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Missing Link - lack of debate?


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Initial post: 28 May 2009 19:05:55 BDT
Last edited by the author on 28 May 2009 20:10:20 BDT
Mr H says:
Interesting. Either everyone's got completely fed up with this endless game of tennis, or the theists are mulling things over.

I'm referring of course to the announcement of the discovery of the so called "missing link", which demonstrates that Darwin was right and that the account of creation contained in the bible is wrong. So if that's wrong, what else is wrong in the bible, and can religion sustain itself if based on the old testament? I suspect it can, but just wondering what others think at the moment?

In reply to an earlier post on 29 May 2009 08:47:58 BDT
Laurence says:
It seems the atheist's much lauded objectivity has deserted them (yet again). Read it n' weep Mr. H:

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/columnists/guest_contributors/article6360606.ece

In reply to an earlier post on 29 May 2009 09:59:54 BDT
Drew Jones says:
That article is not at all a criticism of evolution or the find of Ida but instead a caution to science that it's creditability is harmed if it's public perception is solely defined by courting sensationalised media hype which moves faster than the careful scientific endeavour. The comments section that accompanies it highlights the sort of scientifically ignorant and repeated falsehoods that people trot out when they haven't bothered see what the science actually has to say.

In reply to an earlier post on 29 May 2009 11:09:22 BDT
Mr H says:
Sorry, no weeping here. If you prefer to cling on to the belief that a supernatural being created the universe and everything in it, that's up to you. But I question the validity of a supernatural being creating the earth a few thousand years ago and planting dateable fossils to confuse us, then creating the first man out of dust, the first woman from one of his ribs, condemning them both for acting on traits that he gave them, and creating eternal torment for simply not believing in his "son" who came along thousands of years later to change the way we view his "father" who is unchangeable.

If you want to hold on to this idea in spite of the overwhelming evidence to the contrary, that's your folly.

But if the old testament is wrong (and it clearly is) then everything based on it must also be wrong.

This article is clearly a warning not to rush to judgement. 200 years have passed since the origin of the species was published and no evidence to the contrary has been found yet thousands of pieces of evidence to support the theory of evolution has been found. What will it take before people accept the truth? Even if god himself appeared and said it was all a joke, no theist would believe it.

In reply to an earlier post on 29 May 2009 14:39:02 BDT
Laurence says:
Mr. H-
your OP is fundamentally inaccurate and unprovable (that 'Ida' somehow disproves the Bible, that Darwin proves the non-existence of God and [pant] that your religion is bunkum, so there). Yet this does not stop you, in your next post, from launching into a pre-prepared, unjustified non sequitur against Christianity. Typical crude Dawkins acolyte behaviour, unfortunately.

In reply to an earlier post on 29 May 2009 17:18:17 BDT
Mr H,

This sounds like a case of sour grapes and is indicative of a spoilt child who has not got their way. Elswhere it has been asked whether theists and atheists should be engaged in debate - on the basis of this tirade, I'd have to say that it isn't worth the effort. Thank goodness there are some people who rationally argue their points and try and provoke serious thinking among their opponents.

Wayne

In reply to an earlier post on 29 May 2009 20:03:51 BDT
Mr H says:
Is this the best reponse that you two can come up with? That's a shame, I was hoping for some sort of debate.

I make a valid point and back it up with valid questions, and one of you turns on me and accuses me of attacking christianity without responding to any of the points, and the other accuses me of sour grapes and calls me a spoilt child.

Honestly, why do you feel the need to resort to personal attacks instead of answering the points raised? This is lame. Try harder.

In reply to an earlier post on 29 May 2009 20:23:02 BDT
David Groom says:
Mr H

If you watch the debates on here, you will see that there is always a general pattern. Usually, a non-believer makes a perfectly sensible point or raises an interesting question that may have real implications for the theists. The response is often nothing to do with the question asked but wanders off into some other theist argument. When the questioner restates the question or asks a supplementary question, the theist starts to get shrill and complains that their faith is under attack. Finally, the theist, having failed to answer a simple question, then resorts to hurling insults and taking their ball into a corner in a sulk, rather than debate any further.

The conclusion from this must be that the theist's arguments for their position are virtually non-existent and, where faith overrules common sense or logic, they find themselves unable to respond. The last refuge for such incompetence is insults as they have nothing else to use. As I say above, with the occasional exception, this is the usual response from theists, so you shouldn't be surprised.

