18 Replies to “Beyond Belief: Ah, that’s the stuff…

  1. 1
    russ says:

    From “Sam Harris–Religion is only for lunatics…”

    “…The problem is that religion, because it has been sheltered from criticism the way it has been, allows people, perfectly sane, intelligent people, to believe en masse, what only idiots or lunatics could believe in isolation.”

  2. 2
    JasonTheGreek says:

    Too bad Tyson is out of his mind clueless. Some bad things happen- thus no design? So, as manyhave pointed out, that means the Ford Pinto was NOT, read that NOT designed and it’s not here to serve a purpose for humans.

    How a man can be so respected but make such an absurd argument that can be blown away with a car analogy is beyond me.

    That and you’d drown in your own snot if you had only one hole to breathe of out and the other to eat out of. Coughing up snot would literally drown you. The way we have it now, we can simply swallow the mucous we cough up, so it doesn’t go back down into our lungs and fill our lungs with liquid!!!

    How on earth he compares humans who live on land and dolphins who live THEIR ENTIRE LIVES in water is confusing. Dolphins have two tubes- but do dolphins cough? Do they need to get rid of mucous from their sinuses? Do they sneeze? Imagine sneezing from your nose and mouth and not being able to swallow some of the liquid. Again- you’d drown in your own spit!

  3. 3
    idnet.com.au says:

    Tyson thinks the universe is totally hostile to life, yet he believes that in this hostile universe, unguided chemical reactions, conspired against the destructive forces, to produce the first “lucky” cell, and to protect it from destruction. It seems we all have irrational beliefs. Darwinism “allows people, perfectly sane, intelligent people, to believe en masse, what only idiots or lunatics could believe in isolation.”

    Sam Harris is an extremely articulate and a clever thinker. He will replace Richard Dawkins as high priest of atheists, when Dawkins meets his Maker.

  4. 4
    GilDodgen says:

    I found Weinberg’s comments very revealing. He recognizes that “science” and nature worship will never satisfy the human soul. So, he is stuck between a rock and a hard place.

    Maybe the crazy old aunt is not so crazy after all. Perhaps she has something important to tell us.

  5. 5
    russ says:

    The problem is that NDE, because it has been sheltered from criticism the way it has been, allows people, perfectly sane, intelligent people, to believe en masse, what only idiots or lunatics could believe in isolation.

  6. 6
    faithandshadow says:

    I disagree completely about some of these people having brilliant minds. They may know a lot of things, but they cannot proccess or defend them rationally. That’s not brilliance; indeed, that’s insanity!

  7. 7
    gaspass says:

    Jason,

    I think I see what you are getting at, but your assumption that if we only had one whole to breathe through we would drown is simply not correct. Take, for example, people with trachiostomies. They have one whole to breathe through that is unconnected to their esophagus and they don’t drown, they just cough out their phlegm. Not pretty, I’ll grant you, but effective.

  8. 8
    JasonTheGreek says:

    Gaspass- that’s a manmade device that is implanted that allows you to rid yourself of mucuous. The body, naturally, would have no way of getting rid of this stuff, outside of the lungs filling up- as far as I can tell. So, with only one hole from birth to eat and breathe out of- we would drown.

    Without the manmade device, you’d be out of luck. Unless you slowly evolved a natural tracheostomy stoma of sorts. I don’t see that happening.

    Even with the manmade device, you have one choice- to cough up the mucous into a handkerchief or something similar…or simply walk around covered in phlegm.

    That would lend credence to the idea that there’s no bad design at all here. My body has no problems with this- I simply cough up anything from my lungs and spit it out where I choose or swallow it back down into the second tube.

    You even regognize that it’s “not pretty” only “effective.” There again tho- it’s effective only because doctors created a manmade device to solve a problem. Naturally, without a manmade stoma, you’d have no chance.

  9. 9

    […] From UD YouTube Clips from the Beyond Belief Conference… […]

  10. 10
    thechristiancynic says:

    Despite Dawkins’ insistence on an apology, Konner’s point about Dawkins’ language abuse was spot-on. The reason it is problematic to call a child a Marxist but not so to call a child Catholic is that we do not use the term Marxist to describe an upbringing like we do with Catholic. In the same sense, families can be Catholic but probably not Marxist. Dawkins didn’t even look like he recognized that linguistic nuance, or perhaps he did and chose silence rather than conceding the opening point of his lecture. Acknowledgment would have been far more honest.
    Perhaps more to the point is the fact that Dawkins’ as of yet unsubstantiated claim (likely because it cannot be substantiated) of child abuse by calling a child Catholic, Protestant, etc. is unquestioned in general. That bothers me a lot among a group of people who claim to be rational thinkers with their “consciousnesses raised”.

