• Why do normal people believe ridiculous things?

    Why, indeed, do normal people believe ridiculous things? We have heard much from John Loftus about the OTF – the Outsider Test for Faith – which essentially illustrates that religion is a (geographical) accident of birth. It claims that if believers used the same critical powers they use to assess, and dismiss, other religions and their claims, then they are obliged to turn those critical faculties on their own. If they did, John would claim, then they would surely end up dismissing the claims of their own religion (this is a simplistic view of the OTF, no doubt).

    What is interesting to me here is not so much the fact that people do special plead their own religion in this way (though that is incredibly interesting and important in itself), but how this comes about. I will put forward a theory which is fairly well accepted anecdotally, and see what you think. I will use an example which I experienced the other night which should show the theory with clarity.

    So the other night, at an informal philosophy group meeting, one new member of our group professed to being a Christian (of sorts). She believed, it turned out, in the biblical accounts of Noah’s Ark. Before I continue, I am going to look at Noah’s Flood critically in order to show that it can easily be dismissed with the sort of fairly average critical abilities we use every day to assess and delineate the ridiculous from the plausible:

    1)  Omni-God did it because we were a sinful world. We still are; therefore, it didn’t work.

    2)  The account is a reworking of Tablet XI of the Gilgamesh, written some 1000 years before the Bible. Some verses are verbatim, or close to.

    3) If the deluge destroyed all, why do we have the writings and journals of people before, during and after the deluge?

    4) There is internal contradiction from the spliced accounts – 2 of each or 7?

    5)  8 people looking after the world’s biggest zoo is ridiculous.

    6) The ark is physically bigger than a wooden vessel can be made, apparently by 50%.

    7) Clearly the gathering of all the animals is impossible – micro-organisisms, polar bears, penguins, condors, glow-worms (how did they get there?)

    8)   Ark’s reported dimensions would have to be considerably larger to fit the animals.

    9)  Population of 8 could not rebound in the fashion claimed. Simply not possible.

    10)  Rainfall would have to be 6 inches per minute. Again, not possible. A category 5 hurricane gives 6 inches per hour which is impossible to sustain over 40 days.

    11)  The weight of the water would have disastrous consequences on the earth’s crust, emitting noxious gases and eruptions, leading to potentially, a boiling sea! In all probability, it would have imploded in some way.

    12)  There is no geological evidence for any of this.

    13)  There are reefs that have been undisturbed in the world for 100,000 years. These would have been crushed and destroyed. They were not.

    14) Lots more evidence of fossil, radiometrics and isotopes etc. mean that the flood clearly never happened.

    15)  How the hell did Noah actually get all the animals on the ark without them trying to eat each other / the family etc?

    16)  Asexual animals and hermaphrodites not accounted for

    17)  Ventilation / food / faeces problems on ark

    18)  Carnivores?

    19)  DNA pool? no trace of this through DNA analysis (ie we know we came from Africa)

    20)  All sea fish would have died from influx of fresh water.

    21) All plants that do not rely on the seeds of Noah to survive would die. There are many plants that reproduce in many ways other than seeds.

    22)  Explaining it away as a local flood is contradictory to genesis, and would also not kill all the humans who were so evil. Liquids find their own level, and so a local flood of that magnitude and description is physically impossible.

    I could go on (I have a list about the flood as long as my arm) – you get the idea.

    So we have a situation where at least some, possibly many, Christians believe the flood myth to be factually true. Why is this? Why and how do they fall short of fulfilling the OTF? The arguments here are hardly incredibly in depth or out-of reach to the average individual. Getting all of the animals of the world to the ark is enough to dismiss it.

    There are two reasons for this:

    1)      they do not question such claims

    2)    they do question the claims, but settle for siding with the more embedded, less consequential claim for their worldview, due to cognitive dissonance.

    Both of these phenomena are as a result of childhood education, of cultural memories as I will show.

    As anyone who works in education can tell you, children are gullible. I have stood in front of thirty 10 year-old children and have told them, in all seriousness, that I am the most intelligent person in the world. They believed me unquestioningly. It was scary. They actually thought I knew everything there is to know.

    So we have a situation where, from birth up through all their formative years, children, both at home and at (certain) schools, are fed cultural myths such as Noah’s Flood as factual stories. The problem here is critical, terminal often. What is happening is that children are fed improbable and implausible stories before they are taught how to rationalise and how to sort the implausible from the plausible, the patently ridiculous from the scientifically verified. These children are at the most educationally vulnerable point in their lives. And who are the people they trust the most? Who are the elders in their lives whose truths they take on unquestioningly? Their parents and grandparents, and their teachers and schools. The children have no hope of being able to decipher whether such truth claims (as in Noah’s Flood) are probable or not. They don’t even think to question such claims.

    It is only after these cultural memories are embedded that children learn about life, about science, about how to tell a lie from a truth, about the notion that you can’t trust everyone, even those close to you.

    Forward-wind five, ten, fifteen, twenty years and to a lady in a pub talking philosophy and religion. I say to her, “Do you believe in the flood myth of the Chinese [where I explain such claims] or the creation myths of the Aborigines [likewise]?”

    Of course, the answer is an almost derisory “no”.

    “Why? Why the special pleading for your Christian myth? I can personally see no difference between the two.”

    I explain many of the above points to which she says, “Oh, I didn’t realise” or some such similar apology. When asked why she believed that myth over the others, she had no answer, and realised that. She left that night with a few more questions than she came with. What was doubly amazing is that she claimed not to have read the Bible for many years since it had been “shoved down her throat” as an adolescent. So here we have a “Christian” believing wild myths without even properly understanding the Bible, and at the same time dismissing, out of hand, other very similar claims.

    The point is, is that people often don’t question received stories told as fact from their childhood. They use the future critical faculties they pick up on other religions, but as the OTF argument goes, they do not apply them to their own embedded, culturally inherited stories. These myths, whether Noah, the 10 plagues, the Genesis Creation, the Tower of Babel or Matthew 27, bypass the vetting process by point of fact of being embedded before the process was learnt. It is like a computer with viruses which eventually gets a virus scanner. But the virus scanner can only pick up new viruses which come onto the system, rather than already existing ones. Those pre-existing viruses last the life of the computer. Unless it has a motherboard break-down, goes to the shop, and gets refitted with new, decent software. In short, it has a mid-life crisis.

    The second option is also prevalent. Many Christians do learn to be critical and do apply that vetting process to their embedded learning. However, cognitive dissonance means that the disharmony of having an embedded story and associated worldview with also having evidence against both of these triggers procedures in the mind which seek to harmonise these conflicting beliefs.