In reply to an earlier post on 30 May 2009 10:55:54 BDT
Last edited by the author on 30 May 2009 11:02:29 BDT
Mr H says:
Thanks David. I'm not surprised to be honest. In my time debating on here I have been threated with physical volince and death, my family have been insulted, and none of the questions I have asked have been responded to in a constructive manner.

Now don't get me wrong - my position has shifted during these debates and I am happy to say so - but I'm still an unbeliever. It's just a shame that theists can't face their own failings regarding their position with the same honesty and candour and instead resort to personal attack to muddy the water.

And I think this is what irritates Dawkins - not that he's right or they are, but that they steadfastly refuse to accept what is clearly in front of them and instead attack others who don't support their own position.

It is clear that genesis is bronze age myth but theists cannot admit this without questioning the rest of the bible as it is based on these myths, and the whole thing quickly unravels. I'd recommend them to read "The Gospel of the Second Coming" By Freake and Ghandi - cover to cover - to understand why it is unecessary to hold on to this position. And it really is a silly position to be in - but such a powerful and dangerous one, even in the 21st century.

Posted on 30 May 2009 12:47:13 BDT
R. Clay says:
Isn't the term "missing link" inappropriate for discussing evolution anyhow? The idea of a fossil being transitional or non-transitional contradicts the Theory of Evolution through Natural Selection, technically every fossil could be ascribed as "transitional". When will the likes of Laurence realise that they are arguing for an empty and scientifically hollow viewpoint?

Seriously, do you really expect to see the fossil of a half-monkey, half-man? Or are you too blinkered to recognise the evolution of hominids for example?

Australopithecus, Australopithecus afarensis, Australopithecus africanus, Homo habilis, Homo ergaster, Homo erectus, Homo sapiens (plus many more), or even the subspecies Homo sapiens neandertalensis are all evidence of hominid evolution from the changing size/shape of the skull, the developments of bipedalism and the associated changes within the pelvis etc.

Evolution now has a theoretical means, process and mechanism. It really shouldn't be too hard to recognise this.

In reply to an earlier post on 2 Jun 2009 08:47:21 BDT
Laurence says:
David Groom-
Given that you have set out what is wrong with posts that you disagree with, I note with interest that you failed to mention the question in hand; i.e. how, yet again, atheism has--in stark relief to the ''shrill'' claims of atheist scientists such as Dawkins and yourself--defined and misdirected science. Other examples would be the case of the Turin Shroud (declared in 1988 by atheist scientists (a cause taken up with glee by the mainstream atheist media in the usual manner) to be a medieval fake) and memes of Dawkins (an unprovable, fabricated theory designed by Dawkins's atheism).

In reply to an earlier post on 2 Jun 2009 09:01:55 BDT
Laurence says:
"In my time debating on here I have been threated with physical volince and death"

Are you serious? When did this happen (I've never heard of you before in the 1 year that I have been periodically contributing to this forum)? This is a very serious allegation; have you reported it to Amazon?

In any event, have you ever considered that you really would be in serious trouble if you were a Muslim in an Muslim country deriding Islam as you deride Christianity Would you be so brave then? Do you see a difficulty that anyone, let alone a Christian, might have with this?

In reply to an earlier post on 2 Jun 2009 09:51:03 BDT
Mr H says:
Yes Laurence, I am serious, and yes, it was reported to amazon. You obviously haven't been reading all the debates on here - I recommend that you do - they make enlightening reading.

And as to your second point - does it not strike you that given your evaluation (which I agree with) of religion, that you choose to adhere to one?

And thankfully in this country we are able to express ourselves without fear now, but this is only a very recent phenomena. A century ago things would have been very different. So much for the god of tolerance then...

And no, I don't see what dificulty a christian should have with an aetheist. Surely if the god you believe in is so powerful a few atheist and agnostics (two terms I dislike) waffling on about it's non-existence shouldn't be a concern for anyone? Or pehaps people like me, who have rejected the church, just make you feel uncomfortable with our frankness about the twaddle you adhere to?

In reply to an earlier post on 2 Jun 2009 13:35:38 BDT
Last edited by the author on 2 Jun 2009 13:38:11 BDT
AJ Murray says:
Wow Mr H,

Death threats? That is worrying, were they religious by any chance?

That person must have been losing the argument so badly...

In regards to the lack of debate surrounding Ida, i guess it because to those of us that accept evolution its just another in a long line of discoveries. To the Christian creationist mob - well, they will ignore it, they only have eyes for out of date biology texts and misquotes.

