Wednesday 28th of October 2020

a dumb design that makes no sense at all is used to bash richard dawkins...

a joke...

Not a week goes pass without Richard Dawkins being attacked by some of the pseudo-scientists of the dumb religious designer department. To them Dawkins is the devil incarnate. Mind you Dawkins always pops his head where he knows he will be hit by the religious mob for stirring anti-godot controversy.


Of all the atheists on this planet, Dawkins is the major punching bag for the loony Christians because apart from a few (not so prominent) other atheists, he is the one who stirs the pot with vigour and dramatic challenges. So, the Loony Christians have to destroy his scientifically sound ideas in order to promote their crap which on balance does not make any sense... For them, there is no problem with a catchy story, even if it is beyond ri-di-cu-lous.


The concept of god is ridiculous. But it has been written for centuries by men of self-importance and refined with glorious language designed to inspire fear if you are a simpleton. 
Today's rancid religious sauce comes from a fellow, called Michael N Keas, "professor of history and philosophy of science" at the Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary — apparently a guy who is an inflated intelligent designer believer, with a few university degrees. Please let me snigger. He has a BS in biology and a PhD in History of Science. 
Does this means that Michael knows anything about sciences? No. Nothing unrelated to his core belief in the man upstairs. With no degree of anything from anywhere, old Gus could run rings around Michael erroneous dogmatic arguments. Science is not about dogma. How do these guys get their degrees?
Anyway this is not the question. 
These guys are good at getting sponsorships, such as from the Discovery Institute and the long winded titled National Science Foundation and the American Council of Learned Societies
What do I know? The Discovery Institute (DI) is a non-profit public policy think tank based in Seattle, Washington, best known for its advocacy of the pseudoscience intelligent design (ID). Its "Teach the Controversy" campaign aims to permit teaching of anti-evolution, intelligent-design beliefs in United States public high school science courses alongside accepted scientific theories, positing that a scientific controversy exists over these subjects. 
So what is wrong? Simple. We discover someone judged intelligent by the system, because they've managed to get a degree somewhere, try to make us swallow the biggest load of bullshit in the history of religious deceit... Go away. 
The word non-profit should sound an alarm bell when attached to "policy-think-tank". First these think-tank have a driven religious agenda and second they don't think much and third, they really tank with bad zealoted policies.
People like Michael N Keas learn to become professional pilots and then discover that god tells them to fly their plane upside down, or towards the sun, so they do so without questioning, nor proper reasoning. I know... I know don't tell me. It's easier to believe in simplistic bullshit, than to understand the real complexity of sciences.
Today, Michael N keas, tells us about Richard Weikart's new book.

Historian Richard Weikart's new book, The Death of Humanity: And the Case for Life, is an important study of the erosion of the most basic values in the Judeo-Christian tradition of the West. Many things are striking about Weikart's powerful treatment of his subject, but I noted, in particular, his discussion of some statements from atheist biologist Richard Dawkins. These statements have a curious, persistent, and revealing inconsistency to them.

Here is Weikart, for example, on a 2007 interview with Dawkins:

[C]onsider how Richard Dawkins responded when Larry Taunton asked in an interview if his rejection of external moral standards meant that Islamic extremists might not be wrong. Dawkins replied, "What's to prevent us from saying Hitler wasn't right? I mean, that is a genuinely difficult question." Taunton admitted that he was stupefied by Dawkins's answer -- as he should have been. Anyone who thinks that making a moral judgment about Hitler is difficult has lost their moral compass completely and has no business pontificating about any moral issue (or proclaiming that he has discovered the "root of all evil" -- which is what he called religion, of course). (p. 80)

Yes Dawkins' view on Hitler could be a worry should one not know that Dawkins had said in 2007:

Dawkins' Afterword to a 2007 book, What Is Your Dangerous Idea? Dawkins wrote there: "Nobody wants to be caught agreeing with that monster, even in a single particular." The moral monster Dawkins referred to was Adolf Hitler. So which is it? On the one hand Dawkins (like all the rational and informed people I know) considers Hitler a moral monster. On the other hand, he proclaims that we can't rationally criticize Hitler's genocidal racism.


Gus: rationality is not the method to criticise Hitler. Social construct design engineering is the only space in which we can criticise Hitler's position. Such engineering comprises religious beliefs and other decisions we make, some based on "understandings" some based on "our own prejudices" and on what we value. Not on "rationality". Hitler was not seen as a monster by most of the population of Germany at the time. He was seen as "saviour" against other nations that had worked a harsh way to undermine that country beyond humiliation. His solutions were quite radical, so were the religious mobs under the inquisition, the communist revolution in Russia and many other social modifications management.

These events and the way we think led authors to write something like "Animal Farm" or "1984" which now needs to be retitled "2025" since the time differential was out of kilter compared to the way things have worked out. We're only three quarters of the way there with mass surveillance and dictatorial governments, though we don't know or we don't want to acknowledge it's happening — because we're happy enough with comfort despite the chains. Under Hitler, comforts increased dramatically for the Germans in general...

Michael goes on and on:


There's more. In a chapter titled "My Genes Made Me Do It," Weikart explores the attack on the belief in human free will from scientists such as Dawkins. Criminals are not responsible for their actions, Dawkins has argued. Why? Because they are like "defective machines" -- victims of defective genes and/or a defective environment. Weikart notes Dawkins's use of the term "defective." How could it be consistent for an atheist like Dawkins to use a word like that?


Yes actually, the Christians believe that "the devil made me do it" and this is why they have something called "exorcism" and christ dying on the cross to take out the "original sin"... But this aside, Weikart completely misunderstands Dawkins position and tries hard to make sure we do as well. 