    What happens, of course, as we all know, is that the stronger, more desired belief wins out. Not on account of the strength of the evidence, mind you, but on account of the desire for it to be true. The theist ends up discounting the evidence out of hand, or creating wildly ad hoc reasons as to how the evidence can fit in with so-called biblical “facts”. I have been involved in such discussions with theists who offer the most incredible harmonisations and reasons as to how the flood myth could be true. All they do is destroy their epistemological credibility whilst producing some of the most amusing mental contortions known to intelligent man.

    Obviously, there are difficult questions for the theist who actually discounts such myths (as symbolic or similar). It is a potentially slippery slope as to discerning what is myth, what is allegory and what actually happened in the Bible.

    This childhood indoctrination (since that is what it is), a theist might respond, is merely a genetic fallacy. By knowing how something comes about, it does not necessarily discount its truth value. No, not necessarily. But it does illustrate double standards, and it does illustrate how the case for the historicity of such accounts is built on very shaky cognitive foundations.

    And it does tell us why normal people believe ridiculous things.

    Category: EpistemologyPsychology

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    Article by: Jonathan MS Pearce

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    • This essay states well conclusions I agree with. I will criticize the use of the word theory, though (I will put forward a theory – J MS Pearce), because it seems to me the author posits a hypothesis that is probably worthy of the status of theory, but has not attained it yet. Anti-science Righties seize upon usage like this to deliberately impeach the definition of theory. Lay public confusion about the significance of the term ‘scientific theory’ is exacerbated when people who are distinctly aware of its meaning casually abuse it. It seems to me it is just habitual careless vocabulary employment within the scientific/academic community, casual conversational terminology which rarely appears in professional publication, that could be easily altered with practice. Cleaning this sort of thing up would significantly dull the spear points of creationists and AGW deniers. .

    • neroden

      _Leaving the Fold_ catalogues methods used to indoctrinate, a.k.a. brainwash, children.  Because, although children are gullible, there are limits: particularly insane stuff requires some extra brainwashing work.

    • JohnM

      Jonathan :

      There are two reasons for this:

      You could only come up with 2 possible reason?

      Either you’re placing straw-men on purpose or you’re rather limited in your ability to grasp the mindset of a believer.. Just to take one example:

      10) Rainfall would have to be 6 inches per minute. Again, not possible. A category 5 hurricane gives 6 inches per hour which is impossible to sustain over 40 days.

      So you telling me, that it is impossible for the almighty Creator, to sustain a category 5 hurricane for a longer period of time? How do you know that?

      What if he created a category 10 hurricane? How do you know, that he can’t do that?

      Well you don’t. You’re just trying to grasp the flood, with your own limited mindset.

      • Ok, so the third option is this:

        Thrown out any normal epistemology one uses on a day-to-day basis and replace it with:

        3) Using faith, and believing that God can do anything such that God is not a falsifiable concept in any way, shape or form, believe whatever is recorded in the Bible, regardless of the sheer volume of evidence which counters such a claim.

        Sorry, you are right, i did forget that third claim!

        “So you telling me, that it is impossible for the almighty Creator, to sustain a category 5 hurricane for a longer period of time? How do you know that?”

        The point of me listing those points is that ‘Creation Science’ (*cough*) attempts to prove the global flood on naturalistic and geological (for example) bases. However, it can no way be established in such a way. Therefore, the creationist has to resort by retreating to your option 3 – Goddididit because he can do anything.

        The Global flood is amazingly easy to refute based on the evidence we have. What God would have to have done, if your thesis is to be believed, is to create the flood and then completely destroy all evidence for it (rock strata, botanic, zoology, paleontology, geographical distribution of organisms etc).

        Essentially, on evidence here and now, it did not happen. Yes God COULD have sustained it miraculously; yes God COULD have completely covered his tracks by eliminating the evidence.

        Of course, this gets you in to trouble. God then becomes a deceiver.

        PS – welcome back John!

    • JohnM

      Hey again Jonathan  :)

      Yeah, I’ve been working a lot and, luring a bit, hehe.

      Essentially, on evidence here and now, it did not happen.

      Well, thank you for sharing your own conclusion with me. But I completely disagree with your conclusion and your interpretation of the evidence.

      The point of me listing those points is that ‘Creation Science’ (*cough*) attempts to prove the global flood on naturalistic and geological (for example) bases. However, it can no way be established in such a way.

      Why are you making such absolute claims?

      If you want to interpret the evidence, in that way, that’s cool. But to say that there is no way for a global flood to be established, is pretty silly..  

      You and I both know, that we could discover undeniable evidence tomorrow, that would completely change the way we look, and interpret, the evidence available to us. And it wouldn’t be the first time.

      So regardless of what conclusion one draws, looking the evidence currently available to us, one has to keep in mind, that the truth could be something completely different.

      Furthermore:

      1) Omni-God did it because we were a sinful world. We still are; therefore, it didn’t work.

      As I’ve said before..  In order to evaluate a solution, you have to know the goal, the author of the solution had in mind. And the flood is not a failure, because the world remained sinful. Because the flood was not meant as a permanent solution to sin. It was a haircut..

      • “Why are you making such absolute claims?
        If you want to interpret the evidence, in that way, that’s cool. But to say that there is no way for a global flood to be established, is pretty silly..  ”

        Because the consensus in every relevant discipline concludes such. Only those who believe in the inerrancy of the bible, and who are not experts in the relevant fields, believe it happened. Give me the best evidence you have for the global flood a la Noah and I will show it as incorrect.

        “So regardless of what conclusion one draws, looking the evidence currently available to us, one has to keep in mind, that the truth could be something completely different.”

        Brilliant. So your best evidence is that the actual evidence which denies it happening might, in some way in the future, be found to be wrong.

        “Because the flood was not meant as a permanent solution to sin. It was a haircut.”

        Evidence for this?

      • Andy_Schueler

        You and I both know, that we could discover undeniable evidence tomorrow, that would completely change the way we look, and interpret, the evidence available to us. And it wouldn’t be the first time.

        Sure, the moon could just be made out of green cheese – well, the surface certainly seem to be rock and dust and the green cheese hypothesis contradicts everything we think we know about the formation of such objects, but that does not absolutely prove that the core is not completely made out of green cheese and so it is totally not moronic to believe in it, right ? 
        We can also not strictly prove that the earth is not flat, maybe all the evidence to the contrary is just an illusion created by demons. And maybe the world is only six thousand years old and the second world war lasted only 4 minutes and 37 seconds ? It seems to be completely and utterly impossible now, but maybe we find something tomorrow which shows that everything we assumed we knew about the world is simply wrong and all the technology derived from this knowledge just worked by lucky accidents. 
        Makes total sense. 