-

Laurence,

It always gives me a chuckle when a Christian points towards Muslim intolerance of dissenting views, since its not really that long ago since Christianity was suppressing other religions and views across Europe. That has changed, but only because society has separated Church and State. If the Church still retained power, i have no doubt it would still be just as intolerant as it ever was. I think that some Christians are envious of the way Islam is treated with kid gloves in this country.

In reply to an earlier post on 2 Jun 2009 16:38:04 BDT
Laurence says:
Andrew J. Murray-
"I think that some Christians are envious of the way Islam is treated with kid gloves in this country."
Do you not think it disingenuous to attack Christianity in the name of all religions just because you can get away with it?

In reply to an earlier post on 2 Jun 2009 18:38:11 BDT
Mr H says:
Now, this has always interested me. Someone is consistently voting down any point that knocks christianity regardless of whether they are actually adding to the debate. Now since any post that illicits a response can be said to be adding to the debate, they must therefore be voting against them for a different reason, such as disagreement. However, one of the ten commandments clearly that false witness is a sin. Let's hope the individuals concerned aren't religious and correct, or they're stuffed.

Personally I don't feel that christianity is a bad thing, but that religion is. Any and all religion.

The religious have violenty suppressed any dissent for thousands of years and it's time that non-religious people were able to say what they want about scientifically demonstrable facts without some religious nut or other shouting them down or threatening them. Ida is another step towards this.

AJM - yes they were religious, but not of any identifieable mainstream religion. Mainly christian with a smattering of buddhist and catholic. If you read the "Does God Exist?" thread you should be able to find them easily enough. It's a long read but very interesting. Laurence - I would suggest you do the same before I start asking the same awkward questions of you...

In reply to an earlier post on 2 Jun 2009 19:50:41 BDT
David Groom says:
Laurence,

'Given that you have set out what is wrong with posts that you disagree with, I note with interest that you failed to mention the question in hand; i.e. how, yet again, atheism has--in stark relief to the ''shrill'' claims of atheist scientists such as Dawkins and yourself--defined and misdirected science.'

I am sorry, but I do not recognise your description of either Richard Dawkins or myself (nice to be mentioned in the same sentence) as 'shrill.' If by this you mean that neither he nor I are prepared to accept unsubstantiated claims without evidence, and say so then I make no apologies for this. Would that this was the situation so far as the rest of mankind is concerned. The problem here seems to be that you are unable to deal with a logical challenge to your beliefs, a challenge which you know to be reasonable. yet you cannot refute. Your only response is to become frustrated, which is clear from the anger in your posts.

Once again, a theist mentions the way that atheism misdirects science, yet you fail to say exactly what it is you are talking about, so can you specify where RD has done this?

On the matter of the Turin Shroud, radiocarbon dating in 1988 suggested it was of medieval origin and some people have questioned the conclusions made. Those conclusions were arrived at by scientists carrying out objective tests, not, as you suggest in any biased way, and are open to further testing/checking as necessary. My understanding is that later scientists believe that the dating may need to be revised, but only slightly away from the dates originally quoted and certainly not to 2000 years ago.

On the question of memes, I have already said elsewhere that I am not convinced about the argument for their existence. However, this does not mean that it is unreasonable for scientists to hypothesise about things that are not fully accepted. That is the nature of science. Since memes theory applies to all ideas transfers, it doesn't seem to me that memes are some kind of atheist position - they may be applicable to religion but they also apply to many other things, so your idea that they are some atheist plot is simply paranoia on your part.

In reply to an earlier post on 3 Jun 2009 10:35:39 BDT
Laurence says:
Mr. H. and David Groom have provided a textbook demonstration of what it means to be a true follower of the great prophet Dawkins (praise be his great and holy name for ever and ever). First, ask a loaded question; second, wait for a reply; third, launch into a pre-prepared attack on Christianity in the name of all religion (because you can get away with it); fourth, if a Christian takes exception, accuse them of being hysterical and deluded (resort to the Inquisition if necessary); fifth, turn to other atheists for comfort and finally, ignore or castigate any further posts from anyone who disagrees with you.

In reply to an earlier post on 3 Jun 2009 12:50:25 BDT
Mr H says:
Laurence.

