Atheism Intelligent Design Science

Atheist taken to task for mangling history

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By another atheist, who actually knows a bit of history. The decline of new atheism has resulted in, among other things, atheists having to pick up their game in history:

In August 2019 I wrote a detailed analysis of a series of claims about history made by the atheist activist who calls himself “Aron Ra”, all of which were completely wrong. As a result, I entitled my article “’Aron Ra’ Gets Everything Wrong” and, over 6,000+ words, detailed exactly what he gets wrong and what the actual historical information is. That is, after all, the focus of this blog: atheist activists who mangle history and repeat errors and myths without checking their facts. “Aron Ra” is a classic example, and one worth tackling because (i) the myths he presents as fact are ones commonly parroted by other atheists, (ii) he has something of a platform thanks to his anti-Creationist work, with 35,600 Twitter followers and 246,000 YouTube subscribers and (iii) he delivers his pronouncements on history with vast self-assurance and more than a little pomposity.

Tim O’Neill, ““Aron Ra” responds … badly” at History for Atheists

Ra, of course, defended himself but O’Neill dismissed his defence.

Here are two of the Ra claims O’Neill thought were wrong, with some thoughts from me (O’Leary for News):

  • That Copernicus was in danger of being “caught and killed” and avoided this by his timely death
    (No. The Polish Church was pleased with Copernicus because his theories were thought to show that Poland was not the science backwater that the Vatican suspected it was.)
  • That Galileo’s heliocentrism was something he could “show to be true” and the Church forced him to “lie” about this
    (No. No one could have shown that heliocentrism was true at that time. Cardinal St. Robert Bellarmine advised Galileo to treat his theories as a hypothesis – which would likely be safe – but Galileo insisted on portraying them as fact, and that’s what got him into trouble.)

So far as we know.

See also: How did new atheism become the godlessness that failed?

9 Replies to “Atheist taken to task for mangling history

  1. 1
    bornagain77 says:

    As to, “No one could have shown that heliocentrism was true at that time.”

    Nor can anyone show that heliocentrism is true at the present time. As the following article states, “We can’t feel our motion through space, nor has any physical experiment ever proved that the Earth actually is in motion.,,,”

    “We can’t feel our motion through space, nor has any physical experiment ever proved that the Earth actually is in motion.,,,
    If all the objects in space were removed save one, then no one could say whether that one remaining object was at rest or hurtling through the void at 100,000 miles per second”
    Historian Lincoln Barnett – “The Universe and Dr. Einstein” – pg 73 (contains a foreword by Albert Einstein)
    https://books.google.com/books?id=Y4njDAAAQBAJ&pg=PT73&lpg=PT73

    And as Stephen Hawking himself stated, “the real advantage of the Copernican system is simply that the equations of motion are much simpler in the frame of reference in which the sun is at rest.”

    “So which is real, the Ptolemaic or Copernican system? Although it is not uncommon for people to say that Copernicus proved Ptolemy wrong, that is not true. As in the case of our normal view versus that of the goldfish, one can use either picture as a model of the universe, for our observations of the heavens can be explained by assuming either the earth or the sun to be at rest.
    Despite its role in philosophical debates over the nature of our universe, the real advantage of the Copernican system is simply that the equations of motion are much simpler in the frame of reference in which the sun is at rest.”
    Stephen Hawking – The Grand Design – pages 39 – 2010

    In fact, the Copernican Principle, and/or the Principle of Mediocrity, which holds that there is nothing special about the earth in general, or humanity in particular, has now been overturned by our two most powerful theories in science, by General Relativity and Quantum Mechanics respectfully.

    November 2019 – despite the fact that virtually everyone, including the vast majority of Christians, hold that the Copernican Principle is unquestionably true, the fact of the matter is that the Copernican Principle is now empirically shown, (via quantum mechanics and general relativity, etc..), to be a false assumption.
    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/so-then-maybe-we-are-privileged-observers/#comment-688855

  2. 2
    martin_r says:

    i was i touch with this ‘Aron Ra’-guy back in 2017. We exchanged a few emails.

    This is how he introduced himself:

    “I am an American atheist. In fact I served as Texas State Director of American atheists for a few years and will likely now become Southwest regional director for that organization. American Atheists is the very first atheist activist group, founded 55 years ago.

  3. 3
    asauber says:

    I went to the American Atheists site just for giggles.

    Twilight Zone stuff there.

    Andrew

  4. 4
    asauber says:

    From their AtheistVoter page:

    “The effects of religion in public policy issues can be seen in every level of government: from anti-LGBT discrimination to restricting the healthcare choices of women, from preferential treatment for religious group in the tax code to the excuse of “it’s tradition” for allowing Christian ideology to remain part of everyday government practices.”

    Sounds like American Atheists are just Leftists. Why would that follow?

    Andrew

  5. 5
    asauber says:

    “American Atheists envisions a world in which public policy is made using the best evidence we have”

    Surprise, surprise. The FIRST thing in the AA Vision is *Politics*.

    Bless my stars and garters!

    Andrew

  6. 6
    polistra says:

    Heliocentrism and geocentrism aren’t even hypotheses, let alone theories. They’re just different ways of expressing a formula, like V=IR and I=V/R. Use whichever works best for the situation.

  7. 7
    BobRyan says:

    asauber @ 4 included from the AtheistVoter page, ” from anti-LGBT discrimination to restricting the healthcare choices of women…”

    Since evolution denies the existence of free will, how can anyone be anti or pro anything? There is no morality to base anything on. In regards to healthcare, Margaret Sanger was clear about her idea of healthcare. During a time when only black American were segregated, she made it clear that it was sterilization or segregation as the only viable options of those she deemed to be nothing more than human weeds.

  8. 8
    asauber says:

    “Since evolution denies the existence of free will, how can anyone be anti or pro anything?”

    BobRyan,

    You are right. But that doesn’t stop any brain-dead Atheists/Leftist from making noise, does it? 😉

    Andrew

  9. 9
    kairosfocus says:

    Coherence, ko-herence, shmo-herence, who cares?

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