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November 05, 2011


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A more accurate analogy would be to say that the religious answer is, “the tea fairies make the tea boil.”

I also noticed that, Tom - his tea analogy would support his position perfectly if his wife were a non-physical entity that is entirely undetectable by science, except for the gas occasionally being mysteriously switched on and making the water boil.

Haught's obfuscations are in such an advanced stage, that I'm not all that surprised that he couldn't recognize his own theology in the de-obfuscated way Coyne presented it. Must be infuriating to have ones entire profession and field of enquiry completely demolished by an outsider in 25 minutes.

Ugh. The fallacious appeal to other ways of knowing. When I bring this up, they always counter with something about my "faith" in science.

I don't have faith in science; it works, demonstrably so. It works so god damn often I have trouble not trusting it.

OMIF (Oh my imaginary friend) Skeptico is back!

Welcome back!
Luck me that don't take you out of my feed reader.

One thing I should bring up whenever someone tries Haught's tactics is to continuously ask what the "extra layers" are, and how a consensus (snicker) was reached about them. Of course, as you can probably guess from that parenthetical comment, I'm aware of no religious consensus.

There's no religious consensus on how many gods there are: Some religions have none, some have numerous gods, and some have just one. Even the definition of "god" also varies widely, even within a religion if you get down to nitty-gritty details.

As time goes on, these disagreements multiply as new religions and new apologetics spring up. Those of us who pay attention to cargo cult sciences recognize this as a sign that there is no objective basis connecting the field to reality.

The thought that religion could continue to slow the progress of truly brilliant minds who are genuinely exerting all efforts to interpret the clues presented to us by the natural universe surrounding us is so tiresome.
Those without the resolve to grow beyond a primitive, less frightening, and comfortable view of their world are likely to remain there.

Welcome back, Skeptico!

Hi Skeptico! Great to see you back again, mate.

I found the clip very amusing.

On the one hand, Haught looked cool, crisp, prepared and with a slick, professional, folksy line in patter.

Coyne looked as if he'd had five minutes' warning of the debate after drinking way too many cups of coffee. It looked like "So very little time, so very, very much evidence to go through."

Yet I know which guy came across as more believable, not difficult since one of the speakers was spouting fluent but facile gibberish and the other was trying to cram a huge amount of ample rebutment into a very short time.

One looked like a slick PR-trained politico-religious MIB and the other looked like... a human being.

I loved Coyne's "metaphor versus literal truth" motif, and the very important fact that it's impossible a priori to tell the difference.

And also I find it amusing that Haught falls back on the other religious mainstay when contradictions are identified "You're reading me out of context" without ever explaining why and where, or what the proper context is.

You'd think these college-trained religious authors, who have the voice of Almighty God Herself whispering constantly in their ears, would be able to get their arguments across clearly, wouldn't you?

I agree that some people should really learn what an ad hominem attack is.

You might want to check out my new site called http://www.theinconvenienttruth.org> The Inconvenient Truth.

Abit off topic here ,but just wanted to say that this is now my favorite blog(AND JUST TWEETED ABOUT THIS BLOG) and skeptico is my new hero LOL.His science and logic are fantastic and I love what he said to joe vitali about "the secret" and the"law of attraction" Iam no quantum mechanic sciencetist and my knowledge of it is limited(Ihave tried to read and watch a lot of it ,but much is a bit over my head) But I always felt that the LOA people had taken one fact of quntum physics out of context(all particals vibrate) and built an entire cult around it.And as for as this debate between John Haught and Jerry Coyne,it is clear one has facts,logic and a clear understanding of science ,while the other tries to use a analogy,that really does not fit the situation.(and y any chance do you have a news letter?)

welcome back, i hope you write more.

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