Genes are strong determinants in behaviour, we know this in regard to "obese" people, etc. and in regard to the way we grow up as people, some more intelligent than others, in regard to a well-know bell curve. We know we can modify behaviour to limit the damage by learning and practising on all level from personal and social skills. Whatever we call the damage is basically mis-management of basic instincts, ingrained in the survival of whom we become, once we're off the teats — and can look after ourselves. Some of us have difficulties in caring for ourselves.

What we have learnt has a strong influence on what we're going to react to and act.

The individual born in a Taliban family, whose parents have been killed by an American drone, is not going to love the Americans no matter how much we say "it was an accident, we only were after your bad uncle." This is learning, whatever we wish it to call it. Even in our system, we will foster lemming lynch mobs — including religious ones, sometimes exclusively religious ones. We will make excuses to take-over some other poor bastards' land because we consider them inferior to our system. This was called colonialism then and this invasion is still practised today economically by the Christian people in the name of development, plus proselytising designed to destroy the local's own beliefs, all while we help ourselves to compensation for the "help". It's stealing resources in the name of de-ve-lo-pe-ment.. 

This is of course very arrogant with an air of hypocritical superiority as much as Hitler was revolting.

There I have said it. I believe Dawkins has said it in a more moderate way. Rationality? Religious people don't understand the meaning of this premise.

And "intelligent design" is a dumb idea which is contrary to scientific evidence.

betting the house on large numbers...

Monte Carlo methods (or Monte Carlo experiments) are a broad class ofcomputational algorithms that rely on repeated random sampling to obtain numerical results. They are often used in physical and mathematical problems and are most useful when it is difficult or impossible to use other mathematical methods. Monte Carlo methods are mainly used in three distinct problem classes:[1] optimization,numerical integration, and generating draws from a probability distribution.

In physics-related problems, Monte Carlo methods are quite useful for simulating systems with many coupled degrees of freedom, such as fluids, disordered materials, strongly coupled solids, and cellular structures (see cellular Potts modelinteracting particle systemsMcKean-Vlasov processeskinetic models of gases). Other examples include modeling phenomena with significant uncertainty in inputs such as the calculation of risk in business and, in math, evaluation of multidimensional definite integrals with complicated boundary conditions. In application to space and oil exploration problems, Monte Carlo–based predictions of failure, cost overruns and schedule overruns are routinely better than human intuition or alternative "soft" methods.[2]

In principle, Monte Carlo methods can be used to solve any problem having a probabilistic interpretation. By the law of large numbers, integrals described by theexpected value of some random variable can be approximated by taking theempirical mean (a.k.a. the sample mean) of independent samples of the variable. When the probability distribution of the variable is parameterized, mathematicians often use a Markov Chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) sampler.[3][4][5][6] The central idea is to design a judicious Markov chain model with a prescribed stationary probability distribution. By the ergodic theorem, the stationary distribution is approximated by theempirical measures of the random states of the MCMC sampler.

crucifying bernie...

The Democratic National Committee’s conspiring to sabotage Bernie Sanders’ campaign is disturbing on many levels, but what makes me livid is that the DNC was hoping to portray Bernie Sanders as an atheist. What’s worse than the intended smear is the belief that branding someone an atheist is a smear.

So what if he were atheist? Does this make him less qualified? And why would the DNC consider encouraging the notion that atheism is shameful? Atheists deserve as much respect as anyone else. Thinking otherwise is bigotry.

Atheists belong to the category “freethinkers,” which ranges from the anti-religious, who perceive religion as harmful, to atheists, agnostics and deists, to those with unconventional religious beliefs.

An atheist is not a God hater or Satan worshipper. Nor is an atheist a worshipper of money, selfishness or valueless culture. Like Christianity and Islam, atheism covers a vast range of personalities.

Atheists may revere love, gratitude, generosity, respect, responsibility, and morality. Atheists may believe in the mind’s power to tap into deeper aspects of life.

What they don’t believe in is supernatural beings. Atheists may admire Jesus’ words but not believe he was resurrected. Atheists don’t envision God’s hand in suffering and war. Atheists are motivated neither by selfish hope for heavenly rewards nor fear of hell’s punishment but by the wish to help life and Earth. Atheists may be inspired by the music of hymns but not by their lyrics.

Hating atheists allows people to hate and feel divine about it. Yet if God is love, it shouldn’t matter if one worships God and another worships love.

A giant Independence Day ad in the Times Union submitted by Hobby Lobby featured cherry-picked quotes to suggest America was founded as a Christian nation. Quoting George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, Benjamin Franklin, and others, the ad implied that Christianity belongs conspicuously in our government and schools. You get the feeling that non-Christians are expected to crawl in a box and lay low.

Yes, the nation’s founders believed in God and admired principles of Jesus. But the ad’s propaganda omits three-quarters of the truth:

Washington, Adams, Jefferson, Madison, and Franklin resolutely advocated freedom of conscience and complete separation of church and state. Some of them believed Jesus wasn’t divine. And while most believed that a moral society is prerequisite for democracy, none believed that any particular religion is prerequisite to possessing that morality.

Washington believed all religions are beneficial and even assured a Rhode Island Jewish community that the U.S. “gives to bigotry no sanction.” Franklin, a deist-Christian blend, stressed religious pluralism and good deeds rather than doctrine. He even wrote an additional chapter to Genesis, in which God teaches Abraham the value of religious tolerance.

The ad’s quoting of Thomas Jefferson is particularly misleading since Jefferson was repulsed by Christian theology and solely revered the words of Jesus himself. Jefferson made his own Bible by purging sections he deemed too supernatural or corruptive of Jesus’ message. With Greek-like open-mindedness, he remarked, “it does me no injury for my neighbour to say there are twenty gods, or no god.”


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