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I agree. When Ken Ham said, "Uh, Bill, I . . . I just want to let you know that there . . . there actually is a book out there that actually tells us where matter came from", it would have been nice to have a Sam Harris or a Christopher Hitchens on stage to slap that shit down and scold that motherfucker for poisoning children's minds.

Yeah, I do wish Nye had been able to go a little "meta" on Ham when he pulled that crap.  "No, Mr. Ham, your book doesn't explain where matter or logic or consciousness came from.  Where did consciousness come from?  'This book says God made man in his image.'  OK, where did God's consciousness come from?  'Well, he was just always there.'  Where did God's logic come from?  'Well, he was just always there.'  Where did the power that God used to create matter-energy come from?  'Well, he was just always there.'  And so on, right?  So, your model doesn't explain any of those things or tell us how they actually came to be, it claims they were always 'just there.'  So, your model actually has no answers to offer when it comes to the question of origins."

Or when Ham tried to claim that [his version of] Christianity owns the patent and trademark on logic and natural regularity: "It's funny that you would say that Mr. Ham.  The Bible never mentions the 'laws of logic' or natural regularity, and it never claims that Yahweh invented them.  The 'laws of logic' that you're talking about were formalized by Aristotle, a pagan Greek.  So if we want to attribute their existence to a deity, it would have to be Athena or maybe Zeus.  Natural regularity was formulated by a chain of pagan Greek and Roman philosophers like Anaxagoras, Pythagoras, Epicurus, and Lucretius.  So should we credit all of the Olympian deities with creating natural regularity, or do you have one or a few that you prefer?

"Also, are you really going to suggest that Yahweh invented logic and natural regularity?  How would that work?  Was there some point where he's sitting around, watching the four-sided triangles go by, being Yahweh and Isis and Odin and Kali and Quetzelcoatl at the same time and the same respect, adding two and two and getting a different random number each time, until he finally says, 'That's enough of that!  Henceforth, pi shall not be 42!  Henceforth, I shall be Yahweh and not Ahura Mazda and Durga and Nephthys all at once!' 

"But even that requires that natural regularity already exist.  It presumes that when Yahweh says something, reality conforms itself to his words.  That is a natural regularity!  Otherwise, it would be possible for Yahweh to say 'Let there be light!' and have the words turn him into a purple opera-singing bowling ball instead of spawning light.  In order for you to even utter the word 'Yahweh' with the intention of communicating anything, Yahweh has to be an entity of a specific nature--Yahweh, and not anything or anyone else--with certain attributes that make him Yawheh, and so on.  So natural regularity and logic have to be present before there can be a 'Yahweh' in any meaningful sense.  They're ontologically prior, so he can't be invoked as their explanation."

Changed Change Reason Date
nogodsforme You way schmart. February 08, 2014, 04:46:19 PM
screwtape I wish *you'd* debated Ham February 10, 2014, 11:39:15 AM