    • JohnM

       

      Give me the best evidence you have for the global flood a la Noah and I will show it as incorrect.

      Well I would point to many things. Among them, the work geologists in the grand canyon.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5aNlb3lFhFM

      Also, if you want to understand the flood, then you have to understand The Nephilim.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=taXD1OMTyqA
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p1yRugYZjtI
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pyPdBvul_as

      Now I’m not suggesting that the 2 Nephilim videos, I just linked, are reliable sources of information. I’m just trying to spark your interest in the subject.

      Just like the flood story, we find stories of giants, in all ancient cultures. And of course the bible, mentions giants as well, and has something to say about, where they actually came from. So it is within the framework of that, that has to see the flood.

      • Ah, the grand canyon hilarity… I will respond later, just going out.

        However, on the Nephilim, stories are not evidence. There are stories of magic in every culture, of Goblins, of miraculous births. This does not make them true.

      • Andy_Schueler

        Also, if you want to understand the flood, then you have to understand The Nephilim.
        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v…www.youtube.com/watch?v=p1yRug…http://www.youtube.com/watch?v

        How gullible are you ? Seriously ? 
        Have you never wondered why you don´t see those Nephilim skulls in ANY natural history museum on this planet ?  Or why they are never shown in any serious publication ?  
        It´s because they are faked:
        http://urbanlegends.about.com/od/supernaturalwonders/ss/giants_in_greece_6.htm

        Just like the flood story, we find stories of giants, in all ancient cultures. And of course the bible, mentions giants as well, and has something to say about, where they actually came from. So it is within the framework of that, that one has to see the flood.

        Yes, all ancient cultures also mentioned wizards, witches and seers, should we consult the Lord of the Rings novel to find out where they “actually came from” or are you more a Harry Potter fan ?

    • Pingback: The Relativity of Wrong – Asimov of science and the fuzziness of right and wrong | A Tippling Philosopher()

    • JohnM

      Have you never wondered why you don´t see those Nephilim skulls in ANY natural history museum on this planet ?

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XTh3XBBIP_Y

      Yes, all ancient cultures also mentioned wizards, witches and seers..

      And dragons / dinosaurs in art, and all over the place.

      http://www.genesispark.com/exhibits/evidence/historical/ancient/dinosaur/

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IJwKTRsaTaY

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X4FOsxvCOc4

      Care to explain, how they were able to draw these things?

      • John

        The Paul Garner video – the guy with a BSc in geology, but who works for the pharmaceutical industry presumably because no decent institution would employ him because his theory is complete rubbish. No one in the relevant fields and in relevant positions in relevant institutions believes the catastrophist theory. It also entirely ignores all the evidence (er, there is fricking loads) that support the consensus theory. In other words, it fails on a Bayesian analysis.

        Here is a view on his thesis by someone who actually knows what they are talking about:

        Number one is delightful Paul Garner, now by all accounts I have (which include some first had observations) he is actually a very pleasant chap….but that doesn’t stop him being utterly wrong.  A case in point, some time ago I went along to a talk he did to a creation group, and Garner was essentially outlining why the Coconino Sandstone formation in the Grand Canyon wasn’t an aeolian formation….thats a desert environment for any laymen reading.  One of the lines of evidence you can  use to identify the environment of deposition is to analyze the grain size of the clasts and look at their distribution, this is something I did way back during my A-Levels.  To do this you get a sample of your sandstone, weigh it, pour it into a set of gradiated sieves, shake the snot out of it for about 10 to 15 minutes (either by hand or using a machine), then carefully open up the sieves and weigh what there is in each one.  Once you’ve done this you can then plot your data and look at your graph of grain size distribution, now the important thing to note here is that you won’t always get a pretty/perfect curve, nature isn’t like that, so you’ve got to be on the look out for lumpy bits on your graph……….which isn’t what Garner did.
        Now lets get back to that talk, Garner shows a slide showing the grain size distribution of a sample of the Coconino Sandstone and proudly announces that it has a bi-modal distribution (think a pair of camel humps on a 2 hump camel) and that it shows that the origin of the sandstone is a marine one…..tidal if I remember right.  At this point I’m having to scrape my jaw off the floor somewhat after having a ‘wtf’ moment at his stupidity.  You see what he’s displaying isn’t a bimodal distribution, but a unimodal distribution (a lone camel hump)……that happens to have a small anomaly on it’s side.  Remember what I just said about nature not giving you perfect data?  Well this is one of those instances…..and boy has Garner missed it!  Dispite the fact that there is an anomaly it really is a nice unimodal distribution curve, which happens to be indicative of an aeolian environment.  The guy can’t even get some basic geology right, something I’d expect A-Level Geologists to do let alone those that claim to have studied it at university.  And he wants to be taken seriously?? 

        As the guys says directly to Garner:

        “As I’ve mentioned already I’ve read the bulk of your book, I’m going through it in fits and starts, and I can honestly say it is a trainwreck of science and it shows how you either don’t get it or are twisting things to suit your ends. And actually the saddening thing for me is that you are so unaware of what you are doing to science….”

      • And on Garner’s book and thesis:

        “So are you going to contact BCM and tell them that you can no longer be a member as you insist on doing your science properly and not ignoring the evidence in favour of scripture? Because the evidence already points towards an old earth, it points towards aeolian deposition for the Coconino, it doesn’t point to your back door efforts of getting geology back sliding to some acceptance of the flood of noah.
        On page 191 of your book you write about the cpt ‘model’ explaining how the continents became inundated with water. And present for this, as your evidence, the Sumatra earthquake that caused the 2004 boxing day tsunami. In doing so you are flaunting your lack of understanding of plate tectonics, the cause of the deaths of all those people, this was not the method you posed in your book…..you claimed that this as somehow connected to the upwelling of warm and boyant oceanic material.
        You are wrong, if you look at a tectonic map of the region (a link will be provided below) you will see that there is a subduction zone in the region. As the downgoing slab is pulled into the subduction zone it does not move easily, there is lots of friction which builds up over time. The friction gets released as the slab lurches down the trench and re refer to this as an earthquake. The part that had the failure was the Sunda megathrust that had previously been thought to be dormant. This is not young boyant material, this is old and brittle material, it failed in a brittle manner.
        By writing what you did about this, and the mind numbing failure of cpt you have shown that you do not understand the forces involved with plate tectonics. And it’s this failure to appreciate the cause that cheapens the deaths of the victims. They died as a result of routine, although very strong, flexing of the surface of this planet. You may not think you did any harm by using this earthquake to suit your ends, but as I said I was disgusted by it.
        Here’s the link i mentioned: http://5ibearthquakes.wikispaces.com/Indonesia+%282004%29”

        You must take into account his inability to get peer reviewed and published with this revolutionary thesis. In other words, it’s not worth the paper it is written on.