  11. 11
    DaveScot says:

    gaspass

    It’s “hole” not “whole”.

  12. 12
    IDist says:

    “Sam Harris is an extremely articulate and a clever thinker. He will replace Richard Dawkins as high priest of atheists, when Dawkins meets his Maker.”

    I can’t really believe that Dawkins is the high priest of atheists, this is the most strong proof that atheism is nonsense at its best!

  13. 13
    gaspass says:

    JasonTheGreek:

    I thought we were in the world of hypothetical regarding the need for more than one path for phlegm from the lungs. I showed that one “phlegm hole” (thanks DaveScot for taking the time to correct my typo) does not doom one to drowning. In the hypothetical world where animals have only one phlegm hole why not assume that they would evolve a spitting mechanism to make sure they don’t get covered in phlegm. Or perhaps being covered in phlegm would be evolutionarily advantageous.

    In any case I’m sorry I brought this quibbling point up since we could go on and on and really get nowhere, the discussion being purely speculative. Especially since I agree with what I think is your major argument that “poor design” is not evidence against the existence of a designer. I would, however, also not accept the flip side of this argument that “good design” is evidence for a designer.

  14. 14
    DaveScot says:

    gaspass

    If you used “whole” instead of “hole” just one time I’d agree it was a typo. You did it twice. Once is maybe a typo, twice is something else. I don’t know any polite way to say what the something else is so I won’t.

    The suboptimal argument of the common passage for food and air in mammals is all wet. It’s highly optimized and anyone that’s ever had to run any distance in very hot or very cold weather should be able to figure out why.

    The nasal passage serves to warm the air we breathe and filter out pathogens and allergens. Lung damage can occur breathing through the mouth in sub-zero temperatures and the function of filtering air is obvious. These functions however require a restriction of the nasal passage restricting maximum airflow. Humans are designed for long distance running primarily in warm weather. Being able to breathe through the mouth bypasses the nasal restrictions and allows for increased airflow during prolonged high exertion at the expense of bringing unfiltered, unwarmed air into the lung. This particular design is highly optimized. That anyone would ever point to it as sub-optimal shows nothing but shallow, uninformed thought.

  15. 15
    gaspass says:

    DaveScott:

    Thank you again for correcting my error. I am pleased to have the opportunity to be corrected by someone who is infallible, and for that person to refer to me as “friend.” I hope that I shall prove worthy of your continued attention despite my obvious inadequacies.

    While I think a common air and food passage has both strengths and weaknesses I am willing to stipulate that it is optimized if that will help the discussion move to a more useful point. Assuming that a structure is optimal, how does this serve to demonstrate the existence of a designer?

  16. 16
    tribune7 says:

    Assuming that a structure is optimal, how does this serve to demonstrate the existence of a designer?

    Pointing it out shuts the yaps of those who use it as example that “bad design is no design”.

    Granted the “bad design” argument is not one to take seriously but it is often made and it gets to be annoying.

  17. 17
    gaspass says:

    tribune7:

    Do you agree with me then that “good design is evidence that there is a designer” is just as false an argument as “bad design is evidence that there isn’t a designer?” [or “no design” as you put it]

  18. 18
    DaveScot says:

    gaspass

    Leave the sarcasm at home.

    Assuming that a structure is optimal, how does this serve to demonstrate the existence of a designer?

    It doesn’t. I don’t buy that line of argument any more than you do. It’s a theological argument that presumes a designer we know nothing about except through analysis of complexity is infallible. Even Christian theology has an easy answer for these things called “original sin” where perfectly designed life was cast out of the Garden of Eden to fend for itself – everything about life went downhill from there.

    All I wanted to do with the explanation of how the dual air/food passageway in mammals is show that contrary to what you might have read it is indeed highly optimized. It serves to show that the arguments you find in talkorigins.org are often shallow and uninformed.

    By the way, I just posted another of the kind of science oriented articles in my series of exploding NDE dogmas. See “The Sound of the Neutral Theory Exploding”. I look forward to your constructive and substantive participation there.

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