Utter rubbish.
1. How does one ask a loaded question? I have my viewpoint and can demonstrate it, you have your's and you also believe you can demonstrate it. If I ask a question which I know you can't provide a decent answer to so to demonstrate a point, how is that loaded? You believe that god is infallible presumably so you should have the answers.
2. That's the whole point of a debate isn't it? I say something or ask a question and someone replies. What else would you have me do? Go and preach? That's not going to happen, is it?
3. I've already clarified my position on christianity and religion and seperated the two of them for fairness. How is that a pre-prepared (how does that work actually?) attack?
4. I haven't accused you of being hysterical (although you're starting to sounds extremely defensive). You are deluded though - in the proper sense of the word.
5. I post alone on these boards and have no need to turn to other people, believers or non-believers in religion.
6. As you can clearly see I am not ignoring what you're saying and castigate means to severely critisise or punish, neither of which are the case here.

Once again, may I remind you of Exodus 20:16 - Not bearing false witness? Back to the drawing board Laurence.

Anyway, I notice you're not actually commenting on Ida anymore. She's millions of years old, which flies in the face of religious belief. Unless you want to explain why the bible says that god created everything in six days 4 thousand odd years ago, despite pottery being found in china recently dating back 18 thousand years? Just to make it more up to date for you. Christianity is based on the old testament remember? How do you explain that away?

In reply to an earlier post on 3 Jun 2009 16:17:52 BDT
Laurence says:
"Christianity is based on the old testament remember? How do you explain that away?"
Good heavens, what a mistake! Christianity is based on the New Testament, rather famously in fact! As for the Old Testament, may I direct you to the following: Matthew 9:17, Mark 2:22 and Luke 5:37.

In reply to an earlier post on 3 Jun 2009 16:20:45 BDT
Laurence says:
"Anyway, I notice you're not actually commenting on Ida anymore."
This is because 'Ida' is not the 'missing link' that you erroneously said 'Ida' was. (See your OP and my first reply.)

In reply to an earlier post on 3 Jun 2009 16:25:33 BDT
Mr H says:
Oh dear Laurence, what a mistake. The new testament is based on the old testament. In fact, everything in the bible is based on genesis BECAUSE IT IS THE FIRST ACCOUNT OF THE CHRISTIAN GOD.

I put that last bit in caps so you heard it.

Dear oh dear...

In reply to an earlier post on 3 Jun 2009 16:26:41 BDT
Mr H says:
And it was subsequently pointed out that Ida was one of many thousand links between man and ape that confirms the accuracy of evolutionary thoery and the innacuracy of the bible.

In reply to an earlier post on 3 Jun 2009 16:47:26 BDT
Laurence says:
"castigate means to severely critisise or punish, neither of which are the case here"

Severely criticise? Let's see what I have been accused of in the space of the few posts above*:

1. "[being] scientifically ignorant and [repeating] falsehoods that people trot out when they haven't bothered see what the science actually has to say"

2. [That I believe that] "a supernatural being creating the earth a few thousand years ago and planting dateable fossils to confuse us etc etc"

3. "lame."

4. " [a] theist [who] starts to get shrill and complains that their faith is under attack."

5. "[a] theist [who] having failed to answer a simple question resorts to hurling insults and taking their ball into a corner in a sulk, rather than debate any further"

6. " [a] theist [whose] arguments for their position are virtually non-existent and, where faith overrules common sense or logic, [who] find[s] themselves unable to respond."

7. Incompetent.

8. Compared with some (anonymous) people who "threated with physical volince and death" and "insulting" someone's family.

9. That I am an adherent of twaddle [sic].

10. That I am afraid of atheist "frankness".

11. That I am, "envious of the way Islam is treated with kid gloves in this country." (Particularly under the belt that one.)

12. That I am "consistently voting down any point that knocks christianity regardless of whether they are actually adding to the debate"

13. That I should be more "enlightened".

14. That I am a liar.

15. That I am "some religious nut" who "shouts down" and "threatens"

16. That I am "frustrated", "angry" and "paranoid".

17. That I should have all the answers (!?!)

18. That I am "defensive" and "deluded"

All this and being 'spoken over' as well in some of the posts.

*Not that I care less.

In reply to an earlier post on 3 Jun 2009 16:48:39 BDT
Laurence says:
"Dear oh dear... "
Dear oh dear yourself. Christian = follower of CHRIST (2000 years ago, remember)!
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Discussion in:  The God Delusion forum
Participants:  8
Total posts:  35
Initial post:  28 May 2009
Latest post:  5 Jun 2009

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