      • You might also want to see this video refuting such evidence and also showing how such creationist geologists have conned their way to leading ‘geological’ field trips.

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=6n18KaneJhc

      • Andy_Schueler

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v

        Those are not “giant heads”, genius:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Artificial_cranial_deformation

        And dragons / dinosaurs in art, and all over the place.

        Care to explain, how they were able to draw these things?

        Well, let´s look at two competing explanations:
        a) All of Geology and Biology is spectacularly wrong
        b) The depicted “Stegosaurus” (for example) is not actually a Stegosaurus (it doesn´t have the characteristic spiked tail and look at the nose for fucks sake, the head looks nothing like the head of a Stegosaurus, what is depicted is most likely a sumatran rhinocerus – have you never seen an actual Stegosaurus skeleton ?!)
        I´d go with  explanation b.

    • JohnM

      Your pathetic tempts to discredit their research, are a sign of weakness.

      Is that all you got?

      • Great refutation.

        Steve Austin, the purveyor of the catstrophist theory, in getting his PhD presenting on mosasaurs to the GSA and for all his geological work for his qualification he worked on the Old Earth consensus, but when he works for the Institute of Creation Research he switches to YEC!!!! How totally disingenuous. Basically, he would not have got his qualification if he had proposed what he ACTUALLY believes!

        So, have you researched the Grand Canyon catastrophist thesis? Do you know all its issues? Have you actually looked into how much bullshit it claims?

        And you have the audacity to claim I have pathetic attempts to discredit them? Watch that video by an ACTUAL PROPER geologist who slams such fake geologists and their research. If you think a non-research, non-practicing, non-tenured  geologist with a BSc from East Anglia Polytechnic (as was) has a theory which totally invalidates ALL KNOWN GEOLOGY who has NEVER EVER been published or peer reviewed by any geological institution or publication carries more epistemological weight than the whole body of geological science, then you are so, so, so, wrong.

    • JohnM

      You said:

      Give me the best evidence you have for the global flood a la Noah and I will show it as incorrect.

      Yet, you have done no such thing. All you have done, is to bring forward ad hominem. And of course I find that to be pathetic.

      • 1) did you not read the refutation of points of Garner’s thesis? Er, do you not read anything I say? What do you say to them? Two long posts below…

        2) I am typing things up now, too.

        3) To show that the main proponents of the thesis are not properly qualified to have such a thesis (their qualification DEPENDED on them refuting their own theses!!) is vital to show the double standards used.

    • JohnM

      You call that a refutation?

      I call that, a long irrelevant rant.

      In any case, the presence of an opposing view, does not make things incorrect.

      Long story short: You said that you would do something. And you failed to do so.

      • John, I am trying not to be REALLY RUDE to your approach here. I AM THE ONE researching YOUR CLAIMS AS WE SPEAK. I AM THE ONE ABOUT TO LAY THEM OUT> You give ONE LINK and expect that to do all your work. I said provide evidence – YOU FAILED TO DO SO BY ONLY GIVING ONE YOUTUBE LINK.

        I am presently setting them out and refuting them. It takes precious amount of my time. You did not and nor did I state a time frame in which I MUST do this. So don’t be childish, and be more patient. In the mean time, how about doing your own work and your own research.

      • ThePrussian

        Oh, it’s _this_ guy again.  He tried the same crap over at my site. 

      • Oh, and the position of the Geological Society of :London of which Garner is a member, quote:

        ““The Geological Society of London is the oldest national learned society for the Earth sciences in the world, and embodies the collective knowledge of nearly 10,000 Earth scientists worldwide. On their behalf it wishes, during the United Nations International Year of Planet Earth, to place on record the following facts as being long established beyond doubt.
        •Planet Earth, along with the other planets in the Solar System, was formed approximately 4560 million years ago.
        •Life has existed on Earth for thousands of millions of years. It has evolved into its current form by a combination of genetic variation and natural selection – and is likely to go on doing so for as long as it continues to exist.
        •Close study of the structure and organisation of living animals and plants clearly indicates their common ancestry, and the succession of forms through the fossil record, as well as the genetic record contained in every living organism, provides powerful evidence of the reality of evolution.””

    • JohnM

      You give ONE LINK and expect that to do all your work.

      Not at all. You asked for a link, claiming that whatever I presented to you, you would be able to show that it is incorrect. 

      But you haven’t in any way show it to be incorrect. What you have done..  is to attempt to discredit the persons in the video. And the present opposing views.

      And now I’m just pointing out the obvious.. that you haven’t show anything to be incorrect.

      And furthermore, you have already committed several instances of the argument from authority fallacy.

      • For pity’s sake man – I am TYPING IT ALL UP NOW, which is more than I can say about you and your one link wonder.

      • PART 1

        The age of the earth is wrong and all scientists are mistaken All the animals of the earth died at once but managed to somehow sort themselves out in fossils in rock strata to look like they died over long periods of time…The Grand Canyon was carved
        in days after sediment was laid; it was carved when the water receded into the oceans…

        The basis of the claim that radiometric dating is wrong:
        Refute the 0065planatory theory of the anomalous dating of lava rocks on top of older rocks. The fact that there is older rock on top of younger sedimentary rock is used by YECs to ‘prove’ that radiometric dating is false. Of course, it is easy to explain if you have an ounce of rationality – lava flows bring up and take along chunks of older rock which is then cooled and dated, thus ‘contaminating’ the age of the lava strata.

        It also relies on selective sampling. It ignores peer-reviewed research that you shouldn’t go into lava strata and selectively sample the radiometric dating of such. Anyone who has actually worked with such machinery will testify as to the precision of the data and the checks and balances one must go through to produce reliable results. To deny such work and methodology is nothing short, in my books, or irresponsible epistemological methodology.
         
        The GC theory also tries to use the position of nautiloid fossils to evidence a global flood. Austin and his mates went and took a tiny sample of fossils and found them all positing the same direction. He then extrapolated this to the whole world (!!) to infer a global flood… Of course, only a gentle current is needed to point them all in the right direction – a flood with its turbulence would actually not do this!

