his stance on gambling with God.  The ultimate bluff over eternity one might say.  

 

  1. God is, or God is not. Reason cannot decide between the two alternatives.
  2. A Game is being played… where heads or tails will turn up.
  3. You must wager (it is not optional).
  4. Let us weigh the gain and the loss in wagering that God is. Let us estimate these two chances. If you gain, you gain all; if you lose, you lose nothing.
  5. Wager, then, without hesitation that He is. (…) There is here an infinity of an infinitely happy life to gain, a chance of gain against a finite number of chances of loss, and what you stake is finite. And so our proposition is of infinite force, when there is the finite to stake in a game where there are equal risks of gain and of loss, and the infinite to gain.
  6. But some cannot believe. They should then ‘at least learn your inability to believe…’ and ‘Endeavour then to convince’ themselves.

 

The natural conclusion, to what Daniel Dennett would surely call a poor logic pump, is that we should believe, because if the sky king does not exist and we lived in servitude the whole of our lives we have lost nothing.  Casting the myriad of problems with this oft debunked stream of logic aside let’s play a game with the very people who use this to validate their beliefs.

 

It is regularly shown in all forms of media that there is a strong correlation to conservatism, religiosity, and the denial of climate change or global warming.  Within this group of scientific repudiators and devout, God fearing, holy rollers we are quite likely to run into Pascal and his trusty tool of insincere faith.

 

Let us now send it back shall we?

  1. Climate change is, or Climate change is not. Reason cannot decide between the two alternatives.
  2. A Game is being played… where heads or tails will turn up.
  3. You must wager (it is not optional).
  4. Let us weigh the gain and the loss in wagering that Climate Change is. Let us estimate these two chances. If you gain, you gain all; if you lose, you lose nothing.
  5. Wager, then, without hesitation that Climate Change is. There is here an extension of the fragile ecosystem within which we live, a relatively cool space between ice ages, and more time for us to find a solution to future changes that could make Earth almost uninhabitable.  The Chance of gain is one of finite probabilities measuring in the possibility that we may stave off global catastrophe over assuming inevitable destruction or speeding headlong into that pending doom
  6. But some cannot believe. They should then ‘at least learn your inability to believe…’ and ‘Endeavour then to convince’ themselves.

 

Simply put, what do you have to lose by believing in climate change? If climate change is inevitable, uncontrollable, divine, or doesn’t exist and we spent our time respecting the earth’s resources what have we lost?

Let’s Talk about Snakes!

Gather ‘round, young creationist True Believers™: time for a little herpetology lesson from the Blessed Old Leather-Bound Bible!

 

Genesis 3 begins with a description of a talking animal – one of two such wonders found in God’s Word:

 

//Now the serpent was more crafty than any other wild animal that the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God say, ‘You shall not eat from any tree in the garden’?” The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden; but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the middle of the garden, nor shall you touch it, or you shall die.’” But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not die; for God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”//

 

There follows the story of “the Fall.” Later, when the blame game is being played:

 

The woman said, “The serpent tricked me and I ate.” The LORD God said to the serpent,

“Because you have done this,

cursed are you among all animals

and among all wild creatures;

upon your belly you shall go,

and dust you shall eat

all the days of your life.

I will put enmity between you and the woman,

and between your offspring and hers;

he will strike your head,

and you will strike his heel.”

 

That’s all we hear of this wondrous eloquent reptile in the Bible, unless that “old dragon” reference in Revelation 20:2 is intended to refer back to the creation story.

 

There are many things about “the Fall” that I find puzzling, but as much as I’d like to start listing and raising questions about them – the kinds of impertinent questions that tend to aggravate the hell out of True Believers™ because they aim at getting people to think about the notions they take for granted – I’m going to focus on the snake because that’s the kind of mood I happen to be in at the moment (that copperhead I encountered in the Ozarks last weekend might have something to do with it). Let me address a few serpentine questions to any creationists who happen to reading this:
Continue reading “Let’s Talk about Snakes!”

The Ark Encounter: One Man’s Dedication to Ignorance and Lies

Ken Ham and his followers remind me a lot of the Mormons. In general terms, they have a fair amount of similar traits: non-violent, blissfully happy, respect freedom of speech, and each group actively works hard to stay ignorant about reality. All good traits to have, except for the last one. People who actively try hard to stay ignorant about reality typically have some delusional views. Ken Ham is a perfect example of that. Who in their right mind would think that it is a good idea to turn global genocide into a “happy-go-lucky” amusement park? How many other Earthlings are disturbed by this?

 

Noah’s Ark is just a fictional story, but Creationists believe it is real. Fictional or not, though, it is unsettling to see people celebrate a story about global genocide. That would be similar to making a restaurant for the Inquisition. Why not make a restaurant to “celebrate” the Inquisition though? I mean, if you are going to celebrate the imaginary time that your god killed 99.999% of his children, why not celebrate the time that your god’s followers actually murdered people for him? After all, they were just following his orders (2 Chronicles 15: 12-13 NAB).

 

Can you imagine it? Ken Ham and “the banana man”  talking about their future plans…
Continue reading “The Ark Encounter: One Man’s Dedication to Ignorance and Lies”

What Would Convince Me to Believe in God

This blog post is going to be a little different than most of mine. This post in particular is aimed more at theists than the majority of my posts are. Theists often wonder how to convince atheists of their position, and seem to think it is impossible to convince us of God. This clearly is not the case; from our perspective, theists often fail miserably at presenting their case, and even act in ways that detract from their arguments. It is not that we are not able to be convinced; it is that we are looking for certain kinds of evidence, and theists often fail to present it. This article is about what would convince me, personally, to believe in God.

 

If theists want to convince me to believe in God, the most important key is to cater to their audience, which in this case, is me. This means they need to understand how I think. The primary reason I do not believe in God is because I have not found any of the evidence convincing. As you have seen in my article on presuppositionalism, I adopt an epistemology based on accepting the existence universe and myself as axioms, and this means that we must derive the existence of God from myself or the physical universe. I do not require absolute evidence because I do not accept that one can be absolutely certain about much of anything, but the evidence for the existence of God should be very firm and undeniable on a reasonable level. I adopt the agnostic atheist position; I do not believe in God, but I do not necessarily deny the possibility of his existence either. I believe the burden of proof is on the person who is making the claim, and that would be the theist. From here on, I am going to provide a list of dos and don’ts for arguing with me on the subject for the existence of God.

  Continue reading “What Would Convince Me to Believe in God”