        The GC theory uses footprints as evidence for YE. Apparently these footprints show animals scrabbling to get out of the way of rising flood waters. Hilarious. This is SHIT ‘science’. How do fossil footprints form? Footprints in soft mud which dries over time and has sedimentary deposition take place over it. What would have happened in a flood? Turbulent waters would have TOTALLY destroyed any mud footprints. A tiny lizard scampering up a rock and leaving footprints CANNOT happen in hard rock. Such soft sedimentary stuff would and could only take a long time and non-turbulent waters, to set. An elementary kid could tell you this. What a silly piece of ‘evidence’.

        Rocks are very, very localised (some might spread over a US state at most). The GC / global flood thesis would not lead to such localisation.
         
        The fossils of the GC vary very definitely by rock layer. This clearly supports evolution and cannot be explained by the global flood thesis. For the YEX all these animals had to have been living at the same time and dying at EXACTLY the same time. It’s such an incoherent theory! Man, you’ve got to be more honest with yourself. YECs claim that it is because of the animals’ different densities – but this is patently false based on the fossils and the actual evidence. The defence is not only ad hoc – it doesn’t work! For it to work, the waters would have to be totally calm (ie not a global flood)
        and would have to be uniform across a whole continent. This is clearly not the cases as the fossil record shows. The YECs couldn’t be more wrong…
         
        I expect you to refute EVERY single one of these points.

    • JohnM

      Don’t you get it? There’s no way for you, to show that it is incorrect, It’s a matter of how one looks at the evidence.. In short.. it’s a matter of opinion, what is correct and what is false..

      • Andy_Schueler

        Don’t you get it? There’s no way for you, to show that it is incorrect, It’s a matter of how one looks at the evidence.. In short.. it’s a matter of opinion, what is correct and what is false..

        Absolutely! Imagine some guy is on trial for murdering his wife, you are his lawyer, we are the prosecution. After we present a mountain of physical evidence that shows that your client bought a gun, that his wife was shot with this gun based on ballistics analyses, that his fingerprints are on the gun, that he shot the gun based on gunpowder traces on his hands, that his footprints are at the site where she was murdered and so on – you point out that this is all just a matter of opinion, your clients wife could just as well have been shot by Santa Clause, it´s a matter of how one looks at the evidence
        This is the creationist approach to science. Young earth creationism is as plausible as the second world war lasting 4 minutes and 37 seconds in total – and when people with an actual scientific understanding point that out to you, you either lie or say that it´s “just a matter of opinion”.

        Darwin himself, challenged the consensus of his day, in order to develop his theory. Do you really think that he would agree with your attempt to re-introduce the dark ages?

        You are not “challenging the consensus”, you say it´s all just a matter of opinion, that is not a challenge, that´s just a proud display of your idiocy. 

      • OK, my patience is wearing thin.

        “Don’t you get it? There’s no way for you, to show that it is incorrect, It’s a matter of how one looks at the evidence.. In short.. it’s a matter of opinion, what is correct and what is false..”

        So it seems there is only one fact for you – the cartesian cogito ergo sum. In that case, nothing can be proven beyond reasonable doubt, and you are nothing more than a Pyrrhonian Skeptic.  Since this is clearly not how you operate, based on your previous posts and undoubtedly within your daily life (you must declare on a regular basis 

        Your problem is you are equivocating Cartesians fact and knowledge with scientific fact.

        You cannot simply give a crackpot theory the same epistemological value as an established consensus fact supported by cross-discipline evidence. That would be dickish. Otherwise I would just claim sutpid things to you and you would have no epistemological right to deny them. After all, it’s just interpretation of the evidence.

        So, let’s try this. The moon is made of cheese. Your mother was actually a hamster. Dinosaurs spoke Chinese…. etc etc

    • JohnM

      Jonathan MS Pearce:

      It ignores peer-reviewed research that ……

      I love this..  Such free-tinkers you guys are…  “Don’t dare to challenge the consensus”. 

      It’s just downright anti-scientific.. The whole point about science, is to question everything and look at everything, in the light of new data.

      Darwin himself, challenged the consensus of his day, in order to develop his theory. Do you really think that he would agree with your attempt to re-introduce the dark ages?

      • “I love this..  Such free-tinkers you guys are…  “Don’t dare to challenge the consensus”. 
        It’s just downright anti-scientific.. The whole point about science, is to question everything and look at everything, in the light of new data.”

        This shows you have no idea. This is the scientific method. Without which any crackpot shit gets through the door. This ensures the proper rigour. Revolutionary science DOES happen, it is just rigorous. You need to learn some philosophy of science. Darwin didn’t have that formal process in place, so your point is moot.

    • JohnM

      Andy_Schueler:

      I´d go with explanation b.

      Thanks for not explaining anything.

      • Andy_Schueler

        Thanks for not explaining anything.

        I did explain it, it´s most likely a rhinoceros and it looks nothing like a Stegosaurus

    • JohnM

      Andy_Schueler:

      Imagine some guy is on trial for murdering his wife, you are his lawyer, we are the prosecution. After we present a mountain of physical evidence that shows that your client bought a gun, that his wife was shot with this gun based on ballistics analyses, that his fingerprints are on the gun, that he shot the gun based on gunpowder traces on his hands, that his footprints are at the site where she was murdered and so on – you point out that this is all just a matter of opinion, your clients wife could just as well have been shot by Santa Clause, it´s a matter of how one looks at the evidence!

      lol. Talk about fail analogy… 

      • Andy_Schueler

        lol. Talk about fail analogy… 

        No, it´s actually spot on, look up “analogy”, I don´t think you know what the word means. 

        lol lol lol!!!!!!
        And that, is certanly not, a matter… of… Opinion!!!

        It doesn´t have the characteristic spiked tail, and it has a fucking huge ears and a horn(!) – the head and the tail look nothing like the head of a Stegosaurus and everything like a sumatran rhinoceros, and that is not an opinion, that´s a fact, go to a fucking museum and see for yourself:
        http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/6/6a/Stegosaurus_Senckenberg.jpg
        the only thing that is similar between the two animals would be the plates on it´s back if they were actually meant to be plates – so what´s more likely, that a) a Stegosaurus lived 900 years ago in cambodia and it is a pure accident that not a single Stegosaurus fossil or any other dinosaur fossil has been found above the K-T boundary among the hundreds of thousands of fossils that have been dug up so far or that b) the “plates on the back” are actually meant to display something from the background, like leaves for example ? 

    • JohnM

      I did explain it, it´s most likely a rhinoceros and it looks nothing like a Stegosaurus

      lol lol lol!!!!!!

      And that, is certanly not, a matter… of… Opinion!!!

      You have just sunk the fail boat, mate.

      • Vic

        How is a comparison of a stegosaurus skeleton and a stone carving a matter of opinion? Either it fits certain visual criteria or it doesn’t.

    • JohnM

      Andy_Schueler :

      and that is not an opinion, that´s a fact

      Thanks for sharing your opinion.

      so what´s more likely

      That would depend on how one views and interprets the evidence.

      not a single Stegosaurus fossil or any other dinosaur fossil has been found above the K-T boundary

      Absence of Evidence is not Evidence of Absence – Fallacy.

      • Andy_Schueler

        Thanks for sharing your opinion.

        You keep on using the word “opinion”, I don´t think you know what it means. If I would say “JohnM is a douchebag, therefore, everything he says is wrong”, this would be an opinion (and a ad hominem fallacy), but if I say:
        “JohnM is a moron because he doesn´t understand the difference between a mere opinion and a statement based on facts.Like the statement that the stone carving at Angkor Wat looks nothing like a Stegosaurus because it lacks the characteristic large spiked tail, has a head that is way to big relative to it´s body to be a Stegasaurus, has huge ears and a horn, both of which are characteristics of a rhinoceros, but not a Stegosaurus – and that the alleged plates on the back (which could be either embellishments or background objects) are the only thing that is similar between the carving and a Stegosaurus” 
        => that would not be a mere “opinion” and also not an ad hom, that´s an evaluation based on facts. Learn the difference, moron. 

        That would depend on how one views and interprets the evidence.

        Right, the earth could be six thousand years old and the second world war could have lasted 4 minutes and 37 seconds – it all depends on “how one views and interprets the evidence”. And that´s why succesful predictions and technological applications only come from actual science instead of creationist idiocies – turns out that baseless opinions based on wishful thinking and confirmation bias does not produce any useful information. 

        Absence of Evidence is not Evidence of Absence – Fallacy.

        Your stupidity continues to amaze… If no one would have bothered to look for dinosaur fossils above the K-T boundary, then the statement that there are no such fossils above the boundary would indeed be fallacious, but we looked in every fucking country on this planet for decades, dug out hundreds of thousands of fossils, and the pattern is the same at every single excavation site – dinosaur fossils are frequent below the K-T boundary and completely absent right above it, the “evidence of absence” is as strong as it could possibly be. 

      • “Absence of Evidence is not Evidence of Absence – Fallacy.”
        Wrong. Absence of evidence is absolutely fine used in the right context. This shows poor understanding. Absence of evidence is evidence of absence used every day in every court case.

        eg 
        The presumption of innocence, if present, effectively removes the possibility that the accused may be both guilty and unproven, from consideration in judgment, and as such the accused is considered as innocent unless proven guilty. (See decision table below)Innocent and unproven. Judged as innocent.
        Innocent and proven. Judged as guilty. (Jury is biased, misled, makes error; law is incorrect; false evidence fabricated etc.)
        Guilty and unproven. Judged as innocent. (Presumption of innocence)
        Guilty and proven. Judged as guilty. (Innocent unless/until proven guilty is a summary of this and easier to remember.)alsoEvidence of absence(These examples contain definite evidence that can be used to show, indicate, suggest, infer or deduce the non-existence or non-presence of something.)A biopsy shows the absence of malignant cells.
        The null result found by Michelson–Morley’s famous experiment represents “strong evidence” that the luminiferous aether was not present.
        One very carefully inspects the back seat of one’s car and finds no tigers.
        The train schedule does not say that the train stops here at 3:00pm on a Sunday.

    • JohnM

      That’s flawed logic. It doesn’t have to fit the stegosaurus skeletons that we have found. Stegosaurus, is far from the only candidate. But I do think that it’s a great fit. You don’t. That’s why, it’s a matter of opinion.

      Furthermore, this just one case, of many thousand of cases, where “terrible Lizzards” appear in art, long after they were supposed to have died out, and long before we dug up their bones.

      • Andy_Schueler

         But I do think that it’s a great fit. You don’t. That’s why, it’s a matter of opinion.

        Sure – Stephen Hawking´s “opinion” on the dynamics of black holes is just as valid as Paris Hilton´s, if you don´t care about evidence that is.

        Furthermore, this is just one case, of many thousand of cases, where “terrible Lizards” appear in art, long after they were supposed to have died out, and long before we dug up their bones.

        1. Many of those “terrible lizards” never existed anywhere, not now, not thousands of years ago and not millions of years ago, because a fire breathing dragon (popular in european art and literature) and a huge flying winged snake (popular in asian art and literature) could not have possibly existed without magic. 
        2. All of those cases are either much more similar to animals that still live (like the Angkor Wat carving, which is very similar to a rhinoceros and not similar to ANY dinosaur) or represent legendary creatures that never lived anywhere (unicorns, fire-breathing dragons etc.)

      • You still haven’t dealt with a single one of my points, btw. Should I react like you did earlier?

        • ThePrussian

          You are making a classic mistake.  You are forgetting that, pace Sam Harris, human beings have free will, and that free will consists in the choice of whether or not to think.  If someone refuses to think, there is no power on earth that can make him do so.  

          Sad but true.  

          • Sure. (although I am a determinist – hence my book refuting free will on the right there [which someone reviewed as being better than Harris’])

    • JohnM

      You still haven’t show my link to be incorrect. That is all that counts.

      The moon is made of cheese. Your mother was actually a hamster. Dinosaurs spoke Chinese…

      You are free to believe that, if you want..

      Absence of evidence is absolutely fine used in the right context. This shows poor understanding. Absence of evidence is evidence of absence used every day in every court case.

      There’s positive evidence. And there’s negative evidence.

      But absence of evidence.. or lack of evidence, tells us nothing. It is a fallacy.

      If you open the door to a room, and see a pink elephant, then that’s positive evidence for a pink elephant in the room

      If you open the door to a room, and see no pink elephant, then that’s negative evidence for a pink elephant in the room.

      If you never open the door to look, then that’s absence or lack of evidence.

      In the same way, if a prosecutor doesn’t have the evidence to get a conviction, then that doesn’t prove that the accused is innocent. Rather, the charges are merely dropped, based on lack of evidence. And the prosecutor is free to bring a new case, should more evidence surface. The case remains an open question, so to speak. And in many cases, the suspicion still hang over the accused, until the accused is able to clear his or her name, by an alibi or something like that.

      Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence!
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_w5JqQLqqTc

      • “You still haven’t show my link to be incorrect. That is all that counts.”

        Tell me the three main points of the thesis. Any catastrophic thesis HAS to answer those points since all YEC catastrophic flood these require those points. 

        You fail again.

        “You are free to believe that, if you want..”

        I am. However, am I right? That is the point you sadly miss.

        “But absence of evidence.. or lack of evidence, tells us nothing. It is a fallacy.”

        That is totally wrong and shows your ignorance. You are confusing it with an argument from ignorance. As mentioned, courts rely on it.

        The claim: JohnM murdered his mother with a gun on Tuesday night.

        There is no evidence to support this, thus absence of evidence is evidence of absence. In a court of law he would be found innocent. It is simply not a fallacy if used correctly. Theists often get this wrong and it pisses me off. If they’d just be bothered to research it a little. Carrier devotes a whole section to this misnoma in Proving History. i suggest you read it, or other works pertaining to this maxim. 

        If you claim that UFOs visit your town nightly and kidnap small children and do experiments on them, but you cannot supply ANY EVIDENCE whatsoever for this, then the lack of evidence is most certainly evidence of absence. Please do not waste my time on this.

      • “If you open the door to a room, and see a pink elephant, then that’s positive evidence for a pink elephant in the room
        If you open the door to a room, and see no pink elephant, then that’s negative evidence for a pink elephant in the room.
        If you never open the door to look, then that’s absence or lack of evidence.”
        This shows you do not understand it.
        “In the same way, if a prosecutor doesn’t have the evidence to get a conviction, then that doesn’t prove that the accused is innocent. Rather, the charges are merely dropped, based on lack of evidence. And the prosecutor is free to bring a new case, should more evidence surface. The case remains an open question, so to speak.”
        Actually, in law, and with double jeopardy, it is not an open question. If there is a lack of evidence and he is found innocent, then he is proven innocent in the court of law. Whilst nothing can be proven 100% but the cogito, it is certainly used as evidence to prove a decree in court.
        We are not talking about not looking, as you wrongly infer above, but looking and not finding. Science uses it the whole time. If I propose a scientific hypothesis that coastal erosion is caused by fish eating the sand and set up a scientific experiment to test this and find no evidence of fish eating the sand, then this negative evidence would wholly undermine the case.

    • JohnM

      There is no evidence to support this

      Thanks for sharing you opinion.

      If you claim that UFOs visit your town nightly and kidnap small children and do experiments on them, but you cannot supply ANY EVIDENCE whatsoever for this, then the lack of evidence is most certainly evidence of absence.

      You are justified in being skeptical about it.

      But it’s completely flawed logic to say, that lack of evidence, is evidence of something.

      My inability to provide any compelling evidence to you, doesn’t prove, that such things are not occurring. They could very well be occurring, without them leaving any evidence behind. It could actually be the case, that such UFO’s, were so advanced, that they left no evidence for us to investigate. So it doesn’t follow from such events occurring, that I would have compelling evidence to show you.

      This is a clear example of you failing to think critically about these things.

      You are confusing it with an argument from ignorance.

      It is the argument from ignorance.

      Lack of evidence / absence of evidence, makes you ignorant. That is why it’s a fallacy.

      As mentioned, courts rely on it.

      No, courts just withhold judgement until there is evidence for one or the other. The case would be dismissed / throw out, not judged as such. At least know what you’re talking about.

      However, am I right? That is the point you sadly miss.

      How would I know? How would you know?

      Imagine that you have a theory about the earth being flat.. So you go to investigate it. You climb the highest mountain. And as you arrive at the top, you look out over the horizon.. and what do you see? A flat earth, as the curvature of the earth is invisible to the naked eye, at that altitude.

      So now you know the truth, don’t you?

      • John, you are speaking nonsense.

        “There is no evidence to support this”

        John, I am inventing a thought experiment analogy. If I say there is no evidence, then there is no evidence. You can’t argue, it is my thought experiment. You are sounding like a contrary child.

        “You are justified in being skeptical about it.”

        This is the first sensible thing you have said. Epistemology is all about justification. This is what evidence does – it justifies a belief. I a very real way, you have contradicted most of what you have been saying with this one statement.

        “My inability to provide any compelling evidence to you, doesn’t prove, that such things are not occurring.”

        Jesus, man, sort yourself out. You might profit from defining prove. It seems you are setting the bar at cogito, which is fine. But pointless and will get you nowhere in this discussion or pragmatically in life. So please define prove.

        “They could very well be occurring, without them leaving any evidence behind. It could actually be the case, that such UFO’s, were so advanced, that they left no evidence for us to investigate. So it doesn’t follow from such events occurring, that I would have compelling evidence to show you.This is a clear example of you failing to think critically about these things.”

        AAAARRRGGHHH!

        So, beliefs supported by evidence or lack thereof are probability analyses. If there is a claim which is not supported by any evidence at all and contravenes known understanding of facts (cosmic quarantine by distance etc) then the probability rests with the notion that the UFOs are not really in town. Come on, do yourself some justice. I AM thinking critically on this. I have already told you once to read my essay on epistemology posted the other day and available from the above tab. I have studied this and write about it. You are simply coming out with incoherent nonsense.

        “It is the argument from ignorance.
        Lack of evidence / absence of evidence, makes you ignorant. That is why it’s a fallacy.”

        Stop wasting my time and do some research yourself. The argument from ignorance, when properly carried out, is fallacious. However, the absence of evidence is not always the argument from ignorance. It is sometimes, but it depends on the context as expressed. If you don’t understand this, then you need to think more critically yourself. Many people agree with you because they all copy from the same kind of memes. They are wrong. I am so annoyed at you for this, I will now post an article on it.

      • Simply put, John, you are committing the fallacy of equivocation. evidence DOE NOT MEAN proof.

        that is essentially why you are completely and utterly wrong.

      • Andy_Schueler

        But it’s completely flawed logic to say, that lack of evidence, is evidence of something.

        Since this has been exhaustively explained to you several times, you are either trolling again, or you are truly one of the dumbest people I´ve encountered so far. 
        If you design a scientific experiment to find evidence for a specific hypothesis h, and you do not find any evidence despite an exhaustive search over all reasonable variations of experimental parameters, then you do indeed have very strong evidence that the evidence for h is absent.
        When you observe 2 white swans outside your house and conclude based on that observation that there are no black swans, then you are committing a fallacy.
        If, on the other hand, you would study swan populations all across the globe, over several generations, and you never find a single black swan, then you do have very strong evidence that black swans do either no exist at all or are  exceedingly rare.
        When it comes to dinosaur fossils, we have looked for the evidence, we know that they are frequent below the K-T boundary, but completely absent above it, not a single one was found in thousands of excavations (not including all hobby fossil hunters) all across the globe – while we find plenty of fossils of other animals above the K-T boundary. The evidence allows only two conclusions, either dinosaurs went extinct ~65 million years ago, or their population size was so low that they can be considered to be extinct for all practical purposes. 
        If you are truly too dumb to understand this, you should look for another hobby.

        • Thanks Andy. I literally CANNOT BELIEVE he does not understand this. It is so common sensically true. Many scientific experiments are constructed around this very idea.

          • Andy_Schueler

            JohnM´s should really work on his critical thinking skills:

            – He does not understand what an argumentum ad populum is and how appeals to authority can be fallacious, but don´t have to be – in an earlier thread he was claiming that an unanimous expert consensus proves nothing and pointing to such an unanimous consensus is simply an argumentum ad populum:http://www.skepticink.com/tippling/2012/10/17/extraordinary-claims-require-extraordinary-evidence/#comment-686075272when it was pointed out that this logically entails that the unanimous consensus of medical experts on the (lack of) efficacy of bloodletting is just as reliable as the opinion of an uneducated crackpot who claims that bloodletting is actually a highly effective, he ran away.- He does not understand the concept of evidence of absence either, and seems to think that exhaustively looking for evidence in carefully designed experiments has no implications whatsoever on the question of whether this evidence is in fact absent

            – He genuinely beliefs that any conclusion is possible based on the available evidence and that this is simply a matter of opinion, and when someone explains the absurd consequences of that belief:
            http://www.skepticink.com/tippling/2012/11/09/why-do-normal-people-believe-ridiculous-things/#comment-713292088
            he ignores it / lies about it. 

            It´s quite amazing (and very sad) to see what cognitive dissonance can do to the human mind. 

            • It’s this internet kneejerk reference to fallacies without ever looking to see whether they are. 

              “I read on a theistic website that it was a fallacy, therefore it is a fallacy”.

              He hasn’t even shown it is a fallacy.

            • Andy_Schueler

              Fwiw, I would ban him – I don´t think it´s possible that someone can be that obtuse, JohnM is either trolling or he belongs to one of those christian cults that require daily evangelization efforts from their members and accept online “debates” as “evangelization” (yes, this actually happens)

            • i am starting to wonder. He doesn’t even get it on the actual absence post I have just done. It’s like he doesn’t actually read anything. I’ve got a list of articles as long as my arm which proves my point, and mos tof them proving it with formal logic. Which is axiomatic and mathematical. He literally cannot argue with it. So it shows he is just not reading the required stuff.

              And he still hasn’t answered the points on the Grand Canyon catastrophic theory.

              EPIC fail.

    • JohnM

      We are not talking about not looking, as you wrongly infer above, but looking and not finding. Science uses it the whole time.

      If I place a coin on a beach.. And you go and look, but find nothing. Does that mean, that I never placed a coin on the beach?

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    • JohnM

      If there is a claim which is not supported by any evidence…

      What is supported by the evidence, or what the evidence points to, is a matter of opinion.

      Just as any mathematician knows, that it’s a matter of opinion, what should be included in the probability calculations.

      I AM thinking critically on this.

      No, you’re making some pretty basic mistakes.

      Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence!

      And if you don’t understand that, then you need go go back and study some more.

      The argument from ignorance, when properly carried out, is fallacious. However, the absence of evidence is not always the argument from ignorance.

      It’s not only a fallacious argument. It’s fallacious reasoning.

      If you want to infer something, then you have to do it either on the basis of positive or negative evidence.

      Inferring something from lack of evidence, is a conclusion based on ignorance.

      If I say there is no evidence, then there is no evidence.

      Lol!!!

      Since when did you become omniscient?

      • “No, you’re making some pretty basic mistakes.
        Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence!
        And if you don’t understand that, then you need go go back and study some more.”
        John, you are being schooled here. Stop invoking Danth’s Law.You simply don’t understand that evidence is not proof.

      • “Since when did you become omniscient?”

        Stop being Silly John – you didn’t get that it was a thought experiment…

    • pboyfloyd

      But JohnM, everything you believe is ‘just your opinion’ too.

      Millions agree with you? Pah, you don’t know millions of people, that’s just your opinion!

      The Bible is the inspired word of God? Pah, that’s just your opinion!

      And so on and so forth.

    • JohnM

      pboyfloyd:

      But JohnM, everything you believe is ‘just your opinion’ too.

      Millions agree with you? Pah, you don’t know millions of people, that’s just your opinion!

      The Bible is the inspired word of God? Pah, that’s just your opinion!

      And so on and so forth.

      Thank you for conceding that..

      And yeah, I agree. I could be wrong. We could all be wrong. None of us are infallible. And what we think we know, we actually believe.

    • JohnM

      Andy_Schueler :

      Since this has been exhaustively explained to you several times, you are either trolling again, or you are truly one of the dumbest people I´ve encountered so far.

      What can I say?

      I accept your surrender, once again.

    • JohnM

      When you observe 2 white swans outside your house and conclude based on that observation that there are no black swans ( in the area, right now ), then you are committing a fallacy.

      That wouldn’t be absence of evidence!!!! That would be negative observational evidence.

      Talk about epic fail.

    • JohnM

       http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yJmS5oVBfJY

      • Andy_Schueler

        Russel´s teapot thought experiment doesn´t apply – it would apply if you would claim that there is a teapot in the orbit of Saturn and we not only do not believe this claim of yours, but would also send a few thousand researchers on spaceships to exhaustively look for teapots in the orbit of Saturn. That´s what we are dealing with when it comes to your idiotic claims regarding evidence of absence for dinosaur fossils above the KT boundary. Moron. 

    • JohnM

      Well, I guess it’s time for this Moron to go to bed.

      Goodnight guys. Was fun, as always :)

      • Andy is right. A total false analogy which show a lack of understanding of what we are defining. 

        Good night.

    • JohnM

      Did you guys only watch the first 30 seconds or what?

      It’s the last 2 minutes of the video, that are important…

      • Andy_Schueler

        The video is completely irrelevant to the discussion at hand.
        Russel´s teapot thought experiment doesn´t apply – it would apply if you would claim that there is a teapot in the orbit of Saturn and we not only do not believe this claim of yours, but would also send a few thousand researchers on spaceships to exhaustively look for teapots in the orbit of Saturn. That´s what we are dealing with when it comes to your idiotic claims regarding evidence of absence for dinosaur fossils above the KT boundary. Moron. 

      • So it seem as though you have given up trying to defend a global flood thesis since you have not replied or attempted to refute all the points I made against it…

      • So, just to recap, what are your 3 top arguments for the global flood theory. I do not want a link. I want you to write 3 sentences expressing the top 3 pieces of evidence for this. You can also present your top 3 pieces of evidence that refute an old age earth.

        Please do this so we can analyse your beliefs and whether they are justified. 

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